Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Halloween Happies

This Halloween season was probably the funnest one ever. I just genuinely loved Halloween this year!

We have a brilliant friend named Jenny Briggs who started a community garden in Historic Sandy. As part of the garden she does a pumkin patch, which led to the annual community event "Pumpkin Fest" at which you can buy pumpkins, listen to folk music, eat way yummy fall treats, and do/buy crafts. It was so fun to go back to our old neighborhood and see fun friends. What a great tradition Jenny, thank you!

Liam had so much fun running around and checking out all the pumpkins -- and the other kids.

I love winter hats!

Snuggling up.

We love "our" Deb Bell! I don't know how Mark managed to evade the picture. . . we'll get him soon!

Liam was a lion for Halloween. He would laugh so hard when he'd see himself in the mirror with those lion mane hairs hanging out. We went trick-or-treating to Ben's work in the morning. We had such a fun day!

Liam didn't really get the whole trick-or-treat thing, but he quickly figured out he could go take candy.

His favorite part of the night was when the kids would come to our house. When the door bell rang, he would run screaming and waving his arms over his head to the door. We had a lot of trick-or-treaters which was really fun. All of Liam's favorite friends came to see us!

Needless to say, this boy is Ben's mom's (aka Granny Candy) grandson. He kept grabbing this massive bowl -- it was as big as him -- and pouring it down his chest like he was drinking all the candy. We'd have to hurry and pick up all the candy when the doorbell rang, so hilarious.

Here I am with my new glasses. After 6 months of testing, 4 wrong medications, 3 eye specialists, and endless sore red eyes, the doctor concluded I didn't have anything wrong (no, I'm not going blind like one doctor told me! Yeah) my eyes were just rejecting my contacts.
So I found these great Mark Jacobs frames. Still not sure if it was worth the money . . . but they are definitely cooler than my old ones. I really can't express how much I hate wearing glasses. It just takes me back to elementary school when I was tormented relentlessly for my glasses. Ugh. I feel like I'm 10 years old again! At least Ben doesn't call me 4 eyes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun pics

Nothing special, just some pictures I took the last couple of days. Liam is just growing every day!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Proposition 8 in California

My cousin Katy is living in California right now as her husband completes law school. Here are just some pieces of an email I received:

"I attended a broadcast last night with Elder Ballard, Elder Cook, Elder
Clayton and Elder Bednar discussing this issue. They shared with
Californians some things that could potentially happen if this does not
pass. These things have put a great deal of fear in me as a mother and
a citizen. I will not go into all of them now but will mention 2.

School curriculum. If 'marriage' is defined as between 'whomever' and
'whomever' instead of between a man and a woman, our children in grades
K-12 will have sex-education that has to give equal treatment to all and
any unions. Because homosexuality by definition relates specifically to
the act of sex, information about sex /of all forms/, will be given out
at a much earlier age and in away contrary to our desires as parents.

Religious Freedom. This is HUGE to those of us who hold sacred our
ability to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in our chapels, homes and
elsewhere without the government telling us in what way we can do so.

In last night's meeting, our Leaders urged us to use our blogs, myspace
pages, etc. etc... to support, discuss and persuade in this cause. We
are avoiding using our family blog to do so, but I have started a
separate blog in my own attempt to obey our leaders."

Katy and her husband have a separate blog on this issue and if you have time to stop and read there are other issues they address if Prop 8 doesn't pass. VERY Educational!

Thank you Katy for the important insights on what's happening in California!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Confessions of a Housewife

Ok, so I admit it . . . I am one of "those." Well that's what Ben calls me once in a while. Mostly when I pull my stunts. Its like if I get an idea in my head of something I want to do (mostly home improvement related) I just have to do it, right then, without really thinking it out. I have many of these, here's just but two:

1) Ok, so picture me 39 1/2 weeks pregnant. I was huge. At home alone for 2 weeks, I got so bored and sooo ready, I thought I could induce labor by building a retaining wall in our back yard. I only had the strength to carry one small brick at a time, so that's what I did for (ehem) 5 hours in the rain on a cool May morning. Now looking back I wish I could have looked down from the heavens, I would have thought I was nuts. So I don't know a thing about retaining walls. I didn't know the ground had to be level so the bricks would stack flat . . . so of course they didn't. I didn't know you were suppose to use bricks specifically for retaining walls so they didn't just fall over . . . like they did. I called Ben and told him what I had done. He immediately came home for lunch and laughed his belly sick. When he got home later that day, we had carry each brick back to its original pile next to the side of the house.

