Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Gift

This Christmas the wee people of my in-law-family decided to trade names. N got her cousin this year for Christmas. And here is what I did for her from N.

I'm very proud of the gift I made for my niece this Christmas and broke down deciding to post about it now instead of saving it for a surprise for her mom. My niece is a year old so I don't think I could really spoil the surprise anyway...Anyways..

I love to make things, and since I was giving a free sewing machine by a woman I have never met and still haven't, I have been making all the gifts I have been giving for little people. My neighbors baby shower, clip bows for Abby, and now this gift for my niece. And some in the makings.

My new fav right now is felt. Yes felt and with that I was stumbled upon the world of felt food. Play food for kids! Some of the things I have see have been absolutely jaw dropping. Such as this site It's all in Japanese but just click on one of the left links and you'll see what I mean. I've been wanting to buy some patterns but I decided to try it out completely "blind".

After finding a site that gives the pattern for a felt woven pic-nic basket for free I decided to do just that, a picnic lunch. Here's what I made.
Contents of the felt woven picnic basket: A bag of chips, you can open it and there are felt chips inside, a "Sprite" can, a chicken sandwich you can build yourself (chicken, American cheese slice, lettuce, 2 tomatoes, and 2 pickles), 3 strawberries, and 3 pink sprinkle cookies.
I was so excited to make this that I didn't take into consideration my niece's age until I was already part way into it :( I mean N tested it out and loved to just squeeze everything and take them out of the basket. The only small things are the pickles but I figured, this Christmas my sister-in-law was hitting a block wall as to what to get her daughter as she already gets the hand-me-downs of her older sister, but since she's taken care of that, here's a unique gift she can pull out when she deems right and I'll have learn to make many new things that I can send their way.

So, Hi Kris! I hope you love this as I'm already making plans for one for my family and for many more items. :) Merry Christmas!

More Teeth

N is popping teeth again. I should have guessed it sooner with her cranky attitude but it wasn't till I braved a finger in her mouth that I discovered 3 new teeth and at least one more on its way! And since they are further back they are taking longer, poor N :(


With the snow on the ground Todd had us out the door to take N sledding for her first time.

She had a BLAST! She giggled all the way down and had fun in the snow!

Daddy and DaughterMommy and Daughter

The adventurous "Wee-one-der"

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hubby Time

I don't say it enough in my posts at all, but I love my husband! He's been working extremely hard to pull off the Stake Christmas Fireside and onight is the moment of truth. I wish I could be there to lend my support but until the neighbors come home to babysit I have to be here.
Todd has composed half of what is being sung tonight and has crossed MANY obstacles that presented themselves during the preparation for this fireside. But now he knows who to talk to, when to do certain things, and what he needs to do. He's already started on the Easter Fireside which isn't till APRIL so that any possible hick-ups might be eliminated.
Good luck Todd. It will song beautiful. I love you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I was reading an article in the December Ensign about how a pair of sisters plotted together and a family of 13 to their Christmas Dinner and then surprising the children with a box of hand-me-down clothes and shoes. As this was Canada and the winter months, and those kids hand only straw and sackcloth for their feet, these girls were an answer to prayers.

Now trying to reach back into the depths of my mind for Christmas memories, I can really only recall 3 Christmas's from before I was married. I found this saddening. Only three.

My first, I believe I was turning 12, was in 6th grade, and my parents were going through a divorce. Mom came home one morning from working a night shift and found a HUGE Christmas decorated plastic bag in the car port. Not a nice looking garbage bag but the "only available during the holidays because they are HUGE" bags. I was awake and greeted mom as she came through the door. "I think you father left this morning forgetting to bring something in." She rolled her eye as my dad tended to do this from time to time. She drug it inside and we opened it. It was filled with wrapped Christmas boxes! Each had a name on it or who the gift was intended and nothing else. Sad as may be we knew they were not from dad because there were gifts for my mom and not him. We cried. It was not long before this happened that mom told us Christmas was going to be very lean this year. And now Our Christmas tree was overflowing with gifts from an anonymous Santa. (Thank you Joyce and Diane, as we know it was you two who gave THREE families a Christmas that year.)

The one after that was when all I asked for Christmas was a stereo and when we all went to go open boxes there was only a small hand held box for me. But great was my surprise when it held a note and a car key for me to go retrieve my gift from the car trunk.

And lastly, my first semester of college. I was attending BYU-Idaho and was in Brother Grants English 111 class. We were a class of about 18 and worked together really well. As a project we were to break up into groups of about 6 and perform a Christmas service project. We decided to get the name and ages of a family from a local ward who was in need for the holidays. We raised money by going door to door and contributing our own funds. The family consisted of a mom and dad, and 5 kids. We divided the money and went shopping for them. We got a grocery store gift card for the parents plus a small side gift and toys for the kids. We drove to their trailer home to drop everything off. As we took armfuls of things in we looked at a family picture and realized there was one more kid in the picture then what we shopped for! one of the boys had a TWIN BROTHER we didn't know about. We took what was left of the money ran back to Walmart and bough toys for him, taking them back to the house with the excuse "we forgot a box."

Then we had another family who we were to drop a box of food of to and run for it. We drove to the trailer park, park a few houses down from the intended target and grouped a few yards from the house. As two people took the box to the door step , rang the door bell and RAN for it. Now mind you Rexburg, Idaho, winter, ice, oh it was funny. We all hid, and as a little boy answered the door, looked around and spotting the box of food, looked at it ran to the door and shouted inside, "Mommy we have food!" How that tug at our hearts. We had so much fun and were happy beyond anything we knew that we helped these families.

I want to start a family tradition of sorts that will help our family every year the true meaning for Christmas. Anyone have any ideas?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Missy!

Here's a shout out to my best friend!

It's Missy's Birthday!!!

