Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks for the pictures Mom!

I love this one because my sister looks like a rock star after child birth. What the?

I love this one, because you can literally see maternal thoughts imploding in his mother's eyes. And, I love Jack's cheeks.

I love this one, because Mac LOVES my sister.

I'm coming Jack! I'm coming!
And boy are you going to have fun with me!
I have a treasure chest, a trampoline, and
a never ending supply of cookies.
Just you wait & see.
I'm coming!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Jack

Little Jack Phelps was born at 4:25 a.m.
weighing in at 7 lb., 7 oz.

Pictures as soon as I get some!

All is well!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Post-Musical Depression -

We went to see HSM3 on Friday and once again I am crazy for Troy Bolton. We all loved the movie and we had a great time. So why am I depressed? I really hate using the word "depressed" here, because now tomorrow everything in my adsense column is going to refer to depression. But dang it, I'm feeling a little bummed!

See this picture?

This is the day that my little sister moved over three hours away from me. I know that three hours doesn't seem so awful, but I'm spoiled. Most of my siblings have always lived super close and I like it that way. Consequently, I was present for every big occasion (from little league to baby deliveries).

Baby Kristi was her LAST baby. I got to witness the whole dang thing, and we've been tight ever since. Little Kristi would come visit me often. She would walk right back to my desk (where she knew I'd be working) and she'd hop up in my chair and wait for me to take her picture. I've got some sweet photos of this girl. I love her ... I love them ... and they love me!

Tonight, an additional nephew is being born. Not only am I not in the delivery room, I'm not even in the same city! Part of me wants to just start driving, but the responsible part of me can't do it this week. Argh! The pitiful responsibility of it all.

So I am lying here with my cell phone fully charged and waiting for some news that I can really do nothing with, except to be grateful that all is well, and hope that one day little nephew will come climbing up on my chair, and request his picture to be taken.

In the meantime, I'll feel much better if I just go see HSM3 for a second time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cross-Country Cousins

The other day, Jake came to me and exchanged this little dialogue ...

Jake: Mom, will you sign this? I'm going to run two miles in a city-wide, cross-country competition between all of the junior high schools.
Me: Two miles? Have you ever run two miles before?
Jake: No, but I'll be fine ... just sign here.

Fast forward to today. I was talking to my sister-in-law and found out that she had the exact same conversation (filled with riveting detail) with her 7th grader! We soon realized that these two cousins were going to be running together. We grabbed our water bottles and headed over to see how our boys would weather the two mile feat.


They did magnificently! I love their self-motivated attitudes and their desire to take on new things. As soon as Jake was done, we made a mad dash home, changed into football gear and he was off to his last practice of the season. I do wish I had a piece of that stamina!

Great job Jake & Trenton!

P.S. We're taking our kids out of school early tomorrow to catch one of the first matinees of HSM3. I can't even stand it I'm so excited!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008


I just heard about a dozen kids, all 19 - 21 years-old (except for little Keaton, the lone 17-year-old) huddled around our computer in the kitchen and laughing hysterically. I came out of the laundry room to find out what all of the commotion was, and this is what I beheld ...

Good stuff.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3:00 a.m.

So it's 3:00 a.m! I've been awake since 1:30 and I've resorted to the fact that I am not going to get any sleep tonight. I don't have any sick kids keeping me up, it's just my mind that is gallivanting across the universe with it's wide array of topics.

I have TONS of laundry to do.
My sister's baby is breach.
My sister lives three hours from me now.
I still have TONS of laundry to do.
I can't forget to pick up Gary's suit at the dry cleaners.
My nephew Mason has a football game at 8:00 right by my house!
Keaton has to be at weight lifting at 8:00.
Keaton has an eye doctor appointment at 10:00.
Laundry is not getting done.
I need to shower.
I need to go grocery shopping.
I still have to work for three more hours.
Jake has to be at the football field at 10:30.
Garrison is NOT going to want to be at football all day long.
Garrison is NOT going to want to be at home by himself.
Garrison should not be at home by himself.
Gary and Matt are at the lake.
Kacey will be working all day.
I am starting the laundry.
I need a genie.

If I were a scientist, I would invent a machine that could turn the brain off for just a few hours. I have no problem falling asleep initially, but once I wake up for any reason (or no reason at all ... I'm a VERY light sleeper), that's when my mind just TAKES OFF like a 747! Anybody have any sleep remedies that allow you to wake in the morning (preferably after 5:00 a.m.) feeling refreshed?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Men & Migraines

Get your flu shots people ... there's a storm of influenza brewin'! Unfortunately, we are probably just beginning what usually turns into a domino effect of very long nights around here. Keaton has had a horrible case of the flu, which sent us to the hospital last night to get him rehydrated and to treat a migraine. A MIGRAINE! None of my kids have ever had a Migraine, I've never had a Migraine, so I need to learn about the Migraine. Apparently, they can be brought on by illness, and let me tell you ... he was ill. He said it was the worst pain he has ever experienced, and he is my tough little man!

While I was sitting in our little E.R. room (for five hours), wondering why none of the doctors I've ever seen look anything close to McDreamy or McSteamy ... my other men walked in. Here was my tough little man lying down on his bed trembling and shedding a few tears and in walked my freshly-returned-missionary-young-man and my father-comes-to-the-rescue-man! They had come to give Keaton a Priesthood Blessing and he readily welcomed their manly hands on his head. My man also brought me a goody bag filled with O Magazine, M & M's, Twizzlers and Good & Plenty's ... what more could one woman want?

