Goldielox Pettiskirts

This is what my girls are getting for Christmas this year. Adorable right? These skirts are called pettiskirts, and my sister-in-law makes them with her own two talented hands. Some of these skirts go for $90 on the Internet, but Andrea sells them for quite a bit less. They are made out of a super soft material that is like tulle but not hard and scratchy like TuTu's are. My niece Mary got a brand new cotton candy pink pettiskirt and walks around twirling and dancing like a princess. Check out Andrea's blog; you are going to want one. If your girls are all grown up, or you only have boys, don't worry Andrea told me she could make an adult size pettiskirt. I keep teasing Brett that I am going to get one for myself and wear it to his up-coming school dance, which Dean and I are chaperoning. Poor kid can't eat or sleep now.


Egg Nog

This picture is of River when she was just two.
When she was sweet and innocent.
When all she cared about on Christmas morning was the candy in her Stocking
and the love of her teddy bear.
Last night while she was making out her Christmas list for the tenth time,
she asked...

"Mom, how do you spell... dear Santa, I want everything you have" ?

What a difference three years can make.

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year, whatever season of life you may be in.
Here is a delish recipe for good Egg Nog without the egg. (raw eggs gross me out)

(I double the recipe)

1 cup cream
1 pkg. 3 1/2 oz. French vanilla pudding
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together well. Chill and serve.



Christmas Past

Every Christmas is the same at the Dean Roberts home.

shop, shop, shop,
run, run, run,
spend, spend, spend
wrap, wrap, wrap,

Then I wake up Christmas morning exhausted and grumpy.
However Christmas morning is certainly glorious
and usually overflowing with stuff.
We unwrap like crazy...


and then ... There is a big let down for me.

I don't know why...actually I do.
I feel my kids are missing out on really participating
in the "giving" part of Christmas.
I know I have said this before,
but we tell our kids that Christmas is more about "giving" than "getting"
then we go about asking them everyday "what are you going to get for Christmas?"
As if that is all that should matter to a kid.
I am determined, no resolute that this year will be different.
I don't know how yet.
Don't get me wrong, we have some great family traditions,
and yes; my kiddies will be receiving Christmas presents this year
probably lots of them, I just want to try something different.
Any suggestions? Let me know what works for you.
I have a few ideas, and I will keep you posted.
One year on Christmas Eve we had a traditional feast on our living room floor
complete with un-leven bread, olives, cheese, grape juice, fruit etc.
and we read the "Christmas Story."
Maybe I will try that again this year.


Ahhh..fer cute!

I'm sure you can guess
who this chubby,
happy little girl is.
Dean was acting funny on the morning of my birthday...
He was rummaging through my cedar chest,
and then he walked backwards out of the room.
Later, he asked me for the password to my blog.
Dean found this picture of me and took it to work with him,
scanned it, and intended to post something really sweet
and sentimental on our blog about me, the birthday girl.
Key word here..“intended”… It is now the 21st of November.
I’ve decided to post this picture myself,
and give Dean all the credit in the world
for being such a thoughtful husband.
After all; one cannot expect too much.
“It’s the thought that counts.” seems to be our family motto.


Awesome video

I originally saw this video on the Neves Horses blog.
I get chills whenever I see it.
My brother wrote..."I came upon this video on youtube.
It's an amazing horse; I think any good horseman can appreciate."

Have you ever had a Sheriff show up at your house, draw his gun and then take a k-9 unit through your house sniffing out an armed robber

no?... well, I have!

Monday, I was out shopping when I got an urgent call
from our neighbor saying...
"Someone has just broken into your house and robbed you,
but do not worry; we already called the Sheriff,
and a K-9 unit is on its way."

Apparently, she was walking by our house when she noticed
that our back door was wide open.
So, knowing that we were out, she went to shut the door for us.
That's when she noticed that the lock on the back
door had been broken into.

Actually, it only looks like that because Dean practically
ripped the doorknob off while trying to replace it,
and has never put the new one on.

Panicking, our sweet neighbors called the Sheriff,
who then sent for the k-9 unit,
which ended up searching
(with guns drawn)
every inch of our home calling out the bad guys.
(All while the kids and I were browsing in Target.)

Imagine my embarrassment (actually I made Dean do it)
having to tell the Sheriff, that there is no emergency,
just our irresponsibility.

