Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My brain is mush.

As my fingers search the keyboard for the words needed to create a worthwhile entry, I find myself distracted. Scrolling through my latest selection of pictures, I wait for a thought that will tie them together and then:


My mind is blank. I think I've found the reason behind my lack of focus.

This picture.

Does something look slightly amiss? Scratch that. Does something look completely amiss?

Ladies and Gentlemen, wearing socks and shoes to the swimming pool is an unfortunate consequence of extreme frugality. Yes, he owns sandals. Yes, they are still in storage. Yes, we were aware of the flip flops Old Navy had on sale for A DOLLAR. In fact, my dear brother offered to fetch us a pair. Did Andrew take him up on said offer? Clearly, he.did.not.

It's okay. We won't judge. Right Henry?

"Okay, Mom! Whatever you say!"

Don't ask me why, but I've always been attracted to Andrew's ability to not care about the opinions of others. He has a quiet confidence which appeals to me. And while we're on the topic of my spouse's cool factor (or lack of it), he took the kids for a ride on Bubba's motorcycle and scooter this weekend... which they loved. Even though she asked very nicely, we didn't let this peanut go for a ride. But she absolutely loved her time in the pool.

It wasn't long until Bubba was out cruising with the kids himself. Who is the bigger kid? I think I love this picture.

And this one too.

My thoughts drift to the South often. I miss "our life" - whatever that means. I miss the phone calls I used to receive regularly from my friends there. But then, I find myself chopping up a salad in Grandma Flegal's kitchen or watching my kids thread buttons at her side:

"We're playing!" Grandma will say. And I'm suddenly offering a silent prayer of thanks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ready to Bounce Back

Sinking into his Mother's side, the small three year old nearly disappears as his older sister unintentionally sandwiches him in. The five year old is fighting to maintain her grasp, but the force of the amusement park ride is too great. As The Musical Express continues to accelerate, the concerned Mom waits for her little boy to voice his discomfort. Instead, he issues a happy:

"Weeeee! Weeeeeeeee!"

And although the tone of his voice is coated with worry, he is determined to remain enthusiastic.

"Weeeeee! Best. Day. Ever!" Again, his voice is nearly monotone, his facial expression flat, as he shouts his hurrahs. Pleased and amused with his attitude, she feels her own expression of concern relax. The 37 inch tall boy nearly made the cut for a handful of "big kid" rides. Wanting to keep up with his big sister, he mustered up courage for the new "blue roller coaster" among other gutsy choices.

Speaking of the eldest child, the Mother was perplexed but likewise happy to see her pleading to ride everything and anything she was eligible for. Asking this same child to eat a new food scares and upsets her greatly, but extending a mock invitation to ride the Rocket, she'll joyfully accept. Explain that one to me.

The young girl's face, unlike her brothers, was nothing but joy as she experienced the intense butterflies that accompany rides like the Tidal Wave and the Dinosaur drop for the first time. It was lucky she was exposed to the kiddie rides first as they proved lack luster after having a taste of the adult sized thrills.

"Watching her face," her Dad commented at the end of the day, "was the absolute best."

Okay. I'll wait as you fetch your barf buckets before I continue to relay the glitter-filled memories of our family's first Lagoon adventure; because seriously, it was a happy occasion. Well, except the part where I deposited Lottie to a most loving and gracious Aunt Jen who offered to watch her so we could enjoy the day more fully.

Technically, her husband Mark offered her services, but that's beside the point!

Jen is the best and did a great job making me feel that watching Lottie was a pleasure rather than a chore. I know babies are work, but her attitude was a great comfort. We were apart for the afternoon and into the evening; not a big deal right? That didn't stop me from crying when we drove away. Overly devoted? Too emotional? Pathetic? What am I? Don't answer that.

To be fair, the day wasn't pure perfection. It was hot, kids grow cranky and we may have had an unexpected run in with my brother's first ex-wife while standing in line at the Log Flume. Yes, you read that right. Seeing her was yet another thrill supplied by Lagoon. As we crossed paths while waiting in line, the air was charged with awkward curiosity and shared looks of surprise. I suppose that's normal after ten years of zero contact. I digress.

Clinging to their promised bag of cotton candy, we dressed them in their pajamas in the car and secured them into their car seats. Kissing their sun kissed cheeks we thanked them for sharing such a fun day with us and mutually expressed our hope to return soon. Thanks Nana Marie and Uncle Mike and Aunt Sunnee for spending the day with us!

