Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing—Benjamin Franklin

Moving on out

We are in the process of blog relocation. Here is the new address:  http://odetosomethings.wordpress.com/

Same thing, just a new face. 

Our life, the musical

E has been all about singing lately. He has started having singing conversations with me and let me tell you... it is pretty much impossible to get mad at someone when you are singing the words.*

However, the best part of his singing is how it has changed our bed time routine. It used to be scriptures, prayer, story, song. Now it is Mommy scripture, E's version of the scripture, prayer, Mommy story, E's much longer story, Mommy song, E's much longer song that more often than not turns into a story that turns into a song that turns into a story. Needless to say, bedtime is now the most interesting part of our day.

(Please excuse Gigi's burping through the entire thing)

Also, I will say again... I don't know why on earth we bother to buy her toys.

*Bryce and I have decided that we are going to make our kids sing their arguments to each other when they fight. Discipline and a show!

This is why everyone needs to be a parent

E started preschool. I know it will be great for him, but it panics me more than a little to think of him going out into the wide world if only for a few hours a week. There are thousands of "what ifs..." running through my head. It got me to thinking about all the things I have taught/have yet to teach my kiddos, good and bad. Being a parent is an interesting experience that is for sure.

I'm convinced that the reason God trusts us with children is for us rather than our kids because man alive! I'm a mess sometimes. It is a good thing He has my back or my kids would turn out nutty. My point though is that parenting is supposed to be about making your child the best possible version of themselves, right? And because you so often are teaching by example, that means that parenthood is essentially about making ourselves our best selves and hoping and praying that our kids follow the good stuff and ignore the bad. 

As a parent, especially a stay-at-home parent, you have to watch your every action, word, and even thought because they will pick up on it (and copy it at the worst possible time). Every move you ever make at any given moment is monitored by a little being who is soaking it in and forming their personality and moral code largely based on yours. You slowly learn that every imperfect move you make will be duplicated and magnified 100 times. And then reflected back at you, right where you can see it best.
   That time when you break your toe and let a word slip and your child repeats it in preschool.
   That time when your child runs screaming from a butterfly because he's seen you do it.
   That time when your child hears/sees something he shouldn't in a movie because you thought he was asleep and consequently he has nightmares for weeks.
   That time you say a disparaging word about another to your mom on the phone and your child announces it to someone else.
   That time when you speak sarcastically and your child--taking it literally--does something borderline insane.
Everyone has parent-of-the-year-award stories. Because whoever you are... if you are a parent, someone is watching. You have a 24/7 private detective observing you, sometimes five of them at a time. That is a lot of pressure. Thankfully, we haven't had too many disastrous moments ourselves yet, but the older E gets, the more I see my bad habits in him.

But one of the hard parts of parenting for me is that it isn't only the things you do that you have to be aware of; it is the things you don't do as well. If you aren't kind to others, how will your kids learn to be? If you don't keep your anger in check, how will your kids learn to? If you aren't honest, how will your kids learn to be? The best way I know to teach my kids to be strong enough to deal with the pressures of life is if I am. Granted--and very thankfully--we have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who can cover our bases when we fail (as we inevitably will), but the fact remains that whatever I want to instill in my children has to first be a part of my life. 

In essence, every day of my life I spend trying to make these little people who they need to be, and who they need to be is a way better and way stronger person than I currently am. Solution: become way better and stronger myself. This to me is the greatest challenge of parenting, but it is also the greatest blessing. As I make them stronger, I make myself stronger. As I help them grow and become better people, of necessity, I grow and become better myself.

Parenting is no cake walk that is for sure and it is only going to get more interesting from here on out, but I am awfully grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me a shot at it because boy am I learning a lot! And boy do I love my little teachers!

Fun and family

My mom and grandma  got to visit for a couple of days. E loved every minute with "G-mom," Grandma, and Jack Jack (the dog) and Gigi of course had one or two good naps on both grandmas and tried to eat Jack more than a few times. Poor Jack.

The last adventure

Here's the highlight reel of the last adventures of summer (maybe the last adventures for a long long while as Bryce is officially starting work).

