Brian’s keeping me on my toes.

I’ve been surprised by my husband lately.

Brian, who I always assume is on his phone for something Fantasy sports or ESPN related, was recently scrolling through his phone and musing, “There seem to be a lot of dessert recipes with coconut oil these days.”

He also surprised me by caring deeply about his sunglasses that went…missing. Just between us, I sat on them. I didn’t know they were Brian’s nice pair by the shards of plastic remnants, nor can I be expected to be a dainty sitter in the midst of fudge season. Three months ago, they may have been repairable, or at least not completely obliterated by my mid-holiday bod.

Tonight, he surprised me again. I tend to like to “do stuff,” as opposed to sit through a movie (my mind is an untameable grocery list machine when I know we’re almost out of milk) (and we’re always almost out of milk), so Brian took me and my brother Keaton out to an archery range.

I’d never shot an arrow before, but I’m comfortable with you calling me Katniss now.

Or, you can call me bloated, because I pounded the best cheeseburger at THE best place on the Strip, Bobby’s Burger Palace. (Watch your sunglasses.)


The only other burger I’ve kissed that’s not In n Out, AND I was too full to pick at Brian or Keaton’s food. MILESTONE NIGHT!

Continue Reading

My Dance Date 2k16 / Would I Sue Brian If He Broke Our Contract?

Most people’s prenuptial agreements protect finances.

I didn’t have a staggering net worth or massive inheritance to consider, but I did have my sanity to defend. At twenty two, I was wise enough to know a woman’s opinion holds more merit when she is engaged than it ever will at any other point in her marriage.

It was during that golden time that I made Brian sign a spiral bound paper (college ruled), initialing in blood that we would never live in the Dakotas, I could have a cat, and he would squish spiders.

Like I said, important, important things.

I’m not sure if the agreement will be upheld in court as a legal document, but it is signed and dated.

One item of business discussed during engagement (although it was not signed upon), was to have a BIG date once a year: high school dance style. I’m not talking about going to dinner at Chipotle. I mean, a real, planned, get dressed up and go all out date. Going to high school in Las Vegas, I enjoyed some elaborate dance dates…but wouldn’t it be so much more appreciated to do it all again, married, leaving your house of kids to dress up for the guy you’d actually been hoping would ask you?

It took seven years to execute B + A Prom Date, but we made it happen last week.

Cue spray tan.

I got my nails done.

I timed fresh hair just right.

I bought a pretty dress, complete with the annoyances of trying on 57 before finding one that covered everything it needed to.

I got my makeup done.

Wait, did I shave my legs? Oh, well.

IMG_6120

The Snapchat files
The Snapchat files

We had appetizers at Wolfgang Puck, where I felt inclined to solemnly place a small silver dish at the end of the table with a red rose lying on it…

The hostess had some shaky hands. That's all I know.
The hostess had some shaky hands. That’s all I know.

I surprised Brian with a helicopter tour of Las Vegas.

IMG_5976
IMG_5982
IMG_6046

 It sounds cooler if I don’t tell you it was bought on Groupon.

It sounds cooler if I don’t tell you it was bought on Groupon.

We had a late dinner at Serendipity instead of a show, which I didn’t think we could stay awake to watch. Good call, because we were struggling by dinner.
IMG_6086

Although there was no alcohol involved, I still felt hungover the next morning from too little sleep, so I felt I got the full, stereotypical high school dance experience. Satisfying.

Brian and I had the best time. The night was exciting and fresh, and I laughed hard enough to require a potty break. I don’t tell you any of this to glorify our night…I am telling you this so that you’ll do that same.

If it sounds fun to you, have a “Prom Night.” If it sounds ridiculous, it is.

I’ve always been drawn to ridiculous.

Continue Reading

Wife Vs Mom

Wife life and mom life.

The juxtaposition of these two identities hasn’t been particularly graceful for me, as the two roles seem to be an either/or, oil/water situation.

As a childless wife, I dutifully fulfilled my responsibilities. I shaved my legs. I washed my hair (more) often. I put effort into my overall appearance, and Brian was my whole, entire world. His happiness was my utmost priority. I would like to highlight how I nobly bit the bullet and sometimes sat with him to watch basketball games…for at least a year. We enjoyed plenty of alone time together, fun dates with other couples, and I went out of my way to be friendly with wives who’s Pinterest recipe stories didn’t particularly jazz me, just so Brian’s friendships with the husbands continue uninterrupted.

Basically, I still doodling his name all over until we had babies.

