Thursday, August 27, 2009


My favorite cousin growing up was Brooke. We were only a year apart in age and so we would spend all of our time together playing at family parties. She was funny and sweet and we had a lot of fun trying to avoid housework and our little sisters. As we've grown up she has continued to be funny and sweet. She served a mission for our church. She went to college and became a teacher, and than just two years ago she married Cory Jenkins, an equally sweet and fun guy. He was a physicians assistant who moved her to Washington where he had been stationed with the United States Army. Brooke got pregnant and had this sweet little baby Reagan just a few days after my little Peach was born. A month later her husband shipped out with his group for a year tour in Afghanistan. Monday he died. His convey drove over a roadside bomb and he and the three other people in his vehicle were killed. In an instant that was it. Cory Jenkins, loving husband and son, brand new father, healer was gone from this world.

I don't want to debate about the politics of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. My personal feelings on Iraq are mixed but I'm sure of my feelings on Afghanistan. Long before September 11th that country was taken hostage by an extremist group. Afghanistan was a functioning country with a well educated population, but the Taliban shut away half that population forbidding them to be outside their homes without a male relative. Health care, education, and politics were crippled, which led to a downward spiral in quality of life for almost the entire country. I was in college at the time, a member of Amnesty International, calling jewelers to find out if they had blood diamonds in their shops. We watched what was going on in Afghanistan and prayed someone would step up to help but no one did, and we were just dorky kids who didn't know how to do anything. When September 11th happened the US went to Afghanistan but the majority of the troops were sent to Iraq. Over time the Taliban gained strength again and the fighting in Afghanistan has continued on, and for many people including myself become almost background noise. I've watched Good Morning America where they mention, "Four soldiers died in Afghanistan or Iraq today" and the number briefly registers and then I move on with my day. I lost sight of the fact that when they say, "Four soldiers died today," what they are really saying, is that today for four families the world has essentially stopped turning. Forty-Five military families have lost someone this month alone. Lets not forget that this isn't just numbers but these are families lives. Here is a site that helps military families. I'm going to try and be more aware of not just what is happening in my own family but what is happening all over the world.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Summary of My 1st Daughter

Even at 2 1/2 she is such a girl!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mrs. MD

The first words out of Dr. J's mouth when he came home yesterday were,"

"Today I watched a man die."

How does one respond to that? On a less altruistic level how does one compete? Today I watched Scooby-Doo for the twentieth time. Today I bought steaks. Today I snuck in a 1/2 hour to listen to some sound bites from a President Obama town hall meeting on health care reform. Today I changed two blow outs. For me today was like any other day. When Dr. J and I first married we were doing the same thing. Both of us were working and both of us were going to school. We had equally exciting stuff to talk about. As the years have gone by he has continued on out in the world, and I by my own choice have stayed at home to raise our children. I don't regret my choice but sometimes it crosses my mind that I have stumbled into monotony. I have a great husband. He has supported my decision 100% and he is always excited to hear the tidbits I have to share, but today when he came home and said that, I looked him in the eyes and said, "How am I ever going to compete with that." He took a moment to recognize what I was saying and then we both laughed. I gave him a hug and asked him if he was OK. He said yes and said, "I also saw a guy with a scrotum sack the size of a cantaloupe. Yesterday it was like two footballs." All I have to say is I'm done for.

Frozen Waffles

I love waffles. For years I would borrow my friend Jessica's waffle maker when I got a hanker for waffles. I contemplated shelling out the money for my own but all I could find at Walmart was the cheap little square maker. Then one day at a garage sale I struck pay dirt. For fifty cents I got a nice little Belgium Waffle Maker. Still waffles were a rare occurrence in our house. I need a Saturday or a Sunday with a little bit of time. There was no way we could have them on a school day. Then one day I was at my friend Erika's and she was making dozens of waffles. I asked her what she was going to do with all of them since the kids had already had breakfast. She said she was going to freeze them. Eurkea! Now when I make waffles I make sure to double the batche. I let the extras sit out on a plate until they have cooled. Then I place them in a galloon sized freezer bag and throw them in the feezer. When big E wants waffles on a school day I pull one out, pop it in the toaster oven for a toast and in less than a minute it is ready to butter and syrup! It is cheaper than buying Eggo's, lacks all the preservatives, and if you want you can make whole wheat waffles.