Saying Ah well, makes everything all better....so, Ah Well.

By the way...
I'm sure you know that Mervyn's is going out of business.
Liquidation! Sale! Everything Must Go!...right?
Don't waste your time.
40% off a kids hoodie originally priced at $45 isn't a great deal.
Also, all sales are final.
A good sale at JCPenny or Macy's beats anything at Mervyns right now.

Ah Well.


No Regrets

Quincy is five months old tomorrow.
Is it possible?
Can't I just freeze time,
and not allow her to grow up one more minute.
I'm sure you feel the same way about your own kids.
Trying to appreciate and enjoy my children
through the frustrations and demands of motherhood
is something I struggle to balance every day.
The following excerpt is from this talk
given by Elder M. Russell Ballard that I found on the
I printed this quote and put it by my bed to remind me of what is important.
But Alas, here I am blogging instead of mothering. I am so weak...

"Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said:
“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . .
I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of my three children sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day,
ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about,
and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.
I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed.
I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”
Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).


Re-Posting Washington DC

Between the Congress bailout reports,
and the political races Obama vs. McCain
I've become a news junkie.
I scan all the news channels trying to get a glimpse of my
favorite places in Washington DC.
The same places that just a few months ago
Dean and I were hanging out around.

The other night on TV, Andrea Mitchell
was reporting live in front of the Capital Building;
standing in the very spot that Dean and I had stopped
for lunch while we were there.
For some reason I think that’s cool…
I’m weird like that.

I could go on and on about the beauty of Washington,
the “backstage pass” treatment we got from Josh, Will & Kim
and the generous hosting abilities of Amie & Gracie…
I’ll spare you though.

But I have decided to re-post some pictures from our trip.
Keep in mind, I was seven months PREGNANT!

One particular memory stands out…
It was our first day in Washington…within the first few hours.
We were at the Air & Space Museum,
which was hosting a display of American History artifacts.
Dean and I were walking around looking at “Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers”
and the “Lone Ranger’s Mask” when all of a sudden,
there it was…no big deal…We came upon “Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat”-
the original- We both looked at it for a while, not saying anything.

Then it hit us.

I was so overcome by this simple, tattered item.
I felt like I was in the presence of something sacred.
I will never forget that feeling of gratitude mixed with patriotism.

We hope to one-day take the kids back with us,
and hope they would be old enough to feel some of the same feelings.


Ready or Not

I was assigned by my friend Randi to post
the 4th picture in my 4th file.
So in my unorganized files...
this picture here is what resulted.
If I remember right,
it snowed last year on the deer hunt.
It has been so nice and warm lately,
I almost forgot about the snow.
Thanks Randi.
Today I am trying to get the smell of
deer hunt out of everything!
How lucky could a girl get...
"You mean I get to un-pack from the
deer hunt all by myself, all day today?
I need a distraction...you too?
Go to Brooke's blog to see a movie that
Brett and his cousins made. "How To Be Jock"
It's definitely blackmail material!


I'm Flattered!

My sister-in-law Leisa, mentioned that she like the soup that
I made for Wades’ baptism,
and that I should put the recipe on our blog.
She liked it...she really like it!
It wasn’t even my best batch.
But thanks -
So here it is.

Tortilla soup:
Melt ½ stick of butter in large pan.
Add ½ cup of flour to make a paste.
Add two cans of chicken broth.
Add one large can of red enchilada sauce.
Add one can of diced green chilies (optional)
Add two large cans of diced tomatoes.
Add two cups of water.

(simmer uncovered for a half a hour.)

Then add four cups of cooked cubed chicken.
One or two cans of small black beans.
Two cans of *white Niblet corn.

Garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and tortilla chips.




is our first born (Oct. 11th 1995)
was 7 lbs. 11 oz. when he was born (and had a little colic)
is a people pleaser...(good and bad thing)
has never had swimming lessons, but swims like a fish.
wants…needs (he thinks)…his own cell phone
looks like Dean did when he was younger
hates spaghetti, loves casseroles
shoved his front tooth into his gums when he was one
is left handed
is pursuing straight A’s
has lots of “crushes” but no “girlfriend”
sleeps so heavy, no alarm yet can wake him up
is great with kids…especially babies
can be very mischievous (reminds me of Uncle Josh)
won the Kiwanis Club “Terrific Kid” award in fifth grade
likes to know in the morning what we are having for dinner that night
is a good conversationalist
has a great laugh
broke his collar bone when he jumped off the stairs to me,
and I forgot to catch him.


