Friday, November 21, 2014

5 Awesome Things

1. One of my favorite markets is going on this weekend in downtown Provo, the Bijoux. I've found some blessed treasures at this market in years past. I often notice how we tend to lose interest in store-bought items while we hold on to the local hand-made purchases year after year. Plus, for people on a solid budget like me, the prices are fair. Maybe I'll see you there!
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2. Speaking of Provo, I was interviewed by the great Emily Clark for her story on social media campaigns and downtown Provo. She sat on my couch and I wore my plaid leggings and I talked with my hands per usual. I am convinced there is no way to not look like an idiot while being interviewed on TV. I feel like I've tried everything. Anyway, it's the content that matters, and I get to share air space with Utah Valley's Favorite Blogger Mayor Curtis and Provo's Party Queen Alison Faulkner from The Alison Show so not a bad way to spend a segment.

3. And still, while we're on the subject of downtown Provo... I am speaking on a panel tonight at the launch of Samuel Brown's book First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple.  It's a book that takes a more personal and vulnerable approach to talking about the core of Mormonism rather than purely academic prose. I appreciate Sam's willingness to write about matters of his heart--losing his father and learning to forgive--for example. On the panel tonight, we'll be talking about faith and doubt in the Mormonism, which is a pretty hot topic right now and something I've been battling with myself. Brad Kramer, anthropologist and my dear friend, will also sit on the panel. If it's anything like going to lunch with Brad it will be an incredibly insightful night. Please pray that I won't sound like a tool. Thanks! 
Zion's Books
274 W Center St, Provo, Utah 84601

4.  My friend Ann Dee Ellis (and genius writer) had a baby girl this week. I heard the good news when I saw her sister Katy picking up her son at preschool. "Is there baby news?!" I yelled out my window to Katy. "Yes! This morning! Early!" Katy yelled back. And then I spent the rest of the day remembering how much I love those pre-birth and post-birth hours where everything is thrilling and surreal. I could sit in those moments for the rest of my life. I don't know if I'll ever experience it first-hand again and I'll probably always feel envious of women who do, but I am grateful I had four blissful experiences of my own, especially because I went for so long thinking it would never happen. Anyway, congratulations to Ann Dee and baby girl Ellis! 

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5. In all honesty, these past two weeks have been hard ones for me. Hard is such a silly way to put it, and I am not sure what other word to use. Certainly there isn't much about my life that is "hard" but at the same time, it doesn't mean I don't experience periods of hopelessness and loneliness. Not loneliness like I need social experiences, but lonely like I can't seem to connect to people like I want to. I feel incredibly grateful that I do have a good life, one full of friends and experiences, family and children, a roof over my head and a really great (free) therapist who lives next door. A rough patch is a rough patch though, and I think it's good for me to admit to those when they come. This weekend we're having Fakesgiving with some friends and I am going to take time to munch on my baby and sit in the sun as it filters through the front window. And I'm going to request a vigorous backrub (heads up Chup!) and I'm sure by next May I'll be doing fine! FINE I TELL YOU!

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Happy Weekend! Love to you all.

And I mean it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Her Last Week of Being Two

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The first thing she did this morning was spill her cup of water on the kitchen floor so she could "jump in puddles. I LOVE jumping in puddles."

By mid morning she was the Lotion Monster--a species covered in thick, white body lotion, ranging from the feet to the face.

"I am the Lotion Monster!" she screamed as I chased her down, slipping on her slimy tracks, unable to grasp on to any dry patches of skin as her little body slithered through my hands from room to room.

At lunch she wanted an apple juice mustache which is like a milk mustache I suppose but a more unattainable mustache--though it did not stop her from trying.

After lunch she woke up the sleeping baby just as I was about to take a nap of my own.

I actually cried at that point.

But then she lined up all the upper case abc's with their matching lower case counterparts, and I was so proud of her I forgot all about the missed nap.

(No I didn't forget. That is a lie.)

In the late afternoon she decided to freshen up (before daddy comes home!) and helped herself to my make up--mascara plastered all over her face, pink powdered cheeks and a generous helping of "Ravish Me Red" lipstick.

"Wow," I said when I found her hiding shamefully in her closet.

"I look like a bad guy," she said sadly to me, her face staring at the floor. And because I know how the application of make up can be awfully tricky, I decided to forgo making her wipe it all off.

"I think you look beautiful." I offered instead, and her Picasso-ed face lit up.

So we went downstairs and watched America's Funniest Home Videos while Dad made dinner.

 (A baby boy threw up all over his twin brother while they were in their crib and a lady's hair went up in flames when she tried to blow out her birthday candles isn't that funny har har har, MOMMY ISN'T THAT FUNNY?)

After dinner I let her have a scoop of ice cream for cleaning up the kitchen, "Look Mom, the kitchen is so clean now it sparkles" (and then pretended to whistle like, LOOKIN' GOOD).

Before going to bed she tried to convince me three times that her snow boots were "actually bed boots that you wear to bed" and only did she give them up while in the throes of my wrestling moves. There also may have been some tickling involved--just in that sweet spot above the hip and below the armpit.

At her request I snuggled her after I turned off the lights, and sang a little song in her ears and in a matter of minutes she was out cold, absolutely drained of a day.