We took a jaunt over to Hanging Rock Park and had a blast. This was our greeting committee first thing on the trail. Luckily someone warned us in advance (because he had almost stepped on it) and we were able to keep our distance. No thank you, Copperhead. However, we didn't see another one the rest of the time so all was well.

 There were a couple of fun waterfalls and some great views.
E was a trooper the whole time and walked for a good portion, but his poor little feet got so tired by the end. He talked about the waterfalls for days. Not to mention "hiccup-trucks" as we saw about 500 of them while we were roaming around.

We also went camping with a few friends (a thing
we haven't done in years. I'm pretty sure E fell in love the second we said, "You can go play in the dirt over there." and it just got better when we broke out a sleeping bag, tent (or "little tiny tiny house"), and started a fire. He was sold. Gigi wasn't quite sure what to think, but we all lived to tell the tale and had tons of fun.

Whoa thunder!

Storms here are fantastic. Fantastic and unpredictable.

For the first couple of months we were here it rained at least once a day almost every day. And I'm talking huge, thunder and lighting, feels like you are under a waterfall rainstorms. Which would be annoying, except for the fact that they only last for about five minutes.  How does one plan for that? Answer: You never ever do you hair and you never leave the house without an umbrella regardless of how clear the sky looks. 

E isn't so sure how he feels about these storms. On the one hand, he sometimes gets to run around and get completely soaked to the bone (always a win). On the other hand, he has to deal with thunder that makes you feel like the apocalypse is nigh and shakes your whole house (less of a win). We had a rare longer storm the other day and E was not pleased. At first he just commented on the thunder, but then one of the big earth shaking rumbles happened and as soon as he heard the crackle he screamed like a banshee and headed for the hills (the hills being mommy and daddy's bed). Coaxing a little boy out of his fears while the thing he fears is still going on so loud you can barely talk? Not an easy task. The thing that finally did it was that in a stroke of all-too-rare genius wherein I explained that just like he gets a little too loud when he is excited, the thunder is way too excited to be helping the rain come down and make things grow. It was a stretch, this I fully admit, but it totally worked. We spent the rest of the storm with him informing us and making sure Ginny knew that there was nothing to be afraid of because "the thunder is just excited to have a party with the lightening." The few times he debated being panicked about it again he announced, "It is being a little too loud, isn't it mom? Thunder, calm it down."

In other news, Gigi is crawling. She's been mobile for a while now (a constant reminder to me of how thorough you have to be when baby proofing the house because she wants to get into everything). She's gone from rolling everywhere about a month ago, to a sort of froggy crawl, and now she is looking like an offensive lineman.

Five years and counting

Whoa. Ok. Sorry for the blog dump for the last few days, but I've been married for five years as of yesterday. Can you believe it?

Bryce and I had date night a while back wherein the challenge was to summarize our story in seven words or less. We started out doing our love story in general, but then it morphed into first date, first kiss, the proposal, our first baby, etc. Needless to say it was one of the funniest date nights we've ever had. We had way too much fun reliving all the memories, so I thought our anniversary is the perfect time to share some of them.

Bryce: "I'm sorry, you have to die."
The line that brought us together. Actually, if we're being completely accurate, it is a quote from the movie we saw when we first met. The three of us--Bryce, myself, and our the friend who introduced us--sat solemnly in our small row, nodding to the ultimate tragedy and truthfulness of what the actors were discussing while everyone else in the theater laughed hysterically. Trust three humanities majors to take it to heart.

Me: "Not a date. None of them."
Bryce swears he took me on tons of dates before we were actually dating, but when he discussed dating me, I had no idea he was even interested. I will argue until my dying day that none of his the "dates" he took me on were legit.

Me: "Fish tank, clean dishes.... had my heart."
Bryce used to come over to my apartment all the time and do the dishes when I had completely given up on salvaging the mess my little roommates had made and I was boycotting the kitchen entirely. He would stand in there and sing his guts out doing the dishes I was too stubborn to do and then offer to clean my giant fish tank as well. Not to mention coming to buy all new fish with me after The Great Boiling. (The Great Boiling being the term we used in our apartment to describe the hottest couple of days of my existence when our air conditioning stopped working and half of the fish went belly up because it was just too hot to live. I didn't blame them.)

