Monday, December 10, 2007

On the road with Voice Male

This last weekend Voice Male had a whirlwind tour. Phil, Eden, and I flew in on Thursday and then VM performed in Lehi for a bunch of doctors. Then we got up Friday and drove to Roosevelt where VM performed for a bunch of oil men (and women). Then we spent a miserable night at a motel and got up to drive through a snow storm to Vernal where VM performed for anyone willing to pay money to hear them. Then back through a snowstorm with a small GPS snafu and a performance for a bunch of bankers in Farmington. Sunday Phil flew home to AL and Eden and I drove to stay with my parents for a few days (they live in Smithfield, UT). It was a busy, crazy weekend. We all ended up exhausted.

While in Vernal we had a couple of mishaps. First, Eden was restless during the concert so I let her sit in the aisle. Phil began to sing "I'll be Home for Christmas" and she got all excited and lunged forward causing her to biff it pretty hard. She then began to scream, loudly. Phil didn't see her bonk and thought she was screaming because of his singing. Eden and I spent the rest of the concert outside of the auditorium. She ended up dropping both of her pacifiers on the menky floor. This leads to the second mishap. I gave Eden to Phil to hold while he signed CDs and I went into the restroom to clean the pacifiers. I'm standing at the sink, minding my own business when in walked a man! He looked embarrassed until I turned around and in doing so noticed a whole row of urinals (not something I'm accustomed to seeing in the ladies room). What is a mom to do but tell the man that I'm almost done washing the binkies and then he can have his men's room back. Oh well...

And now you must go answer the poll question for this week.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Holiday Mood

Some of my favorite Christmas decorations:

The first time that I put these antlers on Eden she was like a puppy chasing her own tail. She would turn her head to try to see where the bells were coming from and that would make them jingle all the more which would in turn make her twist around to find the source of the jingle. It was pretty dang cute and funny and I'm sad that I didn't capture it on tape because she doesn't do it anymore. This is her stocking.

This is Eden showing off her new sitting skill...

...and snuggling up to the giant snowman Phil gave me several years ago. His name is, appropriately, Phil the Snowman.

This is our Christmas tree. Since we won't be here even a full week in December this will just have to do. It has lights and everything though!

This is one of my many snowmen:

This is our fireplace with one of my nativities and our stocking - hung with care (actually they are stapled to the mantel).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Eden - the Super Baby

Last night Eden sat up in the bath (all by herself). She wasn't happy when I made her lay down so that I could wash her. She actually enjoys tummy time these days and will scoot around in order to get out of the sun or to grab a favorite toy. Her favorite toys include Bun-ear (a bear in a bunny suit) and Lambee, Natalie (the lion that laughs just like her cousin Natalie), and books. Oh she also has a favorite rattle.

Edie has become much more attached to her parents which is both gratifying and difficult. Yesterday when we left at 6:am she was screaming so loudly that we could hear her in the garage. According to the sitter she soon settled. We are so grateful for the "grandmas" in the branch who have volunteered to love her while we go to B'ham for treatments and doctor appointments.

Eden is now a great eater. She LOVES fruit and sweet potatoes. She HATES green peas (just like her mom). When she eats peas she shutters and spews. It is pretty funny. She also eats crackers and Gerber puffs.

Eden enjoys going out for her walks - even in the cold. We've actually had some freezing temperatures (in the middle of the night).

Whoopin it Up

Yesterday Phil had a CT scan. It indicated that there is no new growth which is such good news. In fact, the oncologist said that since the two spots (one in his right lung and one in his adrenal gland) that they are watching haven't changed it likely means they aren't cancerous. If they were cancerous and the chemo was working they would have gotten smaller (they are already very small - 5 mm) and if they were cancerous and the chemo was not working they would have gotten larger. So, this is good news. Both spots are in places that are difficult to biopsy (they'd have to open him up and that isn't worth it). It would appear that the large mass that was removed from his lung along with the one spot that was removed (and biopsied) was the real concern. The blood test also showed that his CEA dropped 60 points in the last month. That is also good.

Phil will continue with the chemotherapy through March and we realize that this is just one set of results and things could change with the next ones. For now, though, we are going to count our blessings and whoop it up! (Well, I'm going to whoop it up, Phil is going to try to hunker down and endure another chemo weekend.)

We so appreciate everyone's prayers and faith and continue to request them. Thanks!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another week...

Well, we had a great time in up-state NY with my brothers Andy and Mark and their families. It was really nice. Eden was a super trooper on the plane trips - include a canceled flight yesterday. It is good to be home and now she has decided that we need to know how good she really was. In order to do that she is pouring on the crankiness so we have a quality comparison. Actually, I think she is just exhausted from the trip and especially the flight stuff yesterday. I also think she isn't feeling 100% - she is pretty stuffy/sneezy. I'm hoping she settles better tonight and gets some good sleep - we all need it.

