Tuesday, March 31, 2009

head, shoulders, knees, tongue

Brianna is getting pretty good at identifying body parts. She can point to her mouth, hands, head, shoulders, knees, toes (only during the song) nose, feet...and if you ask her to show her tongue:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Novel size re-cap - pics pending

I have an SD card full of awesome pics of my parent's visit to us over the last 5 days.
Sadly, our previously dead Mac that magically revived itself for a couple weeks was just teasing us. It's really dead now.
But I can't wait til it's replacement to post a little 'bout our "vacation" with mom and dad... so here it goes:
Wednesday they arrived in their white spaceship to planet Vernal. It's the first time anyone has ever stayed over at our home here. Sad huh. Even sadder - my favorite part about this whole visit was that it motivated me to do some suuurrrious cleaning/organizing/decorating to our little shack. It still is no "Idea House," or "Street of Dreams" winner, but Brian's statement says it all: "wow chels - you're like a homemaker magician." Meaning that we no longer have boxes of clothes in the kitchen and boxes of dishes in the bedrooms.
I made lunch for Mom and Dad.... not knowing they stopped at Whole Foods' spectacular salad bar in Park City on their way... oh well. Leftover White Bean Chicken Chili for me! We watched the Brianna-circus for quite a while. She warmed right up to them! Dad knew how to win her heart - he handed her HIS CAR KEYS. They were best friends after that. Nonny worked her nonny magic - lots of QT - signing songs and reading books... I had Brianna well-trained to perform some tricks for them. She sings "Row, row, row your boat"... but just the first 3 words. Over and over again: "whoa, whoa, whoa.... whoa, whoa, whoa.... whoa, whoa, whoa..." And she does high-fives, gives hugs, sings E-I-E-I-O (though all those vowels get a little jumbled up), does a few animal sounds (snake, dog, lion), waves, points to a few body parts on command, says HI and BYE ... and grabs her bottom with a surprised face when she toots. That's my favorite.
The Brianna-show was paused while we went to th Rec Center here. Brian took Brianna swimming while Mom and I did a kickboxing class and dad did the treadmill. We all went down the big slide...but dad took quite awhile coming down... still not sure what happened, but he flew out laughing. Hmm. We got home and did Brianna's bedtime routine. They got to see Brianna - always the exhibitionist - run around air-drying. Then Mom brought all the goods to make a super-cookie. There were like 20 ingredients, it was amazing. So we enjoyed those while playing Scrabble and Cranium.
Thursday morning we again escaped to the gym - Brianna hung out in the childcare area (which - thankfully - she is now ENJOYING!) while mom and I did the power toning class and Brian swam. Dad stayed home fixing our broken couch! I love my dad! Except when he takes Brian away to "go to Lowe's", then we find Wendys wrappers in the car.... no wonder they weren't too hungry for our homemade pizza lunch....
We made an attempt to go to the Dinosaur Museum, but it was a little too DEAD there to justify the $6 entry fee (I'm so witty!)
I took mom to a hangout of Brianna and mine.... the Tri-County Family Center. Basically it's a place where parents can take their kids to go play with educational toys and even rent them out. It's really neat. There ARE a few perks to rural living.
Rumors of snow in the mountain passes made us decide to take off early for Bountiful - Brian and Dad in a rental, mom and I and Brianna in their car. Good QT for everyone. Dad and Brian rented our ski gear for the next day while mom and I met up with our Craigslist dealer to buy 3 all-access Snowbird passes for $40! Reg price is $69! Oh - and we might have all stopped at Daniel's Summit on the way for their homemade fudge.
We arrived at Kit's gorgeous home near the top of the Bountiful hill in time to hang out with family for a bit before bedtime... had to get some sleep so we had energy for.... Friday SKIING! It was seriouslyseriously the BEST ski trip I've EVEREVER had. Ever. The mountains had been dumped on the previous 3 days, then the sun broke through on Friday for us to enjoy 45 degree weather and fresh powder! It wasn't crowded at all, the runs were perfect, I didn't get sunburned or have any serious falls, and only got lost twice! (huge accomplishment for me!) We were up there for 7 hours and I totally enjoyed every second. The views at 11,000 ft were breathtaking. I hope I can post the pictures soon! The best part was that I got to hang out all day with my two favorite men. And I felt great knowing my precious bebe was in the hands of the planet's best babysitter. THANKYOU MOM! Though she was quite happy to hand her over when we returned :) I loved seeing Brianna's face light up when we came back.
Friday night we went to a place I've been dying to go to - One World Everybody Eats cafe in Salt Lake. There's only 3 in the country - another being in Spokane, ironically. You'll have to google it for the explanation of how it works. It's an amazing concept that would solve the hunger and health problems on the planet if everyone adopted it.
Saturday morning mom and I escaped to SugarHouse park in SLC for a 5K Fun Run. And it was just that - SO FUN! Mom and I placed 1st and 3rd, respectively. I won't share how many people there were... suffice it to say I had to stop after 35.... (like - I HAD to stop... :) We won a gift certificate to the Red Rock Brewery so we headed over right after to use it. Oh wait....there was a stop in between to Whole Foods. Did you know they do samples on Saturday? Lots of them. And they're really good - I made sure of it at least 4 times at each station.
We came back to Kit's home to relieve Brian of his child care duties and hand him our restaurant leftovers and Whole Foods treats. He was happy to be fed - though Phyllis's amazing Italian Cream Cake had filled him up well at breakfast. Brian likes my relatives.
We spent the rest of the afternoon playing. Said goodbye in the afternoon so we could do our Vernal journey with some daylight. Stopped at Grandma's on the way out to give her a bday gift (agave nectar from WF) - she's 87 and still kickin!
The long drive "home" (that's a debatable title these days) was bittersweet. I miss my parents - I lovelovelove being with them and seeing them love on Brianna. But it's nice to just be our little family again.
Look forward to more adventures with Nonny and Papa in July when we road-trip it up North!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

