Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Harry Potter World!

Nick and I arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando at 1:00 a.m. But committed to getting up just 6 hours later to be on time for early entry at Island of Adventure at Universal Orlando and Harry Potter Land!

It was everything we could hope for. Even better!

Casting a spell with his new wand.

Weasley's Joke Shop

Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron.

Butter Beer!

So many wands! The witch helping us knew all the Harry Potter characters they belonged to.  Nick got the Elder Wand. My favorite was Luna Lovegood's -- the tulip-style handle.


We did make time to visit other areas of Universal. Hulk was one of our favorites!

Butter Beer ice cream

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Sum Up

Packing up a few boxes when I'm in the mood...
But going through all these books is a tender walk down memory lane.

Speaking of walking down memory lane, Dan bought me the Saturday's Warrior record for Valentine's Day -- sort of as a joke. Sort of not. 
He found it in a pile of records for sale at Blues Barbershop (of all places)!

He is shocked that I can sing along every. single. word. 

I'm trying to impress upon him that this was our ONLY music. Actually, our ONLY entertainment, besides what we created from our own imagination. We listened to Saturday's Warrior over and over. And over. And over. And over.

Kershaw got shots on Thursday and was SUPER sick! Yikes! Luckily my friend had warned me ahead of time. And I'm happy to report that I actually felt bad for Kershaw and nurturing and not at all frustrated. He was pretty cute on the other days of the week too and is getting easier.
By easier, I mean much more predictable. 

The baby peaking out.
Boys performing yo-yo tricks on a Sunday evening. 

P.S. Another crown fell off. 
And our house is infested with box elder bugs. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Taking Care of Business

Yesterday I was getting root canal and fixing the other crown-less tooth all morning. From 9 - 11:30. And this time the tooth wasn't quite as numb as it should have been. I was on edge for 2 hours straight. Then I went directly to a dentist consult. I'm on a mission to find a better dentist.

I texted some friends to see if anyone loved their dentist. Two said they did love theirs. Because he was economical, super nice and nothing fancy. Well, I've had that for the past 14 years and guess what? My teeth are a mess.

So now I want super fancy equipment and expensive is fine. My teeth are worth it! (And my kids' teeth!)

I spent 2 more hours interviewing just one dentist. And I have to say, anyone willing to spend 2 hours with someone "just interviewing" is impressive. (Should I be worried that he doesn't have a very busy practice?!) He said my teeth look awesome, except for where they're wearing away because I'm biting weird. (And I used to have "a perfect bite!") And we've got to get on that stat. Because it's probably the cause of my teeth breaking.

I interview two more dentists after Nick and I get home from spring break. No more putting it off or making excuses for my dentist. (I went to his office last Thursday to get an x-ray of the tooth that the crown came off. He said "looks good! No decay! just needs the crown reattached!) But the endodontist said, "it's decaying. the crown clearly came off because of the decay." This is the SECOND time my dentist told me there was no decay and then the endodontist told me there was. So frustrating. But I was glad my plan of getting an x-ray and then getting a 2nd opinion worked and confirmed my suspicions.

Today I had a Mammogram. I am really taking my health seriously this month.

I also made a list of things to accomplish today. Because if I don't write it down, I seriously can't remember a dang thing. And yesterday after my marathon dental visits and then finding out I had to drive to Tooele to pick up Kershaw, I came home and couldn't think straight enough to get anything productive done. (But is was fun to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine all evening with Nick. That and clean up the dog's diarrhea -- I think he was traumatized from us being gone all week.)

But today was different. I made my list and I crossed things off. And I had a Mammogram. So bonus points.

Nick is at his first YM's activity Night Skiing. So excited to hear all about it. Dan is skiing in Jackson Hole (and having board meetings). Chris and I went to Cafe Rio just the two of us. It was nice talking. I told him all about when I got the "Chris has been life flighted" phone call. And how scary it was to hear "life flight" and how relieved I was when it was just a broken leg. As bad as that was, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Wednesday's are Marty's letter days. Here are some of my favorite parts from his letter to Dan and I:

P days are great out here, going to the temple and just
getting to exercise without having class in the middle is so nice. 
We're also singing a 4 part Men's song on Sunday for choir which will be fun. 
I somehow ended up at with the super low part which is funny. 
Turns out I've got a pretty wide vocal range. Who knew?

