Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The end of the year..

It seems that every single December sneaks up on me.  Here we are, just plugging along, living life, going on adventures, experiencing the seasons and then BLAMO!  It's Christmas!

Christmas completely and utterly stresses me out.  I have panic attacks and cry.  I miss my grandma's and strive to find their presence in all that I do, just to know, that they know, I'm trying.

The actual day of Christmas is a blur.  It is never as stressful as I think it's going to be and I do manage to find joy in watching my children's overwhelming excitement for all things wrapped (and not) in flimsy holiday paper.  We rush and rush and rush and then it all just comes crashing down.

Christmas should be the end of the year.  We should wake up the next day and ring in the new year all at once.  These days between December 25 and January 1 are just a jumble of sugar and chaos and trying to figure out what to do with ourselves every single day.

Today though, is my super cool brother's birthday.  He is 21 today.  Holy cow.  To celebrate, we are all going bowling (the Bing-Bings, the parental units and my family of 5), and eating lots of french fries, which is a pretty good way to celebrate the birthday of the one we love when he isn't here.  Because, if he was here, we'd probably be doing the same thing.

I'm excited for what the new year holds, what it will bring, and the adventures we will take both near and far.  I'm excited for my children to continue to grow and learn and be the great kids that they are.  I'm excited to get out of my 13th year of marriage and move on to the 14th, because the 13th has been a little stressful, to tell you the truth.  I'm excited to take more pictures, have new experiences, and maybe even go on an actual "date" or two with my husband, sans children.  I heard those things exist, but haven't been on one in so long I'm not sure I remember what to do.

All that being said, here is a quick slide show tribute to our 2015, may it rest in peace.  It seems that every year, my boys and I adopt a song.  One that's easy on the ears and can be wildly danced to in the kitchen (or the car, or anywhere else for that matter.)  Walk the Moon's, "Shut Up and Dance" seemed to fit the bill this year - and is probably one of the first songs we will have that Uncle of ours listen to as part of his missionary de-programming in two short months.

Happy New Year.  Bring on 2016.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas




Merry Christmas.


Mittens and wristbands, Mittens and wristbands, kinder  eggs, kinder eggs, kinder eggs...

Opening a few presents this morning from grandma and grandpa in South Africa.

Christmas Adam.  A beautiful day for frosting cookies with cousins.

It was completely out of character for me, but I only took about 10 pictures yesterday.  I was tired and there was a lot going on.

But, we had a wonderful Christmas.  The boys seemed to get everything on their wish lists and then some.  We received inches and inches of snow,  We skyped with our best brother and uncle for about an hour and Jack called Quinn his husband.  It was a good day and when it was finally over we all crashed hard.

Unfortunately, Quinn's crashing somehow, mysteriously got him into my bed.  At 2:30, I had suffered enough blows and decided to try and sleep the rest of the night in his hobbit bed.

Let's get this new year started, shall we?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Twas the week of Christmas...

Only a few more days.  They, the big guy comes, the presents get opened, the mess gets cleaned up (eventually) and we have a chance to catch our breath and spend some time with each other at a less frantic pace.

We had a good weekend.

The Runnin' Utes beat Duke.  I don't know that there was ever a greater Christmas miracle.  I watched the overtime by myself, home alone, and I cheered and yelled and fist pumped.  It was glorious to see those dookies lose.  My sister said on her blog that it made up for all those losses to Kentucky.  I disagree that it was that wonderful of a victory, but it did help to start to heal old wounds.

Watching basketball, before we go and play basketball.  This is a reason I like boys.  #goutes #beatduke #ihatechristianlaetner #butithinkheshandsome

They tried to lose but, man alive, that felt good. It's a Christmas miracle.  #goutes

On Saturday night, we had our second family Christmas party.  My mom wasn't in charge, but she contributed a lot, and asked me to put together a photo booth.  I obliged and I think almost everyone at the party participated.  Even Grandpa got into the act.  We got some fun, casual, no pressure family pictures out of it, so that's always good, too.

Family party #huberbooth

All my kiddos,  except sleepy quinn. #huberbooth

Even grandpa is getting into the act.

