Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the sun that dried up all the rain

i have to tell you about my sweet friend, jenelle.
i've never actually met her in person, but i consider her such a dear friend.
a couple of years ago, she somehow came across my blog.
she would comment here and there, but i'll never forget the day i got a comment from her about her sweet baby girl who had just gotten bit in the face by a dog.
it was almost eerie how much the situation resembled what we had gone through with ruby just a year or so prior.
she was wanting to get some advice, as well as some hope and encouragement;
and so, through such a horrible experience, a friendship was born.
several months ago, i got another email from her. shortly after reading all about my heartbreak over this most recent failed pregnancy, she found herself in the exact situation.
our friendship grew even stronger as we helped each other get through, once again, another almost identical crisis.
she is now expecting twins {again, so excited for you lady!!} we joked that since our lives have been so similar up to this point, maybe having twins will be my next "trial" too.
i would love that. seriously, would love it!
so there's a bit of background for you...what we've been through, and how we became friends.

so i'll be the first to admit that yesterday was rough.
it was really, really rough.
i'm not exactly sure why either. it's been almost 15 years since my mom passed away, and nearly 6 since we lost isaac . so you'd think, i'd have this memorial day thing somewhat figured out by now.
i don't know, though, like i mentioned in my last entry, my feelings from the moment i woke, were extra tender and sensitive, and thoughts of my loved ones were not only fresh on my mind, but also tugged at my heart.
as the day went on, those feelings persisted, and even increased.
and then i got an email from jenelle, my sweet friend, jenelle.
coincidentally, her grandfather is also buried in the salt lake cemetary, and just as they were heading out to pay him a visit, she read my blog.
being the kind and thoughtful person that she is, when she stopped for flowers for her grandfather, she picked up two extras, with hopes of being able to leave them on my mother's and isaac's graves.
when i got her email last night, i was in tears.
i was so touched that someone {who never even knew me, no less} would take the time to do something so thoughtful and special just for me.
there are millions of people buried in the slc cemetery...if you've ever been there, you'll believe me...it is huge.
she ended up going to the cemetery office to find out where they were buried, which surprisingly, they were within walking distance from her grandfather.
she was in the general vicinity, but still spent a considerable amount of time looking at each and every headstone, until finally, she found them. isaac's headstone was half covered from some construction that they had been doing nearby.
so being the sweetheart that she is {and mind you, it was a cold and rainy day there in salt lake}, she found a grounds-keeper to help her uncover the dirt and debris from the headstone.
and it doesn't stop there.
she then, with a water bottle and some wipes, carefully cleaned both headstones, until they were spick and span.
once they were clean, she told me, the rain stopped, and the sun came out from behind the clouds, shining bright.
she even sent me pictures.
what a Christlike person she is. just thinking of jenelle, most likely very uncomfortable being pregnant with her twins, bending down and washing the dirt from my family's graves, reminds me of the Savior, who on bended knee, washed the feet of his disciples.
i am so touched.
so humbled.
and so especially grateful that in a world of turmoil and calamity, sin and selfishness, there are still so many good, humble, Christlike examples to look up to and be blessed by.
i feel honored to call one of these, my friend. thank you, jenelle. i will never forget what you did for me on this, the most gloomy and dreary of memorial days.

you were my little sun that dried up all the rain.

Monday, May 30, 2011

in loving memory

i woke up this morning with tender feelings in my heart for my loved ones - particularly my mom and our sweet baby boy, isaac - who are no longer with us, and both of whom i miss terribly.
i picked up a bouquet of fresh flowers, and in lieu of leaving them at their graves {which would be nearly impossible since they're both buried in the salt lake city cemetery} i just put them in a vase on our kitchen table.
every time i walk by them, i take a moment to reflect and honor the individuals they represent. i'm so grateful for our Heavenly Father's plan which enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave.
ruby asks all the time to hear stories about her grandmother and her big brother. i look forward to the day when these stories will become her reality. i can't think of anything sweeter than the reunion that will one day take place...a glorious and sweet reunion between mother and daughter, parents and son, brothers and sister, grandmother and grandchildren.
until then, though, i will cling to the memories...and the stories...and the commemorative flowers...and the tender feelings of my heart.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

catching up

what is up with this waiting a week in between posts business?
if i didn't have good reasons for this, i would consider it completely unacceptable.
but life has been crazy and busy, and fast, and my calendar has been full, and every second of every day has been scheduled out...and completely packed...and whewww...i need a nap just thinking about it.
so i decided to cut myself a little slack in the blogging department, and just do my best to catch up...and stay on top from here on out.
we'll see how that actually goes.

