Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Good Day

Yesterday was a big day for me. It was the first day in a long time that I haven't felt sluggish and "down." I had one day last week where I didn't feel "down," but I still felt sluggish. Yesterday I hit the jackpot because I felt neither. I slept decent the night before (I've had a hard time sleeping lately), and I woke up early and went for a walk. I came home, and I didn't crawl back in bed. I ran some errands and took my kids to piano. We went to lunch and gott stuck in a bizarre hailstorm that I was pretty sure signaled the end of the world (if it happens this week, you can be all, "Whoa! Britt wasn't kidding!") Then we went to a paint store.

Scotty and I were given an old, sturdy kitchen table a while ago. I hoped to paint it, but the task felt impossible. Yesterday I finally had the energy and motivation to do it. I camped out in my backyard and did two coats of paint, a coat of glaze, and four layers of top coat. Then I painted my front door with a sample of paint that I found on the markdown rack at Lowe's. My front door has been black for about 10 years, and it was due for a new coat of paint. In all honesty, I think black is probably the most "flattering" color for my house, but for less than two bucks, it was worth trying something fresh and new. It's now a light blue-ish gray. I'm still trying to decide if it "works." It's a quick fix if I decide I don't like it - that is, if I have the energy to paint it again.

All of the painting got done after I spent two hours with my kids at Scheel's. We stopped by for ice cream (if you are ever driving that stretch of I-15 and need a treat, soft serve ice cream at Scheel's is priced just right. You can get a "kid cone" that is bigger than a normal sized cone at most fast food places for only $.79. And they have all those icky syrupy flavors to choose from, or they have traditional vanilla, chocolate, and twist. You might also want to try the scotcheroo cookie if you are a peanut butter and chocolate fan) (they were out of scotcheroo cookies yesterday, which I'm pretty sure is just one more piece of evidence supporting my theory that the world is ending). We ate our ice cream, played on the putting green, looked at the fish, made a few trips to the bathroom, and rode the Ferris Wheel of Death (I spend the whole time imaging myself dying on the ride, but it's not as bad as the Sky Ride of Death or the Wild Mouse of Death at Lagoon).

It's been a long time since I've been able to do that much in a day. I hope this means my anti-depressants are starting to kick in. I still have an underlying fear that they aren't going to help, but it will be so nice if they do!

So far today I don’t feel “down,” but I am really tired. It’s probably because I stayed up really late doing important things like distressing my front door, eating chees and crackers, and watching Gilmore Girls. Then I got up at 6:00 and went to Walmart to buy important things like milk, spray paint, and bendy straws. I’m okay with being tired if it’s the result of those things. It’s much better than being tired without explanation, like I have been for the past couple of months.

Monday, June 18, 2018

All the Springs

Over the weekend we went on a little vacation to Lava Hot Springs with Scotty's family.

This I know for sure: I am addicted to mini vacations. I love heading out for a quick 1-2 night stay. This is our fourth mini vacation in six weeks. In that time we've been to Park City & Vernal. We went camping, and now we've been to Lava Hot Springs.

We began our journey early Friday morning. We took a longer route and went through Logan and stopped at Willow Park Zoo. I usually take my kids there every summer, but Scotty has never been, so it was fun to go with him. 

The zoo is tiny and mostly has birds, but it's cute, affordable, and has a petting zoo and some unique animals like this white porcupine:

Lava Hot Springs

We bought the kids some duck food, and they had a great time feeding the "teenager" ducks. There were also a few young babies around.

Lava Hot Springs

Baby ducks are one of the best things on earth.

Another one of the best things on earth? Goats. Oh my gosh, I love them.

Lava Hot Springs

One of the funniest moments at the zoo was when Nicky was trying to get close to a goat so I could take a picture, and the goat was totally annoyed with him and head butted him to the ground. Nicky laid there in the goat poop trying to process what just happened. There was no success with Nicky and the goats. The goats were not impressed by him, and they let him know. He had more than one failed attempt to get a photo. 

Scotty, on the other hand, was buddy-buddy with this sheep that kept untying his shoes.

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

During our zoo visit, I learned something new about myself. The long necks of swans freak me out.

   Lava Hot Springs 

When they are fully extended, it makes me very uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as star fish.
After the zoo, we played at the nearby park for a while. Then we went to Gossner's and bought some cheese curds. The kids and I ate lunch at the Crepery. Scotty held out for Big J's/Tacomaker because he wanted to relive his childhood with a plate of Tacomaker's nachos. It's the last Tacomaker in the state, but there used to be one right by one of Scotty's grandpa's produce stands

Big J's was featured in Napoleon Dynamite, so they have a big Napoleon Dynamite display on their wall. We just watched Napoleon Dynamite a few weeks ago (after a very long break from it). We passed through Preston, Idaho so we decided to drive by Napoleon Dynamite's house. Sadly, the road was all torn up and inaccessible, so we couldn't get very close, but it was fun to see - ever from afar.

