Saturday, August 25, 2012

At the Grocery

Sometimes when I go to the grocery store on my scooter to pick up a couple of things, I forget I brought the scooter and a couple things turns into 8 bags of groceries plus 2 gallons of milk.  It's kind of an awkward moment when I pull my cart up to my scooter, trying to figure out how to make this work.  And then when I do make it work, I feel pretty awesome.  And also kind of like a total dweeb.

The weekend before school starts in Provo is a crazy day for grocery stores.  Our double college town just about doubles in population over a weekend and there is a mass exodus to fill empty refrigerators and pantrys.  I avoid it at all costs, but we just returned from a week of vacation and desperately needed groceries, so I joined the mass movement of all the other students who desperately needed groceries.  Every time I do this it reminds me of a certain grocery trip I took with my sister Alison to Walmart. The weekend before school starts + a  Saturday + a BYU football game day = The worst Walmart experience of my entire life.  The place was a freaking zoo.  Add the fact that at least 80% of all customers were wearing at least one BYU item of clothing and it was just a really bizarre, crowded, color-coordinated experience.  I kind of felt like I was in a city that just got hit by natural disaster, or that scene in Jumanji where people are raiding the grocery stores and there's only a handful of items left on each shelf. 

Still living in Provo even though I graduated a year and a half ago makes me feel like I'm spying on a club that I used to be part of but have since moved on from.  I get this awkward feeling like someone's going to call me out on being a married, graduated, parent-of-one that doesn't belong in the sea of single people hitting on each other, exchanging phone numbers and inviting each other to hang out.  I do though like watching roommates grocery shop together and remembering how that takes about 10 times as long as going by yourself, but it's ok because it's so much more fun. 

I ran into my little brother at the grocery store.  !!! How cute!!  I'm so excited he's here! It's been too long since I lived in the same city as my siblings.  (Maddy moved to Logan last week to attend USU and I'm really happy for her but still really wish she was in Provo too)  He's kind of a stud and I told him he looks way more like a man and way less like a young teen-aged freshman than he used to.

And that's it for my grocery experience of the evening.  Except that I just want to make one thing perfectly clear and that is that I shop Smith's, not Walmart.  And I'll never go back.  That's all.

Friday, August 17, 2012


hello people of my blog.

I'm just here to share a few thoughts this morning.  without theme, direction, purpose, or pictures.  Just warning you.

Today is my last day of work and I am thrilled.  By 1:00 p.m. today I will have told someone for the last time that their call will be recorded for quality assurance.  At times, this job has been great for me, but right now I am done with it.  I've kept it this long mostly because it was so convenient to be able to work from home (definite perks including but not limited to working in my pajamas, setting my alarm for 6:55 and still being on time for my 7:00 shift, no commute spent cursing UDOT for 30 whole minutes, I can still breastfeed my baby and don't have to pump) but it does remove the main good thing about my job which was being friends with my coworkers (and about 50% of my friends at work were pregnant at the same time as me and are gone now anyway.  there was a whole row of us.  kind of awesome)
So yay! I'm done.  And we are going to be super poor and I'm not even going to tell you how much money is not in our bank account, but we'll work it out.
I'm really excited to be a stay at home mom.  slash writer, I'm going to start writing a lot.  And biking and cooking and reading and yoga practicing and cleaning a lot.  Oh, the things I will do with my time.  Mostly spending a lot more of it with my baby!  Which I really want.

Can I just say baby gifts are one million times easier and more fun to shop for than wedding gifts?  Firstly, they are adorable.  Secondly, there are a billion things that you need for your 1st baby, so it's unlikely you'll give a duplicate gift, and most things, it doesn't matter how many duplicates they get, they'll still use/need them all (diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, blankets, and you can never have too many bouncy/hanging/swinging play mat zones/devices).  Besides that you can buy a perfectly acceptable small gift for a few dollars, or you can go all out and spend as much as you want--whereas wedding gifts can be really pricey and if you want to spend very little money, you're only option is something really lame like. . . one spoon.

