Sunday, July 26, 2009

A couple favorites

“The world has enough women who are tough;
we need women who are tender. …
There are enough women who are rude;
we need women who are refined.
We have enough women of fame and fortune;
we need more women of faith.
We have enough greed;
we need more goodness.
We have enough vanity;
we need more virtue.
We have enough popularity;
we need more purity

"I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. … I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass”
G.B. Hinckley, LDS Prophet/President

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The place to pee.

I came around the corner, entering my bedroom with a stack of laundry to put away and found Lily with her pants down, standing while peeing in the corner on the wall.

Right there, smack dab in my bedroom!

I shrieked,

Lily quickly snapped out of her urinating trance, pulled up her pants, brushed the hair out of her face as she popped her hip in her commonly struck valley girl pose and said:

"Oh, shorry Mom.
I shoooo compwetely shorry."
(I'm sorry Mom, I'm soooooo completely sorry.)

It was so random and out of character for her little three year-old potty trained ways (she never has accidents anymore), that I couldn't help but laugh as I cleaned up the corner. Children and their lack of impulse control at this age is hilariously refreshing, isn't it? Wouldn't you just love to return to the time when you acted on any thought that popped into your head...Hmmm...I wonder what it would be like to pee on a it goes...
I'll be inspecting other corners of the house she may have marked her territory in as well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Tent

They are sleeping in it right now. Outside, in the backyard. Lily has been begging to sleep in "a tint in da bakyawd" for sometime now. So Tyler, being the Daddy that he is, arranged to borrow a tent (we don't own camping gear - this may come as a shock-a-roo, but Rae Rae doesn't exactly like to camp. It's right up there on my list of things I'd rather not do, nestled between removing ingrown toenails and cross-stitching).

Oh boy, what fun she is having. We headed out just before bedtime to hang out in it together during the comfortably cool dusk hour (London and I later would opt for more comfortable accommodations, we can never get her to actually sleep out of her crib).
London plopped happily around inside the tent in her squishy diaper, Lily twirled like the giddy girly child she is while squealing at the possibility of "monshters" invading our fort, and Tyler fell more deeply in love while I serenaded us after Lily's specific request for a "Tent shong" (tent song - Lily requests impromptu music festivals at any such exciting occasions, to which I promptly oblige in an effort to showcase my creative lyrical capabilities):

We're all in a tent
We're all in a teeent
It's outside, in the backyard
We're all in a teeeent

There's Lily and London and Mommy and Daddddddy
We're all in a teeent
In the backyaaaaaard

I'm going to be so sad the day this is no longer fun to her, because it sure is for me.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The Living Room in Progress:

Antique dresser

(Garage sale)

Old Mirror
(Garage sale)

Smattering of vases

Why Lily, darling, you coordinate with the display!! That's my girl. (It really wasn't intentional, I'm not that crazy).

I had lost inspiration for a while. I can be extremely picky when it comes to the atmosphere I'm trying to create. So weird. I think there is an undiagnosed condition going on inside my little designing mind. Tyler doesn't understand it. When I spend 45 minutes lying in bed at night trying to explain to him my anxiety over whether or not to align our pictures symmetrically, he finds it laughable (or snooze-able, cuz if he doesn't laugh he is sound asleep and I'm talking to the wall). But not I. This is no laughing matter. If God created a world as beautiful as ours, he obviously cared about how things looked. So should I.
Here are my decorating traits (who the heck has decorating traits anyways?)...or should I say....this is my style (so far):

* I tend towards blues, greens, whites, and yellows. Yellows are happy, greens are fresh, whites are clean, and blues bring calm, in addition to cooling down that sweaty feeling I've been known to get from yellows. Calm, happy, fresh, clean. Perfect. Ahhhhh.

*I always hate what I've previously decorated. Which leads me to...

*My biggest fear with home decor : Looking back and having the same reaction to photos of our living situation that I have over the clothing I was wearing in the pics: What was I thinking? How hideous.
So regardless of how much I adore the current trends (like the darling bird paraphernalia and canary yellows splashing through the decorating world), I can't help but draw parallels and wonder:
Are birds and yellow/oranges to this decade what hunter green and apples were to the '90's, or ducks and powder blue to the 80's?
If there is anything that makes me panic, it's the awareness that decorating adventures on my blog may result in the same embarrassment my circa 1994 bangs bring.

