Thursday, January 31, 2008


I just returned from Seattle, where my Dad and I saw Riverdance. It was so fabulous. Somewhere in my college education I should have learned how to express my rapture at the entire performance. I'm afraid I spent more time with a calculator than a dictionary.
The dancers, vocalists, instrumentalists, et al. were focused and overwhelmingly talented. I suggest looking them up online and buying tickets if possible!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Family Pictures

We recently had family photos taken.  I hope you like them!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Making of a Mother

Having children is an awakening.  I think that most people would acknowledge that, even if they haven't yet experienced it.
As a nursing mother, I have spent a significant amount of time quietly rocking a baby, just staring at them and thinking.
When Bethelle was born, she inspired in me a renewed commitment to be the best that I could be.  She was so helpless and trusting.  It seemed like her whole life was in my hands.  I wanted to make the best of that little life and provide her with a good example.
Now I have Rigby.  As I rocked him that first two months, I thought a lot about the miracle of the existence of love.  What a gift.  Evolutionists may think that I came from the primordial ooze, but I do not believe that the ooze could have produced such an emotion.  I take love as a testament to God's divine plan for His children.  "For the joy of human love: brother, sister, parent, child, friends... Lord of all, to thee we raise our hymn of grateful praise" (For the Beauty of the Earth, Pierpont).  My love for Rigby came to me regardless of anything Rigby ever did.  It reminds me of 1 John 4:19, "We love him because he first loved us."  I feel that I "first loved" Rigby and that he has come to love me because of my "first" love.  Being a parent has helped me to understand and experience a little of the "first" love that our Heavenly Father and the Savior feel for us.
Last night as I was preparing for bed, Rigby woke up crying.  I went to his room to pick him up and feed him.  The moment he saw me, he calmed and smiled.  I took him to our rocking chair where he nursed and fell asleep happily.  Holding him, I realized that there is a second part to this kind of love.  The result of Rigby sensing my "first love," a love that requires nothing in return, is faith.  Rigby has complete faith in me.  He knows that this type of love cannot fail.  Despite his enduring helplessness, he in completely at peace when he knows that I am caring for him.
I believe the words of John, that God "first loved us," and I now see that this is a source of my faith in Him.  Anyone who could love me for my mere existence, and maybe even before that... anyone who could love me the way that I love my children, could only want the best for me.  Like Rigby, and even in my own helplessness, I can have faith that my heavenly parent guides my life and understands far better than I ever could what is best for me.
Sometimes in life we "wake up" and, like Rigby, find ourselves alone and hungry.  We have a Heavenly Father who is aware of our needs.  He loves us and cares for us.  We can have the faith of a child in a mother's arms and experience the same peace regardless of our surroundings and circumstances.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Bethelle Strangelove

Bethelle loves to get shots.  I'm not kidding.  The day before our most recent trip to the doctor, she saw a picture of a boy getting shots.  She asked what it was, and I told her.
"I wanna get shots."
"I think you'll get some tomorrow."
"I wanna do it right now!"
The next day when we were called back to the office, Bethelle followed the nurse down the hall, stumbing, as she was trying to pull her pant leg up as she walked.  When we got in the room, she sat right down, pulled those pants up, and pointed right at the spot on her thigh where she wanted the shot.  The nurse tried to distract her before the poke, but she wouldn't have it.  She watched the needle go right in and then laughed.  The nurse laughed too.  She asked her if she was going to be a doctor.  Now whenever she bumps or scrapes, we ask "Dr. Bethelle" what we should do.

Last night at bedtime, Bethelle went into the bathroom with Nick to get her toothbrush and toothpaste.  Instead of her own, she picked up mine.  Nick told her she needed to use her own. 
"But I want to use Mommy's."
"Why do you want Mommy's toothbrush?"
"Because I love it."
Love is a strange thing.  How do you argue with that?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My artistic efforts

Just a quick post of the art I've done for the house.  If you know me, you probably know that I am not an artist.  If you did not know that, you are about to find out.  Large art is very expensive and I have LOTS of large walls, so I'm learning a few new tricks.
This one is hanging on the wall over our bed.  To be honest, I saw it in a store for $350, but I really wanted it, so this is a recreation of someone else's idea.
And this one is in the living room.

Bethelle's Secret Garden

As promised, I've taken some pictures of Bethelle's new "big girl" room.  Her nursery and most of her baby clothes were green and yellow... not very girly... but she is a total girl.  She loves flowers and purple, so between that and her mother's love of the classics, she got a secret garden room.

This is a picture through the door as you enter.

The rock wall around the garden took a LONG time!  I wanted to buy fabric that looked like a wall, but I just couldn't find any.  I did find some decent wallpaper, but muslin is $1 per yard, so that's what we got.  I then stenciled the whole 15 yards and sprayed it with a little glitter.  After all this work and getting it up on the wall, I was two feet short!  I about passed out.  Then realized that this hole would be a perfect place for a bush!

