October 2, 2010


We went to the park with some friends tonight, and after Carter's friend
bribed him with a dollar and distracted him
I yanked that snaggletooth out!
(This after WEEKS of a crooked, right in the front, barely hanging on tooth
that we had been begging him to let us pull out.)

Eden was especially excited because she knows that
with two teeth waiting to be picked up in one house,
the one that has been sitting under her pillow since Thursday
might finally bring a payday!
Lazy, naughty...fixin' to be broke...tooth fairy!

September 19, 2010

He knows the way because he IS the way...

Today we had a church lesson in Relief Society about faith. The teacher shared a wonderful video clip that really touched my heart. You may have heard of Stephanie Nielsen. She is a wife, mother of four, athlete and an avid blogger who survived a near fatal plane crash. Her blog started years before the crash journaling her remarkable life, but the way she has shared her recovery has been truly inspiring.

Every week our family meets together for a family council and a gospel centered lesson, called Family Home Evening. We take turns preparing the lesson, leading the songs, and making the treats. Tonight was my turn and I knew just what I wanted to share. Stephanie Nielsen’s My New Life:


What a testament of how from opposition we can be stronger and better people! Though the trials we face will vary in degree of difficulty, we will all face opposition. It is our choice how we handle it. I want to have the faith of the Stephanie Nielsen’s of the world! I pray that we will be able to remember our loving Father in Heaven and our Savior when our trials come and that we might be able to catch a glimpse of the angels standing around us ‘bearing us up.’ What a blessing the gospel of Jesus Christ is in my life! I feel so grateful to know my Savior. I know that no matter what happens in this life, I can turn to Him, be healed, feel love, and have joy.

"I testify that the Savior's Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair. From the beginning, trust in such help was to give us both a reason and a way to improve, an incentive to lay down our burdens and take up our salvation. There can and will be plenty of difficulties in life. Nevertheless, the soul that comes unto Christ, who knows His voice and strives to do as He did, finds a strength, as the hymn says, "beyond [his] own." The Savior reminds us that He has "graven [us] upon the palms of [His] hands." Considering the incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion and Atonement, I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us now. When He says to the poor in spirit, "Come unto me," He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because He has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way."

(Jeffrey R. Holland, "Broken Things to Mend," Liahona, May 2006)

September 16, 2010

I'm alive! You alive! We all alive!

I walk among the living! Today is a good day!

reproductive issues followed by my husband’s neck injury followed by my nasty sinus infection followed by four year old with the flu for 5 days followed by reproductive issues followed by aforementioned flu transfer to moi =

are we done yet?

On the upside I showered (making sure to call in the lumberjacks to assist in conquering my armpit hair neglect), put on my olive and turquiose sundress and the chunky Tribal necklace my mom gave me that always makes me smile, blow dried my hair, AND put on makeup! Sometimes a girl just needs to get all gussied up to feel better. So where did I go all done up? A PTO Meeting. Livin’ large baby! Good thing I decided against the gold heels.

My day did get a little more exciting. I met up with a few friends at the outlets to do some belated birthday shopping. Yea! The only thing more fun than having your husbands ok to spend some money on clothes for yourself is going to do it with some girlfriends! Muah, thanks ladies!

The best part of my day was coming home to some beautiful flowers that had been delivered for ME! I have the sweetest parents in the world. Today is a great day!

September 2, 2010

Que is mi problema?

The house is empty, laundry is caught up, my kitchen is all sparkly, I have refreshed my email inbox and checked facebook status updates one too many times more than I care to admit, AND there is homemade granola in the oven. What? I know.

This whole having a little time to myself thing feels...uncomfortable. I should be rejoicing, right? I mean, I have earned a little P&Q! R&R should be my middle name after the past few weeks we’ve had. I do admit to singing a strain of the hallelujah chorus this morning and went back to bed for a bit after all the chicks had left the roost, but then it was like...quiet.

I’m used to the noise dictating where I go and what I do next. The phone rings- I answer it. A fight breaks out in a corner of the house- I go referee. Someone is hungry- I make snacks. A kid

cries- I’m emerge from nowhere armed with the loves. It sounds like a hole is being drilled trough the floor from the boys room- there I go. I’ve got all those mom things down pat. I earned my patch. But the silence thing has really thrown me for a loop!

Don’t you worry about me though. I will figure something out. As for now, this computer was staring at me and guilted me to it’s keys to type something besides an email. See, I’m doing it. Layoff the guilt already, Mr. Apple! It has been over a year since I completed a journal or blog entry. Sad. Especially since anyone who has a conversation with me knows I have no memory, so it is as if the past year has been almost wiped from the history of the Vests. Sorry bout that.

