Friday, January 28, 2011


As of January 15,
that's how many years my lover baby's been on this earth.
Can you believe it?
I can't.
But I suppose that's just because I missed the first little bit of it.
And when I say a little bit, I mean most all of it.

It makes me sad some days to think I missed out on the first 22 years of his life.
I wonder what it might have been like to know the nearly white-haired little wild child...
to meet the simultaneously shy and unsettlingly confident high school sports star...
(talk about breezing by the insecurities and unhealthy level of self-awareness characteristic of those  tumultuous teen years)
to spend time with the fresh-off-the-press Italian missionary trying to assimilate into the BYU bubble.

I wonder if I'd have wanted to be little Parker's play mate...
if Mr. RHS might have tried to date me...
if I'd have caught his eye that first day in Provo the way I did in ten months' time.

Yes, I wonder.
But I don't worry.
Because even though we've barely finished scrawling the first pages of this little love 
I feel like I've loved him my whole life
and I'm 99.9% certain he feels the same way too.
(the 0.1% margin left for doubt comes when 
A. I try to do my make-up in the car because I'm already 10+ minutes late and get mascara all over his mirror, then argue defensively that it wouldn't have happened had he warned me about the speed bump.
B. Get hair wax on his favorite suit because I am, again, multitasking in the car because I am, again, 10+ minutes late.
C. Leave mascara-stained tears all along the shoulder of said suit.
D.  Wriggle my way over to his side of the bed and plop his arm over me, waking him from the deepest sleep because I NEED to be cuddled.
E.  Insist for over an hour that he was the one who threw away my YW's reimbursement receipts and hound him to remember back to where else he might have put them if, as he claims, he did not throw them away.  Then come back with a sheepish sorry after finding them in the pocket of my purse, the place he told me to look first.
The list goes on and on.
I'm a wonderful wife.
I know.)
But because I have not even 0.1% of my time spent wondering why you're so wonderful sweetie, I'd like to share with the world 24 things I've learned and come to love about you in your 22, 23, and now 24 years.

1. I love that you like to partially make the bed each night before you crawl in to go to sleep because, unlike me, you hate being tangled up in a messy bundle of blankets and sheets.  
And while you used to think I just had a nasty habit of taking up 99% of our bed, you now realize that happens because you hug the right side and me, the barnacle that I am, has to inch over that far to cuddle with you.  I laugh when you sing "Meet Me Halfway" to remind me I can just meet you in the middle.

2.  I love that you hate when I wear too much make-up.
Which, to you, is anything more than eyeliner and mascara.  
I'd be offended were it not for the fact that you remind me constantly that I am one of the few girls you've ever met that, you claim, looks just as beautiful if not better without it.
I believe you sometimes, then other times I think it's just because you hate the idea of any of it rubbing off on your immaculately kept clothes.

3.  I love that you LOVE to cuddle.
You've often reminded me you like cuddling better than kissing.
It took me awhile to get used to that when we were first dating.
You're different than most boys Parker B,
and I think it's really sweet.
The only downside to this little quirk,
you're the best kisser I know.

4.  I love the fact that you basically live off Chip Mates cereal.
For those of you who don't know, 
Chip Mates is essentially generic brand cookie crisp.
And as much as I hate to admit it,
it is, indeed, delicious.

5.  I love that you're a perfectionistic Photoshop pro.
And you all thought we just always looked this perfect. 

6.  I love that you're always a helper and appreciate the value of hard work.
Every time we trek down to Rockville you tell me about the time you spent there working your grandpa's farm with your family.
I wish I'd have known him,
wish I could've met him even just one time so I could say thank you.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Because this is one of the reasons I've loved you from the start.

(And because I know this is largely due to the good influence of your Dad & Mom too,
thank you, thank you Tristan & Kristy!
I pray we can pass this put-your-shoulder-to-the-wheel attitude to our kids someday soon).

7.  I love how you say you don't understand people's obsession with "shows."
The last thing your life revolves around is the television
(unless the Cougs are taking the court or rushing the field).
Yet I have, on more than one occasion, had a good little giggle over the way you try to casually ask whether or not Glee's on tonight, if I'm looking up the latest episode of Modern Family on Hulu, or if 30 Rock's back from the holiday break.
You're not a TV junkie, true. 
But you do take a quick hit every now and again.
And even though you like to play it off as though you're just enduring it all for my benefit,
you have to admit...
you kind of love it too.

