I feel like a boring, broken record, but my life has been SO freed up by how much the girls are playing together recently. Maybe Mary’s language has improved, or maybe they’ve been forced to problem solve without me because I spend so much of this pregnancy in bed–but whatever the reason, I can go for hours without being interrupted these days. It is kind of amazing. I feel guilty about how much I like it.
Also, we had FHE tonight since we couldn’t do it Monday or Tuesday. We played a personalized family history game that Candace commissioned for us a while back. We learned so much! And the girls loved it because for all the correct answers, they received “jewels.” It was fun.
Abe got his new zip code for sales today. He gets to sell in downtown Chicago! We couldn’t be happier. That means we get to visit more often! He also gets to sell in Philadelphia and downtown Manhattan. We are so grateful.
I had an OB appointment this morning, after which we went to the library. Today was a laid back summer day, and I put in three hours at the piano. Now that cooking school is over, I feel like I can make progress towards my personal goals in that arena. I was inspired by Boyd K. Packer’s life story; if he can be an apostle, raise ten kids, and still devote substantial time to his creative outlet, surely I, with my two and a half kids and nursery calling, can make space to do the same.
The kids continue to delight me with their increased independence. We baked brownies together, and I did tote them around town and go on a family walk this evening…but other than that, they played together by themselves the rest of the day. My heart is soooo grateful. It makes me more determined to be healthy so I can have another baby close on Ammon’s heals and have a ready-made play mate always on hand. (And by “determined to be healthy,” what I really mean is I feel motivated to keep up the exercise routine. Unfortunately, I can’t resist making brownies until next month’s horrible diabetes test tells me I have to live without sugar in my life…)
Before I blog about today, this link is a must-see. It shows how Provo celebrates the 4th of July. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had never been anywhere that took the holiday so seriously!
Today is a very special day. It’s my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday, Mother Dear! We love you so much and hope you had a peaceful, sweet beginning to your seventh decade. I hope it’s your happiest yet. You deserve so much beauty in your life. I love you.
Today the kids played together the entire day. They devolved from wearing matching swimsuits and playing outside with modeling clay to running around stark naked with sticks twice their size. They claimed to be killing snakes and monsters. I couldn’t decide if I was witnessing Lord of the Flies or childhood at its most idyllic, but either way the kids were perfectly happy–and that made me happy. I took some funny pictures but only sent them to Abe. Even though I think this blog is safe and pretty private, you never know.
We had Chelsea, Derek, Camden, Carter and Olivia over for dinner and hung out for three hours. The kids played in the kiddie pool and with clay some more. It was a great ending to the day.
Afterward, I got this weird burst of energy and tidied every room in the house while Abe did piles of dishes. I loveloveLOVE going to bed knowing my house is in order.
I considered skipping tonight’s blog because we forgot to take any pictures and Abe and I are both exhausted to the point of incoherence. We spent a LOT of time napping. I actually went to bed at 6:15 pm, and the only reason I forced myself out of bed at 9:30 is I am scared I will wake up at 3 am and not be able to fall back asleep.
Abe taught a lesson on John 16 and 17 and I bore my testimony in church. I literally can not think of anything interesting to add to this day. Maybe tomorrow we will have more energy and adventures.
(I discovered this photo the day after I blogged this entry. I realized we did take one picture on this day!)
Oh my goodness, yesterday was so packed with action and conversation that I fear this post will be very long. These first two sentences don’t help alleviate the problem, so I’ll stop fearing now and just launch into it.
I woke up at 5 am and decided to hike the Y. Little did I know this was the second Most Unoriginal Idea I have had in the past forty-eight hours. (The first was my suggestion that we head to the Payson temple on Friday.) Apparently, a LOT of families hike the Y on the 4th of July. The trail was one long continuous stream of large families hiking together.
Unfortunately–or fortunately, as it turned out–I forgot water. Five minutes into my hike straight UP the mountain, I thought I was going to pass out. After taking a break and considering my options (continue hiking, give birth, pass out and/or die vs. turning around, heading home, and trying some other time with water), I decided to not be stupid and to head back home.
