Sunday, May 29, 2011

It takes a Village/Ward/Community

I have a fun post about Memorial Day weekend ... but since it isn't over yet I decided to share something that was on my mind lately, especially today. Do you remember when Hillary Clinton came out with the book titled "It takes a Village" several years ago? Honestly, I never read the book (nor do I generally agree with much Hillary has to say, but that is an entirely different matter), but I agree so much with the principle.

When we bought this house we really lucked out ... we didn't really know anything about the area. We just felt great vibes and decided it was for us. And boy were we right. We are surrounded by a neighborhood, ward and community who embraces one another fully. There are great people here. And great parks, programs, doctors, teachers, etc. And a ward who looks out for one another.

Since having Landon we have really understood on a whole new level why those things matter so much. It takes a village/ward (as was today's case) to raise a Landon.

It takes young men, worthy of a sweet little boy's admiration passing the sacrament each week as an example to him. Just today he was looking adoringly at them standing there waiting to be called back up to the front and one of them caught Landon's gaze and smiled at him. Landon glowed. And so did his mom who happened to catch the moment.

It takes Jeff's 11-year-old scouts trying so hard to include a 1 year old whenever they can. When we walk into singing time they fall all over themselves to hold him or talk to him. And the couple of times he has accompanied Jeff to a mid-week activity they go out of their way to make him feel part of what they are doing.

It takes patient older ward members who don't mind that Landon just threw his book under their seat (again), or is poking their back during the Sunday School lesson (those chairs with holes in the backs are much to tempting for a little boy to resist).

It takes friends and neighbors who also have kids to provide that extra distraction Landon (and we) need during the three hour block. We trade toys, snacks and sometimes even kiddos for a bit of a break from wrestling with our own.

It takes a friend to grab the sippy cup you left behind and let you know they'll drop it by later because they didn't want it to get lost and happened to know it was yours.

It takes a ward who is willing to drop everything to help someone in need by bringing in meals, no matter what the cause. When we had Landon people brought meals over a three week period. Three weeks. At the time we were between Compassionate Service Leaders ... they did it all on their own. Amazing. And I have seen it happen in many other situations as well.

It takes friends who watch out for our home, kiddo and us all the time. Many of them (but one in particular) who have provided advice or sanity at just the right moment. Or dessert. Either one works every time :)!

When we eventually do move, we'll ask a lot more questions about the schools, parks around the area and activities provided by the community for children. We might even visit the ward to check it out. But they will have lot to live up to. A lot. Because this village has done a bang up job of showing us how it's done. Thanks Village :)!

As a funny side note: At dinner I asked Landon if he learned anything new at church today. And he had an answer from me! He started doing the "rah-rah" from the BYU Cougar fight song. I'm not even kidding :)! Can you blame us for thinking he is adorable ... and brilliant :)!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just the Two of Us

Kristen gave me suggestions for my blog (thanks!) ... one of which was to tell the story of how Jeff and I met. Before we (and this blog) was "just the three of us" we were "just the two of us."

We were both living in Provo. I had just graduated from BYU, working at my first "real" job and living with some close friends from college. Jeff had moved up here to live with a friend who was supposed to be getting married in December and needed someone to live with for a semester. Two of the friends we were both living with used to be an item ... and (thankfully for us!) had stayed close friends even though they had broken up.

It was November (just 1 month before Jeff was supposed to be moving back to southern Utah!) and we ended up at their house for dinner. It was a casual thing, and we weren't even really introduced past "this is so and so." We made them watch our favorite show at the time (One Tree Hill) and we ate. Jeff was so incredibly nice. He got me water and refilled my plate when I wanted some more. I didn't notice I was the only one he was doing those things for ... I just assumed he did it for everyone :)!

A couple of days later my roommate invited us over to watch the BYU vs. Utah game. That was the night we really met. We sat together and I cheered (uselessly) for BYU (they lost) and Jeff cheered for the Utes (I know ... blasphemy!). During half time we went to Cafe Rio for some dinner. Our roommates were deep in conversation, which left a lot of time for us to talk. Jeff hadn't really decided what he wanted to do with his life yet ... and I was more than happy to offer up some suggestions. And as he will tell you I am still offering that up all the time :)!

Back at their house we were talking more comfortably and joking around. The second the game ended Jeff suggested all watch Napoleon Dynamite (which had just come out). So we stayed... and somehow by the end of the evening we were snuggled up watching the movie. Hmmm...

We invited them over for dinner the next day. Which I think was a very good friend seeing the writing on the wall and trying her best to help things along. (Thank you!!)

On the way to ward council that next morning (they were supposed to be coming over for dinner that night ... just so you can keep this crucial timing straight) I might have told said friend that I thought he would be really fun to make out with. (Luckily I didn't have to wait long to find out :)!)

By the end of that dinner we were somehow holding hands (for a shy guy he was pretty smooth). And he kissed me a day or so later (and apparently a fast mover!).

Please keep in mind a few important facts at this point:
1. We have not been on a real date
2. But neither of us thought that kissing the other was too fast, or non-committal
3. The next day I was leaving for Thanksgiving with my family
4. He doesn't have my phone number at this point

The next day he called me (sneaky, sneaky ... he got that number without asking me!) and we grabbed dinner before I left town. And talked once while I was gone. And when I got back he asked me on a date. For real.

We went to temple square to see the newly-lit Christmas lights and then out to dinner. The whole time we didn't stop talking. We even decided that we both loved the name Landon for a boy (weird first date topic ... but it already felt like we had been dating for forever at this point in the night).

At first (meaning the first month or so) we just kept telling each other how much we liked each other ... and then we couldn't help but say "I love you." Both of us had secretly decided that we were getting married only a few weeks into our relationship.

