last week God saved the day. we had a problem on a time restraint and i knew He had the solution though that doesn't mean i didn't stress my heart out. in a rather unillustrious, nonchalant way, as if God was saying, "that was all you needed?" our what-seemed-giant problem was solved not a moment too soon.  He can do anything and with a most miraculous flare. i love Him for answering my prayers.

"all of us have problems. we face them everyday. how grateful i am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. they pull us down on our knees to ask the God of Heaven for help in solving them. be grateful for your problems. and know that somehow there will come a solution."
-gordon b hinkcley-

 and last is an appealing pic of my family party at the grocery store in the meat aisle


for the man of this house

devin is in vegas for work. i'm here prolonging, no procrastinating, choreographing. i also procrastinate going to bed like crazy on nights when he is gone. it's as if i believe if i stay up late enough he'll come back, or if i stay up late enough i will fall asleep standing up without realizing he's not near me. lies. and i fall for them everytime.  devin is so many things to me and for me. in no particular order of importance at various times he is a servant, thrifter, therapist, launderer, woo-er, chef, medical adviser, bacon-bringer-homer, vocal teacher, cleaner, design comrade, dreamer, counselor, my safe place, comedian, right hand, early bird (if this night owl doesn't kill him), encourager, fellow disciple, and more. we're not perfect, but he is oh so good to me. and while he is gone, i am aware of that more than ever.

(he is brushing like dad)


here i am on a blog i have shoved out of priority. pushing past comparison and forgetting that i don't have a pretty blog header, that i live in the least exotic place in mormon society, that i have dishes in the sink to be cleaned, and that i deeply have enjoyed a blogging sabbatical--pushing past all that...

i'm here. i'm tyring to be here. dutifully trying to get past thoughts of me. i'm here for my mom who really would love it if i updated. i'm here to get out of myself.

we had an early thanksgiving dinner last night with family. we rounded the table, each sharing our thoughts of gratitude. i'm grateful i can write on an albeit ugly blog. i am grateful i know how to write. i'm grateful to be humbled, massively humbled and more imperfect than ever. i'm grateful i have prayer to talk to my father every day. beyond grateful knowing he hears me. i'm grateful for a child who makes my purpose on earth so rich, clear, and challenging. i'm grateful for a husband who would summit everest for me and for whom i love more than ever because of the difficulty we've fought together. i'm grateful for dance and figuring it out, one day at a time. i'm grateful for change and the vibrancy it brings to life. i'm grateful for the stagnant that i wish would change and the patience it squeezes out of me. i'm grateful for family and the laboratory they provide for me to make real what i believe. i'm grateful for new socks, a ready waiting salad in the fridge, a generous bag of lent clothes for our boy, our farmer's market bought indian corn, a non stuffy nose that i used to have back in october, and a borrowed toy that lights up copes eyes. i'm grateful for the best souls on earth who somehow have become friends and could well up my eyes with tears just thinking of the times they have stood by me and hailed me with warm hearts and friendly hands. i'm grateful for a dad who gets to meet my little not so baby boy in a month. i'm grateful for the blessings i see and the blessings i don't. i'm grateful for family i see and family i don't. i'm grateful for talents i have and talents i don't. i'm grateful for a god who loves me when i don't. life is inexpressibly good right now and always because of that.

here's a clip, that gave me something to blame this lame post on. endure to end of the clip- it's supremely worth it.


because i need to hear this...

 Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives and will become, as a people and as a church, an example and a beacon for all peoples of the earth.



Gals, i'm spreading the love by spreading good news.
Who wouldn't want a whole lot of cash to Anthro? Devin is working with a company that just launched a website: www.byuhitlist.com They are giving away $250 dollars to Anthropologie tomorrow. Because its new, and still fairly unknown, the chances of you winning are pretty high. Check out the site, I think you will be surprised by how easy it is: just click away trying to reach that winning number.
Almost forgot- if there is a good response tomorrow, they are thinking of making this a weekly giveaway! So even if you don't win tomorrow stop by so that you can still have a chance of winning in the future.
Thanks and win for me!


while my house is slumbering...

i took a nap with cope this afternoon. felt good then, but a bad idea now. now i can't sleep. my heart is beating too loudly to let me.

it was a fully lived day. started off rocky. that crying babe alarm clock sounded catching me in a groggy grumpy state from my late bedtime. the past three days i've been happily awake before that sweet sounding babe cries out, and it was so noticeably different today that i don't want to let it happen again. 
three dear people celebrated their birthdays today: my dad's mother, devin's sister, and my visiting teachee. i love each of them. hope they could feel it today.
i resisted buying a pair of unnecessary jeans. the coupon i had didn't work and i was sad at first. later, i think i found the reason, inspiration for just what to do with the saved cash.
the provo library lent me four books. i love the feeling that knowledge gives you. empowerment. 
i didn't make dinner for devin for the second time this week. bad wife, i know. instead, i napped: delicious. we had leftovers: semi-delicious, mostly just cause it was outside on our trusty blanket. excited to start eating out on the lawn like we did last fall.
we went to the park and cope giggled his guttural giggle while dev pushed him ever so slowly in the swing so his large noggin wouldn't topple him overboard. first time on the swings was a success. 
we found el salvador on the map in the park and i prayed for my parents. it was a big day for them and they could always use a spare prayer. who couldn't?
after cope snoozed-i started working on copes crib skirt. he's eight months old and i've just had fabric haphazardly hanging there. got it all cut out to realize that the hem tape doesn't work with sturdy ikea fabric. try again tomorrow.
i got out the journal i wrote in 2007 before i met devin and perused its pages. so many dreams have been fulfilled in ways unimaginable for my narrow-minded brain then. it's pretty marvelous actually.

this week was been fairly transformative. lately i feel like i'm standing getting a glimpse of an incredible view on this hike of life. it's a vista of beauty, showing how greatly the Lord has guided our path, and why every step was necessary to bring us to here. one of those times where you see for yourself that the Lord's plan is better than your own. and yet it's a lot like that time we went hiking with nate and russo- we thought we reached the pinnacle of the hike so we went back down, only to find out later there was a waterfall just around the corner. 

it's nice to see that all the climbing is getting you somewhere, and somewhere beautiful at that.
 it's also nice to know that there are greater things ahead. steeper cliffs and better vistas. bring it on.


bathtime ritual

i took a class in college all about rituals and routines. it was magnificent. some of the greatest mothers i know are great at this part of parenting.

when cope first came home from the hospital we gave him his first bath. i don't remember how it happened, i probably was trying to calm him from screaming himself hoarse. i started singing. i wanted to sing a song about being clean. and almost accidentally, a ritual emerged for our family that i adore.

every time we bathe cope, which used to be everyday until we realized we were only aggravating his poor excema, now every time we bathe cope we sing this song afterward while lathering his precious little body in lotion. i hope he wants to be clean, and be the best he can to live with God again.

I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.


the past month

you know it's time to update your blog when your mom reminds you that it has been a long time since you last posted.
i put pictures on instagram so sorry if you have seen them already. but this one is for my mom.

an old belgium picture to celebrate love.
Skype session. one of the world's best inventions.
toothbrushing. despite his look, he loves it so much you have to pry off his brush.
the communal. belated valentines dinner. if you haven't been, go!
wearing daddy's leather shoes. thank you shelby for saving these.
lunch at frida's in salt lake. you must go get their guacamole and fresh tortillas!
cougarette concert. honored to know miss sarah russo. besides her mother, i'm probably her biggest fan.
cope likes to stand up holding onto the ottoman. how is he old enough for this?
i usually let cope entertain himself with my make up. that is, until i came upon this messy yoga mat.
date on the couch.
 we love that we can walk two blocks to the site of a new temple. it makes us very happy.
 happy birthday papa. we bought you your favorite treat: starburst jellybeans!


a sea separates us today

though miles apart, i love him no less.
devin knows where to find my phone, keys, diaper bag, or any thing important that i often lose.
devin writes in his journal in cursive and it looks better than mine.
devin doesn't always win games against me but he still plays them competitively.
devin makes my brothers laugh more than i can.
devin spent hours creating spreadsheet for a business idea of mine because he believes in me.
devin likes josh groban and i don't.

devin fearlessly would speak french in belgium while i didn't say one word to anyone for six months.
devin is missing a middle name: mr. meticulous.
devin lends me his chapstick because i never carry my own.
devin has thorough to-do-lists which rarely go unaccomplished.
devin taught me to like foods like mushrooms and beets that i never enjoyed before.
devin doesn't need sweets everyday and praise the heavens above for that.
devin sings and i cant.
devin is a master of finishing a task while i have fifty unfinished projects lying around.
devin does dirty work-changing diapers, cleaning toilets, and taking out the trash for which i'm glad.
devin never makes me feel bad for being less than i should, but patiently waits for me to be better.
devin lets me buy a pair of shoes i don't need when he hasn't bought a pair of new jeans he does need.
devin adores the lord, me, and our son, just as much as i had always hoped for.
I'm not perfect, neither are you, nor is our marriage. but you and me, our marriage, imperfections and all, makes me happier than i can express.  
happy valentines devin. i love and miss you.


...that there shall not be room enough to receive them

In June of last year Devin shattered his ankle while cliff jumping with the scouts in Moab. The hospital in Moab sent him home with a splint and wrote it off as just a bad sprain. That weekend was my parent's farewell, and try as he may, it was hard to stay off his foot. Despite soaking it ice baths continuously, the bruise only deepened and the swelling only increased. It looked like this:
On Monday he went to another doctor because we had a hard time believing that elephant ankle was only a sprain. That doctor told us to get into a orthopedic surgeon asap.  The best orthopedic surgeon he recommended was Dr. Faux all the way down in Provo. At the time we were living in Layton. Didn't make much sense but we booked an appointment the next week cause he was so busy, and drove down to see him anyway. Immediately he took an x-ray and found out it was shattered and that action needed to be taken. At this point his suggestion was to cast it and see if all the fragments of bone would come together and heal. Devin had his first cast for 4 weeks, non weight bearing with crutches or a scooter. We celebrated Devin's birthday, moved, and bid my parents adieu all with that cast on.

(note devin's crutch poking out behind my leg in the above picture) A funny side story: when my parents were set apart for their mission Devin still had his cast on. President Eyring greeted Devin and asked said, "So what happened?" Devin said that he hurt his ankle in Moab with the teachers the previous week. To which President Eyring responded, "Were  you doing something unusual?" Devin replied simply, "Yes." President Eyring courteously said, "I won't ask." "Thank You," said embarrased Devin... awesome story, no?

Anyway, the morning Cope was born Devin's cast came off. Tender mercy. He wore a walking moon boot for another 4 weeks.
Fast forward to November. Devin had been going to physical therapy every week for about 16+ weeks. There was progress made, but it was still unpleasant to walk on. He revisited Dr. Faux and asked for an x-ray again. This time they noticed the bone fragments weren't healing together. They decided to do a debridement (which is when they go in with a scope to see how it looks and clean up the fragments). Hopefully this would take away the discomfort. Dr. Faux did let us know that if they did do a debridement now that 5 years down the road he would probably need to fuse his ankle due to the severity of the break and usual degeneration. He also mentioned that there was a possibility of doing a fusion on the ankle joint because it was inevitable and depending on how bad it really looked (you can't tell cartelige in x-rays). We were excited to move forward and even secretly hoping for a fusion.

On November 21, devin went in for surgery. Dr Faux came in two hours later to let me know that they had fused the ankle as a last resort. He showed me pictures from the scope, Devin had no cartiledge left between is ankle joint. It was rubbing bone on bone. That is the definition of arthritis and if that kept up much longer Devin would have been in major trouble.
This monday Devin gets his fourth cast off. He will be in a walking moon boot again for four more weeks. After all is said and done that will be 24 weeks in a cast this past year.  16 weeks with a hard cast-12 of those on crutches or a scooter and 4 walking on the hard cast-- plus 8 more in a walking moon boot. Monday will be a big day full of joyous celebration.
So why tell you all this? Because it is quite the miracle and when I hear of miracles my faith is strengthened. At the time of Devin's accident Devin was switching jobs. I was working full time and covered with insurance but Devin was not. We toyed with the idea of getting rid of Devin's insurance since it was costly to maintain, and Devin had rarely goes to the doctor and had never broken a bone in his life. It seemed pointless. But for some reason we kept our insurance gratefully. When you hurt yourself at a church activity, the church's insurance: Desert Mutual Benefit Adminstration will cover all costs that your primary insurance does not cover. 100%, no questions asked. If you don't have primary insurance it will cover what a normal primary insurance would. Because we kept his insurance the church covered all the expenses. We have not paid a dime for all the thousands of dollars in expenses. Yesterday I got this notification, not a bill, in the mail.
We have been receiving these since July but we just got the notification for Devin's surgery. How much did November 21, 2011 cost? $12,695.12. In the bottom right corner, how much did we pay? $0.00. Zero Dollars! Miraculous. That is not mentioning the seven other doctor visits, the hospital visit in Moab, the x-rays and cat scans, the months of physical therapy...etc. That is just one day.

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" malachi 3:10
Sure, these past eight months of issues have been pretty miserable, and definitely doesn't feel like a blessing. That's not even coming from the one who has to deal with the cast and pain directly. It has been one of Devins most taxing trials that's for sure. I am so proud of him for his patient perseverance. But the miracle that I want to share is that the Lord keeps his promises. Some may dispute that Devin wouldn't have hurt his ankle if he weren't with the scouts, so of course the church should pay. But I am trying to say how miraculous we kept our insurance during a difficult time. How miraculous this church has means to pay for every cost. How miraculous that the Lord takes care of us. I know He poors out his blessings and there is not room enough to receive them. He has done it for me, for us, and he will do it for you.


december thirty first

i always grew up thinking the whole world celebrated my mother's birthday. december 31. new years eve. i still like to think that way:)
 it's so late but we had some fun memories on new years eve that i want to remember.
 first, i thought it would be grand to go on walk up rock canyon park. not my most brilliant move.
poor devin was still non-weight bearing on his ankle and bound to his trusty scooter.
the path wasn't really paved and we had ten wheels and only three feet trying to push ourselves up this gravel-y mountainside. poor pioneers. how'd they do it?
my fiasco of an idea only lasted ten minutes before our three feet and ten wheels came jostling- half bouncing, half flying- down the mountainside.

 of course, it did last long enough to get some pictures.
 devin's idea was much more brilliant: JCW's.
who knew they have an El Salvador Flag in JCW's in Provo, UT? I still don't understand why. But I almost fainted when I saw it. and for now I'll take it as a little tender mercy sent to me, who had never been apart from my mother on her birthday was missing her. thank you for that one.
the El Salvador flag is the bottom right one.
 besides the jostling down the mountainside, and the flag, this was the next best part of the holiday: 
the BYU game was on and cope couldn't take his eyes off the screen that was thirty feet away. must've been something scary going on because they both look nervous!
 these pictures are too good.
 as is this one.
 and this one.
it was a perfect celebration of december 31.



Being a parent opens your eyes in so many ways. Not only are my eyes open more times in the middle of the night than ever before:) but I better see all the things my own parents have done for me.

I had one such connection today. My mother sent me a short email, you could almost could call it a memo. It was to the point, brief, all business. She is incredibly busy and was addressing a short question I had, which I considered very thoughtful since I have one zillion questions and don't expect to hear back from her for days. She concluded this little memo with the phrase,"I love you forever." Obviously a familiar phrase but this time those words choked my heart. Maybe it was the contrast of the business-like memo with her unashamed declaration of love that caught me off guard. My thoughts turned to Cope. How could my love for him stay stagnant? It doesn't. My love for him keep grows every day. Maybe this increase of love is what my mom meant by forever. But I also thought forever means not only how much I love him but how long. How could I just one day stop loving him? I can't and won't. Like my own mother, I love him forever.


hot sauce in his chili

the other day i found this poem at my sister's house. the sweet author is a wise woman in devin's childhood neighborhood. i distinctly remember reading this poem and thinking about it for over and over afterward. 

food for thought-by mary kay sorenson

food prepared without some spice
can be tasteless, and not caring
it doesn't hurt to spice things up
and be a little daring.

a little cloves or nutmeg in your soup
may seem quite silly
or why not try some ginger
or some cajun in your chili.

a marriage needs to have some spice
a little change and daring
a lot of thoughtfulness each day
and an awfully lot of caring

a love note hidden in his socks
may seem a little silly
but it will pay more dividends 
than hot sauce in his chili

now that i have been married four years (what!) it's the daring and caring things that make marriage magical.

oh and one last quote from a marriage article in this month's ensign:
"My all-time favorite short piece of counsel on marriage came from President Gordon B. Hinckley, who shared this important key to a great marriage: “A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.” If you want a happy marriage, do what happily married couples do."

three cheers for marriage: the institution that has taught me the most about myself, the challenge that has stretched me the most, the blessing that has deepened any joy i had previously known.


i just want to say one thing: it is all worth it for this

cope has been popping in teeth lately.

and chewing on everything in sight

and sitting up all on his own

 and rolling around all over the place

and bouncing in daddy's old door hanging jumper

and being so completely adorable that our hearts could burst.
yes, this is worth anything. oh so worth it.
pictures from my beloved instagram