Friday, January 30, 2009

A Special Hand

Yesterday was a day I was dreading a bit. I don't go out for long periods of time with Landon. It may all stem from when he was about 1 month old and we were grocery shopping at Kroger he started to throw a fit. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. By the time I got out an employee was helping me, a lot! Mind you it is right before Thanksgiving and were to have over 20 people at the house. I was trying to get last minute shopping done in a store I really don't like the layout of. In his cute little way I grew to not be so fond of going out with him just in case he ever threw a fit again.
So, yesterday I was to travel to Ann Arbor and with Michelle where we were to facilitate a training class for our adoption chapter. I needed to run a few errands on the way and so I decided to leave at 4:00pm for something that did not start until 6:30pm. Thank heavens I asked Diamond to go with. Thank heavens even more she adores my child. Between all of the snowflakes, and crazy traffic, we made it to the church 3 min after 6:00. Phewf! We set up and I sent Diamond and Landon off to a cold cultural hall (which never got warm )with whatever I had brought and a room full of toys. Thank heavens for nurseries. 3 1/2 hours later we were back in the car headed for Detroit. Landon was AMAZING! He played the whole time without making a sour peep! Diamond played with him for the whole time, changed a poopy diaper (sorry), and got him in his jammies. At the end she said she had fun. I think she is crazy but love her anyway. Landon fell asleep the minute we got in the car and slept the whole way. Mike met us at the car (11:00 pm)and whisked him into his bed and he was out till 7:15 this morning. Yeah!!!!
You know the best part really was that I was so dreading to have to take Landon out that long but Heavenly Father really blessed us last night. The Spirit that was felt during our class was special. People had tears in their eyes and to take the time to listen to why adoption is so meaningful in these families lives was powerful. I am thankful to each of them for living close to the Spirit so that they may bring a special child into their lives just as we have had the opportunity to bring Landon into ours.
Diamond, thank you for being the company I needed to get me to and from Ann Arbor, thank you a million times over for taking care of my precious gift so wonderfully, and most of all thank you for calling it fun.
Michelle, thank you for doing more than your fair share in making last night work so well. The piece of Dove chocolate on the way home was sure YUMMY! Only the best from my co-chair. I know the temple fast will be equally as good.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Things

We were both tagged on Facebook this week, and we were asked to list 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about ourselves. You think you know someone after ten years, but no! Anyway, we thought we'd share, and if you're reading, we'd love to see your list too!


1. We got rid of the cable t.v. about 5 months ago and I miss it sometimes.

2. We don't own a home phone. We have three cell phones.

3. I served a mission for my church. 18 months in Eastern Canada.

4. We lived in Argentina for 2 months.

5. I love watching tv shows on the Internet. My favorites are The Office, Scrubs, and The Bachelor.

6. We get to travel a lot this year and I am so excited to spend time in California lots of time!

7. When living in Salt Lake City I won tickets to the medal cremony where we saw Train perform. That was awesome!

8. I am a foodie! Give me good food and I am happy.

9. I love all four season but I am really sick of winter right now.

10. I don't really know where "home" is yet.

11. I love to go shopping too bad I don't have a ton of money.

12. I want to be able to help all of the people I see here that are suffering in D-Town. Even when they don't help themselves.

13. I wish so badly that I could keep my house clean on a daily basis. Having a 1 yr old is overwhelming sometimes.

14. I look forward to getting my hair done. It is the day it looks the best.

15. I am not a big animal person.

16. I am in enjoyment mode when Landon is asleep. And that is not right now :(

17. My favorite movie is comedies. I love to laugh.

18. I desire to do great photography. I want great pictures of Landon but for now they are just okay.

19. Can't wair for Mike to get tenure to know that we are out of the woods, for a while.

20. My favorite music group is the Great Big Sea.

21. I love it when people leave comments on my blog. It gets me excited.

22. One of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks.

23. I am a recipe addict. I don't cook a ton but I have a ton of recipes.

24. We are starting the adoption process again. Yeah!

25. I have a manicuring license.


1. I still write secret notes with a cipher I made up in junior high.

2. I can remember an early dream that I thought for years was my first memory (I was flying down to my house when I was two-ish).