Lava Hot Springs

In Preston we stopped at Niter Ice Cave. The cave is really big which means this non-adventurous, claustrophobic mama was willing to go inside. The problem was, it was very muddy, and I didn't wear good shoes, so I was slipping and sliding all over the place. It was really, cool, though (figuratively and literally).

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

From there we headed to Soda Springs where we stopped at Formation Springs Cave. This cave had a small opening, which made me nervous, but once I looked down inside, I felt a lot better. It opened up at the bottom, so I went in. There were spots where we had to duck down, but overall, it was pretty spacious and had some holes in the top to let in light and air. The best part? No mud!

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

We also stopped at some springs near the cave. This little stream was pretty neat. The bed is rock.

Lava Hot Springs

After our cave visit, we went to Hooper Springs Park to check out the soda pool. 

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

We sampled the soda water, and it was just as gross as we assumed it would be. Some of our family made the observation that it tastes like blood. Heavy on the iron, I guess.

Lava Hot Springs

The playground at Hooper Springs Park was a lot of fun. It's rare to find a good teeter totter these days. Unfortunately, the mosquitos were very thick and apparently seeking some sort of revenge on mankind. Even after we sprayed ourselves, they were biting us like crazy. We have two kids that are allergic, so we had to bail. 

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

From there we went to see the Soda Springs Geyser and Octagon Springs (which our kids lovingly named "the toilet seat" because it is shaped like a toilet seat).

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

In the evening, we arrived at our destination: The School House Inn. It's an old school that has been converted into a rental. It has several bedrooms, a large kitchen, and a gym. It's old, but it was pretty cool... and I didn't take a single picture there!

We stayed at the school with Scotty's dad and step-mom and some of his siblings. That night we just hung out and had a campfire. 

On Saturday we went into town and spent most of the day at the Lava Hot Springs Pool. The kids loved it. We also stopped by the hot pools and walked through the Sunken Garden

Back at the school, we had a BBQ and then stayed up late playing games. A good chunk of the family left Saturday night, but we stayed until Sunday. 

On Sunday we went back to Hooper Springs Park and then we drove home through Bear Lake. 

It was a fun trip, and our kids are already asking when we can go back. 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Summer So Far

Here we are at the end of the second week of summer break. We've come so far... but as my friend KoriAnn kindly reminded me, we still have 72 days to go.

As of today we've gone swimming 92 times, eaten at McDonald's 24 times, ridden bikes 17 times, and visited the library 8 times.

I've broken up 182 fist fights (and ignored the same number), sent my kids to bed early 21 times, and medicated 32 mosquito bites.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little bit. We've only been to the library 7 times.

I have been incredibly tired for the past few weeks. I get up around 5:30, and then I go back to bed from 7:00-9:00 while my kids run wild. There's only been one weekday so far that I haven't done this.

Despite this horrible fatigue, I've managed to get dressed and do my hair every day this week. Can I get a woot woot? Cuz this ain't normal.

Zoe started swimming lessons, so I've been taking her to the pool every day. She insists on wearing goggles, and she calls them binoculars.

Nicky saved his allowance and bought a putting green off Amazon. My living room has been covered in golf balls since Tuesday, and my kids have been beating each other over the heads with putters.

As summer break began, Eva quickly realized that she no longer has moments of being the only child at home. She really struggled for that first week, but she has gotten better. On an unrelated note, she keeps handing me boogers.

Nicky is obsessed with the song, "Feel It Still," and he found a YouTube video that's a five-hour loop of it. I think it was pretty amazing of me to make it through 33 minutes before I made him turn it off.

Last weekend we went camping, and we had a lot of fun. On Friday I got a notification that a package had been delivered to our mailbox. Luckily we weren't very far away. We had to come home and get it because there was stuff in it that would melt (and no one else has a key to our mailbox). Scotty was glad we got to go home because he wanted to get more rope.

While we were camping, he built a zipline, a rope bridge, and a swing. The kids spent hours and hours playing on the ropes. It's pretty funny when you look all over and can't find your husband because he's up in a tree with his rope.


I took my turn on the rope.


We got home on Sunday, gave everyone a deep cleaning, and ended up having an impromptu BBQ at my in-laws'.

Nicky got his "bald haircut" last week, so he has been a happy boy. I don't have the heart to tell him that I'm going to make him grow hair for my brother's wedding at the end of July. He'll be furious. But I'll let him shave it off again after.

For the past week, we've been bird sitting. We have two parakeets, and some friends of our were heading out of town, so they brought their parakeet to stay at our house. The three birds talk to each other all day. Now our friends are going to have to either get their parakeet a girlfriend or bring him over everyday for play dates.

