Monday, December 14, 2009

My Short List

I didn't write a letter to Santa. I did pray this morning though that this man would make it home safely today. All I want for Christmas is more of this. Just a little more of this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The World Stood Still

My oldest brother Jim Bradshaw, "Browski," died last weekend, Saturday the 14th of November, 2009. He was the pilot of a life flight helicopter which malfunctioned and went down outside of Reno killing him and the two medics aboard.

My world stood still when my parents called to tell me the news. I thought it was a joke, even had to look up the story, to see his name in print to know the truth. I also had a strong, almost magnetic feeling that I needed to be with my family. I couldn't help but call all of my siblings. I wanted to have Dave with me. I wanted to check to see if Carson was okay, I wanted to touch everyone and cry together and feel safe. I wanted to get rid of the nagging anxious feeling I had.

I just returned from Browski's memorial service. It was good to hear my Dad and brothers share stories about time spent with Jim. I know they agonized over how to relay their feelings and they were amazing. I learned that all of the men in my family are the same in their kindness and hospitality, and in their concern for showing you a good time when you visit them in their homes. And I know that all of them have such big hearts and so much love to give.

After the service the family and close friends joined at my parents' house. The place was packed, it was unbelieveable the amount of friends who came to show their support, all these people who came for my Mom, came to meet my family, came to grieve together. Somewhere in the evening Linus shared a photo tribute to Browski and the room filled in with people sitting everywhere to see pictures of my goofy faced brother and the life and times he had. At that moment the world stood still once again. Two groups of people so incredibly different, there to share in the memory of my brother. Jenn said it right, "it was like world peace there in that room."

I don't know why Jim's helicopter crashed, I'm trying not to dwell on the details of it all. I know that accidents happen and that sometimes we don't get as much time here as we hope to have. I know that there is a spirit who comforts us in times of sorrow such as this. Comfort and peace are the prayers sent up in a time such as this and I have felt strengthened because of the those offered on my behalf. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, I know that. I can feel his love all around me, even in simple things when I stop to take notice. I know that God places people in our lives to laugh with us, and at times like this, to cry with us too. I also know that my family will not be the same without Browski, but that we will pull through. Most importantly, I know that I will see that mug again.

The world stood still, but it will go on.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I've been eating all of my kids' decent Halloween candy when they aren't looking. We all do that right? But there are other things you don't know...

I always eat cookie dough, the raw eggs haven't killed me, which means it's making me stronger right? Raw cookie dough is making me stronger. Huh. Take that MOM!

I have really callused feet, so bad in fact that I'm embarrassed to ever go get a pedicure. I never have.

I LOVE reading The Pioneer Women's blog and I'm pretty sure she and I would be best friends if we knew each other. As it turns out, I think all of her other readers feel the same way.

I neglected my daughter while shopping last week and she fell and split the bridge of her nose open requiring 8 stitches, a few days before we'd scheduled family portraits no less. I think it's a sign. A sign that I should always be allowed to shop alone and I should never have to do family portraits.

I hate having portraits done. Oh the stress. And oh, my googly eyes.

I like helping others when I can but I have a hard time ever letting other people do things for me.

I detest shopping for gifts. I'm a horrible present picker-outer. However, I really dig gift wrapping. I wish Brett would do all of our Christmas shopping right this minute so I could turn on the Carpenters Christmas album and get wrappin'!

I lick the brownie batter spoon, AND I often drink out of the milk carton and eat directly out of the ice cream container.

I drool when I nap.

Also, I hate doing dishes more than any other household chore and I will clean everything around them before touching them. Then, I will leave the dish pile for Brett to clean, because he is much speedier and doesn't mind cleaning if I do the cooking. Yep, he rocks!

I can't watch t.v. late at night without eating ice cream. Western Family's Mudpie is hands down my favorite flav. Why I am out of it right now I do not know...

So, what secrets are you hiding?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Here are a few shots for the Grandparents of my creepy little critters...

