Friday, December 28, 2007

A Merry Christmas

Thankfully Christmas Day ended up a lot better than Christmas Eve!

Coming down the stairs to see what Santa left him.

Santa did pretty well this year! Ty liked all his presents.

The nativity play with Addy and Mora!

Trying out his new Karaoke machine.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I had the perfect Christmas Eve all planned out:

  • A non-denominational community candlelight/Christmas carol service
  • A relaxing dinner out at a nice restaurant
  • An exciting drive to see the best lit homes of San Antonio
  • Back at home, a short, spiritual reading of Luke II, retelling the Christmas story to Ty, more singing.
  • A fun, happy opening of the Christmas Pajamas
  • Excitement of going to bed, knowing Santa is going to visit.

What really happens:

  • Tyler wakes up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and whines all day long.
  • Braving the crowds for some last minute shopping, waiting as other people buy the "limited, closeout" item at Circuit City that we want, but our sales guy doesn't know what he's doing and can't reserve it on the computer. Finally, after asking 25 different people for help, we get the last one, but not before waiting in a whole other long line to retrieve the item.
  • Going to the bank to cash some checks, the bank teller gives us $250 instead of $25, so we have to turn around and wait in line again just to return money that she gave us erroneously! She was pretty thankful, though! :)
  • All of us currently on anti-biotics (for the second course) crash midday and try to rest a little.
  • We're still a bit fatigued, so we decide to ditch the candlelight service.
  • Time to go out to eat! Only our desired restaurant is closed.
  • Because of ravenous hunger, we decide to stay on the same road, so our choices are Sonic or Texas Roadhouse. We choose Roadhouse.
  • As we are waiting for our table, Brad eats some of the peanuts that they have there. Ty doesn't like peanuts and tells Daddy to stop eating them. Daddy says he can eat them if he wants. Ty starts to gag because Daddy is eating the peanuts (if you know Ty, you know that he gags all the time when he thinks something we're eating is gross).
  • Daddy continues to eat the peanuts.
  • Ty continues to gag.
  • Mommy asks Daddy to not eat any more peanuts.
  • Daddy continues to eat peanuts.
  • Tyler gags big, and then throws up all over Daddy.
  • Tyler starts crying.
  • Daddy takes Tyler to clean up puke.
  • We finally get seated.
  • Tyler won't walk to the table because "The peanuts make it dirty!". He's talking about the famous peanuts shells all over the floor.
  • Tyler so tired and whiny, Daddy has him lay his head on his lap.
  • Tyler doesn't quite have enough room for his legs to be straight, so he keeps pushing Daddy off the bench.
  • Mommy and Daddy tell Tyler to knock it off.
  • Tyler keeps pushing.
  • Daddy finally moves over to sit next to Mommy and gives Tyler the whole bench.
  • Mommy makes room for Daddy and in the process knocks her whole glass of ice water on Tyler.
  • Tyler screams in horror!
  • Daddy tries to use the cloth napkins to dry Tyler off.
  • Now Tyler screams because the napkin was his "pillow".
  • Mommy and Daddy decide to get the food "to go"
  • Once we're in the car, Ty is just peachy keen happy.
  • Mommy and Daddy aren't so happy with him.
  • We skip the Christmas lights drive, just wanting to go home and eat!
  • We get home and Daddy's order is without his mashed potatoes, rice, and beans! He's not too happy about it!
  • After dinner, Tyler screams that he doesn't know how to pick up his toys that we tell him must be picked up before Santa can come.
  • By this time, we just want him in bed, so we skip Luke II, play a round of Silent Night and call it good.
  • Mom and Dad have a discussion on whether he should be able to open his new pajamas even though he's whining and not picking up his toys.
  • We decide to just let him and get him in them and go to bed.
  • Tyler happily opens his pajamas.
  • Tired, whiny boy is out before his head hits the pillow.