Here's the story behind Missy and me. We met at BYU-Idaho when we became roommates in #159 Barnes Hall. The four of us who lived there I guess could be described as hyper night owls. How I passes my classes my first semester is still a mystery to me. There were bubble and hair mousse wars, a Jericho Road concert, taping Lindsey in the shower as she sang at the top of her lungs, drama with roommate #4 and the hospital, babysitting the head residence little boy on Tuesdays, Jello Slide during Spirit Week, Missy making amazing caramel brownies to eat after a dance I went to with Matt Reynold, Bednar being called to the 12, Missy and I dating two guy who were roommates (and later giving thanks we broke up with them), cooking dinner for 10 people, going to Missy's house for Thanksgiving, 3 people (Missy, Lindsey and I) sleeping in a refrigerator box our last night in our apartment before Christmas break just because we could while watching Aladdin on a laptop, and leaving at an insane morning hour to walk to the Trailways bus stop in the BUTT cold. And this is just our first semester!
2 new roommates our 2nd semester, Thank you Jeniffer for your cooking skills! And we all moved together to what was then, Beehive Manor.
Now for our 2nd year of college. The #209 group: Marissa and Jeniffer, Amie and Laura, Missy and me. Our habits hadn't changed much and our ward just encouraged our social craziness :) Shaving cream war in the park, having kick butt awesome FHE brothers, raiding each others closets for all 6 of us to match on Sunday, all of us cramming on my bed (it was the most padded bed in the apartment and you had to have a running start to get on it because I have it on cinder blocks), blaring music in the morning while we all got ready, boy talk (what's up with "J" names anyways?!), going to a Q&A for Elder Bednar, and celebrating Laura's engagement with Bajios and virgin drinks at the Mexican restaurant in town. But still even with all this there was more, happy and sad as well as stupid. F.Y.I. in case there are some people who do not already know this, boys are stupid to fight over. I'll leave it at that.
Missy made it through the nursing program and off she went to work and complete her RN in Utah. She planned my bridal shower for Idaho, she flew down to be my maid-of-honor and she became the fine focus of my mother-in-law who desired to set Missy up with a few fine eligible single men in the AZ area. I spent one more semester at BYU-Idaho and it was with out Missy and boy did I miss her A LOT!
Now she's "Aunt Missy" to N and all future kids that come our way. In fact N's middle name is contrives from Missy's first name and my sister's first name.
Missy is a talented, capable nurse, a great big and little sister, the best babysitter, a creative craftster, she's easy to love and like, loyal, and hardworking (her work schedule is INSANE). She's my best friend and I can't think of anyone else who I would replace her with.

Here are a very few pictures of the many things we did :)
One night while studying, I took washable markers and colored on Missy's face. Well all were washable except for the purple....The things she put up with :D

Here's us after a shaving cream war in the park put on my Jaimie Dickinson.

The two of us on a Sunday where we all matched.
And an almost reunion at Amie's wedding reception.
Have a very happy birthday Missy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

More of N

Here are some more pictures, I'll add some video's to this post when I can figure out what's going on with the downloading...

Here's a picture of N sporting a dress Nana made for her.

Here she is "playing" a game Todd put on the computer for her. It's like Mario only with a penguin.
Now some time with Daddy.

And N with her finger puppets :L

An update on the Wee-Oneder

N has started to do something this month that makes her parents (us) proud beyond anything else. She'll pray with us. Not all the time not even half the time but sometimes she'll see us and she'll "fold her arms" walk over to us and sometimes kneel! and close her eyes and bow her head. What could make a parents more proud then their one year old praying with them!?

Another shinning moment is N will sometimes pick something off the ground and take it to the trash can. Granted that "something" isn't not always a piece of trash and sometimes a book, but she's getting the concept. Just a little more work and yeah! I have a little helper in the making :)

A quirk about N is when she walks, half the time its with an arm behind her back. Sometimes makes me think of how Napoleon is portrayed in movies, short, kinda chubby, one arm behind his back only N isn't going for the world conqueror goal.

One thing we are NOT thrilled about is she has started temper tantrums. One incident was we went to the pond with the ducks on the south end of campus so she could chase after them and walk them from their naps. Only when it came time to leave I had to pick her up since she wouldn't walk away and and she immediately arched her back, stretched out, stiffened her body and started to scream. So not an OK reaction. So we'll be working on that.....I'll let you know how it goes......Well, here's N before things got ugly.

Tooting My Own Horn

Alright I have sorely been slacking in the keeping my blog updated (thanks Emily) so here I go with some updates with what has happened with us.

So as poor college students we have to keep our eyes out for deals and an even sharper eye on our finances. But even if we weren't poor college students we'd still be doing this. Anyways, on the 11th of every month I head to Walmart for our once a month trip. Before hand I create a monthly dinner meal list and a list of what we eat for breakfast and common things I put in Todd's lunch box. After I have my lists I create a grocery list of what I need to buy for all the meals. Then I grab the store ads for that week and price out what the other stores are selling them for.
Once finished I take my grocery list and my ads (in case the employee checking me out wants to check - never has happened so far) and head to Walmart. For those of you who don't know Wally World will price match EVERYTHING. Food, hygiene products, kitchen appliances, electronics, everything! Granted if it is not food then the make and model all has to match with what the competing store is selling it for, but food they are only concern about size. They will price match one stores generic brand to theirs. They wont price match internet offers but hey they are already doing a lot more then what others stores do. This link will give you info.
So as I'm heading through the isles I'm checking to see if Walmart or a competing store is cheaper if it's another store I place that item in a certain spot in my cart and make a note on my list to show me quickly at check out where it is I'm price matching.
It takes a little more time at checkout with my full to the brim shopping cart, but after placeing all non price matching items first I put my items I am price matching on the counter and inform the cashier that I am price matching. I price match my meat - all of it but pork chops, my shampoo and conditioner and multiple food products. I loved it! The cashier even price matched something I forgot about to get me the best deal. (Never has happened before but that lady was great!.)
I felt extremely satisfied with my booty and made it back home to tell Todd right away how much I spent at the store. I spent less then half our monthly food budget! As each week passes I just need to restock on dairy (not cheese since I bought a 5lb brick and cut it up and stuck it in the freezer) and fresh produce from the Sunflower Farmers Market (it's a Trader Joe's for Utah).
I'm tooting my own horn, I'm so proud of myself!
And a good thing, Nihcolette was very well behaved for the hour we were there. (That's right only one hour in the store - bam baby!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I wanted to cry

