Friday, December 12, 2008

"A House of Order", back up and running...

After a really long hiatus from organizing, I've finally "recovered" from the twins and am ready to start working once more! I am really excited to start taking clients again and in a strange, sick way have really missed helping people sort through their stuff. So, if you decide you want to de-clutter after the holidays or know someone who could use some help getting organized, let me know. I'd love to help!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Did I mention the twins are in a phase? Mischievous? Yes. Naughty? Absolutely. But, also very, very cute and entertaining. So you saw the picture of the 5,000 Perler beads all over the place?? Here's another example of what happens around our house when you turn your back for ONE SECOND!

So, Jakey got a bit over-anxious and jumped the gun while we had our backs turned. Made for a cute photo and a lot of wet clothes (notice the shoes and the windbreaker as well as a jeans and a sweatshirt!) These babies are keeping life interesting, that's for sure! We love them!

Oh, and here's two quick shots of our Halloween crew. Macy was a 50's girl, Cort went as a BYU football player for, I think, the 2nd or 3rd time, Caleb went as Batman with a dog nose (don't ask), Jake was a clown and Emmy a bunny:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twin Terrors

The twins are definitely going through "a phase" right now. It entails climbing up on anything and everything and DESTROYING whatever they found on top of wherever they are. Rest assured, it's a real treat for all involved. Just this morning my sweet Emmy fell off of three different tables...all before noon. Which left me wondering, why don't the skills of 1. being able to climb and 2. having the sense to not fall off of wherever you are DEVELOP IN TANDEM??? Seems logical to me, but it apparently doesn't work that way. Here's what I stumbled upon last night.

The colorful things you see all over the desk are roughly 5,000 Perler beads (that you arrange on a template and then iron together). What you don't see are the 30 or so Kleenex they ripped out of the tissue box and shredded all over the carpet. They also pulled the batteries out of the white noise maker Emmy is holding and were sucking on the batteries. Fabulous.

Do these children look even remotely remorseful to you?? They are LOVING every minute of this. Spencer suggests putting every bench, chair, or step stool we own in the garage until they grow out of it. Sadly, we actually might get that desperate before too long!

The Morning After...

Am I going to wake up tomorrow wondering what in the world I was thinking? Hopefully this haircut doesn't turn out to be a major disaster. It's been a while since I went so short. Wish me luck!



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Monday, September 15, 2008

I know I'm partial....

but aren't these babes some of the cutest you've seen?!? Jake and Emmy are now 16 months old and getting to such a fun age. They think they are pretty grown up and enjoy jumping on the tramp, playing on the swingset, and digging in the sandbox with the older kids and their friends. I can't believe they are getting so big.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

School Daze...

The title of our blog feels particularly appropriate these days...Just Keep Swimming! The premise being that if we keep swimming we will avoid drowning, which appears to be a very real threat given the pace we are expected to move these days. After a rough summer (more about that in a minute) I was so looking forward to settling into the routine of fall - school, soccer, dance, etc. I had no idea my simple stay-at-home life was about to be thrown into a blender. Seriously, am I expected to go at this pace for 9 months?? My kids will hate, no LOATHE, me by spring. And I can't blame them. I've turned into this crazed person since September 2: barking orders at my 6,5,and 3 year old and expecting results??, ripping clothes off children and redressing them into the next uniform in record time, frantically force feeding tiny people in the 20 minutes we have until we all have to be back in the car and off to the next event. WHEW. I seriously don't know what's gotta give but SOMETHING'S gotta give. It's gettin' ugly around here and I don't like who I'm becoming. It's like soccer mom gone way wrong. Any tips? Help!