So we made it through our first bout with a Migraine, I hope it never happens again, and I'd like to hear any words of wisdom about these ridiculously painful things. Meanwhile, I have a magazine and some candy to finish before the next flu bug lands and claims it's next victim.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sip of Brandi -

Nope, I'm not drinking, it's just a catchy title. This is my little sister from another mister ... Brandi. OK she's not really my sister, and no, I'm still not drinking. Brandi is my special friend. No, I'm not gay. Maybe I do need a drink.

Let's begin again. This is Brandi. She is special because she was my sister's friend first. When my sister left us, I inherited some of her amazing friends whom she referred to as sisters.

These friends of hers (and now of mine) are incredible. They are all Occupational Therapists by trade because they met at their O.T. school in Virginia. They never cease to impress me when I hear from them, and this week was no exception.

Little Miss Brandi was apparently in a rut recently. She's a new mom, a new STAY-AT-HOME mom, and is just finishing up her phase of living in Baltimore as her hubby comes to the end of dental school. Lots of changes can create some unwanted scatter of self.

Brandi is also blessed with McWonderful. He knew exactly what she needed to help her face the fears that she was facing and climb up out of the rut she was in. So he did what every husband would do ...

he bought her TRAPEZE lessons!

Just look at her! She is literally flying through the air with the greatest of ease and clasping hands with a guy in funky print spandex! In case you are wondering, no, she has never done this before. She said that it made her feel so alive and that it was just what she needed. I LOVED this concept.

When was the last time that we really felt "alive?" Sure we're all breathing and going through mortal motions, but do we really feel alive? She sent me her message with this challenge ...

"Challenge yourself to something that makes you laugh, feel stronger, feel more alive, feel scared, feel vulnerable and feel proud and feel back to yourself! I am serious....don't wait for someone else to notice that you need a lift, give yourself the lift you need. And, if you want to come to Baltimore and fly with me, I am ready to go again!"

This really got me thinking. I don't know if I ... wait, let me start over. I won't be going to Baltimore to fly through the air, but I really do want to make the most of living. I don't ever want to look back and wish that I had lived this life more fully. I intend to take her challenge and find something that makes me feel stronger and even more alive, and I pass the challenge on to you.

Have you done anything lately that has made you feel more alive? Please share!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In all my glory!

I remember a time, not too long ago, that I would not ... simply COULD NOT leave the house without a full pallet of cremes and powders layered upon my facial exterior.

Well recently I've been slacking ... and it feels somewhat liberating! I have a whole list of excuses tucked safely into my subconscious (my face needs an occasional break from make-up, I am working now and I'm just too darn busy, or I'm trying to help out the economic situation in my own household), but we all know I'm just being lazy. Obviously I'm not one of those olive-complected gifts who doesn't require concealer of any kind. My face looks MUCH better with a coat of paint and I've been rather grateful to Mr. Max Factor, Merle Norman, and all of the other scientific artists for many years now.

However, I've learned that if there is an occasional instance that I would like to dash out of my own little land and into the world ... WITHOUT MAKE-UP ... the world will not come to an end (which was a myth that I was previously convinced of).

This week, I got a call from a friend who needed some assistance. In my previous life, 30 minutes of required primping would have been necessary before I would have been available. But this time, I opted to forgo this step and just get going. It was a nice change and I think I even liked it. I won't make it a habit, but I will allow the option from now on.

When I went to help my friend, I met her beautiful daughter-in-law. And now I'd like to ask you all for a favor! I'd like for all of you Arizona bloggers to go to THIS new Arizona transplant site. Kim has just moved here from Boise, Idaho (a bit of a climate adjustment will be required). She, her husband and her three children will be living with her in-laws for awhile (again, a slight adjustment will be taking place). Unfortunately, her first encounter with me was in my new pale-faced mode ... she is probably frightened. So let's show her how this blogging community sticks together and what a great place this is to settle into.

Tomorrow, I will be adorned in black mascara again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homecoming, Arizona Sunsets & Miss Reilly

What happens when your sister is a PHantastic PHotographer and the most amazing sun is setting right behind your Homecoming date?
A PHantastic Photo is born!
(Please click on it to enlarge ... it's so PHun!)

And what happens when your cousin is that same PHotographer and you turn 3-years-old?
Yep, more PHabulousnous!

Click here for more PHantastic!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Sometimes I forget why I married my husband.

One of our favorite family stories was on a lovely Sabbath day. We had all just arrived home from church and Mr. Gary had checked the messages on the answering machine. The children gathered around me as their Father questioned their sweet Mother ...

Gary -"When was the last time you talked to your Aunt Da?"

I slowly answered, already bracing myself for how my husband was going to turn a sad announcement into a riddle.

Me - "It's been awhile, why?"

Mr. Sensitivity Himself - "Well I guess you're never going to talk to her again."

It's true, he can be very harsh, abrasive and kind of twisted.

But then, I sit here and listen to him patiently helping a very discouraged 12-year-old with his homework. I read a thank-you card from Kacey to her Dad who secretly took care of her car registration. And last, but holy cow not least ... I hear him tell me that he loves every inch of me.

And then I remember ... oh ya, that's why!