Today I was sustained as the new YW president in our branch. It is going to be a busy, difficult calling but I'm excited about it. The youth have so much going for them if they will just tap into that. Some have made some difficult choices and are beginning to see the consequences of those choices. It is hard to see people you love go through hard times.

Phil is in giving the cranky-one a bath, so I better stop blogging and go help the guy! Tatafornow...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chemo 4

Well, it was another chemo weekend. Phil seems to do better with each one. I just hope the poison is doing its job.

Good things about chemo weekends:

  1. I don't have to cook because Phil doesn't feel like eating much more than soda crackers and sports drinks after Friday and the RS brings dinner on Thursday night.
  2. Since I don't cook, I don't eat much so I usually lose a pound or two (and so far have kept it off).
  3. We can stop at Sam's Club on the way home from infusion in B'ham.
  4. We get to watch movies and not feel guilty about it. We have one more Lord of the Rings to go.
  5. Phil is home all weekend. Eden especially enjoys having him around. They are quite the pals. This weekend I was holding her and he left the room, as she watched him walk out she began to cry and continued until he came back into the room a minute or two later. What am I, chump change? I know, moms are boring because we're always around - dads are "special."
  6. I get to fulfill that life-long dream of being a nurse when I disconnect the pump and pull out the needle (ok, that is a total lie - never wanted to be a nurse).
  7. I get to see the cute UPS man when he comes to pick up the pump (ok, another lie, he isn't cute).
Since I've resorted to lying on those last two, I guess I'll stop for now except to say that we really are blessed (and in much more important ways than these silly ones).

My brother got us tickets to fly to his house for Thanksgiving so we will be headed there. We are looking forward to getting away from it all and enjoying time with family. It will be nice for Phil to receive a blessing from my brothers (there are two of them who live there). Happy grateful day to everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Keslers this week

Sunday was our primary program. It was great. The kids did a great job speaking their parts and singing their songs. There were a couple of duets that were just amazing. I love seeing little ones realize they have talents. It was just fun to see these little girls singing out and then to watch them as they accepted the praise of various adults. So fun. I got to sit on the stand because Corrie (my friend and our primary president) asked me to sing the two middle verses of I Know that My Redeemer Lives. I thought for sure that Phil would have greater appreciation for me as he wrestled with Eden single-handedly (well he has two hands, but you know what I mean). Not so, she slept during most of it. She was absolutely an angel through all three meetings. She even sat on our friend Jeff's lap while Phil played the keyboard for the EQ song. Yippee!

Sunday night was our Standard's Night. It was at Jeff and Alisha's house and the Spirit was strong so it was a great setting. Jeff took the kids downstairs and I stayed upstairs with the parents. It sounds like the youth had a fun and meaningful experience. The parents and I discussed the standards and specifically ways in which leaders (keeping in mind that parents are the most critical leaders) can teach them. The whole thing went really well. It is just one experience and it takes many experiences to build a sure foundation but hey, it is a start!

Monday Eden had her 6 month check up. My baby is tall! She is 27 inches which puts her in the 90th percentile for her age. She is 16 lb 10 oz which is in the 50th for weight. She hates the doctor because he is very thorough and squeezes and pinches to make sure her muscles and internal organs are all good. I appreciate his thoroughness. She was so mad and just screamed. She got her shots too. She was pretty sick yesterday with a high temperature. Nonetheless, she was pretty good natured all day. Today, however, she doesn't have a temperature, just the temper! Wow, she has been mad at me today. I think she was too sick to show me how mad she was yesterday so today she is letting me know that she feels betrayed and that I better not ever take her to the doctor again - EVER!

Seriously, she must be related to Phil's wife because she hasn't eaten well or slept well due to not feeling well. This in turn has created an emotional wreck of a female.

We are excited to be headed to upstate NY (Corning) for Thanksgiving. It will be great to see three of my brothers and their families. Only three weeks, and we'll be headed to Utah for VM shows and Christmas. Yippee! We are grateful that Phil will get to take a break from Chemo for three weeks while we are in Utah. He has a CT scan on Nov. 29 to see how things are going. We are praying for good, accurate, news.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Today's Trip to Target

Eden and I went to Target today and had quite the time. I was buying a few things, among them a rubbermaid storage container. I also had to pick up more Zantac for my acidy reflux baby. Well, I went to get the prescription and my helpful pharmacy assistant, Drew, kindly offers to ring up all my items. Thrilled, I put up the two PJs for Eden, the toy ball for Eden, the sweater for... yup, you guessed it ... Eden. He rings it all up and puts it in the rubbermaid thing (which, incidentally is for all the clothes Eden has outgrown so it is really for Eden too). Then off I go. I put Eden in the car and then hoist the storage container into the car and pick up the lid (which was under everything and since it isn't a separate item than the container it didn't get scanned). Lo and behold! under the lid are two more items! I totally shoplifted.