Always happy for pictures.  #huberbooth

Love these guys! #huberbooth

Because my parents kitchen remodel has taken longer than expected, we ended up going out for Sunday dinner last night, and as Elliott put it, it was fancy.  We went to the coffee shop at Little America.  My boys were so well behaved.  I love it when they are so good, and even say thank you to our server without being reminded.  After dinner, we found a Santa with a real beard, and walked across the street to see the holiday windows at the Grand America.  It was quite a fun night.

Mom: boys, thank you for being so good tonight!  Elliott: I know why we were good.  Because it was fancy.

And now?  The week of Christmas.  There are presents to be wrapped, candies to be made, neighbor gifts to deliver.  There are meals out on the town, Jazz and Utah basketball games to be attended, cookies to be frosted and Christmas Eve traditions to uphold.  It's going to be a very busy and eventful week.  As stressed out as I often let myself get, I'm excited for what the week has in store for us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Doing a good deed

Quinn and I headed to the post office this morning to pick up a certified package.  We stood in a 30 minute line, very patiently waiting our turn.  The postal employee who helped us, helps us pretty regularly.  I don't know his name, but we've had some good short conversations and are on good face recognition terms.

As we approached the counter and exchanged hello's he asked me to give him just a minute.  He had a package that had been left by a customer a few people in front of me, but hadn't been paid for.  As he was standing there, trying to figure out what to do, I said "I"ll just pay for it."

He looked at me dumbfounded, like he didn't hear what I had said, so I said it again, "I'll just pay for it.  It's Christmas, I'm sure whatever is inside is important."

He still looked at me a little goofy and said, "Really?  You'll pay for someone else's package?  Are you sure?  It's ten dollars, are you sure?"

I told him yes, again, that it really wasn't that big of a deal so he rang me up.  As I was paying, he said, "That really is nice of you but that person will never know you did it." Like he thinks you should only do nice things for people if they see you.  I told him it was all the better that it was anonymous and hopefully I'll have some good karma headed my way.  It's one of those pay it forward experiences - I didn't pay for the food or coffee for the person behind me at the drive through, but the least I could do was help someone out with shipping a Christmas gift.

'Tis the season, I guess.  Hopefully whomever is the recipient of that package really enjoys it this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


It's just a few days before Christmas...9, if you don't count today, right?

I was talking to Ross on the phone this afternoon whining a bit.  It seems that all my time, our time, in the last couple weeks has been pulled away from us into different directions.  Church callings, basketball practice and coaching, Christmas concerts, Sub-for-Santa, traveling for work, holiday markets, frantic sewing for shows, frantic sewing of custom orders, shoveling snow and snow blowing all the neighbors driveways and really feels a little overwhelming.

There are people in this world who need help.  There are members of my family who need prayers.  There are so many NEEDS in this world that it's impossible to think of them all, or to help all those that need it.  I try hard to spend as much time as I can serving others, in big ways and small.  I try to do something everyday that will benefit another person, even if on most days, I don't make it past the other four people in my home.

And guess what.

I'm really tired.

And I have a lot to do in the next nine days.

I hope I can get it all done.

I find January and February, like most people, to be pretty depressing.  It's cold and dreary, the air is bad, lots of people get sick and pass away (our stake president a few weeks ago called winter the "season of dying" and as morbid as that sounds, he's right), as a parent, it takes me a long time to recover from the excitement and let down of the holidays.

But, there are a lot of good things too.

Our neighborhood provided Christmas for 7 families who would otherwise have nothing.  My oldest son performed amazingly well on the trombone in three holiday concerts, and my niece and nephew did well in their program, too.  My boys are great basketball players and very helpful, kind, nice boys which I think that their dad and I take for granted every once in a while.  We are lucky to go on adventures, have the resources to help other people, and spend a lot of time with the people we love.  Last week, the boys were on the trampoline in hoodies and this week, they are bundled up in their warmest gear to play in the snow.

And we get to talk to our Uncle Willie next week.  You just cannot beat that.

Post band concert advent activity trip to menchies

Christmas concert number 3 of the week.

All alone at the planetaruim

I love to buy my children Christmas presents.   My family,  too.  But nothing is a better Christmas gift for me than seeing and experiencing first hand the generosity of others.  And my kids living in all these gifts,  having service such a visible part o

Basketball starts today.  The most wonderful time of the year.  Both of my boys are number  15, on accident.  Both are coached by their dad, and elliott by #coachkarl too.  But Wyatt is wearing socks that @willie_petersen44 would be proud of.

