Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Shower day for my nephew.

My nephew made it kind of hard to have his baby shower when the family had planned because he came before the shower date.  He spent three and a half months in the NICU, and during that time there was talk about when we could do one... if we should... maybe it would be best to just collect some money and send it to them... etc.  But I know that if I'd been through all my brother and sis in law have been through, I would welcome a traditional baby shower to make the new mom experience feel more... 'traditional', I guess, and just to have fun!

My cousin actually had the idea to bring the shower to them, because it will still be months before they can leave the house with the baby.  And with the family shower, ward shower, and friend shower all being postponed, and a few months of bed rest, coupled with a very early baby, they didn't have much to welcome baby home.

So, three moms/aunts, six siblings/cousins, and five kids/babies, all met in St. George to 'shower' Taylor and
Samira.  We rented 2 condos at my parents' time share, and it was so much fun.  I mostly just got pictures of the party, because it was essentially a shower sandwiched between two days of driving.  But well worth it!

I left Addie home, and Garrett and I hit the road at 6AM friday morning.  Easiest drive ever.  He watched a movie, then slept for a couple of hours, then pointed out all the biggest trucks.  We made our first and only stop in Mesquite, just 30 minutes away from St. George.

Friday night I bought dinner for Taylor and Samira and went alone to hang out with my nephew.  Garrett couldn't go with me because kids can't be near him until after flu season.  I even had to shower and put on clean clothes before going in the house, because I'd been with Garrett just before.  He's such a sweet little boy and he's been through so much all ready in such a short time.

(insert nonexistent picture of me holding and and looking lovingly into my nephews eyes.)

That night I hung out with my cousins laughing, talking and staying up way too late.  Garrett told me it was nigh, night time, and when that happens, you know it's late.

Saturday was the shower day.  Samira's mom stayed with the baby so Taylor could come too.  I had a lot of mustache stuff from Paul's birthday party, so I pulled the red stuff out, added lime and turquoise, and a couple 'little man' things and it turned out cute!

Party favors.  Candy in coordinating colors and a mustache bottle cap magnet.
 The candy bar guessing game.  I'll list the clues and answers at the bottom on the post.  My family is not a slower game family, but everyone really had fun with this one.
 A banner and t-shirt I made for W.

Everyone was laughing and talking as we ate.  And I'm pretty sure Garrett thought we were laughing at him, so he kept doing fancy dance moves to entertain us.

 And when he got board, he went back to his train.

Garrett loved helping with the presents.
 He went with his Grandma here to build a bear the day before we left, and made a monkey for baby Will.  It has a little recorded box thing in the hand that you push and it's Garrett saying, "Love you".  Garrett was SO excited to show Aunt Samira.  And then he was SO, SO sad when he realized he made the monkey for his cousin and not for himself.
To keep germs from spreading, everyone just agreed that only my mom and I would go in the house.  And I only went the one time.  After the shower we all went over to see him through the window.

Garrett finally gave in after a couple of late nights and no naps.
That night we stayed up again, too late, laughing and talking.  I love that I have so many cousins and that I have so much fun talking to any and all of them, even if a lot of time goes by between visits.  Garrett loved my cousins baby.
St. George fog, the morning we left.
 Garrett loved visiting "Baby Wiw", even just through the window.  We call this the favorite cousins high five.
 Garrett just just as well on the drive home.  We had a great trip together.

Here's the Candy Bar game:

1. Good News!  (I found a candy bar at a little candy store in Orange that actually sold a candy bar called 'Good News!'. I'd never seen that before.)
2. Big Hunk
3. Look!
4. Skor
5. Now and Later
6. Rocky Road
7. Chunky
8. Air Heads
9. Life savers
10. Sweetarts
11. Chicklets ( I found a pack of chickelts called 'Tiny Size')
12. Pay Day
13. Red Vines
14. Mike and Ike
15. Whatchamacallit
16. Zero
17. Mike Duds
18. Snickers
19. Rolo
20. Milkyway
21. Jelly Bellys
22. Fast break

There were a lot of versions on pinterest but this was the list I compiled and it was a lot of fun.  And everyone won.  I purchased all 22 candy bars and candy so everyone got to take some.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project 365: 24-29

