Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pressure Is Just Too Much

Ryan and I are in the process of buying our first home, (Details to come!) and so of course I start thinking about things we will need. We won’t be moved by the 31st of October, of no no no, but it did make we want to park my butt over there on Halloween night and hand out candy to all the trick-or-treaters that will be knocking on doors. So the other night while at my local grocery store, I stood in the Halloween isle in awe. Even since I was a trick-or-treater the candy options have grown. From chocolate eyeballs, to Spiderman gummies, to the traditional candy corn, there was just about any type of candy you could think of! The whole experience made me feel very nostalgic and brought back some found memories of being out with my friends. In fact, there is only one Halloween I can remember being miserable and that was the year it was raining and freezing and we didn’t even make it halfway around the block before my Dad came and picked us up in the car.

As I stood there, debating over my hundreds of options and weather or not I really wanted to buy the candy to go and sit in an empty house, it got me thinking about what my candy would say about me. Come on folks, we all know that as kids, we knew which houses to go to first for the good stuff. We all wanted the chocolate fun size bars and no taffy. We knew which neighbors might give us extra if we acted super sweet and cute. We also knew which ones to avoid unless we wanted a lecture about being too old to trick-or-treat when we were 11-years-old and out with a large group of friends. We knew to watch for groups with little kids because people we almost always in a more generous mood if you had some little kids in your group. Oh yeah, to kids, Halloween is as much of a tactical battle as it is a night out with your buddies.

What would my Halloween candy say about me? Well I could go with the bag of chocolate body parts. They are your standard chocolate that is now wrapped in tinfoil painted to look like a severed bloody foot or a bloodshot eye. This candy says, “I get you kids. You like creepy gross things and I am cool enough to give you what you want.” But two problems arise with this: 1. Little girls dressed as Sleeping Beauty may not be down with it and 2. Although the candy is pretty cool, they are still small and let’s face it, small candies are not always a big hit.

Another option I saw was your traditional bag of Fun Size Snickers bars; a staple for all trick-or-treaters. They are a tiny candy bar small enough to hide from you parents so that you can eat it when you go to bed even though they said only one piece and you had that after dinner. Plus Snickers have it all-chocolate, caramel, nougat, and peanuts. They are diverse enough to satisfy almost anyone. But then I got to thinking about what that said about me…everyone hands out Snickers. It shows that I am lazy and don’t care enough to put serious thought about my candy. Nope, I don’t want to be lazy so I will have to find something else.

Moving on I see bags of little boxes of Milk Duds and right next to them are bags of Blow Pops that are suckers filled with gum. These are two options that kids love! One, the boxes of Milk Duds are something a little different and they look bigger even though each box only contains about 4-5 Milk Duds, but with kids it is about what LOOKS bigger. And suckers with gum, well that is a candy that just keeps on giving! First a delicious crunchy outside that has some lasting power and then BAM! Gum in the middle to chew until it is tougher than a piece of leather and just about as flavorful. These were two types of candy that said I really understood what the kids want…I was going to be a great house for the kids to go to! But then it occurred to me…what this candy might say about me to my fellow neighbors who are parents. I am giving their children sticky, messy, chewy things that will rip out their fillings, get stuck in their braces, or make the couch a sticky mess! So I put the candy back and moved on deciding that I don’t want a mob of angry parents coming after me.

Handing out candy that isn’t individually wrapped, such as candy corn, would make me appear creepy, like I was trying to poison the children. Passing out pixie sticks could possible create a state of anarchy with sugar overload. And if I were to give them Frooties, well I can consider myself the lamest person in the entire neighborhood.

I was getting a little freaked out. This was a lot of stress and pressure. As the new person on the block I didn’t want to end up a laughing stock because I was handing out the wrong kind of candy. I wasn’t sure what to do. So I figured, screw this and grabbed myself a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter cups and headed to the check out lines. I will deal with it next Halloween. Now all I have to do is tackle what kind of Christmas lights I am going to hang up which may give me ulcers.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The more things change...

Things are always changing which is something I blogged about not long ago and mostly I can handle those types of things. But lately I have found myself wondering what the hell is going on. Although nothing really major has happened, I feel like the world to flying by me like a high speed commuter train and I am desperately trying to grab on to it as it screams past. Worst case scenario there: I am going to get my arm ripped off.

