Tuesday, August 30, 2011

lightning round

A few updates:
+Getting a head cold in the summer is just not right.
+Getting a head cold in the summer at the same time as my two children and husband means that I get to be everyone's favorite sneezing nurse!! Is this because I caught the cold last, and, therefore, am in a sort of "Finders, Keepers; Losers, Weepers" situation? No. No it's not. But it would be a little more fair if that were the case. I might stop thinking pathetic thoughts about how much I want someone to tuck me in and bring me soup, because at least then I would have lost fair and square!
+I'm whiney when I'm sick.
+I am becoming afraid of my garden. Especially my squash plants. Every time I reach into one to pull out a scary-big zucchini I have the distinct feeling that the plant could pull me in and gobble me up if it wanted to.
+Also, I watch Little Shop of Horrors when I am sick.
+I made this last night with said home grown zucchini and it was delicious with a poached egg on top.
+I have also made zucchini chocolate chip cookies and brownies in the last week.
+Before I caught this cold I bought some Swiss chard and beets at the Farmer's Market- two things I have never-before cooked. Am hoping to make this soup with the chard tomorrow. Tonight I am roasting the beets and serving them on top of a salad made from the beet greens.
+I am almost more afraid of cooked beets than I am of my squash plants.
+A good friend lent her Veggie Tales collection to Avery, and she is in love! I have never seen these things before, but they are pretty clever.
+They also feed my recently-founded fear of plants and vegetables.

I should probably go back to bed now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a totally innocent Hungarian

Yesterday my nieces started school again, and it has instantly turned summer to fall in my mind somehow, despite the sunny weather outside. And that means it's a new year!! You know, since autumn is my time to make resolutions and start new on old goals. It is also my time to dust off You've Got Mail. So between that, this post from my friend Kristine (whose blog makes me wish I could be this creative and fabulous), and my goal for this year of being a better friend, I decided to celebrate back to school with my SIL yesterday in Rexburg. And I brought gifts! Back to school time is a really hard time for Mandy. She loves having the kids around all summer. What a great mom, right!? So I've been thinking about her a lot and knew she'd appreciate this...
I walked in the door and said, "Don't you love [Idaho] in the Fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils, if I knew your name and address." Yep. You've Got Mail quotes. And she loved it.
Mandy gets me like that.
I also brought my nieces, nephew and Avery a little back to school treat...which I didn't get a great picture of, but that's okay. It was just some yummy animal crackers, organic milk boxes (strawberry for the girls, chocolate for Milo), a pencil, and a little notebook. They gobbled everything up when they got home from school (Milo and Avery ate theirs as mid-morning snacks) and I got to hear all about their first days, their teachers, their bike route, etc. As well as hang with Mandy and watch Housesitter (a 90's classic).
In other words, it was a lovely day spent with some of my favorite people.
Happy Back to School!

