Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby Max


June 27th 2010
12:24 pm
9 lb. 6 oz.
21 in.

Healthy. Tired. Blessed.
More to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grandpa Bud

DSC_0444 Christmas Morning, December 2008

My Grandpa Bud died last night.  He was an honorable, generous man.   He had a joke and a handful of M&Ms for everyone he saw.  He loved Brighton, Boy Scouts and his family.

Grandpa Bud hadn’t been doing well for awhile.  I’m grateful I took the time to see him while in town last month.  I’ve known since Tuesday  he probably didn’t have much time left.  Still, when I received the word last night, I took it pretty hard.  I surprised myself how much I cried.  I think it’s because I know at 38.5 weeks pregnant, I can’t travel across the country for the funeral next week.  I desperately want to be there for my mom and for the closure.  I want to be there to honor Grandpa and to share the special bonding time with extended family.  I hate missing this.

Tender thoughts of Grandpa filled my mind all night.  I appreciate the memories and pictures my cousins Julie and Jill have shared on their blogs.  They’ve helped inspire me to share mine.


Grandpa Bud Memories


*His magic disconnecting finger trick.

*His endless supply of corny jokes or “groaners.”  There was the Eskimo joke:  “Why do Eskimos wash their clothes in Tide?  Because it’s too cold out Tide.”  And the cow series:  “What do you call a cow who has just given birth?  Decaffeinated.”   “What do you call a cow with broken legs?  Ground beef.”  “Where do cows eat?  In the cafeteria.”  And my favorite:  “What do you get when a cow jumps over a barbed wire fence?  Utter destruction.”

*The Cabin.  He loved that place.  So do I.

*His relentless devotion to and loving care for Grandma as she battled Alzheimer’s for 23 years.

*His constant use of the word, “seriously.”  Maybe because he was joking all the time, he felt the need to really stress when he wasn’t.

*The way he always asked, “who’s this?” when you picked up the phone.  He knew it was you (he called you, after all), but it never stopped him from asking.

*The trip to Disneyworld with matching t-shirts.

*A full bag of M&Ms, ready to share.

*Brighton.  I remember going for drives with him up the mountain to check on construction at the Girls’ Camp when I was very young.  I also remember attending weekly camp devotionals with him.  Everyone knew him and adored him.  Floss (the director), the counselors, the girls… they all called him by his camp name, “Barney.”  When I was 12 and 13, I had the opportunity to fly out to Utah from Iowa to attend Brighton Girls’ Camp.  I loved it.

*He stocked his freezer with banana Creamies whenever we came to visit from Iowa because he knew we loved them and couldn’t get them in the Midwest.

*Donut holes.

*Outings to McDonalds, Sizzler and the ZCMI Center food court.

*Grocery shopping at Smith’s where we could pretty much talk him into buying every and any treat we wanted.

*Riding around in the back seat of his station wagon.  It was the old school kind with the back seat that actually faced backwards.  We thought that was so cool.

*Attending plays and musicals at Pioneer Memorial Theater.

*4th of July breakfasts and parades at Brighton.  Decorating our “Root Beer Float,” tossing root beer barrels candy to the crowd and chanting with cousins, “Root Beer Floats… make us burp!”

*The time he accidentally ran over my brother during one of said parades.


*Showing up the morning after my cabin parties and saying, “Guess I’ll have to hire someone to clean up this mess.”  Then giving me a wink and a smile.

*Listening to that silly song, “Utah Loves the Utes” over and over and over again while riding in his car.  He knew all the words.  I learned about half of them.

*Wonderful cruises with the entire family.

*Not being able to go anywhere with the man without running into several people who knew him.  He was one popular guy.  I was proud to be his granddaughter.

*His pool table full of automated toys during Christmas.  It was every child’s dream.

*Sitting at red lights and watching him “predict” when the light was going to turn green.  He was always right and it amazed me.  It took me years to realize he was simply watching the opposite traffic lights turn yellow, then red.

*His love for the University of Utah.  His Utes tie.  Every time he asked me where I went to college and I said, “BYU” he’d say “BY Who?”

*The way he’d bring home a sacrament meeting program and go over it with anyone who would listen, recapping the meeting and all the talks.

*His loooong fireplace lined with Christmas stockings.  One for each grandchild.  For years Santa visited my house on Christmas and Grandpa Bud’s house on Christmas Eve.  How cools is that?

*The way he called me “Wendy Wa Whoo.”

*The way he called my dad “MW.”  Short for Mr. Wonderful.  And Mike Weiler.

*The way he called Harley “Hardly.”

