Thursday, May 13, 2010


Me: Lukie, you are one of the three sweetest boys on the planet.
Luke: Thanks!
Me: You want to know who the two other sweetest boys on the planet are?
Luke: Sure.
Me: Parker and Jack.
Luke: (pauses) Yeah, but Jack scares me.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We went on vacation with my sister and her family, and my nieces did Luke's hair. I think he looks like one of the Olsen twins. This was at the beginning of August 2009.

Jackson Hole, August 2009.

Grand Teton National Park.

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park.

We took our boys exploring on the BYU campus.

We went to a Dodger game on 21 August 2009 to celebrate both Luke and Parker's August birthdays.

"A Wing and a Prayer"
We flew to Salt Lake City on 28 August 2009 for our friend Paul's wedding.

The Salt Lake City Temple.

Our friends, Paul and Tami, on their wedding day: 29 August 2009. We'll never forget their anniversary, because it also happens to be Luke's birthday.

Music and the Spoken Word, 30 August 2009, Salt Lake Tabernacle. Amazing.

Okay, these pictures are from Luke's "Toy Story"-themed birthday party which actually took place in September, but I'm including them here because his birthday is on August 29th. I usually make my kids' birthday cakes, but this day was a little crazy and I ran out of time, so I broke down and bought a cake. My friend bought Luke the little Toy Story action figures which are on top of the cake.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I am, because I married Tim on July 31, 1993.

Happy (belated) anniversary, Tim. Thanks for asking me if I'd marry you. I'm glad I responded in the affirmative. I love you.

"Lucky" Official Video With Colbie Caillat

Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat singing "Lucky" from the album "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things." This song makes me happy.

(We left on vacation on our anniversary, so I am late posting this. I'm a lame wife.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This is one of the coolest videos I've ever seen. I love everything about it: the music ("The Funeral" by Band of Horses), the cool locations (in and around Edinburgh, Scotland), and the crazy cool bicycle stunts by Danny MacAskill. As cool as this video is, I was hesitant to let my boys watch it. You'll see why soon enough.




PS-You'll be nervous to let your kids watch it, too, if they are anything like my Evel Knievel wannabes.

PPS-After watching this video, Jack said, "I bet he gets all the girls." Luke replied, "He's cool." Parker said, "I could do that." I then passed out.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Today is my 41st birthday. It actually sort of blows my mind, as it feels like I just had my 40th birthday last week. The years are flying by at an alarming rate. Really, though, I don't mind getting older. In fact, I sort of like it, though I just can't get over how fast the years seem to be passing.

On my 41st birthday, here is a list of 41 things (in no particular order) for which I am grateful. These are things which make my life more comfortable or which make me happy:

1) Modern medicine

I most likely would have died during labor without it. Had I been pregnant with Parker a hundred years ago, I wouldn't have survived the complications.

2) Parker

3) Jack

4) Luke

5) Tim

6) Our home

7) Air conditioning

We have pretty great weather here for most of the year, but July and August can be hot.

8) Our pool

Again, July and August can be hot. (But I'm not complaining, because I'm not so good with snow -- it's good for me that it doesn't snow here.) I can handle a couple months of heat, and we actually look forward to it because it means it will be warm enough in the pool to swim.

9) My flute

10) My music CDs

I love listening to music while I clean house, drive, work out, etc.

11) My piano

It's not fancy, but it gets the job done.

12) The opportunity I had to study music at BYU

I grew up wanting to go to ASU -- both of my parents had gotten their undergraduate and graduate degrees from ASU, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. But when it came time to apply to colleges, I started feeling that I should go to BYU. It's the only school to which I even applied, so I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't been accepted. I loved the opportunities I had to hear so many great men and women speak at the weekly devotionals. (I once got to shake Neal A. Maxwell's hand after a devotional. He was one of my all-time favorite speakers/writers, so that was an experience I'll never forget.) I loved the atmosphere on campus and the amazing people I met at BYU. It was a life-altering experience.

13) My car

And the fact that Tim paid it off last month, a year early. When you live in a rural area, having a reliable car is helpful.

14) My friends

Friends from my childhood. Friends from BYU. Friends from when I served as a missionary in Massachusetts. Friends from when Tim and I first got married and lived in Berkeley. Friends from when we moved to Bakersfield after Tim took his first "real" job. Friends from our current city of residence.

Friends have gotten me through the worst life has had to offer, and they've been there to rejoice with me through the greatest times, too. Life without them would be pretty depressing.

15) Facebook

I've been able to reconnect with many of my aforementioned friends on Facebook.

16) My mom

17) My dad

18) My siblings

19) Jesus Christ

Happiness would be impossible without Him. An inability to repent and be forgiven of our sins would keep us miserable.

20) This area where Tim and I are now raising our family

It is close to Sequoia National Park, a couple hours from Yosemite National Park, and 2.5 -3 hours from several beaches. It makes planning family vacations easy, and I love looking out my windows every day and seeing the Sierra Nevada mountains.

