Sunday, November 28, 2010

No, I haven't given up blogging

The other day I was on the phone with Alison and told her that we had been busy. When she asked with what, I had a surprisingly hard time answering her. I have a lot going on, but I don’t always reflect on what I’m doing and have been doing, which I think is important. Life seems to be going fast lately, which is good and bad—I enjoy being up and doing and going and working, but my kids are growing up so fast and I don’t want to be so busy that I don’t fully enjoy, love, and nurture them.
So, since I’d like to pause and assess what is going on in my life right now, I may as well do it in the form of another family update. It’s been a while! So, starting with myself, here goes!


-I’m working about 7 hours a week for EMB, give and take a few hours depending on the week. I mostly work in the evenings and during Austin’s afternoon nap (I have Sally play quietly by herself for a while and then reward her with a T.V. show or library video if she keeps nicely to herself). I feel very fortunate to have such a great work opportunity, but despite what a good situation it is, I often toss around the idea of being done (or at least taking a while off). Before long Austin will stop napping in the morning, which will take away some of my one-on-one time with Sally, making it less appealing for me to work in the afternoon. I’m sure I can figure something out.

-I’m enjoying my calling as the 1st Counselor in the RS Presidency. It isn’t a terribly busy calling, but does take some of my time and energy each week. I always feel like I should be doing more, though.

-I’m teaching piano lessons. I have four students, three of which are siblings. I was approached by the mother of the three and asked if I would teach piano lessons in exchange for her watching my kids for a few hours each week. In the case of the one, I was also approached by her mother who offered to pay me more than I was willing to accept (and more than I am accepting). I don’t particularly enjoy teaching piano lessons because I don’t feel as qualified as I would like to be. While I feel like I’m a capable and competent pianist, I never learned a whole lot of music theory, and I don’t feel like I’ve been blessed with the gift of teaching. I do okay, but I have a hard time when people just don’t get something I’m trying to teach. Since the mothers of my students know my limitations and have as their objective having their children learn to play hymns, I feel okay about teaching.

-I’m trying to read more, do more to beautify my home, exercise more, and blog more--and failing miserably at all of the above. I did read a book in October, thanks to my friend Amanda recently organizing a book club, but because of being busy with work the past month, I didn’t get the book read in November. I have a list of projects I’d like to do in my home that has gone for some time without a single check-mark. Austin is now 9 months old, and I don’t know if “9 months on, 9 months off” applies to me. I haven’t been on a scale in months, but I’m pretty sure I’m a few pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. And while I’m honestly not that worried about the number on the scale, I think I’ll have a permanent spare tire around my middle unless I can get enough motivation to really do something about it—and that does worry me. As for the blog, well, you all can see for yourselves how well I’m doing there!

-On a more positive note, I do feel like I spend a lot of quality time with my kids. I play with and read to them quite a lot, and enjoy it (most of the time). I think they can tell that I love being with them and doing activities with them—at least I hope so.

-I continue to love trying new recipes and ideas in the kitchen. I’m trying to cook simpler and more efficiently.

-I love getting together with my friends and their children. We have had a lot of fun get-togethers lately to celebrate birthdays and new babies, but usually it is just a low-key gathering over a simple lunch (sandwiches, left-overs, whatever!) with good conversation and toys for the kids.


-Neal is busy with work (but not as busy as he was last year). After 5 months in the anesthesia program, let’s say that the honeymoon is over. During the first few months in the program, it wasn’t uncommon for him to come home around 4 (after leaving the house around 5 am). These days, it is a rare day that he is home before 6 (and then he has about half an hour of prep work to do at home for the next day). So, he works long days, but is learning a lot and getting good experience. He does get weekends off, though, unless he is on call (a 24 hour shift), which happens 3-4 times a month.

-He is also busy with church. He has had a lot of scouting activities and trainings lately. He enjoys them for the most part. I think his current calling as assistant scoutmaster/Deacon’s quorum advisor is a good fit for him.

-He has had a few projects going on recently (he loves projects and is almost always in some stage of a project): staining and installing an extra cabinet in our laundry room, building and paining a fence, and cutting down two dead trees in our yard. I was less than excited about the trees—not because I didn’t think they needed to be removed, but because the idea of Neal on a ladder near power-lines with a chain saw terrified me. It all worked out in the end, but I was admittedly ticked off at him for completely ignoring my safety concerns. I already feel like a widow a lot of the time, and that is bad enough.