How's that for expert parenting and creating the perfect holiday? Good thing there's tomorrow!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tourists in Our Own Town

We were so happy to have visitors this weekend! Brad's mom and dad are headed over to England to spend Christmas with Brad's sister, and they were able to work out a layover in San Antonio for a few days! Ty loved having his Grandma and Grandpa F here for awhile.

It's kinda funny, because although we live here, Brad's parents are the ones that showed us around downtown. They had been here several years ago for a week-long convention, and we had never really toured downtown and the Riverwalk. We had a great evening touring the Alamo, riding the boat down the Riverwalk, listening to live music, visiting Santa, and I ordered my first ribs at a restaurant (probably my last--they're just too messy).

Okay...secret's out: we don't HATE the Utes! We just happen to like BYU better. But Ty loves his Utah hat given to him by his birth family, and so we let him wear it.

Ty was tired by the end of the evening. Brad made a little pouch for him in his windbreaker, and he slept through the whole boat tour and dinner!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dreame Weaver

I've been dreaming a lot lately. Most of my dreams are good, like last night when I dreamt I was a journalist and visited Nie Nie's house, to see if she's as perfect as she seems on her blog. In my dream she was, although Mr. Nielson was a tiny bit conceited.

But sometimes my dreams aren't as nice. I have several recurring dreams that always fool me into panicking, even though I KNOW they aren't real! The top three are:

1. Teeth Falling Out. I know this is a common one, and dream analyzers say that it means you feel like you're out of control. Hmmm. Consciously I don't feel that way, but do tend to be a bit of a control freak, so it's not way surprising.

2. Failing Math Class. This is always at BYU, and I find out at the end of the semester that I have this math class that I thought I had dropped. Now I only have two days to make everything up, and I know it's impossible! I always freak out because I know Dad will flip if I get an F. This is probably recurring because I tend to be a procrastinator in real life.

3. Snakes. This is a fairly new one, since we moved to Texas. It's based on reality. When we were in Houston, Brad was mowing the lawn and I heard this extrememly loud, almost girly (sorry, hun, but it's true) scream. I happened to be right by the window and looked out to see a snake slither away under the fence. YIKES! Now I dream about snakes all over in the house, on the driveway, etc. I think it just represents my total hatred for all things slimy and buggy and germ-infested.

What are your recurring dreams?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Moment

"I'm sorry, Mommy."

A million things go through my head of what he could have done. It's morning and this is the first thing he says to me.

"Sorry for what?"

"Next time I'll give you hugs, too. Hugs and kisses, cause you're my best friend."

Ahhh...melt my heart! Last night when we were doing hugs and kisses before bedtime, he gave me kisses, but he decided he didn't want to give me hugs. I didn't really think much of it. But apparently he did, because that's the first thing he said to me this morning. Sweet thing.

There are moments in motherhood that make me want to pull out my hair. And then there are moments like these that make those other times totally worth it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Let's Go Bowling!

March Madness online was so much fun last March. Come Bowling with me this year! I set up a group at to play Bowl Mania. Basically, you choose who will win the bowl games, and assign your confidence level to each game. It'll be so fun. So join us. Yeah, that means YOU! (It's just for fun, so even if you don't know anything about football, still join us) Everyone is welcome!You have until the first bowl game day, Dec 20, to make your selections.

Click HERE to get started. If you already have an espn profile, just sign in. If not-or like me you can't remember--sign up. It's free. It will ask if you want to start or join a group, so search for ours: Go BYU Cougs. Password is: riseandshout.
See you there!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Because I Have Nothing Else to Say...

Things I Sold This Week on Craigslist:

I bought these tables back in Utah, but they just don't fit the decor of the home. Oh well. I got as much as I paid for them.

This came with the house. I don't think the kitchen works with an island. Plus it's on wheels and swerves everywhere.

New kitchen has one over the oven.

This was a great D.I. find back in Utah (thanks, Sam), made twice of what I paid for it!

One of our lingering wedding presents. (If you happened to give this to us, I'm soooooooooo sorry! We just already have a couple.)

Sad to see these go, but the house came with the front-loading type.

