fairy hunt

This morning the girls gave me the gift of sleeping in until 9:15 am. By the time they were dressed and ready for breakfast, it was 10 am. We had a lunch appointment with Abe at 11 am. It was so great seeing Abe, though, that it didn’t really matter that we’d all just eaten.

Before we left for lunch, the girls got into the face paints and painted their own faces. Mary's face just had a couple dots on her chin, but Lydia went all out. Lydia told me she was a superhero, and Mary told me she was a nice bad guy.

Before we left for lunch, the girls got into the face paints and painted their own faces. Mary’s face just had a couple dots on her chin, but Lydia went all out. Lydia told me she was a superhero, and Mary told me she was a nice bad guy.

IMG_2246

After we went to lunch, we headed over to the library.

After we went to lunch, we headed over to the library.

Lexi babysat the girls while I swam and did groceries. When I came back, there were "fairy wanted" signs all over the house. The girls had been hunting fairies the entire time.

Lexi babysat the girls while I swam and did groceries. When I came back there were “fairy wanted” signs all over the house. The girls had been hunting fairies the entire time.

Lexi built a fairy house and hid notes from the fairies in it. The girls were enthralled. I have a video of Lexi reading one of the notes to the girls here.

Lexi built a fairy house and hid notes from the fairies in it. The girls were enthralled. I have a video of Lexi reading one of the notes to the girls here.

We spent the rest of the day reading and playing. I feel so lucky that I have the time to spend on those activities with my kids. I wish I had more energy to repeat days like today all the time, but I guess I will take what I can get.

blancas and Lydia’s winky eye

This morning Lydia came racing into our room an hour earlier than usual because she was so excited to brush her teeth. (I bought her a new toothbrush yesterday.) Abe and I didn’t really mind her early wake-up because for the rest of the morning she and Mary played imagination.

Today their game involved feeding little baby “blancas” and then killing the big, bad “blancas.” From the pictures they drew of the blancas, I gathered that these were a type of monster-snake. The girls assured me that the little ones were nice, but they needed to kill the big ones with their magic powers. Grandma, Mary wore the froggy blanket you made her because that gave her magic powers to kill the big blancas.

At one point, I brought the girls to their room so I could read to them, but somehow that all ended in a ball game with Abe. Here are some pictures:

IMG_2218 IMG_2220 IMG_2211 IMG_2213Then we went to church, where Abe taught a lesson on the crucifixion. I missed it because I was in the nursery, but I made him give me the blow-by-blow when we got home. In my personal study of the lesson, I got a lot out of Peter’s denial of Christ and the “spirit-is-willing-but-flesh-is-weak” theme. Abe’s main takeaway centered around fulfilling our life mission and not being side-tracked by power or wealth.

Then Abe and I made dinner, after which he took the girls to a nearby field to fly kites. I am still immobile after yesterday’s hike, so I stayed home to read more of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.

Lydia is 4 going on 18 in this picture.

Lydia is 4 going on 18 in this picture.

 

Mary fell asleep during the two-minute car ride home from church, and we woke her up to feed her dinner. Instead of eating, she did this in her seat. Don't worry! She woke up a little later and is now playing energetic games of imagination all by herself at 10:17pm. We expect her to last until midnight.

Mary fell asleep during the two-minute car ride home from church, and we woke her up to feed her dinner. Instead of eating, she did this in her seat. Don’t worry! She woke up a little later and is now playing energetic games of imagination all by herself at 10:17pm. We expect her to last until midnight.

Also, in case Lydia’s winky eye ever disappears, we recorded it in action today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAGp5m_P3I0

Mt. Timpanogos Cave National Monument

This morning the alarm went off at 5:30am. It was painful, but we got up and ready for our morning adventure up Mt. Timpanogos to explore Mt. Timpanogos Cave National Monument. It turned out to be a perfect-weather type of morning, and even though the one and a half mile trail to the top felt excruciating at times, the beauty of it all was pretty stunning.

