Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Giggles

I found this video of Tyson taking a bath when he was about 6 months old and just had to share. I still laugh my butt off every time I see it. We submitted it to America's Funniest Videos but we never heard anything from them. Oh well, it's still hilarious!

video

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 Update

Ok so I'm lazy and rather than type up a cutesy letter on festive paper to send out with Christmas cards, I decided this year to simply put a note on some of them stating "Want to know what we've been up to? Check out our blog." Although I've posted a lot of our adventures over the last 6 months or so, I figured I'd summarize them in one post for anyone who comes here but doesn't want to read EVERY post I've done since July (I mean really, who wouldn't want to? Jeez.).

2008 has been a very busy year for our little family. We have gone on some amazing family vacations this year... Moab was in June for our anniversary/Tyson's Birthday and we loved seeing him toddle around the red rock and packing him in the Kelty backpack. In September we took our first trip to Yellowstone (see the blog from that trip here). It was amazing and we cannot wait to go back. In fact we loved it so much, I'm watching the job openings in the park and applying for every possible position I think I may qualify for!! And finally we wrapped up the year of trips by flying up to Washington to visit my sister and her family (check it out). They hadn't seen Tyson since before he was crawling and now he was running! Crazy how fast they change. Here's a brief update on what each of us has been doing this year...


Doug started a new job (it seems like this is turning into an annual event for him!) with a commercial electric company called All Phase. He was a little nervous to work on the commercial side, having worked with residential jobs for the last few years but he definitely needed a switch and took a chance with this company. It has proven to be a very wise decision! His boss is so generous that he even handed over a substantial check to Doug for our summer softball team, "It's All Relative". It was enough to cover the league fees and a portion of the cost for new team jerseys! Doug is still attending the apprenticeship program at SLCC and has a year and a half left of the program. Then he can test for the Journeyman's license which will hopefully mean a big raise!
I am still working at VISTA Staffing downtown and loving it. My coworkers are great to work with and I love the job that I do. I sometimes wish that I could work only part time so that I could spend more time with Tyson but it is what it is. I am grateful to have a job in these tough economic times and that we have a roof over our heads. This past spring/summer Doug and I were so excited for softball season to start that before we knew it we had committed ourselves to 5 teams between the two of us. It put us at the ball fields every night of the week and we definitely were wearing ourselves thin. We had a great time playing and our family team did very well this fall, just barely missing out on first place and settling for second. Ironically, both Doug and I won the hitting title for the league! We each got our own (identical) little trophy declaring us leading hitters. I think my hitting average came out to about .824, which is not too shabby considering I was only a year out from having a baby! And to BOTH win the title at the same time was pretty damn good if you ask me!
Last but not least, our little man Tyson is the light of our lives. He is wicked smart and always knows just what to do to make us laugh at him. He has grown by leaps and bounds in the last year and in looking through the pictures from then until now I can't help but feel like my baby is gone, replaced by this devilishly handsome boy. His favorite game right now is to tell us what all his favorite animals/people say: A snake says "ssssss", a pirate says "aaaaarrgghh!" and Mama says "no no no!" Where he got that one, I have no idea! He loves going to Christy's house while we are at work (I know this because more often than not he throws a fit when I pick him up). And for those of you who keep hinting at the possibility of adding #2 to our brood (ahem, LONNA), don't get your hopes up. We are keeping ourselves plenty busy chasing after Tyson and participating in waaaaaaay too much softball!
Well that's the scoop on the family.. thanks for checking out our blog and feel free to leave a comment... especially if you have blogs of your own! I love reading and checking out what other people are up to!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wasn't it just October?

Wow the last couple of months seem like they have zoomed by and I feel like I blinked and missed a month or two! Here is an update on the last few things we've done...

Lights!

The day after Thanksgiving we decided to start a new tradition of going downtown to look at the lights. We parked at my office and hiked walked to Gallivan Plaza. We arrived just in time for Kurt Bestor to sing my favorite song "Prayer of the Children" (which I saw him do in concert on the 12th and he is AMAZING!).
Then we walked over to Temple Square to deal with hoards of people look at the beautiful lights. Ok it wasn't THAT bad, but it sure was packed with people. I secretly wished I had worn my Utah apparel just to spite them all. Teehee. That's just the way I roll.