Work is going great. Between all the drama that has occurred and changes in staff, the remaining employees are trying the best they can to keep up. The doctor that I work for is pretty amazing. I admire his drive and determination but with those come a great deal of change. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying. Working for this clinic has literally changed my life and allow me to explain how.

I know that many people in my family have been concerned that I have not finished college. But the reason for that is after two years of higher education (and at times just being high while getting an education) I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My love for art history remains which is what I was going to major in, but I just didn’t have the desire to go to school for it. And I am a rational person (sometimes) and figured why waste my money on something that I am not really interested in doing for the REST OF MY LIFE! So much to the dismay of my parents, grandparents, and other family members, I did what I felt was best for me and stopped going to college.

I always figured that someday I would go back when I found that one thing that I loved doing enough to get the piece of paper with my name on in fancy calligraphy. And low-and-behold, once I started my current job, I knew. I love being in medicine. Not necessarily being a doctor because there are some things that I just couldn’t handle, but being involved in patient care. I currently work in the front office which has taught me more in two years than all of my past jobs combined! I love working with patients and trying to help them.

My boss, knowing that I love my job, has now offered to send me to school to become a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Assistant) which I know, is low man on the totem pole in medicine, but it is a start. And if I find that I love it, I can always go further. Maybe medical assistant or RN…who knows? Or maybe I won’t like that and can take what I do learn with my C.N.A. and go into medical practice administration. All I know is the job I have has shown what I want to do with my life. I have the desire to be the best C.N.A. possible and look forward to make a difference, even in a small way.

We haven’t set a date yet for the schooling because my working is going through some other changes right now. Possibly around the beginning of November is what I have been told. And with all these things going on around me I feel like I am stationary and the rest of the world is a blur. Ryan and I have gone in a different direction than we thought we were with our lives, meaning no active duty right now. My family is changing all the time. And here I am, standing still.

I will keep you all updated on the progress. Who knows? Things may change again and I may never get my C.N.A. but hopefully that won’t happen. All I know is that I am anxious to get going with my life. I want to get going to with the life Ryan and I have together. So thank you to everyone who supports Ryan and me in everything that we do. We couldn’t do any of this, without you guys! Much love!

Friday, September 5, 2008

You Gotta Have Heart

You have to have Heart,that is, unless you are John McCain or Sarah Palin. After they used the song "Barracuda" as a sort of theme song for Sarah Palin, Heart sent out a letter telling the GOP to stop. I pulled this article off of the TMZ.com website so check it out. Just one more reason I love Ann and Nancy Wilson! Two amazing women who stand up for what they believe in.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Missing Ryan

I have to say that when Ryan told me he was going to Texas for almost 2 weeks for some training with the air force I didn’t make a big deal about it for several reasons.

1. After not seeing him for seven months, two weeks seemed like nothing. (Not that I still wasn’t going to miss having him around!)
2. He is going to Texas so he shouldn’t be at risk of getting shot that is, unless, he insults the great state of Texas.
3. He signed up for this two-week class. They asked for volunteers and he thought it would be a good idea to go.
4. This allows me to watch all the crappy reality television I want!

And let me tell you, the first week was pretty good. Ryan and I both have laptops with webcams so we were able to talk on the phone and see each other. It was almost like he was really here except that no one was stealing my blanket in the middle of the night. I did just fine, even with having to nurse he sick ferret back to health, which is a WHOLE OTHER blog in itself. (Who knew that ferrets could get pneumonia? Other than the vet, I mean.)

But ever since about Saturday night, I have really started to miss Ryan. Sure he steals my blankets in the middle of the night, but he will also get me something to drink before he crawls into bed if I ask him. Yes, he stays up late playing on his computer, but he always wakes up a little early the next morning to help me if I need him. Yes, he leaves soda can all over the room, but he also there to help me clean everything up when I need him. Yes, he watches anime on adult swim, but he always invites me to watch it with him so we can spend time together. He’ll even watch my crappy reality television with me and what better to show someone you love them than watching shows you really hate and only complaining about it a little bit.

