Tuesday, December 23, 2014


It's too late. Not even Amazon prime can save me. The shopping for Christmas window has slammed shut. We are leaving for Heber to have Christmas with Garrett's family in the morning and it kinda feels good to not have to log on to "Amazon.com" for the first time this whole month.  Christmas cards are out sitting in some mail truck and probably won't make it until after Christmas but if that really offends you, then don't read it and reimburse me my .39 cents later. We spent the last few days trying to get some sub for santa projects that I procrastinated ready and I was not in the Christmas cheer.

This pic accurately depicts our attitude. No shoes. Grace using the walmart pillow to "rewax" and Liv at the shopping cart helm grabbing whatever she felt we needed within our reach. I'm not proud of our lack of classiness. I'm just calling it like it is.  I ran out of paper so the man in the nursing home was getting his gift wrapped in princess paper, I was trying to pack, I felt stressed because none of our local neighbor gifts and notes were ready (the ones with a cute little clever saying and gift like May your days be merry and "sprite", Hope you get some "dough" for Christmas with cookie dough etc etc. We had nothing of the sort ready).  Our living room looked like a garage sale vomited and corn dogs heated in microwave because it was too late for the deluxe gourmet oven cooking was on the menu for dinner. It was not ideal.  I thought to myself how not Christmasy I was feeling. I just felt chaotic and disorganized.  I was reading an article last night and it gave these definitions:

Busy (adj): Having a great deal to do

Full (adj): Abundant, well supplied, filled or rounded out

I realized how quickly I get busy and the busier I am, the emptier I feel. I feel like when you hit your 30's, satan doesn't tempt you with drugs or immodest clothes (like a bikini would even be a temptation after having babies...you couldn't pay me to shove my white saggy flesh into one of those) but can easily make you feel empty simply by getting you to be too busy instead of full.
In residency Gar was gone. A lot. Ok more like always. One morning after he had worked all night I came upstairs and saw the the gals had broken the #1 residency rule of not waking up dad. When I asked Liv about it she said, "We aren't waking him up, we just wanna be with him. I'm sleeping too." I forget that "just being" with someone is sometimes more than enough.  Children are great at shaking your brain to see things simply and so much more clearly.  Liv said to me the other day, "Mom, you're being dimpy. Do you know what dimpy means? It means you say that you want to play with me but then you do something else!"  I admit I am "dimpy" far too much.
I don't want to be busy in 2015. I don't want to sit home waiting for my bangs to grow back doing nothing but I do not want to be busy with a bunch of styrofoam peanut filler like activities that don't last and don't matter.  I want to have a full life, not a busy one.

Full of feeling like this and creating joy in the mundane blah blah ordinary not Disneyland days.

Full of not caring how I look, but more how my soul feels and doing things that make it so I'm not spiritually anorexic.

Full of taking better care of my dang body and eating less crap.

Full of reading that entire bookshelf of books I have downstairs that have never been touched except when I bought them. And doing something so my brain doesn't mold and only have stimulation from Sesame street or learning a new spanish palabra (word) on Dora the Explorer.

Full of spontaneous moments that are not at all part of the responsible routine.

Full of doing something to develop a talent or learn something or do something to create beauty instead of just surviving the day and letting time evaporate.

Full of quality time with these humans that are all mine.
I really love this season so dang much.  Busy or not, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weekly highlights...

