Tuesday, January 27, 2009


No, not that kind and Yes, Sarah looks a kin to her dolls...

My grandpa Mutt bought this dress for Katelyn and now Sarah is fitting nicely into it. My mom bought this yellow one for Katelyn so they could be twinners (Can you tell I didn't have any sisters...)

Katelyn's finally letting me play with her hair, further proof I didn't have any sisters...

We're Alive!

We're alive! Or at least it feels that way. Nate still has a touch of lingering illness but I guess we should expect as much considering he was a week or so behind. I feel like I have a new streak of energy and have been attempting to put it to good use. Yesterday the girls and I went on a walk. Everyone seemed in good spirits so I decided to head to the library. After 45 minutes of purousing we hopped back into the stroller and decided to keep going. We visited a friend and stayed for lunch (how polite that we just invited ourselves, right?). To entertain on the way back I gave Katelyn my ipod and set it to Katelyn's playlist of favorites like Old MacDonald and the Wheels on the Bus. Sarah napped. By the time we were within eyesight of home Katelyn and Sarah still wanted to be outside so we crossed over to the park and spent the afternoon swinging, sliding, and meeting new friends. Katelyn and stranger girl did "Ring around the Rosies" on the balcony of the boat for so long I thought they were going to get sick. I had to distract them with the good ol' hand song
"There were 5 in the bed
and the little one said,
Roll over, roll over.
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
There were 4 in the bed...
until 1 is left and he says,
Ah alone at last."
By the time I finished I had everyone's attention in the park and they started clapping (about 10 people). I was a bit embarrassed but I guess I should have stuck out a hat or something because I definately felt like a street performer.

(This was my handmade coat from when I was a little girl...)

Who said only palm trees grow in California?

Loving the swing!
When I came home I checked our course through mapmyrun.com and we walked 6.5 miles. We were gone most of the day and I didn't have to turn on the tv once. That last bit feels miraculous right there. Anyway I was feeling pretty proud of myself because I have been working on my own weight loss plan and it's actually working. I am simply focusing on my 3 main weaknesses which are, no sweets, no eating after 8pm, and exercising. So far I have lost 5 pounds in 6 days (measuring first thing in the morning everyday). Mind you we still had pizza night on Friday and a handful of M & M's for our family home evening game but this feels managable.

Anyway the best part, I was feeling so proud of myself and as I was talking to my mother-in-law (to share in my enthusiasm) I kicked off my shoes and found this. Well it didn't hurt and I apparantly will always have major feet problems until I move home and can go see Amber's dad...


Friday, January 16, 2009


Yes the ugly condition has finally come our way. The girls and I have been coughing and gagging the nights away. We've been fighting it for over a week now and the pediatrician estimates two more (this one seems to be longer than the classic croup of 3-5 days). If you've wondered why we've been missing from church and playgroups or our patio for pete's sake...now you know. Here's a little preview (I spared you the shots of Katelyn throwing up 6 times in an hour from gagging on phlegm).

If this comes your way stock up on plenty of motrin, juice, pedialyte, movies, blankets, popcicles, humidifiers, and your freezer box (for those of you in warmer climates where the temps are still in the 70's and taking a walk in the cool night air just doesn't have the same effect).

27th Birthday Happenings

My birthday festivities were interesting this year. Anticipating the small window of time allotted Nate and I opened my gift at 2am (He had just come home from a massive makeup attack on the endless charting at the hospital...). Just what I had been asking for a wall charger for my ipod (really this is sincere). The girls and I went to Holly's for delicious lunch, thank you, and a stroll in the afternoon. When we came back I found this delightful brown box standing by my door with a giant1.800.Flowers announcing it's contents. Sure enough my delightful sisters, Holly and Heather, sent me 30 tulips (and no they didn't think I was 30)! I shrieked with delight and started the truly demanding work of unwrapping the package. At first I found the vase from the bottom and saw the stems of the tulips. For a second I thought I had dumped all the water out. Laugh away. Anyway aren't they delightful! Thanks guys! Oh and my mom sent me to the salon and my mother-in-law sent me brushes, paints, and a reducing glass (opposite of a magnifying glass) to bulk up my art supplies. Thanks everybody for making my day so wonderful!

