Bear Lake + back to reality

For part of our trip home, we spent a week at Bear Lake with the Staples. We stayed in Paris, Idaho at Tanner’s sister’s husband’s parent’s cabin (got that? ) It was pretty much picture perfect summer getaway bliss. My sister and brother in law spent just about every other weekend here with their boat and I am jeeeeeealous. I’m still having major cabin envy over here (not to mention actual-participation-in-these-things-called-weekends envy, but that’s for another day). Just look at this adorable place.

IMG_2811 Though if I’m going to be totally honest, I was head over heads smitten with the one across the street. . .IMG_2849

How cute is that?!?! Once we dig ourselves out from under mountains of med school loans,(we just hit 6 figures! no turning back!) a vacation home is definitely something we’ve got our hearts set on.


This cracked me up–Camryn is apparently already too cool to smile for a photo with her dad!

We hiked,IMG_2829 IMG_2834



and ate fruit loops with cousins. These girls. Oh man. They fought like crazy the whole time but were joined at the hips. Camryn may not be able to grow hair past her shoulders but she’s about a head taller than them!IMG_3097IMG_3099 IMG_3100 IMG_3124   IMG_2852 IMG_2854

siblings reunitedIMG_3127

The lake was gorgeous and amazing and isn’t Idaho just so underrated?IMG_3128

the kiddos “hot tub”IMG_3130 IMG_3131 IMG_1520 IMG_1526 IMG_1528 wakeboardingIMG_1530 IMG_1535

a couple “staples family photoshoot” outtakesIMG_1537 IMG_1550 IMG_1578 IMG_2867

We hiked up to this beautiful Bloomington Lake, where Dana and Maren (go Maren!) + the men jumped off a rope swing into the freezing cold water because I haven’t grown up from my 12 year old self who can’t not jump off the cliff, down the mountain, into the river, etc. if all the boys are doing it. IMG_2862IMG_2871


Anne just got back from Tokyo and is throwing down peace signs like she’s our aisian foreign exchange student. But I mean, doesn’t she actually look like she could be?IMG_2887

Thank you, Staples for the wonderful vacation! The older we get, the more trips we plan ourselves, and the more children we schlep along with us, we realize how much time, energy, money, and planning that goes into these things, so thank you thank you thank you!

As I write this I am exercising all of my will power not to scratch the crap out of my arms which are covered in what I think is poison ivy but could potentially be leprosy. While I am practically drowning myself in calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream, Tanner is pulling his 4th 17 hour on campus day in a row. So I think it’s safe to say that we are having significantly less fun after our return from vacation.

On the bright side, I hit a curb this week, blew a tire, and had to replace all 4 which cost me enough to almost make me cry. Oh wait no, that was also crappy.

But for reals on the bright side, I got to sneak away for shakes last night with some great friends. If second year is going to be a whole lot harder than first year, at least I already have friends this time around! Also, I grilled pizza tonight for the first time and I feel like I’ve just opened a new chapter in our lives where I am on a quest/journey to perfect this art and we just eat a whole dang lot of grilled pizza. I definitely get like a D for presentation and photography, but it was delicious and thats all that matters.


That pitiful little huddle of cherry tomatoes represents the entirety of my crop so far. 5. And I lost half of one through the grill grate, so really 4 1/2. WTF Missouri, why aren’t I getting tomatoes? But the real question is, why don’t I have even one single zucchini?? I didn’t even know it was even possible to fail at growing zucchini. At least my basil is flourishing.


I have no good ending so. . . The End.


Summer I love you

Suuuuuuuummmmer.  Summer summer summer. I LOVE summer. Summer was amazing. Many other med school families told us to enjoy having an actually summer break because after 1st and 2nd years, “summer break” as we know it will cease to exist. As will Christmas break and all holidays in general for that matter, but anyways–we did. We enjoyed the hell out of it. We completely and utterly exhausted ourselves with fun.

We had 5 weeks total–a week here in Kansas City, 3 weeks in Utah (our first time back since moving last summer), and then another week back home in KC to recuperate, relax, not unpack 10 luggages, and gear back up for the new school year.