*I avoid purchasing anything, even though I love everything, due to this odd time/trend paralysis and as a result have an extremely boring and neutral living room.

Until today,
I do love what I did today.
And I'm getting ready to launch another blog that has been in the deco-thoughts for some time.

Junkie Love

I think you might like it.

I still love you, chair.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Blogging at 3am because your husband is still at the Harry Potter premier.

I thought I was doing relatively well. I tucked myself into bed at around 11pm with the phone next to the bed and a new bottle of pepper spray in a cute pink pleather holder on the nightstand.
I can do this. I am not the world's biggest sissy. I can just sleep without him here. Say a prayer. Think about Disneyland. Watch a few pleasant Crest and Clorox commercials with happy jingles before turning off the television. Time to sleep without him.

And I did, until about 1:30am, when I woke up and got that awfully nervous, irrational feeling that leads to horror novels in my head of an intruder in the house. Trying to hurt me, or the girls. I hook the pepper spray keychain around my finger to cut down on reaction time. I dial Tyler's cell. Maybe he's out, and on his way home. How did I end up with a man who loves Harry Potter!?

No answer, straight to voicemail.

Darn. Okay okay okay. Just go back to sleep and before you know it he'll be here. Wait, what was that sound? Maybe I should also have a knife. I've got to get that gun with that cool safe I saw today.
(because when I'm not terrified of an intruder I am at least worrying endlessly about my children finding our gun or my pepper spray and doing more damage than my imaginary criminal) Bastard killers. Why must they exist? I would love to shoot one, really. To watch them wither and die in misery after attempting to hurt us....oh the satisfaction. Would I be charged with murder? You never know with these freakish lawsuits nowadays. Maybe I shouldn't kill them...just shoot their legs off. That could be fun too. To make them suffer for my sleepless nights of fearful anticipation. What would I wear to court? Something conservative and classy. Like a nice black skirt with pearl earrings. They never convict mothers with blond bobs defending their babies, right?

It's 3:04am, movie must be out. I fandango'd the time. He'll be home any minute. Slowly, the uneasy lump in my stomach subsides as he walks through the door. I can finally sleep in peaceful disappointment once more, still not having mastered my fears.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Getaway

Tyler had a business conference to attend for a couple days, out of town. He suggested I come along to make a little business trip out of it ourselves. What a grand idea! Gamma and Pop kindly volunteered babysitting services and off we went.

Days 1 & 2: All-Rachel Days. Smokin' Tyler nights.

While Tyler was busy at the conference, I did my supportive wifely duties and busied myself at the pool. And the mall.

Oh the thankless labor of a business assistant!

First stop was at my old stomping grounds, Benefit Cosmetics for a brow wax, and my favorite tried and true dark circle remedy: EyeBright.

I splurged on BadGal Lash Plum mascara too. Post application assessment: Overrated. Don't bother. Stick with Black. Always black. And don't even bother with BadGal Lash in black either. Benefit, I love ya and you know it, but you haven't mastered mascara.

Next stop was to spend a deliciously long time lounging by the empty pool with a good book and a stack of magazines. I painted my nails while enjoying the sights and smells of the fresh hydrangeas outside the pool fence. Color of choice: Absolute favorite Essie Exposure:
The most perfect summer Bubblegum pink. Just makes you feel like a girl.

When Tyler was out of the conference we enjoyed leisurely dinners at California Pizza kitchen (yumo) and a rumored local hot spot TexWasabi (founded by that blond food network guy). Went to the movie "The Proposal" (feel good, happy movie, my favorite...enough of this Revolutionary Road BULLCRAP.)

We talked about our kids (who we missed) and ourselves and all the nice things surrounding a little break without any stress-inducing commentary. We even walked slowly. I never walk slowly. Lovely, lovely days.

Day three: Tahoe Flume Trail.

We decided to cruise on up to Tahoe and give my new bike riding kicks a run for their money. Since I normally protest any forms of movement when it comes to vacationing, this was a break with Rae tradition.

