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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Well, I've lapsed in blogging.  Again.  And in that time I've missed 4 birthdays: Cody, BJ, Nick, and Mom Lovell.  So I'm gonna take care of those first (maybe not all today), but I'm going to post them on their actual birthdays.  So those of you who don't get this emailed to you or read it in your Reader, or the beginning of March is too far back for your Reader, you'll actually have to go back to find them.

But happy belated birthday anyway!  :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, BJ!

This morning I taught Kessa to say: 

What do I say about BJ?  Most of you who read this already know a lot about him.  He's amazing.  He's my favorite person ever.  He's so incredibly perfect for me.  How do I spotlight him?  How can I show BJ to the world in the way I see him?  I have no idea.  I actually thought a lot about this when I started doing birthday spotlights, knowing at some point I'd have to do one for BJ.  And so I will do his in the same way I've done the others—through pictures.  (These pictures are in no particular order.  Well, they're in alphabetical order by file name.  Which makes them rather random.  But BJ is rather random, so it seems appropriate.)

 BJ is nerdy.  Incredibly nerdy.  In some social circles, being called nerdy is an insult.  In our home, it's one of the ultimate compliments.  I can't tell you how proud I am of BJ's nerdiness.  Even if I do roll my eyes at it more often than not.  :)  But because of it he has an excellent job where he is valued.  He solves my computer problems (among others) and he's easy to shop for—a game or a blacksmith puzzle will do the trick.  :)
 If BJ wasn't amazing enough with his superior brain, he's also an amazing pianist.  Here he is with his teacher, David Glen Hatch at one of his recitals.  He was accepted to the piano performance major at BYU his freshman year, but on his mission decided to pursue programming as a career instead.  It pays better and he wouldn't have to travel as much while supporting a family.  Plus, he could continue to keep up with the piano on the side.
 He's not perfect, though.  He's made at least one major mistake in his life.  Though, his brother, Nick, was involved, so I'm not sure BJ can take all the blame for that mistake.  :D
 BJ is an amazing dad.  I couldn't ask for a better dad for my kids.  Even when he's busy being nerdy, he'll still take the time to cuddle with Kessa.  When he gets home from work, he takes the time to play with Kessa.  She loves him so much.  If he ever has his coat on when she's around, she'll try to take it off, because she knows that if his coat is on, he must be leaving.  She is a Daddy's girl, through and through. He can be incredibly silly with her, and also knows when to draw the lines so that Mom isn't always the bad guy.
 One thing BJ doesn't do is cooking.  I tease him by telling people that if BJ has to cook, he'll make Ramen.  The funny part is, I'm not kidding.  I keep it stocked simply so that he has something to cook if I'm sick or something.  But I'm convinced it's simply a lack of confidence.  If I ask him to, he's willing to help me in the kitchen.  He follows instructions quite well and is really helpful.
 My nieces and nephews love BJ because he'll play with them.  Parker especially loves to build towers with BJ.  I love that BJ doesn't just take over the building, trying to make the grandest thing ever for show.  No, he builds the tower with Parker.  Parker and BJ worked in tandem to build this tower.  It was amazing to watch them each slide a domino onto the sides at the same time, and keep it standing on two little dominoes.
 BJ loves the snow.  Way, way, way more than I do.  I'd be content living in warm Hawaii the rest of my life, but I don't think he would.  He loves his snow too much.  (Sorry Dave, that's a strike against moving to California.)  He loves to play in it, snowmobile on it, and just look at it.  So how could he not pass that love onto his kids?  We made sure to get Kessa some good, warm, snow clothes so in case she's anything like me, she won't freeze to death and hate the cold as much as I do.
 He's always just … there.  This picture was taken after I caused a 4-car pileup on the freeway.  My chest was incredibly sore from my seatbelt and it hurt like crazy to laugh.  Even though he had homework to do, he came over and read on the couch so I could cuddle up with him.  He can always make me feel better, no matter what's wrong.  In fact, when we first started dating, I was having a horrible day, so I went over to his house.  We played Mario 3 and I came home in a great mood.  I was stunned.  I don't just pull out of moods like that.  But BJ, he feexed it.  I knew he was a winner from that moment on.
 And really, I trust him more than I trust any person in the whole world.  I trust him with my innermost thoughts and feelings.  I trust him with everyday practical matters.  And I trust him with crazy stunts like this.
 Probably the most known thing about BJ (besides his nerdiness) is his stomach.  That boy can eat.  It's common for him to eat twice as much as me… and then finish my dinner.  This is the Big Jud one-pound-after-cooking hamburger. He'd already eaten 1/4 of it.  He ate that whole thing.  I swear his stomach extends into his legs.  And when I ask him if it bothers him that my family teases him about it so much, he just shrugs and says, "There are worst things to be known for."  And then usually takes another bite of whatever he's eating.  :)
 He knows I love flowers.  Especially flowers on trees.  This picture was taken when we were dating.  Maybe even when we were unofficially engaged.  To this day BJ will randomly send me pictures of flowers that he took.  On my birthday he sent me a dozen pictures.  All of those pictures rotate through my wallpaper, reminding me of how sweet he is.
 BJ is even teaching Kessa to play the piano.  I told you that he's amazing with her!
I'm convinced that if reincarnation were real, BJ would have been a monkey in his past life.  He climbs on anything that is climbable.  Even if it's just part of the wall in my hospital room when Kessa was born.  He even got me to go rock climbing several times.
 I'm sure I'm beating a dead horse here, but isn't he just the cutest dad ever?  Look how his face just lit up when he looked at his new baby girl!  I think he really enjoyed introducing Grandma to her first grandchild.
 I'm sure you're getting sick of these pictures.  But I'm not.

