Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I started this months ago...

1. What time did you get up this morning? Well, a few times between about 2:30-4 (literally, out of bed...), but for real at 7:30.

2. How do you like your steak? medium 

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema: The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  I totally loved it.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Of all time, Friends.  Lately... most anything on the The Food Network and Modern Family.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Somewhere on a beach... with all of our family somewhat near by.

6. What did you have for breakfast? A bite of the kids' oatmeal and toast w/ jam.

7. What is your favorite food? spaghetti

8. Foods you dislike? mushrooms, fatty foods, bad mexican or chinese

9. Favorite place to eat? I really like Oscars.

10. Favorite dressing? Any simple vinaigrette.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Our "new to us" minvan.  Just got it a week ago.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Something colorful, feminine, but comfortable.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? The mediterranean; Greece & Italy for the food!

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full!!

15. Where would you want to retire? Somewhere pretty.  It could be mountains, farm like, beach... it just has to be pretty.  And somewhere I could garden.

16. Favorite time of day? Evening, when everyone is just hanging out with nothing we have to do.

17. Where were you born? Salt Lake City.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball.

19. What is your favorite fragrance? I like a good citrusy smell or something really rich like apple cinnamon or any other wintery smell full of nutmeg/cinnamon.

20. What is your favorite face cream? I haven't found one I love yet.

21. Favorite baby/kids products? Aden & Anais blankets, hands down.

22. People watcher? Definitely

23. Are you a morning or night person? Night.  I wish "day person" was an option.  Lately I struggle being awake ever.

24. Do you have any pets? Two kids and a husband :)

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? We think our baby's name will be one of three names... beginning with M, M, or C.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? In kindergarten I wanted to be Madonna.  But ever since I had any real awareness of what I wanted to be, it was a mom.

27. What is your favorite memory? The first time I met Colby is a good one, or any other time I get to watch Colby being "Dad."

28. Are you a cat or dog person? I'm good with either.  As long as they don't lick my face or chew up my stuff.  So maybe either I'm a cat person or a really perfect dog person.

29. Are you married? yes :)

30. Always wear your seat belt? Only when the kids remind me.  (I'm so bad!)

31. Been in a car accident? Yes; minor, my fault, on my 18th bday, pretty much the worst day of my life :(

32. Any pet peeves? cupboard doors left open
Also, when someone asks my for my help/opinion then completely disregards it.

33. Favorite pizza toppings? pepperoni

34. Favorite flower? I'm a big lover of flowers, but I absolutely love big double peonies, tulips, dahlias, and Texas bluebells.

35. Favorite ice cream? ROCKY ROAD

36. Favorite fast food restaurant? I like "not quite fast food", but anything from a restaurant is great :)  If I had to choose, probably Subway or Jimmy Johns.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? none

38. From whom did you get your last email? Shelly Thomas, just barely.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? TJ Maxx, H & M, J. Crew or Pottery Barn.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I can't remember... which is sad because I basically live on spontaneity.  I did some online shopping that I really wasn't going to do... (how lame.)

41. Like your job? When I think of my two jobs (being a mom and being a photographer) I mostly like all that I do.  But when people get difficult, I wonder why I do it sometimes.

42. Broccoli? We all love broccoli at our house.

43. What was your favorite vacation? I love vacations in general.  San Francisco was probably my fave.  But Austin was fun and Maui (both times) have to be on the list.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with? It's been far too long... my kids, I think.

45. What are you listening to right now? "He Is We" playlist on Pandora.

46. What is your favorite color? Pink.  But NOT baby pink or a super sweet raspberry pink.  A good vibrant coraly pink or peachy pink makes me smile.

47. How many tattoos do you have? none

48. Coffee drinker? Yuck!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little About This Guy

This is the man of our house.
He is our hero.
We kind of like him.

I'm super grateful for him these days... probably because I'm in such a "delicate" state right about now and it feels like I really need him more than ever before.  He is so strong (not just phyiscally) and unstoppable and flippin' hilarious to top it all off.

