Sep 7

Wow. What a weekend. We are done with the 2008 UTOS Conference and it sure has been a busy week! Luckily I have an awesome family that helped with my kids and when I say ‘help’ I mean watched them nearly 24/7…well, actually 24/4. I slept in the same room but was gone before they woke up. So, thank you!

On Wednesday I did a little running around before heading up to Salt Lake Community College – Redwood campus. We were so lucky to have a lot of volunteers who helped with banners, registration, and room management. Some helped set up on Wednesday. Our Sponsors also came to set up booths. Wednesday evening we went to Fiddlers’ Elbows for a speaker’s dinner. It was 21 and over so we had to show our ID’s. The food was fantastic! I had 2 servings of ribsΒ  but my favorite part was the bread triangles and spinach and artichoke dip. Will kept stealing it from me πŸ™ We had a ton of fun. I left Steve with my Benji (Ben Payne) so I could down to my sister’s before the kids fell asleep. Evie was wide awake when I got there but Spencer was passed out.

Thursday was our first day of the Conference. I woke up at 530 (AH!) and met Steve to carpool up. We got there before the inside doors were open so we hung out a bit. Once inside we set up registration and our swag boxes (Novell laptop bags with more swag inside). Around 10 we started getting a slow flow of attendees that needed to sign in to get their swag and badges. Luckily I had awesome volunteers that helped with the madness of registration. Throughout the day we had registrations plus during each class time I took pictures of the speakers and attendees. Thursday evening was the Keynote dinner and I attended for a short amount of time to let another core team member leave the registration desk.

Friday was an early morning again. More registrations, more pictures, and more fun. That evening a group of us (near 50 people if not more) went to Tucanos. YUMMY!

Saturday was the last day and, to tell you the truth, I was glad for that. It ws such a long weekend with so much work that I was excited to be done. I was able to sit in 2 classes – Inkscape and Gimp (both open source graphics programs) and learned a few things I didn’t know as well as had some questions answered.Β  We also had Family Day on Saturday so we had Smokehouse BBQ for lunch and bouncy houses for any kids who came with their parents. I ended up leaving around 5 when the BoFs and Games started.

Here are a few pictures. The rest are on flickr

Sep 7
Random Favorites
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I just wanted to upload some random favorites since I’ve been so bad at blogging lately. Enjoy!

Aug 3
One Down…Five To Go.
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So, today was day one of Steve’s trip to Cali. He was lucky enough to go to Cali to attend and help at the Linux World Expo. My brother, Mike, was wonderful enough to wake up early and take Steve to the airport so I wouldn’t have to try getting the kids in the van at 6 AM (Thank you Mikey!) Steve called me around 8:30 to tell me that he volunteered to give up his seat and go on a later flight. Not a huge deal since he would either be in SLC for extra hours or in Oakland for a coupled of hours waiting to check in to the hotel. He opted to give up his seat and wait for the 4 o’clock. Poor guy spent 9 hours at the SLC airport! BUT, he did get a voucher for a free flight that we’ll be using next year to go to New Jersey for his buddy’s wedding (Bryan). Plus a meal ticket. So, around 730 (or was it 8?) tonight he called to let me know he was there and check into the hotel safe and sound.

But, let me tell you…I felt SO alone today. I was a bit tired and played that off to my neighbors (sorry Katie and Shana!) but it was really that I felt lonely…even with two kids at home and my neighbors around. Odd how that is, isn’t it? To feel alone although you’re surrounded by people you love. I’ve felt that way a few times with my family in town too…what an odd thing. Luckily I got a bit distracted when Mikey and Coley stopped by to pick up some poppers that they left here. I SO love holding that sweet baby boy! Spencer held him for a long time and we realized how much he has started focusing on faces. He loved staring at Spencer and Spencer thought it was really cool. What a cute boy (actually, BOYS!). Evie had fun playing with Mikey a lot…even when he’d play “la testa” with hers and Spencer’s heads! πŸ™‚ (it was a soft ball – no damage!)