8.  I love that you never speak poorly of anyone.
A wise friend of mine shared her resolution to speak more of ideas and less of people.
I loved it!
What a refreshing thought?!
That conversations don't always need to involve a discussion about a non-present party to be provocative, insightful, or interesting.
And when I thought of the people I know who seem to have already mastered this course on good conversation,
I thought of you,
and how being with you has made me a better person too.

9.  I love that you come home heartbroken over a bit of bad news at the dentist.
I know you're going to hate this one because "heartbroken" does not connote "tuffness" in your mind,
but you have to understand,
I think this is ADORABLE.
It's not like you even had a cavity
(which we've never, and hopefully won't ever have).
Just a weak spot or two on your enamel.
And you came home that dooms-day determined to take any and all preventative action to keep it from developing into anything more.
I gave you a bit of a bad time for it,
so when I came home with the same diagnosis just a day later, 
you tried to play the exclusivity card to keep me from the full-prevention "program" you had all ready and set to go.
Luckily you decided to be the bigger person and let me join.
And please know that,
even on those days I'm a bit belligerent about your calling me out for my inconsistent flossing,
I am so, so glad we're fluoride buddies.

You're going to be the best dentist someday.

10.  I love that you always, always kiss me when you come home.
I love that that's the first thing you do after walking through the front door.
It makes me think that,
 even after the longest and most difficult day,
you're happier just for having me back in your arms.
And let me tell you,
there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

11.  I love the way you justify never kissing me in the middle of a movie.
I know you do cave sometimes, 
but it's only when I demand it.
And I am 99.9% certain you keep your eyes open the whole time.
And by whole time, I mean the 2.7 milliseconds you invest in your lackluster and apathetic peck.

I used to wonder why marriage made it so that you couldn't be bothered with even the littlest kiss.
And then I realized,
your wimpy kisses don't mean you don't love me,
you just really hate missing ANYTHING
(most especially because our ghetto DVD player doesn't have any way to track back and see what we might have missed).

so yes, 
I'm grateful now.
Because let's be honest,
I ask WAY too many questions as it is.
And if you caved to all my kisses,
who'd be there with all the answers?

p.s. Also funny...the way you refuse to give any "real" kisses after you've brushed your teeth.
I'm still trying to understand why you're only wary of sharing my germs just before you fall to sleep...

12.  I love the fact that you can have a six-pack in just a week's time.
Yes sweetie, I do love this about you.
I mean really;
what kind of whack-job wife would complain that her husband's just too hot???
Not me.  
Never me.
I do, however, resent the fact that this doesn't go both ways.

13.  I love the fact that you have the most ticklish little piggies.
Again, I realize you don't believe this tickle tribute is at all fitting for a man,
but sweetie,
your little piggies cry "Wee! wee! wee! wee! wee!" anytime I'm within even an inch of them.
(Picture the latest and greatest Geico commercial.  Parker's piggies to. the. tee.)
Not to mention the fact that your face is the picture of unforgivable and unforgettable agony whenever you're made to suffer through one of my personal pedis
(which is in no way a comment on the foot-friendliness of my massages.
I started charging for those scrub sessions at the age of 5).
so as much as you hate to hear it,
I had to say it.
Because who can resist seeing the tuffest of tuff guys just a little vulnerable?

14.  I love that your most mischievous laugh sounds exactly like Scooby Doo's.
You laugh like Scooby Doo.
You do! You do! You do!
And it is so, so cute.

15.  I love the fact that you are the most talented wonder of a wakeboarder I've ever known.
Known personally.
I threw that in because I knew you'd be blushing by the time you you'd made it to the fine print.
seriously though.
You. are. amazing.
Did I ever tell you about the first time I ever watched you board?
Lake Shasta. 2009. 
You land a tantrum no problem on a teeny tiny ski boat wake.
My BFF leans over and asks,
"Does this make him like 100 times more attractive to you?"
I giggle, give a little blush, and whisper back,
"You have no idea."
Yes sweetie, I'm singing your praises.
And no, there's no mute button tonight.

