It’s Possible We Were Overzealous in Planning Family Vacations

Because I am LDS, everyone thinks I am:

a. From Utah.
b. Traveling to Utah.

I get it, but just wondering…does everyone do that to their Latin friend when HE goes on vacation? “Oh, Juarez again?”
Weekends with friends? “I bet the weather is great in Tijuana.”
Visits family? “Have fun in Guadalajara!”

No, because that’s racist, and he’s a third generation Peruvian from Milwaukee.

I’m the cookie cutter blonde hair, blue eyed Mormon chick, but I’m not from Utah, nor do I often visit it…although I LOVE Utah, and I would totally move there.

Totes.

Alas, this time, it’s true. I WENT TO UTAH. Back to the motherland!

For the first time EVER, my little family made the drive north together and enjoyed time with both sides of our family. Brian’s sister Courtney was an awesome host for the Fourth of July, and then we ventured out to my grandparents’ house to celebrate my grandma’s big 8-0.

I did not even completely unpack before repacking. This summer has been the epitome of “work hard, play hard,” working 12-14 hour days in between leaving town. I think I prefer a “work normally, just go to bed at 9” lifestyle.

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Beware the Ides of March…Madness: A BINGO board for YOU to look like you care

My husband has played basketball his whole life. To say he is a fan is to say Mormons use cream of chicken soup.

Understatement.

My experience with basketball is…nothing. Well, except for the time I was on an intramural team in college, but that’s a different story.

Now, look. I enjoyed making March Madness brackets during seasons past, but I still most definitely did not watch all the games. However, for my husband’s sake, I tried to be interested in basketball. The jig was up after about a year of marriage, and that constant squeaking of shoes just gets me. This could stem from my childhood of being a hamster owner and listening to it run in a squeaky wheel all night, but either way, after a certain amount of time, I hate squeaking of basketball shoes and hamsters equally.

Still, it would be nice of me to sit with Brian and pretend to like a game, but I would be mad at myself for wasting time…and what the heck would I do? Laundry? Work on my Kegels?

I’d love to make a social event out of it, but then I’d definitely not be watching.

So, friends of both genders who watch games against their wills, I have created a BINGO board for you with some game watching activities. They include items like “over contoured girl,” and “lip reading a bad word.” I can’t help you with your Spring Break bod’, but I can help you impress your special someone with basketball attentiveness.

Click on it here…I believe you can print it… but you can also play through your phone. Each time it’s clicked, a new board is generated, so everyone’s will be different. I’m half joking/half serious, but tag me if you really do it so I can tell Brian why I was making BINGO boards during nap time instead of laundry.

And, boys…if your lady is watching the screen, I’d say there is a 93% chance it’s not because she is absorbed in the game. She may just be reconsidering the Target items she left behind, she is making a grocery list in her head, or she is avoiding all the snacks because she restarted BBG (bikini body guide). Summer soon, you know?

(Brian doesn’t agree with my statistic and says way more girls watch than I think. If only he were so lucky as to have married one of them.)

Thank goodness I redeem myself during football season.

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International Women’s Day. Some Interrogating and Some Thoughts.

First of all, this is meant to be lighthearted and politically neutral.

I am a woman, I admire women, and I am blessed to have more strong, incredible women in my family than most Thanksgiving tables have seen. I respect women, and I’m all for women’s rights. I work, I contribute to my family’s finances, and I’m all about building people up. What was even the point of me listening to Spice Girls if I didn’t support “gi’l powah”? (Said like Ginger Spice, the best Spice Girl.)

That being said, WHAAAT?? Women’s Day?

New holiday, who dis? I have questions.

Is this from a Beyonce song? Or is this about Hilary again?

Is someone going to bring me flowers for being a woman? What about chocolate covered strawberries? A doughnut, anything?

Was this celebration fueled by love, or anger?

Were there enough marches that someone at Hallmark said, “You know what, Miley? Here. We will just give you a day, okay? We’re sorry that Hilary lost and Trump is creepy and has terrible hair, but calm down. We’ll throw in some inspirational key chains and limited edition Beanie Babies.”

Did Donald Trump really write those tweets? That’s not a question, actually. Donald Trump did not personally tweet well phrased formalities about gi’l powah, or his name isn’t Donald Trump. (Sorry, Donald, no back pedaling now.)

Was I expected to make an Insta-tribute to my mom, like Mother’s Day?

