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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The beach

Remember when I used to be able to blog about an entire trip in one post? Apparently I have lost my ability to be succinct. I imagine it happened about the same time that I started filling up 8 GB memory cards before lunch.

Day 6 of our trip found us at the beach I used to live across the street from.

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It's funny, I never like the beach very much when I lived in San Diego. Pacific water is COLD, the coast is almost always overcast, and at the end of the day all I had to show for a trip to the beach was frizzy hair and a lot of sand.

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Things change when you have kids.

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I even let Jeff bury me in the sand. Yes, that is a carefully molded chest he gave me, that I ungratefully cracked when I tried to breathe. How careless of me.

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The highlight of our trip was being able to meet little Ruby on her first day home from the hospital. I am still in awe that my hair-pulling, name-calling brother has become such a tender and sensitive dad. And I am REALLY impressed that he has such cute babies. They must get it all from their mom. :-)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

The trip continues

From Vegas we headed down to my parents' house in San Diego, but I have to tell one more funny Vegas story. While driving around town, Jeff pointed out to Logan the roller coaster on top of the Stratosphere. Logan quickly expressed his interest and desire to ride it. Jeff told Logan he was too little, but maybe he could ride them when he is bigger.

Logan: Oh, I can ride the roller coaster when I'm four and I'm tall?
Jeff: No, probably not. Maybe when you're eight.
Logan: Oh, when I'm Jesus?

Jeff and I stared at each other for a minute, not sure how to respond. Sometimes the things Logan say catch us completely off guard, and this was one of those moments.

Me: Um, Logan, I don't think you're ever going to be Jesus. But if you try hard, you can be like Jesus.
Logan: No, when I eight, I be Jesus!
Jeff: What on earth are you talking about?
Logan: When I eight, I be Jesus and go in the water, like this! [Logan pantomimes like crazy from the back seat as enlightenment strikes his two parents.]
Jeff: Oh! You're going to be like Jesus and be baptized!
Logan: Yes! I be baptized when I eight!

Thank goodness for good nursery leaders.

On to California...

Usually when we visit my family in San Diego we skip the normal touristy stuff and just hang out with my parents and siblings. One day we realized that our only vacations are when we visit family, so we'd better make the most of them. We'd already hit up Disneyland, the Zoo, and Sea World on our last trip, so this time we decided to try something new: Legoland. My mom and niece and nephew came with us so we had three adults and four kids under four. It was a wild, crazy, energetic day, but lots of fun!

Watching Bob the Builder in 4D.

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That's my niece on the left. She and Logan thought this ride was da bomb. I think Jeff sort of enjoyed it, too.

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I was a little nervous about the open track with these go karts. I thought for sure Logan would spend the entire time stuck in the corner. But he surprised me and actually drove pretty well! Definitely did not get that from mom...

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The mini-Lego cities were amazing! They had a replica of Grand Central Station that took 4 full-time modelers a YEAR to build. Madness!

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Raise your hand if you had flowers like these in your lego box. Don't let the picture deceive you. These were life size. I was overcome with nostalgia just standing in front of them.

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The ride home. Why is it that kids are so much sweeter when they're sleeping?

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New beginnings

Three months ago, a headhunter contacted Jeff about a position with one of his competitors. At first we didn't even consider pursuing it. In the past year I've seen so many layoffs and people out of work that is seemed crazy to even think about changing jobs when the one Jeff had was reliable and fulfilling. But the recruiter was persistent and over time, Jeff was singled out as the most promising candidate for the position. It was a long process and at one point seemed like it would never end, but then in a matter of days Jeff had accepted the offer, given his notice, and his time with CED was over. We suddenly found ourselves with a week between jobs. Hmm... what to do with a week of unexpected vacation time?

Road trip!

We began our trip with a short stay in St. George. We had planned to hike in Zions, but a lightning storm thwarted our plans. Instead we headed down to Las Vegas, where we were greeted with 90+ degree weather for the next three days. We took time to explore the family-friendly side of Vegas, including dinner with King Arthur, touring the suites of Bellagio, playing arcade games (should I be worried that my kids love this?), several fountain shows, and lots of swimming in the hotel pool.

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After Vegas, we drove down to San Diego for some family time. There we were able to meet my new niece and take a trip to Legoland. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summers end

Summer is almost over. I am clinging to it every way I know how to. It makes me mad that the community pools are closing. Do you not see that it's still going to hit 90 today? In an act of defiance, I made the kids play in the grass with me. As long as the grass is green and it's warm enough for shorts and bare feet, it's still summer to me. End of story.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

DIY strikes again

When I began my "kitchen remodel" several months ago, I had thought to wait until I had new cabinets, counter tops, sink, and flooring before blogging about it. But then I realized it could be years before all those pieces come together. So here is part 1 of my kitchen remodel, namely, the cabinets.

This is the before picture. Do you like how I took the picture when the kitchen was really messy? That's supposed to make the transformation more dramatic. (Ok, so really I just didn't feel like cleaning up my kitchen that day. But it does help, don't you think? And no, I don't serve root beer with Cheerios. I have no explanation for why they are both on the counter at the same time.)

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$80 in supplies and about a bazillion man hours later, here is the after.

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At one time I thought I would document the process and provide a step-by-step breakdown of the transformation, but I got tired just thinking about it so I didn't. But here is the basic idea: sand, prime, paint, paint again, glaze, varnish. The handles were spray painted. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. I saved a lot of money doing it myself, but it was a TON of work. Now if I could just work up the energy to paint the walls...

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Reason #1,057,809 why I love my boy

He makes me laugh.

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If that didn't make you smile, picture this:

Logan has his shirt halfway on this morning. His head is through the neck hole and one arm is out the sleeve. The other arm he has fed up through the neck so that his shirt is over one shoulder like Tarzan.

Logan: Mom, look! I'm Nephi!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little moments

Sometimes it's not the big milestones but the little developments that make me realize my babies are growing up. Nothing against first steps and words, but I don't feel like they define or characterize my kids like some of the smaller, more insignificant things. Like when I found Savannah the other day trying to put on her own shoes. Of course she couldn't even find the hole, but to watch her shove her stubby toes into the sole of her sandals made me smile and tear up at the same time. Today she came to me with Logan's old sunglasses perched upside down on her nose. She was so proud of herself, and I was proud of her, too. Logan's small moments typically have to do with his responsibilities of oldest child. He is filling the shoes of big brother in every aspect of the title; he is Savannah's protector and tormentor, her source of joy and of woe. I am amazed at these children and the emotions they stir in me. Such frustration, such irritation, such empathy, and such love. Such incredible, endless, piercing love.

Hopefully I still feel this way when they are teenagers.

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