Monday, July 31, 2017

Max's birthday

Maxwell David turned 12 years old last week. He got this sharp new suit and shoes from his Nona and Papa.

Gosh he looks tall and handsome.  On Sunday, he graduated primary and was ordained a deacon by his dad.  His papa and two of his uncles were there to help. Next Sunday he will help pass the sacrament for the first time and I am so proud of him.

Andrew found Ben's old suit on Saturday and begged to try it on -- and it fits! He wanted to look just like Max on Max's special Sunday.

Max is a very good big brother. He is patient (most of the time -- and he tries very hard, I can tell), and helpful and he is often called on to do things for his younger siblings while his parents' hands are full.

We were on a walk around the neighborhood and he asked to try carrying Millie in the front pack. I mean, come on, look how cute.

She hurt his back after a block or two though.

Last week he had his well-child checkup, where he got his middle-school shots and his medical form all filled out for his first week-long scout camp (he left today and comes back Saturday!)
He is 63 1/4 inches tall, so we are basically saying he's almost 5 feet 4. It's the high 90s percentile. And he lost almost 10 pounds since last summer's checkup. The doctor checked his weight twice to make sure. His pants and shorts are loose and his legs look so long.  It's all the basketball practice and games and the lawn-mowing jobs.

He had a basketball cake. We gave him some snacks and supplies for scout camp, and an mp3 player and headphones, and he has been listening to music now while he practices basketball.

He is a good kid and we will all miss him this week!

-His first birthday, we got a Costco sheet cake (with the big frosting balloons) and had both families over for dinner in the backyard. My family lived in Utah County at the time.

-His second birthday, I took his toy mower to Harmons and the bakery decorated a cake to look just like it. He was obsessed with mowers.  I had just found out that our second baby was going to be a boy, so we bought some new more-expensive boy shoes because we knew we could pass them down.

-His next birthdays you can read about below.

Third birthday
Fourth birthday
Fifth birthday
Sixth birthday
Seventh birthday
Baptism Day
Ninth Birthday
Tenth birthday
Eleventh birthday

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My birthday

Was perfect.

I didn't get to sleep in, and I had to be out in the rain at a crime scene downtown, but not for long.  When I got home, all the kids and JB jumped out and yell SURPRISE!

They had had such a busy morning -- the whole house was spotless, there was a beautiful cake in the kitchen, and the best thing was....drum organized laundry room WITH my sewing table and all supplies set up in it! These have been in the little boys' room (formerly the extra bedroom), severely limiting any chance to do any sewing mending or crafting after they go to bed. Plus it's next to the ironing board for when I need that (I have been a lazy sewer and didn't want to walk to the laundry room to iron those seams).

My in-laws came over later that afternoon to eat the amazing cake JB made while juggling 5 kids and cleaning and moving all that furniture around (all before noon).

He makes me feel special, and he is so thoughtful. He put together the sweetest birthday card, and he helped my MIL pick out a sun-blocking sun dress I can't wait to wear when we go swimming again.

We took some pictures outside.

And here are my birthday kisses!

Can you believe the cheeser face of that baby? I love this picture so much. I have the sweetest children.

Today is Max's birthday, and I am remembering the time he was probably turning four years old, and he prayed something about how mom's birthday was over and now it was his turn!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Adventures of my own

Today is my 38th birthday, and, I hope fried chicken and mashed potatoes and cake are in my future.

At the beginning of the summer, I bought a hat to protect my skin from the sun, then later at Target I found another one.  I hoped I looked chic in both. Really I look like a mom in her late 30s wearing a hat, and that's fine, I can own it. 

These are pictures I texted my sisters.

(pre cut and color)

And, because I can laugh at myself, I will share the following story from a recent Saturday. Here is how I texted it to others:

Leaving the house today I backed out of the driveway, then ran back to check and make sure I locked the door.
 I hold my chest as I run because otherwise it bounces, right. 
Well, someone was jogging by, so as I ran back to my car clutching my chest I said "sorry!" with a grimace, basically to apologize that I was blocking the sidewalk. 
I got in the car, and she kind of stopped by the tree. 
I think "great, she knows I am leaving and is going to rob my house. So I will wait her out." 
Finally, she ends the standoff by coming to the van window "are you ok? You seemed in distress back there and haven't kept driving." 
Me: 😳😬 "Hehehe, I am fine, how are you? Ok have a good day!"

And then I drove off, feeling sheepish.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Twelve months

This girl is so squishy and cute.

At her checkup, she weighed 20 pounds 15 ounces (the nurse said she's probably 21 pounds with clothes), which is the 48th percentile, and her length is 30 inches, but the nurse put in 29 in the computer from the first measurement, and that was 51st percentile. Head is 76 percentile, everything looks good.