Also, I have been thinking quite a bit about our summer this year. Those of you who know us know that it was a doozy. There's no question that adjusting to two, tiny newborns last summer was tricky but we weathered the storm. In late spring this year I was just starting to feel like I was getting my wheels back under me. I had taken a few trips to the park with my kids, run a few errands, and was feeling like the dark clouds were starting to part. Then BOOM. One fateful road trip to St. George and on the last day of school Caleb broke his femur and ended up in the infamous body cast for 6 weeks. Spencer and I couldn't help but feel like we had been kicked when we were down. The wind was completely taken out of our sails and we were back to being homebound...only worse than the summer before, if you can imagine. Surviving those 9 weeks with three kids unable to walk or bathe or potty without major assistance was probably one of the hardest things I've done as a mother to date. I recount all this not to whine (although I'm not above a little whining every now and then) but because I was commenting to Spencer that I can't help but feel that this summer was an important one for me as a mother and as a person. There is nothing like fighting through something that you just don't think you can get through--and realizing that you are stronger than you thought you were. It's incredibly empowering and humbling all in the same breath. For back to back summers now I have been so overwhelmed with what life has dealt me. Really overwhelmed. But I survived. And I learned. And I grew. And I had a lot of help. I am grateful to have these hard experiences behind me. But, like Susan Tanner taught, our motto should be: "I can do hard things!" Because each of us can. And each of us does. A big, huge heartfelt thanks to all who helped me weather the storms of '07 and '08. Here's hoping for a bright and sunny '09!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That's my boy!

The other morning Spencer was a guest on the KJZZ morning show called The Home Team. He was talking about some basic Sports Medicine stuff and the kids and I were glued to the TV watching and cheering him on. About ½ way through the interview, Caleb hopped off the couch and made his way to the TV, saying casually: “I need to tell Dad something.” He patiently waited there in front of the TV for a while and then got impatient. He started shouting: “Hurry! Hurry! Get the scissors! Get the scissors and cut the TV open ‘cause I need to tell Dad something! Cut the TV open! Cut the TV open! I need to tell Dad something!” It was hilarious and very cute…until he would NOT get over it. I was trying in vain to explain that Dad was not, in fact, inside the television and that we could not and frankly would not be cutting the TV open. He drowned out the last part of Spencer’s interview with his wailing and it took me a solid 10 minutes after the segment ended and the TV was turned off to help him work through it. It was quite a moment.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Pioneer Day!

We survived the Bountiful Parade---all of us! No tears. No injuries. Lots of VERY sticky hands and faces. An overabundance of salt water taffy. It was an all around successful outing!


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dreams DO come true!

Okay, I'll admit that Spencer's job does occassionally have some perks. Last night, however was the crowning jewel of them all. At about 4:30pm he randomly called home to ask if there was anyway we could get a sitter and go to the American Idols concert. I started jumping up and down like a spaz, screaming "No Way! Are you serious?!?" and I admit I was so pumped I actually got chills. (As an aside, I haven't experienced this much excitement since my best friend Amy and I scored tickets to the Oprah Show several years ago.) Anyway, to make a long story much, much shorter: several people on the tour, including two of the Idols, needed to be seen by a doctor and Spencer ended up being the lucky guy they contacted. So, Cort and Macy went with him a few hours before the concert and got to hang out back stage with all the Idols while Spencer did his thing. They got to meet each one, got some autographs and got their picture taken with David Archuleta. I showed up at concert time, got to park just outside the service entrance where I met Spencer at the back door of the E-Center with the tour manager who threw back stage passes on us and escorted us to our 2ND ROW!!! seats. I was sitting right next to David Archuleta's Mom and Dad. It was incredible! We all had such a blast and it was an incredible show. Cort and I were wild and crazy fans--jumping up and down, waving, clapping, singing along. I think I humiliated Spencer but I was loving it! Cort kept saying: "Mom and Dad, I just don't think I can ever thank you enough for bringing me!" Afterward, the tour manager took us back stage again into a small hallway where we waited while Spencer had to see another one of the Idols who had a minor injury. We stood in the hallway and chatted with Kristy Lee Cook, Syesha, Jason Castro, Carly, David Arhculeta, Brooke White and then David Cook! AWESOME! We took tons of pictures and were just in heaven. What a night!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

SWEET FREEDOM!! (kind of)

