I am a Don.
Which is to say that I graduated from Spanish Fork High, home of the Mighty DONS.

Go class of '92!
A few weeks ago I attended my twenty year high school reunion.

(Here is a snippet of a silly "Bill and Ted" skit my friend Melanie and I put-together for the evening - 
people started walking out and asking for their money back... 
ha ha I'm kidding - it was bad...but maybe not that bad.)

Good times, good times.
As I was driving to the reunion, my nerves were getting the best of me, but I was so glad I went.
We had a great group and a memorable evening.

you might be saying...
"what Hilary? twenty years? no way!
you look way too young,  and seem so youthful, with the body of a twenty year old, the energy of a teenager and you certainly don't look a day over 40."
Oh you are making me blush, go on...

OK, nobody believes that... 

but, do believe that this year during the Fiesta Days parade,
we were the "old people" on the alumni party bus. 

believe it my friends.

And while you are believing that,
believe also that I have a son attending Spanish Fork High as a Junior this year.

yup. Believe it.  

Walking the same halls, sitting possibly in the same desk as I did twenty years ago.

One big reality check!

It seems impossible that I have a High School'er.

The biggest argument I have with my teenagers isn't about good grades and clean rooms,
it's usually about which music/clothing trends are the best...mine or theirs.

Mine was an era of grunge and boy bands -

punk rockers and Vanilla Ice
. . . . . . . .

Puffy sleeves, 
combat boots, 
floral prints, 
big hair, 
doc Martens, 
flannel shirts, 
baggy jeans,
and oh so much more.

I loved everything about our era, but I was oh so happy to throw it all away, burn it and never expect to see again,
... well, that's what I thought.

One look around the local mall, 
and you will see that it's all coming back around again.

That's how I know I win. 

Ours was so gnarly, it's back!

Brett is channeling Ferris Bueller this year.

School shopping was very haunting this year.
It's a full blown 90's revival!

Wade only accepted high-tops and skinny jeans.

Lauren tried to convince me that these acid washed jeans were all the rage now. 
I just couldn't do it. 

She and I ended up going on a tri-county search for the perfect pair of floral jeans. 

Brett was on his own.
I took this picture with my zoom lens outside the store window, 
right before I was escorted away by mall security. 
But hey - check out those jeans...familiar? 

My older kids love to look through the few clothing items 
that Dean and I saved from our younger days.

Like some unearthed discovery, Brett holds up one of Dean's Michael Jordan ball caps and exclaims, "this is so vintage!" and then they all laugh.

I Recently unearthed a discovery of my own.
A few "slides" (yes slides) from 
"a day in the life of me"
a High School Senior.  (Spring 1992)
 Here I am with my BFF Randi in Yearbook class (foul or fair Rand?)...inside joke.

 Wow, look how high-waisted my pants are! 
And my hair?! dirty-dishwater blond must've been in back then. 

Hey, here's was a novel idea... eating school lunch...in the lunch room!
Imagine that.
 I'm talking to you my "too cool for school" son whose name rhymes with Smett. 
 Yes, we ate school lunch and doggone it, we liked it ~

Here I am being awesome as I examine some film,
while sporting a mood ring, pink eye shadow and sweater vest. 

Aw, just look how charming and dainty I was back in the day.  
It's a wonder the boys weren't beating down my door. 

Again with the pants? 

Here I am with Randi and Stacy just after receiving our pictures from Morp.     
One might question if I ever went to class-
...uh, let's move on.

I clearly remember this outfit.  It was my best - 
A sweatshirt from Guess and white stretch pants (that leave plenty to the imagination) 
with forest green socks and penny loafers and a velvet headband.  
ssssmokin hot!  

It's a bit surreal to look back twenty years on what seems to have just happened a few days ago. 

I feel a bit like Marty McFly "Whoa, this is heavy"

I wonder what I would say to that young gap-toothed seventeen year old girl regarding her life twenty years in the future.
Would I tell her to run? 
move far away?
be afraid? 
join a monastery?

I'd tell that youngin to get ready, 
cause here they come.  

Oh and by the way - 
"Hey Brett!.. Zach called, he wants his era back!"



My husband is now the trendy and shiny new age of  40. 

