Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "Sweet" Things People Do

Karleen's daughter made these adorable bags (yeah, Cricut!).

Babe send this adorable gift to work for me.
They either really love me, or they're trying to undermine my health kick. :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Dear Jenny and Tracy,

You are the coolest people. Ever.

You are the kind of cool people who let us call on Wednesday to see if we can come stay with you on Friday, and you act like we've just announced that you won the lottery.

You are the kind of cool people who let us call you when we get into the city and then stay on the phone with us to get us safely to your house.

You are the kind of cool people who feed us awesome, amazing meals, just because we are there.

You are the kind of cool people who pull out playing cards at 10:30 p.m. so that we can have some fun together.

You are the kind of cool people who tiptoe quietly around the house so we can sleep in. Till 10:30. (Honestly!)

You are the kind of cool people who give up your Saturday to drive us around your "new" city so we can see the sites.

You are the kind of cool people who celebrate when our car won't start, because that means we might get to stay for another day.

You are the kind of cool people who call us when we are halfway home, just to make sure we are OK.

You are the kind of cool people who insist that we call you when we get home.

You are the kind of cool people who thank us over and over again for coming to see you and hope that we will come again soon and bring the kids next time.

Thank you for letting us visit you in Boise. We love you, we love your city, we love your home. We will come again soon. And bring the kids with us.

You are the coolest people. Ever.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Dear Sami,

Last night I was at two different craft stores, looking for the supplies to make Christmas ornaments. I have a fun idea, and I hope it turns out as cute as I'm imagining.

Anyway, since you are the one who began this tradition, I started thinking about you. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Remember when I called you out of the blue to offer to watch your kids? Wow. You had to exercise a lot of faith to lend your most choice "possessions" to a stranger. I still smile each time I think of 6-year-old Raylee's prayers. I knew the names of all the grandmas before I really even knew you! :)

2. People sometimes ask me why Landon (the younger son) is the one who got his dad's name. And each time I think Our friends the Giffords did it just the same as we did. We're soul mates, I'm tellin' ya!

3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the option to travel. Our trip with your family to Mexico was all that: moments of laughter, moments of dread (and probably tears), spiritual moments, and an entire week of beautiful relaxation. That is one of the most cherished memories I have!

4. How I wish that all of my callings were as special to me as the presidency we shared together!

5. When MaryLou told us about her two sons, and we were all stepping and listening to rock 'n roll and you and I were wiping tears from our eyes I thought, "This is a woman who would understand me." I'm so glad we had a better chance to get to know one another after that.

6. Will you make me some brownies? (Heehee--I had to add that, because you make the best brownies. ever.)

7. I miss you.

And I love you!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amy, Here's An Imagined Conversation.

If you have Josh read this out loud, there will probably even be sound effects!

"Base 12, Base 12, come in. Over." (this is where the sound effect goes)

"Base 12. Go ahead." (another sound effect, please)

"Base 12, the Falcon has flown the nest!" (and here...)

"Roger that. What is your 20?" (you get the idea)

"The Falcon is in the Garment District. Do you want to rendezvous?"

(Note to Josh: This sound effect might involve an excited scream, NOT broadcast on the radio) "Roger that! Over and OUT!"

Here's hoping Tommy gets to come out and play very soon.

The Ultimate Compliment

Here are some compliments I've received in the past couple of days:

"Aundrea, I don't usually tell my personal life story to anyone, but I know I can trust you with this."

"Today I got thinking, 'Aundrea has a blog.' So I got online and searched till I found you. I loved it!"

"Absolutely! You CAN come over. I wish you would."

"How are you? Is there anything I can do for you?"

Maybe they don't sound like compliments to you. To me they sound like people who must love me--or at least put up with me. I'm a lucky, blessed woman.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things That Make Me Happy

One could argue that nothing can make me happy--it is a choice I must make. OK. I'll buy that. But humor me for today:

1. Spencer and I got to have dinner with the Ulches last night. It was heavenly and happy and fun. Thanks, Bob and Stacy!

