Monday, September 29

What decade are you?




You Belong in 1999



With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!



1st prize goes to whoever can tell me what "ghetto fabulous" is...

Oh, and no- you don't get a prize, ya little... Isn't reading my fabulous bog reward enough??? ;D

Sunday, September 28

You're so vain, you probably think this post is about you

I've known some pretty ego-centric people.

But you, my dear, take the cake. You take it, and then you complain that it wasn't your favorite flavor.

Surrounded by people. By wisdom that surpasses your own, by experiences beyond your reach, by perspectives you will never see, and you're the one doing the talking. No one can teach you.

No one can love you. Because despite all your talking, you've decided that no one will ever know your every last self-centered thought. No one will ever completely break down your walls. Because you've created a rule for yourself: keep up at least one brick.

And then blame the brick on the person who made the cake.

Thursday, September 25

Giddy

My package from Susan, my swap partner, came yesterday!! All day long I listened for a knock on the door, and thought maybe it would be put in the "big mailbox," at the end of the street. The knock must have come while I was putting the babies down for their naps. Zach went to check the mail around 10 last night, and when he came back empty-handed I finally thought to check the front porch (yeah- we're really smart around here.) My box!! Hidden over behind the bushes!

I opened the box and found everything individually wrapped!! Classy. I'm thinking next time I'll do that instead of pink bubble wrap... which was... not so classy... ;D

She sent me a letter explaining each of her choices, which I won't use all of cause I didn't get permission to put it on here..

"One of my favorite things to do is cook... "

There were some recipe cards, three of which she had written some of her favorite recipes. Handy- because I'm getting to the end of the index cards from my wedding. She included a jar of apple butter, which was actually one of her favorite recipes. I have to admit, I wasn't as initially excited about this as I should have been. About a year ago, I bought some apple butter with a vague memory in my head of liking it. That particular brand didn't live up to my expectations, (really bland) and I had decided we were done with apple butter. When I opened this jar, I was so hopeful and curious I just popped the top and stuck my finger in- ha! It was just like I had hoped the first jar would be, kind of tart and very.... appley. I knew I like apple butter! But I probably wouldn't have tried it 'til much later if she hadn't sent it- so now my kids will get a chance to love it, too!

"I have also included two of my favorite cooking magazines. I love Rachael Ray because it has a section on budget meals and weekly menu ideas. But, Cuisine at Home is my absolute favorite. It doesn’t have ads and has pictures of each dish and its process. The helpful tips are always good as well."

Perfect timing. Yesterday I cooked this Egyptian rice and lentils dish- trying to branch out a bit. I'm definitely on a try-something-new in the kitchen kick. And she is right- this magazine is incredible!! I hadn't even thought of looking to a magazine- awesome.



Next- Oxi Clean stain remover.
"(It)is the best and I love being able to pretreat stains on the run or get things out of my clothes when I get “slimed” by the kids."
Ha! Amen. More perfect timing. I just lost mine.

And another thing we amazingly had in common... dark chocolate in truffle form, baby.
"I don’t think I have to say anything more than that."
Me neither.


Something I'm surprised I didn't think of- she sent a CD of her favorite songs. It seems we've both got a musical background, and appreciate the effect certain music has on us. What a great idea! I still haven't convinced the kids to let me play it instead of the kid CD we've always got on- so maybe tonight I can enjoy some grown-up songs for a change.


The book "The Wednesday Letters," which neither of us has read. Which is my favorite part about most books- that I haven't read it before. I'll have it devoured by Sunday- how much you wanna bet.


I saved the best for last. I had seen on her blog that she was a rep for a jewelry company, and immediately wished I hadn't seen it, because I got my hopes up, and no matter how hard i tried to not think about it, I still found myself hoping there would be a little box in there. I'm awful. Awful. She picked the perfect earrings (which are the only jewelry I really ever bother with!)
"I am a representative for Silpada Designs and love it. Their jewelry is the highest quality sterling silver and other precious stones. The earrings I sent you are sterling silver, turquoise, peridot, amethyst, red coral and lapis. Silpada jewelry is definitely one of my favorite things!!!"


