Thursday, May 31, 2012

book review: Graceling

A friend of mine introduced me to Graceling a year or so ago and since the third book just came out a few weeks ago I went ahead and reread the first two books to refresh my memory.  This is an awesome fantasy book about a girl named Katsa who is graced with killing.  To be graced means to have a skill that you are better than any human at.  It could be anything - you could be graced to not sleep, cook well, read minds, swim without breathing, etc. . .  You can identify a graceling by their two eye colors that appear within a few years after birth.  Katsa's eyes are green and blue.  Her problem is that the king uses her for her grace and she wants to be free to discover who she is without being told what to do.  It's a really interesting story.  The only downside is the author doesn't believe in marriage.  Even though she doesn't get into any details, it's still a disappointment.  If you're looking for an adventure to read, this book is great!  I would rate it pg-13 for mild sensuality and some violence.

Linked up with other life adventures here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

heart of a mother

Yesterday I took the kids to the store and when we were there Zara's car seat tipped off the shopping cart and landed flat on the ground.  It shook me up.  I nearly cried on the spot but there were other people around - women -  and I didn't want to be embarrassed.  One lady helped me by getting a damp paper towel to put on Zara's red forehead.  Another lady told me the same thing happened to with her son and he was ok.  I was grateful for the encouragement but still worried.

Half an hour after the fall Zara smiled at me.  I knew she was ok and it was just what I needed to breath easy again.  Something about being a mom brings the worst scenarios to mind in those situations.  The other day my dad told me he had to fill out a fun survey for everyone going to girl's camp.  He's the bishop.  One of the questions on it was "What's your greatest fear?".  He said it's not something he ever contemplated but he wrote "being alone".  My dad is one of 10 kids and he has 8 children so I can totally understand.

The incident with Zara reminded me how terrible it is as a mom and see my kids go through pain without being able to do something about it.  I would rather it be mine than see them suffer.  That is one of my greatest fears - not being to help my kids in physical, mental, or emotional pain.

I feel so blessed that Zara is fine.  She smiled a lot the rest of the day yesterday and today too.  For my heart I wanted to be with her every minute to reassure myself everything was ok.

I've been reading Stephanie Nielson's book and it has been a great reminder of how special being a mother really is.  I love my children so much and I love my life.

What are some scary parenting experiences you've had?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Denver Colorado Temple

My mom has a list of all the temples everyone in my family have visited (seeing from freeway doesn't count) and have done temple work in.  There have been only two temples I've done temple work in and they were the temples I lived near; the Mesa Arizona Temple and Preston England Temple.  Those two temples will always have a special place in my heart.
I love Zara's face here!
Let's see if I can remember all the temples I've visited the grounds:
:: Mesa Arizona
:: Snowflake Arizona
:: Preston England
:: Fresno California
:: Oakland California
:: Provo Utah
:: Salt Lake Utah
:: Orlando Florida
:: Denver Colorado
I don't plan on visiting all the temples in the world but I think it would be neat to dedicate a wall in my house to frame pictures of temples my little family have been to.  What temples have you been to?  Any favorites?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

N & G one year

Somehow a year has already come and gone since Nora and Garrett got married.
While taking these pictures I couldn't help but remember where I was in my life when Andrew and I reached our one year wedding anniversary.  We were living in England, pregnant with Elliot, most likely hanging out with our good friends, Michelle and Riley Weber, who happened to be studying abroad at Hull University but both from Mesa.  Those were some really hard but good times.  I missed home but the Webers helped with that.  We went on day trips with them and had a lot of fun.
It's funny that when you reach the one year mark it seems like such a long time but then couples married much longer just chuckle when you mention that.  A lot happens in that first year as you get to learn what it's like to be married to someone and live together and figure out how to compromise and be patient in ways you've never had to before.  It's also a very special time where you're very much in love and smitten by your spouse.  I have enjoyed watching Nora and Garrett go through this learning process.
In reality, the learning never ends.
Which one is your favorite picture?
I really like the third one but the last one is so romantic.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Westwood class of 2012

In the bottom right picture Ruth twirled after they called her name.  So cute!
My baby sister, Ruth, graduated from Westwood last night!  This is a big deal for the whole family because she's now the eighth sibling to graduate from there, plus both our parents are WW alumni.  I think it's awesome that Ruth graduated the year of WW's 50th anniversary.  
My parents were honored to sit on the field since they had five or more WW graduates.
This is a special moment where Ruth is wearing her heart on her sleeve.
Most of the family was sitting together and were calling her name as she walked to her seat.
You can see she feels loved and happy to see so much family support.
It's hard to believe after 18 years my mom won't have to drive anyone else to Westwood anymore.

