Thursday, August 28, 2008

Life's Hard Questions

Em: Mom, is everything in this world made in China?
Me: Well, not everything....
Em: And if it's made there, how do they even know how to spell "made in china?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Farewell, oh blessed olympic games!!!

Now that the Olympics are over, I feel like I can get my life back. Thank you, world for giving me a proxy workout. It was a rush. I loved it all and can't wait to see who comes back to the stage in 4 years. My only regret was not being there to compete myself....I know now that 32 is not too old, but I'm afraid 36 may be--for this mama, anyway! (Can you believe a 33 yr old gymnast from Germany actually took bronze in the vault? Not to mention the 38 yr old marathon winner and Dara Torres the swimmer who is an astounding 41, still at the top of her game.) I also learned that even though you may be a MaryLou fan, it's not cheating to switch sports so you can make it to the Olympics and receive big payoffs (just like the American who won the gold in women's discus). A big hurrah from my heart to yours, Phelpsie. You totally rock and actually got my butt off the couch a few times while I was watching you compete. (but I'm really bummed you're not accepting any new friends on facebook.) And to the men's volleyball team--you did what they said you wouldn't ever be able to do: here's to the underdogs who triumphed amidst tragedy. And to my little golden girls Nastia and Shawn--every time you took the stage you made me smile. I learned that happiness is all about expectations when I saw the men's gymnastics team utterly thrilled with a bronze and the womens team devastated with silver. Let's not forget May and Walsh. Winning gold in the rain? You're amazing! I thought it was so sweet when Walsh said she wanted a baby more than anything right after she won gold--even though I can't exactly picture an ounce of fat on her body....I cried with you, Lolo, when you hit the 9th hurdle and lost your dream of gold, and I sat in disbelief when I saw first the men and then the women drop the batons. (how does that happen at the olympic level?!) And I'm not even mentioning you, Usain, since I think you've made it clear how great you think you are already. Three times. I cheered for our local fan, Kristen Armstrong and made mental plans on how I can purchase a road bike as soon as possible. But mostly I saw athleticism at it's best, which is truly an inspiring thing. Yes, they delivered. And yes, it will be nice to sleep again.

Lukases and Emilies

Pluralizing names can get a little dicey....This weekend we were favored with a visit from some very old friends (well, they're not old, but our friendship is!) from the college days. Lukas Benjamin Kramer was a roommate of Dan's at BYU who made such an impression on him that our child is named after him! (as a side note, when BJ was born and Dan called Lukas to tell him the news, Dan said, "yeah, we almost named him Lukas, but we decided to go with Benjamin instead." Little did we know, that was his middle name!) "Little Lukas" takes after his namesake wholeheartedly by being the craziest kid we know. Although we've seen the Kramers off an on throughout the years at Dan's roommate get-togethers, this is the first official meeting of the "Lukases."
But the story doesn't end there....Lukas Kramer ended up marrying an Emily (a name I had picked out ever since I was a little girl)--how crazy is that? It was so good to see them and meet their adorable daughter, Audrey. Hopefully next time they can stay longer!

Oddly enough, the story doesn't even end THERE. Here is a list of Dan's old roomies and their kids' names (well, the ones I can remember, anyway). Notice the ironic overlappage....

Dan and Sarah: Benjamin, Emily, Lukas, Sam

Eric and Valora: Spencer, Annie, Audrey + more

Lukas and Emily: Audrey

Spencer and Kim: Rachel, Daniel, Sarah, Eric, + more

Dave and Annie: I'm having a serious brain cloud...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"I Love to See the Temple"

And we went inside today! The Twin Falls temple is the most amazing beautiful place. (Next to the Rexburg even has part of the Rexburg temple in it--a mural they cut out for a door in Rexburg has been framed and hung in Twin Falls. Ever practical, the Church is.) We were some of over 150,000 of the visitors that went through over the past 6 weeks. BJ is excitedly awaiting the dedication next week. I still remember missing the Boise dedication, being 1 week shy of 8 years old, so I'm thrilled he gets to participate in something this special and memorable. I told him to really think about how he felt inside and try to feel the Spirit. He never says much when it comes to things like this, but I know something touched his heart because when we got out and were waiting to gather people for pictures, he asked me for a tissue. I asked if he needed to blow his nose and he said, no, there's a piece of gum in the flower bed. He took the tissue and got it and threw it away. It made me proud to see him show some respect for the grounds of the Lord's house. (If only he'd show more "respect" for his bedroom.)We were lucky enough to go with some good friends, James and Jowita Kaufusi and their cute girl Zosia. This was their first time inside, but hopefully not the last! It was neat to share this experience with such great people. The only person missing was Dan...poor guy had volleyball tryouts today and couldn't be there with his best friend from highschool.The kids were mesmerized by the fountain and pool at the end of the tour--probably because it was so durn hot they would have jumped in, Sunday clothes and all, had they thought I wasn't paying attention!Benjamin and Emmers managed to find some respite from the sun, and I couldn't help but snapping this shot....I feel so blessed to live so close to the temple, and I felt a stronger resolve to return there often to feel the peace that comes from being there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Forever Sisters, Forever Friends

Don't you just love cross-stitch sayings?

Since my kids are happily eating cold cereal for dinner, I guess I can do just one last post and be done with it all....Must...keep...blogging...

Mary is my little red-headed hero. She's an awesome mom, crafter, home-decorator, unashamed public tooter, wanna-be model, and friend. And I'm sure I left something out. When we get together, my sides are always aching afterward from laughing so hard. Nineteen years ago, we had this picture taken. (sorry you're not in it, Nancy, you were just a wee tot.)

