Friday, May 28, 2010

Random Thoughts

I found two ticks crawling on my body today (luckily neither had buried yet. phew.). Now I have the heebie jeebies and keep swearing my freckles are moving. ewwww.

One might ask, what was I doing that would invite multiple insects to try to make a home in my crevices? Well see, I'm headed down to good ol' Oklahoma tomorrow (for the next 12 days) and since decent lengths of time spent with my husband have been a little scarce lately, I was a little bummed about missing his day off on Memorial Day, especially since it's been a rough week. Darling husband that he is, he surprised me by organizing to work on Monday so we could have today (Friday) to spend as our own little impromptu holiday. yay! yay! yay! We spent the day doing a short 2 mile hike (although 2 miles is NEVER short with three small children in tow), roasting hotdogs and having a picnic, and then going on another 1 mile hike to get down to and back from the shoreline of a reservoir, because the kids desperately wanted to play "on the sandy beach" (turns out it was actually just paving stones in a dog-area. It looked idyllic from a distance, however). After which, we came home, put Scarlett to bed, turned on a movie for middle little and blondie, and finally got around to watching The Blind Side, just the two of us. In a word: blissful. Best day I've had in an eternally long time.

Oh, and speaking of ticks...Brad Paisley is playing in Kansas City tonight. I'm sooo wistful about it. Too bad I didn't hear about it earlier (because, you know, I live in a cave and everything. It's called Motherhood.), or else I totally would've jumped on it. Which is saying something, because Spence and I are totally not concert-goers. In fact, the only concerts we've ever been to together were two Neil Diamond shows. Ridiculing may now commence.

Ezra kept on insisting today that he had a "juice body." Apparently, in Ezra-speak, this means that he eats food, at which point in turns into water, milk, and, most importantly, juice. I tried to explain how food, nutrients, and waste all work, but he wasn't having any of it. *shrug*

Georgie is so excited about going to MiMi and Grandad's house tomorrow that she can barely see straight. She keeps talking about it and making sure that Auntie Stephie will, in fact, be there to greet her. Oh, and all of her princess dresses? But of course she must bring them to show her cousin, Ella.

I've discovered that Scarlett doesn't like water, at least not "in the wild". It would seem that baths, running water in the sink, and all manner and sanitary-levels of toilet water are a-okay. Lakes, streams, swimming pools, and even sprinklers, however, are to be avoided at all costs. She even started to scream and cry when I put just her feet in the water of the reservoir today. It'll make for an interesting summer at the pool, I suppose.

I've had Ke$ha's Your Love Is My Drug in my head for the last week. It's totally cotton-candy, but ridiculously fun. It reminds me so much of being 16 and absolutely head over heels for some equally love-struck boy. It's totally a guilty pleasure...I mean she has a dollar sign in her name, for heavens sake. Regardless, I still crank it up and shake my hips to it anyway.

Oh, for all you other cowtowners missing Mr. Paisley this evening, here's my fave new song of his (Spencer's been singing it all day today, so it's in my head too):

As I mentioned earlier, I'm headed down Stillwater-way, so if posts are a little scarce for the next week and a half, now you know why. See you then!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To my Georgia, on her 3rd Birthday

(Last uber-sentimental post for a while, I promise...)

Oh sweet girl, I can't even believe it's been three very full years since you joined our family. I was so very excited to meet you and the excitement you bring hasn't left since. You were my first VBAC (after Ezra's c-section) and I was so pleased that you allowed me to have you that way. I wanted it so badly and was so relieved when you arrived safe and sound after a long and exhausting labor. You had a fair amount of medium brown hair (which has just gotten lighter since), bright blue eyes, and were just the cutest little thing. You were the first granddaughter on both sides of the family and we all just couldn't wait to cover you in pink, flowers, and lots of big bows. To be honest, things haven't changed much since.

When you were a baby (and even now) you reminded me of The Little Girl with a Curl. When you were good you were very, very good, but when you were bad you were horrid. You could be just as happy as a lark one minute and then decided you felt like screaming for the next 3 hours. Again, things haven't changed much since. You've always been the type to let the world know that you'll do exactly whatever you please. I live for those times of sunshine to carry me through the stormy ones.

You were an early talker who developed that skill at a very impressive rate, for which I've always been so grateful. I love how the things you've said, from such a young age, have given me a peek into the way you view the world. I must say, it's a much more entertaining place from your point of view. You never fail to entertain me with the things you say. It's not unusual for you to say completely outrageous things, just to see what type of reaction you'll get. As you've gotten older, you've become such a girly-girl. Everything is Princess This and Pink That to you. I've got to admit, I'm reveling in it, as I'm quite the girly-girl myself. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose.

