Thursday, February 28, 2013

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

I do feel that throughout my life, I have had great friends. They have and do inspire me to be a better person.  I know that I easily fall into the mode of focusing in on my family to the exclusion of all else. (This is done because children are hard to ignore.) But friends are what get me through the hard times, and talk me through my follies. (Of which there are many.)

Recently I was able to catch up with an old friend and meet some new ones.

First, there is Sarah. I grew up with her and she is A. Maze. Ing. I have to give her credit for a lot of my personality. I am probably as outgoing as I am because of her. We spent many happy days together. Then, of course, we grew up. I moved out to Utah and basically lost contact with most of my previous friends and acquaintances. (This is why we are all glad we can make new friends, because it is hard to keep up when you physically move.) But glorious day, Sarah was coming out to Utah for a friend's wedding and asked if we could meet up somewhere.

It was really great to see her again. She looks just the same. She is married to the nicest guy and their little boy Jack was super sweet. We met out at the City Creek Center. I'm glad she got to meet my troop of ruffians. They were as well behaved as expected, especially if you don't count the uber tantrum Ivory had over a notebook that I wouldn't buy her. (Luckily that was before Sarah arrived.)

And who am I kidding? These five are probably the bestest buds I have. Talk about making new friends. Granted, I had to grow these ones first, but they are turning out pretty well.

Some other friends I have recently met are Sarah and Emily (and company). I told you how I met Sarah at the zoo. And then how I lost the photos I took of us at the park. Well, we had her and her hubby over to play games. They are ultra fun and surprisingly deft at game playing. (It is not often the Cazier's take a loss. Okay, we have our fair share of losing, but we don't like to admit it.) While Sarah was over, she mentioned that her sister Emily would be in town. Emily! THE Emily. My cyber twin. So we arranged a meeting. And I forgot my camera. (Are you even surprised???)

Luckily, Emily had hers, and sent me a picture. See, I am not making them up. Well, I am not making up that I have met them. They are so great.

Sarah shared her home, and free In and Out Burger. (Free because she forgot her money and the cashier let her take the food, telling her to come back and pay later. Wow!!) I got to meet baby Jonah. (The boy I never had.) Both Emily and Sarah are just nifty people. They have fun kids and interesting thoughts and ideas. And I secretly wish I was one of their sisters, because then I would have a better excuse to hang out with them.

Like I said before, If family is the glue of life, then friends are the glitter. Love my friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

AMEX Anyone?

Maleen and I got away for a little "Mom & Dad" out-on-the-town time. Mostly this was spent shopping for the littles. After we finished in one shop, Maleen expressed how pleased she was that I was buying everything because then it wouldn't be on her account. Ah, so that's how we stay "in budget!"

Anyway, I whipped out my AMEX and handed it to the cashier. She politely explained, "We don't take American Express." Maleen pointed at the little sign that apparently exists on all cashier's tables and mumbled something about how they have a sign and everything. As I sheathed the AMEX, I was trying to bumble my way, unsuccessfully, through an excuse.

I grabbed the next card and handed it to the cashier. She tilted her head quizzically and repeated, "Sir, we don't take American Express."

Looking down I realized I'd put my card in my wallet, only to draw the exact card out again. I just started laughing and fished out my VISA. Probably wouldn't be the last four-letter word of the night.

AMEX: it's everywhere you think your VISA is.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pass of All Passes

Yes, we broke down and bought the pass of all passes. Actually, we broke down way back in October, but we're finally getting around to activating our passes of all passes. I must say, if we use these passes more than two or three times, we'll probably get our money's worth. (Now, who's betting that we'll actually use them enough?)

We've got a Humphries that visits us every month and wonders why we don't go play laser tag with him. We finally bit the bullet laser and scheduled a trip out to the laser tag arena in Lehi. Of course, we missed the appointment, but we promptly rescheduled. And we made it the second time. We had loads of fun!

