Sunday, March 31, 2013

Utah fun

While we went to Utah for Mander's wedding, we had a lot of fun with other friends and family.  

Grandma Julie and Pops were generous enough to take all of the grandkids one night, and then take them to see the Easter Bunny the next morning.  It was supposed to be an easter egg hunt, but the crazy spring snow quickly put a damper on that.  Either way, the girls were star struck.  Briz was slighlty disturbed the Bunny's vest, but other than that she enjoyed herself.

Nick and I made an awesome Pops find while shopping at Ross.  The Claw became the game to beat and Nick was a bit obsessed.  I think it may have had to do with Brittany being the first to grab the candy.

As always, Briz LOVED being with her cousins.  And she is a terrible influence on them.  You can tell by looking at the following pictures.

We were also able to go see some of our favorite people the Nielsons.  Briz and Sadie were playing pretend for a while and it was so funny to watch.  My favorite was when they slow danced together and Sadie was teaching Briz where to put her hands.

We got to go to Sisi's classroom and watch her in action as a teacher.  Her kids in her class were so funny, and Briz got to participate in a Q and A.  Sierra's an awesome teacher, and it was fun to see her.  We also got to meet Tanner, her missionary that just got home.  

Pops built a unique snowman.  Too bad we didn't bring our snow stuff.

Went and saw the Croods.  Briz and I both rather enjoyed it.  Her giggling out loud was my favorite part of the movie.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mamander's Wedding

My good friend Amanda, got married last week and I am still so excited about it.  Mander and I met in London over 10 years ago and have been close friends ever since.  We lived together, watched weird movies alone together, and have been through a lot.  I like her so much, I even followed her to graduate school at the U.   She is an extremely modest person who doesn't demand a lot of attention.  So it was so fun to see her in the spotlight, and just extremely happy with her husband Brian Nelson.

Nick, Briz, and I all drove down from Portland to be a part of the festivities.

Wednesday night we had her Bachelorette party.  We went out to eat at Sammy's in Park City (which was SO good, I am definitely going back next time I am in PC).  We were planning on going Karaoking after that, but no surprise, we all blabbed way too much and didn't have time.  The rest of the night, however, I will have to leave up the imagination of the reader, because it's not appropriate for my blog.  But I will say that I haven't laughed that long in a long time.

Thursday night was the rehearsal dinner and I am pretty sure that Sam and I were only invited because we tried to force Amander to make us her bridesmaids.  As a consolation prize, she invited us with her family to a very nice dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Our "honorary bridesmaid" gifts.

Brian and Mander got married in Salt Lake on the 22nd and it was a beautiful and powerful ceremony.  I was just overwhelmed with happiness for my dear friend.  It was, however, freezing!  About thirty degrees and snowing.  What the!!!

That night she had a reception where the highlight was the unlimited diet coke and the photo booth.  Briz also thought she was part of the bridal party.

It was so fun to be a part of a fun few days with Mander and my good friends.  It makes me sad to leave Utah because I can't get enough of these fine women.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Highlights of March

Here are some of the highlights of March thus far:

Brizzy's cousin, baby Stu was born.  Briz was pretty excited about this little guy.  She has practiced writing his name a few times, and has been as always been drawing some extremely accurate portraits.

(We also were able to attend our friend Wesley's baby blessing, and are excitedly waiting the birth of other cousins, so the baby mania continues).

I have attempted to begin ramping up my workouts again.  The Epic Relay is coming up, and I don't want to injure my foot again, so I guess I need to train.  In an effort to go on an early morning gym run, I wore two different shoes.  Hey, at least they were both Nikes right?

Briz finished swim lessons and was a total champ.  She still sorta freaks out when she is swimming on her back (she's been doing that since about four weeks old), but overall, she just gets more and more confident, and its fun to watch.  Also, I took this picture in the locker room showers and I got some strange looks.

I am proud to say Briz is no longer consistently a pain.  She still has her moments, and she does NOT stop talking EVER, but she doesn't seem to be wanting to torture me quite as often, so that's a very good thing.  She keeps me entertained all day long.  She is a funny, funny kid.

We had Portia down for the weekend and had a blast.  The most fun part was taking the girls to Beauty and the Beast.  They dressed up in princess dresses and I am pretty sure they thought they were actual princesses, while they sang and danced nonstop.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Basketball Season Take One

Briz played her very first basketball league this year.  And it was . . . interesting.  I know, she's a little young for team basketball, but I am very worried about her extreme girliness, so I try to balance it out.  I think her success in basketball this year could be explained by a bell curve. 

Horizontal line = Time/Season
Vertical line = basketball skills/effort (i.e. ability to make a basket)

She peaked mid season with two shots made in back to back games.  Not only that, but she was hustling up the court.  Her biggest downfall I would say is her tendency to play defense against her own teammate.  

Doing some coaching while she sat the bench

Explaining what she needs to do when the other team shoots, and she is listening intently.

Me saying, "See right there!  There's the ball!  Go get it."  If you can't tell, I HAVE coached before.  That is some genius advice.

