Monday, December 31, 2012

The Resolutions

Save a minimum of $200 in the USAA account every month to go towards the trip we promised our kids for 2014.

Pay off All Store Credit Cards-aside from Amex and Discover.  Those balances will require a bit longer.  Thanks House. Thanks Medical Bills.

Increase Photography Business to a steady side income.  Book 5-6 sittings/month. 1/2 to go into AFCU savings. 1/2 to go towards Debt Snowball. Book over 6 and the income can go toward a date  with the hubby! :)

Continue to Price Match groceries to keep in budget

Pack Chris's Lunch

Wean off of soda completely

Pay off the Toyota

Read scriptures every night to the kids

Bedside prayers-personal and with the kids

Wean the babies onto milk or lactaid.

Figure out how to sleep again

Meet with an endodontist about these wisdom teeth that are KILLING me

Friday, December 28, 2012

camera shy

In October, when I found out that all of my siblings would be getting together for Christmas, I really wanted to set up a family portrait session.  The last time we were all in a photo together was Steve's wedding in 09 when Simon was 6 weeks old. Since that photo, 6 kids have been added to the family.   (Isa, Vicky, Ella, Carter, Austen, Benen)

I set out to find a photographer in the Salt Lake/Northern Utah county area, so that it would be easier for the majority of the family to get to.  After asking for several referrals, and scouring pinterest and websites, it came down to Camera Shy.  They had an adorable studio, they gave printing rights, and had two studio rooms full of different back drops and amazing props.  I called and set up the appointment. Despite the fact that they lost our appointment, and so we had to show up 2 hours earlier than we had planned for our shoot, and that the disk they gave us had 1/2 the photos missing, I would use them again...and here's why.  The photographers are really great!  I mean, there were 14 kids and 14 adults.  The oldest kid was 10, we had 3 (almost) 2 year olds and 3 babies.  We still ended up with beautiful shots.  We still ended up getting every shot that I had asked for.  We were done in 90 minutes.  We shot every individual family. We shot the whole gang. We shot all my siblings with my folks. We did Great-grandma shots with her grandkids.  We didn't dare shoot 14 kids with just great grandma ;) but we did get a shot of grandparents with the kids.  We shot just the kids. (this one wasn't on the disk, but it's hilariously accurate of what 14 kids feel like at the end of a photo shoot).  The whole session cost $190 after tax and I have a disk with a release to print.  They kept the stress low, and really were fun with the kids.  If you're looking for a studio for winter photos, and a great experience, I'd recommend camera shy.  Just be sure to call and verify your appointment a week before, because they didn't have us in their system even though I had scheduled in October.  And be sure to review the disk before leaving.  Thankfully, my brother will be in Lehi tomorrow and will grab the disk for me.  It's worth the drive if we could see Bryant, but he's in St this girl is staying north.

Grandkids with Mimi and Papi aka Opa  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a new favorite for sure

It started with rock-a-bye, comforting when I’d cry, all in her own style.
Then popcorn before my eyes, turning frowns upside down into smiles
With songs of the birds up high, looking at the blue blue skies, the wind as it rushes by
And leading me guiding me, walking beside me, she helped me to walk in the light.
And she built my house on a rock and she lives all that she taught and she is all that a woman should be,
She put the music in me.
I knew He was really there, He heard my child’s prayer answering from up above.
She gave like a little stream, I was her sunbeam, and I felt my Savior’s love.
I saw her kneel in prayer with our family every day, listening to each whispered word.
Gentle in deed, and thought all the things Jesus taught, following promptings she heard.
And she lives to search, ponder, pray, and she gives every day,
So her thanks, will always be thanks indeed,
She put the music in me.
He made the tiny wings each little bird that sings in the leafy treetops up high and all creatures great and small I know God made them all, because of her sweet lullabies.
And she’s like stars shining bright, and helps me to chose the right, and she gives me the hope of a life yet to be,
She put the music in me.
She is so good to me.
Heavenly Father sent her to me and she taught me to lift up my voice and sing
She put the music in me.
She put the music in me.
She put the music in me.


Friday, December 14, 2012

i stand all amazed

Most days, getting my little Aves to kindergarten is a stressful task.  There's interrupting her flow of play, convincing her to get dressed,doing her hair all of which she is rarely excited about having to do. Then there's the dressing 3 little boys, and making sure no one blasts out of their diaper as we are loading up.  Buckling the seat belts. back packs, coat, gloves. snacks. and a 9.7 mile drive to her school-which on great days takes 12 minutes, but most is more like 18-20.  I have to admit that I'm not always in the best of moods by the time we're there.  Especially if I've gotten behind a car that insists on driving 35 in a 50 road, making us late. AGAIN.  Hearing today that 20 children were killed at school...20.  Between the ages of 5-10.  Suddenly being 2 minutes late for school doesn't seem so stressful.  Doesn't deserve the irritation in my voice and harsh tones.  I heard about the shooting while Ava was in school.  When she got home, I talked to her about it.  At a level appropriate of course.  I told her a man had taken a gun and hurt many people.  She asked if they died, and I told her they did.  She looked sad and asked, "But they'll come back alive tomorrow right?  Or maybe in 6 months right?"  I brushed the hair back behind her ear, and explained that they wouldn't be coming back in 6 months.  "Oh," she said, "But when Jesus comes back then they will be able to come back to their mommy and daddys and be kids again. huh?"  I couldn't help but start to cry and hug her.  I shook my head and said, "yes. they will be able to come back to their mommys when Jesus comes."  She then told me that guns aren't allowed at her school, and patted my cheeks and told me not to worry. 