The last little while he has been working like the Energizer Bunny.  Just going and going and going.  A member of one of his crews was heard talking about Colby (as well as Brady & Craig) and how he works like crazy, will get about an hour or two of sleep at night, then work another jam packed day... over and over and over.  They're working on a high pressure job this summer that they want to finish as soon as possible so they have two crews working per week and Colby is one of the lucky ones that gets to work both shifts.  He's incredible.  I can't tell him enough how thankful I am for the things he does for our family... so when he's around a little on the weekends we try to soak him up the best we can.

This past weekend was one for the record books.  You might say he was a bit sleep deprived, so whenever he'd sit still he'd catch a few ZZZ's.  A couple times it turned into some good comedic relief. All through church he was a little out of sorts.  I had to nudge him a time or two to keep him awake and when he was wide awake he was saying some of the most random, hilarious stuff.  We were chatting with our friend Colleen for a bit, and her and I could not believe all the nonsense that was coming out of his mouth.  It was just great.  A couple of my other friends had mentioned that Colby had complimented them on their outfits and it turns out he told all of my favorite people how much he liked their clothes yesterday.  Haha.  We did have one wardrobe issue though... he didn't give me a heads up that I totally wore the same clothes to church that I had the week before.  The day was almost over when I asked him if I had actually worn the same shirt two weeks in a row during our after church stops of visiting family (my brain is broken!) and suddenly this big rush of anxiety washed over me when I started remembering how I had in fact worn the same shirt most of last Sunday.  When I asked him if I had worn it all of last Sunday he got a sheepish little grin and started laughing.  I was so mad he didn't remind me before we left the house... so stupid to be worried about, but I was ticked!  I need so much help with everything right now.  :)

Anyway, back to the reason I just had to blog about him today.  Right after church we had BYC (a meeting with a handful of the youth of the ward, a few of the leaders, and the bishop) and Colby could NOT stay awake.  I was sitting across the room from him, so I got the kid's attention that was sitting next to him.  I gestured for him to elbow Colby so he would wake up, but the poor boy first didn't understand, then he didn't dare, but finally nervously bumped him with his elbow and Colby woke up a little embarrassed.  It had to be done though because he was seriously slipping out of his chair!  That same scene repeated itself a few more times and we all quietly giggled about it each time.  One time Colby asked kindly if he could help himself to one of the candies in the jar on Bishop's desk so that it might help him stay awake.  Then another time, in a state of minute awareness, he reached over the box of tissues and jar of candy that sat nearest him on the desk in order to get a little squirt of hand sanitizer.  It was all in extreme slow motion since he was not fully awake, and he carefully positioned one hand over the pump and seriously evaluated the perfect place for his other hand to sit in order to catch the squirt of hand sanitizer.  He gave the pump a good push and the hand sanitizer squirted right past his hand, made it across the room, and hit one of the young women in the leg.  We all busted up laughing and Colby was a bit embarrassed to say the least.  He laughed and laughed then tried again.  This time he re-evaluated the positioning of everything then gently pushed down on the pump.  Not nearly hard enough though because this time it all just dribbled all over the bishop's desk and the whole room roared with laughter!  His last attempt was much more successful... he carefully picked up the bottle of hand sanitizer, held it DIRECTLY above his palm, then slowly pressed down so it all just fell the 1/2 inch into his open hand.  At this point he was laughing so hard he was crying and the rest of us were consumed in fits of giggles that would not go away.  It was so so funny and it took a while for us all to get back on task with our meeting, and I couldn't help but just love him a little more.  Goofball...

I really like that Colby is a good mix of some fantastic qualities.  He is a hard worker, has a serious no nonsense side when things need to be just so, but he also loves to have fun, be adventurous, has the best sense of humor, and is totally OK with laughing at himself.  Another thing I love about him is the tender, teddy bear side of him that only some people get to know... he doesn't really try to hide it, but it's just not everyday that he is in the kind of situation for it to come out.  

He's really cool.  And I'm glad he's mine.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's been a while, and we miss him.

