Friday, April 25, 2008

The Symphony and other stuff

Last night Marty and I had a very nice night out at the Phoenix Symphony. My brother gave me tickets for my birthday, so thanks Justin and Helen! Going to the symphony was one of my absolute favorite things in the universe to do, but I haven't made time (or a budget) for it lately. Well, last night we heard Mendelssohn's violin concerto in e minor which I have been wanting to hear live since I was 15. I couldn't believe it when Justin said that's what the tickets were to - it is seriously one of my top 5 favorite songs. And the performance was INCREDIBLE! It feels so good to be in the middle of all of that music and it's a really spiritual experience for me. Something about beautiful classical music like that really makes me want to be a better person. Well, I will stop blabbering!

What else is new?

*Marty is serving on jury duty right now, which looks like it will last about two weeks. It's actually been a nice break for him, although I can tell he is taking it very seriously. But the first morning he was positively giddy to walk out the door at 8:00 am (rather than 5:30 or 6) and in JEANS! I can't wait until it's over and I can hear all about it!

*We are now down to one car - just in time for summer! Someone hit me at a red light - no injuries but this will be the second time my poor Red Dragon has been totaled. The other guy's insurance should pay for it since it was his fault, but I just have this nightmare feeling that somehow they will find a way out of paying it. I have been very spoiled - I have so much respect for all of you that live on just one car! I am NOT looking forward to walking everywhere in the heat!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More Kanab Pics (from last month)

Brynn and Grandpa Johnson love each other so much!

"Will this take long, Mother? I'm extremely busy here...."

Brynn's new Easter dress.

Brynn is completely engrossed here. But then, most people are when Corey is playing and singing.

More hikes

Thank you, fresh cool breeze in UT. That made for very nice (did I mention nice and cool?) walks.

Brynn will sit and read books for as long as our patience will allow. Luckily, her Grandma happens to be a librarian at an elementary school, so there is always time for new books for these two! Right now it's, "Kissy, kissy the doggie, Brynn!" I think by now, pretty much all of her books have been slobbered on, so thanks for the new activity, Grandma! :)

My new do

Just because I think she's adorable.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Little Helper

This is what our grocery trips have been consisting of.

Sometimes you are this desperate to finish the dishes. And it's reasons like these that I have to change Brynn's clothes fifty times a day. Needless to say she was SOAKING wet after this, but I have loved having a little buddy with me while I do all of my chores. Much less efficient, but WAY more enjoyable!

And just a bonus feature. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Some of our favorites

Kinda mad about this whole March Madness thing

This is old news, but ya. My march madness bracket did pretty horribly. My top 2 teams went out in the first or second round. How could the hurricanes have let me down? It's such a cool mascot! You too, Razorbacks! At least I did better than the year I chose my winners by the colors of their costumes (come on, Charlotte Chatanooga - you were really a disappointment). My best year was when I chose my teams based on the places I wanted to visit. My bracket did even better than Marty's! Maybe next year I will base it on which mascot I think would win in a fight against the other, rather than just what mascot I think is coolest.

However, I have just now realized how foolish my choices were! A razorback is some ugly warthog looking thing? I just thought it sounded cool! And apparently the hurricanes mascot looks like a pelican or something - LAME! No wonder I lost! If I had any idea what they actually looked like, I probably would have picked something else. Sigh...a warthog, seriously?
Oh well. I know next year Marty will persuade me to do it again, I'll try and support him, and he'll get a good laugh when it's all said and done.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Hey, Mom and Dad - happy reading! To everyone else, I just posted a LOT of STUFF so...just take your pick!


First of all, I totally sustain President Monson with my whole heart! I miss our old prophet, but I love our new one!

Obviously these are paraphrased because the text won't be available until Thursday, but...

Ronald A. Rasband: Personal life experiences are building blocks for our faith

I loved Cheryl Lant talking about traditions. It made me really think about what family traditions I would like us to instill. I remember she asked us to reflect on some of ours and how they have positively affected our family. What are some of yours?

Didn't you just love Elder Wirthlin talking about how he, as a SEVEN year old, rebuked his friends when they were bullying someone else? I hope I can raise my kids to have that much courage - their going to need it in this world!

I loved Elder Oaks's whole talk. Acquiring a testimony is not passive, but is a process of action...

Loved Gerald Lund's whole talk, too. I had never thought about the connections between personal revelation and the heart in that way. This is one I can't wait to get the transcript of so I can study it slower.

I loved Elder Parry's recipe for Eternal Life. Can't you just see that making a great FHE?

Sheldon F. Child: Tithing is the best investment you will ever make.

Elder Bednar: They are the full-time missionaries, but we are the full-time finders.

Dennis B. Neuenschwander: The stories are not about the crowds, but the individuals in the crowd. People like you and me.

Ok, this is going a lot longer than I intended it too, but where do I even start on Elder Ballard's talk to the new mothers? He really put in perspective for me how short a time it will actually be for me to have my kids with me at home. Now more than ever I feel like I want to make the most of it. I loved his Q and A session, and came to an interesting conclusion during it. Marty went upstairs during the time that Elder Ballard was telling the husbands how they could better help and support their wives, so he missed all of that. At first I was thinking to myself, "Hurry, Marty - I want you to hear this!" But then as I listened I realized that everything he said, Marty was already trying SO hard to do. He is so good to me and I am SOOOOOOOOO lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive husband. It is time for me to start asking myself how I can help and support him.

