Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A promise fulfilled

A few weeks ago, as I attempted to hold Emma on my lap during Sacrament Meeting, I couldn’t help admiring her. I ran my fingers through her long, honey colored locks and appreciated the petite features of her face. Her cheeks tinted with the perfect shade of rose. Her deep brown eyes framed by long dark lashes. Her little, perfectly formed lips set right below the button nose she inherited from me and directly above the subtle cleft in her chin from her father.

As I finished my appraisal, I was not prepared for the overwhelming feelings of love for her that suddenly rushed over me. I tried to blink back the tears that burned in my eyes as I thought about that little being on my lap. To me, she embodied complete and utter perfection.

I recalled the promise I had been given in a priesthood blessing during my difficult pregnancy with her. The promise stated that "even though I would have more difficulty and more trials before the pregnancy was through, I would find much joy in the spirit that was to be a part of our family and all that I was going through would be worth it in the end."

Now, I had different tears to blink away.

Sitting there in Sacrament Meeting I realized that my Father in Heaven’s promise to me had been fulfilled. All of the pregnancy aches & pains, plus the wicked migraines and varicose veins that felt like someone shoving hot rods down the back of my legs were worth every inch of the perfection sitting on my lap.

Happy (belated) Birthday, Emzies. We couldn’t have asked for a better baby girl than you.

The Cake.
 A strawberry cake with vanilla frosting topped with Ni Hao-Kai Lan (Emma's Chinese tutor :)

Good thing Dallin and Ben were there to help blow out her candle.

Emma with her favorite gift from Pop Marlin & Grandma Jeanne.  It is a large book with lots of little books inside about baby farm animals.  She loves it and I have had to start hiding it because I get tired of reading the little books all the time!

Emma's new birthday bedding on her big girl bed.

The gift of music

I love music.
And over the last year iTunes and I have had a little love affair. I secretly think that he only likes me for my money, but that’s okay. I can live with that because from him I get it all… love, adventure, fun, excitement, reflection, and lots of heartbreak all in the form of music. My playlists are filled with everything from classical to classic rock, country to alternative, even church music to a little hard rock. Richard calls it “eclectic”. I say that I am “just well rounded”. My children not so lovingly call it “Mom music”.

"Mom music" means that from my kitchen counter you’ll often hear the classics like the Eagles, Journey, and REO Speedwagon, with a little Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin mixed in, streaming from my laptop. And of course, you can’t forget the Kennys; Rogers, Loggins, and G. They are there too, like many others, packed in to playlists. From some playlists you may find me dancing to “Crocodile Rock” or “Wang Chung”-ing it in the kitchen with Emma. With another, I try to sing along with Josh Groban in languages I don’t speak. It's okay...I can admit it, because I know you do it too. One leaves me wishing I could play the piano as well Jim Brickman and the "Piano Man". And yes, I even have some Miley, Jonas Brothers and HSM in there too. But I would definitely be remiss if I forgot my ever faithful Depeche Mode and the Cure. Seriously, what would we have danced to at stomps if we didn’t have “Somebody” and “Lovesong” to slowly turn in circles to? And that’s just a lot of my old stuff. I haven’t mentioned any of my new found favorites like Linkin Park, Vertical Horizon, Secondhand Serenade, Five for Fighting, and Mark Schultz to name just a few. There is some great listening to be had from "Mom Music".

The majority of these songs, artists, or genres remind me about specific times and events throughout my life. There they sit in their playlists just like old friends waiting for their turn to be called up and invited to sit at my kitchen island to reminisce of old times. But that was the problem. My “friends” were mainly tethered to my kitchen or various other parts of the house where electrical plugs and the internet could be located. At least that was true until now.

The wonderful guy I get to call my husband bought me these… a new iPod nano and arm band. He knew how badly I’ve wanted one for months now, especially to run with, so he saved the mileage money he accrues driving to the airport and other various meetings and purchased me a pretty little pink one for our anniversary.