maria's bridesmaid

I have a dear friend named Maria. We go way back - like 9th birthday party, roller skates, TPing, prank calls, Girl's Camp, night games... all summer long (just the summer though - she lived with her Dad in Florida during the school year).
Despite the distance we've stayed pretty close. She's one of those friends that I can just call up anytime and talk with for hours.
She came to my wedding in SLC - here she is, giving me away to Brian:

Giving a very heartfelt speech at our wedding luncheon:

Last week, I received a postcard from Maria in the mail. We have a tradition of sharing significant news with each other via snail-mail. Her big announcement: she was finally engaged to her boyfriend of 5 years. He proposed at the Rockefeller in NYC. She immediately bought a postcard in their giftshop for me (yep - on the night of her engagement, she thought of ME! :)
I actually have never even met Julian. But I have to assume he is a decent guy - my Maria (sing the song) wouldn't settle for less. Stole this photo off Facebook:
So of course, I have the honor of being her bridesmaid.
But unfortunately, she wants her bridesmaids in a dress like this:
Pretty huh? Though it's missing something... can't quite put my finger on it.... oh yeah - FABRIC.

But I seem to be the only one in this world who has a problem with it. Even my parents compared this event to one of my races - "you wear the uniform for the event." Maria sent me a text, "I know it's not as conservative as you would like, but it's just for the ceremony and pictures..."
I had quite the internal struggle over this one. Which was almost a novelty for me - I haven't had my standards seriously challenged in years because of the environment I've put myself in.
But I've made covenants with God. These sacred promises involve wearing garments as a protective reminder. They aren't to be taken off just to "fit in." A Catholic shouldn't eat meat on good Friday just because it's on sale. A fish doesn't leave it's school just because the water looks good elsewhere. And I'm not going in public under-dressed unless there's a swimming pool nearby (there's an idea - do a water-wedding so we can feel justified in partial nudity).
Maria knows me. She knows I'm stubborn. But she tried and tried ("what about a 4 inch strap...what about just an open back... c'mon, I'm TRYING here - can't you compromise too??") Ouch. What kind of friend am I? One who won't work towards a happy medium... one who knowingly stresses her friend out... I felt like such a Pharisee.
To answer her seemingly endless questions of how-low-can-I-go, I sent her the following email:
Hey Mojo - super glad we got to talk today.
So recap - this is YOUR big day, and you deserve to get to have it look however you want it to. When it's all over, the only thing you'll have are pictures and memories. They all should be good ones.
The last thing you need to stress about is Ms. Chelsea.
I will be happy as a clam to sit on the sidelines wearing my Polynesian MU-MU, cheering you and your ladies on.
But since you did send that last text asking for clarification on my dress standards...
here are a few websites with pics of gowns I could adorn.
OH - and remember - the goal is to put your bridesmaids in UGLY dresses - makes you look even more gorgeous! (as if that's possible!)
love ya ~

She checked out all the sites. Her response: "they all look the exact SAME! No style!"
So I was resigned to my fate - I wouldn't be one of her bridesmaids.
BUT SUDDENLY... the clouds parted and the sun broke through...
Maria sent me a link to a picture of THIS:

It's a spaghetti-strap dress - but with a little jacket that I can have sewn on!
Maria was so proud of herself for finding a solution.
So was I.
May 22, 2010 - I'll be in Florida for the biggest day of my friend's life. And there will be no regrets for anyone.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Papa and Nonny en route!

They've made a short detour to Sacramento on the way...
But they'll be here soon!

