Photos

Lessons from the trail: family bikeride

Man, I can’t wait for spring.
The following pictures have a funny story
that you would never guess just by looking at them.
One summer day, the year before last, a mother got really greedy
and decided that her family could ride their bikes
farther then ever before.
She wanted to make it from home to the nearby waterfalls.
It was only 16.5 miles round-trip.
bridal veil
Every family member, but her, complained the whole way.
The mom didn’t understand, she was having the time of her life.
Even the oldest daughter who was used to running all the time seemed to hate every minute.
At mile 6.5, (1.7 shy of their destiny) the mom cut her losses
and finally told everyone they could turn back.
The mother was so disappointed. The father was almost dead.
The kids vowed to never ride again.
But, to this day, all but the mom
are still all heard to brag of that long family ride
a few summers back.
(The mom is still waiting for the family conquer expedition.)
They still ride together as a family often
but never ever more then ten miles at a time.
The mom now sticks to the long distances by herself.
The moral of the story:
Sixteen miles for one person might be a piece of cake,
but just because you are that person
it doesn’t mean that you can automatically
expect your family to be as capable.
The other thing that we learned:
Together time is the best time to make memories,
even if everyone is in physical pain.
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Sophia’s First Cast

If you haven’t noticed I’ve been working on
importing my posts from my previous blogs to this new space.
The OCD in me can’t stand having all of our family stories all over the web.
I’m really happy with the result, although I have a lot of formatting to do.
{Notice the pages above where I will be categorizing the old posts.}
One of the great discoveries in this process today are some drafts that I never published.
I plan to publish them a little at a time.
Today we start with our family’s first broken arm.
It happened to Sophia at gymnastics in 2012.
It was pretty traumatizing, especially since shortly after breaking it,
I told her to do another cartwheel to make sure it was really hurt. I’ll never live that down.
Upon finding these photos this morning, my nose was instantly assaulted
with the smell from under this cast the day we had it removed.
If I had to tell you what it smelled like after six weeks I would say:
a mixture of Shrek, rotten corpse, and bad broccoli.
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Lucky for Sophia, the second time she broke an arm it was the other one.
Lucky for our pocketbooks and sinus passages, it fell off by itself.

Easter Photos 2013

I’ve decided I really shouldn’t torture the family with a photo shoot more than twice a year. 
It’s pretty painful for them (and me) to have the required patience with my budding interest in photography. 
I find solace in one thing:
I am being a great example
of diligent pursuit of hobbying.
I hope that all my girls
will have hobbies
that they love and enjoy
and don’t give up
for any reason.
(especially when they are moms)
The pictures may look good
but trust me
they took a good hour or two
and there were many many outtakes.
Thank 
goodness 
for
digital.

My favorite moment of the day:
making out with LG
while the kids watched
and/or
hammed it up for camera.

 
My second favorite moment:
watching the girls enjoy the shore.

Note to self:
no guardrails

Crazy Family.
I’m really bummed
we didn’t get a good one
of this set-up.
really bummed.

Almost Monochromatic

It’s been snowing for
what seems like months.
Today is the second blue sky in
about four weeks.
True story.
Every other day has just been
white everywhere you look.
How my soul loves
the beauty
of a the blue sky
among the
black and white earth.

Winter white.
Everywhere
the eye can see.
The earth
seems
black
under
blanket
after blanket
of
snow.
Dead.
Yet
piercingly
beautiful.
The white
touches the white
part of my soul.
And the black
touches the black.
The complexity
of my emotions
seems to find
a balance
among the
monochromatic
landscape.
The only
colors
that surround
are
black,white, and brown.
And then the clouds lift
and
blue shines through.
Like a breath
of fresh air.
Or water
to the thirsty
Sahara traveler
who reached
her oasis.
There is blue
in my soul too.
And red,
and yellow.
The colors release
to find the sky
and remind me
of my beauty
amidst
the wintery white.