IMG_2165

This child was less than happy on our trek up the mountain. In fact, she was SO unhappy that Abe literally carried her almost the entire way up. She did, however, perk up (!) on the way down the mountain, and she managed to do that entire walk by herself. Hurray.

This child was less than happy on our trek up the mountain. In fact, she was SO unhappy that Abe literally carried her almost the entire way up. She did, however, perk up (!) on the way down the mountain, and she managed to do that entire walk by herself. Hurray.

Mary was excited and happy the entire way up the mountain and did almost the entire trail on foot. Abe insisted on carrying her for ten minutes because he thought that would increase our speed. Turns out the one who was dragging wasn't Mary...it was me. After we got that figured out, Mary continued to walk the rest of the way up.

Mary was excited and happy the entire way up the mountain and did almost the entire trail on foot. Abe insisted on carrying her for ten minutes because he thought that would increase our speed. Turns out the one who was dragging wasn’t Mary…it was me. After we got that figured out, Mary continued to walk the rest of the way up.

IMG_2175

Some morning beauty.

Some morning beauty.

Inside the cave. I am happy never to return. At several points, you can SEE THE FAULT LINE in the cave. In fact, the fault line is why Mt. Timpanogos Cave exists. If the earthquake that's was overdue hit while you were in the cave...well, let's just say after I saw that fault line, I felt like I'd had my fill of the cave.

Inside the cave. I am happy never to return. At several points, you can SEE THE FAULT LINE in the cave. In fact, the fault line is why Mt. Timpanogos Cave exists. If the earthquake that’s was overdue hit while you were in the cave…well, let’s just say after I saw that fault line, I felt like I’d had my fill of the cave.

The "heart of Mt. Timpanogos."

The “heart of Mt. Timpanogos.”

Cave formations.

Cave formations.

On our happy way down.

On our happy way down.

Lydia carried our passport book into the visitor's center. The thought of that national park stamp motivated me to keep going all morning, and it was very satisfying to see our books get stamped.

Lydia carried our passport book into the visitor’s center. The thought of that national park stamp motivated me to keep going all morning, and it was very satisfying to see our books get stamped.

After our hike, we went out for lunch and then headed home to rest. Well, I rested while Abe did the lawn and made a ton of phone calls. After I rested for, um, five hours, we got together with Morgan, Jesse and Henry and took the kids to the park. At Henry’s bedtime, we left and took the girls to Coldstone. We figured it was okay since we spent the entire morning hiking. Then it was errands, blogging–and now, Abe and I get to finish Half the Sky. I can’t wait.

Coldstone.

Coldstone.

On our way home from errands, we were discussing how amazing Utah skies are--and then we saw these clouds! Aren't they incredible?

On our way home from errands, we were discussing how amazing Utah skies are–and then we saw these clouds! Aren’t they incredible?

IMG_2200

waterfall hair

We have to get up at 5:30am tomorrow to hike Mt. Timpanogos, so I’m just going to post a picture from the girls’ swimming lesson today. Oh, and their sweet instructor rescheduled the other boy in their class because my girls need…extra instruction. Remember how Lydia failed swimming class last year? Um, so both girls are slightly remedial in the water. As in, they are deathly afraid of putting their faces in. Baby steps–oh wait! Good thing they’re (my) babies.

Due to the haircut Lydia gave Mary a couple months ago, this is the only hairstyle that works on Mary for swimming.

Due to the haircut Lydia gave Mary a couple months ago, this is the only hairstyle that works on Mary for swimming.

Thanksgiving Point

This morning I took the girls to the farm at Thanksgiving Point.

The girls took a pony ride. I was hanging on to Mary the whole time to make sure she didn't tumble off, but I got a picture of them waiting in line.

The girls took a pony ride. I was hanging on to Mary the whole time to make sure she didn’t tumble off, but I got a picture of them waiting in line.