3. I have only ever had two nightmares—both relating to clowns. I have woken up in a cold sweat thinking about real problems many a time, however.

4. I hate spending money.

5. I speak, read, and write passably fluent Spanish.

6. I served an LDS mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

7. I love and miss Argentine food and culture. I enjoy tango and rock argentino, I love empanadas, milanesas, asado, and alfajores, and I routinely drink mate (South American herb tea) spiked with mint and chamomile in a mate (gourd) from a metal bombilla (strainer straw).

8. I was born on Friday the 13th and know the recurring pattern for when my next Friday the 13th birthday will be (6, 5, 6, 11, and 2012). This recurring pattern works for anyone’s birthday.

9. I am left-handed. It’s a big part of my identity. I am convinced that being a lefty is a small symptom of a much larger set of quirky traits wired into my brain that sometimes leave me feeling alienated from most people and sometimes leave me feeling happily unique.

10. I am tongue-tied, which makes trilling my R’s (among other things) a real pain.

11. I taught elementary school for four years, Spanish-speaking bilingual transition. In that time, I taught students in grades 1-5 (I kept getting bounced around from year to year).

12. I moved once as a kid, at age 3. My folks still live in the same house I grew up in, and my sisters still live in our hometown. I am our family’s only vagabond.

13. I ride the bus to work. By choice. I would walk or ride my bike if I could.

14. I love to drive for leisure (road trip, anyone?). I hate to commute.

15. I did not learn to ride a bike until I was 19 (as a missionary), and I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 22 (yeah, so I’m a loser).

16. I love my iPod and have an extensive and varied collection of eclectic tunes and podcasts.

17. I grew up listening to a local comedy radio station (AM 850 KMDY, Thousand Oaks) where I heard all the greats in their prime: Bill Cosby, Weird Al, Allen Sherman, George Carlin, Stan Freiberg, Robin Williams, and so on. I would fall to sleep at night listening to the KNX Drama hour with old time radio greats like Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Arch Obler, the Lone Ranger, and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.

18. I collected Lego bricks growing up, and I still have an extensive collection in boxes waiting for the time Landon is old enough to inherit the whole lot.

19. I earned a PhD in educational leadership (whatever that means).

20. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and am more than a little concerned I missed the point of getting all those good grades, achievements, and scholarships.

21. My faith is my own, and I find myself embracing a fair number of incompatible truths, appreciating nuance, and questioning dogma.

22. Growing up, my favorite color was blue, but lately I have been leaning toward red.

23. I love soft chewy cookies: chocolate chip, molasses, snickerdoodle . . . yummy!

24. I love to read, but mostly junk-food reading . . . although I just reread The Screwtape Letters.

25. My favorite time of day is in the morning when Landon toddles in to our bedroom and the three of us visit together in our cushy bed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sweet Moments

This weekend was one of those I would like to capture in a photo. Not this exact photo but one in my head.

  • Friday night we did our official celebrating of our anniversary. We had Diamond babysit and it was nice to be a couple even if it is for just a few hours. Went to Fuddruckers and had a great burger. Ate a loaded caramel apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory ( on our first date we had caramel apples ) and then watched Jane Austen's Persuasion ( pretty good movie ). Landon is now 15 months and weighs 22lbs and is 29in long. Our big little guy.

  • Saturday we hung around the house for a bit. Landon took a nap and when he woke up we took him to the play area at the local mall. It is quite a nice play area and he loves to go there. It is so much fun watching him run all around and it is priceless to watch Mike have a wonderful time playing with him. He went down for a nap and when he woke up he joined Mike and me in the kitchen where we made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to take to a "Girls' Night Out" activity and then we made a yummy salad for dinner. The sunlight shone in the kitchen, and everyone was having a wonderful time. We need to have more days like that.

