Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Saturday Family Vacation

On Saturday we went on a mini family vacation to the Intrepid. The car ride there was ridiculous because we drove for about 3.5-4 hours, almost the entire way in traffic.  The Brooklyn Bridge was closed as was Canal Street so the options for traveling there were severely reduced. We searched for parking awhile and then when we swapped drivers he found a spot in five minutes. He met us at the West Side Highway, after you and I had walked a mile. It was so fun to see his face grinning at us!  

By the time we arrived at the Intrepid they had closed the line two minutes before and wouldn't even let me an almost 9-month-pregnant woman, with a pass, go to the bathroom.  But we walked over to the site seeing boats and they let me use theirs. Thank goodness! By that time we all had to use the restroom, so maybe it was a blessing the Intrepid people didn't let us in.

You kidlets had eaten all our snacks in the car on the way there so we got some hot dogs--delicious street meat, and this picture of you, T was the last bite of yours.

Thank goodness there was a mini somewhat functioning water playground that was right there. You had a great time playing and would have stayed much longer if we didn't want to go admire the view of the Hudson and Edgewater, New Jersey (across the river). 

Daddy kept saying, "This is our family vacation.  Did you all get that?! This is our family vacation."

Daddy carried my bag/purse for me so I could enjoy watching you all skip and play.  I couldn't help but feel so grateful for him, you, our future baby and the outing.  I felt like it may be one of our last last outings as just we five.  That seemed strange, but good. 

I love you!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Dearest W:
I love you more than air!  A few years ago we met, got married and started a family!  I am so grateful for you!  You make me happy every day! I love laughing with you and being around you!  It made me smile the other day when you helped me put the kidlets to bed and all I could hear coming from their rooms were gales of laughter.  You make me laugh when you tell me relatable, humorous movie/tv quotes.  When the kids are saying a prayer and say something cute I know I can open my eyes just a tiny bit and see you looking and smiling at me with pride about our little ones. I love you more than peanut butter loves jelly! When you practice with the children I am amazed at the strides of progress they make.  I love our conversations at the dinner table and talks after the kidlets have gone to bed. I love when we take a moment to count our blessings together.  You are an amazing man! 
Love, M

Friday, April 26, 2013

Three Mighty Giants

One of my fondest childhood memories include my dad and my uncle taking us to the religious college in my hometown and playing in the main social building. A lot of times it would be with my cousins, sometimes friends, and we would go to the college and play the game that I think my Dad invented called "Three Mighty Giants."  It is a game like hide and go seek, but when you are found you have the ability to get away and the person that is "it" stays "it" for the whole game.  I think it may have been based on the story "Jack and the Beanstalk" because once the "giants" or the people that were "it" caught you, they put you in an "oven" or a place where you had to stay unless you were rescued by one of your team mates or if all the teammates were caught they would put us all into the "oven" then they would fall asleep and we would surreptitiously sneak away.  It was the best game in the world!  It must have given my mom some girl time with my aunt (or just a child break--because sometimes moms need down time). 

I don't remember my favorite hiding spots, but I do remember getting a map of the whole building in my head, all the exits; restaurants; snack machines; elevators; stairwells; etc. were.  In one area they had the food service elevator.  It made me feel like I was in the movie Star Wars and somehow I always had Darth Vader's theme song in my head by the time I (often panicky--because I would freak myself out because it would seem to take much longer than an elevator should take) would get off--careful not to go to the ground floor because that would take us to the pizza parlor kitchen. 

I went through a phase I really didn't enjoy having my photo taken.  It was a phase called childhood.  The one looking away, that's me. (Uncle D, Uncle B, Cousins M and N). Also, I think we were a little older than this photo when we played at the college, but I don't have any photos of that time.

Those evenings were magical, until security would tell us to stop and to leave.  Eventually we stopped going because the security were starting to recognize us (and we were getting older).   But I cannot tell you how much I love, love, loved those Three Mighty Giants nights!

Thank you Dad and Uncle R for making those nights the very best for all of us!  We loved every minute!
Do you remember Grandpa playing this with you in his back yard?  R, you were telling me about it the other day and that you loved it.  Let's do that next time we go someplace big enough for running about.  Maybe the Baby Girl, Daddy and I will be the giants. This is a tradition not to be forgotten!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This photo is so descriptive to me. You should really go to the source and read what she says. Apparently, I'm a professional cleaning-dodger.