Things Spoken For, Just Waiting to be Picked Up:

This is my most emotional sell. I slept in this bed all growing up. But it just wasn't working in our house. We needed a twin bed instead.

King bed frame, never used because we bought a whole bed.

Bathroom shelf--no emotional ties, no need for it.

No Calls Yet:

Used this in my classroom as a teacher. Surprised there are no calls!

No surprise here-the mirror I got to replace it with is way cuter.

Absolutely NOT for sale:

My TyTy: Black eye is almost all gone, just some shadowy remnants.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rise and Shout

I know it's a few days late, but I couldn't go without saying how proud we are of the Cougs for their victory over the Utes and their new #19 BCS ranking!

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the Beginning...

Thanksgiving Day, 1997, is the day I first remember hearing about him. It was transfer day, and to pass the time while waiting for my new companion, Sister Hansen invited me to the mission home to help her prepare for the Outgoing Missionaries' Dinner. As we set the table and prepared the food, we talked about Mission News and a little bit of the gossip (Sister Hansen didn't have the tightest of lips, bless her heart). Names of Elders and Sisters came in one ear and out the other as we talked and joked. But one name stuck with me: Elder F*******, whom, she said, was such an inspirational and faithful missionary. She told me about how President had put him with THE toughest, most socially backward missionary in the mission--the one no one else could handle--and how the that missionary cried when President Hansen asked him how Elder F was as a companion. He said that Elder F was the only one who treated him as a normal guy, and he loved him for that.

She also talked about a miracle that happened to Elder F when he was bit by a brown recluse spider, and watched the infection spread rapidly up his leg. Before going to the hospital, he asked for a blessing. As soon as he opened his eyes, he saw the infection recede as rapidly as it had spread, until it was no longer there.

The fact that he was the top baptizing Elder in the mission at the time was also impressive, but that he was so kind and faithful was what impressed me most about this Elder I had never met.

Fast forward a few months and I was transferred to a new area with a new companion. When I learned that Elder F was our district leader, I was glad, because I had heard so many great things about him. I remember him calling that first night to welcome me to the district and to tell me that he was happy I was here and that he'd heard good things about me. I remember thinking what a nice guy he seemed to be.

You know how sometimes you just click with people? That's how it was for me and Elder F. During the 3 months we served around each other we became fast friends. We supported each other through lost investigators, tough companions, and the stress of mission life.

Quotes from my journal during this time:

  • I like our Elders. I have a lot of respect for them. They're good guys.

  • Of course the Elders had a Golden Investigator just walk in to church today. Man, they're being blessed! Elder F is just a baptizing machine!

  • The Elders came with us to Karen's house today. We did it as a last-ditch effort and came out with her committed to baptism. Crazy! Elder F is so good! He's just amazing to me. Sometimes he can be really cheezy, but he's so sincere. He's a great friend. We just kinda click.

  • Today was district meeting. Elder F gave us interviews. We just talked a lot about the area, and he asked me how I felt about how things were going. I told him how much I looked up to and admired him and what an example he was to me. He said the same things about me...the spirit was strong as he shared some experiences he's had on his mission...I have so much respect for him. He's had so many problems and trials on his mission and he's overcome them all.

  • Okay, just gotta write one really cute thing about Elder F. They went to a flower shop to check on someone who works there, and while they did, he sent a flower to his sister. Is that too cute, or what?! How many brothers do that?

  • Okay, I might as well come out with it, because I'm sure that anyone reading this already has guessed, but I really like Elder F. He is really a special, special guy. I'm at the point where I would love to marry this guy, and I keep wondering if I will. It's really strange for me, cause I think it's the spirit, but wonder if it's just infatuation. I guess it doesn't really matter, because we're on missions right now, serving together, and that's all. CRAZY STUFF, HUH?! I never imagined that I'd think about this stuff on my mission!

  • Well, just erase everything I said about Elder F (marrying him at least). I'm sure it's just infatuation. I need to cool my jets for a while. I don't want to be one of those girls that goes ga-ga over missionaries. YUCK! Life is confusing!