Japanese is still just as fun as ever. I'm so intrigued by this language. 
Becoming fluent in it will be the coolest ever, and I'm for sure gonna take it in college when I'm back. 

So our branch president came and talked to us this week and did a 
"deep dive" into the scriptures, and we talked about how god formed our souls from intelligence 
and it was super crazy and blew my mind. 
Our branch president is a doctrinal library I swear. He is super amazing. 

I am so glad Marty is being challenged. And meeting people who can "deep dive" into the scriptures and "blow his mind." He's so smart and I know it feels really good to him when he can learn stuff that makes him really think hard.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ski Weekend

President's Day Weekend skiing in Deer Valley! (Crap! Just remembered I forgot my charger! And apparently so did Nick.) Such a fun trip! Unless you have a broken femur. Then it's kind of boring.

View from our windows! Not bad.
Dan and I headed up Thursday night for a night to ourselves. (No Dog!) We went to dinner, watched a movie (The Hollers with John Krasinski -- if you liked him in The Office, you'll love The Hollers), and skied on Friday. My legs were so sore!

Friday night Chris came up with a big group of friends and brought Nick up too. We all had pizza (at what turned out to be "their" pizza place they always go to when skiing at Park City). The boys then went bowling, later hot tubbing and then 2 a.m. sledding. We slept right through it. 

Dan, Nick and I watched The Trolls which is one of the worst movies in history. But the rest of the trip we binged watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine. 

Saturday my legs were so sore from the day after skiing that I was unsure I could make even three runs. But I toughed it out and after three runs they started loosening up. However, no moguls for me that day. Too tired.

Here comes Nick in the green coat! (He totally sprayed me and then crashed right after I shot this!)
My ski boots have some serious pressure points. See those red marks! Always the same place!
Our Deer Valley tradition is paninis for lunch. And just as we were getting back to the condo, Chris and friends were waking up -- just in time for lunch.

Chris and friends got in trouble for throwing snowballs at people on the lift and racing across the mountain in bathing suits to hop the fence and swim at the private club across the way. Surprisingly, not in trouble for trespassing, just for running across the mountain and throwing snowballs. To their credit, Dan and I saw several grouchy ski instructors that day. Lots of cool ones. But we were really feeling bad for some kids that were saddled with the grouchy ones!

Making a run for it!

Mom spying from our window!
I love getting back to the condo after skiing and cooking a Costco dinner. No work and no going anywhere. Just spending the whole afternoon and evening in our long johns relaxing. And watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. We did play a few games of Rummikub.

Sunday it was storming outside and we were so happy to have a day to sit warm inside! Actually Nick wrote to Marty that it was torturing him that he couldn't go skiing. But I was thrilled to have it be Sunday so we couldn't go skiing. I got caught up on my scripture reading (finished Judges -- Samson! Ugh! Am I right?!) and we watched Storks -- it's been an Andy Samberg weekend -- and Wreck it Ralph. I am so behind on the family films!
Monday I was surprisingly not sore. We were up early and Nick and Dan were the first on the lift. I was ready by the second run. It was sunny and beautiful. A bit windy at the top but so fun. I actually was ready to try some moguls again -- they were soft and slow, just my kind. Challenging but not stressful. 

Chris wants us to plan another ski weekend when he can actually go! Maybe April?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bad Dreams

You know those bad dreams where your teeth fall out of your head. Happens to me all the time. And sadly, its never a dream! I just lost a crown. I don't eat caramel anymore (because of the crowns). But did indulge in a treat of "chocolate covered cheesecake." But it was actually very soft, very sticky caramel and sure enough as I was trying to still comprehend how this wasn't cheesecake at all, I realized I was chewing on my tooth. Well, my crown. And now I have to chew on the other side of the mouth, which is a very big reminder that I still need a root canal on that side. I was just waiting for the new insurance year. And to think I didn't have a cavity until I was 21 years old!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sack Lunch

Wanted to document this ritual. Down to making only 2 lunches instead of 4 and it goes much quicker! I used to write their full names, but one year I realized an initial will suffice! 

