Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Braces update

I got my braces on 2 weeks and 2 days ago and I can finally eat solid foods again. I wasn't sure there for awhile if I'd ever eat a sandwhich ever again, but I did! I had to cut it into 20 tiny pieces, but I managed to chew it up without being in too much pain and agony.
I also found this helpful video online which explains what is going to happen to me in 6 months when I get the surgery to extract my hidden canine. It's pretty fascinating, I think:

The only thing different with my situation  that they didn't show in the video is that they will be removing my baby tooth after making room for the larger tooth to come down. Exciting!!
Scary!! I'm a wee bit nervous. 
All this is still so surreal to me. As I'm running around town and doing my errands and regular mom stuff I'll forget I have my braces on until I try to talk. Then I hear myself slurring my S's and stuttering over my "Kn" sounds, and suddenly I remember that I have these awkward metal things stuck to my teeth and the roof of my mouth. It makes me feel depressed and wish this lame two years was over already. My orthodontist says it could take up to five years to convince that tooth to come down, but I'm staying optimistic and sticking with two. I really hope I get to the point where I dodn't even notice they're there and can resume a normal life.

On another happier note, one of my favorite concoctions I've been making while on the soft foods diet is Pumpkin Smoothies. My husband grew some pretty awesome pumpkins in the garden this year, which I then process into puree for pies, muffins, and smoothies. Here it is for future reference:

Sally's Pumpkin Soy Smoothie for Owie Teeth

1 1/2 cups vanilla soymilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large handful fresh spinach
1 sweet banana
2 teaspoons Stevia
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Blend til smooth, rich, and creamy.

The End

Friday, November 13, 2015

Eleventh Anniversary Thoughts

My husband and I celebrated eleven years of marriage yesterday. It doesn't feel like we've been married that long, but we've got eleven years worth of memories to prove it! Last night at dinner  he was reminding me of all the different things we've been through these past years,  from all the jobs to moving around from state to state to having children to funny little moments that I'd forgotten about. 
It was just the two of us for a dinner and movie date so I really got to listen to him and look him in the eyes. It was in that moment that I felt so completely grateful to have this man to spend my entire life with. To be able to look over at someone who has shared all these memories with me,  and to know that we are in this life together, brought me so much comfort and joy. I  feel so blessed to have a companion to live with, togrow with, and to share my life with. I am so grateful to be married. 

I imagine that it only gets even better from here as our children grow older and we continue to grow closer. I hope Micah knows how much I love him and appreciate him in our lives together. I'm not always the best at showing my appreciation, or being romantic, and I'm coming to find that I'm a terrible gift giver, but in my heart I am completely loyal, dedicated, and forever in love with my husband. One of my greatest achievements in life was finding and marrying him and seeing our love grow through all the hardships we've faced over the years. My marriage has proven to me again and again of God's love for me and His plans to magnify me in my life. Marriage is truly a gift from God.
Thank you, Micah, for being my husband forever and ever. 

Here's my facebook post from yesterday, just for the record:
"11 years of marriage today to my wonderful husband. I love you so so so much and can't imagine my life without you in it!! You are the the cream cheese to my bagel, the flower to my cactus, the lid to my chapstick, the plug to my bath, the fabric softener to my laundry, the sprinkles on my donut...You complete me in every way possible."

And here's a picture: This photo was taken partway up Mt. Timpanogas on the day Micah officially proposed to me. He set the timer on his camera and it snapped right as he asked me to marry him. It was a very surreal moment for me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Facebook fast fail

I failed miserably at my facebook fast: I only lasted 10 days. I got sucked back in at Halloween because let's face it, seeing everyone's Halloween posts is my favorite part of the whole year!! But, I'm not going to count this off as a failure, because it accomplished exactly what I needed it to accomplish. I took a break, reestablished my priorities, and came back with a fresh perspective. 
I actually do this a lot, and I think it's a healthy and productive thing to do. It would be too dramatic and unnecessary for me to quit facebook all together, and I now I know I can't go forty whole days without it, so I'm going to write this off as a win for knowing myself so well that I can set limits and boundaries that even I can live with. 
Forty days is a really long time. Why did I choose forty days? Probably first because I like alliteration (facebook fast both start with f!) and also because I read the scriptures a lot and I figured if Christ can go without food and water for forty days, then I should be able to go without social media! But alas, I can't. It's too much of an important and crucial part of my social life. And I probably couldn't go without food and water for that long, either. I'm just a pansy all around.
Here's to coming back to facebook a much more balanced person, and for liking facebook so much that I can't even be away from it for 10 days.
And here's a picture of a cute toddler seeing snow for the first time. His exclamation was so happy, I wish I could've recorded it!" "Goohooowahahaha!" or something sounding like that.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sweet baby boy

