Tuesday, May 28

Federation Forest


We have been looking forward to a day off for Taylor for months! Unfortunately the weather was around 50 degrees and rainy, but if we've learned anything from living in Seattle, it's 



Someone built a hobbit house in the Federation Forest, but the Orks must have attacked, because we wandered around for two hours and all we could find were little windows hidden here and there.



Sam may have a future in dentistry. He is fascinated with mouths and teeth.


We missed being with our families and celebrating our heritage, but had a great time sharing family stories with each other on the long drive, and spend last night looking up our ancestors on the new FamilySearch. It's incredible! A member of our Stake Presidency called the new FamilySearch "Facebook for the Dead." People have uploaded and tagged pictures and stories of our ancestors - it really is remarkable (and addicting). Check it out!

Friday, May 24

TEN months.

sammy closeup teeth 05-20-2013

I just put Sam down for a nap, but had to sneak in a 10-month picture before he went down because for once he didn't have a slobber beard! These are the pictures I was able to grab in thirty seconds:

sammy 10 months 05-24-2013
sammy 10 months 2 05-24-2013
sammy 10 months sleepy 05-24-2013

Yes, from hyper to ready for bed in 30 seconds. Classic.

Heavenly days, as my Grandpa McDonald would say. Life is so good with this little boy. Sam is such a happy baby. That seven-tooth grin is killer. This little boy is seemingly everywhere at once and has nonstop energy, but I can't get enough. He makes every day so much fun, and each little chore an adventure. Ever tried scrubbing a toilet while keeping a 10-month old away? Adventure indeed!

- - - STATS + INFO - - -

WEIGHT: Heavy.
HEIGHT/LENGTH: Long and skinny.

AVERAGE NIGHT'S SLEEP: Goes down around 7, wakes up around 6:30 (used to be 5:30, but we're slowly getting later and later). Finally getting a consistent morning nap - afternoons are another story.

sammy 05-21-2013 supersam

"Nakie time." Strip him down to his diaper, and he's a new man. Last week we tied a burp cloth around his neck to form a cape, and it didn't even phase him. Super Sam!
Pulling himself up on everything, especially the piano.
Chasing Mama around the house
Opening and closing doors like a crazy man
Playing the piano! I was in the kitchen doing dishes, and all of a sudden I heard some tinkering on the piano - I came out to find this:

(If you're reading this blog on Feedly or Flipboard, you'll need to open our blog up in a browser to see this video)

Eating - and he loves to feed himself, but he eats best when it's what Taylor and I are eating. He loves cherries, blueberries, curry, tikka masala, pizza, pasta... I'll start feeding him from my plate, and before long my dinner is more than half gone. This boy is a bottomless pit.


THREE more teeth, bringing our total to seven teeth.
Cruising all over the place. My mother-in-law was right; my life is over.
Stopped nursing
Will no longer take a pacifier, but still very dedicated to his thumb (only when he's tired or hungry).
Standing on his own for a few seconds at a time! 
First hair trimming (still has a quasi rat tail/mullet going on, but we did trim above his ears)
We've had a few "Dadas" here and there, but we can't tell if he is relating it to Taylor or not. We'll assume he is, for Taylor's sake. He says "mamamamamammmm," but only when he wants to get out of nap time or can't find me, but he won't say it to my face (Sam, we've practiced this since day one!).


PLACES HE'S BEEN: Sam was invited to be Isaac's special guest at Grandparents Day at a fancy private school in Seattle. They even hired out a company to do valet parking. Too bad 10-month old babies aren't made to do worksheets and brain teasers with toothpicks (it was a tricky hour and a half in the classroom!). Luckily Isaac is a good entertainer, so we both had a great time! The Dean said "See you in 5 years!" - can you justify a student loan for elementary school tuition?


I love the way Sam is so happy to see anyone, whether at church, at the store, or out for a walk. I have thought a lot about how I would do well to follow his example and be more friendly and happy to see people, even those I don't know.


Tuesday, May 21


sam and mom november 2012
November 2012
A couple of years ago I read Katharine Hepburn's autobiography titled Me. I loved how straightforward that title was--unapologetic, no angle, just plain and true.

Blogging has changed so much in the past year. Many times I've caught myself wanting to post about something but stop myself, thinking nobody would read it, or nobody cares (beyond Sam's grandma circle, that is).

There are so many beautiful blogs out there right now, and I catch myself falling into the terrible comparison trap. My life will never be that glamorous or interesting, so is it even worth sharing? I spend my days in t-shirts and jeans, hair in a messy bun most days (we have a STRONG hair puller on our hands), and sometimes the most exciting thing we do that day is try a new vegetable. Last Saturday Taylor and I took turns doing our long runs and then went to WinCo (in all fairness, we did get to eat fast food for lunch and played a new game that night). A few weeks ago I would have been embarrassed about that, but you know what? It was such a wonderful day. I love me some time in the WinCo bulk bins section (I just discovered this, and can't get over it - they even have chocolate-covered gummy bears!). 

Why should I feel all of this pressure to be someone I'm not--speak a certain way, dress a certain way, look a certain way, do things I am not even that interested in--when I like my life the way it is? I love my life! I would not change one thing. I love that I base my outfits on how well they can hide smudges and slobber. I love having a reason to not do my hair perfectly every day. I love that 80% of what I say during the day probably could not be considered English. I love that most days I probably behave more like a Muppet than a grown woman. I love being married to someone who, solely through his example, makes me want to work harder every day to become the best person I can be. I love that our life is sometimes hard and nearly always uncertain, because that is what has made our relationship so strong. And I like who I am, and that I'm not like everyone else. That only took about 30 years. I finally am starting to figure out ME, and let go of the comparison trap. Boy, is it ever hard.

Here's to embracing my real and very simple life, and having more courage to share it.

Monday, May 13

Mother's Day

sam and RHODIES 05-12-2013

Yikes, we're really slacking on regular blogging here. We're really busy around here playing with blocks, dodging Sam's bites and eating peas.

Last year Taylor set a high bar, but he blew me away again this year. When Chef Taylor enters the kitchen, he is a sight to behold. At one point Sam and I heard him say, "Oh no! I over-reduced!" while he was creating a balsamic reduction for his spinach dish.

That's a mighty fine breading station you have going there, Taylor.

Our Mother's Day feast. I'm worried that Taylor is a better cook than I am - I sat there asking him how he got the breading to be so perfect, the chicken so juicy...

mothers day 05-12-2013

How grateful we are to have the mothers that we do - moms who have given everything and sacrificed so much, but made motherhood look so effortless and fun! I'm trying to figure out the secret to making it look effortless and staying AWAKE...

sammy mothers day 05-12-2013
And, another picture of Sam, because that's all his grandparents really want from this blog.