This week has been really awful without Ryan. I miss him so much it hurts. (I know that is really cliché but I can’t help that I didn’t come up with that phrase first! Here is a phrase that is all me: You’re as dense as the surface tension layer. Figure that one out!) He is my best friend and after two weeks without him, I really feel his absence. The room is a little cleaner but I don’t mind his clutter. I love Ryan and anytime I am away from him, I re-realize just how much he means to me and how much he impacts my life. I am so excited that he is coming home tomorrow night along with his anime, soda cans, and dirty socks!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beijing 2008

Am I sports fan? Well based on how I look most people would say no but I am here to tell you, I LOVE SPORTS! I used to groan and complain when football season rolled around, now I wait on pins and needles. Watching Jazz games used to be equivalent for me of maybe going to the dentist. I hated to watch sports. Then I grew up a little and started to play basketball. And then in my teenage years Salt Lake was lucky enough to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. I think it is safe to say now, that I really enjoy watching sports and when I can, participating in them. And for me, the Olympics are the best sporting event EVER!

The 2008 Beijing Summer games have taken over my life! Every night I sit with Ryan or my family and watch ever event. I watch whatever is on! From gymnastics (GO NASTIA LIUKIN!), to diving, to basketball, and even some sports that I don’t the USA even have teams like handball and field hockey. I have immersed myself in these 2008 Olympic games.

I love the spirit of the Olympics. I love watching all the emotions that come with both winning and losing. I love all the personal stories of the athletes. Dara Torres, the 41-year-old swimmer that won not one, but three medals, is such an incredible person. She truly is what I would hope every athlete from the USA is. She is an incredible woman and I have enjoyed watching her journey. I hope she comes back in 2012 to London and kicks some more 16-year-old asses!

And who could be talking about the Beijing Olympics and not bring up Michael Phelps? Holy crap is that man amazing! I know that is arguable for whether or not he truly is the greatest Olympian of all time, but come on! If you want to look at total gold medals and at most gold medals won in a single Olympics, he is the best. Sure there are other factors that people will talk about but on that basis, and that one alone, Michael takes the cake! I think that there are arguments for other great Olympians but let’s let Michael have this moment…he has definitely earned it!

All in all, these Olympic games have been great and I am sad that they will soon be coming to an end. (Then what will I watch?) And my Dad put it so eloquently the other night when he said “I am glad that all of you kids have had the chance to be involved in sports. Sports really does help you become a more rounded human being.” And you know what Dad, I couldn’t agree more!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

So many changes...

In the last couple weeks I have realized one very important thing: life can change in an instant…literally.

On August 1st my step-daughter Sera boarded a plane and returned to Arizona. And in less than 10 seconds, my life went from being a full time parent to not. She wasn’t here anymore. No more nightly bedtime stories. No more having dinner as a family. No more bath time or play time or any time. She is not here.

It was an intense feeling watching her turn her back on her father and I and head towards the security gate. I honestly couldn’t stand there and watch. For almost 2 and half months, my world was centered on taking care of her and being her mom and the moment she walked away, my time was over. It literally brought me to tears. I felt like, no I knew, that a piece of my heart was going back to Arizona and someone else was going to be in charge of taking care of her. In one moment, my life went from step-mom and care-giver to nothing more than a loving voice on a phone. I won’t get to hug her or kiss her goodnight. Now all I can do is try to talk to her on the phone, which is hard because we always seem to call when she is watching TV or playing with a friend or a cousin or getting ready to go and do something. Sera doesn’t often like talking on the phone-she is too high-energy for that. All Ryan and I can do is try to call her often but not so much that she gets annoyed with our calls and let her know just how much we love her and miss her.

I also witnessed my cousin Nicole experience something that changed her life almost instantly. Last Sunday on August 10th, my Aunt Kathy (Nicole’s Mom) was out ridging her horse and she fell and broke her neck. Let me first say that she is doing okay considering she is in the ICU. She can move her arms and legs which is lucky considering what she broke. She is still in ICU and is waiting to have a halo put on. After that, my guess is she will be in the hospital for a few days and then hopefully get to go home.

She doesn’t need surgery and she isn't paralyzed which is great. Yes, she in a lot of pain and she’s still worried that something could go wrong. But we are all grateful that she isn’t going to end up in a wheelchair or even worse, dead. For the last almost 48 hours, my family has rallied around my Aunt Kathy, her husband, and my cousin to give our love and support.

But again, this whole situation makes me realizes how quickly everything can change. My cousin Nicole went from planning a family camping trip one minute to trying to get to the University Hospital as quickly as she could to see her mother. My aunt went from just a normal ride on her horse one second to a broken neck the next. No matter what anyone says, life literally can go from one extreme to the next in a matter a mere seconds. What I have to keep reminding myself is that no matter what happens, life will go on. No matter what changes, weather it be good, bad, or indifferent, life will undoubtedly go on. And we, and by we I mean myself, can’t stop living because of fear or sadness. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “This too shall pass.” and it always does.

