Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A trip through my phone.

Today I went through all my phone pictures. I should do it more often! Here are some of the highlights:

 When I get up in the morning and get in the shower, Moose always moves up to steal my pillow. He always looks adorable when I come back in. 

 This is the panorama of our apartment in Rexburg. I miss our stuff. 

 Chewy, Moose's best friend, longing for the oudoors. 

 Chewy feelin' free.

 Lucas and I were obsessed with this house in the Parade of HOmes. It was awesome and we still talk about it. 

 I dont know how I am green in this picture.

 Hadley's baby shower cake. It's kinda creepy.
 My favorite flowers in all the world. Hayley didn't even know that and she bought some for Kellen and Molly on Easter.

 Kellens perfect tiny little feet.

 I love my sweet boy. 

 Moose, the day we bought him. He was so dirty.

 Moose gets anxiety when we are on the other side of a door from him. This is how he waits on the other side.

 This is how Moose waits for popcorn, which is his current addiction. 

 I miss being pregnant.

Moose when he was a new puppy napping on Lucas' head. He was so tiny!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 (Moose and Chewy have nothing to do with this post. I just like them. The light puppy is my sister-in-laws dog and Moose's best friend.)

One of the things I liked about Lucas when we first started dating was that he did the little things all the time. I especially liked that he would open the door for me. Unless it was too freezing outside, then he would park as close as he could to me getting in the door and look at me with a crooked smile that says, "Please don't make me." I assured him I understood.

Slowly, we have been more casual and he opens the door for me less often. In real life, sometimes you just get in the car. Most the time I beat him to the car and am sitting inside before he even has the chance.

This morning, we were walking out of the house to get in the car and go to church.  He walked a bit faster than me and I was pleasantly surprised when he reached for my door handle and opened the door so I could get in. I smiled, thanked him, and stepped just inside the door. As I began to get into my seat he closed to door on my legs. I looked through the window at him and he started laughing and walked around the car laughing his head off about it. Which of course made me laugh as I pulled my legs back inside.

A few minutes later we were stopped at a light and he says, "I think we are going to be great parents."
I grabbed his hand and said,  "I sure hope so!"
He answered, "I know so." Pause "You'll be upstairs being lazy and in bed. I'll be downstairs feeding the kids, the baby in the highchair, getting ready for the day. You'll sloooowly make your way downstairs."
I looked at him
He answered as though he has discovered something important, "I guess I'm realizing that I'll be a great parent and you' there."

Hahahaha! What a sweetheart.

We laughed the rest of the way to church. My Dad was at the stand making announcements, and we went to the singles branch to hear my sister speak.

We were probably talking more than we should have been, so Lucas leans over and whispers "Your dad caught me"
I said, "I'm a tangerine? You're a tangerine!"
Confused, he said, "What?"
I repeated, "You said I'm a tangerine, but I think you're a tangerine."
Lucas whispers, "hah! No I said your dad caught me, but then I thought you said that I'm a teenage dream!"
We both quietly laughed until my mom slid into the bench next to me.
 I whispered to her,  "Mom. Lucas is a teenage dream!" she said. "Okay."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Terrifying Awkwardness- A picture story.

This is a true account of real events. Some names have been changed.

 A couple weeks ago at a Sales meeting, there was a moment so awkward I felt like I was on candid camera or somehow found myself employed by a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Right now, Hadley is 38 weeks pregnant and this is her last day at the dealership. This particular Friday there is a Sales Team meeting held with the entire Sales team, Sales management staff, me and Hadley.

The general manager uses a kind of "wake up" exercise to get everyone involved, paying attention, smiling, and ready to participate. It is intended to go something like this. Manager stands for exercise and says, with a big smile, "Good Afternoon!" Everyone else stands up and repeats, "Good Afternoon!"  Manager: "Welcome to Courtesy Acura!" everyone else:" Welcome to Courtesy Acura!" (Big Smiles!)

What is said and repeated is different and at the discretion of the person leading the...chant, but its normally something along those lines.  It is a mild exercise. Simple. A bit uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

On this particular Friday, however, things were different. Perhaps something was in the air; crazy particles floating all around us.

Regrettably, Andrew*- a fairly new Salesman, has worn tennis shoes with his dress pants, shirt and tie. This is not condoned footwear at the dealership. However, rather than calling him out in private,  it is early in the morning and there are 18 men and 3 women feeling high on crazy air.

