Nov 30, 2012


Last night we picked up Oma Marianne and uncle Maarten from the airport, a happy and emotional reunion for the Koot family! It's been a year since the kids saw them and for days they have been close to exploding with excitement at the prospect of being able to give them a big hug. Lara and Julia get to share their room with our guests, which they are tickled pink over, and the boys get to have new playmates in the morning. Their travels went well, with the worst part probably being the lack of legroom for tall uncle Maarten in the second part of the trip.
We're excited to be able to spend the Holidays with them... December is going to be extra special this year!
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Nov 27, 2012


Blog, you and I have been going through a serious musical dry spell. Today, we put an end to that and get back on the right path! Here are some of my latest upbeat favorites for us to enjoy together:

1. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Sugarfoot

2. Daniel Norgren - Who's Knocking

3. Milo Greene - 1957

4. Jeans Wilder - Sparkler

5. Poolside - Harvest Moon

Nov 25, 2012

got my hair did

I've gone short short! I'm loooving it. I've been wanting to do this for so long and have basically just been working on growing the cojones to finally do it. I was a little worried about if it would suit my face shape or not, but my worries have gone. Check me out!
short hair

Nov 22, 2012

on giving thanks and the pumpkin patch

I've been seeing them come by on Facebook, and some of the blogs I follow, these gratitude lists. People in the USA especially, but seemingly all over the world seem to turn this season into a time to share what they feel they have been blessed with in their lives, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but for weeks. I appreciate that everyone has the freedom to share whatever they want to share on the internet. I read an amazing quote on writing by Charles Bukowski the other day:

"And if there is anybody out there who feels crazy enough to want to become a writer, I’d say go ahead, spit in the eye of the sun, hit those keys, it’s the best madness going, the centuries need help, the species cry for light and gamble and laughter. Give it to them. There are enough words for all of us."

I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I realise that most Facebook statuses or blog updates couldn't really be considered 'writing' in the artistic sense of the word, but 'there are enough words for all of us'. Does that mean we have to enjoy every single little thought or experience or mundane part of life shared on whatever medium you come across? No. We can choose to skip through, hide, discard, or ignore whatever we don't enjoy reading. Personally, I love reading those lists of gratitude. I know of one blogger who kept the tradition of making 'Happy Lists' on a regular basis. She would also have her friends, readers, and fellow bloggers come and leave happy lists on her blog. I didn't read all of them, but there were many that warmed my heart and made me smile. 
So today, for the first time 'en publique', but certainly not the first time I've recorded one, I give you my current list of reasons to be thankful (in no particular order of importance).

1. Fighting kids. It means I have kids. It means this house is alive.
2. Prayer. Prayer soothes me when I feel like I might lose it. 
3. Books. Whether it's a thrilling fast read or a wordy classic, a collection of poems or an audiobook while I knit, I need books to stay sane. Sometimes just their presence, knowing they're available, patiently waiting for me to open them up and get lost in the magic they contain, is enough to make me happy.
 4. Nature in general, and mountains and beaches specifically. I grew up around beaches and the sea, later spending entire summers there with my own kids. I am a true beach bum at heart! But then I found the majestic, breathtaking mountains, and realized my heart had room for more. 
5. Family. All of them. Close or far (in distance or emotion). They teach me, help me, love me, make me laugh, and love my kids. 
6. My sweet and hilarious husband. He gets stressed out, he's 100% sure, he wishes he could be a Hobbit, he has internal satellite navigation, he snores, he gets hung up on Coldplay and Lucy Spraggan, and he loves me so overwhelmingly well.
7. Food. Glorious food! Not to be forgotten on this day of delicious gluttony!
8. Twinkly lights. They're not just for Christmas.
9. Music. Whether it's being carried away by Nina Simone or Chet Baker, rocking out to Pixies or The Black Keys, or singing along to Connie Francis or Joni Mitchell. Whether is playing my guitar or my mom's piano, singing in the church choir, attending a concert or dancing wildly around the front room with the kids to Jackie Wilson - I'm grateful for it all!
10. My camera. How could I not put that amazing present on this year's list - I am still over the moon with it. Below are a bunch of pictures I took with it at the Pumpkin Patch the family and we visited last month. They are priceless to me, regardless of how good they may or may not me.
11. True friends. I wrote about them not too long ago - I mean the kind you can not talk to for 6 years and then still be comfortable enough with to laugh until you fart.