So, back into the store we go: me, Eden, and the shoplifted items (a muffin tin for me and batteries for Phil - actually the batteries are for the smoke detector in you-know-whose room - yup, Eden). We get in line behind a man who is buying one item. One very personal item with a name that might lead someone to think it came from Troy. Anyway, there he is buying his one, intimate, item and his debit card won't go through. He is getting all flustered. In the meantime Eden is running out of patience - this is the second time we have checked out you know. I'm trying to entertain her while the man is going through all the credit cards in his wallet (he really needed those things - he must really not want another kid). Finally the computer crashes and the clerk has to close her check out. I then go to the one next to it.

Eden is really impatient now and so I start to play with her saying, "I'm gonna get you, I'm gonna get you!" and tweaking her nose. At this point the woman in front of me who is checking out turns around in a panic and admits that she thought I was talking to her: "I'm gonna get you!" I said, "oh, that would be kind of creepy huh?" She dryly said, "yes, it would."

And that was today's trip to Target.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Chemo 3

Another fairly good chemo-weekend. (If you can use "good" and "chemo" in the same sentence.) Phil is a rock! Eden didn't do as well with the babysitters. I think she was fine but they reported that she didn't eat well or sleep much. She is definitely becoming more attached to her parents so leaving her is becoming increasingly difficult. It is hard to feel like we can leave her for other things - dates, going to the temple, etc. Still, all in all she is a trooper and such a cutie!

It is amazing to me how expensive cancer is! We are fortunate to have great insurance yet it is still nickel and dime-ing us into poverty. A co-pay here and there, $100 for each "procedure" and it starts to pinch. I just can't imagine how people do this without insurance. I don't know what the solution is to the health care issues in America. I don't like the idea of socialized medicine (at all) but there must be a way to make "affordable health care available to all" - it sounds so cliche. Anyway, when I get it all figured out I'll make sure Mitt or Hillary or Rudy (whomever our next prez is) knows.

Have a great week everyone!

Oh, update on the latest POLL - a huge majority of you put the TP over the top (Phil's way) only one person (other than me) does it the correct way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For Halloween this year - her first - Eden went as ... well, Eden. Her stroller went as "the Garden of..." Here are some adorable pictures. (Notice the serpent with the apple - the apple was contributed by Phil's co-worker.)

This will be the only time Eden wears a headband.

Enjoying it all (especially Lamb-ee)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"You did that in public?"

I assume we all have things which we do in the privacy of our own homes but which we would be way too embarrassed to do in public. Am I right?

Well, lately I've found myself doing these things in public. Yes, it is true, I've been singing to Eden in public! Last week I found myself in Walmart (sorry Layne) with a little girl too tired and upset to continue shopping and yet I just needed to get a few things for Power Port Phil's nausea.

What is a mom to do in such a situation? Does she:
A) Forget about her husband's needs and take the crying baby home without procuring the goods?
B) Subject all the other Walmart customers to her baby's cries (some might say that is the due punishment for being a customer of the Great and Abominable Store)?
C) Begin to sing Skinamarink (from the Elephant Show, her favorite song of late) in a most animated fashion, keeping both baby and customers amused.

The correct answer is, of course, C! So just imagine this: Heidi is walking through the GAS (great abominable store) pushing her buggy with Eden in it and with a lilt in her voice and a skip to her step is singing "Skinamarink-a-dink-a-dink Skinamarink-a-do" and then still with the lilt and a skip says to the produce manager "where are your parsnips?" and without missing a beat (or a lilt or skip) back to Eden, "I love you!" This is no exaggeration.

Today the scene went like this, Miss Eden has wet through all but one layer (which means through the diaper, through the onsie, through the tights with the ruffled bum, and through her blouse - leaving her corduroy jumper the only dry clothing she had). I am in the changing room and she is not happy with having to strip down. Again, what is a mom to do?

A) Subject the rest of the branch to her loud screams of torture?
B) Leave her in wet clothing until we get home two hours later?
C) Distract her by singing the "Bum Bum" song lovingly composed by her Daddy?

Again, the correct answer is C. So there I am with a mostly-naked child who is not very happy about being mostly-naked and I break into the sophisticated melody and lyrics of "bum, bum, change your bum, bum - chicky, chicky - bum, bum, change your bum. (That Phil, is it any wonder that he is a major recording artist?) At this point my friend, Alisha, walks in and wants to know what on earth is going on. I'm sure her son Trey will soon be serenaded during his own diaper changes with the Bum Bum song. Actually it is quite versatile. During the desitin stage it can be "bum, bum, soothe your bum, bum..." and during baths it is "bum, bum, clean your bum, bum" etc.