Mostly the girls were enamored of the rock wall, this of course being their first time out of the watchful gaze of mamma bear who says something along the lines of, "@#%& No! You're NOT going anywhere near that death wall! Now eat your Brussels sprouts and be thankful I've only beaten you twice this morning! Better yet, go do your extra math homework, you haven't completed the unit on quantum mechanics yet." Ok, she hasn't said most of those things...

Anyway, the hits were the rock wall, laser tag, and the Frogger ride—in that order. Here's some evidence of our fun:

June on the rock wall. She was the first to tackle it. Other children liked the idea.

I think Daisy was stuck to this chair. She was in it for about 30 minutes. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. get it.

June, descending, her favorite part.

Ivory attacking the wall. Robyn is also scaling—but that picture didn't turn out.

Still stuck to the chair.

Ivory (and some other inconsequential person) climbing the wall.

We didn't get any pictures of laser tag, since we were too busy annihilating the other team. They've got pretty good gear up there. Maybe the next January Laser Tag Epic Birthday Event will take place in Lehi? I guess we'll see.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Extra! Extra! Birthday Girl Turns Seven!

A most anticipated birthday happened yesterday. Perhaps it is because she has to make it through a long winter to reach her date, but Ivory was super excited to finally celebrate and become one year older. (I teased her that we would still have cake and presents, but I would like her to remain six this year. She didn't go for it.)

Ivory requested breakfast in bed. I even came home early from running, but upon entering the house around 6:30, she was already awake in the living room. My guess is she was already experiencing birthday excitement. I told her that it would be rather hard to bring her breakfast in bed when she was already up, and she immediately said, "No, I'll go back to bed." And she did.

Dad and I were able to bring up her tray. And all the girls benefited from a warm breakfast. (Not a common occurrence around here.) Although watching Pearl eat, I can see why I might skip the extra work. I'm pretty sure that Pearl didn't touch her french toast. She only dipped her finger repeatedly in the whipped cream.

Ivory spent her time comfortably upstairs. I like how she made an 'I' with her French Toast strips.

We let Ivory open one present before school. She has been wanting a new small blanket for some time, and she was able to pick it out of the line up. Her previous blankets (Crabby and Soft) are well loved. I am sure the new one (dubbed Canada) will have a special place in our home.

I would say that Ivory had a great day. Dad took her out for lunch. Mom met her with Balloons after school.

In the evening, we opened the rest of her presents. She loved everything. She is still at a great age where she is easy to please. She got gum and tic tacs and thought they were great. She got books and notebooks and was ecstatic. The lava lamp was a huge hit. (She needed some kind of night light, and I thought this would be fun.) It hadn't warmed up enough in this picture to be making cool bubbles, but you get the idea.

Tyler also made her a really cool shelf, but it is not mounted on the wall yet. Pictures to come.

And after dinner, we of course had a treat. Ivory requested store-bought cupcakes. Works for me. But I did buy the more gourmet tasting ones than the ones with cute toys on top. Here is Ivory making her wish.

When she was about to blow out the candle, we thought Daisy was going to steal her thunder, but instead we realized she was just leaning in to give the birthday girl a kiss. Super sweet.

Ivory is a delight in our home. She brings a fair amount of drama, but she wouldn't be Ivory without it. We just joy in the good days. (Of which there are many.) I couldn't imagine our house without this cute personality in it. We sure love you Ivory Elaine.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Break a Foot

If you decide at the last minute to take a trip up to Idaho to visit your family, beware; because you just never know what can happen.

I took the girls for a weekend trip up to see Grandma and Grandpa, and on the last night, i.e. last night this happened:

For the non-x-ray initiated, this is a joint fracture in the outside metatarsal on the right foot. Walking is...painful.

It wasn't that big of a deal either—I wish there was some sort of story that would make a trip to the ER at 10:30 at night worth the story, but there isn't. It was a case of carrying a heavy crock pot out to the garage to store it overnight, missing the last stair in the garage and going down hard. I thought it would break the crock pot; but at least semi-happily for Grandma, that's not what broke.

Limping in, there was a ton of pain each time the right foot took some weight. Ultimately, everybody decided it wasn't "just a bruise" after the tears (yes, tears) started rolling. The pain was intense! I'm not above admitting there were tears. (Hey, the kids cry when they brush the wall. This is a *broken* bone: tears allowed.)