Interesting modes of entertainment...


Pretending to be a doll

Rolling on the bed inside the laundry basket

Cuddling with the remote...this was seconds after the funniest shot (Sarah had the remote up against her face and shoulder like it was her special friend)

Putting everyone together on one couch cushion to watch a movie

Fingerpainting and making a car city.

What is that lurking toward me???

Oh it's Sarah!

Nate is very afraid as you can tell!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sarah's First Tooth

Sarah's First Tooth has been trying to come through so we've been seeing a bit more of this lately...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My 100

Being that it's my birthday (well my birthday is actually the 8th), here's a list of 100 things about me you might not know. It's a little egocentric, but then again so is my blog. And besides, it's good for posterity. I would love to have a list like this written by my grandmas or mom...(hint, hint)

1. I made a list of qualities in my future husband during young women's that I found right before Nate and I were married. My grandmother had just returned from Brazil and I had written that I wanted to marry someone that spoke Brazillian...(ie Nate served in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and spoke Portuguese but you get the idea)
2. I told my sister Becky that if she had only told me how fun it is being a mom I would have started our family a lot sooner.
3. I love my two girls even when I am exhausted, emotional, or irritable.

4. I love creating art pieces but I am usually very critical of other artists...
5. I like learning and would eagerly sign up for classes for the rest of my life.
6. I once got carpel tunnel from propping my head up while reading
7. I broke that same wrist in 3 places a few months later while doing a cartwheel.
8. I babysat starting at age 10 for 25c a kid per hour.
9. I once sent a child under my care back to the emergency room to have an arm rebandaged because I listened to her brother and thought it was for play.
10. Most of my babysitting money went towards my brothers' skiing passes.
11. My mom once found me sleeping on the floor with a bed full of stuffed animals. In reply to her query I stated, "I didn't want anyone to feel left out and there wasn't enough room for everyone."
12. I love the newborn smell and the poem My Day Old Child.
My day old child

My day old child in my arms
with my lips against his ear
I whispered strongly "How I wish,
I wish that you could hear,

"I've a hundred wonderful things to say
(A tiny cough and nod)
Hurry, hurry, hurry and grow
so I can tell you about God."

My day old baby's mouth was still
and my words only tickled his ear,
but a kind of light passed through his eyes,
and I saw this thought appear,

"How I wish I had a voice and words,
I've a hundred things to say,
Before I forget, I'd tell you of God,
I left Him yesterday."

13. Even at 27 years old, I still eat Gerber Mixed Baby Food mixed with milk and a spoonful of sugar for breakfast.
14. My brother Marc and I collided on bikes because neither of us relented to swerve away; I broke my front tooth in half. The most painful part of the experience was my dad's comment, "looks like nobody is going to want to kiss you now."
15. In 9th grade I made Student Body Office and Cheerleader on the same day. I chose SBO because my spanish teacher said she would be devestated if I were a cheerleader...
16. I fell asleep during storytime in 1st grade and my sweet teacher let me rest all afternoon because "I needed the sleep"
17. I worked as my dad's secretary for a summer. We flew into Vegas on Sunday and home on Friday nights.
18. Supposedly this is how I paid for my study abroad trip to Europe after my Junior year in high school. Our group had 150 people in it and we toured Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Lichenstein, Switzerland and England.
19. My grandfather started the missionary discussions shortly after attending my baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when I was 8 years old. He is one of my heros.
20. I stopped talking to my dad for a few months in 8th grade because I didn't think he liked me...when I finally figured out it was my hormonal changes we started having Daddy Daughter Movie Night once a week.
21. After taunting my dad that he wasn't brave for not liking scary movies, he made me sit on a chair in the living room, by myself, in the dark, and watch Poltergeist.