  • Sunday we were able to stick around for all three hours. That is a bit of an accomplishment for us as most Sundays we don't make it all three hours. Diamond is such a big help during Sacrament. Papi gave a nice talk, and I guess I am biased because he told everyone how lucky he was to have me. AWWW! I am lucky to have him, too. During the closing prayer that was given by our friend Gina I was peeking at Landon out of the corner of my eye and he was folding his arms. I LOVE THIS KID!

What a bunch of sweet moments we had this weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Today we celebrate ten years of marriage! In honor of that momentous accomplishment, a few words from one of Mike's favorite comedians, the late Jack Benny, are in order: "My wife Mary and I have been married for forty-seven years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never."

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We have been thinking about slowly starting the process of adoption again. Timing can be an amazing thing. Check out the Friend pg 16 ("Making a Family") and the Ensign page 36 ("The Gift of Adoption") to read some amazing adoption articles. How blessed we are to have Landon!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Small Change with a Big Meaning

It's a new year, and we're feeling a bit of cabin fever, what with the cold and all. So we updated the blog. We started this thing in 2004 with the title "Maybe it's not Home Sweet Home. Adjust." The title came from a plaque we bought that struck us (Mike, mostly) as funny in an in-your-face sort of way. Living in Utah within an LDS culture brings with it some "expectations" about home and family that don't always match with real life, or at least with the experiences we had had within our own families and among our friends. There was a certain "Suck it up. Get over it." attitude to the phrase that spoke to some of the realities we were living as college students experiencing life's ups and downs in Salt Lake. So, when Mike started the blog, that attitude came along for the ride.

Things have mellowed some in the intervening years, and last year during a hard stretch, we received a comment on our blog questioning what was interpreted as the negative tone of what we had to say. Make no mistake. The world is a complicated place full of cruelty as well as joy. While it is not wise to dwell on the hard parts of life, acknowledging them is no crime. However, the conversations that arose from those initial comments did plant a seed that set us to re-evaluating the tone of what we presented in this public forum.

As we reflected on a new theme for the blog, we recognized that one constant in our marriage has been our determination to do things together, to be together as much as possible. A story from when we were courting set the stage for this goal. When we were getting to know each other, Hallie mentioned that she was a fan of classic Winnie the Pooh, and Mike had bought Hallie some Pooh-themed gifts, including a small ceramic box that held her wedding ring when he proposed. On the top of the box was an illustration of Pooh and Piglet holding hands and walking in the grass. Inscribed around the sides was the phrase that became the new title for this blog: "It didn't matter where they went as long as they went together."

In our marriage, we have had the remarkable fortune (so far) of being able to spend an unusually large amount of time together both as a couple and as a small family. 
We were married nearly seven years before we spent a single night apart, and this included a period where we gave serious thought (for about two seconds) to having Hallie stay in the US while Mike went to Argentina for his two-month internship in 2002. Hallie has managed to make it to conferences Mike has had to attend, and Mike has managed to accompany Hallie on her own business trips. We have been blessed with a remarkable flexibility of time that has compensated us a little bit for not having the rug rats (we love you, Landon!) earlier in our marriage. Now that we're coming on 10 years married on the 23rd (Happy Anniversary!), the change in title hopefully reflects what you read and view here: our family, living a life of rich adventure and great excitement together. For us—up, down, or sideways—living our lives together is what counts, no matter what or where that may take us!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Idea! Not!

I had a wonderful cozy idea for date night tonight. Thought we would go get us some Olga's Kitchen to go and then watch a movie curled up under the blankets on the couch. When we woke up this morning and turned on the talk radio station ( we listen to a lot more talk radio since getting rid of the television ) we heard all of the schools basically in southeast Michigan were closed. "Why?" I asked. Mike said it was because it was too cold/dangerous to send them. I said then we are not going to Olga's Kitchen for date night. So my fine idea is not so fun anymore. One of the first things I did when getting on the Internet was look at the temperature, and says it is -6 outside. 
That did not include the windchill. They say with the windchill it feels like -28. Landon and I have not been outside since Monday, and it is getting a little bit old to say the least. I took a picture of our thermometer outside but it only read 0 . It is either broken or... it is plain too cold to read any lower.

