Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wet 'n Wild

To me, Summertime is all about the pool. It is about swimsuits and sunscreen and beach towels and flip flops. Growing up, we spent at the Cottonwood Spa pool. And I mean all day, every day. The funny thing is--the smell of chlorine still makes me nervous from swimming lessons all those years ago. But I love the sound of water spraying, the noise of all the kids in the pool, the hot cement...I love it all.

Here is what we have been doing to stay wet this summer:

Swimming lessons:

I love sitting in the shade watching my kids swim. Probably my favorite activity of summer. Our lessons are from 11:30 to noon so I pack lunch for everyone and when we get home, it is so nice to not have to mess up my kitchen or worry about everyone giving me orders...they eat what I pack and they like it because it's all they got!

The pool:

Duh! We hit the pool at least a couple times a week. 

Even though Buster finds random Capri Suns and drinks them:

And Sammie does handstands all over the pool deck:

And Ryan won't put his head under but just wallows in the shallow end like a beached whale:

We still love it.

Seven Peaks:

I bought the Pass of All Passes just like the rest of you. A bazillion people are at Seven Peaks but guess what? It is still fun. I love the intertubes..I may or may not have fallen asleep in the sun for about an hour on an intertube...I'm sure I looked awesome.

Grandma's "river":

My mom has a water feature in her backyard that has turned out to be the funnest thing ever...lots of rocks for throwing (much to my mom's chagrin I'm sure), running water and cousins to play with.

Luke's swim team:

I've got no picture of this (embarrasingly) but Luke is doing swim team this year at our gym. He goes every day and I have never heard him complain. Though I complain plenty about the four hour meets twice a week..shoot me now!

The new Splash Pad in Fort Union:

This is fun.  I wish there were more trees and a little shade but it is still great.

The playground there is pretty fun too.

Crummy Singles Event at Seven Peaks (because I don't go there enough with my kids):

At least I had fun girlfriends to go with because there were no good men to be found.

That's it folks.  Any other fun water things I need to know about because obviously, we aren't doing enough.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Kansas City Crack Whore Feet

Sam always hated my feet.  He told me I had the feet of a Kansas City crack whore.  Right now, I look like I've been walking barefoot down Hollywood Blvd turning tricks for a dimebag of hash.  I have a big crack on each of my heels. They hurt so bad I can barely walk right now.  Yes, I could start wearing sneakers with socks but we all know I will never do that.  It is summer for crying out loud.  And I am vain.

So I've been complaining to everyone I know about my heels and the consensus is--I need to slather aquaphore or Country Care on my heels, put on a pair of socks, and go to bed.  Is there anything else I should be doing?  Does anyone have an awesome cure for summer feet?  And just for the record, I get pedicures regularly.  But that doesn't help the cracked heels problem.  Talk to me people!  These feet are the goal:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mother's Milk

No one loves his "coke" as much as Buster:

I know I am the only mom on the planet ordering her two-year-old a Diet Coke with his happy meal:

I also know how trashy it looks to have my baby enjoying a cold one as we shop Walmart. 

But sometimes you gotta give em' what they want...and in this case, it is a cold DC.  If he only turns out to be about 5'1, we will know why.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bachelorette: Trimming the Fat

When I think about Monday night's show, all I remember is Chris crying, Chris stressing out and Chris' devil eyes.  However, I knew Emily was going to keep him.  And I think she was going to keep him even if he didn't stop the rose ceremony to beg for another chance.  Emily likes Chris more than she likes John.  And I didn't mind seeing John go home if only for the fact that he was overly confident.  He had one decent date (not even good.)  And dude all of a sudden thought he was the shiz.

But don't worry.  Chris is going home this next week after the home town date.  Home town dates are a big deal.  You have to go meet someone's parents and have them tell you how they don't want their son/daughter to get his/her heart broken.  I think it would be brutal to have to meet four sets of parents in one week. 

But first, we need to talk about this last week.  Honestly, the details are hazy.  I just got my computer back after paying 53 bones to get the virus removed (thank you Ox!)  Then it took me all day to get the thing plugged in correctly and back up and running.  I am a little nervous to find more bachelorette photos on the internet.  But for you friends, I roll the dice.

I thought Sean did a little better this week in bringing the romance.  Remember him running through the streets of Prague yelling "Emmmmiiiiillllllllyyyyyy!   Emmmmmmiiiiiiilllllllyyyyy!"  And she just happened to be out there walking around like the lone ranger.  As if the producers didn't tell him where she staged.  But I was happy to see him give her a more passionate kiss.  I still am not convinced that he has a personality.  He says all the right things and I know you ladies love him but he doesn't do it for me (or Emily.)  He may be our next bachelor.

