Thursday, December 23, 2010

christmas card


Life continues to pick up speed. The family is keeping him busier and happier than he ever thought possible. Best part of his day is coming through the door after work to the various forms of ‘dad’ that the two girls can muster. Feels very fortunate to have weathered the economic downturn while managing to still see steady growth with the business. The new J Dawgs space has been a blessing and is working out brilliantly. While catering, met incredible people including: M. Russell Ballard, Robert D. Hales, Steve Young, and Jim McMahon (who is even cooler than he seems). Jayson still enjoys his outlets of medium-format photography, tinkering with the never-ending ’53 Chevrolet truck project, and reading great historical books.


Stretched her lazy bone and finished a sprint triathlon in May, and a riotous 188 mile relay race with eleven of her siblings and friends in September. She didn’t finish last--and that was all she really cared about. Found her groove with two kids and therefore decided to spice things up and add a third child. Her favorite week this year was our family vacation in June. Her least favorite week was trying to get ready to sell our house. Thankfully or unthankfully, it didn’t sell so we’re staying put for at least a few more months.


Started preschool on a great little farm with sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, and kangaroos. Played soccer this year and ran around the ball a lot, but also managed to score a couple goals. Took swim lessons and made incredible progress in only a few lessons. We think she has a career in cosmetology since she cut her own hair twice this year. She is incredible kind, sometimes a touch bossy, very tall, incredibly smart, and most of all an amazing daughter and a very loving older sister.


Grew up very fast and celebrated her first birthday in October. Is now walking everywhere, with a spring in her step. Is shaping up to be a daddy’s girl and will yell for and run to Jayson whenever he is near--including church where Jayson sits on the stand and she sits in the congregation (much to the amusement of those around us). She is a dog lover, has a hearty giggle, and thinks she is the comedian in the family.

we hope this holiday season finds you happy and healthy. we are deeply grateful for our associations and friendship with you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

baby #3

we had our ob appointment on wednesday. because my doctor rocks and because the nurses take extraordinary care of me they took a little look-sie at my baby. i was only 14 weeks, but they thought they'd see what they could see anyway (most doctors/clinics say you must be at least 16 weeks).

this little sweetie was not shy or difficult. it was quite easy to see that it's a ...

(no immodesties are shown in this pic. like you want to see that!)

boy! a BOY! a Boy! a boy! a BOY!

the genetic trend in my family is we never have more than two of the same sex in a row. so i thought we would probably have a boy...but then again i have so many friends who have 3, 4, and 5 in a row of the same sex. so i had to consider having another girl. jayson had thought multiple times that he'd be the father of all girls. and for the record, he was happy about this. many times when people heard i was pregnant, they would tell jayson they'd be praying that he'd get a boy, or they hoped he got it right this time, etc. i say to you: blah blah blah. girls kick butt. either way we would be ecstatic.

and we are thrilled that we will have a boy in the family. this brings with it several new experiences and aspects of being a parent. we welcome these experiences and are sure it will bring more dimension and love into our house.

jayson has already pulled out all of his signed jerseys and footballs and is telling me where he is going to hang them in the nursery. he keeps telling me all of the things he is going to need now that he will be the father of a boy. and how old he will be when junior goes to scout camp.

oh, and he keeps asking me what i think of the name lavell.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


...because I was constantly looking for my third child...that I didn't yet have...

...because I love feeling sick...

...because I think kids rule...

...because I think sleep is overrated...

...because we felt like it was what we should do...but also what we wanted to do...

...because being a parent is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to us...

...we decided to do this...

...for a third time...

Baby coming our way May 30, 2011...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Team Deadrock

Once upon a time I had a really crazy idea. I wanted to get a team together to run the Red Rock Relay. It is a 186 mile race through Southern Utah. Each team has 12 members who run 3 legs each. I thought my family would dig it, so I pitched the idea to them: Team Deadrock runs the Red Rock. Most seemed up to it.

Then I realized it meant I had to run. A lot. And I decided that maybe it wasn't a good idea. So I didn't say anything else about it. I hoped they'd forget. Really really hoped.

But my sister-in-law (SIL) Amy thought it was a great idea. And she saw what a neat experience it would be. She picked up where I had left off. She pulled a team together and got everything set up. She is a rock star.

The race was last weekend, Sept 10-11th. I'm not sure I can adequately explain how amazing the weekend was.

Did you play sports in high school? Do you know what it's like to cheer for your team? To scream your guts out? To be happy for everyone who plays? To hope that everyone plays their best? To be crammed into a small space where everyone reeks? To share the exhaustion, heat, cold, mediocre food, porta-potties, and lac of sleep? To have the total support of people you might not have known before?

