Archive for the 'Friends' Category


Summer is over!

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

So Summer feels like it is finally over, hopefully. You never know with Las Vegas weather. We finally have some cooler weather, and we hope it stays that way. The rain clouds that at first just brought humidity finally cooled down this hot valley and hopefully it stays that way.

To end summer we went to Pine Valley with Sam, Britta, Matilda and Grandpa Gary over Labor Day weekend. Even though Jon had been gone the previous week and came home Friday night, he packed up Saturday morning and came along. He wasn’t sure he was going to go, but I think 3 more days of being alone was not appealing and he wanted to be with me and the girls, at least that’s the story I’m sticking to. Pine Valley was filled with 4 wheel rides, good food, talking, lots of time outdoors, and even some games. I hate to rub it in, but I played Yahtzee for the first time, and beat Sam both times. We then played a million games of Uno, and I’m pretty sure I would have won if we had been keeping score. 😉 It was beautiful weather and a fun time.

Just recently we went up to Utah for my cousin Amanda’s wedding reception, summer was technically over, though we came home to triple digits. The weather was perfect for her outdoor reception, but things were not going as planned. When do they ever for a wedding? Since we had time and were there, Jon and I helped decorate an arch that was over the cake. I’m pretty sure it pulled the whole scene together and was the cause for much celebration. I’m really happy for my cousin and it’s exciting to see her begin a new chapter in her life.

Since the reception was on a Friday night, we decided a trip to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake would be a perfect way to spend our Saturday, before coming home on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and the girls really enjoyed themselves. Eden’s favorite exhibit was the giraffes and the elephants. Lilah’s favorite part was the giraffe’s and the elephants, the gift shop, the monkeys, and the carousel, the train and the bird show. My favorite exhibit was the gorillas. They are so massive and it was just amazing to be separated from one with just a thick piece of glass.

We had Aunt Carolyn along on the trip, so she went shopping with me on Saturday night, and I found a nice black dress to wear for my choir class performances. Carolyn was kind enough to sit in the back seat and entertain the girls doing the night drive to Cedar City on Thursday. She entertained them at other times, but it was hard for them to entertain themselves when it was so dark in the car for our travels that night. We always love when Aunt Carolyn comes along on our trips.

We traveled more this summer than any previous one. I had a total of 8 trips while Lilah had 7 and Eden and Jon had 6. Usually we only have 2, maybe 3, trips, so this was one crazy summer for us. I really loved all the time we spent with family and friends, but I am so happy for summer to be over, and to enjoy the holidays.

How to be a super Mom, with a capital M

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I received an e-mail last week from a friend of mine. She just got married to a man with two daughters, 4 and 6 years old, and was wanting some super mom advice so she e-mailed a few of her mom friends and asked for some advice on parenting. I was thinking it might make a good blog so I’m posting it here.

1. Do no play favorites with one child that you might get along with better. This can be hard because subconsciously you might treat your children differently, but try to be aware and make sure to be fair at all times. Being the favorite is great, but not being the favorite stinks.

2. Children are people. This is something I’ve learned. You can be a parent, a mentor, and a friend to your child. Make sure their feelings are validated and never belittle, support them fully when they’re doing something, like you would like to be supported. This does not mean you have to do everything they say, but make sure they know what they desire is important, even if not possible at that time.

3. Children are people, but they also need to be guided and need boundaries. Consistency is key. Always follow through with what you ask them to do in a timely manner, something Jon has to remind me to do sometimes. When they know what is expected of them, they do it more willingly over time. I would also add, make sure they know what the consequence is before you give it so it’s not a surprise. This can sometimes be hard, but be as consistent as possible.

4. Know what your children are capable of and what they’re not. This is tricky, but watch and see what they do. Can one easily clean her room while the other plays? This might mean one needs more time, or more guidance and help to do a chore, while the other can do it on her own. Watch and give guidance and then over time demand more of them. Let them know why more is expected of another so they know you’re trying to be fair.

5. Children will often push boundaries and try to not do things when it’s new, or not something they want to do. The more consistent you are in what you expect from them, they less they will complain and the more they will just do.

6. Tell them you love them often, and play, play, play.

7. Make time for you and your spouse.

There are other things I might suggest, but even with what I have, it’s all in what your parenting style is and what you feel is important. I feel a lot of my advice is pretty simple and well known, but it’s well tested and proven in our house.