Mustache you about those beards

While having cream of wheat in the kitchen Thursday morning, 
here was the conversation.
Caroline (in her alarmed voice): “Mom, we have beards again.”
Me: (referring to the photos on the wall) “Who did that?”
Caroline: “Abigail.”
Me (laughing): “Why would she do that?”
Caroline (in all seriousness): “Because she’s a brat!”

I have loved these photos in our dining room.
They have given us a whole lot of entertainment.
One of my favorite times was when I noticed
that the kids had switched the order of the photos
so that they read
Ice-cream is better than your love.
I guess that would be an honest statement
depending on whether or not
you have an available bowl of ice-cream.
Funniest part is that by the time
this busy mom noticed
the kids swear they had been rearranged for
at least a month.
Maybe ice-cream is better than my love.
Sometimes I am too busy serving my family
that I forgot to stop and make sure they know
that I love them dearly.

New Year

In Utah,
we’ve had some record colds
for the past week.
I’ve loved all the snow.
I don’t think Olive has though.
Check out her water
frozen over.

We’ve all been enjoying our
Christmas gifts.
Caroline is up to her same antics.
But like her shirt says,
she is the best present ever
so it’s o.k. that
she’s spoiled rotten.
Right?
Notice that Santa
did bring the girl
all she wanted.
Make-up and nail polish.
Sophia finally got a fijit (she’s wanted it for 2 years
and Santa found it on sale at Target for $15.)
Caroline with her make-up case.
 She has carried it around the house with all her treasures.
Bella with her FurReal Pets.
Abigail with her combat boots. Katniss style.
My favorite gift you ask?
It is a 50/50 toss up between
my pizelle maker
that I asked for on pinterest
and
the diamond earrings
that LG
picked out
all by myself.
But my favorite of all was this purse.
I’ve been looking for the perfect purse for 3 years.
LG and I spotted this at TJMaxx a week after Christmas
but it was $100 so I put it back.
LG went back to the store
on his own accord and
surprised me with it for no reason at all
on New Year’s Eve.
He said it is my
“the party is over” purse.
That means I’ll have it to enjoy
when I go back to living on a
non-Christmas bonus budget.
It makes me so happy every time I see it.

I love this photo from Christmas.
Abigail thought that Bella’s present was awesome.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is
taking the girls to the Dollar Tree and letting them shop.
It always proves to be entertaining.
I justify the expense by only letting them shop
for a select few and by
not doing stockings.

Oh yeah, this post was supposed to be about New Year.
Well, we had a great New Year.
We got to be reunited with our good friends
The Varnon Family
from Knoxville TN.
They were bringing Jordan out
for his first semester of college
and stayed with us a few days.
That’s Jordan.
The kid figured out that he can dominate
at Just Dance4 by only moving his arm.

Yeah, our family room is not made for 13 people,
but cozy is how we prefer to do things around here.
I suck at dancing.
But man I’m looking fit,
even with that layered looking
hanging all out.
Isn’t Caroline the cutest?
She’s a great dancer.
So are all these girls.

Of course we took the obligatory outoftowners
sightseeing trip to
Temple Square.
Here are two of my favorite photos.
I wish I had more time to play with  my camera.

Here are the Varnon’s
in front of the historical
Salt Lake Temple.
And here they are
in the Conference Center.

We stopped in at the church’s
Historical Museum.
They have a pretty great kids’ wing.
LG was pretty sick that day.
What a trooper.

I’m always amazed at how
some of my favorite pictures
are the spontaneous ones.
I sure love these kids.
Oh yeah,
we have rung in the New Year
 with the Varnon’s
every year but 2011 for about 10 years.
We missed our other
partners in crime
The Ryan family.
I am pretty certain
this year was the best.
The photo says it all.

We did some other fun stuff
while the Varnon’s were here.
We went up to see
Bridal Veil Falls.
We saw a funny movie.
(Highly recommend Here Comes the Boom).
We went to BYU.
We checked out Deseret Industries.
And last but certainly not least,
we went sledding.

