Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life just couldn't be sweeter

I know I'm going to feel like a big nerd after posting this, but I'm in a good mood, and I just kind of wanted to share. Nothing big. It started out with a good morning. Marty and I got up at 5:30 for scripture study, and it seems to me like life is just so much better when we put in the time and effort to do that. It's like it is a lot harder for me to get bogged down, upset, frustrated, etc. during the day.

Then on his way to work, Marty called to let me know that it was raining (remember, in AZ, that's a big deal)! Hard! So I opened up all the blinds, and opened up my new sliding glass door (!!!!!, by the way) so that I could see/hear/smell the rain. I was feeling so motivated and had so much done by the time that Brynn woke up, that I was completely ready to spend every second of the morning playing with her.

I brought Brynn downstairs and of course we headed strait for the back yard (!!!!!, again). We danced in the rain, blew bubbles and ate plums on the covered patio. I just couldn't take my eyes off of that little girl. In the humidity, her curls become so tight and perfect, and then add that million dollar smile....sigh. Little Angel.

Throughout the rest of the day, it was basically more of the same. Nothing huge, just lots of wonderful little things. Like, this afternoon Brynn helped me make chocolate chip cookies (she cracked the eggs, stirred the mixture, taste tested way too many chocolate chips, and gave me lots of messy, chocolate-chippy kisses). Marty came home and read me excerpts out of a really funny book while I finished making dinner. Then right as it was time to eat, it began to rain again (!!!!!) so we hauled Brynn's high chair to the patio and we all sat out there to eat. Then my sweet husband gave me some time off from Brynn so that I could blog a little. All in all, a very happy day.

Obviously not all of my days seem this great. For example, just earlier this week we all came down with something and sometimes I feel like the only thing that is more draining than taking care of a sick, fussy baby is doing it when you, yourself are sick and fussy. And a lot of times Brynn's messes are not cute, they are downright infuriating. Sometimes the rain is not so fun (like when you have to drive in it and your car almost gets washed away - long story for later). Sometimes I don't want Marty to entertain me while I cook, I just want HIM to cook the dang dinner.

It made me start to wonder how many days have had today's incredible potential, but for some reason or another (ingratitude, selfishness, laziness...what is it exactly?) I haven't taken advantage of it and just lumped that day together with so many other ho-hum days that, upon the day's end I only wanted to thank Heavenly Father that night that it's finally over, instead of pouring out my heart in gratitude for every second I get to live in this world that I love and live this life that I love.

I feel a little confused as to why the feeling of this day was different to me, but I really want to figure it out so that I can have more of them. Did this make any sense? Have any of you ever felt like that? If so, do you have any suggestions for me? I truly am going to strive to make more of my days special and worth it, even if nothing earth-shatteringly great happens to me that day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When, where, WHAT Marty!?!

So, tonight Marty and I were playing boggle (which I always win) and I was reading Marty my list of words. The conversation went something like this...

Em: Tune, when,...
Marty: Wait, what was that last word?
Em: When.
Marty: What? What is a wen?
Em: When! When, when, when! WHEN did you go to the store? WHEN!!!
Marty: (Erupting in laughter) Is that really what you SAY?!

So, all my life I have been pronouncing the word when, like this: Wen.
Marty has been pronouncing it like this: Hwen.
We battled back and forth for a while and then came and looked it up on the internet. The pronounciation guide said, "Hwen, wen." So we are both ok, right? Then the conversation went something like this:

Em: Ya, but no one REALLY says it like that, only english teachers' kids say that.
Marty: My dad (the english teacher) would be appalled. Besides, you're from Spanish Fork, so you don't have a say in how to pronounce words.
Em: Hey! Did you miss the day in english class wen they taught silent letters?
Marty: Did you miss the day in english class hwen they taught english?

So please, just let one of us win. Hwat do you guys actually say?

Friday, August 15, 2008

We LOVE monsoon season!!!!!

So here's the story. We miss the rain so much, that we always go out in it the few times it does rain here in AZ. So of course we ran into our friends, who were also out and about enjoying the monsoon. Jeff mentioned getting the raft, then I laughed, then he actually did get the raft, and so we took it out to the little drainage/grassy area near our house. It looks a little deeper in these pics than it actually was, but deep enough to float around in! Brynn had a blast - as long as Emma was with her. Anytime Emma left the boat Brynn freaked out. Oh, and by the way, these pictures are from at least a month ago, and before we moved, but I just had to put them on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My new favorite word

It takes such concentration that she can't say it without doing whatever it is that she's doing with her fingers. It's so fun to be able to communicate with her rather than just guessing what she wants all the time. Well, actually, I still do a fair amount of that.


Space Needle

Brynn knew what to do

Dinner at the top

Pike's Market

Seattle Temple

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good luck, Brother Johnson!

Today is the first day of the new school year for Marty (Highland High starts early, I know). There is a chance I might not be totally impartial, but I can't help but think that Marty is the best seminary teacher ever. :) Today all of the seminary classes are combining for an assembly, but tomorrow Marty gets to meet his new students. Good luck on your first week back, Marty! I love you!

Friday, August 1, 2008

What we have so far of...


Marty and I wanted to travel as much as possible before Brynn turned two (so we'd only have to pay for two plane tickets), and we have been looking forward to AK for SO long! I didn't know if we could actually make it happen, but my amazing and generous brother and sister-in-law gave us a plane ticket. Thanks so much, guys!