22. I can sit on the floor with my legs straight and extend my palms beyond my feet.
23. I can also do back bends and stand back up but I can't manage a pull up...
24. During my sprint triathlon I finished first in my heat in the swim (much to the excitement of the race photographers) only to finish last in the bike "okay the last biker is in you can let the traffic through". Luckily I still had the run and managed to pass a few first timers.
25. Before Katelyn's first birthday I competed in a Sprint Triathlon (5 months) consisting of 1/2 mile swim, 8 mile bike-due to construction on the road, and 5K run; and the Ocean City 1/2 Marathon.
26. I haven't done ANY races since and Sarah will be one in 4 weeks.
27. I once was "strongly" advised to switch out of ballroom dancing because it wasn't worth jeopardizing my overall high school GPA (3.9).
My mom set my standard for marriage as dating 100 guys and being older than she was at 19. I married Nate when I was 20 and had gone on at least one date with 174 different guys, most of them taking place between January and October of my Freshman Year at WSU.
29. I have had a lot of jobs. I was a babysitter, swim instructor (again the ridiculous 25c per kid/hour), tutor, secretary, Resume data entry, Accounting clerk, WSU bookstore clerk, NICU Dietary Clincian Tech, Respiratory Equipment Tech, Mammography Radiology Tech, Incoming Calls at Convergys, Substitute Teacher for two school districts, Dental Assistant, Dental Assistant/Front Desk, Beauty Salon Shampoo Girl, Endodontic Assistant/Insurance Specialist, Commissioned Artist, and finally the best job ever MOM.
30. I like meeting new people and making new friends (hoping I am retaining them as well).
31. I had a crush on a boy (Garret Pierson) all through high school and I think the total number of times I spoke to him is 3.
32. I can't read a book slowly...I read Gone with the Wind in 5 days (it has over 1000 pages). Nate hates buying me books because it takes me the same amount of time to read it as it does some people to watch the movie.
33. I like maps. Growing up surrounded my mountains and having a horizon full of stars helped ground my internal GPS. I always visualized the sides of the Ogden Temple to remind me of directions before I understood the mountain ranges.
34. When I was in first grade I memorized the route from our house in Roy to the new house in Huntsville just in case I was separated from my family and needed to tell someone how to drive me home.
35. I once faked sickness because I was too afraid to try out for the volleyball team.
36. My 3 older brothers teased me relentlessly but I was their princess if anyone else tried to hurt me.
37. My oldest brother Dave threw up before our family's Thankgiving dinner because he thought my uncles would scare Nate away.
38. Nate and I met 10 months prior to our dating at our friend Christian Allen's house. The next day all I heard from my friend Laci was how she was stranded with car troubles and "Nate Starley drove up in his white trooper, got me gas, and followed me home to make sure I was safe." Not a bad introduction. Apparantly I didn't have quite the same impact. In the summer when his cousin asked me if I knew him and I said yes he's great, Nate couldn't remember who I was. Or at least he claims it was because he didn't know my last name.
39. I handed Nate (a high school cross country runner) a flyer at the college for a 5K and told him we just needed participants and it was okay if he just walked it...he asked for my number then but still didn't use it for another month or so...
40. At a Jon's wedding reception Nate borrowed Robbie's phone to ask me out. Unfortunately I missed the call, called Robbie after they weren't together, and almost made up an excuse not to go out that weekend due to mistaken date identity.
Eventually we did go out! Nate's buddies made dinner for the girls and we had an awesome night at Frightmares. Both of us had the best time but didn't think we were destined. It took one more week during a chance crossing at WSU gym that our history really began. Nate ditched his champion intermural volleyball game to join me and my friend Ashley Vanzweden (sorry you had to be the third wheel) for a Zuka juice. We went to the park and sat on the swings and talked for hours. In that time we laughed at how many times we should have met previously in our lives but it wasn't until we were ready that we did.
42. Nate's cousin Chad left for his mission to England from my home ward (first farewell I remember and Nate was there as well). He also married Kelly Carver, a girl I was sure would be my sister-in-law some day; and whose family I travelled through Europe with.
43. Nate mowed lawns for the Hunter family whom I visited as they were the grandparents of my friend Ashley V.
44. My sister-in-law hung out with Nate before his mission and even received a letter or two of updates from down in Brazil. Natalie's friend liked Nate...
45. I was very close friends with all of Heather's friends in college (Nate's sister).
46. At the time of our dating I was working graveyard shifts 2am-10am in the NICU at McKay Dee Hospital, going straight to class, napping in the afternoon, and dating again before work.
47. I thought Nate was going to call off the engagement when Justin/Jayanne postponed their engagement.
48. I planned my wedding in the special 4 week break from school for the Winter Olympics in 2002; I didn't want to jeopardize my 4.0 that semester.
49. I love my husband and think he looks like Hugh Jackman...
he probably wont speak to me for a while for posting this.
50. I love languages. I took 3 years Spanish Jr. High, 3 years French High school, and 2 years Spanish in college. I believe it was for Academic Excellence that I took American Sign Language but I have always wanted to study Italian.
51. I love dry lightening storms. I used to go out and jump on my trampoline during lightening storms because I loved to feel all the electricity in the air.
52. I took several sessions of skydiving classes in a wind tunnel because my dad wouldn't let me jump out of an airplane until I was 18. By then I valued my life a little more and was too scared.