So no longer are my friends restricted to the house. They traveled with me to Cedar City last week and to my parent’s home this weekend. They also went running with me this morning. I felt like a tricked out vehicle, between it and my running watch. And in my mind there’s no doubt, I was the coolest thing on the trail this morning, but only because I was surrounded by some of my “friends”.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Turtle Cookies and a Winner

When I was a little girl, my mom would make my brothers and me these special cookies. We called them turtle cookies. They are almost brownie like and since they are cooked on the waffle iron they get that great criss-cross pattern similar to a pattern you might find on the shell of a turtle. I loved them as a child and enjoy making them now for my own children. I think that they are very yummy, fun, and easy to make. That’s why I am providing you with the recipe at the end of this post, so you can try them and see for yourselves. If you do, let me know what you think.

There is also another reason for posting about turtle cookies. I promised the reader who submitted the best caption for the picture of Ben and his running medal, a plate of these delicious chocolate delights! So the unbiased judges have spoken and I took Diana her plate of yummy chocolate turtles. Here is the picture again with the winning caption. Also a big thanks to all of you for playing along!

"All that running, and this is all I got?"

Waffle Turtle Cookies
1/2 C melted butter/margarine
3/4 C Sugar
3 1/2 TBS. Cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp. Vanilla
Mix together in the above order. Pour or spoon a small amount of batter shaped like turtles onto heated waffle iron. Don't get them too close. Cook about 1 minute +/- depending on your individual waffle maker. Frost with store bought chocolate frosting (or your favorite recipe) while warm as you continue to cook the others, if you want. Just keep a close eye on the ones cooking.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The file

It has felt so good to blog again. With the kids back in school I've felt like I've finally had some time and the brain cells to put a coherent sentence together. It has been therapeutic to put the ever present dialogue in my head down on virtual paper once again.

But of course, there must always be opposition. Opposition isn't always bad. There are always those good things we are asked to do that oppose the things we would like to do. You know the good, better, best scenario.

Well, I've found myself in that place again this last week. Much like I found myself there a majority of the spring and summer. You may notice that my blog reflects that July did not even exist. But this week was also a time of reminiscing and reflection for me. And with reflection comes learning. I have been reminded that my memory is quick to forget. Events and experiences not written down find their way falling through the cracks of my memory. Lost and forgotten, sometimes irretrievable. Other times,  they are just filed away waiting to be retrieved at another time.

As I was reminded of forgotten events and times over the last week I mourned not remembering them, not having them written down. Sure, now I can record them, but now they are just a date and time; the thoughts and feelings are gone. Saddened, I was determined to not let it happen again

So as I looked at my blog and thought about all the things that occurred over the summer that I wanted to have written down I felt overwhelmed as how to record them all. Not wanting to miss one, I opened up my Word file marked "blog posts" and sure enough, there they were- filed away waiting for retrieval. Some are just titles, some are paragraphs, and some are nearly finished. All are awaiting the details that make them more than just a date and time. All are awaiting the details that make it a memory.

I am going to do my best to make it through that file before the details fall through the cracks and don't seem worth recording anymore. I promise you, July will be added back to my calendar and a memory filled month it will be.

Monday, September 21, 2009

13 & counting

There once was this girl...

...she loved to camp, fish, and backpack. She dreamed of having a truck like this....

 and a dog like this.

 And, after high school graduation she, the truck, and the dog would have many adventures exploring the Uintah Mountains.  That was until the girl met this boy...

the night before her 18th birthday and instantly fell in love.  After a year and half, and much patience on the part of the boy, they were finally engaged and married 13 years ago today.

Now the girl and boy are this man and woman.

And, although the woman now drives a minivan and owns a cat, she still has adventures.  They just revolve around different mountains, like dishes and laundry.  She still gets to occasionally fish... things out of the toilet that get there "on accident".  And frequently you can spot her packing a boy with tired legs on her back. 

But after 13 years, and again much patience on the man's part, she wouldn't trade a single adventure and couldn't imagine a better friend to experience it all with. 
He'd beat out a dog any day.