A little background before I dive in, I am a dedicated "go to the dentist ever 6 months" kinda girl. And ever since I can remember out of all of those many many visits I have only ever once (maybe twice to cover my bases) been told that I didn't have a cavity. I've had a rotten tooth pulled as a child, a bridge put in, multiple fillings of all types even Gold (the dentists like to see that), and a root canal. Not to mention braces and teeth pulled to make room for the rest of my teeth and 4 impacted wisdom teeth extracted. I don't dread the dentist office it';s just routine to go in have them clean me, do x-rays then listen to what work they need to do.

I've been having sensitivity on a right lower back molar. Not to pressure just cold. Example biting on a grape or drinking milk. Same thing started on a left upper back molar. The same one they did work on 6 months ago. My thoughts "Oh great!". So I call the dentist office, set up an appointment and brush W-A-Y more then any human alive should have too.

* I mean I already have an electric Braun toothbrush which the dentist said is the number one choice among his professions because of the way the bristles move. I floss EVERY DAY - out of a full year I have only missed 4 days where I did not floss! I Listerine my mouth and then I take a regular tooth brush and go again!

So after the x-rays, the cleaning and very poor "I'll floss you" job the dentist came to give me the diagnoses. He looks and tells me children are bad for your body (while prego with N I got 12 cavities!) and that I have a genetic gum disease where it starts to recede from the tooth, exposing more tooth and or root. causing it too be more sensitive to sweets and temperature. I guess the good news is that it is only starting on those two teeth mentions earlier. There's nothing he can do, all that can be done is "keep them clean". He said he could prescribe me some higher levels of fluoride - been there, done that, does nothing.

But hey no cavities! I almost said (any of the following could be valid responses that almost made it out of my mouth), "Can I have a second opinion?", "How long have you been doing this?", "Take another look I'm sure your wrong.", "May I see those x-rays", and so on.

I pray N and all of our kids get Todd's teeth they are Superman teeth, impenetrable!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Health and healing have eluded me most my life. I'm not decrepit, or anything, and I can usually work around my handicaps and still be productive in life. My health has, however, always kept me from really doing my best.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me--and the doctors don't really know either. I've been tested for auto-immune diseases, viral, bacterial, psychiatric and neurological diseases. All but the neurological come up as the same thing, "healthy as a horse." I don't suffer from anxiety or depression. I have exceptionally good blood, and the blood banks want me to donate more often. I don't appear to have any serious allergies (with the exception of cats and dogs that make me itch and close off my throat, but that's not a big deal to me), but I am still very sick.

I shake. That's really the best way to describe it. I have instances where my arm will tense up to the point that it vibrates and shakes. These can last for hours--and when they're done, I feel like I've been lifting extremely heavy weights for hours and hours.

Anyways, my disease isn't what's important. I'm more concerned with handling it properly. Given that these have happened for three years now, I recognize the futility of being angry at myself or at my inability to overcome this problem. It's pointless, and quite frankly, life just has some limitations that we cannot get around. You're always gonna need air to breathe, time will always pass, and you're going to die. Really not much point at getting angry or upset about any of those things, and I've come to accept this disease in those terms.

I was mis-diagnosed yesterday by a neurologist, who prescribed me some anti-anxiety medication. A few hours afteer I took that medication--I was having the most visible tremors I've ever had. My wife could tell I was shaking from about 20 yards away. I was playing a game--something I usually do to help me relax and alleviate the shaking. I hadn't even finished turning the game on when my right hand started vibrating.

I realized that I hadn't eaten anything recently, and no one has thought to rule out hypoglycemia as an underlying cause, so I went to grab something to eat. I couldn't stay still long enough to really cut my food--but I did get some of it in. That shaking lasted for about 2 hours. Today wasn't particularly stressful too.

I believe the neurologist simply gave me the wrong thing, and wanted me out of his office as quickly as possible so he could leave early for halloween celebrations. From my view, I've been puzzling over this illness with doctors and medical professionals alike for three years, and three minutes with a patient isn't enough to fully diagnose the problem.

I have learned a few things about medicine through all this doctoring and diagnosing. Nothing can substitute effort and work. Concern and personal attachment often go with that--but in that field, like any other, you need work to be proficient in it.

For difficult problems,they deserve your time and attention. For the routine and mundane tasks, they deserve your focus and gumption. There's no substitute for that. I know, I work in that type of field--where your opinion, ability, and perception are a large part of your paycheck.

I think I've done enough to illustrate that hard work is essential to medicine. There are a few other things that I think make a good healer. The first is faith. You have to believe there's a problem, and that there's a cure. Simple problems should have relatively simple cures (occassional back pain, occassional medication,probably just tylenol). If the cure becomes to complex, and the problem is tolerable or livible, then the cure isn't one,and needs to be improved. My point is, you need to have a measure of faith that something is wrong and that you can help. Even a psychosomatic has a problem--and deserves a measure of empathy and concern. Confusion and ignorance are not a healers primary enemies--that is given to educators, and even someone pretending to be sick should be treated as though they need a cure (a wise physician would recognize that the best cure would be lasting friendships and activities that enrich life in that case, of course)

The next good quality for a healer to have is a complete lack of prejudice. You might have seen the common cold hundereds of times--it might be the height of flu season. Walking into an office and assuming that it is one of these common ailments is wrong. Prescribing and advising treatement for these certainly isn't, but a careful consideration of the actual symptoms is in order--you don't deserve compensation if you're just going to blanket coat your diagnoses. People, from their very beginnings, were not designed to be put through a conveyor belt. Patients deserve your ear. You can know when they're lying, you can ask questions to clarify, but you cannot assume you know what the problem is under any circumstance. Keep a running personal probability table in the back of your mind, use judgment and wisdom, and hope for the best.