I have had the hardest time just wanting to sit down and type. It used to be a

release. A way to relax. Not no mo. I’m not sure if it is the fact that I can confess to having completely incoherent thoughts (some of them in limited, broken and incorrect Spanish) and am frightened to attempt to put them together OR just that I am hiding from the outside world. Either way, I am here now! Maybe I will try to backtrack and hit some highlights, and maybe I won’t. (I’m not in an emotionally stable enough state to make a commitment like that.)

There, I did it! Post on blog can now be checked off my list! The 'time to myself' rehab has begun. Wish me luck in finding my way and doing something trendy like ‘rediscovering’ myself when all I really want to do is go pick up my kids and love on them like there is no tomorrow. I guess I’ll have to settle for a bowl of granola.

September 1, 2010


Landon has gotten into the bad habit of emerging from the bathroom pant-less

and carrying on with whatever strikes his fancy- sans pants.

I reminded him again of the need

we all have to wear clothes

even if we don’t want to

or they are “annoring.”

I sent him back into the bathroom to get dressed and wash his hands.

After 5 minutes of running water I go in to find this.

All soap and smiles.

No pants.

Any bets on how long it will take until I get a pant-less problem phone call from preschool?

July 30, 2009

I'm back thanks to my mama...

I have the best mother in the world, and today just happens to be her birthday.


The one thing she asked for her birthday was for me to update my blog.

You know I would do anything for you, mom!

Linds had the brilliant idea to make strawberry crepes for a birthday brunch. My mom has been craving them since last summer and we finally delivered. Mom, they were so worth the wait, huh? Um yum!

Brenda tidbits in honor of the birthday girl:

  • -My mom is the oldest of 5 who grew up on a dairy farm in Idaho
  • -She was a cheerleader for the Beet Diggers…dig em up, dig em up, way up!
  • -My mom rigged a date with my future dad at a preference ball at Ricks College because the girl who requested a date with Lewis was ‘just not cute enough for him!’
  • -She just happened to be Miss Ricks
  • -Mrs. Dudley taught Home Economics for a few years
  • -Just about everything she touches turns into gold…she is so very talented!
  • -My mom is slow to judge, quick to forgive and always finds the good
  • -My mom was given the nickname “little mama” from my friends in high school who loved coming over to hang out with her for her listening ear, advice and warm sourdough cinnamon swirl bread…even when I wasn’t home! (I like Mamacita better, and ironically that is what Landon calls me!)
  • -My mom let me live through my teen years (A miracle in itself)…the woman is the epitome of patience
  • -She instilled in me a love of chocolate, although I have yet to become a fan of wrapping m&m’s in a slice of bread :)
  • -The greatest gift she has ever given me is the knowledge that I am a child of God and with that divine heritage and a relationship with my savior anything is possible!

One of the gifts my dad treated her to was a night out with the girls…babysitting included so Mel, Linds and I could go! (I not only have the best mother in the world but my dad is second to none!) We didn’t tell her where we were going, but we arranged for her two sisters (Jan & Jodi), us girls, and our pretty much sister (Cyd) to attend a private 3 hour cooking class at the Viking Culinary school. We had a ball and learned so many new things. I even tried a bite of the Halibut…big step for me! Such yummy recipes. (I am so working out like a madwoman tomorrow.)

Our Menu:

Pomegranate Refresher

Caramelized Onion with White Bean Dip & Veggie Chips

Asian Greens with Shiitakes

Brown Sushi Rice

Avocado Temaki Rolls with Wasabi Miso Dipping Sauce

Maple Sweet Potato Fries

Seared Halibut with Kaffir Lime Coconut Broth

Rubbed pork with Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

Blueberry Lemon Crisp with Dark Chocolate Squares

Molten Chocolate Soufflé

Thanks for letting us celebrate with you, most wonderful mother!


February 6, 2009

biRthDaY bOy!

Carter had quite a day of celebration to ring in his 5th birthday! Damain made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. They have been one of Carter’s favorite meals since he was little. Nothing like chocolate to start the day off right.

Last night McCall called and asked Carter if she and Brady could take him out to lunch today for his birthday. It was so cute to watch the smile take over his face. I heard her ask Carter if that was ok and he said, “I love you, Miss McCall.” Seriously, could he be any cuter?

McCall and Brady came to take him to lunch singing Happy Birthday with a huge Transformer balloon in tow (the perfect companion to one of his birthday presents- a lightsaber). Lunch was fun and Carter shared his box of ‘Hot Mamas’ (Hot Tamales) for dessert.

We partied a little more this afternoon with a couple of his friends and some mint chocolate chip ice cream cake with a Transformer on top. Landon did not think our little party was fun at all once it was time to open presents. He couldn't figure out why there were none for him to open, so he spent the rest of the time in tears. Carter really wanted a Nintendo DS for his birthday. Sorry Charlie! He got a Leapster game and some soccer gear instead. Happy Birthday!