-Sally turned 3 years old on November 19. She knows enough about birthdays to be very excited about her own. I hope she wasn’t disappointed. We didn’t have a party with friends this year, but enjoyed celebrating with Neal’s family. She got a 2-wheeler with training wheels from us, and some other fun gifts from family and friends.

-She is a sweet and well-behaved young lady. She always has been, but lately her behavior has been top-notch. She has recently gotten over a phase where she didn’t like going to bed and would repeatedly come out of her room after she was put to bed, and now cooperates very nicely at bed-time. She says “please,” “thank-you,” “excuse-me,” and “I’m sorry” without having to be reminded most of the time. She is getting better at sharing with Austin and with her friends, and she often suggests kind acts to perform for people we know. I know that I’m strict with her, and I’m trying hard to lighten up.

-She loves to sing and dance, and most of the time makes up the songs she sings. She is also really into playing make-believe. She has a little people castle set that she loves, and she also loves playing “family” with her baby doll.

-She is a great eater (unless we are at someone else’s house and there are tempting toys around), and eats pretty much everything that I make (except for salad—she still isn’t a fan, but we’re trying). Her favorite food is still oatmeal, but she also loves pb&j, carrots and peas, blackberries, lasagna, homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese (what she requested for her birthday dinner), and, of course, sweets (cookies and ice cream in particular). She will eat sweets that most kids won’t touch (including me as a kid), such as dark chocolate and nuts.

-She is a lot of fun to have around and has an optimistic spirit. When I’m feeling badly about something, she’ll give me a hug and say something like “Don’t worry, Mommy!”, or “It will be alright.”


-Poor Austin has had so little coverage on this blog! He continues to be a great baby. He is good natured and happy most of the time. Lately he has been very attached to me, which has been a challenge, because he wants me to hold him, yet still wants to be playing and moving (so he just can’t make up his mind about what he wants).

-He is a great night-time sleeper (sleeps about 12 straight hours), but is starting to grow out of his two-nap daily routine.
-He is still mostly bald on top, but has quite a bit of hair on the sides and in the back. No one is sure about what color it is. I think it is blond, but others think it is reddish.

-He has beautiful blue eyes and sweet chubby cheeks that are so fun to kiss.

-To back up a little (okay, a lot!), here are a few of his accomplishments: he rolled over at 3.5 months and started crawling at 5 months. He started pulling himself up and standing on his own at about 6 and 7 months, respectively. He is now 9.5 months and doesn’t yet walk, but is getting close. He cruises along furniture and has attempted a few steps. He likes to walk when someone is holding his hands.

-He is VERY active and into EVERYTHING. He definitely keeps me on my toes.

-He loves books, but not me reading them to him. He mostly just pulls them off of the shelf, shakes them, turns a few pages, and occasionally puts them in his mouth. There is one book that he will let me read to him all of the way through—a board book called “Where’s Nicky?”

-He babbles quite a lot and can say “Mama” and “Dada.” And I’m pretty sure he knows exactly what he is saying when he says them. He is quite loud when he wants to be and has a deep voice, which I find quite humorous (how deep it is, NOT how loud he can be).

-He is a good eater but is starting to be very picky. He has started throwing food on the floor, much to my dismay. His favorites at this point are bananas, bread, and tomato soup (oh, and a new favorite since Thanksgiving—homemade rolls).

Finally, here are some of my favorite recent pictures of the kids (in random order and largely without captions because I'm ready to be done with the computer):

So proud of himself!

I LOVE this dress, and love that fact that I got it for $10 at a consignment sale. Similar dresses I've seen run around $50 or more.
Sally has cute curly hair!

The cake was delish but didn't turn out as cute as I'd hoped. I was rushed and didn't have time for a second coat of icing. Sally loved it, though, and I guess that is what counts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So I don't forget...

