Thursday, February 28, 2013

I need a mom.

I am sure you have all noticed my lack of posts this week
because I know you all come here every day with super high hopes
because I am the world's most amazing blogger.

O.k. o.k. I'm not, I know.
I may not be the world's best blogger
and I am most certainly not the world's best mom,
but guess what I am all they've got.
They'll get over it eventually,
after some good therapy
that I will hold off on as long as possible
so they have to pay for it themselves.
I mean really
if the choice is between therapy
and cold cereal,
I am pretty sure the shredded mini wheats
or the more appreciated at the moment.

What am I good for anyway?
I'll tell you what.

I always throw away the empty bottles in the shower.
I always make sure that everyone is fed.
I always make sure everyone has clean clothes.
I am always the first one to hand over the trashcan when someone is sick.
I buy all the food.
I buy all the toiletries.
O.k LG buys it, but I purchase it,
and you all know that it's not the easiest task
to keep household items in stock.

We never (I mean NEVER) run out of toilet paper.
(O.k. we do all the time in our bathroom where
at least a roll a day escapes through the floor vent
and can never seem to replace itself. This always seems to happen
when I am done with my after-run #2. I always get a little mournful when I notice that once again I am up sheeshcreek - and my husband has absolutely nothing to do with the disappearing TP or the empty dispenser and it really isn't his fault that he's at work when I am the most in need. I love bargaining with a three year old ever so carefully to bring me a roll of the most necessary item in the hygienist's closet that is missing from MY bathroom!)
But it is never missing from the house all together,
and that is totally because I am awesome.

Caroline came home from pre-school today highly disappointed. She has been talking about kangaroo zoo for a month and they finally got to go today but after playing on the blow-up bouncy toys for the hour with her class, she turned to her teacher, and said, "This isn't a kangaroo zoo. There aren't any kangaroos." She was so totally bummed.

I brought her home and gave her cheetos and an orange and then bought her some bubble gum.

I got dinner ready, cleaned the house, showered off my running filfth, and even had two minutes to spare to write this post before running off to work for the fourth night in a row. When I come home tonight too tired to even check my facebook, I will realize for the hundreth time

that I need my own mom.
Every mom needs a mom.
It's too bad mine lives in kangaroo zoo.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hide Yo Girls

The other day Abigail was hanging out in her cami.
She kept trying to push it.
A few weeks ago, 
I told the girls they could wear their camis to bed
for comfort if they wanted.

LeGrand had enough and laid down the law.
"No more camis!
Before I know it,
you're going to be
wearing them outside too."

He told Abigail to go to her room and put on a shirt, "Now." She wasn't moving. He said, "You better get to it, or I am going to start stripping down right now, one piece of clothing at a time." I was cracking up. I told her to call dad on his bluff. There was no way he was going buck naked.

He got both his shirt off and his undershirt,
and took his belt off.
When he started unzipping his pants,
she ran off screaming
in horror.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.
LG put his shirts back on.
He was feeling all exposed,
especially since Abigail made fun of his bare body.
Or should I say bear body?

We don't believe in letting our daughters as hoochie mamas.
We want to keep them sweet and innocent for as long as possible: their whole lives preferably.

I was raised the same way. I am not going to lie. I hated it. As a teenager, I fought my parents on it daily. One time my mom tore a dress that I was wearing in two (right in front of my boyfriend) because she was sick of tired of me wearing things that were too short. (I hope my sister has forgiven me by now, it was her dress) I bought my own bikinis and wore them when my mom wasn't looking. I washed them myself and hid them away in the back of my drawers. I wanted to be like all the other girls. My brothers seemed pretty keen on making sure my sister and I dress modestly too, which we didn't understand because they were perfectly fine dating the girls who didn't really cover up. I now understand they were being protective.


Some people may think that our modesty policy is a little absurd, but do you know what? I don't care.

While most of my girlfriends were having sex in high school and some ended up pregnant, I proudly stayed a virgin until I was married. I am glad that I did. I never regret that decision. Not a day in my life have I felt like I made the wrong choice. I want for my girls to be chaste and make the same choice to remain abstinent until they are married. And yes, dressing modestly has a direct correlation.

I love my sweet sweet girls.
I love that they are pretty good about dressing modestly.
They seem to get the principle that modesty provides protection.

I want them to love themselves for who they are
amazing daughters of God.
They truly can 
change the world
just by being 
a source of light.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I just put this little diddy
as I am going
visiting teaching

I made it in Microsoft Word
but couldn't get it
the same in Paint,
but I guess
it's close enough
for you to the get the picture.