Andrew is called to the front of the room, not for an angry scolding, but in a silly manner. He is jokingly told to stand on a chair to show everyone his fancy shoes.
Andrew, slightly embarrassed but going along with it, laughs as he stands up on a chair in front of everyone. He is slightly too tall for the room so he is is just a tiny bit slunched over. And too bad for Andrew, he is inconveniently standing directly below a light that reflects off his shaved head.

After a good laugh about his shoes the managers and sales team keep talking to him,  their voices a little too loud, and simply because he has not been told to get down, Andrew stays standing on the chair. I breath a sigh of relief when the awkwardness ends and Andrew is told he can step down. As he is about to retreat to the safety of his chair, he is invited to lead the morning smile chant. You can see the unwillingness in his eyes. He does not want the focus on him any longer, but does not want to be the one who doesn't do it. He says, "Okay. I dont know what to do..."  Already, I wish to save him. The general manager then stands and give an example "Like 'easiest part of my job!' or 'How can I help you?"' He then moves to the side of the room as everyone else stands, ready to participate.

Andrew stands alone and decides to to go for it. He calmly, a bit quieter than normal, says "Good Afternoon!" Everyone else repeats, "Good Afternoon".

Suddenly, without warning, Andrew lowers himself into a sort of squat, throws his head back, his arms flex by his side, his hands make fists. He begins screaming pre-game football chants into the air. "WE CAN DO IT! AAAAAAAAA LETS GET EM! EAEEAAAAAARRAAGH!"

He squat stomps toward the salesmen, where everyone is standing in shock, and begins pounding his fists on the tables. Coffee cups immediately fly into the air and spill their contents everywhere! A couple men jump back with coffee all over their clothes. A few steaming mocha puddles shake on the table and continue to splash in unison with Andrews continued table pounding. The unexpected turn of events has most people frozen in shock.

Andrew continues screaming into the air as people run about trying to clean up the coffee mess. Simply out of shock, another coffee cup is knocked over in the back of the room as its owner is unable to look away from a moment that has spun wildly out of control!

After a few more yells into the air, Andrew finally sits up and awkwardly laughs/smiles. Instantly he looks as though he is not sure what happened. A group of men are laughing, most people sit in shock. Hadley begins having contractions.

Slowly, the mess is cleaned up, and Andrew sits down at the table next to his fellow salesmen and tries to ignore that their clothes reek of coffee.  One of the managers remembers this was supposed to be a meeting and says "Well......with that.......uh,  lets just go over numbers." The meeting continued as normal, the crazy air had all been used up. Poor Andrew awkwardly sat at his chair, so full of adrenaline that his tennis shoes bounced up and down nonstop, shaking his whole body the rest of the hour. In all honesty, I felt horribly bad for the guy. It was as if this was out of his control. It was a downward spiral and he had too much momentum. It was horrible and amazing all at once.
 Who knew the Hulk was among us? We were unprepared.

That night, Hadley had her baby two weeks early. Welcome to this crazy world.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Waiting and Columbine

Today is the 13th anniversary of the Columbine Shooting. I honestly cannot believe it has been that long. Thinking about that made me wonder about the parents of the kids who were killed that day.
I bet part of them is thinking "Has it really only been 13 years? It feels like I've been missing them forever. I cannot remember who I was before that day."
I bet it feels even longer for the parents of the boys who entered the High School that day planning the unspeakable. For their parents, I bet these last 13 years have been an eternity. And I truly hope that all those parents have had moments of immeasurable, incomprehensable happiness where they know their children are with them always.

As I thought of this, my mind has drifted to waiting.
Waiting to not feel lonely anymore.
Waiting to feel happiness without feeling guilt.
Waiting for a big moment that will change everything.
Waiting for things to be just right.
Waiting to adopt our children.
Waiting for good news.

So while I sat at work, instead of checking my email for the 25th time today, I googled "waiting" and I found a quote that, in an instant, made waiting easier. It also made me cry, of course. (such a baby)

“I’ve learned that waiting is the most difficult bit, and I want to get used to the feeling, knowing that you’re with me, even when you’re not by my side.”
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

This did not get me choked up for the reasons you expect.
I wasn't even thinking, necessarily, of my babies.
My life is an eternity of waiting to see them again.