Real Christmas trees. Who knew? I have a firm testimony of fake trees but I married a man who has a deep abiding vision of us with an axe in the freshly fallen snow chopping down our tree together.  I couldn't quite make the leap from fake tree to the woods with coyotes howling this year so we ended up at a tree lot.  The girls look miserable but they loved it. Liv brought a dollar with her and gave it to the man to buy our tree. He said it cost $42 and she said, "Well then count that dollar and see if it's 42!"  I love her brain. 
This needs to stop.  The first time she did it was funny. Maybe funny. This was the third day in a row and it was no longer funny.  In case you were wondering, vaseline in hair is like nasty slime and it doesn't come out unless you use cornmeal.  Cornmeal baths are weird. Vaseline is a mess. I also think petroleum jelly is one of the most awkward words in the English language. Right up there with puberty and moist. 
The girls and I may or may not have a secret weekly habit of getting a lottery ticket. I let Liv pick it and Grace gets it out. It's a family activity...ok its a girls activity that Gar has no idea about, but when we win big we will let him in on it. 
We have a lot of  "You know you're in Idaho when..." moments but this was a fun one.  We love our friend LeeAnn and the fact that she has horses rocks Liv's world.
If you don't have a 3 year old this Christmas, you need to adopt one. It is more than magical. Every night they read books by the tree and I love how much she loves every single thing about this season.
If I ever want to make Liv's day, I don't buy her a new barbie or take her to the zoo...all I have to do is give her an entire roll of tape and there's nothing better.  This was one of those days. Who doesn't want a tape wand? 
For $6.99 each I thought it was a pretty good deal. I wouldn't want a 12 pack of children, just these two for now. They are my life.

Beauty from within...and without.

Hair is a big deal. Unless you don't have it and then it is not a problem. It's a relationship that is similar to dating because you have a lot of trust in the person who you commit your hair follicles to. Sometimes you stay with the hairdresser in a relationship that is not good but because you can't find anyone else you want to commit to. Sometimes it is too risky to have to break up with your old hairdresser to go back to a first date basis with someone who doesn't know your hair desires or vision at all.  Girl hair is especially complicated. It's complicated because usually what you imagine yourself looking like in your brain is always a little different than what you walk out looking like in reality.  The best hair dressers make it so that difference stays "a little" in the discrepancy and not a massive irreparable chasm. Because we moved it was my first date/appointment with a new hairdresser.  Let me take you on a little tour of my brain to show you what I was expecting and what I showed the new replacement/rebound:

 This coloring (obviously my brain knows I'm not going to walk out with Pantene Pro V locks of lusciousness) With this cut:
Well. I did my job and sat there very patiently while my head started to look like a baked potato in the microwave and anxiously anticipated my flowing new color with swoopy side bangs that would not look momish in the slightest....
Everything was going great in my brain hair files.  I was anticipating the swoopy bangs being a little shorter since the new lady did not use scissors...she pulled out a razor. I felt a little nervous but I was trying to be trusting. Until I looked in the mirror and saw this:

The cut was so uneven that I put it in a pony tail but even if you have not been to beauty school, it is not very hard to assess that this is not beauty (Yes, beauty comes from within but in this scenario, the beauty on the out was making it hard for me to feel beauty anywhere).  If you are wondering why I felt a bit disgruntled, you may look at the above pictures that I showed her and then you will see why I have that facial expression. 

I will not be posting pictures for awhile. I will be sitting in my tower like Quasimodo waiting for my bangs to grow.  Lesson learned, never break up with your hairdresser, even if it is a long distance relationship.


Thanksgiving. If you asked me to make stuffing and I turkey I would just awkwardly stare at you because I have never made either, nor have I ever had the need to make them because we rotate going to my house or Garrett's house every year....and it's dreamy.  The longer I don't live right by my family the more I treasure every single dang second and hate how quickly the time seems to evaporate when we are together. This year was no exception.  I love being with my family. They are my people. There is no feeling on earth like walking in the door to your own home and seeing your own species, your people. Em and Nick recently moved to Arizona so they said they were not going to be able to come.  I could have not been more delighted than when this sight walked through the door at 11 pm:
It was complete. All the siblings in all their glory were having a sleepover just like the old days (plus spouses and offspring).

We took the girls to the Bean museum and I bought them all bouncy balls. The bean museum has a massive elevator (I imagine to accommodate transporting large dead stuffed animals) which made for a great place to bounce as many balls as you could everywhere in the elevator box. It was just as fabulous as I was hoping it would be.
Since we probably won't be going to Africa anytime soon I thought the Bean museum lion display would be a great place to expose our children to the animals. McKall disagreed.

