Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ode to Vernal

A year ago I never would've imagined I'd do a post like this upon our Vernal departure. I figured I'd be too busy doing backflips and cheering.
But I've grown to love Vernal, and there are a lot of things I will miss:

My VernalMOMS play group!!! Fun, friends - this group MADE my time here.

The Uintah Recereation Center, just 2 blocks away, with all the awesome pools, slides, rock climbing wall, CLASSES, low rates, and fun childcare.

The Family Resource Center on 80 N Vernal Ave. I've been meaning to do a post about this place for awhile. I regret not taking more advantage of it. It's an amazing facility - like a library, except with educational toys and games! We went there a few times to "rent" toys. We also hung out there during the winter when we were desperate to get out. I still have their "Your Baby Can Read" program I need to return.
Brian's office at the airport. I hung out there a lot. The TSA agents are such cool people - I'll miss them.
The fun parks nearby - Independence, City Park, Naples...

The Chocolate Lab next door, Satch. Every day when Brianna would hear him bark, she says "atch, atch." So we would go next door and play with him through the fence. She loved letting him lick her face.

The beautiful Vernal temple, just a 15 minute walk from our house. I loved going each Thursday night, and loved the sweet older ladies that started to recognize me there. One even cried when I told her it was my last time there!

Brianna's sweet little buddy Addison, who she spent a lot of time with for a couple weeks when her mom and I traded babysitting. The cute neighbor boy, Wyatt, came over one day to play with them.

The list of what I will NOT miss about Vernal is much shorter, but still deserves some recognition, I think:

Going to the laundromat. Ick. I hated it. We had to use it about 4 times during our 16 months here (on the few weekends we didn't journey back to Utah County). I hated the wasted quarters, the hours of waiting, the smell, and the crap on the floor Brianna would inevitably find.
Though she looked cute in it - I hated having to bathe Brianna in a little bin inside the tub (since I didn't trust the old dingy tub to be clean enough).

And that's about all! Adios Vernal!

Friday, May 29, 2009

hApPy BiRtHdAy B! now get movin'

Brian is 27 today! He woke up to signs and balloons around the house and a nice breakfast
But it's a good thing he enjoyed his present last Saturday, cuz that was the end of the festivities - it's MOVING DAY! We are packed up and heading out to Cedar. House #2 was the lucky winner (we hope - offer accepted, but loan pending) and til it's closed, we are renting Brian's friend's house while he's away selling satellites (or something like that - one of those crazy summer sales gigs). He's giving us a great deal, and his home is bomb. Everything is going so smoothly - we've been seriouslysoblessed. Today Brian's saintly brother Mark is driving a huge trailer all the way from Spanish Fork here to Vernal, helping us load it, drive it 6 hrs down to Cedar, helping us unload it to a storage unit, then driving it all the way back to SF. Like I said - Mark is a SAINT (literally - get it). We nearly pulled an all-nighter getting everything packed. I'm beat. And still have to endure a 6 hr drive with the little one.
Send Brian a text wishing him a happy birthday! (since we won't be online for awhile!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

sAvE mE MoMmY!

Poor Brian. Brianna's been a little mommy's-girl lately.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rock Climbing

Ovens and boxes aren't enough for our little climber. She wanted to do the big rock wall at the Uintah Rec Center.

Seriously - everyday she goes up to it and mimics climbing motions.

So on Monday (Memorial Day) we took a break from packing and played at the Rec Center for awhile.

Brianna watched while Brian and I took turns climbing.
I was very proud of myself for making it to the top of the intermediate wall - especially after having a near anxiety attack midway through the beginner wall previously.

Not sharing those pictures - they were from a very uncomplimentary angle. 

We hooked Brianna up to the child harness and she seemed to really enjoy it. 


Brianna bonked her head this morning. I braced myself for the onslaught of fake crying. I prepared to do my usual "you're okay" nonchalant soothing. 
But I didn't have to.
Brianna paused for a moment, rubbed her head, got up and said "o-tay." And kept playing. 
Maybe she's not such a GIRL afterall.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I tried