I used Helen's camera during the trip, so here is what I have so far of our trip.
And Justin and Helen, I know you guys are going to make fun of me for saying this, but I DID have a TRUE Alaska experience. I can't believe how much you guys spoiled us (especially Brynn), and I am so grateful to call you my fam!

Alaska Fireweed Jelly

These fireweed flowers grow wild in Alaska, so we picked some and Helen showed me how to make jelly out of them. It was SO delicious!

Cook-out with Reindeer Sausage!

You heard me, I ate a reindeer. Among our other AK delicacies were lots of lingonberry dishes, BISON burgers, the most delicious salmon I've ever had, yummy sushi...what am I forgetting, guys?

It was so good to spend time with my brother.

Although, sadly it's made me start missing him again. Which is unfortunate because, let's face it, he lives in ALASKA. Probably not going to see him more than a couple times a year, if that.

Apparently, I'm the only person on the planet who makes a mess when I eat roasted marshmallows. Thanks for making me so aware, guys. :)

Like mother, like daugter. Although this is Brynn's usual look when she eats choc chip pancakes.

Fishing is an Alaska "must-do"

First life-jacket

It made her cheeks bulge out :)

Denali National Park

Can you see the famous Mt. McKinley?

Neither could we, and neither can anyone else about 80% of the time (it's usually hidden behind clouds). But we saw some beautiful scenery, unlike any I've ever seen before. We also saw a bunch of moose, including one baby moose that was so cute! PLUS we got rained on, which on happens to me a handful of times a year here in AZ, so I was happy.

The frigid 40 BELOW room!

In Alaska, some days it gets to about 40 degrees below zero, so this is a room that simulates that for the tourists all year long.

Check out the ice crystals forming on our eyelashes and nose after just a couple of minutes in that place!

They gave us a cup of boiling water to throw up in the air. The water will actually freeze mid-air before it even hits the ground.

Of course we didn't bring the baby in with us. We apologetically handed Brynn over for them to baby-sit yet again, but then realized they probably didn't mind so much when we found them literally dancing in the street later. Brynn is a lucky girl to have the aunts and uncles that she does.

A cool big boat. Really just a picture I think is cute, I guess.

Anderson Bluegrass Festival

I'm so proud of my big bro! He is an amazingly talented bass player and does quite a few gigs when he's not busy at the Musk ox farm, his ridiculously brainiac research job, and earning scholarships from the physics department at UAF. (SO sorry, Justin, couldn't help myself).

Brynn was his biggest fan. Here she is standing way too close to the speakers, but dancing really cute, so we let it fly. I think we'll win the good-parents-award for that one.

This is one of Justin's jobs, and a big highlight of the trip for us. We got the private tour of the Musk Ox and the Caribou. Which meant we got to break the rules and feed them.

The baby musk ox was cute, too!

Oh, and Brynn totally got charged at, which was awesome. Don't worry, they're behind a fence.

North Pole

No, not the North Pole, obviously. North Pole, Alaska.

I thought I had said my goodbyes to my beloved hot cocoa 5 months ago. :) I think I like this town!

Can you say bizarre? For anyone who sentimentally thinks to themselves on Dec. 26th, "Gee, I wish Christmas was all year 'round," you may want to think twice about that. Every lamp post in the town is painted like a candy cane, every store is called something like, "Santa's RV park," they do their best to remind you that everything you mail here is mailed to "Santa's ZIP CODE!" BUT, I do have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my one afternoon of Christmas in July at a place where they offer you hot cocoa the second you walk in the door (anyone that knows me well realizes what a dream come true that is for me).

Date Night

One night, Justin and Helen kicked us out so we could go and enjoy ourselves without the baby. They told us they made reservations for us somewhere, then dropped us off at a beautiful park where a gourmet picnic had been set up, complete with sparkling cider and games to play (again, for anyone that knows Marty and me well - include games in anything for us and its a paradise). They also gave us a map of Fairbanks and marked all the hot date spots.

Botanical Gardens

Here to prove that it is indeed possible to grow colorful garden in AK.

FYI Justin, Helen, Katie, and Bennish: This date was so badly needed after all of the stress of the big townhome/new home MESS, it was so hard for me to hold the tears back when I saw all the work you had gone to for us. Thank you so much!

After that we checked out the town, and a lot of things were closed already so we ended up doing something we planned to do in AZ, but I'm so glad we didn't put it off, because it was


This Batman was the BEST Batman ever, hands down...infinity. Plus one. Super disturbing....but incredible. And I'm picky about Batman, having been a loyal fan since I was little.


11:00 PM....Still light

It's so hard to make yourself go to bed at midnight or 1:00am when you are still hanging out in broad daylight. And the fact that Katie and Bennish, our new friends in AK were so fun, didn't help matters either.

Beautiful Ballaine Lake

What would a long post be without a naked picture of Brynn?

Brynn was looking like a true Alaskan, I'm told

Sugar rush

Brynn misses Uncle "Duh-Dih"

New Best Friend

This is Katie, Helen's sister who became Brynn's new friend after being kind enough to take Brynn outside almost every time she asked for it, which was basically everytime Brynn suddenly
realized what a sucker she was for being inside. It's just too darn hot here in Mesa to go outside much, so Brynn took advantage of every minute of the nice AK weather. The first thing she said when she woke up was, "Sigh? Sigh? Sigh? Sigh? Sigh? Sigh?" Which is Brynn for "side," meaning outside.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes, there is actually still more to come! Thanks for bearing with me!