  • We went to the Elder's baptism tonight. During the song, a little girl came and sat on his lap and I about died. He was so cute with her. She was only four and she was singing along, reading the hymnal. It was cute. And I was looking at that and he looked up and gave the biggest smile to me. Aughhhhh. I need to get a GRIP! I need to FOCUS ON MISSIONARY WORK! Hello, Schultzy. Anybody in there?!?

  • My heart is in a lump. Elder F is getting transferred to be a zone leader in Joplin. I'm gonna miss him so much. What an impact he's made on my life. What a spiritual giant! This is what I hate about missions. I hate saying goodbye. I guess I really have to trust the Lord that He knows what He's doing, and that if our paths are to cross again, they will. Actually, it probably will be good cause I'll be able to focus easier, but he was also an inspiration at the same time. Gosh I'm speaking about him as if he were dead! Oh well.

  • Enough of this guy talk! I'm on a mission. I don't know what's gonna happen in the future--I'll just have to wait and see. Now's NOT the time to worry about it, is it?

  • Well, a new chapter in mission life has begun. I'm a trainer now! Transfers were good. I got to say goodbye to Elder F. He's such a good guy. I'll miss him. But I've got a job ahead of me. I'm nervous to train. I need to have a lot of faith and work really really hard.

Time traveled on, and I did see Elder F every once in a while at mission meetings, and as he became Assistant to the President. We always seemed to be able to pick up right where we left off. It was never awkward between us; we enjoyed a genuine friendship. I was able to focus on missionary work and not let thoughts of him be a distraction for most of the time. But as the time approached for him to go home, I worried. Again, excerpts from my journal:

  • I'm totally sad. I feel like I'm losing one of my best friends, and my heart aches. I mean, I know that what happens, happens, and that the Lord will take care of me, and the Lord will take care of him, but it still hurts to say goodbye. This is probably totally the end--I mean we'll still have great memories and fond feelings, but he'll probably get married, and hopefully I'll get married, and that will be that.

  • I've had a really neat morning. I prayed to stay focused, of course, but I caught myself thinking about him, so I knelt back down again. I asked for peace about my feelings for Elder F and I got this incredibly peaceful feeling that it's all going to work out with him. It's strange, because this affirmative answer is what I really want, so I'm always wondering if I'm just making myself feel that. But I really feel like that was my answer! Who knows. All I know is that I feel confident that the Lord is in control...I can let go for right now and feel peace. So I will.

And I did. I served the rest of my mission working harder than I ever had. I scarcely had a thought about Elder F, and when I did, I just felt peace.

We didn't write, or call, even when I got home. It wasn't until about six months after coming home from my mission, back at BYU, that I thought about Elder F again and decided to call him up. Again, we just picked up where we left off, and we seemed to click. Only he was dating someone else, and I was pretty busy with school and work. A couple months later, he was no longer dating the other girl, and I wasn't as busy, so we went on a double date to the Manti pagent. And the rest, they say, is history. One month later we were engaged; four months later I became Sister F.

It's now eight crazy, happy years later, and we're still going strong. And Elder F, or Brad as I call him now, is still a little bit cheezy at times, but still genuinely sincere. And I love him for it!

Happy 8th Anniversary, honey!