I will say this: I finally got Ben to build the retaining walls I had wanted for 2 years that following Saturday. This is the trend and pattern in our family. I attempt it, Ben cleans up the mess I make. But then it finally gets done.

2) In our new house, there is a blighted area in our back yard where no grass grows. One day I decided to put all the seats down in my car (including the front passenger seat) and go to Home Depot and buy sod. So I didn't really know how much to buy . . . so I tell the girl "Give me 20 squares of sod." You should have seen the look on the boy's face who had to bring it out to my vibe, and the look on my face when I saw how much sod I had bought. We filled my car, from seat to ceiling, including the front seat. There was my little round face poking through massive tons of sod. Luckily we live close to the Home Depot, because I was bottomed out and had to drive 10 mph the whole way. This is the best part. I borrowed my neighbors plastic wheelbarrel (why in the heck would anyone buy a plastic one???) And I filled it up with 5 squares of rolled up sod, and I honestly thought I could lift it. To my horror, my neighbor was across the street watching me as I lifted the back end and the wheelbarrel tipped over on its side, I fell down in what should have been filmed as a stunt video and all the squares went unravelling down the driveway. I pulled myself together, got up, wiped off the dirt and blood, and put one rolled up square in the wheelbarrel, and headed to the backyard. After about 9 trips, I called Ben crying that he needed to come home immediately to help me unload the sod. Each square weighs like 60-70 lbs! He came home, and I actually managed to lay most of it myself through the afternoon. Now its the only patch that grows! And who knew a little Pontiac Vibe could be converted into a small pickup truck!

Its kind of weird, its like I build self confidance/esteem/exploration if I try things i would normally leave to Ben, despite the fiascos/successes they produce.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here Comes the Bride . . .

Here is my brother Richard with his darling wife Lara (the 3rd Lara Bradford in our family!) They got married August 7th, and everything was so perfect. I wish I had my camera that morning at the temple, but I only had it at the reception, so this is the only picture I have of the beaming couple! Errr! I always forget my camera for the important stuff!

Liam was so cute in his little tux that Lara's mom bought him. And Ben looked so handsome in his new suit he got for his graduation present (from himself). Woo woo.

My mom was so proud and so happy all day. She was in the best mood all day and it was so fun to see her just glowing and enjoying being with our whole family.

Funny enough, the best part for me was just being with Ben and remembering how incredible our wedding day was. The next day we watched our wedding video again for the first time since we got married. And of course I loved being in the temple for the sealing and being reminded of how powerful a bond an eternal marriage is. I love weddings! I am so happy and proud of my borhter and Lara! They are so awesome!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Liam's 1st Birthday and Top 10 Summer Fun

So Liam had his 1st birthday on June 5th, so I figured I better get some pictures up. I don't know exactly why, but I have had zero desire to blog lately, which is strange because we have had the funnest summer. I guess I really haven't had time more than anything. But I am recommitting myself to keep up on my blog!

Liam somber but happy in this pic.

He got his table that has activities all the way around. Wow, best toy ever. He plays on this thing like crazy.

Ok, this is definitely his favorite toy. Its a push walker that converts into a scooter. He laughs so much when he's pushing it around. The first time he did he laughed so much, he couldn't believe his legs were going so fast.

His first taste of chocolate cake! Thanks Gma Kingery for making such a yummy cake!

So here are two list for summer

Top 10 Funnest Summer Activities so far:
10. Weekly BBQ's at our house with friends/family we love.
9. Camping at Currant Creek and spreading Ben's grandma's ashes (interesting cultural experience - probably merits its own blog entry)
8. Going to Twin Falls with my cousins for the new temple open house. Such a fun weekend!
7. Taking a walk with Ben most nights. Actually, just having Ben home every night. What did I do before??? I absolutely love having him home! :)
6. Potluck in the Park with friends from our ward, ward softball, and ward dinner groups.
5. Hikes up Big Cottonwood Canyon
4. Instituting "Zero Work" Saturdays since Ben has graduated with his MBA and since we finished our kitchen remodel.
3. Going to SL Bee's games. I love the baseball environment! Ben mostly loves the hotdogs. My dream would be to have 10 sons and have them all play baseball!
2. Home improvement projects - I know I'm crazy, but it is some of the funnest bonding time Ben and I have!
1. Going through the temple with my brother Richard and his fiance Lara. They are getting married in one week! I can't wait! Yeah! Oh, and their engagement party at our cousins' the Smoots. We had all of our side there and invited all her siblings and parents. We went around and gave advice on marriage. It was a really fun party!

