Sunday, June 09, 2019


One of my main concerns upon moving to Las Vegas was the crime. Upon scanning Facebook safety groups, it became clear break-ins were a regular occurrence and one would be wise to take all necessary precautions to keep the bad guys out.

Being very diligent (read paranoid), we started bringing our garage door openers in with us every night, we kept our cars straight-from-the-factory level empty, and we checked our video doorbell hourly. I even thoroughly researched metal door jambs as a means to prevent a group of ruffians from inevitably kicking down our door.

I lived in fear of hearing footsteps downstairs in the wee hours of the morning. If ever I heard an odd noise in the middle of the night, I would just quietly pull the sheets a little higher, close my eyes, and fall back asleep with a perma-grimace on my face, paralyzed by fear. You can bet you'd never see me downstairs past 11:00 PM for fear of coming face to face with an intruder. Take what you need and run, burglars, just keep your distance.

And then it happened. I came face to face with an intruder and it was more terrifying than I had imagined. I was up at 5:00 in the morning to be out the door by 5:15 for my weekly workout class. With groggy eyes and a still dark house, I managed to quietly slip by the slimeball on my way down the stairs. Once downstairs, I flipped a light on and that was the moment we spotted each other. We both froze. He took a few steps backwards, ready to make a run for it, but I wasn't going to let him get away that easily.

I ran to my garage to grab some poison I had on-hand for just an occasion, chanting to myself, "THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!" The pest was right where I had left him, shaking in his boots by my strength and resilience to his fear tactics. I sprinkled poison all over him and left him for dead before checking the premisis for any of his friends that may have been trying to make their escape.

Then I went to my workout class, or what I now call it, Home Intruder Training because a girl's gotta have a strong bod to fight off a home invasion at a moment's notice.

So when I got home I nearly cried as I told Jeff about the cockroach I saw that morning. He was unphased and said, "Call a bug guy." So I did. Like a strong and resilient lady boss.

Listen, guys. Cockroaches are like top 3 on my worst fears list. It goes (in this order):
1.) Needles
2.) Cotton
3.) Cockroaches

They're everywhere. Always. They steal your home at night and take it as their own. They walk all over you (probably). THEY WILL EAT YOUR EARWAX (according to my sister and click-baity internet articles). They can live with their heads chopped off and they can breathe for many, many minutes under water. Are you barfing yet? There's more.

So I call my bug guy. And then I didn't sleep for the two nights before he was scheduled to arrive. Because how do you expect one to sleep with the possibility of a cockroach eating one's earwax?

The bug guy finally came (we did see several more dead cockroaches throughout the week, but the live one was definitely the most threatening of the break-ins). I finally got ONE good night's rest before public enemy #2 entered the scene.

You see, Jeff had offered to make us a nice, romantic fire in the backyard for us to enjoy after the kids went to bed. While we were out innocently toasting some mallows, we saw a dark shadow creeping along the fence in our backyard.

"What was that?" I said almost with a laugh.
"I was hoping you wouldn't see that." Jeff said almost under his breath.
I gave him a slow side eye and repeated myself.
Just as the shadow scurried across our fence one more time, Jeff braced himself as he bravely informed me, "It's a rat."

And then I put our house up for sale.

Making Ship(lap) Happen

The long-awaited last day of school finally arrived and we had a party waiting for the boys when they got home. 
The Besses were on their way to California and stopped by for an overnight visit. We had made it a tradition to do something together on the last day of school while we lived in Bountiful, so I loved that they were here to continue the tradition! 
Teresa wasted no time offering Burke's help on a project we started months ago and had since given up on.
 While the kids were playing...
Burke and Teresa were in full-blown shiplap mode. 
I am so grateful for their help. They gave us the umph to get the project going again, and helped us work through some tricky parts that had us stuck. This is how you know who your real friends are. The ones that see a wall half finished in your house and get to work making your house dreams a reality. That's why we call them our Bess Friends. Sorry, I had to.
I did feed them dinner lest you think I was nothing more than a slave driver for the afternoon. But then it was BACK TO WORK! :)
The older boys all crashed in the playroom together. 

Their late night trying-their-hardest-to-be-quiet chit chat was hard to want to put a stop to. 
Once the dust had settled (get it?) from having company, Eli proudly pulled his last day of school award from his backpack and announced he had made it into 4th grade with a sigh of relief. 
I loved flipping through the boys' work to find little snippets into their brains. 
We started summer off at a splash pad. Carson isn't one who enjoys feeling cold, so he did his best to warm up on the hot concrete. 
Lincoln's been enjoying the extra company at home. Carson and Lincoln have finally discovered they can play together without needing to fight over every little thing and it's been so fun to see them become better friends. Fingers crossed it lasts all summer!

There's a new Goggle Boy in town. 
We went on a cold and rainy hike up Lone Mountain. 

And by the first weekend of the summer we were well on our way to completing my only summer DIY bucket list project. Woohoo!

One day of summer down and we're off to a great start. Bring it on, Nevada heat. We're ready for you! (Not really. Stay nice and cool and rainy as long as you wank kthanksbye.)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Spring Training

That's right. It's baseball season. We've spent every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with a mitt in hand and a bat in place. 
Today was actually Eli's last game, and he earned the game ball! Jeff has been quite impressed with Eli's knack for the sport. It's so fun to watch Eli gain a passion for something, and not only something, but something that Jeff also loves. 
Another little dude picked up on the passion the minute he picked up Eli's baseball bat. When we took Jonah to Eli's baseball games last year (when Jonah was 1 year old), Jonah spent the entire game trying his hardest to make a break for the baseball diamond. This year is no different. 
Jonah is obsessed with the sport. He will sit and watch the entire game play out. He will cheer at appropriate times and yell, "Go, Buddy!" whenever Eli's up to bat. He just gets it. Today he found a hairbrush that was a close enough resemblance to a bat that he insisted on bringing to Eli's game. He swung that thing for 2 straight hours at the park with pretty accurate form. 