Gosh, they grow up fast!


October 4th

Eleven years ago on a rainy Saturday morning,
Dean and I left our Spanish Fork home heading towards the hospital in Payson.
It was around 9:30 a.m. I had been up since 4:00 a.m. with contractions;
I can't remember how far apart they were, or how long they were lasting...
I just remember not being able to stand it any longer.
As we pulled onto 8th North we met Brooke in the middle of the road.
She was coming to watch Jared play football.
Dean rolled down his window so Brooke and I could talk.
Neither of us could say a word to eachother.
We just looked at eachother and cried tears of excitement and fear;
tears exchanged only between sisters.
Brooke mouthed "I love you Hil" as we drove away.
An hour and a half later, a nurse placed a sweet little baby girl in my arms.
The baby's name was Lauren Kate.


Say "Cheese"!

Well here is the big reveal......
New Family Pictures - courtesy of Jared Neves
I love them!

I want to incorporate a bunch of the pictures into my blog,
so this is just a sneak peek. THANKS Again JARED!



I can finally sleep at night... What was on my mind you ask? Well, our family
was asked to sing in church last Sunday...all eight of us.
Not a big deal I know, but we aren’t what you would call
musically inclined...(I am just speaking for myself.)
But we did it.
We pulled it off.
I kept thinking back on the Severe debacle,
and hoping not to do the same. I did get a bit choked up like
Brooke did during the song, which was "I'll walk with you"
I was going for "endearing", and from the comments of the ward members
afterwards which were "bless your hearts.." yeah, I think we did it.

Here is a good old Tuesday laugh for ya. This picture of MOSH-PIT GIRL
makes me laugh everytime I see it. I hear Mosh-Pit Girl has a cult following
on-line among photo-shop people..

P.S. another big WHEW, yesterday we got our family pictures taken.
Jared and Amber were most accommodating. I can't wait to show the pictures
to you...stay tuned..Jared did a GREAT job!



Yeah right!..I wish things were ho-hum...We have now entered
the twilight zone also known as..The Fall. Wade's birthday
was this week, Lauren's is next week, Brett's is the week after,
and River's three weeks after that (no family planning, I know.)
Also, I usually volunteer for some crazy PTA gig this time of
year, every year. Not to mention other family birthdays, football,
church callings, Halloween, etc. I've neglected my blog, my kids,
my laundry,...We are busy...obviously...who isn't. Wade had a great day turning eight. The hit of the party was the last minute "money tree."
My mom made Brooke a money tree years ago, and I always wanted one.
Wade is a money squirrel he has money stashes all around the house.
He knows how much he has to the penny at any given moment.
He was in Heaven.


A Weekend With Wade

My Wadie Golden is turning EIGHT on Monday.
This weekend is all about Wade;
and since I'm not the video guru like Brooke,
a few pictures will have to do.
Wade sure is a handsome little devil, don't you think? Wade is fielding offers of arranged
marriage proposals already.
If there is any goofing around to be done, Wade will be doing it. And just when we are
trying to be real serious in Family Home Evening, guess who cracks a
joke that makes us all laugh? it's hard to get any respect after that.
This is Wade after a few days with the flu. Wade is the best sick kid...he never complains,
he takes care of himself, sleeps like an angel, always makes it to the toilet,
never asks for anything more than water...
so unlike the rest of the family.



I know this has been so overdone,
but I had to write this if only for my own self respect...
So here ya go;

Two bushels of garden grown tomatoes.............free

Eight cans of tomato paste.......................65 cents per can

Peppers, various spices and olive oil.................probably $4.00 worth

Picking, washing, cutting,
juicing, juicing and more juicing,
cooking, stirring, simmering,
bottling, and pressure cooking
eighteen quarts of spaghetti sauce,
all the while realizing that I could simply
go to Maceys and buy a bottle of spaghetti sauce
for just under two dollars -
but gaining a huge sense of accomplishment,
loving the way the pretty red jars line up in my pantry
and all the tomatoey goodness
to last us through the winter..?................priceless.


Sharing the love

Just in case you are feeling a bit baby hungry;
This may help tide you over,...