So many horrific tales of killing sprees have occurred, and I've always felt saddened for the families, but somehow, this story is all too chilling to my soul.  Maybe it's because I have a kindergartener now.  Maybe it's because lately, Ava and I have been butting heads a lot, as she pushes the boundaries kids do at this age.  Whatever the reason, I hope to remember to always hug her goodbye.  I hope to always remember how precious she is.  I hope to have the faith she does that while what happened is truly horrific, and we all mourn, and those families are suffering a loss no one should...they will be whole again one day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My last 1st Birthdays

I went to the store on the 27th, and stood in the baking asile staring at candles.  So many different kinds. Colored flames, singing flames, polka dot, striped, star, Cars, numerical.  So many options.  I couldn't possible choose.  This moment can't really be happening tomorrow.  My babies, my last babies are turning one.  I suddenly realized that I was crying.  I was standing in aisle 8 of the grocery store in basketball shorts, a sweatshirt and messy bun with tears running down my face.  I was completely over come with a sweet sadness.  I grabbed a cake mix, a jar of cream cheese frosting and headed for the check out.  It's amazing that we've gotten this far.  These little boys endured so much before even making it into the world, and then spent the longest 2 weeks of my life fighting to stay.  They overcame TTTS, sepsis, pnumonia, PDA and FISD.  They are incredibly happy and loving kiddos.  
I wanted to keep this party simple.  I loved that so many of our dear friends and family were able to join us for this moment.  Here are some of my favorites from last night.


Carter *Saucy Boy* loved the cupcakes

Austen *Aussie Boy* was a huge fan of his cake

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Do you ever feel like it all starts coming at once?  WAM BAM Thank you ma'm kind of disasterous doom all headed from every direction?

I'm kind of wondering how badly I'd be freaking out about the most recent series of events, if I wasn't on anxiety meds.  Because, even with meds...I'm kind of really freaking out on the inside.  My mom is going to come up at some point today.  I can't wait to see her.  I love when she comes up.  It makes me feel safe and that things are going to get better, because she's here for a moment to make me smile, and remind me that I'm not alone. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

disney on ice

For about three months in a row ava begged me to take her to "one day" see Disney on Ice. I surprised her today with tickets.  We went with our friends, Allison and Emi.  It was awesome.  We headed down early and had lunch at Charlie Chows in Salt Lake.  We grabbed some snacks at 7/11 and then headed over. The costumes were incredible.  I had warned Ava that I wasn't going to buy anything at the show.  The prices were ABSURD. $12 for a bag of cotton candy.  Seriously?  $22 for a small light up toy.  And the craziest part was that people were dropping like $200 easily all around me.  I couldn't believe it.  Maybe I'm too cheap for my own good.  I'd rather walk up to City Creek and get something from the Disney Store at 1/2 the price. Ok ok , I am too cheap for my own good. I promised Ava that when we're on our Disney Cruise in 2014, that she will get to choose souvenirs. 

I felt more normal today.  I got boughts of tiredness, but it wasn't as constant as yesterday.  I'm taking this as a good sign.  I also slept really well last night.  Even though I was up a few times with the babies, I was able to fall into a deep sleep once they had been settled. 

I feel like we've gone through a ridiculous amount of baby advil this month.  But then I have to remember that 1. the Ibuprofen bottles are 1/2 the size of Tylenol.  And 2. I have two babies that need it.  I should probably buy stock in Baby advil.  No teeth yet, but maybe they'll surface next week for the big birthday.  Speaking of which..I should probably start planning something for that. But let's face it, I'm not great at birthday celebrations.  I want to be, but really...

Friday, November 16, 2012

day one

Well, despite the universe trying to thwart my visit to my midwife, a dear friend came through, and took my kids.  I went in and opened up. oh that's a bad pun.  Anyway.  Physically everything seemed to check out great.  I told him about the anxiety issues I've had...the panic attacks that have been increasing, and he prescribed me two things. 1. Xanex for when the attacks hit and for nights when everyone else can sleep, but i'm wandering the halls like a zombie.  2. the other is a every day pill that should help.  I am meeting with him again in a month to report on how it's helping.