Tonight I made a pumpkin pie for dessert. It was a bit more labor intensive than making your typical pumpkin pie because I used a pie pumpkin rather than canned pumpkin. While making my pie I was simultaneously making dinner, and it was getting a bit busy in the kitchen. To make a long story short, the pie crust wasn’t as lovely as I had envisioned, and I had a lot of pie filling left over (I think I was supposed to use a deep dish pie plate rather than a regular pie plate—just one of the details that I overlooked while multitasking). As I took the pie out of the oven, I commented to Neal: “This isn’t exactly the perfectly beautiful pumpkin pie that I had envisioned, but oh, well!” Sally then piped up: “Well,” (she commonly begins sentences that way), “I envisioned the pumpkin pie falling from the ceiling and landing in a plate of spaghetti!” What a silly girl. I don’t know where she comes up with things like this!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Family Trip

As promised, more pictures from Utah (I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seats!). I'm surprised and disappointed that I didn't take more pictures.

We enjoyed our recent trip to Utah. There wasn't any real occasion for our visit. We try to visit my family in Utah twice a year (occasionally over the past few years it has been more frequent due to special circumstances), and we were due for a visit. Neal was able to take some time off of work, and we got an awesome deal on plane tickets. My family was anxious to see Austin (especially those memebers of my family who had not yet met him), and I was anxious to see everyone, show off my sweet baby boy, and let Sally play with her cousins to her heart's content. All of my pestering Angie and Hyrum to go out there the same time as us paid off, and they made the trip out, as well. It was great to be together with the whole family. I'm not sure when that will happen again, since my clan will not be going to Utah during the Christmas season this year.

The trip got off to an interesting start. Sally fell asleep in the car on the way to the airport and amazingly stayed asleep all the way to the security checkpoint.

We got in to Salt Lake late Wednesday night and enjoyed a low-key day at my parent's house on Thursday. I did get away for a while to meet some friends for lunch. Amazingly I was able to get together with my the three awesome roommates that I spent 2+ years with at BYU (Lisa recently moved back to Utah, Kathryn happened to be visiting, and Sarah is living with her parents currently until she gets married in October). Anna joined us, too. It was a lot of fun.

Al and her girls came over in the afternoon so we could bake cakes and let the girls play. It was delightful to bake with my sister while Sally happily played with Ada and Kate.

Thursday night we headed down to Provo to take Neal's brother Grant out to dinner (and left the kids with my parents). It was fun to visit Provo and remember the good ol' days when I lived there. We wanted to eat at the Bombay house, but ended up at Gloria's Little Italy. I didn't regreat it. Let's just say it is a good thing that I very infrequently have the pleasure of ordering "all you care to eat" pasta, especially when one of the choices is pasta drenched in some sort of cream sauce! Despite my hearty dinner, I couldn't resist a $1 scoop of cougar creamery ice cream at Spoons and Spice on the way out of the BYU Bookstore, where cougar shirts were purchased for the entire family.

The next day we hiked Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon with my mom, Ella, Abby, and Angie and Hyrum. It was surprisingly chilly, (I was grateful that I had brought my kids' jackets), but a lot of fun. Because we had no baby carrier, I carried Austin in my arms for a good portion of the hike, with Angie and Neal taking occasional turns to give me a break. Sally was carried mostly by Neal, but enjoyed riding on Hyrum's shoulders for a good stretch. Sally loves her uncle Hyrum!

The family pictures at the top all turned out fuzzy and unfit for posting. This picture of Neal and kids is not much better. Sally had a great time on the hike, but must have been cold at this moment--she doesn't look very pleased.

That night we headed to Spencer and Korrin's house to celebrate Abby's birthday (and my Mom's birthday, which would be the next week). Al and I frosted and decorated our cake, which tasted a lot better than it looked. It was fun to make, though. Next time we'll do a crumb layer of frosting first.

It was so fun to be with the whole family. I love seeing the little girls play together, and it was fun seeing Austin interact with the family, as well.

On Saturday we went to the fair that my parents' stake put on, watched the Cougars lose to Air Force, and ate pizza and played with the family again.

Saturday night was a lot of fun--several of my best high school friends and I had dinner together at my friend Sarah's house. It was after my kids went to bed (quite a late dinner), but it was wonderful to catch up with all of my friends. Abby went along, too, and it was fun having her there. I think all of my friends like Abby better than they like me--and for good reason, she is a lot of fun! Talking with friends and a sister, eating great food, relaxing in a cozy house, not worrying a bit about what my kids are doing--for me, it doesn't get much better than that!