I want to thank everyone for the love and support that Ryan and I received while Sera was here and also when she had to go. My parents especially, deserve my thanks for all the things that they did for Sera, Ryan, and I this summer. They are wonderful parents and grandparents. I also want to thank my in-laws, Scott and Linda for the love and support they gave us as well. I know that Sera loved spending her week in Montana and Ryan and I enjoyed spending time with Linda and Ry’s brother Todd when they came to Utah. So thanks again to everyone and I hope that your summers have all been as good as mine.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Okay okay! So a few of you have mentioned that I haven’t updated in a while…and you are all right! Whoops! Sorry about that. Pretty much after Byron got home from his mission, things have been crazy. (Granted I could have made that time but ya know, I would rather hang out with my family.)

So yes, it is true! Byron got home from his mission and is doing great! He wasn’t really weird when he got back which surprised me. And he wasn’t as skinny as I would have guessed. But, when he came off the plane, he was wearing this Panama style hat which reminded me of Humphrey Bogart or some sort of Cuban drug lord-he is such a dork! He is now dating Becca Lesher, the same young lady he was with before he left for his mission, and is planning on going to Utah State in the fall.

I love having my little brother home! It had been two years since the family had all been together and lots of things have changed. But the moment we saw him, it was like nothing had really changed. He is still the Byron I remember, just tanner and reads his scriptures a lot more! I love him so much and I am glad that he made it home safely.

Since I last updated, my grandparents Jim and Diane, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It was really fun for all of us to get together and talk about how great our grandparents are. I had some really fond memories of them both considering I was privileged enough to live with them for two years.

My grandparents are a great example of how to make it work, even after 50 years. Things have not always been easy. In fact, there were times I would guess it was more like hell than paradise. But they have stuck through it and never gave up on each other. I am so happy for them and love them both so much! And I hope that they know how much of an amazing example they are to the rest of us. And considering so many of the grandkids are now getting married and trying to keep their own relationships strong, to have such an incredible example right in front of us, makes it that much easier. So congrats to them both! I love you guys!

Sera has also been here this summer which has honestly, taken up the majority of my time. It is amazing how much happiness she brings. Ry and I have been trying so hard to plan fun things and make sure that she has a good summer. Sadly, however, she will be going back to Arizona on Friday. I think about all the fun things we have done and it makes me a little sad to know that it is all going to be over on Friday. She is such a wonderful little girl and I consider myself lucky to have her in my life.

This past weekend was especially busy with activities starting with spending some much needed time with my cousin Nicole and her three boys. We went to her house for some hamburgers and play time. The kids spent most of the time playing games on the trampoline and swimming in the inflatable pool. It was nice just to let them play which has been able to happen much this summer.

Then Sera spent the first half of Thursday up at This Is the Place Monument with my family doing fun Pioneer activities and playing games. Ry and I didn’t go because it was supposed to be a morning only event and we decided to sleep in. So Sera went with my mom, dad, brother, and sister along with my sister’s husband and his family. According to everyone that was there, it was a great time. Now I kind of wished we would have gotten our lazy butts out of bed!

That evening the whole group, including Ryan and I, went up Millcreek canyon and had a barbeque. It was such a nice evening and we had the best spot for a campsite. We ate and relaxed and simply had a great evening. The kids played more games, had fun with hula-hoops, roasted marshmallows, and just enjoyed the outdoors. We also managed to get back into town with enough time to see some fireworks at Liberty Park. It was a long day!

Saturday Ry and I took Sera swimming to a local pool that has this great kid’s area. We had so much fun! I love swimming with Sera because she takes her swimming seriously. She loves racing and jumping from her Dad to me. She also loves to play pretend. For example, she and I were mermaids and the yellow elastic that had been in her hair was a magic ring and the brown elastic that had been in my hair was a bracelet of power. And Ryan? Well naturally he was the evil Shark Wizard that was trying to capture us and steal our magic jewelry. It was all very fast paced and mostly it was just Ryan swimming after us while we passed our miraculous trinkets back and forth. But even though it wore me out, it was still so much fun!

