Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the circle of life...kind of

This picture was taken two years ago at the St. George airport where we said good bye to Ryan for two years. I look at it and think about how much has happened since someone snapped this photo that morning he got on a plane headed to England.
We both had a lot of growing up to do.
At the time I was pregnant with Halle and through the past two years I have learned just how hard it is to be a mother, how painful it is to love someone so very much it physically hurts, and how wonderful it is to watch that child learn and grow and become their own person. That baby is now a toddler and those two years were some of the best of my life.
Through the past two years the then 19 year old has learned how hard it is to be a missionary, how painful it is to care about the people around you and yet see them reject the joy the gospel can bring and shout hurtful things at you in the process, and how wonderful it is to see a soul struggling for so long in the dark find the light of the gospel.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Ryan. In it, he wrote how much he had watched me as we were growing up. He told me how he would see me study my scriptures and say my prayers and it made an impression on him. He also said my example was a big part of the reason he went on a mission. I still remember the day I gave him a book about preparing to go on a mission years ago. I wrote my testimony inside and hoped that it would help him get fired up for his mission. I never knew those small and simple things had such an affect on him.
While he was on his mission it was his turn to be an example to me. I read his emails each week and was in awe at his obedience and ability to follow the spirit. I was inspired by the good attitude he kept through all the persecutions he suffered from the people they would meet. Let's just say England is not the friendliest place when you are an American missionary. As his testimony grew and he matured over the years, he helped my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel grow. He is no longer 19 and these past two years may have been some of the best of his life. His experiences that may have seemed small and simple to him have had such an affect on me and my willingness to follow the spirit.
So I guess we have come full circle.
Our own little Lion King-esque circle of life.
Tomorrow I will be flying to St. George with him from Salt Lake.
I love him immeasurably and can't wait to get to know him all over again.
ps if you rm's have any tips to make the transition a little easier for him, do share.

Friday, March 26, 2010

little bits of lovely

I know why the powers that be created a spring break for students.
It is a bit of a regrouping period in the middle of a long winter full of academia and missing husbands.
BYU refuses to acknowledge a need for said spring break.
As a result, I find myself complaining more, missing my husband more, getting frustrated with my busy toddler more, losing my patience, and refusing to admit my life is still as wonderful as it was three months ago.
I have been given so very much.
How could I feel this way?
So, in an attempt to eliminate those dark clouds that I seem to be forming around my head, I have compiled a list of the little bits of lovely around me. I find once I take time to see all that is good around me I feel more like myself: the happy, enthusiastic girl I know is still in there, but who always seems to disappear around this time of year.

*Graduation is 3 weeks away. Wes's announcements came in the mail this week and wow, it looks so good to see his degrees he will be earning written out in ink and on official paper.
*Ryan is coming home next Wednesday. I am hopping on his connecting flight from Salt Lake to St. George. He has no idea. Hopefully, he will think it is a good surprise. I get him all to myself for an hour before anyone else sees him. It doesn't feel real that his two years are up.
*Halle had chocolate all over her face today. I left it there for a few hours because I loved it so much.
*I am going to be an aunt again. I guess it hasn't really been announced, but I can't hold it in any longer. I am already so in love with the little chicky princess that will be joining the Bodine family this summer.
*Intramural basketball nights at BYU. Having anxiety attacks on the bleachers while Halle runs around eating crackers. I am fully invested. Wes's team is undefeated so far.
*The incessant "mama mama mama mama" I hear all day long when Halle wants to tell me something.
*Each day when Halle wakes up from her nap I ask her what she wants to do that day. I love her answers, they are always the same. Mcdonald's play place, or the dinosaur museum, or the park, or Rachel's house, or the animals at Cabela's or the merry-go round at the mall. Her ability to communicate astounds me.
*At night when I put Halle to sleep I ask her if she wants to sing a song about Jesus and she looks up me with those beautiful eyes and says "oh-ho boy!"
*Personal revelation. I have never felt the windows of heaven open so much and guide my footsteps so much as I have felt the past few months.
*I coincidentally made all of Wes's favorite meals in the same week. He was a happy boy.
*When I make our bed, Halle turns on my radio and dances in my room and asks me to call out the kind of dance moves she should be doing: marching, jumping, turning around, and waving hands in the air.
*Two days ago on our walk to the park, Halle ran into a small white dog who started licking her hand. She looked at me and said "mmmm good."