We camped, hiked, swam, boated, beached, napped, and dated. We literally went on twice as many dates during our stay in Utah as we had during the entire school year before it. Gotta take advantage of the abundance of free babysitters while we can! We’d put the kids to bed most nights, hand our parents the baby monitor, and then go to a movie. Because the Kaysville theater is the greatest and only $2! We really miss having a dollar theater around. And, you know, our parents, we miss them too 😉 We saw Woman in Gold, Age of Adaline, Inside Out, & one night my sister let us borrow her truck and we took it to the drive in to see Jurassic Park. I loved them all and loved spending so much time with Tanner, and just doing a normal thing like going to a movie without it being this whole scheduling circus of figuring out a night Tanner can actually go and arranging a babysitter, and arranging when I can go babysit for whoever is babysitting for me, (to avoid, heaven forbid, actually paying a babysitter) and having a movie night out be an ultra special occasion. In hindsight, that’s what July was for me–the immense relief and joy of having certain things be a matter of course instead of a rare luxury–working out and going to yoga classes without having to arrange ahead of time, going out with friends, conversations with Tanner without a time limit, sleeping in half the mornings, having a second parent around and the whole sub-list that comes with that! Oh, and being outside at night. I hadn’t really realized that I am almost never ever ever outside past like 6 p.m. because that’s when I feed my kids dinner and put them to bed and it was just so so glorious to be outside every night.

I’m holding on to pictures of a couple of the trips we took with our families to post later, but here’s everything else we did!

Gladstone Community Pool

It’s kind of a new thing that you can evaluate Tanner stress level by the length of his facial hair.  This is a couple days after finals when he hadn’t quite recovered yet.   IMG_2685 IMG_2690

We went to this place and watched this rad marble making demonstration, and I think Tanner was so tired he wanted to die but I thought it was sooooo cool, and made us stay for another. IMG_2727IMG_1504

Tanner took Camryn to Chuckie Cheese on a daddy daughter date and I’m pretty sure she had the best day of her lifeIMG_2709 IMG_2712  IMG_2716 IMG_2719

Barbeque with some other 1st year (now 2nd year!) med school families. You know you’re in med school when all the guys are over-grilling the meat and discussing the various diseases we’d all get if it’s not thouroughly cooked. IMG_2728

Raspberry picking with the Johnsons and HanchettsIMG_2737

4th of July fireworks at Davis HighIMG_2750

Pace’s! Cherry rainbows forever and ever IMG_1513

Date night to antelope island. Tanner just walked in and came up behind me and said “oh my gosh look how happy we were, that seems so far away! It’s over, it’s all over!” #medschool.  It seriously was one of my favorite dates we’ve ever been on. Why have I never been to antelope island?? This is 15 minutes from the house I’ve lived in my whole life and I really don’t think I’ve ever set foot on it.  It was gorgeous, we “hiked” a mile up to this spot and watched the best sunset ever. Antelope island has one of the largest remaining populations of bison left in North America, and even though we were on the other side and didn’t see a single one, I had buffalo nightmares the entire night long. Did you people know I am terrified of animals? I’m learning this as an adult. Like, what is scarier than a real live giant mean ugly buffalo for reals??IMG_1637 IMG_1642 IMG_1635  Camryn is super into UNO these days and begged anyone and everyone all day long to play it with her.  My parents took the brunt of it, but here is Maddy serving her time.   IMG_2754

We blessed Drew 🙂 It was most of our families first time meeting him. This picture makes me so happy, look at all these amazing men in my sons life! Especially his awesome dad. Ryan and Zach we missed you!IMG_2757 IMG_2788 IMG_2767IMG_2778

ok really though, the following 2 pictures: Bramhall hair (that’s my little sister Maddy)+ Villavicencio hair (I don’t have a picture of my sister in law, but these are her daughters Jazzlyne and Kassandra) and my brothers babies are going to have amazing hair!!