Someone came to primary today.

"Anyways, in honor of Christmas, I put up a (fake and very small) Christmas tree in our apartment. I found it in a box in our house :) I threw some lights (also found in the same box) on as well as some of that kind of fuzzy feather boa scarf stuff. I hav

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

On Sunday night, it snowed.

On Monday, it snowed.

On Monday night, it snowed.

On Tuesday, we had a lot more snow.

Children, mine included, love the snow.  They seem to forget the fact that they are cold, have frozen snot on their faces and soaking wet pants and socks because....SNOW!

Yesterday, when the big boys got home from school, they geared up and headed outside with their little brother.  I dare say, they frolicked, they had so much fun.  When they came inside, they were laughing and having a great time.

Snow, for as much havoc as it wreaks in the lives of adults by way of commuting, shoveling and snow blowing, is truly magical for kids.  Quinn, in particular, has really loved the snow the last couple of days.  I guess this is the first year he's really old enough to play and trudge through knee high snow and last year, we didn't get any so this is pretty amazing to him.

I need to remember that magic the next time my boys are driving me crazy.

On the third day of christmas, my true love gave to me, three ding dongs frolicking in the snow.




Saturday, December 05, 2015

March 3, 2016

On Monday, one of the American families invited us as well as all of the other missionaries in Vilnius for "Thanksgiving Dinner." Our assignment was to make rolls. Most of my baking adventures usually end up in mild to major disasters, but this one wasn't

We have a return date for that tall blond elder in the picture.

March 3, 2016.

I can hardly wait.

I was talking to my mom about the Big Iggy this morning.  We both started crying.  She said, "I don't know how we got so lucky to have this kid in our family, but he is the glue that holds everything together."

Truer words were never spoken.

I'm ready for the glue to come back home.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend Activities

It's Sunday now, with nothing planned but fighting the kids at church.  And some kind of dinner.  But, our Thanksgiving weekend was pretty full of activities.

On Wednesday, we met Haley and her kids in West Valley City to ride the trax train downtown to look at the Macy's Christmas windows, and meet grandma for lunch at the City Creek food court.  The kids loved the train, were very well behaved and minus a few meltdowns in the Disney store after lunch, we had a nice ride home on the train as well.

I didn't take Quinn's stroller.  He had to walk.  It just about killed him and he slept on my lap on the train the entire way home.

Generally, I shy away from public transportation because, weirdos, but we had a pretty harmless round trip journey.





On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I had a meltdown.  Pretty typical actually, but a meltdown nonetheless.  It was small, and largely due to a miscommunication about how much work from home Ross was actually doing, but a drink and tots from sonic fixed it right up.  On Friday night, we met all the famdamily up at the Utah basketball game.  We left early because it was a blow out and I didn't feel well.  Also, pretty typical.

On Saturday, we celebrated the Petersen Family Christmas Party.  Uncle Paul was in charge.  We all went bowling and then had lunch in the rec room of his condo complex.  It was a great party and so much fun.  My kids love bowling. It was a really great day.  There were a lot of Petersen family members who were not present, but those of us who were had a great time.  My kids love their cousin Max and just gravitate towards him - Max, thanks for hanging out with my boys!

Thanks to my Uncle Paul, we have had the best start to our Petersen family party this year.  Were missing some folks but my grandma would be happy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, under the direction of my mother, Thanksgiving was to be no pressure and a day with just our immediate family.  That ended up meaning that we didn't go to my grandpa's this year, but instead we had a small family gathering at my house.  This was the first Thanksgiving, in many years, where my mom was able to sit with her grand kids, participate in all their craft projects, and have a hands off, relaxing day.

This also meant, that Ross and I got to host our first ever Thanksgiving AND do it our way, which was a little non-traditional, just the way we like it.  Immediately without question, turkey was OFF the menu, much to the delight of all of us, none of whom are big turkey eaters anyway.

The menu:
24 hour cross rib roast
thinly sliced carrots in a balsamic and orange juice glaze
green beans in brown sugar with bacon and shallots
roasted garlic yukon gold mashed potatoes
lion house rolls

It was a delicious dinner and a wonderful day.  I love my extended family, but sometimes when it's just our small group of Petersen's, Binggeli's and Howden's, it's the absolute best day there could be.