Waves, claps, cheers, babbles, laughs, hi-fives, crawls everywhere, and climbs into anything.

She is starting to stand and balance by herself and it makes the boys (especially Andrew) very excited. "MILLIE IS STANDING!" and then she plops down.

Starting to pull off her bows more and more. I tried a tiny pony-tail but her hair is still too thin and wispy.

She is a GREAT eater. Loves fried eggs, yogurt, bites of PB and Nutella sandwiches, cherries, and anything we are eating. She didn't see a dip in weight between 9 and 12 months like other babies. Not a good drinker unless it's nursing, but I have started offering her water sometimes.  She does like to sleep/nurse. Or sleep on JB if I am not there.  Sleep training is something I just hate. Crying-it-out is so sad.

Some pictures from the last month:

Showing off her flexibility.

Sleeping on me at church.

Starting driving lessons.

I may have mentioned this before, but I don't remember nicknames growing up. My siblings were called by their names almost all of the time - Rebekah gradually became Bekah, but when I am around her or refer to her I still often say Rebekah; Michael was/is never Mike or Mikey; Peter never became Pete, although we tease him as Petey every once in a while.  Stephen was never Steve, that's a different person.  Etc. Although Joseph became Joe. But I honestly don't remember calling them anything other than their name.

So it is fun to live with JB (christened John) and hear all the sweet nicknames he comes up with. Lately Millie's nicknames include Bumis McGee, Tootie, Miller Gracer, Larry H Miller Grace, Millie-girl, Girlie, Chickie and Dolly.

Any way, this Dolly is really sad after yesterday's shots so Imma cut this short. Happy 12 months of Millie Grace!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Our darling Millie Grace is one year old today!

She celebrated today with donuts, two baths (she got that messy), and clapping and smiling and dancing anytime we sang to her.

She spent the afternoon at a basketball tournament for older brothers, and knowing that, we took her cake to family dinner on Sunday.

I have been daydreaming of making a pink cake for a very long time. I went back and forth on different frosting techniques (as my YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram viewing history will tell you), but settled on trying rosettes for her smash cake and a raspberry drip and hearts for the main cake.

She poked at it...

Took a taste...

And was hooked!

The boys really wanted her to smash it and make a mess. This video is of Ben showing her what to do.

And she stuck her head in it like Ben showed her.

But eventually I took it away. That was a lot of frosting on there. Andrew and cousin Aaron worked on eating it after that.

Here is our traditional birthday kisses.

We waited so many years for a baby girl to come to our family, and this last year has just flown by. I can't wait to see the toddler, little girl, big girl, young woman and woman she becomes.

Later this week, after her 12 month appointment, I will do the full 12 month post (her last monthly post) with those stats and other milestones and all the things we love about this baby girl.  For now, it is bedtime after a long day!

Birth story here
Name story here

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Slurpees, Cows, and Basketball

It wouldn't be July without some freebies!

On 7-11, JB took 3 boys and 1 girl to get free 7-11 slurpees.  Max was at basketball camp and I was finishing up at work.

Millie climbed into Ben's lap to get closer to the cold goodness.

Max got his free slurpee after his camp was over at 4, and Millie did the same thing to him in the kitchen -- climbed right up to beg for a taste.

The same day, Chick-Fil-A was doing their dress up like a cow promotion. I stuck spots on the boys' clothes and ears on a hat and bells around their necks. I wore a brown cloaky thing from cousin Aaron's Jedi birthday party last year. I know the Chick-Fil-A cows are black and white, but, I say, How Now Brown Cow.

I only grabbed a picture of my two littlest bovines.

Andrew proclaimed to everyone that, "My mom makes milk for our baby, so she is like a cow!"  Oh boy.  Anyway, the kids got 6 piece chicken nugget meals, although 9 year old Ben was hungry still. I should have picked the sandwich for him.  I bought two other sandwiches to bring home to JB and Max after bball camp.

I remember my younger brothers all being very hungry growing up. These boys of mine are constantly asking about a snack, all day every day.  JB took them to all-you-can-eat recently. Here is his caption to the picture he sent me while at work (Millie was asleep in the carseat under the table)

"Took these kids to lunch at Braza Grill on an expiring City Deal.  Can you guess which ones were in hog heaven?"

Summer wouldn't be complete without the Jazz Summer League basketball.  Max and Ben and JB watched 6 games over 3 days together.

This picture was taken July 3rd. Max is wearing his Gordon Hayward jersey, and Ben has the remnants of the upkeep of his Gordon Hayward haircut.  On July 4th, Gordon Hayward announced he was leaving the Jazz.  There were tears at our house.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Me + KSL = 15 years

(April 2015, covering the departure of  the president on Air Force One at HAFB)

Whelp, I have been at KSL 15 years this month.  To celebrate, my alarm still goes off at 3:45 AM, I keep doing stories and they keep paying me.  Overtime for most of this week, in fact.