There were a few times I was at my end. The last uphill mile of my first leg. The pitch black stillness on my second leg. And this out-of-nowhere hill on my third leg. Each time, someone showed up to help me finish. A couple times it was one of my brothers, Kirk or Kevin (who came to cheer on their wives). They ran with me step for step and made sure I made it to the finish. It was incredible to have them there. On that out-of-nowhere hill, my entire team (who had all finished their legs and were super sore and tired) jumped out of the van and ran me up the hill. My van was there every mile of my runs, screaming my name and making sure I had water. I can't tell you what that feels like. I was so deeply touched by everyone on my team--some who had known me my whole life and some I'd just met. It's something I'll never forget. It makes me never want to compete in an individual sport or race again. How would I do it without my team?

Here's a race breakdown:

There are two vans, the Snow Van and the Sun Van. The Snow Van had my sister Shannon, my SIL Tricia, two of my SIL Amy's siblings--Justin and Hanna, and Amy's BIL Art. The Sun Van had my SIL Amy, her brother Vaikko, two of her coworkers Doug and Mikael, a friend Jenny, and Tricia's nephew Jaron (who volunteered four days before the race when another one of our racers couldn't make it).

Our team started at 9:05 a.m. at Brian Head Resort. 10,500 feet above sea level. 34 degrees outside. Not a lot of oxygen in the air. You ride up the chairlift and send your first runner off (Tricia!).

The Snow Van waiting for us to load up.

The first legs of our race ran by Bryce Canyon

and through Dixie National Forrest.

Could you have a more picturesque area?

Shannon handing the baton (slap bracelet) off to Justin.

Our first legs took us from 9:05 a.m. until about 2:00 p.m. My first leg was 5.8 miles with almost 700 feet of elevation gain (pretty constant the whole 5.8 miles), running at 8,000 feet above sea level. I ran the entire way and sprinted to the finish which was all I had really hoped. But I did put our team behind seven minutes because I ran so slow. I was pretty bummed about this for awhile. Then we went to Cedar City to wait for the Sun Van to finish their legs. We showered and tried to sleep a bit. This was completely unsuccessful.

The Sun Van finished around 7:30 and we started our second legs.

The evening legs took us through Cedar City and out west. We had dirt roads and mostly deserted roads. It was pretty late. We were tired. I was the last leg again. This run was 5.5 miles with about 500 feet in elevation loss (over the first 4 miles, last 1.5 miles were flat). It was really dark, I didn't have all the time I thought I would to prepare. I started out a bit frazzled. It was 12:30 a.m. and I was beat. But I ran and ran my heart out. Kirk showed up and ran the last 1.5 miles with me. I could have kissed him, I was so grateful to have him there. After I finished, I checked out my time. I had come in seven minutes ahead of schedule. I had made up my time! I had run my butt off! I was so happy with myself.

It was 1:30 a.m. I crashed. Dead to the world.

Only to be woken up at 4:00 a.m.

Our next legs took us through Snow Canyon and Washington. We hit Snow Canyon at sunrise. It was so incredibly beautiful.

Me mucho sleepy.

My last leg was supposed to be a cake walk--2.1 miles. But total exhaustion and extremely sore muscles had set in. I wasn't sure I'd even make it .1 miles. But my team, MY TEAM! They helped me through it. Shannon grabbed my hand and pulled me up the out-of-nowhere (curse under my breath) hill. Everyone ran with me until I reached the top. My brother Kevin ran with me my last half mile. What a sweet feeling to be done with my legs! And, I came in right on time. Yes! Each stripe on my arm represents one of my legs.

I was so inspired by everyone on my team. Tricia had never run in a race before. Actually, I'm not really sure Tricia had run at all before three months ago. She has fasciitis. She probably shouldn't have run, but she didn't want to let her team down. She ran her butt off and never complained one. Her last run had a monster hill.

Shannon was a more seasoned runner. She made her runs look easy. She was the toughest girl in our van. Doesn't she look it? She ran 14.5 miles.

Art (middle) ran the toughest legs of the course. He made them look like a walk in the park. It was unreal. Then when Jaron was injured, he ran Jaron's last leg for him. Oh, and he was sick. We chanted his name a lot. He was our hero.

Hannah (right) had only ran her first 5k a few weeks ago. She kicked butt. Her first run had this ginormous hill. We saw another girl puking on it. Hannah boogied right up it.

Justin (left) is running an ultra marathon (50 plus miles) soon to qualify for the Western States 100 (as in 100 miles). He ran like a maniac.

And me. The chubbiest member of the team. I inspired myself. 13.4 miles in 24 hours. I hate to admit it, but I hadn't run the three weeks before the race. Something about selling my house, a puppy, and the flu happening at my house. But I did it! And maybe someday soon I should be able to walk normally again.

We all met up at Zions and ran to the finish line together.

Doug led the way. Did I mention he runs barefoot?

I was praying that no one wanted to sprint to the finish. God answers prayers.