The Arie drama seemed a little weird to me.  Anytime Chris Harrison show up to explain something to us, it feels a little like The Truman Show.  Why is he breaking into "reality?"  Do we really need Chris to give us the back story?  The weirdest part of all is how we got that little interview of Emily by the producer who used to date Arie but we don't get any footage of Arie explaining himself to Emily.  Instead, we get Chris Harrison's voiceover saying "Arie explained to Emily that they dated so long ago, he had forgotten about it or didn't think it was a big deal.  Emily forgave him and they have moved on."  Then we get footage of Arie telling Emily he loved her and the fireworks.  It just all seemed kind of glossed over.  Maybe Fleiss didn't want us to see some knock down drag out with Arie because he is going to win this thing and we need to respect him..or maybe he is going to be our next bachelor.  Why do I have to dwell on these things...why can't I just enjoy the show?

I like Arie.  I think he will win Emily's heart but sometimes he just has nothing real to say.  And his eyes seem vacant.  But they do have chemistry. 

As for Jef with one F..still my favorite.  I loved how he bought Ricky a little princess puppet..dude knows how to score points.  But the scene in the library where Emily and Jef were having their puppets talk was cringe worthy.  It brought back horrible bobble head doll memories (Chris.)  I thought Jef was cooler than that.  But I forgive him.  I do love that Emily said no when he asked her if she would move in together before they got married.  Speaking of Jef, I also appreciate how respectful he is of the Mormon church and that he admits he was raised Mormon and speaks highly of the Church even though he is not active right now.

Finally, Doug.  Oh Doug.  You are such a pansy.  You were never confident enough with Emily.  You never had the cajones to kiss Emily (until you laid one on her while she was dumping you.)  And then you get in the limo and sob that you wanted a safe place for you and your son.  I'm not sad to see you go.

What am I forgetting ladies?  I can't wait for the hometown dates.  I can't wait to see Jef's family and the first ever hometown date in UT! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bachelorette: Ding Dong the Ox is Gone!

Was there anything more satisfying than seeing Ox go home?  I will miss him though.  His girly white tank top, his torquise pimp shoes, his little triangles that have been so meticulous carved into his beard....Oh Ox, you do delight me!  I seriously went back tonight and watched his date again...just to laugh.  I love how Chris says "He shaves his legs and plucks his fingers..."  I loved the footage of him getting ready for his date with his voiceover talking about what an attractive man he is. He says the world's dumbest things to Emily. Like when Emily shows up and all the guys are there and he says "The world is our pearl" and then says "you're the pearl!" HAHA!  John and Arie are just cracking up on either side of them.

Then on his date, he tells Emily, "I'm a very safe may not feel safe, but I don't get in accidents."  I was horrified to hear him say that because I use that very same line frequently!  Later, Emily shows up in a gold dress just like a life sized trophy. Ox takes advantage of their time during dinner to pull out another list.  This time it was a list of 10 things he wants his wife to do for him like always encourage him and never ridicule him.  The last one was "catch my eye" and he said he put that in bold because he wants her to have a sexy personality.  I sometimes wonder if this cat is for real.  He is just too much.  He winks at Emily all the time.  Then when she told him he wasn't getting the rose, he went so quiet and manipulative.  I think he is a snake.  I was so so worried that Emily was going to let him talk her into keeping him.  I wish Emily hadn't told him she wasn't confident in her decision.  She said that several times during the night.  Even if you aren't confident, you've got to learn to fake it girl!

Honestly though, Ox got the last laugh because I tried to download a sweet photo of him from the net and ended up with a virus on my computer. Great. Okay, let's back up.  The first one-on-one date was with Travis...egg man.  I have never liked him.  Nothing wrong with the guy..just kind of dorky.  I love how Emily kept talking about his good heart.  That is what you do when there is no physical connection.  "He has all the qualities I am looking for in a husband" not "I could really see myself marrying Travis."  Their date was totally boring and I knew he was getting the ax. He was lucky to stay as long as he did.  Bye bye.

The Highland games were pretty funny.  I loved the guys on the donkeys in their kilts (and especially the clip at the end of them trying to get on the donkeys and get them moving in the right direction.  Not surprisingly, I found Sean more attractive this week.  He dominated the games...and looked good doing it.  Chris, on the other hand, looked so ridiculous.  For a big, strong man, he couldn't do anything and seemed so awkward, especially shooting the arrow.  He has devil eyes and I don't understand why Emily thinks he is so good looking.  I am just not seeing it.