But marking is definitely needed as everyone has a different variation in their lunch. 
Nick likes a water bottle, Chris likes juice. 
Before, when everyone had a peanut butter sandwich, 
Marty took a jam sandwich with a bag of peanuts. Because he didn't like peanut butter. 
And one year Nick's lunch table had a friend allergic to peanuts so 
he didn't ever take anything peanut related. And another year a kid was allergic to meat. 
So no leftover steak sandwich in his lunch. 
Nick didn't like cheese on his sandwich and everyone else did. 
And then he liked cheese but not lettuce. And soon all the boys didn't want lettuce. 
And some liked pineapple juice but not grape. And others liked grape but not pineapple. 
And last year Marty refused to eat whole wheat bread and I said "fine." 
Because after 13 years of sandwiches, I understand you need a change. 
But I made the other boys have whole wheat because it's good for you.

In other observations:
This is Christopher's bathroom. He doesn't share with anyone else.
I'll never understand why one towel isn't enough.

Kershaw chilling with his new toy the Paul's sent. He had two almost 3-hour stints in his crate today! I actually went in there even though he didn't bark because I was worried.
Not quite the same feeling as when your baby has slept a long time and you panic that they stopped breathing. But I did wonder. He was fine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Valentine

Our First Summer -- 1989

10 Things I Love About You:

1) You take care of me and our family.
2) When something is important to me, you care about it too.
3) You read a book on being a good listener.
4) You are kind.
5) You are a really great Dad.
6) You'll watch chick flicks with me.
7) I still think you are super good-looking.
8) You are generous.
9) When I'm tired, you're willing to take over.
10) You make me feel beautiful and loved.

So Glad You're Mine!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring weather in February

He's back in action:
Chris doing backflips on the trampoline today.

Kershaw watching Chris and Jon playing in the yard. Warm weather for February -- 
Chris is in shorts!

Laundry day -- Even Dad is pillaging Marty's things. 
I've tried to tell him that style of socks is for teenagers, but he doesn't care.

 More fetch and chase when Nick got home from school.
(Note Nick's favorite shirt... he wore it yesterday and then it got washed in the laundry 
so he wore it again today.)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Relaxing Sunday

Sunday morning listening to Courtney's "Piano Mix" on Sonos -- a mix of piano songs she's played over the years (the composer versions). Almost like having her here -- it brings a sweet spirit into our home, perfect for Sunday.

Kershaw has been sleeping through the night all week. We put him to bed at 9:00 p.m. and then get him up at 11:00 and take him out. He's so dang tired at that time he yawns and can barely move. But eventually he'll pee and then we take him straight to bed. At 7:00 he's awake and we take him out again.

So in spite of house mistakes during the day this week, the progress we've made is he doesn't bite anymore and he's sleeping through the night. Good things to remember when we're frustrated with him.

That's a pretty cute scene! Something he's waited a long time for!
Dan got up with him this morning and took him out. Later, after eating he didn't poop, so we but him in his x-pen and took turns keeping our eye on him. Literally watching him for any sign that he was about to go in the house. We were looking through Marty's Senior and Missionary photos trying to narrow down to 12 photos for his book. So while Dan looked at the photos, I watched Kershaw. Then he'd point out ones he liked and while I looked over those, Dan would stare at Kershaw. Literally sit and stare. Not daring to take our eyes off him for a second.

And finally an hour passed and Dan took Kershaw out (pooped and peed! --yep, this is what my life has become -- a documentation of when the dog goes #1 and #2 and my emotional state resting on whether he does or not at the right times) to bed and went back to bed himself. It's so much easier to watch him when two people are there to trade off. When he's home with me alone, into the crate he goes because I can only stand to stare at him for about 2 minutes and then I'm bored. To death.

Nick got up around 9 and soon after Kershaw woke up. Since he'd pooped after eating, he got freedom, so Nick played with him for a while inside and outside. We got an invisible fence on Thursday and Kershaw quickly learned his boundaries so as long as someone is outside with him to supervise, he can run free! Free! Freedom!

