Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Summer left me a cute voicemail and I thought I would share it.  Not much happens after the first 30 seconds so don't keep listening in the hopes that something interesting happens at the end.


Summer: Daddy . . . Daddy . . . . Daddy . . . Can you not hear me?
Dorothy: He can't hear you.
Summer: Um, what's that?
Dorothy: Nothing.
Summer: Is it an Oreo?
Dorothy: No.
Summer: What is it?  Could I see?
Summer: What does it say?
Dorothy: T E R R Y S, Terry's
Summer: Oh.

I don't know what Terry's is or how Dorothy managed to distract Summer from the Oreo.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Real Announcement

Except that it's probably not an announcement. Most people know that I'm pregnant anyway. So maybe this can be a blog post about another sort of announcement.

Announcement: I just puked and the first part of pregnancy really sucks and blogging while pregnant is no fun so here are a bunch of pictures from the past couple months:

These are all out of order so lo siento for that. We had a bit of a snow and Summer tried to make a snowman. No, you can't really see the snowman:

Hats from Sterling in the mission field (Nathaniel's brother):

Totally inappropriate post-thanksgiving behavior:

Out exploring rocks. This was such a fun little family outing:

 I wasn't feeling too great, so one night I had nothing to suggest for dinner. Summer took matters into her own hands and opened the fridge, grabbed a bag of carrots, and took it upstairs. We had ourselves a carrot party. Summer, ever the resourceful one, decided to put the remaining carrots to good use and became a snowgirl:

Helping dig:

How do you teach your kid to smile?

She was soooo good getting her nails painted!

Making friends with the BYU Cougar:

I feel completely confident saying Summer's favorite pastime is hanging:

Okay, maybe somersaults too:

Chilling in Mona:

Do we take too many pictures of Summer?

Lawnmower rides at the Halloween party:

Her chosen pumpkins:

Walking at some lakes around Mona:

This is actually just Summer hanging out at the park with Nathaniel. But I like it.

I don't know what this picture is.

Law school Halloween party:

Horseback riding:

No more horseback riding:

Oh, I guess that's the end. There you go. Pictures for the grandparents.

No, seriously, thanks to those who bugged me to blog because although I did not particularly enjoy doing it, I'm sure I'll be really glad later that I did it. Love you all. Muah.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Announcement

You guys, my computer is broken. Not very broken, since I'm typing this on it right now. But I dropped it - well, I actually unintentionally threw it off the counter - and now the most important 20% of the screen is black. It's pretty creepy.

I always thought it was lame to write a blog post about not blogging, but here we are. Actually, I think I've done it before. anyway, yeah, writing a blog post on this computer is so annoying I won't be doing much unless I really have something to say.

But since I'm here,  might as well give you an update.

Nah, there's not enough going on for that. Nathaniel does school, I read books from the library and play with Summer, and Summer alternates between driving us crazy when we forget to feed her to being a sweet little princess. Speaking of Summer, do any of you know how she learned the phrase, "Oh my gosh?" I'm so curious...


Monday, August 29, 2011

DC Recap

Full disclosure: I almost never read blog posts that have "recap" in the title, especially when the subject matter is an event that happened a while ago. And that's exactly what this blog post will be. So if you don't want to read it, I completely understand. I usually don't believe in catching up, in a journal or a blog, but DC was so special that I have to record some thoughts about our time there.

Also: overenthusiastic blog post alert. You've been warned.

Okay. Here we go.

I've heard stories, and I bet you have too, of Provo moms who tag along with their husbands to an East Coast city and complain the whole time. No family. No friends. No Cafe Rio.

I don't fault these women for feeling this way (except the Cafe Rio part), but I didn't want to be one of them. I knew this would be my only time in DC with no obligations except taking care of one easy-going two year old, so I made a goal to have one outing a day in DC. I made a list on the sidebar of this blog of the places I wanted to visit and if I ever wondered what to do for a day, I just checked it out and we went somewhere on the list. Well, we didn't do something touristy every day. Some days, the outing was Costco or something equally pedestrian. But we did some awesome things.

And I hardly took any pictures. Goodness, I'm lame.

Anyway, we hit all the big museums. Summer's favorite, by far, was the Museum of American History. The "Invention at Play" exhibit was there and my little girl and I got to play with fans, balls, magnets, laser-type thingies that change depending on the pitch in your voice, etc. The museum also has a rad exhibit featuring transportation throughout the ages. We saw cool, old, trains! And metros! And cars! It's amazing to me that places equally as enchanting to a 28-year old and a 2-year old actually exist. We had a blast.

