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Sunday, May 20, 2012


This Saturday was the Women of Steel Triathlon.  I had a lot of fun.  It didn't start until 8 am so we didn't have to leave until 6:30 which is a much more reasonable time to get up for a race.  It usually seems like races always involve getting up at the crack of dawn.  But this is us in our scummy sweats over our suits in the freezing cold.  I kept that sweatshirt on until the last moment.  Those girls running around in the sporty bikinis were just nuts.  Felt good about the tri and realized that my biking speed is my biggest problem.  When I compare my times to the top paces in my age group, I am with them on the swim/run but am 4 to 9 minutes slower on the bike.   I came in 63 out of 134 for my age group.  It was a good course with two really good hills in the run and bike.  But I got one of my fastest times ever on the run part so I was stoked a bit about that.  Not really sore today, just feel like I could use a nap.  I have been thinking about chocolate cake all week so made one Friday and told myself I was carbing up.  I am sure that is why I had a smile on my face the whole time.  That plus I have really amazing friends who stay positive and cheer me on the whole time.  My friend Brenda who wasn't racing, came and stood at all the hard parts throughout the race to cheer us on.  I learned a lot and realized that I have to work a bit before the August Tri.  This one was 300 m swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run.  In August its a 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run.  Freaking out just a little bit...

And speaking of freaking out, my kids get out of school this week.  Robyn graduates on Wednesday and then everyone else gets out on Friday.  So we are having all the last minute parties and school assignments.  I am very excited to have my kids home while just a little panic is in the back of my mind that I am not ready yet.  My girls are literally counting the days:
That's right, we are off to my parents in just a few days.  Robyn has never been to my parents house and we are all excited for the long visit.  Robyn is having a good life lately:
Hanging out with Dad after his church day is over
Robyn and Luke spend as much time together as they can.  Luke donated his frogs to our pond so they check on them every day.
I taught my last art lesson to kindergarten and we made a door decoration for the teacher.  Robyn of course made two robins for the door and made sure that one of the eggs is colored blue.

And of course when she has driven us to pulling out hair with her inability to fall asleep she makes sure we catch her doing something that makes us forgive all:

Spencer continues to grow and managed to grow another shoe size.  Jeremy says we should call him Sasquatch from now on.  All I can think of are all the size 12 shoes we just bought him that no longer fit him.  There needs to be a shoe lending program for this age.  But seriously size 13!

I made a bunch of strawberry jam this week and we are working to deplete the supply as quickly as possible.  Lots of little things of birthday parties, Robyn's last soccer game, Allison's first softball game, cleaning the church, Jeremy's photo shoots, service project all seem to fill the week and keep kids busy and happy.  Jeremy has been scheduling more photo shoots lately and has been enjoying the challenge.  Last night we went up to the reception of his cousin once removed up in North Ogden.  I am amazed at how many memories I have of my grandparents and Ogden considering that I grew up in California.  And then we stopped at my college roommate Jennifer's house to eat some delicious home made ice cream and to visit.  It really doesn't seem like that much time has gone by until we see each others kids.

And as for kids, I realize how much I focus on their faults and what they have left to learn.  Sometimes it seems like they have so much left to learn and I am miserably failing at teaching them. Spencer made burritos for us this week and I felt like the little nag on his shoulder.  But on Saturday afternoon as we were leaving to clean the office, our van refused to start.  It is 11 months old.  So we had to have it towed.  Our kids all focused on how good it was that the van broke then instead of a week later on our trip and how lucky our family was.  Good reminder to me to look on the bright side.  And then our van just fixed itself  a few hours later.  Best guess was that we flooded it which should be impossible to do but the mechanic couldn't think of anything else.  It didn't work for him but then a few hours later it did.  So last night the kids suffered driving up to Ogden in the truck with only a few murmurs.  Spoiled kids, I tell you.

love, Heather

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sweet 16

The biggest news of the week is that Taylor is now 16.  I look at all his peers dating and driving cars and it is hard to believe that he is just as old.  In some ways its nice to have a child who will never grow up but will always snuggle with his mom.  He has had a great week.  For his birthday we put a bag of candy bars on his wheelchair with a sign to take one and wish Taylor a happy birthday.  Robyn told all of her friends so as soon as the bus pulled up that afternoon he was swarmed.  We learned that banana/butterscotch chip pancakes with maple/peanut butter syrup followed by lemon bars make Taylor a VERY happy boy (no one else really likes lemon bars so Taylor ate the pan pretty much by himself all week long).  Robyn's"presents" for Taylor:
 Saturday we had around 100 neighbors and friends over for Taylor's annual birthday BBQ.  I always plan to take pictures of this event but then I get caught up in the moment and don't.  But just imagine a lot of hot dogs and potluck dishes, kids running around screaming and shooting balls and plastic rockets in the air, adults talking on the grass and kids shyly coming over to give Taylor a hug and wish him a happy birthday.  Taylor had spent the afternoon laying  on his swing with Melissa our new respite worker, napping and having his hair played with and then the evening outside with friends and chocolate cake.  He had a great day.  And then we sent everyone home, told our kids to disappear and broke out the ice cream and a brainless movie on the couch.  Totally necessary for adult mental health.
Spencer had a guitar recital this Monday.  I was all set to tell him that he had to quite guitar as piano practicing is getting to be not so great around here.  But as he pointed out to me after the recital when I asked him how he managed to sneak in some practicing without me knowing, "you wouldn't want me to stop guitar now and loose all this talent!" - such humility.

