Monday, July 18, 2011

T Minus 4 ...

That's right folks ... we leave for Hawaii in FOUR days. Crazy!! My to-do list is also coming in at the number four. Four pages that is :)! Coincidence? Probably.

You know how they say you forget the bad parts about having a baby (you know, like how the baby actually got delivered)? I don't think it's true. I actually vividly remember labor and delivery. All. Of. It. But what sticks out so much more is the end result. Therefore, the rest was totally worth it.

(Stick with me here ... this is a metaphor not an announcement ...)

I hate to pack. HATE IT. I stress in ways no one should (and really probably no one else does) about what to pack, how to pack, are my bags overweight?, how long will it take me to get all this stuff unloaded and through security?, the list goes on and on. However, I LOVE to travel. Love it. Even though I vividly remember packing for our big vacation last year (with a baby in tow for the first time - and holy cow do they need a lot of stuff!), I remember even more how much fun we had. I have a few pictures from that very trip on my calendar for this month. Those memories are funny, wonderful, and priceless all wrapped up in one. Therefore ... I pack!

Today I went to Wal-Mart and came home with an immense amount of snacks, a floatie, more sunscreen (you can never have too much!), and some bathroom items. In travel size of course. I could spend hours in the travel-size aisle ... I was actually miffed that Wal-Mart's selection was getting picked over for the summer and I didn't have as much to pick from. Pathetic, I know.

We have spent approximately 1.5 million hours shopping, packing and organizing ... and making arrangements for Ellie, the fish, our plants, etc. And making list of what we are going to do!! I LOVE making lists ...

This week (other than packing and organizing) I'm checking my "appointments" off my list. There are an immense amount of beauty treatments involved when one is planning to spend 10 days on the beach. Take my word for it.

For 4 more days I will be a stress case. And then ...
We'll be in Hawaii!!! And nothing else will matter!!! YAY!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today we took Landon to Nursery at church for the first time!! Technically he is only 16 months (tomorrow!) but since we teach a Primary class we can take him early. We were planning to wait until after Hawaii, but he was so busy during Sacrament meeting, we decided just to give it a shot today. He did great!! I was determined to be the kind of parent I liked when I was a nursery leader - we didn't linger or let him think that we will be a permanent part of the experience. Instead we kissed him goodbye and walked out. He didn't even cry ... he was so happy to see so many new toys! I, however, almost started crying (my saving grace was thinking of Sacrament meeting again ... it helped my resolve not to go scoop him right back up again!)! He just seemed so little in there ... and so grown up at the same time. How is my little baby already ready to be in Nursery?! (Just writing it I almost started crying again)

A little later, I thought I heard him crying, but apparently it was solved really fast because they didn't come get us at that point. He made it the whole first hour. Snack time made him a bit apprehensive (shocking, I know) so they brought him to me at that point.

I decided at the very end of church to take him back in to let him do bubbles with the other kids. I left him again so that when we went to pick him up it would be a big, exciting ordeal (just like for the other kids) so he could see and experience that. He loves bubbles so I knew he would be okay :)!

I'm so proud of him! He did great for his first time, especially since it is right during his normal nap time. Nursery may take a little bit longer for him to get used to the full two hours, but it is SO worth it ... for his interaction with friends ... and our sanity during the rest of church!! Yay for Nursery and Nursery leaders!!

Friday, July 15, 2011


This morning I had a networking luncheon to attend for work. I actually helped plan and organize the whole thing, so for the first time since before Landon was born (16 months ago!) I was headed off to a work function. It was like stepping back in time and into a different life for a brief time.

Once upon a time I was as comfortable in dress clothes as I am in jeans. I could wake up in the morning and put on an outfit without having to think about it (which, is easy to do considering most of what I own is black, white and khaki :)!) But this morning I was a bit hesitant and unsure of myself ... it had been so long! I slipped into a silky purple blouse and black slacks. My favorite kind ... Banana Republic in black that are pleated and cuffed so perfectly ... and fit just right. Chandelier earrings and a loose bracelet. I was coiffed, made up and perfumed to be "understated and sophisticated." And in three inch slingback stilettos. I could write an entire post on how much I love slingback high heels. They rock my world.