My favorite museum was the National Gallery of Art. Not because I'm an art buff - I wish I was. What was so special about this place was the building itself. Walking through the museum, I felt like I was transported into another place, a place far more beautiful (and blissfully air conditioned) than anywhere I'd visited in a long time.

See? Doesn't it remind you of a palace? So pretty. I could spend all day there.

We went to the zoo four times. I almost died of the heat every single time. I don't know how those people wearing jeans survive. Still, it was worth it to see a baby panda slumped over sleeping on a rock.

We also managed to squeeze in a couple of weekend excursions outside the city. The first was the cardboard boat races in Oxford, Maryland, on the Chesapeake. They do it once a year, and when I found out it was during our time there and Nathaniel was free, there was no question about whether or not we would make the trip. Everyone in a beautiful, sleepy town on the Chesapeake comes out to shore and joins the visitors to watch, well, a bunch of cardboard boats do races. The best part was watching the unfortunate souls whose boats capsized swim along, dragging their boats. Maybe there was some sort of rule about not giving up, EVER. If so, I'm glad, because it was hilarious.

We also visited Nathaniel's (famous) friend in New York City. We ate some really big pizza, and some really big chocolate chip cookies. And we rode the subway a lot, and walked a lot, and our legs just about fell off. Central Park was great. I like that method of entertainment because you pay IF you're entertained. And if you have some cash in your purse.

If anyone reading this blog post happens to have options of a number of cities, and DC is one of them, I highly recommend DC. Yes, housing and food are expensive in DC. But entertainment? Free. Only once this summer was I subjected to a playground, and never did I pay to enter a museum or a zoo or any other amazing attraction. The suggested donation for a morning at the Met in NYC? Twenty bucks. DC is the right choice, so choose the right choice and be happy, you must always choose the right.

I have one major regret about my time there. Despite my love for sugar, I'm sort of obsessed with nutrition and I'm fascinated with the ways the government influences what we eat. At the Archives, there is a temporary exhibit about the, well, propaganda the government has used to influence American's diets. How did I not go to that?  I missed the poster that explains that one of the major food groups is butter and fortified margarine. And the one encouraging Americans to eat carp. Tragedy.

Our summer in DC was really a special time for me. I'm not sure exactly why, but it was.

Late one morning, I was walking on F street, I think, looking for some food. I was waiting for the light to turn green when a man in a suit with a kind face looked at Summer and laughed. I looked at her and discovered that she was out cold. "Tired her out, huh? Too many museums, probably."

The guy seemed so nice it didn't bother me that I apparently had "tourist" written on my forehead. But I was bummed that Summer was asleep, and that the most reasonable thing to do was go home. I turned around and headed back toward the mall where I was parked.

As I walked, I realized that I didn't have to do the most reasonable thing. Sure, there was no chance that she would take a good nap in her stroller, and because of that would likely be grouchy the rest of the day. But I was in my favorite place in the whole world with a sleeping toddler. I could do anything. I could go ahead and get some food - something that I couldn't get anywhere else. I could return to the art gallery and actually sit and enjoy the indoor gardens. I could see the food exhibit at the Archives. The possibilities, while not endless, were many, and tantalizing.

As I walked, I looked down at my comfortable gray dress and metallic flats. The humidity was making a mess of my hair, despite my attempts to tame it with a braid. Tourists streamed out of buses and passed me on either side, speaking a variety of languages I didn't recognize. Rain started to trickle down, and I watched a few drops fall on Summer's hair.

Sometimes I reflect on the summer before I got married with aching nostalgia - I want to go back to the dance parties, the days spent by the pool, the belly dancing, the tingling excitement of new love. But that day, as I walked down Constitution Avenue, pushing Summer's cheap blue umbrella stroller, I felt like I had hit another high - a new standard - a time I would want to return to again and again and again. This was the good life.

The rain woke Summer up and I didn't get to do anything of those things I still dream of. But when people ask how our summer was, I have to reign in my excitement and say, "It was awesome. I can't wait to go back. Only two more years." Let the countdown begin.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Because I Don't Want to Go to Bed

Maybe it's because I spent most of the day barefoot and in the kitchen, and it still doesn't look particularly clean. Maybe it's because my best law school friends are scattered throughout the country and none lives near me. Maybe it's because I have finally realized that Nathaniel's legal skills are currently far superior to mine and fundamental principles of specialization dictate that I should give up trying to practice. Maybe it's because Pita Pit is making way smaller pitas than they used to. Maybe it's because Provo is just really weird. Whatever the reason, I'm felling pretty blah. 

So there's only one thing to do. Make a list of all the things in my life that are super awesome. 