Friday, November 23, 2007

One Hundred

How fitting that my 100th post is on Thanksgiving Weekend. I have so many reasons to be thankful. Here's 100 of them (in no particular order):
  1. The Love of my Savior
  2. Forever Families
  3. My patriarchal blessing says my husband will be kind to me, and considerate of me, and we will love one another with all our hearts. It is spot on: Brad could not be any more kind or considerate. And my whole heart belongs to him.
  4. My little 3 year old ball of energy and sweetness and just a tidge of Drama King.
  5. Despite all the feminine problems, I LOVE being a woman.
  6. Finally settling down in our new beautiful home.
  7. Even though we get frustrated with the corporate side of things sometimes, Brad has a job that he LOVES, and that's important when he'll be spending 30+ years doing it!
  8. The fact that no matter where we go, the Church helps us instantly belong.
  9. The diversity in San Antonio--I've never been a minority before, and it's enlightening.
  10. Being able to afford a few little extras every once in a while.
  11. Sunsets
  12. A back porch where we can watch the sunset.
  13. A mom and dad that raised me so well.
  14. A sister who, despite a ten year age difference, has always treated me like a best friend instead of an annoyance.
  15. Great in-laws--couldn't ask for any better!
  16. A sunny disposition.
  17. The gift and power of Music.
  18. The opportunity to graduate from BYU (it only took six whole years!)
  19. Friends and family scattered all across the country.
  20. Blogging, which has brought me back in touch with some of those dear ones.
  21. A really good king-sized mattress.
  22. Pretty linens to go on that king-sized mattress!
  23. Chocolate.
  24. Blue Bell Ice Cream.
  25. Spencer and Sara living 2.5 minutes away from us.
  26. Sara's yummy pecan/pumpkin dessert served warm with Blue Bell Homemade Vannilla on it that we had for Thanksgiving yesterday.
  27. That my first turkey turned out okay.
  28. That I could call my mother-in-law early in the morning on Thanksgiving when I was panicking and grossing out over the raw (and not quite thawed) turkey.
  29. A great relationship with Ty's birth family.
  30. The fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and loves us, and wants us to be happy, and that everything that we go through is for our best good.
  31. DVR
  32. The Food Network
  33. An upstairs laundry room, so I don't have to haul laundry up and down the stairs.
  34. Not getting sick when everyone around me did this week (I'm still crossing my fingers, and taking my vitamins!)
  35. That the furniture people are finally coming tomorrow to replace the defective couch they sold us!
  36. The Beck-to Harline play in last year's BYU/Utah game.
  37. The hope that BYU will win again this year, though hopefully not in such a down-to-the-minute way--I can't take the suspense!
  38. The internet.
  39. High speed internet.
  40. Ceiling fans.
  41. Air conditioning.
  42. Two cars that run.
  43. Brad's work car, that helps to keep his personal car running.
  44. Craigslist.
  45. Cameras.
  46. Our only live plant, Norman, a Christmas cactus that was given to us by our first landlord, is still alive, even though we have greatly mistreated him at times.
  47. Smiling at people, and having them smile back.
  48. Singing in the ward choir.
  49. The fact that we will get reimbursed for our moving expenses.
  50. LSU losing to Arkansas.
  51. A&M beating Texas. Go Aggies!
  52. The craisins that Sara put in her green salad. Really yummy.
  53. The memories made with awesome grandparents that helped to shape who I am today.
  54. The support of my parents in all my activities as a kid.
  55. The holiness and sacredness of the Temple.
  56. The selfless and consecrated service my parents have given the last eight years and counting.
  57. The feeling I get when people really enjoy my food.
  58. Are we really only on 58?!?
  59. The smell of cinamon at Christmastime.
  60. The first time each spring when I smell a hyacinth.
  61. Every time I see a golden retriever and think of good old Mindy.
  62. How blessed am I to have been born in this time period, in this country, in this church, in this family!
  63. I enjoy reading magazines. My current subscriptions: Ensign, Reader's Digest, Oregon Coast, Family Fun, Parenting, Kraft Food & Family, Better Homes and Gardens, and Woman's Day. (Some are free, and some were gifts)
  64. I like the way my birthday rhymes when I say the numbers.
  65. I like that my middle name, Cay, starts with a C.
  66. I had a great adolescence. So many people hate that time in their lives, but I loved it.
  67. Singing alto is fun and I'm glad I can read notes and harmonize.
  68. The opportunity I had to teach for three years. I loved being a professional, and helping provide for our family.
  69. The leadership opportunities I've had.
  70. That Heavenly Father answers my prayers.
  71. That other people pray for me.
  72. The sisterhood of Relief Society.
  73. When Tyler gives me a spontaneous hug or kiss or I love you mom.
  74. The hope that we have at least another child in our future.
  75. The lack of stress over whether we will have another one--faith that God has a plan for our family and will lead us to where we need to be when the time is right for another child. He's always led us before, He'll continue to do so.
  76. Our family's cabin in Florence, Oregon: my favorite place on earth.
  77. That my mom made me practice my piano, and continued to pay for lessons, even when I didn't practice. She'll never know the gift that that ability has been to my life.
  78. That people can always change.
  79. Forgiveness.
  80. Times like this morning, after making a fort, just playing, the three of us, our family, together.
  81. Phone calls just to say hi.
  82. Phone calls just to say hi that are on our Verizon network, or after hours or on weekends!
  83. That bleach took away the grape juice stains on our countertops!
  84. Playing on sports teams.
  85. Feeling part of a community.
  86. Loving the community I live in.
  87. Finding great deals.
  88. Thinking about Harold doing the Black Friday shopping for Susan at 4am.
  89. Reading the short heartwarming novel, Christmas Jars.
  90. Poetry.
  91. Time to myself after bedtime.
  92. H.E. Buddy Bucks (a little reward for kids at the local supermarket. Ty loves them!)
  93. Texas pride.
  94. Never forgetting my Oregon roots.
  95. My mission to Oklahoma and Missouri
  96. Great pictures.
  97. Great college roommates.
  98. My favorite Sacrament hymn: As Now We Take the Sacrament
  99. Laughing with my husband.
  100. Finishing this list!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


