Monday, September 29, 2014


I had four babies (plus a miscarraige) in six years. I feel really crazy.

My brain functioning is incredibly slow. My friend Paul recently compared this feeling to dial-up internet. Downloading or uploading is like a never ending blinking arrow on a gray computer screen.

I recently spoke at a function where I totally, completely forgot what I was saying mid-sentence as I was passionately trying to make a dire point. I panicked. My face was hot flash red. Don't ever make me do that again.

I feel less like a "parent" and more like a "zombie." Seriously, there are times when I wonder if I will ever feel like I am a human being again. I am the undead. I am the half-living. I feel like I live in a constant state of brain freeze without the frozen confection in my hands. That's the worst part probably.

But anyway, it's worth it. Because, look! JUST LOOK:

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I mean, to trade a few brain cells for like seven thousand hugs a day? It's nothing to complain about.

To survive this hazy and frenzied life, I repeat to myself, I won't always feel this way. I won't always feel this way. I won't always feel this way...

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And if I am wrong, please don't tell me. Let me believe it's true.

Thanks Justin Hackworth for the photos.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


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It was a mild summer, I don't remember one day being unbearably hot.

But these last couples days have been sweltering. It may because I packed up the summer clothes and put them away so now we're hanging out in heat in knits and boots? Or it may just be hot.

I've been trying to drink extra water for my full-time job as a wet nurse. My water bottle is a holy relic around here. I know where it is at all times. It comes with a protective order against my children: I share all my time. I share my body. I share my mind. But I DO NOT SHARE MY WATER. GET YOUR OWN.

So my kids have learned to go often to the fridge with cups of their own to fill. And yesterday as we were finishing dinner Christopher asked Ever if he could have a sip of her water. For a moment I thought she would repeat my mantra to him (which would've made me proud in a way and maybe guilty in another) but instead she said "Well, ok but first I have to say a prayer that your germs won't get on the cup when you take a drink."

And Christopher said, "Ok," and he bowed his head as Ever said, "Dear Heavenly Father, please don't let my dad's germs get on the cup or in the water when I share my drink with him. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.'

Then she took a big, puffy, faithful deep breath and handed her cup to Christopher.

He took a little taste and handed it back to her with a "thank you."

Then we watched her finish her drink and dinner with the most pleased smile on her face. Christopher and I looked at each other amused, but shrugging. Like, how do we explain this to her?

"I am going to be a germ scientist one day, " she said sliding off her chair with her plate in hand headed to the kitchen sink.

Maybe she'll be one of those anomalies for whom science and faith are completely compatible?

Having children is the best.

Please Come To My Massive Party!

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I am often asked, "How did the Rooftop Concert Series get started?"

And there are a many ways to answer that, but I want to write down the moment it started for me.

I was in my car, sitting at a stoplight on Center Street and 9th East, headed home after a meeting about downtown Provo. If you want to torture me, put me in meetings where people talk a lot but there is no resolution or action at the end. OH JUST THINKING ABOUT IT MAKES ME TYPE IN ALL CAPS WITH EMOTION.

I started making a mental list of all the people I would put on a committee if I really wanted to change downtown. I came up with a dream team of artists, organizers, chefs and musicians. I thought about Sarah Wiley, Justin Hackworth, Mindy Gledhill, Andy Gartz and Colton Soelberg (who was already involved at that point). I don't know what I thought would happen, but it occurred to me that all those people in one room could probably come up with a really progressive, thoughtful, exciting plan to change downtown Provo from ghost town to vibrant destination.

Fast forward five years.

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photo Justin Hackworth 

Yesterday I am sitting in the mayor's office (as I do from time to time) and he's telling me that this concept we came up with has had a massive effect on downtown Provo as well as Provo City. It's been integral, he tells me, to the successful energy we're running on around here. Of course, we've had so much help. Many, many people and organizations have stepped in to make this concept become what it is today. But every time I am asked how it all got started I have this flashback to the stoplight and a tiny day dream I had about getting together my favorite Provoans for a good cause.

At the beginning of this year we thought, this is our fifth season, and we've been so successful why not end it with a huge concert? So we teamed up with Google Fiber, Provo City, UVU, Nu Skin, Wicked Audio, Contour, Swop, Downtown Provo Inc, Velour, Dillard's, Coca-Cola, and the Utah Valley Association of Realtors to throw a massive party downtown. Fictionist will be dropping their new album (which is great by-the-way AND you can buy it the night of the show). The Blue Aces will warm up the stage (I love them). Tons (TONS) of giveaways will be going on (cameras, headphones, tshirts, tablets, even fragrances). And well, we might have a few surprises up our sleeves...

We anticipate the party to be so huge we're actually going to move it off of our Rooftop location, on to Center Street on the plaza in front of Nu Skin. The street will be blocked off from University to Second West. That should tell you something, we mean for this to be big.

So please come. Come. Come and help us celebrate this massive success. And let us thank you for being a part of it. It's free. And I will be your host. As always.

What a dream come true.

*Poster designed by David Lesue of Stately Type.

Never been to a Rooftop Concert? Here's what it's all about:

Monday, September 22, 2014

At Big Springs on the Cusp of Fall

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Yesterday we took the kids up the canyon to see the first of the fall colors. It had been raining all day and the clouds were hanging low on the mountain tops. It was a glorious, sliver-and-gold, late-afternoon in the high desert.

While Christopher and Iris stayed close to the car, Anson, Ever, Erin and I went on a short hike. Anson has turned his life's ambitions towards capturing Sasquatch. He ran ahead with nothing but a stick, a pair of fleece camoflauge pajama bottoms and a heart full of courage. The girls and I climbed to the top of a hill where a small abandoned camp was found in the wet, tall grass.

"Let's pretend we are pioneers," I suggested to them. "And this is where we are camping for the night."

"A storm is coming!" Erin dramatized on cue (with a lisp) immediately pointing to a  billowing cloud expanding in the east."We need shelter!" Eyes wide with pretend suspense.

Ever ran around in her black-and-rust colored princess dress--left over from a morning of playing pretend in the green room--yelling for "Anyone! Anyone! Help us!" From plucky princess to desperate pioneer in one day, Ever has quite the versatile imagination repertoire.

And though he insisted "I am NOT playing" our Bigfoot hunter retreated to our camp and started "splitting a log" to keep the "fire" stoked.

Luckily I was still holding on to one of the baby's blankets and we huddled in a mass until "the night" was over. "In the morning" all toes and fingers were accounted for, all resolutions still in place.

We are of Mormon heritage after all.

"Let's get back on the trail to Zion!" I said, with my arms in the air, my small camp of brown-eyed pilgrims behind me. We slid down the the muddy trail, past the reddish aspen leaves, took a few photos, examined a few footprints for extraordinary length (always be on alert!) and stomped the cold pebbles out of our shoes.

And Zion was a warm minivan with a rotund baby and a handsome, able father at the wheel.

We were saved to live another season!

Welcome Fall 2014.