Things I'm loving

  • the fact that my dad went to the Taylor Swift concert on his wedding anniversary (with my mom and Elizabeth and Isaac), and that he went all out with the five dollar glow sticks, and that he even emailed links about the concert to my mom the next day. Even though Isaac and my dad were pretty much the only guys there, I think they loved it. 
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  • Butter Crunch Bluebell Ice Cream aka the best Butterfinger ice cream you will ever have in your life. I usually would never choose Butterfinger Ice Cream but Spencer went grocery shopping with me last week and insisted we try it. It only lasted 3 days in our freezer. It was amazing. Fun fact for the day: Spencer's favorite candies are Butterfingers, Baby Ruths, and Starbursts. I think there is something wrong with him because I think those are lame favorites. 
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  • The blog post, The Worst End of the School Year Mom Ever
  • Winning two free entrees to the Color Me Rad 5k this Saturday! (Things I'm hating: not being to run in the Color Me Rad 5k race this Saturday because I can't get work off. The one time I actually win something super awesome on a blog, I don't even get to use it. Laaaame.) Question: do you think that races where you get paint/chalk dumped all over your body would be nearly as popular if there were no social media to plaster pictures of your messy/painty self immediately after the race?


It's getting hot here

It is warming up in Birmingham and I feel like the heat is draining me of any motivation to do anything, including blogging. Besides working, this is what we've been up to for the last week:
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Splash pads and swimming pools are saving my life.
It is very unfortunate that Jack discovered his love for these adorable newborn sized ducky slippers over a year too late and became obsessed with them this week. He insists that I put them on him and once they are on him, he makes the happiest, most ridiculous sounding duck noise. The slippers are so small that his toes bend to the bottom of his foot when I put them on him and it makes me feel like I am performing Chinese foot binding on him so I hid them yesterday and he threw a temper tantrum when I did. And that is the end of my paragraph about duck slippers.
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This weekend we went camping with Jack for the first time. Our church had a campout planned and I got work off so when we found out that it was supposed to rain the entire weekend, we didn't let it stop us! I imagined our first campout with our little family to be perfect - we would make a fire and roast hot dogs and eat s'mores and snuggle up in a tent and Jack would be a little angel. Instead, Spencer and I switched off chasing Jack in the pouring rain while the other shivered under the ramada, we killed over an hour in the steamy truck while we waited out the storm, we microwaved our hot dogs in the kitchen because it was too wet to build a fire, Jack spent the majority of his evening playing in a mud pit, and we slept in a cabin. (I was really bummed that it was too rainy to set up our tent until Spencer told me that the cabins looked like the barracks from LOST. Then I was totally game!)
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Jack was up by 5 the next morning and luckily it wasn't raining anymore! We went on a hike, enjoyed a pancake breakfast, and switched off chasing Jack and talking to friends. Since we had already been up for almost five hours, we hit the road by 9:30 am. Jack had the time of his life and we survived camping in the rain with an 18-month-old (if you can even call it camping) so we'll call it a success!
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random bullet points

  • Jack learned how to walk to Ruby's house all by himself. I follow behind him and laugh when he knocks on her door and waves hello before the door is even open. Fifty percent of his time with her is spent awkwardly loving on her and the other fifty percent is spent bullying her.
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  • I am going to start teaching swim lessons three times a week at the club I work at and I am soooo excited!
  • Can somebody explain to me what google reader is? I think I may use it to stalk blogs without even knowing it. If I "follow" a blog through blogger does that mean that all of my millions of blogs that I stalk are going to disappear when google reader goes away? That would be the saddest thing ever because I stalk so many blogs and I would not know how to find them all again if they disappeared. 
  • Speaking of blogs, Spencer asked me a few nights ago what blog stalking does for me and I told him it entertains me and that it is like watching reality TV but a million times better. Plus it is a great way to keep up with the lives of friends-that-actually-know-me. I hardly ever watch TV by myself because I would rather stalk blogs. Spencer also told me that if he knew about my blog stalking skills when we first started dating, he would have thought it was really weird so it's a good thing I kept it a secret for the whole three weeks it took him to realize he wanted to marry me! I think I should stop typing now because I am feeling creepier and creepier by the sentence.  Why do you stalk blogs?
  • Spencer told me that the best part about 10 am on Monday through Friday is that he gets to eat the protein snack that he packs for himself that consists of two hardboiled eggs marinated in jalapeno juice and two beef sticks. Barf.
  • Anyone else's local Sam's Club offer this product?!
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Alabama Anniversary

A year ago today, we pulled into Hoover, Alabama. We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, because our trek across the country with a 6-month-old turned out to be a lot easier than we anticipated and ALABAMA!!! It was surprisingly, breathtakingly beautiful and the people here were the nicest - I was expecting an ugly, hot and humid place inhabited by a bunch of rednecks. (I think I had such low expectations about this place because I had more than one person in Utah say, "I'm so sorry!" when I announced that we were moving to Birmingham, even though I'm pretty sure they had never been anywhere near the southeast before.)

We felt excited and happy and anxious to move into our apartment the next day, but then the next day happened and there were tons of apartment complications that just seemed to snowball into more and more apartment and financial and emotional complications which then proceeded to the absolute worst, loneliest and anxiety-ridden summer of my life. (Summer venting can be found here and here and here and here and here and here and here. I know that's a lot of venting, but my blog was my emotional outlet last summer, and I would sadly go as far as to say that blogging kept me sane. So thanks, blog!)

So now we're a year out, and I am happy to report that this year has been the best year-minus-three-months of my entire life! My love for Birmingham is as great as my hate was for it last summer, and that makes me feel pretty victorious. I love this football loving, fried-food and BBQ eating, Jesus worshiping, country listening, Southern hospitality and culture. And I desperately want a southern accent.