Send your warm thoughts our way! Thank goodness I know our good old house (1913) can stand this kind of weather.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Few Photos of our Peanut!

We haven't posted a few pictures of Landon in a while so here they are. He is a handful with walking and wanting to touch EVERYTHING! Hopefully come Spring he will run it all out at the park and swim it all out in the pool. It has snowed ALL day today. I pray it stops or lets up a bit as tonight is the night that two of the sisters from the branch are receiving their endowment. They are so excited and I would hate for the weather to dampen their spirits.

Landon is eating spaghetti. We think he may be allergic to sauce so he is eating it with a bit o' butter and doesn't seem to phase him a bit.

He pulls the funniest faces and every now and then I am able to capture one of them.
Here are some photos of us at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. Above we are learning to make ice cream in Ziploc bags. It worked and it was yummy!
They had firefighter costumes that we tried to get Landon to dress up in. Tried is the key word as the clothes came off about as fast as they went on.
At the museum they had fun water tables where the kids can put on aprons and splash around in the water. Landon loved doing that! Some nice friends in the branch invited us to go with them and we all had a lot of fun!
Above is Landon playing in one of the model rooms at IKEA, a favorite store of ours. We never can leave without buying something. He loved being able to play with the stuff that was just for kids. One day we will be able to leave him in Smalland.
Landon is posing in front of his new car garage that Grandpa and Grandma M gave him for Christmas. It makes noises and lights up when he uses it. What a boy!

We love him so much and 2009 is going to be so exciting as we have the opportunity to experience many more first with him!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sometimes You Need A Wonderful Day

It has been a while since I posted some cute pictures of Landon and of Mike. So here they are.

The three of us drove to Ann Arbor to check out a man that they call Dr. Snowflake. His real name is Dr. Thomas Clark. He was a surgeon before, and now does really great snowflakes. He taught a class yesterday, and so we drove to the University of Michigan to see his presentation. We really did it for Mike, and he enjoyed it quite a bit. I played run around with Landon. The child has a gift for mooching off food from people he doesn't even know. Well we now know he likes dried mangoes.  

In the evening Mike surprised me with tickets to the Red Wings vs. Stars game. It was amazing! The seats were a bit far up, but you could see everything from where we were, and it was exciting. Within the first 5 minutes the Wings had already scored. By the end they had won 6 - 1. I had a blast, and it was great to be in atmosphere where everyone was cheering and really in it for the team. It was Mike's first NHL game, and I am so glad it was a good experience. I would definitely go back and can't wait for Landon to get older so we can take him. Go Wings! 

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Scarf

What is so special about a scarf I thought? I hate wearing jackets and so I thought I never needed a scarf. But, they are so trendy. There has to be something so special about a scarf. Well, I finally figured out what is so special about a scarf. I AM WARM NOW! I found the greatest scarf for under $30 at Eddie Bauer in the Somerset Collection in Troy and just had to model it for all the world.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mediocre Fan

For at least 15 years now I have been a mediocre fan of the Dallas Stars. My favorite player has been Mike Modano and I love it when they win! I couldn't really tell you right now who is even on their roster L (Okay, maybe I am less than a mediocre fan.)

Recently Mike and I have been talking about what it takes to say you "live" in a place or what it is like to "live"
in the moment, and for my part to truly say I am living in Michigan and even more so in Southeast Michigan is to change my fan affiliation. Today my allegiance is now going to the Detroit Red Wings.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Deep down we are still BYU fans. But, I have to admit after reading several articles this morning regarding the Sugar Bowl I am pretty dang excited for Mike's Alma Mater, the University of Utah. Click here to read an article regarding the amazing game

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Jan 23

So our anniversary is not until the date above. But, when we were at Costco and I saw they had a Wii I bought it. We opened it today after feeding lunch to 8 very hungry missionaries. No they did not play it. But boy did we have fun playing it tonight. The whole point of the blog is that I got the first STRIKE! Yeah Hoo! And I stink at bowling.