Interestingly, they actually spent part of their honeymoon here in Uintah County (...so romantic).
They may notice it hasn't changed much.
How in the world do I occupy them for 3 days in Vernal?! You can only go to the Dinosaur National Monument and Museum so many times...
Actually, I'm not worried about it at all. We have a live-in circus entertainer available 24 hrs day. I have no doubt she will be all the fun they can handle!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Believe it or not, we're STILL in the process of moving. It's been over a year since we're had all our belongings in one location.
But we're getting close now.
Just a few more weekend trips to Spanish Fork/Salem (Brian's parents have homes there - free storage!) and we'll be done.
We feel quite proficient in the art of efficient space utilization. You wouldn't believe how much we can cram in Brian's rentals.

But one thing I have to remember when packing the vehicle: leave room for the baby:
p.s. - you may have noticed Brianna pictures frequently feature "the bottle" [scarymusicsoundeffect: dun,dun,dunnnn] yeahyeah - I know she should be off it by now... well she's not. She likes it. We like it. We brush her teeth consistently. So we're not stopping. Take that, APA.

p.p.s. did reading the title of this post conjure thoughts of anything besides MOVING to anyone? Fess up - I won't tell.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Dang flu bug got me bad. Real bad.

It's amazing how many trips you can take to the restroom when you're not eating anything... (tmi? sorry)

I wanted to lose weight, but this is just ridiculous...

And thanks to this heinous virus, we will be spending our first entire weekend in Vernal. Ever.
The best part - poor Brianna is bored out of her little mind. But she's found entertainment - jumping on my stomach when I attempt to lay down. What a doll.

Anyone seen Brianna...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Church Ball for B

Oh Church Ball, Church Ball.... the brawl that begins with prayer (and recitation of some long statement about the Priesthood and sportsmanship...not sure what it is...)
Whatever it is, Brian's totally into it. He treats these ward-on-ward tournaments as seriously as March Madness (which, thankfully, is NOT overtaking our home this year as it has in the past... our TV isn't working! Thankyou DTV transition!)
So Brianna and I are trying to be supportive. He really enjoys having us attend his games (though I think he gets embarrassed when I cheer really loudly for him).
Here is Brianna clapping for her daddy:
Brianna got really into the game... [caption] "Ref, are you BLIND?! My Dad did NOT just foul out!"
"That's it, I'm coming down there to give you a piece of my mind".....

"Forget this, I'm outta here."

Thankfully, Brian persevered, and celebrated with a victory daddy-daughter dance:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I was too lazy to get the flu shot...

...and am now suffering the consequences.
If you have any parting words, here is your chance. I might not make it.
Amazing how I can be sweating in a 50 degree house...
Is this post spinning?

VernalMOMs went green

Not environmentally (though I'd be all for that) - just for St. Patrick's Day.
We had a fun little get-together yesterday. These are a few of the attendees. Our VernalMOMs group has about 40 member-moms, but we usually get between 4-12 at each activity. We've been doing lots of park-trips lately (well, that's what Brianna and I go to - there are other crafty-type activities for the older kids, and Mom's Night Out, which I usually skip since I'm not a restaurant fan).
Yesterday was a potluck - green-themed of course. I brought a big green salad (with those yummy spritzer dressings), and 6-grain cookies I attempted to dye green (I should've used more food coloring, apparently - they turned out only slightly green - like murky brownish - very appetizing). Then we went outside to play. Brianna had her first encounter with a trampoline (I should've taken pictures - she looked like a wobbling drunkard with static hair, it was hilarious). They had a swing set, slides, play-tractor, animated rocking horse....and Brianna's favorite - sand pits. Her cute pair lime-green overalls came home brown. Again, I should've taken a picture - but maybe you can see it in this pic above - we are in the middle-back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If you hear Brianna meowing...

She ate catfood at our friend Sam's house today.

The worst part...she kept trying to go back for more.

Abandonment at the Uintah Recreation Center

We finally got a family pass to the Rec Center here in Vernal. I feel really lame for not doing it earlier... especially since it's only a half-mile from our home. But I've just been in "camping" mode here for the past year - always thinking we were just a month or two away from moving back to Provo. Now I'm set on "nesting" in Vernal (which could change anytime - Brian has an interview today for an ERAC manager gig in Boise - but I've learned not to bank on anything. Ever. I shouldn't even be mentioning it).
So the Rec Center - yeah, it's pretty sweet looking, eh? Has an indoor track, two full bball courts, volleyball, two pools, pingpong, childcare, classes, rock wall climbing, cardio/weights... all for $52/month. Not bad - though much more pricey than Gold's was for us. Oh well - that's rural life for ya - gotta be grateful this facility is even here! Just a few months ago, it WASN'T. There was no real gym in Vernal. But now we have an incredible facility. So last week when Brian woke up early with Brianna (she's still instigating the 6am party) I told him - just go over to Rec Center and sign us up and and play with her there." He's like... okay... and came home an hour later with passes and a year contract.

