As Advertized

(this picture is of River and Kal years ago in a non-offending hotel room)
I am a bit obsessive about a clean hotel room (is there even such a thing?)
I am very picky about all things hotel.
It has to be the right price (of course)
The right smell,
The right lighting,
The right bedding,
The right cleanliness …
Don’t get me wrong… I am not a high maintenance kind-of girl.
I have been known to “rough it” many times. But when I am spending $120 plus for a place to sleep, I have expectations.
That is the logic Dean employed a few months back as we stopped in St. George for a night. It was late, and we were tired…so rather than drive straight home Dean talked me into getting a cheap hotel room for the night.
The Howard Johnson sounded good, at least on the phone at 11:00 pm it sounded harmless…and for only $59.00 it was a steal.
But, from the creepy guy at the front desk, to gang signs spray-painted on the door next to us and office furniture stacked in the stairwell, I was regretting this hotel decision almost immediately.
Right away I put towels on the floor and I forbid any of the kids to get undressed.
We would all just have to sleep in our clothes.
I couldn’t decide what would be worse, on top of the covers or underneath them.
Many, many things were wrong with this room.
However…the thing that makes me cringe,
the thing that keeps me awake at night,
the thing that has taken a piece of my soul that I will never get back is…
The next morning as we were packing up, I couldn’t find kal's jacket.
Against my better judgment, I pulled the bed away from the wall
and reached under the bed and pulled out……
a clump of bloody tissues!
(hold on...I’ll be back)

whew...I think I’m ok now.
The funny thing was, the kids really loved the hotel room(at least the younger ones did) Kal loved how the beds were so bouncy and River thought it was neat that the remote control was attached to the TV. Wade yelled from the bathroom “Mom! come and see this!” He wanted to show me the fan timer on the wall. (it read… 5…10…20…turn past) He said ”we need this for Lauren, when she takes too long in the bathroom it will tell her “turn past.’
That made me laugh.
You know what makes me cry?
Gross hotel rooms.


Calamity Jane!

"You got a problem with that?"
This is Lauren's Wax Museum project.
Sorry for my bad filming abilities...
I can't hold the baby, watch and work the camera at the same time.
(about 9 seconds in I finally turn the camera right side up)
But, trust me...it was adorable!
Lauren did a great job especially after performing her "bit"
over and over for about an hour straight.
Everyone had gathered around to press her button,
saying..."you gotta see this" and "just do it one more time."
Calamity Jane herself would've been proud.
Thanks for watching
....Now Git!


Bring Spring!

The other day was glorious.
blue skies
birds chipping,
sun shining,
weeds growing...River said she wanted to take Quincy for a walk around the block.
She made it to the end of our road...about 20 feet
"I give up, she's too heavy" She said.
Qunicy is growing like a weed.
Dean and I abandoned our kids for about eight hours yesterday…
We just couldn't take it anymore…
Just kidding, we actually went to Manti to see some friends go through the Temple.
We left the kids to babysit themselves.
They were overly excited for us to leave.
It made me suspicious.
But, after we left we only got about three phone calls saying things like..
“Mom, can we have a fruit snack, and where are the matches?”
You know…innocent stuff like that.
We would’ve had to pay out a good $40.00 for a babysitter,
But we gladly took advantage of the loose child–labor laws
and had the kids watch themselves.
We came home to a lot of flies in the house, a mysterious red stain on the counter,
a sticky floor, and an empty candy jar.
But found six happy, dirty but alive children.
That’s how I measure success these days.
While we were gone they took some pictures of each other on the trampoline.

Dinner Exchange Update:
This week I exchanged three pans of Pasta Milano for
Chicken Parmesan
Steak taco salad and
Chicken Enchiladas.
Not bad eh?
a couple posts back when I said Lauren commented on my “skinny jeans”....
I was referring to the style of pants (boot cut, straight leg, etc.)
NOT the SIZE of my pants.
Just clarifying.