I took my two older boys to see a play tonight and left this little one at home with his dad and five year old brother. Towards the end of the night I received a text from my husband saying that he was fussy and tired and looking for me. As soon as I got home he greeted me with the biggest smile. He also started making the sign for wanting milkies so we went downstairs and cuddled in bed. He latched on and fell asleep within seconds. The look on his face was pure contentment and peace to be in his mamas arms.
I laid there for awhile and played with his curly hair and nuzzled his little cheeks and felt pure love wash over me.
I love this fourth baby boy. I can't imagine what our lives would be without him. He is my little love. My sweet baby boy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Wonky Tooth Needs Fixin'

I got braces on my teeth two days ago. It's still freaking me out. When they first put them on in the orthodontist's office and I went to the bathroom, I was mortified at what I saw: there was my normal face, but then when I opened my mouth there were these shiny, metal brackets attacking my inncoent, white teeth. It reminded me of a horror movie or something. I wanted to cry but I didn't want to deal with any sympathy from the nurses. I have to wear these braces for 2 years, so I'd better just think positive because these metal parasites aren't going anywhere anytime soon!
For those who might be curious about why I am wearing braces at 36 years old, here is the story of my tooth: When I was a little girl and all my baby teeth were getting pushed out and adult teeth coming in, one of my baby teeth didn't fall out. This is because the adult tooth got impacted at a 45 degree angle in my upper gums. Everytime I went to the dentist and they showed me the X-ray we could see the adult tooth stuck up in there. 
The dentists told us that sooner or later that baby tooth would rot because baby teeth don't last forever. (Did you know that is a fact that baby teeth don't last forever?) Most of my dentists (I've had a dozen different ones as I've moved around so much) mentioned it everytime I went in for a checkup that someday I would have to get that taken care of! But, for whatever reason it kept getting ignored and pushed aside as I got older and older. So although we knew that day would come that my baby tooth would rot and I would need to get the adult tooth yanked down, it just never happened, until now. My baby tooth is not quite rotten yet, but it is starting to turn brown and deteriorate. Because of my age my bones are denser and harder and the process is substantially more difficult to go through. If I had done it 25 years go it would have been a simple procedure, but because I am older and my roots are more cemented, I have to have braces, an expander, and an oral surgeon to help remove the baby tooth and extract the impacted adult tooth. It's a long, painful process, and something I didn't expect at this time in life--but hey--life is full of unexpected surprises. This morning I went back in to get the expander cememnted into the roof of my mouth just to add insult to injury because with the new braces, my sore, painful teeth, and the fact that I can only eat liquids, it just wasn't enough. haha. 
The expander will help expand the bones in the roof of my mouth to make room for my new tooth. It's freaking me out also. I feel like a robot. I have to use this small, metal key and insert it into the expander every night and twist it two times to the left before bed.

I'm trying not to complain because this is going to help my overall health and well being in the long run. I should feel grateful that I live in a country that has these resources to help my mouth survive. Instead of braces and surgery I could have a rotten, infected tooth in it's place. I guess two years isn't so bad. I just have to get used to eating, cleaning, and talking, and also used to being sore once a month when I go back in to get them tightened.
I'm also feeling a little more creative with the things I can eat. The first day all I could think of was smoothies, then today I ate a pumpkin-spinach-banana-soy smoothie, pureed vegetable soup, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoe muffins soaked in whole milk eaten with a spoon. I won't be on an all-liquid diet forever, just until my teeth stop hurting. I'm not really sure when that will be, but hopefully soon.

It bothers me a little that some people think I got these braces on to straighten my teeth out. I've already received comments like, "Why braces? I thought you already had straight teeth." I wouldn't choose these braces for three reasons:
#1. Because my teeth were straight enough for me. #2. Because I'm not sadistic. I wouldn't put myself through this misery for the sake of vanity. And #3. I'm too old for braces. There's a reason I look 13 in that photo below: because 13 year olds have braces, not 36 year olds. haha. Except for me because I have a wonky tooth that needs fixin.

Here's an X-ray of my teeth. You can see the impacted tooth in my top gums on the right. It's going to see daylight for the first time ever in about 6 months! Those white patches are cavities that have been filled in. Aren't teeth exciting?