So far,

I'm tired. Foggy. But mostly, tired.  I'm being told this is normal . Just thought I should write it down.  I was freezing most of the day.  It's almost time to take today's dose.  I haven't been anxious though.  which is nice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

one more day

Tomorrow I get to go in for my doctor appointment.  This fact brings me relief and anxiety all at once.  But the anxiety was already there. always underlying.  Why is getting the kids into the car to take Ava to school such a difficult task?  It's dressing. and in Simon's case sometimes redressing--2 or 3 times.  It's feeding screaming babies and finding their car seats, diapers, wipes, socks, hats, toys, food. will we be gone for 20 minutes or the whole day? if i come back i could probably get something done, but chances are I won' maybe just staying out the whole day is really the way to go because it'll save money on gas.  and what did the kids do with the stupid tickets that were in the car. i left them in there so they wouldn't get lost, and yet here I am...unable to find the tickets and the show is tonight.  it wouldn't be so bad if other people werent depending on my having them.  i should have mailed them off. i had better find them. i know they are in there. when can i have the time to find them? the car is such a disaster. all the time. garbage, everywhere. how can i clean it out everyday and yet the next day have another bag to fill?  Why can't I have an organized clean car. other moms can do it. I can't manage to do this.  I'm destroying my children living this way. allowing them to live this way. it has to end. 4 minutes. 4 minutes until loading time and I'm telling Ava for the 10th time to find her socks.  socks, shoes, teeth, hair, clothes...every day these are the requests, but she seems so annoyed each day that it needs to happen.  I'm her mom. sending her to school clean, groomed, smelling good. these are my job.  why does she fight that? 

I don't mean to sound negative, just that writing out these inner thoughts and anxieties really helps me to process them. accept them. and then pick up and move on with a smile planted on my face.  because sometimes, if i smile long enough, my heart starts to feel it, and that cloud of anxiety following me around...backs off a bit.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Simon Says

Chris-"Simon, we're not buying toys today.  You can add it to your Santa list."

Simon-"Fine! I'll buy it myself *hmph*

Chris-"What money are you going to use?"

Simon-*searches pants pockets, searches coat pockets...nothing.*"Dad, will you buy me some monies?"

Friday, November 9, 2012

winter is coming

I have LOVED our fall this year.  It's been mid 60s to low 70s.  My power + gas bills combined for this month are under $100.  So, you can imagine my extreme glare at the window when I took my neighbor's dog out to pee at 5am and was assaulted with sleet and snow.  First of all, my babies had only stopped waking up every 20 minutes, at 3am--so I'm pretty sure I was going to be pre-disposed to being grumpy.  Secondly, it's been over 70 degrees the previous two days.  This girl is spoiled.

the older I get the grumpier I am about snow.  I need to fall in love with winter again--or  move to San Diego.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


you know that feeling.  the one where you kind of want to lock yourself in a closet, grab your knees and just rock back and forth.  or, that one where one moment everything is fine, and then 3 kids start screaming and suddenly, you're on the stairs crying, and your heart is racing, and you know this shouldn't be so hard.  you've handled this moment over and over with grace and ease, but for whatever reason this time it's just.too.much. 

some days, doing 3 loads of laundry--start to finish, getting the kids to eat 2 1/2 meals, and getting them where they need to be are a breeze.

then...then there are days where getting yourself dressed is almost too much.  the laundry piles. dirty piles. clean piles. once folded now crumpled piles. 

toys and dryer sheets and bits of ripped up toilet paper from kids playing are everywhere and your mind is simply not able to find a starting point.  and even if it could, it's echoing...what's the point?  the moment you start, they will cry. they will scream. someone will poop.

it's time to reach out for help.  Not just for someone to come and do it for you.  no, that's just a bandaid really.  the help required is from a doctor.  the help you need is modern medication, because your mind is overloaded and needs help to function. to think. to process.  it's time for me to get that help.  look around here. chaos. fear. anxiousness.  it's all unnecessary.  i've set the appointment.   the real test will be if i make it into the office.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


So I've been a bad blogger this month.  Things have been going well and we've been making some changes.

I took Simon out of preschool.  Our Tuesdays and Thursdays started with leaving the house at 9am and being gone until 4 or 4:30.  It meant packing everything in the car for the day, and so my car was a total wreck all the time, and when I was home, I had no energy to take care of the house.  Things were out of control.  Also, he started waking up at 4am on those days, and freaking out that he did NOT want to go to school, but I was making him, because we pay for it.  And sometimes he'd fall asleep on the way there...and he was struggling with his anger there.  So I said, "Deb, what are you DOING?  He is 3.  You don't NEED to be this busy.   Life does not have to be this hard.  Try again next year."  So, he's out.  And hopefully he'll stop waking up at insanely early hours with anxiety on those days very soon.  I've started to get more control on the house, and my control in my soul.  Being home those 3 extra hours twice a week has been a blessing.  This past week was our first week without preschool.  I'm a fan!

