Easter Eve

Today was packed, and Abe and I have yet to make Easter baskets and hide eggs, so quickly:

I got up at 5:30am to make it to yoga this morning. By the time I got home, Abe was in an apron making pancakes for all of us. Well, actually, Lydia made them:

IMG_7393 IMG_7392 IMG_7396Then she had an accident, which meant she had to take a shower, which meant that I got to do her hair while it was wet, which meant I got to practice my ladder braid!

IMG_7399 IMG_7401I also did Mary’s hair for the first time. She didn’t like it.

IMG_7402Then I did a couple hours of homework while Abe played legos and other games with the girls. We fed them lunch, put Mary down for a nap, and then I practiced the piano for a couple hours. It felt positively luxurious to play whatever the heck I wanted to play. But it was a gorgeous day, and Abe and Lydia were outside enjoying the day and helping Ron and Shirl, so I finally quit and joined them outside. I found Abe reading his scriptures in the sunshine while Lydia drew chalk pictures next to him. No camera nearby, but it was cute.

Then we packed up the girls for the library, groceries, and the park:

lydiaonbike marywithhelmet marythroughfenceBy the time we got home, it was almost dark, so we hurried to plant our new tomato plants and then scurried inside to get dinner ready. Abe and I taught the girls an FHE lesson on Christ’s death and resurrection, and Lydia grilled us with questions all throughout dinner. She was very concerned about the nails-in-hands-and-feet part, which made me wonder if I should have diluted the story more.

At any rate, the girls didn’t get to bed until almost two hours past their bedtime tonight. We are going to have a tough time being on time for church tomorrow…

We love you, Grandma Darais.

Today Grandma Darais joined Grandpa Darais in heaven. We are so thankful for her influence in our lives. In the few short years I’ve known her, I’ve learned so much from Grandma Darais. She loved the Gospel with all of her heart, and as one of her grandsons said as we stood in the room, she loved to break the silence with, “I’m so glad I have a testimony of the gospel!” She would have said that if she could have, I am sure.

Christina joked that when Grandma meets Grandpa in heaven, she’ll say, “I”ve been dying to see you on your birthday!” Today is Grandpa Darais’ birthday, and Grandma Darais was his greatest love. Both Grandpa and Grandma Darais had a special fondness for puns, so I could almost picture that greeting. Whatever was communicated, we know it was joyful.

Here’s one story I learned that I hadn’t heard before. When Grandma and Grandpa Darais first married, they honeymooned near a beach. One day when they went to go sit on the beach, Grandpa wanted to sit up away from the water on dry sand. Grandma didn’t want to sit there because there were cigarette butts and other junk in the sand, plus she wanted to get her toes wet. Finally, she went down by herself to the water’s edge and sat there with her toes in the water and cried. Grandpa sat up on the dry sand laughing and took a picture of her crying. Then he took a selfie (waaaay before that was even a word) of him grinning by himself.

Now, their relationship is remembered by all as extremely loving on both sides, but this little newlywed snafu was a tidbit I thought was cute and worth recording. Abe was actually shocked when he heard the story because it isn’t reflective at all of their long-term relationship, but I think every little memory is worth capturing. Even the greatest marriages have some things to work out (especially at first), and it’s comforting to know that this truly successful couple also had to adjust.

Grandma Darais was an example not only of deep, life-changing faith, but cheerfulness, love, and kindness. She loved good jokes and puns. She came from a long line of break makers, and she ground her own wheat regularly to make delicious bread. She memorized poems and recited verses as apt situations arose. As I’ve been thinking about her, I keep coming back to the fact that she was a lover of all righteousness. She loved the light and good, and her influence was only that. All of her children and grandchildren had a deep, profound love for her, and she will be missed more than words can say.

My heart aches for her surviving children, especially one in particular. It was almost too painful to witness her endure the pain of losing her sweet mother, and she will be in my prayers a lot during this hard time.

They allowed us to bring in the children during the last half an hour of Grandma Darais’ life, but they started getting noisy during the family prayer, so I took them to the hall. Abe stayed and witnessed the passing of his beloved grandmother, and it was hard.

BUT. There really is a but. With a few exceptions, everyone there had a strong testimony that death is not the end, and we are so grateful that we know that. We’re grateful to know that families can be eternal, and in the cases of believers and disciples like Norma Darais, they will be. Her grandchildren impressed me so much as they bore their testimonies around her bed. We were all in tears, but the knowledge that God lives and loves us was truly comforting.