The doctors, of course, had difficulty saying it was anything more serious than a "deep bruise." However, after insistent prodding, they agreed an x-ray might be in order. And, as you see above, CRACKED foot!

The witch doctors say 6 weeks in a hard boot (no cast), and driving can happen again. Because it's the right foot, no driving until the boot comes off! I've decided independence is over-rated anyway, chauffeurs are all the rage.

This would have been really traumatic, had it been my foot.

Yes, I wrote the story to deceive you into thinking it was my foot, but 'twasn't. Oh, don't get me wrong, this broken foot happened, and it kind of ruined the end of our President's Day weekend, but it didn't happen to me. Grandma deserves all the credit and sympathy.

I hope your foot heals well, Grandma!

Thank You, Mr. President

Because two presidents were born this month (and arguably two of the best presidents in history, present president not even contending) they decided to make a holiday this month. Yippee. Always a good excuse to take a day off. And suddenly on Friday, I realized it would be fabulous if Tyler took the kids up to see his family in Idaho. They could spend an extra day and play. I wanted to go (I really love his family) but the house has not been 'Maleen Clean' in weeks. Plus, I had some meetings to attend to. So I suggested that I stay and put things in order.

Oh, glorious weekend of single bliss. Okay, really after I cleaned everything I looked around and wanted everyone back. But it was good to take a break and get some things done. Nothing fancy mind you. Just catching up on laundry, cleaning out the fridge, having the hubby's car cleaned (the inside has not smelled right since he took a group of scouts to Klondike) and the usual ho-hum house chores. (I can't say that I love cleaning, but I LOVE having a clean house.)

Oh yeah, and I was supposed to get some blogging done. Ha ha. Kids are supposed to be home in 20 minutes. Let's see if I can crank this out. Once again, there isn't anything super important to report, unless you count my lack of picking up the camera as newsworthy. Oh, and Emily came to Utah to visit. Huzzah. But I don't have pictures of that yet. So, I will let you take a peek at the normal weird that we are:

Robyn's easel (from Christmas) is very popular. She draws on it all the time, as do all the kids, with varying amounts of permission from Robyn. I like that the chalkboard side actually works.

Daisy had some crazy static hair one day. Enough so, that I bothered to pick up the camera. (Really, I need to set some kind of picture-taking goal to get motivated.)

Pearl has become quite adept at stealing candy and hiding somewhere to eat it. Caught her in the bathtub this time, although her favorite place is the closet.

Robyn got a sleepmask for Christmas that she likes to wear at night. She shares a room with Ivory. Ivory likes the lamp on, Robyn likes complete darkness. Compromise is a new word we are diligently teaching the kids. I didn't know, however, that Moxy is also a diva about her sleeping habits.

June is getting quite good at doing her assignments on the computer. She researches and types reports. I am happy that only one child has reached that stage. Although with all the computers we have around here, we could easily handle more such assignments. Some families have multiple TVs...we have computers.

I love this picture because it reminds me that the love of reading can be passed on. Thanks Mom.

And finally, June was playing Scrabble and decided to put a whole family together using their names. It isn't our family, but some of you may know these people. I thought it was very creative.

Hopefully I can get back into a groove. This would be good since we have some birthdays coming up, which means photo shoots as well. Okay Nikon, we can be friends this week.

And....done. With 30 seconds to spare. I hear the garage door opening. I officially announce this three-day weekend a success.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Repair Man

A few weeks ago my laundry machine broke down. Maleen quickly sent out a plea for help on the local neighborhood social network. Thanks to all who graciously assisted in our family's effort to keep the laundry beast at bay.

As the man of the house, it was my responsibility to get the thing working again. So I headed out to the garage to grab my tools (and my laundry-machine-mr-fix-it hat), so I could settle into some uncomfortable, cramped position working on some genius contraption someone else invented that I know nothing about. Relatively quickly, I ascertained that the bane was a child's sock which had inexplicably passed through those tiny holes in a laundry machine's tub to become lodged in the drain. I extracted the sock—I'm a hero, right?