Garret and I won the $20 at the annual family bow and arrow/bb gun shooting contest in the backyard.  Our pilgrim ancestors would have been oh so proud...

Unfortunately our bowling skills were not as sharp as our archery skills and we miserably lost the bowling challenge. 
There is no Thanksgiving at the Savio house without the usual Indian name headbands to eat the feast with. This year was no exception. The day after we lurped around, played Settlers of Catan, ate on a glutenous level of consumption, visited Gram in Provo, went to Swig, visited the reindeer at Thanksgiving point, shopped, went to the discovery museum, talked and laughed until our contacts were dried to our eyeballs and it was so late it was irresponsible when you have children but nobody cared because it was well worth every minute.

I always see those cheesy Deseret Book quotes that say, "Family is everything", but even if I don't buy them stitched on a pillow or framed for $29.95, I honestly believe that. The older I get, the truer it is. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Doggett Reunion in the rain...

Once upon a time, a very long time ago we moved to West Virginia for the first year of residency. I don't talk about it very often because it gives me PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) when I reflect back on living in a place that I couldn't have imagined. I honestly had no idea in my Utah bubble brain that places like that existed in America.  They deep fried their bologna sandwiches. They call the carts, "buggies" in an accent that you have to train yourself to understand. We literally lived in the middle of absolute nowhere in a house the size of a hamster cage. We drove away with a moving truck on Liv's 10th day of being alive. It was all very awesome as you can imagine. Me, with raging post birth hormones and emotions still using an ice pack with a 10 day old screeching baby moving away from my dream job, every friend, family member and thing I knew and loved.  Let us not dwell on the negative because there was one bright shining star of redemption that lived right across the street.... The Doggett family.

When I met Tara she was 7 months pregnant and they were living in their own hamster cage with Casey in his third year of residency.  I honestly feel like meeting Tara was like meeting a helicopter during the Titanic.  Their boys were Liv's protectors and her very first friends on Earth.

 When Casey graduated and they moved back to Washington, there was clearly no point in staying in West Virginia so we transferred to Denver (also a modern day miracle and evidence that Heavenly Father knew I would shrivel up like a social barnacle and die in that "wild and wonderful" place) and we promised that we would get together someday when we both didn't qualify for WIC and live in a crazy town.  Well, that prophecy came true.  There was a medical conference in Seattle and it was a no brainer. An epic reunion was in order.  It was so funny to go from this:

 To This:

 Liv and Arianna who could barely sit up when we last saw her were now both capable of talking like an adult and throwing a great tantrum.  It was so fun to see Elliot, Levi and Arianna again.  Grace obviously had no recognition of anybody but she was thrilled to be there just the same. We loved every minute of being in Spokane and then heading to Seattle.

We stayed in downtown Seattle and could walk to the Space needle and anywhere we wanted to be. We rode the monerail, went to Pikes market, ate heavenly Thai food, went to the childrens science center and saw as many sights as you can see when you have 5 kids under 5.
 (Liv was really into reading her map the whole walk over to the science center.
 Being at Pikes market did not inhibit Grace from having a fabulous tantrum right on the floor.
 We rode a ferris wheel over the pier and it was just as delightful as it sounded. Liv was thrilled.
 I was completely mesmerized by the human statues.

We soaked up every second in the rain. Touching sea anemones. Authentic pizzarias. More cultural diversity than Liv has seen in her whole lifetime. Umbrellas. Laughing. Eating Chocolate molten lava cake in the hotel lounge. Levi asking if the homeless man was real. Chipotle. Swimming in an lukewarm pool for hours. Butterfly pavilon.

Grace had some very clean sleeping quarters.

We absolutely loved Seattle. But even more than that we love the Doggett family.  You know you are real friends when years can pass and it feels like you just hung out an hour ago when you see them. This may have been the first reunion but it will not be the last.