We got home on Wednesday from a lovely vacation to Zions National Park.  We had a few days off for a family reunion that got cancelled and decided we'd do our own vacation instead.  We almost bagged the whole thing though because it's really hard to plan a vacation that's long enough, cheap enough, and close enough for us to maintain sanity with a baby in her car seat that long.  And since we live in Utah, most of the locations that fall into that category are places where the main attractions are camping and day long hikes.  We love camping, but 3 days straight with a 6 month old? no thank you.  So we opted for hotel in Zions and had to be content with the scenic walkways and mile-long hikes in the park.  Which was plenty awesome.  And also dreaming about the days when our kids our old enough for hiking through the narrows and to Angel's Landing.   And we spent a whole lot of time just being lazy.  Ooo i love that place.  If you haven't been, go.  It's really interesting when you're there how many people are not only from across the country, but across the world.  Tanner and I were talking about this, and if you were from Europe and wanted to take a trip to America and see what there was to see, where would you go?  New York probably.  California.  And . . . national parks!  Zions is right up there on the list of amazing national parks and it's just 4 1/2 hours from good old Provo.   Now, just a few days of laundry and recovery until our next vacation with the Staples family to Jackson Hole!  I feel kind of funny that all my summer activities and plans are right now and all I keep seeing and hearing online is how people are so excited and so ready for fall.  Not yet, please.  I've barely even touched my swimsuit.

On a more serious note, one of Tanner's aunts passed away last night (his mom's sister). She's been battling cancer for years now and has been hospitalized recently.  She has 6 children and 2 living parents.  We will all miss her and our prayers go out to the Pederson family.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Dear season ski passes:  could you just please be less expensive?

Dear Provo City Library:  I'm really really sorry that I left approximately 15 of your childrens books outside overnight in the bottom basket of my stroller and let them get attacked by the sprinklers.  It would be appreciated if you just did not notice the water damage and also didn't charge me an arm and a leg to replace all of those books.

Dear Marissa:  Thank you for all of the produce from your garden!  Those tomatoes are making everything I eat taste better.  Also happy birthday!

Dear Audrey:  Thanks for helping me figure out how to dress and buy remixable clothing.

Dear downstairs neighbors:  I'm really sorry that my baby is so into kick kick kick kicking when we lay her on the floor.

Dear future tenants of the vacant apartment in our 6 plex:  I really really hope you are cool.

Dear Zions National Park:  I'm coming.  Be excited.  We're going to have a good time.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome Home Elder Bramhall! and lots of other pictures

Ryan returned with honor this month from his mission in San Antonio, Texas.  We missed him a lot and are so excited to have him home!  He'll be moving to Provo in just a few weeks and I couldn't be more thrilled to have him around.  Among other things, I think we're going to have a nice home cooked meals/babysitting trade off happening.  
He says "ya'll" now.  It's cute. 
And also, if any of you have cute little sisters approximately the age of 21, let me know.  This kid is a total stud.  

Gotta love the look she's giving Ryan

Los Padres

Here she is thrilled to be witnessing Provo's 4th of July parade

Celebrating our independence with Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos.  Yum.  

Camryn hangs out in this swing a lot.  Like for an hour every evening she is content as can be to swing and watch other little kids at the park.  

Baby's first fireworks!

And now--introducing the 4 newest members of the Staples household:  Margaret, Robert, Neptune and. . . oops, can't remember the name of the 4th one.  Tanner has been dying for a pet for a while, and since a dog is pretty out of the picture for right now, we went down to petsmart and got him a fish.  I was thinking like a little glass bowl with a goldfish in it, but apparently Tanner had bigger dreams.  Like 10-20 gallons/multiple exotic fish bigger.  We compromised.  The pictures are obviously terrible, and I don't even know what kind of fish they are, but they are about 1 1/2 inches long, brightly colored 2 yellow, 1 blue, and 1 red, and really fast and zippy fish.  Tanner loves them.  

