9 Years

July 6, 2011 at 7:41 am (Dougisms, Family, Makes me Smile, Marriage)

So young and carefree!

I’m going to take a quick break from my never-ending re-cap today. It’s my anniversary, so I thought I’d do a little sharing about my fabulous married life! I have to tone it down a little bit, because I don’t want all of my many readers (hi mom!) to be jealous. If you know Doug at all, you know I’m married to the most romantic man … ever! (There really should be a sarcasm font!)

Look what 9 years does!

Last night Doug asked me if we should buy gifts for today. I told him I want him to just apply this year’s gift to the big celebration next year! The gift for 9 years is supposed to be pottery, and I’m all good on knick-knacks, so I’m waiting for the gift to be European Vacation without the children! We won’t out for dinner on Friday because we knew it would be impossible to get a sitter tonight because of Girls’ Camp and EFY. Besides, sometimes it’s nice to just cook a fancy dinner at home. Sadly though, I forgot to go to the grocery store before Doug left for work, and now I’m going to do my meal shopping with all 5 kids … slightly not romantic!

Sometimes I just need to look at this so I can smile through the madness!

So, you’re probably wondering how we do it, and how we make it look so easy? There are a lot of trade secrets that I’m keeping to myself until I publish the how-to book, but until then, just know that it helps to be married to a comedian! With 5 kids all under the age of 8, I need to laugh as much as possible! It also helps to be married to someone who is super smart. When I’m having those sleep deprived days where I can’t remember the names of my children, it’s good to remember that Doug wouldn’t marry someone stupid! Last but not least, you need to manage expectations. I think that’s a fancy way of saying don’t set the bar too high, but it helps to not expect flowers every day, then when they do come, I’m pleasantly surprised! This philosophy also works with my children!

So, happy anniversary do us! I hope I didn’t ruin it all for the rest of you!!

p.s. Should this have been a serious post … maybe next year? In case you’re worried, we’re all still very much in love!!


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What I did on my Summer Vacation: Part 1

July 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm (Makes me Smile, Marriage, Uncategorized)

Okay, I’m not going to bore you with all 173 pictures, but I just thought I’d write a bit about our wonderful time away.

We were so lucky that Doug’s parents agreed to watch our kids while we went to Europe. This is the first time that we had spent a night away from all of our kids … ever. I’m a big talker about leaving kids, but we just never had the opportunity to leave them all before this. I don’t know that I would recommend a twelve day journey … across an ocean for your first trip away, but we found a way to make it work!!

Originally we were going to do a three city tour of Italy, but then my friend Andrea found us a sweet deal on a Mediterranean cruise, and our decision was made. We flew into Rome and spent 3 days touring the city and then we boarded a very large ship and set about relaxing in style!!

Toulon Farmer's Market

We visited the ports of Genoa, Toulon, Barcelona, Palma, and Cagliari. Doug was a little apprehensive about the whole idea of cruising, but he adapted well. The only unhappy moment was the auction to win a tour of the engine room. If you know Doug at all you know that the engine room is where his heart was! Unfortunately the bidding went a little high for our tastes. More unfortunately though was the winner’s attitude. The tour was for a group of four and so Doug went to offer to split the bid with him and the guy told Doug he could have it … for $500, which was more than twice what he bid on it. It was a little annoying, but we survived.

Besides Rome, I would have to say that our favorite city was Barcelona. Doug only wanted to do two things in Barcelona and we managed them both. The first was a visit to the Sagrada Familia and the second was a tapas meal. The meal was probably the best meal of the trip. We picked a restaurant from our Lonely Planet guide and we were not disappointed. Bubo Bar was amazing. We just asked the waiter to bring us a selection of tapas and it was all delicious. The best though, was the roasted eggplant with goat cheese. After dinner we went next door to the Bubo pastry shop. Wow. I can’t even describe. Just go ans see for yourselves!

In France I really just wanted to go to the grocery store and the market. I picked up some fun stuff and we had what may have been the longest lunch of our lives. A relaxing lunch is not something we do very often so we were getting a little antsy at the end!

Rome was almost indescribable. It’s hard to really appreciate the vastness of all that city has to offer. It was also a little surreal knowing that everything was authentic. The Egyptian obelisks really were spoils of ancient war. Oh, and I also saw where Marc Antony gave his eulogy for Caesar. It was a special moment for me because I had to memorize Shakespeare’s version of the speech for Mrs. Merchant’s grade 10 honours English class.