I've got to tell you- this was so much fun. Not even just the fact that we got to open cool stuff- but the fact that there are so many perfect strangers out there willing to reach out and share a peice of themselves. It's a good feeling from start to finish. I'm glad they did such a great job pairing me with Susan!

Wednesday, September 24

Second Guessing

Before we even decided to have our "second" child, I thought, almost constantly, about the space between ages, and the pros and cons of 2, 3, or 4 years difference from Mia to her sibling.

We were in kind of a unique situation. We knew, right down to the month, when we would be moving out of state, more than a year in advance. And we knew, more or less, that the time and responsibility constrictions with Zach's future schooling would necessitate some creative "family planning."

Basically, we had two choices. A) Have the next kid before we moved- causing them to be extremely close in age, but compensating for the difficulties that would cause by being in the same state as both our families for the first three (and most difficult) months of infancy. B) Wait until Mia was old enough to take care of herself a little better, and hope that would compensate for the fact that there would be no family around, and that Zach would be up to his neck in med school.

Looking back- I can't believe what a difference choosing Plan A meant. There was no way I could have accurately weighed the incredible "pros" we were blessed with, (mostly because we had no idea baby #2 would come with baby #3.)

After realizing I couldn't keep our house clean enough to sell, live in it, have a bad back, and be eight months pregnant with twins all at the same time, I was worried we'd have to move in with my parents longer than the few weeks between selling our place and moving to Ohio. The story behind finding our apartment is kind of long, but it seems so cool to me.

Journal: February 8, 2007
Monday I saw an important ad in the online classifieds. I’ve been checking the baby section every day looking for good deals. Someone put an ad in for an apartment lease. I read it for no reason, other than it was funny that someone put it in "baby items" and it hadn’t been reported and moved yet. 4 bedroom, everything you could ask for in an apartment, plus free internet, a pool and gym, granite countertops and tile floors: $610 a month. When I realized what an incredible deal it was I started thinking how nice it would be to move there instead of my parents’ house. The amazing thing about it- the lease ends in July- the very month we'd need it to end. And you can’t renew the contract. (I found out later it is because the complex is really student housing, and when it was first built, they opened it temporarily to families at that great rate. The catch was- they got kicked out after two years. So this family found a house and it closed really fast. They have to move at the end of this month.) Just for the fun of it, I calculated the difference we would pay, once we got rid of our internet. $100 a month. Hmm. Just for a little more fun, I called the gal who placed the ad. She said all the offers she got wanted to renew the lease past July- which they couldn’t do. I called Zach, who surprised me by sounding optimistic. I called my mom, who also surprised me by NOT saying she would be a tad miffed if we didn’t come live there, and that it was up to us. I looked for the ad an hour later, and it had been moved. We went and looked at the apartment that night, applied for it the next day, and today, Thursday, we signed the lease! Crazy!


A little more than a month before D-day, we had moved into a student ward, with the most well-organized and willing compassionate service set up that I have ever seen.

Some of the forseen cons were actually pros in disguise. I think I would be either be working with two kids in daycare right now, or feeling like a big fat slacker for staying home. But having twins kind of nixed that problem.

Still. Every so often, something comes up that still makes me wonder if we made the right decision. (And I've gotta say- it was more my decision than Zach's. He needed some convincing- so I'm super scrutinizing of this particular life-choice.)

After adding and subtracting all the good and bad about this decision, I think the twins are paying the biggest price. Little conflicts have been escalating between those two- and got way worse when I experimented with having all three girls nap at once. Mia was used to at least a few hours of alone time, but the twins have never really experienced it. Having Mia around during their every waking minute made for some cranky babies, and alerted me to an underlying problem. They share absolutely EVERYTHING.

And are increasingly unhappy about it. The big wake-up call came Monday: Bree bit Anya.






I think the next-highest payer is Mia. I caught her eating her cereal in an odd spot this morning.
"What are you doing back there, Mim?"
"I don't want the babies to get my cereal."

Sigh.

But we'll keep plugging away. Because, whether or not having them so close together was the right decision- it was the decision we have to live with.

Something tells me we'll be okay.