Those babies pretty much clicked “select all” and “delete” on the previous entire paragraph.

Now, I wake up like sounding like the girl on The Grudge, but looking like the girl from The Ring:
IMG_4383
IMG_4379
IMG_4381

Literally, I woke up like this,
especially after nights like this.

Motherhood has made me speak 9 octaves higher. Three or four days a week, I only see Brian in passing, and one of us leaves while the other is still in bed. Do we count celebratory high fiving that kids are asleep as physical intimacy? (It’s a meaningful high five.) After mustering up enough energy for chasing two babies and our jobs, we are not especially inclined to make an effort to leave the house. Would I have to button my pants for that? I have a hard time keeping that all consuming mom part of me from spilling over to my husband, and find myself accidentally mothering Brian, who ACTUALLY already HAS a mom.

So, this is how it ends. This is how every girl turns into the wife she swears she’ll never be.

I have no real resolution for this, other than never adding optometry coverage to our insurance. A decline in Brian’s vision might serve him well in the mornings.

However. How. Ever. Aside from the physical attraction concept, there may be hope. I’m trying to figure out how marriage relationships evolve with kids, how to stay flexible, how to nurture a friendship at the basis of our relationship, and remain a unified front against this world, because I really, genuinely like my husband.

Brian should have known it would be all downhill when he dated a girl that preferred to apply makeup in the comfort of the bathroom sink. 6-9-2009 5-48-03 AM_0013

Continue Reading

My Heart is Being a Real Charizard These Days

Sometimes, things that make sense in the heart are not reciprocated by the brain.

When feelings of “this is a good idea” are not agreed upon between the two, your brain and heart have to battle, like Pokemon. My brain has been losing heart vs brain sparring often, which I attribute to my frontal lobe still recovering from the couple of Bachelor in Paradise episodes I watched.

My little guys and I had an opportunity to make a quick, daddy-less trip, so while he is home working, we are spending a quick couple of days with family. That is cute, right? My brain highlighted the logistics of spending a 48 hour turn around working, unpacking, repacking, an anniversary, traveling without Brian, and traveling with kids who already suffer from beach vacation hangover.

I’ll give a point to my brain on that one.

Next post, we will give my heart a fair trial, but in the mean time, here are some pictures from last week.
IMG_3974IMG_3964IMG_3967

One of my favorite places.
One of my favorite places.

7 years. He has had limited bathroom counter space for 7 years.
7 years. He has had limited bathroom counter space for 7 years.
IMG_4038IMG_4044
The longer we have been married, the more I realize how truly lucky I got. I knew Brian was great when we were engaged, but I had no idea about the extent of his patience, daddy skills, and laundry abilities. Sidenote: he let me take a kiss selfie in a public place. Heart!
The longer we have been married, the more I realize how truly lucky I got. I knew Brian was great when we were engaged, but I had no idea about the extent of his patience, daddy skills, and laundry abilities. Sidenote: he let me take a kiss selfie in a public place. Heart!

PS I have never played Pokémon Go. My phone doesn’t have memory for that… I need all 7,000 pictures of my kids and Instagram screenshots. My Pokémon knowledge is from my GameBoy in 1998 and could be outdated.

Continue Reading

The Most Groupon-y of Summers

I knew this was going to be an exciting week the moment I noticed a puppy swimming in our community kids’ pool.

Questionably sanitary, but...chlorine. Right?
Questionably sanitary, but…chlorine. Right?

I KNEW there was a little extra electricity in there air, and my suspicions of something out of the ordinary were confirmed when I looked at my phone and realized—I have Groupons expiring. A lot of Groupons.

I also have a cute neighbor trying to earn extra money.

It was like being rebaptized in the font of fun. A born again rebel, really bucking that “stay at home during naptime” system.

We went to Giada’s for brunch. I can’t remember the last time Brian and I even dined on a bowl of cereal together at home, so going to a nice morning meal together seemed a little…startling? Unproductive? Showy? Tantalizing? Awesome?

Straight Outta Snapchat
Straight Outta Snapchat

I went to get my nails done, but it looked like being in business was no longer their thing. (Refund pending.)

We ate shaved ice cream.

What's next? Mardi Gras?
What’s next? Mardi Gras?

We just kept going. We just kept being fun.

UnGroupon realted, we laid out at a hotel pool for couple of hours, because that babysitter was looking for work, and I’m so selfless.

