Monday, July 30, 2012

Sun Valley 2012

Recently, Sam and I took our kids to Sun Valley for the Annual Utah Bar Conference.  When we were married, we generally went to Sun Valley every year and took the kids.  Our kids really love it and were sad they didn't get to go last year (when we were in the throws of getting separated.)  This year, Sam got a condo and invited me to come along and split up our time with the kids.  It was very Bruce and Demi of us. I am proud that we can do stuff like this for our kids.

Here are the highlights:

The Opening Reception.  The first night, the Bar puts on a reception for all the attorneys and their families.  We get there the second the thing starts so we can get all the good food (because we are classy like that.)  After dinner, I ate two gigantic peanut butter cookies and took one home in my purse that I wolfed down later that night.

There is free ice-skating at the reception and luckily every year, Sam gets the coveted job of dragging the kids around the rink.  His back will never be the same:

Ryan looked extra cute in skates:

We always feed the ducks that first night.  This year, the ducks had mysteriously disappeared so we fed the swans instead.  Yes, there was a "Please Don't Feed the Swans" sign but I justified it because there were no ducks...(good rationale right!)  The best was that my mom (who was also up there) went table to table asking people if they were going to eat their roll and collected a bunch of rolls to feed the swans.  She has no dignity when it comes to her grand kids:

The Paddle boats:  This year, my kids were begging to do the paddle boats.  They looked really cute in their life jackets (and I felt like an awesome mom for a few minutes)

Then we started peddling and Buster and Sammie were dead weight.  Imagine peddling a bike up hill through water.  That is basically the idea of paddle boats.

Luke and Ryan enjoyed it though:

Sun Valley is gorgeous in the evening.  I loved hanging out on the grounds with our good friends the Hawkins and just tossing a football around:

And stealing kisses from this guy:

One of the funnest and most hilarious parts of the trip was discovering this pogo stick at a toy store on the property:

Luke became obsessed with it and got really good at it.  I decided to try it and it is way harder than it looks.  My kids got some awesome photos of me doing it.  They could really blackmail me one day:

I challenged our friend Jason (who is about 6'6) to give it a try and he did..I love this action shot.  Hilarious:

I will always associate Sun Valley with biking.  I was able to take a bike ride with my parents on Friday because that was Sam's day to have the kids (Notice my sweet Goldilocks Jersey!  That was a gift.)

We also did lots of swimming but for some odd reason I have no pictures from that (except one of Sam cramping as he got out of the pool that he would kill me if I posted!)  It was so great to see so many old friends in Sun Valley as well.

I rode home with my parents and they introduced me to the Jack In the Box taco.  Where has it been all my life?  I ate three and they were delicious!

Sammie didn't want to say goodbye to her BFF Halle.  But hopefully they will get to do it all again soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bachelorette: Emily + Jef = True Love

But not true love forever, because we are talking about the Bachelorette after all.  I really think this one is going to last, but if it hits the rocks in six months, I don't even care because it was so great to see it happen.  And I want Jef for myself.

I am so late in getting around to doing my recap this week, I don't even know if anyone still cares.  Here are my quick and dirty thoughts from the show:

* Emily's mom has the deepest (smoker?) voice.  I laughed every time she talked.  But she is still a pretty lady.  She has had some work done but I don't fault her for that.

* Emily's brother Ernie was not a looker.  How are those two from the same family?  He seemed really intense and not that into either guy.  Yet, he told Emily he liked both guys and was glad he didn't have to make the choice.

* I thought both Arie and Jef did a good job with Emily's family.  I'm sure the producers edited it to seem like Arie was just rambling on and on but I think her family liked him too.  I thought his gift of the dead roses was so odd.  But Emily's mother ate it up.