A couple more shots...
The spot above the headboard is bare...  Any suggestions?
Gotta have flowers going out of the baseboards.  What a green thumb!
Another shot of the bed.  This was the deal of the year.  I got the coolest fabric.  It is a cross between velvet and minkie (if you know what that is) and was only a dollar a yard!  I am a complete sucker for a good clearance.  They had a little more than I needed, but I had to buy it all.  When Nick saw it, he said, "Isn't that too sexy for a toddler?"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Our Cousin the Basketball Queen

Today was completely consumed by preparing for, driving to, and driving from a college basketball game in Portland.  Earlier this week, Nick found out that his mother's cousin's granddaughter is the leading girls basketball player for assists in the nation.*  If you know Nick's basketball love and history, this makes her about the best player on any court in his book.  We had to go see her play!  I was excited to see a game that so fully grabbed Nick's attention.
This news came at a pretty good time, because this week's game was against the only other undefeated team in their league,* so it should've been excellent.  The PSU team (us) creamed ISU (them) by a 40 point lead.*  Claire, our newly discovered cousin, looked like Nick on the court.  She walked, ran, and moved with the same style and gait. 
Here is a picture of the two of them together after the game.
I think they look remarkably alike for how distantly they are related.  I don't know if you can tell from the picture.
I'll just add here a quick picture of Bethelle at the game.
* I don't actually know what I'm talking about.  I am no connoisseur of basketball lingo or statistics.  The information listed are the things I think I remember from a few conversations that I didn't fully understand and a game that I spent keeping a 3 month-old happy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's fun to stay at the...

There's a brand new YMCA in Gig Harbor.  It's beautiful and it beckons me.
This week, Bethelle and I became members.  For a reasonable fee, we get all the elliptical machines, aerobics, weight machines, ballet classes, and swimming lessons we can handle.  I went twice today.
The big news of the day is really that Bethelle had her first ballet lesson.  It was so adorable.  Seeing her in her leotard among the other girls, I had an out-of-body/deja-vu experience.  She looked just like every picture I've ever seen of myself among peers as a child: the tiniest little thing in the bunch.
The YMCA now ranks among her top two destinations, the other being Costco.  Both are also future career paths for her.  She now either wants to be a "Costco lady," drawing pictures on the "lists" as people exit, or on the Pony dance team (keep reading).  Also, YMCA and Costco are the only two words she can read other than her name, "Mommy," and "Daddy".
Last Tuesday, my mom took Bethelle and her cousin Haley to the My Little Pony Live show.  She must have figured out that there were people in those ponies, because she wants to be one of them, but she knows that she has to learn how to dance first.  I believe that this was the primary motivation for getting past some last-minute anxiety before her first class.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Our Little Missionary

I mentioned in the last blog that Nick spends a lot of time in his calling.  Last Saturday he had a morning meeting for a couple hours.  While he was gone, the missionaries called to see if he could meet them at the church at 2 for a building tour with some investigators.  I had thoughts that maybe they should be asking people who don't already devote 4 days per week to their calling.
Nick did go to meet with them and he took Bethelle along.  They stopped to pick up the investigators, a couple of teenage boys, but they had excuses and would not be coming.  Bethelle then suggested that they find some other children to bring to church and even suggested a few that she knew.  She then came home and told me about it and that she really thought that these friends would like church.  I said, "You think they would like to play with the toys?"
"Silly Mommy, there's no toys at church, just at nursery!"
I was so impressed that she was even thinking of how great sacrament meeting is and wanted to share that, not just nursery.  I was grateful that the missionaries called us and that Bethelle got to learn by example that it is important to share the gospel.  The time we spend in our callings can really bless our lives.

Friday, January 4, 2008

My first blog

I am not sure what to say except that I am excited to start this blog.  I intend to use it to document our family, its growth, the funny things our kids say, our travels, etc.  I have enjoyed keeping up on other people's lives through their blogs and hope that I can use this to return the favor.
My life is basically consumed by two children.  Nick spends most of his time working and serving as the elders quorum president.  This leaves me with Bethelle and Rigby a lot.  I really love them, but it is a constant struggle to find ways to break the monotony.  
Bethelle is practicing her counting lately.  We recently made a break-through when I thought to count edible things.  She is very accomplished on the computer and has her own Mac.  
Rigby is almost 3 months now.  We just moved him into Bethelle's old crib, as she has moved on to her Garden Room.  I'll have to post pictures of that when I take them.  Rigby seems to be sleeping better away from us, and so am I.  Let's hope this continues to improve.  He is a very pleasant baby.  He has the biggest mouth when he smiles!  Even when he seems inconsolable, if you just take him in the bathroom and turn on the bath water, he will coo and love you like he was never sad.  The bath tub is his favorite place to be.
As I figure out better what I am doing with this blog, I will post pictures and be more interesting!