Friday, March 25, 2011


This week, Stella and I drove up to Idaho Falls to help with the Mayor's Scholarship again. My mom felt nervous about us driving alone so she came along for the drive up and flew home the next morning. On our way there Stella spotted some cows. I couldn't tell what she had said though so I asked her: "Stella, did you say you wanted to ride a cow or buy a cow?" Pause... "Yellow." Mom and I laughed and laughed. So now if you ask Stella if she wants to buy or ride a cow she will say yellow because she knows it gets a laugh. Our first morning there Stella and Wyn started playing with a very fun toy that spits little balls up in the air with air pressure. It was cute to see them play together. However, that was about the last time that happened. Stella just didn't like Baby Wyn coming over to mess with her toys or to use her as a crutch to help him stand up. Which reminds me--Wyn is walking! And no one mentioned this to me. He cruises all over the place. I was very impressed.

Stella was able to spend a lot of time with Catcher since he is only in school for half of the day. They play really good together and it is fun to see them interact. On day two we headed next door to see some brand new kitties. Stella loved them, but their claws scared her a little bit, and they made me sneeze. On our way back from the neighbors, Catcher spotted one of his light sabers, and he and Stella engaged in some pretty intense star wars. Thankfully no one was injured in this game, especially not Wyn who was close by.

I didn't really take any more pictures of all the goings on. Stella had a freaking blast at Grandma Barb and Papa Dave's house while Heidi and I were doing Scholarship stuff. They even let her drive the boy's little car and she is still talking about it. She even added it to her prayers last night. Stella was a mess of tears when she finally had to be separated from her aunt and cousins. She has the best time with them and was totally inconsolable. However, when we got on the road to head home she was looking forward to being reunited with her daddy and everything was soon all right in her world once again. This trip ended the longest separation Heidi and I have had since my mission. I am looking forward to nicer weather and assurances that these months of longing for time together will not recur in the near future.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For some time now, I have wanted to dedicate a post to my love for/obsession with reading. I wasn't much of a reader the first 30 years of my life and it seems that I am making up for it now.

It all started at the Salt Lake City Airport. We were on our way to Niagara Falls for our pre-baby trip and I was browsing in the book store for something fun. By chance I picked up the book Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. From the first few pages I was delightfully hooked and had to force myself not to just sit in our hotel room and read the whole thing there so I would have something to read on the plane ride home. I didn't know books like that existed. Just fun, light, funny romance reads. I had spent my school days reading books that bored me to tears and had a hard time in general starting books that my mother would recommend as favorites.

When we got home I had a baby and there was no reading then. Soon though, I wanted more so I had Brent get me all of the Emily Giffin books that were available at the library. Soon, I was done with those. What was I to do? I started browsing books at Barnes & Noble but finding good books that way was seriously hit and miss. But then, just when I thought all hope of finding another delightful book was lost I discovered the website Here on this glorious website was every book ever written with ratings and reviews and links to other books like them. And some of my friends were already members so I could see what they liked. It was awesome! Now the time I spend on books that aren't great is seriously diminished, and if I hate a book I just stop reading it because I know there are more great books in my future.

This month marks one year that I have been charting my reads on that website. So far this year (March to March) I have read 91 books (with 48 of those being just during 2011!) and about 36,000 pages. (A few books I didn't finish but still marked as read to keep track of them, so I can't be sure of the pages.)

I have discovered that my favorite genre is Young Adult Fiction. Honestly, books for grownups are seriously overrated. The YA genre is full of amazingly talented writers who are saying so much with their young characters. The stories of first love never get old to me, and the characters are always growing so much. This doesn't mean that I don't sometimes read books for people my age, but I still always go back to the YA tales. I also like to throw in a classic now and then so that I feel like I am pushing my brain a little from time to time. But let's face it: I read for FUN!

These days I would much rather be reading a book than watching a movie, which is saying something for me. My television watching has gone down a lot too. I would just rather have a book. Slowly I have been collecting my favorite reads, and my wish list grows all the time. I'm still pretty picky though. I finally get why Brent likes to own so many movies. Just seeing my beloved books on the shelf gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Brent was kind enough to help me with this little photo shoot, although he said that if I wanted to be realistic the pictures should be taken at 3 AM in our guest room while I am wearing my PJs. I told him I didn't want realism, I wanted sass.

Of course, when Stella sees a photo shoot going on she cannot just stand by and not participate:

When people find out how much I read they always ask for suggestions. I find it hard to do that though unless I know what people like, and also how lenient they are with language, love scenes, and other factors. If you want to know what I have loved, join Goodreads and become friends with me. You will never be left without an idea of what to read next. However, you can always tell me what you are in the mood for, and I will be happy to share with you a favorite for sure.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Ashley is totally the shower diva. She made the cutest invites for Heather's party celebrating her baby girl-to-be that is due next month. The cuteness didn't end there. She loves doing this cutesy stuff and my only job was to show up and take pictures. It was a fun night, with yummy food and plenty of giggles thanks to Heather's hilarious tales. Can't wait to meet Baby Barber.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


We just HAD to have one more photo shoot of Miss Nellie while she was here. After we had plenty great shots of the babe, we had Stella move in for a few. It was semi successful. Nellie is really fond of Stella, and she lights up and laughs every time Stella enters the room, dances around, or plays with her.

After that we braved the wind and had Ashley take some pictures of all of us together.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


We are lucky to have John, Valerie, and tiny Nellie staying with us this week. Valerie made these little flower clips for Stella. She loves them and always wants to wear them both at the same time. I think she looks like Princess Leia, and it makes me smile. Valerie brought three clips, and had Stella pick one out for Ava which she will not wear because that flower is Ava's flower. She also keeps telling everyone that she has a flower for Ava.

Do you think Stella will start a new hairpiece trend?

Friday, March 11, 2011


Stella got a lame action figure toy at McDonald's months ago from some movie, and I always tried to get rid of it, but she loved it. She named it Girl. So when we went to McDonald's and got this little Barbie fairy number scantily clad in a purple ensemble, Stella named her Barbie Girl. Then she got another one, so now they are the Barbie Girls, and they go everywhere we go.

Stella is pretty much potty trained by now, and she is so over using a diaper. But she is still learning. We get pretty excited about the potty around here.

She has started telling me "don't worry" if I ask her to do something or ask her a question where I might seem worried. I think she got that from me because a lot of things seem to worry her and I am always telling her not to worry. She also has picked up the phrase: "I will in four minutes." I have no idea where it comes from, but it is usually her way of procrastinating in a cute way.

Another cute thing that she does is at night when we say our prayers she likes us all to say one and then she says: "Good job, Daddy. Good job, Mommy. Good job, Stella."