Quinner, this time as a jolly pirate instead of Gangsta Waldo.

Izzy Bean as a little ladybug, completely enthralled with her plastic toy bug prize.
Anna, no doubt casting spells on her frightened little sister, not unlike her Aunt Caralee.
Yep, I saved the best for last. This one is definately coming out when Anna brings her boyfriends home to meet the parents. Naw, I think I'll just have a glossy 11x14 of it hanging in my house from now on.
Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! By the way, did anyone get any Sugar Daddys? Do they have those anymore???

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Where's Waldo" joins a gang

I tried to help Quinn don a pirate costume for his preschool Halloween party this afternoon. He put on the red and white striped shirt and some tan pants, then a black bandana on the ol' noggin. I drew on a mustache and was going for a beard when he told me that "kid pirates don't actually have beards or mustaches." Fair enough, we wiped his face off then went for the earring and eye patch. "Kid pirates don't have to wear eye patches, they like to see with both eyes," he says. No eye patch then. On the way back from dropping him off I found his earring on the garage floor. As it turns out, now he just looks like Waldo the gangster. I hope he gets into character and jumps some of the other kids at school and steals their candy, or at least just the chocolate stuff.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Uh huh.

Here you are reading my blog. Do you really have nothing else to do? You might be sitting at your computer, most likely trying to get a break from your kids, possibly your husband even, and thinking, "Ah, what relaxing music." Soon you'll hear the words and start singing along. You're reading this and thinking that I'm crazy but wait for it...UH HUH, yeah, you secretly love Lionel Richie too. Do you know all the words? You can be honest. I think I know all of his songs. I'm not ashamed. I even added his album to my Amazon wishlist. I really doubt that Brett shares my affinity for the music so he probably won't buy it for me, but it's out there now. I'm a Lionel fan. Phew, it feels good to say it out loud.

So tonight I was driving home from Jazzercise all sweaty and happy. I weighed in within 8lbs of my target so that made me glad, but then halfway down the road I realized that my good mood was in fact Lionel induced as well. I think the music takes me back to my childhood days, sitting in the backseat of Mom's tan van just being a kid without a worry in the word. Being easy like Sunday morning even. The other night at the same spot on Main St. I was belting out R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion while it played on the radio. Same thing. I knew every word, even though I have no idea what the song is about, but it made me happy. I will attribute my mood to the workout as well, endorphins certainly do the trick too, but don't you sometimes hear a song that just fixes your mood? Forever in Blue Jeans perhaps? Something from ABBA? Queen maybe? Yeah, come on, you can tell me...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Family Time

October has been so busy and we have nearly two weeks left to go! Someone please remind me to have my safety check and registration completed for my car next week because I'm pretty sure I'll forget! (That means YOU Caralee, email me a reminder will ya?) Mostly, this month has been chockful of family time and I wouldn't have it any other way. I thought I'd post just a few pictures of the past few weeks...for starters, check out all these cute cousins above. Priceless.

