Tuesday, May 31, 2011

30 by 30, #30: Use my passport.

In case you aren't familiar with the 30 by 30 Project, here is the original post, with the big fat list.

I've had my passport for 5 years now, and I've never used it. Not once. One might wonder why I got it, if I had no plans to use it. Well, this was back in the days when Clark was going to work for Schlumberger, and it was possible that they'd send him to Egypt or Scotland for training, so I got my passport just in case. He didn't end up working for Schlumberger, and I didn't end up using my passport. Missing out on the possibility of Scotland was a bummer, but not moving to Evanston, WY more than made up for it.

Clark's passport expires June 1, so it was decided that we needed to get to Canada, and fast. My parents came to town (more on that later), and it just worked out that they day they left was one of the last possible days for us to head out of town for an overnight adventure. So we headed to Niagara Falls!

Since seeing Niagara Falls is a separate goal, this post is all about Canada, eh. I don't have a whole lot to say about Northern Montana, but here are a few things.

We told Julia all about loonies and toonies, though I don't think she quite grasped it because she then called her happy meal toys "toonies" even though those were Zoobles. Have I lost you all yet?

Driving through Canada was very pleasant, and Clark was very excited to switch our speedometer over to km/hr.

Crossing the border into Canada only took us about 1/2 hour, which isn't too bad. Crossing back into the US took us about 5 minutes, which is obviously better. Go USA!

We felt it was necessary to eat donuts in Canada, and apparently Tim Hortons is a big name in Canadian coffee and donuts, so we went there. It helped that there was one close by our hotel. It was delicious. We have a Tim Hortons here in town, so I guess we can go back whenever we want! But Tim Hortons at Clifton Hill? How do you not take Visa? How is that even possible? Thank goodness you take American cash, or else we would have had to put back our $2 worth of donuts and we would have felt really dumb.

All in all, we had a great time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moms Day

In case you were wondering, I had a delightful Mothers Day. I have learned my lesson from years past, and had low expectations for Mothers Day. I did NOT expect to have a day completely to myself where I am pampered and doted upon by my loving husband and children. Instead I planned on enjoying my time with my children, and remembering how desperately I wanted them, and how lucky I am that they are here.

And the day did not disappoint. Julia and Clark made me pancakes for breakfast. . . ON MY NEW GRIDDLE! I love it. I also got 2 new orange peelers (as mine keep breaking - I seriously will be getting one every year for Mothers Day from now until I die), and a new shower poof, as my old one completely fell apart. Which was comical, actually, to be scrubbing with a poof and then, POOF! no more poof. Just a long stretch of netting. Anyway, I got a new one, and I was glad for it.

I also got to attend Relief Society, and while I was in and out with Ella, I still got most of the message, and it was a good one. I planned an easy dinner that Clark could make, and with minimal dishes. And then we headed over to the Dow Gardens and partook of the beauty therein. Seriously amazing. Tulips everywhere! Blooming magnolias! Rhododendrons! It was divine. And it was a beautiful, sunny day. I am so glad we went.

All in all, a great day. I am so glad to be a mom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

7 Years

See? Mormons can send flowers. Also, there is nothing quite so wonderful as having your husband walk in the door right when you are about to fall apart, and to have him standing there with flowers. It's the best pick-me-up ever.

Our anniversary was on a Thursday this year, so we decided to postpone the festivities by one day and go out on Friday. We got a real live babysitter (!) and went out on the town. We most certainly don't do that enough. I'm hopeful that maybe we can do this more often now that Ella isn't quite so dependent on me for food. Also, she goes to bed at 6pm now (that's a post for another day. . . maybe), so we can put her down and then go out.

We headed out to The Creek Grill for dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed a dinner without children. No demands for more food, no messes to clean up. Adult conversation. Someone else to do the dishes. It was fabulous.

Afterward we went over to the Tridge for a few minutes, and then walked along the Rail Trail. I was worried it would rain on us, but it was nice and dry. We even sat in a little gazebo and watched the sun set. You can't plan that kind of perfection.

Then we picked up a couple of $5 movies from Walmart and headed home. We were only gone for 3.5 hours, but it was delightful. We so need to have a more regular date night.

Happy Anniversary, Clark! 7 year itch? Please.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

For the Grandmas: 5/15/11

Ella has been learning all kinds of new skills lately. She makes kissy faces, she cruises (and is getting closer and closer to walking), and she waves and says, "Bye." That was a pretty easy one, since "Bah" is her favorite syllable. She also signs milk, more, and all done.

Julia has been doing a lot of pretending, especially when playing with all her new My Little Ponies. There is usually a birthday party involved, and they all play duck duck goose and eat cake and have a grand time. It's so fun to see her creativity taking off. I also have learned that she has a skewed perception of fire hydrants and fire stations. She apparently thinks that fire hydrants shoot fire, and that when you go to the fire station they "put fire all over you." I suppose it would make some sense, you go to the grocery store to get groceries, so why wouldn't you go to the fire station to get fire?

