The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Monday, July 30, 2007

Alarmed

RAP has just approached me in tears. "I need a beautiful dress!" she cries. I help her select a green flowered frock, with which she is overjoyed. She says, "I a princess!" She is exclaiming repeatedly, "Beautiful dress! It's beautiful! I love that!" I have often wondered if and when my little daughter was to become a girly girl. I want you to know that I have NEVER called her a princess and I'm very curious as to where she has learned this term. I know that some little girls just love wearing pretty dresses and choosing accessories and the like. I fear this a little bit, but have been prepared to accept it when the time comes. I have enjoyed hearing from my friend Misty, who has three girls, and how much she adores doing purely GIRLY stuff with them. I shall try to embrace the girly in myself.

By the way, I just found the CUTEST book on this topic - buy it immediately.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Evening Well Spent

Oh my. Such a lot happening, such a lot of blogging to do! However, it is now approaching midnight and I can't face it tonight. I'll just say that we have enjoyed a lovely summer evening - my parents invited us over to dinner at their awesome condo. The condo sits on the brink of a grassy gully and it's just gorgeous. We hauled dinner and blankets down there, ate fabulous chicken sandwiches with roasted red pepper and caramelized onions (yeah, they were SO good) and then sprawled on blankets and a hammock on the lawn while the kids frolicked and climbed all over us. What else is a summer evening for? I'll remember this night come January. And then I'll cry.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy Harry Potter Eve

By now, I guess it is officially Harry Potter Day, not just the eve of. It's 12:30 a.m. and I'm sitting on my friend Becky's couch, babysitting her sleeping children while she and her hubby are fighting the crowds for the new book. Is it wrong that I'm more excited today than I am on Christmas Eve? That could be because I'm not totally exhausted from all the work and effort that I have to do for....you know, that's a comment for another entry. Or perhaps a therapist. Back to Harry.

I decided to take CTP to the big party at the downtown library this evening. I had never been a party-goer for any of the other book releases, but as this is the final installment, I found I couldn't miss it. Becky joined me for the adventure, and it really was a treat. We got there shortly after it began at 6:00, so lines for various activities were still short. We stayed about an hour and a half, just as all the kids were leaving, and the stranger crowd (or shall I say 'more devoted' or possibly 'more energetic' folks?) started showing up. Good timing.


We attended "The Care of Magical Creatures" put on by Hogle Zoo; a serious improvement from our last library animal demonstrater 'Reptile Ray,' who was actually slated to perform later in the evening: we opted to skip that one. They did a terrific job with lots of animals, and had the presenters dressed as Hagrid, Hermione and Harry. We also visited the Owl Post, Wand Making, and Diagon Alley, from which we narrowly escaped before making an expensive purchase. CTP can be quite convincing (okay, I'm just a sucker) when he's wanting a new toy. Luckily Timothy the balloon man was there and he filled CTP's new toy desire with a balloon ray gun. CTP initially requested a cloud (?) but after the look of consternation on poor Timothy's face, we convinced him that a ray gun would be plenty fun. Indeed, CTP and a boy he was passing who had also been given a ray gun had an impromptu shoot out, resulting in the other boy getting hit and splaying himself across the floor very dramatically. He had flair, I tell ya. I was pretty impressed.

Well, not to mention being totally exhausted from today's adventures, I'm starting to wonder why I'm sitting here at the computer when I could be reading. Becky's husband gave me as a thank you gift for babysitting (besides a copy of the book - thanks!) a tattoo of the number seven with Harry's face on it. Troy recommended I apply it upside-down to my forehead, letting everyone know (if they didn't already) that I am, in fact, a Loser. Proud to be one, I say!

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Need Something To Do?


Do you ever have mornings when you wake up to a totally empty, unplanned day and your mood just drops...some days like that can be great, but today,...not great. Finally around lunchtime I had to pull myself out of the emotional gutter and get motivated. We piled in the car with a backpack full of sunscreen, bugspray and a camera, and headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon. This was a good idea. Our destination was Silver Lake, a small marshy lake at the very top of the canyon. I think it was at least 10 degrees cooler up there than in the valley, if not more. There was a cool breeze. Heaven. Silver Lake is perfect for kids - there's a little visitors' center with some fun activities and displays. CTP especially loved the sand box with rubber castings of animals' paws with which to make prints. Side note: I adore that CTP makes everything he does into a story or a game - he had been playing with those molds for about five seconds when suddenly each of them became a character and he was totally engrossed in a story.