Gardner Village
Another favorite place of ours to go is Gardner Village. I had been wanting to visit their fantastic Christmas store, so what better excuse to go there! They have decorated the grounds with cute elves (which Tyson found somewhat scary at first) and lovely lights. I think I got some pretty cool shots if I do say so myself!



Tyson did NOT want to leave the elves once he realized they weren't going to maim him.


SANTA!
And finally, on Saturday we went to a "Breakfast with Santa" with my parents. Tyson had a blast! He was a little unsure about the gi-normous dog but he didn't cry at all when he sat on Santa's lap. And ironically, he had nearly the same photo as last year!! I did get a good one though.. I treasure these memories!














See what I mean?? He has the same look in both pictures!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Best buds

The other day I convinced Crystal that I could watch her oh-so-precious little man Jesse for an hour or so while she went to pick up a few things from the store. We were WAY excited to have him come for a visit at our house. Tyson kept screaming and pointing at the carrier he was so excited. And apparently THIS is the face that children make when they find out they've been left at Auntie Shelly's house:
Totally kidding. He was sad that Tyson woke him up from his pleasant nap. Tough nookie kid, there is fun to be had!
Once we got him out of the car seat and looking around, he turned into his normal happy self and Tyson spent most of the time loving on him and wanting to give him kisses.
SO cute!!
Oh my, what a pair these two will make when Jesse gets to be Tyson's age.
T-R-O-U-B-L-E!
I can see it in their eyes!

Is it just me, or does Jesse look disturbed that Tyson is so obsessed with kissing him?

Holiday Pops Concert

Saturday we went to the Salvation Army Angel Tree Holiday Pops Concert (whew, what a mouthful). It's sort of a tradition with my parents and we go every year. Last year was technically Tyson's first time but since he slept through most of it (he was only 6 months old) I don't really count it. This time he actually seemed to sort of enjoy it. Well, the first couple songs anyway. After that he got bored and had more fun climbing onto and off of the laps of us and my parents. In any case, it was lots of fun and Tyson was SO stinkin' cute when he tried imitating the conductor using both his pointer fingers. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. I think that would have set everyone over the top though and angry patrons would have thrown us out for sure.

Sterling Poulson conducting one of the songs.


The first Santa encounter of the season.
A little timid, but overall he did very well!

And of course he had to have his picture taken with the Grinch! I tried really hard to get him to look at the camera but he was fascinated by the giant green man. Wonder why??

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a great day

We got to go see the movie Bolt FREE with all our friends. Thanks Dane (our realtor) for throwing an awesome party!

I went to see Twilight with Crystal and a bunch of friends from work. Edward is so hunky.. I saw a guy there wearing a shirt that said "I don't know why she keeps calling me 'Edward'."
I so want to get that for Doug.

My Utes were victorious.

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's Clear the Air

It's that time of year again where the gloves come off and there's no mercy. In case there was any question, I'm sure it's obvious what color I bleed! The sad thing is in our house we are split: Doug roots for BYU and of course I am for my Utes. Hey, at least I went to my school of preference. Let it just be said that the flag hanging outside our house has a big U on it.
I'm just sayin'.

Go UTES!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It would be funnier if I didn't live this daily...


Toddler Rules


If it is on, I must turn it off.


If it is off, I must turn it on.


If it is folded, I must unfold it.


If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.


If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.


If it is high, it must be reached.

If it is shelved, it must be removed.


If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.


If it has leaves, they must be picked.


If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.


If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.


If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.


If it is closed, it must be opened.


If it does not open, it must be screamed at.


If it has drawers, they must be rifled.


If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.


If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.


If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.


If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.


If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.


If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.


If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.


If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.


If it is paper, it must be torn.


If it has buttons, they must be pressed.


If the volume is low, it must go high.


If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.


If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.


If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.


If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.


If it is a phone, I must talk to it.


If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.


If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.


If it is not food, it must be tasted.


If it IS food, it must not be tasted.


If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.


If it is a car seat, it must be protested with arched back.


If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Thought...

Let me share a typical get-home-from work moment with everyone: First, unbuckle Tyson, place him on the porch and beg him to go knock on the door for Daddy to let him in (otherwise he tends to wander aimlessly around the yard and results in me chasing him with my arm-loads of junk). Second, carry previously mentioned junk into house, deposit next to the door and make a beeline for the bathroom.