here's something for starters.
john was out of town last weekend, and left me all alone to deal with this sucker...

he was in the kitchen sink.
i noticed him while i was making breakfast for the kids, and about died.
i honestly don't know how to handle things like this on my own.
this isn't the first time we've found scorpions in our home, but this is the first time i was going to have to dispose of something so disgusting all on my own...
and really by disgusting, i mean big.
i've killed a couple of others by myself, but they were teeny tiny babies, so on both occasions, it felt more like having to kill an ant.
this one was a decent size though, and i just worried about trying to smash it in the sink, and missing, and then having it jump on me or lunge at me.
i'm not even really sure if they can do that, but i wasn't willing to take that risk.
after about 10 minutes of watching him try to figure a way out of my sink,
i decided that trapping him in a glass, sliding a magazine under him, and taking him outside
{to then smash him to smithereens}
would be the best option for me.
after i captured him, i had to break out my ugg boots.
what did it matter that it was 100 degrees out?
i had to protect my feet and legs in case my accuracy was...well, not all that accurate.
i really was worried i'd miss him entirely.
my aim has been off before.
thankfully, i did ok though.
i got him good.
and i didn't just stomp on him either.
i stomped him to pieces, and then i smeared him with my boot.
in fact, he was beyond recognition when i was through with him.
that should teach him and his kind never to mess with me again, right?
let's be honest though, i'm still shaking in my boots {quite literally} about the whole ordeal,
and fearful that history will repeat itself {despite all the money we spend on pest control}.
because some things just never change.
and finding scorpions in my house, sadly, is one of them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

singing {and dancing} her little heart out

remember when i blogged about this? it's hard to believe it's already over. ruby had such a fun time in her singing class this year, and this past saturday she had the chance to show us everything she's worked on and learned since january. she's come a long way since last summer, and even since their christmas show just 5 months ago. john and i got the biggest kick out of watching our little girl ham it up on stage. it was great to see her doing what she does best...
singing {and dancing} her little heart out.

check out these poses...

ruby with her two friends, elsie and blair

loving her flowers from her daddy

i did my best to scale this. it was originally about 20 minutes...but i know that no one {not even grandma and grandpa} would want to watch it in it's entirety {as cute as it is}.

this little medley is worth watching. super cute.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


as the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, john is responsible for the planning, overseeing, and carrying out of all of our ward activities.
about a month ago, he met with a couple of polynesian families in the ward, and together they planned what was to be our next ward function...a luau!
last saturday night we were able to see all their planning and hard work come to fruition.
the luau was a hit, complete with a roasted pig, tiki torches, polynesian dancers, hawaiian attire, sea shells, and great music from the islands.
a nice soft breeze complimented the colorful hues in the sky as the sun fell below the horizon.
it was perfect.
absolutely perfect.
the only thing that would have made it better, was if we could have transported the ocean to the church parking lot.
or, better yet, transported the parking lot to the ocean
{i could really use a trip to hawaii right about now}.

i thought ruby was breathtaking. i couldn't stop staring at her all night. her cheeks were rosy from being at the pool earlier in the day, and her little blue hawaiian dress {great goodwill find} made her big blue eyes sparkle and pop. such a little beauty.
brother and sister schwenke {elfie and eddie...isn't that just the cutest?} did so much of the planning and preparation. elfie and her sister spent a great deal of time on the food {which was very authentic, i might add}. and eddie provided some of the entertainment.
the kids were in awe as he demonstrated the art of cracking and de-husking a coconut.