Can't stop, won't stop. Possibly the first time I've laid by a pool alone since 2012.
Can’t stop, won’t stop. Possibly the first time I’ve laid by a pool alone since 2012.

Now I just have to take 5 spin classes over the next three days, and eat Indian food 30 minutes away…and then maybe delete the Groupon app from my phone.

Continue Reading

The “Making New Couple Friends” First Date Guide.

I posted this a couple years ago on my old blog, and I have to post it again because I’m laughing at how much trickier it is making and maintaining friendships AFTER kids…

1. The initial meeting. Maybe it was a set up. “Oh, have you guys met the other young couple in our ward?” “Have you met my sister and her husband?” Maybe fate just brought you together. Either way, you have to feel out this couple quickly before you get yourself in a tight spot and in a position unable to reject a dinner invitation. Have they been out of school long? Do they have real jobs? Do you think eating at their place would be a sanitary possibility, or are they cat people? Obviously, a quick assessment is crucial to sidestep the accidental food poisoning landmine and suggest eating out.

2. Setting up the date. After you have established couple friend potential, you play a little game of “scheduling.” Kind of like duck, duck, goose. Just keep throwing out days and times until someone says yes. At the beginning of this game, it’s important to keep in mind: Do you want to spend your one night off a week with these people? Are they a weeknight type of date couple (equivalent of a lunch date)? Is this worthy of a weekend (dinner date)? You can always just grab ice cream in case the couple turns out to be weird, or on their phones the whole time. In this event, don’t be friends with them, unless being tagged in 18 Facebook pictures per hang out is beneficial to your cyber social status.

3. The date.
Like any date, you and your spouse spend a little extra time getting ready. You may take the time to wash your hair, put on some new makeup, dig out something unseen from the wardrobe, clean up the house a little (in case things go really well, and you end up coming back to your place…for games). As you primp, discuss only optimistic predictions of the night. Express your excitement to make new friends. Otherwise, your husband will opt to stay at home to watch ESPN. Avoid excessive PDA on the date. If you are eating on the date, be sure to seat the men facing away from any TVs so as to avoid MMS (mute man syndrome). Men refuse to talk if there is a game on, which leaves the two women engaged in a semi-boring conversation about Pinterest.

4. The Call Back.
Review the outing with your spouse. Did you have fun? Did I have fun? Did they both have fun? Were you fake laughing or was that for real? Do you think they’d want to hang out with us again? Is this worth our time investment, or will they be moving soon? Based on this evaluation, you may want to call to reschedule another hangout and solidify a forming friendship.

I’ll have to make a follow up soon including how early bedtimes have affected our friend retention rate.

Continue Reading

You’re Not a Real Couple Until You Have This Argument

Brian and I have a quite peaceful relationship, mostly due to Brian’s seemingly unlimited patience, laid back personality, and patience, and more patience. The one question that is the catalyst for a rough evening is: “Where do you want to eat?”

The script is consistent:
“Where do you want to eat for dinner?”
“I don’t care. Whatever. Where do you want to go?”
“It doesn’t matter. You choose.”
“I really don’t care, so you can pick wherever you want.”
(Repeat 7 times, with added annoyance the seventh time.)
“Seriously. I just want you to decide! I don’t even care.”
“You never care! That’s the problem! I wish you just cared!”
“Fine. Taco Bell.”
“Are you serious? Not Taco Bell.”
“You just said you don’t care, so you can’t tell me no!”
“You know that’s not what I meant! Anywhere else!”
“I thought you meant you didn’t care! So you DO care! Just decide!!”

End script. At this point, your dinner is already ruined until the emotions and hanger are drowned in appetizers at a place neither of you really love.

Until you can relate to this, your relationship has no validation in my soul.

Luckily, the efforts of finding a babysitter completely chainsaw this argument, because as a responsible parent, you will know where you are going prior to making childcare arrangements.

Lately, we have had some fun, pre-planned evenings out, but my favorite of March 2015 was going out for my friend, Sarah, to celebrate her birthday. Her birthday request? Dress like princesses and go to Cinderella with our husbands. I’m a little portly for most of my princess-like dresses, so I wore some sequins, and Brian wore a suit. We showed up to dinner, and Sarah was full on in her wedding dress. Watching Cinderella in your wedding dress?! Yes. Dreamy. I am honored to be her friend.

Just in the casino's theater.
Just in the casino’s theater.