21) The writings of C.S. Lewis

When I die, I want to meet him.

22) My eyesight

23) My hearing

24) The fact that I am able to walk/run/swim/bike/play

I take my good health for granted sometimes.

25) My Thermador double oven

Our home is a little bit of a fixer-upper, but it has good appliances. I love cooking.

26) My Thermador 6-burner gas cooktop

Again, this house is a fixer-upper, but the appliances are decent.

27) Books, books, books

28) My flute teachers, past and present

29) My assignments at church that allow me to work with the children ages 18 months - 12 years

I love playing the piano every week for the children's worship services, and I also get to teach a lesson once a month. I love working with children -- you never know what they are going to say or do. It's pretty fun.

30) The opportunity I had to serve as a missionary

It was another life-altering experience that continues to influence me daily, 18 years after returning home.

31) The fact that my husband is an optometrist

I tend to lose things like glasses.

32) The Office

Always good for a laugh.

33) My endocrinologist

Thank heaven for kind, helpful doctors.

34) Our apple orchard

I love apple pie, apple butter, applesauce, etc.

35) The citrus trees that we just planted

I love citrus fruit as much as I love apples, so I'm looking forward to picking citrus off my own trees in my own yard.

36) My flat iron

I have naturally curly hair -- I'm talking corkscrew curly hair -- and it's nice to be able to straighten it now and then.

37) Our DVR

Otherwise, I would miss The Office, because I never seem to be home on Thursday evenings.

38) My cell phone

I didn't think I needed one until the day eight years ago that I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere with Parker and Jack in the car. Thank goodness for the nice farmer who had a gas pump on his farm.

39) Living in the United States of America

Sometimes, I'm ashamed to say, I take freedom for granted. Until I see what is happening in other parts of the world -- then it's like someone slapped me upside the head. Wow, are we ever lucky to live in a republic.

40) Chocolate

41) Going to church every Sunday

I need regular reminders of what is really important. Reminders "of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be." (Book of Mormon, Jacob 4:13)

Okay, that was a fun exercise. I think I'll make a list every year on my birthday of things that make me happy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My husband served as a missionary in South Africa, where they eat a lot of curry. I made this curry chicken recipe last night, and he said that of all the curries he's eaten since coming home 20 years ago, this was the most like what he had in South Africa.

I figured I'd better write down how I made it before I forget.

Luisa's Curry Chicken

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tsp. each salt and pepper (I used kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper)
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons curry powder (I used a hot curry powder that I purchased at Cost Plus World Market)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, sliced into chunks
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
4 oz. tomato paste mixed with 4 oz. water (or 8 oz. tomato sauce)
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil and curry powder in an enameled cast iron French oven (or large skillet) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

Add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken and red bell pepper chunks and toss lightly in curry oil to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.

Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, tomato paste/water, and sugar. Stir to combine. Add bay leaves.

Lower heat to simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice with chutney and/or sliced bananas. (We used a spiced mango chutney, also from Cost Plus World Market.)

I wish I had taken a picture. (I want to be more like my friend, L., who makes good food and then posts beautiful pictures of it on her blog, Her blog always makes me hungry!)

P.S. This curry was even better today, the day after I made it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Seventeen years ago today, I met my husband for the first time when we went on a blind date.

When he came to my apartment to pick me up that evening, the first thing I noticed about him was his eyelashes -- they are freakishly thick, dark, and long. So unfair. I was a sucker for gorgeous eyelashes, so I pretty much didn't stand a chance.

I was playing the flute on my friend's organ recital that night at BYU, so Tim picked me up and we drove to the Harris Fine Arts Center on campus. Tim had to sit and listen to me warm up on my flute for a while, and I remember worrying that he would be bored out of his mind as I played Moyse's "De La Sonorite" Exercise 1 (a very effective warm-up which I imagine is extremely boring to listen to).

My friend (Tyler Vance) and I played Noel-Gallon's "Recueillement" for flute and organ, which is a soothing, heavenly piece to perform. Then Tim and I enjoyed the rest of Tyler's recital.

(As a side note, any of you in the McCall, Idaho area may witness Tyler in action at the McCall Community Congregational Church. Tyler is doing many great things there.)

After the recital, as we were driving to Olive Garden for dinner, Tim mentioned to me in passing that he had just had a lot of dental work done. When we got to Olive Garden, I ordered this very inexpensive chicken salad, and he told me later that he worried that I ordered it because I was trying to go easy on him since he had just spent a lot of money on said dental work. (I really just liked that particular chicken salad -- I don't think I even noticed the price.)

Anyway, the conversation that evening was good, and it was a fun first date for me. I guess Tim enjoyed the evening, too. We were pretty inseparable after that, with only a couple episodes of "cold feet." We married a little over a year later.

In some ways, that blind date seems like yesterday. In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. Time is a funny thing.