No real reason for this post other than to show off some adorable pictures of Hyrum. One day he was just sitting in Derek's lap and he looked so content so I had to get a picture. It was a Zen moment.

This one was a result of my efforts to get some pictures of Hyrum and a blanket that someone had made for him to send in the thank you card and I finally got a picture of one of my favorite faces that he makes.

Thanks for indulging me!

The events of the last couple of weeks have provided opportunities to reconnect with old friends and I was reminded again how fun it is to get together and reminisce. In the busyness of life I'm finding it more and more important to try and take time and remember all of the experiences, good and bad, that defines who I am.

So, at the risk of incurring the wrath of some of you who are pictured below for publicly releasing these photos, here is an eclectic assortment of pictures from the last 12 years or so. If nothing else, I hope it gives you a little chuckle as you see what we used to look like.

Josh Wheeler, Aaron Lee & myself at Hillcrest High School Graduation - May 25, 1995

The Wheelers (minus Joradan & Josh) the night before I left on my mission - May 12, 1998

At the airport before heading off to Germany - June 20, 1998

The Wellers at the airport sending me off- June 20, 1998

Andrea and I in the MTC - June 1998

District Passau - August 1998

Got Faith? I Am a Mormon. What more needs to be said? - March 2000

Eric as Darth Maul - Halloween 1999 (?)

Rockefeller Center in New York, NY - December 2000

Jennie Austin (Preece) & Dianna Douglas 9 1/2 Months before 9/11/01 - December 2000

Hiking up to Timpanogas caves in American Fork Canyon - June 2001

The best team the Religion Department at BYU has ever known :-) - May 2005

Our "Tangrenite" family at Martin's Cove. ROCK ROCK ON! - June 2004

Natalie's reception in IF showing off her new husband - July 1, 2006

Some of the Wheeler girls- July 1, 2006

Dan Adams (Our Stake Patriarch) and I teach the Young Women in our ward about "Black Magic" - August 2006

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity" - Proverbs 17:17
September 15, 2007

Aubrey, the wife of one of Derek's high school friends, is at rest today after a battle with breast cancer. It was only a little over a week ago that we had a special fast for her that she would be able to see her oldest son's baptism in person on the 23rd of this month. In honor of that hope I put on a pink necklace that I have worn every day since. That particular hope is gone now but I am just not ready to take it off yet. Maybe it means some thing else now. Maybe it's now only so I can honor her memory. It was only a week and a half ago that she relinquished her responsibility at the University of Utah for the class that she taught. It all went so fast. A blessing and a curse. I keep thinking about her children her oldest almost 8 and youngest around 5. They will remember her best through pictures, videos, audio tapes (or mp3s?), letters and stories. I know they took a lot of family vacations to make memories for them to treasure. I hope it is enough. I hope there will be grandmothers aunts and special friends that will somewhat fill the gap left in their lives although I know no one will ever completely fill it. Now I'm left feeling sorry for the lost opportunities, I should have taken. She never met Hyrum in person. We wives of the high school friends never got together to do that golf outing we talked about. We were going to have parties all summer. She always wanted us to get together more often and would jokingly use the "dying" card to give us guilt trips. Will we get together more often now? Would that be honoring her memory? Somehow I just keep thinking that it's backwards. Why wait till now to take the time? Why does it have to take something dramatic like this? How long will it last? I hope you all who read this will take the time this month to go and spend an evening with some friends that you haven't seen in awhile. Take that walk with your spouse. Go to Sunday dinner at your parents. Take your kids to the beach or park and take pictures with them individually. What ever you've been "meaning to do" with family or friends go and do it this month. And take pictures. Don't wait. Do it for Aubrey, even though you may not have known her. Life is too short. Make memories.

Aubrey and her family a few years ago Halloween.

Read about her here

Hyrum has never liked pacifiers. He would take them in the beginning but it was only under extreme duress and most of the time only from his dad. But now he'll never take it. We've tried every shape and size but he just acts like we're trying to gag him. He prefers his fist to anything else. "Why won't he take a pacifier?" I worried. That is surely easier to take away. I was known, in my family, for taking away pacifiers that were not needed and I had planned on being the same way with my son. He would only be given a pacifier when he needed it but a fist could not be given or taken away.

Then I realized the fist may not be so bad. The fist worked and it was always there. Life was happy then. He'd even put himself back to sleep in the middle of the night sucking on his fist. And that was great. I can get used to this I thought, no big deal. Of course I worried what he might be sucking off his fist but thought he's a baby what can he get into? I washed in between his fingers regularly to get out the finger fuzz. Everything was going to be ok. I never really worried about him sucking his thumb because he kept his thumb safely tucked in between his pointer finger and middle finger. Then came the time when that pointer finger would work it's way into his mouth. But then he'd just gag and start sucking on his intact fist again. Happiness continued. A fist would never become a habit. You never saw a three year old sucking on his fist. Then one Sunday in the hurried preparations for church we set him on the couch. I came back a few minutes later and to my horror...

He was sucking his fingers! There was no gagging there was no disgust there was only happy contented sucking of his fingers. This looked habit forming. I thought of all the horror stories of the extreme measures taken by numerous haggard parents at the end of their ropes. I thought of the diseases he could get. But as the days past he didn't seem to suck on his fingers that often. And most recently has decided that sucking on me is even more fun.

If you look carefully on my left arm you'll see a rather dark hickey left by my son. At any given time I have 3 to 4 hickeys on me and currently I have a pretty large one at the base of my neck. Fabulous! This is better, right?

Labor Day was nearly 100 degrees but we were told that the heat wave would end on Wednesday of that week. On Tuesday night we sat in our living room with all the windows open and the fan going. Storm warnings were issued for Utah county so we took everything off our porch that could fly away and waited. The wind began to blow and the temperature dropped. We heard rumors of tornados in Lehi and shut all of the windows. The sky got dark. The wind blew, lightning struck and thunder roared. We heard something and figured it was just something shifting on the porch. One of our neighbors came over to ask Derek's help to move his grill. As he ran back across the courtyard he saw that one of our neighbors trees had fallen directly between the apartment building and the car port. It couldn't have fallen any better. After the storm passed we ran out to look and take pictures.
Pictures don't show you just exactly how close it got to hitting the building and cars. (ours was one of them that could have been hit) Not long after our landlord came and started to cut it up with a chainsaw. The sound scared Hyrum so I took him inside and gave him a bath by the time he was done the tree was gone. Everyone went out to help and took care of it quick. It was scary but it was over quick.

It was Hyrum's first BYU game day on Saturday. We didn't have tickets and we couldn't have gone if we did because Derek was conducting at the stake baptisms at 5:00 so we went down to Provo early. We dressed Hyrum in his jersey and went to look for a polo shirt that Derek could wear to work on game days. The bookstore was packed with people buying BLUE shirts to wear to the game. True Fans wear blue they say. We left empty handed but decided we couldn't pass up the opportunity to go down to the cougar to get some pictures.

Hyrum thought it was all great fun. Although he was a little warm.

We also took the chance to go into the new Gordon B Hinkley Alumni Center. It is really nice. We got a drink and rested a bit on the comfy chairs before heading back to the car to head home.

While we listened to the game. (We're to cheap to pay more than $15 for cable) I was trying to get Hyrum to sit on the edge of the couch and like normal he was keeping his body stiff so that he would end up on his feet ( he much prefers to stand). I stood him up against the couch and he just stood there without me holding him. I reached for my camera and took a picture with one hand ready to catch him but he didn't even sway.

I did finally get him to sit but he didn't like it as much and strangely seemed much sturdier on his feet than he was on his seat.