Continue Reading

An Addendum to my Last Post, and Brian Becomes a Man

I just need to add a PS to my last post: PS I only love snuggling a sick baby for about a night. Maybe two, maybe. After that, I’m an emotionless zombie who is not counting baby eyelashes, rather, my steps to make sure I don’t walk into a wall. Luckily, Gus is feeling a little better after a long, sick, sad week!

In other news, Brian turned 30 and became a real, live, MAN.

I’m just kidding. Brian’s been a man ever since he squished a large spider for me while we were dating in 2009.Before Brian came along, I would stun spiders from an arm’s length with hairspray until they curled into a sticky ball, and then throw a cup on them. I’d removed the cup a few weeks later with tongs only to find-VOILA-NO SPIDER. Now it could then be anywhere, just watching me, waiting to attack. I became more and more disturbed with each stealth spider incident. How are all species of spiders so good at escaping? That’s the real deal magic cup trick if I ever saw one.

When Spider Slayer Scurr won my heart and his manhood.
When Spider Slayer Scurr won my heart and his manhood.

What I’m saying is, I’m glad I have a man in my life. A Brian type of man. An insect exterminator type of man.

And now…a thirty year old type of man.

Brian woke up on his thirtieth birthday with a partial view of his eyelids. That’s because his eyes were stuck shut with eye crusties from pink eye. Having never experienced pink eye, we will pretend like it was a novelty for him. Happy birthday, Brian.

After he had pruned his eye goo, we spent the day as a family, eating Brian’s favorite things: bacon and fried chicken. During the fried chicken eating, Gus developed a fever. Happier birthday, Brian.

Gus was sick with something + pink eye, so he went to bed early. That’s when the party really got started. We were treated to Benihana by my grandparents. We love getting to spend time with them! Brian shares a birthday with my grandpa, so there were TWO free bowls of ice cream at our table.

Brian so blinded by my whiteness that he can't open his eyes.
Brian so blinded by my whiteness that he can’t open his eyes.

The birthday boys! The birthday boys!

Arizona friends give Brian a surprise visit for the weekend, so I’m sure he revisited the glory days of his youth. Whatever that may have entailed.

Continue Reading

Santa Isn’t the Only Fat One Around Here

babytwo

We are SO excited to finally tell you about baby #2! Brian has been dying to tell friends, but I learned last time that it makes it a whole lot more enjoyable to talk about every day when you’re not running to the bathroom. Baby is expected in May, and will be 20 months apart and back to back grades with Gus. Gus hopes this one is cool so they can be best friends!

Brian and I feel so blessed to get to have a brand new baby again. Things are about to get crazy, but experiencing motherhood is the most fun, hilarious, happiest type of crazy there is.

Continue Reading

What Level of Personal Grooming Do Wedding Anniversaries Require?

8-12-2009 1-52-51 PM_0002

Are you supposed to treat wedding anniversaries like they’re your own special day, like a birthday, or your significant other’s special day? In my books, MY special day means I’m wearing stretchy clothes and 3rd day dry-shampoo hair. Brian’s special day means I at least clean the house, or put on perfume.

I’ve had a laundry debacle for some time, and I considered delving into this laundry pile to be a nice wife on our anniversary. This pile of laundry will be here eternally, unless I burn it. I found a dead bug in it, and it was rather gigantic. And crispy. Brian said he took care of the bug, but you and I both know there are probably still some appendages floating around in there. I just can’t.

laundry pile

Like I said, it’s my day too, right? Let’s agree that means I can’t sift through the haunted laundry.

I truly feel so blessed to have Brian to be my best buddy throughout life. I never knew how sincerely LUCKY I was when I married him. I know he was great, and extremely attractive, but I never knew just how great or how attractive he really is until life’s bumps came along. He is the sweetest, most patient, selfless guy I know. He works so hard, and so willingly. Everyone needs a Brian, a person that supports them incessantly, wants to take care of all their needs, and makes them laugh though the sticky parts of life.

Although I’ve known this for years, I’ve fallen even more in love as I watch Brian become such an involved and gentle dad. Hearing him talk so sweetly to Gus brings me to tears. He and Gus both light up when they see each other. You become immune to the dark, scary things of the world when your home is so full of love. I’m so grateful Brian brings that kind of peaceful love to our family.

7-15-2009 10-42-45 AM_0078

I like how angelic Brain looks here. Cue "Halo."
I like how angelic Brain looks here. Cue “Halo.”

8-12-2009 10-47-16 PM_02878-13-2009 12-57-50 AM_0239

That’s how I know I got a good one.

Kind of makes me want to do laundry.

Continue Reading