Mrs. MD

The MD schedule can be rough on children and spouse. Monday Dr. J was up at five to leave here at six so he could be at the VA hospital by seven. He had a late evening shift as well so he wasn't home until 11:30. Big E asked me to have his dad wake him up when he got home. Dr. J shook the poor kid out of sleep and gave him a goodnight kiss at midnight. Five o'clock the next morning he was up again to head out the door by six. When E woke up he said, "Hey where is my dad?" Luckily Dr. J was home for dinner last night. We definitely enjoy those moments when we have them :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Me Time

I remember as a young mom thinking that "me time" was a selfish idea. Now I realize it is what makes good parenting possible. My husband asked me this Sunday if I thought I was a good mom. I was honest with him. When I am well rested and happy, than yes I am a good mom. When I am tired, stressed out, irritated with him, whatever, than I am not a good mom. Happy well adjusted mom can roll with the punches. When children misbehave she responds with the appropriate amount of force in a loving manner and takes care of business. Stressed out maladjusted mom freaks out at any little thing and is ineffective and to be honest a meanie head. I don't like being that mom. #1 to keeping mean mom at bay is getting enough sleep. Without enough sleep I really am a witch. If you can't get enough sleep at night take a short nap in the day but make sure your naps aren't so long they are keeping you from getting a good nights sleep. #2 staying fed. Hungry mom is never a happy mom. Don't be embarrassed to keep healthy snacks in your purse just for you. #4 being in love. Making sure things are good with my other half is vital to staying happy with my kids. This means we need to take time to laugh together, talk, and have some "alone" time. In our family this means kicking the kids out of our bed. #3 getting a little me time. This week I rewarded myself with a hair cut and brow wax. My dry hair was driving me nuts and I needed it off. Having someone else message my scalp always makes me feel good. I don't necessarily love the cut, when it is curly it is a little "too curly" but it still made me feel good to spend some time and money on myself. Getting brows waxed it a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck. It feels a lot nicer then slowly plucking all those hairs out, and people actually notice that you have a more "finished" look.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Twilight - The Movie - Not Half Bad

So I did it. Saturday night I watched Twilight. I'll be honest I hated the books. I read books 1 and 4 and briefly skimmed 2 and 3 so that I could talk to my sisters and sister in law about them. They were all mega fans along with a large portion of teenage girls and LDS woman. It was torture. I told my husband I would trade one sex scene I could skip over to the pages and pages of lovey dove longing. I also thought the books were dangerous. I chat with the young girls :) Little E went to preschool at a high school and I made friends with some of the girls there. Our favorite became his babysitter and from her I got the 411 on what was going on with the under 18 crowd. Even in this age group some of the girls are in physically abusive relationships. WHY? I don't get it. Why not just leave? Some girls seem to feel the need to stay in a dangerous place. I think Meyers just romanticizes the idea. ANYWAY regardless I saw the movie at the library and decided to check it out. At 11 o'clock while I was folding clothes and Dr. J was passed out on the couch I started it. Dr. J woke up and asked what I was watching. I told him Twilight and asked if he cared to join me. He reluctantly agreed. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It wouldn't win any awards for me and I still had the same problems I had with the books (too much mush time, my mom said if you watched the deleted scenes it was worse and too much pushing the idea that dangerous is sexy) but overall it wasn't half bad. The acting was decent and I liked the way the characters looked believable. The high school kids looked like they were in high school. The gorgeous people were realistically gorgeous. It was entertaining. My only new complaint is they should have gotten the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon people to help with the running up the mountain scene, that was sort of cheezy. If you liked the books you will love the movie and if you didn't like the books you still might like the movie. Even Dr. J said it was OK. High words of praise from a man who hates all things teenage romance :)

The Money Shots

I love photography. It is something I wish I was good at, something I wish I had studied in school. I'm not and I didn't. I do like to tinker though and thanks to digital cameras I can take a million pictures to try different stuff out. These were some of my favorites from yesterday...the money shots if you will.