I'm almost ready to send my Proclamation book to the printer. I just have two pages left. I think this Saturday, I'll pull out my tripod and try and get a family picture of the four of us. Does anyone know a good spot to take family photos here in Tucson?
Anyways, I woke up this morning and had an email from Jill Means, the designer behind the pages. Apparently, she had several hits on her website from my blog and wanted to feature some of my pages on her site. It turns out we both graduated from BYU in similar fields. I'm a little embarrassed that she found me because she's got impeccable style and oodles of talent and I'm pretty average in that regard. Really, check out these custom family trees. They're beautiful. And if you're into digi-scrapping, her templates are awesome and so reasonably priced.
So rather than email these files to her, I'll throw them here. The hardest part of putting this thing together has been getting Booker to sit still for photo.
This photo and all of our wedding photos were shot by the amazing Weston Colton.
Over the weekend Clark and I watched a movie (a comedy) that was set in Tucson. The movie begins as the camera pans to a city limits sign reading "Tucson" as a voice-over narrator solemnly pronounces that this is the city "where dreams go to die." At the end, the high school drama teacher tells his students to cheer up: "No matter where you go in life after this, it will always be better than Tucson." It was a funny movie, but I couldn't help but be a little bugged. You see, I like Tucson. I would even go so far as to say that I LOVE TUCSON. Keep in mind, this is the girl who also loved living in Doha, Qatar and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. But really, Tucson is great and here are two reasons why:
1. It's got a cool cemetery. I like to think of Tucson as a one-cemetery type of town. I'm sure it's not, but whatever. This cemetery has all the makings of a great cemetery- it's super old, it's Catholic and the groundskeepers just laughed as Booker climbed over gravestones and kicked his soccer ball around.
Our apologies to Ramon E. Bustamante. He was a father so he should understand. Little boys MUST climb.
Who says dreams die here? This guy is full of dreams.
And he's so serious about them.
2. My second reason why Tucson is great? The weather. Today is January 26th and Booker spent the morning in shorts and a t-shirt. It was glorious. Not a cloud in the sky. Oh wait, lots of clouds in the sky. But the good kind. Warm, fluffy clouds that love sunshine.
So take that, Hollywood. Tucson rocks and those are only two reasons why. I didn't even mention all the cool wildlife or the fun hiking spots. When was the last time you saw a tarantula while you were filling up your car? That's right. Now go pick on another city.
Goal: To finally read my camera manual without being bothered
What really happened: Booker got his first ever Happy Meal toy and named him Rupert. Rupert? Yes, Rupert. Rupert then proceeded to jump from my head to my manual, head to my manual. He took a small break while Booker ate an ice cream cone.
New goals: 1)To convince Booker that Rupert does not want to join him in the bath tonight and 2) Read my camera manual sometime in the next... year. Curse you, Rupert.
- The Suns game. Even though they lost, it was a lot of fun to be there. I'm pretty ticked that I accidentally deleted all my pictures from that night. I had a cool one of Shaq. Darn it. Clark has had a love-hate relationship with the Suns lately. Maybe the Cardinals will win the Superbowl and he can feel a little better about life. Thank you for the amazing tickets, Bec!
- Learning that Teichert will take a bottle (as long as his parents aren't around). Phew. Now I can go to Boston in a few weeks without worrying about him starving to death. Kid-free vacation, here I come!
- The glorious weather. It feels and looks just like autumn right now. I love Arizona in the winter. Booker had a grand old time playing in the enormous leaf pile at Grunyon Run. Clark did not have a grand old time locating his shoes at the bottom of the leaf pile.
- Finally catching a session at the temple. It had been a ridiculously long time since I had been. Living five minutes from a temple is nice. Living 2 hours is harder, especially since most of our trips to Mesa fall on a Sunday. Thank you to the Evans girls for watching Booker and Ike.
- Watching Booker play with his cousins. As usual, we said goodbye to him on Friday night and didn't really see him again until we got in the car to come back to Tucson on Sunday evening. He spent the first hour of the drive back home telling us about all the fun things he did. "Bath with Trigg, Mom." "Fire truck with Daxton, Dad." "Booker is Diego. Addie is Dora. Baby Jaguar jumps on trampoline." I think Booker might shrivel up and die if he doesn't see his cousins every two weeks.
- Seeing Cassie who was visiting from Utah. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of her. When I'm 8 months pregnant, I don't want a camera in my face. Even if I looked like a fitness model, like Cassie does, I don't want pictures. We're so glad she came and we had a blast hanging out.
