Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I heart social experiments

Things like this really make me smile. I love that there are people who dare to shake up everyday existence. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hut, Two, Three, Four . . .

I think The Jungle Book is the only movie that my pediatrician's office owns. The amazing thing is, it doesn't matter when we go in, it's always playing in the same place. It's been two weeks, and the trend is the same. And I'm left singing all day. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

14 days of Bruce - a photo essay

My brother said that he didn't think we'd actually brought the little bug home with us since we'd only posted pictures from the hospital. So, due to popular request, here are a few of our favorites. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sink or Swim?

One evening, my junior year of college, I was invited by my family home evening brothers to go to a bonfire down by Utah Lake. None of my roommates wanted to go, but I was trying to expand my social circle and push some comfort zones, so I agreed to go. 

I rode out with Joel and Autumn, two of my FHE brothers. There was to be a crowd of about 20 people out there. There was definitely a carefree spirit in the air - it was the weekend and we were off to a good time. Autumn drove a Geo Tracker, and once we hit the open dirt on the shore, he was anxious to put that little car through its paces. 

We were the first car out there, and he headed straight for the water's edge. He was having fun driving in figure 8's that gradually got closer and closer to the edge of the lake. Unfortunately for Autumn, it was a dark night and he couldn't see how wide the mud bank was. By the time he decided to head back to the dry ground, he was losing traction. We inched forward slowly, but it was a losing battle. The mud slowly but surely pulled his tires in to their axles. And then our wheels were turning, but we gained no ground. In fact, the more he tried, the deeper we sank. 

We quickly but gingerly jumped out of the car and into the sludge. By this time, other cars were arriving. Friends and strangers alike gathered around to assess the situation. We tried wedging wood blocks (brought for the bonfire) under the wheels to give them enough purchase to get out. One of the other guys there brought their truck around to try to pull out the Tracker. Unfortunately, we were farther in than anyone had anticipated. The other, heavier truck also sunk into the sludge and refused to be moved. 

At this point, we were getting frustrated, and it was getting late. We were also quickly running out of options. Then, one of the guys remembered that our bishop had mud tires on his truck. If only they had his phone number. Unfortunately, of all the guys there (including the executive secretary for the ward), no one had his number handy. 

Ladies to the rescue! Our bishop spent the beginning of every Relief Society meeting for the first month in our ward having us all practice his phone number in unison. He told us that he wanted us to be able to call him if we were ever on a date and the so-called gentleman was acting ungentlemanly. He admonished us to carry a quarter in each shoe so we would always be ready. He said, "You tell that young man, 'My bishop can be here in 12 minutes. He's 6'4," weighs 250 lbs, and once spent a night in jail for losing his temper.'" 

Well, several of us girls started to recite the bishop's number in the unison sing-song way we'd practiced.  We made the call. Bless that man! Bishop Young drove out to the far side of Utah Lake with his mud tires and pulled both vehicles out of the lake. 

Poor Autumn didn't hear the end of it at church the next day. His car looked like it had barely survived a brush with the mud monster. He took it all good-naturedly. That was the last bonfire I attended at Utah Lake. To this day, I still have Bishop Young's number memorized. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Secret of Life

Happy 100th post to me!  I didn't think I'd actually have that much to say when I started this. Thanks for reading! Thanks for your love and support. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Unsolicited Book Review

I just finished reading These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. It's been on my list for a few years, but I just hadn't gotten around to reading it. Then, my mom came to help me get ready for our new addition and she had brought that book with her. She loved it so much, she insisted on leaving it here so I could read it. 

The book is beautifully written. It's full of rich, interesting characters. There's action, drama, and romance. It's been a long time since I've been so hooked by a book that I couldn't stand to put it down to sleep (and sleep is a very precious thing in these parts these days). I would recommend this book to anyone. It's a fabulous read! Thanks Mom, for insisting I read it before I finished my current read. 

Anyone else have a good "must read" that I haven't heard about? It seems like I'm always looking for a new book. I'd love some suggestions.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Introducing . . .

Bruce Aaron Hill. Born on October 9, 2009. Weight: 8 lbs, 12 oz. Length: 21 inches.

