Thursday, July 28, 2016

Christian's Wedding Weekend

We left around 9:30 Friday morning for SLC. Our trip went without a hitch. We even stopped for lunch at Taco Bell. Joseph has been begging to go for such a long time. I don't know what to think about that, to tell the truth.

We met my parents, Brinson, Ceci, and Mara at the hotel and took the kids swimming while the guys all met up at the IMAX theater to see the new Star Trek movie. I admit that I was a little jealous. We had fun in the pool, though. Then I put Disney channel on while I relaxed with Mom. Dad drove Ceci and Mara to Rachel's aunt's house to do her nails.

Everyone met up for dinner at Chuck-a-Rama. I think everyone had their fill. Then James and I headed over to his cousin's house to spend the night. We all slept really well, which was surprising. I usually sleep terrible in a new place.

We woke up early the next morning to delicious pancakes and then sent the kids off with Anna to the Belcher reunion in Heber. We parked and got to the Salt Lake temple just in time. Christian and Rachel's wedding was beautiful. We took some pictures afterward and then headed to the luncheon. It was in a banquet room in the Joseph Smith Memorial building. so everything was really fancy and delicious. There was a short program, including a slideshow and song, and then we all headed to Vernal.

I managed to unpack while cooking dinner. We were all pretty wiped out. James and my siblings went shooting and explored a cave while I bathed the kids and put them to bed.

Dad and Myles left Sunday morning to drive home. The rest of us went to Church, took naps, and then had dinner and dessert. It was a pretty relaxing evening. James and my siblings played Uno while I talked to Mom. I was still too tired to really concentrate.

Everyone left Monday morning, and I worked all day on putting the house back together and doing 6 loads of laundry. I normally do 4 in a week, but the sheets and towels really add up. Joseph was sick too, and he peed in my bed, so that added to it. I was completely exhausted by the time we went to bed that night.

I had appointments every morning this week, 2 for OT, 1 OB, and 1 with the orthopedic surgeon. All of them went well. I am most excited for the fact that my ultrasound is scheduled for the end of August! I can't wait to find out if it's a girl or boy. I think that's the most exciting part of the pregnancy except for the end. :) I'm trying to set up an appointment with the hand surgeon in SLC to see if there is anything they can do about my tendons being stuck together. It's not a big deal. My top knuckle doesn't bend, but the middle one works just fine. The hand surgeon may be able to fix it, but I have limited time to schedule an appointment since we will be gone for almost the first half of August and school starts on the 16th for James. I'm not ready to think about school yet, but I'm very ready for my schedule to calm down. I will have to do a statistical report of this summer because it's been insane.

Today we had the last library activity, which was a big carnival with lots of free food: hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. The kids loved it, and they got to pick out their free books.

I also have a piano lesson and Relief Society meeting today (actually, a clothing swap). The rest of the week will consist of cleaning up the yard, scrubbing out the disgusting car to get it ready for out next trip, and laundry and packing on Saturday so I don't have to do it on Sunday. I have a talk and Primary lesson on Sunday, and hopefully I will get some rest before we head to Denver to fly to NC on Monday night. My next post will be written from NC! We have tons of fun things planned. I hope I don't die of either exhaustion or anxiety by then.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


It's been quite the week. I got up Thursday morning to the news that my great-grandma had died. She was 105, so she lived a very long life, but it was still pretty sad (even though not totally unexpected.) We left last Thursday for Rexburg and made a couple of stops: first to Smith & Edwards, where James got his fix on military surplus, and then to my old college roommate Tanisha's house. She gave me a couple of bags of clothes to look through, and I found a lot of cute things. I'm really glad to be replacing some of the skirts I've had since high school! They were really due! We had a really nice Thai dinner of curry and pad Thai. Delicious. I'm so grateful for Tanisha's family for teaching me to cook Thai. We arrived in Rexburg late.

Friday, we started our LOTR-themed reunion with everyone in the Rex Head family. I just got to meet my newest niece, Lizzy (Elizabeth). She is totally adorable. It makes me happy that I'll have a baby that age next summer. Nervous too, I'll admit, because it's been a while. Anyway, we had fun little snacks/meals just like hobbits, tracker games outside (sardines, scavenger hunt), and then got ready for Grandma and Grandpa Head's house. I took a nap while everyone went out in the canoes. They had a great time, I'm sure. We had a cookout dinner and then drove back to Rexburg.