So, only 5 more days and Steve’ll be home. I can’t wait! I sure do miss my other half. I don’t like being away from him for too long. I don’t think I could handle being a single mom or a soldier’s wife…how you ladies do it, I don’t know and to be honest, I hope I’ll never have to know. You girls are so strong – kudos to you! Anyway, that was just a piece of things on my mind. Hope it wasn’t too much for you…if it was I bet you stopped reading by now. (Speaking of reading…I’m half way through Breaking Dawn! I SO wanted to beat Susan and Shana! But, alas, I didn’t…or haven’t yet…either way you look at it)

Jul 8
Stadium of Fire
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We had a good time at the Stadium of Fire. Glenn Beck was awesome…and of course, made me cry. He always seems to do that. The presentation of the soldiers over seas also made me cry – it’s always great to see them in high spirits even though they go through more than we’ll ever know. The Blue Man Group was VERY entertaining…I never knew pipes could make such great instruments! And, other than the high pitch shrills of the girls in the stadium, Miley Syrus wasn’t half bad. She had one song that I knew from the radio, and another 2 that I enjoyed the music/words of. The fireworks were very pretty and I really enjoyed spending time with my family. Here are a few pics:

4th of July Family Picture

The rest of the gang

During the Stadium of Fire dancers, a big sheet of white

came over our heads. It was a lot of fun but we didn’t get to

hear what Glenn Beck was saying. πŸ™

Evie and Spencer didn’t seem too worried about the sheet over

our heads.

The soldiers brought out a HUGE flag.

I think there were about 1350 kids out there as Stadium of

Fire dancers. HolyΒ  Cow!

Spencer enjoyed the show

Evie wasn’t always impressed.

Evie loves her daddy…so do I! Also, look how cute

her hair is!

For some odd reason, Evie kept pulling my arms around her

in such a weird way. If I tried dropping my arms, she’d pull

them right back in. What an odd child.

My “Reverent Child” – always finds odd times to

fold her arms.

So…the fireworks….yeah, Evie was nervous.

She enjoyed it better when I covered her ears.

She warmed up eventually. She’d say “See mommy! See Daddy!”

and pointed at the fireworks.

Not the best picture but hey, it works.

Jul 2

He said it alright! It’s been a rough day. This morning I was exhausted and both the kids woke up before I did. The previous post shows what happens when Evie’s running the place. We got ready, drove to Springville to pick up mail from a PO Box that has no reason for being in Springville…it should be in Orem or more north… and pictures and flowers from Walmart. We then drove to Novell to get Steve but ended up waiting for a half an hour since his boss came in and they needed to work on something together.

We then traveled up to Sandy and visited Mom Shaw in the hospital. She was very tired and the incision hurts but all in all she was doing okay. The had her walking around I think 5 hours after her surgery and every few hours after that. She’s rooming with a woman who keeps the tv on all night and swears at everything until the nurses come in where she turns into an angel. I’m sure she’ll be ready to come home soon…if she’s not past that point already!

Since we were in Sandy we took Spencer and Evie, plus Bri and Jadyn, to the Living Aquarium. The kids enjoyed running around, touching the water, and playing in the tunnels but it was definitely time to go at the end.

Steve had to be in Sandy at 7 and since that was only 2 hours after we were done with the Aquarium, me and the kids stayed up there to hang out with daddy. We went to the Fashion Place Mall for ice cream and took a stroll looking at the different stores. Steve headed to his meeting and we headed south.

We got to Orem and went to the Scera Park to play volleyball with Mikey and Coley. I sure do suckΒ some^most of the time. It took me a while to ‘get in the swing of things’ where I sucked less. One of the guys hurt his ankle so we took a break to let him rest and get some tylenal in him. We started up shortly after and I set the ball to Mike. He went up, hit it in, but came down wrong. His ankle got twisted and already started to swell. πŸ™ I feel really bad for him…I know it was an accident but I was the one who set the ball to him. πŸ™ SORRY MIKEY! I hope you feel better soon.