poor little wilbur didn't stand a chance
i had to include a few photos of the centerpieces i made. it wasn't easy trying to come up with something on the budget i was given {about a dollar per table}, but i thought they turned out pretty good. the only problem was that perfect breeze i mentioned earlier...turns out it wasn't so perfect for those poor votive candles.

we were watching our nieces and nephews for the weekend so we brought some of them along. too bad we had to be there two hours beforehand for setup. i think they were all luau'd out before the luau had officially begun.
there were about 400 in attendance, which was probably more than we've ever had at a ward function.
the koloamatongi's in our ward {sister tina koloamatongi is pictured above in the bottom right photo. she is at the far right} did so much to make this happen...from the food, to the entertainment, and everything in between. their tongan ward was dissolved a few months back, so they started attending our ward. it was so much fun getting them involved and being about to share in some of their culture. they are an amazing family.

here's a little peek at the night's entertainment...

in short, it was great food,
great entertainment,
great weather,
and great company.

so, great job on your first activity, john.

and to everyone else, get ready to trade in those lava-lavas and moo-moos for cowboy boots and bolo ties,
because next up: it's a hoe-down he'll be throwin' down.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the good the bad {and the ugly}

it's taken a few days for the dust to settle, but i think i'm back to loving my little asher as much as i did before he made me cry bawl my eyes out on mother's day. oh man, this little guy has figured out how to work his mother. he knows every button to push; and - sad to say - he also knows the weak spots, the sore points - the ones that when provoked, can evoke the biggest emotional reactions. he messes with these a lot. some days i let it roll off my back. but other days, well, other days i just can't do that. some days, {like on mother's day} i really take his behavior personally. i start to wonder where i must've gone wrong as his mother. i question myself, my parenting...my discipline techniques. some days i am at a complete loss. and it's that utterly hopeless feeling that triggers the tear ducts every time.

sunday morning all ruby could talk about was how excited she was to sing to me in sacrament meeting. she had learned the songs perfectly, and in practicing, sang them just as beautifully.
we got to church early so we could get a seat right up front. i wanted to have the most perfect view of my little singing angel.
we hadn't been sitting more than 30 seconds, when asher started throwing a fit because i wouldn't let him go sit on the stand with his daddy. he screamed daddy, daddy, and then made a quick escape from our pew and b-lined straight to his father. i chased after him, caught up with him, grabbed a hold of him, and out the side exit we went. i knew a quick escape to the foyer {five minutes prior to the commencement of the meeting} was a bad, bad sign. i let him take 15 drinks from the drinking fountain, and after having a very serious and firm talk with him, we made our way back inside. but things just went downhill from there. he was crawling under pews...going from this lap to that one. running across the isle. climbing up on the benches. standing on the hymnbook holders. throwing tantrums on the ground. and then it was time. the primary children were called up for their special mother's day songs. asher screamed when i wouldn't let him go. he screamed and screamed and screamed. asher please no. no asher shhhhh. not now. please, please, asher please, be quiet . please. but to no avail. i grabbed him - but rather than exiting, and missing the songs altogether - we walked to the back. he wouldn't let me hold him though. he screamed until i put him down, and then he ran. he took off, and ran, and led me on a goose chase around the cultural hall. i felt ridiculous. my face was hot, my eyes started to sting, and i could feel a colossal lump creeping up in the back of my throat. oh no, please, don't cry. i finally caught up to him, grabbed a hold of him, and out we went. exit #2 to the foyer. i was going to miss ruby's songs. i couldn't believe it. i was going to miss her songs. and that's when the tears really came. first from embarrassment, and then it was sadness. it made me so sad picturing ruby singing to an empty pew, where just moments earlier, her mother and brother had been sitting. the more i imagined the scene, my sad tears turned to angry tears. i was so angry at asher. and i was angry with myself for having feelings of anger towards my own son...on mother's day, no less. i sobbed, huge, giant, ugly tears. i cried because i was embarrassed for myself, because i was sad for ruby, and because i was angry at asher. {that's three strikes, momma, you're out.} but i was not about to give up. i had one more solemn talk with him that went something like this: we are going back in there, we are going to be quiet, we are going to sit still, and we are going to listen. then firmly and immovable, we walked back in, sat down, and within 30 seconds, he was flat on the floor kicking and screaming. that was it. defeated, deflated, and devastated, we made our 3rd exit, but this time we marched our way through the foyer, out the doors, into the parking lot, straight to the car, and sped all the way home. now we were all crying.
when we got home, i put asher to bed {i told you he spends a lot of time there}, then i changed into my sweats, put my hair up in a bun, and lay on the sofa where i continued to cry. my sweet, {and perceptive} ruby, snuggled up to me, wiped every tear from my eyes, and repeated over and over, i'm so sorry mom. and then she colored me a special picture while i read from jeffrey r. holland's created for greater things and cried some more.
john called {he had know idea any of this had happened until my friend, sarah, filled him in at the conclusion of the meeting} and when he heard the despondency in my voice, he was home within minutes. i love a man who has his priorities in order. i should have been in primary, conducting and giving a presidency message, and heaven only knows where john should have been. but instead we were both in our pajamas, on our sofa, and in each other's arms.
then john and ruby opened up a spa. ruby called it the foot-spread spa. john called it spa r.a.d. {ruby asher dad}. they decided it would be open for business every sunday, and that i would be their one and only customer. mother's day was the grand opening. it was wonderful. they rubbed my feet and massaged my legs, and then {the best part} they warmed damp towels in the microwave, and wrapped them tightly around my legs. when a towel became cool, it was immediately replaced with a fresh, hot, steamy one.
john made me a delicious roast dinner {so tender, juicy, and full of flavor) with carrots and potatoes, and homemade pizzookies for dessert.
that evening i rolled around on the ground with my children, and we laughed as we wrestled and played. and then i thought to myself, this is really what it's all about. it doesn't get much better than this, does it?