We tried to duplicate it on our family reunion. We tried. I guess we should have asked Dad to take if for us like he did the first time to get it perfect. Maybe not, though, because we might still be there waiting for him to focus! (just kidding, Dad!)Sure love ya, Mary! Let's make sure we get another one of these in 19 years. When we're Grandmas. (It's scary to think that that could be in less than 19 years!)

She can ride, folks!

Can you beat this look of pure personal satisfaction and glee?
Ok, I was a total late bloomer for bike riding, learning around age 10 in my grandma's gravel driveway. I have a scar on my chin to prove it. (I attribute this to my slower bike times.) So, when Emily wanted her training wheels off at age 6, I was a little hesitant. I got one of them off successfully, and then Dan put it back on. When we were in Oregon, Uncle Charles took matters into his own hands and she took off!Thanks, Charles, for making her summer wishes come true! Now she won't have to be embarrassed when her younger neighbor girlfriend rides circles around her in our driveway anymore! :)

The Fantabulous Cape Kiwanda Adventure

So this is it. Pacific City. The place where memories are made and never forgotten. Here's where we stayed, played, ate, and had as much fun as we could squeeze in 4 days together. It was a blast! Out of the 500 pictures I took, I had a hard time narrowing it down....(I'm sure you thank me!) Some of my favorite reunion moments (I wish I had pictures to document all of them!):

FHE and the Seattle Mauery's rendition of Jonah and the Whale with "scripture cookies" for dessert!

Seeing my favorite people walking up the boardwalk to the beach and welling up knowing I get to be with them forever.Nathan's unabashed display of his acting prowess.Vernon and Lauren's patience with "project kite."

Everyone pumped up about an oatmeal cookoff for breakfast. Are we food storage nerds or what?

Seeing deer on our morning walk so close we could almost pet them!

Hearing squeels of delight (or fright?) as the kids took a dip in the ocean. For over an hour. Cute little cousin piggies.

The baby shower for Nancy where we all learned a little more about "the sistahs" and a little too much about my parent's love life.

The model photo shoot with Mary.

Rockband blisters! Mary, you totally schooled me! Chanin and Lauren, you rock!

Gourmet food without regret. Mmmm. It was all so tasty.

Uncle Joe's first aid kit that came in handy for my graceful Lukas. (I don't know where he gets that tripping condition from, seriously!)

Laughing so hard I cried. That only happens when I'm with family. (and I'm not even pregnant!)

Seeing Mom and Dad walk hand in hand barefoot like lovebirds on the beach.
And even though it was painful, seeing Ariana cry when we pulled out to leave. We miss you too, cutie!!

It was definitely a reunion for the yearbooks, and one my kiddies won't soon forget. Here's to the Mighty Mauerys!!! And let's not forget the one who stole our hearts....

You can't beat the beach!

We spent lots of laughs and shivers at the beach which was a watermelon seed spit distance away from our front door....Here's mom livin' it up running down the hill to catch some waves with Sammy. Right, mom?It doesn't get much more studdly than this: Or this:Or this: Holly and the girls were having the time of their lives, despite the 50 degree weather and frigid water. There was a REASON we didn't put their swimsuits on....but alas, they're children.Toothless Nicole! Despite being on vacation, the tooth fairy tracked her down! Isn't she sweet?Lukas making the trek up Cape Kiwanda. I was close behind--with Sammy on my back! Phew, that was a hard trek!
There's more than one way to get down, as Dan demonstrates:

No matter how hard they tried to stay dry, the waves eventually caught up with them. :)This is Bernard Braceface with some plaque in his teeth. Mauery's are a dangerous bunch of creative minds....My mom was entering this photo to her orthodontist for a chance to win an ipod. Good luck, brace face! The boys chummin' it up...
Here's my fabulous siblings! Can't help but love em! Thanks Timothy, Vernon, Mary, Nancy, and Michael (and all your rad families) for making reunions something to look forward to! Can't wait til next year!!!The end.


This was an adventurous outing to Tillamook that began with cows and ended with icecream....Always a nice trade off! There were so many steps to the cheese packaging process, but here the blocks started out weighing more than Sam and ended up getting cut into 2 pounders. All of the workers seemed thrilled to be ants behind the glass....We finally made it to the end of the tour and were able to taste cheese at it's best!I'll let you guess which was a bigger hit--the Tillamook cheese or the Tillamook icecream.
Unfortunately for me, Sam couldn't finish his chocolate cone and I was forced to eat it. I hate waste.

"Do or do not, there is no tri..."

What does Yoda know about triathlons? I could teach him a few things....First and foremost: do your best to intimidate the opponents by pulling intensely athletic faces prerace. I'm still working on that one...Second of all: it would have helped if the Olympics were BEFORE the race so I could have imitated Natalie Coughlin on the back stroke, since I had to do that a few times just to stay alive. Michael Phelps form isn't bad, either. During the frenzy do your best to kick as few people in the face as you can. Or maybe I would have done better off kicking more....See me down there? I'm the one in the green cap..Next off, learn how to clip your bike helmet on in less than 3 minutes and 18 seconds. It does wonders for your overall time. And tie your shoes tight enough that the shoelaces don't get caught in the spokes of your bike while your competition is speeding effortlessly past you while you're trying to figure out why the heck your shoes are getting tighter with each rotation. And for goodness sake, get your shirt on already, you're embarrassing me! Most important of all, do your best to finish with a sprint and a smile so everyone thinks it was a total piece of cake and that you're not ready to collapse at any minute due to the intense heat.

I'm no pro, but those are my tips for anyone ready to take on Emmett's Most Excellent Challenge next year. One more tip: do it with some awesome friends who inspire you to push yourself harder than you would have alone! Aren't they total hotties?Here's my most inspirational friend of the race and even though she didn't compete, I couldn't have done it without her. I love you like a sister! (Don't kill me for posting your hotness on here, Mary!)