Or it just might make things worse...


seven years ago

Remembering September 11th 2001

9-11-01 / 8: 15 am - It was a beautiful morning, I had just served
Brett breakfast, getting him ready to catch the bus to go to Kindergarten.
Baby Wade had fallen back to sleep in my bed after I nursed him.
Lauren was still asleep in her bottom bunk, and Dean had already left
for work at Seven Trees. The house was quiet,
I made myself some toast and then walked into the living room,
sat down on the couch and turned on the TV ....

Where were you that day?


A Good Day To Be A Woman

VP Nominee Sarah Palin makes me hopeful for the future;
and I don't know....I just like her.
(I hope she's the real deal.)


Hello, Goodbye

Last Saturday, I was watching from my kitchen
window as a crazy hailstorm drenched our front yard.
I said out loud “hey, that’s not fair” (then River reminded
me that we are not allowed to say that in our family…)
"Ok," I told her, but it really isn’t fair that our summer is
over so quick. I felt cheated a little.
Remember my “Summer To Do List” a couple months back? ...ha!
However idealistic my "To Do" list was, we actually really
did do a lot over the last few months.
Here are some of my favorite snapshots of the summer.


Football season is here!

Guess who just took down the biggest guy on the team?

This kid…

Brett’s coach was so impressed he was like...

“Nice job Roberts; next time though try to tackle the
guys on the other team, not ours.”


It's happened!

I’ve turned into my Mom.
Not only in her creativity, good looks, wit and charm…
I’ve had that all along...

but recently though I’ve noticed I do all the annoying things to my kids that she did to me as a kid…
For example, I hated it when my mom would come in my room singing all bright and chipper on the first day of school...
“school days, school days, good a golden rule days…”

Guess what I do compulsively now on the first day of school.

And the other day at a store I found myself talking to the store manager about a snooty clerk giving me attitude. Brett stopped breathing, he was so embarrassed.

Yep, I hated when my mom did that to!

In old pictures my mom is always photographed holding babies and
forcing their heads down on her shoulder.

Look what I just found...

And Mom, remember when you used to say to me;
”I wish that when you become a Mom; your kids will make messes in your house
and not clean them up”…

I actually said those exact words to River the other day.

Well, I hope you are happy Mom, and yes..your wish did come true.

pregnant and politics

"I'm so sorry Senator Clinton,..
looks like Obama won the nomination..."

"(cackle) Oh no, please just call me Hil

"yeah tough break..um ..Hil"

"(cackle)keep your chin up kid;
us "Hil's" got to stick together
besides there's always 2012.



All Alone...Almost

Brett left for school this morning at 7:30 - Lauren and Wade left a little after 8:00. River and Kal went "school shopping" with my Mom, and so if you are counting, that just leaves Quincy. Not since those first days in the hospital have I been alone with just my little two-month-old baby. So after I fed the little party animal, she smiled then fell asleep and I ended up outside, watering the flowers, and then I beat myself in a game of tetherball and did some laundry. A quiet house all to myself and that is the best I could come up with…. Pathetic.
This is another favorite movie of mine. I cry several times during the show no matter where I am or what I'm doing. Simple little movie, but good.

My Dog Skip - The Last Scene


What is your favorite movie? I've narrowed mine down a bit. This movie is definitely in my top ten. I love the music, this scene, and also the ending… shumani tutanka owashi!


Good "Clean" Fun

Cleaning tip:
(I actually do this)

One of my biggest pet peeves is a sticky floor.
So, when my kitchen floor needs a good cleaning..(daily)..
I get all the kids together, pour a bucket or two of hot soapy water on the linoleum, give the kids rags and let em go to it. They slip and slide all over, have a great old time, till every inch of the floor is washed. Then I wipe them off with towels, soak up all the water with the towels - and then throw them in the washer..(towels not kids). Obviously it wouldn't work with hardwood floors, but the results are great and I can't remember the last time I was on my hands and knees with the mop bucket.



Dean turned thirty-six yesterday, and I was just thinking today how fond I am of him. However, there are those times when I am so steaming mad at him that I can’t see straight, and I feel like running away, and never talking to him again…(too much?)… well, at those times I am brought back to his open, good arms by remembering these things that I love about him.

I love it when Dean…

Picks up a shovel and goes to work. Dean can do more with a shovel in one hour than I can do all day.

Wrestles with the kids. I try to hide my amusement as the kids get hurt over and over but yet they still go back in for more.

