Friday, July 1, 2016

The Christmas Gift/The Turning Point

This morning I got thinking about my Harry Potter books. Not that Harry Potter belongs to me personally, but my own personal copies of Harry Potter. You get what I am saying here.
They are special to me. I don't even let my children read those copies, because they are loved and a little worn and loose in the spine. They were all gifts to me by my Double B. I'll tell you about my first two.

We have to go back to Christmas 2001.

I was dating a boy, a very cute, very nice boy that was really, really threatening every single one of my well laid plans. I had only graduated from high school seven months before, and I felt deeply... threatened that this boy had come into my life. I think I knew who he was. Which was; essentially, my plan destroyer.

I had enjoyed our casual dating since October, but by December, was in a full on panic. Because he wasn't going away. And he seemed to like me, like really like me, and essentially said "I'll wait." This did not happen. It was not supposed to happen. I did not, did not, did not know what to do about it. So I freaked out. I pushed on the brakes, hard. And here was this nice, lovely boy, going... "whaaaaat?"

The Double B likes to tell me, when he needs a little sympathy from me, that this was the worst month of his whole life. Courtesy of young Marie. But I was so scared.

I came home for Christmas break and he was there at my house. I essentially ignored him. I resented that he was there in my life to ruin all my well laid plans. I didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to do. My family was considering just throwing me off a cliff and keeping the Double B.

And then, Christmas morning. He'd put a gift for me under the tree. It was thick and heavy, and when I opened it, out fell two books. Not one, but two. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Gorgeous books. Pristine covers. Tight spines. Gorgeous. Perfect, perfect strategy. And I just felt... understood. My icy heart melted.

I asked my Mom if she thought he'd call. She said "I wouldn't, if I were him." I asked if she thought it would be too forward for me to call. She thought I should. I was pretty nervous. The phone rang a few times and then his sister Megan answered. I asked if he was there, and she hesitated then said that he was. When he said "hello?" on the the other end, I thanked him for the most perfect gift. He was happy. I was happy. The rest of the break was dreamy. I think the moment I unwrapped those books, something deep inside of me relaxed. I knew this was a man that would take care of my heart and care about the things that were important to me.

We grew into love and the rest is history. I guess I can thank Harry Potter. Thanks, Harry.

He bought me the third book on a date in Deseret Book. He knew I wanted it, and just... bought it for me. He gave me the fourth book on our wedding day. The fifth book came soon after. The sixth book he brought home to our lizard apartment when I was fifty months pregnant with KJ. He thought we should read it together, but I couldn't wait and consumed it myself. I was too pregnant to wait for anything! He gave me the seventh book with a request -- that we read this one together. We were up far into the night for several days, after we put the kids to bed, reading out loud to one another. It was about 2:30 in the morning and I sobbed as I read about Harry walking into the forest. The Double B said "Do you want me to take a turn?" I said "NO!"
They are special gifts, and they are special to me. They look beautiful in their special place on the book shelf.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cousin Extravaganza

My two nieces were orphaned by girls camp this year, and we got to have them come and spend the week with us. It was a truly fabulous event. 
It included many adventures, lots of store visiting, even more swimming. 
Including some seriously epic swim moves (Addie's face. I just laughed and laughed and laughed!).
We also introduced them to Happy Hour at Sonic, and most importantly, to the wonders of Krispy Kreme donuts. So I guess we're awesome! 
This picture wins serious awards. KJ sat down and broke the cot just as I pushed the click button -- and I got this masterpiece! Easy fix, brilliance forever. 
A few movies were consumed, but mostly it was just hours and hours and hours of peaceful, blissful togetherness. 
My children lived the dream for a few glorious days. I love these sweet girls that help make my life so rich! Hoping a yearly tradition of cousin visits has begun. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Wednesday was our 14th Anniversary. Which is crazy on the one hand, but makes total sense on the other. Because time flies, but we have become such a unit -- and only many years could create that.  
We went to lunch and as we were filling the car with gas we were talking about the scandalous names of some landmarks and the Double B said something along the lines of "well, the tragedy is that women have always been treated as second class citizens, and..." I had to interrupt right then and there to tell him that was the sexiest thing he'd ever said! My husband, vocalizing his inner feminist. Rawr. 
Later we went wild and drove down to The Forum in Ceasars Palace to walk around, eat some yummy Gelato, and have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a great day. 
I really, really love the Double B. It has been a precious thing to be in a partnership with such a good man. It seems like after the ten year mark our bond has just deepened and gotten richer. I can't wait to see how our love for each other grows as the years go by. It really does become something beautiful. I am so lucky to have a companion as committed to the team as The Double B. We are in this together. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing. I love him with all my heart. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cutie Pie