53. My great grandmother Eva Jones went skydiving at 82, perhaps I will try that.
54. My dad wouldn't let me get my ears pierced so my mom and I snuck out when I was 12 to do it anyway.
55. 1 month prior to getting my ears pierced my lymph nodes swelled up like golf balls. Intermittently the swelling switched from nodes in my cheeks down closer to my earlobes, and some down my jaw and into my throat. I was on Penicillin for 12 months and to this day it does nothing for my bacterial infections. Amoxicillin (same family just stronger) is the ticket. By the way Nate is always claiming he is getting me a new immune system for Christmas, but I am still waiting.
I went to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama when I was in 4th grade. While there I got strep throat and had to stay in the infirmary. That was the first day I remember meeting an african american or at least recognizing her skin as different as mine. I am not sure if it was really because of her skin color or if I was just scared she would be mad that I was trying to take a shower when all the other 'campers' were in class but I hid and told my nurse I had showered. When I got home from my trip and confessed to my mom I had never experienced the shame from her disappointed words, "I thought I raised you better than that."
57. I once invited a complete stranger on an airplane to stay with my family and in-laws for Christmas. He was all alone and had just left his mother's funeral. He was an adult of 40 and I don't think I even knew his name.
58. I have attended several movies and restaurants by myself.
59. At one movie I got asked out and met the guy at Denny's for Hot Cocoa...it was just too weird.
60. I had the nicest neighbors growing up. All the kids would go out and play on our dead end street until sundown. Most of us ranged 10 or more years in age and had varying religious backgrounds but we got along just grand.
61. My neighbors in Maryland were rather exceptional too. Leroy and Annette Brown gave us $50 gift certificates to Macy's on the girl's birthdays.
62. I snuffed a grease fire with flour while cooking once.
63. I bear a scar on my arm from the first meal I made Nate as a married couple. I made Lemon Baked Chicken w/Rice and brought the whole thing over in the hot Corningware to WSU where Nate was studying. The dish slid over my oven mitt and rested against my bare arm. Instead of dropping it or whatever to save my skin, I didn't want to risk ruining Nate's dinner...
64. My favorite scent is Lavender. A boy in France bought me a bouqet of fresh Lavender that I carried through several countries. Unfortunately customs wouldn't allow me to bring it on the plane so sadly I had to throw it away in the airport in London.
65. In Austria our waiter was really cute. He offered my friend's and I a tour of Salzburg. While walking with him we talked about the gospel.
66. My Junior Prom date Pete and I discussed the plan of salvation after everyone else dosed off watching a movie.
67. That same date arranged for discussions with the missionaries in my home. On the designated day his dad wanted him to go skiing with him instead. While skiing he saved a man's life that accidentally skied down the east face of Snowbasin. Did I mention his dad was head of the US division of Petzl? Anyway he saw that as a sign that he shouldn't take any more discussions.
68. I have a very strong testimony of the restored gospel. I could never put it into words beyond simply that I know it is true.
69. I wanted Katelyn's name to be after my wonderful friend Katie Hale in Maryland.
70. I wanted Sarah to be named after my equally courageous friend Sarah Scoville from college.
71. I was in a sorority in college, Otyokwa (OT) and served on Greek Council. I flew to San Francisco for the Western United States Greek Council Fundraiser and hung out for a night with Kimberly Williams (now Paisly).
72. My best sporting leagues I have done were with my husband, volleyball, soccer, softball, and races.
73. When I was waiting in the temple on my wedding day, Nate had "troubles with the buttons". The lady asked me if I was sure that I had seen my fiancee that day because sometimes it doesn't work out. Right then Nate walked in the room and I let out a very big breath.
74. My friend, Amber Morgan, wasn't able to go on our Europe trip because she was fighting Leukemia. The following year we all went on a cruise to Baja California together. I didn't have the finances so my oldest brother Dave paid for my cruise.
75. When I was little my brother Jeff let me sleep in his bed during thunderstorms because I was scared. He had me give him a 'back scratch' and then he would sleep on the floor and give me his bed.
76. Marc sometimes used to come home early from hanging out with his friends because he felt bad that I was alone on the weekends.
77. One of my dance dates was nervous about driving me home and asked me to arrange to spend the night at a friend's house instead.
78. When the girls were being mean to me in junior high one Halloween my brother Dave used let me join his high school party. He and his girlfriend dressed me up and let me hang out with them.
79. Jeff used to let me go on dates as his "chaperone". He would pay for my dinner, movie, and open the door for me.