* Jef was so cute with little Ricki.  I have never said this before on my blog but the name Ricki reminds me of Ricki Bobby from Talladega Nights.  Not good.  I loved how Jef strapped on the pink goggles and totally played with her.  I hope he can keep that up.  It is easy to be the fun guy for an hour while you are on tv.  It is a whole nother thing to be the fun guy at 4 in the afternoon on some random Tuesday when he is babysitting and would rather watch a ballgame on tv.

* I am so glad Emily didn't have Arie meet Ricki.  It showed some maturity on her part that she didn't put Arie through that last date either.

* It was so awful watching Arie make that love potion and talking about his love for Emily when we had already heard Emily telling Chris Harrison she was picking Jef.

* I thought Arie was kind of a jerk when Emily was dumping him but Emily isn't the best at dumping people.  She just sat there and cried for most of it and I can understand that he didn't want to sit there and comfort her.  She never told him she was choosing Jef so he really had no idea if she was picking anyone.  I think he had the right to be a little bit of a jerk in that moment.

* On the After the Final Rose, when Arie talked about flying to Charlotte to see Emily and get closure, I felt bad for him.  I would prefer that he were the next bachelor (even over Roberto or Sean.)  Yes, people, I know he's a player.  I don't care.

* I loved Jef's book to Emily with his stick figures drawn in.  It was a cute personal touch without being over the top.

*I liked Emily's dress for the rose ceremony but thought it made her look bigger than she is.  I also wished they had done the rose ceremony out on the water or on the beach.  Why did we have it in the middle of the day in front of some shacks.  It seemed odd.

* I absolutely loved Jef's suit.  Not every guy could pull that off.  It had a Mad Men feel to it and I loved it on him.

*  Jef is every way.  I love that right before he proposed he said, "what I am about to ask you is a forever thing."  Especially with this show's history, I like that he wants this to be forever...even though it probably won't be.  Sorry folks..I'm a realist.

* I even loved the montage of video clips set to "Glory of Love."  I thought it was such a strange choice of music (Karate Kid anyone?) yet it was so perfect.  Fleiss gets it right sometimes.

* I went to bed feeling hopeful and happy.  I believe in love again!  Cut me some slack people..this is all I've got!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Because It Can't Always be about the Bachelorette

Here is what my kids have been doing the last few months...feel free to bail now.  I wouldn't want to read this either!


1.  Luke is on the swim team at the gym.  He also does speed camp (I have no idea what he does there but I know it was cheap and he rides his bike there twice a week so I'm a fan.)  He still takes piano lessons and now takes tennis lessons too.

2.  He went on a trip to Washington DC with Sammie and Sam back in the Spring.   I had to get over the fact that I wasn't there to comb their hair but they had a great time.  Most of the photos looked something like this:

3.  Luke turned 9 and had his birthday party at Boondocks.  I am an awesome mom and forgot to order a cake.  I told Luke cakes are played and donuts are so much cooler.  He totally went for it.

4.  Luke continues to be a sweetheart.  He recently got his hair cut short into something I called "controlled chaos."  He loves wearing a blazer to church and begs to wear it every week.  (remember my thoughts on blazers...woo hoo!)


1.  Sammie's great love right now is tumbling.  She is constantly doing handstands, cartwheels, back walkovers and back handsprings when our babysitters spot her.  I think she loves it even more than dance.

2.  She had a dance recital in the spring and was adorable.  She had a little solo part at the end and if you know anything about Sammie's emotional instability, this was nothing short of a miracle. 

3.  Sammie continues to take piano, tennis lessons and swimming lessons.  She also did very well in her school's jogapalooza.  She is scrappy but fast.  She is my most athletic kid.

4.  Sammie still continues to be high maintenance and requires the most of me as a parent.  She needs lots of special girl time and I end up blowing the wad taking her to get pedicures with me and to dinner, shopping, etc. Yet, she is hilarious and cracks me up with her adult talk.  She is addicted to the Bachelorette and was pulling for Sean.  We argued about that but I take hope in the fact that she thought the Ox was a total tool.