No need to call Child Protective Services.

Tyler got his first shiner Nursery, of all places! I guess he collided with a girl. This was taken yesterday--it looks way worse today. Bad enough that everywhere we went today people asked him what happened to his eye. All he would say is, "I'm okay now. I'm okay." One lady asked if it was an accident and he said, "No, I just ran away from her." I know people are thinking I'm a child-beater!

His legs are constantly bruised like this. This is not an unusual amount of bruises. Oh well. His dad had broken multiple bones by this age. I guess a few bruises aren't too bad!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Loving It!

I cannot get enough of DVR! It is the most convenient and time conserving way to watch TV ever! Every night after my boys have gone to sleep, I spend a little time with my TV and get to watch some great shows commercial--and guilt--free! My big obsessions right now are two channels: HGTV and The Food Network. I love House Hunters and Designed to Sell on HGTV, and Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals and Quick Fix Meals w/ Robin Miller on the Food Network.

Sara and I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving this year! I've never made a turkey before, but I'm watching all the shows to see which way to do it. I think I'll do the herb-stuffed Turkey and Sausage-Artichoke Hearts-Sourdough stuffing, pictured above. Yumm-O!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How can it be wrong when it feels so right?

I know I'm supposed hate Walmart. People blog about how they don't go there. I really do try to support local businesses. I've seen the documentary where it shows the poor Chinese workers slaving away for basically nothing. I feel bad for the businesses they shut down. I hate the crowds.

But I still go. And I still find some great deals. And I'm finding more selection and cuter and cuter stuff. Like my new accent pillows:

On a side note, it's funny how my "Contemporary Cottage" tastes have become mainly just the Contemporary part and less of the Cottage part in this house. Just the combination of the new furniture and the current light fixtures, paint colors, and draperies that has helped it turn out that way. It's kinda fun decorating a house!

Anyway...back to Wal Mart. What are your feelings on the place?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Favorite thing about buying a house?

No mortgage payment until

January 2008!

That allowed us to treat ourselves to some new furniture:

Cute, huh? We are loving our new house and although it's still a big mess of boxes right now, it's already becoming "Home."