And so you see, any dignity I once pretended to have no longer exists. I am a mom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And the Winner is...

No pet for the Keslers - at least not now.

Indoor Dog - 3
Outdoor Dog - 3
Cat - 0
Fish - 2
None - 10

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Your turn...

Leave a comment answering these questions:

What item of clothing have you owned the longest? Where did you get it and why have you held on to it so long?

My answer: The sweatshirt shown in the previous post. I got it from my good friend Kathy for Christmas 1992. I love it, it is warm and comfy and putting it on is like getting a hug from her. I'm wearing it today (we actually have sweatshirt weather finally!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Power Port Phil Update - Chemo 2

Phil's second treatment (this past weekend) went much better than the first (for both of us). He got some different forms of the anti-nausea med and it worked much better. He continues to amaze me with his steady handling of all this. My mom told me today that she think he has a unique blend of courage and humility. I think she is right! (BTW: I think we can add her to the list, along with Erin and so many others, of Phil female fans.)

This picture has nothing to do with this past weekend but it is pretty cute isn't it?

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It is actually finally starting to appear and feel like fall around here. Some of the leaves are changing (last fall was absolutely beautiful - rivaled New England) and the temperatures are cooler (although we are still hitting the 80s in the late afternoon). I LOVE fall. I actually really enjoy each of the seasons but there is something magical for me about both fall and spring.

This is a picture of our backyard a couple of weeks ago. Many of the leaves have since dropped. This makes our deck a big heap'o leaves, twigs, acorns, and pecan shells. Of course the squirrels love it.

This morning I watched as a squirrel tried to wrestle a twig - about 2 feet long - up the tree to add to her nest. She did quite the dance with the twig and for a moment I thought she had won but alas, the twig remains on the deck. The squirrels are fat from all the nuts they've eaten (as evidenced by the shells carelessly tossed onto our deck). They are such funny little critters.

In the spring (which came at the end of January last year), the daffodils will greet me. The former owners of our house must have loved bulbs because we have daffodils and irises and day lilies galore! Summer is a little less wonderful to me but I still love the magic of summer with the kids that suddenly appear as if from nowhere. I love the sounds of children playing in the streets (I wish more kids did that these days - I wish it was more safe for them to do that).

Of course winter is wonderful and I'm so grateful that we get to experience a few weeks of winter in Utah each year. I love the feeling of sitting by a fire, sipping hot chocolate, and reading or snuggling as the snow falls outside. Cozy is just the right word for it! (this is actually a picture of the snowstorm we got stuck in on our way home to 'bama last December - I think this is Albuquerque)

I've been thinking about other seasons lately too. The seasons of my life. Sometimes when I read about the lives of some of my single friends like this one or my friends who don't have kids yet, like this one, I think, "what am I doing with my life?" I wonder if I am developing my skills and talents. Then I recall that I am changing diapers, singing songs, loving and (I hope) encouraging my husband, making meals, buying groceries, cleaning the house (although not often enough), and so forth. I am also learning some new things along the way. Most significantly, I'm learning about faith, service (on the receiving end as well as the giving), and friendship. I enjoy this season of my life. I hope that I utilized my time in prior seasons in a good way. I hope I served and developed talents and enjoyed unique experiences. I don't think I wasted too much time pining away for another season. I hope not. Now another season is upon me and I hope I don't long for those days of "self development" too much and instead enjoy this season.

Of course, the real miracle of the seasons is that without the buds you would never have the blooms and if the leaves didn't fall new buds couldn't develop. Each season depends on the ones before. They also prepare the way for the ones to come. Enjoy the seasons - Eccl. 3: 1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Friday, October 19, 2007

And the Winner is...

Your (not my) favorite Halloween Candy:
check out the newest poll in the upper left corner.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Other Female

Phil has a new girlfriend. The thing is, I'm ok with it. She is very cute and I enjoy her company. It is actually quite fun to watch the way she looks at him and to hear her talk about him incessantly. So what's a wife to do?

This is a picture of her, Erin, at her 3rd Birthday party (Eden's first friend b'day party).

Erin is adorable, bright, articulate and self-admittedly in-love with my husband.
Monday she woke up and asked, "mommy, what is Phil's car named?" She spent a few hours with me that day and although Phil was at work, she talked about "Phillip" quite often. Last Thursday she was over in the evening and she and Phil watched Sponge Bob together. I was in the other room folding clothes. I heard her ask Phil where I was and then she entered the room and said, "I'm going to miss my mom soon." I asked her if that meant she wanted to go home and she said, "not yet, but soon." You know I loved that! What is not to love about a three year old who PLANS to get lonesome. Anyway, she is quite the cutie and she and her mom, Corrie, have been such great friends to Eden and I. So, I guess I can forgive her for being in love with my husband!

Friday, October 12, 2007

And the Winner is...