1.  Ryan takes swimming lessons and that is all.  But that is enough considering all the stuff the older kids are doing.

2.  Ryan loves his buddies more than anything in the world.  He asks every day for a friend and is pretty low maintenance when he has someone over.  He goes to a playgroup every Monday.

3. Ryan played soccer in the spring and Sam was his coach.  Ryan thinks he rocks at soccer.  He would always say things like "I don't know why I am so good at soccer..I just started."  Oh, to be that confident.

4.  He is still my favorite child.  He climbs in bed with me in the mornings to snuggle and compliments me daily.  He is a very very big boy.  He is going to be my biggest kid.  He already weighs more than Sammie who is three years older than him and he is the tallest of all of his friends. 


1.  Buster doesn't take any lessons yet..hallelujah!

2.  He is obsessed with dinosaurs.  He actually plays with them all day long.  He likes to make them piggy back which looks a little too much like they are mating.  I find them like this and it makes me laugh:

3.  Buster still loves his "ba-bas" and being a big baby.  He loves Diet Coke and give me the sweetest kisses ever.  He is obsessed with watching Winnie the Pooh in the car.  Sometimes he looks like he is in a coma..he is so mesmerized.  Zombie child:

4.  He is a pain in the butt most of the time but he is so dang cute, he gets away with it.  To this day, complete strangers stop me to tell me how cute he is.  He blows kisses at everyone and makes friends wherever he goes. 

That's it folks.  If you are still deserve a medal.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bachelorette: Men Tell All

The Men Tell All is always a let down show.  But the cast of characters this time around made it mildly entertaining.  Did you all see the Wolf's pink pants?  Wow.  Let me first just say, Emily looked beautiful but did anyone else think she has abused the Botox a bit?  I thought she looked cuter during the show when her face actually moved.

The Ox was hilarious.  I will say this for him.  He may be as dumb as an ox, but he always makes me laugh.  His little winks are so gross.  He is such a piece of work but I kind of love him for who he is...just a big, conceited dumb guy.  I don't even think he realized Chris Harrison was making fun of him.  I hope they do make him the Bachelor of Augusta:

Oh Kalen, Kalen, Kalen.  I want to reach through the tv and smack your face.  You are such a tool.  I can't imagine this guy is ever going to date again.  I loved the way Emily told him he should be a politician.  By the way, I "like" Jef on Facebook.  Recently, Jef posted a photo of himself golfing and said he was going to need to borrow Kalen's rented helicopter to go get his ball.  Then, when Emily mentioned Kalen's rented helicopter on the Men Tell All, something clicked for me.  I bet Emily and Jef have been joking about that recently....Now I am convinced people...Emily picks Jef!!  I hope I'm right!

And then there was adorable Sean.  I know I have been hard on him in the past for being perfect but still having no chemistry with Emily.  Yet, he is such a class act.   I really wish he was our next Bachelor instead of Roberto.  Ashley, I already know you think he doesn't have the personality to carry the show.  But he is America's sweetheart lover boy right now.

Finally, can I just say Chris is the world's biggest man whore.  That guy drives me nuts with his beady, little, devil eyes.  He acts like such a victim and talks about how in love he still is with Emily, but all the while, during every commercial, we are being hit with previews for nasty Bachelor Pad where we see Chris getting nakie with every girl on the show.  Chris, I may just watch Bachelor Pad to root for you to lose and because I have nothing else to do.

All in all, the Men Tell All was entertaining.  I always love the bloopers--my favorite was Emily spilling wine on her dress.  Ladies..don't forget..the finale is this Sunday night.  My cousin Liz told me she is strangely invested this season.  Aren't we all!  I will be wearing my Team Jef shirt.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What To Do For a Friend Going Through a Divorce

This is the second post in a three part series I am doing about Divorce.  (Because I love talking about divorce!)  I actually do in a weird way.  I think it is because for so long, I couldn't talk about what was going on my life and I am an open book.  I love that I can now discuss some of this stuff.