I left her snoring a little, her face still plastered with my mascara, her skin smelling of woman's body lotion, her "bed boots" dutifully placed at the end of her bed where she'll put them on first thing in the morning, along with her diamond skirt and her stretchy "goldy" shirt she wears day in and day out,  and with the early sunrise and her rosy sleepy cheeks, we'll start all over again.

Photo by Justin Hackworth

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mondays Are the Worst Vol.2

The freeze frame should tell you how intense this one is. We talk family mottos and kids who don't perform and why I'm wearing four inch heels while Christopher is barefoot. Just kidding we don't actually talk about that but it does beg a question: why am I wearing four inch heels and Christopher is barefoot?

WANT TO WIN THE LOWER LIGHTS NEW ALBUM? Enter in the comments section here by telling us why you are a fan.



p.s. I am sorry if my singing on this vlog offended you. I CAN'T BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE OK?

Friday, November 14, 2014

5 Awesome Things

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1. My friends and your favorite gospel-country-folk group The Lower Lights came out with a new album this week. I'm going to give some away on my vlog on Monday, but just in case you can't wait you can buy the album here. I think it's their most bluesy, southern, bold album to date. I also think I might buy a whole case of them and give them to friends, family and neighbors for Christmas. (Please note: if you are a friend, family member or neighbor of mine do not buy this album for yourself because I plan on giving it to you for Christmas.)

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2. Provo, did you hear about this Fall Dining Round going on tomorrow afternoon in downtown Provo? For $10/$15 a couple you can walk around our bustling downtown and sample food from our eclectic food scene. This will include my favorite thing right now: Station 22's Wasatch Home Brewed Root Beer. It's crisp and dry, just like you like it.

3. Speaking of things to drink, last night I was in charge of a church function for the women in our ward and I decided was going to make wassail. You know what? Suddenly I became obsessed with making wassail. I poured over recipes, talked it over with more experienced wassail aficionados and borrowed different kinds of cinnamon sticks and cloves. I can say this recipe is the most simple, delicious and likely to have ingredients you already have at your house. Join me in making this holiday the year of the wassail! The smell alone of sweet and spice wafting through your house is worth making it daily. (You might also consider greeting people this season with a cheery WASSAIL? instead of WASSUP? as you go about your season socializing.)

4. Indeed the season is upon us and yesterday it snowed in Provo for the first time. My girls were so excited that they wasted no time getting out ALL of the their snow gear to welcome the light dusting that landed on our lawn. I considered pointing out that they were over-dressed for the occasion (bibs, parkas, gloves, hats, scarves, face masks) but who am I to kill the buzz? Anson went over to the neighbors and made a snowman (or a snow-leaves-dirt-man) with his best friends Asher and Maya. I don't think I've ever loved a snowman so much: photo 0DAFC3A0-B350-480F-B203-8BAA5199E6C7_zpsrfe4yif1.jpg

5. I found these cheap Christmas ornaments the other day and fell in love with their shape, color and plastic bubbly look. So I bought them to make earrings out of them. Is this awesome? I can't tell, but my earlobes think so:
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Which reminds me: my post on Instagram talks about the word "flattering" today. I try to dismiss it as much as I can. You can see why here.

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Have a good weekend everyone!

Thanks for stopping by.

Even though I wear Christmas ornaments for earrings.

And stuff.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


A couple weeks ago I was asked to attend a meeting about the state of women and education in Utah. It was in the middle of the day--the worst time possible for a SAHM to get a babysitter. But I'm pretty lucky my parents live up the street, so I called on my dad.

My dad is my most reliable babysitter. He always says yes and he never gets ruffled if my kids are grumpy or if the baby cries. He makes house visits or has the kids over to his house whatever is best for me. This is a huge privilege I know, one I don't take for granted.

Even so, there is a part of me that always feels a little guilty for dropping my kids in his lap during his spell of relaxed retirement. Because his father died when he was sixteen and the oldest of eight children, my dad has had a lifetime of parenting. He deserves to sit outside on his manicured lawn and survey his grounds in solitude. (Even though he get the most pleasure in hard work and not sitting around much--a characteristic he passed on to me.)

But on this particular October day I was feeling extra rushed and immensely guilty for causing ripples in my Dad's life. When I had children I thought I was choosing a life of constant home-boundedness but I've found so much joy in other pursuits as well. I want to go to the meetings about women and education, I want to speak at the book release party, I want to do fundraising for community programs, I want to do lots of things and be at home with my kids.

And I do, but that doesn't mean I don't feel guilty about it sometimes. I think because I somehow heard a convoluted message growing up that mothering meant no more me. I believed that when I devoted myself to the cause of my family, I would no longer exist as a separate identity. I am not sure how I came to this perverted idea, as my own mother was a neighborhood activist, college student, church leader and friend to many. While she was home most of the time, we also knew she had her own hopes and dreams separate of raising us.

After I positioned the girls in my parent's front room and reminded them about not making too much of a mess out of the toy closet, I said good bye and started out to my car. This time my dad followed me, my baby locked between his chest and elbow, and opened the car door for me.

"Let me help you any time you need it. I am so proud of you and everything you are doing Court," he said to me as I slid into the driver's seat, stopping for a second to pull a baby doll out from under me.

"Thanks Dad," I replied feeling in that moment more accepted by him than I've ever felt in my whole life.

And as I drove away, I watched in the rear view mirror as my dad took my baby, still in his arms, back into the warm house where my girls were waiting for him to play, and I started to cry.

And I still can't think of that moment without crying.