Monday, September 22

The Inexpensive Road to Self-Discovery

Today was the "Favorite Things" send off. Susan if you see this- don't read it! ;)

I've been looking around my house, racking my memories, taking extra long at the grocery store, and reading old journal entries, trying to figure out what the heck are my favorite things. The catch- they have to be things I can put in a box and mail to someone.

August 28th: Hoping to have original, creative, maybe even exotic and impressive favorites that I can wow my swap partner with. By September 22nd: I had realized I can't afford jewelry or vacation tickets, and settled for quirky and well-intended.

The results of a kind of disappointing scavenger hunt- a list of my favorite things (that I can put in a box) in the order I thought of them:

1, 2, 3 and 4) Chocolate. Very boxable. Very favorite. I couldn't decide which was my absolute favorite, though.

5) A little book of Mad Libs- for the nerd in us all. No- really, because I remember them helping me remember sentence structure, and one of my favorite things right now is home-educational tools, especially those disguised as games. An odd materialization of this particular joy in my life- maybe. We tried one at home, and laughed at least as much as we groaned. I highly recommend doing at least a few with your spouse. Nothing like a little word disassociation to shed some light on that weirdo. "I love our computer lab at school. It's so fuzzy! Every morning after navel class, our teacher George Clooney takes us to the lab so we can work on cool projects like finding out what flying squirrels eat for breakfast."

6) A book of Sudoku puzzles. Before I even heard of these I was most enthusiastic about the video game my brother let me try, "Brain Age." It felt great to stretch my deteriorating brain muscles, turned almost completely off since college, (to which Zach will quickly attest after my most recent brain fart. "Why don't you guys borrow our space heater?" offered as a solution to the chilly mornings without power. Yeah.) Anyway. One of my favorite things is not being stupid, so Sudoku went into the box.

7) A Secret Platinum- Vanilla Chai. Yes. Anti-perspirant. After much deliberation I realized I love it when someone (in my family) says I have a scent. One of my favorite things is being all nice and clean (you don't savor it as much until regular showering is prevented and replaced by regular feedings, do you) and my honey saying I smell so good. He likes his sweetheart smelling like food. I also love it when ordinary, humdrum things we have to deal with every day come in sparkly packages- (see "deteriorated brain.")

8) "Better than Bouillon." The best kept secret of Molly Mormon. Thanks to one of the most incredible ladies in the world, who came to help when the babies were born, I know the secret to the perfect pot roast. After seeing my amazement when she described how to cook a pot roast, she took pity on my ignorant self, went to the store, bought me my own jar, and some oven bags. We had just bought a new jar, but when I went to get one for my swap partner, they were on sale! I didn't know they had chicken, too?! We are well-stocked on bouillon. One of my favorite things is finally getting that durn recipe right. This stuff is like the magic you stick in, so the dinner makes itself. Please nobody tell me the magic is fat and salt.

9) Last, but not least, Burt's Bees Lip Balm. This covered a few of my latest favorites. I just read "The Secret Life of Bees," and have inducted it into my bookcase of fame. I also love the whole Bee-line. (hee hee.) I'm not proud of it, but the lip balm is not my favorite Burt product. It was just the cheapest. So I abandoned "quality" and went for "quantity." Now you know.

My point? No point, really. I'm just hoping to hear what everyone would put in their favorite things box.

Monday, September 15

Lucky Pocket

So, after a really bad wind last night, I guess 2 million homes and businesses in Ohio didn't have power today. We did. How nice.

My VT came to check on me. I checked on the people I visit teach. Is that our ward's emergency situation plan? It seems like it should work. But how would I have contacted them if I hadn't had a phone or car?

We only know two of our neighbors. (We only have two actual "neighbors"- tons of the houses around here are foreclosed on and empty.)

I've got an appointment to go do food storage in a few weeks. We're using up the stuff we got for Christmas a few years ago. Some of it past the expired date already, but it's still good.

We keep getting wake up calls and finding ourselves generally unprepared for an emergency longer than a few days.

Saturday, September 13

Mimi's Big Day

I spent four times the hours on this cake than I did on labor with the kid it was for. And it self-destructed twenty minutes after the party started. I can't believe I didn't get an "after" shot. (We were kind of busy. Eating it.)



Zach did a good job decorating, cleaning, and keeping the babies out of the kitchen. (Thanks again, honey.)



