Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm actually proud of this creation

When Lydia was born, I made her a quilt, because I had the time. When Rafe was born I did not make him a quilt. But I wanted him to have something I made for him, so over the last six months I've been working on this quilt. I finished this a few days before Christmas and he loves it. I think it turned out so well.
The color on this one is off. But I don't know how to fix it. Come by my house and I will gladly show off my creation.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Princess Lydia

I can't be the only mother of a preschool-aged girl who is frustrated with the Disney princess costumes. They are a) low quality and b)they don't cover up those little bodies.
So over a year ago, I decided to make  a princess dress by myself.
It took me awhile, but I finished it on Christmas Eve (it was such a hack job) and then had to fix it (still a hack job). Lydia loves it, and has no idea that it is made very, very badly.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Silly Rafe

Because you haven't seen pictures of my children in too long.

And here's a little story about Rafe that I wasn't present for, but is too good not to share. Thanks to Adam's mom for passing the story along.

One evening while I was in the hospital, Adam and the kids ate over at his parents' house. After dinner, Rafe was rough-housing with his grandpa (because he's an active almost-three-year-old), and climbed up onto the couch and from there onto Grandpa's shoulders. He then proceeded to ask for a piggy-back ride (I going to guess that it was more of a demand than a request, but manners have never been Rafe's strong suit). Adam's dad obliged, but said, under his breath, 

"This is more a shoulder ride, not really a piggy-back ride." 

Lydia chased Grandpa around during Rafe's ride, and then it was her turn. He threw her over his shoulders and ran around the room, chased this time by Rafe. After carting my surprisingly solid kids around the room, he naturally wanted a rest, and sat down. Rafe immediately asked for another piggy-back ride. Adam's Dad said no because he needed to rest and that Rafe had already had a piggy-back ride. Rafe piped up and said 

"That was not a piggy-back ride. It was a shoulder ride." 

Apparently after the adults stopped laughing he did get another ride.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lydia's Book

During one of my (many) doctor's appointments, Lydia wrote and colored this little book. She dictated while Katie wrote down every word verbatim. She even came up with the title, which I thought quite poetic. Maybe we have a budding authoress?


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An evening in the life

This makes me laugh - I wrote it probably a year ago and I'm trying so hard to...I don't eloquent or something. Overdone doesn't even begin to describe it. But it's also an interesting peak back in time. These days, once bedtime is complete, the kids do not get out of bed. They just fall right asleep. Thank goodness.

I'm lying on my bed, having just finished putting the kids to bed, listening to the sounds of the house. The dryer is running, as is the dishwasher, creating a humming drone as background to the sounds of the kids in their beds. Rafe half-sings (half-moans) a tuneless E-I-E-I-O and Lydia is testing some new words. "Obvious. Obvious. Obvious. I just grabbed what was HANDY. It was handy so I brought it."
So peaceful.
Maybe not so peaceful. The four-year-old has broken free of the confines of her bed and comes to ask a boon. I guess I should find out what she wants before sending her back.
Request denied. Wailing ensued. Peace destroyed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Stupidly easy trick

It may be news to you that my legs don't work so hot right now. I not-so-lovingly refer to them as "those tubes of meat down below my hips." In addition, my knees have shown a tendency to buckle at random moments. As a result, walking at all, and particularly using stairs, is...difficult at best.

A couple weeks ago, while I was making my way carefully down the stairs, one of my knees gave out and I pitched headfirst down the stairwell. By some miracle, Adam happened to be walking up the stairs at the time and caught me before I smashed my skull open. Talk about knight in shining armor.

After this terrifying incident, whenever I needed to go downstairs, I would just sit on the top step and scoot down one stair at a time. It was clunky, but safe.

My doctor had me sign up for some physical therapy sessions. He found out how I was approaching the stairs and chuckled.

"Can I teach you a trick?"

Me, eagerly: "Of course."

"When you're standing at the top, turn around, hold the bannister, and walk down backwards."


So simple it's stupid.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Originally written approximately 10 months ago - April 2014?

