Thursday, December 30, 2010


Well, the end of another year. I will post about our wonderfully fun Christmas in a few days, but I must bid a fond farewell to an unforgettable year for us. I always get excited about planning my goals for the future year (full well knowing they will be forgotten in a few weeks), so I decided to list what I DID do in 2010. Forgive me if I'm a little self indulgent and braggy, but I need this.

1. I didn't kill my kids...I'm serious. Each one has pushed me the edge of insanity more than once, but they are still alive. Amazing self control on my part.

2. I taught approx. 300 dance classes and supervised around 250 other ones. No wonder my back hurts all the time. I produced a great recital (I think my best yet) and even performed.

3. We were in 2 earthquakes in California. Always fun.

4. I scrapbooked all of 2009 digitally. It's not great, but it's my family history.

5. I got 2 kids almost fully self-sufficient on skis. 2 down, 2 to go until we can ski as a family (and go bankrupt).

6. My marriage survived. I know this sounds strange, but after a bout of unemployment, this is worth mentioning. I obviously love my hubby and would never trade him for anyone (except maybe Dr. Drew, but that is a post for another day), but unemployment is a strain. It caused us some strife, but we got through and I'd like to think we are closer because of it.

7. I was sugar-mama. I supported my family. I personally think that is cool. We were extremely, EXTREMELY blessed during unemployment with a great severance, good planning, and my studio, but when you don't know how long it will last, you really learn to budget. This was good for me. I've always been blessed money-wise, and it was strangely fun for me to live in a tight budget. But not that fun. I must say, the week Bill got a job, I started tearing up in Wal-Mart knowing I could buy Macy Pampers instead of the cheap stuff. Sad.

8. I did p90X....not faithfully, but I stuck with it fairly well for awhile. I can't stand the tone of Tony Horton's voice anymore, but I did it. Not that you can tell under my holiday layer of fat. I also learned to like running again. That was nice.

9. I got away with my college girls! Finally. We've been threatening to do this for years, but pregnancies and nursing messed it up. It was so very rejuvenating and we are hoping to do it all again this year. I laughed all weekend, except when I got stomach flu for 12 hours.

10. I spoke my mind more. This wasn't always appreciated, but I'm proud of myself.

11. I took care of some things that were wearing me down. For example, my teeth had shifted again thanks to TMJ. I finally took the bull by the horns and got my braces on again, for the third time. Little things like that.

I hope we take a moment to look at what we did. Feel good, be happy and thankful for all that you were able to do.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December pics so far......

Well, it's been a big "Emi" month. Not that my other children haven't done stuff, just not real photo worthy stuff.


Eight year old!

They didn't really duet for the piano recital, but cute nonetheless

After the 1st Nutcracker performance

Sugar Plum Pages

page friends....

Quinn's awesome preschool program. The kid sang every word and did every action. I was so proud. He loves to sing. I heard him lying awake in his bed this morning singing a never ending rendition of jingle bells....he doesn't know how to finish it. Too cute.
I hosted the dessert portion of my girl's night party (we let the ball and chains come to this one). It was awesome, but I can't share too many pics of that. Let's just say Fabio made an appearance, as did the dreaded blue poinsettia, Desperate Housewives game, a stellar home-made "stripling warriors" tie, and an old BYU towel dispenser. That one got left at our house and Bill is dying to put it in the garage.

Merry Christmas....there will be more pics. Just had to catch up a bit before the barrage of Christmas morning photos hits me.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Emi, age 8

Emi is 8 tomorrow. My baby girl is 8. When did that happen?

Here are 8 reasons I love my sweet Emi-Cakes:
1. Emi came at the right time. Heavenly Father knew I needed her and when I needed her. She was my happiest surprise I've ever had and blessed our lives exactly when I needed her. She is a constant support to all around her.

2. Emi is usually happy. She's fierce when she's not, but a joy when she is.

3. She is a great care-taker. She takes care of her room, her siblings, her homework, and her toys. It's sooooo refreshing!

4. She's done it all: skiing, dance, piano, gymnastics, super-reader, smarty-pants girl.

5. Emi is super social and is a wonderful friend to her gaggle of little friends everywhere. She goes to more birthday parties than I have ever seen.