But it wasn't without its adjustments. After somewhat continuous and possibly annoying reprimands from me to Tyler while riding UPhill....

"How could you be such a jerk? said this wouldn't be too hard...this was supposed to be a break...I am dying of heart butt hurts...I don't care how beautiful nature is....I hate nature....I'm not going to continue riding...I hate this....I'm turning've ruined me....."

(Note: it was steeper than it looks in the picture, swear.)

I'm not invited back with him. But, I did so well on the rest of the ride I think I redeemed myself after the tantrums. We had a peaceful lunch on our own private, crystal clear lake.

Sweaty back....rarrrrrr.

Followed by views of Tahoe (shhhh, don't tell Tyler...but this part made the whole uphill part worth it...seriously the most amazing views ever).

(And for those of you -my brothers- who think I am some kind of a big wimp please keep in mind that this trail is approximately 17 miles long and I rode up this entire mountain to enjoy these views. So take that.)

Once we were to the bottom, we slipped into our swimsuits and later enjoyed ice-cream sundaes.

Then kissed our mini-getaway goodbye.

And our mini-hoodlums hello. Who, as you can see, were well fed. And cared for (unibrows graciously drawn in by auntie Sarah. hilarious.)Truth be told, they were freshly bathed and ready for bed when we picked them up.
Thanks Mom.

Wow, we needed this break...and swore we won't go more than six months again without another. Nonna and Pop, consider this your warning!

The End.

Tyler Haack: I love you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

As crazy as it seems.

This is about the third time that Lily has officially gone to play alone at another friend's house. I'm still not sure how I feel about this. Even though my children were the ultimate titans of terror today at the grocery store, London is now asleep, the house quiet and

I miss her.

I remember the first invite she received a few months ago....I turned it down. Not because of the lovely people inviting her, not because I wasn't sure she'd behave (I never am, so that couldn't possibly be what stopped me). It was because I wasn't ready. When casually asked, "Would Lily like to come to our house today?" I panicked like an overprotective bear and followed up the question with a brief excuse and promptly called my mother.

"Mom,...(suspenseful silence leading up to earth-shattering announcement)... Lily was invited to play at a friends' house today."

"Oh, how nice."

"No, no it is not nice. She is growing up. My little girl is growing up and I'm not sure I can handle it. She's not ready...I'm not ready. Nobody. is. ready. Before I know it she'll be in kindergarten, off to college. I haven't prepared her (myself) enough!!"

After the second invitation came a while later, I put on a brave face and loaded her into their vehicle that afternoon:

"Lu, have fun and ask to call Mommy if you need to come home. Remember who you are, don't ever talk to strangers, wash your hands after you go potty, beware of the huge difference between simple interest and compound, keep your credit card in a place where you won't be tempted to use it, remember that boys will say things they don't really feel to get you to do things you shouldn't be doing, read lots of books, say please and thank you, too much texting will make you stupid, don't give up on things just because they seem hard, remember that Dad and I will always love you, you will not be able to avoid the consequences in life for poor decisions, ....

" Momm! I dus gotta gooooo."

"Oh.... right, ok. Have fun on the slip and slide."

I'll get better at this.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Bombardment of pictures.

* I'll give you a second for your computer to upload the plethora of photos. Apologies dear reader, I am too computer illiterate to consolidate the pics into an efficient collage, and this is first and foremost a family record, so no pictures can be spared. Trust me, nobody loves an itinerary post more than myself when blog surfing. Buckle your seatbelt, this is our holiday weekend.

We had a smashingly fun weekend for the 4th of July festivities.

*Friday - took the girls for a bike ride along the river with best friends Cas and Max. Followed by delicious all American dinner of burgers, fries, and shakes at Scoopers. It's so funny how it goes with good friends, no matter how much time you spend together, there is always something to talk about. Tyler and Max excitedly exchange ideas about gardening composts, sports, and "Man Club" (more on that later). Cas and I usually cover childbirth (still trying to coax her into giving it a whirl - booo haaa haaa), clothing, family dramas, and counseling on my overall inability to control my children.

(So sad this pic is fuzzy, it so perfectly captures Lily's zest for life. It doesn't matter that it was her 1,298th time on a swing, it is still magical. Lu, you are too much fun.)