Am I supposed to be teaching my sons to open doors for girls, or is that going to offend everyone?

Were all my friends serious about missing work for the corporate world to experience life without women? If so, was it like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or is this serious? Is this a good representation of women? I hope the ladies at least went to IHOP’s Free Pancake Day. (What a coincidence!)

In conjunction with that, did any men notice their absence? It is March Madness time, and if I know men…

International Men’s Day is November 19, just for the record. Very unfortunately for them, it’s not during March Madness, but maybe Buffalo Wild Wings will have some kind of promotion for men celebrating manhood.

I became so intrigued about Women’s Day Instagram posts that by 9 last night, I had to look it up. According to Wikipedia, International Women’s Day has been observed since 1909. It was started by a socialist party for anti-discrimination/gender equality. I read all about it.

WELL. I’ve been alive since 1986, and I’ve never heard of it. I’ve heard of National Everything Day by now, thanks to social media. Best Friends Day, Sibling Day, Doughnut Day (am I hungry?), Associate Day, but International Women’s Day doesn’t ring a bell.

So, I am circling answer D.) Hilary started the fire in November to highlight all things pro-women.

…which is cool.

I don’t feel suppressed, and I haven’t personally felt victimized of sexism. Yet, I believe it exists, and promoting awareness is great. Plus, I like any opportunity to give kudos to awesome ladies.

I do want a heads up next time so I know to burn my bra and not go to work.

It got me thinking, what would happen if I called out of my mom job for the day? Let’s see how the house would run without a woman in it. MUAHAHA!

Then, I realized I’m an idiot and I leave for a couple days at a time for work EVERY single week…and it’s fine. Everything is just fine. I have an awesome husband who can run the house perfectly, and is probably a lot more fun than than I am. My kids LOVE their daddy days.

I didn’t let that ruin my spirit of “muahaha,” and it fueled me to organize a trip with my girlfriends.

I’m now planning to be here in April. “Women’s Day” inspiration at it’s finest.

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Feb 15: Valentine’s Day Split Personalities Explained

At the risk of offending self proclaimed feminists, I will go ahead and say that February 15 is the day that we girls collectively explain our optimistically erratic Valentine’s Day behavior.

I’ll go first.

This Valentine’s Day, I told Brian I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

He interpreted that as I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m THAT girl. The girl that says, “I don’t care!” and genuinely mean it about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, it’s up to my husband to decipher what I really mean.

Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc are always in that other 20%. By, “I don’t care, whatever!” I mean, “I don’t care butyoubetterreadbetweenthelinesandmakeplansorcomehomewithsomethingbut really, whatever!”

Then, there are other girls, who are fine with their guy surprising them with Trader Joe’s flowers, until they’ve scrolled through social media for seven hours. A bouquet pales in comparison to the Ferrari that babiesburlapandbigamy had in her driveway, and Carolyn35 had her pool drained and filled with her favorite chocolate and a swan floatie. Even Brittany from high school had a gluten free cake served in freezable portions to accommodate her Weight Watcher’s diet!

Suddenly, those Trader Joe’s flowers make you wonder if your man even LIKES you.

Your single friend’s Galentine’s was more elaborately planned than your night, so now, you’re sitting at Outback with your date, nary a bloomin’ onion, furiously unimpressed. “Yeah, no, nothing’s wrong. This is great.”

I know better than to peruse social media on Valentine’s Day, and although I still tossed Brian my usual, suspiciously impartial attitude this year, we had SUCH a fun day.

We began the day with heart pancakes that looked like demented Mickeys. No one ate them, but I took a picture.

Gus went to his darling friend Ivy’s Valentine’s party, and it sounded like he was a little confused about his first ever play date without me. One day, he will be thrilled I left him alone with all these girls, and he will be even happier to know I squirted him with his daddy’s cologne on the way out for good measure. Thanks, Taylor and Ivy!

Brian maneuvered through my “I don’t care!” lies with wisdom of a seasoned (battle scarred?) husband. (For the record, I don’t hope for much, just SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, which was established after my 2009 birthday.) (Ashley Furness was my date that night and let me know husbands don’t know what you want unless you tell them, which was news to me…and has only sunk in 80%.)

We stayed in this Valentine’s Day, and Brian cooked an amazing “adults only” dinner after babies went to bed. If you’ve never had a Brian meal, you’re invited over. I have a hard time eating meat since pregnancies, but Brian’s steaks are ridiculous. He made his own dressing for this pear arugula salad he made but wouldn’t eat, and I almost drank it.