IMG_0868

While other more fun and adventurous parents were encouraging their children to interact with the animals at the petting zoo, I stuck popcorn in my kids' hands so that they wouldn't get close to the animals. All I could imagine was angry llamas biting off their little fingers, and so this approach soothed my neurosis.

While other more fun and adventurous parents were encouraging their children to interact with the animals at the petting zoo, I stuck popcorn in my kids’ hands so that they wouldn’t get close to the animals. All I could imagine was angry llamas biting off their little fingers, and so this approach soothed my neurosis.

IMG_0874

We went to IN-N-Out for lunch.

We went to IN-N-Out for lunch.

IMG_0895-2Then we came home and did not venture out again until 8pm, at which time we went to Old Navy to try to find some clothes for Ammon. We ended up getting more stuff for the girls than Ammon, though. So far he has: three onesies and a windbreaker. Good thing we have three months to go before we actually have to clothe this baby.

God bless the broken road

Today was another lazy day. I feel so discouraged. What I want most in life is be an energetic, fun mother, and that goal feels so out of reach on days like today. I let my achy back and belly dictate the day, most of which I spent in bed.

On the upside, Abe had a great day at work. He came home full of ideas and inspiration, and it is obvious he has found his passion. On our evening walk, we talked a lot about the book I just read, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be. Everything I read resonated with Abe. He feels certain that if he had gone to BYU instead of UPenn, he would be much more ahead both financially and in terms of his career…but I was grateful when he turned to me and said, “God bless the broken road that led me to youuuuuu!” I’m so glad for such a loving husband, especially on days like today when I feel like I don’t measure up in pretty much every category.

A huge part of my discouragement is weight gain. Even though I have exercised vigorously six days a week for almost a month (and regularly before that), I still wake up larger every day than I was the day before. I know it's because I have a food and sugar problem, but in the moment the craving hits, it's so hard to not give in. Yesterday I baked a peach pie, so this was today's culprit. Also, Abe had never eaten one. Isn't that crazy? Utah is peach country central!

A huge part of my discouragement is weight gain. Even though I have exercised vigorously six days a week for almost a month (and regularly before that), I still wake up larger every day than I was the day before. I know it’s because I have a food and sugar problem, but in the moment that the craving hits, it’s soooo hard to not give in. Yesterday I baked a peach pie, so this was today’s culprit. Also, Abe had never eaten one. Isn’t that crazy? Utah is peach country central!

Thank goodness the girls played imagination for half the day. They went through so many imaginary games I couldn't keep track, but one that lasted several hours was "kitty." Mary was a kitty that Lydia threw food at. This was a great game because Lydia LOVES cats and was so sweet to Mary in cat form. Mary loved being treated so nicely, and she happily meowed and crawled around for hours pretending to be a cat.

Thank goodness the girls played imagination for half the day. They went through so many imaginary games I couldn’t keep track, but one that lasted several hours was “kitty.” Mary was a kitty that Lydia threw food at. This was a great game because Lydia LOVES cats and was so sweet to Mary-in-cat-form. Mary loved being treated so nicely, and she happily meowed and crawled around for hours pretending to be a cat.

I parented from bed today. Lydia visited me and graced me with this beautiful smile.

I parented from bed today. Lydia visited me and graced me with smiles I didn’t deserve.

Abe gave me a new Macbook Pro for my birthday! It came today. I am typing from it now. I have so many plans for this thing. Top of the list is genealogy and spending more time volunteering on World Pulse. I am an official volunteer, but I never get in the required hours because, before this present, I only used Abe's computer to type at night. Now I can volunteer during the day time too!

Abe gave me a new Macbook Pro for my birthday! It came today. I am typing from it now. I have so many plans for this thing. 