She had a good day. Her Princess Party started at 11:00ish. First, Princess primping. All the girls got to put on makeup. I knew I carted those Costco makeup samples around three moves for a reason. Yet one more argument for the pack rat in me. Mia liked the lipstick. Didn't like it when Mom started "helping."

We put a Princess tiara on every female in the room, and probably would have let the two daddies present join in the fun had we had any more. Tough luck, guys. Maybe next time. Hey- quit complaining, at least you got to give your daughter a makeover.

Played "Pin the Princess to the castle," (I have no idea what the game is called) where everyone got a chance to stick a Cinderella sticker in the vacant castle window while blindfolded. It was the only decoration up this morning when Mia came downstairs. She was so enthralled. "Looooook! It's my Princesses!" and she named all six. Then she turned to me and said "Thank you for putting this up while I was asleep, Mommy!" She stared at it, probably the least interesting thing I knew was in store for her today, for a good five minutes, thanking me over and over.

Then we had The Royal Lunch. My favorite chicken salad sandwiches that Zach's mom makes for special stuff. On croissants. Yummy. Some of the older princesses were very brave and tried them, but most of the kids, including Princess Mia, ended up with PB&J.

Then we ate the cake. There's something different about deconstructing a cake to eat it, and eating a cake that has already self-destructed. I felt pretty bad about serving our Royal Guests from the pile of chocolate, lemon, party sprinkle cake castle and toppled rice crispy treat towers. At least everything was fresh.

We opened some of the most awesome presents I've ever seen at a birthday party. Mrs. Potato head, Belle the doll, a Princess pillow, nifty little block set that is really a little house, an incredible art lap-desk complete with princess coloring book, stickers and coloring utencils, another Princess sticker/coloring book (thank goodness- she goes through those books like candy,) a dress-up kit with high heels and jewelry (no more pathetic imaginary dress-up! Yaaaay!) and last but not least- glow sticks. She and the babies were in heaven playing with every single present for the rest of the afternoon. Hobbling around on heels, glow sticks in the bathroom. They were very busy.

After presents everyone was getting a little too close to breaking into song and talking to mice, so our guests headed home.

As the day progressed, the surprises and presents got better and better, and Mia's reactions got smaller and smaller. So much for saving the best for last. By the time we got around to video calls with grandparents, Mia was pretty tired. She opened a cute gift and immediately said "Let's open another one!" I think she was overwhelmed, and was trying to get it over with. Maybe we'll put everything back in the gift bags for her to re-discover tomorrow.

One thing's for sure- we're set for clothes for another year. Yaaaay for Grandmas with Costco memberships! ;)

Thank you to everyone who came, and everyone who contributed to making this such a special, happy day.

Friday, September 12

Happy Birthday, Mimi

Last night at 11:40 I was in Mia's room watching her sleep and thinking, "Three years ago exactly, I was in an elevator throwing up." Mia was born at 1:33 am. (Not in the elevator.)

More Miminess:

Mia stubbed her toe: "Oww!"
"You stub your toe, baby?"
"Yeah. My foot huwts. I need to go to the store to get a new one."
"Do they sell feet at the store?"
"Yes. And I'm going to drive there by myself! Bye, Mom! I'm going to the stoore.... to get a new fooot!"

She see's a Blue's Clues notebook. "Look!!! It's a handy dandy!"
The first time she saw a question mark: "Look!! A clue!"

Anya swiped her tortilla. "Mom! Anya's eating my diarrhea!"

The clock changes from 7:59 to 8:00 (bedtime.) "Oh deeeaw. It's 8 o'cwock. But it's okay, that 8 is a nice guy, he won't huwt us."

Heard from upstairs: Mia rallying the twins, "C'mon, guys! Let's wock and woll!" followed by exuberant Playschool xylophone playing.

Comprehension check after reading the kid's version of the story of "Legion."
"So then what happened, Mia?"
"Jesus saw the pigs and they said, 'Hello! What's your name?' and he said, 'Jesus. Go away.'"

The next day after reading the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water:
"Who walked on the water, Mia?"
"Jesus!"
"And who else?"
"The pigs!"