Our dining was momentarily accompanied by background music of overtired Gus’s night terrors. After snuggling him for a while, I returned to my OG Valentine, enjoyed conversation, and went to bed early.

Food and sleep speak to my heart.

So, boys, let this serve more as an explanation than an apology, because history repeats itself, especially so long as your significant other has social media accounts and watches The Bachelor. Sleep well tonight knowing you have another twelve months to either figure out if your lady is a 20%-er like me, or save $75/month to get her Louboutins next year.

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2017 Goals: No Goals

Taking my lights down before January 10th is maybe what I’ll aim for in 2018.

I didn’t make any New Years resolutions, because I tend to make unrealistically lofty goals that are completely unattainable. Make my bed EVERY day? Keep my car completely free of crumbs? Become super holy? Incorporate kale into an artistically plated lunch for my children?

The pressure is stifling.

My 2017 Goals that lasted until January 8th:

1. YOLO (you only live once) more often

2. Get our self-employed financial future in focus.

Two weeks into January, I’ve realized these two 2017 goals are contradictory (like I can even have a YOLO mentality if I’m selling a kidney right after I hire my body out for surrogacy) and that resolutions are a terrible idea. I find myself thinking things like this at night:

You only live once, but from the retirement brochures I’ve recently pored over, Americans these days are really outliving their savings, making me question the financial soundness of YOLO-ing. You might only live once, but it could be an unexpectedly long time, so calm down everyone at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale.

If the YOLO situation is a potentially physically destructive feat, I’ll need to reevaluate. It’s ok, I guess, if my life insurance beneficiary is satisfied with my coverage amount.

The thought of the impending doom that is my real life financial responsibilities CRAMPING MY STYLE makes me want to just lay on the floor of my car and let the Goldfish crumbs engulf me. Let my burdens float away in a cloud of processed cheese.

So, actually, erase my name from the 2017 New Year’s Resolution lists, and don’t ever let “clean car” be a goal.

…or anything “healthy eating” related. I cherish all the donut photos on my phone.

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Christmas. Heart Heart.

Ahh, yes. The 26th of December. Possibly the second best day of the year, and unofficially recognized in my house as Holiday Hangover Day. We’ve loved being cozy in our home playing with new toys, napping, and picking at treats all day.

Brian and I both regret not having more silent nights this season and are making a mental note for next year. Holiday Season 2016, we over committed to…life.

After Brian’s surgery, a few weeks of working like crazy, fun social events, and festivities with my little guys, I took a quick day trip to Utah to see my sweet cousin Kourtney get married. I have a hard time believing she grew older than sixteen, but it’s what they tell me.

Nothing sweeter than a bride with her dad, especially this dad.

In my Uber home, I realized how unprepared for Christmas I was, and we were at T-36 hours with a loooong work day squished in there.

I relied heavily on Santa this year, “nice” status willing.

After a Christmas Eve parade and dinner, and leaving Santa a plate of unwrapped Hershey kisses (Gus explained they were Santa’s favorite), the babies were tucked in bed. I checked my Santa tracker because I’m still nine, and realized I had 10-40 minutes before Santa arrived…from Canada?? Who am I to question the efficiency of Santa’s flight path (and the most downloaded Santa tracker three years running)? That was a short window for me to complete the entire family’s wrapping and hop into bed before the big man arrived.

I LOVED waking up in my own house, with just my little family, and watching my kids light up. We have had some humble Christmases in the not-so-distant past due to my husband starting up his business, and I’ve felt extra blessed this season to not only have all our needs met, but have gifts under my tree that make my kids’ faces light up.

Like I said, nice list.

The magic really is contagious.

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December 2016 Theme: Feast or Famine

Feast or famine has been the theme of this December, and I mean that quite literally.

I am either feasting on Christmas goodies or at holiday parties, or I’m crazy busy and crazy starving at work. Saturday, I was fortunate enough to find my son’s flattened PB and honey sandwich in the bottom of my purse. I reminded myself that I love paninis.

I’ve also been experiencing the seasonal emotional instability that comes with Hallmark movies, and being moved to misty eyes after watching an angel get her first wings on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Hence, a momentary pause in posting. Busy + food on my fingers + squeegeeing a few tears, can’t type, you know?