16.  I love that you love a good challenge.
i.e.: catching my eye, stealing my heart, somehow convincing me life couldn't ever be better than this.
Ok I'm kidding.
I'm not sure anything you achieved so easily qualifies as a challenge.
What I really aimed to express here deals with what I said just a moment ago,
you. are. amazing.
Whether you're turning my world upside down out on the wakeboard,
scaring me to pieces with your mountain biking stunts,
or blowing my mind with how quickly you've mastered maneuvering through the snow, 
you're making me wonder what on earth I did to deserve you.

And yet,
you're blind to the truth everyone else sees.
You insist you're still a novice
with many new moves to master, heights to reach, and snow to shred 
before you'll ever even begin to think you've accomplished anything remotely remarkable.
Why be good when you could be great?
I love that that's your approach to everything in life.
It's refreshing.
And rewarding.
Especially when you apply it your husband-ing.

17.  I love the fact that your two beloved babies bikes cost more than the combined total of our his & hers wakeboards, snowboards, and laptops.
Expensive hobby, no?
But it makes you happy.
And that makes me happy.

And you wanna know what makes me even happiER???
That they're now boarding in your brother's garage.
I love not having to wrestle my way into our pantry,
wriggle into the single teeny tiny space by the sink,
or trip on a dirty tire while racing out the front door.

Yes...I love this.
I love it a LOT. 
(and I do sort of love tagging along too...)

18.  I love hearing the real reasons you look forward to being a dentist.  
I know no one will believe me when I say it,
but with you,
it's not about the money.
You really do care about helping people.
And you are a firm believer in the idea that healthier lives are happier lives.
A little idealistic?
But that's what going to make you such a stud in the field.
Not to mention the fact that you are fascinated by the idea of working with your hands.
I think you're convinced dentistry's a creative field.
And I think that's super cute.

so here's to a crazy year of big classes, big tests, and even bigger interviews.
I believe in you Parker B.
Thanks for bringing me along for the ride. 

19.  I love my memory of the one and only time I've ever seen you cry
and I love that those tears came because you couldn't stand seeing me so sad.
Don't worry sweetie.
Those were the tuffest of tears.
You stayed calm, quiet, and quite composed as you held me in your arms.
I never would have known had I not noticed the moonlight reflected in your misty eyes.
I remember I cried harder for having made you sad.
And you, again, took me into your arms
and held me until my quiet sobs subsided.

You didn't care that it was snowing;
didn't care that I had on your one and only coat;
didn't care that you were already hours past your bedtime.

You just cared that I knew that you cared,
that you loved me,
and that you weren't going anywhere.
not now.
not ever.

And sweetie,
I knew it.
And once I knew it, 
I realized
that forever with you 
wouldn't ever be long enough.

20.  I love that you love kids.
I've already explained this one away one too many times,
but can I just tell you how absolutely ADORABLE it was watching you hold little Ava this last weekend?
You looked just ecstatic every time she smiled up at you.
And you must've made about 10+ animated comments on her strong little baby legs to me, Carson & Ashley, and anyone else within a 10-foot radius on the walk from Sunday School to Sacrament Meeting.
I about peed my pants when I watched you trying to get her to walk down the pew.
"Parker!  She's just 4-months-old!  She can't even crawl."
"But she can walk!  All I have to do is help her swing her hips.  She does the rest all on her own."
Oh sweetie.
You are so cute.
But let me tell you now.
If you plan to leave me home with 4-month-old walking babies you've trained,
you won't have a home to come home to.

21.  I love that you are not-so-secretly proud of your baby blue eyes and natural blonde hair.
I can't tell you how many times you've raised an eyebrow or shot me a questioning look after I've made the comment that I do, indeed, have blue eyes too.
 You are a silly boy Parker B.
And although I beg to disagree with the idea that baby blue is the only shade of a blue-hued iris,
I'm glad you're proud of your God-given good looks.
I'm pretty proud of them too.

22.  I love that you unpack the minute we arrive home from an overnighter, weekend getaway, extended vacation, or any other quick trip.
I don't love, however, that you expect me to unpack with you.
I like to ease back into home life
a.k.a. I'm usually zonked and a little lazy after said trips and just want to plop into bed and fall straight to sleep before I've even brushed my teeth
(which is yet another practice you frown upon
and yes,
one I always regret come morning).