I am now off on my run
and I will be pondering
this month's
visiting teaching message

The quote above
Elder Ballard
is the part
I liked the most.

is tricky
when you live in
the state of Utah
and I am ashamed to
say that I have
kind of given up
on making friends.

I am going to try harder.

I also loved the quote by
President Hinckley

 “we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with ‘the good word of God’.

Back in the days
when I was the
of the
Relief Society
this was the theme
of our work.

We wanted
all the sisters in our ward
to have
1- a friend,
2- a responsibility,
3 - nourishment with the
good word of God.

I miss the days
when I got to serve
other women in
the Relief Society.
Those are some
of my most
and I find
that I don't make
as many friends
when I am stuck
in a church calling that
is fully autonomous.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Braxton Richard Lane Wills

Today is an emotional day for me.
My nephew Braxton,
who passed away in May,
would have been 13 today.

The loss a whole family feels
is so profound
and lingering.

We miss this little guy
so much.

He was so full of life.
He is known for being
sensitive and caring
kind and loving
all boy.

He has
a great
sense of humor.

I have seen several
since his passing
but one that sticks with me
the most
is the day
that Braxton found me on
my running trail.
He just ran right along with me
until I stopped
at the top of a hill.

His presence was
so profound,
I had to stop to see if
I could see him with my own eyes.
I talked to him
and told him how much
I love him.

When I started to cry
and tell him how sad I
was that he was gone,
he immediately ran off the other way.
He turned back with a smile
as if to say

"Don't be sad,
I'm happy,
I'm busy,
in fact I have to run right now.
I've stolen away enough time
to find you today.
I just wanted to tell you
to be happy
because I love you too."

I am giving myself permission 
to sit around today
and cry
because sometimes
tears are the best way to heal.

I thank my beautiful niece Dani
(Braxton's oldest sister)
and her band
Roatrip Romance
for writing and recording
"Wait on you"
It's balm to my soul today.

 I guess heaven
couldn't wait on

And I guess I better
quit crying
and get out on the
running trail
like I would normally
to show Braxton
that I am honoring his wishes
to not be sad
and to
live my life to the fullest.

I know he wants
me to
appreciate life
for all that it is.
Another thing
he told me
on the running trail is
how blessed I am
to have this mortality.

I love you Braxton.
Thanks for
teaching me so much.

Here is a great talk
by a living apostle
joy in life.

Braxton would
approve of the message.
In fact,
it's the same message
he delivered
to me
in about
300 less words.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Romance for Poor People

LBJ and LadyBird courted over 90 love letters
and we can read them online here.
I know what I will be doing all afternoon:
reading real romance for free.
The love letters are
living proof
that you can have romance
at the price of a few stamps.

LG and I have an honorary membership in
America's newest poor class.
The middle class is taking some serious hits.
Add in four kids to the mix,
and it was time for a frugal
Valentine's Day.

LG and I started a new Valentine's tradition.
We each got $10 to spend on each other
at our favorite local Dollar Tree.

I made up a package called "Dreams come true" for LG.
I used some of his favorite things
and added in some dream hearts explaining.

- He loves lemon juice in his water. 
   (I wish I could make all your lemons into lemonade)
- A toy stuff basketball 
  (I wish I was always your soft place to land)
- Toy airplanes
   (I wish I could take you on a getaway)
- His favorite gel pens 
  (I wish I could do all your work for you)
- Sugar-free candy for the diabetic 
  (I wish you could eat as much sugar as you wanted)
- A McDonald's giftcard for the man 
  who loves breakfast 
  and is married to a lazy breakfast chef.
  (I wish I could hire you a breakfast fairy)

LG wasn't quite as cutesy, of course,
but it was still so fun to see what he picked out.
He knows me well.
And isn't that what Valentine's is about?
thinking of each other
and showing that you know one another
better than anyone else.
I feel loved
just knowing
that LG knows me.

I'm a huge believer that gifts don't have to cost a lot of money.

My dad talked at my Grandma Dorothy's funeral
about how she would always pick up little things
here and there and the five and dime to show
that she loved you.
One of his favorite gifts:
a portable toothpick holder.
That is one of the things he remembered
most at her funeral.

I love Valentine's Day. It may be my favorite.
I also love the love language of gift-giving.
I look forward to all of our future
Dollar Tree romances.

And for the record,
last night we got a tray of
chicken nuggets from
wrote off all the evening
and sat home as a family
and watched
Pirates of the Caribbean.
It was pure bliss.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Utah style Sugar Cookies

Here is my Valentine's gift
to the rest of you
that I don't sleep with.