Saturday, we did some chores and the kids took Rocky rides. I got some reading done on a book for book group, which happened the following Tuesday. After lunch and naps, we went to the Lees' for another cookout. It was a lot of fun. The kids always love running around outside on the lawn and taking rides in the wagon, pulled by the riding lawnmower. After we got back, James went to a wedding reception while I put the kids to bed and gave them a bath. They were filthy from the fun week.

Sunday, we got up early to take family pictures. We got some really good ones outside the Rexburg temple. (Where our eternal family started!) After church, we had lunch and naps again, and then the Rammells came over for a Swedish pancake dinner. My favorite topping is still strawberries with Nutella, not so healthy, but totally delicious. Anna and Angie had to leave after dinner, so that was really sad.

Monday, I cleaned the fridge and prepped for dinner before everyone else woke up. (I still wake up around 6-6:30 most days.) We went to Bear World with the kids, had lunch and naps, and then I finished making dinner. Christian, Myles, and Rachel came over for dinner and FHE afterward. We had treats outside since the house was really hot from all the cooking. Kenny started running a fever.

Tuesday, I got the laundry done and James went shooting in the morning with my brothers. I also went to the gym with Melodie and then to book group in Idaho Falls and shopping at Ross. I felt really awful by the time we got home, so I took a nap for an hour even though it was already 4:00. I woke up feeling worse, but eating dinner helped a little. The combination of too much junk food, heat, and fatigue, plus the beginnings of a cold, were not so good. Oh, and heartburn too. Pregnancy is not very fun sometimes. We did get to watch a fun movie called Stranger than Fiction.

Wednesday, I woke up with a cough. No surprise there, but it was still annoying. I made the cake for Christian and Myles's graduation, a devil's food. Everyone loves chocolate, pretty much. :) We met up with Christian, Myles, Rachel, Mom, Dad, and Mara to go to Big Jud's for lunch. We all got 2 doubles, which came with 4 big containers of fries (well, we subbed 2 for tots) and 8 sodas. We were all stuffed and stayed pretty full till dinner. I took a nap when we got back and figured out a plan for the rest of the day. I didn't wake up until 4:35, so I had 10 minutes to get ready and eat dinner. We met up with everyone and attended Commencement first. The speakers were pretty good. I still can't believe how huge the I-Center is. We then went to the Hart for the Convocation and got a few treats at the reception along the way. My enthusiasm waned quickly as I had to sit on a hard, wooden bench with no back or room to cross my less, but I made it. We got home around 9:30 and had cake and hung out. It was nice to hear Mara talk about her mission a little bit more too.

So, it's Thursday, and I think today's plans are pretty low-key. James is off to Blackfoot to work with Rex. That will be great to add a little money to our bank account. I will be here with the kids and Sam and Jesse (I think). I have to prepare a Primary lesson, and I know I will need another nap at some point, but I think overall it will be a relaxing day. Tonight, Kenneth (who Kenny is named after) and another friend of James and Sam's are coming over to do s'mores. Whew! :) Then it's off to Salt Lake tomorrow to start the wedding festivities, but that will get a post of its own.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Week of (Relative) Calm

It's been a nice week to catch up and relax a little bit. The thing I always forget that makes visitors stressful is not having time with just James. Usually, I get a couple of hours after the kids are in bed to just relax with him. I really miss that when we are traveling or hosting, and it really wears on me mentally. I really am an introvert.

Saturday, James went to one of the area's many reservoirs with his friend Devin. They came over in the afternoon with 5 lbs. of crawfish. I looked up a recipe for a "boil" with Cajun seasoning, corn, potatoes, and sausage. We enjoyed it a lot. Devin's wife and her parents came, so we also got to try some fresh ceviche, which was divine. (I know, raw fish and all, but I couldn't resist.) We spoke Spanish for about half of the time since the parents are from Mexico and don't speak English. It was good practice. I am definitely rusty.

Sunday, I was feeling bummed about teaching Primary. I have had a Primary calling now since Feb. 2014, so my attendance in Relief Society went from sporadic when I was doing music to non-existent when I became a teacher. I was really wishing for some adult interaction. Lo and behold, there was a teacher council during Sharing Time, so I actually did get to interact with other adults. Also, after class was over, one of the kids told me I was the best teacher ever. I really needed that.

