Sunday, September 28, 2008


I just wanted to let anyone who is following my posts for information on Clark and Tif's baby know what is going on. A week ago they brought Baby Girl home. Today, due to custodial issues with the birth father, they don't know if they will be able to keep her. They've had what must have been the worst week of their lives and they are completely exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. I got just a quick glimpse of her Saturday night when we picked up my neice Tiani for mini-golf. They are still not up to taking visitors. She is a beautiful little girl with tiny features, lots of brown curly hair, and a cute little mouth. Their little family has been the focus of our prayers and good thoughts this past week.

It stinks that we can't control every situation, or predict the outcome of our choices, especially the ones we make that feel like they are for all the right reasons. Whatever the ultimate outcome may be for my brother and his family, their lives will be changed irrevocably. I also believe that no matter how difficult certain experiences are, time and distance helps somehow, and life has a way of becoming sweet again. Hopefully someday really soon, we will get word that little Sadie will be a permanent part of the Swensen Family.

Monday, September 22, 2008


It's been around three weeks ago, I think, since my brother Clark and his wife Tiffani were contacted by a friend of a family member, about a girl she knew who was due to have a baby. This girl was planning to place the baby with an adoptive family, but the family she had chosen fell through, and were Clark and Tif interested in meeting her. They did meet with her along with other prospective couples. According to Tiffani, during these past few weeks she has had daily conversations with the birth mother and the decision had been reached that if the birth mom decided that adoption was what was best for her baby girl, Clark and Tif would be her choice. Last Friday was the big birth day! The weekend for Clark and Tif was spent primarily at the hospital with so many ups and downs and emotional unrest that I can't even imagine how difficult it has been. Birth mom went into labor still unsure of her decision. Then the birth father showed up at the hospital in violation of birth mom's instructions to the hospital staff, and in violation of the terms of his parole (as I understood it).

Tonight after three sleepless nights, many heartfelt talks and decisions, birth dad's arrest and trip to jail, new Baby Girl is on her way to her new home with mom and dad, big sis Tiani, and little, big brother Sam. All this family has asked for in the next couple of days is a lot of time to rest and sleep, and for a couple of days to just be by themselves together. I have not been able to talk to them directly, but got word from my dad. I am inclined to honor their request (even though I'm dying to see her) to have some space and privacy. As soon as they are up to visitors though, we will meet our new neice and cousin, and I will post some cute pictures of her. Oh, and I'm sure I will have a name to reveal! I do feel for the birth mom tonight too. I really believe that the choice so many young mothers make to let go of someone so connected to them, because they feel their baby will have a better life, is incredibly brave and selfless. Clark and Tiffani are great parents and they will give this new baby a wonderful life. I am so happy they were able to bring her home tonight. I know they are so grateful for the wonderful gift they've been given.

Congratulations you guys! We love you!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Friday night we had tickets to CATS! at Capitol Theater. This is one of the Broadway Across America plays that we've wanted to see. Ummm... I didn't love it. Has anyone else seen CATS!? Did you like it? I spent the whole first half trying to figure out where the whole thing was headed, and liked the second half okay. But it was a little strange because I've never been to a Broadway quality production that I didn't totally love. I kept asking myself questions like, "How can this be one of the longest running Broadway productions?" And, "Am I the only one here that doesn't get it?" At intermission I switched seats with Jeff because I was sitting behind the tallest elderly lady I've ever seen, with the fullest, thickest, poofiest head of elderly lady hair. I thought a better view might improve things. Moving seats did improve my view, but sadly, did not improve my ability to grasp the point of the whole thing.