Monday, August 22, 2011

swim to the surface

Alright. I know I went on and on. And on. About my last race.
Sorry, you're going to get more of the same here.
My sister-in-law, Mandy, made that for me. Isn't it cute!?
So, as previously mentioned, I was so very nervous for this race! On Saturday I was signed up to compete in The Rush Triathlon in Rexburg, Idaho, and I didn't feel as prepared as I should have. Honestly I hadn't been on my bike enough and I just didn't feel like I was mentally ready. And I was scared stupid because of it.See my nervous smile?
Yeesh. Again with the nervous smile.
Plus I have a swim cap on. Never. Flattering.
Plus it was freezing out. That has nothing to do with how awful I look in this picture, but it is true none the less.
As soon as I got in the water I felt more comfortable, though. There is just something about open water swimming that I have fallen head-over-heels in love with. Not that I'm great at it or anything, but this time I didn't freak out when I hit that cold, dark water. I actually felt quite at home! Thanks Rigby Lake!! The swim is about .6 miles around Rainbow Lake (a man-made lake just outside of Rexburg, Idaho that is filled with man-eating trout. Or at least that is what ran through my head each time a piece of seaweed or someone else's arm or leg touched me in the water. Why are fish so much more scary when you are on their turf?).After the swim they have volunteers there to help those who would like help getting out of their wetsuits. I didn't use these "strippers", as they are called, on my first race, but I thought I'd give it a try this time. I'm not sure I'd do it again. This is me awkwardly laughing while a few 18 year old girls pull my wetsuit off. Sexy.After the first transition I hopped on my bike and headed off. The bike portion of this race was 14.2 miles, and it was pretty killer. Lots of hills. But there is no feeling like getting to the top of the Big Hill and knowing that you made it up. I might have cried (but just a little) as I thanked my Father in Heaven for my blessings and my body. For all of the bad stuff so I could feel all of the good stuff a little bit better. For everything.After all of the ups and downs (and emotional breakdowns), then it's just a quick change into running shoes, 3.1 miles, about a mile of which on a small dirt path up a Big Old Hill, and then a lap around the old high school's track to the finish line.
My brother-in-law, Spencer, ran the intermediate length race, and it was great to see him and his family.
So, it was done. I ate some fruit. Drank a lot. Walked around a bit. Still feeling so grateful for all that I had been given. And I decide to check the final numbers before heading home and hitting the showers.
But we don't leave.
Not yet.
Because it turns out that I finished second in my bracket.
So, you know, I had to stay and get my bright, shiny, silver medal!!
My goal was to beat my time from my first race, which I did by about four minutes! That may not seem like a lot to you, but both the swim and the bike course in The Rush were much more challenging and miles longer than the course at RAGE, my first race.
In other words, it's a big deal.
You should be impressed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

lightning and thunder

I got a link to this news article in my email inbox this morning. And it is not helping my nerves. I just feel like they could have left this sentence out:
Filled with numerous grueling climbs both on the bike and run portions of the race, the Rush promises to put competitors to the ultimate test.

I mean, okay. I get it. I'm nervous. Really nervous. Are you happy?

How do pro athletes do it? How do they stay so motivated and not want to throw up before competitions like Kona or Le Tour de France?
Maybe I'm being ridiculous. Maybe they are all there feeling like they are about to throw up and having nightmares. Maybe they are just better at pretending they aren't doing those things than I am.

Or perhaps their confidence comes from being so awesome and fit. I mean, I am pretty much the PosterGirl for Unlikely Triathlete Magazine. Seriously, they want an exclusive with me. I am still mulling it over.

Wow. Thinking about these things is really not helping my nerves, either.
I think that I need something to make me feel strong. I need to get someone like Mickey, or some sort of motivational-rhyming-chant in my life. You know, a pre-game dance to give me strength from my ancestors. Or maybe just one that makes me feel a bit sassy. Or something that will give me the edge over my competitors.
I at least need my own kick-butt theme song!!

Alright, I'm pumped now. No more wondering if I will cross that finish line. No more whining.
Today I channel Rocky (which is why my face looks so stupid if you happen to run into me today).
Eye of the tiger, baby.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

speaking of LSQ

My family are all big Conan fans, but I have to admit that I am more of a Jimmy Fallon girl. Maybe it's because I had a crush on him when I was 14. Maybe it's because half of the gimmicks he tries on the show completely bomb. Maybe it's because he's so Thank-ful. Maybe its because of this hilariousness. But whatever it is, he is my #1 nerdy late night guy.
As of last night my feelings for Jimmy have become a bit more involved, thanks to this!