This day was a treasure that I will never forget. I am so thankful I have some of Grandma Darais’ stories written down, and I am thankful I even have videos of her telling them. I had no idea she was so close to the end when I made those. They are a treasure.

Reposting pictures from that special day:

Grandma Darais and mary Grandma Darais and LydiaWe love you so much, Grandma.

A rushed post

Abe is starting to get up at 5:30 to get to work extra early, so we are racing for bed. I tried to email myself a video Abe took of Lydia doing a puppet show, but it didn’t go through. I’ll fuss with it tomorrow when I have time.

Here are the pictures Abe took while I was at Bikram tonight:

IMG_7249 IMG_7217 IMG_7219 IMG_7220 IMG_7221 IMG_7225 IMG_7227 IMG_7232 IMG_7234 IMG_7245

Lots and lots of cute play date pictures

We had two great play dates today. After our second play date, I went to school to clean ovens while Abe took the girls to a work party down in Provo. They had a big day, and we are crossing our fingers that they sleep in tomorrow!

Here are the play date pictures:

Mary took advantage of Max’s nap by playing with Misty.

IMG_7111 IMG_7113Max woke up!

IMG_7117The girls loved him and tried to give him stuffed animals.

IMG_7116 IMG_7118Then there was a lot of jumping on the bed.

IMG_7121 IMG_7132 IMG_7130 IMG_7139 IMG_7136 IMG_7153By the end, Mary and Max just watched Lydia and Sophia jump.

IMG_7151 IMG_7150Then Mary took a short nap. When she woke up, I despaired. And then I called Paige to see if she was free to come over. She was! That made all the difference this afternoon. We played inside for a bit and then went out because it was so sunny out. When we were outside, we discovered that our yard was full of ladybugs! The girls were enchanted. A neighborhood cat also came over and beguiled the girls. I missed a lot of cute photos because I put my camera inside after the first five minutes, but I think this day has a lot of photos already, so I’ll try to be content with that.

IMG_7160 IMG_7163 IMG_7155

Ants and the Rohirrim

The girls went down for naps and quiet time super early today, and instead of doing homework like I should have done, I read a couple hours into The Return of the King. It turned out to be an apt read; while I was feeding the girls an after-nap meal, I killed about a dozen ants in my kitchen. I couldn’t help but think about Tolkein’s description of the Rohirrim in battle–specifically, I thought about how they sang as they fought. I didn’t feel like singing while I was killing ants, but the glimmer of satisfaction I felt helped me understand that initially bewildering passage a little better.

After the girls were fed, I took them outside to play:

20140314_153844 20140314_153856 20140314_153916 20140314_154659 20140314_154607 20140314_154651Then I took them to the library, grocery shopping, the gas station, and back home. Abe arrived shortly after we did, and after dinner he bathed and chased the girls while I cleaned the downstairs and practiced. I was supposed to go to school tonight, but I’m feeling kind of icky and a brand new cold has introduced itself at our house. I am trying to avoid getting sick yet again.

Oh! I forgot to mention that while I was at school yesterday, Abe cleaned the whole house. I came home and fell in love with my husband all over again. It was soooooo nice, especially since I never feel like I have time or energy to clean these days. I hate the messes that accumulate, and having them gone has felt like THE greatest luxury. I’m going to try to be better at staying on top of the messes since today I enjoyed my mess-free life so much more than my regular mess-filled life.

What will be will be

This morning was beautiful outside, so I packed breakfast snacks and let the girls eat in the jogger while I took a two hour walk. We walked up to the part of City Creek Canyon where bright green clovers grow in the creek; ever since we’ve moved here, that’s what I look for every year to tell me it’s Spring. And wow, is it Spring! The clovers were lush, bright green, and much more abundant than I’ve ever seen them. Too bad I didn’t take my phone–I wish I could have taken a picture. The birds were chirping, the creek was gurgling, and that bright green clover made me really happy.

The sad part is that I have had shin splints for over a week, and the two hour walk (with a couple short jogs in the middle) exacerbated them to the point where I spent the rest of the day in a mild state of pain. Happily, on my walk home, I ran into Aria and Anique, both avid runners with lots of shin splint experience, and they gave me some tips. There’s hope!

