Saturday, July 31, 2010

now where's your picket fence, love?

The white picket fence.
Isn't it the American symbol of having everything you want and need in life?
A symbol of comfort and good old fashioned happiness.
I think when you get married you have an idea of what your new life will be like.
You have certain ideas about what will put the white picket fence in front of your shining home.
You may have thought it was you and your spouse maintaining your hot bods.
Maybe it was making lots of money.
Maybe you thought your husband would shower you with gifts and flowers simply because you exist.
Maybe it was the idea that you would travel the world with your companion.
So many lofty little white picket fence ideas.
Some of those things are wonderful and if you do get a chance to do them you have my permission to say you have found your white picket fence in those things.
But, let's all remember that sometimes when you get married things don't go the way you thought they would.
Health, money, jobs, kids, stress, moving, school, church, so many factors that we add into our picket fence equations.
So, where is your picket fence?
Now that you are married and your husband has carried you over the threshold, are you finding your little white picket fence in all the places you thought you would?
I'm not.
Let's face it, sometimes the hot bodies get a little soft around the edges, sometimes there isn't any money, and the flowers will eventually wilt and die.
So, where is my little white picket fence?
What is guarding the happiness in my home?
  • My husband is attracted me. Even though pregnancy was more rough on my body then I ever could have imagined, he still thinks I look pretty good and he lets me know it.
  • We make beautiful kiddies.
  • My husband does not have a problem with pornography. Is it weird that I just said that out loud? This has been more and more on my mind as I hear of marriages everywhere crumbling under this disease. I feel for those men and women who deal with this. I can't thank him enough for keeping that filth out of our home. I should thank him more often for that out loud.
  • I am made equal to my tasks. I love to sleep. I love getting hours and hours of sleep. So you can imagine that it was a bit of a shock to have a baby who hates to sleep. To this day she is not sleeping through the night. There were many nights where I didn't think I could do it. I couldn't go on like this anymore. But here I am. In one piece no less and so is Halle. I am made equal to my seemingly impossible tasks.
  • My husband has a job. Back in the day I did not think we would ever need to worry about finding a job. He had to work his little tooshy off to get it and we hardly ever saw each other while he was trying to get it, but he got one and it is a good, stable one.
  • The sweet sound of a little girl saying, "Mommy, hold you."
  • The healing and guiding power of prayer.
  • The temple that reminds me of the eternal part of myself I so often forget.
  • Laughing. Laughing hard. Laughing hysterically. Laughing with my daughter. Laughing with my husband. Laughing at the things she does. Laughing at the things he does. Laughing makes our home happy, especially when we laugh at ourselves.
Think real hard. Where is your picket fence?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

you've got a friend in me

We have some serious love for toys going on in our house.
When Halle first received her very own Woody they were inseparable.
It was probably one of the first toys I have seen her become somewhat attached to.
Many prayers that were offered included being thankful for Woody and Woody's hat.
He has been on numerous outings with the Bell family.
Her first movie in the theaters was Toy Story 3 (unless you count the time she slept through The Dark Knight when she was about three weeks old). She loved it and sat through the whole thing. It fueled an obsession with Barbie and Ken.
Halle's collection of Toy Story toys has expanded to include Jesse, Buzz Lightyear, baby Woody and Barbie and Ken.
She loves them all dearly.
She actually has to have some kind of toy with her on errands, in the bath, outside and pretty much wherever she goes.
She loves Tinker Bell, ponies, and her Mrs. Potts tea set that she sometimes calls Mrs. Nesbitt.
She loves to put the baby to sleep in the mommy's bed in her dollhouse and make the daddy watch tv.
She has so many princess dolls and figurines that are usually "so sad" or "sleeping on their hair." Sometimes they knock each other over and sometimes they find themselves in time out. The princesses can even be caught smooching Prince Eric, because all princes are called Prince Eric.
Sometimes Barbie can't find Ken and we have to turn the house upside down so they can be reunited.
Wheezy the penguin gets caught "down a hole" (also known as the air vent) quite a bit.
Buzz Lightyear says, "To infinity, and beyond" and then he has to fly around as his music plays.
There really is no limit to her little imagination.
Her toys are some of her best friends.
Reminds me of a little toy story Andy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a birthday fairy tale