If you made it this far in the post,
you are our true friends
and you are invited
to come and crash at our house
past the 3 day
fish and family stink
rule
any time.
Happy New Year y’all.
We love you Varnon family.
Hope you still love us
after spending that much time at our house.

My Brother’s Take on Mormon Feminism

There has been a lot of talk lately
about a movement of
anti-Mormons
who have penetrated the active church-body
by inviting the women to wear pants to church this Sunday.
I’m privvy to these things because I live in Utah.
It was on the front page of the paper.
LG read part of the article to me
when he was home for lunch
the other day.
We discussed the stupidity of it.
Women have always been able to
wear pants to church.
Why would any woman
want to be a Bishop?
We laughed.
Then LG made my day.
“Alice you look so sexy in a skirt.”
So I posted this on facebook.
Feminist Mormons are planning a “wear slacks to church day” 
to celebrate the similarities between women and men. 
I’d rather celebrates our differences. 
Besides my husband thinks I look hot in a skirt. 
If that means I’m objectified, so be it.

It got a discussion going.
Perhaps my favorite part of the discussion
was my ultra-conservative, gun-slinging, Limbaugh-loving,
football-coaching, huge-dog owning, Idaho-dwelling
brother saying this:
(for my non-Mormon friends –
this first question is what is asked of 
the members to determine
worthiness to attend the temple)
(YM is short of Young Men
YW is short for Young Women)

Yes, feminist crazed ladies,
the men of the church
are not anti-women.
In fact,
they are 
what my brother calls
equal diffrencialists.
I am proud to say
that I now
have a great term to describe
what I am too:
an
equal diffrentialist.
And so is 
She touches on some deep
Mormon doctrine here
and I loved her article.
I’m so grateful for the women of the church
who magnify their callings
and bless the lives of my daughters.
Here are some recent photos
that Sister Seale
e-mailed
of Sophia and her buddies
at their 
female only
activity days
held
every other week.
I love how these photos
showcase what we teach
Godly girls.
Choose the right.

Be modest.

Be tough.
Be beautiful.

It’s crazy to me
that scorned
women can
find these things
wrong.

I don’t want my daughters
to be anything
but
equal diffrentialists.

And trust me,
no woman
should ever want to
be in Cub Scouts instead.
I know,
I’ve been a Scout leader
three different times
in my
“mom only to daughters”
lifetime.

We will have a perfectly happy picture!

My mother-in-law requested family photos for Christmas.
In an effort to keep the Christmas budget,
we opted for my mad raw camera skills.
Yeah, I took one photography class
so that makes me qualified right?
Wrong.
So very wrong.
Add in
a dog on a leash,
a crappy crappy tri-pod
some cold weather
and a
“as stubborn as I’ll get out”
nine-year-old
and
wa-la
eventually
you have me screaming:
“We will get a perfectly happy picture.
Gosh danget.”
That got some smiles.
We can always count on laughter
to see us through.
And laugh, we did.
Like always.
Here are some good outtakes.
I was trying to test the shot
and I had already set the timer
so they entertained themselves
through the 10 sequential shots.
We got a bunch of great shots
and in about 10 of them
Caroline was sticking out her tongue.

I like to call this one
“Don’t drop the dog.”
The funniest part was that
I had no idea this was even happening.

When we got home, 
Sophia came into my room and said,
“Mom I learned something important today.
You can’t put a dog in the simba pose for a picture
like you can a cat.”
It wasn’t until I went in to edit the photos that
I understood what she was talking about.
Please, don’t eat my head.
 These are the best that we got.
I really like how the scarf pose
turned out
minus Abigail’s expression
and the random blanket
on the grass.
Don’t even worry about the discarded
old fashioned sled.
Geez.
I really don’t know what I am doing.
We got our perfectly happy pictures.

Merry Christmas Faye.
These will be on their way to you
in your Christmas package
as I know you won’t be able to figure
out how to print them from here.

Oh and sorry,
I forgot to do a pose
with LG.

Maybe next year.