Everyone left so I took the kids to the playground and let them play for about 45 minutes.Β  When I made Spencer and Evie get off the swing so we could leave, Spencer started walking funny and that’s when I noticed he was leaking through his diaper. πŸ™ Not cool. I guess he was stinky when we were at the mall although I didn’t hear Steve tell me that and I didn’t smell it either. Evie was stinky at the mall and I changed her before we played volleyball. We got home and Spencer’s bum was red and very sore! πŸ™ Poor little man. I put him in the bath to let him soak and then when to put Evie in and BAM! She was stinky again (3rd time today). They were both pretty…well, runny…and not stinky… and they both ended up with red and sore rumps. I feel so bad for them! It hurts them to run since the diaper or shorts rub against it.

I decided it was such a long day that I needed my dairy fix and we were out of milk. Spencer said he wanted to go to the store with me so pjs went on and off we went to the store. They were great until the check out stand where Evie found one of those pusher things with a dome on the bottom that pops the balls up as you push it…you know, the really loud, annoying ones. I told her she couldn’t do it in the middle of the store and she threw a HUGE fit. I was proud of myself for talking to her calmly even though I had a headache and just wanted to be at home or away from the kids. I put both kids in the cart since they like helping put the items on the moving belt and Evie decides to SIT on the edge of the cart. Well, I ‘catch’ her from falling over by ‘pushing’ her into the cart where she hit her head on the side. πŸ™ I hugged her and kissed her and said I was sorry but she just wanted the popper noise maker thing and when I said ‘no’ again she threw another fit. Luckily the cashier lady was SUPER nice and said she really enjoys her job because she meets so many different people soΒ  that was pretty cool.

We came home and as we were unloading, Evie came back outside and stood on the back porch and cried…very loudly.Β  Then it was drama about the sippy cups. And, can I just say,


Jun 28

Dea Spina put out a Volunteer Creative Team member call (first come-first serve) and I was the first to respond! Dea allowed me to use her kit LikeNoOther in exchange for my layout(s) that she could use in her emails, blog, etc. I had so much fun doing this and can’t wait for another opportunity to try again! Thanks Dea!

Jun 18
Triana Ord Photography
icon1 memilyrae | icon2 Family Events | icon4 06 18th, 2008| icon33 Comments »

My friend, Triana, who is starting her photography business took our family pictures last Saturday. She’s been a busy bee and I’m so excited for her! We met her at the BYU duck pond at the south end of campus and started playing. We took a few family shots playing on the ground (until Spencer bumped his nose and got a nose bleed), let Mikey & Coley do their family shots and maternity shots, then did a few more family shots. While Mikey and Coley were up, Spencer and Evie played. Triana snapped a few shots of my kids but Evie NEVER SMILED. What an attitude!!!! πŸ™‚ But she’s my attitude, right!?!? πŸ˜€ We tried pleasing the kids by sitting where they wanted to see if we could get them to smile…it worked with Spencer, plus Mikey throwing little pod berry things at him, but not with Evie. Triana was awesome though and always tried looking for an artistic and expressive look. She put this picture on her photography blog of Evie and her ‘tude and I just love it!

I am SO going to have her take our family pictures every year and for those of you who read this and live in Utah, you should totally consider her to take yours as well.Β  I’ll post more pictures once she’s done editing them and giving them this “grungy/rustic” feel that I love so much. Seriously, take a look at her site and HIRE HER! She’s wonderful and amazing!!!!Β Β

Here’s a few more:

Jun 14
Funny Stuff
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We like to see how Spencer thinks through everything…his mind is just amazing to us and we know we’re in for a laugh! Here’s some from this morning:


I’m talking to daddy and Spencer is trying to tell me something.

Mommy? Mommy?

Hold on Spencer. When I put this finger up {my pointer finger} it means ‘wait a sec.’

Spencer pauses.

Mommy? Mommy?

Steve and I just laughed and let Spencer tell us his story.


Steve: “Spencer, why did we buy a new van?”

Spencer – Answer #1: “Because I like the color.”

Spencer – Answer #2: “Because I wanted it.”


Steve: “I’ll snap you like a twig!”

Spencer: “I”ll snap YOU like a PIG!”


