7 quick takes

linking up with Jen for 7 quick takes

1.  Riding up Provo canyon is one of my most frequent rides.  Sometimes I’ll ride past Vivian park as far as South Fork park, which I tell you only to tell you that my uncle (Scott) was riding there the other day and saw a BEAR. (!!!)  A bear.  Like, he’s speeding down the road at 25+ mph, rounds a bend, and there, in the middle of the road, right in his path there was a brown bear.  And I can’t even begin to tell you how much that freaks me out.  He saw it too late to brake, and when the bear saw he wasn’t slowing down, it ran off into forest, BUT STILL.  I’ve realized lately that I’m really scared of animals.  Any kind, really, but especially that  kind of animal.  I’m not sure if I could enjoy myself on a ride up there again knowing that a bear is in the realm of possibility.

2.  The other day I was stopped at a stop sign and there was a guy walking across the street in front of me who I recognized.  Where do I know him from?  I wondered for about 5 seconds before I realized . . . he works at Little Ceasars.  Which was not my finest moment and kind of reminded me of the time the BYU Lost & Found employee said hi to me by name on campus.  Both indicate a life change is in order.

3.  Speaking of life changes, I ran into a girl I know from church at Smith’s–3 times in about 2 weeks.  Which is weird.  But probably might have something to do with the fact that I have to go to Smith’s roughly 5 times a week because I forgot an ingredient for a recipe, or we ran out of toilet paper or cheddar cheese (which is the same level of emergency around here) or I forgot I’m supposed to bring a dessert to the party, or we need swim diapers, or I just didn’t by enough food because I gave up halfway through my actual shopping trip and just bought whatever was already in my cart at the point that Camryn started freaking out that she saw strawberries and couldn’t eat them right then.  I’ve considered shopping with her blindfolded?  but I don’t think that would go over well. . .  At least I’m making progress remembering to bring my reusable bags.  Use reusable bags, people.  It just makes SO.  MUCH.  SENSE.

4.  Yesterday, I drove to Springville to bike Hobblecreek canyon.  I usually avoid driving to ride somewhere, but a construction crew recently turned State Street into a hot sticky gravelly orange barrel hell where roadbikes go to die. And the alternate route takes a lot of time that I didn’t have, so I drove.  Which I tell you only to tell you that about a block before I got back to my car–hot, tired, and sweaty, I passed some little kids at a table waving a sign that they’re selling something and also eating some sort of creamsicle/ citrusy popsicle and I WANTED ONE!  so I got to my car, backtracked a block and it turned out that they were not in fact selling frozen creamsicle/citrusy goodness.  They were, in fact,  selling lukewarm lemonade while eating delicious popsicles, which was sorely disappointing and someone should teach those girls a little something about false advertising and human decency.

5.  I need to start learning to say no and that I can’t do everything I want to do because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

6.  Why does winter seem to always last an eternity, but then summer just flies right on by?

7. Kiddie pool with the neighbors today.  It’s hot!

and that tan line is just getting worse by the day. . .



happy friday everyone

On the Demoralization of a Flat Tire

If I’ve talked to you anytime in the last week or so, chances are high that I’ve complained to you about how many flats I’ve been getting.  Let me just fill in the gaps for the rest of you:  I’ve been getting so.  many.  flats.

The thing about a flat is that disappointing disconnect between expectation and outcome.  Because of one tiny little thing completely out of your control (a thorn, of all things, how symbolic says my literary mind), my vision of the ride that could have and should have been, gives way to something else entirely–hours of frustration.  People–it is hard to fix a flat tire.  You must remove the wheel from the bike, remove the tire from the rim (my father who has performed such an operation hundreds of times on various bikes has informed me that my tire is so tight that on my bike this is ridiculously difficult. almost impossible.) remove the tube from the tire, locate and remove the thorn, locate and patch the puncture and then reverse all of those steps until your bike is put back together.  When you’re out on a ride, there are about 7 things you need to accomplish this and if you forget any single one of them–SOL for you and you need to find a ride home or walk.  And when you do all of that and then get another flat on your very next ride–(inconceivable!!) it is so maddening.

And basically that happened to me. (17 miles up Hobble Creek Canyon in the rain)  And then it happened again (half a mile into my first 50 miler).  And then it happened to Tanner. (poor guy had to wait an hour before I noticed my phone had 18 missed calls)  And then to Tanner again (double whammy.  2 flats) And then another few where they were just flat before I even left on a ride.  After that I went to the bike shop, had them check both of my tubes & tires, bought new tires for Tanner, purchased more new tubes ($7.99 a pop is really adding up.  I really support buying local, but ouch), another patch kit, a rim strip and $20 tire liners–which is basically an extra strip of plastic you line your tire with to give it an extra layer of protection against thorns.  I was all geared up, ready to go, and certain there is no way I’m getting any more flats for a while!