Over the past year, I have been lucky enough to serve as a teacher in the Young Women's organization in my ward. I have been so inspired by their kind and loving hearts, their strength in the gospel and their desires to do good. There are not cliques among our Young Women - they treat each other as best friends and sisters in the gospel. In all honesty, I have learned much more from them than they could ever learn from me. I was particularly grateful for this sacred calling this last Sunday, when I was teaching my Beehives about blessings we receive through the power of the priesthood. As part of my preparation for teaching this lesson, I read a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks about the way the priesthood should be used in the church and the family. Although I didn't end up using this during my lesson, I feel that I was inspired to read over this great talk, primarily because of this section, where he talks about how his mother raised he and his siblings after the death of his young father:

The faithful widowed mother who raised us had no confusion about the eternal nature of the family. She always honored the position of our deceased father. She made him a presence in our home. She spoke of the eternal duration of their temple marriage. She often reminded us of what our father would like us to do so we could realize the Savior’s promise that we could be a family forever.
I recall an experience that shows the effect of her teachings. Just before Christmas one year, our bishop asked me, as a deacon, to help him deliver Christmas baskets to the widows of the ward. I carried a basket to each door with his greetings. When he drove me home, there was one basket remaining. He handed it to me and said it was for my mother. As he drove away, I stood in the falling snow wondering why there was a basket for my mother. She never referred to herself as a widow, and it had never occurred to me that she was. To a 12-year-old boy, she wasn’t a widow. She had a husband, and we had a father. He was just away for a while.
I anticipate that glorious future day when the separated will be reunited and all of us will be made complete as the Lord has promised. I testify of Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, whose priesthood authority and whose Atonement and Resurrection make it all possible, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I have the hope that if God's plan is indeed for me to leave my children and husband this early in our lives, they will grow up with the belief that they have a mother, she's just away for a while. And when our separation is over, we will be joyfully reunited for eternity.

If you have any questions about my beliefs, go to or

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Old drafts

I have a couple posts that I never published, written 6 months to a year ago. Does anyone object if I publish those basically as is - out of context and unedited?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Date your Spouse

Adam and I have never been very good at going on "dates." When we were dating, we just hung out, ate Wendy's, and watched movies. When we were newly married we mostly played video games (slightly embarrassing admission) together. When we moved to Indiana, we never had babysitters, so we again watched movies, or did other "at-home-dates." But since we moved back to Utah (Especially since we're living with my Mom), there is a seemingly endless supply of willing and eager babysitters, and even some who have bankrolled dates for us.


It is so nice to get away with just your spouse for awhile. To not worry about your kids. To not be in the mess and clutter of your bedroom. To talk and laugh like you used to when you were dating.

We've had a few dates recently that have just been awesome.

When we first moved back to Utah, some (overwhelmingly kind and fun) friends invited us to go to Wicked with them in Salt Lake. Adam isn't really a musical person, but I am, so I was really excited. We met up for delicious German food next door to The Capitol Theatre at Siegfried's before the performance. Good food, good company, good entertainment - nothing not to love. We all enjoyed ourselves a ton and since then got together for a weekend at our cabin (got to do again). Thanks for such a great date, Rachel and Dorian!

Back in the fall (maybe November?), Katie and Sterling invited us to stay with them in Sterling's boss' timeshare in Park City. Good times were had by all. We ate good food, played fun games, watched a movie, ate more food, and just generally had a blast.

For Christmas, my brother Clark generously gave us a date - he said to pick a day, and he'd plan the whole date for us. So we called him up one Friday and asked if it was too late to get one planned for that evening. He rose to the occasion. He went above and beyond. He got us reservations at a fantastic restaurant in Heber called Snake Creek Grill, to start with, and told us to order whatever we wanted, really - appetizers, desserts, etc. We took him up on that and spent way too much of his money. We ate elk. It was delicious! Who knew? And I ordered an Australian whitefish that I just had to look up the name for because I had forgotten. Barramundi. It was fantastic as well. The whole atmosphere was so lovely and we felt so pampered. We chuckled at ourselves because we were expecting (based on Yelp reviews) a cowboy restaurant - maybe barbeque? but it was a very upscale establishment and we probably should have been wearing something nicer than jeans...wheps. Then we drove back down to Provo and went to The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch (fist pump) which was also fantastic. Such a nice evening. Best brother ever.

I have great aunts and uncles. Another date we went on was sponsored by Joe and Kathleen - my Dad's sister and her husband. They wanted to go to an Opera at Utah Opera and asked the resident Opera expert, Adam which one they should go to as relative newbies to the Opera scene. In addition to a recommendation, they asked us to go with them. Once again, it was so fun and exciting to spend time with Adam and with my great relatives. The Opera was beautiful (The Pearl Fishers) by Bizet, with a couple duets that I know well and other licks that aren't famous, but still lovely. We know of the tenor, and were really happy with the production.