* Saturday
- First order business for Independence Day was to abandon my usual hesitations towards looking like a holiday smorgasbord of hideous, and dress the entire family in a variety of Red, White, and Blue. Yes, you heard it right, a matching little family. Aaawwwww. Dresses for the girls, navy and white for myself, and Tyler was in a lovely patriotic plaid. I'm just that proud to be an American.

Went to the 'Sparks has got Talent' competition. To which I can't help but respond, "No, we don't". Kidding. Besides, a local talent show in the community sounded like a wonderfully patriotic thing to do (i.e. we had a friend in the competition - she did great).
The performers were very interesting, and we were entertained by some very lovely songs ranging from Country to Cabaret, along with a lovely interpretive "exotic bird" dance from a very limber teenage girl. (However I still can't get over the fact that whenever I'm in large crowds of people from the Reno/Sparks area, I can no longer bury my head in the sand and pretend that we aren't a white trash looking group. Seriously. Women adorning minuscule triangle bikini tops with approx. 13 pounds of stomach hanging over their wedgie shorts pushing dirty strollers full of children, toothless men with three cigarettes in their mouths, the list goes on. Oh well, what kind of a crowd do you really expect to draw in the legalized prostitution State whose revenues are largely drawn from gambling? Happy 4th of July, Nevada...I still love you.)

Later enjoyed a fun backyard BBQ with family and friends

Followed by heading up to my parents' house to watch the fireworks in the distance and make Smores. I always forget how much I love Smores. Gooey, melted mallow on chocolate smashed between a graham = perfection.
We listened to Patriotic songs during the firework display unless 'Pop' Ira protested:
"Now why the hell are they playing that song on the radio?! That's not patriotic!"
"Yes it is, Dad. It's American Woman."
"Yeah, sung by a British group that are telling her to stay away with her war machines, calling her a ghetto queen!"

I'm still torn on that one. The night wrapped up with a beautiful full moon and a warm temperature, during which Ty and I laid outside in our backyard and enjoyed the night sky and each other's company.

*Sunday - off to church. Very enjoyable and uplifting, minus the part where I got up to speak in testimony meeting and wanted to shoot myself afterwards. Seriously, don't ever let me get up again. I rarely get up, but everytime....EVERY TIME....I get down and can't stand how stupid I sounded. Rambling, emotional, MESS.

Overall - a perfectly wonderful holiday weekend. Why do they always have to go by so fast?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


If I stop and think about it.

I could have been born starving in North Korea.

I could have been born in China, where my baby London would not have been permitted to live.

I could have been born in Cameroon, Africa, where hunger and corruption and the human rights of woman and children are regularly violated without repercussions.

I could have been born in Iran, where we see the right to voice concern and protest can be crushed by evil governments.

I could have been born in Mexico, where opportunity is limited and the streets cluttered with garbage and poverty.

But I wasn't. And when I think about that,

I can't help but feel humbled.

And proud.

Proud to be protected. Proud to be free. Proud to be allowed to worship what I choose to worship. Proud to exercise my God-given rights to have the children I was born to have.
To vote.
To speak.
To work.
To Give.

Humbled by those who keep us safe. Humbled by the price others paid for me, little old me...and my beautiful and blessed and alive under a banner of success and abundance and freedom we will never fully recognize because we've never known otherwise.

Humbled by the daunting task of not failing to:

Express gratitude.
Stand up.
Speak out.

This is America.

Yes - I am proud (and humbled) to have the great honor of calling myself an American.

Happy 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are you sick of it yet?

We're still in the backyard. Soaking up the delicious warmth of summer.

Thoughts, ramblings, and detailed posts are on hold for a time.
I'm just not tired of it yet.

But sometimes they are....

Ps. My car and car seats look DISGUSTING (result of that squeezed out foundation previously mentioned and bad karma coming my way for swearing I would "never be one of those gross mom whose cars smelled like old hamburgers and pee diapers)...but you've gotta love the Sonic Happy Hour for icy cold drinks... and the nacho cheese covered faces (result of a mother's desperate attempt to calm down a screaming three year-old after she fell and bumped her head at the pool. When asked what would make her feel better she replied, "Owange chips...da owange ones").