And then I got another flat on my very next ride.  Oh the curses that went flying.  It was a bitter, terrible moment.

This guy right here was the one giving me all the trouble:


yadda yadda yadda and a lot of help from my dad and uncle later, and I think I’m cured.  We rode 70 miles on Friday without a problem (well, without a problem with our bikes.  our bodies on the other hand. . .)

but!  hey!  if you’re still reading after all of that long-windedness I really do have a purpose for recounting all of that terribleness.  I’m going to get pretty philosophical and metaphorical on you, but it’s pretty good in my head so hopefully that translates to words worth reading.

Think about the most unfair thing in your life.  The thing about all of these flats is that it seems so unfair.  I think people are generally willing to accept (in theory) that life is hard and often unfair.  There are going to be bumps, obstacles, trials, whatever you want to call them–things aren’t going to go our way sometimes.  But I think we are only willing to accept this to a certain point.  There is a scale in my head of how hard things should be and when that tips out of balance it makes me angry and frustrated.  Like, this thing should be this hard in this way because this is the average amount of hard that other people have to deal with and if it’s harder than that then it’s not fair.  Oh dear, that didn’t make sense, let me try again.  I’ve been thinking about so many different people in my life and the difficult things that they have to go through and it’s hard explaining myself without specifics or belittling others peoples big life problems by comparing them to my flat tires.  So I’ll just use my own example I guess and you make the analogy.  LOTOJA is a big hard thing I’m doing, and I expected it to be hard in certain ways–sacrificing and scheduling so much time for training rides.  Waking up early, having to find babysitters, giving up doing other things I want to do because I have to ride a lot. I knew (know)  that physically it’s going to push me to my limits.  I expect sore, sore legs.  Sore butt, sore back, stretches of I-really-don’t-think-I can-go-30-more-yards-let-alone-30-more-miles.  And I did expect a flat or 2 or 3 in there. My dad has ridden 1000 miles this summer without a single flat –says he gets about 3 or so a summer.)  But flat after flat and then even more, even after I had done everything that I could do and more than could be expected to fix and eliminate the problem–then I got mad.  “This is so unfair!” I whined.

Life should be an equation, right?  Like if you spend the same amount of time, effort, or money working towards the same thing that other people have done–you should get what they have gotten.  Parenting should be hard in ways A, B and C–because you loose sleep, because tantrums require patience, because you must sacrifice your own goals.  Parenting shouldn’t be hard in ways like colic, a 2 year old still not sleeping through the night, raising a child with a disability, having a child die.

So when things cross that line between hard and unfair–it’s demoralizing.  It’s disappointing and defeating.  It’s hard to power through it and keep giving more when you’re getting nothing back.  It feels as if we aren’t getting something that we deserve. Like everyone else is gliding by and you’re getting shafted. Like the universe is just being a big fat unreasonable jerk.

So to anyone out there suffering from something unfair, I don’t want to tell you to cheer up or be patient or that it will pass.  I want to give you one giant fist pump of solidarity (Lauren, totally just stole that phrase from you, sorry, couldn’t figure out a better way to say it) and tell you that’s so STUPID.  I hate that things are unfair.  I hope it gets worked out and that you get what’s yours.

ain’t nobody happy

Morale is low at the Staples place.  Well, I guess technically speaking, since Tanner isn’t actually at the Staples place, and Camryn is asleep with positively no morale issues whatsoever, I’m the only one here with low morale.  But gosh dang it if I don’t have enough of it to fill up all the rooms, so it feels like I can speak for the whole place.  Don’t you worry, it’s a temporary sort of low morale, but it sure has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week over here.

Tanner is working his first ever “on-call” shift at the hospital tonight.  It’s a 7 p.m.-7 a.m. shift and the optimistic part of my brain hoped that he wouldn’t get called in at all but, at 6:55 as we made our way out of the canyon coming from a father’s day picnic with my family and regained cell phone service . . . ring ring, “come to work” and *pop* there goes my bubble bursting along with any hopes of quality husband time, a relaxing brass band in the park or the post-picnic steak dinner I was going to cook that happened to be the only thing I managed to plan for father’s day.  (I didn’t even manage a card, but if I had, it would have said something like “the house is clean and your daughter is alive, sorry that’s the best I could do, happy father’s day!”)  I heard a med-school-wife rumor that “on-call” was just a euphemism for “really terrible & long shift that you will be called in to work almost without exception” and I’m going to continue to really hope that’s not true even if it’s unhealthy to harbor irrational hopes.   I’m not the one who should be complaining though because I’m not the one who has to be working even though I’m exhausted, was kept up all night by my wife hacking her lungs up, and didn’t even get my father’s day nap or steak.