On Sunday before church, we enjoyed pacakes and the stories I loved as a child. It was so fun to watch Sally sit on her grandpa's lap and giggle happily at Micky and the Giant in the classic "The Brave Little Tailor." I love Sally's giggle, especially when she has a hard time stopping her giggles.

After church we enjoyed a family dinner at my grandparents' house. I love my grandparents' house and was so glad to have the chance to be there, as they are building a new home and have sold their house. It was fun to be there with them one last time. My grandma (Sally's namesake) is very sweet and make pink cupcakes with gumdrop decorations for the little girls, and her famous chocolate cake for the rest of us. Needless to say, Sally enjoyed her treat...

as did her cousins! Amazingly, the girls all stayed put for the picture and even attempted to look at the camera. I have the cupcakes to thank for keeping them glued to their seats.

Sweet little Austy had a lot of fun exploring and probably ate a fair amount of leaves while we enjoyed the evening on the deck. He also enjoyed his grandpa--almost as much as grandpa enjoyed him!

Monday came and we got ready to head home, but not before an afternoon at Alison's house. Neal had a get his Wii time in, and Sally was all excited to play with Ada and Kate's toys. Thankfully Ella and Grace joined us so the cousins could get in one last play time. Sally was in heaven in Ada's room, playing with baby dolls and dressing up as Minnie Mouse and Snow White. Here are the cute "big girls" coloring, while the "little girls" (Kate and Grace) napped. Thankfully Austin slept at Al's house, as well, so I could sneak off to lunch with Al and Angie.

All-in-all we had a great trip. I regret not making it to Al and Tyler's house for games with the rest of the siblings any of the evenings (we really missed out, but were pretty tired), and not spending more one-on-one time with Neal. At least we had our Provo trip. But I can't complain--we saw family and friends, enjoyed nice weather, and our kids were great.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We recently returned from a fun trip to Utah to spend time with my family. We enjoyed a short hike, among other things. More info. and pictures will follow. This post is just to get a picture out there to make me feel better about my previous two posts containing no pictures.

Honestly, does Abby even look pregnant in this picture? I find it hard to believe she is halfway through!

The Lost Petersons

Neal and I enjoy watching a good series together. During the Christmas season right after Sally was born we had a lot of free time and a little baby that slept a lot. With the help of Neal’s family, we discovered the “Horatio Hornblower” series (a BBC work) and dove in. It was at times cheesy and predictable, but fun just the same. We enjoyed the down time together, and would work together to get things done around the house and with Sally so we could start each next episode. The next Christmas season we got into season 1 of “24”, which I initially resisted but ended up getting hooked on. Over the past few years we have also taken on “The Lost Room” (a short series, something that Neal’s mom lent to us), “Crusoe” (an NBC mini-series), “The Winds of War” (an ABC miniseries from the 80s), “The Flame Trees of Thika” (a British miniseries) and “Love Comes Softly” (from Hallmark, and the only series we never finished).

Our most recent series of interest is “LOST”. I’m not sure why we started, but after just one episode of season 1, we both wanted to continue. While we didn’t watch every night, most evenings we’d watch at least one episode (and sometimes two or three). It was fun looking forward to that time together in the evenings, and fun to talk about the story and characters together. We were both motivated to take care of our responsibilities as quickly as possible in the evenings so we could have more time to watch together. After season 1 was over, we took a few months off and then tackled season 2. While we both really enjoyed seasons 1 and 2, we’ve decided not to continue with the rest of the seasons. In addition to feeling guilty about spending so much time in front of the tv night after night, I didn’t like turning a blind eye to the raciness that was starting to creep into the show just because I wanted to see what happened next.

So now, without watching “LOST” in the evenings, our evenings feel a bit, well, lost! They are certainly a lot less fun and a lot less predictable. It isn’t that we currently do nothing together in the evenings—we do. We enjoy crossword puzzles, working on our finances, playing games, or just talking, but we also commonly get pulled into our own responsibilities and interests and spend less time together than we’d like. I work quite a bit for my job in the evenings, and Neal always has things he can do for work—such as reading the millions of medical journals/anesthesia textbooks that the department would like him to read. I suppose we are just in a bit of a rut right now and the solution is just planning (or a good dose of fun spontaneity, which neither of us have ever been great at), but often lately while I’m sitting at my work computer realizing that the evening has slipped away without much spouse time, I long for the evenings with LOST on the tv, Neal and my side, and a bowl of ice cream in my lap.