i suppose i would never have come to that realization...had it not been for the day's challenges, struggles, and tears.

for how can one truly understand pleasure without ever knowing pain? or good health having never been sick? or appreciate the sunshine if never a gloomy cloud had hovered overhead?

i love something jeffrey r. holland said:

a life without problems or limitations or challenges - life without "opposition in all things, " as lehi phrased it (2 nephi 2:11) - would paradoxically but in very fact be less rewarding and less ennobling than one which confronts - even frequently confronts - difficulty and disappointment and sorrow.

so that's where my title the good and the bad comes into play...and the ugly part? well, i just threw that in there for fun. it represents my ugly cry...and my ugly tear-streaked face that so many unfortunate souls had to witness on sunday. sorry everyone, but i can't promise you'll never see it again. i have a feeling this is going to be a long {hard but wonderful} couple of years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

simple pleasures

look at these great headpieces the children fashioned from random items lying around the house.
who would have ever imagined that the packaging from my anniversary gift would make such a stellar hat?...one asher would parade around in for the better part of the day.
and with just a headband and a couple of pipe cleaners, ruby's hand-crafted bunny ears provided her hours of entertainment.

i love how children can find pleasure in some of life's simplest...
and {seemingly} most uninteresting things.


our family home evening lesson last night was on tithing.
ruby had earned a dollar {by reciting her rap} from her cousins, karen and morgan.
besides a random nickel or dime here and there, it's the first real money she's ever earned.
we figured it was time to teach her what the Lord expected her to do with it {or at least with part of it}.
we explained to the children that the law of tithing requires that we give 10% of our increase to the Lord.
this money goes towards building new churches and temples, and lesson manuals, and teaching supplies, and so forth.
ruby was pretty impressed, and excited to be able to start making her own monetary contributions towards building the Lord's kingdom.
asher wasn't too interested in the topic at all.
in fact, after throwing a toy train at my knee cap, and then standing up and hitting his father in the face, he was sent to bed.
it's a good thing he really loves his bed, because he sure spends a lot of time in it.

we used various methods in helping ruby understand that 10% is 1/10th.
it's difficult getting a 4 year old to grasp that.
i think the m&m method proved to be her favorite, especially because she got to use them to garnish her ice cream sundae for dessert.
she filled out her very own tithing slip and then put her coins inside of an envelope.
she expressed her excitement at being able to hand her tithing to the bishop on sunday.
john explained to her that the law of tithing is something she can be abolutely perfect at throughout her life.
because she is human like the rest of us, some of the other commandments will be harder to follow with exactness, and she will end up making some mistakes.