80. Not to dig at old sores but when Nate and I were first dating I didn't have a great relationship with my mother-in-law (due to communication problems/rumors/misunderstandings). I would go so far as to say I married Nate despite his mom. But somewhere in the emotional rollercoaster of marriage and relationships we formed a small bond. From there we became respectful and eventually entertained saying "I love you" at the end of every conversation. I am not sure when it happened exactly but at some point those words came true. Then when Katelyn was born and I needed help, Colleen bought a plane ticket right then and flew out the next day. She was everything I needed in every way and I can't thank her enough for her support. Since that day we have had numerous examples just like that and I have grown to love her so much that I think of her as my second mom and another best friend. Love ya, Colleen.
81. Some embarrassing moments, hee hee. Once Nate and I were stuck on a ski lift at Powder Mountain for about 30-45 minutes. My hands were so cold that I started to cry. Nate let me put my frozen digits on his bare tummy. What a man.
82. Once when pulled over by a policeman, I wet my pants. Yes Nate and I were newlyweds...
I backed into a car while I was pregnant with Katelyn...
84. I threw up in my friend's living room in front of them...sorry Guymons.
85. I passed 2 kidney stones without any medication. Once while pregnant with Katelyn and thought I was in preterm labor, hence #84; and once while vacationing in Connecticut, although Nate did administer Children's Motrin...
86. I think I have the greatest Mom in the whole world. She worked full time graveyards as a respiratory therapist while raising 4 kids under the age of 5; while picking up the pieces for her family after her dad passed away and stepping in to help be there during my paternal grandparents divorce. This while my dad was working full time and getting his masters...what a woman.
87. I think I also have the greatest Dad in the whole world. He put himself through school, stayed strong in his church convictions, and raised our family (gold medal right there). He's been through so many business successes and failures that I can only say he has the patience and dedication of Job (as does my mom). He is still active in athletics with basketball, softball, and track that he travels to Europe for Master's Tournaments (again so does my mom). I admire the way my parents love and support one another and am thankful that I was born to them.
88. I had my two girls via cesarean surgeries. After Katelyn, I was up and walking around the next day. I don't remember having any pain at all in fact. It was one of the most profoundly spiritual durations of my life. With Sarah, I watched the surgery and again a spirtual peak of all time for me. The day home from the hospital stay Nate thought I was doing so well he decided to leave me by myself with both girls...needless to say I let him know I wasn't doing THAT well and he stayed (some lame excuse like he needed to work on his dental boards).
89. I got bored with myself around #29, I don't know how anyone else is managing to get to this point.
90. I got lost in Rome 2 times on my first day and spent the afternoon trying to find the Spanish steps because I knew our group was meeting there at 3pm...
I got lost in Florence with my friend Ashley V around midnight one time. We walked forever but apparantly the street marketers aren't a good way to backtrack (they go away at night). We stopped and prayed in the dark streets and a sweet Italian grandma found us. She was out walking her little dog because she couldn't sleep. She spoke English and walked us the 2 miles back to our hotel (Did I mention we started out 2 blocks away?)
92. I think I look like a mix of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Katie Holmes Cruise.
93. I love lists and organization accessories like labels.
94. My favorite books: scriptures, Jesus the Christ, Yearning for the Living God, Scarlett Pimpernell, Tale of 2 Cities, Gift of Asher Lev, and Cry, the Beloved Country.
95. My favorite movies: Australia, Pride and Prejudice, You've Got Mail, Kate and Leopold, It's a Wonderful Life, Becoming Jane...see a trend.
96. My favorite music: country for home like Tim McGraw, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley; classical and church for painting like Claire de Lune, Pachabel, and Beethoven; Ipod playlists for running like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Killers, Texas, and Regina Skepter; Julie Andrews movie soundtracks for cleaning like the Sound of Music and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
97. My favorite tv shows: Lost, Alias, Pushing Daisies.
98. I have been to see the San Diego, Oakland, Washington DC, Hawaii, Switzerland, Ogden, Bountiful, Salt Lake, Provo, Logen, and St. George temples.
99. I love America. My experiences in Europe, Bolivia/Peru,and Mexico only solidify how much I adore my country. I love that if I wanted I could change careers and go back to school at 50. I love that I can go to church and worship with my convictions. I love that I can have relationships with family/friends/neighbors/aquaintences that have differing political, religious, economic, cultural,etc. views and it's okay!
100. I love this message shared from President Monson from last Conference:
In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, Church member Jay Hess, an airman, was shot down over North Vietnam. For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words. What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote—and I quote: “These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.”