Lastly, study all aveneus of treatment. Not just "alternative methods" of healing, but keep up with studies on medications, and on techniques. When appropriate, study the effects of treatments on your patients--even for well known and documented drugs. Our bodies are so complicated that we probably don't fully understand all the implications of an acidic derivative of White Willow Bark on the human body. The chemical came from something of comparable complexity as the human body, and the interaction between those two cannot be simply having the body "tak on" the extra elements it needs to form the complete molecule. Just for those non-medically nerdy readers, I'm actually talking about aspirin here.

Anyway, I don't think doctors are the only ones who should be healers. Friends, co-workers, spouses, and certainly mothers and fathers ought to be healers too. Moms need to know of the problems at school, and discuss treatments with peer groups and other professional mothers. You can never assume that a coworker is depressed simply because you know his girlfriend dumped him--you have to ask questions and help him express his frustration to really determine why he looks bummed out. Not only that, but you need to believe that there is a way to help everyone--even if you can't fully cure their problem.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We all got dressed up this year for Halloween and went to our ward's Trunk-o-Treat. Todd helped take N around to get yummies. He would hold her hand, and she would walk up to someones trunk, smile BIG, and stick her hand in the pile of candy, taking one and placing it in her pumpkin pail. If she was told she could have two pieces of candy she would stick her hand in again and take one more piece, and then smile BIG once more for the candy giver. "It was so cute!" - Todd.
Here's a family picture of us :)

Todd was a Martial Artist, I was Sleeping Beauty (hey I got to wear my wedding jewelry again), and N was the cutest chic there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We finally got a clip of N walking, she's walked further and longer then this but, hey, we got something to show you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shout out for Todd :)

When Todd and I were moving from our first apartment to the one we are in now we needed a kitchen table. We were watching for bargains, visiting D.I. often but still hadn't found anything to our liking. Then we visited a second hand store that use to be where Cherry Lane Keepsakes is now. There was a kitchen table with a leaf and 3 chairs. It was beat up and needed some major love and Todd wanted to be the one to give it to it. I wanted a complete table set....but after talking it over I let him go with the purchase. He sanded the table down and then school started and so did the snow. It stayed hidden under a table cloth for months! Now this last summer, Todd unveiled it, re-sanded it and we started to stain. 4 coats later and dealing with bubbling from the heat, we felt satisfied with the coloring. Time for the finish. Here's a PLUG for spray can Polyurethane - it's amazing, so easy to use, self leveling and quick to dry. I sprayed and sprayed to make sure there was a hearty level on it to protect it from ourselves and N. It dried, Todd assembled and now it's finished! (for the most part, we forgot bout the leaf in the closet :( But when we can and have the room and hopefully a protected place to work on it will match it to the table). We're very happy with how it turned out being our first refinishing project. And we are considering it again in the future. Isn't it pretty :)It's even better in person.

So this is a shout out to a wonderful hubby who convinced me to buy a table that turned out to be a great project and who spent hours sanding it and helping me to finish it on a deadline. We finished it Friday night, we needed it for N's first birthday the following day! Crazy.

N's First Birthday Party

We decided we could not, not have a first birthday party for N and feel good about ourselves, so we invited the neighbors, an old roommate of mine and her husband and little boy Thomas, Lydia and her husband Adam with their little boy, R, who has a crush on N, a co-worker of Todd's with his wife and of course the McNabb's. How could we have a birthday party and not have the little McNabb, N's BFF. When it came to cake time, we put N in her buster seat and lit her birthday candle.

I blew it out for her and pathetically it took me two breaths to extinguish that little flame, I hang my head in shame. But after the song, no more candle N didn't know what to do! So I took her right hand and plopped it onto the cake. Okay......Then I plopped her left hand onto the cake. She seemed to be getting the picture then. She didn't demolish it like how I had pictured it in my head. But stabbed it a few times with a spoon and disfigured about a 1/4 of the cake. Here's a clip of her after she "dug" into it and she seems to be enjoying it. (Notice the table is finished!)

After Cake we opened gifts, well I opened them for her and she played with the boxes. She enjoyed having her little friends with her to celebrate her birthday. Our apartment was at full capacity! (Not that that is difficult to do) But we had a lot of fun. Her are some pictures of N and her guests.
N and T
Say "hello!"
and Alice :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"bonk" and wallpaper?

So N took a tumble yesterday. She was playing the piano and decided to get off by grabbing the unoccupied chair that was right next to the piano bench. She shifted her weight came off the piano bench fell to the floor with the chair landing on her. Traumatizing not just for her! Side note: I think this picture is too funny, the look on her face!

Also She has these cute PJ's that well, remind me of wallpaper. Which in turn made Todd and I think of Steve Martin in The Pink Panther I, where he's "sneaking" into the party near the end of the movie and is wearing that lovely, two sided, full body, spandex number to blend into the curtains. I think N could do the same thing. What do you think?
P.S. N walk half way across the living room today! Amazing. I think it was because I had a french fry in my mouth...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hard days

Some days are tougher than others. Some nights too. I keep asking myself what the best way to deal with them is. Sometimes I find the best way is to get it over with quickly. For days with a lot of small irritating problems, it's best to just get through them quick--like you were tearing off a bandaide. Don't look, don't think, just go quick and get it done.