January 24- Paul had a booth set up at the Whittier Chamber of Commerce Business Expo this evening.  I wasn't going to take the kids because I was getting ready to leave town, and knew I'd be busy.  Turns out I was too busy to make dinner and I knew all of Whittier's best restaurants would be there serving free food.  Perfect!  The food didn't disappoint, and Paul got to show off the kids.  And the kids got lots of treats and free stuff.
January 25- Garrett and I hit the road at 6AM for St. George.  He was perfect on the drive, so I let him pick where we went for lunch.  It was this day that I decided I really don't like anything at McDonald's.
January 26- The reason for our St. George trip was for a baby shower for Taylor and Samira.  I dressed Garrett to 'blend in'.
January 27-  Baby Will is home but he's on strict visitor rules.  No little kids can be near him till after flu season, so Garrett only got to see him through the window.  We stopped to say good-bye and they gave each other a 'favorite cousins' high five.
January 28- This was a little slice of heaven for Garrett.  Watching the planes take off and land at the Orange County airport.
January 29- It's getting warm again in Southern California.  By warm again, I mean from the 50's to the 70's/80's.  It feels like spring and I'm itching to do some spring cleaning.  With that comes de-junking, organizing and even so room re-dos.  Yesterday I decided to add some light pink stripes to Addie's dark brown wall.  I started at about 7:30PM, not thinking about bedtime.  So Paul moved her crib to our room so she wouldn't get high on the fumes.  I finished this morning and I really like it.  Now I want to change 3 or 4 more things in her room.  More on that later, I'm sure...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Project 365- 16-23

January 16- The kids and I had some running around to do, and we ended it with a stop at PetSmart to see the fish and the puppies.  It's the best free entertainment.
January 17- This was one of those 'burnt muffins/box of cheerios dumped on the floor/really needed two things I left in my van, and my van's in the shop/broken dinner plate/I'm out of diet coke/I have a killer headache' kind of days.  So when Addie stood up on her seat, put one foot on her tray, and started blowing her lunch onto the carpet, I figured, "Aw, what the hell."
Day 18- Farmers Market Friday.  Supporting the locals at our small uptown market.
Day 19- Date night with Paul.  Chicken Box, Hone Depot, and we ended it with a frosty.  All before 8PM.  We're old.
Day 20- I tried something new.  I colored cake batter and backed a few cake pop balls.  Then I put one in each cupcake liner with more batter and baked them.  Kinda fun. Garrett thought they were cool.  It was for Paul's Aunt's birthday.
Day 21- Having breakfast while watching the inauguration on tv.
Day 22- I can't help but love the one bottom tooth shooting up. She's cute, but man this girl tested me all day today.  I told Paul it was a day that I felt like Lulu was determined to convince me that two kids are enough!
Day 23- I spent the morning making General Tsao's chicken and vegetables, and hot and sour soup for lunch for Paul.  I called him to see when he'd be here so I could steam the rice.  He told me he had a lunch appointment and he wouldn't be here.  (The one and only day I make lunch!)  And Wednesday nights are when I get a massage so we have dinner with Paul's parents.  I ate it myself and it was good!  Paul later told me he was meeting for lunch at a new place that he and I have been dying to try but haven't yet.  He was feeling so bad about going for the first time without me, so he was going to order lunch for me and bring it to me after his meeting.  What are the odds we'd both have a good idea for lunch on the same day??  Oh well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

makin' 'em when everyone else is breakin' 'em.

I read somewhere that something like 90% of new years resolutions are broken or given up on by the middle  of January.  Talk about setting ourselves up for failure! So I decided I'd wait till after that time had passed so I don't become a statistic.  Last year I made my resolutions on my birthday, which is next month.  I guess it was just one resolution, and I don't even know if I'd call it that.  More just an idea.  I wanted to mail something once a month to a friend or a family member or blogger friend for no reason, so it couldn't be for a birthday.  And it could be a card, a gift, something I made, etc.  I've done it 9 times in 11 months.  I love getting something fun in the mail.  I think everyone does. So I hope I can keep this up once in a while.