After six long, long weeks Caleb's cast came off this week on his THIRD BIRTHDAY! In my ignorance, I pictured him shedding all that fiberglass and coming bursting out of the clinic doors running and ready to jump into summer full swing. Unfortunately, this is far from how things went down. After we got that nasty cast removed he cried and cried and spent his birthday in excruciating pain (major stiffness and soreness!) and on strong pain killers. Needless to say, all celebrating was postponed. Since then, each day we see very minor improvement but he is still not really anywhere close to standing, let alone walking. We spend a few hours each day at the pool in the water which is the only place I can get him to really kick and try to move his legs. Sigh. I guess this is all very typical of the recovery associated with this kind of an injury but we're just anxious to have a walking, running little boy back! Maybe by August?!? We tease that it's a race around our house to see who will be walking first: Caleb? Jake? or Emmy? So far, Emmy is in the lead!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Home Improvements??

(To my favorite gal in South Dakota: this post's just for you!)

I think these are home "improvements" but improvements is a very subjective term. Regardless, here's what I've been up to the past few months on our house:





Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Dad's the Greatest!

Some of the things that I absolutely LOVE about my Dad:

1. His optimism. Honestly, this man doesn't let ANYTHING rattle him. He views every problem and obstacle from the "30,000 foot level" and never loses his perspective. According to my Dad, every thing (and I do mean EVERYTHING) will "heal in 6 weeks," every trail "makes a loop" back to where you started, and he can whistle or sing old school country music through just about any crisis. I wish I had a truckload more of this in myself.

2. No matter how dead tired he was at the end of his work day, when I was young he would almost always consent to go to the church to shoot baskets with me if I would "call and get the church key." I don't think Bishop Jepsen ever got more phone calls from a 10 year old girl than during his tenure in our ward.

3. He taught me the value of learning to dribble with my left hand, to fake before every pass, and that if I didn't get at least one offensive foul every game, I wasn't playing aggressively enough. Words to live by! :)

4. He signed me up to play Jr. Jazz baskeball on all-boys teams year after year and then when I was in 8th grade and he thought the softball leauge I had been playing in was a joke, he signed me up to play Bronco baseball (oh the horror!). Now, as an adult, I can see that what he was really teaching me was that I could do anything I wanted to, that I was as good as anybody else, and that I didn't have to conform to any particular set of "rules" or expectations. The sky was the limit...male or female.

5. He is the ULTIMATE handyman. His mantra is "I can fix that!" given with a smile. And he always delivers. Although Spencer is amazing as well, I honestly don't know what I would do without my Dad to help us around the house. I tell my friends the only thing better than a Dad that is really, really handy is a Dad that is really, really handy and retired.

6. He would always buy my a King Size Snickers at the gas station we stopped at late at night on the way to Lake Powell even when my Mom had insisted that none of us get out of the car because she didn't want us to buy overpriced junk in the convenient store.

7. His ability to let things slide and not get his feathers ruffled. You have to work pretty hard to offend my Dad. In fact, I don't think I can remember him ever getting offended.

8. He is the kind of person that nearly everyone considers their "really good friend." He has a warmth toward and love for people of all ages and backgrounds and makes you feel like you've been best friends for life, even if you just met on the subway.

9. He is loves trivia, random facts and is a treasure trove of knowledge.

10. He loves foreign language and has devoted countless, countless hours to studying Spanish (including toting my Mom to Costa Rica for a month to attend an in-depth language training school) for no good reason other than that he thought it would be a handy language to know.

11. He (in partnership with my Mom) somehow found the inner strength and patience to teach me to water ski, snow ski and ride a snowmobile and motorcycle. I know I was less than a stellar student on some of these (okay, all) and was less than eager and cooperative.**picture me screaming and crying hysterically getting towed behind our 25 ft. Sea Ray** But, as an adult, I appreciate so much his long-suffering because it means I get to enjoy these activities with family and friends. As an aside, the thought of teaching my five kids to water ski makes my blood run cold. Heaven help me.