Congratulations Andy!
You are the funniest.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chemo, Strawberry Jam, and Eden

Phil's chemo started last Thursday. He is scheduled to have it every-other week for six months. He got pretty darn sick over the weekend but has bounced back well this week. I am grateful for that. I am just amazed at his strength - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

If anyone knows of good recipes for foods during chemo-nausea, please email them or post them in the comments. Thanks, Michelle, for the ones you sent. We are anxious to try it next week.

This morning I made strawberry jam. I LOVE strawberry freezer jam! I haven't made it for a few years so it is good to have it again. I know it isn't the most healthy form of berries but it sure is yummy!

Eden has been just great! She seems much more able and willing to be content these days. Today I had a bunch of errands to run and she just entertained herself in the car seat and was a happy little companion for me. She finally rolled over this week but having done it (twice) she seems content to remain on her back now. She hates tummy time so why would she do that to herself? Funny kid.

Here are some more pictures of Eden. Grandma Beck gave her these cute tights.

She won't roll but she will stand (just needs some help with the balancing stuff).

Laundry day

Monday, October 8, 2007


Two weeks ago I wrote two poems. I'm not really much of a poet (as you'll see) but I thought each of these had a particular charm. The first was written to amuse myself and Eden (as you'll see). It was a bonus that it also got stuck in Phil's head for a couple of days. The second was written for my YW lesson on integrity.


There's a Girl, her name is Eden
She is sweet, but not from Sweden
She's from 'bama
Where she'll learn gramma'
And her writin' and her readin'

Sometimes Sue

There once was a girl, perhaps like you.
Everyone called her Sometimes Sue.

Sometimes she was good and sometimes she was bad.
Sometimes she was happy and sometimes mad.

On Sundays she knew right from wrong
And loved the Spirit when it was strong.

But when Sometimes Sue was out with a friend,
Her “churchy behavior” would come to an end.

When she pondered this regretful fact,
She realized her integrity had slacked.

Sometimes Sue knew that she had a choice.
She could follow the world or the Still Small Voice.

Then Sometimes Sue made a decision.
She’d had a great thought, a spark, a vision!

Her habits would need some rearranging
And her attitude would need some changing.

After lots of prayer and also some fasting,
She noticed the good was finally lasting.

The times she felt peaceful were really the best,
She’d chosen the good and bagged the rest!

So if you’ve found you’re at all like Sue,
This story tells you just what to do.

Search, ponder, and pray; then do some fasting,
And soon you’ll find that your joy's everlasting.

I'm sure Voice Male is going to want me to be their new lyricist after reading these! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Girlfriends and Sugar Gliders

While growing up, and even into my adulthood, I preferred my male friends' company to my female friends. These weren't "boyfriends" just fun guys. I thought that girls were often too emotional and competitive. It was fun to just hang with the guys.

I seemed to always have one or two female friends and that was it. Then I had some really great roommates in college - particularly in the 94-95 year. These girls were easy and fun and supportive. It was great! (This is a picture of the four of us at my wedding shower)

Then Charlotte and I became roommates and it was fabulous because we were both done with school and working in our professions and enjoying life. We endured the good and bad of "advanced single-ness" together. Still, I didn't really have a group of women with whom I could really enjoy the good times and mourn the bad. When Charlotte had other plans, I was pretty much alone. It was unwise of me to not branch out more.

Then one day I was talking with a work associate, "S", and she was sharing similar feelings. We decided to form a lunch group of like-women: not married, working professionals, no children. So we invited K and JK to join us and the Sugar-Gliders were born. (We called ourselves the sugar-gliders because JK told us a really funny story about an English grad student who brought a sugar glider to a staff meeting.) Eventually I decided to invite Charlotte and a couple of her Opera work associates to join our monthly luncheons. (Ironically, S never came after the first luncheon.)

These women became the cheerleaders, the shoulders to cry on, and the people with whom I could just hang. Eventually, JL and B were added too. Then Charlotte started going to T's house every week to watch American Idol. I thought that show sounded mean and like a waste of time but I was going through a rough time at work and needed something to tear me away from the 17 hour days I was working so I started to go to T's every Wednesday. B and D were there too! We all brought our own dinner and most of us brought our crocheting and it was much less about the Idol and much more about the fun, the laughs (BIG time about the laughs) and the support.

I love these women! T has moved back to TX, I'm in AL, Charlotte got married, JK moved to WA and D moved to Provo. I think the others are still getting together for lunch. We still get together when I'm in UT and there are still phone calls (thanks for the call the other night B) and emails. Although the dynamic has certainly changed, the bond is there and I so appreciate the friendship of these women. I'm glad I decided to do something about my loneliness. I'm glad I found the Sugar Glider women!

Some of our lunches -
JL, me, Char, T, K:

Me, T, JK:


K, D, and Char:

Thanks Sugar Gliders!