Two weeks down. Ten to go.

Monday, June 4, 2018

My Five

You might have heard the quote from motivational speaker Jim Rohn that states, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

If this is true, I'm in trouble because I spend a lot of time with tantruming toddlers who poop their pants.

Today I've been thinking about who my five people might be (outside of my family).

Who is influencing me, and in what ways? But more importantly, whose "five people" do I belong in, and how am I influencing them?

If I am one of your five people, I probably owe you an apology. Chances are, I have turned you into an overeating, poorly dressed gossip. The good news is, you now do all your shopping at the DI. The bad news is, your food budget just tripled, and you have philly cheese steak stains on your shoes.


Maybe I'm the way I am because of my five people.

So who's really to blame here?

Friday, June 1, 2018

Sounds I Do Not Like

My husband's hiccups

Chittering squirrels

Fingernails scratching dry skin

The glugs my children make when drinking

Anybody talking to me while I'm trying to think

Mucus movement

Alarm clocks

Any kind of repetitive tapping or knocking

Loud cars

Mourning doves cooing

Thursday, May 31, 2018

His Observations, Her Observations

As is true for many husbands and wives, Scotty and I pay attention to completely different things. For example, Scotty notices if someone's tire is low or if their plates are expired. I'm oblivious. I notice when someone has a new outfit or haircut. Scotty is none the wiser.

One of the things Scotty has always noticed is what kind of bikes people ride. He's been checking out other men's cycling equipment for our entire marriage. Any time we pass someone on a bike, he ogles, and then he comments on the quality of the bike and how much it probably cost (I'll interject here that my first anniversary gift from him was a Gary Fisher). 

Another thing Scotty is always checking out is rope. 

Yep, rope. 

When we watch The Greatest Showman and 'Rewrite the Stars' comes on, I admire the music and the choreography. Scotty admires the rope. 

I guess it's good that there's something there for both of us.

When your husband has a fascination with rope, you get to have a garage full of miscellaneous rope. Scotty is always sure to have emergency rope handy for all adventures. Here he is preparing his rope for scout camp last month:

I made fun of him and accused him of wanting to impress other men, but then it poured rain, and his rope came in handy for typing up tarps. Technically, he did impress the other men.

When we went hiking last week, we saw a lot of amazing petroglyphs and flowers. We also saw this rope:

I never would've noticed it because I was too busy finding hearts in rocks.

Last night for scouts, Scotty and the boys built a monkey bridge between two trees, and one of the other men made the comment that he'd sure like to have some rope like Scotty's. I think it was a dream come true!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime

We are one and a half days into summer break, and I've already exhausted all of my "keep them busy" resources.

Yesterday morning I went for a walk at 5:40, and when I got back an hour later, everyone was awake watching TV. I let them keep watching until 8:00. Then we had breakfast, I made them do their chores and get ready for the day, we stripped their beds and did a few loads of laundry, and they read for 20 minutes.

I made my kids a summer checklist of things they need to do every morning as well as a chart for their daily afternoon chores. When they saw the list, they lost their marbles.

"Don't you know it's summer? Summer is supposed to be fun! We aren't supposed to work during the summer."

Why, yes! I'm making my kids do terrible things all summer like get dressed, make their beds, and brush their teeth.

The horror!

(Actually, the real "horror" is the fact that I have to write things like this on a list in the first place. Why can't they just brush their teeth on instinct?)

After a morning of unfair hygiene tasks, I made lunch - homemade mac & cheese. I add this detail not to brag - "oh look at me! I'm the mom who makes homemade mac & cheese all summer" - but because I want you to know that lunch took an hour to make. I did this intentionally to fill some time.

After lunch we went to the library, got Slurpees, did perler bead art, and blew up the inflatable pool.

At that point... it was 2:00 p.m., and I was starting to question the validity of the eight clocks in my home.

The kids played in the pool for an hour, did more perler bead art, did their afternoon chores, and then watched two more hours of TV. After Scotty got home, they alternated between watching TV and playing in the pool until it was time to go to bed.

The day was so incredibly long. Today has been the same, except there has been more fighting (which is hard to believe), so I've spent more time administering discipline. Nicky and Daisy have been awarded early bed time, and they've had to go to the "Sorry Stair" multiple times.

This evening, Nicky and Scotty have scouts, and my girls have already started making demands for a Girls' Night. All that's been asked of me is to let them eat giant lollipops, go to an ice cream place, build a fort, paint, do water balloons, and learn French.

{Once Upon a Girls' Night}

And after a day of having all of them in my personal space since 6:30 a.m., I can't think of anything else I'd rather do with my night.

Je suis fatigue.