Once upon a time a little princess was born and she was called Halle. The whole kingdom rejoiced. Her mother and father watched her over the next two years and felt she would be ready on her second birthday to party like a true princess should. On the morning of her second birthday she awoke in her mother's bed. You see, this little princess sleeps in her mother's bed every night so it was only fitting that her birthday festivities should begin there. After playing with her royal binkies, the princess was granted permission to open a single gift.
She delicately ripped the tissue paper out of a bag and found an enchanted disc that would play a movie about fairies the little princess had been longing to watch.
She went about her day as usual, but late in the morning as she was frolicking outside an evil allergen witch wanted to ruin the princess's special day. Then and there the witch cursed one of her eyes with a terrible allergen beast. Her mother and father were unaware that such an awful curse had been placed on their daughter. As they began to do some royal skyping with the fairy grandmother from the land of St. George, the mother noticed the princess rubbing her eye and then watched in a matter of minutes as her eye began to swell shut. What a horrible thing to happen on a princess's birthday! The princess's mother and father tried every remedy they could think of including a royal water flushing, but it was no use. The curse was too great. The mother searched far and wide for an antidote and finally found it in the land of target. It was called benadryl and her eye was soon almost normal. The mother and father were so worried they did not think to document the curse at the height of swelling, but a bit of the effects can be seen in the photographs taken at the princess's birthday feast. She requested only the finest pizza from sir papa murphy and heartily ate her fill.
That evening she was dressed in a new ball gown and waited for the arrival of her royal guests.
When the Chancellor Gary Bell family arrived Princess Halle was led into the dungeons of her castle for her party. Down in the dark she soon realized that she would have to pass through the scary woods before she could be crowned and take her place as the Princess. Her mother and father wanted to test her courage and disguised the dungeon as a forest. Using black lights and neon poster board they created trees, stars, scary creatures, witches, and a new breed of fish that fly the princess would have to pass through in order to receive her crown. With the help of her guests she made it through the scary woods and entered the throne room where her mother was waiting to crown her with a crown of pink, necklaces of jewels and a beautiful ring pop for licking.
Halle found all her princess friends waiting there for her and the finest princess music for dancing, including her favorite selections from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty.
Eager to prove her worthiness she trekked through the scary woods many times after that.
Soon it was time to celebrate with cake and the princess was anxious to eat some. After a birthday serenade, the candles were blown and the guests were served cake on the finest princess china.
Next the princess opened her gifts from her generous admirers both near and far. She was given much and loved much including a barbie, a buzz lightyear gun, and a dollhouse.
Her mother and father presented her final gift. A royal carriage a princess could be proud of that also happened to be just the right size for Halle.
The princess spent the rest of her birthday evening getting in the carriage and then getting out and then getting in and out again.
After many strolls around the castle grounds the princess threw two balloons in the air and made a wish to symbolize the approach of another year.
Silently, her mother also made a wish that potty training would be easy and that the young princess would one day sleep in her own bed.
Her guests soon left and she was sent to bed full and happy and free from the curses of the evil allergen witch.
And so concludes the story of Princess Halle's magical, fairy tale birthday.
Long live Princess Halle.

Monday, July 19, 2010

kauai: day six

On our last day in Kauai we decided to spend all morning at the beach near our resort. Halle once again hated the feel of the sand on her, but loved burying her little mermaid water toy. She also couldn't get enough of the waves washing up on her legs
We had a great time until a special dog came. He pooped in the ocean. And after we saw that we packed up our stuff and decided to hang out at the pool instead. We spent the afternoon packing and stopping at spouting horn to buy a coconut maraca for the kikster. We ate dinner at keoki's paradise and then said good bye to the family at the airport. After a long red eye flight (Halle and I watched Beauty and the Beast and then fell asleep the rest of the way). We caught our connecting flight at LAX at four in the morning. Except you wouldn't know it was four in the morning just by looking at Halle. She was running around and having the time of her life. We arrived in Salt Lake that morning and we all crashed and took a 4 hour nap. Halle really is an amazing traveler, even when it messes with her sleep. We still miss the built-in fun of the beach. And I won't forget how much Halle wanted to see spouting horn even though she had no idea what it was and how much she loved the little horses around our hotel. I know I have said this so many times but vacations with her really are delightful!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