Exasperated: "Mia, you can't keep doing this (stalling) at bedtime. Who do you like to put you to bed, nice mommy or mean mommy??"
"I like Daddy."
Zach cracks up in the next room.

"I loooove dip!" (Warm V8 we dip grilled cheese in) "I want to drink it!"
"Okay, Mia! Can you eat two bites of sandwich first?"
"How 'bout fiiiive bites?!"
"Uh- okay."

Four hours 'til our princess party. Happy Birthday, Your Highness!! We love you!

Top This

Five poopy diapers before 9. In the morning.

Whatcha got, mommies?

Tuesday, September 9

I choose cheese

My little sister's comment says it all. "'Breethe easy'? Oh plllllease. Too corny! haha"

Yes. I am corny. Cheese-covered corny.

My dad is the king of puns. They were ever-flowing- many times right over our heads. When you grow up with that kind of constant "pun"ishment, it rubs off.

"But who says it has to stick? I mean really!"

Well, I have a few reasons for keeping the corn.

Reason 1) Without puns, my sense of humor tends to lean toward bathroom humor, which is worse. And without corn and poop, we're left with dirt... which is even worser.

Reason 2) Cheese is what your mind turns into when you've changed diapers every day for three years. I am surrounded by babbling, screaming, drooling little people all day, every day. The only adult I have regular contact with wants to tell me about the prime transmitters for streptococcal pharyngitis, a term I had to look up just to refer here for you. I have nothing left to give... cheese is my comfort humor.

Reason 3) Melissa's comment: "Just one more reason for me to be a little jealous. Three cute kids, attentive hubby, and The Lion King."
If you didn't have something to make fun of, you'd hate my guts, because I have it all, baby.

Reason 4) I'm trying to cut down on the sarcasm.

Monday, September 8

If it weren't for the bitter...

It is seriously hard for us to get a babysitter. The biggest obstacle is ourselves. First we have to convince ourselves that asking someone to do what we do for a few hours isn't taking advantage of some poor unsuspecting, unqualified greenie. Next obstacle: the wallet. How much is our childrens' care worth? Yikes, maybe we'll just bring them along. But how much is some time alone worth on our anniversary? Hmm. Maybe just this once. Obstacle 3: Finding someone who can a. keep all the kids safe, clean, fed, and happy; b. keep quiet when they are sleeping; c. love us in spite of our overabundance of carpet-covering toys and weird ghost-smells of diapers and dinners past.

We finally found a sitter for our anniversary. Our lovely new friends have offered to do sitting trades despite the fact that there is a hugely unfair kid ratio of three to one. I had no idea what Zach was planning, but I knew it was non-refundable, and I knew it cost too much in the first place by the way he freaked out when our new babysitting friends got sick. Insert horrified scream here. When I finally exhausted all my bright ideas of people I hadn't tried calling in the first place, Zach pulled out the bug guns and moved to PLAN B. Mass e-mail everyone in his med school class.

During his first year, every student and teacher who saw the girls' picture told him they seriously wanted to babysit. So we thought there might be some takers. There was one. A girl named Amy. Poor, poor Amy.

She came fifteen minutes before we had to leave, and we let the girls see her before we put them down for their nap so they wouldn't be scared when they woke up. The twins went down fine as usual. Mia decided there was no way she was sleeping now that her new friend had come to play. It was a little soon for her to be going down, so we told her she could try again in a half hour or so. When we got home Amy was kneeling in front of the twins, who were covered in sweet potatoes. Mia had refused to nap.

Off we went. Ten minutes later I saw the marquee and my eyes popped open, "Are you serious?!" We found our seats and quickly found my legs were too long to fit straight behind the seats in front of us. The theater was built in the twenties, back when "tall" people were 5'5". So I sat at an angle dreading the arrival of the occupant of the seat my knees were jutting into. A family arrived with two little boys and I almost jumped for joy. I asked the mom if she would mind putting someone small by me, since I was obviously having trouble fitting into the square foot of space our X amount of dollars had rented for the next few hours. She laughed and said that would be fine, and motioned to one of her boys to come to the other side of her.