Jun 3
New Job
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About a month (or was it two) ago Steve was contacted by a guy at Novell who is looking to hire a few more people. Steve has worked at Novell before in an intern position, and like many other people, experienced the not-so-surprising Novell layoffs. His previous boss thought really highly of him and the work he does and told others about him. Steve went in for the interview, waited for the interview week(s) to be done and was called and given an verbal offer. We wanted to wait until Steve actually signed the papers and started his job and that was yesterday! He’ll be working full time as an…Engineering something or other (I’ll let you know once I know for sure what it is)…and start doing evening classes at Utah Valley University (official July 1…UVSC will be UVU!!! YIPPIE!). I’m so proud of my wonderful hubby and this just goes to show that others see the quality work he does and the potential he has to continue to do great work. I’m also very excited because we’ll have insurance (yippie skippie!) and the wage will allow us to get out of debt. Thank you, Steve, for being the man that you are and for all you do to take care of our family emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically! You’re wonderful!

Jun 1
5th Anniversary
icon1 memilyrae | icon2 Family Events | icon4 06 1st, 2008| icon34 Comments »

Steve and I were THRILLED to have an anniversary where we could actually get away from real life for more than just a couple of hours. Our family and friends helped out so much by watching the kids so Steve and I could spend 24 hours away from them. We sure missed them but, like I explained to Spencer, daddy and I need time by ourselves to make sure we still love each other! πŸ™‚ I sure do love that man of mine!

Spencer and Evie’s schedule:

Friday afternoon/evening: Play with Aunt Netty and cousins – Sounded like everything went okay. Spencer got an scratch on his leg but it wasn’t a big deal. He was very proud of his 2 Scooby Doo bandaids.

Friday night/Saturday morning: Our neighbor, Katie, slept upstairs at our apartment. She refused to sleep on our bed (we bought new sheets!) so when Spencer woke up at 4, he whimpered a little when he didn’t see her in our bed but she hear him and he decided he wanted to sleep on the couch with her. Spencer decided to tell Katie all about how mommy and daddy moved the computer to our room and out of the living room. Too funny! Evie made a noise so she told Spencer she needed to put him back in bed and he went willingly. Luckily, Evie didn’t wake up.

Saturday morning: Mikey and Coley came over to pick up the kids and relieve Katie from babysitting. πŸ™‚ Katie has her own kids to worry about! The took Twitch for a walk to the park and Spencer walked almost the whole time! I think he got tired the last 3 houses and said “My legs are tired.” so Mikey carried him.Β  Then they decided to take the kids for lunch/ice cream to the BYU Creamery. Needless to say Evie got messy and so did Aunt Coley!

Saturday afternoon: Coley and Mikey had a baby shower to attend (she was the guest of honor) so Steve’s parents came down to pick up the kids. They had fallen asleep in Mike and Nicole’s car and Alec and Mike picked them up in their carseats and transferred them to the Shaw’s van. The kids slept another hour and a half and spent the rest of the time outside in the sandbox. We showed up around 4 and Evie was quite excited to see us. Spencer, on the other hand, just walked up to Steve and said “Cut this off?” (there was a tag in his Spiderman hat that bugged him).

Now, as for Steve and I…Friday we ditched the kids, headed home to pack and headed up to SLC. We made a pit stop at Walmart then to Olive Garden for dinner. We stuffed ourselves silly! We had a gift card so we ended up spending about $9 on dinner plus a tip. We went searching for the Annivesary Inn on 5th South but had a difficult time finding it because 5th South turns into 4th South. We finally got there and the room was tons of fun! Aye Matey! Here’s a few pics:

After breakfast and a shower (plus getting ready for the day) we decided to go enjoy Temple Square without having to worry about if our kids are causing trouble or not. We went on a tour of the Conference Center, watch the new movie about Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith Building, Steve bought new scriptures (since his last pair got lost/stolen) and the lady at Deseret was so sweet she gave Steve 20% off because of his sad story πŸ™‚

Before we headed to lunch and home we stopped off to sign a few papers…

We finished our day at Applebees (Steve picked so I could get the Chocolate Meltdown!). Take a look at what I’m eating. (It was actually what Steve was eating…but it’s definitely NOT my first hamburger in the past month). Yep…I think my body decided that 13 or so years without hamburgers is just wrong (minus the one week I ate a few when I was prego with Evie)

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