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game night @ the RawsonsIMG_3061

El burrito with my parentsIMG_3091 IMG_3093

A big highlight of the trip for me was dinner with these lovely just really really really awesome bff’s of mine. Oh guys I miss you.IMG_2912

they’re funny and fun and make me happyIMG_2924

holla to Taeler and Kelsey who I also loved hanging out with and didn’t get pictures with which I’m annoyed at myself for! And I’m really sad I didn’t get to see more of you, especially my Provo friends, so next time!

Drive-inIMG_2933 IMG_2909 IMG_2906

My dad is really into biking and Tanner is really into France so they watch the Tour de France together. Also, Tanner got my mom totally hooked on HGTV.IMG_2897

Kaysville splash padIMG_2901 IMG_2900

Raiding the parentals garden.  All the raspberries I could eat!IMG_2805

Croquet with the Staples. Tanner and I killed it.  I mean, it’s croquet, so I don’t actually care. . . but we won.  For the record. IMG_3121

This beautiful lady on the left is Kelsey (my little brother’s wife) and she’s having a baby next month, so we threw her a shower. I’m really sad I won’t be there to meet the little guy when he’s still brand new and tiny! You only get so many opportunities in life to hold a new new baby.

The beautiful lady on the right works at H & M and has this awesome new habit of cleaning out her closet into my suitcase because she’s a sucker for her employee discount and has way too many clothes. It’s really working out for me.

The lady in the middle is my mom, she’s beautiful too!IMG_3321 IMG_3320_2

Camryn was super proud and insistent that she pull her own luggage all around the airport.  We had a 5:15 flight. oh the things to do to save $$.IMG_3140

This is the only picture we have from the entire last week of vacation because all we did was lay around and binge watch the Mindy Project.IMG_1725

Bye Summer, it’s been real.

Well hi

I’m just poking my head in to break my dry blogging spell over here! I’ll probably post about our lovely awesome soul rejuvenating month long summer break later (count on it, I’m like, 90% committed) but that’s a behemoth post the likes of which has been known to stop bloggers in their tracks for months, and I don’t believe in catch-ups. Tanner started school on Monday and it was really really sad to see him go after getting to spend pretty much every second with him for all of July. It was so great though and I feel like all the areas where I felt so depleted are all filled back up to the brim again. Life is good. Most of the break was go go go (we had things to do and people to see!) and now I’m mostly sticking around home which typically makes me crazy and lonely and bored, but is what I totally need right now. (And what my house needs too because oh man I did the absolute bare minimum of housework during our break and the place looks it!) After being gone so long (we were in Utah for 3 1/2 weeks) it’s always nice that old boring routine things are new again and my wanderlust has been satisfied. Days spent cleaning, reading stories, bathing children and making dinner are totally doing it for me for now, and it’s been really awesome to get back to bookbinding–I totally missed it ! I forced myself to take the entire month off even though I was tempted to work even more than normal since I had tanner around to watch the kids. I needed and he needed that not to happen though and I’m glad I took it off. 2nd year is apparently one big bad beast. That’s because they take step 1 boards (big scary tests) at the end of it which play a large role in determining where you get a residency and what kind of doctor you’ll get to be for the rest of your life, no biggie. Tanner was accepted to be an anatomy TA and tutor which we are really excited about but adds to his stress and hours. He’s pretty dead set these days on vascular surgery which is hard to get into and wants to do everything he can to make sure he’s able to get the residency he wants, so don’t feel bad if you don’t hear from him much this year! (Says his wife to herself)  

 Playing letters bingo this morning because this girl starts preschool next month! I read to her a ton but I’ve been pretty terrible about teaching her letters and sounds (probably because she usually yells at me to stop trying to make her learn -true story- THREE oh three you are. . . a challenge) but I bribed her with a game and ok candy, I bribed her with candy and that is always astoundingly effective 

This pretty much speaks volumes about drew’s life, poor guy. He’s such a good sport.

  And no matter what she does he thinks she’s the funniest person alive. No one can make him laugh like Camryn, even when she’s, like, spraying water in his eyes. 