Here's where my random thought/pet peeve comes in... Why is it that when I rush in the door and the first thought occupying my mind is "OMH I have to pee!" does Dakota decide that THIS is the moment that he should come barreling into the bathroom, slamming the door against the wall only for me to curse and shoo him OUT of the bathroom. With the bathroom door still open. I get no privacy. And this joyous event happens every day. Sigh. Damn dog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Uh Oh.. MCF's stirring the pot again!

Ok so mostly this blog acts as an online type scrapbook for friends and family to keep up on the comings and goings of our little family. But with the exciting (and disappointing) election as of late, I have a bit of venting to do. Bear with me as I climb up onto my soapbox.

My sister (who happens to be a proud lesbian wife and mother) sent this statement to me (see italicized article below). I thought it was very poignant and well written. It is sad that on the same day that the United States of America made history by electing a black man to the highest office in the nation, several states also chose to deny their citizens the right to have a legal family. Forty years ago during the Civil Rights Movement, who would have thought that someday we’d be electing a black man to the presidency; a member of a race that was once so discriminated against! I only hope that it doesn’t take the same amount of time for people to wake up and realize that gays and lesbians are humans who are equally deserving of the right to wed whomever they choose. There was a time when it was illegal to marry interracially. It was eventually decided that this was discriminatory and interracial marriage was legalized. Discrimination, in my opinion, is vastly more immoral than gay marriage, no matter what your opinion of it is. I'm not here to tell you your opinion on homosexuality is wrong. I may disagree with it, but you can think what you want. I do however, take issue with people who exude extreme hatred towards this group of people that they don’t even know.

I dare someone to say to my face (or my sister's!) that she is not deserving of the equal rights that we as heterosexual citizens are entitled to. Look into the eyes of those you are hurting and tell them face to face that they are less than you. These are wonderful people who are only trying to make a life for themselves and their families. What more could one ask for? That’s all I’m trying to do with me and mine. I love my sister tremendously and am so proud of the woman she has become, despite all odds, and the daughters she is raising. I support her 100% with her lifestyle and love her spouse equally. If nothing else, I hope that with time, people start to open their eyes to the reality that the world is a chaotic, ever-changing place and humanity will continue to change and introduce new, strange and foreign ideas to us. If we are to successfully survive as a society, we must adapt to them. I’m constantly adapting to my surroundings (being non-LDS in a predominantly LDS state will do that to you!) and find myself at peace when I am open to other cultures and ideologies.

Written by Joe Solmonese - President, Human Rights Campaign

On Tuesday night, our community felt the emotions of electing a pro-equality President and expanding our numbers in Congress and state houses across the country, but the next morning our hearts were broken as the dust settled and it was clear we lost the marriage ballot measures in California, Florida and Arizona. I will certainly provide you with further insight in the coming days to how we effectively organized and motivated LGBT voters in elections throughout the country, but today, as we find ourselves in this agonizing intersection of victory and defeat, I felt it was important to try and give some perspective about our losses.

I've drafted the following op-ed that I wanted to share with you. I know that mere words aren't enough to provide the salve for our wounds that we desperately need but perhaps they will begin to shape a path for how we move forward. And for those of you who gave your time and resources, your sacrifices were not in vain. You've helped lay the foundation for the victory that will one day be ours. And I thank you.

You can't take this away from me: Proposition 8 broke our hearts, but it did not end our fight.

Like many in our movement, I found myself in Southern California last weekend. There, I had the opportunity to speak with a man who said that Proposition 8 completely changed the way he saw his own neighborhood. Every "Yes on 8" sign was a slap. For this man, for me, for the 18,000 couples who married in California, to LGBT people and the people who love us, its passage was worse than a slap in the face. It was nothing short of heartbreaking.

But it is not the end. Fifty-two percent of the voters of California voted to deny us our equality on Tuesday, but they did not vote our families or the power of our love out of existence; they did not vote us away.

As free and equal human beings, we were born with the right to equal families. The courts did not give us this right—they simply recognized it. And although California has ceased to grant us marriage licenses, our rights are not subject to anyone's approval. We will keep fighting for them. They are as real and as enduring as the love that moves us to form families in the first place. There are many roads to marriage equality, and no single roadblock will prevent us from ultimately getting there.