Thank goodness I did! The entire neighborhood below the Y was completely blocked off. On one side there were the mountains, on one there was an impassable street line that was blocked off for a run, on one there was an impassable street line that was blocked off for a carnival, and on one there was yet another impassable street line that was blocked off for the parade. In the half an hour I had spent on the mountain, all exit routes out of the neighborhood had been completely cut off.
I drove to a traffic cop to ask how to get back to Orem, and he laughed in my face. I think he thought I was homeless because I was shabbily dressed, most likely smelly, and in the Subaru, which is packed to the gunnels with garbage bags of stuff we are planning to drop off at DI one of these days. Oh well. I finally crossed the parade line and got yelled at by a cop, but at least I didn’t spend half my day stuck in that neighborhood. All in all, a fifteen minute drive took forty minutes because of all the circling I had to do. (That was nothing compared to our drive home from the fireworks! A ten minute drive took us one hour and a half. We got home at almost 1 am.)
When I got home, Abe was up and getting ready for the parade. He took this hilarious video of himself waking the girls up. In response to his cheerful urgings to get up and ready for the parade, they bury their heads in their pillows and try really hard to ignore him. I thought this morning behavior wouldn’t emerge until their teenage years.
Then we went to the parade and met up with Steve, Blair, and James to watch the parade. It turns out our spot was directly in front of the house where Abe’s dad spent the first five years of his life! It has since become a cafe, but we felt happy to watch the parade from a place with historical significance to Abe. Abe’s grandparents first rented this house when they first moved to Provo so Abe’s grandpa could teach at BYU.
Halfway through Lydia declared that the parade was boring, and I am sorry to say that I had to agree-I had fallen asleep in my chair at least once. The parade had tons of marching bands, politicians, and beauty queens from every single city on the Wasatch front (or so it seemed). Occasionally, a float came along, but for the most part, I was bored too. Disneyland has spoiled us for parades.
We headed home for lunch and naps.
Then Abe went to his Darais family picnic with the girls. Here is a fun video of the girls rolling down the hill. Mary face plants when Abe tells her to run after her long roll. He thought it was hilarious. All the clapping is for Abe’s Uncle Mark, who is playing the harmonica in the background.
I stayed home because I can’t sit on the ground or in a folding chair for hours. While they were at the picnic, I baked a pie, read a book on near-death experiences, and reveled in my alone time.
While at the picnic, Abe saved a little girl’s life. While he was chatting with some cousins, he honed in on a two-year old girl who was walking toward the busy street. He noticed that she didn’t have any adults watching her. He tried to ask his family if the girl was one of the Darais babies, but just as he did, she stepped into the street. He took off sprinting and screamed, “HEY!” loud enough to startle her just before she stepped beyond the parked cars into the zooming lane. That stalled her long enough for him to reach in and pick her up. He brought her back to the picnic to find out if she was a Darais, but two minutes later her dad came running from one of the houses across the street. Apparently, she had let herself out of the house, crossed the busy street (miraculously without getting hit) and gone to the park. She was just about to head home when Abe saved her.
Abe told me that this experience was very reassuring. Today he is teaching on John 16 and 17, and he has been wondering if he has enough of the Holy Ghost in his life. This experience taught him that even if we’re tired (he’s been exhausted all weekend) and don’t feel particularly spiritual, the Spirit can still speak to us and work through us if we want to serve God. He felt the Spirit direct his attention to the girl and work through his thought-process quickly enough to save her.
After all that excitement, Abe and the girls came home, shortly after which Tom and Suzanne visited. We had pie and chatted, and then we headed over to Abe’s aunt’s house to join forty of his aunts, uncles, and cousins for the fireworks.