Today was a day where the band-aide approach was useless for me. I was angry and upset for a good portion of today. That's not typical of me, I don't usually stay angry for very long. Eventually, though, I found the answer. I was angry at myself. Everytime I tried to redirect my anger outward--on a pillow or in a nasty letter--nothing would happen. Once I admitted that I was angry at myself, and acknowledged why I was angry--things started getting better.

Other days are just simply overwhelming. Most the people I know have a large portion of these. I find, for me anyway, the best answer is to rack up rewards. It's a naturally unhealthy condition of human beings to want everything now, and to pay later. Fortunately, this attitude can work in your favor during those days that you're overwhelmed. Figure out what is required of you each day, and make a small reward that you can redeem later for each day you reach that. After that, find a good days work, and make the reward larger.

In my case, I enjoy playing MMO RPG games. I really enjoy them. To help myself maximize my enjoyment of them, I made the time I play those my reward. Everyday that I work more than ten hours, I get to add ten minutes onto my weekly allotment, and I get to add 40 minutes for each hour after ten that I work in a day. Last monday, I had a ton that I needed to get done, and ended up putting in a 15-hour day. Boy, Saturday was fun. I still had more things to do, but it definately helped me take away the feeling of being overwhelmed--knowing that I had already done more than I was comfortable doing.

Maybe that's the real key to it--just creating your own measuring stick for how your day went. You don't need to live up to your boss' expectation, or your parents or teachers, just learn to live up to yours. If it's not good enough for them--explain yourself, and tell them what your limits are. Amazingly enough, teachers, employers, and parents are human too. I'm amazed at how lenient my professors can be when I tell them that I put in three 12 hour days in a week. If you can do that--then you can always have decent days, and a large number of good ones too. Also, the biggest advantage to being your own judge is that if you find yourself having a crappy day, or particularly angry, there's a good chance that you're angry with yourself. From there, it's a simple matter of discovering why you're angry, and forgiving yourself for it.


N took 7 whole steps by herself today with no assistance of any kind! She's on her way! Now we just need to get her on camera...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

12 month check up

N had her 12 month check up recently. She is in the 30% for head circumference, 90% for height and 10% for weight. So the doctor is having us come in at 15 months so he can check her weight. She looks fine! Granted she's only gained 1/3 of a pound since her 9 month check up, she's great. And from what I have heard she's just like the Duke side and just like the Millecam side. Anyways...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

1 Year Old!

N turned 1! Todd and I still can't fathom that one year has past since N joined our little family. We're having a Birthday Party for her the Saturday following Conference weekend, so we'll have more to post on celebrations then but I wanted to take the time to see where N is now.

After being on Earth for a year N has started...
To help feed herself with a spoon during breakfast,

Has started to take her first steps as of Monday Sept 22. Has learn how to climb onto the couch and got herself into the tub yesterday with much less grace...She's also taking an interest in music,

She says "mama" and "dada" and is learning how to imitate animal sounds. She squeaks and squawks and loves to laugh. She loves animals and always wants to pet the stray kittens that live in the lot next door. The park is one of her favorite places to go, and thinking about it by the time she could go down the slides by herself there will be snow :(

N also bends her knees to "dance" when there is music! I love it!

Life matters

I fought depression for several years of my life. Until you change the fundamental way you life--depression is the natural state of life.

My depression started when I was about 12. Actually, it was probably the worst at 12 years old. Before that, I probably could've been classified as having some social disorder. When other kids would play at recess, I would go to the corner of the playground, sit between two trees, and stare out at all the other children playing.

I wasn't much like them. They cared more for games and fun--and I cared more for understanding and observation. By the time fourth grade rolled around, I was already tinkering with the ideas of General Relativity and time dilation. I had a rudimentary understanding of the roll that gravity played in altering the flow of time, and I kept coming up with theories (I was 8 years old, thank you) regarding time travel. I never resolved what I'd do if I ever did have that ability, interestingly enough.

Anyway, the depression hit me hardest when I was twelve and went into Junior High School. I really only had one or two friends in elementary school, and my best friend had moved across the country about two months before Junior High started. I remember the first day getting to the cafeteria and looking around for a familiar face, or for a place that a lone-person could sit with others like himself. I found nothing but a small end of a table with empty seats. I sat there, and spent 45 minutes just staring around the room.

I guess nothing really had changed--except now the children seemed to "play" by talking to each other. On that day--I decided that I wanted to play with the other children. I made it a point to sit next to or with a different group of people each day for nearly a month. I meant some very interesting people--including one friend that I still stay in contact with on a regular basis.

I never really fit in, though. What I wanted to talk about was a little more than beyond the interests of my peers. I found some who would listen--but not intently--and even fewer who would respond. Not surprisingly, I learned to talk about what interested them--rather than myself.

It didn't take long before I felt like I had a very good grasp of my peers. I knew what they feared, what they loved, what they avoided, idolized, believed, and thought--but I never felt like anyone cared about any of that for me. That's probably why I was so depressed. Within a month, I knew hundreds of people, but only two or three even knew my name.

In my neighborhood, things weren't much different. I had learned--as a boy--that my greatest hope for friendship was in the adult population. Many of my friends, as a teenager, were fathers. They would talk with me on my level, and there were many who were kind enough to not talk down to me and to listen to what I had to say. I still had many childish quirks and beliefs, and they helped me with that--but when you're a child, it rarely occurs to you that friendship goes beyond who you talk to in the hallways.

To add to this--I was not a particularly large or strong person--I still am nothing above average. Without a group of people to associate with, or spend time with, and with a naturally quiet disposition, I became a target for teenage malice. This was a cause of great sorrow to me. I think what hurt most was knowing exactly why they were hitting me, and why they wanted to see me break. Some came from broken homes with uncaring parents--and a smaller kid at school was the only release they had for their frustrations at home. Some wanted to prove that they were better than me, mostly so they could feel secure that they were getting more attention than me. Most, however, merely did it because others were, and they didn't want to risk being singled out.

