November 30, 2019

black friday

(We took Layla on a special date to see Frozen 2 the day after it came out. How lucky we felt to have time with just her! She is a beautiful, fun girl through and through.)

My closet is covered with shopping bags. And it smells very much like bath and body works. 

I hate shopping any other day. But I love Black Friday shopping. 

This year I went out Thursday night and then again on Friday. I know the places I always go to—bath and body works, cafe rio, target, Harkins, michaels, etc.

Meanwhile, back at home Eric is researching from his phone. So some things we buy online and some things we get in the stores.

Some years we don’t spend that much and keep things super simple. This Christmas we got a little bit excited and went above the norm. (And we now have a years supply of cafe rio gift cards...) But I am happy to say that we pretty much have all of the shopping done. One crazy day of shopping. but that will allow us a few weeks of peace and focusing on what we really want to focus on this Christmas season—family and our Savior.

November 28, 2019

I am thankful

(this picture has nothing to do with this post, but it is a beautiful picture from our visit to Tikal)

I woke up thinking this morning about all the things that fill my heart with thanksgiving. It is, of course, the big things that make up my life--five beautiful children, a comfortable house, a safe neighborhood, freedom, opportunity for good education for my children, plenty of food, etc.

But there are also some smaller tangible things that spark a lot of joy in my life on the daily and make my life fun to live.

Some of my favorite things right now...

-freedom bang exercise classes: my favorite way to exercise right now. I go to classes multiple times a week. It is a good mix of dancing, boxing, and hiit for me. And it's just fun.
-freedom barre, burn boot camp, refit, friday zumba with julio, high fitness: all different classes and ways that I'm enjoying moving my body when I can't make it to bang class
-pura vida and alex and ani jewelry: my boys tease me that I'm like a vsco girl with my pura vida bracelets. haha. But I have had bracelets on 24/7 for at least 6 months. One particular bracelet that I never take off. They mean different things to me--reminders of my goals and my feelings and so I like wearing them and I like switching them around.
-my bookshelves filled with books: and half price saturdays at goodwill to buy good books in good condition
-my pillow: I even took my pillow with me to Belize and I slept soo much better having my favorite pillow
-crz yoga pants: pretty much part of my daily wardrobe and the best yoga pants I've ever tried. mostly because they are so inexpensive and easy to get on amazon. and they have pockets, too.
-alexa and apple tv: I was against both of those things for so long, but having a good speaker in my kitchen to play music (instead of just on my phone) and the convenience of apple tv to connect to my phone and show videos and pictures has been so so great!

I know I could go on, but I need to call it stops. But I’m thankful for this day that reminds me to slow down and stop and think about the blessings that fill in my days. 

November 23, 2019

salt water cure: Belize

" 'Do you know of a cure for me?'
" 'Why yes," he said, 'I know of a cure for everything: salt water.'
" 'Salt water?' I asked him.
" 'Yes', he said. 'in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea."
--Isak Dinesen, "The Deluge at Norderney," in Seven Gothic Tales

We just returned from a week in Belize.

There was salt water in all its forms on this trip. But mostly the salt sea.

And it was just what we needed. A perfect balance of adventure and rest, laughter and serious discussion. Our marriage needed it, our souls needed it.

November 22, 2019

Row Mama

When Row Mama falls into the water, Row Mama doesn't get wet. Water gets Row Mama.

Row mama is so strong when she does a push up she isn’t lifting herself up, she’s pushing the earth down.

Row Mama is so strong she can slam a revolving door.

Row Mama is so strong she doesn't climb trees, she just pulls them down and walks on top of them.

Row Mama is so fast she can run around the world and punch herself in the back of the head.

Row Mama will never have a heart attack. Her heart isn't nearly foolish enough to attack her.

Row Mama is so strong she can dribble a basketball under water.

Tornadoes have sirens to warn them when Row Mama is coming.

I had such a blast joining some friends (and meeting some new people, too) during a 7 week rowing class. We met on tempe town lake and learned the basics of rowing together. We went from row machines to the barge to rowing an 8-man to sculling a 4-man. We named ourselves the "Row Mamas." And so I told myself Row Mama jokes every week.

I felt like Joe from the book "The Boys in the Boat" (one of my favorite books!). Except not as strong or coordinated or amazing. But! I loved being on the water each week pushing myself to do something completely new. It is such a fun feeling to glide on the water once we figured it out. And,  just so you know, good rowing is way more complicated than you'd think.   

November 21, 2019


On Oct 31.
pumpkin carving, tennis match, costume changing, trick or treating, parties, and so much candy.

happy halloween!

November 20, 2019


We did quite a bit of pre-Halloween trick or treating this year. We started with our ward Halloween party. We went dressed as Minnie Mouse, Poppy from Trolls, Optimus Prime (again :) ), and the Warner Bros and the Warner sister Dot from Animaniacs.

I’m always amazed at what we throw together at the last minute. Not that anyone else recognized who were except for maybe two people. Haha! It was still fun. Because we knew.

My parents invited us over for a Halloween dinner. We extended our Animaniacs theme to include Pinky and the Brain and Hello Nurse. 

Kacin and I had spent the week listening to the song Cake by Flo Rida over and over again. We tend to do that with songs. So when Jacqui showed up with a cake for Josh’s birthday the song wouldn’t get out of my head.

“I only came for the cake!”

But this cake needed some extra love so Kacin and I got to work to see what we could make of it...definitely improvement. :)

No candles, so we improvised with Dot’s flower.

Stef made us some chili for dinner. 

Then there was some time for wrestling.

The kids went trick or treating from door to door inside the house (tradition!).

Brinna sure loves her papa, especially with his guitar.

A few days later, while the other kids were at school, Brinna joined a group of preschoolers to trick or treat at a memory care nursing home. We both loved spending some time with these sweet people. It made me miss my own grandparents like crazy, but I loved seeing Brinna and her little heart shine as she said hello to everyone and happy Halloween and thank you for her treats.

She reached for this man and snuggled right up on his lap.

And then Minnie Mouse crashed after all that pre-Halloween trick or treating and fun.