When Alison was visiting, we took Camryn on a long hot walk and she started getting really fussy, but as soon as we took her shirt off she was as happy as can be.  This girls loves being naked.  

First pool day!  I'll be honest she was really grumpy this day and wasn't liking anything.  We have a couple pool involved vacations coming up though and we'll change her opinion.  Thanks for the adorable swimsuit Steph!

So, I just skimmed through these and realized Camryn is smiling in not one single one of them.  She's happy I swear.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Internet Guilt

One of those things that has been getting me lately in the guilt category is time spent on the internet.  I feel like I have to defy those "young people spend such and such # of hours a day using media" statistics and unless I am not using media for a big chunk of my day and instead doing things that human beings did before the internet existed, you know, enjoying nature, playing with my child, exercising, reading actual books, then I feel like a failure.  But I'm here to convince myself out of this guilt and give myself permission to spend the time on the internet that I do.
I'm a big believer and kind of fascinated by the idea that one principle or idea or thing can be good if used in certain ways, and destructive if used in other ways--or even destructive in two opposite ways.  For example, money is just a thing and some people have the vice of spending it frivolously and getting themselves buried it debt, but the other extreme I think can also be damaging--being too miserly with our money or using too much time obsessing over how to not spend as much of it.  I think the internet is definitely this way, and even though I really do think I use it largely for positive things, somehow I've been convinced somewhere that if I spend a lot of time on the internet, that's bad.
Part of it I think, is that a lot of things that we used to do have become easier online.  I read tons of articles online that I would otherwise be reading from a newspaper or a magazine which I don't at all think is wasted time.  Quite the opposite actually, whenever I am flipping through the New York Times (one of the best kept secrets I know is that you can pick these up daily and free at the Kennedy center at byu.  How do more students not know this??) I usually congratulate myself for learning what's going on in the world.  And I love about 20 different magazines and would subscribe to all of them if I could, and have never once felt bad to spend time reading articles or flipping through fashion magazines.  Why does it feel so different then, when it's the exact same thing online?  I don't have an e-reader, but I'm curious if reading a book on one of them would give me the same bogged-down-by-technology feeling as opposed to the pat-myself-on-the-back-because I'm-reading-a-classic feeling that the real life pages in my hands book gives me.
I order diapers online.  They offer free shipping to my door within one day and it's lovely.  I've started buying  clothes online occasionally.  And I rarely read a book anymore without first hearing about in online and reading a few reviews for it to make sure it will be worth my time.  I check the weather.  And. . . lately I read blogs and look at pinterest.  Which is the biggest one that people I think could criticize and say "well, ya, that one's just a time waster."  But the more I think about it, I really don't think it is if you do it right.  This post got me thinking about it, and I really like her thoughts.  If looking at fashion blogs makes you feel bad about yourself and jealous about things you don't have and can't afford--stop looking at them.  If looking at pictures of elaborate beautiful birthday parties and such makes you feel like a bad mother--stop looking at them.  If looking at interior decorating/organization blogs makes you feel guilty about how messy your house is and sad that you're not rich or creative enough to make your house that beautiful--put your computer down and go clean it!  If your friends blogs (you know, those ones you read of people that you actually  know in real life) make you jealous of their vacations, kids, apartment, job, husband---stop reading those blogs.  Or change your thinking.  Some of the blogs I've started reading are written by smart, beautiful, uplifting, inspiring women who have good things to share and say and show.    Yesterday, I found this blog post (via pinterest) 10 Simple Things to Make you Happier at Home and it made me really happy and inspired me.  This post motivated and encouraged me to start getting ready every day instead of letting myself hang around all the time in basketball shorts (which has been happening too often lately) and try harder with my wardrobe.  Some of them help me to be really happy and grateful and remember to soak in the awesome little moments I have with my little baby.  I have a whole network of blog friends that had a baby the same month that I did and sometimes it's just good to keep in touch with a network like that and know that a lot of people are (for lack of a less cliche'd phrase) going through the same things I'm going through.  That's how blogging should be I think!
Not a jealousy fest or an oh my gosh look at all the things I don't have and don't do and should start acquiring and doing.
My mother in law has a wise piece of advise that she always tells women to put a clock by their computer and always set and intention of how long you are going to allow yourself to be on there.  That way you keep it to a positive, constructive use of time instead of mindlessly letting yourself go and realizing hours later that you're still surfing and not doing what you really want to do with your time. 
So. . . I'm done now I think.  If you made it to the end of this rant I commend you.  And I'd love for you to share your thoughts on it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our lovely Weekend

