We're excited to welcome them back here to Provo on Friday - after 6 long weeks abroad. Just in time for Easter.
Now on to the update... in order of delivery...
(Note that the instruction for this week was casual conference-weekend pictures, so don't expect any great fashion statements this week.) (Because I know usually you do.)
- Darin came home from Oregon! It was only a week, but it felt so long!
- One great thing happened while he was gone, I hit my second trimester. And as so many before me had predicted I actually started to feel better. The first day, I still remember, it was March 14th. I didn't feel like I needed to fall asleep at every point of my day. It was so weird and great all at the same time. I stayed awake all the way until 9:30 that night :) To celebrate I sewed a bunch of stuff that had been sitting and waiting for me to get to it. It was grand.
- I subbed for two full days at school and it was fine. I felt FINE! The next week a kindergarten teacher asked me if I'd sub for her. I was on a roll, so I said yes. Her class was so awful, at noon, I honestly wanted to quit. I couldn't believe it! These were kindergarteners!! What is our world coming to?! They had absolutely no respect for authority. I got so frustrated by the end of the day that I totally snapped, and just yelled at the whole class. I made one little girl start to cry. It made me rethink my subbing. I will be very selective in who I'll sub for. My days alone are limited. I don't want to waste them on kids who make me totally insane!
- I started a long anticipated quilt. I've wanted to turn my Echo fabric collection into a quilt for at least a month. I started cutting, and kept cutting for about three days. It took forever. I now have all 42 of my blocks assembled, but I'm having a hard time liking the layout. I might finish it this week. Or I might put it away for a little while and see if I like it better later. I have dresses on my mind.
- Took the boys to see Hunger Games on the first day it was released. We had a great time.
- Went to the Durham Performing Arts Center to watch Ira Glass with a bunch of girl friends. It was a really fun night. If you are a fan of "This American Life", you would love a live Ira Glass show. I'm so glad I went.
- Darin took me on another three mile hike. He filled his pockets full of snacks, then told me to carry a beverage. He brought his phone. The last three mile hike I think kind of scared him too. He wanted to make sure I wouldn't pass out on him. I made it! It was such a beautiful day. I love our life right now. What a treasure to have so much time together to strengthen our relationship, before we submerge it into great turmoil again. Somedays we need a break from each other because we have a LOT of time together. But somedays I feel like there wasn't enough time to do everything we had wanted to do together.
- Darin woke up on Saturday (yesterday) like an Earnest on Fire. He started with the pantry and the powder room. By the time I was out of bed and breakfast was over, the entire house was being tackled by an entire work crew of Earnests. All four bathrooms got cleaned, yet I only cleaned ONE! Kids cleaning bathrooms is the best invention EVER!!!! They can do it. After you give them clear and simple instructions and put their hands into rubber gloves, they really can make those bathrooms clean again.
- Lovely Conference Sunday. We all watched the morning session together with our giant bowl of candy. We listen to the first minute of a talk, then we pause it. While it's paused, everyone has to commit to a word. When we start listening again, each person is listening for a specific word. When they hear it, they get a candy out of the bowl. We've been doing it for a few years now. It really works so well for us. By the end of that first session everyone is so sick and stuffed with candy that no lunch is required. We went out to the big field with bikes, balls, baseball bats. We made it home just in time for the next session, which is much more casual. Attendance isn't mandatory.
- One last thing from the last two weeks. I had another ultrasound. I was so anxious again. One thought I kept having was that they would tell me "just kidding, there is only one baby after all!". The other thought I kept having was that something would be wrong. A heartbeat would have stopped, or whatever. I think I hardly slept the night before. Darin couldn't get out of class early enough so again I was alone. It was the same doctor as last time, and she said I seemed a lot calmer this time. It's hard to describe my great relief when I saw four arms, four legs, and two beating hearts. If I'm having twins, I'm going to HAVE TWINS. I've got to get these guys here. They were in there squirming all around. The miracle of life hasn't hardly ever hit me so hard. It was miraculous.
- Four day school week. Spring break starts on Friday. I am so ready! I don't need a nap every single day anymore, but waking up at 6:15 is getting harder and harder. We will stick around until the following Wednesday, then after Darin gets out of class at noon, we want to head out to the Outer Banks. We could go to a closer beach, but my children want to go to Duck's Donuts. I have no doubt that they are my children when they make such decisions based on donuts! We'll just find a hotel close to the beach and stay for two nights. This time we'll go to some lighthouses, and the sand dunes. The water might be cold, so I don't know how much actual beaching we'll do, but we'll be so happy to be at the ocean again!
- I want to make Easter dresses. I have some ideas, nothing concrete yet. I hope I'll find the energy.
- Pedicure? I don't have a lot on my agenda for this week :)
- Need to figure out if our three sets of nursery leaders are going to be around for the summer. If not, it's time to get nursery figured out. Our student families start leaving for the summer as early as end-of-April. I have a feeling April is going to go by pretty quickly!
- Update the blogs. I've promised Liz some sewing blog updates. And I really wanted to update our family blog. It's been over a month. I don't know if I've ever taken that long of a break before?!
- Make butternut squash risotto. It's almost all I could think about today, after Rachel emailed me about how much I should make it. I think it's for lunch tomorrow!
- Have family home evening. We're doing a new round of making each kid be in charge for a week. Ruby was last week, Jane is this week, George was before them. It works out so much better. We maybe aren't learning as much as we could be, but the consistency is what we are going for!
- Seriously, I can't think of anything else. Sorry!
Last few weeks:
- Zack turned 32! We celebrated by eating way too much cake and surrounded ourselves with family and good friends during the week. Jack and I woke up early and decorated the house with balloons as is now required for all Zack Zackrison holidays.
- We surprised attacked Jack with a mid week trip to Disneyland. Growing up my dad would surprise us one day a year and drive us to school and then say, instead of school what if we went to the beach, the zoo, sea world, San Francisco, Knotts Berry Farm, Horse back riding...you get the idea. I still remember the first year he did it, how utterly surprised and excited Dani and I were. It was so much fun to plan Jacks first family ditch day! We set out clocks forward an hour so we could get out of the house early and not have him ask questions and got everything packed the night before. We then drove to school and suggested that we go to Disneyland instead of school today and kept driving. We had a blast as a family and can't wait for next year!
- Sickness. Zack, then Jack, then Will, then Jack and now Will. Really it's been awesome.
- Finally finished our taxes. Let's just say for random reasons I did then twice in the online version and twice in the desktop version and even using the same numbers never got the online and desktop refunds to match up. Finally I gave up and submitted them.
- Took both kids in for doctors appointments. Jacks cough continues to baffle doctors. Will is in the 99% of height.
- Tried to teach Will Baby to sit up. His body is so long and there's so much of it he just topples over. Someday.
- Enjoyed a visit from some HBS friends. It was nice to remember how great and unique those years were.
- Took Jack to his first extreme dodgeball class. It was pretty awesome. They have huge blow up obstacles that the kids hide behind. Jack had a blast. It was kind of the perfect class for him.
- get kids healthy
- ok my life sounds really boring...
Past Couple Weeks:
- The iPad arrived!! It's great! Still trying to decide if it could replace bringing a laptop on our next trip. Also ended up getting an AppleTV so we could stream photos like the Wiley's. And watch conference.
- Ken had his second interview at Cassidy Turley. All went well! Now we wait.
- Ken succumbed to the marketing of Charles Barkley and signed up for weight watchers. So far it's been fun and provides a new way to think about trade offs and food in terms of points instead of calories. We've eaten more vegetables so by those fruits I judge it as good.
- Monday was my early out day. I met ken at the grocery story, then came home and cooked lunches/dinners for week.
- Tuesday I worked til 2am.
- Wednesday I worked til 130am. (Sadly I'm pretty sure Steve out worked me each day. Rough times)
- Thursday my back was hurting when i woke up but I didn't think too much about it. I figured it was too much sitting at my desk for the week. The pain got progressively worse throughout the day until I could not walk more than 10 feet without sitting down. It was crazy! I left the office (had to roll outside in my chair!!) and crawled into the house at 730pm. I stayed in bed the rest of the night and all day Friday. (see my instagram for details) We had plans to see Hunger Games with friends on Thursday night so I was really bummed to miss out on that but oh well!
- CZ and Jon stopped by on Friday night.