If you haven't yet shared what you are thankful for; please go ahead. Put it in a comment to this blog post, put it on Facebook, whisper it in someone's ear, write it in your journal, or just grab a piece of paper and throw it away after. It doesn't matter how but it's important that you do. Even when you don't feel like you have much to be grateful for. Especially then. I promise it will make you feel lighter.

DSC_5120p   DSC_4979p DSC_4987p DSC_4993p DSC_4996p DSC_5005p DSC_5009p Jace cracks me up in these next two pictures! DSC_5012p DSC_5013p DSC_5017p DSC_5034s DSC_5049s DSC_5052p DSC_5064p DSC_5073p DSC_5094p DSC_5107p DSC_5112p DSC_5122s DSC_5136p DSC_5145p DSC_5148p DSC_5158p DSC_5182p DSC_5189p DSC_5221p DSC_5201p

Nov 19, 2012

I think my subconscious is bored, too.

Some unusual Sunday posting going on over here... but I'm so bored out of my mind and - ok I'll be honest - feeling sorry for myself that I'm still in bed with a painful back, that I just gotta do something. I've already watched too many movies/tv series (Revenge, Sherlock, Twilight + New Moon, Boys, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, some disturbing documentary about a family of rogue hillbillies in West Virginia, He's Just not that Into you, and a bunch more I can't even remember the titles of). I've been reading 3 books at the same time. I'm working on 3 knitting projects, one of which I finished last night. I've put a collection of favorite photographs and artworks on our bedroom wall, and I've written lengthy emails to a bunch of friends. I've written in my journal, studied the Old Testament, wasted countless hours on Pinterest, Tumblr, Spotify and other people's blogs, and I've written some bad poetry. So really, blogging was the next logical step.

I'm munching on this amazing chocolate fudge right now that my sweet neighbor Jean made for us. She's such a breath of fresh air compared to our usual deranged and highly excitable neighbors. I mean, she makes us fudge! She came over the day before Halloween with bags of treats for all 6 of us, because she wasn't going to be home the next day. The only thing our last neighbor ever gave us was a headache. We love Jean. I think she might secretly be a TV personality too, as my mother is positive she saw her in a commercial the other day.

So I know I already shared this on Facebook, but it's too funny and weird to not put on here as well. The other day I woke up from the most disturbing dream I have ever had. In fact I am willing to bet it was the most disturbing dream any of you have had as well! The whole thing didn't last very long (which is good, any longer and you may have seen me running to check myself into the psych ward of the nearest hospital) but left a great impact. I can still remember every detail! Here's what happened....

I am at my parent's house. I know it's my parent's house, not because it looks like their house, or any house I've ever been in for that matter, but because it's a dream and I just know. I am in their bathroom getting a drink of water and checking my hair, when my dad walks in with a kitchen chair and a piece of rope. He walks over to the bathtub, puts the chair in the tub, turns on the water, and climbs onto the chair to fasten the rope to the ceiling. Once secured, he climbs back down and walks out of the bathroom. I hear him walking down some steps, rummaging around, and coming back up. When he re-enters the bathroom he is holding a rifle and a toaster - which he plugs in next to the bathtub. He then turns off the bathwater (the tub has filled up by now), climbs back onto the hair while holding the toaster and the rifle, and sticks his head through what I now see is a noose. I ask him what on earth he is doing, and he calmly replies that he is going to commit suicide. 'But, why??', I ask him in horror. 'Oh, just to see the look on your mother's face when she gets home', he answers with an amused smile. 'BUT YOU'LL BE DEAD!', I shriek back at him. He shrugs and tells me I should probably leave. I agree (in my dreams I make no heroic attempts at stopping my loved ones from doing horrible things), and start to walk away. Once downstairs I hear a shot, and right after my dad's voice yelling: 'You had better run! I'm aiming for the gas main!!'.