Maybe it's just me?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Another tale from the little farm we call home. We have been keeping a gym bag by the back door to grab when we are going out, and we keep it stocked with the stuff we will need if we decide to play tennis, etc. Tuesday was Kaylee's birthday and she wanted to play tennis in the morning, but instead of taking the whole bag, we just grabbed a couple of energy bars and our water bottles. In our rush to get out the door, we left the gym bag unzipped. When we got back, we found wrappers for Luna bars, Cliff bars, well... lots of different bars scattered from room to room in the house! Dumb dogs!!! It was annoying, but our own faults, so we just cleaned up the wrappers and hoped the dogs wouldn't suffer ill effects from too much fiber ;)

Later as I was making my bed, I found an uneaten granola bar under one of the pillows on my bed... weird. I picked up the bar and finished making my bed with all the hundreds of pillows, both practical and decorative (it's quite a process to make my bed). I mentioned to Kaylee that I'd found the granola bar under my pillow and she said she'd found one under one of her pillows when she made her bed! Getting weirder! We didn't have time to ponder the situation too much because we were going out to lunch at Kaylee's request. She wanted Chinese for lunch which meant that as soon as we got home, we were all running for a bathroom. As I ran past my bed to get to the toilet, I noticed it was completely trashed!!! After closer inspection I could tell that somebody had been desperately looking for something in my bed. I called the kids up to see if they had done it, I mean if someone really wants to mess with me, moving my pillows after I've spent the 30 minutes to arrange them just so is a great way to put me in the fetal position. (Maybe a slight exaggeration) It wasn't them, and I pretty much knew that before I asked, so it had to be one of the animals. Kaylee's bed was messed up too, although that damn dog left hers only slightly damaged, so the logical conclusion was to blame Jasmine. Of course it was Jasmine... Dodger never does anything naughty. I guess she must have found the granola bars in the open bag, eaten as many as she wanted, and then tried to "bury" the rest. Of the two dogs we have left, she is the digger, and the one with the most feral tendencies. We've all heard about dogs burying bones, but I had just never had a dog who actually did it. I guess Jasmine felt that burying her booty under pillows was the next best thing to dirt!

Two days later, and we are still finding hidden bars throughout the house! Jasmine is a bonehead.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Dear Kaylee,

Today I thought about what an amazing person you are. Eleven years ago today, you came into this world, and our family, and we have been better each day because of it. I still remember so well the first time I looked at you and saw sweetness and even wisdom in your little face. You didn't cry like many babies do, in fact you seemed to take to this mortal existance without much struggle at all. I was worried because we'd had a few weeks on pins and needles, not knowing how long you'd be able to make it, still inside of mom. You were healthy and strong, and even though you were two weeks early, a whopping 8 lbs. and 21 inches long!

In your younger years I wasn't sure how I'd keep you on the ground. You've been a dare-devil and an adventurer since day one. There were so many years that we didn't go a day without some kind of boo-boo or injury. In fact, for a while there, you were averaging 8-10 accidents a day. But I've watched you as you've worked so hard to temper yourself. You've also been strong willed and independent. I used to wonder during those "terrible twos" if you'd ever be able to have friends... what with all the bossiness and biting. I've loved watching you grow into a caring and empathetic young lady. You are such a sweet friend, sister, cousin, and daughter. It amazes me how thoughtful you are, how much you care for others and their comfort.

I love that you are able to "talk" to cats. I love your natural desire to become better and better each day. You are a gifted reader, and a wonderful student.
I love your daily hugs, your concern for me when I'm not feeling well, and your natural ability to nurture. I know that you will be a wonderful mother someday, if you choose. I am grateful that you are an independent thinker, that you have many questions, and that you will come to me when you need answers (at least part of the time anyway). I love spending each day with you, you are my bestest girl in the whole world! My greatest wish for you on your 11th birthday, is a life filled with happiness and purpose.



Sunday, September 14, 2008


According to author Marianne Williamson, my deepest fear is this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

It's been nearly 8 years since I pulled "A Return To Love", off my bookshelf, and found myself headed in a better direction after finishing the book. We all have those moments in time where our course is shifted, re-directed, by discovering a new perspective on life. So why all of a sudden do I find myself thinking of the lessons I learned all those years ago? I think because I am working so hard on my next challenge... the emotional eating stuff. More than once this past week I've had to sit myself down and have a serious talk about my own self worth! It's a huge struggle for me, to be "worth" it! It's actually so much easier for me to place my energy and efforts into helping other people, saving animals, doing volunteer work in the community... easier than facing what I have been avoiding or medicating away with food.