- Saturday I was still mostly bed ridden and sleep a lot. It was very slick to use the ipad and apple tv to watch conference. Ken worked all day. At the end of the day I was stir crazy enough so I rigged up a chair and cooked some Butternut Squash Risotto as our special conference treat.
- Sunday we watched conference together at home. My back is healing I can tell. I didn't play any jokes on Ken for April Fool's Day which was a shame.. Next year. (I say that every year).
- So so much work to do. I have to go back to work tomorrow or else I will seriously be disrupting everyone else. Hopefully I will be pain free. I guess I'll take my early day tomorrow anyway? Hard to let go of wanting to just get everything done myself right away.
- I should use my early day to cook for the week again. Things went more smoothly.
- I borrowed a co-worker's book one year ago. I need to return it this week. With brownies.
- We've pretty much settled on Paris for Memorial Day. Ken talks to his manager on Tuesday for final clearance. Then we can buy tickets!
- Need to get the safety inspection on my car.
- Championship ward ball game on Friday night
- I still really want to see hunger games!! I hope we can fit that in sometime this week/weekend.
- Prepare my Easter Sunday lesson for 5 year olds.
- Bake carrot cake cupcakes
- Hard boil and dye some eggs. Use our fancy deviled egg plate.
- See if there are any good plants available at the Vienna nursery this weekend.
- Should we do a mini Easter egg hunt at home? That could be fun (or too much work??).
- Spent a few days with Webb & Laurel & Brett at a cabin up in Christmas Meadows, UT (outside Evanston) for one last winter hurrah. We had a great time getting all bundled up to play in the snow, having cocoa by the fire inside, riding snowmobiles, and hanging out in the hot tub. It was a really neat place, and fairly easy to get to. Maybe we'll go back someday.
- As soon as we got back from the cabin, we celebrated June's 5th birthday. Scott had heroically done all the gift shopping right before our trip, and I had sent out party invitations. So on Wednesday we got up early and opened gifts before everyone went off to school, then I took June to the bakery to pick out a treat to take to school and a cake for her party. HEAR THAT?! I DIDN'T BAKE SCHOOL TREATS OR A BIRTHDAY CAKE. After school I took her to the party store to pick out decorations, party favors, and we bought 24 helium balloons. HEAR THAT?! I DIDN'T PLAN THE PARTY AT ALL BEFORE THAT DAY. We decided to try a pinata this year (which I've never done before and had no idea how we'd hang or hit or anything) and pin the tail on the donkey. At 4pm 15 friends came over and luckily the weather was great so we played outside for quite a while, played our games, ate cake, and then it was over. I was grateful Brenden and Julia were there to help out. After the party we made her requested spaghetti & meatballs for dinner and thus called the Wiley birthday season CLOSED.
- Fell out of the car flat on my tailbone while trying to get June to school one day. As if sitting weren't hard enough already! And I was working so hard on not waddling. What an annoying injury.
- Had a couple Rooftop Concerts planning meetings. Things are really picking up as we get ready to start the season next month. It's fun to have a new project to work on as I finish out this pregnancy.
- One day we had a few spare hours and Huck suggested we go on a bike ride. Remembering how much I love doing that with the kids and appreciating the beautiful weather we've started having, I quickly agreed and packed them up and headed to the park. I somehow forgot to factor in my awkward shape/size/balance and how out of shape I currently am and barely made it there really huffing and puffing. Getting home was even worse. Quite the sight I'm sure.
- FINALLY did all my grocery shopping - I think it's been about a month. It took a trip to Target, 2 trips to Smiths, and a trip to Costco but we should be stocked for quite a while now.
- Took Oli to get an xray after he spent 3 days limping and complaining his ankle really hurt. It really takes a lot to impress me injury-wise, and even more to get me to actually go to the doctor for it, but 3 days seemed like enough time for any regular sprain to heal itself. But alas, it was just a sprain. Next time I'm waiting 5 days.
- Took Brenden & Oliver in for follow-up dentist appointments - 2 sealants for Brenden and 2 extractions + 1 cavity filled for Oliver. Brenden was a cinch. Oliver's work was harder and I was pretty nervous since he has a tendency to get uncooperative when he's nervous. But he was so amazingly brave and in control. I know he was nervous but he had enough time to mentally prepare and he asked a lot of questions about logistics so he could anticipate and he did so great. What a relief.