yeah, she said, like when we sit on a chair backwards, that's a huge mistake.

oh ruby, you are too dang cute and innocent.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

we miss her

i won't go into too much detail {at least not today} about how my mother's day expectations were vanquished by a certain, nameless, two-year-old.

i will, however, leave you with this photo.
ruby admires the grandmother she never got to meet, and asks me if i miss her.
of course i do, ruby.
every. single. day.
she's my mom.
wouldn't you miss me if i passed away?

yes she said, i would, and i miss her too, because she's my grandma.

happy mother's day, mom.
we {both} miss you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

ruby's mother

i was invited to attend ruby's spring program this week.
as i sat in the crowd and watched my little preschooler perform,
i felt honored and proud.
honored to be a mother...
proud to be ruby's mother.

i cried, too, as i sat there and watched.
i cried because the program touched my heart.
i cried as i imagined the many hours that went into it.
i cried because the children were so sweet.
i cried because this school year's coming to an end.

i cried because i'm a mother.
i cried because i'm ruby's mother.

no she didn't rap it, but she did a great job.

in the program, the children honored mothers for all the different hats that we wear.
besides the referee mother, there was a chauffeur, a chef, a gardener, a maid, a detective, a nurse, a wonder-woman, a combat mother, and an angel mother.

all the songs were so tender and sweet.
i was so proud of the children for being able to learn them so quickly.
miss arlene should be the primary chorister in her ward {if she isn't already}.

speaking of miss arlene, ruby absolutely adores her.
she really is wonderful.
i owe her so much for not only teaching ruby,
but for loving her,
for taking a special interest in her,
and for helping her thrive and succeed in her program.

each child made their mother a special {and very, very heavy} gift.
ruby didn't want me to wait until mother's day to open mine.
she forced me into opening it the minute we walked through the front door.
{alright, i'll admit, i protested very little (ok, not at all). i was way too anxious to discover what could possibly weigh so much}.

it had never occurred to me...
a garden stone.
how clever.

i love it, and will cherish it always.
it's a special reminder to me that ruby is my daughter...

and that i am her mother.

diapers galore

asher had a stinky diaper this morning,
so i asked him to go and grab a clean diaper, the wipes, and a plastic bag to dispose of the dirty diaper.
he ran off to his bedroom in pursuit of the supplies, and came back with all of this.

he must have really wanted that poop off of his buns.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

perfect love

i remember when my mom and dad celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.
i was six years old.
my dad gave my mom 7 roses and a music box that played somewhere in time.
it was my mom's favorite movie because it was so romantic.
on the flower enclosure card, there was a poem that my dad had written just for her.
i wish i could remember that poem.
after the roses had become brittle and withered away, my mom placed the small 3"x2" card inside the music box.
and there it remained for years.
i would often open the music box and read the poem and dream about finding a love just as perfect as theirs.

now, 28 years later, i celebrate my own perfect love.
today marks the seventh anniversary of the day i married my best friend and sweetheart.
the happiest day of my life.
the best decision i ever made.

this morning as we lay snuggled tightly in each others arms,
john asked if i wanted to know his five favorite things about me.

of course, who wouldn't!?

1) you're just as beautiful now as the day i first laid eyes on you. awww.
2) you're the best mother in the whole world. awww.
3) you're the best wife in the whole world. awww.
4) you have the strongest testimony of anyone i know. awww.
5) i have the most fun laughing with you than with anybody else. awww.

now we all know that these things are far from the truth.
i am not the perfect wife, mother, etc. that he made me out to be.
but you know what?
i truly believe that john was sincere when he shared his sentiments. i know that they came from his heart.
he makes me feel like, although i am not perfect, i am the perfect one for him.
and i couldn't love him more for that.

i didn't want to let the moment pass without sharing my five favorite things about him.