Georgie, I can't even begin to describe the way you sparkle. You are one of the most vibrant people I've ever met. Everything around you just seems a bit bigger and brighter then the rest of the world. You have more personality in one little corkscrew on your head then a lot of people have in their entire body. Little Miss, you are also one of the most hilarious people I know. If you don't believe me, just go ask your Auntie Steph (we all know she has a soft spot for you a mile wide :). You can be so sweet and compassionate when you want to be. You're always the first to volunteer to help and your love for your brother and sister is so beautiful. I can't even wait to get to know you better as the years go by.

I love you, my little big girl. I love you, I love you, I love you with all of my heart and soul. I'm often told we're a lot alike, and I wonder if it's because you carry a big ol' piece of my heart around with you. It's probably our similarities that allow me to understand you so well. Because, you know, I do...I get you, Georgie. Please don't ever forget that as you get older and decide you don't really need me all that much anymore.

Georgia, thank you for the sparkle and light you bring into our home, with your big (at least as Lifferths are concerned ;) blue eyes and curly hair (which oddly, never seems to get any longer then your shoulders). Thank you for picking me to be your mommy. Thank you for thinking that some of my most temperamental personality traits are worth carrying on in yourself...your stubbornness, your passion, your independence. Thank you, Sweetheart, for loving me with everything you have. Happy, Happy Birthday, Miss Georgia Marie. I hope it's half as wonderful as you are.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

For My Father

I don't go a mushy route very often, so you'll have to bare with me just this once (oh, and next week for Georgia's birthday, of course)...

Let me introduce y'all to my father, Dr. G. Reed Holyoak:

Apparently, the only recent picture I had of him was from Spencer's graduation last year. How sad is that?

I don't talk about my dad very often, simply because he's the modest type who prefers to just kind of stand by and let others take center stage. However, he is easily one of the most important men in my life (beat out only by Spencer). He's a theriogenologist (veterinary reproductive specialist) at Oklahoma State University and the smartest guy I know. To be honest, I can't really think of a way in which he hasn't influenced my life.

Growing up, I was the epitome of Daddy's Girl. We started with an early connection when, as a young veterinary student, he delivered me on our couch when the midwife didn't get there in time. From then on, Dad had me in his back pocket. All I ever wanted was his approval; to be his Baby Doll (his pet name for me). He was always there, striving me to reach higher, be a better version of myself. My siblings and I knew we had to live up to the Holyoak name, that we had a legacy of hard work to uphold. Whenever I had questions, he was the one I first went to, whether it was about the Book of Mormon, cell division, or my period (how many girls do that, really?!). I remember a time I was walking around B.Y.U. loudly discussing artificial insemination (and all the *ahem* preparation that goes into it) with my father on my cell phone. Spencer just stood there cringing and trying to shush me.

Really, my father is still the first person I go to with questions...I have to give a talk in church: he's the man I go to for quotes and direction. I have a question about ovulation or birth control: Dad again. I need to know to if I should take one of the mowglis into the doctor for a possible concussion or stitches: yep, Dad. I know when I get around to finishing up my degree, it'll be his voice I hear in my head egging me on.

Throughout my childhood, he'd sing "You Are My Sunshine" to me and it's still the song I sing to my children every night while putting them to bed. As a youth, my father was at every single Stake dance I ever went to (and that's A LOT, we had them every month!) because he was always affiliated with the youth in one way or the other (whether through the Young Men, Bishopric, or Stake Presidency). At every one, we'd dance together to Dixie Chick's "Cowboy Take Me Away" which has always reminded me of my cowboy father. He claimed it was because the normal young ruffians I danced with had no idea how to properly dance to a country song like that (which is mostly true...most Young Men do some version of a shuffle, speeding up or slowing down, depending on the song), but we both loved it so much I'd seek him out to find him when the opening chords came on. It's one of my biggest regrets in life that I didn't get a chance to dance with him to that song at my wedding reception.

My father, poor diligent man, always tried to keep me talking, even during the petulant teenage years. Originally, as a kid, we'd have Daddy-Daughter talks every first Sunday of the month ("Daughter talk, Daddy listen"), but once those youth years hit, he had to get creative. We sit together in the dark on our way to early-morning seminary and he's ask question after question about my week, school, work, wrestling (I was a manager for my high school team), etc. Even now, when he asks how I'm doing and I reply, "fine." or "good." he stills says, "What, only fine/good? Why not great?"

He's such a good grandad to my kids. Ezra, especially, just thinks the man walks on water (gee, wonder where he got that? ;). When we visit Mimi and Grandad's house, all the cousins can't wait to see him come home from work so that they can run out and feed the horses with him. My hesitant Ezra, who has to think everything out ten-fold before proceeding, doesn't hesitate to go anywhere and do anything with Grandad. He is one of those men that is like the communal father/ grandfather-figure at church, starting from a really young age actually, what with his going gray in his 20s. He always has a piece of candy in his suit coat pocket and exciting, involved stories about sheep and cows just waiting to be told (it takes some definite talent to make sheep and cows enthralling enough to keep a bunch of wiggly primary kids captivated).