Update: the one-month marathon read of the Book of Mormon is going great. Check out the blog for progress reports. It's actually not as hard as I thought it would be...unless I MISS a day... then catching up is tough.
But the story I want to tell about the B.O.M. (not Brianna - though I hope everyone realizes by now that those are her initials) happened last Friday.
I'm really a horrible missionary. I get nervous to talk about the gospel unless someone specifically asks me. I get even more nervous to actually invite or offer something. I think maybe it's the fear of being rejected, or of damaging a friendship... or just having an awkward moment. I disdain awkwardness in all forms. Like this morning's kickboxing class at the gym, where we had a sub who obviously hadn't done kickboxing in a long time. She yelled stuff like "now let's kick our legs!" "pretend like you're punching something!" "I feel like we're dancing - this is kickdancing class!" So awkward. It was painful watching her.
So yeah - religion can be awkward, so I generally justify my lack of member-missionary efforts by telling myself that I'm setting a good example. Letting my light shine. Hmph. Lame, I know.
But Friday I had to make the nagging feelings go away. They were entirely thought-consuming, and making me feel constantly antsy.
So I went to Gale's (the LDS Bookstore here), and paid $4 for a nicer hardcover BOM copy. I wrote a note with it, sharing my testimony, highlighted a few verses, and headed over to my friend's house. I wondered if Brianna's fusing in the backseat was a bad sign.
I arrived with my delivery speech all ready: "So [friend's name], ya know how we were having that conversation last week about my church, and you said you didn't know very much and were curious about it... and you also said you were looking for a good non-fiction book to read (instead of trashy romance novels)... well I've brought you the best non-fiction book in the world." A little cheesy, I know, but that was my intro. And I was determined to get it out in a normal speed and tone of voice.
Plans changed when she opened the door
in tears. She was on the phone, and motioned me in. Her little baby was sitting on the floor playing, in fairly messy chaotic surroundings. Brianna was waiting for me in the car, so I hesitated in the doorway.
She got off the phone and said, "sorry, sorry - it's just - well you know how you can just get SO FRUSTRATED, you start crying, then you can't stop, and you're SO MAD..." she proceeded to explain that they had been turned down by yet another lender, and they were supposed to close on their new home the following week - which happened to be when their lease was up on their current home. She had to get with a new lender within the next hour, and had a group coming over to her house that night. Also, her baby was hungry and needed some care. So I (wide-eyed and somewhat speechless) told her to take off and go do what she needed to for her loan. She just looked at me and said
thankyou. I brought Brianna in and we all played and cleaned up for the next couple hours. The guests arrived, and I stayed and hung out. We played Guesstures.
Brian came for Brianna and traded cars with me.
I kept waiting for a moment to take my friend aside and give her the book. Never happened. Then she had a few drinks, and I figured I better wait so she'd actually remember the next day. But I ended up leaving the book on her table with the note, and an invite to church (since Brian and I were the speakers, and the topic was
families). I sent her a facebook message telling her I left it, and I hoped to see her on Sunday.
I was feeling such a relief that it was over - and I clung to a small hope that she would accept it whole-heartedly.
So bummed. Why can't I be like Ammon... he did the service route before sharing the gospel, and ended up with thousands of converts. I suck.
But at least the nagging has gone away, and maybe I'll be braver the next time around.

VernalMOMs got dirty

This is another catch-up goal is to get them all done before we move, since I'd feel silly doing Vernal posts after we start Cedar life. 

Last month, my VernalMOM friend Sam (whose husband's name is also Sam - funny huh) had a fabulous activity at her place called "Let's Plant a Garden!"    I assumed this would involved digging in dirt, so Brianna would obviously be game for it.

People brought empty egg cartons and seed packets to share. We contributed about a dozen various seed packets, since I had bought them at the end of last season, intending on planting a real garden at our Provo home (not just twenty squash plants). But of course, life never turns out like you plan it. I wonder whether we'll ever live in our Provo home again... or just keep renting it out forever (letting someone else pay our mortgage!), or finally sell it when the market improves.
Anyways, back to the dirt...

Brian had a great time digging around. We filled our carton with bell pepper seeds.

And, of course, they died. Plants don't survive under my care, it's just a fact of life. Unless they're squash plants and resilient to mistreatment.

When we finished planting, the kids all played in Sam's playground-backyard (it's like a jungle gym of fun at her place). But Brianna was more interested in chasing down her poor cat - who, fortunately for Brianna, was very tolerant.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Them apples

Brianna has a thing for apples lately.

The WHOLE apple. Don't even try to give her slices.

So if I'm eating one, she has to have one.

Even then, she usually tries to take mine as well.

2 for her, none for me. Very fair, right?

Missing the days of immobility

All this packing has given Brianna a chance to practice her climbing skills:

But if we take away the boxes, she just finds another way up:

ps - yeah, I know our kitchen here in Vernal is a lil ghetto. That's what we get for trying to save on rent. Yet another reason I'm anxious to move and buy a nice place.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

That 70's Dress

Both of these dresses were worn by her McKell aunts about 30 years ago!

They are the brand "mini world" which I hear was totally IN back then.

Draper Temple Open House

yeah, it was like... a couple months ago.
But we went. And we took pictures. So I feel obligated to post them.
It really was a cool experience and an awesome tour.
Family photo on the bus ride up from the church building to the temple grounds - taken by our friends, Rob and Celeste, who just happened to be there too. Of all the 3-quarter million visitors we could've rode the bus with...glad it was them! Especially since their cute little girls entertained Brianna from behind us:yay for new temples.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Where's Brian?

He is out enjoying an early birthday present trip!