FHE at Bridal Veil Falls

I was up all night last night because I thought there was someone in the house. I heard the door to the girls’ room open and close right after a car alarm went off outside, and even after I checked their room three times, I could not convince myself they were safe. Finally, I managed to wake Abe up–my first attempts to do so ended in him mumbling about bacon that he’d set out for everyone in the neighborhood–and he checked their room again. He told me he’d left their door cracked, and that between the fan and the wind, it must have opened and shut a couple of times.

Even after he assured me that everything was fine, I still lay awake and terrified for the rest of the night. Therefore, I was exhausted and non-functional until 2pm today. All I managed to do before then was feed children, bathe children, and paint children’s nails.

At 2pm, the girls’ babysitter came over so I could swim, and from then on I managed to function.

Lexi, the girls' darling babysitter, brought her little sister over while she babysat. Her sister, Elly, is Lydia's age. Lexi pretended there was a fairy in the house, and the girls went wild with delight trying to find the fairy. Here they are trying to figure out if the fairy is hiding in the fireplace.

Lexi, the girls’ darling babysitter, brought her little sister over while she babysat. Her sister, Elly, is Lydia’s age. Lexi pretended there was a fairy in the house, and the girls went wild with delight trying to find the fairy. Here they are trying to figure out if the fairy is hiding in the fireplace.

Abe used bungee cords to guide Mary around. She still hasn't figured out how to pedal.

Abe used bungee cords to guide Mary around. She still hasn’t figured out how to pedal.

IMG_0854

For FHE, we drove to Bridal Veil Falls and taught the girls about the First Vision. The girls fell asleep in the car, but they woke up for the lesson and walk.

For FHE, we drove to Bridal Veil Falls and taught the girls about the First Vision. The girls fell asleep in the car, but they woke up for the lesson and walk.

IMG_2149

Our spot for FHE.

Our spot for FHE.

Our view while discussing the First Vision.

Our view while discussing the First Vision.

In front of Bridal Veil Falls.

In front of Bridal Veil Falls.

IMG_2162

Dinner with the Walkers

I was really good about taking pictures early in the day, but we had Andrew, Sarah, and Grace Walker over for dinner–and I totally forgot to take pictures! We had soooo much fun with them, and Andrew always gives us the inside scoop on church workings, not to mention he is full of so many good stories. I am going to Deseret Book tomorrow to buy two of his dad’s books: Mountain Meadows Massacre and Wayward Saints. Even though his dad is an incredibly faithful member of the church–and at one time was the bishop of two apostles (the two of whom, incidentally, had vastly different opinions 0n how to treat his work)–his greatest book, Wayward Saints, was initially somewhat suppressed in the church.

Now the church position has shifted and Deseret Book is promoting the book much more heavily. They recently ordered 10,000 new copies to be published. The book is essentially an historical allegory of how to deal with faith crisis, and there is no more relevant time for such a work as now.

We also found out that Elder Perry has always been very vocal about not wanting to be president of the twelve apostles. He always said he wanted Boyd K. Packer to outlive him by at least a day; we found it incredible that his wish was fulfilled so closely, especially since Elder Perry’s death was pretty unexpected.

Anyway, we talked for hours with the Walkers until we were all sitting in the almost-dark yard. Grace, Mary, and Lydia were having the time of their lives playing with the kiddie pool, and I think we all ended the night feeling filled by friendship.

Hunting for pinecones after we left the gym this morning.

Hunting for pinecones after we left the gym this morning.

IMG_0839

The girls had a fun play date with Saige this afternoon. They are starved for play dates, and Lydia spent the whole morning asking me how soon Saige would arrive.

The girls had a fun play date with Saige this afternoon. They are starved for play dates, and Lydia spent the whole morning asking me how soon Saige would arrive. This is the three of them making silly faces.

Mary became delirious around her nap time. Instead of going to sleep, she lay on the floor repeating, "Mischief of one kind or another" (a phrase from Where the Wild Things Are) to herself for the better part of an hour. Lydia was begging her to get up and play, but Mary just kept singing her little phrase over and over...and over. I really hope she relearns how to take naps again (without her binky).