23.  I love that you love the Gospel
and especially love that you so love to sharing it.
Your 14 & 15-year-old Sunday schoolers seem to love you almost as much as I do.
And you never employ the use of bribery like I do with my Mia-s.
(which means you're being judged on merit alone.
impressive Parker B.
very impressive).

24.  I love, love, love, love, love that you love me.

Happy Birthday Parker!
May your Social Network, Settebello gelato, snowboarding, and honeymoon suite birthday have been everything you'd hoped for and more.
I can't wait to see everything your 24th year has in store for you, 
mostly you, 
and kind of me too.
Love you my love.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

holiday ABC's

I'll be honest.
My last post absolutely overwhelmed me.
Yes, it did convey a sweet message,
but it was also unsettlingly long.

so I've decided to go another route with our Christmas recap.
an entry with more of children's picture book feel.
because, let's face it.
no one likes blog novels.
Richfield pics by the one and only Mr. Parker DeMille.
Love my little hunk of a photographer.
I only wish he'd take all my pics...
so without further ado...

Adorable homemade Aprons for my dear family's favorite kitchen terrors.
Yes, my husband did ask me if I'd EVER made good toffee after my third botched batch.
Thank you for the vote of confidence baby.
An epic day of snowBoarding in the freshest of Northstar powder.
Yes, Parker did try out his new snowboard.
And yes, he did indeed fall in love.
At first I thought it might be with my crazy talented cousin Josh.
Now I'm leaning more towards the sport.
He's obsessed.
It's pretty cute.

Cabin fever!
Did I mention the contractor must have been on crack when he made the plans for this place?
I could never do the place justice with just words, but I'll do my best to paint you a mental picture.
woodsy, whack,with winding staircases and only one way out.
Did it have a garage carved out of a giant boulder?
Yes it did.
Did it have skylights over the beds piled with 2-plus feet of snow?
Yes, yes it had those too.
A kitchen for the herd to graze in?
Of course!
Did it have a hot tub on the outer balcony off the sweet master suite we shared with Jason & Ashlee?
It surely did!
How 'bout a humidifying indoor waterfall built off the side of a massive wood-burning fireplace?
Yes and yes.

Oh how this strangely beautiful fire hazard of a cabin spoiled us.
I found its quirks quite charming and worth every minute of our 5-hour online house hunt. 

Lots of minion-loving and a Despicable Me Christmas morning cuddle-fest.

Pictured above:
The minion my cute Mom created.
she's just amazing, that mom of mine.
and my minion, he's adorable.
i am one lucky girl!

Eating like a family of hungry hungry hippos.
Ashlee's food baby made for more than one raised eyebrow.
so, so funny
that seester of mine.
Ash & Haley in food comas...

And yes, this is my mess.
I took my little masterpieces outside to cool and
Everyone laughed
No one was surprised.
story of my life...

 Family photos!
I'm amazed we pulled this one off.
Between one majorly-ADD dog,
two bad attitudes,
three separate calls for retakes in the midst of severe snow flurries,
and more stressed smiles & squinty eyes than I can count,
we had our work cut out for us.
You thought we were always this good-looking???
Not a chance...

Christmas with the Greenwells, Whites & Wilsons.
Now this is a group that knows how to have fun.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love my family.
So we'll leave it at that.
I love them!
My only wish...
that the Texas & Colorado gangs could've joined us too.
We missed you.
Hot tubbing in the middle of a Tahoe blizzard.
And having to remind a certain family member that it isn't polite to pop a zit when in close proximity to others...
even if it's your spouse's pus-pocket that's just begging to be picked.
Gas we'll allow though.
It's just a few extra bubbles...

Looking like lost little sheep amidst the Ikea herds while searching for a teeny-tiny-apartment-friendly desk.

Lots of last minute shopping, post-Christmas gift-swapping, and a newfound love for skinny Jeans.
I'm weak!
I know!
But I'll be honest.
I wonder now why I resisted the trend for so long
(maybe because I thought they'd make me look like a hippo???).
But my super sexy new boots made me set those fears aside,
and when I did, I realized... 
you can't fight good fashion.
(And because I owe it to the world to share it...
Ashlee's Fashion tip: Forever 21 skinnies
You can thank me later.)