The event was a huge success. Sometimes I forget I help make those things happen since I stay behind the scenes and don't travel anymore. It was nice to see it in person. I had forgotten how nice it is to see beginning, middle and end of a project. I had forgotten that it is nice to connect in person with people you regularly email with and speak with on the phone. I guess sometimes I just forget that what I do matters. And that I can still rock slacks and high heels in style. (Please don't misinterpret that I no longer wear heels. Oh the horror! Just not as regularly, or in this setting.)

I had also forgotten that slacks are hot in the summer ... and heels are too after a certain number of hours in them. I had also forgotten that "networking" means "meat market" to many men still. Ladies, we might work really, really hard to be seen as equals, but I fear that some men just might not ever get it. Thankfully some are enlightened, and for that we are lucky.

It was fun to step back into that role for a bit. I wouldn't trade my new one for the world, and I'm grateful for a company who values both my roles ... that's priceless to me.

Kind of like those slingbacks :)!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

Landon is very into imitating people lately ... he LOVES to mimic us. I think it is pretty funny most of the time. Who knew a 15 month old could watch me pull out a pack of gum and start "chewing" with his mouth because he knows that is what is coming? Adorable, I tell you.

Yesterday I cleaned our sliding glass door. While I was busy cleaning, Landon was busy watching. When I went outside to clean he was so kind as to put both his little hands (whose prints I had just cleaned off) and his tongue on the glass :)! I had to laugh... he was just so interested in what I was doing. I didn't think much of it and went back to making dinner.

But a few minutes later I found him doing this:

He got into the washrag/towel drawer and pulled a couple out, crawled over to the glass, stood up and started washing the windows. It was so cute I could hardly stand it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Grand Finale

After Bloomfield we headed back to celebrate the Fourth of July in my parent's hometown - Osceola. Landon got more quality time with Grandma and got to meet Aunt Salowa and cousins Colton and KaDee. (My aunt is actually only 6 years older than me ... so Colton is my brother James' age and KaDee is 5.)

Pictures of the Fam:
Osceola knows how to celebrate the Fourth of July in style (minus the fact that the fireworks were the night before). They have a carnival that sets up in the middle of town. So many of my childhood memories surrounding the Fourth of July take place at that carnival because we used to go visit my grandparents every year at that time. It's funny to look back - I remember it being so much bigger and more glitzy ... interesting how time changes perspective.
(Even my mom got in on the action while my grandma (below) kept
Landon. See how stylish and sassy she still looks?! Told you.)

(Landon LOVED the carousel. He petted his horsey after and blew it kisses)

(With my cousin Kimmy and her son. Please note his shirt ...
it says corn fed. In Iowa they grow kids big ... and the joke is that
they are corn fed. I tried to find Landon the same t-shirt, for obvious reasons :)!)
This picture deserves a story. My brother and cousin are apparently both afraid of heights, yet desperately wanted to ride the Farris wheel. So they begged me to go with them. Naturally that meant that at the very top I had to bump into my brother and say "Don't fall" as loud as I could. They both screamed like girls. Priceless. I can't wait until they have girlfriends to share all these fantastic stories with.

Now for a little trip down memory lane ...

This is the first home my parents owned - the one they brought me home to. Then it was super cute ... you can't even imagine. My dad worked in construction and spent hours making it their little home. I haven't been in it since I was about 6 months old and obviously don't remember it for real, but I can picture the wood burning stove in the living room where my mom used to wheel my bassinet near so that I would stay nice and warm during my nap ... just from hearing the stories so many times. It's sad to see it get so run down.
And here is the house my dad grew up in. I LOVE this house and was so sad when it was time for my grandpa to sell it. My grandma made the upstairs so grandma-y. Themed rooms, nicknacks everywhere and a screened-in back porch. The basement was a wonderland to a little kid. There was a real bar where we could play restaurant (with an old fashioned telephone), a pool table and my grandma's ceramics studio. I painted many a Christmas ornament under her tutelage. Looking at them now I am certain that she helped fix them up a bit once I left them to dry. I assure you I couldn't paint something that turned out that well now, let alone then.
We didn't get a good picture of where my mom grew up. It was a farm, but no one lives there anymore and it was mainly just grass and plants. However, once upon a time my mom worked at this hotel ... now home to the Statue of Liberty (who knew?!). It was so fantastic I had to get a picture of it.
We all had so much fun! We were sad to say goodbye!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Since my trip-blogging was so rudely interrupted by the battery problem, I'm going to take a step back a few days and catch you up. Friday morning we headed down to Bloomfield where my grandpa lives (my dad's dad). We had a fun time getting there...