This week has just been the perfect(ly awful) storm of Tanner working really long hours and me being sick.  (and severe flat-tire blues, but I’ll rant about that later) If you don’t know me at all, I’M A HUGE BABY ABOUT BEING SICK.  And what do you do when it’s 6 a.m., the baby is crying and ready to be up for the day, the husband just worked a 14 hour day and has another 12 hour one coming, but the wife has been coughing all night, feels suuuuper lousy and needs her sleep to recover?  whose turn is it?  It’s kind of a lose-lose because either I do it, or I feel guilty the whole time that Tanner is doing it.  (my little sister said tonight in her best sarcastic voice that we make parenting look really appealing)

Here are some good things though since this post is turning out to be a real downer and I keep being reminded that people have much bigger problems going on aaaand I once read that self pity is the most unattractive of all traits and that sounds like it’s probably true.  1) 3 different people made me dinner this week because I know some awesome ladies.   2) I had this epically awesome realization around 11:30 last night that I am no longer pregnant or nursing and therefore I CAN TAKE NYQUIL!!!  there was much rejoicing and choruses of angels because people, I haven’t popped so much as an aspirin for the past 9+14+3 months (pregnancy+nursing+time since I stopped nursing).  I know there are some medications you can take, but I never know which ones (& they’re not the good ones) and I usually steer clear of medication anyway if I can help it.  So it didn’t even once cross my mind until day 4 of my cold that medicine exists and sometimes sick people take it to feel better.  And nyquil is my best friend!   (apparently though it worked only well enough to keep me unconscious but not well enough to keep me from coughing all night)

Completely unrelated:  here is a super classy photo of my baby.   I’ll be in a better mood next post, promise.


The end.

bloggity blogging

I get excited from really dorky things sometimes like just starting to write without any sort of plan and seeing what happens.  So!  here I go, bloggity blogging away.

I just got home from a bike ride to Vivian park (1st parenthesis tangent of probably too many:  they are building a bridal veil falls snack bar.  what??  I feel so wrong about that.)  and Tanner just left for class, and Camryn just went down for a nap.  This never happens because without fail, no matter what time of day, Camryn takes her naps right exactly during the 2 hours out of 24 that Tanner is going to watch her while I bike ride.  Like, falls asleep right before he walks in the door and wakes up as he leaves, which is so mind blowingly unfair that I can’t handle it sometimes and is exhausting because she needs the most attention right when I most need a break.  Anyway, today she finally did things right, played with dad for 2 hours and was exhausted when I got back (with a spongebob youtube left on the laptop, pretzels and sticky popsicle wrappers all over the house, and a very messy bed.  dad is so much more fun than mom)

so!  it was time to raid the fridge for fajita leftovers.  (what’s better than awesome leftovers? leftovers from the in-laws house that you didn’t even have to cook for yourself in the first place) and at first I couldn’t find them and Tanner was gooooing to die if he had eaten them all without saving me some.  Tanner, if you’re reading and you were feeling some strange really awful energy vibes coming at you from somewhere in the universe during pathophysiology class,  that was me and I’m sorry.  I found them and I take back all the awful things I thought about you.

Yesterday at the Staples household, we had a family dinner to meet my in-laws new in-laws (the funnest of all party scenarios!)  but really, I take back my sarcasm, it was fun.  and I inherited two awesome high quality hand-me-up pencil skirts from my little sister-in-law.  In what world and I skinnier than Anne Staples???  Biking does a lot of things to my body that I don’t like (really dorky tan lines, having to pee 3 times in the last 30 minutes if you had to know, being sore always) but being able to inherit Anne’s clothing isn’t one of them!  They’ll probably only fit me until about 3 days after I stop training for LOTOJA, but we’ll love this while we can.  Thanks anne!

and guess what guess what guess what? Tanner is almost done with spring term which means summertime finally!   A summertime that includes him in the picture instead of always at class or work that is.  So we will be hitting 7 peaks tonight (thank you $20 pass of all passes christmas gift) and I may or may not be booking every second of our time for the next 6 weeks with all manner of summertime water parks, early morning hikes, outdoor concerts, zoo visits, rodeos, farmers markets and the like.  and of course biking.  so. much. biking.