I am watching my husband trying to get my baby to drink from a sippy cup and it's probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.  He is all business and she thinks it's a really fun game and that the cup is a cool new toy.  We've been battling it out trying to get her to take a bottle and someone suggested we try a sippy cup instead.
Anyways, we had a really great weekend!  If you haven't heard, my little brother Ryan got home from his mission last week! (I have kind of a backup of pictures. . . lots of happenings in the Bramhall family as of late) And my sister Alison and her husband Zach were in town from Texas (Alison comes up for business trips occasionally but I haven't seen Zach in just about as long as I haven't seen Ryan) making it the first time in a looong time we've all been together!  So we had a big barbeque up the canyon.  Which canyon, you ask?  Well, we do things Bramhall style.  Meaning we planned it up City Creek Canyon (which is absolutely beautiful, I can't believe I've never been up there) and Tanner and I had driven all the way to the top before my family (at the bottom) found out they aren't allowing barbecuing.  Because of no cell service, my family had to drive all the way up to get us and tell us, drive all the way back down, and over to and up Millcreek canyon.  Bringing our total driving time to 3 AND A HALF HOURS by the time we even got there.  grrr.  But once we did, it was a great time.  And I think I can speak for all of us when I say we ate way too much.
Here's the whole gang!

Looking at this group picture for some reason reminds me of this week when one of Tanner's old mission companions and his wife were in town and came over to have lunch with us.  They live in the Netherlands, and she was talking about his family saying "he has a ton of cousins, like SIX!" haha ya. . . try six siblings and I have too many cousins to count.

My beautiful nieces Kassandra and Jazzlynne

How cute is this little guy??  This is Andrew and Giannia's baby Nolan.

This is the view of the City Creek shopping center from my dads new office.  We stopped by to see it and I'm definitely going to need to return for some shopping.
And we went Camping!  This was the 3rd weekend in a row that we attempted a camping trip and the first time it worked out.  I can't even tell you how refreshing it is for me to spend an entire 24 hours outside.  Tanner said "hey, it would only cost us $450 a month to live here."  I think I could live with that.  
We each took a bike ride (the canyon gets prettier the further up you get) and on mine a momma deer with 2 baby deer crossed the road right in front of me.  So cool.  We took a couple of walks to bridal veil falls, waded in the river, grilled chicken and fresh corn and zucchini, and smores of course (and were stupid enough to leave our food on the picnic table over night and it all got eaten by animals, so. . . no breakfast) And we did a hike with Camryn in the morning at big springs hollow.  

Our friends Bristyl and Kyle (let's be honest, Bristyl did most of it) threw a tea party for her little girls first birthday and it was completely adorable.  This little girl is a total ham, loves posing for the camera, and her bow is fabulous if you ask me.  They are going to be in the Middle East all fall semester for Kyle's arabic program this fall and we will miss them!

Happy moms, grumpy girls
She loved drinking from the tea cups

I also got a surprise bouquet of amazing flowers from my husband, we made an awesome batch of homemade ice cream, and watched a llllot of olympics.  Don't tell Tanner I said so, but he gets teary eyed/full on cries every time someone is celebrating their gold medal win.  And every time they play our national anthem.  Annnd that Tide commercial really gets him. And the Kellogs one. And the P&G ones about olympians moms.  No big deal, it's just kind of an emotional time over here.  It's really pretty endearing.

Hope you're having a good week.  We're almost over the hump!
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