Power Port Phil

Phil had his Power Port put in yesterday - it went really well. Now he has two more scars to add to his collection. He also gets to wear a cool bracelet (like the Lance Armstrong- LiveStrong ones) indicating that he has a Power Port. He's cool! He will receive his first chemo infusion tomorrow. We are pretty hopeful that it will be effective without causing too many of the side effects, the most likely being neuropathy.

Eden did really well with the ladies from our branch which makes it much easier to leave her again tomorrow.

Our friends in the Adam's Park Ward - in Logan, UT - fasted for Phil on Sunday, for which we are really grateful. It is just so wonderful to have family and friends all over the nation praying and adding their faith for Phil's successful treatment. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Eden Pics

Eden standing in her crib:
Eden eating rice cereal (we aren't sure how much ends up in her tummy):
Eden drinking from a cup - she absolutely LOVES water:
Eden all ready for church:


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Living the Dream

I had a dream...

When I was young there was one dream that I esteemed above all others. No, it wasn't the dream of a decent hairstyle (hey, parts down the middle were "in") or the dream of a turtleneck that was actually fastened in the back...

My dream was to be an entertainer. I didn't want to just be a movie star, I wanted to sing and dance and truly entertain. I wanted to be adored and thought of as adorable. I was sure that some time while walking down the street or vacuuming or waiting for the school bus, I'd be "discovered" by some talent scout (because of course the talent scouts would always be looking for fresh talent in Gresham, OR). Seriously, it didn't matter what I was doing, I was REALLY singing and dancing and waiting to be discovered.

In truth, I wanted to be Shirley Temple! I was
so jealous of her (little did I know that she
was already a grown up when I launched
my fierce campaign to dethrone her as
"the greatest child entertainer").

Sadly, my dreams of being the next Shirley Temple were never realized. I grew up, completely undiscovered (except for a few stake events and that incredibly awesome dance routine I choreographed to the music "Everybody Ought to Have a Body" for the West Gresham Grade School talent show).

Years of disappointment were followed by nearly forgetting my earliest goals in life. And then, it happened ...

Yesterday as I was singing "One" from A Chorus Line in order to entertain my "One" (of course I changed the lyrics so it was all about her), I realized that I have indeed come full circle. Once again, I am singing and dancing and entertaining my way through life. I have a captive audience who giggles and smiles at me (and I'm sure she'd clap if only she could). What could be better? I'm living my dreams!

My audience of "One":

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Your turn...

It is your turn to contribute to this blog. Leave a comment (you can do it anonymously if you want) and tell the world how long I've known you. For extra credit* you can also tell of the circumstances of our meeting.

*admittedly, extra credit is pretty meaningless because extra of nothing is still nothing - but it will be FUN!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pregnant Again?

Yesterday I felt nauseated a couple of times. It was distinct enough that I thought "could it be?" I am taking a supplement that would not be good if I was pregnant so I thought I better make sure. Phil, Eden, and I headed over to Target. Now you have to know that the Target pharmacy is able to stay in business because of our family's pharmaceutical needs alone. We know these guys and they know us. It really shouldn't matter but I felt really silly carrying in my 4 1/2 month old baby to buy a pregnancy test. Of course those items are shelved right in front of the pharmacy. In we go, heads held high (but relieved that we were undetected nonetheless). Then there are the questions. Do we get the double pack, triple pack, or single pack? Is the generic as accurate as the name brand? After a decision is made we go about our other bit of shopping (needed to get the dark chocolate Raisinets just in case I AM pregnant and I need something to console me... I mean with which to celebrate). As we approach the check out my anxiety of "how does this look to be buying a prego test while I have this infant in my arms" returns. Just then, Eden comes through and spits up all over. Darn, I left the burp rag in the car! "Phil, why don't you just check out and I'll take Eden out to the car and get her cleaned up." :) YES, it worked! I was spared the embarrassment of checking out. What a good man I married!

Oh, and the Raisinets remain unopened.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I'm a big believer in the power of gratitude. When I focus on those things for which I am grateful it is so much easier to be happy and positive than when I forget those things. At various times in my life, I have made lists or kept records (journals) of things for which I am grateful. Right now, Phil and I have a family gratitude book. It is fun to write in it and it is fun to read through it.

Here are some of the things for which I am grateful:

  1. My patient, kind husband who has great faith.
  2. Rain!
  3. The power of the priesthood in my home and the peace and hope that come from receiving priesthood blessings.
  4. My Toyota Matrix (I'll be even more grateful in December when we are done making payments).
  5. My darling daughter who smiles - even when she's crying - and who gives the best hugs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Until now, I've been able to time my haircuts until I was in Utah and therefore have my hair cut by my hair dresser of 8 years (Debra). Until now... On Monday I got my haircut (several inches) and it is TERRIBLE! It is totally uneven and choppy. So here is the question: should I go back and have the woman who slaughtered it try to fix it (for free) or should I go back to the same salon but ask someone else to fix it (for free) or should I wait until next month (when I have $ again) and get it cut somewhere else? Naturally, my fear is that if I go back to the same lady, I'll end up with an even shorter bad haircut.