Whatever their reasons, it made me sad. Not that I was the target, necessarily, but the reason for me being targeted. I didn't know as much then as I did now--and that was one question I couldn't get my mind around--why me? The universal answer to that question is: It's not about you, it's about what's doing it to you.

Here's how do answer that question in practice: Why did this earthquake destroy my home? Answer: It's not about you, it's about helping other people get over this tragedy. It's about understanding the damage, the loss, and the pain, and fixing each one in turn.

I didn't really get that until about half way through the school. My first approach to applying this answer was only marginally successful. I saw the bullies and the pain that they caused as the problem. The solution--keep them from causing pain, or stop them all together. You'd be surprised how many people will back down from a fight--even if they're taller and stronger than you. Almost all of it is about intimidation--and I showed them that I didn't care if I got hurt--so long as they shut-up.

I rather quickly took on the roll of a defender for many people. I realized that there were other people who suffered under these bullies. I would stand up for them--I would silence their mockery, or redirect it to myself. This brought me some relief from my depression. In honesty, though, had it not been for the many months of me being mocked, I doubt many of those kids would've known my name--many of them didn't.

I caused myself a lot more pain than I realize. I had become so accustomed to no one taking an interest in me--that I simply assumed that was the way the world was. Interestingly enough--a young woman did take an interest in me. From my understanding, she developed a bit of a crush towards me. In my state of mind, I was completely oblivious to it. It wasn't until one of her immature friends told me about it--with her standing right next to me--that I even considered it to be a possibility. About two or three weeks after that occurred, I finally realized that it was possible that someone could show any measure of interest in me--but still couldn't convince myself that it happened.

People do care about you. Strangers care about you--even if they never know your name. Sometimes, simply giving a smile to a complete stranger is enough to change the course of someone's life. I know relationships that started that way. I have both heard of people, and been the person, who realized that life was worth living because of one kind word. You are loved. You are needed. I may not know you--but you have my love, and my interest.

There is, within us, a divine spark. All of us are born with it. This is the spark that makes us silently pray that we will never have to witness a violent death. This is the spark that makes our hearts fall when we hear the sorrows of others. Most of us have nourished this spark until it has become a small flame that warms our souls. You don't want to see someone brutalized, because somewhere within you at some level, you love them. You say high to a stranger because you have that spark and hope that you'll get a friend out of that contact.

Most of our entertainment today seeks to quell that spark. This is natural--after all, a flame can be very dangerous. We're afraid of being hurt. It's part of the kindling of this flame--not wanting to be hurt ourselves, but some people focus so much on the fear that it incapacitates them. So many people have such a fear of this flame that they seek to extinguish it at the first sign. This is often as unreasonable as never driving a car because of the fire inside the engine.

The real answer to this problem is as follows: we need to channel our desire to love. Unchanneled love leads to heart ache. Once you learn to accept all love given to you with gratitude and graciousness--then you have the capacity to handle any heart break. Periodically renewing that gratitude is the key to it. As for the love you give--make sure it is always in a non-threatening expression. Sexual interaction is most often considered threatening--unless you're married, of course. Start every relationship as if it'll be a life-long friendship, but recognize that you may only see them for a few more minutes. Be happy and grateful for the few minutes you had with them--and never focus on the time you didn't have together.

I worked in a call-center environment quite a few years ago, and I had contact with a man named Mike Pell. Mike Pell had been through hell. He was alone. He was in constant physical pain. He needed some relief, and medication was useless to him at this point. I stood up to my supervisor in order to stay on the line with him and hear him out. I've been lonely, I know what its like to go for months without a single person looking at you, and I know that we all need a listening ear at times.

These are the first few real answers to depression. Your natural state is to talk about your problems, rather than listen to others. You quench your flame when you do that. Most people want to think about themselves, and how to solve their problems. While pondering over solutions to issues you face is a healthy exercise, you should budget the time spent doing so. Focusing on problems keeps us from seeing the other things in our lives.

Lastly, and this is the most practical advise I could offer to anyone suffering from depression, watch the media you expose yourself to. Some of the most heralded and popular songs of our day focus on loss, pain, and misery. Here's an example: I love Lord of the Rings. I think it's well written, imaginative, and entertaining. J.R. Tolkien, however, wrote much of it after being a soldier in World War 1. He will seek to teach you that things can never be as they once were, before the conflict, and that you'll always be scarred from the difficult experiences you were called to go through. This is untrue, and if you don't believe that--then you might as well concede that exposure to that doctrine is not conducive to a happy lifestyle. Listen to the lyrics in songs, pay attention to movies and what they're trying to teach you. Consciously reject what doesn't teach you to be happy, and accept those things that do.

Well, it's 2AM, and I'm starting to get tired. Good night everyone, and feel free to ask me anything you want to.

My blog

Well, everyone else I know has entered the blog-o-sphere, so I might as well. The only time I really have to reflect on things and post about myself is well after my family has gone to bed. The result is my happy insomnia blog!

I currently suffer from insomnia. This wasn't always the case with me. I use to enjoy it. Even staying up until 2 am and being at marching band at 6:30AM didn't really bother me in high school. I read a lot. I was too curious for sleep. There was always one other piece of technology to investigate, one other philosopher to study and read about, one more game to play, one more thought to nibble on.

Not anymore. I'm full of thinking now--quantum physics and differential equation problems can do that to a mind. There are no more games to play: out-smarting a computer doesn't engage my mind, and I don't have the time to spend to compete with loser 15-year-olds with 2.0 GPAs. I don't care to study and learn any more--my curiosity has all but run out.

Why can't I sleep then? I used to think it was just a matter of calming my mind enough to slip away--but my mind is as calm as a morning breeze. I've seen it all, mentally speaking. My mind has stretched to the greatest heights of man, and seen the bottom of the darkest pits. There is no where left to go that will be new to me, it seems.
To avoid the risk of sounding arrogant--I'd like to borrow something that one of my friends said many years ago. She was asking me some rather difficult questions about the direction that her life was taking. I gave some advice, but before I really offered a solution I asked her, "Why do you always come to me for these kinds of things? Why do you just assume that I know the answer?"

