September 30, 2011

So Many Reasons to Celebrate

You know what's happening this weekend don't you?
If you guessed the 181st SemiAnnual General Conference for 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you are correct!
I get to split the weekend half-way with my mama and daddy here in Utah, and then the other half re-uniting with my husband in Cali-For-Ni-A. I can't wait to see him, and he can't wait to see Ellie. ;)
Besides my immense love for lounging in sweatpants and eating baked goods all weekend long, I love even more to hear inspiring words from the Prophet and Apostles of the ENTIRE WORLD.
These men don't just lead our church. Their words are for all to hear and heed.
President Uchtdorf says, “there are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations.”

September 29, 2011

Afternoon Shade and a Pioneer Blanket

Two nights ago Ellie was getting a little restless and I wanted to have some play time with her before I went to dinner with my girlfriends. I took an old blanket my mom purchased at antique shop with me when I was ten out to the backyard beneath the shade of the scrub oak. I hollered at my mom to join us if we wanted and she did. It was such a simple thing, but at the end of the day as I wrote in my journal I noted: "My favorite part of today was lying with Ellie on a blanket in the backyard."
It reminded me of the time I came across this three years ago and how I fell even more in love with the idea of having kids of my own. And now here I am, mothering my first-born and trying hard to remind myself to take mental notes of how great this actually is. I feel like I need to pinch myself sometimes. Like: Wake Up!!! Here's that baby you were wanting SOOOOO bad every day of your life before she came. Now she's here, and you know what? At times it seems so normal, and so natural to have her here that it becomes easy to just tote her around every I go without really paying good attention to her. That's why moments like these are important- moments when you're really there, living in the moment, drinking up that person that's right there in front of you.
The weather in September is so dreamy. And though I gush and effuse my undying love for Utah- you get this kind of weather year round in California folks. That... I am happy about. Making a quilt is on my immediate to do list so we can create many more moments like these. Because heaven forbid lying on a store-bought polyester blanket- only a handmade quilt creates a backdrop like this. ;)
My mom (Have I ever told you that I literally believe my mom can do anything? She's remarkable she is.) is coaching me through some sewing lessons this weekend to create a tablecloth like the one we used for Ellie's blessing. I'm then hoping to transfer those acquired skills to quilt-making. Ambitious? I'm nothing if not ambitious.
These are the kind of things I dreamed about. This is what I wanted "having a baby" to be like.

September 27, 2011

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Today on our way to lunch, my mom and I saw three chickens literally
They didn't get hit, and they didn't make it to the other side. They were on the sidewalk by the time I snapped the photo.

Cracker Monster

I had a bone to pick with JaLayne when Aaron ratted her out and told me she had been feeding Ellie a nectarine one Sunday morning while I was getting ready. I was shocked when I heard about it, and I couldn't hide it. JaLayne promised she wouldn't feed Ellie again, and she didn't. The problem was, our barrier of discipline had been broken and our curiousity was too great. BJ and I wanted to know what her little face would do if she tried our kinda food. It started with a nectarine, and then rice cereal was introduced. She gnawed on carrot sticks and sweet potatoes, and licked limes like it was her job. I'm still her singular source of nutrition and sustenance, but now Ellie's "grown-up food" is our source of entertainment. Ellie wants our food, and we get a kick out of letting her try it.

BYU Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet

Not very often do BJ and I find ourselves with a reason to get dressed up real nice and leave our baby with a sitter. Saturday was one such occasion. It was fun to be in a beautiful setting with the people we love, getting a glimpse into the lives of four seriously amazing athletes. I'm proud that my sister-in-law was one of them.
We had hors' d...? -appetizers- outside before the event started, a beautiful dinner catered by La Jolla Groves, and then the program introducing the four athletes. Papa Pugmire inducted Courtney and had the whole family in tears with his tender words. BJ also had us in tears that night as he quoted lines from "The Office" over dinner. Our actions and manners may not have been quite as formal as our dress.
I had the thought a few times that night "this must be what heaven's like." It was a special event and we were surrounded by good, good people. Heaven help me though if I have to spend the rest of eternity in a dress that tight.

Goooooo Cougars!