For me, it is a choice though. It has been suggested that there is a period between when something triggers that overpowering urge to eat something (not real hunger, the kind that comes on suddenly, even though I've just eaten a meal recently, or the kind where only ice cream or cookies will make it better), and the actual eating occurs. I guess it's been kind of an unconscious thing for me, until I've finished eating when or what I don't really need for nutritional purposes, and the guilt sets in. And over the past few days I've really taken notice to that process. Guess what? It's true!!! I am making the decision to go ahead and numb those bad feelings with comfort foods. The next step for me is going to be to face those feelings, fears, and emotions head on. Since I've already quoted once this post, I'll share another one that has been on my mind all week.

It's a Native American folk tale, or at least that's how it was told to me. A grandfather explains to his grandson that he has two wolves inside him. One wolf fills him with hope and reminds him how wonderful his life is, and the other fills him with doubt and convinces him that nothing is worth the effort. The grandson asks, concerned for his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The grandfather replies, "Whichever one I feed."

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This week we are finally back into homeschool full-time. Each year we kind of focus a little more on one particular area of learning, i.e., one year we may focus more on history, one year science, one year language arts, etc. This year we've decided that Physical Education will get extra attention, and I couldn't be more sore and tired!!! Brit decided that he really wants to learn to play tennis... and learn to play well. I used to play tennis all the time when I was a kid, I was okay at it, but I haven't played in over 20 years!!! We had to buy rackets, and balls, and even new shoes, so that we would be fully equipped to take on the courts. We are not good, in fact, we are so not good that we drive from park to park to find an empty court so that we don't embarrass ourselves in front of other players. Our goal is just to improve enough that we can play in front of people, instead of wasting precious court time driving all over Sandy and Draper! Another part of our fitness regime will include biking. Brit and I both spent some of our hard-earned cash on new bikes. I think Brit already blogged about his bike, we both got really cool commuter bikes called Townies made by Electra. I have never been more comfortable while bike riding in my life! These bikes are great! So we will spend as much time biking as we can before the weather gets too cold. We also bought a membership for the family to Dimple Dell, our community rec. center, where Kaylee has a homeschool P.E. class twice a week, and where Jeff, Brit, and I can work out and we all can swim. I'm looking forward to the day when walking down the stairs is not a painful and precarious situation, when I can lift my arms higher than waist level, and when every meal no longer includes and Advil chaser.

I'm really pleased with the whole school year we have planned. Both kids are involved in lessons, classes, and activities all over the valley. We will be in the car more this year (hooray for the Prius!), which will take some getting used to, but I feel like we have so many great things going for homeschoolers in our area, we don't want to miss out on anything!

I've also been reminded of how grateful I am to have a husband who has been able to provide for us in a way that allows me to choose to stay at home with the kids. Sometimes when things get rough, or I feel like I have no social life, I think it would be nice to be back in the "working world", but those days are few and far between. And my job as mom, teacher, mentor, training buddy, etc., is exactly the one I want to be working in right now.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


So I have been taking a break from blogging. Part of my reasoning for the break was so that I could focus all of my energy on finishing up the house to get it listed for sale. And, that did happen, the house is finally listed!!! But... I've also been thinking of restructuring we4bs inc., and needed some time to think a little more about just that. The blog states, in no uncertain terms, right at the top, that it is the Bringhurst Family blog. And so I've wondered... should I really be filling up blog space with my personal crap? Or should I stick to the basics of Bringhurst family life? It's sort of a weird place to be because I've found it a little therapeutic to put some of my thoughts to writing, yet, I'm not sure the people closest to me (or not so close either) really want to be privy to my irrelevant ramblings, or personal weaknesses. Or maybe I've come to the conclusion that it's all about saving face, ya'll! What it comes down to is this: if I am to retain the blog as we4bs, then I need to blog about the family, and our daily goings on. If I want to continue to mostly blog about yours truly, I should change the name! Or, the third option, I guess, is to keep the current blog, post about the fam, and then also author a separate blog just for me. Sounds pretty heavy. It's a habit of mine to keep things complicated :) Needs a little more time in the think tank, me thinks.

As I did mention, the house is finally listed, and if you want to check out the listing, go to (I'm gonna try to link directly) and type in mls listing 829585 in case my linky doesn't work. Hopefully the pictures/slideshow will be added soon!