Tag Archives: family


I’m in kind of a reflective mood lately.  Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the doings of my therapist (yes, I have one) or maybe I’m just getting old.  Whatever the reason, I’m happy about it.  In fact, I want to actively spend more time reflecting.  It doesn’t always need to be about something big.  Small things matter too, people. So, I’ve been reflecting on the last couple of weeks and I’ve come up with my “learning list.”

Bowel movements make everyone feel better –

In this case I’m referring to my dog’s bowel movements, but I do think (and know thanks to Dr. Oz) that they are important for everyone.  Jack managed to get one of his toenails ripped off last Sunday, which has turned him into a total gimp.  Before we took him to the vet to get him hooked up with some pain meds, the poor little dude didn’t want to do much of anything.  Which meant no walks.  Walks are when Jack poops, so no walks meant no pooping.  We tried and tried to get him to just go in the backyard but he would just stare at us and eventually sit down in the snow. On Tuesday he basically pulled Rob out the door to walk, and thank God, because he took a massive dump.  A dump which we celebrated.

Spending time with someone you love is therapeutic – 

My sister, Jessica, has the most challenging life of anyone I know.  Having a sick child with difficult behavior issues (this is an understatement) requiring 24-hour supervision would send most people to the nuthouse immediately.  Not Jess.  Nope. She’s a warrior.  And despite her crazy life, she manages to listen to my problems, support me and make me smile.

Playing and laughing with my nephew brings incredible joy –

Dylan, my 9-year-old nephew, and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together.  When I’m at their house, I’m usually watching his sister (the one requiring 24-hour supervision).  That and he doesn’t like me telling him what to do, so we clash a lot of the time.  Last week my sister had an appointment and Stevie was asleep, so Dylan and I actually got to play.  And it was so fun!  I always have stories to tell after I hang with Dyl.  This time he told me about a deaf kid in his gymnastics class, so I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.  Maybe you can learn some sign language.”  Dylan responded by telling me that he already does sign language to the kid and then proceeded to flash me some gang sign to prove it.  Pure awesome right there.

So there you have it.  Don’t worry, these sappy posts won’t continue.  I’ve got plenty of negative, sarcastic script just waiting to be written.

Putting the Fun in Dysfunction

My family is extremely dysfunctional.  I’m talking drugs, depression and a bunch of other stuff I’m hoping one day I can write about without people yelling at me.  Our dysfunction is nothing we’re too ashamed to openly talk about though.  My siblings and I  can be found at family gatherings talking about things that occurred in our childhood that others have only heard about on news stories and Lifetime movies. At the end of the day though, we all love each other.  And we’ve worked through the trials.  Not that they’re over or anything.  Oh no, they are not over.

I love getting together with these people because we make each other laugh.  And even when my brother-in-law is making mixed drinks for my Mormon grandpa and my mom is sighing loudly for the millionth time, we’re all still (usually) smiling.  No, it’s not because we’re all drunk.  Usually only a couple of people are drunk.  The rest of us are just happy to be there; sharing stories, laughing and spending time together.

Here we all (minus my little sister) are last night at our annual pumpkin carving event.  Is everyone looking at the camera?  No.  Is someone (Mom!) hiding?  Yes. Does my nephew Dylan have a pumpkin on his head?  Of course he does!

Happy Birthday Stevie!

Remember my really adorable (sometimes rotten) niece?  Well, last Saturday she turned another year older.  And you know what, when a kid with so many health issues hits another milestone like the ripe ol’ age of 7, we have to celebrate.  Here’s a picture of her at her party.  I know she might not look 7 (teeny tiny), but isn’t she freaking cute?!

Stevie turns 7!












After cupcakes and presents we headed for a haunted house.  I know you might be thinking, Isn’t this kid too little for a haunted  house?  And the answer is no.  She is really into (obsessed, perhaps)  being scared.  Most of the time it’s nearly impossible to actually scare her, but we know she enjoys all things spooky.  So, off to Nightmare on 13th Street we went.  Listen, I was pretty nervous.  I’m the person in the haunted house crouched down in a corner hoping the dude with the chainsaw will give up at some point.  I’ll do just about anything for Stevie though, so I sucked it up.  And holy shit, what a blast!  It was so fun going with such a big group.  I almost didn’t mind the weird smells throughout (cat pee?!) and wet “body bags” that you couldn’t avoid.

Thanks to my sister for treating us all to such a fun night!