So come visit, y'all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So Long Houston

We'll be leaving Houston this week, and although these last six months were a bit tough because we didn't know how long we'd actually be here, there was a lot we liked about this place that I want to be sure and remember:

  • Trees! Who knew? I sure didn't know before I came here, how green Houston is! Especially up where we are in The Woodlands, the trees are tall and green and beautiful.
  • The view from our house. We are surrounded on three sides with forest. It is so wonderful to wake up in the morning and open the blinds and all I see is green forest! It feels like we're in the country, even though we aren't. Unfortunately, all that vegetation caused the bug and critter population to be out of control!
  • Our ward. The Oakwood ward in the Houston North Stake is so great! People were so friendly and inviting, even though they knew we wouldn't be here long.
  • BBQ--People here know how to do it right. We ate at several BBQ's in the area, but our favorite is Pit Master on Rayford-Sawdust Road.
  • Library. Although the buildings were a lot smaller than what I was used to at the Salt Lake City library, there were some things that I definitely liked. I liked that you could return your books to any library within the system. I loved the children's programs. I loved that they had a little book shop where you could buy books for 50 cents and magazines for 10 cents! They had lots of children's DVD's to check out, and I liked how they displayed their new books. Oh. And Ty loved playing in the Conroe Library's school bus.
  • Parks and pools. Almost every subdivision has their own park and pool. Although it was too hot to use the park all summer!
  • Grocery shopping. So many choices! I loved getting my circulars and deciding what two stores I would shop at that week. Randalls(Safeway), Kroger(Smith's) and HEB were my favorites. San Antonio doesn't have as many choices in grocery shopping. HEB has kind of choked all the other stores out of business.
  • Small town Texas: we have loved going to all the small town festivals and gatherings just outside of Houston. It will be fun to get to know the small towns outside of San Antonio, too.
  • Sunsets. The sky here is incredible! And the sunsets with the tall tress as a silhouette are breathtaking.

P.S. I don't know when that picture was taken, but I've certainly NEVER seen the freeway that empty!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Crying Gene

I'm not sure if it's biological or environmental, or a little of both, because my mom and my sister have the same problem, but somewhere along the line I became a crybaby. Okay, I've always been a crybaby--my brothers would chant, "Cry! Cry! Cry Sally, Cry!" and say things like, "If you just cry, you'll get whatever you want," and I would just bust out crying. I even have the special talent of being able to cry on demand (I would be a great soap opera star!) But now my crying isn't over toys or scraping my knee--it's over just about everything else. And I'm getting a little sick of it. I used to wear regular mascara. Then I changed to waterproof. Now I don't even wear any, because I know I will cry at least once a day.

It's good in a way, I guess. At least I know I'm not a stone-cold human being without feelings. But seriously, is there any way to control it? It's really embarrassing. I hate being the only one crying all the time!

Just take the last few days as a typical example:
  • Driving home from San Antonio, I'm alone because we took two cars, and Brad has Ty with him. I put in my CDs and cry basically the whole time because I'm so grateful for my life and my two boys, and the Temple, and my family, and sad that I'm away from them, but happy that I know the Lord has a plan for us, blah, blah, blah.
  • At a thrift store, Ty talks to a lady all cute, and she says, "He'll grow up so fast," and I blurt out, "I know!" and start bawling all over because he is growing up so fast!
  • Football game--so proud of the players for working so hard. It reminds me of my joy in playing sports, and the fun I had. I cry at the end of another game as a player makes a winning field goal--I'm so happy for him for playing through the pressure!
  • Just thinking--I didn't even hear it this time, I just thought about it--about that Tim McGraw song, "If you're readin' this, with my Momma sittin' there, it looks like I only got a one-way ticket outta here..." all about a man who doesn't come home from the war. This one was late at night. I had to go wake up Brad and just hug and kiss him because he was alive.
  • Primary program--the whole thing--I never make it through a primary program! I can't even sub in primary without just bawling. Kids singing and bearing testimony gets me every time!
  • Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society. I can never make it out of church.
  • Getting Ty's birthmom's wedding announcement--so happy for her, so thankful for her decision to place Ty with us.
  • Reading Sue's post.
  • Reading Emily's post.
  • Ty playing the message my mom left on the machine for him for his birthday over and over again and the sheer joy on his face, and me thinking about how he used to be so close to his grandparents, and how we've taken him away from them. Waaahhhhhhh.