*The way he’d put out his hand to shake yours, then circle it away when you returned your hand.  He was such a tease.


I’m happy to think of you with full strength and sound mind reuniting with Grandma, your siblings and other very special people right now, Grandpa.  I love you.

DSC_0513-2 August 2009


Robert Franklin Barnes is survived by his 4 children, 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren (with 3 on the way).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The 72 Non-DMDG Hours

I’ve been spoiled. My recent trips to Utah have been major staycations. They’ve included ample time to see (almost) everyone on my list, usually more than once. Last month’s trip to Utah was super short for several reasons.

1) I was 34 weeks pregnant. My doctor advises no traveling after 32 weeks. I didn’t tell him I was going. For the record, flying at 34 weeks is NOT ideal.

2) I traveled alone, which WAS ideal, but meant I had to hurry back to relieve my sitter, who was busy preparing for a move the next week. Thanks Cheryl!

3) I came to Utah for one purpose.

In the few short days I wasn’t at the DMDG, I tried to see as many friends and family members as possible. I saw four friends and just barely saw each member of my immediate family. I didn’t think I’d see my brother at all, but at the last minute, he showed up to drive me to the airport. We got a quality 35 minutes together on the freeway. Thanks Tom!

Fortunately, I got to spend time with these choice people:

DSC_0006Becky and new puppy Hazel


Alyssa and new baby Matisse

mindy2 mindy6

Mindy (who just happened to be in Utah too… okay, we may have planned this a little) and our 34-week bellies. We’re due two days apart. Our first kids are two weeks apart. Kind of amazing!


We joined Kelly and Jessica for a quality GNO complete with dinner, movie, dessert and a sleepover (that didn’t include a whole lot of sleep).


My dear Haley. Is this picture awkward to you? I actually kind of love it. This was snapped right after she begged to cut off my skin tags and I refused.

The real highlight was meeting my new favorite family member: Hannah Jean Snow. She is 100% adorable, and I got to spend time with her TWICE! I loved spoiling her with gifts, cuddling her and watching Allison do the Mom thing. Hannah was my first stop the minute I landed and my last stop before I flew back. I ache to live closer to my family!

W and H 7 My first niece!

I guess it shows how brief my trip was since I didn’t take a single picture with a family member other than Hannah. Not my Weiler grandparents who made an extra effort to see me on their way out of town, nor my Grandpa Bud whom I made an extra effort to see before the DMDG. I wish I had pictures with them. I also wish I had pictures of:

1) Keeping my mom up waaaay past her bedtime telling her all about my amazing Divas.

2) Staying up even later with Lisa bonding about friends, life plans and how a baby changes everything. We literally talked ourselves to sleep. I loved it.

3) The big family sleepover we had at Ali’s house. Dad, Mom, Ali, Jonathan, Hannah and me… just hanging out, watching Hannah. My mom made the biggest, yummiest cinnamon rolls in the morning. I can’t stop thinking about them.

Since I can’t show you any of that, I’ll throw in one more of that new favorite family member.

W and H 6

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Viva La Diva


Viva la DIva 

Almost twelve years ago I started my freshman year at BYU.  I lived on the 2100 floor of David John Hall where I met some of  THE. MOST. AMAZING. women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  These girls changed my life, shaped my personality, and taught me countless lessons in flirting, fun and most importantly, friendship.  We quickly formed eternal bonds and became THE DIVAS.  We’re now spread across the country, busy having careers, children and chaotic lives.  That didn’t stop us from having a reunion over Memorial Day weekend 2006, which we dubbed, Diva May Day Getaway, or DMDG.  Four years later, (last month) we had DMDG II.  Four years from now, we’ll have DMDG III.  I believe our DMDGs will continue until we die.  Then we’ll just be heaven roommates.

Divas 1998:

image0How sad is this picture?  The quality alone makes me feel old.  It’s missing Mithona and Faye and has an extra girl or two, but it’s the best freshman year Diva group shot I could find in my apartment. 

Divas 2006:


Divas 2010:



Another THEN (2006) and NOW (2010):



Someone (Jessica?) said we each always strike the same “sexy” pose.  Looking at these two shots, she’s right about half of us… me being the prime example.


DMDG 2010 was everything you’d want a best friends’ reunion weekend to be.  It was four days of every and all things DIVA.  A heartfelt thanks to Nicole and Kelly who planned every perfectly themed little detail you see in pictures below AND provided us all with special matching necklaces






DMDG 2010 was held at a lovely condo just outside Park City.  (Shout out to Sarah for her awesome hook up!)  11 (of 16) Divas gathered from 9 different states.  To all the husbands, extended family members, bosses, wallets and more who supported us and made this possible… THANK YOU!  I know everyone sacrificed on many levels to be there, but I know we all agree it was 100% worth it.