This is when I wake up.

To any professional or self-proclaimed psychologists out there I ask this simple question: What. The. He**???

Really, what on earth could something like this mean? I love my dad! We get along wonderfully! I know he doesn't harbor a secret death wish, and if he did it certainly wouldn't be for his personal entertainment. And why so thorough? I mean, just in case the explosion from the bullet to the gas main wouldn't kill him, the blast would hang him, and if somehow the noose fails him, he'll just drop in the water and be electrocuted by the toaster.

I choose to laugh at all of this. The subconscious is a funny thing, don't you think? Now please, PLEASE tell me you've secretly dreamed up worse than this?


Nov 15, 2012

that's entertainment

We are a pretty fortunate family. We have always been able to have plenty of entertainment at our fingertips, no doubt more than anyone would ever actually need. We have books, tv, the internet, iPads... but for me all of those become entirely obsolete when Max and Elliot turn on the cute. And they have a lot of it to turn on. It's not so bad being a stay-at-home mom with these two:

Nov 12, 2012

pain in the... back

Pictures from a recent visit with the cousins to Temple Square.

Have you ever been so incapacitated that you couldn't pull up your own pants after visiting the bathroom? It's rather embarrassing, isn't it? One a scale of leaving your umbrella on the bus, to tucking your skirt in your nylons, it definitely up there. 

I've had minor back problems all my life, which mainly became a problem during my pregnancies. So when I started suffering some lower back pain at the end of the day about two weeks ago, I didn't think too much of it. But soon I started feeling pain earlier in the day. Then one day, I had pain pretty much all day long and, finally, I was taking painkillers every so many hours just to be able to even  function at all. I even had my dad (another notorious sufferer of back issues) bring over his 'girdle' in an attempt to find relief.  It was all to no avail. The pain reached a peak when I had the bright idea to get on the treadmill at the gym. My logic was that if I could just get some movement going, my back would remember what I needed it for, and go back to being normal. Yeah. Bad idea. I had to be carried off the treadmill and into a chair, where I tried to keep my face as expressionless as possible until the pain subsided enough for me to attempt the walk home. Lucky for me we literally live next door to the gym...

That evening was horrible. I couldn't move an inch without hot pain shooting up my spine and down my legs. I made sure I drank as little as possible to keep the excruciating visits to the bathroom to a bare minimum (I was also afraid my screaming would wake up the kids). The next day my mom brought me a muscle relaxant and took the girls to school for me, Sander dropped the boys off at my sister's (thank you again Marissa!), and I enjoyed a drug induced nap until my mother woke me up. She took me to see a doctor who examined me and had some x-rays taken (try climbing onto a steel table to lie on your back, when you can barely move!). The diagnosis? Tight hamstrings! Yes, apparently hamstrings can wreak this kind of havoc, whod've thunk it? The doc also noticed some mild disc degeneration in my lower spine but that was probably just due to aging, he said.

Aging? Excuse me?? I am 31... a mere spring chicken!

Good thing I have issues concentrating and this doctor was wearing a very distracting African Safari themed shirt, or I would have let him have it. He prescribed some intense drugs (2 painkillers and a muscle relaxant), heat, compression, rest, and physiotherapy. He said that once the pain got better -and it should, within days- simple daily hamstring stretches should keep me going strong. I was so relieved to hear there was nothing more serious going on. And sure enough, yesterday I was able to get out of bed and walk around smoothly. I even picked something up off the floor! Unfortunately that was all my body could handle for the day and I'm back in bed, but this is progress, and progress means my body is going to recover.

