Monday, December 21, 2009

Good Luck House Cat!

Tonight we sent Maren and Grant off to Oklahoma where they will settle in and finally begin a really settled life. We were all so sad to see them go and its exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. I'm looking forward to hearing what adventures they have and wanted to wish them good luck on their journey. I thought it might be nice to re-count some of our favorite Maren-isms to help her on her way.

1 - One time Maren and I were driving home from Layton with freshly baked cookies she held on her lap (she was maybe 12 at the time). I took the on-ramp too fast and finally once we were safely settled on the highway again Maren stated: I literally almost tossed THESE cookies.

2 - Maren would come stay with me during college weekends and once we went shopping at Nordstrom Rack for jeans.... She was open to trying anything on and was always surprised at how cute each pair looked on her.

3 - When she was little for some reason mom and dad would let me take Maren anywhere with me and I always remember not wanting to go places unless her cute little 3-4 year old self would come along. People just loved her immediately.

4 - After I'd moved to Salt Lake from Ogden I was at home one time and for the first time in my life experienced some "attitude" from Maren. When I asked her about it she cried and said we'd promised to watch ER together on Thursdays...

5 - When Maren was a baby she had a hard time falling asleep and I'd take her in the library and gently massage her face and then hold her eye lids shut... In my young 14 year old mind I thought that it was helpful...

6 - One Christmas Maren made me a journal. It had all my favorite things pasted into it and I can barely stand to write in it unless its really important.

7 - The trip to Hawaii and our ride in the rental car when I realized she actually does make crumbs.

8 - Any time that Maren would show up at my house without anything. She would just show up and hang out and I was just super glad to have her around. I kept pajamas and anything else she might need just on the off chance she'd come... She would be happy with whatever the plans were and just hang out. Like a house cat...

We love you Maren and I'm so proud of your grown up self! Good luck in Oklahoma!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Grapefruit

Some of you may have already heard the big news, buuuuut Grant convinced me to try a Grapefruit a couple of nights ago. I have to admit, I didn't mind it too much.

I must really love Grant right?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday MOM!

I am of the opinion that I was given the exact mom I needed. You are my best friend and my biggest strength and one of the funniest most honest people I know. I had a couple of memories I wanted to share:

1 - Shoe shopping with my mom and her sisters and lunch with them afterwards while they laughed through stories of growing up and if I closed my eyes I couldn't tell which one was laughing.

2 - Laying out on our back lawn when I was little... It was the first girl time I got to spend with my mom. We'd put on our swim suits and take towels out back and just relax... I was only 3 or 4 so it couldn't have been all that relaxing for her!

3 - In middle school when I desperately wanted straight hair and she would get up so early and spend hours trying to help me blow my hair straight - for those of you with curls this was in the days prior to good product or straighteners.

4 - The days I had dance right after school and she would pick me up and drive me to dance while I hid below the windows and changed into a leotard.

5 - Late nights playing games when if we convince her to stay up long enough she gets super punchy and funny.

I love you mom! Thank you for being so good to all of us and making each one of us feel like your favorite.... or is that just I really am your favorite?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our Uncle Gordon

Our Uncle Gordon, the husband of my dad's sister, passed away on November 2, 2009 after battling Leukemia. He has always been a great and brilliant man. My cousin Rand shares a little about him and their difficult experience here.

I just thought I would share a recent memory that I have of him. When Maren was married in the summer of 2008, my Uncle Gordon was in remission and was in attendance at all of the days festivities. Maren's reception was outdoors on a golf course that did not typically handle weddings. Needless to say, there was a lot of set up and take down for the beautiful event. My sweet Uncle Gordon insisted on staying until the very last lantern was taken down and last chair folded, even until the midnight hours. He could have used one of thousands of excuses; however, he was there even when the sprinklers came on and began to soak us all. Yes, just one small example of how he has always been a great and brilliant man. I love the Lewis family and wish I could be there to show my support this weekend.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Asher's Halloween

First, Asher decided that he just had to wear a turtleneck and tights, or we'll call them leggings... does that make it any better? :)

Then, we decided that Asher had to be something that he really, really loves. So...

Asher was a banana!

Thanks Aunt Emily for the great hat to make the bitter Chicago winter less bitter!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cell Phone Plans

Cool phone huh. Well, folks, we have hit that two year mark again for deciding what to do for cell phone carriers. We've had AT&T for years, I just thought I would check to see what carriers everyone uses for mobile-to-mobile purposes. Also, what you have found works for your family and what hasn't. We are looking for about 700 minutes with a very small (like 200 or less) text messages. Also, does your plan have your favorite five, etc? Any help would be great! And remember to let me know your carrier!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Aunt Mary

This past Sunday, our Aunt Mary, my mom's sister, who has been battling cancer, passed away. My mom and I were discussing how glad Mike and I were that we were able to visit Aunt Mary and her husband, Monte, in Kanab a few years ago. I am so glad that Mike was able to remember so many details:

As a fairly newly married couple Amanda and I took our first vacation together after school let out in 2006. We planned a trip which included hiking in Moab, exploring the ruins at Mesa Verde, seeing the Grand Canyon, and a stop in Moab to visit Mary and Monte. By the time we got to Kanab we were both in need of a shower, a good night of sleep, and some additional conversation partners. Mary welcomed us into their home, fed us, took care of us, and was genuinely interested in hearing about our most recent adventures and what we were doing in our lives. When I said how much I loved Mesa Verde and things related to Southwest Native Americans, Mary perked up and asked, "Do you want to see some arrowheads?" I replied that I very much did and I was expecting perhaps one or two arrowheads. Mary left the room and came back with several show boxes full of arrowheads and pottery shards. She grew giddy as she told the story of how she found each one of the artifacts and as we talked more she asked, "Do you want to go and hunt for arrowheads tomorrow?" We both replied that we would love to do just that. The next morning Monte and Mary fixed us a classic country style breakfast and then we headed out in Monte's old Jeep to first inspect his cattle and then start out on our treasure hunt. Mary gave us both sticks and explained that it was easier to use to the stick to turn over potential arrowheads rather than to stoop over and inspect each one. She was obviously experienced at this treasure hunting hobby of hers and she was thrilled to be showing us how to do it. We hunted for a few hours and didn't come upon any arrowheads but we did see hundreds of pieces of shattered pottery strewn all over the bluff which we were traversing. Mary assured us that she was almost always successful in her hunts but that today must have just been unlucky. To us it didn't matter, we were just happy to be in on the adventure and to have a few hours for Amanda to catch up with her aunt and uncle and for me to get to know them a little more. Whenever I think of Mary the image that is marked in my mind is her infectious excitement and laughter as she showed off her treasure to us and how willing she was to let us join in her somewhat illegal little obsession. Amanda and I still talk about that trip and how much fun we had with Mary and Mont and we have more than once remarked that we hope that we can be as hospitable and welcoming to all who come and visit us.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Guess who turned One!

We had a little party for Asher, and I was surprised at how much Asher LOVED it...

Of course we had to strip him down before he ate his first cupcake...
Initial apprehension...
But was there every any doubt...
this boy LOVES his cupcakes! Not a lot of crumbs left to clean.
He loved opening his gifts...

Left over Cupcakes: blue ones for the little kids and chocolate Nutella ones for the big kids (Nutella in the frosting and inside!). ***A little disclaimer is that I never bake such fun things so I had to share due to my excitement!

We just can't believe a year has passed so quickly. I guess we'll keep him. :) Our only wish is that we could have had you all here!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Asher's First Part...

We finally tamed his crazy hair for these pictures. Grandpa Crane & Pope eat your heart out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Asher's Two Favorite things:

His dad and eating.

One funny thing is that we were at church in Relief Society and Asher was being so good. Then one of his friends was given a bottle by his Mom. Not just any bottle, the same kind that Asher LOVES to eat/drain from at home. Asher started yelling and frantically trying to get their attention , especially because his friend really wasn't even interested in the bottle, oh, but Asher sure was!

Another funny thing is that during the final prayer at church Asher was just done, we probably would have packed up, but we were almost done... He was just so wiggly and I was squinting my eyes to look at him and smiling. Then he leaned closer to my face and gave me a huge smile while squinting his eyes too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Insomia Relief?

dear sleep,
please come back to me and let me enjoy you at night. tossing & turning & gazing at the ceiling is so boring.

dear new clean & crisp sheets,maybe you will help me sleep better? i'm counting on you...

dear Garden State Soundtrack, when I can't sleep at night I run through your songs in my head. Especially this lovely tune by Remy Zero.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few pictures

My friend Danielle, who sadly just moved from Chicago, took some pictures of us at the Osaka Gardens near our house that I didn't even know existed! In order to not have to upload any pictures, yes lazy I know, here is the link to a few of them. Also, she will be in San Diego, so anyone nearby should definitely contact her. Thanks Danielle!

P.S. In order for the lighting to be good for the pictures, we had them taken near Asher's bedtime which means a few less smiles from the bug. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our Little Eater...

How does a baby go from looking like this....

to this...

or this...

because he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to do this...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tulsa Update

Well dears, we have been in our new semi-permanent home for three weeks now (amanda, the title to this entry is for you. tulsa. we live in tulsa).
All of us (Mark, Grant and I) have been really busy since we've been here. Although they have been hard at work getting their business started and I have been pounding the pavement looking for a job, we have still found time to do some fun stuff out here in the Midwest.

1) Grant, Mark, and I drove up to Kansas City to see The Killers with Grant's brother Barry and some of they guys that are selling up there. It was one of the best shows I've ever been to! It was at an outside venue and the weather was perfect. Their whole show was amazing, and picking my favorite of their songs that they performed is impossible, but this one was so great!

