a getaway

Ty surprised me this Christmas with a ticket to Michigan.

What's in Michigan besides sub zero temperatures and snow up to my thigh?  My brother bill, his wife (also one of my best friends) and their kids (our kids all leapfrog in age) and their cute little house.  Last year they were in West Virginia and I wasn't able to visit. Lame. This year all I wanted for Christmas was to go see them and their kids and huzzah! It actually happened. Thank you Ty.

Confession: Wednesday night as I packed I was positive I was the worst mother in the world. Who leaves their husband and kids and travels alone? Just for pleasure? What kind of a sicko was I?  I had to arrange 800 babysitters and rides for the kids and coordinating for everything. It was  a lot of WORK just to get out the day.  And fyi, I hadn't flown in 4 years.  I almost had to ask directions, what? And I almost fell over trying to take my snow boot off in security. hahaha.

Long story short, I went. It was fantastic, I had a great time, and now I'm home. hoorayyyy!!! Here a few of the highlights in iPhone photos no less:
said cute little house. in fact, i was in love with all of the houses and buildings. it doesn't hurt that i love brick and i love tree lined streets either.

word to yo mutha. he will hate i put this up, and i bet his staff would go nuts with a photo like this. hahaha.  i like torturing him with stuff like this. it's really out of love, really. whenever my kids are fighting i try to remember that someday they will be best friends. this is truth. bill and i fought our entire childhood, and now i can't stand being away from him and his family for over 12 months. note: we hadn't seen each other in 2 years. yuck.

our church has callings for every person in the ward (if you accept it). bill and mel have been in nursery a TON. i'm sure they are exhausted of it, but it has made one champion of a bubble blower. it was just like the pied piper i tell you what.

these kids, man i already miss them. they gave me great ideas for toys/tv shows/games/puzzles for my kids and i returned the favor. we really liked doing "silly" selfies. i tried extremely hard to make myself the favorite "aunt", but I'll be ok if they just remember me as funny. not too much to ask right?

detroit was just as i imagined it. hehe

silly selfie!

mel and i may, or may have not, seen the most beautiful male specimen alive at the lululemon  (we did, holy cow we did)

silly selfie take three!

more pictures to come, ty did a great job watching the kids but there is a mysteriously large amount of dirty laundry everywhere. hmmm. thank you to everyone who babysat, subbed for me in primary, drove my kids, fed my kids, helped out ty. thank you!


toad days

One of our all time favorite children's author is Arnold Lobel. If you don't have the Frog and Toad series books at your house, please please get it.  I loved them as a kid, and honestly, I love them more as an adult. My favorites are A Swim, Cookies, and Tomorrow.

It really is the illustrated version of The Odd Couple. Toad is the cranky serious one, Frog is the overly optimistic, happy one. They compliment each other perfectly.  And yesterday I told my mom, "I think I realized we all have a toad and a frog inside of us". Unfortunately, I have more toad days than frog days. i think it's just my nature. some people call it pessimism, i like to call it realism. but i heard realists are just pessimists in denial. or something along those lines.

anyways, i love toad.
he is funny and cranky and never wants to get out of bed
and always wants to eat all of the cookies.

sounds like me a lot lately.



out of control

somewhere on pinterest i read a poster that in bold modern letters stated: I write, therefore I exaggerate.  haha, guilty. yes I exaggerate sometimes, okay  maybe a bazillion times every post.

this post holds no exaggeration, it's a stew that can hold a fork straight up all on its own.
 no ketchup needed today.

saturday night my parents were awesome and came to sit with the girls and play games (ha, lucy cajoled them into watching disney channel muck) while ty and i took a much needed temple trip. driving there we talked and laughed and held hands, just happy to be alone together AND out of the house. something we have been neglecting a lot lately.

heading down north las vegas blvd a car shot straight out of nowhere straight into our lane. i didn't even have time to shout to ty it was that fast. ty swerved out of the way and missed him by inches, but when we looked up with relief all we could see was a semi truck's grill and head lights heading straight AT US in the turn lane. again, ty swerves out of the way and our tail end whipped away from its deadly path at the last second.

after that it was a slow motion blur. we were fish tailing and tipping across the entire 5 lanes. thank goodness there were no other cars around. near the end  when cds were flying across my face (yes, i still listen to cds and tapes) i saw all of my kids' faces and knew we were going to be very injured and in the hospital for awhile. i was peaceful the kids were with my parents, and grateful ty and i were together. i knew this was going to be, and braced myself for, bad. at that moment ty reached over (still mad at him for letting go of the wheel) and grabbed me and said "It's ok, we're ok, we're ok".  I was flabbergasted. How were we ok? The car was tipping and spinning backwards in a 180 degree turn fast and furious stunt drivers would be envious of. and a second later the car screeched to a halt. we were heading the opposite direction 5 lanes over.

