Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Suit Coat

One of the reasons I love Brandon so much is because he is so self sufficient! He does not rely on me to do much for him and therefor doesn't have a high standard of expectations for me to reach.  I however, tend to have an extremely high level of standards for him to reach.  Not really fair I know.  I blame it on my perfectionist genetics. But, after ten years we must be doing something right.  I like to think we compliment each other quite well.

As a result of his self sufficiency he NEVER and I mean NEVER asks me to iron a shirt, sew on a button, polish a shoe or whatever else a mans wardrobe needs.  I am sure he would be over joyed if I ironed for him on a regular basis.  But to his credit he has NEVER said one thing about it.  I mention this admirable quality for good reason, which you will discover later on.

Back in February Brandon was asked to give the closing prayer at his grandma Ball's funeral.  As he approached the mic he looked very concerned, I thought that perhaps he was overcome with emotion.  What I later discovered was this...

As he had gone to cross his arms he ripped his suit jacket! He was so taken back that he had a hard time focusing on the prayer.  It had little to do with emotion and more to do with the thought of "oh crap what was that?"

Fast forward to Mothers Day and Brandon was asked to speak in Sacrament.  All week he was going back and forth with the idea of buying a new suit.  Finally he decided against it.  He decided he was just going to fix the hole in his jacket.

On Saturday afternoon he heads out to buy some gray thread, no coat to accompany him for matching purposes, rather he decides to "eyeball" it.  Later that afternoon he finds a needle and the thread he just purchased and sits down to "mend" his suit coat.  Keep in mind, he has done ALL of this without even once asking me to help him, to do it for him, to find a needle, to match thread etc.  All on his own!

After about an hour the finished product was this...
As you can imagine my high standard level kicked in, or it could have been my perfectionism or perhaps it was my pity or even sheer horror.  Whatever it was, we ALL know there was NO way I was letting him go to church like that! His response was "It's fine! Its only for an hour and only the Bishopric is going to see it." Umm, no it is not fine! It is terrible!!!

I graciously walked down to get my sewing machine, sat down and 20 mins later my result was this...
I blog about this for a number of reasons.  One, I love that Brandon never EXPECTS me to do anything for him.  Does he appreciate it? Absolutely! But expect it? Never! Two, I have to give credit to my mom, and my grandma and her mom etc, etc, because without her teaching me how to sew I never would have been able to a "help brother out."  Three, it is a classic Brandon and Rachel story that needed to be documented! I am the RED to his GREEN, the yin to the yang, we just work! So with that, his mediocre expectations compliment my high expectations and often times the result is seamless and near perfection!

Monday, May 13, 2013


This moment is definitely blog worthy so I am finally posting!

After nearly two years without training wheels Cannon finally decided to take the plunge and learn how to ride his bike! I kid you not when I say that his bike has literally been sitting in our garage for two years, unused! Now, I realize that 3 yrs old is probably a little young to learn to ride a bike minus the safety net of the training wheels, however, he was nearly 4 when he got the bike.  As an added drawback he got a scooter that Christmas and used that as his primary source off transportation and as a result had little desire to learn to ride his bike. So the fact that he was ready to learn was a BIG DEAL!

I have to tell you I was having some serious mommy moments as he was learning to ride.  The week before Brandon was out of town and I had been trying to talk Cannon in to surprising his dad by learning to ride his bike while he was gone.  I kept telling him how happy his dad would be if he got home from his trip and Cannon had learned this new skill! But alas, it was to no avail! Not to mention, the past year that we have been bribing Cannon with a prize if he would learn to ride his dang bike.  Still, he was NOT interested!

So Wednesday afternoon as all his friends departed he looked at his bike and I heard him quietly say to himself, "I am going to do this!" I of course had some serious doubts and didn't think much of it.  He grabbed his bike and his helmet and began going up and down our street.  I tried many times to help him and he kept shooing me away telling me "Mom, I can do this by myself, I don't need help." I was a little sad I will admit.  But as I stood on the sidelines and watched him persistently try, try again  I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with pride.  I could hear him giving himself little pep talks quietly saying things like "Never, never give up!" "You can do this!" "I am so awesome!" "My dad will be so happy that I can ride my bike." I was so impressed AND proud with him!