Rezzen has been doing fairly well for it's 2nd month of family portrait sessions.  I have three more scheduled for October, and then we'll close out this month having done almost a dozen sessions.  I could not be more excited.  My facebook page for Rezzen hit 100 fans, and only 65 of those are people I am friends with.  So 35 people I don't know have liked my photography page!  I'm receiving referrals from families I've done for new sessions of their friends and family, and I'm in heaven!  The website for Rezzen is ....slow coming.  I'm just not getting wordpress at all.  I have some fun marketing ideas in the works and hope to continue being able to book 8-10 sittings a month.  I love how much I've grown in the past few months as a photographer.  I'm grateful for the amazing photographers and friends I have in my life that have taken the time to teach, advise, and support me in this.  It's been a blessing to have the small income this venture provides.  So far, it's been going to car repairs ;)  but soon, it will go to building our savings, something I've never been very good at.

Carter is amazing.  The kid is in the 0%ile for everything, but he doesn't even care.  By all charts he is "failing to thrive," but if you know him, nothing could be further from the truth.  He's days..maybe a week or two from crawling.  He's been working on it all month.  He now says "uh oh" when he drops *(throws) his toys, and fully expects you to return his toy so that he can play uh oh over and over.  He loves to stand at the couch or stool, or toys and his face beams with pride at how big he is that he can stand! He is also allowing me to wean him to whole milk.  He will down 8 ounces like a pro!  He adores Ava and doesn't mind when she gets overly excited (rough) when playing with him.

Austen, my baby.  Though he was born only moments after Carter, Austen is my baby and knows it.  He loves to be snuggled.  He loves to sit and play toys.  He has begun rocking a bit and spending more time on his belly reaching for toys, but is less excited about crawling than his brother.  He is Simon's buddy and laughs uncontrollably at just about everything Simon does.  We took him to see the ophthalmologist the other day, because his left eye will cross now and then when he is tired.  He is slightly far sighted in his left eye, and we will take him back to the eye doctor, in April to track his eyes progress.   There's a chance he will need baby glasses to help strengthen his eye. super hero enthusiast.  This summer, Simon found Green Lantern, since then his love has extended to Spiderman, Batman and Superman.  Occasionally there are talks of Iron Man-who shoots power from his belly, and Captain America.  If I thought his Thomas phase was intense, I was not even close to prepared for this obsession.  He is a super hero all day.  He changes identities and costumes all day long.  His tantrums are still an issue, but are *dare I hope* getting less frequent.  His OCD is still very present in our day to day life.  Added lately is the twitch that he cannot be called nicknames.  He can only be addressed by "simon or Si-guy."  Honey, Sweetheart, Buddy, Little guy are all unacceptable and will result in his screaming that his name is SIMON not (insert nickname)  Also, the order or placement of food on his plate is becoming a bigger trigger for him.  I sometimes wonder are these 3 year old issues, or should I be contacting some kind of therapist to help him.  He gets so upset that he shakes and becomes unreasonable.  I feel helpless as his mother, because when he has an episode I can't reach him.  I've started using lavender oil on his feet in the morning and night, and I've noticed a calmer demeanor.  I just hope that we work through his control issues soon.  It's heartbreaking.  His speech has improved so very much this summer/fall and he has started completing puzzles on his own. He loves them.  I'm thinking there will be a few under the Christmas tree.

Ava--oh my sweet girl.  She is growing up so fast~she loves kindergarten, but anytime we have a break in school, she gets nervous about starting back up.  We went to our first parent teacher conference, and her teacher had only positive things to say about her.  She loves to draw, and is really coming into her own.  She is so helpful with the twins, and is super patient with Simon.  He tells me that she is his very best friend.  She's a saver at heart, and puts any money she finds lying around the house in her piggy bank.  She deposited $100 into her savings account the other day.  Not bad for a 5 year old.  She's saving for a disney cruise for when she turns 7.  That's really only a year away, so I'd better get with it ;)

well there's a bit of an update and something for me to be able to look back on and remember. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Passion restored

I'll admit it, my last few photo sessions...have been not that great.  I mean, they aren't bad, but something was missing. It seemed every time I was going to leave for a shoot, things went very wrong and i was starting to wonder if the universe was shouting "YOU DON'T BELONG BEHIND THE LENS SWEETY!  However, after last night, I decided it was probably the lack of caffeine in my body, because I had been giving it up.

I picked up a DP10, as my week has been non stop and headed to photograph the Heiners.  I love this family. Seriously.  They have great energy.  They like each other, not just love each other, and it shows.  They naturally gravitate to one another if that makes sense. 
I loved this session.

We also almost got ran down by a train, which is pretty awesome. This is Sophie waving to the train that nearly ran down her mom.

Trains are loud!

Thank you Heiner family for restoring my love for photography. There was no stress. Just laughs. A few tears (it's good for the soul) and absolutely stunning portraits!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm a real fashion model now huh mommy

Ava may have informed you of her new model.  Oh yes.  She's made the big time :)

She was selected to pose for the new website.   She was also given one of the dresses she modeled to take home.  We are pretty excited about it.  I'm not sure how heavily I'll pursue modeling for her.  She had lots of fun though, and hey, free dress up in nothing to shake a stick at.