Lucky for me, it was a pretty classic labor (once he finally decided to come). My mom got into town last Monday to help me get ready for his arrival. We walked, we cleaned, we nested. Then we waited. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I don't think I was nearly as anxious as Brent was for his arrival. Finally, on Friday morning, I woke up feeling terribly. I just knew it had to be that day. We went on a walk, and the contractions were already going. I got home and showered, and then I could no longer stand. 

Thankfully, we found a brother in the ward who could come over and help Brent administer a blessing. Then we were off to the hospital. Of course, our little guy would come on a day when we hit every red light. There was an accident on the major road, so we had to detour through more traffic, but we arrived soon enough and were checked in. 

From there, labor went just as it was supposed to. I am amazed at the human body. Labor was a harrowing and hallowing experience, one that I'm honored to have been a part of. I was so grateful to have Brent and my mom there with me. I needed that moral support. I got a little dehydrated and had to wait for the IV drip to finish before they gave me an epidural (around 2). Then, it was up to my body to do the rest of the work. Around 6:00 we started pushing, and Bruce arrived at 6:30 on the nose. 

He's already got me wrapped around his little fingers. There is just nothing that compares to having a new, sweet little baby in your home. I'm honored to be his mother, and I hope I can live up to this sacred calling. 

On Bruce's due date. Still two days to wait.
Is it time-o?

I got to hold Bruce minutes after he came. I have no words to describe the feeling of welcoming a new little person to this earth.  
Our new little family.

This just feels so right.
Weighing in.

It's so bright!
Bonding with dad
I love the look on Dad's face in this one. 
Bruce has really dark eyes. I'm betting they'll go brown.
Left to right: Brent, Dr. Ynostroza, me, Bruce, Mom, and Debbie (Brent's mom)
Hi, Mom. 
Look, I can suck two thumbs at once. 
Sleeping so good. 
Welcome home, little Bruce. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Don't Belong On Hell's Kitchen

“I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Mom’s parting words as I stood alone in the kitchen. My young heart fluttered at the thought of being alone in the kitchen. Not that the kitchen was a particularly scary room. I just hadn’t ever been turned loose to create in that space without supervision. 

Earlier in the day, I had asked mom if I could bake cookies all by myself. Due to my cautious nature, I don’t always like to do new projects all by myself, for fear of messing up. Looking back, I’m surprised at my proclaimed independence. Then again, this experience may have more deeply entrenched my perfectionistic, and thus fearful of failure tendencies. 

I was alone in the kitchen to make cookies on an overcast day while Mom napped. Time to test my wings. 

I decided applesauce chocolate chip cookies sounded delicious. I remember carefully pulling out all the ingredients and double-checking the recipe. Flour? Check. Sugar? Check. Spices? Check. I was all set. 

Carefully, I creamed the sugar and the butter. I added the eggs. I remember intently putting each ingredient back as I went - just like Mom. I wanted her to be proud of me for doing this right all by myself. When at last all the ingredients were mixed, I started loading up the cookie sheets. 

The smell that came from the oven was heavenly. The warm, welcoming smell of baked goods is still one that I associate with “home.” It makes you feel as if all is right in the world to enter a home that smells of homemade love. With my task in it’s final stages, I was feeling more confident by the minute. I’d helped mom load and unload cookie sheets before, and everything smelled so good. I just knew she’d be pleased with me. 

Mom helped me finish cleaning up the kitchen after her nap. I think we even loaded a few plates up to give to neighbors. I was pleased with myself. After dinner, we all sat down with our glasses of milk and a cookie in hand. I bit into my cookie, anticipating the euphoric soft, chocolatey-goodness to melt over my tongue. Alas, I bit into something hard and not sweet at all. The grimace on dad’s face confirmed my heart’s dread. 

My cookies were a failure. It turns out that when a recipe calls for cloves, it usually means ground cloves and not whole cloves. I wasn’t sure when I was reading the recipe. Lesson learned. We’ll just say that my husband is glad that I’ve become a more accomplished cook and baker since that day. Still, I don't think this will ever be anything more than a hobby for me.