1) i LOVE your smile. it's the first thing i noticed about you the day that we met. and just on sunday as you were up on the stand conducting for the very first time, i saw it again. you have a contagious smile.
2) you are so patient and understanding. i know that i fall short in so many areas, but you have never been critical of me, in fact you have only ever praised me, lifted me up, and encouraged me.
3) you are the best father. our children absolutely ADORE you. the highlight of their day is when you walk in the door from work. this is something that appealed to me before we even started dating. that day your family came into nordstrom to visit you while you were working, your nieces and nephews just flocked to you. i knew in that precise moment, that you were going to be an amazing father.
4) i love the way you serve with your heart. in every capacity. love is your driving force. you are completely without guile and totally sincere. you do everything you do, because of love.

5) and you're as handsome as all get out.

and then we got to talking all about our wedding day. he told me that he was terrified i wasn't going to show up.
funny, i thought.
i never questioned whether or not he'd show up,
my fear was that he'd walk out before it was all legal and binding,
and leave me all alone at the alter.

i think we're both pretty grateful for that beautiful may 4th day of 2004,
and that we both decided to take a chance on each other...
on love.

it's been exquisite and lovely. even through the pain and tears. especially through the pain and tears.

happpy seventh, my perfect love.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a tale of the 3'2" bandit

one upon a time there was a sly little boy named asher.
he had quite a talent for sneaking into things and making off with stuff {many times from hard to reach places} without his mother's knowledge.
and then he would run and hide and enjoy, in secret, whatever it was he had taken.
sometimes it was food from the cupboards.
sometimes it was lipstick from his mommy's purse, or gum from his daddy's valet.
on more than one occasion it was a knife from the kitchen.
many times it was something belonging to his sister.
more often than not, it was something held in high regard, or something very dangerous.
this clever little boy had many hiding places.
his favorite, being underneath the table in his playroom.
his mother would find him in all sorts of spots though, sometimes crouched beneath the kitchen table, other times wrapped up inside a blanket.
asher figured that if he couldn't see his mother, then naturally, she wouldn't be able to see him either.
one day his mother noticed that the hidden bag of easter candy had gone missing.
having a pretty good idea that her little asher was the culprit, she set out to find him.
she didn't have much luck as she checked his usual hiding spots,
but then she heard a crinkle and a crackle coming from her bedroom.
she was very familiar with that sound, and immediately knew that her sneaky little asher was unwrapping some candy.
asher, where are you? she called out, as she headed down the hallway and into her bedroom.
she stopped just in time to hear two little feet scurrying hastily away from her.
she followed the sound around the corner and into the master bathroom,
where she found this...

she continued calling out,
asher, where are you?
she ran to get her camera, but still continued calling his name.
ruby, do you know where asher is?
silently, she motioned for ruby to follow her back into the bathroom.
they did their best to suppress their laughter, but it wasn't easy.
seeing the boy wrapped up in a shower curtain, with his two little feet poking out the bottom, was beyond humorous.
asher's mother and sister stood in the bathroom and resumed discussing his whereabouts.
meanwhile asher was motionless;
and aside from the occasional crinkle and crackle of candy wrappers which could be heard from inside the rolled shower curtain, he was silent.
mother told ruby to take a look inside the curtain to see if by chance asher might be hiding there. asher's two feet began to shuffle.
it was evident: he knew he was about to be discovered.
aha! his sister shouted, as she pulled away the first layer of curtain.

knowing that he was just moments from apprehension, he clung to that shower curtain as if his very life depended on it.

the only thing separating ruby and her mother from the 3'2" bandit,
was a piece of water resistant cloth;
and as ruby grabbed a hold of it, then briskly and fearlessly yanked it away,
a bewailing howl, a lamentation like nothing they had ever heard,
pierced them {and their eardrums} to the very core.
and there he stood {nothing like being caught red-handed} holding a bag of easter candy behind his back...
while his mother and sister laughed and laughed.

asher then dropped the bag of candy, and being the tender sweetheart that he is, he fell into the arms of his sister {who just moments prior had been laughing and mocking him} seeking solace and consolation.

and they got along happily ever after {or at least for the next hour or two}.

the end.

