Monday, January 30, 2012

To the American Continent . . .

Later sucka!  
See ya in February sometime . . . maybe.  In the meantime, I will be here:

And I will be busy listening to Bon Iver, reading Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Tina Fey's "Bossy Pants," and trying to give my skin the overdose of Vitamin D that it deserves.

Monday, January 23, 2012


 Last weekend, I went to Vegas for my annual friends gathering.  I very much needed some time with my lady friends.  I had so much fun.  But the downside is that I get very sad when I have to say good-bye to them.

Highlights of the trip were:
- The Celine Dion concert (deserves it's own post)
- Visiting Jacci at the Marquee
- Watching the Golden Globes and making endless lists of our "Top 5's"
- Teasing Amander about her new lover
- Trying to force Sam to date people in her ward
- Going for walks (much to Sam's dismay)
- Sam and Maggie cooking for us
- Owen putting on a little show for us and boosting my ego by smiling a little extra for me
- Talking, laughing, talking, and laughing

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seattle . . . I love you

A week and a half ago, Nick invited Briz and I to come up with him to Seattle where he had to work.  Last time we went was last June.  I was very pregnant and Briz was puking her guts out the whole time, so I was a little weary.  But it ended being a really fun trip where I got to explore the city with my little girl.  

We stayed at the Westin in downtown Seattle, which was awesome because it was right next to everything.  We could basically walk everywhere.  The city was beautiful with all of its Christmas lights still up.  Here's what we did:

- Slept, napped . . . a lot
- Swam in the indoor pool . . .  a lot
- Walked around the city . . . a lot
- Saw a gang fight in an alley . . . just once (and a milestone for Briz)
- Ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, and we ate a lot
- Got some cupcakes from the famous "Yellow Leaf Cupcake" shop
- Went to the Seattle Aquarium, where Briz was afraid of most of the creatures we saw (except for the sea lion and sea otters because apparently she was convinced they loved her)
- Road the monorail down to the Seattle Center
- Tried to sneak into a children's play with a school group, but Briz did a terrible job at lying and trying to pass off for a 6 year old
- Watched CNN and Fox News a . . . a lot ( I know, I go crazy when I am on vacation)
- Rode the Seattle Trolley down to Lake Union

 This picture is particularly for Mamanda.  These otters were cuddling while sleeping and it was really cute.  If I could appreciate such a sweet animal moment, I knew she would.

 Briz on the monorail.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beautiful People

I normally like to read a fair amount. But lately my selection have been books all about death, grief, self-help, etc. They have been helpful, and it's always good for me to read things that help me heal as well as become more introspective. But I have read one book recently that I LOVE. It is called Grieving: the pain and the promise by Deanna Edwards. It is beautifully written and I want to share a quote from every single page that I read (that may be a warning). Here is one quote that I love and I feel is truly applicable to my life in the last few months. I have had so many wonderful people help me through this struggle. It's hard for me to put into words how grateful I am for these people. Sometimes I am in awe of how kind, empathetic, and selfless people can be.

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just 'happen.' Growth can come in unexpected ways from the nooks and crannies of our life's experiences. In death and grief we do not need so much protection from painful experiences as we need the boldness to face them. We do not need as much to be tranquilized from pain as we need the strength to conquer it. If we choose to love, we must also have the courage to grieve. What a blessing to take time to pause from our well-meant efficiency and to realize that when a love is lost, our capacity to love is not lost also. From our grief can come growth."

-Roy Nichols-

For all the beautiful people in my life, and I hope you know who you are, thank you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stuff She Says

I miss my iPad for a lot of reasons. But one in particular is because it was nice to have something to write down all of the random crap Briz says on a day to day basis. Some of it is a direct copycat of me. But other things, I honestly have no idea where she gets them. She really does talk like she's 15 and it scares me to no end! Here are some of her favorite things to say recently:

- "How about in 30 minutes?"

- "Cute necklace Mom!" or "Cute shoes Dad"

- "That matches!"

- "Leave me alone" generally when she's watching a movie or going to the bathroom

- "You tired Lou?" (this is directed to me). A lot of the questions she ask me end in saying Lou

- "You're not being very nice to me." to Nick or I when we are disciplining her

- She also likes to put her hands on your face when she kisses you and move her head around. When Nick asked her where she learned that, she said, "Enchanted."

- "Just a little bit?" This is when she is generally asking for a treat or something she knows she shouldn't have

- "That's my new favorite _" insert the word princess, movie, shirt,dress etc.

-"That's lovely."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stuff We Did

Quite a bit happened in December. So here is the list of stuff that happened:

1. Sierra and Landon came home. I made Sierra come with me to the Nike gym and do some of my workouts with me. It was fun having a buddy.