I loved Emily's conversation with Jef with one F outside on the group date.  He gave her his jacket and they had a great talk.  She asked him why he took so long to kiss her and he said it was because he was afraid of her.  She asked him if it was because he was playing a game and he said "Did it work?  Because if it did, than yes, that was my plan."  He is so cute and charasmatic and I really think he is going to get the final rose.  At least I hope he does.   If he were a foot taller and a decade older, I would be all over his action right now.  But alas, I am a big woman and he is a small man.  Bygones.

The other main contender is Arie.  He has a good personality and I just like him.  I don't care that he is a player...he is a player because he can be.  He is good looking and legitimately funny.  I'll take it.  He proved to be the wisest among the guys by sneaking into Emily's hotel and snuggling with her on her bed.  Brilliant.  I wonder where that would have gone if there was no camera man two inches from their feet.  Can you say "mood killer!"

Some time around the cocktail party, Chris Harrison shows up. Where has he been all this time?  He didn't even stand next to Emily during the rose ceremony..he was outside talking to some chick and rumor has it she was the producer that Arie used to date.  (And she's not cute I might add.)  It looked shady.

But before we get to that, the cocktail party had me in stitches.  First, Emily sits down with John who knows his head is on the chopping block.  So what does he do?  He pulls out his dead grandparents' funeral cards.  Now I don't know what these things are but they did the trick.  He went from crying about them to kissing Emily.  Well played John, well played.

Doug on the other hand, should have to turn in his man card.  Emily spends their whole conversation trying to build up his confidence and actually tells him "you need to be confident Doug!"  A few minutes later, we see Doug completely melting down, sobbing to the cameras about something..I don't even remember.  His son?  I don't know.  I just know I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Yes, crying.  I have a black heart.

So Emily decides to go outside and get an extra rose so she can keep both of these dudes.  I think they both could have gone home that night.  Why prolong the inevitable?  Doug espcially needs to be sent packing. 

Next week, we are going to Prague. I can't wait for the Arie drama!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For Morris

Growing up, Ashley and I referred to my dad as "Morris."  In Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Cameron and Ferris totalled Cameron's dad's vintage Ferrari.  Ashley and I always loved Cameron's line "When Morris gets home, he and I will have a little chat."  I had plenty of times in high school and college waiting for my dad to get home so we could have a similar chat.  And that is how we started calling my dad Morris.

I haven't called him that in years, but somehow, it still fits him.  My dad is a dude that demands respect.  Most of my boyfriends were afraid of him and for good reason.  He doesn't play games.  He is hilarious but can be pretty intimidating.

My dad means more to me each year.  Now that I am a full fledged adult (35 for crying out loud) I understand a bit more about the sacrifices he made for me and still makes for me.  Just recently, I had a friend over to my parents' house and he couldn't believe my dad drove the piece of crap that he drives.  My dad is a federal magistrate judge and could drive any awesome car he wants.  But he chooses to drive a beat up 94' Toyota Corolla with a bazillion miles on it.  My mom got a brand new car last year.  That's how he rolls.   Material things are not important to him and he would rather my mom have money to spend on the grandkids, etc.

The last two years, I have been through a lot of emotional heartache.  My mom and sister and friends have listened to me for hours and helped me work through a lot of it.  But there were times (sometimes at 11:00 at night or the middle of his workday) that I needed to call my dad and get advice.  And he always had the time and the best advice.  My dad doesn't hold back.  He will tell you exactly what he is thinking and sometimes it is hard to hear.  But he is always right.  And I know he loves me more than anyone (except maybe my mother) so I know he has my best interest at heart.   He gave me the courage to pull the trigger on my divorce because he demanded happiness for me.  He wouldn't allow me to stay in a situation where I wasn't going to be able to be happy.  I love him for that.

Last weekend, he came over to my house to help me with my car that wouldn't start and ended up helping me with my finances and insurance as well.  Even though it completely freaked him out to see how disorganized I am, ("Brookie, you have got to get organized!" repeated over and over...) he gave me good advice and helped me get on top of things.

Today, I am grateful for you, Dad.  You have taught me what a real man is.  You are strong in the gospel. You always lead out in our family and have high expectations for us in every area of our lives.  I really appreciate the influence you are on my children.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Sam, too, who is the father of my children.  I will always love him for giving me four bright, beautiful, happy kids.  They love him to pieces and I appreciate that he is a fun, involved, committed dad.