Seriously. Wow. Vanilla ice cream, a salted caramel swirl and clusters of fudge covered potato chips. Yeah, that's right. Potato chips. K and I downed an entire carton while watching our recorded episode of The Great Food Truck Race (we are suckers for FoodNetwork reality shows. Can you believe K chose the Boston Grilled Cheese truck as his favorite to win!? Psh).
...In hindsight we probably should have actually watched Jimmy Fallon while eating. Huh. Oh well.
I should feel bad about eating this (insanely delicious) garbage just three days before my big race (the RUSH triathlon in Rexburg, ID!!!), but I just can't muster the remorse. Not with all of the training and stress I have been indulging because of said race. I even had a Hunger Games-style dream about it. I was riding my bike through the jungle while crazy-in-shape evil triathletes hunted me.
For real.
Some gross(ly amazing) ice cream is in order. Right?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ladybug chores

Cleaning and dressing and washing and wiping another human being is super fun.
Don't get me wrong.
But lately I have been thinking of organization. A lot. And I have decided we need some more of it here in my house.
I think when I went to school last winter a lot of our schedules went out the window, and now that Avery and K are headed back to school in the next couple of weeks and life is about to get a bit crazy again, I have become willing to sell my soul for a routine that works.
Okay, fine. I wouldn't sell it. But I would consider renting it out, or, like maybe a time-share scenario.
But I don't think it will come to that. In fact, as I thought of all that my gorgeous, wonderful, intelligent little four year old is capable of, I decided a big step toward getting things organized is to help her learn to help herself.

Enter my homemade Chore Chart, for lack of a better descriptor. I got the idea from an online video and decided to run with it last night for Family Home Evening. We discussed that Heavenly Father's house is a house of order and prayer, then I pulled out my picture chart and we pasted a little picture of Super Avery Ladybug (Avery with her $3 DI Ladybug Costume and a pink cape embossed with the letter A that my mom gave her two Christmases ago) on a clothespin so she can move it from task to task. The picture reminds her of, you know, (ladybug) Girl (superhero) Power!!
The picture chart itself is just a word document split into two columns with clip art to remind Avery of her morning and evening routines. On the left is morning: Make her bed, eat breakfast, read scriptures and say prayers, brush teeth, get dressed and water her flower garden. In the evening it's wash and set the table for dinner (which she gets a huge kick out of!), pick up toys and shoes, get in pj's and brush teeth, pick a story, and pray. I folded the paper in half, clipped it onto the fridge, stuck on SuperAveryLadybug's clothespin and went at it!
And she loves it!!
...okay. So it's only been 12 hours. But I have a good feeling about this one.
I even made one for "Mommy and Daddy"'s duties. Just so she wouldn't feel singled out.
...okay, and we could really use a little shove in the right direction, too.

Monday, August 15, 2011

well, sir, here we are again

When you live in a place with perfect summers, it is important to have a great backyard.
If you have that great backyard, you really ought to treat it well.
My backyard's favorite thing to do is watch old movies. About once a summer we like to rent a projector, set up K's PA system, move around some furniture and give the yard what it wants.
(Seriously, lots of names ending in "eeee" back then.)
Only the best for my backyard.
Good friends, good food, lots of treats, You Can't Take it With You- a Frank Capra film with Jimmy Stewart Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore- Soooo good), Casablanca, and a little Roman Holiday in between.
Perfect just got better somehow.

photo op

I am sorry, but there are few things that could make me run for my camera faster than hearing my sister-in-law, Mandy, gasp and say, "Wow, girls! You look... well, it looks like a princess threw up in here!"
Princess Puke is dainty like that.

what's in a name?