My Boys










I love these guys.  It’s as simple as that.  They are two of my favorite people (ok, one is a dog) to spend time with.  They both do things that are incredibly annoying and frustrating, but I suppose they would say the same about me.  The two of them are going to be spending a lot of time together (“bachelors,” as Rob told Jack this morning) when I’m on the road.  I just hope Jack keeps his partying ways in check.

Summer Love

I adore summer.  I know that it’s not even officially summer yet, but kids are out of school, camping is in full swing and I’ve had the opportunity to smell the wonderful scent of sunblock a lot lately.  So, it’s summer.

I am so much happier during the summer months.  Just being able to eat dinner outside on our deck every night makes me smile.  The days are longer, the mornings are brighter and I never have to warm up my corn bag in the microwave (okay maybe once last week, but we had a weird cold spell).

Plus, check out this view from the front of our house.  Hello!

Holy gorgeous, right?!










We can hike all we want.

Em, me and Rob hiking Neff’s Canyon.











And we can take our little Jack man camping.  Look at that peanut head!

Dad, Jack and Mom camping Memorial weekend.











What’s not to love?  Now get outside and soak up the sun for hell sakes!

The Good, the Bad and the Funny

I am on a roll today.  I mean I’m getting a lot done.  Or as Rob would say, I’m “settin’ ’em up and knockin’ ’em down.”  I’m traveling to teach a new course the week after next, so I’ve been working to learn the material, and I have to say that I’m very proud of how disciplined I am.  So, to reward myself I thought I’d indulge in some chips.  Bad, bad move.  These particular chips are impossible to stop eating.  I challenge you to try eating just a handful.  There is absolutely positively no way you’d be able to do it.  Here are said chips.  You can buy them at Costco, but I strongly suggest you don’t, because you will eat half the bag in one sitting.













The good thing is that while I was mowing down half a bag of chips, Jack and Kitty were just chillin’ together.  The photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea.  I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to kiss up to her so she’ll let him eat all of her food.   Pretty sure that’s exactly what he did this morning.













So, chips: bad.  Jack and Kitty: good.  The funny?  Yesterday Stevie had a treatment at Primary Children’s Hospital, so we were there all day.  We had to share a room with another patient (you know, there’s a lovely curtain in between but you can hear every word they’re saying).  The little girl was not behaving so her mom told her, “If you don’t start minding me, Grandma’s going to spank you.”  Apparently Grandma’s spanks are scarier than her own?  Anyway, on our way out of the room for a little walk, Stevie turned to the mom and yelled, “YOU SAID SHE WAS GOING TO GET SPANKED FROM GRANDMA!”  Jess and I were like, “shhh.”  But Stevie was so proud of herself for saying something and quickly responded with, “I remembered!”  She was really happy with herself for remembering what the mom had said so she could remind her of her terrible parenting.  She’s one of a kind.

Family Planking

I pictured myself having all kinds of time to dedicate to this blog when I left my “regular” job over a month ago.  My vision was obviously way off, but I am committed to getting back on the blogging bandwagon.  Aren’t you stoked?!  Today’s blog is my first step.

Of course, my top priority is my family.  I spent a week in Chicago with my niece, Stevie, trying to find some answers.  Unfortunately her health took a nosedive on the trip and she ended up spending an additional week in the PICU.  If you pray, pray for her and her family.  If you “think” about people and keep them in your thoughts, keep Stevie top of mind.  She needs all the good energy you can muster.

Rob and I also have a new baby at our house.  Ok, not a real baby.  We got a dog! His name is Jack, and I seriously love him like a ridiculous amount.  I loved him this much right out of the gate.  How could I not?  Look how cute he is! The bad news is that the cat doesn’t feel the same way. We’re trying, but as of right now, they have to be separated.  And sadly, Jack doesn’t dare go downstairs and the cat doesn’t dare come upstairs.  I hope that they can, at the very least, be indifferent towards each other.  How else are we supposed to enjoy the holidays together as a family?

Oh, and speaking of the holidays, a celebration with friends the other night was off the hook!  (Am I jumping from subject to subject?  It happens when you blog once a month).  The kids were all serious at the restaurant table while the adults decided to give planking a try.  And I’m not talking just regular ol’ planking.  I’m talking taking planking to a new level.  As in we stacked people on top of other people.  See for yourself below.  We do this Christmas dinner once a year, but I have to say that this year was absolutely positively the best yet.  I guess that can happen when you get a bunch of really good, really fun people together.