Carter is one loved little boy,

but he deserves every bit of it!


His belly laugh

The things he says that melt hearts

His love for ankle socks and 'slippery' shorts

The funny noise he makes when he is excited

He likes salad and eats green peppers like apples

Because his best buddy is his little brother

His cuddles

The way he throws his head back when he laughs hard

How he looks up to his dad

The way he can play trucks for hours

His huge heart

How he is always watching out for everyone else

Because even four and five year olds can see how cool he is

He is all boy

The way he sticks up for his brother and sister

How hard he tries to refrain from spitting and potty talk

His solid frame and bulging five year old muscles

The way he handles opposition- like a broken femur

How much he cares about making the right choices

He keeps his mom happy, laughing, feeling special, and in line

i love you, buddy!

February 5, 2009

Carter's birthday eve...

I watched Mimi’s little boy for the day. When she dropped him off she had an early birthday present and a homemade cookie cake for Carter. He was so excited and I thought it was so sweet! I am usually not thoughtful enough to remember my friends birthdays, much less their kids!

Eden and Carter had their first soccer practice tonight. They are on different teams, but practice on adjacent fields at the same time. I don’t know how that one worked out so well, but I am not complaining! Eden was stoked as soon as I showed her that I bought pink shin gaurds and a matching pair of pink soccer shorts. The pink must have been the ticket because she ran hard and had fun.

Carter had fun, but it was obvious that he has never played soccer. I think I heard the coaches yell at him at least ten times: “No hands!” Looks like we have some coaching to do.

February 4, 2009


I walked around the corner this afternoon

to find my daughter

walking around on all fours

with her backpack on backwards and upside down.

She was alone in the kitchen

just doing her thing.

She got something from her mom after all!

I couldn’t contain my laughter

and of course…ran for my camera.

February 3, 2009


Today was a bad mommy morning. Landon was completely out of control. He is usually such a laid back kid that I didn’t really know how to handle him when he threw himself on the floor screaming at Walmart. I was so not ready for that, but by the third time I chose to just ignore him and make it to the check out as quickly as I could. Today I officially became THAT mom at the end of her rope with her kids at the store that I have always had sympathy for. I guess my time was bound to come.

He cried all through lunch because, how dare me, I gave him the wrong colored plate and started to help him peel his banana after he had squished it to banana goo in a peel. We gave up on lunch and I had to literally restrain him in bed for quiet time today. At least I got to burn a few calories!

I was hoping that Damian would be able to save me and be at the preschool for me this afternoon, but it didn’t work out. I HAD to wake the bear with crazy hair. I was scared, but we were only ten minutes late and fortunately he only had one meltdown while we were at preschool. Good thing or I would have sold him there!

We got to celebrate Carter’s birthday early today. Carter was very specific with what he wanted: plain donuts with chocolate on top and chocolate donuts with sprinkles. I was laughing when after his specific instructions he chose one of the strawberry sprinkled donuts.

He also asked for Transformers plates and napkins and if I couldn’t find Transformers then his second choice was a Super hero. Indiana Jones was next in line and finally camouflage. I felt obliged to comply because I talked him out of a formal birthday party this year. Donuts and Transformers it was!

He sat at a table full of boys wearing his inflatable crown and being a little comedian. He has the best laugh! Even if you don’t know what he is laughing at you find yourself laughing just listening to him. One of the boys in his class went over to Carter in the middle of donut licking and gave him a high five. On the way back to his seat he stopped in front of Damian and me and said,

“Carter is so awesome!”

February 2, 2009

Really? $27 dollars?

If I had a lot of money (and lets be honest...cooked regular meals) I would buy Cutco knives. A friend of mine is earning money for law school and I got to be one of the first to hear her sh peal. Wowza. She gave me a knife and a thick piece of rope and asked me to try to cut through the rope in one motion. Yeah whatever. So I thought. Oh no. Sliced through it like butta.

Oh and the vege peeler? Magic. No resistance. Pure magic. I have never paid more than twenty dollars for a single kitchen utensil, nor never thought that I would. Did it. Today $27 for a peeler.

Update: Due to a nightmare (having to do with knives) her mother has had since my friend was little, her mother apparently 'prayed' her into a new job. Best of luck, Melissa. Try to score all the free knives you can before you Cut Cutco!

February 1, 2009

brand spankin' new!

Damian’s sister had her baby today.

A healthy red headed baby girl!


We can’t wait to run our hands through that hair

and smother her with love and kisses!

January 24, 2009

TRaVeLinG PaNTs...

Okay, I am slow. I heard of the books. I knew there were movies, but c’mon people why has no one filled me in one the secret of the sisterhood? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, that is. I just spent the last two hours crying off and on as I watched the second movie. Backwards yes, but I loved it despite ever reading the books or seeing the first movie.