Wishing we could give Delta Airlines a big Kick in the pants!
I won't bore you with a recap of the Delta drama we faced trying to fly into Reno,
but I will tell you of the trouble we had getting out.
We wake up BEFORE the crack of dawn (4 o'clock to be exact) to make it to the airport in time to catch our 6:25 a.m. flight.
We signed up for this flight to ensure that I'd make it to work by 10.
Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy right?!
Greedy Delta decides, again, to consolidate;
this time using the excuse of a "sleepy crew."
(which I may have believed had they not required the 11:15 a.m. passengers to join us on a flight now set to leave at 9:30...which, by measure of MST, would mean I'd now be leaving a full half hour AFTER the start of my shift.  Lovely.)
We opt to just stay at the airport.
No sense in making Dad double back to make the trip two hours later.
We try to sleep.
But it's FREEZING,
below freezing,
I go so far as to put up $13 for an airport blanket that's about as thick as two-ply toilet paper.
We try hot chocolate too.
Nothing works.
So we suffer through.
Hate our lives the whole way home.
And do the math to see if we'd really "saved" by flying Delta.
By the time we factored in the pay I'd missed for an early flight to Reno and late flight home,
and being nickel-and-dimed with our bag check,
I'd say we'd have been better off flying Southwest.
Never again Delta.
Never again.
Your rates aren't worth the trouble. 

Lazing around on Sunday afternoons.
The Bodily's came down to Richfield for a visit over New Year's weekend.
Between a big Sunday dinner, heaps of sweets, and a few intense rounds of Ticket to Ride,
I'd say we had the perfect Sunday
(though Houston and Parker might beg to differ...I made a few unintentional (and intentional) enemies at the Ticket to Ride table.  Congrats again to Kristy for her big win!  I think it saved our marriage).
We capped of the night with some couples Sequence with Kristy & Tristan before skipping on home to Salt Lake.
I only wish we didn't have to do that last part.
It's never fun leaving Richfield.

Trying to help our little PC's make peace with the newest member of our family, baby Mac.  
It's hard living in your massive little sibling's shadow.
New wardrobes, new boots and new Nikes too.
Mr. "Don't even think about breaking the budget" totally doubled it with just one "fergalicious" purchase.
I told him I'd forgive him of his hypocrisy just this once
(and maybe a second time if he decided to buy me the ones in tan too).
I'm in love with my boots.
I mean my husband.
 He spoils me.
But our parents spoil us in turn.
so I guess it all comes full circle.
We's such lucky little ducks.

Loving on my one and Only Miss Molly.
Oh how I miss my chubby brown dog!
such a goob...

(Not pictured: Tiffany deVries & Todd Marchant
And a few people we missed:
Jillian Proulx & Jared and Brooke Olson)
Parties at the White House with the original Sparks crew.
It's been a full 2 years since we've all been together.
Boys set off on missions.
Girls ran off to college.
Most boys came home to Reno's blue school.
The girls (and some boys) laid their true blue roots in Utah.
One boy married a Reno girl.
One girl married a Utah boy.
And the rest are still living up the single life
(though some are coming precariously close to the transition point
bling! bling!).
We may be living different lives, but we laugh as much as we ever did.
I love my friends...

Learning to appreciate the little Quips in the Westerns my dad so loves.
Growing up with John Wayne & the History Channel laid the foundations of what I thought would be a lifelong aversion to anything remotely related to the Wild Wild West.
I fought seeing True Grit tooth and nail, only compromising because Dad 
A. so desperately wanted to see it
B. had been a semi-good sport about all our post-Christmas shopping.
And what do you know...
I actually liked it.
Did I enjoy the ending?
No so much.
Would I see it again?
Now that I know the plot, probably not.
But I definitely felt like I got my $10 worth the day we went.
So I'd recommend it.
And that's a big deal for me,
a Western-hater and movie critic all balled up into one.