Those are just the examples I could think of right now. I'm sure there were more tearfests that I just don't recall because they are so commonplace. When I'm alone I really don't mind it; a good cry feels good. But Ty has started noticing, and asks me why I'm sad. How do I explain that it's a good cry? Does anyone else struggle with this? Any tips on controlling it?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Three Years!

Three years ago today you brought more JOY,


and LOVE into the world.

Happy 3rd Birthday, our Darling Boy.

One day old

First birthday, first Happy Meal

Cute as a button on 2nd birthday

Waking up to a Spiderman cake today!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cooldown (for today, anyway)

I think I would have liked our six months here in Houston a lot better if all nights had been like tonight:

78 degrees
Relative Humidity: Low
Breeze: Light, coming from the North
Trike-Riding Weather: Perfect!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

We Got It!

Well, the negotiations weren't as smooth as some that I've seen on HGTV, but the end result is the same: we got a Great House at a Great Price! And we're so excited about it! This home is head and shoulders above the rest in its price range. It has so many extras: a sprinkler system, reverse osmosis water, landscaped yard, ceiling fans, great paint colors, tile and pergo downstairs, nice refrigerator, front loading washer/dryer, a big patio.

Plus, the down side was that I thought it was farther from shopping and the freeways. Well, I hadn't been to the part of town south of the house! It's only 2.5 minutes (I timed it!) from an HEB grocery store! It's only 3 minutes to Spencer and Sara's. And one minute to Ty's future school. Plus, although it is a little farther from the freeway than the others (still only about 5 minutes), the freeway that it's closest to is a better artery to and from the city.

We'll be moving around the first week of November. Tomorrow's the inspction--hope it goes well!

So take a look around our future home!

Monday, October 01, 2007

San Antonio, Here We Come!

Well, we finally got approval to move to San Antonio!!! It's a good thing, because I had already scheduled an appointment with the realtor for this Thursday! We've narrowed it down to three houses that are all in good neighborhoods and all have good things about them. Of course, a new home could come on the market tomorrow and we could snatch it up, but we're excited about any of these three. All three of them are within 1650 to 1700 square feet. Which one is your favorite?

Older, mature trees, house is 15K cheaper than the other two.

This is in my favorite neighborhood, very close to the freeway, surprisingly spacious.

Lots of nice upgrades like sprinkler system, comes w/ all appliances so we could sell some, and in Spencer and Sara's ward, but farthest from shopping and freeways.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mission Tour 'o Fun, Part Two

We pulled into Branson on Monday and found a great view from our Lakefront Condo. This is Table Rock Lake, one of a series of resevoirs created from the White River in the 1950's to prevent flooding. They had to unearth 3 cemetaries and flood a couple small towns to do it. (We went to the visitor's center at the Dam).

One day we "Rode the Ducks." These are amphibious vehicles from WWII that go on land and water. They have little tours that go around Branson and then onto Table Rock Lake. Once on the lake, Captain Scott let all the kids drive. Ty LOVED it! He kept going to the left, and to the right, and back again. The people got a kick out of it.

Here's Branson's version of Las Vegas' Bellagio. This whole new mall area (Branson Landing) is new since we were here before. We really enjoyed strolling downtown Branson, where I did much of my street contacting on the mission. It's crazy how many memories popped up for both of us as we would drive the same streets where we'd been.

Of course we went swimming every day. Ty's getting to be quite the kicker. He can kick himself across the pool all by himself (with his life jacket and floaty on).

I love this pic of Brad and Ty. It's so cute how he's looking at him like that. This is somewhere in Arkansas. After three days in Branson we took a couple days to get home, stopping in Hot Springs National Park (don't go out of your way to go there, it's no Yellowstone!) and down through Eastern Texas.

I don't have to do a liquor store anymore! Found a new business for me in Longview, Texas called Sally's Good Foods!

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