Conference sure is a different experience with a baby. I know I missed a lot, but that I also spent less time than I probably should have with Brynn. She was a trooper. I...kind of wish I would have realized, uh, how conference was without a baby before I had one. :)

I also realize twice a year how much much much much BETTER I need to be doing in so many areas! I will be very busy for the next six months!

What were your favorite talks/quotes/moments/anything!

MY session

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this general conference! This probably would have been more helpful to post before conference, but I just wanted to put something out there. This is something that I got from my sophomore year of seminary, and I have been doing it ever since. I pick out a session that is MY session of conference. Then about a half hour before it starts, I pray and I tell Heavenly Father every single little thing that I am dealing with in my life. I tell Him all about my most serious trials, and even the small things that I'm sometimes tempted to think he wouldn't notice. Even just that much feels really good! But then I have a notebook and pen in hand and the second that conference starts, I am hit with a wave of personal revelation. It starts from the the opening song and I am usually writing, writing, writing for 30 to 45 minutes. And then of course I get moments of inspiration after that, too, but for that space of time I receive really specific instruction that, if I follow, helps me to be a better person and really helps me with my trials and problems - even the small ones. I've been surprised by some of the things I have written, but in every case I have come to realize that it has been perfectly tailored for me and my life. After conference, I type them up and either put them some place I will see them, like on a mirror, or inside my scriptures. Marty has gotten used to the drill, and asks me which will be my session. That way he'll know why I am not answering any of his questions or chatting back - I am DEEEEEEP in thought, and writing like crazy!

I know that was kind of personal, it's just made such a huge impact on my life, that I thought someone else might like to try it. I am so grateful for the gift of personal revelation in this life - I don't think I could make it through without it!

She's getting there...I think....

This is just to update any of you that I have commiserated with recently about my sick baby. On Wednesday I went to get Brynn out of her crib and at some point during the night she had thrown up all over in it. That day I lost track of how many times I was thrown up on. Thursday we thought she was doing a lot better, but when I was at round table (for cub scouts) I got a call from my frantic husband saying that her temperature was 105. So I ran out of there as fast as I could and we took her to the doctor, where she received an antibiotic shot (and of course I waited out in the car - I am much more help to her that way, trust me). Saturday it was all coming out the other end, or I should say exploding out the other end. I mean, all the way up her back and over half of the floor - she really got some distance (wow, if I don't stop mentioning my baby's poop, no one is ever going to read this blog again!), but at least she wasn't so feverish. This morning I expected her to be pretty much recovered, but it was back to throwing up. But this morning (dramatic sigh) my spirit was crushed (sigh), so I saved all of her worst messes for daddy, who somehow managed impeccable timing at getting out of most of them.

Is this crazy?...

As horrible as that all was, some of it was sweet, too. I never would have imagined how completely proud of myself I could be for something like not wanting to throw up after being thrown up on. I would hold her until the next time she vomited, then we'd hug a minute until she recovered from the traumatic event, then we'd go upstairs and get cleaned up, I'd throw in yet another batch of laundry, then we'd rock together bracing ourselves for next time. Having said that, I don't know if I can articulate why that was sweet at all...I guess it was just kind of a bonding experience for us. I love Brynn so much, and I am so grateful that I get to be her mommy. Those horrible days, she only cried a couple of times. I'm sure some of it could be attributed to her being too sick to cry, but I really believe that one of her spiritual gifts is patience. That's something that Marty and I have seen again and again. I can't wait to discover what other gifts she possesses - hopefully next time she won't have to be sick for me to do so. :)

Sushi, please

All sushi lovers out there, I am calling on you for a favor! I am desperately in need of some really good sushi this weekend, however, sushi is not one of those foods that I can just pick out a place at random try it. So do any of you know of a good, reputable place for me to try? This is probably weird, but on a scale of 1 to 5 (one being cockroaches on the floor and 5 being high class and spendy, I'm thinking like a 4. Thanks!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Break

We had such a great spring break! My parents (from Spanish Fork, UT), my brother Corey (from Albuquerque, NM) and our little family (GO MESA!!!) met in the middle at Kanab, UT. We had so much fun, whether just hanging out together at the hotel, hiking, or sightseeing.

Brynn warmed up to Uncle Corey pretty quickly!

All the pictures I have right now are from the breathtaking Zion National Park.

Corey, Marty and I set out to do the Angel's Landing hike. It was SO INTENSE!

Only half-way there, did you say?
These switchbacks are starting to get brutal.
You want me to climb up THAT?
For the last half mile, there are chains secured to the rocks. Why? Because many parts of the cliff are only a few feet wide, with a drop of 1200 feet on one side and 800 feet on the other.
Here is looking down at a spot we had just climbed. Corey took these pictures - I had a couple unpleasant bouts with vertigo. Could the view possibly be worth it?

Heck yes, it could!

We made it!!!!!

Meanwhile, down at the bottom, Grandma and Grandpa were watching Brynn...

...And spoiling her rotten!

We came back to find a little cowgirl waiting for us!

Daddy and Brynn missed each other!

What a wonderful weekend!