Mary became delirious around her nap time. Instead of going to sleep, she lay on the floor repeating, “Mischief of one kind or another” (a phrase from Where the Wild Things Are) to herself for the better part of an hour. Lydia was begging her to get up and play, but Mary just kept singing her little phrase over and over…and over. I really hope she relearns how to take naps again (without her binky).

quick post

I just spent over an hour blabbing to my mom, so I’ll just post pictures for today and be done.

Last night we took this picture. Mary does not know how to fall asleep in her bed without her binky, so we just let her play with puzzles and blocks until this happens.

Last night we took this picture. Mary does not know how to fall asleep in her bed without her binky, so we just let her play with puzzles and blocks until this happens.

Today in nursery they turned the bubble machine one. I love watching the kids (my kid, especially) play with bubbles.

Today in nursery they turned the bubble machine one. I love watching the kids (my kid, especially) play with bubbles.

IMG_2142

Lydia has been such a love recently. I love witnessing her tender heart in action. Bazi brings out the best in her.

Lydia has been such a love recently. I love witnessing her tender heart in action. Bazi brings out the best in her.

IMG_2144

Grocery store marathon

I didn’t blog last night because it got too late. Abe and I stayed up late watching Half the Sky, and then we talked for a long time about the issues brought up in the movie.

I did get up and go swimming this morning, after which we deep cleaned the house. Then we took the kids to a splash pad, got free 7/11 slurpees, ate pizza by the library, picked out books for everyone, and then I got a pedicure while Abe took the girls to Cold Stone. After that we headed to Sprouts. We then tried out Winco for the first time because Kim and Lucas raved about how cheap everything there is. The only problem was, after I had finished shopping, we realized our debit cards had been cancelled during our Chicago trip. (Chase thought the Chicago charges were fraudulent.) Winco doesn’t do credit cards, so it was on to Harmon’s and Smith’s. Finally, at 10 pm (four grocery stores later) we were done. I need one grocery store that does it all, but so far I haven’t found it yet.

The good news is that since we left the house right after cleaning and didn’t return until the girls’ bedtime, the house is still sparkling. It’s all prepared for Sunday.

This was dinner on the day I didn't blog. I also made a potato pizza, but that was less exciting to look at.

This was our corn pizza dinner on the day I didn’t blog. It was this recipe without fresh basil and without a grill. I also made a potato pizza, but that was less exciting to look at.

Lydia and Mary stole our phones a couple days ago and disappeared into their room. Lydia took a picture of Mary.

Lydia and Mary stole our phones a couple days ago and disappeared into their room. Lydia took a picture of Mary.

On Friday I went to the bookstore to exchange a book. I came out to this lovely sight.

On Friday I went to the bookstore to exchange a book. I came out to this lovely sight.

While I was cleaning upstairs, Lydia was mopping downstairs. Here's a video of her in action.

While I was cleaning upstairs, Lydia was mopping downstairs. Here’s a video of her in action.

IMG_2090

On the way to the splash pad, sleep-deprived Mary started to drift off. Her sleepy expression tickled Abe's funny bone and he took a picture.

On the way to the splash pad, sleep-deprived Mary started to drift off. Her sleepy expression tickled Abe’s funny bone and he took a picture.

Lydia with her slurpee.

Lydia with her slurpee.

I just love Mary's hair.

I just love Mary’s hair.

Such a beauty.

Such a beauty.

Mary doesn't like to get wet in splash pads, but she did let Abe carry her around.

Mary would only go near the splash pad if Abe was with her. She has started calling him “my bud.” It’s so cute.

Lydia likes to get wet.

Lydia likes to get wet.

Mary's hair gets really crazy by the end of the day. She would have had a fighting chance had Lydia not shorn her bangs a while back.

Mary’s hair gets really crazy by the end of the day. She would have had a fighting chance had Lydia not shorn her bangs a while back.

IMG_2128