Source--I really like this blog.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hospital Overnight

Monday night I was in pain under my ribs--not contractual (hehe), so much that I was crying, a lot.  Thank goodness for W. So I went to the doctor the next day and she said I should get some tests done and she suggested going to the hospital to expedite the tests. I was thinking that it would be a dandy little three hour trip, but no. It was all night in the labor and delivery triage, on that tiny little bed, with women exceeding their pain barriers all. night. long. And that pain from the night before was so much better so the doctors didn't offer an pain relief.

You may notice something from the photos--yes, that is right, I went to see the doctor sans-make-up. It made me feel incredibly close to looking like a zombie.

That crazy hand pose was because I was okay with being the first-poke of a medical student.  He searched my hand for a good vein. It was not a good vein.  In about ten minutes I had a cute little, painful hematoma (that weird swelling in the wrist).  But it was almost worth it, because his face was ecstatic--even though it didn't work--some woman in the labor and delivery area let him poke them.  This will not happen when I actually am in labor. 

I was really grateful I brought snacks, because I was so hungry, the nurse brought me some food in the morning, gratefully.  There was no television so I read one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice.  I changed my mind about some of the characters.  I feel like the Bingley sisters were not as snooty as I thought and Mr. Collins--he was dreadfully misunderstood sensitive people-pleaser.  All night of listening to women in labor put me in a pondering mood and sort of scared me so my imagination took refuge with judgmental Elizabeth and sweet Jane.

On the plus and down side, all the tests confirmed that I'm an extremely healthy person.
It's all muscular-skeletal.  I'm going to have live through it for four-ish more weeks. There were no options for any sort of medication. I desperately needed a shower and some food and some make-up. And some chocolate.  And I'll be honest, a vacation.  It gave me some good ideas of what I am going to add to my hospital bag, when I plan on spending the night.

I can do this, right?!  I got big hugs from all of you, when I got home.  T, you were just happy daddy picked you up from school instead of me (that is a big treat for you).  I really missed you and Daddy! :) 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Hour At The Park

 You love the little children in our ward.  When people ask me to watch their little ones during the day, while you are at school, you get a little sad and ask me why they can't come after school.  I love that about you.

 Check out that adorable expression!  It looks like, "I'm not sure if I would do that, if I were you, but okay."
 I. always has his trusty animals with him.  That day it was a ram

 I love how this photo captures your eyes, S! 

L wanted off those as soon as I finished the picture.  But she kept going back.  What stamina!

R was our monkey bar monkey for the hour we were there.  Boy can he climb!

I. wanted in the climbing action too!  If I changed the background to sky it would look like I. was flying.

A moment to ponder life's mysteries, and then to figure out how he was going to get down.
This is a new app on my phone I was testing called Retro Camera. What do you think?

Monday, April 22, 2013

To W

Dear W:

Yesterday, at church, I felt an intense need to go out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. I think you may have been inspired to come out of the Sunday School room moments before everyone else, because I needed it right then.  I told you how I was feeling and without a second pause you said, "Okay, let's go."

We picked the kidlets up from their classes while they were asking, "Are we going home? What are we doing?" We didn't say a word about where we were going, we just got in the car and drove to the place where spring would be its springy-est, the Greenwood Cemetery. 

My hero, driving us through the cemetery.

It made my heart soar to see the beautiful blossoms, to see the joyful faces of our children as they dashed about examining the different flowers and looking at the different names on the headstones and your face as you observed everything (even though you were really hungry).  

Do you know how much I love and appreciate you?  You work so hard and I feel cherished. 

I am so glad that I can be with you beyond the grave, through eternity.  I think God knew I needed you!


PS Happy birthday the other day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When I Shared . . .

When I was background for the movie Now You See Me, coming out the day before Baby Girl is due, I had an interesting experience--missionary-type.  I love talking about our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (if you haven't noticed from the last few days of posting), and on one of the last days of filming I had a group of about five to eight people sitting around me.  The subject turned to being a Mormon.  I'm not always good at answering questions, but I tried really hard to pray for guidance in what to say.  

They asked me about the things that they had heard or seen on television or media and I strove to answer their questions. I think I told them about the pre-existence, which really excites me.  The fact that we know where we're from and where we're going offers tremendous comfort to me.  

It was in this room--by that pillar in the background.  A couple of the girls in the photo may have been listening.  That face is the face I get when I'm doing something completely out of my ordinary.  That is the face I give to every one, because I honestly feel very happy.

Some said they might be interested in attending church.  One of them lived close to our old ward in Midwood, so I told them they should look it up and go.  

