Wednesday, December 3, 2014

cutting down a christmas tree

Another 27 for 27 item done: cutting down a Christmas tree (insert three evergreen emojis here).

Last weekend we ate our turkey, partook in the most mild Black Friday shopping I have ever been a part of, and headed back to Apple Hill to cut down a Christmas Tree. Now, I have to admit that I don't give Thanksgiving enough credit. I can't really get that into it, and this year I especially saw it as the checkered flag that waved and gave me permission to start celebrating Christmas (finally). Actually, Thanksgiving was kind of getting in my way when it came to Christmas. I mean, I know you're not supposed to decorate for Christmas before the turkey has been made into sandwiches and the football games and dog shows have been watched. I knew this, yet I put out my "BE MERRY" doormat. I left my fall wreath up, and in my mind this was a valid justification for the Christmas decorations that were sneaking their way in. Now I'm taking no prisoners with my Christmas spirit. Give me all the Santas and snowmen! All the Christmas books! All of the Thomas the Tank Engine and Curious George Christmas movies. We may or may not have watched Shrek the Halls last night. We have a serious festive problem.

SOOOO... after the Turkey had been eaten and the cheap memory cards had been purchased on Black Friday, we moved on to picking out a Christmas tree.

This tree farm was the cutest of all the tree farms in the land. Rows and rows of trees that begged to be touched and sized up. Trees that beg for you to run your fingers through their branches and smell their sap on your hands. Trees that were not much taller than Sage to trees that Sage could probably hollow out and live in. Then, there were the trees that were not much taller than my boot and were at risk of being stepped on.  These were the chihuahuas  of the tree lot -- you're sure someone probably wants them, but you just can't really picture who.

It had been sprinkling rain, and the trees were damp and smelled even better than I could have imagined. By the end of the trip Sage's pants were soaked from brushing the branches as he walked through the lot. Soggy pants and muddy boots. I think that just might be the recipe for a happy two-year-old boy right there.

After scaling up the trees and narrowing it down to a couple of possible trees, we came upon a tree that stood out and could not be compared with any other tree around it. It was a tree that was perfectly full, perfectly shaped, and didn't have one weird bare spot that would have to go against the wall. This tree was perfect from every angle. Clearly the owners of the tree farm knew this one was one of a kind, because they had placed a tag on the tree informing us that it was more than the other trees in the lot. It was instant tree love and I just did the dang thing. I bought one of the most expensive trees in the lot. The signs had told us to yell "CUTTER!!" at the top of our voice when we had found the tree of our dreams and a 20-year-old would come over and chop the tree down for us. We did not choose to follow the rules, and instead the tree cutter was fetched on foot using our inside voices. Yelling to him felt too much like whistling to a waitress in a restaurant. We just couldn't do it.

And thus begins the story of our Christmas tree, whose name is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and whose description will be saved for another day. She is lighting up our front room and giving us all kinds of Christmas spirit.

^^ This is the picture of my dreams that is too blurry to post but I am posting anyway. My blog, my rules. :)

^^ Green on green on green on green.

^^ The girls working gave Sage a candy cane to eat while we watched them wrap the tree, and I think Sage could sit there all day eating their candy canes and watching trees go through that tube. Add sticky fingers to the recipe for a happy two-year-old boy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Two-and-a-half is a different kind of wild. A kind of wild that I never expected, never could have prepared myself for. An exhausting and completely fulfilling kind of wild. Frustration with the world -- with trees for being too high and shelves for being out of reach. With bike peddles that are just past his toes when pointed, or maybe with legs for not growing fast enough.

I marvel at his two-year-old body that falls hard and bounces back at lightning speed. The times my breath stops as I see him jump from a high ledge and can't reach him fast enough. Can't save him.

Just as quickly as it happens his body hits the ground. He pops up, brushes off his knees, and laughs while I try to remember how to breath again.

The nights he says "mean mommy" through tears and gritted teeth when I won't let him do something on his own. He is fiercely independent. Independent with no concept of fear. Of how terrifying this world really is.

This world is his to explore.

The locks I had to put on his bedroom door out of fear that he would wake up and want to experience the world at night. See the street, the lights, the cars.

"He is so wild," I tell people.

"He has a wild spirit like his mom." someone once replied.

And at that moment I realized why he is mine. Why we were put on this Earth together.

We are one in the same.

Friday, October 31, 2014

happy HOOlloween

So the first time you hear the concept of Halloween when you're a kid your brain can't even process the information. You're like: "What is this? What did you say?" "What did you say about giving out candy? Who's giving out candy?" "Everyone that we know is just giving out candy!
Jerry Seinfeld

I know OWL be eating all the Butterfingers and Reese's peanut butter cups that I can shove into my face today. HOO the heck doesn't love all this candy? Okay, that's probably enough. haha
Sage has been loving all things "spoooooooky" that have been popping up around us. Who would have thought I, the person who (HOO) could barely handle Hocus Pocus growing up, would have a child who giggles with delight at the sight of every skeleton and zombie he sees. It's a trip, this having kids thing. 
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween.

And watch out for all those Elsas who will be out in full force tonight :)

Monday, October 20, 2014


Saturday, October 18, 2014

the power of prayer

"Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing." 
(D&C 19:38)

Here I am, sitting on the couch in my living room, reading my scriptures and digging through Sage's candy bucket for Reese's peanut butter cups after tonight's trunk-or-treat. 