When I read this quote my mind thought of my amazing husband. Of the wait for a baby who belongs in our family. I thought of the fact that every day we wait together. We laugh together and cry together and sometimes we share silence together. We wait for adoption, for our day to come, and he is with me.
We will also wait our whole lives for our family to be together, all our children in one place.
We're a team.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prize Vacation Weekend!

We are back from our California prize vacation! 
It was Amazing. So amazing, in fact, I'm pretty sure our little angels had some part of orchestrating it for us. Thanks kids!

On Wednesday afternoon we flew to California. We were pretty excited!
When we landed, we walked out of the terminal where we had our driver holding up an ipad with "L. Taylor" on it. Lucas was pretty pumped about that. He says its one of the things on his bucket list to have someone hold his name up at the airport. Check!
We were escorted to a black town car, the driver gave us an LA tour and drove us through Beverly Hills. We drank from some tiny waters and had so much leg room we could have layed flat in the backseat without having our legs touch the seat in front of us.. 
We pulled up to the Sofitel Los Angeles hotel and were greeted by a bunch of men in black suits. They opened the doors for us, got our luggage and brought it in for us to get checked in. 
We checked in to the hotel and were told we had a Premier Luxery suite reserved with a view of the hills. We were spoiled.
Once we got settled and stopped obsessing over the view from our balcony and the awesomeness of actually being here for free, we went to eat at California Pizza Kitchen. Yes, I know they have these in Colorado, but it sounded great and it WAS great.

When we got back to the hotel, we got a phone call and were told something was going to be delivered to our room. A few minutes later we opened up a gift bag with an HD video camera and a book about comics (since this was an Avengers prize). That was a fun surprise!
We went to bed and woke up the next morning to sunshine streaming in our windows and used our $80 breakfast allowance to have room service brought to our room.

I've never had room service before. It was pretty amazing.

After we ate, I got ready to go to my hair appointment for my Let's Make A Deal prize package. 
It was at Fred Segal, and the owner, Mathew Preece was the one doing my hair.
Lucas walked me down to the lobby where a bellman hailed a cab for me, and I drove down to Santa Monica for my appointment.

I was greeted by a pretty red-haired hipster who introduced herself as "Mathew's Assistant" and then took me to his station. A few minutes later Mathew came and immediately started playing with my hair as he introduced himself and said he was going to make my hair "Absolutely Beautiful"
I said, "Okay!" and he set to work!

2 hours later I left with a basket full of free hair product, and the best hair of my life. Its no surprise he owns tons of salons and hosts fashion shows and things. He is master of hair. 

I took another cab home where I dug through my gift basket and played with my hair, which had suddenly turned into silk.
I changed my clothes and got ready because just a little while later we were getting picked up to go see "THE AVENGERS" Premier! Woo hoo!

We met with a group of 10 other winners and their guests from around the country. We introduced ourselves and met lots of nice people. Then we were driven a few blocks to the Four Seasons Hotel. 
We got out here, walked into the most immaculate lobby in the world. (Seriously, they had a bouquet of flowers that went from the table and touched the chandelier 15 feet above in the air)

We were guided upstairs where we walked down the hallway where there were people with badges and clipboards walking around looking very busy. Lucas and I agreed that it felt just like Notting Hill where Julia Roberts is being interviews by tons of magazines and Hugh Grant is uncomfortable and trying to fit in). The group met in this big room where a photographer took pictures of us. (We weren't allowed to bring cameras or cell phones because the movie doesn't come out for another month)
We knew that we were waiting to meet the Actor who plays Agent Coulson in the Marvel movies.
While we waited for him, Lucas was looking out into the hallway when a door across the hall opened and he noticed some red shoes. He looked at them and then looked up and noticed that the person wearing them was Robert Downey Jr! They looked at eachother and then RDJ walked away and Lucas whispered to me that he just saw Iron man. He was really excited about it.

A few minutes later, Clark Greg walked in and was really funny. He took a picture with every couple. Shook our hands, made some jokes, and then went back to his Avengers Meetings. 
The photographer let us know that the actors who play Captain American and Thor were in the room right next door in a meeting. We kinda wanted to "accidentally" go into the wrong room. haha

Finally, we went back to the bus and were driven to Hollywood where we walked over all the celebrity stars to the "El Capitan" theater where Iron Man 2 Premiered. 
It was the most ornate and stunning older theater I have ever seen.
We got in to the private showing where we got popcorn, treats, and then listened as a man sat on a bench playing a fancy organ with six billion buttons and keys using his hands and feet. 
It was amazing with one song, but he played memorized songs for like an hour which was unbelievable. 