Poor Spence, when we got married he had some big ol' shoes to fill. On the other hand, my father was one of the reasons I actually married Spencer. While they're very different in so many ways, they are also a lot alike and I recognized those much-loved traits in Spencer while we were dating. They're both extremely hard workers (almost to a fault), both mentally and physically. They're both very spiritually-strong individuals. Dad and Spence are very educationally-driven. They're also slightly more mellow personalities (although my dad definitely didn't start out that way as a young Montana cowboy with a red-hot temper), willing to let the women in their lives be opinionated and independent. Those are most of the things I love most about Spencer, and I know I first learned to appreciate them in my own father.

I love you, Dad. So much it gets me all teary-eyed just thinking about it. I'm so, so glad I have you in my life and you're young enough that my children will get to have you for so long in theirs. Thank you for being such a good father to all of us. Love you!

In case you're curious, here's a video of my dad in action:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Better Than...

You know Better Than Sex Cake? Well, I made one for Spencer's birthday. While enjoying the ooey gooey leftovers ('cause this is one cake that really does get better with time), I decided something. In my opinion, it should be renamed Better Than A Skinny Butt Cake. Heaven knows if I had to choose between having one or the other, we all know which one would win every time.

ps-no, this is not my beautiful picture nor my beautiful cake. The cake I made was a lot less impressive-looking and a lot more ooey gooey.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Honey!

Happy, Happy Birthday to my wonderful, stupendous, fabbity-fab, good-looking hunk of a husband! I know I gush about you all too often on this blog (but then again, is it really possible to gush too much?), but I'm going to once again. You really are the best guy I know and I thank the heavens above every day that I'm the lucky one that got to keep you. Thank you for picking me, I know it would've been much easier to just pass me up and go for that blonde mountaineer of yours. Thank you for giving me 3 beautiful children and for being such an amazing father to them. Thank you for being my everything. I love you! Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

would you like some cheese with my whine?

You know it's Mother's Day when... have to clear up and do the dishes from your super-special Mother's Day (MD) Breakfast...and then clean stained dresses from rampant blackberry messes. fight your kids to get dressed in church clothes, all the while begging them to hurry so you're not late to church...again.

...while listening to church speakers talk of their near-angelic mothers and wives, you have to stifle screams and cries of your own demonic offspring, all the while getting dirty looks from the old people in the pew in front of you (where's the motherly love in that, I tell you?!). are forced to "share" all MD treats...causing major chocolate messes that, again, need to be cleaned. make most of the MD dinner while your husband talks on the phone to HIS mother (ahhh, what a nice son ;)...including the MD dessert of pumpkin pie that your son has been insisting you bake for the last half week....not to mention, you strongly dislike pumpkin pie.

...while making said pumpkin pie, you're attempting to multitask in a motherly fashion by prepping potatoes to bake, making pie filling, cooking broccoli, etc and manage to royally screw up the pie crust (seriously, easily the most disastrous crust ever). look around at the end of the day, see piles of toys and clothes, and realize it's your job to pick them up in the morning.

I'm beginning to now understand just why my mother has never been all that fond of Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to all the influential women in my life! May your Mother's Day be filled with clean faces, perfect pie crusts, and dish-less sinks.

*in defense of my darling husband, he came to his senses and helped with dish-doing and the last half of dinner-making when he saw what I was up to.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

lesson learned

So, the other day I was at a Young Womens activity (I'm the YW Secretary). We had a cute little old missionary couple teaching the girls about scholarships for college (they serve at the LDS Employment Resource Center up in Independence, MO). Well, bless their hearts, they thought I was just one of the girls! I used to have that happen to me all the time when I was a Laurels adviser at the ripe ol' age of 19 (could ya blame them, really?), but I thought that with three kids and a few more years under my belt that we would be beyond that. Not so much, apparently. Oh well, as a youth's parent pointed out to me, there will come a time when NO ONE will ever mistake me as a YW again (throw in a few gray hairs and trade in those skinny jeans for some mom jeans (heaven help me) and it's a done deal). In the meantime, I'll take it as a compliment and consider it the Mormon Mommy version of being carded at a bar...and just enjoy it!

Lesson learned: avoid wearing pigtail buns to youth activities at all costs...especially when there are flip flops involved.



= to be avoided

ps~I'm a big meany and y'all are not getting any bad haircut/slightly mullet-ish/Joan Jett hair pictures. Sorry folks, but if *you* got a horrid cut would you want it immortalized in the black hole that is the world wide web? me. thinks. not.

pps~I made the girls' pillowcase dresses using this tutorial. I liked the vintagey feel of the style, although they are a bit wide on my girls' wispy bodies (since they don't adjust the width for the age/size of the girl).