Happy Birthday, Birthday BOY! 

Forty is the new thirty... 
Forty is fabulous...
Forty is plenty old and plenty young all the same...
Forty is just around the corner for me, so I better quit while I'm ahead.

Dean has been preparing to turn forty since he was twenty. 

To Dean, turning forty is a big deal. Forty is when middle age walks up and sucker punches you in the gut. 

Dean had BIG expectations for his fortieth.

The kids and I thought thought long and hard about a gift we could give to Dean.
Maybe an exotic vacation...?
How about a new boat...?
Or a 85 inch 3D TV...?

Nah, I said.

Lets throw him a surprise party instead!

. . . He'll love that!

And so we did. 

(Either he was really thrilled and excited for his surprise party...
                            or he is making mental notes of ways to make my life miserable)

We invited a bunch of family and friends
and lied through our teeth all week to keep Dean in the dark.

It worked. 
He genuinely acted surprised. 
"acted" is the operative word here.
I wish I could show you lots of great pictures and video of the party,
but I put Wade in charge of all the picture taking...
and let's just say Canyon does a better job taking pictures with his sticky hands on my cel-phone.

Ah well, you'll just have to trust that the party was top-notch, mind-blowing, unreal - 
(balloons and streamers) even Martha Stewart would've been like; "girlfriend, you got it goin on!"  

Wade was punished and sent to the corner for taking such awful pictures.

Earlier in the day, as we were setting up in the miserable heat, 
I made a deal with the higher ups that I would start being a decent person 
if only the weather wouldn't be so hot and humid. 
And just 2.5 seconds after we all yelled "surprise!" a dramatic wind/rain storm came blowing in and ripped through all the signs and decorations. 
That will show me.

We all retreated inside, and then it was the perfect opportunity to 
show everyone the movie that me and my minions had made for Dean. 

TRUST ME: You will want to watch this; If only to see River's reenactment of a younger me.
I claimed that no children were harmed during the making of this film, and that's true, 
but their lives were severely threatened. 

"...Brett and Wade, you'd better stand there and do this, 
or else I'm going to rattle your teeth till your shoes fall off!..." 


The movie was a labor of love that's for sure.
That sixteen minute video beats a new boat any day, right?
Dean was a good sport about it all. That's what I love about him.

Actually, you know what is so great about Dean?
Well, besides that he doesn't get mad at me for throwing him a surprise party...
and that he hides his disappointment about not getting a new TV...  

The real reason Dean is such a great guy is that he puts up with all my nonsense.

For instance; A few weeks ago, Dean and I were walking out of a restaurant on the busy Provo/Orem hill. Over the noise of the traffic, I heard the sound of a kitten meowing, then discovered that the meowing was coming from across the street, somewhere on the over-grown hillside. 

As we got in the car to leave, I couldn't help but worry about the distressed little kitten.

I suggested to Dean that we drive across the road over to the hill to see if we rescue the kitten. 
And of course, like any levelheaded husband, 
Dean gave me a "you must be outta yo mind-" look.  

So I in turn gave him my saddest, deepest, pleading kitten-like eyes and sure enough...within a few minutes we were parked along side the road, in the dark, meowing and walking up and down the sidewalk by the hill.

A few minutes after that...  
Dean was reluctantly climbing up over the wall, through a fence, scavenging around the the shrubs and trees (at my bidding) in his new boots, getting wet from the sprinklers until he located the scared little kitten. 
He found out the little guy was just fine and only meowing because he was getting wet from the sprinklers, and his momma had temporarily left him.

As I watched Dean scrape the mud from his boots, 
that's when I figured it out;
 the reason why I love Dean.
 He indulges me. 

He puts up with my projects, and even helps facilitate them. 

He puts up with Canyon's mullet, even though he has nearly taken scissors to it several times.

He poses non-stop for my endless picture taking.

And he indulges all the kids silliness too.

I'm not suggesting he's is the best dad out there, cause I know there are plenty of great ones around. I'm just saying he's the best dad for MY particular delinquents. 


 but most importantly...he sent me Africa. And I'll never, ever forget that.

That's why he's my baby-daddy.

Happy birthday Dean.


(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...