Then we saw "The Avengers"! 
We had the best seat in the house in a yellow chair that said, "Reserved"
Without spoiling it, the movie is REALLY REALLY good. It had a ton of absolutely hysterical moments where everyone was dying of laughter. 
Go see it when you get a chance.
This is the perfect thing for Lucas on a vacation. This man loves super hero movies, loves special events, loves 3-D films, loves when he happens to have the best seat haha, and LOVES free things!
haha. We are pretty sure that Kellen made this work out for his dad. 

We left feeling super excited and drove back to the hotel where we crashed.
In the morning, we ordered room service breakfast again and enjoyed taking our time eating breakfast in bed. Then I quickly got ready for my Spa Day part of my LMAD prize.

Lucas stayed hanging out at the hotel all day enjoying just doing nothing, sleeping, watching TV, and taking a few walks down to the pharmacy. Might sound boring, but that's kind of his dream day.
He also left for two hours with his group and got a tour of Paramount Studios. It was raining and freezing, but he said it was pretty cool still. He said he saw 4 kinda famous people, haha.
He also saw the courtyard from "Community" and the bench from "Forrest Gump"

Meanwhile, I took yet another taxi to the Murad Health Spa!
I checked in and immediately everyone was acting like I was a celebrity or a secret shopper. 
I changed into a robe and soon was given a full body soak and scrub then resoak, then I had a full body mud treatment and a tea-bath in a giant copper teacup filled with Earl Gray Tea. I ate an apple while I soaked in tea. Then I got out and had an 80 minute full body massage where I fell asleep because I was too relaxed. Once that finished I was escorted to get a facial/ more massages. Then last, I received a quick mani/pedi before I had to leave so I could make it back to the hotel to get ready for the "winners dinner" with Lucas for the last part of his Prize.

When I finished with all my treatments (I wish I could afford to live this way. It was like 2000 dollars worth of treatments and I didn't pay a dime! Thank you LMAD!) 
As I checked out of the Salon feeling like a new and very relaxed JELLO woman, they gave me two giant bags full of body creams, face washes, a vitamin regimen, face products, lip products and every kind of cream you can imagine. 

I barely made it back to the hotel in time (it was a miracle actually. There was NO traffic on a friday afternoon in LA. The cab driver told me I was the luckiest person he ever met and that I shouldn't have made it on time. I told him he was a rock star and he goes "NO! YOU A ROCK STAR!")

I ran through the hotel, past the chair made of silver dollars, and up the elevator to the room where I hurried to get ready. 

  We got on the bus with all the winners and drove to "Fig and Olive" in LA. We enjoyed pre-appetizers, delicious appetizers, amazing entrees, and dessert for FREE, and we chatted and talked to some amazing people.

There was another LDS couple there from Texas who sat next to us. They had also lost a baby, a son named Jacob, at six months old. It was wonderful to talk to them and feel the instant friendship that being a baby-loss parent gives families who have gone through this. We talked through  most of the end of the night.

After dessert and chatting, we went back to the hotel where we watched some TV, showered, and enjoyed our last night of Vacation by ordering up some second-dessert. 

The next morning we had breakfast ordered again (I swear we did more than eat. I just loved having room service, it was a major highlight for me). We ate, got ready, and then went down to the lobby where a driver picked us up and drove us back to the airport.

So all in all, it was a perfect vacation. There was a little something that was perfect for me, a little something that was perfect for Lucas, and it was affordable (free). Win-win-WIN.
We talked a lot about how this couldn't have been just luck.

I mean what are the chances that Lucas and I BOTH win trips to LA? 
What are the chances that they would be so perfect for us?
What are the chances that I could get appointments set only a week in advance and that the times woudl work out with Lucas scheduled prize events?
What are the chances that our hotel was almost exactly inbetween (like 15 minutes each way) from my hair appointment and spa day place?
What are the chances there is no traffic and I make it home in time for the dinner?
 Unless you happen to have two angel children looking out for you from heaven.
I like to think this was a gift from them. 

It was so wonderful :)