Anyway, the other perfect kid aspect to the lake is that the entire thing is surrounded by a lovely boardwalk or pathway so it's not too exhausting for them to run around. There are fish and dragonflies and squirrels. We even got to see a moose out in the water. We didn't get too close, but it was fun to see. I felt so invigorated to be outside, smelling the wonderful lake smells, seeing families together, watching my kids running and exploring and getting excited about ducks and chipmunks and bugs. It's a great place to go when you need to go away. There were plenty of people there, but it certainly wasn't crowded. Perhaps the most memorable moment occurred as we were running along the boardwalk. CTP was running ahead, and I heard a splash behind me. I turn around - no RAP. Not too scary, because we were in the marshy area, not the lake area. I have to admit that I laughed when I found RAP because she had fallen right over the edge into some tall grass and was floundering in the shallow water miserably repeating, "Wet! Wet!" I sound like a horrible mother, but it was pretty funny. I grabbed her by the overall straps and hauled her out. She was only upset for, oh, 3.2 seconds and the she was off running down the boardwalk again. Here she is with her wet hair plastered to her little head, and her dignity slightly damaged:


After an hour and half at the lake we drove back down the canyon to find a good spot for playing in the river. We found the perfect place - a picnic sight with one little area where the river was slow and shallow. The kids immediately engaged in the mother of all river activities: throwing rocks. All children, and indeed, adults, love throwing rocks, and will do it for hours. And hours. I'll just say that if you ever have an extreme case of the BLAHS you need to get up to the mountains, or someplace very naturey and it helps if you can get dirty and wet too.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We Miss Peter!!!

Peter and Sheri, we wish you were here. Adam & Whitley are in town because Whit's little brother is coming home from his mission to the Philippines. Before all the returned-missionary parties start, A&W have been staying at my parents' house for a few days. We've really had a good time getting together and partying. Dinner at mom and dad's, brownies and School House Rock at Margaret's, Cafe Rio, a trip to the Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum, etc. etc. It's really been fun, and we've talked a lot about missing our baby brother Peter and his wife Sheri. Above is a picture in front of the museum, and below are other pix from the visit.



Monday, July 16, 2007

Harry Potter Review

Guess What!!!! I actually went to a movie in a movie theater with my husband. This is record breaking. Thank you, dear in-laws, for watching our kiddos.

I must clarify. I am not a fan of the Harry Potter movies. I am a fan of the books, and view the movies as necessary to see, but generally only once. I have enjoyed the visual imagery in the films but almost always have been not only unsatisfied but irritated by the scripts. It's not fair, really. How could books as good and detailed and fleshed out ever fit into a two hour movie? They can't. It really isn't a reasonable expectation. I must say, however, that Order of the Phoenix, the fifth movie, has exceeded my expectations completely. I thought it was a great movie. Now, this may have something to do with the fact that the fifth book has been my least favorite so far, but really, I thought it was so well done. I loved Professor Umbridge as played by Imelda Staunton. The pacing of the movie worked so much better than the other four, I found, and the creation of the dream sequences was truly frightening. Well done! And now I have only to cram in book six before Friday night....I'm shivering with excitement over the release of book 7. I can't decide if I'm going to try to slowly enjoy it, one chapter a night or wolf it down like usual. Let's face it, I'm a wolfer. And besides, if I don't wolf it, what if someone spoils it for me? As my friend Becky said, I want virgin eyes only when I get a hold of this book. We also have to decide if we're going to need two copies of the book so Troy and I won't fight over it....best of three falls for Harry!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Our Simpsons Family

On my brother's website, he posted some pictures of Simpson's characters that look exactly like him. I was shocked that he could locate these seemingly random cartoons that so resembled him and his wife! However, I then discovered that on the Simpsons website, you can create your own characters. It's pretty hilarious. Here is my take on our family:

Not So Good

This summer has been so full of wonderful activities, and they've all met our expectations. That is, until Wednesday. We went to the downtown library for a reptile show. It was listed in the calendar as such, and we were expecting a really neat demonstration of animals. Was I wrong to be expecting that? I don't think so.... Anyway, we were thinking it was going to be pretty neat so we even invited our friend Terri Lyn and her kids. It turns out that half the valley also was expecting something cool. We got to the library a little before 2:00, and within minutes the room was totally packed with very excited kids. Talk about sensory overload. It was loud and hot and just bubbling over with energy. Well, 2:00 came and went, and the librarian came in to tell us that "Reptile Ray" hadn't arrived yet, and if he didn't get there in five minutes then we'd do a puppet show instead. Oh how I wish it had been the puppet show. "Reptile Ray" (can you hear the sneer in my voice?) wanders in at 2:15, and proceeds to try to get his power point presentation working. Are you kidding me? Here is a room packed with 50 kids and their parents and he's messing around with the computer. Finally a librarian takes over the computer and he starts joking around with the kids in a manner displaying his obvious lack of experience talking with kids, especially in a group. I'll just say it was mayhem. People started trickling out of the room, and we should have gone too. Finally Mr. Reptile shows us his slide show, still shouting over the cacophony of voices, and then announces that he didn't bring any animals with him. Boooo. We left.

Luckily, it was a lovely hot day and the fountains were running full blast outside and we let the kids get totally soaked. Then we headed to 7-11 for free slurpee day! (The date was, after all, 7/11.)

After writing this rather nasty little note, I have to say that normally I'm thrilled with the library programs. I'm so glad we live in a neat city with lots to offer, and it's been so fun to take advantage of so many activities and opportunities. I love the library. And thanks to my mom, who always took us to cool library stuff as kids so I can pass the tradition along. Here is a darling picture of my friend's son in the fountain:


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Girl With Many Talents

I don't know how my daughter does it. She has this amazing sixth sense. It happens every time I sit down at the computer. She knows. It doesn't matter what she's doing or where she is - I think she can smell it, or she can feel a shift in the air the second I take my seat. Maybe she has bionic hearing. Whatever. All I know is that the instant I sit down, I hear the pat-pat-patting of her little feet running right for me. And all she wants is to climb on the desk (which she can do without assistance and sometimes despite my resistance) and sabotage whatever I'm doing. She also really enjoys....

...oh my gosh she's coming right now...

...okay. I got her distracted. Like I was saying, she really enjoys dumping out my container of pens or the one of stamps and membership cards. I'm very impressed with her timing, not to mention her uncanny ability to make a huge mess with as few materials and as little time as possible. Amazing.

Here is a video of RAP displaying another talent of hers: flailing and thrashing. I'm amazed that she performs this without injury.



We've had a quiet week since Independence Day - our poor valley is being suffocated in smoke from various fires in surrounding areas. It doesn't smell very nice. Plus we're around 100 degrees every day, so I haven't been very vigilant in getting us out of doors. Hopefully we'll get some cooler weather and a little moisture one of these days. What is this, a desert or something?

P.S. I'm going to reveal myself as the Harry Potter nerd that I am....only one week and four days until book seven.....

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Two Months

Today is the Fifth of July. I can not let the day pass without acknowledging our son, Matthew, who was born two months ago today.

How are we doing? It's a question we hear often, and just as often struggle to answer. As for myself, I think about Matthew often every day. I find that some moments I feel as if the entire experience wasn't real and it's all very distant. Other moments I remember that I should still be pregnant, due in six weeks; should be feeling hot and wretched and excited and full of a kicking baby boy. Then reality comes and I am filled with an aching sadness, as well as a shock that this really did happen. There have been nights when I lie awake in bed and relive the days of May 4th and 5th with absolute vividness, like it's happening again, and this I dread for its pain and also savor for the sweet memory of Troy and me and Matthew together.

Sometimes I want to say that the past two months have been hard, but this is not true. They have been sad. They have also been filled with new love and appreciation for my family. They have taught me humility and asked me to be honest with myself in new ways. They have given me the gift of seeing where my faith truly lies. They have given me gratitude for the loving people that fill up our lives. Thank you, my many friends who listen, even repeatedly, to the things I need to say. Thank you, my friends who have sent your love in so many ways.

Troy and I still are working on ways to remember Matthew, which is a comfort. We can give a little to him each day that way. It is a comfort also to cry, because we do not want to stop feeling sad, to stop feeling. I think Troy especially feels even gladness when he sheds tears because he can still mourn for Matthew. Sometimes I want to shout out to everyone that Matthew happened, that he came and went and we are aching. And sometimes I keep my secret pocket in my heart all to myself, protecting its holiness.