90 minutes later, we had a new bike rider! Now that is all he wants to do and he really is AWESOME!

And by the way, his dad was so PROUD of him.  He was in a state of shock when he got home, so much so that he put Cannon in the car and took him to get a reward for learning how to ride his bike (a new LEGO set of course) and treated him to dinner at his favorite place, McDonald's! Spoiled kid. Proud papa. BIG DEAL at the Ball house!

Even Grandpa Jeff joined in on the celebration promising Cannon that he would buy Cannon a fancy kick stand for his bike!

Love this moment! Love my Can-man!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

So Long, Farewell....

Once upon a time, 7yrs ago, this clumsy lady slipped on the ice and broke her ankle and her leg.  That slip led to an emergency surgery that ended with 10 stainless steel pins and 2 stainless steel plates taking up residence in the cracks of the once whole bones in her body.  After years of torturous winters, stinging pains, painful bone spurs and aching hardware, the metal that once resided within the confines of my ankle are now gonzo!  I have toyed with this idea for years and finally decided it was time to suffer no more. It was weird that I toyed with the idea for so long.  I kind of felt like it was a security blankets of sorts.  As long as the plates and screws were in there then I wouldn't break my ankle again.  But this last winter was a beast and it hurt more often than not so I decided it was time to bid farewell to the hardware. After a visit to the doc and much discussion with the balltrain I decided it was time to get the junk out.  As you can imagine I was a little nervous...OK a lot! I have never had an elective surgery before so I had some major anxiety.  However I would say it was pretty much over nothing.  The surgery went fantastic! The doc didn't even send me out on crutches, sent me home in a boot. I have to admit, I did not miss this old companion, but the crutches were even less desirable.  The pain has been far less than what I anticipated so no complaints! I am actually almost anticipating the next snow storm just to see whether or not I will be able to feel its arrival.

Here I am post surgery! Happy to be alive as I was nervous that I would not be waking up.  
At home Cannon took some pictures of my sexy hospital bracelet, my wicked awesome soft cast and of course my old friend, the boot!  

What I learned from this process...I pray a lot more often when I am nervous or anxious about something.  It takes a village to help with kiddos even when you get pic like this...
a marker covered, Brooklyn described "broken head"
which was quickly followed with a real life SUPER HERO squad!  I am so thankful for my kids friends as well as my own.  They make hard days easier and easy days better.
I learned that is hard to accept service but that by doing so you learn just how amazing your friends and family are.  I learned how greatly appreciated a meal brought in can be.  How a simple text can mean so much. How incredible moms of all ages and stages of life are.  How blessed I am to be able to live now where modern medicine exists but mostly I learned how lucky I am to have the BEST friends and family in the world! Thank you to all those who have helped in this process and who have helped me realize how lucky I am you made the farewell process that much easier.  

LEGO exhibit

On Monday my mom and I took Cannon and Brooklyn to lunch with their padre then on to see a Lego art exhibit in Park City.  It was called "The Art of the Brick" by Nathan Sawya.  The artist, Nathan Sawya, was a successful lawyer and gave up his practice to pursue his real passion...LEGOS.  He now has a huge gallery in NYC and LA and a traveling exhibit that is at the Kimball Junction Art Center right now.  The exhibit was very impressive! Here's a few of the pieces, every single part is made of LEGOS!  
Brooky loved the castle.  There was a mote around it and the outside of the book had a story about a princess.  Very cool! Even the story was made from LEGOS.
I'm not sure what it was about this piece but I really liked it.
The LEGO man
Mount Rushmore

There were a couple other pieces  I should have snagged a pic of.  It was really neat.  