Here's me, in all my braces and glory. My friends and family say I look 13 again. Wouldn't that be fun?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Week the busiest week!

A wizard, an orange guy, a red Power Ranger and a bag of jelly beans and friends! That's what 2015 Halloween is made of! It's only Wednesday and already the festivities have begun! Halloween is always a busy time but one of the funnest in terms of getting pumped, planning costumes, sewing costumes (I learned how to make wizard robes this year), carving pumpkins, decorating the home, going to parties, and feeling the exciting spirit that is Halloween!
I love all of it and love celebrating with my children!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This world needs good babysitters

We've been super blessed in our lives to have a babysitter we can trust and who loves our children. I suppose this is something I've always wished and prayed for, and now I can see that my prayers have been answered because we have Emily. 
Our first day at our new church here in Cedar City, this tall teenage girl with braces and big smile walks right up to our family and says,"I want to babysit your boys! They are so cute!"
And the rest is history.

My husband and I aren't huge party animals, but we like to get out on dates at least 1-2 times a month. We like to go to exotic restaurants like Thai or Indian with non-kid friendly foods  and have a space of peace and quiet for 2-3 hours to ourselves to talk and recharge our tired brains. We like to go to our Temple together to worship, relax, do important work, and connect on a higher, more spiritual plane. 
Now that our baby is 15 months old, I finally feel comfortable leaving him for more than an hour. It takes a long time for me to be able to go on a date without my nursing baby. Right now we are at a really comfortable, happy place with that and it's been fun to have my husband all to myself.

I'm just really, really grateful for a good babysitter. I talk with other moms who don't leave their children with anyone because they don't have anyone they trust. One of the biggest concerns out there nowadays is that moms and dads don't want to leave their precious children with someone who is on their phone the whole time. To have a teenager come babysit, only to have them texting, talking, gaming or surfing the web, is unacceptable to me. 
The ideal babysitter will give your children attention, play with them, read them stories, care for their needs, and entertain them while you are away. This is the type of babysitter I was as a teenager, and this is what I expect from my sitter.
We need good babysitters in this world! Good babysitters become good mothers. Good mothers teach their teenagers not to fiddle with their phones constantly while they are babysitting. 
I am grateful for this family that fell into our lives. I am grateful for all the Emily's out there that allow us parents to leave home for a few hours with the peace and reassurance that our kids are in good hands. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Forty Day Facebook Fasting

Are you:
Feeling scatterbrained and cluttered in your mind? Losing and misplacing things constantly? Feeling a slight spiritual void in your heart? Feeling disconnected from real relationships and friends? Feeling distracted from your family? Feeling anxiety over too many responsibilities and too many things to keep track of? Are you forgetting to do simple things like pick up your child from school? (yes, this happened.)

**This may be a result of facebook overload. 

Join me in fasting from Facebook for forty days as we clear our hearts and minds from excessive images and thoughts from social media that get in the way of real life. Don't get me wrong, I love facebook and the opportunities it allows for us to connect, share, and respond to one anothers needs. There is nothing wrong with being a  part of a large community of people that you care for! In fact, many blessings have come from being involved with my facebook tribe. However, I know deep down in my heart that when I feel like the above, I've been overdoing it and it's time for a facebook fast.

Here's a little chart I made to mark off as I go and keep me on track. Notice that I get a TREAT every 10 days. That's to keep me motivated! Treats can come in the form of pedicures, a new outfit, something pretty for my room, a new can of paint, or a pint of my favorite Ben n' Jerry's ice-cream. 
Be creative and award yourself for staying true to your commitments!
I am starting tomorrow! Who's in with me?

**Disclaimer: Because facebook is more than just socializing, I will still respond to private inbox messages. I will also continue to post events and reminders to the groups I am in charge of: (my Breastfeeding support group, Cub Scouts group, and Church group). I do not think maintaining my groups is contributing to my craziness and I need to be available to those communities.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Addicted to Garden Salsa RECIPE

Here's my garden soup salsa recipe. I love this salsa so much, I sometimes drink it like soup! And then sometimes I can't stop eating it and I eat the entire batch in one day. That's a lot of tomatoes! 
 **Thank you to my husband for always growing a beautiful, bountiful garden for our family to enjoy. Tomatoes straight off the vine, are a little slice of heaven on earth for me! This year I was able to make salsa with our fresh garden tomatoes, onions, cilantro, corn, and jalapenos. 