I can't squelch that enthusiasm! Yeah Team Deadrock!

I wish we could have spent more time with the Sun Van. They seemed to be amazing.

Here we all are, showing off our stripes.

Here are the Deadrocks (Livingstones) of Team Deadrock. Shannon, me, Tricia, Amy. All girls? Yes, I think so. I know, we're tougher than tough.

If you ever get the chance participate in something like this--the Wasatch Back, Red Rock Relay, etc--I would strongly encourage you to do it. It's an experience you'll never forget. And the sore muscles, I hear they go away eventually.

Go Team Deadrock!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

for sale

Today is a very bittersweet day.

Today we put our house up for sale.

We are devastated.

And so excited.

About two weeks ago, we found a spot for lease by the University of Utah. A spot for J Dawgs. Great location, cool building, great price. We found the owner, told him who we were, and he said he wanted us.


We love Springville and never wanted to leave. We have the best neighbors. Our house is one of a kind. We love the location, the charm, and the smaller town feel. We love the mix of people we've met here.

But the construction on the freeway is harsh. And I want to see my husband. And the girls need to see their dad. And opening a new store is going to require many many hours.

We are so sad to go. We probably won't go too far--possibly American Fork? We still have a Provo store to watch over. But we know once we leave, we won't come back. And that is just about enough to crush us.

We really hope we can find someone who loves this house as much as we do. Someone who will enjoy our brand new patio, the soon-to-open 40,000 square foot library across the street, the 12 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, air conditioning, and mature trees.

And, we especially hope to find someone who will love our neighbors. We will miss them.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

swimming lessons

If you recall, swim lessons are on our list this summer. I could go on and on about how absolutely necessary I think it is that a child learn how to swim. But I'll spare you. You're welcome.

We've been to three lessons so far, and I think we hit the jackpot. We love our teacher. I really think she is amazing. This is the best money I've spent in a long time. It feels so good knowing my child is learning to be safe in the water. And having fun. And building her self-esteem. Etc.

And because Mae is so proud of herself, and therefore I am ridiculously proud of her, I am posting a video we took today at swim lessons. It's only 10 seconds, but I'm not offended if you don't watch.

Did I mention this is only after her third (EVER) swim lesson?

Erin teaches out of Springville. Website here. Tell her I sent you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

summer 2010

I've made my list.

You know, my list where I have very lofty goals for the summer to make it educational, fun, and extremely memorable? And I usually finish about a quarter of them?

But at least I have goals.

Summer 2010

carnival at art city days

grow sunflowers

make our own bubbles

run a 10k

stand in the ocean (ten days!)

make a pinata

grow butterflies

take a ride in a '53 chevy (this is a whole other post, but the engine is finally at our house!)

help mae start a journal

demolition derby

get glitter toes (appointment friday)

learn about and visit the smoot's bees

pick your own strawberries or raspberries (cherries?)

do the summer reading program at the library (mae AND i joined today!)

ride the carousel at zermatt (we have lots of tokens. want to come?)

go camping

do a triathlon (DONE!)

picnic at salem pond

attend the utah scottish festival and highland games

watch a movie on our back patio

swimming lessons for mae

and here are a few that have been on my list for the last few years. that i still haven't done. but i will do them this year. or die trying.

ride bikes from bridal veil falls to utah lake

go to cove fort

watch the hot air balloons

play a game of kickball

and, if i can swing it, i'd really really like to take jayson to moab this summer.

of course, i haven't included fishing, visiting thanksgiving point weekly, playing in the fountain at the gateway, swimming at veterans pool, etc because those will happen without planning.

ready, set, GO!

Monday, May 24, 2010


saturday was my triathlon, the woman of steel. and if you'd please excuse me, i'd like to toot my own horn here for a minute.

(my gear)

when i signed up for the triathlon i was six weeks postpartum. i had 29 pounds to lose to be at my pre-Penny weight (and another eleven after that). i could barely run a block or so. i had no clothes that fit. i was miserable in my body.

but i'd been there before, three years ago. and i know that bodies are remarkable and love to be pushed to new heights. so i set my sights really high. i've been thinking about a triathlon for years, but they seemed so...not for regular people. just for super athletes. but whatever, i just made a human so could it be harder than that?

so i trained. and trained and trained. five days a week for the last six months. it was my master and i was it's slave. it was tough. grueling. it was 5 a.m. mornings at the gym. late morning walks until i could run, pushing the girls in the (falling apart) jogger. it was swimming, biking, weights, running. it was counting every calorie i put in my mouth. it was learning new sport (and it's language). it was spending money on equipment i didn't know i need (hello biking shorts with PADDING!). it was choosing every single day that i wanted it; that i was going to make it happen. it was finding all new ways to motivate myself.