The entire Pugmire clan migrated to Provo for the weekend to see Courtney (BJ's oldest sister) get inducted into the BYU hall of fame. Did you know that only 2% of all BYU athletes are nominated to be in the BYU hall of fame? From there, less than half of the athletes are chosen- four per year to be exact... two boys and two girls. Sweet Courtney won for her incredible running accomplishments. We kicked off the weekend at the BYU football game where Courtney was presented on the field at half time. I wish I could take some credit for how legit this girl is. My only claim to fame however is that I married her cute, freckly brother. I wear my Pugmire name proudly.

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

The "Utah" song that I sang in the Edgemont Elementary Utah Centennial assembly in fourth grade was stuck in my head all weekend long. I sing it more triumphantly now than I ever did before. Oh Utah, how I love thee. 
It is the perfect time of year to visit. Fall leaves make my heart sing. Actually- Utah makes my heart sing. And now for your viewing pleasure the "Utah- This is the Place" song. Enjoy!
Utah! People working together
Utah! What a great place to be.
Blessed from Heaven above.
It's the land that we love.
This is the place!

Utah! With its mountains and valleys.
Utah! With its canyons and streams.
You can go anywhere.
But there's none that compare.
This is the place!

It was Brigham Young who led the pioneers across the plains.
They suffered with the trials they had to face.
With faith they kept on going till they reached the Great Salt Lake
Here they heard the words..."THIS IS THE PLACE!"

Utah! With its focus on family,
Utah! Helps each child to succeed.
People care how they live.
Each has so much to give.
This is the place!

Utah! Getting bigger and better.
Utah! Always leading the way.
New technology's here...
Growing faster each year.
This is the place!

There is beauty in the snow-capped mountains, in the lakes and streams.
There are valleys filled with farms and orchards too.
The spirit of its people shows in everything they do.
Utah is the place where dreams come true.

Utah! With its pioneer spirit.
Utah! What a great legacy!
Blessed from Heaven above.
It's the land that we love.
This is the place

Utah! Utah! Utah!

September 21, 2011


You could here the keys clacking from any room in the house when that dreaded day rolled around each month. My mom would sit at the kitchen bar with an industrial sized calculator that printed as it went (typewriter style,) surrounded by piles and piles of bills as she balanced the checkbook. I hated that day. Always. I hated it because my mom hated it, and I'd find the old adage ringing true,
"If mama ain't happy- ain't nobody happy."
Well today was bill day over here at the Pugmire apartment. Somehow though, I managed to work my way through it without too much grief. I actually felt satisfied as I sifted through each paper, labeling them as I went: paid online 9-21-11, paid by mail 9-21-11, etc. Ellie must have caught my satisfaction in the air, cause she looked pretty pleased to me.
  It was a day for dish-washing and park walking,
and bathing in two sinks.
It was a day for a crumb cake breakfast, and a frozen yogurt dinner. 
Friday will be a day to return to Utah... and I can't wait.

Where's Waldo Ellie?

September 20, 2011

Tacos and Limes

Hmmm... Ellie is asleep on me. Finally. I lost my patience today and was at the end of my rope while I sorted through a fat stack of bills, insurance quotes, and mail, tried hard to remove the two-day old poop stain from the white wool carpet in our room, and tried unsuccessfully to pacify Ellie's complaints about me not holding her. I feel a little bit similar to the way I did the first few weeks after having Ellie. I'm on edge. Tears are never far away, and they come without much notice or reason. We're living a new life here, and it requires some getting used to.
In spite of my reckless emotional state, we manage to do a lot of enjoyable things. Today after a much needed dental cleaning for BJ and myself we went to a very authentic Mexican taco joint for lunch. Tanner and Megan accompanied us. It was fun and delicious.
We gave a Ellie a taste of salt, lime, and then let her lick the bottle of BJ's apple soda. Her tongue went crazy trying to investigate. We all laughed at the way her nostrils flared and her eyebrows scrunched as she tried each thing. Tanner especially got a kick out of it.