I could probably list an experience of why I think each piece of advise is important, or why I think it works, but I won’t. Partially because some of the experiences are delicate and private but mostly because I’ve learned that they just work for us. I’m still not perfect at all my points of advice, but I know for those times I am following one of my points, life is better and my relationships are better with my girls and Jon.

Girls Weekend

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The third weekend in July I took off with some friends to go to Pine Valley. It would be four women and one baby. It was the original three from last year, Sam, Julie, and me, then my friend Anna came along with us three crazy Mormon moms. It’s funny because Sam and Anna are two of my closest friends yet they’ve never met over the 5 years I’ve known both of them. (I’ve known Anna for 9 years and she is the only person I’m not related to that has known me longer than Jon has and keeps in regular touch with me.) I kinda felt like it was the in-laws meeting the boyfriend, you know two people you love and you want to get along with one another, but not sure if they will, though neither were my parents or boyfriend. It turns out Sam and Anna probably have more in common than I do with either of them and both said they loved meeting the other! Phew, what a burden lifted. I was so worried they’d both be extremely jealous of the relationship I have with the other one and hate each other and see only the negative, because they are so much alike. Really, they are, it’s kinda funny, I’ve just never seen it for some reason.

Between the four women and a baby, two women were pregnant. Anna is due on September 1st, and Julie sometime next year. Matilda, Sam’s 18 month old, was the baby, though she is really a toddler. We left Friday afternoon in Sam’s brand spanking new, but used, Camry.

As we traveled up to Pine Valley we made a dinner stop in St George. After driving around for a short while we decided upon Marv’s Diner. It was delicious and I highly recommend the shakes. Just know that a small is really big since the piled it up almost as high as the cup itself. After Marv’s we piled back in the car to head to Smith’s. We needed chocolate for the smores then chips and lime for the guacamole. I had forgotten these key ingredients for my part of the dinner and snack providing.

After we left Marv’s Sam thought the car was driving a little funny. Right as we were turning into our parking spot at Smith’s the battery light went on and the power steering went out. Now we were four women, and a baby, trapped at Smith’s, in St. George, 2 hours away from home!

I called AAA to come look at the car for battery service, but it seemed like it would take over an hour by their estimate and we weren’t sure if they would send someone who would be able to tow the car if needed, so Sam also called her road side assistance with her insurance. I was just about to call to cancel the AAA guy, but then I got the call they were there. It turned out to be one tow guy for the two call ins, which I was so grateful for. We decided to have the car towed under my name to where we would stay, in case Sam needed one more tow to a mechanic.

So here were are four women, and a baby, trapped at Smith’s, in St. George, 2 hours away from home, but fortunately it was one block away from a home Sam’s in-laws have in St. George, the Grandma’s house that Gary now owns. So three women, and a baby, had only a block to walk, while Sam rode in the tow truck with the driver. It was so wonderful that I had been slightly ill prepared, otherwise we may have been farther from the house.

We did not have the keys to the house, but Gary has a tenant in a small guest house out back. We were able to get into the house and share our story of woe. Four women, and a baby, trapped in a hot house with only a swamp cooler, in St. George, 45 minutes away from the cool Pine Valley, with a car that had something wrong with it. The renter just happened to have a son who was a mechanic and the son looked at the car for us that night. The problem was easily found, a nearly broken and badly shredded belt to something in the car. (I’m not sure if I ever found out what the belt did.) Sam was very sad that her car, which she bought two weeks prior and supposedly had a 21 point inspection, had been so unreliable for us.

We made the most of it and stayed up late and talked and ate. We decided Anna should be called Annapedia, three out of the four women like all natural deodorant, two of which make their own, and Julie can hold a conversation in he sleep. It was decided the next day that Anna and Sam love me and my Laceyisms, or how I often misquote phrases or metaphors. (It’s not trick of all trades, but jack of all trades.) Someone has to love me for who I am and not make fun of me all the time.

After saying up far too late, I think we called it at night at 2 am, we woke up at 8 am and for some 7 am, but that person had a child with her who didn’t know that it was not nice to wake her mom up after only 5 hours sleep. We ate breakfast and headed to the farmers market down the street. The mechanic didn’t fix our car till later that afternoon, so we stayed close to home in our ventures. The farmers market was wonderful and I think we all bought something. They also had some interesting shops in the shopping square and we looked around as we tried to get out of the heat. It was over 100 degrees and humid. St. George is not cooler than Vegas, contrary to what some might think. We ate lunch at the house and enjoyed a wonderful movie, talked and then went out once the car was fixed.