These pics are of the tour Brianna and I took ourselves on. She LOVES the big slide (sitting on my lap, of course).

She also enjoyed a jog around the track (gleefully escaping from my attempts to keep her out of other's way). Brian loves the bball courts and can show up there anytime and likely find other random guys wanting to play pickup. We used those same courts in the Fall/Winter in my volleyball league.

What I've most enjoyed is the CLASSES. I love,love,love,love classes. Kickboxing, weightlifting (aka pump), boot camp... they're awesome, and so motivating.

PROBLEM: Brianna does NOT like classes. For her, that means confinement to the childcare area. It's her first "daycare" type experience, and she has made it very clear that she doesn't appreciate me leaving her with the nice ladies. In a room full of fun, clean toys. With only kids under 2. Hmph. You'd think she'd be in heaven. Nope - she screams for the first few minutes after I leave her, then just sits in the corner depressed, drinking her bottle, occasionally playing with toys, bursting into tears whenever another mom comes to dropoff/pickup their child. Really makes me feel like Mom-of-the-Year. So I've debated whether to just giveup and try again when she's older...then I look at my jeans that are fitting wayyy to tight and determine that this little girl needs to tough it out. Brian thinks it will be good for her. I hope so. I don't want her sitting some shrink's office in the future telling him about her traumatic childhood abandonment.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Name that store...

It's one of my most favorite stores in the world because just walking in the doors makes me feel like I'm doing something productive. (name it for ten points).

Though I don't know what half the items in there are and do... I aspire to - thereby achieving "handy" status.

Brianna enjoyed our visit there last week (thank goodness we have one in Vernal). I had to get supplies to fix up a few loose ends in our Provo place before we rented it out. She doesn't enjoy being confined to the cart-seat, so I let her wander a little (til we got in trouble).
If you click on the last pic and look closely, you can see her birthmark. You can imagine how funny it was at the hospital during her first diaper change when we tried to wipe it off...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

my bunny

Since Brianna graduated from book-chewing to book-viewing, we’ve had fun exploring the world of children’s literature.

I really had no idea how devious and manipulative these stories are... some are so sly – like that book, Good Night Moon lulling children into a sedative state… or I Love You ALL the Time, brainwashing children to believe their parents love them despite being gone all day at work then spending half of their play time on the phone or issuing discipline. The Smile! book coaches the little ones into being photographable, and What Time is Grandma Coming attempts to turn an essential life skill into a game. Such cunning and craft…

But one of Brianna’s favorite is a scheming hardback that tops them all… The Runaway Bunny.
It’s basically my life, in illustrated children’s book form. Though I feign resentment of this…I was very touched when Brianna's Nonny gave this book to us:

From Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny

Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away. So she said to her mother, “I am running away.”
“If you run away,” said her mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”
“If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.”
“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said her mother, “I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”
“If you become a fisherman,” said the little bunny, “I will become a rock on the mountain high above you.”
“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me,” said her mother, “I will be a mountain climber, and I will climb to where you are.”
The little bunny said, “I will be a crocus in a hidden garden.”
“If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,” said her mother, “I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”
“If you are a gardener and find me,” said the little bunny, “I will be a bird and fly away from you.”
“If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said her mother, “I will be a tree that you come home to.”
The little bunny said, “I will join the circus and fly away on a flying trapeze.”
“If you go flying on a flying trapeze,” said her mother, “I will be a tightrope walker, and I will walk across the air to you.”
“If you become a tightrope walker and walk across the air,” said the bunny, “I will become a little girl and run into a house.”
“If you become a little girl and run into a house,” said the mother bunny, “I will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you.”
“Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”
And so she did.
“Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.

I love reading this story to my little bunny... over and over and over again (heh heh!)

Friday, March 13, 2009


The Issues of a Welfare Society
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friends, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Dr. Adrian Rogers, Former President, Southern Baptist Convention

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ERAC hardhats

Ya know how some little kids have a particular outfit or accessory they insist on wearing everywhere... like my nephew Devin and his cape, and my friend Sammy's daughter in her princess costume... well, Brian wears his Enterprise hardhat like that.
No, he doesn't need a hard hat - renting cars isn't that dangerous (unless negotiating with infuriated obese lesbians - crazy story).
Brian had these made for himself and his employee, Tommy. They wear these while marketing to Vernal businesses that actually use hard hats for functional purposes... imagine that...
He even took it a step further and had "company man" written on his hat, and "worm" on Tommy's. Ten points if you already knew those were terms for oilworkers.
I drew the line when he wanted to wear it in the house and buy one for Brianna.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"VANITY" or... "If Brianna Were a Twin"

I couldn't decide which blog post title to use for these: