Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Did Anyone else HATE the Oprah Show today? It was AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Brian is starting to feel like he is living in South America Again! He just got called as Ward Mission Leader. Its his 2nd time around – he did have that calling in our BYU married ward. It is TOTALLY different. I will preface this by saying that our ward has some unique boundaries. We live in what’s called “The oasis in the desert.” Our direct area of 30000 people has one of the top highschools in the nation – top 1%. Every area surrounding it – North, South, East and West is all poor and is getting run down, as of the last 15 years or so.

Our ward boundaries are HUGE – we can go an hour south and still reach our ward boundaries – Peotone, IL.

The Chicago South Mission LOVES our ward. We have 4 sets of missionaries including 2 couples and 2 sets of Elders. Our ward is considered “Fertile” especially compared to the Naperville, IL and Frankfort IL wards – the ritzier of the mission.

Well, its interesting because all the new members and all the investigators currently do not own cars and many cannot afford their own rent and so forth. We have to send people to drive 30 to 40 minutes out of their way ONE WAY to try and get people rides to church. Very much reminiscent of many members in South America not having cars – everyone walked to church. However, the boundaries, were MUCH smaller…or they would be walking all night!

Sometimes, I envy the days of having our ward perimeters being 4 apartments buildings right in a row. Or even better – having just the FIRST floor of the dorms be the entire ward!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My neighbors:

I think its always interesting to find out what kind of neighbors you have. Our street only has 7 houses on it – and our neighbors are so awesome.

Here is a summary of our neighbors in the Chicago Suburbs:

Donna and Nills: Live across the street. They have a Son at home who is a Jr. in high school and is in scouts. Donna is considered the Busy Body of the Street. She keeps tabs on everyone and finds out everything about them. She is very attentive and nice. They have given us many plants to plant in our yard, and they have one the “Homewood Beautification Award 2005.” They also have a Moose in their front yard as part of their landscaping. That is how everyone finds our house.

Jerry: He lives next door to us – he is a single (divorcee) guy that works nights for Fed Ex. He is in his low 50s and has a grown son. We don’t see him very often, but one day he saw Brian mowing the lawn with a hand push mower and he gave us one of his extras. He is really nice.

Mike and Cindy: They live next door to us on the other side. They are in their late 40s and have no kids. They are EXTREMELY attentive and are always looking out for us. Mike is in construction and Cindy works in an office. When there was a wire on the roof, Mike knocked on our door and let us know how much of a fire hazard that was and to call the electric company. He is currently replacing the blade for free in our lawnmower that Jerry gave us. He just got out of the hospital for having 5 blood clots in his leg and groin. He still insists on fixing our lawn mower, even though he has to be propped up with buckets.

90 year old lady: She is across the street from us and is moving out in a couple days. She is the cutest old lady and she watches us go on walks as she sits outside. She yelled out of her car when we first moved in, “WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!”

Sara and Eric: They live across the street from us caddy corner (house on left side of pic) – they have 2 girls – 8 and 13. Sara knows my father-in-law because she taught school with him; she also grew up with Brian’s sister and knows her. They are renting out their old house 3 streets down to another couple. They REALLY wanted the house they are living in now. She has a jewelry business. He is a computer technician.

75 year old man: He is currently the most social man on the street. He moved into the nicest biggest house on the street 1 year ago (house on right side of pic). He must have had his eye on it awhile. He fixed it up even nicer and is always sitting outside with several neighbors – sometimes they drink beer.

I have to say, they are a great bunch – I have absolutely NO COMPLAINTS. They are fabulous!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


So my ALMOST fail proof method of getting into the Oprah Show worked again. If enough people want to know I will write back “THE SECRET” (inside Oprah watcher joke) of how to do it.

If you are a watcher – we did a double taping during the afternoon today. The issues were both on women’s health by Dr. Northrup – and she was AWESOME. I had already read some of her books and I really love her approach to health. She’s not one of those “Here’s a PX for that – let me know how it goes” - she gets to the root of the problem – she says she most often starts tackling women’s various problems with their nutrition –which I think is brilliant. These are the books they are promoting for the show that they gave us:

I went with my BYU girl pal Cassidy Lundgren, and Cassidy’s fellow Kohl’s employee’s wife Kara (don't you love her hair?!) It was our "ANNUAL BYU alum Oprah Trip." (Terica, we missed you!)

After some parking issues – cute Cassidy running from the Parking Garage after noticing a “No Parking Zone” where her car was parked outside HARPO Studios – we got in the door safely. I never knew anyone could run in heels like that – VERY IMPRESSIVE CASSIDY!

They fed us lunch since we were doing a women’s taping. They felt so bad for the 3 guys in the audience, they game them $200 dollar gift certificate to Allen Brother’s Steak House. See Ladies – you can tell your husband it IS worth it for guys to come to OPRAH!

I submitted one question they ALMOST had me ask – but THANK HEAVENS I did NOT have to ask my question or I would have seriously died. I just wrote the question thinking I would never be called on to ask it. They filled enough seats on the stage before they got my question that I luckily got out of it. PHHHHHEEEEEEWWWWW!

I definitely liked this topic more that “Wives that leave their husband for other women” and “NAMBLA and the sexual Predators” tapings I went to!

If you want to see the shows we were on –one is on October 15th or 16th and the other….they didn’t tell us….but sometime.

This is us making fun of the audience members of Oprah (I guess that would be ourselves.... in this case).

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Tyler is TWO!

Yes, it is true. I still think of him as a baby too – its funny how your perspective remains the same unless there is a change – or you see a “real” baby.

Well – he of COURSE had everything"CAR." He can barely stand it he is so excited when we go on the highway because there are so many “BIIIIIIIIIIIGGGGG TRUCKS!” and so many “CARS!!!!”

So here is Tyler's RACE CAR CAKE:


We played “PIN THE CAR ON THE ROAD” - Tyler was the only one who did NOT want the blindfold on.

Then, I had a vengeful moment…maybe it’s a little embarrassing….we had given all the kids bubbles to blow as a prize. They were all blowing away in the yard and loving it. I burst out the silly string and I PEGGED each child. There was no playful laughter, no smiles of glee, no looks of wonder or amazement. NO – every single child looked at me with big puppy dog eyes on the verge of tears with looks of hurt in there eyes.

I couldn’t stop myself – I pegged everyone again – on the back, maybe the arm or shoulder. In spite of myself, I was laughing uncontrollably and BOY did it feel GOOD!!! A couple of the kids were crying because they did not understand what I had done, or what this stringy stuff was all over their bodies. I sort of felt like Dr. Leo Marvin in “What about Bob” when he had gone off the deep end. Well, all I can say is I have absolutely NO EXCUSES for myself, other than the fact that is was fun to be a LITTLE out of control.

Presents Tyler got, and I am not sure HOW everyone KNEW (said facetiously)... CARS!!! He also got Dinosaurs and a cute little Cubs hate to “Make Dad proud.”

We tried to sit on our AWESOME new octagon picnic table made by the Amish people – and we really DID TRY. The mosquitos are RAVENOUS here since we got so much rain a couple weeks ago. They go inside at 10:00 am, and come back out at NOON and they do not REST….EVER!!!! They are a driven breed, I tell you. If I think of industrious, I don’t think of a colony of ants, or a hive of bees….NO…. I think of MOSQUITOS in the Midwest. And considering people in our COUNTY have contracted West Nile, it isn’t the prettiest picture in the world.

And, why is it that all parties end in upset or sad children?????? It is one of the many mysteries of life!

Well, I am very happy for Tyler to reach this milestone. His vocabulary is blooming as he is putting together more and more sentences. He is the funniest kid and I LOVE him to pieces. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TYLER!!!!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Although Brian and I sat this one out, our kids LOVED skinny dipping - or in Brooke's case - SEMI skinny dipping.

And my little man Tyler, we have noticed, has little to no fear. He sincerely feels he is invincible -and apparantly in this picture, he's pretty darn close.Brian and I thought we might try this move next year ....just maybe!

Here is a difference in philosophy on the best way to pick apples:

Brooke: Hold the bucket very nicely, pick the nicest looking ones and place them nicely in the bucket. When finished - proudly hold the bag up for mom and dad to admire and praise.

Tyler: Go to the inside of the apple tree, break off a stick, and whack the apple tree repetively. When exhausted, pick up an apple off the ground and munch away.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

mommy tummy

So my sister Tami and I are way excited because we are starting our Lose your Mommy Tummy class out in the HUGE 3 story Sportsplex in Orland Park - it will be our 2nd location.

Our Supervisor Deborah told us that new classes are hard to pick up participants. Well, I called up yesterday to see how many people we have in our class, and it is completely full – they only allow us to have 28 people because of the room size – with a waiting list! YEAH – this is the first time our class has had a waiting list – waiting list people have to pay just in case it goes through. Also, for our next session down the road in October, we already have a lot of people signed up.

I was stunned, and a little giddyJ It really is something I LOVE to do. Some of the things any postpartum moms out there may be interested in knowing:

*In 98% of women, your rectus abdominus splits during pregnancy creating a diastisis. It does not come together on its own.

*We have noticed in 6 class sessions, most people close at least 1 or 2 (of 3) parts of their diastisis if they come consistently.

*We have noticed that the very skinny younger moms that we have taught have THINNER abdominals than people with more weight on their bodies. In fact, in many of the really skinny moms, their rectus abdominus is like a split thin pancake in width.

*The oldest person who took our class was 72. She had 13 kids.

*The widest diastisis we have seen is 5 fingerwidths on top (3 in. above bellybutton), 6 fingerwidths in the middle (at the belly button), and 5 fingerwidths on the bottom (3 inches below the belly button)

*The people with the thickest rectus abdominus tend to have layers – for example – the deepest part of the diastisis may be 1 fingerwidth, and the surface most layer may be a 1.

*Most postpartum women have a 2 to 3 finger width gap in their diastisis.

*People that have closed their diastisis have reopened it during the 6 weeks by carrying things that were too heavy.

*The women who had the largest diastisis and the thinnest rectus abdominus tended to have back problems.

*You can do the Tupler exercises we teach within 24 hours of having a baby – and within a week if you had a C Section.

*During the 6 weeks, people tend to lose 1 to 2 inches in their waist.

*Tautness of (belly) skin is age and genetics.

*The ideal for a Postpartum women is 10 sets of Seated Tupler Exercises a day.

*You can do them anywhere because its intrinsic. As long as your don't wear a constipated look on your face from concentrating and using your muscles you can do them in line at a store, church, movie - anywhere!

*Some people pay a ton of money to take the class and never come once.

*The exercises are designed to close the diastisis, shink the waistline, tone the muscles, correct bad posture, correct back problems and increase energy

*Since initially closing all 3 parts of my diastisis, I have noticed that I reopen it by carrying things that are too heavy or jackknifing out of bed. It takes me1 class session to bring it completely back together.

*I lost 7 inches in my waist from the Tupler exercises – over 5 months (after baby #2).

*We have had pregnant women in our class who have actually CLOSED their diastisis while their stomach is growing. This helps in labor tremendously because they have full strength of their pushing muscle (the transverse)

*Crunches are terrible for a post partum woman or pregnant women. DIASTISIS CITY!

*Tami and I are the only teachers of this class for the entire south suburbs of Chicago. There may be others in Chicagoland, but I don’t know of any.

These in a nutshell are my observations and education thus far in testing and teaching literally hundreds of pregnant and postpartum women.