Our first stop was the Deseret Industries in St. George, where again, no one left empty handed. Then we windowed shopped at Urban something, a more hip and modern thrift shop basically. It was really cool and reminded me how uninspired I am when it comes to decorating my house, and how cheap I am when it comes to decorating my house.

We ran more errands then Anna and I made dinner and later we left to return to the one degree hotter than St. George, Las Vegas.

It was a fun weekend, despite all the craziness of the car and not very cool house. Sam and I felt bad for the two pregnant ladies and how they both had to be even hotter than us.

I can’t wait till next years Mom’s getaway, and hopefully we make it to Pine Valley, but if not, I hope the Lord watches over us again.

A few pictures of the play

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Well I haven’t posted in a while and I thought I’d do one final plug for the play, since I’m plugging it all the time on Facebook.

I took a few pictures of some of the cast and me last week. It’s not everyone just a few of who I could find in the halls at the time. I’ve edited them so I could put them on Facebook in hopes of generating some interest. Not sure if it worked, but I also like play make-up and hair so it was fun to post me in it. I love to play dress-up for the play. It’s so much fun.

Cinderella has gone pretty smoothly overall. It’s lots of fun each night and I’m actually remembering most of the dance steps! ( Knock on wood.) It helps to have a partner though, because when I forget I just look at them and figure it out, or follow their lead, especially since they’re the guy and the one leading. There are many times I forget because I’m so focused on counting, which is helpful unless you’re counting and thinking of the wrong step, or I get lost in something else since your mind sometimes gets bored of counting.

Some fun moments of the play or practise. One week Chuck was just throwing me around for our lift and it irritated my foot. I was getting so high in the air though. Now he’s a little more gentler, but we’re not as high. 🙁

Once Ken became my second dance partner, just a week before opening, I kept calling him Chuck, because I just could not remember two names. He was a really good sport about it and I now remember his name, most of the time.

I put one of my fake eyelashes on crooked on Saturday and it was really bothering me. Dena and Kerri started joking about not if I would fix the eyelash, but when I would. They seem to know I’m a perfectionist for some things. ( I ran out of time to fix it and just left it. I decided it wasn’t that noticeable and I didn’t want to have to re-due my make-up. )

Tonight I forgot my make-up, so some of the cast let me use theirs. I used MAC make-up for part of it and now I want some of my own. The fairy god mother also supplied me mascara, eye-liner and some fake eyelashes. She really has all you need in her magical bag.

So if you haven’t come out and seen the play, please do. It’s lots of fun and you never know what’s going to happen in live theater.

Go to www.lvfamilytheater.org to purchase tickets. We have just 5 more performances!

meandgirls

Me and the girls.
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diananaandme

Diana and me. She’s a The Bad Girl.
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snowwhiteandrosered

Heidi and me. She’s first girl and I’m Second Girl. We joke that I’m Snow White and she’s Rose Red. (Many cast members have called me Snow White with my make-up and hair done.)

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denaandme

Dena, our wicked step mother and me. She was Glinda last year.
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hereladclumsyman

Ken, The Herald, and Chuck, The Clumsy man. I made the jacket and gold pants for Ken and the vest for Chuck.
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dancepartners

Me with Ken and Chuck. They’re my dance partners in the play, minus the Prince whom I also dance with. I dance with Chuck most of the time and then I finish the waltz with Ken.
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kerriandme

Kerri and me. She’s one of the choreographers and on the Seastrand Theater Committee with me.

Getting Away

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

For Memorial Day weekend we went up to Pine Valley with Sam, Britta, Matilda, and Grandpa Gary. We decide Memorial Day weekend because I’ll be traveling a lot in the month of July, Jon will be staying home sadly, and June is off limits with the play. So August would have been the soonest we could go unless we went this past weekend. We didn’t have play practise due to the holiday, so we seized the weekend and went on a trip.

(It might be noted that I almost stayed home to sew, but Jon didn’t think that would be very nice since the girls were looking forward to our weekend in Pine Valley for weeks. So instead I sewed while up there, though I also sat around and chatted with Sam a lot, but I proved her wrong that I would only sit around and talk to her, and not sew.)