Later you lovely people you

Crawling to the finish line

Hello readers of my blog. Apologies if  I seem like the biggest whiner & complainer in the whole world sometimes, but sarcastic hyperbolic humor seems to be my coping mechanism for . . . everything. Rest assured that I am grateful to my bones for my children and husband and his educational opportunities, and that I am well aware that mine are largely first world problems.

With that said, we lost power this weekend for 48 hours and it kiiiiind of felt like the universe was playing a cruel joke on me. Like, “you thought those last couple weekends of Tanner’s constant study hours plus a tantruming toddler and miserable colds all around—you thought that was hard? Well you get to do it again this weekend, except without electricity!!!”

Being a stay at home mom sometimes feels a whole lot like solitary confinement. Throw in the med school wife aspect (i.e. mostly absent husband) and getting sick is just totally miserable. Almost all my coping mechanisms involve getting out of the house to interact with other adults, and/or getting babysitters to give me a little break from the kiddos to rejuvenate. All those options are off the table with a snotty coughing kid, so you just sit around the house going NUTS, until they finally get better just around the time that you start feeling like crap because you caught it from them. It’s FUN. Anyway, then right when I started feeling better–that’s when our power went out.

I’m an idiot and didn’t charge my phone the night before, so. . . no phone for me. And I know that for millions of years, women took care of small babies at home all day without the advantages of smart phones, but those women were probably all hot messes of unstable mental health, am I right?

I got to explain to Camryn about 8,000 times that no we can’t watch a show. Nope, not on the computer. or the t.v. or the ipad. or my phone. I can’t make you toast, or a smoothie, pancakes, or popcorn. And we cannot dance to music. I guess it’s a very confusing concept when you’re three that all of these things are related somehow.  ELECTRICITY!!!! oh my lands, I am grateful for electricity. Let me just take this moment to give a personal shout out to Lucy & Ethel (my washer/dryer), my dishwasher, fridge, freezer, blender, popcorn popper, griddle, stove, oven (even the disposal, geez), hairdryer/straightener (haha j/k I never use those anymore) white noise machine (that one is important), AIR CONDITIONER.  oh and lightbulbs.  All the lightbulbs. Holla, computer (Facebook, blogs, outside world connection) t.v. (hulu), and PHONE. Did I say phone? I love you Wi-Fi, forever and ever. We ate nothing but fruit and plain bread for every single meal (it is so apparent to me that I could never hack vegetarianism. I LOVE ME MY MEAT) while all of the food in my fridge slowly spoiled. Luckily, there wasn’t much there as the week before had sapped my will to live grocery shop and meal plan, and I did save all the meat in my freezer by taking it to a friends house (thanks Jana!) And I have to say thank heavens it was only 82 degrees both no power days, because a hot house may have just done me in. I was watching a friends 3 kids all day that day while they packed up to move, and it was slightly overwhelming, but actually really good to have someone for Camryn to play with. Hopefully their mom was fine with them eating a million peanut butter sandwhiches and being filthy from the back yard most of the day since I wouldn’t let them come in and wake up the baby! (no sound machine)

When I woke up on day two and it became apparent that the power outage was going to stick around, I decided to pull on my bootstraps or whatever and get myself out of the house for 10 hours and just hope and pray that by the time I came back, I’d have power. The grocery store, the gas station, the pet store, stopping by 2 friends houses, 6 hours spent at Loose Park, and a church activity later, we came home to POWER! Hallelujeah.

Loose park is a total gem and it was a gorgeous day. I make good choices sometimes. My friend Aimee came and met me at the splash pad which was a welcome dose of adult conversation!

IMG_1477 IMG_1479 IMG_1482 Camryn has started taking photos, it’s cute.  I have many many awkward photos of me, the walls, and Camyrn’s hands, but she’s getting better!IMG_1483 Loose Park Rose GardensIMG_1487 IMG_1488 IMG_1489 IMG_1492 IMG_1494

Here’s a couple more unrelated just cuz my kids are cute.