Thanksgiving feast.  24 hours roast beef, balsamic glazed carrots, roasted garlic Yukon gold mashed potatoes, French green beans in a brown sugar sauce with bacon and caramelized shallots.  Delish!



Monday, November 23, 2015

Off Track (again) :: Week Two

Well, another week off track is finished.  That's two down, two to go.

Last week, I felt like I was under an enormous amount of pressure.  I've got some big deadlines looming for a holiday market next week.  I felt foolish because I dropped out of a second December market and lost my entrance money because of it - but I just couldn't do two shows back to back.  We've also had trouble with our season basketball tickets, Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming, and my kids just want to go to lunch every day.  Now, by no means am I opposed to lunch every day, if there were, of course, options other than McDonald's and Little Cesar's.

But, we survived the second week, spending a lot of time at home, but hopefully doing a few fun things, too.

The boys spent a lot of time playing with friends.  Mine craft with Owen and Lego's with Jake (from state farm).  Our "classic" movie for the week was "Home Alone."  They thought it was funny  That movie is really dumb, and it takes a LONG time to build up to the last 20 minutes, but listening to Wyatt laugh those last twenty minutes was pretty priceless.  What is it about boys and nuttal injuries?  I don't get why they laugh.

We went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.  We hadn't been since February and it was pretty empty which was even better.  The boys had plenty of time to explore and play with things that they don't always have the opportunity because it's usually so crowded when we are there.  And of course, we stopped for fries and cokes on the way home.

Elliott still has band practice when he's off track so it's been good to get him out of bed every morning as he's generally been the couch potato of the three.  But, Wyatt has willingly filled that role and hasn't been getting dressed until around 10:30 every day, driving me nuts.  So, we've been trying to get up and dressed and out of the house the last few days, even Saturday or we will never be to school on time when it's time to go back.

We also helped grandpa with some kitchen projects and on Saturday night, we watched "Jurassic World".  Though many more people were eaten than Ross said would be, it was actually pretty entertaining, fast paced and not scary.  A little violent, but also quite campy.  Nothing like the original which still makes me jump a little.  I guess though, since they made it through this movie unscathed, maybe it's time to introduce them to the other three?

Or, maybe not.

Today's movie is home alone.  Riveted again .  I can't be live this movie is 25 years old.

I had a meltdown this morning.  I cried at my husband when he made his morning phone call to check in.  Probably not what he anticipated. I felt like I was suffocating and the entire world was collapsing on me.  But I love these kids, and I love to watch

Today we are helping grandpa

Monday, November 16, 2015

Off Track (again) :: Week One

There is a lot going on in our house.  And, as usual, off-trackedness has fairly rotten timing.  The November off-track is 4 weeks.  It's too cold to be outside, and too close to Christmas to spend all my money at museums and out to lunch.  So, we are left to our own devices to figure out how to occupy 20 weekdays.

It's fun to have the boys around, but it's hard.  You parents who have your kids home all summer can feel my pain, right?  I have a lot going on, and need time during the day to get some quality sewing time in.  The boys want to DO and GO and my children have always struggled finding things to do in their own home full of stuff.

Last week was our first full week off.  I won't lie, Monday and Tuesday were tough, but we finally started to get into a bit of a groove, faster than we normally would, and for that I am grateful.  I think part of it is that Elliott still has to get up and get dressed to go to band practice Tuesday - Friday.  That helps get part of the house rolling.  It's those days where at 11 am, no but me is dressed or has peeled their warm bodies off of a couch that are a little tougher to fight our way through.

The big boys played with friends.  Elliott tried, and mostly on his own, baked cookies.  I introduced the boys to "Jumangi" on Netflix and it both terrified and intrigued them and they (all three) didn't move a muscle the entire movie.  We went on our yearly trip to the aquarium.  We attended our second University of Utah basketball game.  We lunched at Costco and went to Lowes to buy a new Nest thermostat when ours bit the dust.

Pretty successful week, right?

Remember jumangi?  We're watching it.  They are rivited.

When I was 8 years old, I became the official baker of my family. I did it all myself and never looked back.  I told this to my 8 year old.  He did a good job, but judging by the sugar on the floor and the flour splattered on my shirt, he still needs an a







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