Your advice is greatly appreciated. And those of you reading this from Calhoun county, any suggestions about a good place to get my hair cut?


Sunday, September 9, 2007

No Tents Allowed

This past week was Phil's surgery. Things went really well and we are home now. He had the left, upper lobe of his lung removed because of cancer. Chemo will follow soon. He is an exceptional patient and is anxious to do all the things he is supposed to do and willing to not do the things he is not supposed to do (although that is harder).

The morning of the surgery we had to be at the hospital to check in at 5:45 a.m.! My mom and sister, Heather, stayed in the hotel with Eden while Phil and I went to check in. Then we waited and waited and waited some more. He didn't actually get in the OR until 3:00 p.m.! A little ridiculous. Apparently the hospital has had some problems with waiting room etiquette because we were presented with a pamphlet which included the following instructions:

  • Please do not move the furniture.
  • Please place your used food trays, cups, newspapers, etc., in the waste cans.
  • No coolers.
  • No Air mattresses or Tents
  • No Electrical Appliances
  • Eating is not allowed in the waiting rooms. (So from where are the before-mentioned food trays coming?)
  • No one under twelve (12) years of age may visit.
You know that they wouldn't randomly put these things in print unless they'd actually had problems (probably more than once). A tent???

For a time the volunteers weren't sure where Phil was (somehow he was misplaced between the prep room and the OR). After the surgery I asked Phil if he knew that they had "lost" him for a while. The poor guy thought I meant he had died on the table and was disappointed that he didn't get to have a near-death experience. Oops. I guess I need to choose my words more carefully.

The cutest thing was after the surgery when Phil said to the nurse, "we have a baby, a four-month old girl. Well, she's my daughter, and I'd like to see her!" Anyone who knows Phil, knows that this demanding attitude is extremely rare. An exception to the 12 year old rule (see rules above) was granted. I went immediately over to the hotel (which is conveniently connected to the hospital) and got Eden. It was absolutely adorable to see both of them grinning wildly when I brought her in. She was able to visit each day and the nurses and others on the floor quite enjoyed having her around.

All in all it was a successful week. Eden did just great with my mom and sister and Phil seems to be recovering well. I'm grateful for such blessings!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Latest Pictures of Eden

I figured I'd post some recent pictures of Eden because I know that is the real reason most of you tune in!

Eden after mommy kissed her:

Eden sitting in her bouncer - laughing at her toys:

Eden looking at herself in the mirror - one of her
favorite activities:

Eden in the dress Grandma Kesler gave her (she loves
to suck on it and everything else):

Eden with her cousin Matt (who just got home
from his mission to France/Switzerland):

Eden with her friend Katie (mommy with her friend

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unexpectedly Tagged

I've been tagged by Charlotte. I am to write about 8 unexpected things. I'm choosing to write about 8 unexpected things since I moved to Alabama a year ago.

1 - I didn't expect to be pregnant so soon (two months) after I got married and that it would be so emotional for me.

2 - I didn't expect that my husband would have medical problems and end up having three surgeries last fall.

3 - I didn't expect to love the songbirds who make Alabama their home.

4 - I didn't expect flowers to bloom in January.
(this is a photo taken in our back yard last January)

5 - I didn't expect to miss my best friend's wedding (because I was 8 months pregnant).

6 - I didn't expect that Alabama would celebrate Confederate's Memorial Day.

7 - I didn't expect to make it through labor and delivery so well (and that Eden would come four weeks early).

8 - I didn't expect that my husband would have more medical problems and have another surgery this fall.

I'm not going to officially "tag" anyone but feel free to include your own unexpected things in either a blog or a comment on this blog.

I just have to shout out a wonderful thing! IT IS RAINING! (It hasn't done that for quite some time here.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Television Favorites

Ok all of you who lived the late 70s/early 80s, tell me which of these were your favorites:

  1. Magnum P.I. or Rockford Files
  2. Brady Bunch or Partridge Family
  3. Sigmund & The Sea Monsters or H.R. Pufnstuf
  4. Star Search or The Gong Show
  5. Solid Gold or Dance Fever
  6. Love Boat or Fantasy Island
  7. Diff'rent Strokes or Facts of Life
  8. Silver Spoons or Punky Brewster
  9. Battlestar Gallactica or Buck Rogers
  10. Bionic Woman or 6 Million Dollar Man
  11. Lavern and Shirley or Happy Days
  12. Alf or Mork and Mindy
  13. Fame or Welcome Back Kotter
  14. Moonlighting or Remington Steele
  15. Charlie's Angels or Hardy Boys
my answers:
  1. Rockford Files
  2. Brady Bunch
  3. Sigmund
  4. Gong Show
  5. Dance Fever
  6. Love Boat
  7. Facts of Life
  8. Silver Spoons
  9. Buck Rogers
  10. 6 Million
  11. Happy Days
  12. Mork
  13. Fame
  14. Remington Steele
  15. Charlie's Angels
What other shows were your favorites?