I've been a little stressed about my finger still not working quite right, but I still have 6 weeks to go on recovery. It seems like it's been forever. I looked up the claims for the surgery. Since the doctor who did it is out of network, we will end up having to pay a lot more than we originally thought. Bummer, but medical stuff is always more expensive than I think it will be. I should start estimating by making a guess on how much it will be, then multiply that by ten. Haha. Then I might not be so disappointed.

James is taking the Praxis today. It's the last step, aside from finishing his online class, to get his geography endorsement. It moves him over a lane on pay too, which is great. We're going to need it. (Why is life so expensive?)

As for the rest of the week (or summer, really), it will go something like this:

leave Thu. Jul. 14th for Rexburg
home again Sat. Jul. 23rd after reunion, graduation, wedding
guests until Monday, Jul. 25th (my family)
1 WEEK home!
leave Mon., Aug. 1st for NC
come back Wed., Aug. 10th
9 DAYS at home (School starts in there somewhere too.)
college kids visit for 2 weeks

...which takes us to September. I hope I can keep up with my naps during this time. I'm tired already just thinking about it all, but I know it will be lots of fun.

Friday, July 8, 2016

100 Books (Why I Hate Most Classics)

I started an ambitious list earlier this year - one of those "100 Books to Read Before You Die" kind of things. I thought it would be good for me to look outside my normal fantasy/young adult genre and get some culture.


First off, my library didn't have 25 of the 100 listed books. How could they be that important if the library (which is not a small one) doesn't consider them important enough? I hadn't heard of any of them, so I figured I wouldn't worry about not getting to 25% of the list. I'm glad I didn't worry.

Of the 75 books I attempted to read, 14 I couldn't get into at all for various reasons. They were either incredibly vulgar, extremely boring, or written in such a way (like stream of consciousness) that I couldn't follow for more than a few pages. These are the books that got 1 star.

23 additional books got 2 stars. Many of these showed promise as far as the story line went, but I still could not continue reading them - for various reasons. Some started off really interesting but took a turn for the worse in terms of immoral plot themes. I finished a few of these because I was forced to in high school, but I hated them (too depressing, usually) and would never read them again.

I gave 3 stars to 20 books. I finished all of these but didn't like any of them enough to read them again. They were okay.

I gave 4 stars to 15 books. I liked these well enough to read once and maybe read again. Maybe.

I gave 5 stars to only 3 books. I would read these again without a question.

Basically, most classics are terrible and just like those horrible books they made us read in high school. Maybe I am being too picky, but I don't think it's unreasonable to have a book with good morals that is also interesting. I was shocked at how many awful themes I ran into in these books - things I don't want to read about or know about (such as incest, pedophilia, etc.) I don't think reading about evil makes me a better person.

In the future, I think I'll stick to books I know I'll like. :)

Here is my goodreads list of the ratings.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4th of July

After the Heads left, we had 1 day to get ready for the Phenixes. Christian, Myles, and Rachel arrived around 10:30 Friday night. We stayed up talking till late, of course.

Saturday, we went to a temple session. It was only Rachel's second time! She just went with her parents and Christian the week before. We got some junk food at the grocery store, came home for lunch, and then took naps while James and Myles went shooting. For dinner, we went to the park by the river and had foil dinners. They took a little long to get started, but they tasted delicious.

Sunday was church and then naps again after lunch. I now have CTR 6 and CTR 7 because of how many poeple have moved out of the ward. I still only had 2 kids there. Lots of people have been out of town. We talked to Mara and the rest of the fam later in the evening. It was my first time talking to her since her mission.

Monday, we went to the parade after my OT appointment. It was long, and there was barely any candy, so basically really disappointing. I ran to the store right after that because we ran out of ketchup (total bummer!) but also came back with candy to make up for the lame parade. We went shooting after lunch. It was my first time shooting a handgun, and I was surprised at how it felt. I also shot Myles's powerful gun (the mauser) and got kicked in the arm a little bit. My family has quite the arsenal.

We did hamburgers for dinner and then fireworks. Overall, it was a tiring, but really fun 4th of July weekend. Yesterday and today have been catch-up days with mundane things like scrubbing the kitchen, putting bedrooms back together, and laundry. Tomorrow brings OT again and another library activity and piano lesson. These summer weeks are going by way too fast!

In baby news, I definitely have a bump now. It looks more like a gut. I still haven't put on much weight, maybe 4 lbs., so I know it's a real bump and not just me being fat. However,  I did feast a bit over the past week. Who wouldn't? :)