First, several people commented on my last divorce post and said that they hoped they had not said any of the wrong things to me and offended me.  No way!  I rarely get offended and I should have mentioned that when something is said in love, even if it is the wrong thing, it is okay.  I was so grateful to anyone who did say something to me.  I remember when I sent my cousin Liz an email telling her I was getting divorced.  A few minutes later she was knocking on my door.  She said "When you get an email like that, you don't respond, you come over."  It meant a lot to me.  Obviously, I haven't forgotten it.

Divorce is not something I knew much about when I got divorced.  I knew divorced people, but I never was close to anyone going through a divorce.  So my own was really my first taste of it.  I was overwhelmed with the thoughtful things people did and continue to do for me.  This is personal but when I got separated, I asked my dad to give me a Priesthood blessing.  He blessed me that others would step up and help me in various ways and help shoulder some of the burden of my divorce.  I have seen that come to pass over and over again.

One of the things that helped me the very most was when people brought dinner in.   Food is love.  Having a warm meal that someone else made just feels great. When you hear that someone is going through a separation or divorce, you don't usually think of bringing dinner.  That usually comes to mind if someone is  having a baby or surgery.  But when your heart is broken or you are going through something emotionally draining, the last thing you feel like doing is cooking for your family.   In the first little while after my separation, I spent a lot of time just sitting on the couch thinking.  It is a grieving process and I will forever be thankful for those friends who dropped off dinner during that time.

Along those same lines, I have a lady in my neighborhood named Linda who just happened to stop in and bring me flowers two years ago a few days after things started to fall apart with Sam.  She had no idea what I was going through but just felt like bringing me flowers from her yard.  She happens to be divorced and remarried.  I ended up confiding in her that night.  Since then, she and her amazing husband have been two of the most supportive, awesome people in my life.  They bring me flowers almost every week from their yard and are like second grandparents to my kids.  Steve was at my house today helping me with my sprinklers.  That's how they roll.  The give me hope that things will work out.  They have both been through divorces and came out happy on the other side.  I feel so lucky to know them.

Along with that, I was also grateful for my mother who came and took my kids away almost daily for a couple hours here or there.  It gave me time to think, go to the temple or sleep.  Often times, all I wanted to do was get in my bed and hide.  She gave me the time to do that and it was really therapeutic for me.  Other friends took my kids as well and it was a total gift.

My mom still drops off groceries to me and she does it for another friend of mine as well who recently got divorced.  I don't know anyone who doesn't have a change of lifestyle when they divorce.  Money is always going to be tighter.  And while I am very lucky that Sam is generous and I don't have to work, I do have to be really careful with my money.  Getting a bag of staples like flour, sugar, milk, choc chips, cereal is awesome and just one less thing I have to buy for my family.  (This is not a veiled attempt to get you all to drop off groceries to my house--haha--just trying to give you ideas for others!)

The photo at the top of the post is of me and my siblings, spouses and parents.  That was taken the other night when we all went to dinner. (Props to my dad for choosing to stand in front of that almost makes the photo look professional!) I think it is so important to have family support in a divorce.  I knew that my family believed in me and would always be in my corner.  So if someone in your own family is going through a divorce, please reach out to them and be kind and loving.  I had a little bit of a hard time that night because I drove to dinner alone and left alone while all of my siblings came and went with their spouses.  Stuff like that is hard.  It will probably be hard for a long time.  I may have even cried a bit on the way home.  But my family never made me feel weird during dinner that I was alone.  I am very lucky to have them.