1. Summer is alive. This is my proudest achievement to date. She had a check-up today and she is doing great. She's in the twentieth percentile for weight (25 lbs) and the tenth percentile for height (33 inches). The doctor was very impressed with her verbal skills and told me to keep doing what I'm doing, which actually involves quite a bit of sweets and at least an hour a day of Curious George. Hey, doctor's orders...

2. Nathaniel was home early today, which is always wonderful. Nathaniel, for those who are unaware, is the most perfectest husband for me. 

3. I got a Bosch. My house smells like bread and I have several loaves waiting for my little fam when they wake up. I'm sure Summer is going to be so delighted with the mini loaves. If anyone wants some bread, just ask! I make no guarantees as to quality, but I promise I'll have a great time making it. 

4. In my (functioning!) freezer I have two "ice cream" sandwiches made from coconut milk. Heaven.

5. I know cool people in my ward here. I was nervous to come back, but it was so nice to see many familiar faces at church last Sunday. 

6. Summer and I went to BYU today to drop off Nathaniel's helmet and mail off a package, and Summer decided to wander into the arcade. So we played a few rounds of ski-ball. You guys, you totally want this girl on your team when you play. She has mastered the art of climbing up the ramp and under the steel net to put the ball in the highest hole. 

7. My mother in law, besides being awesome in general, is an amazing gardener and is also very generous. Today I ate tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, thyme, and green beans from her garden. 

Okay, so do I feel better? A little. But going to sleep would probably make me feel best. Why didn't I think of that earlier? Okay, I'm off. 


Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Alive!

You guys, we don't have internet at home. I'm typing this at the law library at BYU. I'm sure that when the powers that control the purse strings decided they needed computers that the public could access, they totally had little bloggers like me in mind. So here we are. Wanna know what our little family has been up to lately? Good.

  • Summer is just being adorable. And totally obnoxious, cause she's two, you know? But we are seriously best friends and we make each other laugh and I can't get enough of her. Most of the time. Her new favorite phrases are "I'm too special" (she does not know what this means), "I love it," and "We need to have another baby." Her concept of us having another baby sort of involves finding one and returning it to its mommy, a la Dora and the baby blue bird.
  • Nathaniel is doing all this boring law review training stuff. He really loved being a summer associate, so the adjustment back to law school is going to be rough for him.
  • Speaking of rough adjustments, I'm pretty bummed to be back in Provo. Sorry to be a downer, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't having Smithsonian withdrawals. But hey, we'll be back in just two years!
  • We'll be back in two years instead of one because Nathaniel got a clerkship for a judge in SLC. So we'll be in Provo for a year, then Salt Lake/Farmington for a year, then to DC for, well, ever, hopefully.
  • I've been a vegan for a week and it's going really well. I feel awesome and all happy and whatnot. If you want to talk to me about it you should totally call me because, yeah, no internet.
  • Oh, and my phone isn't working right now because we are moving back into a new (and waaaaay better!) apartment and our crap is all over everywhere and we do not know the location of my phone battery. But I'll find it, and then we'll chat when you call me because I have no more phone numbers because I have a new (worse) phone, too.
  • I've been contemplating making crab apple jam and plum jam from all the fruit trees that surround our apartment complex. The only thing is jars. I have to buy jars. That seems so wrong.
  • I think I have somehow turned into an introvert and I'm really nervous to go back to church in our old ward. I used to be the relief society president - are people going to expect me to, like, talk to people? The thought makes me anxious. I guess this is how my dad feels all the time. I really wish we were going to a new ward were I could just slip into obscurity. 
And that's it! Oh, and I had a birthday that involved driving through Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia (ugh), Pennsylvania, West Virginia again (?!?), Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. I experienced, for the first time, a desire to be in Indiana. I was driving late at night attempting to reach our final destination before 2:30 AM (we failed), when I realized that I had no idea where I was and I hoped Indiana was it. Alas, we were still in Ohio. I don't think we're going to do that again. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On Patriotism

When I was in third grade, I was riding in the back seat of my mom’s car. We stopped at a red light and I looked up. I beheld an American flag: not billowing in the breeze as much as I thought appropriate, yet still demanding respect. I placed my right hand solemnly over my heart and said the pledge of allegiance as many times as I could while my mom waited for the light to turn green. I mumbled under my breath quickly and went through five or six repetitions. It wasn’t a display of exuberance; I was merely doing what duty required.

Every force must be met with an equal and opposite force. Well, I suppose this isn’t completely true when it comes to matters of childhood indoctrination, because I don’t hate the United States. I’m glad I live here. I do think I could be equally happy in the UK, but not as happy in Somalia. Of course I’d be happiest in Hawaii, which is basically part of the US of A. Anyway, the point is that I don’t hate the US, but I don’t love it either. It’s just a country, with lots of good qualities and lots of bad qualities. The US is not my husband. It’s not my daughter. It’s not even the dog I had before the animal-loving part of my heart turned into stone. It’s a country: too vast and complicated and multi-faceted for words like love.