Feel free to add any of your thoughts or memories!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spontaneous Healing

The best part of our New Year is Sarah's eye. Her blocked tear duct from birth has finally opened at 11 months just in time to miss out on surgery. We are so grateful and so is she!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pampered Girls

Awkward airplane shot but hey we skipped out on the 15 hour drive home...

Sarah feasting on Mac-N-Cheese with Broccolli

Two Ladies with Fresh new 'dos
As though a trip home isn't pampering in and of itself...Grandma supplied Mom with a trip to the beauty parlor for her birthday treat (it had been just shy of one year from my last visit- um...no offense Nate) and set Katelyn's hair in curlers. Sarah of course would have had a lovely style if it weren't for lack of hair...

Did I mention what Nate was doing on our trip home while the three princesses waited in the warm car???? Oh and he also got to drive our car back to California ALONE, work, and celebrate solo on New Years Eve...the things he goes through.


New Year's with Grandpa Ropelato

Special Bonding with Grandpa Starley

Goodbye Grandma and Grandpa

Katelyn fondly swinging

And playing the piano

Sarah's just glad someone is smaller than her...Lexi just looks like a mini version of Sarah...

Nate keeping the cows alive

Snowy walks with Grandma Ropelato

"Kitty" and the little porch chair

Jocelyn 2, Katelyn 2 1/2, McKell 3 1/2

Beautiful Ogden Valley
We decided (since we were procrastinater's and airline prices went way above and beyond our budget) to drive to Utah. Google Maps estimated the trip to be 11 hrs and 45 min. We decided to split the trip into two legs (it was wise planning). We stayed in Winnemucca, NV and don't let the name fool ya. There was no "MUCK" to be found. We stayed at a charming Holiday Inn Express right off the I-80. It was fabulous. They let us check-in at midnight, there was a breakfast with omletes, cereal, pancakes, you name it and it was all complimentary. Also there was an indoor heated pool and hot tub. We gratefully took full advantage of these luxuries to help our kids stay positive about our long trip. Actually Katelyn did fabulous. All she had to hear was the words, "we are going to Grandma's" and she was good as gold. In fact she didn't go to sleep at all because she was so excited to get to Grandma. We had to sugar coat it with the swimming pool or else I think she would have been really devastated not waking up to her beloved Grandma. On the way radio delights such as Alvin and the Chipmunk impersonaters and whistling solo's cheered up our otherwise Loooooooooooong drive.