2. Today--in spite of the fact that I do not consider myself a runner--I ran 7 miles. Count them! 1--2--3--4--5--6--7! Isn't that amazing? Me!

3. Taylor dusted the ceiling fan yesterday. (Find joy in the small stuff.)

4. It is a glorious, perfect, beautiful fall day!

5. Tomorrow is a regional broadcast (Stake Conference). So while I get to dress up and go to church, I do not have to sit alone through Sunday School or Relief Society. AND we will be home just after noon. Woot!

6. Did I mention I just ran 7 miles!?


It's a good day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Have you ever felt like you were part of the family, only you're not really? This award was given to me by my sweet friend-who-feels-like-my-sister-but-isn't-really, Amy. Amy had her baby yesterday, did you know? I've been talking for MONTHS about munching on that sweet boy, but when it came right down to it, he was being held by his grandma. And everybody knows that grandmas ALWAYS trump everyone! We'd been visiting for 15 minutes before Amy looked at me funny and said, "Why aren't you munching?" I was so glad to hear those words--they gave me permission to take a turn with Baby Thomas (who, by the way, is beautiful!).
Anyway, back to this prestigious award:
The rules state that I have to answer some questions and then pass this award along to five people (don't do the math or the statistics--it takes away the prestige of this coveted award, and I need to be validated right now, before another grandma trumps me!).
Where is your cell phone? Clipped to my planner. It rarely rings (thanks for thinking of me, Babe!)
Your hair? Surprisingly a huge topic of conversation right now, since I finally invested in a flat iron. (Personally I think everyone's just afraid to say, "Dude! Aundrea! Have you FINALLY lost some weight?!")
Your mother? My hero.
Your father? Smart, handsome, courageous, and the epitome of men, to me.
Your favorite food? Chocolate (which takes us right back to that weight thing again).
Your dream last night? Don't remember.
Your favorite drink? Water. But an occasional Sprite with lime is a great treat.
Your dream/goal? Travel. Lots and lots of travel.
What room are you in? Dining room (where else?).
Your hobby? Tommy munching, singing, reading.
Your fear? Not having enough faith to deal with the hard stuff.
Where do you want to be in 6 years? With Spencer, wherever he is.
Where were you last night? Hospital (Tommy munching), Costa Vida (yummy chicken salad), home in bed (movie watching with my honey).
Something you aren't? Quiet or reserved
Muffins? OK!
Wish list item? Just one? Really? OK, #1 right now is probably a fence for the back yard.
Where did you grow up? In the best home ever, but it moved around a lot.
Last thing you did? Folded laundry.
What are you wearing? Levi's, long-sleeved T, black denim vest, Earrings by Tiffany.
Your TV? Who cares?
Your pets? Bella, the chicken, who looks like a dog.
Your friends? I'm so lucky, there are too many to name!
Your life? Blessed and happy.
Your mood? Happy.
Missing someone? Mom had surgery, so I wish I could go "home" (to my Sacramento home). Spencer's at the temple tonight, and it's always better when he's here. Amy won't come back to work for 6 full weeks. *sigh*
Vehicle? Infiniti G20 named "Buzz" (as in: "To INFINITI and beyond!")
Something you're not wearing? Nylons, for one blessed day a week!
Your favorite store? That would mean I'd have to shop.
Your favorite color? Any color, as long as it's pink.
When was the last time you laughed? Minutes ago.
Last time you cried? About four hours ago.
Your best friend? Spencer
One place that I go over and over? Work, home, Walmart, Macey's, the church.
One person who emails me regularly? Daddy
Favorite place to eat? Olive Garden
I read lots of blogs, and there are people I occasionally blog-stalk. But the next five winners are:
1. Light Refreshments Served. They will never know they won, but I love this blog!
2. Home Is Where You Make It. Thanks for keeping me up-to-date with your life, Jax!
3. Jim & Em & Four of Them. Same, to you, Emily (but I can't link you to hers, because it's private)!
4. Let's Go Fishing! Becky is one of the busiest ladies I know, and I adore her. And her blog is sure to make me laugh. Every time. Love you, Beck!
5. Our Crazy, Fun, Incredible Life With Teenagers! So many bloggers are young mommies, and I love reading their stuff. But T is more where I am with her kids, she's in love with her hubby and kids, she works full time and is just an incredible woman. Thanks for writing, T. I love you and your family.
I have to be honest, my very favorite blog to read is Two Scoops. But there ought to be a no-touch-backs rule in this game (hint, hint!), so I didn't give this to Amy. Plus, she has Tommy--who needs a stinking award?