I wish I could send you a warm cookie
through my Ethernet cable,
but since we haven't figured that one out yet,
I'll give you my recipe.

I call these 
Loralee's Sugar Cookies
(I got the recipe from my boss
twenty years ago
Her name was Loralee.
Go figure.)

This recipe makes about 60 medium size cookies
so be sure you have some plates ready to share
with neighbors
or make them on the day you are running a marathon.

1 1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
6 tsp. baking powder

Cream together the shortening and sugar.
Add eggs, milk, and vanilla.
Sift in the flour, salt, and baking powder at the same time

The real trick with these is to let them be a little sticky.
Don't think you need to add more flour.
Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
Then the next trick is to roll them out thin.
No more than 1/4" thick,
like pie dough.
They will puff up a bit
in the oven.

Bake at 350 degrees
on the middle rack.
for 8-10 minutes.
In my current oven 9 minutes 
was the magic number.

Let cool.

Frost with 
Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter - partially melted
4 - 5 cups powdered sugar
2.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons of milk or cream

(for you cheapos out there
like my mom,
you have to buy the real vanilla
and the real butter
it makes all the difference
I get mine at Costco)


LG + AG 4Ever

Happy Valentine's Day
to the love of my life.

And with a good marriage counselor
I hope it stays that way.

Keeping it real.
I love you LeGrand Gold.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: Cold Sassy Tree

Cold Sassy TreeCold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finding a book good enough to go into my most favorite of all time folder seems to get more and more rare the older I get, but this book made the cut. I absolutely loved it. I wish I still had a bookclub so I could discuss it with girlfriends. It was so emotionally powerful.

Will Tweedy is just a teenage kid living in Cold Sassy in the 1920's. Yes, he's fictional, but he is real to me, and will be to anyone else who reads this book. Written by Olive Ann Burns it's more than amazing how she pulled off writing from the perspective of a Southern teenage boy. She nailed it. Not that I'm a teenage boy to know, but I feel like I could be now because Will shared so eloquently and honestly his feelings about everything.

And everything was the content of this book. From teenage fantasies, to soul-searching theology, suicide, farming, all the way out to a housewife's cleaning regiment, and funny funny practical jokes and stories, Cold Sassy Tree touched on so many entertaining and thought-provoking subjects.

The author explored the hypocrisy of Christianity and brought to the light what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. Will Tweedy's grandfather, Rucker Blakeslee, although non-religious and somewhat sacrilegious, was a man with sound character and a love for others and he became a real hero to me in my reading of this book. Funny that the books basis is the fact that Rucker married a Yankee hussy three weeks after the death of his widow: what an unlikely hero. But, a hero he is. And Will Tweedy told his story just right, especially by using all that southern tuh-wang in the writing.

Go back to this post for a reading of the book if you don't mind a spoiler.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Monster

Our baby monster is growing up way too fast.
This seems like a lifetime ago.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 11, 2013

2CUL Craft

Somehow I always get stuck
with doing the crafts for
the kids' school parties.
All the other moms are
too afraid.

So here is what we are
doing for Valentines
this year.

And this crafty-challenged
has made a tutorial
for you and yours
with all my V-day love.

1 - Use graph paper
to make block letter

2- Cut out

3 - Apply glue on graph side.

3- Stick onto sandpaper
from right to left.
Remember it will iron on
like a mirror image.
(That's why you glue on the right side)

4 - Outline well with crayon.

5 - Color in rest of sandpaper.
(I plan to actually have hearts
but this was the scrap I used
today for the prototype)

6 - Heat up iron to cotton/dry setting.

7 - Cut out a square of an old white sheet.
(600 threadcount egyptian cotton
 is optional but soooo soft)
I happened to have a perfectly great
topsheet leftover
from our tragic "ruined by talon toes"
sheet set
shown here on instagram.

7 - Sew up the 2 cut sides.
I will use the already folded over side
for the yarn-tie.
(Use a sewing machine if you want)

8 - This is what I did to make it go faster
(I hear you screaming you seamstress people)
I actually may just use fabric glue at school.

9 - Safety pin your yarn.

10 - Lead it through the fold.

11 - Tie big knots on each end.
(So they won't ravel or go back into fold)

12 - Place sandpaper on finished bag
that I turned inside out from stitching.
(Hopefully you guys are smart enough 
to understand that part)

13 - Turn sandpaper crayon side
 onto the fabric.
Cover with parchment paper or a tea towel.

