Monday, November 23, 2009

In honor of New Moon

I think the whole "Twilight" phenomenon is a little funny. Why are all these adult women obsessed with a make-believe, overly-dramatic relationship between some clumsy, needy girl and a vampire? That being said, I couldn't put the books down and read all of them within a month...but I'm not obsessed. I just need to clarify that.

Nothing like a good SNL parody.

Even though I'm not really one to stand in a line for an hour waiting to watch the movie, I am looking forward to seeing "New Moon." (I hear it is a lot better than Twilight which I wasn't completely impressed with.) I have had lots of friends who have seen it already and have told me about the inevitable girly screaming that happens whenever Jacob takes his shirt off. I completely understand. I mean, look at him... But I thought it was funny when my sister-in-law brought up the idea of adult men whistling at a 17 year old girl coming onto the screen in a bikini. A little disturbing......But what's wrong with a complete double standard anyway?

Here's a hot picture of Jacob, in case you don't know what I'm talking about.
I feel kinda naughty for even posting a picture of a guy without a shirt. That's why I made it small. Somehow, it is less naughty this way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Treasure Hunt

I know some of you have been dying to hear this story since I gave a little teaser of it in my Halloween post. Lets see...where to start....

Parker and I were hanging out on my bed because he was as little sick and I was a little tired, so I broke my rule (as I occasionally do) and we were watching cartoons. (My favorite, by the way, is Super Why. It is repetitive and predictable, but the characters are so darn cute.)

Parker always wants to get into things that he shouldn't and at this point he was going for the lamp on my nightstand. He has the weird fascination with lights. Whenever one turns on, he freaks out and points as hard as he can. When he starts to cry, sometimes I carry him over to a light switch and let him turn on the lights. He is happy in no time. No joke. Ok, Back to the story: He crawls over to my messy, messy nightstand and he successfully attempts to get into everything. I literally pull him back to the center of the bed and I notice he grabbed the lid from my deodorant (I have everything but the kitchen sink on my nightstand). "Meh," I think and I let him play with it.

When Parker is really tired or sick he sort of just collapses into a lump of chubby goodness. He was in his collapsing mode so I layed him down in the center of the bed. The next thing I know, he was choking. It was possibly the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. I didn't know what he was choking on, but he would go a little without breathing while he was gagging and it would then be interrupted by short bouts of crying hysterics. I was glad when he cried because I at least knew he could breath. Some more gagging, then some more crying, a bit of praying on my part and then a few gulps to finish it off.

I realized he had swallowed something, but I had no idea what...sure my nightstand was covered with catalogs, hair accessories, pens, pencils, markers, pretty much any type of writing utensil, deodorant, candles, etc. etc. but surely there was nothing chokable there. Then I looked around and I thought, "uh, oh." I looked at my finger, looked back at the nightstand and realized that my wedding ring was not where I last put it. Crap. That can't be good. I searched and searched, but to no avail. "It must be in Parker's stomach."

I called the doctor's office and told them the situation. After a little chuckle, the nurse asked,"Are you serious?" Yes, unfortunately I was. They fit me in as soon as possible and we got an X-ray that confirmed my suspicion. After the doctor looked at the X-ray, he asked me, "Does your ring have several diamonds along the band?" You could see the ring perfectly, sitting in his little stomach just below his tiny ribs. "Just check the poop." That's the only advice his doctor gave me.

The next day we put Parker's lovely poops in a Ziploc bag. I gave it one squish and found my beautiful ring covered in feces. Matt, for some reason, volunteered to get it out of the bag-o-fun. He really is the best husband. I scrubbed it a little, ok, a lot, and now good as new. Actually just the week before I was commenting about how I needed to clean my ring. I procrastinated. Well, I definitely had a reason to clean it now.

I apologize to anyone who received the picture text from Matt of the Poop Bag with the ring. No one should have to see that.
PS The picture is not Parker's X-ray. It is of an adult. I'm going to try and get a copy of the actual X-ray.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Healthy and Happy

What more can you ask for than health and happiness?

I love listening/reading about how Utah compares in various categories. One of the more recent studies concluded that Utah is the happiest state. They interviewed 355,000 people to make this conclusion and it was based on a variety of factors life satisfaction, work quality, healthy behavior, physical health, emotional health, and basic access to necessities like food and shelter. Some contribute this Utah's low unemployment rate which is 4.6% compared to the national rate of 7.6%.

In addition to being the happiest state, Utah is also considered the 2nd healthiest state by another recent study. I know that I've heard the whole "fat mormon" stereotype, but it simply isn't true. In fact, Utah ranks 8th lowest in obesity rates and lowest in childhood obesity rates. Another important contributing factor, believe it or not, is our location by the mountains. It follows the trend that mountain states are more health than states without mountains (in general).