2. Paul, McKenna, and Dane also came for Christmas. Briz LOVES Paul and McKenna and also talks about their dogs still quite a bit.

3. Seeing as Briz loves their dogs, I tried to convince Nick to buy a dog for Christmas for Briz, but I failed.

4. On the 22nd (which is the 2 month marker of when Holland died), I cooked a big dinner for my family. We also made gingerbread houses.

5. Brizzy ate a whole lot of crap. Some of which I fought her on, some of which I didn't.

6. I made Christmas treats/plates to give to people and never delivered them. So I have A LOT of christmas treats all wrapped up, sitting on my dining room table. I keep trying to make Nick eat them, but he's trying to be all healthy. It's a little annoying.

7. Briz has spent lots of time with family and re-developed her crush on Landon. She has said at least five times randomly, "I miss Landon."

8. We went and saw Mission Impossible 4. Pretty good, but still not my favorite. I do, however, love Simon Pegg in it.

9. Worked on getting a real marker for Holland's grave. Right now, she has a temporary one that looks like this. Nick and I joke with people about just leaving this one there 'cause we're cheap, but most of the time people don't laugh. I guess it's a little awkward when you make morbid jokes, or so I'm told.

10. We visited Holland's grave numerous times. And I had to take a picture of the beautiful view of Mount Hoood. I still love going to her grave and just the cemetery in general. It gives me a sense of peace and calm and reminds me of beauty in life. Sidenote: on the righthand corner is the mausoleum where Grandma Cottle is. Holland is right next to her great grandma. It's a little comforting thinking about that.

11. We decided to not steal our tree off the side of the road and cut it down from the forest this year.

12. We attempted to play in the snow, but there really was none. It's been a warm and beautiful Winter, so I can't complain. But I was a little disappointed that I couldn't play in the snow with Briz. Behind her in this picture is the one small patch of snow I was able to find.

13. Briz and I got to spend lots of time with Nick because he was off work. Now Briz is having a hard time adjusting to Nick being gone. She gets bored with just me, and what can I say, her and Nick are two peas in a pod. They are WAY more alike than Briz and I.

14. Even still, Briz has been giving me lots of love this month (also lots of trouble . . .particularly when she flooded our bathroom floor). She actually cuddled with me for like 5 minutes the other day which is a new record. Either way, she has been very attached to her mom and dad and very concerned whether we're happy or sad with her.

15. On Christmas, we went to Church. I think this was one of Briz' favorite parts about Christmas, dressing up and getting to wear her new necklace from Nona AND her "Holly necklace."

16. I sang in the ward choir, while McKenna and Sierra sat in the congregation laughing at me. But either way, I felt the spirit very strongly and actually loved going to church on Christmas to feel like I could remember the Savior more.

17. Briz got reacquainted with Dane. The last time she saw him, she was still a little confused because it was right after Holland died. But she seemed to understand things much more this time. And just like with Holland, she wanted to hold Dane, but just for quick periods of time. And anytime he cried or spit up, she got a very disturbed look on her face and was quickly done being near him.

18. I spent some time playing with Dane, and what can I say he loved me :) It is a hard thing with him being so close in age to my baby girl. And in the past I have been somewhat apathetic to him. But I found this time that I really wanted to hold him and interract with him a lot. At the same time, it made me miss Holland. As I watched McKenna play and talk to him, I missed my relationship with my little girl. But either way, being with Dane, I had some very sweet moments. I had forgotten what a joy it was to have a baby around, and he reminded me of that.

19. Briz got some Christmas jammies on Christmas eve.

20. Briz got a new play kitchen along with a bunch of other crap. Her favorite items in her stocking were: her purse, bubblegum, and new princess shoes. I really didn't buy her anything besides stuff for a stocking and thank goodness! She is SO spoiled.

21. I am not really one to talk, because I also got really really spoiled. Nick bought me a digital piano and I am in love. I LOVE having a piano around to play. I want to play all the time, and I even started Briz on her first lessons :)

22. It was a relaxed Christmas where we spent pretty much all day opening presents. And there were some very sweet and tender moments. It was a good day. Nick's favorite present was a painting I had done of Holland by Alisha Whitman. I will post a picture of it soon.

23. On Christmas Eve Day, we went to Holland's grave and sang Christmas carols. Briz had fun literally dancing on her grave.

24. Nick turned the big 3-0! This is us out to dinner at the Chart House.

25. I am pretty proud of the fact that I got his name put on the menu. I also cleaned out his office (which was a HUGE feat), and I got him an iPad.

December was a good month. There were very hard moments for me, and it was definitely different than it has been in the past, but I am learning that life in general will be different. Some of those ways are tough, but gradually and slowly they are becoming easier to deal with. And I found hope in getting through our first Christmas with Holland gone, as well as in the New Year.

2011 kinda sucked, so bring on 2012.