12. He and my Mom understood that the best investment is in memories and instead of letting us get caught up in fashion and toys, they spent money to take us on exotic family vacations where our best memories were made. We can and still do laugh and talk about our adventures together.

13. After 30 years of being the Team Physician for the Jazz, he still GENUINELY loves to be at each game and talks about the guys on the team as if they were his sons. The man lives for the Jazz and fills any break in conversation with "Jazz talk." It's really cute.

14. While I was on the sidelines watching him wear out his joints (literally) running marathons and playing in church and city sports leagues, he was instilling in me a great love of athletics and all things active. He and I share a love for physical challenges that most would consider assanine, at best.

15. He as much of a sucker for a back rub as I am. Neither one of us ever tires of a good massage.

16. He is the direct source of my sometimes painful perfectionism. People think it comes from my Mom, but this is far from true. From her, I inherited my complete inability to sit still or let things go undone and from my Dad came a sincere belief that everything has got to be JUST SO. It's simple math: amazing work ethic and energy (Jo) + incredible attention to detail (Lyle) = the train wreck otherwise referred to as Molly. :)

17. If there is ever any possible way for him to say "yes" to something you ask of him, he will. He oozes kindness and generosity.

Dad, I could go on and on and on. Thanks for being the best. Happy Father's Day. I love you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Weekend in St. George...

Parts of our weekend get-away that were REALLY fun:

The one part of our weekend get-away that was REALLY NOT fun:

On day two of our long awaited, much anticipated trip to St. George our 2-year-old Caleb took a little spill on his scooter and suffered a very serious, very painful spiral fracture of his femur. So...we spent some quality time in the E.R. in St. George and brought the poor little guy home in basically a body cast for the summer. Since he is unable to even sit up, Spencer's dad gallantly drove to St. George to help us get home, transporting Caleb in the back of his car on an air mattress and lots of blankets. It was quite an adventure. I think we're officially cured of our wander-lust and will never again take all 5 kids any further south than Sandy. SIGH. Poor Caleb. Poor me. (I shamelessly had to include some self-pity although I do know that I'm not the real victim here!) Summer should be interesting this year...

While I'm here, I might as well include my latest favorite picture of the twins, who just recently turned one:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pulling up!!

Jake and Emmy are now pulling up on anything and everything and we have high hopes of them walking by the time the weather really gets nice.

My drawer full of Gladware keeps the babies entertained for unbelievable chunks of time. Entertainment at it's finest!

For once, Jake gets the upper hand on Emmy and she is NOT thrilled, as you can tell!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Well, as easy as that our house is SOLD! It must be some kind of world record to sell your house by owner within 48 hours of putting the sign out in your yard (particularly with the way real estate is going in Utah these days) but it sure helps when your younger sister's family is in the market for a house in your area. Yep, we sold to Jocee and Brick and we are so excited to have them as neighbors! Negotiating the deal was a killer (Jocee kept going for the jugular...asking me to include this and that in the sale! haha) but we managed to work it out! :) We will probably close around the first of June which leaves us with a lot of work to do on the house we're purchasing between now and then to make it livable (it is a house 2 doors down from where we're currently living that was struck by lighting last summer and suffered extensive damage in the resulting fire. They are hanging sheetrock throughout the house now...the kitchen was really the only room completely spared).

The whole idea of moving came completely out of the blue and we are still just a BIT nervous about this new home turning into a major money pit. But if we can avoid any major hiccups in the renovation we think the home is a better long-term fit for our family in this neighborhood that we've really come to love. So....wish us luck! Hope we can get things going quickly. Here goes my first stab at general contracting and lining up subs--hopefully in a timely sequence!). So...that's the news from the Richards. Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big News!!