Comes to the hospital the day I am ready to go home after our babies are born. Sometimes he brings me flowers, or treats, but he always dresses up real nice for me.

Goes on and on about my cooking.

Talks philosophical with our kids. Dean never misses the chance to lecture/explain/enlighten even the smallest of minds.

Works on our cars or his motorcycle or the tractor. Dean is so mechanically inclined, it’s scary.

So, here’s to another year me trying to appreciate you more. Happy Birthday Dean!


High Uintas

It’s been years since I’ve been camping in the Uintas. What once was a constant in my childhood has become a rare event in my adult years. So, how lucky we were to be able to spend some time there this past week. The bumpy roads, four hour long drive, dirty children, allergies, sleepless nights, and fear of bears were all well worth it. We sure missed Dean...and I think he missed us. The last three days Brett joined my brothers, Amber and Loxy for an additional ten-mile horse ride into the interior. My heart will always lie deep in the Uinta Mountains.

Uintas '08



Sorry Josh,
I am about to divulge our families best kept secret….”THE HABITAT”…
This little slice of heaven was discovered by Josh several years ago, and is now the favorite gathering place for the Neves’ Severes’ and Roberts’ on hot July days. This place is just too beautiful to keep under wraps. Our kids swim in the river, float down the “rapids” and jump off the big rocks, and the adults usually just try to make sure no one drowns. Mention of a few water variety snakes and other such creepy crawlies in the water will keep most of you away. However, for those of you still intrigued by this awesome swimming hole, I could be persuaded to let you in on our secret. For the right price, of course…


Roberts Fest '08

We came, We raced, We played, We teased, We ate, We reminisced, We caught up, We laughed, We cried, We remembered, We talked, We listened, We left... Mission Accomplished!

Roberts Reunion


Quincy’s Big Day

On Sunday, July 6th we gave our little girl a name and a blessing… and a party.
My Mom and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning sewing the final touches on Quincy's dress. It was well worth it, the dress was simply beautiful. The day was perfect, just a little slice of Heaven with both our families.
Thanks to everyone for coming. We love you all.

Not the Baby Anymore

How is Kal adjusting to the new baby you ask? Just peaches...
Kal simply adores Quincy...it's me he is resentful of.


Top 25

Here it is.
I've tweaked, modified, and started my summer to do list.

Hey, why don’t you join us, it’ll be great!
(no particular order)

1- Go for a horse ride with Dean
2- Pull off a successful Roberts family reunion
3- Hike the “Y” with the kids
4- Get a tan
5- Go Geocaching (any advice?)
6- Read The Great Brain out loud to the kids.
7- Attend the Castle Valley Pageant
8- Hike up to “Sliding Rock” in Alpine
9- Seven Peaks
10- Teach the kids to work
11- Watch a drive in movie with the family (Redwood Road in SLC)
12- Refinish my kitchen cabinets
13- Go swimming at the “habitat” in Sp. Fork Canyon
14- “Rough it” in the great outdoors
15- Watch a parade
16- Teach the kids how to cook
17- Go for a bike ride
18- Bless our new baby
19- Take the kids to the BYU museum
20- Control the weeds
21- Watch an Owlz baseball game
22- Organize my pictures
23- Start something new, like working from home
24- Attend one or two classes at Education Week
25- See a play

More to come…


And Baby Makes Eight!

Dear Family and Friends;

Life is pretty “sweet” right now. Our new baby girl has changed the family dynamics already in just the few days she has been on this earth. It’s as if she has been a part of us all along. I’ve added a few more particulars of the last couple of days, so if you would like to indulge me while I give a few more details, well, read on.

Doctor Takasaki said he was leaving for the weekend, giving me the only option of being started on Wednesday night. I was disappointed, and had to let go of my romantic notion of starting into labor on my own, waking Dean in the middle of the night and rushing to the hospital with excitement. In the end, I realize it was actually a blessing to not have started into labor at home, on my own. The doctor said I would’ve likely had the baby at home or in the car on the way to the hospital.

Wednesday night, the 4th I said a tearful goodbye to the kids and we dropped them off at Grandma Roberts. I was an emotional wreck anyway, because Dean had given me a beautiful blessing just before we left the house. To tell the truth I was very scared. Scared of our family changing, and truthfully scared of the pain. I cried the whole rainy way to Provo. But, as soon as we got to the hospital, I was ready for battle!