- I actually bought the $75 electric toothbrush the dentist was recommending for Brenden to use with his braces since I am obviously not doing a great job of teaching my kids to take care of their teeth properly so I'll try whatever they suggest at this point. The best feature is an automatic timer so the toothbrush shuts off after 2 minutes, and beeps every 30 seconds so you know to move to the next quadrant of your mouth. I think that will be great for B. I should probably also figure out about fluoride tablets. We've never done them and I've convinced myself that buying fluoridated bottled water was enough, but perhaps not so. Do any of you guys use fluoride supplements?
- Hired a landscaping crew to take care of the yard all year. I'm very excited to have the stress gone, although I have already noticed something missing as it used to be one of my excuses to go outside once in a while.
- Did a bit of spring wardrobe shopping for me, Huck & June. Nothing fancy. June's actually getting a bit easier to dress lately. Still no frilly dresses or skirts, but at least a bit more flexible.
- Took Brenden & June in for checkups. Brenden needed Jr. High shots, and June needed Kindergarten shots. Good to get it taken care of pre-baby.
- Got June registered for Kindergarten.
- Enjoyed a casual and uplifting conference weekend. Especially loved Elder Holland's talk - great message and inspiring delivery. Amen to giving people the benefit of the doubt and not holding grudges and not looking for ways to be offended. Love that message.
- Figure out a few final (major) details about the rooftop series so we can (hopefully) announce everything on Friday.
- Finish potty training Huck. It's getting ridiculous now and we just have to be done with this. He's totally aware and capable, just lazy at this point. 2 months of no diapers isn't too much to ask.
- Take June in for her follow up dentist appointment. She has 2 cavities and 1 crown so we will go ahead and put her to sleep for this one. She's not quite old enough to be willing to try to conquer her fears yet.
- Get ready for Easter. Poor June for every holiday that comes along she asks so excitedly "Where's our [enter holiday] decorations, Mom? Can we put them up now?" Her preschool teacher is an uber-holiday-decorator so maybe that's where she gets it from. But it's been constant disappointment for Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter already this year. We were at Target the other day where she did convince me to buy a few plastic eggs with holes in the ends that we could string in our trees out front - like one of her friends did. I don't know why I just don't really get into decorating for those kinds of holidays. Can't I get extra credit for going overboard with Christmas decorations and get a pass for the rest of the year?
- We're excited about The Lower Lights being featured on BYUTV's episode of The Song That Changed My Life on the 9th. Also looking forward to a Lower Lights show with The Neon Trees this weekend. Wonder how that crazy pairing's going to work out?!
- Register Brenden for 7th Grade - choose electives. Crazy.
Last Couple Weeks (sorry this is so long):
- I'm really not too sure where to start, I feel like I haven't sent in an update for awhile. I'll just make it easier and start with a couple weeks ago. One Saturday I went horseback riding out at a barn past Chantilly. On my way home I stopped at a mechanic in Chantilly to get my safety and emissions inspection to finally get the Jetta registered. To pass the emissions inspection I had to get a diagnostic test done to get the check engine life off (apparently if the check engine light is on you automatically fail, the check engine light has been on the entire time we've owned that car I'm pretty sure). During the diagnostic they found that a pretty important tube was broken completely in half. To make a long story short, I was told the total cost of the replacement would be $500 and they would pay for a rental car for me so that I could still get to work and all. They very confidently told me that with the replacement, the car would be able to run great for at least two or three years. I checked the reviews of this place on Yelp and they all seemed positive, and because they were so willing to get me a rental car, I decided to do it. The next Monday I dropped the car off on my way to work and picked it up on my way home. Seemed simple enough. When I picked it back up it actually felt like it was running great. I was thrilled.