nothing happened? how did nothing happen? we were ok! i was hyperventilating, but ok! the poor other driver, bless his little heart. he felt awful and asked us to forgive him over and over and over (again, no exaggeration needed). ty tried to assure him we were fine and it was ok, but you could tell he wanted to repay us somehow. because really, we should have rolled, really, really should have. really, really, really should have. finally i had a prompting and i just blurted out, "we forgive you! but you go to church TOMORROW and say your prayers!"  i told him we have four little kids at home and were blessed nothing happened. he promised he would go to church and say his prayers, and i added "for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!"

ty afterwards laughed that i wasn't specific and should have forced him to find a mormon church haha. but if any good can come out of that and he will find his faith again, then it was worth it. sure our tires are black and have chunks missing from the tread from skidding, but we are safe, the car is fine, no other drivers were hurt. it is crazy even thinking that it happened. (ps ty is sad you can't see our skid marks. psh. men)

i have never been so happy to be at our temple, and then home with my family. i know a lot of prayers were answered that night with our safety. ty has said over and over again, there isn't a logical explanation for why we straightened out like that at the last second to miss the semi. it also doesn't hurt that ty is an excellent driver and doesn't speed. 5 extra miles per hr and we would have a not so lovely encounter with a mac truck.

i think i've had a lot of "faith" filled and religious posts lately, but i would be an ungrateful mess to not write this one down.

say your prayers and go to church.
because we really never know when things will get out of control.


on our hike last saturday


learning to serve

i have had so many ups and downs ( a lot of downs) over the last few months. i have had many spiritual experiences that I keep in my personal journal and do not want to forget. I still am constantly surprised at how much the Lord works through other people's words and actions, (pretty much always).

after bed rest with phoebe, I was on a spiritual high and happy to reach out to others after everything we had been helped with and given.  i was constantly looking for ways to serve all the time. but somewhere, in the meantime, i cared more about serving others and neglected the most important people first; myself, my spouse, my children, my home.  

so then i stopped. I stopped helping others during my journey of trying to take better care of all of those things first. the more i stopped serving the worse and worse my situation felt. it seemed like trials were coming out of the woodwork. or for people who live out here, irrigation day and all those bugs that had somehow been hiding in your lawn for the last month. ha! that still gives me the creeps!

the less i served the less i felt the spirit. the less i served the more bitter i became. the less i served the more involved with "my" problems and "my" self that i became. seriously, i think even one day i collapsed in bed crying over feline diabetes. i kid, i kid. (sorry PETA)

so what i know is this, those scriptures are always pretty darn right. 

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Mathew 16:24-25

i'm starting to feel a little better, i'm almost caught up with the lice laundry (no joke). i'm cooking dinners and trying to write thank you cards to everyone ( always write, never mail! gah, i'm horrible at that). and i kid you not, around every corner is crappy feelings smacking me down and telling me to stay hibernated in my comfy hidey hole of sorrow, sadness and stretchy pants.

what i know today is that i am still learning that that first little voice you hear? is always right. "Maybe you should call her", or "I should stop and say hello" or "maybe they need a ride?" etc. etc. and i always dismiss those thoughts with, "No, they don't want to be bothered" or "I'm late" or "They can't ride in our messy car, I'll give a ride later".  

my goal is to learn how to listen to those first promptings and act! it's going to be a process that's for sure. i fail at that more regularly than almost anything else.

but here is also what i know, the sun is shining, my kids are healthy, ty still kisses me in the kitchen, we are blessed beyond measure and learning to serve is a process not a destination. i'm going to try better, any advice?

this was a beautiful talk about women. i highly recommend it.


lice to know you

This is not a post I want to write, but by golly if it helps another mom then it was worth it. In case you missed it, my school aged kids got lice. yuck. double yuck. triple yuck.

We found it, treated it and we thought it was going away. We treated it a second time (because that's what the expensive treatment "advises" you to do) and we still had LICE.

quadruple yuck.

The life cycle of a human louse is something every mom should know. Prepare yourself with knowledge my friend, and learn from my mistakes.  Almost every website had conflicting information. This is what I know to be true: baby louse is called a nymph. It reaches adulthood in a week. After adulthood a female lays 8 eggs a day (again, every site said something different). Eggs are called "nits" and hatch in about 7-10 days.  ALL NITS SHOULD BE REMOVED. Some say, "white nits are alive and brown are dead/hatched". The next site says "brown nits are alive and white nits have hatched". Just put on your big girl pants and a good movie to watch and get them ALL out. Here's a tip, because my oldest had dandruff and was hard to distinguish. If you can blow the speck out of their hair, it is not a nit. Those suckers are glued on by a concoction satan made himself.

A nymph is almost invisible. I'm not even kidding you, smaller than a pin head and invisible legs and teeny brown spec of a body. You can not see it with a naked eye, but with a flashlight and really really looking for it. Oh yeah, they are fast too.  The nymphs move fast because they have to eat the fastest=that's when they spread so easily without being aware of it. So let's say Napolean Dynamite goes to school with lice, his grandma/aunt/mom doesn't tell anyone, and those nymphs spread like wildfire in a classroom or at church (think of the pew you sit on, ew). By the time you can see a louse and it has laid enough eggs to catch it without looking for it, you are in some deep doodoo sister. The lice have been there awhile. And yes, I've been having lice nightmares for two weeks, my head itches 24/7 and I'm still paranoid about going out.