To cut to the chase, the nurse hooked me up to the Pitocin at about 7:00. Around 7:30 contractions were coming really hard and fast. Around 9:00 the doctor came in and broke my water, and quicker than I thought, quicker than anyone thought, the baby was born at 9:57 p.m. The doctor barley made it.

I was so grateful to have Dean right by my side. He knew just what to say, and just how to help alleviate the pain. Without Dean, and the fact that labor wasn’t extremely long, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Just minutes after Quincy was born all the nurses kept saying, “wow, what a big baby.” They said she’d be snacking on steak instead of milk. Nine pounds, ten ounces! Not the biggest baby on record, but big enough for us. Dean whispered to me “It’s a girl!” while I still had my eyes clenched, but it didn’t sink in until later. A girl?… How lucky, how blessed.

All the kids came the next day to see the newest member of the Roberts clan. River was not a bit surprised that she had a new sister. She somehow knew. Of course, she did have a 50/50 chance. Kal kept hugging me and telling me “Thank you.” Lauren, Brett and Wade now call for turns to hold Quincy like they used to call for turns on the computer; they are in love with her.

There is a special feeling in our home that I know it doesn’t last very long. Our newborn baby makes us all feel ok with life and just about anything. Thank you for the love, and phone calls, and visits and meals, and gifts, and prayers. We love you all. Love Dean and Hilary, Brett, Lauren, Wade, River, Kal and Quincy.


Here She Is!

Welcome new baby
Born June 4th 2008
9:57 p.m.
Heavy Weight Champion at
9 pounds 10 ounces!
Nineteen inches long


Here are a few snapshots of the last few weeks. How did we manage to survive such a busy time of month? Last Sunday, in an effort to jumpstart the baby business, we took the family up to Provo Canyon to enjoy the sun and eachother. We started at the bottom of the canyon and walked all the way up to Vivian Park, dodging all of the long borders along the way.

Elementary My Dear

Dear Brett:

Elementary school

Last Thursday without much fan fare Brett walked out of the Riverview School closing the door on his elementary school days forever. After seven years it was over for him. Brett wasn’t too sentimental, he was just worried about making plans with his friends for their last night of school adventure. Brett was ready to move on. No more recess, no more lunch duty, no more monkey bars, no more field trips, no more track meet, no more sleeping in till 8:15. So, here he comes Junior High. Be kind to him; don’t scar him too much with the typical adolescent antics. He is a good boy. Although, if he does happen to stumble, or fall, it will be OK, after all there are five more Roberts kids behind him that can make up for it.



Last Sunday I was leaving the Primary room with my arms full. I had my primary box in one arm and Kal in the other. I turned out into the crowded hall to face a man in our ward who I only casually know. The man placed his open hands squarely on my belly. He was holding me hostage there in the hallway of the church by my tummy. He said with a smile, “wow, when are you going to pop?” I stood there awkwardly and laughed nervously not able to move, because he was still squeezing my tummy. Our primary president was standing behind him with a horrified look on her face. I really didn’t mind too much, I realize that I am hard to miss. But I did feel like saying “Hey, my eyes are up here.”

The other night I was trying to let the kids feel the baby kick. Nothing was happening, and none of the kids had patience for it. Just at the right moment, I placed Brett’s hand on my belly, just as the baby did a killer summersault. Brett’s eyes got really big and looked at me with surprise, I shook my head “yes” and he quickly jerked his hand away with shock, he was very creeped out. Sometimes I feel like my belly is not a part of me, like it is some alien foreign object that just happens to be attached to me 24/7. I suppose I am getting a little claustrophobic.

I think I have OCD. I crunch ice like a mad woman. It is definitely an obsession. I’ve broken out two teeth doing it. The ice has to be “cured”, just a little melted, but solid enough to chomp. Sometimes when I am driving in the car and thinking about crunching ice I get goose bumps and my mouth starts to water. I‘ve read that this phenomenon has to do with a low iron deficiency in pregnancy. It could be worse though; some pregnant women with low iron in fact crave things like charcoal, chalk, cornstarch and dirt. Dirt…? Wow, that’s strange can you imagine someone actually craving dirt…? Weirdo’s!


