Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween is tomorrow

Ruby: "This one's goin out too all my peeeeople!"
Everything is purely fun until somebody's wand breaks...
I think we're going to have a cold Halloween.
I know there's been some negativity surrounding Halloween this year (I am not quite sure who from??), but we're all dressed up as princesses in Lehi. Our neighbors better be shopping for candy AS WE SPEAK because we're coming to get it tomorrow night. Actually, we had a Family Home Evening last night with a short lesson on how Halloween is all about "giving" (I know, so far from the truth) and we talked about how giving people candy makes us feel happy inside. Their eyes glazed over and I swear they were going to combust because when the lesson was over we were going to... wait for it... ... .... carve a punnkinnn!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The voice on the video is not mine, by the way. It was a bystander. Here is a video of Gracie snowboarding for the very first time! She did such a great job!!! I wasn't there, but this video and photos made me so mad that I missed it! The resorts aren't open yet, but there were a lot of parents and kids up there practicing. Jake said most kids were complaining but Grace just wanted to do it again and again!! Jake has been waiting for this moment for many years...

Friday, October 26, 2007


Today is a good day. It's October 26. Only a few days away from Halloween being OVER. I guess I am a long list of things, including a humbug. I've never really liked anything involving pumpkins... like all the gleeful hordes of Utah caucasians (all dressed up with that warm mormon grin) that harvest pumpkins at a REAL pumpkin patch like, maybe all of the pumpkins will be gone if we don't go to a farm and get one... oh wait, there are like a thousand at Walmart and they're half the price!!! And I'm not mocking anyone in particular (which I know about 20 people I'm probably directly mocking) because if you want to bring your kids to a pumpkin patch they're probably so much happier for it than my girls who sit at home and never know what it's like to have a hayride... but a blog is a blog. And this is mine.

The word "Boo" is also heavily used in this area teaming with do-gooders. We were "Boo-ed", which means some strange person knocks on your door, leaves a treat with a piece of paper with a Halloween poem and runs away. WHAT? A POEM? Hilarious. This is my translation of the poem: Dear neighbor, on this Satanic holiday, because I brought you treats, you must feel compelled to drive to your real estate office, make copies of the large cartoon ghost (which probably isn't anything like a real ghost looks like and who am I to give my child a sheltered version of what the dead really look like?) and pass treats (taking up more of your precious energy and time) out to two additional neighbors, including the cartoon ghost insert. Grace and Ruby: if you go to a haunted house, you will not find any cartoon ghosts. And don't go to a haunted house before asking me first, because then we'll have a lot to talk about. I just hate feeling compelled. If it's religously, then great. Let me be compelled to get my butt out of bed and go to church, but neighborly candy-and-ghost-sharing? Nah. Then I forgot to tape up the ghost in MY window signifying that I've already been "Boo-ed", so I got "Boo-ed" again. Double whoops.

My Halloween wish is that we will accidentally forget to turn on the porch light and accidentally turn on some great music loud enough to not hear any knocks. And then maybe my girls, just one more year, will be too young to know that TODAY IS HALLOWEEN and that we can't miss out and maybe we'll stay in and drink hot chocolate and play CandyLand and laugh really loud. And that the neighbor kids love me just enough to NOT mention Halloween. Or ring the doorbell.
But reality speaks to me loud and clear and I know that I'll have my Canon out ready to snap pictures of them in their princess dresses and $5 tiaras (such a rip off, but really jeweley and cute, pink and sparkly). And then we'll trick or treat against the bitter wind, exchanging smiles with neighbor parents accompanying their kids, with sympathetic "oohs and ahs" as the children pass by in their stiff jackets. We will all suddenly know how lucky we are to have children to bring us out of our self-composed shell and into the world that is spinning so quickly around us.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

hair, music, snow.

Ruby in the kitchen on a snowy Saturday after her father has hairsprayed her bangs Very Vertically (and placed a random rubber band at the top just in case the wind blows the 80's bangs). You know, just a normal day...
And. The Sara Bareilles concert (I'm too lazy to remove the red eye). She was amazing of course and called me out in the middle of the crowd as her "friend from high school" right before she sang, "City" about her moving to L.A. and missing people from back home. She hung out with us in the crowd during Paolo Nutini's performance. It was so great to talk to her. She is happier than ever with all of her success! My childhood friend Laurel is on the far left and she came down from Idaho for a few days and stayed with me. She's got two blonde kids who are in this picture with mine:
Now Grace and Alex are "best friends forever" (and that is a direct quote from them). Johnny and my Ruby on the other hand... sort of an abrasive situation.