I told them that my knowledge of the Gospel was one of the things that made me feel so happy and want to smile a lot. :) 

There may have been seeds planted, but even if there were not I know that I nurtured my own faith and I felt swelling joy sharing what I knew and believed with them (like in The Book of Mormon, in Alma 32:28-43 ).  I hope they felt even just an inkling of what I felt!

S, you are fearless and you love love love telling people about the Church.  You give me updates, "Oh mom, so-and-so said they want to come to church with me." "I told her about this and she believes in Jesus too!" 

R, you're a little like me, you like to be asked about it.  But when you are asked you like to share.

T, you shout it to the world! Or at least to the whole airplane we rode last time we went out west, "We don't drink alcohol, coffee or tea and we don't smoke tobacco or cigarettes!"  I liked the attendant's response, "Well that is good, because you are only four." 

Baby Girl, what will you be like?! 

I love hearing Daddy tell people about the Gospel.  It is one of my favorite things to hear! It's then that I notice how much his eyes sparkle and I cannot tell you how much I love that!

So glad I have you!

If you're reading this and you have questions about being a Mormon, let me know and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.  I can also refer to those nice young people with classy clothes, black name tags, and smiles.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why I Chose to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom

A couple of years ago, I went to the wedding reception of my cousin, Nicole, one of my uncles that has an office in Manhattan asked/told me something like, "Why are there so many well-educated women who are already in debt and let their husbands and families go into even more debt so they can stay home with their children?  It seems to me that it would be much better for them to be working than accumulating so much debt and putting their families into financial bondage."

This uncle is well-known for being very good with words and being able to convince anyone of about anything.  Oddly enough, I felt completely calm and even keeled and was going to answer him when my mother asked me to go do something with her.  

What I was going to tell him was that, for me personally (I realize this is not the proper situation for all), I felt that for the present, I really needed to be a stay-at-home-mom.  That doesn't mean I'm going to put all my dreams in the trash and walk away, it means that for now, you are my focus.  You are the future.  You have immense promise and potential and, for now, I feel I need to be able to raise you to be strong, hard-working individuals that could be the future of our country.  You are incredibly important to me!  You will be able to do amazing things if you choose and work for them.

The reason I am using photos from last February of you jumping in Prospect Park is because
to me, jumping is always taking a chance.  Very few jumps are exactly alike and
they all require a bit of faith and hope that the landing will be great.  That is how I look
at what I do, as a leap of faith and a hope of great things to come.
Yes, I do get a little envious when I look at mothers that work outside the home or work at home, sometimes.  They seem to thrive and run circles around me and all I get done. I really respect them for that and marvel at all they do. Maybe one day I will be like that too.  But for now, I feel like there is a need for me to be here, with you, at a pace that I can manage. 

When it comes right down to it, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to stay at home and be with you. Daddy works so hard for us, we are incredibly blessed to have him making it possible for me to be here with you.

I feel like a sponge attempting to remember and retain all the precious moments with you--like Friday when I was walking you to school in the rain and T, you grabbed my hand and cupped it in both of your hands and said, "Mom, I don't want your hand to get cold!" You kept skipping and smiling all the way to school and I felt so blessed.  Also, when you turned and looked at me as we were walking and you said, point-blank, "Mom, I wish you could carry me." To which I answered, "I wish you could carry me, too!"  Then you looked at me and said in slight astonishment, "Mom, only Dad can carry you!"

I also love it when you all give the I-love-you sign and lay next to me on the bed at bed time while I read to you.  I love to hear you singing a song you've just made up or the songs that you've been practicing. I love noticing the improvements that you've been making in your instrument of choice. I love it when you come right away when I call you and you use your sweetest voice! :)

Also from last February, inside our apartment home.  I adore this photo!  You like to help each other, a lot!
I feel I should mention, that while I have focused on you primarily I have striven to accomplish other things as we've played together.  I got a masters degree, wrote a screen play (not great, but it is written), worked on writing fiction and blogging (facts) extensively, I have become a better cook/photographer/ponder-er/time manager/dishwasher/background extra/interviewer/listener/etc.  I have a lot of things I want to do and am working on one thing at time.  I love that you seem to get interested in what interests me. You want to contribute to the blog--videos, anecdotes, writing in your journal.  I love it!

More than anything, I love you!

"The Voice"
by Shel Silverstein

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I fell that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you--just listen to the voice that speaks inside. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Moment in Memorial

Yesterday was the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Daddy and I knew someone that crossed the finish line an hour before the bomb went off and was okay (thankfully), but our hearts go out to those that lost their lives and their families.  We pray for all those afflicted by the tragedy. 

I told you about it this morning on the way to school because I did not want you to hear about it from someone that emphasized the goriness. I wanted you to know that even when bad things happen, God is aware of and looking out for His children (everyone).  The greatest gift that God has given us is the power of choice, and sometimes other people use their power of choice to hurt people. But there are so many others that are earnestly striving to use their choices to help and strengthen those around them.  

I love this photo because I feel like it is a reminder to stay focused on the things that draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by the shoes which  are turned to the temple and the family (do you see yourselves R and S?) T, you were kneeling and that reminds us that we need to pray always.

I pray for you, every day, several times. I heart you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring and Families

We love spring! You've already asked that when we live in Oregon to please grow some blossoming trees in our yard and I've already said, "Yes! Of course!"  

Some of the daffodils planted throughout NYC are in memorial to those that died on September 11, 2001. Their bright colors are some of the first to break through the winter bleak and offer hope and joy to those left behind.  There are over 10 million daffodils planted throughout the city!  Every time we see them, we remember and often say a silent prayer of hope for the families of those that died.  We are going to plant some daffodils (we hope) in Oregon.

I am so glad we have the Plan of Happiness and know that we can be with our loved ones again, even after they pass on.  I am so grateful that we can be an eternal family. One of you asked me the other night, if I could have anything in the whole entire world what it would be and I answered, "To be together forever in the Celestial Kingdom, as a family."  
September 2012--Do you remember?!  This was right before you all broke out with fevers.  But it was such a beautiful day at one of the most beautiful places on earth--the Washington D.C. LDS Temple. 

This is because I cannot think of any one thing that will give me greater happiness then to be able to be with Daddy and all of you (with your future families and our ancestors) as near to God and Jesus Christ as possible.  I believe there will be such a feeling of peace and utter joy that if we could feel it now, there could be nothing that would stop us from attaining that goal.  In essence, this is our family goal because I love you and cannot imagine life without you.

Friday, April 12, 2013

S's Concert

S, you had your concert on Wednesday. Everyone was asked to wear red and black. You chose your own outfit and you preferred to wear a skirt under your shirt/skirt. 

The theme of the concert was teamwork, friendship and keeping in contact.  

This is L, one of your dear friends.  She has already volunteered to be your first pen pal. :)

This is N.  She is another one of your good friends that is in your class. You constantly sing her praises.

Here you see the three girls that threw you a surprise birthday party at L's house (such great friends with super moms!) L (right next to you), Lu (in the middle or fourth from the left) and Ja (the fifth from the left). In order (you, L, J, Lu, Ja, A).

I love you so dearly, S!

Your whole second grade class was fabulous! You were so proud and so was I!

You and A.

You and Principal A.

You and your teacher, Mrs. Y. 

You and your friends (L, Lu, Ja, J, Al) and Ms. V.

"I've Been Looking for a Friend Like You!"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Smithsonian in September 2012

One of my heroes is Julia Child.  She found out what she loved and she put her whole heart into what she did.  
Look at her kitchen!!  Does anyone need a pan?

One word that describes this kitchen very well--FUNCTION.  Everything has a place, pretty much.  It is all about the cooking and the people.

I love this photo and that it is slightly skewed from my camera angle, because I think sometimes the people that seem to get the most done are the people that delegate and have help.  I'm working that with you.  You are learning to do your chores and help out around the house.  You help with other children when we are out and about.

Ms. Child found what interested her and put her whole heart into what she wanted to do.  President Thomas S. Monson in the October 2004 General Conference said: 

Each of us should remember that he or she is a son or daughter of God, endowed with faith, gifted with courage, and guided by prayer. Our eternal destiny is before us. The Apostle Paul speaks to us today as he spoke to Timothy long years ago: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust."
At times many of us let that enemy of achievement—even the culprit "self-defeat"—dwarf our aspirations, smother our dreams, cloud our vision, and impair our lives. The enemy’s voice whispers in our ears, "You can’t do it." "You’re too young." "You’re too old." "You’re nobody." This is when we remember that we are created in the image of God. Reflection on this truth provides a profound sense of strength and power.
May I leave with you today a simple yet far-reaching formula to guide you in the choices of life:
Fill your minds with truth.Fill your hearts with love. Fill your lives with service. 
By doing so, may we one day hear the plaudit from our Lord and Savior, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
This is just to remind you that I have complete faith in you!  Discover and follow your dreams!  I love you!

Julia Child's Television Emmy.