I have never lived anywhere with a fireworks culture like Provo. In Abe’s aunt’s neighborhood, which is right behind the MTC and borders BYU, every single house had a large family in front and they were ALL setting off homemade fireworks. I honestly felt like I was in a war zone. There was so much smoke and so many loud bangs, and finally, when Abe’s cousins started setting off their own huge fireworks, I took Mary and retreated to the open garage so we wouldn’t catch any falling embers. I’m a scaredy cat. At the same time, I love holidays that get people outside (Halloween!) so we can all celebrate together. I had a great time, but part of me feels like quietly soliciting candy from each other might be preferable to all the loud bangs. I don’t know.
Then his whole family headed down two blocks to a lawn right next to the BYU stadium (where they set off all the fireworks). It was definitely the best fireworks show I have ever seen. There was screaming and pandemonium when the sprinklers went off as we were waiting for the show–everyone started grabbing small children and sprinting off the lawn–but someone turned those off, and the show went on.
Afterward, it took us an hour and a half to get home because of traffic. We came home and fell right asleep (even though our neighbors, whom we regard with great affection, were still setting off fireworks in the cul-de-sac at 1 am). It was a great day. Happy birthday, America! I love you.
Abe and I stayed up until 2 am watching The Aviator. It was really good, but we were really tired today.
Once we finally got ourselves going this morning, we headed over to the gym to swim. This was the first time we have swum together since I was pregnant with Lydia. Ever since then, whenever we’ve gone to the pool, we have taken turns alternating between making sure the kids don’t drown and doing laps. Today we dropped the kids off at childcare and had fun swimming together.
Then we did errands and came home to scarf down lunch before heading off to the temple. Since the Provo temple is closed, we decided to go to the new Payson temple. Abe hadn’t seen it yet. Apparently, everyone in Utah Valley had the same idea as we did. I was happy to see the temple so busy, but I had to wait almost an hour and a half just do four initiatories. Abe had to wait so long that he got scared I was already done and ended up leaving without doing anything at all. Our new plan is to go to the Provo temple the week it reopens. Third time’s the charm!
Not much happened today. Abe and I tried to go to the temple, but we discovered upon arrival that it was closed. We went to Cold Stone instead and spent the whole time discussing recent political issues.
Abe took a picture of the girls listening to Where the Wild Things Are. It’s been a long time since we’ve read it, and the girls were completely enthralled. Monsters are Mary’s obsession, and all the monsters in the book had her riveted. Although Lydia isn’t quite as into monsters as Mary is, she still was riveted. We read it three times and barely staved off tantrums when we announced it was bedtime.
If Ammon ever wonders whether I exercised while pregnant with him, I want him to know: Except for the month I took off when I thought I’d gotten a hernia, I have. Not that exercise has helped me at all in the weight gain department, but I hope you feel the love, Baby Boy!
Lately I have taken to swimming before Abe leaves for work, and I’ve found that this not only helps me feel healthier, but it’s a great opportunity for prayer and revelation. I’m not exactly a super-focused athletic machine…
Sadly, today the pool was so crowded that I didn’t get to pray much. A lot of the time I was focused on keeping pace in my lane of circle swimmers. Since I didn’t emerge from the pool with a hard and fast, prayed-over action plan for the day, we just let it unfold at will. Translation: We were laaaaaaazy today. This afternoon Lydia and I participated in an hours-long activity that could only be described as hanging out. Turns out four-year-olds can hang out just as well as any adolescent! We chatted in bed, at the table, and on the couch while Mary napped. While we were on the couch discussing the possibility of getting up to play a board game (didn’t happen), all of the sudden we heard a huge BANG! It sounded like a bomb had exploded in our kitchen.
I investigated and discovered that our glass food container had exploded in the sink. It hadn’t undergone any sort of severe temperature change, unless you count taking it out of the fridge half an hour earlier. I was so, so thankful that no one was hurt. I had let Lydia eat straight out of that container earlier. Also, I usually wash all of my dishes right away because, even though I’m naturally inclined to sloth, dirty dishes in the sink hang over my head like some sort of SAHM guillotine. However, today I chose sloth over SAHM guilt and let the glass sit in the sink instead of washing it right away. Turns out that decision meant I didn’t get lacerated!
Needless to say, today marked the last day glass containers are utilized in our house. The rest went straight into the trash.