Monday, May 2, 2011

easter overload

i don't think i'll go into too much detail about easter this year.
the very thought is daunting and overwhelming.
i think the pictures are evidence enough that the day was wonderful.
there's nothing better than perfect spring weather, and enjoying a nice sunday afternoon with family.
wouldn't you agree?

the easter bunny sent the kids on a treasure hunt for their baskets. they had a wonderful time following their clues,
and we were so proud of ruby who read each clue all by herself.

9:00 church is difficult to get to, even when it's not easter...but it's almost impossible on easter morning.
we may have to check with the easter bunny and see if he wouldn't mind coming on saturday morning in the future.
i didn't even have time to trim my bangs, for crying out loud...it appears that i have a medium sized animal resting atop my head.

we had fun planting wheat grass for family night a couple of weeks before easter. we were so glad that they turned out, and that we were able to bring them to lori's to use as centerpieces for the dinner tables.
i also made pastel colored cupcake bites to bring.
ruby helped me by placing the m&m on top of every last cupcake.

the annual easter egg hunt in the costello's front yard

asher adores his uncles and cousins.
and i think it's safe to conclude that they're pretty nutso about him too.

the many faces of asher had everybody rolling

the kids love grandma judy and grandpa jerry.
we're always so blessed to have grandma judy in town every easter.

cousins asher and roman {just one month apart} were so cute together during the egg hunt.
asher shared his jelly beans with roman, and roman couldn't stop hugging asher.
i hope they always remain close friends.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

camping and a girls' night

as you most likely gathered from the video, john and asher went camping this weekend.
friday night our ward held it's annual father's and son's campout.
john, as the previous elder's quorum president in our ward had always {for the 4 prior father's and son's campouts} been in charge of the planning, organizing, and execution of this event. obviously not singlehandedly, but still, it was a lot of work on his part...making it literally impossible to try and take our sweet, but very rambunctious, little asher along.
this is probably the first year he would have been old enough to attend anyway, and since john didn't have to be running around like a crazy person this time around, it made it even more enjoyable.
they both had a wonderful time, in fact, asher keeps asking when they can do it again;
and john particularly enjoyed the one on one time he was allowed with our sweet little boy.

meanwhile, ruby and i took advantage of our freedom, and went out on the town.
we got pedicures (ruby's very first) with ella and brooke,
and then hit up cafe mix where the girls each ordered a cheeseburger and brooke and i both ordered their delectable greek salad with chicken kabob.
the girls were so cute together and so fun to go out with. and of course, i loved spending time with my sweet sister-in-law as well.
brooke and ella dropped us off around 8:30, and ruby and i decided that since the night was still young, we should hit up a late night movie {which would put us getting home around midnight...and surprisingly enough, we walked in the front door exactly at the stroke of 12:00}.
we changed into some comfy clothes, picked up a bunch of movie candy, grabbed our harkin's movie cups, and headed out.
the movie we wanted to see was no longer playing for the evening, so we found something else - in retrospect probably not the best idea to take a 4 year old {turning 5 in a month. see i'm really trying to make myself feel better about all of this} to a movie about a girl whose arm gets nabbed by a shark.
swimming lessons this year, i fear, may be even more of a challenge than they have been.
ruby later asked me if there were shark's at big surf, and then didn't even want to go pick out an outfit in her bedroom for fear that a deadly shark might be lurking in the shadows and ready to strike at any moment.
seriously, what was i thinking?

the highlight of the night for me {that i got to relive over and over} was each time that ruby expressed her love and gratitude to me for being such a wonderful mom {her words, not mine}, and for doing all of this for her.
isn't it fun doing nice things for your children, especially when you know that they really and truly appreciate it?
makes me look forward, all the more, to our next girl's night on the town.

*from left to right, top to bottom:

ruby and i soaking our feet
ruby barley able to soak her feet and sit in the chair at the same time
ruby's feet getting prepped for polishing
another shot of ruby practically lying across the chair
the finished products
ruby being carried to the dryer (now that's true customer service)
the two of us at our late night movie
we got home super late
brooke and ella getting pampered