ILaH Vlogs

Whole Foods Journey {vlog}

Here is your simple tip for the day in case you don’t feel like watching the 6 minute vlog.

whole foods

One simple change years ago helped me to incorporate whole foods into my family’s diet.
Little changes over a long period of time make a big difference.


The Baby Syndrome {vlogs by Caroline}

caroline preschool

I don’t know if I will ever stop calling Caroline “baby” even though she has been telling me for over a year that she isn’t a baby anymore. I always remind her that she’s “my baby.” And she is.

I am a middle child and so I know little about babyhood. In fact, I am pretty sure I came out of the womb totally grown and responsible as I had a sister one year older than me and a brother one year older than her. My next sister was born by the time I turned four and another brother shortly after her. I have always had this inner dialogue that if I wanted anything I would have to get it myself. I don’t know what it would be like to be showered with attention even though I have this super annoying inner instinct to fight for it.

Watching Caroline I am actually stunned by the reality of babyhood. She oscillates between being showered with attention, fighting for attention, and not getting any at all. It must be challenging to be the baby. She’s spoiled rotten yet kind of ignored. I can imagine that may confuse a person. I need to read up on it so I can help her be healthy in her baby syndrome. I don’t want her to grow up all confused and needy.

Today Caroline started her second year of pre-school. I love the mornings that I can go and do whatever I want alone for a few hours. Unlike other parents that talk about missing their kids while they are at school, I look forward to Caroline’s kindergarten and beyond so that I will have a little more time to pursue my own goals without kids at feet. Call me selfish. I think you can just call me honest.

I took a video of Caroline this morning asking her about preschool.

Caroline in her babyhood has taken a real liking to the video camera lately. Here are some other vlogs that she has created. I make a true to life cameo in the first soccer video with my mean adamant mom-voice “NO.” It think I have perfected it if I do say so myself.

I am sure you noticed that I have taught my daughter to chomp on her gum just like me. Just a few weeks ago while driving alone in the car along a country road with no radio reception, I rolled down the windows and chomped away, just because LG wasn’t there to tell me the habit was annoying. It is amazing how chomping helps one to have something on which to focus when bored.

Other side-note: I so loved the Latin man on the sideline at the game. He just seemed to make the soccer game that much more authentic. It was fun to be close to him for one half of the game, but the second half we moved to the other side as his incessant cheering became a little cumbersome even with his fun futbol-inspired accent.

We interrupt this vacation to embarrass my 14-year-old. {vlog}

So, my whole family is in my hometown of Carlsbad, CA
to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary.
What a great reason to celebrate!
There aren’t enough examples left of enduring love anymore.
Face it, there is a lot of endurance and tolerance that goes into 50 years.

Our family text group has been lighting up my message board
with silly things like one sibling
crossing the CA agriculture border with some fruit
and the fact that if you spend more than $1 on a pair of flip-flops
they cannot be considered flip-flops at all.
My family is crazy fun.

The other day my daughter Abigail found a text conversation
between my sister Sarah and I.
We were discussing our awesome slip n slide dance routine
to The Eye of the Tiger.
Epic, I tell you.
Abigail wanted to know all about it.
I told Sarah we should re-enact it at my parent’s party
because it was surely one of the most beautiful things
any of their children has ever created.
[Forget the 32 grandchildren.]
ha. ha. ha.
Can’t stop laughing.
Good times.
Sarah said on the phone,
“The worst part is that we weren’t
even young enough to blame it on being kids.
I was in 8th grade and you were in high-school.”
The shame.
No, it’s the beauty of siblings.
There is no one else in the world with whom you can act so silly…
except maybe your spouse or kids.

This video is sure to be Abigail’s eye of the tiger someday.
And you are invited to the show.
The horror.
I may regret this someday.
(like when she doesn’t get accepted into BYU
because the admission’s committee does a google search.
Who am I kidding?
I want her to go to BYU as much as I want a root canal.)
I’m mostly just glad that Abigail has been reading my blog
and has given us a great example of vulnerability and authenticity.

Enjoy yourselves!
Because I sure will be while on the beach today.

Learn How to Play the Ukelele – Check {vlog}

I love the ukelele. I LOVE it.

I love IZ. I love Ingrid Michaelson. I love Mindy Gledhill. I love anyone and everyone on the ukelele no matter how good or bad they are. Asian, Hispanic, White, or in all the languages of the world, I love it. I grew up among a lot of Polynesians and so I think my love for the uke’s simplistic and tropical sound stems among the great great people surrounding my upbringing.