Having solved the draining problem, I endeavored to put the machine back in it's place. That's when I discovered that in pulling the machine out to work on it, I had inadvertently tweaked the laundry faucet. It was dripping.

I busted out my plumbing-mr-fix-it hat and went to work on that. I shut off the water, dissembled the laundry faucet to the copper, repaired the seals, taped the threads, and tightened everything up again. Now I'm the hero!


I turned the water back on and learned that I had damaged the seal on the laundry hose connection to the faucet. Now it was dripping a very slow drip. Having exhausted the better half of a day, I decided it would be okay for a week, and I shoved the washer back into place.

This morning, (yes, longer than a week...) I took up the project again. I shut off the water, dissembled the hose, replaced the seals, taped the threads, turned it back on, and Viola! no more leaky.



I recently happened to notice my guest bathroom ceiling fan hanging out of the ceiling. I'm no pro, but I'm pretty sure it didn't look like that when I moved in, so it probably just needs some love. I whipped out my electrical-fixtures-mr-fix-it hat and went to work. Jostling the thing around I learned that some of the clips had just come dislodged, probably in the wake of our great, hulking, steel, neighbor, FrontRunner. A little tweaking, a little profanity, and a lot of plaster-dust in my eyes later, I declared the fan fixed.



While still wiping the plaster dust from my watery eyes, I hiked up to brag to Maleen about how awesome her husband is. I found the master bedroom light fixture hanging askance. Hmmm. "I don't think that used to look like that," I humphed to myself as I grabbed a chair. I rounded up my flashlight, shut off the power, and took to removing the light fixture. I found the nitwit who originally hung the fixture nearly a decade ago didn't use the proper screws and the fixture was now slipping under its own weight. I replaced the screws and ta-ta! No weird angles. I put the bulbs back in and switched the light on to bathe my room in light. (Now if I can just get all that fiberglass itchiness off me!)


*Raises arms and cautiously shifts eyes from one side to the other, waiting for another project to rear its head.*

Seeing none, I hereby declare—by the power vested in me—HERO! (Until next week...)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cleaning My Desk

I try to write down funny things the kids say. Sometimes I succeed. Often, I don't.

But as I cleaned my desk today, I found a couple that are worth mentioning.

Right after a trip to Idaho, Pearl wanted her pillowcase changed. I think she must have been mixing up words, because she asked very sweetly, while I put it on:

"Is this my pillow suitcase?"


Ivory and I were discussing the color of our skin and I was mentioning yet again how happy I am that most of them got Tyler's coloring.

Me: Ivory, you have such nice skin. (referring to color)

Ivory: I know. Mine is smooth. Yours is a little crinkly. You may be a grandma soon.

Thanks Ives.

"Sometimes you need to put the iron glove over the velvet hand to catch the flying bird," and other romanticisms

I just got a visit here at work from my Alpha and two underlings. They came bearing Valentine's gifts and well wishes. Here are some important things to remember about Valentine's gifting:
  1. It's always fun to receive a gift. 
  2. It's better to get it at work where everyone stares at you in jealous awe as the gifts are presented. 
  3. It's even better when the gift, that is given to you at work, makes music so that all must now participate—willingly or otherwise—in the confirmation of your awesomeness. 
  4. And to top it off, it the gift includes a card that can be read aloud to excellent effect, communicating deep and abiding love on a level that is simply unintelligible to others in the room, this is the crowning pinnacle of Valentine's gift giving. 
My wife delivered a card that reminds me that "Sometimes you need to put the iron glove over the velvet hand to catch the flying bird." I love it. I know exactly what you mean, Maleen; and I revel that no one else has any idea what we're talking about.

I love you too,

Raging Stallion.


Happy Valentine's day, btw.

Just wanted to let you know that we are experiencing some technical difficulties on our end. It seems every time I want to blog, my computer has frozen or shut down. Luckily, I have a very handsome, handy husband who fixes it each evening, but it is causing me fits.