Spencer has been loosing crickets from his cricket keeper.  We thought they were just dying off.  Nope...Jeremy took all his computer equipment to the studio this week to teach a class there.  When he came to put everything back the next day, he opened the floor outlet cover to find a whole swarm of crickets.  First day he caught 4, next day 3 and then 1 - they are fast little critters.  Equal parts disgust and humor fill those moments - I really need to stop laughing at inappropriate moments.

Robyn had a moms and muffins event on Friday morning.  She made me a cute little book about me to share.  According to her I am 23, my favorite food is salad and I hate to eat sugar - not sure if she just really doesn't know me or is she is just feeling optimistic.  I spend my days doing jobs and day care and hate teaching manners and wearing high heels - maybe she does know me pretty well after all.  Although she did think I was only 8 inches tall.

Jeremy had a few photo events this week including teaching a class to his peers. He also had a trip to the dentist where he learned that two of his old fillings had cracked so he is back in this week for some dental work. We are taking turns with the dentist over the years. Biggest thing of all for me is that Saturday I knew there was no way I could get any work done of the yard, cupcakes take priority in my book so Jeremy just snuck out and cleaned everything up, edged and mowed by himself. I tell you the gifts of love look different now than they used too but a mowed lawn yesterday seriously brought tears to my eyes.

Mother's Day means I have spent the morning in my pajamas and laid in bed while Allison with Jeremy's judicious help made me waffles.  I just laid there until my body couldn't stand it any longer.  It felt wonderful.  Kids all gave me hugs and little trinkets.  Jeremy did the morning routine with Taylor.  Life is pretty wonderful.

This week has been mostly spent with me in the yard whenever possible.  I did get to go on a long bike ride this week with a new friend as she showed me a back-road way to get to Provo Canyon.  Yesterday we did a trial run of the tri course for this next weekend.  First, I didn't realize how slow I am on a bike, my legs just don't pump around as fast as everyone else's.  Definitely need to work on that.  Second I have been running in the early morning dark and then biking later in the day when I have tried to double up.  When I tried biking and then running, it was ridiculous.  My legs were trying to bike while my mind was telling them to run.  Glad I learned that my body won't function properly this week so I know what to expect next.

I guess my morning of sloth needs to come to an end and I actually need to get dressed and hit church.  Jeremy has been home all morning as meetings were cancelled so it has truly felt like a holiday.  Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there and all the women who teach me how to me a mom.  Today I always have mixed feelings about being so happy to be a mother and wondering at the same time how much my parenting is messing up my kids and then being glad to have had such a wonderful mother myself.

love, Heather

P.S. How could I forget?  Spencer had a court of honor this week and got 6 merit badges and a rank advancement to Star.  In these pictures he is technically blind as he fell asleep wearing his glasses and crashed and smashed.  So he is wearing an old back-up pair.  He got new lenses Saturday with a huge leap in prescription and was having a hard time being able to see clearly.  -4.75 and still getting worse...Must be related to me.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

true love

True love is Jeremy spending his Saturday up to his elbows in muck and mud fixing all our sprinklers with me.  The price of having Spencer mow the lawn is shorn off sprinklers and geysers shooting up out of the middle of the lawn.  Then after getting cleaned up and shooting a bunch of teenagers prom pictures hurrying to take your wife out to see The Avengers, eating his sandwich in the car on the way for dinner.  And then arriving there to realize that said wife had bought the tickets for Friday instead of Saturday night.  So Jeremy got to sit in the front of the theater with me in an unsold seat and didn't say one word about my mistake but just smiled to be there.  True love sure looks different than what I imagined as a little kid but its a whole lot better.

This week we have been fixing up the yard when the weather would cooperate.  Wednesday night everyone was excited to have nothing on the calendar that night.  So Jeremy worked on scrubbing out the hot tub with Robyn in her swimsuit and rain jacket "helping" with the hose while I pulled more weeds.  This is what our girls spent the evening coming up with:

Jeremy and Spencer got to go to a UVU versus BYU baseball game this week.  I am not sure which Spencer enjoyed more, the game, being out with Dad late on a school night, or the fried burritos after the game.  It would be a close call.  Jeremy has been making a point of taking each kid out for a dad night.  So Friday night he took Robyn out to see The Lorax.  Robyn had her purse, lip gloss on and two dollars for popcorn and a big smile on her face as she set off on her daddy date. 

My favorite quotes of the week:
Spencer on my insisting that he did need to practice piano despite him thinking its a useless skill, "why are you always so insensitive!".  That had me just busting up as soon as he left the room.

Robyn when her friend commented on a boy riding a lawn mower shirtless that he was hot.  "What?!!"  I explained her friend meant that he was hot and sweaty as I knew what Robyn was thinking.  Robyn said "Oh good, I thought she meant he was hot like she wanted to marry him".  I blame it all on Zack and Cody episodes on Disney.  Or when walking home from church and debating a present for a birthday party Robyn suggested a scarf, "not a keep you warm scarf but a Fashionable (complete with hair flip) scarf"

Allison when I ate her last bite of brownie that had been sitting on the counter for 4 hours after I told her I would throw it away, "why, why?!  why do you always eat my treats when I am not looking.  No sugar treat is safe in our house with you around!"  So sad...but so true.

The rest of the week was filled up with all the small stuff that makes up our regular life.  Allison continues with softball practices.  My neighbor who died last week had her funeral and we went to that.  A sobering day to think of this life of this amazing lady and wonder what the sum of your life will be at the end of the day.  Taylor is growing and thinking that he needs to eat more that anyone else in the house - even Spencer at times.  Taylor turns 16 this week, hard to believe.  So with the incentive of people seeing our weeds, it gives me motivation to whip our yard into shape.  This time of year I really enjoy working outside.  You know its been a good day when you take a shower and the bottom of the shower if full of dirt and you realize that you have now earned a definite farmer's tan.

love, Heather