Happy Anniversary, Richard. You still are thee best and I still love you, even 13 years later!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The one that started it all

Last Saturday, I ran in the race that started it all, my Ward's Annual 5K. If you don't know the back story, you can read it here. http://buzznbugsblog.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html

Now, I know that a ward 5K doesn't sound like a lot, but to me it was everything. And I'm sorry I don't even have an accurate time to report. Due to some confusion about the course, by the time we finished we had run 3.5 miles instead of the 3.1 we were supposed too. I think I was somewhere around 27:55. But really it doesn't matter anyway. What mattered that morning was that I was out there fulfilling a goal that I had set 6 months earlier. And I did it! I ran the entire course and came in 4th overall and 1st place out of the women! My other big accomplishment that day was that my leg didn't hurt at all during the race and was just briefly sore afterwards! Hallelujah!

When the 5K finished the kids ran a 1 mile Fun Run. I have been very impressed with how well my boys have done in past years and they didn't disappoint again this year. Dallin came in 1st place! Even beating out big brother, Ashton. He came in 2nd and did not take losing to his little brother very well. He and Richard had stayed up too late the night before and he was not at his peak performance level. He still reminds us of this fact. Benjamin came in somewhere near the end with his faithful running partner, Daddy. They were all rewarded with big boxes of candy and left with content smiles on their faces.

We all did.

Friday, September 18, 2009


If you know me you probably know my son, Ben. And if you know me and know Ben, then you know the source of frustration he can be for me. I sometimes feel as if he were solely sent here to be my tester of patience and pusher of buttons. But along with the frustration he is also very funny and sweet. He has quite a big personality for his little body and keeps our family smiling between his antics and comments. Because of this, I credit him with my premature aging. Thirty-two year olds should not have grey hairs or this deep of laugh lines.

I realized I have not been recording his little quips like I should. And my feeble mind is not good at retaining everything like it once was. "Momnesia" is settling in on me more and more everyday. And with it, these little experiences are getting lost along the way. So I have decided to record them here under the title "Benisms".
If you are my friend on Facebook, some of these may be repeats for you. I'm sorry. I just need to have them somewhere more permanent.

I hope you enjoy Ben, as much as we do.

We were cleaning up the church after a Primary Quarterly Activity and found a garage door opener sitting on a table waiting to be put away.
I picked it up and asked, "I wonder who this belongs to?"
Ben looked at me with 'DUH' written all over his face and said, "Well it's probably Jesus' since THIS is HIS house."
I smiled and suppressed a giggle. "Yes, maybe it could be."
Just then the kids who the door opener belonged to came back to retrieve it.
Ben's theory was gone.

I still wish I would've asked him what kind of car Jesus drove.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sk8 Night

Friends- L to R Ryan, Wade, & Ashton

Really, I do know how to spell "skate", but I was informed this was "the COOL way" to write it. So to remain "hip" in the eyes of my followers, a.k.a. my children, I spelled it "the cool way". You know, just trying to keep up with the young whippersnappers.

Anyway.... last Friday evening our elementary held a Family Skate Night. All of the students and their families were invited to either rent rollerblades or ride scooters and have fun being together as a school community. And fun it was!

Dallin, Spencer, Wade, & Ashton

The kids had a great time riding their scooters with all of their friends. I had a great time chatting with all the other parents. And after Ben took a turn in the bubbles and was freezing in his wet clothes, Richard, had a great time getting to go home half way through. He was suffering from jet lag, so I was glad he wanted to come at all. What a good Daddy.

Midget Mania
I've always wanted to learn to rollerblade, but decided this was probably not the night. I didn't think my boys would appreciate their mother falling on her face, rear end, or other delicate body parts in front of their teachers, principal, or friends. Thus, making a fool out of myself and them. So I refrained from putting on the blades and settled for pushing Emma around on her early birthday gift, a new "Princess" scooter.

Bubble head
The biggest hit of the whole night was the bubble machine. The kids had talked about it all week. From what they had said, I had visions of this machine that generated a bubble big enough to encompass you. Instead, I found a blow-up reservoir like the kind you might fill with plastic balls, but instead of balls, there were bubbles. Tons and tons of bubbles! Like a giant bubble bath without the water.

Dallin swimming in the bubbles

All 3 boys had a turn in the bubbles and had a great time, except Ben.

He had fun alright, just too much. He got cold and must have swallowed too many bubbles since he started screaming to get out and go home. Once he was out and we were walking across the parking lot where everyone was skating, he started spitting.

Lovely. Just what everyone wants to skate through..... Ben's spit!