I can no longer trace the train of thought that chugged me towards the idea to potty train Jonah, but we hopped aboard and introduced this hands-always-on-his-hips guy to the potty. 

He loved it. It was like I was finally letting him do a thing he's been waiting two years to do. After showing him a few potty videos on YouTube, he was gleefully running around the house shouting, "POTTY TIME!" every two minutes, begging me to take him to the bathroom. This has been a much different experience than it was with any of my other boys!
Jonah quickly learned he doesn't like having wet pants, so many afternoons this week have been spent in the nude. I enjoyed this moment when he attempted to position his potty on his bike in the hopes that he could ride around without the fear of having an accident or the fear of missing out on any fun. 
We are one week in and it's looking pretty good! A couple mornings he has woken up dry, and he still expresses much excitement about the potty. He's always trying to keep up with the big boys and he doesn't back down from a challenge, so here's to hoping our training efforts don't get derailed! 
As luck would have it, the people who used to live in our house accidentally shipped a meal delivery service box to their old address. I was delighted to open the door and find a box of dinners--especially on potty training week! I called the company to make sure I could rightfully benefit from the mix-up and sure enough, the food was all mine! You could say I felt like a chef week long!

This was just the reward I needed for enduring a week of never letting Jonah's bare booty leave my sight, 12 straight hours each day of listening to YouTubers serenade Jonah into noticing his bodily functions, and cheerfully cycling wet towels through the wash to pretend like the hourly accidents were a non-issue. Every potty training mom deserves good food that appears on her doorstep. 
Next up is the training...wheels! Eli had his first Pinewood Derby. Eli had meticulously drawn his car design the first night he got his block of wood. Jeff helped Eli put all his plans into action. Many hours in the garage and many sandpaper sheets later, Eli was ready to let it roll!
We did not take 1st place, but we did take home many tips that Eli is hoping to be able to use for Pinewood Derbys to come. (Eli is also hoping there will be many Pinewood Derbys to come even with the changes to scouting program.)
Now on training! Backward construction hat helmets are better than no helmets, I suppose.
Talk to this guy about safety! He's got the headwear and the eyewear covered!
Leave a broom out back for one day and next thing you know, you've got four little boys racing around a well-groomed motocross track. 
Our Monday garbage man tradition is still going strong. 
However, our loyalties to the garbage man were tested when we found this group of firemen TRAINING for a fire--hose and all!
Carson is training to be an artist. We already knew that.
Here's the spring part of the training! I've been loving the desert flowers in full bloom. Especially because we were sure this tree was dead two months ago. Now it's blooming with beauty!
The last thing in training is me! Sunday was Mother's Day where mothers everywhere are reminded we are in training to become more of the person we want to be. I'm glad to have four boys who remind me of my priorities and force me to consider my values as I try to teach them all the things that are important to me. We're all in training together just trying to make each other a little bit better.
And with that, the train has arrived back to the station. Hope you enjoyed the ride and we'll see you next spring!

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Carlsbad, Final Tour

We had to squeeze in one last trip to Carlsbad before my parents finished their mission. I got all the boys showered, clothed, and hairstyled before getting myself ready. In the 5 minutes it took me to blow dry my hair, Jonah reappeared like so. This is why I don't do their hair, people!
This was our mood four hours into the car ride.
But it was all worth it once we got to see our favorite Carlsbadians. 
First stop was the San Diego Safari Park. 

Next stop was the flower fields. I've spent the last 3 years longing to see the flower field in bloom but we always went out at the wrong time. With an April visit, we were in luck. Just look at how pretty all those flowers are...
I laughed so hard when I saw my arm's positioning in the above picture as it perfectly covers all the flowers my face is leading you to believe are awesome. Let's try that again...

We had to do one last run through Annie's Canyon which required a healthy dose of patience for those walking with Lincoln. Lincoln grabbed a stick and felt it was his mission to cross out all the footprints he saw in the dirt the whole way to the canyon. 
We finally made it. Lincoln was a trooper and did the whole thing by himself (minus just a couple critical bottom hoists). 
Then we made one of our more regrettable decisions and went to the beach. It was cold. Jonah fell completely into the water right when we got there and there was no stopping the older boys from jumping through a few waves. Total beach time: just long enough to get a few pictures. 

To the bath to warm up! This was the fateful moment Lincoln discovered the goggles that were tucked away in our swim bag. 
After getting all cleaned up, the boys experienced their first Hibachi dining experience at Benihana. 
They were so into it and did a great job trying all the food...wait...what is that around Lincoln's neck? 
Ahhh. Goggles! Lincoln and the goggles were inseparable the rest of the trip. 
Okay, so I guess he did take them off to dye eggs, but I guess we are using the term inseparable loosely here. 
Jonah and Carson got in some early morning dabs before heading to a park on Saturday. 

After being in a total desert for the last 6 months, all these flowers and beautiful colors looked so foreign to me! 
The goggles have returned much to everyone's delight. 

We came home from the park to word that there was a lizard loose in my parents' house. We had just the guys for a job like that. 

Catching this little guy may have just been my favorite part of our trip. It was so funny to watch 5 boys vs lizard battle it out in the nicest room of the house.
After an obligatory Chuck-E-Cheese's trip that remained undocumented by me, it was time to hit the road (and the hay for some of us). 
We loved our last visit to Carlsbad and are sad to see our favorite vacation spot go!