Lady Raiders Soccer
Spring 2007
A Lady Raiders Reunion at none other than our beloved IHOP.
Well...the newer version of our beloved IHOP.
The ghetto one we used to go to closed down.
sad day.
BUT, seeing my girls made up for it all.
It's amazing how much has changed...
and how much hasn't.
Outspoken Marisa's interviewing for med schools.
Contemplative and quick-witted Mo's off to Spain.
Comedian Tiff's headed out to who-knows-where on her mission.
Sweet Sarah's stealing hearts and finishing up school.
And then there's me...
all growed up and married.
Well...maybe just married.

Sledding, snowball fights, and snowboarding in a winter storm.
We hiked up and down the mountainside to squeeze in as many runs as we could before sundown.
If I can find a way to link you to the video of my colossal crash you can chuckle along with the rest of the spectators.
It's pretty sad.
But then again, so is the scene where Molly straight up attacks me.
Thank you again, Jason, for issuing the command.
Missed you too big bro.

Game after game after game after game of good 'ol Ticket to Ride Europe.
You could say we're a little obsessed.
Maybe even a little competitive.
But when you pair a card-counting Dad with an indiscriminate building Mom, vindictive little sister, and a brother who can't build a tunnel to save his life, it's impossible to resist a rematch.
My favorite Ticket to Ride incident:
We're halfway through the game.
Mom has yet to build and has half the deck in her hand.
As play continues around the table, she leans over to my brother.
"Jason...have you seen a grey one yet? I can't draw one to save my life!"
"There are no grey cards Mom.  The grey spaces are wild."
"Oh. That explains it."
This wouldn't be funny, except for the fact that my Mom's played this game...many, many times before.
Gotta love games with Mom.

Celebrating the start of 2011 in the lovely Richfield, Utah.
I wouldn't choose to ring in the New Year anywhere else.
I love being at the DeMille's.
It feels like home.
Whoever thought I'd find in-laws as silly and sassy and as I am?
Plus they're Sequence-lovers too!
It's magical.

Very Merry Christmas Eve at the White House.
We decided to do gifts before setting off to Tahoe.
Can you tell we're just a little bit spoiled?
You couldn't slap those silly little grins off our faces.
Thanks so much Mom & Dad!
And thanks again to Shauna too!
I can't imagine having missed all this...

Wii Tennis. 
I think my power serve made Parker fall in love all over again.
And, little Miss Haley, I'd like to remind you and your boy Brett that your big "W" was, indeed, a pity win.
You can thank us later for making sure he made it home before curfew.
We're so thoughtful...

This may have been just before the wii-chuck incident...
can you tell Daddy Dave has his game face on?
Making an eXtra special effort to stay positive once all the fun came to an end.
It's hard to go from go, go, go to slow, slow, slow...
especially when you're go, go, going with all the people you love.

Yukking it up.
We laughed at laughed and laughed some more.
We always do when we're with family.
We laughed at the dinky mantle, 
at Ashlee's inability to maneuver her way through the front door,
and at my Mom's concern over the black trains building all up in hers and Haley's grill
(when they, in fact, were the black team).
We laughed at Kristy's kinky (moreso kinked) Ticket to Ride trains
and Karen's bi-tracktual behavior.
We laughed when Dad unintentionally hucked his Wii remote across the room,
and laughed harder when he dove to catch the mini Christmas tree it'd fully destroyed in its wake.
We laughed when Josh whacked Uncle Glenn with a swift backhand and laughed at Jason's many whiffs.
We laughed when I clumsily dropped the tray of desserts we'd just baked and laughed harder when we realized we'd left our trifle cake out on the deck by Miss Molly's truffles.
Oh how much fun we have when we're together!
These are the moments I really miss the most.

And a craZy Christensen's shopping spree.
Because Richfield's population fills the generosity cup to the brim, Parker and I still had an account to shop with down at the local Department Store.
We set out in search of housewares, or anything else that might qualify as a more traditional wedding gift.
But we struck out.
So we shopped instead!
I am so, so pleased with our purchases,
especially my new Steve Madden coat.
It's darling.
As is Parker's tush in his new jeans.
Thank. you. Richfield.

Merry Christmas 2010
Happy 2011

You've got big shoes to fill,
but, if you play your cards right,
you could very well be our best year yet.

so here. we. go.