I told him to stop. He wouldn't. So I told him to spit into his shirt. At least, it would wash. I didn't think the reputation of being the lady with the gross, spitting, kid would come clean as easy.

I can't wait for next year! I'm thinking that I will rollerblade and embarrass him right back!

Thanks to Mr. Z for many of the great pics of Ashton and his friends. And to Chastina for the pic of me and Emma.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pictures are worth a 1000 words

Ahhhh....to have a good camera and know how to take really great pictures! How would it be?
The professional pictures from our races in Pocatello came back last week and since they were free to download (another reason to run the races there), I did them all.
Here are a few of my favorites.

If you want to play along, leave me a comment telling me what you would put as the caption under the last picture of Ben. There just might be a plate of turtle cookies for the caption my kids, the unbiased judges, like best.

Dallin watching big brother, Ashton finish his race.

Ashton trekking along.

Ben with his best pal and race buddy, Daddy.

Go Dallin!

Dallin in the 0.2 kids race.

My nephew Hayden, smokin the competition. The man behind him was the race organizer who ran the 1.5 and Hayden left him in the dust!

Glad to be finishing and seeing familiar faces!

My niece, Aubrie (in bib #1232) finishing strong in the kids race.

My awesome big brother, Dan, finishing in 10th overall, 1st in his age group.

My absolute favorite picture! Ashton going strong for the finish.

Maysa concentrating on every step!

The sister I never had until she married my brother, Shaleece, the best motivator and running inspiration, making it across the finish line 1st in her age group!


What would you say about that little guy swinging his medal?

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Yesterday I wore red, white, and blue. I proudly pinned my flag pin on my collar.

I wore a flag shirt and changed my running route too. I wanted to run through the flag lined streets of Provo.

I also flew my flag yesterday. Okay, I fly it everyday, but yesterday, I flew it for a slightly different reason.

I hope for the same reason you all flew yours.

To remember.

To remember that awful day 8 years ago when I felt shocked, scared, helpless, and sad.

To remember the feeling I had of being a mother and watching my two year old Ashton, pointing at the TV after the 2nd plane hit and saying, "Moke, Mommy. Moke." and thinking what kind of world I had brought him into.

To remember all those innocent lives lost. I didn't know any of them personally, but they are still my brothers and sisters and I still mourn for them and their families.

To remember those who gave the ultimate gift and sacrificed their own lives for that of their friends.

And today, I chose to remember the good that awful day brought.

To remember the love felt for our fellow countrymen. And how we brought those we love a little closer and loved them a little longer.

To remember the giving of resources, time, money, and most of all, prayers.

To remember the unity. We were truly the UNITED States of America again.

To remember the surge of patriotism that filled the fibers of my being.
And our family chose to honor those who lost their lives that day by the hands of terrorists, by doing some of the things those terrorists hoped to make the American People too scared to do.

We gathered in with a large group of friends, neighbors, and classmates at the elementary for a Family Skate Night.

We enjoyed the beauty of our Provo trail by running together for our Annual Ward 5K and Kids Fun Run.

We watched Dallin play in a flag football game while the other kids enjoyed one our public parks.

We exercised our freedom of speech and gathered at the State Capital for a Freedom Rally.

And I hope we proved to the orchestrator's of those attacks that they didn't win that day. And that even 8 years later we still remember.

The American Spirit doesn't easily forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Family Affair

I have been really looking forward to Labor Day weekend. My oldest brother, Dan, lives in Pocatello and he and his wife, Shaleece, had invited us to come up there and join in the fun of the Pocatello Marathon weekend. So we packed the Uplander and headed for Poky. None of us attempted the marathon or even the ½, but we did have entries in the 10K, 1.5 miles, and the .2 mile.

This weekend was to be a first for all of us. It was my brother’s 1st race. It was Shaleece’s and my 1st 10K. I was finally going to get to run with my kids. And my nieces and nephew were participating in the races for the first time too.

It was a really fun race. Lots of support, aide stations, and freebies! It was also my hardest, from both the physical and mental aspect. I had experienced some IT band irritation last week. If you don’t know what IT band irritation is, it basically, means I could hardly walk after running. I wondered if I should even attempt to run the race or try selling my bib number. I was sick. I wanted to run this race so badly! I saw my Dr. who gave me specific stretches for the IT band and also suggested I see a chiropractor. Turns out I was out of alignment. So after 2 hrs of being snapped, crackled, and popped back into shape and given instructions how to roll myself on a $38 foam roller, I was declared fit to race!