Happy Father's Day to the men who read this blog..yes both of you. haha.  Good fathers make a huge impact in the lives of their children and I don't think we celebrate good dads enough.  This is your day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Family Photos 2012

We recently got family photos taken by my good friend and photographer Jill.  Check out her website here.  I always leave thinking there is no way she got anything and she always surprises me.  Buster was out of control..running in every direction but I think she still managed to capture his likeness. 

Blog friends, this is where I need your help.  I bought four groupons for large canvases on so that I can hang these photos on either side of my armoire.  I have one huge one for a family shot and three smaller ones for a grouping of other shots.  So please tell me which of the first two family shots you like better and which of the other shots your would put into the grouping of three.   I am also including photos of all four of my kids though I won't be using those in the grouping. Thanks in advance!!

Family photo 1:

Family photo 2:

Photo 3 (boys):

Photo 4 (big boys):

Photo 5 (Buster and Mama):

Photo 6 (Sammie and Mom close up):

Photo 7  (Sammie and Mom trellis):

Photo 8 (Sammie and mom garden):

Photo 9 (kids):

Photo 10 (Sammie rose petals):

Gratuitous photos of the kids:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bachelorette: London Calling

This was one of my favorite episode this season.  And it wasn't even because of the Kalen drama.  I totally saw that coming because Kalen is so dumb and I think he didn't even care that he was going home.  I wonder if the producers put him up to some of the stuff he said.  I loved how Emily said she wanted to go all "West Virginia back woods hood rat crazy on him" or something along those lines.  My very favorite was how he interrupted her and she said "I love to hear you talk but not until I'm through..I got that line from you."  The girl has spunk and I love it.

No, this episode was my favorite because I love Jef with one F.  I loved their date.  I loved how Jef talked about being on "a two on one" with Jean and Emily. I loved how Emily and Jef got the hell out of there when Jean left the room..though that was probably staged.  I think Emily and Jef have so much chemistry. Jef is normal and real and I loved how he told Emily about how he felt about her when they were having dessert on the London Eye.  I melted during their kiss.  I am into him them.  I hope they end up together but I'm not holding my breath. 

I honestly have nothing to say about Emily's date with Sean.  He is such a nice guy.  He is a good guy.  He says all the right things but there is no chemistry.  He is not funny or even all that fun.  I think he will be in the final two but not picked...there is just something missing.

The group date was fine.  I lose more and more respect for Ryan (the dumb ox) every week.  I am so disappointed in Emily for saying she is starting to like him.  He says the dumbest things.  He drives me crazy.  He bugs me worse than Kalen did.  I want the ox gone.  I'm tired of his dumb little gifts and his ugly scarfs and his dumb letters and his arrogance. 

I thought Arie was good on the group date.  He was so nervous but he pulled through and was funny.  Arie's biggest strength..other than being that he is truly funny.  I do feel like sometimes Emily and Arie have nothing to say to each other and he just tries to kiss her to fill the time. 

I think Emily overreacted in her anger at the other guys that no one said anything to her about Kalen.  No one wants to be the tattle tell.  And Doug is now firmly in the "friend category" because he tattled to Emily.  Did you love his reaction when Emily told him she wanted to be alone and he had to kind of shrink away?  haha.

I was grateful to see Alenjandro go home.  I kept wondering "why is he still here?"  I predict Travis will go home next week...he is only still here because Emily has had other guys she needed to send home more. 

What are we thinking this week?  Who are your favorites?  It seems everyone is cheering for Sean but me.  Jef all the way!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Thoughts...Not of the Spiritual Variety

*When I first sit down in Sacrament meeting, I glance at my shoes and silently congratulated myself on their cuteness and the sweet deal I got on them.  My friend Heidi put me on to them.  They were $3.50 on clearance at DSW.  I have the receipt to prove it.  I was so excited to find neutral low heeled sandals.  (I would later leave Sunday School, limp out to the car and go home to change my get what you pay for.)

*Mitchell loves to get out of our bench during Sacrament Meeting and wander up and down the aisle.  He smiles at everyone and is about the most charming 2 year old you have ever I allow it.  I debate whether anyone cares and if I need to go get him.  I figure everyone is giving me the single mom pass. He is completely quiet..just a little distracting.  When he finally walked across the front, I send Luke to grab him.  Luke took him out in the hall and brought him back sopping wet from the drinking fountain.  I decide letting him wander is the lessor of two evils.  I grabbed him a dry shirt when I went home to change my shoes.