Monday, June 20, 2011

SPF 70

You'd be surprised how fast our family goes through a bottle of sunscreen. Okay. You're probably not that surprised. Yowzers! We're bright!
We're just happy that summer is providing us with a lot of opportunities to be using the sunscreen.

For example: Aunt Jen and cousin Tyler recently had a birthday. And in case you're wondering, they know how how to throw a pool party!
The kids were in heaven.

Lottie took her first dip in the pool! She appeared content and curious while in the water. Not to mention, she looked adorable.

So yes, we've been spending money on sunscreen. And Slurpees. Holy bananas, I love summer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In good company

I've been slow to mention how great it's been seeing these ladies on a (somewhat) regular basis. Thank you Miss Laura for planning our weekly gatherings. With the heavenly, albeit slow, arrival of Spring, we've been able to expand our outings from the Church gym to the Zoo, neighborhood parks and Wheeler farm (yesterday).

Here are a few realizations from yesterday's outing:
  • Wheeler farm is free (!)
  • It was unexpectedly close to my Mom's house (bonus).
  • Eliza is passionate about picking up litter. According to her, "It's important for the Earth to be clean and good and healthy." It was great fun finding random pieces of other people's garbage in my diaper bag when we returned home.
  • I remain the annoying friend behind the camera.
Can you blame me? It's not my fault my friends have such darling kiddos.

Alright Miss Laura. Where to next?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Growing Pains

They are growing so fast. Life is moving to fast.

Except that part where we:
  • close on our new house,
  • are reunited with our household goods that have been in storage since March
  • settle.

Except that part. That part is moving interminably slow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Taylor Time

Like everyone else, we've been busy. In an attempt to satisfy my inexplicable need to record each second of our family life, I offer a brief update. Here's hoping that "bullet points" make this less boring.
  • Memorial weekend we went to East Canyon with our kids, Brent and Katie, their unborn twins (squeeeee!!!!!) and Nana and Bubba. The weekend was spent camping in a condo. Kind of. The power went out day #2 which left us huddled around the fire, counting the seconds until it was time to put the kids to bed. Pictures to come.
  • Eliza's school year ended. I was disappointed that their wasn't a graduation or program to commemorate the event. We all know how I love an "event" that's intended to rouse motherly emotion. However, I did meet with her teacher to discuss her end of year assessment. Said assessment is now displayed on my Mom's refrigerator for time and all eternity... or until we move out.
  • We have officially closed on the sale of our South Carolina home. We are done! (!!!!!!) A huge weight has been lifted.
  • I used to joke that the real obstacle wouldn't be selling our home, but finding a new one that Andrew and I would agree on.
  • And it came to pass...
  • Now's not the time to bore the blogging planet with the home buying saga that has transformed into a series of unfortunate events, but (crossing fingers) I hope that we've finally found a resolution that will bring us peace of mind.
  • Your thoughts on the bullet points? Kind of lame? Still dull? Yes. I agree.
  • Should I blog about the latest episode of the Bachelorette instead?
  • Would you like to hear how blessed we feel to be home with family and the friends we grew up with? Honestly, I'm so happy to be back. How annoying, right? When I say "Goodbye" at the end of a play date, I don't have to say, "Okay... hopefully we'll see you next Christmas when we come to visit."
  • On that note: Andrew's sister Sara and her six (amazing) children have been in Utah for the past week. We have been spending as much time with them as we can.
Andrew with three of his siblings: Mike, Katie and Sara
(We miss Liz)
Feeling the babies kick.
Proud of her lineage.While on the topic of Miss Shipley,
I borrowed her for a few hours on Saturday:
Target, Ross and the Noodle co.
I loved it.Eliza loves her too.Cece is usually the first to gravitate toward little miss Lottie.Aunt Sara also enjoys the baby.
Tennessee, on the other hand,
is quick to remind her who her real baby is.
Lottie's namesake.
If I was a sap,
this picture would make me teary.
So would this one.
But for other reasons.
(We are so pale. Sniff, sniff)
Uncle of the Year!
Having him around adds another dimension of fun.
Speaking of "fun"
Andrew interests the crew in a birds nest.
Thrilling.Wickman the great!
Another Maxwell favorite.
And last but not least, Syrelle!
Eliza, Henry and Relly had their first sleepover last night.
It was a success!
Eating great food is usually the 'reason' we get together.
That night it was homemade pizza.
Katie and Brent are famous for it.But this, the visiting, is actually the best part.
(minus the pregnancy related nausea that Aunt Katie was battling.)

I struck gold when I married him.
And not just because his family is so great.