18 February 2015

public transit

When Tyler proposed, he purposely planned a ride on the Phoenix light rail into our trip because he knew what a kick I got out of using public transit.  That alone probably speaks for itself about my level of experience using buses, light rails, and trains prior to our marriage - I simply had no experience.  Then for two years, Tyler and I were entirely without a car.  We were living the grad student dream in northeast England and our little budget didn't allow for it - have you SEEN British gas prices?  Thankfully Newcastle has a great metro system and we were in full-on adventure mode, so mastering bus schedules, metro maps, and train transfers was all just part of the fun.

Fast forward: We moved back to the US of A, had purchased a car before we even hit the soil, and reveled in the joy of grocery shopping with trunk space.  (Grocery shopping is the one thing that is absolutely, completely, undeniably the pits without a car.)  San Diego has its own trolley, aka light rail system, and Mili has been eyeing those bright red cars for some time now.  I knew it was high time to get back onto the public transit bandwagon.  With two kids in tow, one umbrella stroller, and a bag packed with lunches and snacks, we set off to Old Town San Diego to go visit the Mormon Battalion.


  • It felt like a little slice of England!  Sometimes, I can really miss our time in that place.
  • The skills of utilizing public transit are apparently burned into my brain.  Didn't have any trouble figuring out which trains to take, where to transfer lines, and when to get off.
  • I didn't have to find or pay for parking at Old Town!  I hate parking in busy, big city areas.
  • Noah and Mili thought it was the greatest.  Mili's memories of a bajillion and one trips on the metro have clearly faded and our trip was long enough that I let Noah out of the stroller to stand at the window.
  • Just being around so many people was so nice.  Being a stay at home mom can feel so incredibly isolating - it was a relief to just be around a bit of humanity who were all just relaxing, saying hello, sharing smiles.
  • My gas tank was teetering on empty today, but I didn't have to fill it up.
  • It helps teach my children how to use these kinds of transit, to be unafraid to try them out, and to prevent them from creating any stigma about 'people who take the bus.'  Also, it exposes them to such an eclectic and varied segment of people; a breadth and depth that I simply cannot create for them in any other way.


  • Noah is not as stroller-trained as Mili was.  Mili was super good at hanging out in the stroller like a champ, cause that is how we got everywhere and she spent a good chunk of time.  Noah doesn't get near the amount of time in the stroller and he would start trying to escape and practically falling out of the seat.
  • Our first metro broke down.  Of course.  I almost started laughing.  But again, it wasn't that bad because it just felt so old hat to me.  I knew the drill, didn't stress about time, just waited and talked about it all with Mili, who had a million and one questions.
  • You aren't supposed to eat on the trolley system.  That is near on impossible with two hoodlums under the age of 3 who you just traipsed all around.  I just fed them snacks in very small doses, to minimize mess and spillage.
  • It does take longer.  This could be a pro or con I suppose, depending on your kids, time scale, nap schedules, and level of desperate boredom/cabin fever.

All in all, it was an awesome day and I'm so glad we did it.  Mili Kay loved it so much that it looks like it may become a somewhat regular thing.  In the next couple weeks I'm planning a bus ride to Balboa Park. Anybody want to come?

07 February 2015

Resolutions that matter

I began 2015 with exactly one goal.

Read my scriptures. Meaningfully.  Every day.

Previous to this year I was already reading most days.  But there'd be some missed days.  Some days where I 'read' on my bed after a long, exhausting, sleep deprived day - not sure I even made it past opening the book on those days.

I committed to a year-long, self-motivated, love affair with the written word of God.

We are now 39 days into this new year.  My life has undergone a mighty transformation into a state of increasing happiness.  39 days, with a slip-up or two, where I have sought to carve out time for reading words of prophets.  Previous to this I was going through a rough patch with my daily life; feelings of discontent, restlessness, and boredom were becoming daily experiences. Scriptures unlock my heart to teach me, who I am, why I am here on earth, and what I should be doing with my life (credit to Sister Beck for explaining it so well)Reading these words has been a saving grace.

01 February 2015

Totally slanted

This is a post in which I will post all the best pictures that look so wonderful and beautiful and perfect.

And then I will tell you that yes, those pictures do document some of the most wonderful little moments of the past month.  But truthfully most of the last week was spent in pajamas and, on a good day, half-dressed as we dealt with head colds and one nasty case of bronchiolitis, the house was in absolute bedlam because who has motivation to unpack or do laundry or wash dishes when you are sleep-deprived and dealing with constant runny noses, and there was a very large consumption of cold cereal for all parties concerned.

It was a really good past month.  Really nuts.  But really good.

First.  The wedding.  One of my dearest friends got married.  And it was perfect.  I cried a whole bunch (are anyone else's tear ducts permanently stuck on weepy after having kids?), laughed, danced, and was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so happy for Christin and Paul.  I mean.  Gosh guys.  No words.  And many thanks to their photographer Ryann Lindsey Photography (, for getting this picture of Tyler and I.  *Cue slightly weepy happy eyes again.*

Second.  People.  We got a full 24 hours kid free!  They got Grama and Grandpa time, we got friend and wedding time.  Then we got some family time.  Tyler had to go home after the weekend and I decided to see some people, by myself with the two kids.  It was... hard.  But worth it.  I think.  I won't be reattempting it anytime soon.  So.  If I saw you, feel really really loved.  And if I didn't, please don't take it personal.  We about died as it is.

Third.  Colds.  Traveling with kids during cold season just about guarantees colds.  I surrendered to the inevitable and just starting washing my own hands like a maniac.  Noah and Mili got sick the night before we came home (three cheers for my sister and Jesse for holding a crying Noah while I gave Mili medicine!).  We survived the drive home then collapsed into the house, where, lo and behold, Tyler had a cold of sorts too.  The next week was a blur of nights on the recliner with a little boy who had his cold develop into bronchiolitis, days full of snot, and a lot of just really unstructured time letting it all be, disaster house and all.

Honestly, sans the virus invasion, it was a really healthy week.  There were lots of books, laughing, snuggling, and me being able to put the hoodlums first.  Tyler would come home exhausted after work and lay on the floor, playing whatever game he could invent where he got to stay still.  The kids ate it up.  Noah decided to start walking on his own!  Mili talked up a storm.  But, it was still super hard and exhausting and I'm very grateful that I'm getting some sleep again.  Overall it was good, but there were some moments.  You know.

And today.  Technically January is over, but some of the magic must still be in the air.  After a really good block of church, we took a trip to the temple.  For a few minutes, my world stood still and Heaven came down to visit.  

Again and again, in so many ways, God shows me that this path I'm walking down is the one He would have me be on.  

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27