Nick made a breakfast burrito (he loves to cook)! I made stew in the crock-pot for dinner and Dan made biscuits. Kershaw sat in the x-pen taking it all in. We talked about a summer trip potentially to ski in Argentina and see Iguazu Falls.

That conversation reminded me that last night I dreamed I was in Macchu Picchu with my mom. One of those dreams where suddenly you're someplace and not sure how you got there.  When I realized where I was, I was REALLY worried and nervous because I hate heights and I hate worrying about everyone around me about to fall from great heights.

But my mom said "let's just look around a bit without moving and see it from where we're standing. Then if you decide you're ready, we can go look around some more and get closer." We stepped outside our building and looked around. The sun was shining, the mountains were a gorgeous green and I was surrounded by amazing ancient architecture. Happy tourists were walking towards the sites, eager to get a better look. And I could see it really was very beautiful. I appreciated my mom being with me and waiting until I was ready. She gave me time to get comfortable. Soon, I was ready to explore a bit and really enjoyed it.

I realized I had to take that scary bus ride down the mountain cliffs to get out. But there was no other way.  I knew dying was a possibility but I felt okay about it.  I just said I'd close my eyes on the ride and if I die, I die. And I didn't worry about it and finished enjoying my time in the mountains of Peru with my mom.

Whew... deep! Love you, Mom!

Ashtyn and Chris at Sweetheart's
Friday night Chris had Sweetheart's Dance (Girls Choice). A bunch of friends were hanging out at the house and I guess they were all getting picked up here in the early afternoon. Without my even realizing, the girls came and picked them up and they were gone. So no photo by the arbor!! Darn!

Right now Dan, Nick and Chris are out getting driving hours in for Chris and sporting around in Dan's new (old) BMW he bought for racing at the track. It's red, so that's fun.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...

Yesterday I was really annoyed with the dog. He would never poop outside but then as soon as we came inside he did. Ugh. I felt like I was going in and out every five minutes to try to train him but the second I felt bad he didn't get any time to run around the kitchen, he got me.  I ended up buying another crate so that we have one in the kitchen and one where he sleeps. Today he's been crated most of the day except for our excursions outside. But then he has to come straight in to his crate because he's not pooping outside. We had the house cleaners here today and I was working with a closet guy at the kitchen table and later we walked around outside learning the parameters of the invisible fence. With all the action around him, he seemed content enough.

I submitted my essay for my British Lit class that I started IN NOVEMBER! With all the craziness of holidays and then broken legs and missionaries, I haven't spent any time working on it. Dan even forgot I was taking a class. (I left my books in plain sight because I was afraid I would forget I was taking the class!) Finally got it done and submitted.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
by Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower which smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And, while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Chris passed his Driver's School written test. Then we realized we had time to take the driving test so ran him over and he passed that as well! Learned that last year the State of Utah implemented one more online test that needs to be passed, but after that he's done! When he turns 16 we'll just have to drive down and turn in the documents. Good feeling to have that all behind him!

Courtney got her first acceptance to grad school! University of Colorado at Boulder! She's applied to 5 more -- Tufts, Northeastern, Columbia, NYU and UW. It's going to be an exciting time waiting to hear!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Book Club

I hosted Book Club tonight at my home. I love meeting with these friends once a month. We choose great books and I always love having something good to read. However at book club we don't spend much time discussing the books. Maybe a few minutes. And the rest of the time we catch up and share and care. Debbie and I started the book club about 10 or 11 years ago. It's that good.

Chris had his 6 week appointment today. He reported he's in zero pain. The doc watched him walk and said his limp will improve as his butt muscles get stronger. He needs to do some Physical Therapy to assist with that. He has no activity restriction except skiing and running. He should wait about 6 more weeks to allow his muscles to get stronger. Right now even though his leg feels strong, the muscles may not support or work as he's used to and the more strenuous sports (skiing, lacrosse) are at higher risk for injury until those muscles strengthen.

The current x-rays still look very much like broken bones. But the doctor pointed out a faint white line which is the callous beginning to build up and fill in the spaces. He said that particular mineral doesn't show up on x-rays as clearly, but it's definitely beginning to fill in.

The snow has melted and this little puppy is going crazy chasing leaves and sticks, digging at the grass and generally being very stimulated whenever he's outside.