He still gives the best smooches.

*When I went out in the hall to get Buster, I ran into a friend who said "I know Ryan is your favorite."  I respond "How did you know?" and wonder how she has an inside track into my mind.  Ryan is my current favorite child (I think it is okay to have a favorite child as long as it constantly changes.)  She goes on to talk about the Bachelorette and I realize she is talking about Ryan on the show.  My Ryan is still my current favorite child..probably because he cuddles me every morning in bed and comes up with new compliments everyday like "I like your eyebrows mom."

(sneak peek of the new paint, darling Ry Ry and my lion mane hair=hair appt. this week!)

*Back in Sacrament meeting (intently listening to the speaker) I debated whether I had picked the right clothes for our family photo we just had taken..I reworked all the outfits in my head and scolded myself for not cutting Luke's hair BEFORE the looks so much better now.  I also wished I had worn the dress I wore to church today and not the outfit I did wear.

*I looked around and noticed which guys in our ward were wearing blazers/suit coats.  I have a weird theory about the strength of a man's testimony in correlation to whether or not he wears a jacket to church.  Go ahead and tell me I am full of crap..I don't care.  I will still hold fast to my theory.  Maybe it is just that I like a man in a suit jacket.

*I notice my friend David on the stand who is in our bishopric.  I think "I have the nicest people in my ward."  I really truly do.  David came over with a couple other guys last week and helped me move my furniture for the painter.  They also took all the stuff off my walls.  They are coming back tonight to put it all back.  Another guy in my ward, who lives across the street (Doug) insists on mowing my lawn every single week.  My lawn has never looked so good.   It means the world to me.  Look at that lush grass:

So what is the verdict folks?  Do you wear painful heels to church in the name of fashion?  Do you think it is okay to let Buster wander the aisle during Sacrament meeting?  Is it okay to have a favorite child?  Do you think there is a correlation between testimony and suit coats?  Talk to me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bachelorette in Bermuda...Like Anyone Still Cares

So this week was crazy for me. Bananas. Ridiculous. It was the last week of school with all of that craziness. And I decided to have my house painted, so we were living between my mom's house and Sam's house and our house.  I wasn't smart enough to pack a suitcase so I made about a dozen trips between the three houses each day.

Once I get my furniture put back where it goes and some things hung on my walls, I will show you the before and after pictures! There was some other emotional stuff going on this week too so the Bachelorette post didn't happen. I did watch. I did enjoy it.

Since I can barely remember my own kids' names right now, it's a safe bet that I have forgotten most of what happened Monday night. But I will give you what I learned so far from this season of the Bachelorette (most of this is from Monday's episode):

1. Don't ever, under any circumstances, talk about being the next bachelor. I don't care if that is the sole reason you came on the show. Don't be talking about it. (Ryan, you are such an idiot.)

2. Don't ever tell Emily you won't "love on her" anymore if she gets fat. (Ryan...this is also for you!)

3. Don't ever give Emily a 7 page letter to read at the cocktail it for the fantasy suite (yes, Ryan, again for you.)

4. Quit worrying about the other guys in the house and focus on your relationship with Emily. (I can't honestly remember why Chris was so mad at Doug but I do remember that Chris came off looking like a total arse.)

5. Don't play the dad card (Doug, this one is for you. Why does Emily think he is so perfect?)

6. If you get the chance to kiss Emily and she wants you to, you better take it. (Jef with one F, this one is for you, kid!  I like you Jef, she likes you...we want you to bring the romance.)

7. Don't wear knee socks to the cocktail party/rose ceremony unless you know it is a joke and the bachelorette will think it is hilarious. (once again, Jef, this is for you.) Did you all notice his socks? My mom thought his slacks were still on the hanger and he was just waiting until the last minute to put them on so they didn't wrinkle.)

8. For the love of everything holy, don't cry on your two-on-one date. Personally, I thought Nate had the rose in the bag. And then he started crying...about his brother. Bye bye.

9. Along the same lines, don't cry when you are eliminated. (Michael, long hair dude, this one is for you.) You barely knew her. We never saw you talk to her. Quit crying, at least save it until you are off camera.

10. Finally, watch Arie and do everything he is doing, because he is doing everything right...he gives the other guys a hard time, but does it in a way that is legitimately funny so he gets away with it. He kisses Emily every chance he gets, and he is hot. Done deal.

I think it is fair to say we could end this thing right now..we know who the winner is going to be.

We are off to one of my favorite cities on Monday...London! I can't wait!