Things not pictured: BJ is becoming a handyman.  I always wanted to marry a handyman and he knew that when we were dating and he had to inform me that he was not, in fact, a handyman.  I married him anyway.  But he's proved several times that it is, again, a simple lack of confidence.  He has the brain to figure things out.  I've seen him repair two sinks (ok, one of them he broke.  With his bare hands! And a wrench.) and put together a bunch of stuff from IKEA, because I love that place.  Not to mention taking them apart again so that we could move.  Turns out, being an awesome troubleshooter for programming lends itself well to troubleshooting in real life, too.

BJ is amazing at games.  I've truly met my match.  I probably lose to him as often as I win.  Except when he's experimenting with strategy.  Then I usually win.  Unless I'm also experimenting with strategy.  Then we're evenly matched.  (Except his strategy is usually better.  So maybe he wins more with that?)  But he experiments more than I do.  :)  But what's even better, he loves to play almost as much as I do.  So we have a few games that are great for 2 people and we invite people over often for games.  So I get my fill.  Both of our families are grateful we married fellow gamers.

And now BJ is reading over my shoulder and I have written lots.  So I suppose it's time to go fix him dinner and let him read this for reals.  :)

Happy Birthday, BJ!
I love you so, so, so much.
Thanks for letting me keep you forever. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kessa doesn't hate Lauren

BJ's parents' anniversary was last week, so to celebrate, we all went to Hale Center Theater and watched A Tale of Two Cities.  It was a great play, as always.  And as a special treat, the lady who wrote the adaptation and all the music was there that night!  Apparently this was a recent Broadway and Hale was the first regional theater to get the rights to perform it, which is a real honor.  So it was really fun.

Our friend, Lauren, is wonderful and has been offering her babysitting services for awhile, so we took her up on it for that night.  They had a great time.  So great, in fact, that Kessa wanted nothing to do with going to sleep.  At all.  Lauren got her back up 4 or 5 times and put her back down.  She couldn't figure out what to do.  So she asked a bunch of married friends with kids who all told her to let her cry.  So she did*.  She texted me later and told me that she felt like the most horrible person in the whole world.  I told her that I had the same battle the night before, and if she's the most horrible person, I'm the most horrible mom.

I also tried to reassure her that the next morning Kessa would wake up happy and all would be forgiven and forgotten.  Not entirely sure she believed me, I took a video of me getting her up the next morning**.

So here you go, Lauren.  Proof that Kessa does not, in fact, hate you.

* She told me that Kessa cried for about 10 minutes, then abruptly stopped crying and started giggling.  I think that was probably about the time that she realized Lauren wasn't getting her up, so she might as well just resume normal going-to-sleep habits.
** Or maybe she started to read a book, and that's why she started giggling.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cody!

First of all, Cody loves me.  That's the most important, right?  (Ignore that he's looking away, probably at something more exciting than me.)
 Cody loves the outdoors, including scouting, camping and just having fun.  He's also very creative.  I have no doubt that this giant stick had some grand purpose in his imagination.
 Cody loves to learn. Once when we were all at home I was crocheting something or the other.  It wasn't long before Cody approached me, "Can you teach me how to crochet?"  Next thing I know, Brandon and Spencer wanted to learn, too.
 But his learning isn't all domestic.  No, like every boy, he loves everything outdoors.  Here we are at the zoo, looking at otters.
 He really does love his brothers.  Even if sometimes they're not so sure about that.  :)

 Cody is an enormous helper.  We just spent a week with them and he was the first to get his chores done every day.  (That had nothing to do with bribery to play the iPad once chores were done, I'm sure.)  He was always the one in the kitchen helping with dinner.  He'd volunteer to do dishes.  (In exchange for mom doing his meal chore instead.) And he's also crazy and goes out into snow without a coat.

Cody loves, loves, loves to cook.  Seriously.  For his birthday Jalin made him that apron and chef's hat and his parents gave him a gift certificate to take a fondant class.  This is the product of that class.  He made that cake with that dog on top.  Dude.  I couldn't even do that.  I predict that someday he opens a bakery and makes millions.  I hope I'm still his favorite aunt when that happens.  And that his bakery is located close to me.  :)

Happy birthday, Cody!
We love you so much!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where's the balloon?

I have never seen Kessa hide things behind her back before.  I think this must be some sort of developmental milestone.  How come she does all the cute stuff with BJ?  ;)

Learning to sing

BJ's teaching Kessa to sing.  I think she's got a little ways to go, but is showing promise.
What do you think?