Our butterfly garden attracted butterflies today! The girls were excited. I could not take a picture of Mary because I put undies on her today…and she pooped in them. For the rest of the day she was pantless.

But I got a picture of Lydia grinning by the garden:

IMG_6147On Tuesday and Thursday mornings we spend the whole morning at the yoga studio. If I am ever going to have another baby, I need to lose weight, and yoga is one of my tickets to that goal. This is, in part, how I justify this use of time and money.

I spent most of the rest of the day reading my book, Dear Life, by Alice Munro. Lured in by the shiny Nobel Prize on the cover, I bought it a couple months ago. I have had to repeatedly refer back to the prize in complete befuddlement. Some of the stories are so cliché and predictable that they boggle the mind. But the book has gotten progressively better. I am just about finished, and I will have no trouble parting with at at a neighborhood yard sale this Saturday.

play day

I let the girls off the hook and just let them play all day. Every evening they spend hours with the neighbor kids. I am so happy for the weather which permits this kind of play.

I also made dinner for the first time in forever. I fried up a bunch of our squash blossoms and made corn soup. I didn’t take pictures though. The blossoms tasted good, but my batter was so thick that they weren’t super pretty.


The girls pretended these buckets were potties. Yes, we are still potty training.

The girls pretended these buckets were potties. Yes, we are still potty training.


I have been very, very impatient with Lydia lately. I feel like I write that a lot. I have to rethink our schedule and see how I can improve my chances to be patient with her.

I listened to Hamilton while tidying and baking today. I made a cake for a baby shower, but I was so late to the shower that everybody had already eaten. After a perfect birthday yesterday, I feel like I kind of failed at life today. Sigh.

I forgot to write a sweet thing that Lydia did yesterday. I told the girls I was going to take a nap, and after a little bit Lydia showed up with a tray she had beautifully set with silverware, a banana, a full–unspilled!–glass of ice water, and a toasted, buttered, and jammed English muffin. It delighted me. In light of that, you would think I would have been more patient today. I’ll try again tomorrow.

a beautiful birthday

Yesterday was a jewel of a birthday. Abe worked his tail off from morning until night so that the day would be perfect. He is the best.

In the morning he went to work late so that I could go on a run, and then I came home to his omelettes and cards from the girls. (Mary gave me multiple cards throughout the day that she dictated to Abe and various babysitters, and on every card she wrote, “Happy holidays!”.)

Then I napped and spent time with the kids before visit teaching for two hours. When I got home from visit teaching, I blitz tidied before Abe came home early and took me to Salt Lake for an evening of surprises. He took me first to Takahashi, the best sushi restaurant in Salt Lake. We had never eaten there before, and we looooooooved it. Then he took me to my favorite bakery, Gourmandise. We picked out some treats and took them with us to the Gallivan Center. Abe kept joking that he was taking me to an acid rock concert, but it turned out to be–hooray!–the Utah Symphony instead.

The weather was absolutely perfect, and for the second half of the symphony Abe functioned as my chaise lounge. I was well-fed, comfy, and so, so happy. It was an incredible day.

Thank you, Abe, for making my birthday so, so wonderful! I love you!!!

There was a line to enter the restaurant. When we entered, I made Abe take a picture of all the awards the restaurant had won. It heightened my anticipation and hunger to look at these plaques.

There was a line to enter the restaurant. When we entered, I made Abe take a picture of all the awards the restaurant had won. It heightened my anticipation and hunger to look at these plaques.

Abe was my lounge chair. He actually brought real chairs for us to sit on--and they were comfy too--but he was more comfy.

Abe was my lounge chair. He actually brought real chairs for us to sit on–and they were comfy too–but he was more comfy.

Happy Father’s Day, Abe!!

Let me just pay tribute to the unsung hero of this blog. His name is Abe, and he is the absolute backbone of our family. I often refer to him as our resident adult. In his capable hands, our family thrives. We each adore him.

Abe not only works hard every day to provide for us, but when he comes home he changes diapers, cleans messes, entertains children, and puts children to bed. It is actually embarrassing how much work he does on top of his packed and exhausting work day. But he comes home, rolls his sleeves up, and starts in on helping wherever he can. He is a wonder.