"You do! Really, though, since the 6th grade, you've always had the right answer. I think you really do have all the answers."
Well, I'd like the set the record straight now: I don't have all the answers, but I have run out of questions, or know where to find the answer. People don't always agree with the answer, but it doesn't change the validity of things. I can be wrong, and often am--my physics professors can attest to that fact, but this doesn't happen often. I simply have no more questions left to answer for myself. I've covered all the big ones: What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? Will the Brady bunch ever be popular again? What are the implications of having a large abundance of an oddly shaped bi-polar molecule permeate every aspect of our lives?

I simply have run out of questions.

I don't know why I suffer from insomnia. I have a very happy and comfortable life. I have a wonderful wife, and the cutest little girl you might ever see. They both love me, and smile as soon as they see me. Sometimes I can quiet my brain, sometimes I can't--but sleep doesn't seem to come anyway. I'm not scared of anything--even death doesn't bother me anymore. I don't hold grudges, and I don't have a problem letting difficulties and problems of the past go. Why can't I sleep then?

I'm really quite content with life--I just can't sleep. I've tried herbal teas, relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis techniques, routines, staying away from my bed during the day, but nothing seems to really motivate me to sleep. I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow about it, but I wonder how much good it'll do.

So, that's why I'm here. I'm gonna spend the extra time in my unusually long days just talking. Feel free to listen, or ask. I welcome new questions, enjoy answering old questions, and I love a challenge.



Friday, September 19, 2008

Do Your Research!

Todd and I have been experiencing an increase in back pain for about the last year. We'll we've never really been comfortable but it's been getting worst. The problem? Our mattress!
When Todd and I first got married we didn't have a bed, we actually slept on a blow up mattress that we borrowed from his sister Camille for about 3 weeks. I was trying to find something we could afford and came upon an ad telling me of a warehouse in Murry that would take the extra mattress sets that were the results of over stock, wrong orders, etc. We went, we saw, we bought the first King we laid on and that felt comfortable.
Now had we done our research completely, we would have tried some out at other stores near by, found out our sleep number to decide if we needed something, hard, soft or in the middle. But as most newly weds are I would think, we just wanted to get off the floor and into a bed as soon as possible.
The bed came at a steal of a deal, but when delivered, in order to get into the basement apartment we lived in, had to be slightly bent which caused a few springs to spring out of place. We would flip the bed every few months as instructed but the lack of support was starting to wear.
Now 3 1/2 months shy of the 2 year mark that we have had it, we wake up in pain, having a bear of a time just to move our bodies out of bed. We're trying to buy a memory foam topper through KSL just to help us get through 2 more years before we can think about replacing the entire bed.
So word to the mattress seeking pairs, take your time, find out what you like! I'm not saying the overstock warehouses are bad, in fact when we do go to look again I will peruse them again. Just do your research!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A sign of things to come?....

I'm hoping that N's display of love toward Todd today is a sign that sharing will be an easy concept for her to grasp......but I'll keep praying just to cover my bases.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's not the chicken pox...

So N does not have a stomach virus, but she does have Roseola. Her fever broke and then yesterday we noticed a rash on her stomach and back. First thoughts, chicken pox. But after going to the doctors today, and waiting in the car (because if it was chicken pox they didn't want to spread it) Dr. C informed me that it was Roseola. She was only contagious while she had her fever, now that it is over and she's spotted red, she's okay to take out in public. Kinda funny. But we still are giving her Tylenol to help with her discomfort for the next 3 days.

This isn't N but it show's you what she looks like right now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sick "Wee One-der"

N was running a slight temp for 2 1/2 days and then Monday night it peaked to 102 degrees. I call the after hours doctors line and the nurse says really all I can do since she's just cranky and runny a temp is give her Tylenol. Right after I hang up the phone, N gets really cranky and then not 5 mins pass and she vomits all over the kitchen floor! She's never emptied her entire stomach before so I was on the phone again with after hours setting up an appointment for N to be seen while I'm taking her to the tub to wash up. She normaly goes to be between 7 and 7:30 pm. Poor wee one was out like a short like on the living room floor at 6:30pm. I had to wake her up and take her in for her 7:30 pm appointment. She has a stomch virus it looks like :( Just have to help her while it passes, but to "keep an eye on it" because "things like this can turn into appendicitis" !!!! What a way to freak a mom out. But I know that this probably wont turn into that.

P.S. When we got back from Arizona for Grandma's funeral we noticed Todd's bike had been stolen! Right when we had the money to fix the brakes and replace the chain and fix the tires for school, it gets stolen. Great! I guess no evening rides for me :(

Monday, September 1, 2008


I got tagged by Emily! So here I go.

The Rules:-Link the Person who Tagged you-Mention rules on your blog-Tell about 6 quirks of yours-Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same-Leave a comment to let them know.

1. My daughter grinds her teeth and it just urks me!

2. I wish it was acceptable by societies standards to assist the elderly population with plucking the long chin hairs they are oblivious to. Sometimes I just want to grab some tweezers and pluck them out! Poor old people.

3. When I get really excited I tend to bring my hands to my mouth and have my fingers all touching tips. Todd thinks it's cute.

4. I love the way Q-Tips feel when I clean my ears. Oh, so gooooood.

5. I have this habit of slapping my sister on the butt when I'm there visiting, it's become a challenge between us. Todd doesn't like it when she slaps mine. "No, no I don't."-Todd

6. I'm an organization freak! I love labels and special compartments and having order to everything. (When I'm at Home Depot or Lowe's I have to stop and look at the Closet Organizers and dream :) IKEA has great ideas too! To Organize, is my passion. I'm great at packing too! I can fit just about anything and eveything you need to in the space provided. I love the challenge.