IMG_2555 IMG_2524 IMG_2375 IMG_2313

Now it’s less than 12 hours until Tanner has officially completed his first year of medical school and we are FREE for one entire month. Phew. WE MADE IT (sorry for all the caps in the post. they are, in fact, necessary.) I am excited out of my mind. Mostly for all of the sleep I’m going to get, let’s be honest. I am going to sleep so so so much.

Miss Camryn

Camryn Camryn Camryn. Oh my little three year old is just kind of killing me right now. You know I love this girl to pieces, but she’s making it as difficult as she can to like her lately. She’s just pushing all of my buttons–repeatedly and systematically. Here’s just a sampling of her recent behaviors.

Running around in the backyard naked. I let her play back there with Bear a lot and literally watch her through the window, or check on her every few minutes. Well, she was playing with water, got her clothes wet, and the next time I looked, she’d ditched them altogether. I hope the employees at the chiropractor’s office behind our house enjoyed the free show. It was slightly amused until I realized that not only was she free roaming her happy little self around the yard, she also had thought it would be fun to poop–like bear–in the grass.


Then when I left her alone with Drew for two minutes, noticed things had gotten a little quiet, and. . .


I had to duck into the bedroom to show Tanner/hide our laughter so she wouldn’t think we were happy about it. Drew hadn’t made a peep, just lay there and took it–he’s really going to have to learn to defend himself if things keep going the way they are.


The next morning I woke up to find her on the couch helping herself to a pack of oreos for breakfast. I had no idea how many she’d already eaten, but Tanner saw the pack later and estimated more than half a sleeve.

Same thing happened with the toothpaste.

Then during her quiet time, I discovered she’d coerced Bear into her room with her, and I found them both in Drew’s crib (sans Drew, don’t worry) with Camryn holding on tight to both of Bear’s back legs and dancing around with her. I don’t even want to think about how she even got the dog into the crib in the first place, and unfortunately this is only one example in a long list of bear torturing episodes.

This times 10

And, I kid you not, all of that happened within a 48 hour window.

I feel like she’s reverted back to the early toddler stage of being into everything. Every time I turn around she’s pouring out her milk onto the dog, dumping out her container of 500 tiny elastics, dropping the UNO cards down the crack between our bed and the wall, stabbing our hardwood with a fork, rubbing her 5 minute old pigtails with a couch cushion, deliberately flooding the bathroom floor during her bath, refusing to let me unbuckle her carseat. I’ve about had it.

This girl needs a long vacation with plenty of cousins to play with!!

Terrorism can be tiring.

To end on a good note, she’s also the most adorable kiddo, with the best curls on the planet that love this humidity, and tells anyone who will listen all about her “fancy” shoes.

And she always smiles and tells me she’s sorry and that I’m the best mom. It’s cute/borderline manipulative. IMG_2083

Camryn, you are officially under the mothers curse. I hope that you have children just. like. you. IMG_2085

Mr. Drew

Oh heavens, this little baby is the sweetest most perfect thing in my life right now. I remember a few years ago, probably when Camryn was a baby, asking my older sister, mother of 4 (now 5), do they get easier or harder as they get older? She emphatically and immediately said “EASIER! They get so so so much easier, like every single day is easier than the one before. Nothing is harder than the newborn stage.” Well, you know what, Jessica was wrong! I know I’ve said it before, but I love love love love love babies. (Not to mention I also have loved pregnancy and labor and Jess totally hated that part too, so I guess everyone is different) Babies are the best! Which is kind of ironic, because if you’d asked me before having kids, I think I was really worried about sleep deprivation taking a heavy toll on me. I do need my sleep, but I’d still rather be up all night that disciplining all day. But that is for my next post–starring Camryn–who I am on significantly worse terms with currently, stay tuned. But Drew?? Oh my heart, Drew sleeps well and he eats well, never cries, requires minimal attention, loves to cuddle (but will just lay on the ground forever when I’m too busy to hold him), and is just the. most. delightful. human. The highlight of my day is kissing the heck out of his squishy baby tummy during diaper changes and listening to him squeal with laughter. I love this kid. He sleeps all the time and doesn’t talk back to me and did I mention his squishy skin? It’s so squishy!

If I could, I’d maybe just live the first year over and over and skip toddlerdom altogether.