So, hopefully the blogging business will be back up and running soon.

Thank you,

The Management

p.s. Go hug someone you love...right now, if you can.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lucky Number 13, the Rest of the Story

So, I've been waiting for Maleen to post on the anniversary, so I can share "The Making of" version.

I originally planned to have our anniversary early, say on the 14th of December. Because of the nature of an overnighter, I had some difficult obstacles to overcome. First and foremost, getting a sitter who can spend the night with your kids. For us, this is pretty exclusively family. Unlike many of our friends, our closest family lives 250 miles away—meaning eight hours of driving (four to Orem, four back) at the minimum for any type of babysitting. Needless to say, we don't have family sitters very often.

So priority one, was to get a sitter. I dialed up Grandma and asked if she'd be able to come down. I worked out the details with her and the schedule before I started really planning events; because if I didn't have her, nothing else mattered.

So we got the date scheduled, and I started in planning the evening around what was available on the 14th. I called the Anniversary Inn and reserved a room. I had some other events scheduled in Salt Lake, and I was ready to go. I had the entire evening built up before I learned that the 14th wouldn't work.

Bummer. I unscheduled with Grandma. I unscheduled with Anniversary Inn (they don't like that), and went back to my calendar to try to pull this thing back together.

Maleen and I finally settled on February 1st...yes a couple of months later. Oh, well, it would work, right? So, I rescheduled with Grandma. I rescheduled with the Anniversary Inn. All was going along swimmingly.

It was about the first week in January when we learned that February 1st was out. I called Grandma back. I called Anniversary Inn back. By now, you can imagine how I felt. I looked at the possible dates, and realized everything at the Anniversary in would be scheduled in for Valentine's Day, and the next possibility would be in March.

March? No way.

I went back to the drawing board and decided the only Friday / Saturday that would work fell on January 18th -19th. This was only complicated by the already-planned January 18th laser tag birthday party celebration, and the already-planned January 19th LAN party birthday event. Hmmm. Well, if I worked the Laser Tag party in, and we made it back from Salt Lake before noon...and this went that way, and that went this way... it could all work!

I called Grandma back, praying that Grandma would be available on relatively short notice. Grandma, bless her heart, was available. I called Anniversary Inn back, but the room I had scheduled was already taken. Hmm, now the themed lingerie I ordered was...well, it's still useful, but rather out of theme. Shucks.

Reviewing the rooms, I found a room that worked with the themed lingerie. Bonus! Was it available. The rather annoyed blonde on the Anniversary Inn end of the phone call checked her records. (I don't know she was blonde, but she sure sounded blonde to me.) Brilliantly, it was available. Sweet. I've got a babysitter, I've got an Anniversary Inn room...I'm set!

Having thus changed my theme, I went to work theming the remainder of the night. I had selected the Treasure Island room at the Anniversary Inn, so I took a decidely "pirate" approach to planning the night.

I figured I could send messages to Maleen in an antique bottle as if she were receiving them from some marooned pirate. Awesome. Oh, they could be in real calligraphy on honest-to-goodness parchment paper—that would add to the mystique! Several other details just started falling into place.

Planning for the event, I picked up a bottle (man, ornate bottles are expensive!). I had planned to buy several—for each message. But it turns out that this pirate hadn't come into much treasure of late, so I made it on the cheap: one bottle, multiple messages. I remember saying out loud, "Well, you'll just have to be smooth and get the bottle back after every message she reads." More on this later...

As it turns out, parchment paper is also rather expensive, as is that blasted old-school quill pen. Someone tried to sell me a feather—yes a feather—for $25! I also underestimated how long it takes to actually hand write a note. I've been typing messages for years now, and I'm pretty sure I no longer possess the muscles necessary to write for more than a few paragraphs at a time.