"Tear 'em up Westwood!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Colorado State Capitol

Our hotel was located in downtown Denver area and right after we got settled in our hotel room we went on a walk and happened upon the State Capitol.  I wish I got some nice exterior pictures because the building was very beautiful.  But so is the inside!  I mean, look at the detail on the elevator!
There was this hallway with a painting of every President, except Pres. Clinton was missing.  What the?!
I couldn't help looking at all the crown molding and wondering how to recreate it.
Not that I want my house to look just like that, but the detail is incredible!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Denver Zoo

I was excited to go to the Denver Zoo because I thought it would have a lot of different animals and birds the Phoenix Zoo and I was right.  There were some animals I didn't recognize altogether.  Somehow Andrew has never been to the Phoenix Zoo so he had nothing to compare it to but we both had an enjoyable time.  Andrew saw a Rhino for the first time!
There were so many amazing exhotic birds.  I love the feathers on the birds on the bottom right.  So fluffy!
Does anyone know what that animal is on the bottom right?  It has little horns.
The big primates were Andrew's favorites.
He also loved the big bears.  My favorite were the flamingos.  Such pretty colors!
Wish we could have stayed there longer but we seemed to have come during an off-season because many of the animals weren't even in their homes.  It also kept raining and was a little too cold for Zara.  Going to the Denver Zoo made me want to visit the Phoenix Zoo again.  What are your favorite animals?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

family BBQ

This is a busy time of the year as we near the end of another school year.  This semester there are no fewer than 4 graduates in my family.  Ruth is graduating from high school (tear em up Westwood!!!), James got an associates, Kristy a bachelor's, and of course Andrew a masters degree.  Much congratulations!
With so much to celebrate it was only natural to have a family potluck in celebration, which Chris and Kristy hosted last night.  The high light of the night by far was the water slide.
Everyone who went down had a blast and those who didn't regretted it.  I didn't even dress up for the occasion but still went down a few times.  Some people went down so many times they got bruises and burns but there weren't many complaints.  It was that fun!  I only wish I had remembered to take my phone out of my pocket because now it's out of commission.  Oops!  I can't wait to do this again!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Butterfly Pavilion

Ever been to a butterfly pavilion before?
I've been wanting to go to one ever since I read about Fancy Nancy going.  (I love those books!)
We went in Denver and I fell in love.
So many pretty butterflies and gorgeous flowers everywhere!
I had to keep fighting the urge to sit down and read a book.
Wouldn't it be so cool to have a conservatory like this filled with lush plants, exotic blossoms, butterflies fluttering, perfect temperature, book shelves and some comfy chairs.  Some day . . .
I kept trying to get the butterflies to land on me
like I saw them do to so many other people there but they didn't.
Inside the museum there were spiders, grasshoppers, fish, starfish, and other cool things on exhibit.
I wish Elliot and Avery could have been there. They would have loved it!
Zara, on the other hand, wasn't too happy to be there.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the reason for our Colorado trip . . .

It's already been a week since Andrew graduated but it's still settling in.
It's wonderful being able to plan things for Saturday
and weeks nights now that Andrew doesn't have homework!  
I'm so proud of him right now.
The campus was beautiful and reminded us a little bit of NAU and all the fun times we had there.
We tried to imagine what it would have been like to live in Fort Collins while he attended school on campus but we just couldn't.  We're glad he did CSU.  Doing the online course was the right way for us.

I was excited to whip out my nice big lens for these pictures.
Glad I couldn't capture the moment on film.
I loved hearing his name: "Andrew Francis Freeman".  Yep.  That's my grad husband!
Having attended both Andrew's graduations we agreed the one in England was much better.
Much more pomp and circumstance,
although the undergrads were kind enough to provide a ball for entertainment.