- Seeing this little girl- Abigail. I had to keep a close eye on her during family dinner. I was worried that bow was going to eat her face. Love it.
- Spending a night without Booker. Thank you, Callie and Bryce, for letting him have a sleep over at your place. He wouldn't stop talking about Monty and Fergie and getting "slurped" by them. He had a blast.
- Getting a pedicure with Bec. Yes, I have plaid toenails with hearts for Valentine's Day.
- Sweet pork tacos from Cafe Rio. Yum.
- Dessert raviolis from Macaroni Grill. Yum.
- Homemade ice cream from Jan. Yum.
- Getting a Wii Fit and paying less than a $100 for it- big thanks to our brother-in-law Bryce for finding it. They're impossible to find in stores. I was skeptical at first, but this is one fun game. It tells us Booker has a Wii Fit age of 32. His balance kinda stinks. And he's super FAT, as you can tell.
We had a fun and full weekend. Today was mostly spent getting over my "Mesa hangover": unpacking the car, doing laundry and relishing in our usual routine. Spending time away from home with kids is not easy. Booker practically jumped for joy when I told him it was time for his nap/quiet time. Thank you to everyone who watched our kids, fed us and gave us a place to crash.
I've embarked on a new project- a book with family photos that accompany the text of "The Family, A Proclamation to the World." I found a website where you can download the templates for free. All you need to do is add your photos. You can print it as a die-cut hardcover book for $38 (there are cheaper options starting at $26). Not too bad. You can see a full size sample here. Here are a few of my pages so far...
Thanks to Jill Means for making the templates available and free.
Bret and Jemaine are back!!! We don't get HBO so we'll have to wait until Season 2 comes out on Netflix. In the meantime, you can watch the season opener for free here. Its hard to say what our favorite Flight of the Conchords song is but here are two that make us giggle pretty hard.
The other day I was digging through old photographs and I stumbled across this:
Those two little cards sat inside of this little wallet:
Which sat in the back pocket of my jeans everyday from 1994-1998. Sorry, no pictures of my back pocket.
That was my Travelcard. It let me travel anywhere in London using any bus or any tube line at any time. I remember my dad handing it to me and stressing how important it was that I NOT lose my Travelcard. It lasted 4 months, was not replaceable and as you can see cost 116.80 pounds. I was impressed that my dad trusted me (at age 11) to not lose something (so easily lost) that cost so much money. Oddly enough, I wasn't impressed that my dad was trusting me (at age 11) to navigate a major city like London all by myself. What was he thinking?!?!
We moved to London in 1994 and I started 5th grade. During the first semester, the three of us (Marie, David and I) took the "school bus." It was a small white van driven by a Scottish guy named Tony who introduced me to Queen. Maybe the bus service was too expensive or too inconvenient, but for whatever reason my dad decided to pull us off the bus and buy us all Travelcards instead. I think his initial idea was that the three of us would catch the bus (the double deckered 13 or 82) together in Hampstead and ride it to St. John's Woods where our school was. That was probably the case for the first week, but after that it was every Tueller for themself. Marie must have been too cool to ride with me and David. And David must have been too slow to ride with me. Somehow the three of us separately got to school unharmed and on time everyday for four years. Which, now that I'm a parent myself, seems like a small miracle. If I was 11 when I first started using the London transit system, David must have been 9. And this was way before 9-year-olds had cell phones.
Yet maybe my dad was onto something. When people ask me where my favorite place to live was, I automatically respond with London and I think this Travelcard had a lot to do with it. I had so much freedom and it came at such a good age for me. My sister (who was three years older and in high school) was perhaps not at a good age for this type of freedom. But for me it was heavenly. Sure, some bad things happened on the bus on to school. I had my first kiss (with Pierce Brosnan's son, Sean). I also vaguely remember a creepy pervert exposing himself to me. It shook me at first but then I recalled how my Aunt Anna responded in a similar situation (or was it my Aunt Martha?) and decided that laughter is the best reaction.
But for the most part, the freedom my Travelcard granted me was amazing and now that I look back on it, perhaps necessary. I'm sure traffic was a nightmare and gas, expensive. It didn't help that our family car was a "tank" compared to the petite British cars that roamed the streets of London. Not to mention how horribly embarrassing that car was. It stuck out like a sore thumb. It was the only American car in a country of right handed steering wheels. Place my mother at the wheel and it was enough to drive any teenager "underground."