I called a flower shop in Salt Lake to prepare the 13 roses. Turns out that a shop the "specializes in baptisms and funerals" gets a little uncomfortable when they have to write a card that says, "Arrrrrgh! This is the spot. Captain Raging Stallion." Apparently, this was a little risque for the attendant. I got the stuttery, "Ummm. Ok, aa, ah, ok, um...Yes, I think I've got that." I could tell immediately I had asked her to scribe something she wouldn't tell her own husband, let alone utter aloud to another human. Unfortunately for this poor soul, her computer wasn't working correctly, and she needed to call me back to get the information again. We had to go through the entire message again, and they must have a policy because she read it back to me. It seemed like a really bad line reading for a low-budget porn film. Even I felt uncomfortable after she read the message!

Nevertheless, she left the message as it was, and turned to other matters. I tried not to think of how my mother would interpret the note should she see it. Why would my mother be reading the note, you ask? Good question. She was not, in fact, invited to this part of the date, but since she'd be driving through Salt Lake on her way to our home, would she mind stopping to pick up the roses and deposit them at the Anniversary Inn? When I arrived to the Anniversary Inn with Maleen, I found that the note was not tucked away in one of those nice little floral envelopes. No, it was on display as the center piece of the floral arrangement. Yup, my mom totally would have read that. Oh, things I try not to remember.

In the interest of keeping everything a secret from my particularly nosy buxom wench, I elected to write all the notes and draw out the treasure map the night before. She couldn't find them if they didn't exist. Yeah, that little project started around 11:00 p.m. the night before my anniversary. It ended sometime after 3:00 a.m. The only reason that I don't know is that I actually stopped looking at the clock at 3:00 a.m. because i didn't want to know how late it had gotten. (It's a good thing there's a big reward on anniversary night, or I may have slept through my own date!)

I left the note on the table, and waited for Maleen to wake up.

Things started well, and just got better all day. Maleen got her note, and was still mystified. "Wait, who's coming to the house, and why?" No answers from this Captain. I met with Grandma in the afternoon as she arrived in Provo (having already covertly deposited the roses at the Anniversary Inn), and I handed her the bottle with the next note in in. I proceeded to the house, with Grandma in tow, and came in to find Maleen ready to depart—house spic and span—but still full of questions. Of course, I answered none of them.

As planned, Grandma strolled through the door and delivered the bottle that had "washed up." In Maleen's excitement to read the letter, she didn't notice when I picked up the bottle she'd placed on the shelf. I stashed it in the car. And then we were off to Laser Tag.

At Laser Tag, I had arranged to have one of the players exit the game early to deposit the bottle. It was a magic show to get the bottle delivered to him without Maleen seeing it—she was all lovey-dovey and cuddly and whatnot. When we exited the game, however, she found another message in a bottle awaiting her. That's the first time she asked how many of these bottles I had obtained. Score one for Cazier. While engrossed in her letter, I tried to confiscate the bottle, without success. This was bad, though, I had to get that bottle back!

We were off to dinner at Ruby River's, but even as we pulled into the parking lot, I didn't have the bottle. I had my play, though. When she exited the vehicle, she would leave the bottle—who carries a bottle in to dinner? As expected, she placed the bottle on the console and opened the door. I quickly grabbed it, and tried to conceal it under my jacket, but missed! Time was of the essence, so I positioned my torso between the bottle and her eyes, and we walked, hand-in-hand, through the parking lot toward the restaurant. When we reached the door I was at a loss. Bottle in one hand, lover's hand in the other. I couldn't open the door without exposing the bottle rouse.

What luck! Just as we approached the door, a man exited, leaving the door wide open. I just shoved a foot in front of the door and held it open for us both to pass inside. Once inside, Maleen made a trip to the restroom, and I had more than enough time to woo one of the hostesses into placing the bottle. She was overjoyed to have a role in this little romantic encounter. Right on queue, when they brought the drinks to the table, the tray came with two drinks and a message in a bottle! Perfect!

I could just barely see the smiley, waving brunette hostess walking out of view after the delivery. Whoever you are, thank you.

Maleen read the message, this time with a map. She again wondered aloud how many bottles I had obtained for this adventure. And after we'd returned to the vehicle I knew my ice was getting thin. She questioned where she'd left the other bottle from Laser Tag. Well, the jig was up, but I'd had a good run. I let her know that it was all the same bottle, and we had a good laugh about the bottle(s).