We went up Saturday Morning and mostly hung out and let the girls play. We had smores Saturday night, and I totally want smores again. Jon and I perfected how to make smores over an electric stove. I roasted the marshmallows on a fork over the hot coil, he melted the chocolate by placing the graham crackers and chocolate on a metal spatula and holding it over the hot coil. It was fun and they were delicious.

Sunday we attended church in Pine Valley, kinda. We all went to Sacrament meeting, but Grandpa Gary took the girls back to the house for Sunday School, and Sam and I came home after Sunday School because we didn’t want to strand Grandpa Gary for too long with three little girls and one baby.

Jon took a long hike Sunday so I dropped him off on his hike around 9:00, before we went to church, and then I picked him up a little after 3, though he was finished at 2:30, he read to occupy his time. Gary gave him a pistol to take with him on the hike in case he saw any cougars, just to shot in the air to scare them away. He showed me this before the hike and it did not make me any more easy to let him go off by himself. He was prepared with his GPS and a map, but I didn’t want him being attacked by come some crazy cougar! Luckily, it was a well traveled trail and Jon saw no cougars. Gary often goes off the beaten path for his hikes or less known ones, and so I think he runs into cougars a lot more often.

We enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon and Sam baked up a storm in the kitchen while I sewed. She also entertained the girls a lot by playing games with them, or supervising games, and I sewed. We had birthday cake to celebrate my birthday, which I had last week, and we watched Ponyo that evening.

Sunday afternoon Gary also brought out some little kid bikes, that were around 35 years old, and gave them to Jon and I. I wasn’t too hot on this, but they were free. The bigger bike is still a little too small for Lilah, more Eden’s size, and the small bike is more a 3 year old size, but they work. The small one has training wells and the bigger one does not, so Lilah pushes herself along and tries to find her balance. Maybe we’ll get Lilah a bike that fits her better later this year if she learns. The one problem being we won’t let the girls ride them anywhere but the backyard or a park, and it’s getting them to the park so the have a wide open space that is my dilemma and why I didn’t want the bikes…. Jon packed them in the trunk to see how long it would take me to notice them, very quickly since I put something in the trunk before we left. I hadn’t decided to take them, but he wanted them.

Monday morning we went on a hike with Britta and the girls. It was a perfect day for the hike and the girls seemed to have fun. Our destination was a creek Jon had passed by on his hike the day before. They were tired before we got to the creek, but then wanted to go farther once there. I’m not sure how far we traveled, but the girls had fun following the creek and Lilah loved to get muddy, something I wasn’t too hot about.

We left Monday afternoon to come back home, then the girls and I went to a BBQ at my parents. Andrea, Brien, and Zarina were in town so it was nice to see them briefly Monday night. Jon stayed home since he had driven the whole way and was tired of being in the car.

Hopefully we can plan another trip for the Fall to lovely Pine Valley. The blackberries should be in season then and Gary said we could come pick some, that is if he hasn’t picked them all himself and the weather stabilizes so they can grow. I must say with the triple digits finally coming, I envy Sam and the time her and her family will be able to spend in the cooler mountain air this summer.

Yay for small weekend get-a-ways!

What’s up?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Not much.

Really? You haven’t been extremely busy and not at your house a lot.

Well, I have been busy but it just seems like a blur. Like we’re living life, but I haven’t got the foggiest clue what we’ve done.

I think Jon’s car was in the shop last week. Yes, yes it was, and luckily it only cost around $250 and not the annual $900 or more. We took it in Monday and got it back Tuesday afternoon. Since life was so crazy we went to China-A-Go-Go Monday night, to celebrate the new position, and to have dinner and left overs for other nights of the week. It worked out that we ate them Tuesday after Eden’s dance class. She doesn’t want to do this last session for some reason, and having me go watch her is what she now wants. Wow, how her attitude has changed. She likes class, for the most part, and she wants me to go watch her.

Wednesday is a total blur. I’m pretty sure I went to Trader Joe’s sometime last week, but I’m not sure and it would have been Wednesday if any day.

Thursday was Earth Day so we went to UNLV for some events, but it got rained out. We then went to the Barrick Museum for some Bring Your Child to Work Day activities, but all the elementary kids were there since the rain was to heavy to be outside for the Earth Day activities. It was pretty crazy, but eventually the girls got to paint a picture and have some fun. Then more errands and back home.

Friday we went to the park with the homeschooling co-op. We’d been doing things all week, but the girls hadn’t really gotten to be outside and see any friends. I think I also thought it would be nice to go hang out with some of the other moms. We had a wonderful afternoon at the park and my sister Carolyn stopped by since it was so close to her work.