as the race approached i started to get really nervous. i felt as prepared as i could have been physically, considering where i had started. i did the entire race the saturday before at the gym. i knew i could swim 300 meters, bike 12.8 miles and then run 3 miles. but there was so much unknown. i've never done one of these and i only know four people who have. i called them and had them talk me through it again and again.

me: "are you sure i can't run into the bathroom and change into clothes after my swim?"
me: "are you sure i won't die?"
me: "what if my swimsuit rips in half?"
me: "what if i get a flat tire?"
me: "what happens if i die?"
me: "what if someone kicks me in the face while we're swimming?"
me: "what if someone faints when they see my body in all those (too) tight clothes?"

i think i was more nervous about the race than anything else i've done in a long time. i'd invested so much in training for the race, i just didn't want to blow it. i'd pictured myself crossing the finish line at least six times a day for the last six months. and if i didn't cross it, i'd be heartbroken.



i crossed finish line.

i did it.

jayson was waiting for me right over the finish line. i grabbed him, and he kept repeating to me, "i'm so proud of you. you did it. i'm so proud of you." we both cried, and the entire world melted away. in that moment it was only he and i. every once of pain and every sacrifice was worth it to feel what i felt then. it is almost indescribable. i was so proud of myself and so thankful for my body. it is a moment i will remember for the rest of my life. i kicked butt.

(my biggest fans)

of course, i didn't literally kick butt. i finished in the dead middle of the pack. that's all i wanted and all i expected. but, i did have the 14th fastest transition time at the first transition (i killed the transitions).

they had to modify the race since it was 40 degrees, raining and freezing. they switched the swim to an additional run. that wasn't my favorite, but i was also glad i didn't have to ride my bike and run wet. run, bike, run.

(joy, ryan, teresa and haylee came to cheer me on)

this race, the woman of steel was inspiring. it is an all woman triathlon and i saw ladies from all walks of life. some young, some old. some fit, some seeking to be fit. i was there alone, but many were there with friends and family. the energy was palpable. we got an email that included everyone's reason for doing the triathlon (we had to submit it with our application) and the reasons were varied; some were funny and some were heartbreaking. when i looked around during the race i knew we all had different reasons for racing, but that we were all seeking a common goal. to finish. to find some healing. to be triathletes.

and now i can count myself among them. i can call myself a triathlete.

i am a triathlete.

i am a woman of steel.

i'll never forget it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


It's just been one of those weeks.

You know the kind of week I'm talking about.

But the nitty-gritty of it is that I am extremely blessed and ridiculously happy. So instead of ranting, I'd like to show you some pictures from my phone that hopefully will bring you laughter like they do for me.

Mae is quite the fashion diva. I feel that parents and kids could fight about things often--holding hands when you cross the road, not playing with the stove, etc. Since Mae is pretty strong willed, I feel that I'd rather pick my battles. So why fight about what she wears all the time?

She changes at least six times a day and comes up with the silliest outfits.

Special attention is often paid to footwear.

She did this to her shoes on the way to the aquarium.

Speaking of fashion...I see it on other babies and I think I should do it on my baby too. But really, when I try I just think it looks ridiculous. Really really ridiculous.

Jayson was in charge of baths one night. I guess he wanted to give Penny a spa experience. Mae and Jayson got out straws and gave her bubbles too. (umbrella in the bottle?!)

I ordered a few things from, and it all game in a ginormous box. Mae slept in it for a week.

I was in the bathroom doing my business and she came in...

Bath time!

You've seen cattle trucks on the highways. But have you ever seen what is spilling out the back? Poop, all over the road.

I was trying to take a nap...and I was so rudely disturbed.

Say cheese!

Sometimes we deface government property (j dawgs sticker on a firetruck).

Once a family member said they wanted to live on an island with a mote.......uh...don't all islands kind of have a mote? So we made this individual an island with "a mote" out of playdough.

We also made people in snuggies, because everyone in this world should have a snuggie.

I saw truck's bed piled high with twinkies and ho-ho's and covered with a chain-link fence. I was utterly befuddled. What in the world would you do with millions of twinkies?

Turns out they feed them to pigs. They come from the hostess outlets' outlet (can you believe there's such a thing?). Makes you want some pork. Oink, oink!

We need to keep an eye on Mae whenever she plays with stamps. At least she found the M.

Bubble wrap!
She rules the roost!

Hungry and tired. Guess which one won?

Remember how Jayson rented an Easter Bunny suit?

Mae has always had a tendency to run around. She was trying to get out the door at church, and her dress got stuck in it. We still had a few things to take care of, so we left her there for a few minutes. We were just happy she was contained.

Will it blend? Have you seen those video's on youtube? Hilarious. We bought a blendtec and got to see the set.

Time to swim!

Lastly at Powells Books in Portland.

My girls don't lack personality...that's for sure!

I feel better already.