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow." --Hellen Keller

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

launch party

Last week my mother in-law's newest book was released and can now be found at a bookstore near you. To celebrate, Barnes and Noble at the Gateway hosted a launch party for her and several other authors who also released new books.
We got to join in on the fun and see her in action.

And of course Halle couldn't leave her alone. Michele gave me a copy of the book for my birthday. I am hooked. I even had to sit and read while Halle took her bath last night. What's not to love about a book that is dedicated to Halle. Go grab a copy, "Summer in Paris" by Michele Ashman Bell.
You won't be sorry.

Friday, March 19, 2010

twenty four

A few days before my birthday Wes sent me a text and asked me if I could believe that I was going to be 23. I told him no I couldn't believe that because I was actually going to be 24. But, if he wants to think I am 23, that's fine with me.
All I wanted to do for the big two four was watch Halle eat pizza. I think I now understand why my mom used to give us kids gifts on mother's day. There is nothing more fun then watching your children get what they want and enjoy it like only innocent children can. It really is the best gift. I guess I have reached that age where you find most of your joy watching you children.
So that night Wes took his girls out to the cheesecake factory for dinner. Halle got her pizza and nothing was more fun then watching her stuff pieces of pizza in her mouth and ask for more, more, more, more. The one other thing I wanted to do for my birthday was order whatever I wanted without even thinking about the number of calories I was consuming.
Well I did.
And I really don't want to know how many calories were in my dinner or my birthday cheesecake.
We ate cake and opened presents at the Bell's house. So many sweet gifts and my lovely mother in law and sister in law took me out to lunch as well. It was one of the most delightful birthdays, sitting in that restaurant eating good food and watching Halle eat her favorite food.
She talked to me about it the whole way home. It went something like this:
"mama mama mama eat peepa (pizza). mama mama mama eat nana (banana). mama mama mama eat wawa (water). mama mama mama eat bread." Repeated about 100 times.
Bless all you sweet souls for the texts, messages, gifts, cards, and phone calls. Way to make a girl feel loved.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

happy birthday

Aunt Rachel!
A blog post from Halle:
Sometimes when I wake up from my nap I ask if I can go to "dachoo's house."
I like to go to your house and play "oh no."
You share your toys with me.
You are my best friend.
You make me laugh.
Love, "Hattie"
We hope you have the best day and can't imagine what life would be like without you!
We love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

happy birthday

Grandma Nimer!
I love how you sent me a text this morning that said "Happy Birthday to my birthday present."
I hate that you were in labor with me on your birthday and that your birthday has taken a backseat to my birthday every year.
I love that you are the best shopping companion ever.
I hate that I don't live closer to you.
I love that you kept Halle alive that first week she was born. Seriously I didn't know what to do without you.
I hate that you don't get to see Halle very much. But isn't it funny how much she loves you, despite the distance.
I love that you know all the new songs.
I hate that we don't get to sing in the car like we used to.
I love that I have an amazing example of what a mom should be like right in front of my face.
I hate that today on your birthday you can't be right in front of my face.
I love you, my mommy, more than you know.
I hope you have the best birthday.
We love you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

i feel pretty

if you haven't noticed,
halle is very comfortable with her body.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

mom's salsa

When I went off to college I really missed my mom's cooking. The Cannon Center cafeteria never really did it for me, so gaining the freshman 15 was never a problem for me. Of all the delicious foods my mom made I really missed her fresh salsa. It has always been our favorite and whenever it is served it is practically gone in minutes.
When she would travel the 4 hours to visit me in Provo, she would always pack a big container of her salsa on ice so I could have a little piece of home. Some of my fondest memories from that first summer term at college were sitting on the floor of my dorm by our mini refrigerator late at night eating that salsa with tortilla chips and laughing with friends. It is the best tasting salsa I have ever had. And boy have I ever eaten a lot of different kinds of salsa because chips and salsa happen to be my ultimate comfort food.
I finally learned how to make this salsa on my own. My mom is the type of cook who makes some fantastic meals that she won't even consult a recipe for. This salsa is one such masterpiece that you just kind of feel how much to put in. I thought I would share the food love by sharing her recipe. If you prefer chunky salsa this may not be the recipe for you because all ingredients run through a food processor making it more of a thick liquid. These measurements are just guidelines, so don't try to be too exact with this one.