14 - Iron (moving iron in circles)
for about 30 seconds.


Inspiration for this craft
came from alphamom.

Like I said above,
I plan to make them actual hearts
and either pre-make the bags
or have the kids glue them
(because of school time limits)
or do t-shirts
or just make the
sandpaper cut-outs
and send
iron on instructions home with kids.

Happy V-day
crafting all you cupid moms
who like me
 are suckers for love.

Feel free to leave
all your suggestions for betterment
below in the comments.
I have til Thursday to fine-tune.
Or just tell me how cool I am
because moms need
to love other moms.

And you're so welcome.
I couldn't find a single
thing good enough
on my beloved forthekids 
pinterest board
so I had to tweak.
I'm thrilled
with  my mom 
As you should be too.

Friday, February 08, 2013

I have that much.

Faith is important to me.
I've discussed it before
here, here, here, and here.

Faith has carried me through a lot of stuff.
One of those above links
was when my husband failed the bar exam.
That was tough.

Here is how faith
influenced me
as a small child.
The story is also
a fun reminiscence
of my crazy dad
and how he jimmy-rigged
and stole (I mean borrowed)
a truck to get our
station wagon out of the mud.

So my latest trial of faith may be the hardest trial I've ever faced. It's not something I can really blog about because to reveal it would not be fair to others, but it's tough. Trust me, it's really tough, so tough I can't talk about it on my blog. ( And you all know I talk about everything from moobs, my body, crying myself to sleep, and even the horrible botched farce on breastfeeding.) So it's tough and it reminds me that everyone is fighting their own hard battle, whether or not they share it.

Anyhow, I was praying about this trial last week. It was one of those big prayers in my life that I will always remember. For me it was huge on two levels. It was huge because I decided to do it after a long prideful prayer hiatus. {shame on me} And it was huge because I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father as though he really was my Father listening and that He cared and that He would help me. I bawled like a baby and questioned, "Why?" Even if we aren't supposed to ask "why", I did. (This is one of my favorite addresses on trusting in the Lord and talks about not asking why) I needed to know WHY does this have to be my life when I have tried so very hard for the last 20 years to do everything right for God.

The answer came (like it always does eventually) two-fold. The answer was first a thought in my mind. "I have this trial so I will pray." This trial is so hard that it always brings me to my knees out of desperation and God allows this in my life because He knows I will be happier with Him in my life.

The second answer came from the words out of my own mouth.

"Father, you've said in your scriptures that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. Well, I sometimes struggle with my faith, but I know I have that much. I have at least as much as a mustard seed."

I saw in my mind, my Father in Heaven, the most omnipotent being ever. All knowing, all powerful, and all loving, he let go of his embrace from this wailing child, he nodded at me and said, "Yes, you do. Well done. Now hold on Alice, we're gonna move this mountain on my time."

Faith is my greatest treasure. I hope I always keep at least a mustard seed worth.

Thanks to the book Cold Sassy Tree for another take on faith and answered prayers.

I'll publish my book review on Cold Sassy Tree next week.
It's a new all time favorite.

Here is some spiritual enlightenment on how to use the supernal gift of prayer. Really really good stuff.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Book Review: Touch and Go

This is a paid review for BlogHer BookClub but all opinions are my bona fied own. 
Pinkyswear promise.

Join the BookClub discussion on BlogHer here.

Touch & GoTouch & Go by Lisa Gardner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know you've found yourself a good thriller when a week after finishing it, your mind is still reeling and your husband is down for the count with his nose in your book. Needless to say, we both loved Touch and Go. {Warning to my very conservative readers: this book has some profanities that you won't appreciate. Yet, it's still a great book.}

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner is a suspenseful piece of fiction that tells a thrilling story of the kidnapping of an affluent Bostonian businessman, his wife, and daughter. The books explores the kidnapping from several angles: the wife of the businessman - Libby, the family business' private investigator - Tessa, and a backwoods cop from New Hampshire - Wyatt. For me, reading from each of the three perspectives added rich background and a playful mind-jogging mood. "Well if he thinks that, then what about this? If this is going on there, then why doesn't the investigator talk to.."