To me, if I said I loved my country, I would be simplifying things too much. Do I love that people here can start businesses relatively easily? Yes. Do I love our public education system? No. Do I love my freedom to vote and walk around wearing basically whatever I want? Yes (and I choose sleeves and knee-length skirts). Do I love subsidies for corn, soybeans, and oil? No. Do I love Costco? Yes. Do I also love Carrefour? You betcha.

Maybe something in the patriotism part of my brain is broken. But when I sit by the Air Force Memorial watching fireworks erupt next to the Washington Monument, looking around at the massive crowd decked out in red, white, and blue, I start thinking that France and Singapore and even Argentina probably have a similar ratio of good to bad things. (Okay, I’ve eaten Argentinean food before and I take that one back. Replace it with New Zeland.) There is nothing wrong with celebrating America’s good qualities, but does America have to be THE BEST? If China beats us in various economic measures and gymnastics, aren’t we secure enough in our own good fortune (and our belief that karma will someday be problematic for those cheaters) to not worry about it? And is it necessary to use the same terms to describe this country that I reserve for family and pets that were tragically sent to the pound twenty years ago? Is it okay to just like America?

I understand why some people love America. If I came here from the USSR pre-glasnost my love for America would probably come in at a close second to my love for my family. And while I may not understand why people who know so little about other countries love America so much, it doesn’t bother me that they do.  (I will say, though, that hyper patriotism does seem a little insensitive after living in a place like Romania where most would gladly leave their lives there just to have a shot at a good one here. And I believe that unless you don’t have access to the internet you should never admit you’re not sure where Iraq and Iran are on a map – but that’s not patriotism anyway, right?)

Anyway, what got me thinking about this subject was Japan’s win in soccer. A large portion of their country was just devastated by an earthquake, and tsunami, and a nuclear disaster of unprecedented proportions. It was a devastating blow to their country. Looking at pictures of celebrations in Japan after their win over the US, I can’t help but be happy about their win. Go Japan. 


Saturday, June 25, 2011


Right now, Summer is supposed to be asleep. But she's not. She's in our bedroom, in her pack and play, sort of crying, sort of shouting, sort of playing with her stuffed animals. "No thank you, Mommy," she just cried out. "I'm a busy little girl." I have no idea.

Today on our road trip we saw a helicopter land in a field close by. After we hit the road again, Summer said, "Mommy, pleeeeease can I fly a helicopter? A little red one? And a BIG purple one? Please?" I think she was very satisfied by our little pretend helicopter ride.

Summer has given me many names: Mommy, Mommy Dorothy, Dorothy Allison Ward, etc. But I think my favorite is Mister Mommy. 

And in case you didn't hear on Facebook, Summer's likes to talk about "the mischievous little Jefferson Memorial." This one really confuses me.

But maybe my favorite thing that Summer has been saying lately is that I'm her best friend. I love to hear that. 


Thursday, June 9, 2011

How we did family stuff together mostly

So I finally put our pictures on our computer, and this is what we have:

Summer in Provo being cute in the car:

Mother's Day flowers:

I wasn't joking when I said that Summer eats butter whenever she can get her hands on it:

Then we took a trip in the car from Provo to DC. Summer pooped and we have the diaper-change-in-a-random-field pic to prove it:

And Daddy Nathaniel brushed her hair: 

And forced her to give him a hug:

I was trying to get some great shots of the scenery (I love wide open flat spaces - I can't help it). The problem was that I was driving. Nathaniel got sorta mad.

Summer was a doll on the way. See?

 Nathaniel hooked up the ipod to the back of the driver's seat and Summer was good enough to let Curious George entertain her the whole way:

Cars wasn't quite as successful:

Nathaniel, mad that I'm taking pictures of him:


I love windmills:

Here is one being shipped in on a truck. I get a big kick out of this sort of thing:

We ate at Cracker Barrell and Summer loved the food but what she really loved were the rocking chairs:

And our new apartment! Summer prefers to eat on the floor:

We went to the zoo and saw a cheetah:

And lots of other stuff, but we got sick of taking pictures. Summer did show everyone that I'm Mormon, though:

I made this:

And Summer is cute.

And here is our sectional that no longer smells like dog:

And I went to Georgia for my 10-year high school reunion and this is the only picture I got there:

Hmm, here Summer is being Utah:

I'm taking tips from Haley Rencher and grabbing a camera instead of screaming and throwing crap at the wall (luckily, I don't care at all about this lipstick, so I picked a good thing to start with).

And this is from President's Day weekend:

Yeah, families are good.