Typical picture of the bench during the game.  

The real highlight of the season: pizza AND a trophy!  

Her coach discussed Brizzy's strengths in her attitude and smile.  Not much mention of anything related to actual basketball.

Well, she may not be the strongest player, but look at that form.

Classic Off-the-one-foot shot

Mastering the skill of the bounce pass.  Although  she never got to utilize this skill during the game.  Anytime she actually touched the ball, we encouraged her to run straight to the basket and shoot.

So excited she can hardly stand it.

Fast Break. Part I.
Part II.  Trying to keep the ball bouncing with her dribbling.

Part III.  Shooting.   And that's about as high as the ball went.

Perfect defensive position.

A few things not captured:
Her constant walking/running on her toes.
Her random twirls.
 Her standing right in  front of her teammate and putting her arms up  in the air while yelling, "Pass! Pass!  Pass!"

On her very last game, she said she was very sad basketball was over.  As far as I'm concerned, that's a win!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Devil Child

So I have been calling Briz this lately, but truthfully I only mean it about 53% of the time.  The other 47% of the time she is adorable, fun, hilarious, kinda sweet, etc.  But man oh man, she has been giving me a run for my money.  For some odd reason, EVERY single thing is a battle.  She likes to argue, talk back, scream, whine, lie, you name it.  Normally I have felt pretty confident in my ability to handle her "difficult moments" but I often just sort of say lately, "Okay, I give up. Go ahead and do whatever it is you're going to do."  She can't seem to decide if she wants to be a little toddler or a big girl.  This morning she woke up talking baby talk, pretending like she couldn't do anything herself and telling me she is 2 1/2.  She decided to ly limp on the bed while I tried to get her dressed (that was fun!).  And then ended the day with telling me that tomorrow after school she's going to have her 7th birthday and she will be getting baptized soon.  I think she is having an identity crisis.  Is it too early for her to be getting PMS?  I keep holding on to the wish that she is getting all of her craziness out now and so she will be a perfectly obedient and sweet teenager?  No?  
In the meantime, I thought I would dwell on a funny, cute moment (Well, mostly, this was 30 minutes past her bed time).   

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moving On

This title may be misleading a bit.  I don't have any extreme epiphanies or anything like that.  Just a few thoughts.  First, I love spring.  Even in the Northwest, where it's still cloudy and rainy, I love the fact that it's getting warmer and I can hear birds chirping.  I love the spring colors in stores.  And I also love the idea of a fresh start: a clean house, some new clothes, its refreshing.  I have been getting excited about organizing/cleaning my house.
But in that process I have discovered some things, things that I hadn't realized before.  I realized how much I have still been holding on to my sweet baby girl, even in just things I keep around the house.
I am not sure if it's because she was the first, but with Briz, I was always so excited about each new stage.  I was excited for new clothes, new shoe sizes.  I felt like I was constantly packing stuff up, organizing her things.  And then I remember getting out all of my baby stuff for Holly a few weeks before she was born.  I would pull out the boxes and go, "Oh yeah. . . .! I forgot about this little outfit!"  And I was excited to use some of my baby stuff again.
About 6 months after she died, Nick and I cleaned out her room, moved Brizzy's stuff, and sort of reorganized our stuff upstairs.  I put away my bottles and my small diapers and all of that stuff.  But I still kept out a lot of my "in-between" stuff.  Stuff like sippy cups and bibs, little baby toys.  I figured Briz would use it for a while.  But Briz is definitely not a little toddler anymore.  She is a full fledge girl.  And the part of me that used to get so excited about a new stage with Briz gets sad and anxious now.  She has been potty trained for about a year and a half, and yesterday, I finally put diapers and wipes away.  I think I had it out and kept it out always figuring that I would use it again fairly soon.  But recently, just recently, it has dawned on me that I won't be using that stuff soon.  It has made me incredibly sad, but also it has helped me to accept the facts of where I am at.  I realize how much of me has been waiting around.  I'm not really sure what I have been waiting for, truthfully.  But I used to not be like that.  I used to try to seize every moment (well, at least, most moments).  It is something I have worked on in my life, enjoying the moment I am in, rather than constantly waiting and looking for when I will be happy (and trust me, it's been a very conscious effort)  With Holly dying, I lost this completely. And I don't know, maybe I was waiting just for the pain to lessen, but either way, I am ready to enjoy and embrace each moment of my life.  Or I should say, ready to try.

And on another note, in my efforts to be more present, Briz has decided to start being extremely difficult lately.  She is an extremely smart, stubborn little girl, but sometimes to a detriment.  This morning, she was so frustrated with me because I wouldn't read her stories before nap time (because she refused to use the word please), and so she went from hitting me, to throwing her jewelry at me, and then eventually spitting.  I had to turn my face because I couldn't stop laughing.  What a funny, dramatic girl.  Hopefully I can laugh when she's 16 and doing that :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Onion

These are some of my favorite onion articles recently. Enjoy.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I don't generally care much for February.  First of all, the weather generally stinks here.  I am not  a big fan of Valentine's Day and it is spelled weird.  Why the first r?  Why?  
However, February proved to a be nice surprise this year, because it has been great.  We have had quite a few sunny days and partially sunny days.  And Briz and I  have been doing a lot of fun things.  I definitely feel like we're getting ready for spring and that is a good thing.

