Friday, September 26, 2014

To Do

I have really come to love this video this week. I don’t think the intended message is that moms should never take time for themselves, as evidenced by how disappointed all we moms feel for this woman. It is only an acknowledgment of the sacrifices we moms make every day, and a reminder that the things we do are significant. 

This video matched my reality so accurately that it had me in tears. By saying yes to one good thing we must by default say no to another equally good thing, and often at the end of the day I realize that I may have said yes to the things of lesser importance, but that doesn’t diminish the value of the the things that I did spend my time on. Thinking about this message helped me to see an opportunity to ask for help from and express gratitude to someone I wouldn’t usually approach when my car died in the school parking lot while picking up someone else’s child this week. I could see “wasting" 20 minutes riding around the neighborhood looking for Isaac as not an attack on my exercise time, but an occasion to practice patience, and Charlotte wanting to push letters as I try to write this post as time I can spend helping her learn. In my heart I know that my failures, disappointments, and meager attempts at charity are just as valuable as my check marks on that never ending have-to-do and want-to-do lists in accomplishing my ultimate want to do--be more like my Savior, and I am happy to have remembered that a little better this week.

I have so many times been the mom with the new baby, needing a sitter at the last minute, or craving a listening ear. My gratitude is deeper for all the moms in my circle who have given up the things they wanted to do or left boxes on their to-do lists unchecked to cook, clean, watch, and listen.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tourists In Our Own State: Dinosaur National Monument

I was determined this year to make better use of the camper trailer than last year, so without husbands Liz and I packed up the kids and the cars for a trip to Dinosuar National Monument. I hadn't been there since I was kids and I have been anxious to take the boys for years. None of the kids were keen on having their pictures taken as we surveyed the bones along the quarry wall. They specifically requested that if we were to take any photos they be "candid shots." We forced a few posed pictures though. It is our right as moms to take pictures, earned during those nine months of pregnancy and every day since. (An argument I am making this afternoon as well, as we prepare for family pictures).

Some things I learned and liked about this trip, in case anyone is thinking about heading that way.

1. Our campground was on the banks of the Green River. (Next time, when our kids are older, rafting through the park is on my list.) Lot of trees to climb and for shade, and bordering sand hills that they slid down over and over and over.
2. Josie's homestead is at the far end of the park road and bunnies abound. The boys had a plan to impale one with a sharp stick. I was afraid they actually might! 

3. Red rocks make me happy, and petroglyphs make them all the more interesting.

4.  After the young 'ins went to sleep Drew and I went out to observe spectacularly starry skies. Even with a moon the light was brilliant.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

One of the kids' down time pleasures this summer has been watching some good clean humor on Studio C. And when not watching they enjoy following the antics on my Instagram account. The boys have been itching to go to a taping, but audience members must have reached the ripe old age of 12 to attend, plus tickets are super hard to get. Even the rehearsals, at which younger kids are welcome, fill up ridiculously fast.

Today when I checked my Instagram feed at 11am @studioctv announced that they still had tickets for today's afternoon rehearsal, surely due to Utah County kids being back in class. So on a whim I found a friend to watch Charlotte, made arrangements for carpool, and checked the three out of school and told them I thought they deserved an afternoon watching TV. It was so fun to be the hero when we turned down the canyon and they realized we would be watching it live in person.

Isaac with his favorite actor James, the Lobster Bisque guy.

Eli did not want his picture taken--he's too cool already!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Charlotte and the boys watched this video tonight.

Without any prompting on our part she gave the following narration:

"Oh, he's happy!" when the boy put on his new coat.

"Oh, he's just crying," when she saw the other boy in the alley.

"He's so sad," when the boy goes home to his mother without his new coat.

"Now he's so happy!" seeing the younger boy warm and smiling, "This is about Jesus."

I love how the Spirit can convey truth in a way that a two-year old can confirm. And I love this sweet girl of mine.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black Ninjas Hi-Ya!