This photo was a little gem I found on our cute cousin Paisley's blog.  That's two year old Marshall playing with Grandpa's nose... you can see my lap in the background and the blanket that was wrapped around baby Tyler as we sat there hanging out with one of the greatest men I've ever known.  Paisley wrote the sweetest tribute to Grandpa and posted some other great pictures along with this treasure.  It's worth the read...  

Grandpa Stratton has been on my mind a lot lately, especially today which marks two years since he passed away.  I had a good cry over it a little earlier as Tyler watched... bewildered... probably confused why I would be sitting there crying my eyes out when I tell him fifty times a day to try not to cry... haha.

Then tonight I really wanted to sit down with Marshall and read some of the sweet thoughts and feelings that have been shared on this blog since Grandpa died.  Marshall, at three years old, had some of the sweetest thoughts about Grandpa during that time of mourning, and he still mentions -probably once a week- how he misses Great Grandpa Stratton.  But tonight was far too busy for that, and Marshall probably didn't need to be traumatized by all the emotion that would come spilling out of me while reminiscing... so I settled for quietly mentioning how much I loved Grandpa and how I've missed him since he died, since today (two years ago) was the day he left us for his mission in Heaven.  Marshall always gets really tender when we talk about Grandpa and he agreed with me that he missed him too and commented on how it looked like I was going to cry... which I did a little bit.

A little while later, while tucking Marshall into bed I got to hear what Marshall had to say about this great man.  He got a bit choked up as he told me he thought Grandpa was so great and that he hoped he was safe in Heaven.  Of course, I assured him that was true and listened to, or more felt, Marshall's feelings.  Marshall told me he is even glad we got the chance to go and see Grandpa's body after he had died (we had a sweet, special family viewing at the mortuary that I wonder if Marshall will always remember it).  He looks forward to the day he will be able to see Grandpa again.  And I do too.  I loved him so much in the few years I was able to know him and as time passes since he died I am surprised by how much more I miss and love him all the time.  I'm so grateful for the tender mercies I've experienced as I've been reminded how much I am/was loved by him.  I had an experience back in January that I really need to write down (that may be too special to my heart to share on the internet...) so I can always remember his special love for me and the power of his great big, bear hugs.  

I'm very grateful for this good man and the family I am a part of that is so great, definitely with much credit to him.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Tyler finally got to do a big kid thing that Marshall does.  He got to go to school too!
He is going to Kountrytime Kids Preschool with Miss Lorilee and he is so excited.

See how he was bursting with excitement?  What a goofy child.
(I just looked back at Marshall's first day of preschool and thought it was funny to see their similarities in their crazy, excited pictures before school.)

Tyler wasn't nervous one bit to be headed off to school.  He marched right in, waved at some of the other parents and sat down at the table.  Quickly he realized he didn't know where to hang his backpack, but he figured that out right away.

The other kids were playing with various toys and Tyler didn't seem uncomfortable, but definitely unsure if he should be getting into all the toys.  He just sat there politely...

...until Miss Lorilee helped him find some boy stuff in the bin that was in front of him.  He's showing off Justin Bieber right here.  Haha.

After a minute he moved down to the legos with a couple other boys and I waved him goodbye and he was happy as can be.

When school was over and he saw me there to pick him up he ran to me so happily and yelled, "preschool is so fun!"  Before we could make it to the truck he was whipping out all of his treasures from his backpack.  I'm so glad he loves school so much.

On the way home he told me about everything he could remember and it was so cute.  We made a quick stop on our way home so we could finish the day with our annual "First Day of School Snowcone!"

Yay for school!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

To My Big Boy...

Well Marshall... tomorrow you head off to school.  
Real, big kid school.  
I'm so proud of you and in love with how excited you are.  
You're so ready.  So I guess I am, whether I want to be or not.  
Just remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss,
"Today YOU are YOU, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is YOUER than YOU."
Good luck, little buddy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Steps

We headed off to "back to school night" tonight.
Our first one of those...

Each teacher was announced by name and the kids followed their new best friend to their classroom.  Parents got to go along, but were soon expected to meet back in the multi purpose room for all the "boring stuff."  Marshall's teacher, Ms. Karen-Jane, welcomed them into the room and pulled out her guitar.  She had them wave goodbye to us and then had them all to herself.
It was a weird moment for me...