I also gotta admit, it's not so bad being waited on in bed for a few days...

Nov 4, 2012


This handsome man turned 33 last week. I feel pretty lucky to have him at my side despite all my frustrating shortcomings - he knows everything about me and still wants to stay married! Yay! Out of all his presents I'm pretty sure mine was his favorite..... but a very close second is this fantastic find by my mother:
Lord of the Rings Pez! Too funny!! Happy 33rd to my sexy husband :)

Nov 1, 2012

scary, sticky, silly amounts of fun

Our first proper Halloween experience is a fact! These past few weeks have been filled with treats like Trunk-or-Treating and all you can eat Chili, school Halloween programs, and of course the main event: trick or treating through mom and dad's neighborhood last night. The Trunk-or-Treat that our church ward put on was our first festivity, and chance for the kids to get into their costumes. Here they all are, old to young. First off there was Lara the blood sucking Vampire:
Then we have the stunning Julia as Miss Piggy:
Max wore the only costume option there was: Spiderman (somehow I haven't really got any good shots of him)
And last but not least we had Elliot the little doggy. He went around on all fours saying 'Meeoooow'.
P.S. that orange bucket you see him holding, is a vintage Happy Meal toy I got when I was in the USA during Halloween season for my cousin's wedding back in 1988. They made 'em pretty sturdy back then! Here are some more pictures of our ward Halloween night.
You should have seen Elliot waiting in line for the donut eating contest. He was determined to get a donut... waiting in that line all by himself with the patience of a monk, and when his turn came up he lied down and opened his mouth wide before we could blink. As for Julia, her wig got in the way of her cheating and using her hands...
The second event was Lara's 2nd grade Halloween program, which was adorable. All those kids dressed up and performing a large amount of songs absolutely perfectly.. I was very impressed. Lara really loves her school, and her class isn't too big which makes me happy (only about 20 students). Lara had to recite a 'tip for Halloween' which went something like 'Always take an adult with you when you go trick or treating. Remember: adults like to have fun too!'. 
School was a no make-up event so she's a somewhat shabbier vampire :) Those wigs also don't hold up very well... one to two wears is all you'll get out of them. Alright, finally... the main event (even I dressed up for this one!). We started out with a Trunk or Treat in Kaysville, then some dinner at our house. The menu included Monster Snot (pea soup), Tarantula Goo (lime jello in the shape of a tarantula), Brains (orange jello from a brain shaped mold), Bermuda Triangles (appelflappen) and I forget the last one... something with ghosts for the homemade rolls. All disgustingly delicious. The trunk-or-treat pictures were all taken by Marissa, fyi.
And here are the final, spookiest, darkest pictures of them all. Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood, which featured one spectaculairly scary house. First in the series though, is another group shot taken by Marissa.. then it's back to my photos.
Dad stayed home to hand out candy from his creepy bowl that would start moving and scare you half to death as you tried to reach for some of the treats. He loved it :). Someone else who stayed home and loved it (I hope) was Sander. I hardly saw him all night because he was either in the garage putting together the decorations for our house, or hidden somewhere inside his Ringwraith costume. Though his legs were pretty visible in the 'one size fits all' dress part of the costume. Sander definitely does not fit into the 'one size fits all' category, haha. Unfortunately no pictures of that, but here's one of the house instead. 
Pretty cool right?! Unfortunately we don't live in a very trick-or-treat heavy neighborhood, so the poor guy only had 2 visits. So now we deal with the Halloween aftermath: the insane amounts of candy. What do you usually do with your kids? Let them eat it all until they're sick just to get rid of it? Save it and spread it out over the rest of the year? Confiscate it and eat it yourself? I must admit to looting their buckets for any Snickers bars they may have scored.... mmmmm. Hope you had a happy and delicious and scaaaarrryyy Halloween too!

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