Here is a list of things that worked and did NOT work, when treating lice.

things that don't work:
most of the over the counter products the lice have become immune to. nice right? in our little town those boxes are $15-18 a box!! and when your daughters have long hair that's one box per treatment.

the combs that come with those packages are also GARBAGE. don't rely on them to rid you of your not so friendly critters.

NOT telling people your kids associate with at school/church/play dates/bus that your own family or member of the family has or has had lice. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed, a lot of clean kids from clean families get lice. you should be more ashamed and/or embarrassed if you keep it to yourself and let the other families wander in the lone and dreary wilderness till the critters are large enough to stage a full blown attack.

things that worked:
1. The TERMINATOR comb. buy it, keep it in your first aid kit. it was amazing! just when we thought we were lice free, this arrived in the mail. I still had 5 days of combing through their hair (yes, you have to comb through and check for nits for 14 days on everyone in the family) left so I had a good comparison of before this comb and after.  after the second treatment, all nits/lice are supposed to be annihilated. well guess what? this natzi comb pulled out over several baby lice. and i'm talking, smaller than a pinhead and invisible babies. I would never have seen them/caught them without this comb, which would have led to another lice attack. KILL ME NOW.

2. this treatment, it was expensive and I believe it preys on desperate mothers, but it worked. It also comes with a full refund guarantee, and Ty is a big fan of those.

3. Cetaphil face cleanser. I know right? Apply an entire bottle of it to the scalp and let sit for 2 minutes. Then comb out excess and blow dry hair dry. Let sleep in it overnight and shampoo in the morning. Repeat this process two times a week for 2 weeks. Luckily we were over the lice and had bought $$$$ worth of treatments and didn't have to try this.

4. Combing through every day with coconut oil (lice apparently despise the smell of coconut and the oil makes it easy to remove nits) for 2 weeks and using your nails. yup, I had to pull off almost every nit with my nails. Those early combs didn't get them and by the time I got the "terminator" almost all nits were gone.

5. Cutting the girls' hair short. Combing through and nit picking  was taking 2plus hours a night . The shorter hair saved my sanity! Thank you Ashley Bowler! There is a special place in heaven for you for that selfless service.

6. Calling and notifying the school and all friends/classmates ward members etc. Sure, it was embarrassing to tell everyone but I wanted everyone to check before (if in case they had it) it got worse. I told EVERYONE the kids had had contact with or were in our house for the last week. And I had to keep asking (demanding) the school to keep checking my kids' classes. A reinfestation would have sent me over the edge. Trust me, I was already at the edge by this point. I'm not even joking, talk about stressful. Lice was one of my worst nightmares, and boy did I get to live it. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

These are some of me delousing arsenal. The detangler Uniq one is one my sister bought me from christmas (it's amazing!), and it helped the combing through on the days we didn't use coconut oil. I don't know if the Licelogic products work or not, but I'm still spraying everyone's head and all the furniture every day just in case!


A new year! A new...wait.

New Year's eve couldn't have come soon enough last year. That was last year right? The prospect of a new year and putting the past behind was almost exhilarating. I was going to make an awesome dinner, we'd celebrate with appetizers and martinelli's and go out on our ritual New Year's Day adventure with the Adams clan.

In case you forgot, half of the family was blessed with the stomach bug New Year's eve and day. Hooray for 2014!!

I haven't exercised since the end of November, and I eat when I stress out. So, me-exercise+eating everything=depression and weight gain. To sum it up, I'm a hot mess. And the funny part? Well, there isn't one. I know that someday things will return to normal (or at least better than now) and I can exercise every day and after I'm exercising my eating always returns to a happy place and so does my body. Right now, neither are in a happy place.

Then, we got lice.

I know, I know, this sounds like one of those whiny posts. But I promise, even though 2014 has left nothing to impress, at the same time so much GOOD has been happening. You can't see it, but it has. Wonderful blessings and answers to prayers. It's funny, because a few years ago I would be flipping out over gaining weight. And today? Well, I am at peace about it because I know it won't last. Little by little hard work and persistence will pay off and I can be healthy again. And that's all I really care about now, healthy enough to take care of myself and my family and serve others.  It's a wonderful place to be, in my opinion.

On another note, one of the littles favorite things is walking up to Great Grandma's and Grandpa's, eating all their food, playing with all the toys and then playing on their little tractors. Pure heaven.

And Rodney needs a hair cut so very badly, and I just can't do it! help!

**bonus! my phone got a ton of moisture in it. don't even ask, because I'm clueless. It's currently sitting in a sealed tupperware full of rice. plus, our house phone doesn't work anymore. so yeah! email me : )****

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