Monday, March 30, 2009

Yes, Hunter is Cool

This is a fluffy post for the most part, just a response to a comment left on the last post. Hunter is one of the coolest kids I know. He went through a phase a couple of weeks ago when he wore these glasses ALL the time. Kind of Bono-esque I think.

I'm pretty sure he knows he's cool.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Memories of Youth

I just sat down at the computer and looked out the window behind me. There are big FAT snowflakes falling from the sky in wet, white clumps. Anyone looked at a calender lately? It's almost April. We should be gearing up for pool season! I am so not made for winter.

Last week the weather was beautiful...60s and 70s, even after the sun went down the boys were still outside playing. With all their boyness, they helped Papa chop up a tree and haul the logs back to the wood pile. The payoff was sweet: rides around the yard in the wheelbarrow.

As I watched them cruising around I recalled moments just like this with my own grandpa. I will bet you a batch of those brownies from a couple posts back that the inventor of the wheelbarrow had no idea he was creating a prop for childhood memories. He just thought he was making it easier to haul stuff.

I just paused my post-writing to do some wheelbarrow research. It was invented in ancient Greece around 400 BC and was called a hyperteria monokyklou (translated as "one body for a one-wheeler"). It was adopted by the Romans and later appeared in medieval Europe sometime between 1170 and 1250. It filtered on down from there. It's a pretty cool invention really, though I can't imagine the little Greek and Roman kids ever got rides around the yard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Boys

Several people asked me after Matt died "How do you get out of bed in the morning?" This is my secret: I have 3 phenomenal little boys who make me laugh, cry, yell, play, share secrets, sigh, tickle, snuggle, yell, read, daydream, hug, kiss, wrestle, run, jump, did I mention yell?, think, tell stories, love...and if that wasn't enough to get a person out of bed every morning, there's the laundry. ;)

Our neighbors took Brigham and Hunter fishing for the first time. They were so excited. They almost caught a fish this big. They're pretty much the cutest kids ever. (quotes are from

"Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find
a delightful creature of a boy."

"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll
turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes"

"Panic, chaos, work here is done."

"Boys are found everywhere... on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to. A boy is truth with dirt on its face, beauty with a cut on its finger, wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."

"There's a special place in Heaven for a mom of all boys."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

They're THAT Good

Today's post comes with a shout out to Kim in Seattle. You have improved the quality of my life and I thank you. For everyone else, let me pass along the favor:

It's a brownie. Possibly one of the best I have ever eaten. You too can have this brownie in your life. Well, not this exact one, but one very much like it. Here's how:
1. Mix a box of brownies (9x13 size) according to the package
2. Pour 1/2 the brownie batter into a 9x13 pan
3. Layer 3 huge "Symphony" bars on top of the batter
4. Smooth remaining batter over the candy bars and seal candy bars by making sure they are completely covered by the batter
5. Bake according to package instructions
Some helpful hints, the original recipe calls for the bars with toffee and almonds. I couldn't decide if I would like these or the plain bars better, so I used toffee with almonds on one side and plain on the other. I'm a bit of a puritan, so I ended up liking the plain side better. Also, if you are using a 9x13 pan with rounded corners you will not be able to fit all 3 of the candy bars whole. Trim one vertical (long-wise) row off one of the candy bars, then everything will fit.
These really are that good. Brigham could hardly contain himself as he waited for them to cool. "Could I please just have a little practice bite?" he asked. Seriously, give them a try. When they're done, you're gonna wanna kiss me full on the lips.
And now, the treadmill awaits...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happiness vs. Optimism

My laptop has a bug. I haven't been posting because all the stories I have to share right now require photos that are on my laptop. But a little while ago I was flipping through a chick mag and something I read in it actually brought me greater clarity and insight and requires no photographic narration. (FYI it was Redbook. Incidentally, I took a "what kind of writer are you" quiz on Facebook yesterday and the result was Jane Austen. Would she read Redbook?)

Most of you know that I was recently back home for more meetings and negotiations with attorneys and the trucking company. You may remember from a previous post that I thoroughly enjoy my attorneys. Hanging out with them for hours on end is not painful, which is good, because this go around lasted 10 hours STRAIGHT. As we sat around eating trail mix and making jokes, one of my attorneys said, with what I think may have been a tiny bit of awe and wonderment, that he's never known anyone who could say such depressing things with such a big smile on their face. (Keep up, he was referring to me.) He determined that the two conflicted and couldn't possibly coexist. Either my negative comments were a lie or the smile and laughter were.

Now, it should be said that I would never, I repeat NEVER, claim to be an optimist. But I don't think I'm truly a pessimist either.

The Redbook article that has me feeling so validated today says that ideally happiness and optimism go hand in hand, but not necessarily. A little bit of pessimism can help us prepare for setbacks and tragedies and can be an effective coping mechanism for stressful times in our lives. When we have this attitude, but combine it with perspective, it's easier to be happy while still addressing the challenges of life.

If realists actually exist, I'm one of those. I have myself convinced that I will be alone for the rest of my very long life, that I will be diagnosed with cancer in 5 years and that I will lose one of my children before adulthood, probably because one of them has whacked another over the head with something sharp and rusty. Which is ridiculous, right, because how could THAT much bad stuff happen to one person after all the stuff that I'm already dealing with? But we can't be naive. It is possible. Job's not just a story in the Bible.

In spite of it all, I can't help but laugh easily, loudly and often because I probably don't really believe the negative stuff I say.