Shot in the Neck with a Crossbow

Remember that game called Gossip? It's where one person comes up with a phrase and whispers it to the person sitting beside him. That person then passes it along to the next person, and so on. By the end of the game, the phrase is usually pretty messed up.

I did not wake Tay up yesterday (mostly because I was asleep, too!). When he awakened, he went to the very end of school. Actually, I think the final bell of the day had rung. He went into the room where most of his friends would be, and the teacher said, "What are you doing here? I heard you got shot in the neck by a crossbow."

That's close to "Took a shot to the neck with a lacrosse ball."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Take An Aspirin and Call Me In the Morning

I went out running last night, and as I stretched afterward, Taylor said, "Mom, you gotta see this."

I said (still stretching), "OK, what is it?"

"A bruise," replied Tay.



So I walked over to look at a HUGE, lacrosse ball-sized bruise right at his collar bone line. While running drills, he had been running toward a teammate, who shot. Taylor, playing good defense, blocked the shot with his body. :)

As we gathered around the table for dinner, Tay began complaining of a terrible headache. He took some ibuprofen with his meal. But as we ate, he said that his eyes were bugging him. He asked if we could turn off the overhead light. He said he couldn't focus to see his food. This is when I started getting concerned.

We finished dinner, and he and I went to take quick showers. Then we went to the Instacare. It was about 8:00 p.m. We weren't even there long enough to sit down, and they sent us to the ER. We drove to IMC in Murray, where we sat. For a long time. With about 300 other people who were ill or injured. They brought us in for an initial screening and said it would be about 10 minutes before they took us back. 40 minutes later they finally called us back. (BTW, this really wasn't any surprise, considering that it was the ER and there were so many people there.)

When the doc came to examine T, he could hear a strange rushing noise in his carotid artery where he was hit. They were worried about a blood clot forming at that site, which feeds the brain. They did not want (and neither do we!) a blood clot or pieces of clotted blood in the brain causing strokes or brain damage. So he ordered and MRI/MRA to get a clearer picture.

Tay was in the MR area for about an hour and a half. They thought they could see an anomaly in the carotid artery, but they had not done the iodine contrast during the MRA, and they could not see it conclusively. So they ordered a CT scan. They thought they saw a subtle anomaly in the artery, but they did not think it was going to require surgery or major blood thinners. They told us to give Taylor an aspirin a day as a platelet inhibitor, and to call the specialist in the morning. They also ran a vascular ultrasound as a base point, where again they thought they saw a subtle anomaly. The specialist will probably run an additional ultrasound as a follow up early next week.

Taylor is fine, but he's sad, because he will not be playing lacrosse for a while--we'll know more details after we see the specialist.

We got home at 4:00 a.m.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Side of the Story

You know that look I give Spencer? You know--THE look. It says, "Leave me alone. I've reached the end."

I don't think Spencer has EVER given me The Look. Until Saturday.

I was standing about a tenth of a mile from the finish line and praying and praying that Spence was going to reach his goal. The time kept ticking. He didn't come. And then suddenly, there he was. I turned the camera on so I could take his picture running. I yelled, "Go, Spencer!" And THAT'S when I got The Look.