Traveling alone made me feel so independent, so grown up. I went from St. John's Woods to Swiss Cottage everyday for swim practice. I would meet my best friend, Catharine on Bond Street for an afternoon of shopping whenever I felt like it. I went to Golder's Green to see movies and Hyde Park to visit the museums. When I heard the news of Princess Diana's death, I headed straight to Hampstead tube station so I could join the thousands of mourners at Kensington Palace. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to do all these things if I had to rely solely on my mom for transportation. My Travelcard allowed me to truly experience London and all the fun things it had to offer at the time.
So who knows. Maybe it was out of necessity but maybe my dad is just a super genius and knew then what I know now- that trusting your kids with both small and big things will help them grow up to be independent and confident. Anyone that has successfully gotten from Point A to Point B in a major capital without getting lost knows how wonderful that sense of accomplishment feels. Right now I can't even trust Booker to get from our car to the sidewalk without getting hit by another car. Maybe one day both Booker and Ike will be crisscrossing the world by plane, train and automobile with ease. I hope that as a parent, I'll have the ability to trust that they're safe. I hope even more that I raise the type of kids who have a desire to travel and see the world.
Wow, what a long and random post. All because I found my bus pass.
I've had this post sitting in my draft box for awhile but I didn't want to come across as whiney (well, whinier than I usually am). But for lack of something better to blog about, here goes...
So for the past few months, I've been experiencing some terrible back pain and I don't know what to do. Typically, its worse on days when I work out and on days when I spend a lot of time at the computer (Clark says I'm going to make my back pain worse by blogging about it). Sometimes its so bad I crawl into bed as soon as the boys are asleep and sit in front of the TV, like the other night when I watched the entire pre-red carpet show, red carpet show and then the actual Golden Globes awards show. Pathetic, right? I bought new gym shoes and that hasn't made a huge difference. I had an hour long massage and that helped... for about a day. Ibruprohen and heat pads help a little bit, but I need to do something more. I made an appointment with a chiropractor but I cancelled last minute because I felt kinda silly. So tell me, if you've had back problems- did seeing a chiropractor help? What was the problem and what did he/she do to solve it? Did they use their witch-doctor voodoo to heal you? Am I being ridiculous in thinking that a chiropractor won't help? Please, convince me otherwise or suggest something else for back problems because at this point, I'm willing to try anything.
Our house was like a doctor's office today. When I woke up, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the clock read 8:00. I went into Booker's room, to find him curled up in a ball moaning that his "tongue and tummy hurt." I moved him out to the couch and grabbed a bowl just in time. In between vomiting, I tried to explain to Booker what was happening.
"Booker, its okay- just let it come up and spit in the bowl. Don't look so panicked. You're sick and throwing up."
"I NOT." Gag, spit, gag, spit.
"But look, there's vomit in that bowl. You're throwing up. Don't you see?"
"I NOT!!! I not throw up, Mommy." Barf.
"Well, fine. But don't stray too far from this bowl."
I secretly like it when Booker is sick. He transforms from this independent little tyrant to a sad, sweet, little puppy dog, completely reliant on me. And unlike me, he doesn't exaggerate his pain and discomfort. He won't even admit that something is wrong- I NOT, MOMMY. Its fun for a little while... until he misses the bowl. With extra doses of Super Why and Thomas the Tank Engine, I think he'll make a full recovery.
Then at lunch time, an actual doctor came to our house. Well, not really. I think she was just a nurse. Clark and I are getting life insurance, so a nurse came to our house to determine if we are fit for life... or insurance... or something. She took our blood, urine, weight, height, blood pressure, and Clark even had an EKG- all in the comfort of our home. It was actually quite humiliating and those things should really be reserved for the doctor's office only and not my living room.
I tend to think that Clark and I are shoo-ins for life insurance. We're both extremely fortunate to be healthy, with pretty good family histories. We don't do drugs- we don't even drink or smoke. We don't participate in any extreme sports or risky activities (although, I'm pretty bad at skiing: me + mountain = disaster most of the time). We don't have plans to travel to any exotic countries anytime soon. I wouldn't consider Egypt exotic, or at least not deadly. In fact, USAA should be paying us to insure our lives, not the other way round... because really, our lives are seriously, so blessed!
All jokes aside, we are quite blessed/fortunate/lucky for our good health and for everything else we've been given. Even on days when I'm cleaning up vomit, I'm pretty happy with my lot in life. Here's hoping that this is my last post ever about life insurance, because I know it won't be my last post about cleaning up vomit.