The morning of the race I stretched and rolled myself before heading down to the pickup spot to ride the bus to the start line. I had butterflies in my stomach. It seemed like that bus ride took forever and went too far. I kept thinking “I hope they know we’re only doing the 10K and not the 1/2.” I was relieved when the bus made a loop and headed back towards town.

We arrived at the starting line with about 10 minutes to spare. 124 race participants, 2 porta-potties, and 10 minutes…. I decided I would just have to hold it. It is usually just nerves anyways. I was concerned about my leg more, so I spent the time stretching. I told Dan and Shaleece, that I was just going to take it easy and just try to finish in under an hour. I knew I could easily do that, but secretly I wanted to finish in less than 55 minutes.

The gun sounded and we were off.

Dan was like white lightning and I easily lost sight of him. Shaleece kept turning around to see if I was ok. I told her, “Just go. I’m taking it easy.”

It was easy and I felt great, until mile 2. That’s when I felt that familiar painful twinge on the outside of my knee. All worries about my bladder situation disappeared and I knew I had a different problem to worry about. On top of that, I needed to slow down even more. UGH! I kept trying to think about the positive things, like “At least, you made up the hill before it started.” But the negative kept pushing its way into my head. I was struggling….more mentally than physically. I grabbed my cell phone and called Richard. I was probably the only runner on the course talking on a cell phone while they were still running, but it was the only thing I could think of to do.
Richard answered and asked me why I was calling him when I was supposed to be running a race. I stated that I was running, but the twinge in my knee was back. That’s when I started to cry. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, I knew that, along with the stiffness, would come later.
I told him, “I was scared.” I was scared I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I was scared I would always have this problem whenever I ran. I was afraid I would lose the newfound friend I had in running.
It felt good just to admit it.
I told him, “Just talk to me.” So he did.

I can’t really tell you what he said, it was just that calm, friendly, reassuring voice on the other end of the line that settled my nerves, calmed my fears.
So I kept running and at mile 3.5 the twinge stopped. I passed the wall and I could finally run the way the rest of my body wanted to. I called Richard again and told him not to worry. I was ok. He told me he was there and waiting for me. Eventually, I saw the finish line ahead and pushed it hard. And there he was right before the finish line. The man with the voice on the other end of the line, smiling and taking pictures, along with the 7 children he was put in charge of getting to the race bright and early. I crossed the line at 56:54.
I had made it.
I was victorious. WE were victorious. I couldn’t have done it without him. Not just that day, but everyday he stays with the kids while I train or race. I wish I could have given him even just an ounce of the satisfaction I was feeling. He deserved it too. I hope he knows just how much all he does means to me.

I hadn’t made my secret goal of finishing in less than 55 minutes, but I did better than I thought and even placed 3rd in my age group. Dan and Shaleece were the stars of the day each taking 1st place in their age division. Dan even placed 10th for the whole 10K, pretty good for his 1st race!

We then hurried the kids to their races. Dallin, Benjamin (along with Daddy), Aubrie, and Maysa, all ran the 0.2 and had a great time. Dallin even placed 4th and Maysa found her competitive spirit when other kids would try to pass her she wouldn’t have it and sped up. It was fun to see all their little personalities and how they reacted during and after the race.

Next, Ashton and my nephew, Hayden, ran in the 1.5 mile Fun-a-thon. They started and in no time, Hayden was loping across the finish line taking 1st for the race and boys division. I think he had a stride and a half against the rest of the racers. It pays to be tall with long legs… a feeling I’ll never know. Ashton followed about 3 minutes later taking 3rd in the boys division. He got slowed down by a wood chip that had stowed itself away in his shoe from the playground only to be jostled lose when he started to run. Poor guy had a sore toe, but kept on truckin!

I was so proud of all of us! And like I said, it was a really fun race. Plus, it's the only race that I know of, that when you pick up your race packet and duffle bag of goodies they also give you….a bag of Idaho potatoes! What else?