September 19, 2011


I felt a confidence in myself today that I haven't felt in a long time.
I'm a stay at home mom now, and I've experienced a shift in my identity. Everything I do, every single day, revolves around my baby. It's been hard to not feel melancholy when BJ gets home from work and asks me what I did that day, because most the time it includes a list of a few minute accomplishments mingled in with a whole lot of... 
"What did I do today?"
That baby manages to gobble up a whole lot of my time. 
Today the surge of confidence came when I was doing the silliest thing: editing a song on GarageBand for a dance I'm choreographing for the Young Women in the ward. I was in my element then... cutting music, and toying with several choreographic ideas in my head. It didn't matter that the dance I was planning will never be showcased on a stage in New York City. It didn't matter that the dance will be performed by non-dancers and viewed by only a handful of moms and dads. Dance is what I do. It's the language that I feel confident in. It's the talent I've been given that resonates with my well being every single time I do it. I love to dance. I love to teach dance. I love to choreograph dances whether they be insignificant or important. 
Sometimes I harbor fear because of the fact that I haven't taken a formal class in years. Sometimes I feel nervous that people will be critical of the work that I do. But every time I teach someone even a little bit about dance... I feel a little more alive, a little more o.k. with everything that's going on in my life.

"We have a responsibility to develop the talents we have been given. Sometimes we think we do not have many talents or that other people have been blessed with more abilities than we possess. Sometimes we do not use our talents because we are afraid that we might fail or be criticized by others. We should not hide our talents. We should use them. Then others can see our good works and glorify our Heavenly Father."
-Gospel Principles manual (Developing Our Talents)

September 18, 2011

Let's Take a Walk

Any day's a good one when BJ joins me for a walk. A simple pleasure that I simply cannot get enough of.

September 17, 2011

I'm Sorry But...

Could she be any cuter?

Morning Science

My dreams of daily walks with my own little girl have finally come to fruition. I've walked almost every morning with Ellie since I've been here in California. This morning my walk took place earlier than normal as Ellie has not been in the mood to sleep in lately. We left the house around seven.
BJ's parents live at the very top of a very big hill, and every morning we're engulfed in a blanket of clouds. There's dew on the grass and car windshields and clouds of mist everywhere around. It sort of resembles the setting of a Halloween movie minus the ghouls and gore. Usually the mist burns off around nine- the time I normally set out on said walks- but today it lasted and lasted, and I was so glad to be in the middle of it all. The air was cool again. Ellie was bundled in her fleece footed pajamas and two blankets. By the time we got home we were both soaked from all the condensation. It was pretty dreamlike, all quiet and misty. I think I'm gonna make an effort to set out walking a little earlier, cause I like the scenery better this way.
You may remember my favorite author. She likes to take walks in the morning too. She walks with her husband Joe on Martha's Vineyard. I like to think about her and her "Morning Science" on my walks:

"Every morning, for years and years and in all seasons, Joe and I walk the same walk- out a dirt road that meanders through the woods and around the pond, to road's end, where the pond opens to the sea- a place known locally as "the creek." Every season is wonderful there, but in the fall the woods dazzle us in reds and golds, and woodsmoke spices the crisp ocean air. We bundle up, me in my green plaid scarf and Joe in his black beret. 
After so many seasons, we feel intimate with every stick, tree and critter on the road. As we walk along we ask each other questions, trying to divine the secrets of nature. It's become a kind of game we call "Morning Science" which is funny to us because we know nothing about science, something that has really come to light out there. That doesn't stop us...
For example: Morning Science, Oct. 12
Me: Look at the big hole in the trunk of that tree. Look how perfect is is- what do you s'pose made it?
Joe: A woodpecker?
Me: A wide-mouthed woodpecker?
Joe: How bout a beaver?
Me: Silence. (I know there's no beavers here.)
Joe: How 'bout a man with a buzz saw?

End of Morning Science

Morning Science, Sept. 17
Me: Look honey- look at the egret! He's got part of his bill just sitting in the water. What do you think he's doing?
Joe: Eating.
Me: Possibly just imbibing? Don't they have to put their heads under the water to see the food?
Joe (man of few words, especially in the morning): I don't know.

End of Morning Science

And so it goes... we should probably call it "Morning Stupid." We may not know much about science, but we know what we like."

September 16, 2011

Wake Up Slow

It's a cozy morning around here. It's gray outside and the air is cool. Ellie fell asleep sitting up in my arms in the 20 seconds it took me to type this.

September 15, 2011

September 14, 2011

One afternoon in June while BJ was at soccer practice Ellie and I went for a walk. It was hot outside and I spent the entire time maneuvering the sun shade in order to keep Ellie's body, face, and head covered. I daydreamed about living with the Pugmires so that on days like that one, I'd have a pool to swim in.  
 Well now here we are, living at the Pugmire's indeed. So you can guess where the three of us are nearly every evening when dad gets home from work.
A swimming pool is my number one on my list of upgrades if we ever have a budget that allows such. I guess maybe a house should be number one... a swimming pool is definitely a close second.
Happy swimming!