Oh, and we finally got to meet lil' Miss Abbie our newest niece this past week. I'm pretty sure these two will be buddies.
Brett and his Momma. (That's all I'm saying because apparently I brag about my husband too much on here. I will say though that I think his Mom is amazing. I couldn't have chosen a better Mom-in-law in all of the world. I love you Judy Rupper!)
Grandma K passed on and was honored by all of her children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren last weekend. While at the funeral service her sister Gloria told Lisa and me a story of when Grandma went to New York and of how she was floored by the number of people there. I believe she asked Bob where all the people came from and he said, "Well, you and Steve were married, that makes two. You had 5 children who married making 12. And they all had children...they all came from you. It's your fault!" There were a lot of people there and it was neat to think of all the people who came to be because of her. Maybe we haven't reached the population of New York, but she left behind quite a family. I know I married in, but I'm proud to be part of that family.
I know I posted one of these previously, but here is a shot of my baby boy in the arms of his Great Grandmother, Grandma K, one last time. And Brett, so proud to share his son with his Grandma.
Okay, so we FINALLY got around to blessing Max this month. Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures so here's one taken the day after. Pretend he's wearing white and I'll pretend that I'm gonna get the energy to find the blessing outfit and put it back on for pictures.
My Dad came to help bless the baby. He also brought this ginormous piece of luggage which my eldest two fit into quite nicely. Don't think I won't sneak them in next time Dad!
Inside of that huge suitcase Dad brought Christmas, including some leftover ugly sweaters from last years' fandango. We put on the ugos, turned on some holiday tunes (yeah in October Paolo!), and ripped right in. Christmas in October agrees with me. The Sees candy also agreed with me, it became one with me. Thanks Dad!
Whew, that's a lot of posting....time to get some ice cream and take a break. Not that I don't love you all, but a girl needs some time alone to enjoy the silence after the house has emptied and the kids have pooped out...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grandma got her promotion this weekend

After serving many years upon the earth, that past 40 of which without her companion, and the past 2 with a failing mind and body, Grandma K was promoted from her mortal state and moved on through the veil to be reunited with 3 of her children, her husband, her parents, and her Heavenly Father. She leaves behind 5 children, a slew of grandchildren and great grandchildren, and a legacy of faith and love.

Grandma K was a special woman who conquered many a trial with wit and determination. She was a school teacher by trade, but on the side she taught my husband how to be a gentleman on a date when he was 10, she gave him his sparkling green eyes, and she raised an amazing woman among others, who in turn produced my amazing husband. Grandma could tell terrific stories, she made you feel so special when you went to visit her, and she was a warm and endearing woman who everybody loved.

One time when Brett and I went to visit Grandma in Tooele with our newborn little Anna one of us was changing her on the floor and the lil' squirt sprayed poop all over the front of the couch. We tried to scrub it off but it wasn't working, there was a big yellow stain. I felt so bad, but Grandma just laughed and said it'd be something to remember her by, and to embarrass her with the memory of when she was older and she came to visit. No big deal to Grandma, she was just happy to have us there!

We love you Grandma K, you'll be missed here on earth, but we're happy for you to be reunited with those who've been waiting for so long to see you again!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A long awaited goodbye

Dear Carson, I am sorry to inform you that Elmo has not survived the winter. He didn't even make it TO winter this year! He would've been 3 this Christmas season, maybe 4. I've been trying to block it out really. I can still hear his song in my head although a new set of batteries couldn't repair him. He will slip away quietly this afternoon, into the big black dumpster. Such a bittersweet fairwell.
Don't worry though, when your baby is born I will lovingly buy her the most annoying toy I can possibly find. Perhaps I will send her an economy sized box of replacement batteries each month as well. E-L-MMM-O! E-L-M-OOO!
Love ya Cars! I can't wait for my new niece to arrive!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Holding On

Do you ever find yourself in a moment and think, "gosh, I hope I never forget THIS." This sunset, this feeling, this giggle that makes your heart burst open, this terrific hike, this perfect day, this feeling of absolute contentment, this most amazing hot fudge brownie sundae, this beautiful little squishy baby smiling at me like I'm the most amazing woman ever, this funny thing my son just said...fill "this" in with whatever your moment is. Now there is no way to capture the perfect flavor, or the satisfaction and full body ache after a backpacking trip, but I've been grabbing the camera a lot lately because sometimes, just sometimes you can capture an image of something so perfect, so pure, so intimate that it takes you back and you can remember that moment and how time stood still.

I love this picture of Izzy and Brett. I hope she still looks at him that way when she's 17 and most likely not talking to me. She's Daddy's girl. They have a good thing goin' those two. It makes me smile.