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Tonight as I sat rocking my sweet Eden (and not wanting to lay her down quite yet), I pondered about how much I just didn't know before I became a mother. I thought about the times I was a royal brat to my own mother. I had no idea how much she loved me, sacrificed for me, cared for me, and worried for me. I just didn't know. Now it kills me to think that someday (all too soon), Eden will be a teen or a tween and will say any number of the following: "You just don't love me!" "You don't understand." "I don't love you." "You're mean!" etc. It will KILL me!

Motherhood is HARD! There is just no way to comprehend the sacrifice (whether it is sleep, or ice cream, or free time, or whatever!) and the concern (is she breathing? is she developing correctly? am I doing this right?). This afternoon Eden seems to have had a bad tummy ache (she has acid reflux) and she was crying in obvious pain. I seriously hurt with her. It is impossible to comprehend this kind of love until you've actually experienced it.

I wonder how I can ever repay my own mother. How can I ever apologize enough for the bratty things I did and said as a thoughtless teen? How can I repay her for the sleepless nights (and not just when I was an infant) or the numerous prayers in my behalf? The truth is that I can't. The other truth is that regardless of my behavior my mother continued, and continues, to love me with the same (and yet more developed and perfected) love that I am just now coming to understand.

Motherhood is amazing!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Its all good & well irregardless of who your talking to

Admission: I'm a bit of a grammar snob. I get a kick out of the English language with all of its rules and exceptions to the rule. I don't always get my own grammar shined to perfection but I still enjoy editing (in my head) when others are speaking. Here are a few of my favorite errors.

Good and Well
I had a friend who was disgusted whenever someone answered the question, "How are you doing?" with the reply, "good." He'd say "nuns and priests do good." In other words good is not an adverb so it can't describe how you are doing. The correct response is that you are doing "well."

Adding prefixes and suffixes
People, intelligent people, say "irregardless" all the time. Well, I hate to say it (actually I LOVE to say it), but that isn't a proper word! What people really mean is simply "regardless."
Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable. Those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis. Irregardless first appeared in the early 20th century and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program of the 1930s. My friends (Tom, Charlotte, Phil, Tracey) and I came up with the ultimate word for this category: disirregardlessliness.

Who v. Whom
If the person about whom you are speaking is receiving the action it is "whom" if the person is performing the action it is "who." This is so old-school that hardly anyone uses "whom" anymore. It is like the young women at church Sunday who read a scripture that said, "ought ye not..." It drove them nuts! They kept saying, "ought not, ought not? What does that even mean?" That is probably how most people feel about whom but I still think it is useful.

Its, it's, your, you're, to, two, too, there, they're, their, etc.
Just get these correct, please! You can't rely on spell check for everything!

Prepositional phrases
Hardly anyone uses these correctly anymore. These are probably in the "ought not" category. Strictly speaking (or when speaking strictly), a sentence should never end with a preposition (to, from, about, etc.).

Strange phrases (popular in Utah)
"Is what it is, is"
"Might could"
Need I say more? Unfortunately I might could but is what it is, is that I just can't stomach it!

Passive voice
This comes from years of writing essays and papers in history courses. No passive passages allowed! Now it simply drives me nuts to hear people speak passively. The one that really gets me is when people pray that we "might" do this and we "might" do that and that we "might" be blessed with this and that. It is so passive and if there is a time for action, I think it is in our prayers. I hate to admit it but sometimes I'll whisper in my head, "he means bless us that we WILL do this and we WILL do that and that we WILL be blessed with this and that."

And that, friends, is when you know you've gone too far as a grammar snob. Correcting people's grammar during prayers is just too much!

(feel free to edit any errors in this post) :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

We're Back

We had a very nice time with friends and family and now it is good to be home. It is hot and humid here but it was hotter and dry (too dry) in Utah!

Eden had such a nice time meeting lots of people and especially seeing all four of her grandparents again. She spent lots of time with them. She has grown so much. She has doubled her birth weight now.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.

This is Eden after her first experience in a swimming pool (she didn't like it).

Eden playing with Grandma Kesler:

Eden with cousin Alex (who was in Utah for EFY - he lives in Corning, NY)

Watching Punka's TV with cousins Allison and Tanner:

Eden was really fussy this day but her 4-year old cousin, Brady, was sure he could calm her and sure enough he did!