Bryce: "Yeah, I kissed her on the forehead."
Said in the most sarcastic voice imaginable because we weren't actually dating (because for the second time I wasn't entirely on board yet), but we were watching a movie with some friends and when he was sure no one was looking, Bryce leaned down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead. One of our other friends caught a glimpse of it and asked suspiciously if he had just seen Bryce kiss me on the forehead, however Bryce--knowing I didn't want anyone to know yet that I was considering dating him again--answered dripping with sarcasm as if it were the most ridiculous thing in the world for him to kiss me, made our friend doubt it and move on in a hurry. Our friend was awfully upset when he found out that his eyes had not deceived him.

Bryce: "I knew it, but you didn't."
This is the story of our life as Bryce always has a way of knowing what I'm going to do/say/decide long before I myself do and then when I tell him my breakthrough he is already well aware. However, it is especially true of our courtship.
I told him we couldn't date (even though we were practically dating already)... he took me on dates until I admitted it.
I told him I loved him... he said, "I know."
He told me I was going to marry him... I denied it vehemently and then picked a date the next day, which was a good thing because he had already taken my sister and mom ring shopping with him and ordered the ring.

Me: "Surprise. You cheater-pants. Best surprise ever."
After we picked a date, Bryce decided to propose to me properly and thus planned a surprise trip out to see me. I had been calling him all night and hadn't managed to get a hold of him--very unusual since we spoke on the phone every night for three months while he was in a different state. I was getting a bit worried, to the point that I had my sister on the line complaining that he was probably dead somewhere. My sister of course knew exactly what was going on and so wasn't surprised when Bryce finally called on the other line. When he answered, he made his voice sound as scratchy and groggy as he possibly could and claimed that he had fallen asleep and his phone wasn't working quite right so he hadn't heard my call. He neglected to mention that he had been sleeping on an airplane. We had our normal chat, but instead of saying goodnight, he asked what I could see from my front door. He was persistent so finally I stuck my head out and there he was, standing with flowers and a ring box. I ran to hug him, not bothering to look at the ring box until I realized that my parents were sitting in the car staring. Only then was he able to get on one knee and actually ask me.

Bryce: "The crustiest kiss you'll ever get."
On our honeymoon we ended up finding a random monastery around our hotel in Wolf Creek, UT. There lived the cutest old man on the planet, Father Patrick, who after we bought honey from him asked if he could kiss the bride. And boy did he. Best experience of the trip.

Haley (Quoting Bryce): "We're headed right where we're going."
Bryce had a conference in Amsterdam and I decided to tag along. We found out I was pregnant with E just before we left and boy was that fun. In short, Amsterdam has a lot of foreign food (read: a lot of different smells) which made it hard for my baby sick self. In the end, Bryce and I would walk by restaurants so I could briefly stick my head in and see if I could handle it before we could go in. The pastry shop down the road probably saved my life because it was all I could eat. Such a shame to miss all that interesting food. However, the funniest part of the trip came because I had the best sense of direction in the world (which is completely out of the norm for me) and Bryce decided right then that we were having a boy. He figured if I had any idea where we were at any given point it had to be the extra Y chromosome. The quote though actually comes from a day we were wandering around semi-lost and I asked Bryce if he had any idea where we were, to which he answered, "Of course I know where we are. We're headed right where we're going." We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that one.

Bryce: "Barf! You can do it! Barf!"
Bryce's encouraging words to both myself and him as we were trying our best to welcome E into the world. Mine was exhaustion and pitocin, his was food poisoning. We're still not sure who was more sorry for the other. 36+ hours later, it was all worth it.

It has certainly been a great adventure so far. I sometimes can't believe that this is my life. I honestly couldn't have imagined anything better than having two beautiful kids who keep me on my toes every second of every day and a husband who does his best to keep us all alive and sane. Thanks, Wonderful! For five amazing years!

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