Nothing like a good glare from a girl wearing a CTR ring, which ring is worn DIRECTLY on the knuckle. I tried to make it more comfortable, perhaps above or below the knuckle bone, but she insisted, as usual. She is really good at insisting. She was actually born insisting and hasn't stopped since.

Not much else is new except it snowed like three inches and I had to use a SNOWSCRAPER this morning. Maybe Thanksgiving has come and gone and I was unaware?? But seriously, the snow was MAGICAL. I opened the window to hear the snow last night because you can't hear it and I wanted to hear how silent it was.
The Report: it was very silent. Photo on the way to church this morning:

Oh ya know, just a GAP ad.

Sometimes I wish I could spend a day as a two year old boy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Family, etc.

My brother Jared, sister Bethany, and brother Isaac with Dad.
Below: My dad and Ruby.
Among other things, Gracie prayed this week that "Jesus could please stop dying" and that we could "help Jesus not die anymore" and several other deep and pressing issues. We often play a game called "thumbs up" that Jake made up. We say something and then the girls have to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Jake: Helping Mommie with the dishes.

Grace: thumbs up!

Ruby: tumbs up!

Me: Reading your scriptures.

Grace: thumbs up!

Ruby: tumbs up!

Grace: Jesus dying.





Ruby: tumbs up!

My parents left on Saturday. They stayed in Utah a week and now they're back in Northern CA. I was ok until we put on a primary CD today and I heard the song "Love is Spoken Here", more specifically the line, "I see my mother kneeling, with our family each day, I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray". Then I lost some tears over a bowl of oatmeal cookie dough. I miss my dad's jokes already, I miss his great attitude, his willingness to, at age 50, ride a longboard down Provo canyon with his daughter and sons. As for my mom, I miss the very essence of her. The rhythmic way she OWNS a kitchen. The look of concentration as she tries to fit four people's belongings in the back of a 1995 Volvo sedan. The blue knitted head cover/scarf/hat thing she's had for ages.

My grandparents visited for an evening. My Grandpa calls me "kiddo" and likes to talk about electronics and rocks. And I love him for it. And my Grandma doesn't have to say anything, she can just sit beside me and touch my hair or my hands and no words will have to pass, only the silent language of her having loved me for 28 years. I can almost perceive part of myself reverting back into a child. For an evening.

Monday, October 08, 2007

What I've been up to...

The "daddy always likes it when I smile like this" smile.
Just two suburban chicks in a big mountain valley.

Ya wanna mess with this? I don't think so.

We went on the hunt today for some photo locations, and we found one or two. The field was a combination of side stepping gopher holes and carrying a camera bag, with the camera around my neck, holding Grace's hand, and carrying Ruby on my hip because there was "pokie grass" poking near or around her shoe/foot general area. We ran across a busy street, scaled up a small muddy hill, and were farm folk before we knew it. When I finally set Ruby down, her waryness had not worn off, which worked well for me because she didn't move a muscle.
Our second find was just a patch of red leaves behind the shiny sun. This kiss was all I could hope for after the long dead-grass-field-with-pokie-grass hike.

My lovely parents are in town this week and we are loving it!!! I wish I could be close to them all the time. They have to go back home to California on Saturday. There is a photo of them plus some other sessions I have done this week here: www.smyliephoto.blogspot.com .

My day feels like a hurricane sometimes, with two daughters it feels like, "Bits of emotion, flying through the air. Anger, frustration, denial... " (-Chicken Little). Sometimes there is so much crying in my ear I feel as though my brain will either melt or turn to stone and I better leave the room before it explodes. My girls are wound up tight and so carefree in the same moment.

But when they're asleep. When they're asleep. That's when the magic happens and I feel the way I felt when they were newborn babies and I was staring at them wrapped up in a blanket by the low light of a 2a.m. lamp. They were so beautiful they would float, while the world lay so silent. It amazes me how beings so magical can suck every breath from me sometimes, so that I can barely push through to the part of life that needs me next, yet can absolutely give me the breath that keeps my suspended existence intact. These girls are the greatest blessing I have ever been given.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I can't stop.

Like a tub of red licorice, like my brother talks on the phone to his girlfriend, like my daughters make messes, like Utahns love bumper stickers, photography is for me.
Now, the marriage of children and photography hasn't always been easy. It's as juxtaposed as "online journal". Makes you nervous at first... then you try it... and you're just as nervous, but hooked. I promise to add more text to future posts... but a picture is worth a thousand bribes, tears, scraped knees, obscenities, and a million words and countless thoughts. And there you have it.