This year I just have one.  To return my shopping cart either to the inside of the store or the cart return.  I used to do this without even thinking, but kids have made me lazy.  (fun fact:  Addie was almost 10 months old before I ever took both kids to a store by myself.)  Anyway, when you're loading stuff in the car and two kids into car seats, it's really easy just to push the cart to the front of the car, or up to a curb or something.  But I've started noticing, and around here most of the cart retrievers are really old, or people who look like they have some sort of disability.  And I bet they would love to just gather from the cart return.  Not to mention runaway carts that damage cars or take up parking spaces.  I've been doing this since Jan. 1st actually, and it's never taken me longer than 30 seconds to return it, and I usually take both kids with me to return it and we walk back to the car together.  Probably sounds dumb, but it's a big problem, around here anyway.

I also have a goal:

To 'Find Joy' in everyday, little things.  I look ahead too much.  To naptime, to Paul getting home, to the weekend, to a vacation, etc.  I want to be more present in the moment I'm in and enjoy life more.  Yesterday on my walk with the kids, we saw a squirrel run up a tree, and it was THEE coolest thing Garrett saw all week.  We stood and watched for a few minutes as the little guy ran from branch to branch, Garrett pointed and laughed, as as it jumped to a new branch, Garrett would jump a little and say, "Ohhh!"  Then it jumped from the tree to the building the tree was next to, and Garrett wanted to walk around the whole building to try and find it.  So we did.  We never saw the squirrel again, but it was still so exciting to look for it.

I told Paul about this last night on our date.  I said how awesome it is that I get to spend everyday with these two amazing little people who are learning so much and who are always so happy, and who get so excited about the little things the world has to offer.  I told him I want to find joy and fulfillment, even in the days where I feel like all I do is change crib sheets, pick up crumbs, wipe sticky fingers and faces, and change dirty diapers.  My kids wake up with energy and smiles every morning, and I get to see that, and be a part of so many 'firsts' for both of them.  I often miss working.  Miss adult conversation.  Miss having more money and free time.  But what I'm doing is enough.  These kids count on me, and I want to do such a good job for them.  I watch them play and laugh together, and I feel like two pieces of my heart are running around outside of my body.  Loving them hurts so good.  There are, and still will be days and weeks that seem to never end, but even during those times, it still goes by so fast.

And because I can't help but be crafty, I'm going to make a little 'Find Joy' thing to hang on the wall in our great room, as a reminder...when I'm wiping food off of it that Garrett threw at it.

I hope everyone is having a great year so far, and if you're in that 90% and feeling bad, just start again.

Friday, January 18, 2013


January 16th marked 2 years of living in California.  For me and Garrett anyway, Paul was ahead of us by about 2 weeks, and Addie doesn't get an anniversary because she was locally grown.

I remember a year ago thinking, "Wow, we've been here a year.  I should blog about that."  I never did, and now it's been 2 years.  The first year I felt like time went so slow, and to be honest I was unhappy for most of it.  The second year has had its ups and downs, but overall has been better and has gone by so much faster.

Here's what's been going on as far as California/family business life goes:

After being here for a year, Paul decided the family business life wasn't for him.  Things weren't going like we'd thought or hoped they would and he was ready to move on, and move back to Utah. (Surprisingly) I wasn't as anxious about this new plan as he was.  Leaving a family business is a big deal.  Especially when it's the oldest business in the city, Paul is the oldest child and only male child in the family, and the White's are so well-known in the community.  When we were secretly looking for jobs in Utah and I'd go to a Lion's event or a Chamber of Commerce event or something with Paul, I would feel that even more.  Everyone just expects this is our lifelong plan, and I quickly realized leaving would be a much bigger deal than I'd thought, for so many reasons.  I was at a business expo with Paul last year, and I was talking to the Mayor of Whittier.  She said to me, "So how does your family feel about knowing that you've made the big move and you'll never live close to them again?"  I was so caught off guard because at that time we were actively seeking employment outside of California and even had a timeline for when we wanted to be done here.  I also got really sick of (and still don't like) people meeting our kids and referring to Garrett as 'The 7th Generation Funeral Director'.  He's 2!  And no matter how things go, Garrett will never be made to feel guilty or pressured to take over or even work for this business.