While I could take the easy route, (cave in and go get season 3 from the library), I’m looking for ideas and suggestions about other series that are not quite so long (or addicting, or racy), but more especially about other ways for Neal and I to spend time together in the evenings that we’ll be as excited about as we were about “LOST.” Any ideas? (Ideas involving exercise are especially welcome. Goodness knows I need more of that!).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Life is Good!

I give credit to Nacho Libre for the title of this post. Did I ever mention that I love that movie?

It's 10:10, Neal is on-call at the hospital, I'm fighting the urge to go and get myself some icecream, and there are a million things I could blog about--or I could just go to bed. Going to bed sounds nice...but no, I told myself that I had to post SOMETHING today, so post I will.

A while ago some friends and I were talking about watching the clock when it is about time for the husband to come home from work. Someone mentioned (perhaps it was me) that it is hard to "kill time" with the children at the end of the day and everyone wants to eat dinner. Since that conversation I've thought a lot about "killing time." The more I think about it, the more I don't like the concept. I'm trying to focus more on living in the here-and-now and enjoying it.

I'm often guilty of wishing for "better days": days when I have a bigger house, days when I have more time with Neal, days when my children will respect my need for a little alone time, and so on and so forth. Although wishing and hoping for positive changes isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm staring to fear that all of the mental energy I spend on wishing will take away from my ability to love, teach, and have fun with my children today.

Today was a day in which I could have easily had the "killing time" mentality, yet I tried hard to avoid it and had a great day with my kids. As I mentioned earlier, Neal was on-call today (meaning he went into work at 6 AM and will be off at 6 AM tomorrow morning), and it also happened to be stake conference Sunday. I was quite nervous about how things would go at stake conference without Neal there to help keep the children happy, especially since conference fell right in the middle of Austin's nap time. Both children behaved exceptionally well. Austin didn't sleep, but he was happy, pleasant, and quiet (aside from one minor melt-down which easily passed). Sally played make-believe with two crayons for a good portion of the conference (I have no idea what she was imagining, but she was happy, quiet, and stayed in her seat).

I was also worried about how things would go this afternoon (Austin's nap schedule would be messed up, Sally would get bored and ask to watch a movie which doesn't fly at my house on Sunday, etc.), but my worries were in vain. Austin had a great nap (after crying himself to sleep for 25 minutes), Sally played nicely by herself for quite a while, and we read from the Friend magazine for a good chunk of time. We had a nice dinner together (Sally loved her food and asked for more!), had fun at bath-time, and made "marshmallow sandwiches" for dessert (which are really just s'mores under the broiler. Sally out of the blue asked me if she could have a "marshmallow sandwich", and I'm not sure how she got that idea).

I was amazed at how the day flew by. Although I love having Neal at home, life doesn't fall apart when he's gone. I think my children are delightful, and I love being with them every day. I want to do a better job of enjoying the simple things that I do with my children and taking advantage of the time I have to teach them, praise them, love them, and laugh with them.

I'm still brianstorming about how to achieve this (some days I do quite well, other days I fail miserably). If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

This post will have to have a part 2, because I'd like to expound on the title of this post. Hopefully it won't take me a month! For now, that ice cream is sounding pretty good...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

5 Years!

A few weeks ago Neal and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. After many grand ideas and schemes we decided to have a quiet, simple celebration--we dropped the kids off at a babysitter's house and went out to dinner. We enjoyed a quiet and tasty meal and good uninterruped converstaion at Lidias, an Italian place downtown. I can't remember the last time I had freshly made pasta, but I'll sure remember this pasta (not to mention to Ceasar salad and gnocchi)!

Here's a look back at the last 5 years:

Year 0: Just married and ready to take on medical school and my first real job. We had no idea what we were getting into!

Year 1: Reunited in Utah (for Sarah and Greg's wedding) after Neal's journeyings to Alabama for 5 weeks for comissioned officer training and 10 days in El Salvador for a med school research trip. Ready to buy a house and tackle year 2 of medical school.

Year 2: Pleasingly pregnant with Sally and enjoying a family get-together with the Dicksons. Abby had just gone through the temple and was ready to head out on her mission.