Yesterday my amazing Mom-in-law hosted a family gathering so that all of her siblings could be together with their Mother and each other. Grandma isn't able to remember us being there and may or may not recall who each of us are, but how special it was to see my husband sharing his son with Grandma K, having a quiet moment together.
Okay, these next few aren't terrific, but I'm holding on to lil' Max, kinda gasping and clinging tightly because I don't want him to grow up and it's happening so fast! I've taken a lot of really terrible shots of him and these are just a few, but gosh, look at this face! The kid has eyes only for me and I LOVE it. I'll have him on my lap and be talking to someone across the room then glance down and this set of blue eyes is locked on me and he's grinning from ear to ear. I don't want to forget this perfect face...
Or this one. This is his, "what the hell face," or possibly the, "my brother/sister is coming at me fast and loud and I can't do anything to protect myself face," or just his, "can someone get that kid some ritalin please face." Maybe it's his "who farted?" face, I can't say.
Yep, I'm also photographing some of the not so pleasant stuff. Here's Anna in a time out. She had a ridiculously fierce stink eye on me but when I got the camera she backed off. She's just that way. Had to turn it around and make it all sad and pitiful looking instead. She's tough as nails and as much as it kills me, I love what a fighter she is. I wanted to capture her fierceness (pretty sure I"ll have other opportunities, probably 12 times tomorrow) because I want to remind her when she's older of the fire she had in her even when she was small. I want her to know that she can throw her shoulders back, that when its a matter worth fighting for that she can look her opponent in the eye and stand up for herself, for what's right, that she was a tough strong little woman and always has been.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Girls

This is what we found last night when we went to check on the kids. Izzy isn't used to her toddler bed yet, so Anna told her to snuggle into her bed and close her eyes and breathe deep. Anna told me this morning, "Mom, I have the touch." I believe she does.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Colorado Territory

Last weekend we visited the Colorado Territory with some old friends from college (and when I say old, I mean YOU Mountain Momma! :) Some of you will know exactly what I mean, when I say it was a shpadoinkle day, or few days as it were.

The men got all geeked out in pads and safety equipment (when we really know that Big Red was the only one said equipment might be required for) and they hit the mountain trails. Luckily they/Brett made it through the day without incident and avoided any need to visit the emergency room before returning that evening.
While they were out, what was there for us girls to do? Shopping. Outlet shopping. Oh, and caramel apples...I'm still thinking about caramel apples...and the killer 50% off clearance sales at Old Navy...and caramel apples...
And see this stunning stunning lady? Uh huh, I'm sporting the required Easy Cheese on the face, a "water UNO" type rule applied during our late night card games...
And this equally stunning creature? Yeah, don't put it past me to include a shot of the one who MADE the stinkin' stinky cheese rule. I'll never look at a can of cheese the same.
Stinky cheese covered "Mountain Momma" and "Adolf" at 2 a.m.
Mmmm...and what is the best thing to wake up to in the morning? Bacon. What's better than THAT? Having three men makin' it sizzle for ya!
We had an afternoon picnic and hike here. I don't think that John Denver was full of !/#$ after all, this place was beautiful!
You guys know that Max's twin was only on loan for the picture right? I'd like this sweet baby returned to me at your earliest convenience. Thank you.
Oh, ain't this the sweetest shot? I think this lil' pumpkin was pooped from all the shopping the day before. She had terrific shopping stamina never before seen in a toddler, excellent training there Karissa! Seriously, what a little trooper-such a mellow happy baby!
Oh, and the show stopper-check out these two! Max, Sarah Jane, if you two hook up in the future I'd be glad to dig this shot out to put in your wedding video.
Thanks for the fun weekend gang. Thank you also Nana Judy and Papa John for caring for the other lil' squirts while we got away. I know I'm pretty much never going to eat Easy Cheese again in my life, but I'd definately visit the Colorado Territory again, and I'll certainly remember the fun we all had together.
And now, I must go eat a vanilla Zinger.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Things that make me smile...

Max slept through the night the other night. He has been getting up once a night, but a whole night of sleep, yep, that makes me smile.