We have some exciting news (and breathe easy everyone, it's NOT a pregnancy announcement!). We just put a For Sale By Owner sign out in front of our house this evening after negotiating a deal (contingent on the sale of OUR home) on a house just two doors down from us. Spencer said, "You know everyone in the ward is going to start calling you tomorrow, right?" And I just told him I would tell people we wanted to move closer to his work. Pretty clever, eh? haha We are unsure what our chances are of selling with the real estate market the way it is right now, but we are hopeful. We think it would be a great opportunity for us although we LOVE our current home and will be happy as little clams if nothing changes and we stay put. So...we'll keep you posted. In the mean time, refer anyone you know who is looking to move to Bountiful or North Salt Lake to our little "for sale" blog at and keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caleb, the acrobatic napper...

This is Caleb, my now 2 1/2 year old son, in September 2005 when he was roughly six weeks old. We were up at the Richards' cabin near Oakley and this tiny little guy just fell dead asleep in my arms all of a sudden and completely out of the blue. It was hilarious and I love this picture! forward to yesterday. I took Caleb to his room for a nap. We did the whole a book, laid there together for a minute, and then I left. When I went back to check on him about 20 minutes later, I opened his door to find the lights all on and this:

He literally fell asleep standing up! Or at best, propped up! Honestly, what a kid. Apparently finding a comfortable position has, since birth, had little to do with whether or not he can fall asleep. He very well may be the death of us but at least he keeps us laughing in the mean time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yesterday was an expensive day...

So, here's how yesterday went down for the Richards family: Cort came upstairs just after waking up and I was getting ready in my bathroom. We chit-chatted for a second and then he said to me: "Caleb had an accident downstairs RIGHT on the carpet!" I told him that this was impossible because Caleb sleeps in a pull-up. Cort assured me that the pull-up had leaked and that Caleb had indeed had an accident on the carpet. At this point, I was slightly annoyed. Our mornings around here are fairly stressful when everything goes perfectly. Five little people to get fed, dressed, combed and brushed leaves little to no time for extra clean-ups or problem solving. So, I finished getting myself dressed and then went downstairs to make the boys' beds and assess the damage. I knew I was in trouble when I could tell the minute I hit the bottom of the stairs that the carpet outside our mechanical room (clear on the other side of the family room) was wet. On closer inspection I realized that cute, sweet Cort had grossly overestimated the size of Caleb's bladder. It was not, in fact, a leaky pull-up but a leaky 50 gallon water heater that had caused the sloshy, spongy carpet outside his bedroom. Sigh. I think I would have preferred the leaky pull-up.

Anyway, Spencer was totally unavailable by phone and my parents were out of town so I was flying solo! I did the best I could: called a plumber, started trying to soak up water with towels and towels and more towels. Rotating them through the dryer as quickly as I could. Finally the plumber showed up around 3:00 and replaced the water heater for a mere $700. Yikes. Then he told me I would be foolish to not have a disaster clean-up service come in and start tearing out carpet pad and drying the carpet, drywall and studs that were soaked. So, I did that too. They showed up 20 minutes after I placed the call (almost as good as 911, huh?) and hooked up their fans. I think we have 8-9 going right now. The workman told me the fans are $25/day each and that we'd need to run them for 3-4 days. You do the math. I tried not to cry or put my fist through the wall in front of this poor gentleman but I was BUMMED! After he left, I checked to see if the fans are, in fact, gold leafed or diamond studded since for that kind of money, they definitely ought to be. But, no. They are just ugly, industrial fans and they are LOUD.

So, once the fans are unplugged sometime this weekend we'll still have to replace the pad and re-lay the carpet and then raid the kids' piggy banks to cover the ridiculous but unavoidable expense of our mini-disaster. Oh well. Life marches on.

MORAL OF THE STORY: The plumber told me that all of this could have easily been avoided had one of two things happened: 1. the builders of the home didn't get the slope of the floor in the mechanical room right when they poured the concrete and the water that leaked from the water heater ran perfectly AWAY from the drain in the center of the floor. Go figure. Check the pitch of your concrete floor wherever your wather heater is and make sure it's correct. If it's not (like ours) you need to 2. caulk the perimeter of your mechanical room to make it water tight. Easy. Inexpensive. Would've saved us big time bucks and hassle. We'll be doing that as soon as everything dries out.