I'm so glad I read the book and I'm so grateful to Lisa Gardner for writing a story that took me into my fictional reading dimension, it's one of my favorite places to be: inside a story that exists only on the pages of a book and in my mind. Yes, I personally figured out whodunit about halfway through but that is a talent of mine. My hubby didn't figure it out until he read it for himself and even then he didn't believe it. Great read. Highly recommend it. I plan to go and check out more of Lisa Gardner, especially the book titled Love You More that explores the character Tessa Leoni when she used to be a cop.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Mini-Me Bella

I recently wrote about Abigail and Sophia.
I always write about Caroline.
Well, today it is Bella's turn.
She's a mini-me.
Just look at the picture above
and tell me that
she isn't a me.
Funny girl.
In the middle of it all.
Just like her momma.
The life of the party.

Sometimes I look at her in
pride and admiration
and wonder why I don't
recognize her
strong personality traits
in myself and pat myself
on the back.

Other times
I shake my head
in shame
knowing she's
going to experience
the same life frustrations
as I have.
I wonder if I made her the way
that she is
or if God just sent her
to me so I could have better
glimpses of myself.

I'll start with the things I love about Bella.
Bella is thoughtful.
She is very aware of the people around her
and their feelings.
This probably stems from her own
deep feelings and sensitivity.
Of course I automatically
go to a bad place when recognizing this.
I'm sensitive too
and it gets overwhelming at times,
but really it's a spiritual gift to be aware
of possibilities for despair in others
and to know the importance of love and support.

Bella just came home with the school
award for
Remember a few weeks ago
Sophia was awarded with love.
I am amazed at how astute
the girls' teachers are
in pinpointing their character traits.
Bella is dependable.
She is extremely capable.
She is a lot like me in this way.
She puts all her energy into
what she wants to accomplish.
She looks for ways to help others.
She takes pride in her accomplishments.
You can count on Bella.
She is extremely responsible.

Once again I see the downside in this
because of my own hang-ups.
I know a lot of my dependability
stems from my need to
prove myself
and I wish that I didn't have to struggle with that.

I love watching LeGrand with Bella.
When she is having her stubborn moments
and I just can't handle it
because I am even more stubborn than her,
LeGrand will go in and lay with her in her bed
and talk her down.
It melts my heart.
He's her soothing balm,
and mine too.

We have four kids,
so it's impossible to have a middle child
but if we had to choose between
Sophia and Bella,
Bella would have to be the middle.
She has middle-child syndrome.
The reason is probably because ever since
she was born,
life has been stressful.
She was born one month
before we trecked across
the country
to law-school
and has always known
poverty (until recently).
She was the youngest of 3 kids
under 5
and her mom
was always had-it.
(This is also my life story)
When Bella was 6,
Caroline was born.
She was old enough to
note when she went
from baby to
somewhere in the middle.

Bella is creative.
She loves to write and draw.
She loves to create stories
and she will read them aloud
Again, like her mom,
it's as though she feels
things by analyzing
other people's experiences with them.
This is very intriguing to me.
She's a kinsthetic learner.

Unlike me,
Bella is really good at math.
She loves math.
Also unlike me,
Bella hates spelling..
Reading is not her favorite thing
but she has grown to like it.

Like me,
Bella can talk your ear off.
Unlike me,
Bella can also listen.

Like me Bella
loves her sweets.
Unlike me,
she is a picky eater.

Also unlike me,
Bella really isn't
in to sports.
We are hoping she might really enjoy
softball this Spring
when she plays with just the girls.
Her t-ball experience wasn't the greatest.
Impressive though is the fact that
in our family Bella has the most
sports' experience.
She has tried
basketball, t-ball, football,
swimming, dancing, and soccer.
Like her mom,
maybe she is destined
to become
jack of all trades
but master of none.

Bella loves to bake.
She is a master baker.
She wants to own her own bakery
when she grows up.

She is proud of the fact
that at 8 years old
she had saved enough money
to buy her own laptop.
The other night she told me
that she would
save enough money to buy her own car
and her own bakery.
I hope she does.
Bella is fiercely independent.
Just like her mom.

Unlike me,
she is great at saving money.
I guess she does
get some things from her dad.
Although for the life
of me I can't think
of any other paternal comparisons right now.

Bella is insightful
and spiritual.
She recently wrote
her own primary talk
that brought the room to tears.
I wish I could do that.

Like me,
Bella is stubborn.
She's impatient.
She constantly fights her
desire to be in charge.
She would get
at least 50%
queen executive
if she took the
archetype me test.
She loves to plan parties
and she can carry them out
on her own.
Unlike me,
she's very aware
of her pride and bossiness
at an early age
and to her credit
she works on collaborating
and humility.

Bella loves music.
She recently volunteered
to sing a solo at church.
She refused to let me
help her practice.
Like I said
she's a mini-me.

And I love her.