If you are in the market for a great dress up you really should check out  All of Ava's dress up have been from there for years. Machine Washable.  Not itchy. Soft. Pretty.  We've had the same set for almost 3 years now.

So, if you want to check out Ava in print...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hole in the Sky

I should be asleep.  Austen, is finally asleep...but I did not feel I should end today without remember 9/11.  Today is the Eleventh anniversary of that horrific day.  Today I want to remember an incredible cast and crew.  During my short stint at BYU-Idaho, I had a dear friend who encouraged me to audition for a play.  The play would be based on 9.11.
We went together.  The audition had a few stages.  You go into the room and talk with the director, and writer.  They asked questions about where you were on 9/11.  What you remembered.  What you felt.  They took your picture. They took your resume.  Then we all met back in the auditorium for improv.  I was blown away by these amazing people and how quickly they thought on their feet.  I knew I was way out of my leauge.  Little fish, Massive Ocean.  However, I managed to make call backs set 1. More improv.  Then, I found out that I was offered the role of a daughter of a victim, who dies in the towers.  The script was amazing.  There were rewrites up to the day of opening.  The cast was the most talented group of people; I to this day cannot believe I was chosen to work with them.  We had synergy.  We had love.  We were a family.  The show ran for weeks.  I am so grateful for the director, Brother Bidwell, for having the courage to take on the project in the newness of the tragedy.  To Reed McColm, writer of the show--you captured humanity in your characters.  You helped us all to grieve the loss of our nation's invulnerability. This show won the 2002 AML Award for Drama

The terrorism of 2001 has played so largely in the public mind that any dramatic enactment of those events might seem redundant or maudlin. And yet the BYU-Idaho production of Hole in the Sky by Reed McColm (directed by John Bidwell) invited its audience into a space in which our fears could be transformed into compassion. Though the audience was re-paralyzed by pyrotechnics that too well suggested all the deafening chaos of those final minutes in the World Trade Center, McColm's characters, fictional and realistic composites of the actual victims, achieved both individual and combined humanity. At the play's conclusion, as the words and images of leaders, both national and Mormon, mingled with the dust and broken girders of the falling building, instead of a curtain call and customary applause, an elegiac silence of several minutes' length punctuated the catharsis--a fitting tribute to the play's fitting tribute to this sobering event. McColm's play was movingly redemptive, and the production was extended to accommodate the many who responded to its emotional richness.

May I always remember how the world, and more importantly, the nation came together during this time to heal.

To end, my friend Amanda Knickerbocker wrote something today that expresses my feelings more than I ever could--

"9/11 didn't just happen to New York, or DC, or PA. It happened to America-- to the world. It happened to the young men and women who serve our country, who fight in a war and come home missing limbs. It happened to the families who placed their loved ones in the ground. It happened to Republicans. It happened to Democrats. To Tea Partiers and Tree Huggers. To Christians, Atheists, Jews, and Muslims. To Wiccans and Agnostics. To us all.

I hope we can remember to focus on that which unites us, and less on what divides us-- to celebrate our similarities and respect our differences.

A terrorist attack cannot destroy this county. But losing respect for each other just might.

May we never forget, and always be thankful to those who serve."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

All Aboard

Sat right down and started coloring Thomas.
I have to admit, I have wrestled with the decision to put Simon into preschool this year.  I go back and forth with the "is he ready?"  I mean, he is only 3.  At the end of the day, though, I decided yes.  He is.  And thankfully when it came right down to it, on the first day of school...he was!  I know that there is a definite possibility that this was a total fluke.  I know that he may decide on Tuesday, that he would rather be anywhere else.  But, bless his heart, he made his first day special for his mom.  And that counts for something :) 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Taken the night before school started

I was nervous that Ava would be really mad when she realized she was going back to kindergarten.  She was telling all of her friends that she'd be going to 1st grade this year, since she did Bravo Kindergarten last year.  Chris sat her down and explained that because she has a late birthday, she gets to go to kindergarten twice.  But, this is awesome, because it means she is bigger and can help the teacher, and will be very smart!  She loved her first day.  In her words "It was GREAT!"  Her teacher even sent out an email after school, letting us know how the day went. How awesome is that?  We had a rough start in the morning.  The first outfit got milk on it.   Then I got the flat iron too close to her head and burned her.  *ouch*  But at the end of the day she loved school and says she's excited to go back!  And, the uniforms....pretty cute after all. 
Actual first day of school photo

Friday, August 24, 2012

i think i'm developing a complex....

As a mom, you are bound by the laws of nature to believe you have beautiful children. I worked in a daycare back in PA when I realized that not all babies are cute.  Some are so incredibly awkward and you just kind of love them more and hope they grow into their looks.  So, I admit, I prayed for beautiful children.  I probably should have prayed to see my children as beautiful despite the reality, but I was shallow, and prayed specifially for beautiful children, and I have to say...if anyone doubts the power of prayer, this could be the proof they've been looking for.