We camped out for the first time with all four kids last weekend and had a great time. Max is sick of the camera, but notice me? Yep, smiling.
Izzy is in love with her Daddy. Absolutely, without a doubt, hands down, he is her very favorite person in the entire world. THAT makes me smile.
And this picture. Doesn't it make YOU smile? Nothin' like loungin' in your Sponge Bob jam jams enjoying a morning cup of cocoa and some coffee talk.
Ah...and Quinn's excitement for preschool. . . If we could bottle his enthusiasm for school and I could condense it into pills and take one every morning-then I'd have the energy to get everything done by noon with time to spare! Really, I'm just glad that he has something special just for him. But his excitement makes me smile. Nothin' like joy bubbling right out of your kid!
Anna found this empty bird's nest while camping and insisted on bringing it home. I love to see kids so interested in nature. One time when Brett and I went backpacking I found a similar nest on the trail. He laughed at me, but I carried that thing in my hands for a couple more miles out with me to save because I thought it was so cool. My daughter and I share a love for nature. This makes me smile.
Uncle Dave, aka Tom Selleck, (or Superman in this picture-look at that curl!) came to visit last weekend and was forced to hold baby Max while I cut Brett's hair. He says he doesn't hold babies but it was that, or listen to him cry on the couch. Dave opted to hold the baby. Not bad eh? We can't force him to commit to a girlfriend, but we CAN make him hold babies!
Hearing my kids giggle and giggle while they wrestle an uncle always makes me smile.
Oh, and watching my brother being tender with my lil' ones...Dave walked with me to bring the kids to school last Friday and when I looked over at him, Quinn had reached up and was holding his hand. They held hands all the way down the road. Seeing Dave's tender side, and a look revealing Quinn's affection for his big tough uncle...priceless. THAT made me smile. We sure love you Davey!

Monday, August 31, 2009

What could be worse?

Let me first preface this post by saying that you should be glad that I didn't include pictures.

Last night I thought I might die. Hands down, I'm pretty sure it was the worst night of my life! It all started yesterday morning...I got the kids all ready for church and got there before the meeting started, impressive for me, but then during the opening prayer Izzy let loose a whole belly of chunder all over the pew! My sweet neighbor Chad was sitting behind me and jumped forward to help (I'm guessing he's the puke cleaner of his household, Brett usually performs this duty, however he's backpacking for a few days and really missed out). I wiped up what chunks I could, then gathered my litter of children and headed out while Chad helped clean the bench for me-I totally owe him but I'm not sure how to pay someone back for helping with a thing like that.

Anyway, upon returning home Izzy yacked a few more times so I bathed her and cuddled her on my lap. When she fell asleep I laid her on a blanket on the tiled floor, then she proceeded to barf a few more times all while lying in a vegetative state. The poor girl was so sick which is hard enough for a mother's heart, but my poor nose-my whole house still has a slight chunder scent, could be that mountain of laundry sitting around that I'm still working on.

Well, after a day of spot cleaning, baby washing, nursing Max, and tending the older kiddos I put everyone in bed around 7:30...then my stomach started lurching. The stomach bug hit me from two directions and as I sat on the toilet clutching the trash can I wondered, "what could be worse than this?" What could be worse: getting my period, mastitis, and a bladder infection along with the flu, someone breaking a bone and having to take all 4 kids to the hospital with barf buckets in tow, or Brett having the same thorough digestive tract cleansing while out in the cold dark mountains of Wyoming-I'm pretty sure the guy would run out of toilet paper in that case, now what could be worse than that? Well, there's always being eaten by a bear, that would probably be the worst. Or would it be having a police officer come to my door to report that my husband had been eaten by a bear??? Yeah, I could go on and on but I won't.