Growing Pains

Lauren has wanted her ears pierced for oh, about a year now. But every time I would suggest we go, she seemed apprehensive and uninterested. It wasn’t until her very good friend Madison, just recently got her ears pierced that Lauren suddenly had renewed enthusiasm. So the date was set, a mommy/daughter date to get Lauren’s ears pierced. Dean happened to have a rare night off, so he came too with little sister Riv in tow. At the store, Lauren and Dean chose the pricey earrings, I would’ve talked her into the cheap ones, but Dean insisted. Finally the moment arrived; Lauren was in the chair, her ears were marked. Lauren opted for not knowing when it was going to happen. Then, just like that, the saleslady pierced Lauren’s right ear. I was trying to catch it all on tape; I looked at Lauren who was smiling, and River who was simply enthralled. I looked up at Dean who was standing in the background with his arms folded and holding back the tears. I of course teared up as well, not expecting his reaction. Later, I asked Dean why he got so choked up. He said, “It was really hard to just stand there and watch her grow up.“ As we were walking out Dean hugged Lauren, and said “Just be sure to let me know when your getting married.” I had been telling Lauren ‘it’s only going to hurt a little” I guess I should’ve been saying that to Dean as well.


Faux Pas

I have always felt compelled (against Dean’s wishes) to make conversation with strangers while riding in an elevator. So finding ourselves in Washington DC was no different. There we were in the Hart Building, riding an elevator with a very distinguished looking man. Now, you can blame it on my jet lag, but I looked at the man’s “outfit” and said “wow, you sure have a lot of badges on your suit” (Dean ducked his head and slumped down behind me.) The man offered a little smile and a nice courtesy laugh, and said, “I guess, it just shows how old I am.” Then he quickly exited off the elevator as soon as the doors opened. Later I saw this same man on TV addressing the Senate, well actually it wasn’t General Petraous, but these two men were dressed the same. I wonder what this Four Star General thought me, some crazy pregnant lady with blood shot eyes complementing him on his “badges.”


Under pressure

I remember back in the Fall, Willy, said to me" Hil, you really need to start your own Blog." I thought to myself..."no thanks, that 's just a time waster and besides it's just a passing fad anyway." Well, I have since buckled under the pressure. Blame it on all the cute and interesting blogs of my family and friends that I just can't seem to get enough of. But really the truth about why I entered the blog world is simply; to show off my family once in a while. Let's be honest, isn't that what bragging er I mean blogging is all about? If you expect to be amazed at the creative home movies, cool links, intelligent postings and quick wit, then I'll need to send you to Josh's, Will's or Brooke's blog. But stick around if you want to see some mild improvements before your very eyes. Please check back again, I hope to add a lot more interesting items as I become more schooled in the art of blogging. Keep in mind, I am the mother of five almost six, and naturally not too ambitious. So here we go...


DC and back again

As most of you know, Dean and I flew to Washington DC for five days, arriving home just Monday. I'll try to narrow down a bit some of the thoughts that have been swimming through my head all week.

Top Ten DC Highlights - (no particular order)

1 - Hob Knobbing around the Capital Building -

Just hours after flying all night, Dean and I found ourselves in a little bit of a daze, walking towards the Capital building on our first morning in DC. We were soon swept up in the excitement standing in front of the Hart building (where Josh and Will's offices are) watching lobbyists, Senators, and more come and go. It was something to see Josh in his office, right next door to Senator Obama's office, and we peeked in on Will in a senate panel hearing on the War. I was impressed. We got the insiders tour through the Capital building, even witnessing some action on the Senate floor. Kimi met up with us and took us on a tour of her neck of the woods. All she needed to do was flash her hip badge and we were given access to pretty much anywhere. She even arranged for us to eat lunch with the movers and shakers in the Senate cafeteria.

2 - The Metro -

Amie was saying the words, but none of them made any sense; "the orange line, the blue, exit fare, Union Square," it was all so confusing and intimidating. But by the last day we were in DC, Dean and I felt like figured the whole system out. We tried hard to look like we knew what we were doing and tried to blend in. But, possibly Dean's "Man purse" and my large belly gave us away as out-of-towners.

3 - Playing "Scene It" in Maryland.

We've had an open invitation to come and visit Dean's sister Ann's in Maryland for the past fourteen years. So, how could we come so close and not stop in and say hi. We were so happy we did. Ann, Craig and the boys treated us like royalty, driving us all around beautiful Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ann served us a wonderful dinner even packing us a lunch for the next day and little Drew and Ross entertained the night away. Drew was disappointed that his Aunt and Uncle let him down as teammates in a high stakes game of "Scene It." Rematch for sure in August.