I am glad I was alone in my bed so I could just soak it all in. I needed a chick flick after watching Iron Man with Damian last night. Any guy or unsentimental girl would have hated the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I haven’t checked, but I am pretty sure the critics would disagree with my fine (albeit usually cheesie or crudely humorous) taste in film. They always do. (Christina Maria Barcelona or whatever that stupid movie was called…seriously?)

Back to the pants. They just made me so grateful for SISTERS! Grateful for my two incredibly amazingly wonderfully talented fun and loving sisters by blood who I adore, awesome sister-in-laws who have not only become related but close friends (even though they might not know it), my extremely cool girl cousins, and for all of the girlfriends who have adopted me as a sister along the way.

I have been blessed with so many incredible women in my life to make me laugh, set me straight and lift me up.

Some have even held me up or carried me for awhile. To all of you, I want to send you some pants. It is amazing to me that no matter how long it has been since I have talked to my sisters of the ‘pants’ they are there to pick up right where we left off. Thanks ladies for your sisterhood. Long live the pants that we can all fit perfectly into! I love my sisters!

January 18, 2009


I can’t believe our little girl will be turning 8 this year! Damian and I are so proud of her! Eden is such a sweetheart. She has been talking a lot lately about being baptized, and has decided to get baptized when she turns 8. We are thrilled with her choice and are happy that it is important to her and not just something that we want her to do!

Tonight we went to the baptism of two of Eden’s friends. I wasn’t sure if she was more excited to go because she was looking forward to the chips that were rumored to be served with the refreshments or that she was just happy to be a part of her friends’ special day. I was pretty sure it was the chips, but when I got home I found these cards that she made to give the boys being baptized. What a sweetie!

So, we are planning for a baptism in October…mark your calendars! I know many of you who have kids who have been baptized have some fun traditions that you have done and I would love to hear them! We want to make it a special day for Eden so that she will remember the importance of the covenants she will be making with her Father in Heaven that day!

January 17, 2009

mOnSTeR TrUck JaM

The boys got Monster Truck Jam tickets for Christmas and were nice enough to let the rest of us tag along. We got into Reliant Stadium right as the show was starting and were frantically trying to find our assigned seats- the ones which the taxes and fees cost almost more than the tickets themselves…ugh! I don’t know why we couldn’t have been running our trademark ten minutes behind tonight.

As soon as we entered our section they cut the lights. The show had started, and they weren’t wasting any time getting things cranked up. The intro featured ALL of the LOUD…incredibly loud…like the loudest noise I have ever heard…trucks…monster trucks…huge engines, mega horsepower… making laps around the stadium...in the dark. We all climbed over people shouting at the family who were in our seats. They couldn’t hear us. I couldn’t hear myself. Mass chaos.

The kids all had their hands cupped over their ears. Then I looked down at Eden. She had tears streaming down her cheeks. As soon as she caught my eye she begged for me to take her home. She was sobbing “I don’t like this!!! I want to go HOME!” Poor girl. She didn’t want to come in the first place, but Damian told her we were going as a family. Luckily he had put his ginormous ear protectors, courtesy of outings at the local shooting range, in my purse. I pulled them out and quickly put them on her. Then I blindly dug around the massive purse cavity for the box of soft squishy earplugs I brought for the rest of us.

After the first five minutes, we were all kind of numb to the roar of the stadium. but the Having the earplugs finally in actually made it enjoyable. The boys were all mesmerized on the edge of their seats. They kept looking at one another to find their own excitement and disbelief mirrored on one another’s faces. Eden was still not happy, but then I remembered the Halloween candy that I brought in my purse for treats. That quickly dried the tears!

First there was the wheelie competition, then the donut competition, and the show ended with the freestyle show. I am no Monster Jam fan, but I did recognize the beloved Grave Digger monster truck. I wasn’t impressed with the truck, just its devoted fans. There was also Cowboy, Monster Mutt (with his huge floppy ears and wagging tail), Minimizer, a few others I can’t remember, and our family’s favorite of the night: 199.

Some of the tricks were pretty amazing, and even I got a thrill at seeing the vehicles ride almost vertically on its back tires, crush cars to smithereens, and bounce on their enormous tires. The best part was watching the boys, but their excitement took a whole new level when the intermission show brought out the four motocross riders on their bikes.

It was obvious that we should have held out for Motocross tickets by the way the boys belly-laughed at the coolness of each of their tricks. When they started to ride, Landon ripped out his earplugs. I kept trying to put them in but he was obviously annoyed with me. He pushed my hands away and said firmly, “No! I want to hear the dirt motorcycles!” He then put his hands out like he was gripping the handlebars of his own motorcycle pretending to be on his own incredible thrill ride.