I was in a long court hearing Monday morning for three teens who killed a police officer, on Tuesday morning I covered a domestic violence press conference, and on Wednesday morning I was in a planning meeting for upcoming longer indepth stories on suicide.

Add that to the big fires and deadly accidents this summer and it has been pretty heavy lately. All I want to do is rush home and squish my baby girl and laugh with my boys and husband.

Reporters have to separate themselves from what's happening, or we would break down. I almost did on the banks of the Provo river where a 4 year old and her mom drowned in May.  I always remember the first body I saw in the middle of a street, probably 13 years ago where a motorcyclist hit a deer and died.  I will never forget covering the drunk-driving deaths of our bishop's family 10 years ago, or the Trolley Square shootings.  There's a spot on the cold, hard marble floor of the capital building where I sit every January-March covering legislative stories.

But I have had great stories, too, that I think have made an impact -- at least on me. Meeting nice people, interviewing officers and firefighters and folks trying to make a difference, kids doing good...those all collectively are the reason why I stay in the news business.

(picture from LDS Philanthropies copyright 2011)

I may get a certificate or cake or a bonus or another week of vacation for hitting 15 years, but at least I know my co-workers like me and I like them, and I still like telling stories on the radio.

And sometimes on TV and in the newspaper :)

(October 2015)

By the way, changes in structure of the different departments in the newsroom means my radio stories rarely appear on the main KSL-dot-com website, but if you go to my audio stories pop up there -- and we have a KSL Radio app where they should post, too. In case you were wondering.

Ok, time for my outcue.

PS Here is more if you really want it
10 years blog post 
9 years blog post (where I name drop. I could add HHS Secretary Tom Price, Bruce Hough, a Baroness, Santino Fontana, the muppets and more to that list)
Bragging on a good story
Being featured by BYU  (and the professional video aw shucks)
Going to Haiti and part two
Some brief blog posts about being on TV Oct 2010, Dec 2010, March 2011
Co-hosting The Browsers and taste-testing Coke

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lagoon days

Papa was recently Park Director, so JB took the boys out to Lagoon while the girl and I napped.

Isn't he the best?

Then last Friday,  Millie-girl and I postponed our naps because many of JB's Richards family members met at Lagoon for lunch!  Rachelle was in town, so several got together to visit.  JB's dad reserved a terrace -- it says "Richards cousins" on the sign below.

l-r Jeff, JB, Suzanne, Chloe, Rachelle, Darby, Sarah.

The extended family is so much fun to be with, and to talk to. It was good to catch up for a bit, even though my boys were pulling me off to rides.  

I took the little boys on Rattlesnake Rapids, and they weren't scared at all -- they thought it was like Moana going through the reef and the waves. I broke out into song, why not.

The lines were short, so Ben and I did some bigger rides in a row together -- but it made me queasy and my heart raced. Having 5 babies and getting older sure changes a body.  

Monday, July 10, 2017


This was the view recently when I came home from work.

Sometimes I have to finish up something from home, so I do it with one hand while feeding baby sister. She likes to nurse as soon as I get home.

Lest you think it is just me multi-tasking, JB sent me a sweet picture this morning of Millie on his chest. He often types one-handed, too! Bishoping and loan-officer-ing.

Curious/tenacious/stubborn 4 year old James can often be a big helper, but other times he just likes to be like Wreck it Ralph. So folding laundry can be a challenge. He either helps, or he runs through it laughing.  One day I had several loads to put away, the big boys were at basketball with JB, and I knew the little boys needed something to do that wasn't outside in 100 degree weather. So I got out the paints and let them have the kitchen floor.

Thankfully it all mopped up quickly. I am not sure if it was worth the extra work to have the 15 minutes of quiet!

(This reminds me of this post mopping the floor with my first two little boys)

Speaking of laundry, I often do what we did growing up -- I put on a movie and get all the kids to help. Last time it was just me with a chick flick, and I did not pay attention to the socks sorting. JB and Max and Ben were hunting for their favorites in each others' sock drawers for a while. Max told me I should make a chart to keep them all straight!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cub Country and more campout stuff

JB went up one day to Cub Country with Ben in June. One day I should ask off work and go there to see the craziness.
9-year-old Bear Scout Ben has good friends in our ward and stake, and I hope he is a good friend to them (I get reports back that he is)

Right now JB is at another campout with 11-year-old scout Max. What would these boys do without their dad?? I can't/don't/won't camp much, I can't model how to be a good man and a father. I do read with them or play board games or watch movies. JB shows them how to enjoy the beautiful mountains we have nearby.

Here are a few more pictures from Dads and Kids recently that I found when JB's phone uploaded.

The terror twins asleep.

Ben's bedhead when he woke up.

Max the strong and brave!