Here's to another happy year!!!!

My goal this year is to learn how to naturally let the word "y'all" roll off my toungue without feeling incredibly self-conscious or feeling like I am going against everything my mom taught me about grammar.

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Counting Breaths

In August of 2007, I moved from Gilbert, Arizona to Logan, Utah to attend college at Utah State University. I was excited and nervous and anxious for the adventure ahead. I had no clue what was in the future for me but I was confident that Logan was where God wanted me to be. (Thank goodness, because if God wanted me to be at BYU then it would have been a real trial of my faith! ;) While I knew that I would live away from home for a time, in the back of my mind I always thought that I would eventually move back home, even if it was just for a summer. I never moved back. My mom wrote this letter to me on that last August night I called Gilbert my home (almost six years ago!) and I cherish it to this day. 


Every night since September 7, 1989 when I brought you home from the hospital to our town house in Walnut Creek, California, I have counted your breaths as you sleep. When my friend Stephanie, a nurse, asked me once what number I counted to, I realized that I wasn’t really counting your breaths as much as I was just making sure there was a good, steady, rhythm. After counting breaths, I would kiss you and whisper, “Good night, Annie, you’re such a good girl,” just in case it was really those words that made you that way. I have received so much peace and comfort just watching your bed covers rise and fall, rise and fall, to a steady beat throughout the years. I wonder how many breaths I have watched you take?
            When you were eighteen months old, I returned home to Walnut Creek after witnessing the last breaths of your three-year-old cousin, Marie, in a hospital room in southern California. You were napping on the bed of my friend Lisa, who had been caring for you during the days I was gone. I was so excited to see you, and I cried because each of your breaths at that time was particularly miraculous and sacred to me.
            I have loved watching you throughout your life as you grow and breathe, dance and breathe harder, and run and breathe even harder still. Each breath is so full of life, and wisdom, and energy, and love, and joy, that you have taken my own breath away on many occasions. I have particularly rejoiced as I have sat close to your breathing at church, or at camp, or in the temple, when both of our hearts were near bursting from so much breath and life and light.
            So now, as you go away to college, I will lay awake at night counting my blessings with gratitude that even when you are away, I can still count your breaths. 


Even though I'm over a thousand miles away from my mom and have not been with her for the last six Mother's Days, I am grateful for her and for her love and support and her phone calls and friendship (and facebook stalking skills). I am also grateful for Jack, whose breaths I now count. (Not OCD or creepy, by the way).

Happy Mother's Day!
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Things I'm loving

  • Running in the rain last weekend! (As long as it's only drizzling and as long as it's a short run and as long as Jack's happy). It is so beautiful in Birmingham right now!
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  • Getting my monthly "OCD bedbug vacuuming" over with. I move all of the furniture and vacuum every square foot of our little apartment and vacuum along the baseboards and it takes me an hour and forty-five minutes to complete! I'm sooooo grateful that I don't have to do this every single day like I had to last summer. Did you know that bedbugs can live for up to one year without feeding?! That means that we have only one more month until those suckers are gone from our lives (and my mind) for good! I am planning to have a "bedbug-free" party to celebrate and you are invited to come. 
  • LOST! We are in the third season and I think I like watching it even better the second time around, if that is even possible. I also think I should change my "About" page on this blog to "A blog about how much I love LOST and bobas and about how much I hate bedbugs and pinterest." 
  • The way Jack spends our day off of work - reclined in this chair watching "mo" (Nemo) and eating spoonfuls of "pee-na" (peanut butter).
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Guest posting at For All Momkind

I was super excited last week when my friend Lyndsi asked me to guest post on her blog, For All Momkind! I met Lyndsi when I was pregnant with Jack while working as a Kindergarten Aide at an elementary school in Logan. Lyndsi was also pregnant and doing her Level 3 course work for her eled degree in the same kindergarten class as me. It was fun working with her everyday and talking about our pregnancies together. (Jack was due at the very end of November and her baby was due later in December.) Then Thanksgiving break came and we both had our babies early and left the poor kindergarten teacher we worked with high and dry - by herself with twenty-four needy-and-anxious-for-Christmas kindergarteners in both the am and pm classes for the rest of December. Poor thing!

I love Lyndsi's blog and her group on facebook because now I can still talk about mom stuff with her even though I don't work with her everyday like I used to. My guest post is a repost of my accidental sexting mishap that I'm sure most of you have already read, but you should still head over and check out her blog!


A post about Spencer

  • Spencer finished his first year of graduate school! Wahoo!!!
  • He had a golf tournament today as a fundraiser for his graduate school program and learned the hard way that golfing is not his forte. He's a good looking golfer, though.

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  • Spencer has the worst luck when it comes to Jack pooping in the tub and I have the best luck. I would like to think that Jack loves me so much that he chooses to poop in the tub only mostly when I am not home. (knock on wood) This has happened multiple times. While I was out on Tuesday night, Spencer was lucky enough to clean Jack's poop in the tub plus Jack's poop on the kitchen floor (the kitchen incident happened while Spencer was scrambling to get cleaning supplies for the bath tub incident). 
  • Spencer's on a really annoying healthy eating kick lately and hasn't made no bake cookies in what feels like forever! The man has no bake cookie making down to a science and his no bake cookies are the best. I would make them myself, but no matter how many times I make them, they don't form right and stay gooey forever. Fun fact for the day: on our first date we made no bake cookie sculptures - they didn't turn out very attractive and we burned our hands while trying to mold them.