Sunday, June 22, 2008

adventures in remodeling

Ah summer time. At our house that pretty much means "project time." Last summer we made some major improvements to our house, including putting on a whole new roof (not just new shingles-- like an entire new roof). This summer we are putting most of our energy into adding on about 250 square feet to our master bedroom. What you also must realize is that we do not hire any of this work out. My jack-of-all-trades husband does it all himself (with a lot of free labor provided by brothers, dads, moms, and friends, of course). So in order for us to spend time as a family when Daddy comes home from work, Baby G and I go out to the project site in the backyard with him. I help with the work as much as I can, but mostly I just run around trying to keep the baby from nailing himself in the head with the nail gun, or preventing him from consuming large quantities of sawdust and soil. Here's how it goes down:

This dirt looks pretty awesome. It would be tempting for you too, admit it.
I am watching him saying, "Don't eat the dirt, Baby. It tastes yucky." He isn't really into obedience yet, obviously.
The dirt is in the mouth. He's rolling it around on his tongue because he needs to see if it is yucky for himself.
Despite the fact that he has decided that it is indeed yucky, he puts up mighty resistance when his Daddy tries to fish it out of his mouth.
This is where I am saying, "J, please put down the power tool before getting so close to the baby's face. You are about to put a screw in his ear."
Mmm... dirt in the mouth is yummy.
This is the look I got after trying to remove the rest of the dirt from his moth myself. He wasn't too happy about it.
Other days it goes something like this:
In order to maximize our time to get work done, we frequently let Baby G have food items to entertain himself. I had been feeding him some avocado for dinner and when he grabbed it and started eating it himself (including some of the peel, as you can see in this picture) we didn't stop him because we knew we'd be able to get more done while he was self-feeding.
Little mischevious grin.This picture does not do justice to the mess he made. His face, hands, feet, clothes, and the surrounding area were covered in a mixture of smashed avocado and sawdust. He was pleased.Then he decided to measure some stuff, thereby getting the tape measure covered in avocado as well.
Since he was so filthy we decided to hose him off in the front yard before we took him in to the bath. He wasn't loving it, and he displayed his anger by putting his foot in his mouth.

The water was cold and Baby G kept making this face:

Because we are mean and evil parents we kept spraying him with the cold water so he would keep making the face.

Hopefully he wasn't too damaged by the experience. He seemed to be okay.

Then it was into the bath, where Baby G has learned how to strategically place froggies for maximum modesty.

Out of the bath. Baby G was fascinated by the fact that he could see himself moving on the camera screen. He kept looking in the mirror and then back at the camera trying to figure it out.

Then it's into the jammies (which I know are too short in the arms and legs-- this baby has his daddy's long limbs) and time for bed. Working outside is very exhausting.

Monday, June 16, 2008

a perk

One of the greatest perks of marrying one of your best friends from high school is that you are allowed to still hang out with the guy friends from that same circle. I love that we can all still be buddies and get together with our growing families to catch up. We recently had a bunch of the guys over for an FHE BBQ, and it was so much fun for me to get to know their wives/girlfriends better. (and if you weren't invited PLEASE don't be mad at me! I had NOTHING to do with inviting people and I didn't even know who was coming! It was super spur-of-the-moment because Bryan just happened to be in town so he called a few people to get together. I just offered my house, barbeque, and park). eating burgers and hot dogs

the group

It was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again!

For starters, I really think my baby looks like me

and I really, really love that.

qwest workers live in india

So our internet has been down for over a week now. After about 20 frustrating minutes of a futile phone conversation with Punjab, my husband hung up the phone. I think he is waiting for his patience to return before he tries again. Not having internet access at home has actually been very good in some ways, which is why I am not going out of my way to get the problem fixed. I have been super productive during Baby G's naps; sewing blankets, scrubbing floors, painting shadowboxes, even reading the lessons for Sunday school. But I have missed my bloggy, and since I am at my mom's today and have 2 incredibly eager babysitters (my little sisters) I will try to catch up as much as I can.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

what my baby looked like 100 years ago

My friend Jackie had a fun idea on her blog. There is a website that converts your photos into looking like they are 100+ years old. You just put in the file name of your picture and it will convert it for you. Be patient-- it takes about a minute to do. Here is the link.
These were the photos I did. I included the before and after.

(is it just me or does he look like he is about 3 years old in this picture? it kills me!)

(don't you love the post-bath slicked down hair?)

(this is when I knew it was bedtime)

(baby boy cousins playing outside while their mommies do yard work)

(I love this picture. Such sweet little boys)

Sunday, June 01, 2008


(sister-in-law Aaron with her little baby Levi)
Over the past couple of weeks there have been tragedies happening around me. I feel like our family (meaning our extended families on both sides as well as our own little family) is being asked to do a lot of hard things right now. The hardest thing for me personally has been feeling deep grief on behalf of people that I love.

Yesterday we spent the day at the funeral of my husband’s step sister-in-law. She was killed in a car accident and left a husband and 3 little boys behind. Although I wasn’t particularly close to this sister-in-law, I couldn’t help but feel overcome with grief and sadness for the 3 little boys that lost their mommy. The oldest boy, Benjamin, is almost 5, and about a year younger than my husband was when his dad died. I couldn’t contain my tears as I watched my tall, manly husband go over to little Ben, sit down on the grass beside the casket, scoop Ben into his lap, hold him close, and through tears, tell him that if he is a good little boy he will get to be with his mommy again in heaven. This tender display reminded me of the infinite blessings of the gospel: that we have a knowledge of the resurrection, that we covenant to bear one another’s burdens, that we know we can call upon heavenly powers during moments of despair and sorrow.

There is other sadness and heartache going on in hidden places all around me. One of my very favorite quotes is by Elder Maxwell. He said:

“…for the faithful, our finest hours are sometimes during or just following our darkest hours.”

I discovered the truthfulness of that statement when I was in Romania and experiencing darkness that I had never known before. I was amazed at my ability to see light in the midst of the tragedies that were unfolding in front of me every day. I was amazed to find that even though I was feeling sadness to a degree I hadn’t felt before, I was also feeling the spirit more abundantly, and my testimony of the Gospel was being strengthened constantly.

I love knowing that if we are doing the best that we can, even though we will have dark hours, darker even than we may think we can bear, through that darkness we can be refined in a way that would not otherwise be possible. I know that, and it makes my heart swell to think of the promises that are made to us if we can just rely on God through our darkest hours.

My baby usually is napping around 11:00 AM, which means that I am usually blogging around that time. I sometimes turn on the TV in the background, and there is always a BYU Devotional being broadcast on channel 11. I wish I could say that I always watch the devotional, but much too often I turn the channel to something far less praiseworthy and uplifting. However, a few months ago was one of the days that I decided to watch the devotional. Elder Eyring was the speaker and I remember how much his words touched me that day. I called my husband to tell him about the talk because I loved it so much. And then I forgot about it.

In the wake of some of the tragedies that have happened in the past few weeks I found myself praying for some guidance as to how I could be of comfort to those around me. My answers have come in a variety of ways, but one of them was the recollection of that devotional talk by Elder Eyring. I didn’t really remember what it was about, but I decided to see if I could find it online. When I found it I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the small ways that the Lord answers our prayers. The talk is titled “The Power of Deliverance” and as I read it I knew that part of my answer was to print out copies of the talk and give them to specific people. If you would like to read the talk, click here.

I hope I haven’t come across as gloomy or preachy. My intent was just to share some of my feelings and some of the ways that I have personally found comfort and solace during trying times. Now it’s your turn to tell me—what things help you get through dark times in your life?

Please share—I need all the help I can get!