 1.  Briz and I have started loving watching movies together.  We regularly have movie parties, which is a fancy way for me saying we sit on the couch and watch a movie.  Briz has now fallen in love with State Fair.  The other day she asked me if she could watch it with her friend Harper, who was coming over to play.  I informed her that she couldn't because I could guarantee most other normal three year olds would not like watching State Fair.

3.  As always we visited Holly's grave a few times.  It was so nice to go there on some sunny days too.  Makes it much more pleasant.

4.  Briz likes to use her umbrella as much as possible, so she is a little disappointed in the lack of rain.

 5.  Briz continued to play basketball on her team.  She scored her first (and so far her only) basket.  She was so excited, she jumped up and down, clapped, and ran straight over to Nick for a big hug.  She continued to run off the court and give us both hugs.  About the fifth time, I was about to tell  her to stop running off the court when she whispered to me, "Mom, I love you."  Hahaha.  Guess she was just feeling the love and my heart melted.  But truthfully, her making a basket is a huge accomplishment for her.  We generally encourage her to just touch the basketball during the game.  She's gotten excellent at her defensive slide, but on offense she generally just continues to defend her own teammates.  So the fact that she got the ball, attempted to dribble it down the court, shot it, made the ball reach the height of the basket, and then the ball fell through the net . . . well that was a miracle.

6.  Went to the children's museum one last time before our pass expired.  Her and Jaron ran around like crazy animals the whole time.  Julia and I sat and watched them.  Julia has the excuse of being pregnant, but me, I like to let Briz explore on her own (while I sit as much as possible).

7.  We went to the zoo and saw baby Lilly.  Oh my goodness, I loved watching her. I laughed, I cried. I think had an overly emotional response to a baby elephant, but what can ya do.

 8.  Lanny came into town for a weekend and we got to spend some time with him.  He and Briz had fun chillin at the zoo, and the highlight of the weekend was when someone asked Landon if he was Briz' father.  Say WHAT!  It was one of the funniest things I've heard in a while.

9.  Holy crap, Briz has been coloring like a banche.  I'm not sure if its physically possible for her to color anymore.  I feel a bit of guilt for constantly throwing trees away, but its doubly worse having to deal with Briz constantly making her disappointed face when she finds her art in the trash. I have thus learned to be very sneaky.

10.  Nick got knee surgery again.  And luckily, it ended up being fairly minor.  But Nick's knee is still taking a while to heal and all of us can't wait until he's 100%.

11.  Briz has been practicing her biking skills on our nice days.  And its a double whammy because she gets to cart along a doll/stuffed animal.  Not much more she could want in life.

12. In the absence of Nick being gone in Vegas and hanging out with Bo Jackson, I decided to send him a self portrait of myself.  It doesn't happen very often.

13.  We went up to Seattle to visit our cousins.  We went to the zoo (and it was freezing), and we also went swimming.  Briz is just in heaven following Portia around.  And I love my nephew and nieces so much; its so great being around them more often.  Can't wait for Thatcher Hugh to be born in a couple months!

 14.  It has been nonstop Baby Business here.  There are very few people that we know who aren't pregnant or had a baby recently.  All of this baby mania has been getting to Briz and she finally decided it was time to join the club by having her baby boy and girl, named Collie and Carline, respectively.

15.  It's the time of year again for swim lessons.  We had to sneak them in before we left for Florida for spring break.  It's crazy to think of how much better Briz is than she was a year ago.  She pretty much swims by herself; we just need to work on her technique some.  The doggy paddle only lasts so long.

 16.  We started going back to our Tryon Creek nature hikes.  Briz loves them.  But she calls it camping.  Clearly we need to spend more time in nature and hiking.  I am so disappointed.  But either way, its fun and its FREE.

17.  Briz is ending her tap class and starting her ballet class.  There are a few weeks of overlap so it feels like she has got way too many classes right now.  I will be sad to see the tap class go, because it was pretty cute to watch.

18.  I started teaching piano lessons which I absolutely love.  And I keep saying I should have started it a long time ago.  One of my favorite things about it is how it keeps me playing a lot more.

19.  Nick has been working like a maniac recently.  But his department has been getting incredible reviews, in particular for the fuel band (which is in fact, incredible if I don't say so myself).

20.  I finished my application for licensure for professional counseling.  I am waiting to  hear back the board's review and will then have to probably take a few classes, but I'm excited to be back on the road that I have wanted to be on for a while.

Now that February has come to and end, we have a bunch of fun things in March to look forward to: Amander's wedding on the 22nd, Andrew McMahon concert on the 25th, and then Disneyworld on the 27th!

And as a PS, my goal next month is to blog more because these posts are way too long.