I still laugh when I think about the fire hydrant shooting fire. Pure comedy.

Weekly Quote 5/15/11

"Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

Party on, dude! Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures. Most excellent. New quote up!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


The Dow Gardens had their butterfly exhibit in March and April, and Julia and Ella LOVED it. We went there at least once a week, sometimes more. Ella would follow the butterflies around with her eyes, and I'm sure she would have loved to get her hands on one, but I'm thinking the butterfly would not have enjoyed that.

Julia really liked looking at the butterflies, but she was a little wary of actually holding one. Thankfully a friend snapped a picture of the one time she let one sit on her finger.

Julia also really liked the Julia butterflies. That's right, there are Julia butterflies. How cool is that? Here is a picture of one:

She would run around saying, "It's me! It's me!"

Julia also liked to visit the craft barn and pose for pictures. The egg:

The caterpillar:

The chrysalis and butterfly:

Blockburger flowers:

Also, Julia has made up a Blockburger song. It involves marching and lots of, "We are the Blockburgers! We are the Blockburgers! We've got the power!" It is awesome. Taking pride in her heritage!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

30 by 30, #15: Read Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.

In case you aren't familiar with the 30 by 30 Project, here is the original post, with the big fat list.

I have never been what you might call a religious scholar. Do I read my scriptures? Yes. Do I understand the gospel? Of course. But do I really dig deep and go out of my way to read up on doctrinal topics? Not so much. I have heard people use the excuse, "Well, I don't know much about the gospel because I didn't serve a mission." And I may have used that excuse myself, though perhaps I had never verbally expressed it. But it sounds pretty ridiculous when you are a 60 year old woman claiming to know less than a 20 year old missionary. It turns out you've had 40 extra years to work on this, surely you know something by now. I don't want this to be me. Clark has pointed out that a good way to start would be to read the missionary library. And so, I finally read Articles of Faith.

It took me quite a while to read it. Partly because it is some heavy material, and most definitely requires "ponder time," if you will. And partly because I mostly read it on Sundays. Originally I was going to read an article a week, and be done in 13 weeks, but then I found out that some of the articles are more than one chapter, and some are more than 2 chapters, and then I discovered that some days I couldn't get through a whole chapter, and then Sundays turned into crazy days, yadda yadda yadda. But the point is, I eventually finished it. And I'm glad I did. It was very enlightening and uplifting. It made me think about things, spiritual things, that I had never considered before.

I'm on my way. Maybe I can read the rest of the missionary library in the next 30 years.

Lazy Crazy Sundays

Let me just say that, for the record, I am not a fan of 11:30 church. I thought it wouldn't be so bad, but I was wrong.

Every week feels like Fast Sunday. You have to leave by 11, so nobody eats lunch until 3pm. Or, if you stay after for choir (which we do), 4pm.

Little girls don't get their naps, which turns them into cranky kids. Julia can somewhat handle a missed nap, though she is extra sensitive. (I know, I didn't think that was possible either.) But Ella? Ella becomes desperate. She needs to be held! She needs to be put down! She needs to eat! She needs to crawl! She is so squirmy and all over the place, and yet she won't just fall asleep.

I am in the nursery every week. Officially, I am the Primary Floater, but they always need me in the nursery, so that is where I go. They are sweet kids, and I am happy to be in there, but I will admit that it leaves me feeling. . . high strung some days. I feel like my time at church involves one hour of wrangling my own kids in Sacrament Meeting, followed by 2 hours of wrangling 15 other kids (in addition to my own) in nursery, followed by another hour (choir) of wrangling my kids again, with the added bonus that they are now cranky and tired, and I'm trying to sing. Clark is playing the piano, so he is exempt from this last hour. Thankfully, one of the young women grabs Ella every week, so I only have to worry about sad little Julia.

Well, this past Sunday it all came to a head and the meltdowns were glorious. Ella wouldn't be content anywhere but my lap, and even then it was short lived. Julia was sad and then happy and then sad and then really sad, and then sobbing on a bench in the chapel wanting to go home. So I took the girls to the car and drove around the parking lot for 10 minutes while Clark finished playing the piano. Nobody fell asleep like I had hoped, and all that little maneuver got me was some more sobbing from Julia, this time because, "We left Daddy! We can't go home without Daddy!" Though, at least they weren't bothering anyone but me, so I guess that was good.

There are some Sundays where I really just wonder what the point is. I know that church is important, and I wouldn't miss it for anything, but it's definitely not like it used to be. Remember when I would read the paper on Sunday mornings (back when I got a paper. . .) and leisurely get ready, and then go and enjoy 3 hours of peace and reflection at church? Sigh. Someday it'll be that way again. But then I won't have Ella's baby smiles, and I won't get to be in nursery watching my little girl play and sing and learn about Jesus. It feels like my mantra in all aspects of life is, "It won't last forever. Enjoy it while it lasts." But that's hard advise to follow at 6:00 on Sunday evening, when I feel like I'm a hundred years old.