I helped  a neighbor move a few weeks ago who was moving on after BYU to graduate school, and I was fully prepped to feel jealous and with I was in their shoes, but was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t.  Originally our plan was to be moving out of Provo around this time, off to medical school in a different state, starting the next phase in our lives–a phase that I’ve been really excited for for a long time and I really thought that I’d be so done with Provo by now (6 years!  I’ve lived here for 6 years!) but unexpectedly– the longer I’m here, the more I love Provo.  What’s not to love?  (haters,  don’t answer that) I can definitely be just fine living in Mt. Timp’s shadow for one more year.

peace out and happy Monday

Sundays–take notes

Yesterday (well, Sunday was yesterday when I started this post) was the kind of Sunday that every Sunday should be.   All of the other Sundays should listen up, take notes, and try their very hardest to follow the perfect example they’ve been given. It’s wonderfulness stemmed mainly from Tanner not having to work.  He’s been scheduled a lot on Sunday’s lately (I hate it) and when he does have one off it’s usually because we have a family dinner or event to attend up in Kaysville.  And though I can’t complain about having big awesome families who are close enough to spend Sunday dinners with –oh, I live for relaxing Sunday’s at home with my family when we have nowhere to be.

We ate popsicles in bed.  We went to church to sing hymns, take the sacrament, and to worship God.  We took pre-church AND post-church naps.  Glory glory Hallelujah.  I even got time to sit alone in peace and quiet and finish reading a book.

We took a walk around the neighborhood discussing what is probably our all-time favorite topic:  the house we dream of building someday.  There is an old and beautiful 2 1/2 story blue victorian on 2nd north that we walk past and admire, nodding our heads–yes, yes, yes.  We want that and that and that and more.  Tall and skinny, no basement, big bay windows, charm galore, towering trees.  We want a wrap-around porch, lots of deck space, an orchard, garden, and chickens in the back.  We could talk about it for days and days. Give us a decade or two to get there–there are many pennies to be saved.

June means a brass band performing in the park on Sunday evenings.  Let’s pause here for a minute–brass band evening in the park–doesn’t that just sound good??  Like, sound in your soul like that’s the kind of thing that people are meant to be spending their time doing?  Like, if you are attending brass band concerts in the park, you are just living your life right.  right?  Right.  It was cool, shady, green, and nice.  really nice.

Camryn only stayed in this stationary recline for about .5 seconds before wandering off, necessitating a follower parent.  But still-it was nice.






Later there was the roasting of s’mores in a neighbors backyard, accompanied by peach cobbler.  I don’t even like cobbler, but this neighbor knows a thing or two about proper cobbler proportions being heavy on the cobbler, low on the fruit and it was delicious.  Bravo Mandy, bravo.

It’s hard to just enjoy such a Sunday for itself, rather than spending the whole day wishing they could all be this way.  I know that there are many Sunday’s in my future (and holidays for that matter) that Tanner will be working.  Remember his new orderly job?  He’ll be on call from 7 in the p.m. to 7 in the a.m. on the 4th of July.   People still injure themselves on the Sabbath and holidays, unfortunately. So I guess I need to just need to appreciate the ones like this, as few and far between as they may be.

So later, Sunday,  it’s been real.

30 good {may} things

I bet you all love how you never know if I’m going to pump out 7 blog posts in a week–or one.  I like to mix it up.   So, 30 good things–March petered to an early end, April was skipped altogether, but for May, I’m back in full swing!  Without further ado:

1~ Hobble Creek Canyon.  holy moly.

2~ clean bed sheets

3~ baby shorts

4~ wearing a new shirt

5~ Oregon.  Just thinking about Oregon makes me happy

6~spring storms

7~ meaningful compliments

8~ sleeping with the windows open

9~ The new Murdock Canal trail.  yay!

10~ watching my little baby walk down the sidewalk, all wobbly with zombie arms–JOY

11~Even more roadtrip time with Tanner (impromptu day trip to Rexburg, ID)

12~ my mother grandmothers, and all of those mothers that came before us

13~ being outside in the morning

14~ the Timpanogos Cyclery employees being so nice

15~  Kings of Leon pandora station

16~ pancakes for dinner

17~ getting a package in the mail

18~ creative juices

19~ How green Provo’s mountains are this spring

20~ riding our scooter

21~addressing envelopes

22~ Tanner getting a new job

23~ a cuddly snuggly baby even if it is because she’s sick

24~ I realized I’ve been very blessed to be happy, content and occupied alone mosts nights while Tanner is working.  As opposed to depressed, bored, feeling sorry for myself that my husband is at work every night.

25~ the smell of home depot

26~ buying flowers

27~ weekly date night.  best idea of my life to start making this a thing.

28~ going to bowling league with my husband to fill in for one of his buddies and getting the best score out of everyone.  love that.

29~ the canyon the day after a rainstorm

30~  This NY times article kind of made my day.  Weird topic, I know, but I really appreciate a well written, entertaining, and thought provoking article.  They just feel so good.  I need my Atlantic Monthly subscription back.

31~ giving DI a carload of my possessions/junk/unwanteds.  Getting rid of stuff is so strangely empowering.

~Onward to June~