Ok, and here's my other list

Top 10 Things that should be in every Refrigerator for Summer:
10. Rocky Road Ice Cream (Dryers Slow Churn)
9. Girards Champagne Salad Dressing (thanks Kendra!)
8. Paul Newman's SouthWest Salad Dressing (amazing in pasta salads)
7. Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches
6. Target's Market Pantry drink mixes. Comes in strawberry daquiri and lime margarita. (comes as a frozen concentrate) Yum-O!
5. A bag of frozen edamame.
4. Mrs. Dash 10 minute marinade (amazing on meats and vegetables on the BBQ)
3. A fresh bunch of cilantro
2. Dole 100% juice (just add ice for a slushie)
1. Ok! All the fresh fruits/vegetables in season: corn, peas, peaches, watermelon, cherries, zucchinins, squash, there are too many to list them all.

I love summer!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Memorial Day, "I want some!", and Sleep

Every year my family goes to my dad's grave site in Springville, Utah. I never really thought much of this tradition, but this year I gave it more thought. When we were driving down, I asked my mom if its a source of comfort for her. She said no. She said she still connects with my dad through so many other ways, that for her its getting us together for a drive so she can connect with us. We take a blanket and tell funny family memories, she tells us funny or poignant stories about our dad, and then we go out to lunch or to the Conoco on the corner where they sell delicious scones and other deep fried wonders.

Here's my little bro Richard being so hip with his new glasses. He's always soo into the current styles.

This is so funny. Every morning, no matter how much Liam has already eaten, he comes to the table if he hears me crunching on cereal. His little M&M eyes peering up at me "Um, mom, I want some." "Um, mom, can I have some?" For every bite I take, he has to have a taste. Its actually kind of funny because all I can usually see from my angle are his eyes. "Um, more please!"

The following is a series of my favorite sleep pictures. I think we have more picture of Liam asleep because he is SO funny with his sleep positions.

Just relaxing.
I'm sure this a yoga position.
Sunday afternoon naps with Dad are the best!
Order! Order! I demand another spoonful!
His mouth was wide open right before I took this picture.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mahalo Maui!

First, Ben finally graduated with his MBA! We are just so excited to have a normal family life, and we have been enjoying every minute of it this week. For Ben's graduation, his parents took us to Hawaii and totally spoiled us! We had such a blast! Here are some photos:

Here we are at a Luau. Yes, I bought the way touristy hawaiian dress and wore it to the luau. Me and hundreds of other women that went. Its just part of the experience right!

Here's the Liam miaster being crazy in the pool. He loved splashing and laughing and getting water all over his face. He hated the ocean and the sand. I think the ocean was so big it overwhelmed him. And the sand, well, he kept rubbing it in his eyes. Not so fun for little babies.

Ben is so funny. He would not go tanning before we went because he had too much going on with finals. So he had to lather up with sunscreen to protect his white body. One day when we went out snorkling he decided to leave off the sunscreen for a little while, and he turned from man to lobster in 20 minutes! I was crying laughing! We got out of the water and he was bright red. But the front of his body is whiter now than when we left!

Just hanging out getting some lunch. The condo we stayed in was a dream come true for Liam because the living room had tile. He loves tile -- everything bounces!

Back home just being silly!