My Children Are Freaking Gorgeous!

Monday, August 20, 2012

30 days...or 30 attempts at this thing?

So we are a week out from my "ripped in 30" phase 1.  I managed to do the dvd a whopping 2 times.  That's right.  So, we start again.  Finding the time - even though it's only 25 minutes - is the challenge.  25 minutes may not seem like a large amount of time, but for my kids to not need me for nearly half an hour, is a rare thing.  This isn't me saying that I'm not going to continue working out, it just means the idea of me transforming in 30 days is completely unattainable.  I have to remind myself of this.  It took me a good 10 months to put on the baby weight...and a couple months of cupcake indulgence once they were the idea that I could make it all go away in one month is a crappy one.  Instead, I only promise to make changes one day at a time.  In my food choices. Drink choices. And by allowing myself the opportunity to say that it's ok if I'm not perfect in working out, or anything really. perfection is over-rated.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Carter (left) Austen (right)

Carter (top) Austen (bottom)

Austen (left) Carter (right)
Austen (left) Carter (right)
Sometimes I forgot how incredibly fortunate I am to have both of my babies.  I am a member of a group on facebook, of other moms of TTTS, who also rushed to Dr. Chmaits team for help.  Everything went so smoothly with my diagnosis, surgery, recovery and remainder of the pregnancy--making it to 37 weeks 3 days, that I was spared the true horror that this condition can be.  The last few days quite a few moms have been posting memorials to their lost baby.  Many have lost their recpient twin due to heart conditions.  Most cases, it's that the TTTS was so late onset, that even surgery wasn't able to reverse the condition.  One mom was diagnosed the same week in her pregnancy that I was, had her babies at 29 weeks, and then lost one.  The donor twin spent THREE MONTHS in the nicu.  I cannot imagine.  If you or someone you know is carrying twins, GET INFORMED.  Be sure to have your fluid levels monitored closely.  And, should a problem arise, HAVE THE BEST TEAM by your side.  Flying to LA for surgery with 18 hours notice was not in any way cheap, easy, or convenient.  But they SAVED my life.  They SAVED my babies.  Dr Chmait's team is the BEST team when it comes to treating fetal conditions.  My twins are 8 months old, and they are in daily contact with me.  They track their emotional, developmental, and overall growth.  They love them.  They celebrate with me the true victory that my twins ran the gauntlet and lived to tell about it.  Sure, my babies have spent the last three days battling pneumonia, and having 2 sick babies at home is so exhausting and difficult, but .... I have TWO babies at home.   TWO.  Not only that, but even when they were so sick, they are happy.  They are sweet and gentle.  They are my life. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

family referral

Thank you to Tara for referring me for your sisters reception.  You have no idea what it means that you had enough faith in my meager abilities to capture the special day for your family.  I hope that I did you proud! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Chris recently started watching Fringe. At first, I just walked in and out as it  played. Now, I'm hooked.  My most favorite character is Walter, played by John Noble.  I've never been a fan of his characters, but seriously...Walter is an amazing character.  He's crazy, sure. But, you can't just help but adore him and how he lives in his own world. "Don't be ridiculous, you were abducted. Of COURSE you need crepes."

also Joshua Jackson > James Van Der Beek. every time.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

day 2-ripped in 30

Last night, the stars aligned and by 9pm I was able to do day 2 of my workout.  It was easier than day 1, for sure.  I still felt that I might pass out, but the need to vomit had passed.  I still dripped with sweat. Gotta love it.  Chris asked if it is a workout just for women, which I assured him it was not.  I told him to grab some weights next time and join me.  I'm only using 3 pound weights at the moment, because I'm weaksauce!  I'll work my way up to 5s and then 8s.  I figure I'll do this round with 3. and the next 30 days move up etc.  I took a side view shot, because this isn't about losing numbers on the scale.  This is about losing inches. Ok ok, so I'd be excited if the scale read 20 pounds lost ...but really, it would be great not to look pregnant anymore.  Ava said last nigh "Wow mom, you're doing great. Your tummy isn't as fat and looks more like mine." Thanks kid ;) then she prayed that I'd exercise in her bed time prayers. Love her!

I have to say, that Chris Powell, from Extreme Makeover-weightloss and his clients are so inspiring.  I love to watch it.  It's amazing to watch these people change so much in a year.  I mean in 3 months, most of these people are dropping 80-100 pounds.  They are over coming food addictions, physcological triggers that lead to unhealthy habits, and working out multiple hours a day.  When I'm 10 minutes into my dvd and feel like I don't have enough to finish, I think of these amazing people, and Chris Powell's encouraging words to them about believing in onesself and I'm able to finish it out strong.  The script on Ripped in 30 -at least week 1-is pretty hilarious.  Sometimes Jillian even has a hard time getting through it, however, in her cool down I find some wisdom.  "Most people don't show up in their own lives.  Transformation isn't a future destination."  If I want to change, it takes daily effort.  Not every day is going to be perfect.  Not every week is going to be a 6 workout week.  But everyday that I choose to continue, and not give a success.