6. We call Emi a monkey. She totally loves it.

7. She is the skinniest creature on the planet, but can eat her weight in pancakes.

8. Bill is really happy that her good looks are being covered up by glasses. He wants to keep her to himself. But she is still gorgeous beyond measure. Stunningly gorgeous, in my opinion.
(at her party this weekend)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A whole lot of holiday

There will be no pics....I'll get to that when I can breathe. That point is not now.

Highlights of my recent life:
-Macy is walking. Her hands are outstretched. It's too adorable for words
-Great Thanksgiving at my sister's house in Cache Valley. Super food, plus she is so relaxed as she gets it on the table. A trait that neither me or my mother possess. Parker and Bill enjoyed hot-tubbing in 5 degree weather.
-"Tangled" with the kids. I chased my little blonde princess around the theater, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
- Rockettes Christmas Show. We saw it 3 years ago in NY, but I'm glad my kids could see it again now that they are older. It loses a bit of charm being in the Maverick Center (no 3D beginning and no live animals in Nativity), but fun still the same. I should have been a Rockette. I just need to grow 3 more inches.
- Santa! He always comes to a boutique by my house the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and he is super. Plus there was real snow in the pics. Did you know that he also drives a Chevy van? These are interesting facts you learn when you show up early. Macy cried, but every one of my kids has their year.
- A week off work....enough said!

-The fizzled "Storm of the Decade". When the weatherman gears you up for a big snow, and then it dies, it's disappointing.
-The cold. Ooooooh, so cold.
-The fact that my husband has passed out upstairs instead of dragging my tree up.
-The looming to-do list at my finger tips fingers are too cold to type. Goodnight.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Beautiful Trees....and my self-esteem is shot to heck!

I ran out to take this picture very quickly yesterday. They are my favorite, favorite trees in our back yard. However, the middle one tends to drop its leaves in the space of one day. Yesterday was that day. You can hear them fall. I think I waited one day too long, darn it!

Which lead to this.....which lead to the trail of leaves all over my house.

I've been having a love affair with the fall trees this year. I love, love, love fall! So, as I was driving into the entrance of our neighborhood looking at the gorgeous trees, I was preaching to the kids about how lucky we are to live in such a stunning neighborhood. They decided it was great because their best friends live in the neighborhood. They also mentioned we have a piano teacher, their hair-cutter, an art teacher, and all the many talented people in our midst. Then Parker pipes up that this neighborhood also has the best mom. As I was tearing up and saying "awwww, your so nice", he continues on to say that the mom he was talking about is the "super mom" down the street who always does wonderful everything. Granted, I agree. She is kind of a legend in our eyes, and so nice to boot, but it did completely put me in my place. Oh well. I guess second place isn't bad.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Highlights....

This will mostly be October iPhoto file has about 300 pics in it thanks to 2 birthdays and Halloween.

We found a great pumpkin patch....millions of pumpkins ( according to Quinn)

and went to Incredible Pizza for Parker's b-day...

Visited Gardner Village with my little witches....
They have a weird thing with hula-hoops...sorry....

Made cookies at Grandma Newman's house...
and oh yeah. Bill and Parker spent 2 hours in this baby yesterday. Freaked me out! I was invited, though I opted to NOT orphan my children. It's a thing with me.

Then off to Trunk-or-Treat. It started pouring just a few minutes after this pic
I love my kitten!

The Three Nephites...I mean Amigos. Not quite as creative as KISS, but it was respectable. A plethora of candy followed.

Every child of mine has done this. She was soooo happy for an hour doing this.

and after a month like this, this is how I feel.
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Worn Out Wednesday

My Wednesdays have become increasingly CRAZY. I thought last week was bad.....

Woke up at 4:00 a.m. with teething baby. Good news is there is finally a little tooth poking through. Peeked outside to major snowstorm.