And Sunday Ryan and I, for some strange reason, thought it would be a great idea to take Sera to the Children’s museum. This is the first time we have gone this summer and once we are there, the screaming and whiney kids are a good reminder of why we don’t go to the museum more often. Sera, on-the-other-hand, loves that place almost more than she loves Christmas!

I don’t know how many of you are able to visit the museum, but it is packed with things for kids to do. From fake cranes, a playhouse, a grocery store, a farm, to art and crafts, and special exhibits, I don’t know how a kid could ever get bored! And I have to admit, I even find myself making sail boats out of muffin cups and playing in the water. It is a good time, once you get past all the “back ground noise.”

I am sad that it was out last weekend with Sera and I hope she has had a good summer. There have been some down times, like when she was super sick and barfing all over the place. Or when my mom and I had to remove the toenail from her big toe that she had stubbed. But I am pretty sure that she had a good time and I know for a fact, that Ryan and I did. We will miss her so much and look forward to spending the Christmas holiday with her!

As far as what's new with Ryan and I, things are still on hold. We haven't made any final decisions on the whole active duty airforce situation. We both still feel like it is really the direction we are supposed to head. Now all we have to worry about, is timing and switching career feilds and filling out papers and re-training and who knows what else! But honestly, I look at all these things that other people might think of as "a lot to deal with" and I don't feel any kind of anxiety at all. I truly feel like this is what he and I are supposed to be doing. And what is really weird about our decision to possibly become a military family, is that we both came to this conclusion sepperately. One day he approached me about going active duty and I told him that it was really weird he bring it up because I had thought about it too. I would have never just suggested it to Ryan because it is his life and joining the military full-time is a big thing. I would NEVER want to pressure him into something like that. But after he said something about it, it was like a light switched on for us. So hopefully, things will work out and everything will go smoothly. I doubt we will really move forward with those plans until after the end of August but I will keep everyone updated.

Sorry again to have taken so long in between posts. I promise to try and be better! All my love to all of you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I like to hop hop hop...

Yes, this Sera. Yes, she is wearing a kangaroo costume. And no, I have no idea what is she is doing. But dang it, I thought it was so cute that I am posting it on here for everyone to enjoy! (Thanks to my sister Becca for the video.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just some chalk art right?

Ever since Sera has been home Ryan and I have tried to do things that are fun that don’t involve the television. We are not perfect (Yes I know this comes as a shock to most of you!) And so occasionally we let her watch Sponge Bob Square Pants. But in our defense, it is usually in the early morning hours where we are better off sleeping than trying to entertain her. Our idea of entertainment for her at 6:30 on Saturday mornings is “Okay Sera lay still in the dark and try to count the spots on the ceiling.” So I would say Sponge Bob is better for everyone involved.

This past weekend, however, the three of us along with my sister Becca and her hubby Spencer attended the 6th Annual Utah Foster Care Foundation Chalk Art Festival. I thought it would be this cute and pretty rinky-dink little gathering with kids drawing giant sunshines and out-lining each other. Oh how wrong I was! This thing was ridiculous! The artists were absolutely AMAZING! I don’t think Sera was nearly as impressed with the very large masterpieces that people were drawing, on the cement, WITH CHALK! But Ryan, Becca, Spencer, and I could only stare in awe. They blow that crappy flower I drew on my driveway at home completely out of the water!

My guess is there were almost 70 works of art there. There were all sorts of artists ranging from people drawing Disney or comic book characters to others literally redoing famous works of art. Some of the ones I wanted to get pictures of were just too crowded with other people so I couldn’t get a great shot. But I’ll post some of the other great works that I was able to sneak in a quick picture of.

We loved being out in the sunshine together while getting to look at all the great art! We really enjoyed ourselves and appreciate the opportunity to help with such a great cause. The Utah Foster Care Foundation really does a great job! I’ll post the link which talks about the festival and gives you last year’s winners. Check back in a week or so and maybe they will have this year’s winners posted. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we did! http://www.utahfostercare.org/chalkartfestival.html

This is one of the artists working on a Disney's Lilo and Stitch piece.

Here is a reproduction of a famous VanGogh painting.

This one was done by about 6 or 7 young teens & it was AMAZING!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One year older and wiser too...