On top of that he serves faithfully in the Church and loves God with his whole heart. Just five minutes ago he started exclaiming over the pictures in his brand new scripture set and brought them over to me so we could examine the photos of New Testament locations together. His favorite hobby is, no joke, studying the scriptures and writing essays about what they mean to him. Whenever he has an iota of free time, he can be counted on to be in front of his open scriptures, studying and writing as he ponders the Word. He is a good man.

Mary independently started calling Abe her “bud” about a year ago, and the term has stuck. Whenever she needs extra comfy comfort, she plaintively requests to be with her bud. When her bud comes home, she squeals for joy and runs straight to him. She knows she is safe and loved with her bud.

Lydia and Ammon likewise adore their dad, lighting up when they see him for the first time in a day. Ammon always responds to Abe’s voice or presence with a happy smile. They are lucky, and if they haven’t figured that part out yet, at least they know they have the greatest dad ever.

I could not ask for a better father for our children. I’m so lucky he belongs to us!

Happy Father’s Day, Abe!

We went to the Miners' tonight and they kindly celebrated my birthday.

We went to the Miners’ tonight and they kindly celebrated my birthday.

Ammon was entranced by the cake.

Ammon was entranced by the cake.



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cherry picking

This morning Abe gave me a massage while Ammon crawled around the room. Ammon started getting hungry, so Abe came up with this solution:

IMG_6079Ammon enjoyed this…until he tipped over.

Afterward, Abe took the girls out to pick cherries from one of our cherry trees while I worked out to Hamilton.

IMG_6084We bought a grill today as a joint Father’s Day/Lily’s birthday gift. We are excited to use it tomorrow.

Running the neighborhood

During book club the girls ran the neighborhood with all of the neighborhood kids. Apparently, back in the day, our cul-de-sac had one hundred kids. That includes the two houses at the perpendicular end and one extra house. Can you imagine? Every family had between five and eight kids. Incredible.

Our kids were in heaven. They had so much fun. I hope summer is filled with nights like this.

“Hall, no! We won’t go!”

Abe has a ton of work tomorrow night and I have book club, so we went on our date tonight instead. First we went to his Aunt Andrea’s Provo neighborhood to protest a real estate development that threatens to overrun her neighborhood. While we were there, who should we spot but an old Chicago friend–who just happens to be the architect for the developer!

He gave us the other side of the story, and I must say that when I heard his point of view, I no longer felt inclined to chant the “protests” of the crowd. I put quotations on “protests” because, this being Provo, the crowd was listening politely to speeches and then responding with a chorus of “thank-yous” to surrounding neighborhoods and “no-thank-yous” to the developer. Occasionally someone would call out “Hall no! We won’t go!” –the doulbe entendre made possible by the developer’s plans to build, among other things, a hall.


Then we went to the temple. I was supposed to go to a homeschool group tonight but I was just craving the temple instead. Abe and I have been taking turns going, so it was really nice to finally just go together.

Dinner with the Crofts

Tonight we had dinner at the Crofts’ house. We just love Betsy and Micah, and the girls adore Pippa. Abe and I talked afterward about how liberating it is to be around people who are absolutely authentic. It helps us to be authentic, and afterward I feel literally zero panic or anxiety. Amazing. We had a great time.

I had a lazy day at home with the kids. I finished reading my book club book, and we spent a lot of time hanging out outside in the shade. Ammon really enjoys being outside, and there aren’t as many ways for him to kill himself outside. We like it there.

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Potty training still

I forgot to take pictures today. That’s sad because we had a lovely play date with Chelsea and her kids, and one of my favorite images is of Mary racing Carter on their new scooters. Mary had a shirt and rainboots on, but nothing else. I found the image endearing and hilarious.

Abe (I am blaming this on Abe and not on the fact that I was so caught up in my book that I did not notice) sent her over to play with the neighbors this evening in that same potty training attire. Our neighbors are getting used to seeing her run around in her birthday suit and the whole block knows she is potty training.