No these guys aren’t Polynesian, they are my white family. I wish I was Polynesian. In this picture I come pretty close. I am the girl in the Hawaiian style blue shirt on the right.

wills family-001

So, we’ve established that I am in love with the ukelele. I bought one for my husband for our anniversary last year because I figured both of my loves should live in the same space. He hasn’t really picked it up, so I decided that I should.

Here is a video of the progress I have made playing. I am so impressed with myself. Try not to laugh. O.k. go ahead and laugh all you want.

Thank you Ukelele Mike for the wonderful you tube tutorial.

Swim Lessons Confumed {vlog}

We were on our way home from swim lessons yesterday when Caroline requested that I turn off the loud music. I asked her why she didn’t want the music on. She said, “It just makes me so confumed.” I loved her made up word. At four years old she combined confused with consumed. What an appropriate way of communicating the way the music was making her feel. If we all could just be so eloquent.

Today at swim lessons I got to watch a mom try to wrangle, manipulate, and beg her four year old to participate. The instructor dragged him into the pool for a bit but ended up bringing him back to his coddling mom on the sideline when he just wouldn’t be consoled. The kid never deviated from his standing shivering and screaming “it’s too cold.” I wondered why in the world his mom just didn’t wait another year to sign him up.

For twenty minutes he cried. I thought “what a cry-baby I wonder what that mom is doing wrong”…and then I realized my arrogance and changed the thought to “Wow, that mom must be amazing because God sent her that kid. He knew I couldn’t handle that kid. I should try to be more awesome.” At the given situation, I was exasperated and she was totally calm. I smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up while I read an appropriate line from my newest favorite book Carry On Warrior.

Be confident because you are a child of God. Be humble because everyone else is too.

Really the mom could be screwing the kid up, but guess what? I am too. I looked over to see Caroline insist that she be the motor boat every time. She didn’t think those other kids needed a turn. She’s the baby 6 years younger than the rest of her siblings. She’s kind of spoiled and there’s nothing I can do about the way God timed it.

At swim lessons it’s an equal toss up between chatting with another adult or reading a book while my kids are entertained. You can’t really go wrong with either one if your kid is willing to get in the pool.

Carry Me Home Tonight {vlog}

We interrupt this regular blog post to show you what Alice has been doing all summer.

Yes, Alice does rock out in the car at all times. Usually she is in the driver’s seat and there are at least 6 children accompanying her to and fro from swimming, soccer, softball, parking, shopping, librarying, and the occasional break to Sonic for happy hour.

Life is good. And it also happens to be exhausting so carry me home tonight because I always set the world on fire.

Talking to the Girls about Motherhood {Vlog}

Just having a lazy summer morning with Sophia and Bella.

We interrupt Buffy The Vampire Slayer for the following message…

Contrary to popular belief giving birth is not the hardest part of motherhood, it’s the monotony of taking care of the children physically

forever and ever and ever and ever….

(Oh and I had food in my teeth not because I didn’t brush my teeth the night before but because I had gotten up two hours earlier to take Abigail to soccer conditioning – and yes those are pizelle cookies in my teeth because I love sneaking baked goods for breakfast.)

And for those of you who just can’t get enough, here are more videos of Sophia and Bella at their school’s annual end-of-the-year dance festival a few weeks ago.

When it says 4th grade it really means 5th grade and visa versa….good enough.

How We Love Being Rested {vlog}


We have four children therefore we are always tired. (I wonder if the amount of possible sleep lessens with each kid or if we were to keep adding a few if it wouldn’t really make much of a difference) It’s always so easy to understand why I have a hard time loving my life when I have gotten a great stretch of sleep: duh? I’m exhausted!

Today I really enjoyed a nice lazy morning with the hubby hub hubs. {I even got him in on the vlog – and yes I did pay up for the bribe right after I turned off the camera}

Wow. This morning was so nice. I was happy all day long not just because I was rested but because I started my morning doing the one thing that I love and miss: SLEEPING. I cannot ever get enough sleep. I truthfully would live my life to the fullest and be the most happy and productive if I could get 12 hours a night preferably between the hours of midnight and noon. (It’s my life goal to someday live up to the scripture about being early to bed and early to rise)

It’s always nice to sleep cuddled up with the hubby and he is the BEST about letting me tuck my right knee up into his right ribcage (I sleep on the tummy and he sleeps on his back) and warm my toes in between his massive calf muscles.  In the winter LG serves as the best electric blanket ever. He’s hotter than Jacob the warewolf, but truthfully I actually sleep better without him in the bed. He snores sometimes (o.k. 80% of the time) and I love LOVE love having the whole bed to stretch out in and taking all the blankets for myself.