I can't really say that Utah is both healthy and happy because of the large percentage of LDS people living here, but I believe it is a contributing factor. The fact that the LDS church discourages smoking and drinking and encourages its members to have a healthy body makes a huge difference in the lives of many people, leaving them to live healthier, happier lives. "By their fruits, ye shall know them."

Read here for my past post on the past US census (which also, undoubtedly, contributes to the happiness of the people in this state.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My secret to happiness...

...Is my family. I love my husband and my son. My mom and dad, brothers and sister rock too. I'm also grateful my in-laws aren't too crazy. They have been so accepting of me and loving. I love my family!!

I am the luckiest.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Masochistic Ambition

One day I decided that I could run a marathon, 26.2 miles. "People do it all the time. Why can't I?" Training for a marathon was pretty much the way I guaranteed that I would lose the baby weight I put on with Parker. At first, about 2 months after I had Parker, I couldn't even run a mile. What was 25.2 more miles? Yeah, it was that bad.

I planned on doing the Top of Utah marathon in Logan, UT. I went to college in Logan and it is sort of my second home. I loved the idea of running through the canyons, watching the colorful leaves fall from trees, the autumn breeze in my face, smiling intensely as I crossed the finish line. Of course, in all my imagining I forgot to add in the pain I would feel in my toes, my legs, my butt, well, just about everywhere.

So I trained and I felt pretty good about it. I ran the Bear Lake half marathon (13.1 miles) in 2 hrs. and 5 min. and felt great afterward. I thought, hey I can run a marathon at the same pace, maybe a little faster, and get in around 4 hours. Ha ha. I didn't realize that running a full marathon is completely different than running a half.

I actually slacked on my training. I got sick. I took a couple of weeks off from climbing the grand teton. Things came up and I didn't make it my priority. Oops. Who'd have thought I'd regret that?

So September 2009 came and I ran the Top of Utah with my mom and younger brother. I really enjoyed the first half of it. I was running it at my half marathon pace, but the second half...I didn't like so much. I started thinking that forcing people to run farther and farther would be a really effective method of torture.
Daddy was taking care of Parker. Hence the lack of shoes and sitting in the dirt.

Parker and Matt at Mile 15. It was so good to see them.

But I finished.
Going strong at the finish line. Or at least trying to.

I came in at 4 hours and 47 minutes. Not such a great time. It is about an 11 min/mile pace. Remember my goal was a 9 min/mile pace. But I finished.

Mom, Me, & Cameron. We look good for just torturing ourselves.

It is so hard for me to be proud of myself because I really did not make my goal..even close to it. I guess I'll have to do another one. Maybe it will help me get into shape after baby #2.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby

My little baby is growing up. Parker turned one year old on October 3, 2009. Yes, I know it is cliche, but they grow up so fast.

Parker was spoiled with two birthday parties on his big day with a jungle theme. I took my hand at cake decorating and made this alligator cupcake cake. Fearsome, I know.

The first party was in the park with his neighborhood friends. I had this great idea to have the kids go "fishing" for tub toys using magnets, but the toys were too heavy so it didn't work as perfectly as I had imagined. But the kids still had fun playing in the water and on the playground and Parker got some sweet gifts. Thanks friends!

Later that evening we had hamburgers with the family at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Parker was super spoiled by everyone's attention and took this opportunity to show off his new skill of walking. I love watching him waddle everywhere. Such a cutie!

He was a little frightened when the lights were turned off and everyone surrounded him singing in unison while an open flame sat in front of him. Fortunately, he forgot all about it once he started eating his cake.

Kelli reminded me to share his stats. Despite his chubby cheeks, Parker is a little guy. At 12 months he weighed 21 lbs. 13 oz (33%) and is 29 in (20%). But he has a big head compared to the rest of him at 47 cm (66%). He has slimmed up a lot since he was 2 months at the 95 %tile for both height and weight, but he is adorable either way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photography Blog

In keeping with my theme for the week "Updating the Blog," I have also (finally) updated my photography blog with some sweet pictures of the Salt Lake Temple. Let me know if you like them. If you don't like them, well, don't let me know. I prefer to hear only positive feedback :)

Here is just one of the many pics I've added.

Check it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I love halloween. It's just fun. We had a family "Toy Story" theme this year. Matt was woody, I was Bo Peep, and Parker was Buzz Lightyear.

I don't sew very often, but this year I sewed my entire costume including the hat. It was so hard. Sewing is not as easy as it seems. Fortunately, my mother in law is like a genius at sewing so we altered a pattern from some size 16 '80's prom dress pattern.

What a cute family!