One year older and wiser too…

Traditionally the next line in that song would be “Happy Birthday, to you!” but I choose to use it in celebration of Ryan’s and my first year anniversary. That’s right all you non-believers, we made it an entire year! (Okay so there weren’t many non-believers to my knowledge but I like to be dramatic. BIG SHOCK!) I didn’t go crazy or become an Emo in the almost seven months that Ryan was in Iraq nor have I gone insane from watching countless episodes of anime or cheesy Troma movies. (Any of you that know Troma, know my pain!) And Ryan is still a very manly man despite all the chick flicks, reality TV, and the many days of PMS where I was more she-devil than wife.

We both had many people tell us that the first year is always the hardest. And you would think with the being apart for the majority of it, the moving of his daughter, my surgery, and some of the other things that have happened we might be ready to punch each other in the kidneys. However, I think that compared to what I have seen some people go through, we had it easy. And if this was supposed to be the hardest, then I am really excited for the easy parts.

And Ryan, how can I even express how I feel about him? I love him so much it makes my heart feel weak. He still gives me butterflies when I see him. He still sends me flowers (yes even when he was in Iraq, he sent me roses!) all the time. He took such good care of me after I had my surgery. Even while suffering the loss of Grandmother Ryan found a way to be in Montana with his family and the right back here taking care of me. He called me nearly every day while he was in Iraq which wasn’t always easy or convenient for him but he did it because he never wanted me to have unnecessary stress. And above all, he puts up with me! I know I am opinionated and stubborn and Ryan just smiles, tells me to calm down, and works with me to find a solution. He rarely gets so upset with me that I can see the frustration. Most of the time, he just lets it all go and keeps on loving me, knowing that I will get over it.

Ryan has been my rock for a long time now and I cannot imagine any other man treating me as good as he does. He is romantic and thoughtful even though he doesn’t think he does enough. He is loyal and trustworthy. He puts up with me getting jealous when he talks about the 40-year-old women at his work who I picture looking more like 20-something Playboy bunnies than 40-something soccer moms. And more than anything else, Ryan’s love is truly unconditional. Who could really dream of anything more?

So our relationship is now one year older and I think we both are wiser too. We still love each other even through the “bad” times. We don’t go to bed angry. We always try to help each other out and remember to say thank you. And we tell each other we love each other every day. (And we mean it!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dear Sera

Dear Sera:

Oh Sera-Bear! I love having you home with your father and me, finally. I forget how much you make me laugh. I always seem to get so involved with your father when you are in Arizona that by the time we get to see you again, my love for you explodes like a soda can in a freezer. I suddenly remember how funny you are and how much you love, well, everyone.

You have only been with us for about 4 days and already I can feel a change in the whole house. People are nicer because we always want to be setting the best example for you. Everyone seems to laugh and smile more. (Everyone also seems to be a little more tired at the end of the day.) I have also heard so many knock-knock jokes that my head might implode. The one you laughed over for a good ten minutes last night:
-Knock knock?
-Who’s there?
-Joe who?
-Joe blue. I’m a slew.

I am guessing that it was your impeccable rhyming skills or simply the silliness of that joke that amused you so. I laughed, not because your joke was really that funny in the “Comedy Central” way, but because you were laughing. I love how you find humor in the simple things.

You are also very helpful. Even though sometimes we have to ask you eight times before you’ll even acknowledge your father or I are standing there, you always do it eventually. You are even dressing yourself in the mornings as long as I set your clothes out for you the night before-your father isn’t even that good. (Joking Ryan!)

I hope that you are enjoying your time with us. I don’t take offense that every night you want your Dad to read you your bedtime story because I get to do so many other things for you. I am just grateful that when that story is over and we have said our bedtime prayer, you always give me a hug and kiss and tell me you love me. I could have never imagined just how wonderful that makes me feel.

You are a brilliant and talented little girl and I see more and more of your Dad in you all the time. I hope you know how lucky you are to have such an amazing father who gave you such amazing genetics. And this summer, I hope that I am able to help you grow and become an even better person.

So someday, when you read this note from me, I hope you smile knowing how much I love spending this precious and all-too-brief time with you. Even when you ask awkward questions like, “When are you and Daddy going to have a little sister for me?” it makes me happy. And having you around, makes me want to have more kids, so you never know…you may get the answer to that question sooner than we all think.

Your Dad and I love you so much Sera! And this summer is going to bring us all so much happiness and fun.

Love always,
Your Other Mom a.k.a Rach

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strut Your What?

Last Saturday on May 31st, Ryan, Sera, and I took Barney to Sugarhouse Park for the 13th annual Strut Your Mutt. Strut Your Mutt is a walk for charity where all the proceeds go to the No More Homeless Pets Foundation. It is a great cause and I was so excited that we were able to participate.