Every time I watch a special on the Food Network about barbeque competitions I find myself wishin' on a star that someday I will get to go to one of said competitions and eat myself sick.
But hittin' up Bubba's Barbeque here in town is a close second to that far-off dream.
Last Saturday we went with some friends and had a good ol' time (I'm sorry, but writing about bbq and keepin' the G's and D's on the ends of my words is surprisingly quite difficult).
When our friend mentioned that he had eaten at a Bubba's in Jackson Hole, WY a while back, I was super disappointed. We have been to the IF Bubba's many times and I had really hoped that it was a one-of-a-kind kind of place. You know, Portland Style. But then he laughed and supposed that there are probably hundreds of locally-owned joints named Bubba's BBQ because, really, what else is the name Bubba good for but naming big, beautiful bbq restaurants? Turns out the Jackson Bubba's was nothing like ours.
It's way nicer.
But whatever. Jackson Hole is snooty. Too snooty for a town that sounds like a 6th grade boy named it after being mooned by his best friend.
Anyway, after eating at Bubba's this time around I must admit that smoked brisket, baked beans, broccoli salad and warm chocolate buttermilk pie with a scoop of Reed's Dairy vanilla ice cream on top is now in the running for my last meal. Do you know what you would eat for your last meal?
It may seem like a morbid question, but I think about it. A lot. Growing up my family would say that they "Died and went to heaven" whenever anything delicious was around (usually involving copious amounts of chocolate/peanut butter/ice cream/all three). But even now whenever I encounter something that makes me feel like Carter looks in this picture, I think, "Wow. This is Last Supper Quality."
I think I'm on to something, here.
I just decided that I am going to make LSQ bumper stickers and bracelets.
And I will hand them out to people/restaurants/myself whenever I encounter something that is truly, well, LSQ.

What's LSQ to you?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

such a funny pair

Ahh these two.
We just finished two weeks of swim lessons at the aquatic center with our favorite Rexburg cousins and I have to say that am in love with this picture of Milo and Avery.
Remember these two way back when? That seriously feels like a lifetime ago.
Or what about this!? Or this!?!
I just can't wrap my head around how quickly these guys are growing up.
But until they get drivers licenses and (worse) snippy attitudes they are just loving life, each other, and pinching their swim teacher's nose for her when she dunks her head underwater. Which I am sure she loved. All 300 times they did it.
And speaking of growing up...Elle is going into the third grade, and Ava is in first! And my little baby girl is not so little somehow anymore.

Friday, August 5, 2011

bend, but don't break

Today marks the one year anniversary of some pretty hard things in my life. I wish I didn't remember what today means. It's just one of those things when the date sticks with you. Like you remember birthdays and holidays, only I really don't want to celebrate today.
It's incredible to me, looking back on the past year, how some things change so drastically, even while life goes on in the same way. A year shows how much healing can occur, and how much pain is still left over. It shows how nothing can change while things are never quite the same. This past year has proven to me how strong I am. And how I'll never be strong enough alone.
I haven't spoken much to many about the last year in my life and the struggles that I have faced, but perhaps someday I will say more. For now I am just thinking, paying homage to a day that for me is best forgotten, saying a prayer of thanks for the healing and rescue I have found in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, for those who have dealt me comfort, peace and friendship even without knowing how badly I needed those things, and hoping that those out there who need help and strength will know where to find it.
A few months ago I changed the title of my blog to My Unconquerable Soul, a line from the famous William Henley poem, "Invictus". I know that all of us go through really hard things that stretch us and hurt us and make us feel like we are going to break. I also know that we don't have to let those things define us. Henley thanked "whatever gods may be", but I know to whom I can look for redemption and peace. And I am so grateful for my unconquerable soul.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Dear Corn Burglar,I love you.


I have been MIA for a little while. But you really can't blame me.
I was hanging out with my parents! Love them. But, let's face it, they are pretty finicky (somewhere in Las Vegas my mother is rolling her eyes and giving me a big "OH BROTHER" look at this very moment). And I had to put a lot of effort into keeping them entertained.
Like taking them on a hike to Cress Creek.
Then picking up fried chicken and heading to the drive in to see Harry Potter (again again) with the girls asleep in the bed we shoved in the back of my Trail Blazer.
Then the Farmer's Market. And a backyard BBQ.
Oh, and letting my mom teach me how to can. I know she loved that.
All in all, I am pretty exhausted from having such a good time.
Feel sorry for me yet?