As a side note, Grandma Budd gave Parker a peanut butter sandwich on Halloween. Next thing I know, half his face has swollen up. You can kinda see the puffy eye in this picture. So, off to the doctor again to check for allergies. Poor kid. Earlier in the week he swallowed my wedding ring (story to come) and now this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our Grand Adventure

Sometimes it seems like when you have a baby, you give up a lot of things. The baby becomes the first priority when it comes to everything. All that I am is for my baby, but I know that it is best for both me and Parker if I live a healthy, happy life independent from my role as a mother. Even though I compromise many things (like sleep), I am determined not to compromise my identity and part of that is rock climbing.

Matt and I have decided that once a year, no matter what, we will go on an adventure...just the two of us. This year we finally did something we have always wanted to do: Climb the Grand Teton.
See the Grand Teton? It's the big one in the middle.

I thought I was in good shape. I had been training for a marathon (although not as diligently as I should have been), but this mountain kicked my butt! Next time I do it, I know I need to do some real training.

We started our adventure at 7:00 in the morning to backpack up to our campsite or "the caves" as the rangers called it. It was about 5 miles in and the hike wasn't too bad except my pack was about 35 lbs. and Matt's was probably around 50 lbs. Climbing gear is really heavy!
We're almost to our campsite. It is in the trees above the waterfall. That peak is the Middle Teton.

After we reached our campsite, I went exploring. This is looking down on the trail and our campsite (in the trees).

The next morning we woke up at 3:00 am. Yes, 3:00 am. After we eat and geared up, we started on the trail about an hour later at 4:00. We left our tent and sleeping bags and brought just the supplies we needed for the climb to the peak which included a rope, cams, food, and clothing. The reason you have to leave so early is that you want to avoid the thunderstorms that always come in the afternoon.

We started hiking in the dark with our headlamps and things are going pretty well until we reach a huge boulder field and lose our way. We scrambled around and eventually find our way by following the lights on the mountain from climbers up ahead.

Finally we reached the saddle at 6:00 am. It took us two hours to hike just two miles, but it was very steep and very dark. Reaching the saddle is pretty much equivalent to reaching the peak of Timpanogos...and the hard part hasn't even began.
I look tired because I am. This is the saddle at sunrise.

Still at the saddle, looking South at the Middle Teton

The tree line was back where we camped out and everything around us was just rock. Big boulders, little boulders, steep cliffs...but nothing like a trail or dirt. So we got lost a lot trying to find our way. There were many climbers along the way, but we mostly just tried to follow vague descriptions from the guide books.
We're getting quite a bit higher. This is the middle Teton.

Trying to find our way to the "wind tunnel"

The climbing was actually not very difficult. We climbed the Upper Exum which is 5.4 at hardest. Many people don't rope up most of the way and some free solo it the entire way. It is scary at some parts because of the extreme exposure: huge sheer cliffs that would lead to your death if you fell. It is also very steep. Imagine climbing stairs to the top of a mountain. It isn't technically difficult, but it uses a ton of muscle.
Some unknown climbers climbing the crux of the Upper Exum: Friction Pitch

I started getting really tired at this point. A self-portrait is a good excuse to rest.

We made it most the way and get lost again, but this time it is scary because we are practically out of food, a storm is coming in, and there is snow all around which meant slippery and dangerous climbing. We meander and reread the guide book for a while. I had a moment of panic and then decided that panicking never helped any one so I pulled myself together and we said a prayer. Instantly, we knew which direction to go and we reached the peak.
I'm waiting while Matt is supposedly figuring out where we are. This is looking West to Idaho.

There were two guys up there still (it was 3:00 pm at this point and we were pretty much the last people up there). The storm lasted less than 10 minutes and the guys helped show us the way down (the Owen-Spalding route) which was different than the way up (Upper Exum route).
We're there! Looking south towards the Middle Teton. You can't see it cause it's so small.

See that tiny peak below us, that's the Middle Teton.

My legs were shaking practically the whole way down from overexertion and lack of energy. I needed food and rest, but we weren't there yet. I needed to keep on going. Matt was fine, of course. He is in great shape and is strong. I had altitude sickness which really affected me near the peak which is about 14,000 ft.

One of the two rappels on the way down. This is my first "free rappel." Look ma, no feet.

We finally made it back to our campsite around 8:00 pm. That meant we had been hiking/climbing for 16 hours. I slept horribly that night in our little tent and woke up around 4:30 am, so we got another early start, but this time down the mountain. We painfully hiked the 5 miles out of the mountain to the campground. Overall the journey to the peak and back took us around 24 hours.
Now we're to the easy part. We have to hike straight down that to the saddle.

This is called "the eye of the needle." We were supposed to go through it on the way up, but we got lost and did it a completely different and more difficult way.

It was so flippin' hard and my body hurt so much, but it was worth it. The views were beautiful and the feeling of accomplishment was thrilling. We will definitely do it again.

Here we are at the saddle again looking North towards the Grand Teton. Still 7 more miles to our car.