Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Brooke has been so patiently waiting for her first day...and it finally came!!

Viana's pretty excited that she gets to walk Brooke to school everyday :)

Viana was showing Brooke the ropes on the playground.  Nevermind Batman beating up that kid in the foreground...

And away her line would go to Mrs Redd's AM class!!  Good job Brooke!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Did you know that Eric and I shared our first kiss by a dumpster.  It was the dumpster that sat along the fence that divided the Regency apartments (my home) from Condo Row (his home).  It's the very same dumpster that you can see peeking out as a little brown square from between us just below our chins in this picture as we recreated a little piece of our past this weekend.
 It was a funeral that brought us back to the dumpster on Saturday.  I always want to share my thoughts and feelings on this family record of ours when we attend funerals, but I'm always certain that my words won't come out right.  Dear friends like Wes Truman whom I felt certain I needed to document the beauty and hope and faith that was evident in his life as well as his early death--but could never find the perfect words.  Testimony building experiences like the tragic death and funeral of Donald Callison who, as Viana would tell all, "Didn't know about the gos-uh-pel." and what that meant for his post-mortal experience.  Tear jerkers like that of Viana's primary teacher whose fast fall to cancer left us with a firmer knowledge and testimony of forever families.  Today though, I have the words for John Sterling Hiatt, the 55 year old father to Billy, my soon-to-be brother-in-law.  Bro. Hiatt is my sister Krista's future father-in-law.  And thanks be to the merciful timing of God that their engagement came earlier than planned, so for a full 2 weeks it was a certain and official future relationship.  And even more thanks that the near fatal heart attack that left his heart frail came two years ago, that he could enjoy the last two years of his life--the same last two years that Krista and Billy have known one another.  My own broken heart was turned in thoughts and prayers to Billy and Krista all week.  I ached for them.  I hurt for them.  I worried over them.  How would Billy survive?   How would Krista survive?  How would Krista help Billy survive? When would the healing come?  How would it come?  What could I do to help Krista and Billy?  One thing we knew we could do was show our love and support by attending the funeral.  And we could be a covenant keeping people and "mourn with those that mourn."  Another thing I could do was rely on my knowledge of the gospel and trust in the healing power of the Atonement.  The funeral was beautiful.  I have been to a few funerals for people I have never met, and I love them.  Often times the grief is not as strong (though this funeral I experienced more grief since I was more intimately connected to those ultimately grieving the physical separation death brings).  They are beautiful times to learn about every perfect and wonderful attribute about a person.  Coming away from funerals of those not known in this life leaves me so excited to see them in the next.  I have not one shred of bad feeling or ill-will or remembered hurt or seen mistakes from these souls.  I only know them as their very best self.  And that is how I know the grandfather to my children's Hiatt cousins.  What a wonderful, eternal grandfather they have.  He is valiant and fun and righteous and selfless and loving and serving and gracious and exciting and a wonderful husband and a wonderful dad.  And he is sealed to his family.  The Hiatt's are eternal.  There is a temporary separation, one that came sooner than anyone wanted, but one day there will be an eternal reunion that will be more joyous than we can know.  And that is the reward of mortality.  For surviving such an aching thing as death, because of it we will eventually have that glorifying thing of exaltation.
And that brings me back to our first kiss.  A physical expression of love.  Shared in mortality.  Signifying commitment.  The desire to be one.  My journal entry from Nov. 30, 2003, "I feel I love him, and that I could spend forever with him-it's not how I imagined it would be, but it feels like how it should be, if that makes any sense.  And we haven't even kissed yet :)" One week later: Dec. 7, 2003 "I'm in love.  It feels so good in every part of my body, and every time I'm with him I am amazed at every part of him and he's seriously everything I've ever wanted.  We had our first kiss this week.  It was funny, Eric was worried that we would be incompatible.  But we're not.  We've had beautiful kissing." And can I finish that story of incompatibility   When we finished studying in the library that night we started walking home and it was all we could do not to kiss each other.  There was a lot of nose nuzzling.  Lots of it.  We got to our block and started talking about kissing compatibility.  In our musings we found ourselves sitting on the curb by the dumpster.  And that was the moment that Eric leaned in and gave me our first kiss.  He pulled back and I said, "Are we compatible?"  And he said, "Nope" (Horror strikes across my face and all my hopes fall to the floor...but then...) "So we better try it again."  (*cue second kiss by aforementioned dumpster*) That sly romantic fox.  He had that one planned out pretty darn good if you ask me. :)  And so I have been kissing Eric now for 3,190 days.  Luckily only 2 of those days have been by that dumpster.  The best day was when it was over the altar of the temple.  The most recent day was today when we were supposed to be cleaning up from dinner.  But one day, one of us will have finished our mortal experience and our kissing will be put on hold.  Like the Hiatt's has been.  But one thing I know for sure.  We are compatible beyond our kissing.  And when this life is done Eric can say "we better try again" and we will rise together an eternal family.  And if I could choose, I will request our mansion be on the same celestial street as the Hiatt's-with one brown dumpster next to our fence.  And that my friends is a good dose of sentimentality.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer is officially done!