September 13, 2011

Not much to say today- mostly just pictures to post. I cried last night like a little girl. Things really are so great here. It's just different than our old Utah life, and sometimes different feels a little weird.
You may be interested to know that slivered almonds are my new favorite food. Is that not interesting?... Just look at the pictures.

September 12, 2011

Thoughts On a Monday

When I was teaching school, I hated Mondays. Sunday nights felt like I was walking the green mile.
 Now that the work that I do on Mondays is different, I seem to have changed my mind. I love to start getting things accomplished again and feeling a sense of productivity at the end of the day. I checked about ten things off of my to-do list today, and it feels good.
Ellie is rolling over like it's her job. Looks like Mondays are a good day for both of us.

It's late. BJ is lying next to me with a pillow covering his face to shield himself from the glare of my bright computer light. Ellie is asleep in her crib that now shares a room with us. I really should be asleep. But it's been such a good week, and we're really enjoying California.
I was sentimental today about being a mother. I dreamed last night that I had twin girls. I knew their names. I get so excited about the idea of having more children, and I also get nervous and protective of the relationship that I have and want with my sweet firstborn. 
BJ's sister lives next door to us with her husband and four adorable children. Her kids love Ellie in a way I can't believe. I took little Berlynn to the park with us on Friday and she was a proud mama pushing Ellie Layne in the swing. 
BJ and I get a kick out of how serious Ellie can be at times. These pictures are our evidence.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

September 5, 2011

I actually wanted to have a baby boy- originally. As an elementary school teacher I had had an easier time falling in love with my boy students than I did with my girls. But my heart shifted to an unexpected place when I found out I was having a girl. My mind didn't envision bows, frills, and pink, it didn't picture a mini version of myself, or even a new little friend for me to play with. What I thought of when I found out I would deliver Ellie instead of Lorenzo, was that this little baby would be a mother. I felt pride in my womanhood, in what would now be my posterity.

Women are meant to be mothers. I love the way Sheri Dew truthfully describes this divine nature of women:
"While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the wordmother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve ‘the mother of all living’—and they did so before she ever bore a child. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.” 
Wendi Shurtleff continues, When I realized that motherhood was part of my divine nature, not something dependent on whether I had children, I was able to focus on what I could do in my life now. Right now, with or without children, I can develop mothering characteristics, such as concern for others, sacrifice, service, compassion, the ability to teach, and the ability to be encouraging. Right now, with or without children, I can learn and progress. Right now, with or without children, I can nurture." 
I want my baby girl to be a mother. I want her to want to be a mother. Even before that time comes however, I want her to develop the characteristics of a mother that makes any woman beautiful. 
My thoughts are on this sweet friend who understands her divine nature... take a look. 

September 2, 2011

"Smile. Your Mom Chose Life!"

The title of this post comes from a bumper sticker I saw today at the beach. I wish the back of everyone's car said this.
In the early, early days of my motherhood I realized one night that though I had spent the entire day taking care of Ellie, I still didn't feel like I had had enough time with her. It hit me that I had become a woman of duty- seeing as it was my responsibility to take care of her. But basically what this role of duty had turned into was me: feeding the baby, changing the baby, calming the baby, bathing the baby, and feeding yet again. I realized that I hadn't played with her. I hadn't talked to her. I hadn't looked at her as I stood and swayed her to sleep. My job of mother had become just that- a job. Everyone else wanted the baby while she was happy, so inevitably, I got her when there was business to attend to.
It goes without saying... I felt like my mother self was missing the point. 
I sat in bed and thought. How was it possible to spend an entire day with this child and still feel like I hadn't really seen her?
I prayed that night- prayed that I would not let the days pass me by like this. I wanted to enjoy being a mom like I had wanted to be for so long. I wanted to enjoy my baby. I wanted to see her; to be able to picture her face when I closed my eyes. I wanted to ensure that there would be some time every day when I wasn't just a mother of duty.
It's funny because still, even with the effort I make to hold her- really hold her, and play with her the way I really want to, I still get a feeling of longing at night. I don't want this little one to grow. I don't want her to leave me one day. I don't want her to turn into a sassy teenager that rolls her eyes at me. It's weird being a mom, because here I sit, just ten minutes ago SOOOOO ready for Ellie Layne to fall asleep already... and now... a little sorry that she did.