And that takes us to the Anniversary Inn. When we pulled in, Maleen still believed we'd be doing something in Salt Lake, then returning to Orem. Not so when she saw the sign. We had a wonderful time rocking the boat as it were, and officially rang in 13 years.

There's more to this story, of course, but I think I've told you enough.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lucky Number 13

Tyler and I have been married 13 years now. Not too shabby, if you ask me. But we have a major problem...

Our silly anniversary falls in December, just a few days before Christmas. (Yes, I know we could have planned that a bit better. We have only ourselves to blame.) Every year we have stuff going on, and we try to squeeze our anniversary in amongst last minute shopping, parties, and family activities. It is a bit hectic. But we still love each other and try to make it a priority.

In fact, this year (well, last year technically), Tyler had some fantastic plans for our anniversary, but things didn't quite fall into place. And it got bumped back. It made us reevaluate yet again the inconvenience of the placement of our anniversary. So, we are going to try something new. We are going to celebrate on the day we got engaged, in the middle of October. I think it will be swell, and much less cold and crowded and everything else. (And we can still drink hot chocolate if we want. And sing Christmas carols, although that might be a bit weird. And we don't normally sing carols on our anniversary anyway.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can be in love any day of the year. 

So, we celebrated our anniversary in January. Close enough right? A little late, but in the future, we'll be celebrating a little early. And once again, I don't mind in the least when Tyler plans it out. I am one of the lucky ones in that regard. When he puts his mind to it, he can be quite the romantic.

He wouldn't give me ANY hints before the day of the anniversary. I knew we were going to play laser tag, but that was already planned and not directly related to the other plans of the evening.

I woke in the morning to find this mysterious message from 'Jack Finch.'

This was just a pleasant reminder that if I wanted the house clean for company, I'd better get to work. So that is what I did all morning....cleaned. Not the best gift, but necessary in this case.

After school, Grandma Cazier arrived and took over the kids. My Stallion in shining car arrived to escort me on our adventure, and I found another note conveniently placed in a glass bottle.

This was in reference to our epic laser tag battle. I was very surprised that I did so well. And my gun was glitchy. There was some sort of short in the wiring. If I lifted it up over my head, it wouldn't work, but at normal body height, it worked just fine. Of course, I didn't figure that out until 5 minutes before the end of the game. Previously, it just seemed that my gun worked 75% of the time. Clearly it didn't hurt my end result, so I'm not really complaining.

After slaughtering the competition, I found another bottle waiting for me with this message:

Nothing speaks to me quite like a nice dinner out on the town. I love to cook, but even more, I love it when someone cooks for me. And not having to do dishes is a bonus.

Somehow another bottle ended up at our table with these instructions: (S2G is actually SLC in case you can't read the pirate scrawl.)

This clever map accompanied it. (It actually wasn't very detailed since someone didn't want me to know the end location.)

Best be careful. The life of a pirate can be treacherous.

I was happy to follow my guide who only got lost once. We arrived at our final destination of the Anniversary Inn. We have always talked about going there, but it can be a bit spendy. But apparently I am worth it. Oh, and there was one more message for me.

Ahhh, I picked a good man.

We didn't think to take any pictures until the next morning and we had left our camera in the car. It was a fairly chilly evening, so the camera was not happy with the temperature change and remained fogged up for a while the next morning. We took a picture of our foggy breakfast because I wasn't willing to wait to eat. But perhaps that makes it feel more authentic. After all, we were in the Treasure Island room, which is outfitted like a sailing ship. You are bound to have some foggy mornings.

The room was full of fun details.

Love my roses. (Those came home with me.)

I think it is funny that Tyler strewed clothes along the stairs, much like you would see in the movies. (I have a strict rule about not leaving stuff on the stairs. People can get hurt.)

There was even a night sky over the bed, so you could look up and see the stars.

I think we still make a pretty handsome couple. (Ha, that just sounds funny to me...pretty handsome.)

Tyler was captain of course. It seemed he steered our anniversary in the right direction.