And yet there is no denying, as we pick ourselves up after losing this most recent, hard-fought battle, that we've been injured, many of us by neighbors who claim to respect us.

By the same token, we know that we are moving in the right direction. In 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 by a margin of 61.4% to 38.6%. On Tuesday, fully 48% of Californians rejected Proposition 8. It wasn't enough, but it was a massive shift. Nationally, although two other anti-marriage ballot measures won, Connecticut defeated an effort to hold a constitutional convention ending marriage, New York's state legislature gained the seats necessary to consider a marriage law, and FMA architect Marilyn Musgrave lost her seat in Congress. We also elected a president who supports protecting the entire community from discrimination and who opposes discriminatory amendments.

Yet on Proposition 8 we lost at the ballot box, and I think that says something about this middle place where we find ourselves at this moment. In 2003, twelve states still had sodomy laws on the books, and only one state had civil unions. Four years ago, marriage was used to rile up a right-wing base, and we were branded as a bigger threat than terrorism. In 2008, most people know that we are not a threat. Proposition 8 did not result from a popular groundswell of opposition to our rights, but was the work of a small core of people who fought to get it on the ballot. The anti-LGBT message didn't rally people to the polls, but unfortunately when people got to the polls, too many of them had no problem with hurting us. Faced with an economy in turmoil and two wars, most Californians didn't choose the culture war. But faced with the question—brought to them by a small cadre of anti-LGBT hardliners – of whether our families should be treated differently from theirs, too many said yes.

But even before we do the hard work of deconstructing this campaign and readying for the future, it's clear to me that our continuing mandate is to show our neighbors who we are.

Justice Lewis Powell was the swing vote in Bowers, the case that upheld Georgia's sodomy law and that was reversed by Lawrence v. Texas five years ago. When Bowers was pending, Powell told one of his clerks "I don't believe I've ever met a homosexual." Ironically, that clerk was gay, and had never come out to the Justice. A decade later, Powell admitted his vote to uphold Georgia's sodomy law was a mistake.

Everything we've learned points to one simple fact: people who know us are more likely to support our equality.

In recent years, I've been delivering this positive message: tell your story. Share who you are. And in fact, as our families become more familiar, support for us increases. But make no mistake: I do not think we have to audition for equality. Rather, I believe that each and every one of us who has been hurt by this hateful ballot measure, and each and every one of us who is still fighting to be equal, has to confront the neighbors who hurt us. We have to say to the man with the Yes on 8 sign—you disrespected my humanity, and I am not giving you a pass. I am not giving you a pass for explaining that you tolerate me, while at the same time denying that my family has a right to exist. I do not give you permission to say you have me as a "gay friend" when you cast a vote against my family, and my rights.

Wherever you are, tell a neighbor what the California Supreme Court so wisely affirmed: that you are equal, you are human, and that being denied equality harms you materially. Although I, like our whole community, am shaken by Prop 8's passage, I am not yet ready to believe that anyone who knows us as human beings and understands what is at stake would consciously vote to harm us.

This is not over. In California, our legal rights have been lost, but our human rights endure, and we will continue to fight for them.

Alright. I'm stepping off the soapbox for now. Those are my two cents.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunset at the beach.. Utah style!

For a while now we (and when I say we I mean mostly me - Doug is just a good sport and goes along with it) have wanted to drive out to Antelope Island for some photos of the Great Salt Lake at sunset. So one Friday night a few weeks ago we arranged for Tyson to stay with Grandma and headed north to the island. My only trip to the Great Salt Lake was many years ago as a child when I was dragged there and forced to swim in it - a traumatic story for another blog post. In any case, I was excited.

Mother Nature did not disappoint me. We were able to witness a beautiful sunset.


There's something strangely romantic about seeing two lover's shadows on the beach.
I couldn't resist capturing the photo.

Believe it or not, these are Buffalo prints. We actually saw a couple lounging while we were driving. I think the linear line of prints was awesome.

SELF PORTRAIT:

Clearly we're not the best at taking self-portraits.
We try again.

Much better. These are the best date nights.

The picture speaks for itself. Awesome.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Always An Adventure!