Sally's Salsa:

10 medium tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 large onion
1 large Anaheim pepper
2 large jalapenos
Lemon juice from 2 lemons or one of those plastic lemons
1/4 cup White vinegar
salt to taste


1 can sweet corn or 2 large corn on the cobs
1 can black beans
1 large Mango, cubed


small food processor
large bowl
sharp knife
cutting board 


Chop onions in food processor until small. Place onions in bowl and cover with squeezed lemon juice. Add white vinegar to the bowl. (It's best if you let this concoction sit overnight to give the onions ample time to absorb the juice, but I rarely do that. Mostly because I can't wait that long to eat my salsa!!)
Next remove seeds from jalapenos then chop jalapenos, cilantro, and pepper in food processor. Place them in the bowl with the onions. 
Last, blend tomatoes in the blender until pureed. Pour them into the bowl and mix everything together until all blended and colorful. 
Add salt to taste.
**Feel free to add extras like corn kernels, black beans or chopped mango! MMmmmmm!

*Note on tomatoes: I've tried boiling and peeling the tomato skins off and I've tried just leaving them on. I honestly can't tell the difference. They both taste good to me, so I guess do whatever works!

With tortilla chips, over tacos, inside burritos, in a salad, with chicken, etc, etc! Until you die!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ten days in Laie

This past August we went back to Hawaii for a family vacation/homecoming. I'm really glad we went, even though it was the hottest most humid month on the planet,  and we couldn't really afford a vacation, and we were already pretty burnt out on traveling with four children after our big California camping road trip. But hey-I'm not complaining because it was Hawaii and I love it there! Sometimes I miss it so much that little tears come out the sides of my eyeballs. 
I miss the ocean. I miss the waves crashing over me. I miss my little fish friends frolicking in the sea. I miss sitting on the sand and breathing it all in. 

Going back in August, I felt like I really needed to see one last time if we could end up living there again. I've still  had this lingering thought in the back of my head since we moved back to Utah, that maybe we didn't have to say goodbye to Hawaii completely. Maybe we could somehow pull off moving to Laie or Hauula? Just because moving to the Big island wasn't the best match for our family, maybe, just maybe we could live on the east side of Oahu, where real estate is still sort of low compared to the north shore, and my husband could teach at the church college, and we could live a very simple, ocean-loving, frugal-saving, semi-life of poverty where we'd have the entire ocean in our front yard. 
So, this past August we rented a small studio in Laie for 10 days, and got to see what life was like living in L-town.
It was a busy, jam packed ten days full of snorkeling, swimming, bodysurfing, seashell hunting, hiking, surfing, hanging out with my Dad,  seeing old friends, and driving all over the island for many adventures. It was awesome!!
We  had to take breaks from the beach every day or so because my kids would get body chaffing so badly that they couldn't walk anymore. All that sand and salt water and sunshine in their shorts really wiped them out!
One day we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center with my Dad. Another day we got to go to Sea Life Park again with my Dad. One day I took the kids hiking up Diamond Head for another view of the island. On Sunday we visited the Laie Temple grounds and visitors Center.  Of course we hit up all my favorite old beaches I grew up at: Three Tables, Sharks Cove, Waimea Bay, Ke'iki Beach, Temple Beach, Hukilau Beach, Sunset Beach. It was magical for me to see my kids playing at all the places I loved to play at as a child.  One my favorite memories is when Zadok and baby Malachi came with me to Temple Beach early one morning to swim, just like I used to do with my mom when I was little. Another good memory was walking around the Temple View Apartments in Laie with my little Jonah. We found sleepy grass and mangoes and ran around like little kids, just like I used to do when I was a kid. We loved the PCC with Grandpa Bill. The kids haven't stopped talking about the hilarious Tongan Drum Show or weaving fish out of palm fronds. The luau food was amazing. Grandpa Bill is always super fun and entertaining!
I was so happy we got to have all these experiences with our family, but after our ten day stay I was anxious to get home and get back into a good routine again. It was a long, adventurous summer of traveling, and this mama needed a vacation from our vacation!

Thoughts of moving back is out of my system now. I can officially stop wondering or wishing or thinking about all the maybes and know for sure that we won't be moving back anytime soon. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't imagine our family living there. There are good and bad things about anywhere you choose to live, and sometimes you just have to trust that you are right where you need to be!

Once again, I bid aloha to my little fish friends, until we meet again.