I would like to know the quirks of: Andrea, Calli, Mitch, Lindsey, and Amber

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How we miss thee

My friend A. moved yesterday taking her husband, P., Todd's coworker, home teacher, and friend, and their daughter, N's best friend, with her. Not that I blame her, I'd take my family too if I was moving, and getting out of Provo..... Can't wait for a house warming shin-dig!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Spiders and bath water

The other day while N and I were waiting in the car for Todd to get something from his desk at work, I got out of the car and went to the back seat to check on N. I got her little blanket our of the diaper bag and flung it onto her lap. Right afterwards a ugly spider crawled out of it on her lap! I panicked and flung it on to the seat next to her. Then it crawled into a crack and I couldn't kill it. I hope it died of heat stroke. Wrong, yes but eh!
Then while N was taking her bath that night she discovered that if she folds herself in half she can drink the bath water! Sick!
(I'll post pictures once the camera battery is recharged).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

AZ Trip Part 1.33

N and I "shared" a queen size blow-up mattress. I was on the very edge and she had about 3 1/2 feet all to herself but spent most of the time right up against me. Plus I was always checking to make sure she was by me and ok.And here is Todd with his niece. What a happy baby!

AZ Trip Part 1

We went to AZ for about 2 weeks and SO MUCH happened! First, we left at 3:40 A.M! to get to AZ which turned out to be a good thing because of all the road construction that we would have had to wade through had the workers been up bright and early to be there. We made great time and N did great! Better then our last trip. Then we went Camping for the 4th of July with Todd's brother Nate and his family, Kristen, L, and S, and Todd's oldest brother Ryan and his boy, M. With N crawling she wanted to get down and dirty, but I didn't want her to.
Since we were camping by Lake Knoll we decided to go swimming. The kiddies, minus S who was eating, had a blast! I would dangle N slightly above the water so her feet and hands would splash, she loved it. But I think M liked throwing rocks in the water best of all. When it came time to make the fire for dinner we realized no one brought ketchup or mustered for the hot-dogs and no gram crackers for the smores. I think my father-in-law said it best, "That's what happens when you let the guys pack".

Friday, July 18, 2008

AZ Trip Part 1.66

Here is Ryan and "The Soph". (One popular baby).

And Miles.

AZ Trip Part 2

When we got back to the valley, we were go, go, go! We had two kiddie birthday parties to do and the 4th of July to celebrate. Sierra whose 6th birthday was on the 4th and M who was turning 3. Between mom pumping out cakes (AMAZING!), dad and Greg BBQ-ing (MOUTH-WATERING!), and sister-in-laws baking and cutting and poster making (W-O-W!) the parties were a hit. I think N and her cousin S were the best dressed for the occasion. (I need a pic of S Anyone...)
We even got in the pool (poor L is allergic to the chlorine and got a rash ALL OVER her body, but the 3 year old did say, "Daddy, I want a rash") N first time "swimming" and it was a blast! Todd loved taking her around and being the one to experience first hand this momentous occasion with her.

AZ Trip Part 3

Then when I thought things might just slump, it turns out N had gotten into some smiley face stickers and eaten one. It was smiling at me amongst not so empty a diaper the next day....hahaha.
(Don't worry no picture of this).

N also got more teeth. #5 and #6. Be careful, she bites (and it hurts...). But thanks to her Uncle Greg she got to put those teeth to good use eating pretzel chips and hummus! She's addicted now....hahaha.
And to my dismay, N is going through the "Your not my mommy" stage. It gets hard to pass her off, or next to impossible. If I can put her down and she's not distracted and I try walking away she freaks out. My sister-in-law Michelle says that the earlier they do the separation anxiety the better. But as much as I'm glad she wants me and loves me, it's overload sometimes, but I love her. I feel bad for Todd sometimes it's just "mamama" and she just cries with him. Well before we know it all she'll want is him to play with.

AZ Trip Part 4

N in the tub. She LOVES bath time!

AZ Trip Part 5

On Saturday night Todd and I were able to get together with my old roommate Laura and her husband Greg. Because of the Monsoons the humidity was very high! But honestly I was so eager and happy to see Laura and Greg again I didn't care and I'd do it again! (That's love my friends.) They moved to AZ for law school. So between school and work they are busy. And Laura just changed jobs! Good luck Laura, your great and amazing and will do an outstanding job! Laura has one of the most personal, uplifting, cheerful, contagious personalities, people are just drawn to her. Good luck to you both and I can't wait to see you again! Who knows Greg, maybe you'll find more money on the ground..

A pose to remember college days..

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I've been trying to get a new blog with pictures and a short video up for a least 2 weeks, but things kept keeping me from finishing it so look for a very long and AMAZING blog update on about the 15th-ish after we get back to Utah from our Arizona trip.

Monday, June 30, 2008

and she's OFF!

That's right N is crawling! In one week she learned how to crawl and now is just working on increasing her speed. Here's a video clip of her on her one week mark of crawling.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

many many things

N and her toddler friend "played" with each other on Sunday while we had game night with P and A. N and their daughter didn't have enough of each other so we planned a play date on Thursday. They were all smiles and N loved having another baby to squawk at.
More fun and feel good news, N grabbed onto the piano bench on Wednesday and pulled herself from her butt to her feet! We are so proud of her! Aunt Missy thinks N will go straight to walking. Maybe...
Although N doesn't crawl or walk yet she's still getting into things. Here's one of my favorite pictures.
Oh and N is attched to her monkey Grandma gave her.

I'm one step closer to getting the bow site up. Todd help me registered and now I'm in the process of taking pictures and making the site "mine". We're going through Etsy right now because the web site we are creating though our server is taking some time and I want to get this started. Keep an eye out for my notice when I'm up and running. Here's a dazed picture of N, but I think it's cute. She's wearing a bow I put together. Enjoy!

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....