For Adam's 30th birthday, we decided to utilize another incredibly kind Christmas gift, this one from Adam's brother Nate and his wife Kristine. They had gotten us a night at "the last B&B in Provo," called Hines Mansion. We had such a cozy and relaxing retreat. After eating at Carrabba's, we opened gifts and ate salted caramel cheesecake with chocolate ganache in our room (ground floor, no stairs!). In the morning, our hostess fed us delicious Cream-cheese French toast with Strawberries and we went home to our children. Adam was happy because no one made a big fuss about his birthday and he didn't have to hear the birthday song, and I was happy because it was just so relaxing and fun (and I think it's the first time since we've met that he's really enjoyed his birthday).

Finally, just this last week Adam and I got to go to The Count of Monte Cristo at BYU thanks to the kindness of my cousin Eden. It was such an enjoyable night out together. It felt, once again, like we were dating or newly married. Thank you, Eden!

And this weekend, assuming I get out of this dratted hospital in time, we're planning on going to Barefoot in the Park at HCTO as part of yet another Christmas gift.

Go on dates with your spouse. I mean it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What to do when you've got time on your hands

Things I have come up with to do in the hospital:

  • Miss my family
  • Learn how to crochet
  • Work on a service project my Mom brought over
  • Eat (i.e. order all the desserts on the menu for lunch just because I can)
  • Read (now taking good book suggestions). Working through The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • Watch random Netflix shows (Storage Wars so far)
  • Write thank you notes/I love you notes
  • Record myself reading Charlotte's Web for kiddos
  • Go to the bathroom all the time (they're pumping me full of fluids)
  • Watch a movie eventually...if I can figure out a dvd player situation - if not, Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing might come through in a pinch.
  • Make these 
  • Read Scriptures
  • Plan how I would spend money I don't have on Rafe's birthday presents (he's going to be 3!)
  • Get annoyed at the physical therapists who made me walk around the floor without even asking.
  • Contemplate the possibility of losing my hair...again.
I have not yet resorted to playing on my phone or wasting time on the internet. Aren't you proud?

Also, remind me to brag to the internets about the quilt I made for Rafe and the Princess dress I made for Lydia.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What to do when it stops working

I kind of left you hanging there, didn't I. 6 months later...  Rest assured that it's because we have been having some great family time. Maybe someday I'll go back and document our epic cross-country road trip, (during which I was the worst traveler of our band of four) complete with food tour of Western New York (Valley Inn, Wegman's, and authentic Buffalo wings), 3-stop church history tour, watching/listening to Frozen probably 5 times, and meeting with our dear friends traveling the other direction for dinner and side-by-side rooms at our hotel ). It's a possibility that some other day I'll talk about the family reunions, wedding, Shakespearean festival, Timpanogos Storytelling festival, and more that happened this summer. I could share our Halloween costumes (Rafe: Elephant, Lydia: Purple Ballerina Hippo) and our three (3!) Thanksgivings. I should actually get around to posting about Lydia's birthday, because Rapunzel came and it was magical (easiest birthday party ever). Christmas was crazy but great. New Year's at the Cabin was great. Maybe I'll even post pictures of these events! But I don't have those pictures with me right now, so instead I'll give you a little update on how things are going and then move on to happier things. 

I'm in the hospital! Yay, right...? While the treatment that I've been getting for the last 6 months has done a surprisingly good job (the little methatrexate that could) and has kept the cancer in my spine and brain at bay to some extent, recently my symptoms have gotten noticeably worse. My legs are essentially tubes of meat (that twitch occasionally to remind me that they are there, but are otherwise mostly numb but still inexplicably in pain). My balance is off. I fall. And almost fall. And then my knees buckle I fall again, until the terror of falling means I just stay sitting. Reliance on my rollerator (rolling walker) outside the house is a must (thank you Kayleen!) and a cane indoors helps me cross the treacherous space between the fridge and counter in the kitchen - not to mention that gaping chasm that is the living room. For a few days, I went down the stairs on the seat of my pants to avoid pitching headfirst to my doom, until my physical therapist suggested something I should have come up with on my own - just walk down backwards.

So the previous treatment isn't working anymore. This week I'll be in the hospital getting a slightly different but more brutal treatment to see if we can catch the cancer with its pants down.

Wish me luck!