kauai: day five

The next morning Wes and I played tourist again and decided to do a zipline tour in the backcountry. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Although this is a bit pricey it is worth it the first time. I just wouldn't pay that same price to go every year (thanks dad for making it happen!). After you are weighed and harnessed up they put you in a large all terrain bus-like vehicle and drive you up a mountain on some private property. Once you reach the top, they prep you on safety and make sure you are hooked up right and then take you down the mountain. This zipline tour that we did had seven different lines that zigzag down a mountain. The longest line was 940 ft. It makes you a little nervous to think you are flying over a mountain with nothing but a harness on a line holding you in, but after the first run you aren't thinking about anything except how beautiful it is, how fun it is, and how awesome it is to fly over the tops of the trees. Wes, who is afraid of heights and only went because I wanted to go even loved it. The lines finished at a swimming hole where we had lunch and could swim if we wanted to. The trip was delightful and something I have always wanted to do. I didn't dare zip with my canon and my point and shoot is out of commission, so our only picture is taken at the top of the mountain we were about to head down.
After the zipline the family picked us up to check out Wailua waterfall and one other waterfall. I thought these waterfalls were beautiful and then Wes showed me a picture of the Igazu Falls in Brazil and I decided I need to go there and see those.
That afternoon the boys played golf while the girls entertained Halle until dinner. And there day five ends.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

kauai: day four

One of the great touristy things to do in Kauai is drive an all terrain vehicle around the island through trees and mud puddles to see the sights. You will get dirty. My family has taken this tour before and prepped Wes and I for all the mud. We put on some crummy clothes and shoes and left to meet our tour guide. In fact, you get so dirty on this little adventure the company provides you with some baggy camo pants and t-shirts so you won't stain your own. Wes and I rode in a "mud buggy" together. They look like big go-carts and I think they are designed to get you as dirty as possible. Of course, I didn't want to sacrifice my camera to the mud of Kauai so there are no pictures of us on the actual trails. Throwing caution to the wind and not caring about how dirty you get is the best way to go. Hit the puddles hard and fast and no part of your body will be spared. However, I do advise you to keep your mouth closed. I learned that one the hard way when I was having too much fun and got a face and mouth full of mud as we gunned it through one of the biggest puddles. The sights were gorgeous and we learned some great history about the sugar plantations Kauai used to have. And we even went fishing with bamboo sticks. Wes caught a cat fish and a tilapia and I caught a tilapia myself. The only problem was de-hooking the fish and sending him back home. Those are some slimey little guys. I am pretty sure those fish are trained to eat the bread off the tourist's hook and then get thrown back into the waterI did get some pictures of the aftermath mess all over us after the ride. Such a fun little adventure.
A quick note about dad: Our tour guide wanted us to give him the hang loose sign (called a shaka sign, and if you don't want to look like a tourist when doing it make sure your palm is facing towards you) in every picture he took of us. I always feel a little strange doing that when I am not Hawaiian, but we did it because he made us. So, as I took a picture of dirty Ryan and Dad they did a shaka sign, only dad gave the "rock on" sign instead, we fixed it for him. He claims he made the right sign in all of the tour guide's pictures, I'm still wondering about that.

Halle spent the morning with Grandma playing with toys and eating cookies, basically living the good life. When we got back that afternoon we all went out to the pool at our resort. You've never seen a cuter little swimmer with her life jacket on trying to kick her legs. I wish I could spend more of my days like that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

kauai: day three

Halle and Grandpa went out in the morning on a little adventure. They came back with a great shell and eventually Halle smashed it into a itty bitty pieces with her shoe, so this is the only proof we have that the shell actually existed.
We went to a great beach with great sand and Halle really enjoyed herself and yes it was the only outing that I forgot to bring along my camera. The boys went golfing in the afternoon and sadly I don't have any shots of them doing that either. However, we did get a chance to take some family pictures at the beach by the Hyatt before dinner.