Saturday was rehearsal. I actually took Eden with me so Jon could go on his date with Lilah. She wanted to go to the Springs Preserve, and the earlier the better since it’s getting warm, for the most part. Eden was so well behaved and just sat quietly and watched us dance, or did her own thing. I completely forgot about her at times and everyone was so impressed with her.

Sunday was church and Family Home Evening with my family.
Monday we saw Oceans with the co-op and fed the homeless with Carolyn and her work.

Now I’m going to be neglecting the girls so I can start sewing for the play.

So I guess we are pretty busy in the Blake house. I hope to remember to do fun things with the girls so they don’t go completely stir crazy.

So what have you been up to?

5 Things

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve listed anything I’m thankful for. This posts is about two of my very dear friends. I’ve become close to both of them over the past few years and it’s funny because they’ve never met, but as one gets ready to be a stay-at-home mom I know their paths will soon cross.

1. I’m grateful for a friend who will bring me milk when I am all out and don’t want to leave my house.
2. I’m grateful for a two friends who always have listening ears when I need someone to talk too, or in some cases willing to read since I instant message with one throughout the week.
3. I’m grateful for a friend who loves my girls so much and loves to go to the park with us during her lunch hour.
4. I’m grateful for a friend who lets me hang out at her house for no reason at all.
5. I’m grateful for a friend who comes to me with pregnancy questions, even if it’s been nearly five years since I was pregnant.

Thank you for being my friends, you both enrich my life and help me to be a better mom, woman and I hope a better friend too.

Fake it till you make it, or until people actually believe you.

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I am very shy.

What?

You’re one of the people who don’t believe me, or maybe you are one of the people who does believe me and are nodding your head in agreement.

I tell Jon I’m shy and he doesn’t believe me. My own husband.

I told my friend Sam I’m shy and she says that is the one word that would never enter her mind if she had to describe me. She then told me how I’m friendly at church things and how I talk to people.

True, I have introduced myself to others at church things.

True, I do talk to people, but there are many times I hate talking to people, and thus don’t, but it’s because I’m being too bashful to try to start a conversation. So see, I’m shy.

Since two of my closest friends don’t think I’m shy, I think I’m faking it pretty well.

Honestly, I hate going up and talking to people. I introduce myself to individuals in my class on the Sundays I teach, but the other Sundays I usually sit back and watch.

Lately, I’ve hardly said hello to anyone I don’t know well at church or to the two co-ops I attend.

I was recently at a wedding for a friend from high school and was too shy to say hello to some people. I found those I was most comfortable with and talked latched onto them. I was in a bashful mood and I worried that people wouldn’t remember me, or worse, they did remember me and didn’t want to talk to me.

The wedding was probably worse for me because I think I was at my shyest in high school. I was very quiet. So quiet that on a trip to Disneyland, on more than one occasion, my friends were surprised that I hadn’t left the group because, I was hardly saying  a word and just walking with them. (Why I was so shy around my friends is another story, but we’ll leave it at the fact that I didn’t know if any were true friends at that time.)

I know I can be friendly, and deep down I want to be super friendly, as in I never worry about being outgoing and am automatically a friendly type of person, but for now I fake it.

Some days I fake it better than others and I now want to make it a goal to be outgoing to those I meet, so I can one day say to myself I am not shy.

I say fake it till you make others believe you and then maybe you’ll finally believe them.

Happy New Year- Pictures

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

The girls and I had a girls New Years Eve with Sam and Britta. I gave some details previously, but here are some pictures.

01girlsintub

The girls waiting in the tub to hold Squeaks, Britta’s new hamster. Since he had been with them only a week, we took this precaution in case he got out of tiny hands and tried to make a run for it.
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02girlsintub

Lilah enjoyed holding him, Eden just watched.
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03girlsintub

Britta thought he was pretty silly.
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04girlsnme

Here we are with some hats we made for celebrating the New Year.
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05sillygirls

Three little birds….
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06sillygirls

…. Wait, they’re just three silly girls!
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07Samnme

Sam and me.

Hanging out with Sam and Britta was a fun way to ring on the New Year and the girls and I had lots of fun.

Christmas Day Pictures

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Most are self explanatory….. and I’m being a lazy narrator.

12christmasmorn

13presents

14presents

15presents

16blakes

17blakes

18blakes

19presents

20presents

21Zarina