This year in T-ball the Black Ninjas were the team to watch and the team to beat. In the 4-6 year old league this team was heavily stacked with strong and fast six-year-olds, backed-up by some super cute four and five year olds.
So what if it made the other teams cry every time the umpire kindly whispered, "You're out, Sweetie" after mid-fielder Jackson fired the ball to Eli on first base. These ballers were after one thing and one thing only--the big W. Well, two things actually: the win and the treat at the end. 
Eli Sullivan was among the team leaders this year. He not only leads his family in athletic prowess, but is one of the fastest runners, hardest hitters, and most focused fielders on the team. The sporting community is anxiously waiting to see what he will do this fall in First Grade Soccer.
This has been Coach Heather reporting for the SSN, the Sullivan Sports Network

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Family Retreat

A few weeks ago we decided to have a family retreat, much the same way a Company would have a retreat to build unity to focus vision on what we're trying to accomplish as a family.  We decided to spend the night at the Alta Ski Lodge.  It was an excellent choice, as the rooms were large (Queen, Full, and Twin), the price was right, the scenery was gorgeous, there was no TV, and nobody else at the Lodge.  It was fantastic.  

Although there was no TV, there was fast Wi-Fi.  I had decided we should watch together the making of Pixar, a documentary on the success of the company that makes the movies my kids love.  That night we watched it together in our hotel room, and then spent some time talking about what made Pixar successful.  I love that my kids are getting older and beginning to recognize attributes and virtues that people/teams/companies display and can interpret how that makes them successful.  It was a great conversation!  After our talked we headed to the hot tubs, then to bed.

The next morning we played some card games, and the spent some time writing on 3X5 cards attributes we wanted to have as a family.  We haven't yet incorporated that into a mission statement, but it was again satisfying to hear my kids talk about what they thought would be important as a family.  "Work hard and play hard" came from both Drew and Eli.  Isaac wrote something like "Love of Curiosity".  We also talked about compassion, empathy, and other virtues we want to emulate as a family.  Hopefully it will give us direction when feel frustrated.

After all the discussion about improving ourselves, since we worked hard, we decided it was time to play hard.  He drove down the canyon a few feet to Snowbird and spent the day on their outdoor features.  We originally only purchased Charlotte 2 ride tickets on the Alpine Slide, but after one run it was clear she wanted to do it "AGAIN!" and "AGAIN!" so we exchanged the other ticket for an all-day pass.  I must have ridden it over half a dozen times with her!

Eli and Mom on the right slide

Eli, Drew, and Isaac loved the trampolines, and were determined to do back-flips all day long

Charlotte and I ready to go down the Alpine Slide

Heather and Charlotte

video video

Monday, August 4, 2014


We haven't posted in awhile.  Just having way too much fun.  Maybe everyone has stopped checking this post anyway, or you're only here out of a complete fit of boredom.  But since this is where we catalog our life I'm taking to posting.

A year ago yesterday I broke my neck while mountain biking at Trailside park in Park City.  Details about my hospital stay can be found here.  I've always wanted to go back and look again to figure out what happened and put to bed my ideas about what happened.  Yesterday Heather indulged me on a trip to celebrate the anniversary of that event.  My memory of what happened that day is a little off from what I explained to everyone. 
About where Heather and Charlotte are is where I bailed off this thing.  It's about 1 1/2 to 2 feet off the ground.  I gained a bunch of speed from the first obstacle (in other pictures) and decided I wanted to get off.  This second obstacle had a conveniently located escape ramp; that apparently you're supposed to stay on the whole way down.

Heather and Charlotte examining the first obstacle.

There were plenty of "more dangerously looking" obstacles you'd expect someone to break their neck on.  It was odd to go to the spot and think, "here, really? seems easy compared to everything else".

My last view with a healthy neck.

Charlotte just loved walking over these obstacles.

Charlotte is becoming a great photographer.  She stole my phone and was taking pictures later that night.  It's been nice to have such good friends that have helped us out thru so many hard things!