Mama's Salsa
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tbsp sliced jalapenos (buy the kind already sliced in a jar, make your life easy)
1/8-1/4 cup roughly chopped white onion
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro (no stems)
5 roma tomatoes
squeeze or two of lemon
salt to taste

Combine garlic, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro in food processor. Blend until large chunks are gone. Slice the tops of the tomatoes off and then slice tomato in half. Add tomato slices to food processor and blend until large chunks are gone. Squeeze in lemon and add salt. Blend once more and serve with tortilla chips. It may look a little frothy right after blending. If you let it sit for a few minutes it will settle and have more texture.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

you tell me

you tell me how self-feeding is going

Sunday, March 7, 2010

mermaid shark

Halle has a favorite movie.
It is called "mermaid shark."
At least that is what she calls it.
You may know it as "The Little Mermaid."
She named it "mermaid shark" because one of her favorite parts is where the shark is chasing Ariel and Flounder.
Another favorite part is when Ariel's dad gets mad and breaks all of her treasures in her grotto. She has named that part "dada mad."
She is definitely a drama seeker. We may have a future drama queen in the making.
She laughs hysterically when Ariel is in the castle and Sebastian is being washed with the clothes.
She sings like Ariel and sometimes holds her throat like the sea witch is taking her voice out.
I am trying to find anything Ariel at the stores, but the little mermaid is one under appreciated princess who can't compete with the likes of Cinderella or Belle.
And probably with good reason.
She doesn't have very many redeeming qualities. She disobeys her super buff dad. She wants to be something she is not. She bargains with a seriously scarydevil octopus witch. And puts her friends in danger for some guy.
However, putting all cynical analysis aside, Halle loves her mermaid shark so I will continue to feed the obsession any way I can.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

happy birthday

Grandma Bell!
Remember how you always have a stash of mimmy's for Halle?
Remember how Wes wanted to marry you when he was 7 because you were just that amazing?
Remember how you are a big reason Wes is the wonderful husband and dad he is?
Remember how you let us live with you while Wes did his internship?
Remember how you sew and alter Wes's clothing because I can't sew at all?
Remember how you are the most wonderful in-laws anybody could ever ask for?
Remember how you are super mom and can do everything?
Seriously I can't think of anything you can't do.
We love you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

and how are we doing?

How am I doing on my goals for the year?
Time for my monthly check up.
  • Attend the temple at least once a month: Made it, in the middle of the month, and even went to a new temple. Go us.
  • Eat better: ...ummm...don't worry, I fell off the wagon for awhile, but today I am back.
  • Read some classics: Finished Anna Karenina. Three words that describe that book would probably have to be--adultery, politics, farming. Only one more classic left (Sense and Sensibility) on my have to read list and thanks to my lovely friend Katie, I have many more classics waiting for me that I am so excited to dive into.
  • Plan a trip: Still in the works. We may need to plan something closer to home and go somewhere that isn't "all about the benjamins, baby." Kind of a wait and see thing.
  • Learn to bake something: Successfully made chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter cookies. I am getting the cookie thing down. I also conquered my mom's amazing salsa, which I should share sometime although it may be too good to share.
  • Serve my family, neighbors, and young women: Does lending eggs and vanilla count as serving? I volunteered to teach the young women a hula this week at our mutual luau. I think that is going above and beyond the call of duty folks. My hips don't lie.
  • Do pilates: ...hmmm... about that...
  • Teach Halle to share: Halle actually did really well this month in nursery and with her little buddies, not so much crying, but definitely much more violent this month with hitting and shoving.
  • Be lovely: I got most of our mountain of laundry washed and folded. I think that makes me the most lovely woman of all.