Maybe that's how someone can say such dreary things with such a big smile on their face: I say it, but I don't really mean a word of it. But then again, it could all play out exactly as I've told myself it will...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Toothless Grin

Brigham has been working on a loose tooth for a couple of weeks. It's been loose, but hasn't shown any signs of going anywhere. While I was gone, Hunter punched Brigham in the mouth and out came the tooth. He put it on his night stand (he was afraid if he put it under his pillow the Tooth Fairy would wake him up) and scored $2.

Before I could have someone take a picture, the other front tooth came out. I was so bummed that I missed the photo op that I tried to make him stick it back in yesterday when I got back into town to stage a picture. He wouldn't have anything to do with that idea, so this is all I've got:

Not wanting me to miss everything, Brigham decided to hang on to the 2nd tooth an extra night so he could show it to me. After having it for a little while longer than he had the other one, he didn't really want to part with it at all. But he still wanted some money. Oh the dilemmas of a 6 year old boy! I suggested he try negotiating with the Tooth Fairy. This is what he came up with:

Brigham's Tooth Fairy is SO accommodating! He got $1 and the tooth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Paddy's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I just got back today and have a dozen things to catch up on, but had to take time out for some Seth pics.

This is seriously the cutest leprechaun I have ever seen.

And watching American Idol. Really.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hiatus #2

I've been feeling like I've abandoned you.  I am out of town again-back to the Valley of the Sun- for a few days.  I meant to post this before I left, so you wouldn't expect anything new, and I just didn't get it done.  Life.  I'll be in touch next week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have reached a new low. It's confession time, are ya ready for it? I just had Dr. Pepper and Fruit Loops for dinner. This time I'm going to say it's okay to judge me. I knew it was wrong when I did it and yet I did it anyway...

At least this isn't the high for the day. Earlier today I tried on a shirt I needed to have some alterations made on. I think it's a pretty normal shirt, but when Hunter saw it he said, "Are you a princess?" "Do I look like a princess?" I asked. "No," said Hunter, "Maybe more like a superhero."

Regardless of what you allow yourself to eat for dinner every now and again, if your kid can't decide whether he sees you more as a princess or a superhero, you're doing alright.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

6 Months and 1 Day Ago

I've been feeling guilty all weekend for not posting, but I couldn't think of anything to write that wasn't incredibly depressing or negative. Yesterday was the 6 month mark since Matt's accident. Tonight I found myself browsing through old photos and I thought I'd post some favorites from back when we were just a normal family.

Hunter's 3rd birthday, the boys were just being goofy boys:

My little couch potatoes. The family that plays video games together...(I don't have an ending for that.)

Pictures of Matt and me together are rare. How sad is that? (Right now go make an appointment to have pictures taken of you and your spouse. I'm serious.) Remember the lyrics I posted a little while ago, The Prayer of A Common Man, by Phil Vassar? Well, meet Phil Vassar. Funny story: Phil has been a favorite of mine for quite sometime. (That's his tour bus we're hanging out on.) Last summer he got divorced. When I told Matt, he said "You're leaving me for Phil Vassar aren't you?" He does play a mean piano...

Though they're on regular film, we have tons of pictures of Brigham and Matt together when Brigham was little. For some reason we don't have as many of Hunter and Matt, so I really appreciate the ones we do have. In case you can't tell, they are playing the piano together. I especially love this one for the sweet expression on Matt's face. That's a guy who loves his kids.

While I wish there were more, especially of Matt and me, what a blessing it is to have pictures to illustrate moments in life we would otherwise forget.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

For the Greater Good

I've been debating whether or not to post this because I'm vain and these are not great pictures of me. But I have decided that for the greater good of hilarious story telling, I will over look my appearance in favor of the post (I was laughing too hard to keep my chins in check). I am also going to keep my comments to a minimum, so if you want to just scroll through the photos like they're a short film you can.

Here's some background: As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, Hunter is usually the bully of the family. He's only 3, but the kid is insanely strong. He has completely knocked me over on more than one occasion. Instances of Hunter being the victim are few and far between, so much so that when the following scenario went down during Sunday's family photo shoot, my sister opted to keep the camera rolling over helping the poor kid. Pay close attention to the action going on between Hunter and Seth.

This last picture is absolutely priceless to me. Hunter has been put in his place and Seth is the reigning King of the Mountain.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hunter's Little Secret

Hunter will either keep me young or age me before my time, I can't decide which. Last night when I was putting him to bed I discovered one of his little secrets. He didn't like the book I chose to read to him, but he didn't want to get up to pick a different one. I didn't either, so I opted to make one up instead. "Do you want to hear a story about a little boy named Hunter who lives in a castle and chases dragons?" "No," says he, "I don't wike dat story." How 'bout the one about the little boy named Hunter who goes fishing in the ocean? Who goes on a pirate ship? Who hunts lions in Africa? No, no, no.

How 'bout a story about a little boy named Hunter who goes on a stage and gets to sing a song with the Wiggles? Can you believe it, that one was a winner! So I proceeded to make up a story with the afore mentioned plot line. A little boy named Hunter goes to a Wiggles concert...blah blah blah. I got to the end of the story and Hunter said, "I wike dat one. Read it again." So I told it all over again and he went to sleep happily. Now it's common knowledge around here that Hunter LOVES the movie "Enchanted" (I bought the boys kazoos the other day. Hunter played his in the car for awhile, then proudly announced "That was the Gisele song!") and he sits still through American Idol, but I think we might be developing a pattern now. My little bully loves singing and dancing!

This morning the Easter Bunny picked up High School Musical for Hunter's Easter basket. I'm sure it will be an instant favorite.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We Are Family

This is all I have for you today, just a brand-spankin new snapshot of three little men...and me.