Year 3: Happily together again after Neal's rotation in Philmont (New Mexico) and enjoying some KU action before sending Neal off to San Antonio for yet another rotation. Sally spent her first day with a non-family babysitter. It was big for us (me).

Year 4: After two more away rotations, Dr. Peterson (yes, he was done with medical school at last and in the midst of residency) joined me for 20 hours (5 of which were on our anniversary) in Utah for Abby and Scott's wedding. Austin was baking but not very big, and Sally was talking up a storm and conducting a self-guided tour of temple square.

And here we are (sorry, no picture--I had some taken by a friend but they aren't ready yet, and sadly all of our snapshots lately are of our children), with two mobile children, still in our same house (much improved, might I add), and in year 2 of residency. Life is good, and the future looks even better. Thanks, Neal for a great first 5. I can't want to see what another 5 will bring!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Petersons Lately: A Survey

Just a quick look at a few highlights of the last few months:

Back in April, during Neal's final vacation week of intern year, we took a spontaneous road trip down to Houston to visit Neal's sister Sarah, her husband Greg, and their adorable baby boy Luke. Neal's sister Bonnie was there, too. The car trip there was not fun (both kids were well-behaved but both were unable to sleep at night, so less than 2 hours from our destination we forked over $100 for a few hours of sleep and a big dose of sanity--totally worth it!), but the visit was. We enjoyed playing games, eating Sarah's good food, watching movies, talking, going to the temple (thanks, Bonnie, for babysitting!), and going to the park and beach.

Sally, Sarah, and I made glamorous jewelry out of some pop beads. I'm totally getting some when Sally is a little older (and if she doesn't play with them, I will!).

We loved the park and had fun feeding the ducks, playing Frisbee, and swinging.

Despite losing Sarah and following the wrong car (it was just like Sarah's!), we made it to the beach in Galveston. Sally loved it. Thanks, Sarah, for your patience!

Austin loved the beach a little less than Sally, but he didn't complain.

Back in KC, we checked out the free Clifford exhibit at Crown Center. Sally was so excited to meet Clifford! I thought she would be scared, but I guess she was expecting a big red dog, afterall.

The best family picture we could come up with.

Sally enjoyed dressing up as the mail carrier on Birdwell Island.

Austin outgrew his bassinet. After I took this picture, I couldn't in good conscience keep him in there at night. Unfortunately the crib in Sally's room is the only alternative. Having two kids in the same room has been a trial, but we are figuring it out, one night at a time. Things are getting better.

Sally decided to kick the pull-ups (more like I decided to be done with them). She loves her undies and has had very few accidents in the past few months. She also loves her dress-up shoes and pretend-talking on the phone.

Sally loves Austin, and Austin seems to like Sally, as well.

Both kids are looking at the camera!

While pre-heating the oven for these cupcakes:

I melted Sally's plate in the oven (I often use the oven as a drying rack, and I thought I had removed everything). Imagine my surprise when I opened up the oven to see flourescent green slime!

We had a fun time as a family swimming at the local swimming pool. We love it when Neal has a day off and can go out and about together. Austin napped in the shade while Neal and I took turns swimming with Sally in the big pool. We'll definitely go again.

Sally discovered that Austin can fit in her baby stroller (please pardon the purple crib bumper--it was temporary until the blue one arrived in the mail). And no, she didn't put him in there. I did at her request.

I discovered that Austin can fit in a baby swing (and LOVES IT!). Going to the park is so much nicer now!

Austin discovered his toes (quite a while ago, actually, but I couldn't resist including this picture).

We got to spend the 4th of July together (and the 3rd and the 5th, too!). We had a breakfast with friends on the 3rd, went to church and then to Jim and Cookie's house for a bbq on the 4th, and went to the Legends and had our own picnic bbq in our family room while watching Toy Story 2 on the 5th. I was so excited for Neal to have a 3 day weekend. It was so refreshing. Our post-church 4th pictures turned out okay.

A few happenings of the last few months that are also of note:

Neal and I both got new callings. Neal is the Deacon's Quorum advisor and assistant Scout master, and I am the 1st counselor in the RS presidency.

Neal completed his intern year in internal medicine and is now being trained as an anesthesiologist. It was worth the wait (at least from my perspective). He doesn't have to work on weekends unless he is on call (which he will be every 9 days), which means...WE CAN GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER AGAIN! Also, no more short call, night float, or discharge summaries after he gets home!