He tried to take a picture of me by the rigging, but he couldn't seem to focus. That often happens when I am around.

There was a notebook that many couples had left a message in. Some were there for one year anniversaries and another came for a 30 year anniversary. (Very cool.) Some entries were funnier than others, but I think Tyler's was quite apropos:

Captain's Log. Arrgh, arrived with buxom wench deep in the evening of the 18th. 
The Jolly Roger was flying at full mast when we entered the straights. But, with 
me trusty map, laid anchor and searched for booty. Aye, the treasure's here me 
harties [sic]! Me sole complaint is the weather—can't decide if me beard be scorchin, 
or me bones be chillin. 
—Captain Jack Finch & His Buxom First Mate. (The Cazier's)

Our only complaint probably was the thermostat. It was cold when we walked in and set low, so we turned it up a notch. But all the heat was focused in the crow's nest. It quickly turned into a sauna. And there was no happy medium. Either really cold, or blistering heat. Interesting, but the seas can often be stormy.

So chalk up another year of marriage bliss. It was a great anniversary, and I am married to a great guy. Some might even say we are MFEO.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rozz Turns 8!

I'm back. I wasn't planning a blogging siesta. It just sort of happened. And I wasn't even aware of how long it had been until my mother-in-law called and asked if anything was wrong. (I actually really appreciated the reminder and the fact that she is a faithful reader.)

Not much new and exciting is happening around here. Unless you count an ear infection, Pearl being able to find candy ANYWHERE in the house, or the washing machine breaking. (Actually, that was kind of exciting and might warrant its own post. If it doesn't happen, just know that you should not take your laundry machines for granted, especially if you still have children who could possibly wet the bed.)

Amazingly, I am mostly caught up from last year. There are a few odds and ends to wrap up, so let's do that now. Rozzlyn, my beautiful niece (and only other granddaughter in the family besides mine) had a birthday and turned 8. (You probably could have guessed that from the title.) We were able to go up and participate in her baptism event. (Tyler gave a talk, and I led a song that no one knew, including myself.) Rozzlyn looked radiant.

We were also able to attend her birthday party. She went to an old-school skating rink. You will have to excuse the really blue photos (and that is after editing) but that is the atmosphere you get at a skate place.

Almost everyone took a turn skating. And some people took a few tumbles. (To be fair to June, she didn't fall a lot, this was just the best picture I had of her.)

Our only child to not skate was Pearl. She seemed content to sit at the table and eat pizza and drink soda the entire time.

The great Kolbé donned skates.

And his sweet wife, Kathryn.

And their three boys were pros.

Did I mention that Pearl did mostly this:

Tyler caught this interesting angle of me. I spent some time trying to coax Ivory off the wall.

She didn't stay there the whole time, but she definitely felt most comfortable there.

Robyn was pretty good. She wants a pair of her own skates.

JR was helping anyone he came in contact with and looking pretty suave out there.

Yep, still at it.

Daisy was all over the place. She was pretty good about staying on her feet too.

Oh, Hey Jack!

I can just hear her thoughts, "Hey, where did everyone go? Is there more pizza?"

But there was no shortage of pizza or friends nearby.

Even Grandma and Grandpa took a turn on the rink. (You are welcome Grandma that I didn't post the picture of you laid out on the floor.)

We haven't seen the birthday girl yet. There she is.

Now, I think Pearl may have had one too many.

Tyler managed to wrestle her away from the table for a moment.

Then everyone was back for cake. (Even Pearl.)

I find it funny that the dunce cap doubles as a party hat. Who thought that was a good idea? Perhaps we could try these other versions. Here is The Unicorn.

Or The Germ Shield.

It was good to see Amber. I was amazed at how great she looked considering the life threatening accident she had only months ago after being kicked by a horse. But she was right back in the swing of things. You can't tell, but everyone is making fun of me because with skates on, I match Amber's height. (I know, I am a bit of a shorty.)

It was really fun to see family. Happy Birthday Rozzlyn.

And sorry Pearl. No more pizza and nothing else to see. Time to go home.