And I knew that he was hurting and in serious danger of missing his goal. So I took off on a run, yelling, "I'm so proud of you! You're gonna do it!" He asked me where the finish line was, and I said, "It's right there. See? We were here last night." And I said, "Babe, you're really close. We're gonna have to put on the push. Can you give me anything else?"

And I got The Look again.

So I shut up. And he said, "Keep talking."

So over and over again I said, "I'm so proud of you. You're so close. You're gonna do it. Keep going!"

When we crossed the finish line, gun time said 3:21:something. I was praying that he had crossed the start over a minute after the gun time. The people at the finish line quickly escorted me to the non-runners' area, and I headed straight for the results tent. The woman there told me that she could only give times to the runners. So I said, "OK, I'll just wait for him here." As other people were getting their results I was listening in, trying to figure out how close to his time they were. Finally the same woman asked for his bib number. After several tries (and about 10 minutes) we got his final result: 3:20:21. I called him and said, "Did you have to be UNDER 3:20?" He said, "No, I have a 59 second window."

I screamed, "Woot! 3:20:21! You did it!" And all I could do was cry.

I'm so, so proud of him. And I'm so, so glad I could help.

Later he said thank you for all the support and he wishes it would be my turn to do something. I said, "We're going to Boston in 2011, right?" He said something like heck, yes. :) I said, "So we're going to New York with my singing group next year, right?" He said, "Yes, we are."

Boston, Mass., Here We Come!


This picture was taken about 10-15 minutes after I crossed the finish line, maybe a little longer I was dazed, totally out of blood sugar.

I truly do not know if I would have made it without Aundrea running the last tenth of a mile with me, I so wanted to stop, I could see the finish line but it did not inspire me at all. All I wanted to do was to stop running, but I knew I was within seconds of qualifying for Boston, with Aundrea by my side telling me how great I was doing I kept running and qualified for Boston with 39 Seconds to spare. Needless to say she did not get a photo of me in the last seconds of the race, instead of taking a snap shot of me, she recognized I was not doing well and came right to my side and ran to the end with me. She was promptly escorted off before she could cross the finish line. Aundrea is my hero.

I will forward more official photos as the become available.

The race went really well for me, I did not struggle until the last three miles. My legs just did not want to run at that pace any more. I could feel a blister develop by mile 10 but just accepted the fact there was nothing I could do about it. The blister popped at mile 24 and other than that I had no problems.

My time: 3:20:21

To Qualify for Boston I needed to cross the finish line by 3:20:59


Spencer P. Hill

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fun With the People I Love

Today we hosted a baby shower for Amy at work. Here are some things that you should know:

1. Ashtyn is wonderful. She was shopping with me last night for a l---o---n---g time. She has great taste in flannel. She has a wonderful memory. I love Ashtyn.

2. Briana is wonderful. She helped me get everything together for my big day, l---o---n---g after everyone else had gone to bed. She even stayed up after I was in bed to finish making this blanket for Amy. She did beautiful work, too. I love Briana.

3. Amy is wonderful. She is the epitamy of graciousness. She is happy and excited. And I'm pretty sure she really is going to let me munch on her baby boy! I love Amy.

4. Tahnee is wonderful. She made the most adorable invitations, and then she made decorations to match. Everything looked so cute! AND she made the most delicious brownies EVER. I love Tahnee.
5. Karleen is wonderful. Not only did she bring a gorgeous green salad AND Lion House rolls and honey butter (!) AND a darling gift for Tommy, but she also manned the phones for the entire party so I could be there. And she treated it as time worked. I love Karleen.

6 through 15 (at least). The ladies we work with are wonderful. Amy got some seriously adorable stuff, PLUS a $71 gift card to Target so she could get whatever she needs or wants. I love the people I work with!
It's a good day.