IMG_1613IMG_1577 IMG_1585 IMG_1595  IMG_1668

well well well. . .IMG_1671

6 month shotsIMG_1673 IMG_1675

oh hey studIMG_1699 IMG_1724 IMG_1728 IMG_1741 IMG_1744 IMG_1758 IMG_1759 IMG_1810 IMG_1812 IMG_1813

Camryn asked me why he puts everything in his mouth and I explained that he was growing teeth. I elaborated by saying, “Did you know that someday, all of your little teeth are going to fall out and you’re growing to grow new bigger teeth?” She thought about that and said, “Ya. And then my eyes are going to fall out too and I’m going to get new eyes that are bigger and bigger!!”

IMG_1852 IMG_1865 IMG_1897 IMG_1899 IMG_1923 IMG_2014 IMG_2030 IMG_2041 IMG_2047 IMG_1429

He started sticking out and curling his tongue all the time and it’s so freaking cute. IMG_2068 IMG_2071

Just look at his squishy baby rolls and pretend I look presentableIMG_2091 IMG_2101 IMG_2116 IMG_2121 IMG_2125 IMG_2133 IMG_2134 IMG_2162 IMG_2238 IMG_2252 IMG_2254

This is the part where we all break down

Ooooooooo k. Year one needs to be over now. Can I get an a-men from any fellow 1st years?? I mean, no one is dying, or bleeding, or having legitimate mental breakdowns or anything but. . . we might maybe be teetering on the edge of those things and no one wants to see anyone fall of that cliff. I think this is what they call burnout. And I’m also pretty sure that our near-the-end-of-2nd year (and 4th year, and all of residency) selves will look back on this one day and laugh at how cute it was to think that we knew anything about burnout. But that’s ok. Baby steps. I keep thinking back to college (uh, I just barely, just now realized that I have been done with college just as long as I was in college and that just felt weird) and how finals week in the 3rd week of April always felt like it was really pushing the limits on my sanity and how by the end of it I felt like if I had to so much as read the back of a cereal box before September it would be just too much. So ten points to Tanner for trekking on through all these endless months of studying. His school year is 11 MONTHS long, so we have 3 more weeks to go! We’re all feeling it. Camryn keeps sighing and saying “I’m falling apart”, and she didn’t come up with that one on her own folks!

The unit right after spring break was pathology and it was anything but an “ease back into things slowly” unit. It basically involved countless slides of, well, diseased body parts, and I kind of felt like I was married to someone with some sort of sick and twisted pornography problem. Many times, I walked my unsuspecting self into a room to find some disturbing and graphic image on the screen. And many more times, Tanner would hurry and close a window saying “you definitely don’t want to see that!” IMG_2172
Guys, I’m talking gross stuff here–there’s your average run of the mill tumors, organ abnormalities, etc, but there’s also eyeballs growing hair, infected fingernails, rotting penises. One night, the first thing Tanner said when he sat down to eat dinner with us was, “I might die if I have to look at one more butt fistula.” I don’t even know what that means but I am feeling pretty great about my English major right now.

So ya, I definitely have multiple videos on my phone right now of Tanner asleep on the couch mid study session, open mouthed and snoring, with about 20 times more hair on his face and head than his average day at BYU. I’ve learned to speak slowly and clearly as we near the end of the day and to use only simple words and short sentences. One night I was reading an article and laughed out loud at a funny part. He asked me what I was laughing at, so I read him a few sentences from the article. It went totally over his head the first time, after the second time he said “wait what, so you mean. . . <insert confused gaze>”, and the third time I read it so slowly and explained it so thoroughly that the joke was dead. Dead as a doornail.

Don’t worry though. We’re fine. We have plane tickets in hand for our trip home to Utah in July and we are sooooo so so excited for a break and family, swimming, camping and free babysitters as far as the eye can see. And I hear second year is a breeze. Oh wait, no, actually I hear 2nd year is the worst thing ever and that boards suck your soul. But I’m just going to stick my head in the sand and pretend that they’re saying it’s a breeze.