Then we met the man with the smallest mind in the universe. The lady's husband. He said, "No, why don't you sit there," to his wife. And then he thought again. "No- you sit here, I'll sit there," he said, motioning to the empty seat behind the space-theiving knees trying unsuccessfully to hook over the ears of their owner. I was trapped in a position closely resembling an emergency toilet situation, and Zach and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Then he got a bright idea, and we asked the dad if we could sit on the other end of his family. Extremely reluctantly, he agreed to let his family act like normal people and a couple minutes later my knees were halfway into the aisle instead. Get this. After intermission, he came up and said the kids were having a hard time seeing, so they wanted their seats back. They weren't letting kids sit in the aisle, and we all knew trading seats would be absoultely no benefit to them. But his tone of voice wasn't asking, it was saying "I paid #$%^&*! bucks for these @&#*$*@! seats, so move it." I tried to feel sympathetic as I headed toward our original seats, but his surprised wife shushed him, and told us that they were fine. Yikes! Fun to be her...

It was actually kind of a nice reminder of what a truly, uniquely awesome husband I ended up with.

And not only awesome, but on the same brainwave.
The cards we surprised each other with:

PS. Zach wants me to say "The Lion King was incredibly awesome." It was incredible! Zach cried. Hee hee. Okay- so I did, too. Brainwaves...

Saturday, September 6

Sweet Sixth

In honor of our 6th wedding anniversary, I've decided to blog about what led up to the wedding in the first place.

Late November 1998, two years after I graduated from Alta High, I did not meet Zach.
I did, however, see this...

video

My little sister's highschool musical, Lil' Abner. Zach was Abner. I was really impressed with his singing voice, and thought he was cute for a little highschool kid. Then I forgot all about him.

7 tumultuous months later, I broke up with my best/boy friend of four years and found myself quite distanced from any other people I could hang out with. I decided to make new friends doing a Sandy City musical, "The Best of Broadway with Robert Peterson," and was just lonely enough to condescend to speak to a guy a whole year younger than me. He sat next to me on a bench while we were waiting to go into another room, and said something about his boss killing him for missing work. I recognized him from Lil' Abner and thought I had seen the play two years before, and that he had already been on his mission.

We got a little more familiar with each other during rehearsals. There was one "Hello Dolly" number involving all of the guys marching around, and as I sat watching and laughing at the song, I noticed him watching me smiling. Okay, so really, at first I was flirting with the guy next to him. But that dude didn't notice me, and Zach did. So I switched guys, (yes, I was horrible) and ended up just smiling at Zach every night, while he smiled back.

One night at the end of rehearsal he was talking about how he had freaked himself out by watching "Sixth Sense" alone while his family was out of town. He mentioned not wanting to go home yet, and so I said I didn't either. So we got a bright idea and I followed his car to Golden Swirl on State and 106th, where we sat on the lawn out front. We chatted while I weaved grass into his leg hair. (Something I did back then, I guess.)

I had been trying to figure out how old he was since the day we first talked, and asked his birthday.
"May.."
I inhaled in surprise. He was a whole year younger!
"You're birthday is in May, too?"
I nodded.
"Twenty..."
I did it again- did we have the same birthday?
"First."
"Ohhh," I said disappointed. "Mine's the 25th." Why I thought we needed to have the same birthday, I don't know.
But then we got around to the year, and I wasn't thinking the day seemed quite so important anymore. "Wait, so how old are you?" I was kind of nervous.
"18. How old are you?"
Three years younger?!!! He wasn't a return missionary! He had just barely graduated!! I wanted to rewind the evening and let the poor little 18-year-old go home alone.
But, in a fraction of a second, I made up my mind that he was way too nice to be embarrassed about. At least we'd be good friends during the play.
"I'm 21." I wonder if I said it like I think I said it. Like a disappointed door closing.

Every night as we ran off the stage, he'd find me and tickle/grab my waist. Every night I shrieked in surprise. When the cast was called into the green room before our first performance, he came in late and I waved him over to the only chair in the jam-packed room, thinking we'd share it. We didn't fit, and I ended up on his lap. But we were just friends. Got that??? Juuuust frieeeends.

We joined an audition choir at SLCC when the play was over. Because we both had this hankering to wake up, drive 20 minutes and sing (as friends) at 6:00 every morning.