Paul took 3 or 4 trips to Utah, some alone, some he fit appointments in when we were going there anyway.  He interviewed with 3 different funeral homes.  The process was going very slowly, but we felt hopeful.  We finally told his parents about our plan and things got even more awkward than they already were.  It's always been a little awkward with Paul's family when it comes to the business because they've never expected us to stay so it's just been uneasy.  Like, they haven't fully embraced us being here because they're preparing for us to walk away.  I won't go into all of that part, because there's a lot of personal stuff, and you'd probably get bored anyway, (more bored than you already are).  Paul and I talked to our counselor about this a bit.  And actually, we'd referred Paul's parents to our counselor just for their own stuff.  So I'd find myself thinking it was funny that Randy was meeting with them and us, kind of about the same issues, but protecting each of our privacy, etc.  There was one day where the folks went to him in the morning and we went to him that evening.  He was on White overload that day!  We finally decided it may be beneficial  if the four of us went together.  We did, and it was awkward/hard/helpful/informative.

Anyway, nothing in Utah was progressing. I was feeling strangely settled in California and wondered if we were running away/not thinking it through enough/may have regrets...  Paul and I spent a lot of time talking about our future, our family, our finances, plans, hopes, etc.  A LOT of time.  We met with his parents about our plans, became more specific about things we needed to see change if we did decide to give the business more time.  Also awkward and challenging to communicate clearly, but we finally came to some resolution. We've all learned a lot about each other, discussed miscommunications and expectations, and relationships have improved a lot. Right after we decided these things and recommitted to California, Paul was offered a job in Utah.  It's a great company, and he didn't close the door on them, but what they were offering isn't what we are looking for for our family right now.

So that's it.  We're in California for now.  Things aren't perfect.  We still have frustrations.  And ultimately, at this time, I don't see Paul ever taking the business over...but you never know.

And the non-business goods and bads about California:

-We've never found a church and have become lazy about it.
-The Mormon church found us (they're good at that) and we have some really good Mormon friends.  I've been impressed with them.  Complete strangers brought meals in after I had Addie.  Several brought gifts to her after she was born.  We've been invited to a lot of fun things.  The kids and I did a mom and me summer group with several of them. We have some right up the street who's kids love my kids.  Paul goes disc golfing with the husband and I'm good friends with the wife.  She checks in on me often and is super helpful.  She did Addie's newborn pictures for free, right during her busy time, and the day she did the pictures was the first time I'd ever met her.  Really good people.  While I don't agree with some of the doctrine, they do a lot of things right, and I miss the community part of the religion.
-The weather is awesome here.  We survived our 'Cold Snap' of 2013 where we had to suffer through a week of freezing temperatures in the mid-50's, and now we're back to the high-70's.  It was fun seeing Garrett play in the snow when we went to Utah after Christmas, but other than the beautiful fall colors in the Utah mountains, I haven't missed Utah weather.
-It's expensive to live here.  The thought of getting ahead and ever buying a house seems impossible right now.
-We really miss our family in Utah.  I've said to Paul that I'm going to make our kids only date people who's parents live within a half hour of us. ( a perfect world...)  It's sad to think that it's very likely that no matter where we end up, my kids will always be far away from at least one set of grandparents.
-California is too busy.  There's no such thing as traffic in Utah compared to here. And it happens at the craziest times and locations.  The only thing predictable about California traffic is that if you drive, you'll be in it.
-I could go on about the state and it's financial situation compared to the rest of America but I don't let those things worry me too much right now.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Phone and Camera Photo Dump

I have a few pictures from a couple of weeks ago that I never posted because they were on my camera but the battery died and I couldn't find the charger.  There's also a few phone pics mixed in.  Some of these go back to Christmas/New Years.  Speaking of Christmas, tonight I took a while and listened to all my unlistened to voice mails, the oldest one was left on December 27th.  I need to work on that.
 So tired, but not wanting to miss out on Mimi time.
 Our classy 'fireplace' from Christmas Eve.

 Handsome little dude.  Pretty little girl.

 Learning animal sounds on the iphone.
 This girl is always putting things on her head.

 Rubbing her belly at a restaurant and saying . "num, num, num."
 Garrett made cucumber teeth at Ruby's.
This almost never happens so I have to capture it when it does.