You know those chapters that hit you over the head with the spirit? Mosiah 24 was one of them. The Lord seems to hit me over the head with His spirit a lot.

I think He knows that's the best way to get ahold of me. 

In Mosiah chapter 24, Alma and his people are forbidden to pray. Amulon assigned guards to watch over the people to and ordered the guards to put anyone to death who prayed. "And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him" (Mosiah 24:12). They knew they were going to be put to death if they were caught praying, and they prayed harder. They poured their hearts out Him. That line hit me so hard when I read it. The kind of hit where you have to get up and find a marker to underline it and write in the margins. Communication with God was so important to Alma and his people that they knew that they would be killed if they were caught praying, AND THEY POURED OUT THEIR HEARTS TO HIM.

God answered their prayers. He comforted them. He told them, "...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs" (Mosiah 24:14).  Another wow. Another highlight/underline/write in the margins situation. God knows us and when we go to him in prayer, when we pour out our hearts to him, he will take away our burdens. As someone who carried a heavy burden for a long time, this is the most fantastic, most merciful, most beautiful promise that God could make with his children. Promise that he could make with me.

After God had freed Alma and his people, the people prayed again. They prayed to thank the Lord. They didn't just go to God when times were tough. They went to God when things were great. When they were free. When they didn't need anything. Alma and his people were grateful because they knew that being delivered from captivity wasn't just a coincidence. "(A)ll their men and all their women and all their children that could speak lifted their voices in the praises of their God" (Mosiah 24:22).

Prayer is so powerful. And we have a God that wants to hear from us. He wants us to talk to him. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much and is willing to give us blessings beyond our comprehension if we talk to Him. Talk to him. Turn to Him when things are hard. Thank him when things are great. Teach our children to pray.

I think that's a pretty awesome deal.

Monday, September 29, 2014

dude, go to bed

While eating a late-night quesadilla and lesson planning, I realized the beauty of a plate that can double as a mask.

You're welcome, internet.

hashtag foxy.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014

sticky lips and trails of stray crumbs

I can confidently say that I have the best peach-jam-taste-tester in all the land. 

More information on the 52 project here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014

Some friends invited us to come and see their horses, proving what I already knew about Sage.

He is fearless. 

I have heart attacks on the regular because he is so courageous and has absolutely no concept of consequences. 

We're talking a serious lack of awareness that trying to get closer to that horse might result in serious physical pain. 

On no, he just saw me take a step backward to take a picture and saw this as his opportunity to make a run for it. Of course, I grabbed him before he got under the fence. 

Because I'm clearly quicker than I look. 
I know, quicker than a two-year-old. Who would have thought? 

More information on the 52 project here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

27 for 27 update: how 'bout them apples?

first 27 for 27 item done! 

We packed up and headed to Apple Hill over the weekend. Even though the weather said otherwise, the apples and the pies and the preserves all assured us that fall is right around the corner. But 90 degree sun meant no scarves and boots here; we picked our apples in full summer gear.

Part of me is like, "NOOOOOO SUMMER! PLEASE DON'T LEAVE MEEEEE!" and the other part of me is like "soup and crunchy leaves, I'M READY FOR YA!"

I decided while we were up in Apple Hill that I have this dream for myself to retire to an apple orchard. I will let people come and pick my apples and feed my alpacas. People seemed to think this was a strange dream, given my lack of gardening skills (let alone orchard maintaining skills), but I think it just sounds like the most romantic thing -- planting fruit and canning and inviting families in to experience my own piece of the earth that I've grown.

Now I probably need to learn how to can and plant things that stay alive, but I have a long time before I retire to actually work out the logistics of the whole thing. I mean, I've kept Sage alive for this long, and if I can grow a human then I should be able to grow some trees...amiright?

but the canned preserves...

I know, weird. But I'm pretty obsessed with it. Obsessed might even be an understatement.

There was more to Apple Hill than picking apples (even though picking apples is the best thing ever). The apple picking will always and forever be my favorite memory from this trip.

There was a mini pony ride in which Sage was the first pony ride of the season. I was just walking alongside of him making Lil' Sebastian jokes in my head when the lady who runs the mini pony ride informed me that Sage has fantastic balance. I'm talking the kind of balance that surpasses the balance of kids twice his age. ATTA KID!

We also fed some goats because, unfortunately enough, the alpacas didn't want much to do with us. But heck, with feed in our hands the goats wanted everything to do with us. Some pretty aggressive things, those goats. Rip the cup right out of our hands aggressive. Gotta respect an animal that knows what it wants and takes it, I guess. Survival of the fittest and all that.

We're already planning our trip back to Apple Hill to pick pumpkins when fall actually does decide to show up. We're not through with you for this season, Apple Hill. And this apple jalapeño jam isn't just going to just magically replenish itself in my fridge.

Apple pickers, over and out. Peace sign/apple emojis.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


a portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2014

It may be over 90 degrees out, and we may be wearing shorts and sandals, but dangit it's September so we're going to go pick some apples.

More information on the 52 project here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 on 10 // september

((Sage don't need no sign to tell him how to live his life...))

ten photos on the tenth day of the month 

Today we hiked to the waterfall and enjoyed the peace and quiet of a small oasis tucked away in the middle of the desert.

linking up with the ten on ten project. Find out more and link up your own photos here.