The truth is that we know that Matthew is well and fine. We selfishly wish him to be here with us, but trust that he doesn't need to be here. I adore my beautiful children and beautiful husband. I feel deeply content and cheerful, even joyful. I look forward to meeting Matthew. We are grateful for him because even his loss has brought us blessings; sweetness to our lives.

Thank you for reading. I just couldn't let this day go by without saying the truth about what it means to us.




Paintings by Brian Kershisnik, who has captured many things in his work. My dear friend Haley gave me a book of his paintings, dedicating one to me called "A Holy Woman." Thank you, friend. Check out his website, especially the painting "Nativity" under his "Current Work" section.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

It was a happy one. Mostly. It didn't start out great due to a (hopefully) minor back injury for Troy. Certainly not as serious as the injury suffered by our other Troy in Seattle, but I did wake up to a crooked husband. He got up early to do some digging in the basement and as he was working, heard a crunch and felt a pop and that was it for today. Troy hasn't had problems with his back for a long time and I hope this injury heals quickly and doesn't lead to a string of problems like he's had in the past. Whenever he does this to his back he is literally crooked until the inflammation subsides. So I put him to bed and spent a lazy morning with the kids playing around the house, running to the grocery store and cooking.

We were invited to The Becky's house for afternoon swimming, dinner and early fireworks. I'm so grateful for a good friend like The Becky, and that our kids play so happily together. Here is her daughter Rachel showing off her patriotism, not to mention her extreme excitement and impatience for her father to begin lighting the fireworks. Two of my favorite events of the evening were:




1) RAP and Becky's youngest boy James repeatedly climbing up the porch stairs, throwing little golf balls down the stairs to watch them bounce, laughing delightedly, going down the stairs to retrieve them, and beginning all over again.







2) Jake, Becky's middle child, taking off his shirt to hold over the air conditioner vent to catch the air like a balloon. CTP decided he wanted to be part of the fun and so ripped off the first item of clothing he could think of. His swim trunks. We quickly (of course, not before snapping a photo) convinced him to put them back on and use his shirt instead.





I think we timed the day perfectly. A lovely afternoon at Becky's, with Troy joining us for the early fireworks show. Then we came home at nine, just at dusk, when our fabulous neighbors the McGreggors always do their own fireworks out on the street. This has actually become a nice tradition for us - almost every year we seem to return from some event just as they are starting their own fireworks. I'm starting to feel like we should pitch in next year. CTP adores them and their nine-year-old son, and happily sat with them for the show. RAP and I joined them after she had a quick bath. Then just as the McGreggors finished up, the big fireworks up at the UofU stadium began. I took RAP out in the backyard to watch, while Troy took CTP up to our in-progress attic to watch out the window. Three fireworks displays in one night - it couldn't have been better. RAP's reception to the fireworks warmed gradually with each performance. At Becky's it was a lot of "scary!" while for the McGreggors it turned more to "sparkly!" and "loud!" until finally as I held her in my arms in the cool back yard, with the fireworks blooming overhead she kept up a steady stream of commentary: "Beautiful Fireworks! That one boom! More fireworks!" I don't think either child will be ready for a Liberty Park attendance on the 24th, but maybe next year. Of course, then we'd miss Becky's and the McGreggors, which might not be worth it. Happy 4th, everyone.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wish I Had a Picture....

Tonight I had one of those evenings that was just sweet and made me fall in love with my kids all over again. We had a long lovely summer day, amazingly spent mostly at home. Amazing because we stayed busy and happy without a major outing involved. Of course, RAP did poop in the swimming pool, but that's another story. Anyway, Troy was totally wiped out and fell asleep early. I took the kids out in the front yard to play while I worked on the weed patch that is our lawn. I felt so invigorated to be gardening while the kids played pretend in the driveway next to me. The air was warm but not hot, the weeds were coming up easily, I wasn't chasing anyone down the street...heaven, right? After their bath and getting in jammies we played for a bit, then we all went to CTP's room to read stories. RAP crawled up in my lap and actually held still to listen (a miracle), while CTP nestled in beside me and rested his little head on my side. I read a few stories, including the classic "Where the Wild Things Are," which I love reading out loud. It's just poetry, don't you think? Usually I leave CTP at this point to put RAP down, but she was holding so still that I just let CTP all asleep next to me while I sang some lullabies. Then RAP dozed off while I sang, and I wished I had a camera to capture the three of us snuggled up, my two soft babies sleeping around me. I'm so blessed to have them.