Re-woke up at 6:30 to get clothes out of dryer, shower, and unload dishwasher. Oh yeah, Macy was up with me again. 7:00, woke kids and started on the mad dash to find snow boots and matching gloves (poor Emi had one black and one purple) while getting breakfast. While the kids where eating, I threw on clothes, begged Bill to get out and shovel our ginormous driveway, and fed Macy. Quinn managed to spill Froot Loops all over himself, which sent him into a screaming fit. While getting dressed, remembered that it was "wear red" day at school, which made me throw clothes out of drawers to locate red shirts (I love uniforms). Took nerf gun away from Parker several times so he could get dressed and dealt with a "personal issue" with Emi. Threw clothes on Quinn and Macy and was ready to get them all in car for carpool when I discovered Parker locked in bathroom with a tummy issue (I'm trying to be delicate). Now running through house in search of TP and fixed clogged toilet.

Pick up carpool kids and blaze through snow and construction to get to school. (There were no workers out on the project today. Are they just going to shut it down for the winter? Wouldn't even surprise me!) I stop for Starbucks hot chocolate, because frankly, I deserve it.

Get home and Quinn decides he must head out into snow right this very minute. Dig out snowpants and too big gloves, but it's really worth it to see how happy he is in the snow. Raced in to do my hair and brush my teeth. Ran Quinn to Monika's for more snow time while I teach.

Teach 2 pre-ballet classes. You add a snowstorm and Halloween costumes to the girls, and they are WILD! Run to get Quinn, throw him in a costume and drop him at Kindermusik. Eat lunch in car since I have only had hot chocolate and a fun size Twix bar for food. Get home, try to take a breath.
(Macy enjoys jamming with the shakers at Kindermusik....more than Quinn does!)

Fed lunch to kids, and could actually chill for awhile to tend to some work. Put kids to nap.

Then the fun starts again! Kids wake and older kids come home. Parker pulls every last bit of Asperger's crap my way, all while I'm trying to get Emi into costume for dance. He then continues to throw more and more of it until I almost snap. Finally get him in for homework, of which I have to sit by him for every darn problem to keep him focused.

Run to Noodles to pick up food because of "Spirit Night" and force food down my kids, then send Emi to Nutcracker practice, eat, and run to Young Women's for the fall festival. It was really cute and Quinn enjoyed it, though it was nuts!

Get home and boss everyone around to get bathed. Didn't realize that Parker never made it to the shower (GRRRRRRRR). Argued with Emi and Quinn that they are not allowed to wear face paint to school when it's not Halloween, and threw them all in their beds. Good-freakin-night.

Really. Did it really have to snow?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A decade of parenting....whoa! of 4:56 p.m. this afternoon, I have officially been a parent for 10 years. Where did the time (and my sanity) go.....

My sweet Parker turned 10.
Here is some stuff I like about Parker right now:

1. His impressive knowledge of stuff. I say stuff because I can't say that I'm totally thrilled to hear all the in's and out's of every Star Wars vehicle, but I'm impressed with how much information he can store in his brain. His memory in unnatural.

2. His love for Macy. She can do no wrong. I wonder if that is how it is always going to be, but she can mess up anything of his and he doesn't care. Anyone else....and watch out. He kisses her several times a day.
(2 years old)

3. There is rarely a dull moment with him. Notice the one snow boot. This was typical. We once found everything off every shelf, and him lying asleep naked in the middle of it. We never used that sitter again.
4. He's resourceful and cares very little about money. Through Bill's unemployment, he was often found offering up his money to help out. He even made $6.40 on a lemonade/juice stand and gave the money to Bill. We cried. This is a pic of him entertaining my student's parents. He often drags Emi into his endeavors.
5. Parker can build a Lego set in nothing flat!

6. His musical ability still amazes. He'll have his entire week worth of lessons memorized for piano in 2-3 days.

7. He's scrappy, silly, creative, and has a great sense of humor

8. He really could care less about sports, but is still the ultimate Cougar fan.

9. The Spirit is very strong with him. He looks at the world and spirituality in a very unique way. I would love to see the world through his eyes, just even for a day.
(baptism day)
10. He's just so darned handsome. I mean, I know I'm his mom, but he really is good looking.
Raising Parker has never, never been easy but it is so, so worth it. Asperger's kicks my butt on an extremely regular basis, probably more than I ever let on. He truly is special, and he has to be. The obstacles he has to get over on a daily basis....well, it's often painful to watch. I really believe he has come a long way in just 10 years and I know he will be one to watch. He's bound for greatness!
I love you, Parker!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Well...I haven't talked much about it, but Bill has been out of a job for 7 months. Until NOW! Woo hoo! His former employer was dropping people like flies, and luckily, we saw it coming early enough to hold on to savings. Once the other shoe dropped and he was let go, we were lucky enough to receive a wonderful severance that lasted quite awhile. Now that I am on the other end, I'm quite amazed at how well this went.