- Thursday of that same week Jon was coming to town for the weekend. I went into the city to pick him up from Union Station pretty late since his bus had been delayed. On our way back into Arlington, as we were crossing the bridge, the car died, right in the middle of the bridge. It completely stopped and wouldn't turn back on. It was 1AM. It was pretty ridiculous and I just couldn't help but laugh at the whole situation. We waited for AAA to come and had the car towed to my house for the night so I could figure out what to do. The original mechanic was pretty far, so I didn't really want to have it towed all the way there again. Friday, I didn't know how to get to work and needed to get my car figured out, so I didn't go into work. We had the car towed to a VW dealership not too far from my house and basically spent the day there. They did a diagnostic and found that ANOTHER tube was broken, one that is actually connected to or at least related to the original one that was replaced four days earlier. Totally annoying. I was told that to replace this new tube and the associated valves would be $950! And, on top of that, the car needs two new tires and new rear breaks. I finally decided that I'd had enough, the days of the Jetta were over. With all the money that we've already put into it since October, it just wasn't worth it anymore. This now meant I was suddenly in the market for a car.
- After everything at the VW dealership I just needed a break from it all, so we went and saw The Hunger Games. I loved it though I do think it's a much better movie if you've actually read the book, a lot of detail, explanation, and character development is lost in the limited time of a movie.
- Monday-Friday of last week I took the bus/metro to and from work. I'm working at a client in Dulles right now, so it wasn't a quick trip at all and involved two different buses and two different metro lines each way. On a good day it would take me one and a half hours, on a bad day it would take me more than two hours.
- One day I decided to take the metro a couple stops farther to a nearby dealership to look at some cars. On my walk to the dealership my phone died. I hadn't preemptively planned out my route for getting home from the dealership, but I knew the general direction of my house, so I just set out on foot and ended up walking the whole way, which ended up being about an hour, not terrible. Needless to say, though, my reliance on public transportation was definitely a motivating factor in moving along the car search.
- Another night after work Melissa helped me get to a dealership in Fairfax. We looked at some cars and test drove one, then went to dinner. As I was reaching for my wallet to pay I realized I didn't have my wallet, I had left it in the car we test drove. Total fail. I called first thing the next morning and luckily the guy was able to find it. Ken so awesomely helped out by going to pick it up and I got it from him the next day. There were a couple days though when I was without a car and without a wallet and I really felt like I wasn't a real adult.
- All week was spent researching cars as much as possible. I wanted something reliable, safe, and good gas mileage since the commute I'll likely be doing within the next year will be pretty long and can get pretty snowy and icy in the winter. Friday last week Jon drove in and picked me up from work so that we could finally get the car situation resolved. Saturday we drove out to Baltimore where I had gotten a great deal from a guy on a Hyundai Tucson and I drove it off the lot! This is definitely downplaying the whole situation. In reality, actually making a decision and finding something was pretty stressful, but in the end I'm really happy to have the situation resolved and am thrilled with the car.
- Sunday was Jon's birthday. After we got the car he rushed back to Franklin, WV just in time to watch the Priesthood session with his dad and cousins. He left thinking I would be following close behind him to surprise him for his birthday. When he discovered later that night that I still wasn't on my way, he was actually pretty upset about it and sad that I wouldn't be there. Luckily, I had been planning on driving up early the next morning, so when he woke up Sunday morning and sadly asked me if I really wasn't coming I was able to respond with a picture of his house. I think I successfully redeemed myself from his disappointment from the night before and we were able to spend a relaxing Conference Sunday together watching the great talks and celebrating his birthday with his family.
- You can see from all of this that there hasn't actually been much wedding planning going on. The whole car situation took up pretty much all of my mental energy so I couldn't focus too much on the wedding. I did at least break down and buy two wedding magazines and only got local ones, so that all the adds are for local places. It's a step at least.
- Finally start the wedding planning process. We're at about four months out now, guess that's as good a time as any to get started.
- Exercise. With all the car complications I didn't end up getting any exercise in. I had been on such a good streak.
- Go up to Jon's family's for Easter. He asked me to come up there a couple months ago just to ensure that he could lock me in before any plans were made with family here. I'll be sad to miss out on any DC family Easter gatherings, but it will be fun to be with Jon and his family.
- Work. I'm actually really happy with work right now. It was a little up in the air for awhile as things with different clients were kind of falling through, but I'm on a client now that I enjoy and I really like the group I'm with. Sadly it keeps me out of the office all the time so I don't get to see Rachel or Steve, but it's a good situation.
- I can't really think of anything else. Mainly I think I just need to plan the wedding.