After the parents' meeting we were welcomed to go back to our kids' classrooms and visit with their teacher and ask any questions we might have had.  I sat down to fill out the little emergency contact form and kept having to ask questions and reorient myself with what was going on.  I truly felt like I was not old enough to be in my own shoes... I was not anywhere near grown up enough to be the parent filling out those forms... it was such a bizarre feeling.  I thought it was strange that these forms were freaking me out when all of the registration stuff I did months ago didn't really phase me at all.  I sat and talked to my friend whose little boy is also in that class and we helped each other through our crazy emotions.

I am positive it will be different on the first day of school, but I didn't even come close to crying.  I did have a "moment" though.  As I sat there filling out the papers, I literally felt like the whole world was just spinning around me and I couldn't stop it and had no idea how to get a handle on it.  My boy... my little boy... was about to start school.  He is about to do all kinds of things he's never really done before but will be doing over and over for years to come.  It was just so surreal.  

It dawned on me after a bit... my world is about to be turned upside down and I am going to be turning a new leaf.  I'd never thought about that before.  I knew Marshall was growing by leaps and bounds, but I was nowhere near aware that I am also taking some pretty big first steps into the rest of life.  
And I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On my mind...

I'm a supremely lucky gal.  I just gotta say that first.  
A couple weeks ago I was in the middle of the biggest breakdown of my life... holy dramatic breakdown... and this wonderful man carried me right through it.  I love the way he is so sweet and so honest all in one.  I've shared his thoughts about me and my struggles with a friend or two and every once in a while I get a raised eyebrow or two, but honestly he always knows just what to say and even when it seems like it might be harsh that's usually the moment I can laugh through whatever the problem is and see everything a little more clearly.  I love him for that.  Now of course, don't you go thinking he says rude things all the time.  It's never rude... always just what needs to be heard.  And it makes me smile.  I'm so grateful.

He's the rad one that I have to thank for some of my favorite photos that have ever been taken of me.  Do you love these as much as I do?  If not, you better lie.  Remember how hormonal I am?  :)

I just remembered how Colby saved the day when I was having a little meltdown our last day of vacation and he took me shopping, gave his opinion on a ga-billion dresses, and then he surprised me with this one.  He seriously is the best.

So maybe I'll get to the point of this post... what's been on my mind lately.
This child needs a name.  
I'm not desperate to have her named this second because even if it was decided I probably wouldn't be ready to share it with the world.  I have this irrational need to have an escape route in case I change my mind at the last minute.  For the last five years we thought we had our girls' names pretty much decided.  First there would be Roxy and then Mercedes.  I had learned while I was pregnant with Marshall that Eliza R. Snow's middle name was Rocxy and I thought she was a great woman to be named after (intelligent, strong, beautiful) but we would give it a more contemporary spelling.  Once we knew we were having a girl I started getting cold feet about the name Roxy.  Colby reassured me that I could choose whatever this daughter would be called, but our next daughter would be named Mercedes... no question.  "So what if we only had one daughter," I asked... and he plainly declared we would just adopt.  Haha.  I'm glad life is so simple for my man.  

So now we've burned through a small list of names
-Brooke, Hannah, Holly, Jane, Roxy, Stella, Savannah- 
to name a few and I'm beginning to feel like we will make progress then eventually be back where we started from.  All because of me and my indecisiveness.  (FYI, not all of these mentioned names are off the table... but a couple of them have definitely been vetoed by the hubby.)

So how about you help me out?  :)
We want a timeless, feminine name that is highly unlikely to be pronounced or spelled wrong by others.  Also, I want it to be an obvious "girl name" so names that go both ways are off the table.
  I can't think of any other requirements... so let's hear it!
We do have one name that starts with M (besides Mercedes) that may be a winner, but I'm starting to worry that it is not an adult name.  That would also be a requirement... she must be able to be 40 years old and confidently state her name and not sound like a seven year old.  
That may be my biggest issue... I am extremely over-analyzing this.