We had to be at the park at freaking 8 am to get registered. I was not so happy about that but it was okay. Once we got there and got checked in, we had a few minutes to kill so we wandered around and look at all the different dogs. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been surprised if there had been over 2000 people there with their dogs. Barney, who has a tendency to be a chicken, seemed to be pretty good with all the other dogs. I was worried he would spend the entire walk trying to escape from all the other dogs.

The walk itself was great. Sugarhouse Park is the perfect place to hold such an event. The walk itself is mile and a half and it took us about 45 minutes to complete. Sera wanted to stop and pet the other dogs. Barney had to keep stopping to take a drink or to try and scratch off the orange bandana that we tied around his neck. (He had to wear it! It was his Strut Your Mutt uniform!)

After we finished the walk there were a bunch of booths set up you could walk around and look at. Most of them involved doggy daycare or grooming services. There was a cute little booth for a place called Pupcakes. (I cannot find their contact info anywhere or else I would put it up.) It is this bakery that makes all sorts of adorable dog treats! They look so good. We bought some carob-covered dog bones for Barney and my sister and my cousin both almost ate one, thinking they were cookies. There were also these cute little cupcake that Sera wanted to eat as well but they were bacon-cheddar flavored so…we didn’t go there.

I think that everyone had a great time and it was a really fun way to start off our summer with Sera. Everyone was really tired by the time we left, even Barney. He fell asleep as soon as we got in the car! I am glad that the three of us we able to support such a great cause and I look forward to participating again next year!

Friday, May 30, 2008

For Ryan, with Love

This is for my husband Ryan! Because I know some day, if he decides to become a P.A., I can expect this kind of greatness from him. J/K I LOVE YOU RYAN!

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a weekend!

What a weekend! Don’t get me wrong…it was a great weekend. I am just tired. (Should you be tired after a weekend?)

Friday night was our most relaxing night. We hung out, watched some movies, and just didn’t do much at all. It was cool because Ryan and I have been so busy the last few weekends that it was nice to have a night to ourselves.

But then Saturday was Ryan’s 26th birthday. You can call him old if you want to-I do! We decided back in January that for his birthday we were going to go to Wendover and see the Beach Boys in concert. IF any of you know Ryan, he is secretly a 50-year-old man trapped inside a 26-year-old body which explains why he enjoys this type of music. And again, don’t misinterpret what I am saying-I had fun at the concert. But I went because Ryan really wanted to go. (I mean, the guy suffers opera for me. I can’t deny him a little Beach Boys!)

We got to Wendover around 2:30 and after Ryan acted very manly and stood up to the woman at the front desk who wanted to give him a smoking room when Ry specifically asked for NON-SMOKING, we got checked in and headed upstairs. I am not kidding when I tell you that our room was decorated with fake palm trees and iridescent purple taffeta. I looked like the type of hotel room you would expect to see in bad 70’s porn. But it was better than the “Hepatitis Hotel” (a.k.a. The Red Garter) which is where we stayed the last time we went out to Wendover for a concert. At that hotel, I didn’t walk around barefoot and I cut my leg on the bed frame which then look over 3 weeks to heal-I think I almost got gangrene. At least the room at the Montego Bay was clean and didn’t look like it may have been the scene of some gruesome crime. (The room we were in at Hepatitis Hotel had a very large square of carpet cut out!)

We proceeded to gamble for a couple hours where I came out 45 dollars ahead and Ryan came out 60 dollars down. The blackjack table was not being kind to him and it was his birthday, the bastards! After the gambling, Mom, Dad, Becca, Spencer, Ry, and I went to (Surprise! Surprise!) a buffet dinner. My issues with buffets don’t have anything to do with the food; my issue is that if I am going to pay $16.95 plus tax for a meal, I better be served by the cast of Friends on gold plates. I am not cheap, nor am I lazy. I am willing to pay a lot more than that for a really nice dinner. But for a buffet, I think it’s a little absurd. Not to mention, they didn’t have cucumbers on the salad bar!

After dinner we needed to kill about 45 minutes so five of us went over to play Keno, one of us went to play more blackjack. (Bet you can’t guess which group Ryan was with? Here’s a hint, it wasn’t keno!) After five games of keno, Ryan down another 40 dollars, and no alcohol, we head over to the concert hall.