The year before, I had been planning to go to New York with my ex-boyfriend, and decided I was still going without him. Zach got permission to go with me and my cousin; permission granted because we were "just friends." And honestly, we still had ourselves fooled.

Before the trip, Zach invited me to stay with his family in their Fairview cabin during General Conference. We drove up alone. Together. As friends. Zach mentioned that his hands were cold, and I bragged about having ice hands. Being the competitive people we are, we felt each other's hands to see who's were coldest. As we sat "feeling" each other's hands I talked about how awkward it had always been for me to hold hands, and how it was totally comfortable for some people, blah blah. We even commented that now we were holding hands and had a conversation about it. As friends.

Between sessions we went upstairs with his guitar and he played a song he had been writing for weeks. I admiringly asked him how one goes about writing a song. He got really uncomfortable and said "Well, for this one, I just thought of a story I wanted to tell."
I asked him why it was taking so long to write it.
"Because I don't know the end of the story... yet."
The lyrics started, "Maybe in a diff'rent life, You'd see me in a diff'rent light. We'd walk hand by hand, 'stead of side by side. Maybe in a diff'rent life," and just got more obvious from there.
I asked if the song was about us.

So that was when it turned into a "thing." But we didn't do anything about it because we had a vacation to New York planned and the only reason he had permission to go was because we were "just friends." Well, we held out as long as we could, and our first kiss was barefoot under the stars on the beach of the Atlantic. Romantic. Usually we leave out the part that we both really had to pee, and we were actually on the way to a restroom.

We came back to Utah as a couple. After choir practice, one of the girls noticed us holding hands on our way back to our cars. "Did you guys hook up while you were gone?! That's so sweet!" She then said something weird: "And we were all here to witness it," like she knew this hook-up was going to be blogged about someday.

Both our of parents weren't as convinced. I can't blame them- we were about to spend two years apart. We found out that I had been discreetly left out of Zach's scrapbooks because, well- "we weren't sure if you were always going to be around!" And my mom once interjected while I gushed about my new boyfriend and wondered if I was just rebounding; "Well, he'll make a nice in-betweener."

Sometimes it even seemed to us like a long shot. Zach wasn't too pleased when I was assigned to solo the Saturday's Warrior's "Dear John" song in choir.

May of 2000, 10 months after we met, Zach left for his mission to Monterrey, Mexico. A few weeks later I left for Catania, Italy. But not before spending 4 days in the MTC together (as "friends" again- plphhh.)

Writing letters for two years was good for us, I'm sure. Italians who found out about it went on and on about how romantic it was. But it was hard. We got permission to talk on the phone at Christmas. That conversation was also hard. We were ready to marry each other, and just had a little life to cover first. We didn't want to feel that way while serving, but we did.

I came home December 2001. Zach wasn't resigned to receiving the dreaded "Dear John," but he still worried.
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By the time Zach got home in May, I had plans for a wedding dress.

There was a surprise public proposal at the Tuachan planned that didn't go through, because I'm not the kind of person that can jump into something without overanalysing it to death. Then it was Zach's turn to wonder what kind of crazy woman he was thinking of spending eternity with.

Finally, we went to "The Garden" in SLC. He drove us back to the Sandy amphitheater where we had performed the musical that introduced us, had me read his patriarchal blessing, and then we walked down the path we used to walk when we first met. He knelt and popped the question. It was kind of anticlimactic after all we'd been through to get to that point. But just as effective...

September 6, 2002 we were married in the Salt Lake Temple, or- as my grandma says, the "only true temple." ;)

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Wednesday, September 3

You can Breethe easy now...

Only a little more than two months behind Anya... Bree can finally walk!
Yes- we compare our children around here. Especially the twins. And we have no intention of ever stopping- we want them to grow up despising us and each other...

You'll notice a "wardrobe change," during this video. We started trying to get her to walk between us very early, before anyone was even dressed. So when we realized that she was finally going to take some steps, we got some clothes on and started taping. We tried again later in the afternoon after we had been swimming out back, and I didn't want to put shirts on them for dinner. Notice the corresponding wardrobe change of the messy living room. Poor room is clean for about two minutes during the daytime. But this makes me feel a little better about it. ;-)
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