Make mama proud

This is my buddy Kal.
He makes me laugh.
He is officially a "Big Kid" now.
After two days of straight "accidents"...
He finally got it!
What took me so long to potty train?
But he did it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought.
I couldn't be prouder.
Welcome to the club Kal!


facebook ethics

Like you, I have become a fan of facebook after hating it for quite a while.
But probably unlike you, facebook is making me feel very anxious.
Maybe you know what I mean…
I am anxious because I never know what to say on my status update.
Should I be honest…
”Hilary is wearing cheap makeup”
Or should I simply state the obvious…
"Hilary is tired"
Or should I say something flattering…
"Hilary is cooking, cleaning, exercising and getting ready for a cruise."
I also fret about commenting on people’s status. Let’s say a friend writes…
”Sally is crying” Isn’t it my obligation to write back and ask why.
And isn’t it a little insincere to talk to “Sally” on facebook,
but not be concerned enough to call her?
And what in the heck do you do with…
”Sally is bummed her neighbor has to go through Chemo again.”
I have never been good at calling friends just to chat.
My intentions are great…I try to stay in touch, respond quickly, offer witty comments,
and engage in clever banter.
But this facebook thing just makes my social shortcomings more obvious.
I’d like to just stay over here on BLOGGER, where I am more comfortable.
Where I am loved…
Where my post can be well thought out, and revised, and re- re-vised.
But, I do remain an admirer of Facebook.
If only for the fact that it is like a big High School/Family/Childhood reunion
which I am pretty big fan of.
So, like the wise philosopher Severe says… “Face it and Embrace it”


Money talks

(amounts in the photo’s have been blocked for your protection)

Yesterday I had Dean cash out
his paychecks and bring it all
home in $100 bills.
(I figured we could borrow it from
the bank for one night)
During family night,
I gave the kids the wad of cash
and assigned them to come up with
a monthly family budget.
Their eyes were wide as they thumbed through the money, allocating it.
Dean and I just sat back and let them
talk it through.
Lauren said “first thing is Tithing of course and then clothing.”
Wade piped up and said "what about pants...what's wrong with D.I.?"

Brett was the voice of reason reminding them of the house payment..
“$200.00 should cover it.”
River said "what about the fridge bill?
...what about the Red Box bill?”
Kal just ate popcorn.

While they were discussing it amongst themselves…
Dean whispered to me…”they really needed this”
Finally the kids presented Dean and I with “their” monthly budget,
proudly indicating they had a lot of money left over.
Dean and I then tried to humbly show them what it truly takes to make a
family of eight function.
When our “real” monthly budget was written down for them,
they could see there wasn’t much room for wasted electricity, or wasted food etc.
All in all it was a GREAT experiment for our family, enhanced by the fact that the wind was howling outside and the power had just gone out earlier in the evening.
The kids got out the flashlights and candles, they were having a good 'ol time.
When the power came back on after only 30 minutes...
Lauren said "that was fun, except for the freezing"
So give this little "budget" experiment a try...
It also works on husbands.


Time warp

The year was probably 1991.
My Mom, Aunt, Cousin, sister and I, all traveled to Colorado for a weekend wedding.
We drove our 1985 blue custom Chevy van that was decked out with Levelor blinds, a built-in VCR and 6-inch screen TV. The ultimate in luxury travel.
Brooke and I were both teenagers.
Yep, teenage girls who thought rolling our eyes was an Olympic sport.
As you can see from the picture
(taken at the wedding),
we thought we looked pretty good.
During that weekend, Brooke and I spent a lot of time together and our sisterhood deepened as we basically made fun of everyone we met.
(behind their backs of course)
We laughed hysterically when our sweet Great Aunt tripped on a rock,
We fell down laughing when my mom fainted at a restaurant,
and we died of embarrassment whenever someone over the age of thirty spoke to us.
Brooke and I had a great time, and to this day we laugh tears when we talk about it.
Looking back now, I honestly don't know how my mom put up with us.
I think she was biding her time till the day we would have daughters of our own.
She knew the day for payback would come.
Flash forward to 2009. I have a pre-teen daughter of my own.
The other day I was standing in front of the mirror,
admiring the new "skinny jeans" that I had just purchased.
"What do you think?" I said to Lauren as she walked by.
The little stinker started laughing, rolled her eyes and said..."seriously mom?"
I am currently working on an apology letter to my mom.


Happy Birthday to you..you live in a Zoo

My big sis Brooke turns Thirty-Six today.

What can I say about the girl who has had the biggest influence on me?
Oh the stories I could tell of our childhood…
growing up together
just the two of us in a family full of five brothers.
Some stories are too personal to tell
Some are too embarrassing to tell
Some stories my therapist advised me not to talk about anymore.
Tomorrow will be installment #1.
The one thing I admire about Brooke most
is that she does not like mediocrity.
Therefore, most things she does are exceptional.
Her children...exceptional
Her journal writing...exceptional
Her PTA newsletter...exceptional
Her sense of style...exceptional
Her kids' school projects...exceptional
Her taste in music, TV and books...exceptional
Her advice...exceptional
I could go on and on.
I love you Brooke. Happiest of days to you!


(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...