Awaken The Extraordinary Within You!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Princess Bakery

Ava has been BEGGING me to bake with her.  We used to bake all the time when I was pregnant with Simon. I craved them constantly.  I haven't made them in ages though.  So, we invited her girls over and opened our Princess Bakery.  Maybe it's the sugar high, but I think we should do it once a week.  It was pretty fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

day 1 week 1.

I decided yesterday, that the perfect night of sleep is not in my near future.  I decided yesterday, that having 4 more months of nursing doesn't mean I can't work out intentionally.  I decided yesterday, that if I could complete the workout circuit with 2 hours of sleep, a swollen knee, and very sun burned thighs....that I have no reason not to complete it every day for the next month. And the month after that. And so on.

And so I began.  Starting weight is 170.  Starting measurements...40. everywhere. I am a tube.  It's very odd to know that my waist is bigger than my husbands. 

I slept like a rock last night!  Sure I had little ones waking me, as I have for the last year.  But, I didn't struggle to find sleep at all.  I dripped sweat last night. It was pretty gross.  I was also 99% sure that I was going to pass out at any moment.  I wasn't able to squat as far as I could a year ago, but this body isn't the body it was then.  I'm not seeking perfection.  I'm seeking healthy.  I want to be able to run with my kids in the park for more than 10 seconds. My twins will be running this winter...and I'd better be ready for it.  My goal is to work out 5 days a week with this program.  I will measure every week and update here.  I'm not able to do the nutrition plan for this program, because I'm nursing two babies, and therefore need to consume a crazy amount of calories, but I will be breaking up with soda and adding more fresh produce to the mix. 

Now, if someone could carry me down the stairs...I'd really appreciate it ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012


blogging from the ipad....not my favorite thing, but at this hour i really cant be picky. so i think the time has come for me to start working out again. im scared, admittedly. i am sure that im probably in the worst physical shape of my life. having twins does a real number on the body. pair that with a sugar love affair ive been indulging the past 8 months and its no wonder that all of my measurments down the front of me are the same. i should feel stronger than i did a few months ago. after all im carrying two babies at once, and piggy-backing a 3 year old. but honestly, i feel run down and breathless. i have no energy to speak of. true the sleep issues in this house are a factor of my fatigue, but i know its also because i eat a lot of garbage and my veins bleed 85% dr pepper. i bought a jillian michaels dvd. even though her script is rediculous, i love her workouts, because i know its only 2 minutes of cardio at a time. the whole routine is only about 20 minutes and its super effective training for my body. id love to go to a class, but the truth is ill be lucky to find the 25 minutes everyday to do this. so my goals....i dont expect to "be ripped in 30 days." i do hope and aim to stop being horrified by my reflection. to climb the stairs without getting light-headed. to focus on inches lost rather than weight. to go through a 24 hour period without daydreaming of my next sugar fix. i know i cam do this. i have done it before-two years ago. the strength, will power, drive and commitment are all in me somewhere. its time to take back my body!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have to admit, it's taken me 6 years to fall in love with the Heiner Cabin.  Everyone always talks about how much they love it there, and the wonderful adventures they have.  However, for me, it always meant screaming babies-who refused to sleep in an odd enviornment. Swelling eyes from some random Ava allergy.  Coming home with allergy coughs which turned into colds.  I almost dreaded the cabin.  That is, until last fall.  Maybe it's that my kids were finally old enough to go on walks and explore the child magic found in the woods of the cabin.  Maybe it's that after 3 years I know to start allergy meds 48 hours before we even leave, and administer them religiously while there, sleep in warm clothes and far from windows, or Nat.  Last fall we had a magical cabin weekend. I didn't want to leave.  It was full of moments that I love like Simon and Melyn wandering off hand in hand down dirt trails, family walks to the water to throw rocks, feeding horses ...
This weekend is the summer cabin weekend.  I'm both excited and admittedly scared. How can this weekend possibly measure up to the magic of last year?  I have two new babies to introduce to the cabin.  Will they sleep?  Will they love it?  Will Ava's allergies be calm like last year, or freak out and cause us some medical journeying into the next down?  I hope it is amazing. I hope to discover the diner. The zip line. The creek. You see, there is so much about the cabin I haven't explored.  And this weekend....the adventures continue.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