Let's all just agree that Benson is really reaching his cuteness potential lately. 
Though naughty (and thinks being naughty is hilarious), he is so darn cute you just have to cuddle him close. This boy of mine! 
Here are a few recent cutie moments:
He often has to wake up from his nap for church, which is sad. But he loves nursery with a purple passion, so I think he believes it is worth it. He was so sleepy Sunday and did not want his tie on. When KJ picked him up from nursery, he was wearing the offending tie backwards. Benson for the win! 
I bought some new lotion and the kids think it is amazing and go around giving each other foot rubs. Benson wanted in on the action, and thought it was hilarious. Pretty much everything is hilarious to Benson. He's a jolly little fellow. 
Getting some cozy post-bath pre-bed snuggles from his favorite friend. They were watching Bob Ross in "The Joy of Painting." Really. 
Love this "Babyzilla," as Liv calls him. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

15 Year Reunion

On June 18th we had my 15 year high school reunion. I had such an amazing experience at Tuacahn! And at 18 thought I would make completely different decisions with my life then I have, so I was a little nervous. 
I didn't need to be. 
It was such an amazing, restorative day. 
This is a group of us in front of the original "ghetto bus."
I felt like MYSELF again. And it was a really great feeling. 
My brother Matt photo-bombing my bestie, Janel. He's so funny. 
I saw many very loved faces -- clockwise Janel, Angie, my co-president of the drama club Ryan, and Arwen, to name a few. 
I even climbed up on the Hafen stage again to perform a monologue from The Foreigner. I have been really worried that I had lost the ability to act. But up there, it was a little rusty --but it was like putting on a pair of old shoes. They still fit, and that was such a tremendous relief(!) and filled me with joy. I remembered WHY I love to act so much -- it is a very freeing thing to me. Plus, a very cheap form of therapy. What really amazed me is when I performed as Catherine, the tears just came. I had always struggled to get tears, but there they were -- very powerful tears that just poured. It was pretty amazing to me. So freeing.
Here is some of our lunch group, re-claiming our corner of the hallway. 
It was really a great, nostalgic, happy day. I loved every second. The people there have a huge assortment of beliefs and lifestyles, and yet we all love each other so much. It was like we were just together last month. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer So Far

These two enjoy their morning shakes together. This, summer can not change. If anything, it has only added additional leisure to their special shake time. And if they sneak some chocolate contraband, who's to know? They leave NO evidence. 
Seriously, though, these two besties. Making their own special noise in the Sonic Happy Hour drive through line. They find themselves hilarious. 
Luxurious cuddles with Daddy.
Until he hears the click of the camera. Then it's all over. 
Bubba is gone to Scout Camp in California all week long. We miss him a ridiculous amount. And hope he is not too homesick. He was pretty nervous! Fly, little eagle! But really. We miss him. 
"Look, Mom! We're twins! Please send this picture to Daddy."
Sunday dinner. Suspicious/cool look and Baby GQ look. He is the funniest kid in the known universe. 
Benny has really, really wanted Momma the last couple of days and doesn't think I should do anything but snuggle him. Luckily, he has sister to rock him and sing to him when Momma betrays him by sweeping the floor. Even if he's half her size. Sad face, then happy face when he realized I was sneaking a picture. Liv always saves the day. 
Greatest picture of all time? 
Errands to stores give us something to do. The best ones are when we go to places like Lowes  (like we did today), because then we get paint samples! Everyone knows paint samples are the best thing this cold world has to offer. 
Headed up tomorrow to spend a few days with Grandma and Grandpa. So far summer is off to a solid start! 

Mount Charleston

We went on an adventure up into the mountains surrounding Las Vegas -- to Mount Charleston. It was so fun. And only 80 degrees, when the city was 110! Pretty great. Only took about half an hour to get there and was such an enjoyable drive. We put on One Direction and all sang our hearts out all the way up. 
The visitors center was cool. When we visited the restroom the toilet flushing scared the heck out of poor Benson. I felt bad, but it also made me laugh. Because I'm diabolical. 
The trails we followed were pretty negotiable with a stroller and I was especially proud of Katelyn, who trekked all over and didn't fizzle out until the final climb out. Then I did some old Hurricane High School cheers and she zipped right up and out! I was impressed (and may have a new secret weapon)!
We'd packed a picnic and found a lovely shaded bench with a nice cool breeze so we could eat. We played "Would You Rather." It was hilarious to hear their answers: Olivia would negotiate her way into keeping both options, KJ felt like he was personally betraying one option if he chose the other, and Katelyn's answer to every question was "Both!" Then we played Truth Or Dare, which is so funny with my children. My favorite moment was when Olivia decided to dare herself. "I dare myself to go down to that bridge and dance like wild, right where everyone can see me!" So that's what she did. I was so charmed. 
Benson fell asleep in pure exhaustion on the way home. It sure was fun!