I mentioned in my last post that it doesn't help to say "What can I do?"  because people will answer "Nothing."  It is hard to ask for help.  It is easier if someone just jumps in and does something.  My neighbor Doug informed me he was going to be taking care of my yard for the summer.  He mows, he weeds, he trims, he cuts down trees.  The guy walks on water in my book.  One night, I was talking to my kids about service and helping others and Luke brought up how Doug takes care of us by doing our yard.  I was so grateful that my kids have him as an example of Christlike service.  Doug is a bishop in a singles' ward and works full time.  The dude is busy.  But he does this for me out of the goodness of his heart.  It probably means more to me than anything else and I love that he jumped in and did it on his own.

Finally, I think one of the best things you can do is call your friend who is going through a divorce and ask how they are doing or write a note.  I have friends who listened to me on a daily basis for months as I sorted through the emotions of my divorce.  They convinced me that I was wonderful, beautiful, talented and that my divorce had nothing to do with me.  I will be forever grateful to those friends who made me believe in myself.  I also had many guy friends who did this for me or friends' husbands and sometimes it meant even more coming from a man.  I especially needed those calls at night after the kids were in bed because that is when the house was quiet and I would get lonely. 

Any other good ideas on what to do for someone going through a divorce?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bachelorette: Foregoing the Fantasy Suites

This episode of the Bachelorette was tough to watch.  My heart hurt for Emily for having to decide who to send home.  But she did the right thing.  Sean is the perfect man but there was always something missing.  He says the right things, he is tall, muscular and handsome, but the chemistry was off.  He just never seemed into her enough with the kissing.  I think that's a red flag.  But I loved his letter to Ricki and I he was so classy in his departure. 

I totally felt for him when he said he had so many emotions going on including being embarrassed.  Because being dumped is embarrassing.  Your pride takes a hit.  And it's embarrassing to be on national tv and get dumped.  Poor Sean.  Too bad Roberto is our next Bachelor (US magazine is reporting) or Sean would be it.

I have to say, I was so glad Emily did not have the guys sleep over in the fantasy suite.  Sammie was watching the show with me (yes, I'm an awesome mom...she is seven.)  And I panicked when I saw the little envelope come out with the key.  Luckily, Emily kept it classy on tv (not going to assume she wouldn't have slept with these guys in any other setting) but I was grateful to see the guys leaving the suite later that night.  It was especially impressive that emily never even gave Arie the fantasy suite card...she knows she can't control herself around him.

Jef with one F's speech to Emily about the Fantasy Suite was so cute.  I loved his statement that he and Emily would have their own fantasy suite every night and that he wanted to wait for the right time.  I laughed out loud when he said they needed to "bridle their passions."  That is such a Mormon phrase!  haha.  I really like Jef.  He is the one for Emily. I hope Emily can see that.  I liked his list of questions for her.  He seems intelligent and honest and the most normal!

Arie looked really cute in his swim trunks but he really needs to come up with things to talk to Emily about.  The non stop kissing gets old.  I couldn't believe his answer when Emily asked him what his Tuesday morning looked like.  He just doesn't live a normal life.  He goes out to eat for every meal...goes out with friends every night...I can't see how he would fit into Emily's world.  And then the part where Arie was telling Emily his philosophy on being a dad to Ricki and how he needs to start off being her buddy and ease into being her dad....I don't know folks...that just sounded ridiculous to me. There was a moment when I lost my mind for a moment and thought Emily might send Arie home, but I'm glad she didn't.  I still like Arie more than Sean---but his kisses are gross:

I did love that bit at the very end of the show where we saw Arie trying over and over to get his video message to Emily right...that was hilarious.

Finally, this is the most trivial question of all...but is Emily wearing a hair piece (fake pony) at the rose ceremony?  The pony tail just seems so blunt and doesn't seem like her own hair.  She wore it for another rose ceremony this season as well.

Okay ladies, The Men Tell All is next guarantees on a post.  unless Kalen totally pisses me off. I usually can't stand that show.  But the finale is going to be good!  Do you think Emily will introduce Arie and Jef to Ricki?  Who is going to win Emily's heart?  Was Emily's pony tail fake?  Everyone weigh in.