uniform debate

I understand the pros of uniforms. Really, I  do.  As a kid that grew up in hand me downs not only from my sister, but from the snobby family, who shall remain nameless, and whos daughter openly mocked me for wearing said hand me downs, I would have loved everyone wearing the same thing. That way, spotting me wearing your old clothes would have been harder.  However, I can't help I've spent the past two months looking at different suppliers of uniforms...of how DORKY they can be.  I'm sure there are people that pull them off, hello most teenage boys day dream of a chick in uniform, but I've never really had the flair of effortless fashion.  Effortless weirdo, dork, etc is more my forte.  I may or may not have actually watched some youtubes with titles resembling "how to look cool in a uniform". So much shame.
Chris has always told me that it's all in how a person carries themselves.  Confidence. etc. and if that's true then Ava will be awesome in anything.  I just ........ gah I feel the angst for her.  And as her mom I feel like I'm supposed to guide her but I have such a slight grasp of the world of accessorizing and fashion and feel so entirely not up to the task. So I am making this plea.  It takes a village to raise a child, so I'm calling you out village folk.   If you find a sweater, belt, head band, pants or top that fit in these guidelines and would be awesome...please PLEASE send it to me.  Ava is really excited, but anxious about starting big school.  I want her to feel confident about her style, albeit uniform based, so that she can go in there and shine like the star we all know her to be.

4th of July

This was the first year of many that we did not spend the 4th camping in my parents backyard.  My folks went up to MT this year to celebrate my grandparents 60th anniversary. We will head up there in 2 weeks for a few days.

This was also the first year we have gone to a parade.  Rachel invited us to join them at the Kaysville parade this year.  We met up about 10, and headed over to the sweat fest.  I'm so grateful that I bought the shade tent at costco this year.  I take that thing EVERY WHERE, and once again, it saved the day.  The babies loved hanging out in the shade, watching all the commotion.  Ava and Simon had a blast squirting each other, yelling and waving for candy, and diving for gallons of salt water taffy.  Ava totally scored and ended up with about 20 necklaces compliments of Taco Time.  Even though I was covered in sweat by the end, it was a lot of fun, and I'm so glad we went.

Waiting for the parade to start
After the festivites on Main Street, we headed out to Hooper for a familiy BBQ.  The Godfrey clan was there, as well as Bec and Trav with Bryant.  Later, Annette's family and all her daughters families came out as well.  We had a blast.  Ava was in the pool for 6 hours!  We insisted on a dinner break from 5:30-6, so she could eat and dry out a bit.  As soon as that clock hit 6:00 though, she dove right back in. She cannot get enough of the pool.  Despite layers of sunscreen, she ended up with a pretty bright sun burn on her cheek bones. Thank goodness for sun shirt! I don't even want to THINK about what her back would look like if she'd have been in just a regular suit. (shudder)

Catching some serious AIR!
My new favorite photo of Simon
Oh so red!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Last week, I think my kids and I were only home during the late pm to early am hours.  I purposely had us running around from place to place.  My google calendar was even exhausted.  I've heard several times " I don't know how you do it.  You're always here and there and going from fun thing to fun thing." 

Here's the truth.  As exhausting as it may be to have multiple outings and be gone all's so much less so than being home most of the time.

Why? How?

Well, when I'm home, I'm surrounded by all the things that need done.

  1. Toilets. Seriously, the hard water here is creating some nasty rings that only a pair of gloves and a pumice stone will remedy.  This requires at least 5-10 minutes per toilet of no "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM".   And I know the moment I shove my hand into that toilet, at least one-if not two boys will need me immediately, and someone will end up slathered in toilet water. gross.
  2. Laundry.  My garage is full of it. Why?  Because, the kids have potty accidents, and then their clothes are in the car. Then the car gets cleaned out into the garage, and the next thing I know, my garage could pass as a laundry room.  I'm excited to say that this morning, I rummaged through the "clean out the car" piles and located said laundry and it's currently in a load of warm water with extra soap and some vinegar.  
  3. Dishes. To look at my counter and sink you'd think "eh, that's not so bad." The problem isn't in the kitchen. It's that they are in every OTHER room of the house.  Not to mention, I have no idea whats in the dishwasher or if it's been run lately. 
  4. Over all clutter. You know, those happy meal toys that my kids swear they can't live without. $200 of Thomas trains. A colossal amount of crayons. And for some reason about 3 bags of random wrappers and empty boxes Ava couldn't part with that are technically garbage. 
  5. The piles of clothes that need to be put into boxes or bags for the DI and then actually transported to the DI.  I think every neighborhood should have a giant dumpster that a DI truck could just come empty every week.  This would really result in me actually donating more items on a regular basis, and really help the laundry situation, as most of the DI pile ends up back in the laundry somehow - washed, folded, and never worn, only to be placed back in the washer. Hate it. HATE IT. 
I could go on, but you see where I'm going with this.  So why sit and blog about it instead of doing something about it? Oh there's the phenomenon.  1st of all, writing it out is cathartic.  It helps me to deal with this, accept that there is indeed a problem, and hopefully let someone else out there know that insanity is all around.  Secondly, the kids don't seem to all need me at once until I'm actually attempting to accomplish something.  We all know how that is.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

baptism day

Yesterday morning, my niece was baptized.  It was a great day! We all gathered together for a family picture.  Hopefully with Pams photoshop skills, we can piece together one with everyone looking...until's the best I've found of the bunch.

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