(The top picture is of The Killers, and the bottom one is of Grant and I at The Killers)

2) Grant and I ate at The Bourbon Street Cafe in downtown Tulsa (turns out Tulsa is AWESOME) where a live jazz band serenaded us with "I've Just Seen a Face" by The Beatles (not a very bluesy song, but I loved it!) while we ate the cheapest thing on the menu. Burgers. They were still nine dollars each, but heeeeey it was worth it.

3) Grant and I saw the sounds last night at a little tiny cafe called the Marquee in downtown Tulsa. It was way fun, and we were so close to the stage. We even saw a fight break out. Right next to us. Crazy. Their best song is definitely Painted By Numbers. And true to this video Maja Ivarsson was insane. Kicking and punching and flaring her nostrils.

Also, one more picture for the road. Here's the Midwest Pest boys on their first day!
The middle guy is their technician Dallas. He was one of Mark's high school buddies, and we're working on getting him baptized!

p.s. I know we don't have kids to blog about or post picture of yet, but I hope you guys still like it :)

We're just jealous.

Mike, I thought you might enjoy this one too.
and really... we're just jealous that we don't have the brains (or determination) to pursue our education further.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't make fun of grad students...

Confirmation of my deepest fear.

I feel so exploited. And slightly less idealistic.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I miss you guys! Will plant flowers for mom all alone! How sad. Poor emily right? It will be a strange day without you girls... For the first time all of you are gone. Any ideas or hints for a rookie like me? We'll miss you like crazy but I know you'll have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Much Needed

Bad haircut got Asher down?


Asher got his first haircut!
Look... he's happy now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One depressed baby...

Too bad! Asher was apparently a huge fan. Well, at least they beat UConn....just kidding Richard & Rachel, or should I say Reed & Victoria.


We took our first trip to Wisconsin. It was only 1 1/2 hours away, but it felt like a different world. We enjoyed walking around the small little touristy town of Lake Geneva. It was beautiful. Does it make us low class that one of the highlights was having the hotel not only a block from the lake, but maybe even more importantly, such easy access to the Wal-mart! Honestly, call us city kids but to be able to drive two blocks and get baby food for $.34 a jar...come on, now that's worth the trip! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009


A funny thing happened today at BYU.
On the front page of the Daily Universe there was an article about general conference and an accompanying photo of President Monson and the twelve apostles sustaining Elder Neil L. Anderson. Under the photo is a caption that reads like this: "Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities raise their hands in a sustaining vote."

WHAT?!? I was sure that I had read it wrong, but nope, I hadn't.
I'd post a link to the actual article and photo, but there isn't one since they recalled all of the papers. I happened to be one of the "lucky" students to get a copy because I pick up my paper before my nine o'clock class which was before the error had been caught.

The Daily Universe pulled all of the papers off of campus and issued a formal explanation and apology here.

nice one BYU. nice.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My new favorite commercials.

Usually when a commercial comes on I immediately change the station. I have two exceptions.


The Moody Blues are great, and for 30 seconds I feel like I'm in another world.



It just cracks me up. I'm not really sure why. Just does.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy birthday dad!

Happy birthday to my favorite man in my life. A thank you to him for all of the amazing things he's brought into my life. Dad has loved us more than any father has. He has loved being a father and a husband more than anyone I know. He has not missed a single piece of our lives whether pleasant or unpleasant. He has cheered with us at games and clapped at various other activities which would not have been his first choice. He has cried with us and worried with us and in many cases saved us. He is passionate about all of us including our new family. I love knowing that in difficult times he will be there and in happy times he will feel joy with us. a few of my memories:

At five I packed my small barbie suitcase to run away and most likely I made a big show of it. I wouldn't have gotten far, but he chased after me down the back hill and begged me to come home. Made me believe he needed me. we walked back home hand in hand.

Growing up my toys would break. I'd cry at a wheel off a babby buggie only to have it repaired the next day.

As a young family he ouyfitted us all in skis and took us skiing several times even though it was even his first time too.

He taught me to love music.. best memories of him putting on a Simon and garfunkel record and relaxing while I danced in my nightgown and Gardner beat on a leather drum.

the dance costumes and dance recitals which he attended along with the old bully video camera.

The teams and teams of junior jaZz he coached year after year.

The times he knew to stay up late if we were sad or injured.

The letters that got me through my loneliness at byu.

Even now his ability to still take care of us all.

The funny memories of his humor whether in switching off lights and pulling moms head into his sweaty post run shirts.

I have learned to love and show it from him.

Please add what you can.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today I was kinda bummed to come until I remembered that crista signed us up for a writing / publishing class. Just one of the many, many things I love about her is that she finds things to do and then DOES them. Everyone in our family has benefitted from her ability to plan. I am so excited for the class! Okay I am a litle overly excited!

Thank you crista!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

He's gettting a little bit Fat!

Can you believe Asher is five months!

What's a mom to do with this crazy hair! He loves his new toy, and really gets his game face on!

Dad & Asher.

Thunder thighs...

Life in the Wind blown city...

A happy, chubby 4 months.