And 10 months later we did :)! Almost six years later we are still so glad we met ... and that we now have that Landon we talked about so long ago!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A lull...

I'm in a blogging lull ... I have blogger's block. I can't think of anything exciting or remotely interesting to take up blogging space (except perhaps a rant about a recent Wal-Mart trip ... but I'll spare you). So I'm taking ideas or suggestions.

Let the inspiration roll in!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Things that are making me happy lately:

* Jeff and I read this article for FHE last night. If you are in our ward, you probably recognize it from a talk on Sunday. We liked it so much we wanted to study it some more. Good stuff.
* Landon's dancing. It has evolved to include his arms out to his sides while he rotates back and forth from the waist up. And he does it at every opportunity. Hilarious :)!
* I received a post card in the mail a couple of weeks ago informing me my aunt had purchased me a subscription to Redbook Magazine. I thought it might be one of those scams so I didn't think anything about it. Redbook arrived in the mail yesterday!!! And I love it! A thank you note is in order.
* Anything covered in chocolate. Particularly strawberries and pretzels. Yum.
* Girlfriends I can really dish with.
* Push ups. I actually don't like push ups at all. But I didn't used to be able to do more than 5 (seriously) and now I can do a lot. They are still the girl ones, but I consider the sheer number a major success.
* The homemade cards I "purchased" with my service points at our recent service auction. They have already come in handy. I love it when I get a good deal :)!
* Live plants ... I have two new ones in my house. They add so much ... and bonus they are both still living almost a week later!
* Possibility. Sometimes it seems like there is so much that could happen ... or that we could do ... and just the idea of all of it makes me happy and excited (and occasionally a little overwhelmed!) all at once.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Take me out to the ball game ...

Last Saturday (seriously, I am so behind!) we decided to take Landon to his first baseball game. It was BYU's last (or almost last, I'm not completely sure) home game, and J Dawgs was providing the food for the tailgate party before hand. And let me tell you ... Jeff doesn't ever turn down J Dawgs! Personally, I hate hot dogs and go to great lengths to avoid eating them. But everyone raves about J Dawgs ... so I was a good sport and tried on. For the record, I ate almost the whole thing. It wasn't too bad. I certainly won't go out of my way to eat one again. But I survived :)! The whole thing was really fun and as a huge bonus - Cosmo was there! Landon thought Cosmo was the coolest thing ever!

Us with Cosmo:
Playing baseball with dad at the tailgate party:
At the game:
We also bought Landon his first baseball hat (it is SO stinking cute!). He HATED it that day and spent the whole time yanking it off, or attempting to. Since then he has gotten a little better ... but not much :)! But with skin as white as his is (and let's be honest ... he comes by it naturally) he's going to have to learn to wear that hat!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day

It has been such a crazy few days that I haven't gotten to post about Mother's Day this year. Landon and Jeff went out of their way to make it really, really special for me! Saturday morning they made a big breakfast since we have early church on Sunday. And all day on Sunday I didn't have to do anything! I got to sleep in both mornings and got spoiled rotten with a delicious Mother's Day dinner.

But the cutest part of all? Jeff took Landon to pick out flowers for me. He lined up all the choices and let Landon choose which ones were from him. Landon picked beautiful hot pink Azaleas! I love them!! Jeff said he got so excited about them in the store, and when he brought them in to me he kept waving his arms around and pointing at them! It was SO stinking cute! Jeff helped him sign the card and they got me a new Flirty Apron.
I feel so blessed to be Landon's mommy (and Jeff's wife!). He makes life so special and makes me smile and laugh every single day. He has taught me so much more than I could ever teach him!! Thank you for making my Mother's Day so special!! I love you!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Surprise Package

Don't you love it when exciting things come in the mail ... in our house anything that isn't a bill or ad qualifies as exciting :)! The other day Landon and I went to get the mail. Interestingly enough there was a padded envelope addressed to Jeff. Ooh! Suspense ... we (okay I) wondered out loud what it could be (Landon tried chewing on it). I didn't open it though. It was addressed to Jeff, after all (not that that fact normally stops me) but this had the potential to be something really exciting and I didn't want to steal his thunder.

Then he got home and opened it ... and found this little delightful surprise:
Just in case you think your eyes deceive you ... it is a Pyrex hot pad.

Amazing huh? And just in case you *heart* Pyrex, but are unsure about how to use it ... this is the back:
Jeff had no idea why he got it, so we got a pretty good laugh out of the whole deal. And a free hot pad. And yes, we do *heart* Pyrex. Hopefully a t-shirt will come next time with the same saying on it. I would rock it proudly at the gym.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Last week Megan asked if I could watch her little girl - we'll call her K. for privacy's sake - for her. We were SO excited! They moved a couple of hours away last year and we don't get to see them nearly enough. And K. and Landon get along SO well. Seriously. He is very much into parallel play still, but he and K. are the exception to that - they chattered, tried to share (the pic was blurry, but it was so cute to watch) and generally just had a really good time together. It was the one time I actually though "two is easier than one!" because they were so entertained by each other (and no, that does not mean we are considering giving Landon a permanent play mate yet).

It is, however, almost impossible to get a picture where two 1-year-olds are looking at the camera or smiling. Trust me, though ... they had a great time.
K. likes trains - Landon thought this was a
really great trait to find in a girl.

If Landon and K. decide to take their friendship to the next level, Jeff and I would totally approve. 1. She is super cute 2. She is fiesty (he's going to need that) and 3. Landon would end up with fabulous in-laws (as would K. I think!) and Megan and I would have more fun planning their wedding than they would :)!