Our theme:  Viva La Diva.  We all turn 30 this year, so we celebrated US.  Our age, our experience, our life, our friendship and our DIVA.  My favorite part of the weekend was the Viva La Diva birthday party. 


The party included the most delicious cake to honor every bridal shower, wedding, baby shower, birthday, graduation, etc. we’ve marked over the last four years without each other.  We paid tribute to our major life events and accomplishments that night.  We played a party game:   “Name that Diva” using our baby pictures.  We sang to ourselves and blew out sparkly candles.   The cake was to die for.  Seriously.




Then we exchanged gifts.  We each brought one of our favorite things to share with each other.  We called it “Tales of a True Diva” because in addition to gifting the item, we passed along the tale of how we came to discover it.

DSC_0157We all went home with 10 new, FABULOUS, tried and true “favorites.”

Starred Photos-1


Of course the Viva La Diva party was just the beginning.  We spent the weekend








SPA-ING…  We devoted an entire day just to pampering ourselves.  Thanks to Jessica, Sally and their expertise and generosity the day included facials, eye care advice, deep conditioning hair treatments, paraffin wax baths,  professional massages, exfoliation, feet soaking, and nail painting.  We learned how to enter our 30’s beautifully.


DMDG 2010




DSC_0267Let it be known Jessica and I totally won the “Roommate Game” (a la the “Newlywed Game”).  The best part is we weren’t even roommates freshman year.


DSC_0177   No Diva gathering is complete without The Car Dance.


What were we doing here?  Rubbing the prego belly for dancing luck?   Something like that.  Did I mention NO BABIES came to the DMDG?!  Nursing babies were invited, but major props to Gwendolyn and Brooke who left their nursing 13 and 4 (!!!!) month olds home.  That was amazing!  I was the only one pregnant.   I may or may not have planned my pregnancy around this reunion.  :)  I love these girls and my Diva time that much.  They made it worth it.  I got the royal prego treatment:  my own room -- complete with a black-out shade and a fan, first dibs on the most comfortable chairs, consistent offers to fetch my water or clear my plate, and it seemed every time I leaned over I magically got my back rubbed.  Oh, my Divas were good to me!

REMINISCING… This included digging through our Time Capsule from 2006 then adding to it with letters to ourselves and notes of admiration to each other.



2010 May_ 193

RELAXING… And by relaxing, I mean, these crazies actually exercised.


FINE WINE (Martinelli’s) & CHEESING…


BOOK TUBBING… holding a book club in a hot tub.  Genius, right?  How did we not get a picture of this?



Starred Photos


Am I leaving anything out?  Oh yeah, we karaoked too.  On Sunday we filled an entire row at the local ward’s sacrament meeting.  What a site we were.  11 girls decked out in high heels and accessories, packed in one row, no kids or husbands in sight.  Much to our pleasant surprise, the main speaker spoke on friendship, how important it is and what we can do to create and nurture friendships.  Meant to be?  That’s what we thought as we squeezed hands and exchanged looks throughout the talk.

DSC_0192    Top Row L-R:  Sally Walker, Emily Scarborough, Brooke Warner, Jessica Taggart, Wendy King, Kelly Durham, Gwendolyn Wyne; Bottom Row L-R:  Sarah Severson, Nicole Santiago, Larissa Delgado & Asialene Smith

We sincerely missed Faye Knisley (who delivered a baby girl 1 day later!), Amber Snow (who delivered a baby boy 4 days later), Suzette Selden, Nicole Mangiardi and Mithona Nielsen.


As I look at these faces (and try to ignore the poor picture quality… grrr!!), I am overwhelmed by my respect and love for each Diva individually and the collective group.  I am deeply grateful for these friendships.  I could write pages about choice growing experiences I’ve had with each girl.  Every Diva has many qualities I admire.   Our associations and traditions bless my life daily.  It’s taken effort,  time, money and, on occasion, heartache to invest in and foster these relationships.  Yet I was reminded all weekend how worthy any sacrifice for friendship is.  I cherish the time we spent together in college and the memories we continue to make today.   I loved every laugh, tear, confession, celebration and bonding moment of our DMDG 2010.





Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Weeks

DSC_0006Taken last Sunday at 36.5 Weeks

Welp, I’m having a baby two weeks from today. I had an ultrasound last week and the baby measured 9 pounds. That was at 36 weeks. That’s 9 lb. with 4 weeks to cook! Why do I have such massive babies?! Oh yeah, because my husband’s one wish in life is to cleanse the gene pool. Apparently, the Lord is answering a good man’s prayer. Lucky me, right? I know these 9th month ultrasounds can be off by a pound in either direction. But either direction from 9 lb. at 36 weeks isn’t pretty. At 37.5 weeks Anderson measured “only” 7 lb. 13 oz. and he popped out a 9 lb. 8 oz. heifer. The ultrasound technician told me the last three weeks of pregnancy are simply for the baby to put on weight. Some plateau, while others pack on 1/2 a pound a week. We don’t need that! I’m all about big babies once they’re out. They sleep great, eat great and they are so dang chubbilicious. It’s the getting them out part that gives me an anxiety attack. My neonatologist kept using the phrase “traumatic vaginal delivery” as we discussed the baby’s size. He said it over and over and OVER again. It has haunted my dreams since. TRAUMATIC VAGINAL DELIVERY. Can you think of a worse set of words? He warned me about major tearing, organ damage, broken tailbone… then advised I get a C-section SOON. I cried. Fortunately, my OBGYN (whom, I decided today, I love) disagreed. She believes, just by looking at me, the baby is only about 7 lb. now. (Bless her, but I know she’ll be wrong.) During our visit today she kept using the phrase, “successful vaginal delivery.” I loved her for that. She advised a “successful vaginal delivery” for me can best be accomplished by an early induction. I’m all kinds of nervous about any early intervention because my body did NOT react well to (post due date) intervention with Anderson. But I’m in a tough spot: wait for my body/Mother Nature to do her thing = GINORMOUS BABY. Artificially get the party started early = POTENTIAL HARDER LABOR. We’re compromising with an induction at 39 weeks (and 1 day). I check in to the hospital the evening of July 1st. I have the baby July 2nd.

Two weeks.

Two weeks to be miserably pregnant in the wet hot box that is DC.

Two weeks before I kiss his cute, fat face.

image0-1 Are you seeing the chubs? The HUGE cheeks (below the dark circle that are his eyes) and the nose pressed upward? We are both SO SQUISHED!

Two weeks to get so. much. stuff. done.

Top of the To Do list: book Cheryl’s train ticket (which I believe she’s handling as I type). My mom doesn’t fly in until July 4th. Whoops, planned that one wrong. Thanks Cheryl. You know you’re Anderson’s best babysitter!

Next on the list: find housing. Yep, we’re moving. Again. In August. <Sigh.>

Also important on that list: commit to a name.

All I want to do is sit in front of a fan, put my feet up and sip lemonade. Scratch lemonade, make that Checkers’ strawberry shakes. Is that so wrong? I feel like I’ve been going nonstop since the end of March. There have been some fun, fabulous, times -- especially lately with traveling and visitors -- (oh how I hope to have time pre-baby to blog all about it), but I’m exhausted.

DSC_0156 If that isn’t good times, I don’t know what is.

I’m so tired I cancelled social plans for last night and tonight. Last weekend we told out of town friends we just weren’t up for hosting them. It’s too much effort to put on make-up and be “on” for people right now. Can’t I just nap and hang out with Harley and Anderson until this baby comes? Nope, there is that looming To Do list.


Wouldn’t you want nothing more than to sit half-naked in the sweltering heat with this guy too? His latest stint: wear Harley’s headlamp around his neck and announce, “Mama, I going a Meh-ico!” (Mexico). He then walks over to our front door and stands there for about 30 seconds while shining the light on the wall. He returns and tells me, “Mama, I back!” I think we’re entering the imagination stage. LOVE that.

I have accomplished some important things. Last Saturday I finally nested. I de-cluttered, deep cleaned and reorganized the nursery. I pulled out all of Anderson’s old clothes, sorted and folded them. Then I closeted, drawered or storage binned them appropriately.

DSC_0023Oh how I love a clean, organized closet.

Good news: we’re in pretty great shape. That’s the wonderful thing about second child, same gender. The only things I need to buy right now: breast pump, calendar, new pacifiers, nursing pads and maybe another SwaddleMe. Post move we’ll invest in a big boy bed and a double stroller. My new diaper bag came today. I’m really excited about it. Especially since I got a great deal (new with tags!) on eBay.

We’re getting there. Two weeks. My body is going to rock labor and delivery this time. My OBGYN convinced me. And, heaven help us, THE EPIDURAL IS GOING TO TAKE ON BOTH SIDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, the Lord can answer this good woman’s prayer too, right?