Then I came home, cleaned the house, fed the girls, and gave Lydia a piano lesson. We make such little progress in these lessons that sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. But then I always conclude that it is worth it, just because Lydia and I get so much one-on-one time, and, if nothing else, Lydia is learning to sit and focus at the piano. At first I’d give her a treat when the lesson was done, but then I started to worry she’d confuse sugar with happiness, so now at the end of our lesson we take water breaks and read together. It’s my favorite part.

Then I finished my book, fed the girls, practiced the piano, and cleaned the house. Abe and I had planned on going to the temple tonight, but as soon as Abe brought the baby-sitter over, he checked his wallet and could not find his recommend. He searched for fifteen minutes and finally gave up. Truthfully, I was so disappointed. I had been looking forward to going to the temple all day, and I almost suggested that I go by myself–but then I didn’t know what we’d say to the babysitter, who was already at our house. We ended up going to the Cheesecake Factory, since Abe’s mom gave him a gift card there a while back. When it came time to pay, Abe found his recommend behind his credit card. I guess it wasn’t meant to be a temple night, and even though I was initially disappointed, I always love talking to my husband, so it turned out okay.

The flash on the camera phone is BLINDING. Abe took a picture of me, but my lopsided squint in the face of the flash made me look inebriated, which I was not.

The flash on the camera phone is blinding. This is Abe enduring it. Abe took a picture of me, but my lopsided squint in the face of the flash made me look inebriated, which I was NOT.

Mopey Monday

I stayed at preschool this morning. Misty had the kids make “giraffe skin” out of yellow paper, cut sponges and brown paint. Afterward, we took the kids out to the back yard to play.

preschool 3 preschool 1Then we came home and I gave Lydia another piano lesson before lunch. Her technique is really coming along, although I was a little impatient today and our lesson ended in tears and hugs. I had a little bit of an emotionally down day today, and I felt so bad for taking it out on Lydia.

Abe wanted to take me out to Smashburger to celebrate my cooking competition on Saturday, so we met him there before school.

smashburger1 smashburger2

While I was at school, Abe was home with two very melodramatic girls.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

This was after Mary got put in her crib for not behaving, and Lydia was denied a princess puppet show because she refused to clean up. Misery loves company.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

But they did have a princess hair night again.

Then Lydia attempted to knock Mary in the head with the iPad. Thankfully she missed. While she was being disciplined, Mary ran around the house naked. When Abe found her, this is what he saw:

She was typing code into his laptop.

She was typing code into his laptop.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Lydia perked up and joined her.

Guess my night learning about different dry heat/wet heat methods to cook food was pretty tame in comparison. Abe’s downstairs running off the evening’s stresses on the treadmill, and I am just about to try to forget mine by picking up my book.

Oh! Mom and Grandma, I am about to post some pictures from yesterday onto yesterday’s blog. Abe forgot to email me some cute pictures he took from his phone. I’ll just tack them onto the end of yesterday’s blog.


preschool and Abe’s birthday party

Today I finally enrolled Lydia in preschool. After calling Challenger this morning, I felt so relieved to find a preschool that had a philosophy that fit what I’ve been looking for. Originally, I was going to go down tomorrow to sign Lydia up, but then I got scared the open slots would fill up, so I rearranged my schedule, picked up Lydia’s immunization forms and headed down to sign Lydia up.

From the moment I pulled up to the school, I had a good feeling. I would go into detail, but it’s late and I’m trying to hit my bedtime goal, so basically: we feel good about this decision, and we think Lydia will thrive at Challenger.

Then I took the girls grocery shopping, after which it was nap time and cooking-time. Abe had his birthday celebration a month late because Dan’s in town and staying with us, and so we took advantage of the situation to have Kade, Brittany, and William over too. It was a fun evening. The only way it could have been better is if Preethi, Nat and Kina could have been here too.

IMG_6804Mary napped from 1:30 to 6:15pm today. That made it possible for me to cook dinner, but I felt sorry for her because she woke up feverish and miserable. We think/hope she’s teething, since thus far she only has four teeth.

To bed, to bed.

reunion and lots of soup

Today started off with a wonderful reunion with some old friends, Jan, Chelsea, and Chelsea’s kids: Olivia (3), Carter (1) and Camden (1). Her boys are fraternal twins, and I think this is the first time I’ve met them in person. It was so fun to see them again, and I started to wonder again why we aren’t moving to Provo (Chelsea lives in Orem–right next door to Provo).