Austin can almost crawl. He gets up on his knees and rocks back and forth. He's been rolling around for over a month now and can move himself pretty well without crawling, but he's ready to move onto bigger and better things. I'm excited but scared.

Sally can jump. Sally is quite a smart and capable little girl, but for some reason she had a very hard time learning to jump. She can now get both feet off of the floor simultaneously.

Kind of random, but I guess that is my blogging style these days. Until next time!

P.S. In case you don't know where the title of the previous post came from, it is from Nacho Libre.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Down to the nitty gritties

I haven’t blogged in quite a while, and this is not the type of post that I’ve been meaning to write. For the past month or so I feel like I’ve been in a rut. I don’t feel like I’m doing very well at any aspect in my life (especially motherhood), and I keep feeling the urge to be things that I’m not. So I decided to take a quick look at who I really am and what makes me tick. Without trying to hide anything or apologize for anything, here’s a peek into the real me.

I love baking and could easily bake all day long if I had the time (and if I didn’t have to do all of the dishes). When I see a new recipe that I want to try I look for any possible opportunity to make it. Oftentimes when I’m having a hard time sleeping at night I’m thinking about baking.

I love cooking—not as much as baking, but I love it nonetheless. Putting a good meal on the table brings me great satisfaction.

I love grocery shopping. I’m so excited each week when the ads come in the mail and I can plan what stores I’ll go to and what dishes I’ll be able to make. I get especially excited about sales on produce.

I love getting new things to wear, but rarely do. While not wanting to spend money is part of it, a large factor is that I don’t like shopping with my children and feel guilty getting a babysitter to go out shopping on my own. And I don’t enjoy online shopping for clothing. I get much more excited about grocery shopping than clothing shopping (and my children enjoy grocery shopping so much more), and thus my wardrobe suffers.

Guilt is a feeling I feel frequently. It is mostly related to my children in some way. I daily feel the need to be a more patient and accepting mother and to be more creative with my children.

I love to read, but don’t get to much these days. If I had the time I’d read many of the classics that I read in high school but that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. “A Tale of Two Cities” is high on my list to re-read.

I am a dreamer. I love to dream about the house I will have someday, vacations that Neal and I will go on, meals that I’d like to make, desserts I’d like to bake, parties I’d like to have, things I’d like to own, etc. After we got married it took a while for Neal to get used to my love of dreaming and stop worrying that I was going to go out and spend a lot of money on things. I fear that at the end of my life I’ll find that I’ve done more dreaming than doing. I’m still trying to figure this out, but I think that for the most part fear of the unknown, feeling like I don’t deserve things, and my inborn thriftiness keep me from doing.

I love to play the piano and am so excited whenever I get a chance to play in church. I love accompanying, especially for choirs. I also enjoy playing the organ. I enjoyed being a ward organist (except for the part about it being hard for my children) and feel very badly that I didn’t do a better job in that calling while I had it (it wasn’t my primary calling, so I didn’t devote a lot of time to practice—to be quite honest, barely any time once Sally was born). Most of the time I didn’t play the pedals, and I did hardly any exploration with the stops to get different sounds for different hymns.

I am easily annoyed by sounds that people make unintentionally or without the intent to annoy—such as pen-clicking, lip-smacking, knuckle-cracking, humming, whistling, etc.

I love having parties with friends and family. I am always looking for any excuse to have a party or other get-together. I love planning, preparing food, and seeing people gather and interact, and, of course, eating. I’m still trying to figure out how to be more involved in socializing during my parties while being a good hostess and not ignoring my children. While I love having parties, I also get stressed out and worn out as a result, but these minor problems are far outweighed by the enjoyment I get from the overall experience.

I love serving people, especially if it involves preparing food.

I want to own a bed and breakfast, or a sandwich shop and bakery, someday.

I get great satisfaction out of having a clean house. For the most part I enjoy cleaning, but there are certain areas that I really struggle with. I hate washing windows (especially since Sally is always touching them and they never stay clean), I detest dusting blinds (I think 4 years of living in BYU student housing with cleaning checks every months requiring blind cleaning burned me out), and for some reason I have a really hard time getting around to vacuuming (I don’t have a ton of carpet at my house, and when there is not a sleeping child in the house there are toys on the floor being played with).