This is a trip I would definitely recommend if you get the chance. If you do a cruise I would make sure you do your research on each of the cities. I think we saved a lot of money by not doing any of the organized port excursions. We just mapped out what we wanted to see before we left. It probably would have gone a little more smoothly if we hadn’t left two of the guide books at Doug’s parent’s house, but that just added to the adventure!

I don’t know when we’ll get the chance to do something like this again, but we definitely enjoyed every minute of it.

p.s. As per my usual we dealt with delayed planes, canceled flights and lost luggage on our way home!!

All these bags were carry on size!

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Why I Love Doug

September 13, 2007 at 3:48 pm (Marriage)

Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union after the Winter War in 1940 and the Continuation War in 1944. Porkkala was returned to Finland in 1956.

The other day I received an invitation to a friend’s wedding … in Turku, Finland! This was a girl a knew when I lived in France. There were three exchange students at our rural high school that year, me, Miia, and Karla. I have not seen either of these ladies since I was 16, but you know how it is when you go through something that only a few people really understand!

Anyway, for fun I priced out a ticket and hotel for the big event. When Doug came home I jokingly mentioned how I was due a little “me time!” Just when I think I know the man, he comes out with “I think you should go.” What’s with that?! Normally he questions me on little things like organic vs. non-organic, or liquid vs. powder detergent. Now, he’s all for a trip halfway around the world. He said that it’s not every day I get an opportunity to go to Finland and see old friends.

How nice is that? Now, I thought about it long and hard, but then I calculated how long the flights are, and I decided that a 14 hour travel day with a 7 week old baby would not be fun. Plus I haven’t applied for  a passport for the new baby yet. Also, Going all that way to spend two days and not actually spending that much timewith my friends because, after all, it is a wedding, and I have a nursing baby. Still, the fact that he encouraged me to go and was willing to take the time off work to watch the other boys makes me very happy!

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It’s Game Day … Pray for me!

September 8, 2007 at 8:36 pm (Dougisms, Marriage)


I am Canadian. We are not generally known for our football enthusiasm. I went to one high school football game when I was a senior, and I went to one game when I was at BYU. I’m still trying to figure out the rules.

I am however, married to a football freak! It’s not all football, it’s just LSU football. The first time I saw Doug watch an LSU game, was after we got married. I had no idea! He ran around our apartment yelling and slamming doors, and I think they won that game! I quickly learned that saying “calm down, it’s just a game” is in no way an appropriate response to anything affiliated with LSU football! And don’t even think abbout saying that LSU and USC were co-national champions in 2003.

Now, this Tiger craziness has made it’s way to the next generation. Samuel has memorized the LSU Fight song, and he’s been talking football all day. He used to get scared when Doug would scream after the touchdowns, now he just glows with pride.

Please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers. It will be a very long week for me if LSU doesn’t win tonight.

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“I would like to think that Jesus was an Engineer” – Doug

June 23, 2007 at 3:00 am (Marriage)


 How many engineers does it take to figure out the bean bag toss at a three year old’s birthday party?!

Sometimes being married to an engineer is just plain annoying. I know that Pam feels my pain, but I’m not sure if Christina does (I don’t think her engineer is typical!). Doug always needs some kind of project to tinker with, and now that our house isn’t that project, he has far too much time on his hands.

Tonight at dinner he tells me that he liked my idea about the building of his video game console. Huh?! My idea about the video game console?! For the record, I have never endorsed the building of a large arcade style video game. One time, when we were at the SkyBox, I mentioned how I preferred the old school coffeee table style PacMan game to the tall console. Somehow that comment translated into “Honey, I think it would be awesome if you built your own coffee table video game!”

I can’t take it! The horrible thing, besides the obvious, is that Doug will probably choose Pong for his game instead of PacMan or Super Mario bros. It could be a very long Summer! Anyway, every time I roll my eyes (which I do fairly often in a very dramatic fashion), Doug will come up with some nonsense about how I don’t truly support his hobbies the way he supports mine (he loves my quilting and scrapbooking!). Tonight I made some comment about how he was being such an engineer, and he replied with the aforementioned, “I would like to think that Jesus was an engineer.”  How does one respond to that?! If I had known about engineers when I was younger, I think I might have tried to warn myself about them!

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