Anyway, after a day like yesterday I'm appreciating the little things: Izzy's up and smiling again today, Anna had a terrific first day of first grade, Quinn and Addie held hands while we walked to school to get the girls, the kids cleaned up and went to bed tonight without complaining or throwing tantrums, we found popsicles at a local ice cream shop with character faces and gumball eyes just like the ones I had as a kid (no pink panther ones however), and I just had a good talk with my brother without any torture chamber-like screaming as background noise. Also, I have a 5lb. tub of cookie dough I found in the freezer which I don't want to let take up too much space for too long!

Life is getting back to normal. Now if only I could get rid of the lingering chunder smell around here...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Anna found Jesus... and other highlights of the week.

Yep, Anna found Jesus this week. Can I get an amen!? He went missing last year and never made it for his debut on Christmas morning, but upon cleaning out the toy baskets this week Anna found Jesus, he was hiding with the dress ups. Sneaky Jesus. Sometimes you'll find him in the strangest places when you didn't even realize you'd missed him.Other news? My baby is HUGE! Yep, what is he now 6 or 7 weeks? (honestly I don't know which). Max is already movin' on to wearing 3-6 month sized clothing. My lil' guy is growing so much and smiling which I love but really, if the guy is gonna get to be a fatty this early, shouldn't he also start sleeping through the night!?!

This has got to be the low of the week (or it was the low, before the stomach flu hit a few of us)...we went out to ATK for the test fire yesterday and it was cancelled, 20 seconds before being set off. Grandma and Grandpa Rupper and John came up for it but alas, it was a no go. Bummer. Quinn was so sad that he missed his nap for nothing. Everyone felt a bit let down. We drowned our sorrow in soda. There isn't too much in life that a Big Gulp can't fix. You and me and five bucks Brett!
Mmmm...this is what I've been doing more than anything this week...kissing on my mini Brett. I love this man, and that man...yeah, I'm confusing myself too.
Oh, and my high for the week was a drive we took last Sunday, roughly six hours, Brett's standard time for a dirt road tour of the region. We ended up stopping at this campground in Idaho which was so pretty and the smell...I wish I could bottle the smell of fresh mountain air.
Oh how I love that crazy husband of mine! Sure, our lives don't have too much drama and we don't really ever go anywhere too exotic, but the best memories we have are of the little things that happen along the way: Anna shouting, "Mom, I found Jesus!", the miracle of her actually cleaning the toy basket out in the first place, newborn smiles, Izzy FINALLY really talking, the joy the kids have in just seeing their Daddy when he gets home from work, the sweet sight of each kid's face when they're asleep, tailgate picnics, watching my man snuggle our baby...all tiny little bits that make up one perfect life.
(note to Brett: A guy was just attacked in Desolation canyon by a bear, just saw it on the news. Please don't get mauled by a bear on your backpacking trip because you're more than just a tiny bit that makes my life perfect, also, I couldn't replace you nor do I want to try.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just a few days...

Here are a few pictures of what's been happenin' in just the past few days... Okay, I swear that I JUST had this baby and already he's HUGE! Max is growing so fast and I'm more than a little bummed because my lil' newborn is already outgrowing clothes-in just 5 weeks!!!

I love this shot, I feel the same way.

Wish I could so more of this.

These are pictures from a trip to the Ogden Nature Center last Saturday. The weather was perfect, we saw some critters, and when we saw a deer Anna was worried that he would "horn us"
Luckily, nobody was horned. We did have a great time though.
Brett installed an attic fan a few days ago and Anna asked to keep the box, she said she'd sleep in it that night. When we went in to tuck her in at night, we found that she was a girl of her word. Priceless.
My Mom, aka G.G. came to visit and has been lovin' on the kids and helping out with projects, cooking, shopping, etc. Here she is with Busy Izzy.
Sadly, I thought this picture had the whole crew, I forgot Izzy. Better to leave her out of a picture than to leave her at the grocery store though, I haven't done that...yet.
Max gettin' a scrubbin'.
And the biggest news of the week? Anna proudly lost her first tooth.