The concert itself was great! Even I have to admit that it was fun and I was not really excited about it. But we were singing most of the songs and dancing around. Spencer was especially into it which was a pretty entertaining sight by itself. The lead singer was really funny and interacted with the crowd really well. There was even this crazy drunk lady that kept running around that they let come up on stage. She would totally be groupie if they had been interested, if you know what I mean. (That picture is of the Beach Boys-I SWEAR!)

After the concert Ry and I played blackjack until about 1:30. By the end of the night I had lost the 40 dollars I had won but hadn’t lost any of my money that I brought. Ryan on the other hand, was down well over $100 by this point. He was having zero luck! I was doing pretty well. And if any of you know Ryan, you know he does not like to be out done so he was kind of cranky.

The next morning we got up and went to a breakfast buffet. (I will spare you another buffet rant at this time.) And then Bec and Spencer left for home while the remaining 4 gambled a little more and then left for home. At the end of our trip, we had all lost money. I came back $40 down, Ryan $150, and Mom and Dad lost too. I am not sure why on Earth people gamble! But it is what Ryan wanted to do for his birthday so I went along with it. I would go along with most anything Ryan wanted to do, with exception of animal sacrifice.

All in all it was a good weekend. We saw the new Indian Jones movie on Sunday which was entertaining, despite what Ryan thinks. And Monday we went and cleaned my grandparents and great-grandparents headstones. We also played Yahtzee and had a very pleasant evening with Becca, Spencer, and my parents.

As far as I know, Ryan had a great birthday. He got to hang out with me, go to Wendover, and see the Beach Boys. I love that guy so much and I am glad that he had a good weekend. He is a very special person and even though he is either acting like he is 50 or 5-year-old, I can never get enough of him. So happy birthday again Ryan! Here’s to another strange, but fun year!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Barney Brunswick Beagle

Ryan and mine’s new favorite thing to do, in the evenings and on weekends, is to take my Mom’s beagle Barney to Tanner Dog Park. (We are going to kidnap that dog when we leave!) Most Utah locals know this place. It is a little ravine just at the mouth of Parley’s Canyon. It has all these fantastic dirt trails and a stream. It is the best place to take your dogs for a good off-leash run! Barney loves it!

At first Barney was unsure. He is not a pure bred beagle I have decided. He is one-third beagle, one-third chicken, and one-third goat. He acts tough, runs scared, and eats everything. (Yes I mean everything! Tin cans, doormats, the vent for dryer….EVERYTHING!) So being at the dog park surrounded by all these crazy dogs made him stay so close to us, he was literally under our feet!

We have now been with him enough that Ry and I are comfortable taking him off-leash. This was scary at first. Almost like a small child, when they are more than 5 feet from you, you get anxious and call them back. But eventually it gets to the point that you quit paying attention because you are okay with them wandering off and then they chase after quail into a big bush and you have to stand there, screaming their name, until they come out.

So now Barney loves the dog park. He still is afraid of other dogs, and the creek, and anything that blows by him like a leaf or some garbage, but he loves it. And Ryan and I love taking him. It gives us a chance to be outside together and we can’t get enough of that! Being outside in the sunshine and getting to play with all the puppies is our favorite part. Barney’s favorite part? Getting to sit in Sera’s car seat on the ride to and from.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Welcome to our world...

Okay so for everyone just joining us, Ry and I (Okay just me.) decided to start this blog. But I swear, once I told Ryan about the blog and how all his family could keep track of us and our whacky adventures, he was totally into it. So here I am, watching School of Rock and getting all excited to blog and quite frankly...I got nothing.

As some of you may know, Ryan and I met back in 2005 and have been together for more than 3 years. I have been lucky enough to spend time with him as well as his wonderful daughter Sera. We have had such amazing times together and we look forward to continuing to do the same in the future. And who knows, some day, we will hopefully have a few kids of our own.

Right now we are living here in Sandy. we are just saving our pennies until we decide where we want to go. Life has certainly taken some interesting turns for us. Like Ryan getting called to serve overseas only 5 weeks after we go married to me being the graceful individual that I am hurting myself not even a week after he got home from Iraq. But we have stood by each other through thick and thin and will keep on truckin'.

So for all our friends and family, welcome to our lives. You may not undestand why we do some of the things we do, but hopefully we will give you a good laugh. And remember, when you come into our world-pants are optional.