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i consider myself a fairly experienced person when it comes to childcare.  decades of babysitting under my belt.  impressive, right?  i have learned to play my cards right to win the friendship of children far and wide.  for some, you can go all out and be super enthusiastic and they will just eat it up.  for others (ahem-kenley-ahem) 🙂  you have to just pretend like you could give or take whether she showed you her polly pockets, no big deal.

it is a big deal, usually.

but there is this one little kid that i cannot get enough of.  his name is van.  no matter what i do, i simply can’t control myself around the little guy.  and he basically knows it.  he crawls around looking all cute and basically begging for us to chomp his cheekies.  and then he is the one acting like, no big deal.

my single favorite moment this week was going in and getting him up on monday morning.  i heard him squawking from my room (where i was still in a peaceful slumber).  i got up to check and walked into his room.  i walked in all “hey van! good morning!!!!!” and he looked back at me like “eh.”  that’s some serious heart break right there folks.  but the best part was the net marks on his forehead from sleeping a little bit mashed up to the pack and play.  net marks!  oh man.

i’m done for.

Sleep Depping

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I went to BYU. For about 30 seconds. In that 30 seconds (or three semesters, whatev) I met some remarkable people, including a certain Miss Andrea Cartwright. Little did I know she would one day be my sis-in-law! But this story is not about her. Although I do have stories… but I digress.

There used to be this little ol’ place called Deseret Towers and they were the fairest dorms in all the land. (ha!) I lived there, in the penthouse known as the 7th floor of T-Hall. In my comings and goings I starting hanging around with a crew of 4 boys from R-Hall. Jon, Neil, Jake and Nick. These boys loved to stay up late, late, late and sometimes not go to bed at all. They taught me all the benefits of being a night owl. Like how the greatest AIM conversations happen at around 2 am and how IHOP in Provo is hopping anytime of the night. One day these boys hatched a plan. They decided to have a contest to see if they could all stay awake for 5 days and nights straight. They had done double all-nighters in a row, but would usually crash on night three. In amongst their scheming, I had a plan of my own. I wanted to go to Homecoming, dang it! So I made a friendly wager with Jake, the tallest of the boys (as were my priorities back then). I bet him that he couldn’t stay awake for the whole time. If he lost, he would have to take me to Homecoming, and if I lost, I would kiss him…on the lips! Scandalous, I know. The agreement was made and the “sleep depping” began. (Short for sleep deprivation.)

Night one and two were a breeze. The boys kept themselves busy by bringing my roommates and I muffins sent up our elevator at 7:30 am and giving us wake up calls.

Night three came with a walk from BYU campus down to the aforementioned IHOP, just to stay awake because they were walking. But at IHOP sleep depping took its first casualty. Nick. Asleep over his chocolate chip pancake face. He did wake up to walk home, though.

Night four featured video games and skateboarding. And Neal was down for the count.

Finally, the moment. Night Five. Two contenders left. I talked a big talk. “You are getting veeeeeerrrrrrry sleeeeeeeeeeeeeepppppppppppy.” I slowly jeered. Then I went to bed.

The next morning, I heard the news. At approx 5:20 am. 40 minutes before the sleep depping bet was through, Jake fell asleep. Sweet Victory!

Jake and I didn’t end up going to Homecoming together, but he did hold up his end of the bargain somewhat by taking me out for milkshakes at Granny’s.

I did my own version of sleep depping last night. I’m not sure why. I got home a little after midnight, but was just not ready to hit the sac. There were packing lists to write, registries to edit, laundry to put away, jewelry to organize (? what was I thinking!?!). Long story short, it was 4:00am before I knew it and at that point, I knew I had to stay awake.

I am sure that tonight I’ll crash hard, but I am doing okay for now. And my co-workers were impressed with how chipper I was this morning, mostly because my body thought it was still last night!


My life has not always gone how I have planned.

And, oh, I had a plan.  Everything was to go exactly as it was supposed to.

and Loads of Children

But God had a different plan.  I had character to build and courage to strengthen.  I had priorities to align.  I thought long and hard about how to achieve the goals I set forth for myself.

How to be happy?
How to be successful?
How to be what I need to be, even when the path is nothing like I expected.

For years I was paralyzed by fear of judgment.  What would those people think?  What would these people say?  How would I feel?  Once I took the leap, and made the bravest decision I would ever make, everything lined up for me.

Laughter filled the holes where before there was just fear.
Reconnection was sweet as my family opened their home and more importantly their hearts to me when I needed it the most.
My identity as a creative was established.  I realized I could actually do it.

And before I knew it, I was in love again.  And oh man, it was the last person I expected.  The best person I know.  The person who understands what I am trying to say, and sees the best in me where others couldn’t.  The man who will do favors for any and all at the drop of a hat.  Who can laugh at jokes with me that our parents would think are inappropriate, but who will also read scriptures with me at night, always ending with a “Good one, honey.”  Nephi, Alma, Helaman.  Good Ones all.

We decided to marry, but that was just the start of the second hardest trial of my life.


And trust too.  But mostly patience.

I was not the best student at this test.

But it turns out God wants Scott and I to get married afterall.  So we will.

We are very happy about that.

{Sealing Cancellation approved November 3, 2009.}
Official wedding date forthcoming