I made the mistake of classifying the museum as a surprise for C, so he naturally had huge expectations! I thought the museum was surprise enough but it wasn't, as we left with Cannon in tears because "this surprise wasn't super cool."  I have come to the conclusion that most of parenthood is completely under appreciated and when you try to do something nice for your kids it usually blows up in your face.  I'm hoping one day he will appreciate the fact that I am tyning to "culture" his sweet soul and that he will realize how lucky he is.  Until then I guess I will keep trying and probably failing but hoping some of it sticks.  I will say that he did talk about the exhibit later that night and was telling his dad how cool it was, so I guess it wasn't a total fail and hey...Brooky, grandma and I enjoyed it so I'm giving myself a 75% satisfactory rating!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Cannon is now in his 3rd year of soccer.  The first two seasons he pretty much ran around in circles on the opposite end of the court.  Last year we even promised to take him to Chucke Cheese if he scored a goal.  That pretty much did nothing.  We had hoped it would spark a fire...not so much.  Yesterday was the organization day and we offered up the same incentive.  Make a goal we will take you to Chucke Cheese! With no "real" game at bay, they did have a scrimmage against the other team, kind of a practice.  Well, low and behold the circle runner had his head in the game and SCORED A GOAL!!! What, seriously?! Yep, he scored and he was so excited.  You should have seen his cute little face as he ran to the sidelines to tell me, "Mom, did you see that? I made a goal! I kicked it in the net!" He was so happy!  Sadly, it was a goal for the other team. But hey we didn't care! We were stoked that he ran out ahead of the rest of the kids and made....a.......GOAL! Seriously proud parent moment as we were expecting nothing but circles again this year, and we full on thought his first "goal" would come as a happen stance.  You know, standing next to the net and the ball bounces off him into the goal.  So this break away is MAJOR progress people! Even his coaches and other parents were excited for him.  We have been playing with the same boys for the last 3 years and they are fully aware of the Chucke Cheese promise! So there was a lot of cheering going on.  Even tonight as he told his aunt Millie about his goal he was just beaming with excitement.  He is so proud of himself. So, tomorrow we will make do on our promise and celebrate with a little Planet Play (Just like Chucke Cheese only closer to our house and C was totally cool to go there instead, so score!) and look forward to an awesome soccer season hopefully with a few more goals! 

Because it was just organization day and not a real game I didn't have my camera.  Just imagine a little blond haired, brown eyed, adorable little boy smiling at you with nothing but grin, satisfaction, confidence and happiness and there you have the picture with the GOAL! Love him! Way to go buddy! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Say Yay!

If you know Miss Brooklyn then you know this girl has sass! She is full of spunk, character, comedy and already at the tender age of 2 1/2 "lip." This girl isn't afraid to say whats on her mind.  We recently underwent the daunting task of potty training...my absolute LEAST favorite part about parenting.

One day while still in the early stages of this task, Brandon took her to the bathroom.  He sat there with her while she was doing her "thang" and then he hears this;

"Dad, say yay!"
Brandon; "What?"
Brooklyn; "Say yay!"
Brandon; "What are you talking about?"
Brooklyn; "Dad I went potty, say yay!"
Brandon finally realizing what she says starts to giggle then cheerfully applauds her, "YAY Brooky!"

Lets just say we were both surprised at how quickly this girl learned and demanded the art of positive reinforcement.  We are however happy to report that after many a "yays" the Brookster is potty trained, and that my friends is reason for us all to say yay!

Shut the door!

Brooky is the kind of girl who needs her sleep.  She may fight it to to the bitter end but ultimately once her head hits the pillow she concedes and realizes that yes indeed she is in need of a nap!  Likewise, this girl wakes up on her own time.  Often times I can hear her rustling about in her room awaking from her slumber.  Recently  I went in to check on her after hearing her rustles, to see if she was ready to get up.  She turns, looks at me and serious as day says "SHUT DA DOOR!" I couldn't help but laugh.  I asked her if she wanted me to shut the door? She said "Yes mom, shut da door!" So I left her to herself and shut the door.  This is now a common phrase at our house, rather a warning, that if Brooklyn says "shut da door" you better shut the door and let her continue on her merry wake up path, otherwise...consider yourself warned!

**And I am so FRUSTRATED! I have some of the most darling pictures to go along with these stories but they are on my phone and I can't get them to sync to my computer, or email.  Ugh!**