So in my optimal world I guess I would just require 10 hours of sleep with an hour before and after the actual sleeping for cuddling time with my man. (or whatever else the cuddling may or may not lead to)

Aren’t Fred and George Weasley from Harry Potter the best characters of all time. I want twin boys and I want to name them Fred and George. No joke. Talk about not getting any sleep.

Soaking in the small moments {vlog}

I’ve discovered a really great blog called Momastery. Apparently I am the last one of the planet, as the author Glennon has a newly released book and 81,000 followers on facebook. I’ve added her book to my goodreads and her blog to my reader and have immensely enjoyed her honesty about motherhood and the hardships she has faced (alcoholism and bulemia).

I guess I am just kind of a lover of tragedy – the overcoming of it draws me in every time. I love rooting for the human spirit. Momastery is a place which encourages moms to be real about their every day lives – it’s a breathe of fresh air in an online mom world that seems to embrace elaboration, exaggeration, and the elusive thing we call mom perfection. Here are some of her interviews. She discusses her theory that we have to just soak in the small moments of motherhood. It was a relief for me to realize that I wasn’t the only mom on the planet that dreads much of motherhood and that I can just power through most of the hard stuff (when 3 kids are having a meltdown while you are trying to check out at Target) and focus on really soaking up the ever brief  and sporadic small moments of peace and happiness in the family.

Back in the day, it was my hero Erma Bombeck who did the same thing for honesty in motherhood. I remember reading her book about motherhood years back and crying as I read of the mother imprisoned for killing her children. She had discovered Erma Bombeck’s writings in prison and loved her humor and honesty. She wrote Bombeck a letter to tell her thanks for her honest voice about motherhood.  She lamented, “If all moms would have been honest, I would have realized I wasn’t crazy when the weight of mothering was too unbearable.”

So when the baby is teething for a second year in a row and the toddler wiped poop all over her crib and the kindergartner comes home with a naughty note for calling someone a loser and the mean man at the library tells you to shut your kids up and all of these things happen in the same day (or not) just know you are not alone in motherhood. It is this hard for everyone. If the only moment you can soak in is after the kids are asleep and you sit down with a glass of grape juice and a good book to read one page and conk out in exhaustion it’s completely normal. Don’t fret. Sometime in the next day you may get the gem when your kids are holding hands while picking dandelions while the FedEx guy delivers you a box of long-stem red roses. Soak it in. If I know one thing about motherhood it’s this: the worst moments won’t last. And this: the next moment will be even better (even if it doesn’t happen for another month or two.)

Cleanliness is next {vlog}

You like that title? I was thinking of “cleanliness is next to godliness” and decided to take off the last part as learning to be happy while cleaning is the [next] weakness I need to tackle.

Yes, I amuse myself easily. In fact when I just tagged this vlog on youtube and typed in “duties” I pretty much busted a seam.

I am still learning to be articulate and condensed on the vlogs. Right towards the beginning, I tell you I am wearing a house dress, but failed to explain the reason: I normally clean bathrooms in my underwear and decided to throw on a dress before turning on the camera.

You’re welcome.

I am vlogging as a way of sharing. I used to go to a support group and found that a 2 minute weekly share did me a heap of good. I can see myself learning by these vlogs, even though they may bore everyone to death. Plus, someday when I die, my kids may love watching them. Love you kids! If you are cleaning and hating it, think of me. I’ll probably be doing the same on the other side.

Lesson re-learned today: find gratitude, it will make you happier.

As I finish cleaning I will be thinking of all the working moms who still have to clean when they are bone tired and all the moms in third world countries who can’t even get their living space clean no matter how hard they try. I will be grateful for cleaning products (there have been times in my life that I couldn’t even afford those) and grateful for a home that needs cleaning and the dirty people in my family who need cleaning up after. ha ha.

I may not be able to go out and spend the money that I want to because I quit my job to focus on home, but I can clean without worrying about all the other things I am not getting done. If my role is to be a homemaker then I need to embrace cleaning house because it makes home homier.

Here are some great pins I just found on google.

clean house1clean house 2

I am so glad I am not OCD and obsessed over everything all the time like some of my friends who I tell that they need medication in a bad way.

I am also glad that my husband is not a taskmaster and is happy with whatever I do or don’t do at home.