4- Ain't nothing like the real thing baby.

As soon as I see the word "Replica" on a sign, I lose interest. But DC didn't disappoint giving us a lot of the "Real Thing." We saw the actual 45 carat Hope Diamond, the actual grave of George Washington, the Apollo 11 command module, Custer's jacket, Lewis & Clark's compass etc. Dean and I were most impressed and humbled to see the actual top hat worn by Abe Lincoln the night he was shot. And just as impressive was seeing the actual Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. Like Josh said, "It looks like a bunch of chicken scratches," but wow, to be there looking at those hallowed documents with our very own eyes, was truly an emotional thing.

5 - Arlington

I've heard about the changing of the guards at the tomb of the Unknown solider. But to be there, to see it was more solemn and weighty than I ever expected. The chiseled words on the tomb read "Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God." I can still hear the precise click of the guard's heels as he turned and marched. The 600 plus acres were in full glory the day we were there with everything blooming, and green.

6 - Walking the National Mall at night

Josh and Amie suggested that best time to see the monuments would be at night. It was hard to trust them. I was thinking of all the great photo ops with all the cherry blossoms and sunshine, but I'll admit, they were right. Just as it was about to get dark, Will, Kim, Josh, Amie and crazy tomato Gracie all met to show us around. I can't describe how impressed I was with each monument. The Washington monument was bigger than I thought it would be. The Lincoln monument was more beautiful and brilliant than I expected, the Jefferson Monument with it's columns was so breathtaking.

7 - Ben's Chili bowl

OK, so Will suggested that we all go to a little locals only lunch spot called "Ben's Chili Bowl." So, after a few blurry stops and transfers on the metro, we emerged from below and stepped into a whole different world. Will had pretty much taken us into "The Hood." We were feeling a little conspicuous, being about the only white people anywhere around. The little place is quite famous, and a real Washington Landmark. We waited in line for a bit, and Will advised us to have our orders ready, and to remember cash only. It reminded me of the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld. All the boys ordered the famous Chili Half-Smoke, and I ordered as well keeping my raging pregnancy heartburn in mind, but even the milkshakes at Ben's come with a side of chili. So when in Rome...

8- Visiting the Family

I just really couldn't get over how the DC five got along just fine in such a big city. Josh and Amie's house was so charming, it was like something you'd see in a romantic comedy, and so close to all the action. If I were in Amie's shoes a few months back dumped in a strange city with a toddler, I think I would've curled up in a ball, but you should see Amie, nothing scares her, she tours the city like it's her own backyard. Gracie has become so cultured and sophisticated, she has this sightseeing things down to a science, Gracie knows when to fall asleep, when to eat, when to act crazy etc. It sounds like their days on the East coast are not over. Wow... Penn State! GO JOSH ! Will and Kim's place is in a quaint little part of Georgetown, Rex would fit right in with all the other yuppie dogs around. One day Dean and I saw a lady pushing her big yellow lab in a baby stroller, no lie.

9 - Eastern Market -

Just walking distance from Josh and Amie's place there is this cool little outside market. All kinds of fresh fruit, veggies, homemade items, a flee market, music and more. I couldn't find Dean for a minute, but soon located him frozen in place starring at the homemade crepes being made with about thirty different toppings to choose from. The line was long, so I talked Dean into leaving saying they probably weren't that good anyway. The crowd of people salivating who had lined up two hours earlier told Dean otherwise.

10-Spending Time with Dean

My best recollection is that it's been about eight or so years since Dean and I have been away from the kids longer than a day. There is a reason for that. It was nothing short of running a marathon to get ourselves ready, as well as arrange for the kids and all their stuff to go to five different places for the weekend. I have to say thanks to Nadene, my mom, Brooke, Monica, Andrea and Tammy, this whole trip wouldn't have been possible. I didn't worry about the kids at all, just missed them. Dean was a sweetheart on the trip running us here and there sightseeing around the city. One night just as I was about to collapse from walking he pulled out a granola bar for me and told me what a tough little cookie I was. It was all the motivation I needed. It was great to walk hand in hand with Dean to all the places I've read about and seen on TV all my life and finally seeing them firsthand.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...