My work has never gone better. Every class is at perfect capacity. About a week before I started my fall season, I had one class with 6 openings in it. Every other class was full. Everyone who called that week wanted that class. Huge blessing to be "Sugar Mama" for awhile.

I just have to say that we really were blessed. We never wanted for anything. We took it easy, obviously, since we had no idea how long it would last. But had amazing things happen and we will forever be grateful for the lessons we have learned before the unemployment (like provident living and savings) and during (like how this could be a serious problem). I feel blessed to have a business and a college degree to fall back on. I already had a testimony of girls getting an education and skill set, but I will not rest until Macy and Emi have a career they can rely on if necessary. It's power, freedom, and the best insurance I can give them as a mom. I have increased empathy for people who are in this situation long term. I hope that I can serve people who are, because it does really suck. I do believe it is good for the soul to do without once in awhile. It has kind of centered me a bit, which I can see now that I am out of the "constant anxiety" phase.

And our friends/family...WOW! They are amazing (and you know who you are). They were sympathetic, generous, and willing to fast for us frequently. We really felt the love and we love you all right back. My mom and dad especially. My mom is always one to dote on my kids with wonderful, crazy cute clothes, but she knew when we needed a dinner out, free sitter, etc. It was nice and my dad is always happy to help, even when we don't ask for it.

So good luck, Bill! He will be serving at the "pleasure of the President" with his new job, and loving every minute of it. Go and do whatever the heck it is you do!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Birthday Wishes.....

Well, it's my birthday. A little boring as it's the most popular day to have a birthday in the U.S. It's 1 day after my sister's birthday, 3 days after my brother's, 8 days after my daughter's, and 9 days before my son's birthday. But, still. It's mine. And I am a believer in celebrating life's little moments. So here are my birthday wishes:
  • For Parker to walk into his room after school and come out 1/2 an hour later with his homework done.
  • More twice baked potatoes from my mom....she spoiled me with some on Sunday. I LOVE them.
  • kids.
  • While shopping, it would be great to find magic jeans that fit perfect.
  • Being able to exercise today when I want. Not just when the kids are sleeping.
  • My own personal hotel room. (and room service)
  • Sweater weather
  • A nap
  • For Quinn to want to play a DIFFERENT video game than MarioKart.
  • For preschool to go for 8 hours.
  • To not have to work. I seriously love my job, but no one should work on their b-day.
  • A call from the VA hospital (I'll explain later)
  • Wow....for my marriage to survive. Just heard on the radio that my profession has the highest divorce rate (must be all the hot male dancers). Couple that with the "parents of autistic spectrum kids" rate of divorce (80%) I'm screwed!
  • For Macy to say Mamamamama all day (oh wait...she already does =-)
  • Diet Coke...I've tried to cut it out, but I don't do things like that on my b-day.
Well....miracles can happen. If not, just time with my cuties will be sufficient. As long as they act cute.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can you believe she's 1?

Well...I can't. She is the sweetest creature on the planet and I can't get enough of her.

10 things I love about Macy right now:

1. She burrows her fuzzy little head into your chest when you hold great.
2. She says "mamama" when she babbles. I'm taking it as her first word.

3. Macy has great rhythm. She totally bounces to the beat with any music. She'll hang with me in the studio while I'm making up dances, and the girl can groove.

4. She loves her pig. She sleeps with it all the time.

5. Best legs ever....I've never really had the chubby baby thing. I squish her legs all day.

6. Super you can tell from the cake pictures, she is adventurous. My mom says that means she will be creative!
7. The blue eyes.
8. Her ability to destroy a room in 30 seconds flat. She can pull stuff out quicker than you can get it back in. She found the box of 96 crayons!

9. She tolerates the annoying 3 older siblings that constantly smother her. In all fairness, they tolerate her piano duets she does with them while they are practicing.

10. She love anything that will make her bounce...couches, cars, music.

Ummm...she's the best. I love her dearly. Happy (belated) Birthday, baby girl!