After meeting up at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, we headed home for lunch. Olivia was a doll and listened to Lydia blab on and on about her cat while they pretended to have tea. The twins were so cute and need to be in the same room to sleep. We stuck them in Mary’s closet together and they slept beautifully. It was fun to see their different personalities, too!

I just love Jan and Chelsea, and it honestly felt like a family reunion of sorts. Here are some pictures that Jan took:

discovery play discovery 1 discovery play1 discovery3 discovery2 discovery play3And from lunch:

jan and chelsea


Today was also sort of a soup heavy day. I made chili for lunch, and then I remembered I signed up to bring dinner to a woman in our ward, so I made lentil soup after that. During class tonight we made split pea soup and chicken waterzooi. To be perfectly frank, I am less than enthusiastic my other group member tonight, but I got to exercise…patience. I was sorely, sorely tempted to be less than kind (am giving into temptation now by writing about it on the blog), but I just kept thinking: appearance vs. reality, appearance vs. reality. Who knows what kind of hardships this person has endured? My experience of her is so minute compared to the scope of her life and intentions. That said, I am dreading next week because we have to work together for one more week. I just hope some other group members show up so the experience will be somewhat diluted.

So it was a kind of social high/low day. I loved my reunion with Jan, Chelsea, and the kids, and I kind of hated my life a little bit during class. And I just saw some big fireworks from the window as I typed. I have no idea what they were for, but I guess I’ll take that as a sign to sign off.

Oh, and here's a photo from two days ago that was on my iPad and I never posted. Lydia pre-quiet time.

Oh, and here’s a photo from two days ago that was on my iPad and I never posted. Lydia pre-quiet time.


This morning I woke up and prayed a lot for strength to make it through the day. It seemed like there was a lot to do, and I was tired and a little overwhelmed. But I really felt God answering my prayer. I got most everything done on my to-do list, and I enjoyed doing it. It feels unusual, so I feel pretty confident there was divine intervention along the way.

The morning was filled with feeding children, cleaning, homework and practicing. At one point Mary was crying because she wanted my attention, so I picked her up and talked to her. I asked her if she wanted to read (vigorous head shake no), if she wanted to play with her bugaboos (slightly less vigorous head shake no) and if she wanted to play with her blocks (a little sound that sort of kind of sounded like “yes”). Hopeful that she wanted to play with blocks, I put her down.

Sure enough, off she toddled to her blocks and proceeded to play with them until Lydia announced that she loved Mary and wanted to play with her. This announcement was greeted with a squeal–nay, scream–of excitement, and the two of them spent the next half an hour playing happily together. I wanted nothing more than to watch, but I knew that would ruin the dynamic…and I had homework to do, so I just listened delightedly. When I was done with my homework, I sneaked into their room and caught a picture of them in play.

IMG_6381Then I folded laundry until our play date. I had scheduled a visiting teaching play date with my companion and visiting teachee, but I never informed our poor visiting teachee that the play date was at my house. I wanted to spare her the descent of five small children and two adults upon her home, but since I never relayed that intention, our play date included everyone but our visiting teachee and her daughter. Oops.

But here are the pictures from the play date:

IMG_6382 IMG_6385 IMG_6383Doesn’t Mary look a lot like those twins? They are a week younger than Mary, and the three of them look like they belong together.

Then I rushed off to cooking school. While I was learning about soups and eggs, Abe took the girls to a Thai restaurant in Lehi where they met up with Karin, Jay, and Jay’s kids to celebrate Jay’s birthday. Abe tells me the girls were perfectly behaved. I felt bad because I forgot they were going to do that, and I didn’t bother to put shoes on Mary when I loaded her into the car to go to school (where Abe and I meet and pass off the girls). She walked around the restaurant in her socks.

mary at restaurant lydia at restaurant jayOh, and at cooking school, my group decided to do our presentation on fried foods. I have never truly fried anything in my life (unless you count when the oil is barely a quarter inch deep), and I’m covering tempura. I just nodded and smiled like there’s nothing more in the world that I’d love more than to research and do tempura, but inside I was dying a little bit. But I do love to eat tempura, so maybe this won’t be so terrible…