I am a confident person in that I have confidence in my ability to do most things I’d like to do, but I often feel insecure around other people and worry about what they think of me. This is in large part because I often put my foot in my mouth and tend to be too loud. It doesn’t help that I was an awkward child (or at least felt like one because I was always too tall, too serious, and had coke bottle glasses), I am naturally clumsy, and I have vivid memories about being teased for these reasons and more.

I struggle with disciplining my 2.5 year old daughter, and know that I need to lighten up. I have really high expectations for myself, which I tend to pass long to Sally, poor thing. I get easily annoyed about things that aren’t that big a deal. Sometimes I forget that she is only 2.5, and I fear that I’m not enjoying her childhood enough.

I have always had a fear of not being loved, and although I have a great marriage and two sweet kids, that fear remains. I know that I’m not great with teenagers, and I fear that Sally won’t like me in her teenage years. Silly fear, but it is there nonetheless.

I wish I were better at blogging, sending birthday cards on time (I don’t forget birthdays, I just struggle with sending things on time), taking pictures, planning activities to engage my daughter, staying in touch with my family and friends, and exercising.

I love to sing and want to be in the Motab someday.

I love being outside but don’t go outside much because 1) I get eaten alive every time I set foot outdoors, 2) I’m not quite sure what to do with Austin, 3) Sally has a way of getting filthy in a matter of seconds. I need to find away around these difficulties so I can take better care of my yard and garden and clean out my car (I have no garage, so this is an outside activity).

I’ve enjoyed living in Kansas City, but I long to live closer to the bulk of my family. I wish I lived closer to at least one of my sisters. Being close to some of Neal’s family partly fills the void, but the void remains and is particularly large around holidays.

I love to laugh and enjoy watching old comedies with Neal, especially movies with Doris Day and Rock Hudson or Cary Grant. I have kind of a silly sense of humor. I think the movie Nacho Libre is absolutely hilarious, and I often find myself laughing at it out of the blue. I don’t laugh as much as I used to and I’m not sure why. The burdens of being a wife and mother? Probably. I need to lighten up.

I need to go to bed. NOW.

Friday, June 4, 2010

All is Calm

It is 5:30 in the afternoon and both of my children are sleeping. It is so strange I almost don't know what to do with myself. Poor Sally has been sick all week and fell asleep in the car on the way back from the grocery store. I was surprised when she kept right on sleeping when I moved her into the house. She really needs this nap, though. I don't know how that girl keeps on going without naps, especially when she is sick and since she plays in her room at night after she has been put to bed AND she wakes up early (not terribly early, but earlier than she used to).

Austin has broken the silence. I suppose all good things have to come to an end.

P.S. for my friend Michelle: I did it--a quick, spontaneous post about what is happening in the here and now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New 'Do

At the gentle suggestion (okay, maybe not so gentle) of my sisters when they visited, I decided to get a haircut that is a little different. Based on some recommendations, I found a good stylist that isn't too pricey. Here's what came of it:

I had kind of a hard time getting a good picture of the cut, and I don't think this photo really does it justice, but at least you get the idea. It really isn't too terribly different from cuts I've had in the past, but I like it and it is still low maintenance.

When my sisters and I get together we tend to start comparing ourselves--our hair, our clothes, our weight, our tans (or, more appropriately, lack thereof), etc. No matter what any of them may say, all of my sisters are beautiful, thin, talented, smart, and wonderful in just about every way. I don't care much for comparisons, but if we are going to compare, then I'll say that Angie will always be the biggest shopping enthusiast, Alison will always be the biggest sports fan, and Abby will always be the biggest movie buff. I, on the other hand, will always spend the least time and money on my hair, make-up, and clothing. I'm okay with being the frumpy one. I have a husband who loves me, and I do shower and put on make-up every day. :)

I'm not the only one with a new 'do. Sally's hair has grown quite a lot lately, and I'm finally able to do a few things with it. I've had fun experimenting, and she is getting more used to having her hair done and is much more cooperative than she used to be. That doesn't mean that she doesn't still pull out her pony tails or rub her head everywhere, ruining her curls (all natural, I might add), but it is an improvement. Too bad she is so hard to photograph. A few photos that were somewhat successful: