Sunday, October 31, 2010

scenes from a saturday night halloween party

Allison and I decided we were going to throw a Halloween party this year.

Decorations: we went for a "dilapidated mansion" feel at the Foulk's new house.  Pennant banners, black mice silhouettes, antique mirrors, black candles, moth-eaten lace, and a slight mist in the air from Kent's fog machine.

Costumes:  our family of cavemen, a family of bees, chef and his wife with a "bun-in-the-oven," Buddy the elf and Santa, the witch and her baby cowboy with their sufer-dude daddy, Bear Grylls and the rabbit he almost caught for dinner, Willy Wonka and one of his Oompa Loompas, and the costume winners--the birthday party attendee and the pinata.

Food:  lots of fun spooky treats and tasty appetizers and some delicious hot wassail.

Games: we played the tape-a-character-to-your-forehead-to-guess-who-you-are game, the proverbial toilet paper mummy wrap game, donuts on a string, guess whose nose is behind the curtain, and in a blast to our pre-year 2000 lives-- a rousing round of mofia.

I think we pulled off a pretty fun party; there was lots and lots of laughing involved,
and now...
Halloween is OVER.

Which comes the best holidays of the whole year.  Hooray!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday picnic

Sunday was a beautiful day, and now that it is nearing winter, we decided to take advantage of the cooler weather, 
so we took a little picnic of cheese and crackers, a waterbottle, and a sippy cup,
to the park.

We had to take sixteen pictures of me and Nicholas before we got one where he didn't have his mouth full of crackers.  
If you look closely, you can see a cracker in between my fingers...that's why he's laughing, because I swiped his hand away from his mouth quick before he could stuff in another cracker.
He thought it was a game.  Typical.

This take is my favorite.  His little lips are mid-"wow!" as apparently there was something fascinating in that direction.

This park is really neat-with walking trails and picnic areas,
and it kind of sort of almost felt like we were up in a canyon somewhere. 
You know, somewhere that actually has mountains.  

We wanted to take a walk around the park, hoping to see some wildlife (deer, rabbits, lizards, racoons, birds, maybe even a live armadillo) and hoping not to see some other wildlife (skunks, possums, snakes, toads, bugs of unusual size).
But even though it's cooling off here, we only made it around the first bend before we were all sweating,
so we went back home and took a nice Sunday nap instead.
Maybe next month it will be cool enough.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

find something

My band teacher my sophomore year in high school was Art Young. 
He was good.  So good, in fact, he actually caused himself to have a stress breakdown
and he had to quit teaching band.

He cared about us too much.  Perhaps that was simultaneously his triumph and his downfall.

Regrettably, I don't remember much about what he taught me about music.  I'm sure it's all there somewhere, in the layers of my musical knowledge that blurs together over the years.  
What I do remember, though, is something I hope to remember my whole life.

As we were learning any new piece, once we had somewhat mastered the technicalities of the music, Mr. Young would always stop us in the middle of class, we'd lay down our instruments, and he'd look at us with his clear gray eyes and he would tell us that now it was time to 
"find something to love...and then love it."  
Simple as that.

And yet it changed our music in ways that endless rehearsals would never be able to.

Although I no longer have specific crescendos, particular chords, or a gentle fine to love,
I've kind of adopted this saying as my motto.

Find something to love and then love it.

Tonight as I was scraping the crusted rice out of the pot, tripping over alphabet fridge magnets strewn across the tile, digging dried wallpaper bits out from under my fingernails, and changing the days fifth sixth dirty diaper, all while Kent is downtown having dinner with the prospective interns for USAA, 
I stopped for a minute,
and I knew that this is my life, and I can find more than plenty of things to love about it.

I love the quiet afternoons on the patio, blowing bubbles (even for the fourth time that day).  
I love sitting on the couch at 4:30, eating goldfish crackers, watching Elmo's World, and cuddling with what has to be the most adorable little boy that ever lived.
I love watching the house slowly fill with the morning sun while we eat cheerios for breakfast.
I love seeing Nicholas's crazy smile as he head-bobs to the radio in the car.
I love being healthy and able to take care of my little family.
I love morning walks and stopping at the park so that Nicholas can practice walking on and off of the little ledge between the cement and the playground bark.
I love how sometimes he is so proud of himself as he practices that he claps so hard he falls over.
I love it when all three of us are home, together, and we just play and play with our baby boy.  We laugh, we laugh a lot.

So while my life isn't perfect, and won't ever be,
at least I know I'll always have that something, whatever it is, to love.

Monday, October 18, 2010

grandpa and the digital clock

Grandpa's Den
If I ever came home from school and my mom wasn't home, instead of using the secret key to get into my house, I would just walk next door to Grandma and Grandpa's house instead.

When we were very little, before we moved to Logan,
I remember how we would talk--"wouldn't it be so great if we lived next door to Grandma and Grandpa?"  
And then, we did.

One of those afternoons, I was sitting on the big gray couch, my backpack at my feet, watching Grandpa set up a new digital clock he'd bought.

You see, my grandma and grandpa had five clocks in their kitchen...and not a single one displayed the correct time.

And no two clocks were set at the same incorrect time, either.

I guess my grandpa was hoping that maybe just one more clock would do the trick.
My grandma and grandpa were missionaries at Martin's Cove, WY.  He made these mini handcarts when they got home.
He took that clock out of the packaging, installed the new batteries, and then went about trying to set the time.
I wasn't paying close attention, but he fiddled with that thing for quite a while, getting more and more frustrated. At one point he even threatened to just take the clock back to the store to get his money back.
Then, he started chuckling and laughing.  He had this silly sheepish grin as he revealed that he'd figured out the problem.
The clock had a screen-protector sticker on it.

He peeled off the sticker and the clock worked just fine.

Although I don't know how long they managed to keep it set at the correct time.
Grandpa's Truck

Friday, October 15, 2010


A few weeks ago it seemed like Nicholas could repeat a bunch of words, but the only ones he said on his own were "mom," "dad," and "no."  

All the sudden though, he's learning 3-4 new words every day, and using them consistently.  I am just amazed at the things he can say, and I need to record them somewhere, so all of you lucky readers now get to enjoy the
List of Words Nicholas Knows Right Now:

Bubble (probably my favorite)
Grandma ("ooma")
Thank you ("teh-too")
You're Welcome ("bekom")

There probably are more that I just can't remember right now.
And now one cute little story:
Yesterday morning I was sitting on the floor and Nicholas walked up to me with the TV remote in his hand, saying "teh-too, teh-too, teh-too" in this sweet little voice.  He handed me the remote, so I said "Oh thank you, Nicholas!" and he turned around and says "Bekom" with this saucy little gleam in his eye as he walks away, as if he's thinking "Now aren't I just the nicest boy you've ever met?"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

my grandpa

Nicholas and I have been in Utah since Tuesday.  It's been a whirlwind of activity--planning, gathering, talking, errand-running.
And oh am I so glad that I was able to be here.

There are 76 people in the family from my Grandma on down.  At the funeral yesterday, 72 of us were there (we were missing two missionaries and two husbands unable to come with). 
I don't think I realized until yesterday why everyone gathers like that for funerals.

You see, it was a beautiful day.  Some moments were oh so hard-my chest gathered up into a tight ball and I felt like I could just sit on the floor and sob and sob like I did when I was a little girl.  But most of the day was peaceful, calm, tender.  And it felt so good to see everyone there, all of us together, with open arms, asking each other "how are you?" and being able to say "good" and really truly mean it. 

Because we know we will see Grandpa again. 
And I can't wait for that, I can't wait to see him, to have him say again,
"Sit down, Becky-girl" in that soft voice of his, the voice that made each one of us feel like we were his very favorite child or grandchild.
My grandpa was a special man. 
My cousin Emily posted his obituary and it's the most wonderful obituary I've ever read.
I've sat down at this computer five or six times to write a post about him, but...where do I start?  And then I start thinking,
and then I start missing him,
and then I can't write it.

I do have a few stories I want to share about my grandpa, though, stories that I will always have to make me smile when I think about him.
The first story is short:

I walked next-door to Grandma and Grandpa's house on day last winter.  Grandma was upstairs and she told me that Grandpa was downstairs doing name indexing like he often did. (He indexed over 38,000 names before he died last week.  He started when he became too sick to work in the temple anymore.)  When I got down to his den, Grandpa was sitting at his computer, deep in concentration.
But it wasn't indexing this time.
"Becky," he asked me, "do you know how to play this Solitare game?  I learned once, but I can't remember what I'm supposed to do next."

I told him I didn't know but I'd be sure to have my dad come over later to teach him. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

our home's with God

My dear Grandpa Murray died last night. 
I cried sweet happy-sad tears when I found out this morning. 
He is no longer suffering.  But he is missed here on earth.

In the August Ensign of this year, there was a hymn "Come Home."

Come home, the Father calls.
Come home, my child, to me.

Come home.
The Holy Ghost will lead you to eternity.

Lest we forget our home’s with God,
This lovely earth, its seas, its sky
And all things beautiful and true
of Heav’nly Father testify.

As I feel the special spirit of General Conference today, I 
feel those happy-sad tears again.

My grandpa is home.

Friday, October 1, 2010

one of those fine october days

It was one of those fine October days
free from summer’s heat and haze
but not yet gripped by autumn chill.

It was one of those fine October days
when the sky’s so clear
you can see the moon
through the atmosphere
at midday.

It was one of those fine October days
when the trees sport yellow and red
instead of everyday summer green.

It was one of those fine October days
when one draws a deep breath
and is grateful
to be resident on Earth.

~Richard Greene 

I finally felt justified in decorating for fall.  It's actually cool enough here to open the windows in the early morning, which is I guess as much fall as we're going to get, so we might as well celebrate it, right?