First we stopped in this itty-bitty town called Humeston and ate at a little cafe. It is the best food we ate while there ... so delicious!! I think they thought it was so funny that we wanted our picture taken out front.
Then we stopped at a park for a while. James was pushing Landon in the swing and he thought it was SO much fun! (And I thought the pics were so cute!)
When we got to Bloomfield Landon met his great-grandpa Wuthrich for the first time. My grandpa has been married to Helen for a few years and we got to spend time with her too. She is very sweet and truly embraced our whole family.
Bloomfield is exactly what you picture when you think of a little farming community. It's tiny, quaint and everyone knows everyone else. We went to the farmer's market, ate at the local "nice" restaurant, got together with my dad's cousins and got to take a tractor ride! They didn't even have internet ... so we got to experience the quiet life for a couple of days :)!
(Landon meeting a cat at the Farmer's Market...they weren't so sure about each other)
(Playing with Great-Grandpa and his trains)
My dad has a cousin named Kenny. There probably isn't a nicer person on the planet. But when I was a young teenager he told me I looked like a Wuthrich - my dad's side of the family. I was SO offended. I thought he meant I looked like a guy. He still teases me about getting so mad that day :)!
(Hanging with Dad's cousins - this is Kenny)
(Finally a dog happy to meet Landon :)!)

Here we are riding tractors ... Landon and James even helped to plant some organic beans on my dad's cousin Kenny's farm.

When everyone was in bed I went to the basement and looked through old photo albums of my grandpa growing up and his married life to my grandma. My grandma had labeled everything. Even though she passed away when I was only 14, I still recognized her handwriting instantly.

We had so much fun, we were sad to say goodbye!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A few Iowa-isms

We went to Bloomfield where my grandpa lives for a couple of days and didn't have internet. And then when I got back with a camera full of great pictures my battery died. DIED! And naturally I didn't bring the charger. BAH! We switched to using my mom's camera, but we don't have any way to upload the pics. So you'll have to wait for all that. In the mean time a few fun Iowa-isms for you ...

*The other night at the local Mexican join (located in the old Hardee's ... very classy) our waiter looked and sounded just like Pedro from Napolean Dynamite. Fantastic!
* At that same classy establishment a girl had her baby with her. And then she proceeded to change it's diaper at their table. Seriously.
* They did their fireworks show the night before the Fourth of July. Why? We're not really sure. But we missed them because we didn't know. Sad, because I love fireworks!
* When we were up at the carnival I pulled James onto the carousel with Landon and I ... and didn't give them tickets for him. He's a teenager on a carousel ... we weren't going to pay for him. Luckily the guy didn't even care :)!
* Landon loves horses. After the parade they had one in a trailer to take him home. His owner told us we could go pet him as much as we wanted ... Landon loved that! And then after his carousel ride he petted his horsey and blew it kisses :)!
* Everyone we run into still calls my dad "Jimmy" when they ask about him. I don't think he has gone by Jimmy since he was a kid. But old habits die hard. Besides ... we know who they are referring to :)!
* They also seem to think that James (my little brother) goes by "little Jimmy." We haven't ever called James anything but James :)! It takes them a few tries, but eventually James figures out they are talking to him and responds to little Jimmy.
* I got to meet someone who threw my mom a baby shower when she was pregnant with me. She even remembered which quilt she sewed as my gift.
* At the ice cream shop (which has an AMAZING brownie sundae ... that I might have had multiple times during our trip) a lot of people just walk in the back. I'm not sure what they were doing ... getting their food? Telling the employees they need something added to their order? Who knows ... but apparently it's acceptable.

There is something so endearing about quirky small towns, I really love it.