Well, my tears started last night as I brought to life Viana's fashion vision for her first day to first grade.  She wanted the ones around "1st day of 1st grade" to be in the shape of a one...if you didn't catch that.
 So, Viana was so excited to begin her early morning lifestyle.  She is not a morning person at all, so when she opened the door she said, "My first time smelling what early morning air is like!"  She wanted me to take a picture right away with her "ONE" finger up.
 And then she wanted to stand in the shape of a one.
 And here she is all dolled up in her ONE stance.

 I was so happy to walk her to school (to her disappointment, didn't I know that she was a first grader and could go by herself? More tears...) and as we walked by the playground these little girls on the other side of the fence yelled out, "VIANA!" and came running over to see her.  It was relieving to my mother heart.

We had to wake Bar up...
Mrs. Gleave getting ready...

And there she goes, off to first grade. 
I survived my first day of my baby being gone, and when she gave her report she said that it was "better than she ever imagined" and her favorite part was lunch.  She said "they cooked better than they ever have before!"  I can't believe she's so big!  Good job Viana on your first day of first grade!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer was over!

Summer and Andy that is!  They observed our transcontinental frogs.  Isn't that a cute frog?
And they observed our cute Bar!!  Andy admitted that CharlyAnn has done nothing but get cuter and cuter since he first met her.

 Speaking of Andy, he's in a bishopric and he loves to fight.  And yes, it's his old singles ward bishopric, so in case anyone worried that Summer got married too young, worry no more--she can still go to church in the BYU singles scene and we don't even have to worry about boys chasing her! Perfect set-up!
Anyway, here's Ram and Andy fighting. Billy and Andy are friends in this picture :)
Andy loves to play the Carter favorite Hide-n-Seek, and he takes it as seriously a we do!  When every marvelous place had been used, he took it to a new level!

He and the dust bunnies were the only souls to ever venture so high...
...until Ram thought he should join him...
...and then Viana...
I felt anxiously confident about the situation...
And Brooke felt about the same way!
 Now this is the part of the blog in which you look at the beautiful pictures I took on our hike up Monrovian Canyon...and of Summer and Andy in the random rock field...and maybe even of Andy throwing rocks at a hornets nest...Except for the fact that I accidentally deleted all those pics off our camera :( :( :(  You better come back Sum and Andy!
But I did get pcitures of our hike to the hot pots!  Lady Liberty?
I like how you can actually see the bubbles from the water boiling at the head of the spring.
 And last but not least, we chowed down on some awesome dutch oven ribs!!!  Thanks Eric!
We were SOOO happy to have the Perezs come for a few days to our house!!  It was so fun!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer's receptions weren't over yet!

Ok, ok, so we didn't just up and go to Colorado for no good was Summer and Andy's reception!    And Charina and Tyler were coming and Krista and Billy and Summer and Andy and Mom's Wings and that was all the convincing we needed!

It's always nice when the bride and groom actually have a minute to enjoy the delicacies of the evening!
Although the babies stayed mostly to the nursery, they were still able to flaunt Jamie's amazing skills for a portion of the party!

The celebration was well attended!  It's always fun to see such dear people!
A beautiful rainbow graced the evening. (I doubt Summer and Andy knew this even happened)

Summer and Andy were of course grateful for their wonderful gifts, but you can tell that it was a long exhausting vacay by the time we got around to opening them!