Top 10 Favorite things about our Hawaii vacation:

10. Not ever getting ready. Living in a bun, a swim suit, and stretchy gauchos.
9. Reading and finishing such a great book - The Secret Life of Bees.
8. Shopping.
7. Coral jewelry.
6. Volleyball on the beach.
5. Horseback riding.
4. Snorkling, swimming, and boogie boards.
3. Hello! Sun, sand and salt water! There's no better combo for a sweet vacation.
2. Sleeping in while my in-laws got up with Liam (I said we were spoiled!)
1. Spending the whole week with Ben and Liam!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Well, what can I say, we LOVE our new house! Its where we hope to stay for a long time. There is something about creating stability and something lasting that is so appealing, even more so for me than "newness" or adventure. I like roots. I like knowing people I don't remember not knowing. I like seeing other people's babies born and grow up. I like planting things in my yard and watching them grow too. I like being part of a ward family, and staying a part of that family. So the antithesis of all this is moving. Which is why we tried to find a house we could be happy in for a long time. Moving is hard for me. I lived in the same house my whole life. My brother has been giving my mom some pressure to move. But I want my kids to eat the food that she cooks in THAT kitchen and run around in THAT backyard like I did. Is that weird? Why is that so important to me? I have never been afraid of change or adventure or trying new things. But I like the same house, and I hope my kids will appreciate the stability like I have. On the other hand, I guess you never know what life will throw at you and cause total upheavel. All you can do is plan and hope for the best right!

Anyway, I am feeling very settled and at home, on so many different levels. And that's a great feeling. So, let the roots begin!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The House Sold! Confessions, and Liam-isms!

Maybe if I wrote in some entries a little more often I wouldn't have to write so much! YES!! We sold our house! It was crazy, we had three offers come in on Monday, so we got exactly what we wanted! Yeah! I'm so glad that's done. And the cutest couple ever bought it, which makes it even sweeter. We want good people for our ward. The stressful news is we are moving in 2 weeks! Yikes! So we'll see how packing up everything and doing everything by myself will go. Ben is back in class 3 nights a week with intense homework the 4 mights he's home, so I'm back to single motherhood. But I'm just so happy everything worked out, nothing could take me off cloud nine this week.

A quick "Confessions of a Housewife"
First, only I would do this. So our realtor is so good at selling houses, but its because he has over 60 realtors that work for him in his office, so he nextworks well with all of them. He loaded about 50 in a greyhound bus and brought them over to highlight our house last week. Yeah, that's right. 50 strangers parading in and out of the house. They just parked the greyhound out front like nothing. All morning I was freaking out. I woke up at 6 am to start the frenzie of cleaning before they got here at 10 am. I was polishing the last of the glass when I heard a knock. So everyone came and left, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief until I walked over to the sink to find that I had left all my breast pump items in the sink!!! ugh! I was mortified! All these grown men either knew exactly what they were and were probably disgusted, or they had no idea. Ben keeps trying to convince me of the latter. Everything was spotless, and I kept thinking "I got to put those away somewhere . . . oh, I'll wash them really quick . . . oh shoot that still needs to be cleaned . . . I HAD better put those away before they get here . . . ok those are next on the list . . . " hmmmm. What do you do??

The day before was a huge storm. I thought I could move our 2,000 lb. garbage can by myself over by the fence. It was so snowy and slippery, the can hit some ice and pinned me down to the ground. I was in my jammies, no bra, and my slippers. The lid flipped up and hit me in the face and heavy garbage spilled out making the lid VERY heavy. I thought "What the heck! a) please someone, anyone find me and help me! b) oh I hope no one I know finds me; c) Liam is probably inside screaming by now. So you know when they talk about that crazy adrenaline that moms get when their baby is stuck under a car and they lift the car over their heads (does that really happen??) I thought of my little baby inside by himself and some insane strength came to me and pushed the can off! I was victorious over that stinky monster!! But I was soaked and majorly bruised.

The day before THAT we went up to see the new house. I was walking to look into the main front window when I disappeared! I fell right into a window well that covered over with large bushes. The well was so deep I was up to my chin. I can't believe I didn't break anything. Ben said it looked like when people get sucked into the ground in scary movies. And you know when you get hurt so bad you either burst out crying out or laughing?? I just burst out laughing because I was so embarrassed and shaken up. Oh man, its a jungle out there!

Here are some new pics of Liam. I realized that I only seem to take pictures of Liam when he is in his pajamas, so if you see a lot of him in the same blue outfits, that's why!

He just discovered the mirror on his play disc. He spends at least half an hour every day checking himself out!

Look how funny his feet are! He just started this new thing last week where he only sits with his legs crossed! It funny because he doesn't have very good balance when he sits like that, but he still crosses them all the time.

Feet crossed. I wonder if he sees me sitting indian style all the time and decided to give it a try!

He pulls all his toys out of his basket one by one.

Yeah! A fun discovery from the toy basket!