So it seems like about every 6 weeks or so we get a bug to travel. Last month it was Yellowstone.. this month Washington! This past Thursday we went up to visit my sister Tracy and her wonderful family in the little town of Ridgefield, Washington (north of Vancouver). I swear, Tyson has traveled more in his short 16 months than I did in my first 20 years! He did surprisingly well on the plane.

Side note/irritating story: We get on the plane and of course as we all know with Southwest, there is no assigned seating. We start looking around the cabin for a place with two seats together, preferably a window seat (I'm thinking what an AWESOME distraction for Tyson.. the window!). Of course we have an armload of items - diaper bag, camera bag, coats, etc. - and I spot two near the front. Unfortunately, there's this ornery-looking woman sitting in the aisle seat. I think to myself screw it, she sat on the end, she'll just have to move. Then I see she has a walking cast on her right leg. Great. I chose the one flippin' aisle on the plane with the gimp sitting in it. Oh well, I'm invested now and she's already moving. So we just get settled in the seats and she mutters "I'm going to give you more room for the baby." Pssshh. Whatever! She just didn't want to sit with us because of the old stereotype that all babies cry on planes. Visions of Bill Cosby's Himself come to mind and the whole "Jeffrey" story (If you haven't seen this, you MUST!!). Anyway, fortunately for us there was a very nice woman who came along right after her who said, "I love babies! I'm a Mom and I don't mind sitting here." So in the end, we had a great row-buddy and when we landed I seriously debated on turning around to the original Bitty and sticking out my tongue at her.

Beautiful Mt. Hood (I think) from the airplane

This is what we woke up to Friday morning. A beautiful fog rolled through the hills.


Friday we drove up to Chehalis to meet up with Catrina, a friend of mine through work. We had never met in person so it was good to get to meet her and her adorable kids, Gaven and McKayla. She's originally from Utah and a VERY cool person!
Gaven and Kailee were fast friends!

We spent some time with two of her horses Bijou and her foal Onyx. Tyson LOVES horses and after getting to see Bijou up close even got to ride her!


While we were out playing with the horses, Kailee decided she wanted to come out and ride also. She ignored my sister's advice to avoid the super muddy area of the pasture, however and got herself squarely stuck in the mud. She was very upset about this.

This is the result of being stuck in the mud. She cried SO hard about her sock, wailing how dirty her foot was. It was hilarious.

This is her very sad face at being stuck in the mud. Hilarious, I tell you!!

The great thing about being nearly four is that life's problems dissipate quickly. Two minutes later she was up on the horse and happy as a clam. Tyson loved riding Bijou, pointing to everything and talking up a storm.

Tyson and Kailee - Blackmail photos!

There was even some time for wrestling with Uncle Doug. The kids all ganged up on him and tried to take him down.

Tyson and Kacee - so sweet and worn out from attacking Doug.

Oh and I forgot to mention that during our visit we were forced encouraged to help decorate for my sister's Halloween party. We spent the entire day cleaning and decorating the house and deck for the big bash. She has this awesome deck that runs the length of the house that we turned into a miniature haunted house for the evening. Complete with a fog machine, strobe light and scary props. We did have a blast carving pumpkins with the kids though. Surprisingly, Kacee was grossed out the most by "gutting" the pumpkin, while Princess Kai dug right in and pulled the guts out by the handful! Who'd have thought??


My little Vampire and Minnie - Are we sure they're not siblings??


Tracy dressed up like this ghoulish character from the dead and scared the wits (among other things) out of all the kids as they came through the haunted deck one by one.

Side note: During an attempt to take pictures/video tape during this, apparently Tyson got forgotten left alone and managed to find the cupcake tray. When I popped into the room he was in, I discovered him with gobs of chocolate frosting/evidence all over his face and hand and a guilty/fiendish look on his face. CLASSIC! I captured it on my video camera so eventually I'll have to post it.

With my awesome sister!

Beautiful fall colors on the property

Sadly, Monday we had to come home. It was a great visit.. I just wish we had more time to spend with them. It's so hard having family live out of state. I feel like every time I see them they've changed by leaps and bounds. Such is life I guess.. we just carry on and do the best we can.

Oh, and for the record: Tyson didn't cry on the way home either. He slept the entire flight, clear through the landing. Hope that Bitty reads this!!