However, I HAVE been in the process of submitting pieces to several online sites, with high (borderline unattainably high) hopes of being published, but—have I learned nothing from those Hallmark movies? Sometimes, things get mushy and Christmas magic happens. Ask Bella Hadid.

I’ve also been giving myself pep talks in preparation of embarrassing myself by posting “me” photos, all in the name of building enough of a following to get cracking on writing. My photographer buddy helped me with photos are more illustrative to writing, less portrayal of perfection, which makes me feel slightly less stupid.

We’ve been enjoying so much holiday excitement, I’ve hardly pulled out my camera so I can enjoy the moment without ruining that delicate magic with a mamarazzi flash. We’re all a little pooped, but are looking forward to a couple more visits to the big man before the season is over!

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I’m not minding snuggly nappers!

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Oh, wait. Thanksgiving.

Ever since founding the Save Thanksgiving movement, I’ve felt it necessary to acknowledge Thanksgiving as an independent holiday, since it always gets overshadowed by Christmas.

So, I need to backtrack. I wrote a whole post about our Thanksgiving in Arizona with Brian’s side of the family, and it’s mysteriously vanished.

Is there some kind of exclamation point moderator and I overused them talking about all the fun things we did? Were people consumed with jealousy seeing pictures of my cute new niece Hinkley and report me somewhere? Did I accidently post my dazzling review of Brian’s sweet sister Kasey’s beauuuutiful home on Yelp? (5 stars based on the pebble ice maker alone. Let’s just say I stayed HY-DRATED during the trip.) I didn’t save a copy on my computer or in my brain, but I have to acknowledge it with a few photos and a moment of silence for the words you’ll never read.

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Turkey so good, we ate it for dessert.
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Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.
Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.

I could say, “It was fun!” blah blah, but more importantly, I had that “family holiday” vibe. I love that when I visit my inlaws now, I finally have that “I’m with family” feeling. It’s just comfortable. I like it.

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All is Calm, All is Bright

Brian had a little surgery today, and is the only person I know whose deviated septum was truly a deviated septum. We half joked about it for a year, but after being miserable from a 95% closed septum and our insurance spiking at the beginning of the year, he pulled the trigger on the surgery.

It’s a common procedure, but the poor guy looks pretty sad tonight.

For that reason, we fully decked our halls yesterday, the day after getting back in town from Thanksgiving. (That means it’s also decked with laundry.)

There was a sad baby, a timeout, tears, and an acai bowl splattered on the wall, all while Michael Buble’s “Silent Night” played in the background.

Amid the chaos, the little looks of pure wonder in their eyes while decorating the tree with horizontal candy cane ornaments makes me SO excited for this season.

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img_9642 (Admiring décor with a bat is probably less than ideal.)
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Roscoe will be way merrier when he’s introduced to the NSYNC Christmas album.

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Several Reasons I don’t Love Halloween: A Therapy Session

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday.

Could it be because my childhood was scarred after a clown showed up at my preschool Halloween party? Clowns were a concerning species of human when I was 5, and judging by current news, they still are. They disturbed me even more than ET. My mom dropped my terrified self off, and encouraged me to stay. She kept telling me it was just a man, which was even more chilling, because why would a grown man dress like that? Does anyone know him? Doesn’t he have a job to be at?

Could it be that I associate Halloween with accidentally locking myself in a single user bathroom at a church Halloween party when I was fifteen? No one could hear my shouts because the industrial sized church vacuum was being used. I oathed to never hog the handicap individual bathroom again, even if it did have the best mirror to admire my Bath and Body Works eye glitter. At that moment, all I saw in the mirror was tear stained Cleopatra makeup. Bless the seven year old that finally wandered in to throw away the Werther’s from her trick or treat bucket.

OR, could it be that Halloween meant getting asked on scary dates to haunted houses, suspenseful movies, and freaky corn mazes? The scary part was less the activity, and more running from the guy you were with. Hoping he wouldn’t grab my hand or try to cuddle always got my adrenaline flowing. (I’m crinkling my nose because TRUE DAT every year.)

Thank goodness for my kids making Halloween a million times more enjoyable.

Can kids borrow Trump’s slogan? “Make holidays great again.”

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Thank you to my neighbors who dropped full size candy bars into the bag of my seven toothed child! I appreciate this contribution to my depleted mom-emergency chocolate stash. It’s a real upgrade from stale chocolate chips.

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