eleven years

Mike and I started dating a second time around sometime in 1997. He invite me to join him at a rave and I offered to cover dinner. I prepared an elaborate picnic and hid it in the trunk of my car. He had no idea what I planned as we drove and listened to the Trainspotting soundtrack. We made it to Squaw Peak and ate by candle light overlooking the valley. It was a perfect night.

engagement photo

In 1999 we ate at Houston's and played Truth or Dare waiting for our table. I remember watching him, on a dare, run across the parking lot to kick a post near outdoor eaters. I thought it odd his hands were in his pockets the entire time. In the darkness of the night he lost his way taking us to our next destination and we almost got into a car accident. The other car followed us for a while, but we lost him. Like we were criminals in hot persuit. He suprised me with a trip to Squaw Peak. By the light of the moon he took a big box out of his pocket. He presented me with a beautiful ring and an amazing offer to be his wife and live our lives together forever. I said 'of course'! It was a perfect night.

Last night we returned to Squaw Peak for the first time since 1999 and stood in that same spot together. How much we have experienced and changed in these 11 years of marriage. We sat together talking about the past, our children, and the future. Talking about good times and harder times while looking into one another's eyes without interruption. It was a perfect night.

It's been fun to reflect back on the many years we have been together, flipping through old photos and remembering the different phases of our relationship.


1999 honeymoon

2001 Paris and yikes short hair.

2002 Central Park

2003 Coney Island

2004 Boston and very pregnant.

July 2004 enter Zane. We become parents while living in New York.

2005 Easter

December 2006 Evan's in my belly, but I didn't know yet! California living.

Dec 2007 Evan is the baby now (photo by Beka)

Dec 2008 (Sylvia's there in my tummy!) Our first Christmas in AZ in our first home.

Dec 2009


these guns

So I'm on the treadmill, the last one left. I immediately notice a foul odor. The guy to my right leaves and someone new arrives. It wasn't either of them. The stench remains. Is it my new headphones? No. Oh, the old lady to my left? No way. She seems well groomed and nice there is no way she smells this bad. I begin to run and place the odor combination. Sweaty armpit......wait....... stale coffee......what's that last one.....moth balls. As I run and inhale deeply I taste the odor in my mouth and my stomach tightens. I try to look away from her, but that doesn't seem to help the murky green cloud escaping her rotten mouth. I hope her workout will end soon. It doesn't. It is like I am licking the roof of her coffee mouth, her slimy arm pit, and moth balls at the same time. I persevere on, for my health needs this 30 minute run. We end our workouts at the same time. Still completely stunned this nice woman has such foul smelling breath.

I set myself up on a stomach crunch machine. As I am facing my belly, about to press backwards I exhale. My breath ricochets off my stomach and into my face. I am astonished to realize it was me all along. MY breath is the culprit! I accidentally verbalize: but I don't even drink coffee!?
For the record, I don't eat moth balls, either.

I do, however, lick sweaty armpits all the time.


brick wall days

There are days filled with frustration and challenge where I go to bed thinking I might as well have just walked into the backyard at 7am (or in today's case 5:30am) and beat my head against a wall until 8pm. Just about sums up the feeling of accomplishment and productive/ effective parenting. Nonstop consequences for 2/3 of my kids. I won't name names. But I'm starting to believe those people that tell me girls are easier. Sometimes hard days make me feel like I am doing this whole mothering gig all wrong.

I re-read a really good talk from conference by Julie Beck. It talks about how to measure success as a mother. Which has always felt like such a gray area to me. I admit I feel lost without the corporate review process I came to know and love in my former career life.

These are some of my favorite parts of her talk that help me right now:

A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important.......But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.

The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.

For instance, mothers can feel help from the Spirit even when tired, noisy children are clamoring for attention, but they can be distanced from the Spirit if they lose their temper with children.

Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly.

This was perfect to read at the end of a day that had more challenging moments than I would have preferred. Tomorrow will be better. My defeated heart has been propped back up with sticks.


May Day

Although we had a crisp weather weekend, it's pretty much summer already here in The Aye Zee.

Some of the sunflowers Mike planted are scared to bloom for fear of pedals being scorched. They told me.

Except this one below. He was all 'hey where are all my sunflower buddies, it's lonely up here'. You know. Because. It turns out. Sunflowers grow about 10 feet tall for some reason. First the oranges start out green and now sunflowers are chasing me around the backyard bopping me over the head. What next in my very own backyard? I totally think it's going to be a traveling nudist colony. I wonder if those kind of people get Brazilians.



This evening I was catching up on my favorite blogs while Zane was peeking over my shoulder. His usual attempt at putting off that whole bedtime thing. All of a sudden he exclaimed with a demanding voice, "Why is that man trying to kiss you!?"

I had no idea what he was talking about until I scrolled back down the site open on my computer: A Cup of Jo. He thought she was me. Flattering as that was, even as she is a super pregnant little lady, it cracked me up. Here is the picture he saw posted on her site:


thoughts on karaoke

Last night we had a fun ladies night doing karaoke at Native New Yorker. This was my third time in a public karaoke setting. I have come to the following conclusions.

* Country songs are more boring than ever at kareoke night
* Vanilla Ice will always be a crowd pleaser
* I am much better at drumming than singing
* It's best that one not close his eyes when singing that love song
* Love songs put the room to sleep
* The people who sing and walk around the room at the same time are awesome
* The people who sing rap songs well totally rock
* Alicia really wants to sing Waterfall by TLC
* Someone needs to give it all they have with a New Kids On The Block song so I can laugh so hard I pee
* I really want to sing Particle Man by They Might Be Giants
* I will only sing songs with boy singers
* I will go again
* Mike better go and sing Billy Idol or Alanis Morrisett
* It wasn't that different of a feeling compared to playing Rock Band
* It's kind of fun to dare to do something that scares you, like singing poorly in front of strangers
* Everyone loves The Violent Femmes
* Heavy Metal songs are entertaining if you have a die hard fan for the singer

He does it a LOT better:


mellow music

I like this band. Paper Route. The video for Carousel is pretty neat. I find it comforting when a video matches the feeling of the song. Success in this case.


upon much deliberation

Over the course of several months I have been thinking about whether or not I like this band. Sitting on the fence for a while about it, if you will. And this ridiculous hairdo she has makes it easy to resist. But I have come to a decision. I like Paramore. And you might, too. Just may have to give it some time.
Check them out here or here and here.


best mom's day ever

My kindergartener came home with all sorts of awesomeness for me today from school! These were by far the best gems ever. I want to frame the picture.
I would love to have been in his head to picture where the inspiration came from for my blue little circle boobs. They totally rock.



One of the short people in the family left Motorcycle Riding Spiderman on the table just like so. It's as if he was frozen in the middle of a bold breakdancing move that might involve some shoulder spinning action of head spins.


there she goes again with the TMI

I read on Dooce today about her experience jumping into a spin class without really knowing what she was getting into. That happened to me recently as well. And you know, it was just as challenging as she describes it.


I would highly recommend one not try the spin class for the first time the day after getting a Brazilian. Not so wise. Incredibly uncomfortable. Painful. Was wishing for a pillow. Thought about sitting on my arm. But didn't want to fall off the bike.

Why is that akward girl sitting on her arm?

Oh, I dunno but something about the way she was trying to ride the bike reminded me of Long Duck Dong.