Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Twas the Night Before the End of the Semester

*35 books read for my 3 classes
*30 academic articles
*15 books consulted for papers
*20 2 page papers
*10 3-5 page papers
*150 student exams graded
*1 10 page research paper
*1 20 page historiography paper
*Brain full of new theories and the occasional weight of the world on my shoulders when I dwell too much on the negative aspects of what I am learning and the intellectual responsibility I feel.

My first semester of my history grad program ends tomorrow and I am thrilled to have a month off! If you would have asked me how things were going in October I would have told you they were not going well to say the least. It was so hard to go back to school after a 6 year break. Doing homework every night instead of lying around watching TV or reading for pleasure was a major change in my life. Writing papers (3 per week on the 3 books per week) really taxed my rusty writing skills, and my initial grades were not to my liking. My advisor, and teacher of 2 out of my 3 classes was giving me Bs and B+s and I was freaking out.

But as I am literally writing my last page and half of my final 20 page paper (due tomorrow) I am reflecting on how happy I am now that I am back in school. I really needed something else in my life; another outlet. I complain all the time about my workload but I honestly feel so much better about myself now. I finally got an A+ out of my grades-way-too-hard advisor, I have a thesis topic in mind, I LOVE class discussions, I finally feel like I know how to approach my homework, and I even have more history nerd friends now so I can talk about post-modern, new social history, and structural racism to my hearts content. I even got to read another book about the Dust Bowl.

I could not have made through one week of school without Joe supporting me around the house and with the kids. I also could not have done it without my mom who had a couple of "Grandma days" with Hayes and Madison during the week so that I could go to class. I also am amazed about how well the mom/student life is going. At the beginning of the year my dad gave me a blessing telling me that the time I devoted to school would be productive, and one day it hit me that this truly happened. I finished a lot of my homework in a shorter amount of time than my single, childless classmates, and got the same or better grades. This was definitely a blessing beyond my own abilities because I am definitely not that smart.

As an undergrad I would be really stressed right now because I have all this work to do to finish up for tomorrow, but right now I feel really blessed to have found a career (in the loosest sense of the word) that I love and the opportunity to pursue it!

All right, now I need to finish my paper.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

*Snow Day*

Hooray! None of us had school today (except Joe). I was going to spend all afternoon reading 15 articles for class tonight and thankfully it is the end of the semester so we don't have to make them up! It has been snowing like crazy here. After Thanksgiving in Sandpoint it feels like it has been snowing almost all day, every day. We had some fun this afternoon making a snowman and playing in the snow. I will not be sad if there is no school tomorrow either.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birthday Boy

Joe's birthday is today...and lucky for him he is spending it at the hospital on a 30 hour shift. So, the least we can do is give him a little blog shout-out.

I have been thinking lately how lucky I am to have him around. Here is a list of things that he has done lately to make me like him.

1. He cleaned out the microwave..2 times.

2. He rents chick-flicks I have wanted to see even though he hates them.

3. He makes dinner more than I do lately, and is probably the better cook.

4. He does most of the grocery shopping; a chore I detest.

5. He always takes the kids to do fun things so that I can get my homework done.

6. He makes me hot chocolate (my favorite) when I am cold.

7. He is thoughtful, fun, and supportive.

We'll keep him! Thanks sweet-ums, have a happy the hospital!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This year we went to Sandpoint, Idaho at my aunt and uncle's house. We had such a great time. It snowed the entire time and it was so pretty.

We had an awesome time catching up with the family. We had a gingerbread house building contest Thursday night that was super fun. We all came out with some kind of prize.

Last night we went on a sleigh ride through the woods in the snow. We sang carols and finished at the lodge where we had dinner together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little Tough Guy

Last night Hayes slipped and fell, breaking his elbow.

We went to an orthopedic surgeon today who set him up in a awesome Bronco Blue and Orange cast! He is probably going to have to wear it for four weeks along with a sling. We have to keep going back to get x-rays because if it doesn't set right he will have to have surgery to have pins inserted or have it re-broken.

He has been so good (and is on liquid Vicodin...which may be why). He hasn't complained at all. Yesterday, a couple of hours before the accident he said "Mom, when I grow up I don't want to be a wuss." I think we can say for sure that he is not going to be a wuss!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Toad for Sale...

Things Hayes has done in the last month to totally drive me nuts:

  • Washes his toy trucks when we think he is in bed sleeping with his water bottle...and hand soap...on the carpet.
  • Pour grape cough syrup into his lotion.
  • Pour grape cough syrup into Madison's hair spray bottle (only discovered this one after I sprayed her with a fine grape mist).
  • Dumped an ENTIRE bottle of shampoo into the bathtub to create a bubble bath.
  • Turned off the water heater and the pilot light (discovered after a particularly cold shower).
  • Coated his clothes hanger's hooks with lotion, and then hanged them back up in his closet.
  • Absconded with all of my make-up, which we discovered under his pillow in a pile while he was sleeping.
  • Put Madison's tooth brush inside a huge bottle of hand sanitizer, which we had to fish out.
  • Squeezed a ton of toothpaste into a bathroom cup.
  • Spilled syrup all over the kitchen floor.
  • Opened his own Capri Sun all over the kitchen counter and floor.
Things Hayes has said to redeem himself:

  • "Mom did you sew my name in the bottom of my socks?" (HANES)
  • "Mom I want to snuggle with you."
  • "Mom is my girlfriend."
  • "Mom, why do I have such cute cheeks?"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blue Halloween

Halloween came faster than I was planning this year. We did have some fun activities this time! We did a trunk or treat at the church, and went to my Uncle Jan's house Sunday night for scones and hot chocolate. Madison was a cheerleader and Hayes was an "oil changer," or a member of the pit crew.


Madison is 6! We had a little party with Grandma and Grandpa for Madison's birthday. We had pizza Madison's favorite and pink cake. We also carved pumpkins for Halloween. What a fun night!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Uncle Royce

My Uncle Royce died a couple days ago, unexpectedly. I just can't
get over the shock of it. He w s such a great guy. A fun father of five, and a wonderful husband to my aunt. It is really a great loss that he is gone so early and will be missed.

Royce Scott McRae (1971-2010)

Royce Scott McRae died suddenly due to an aortic aneurysm Oct. 5 at a hunting lodge on the Greys River in Wyoming. He was born July 21, 1971, in Logan, Utah, to Don and Donna East McRae.
Royce grew up in Hyrum, graduating from Mountain Crest High School in 1989. He was a skilled soccer player, avid hunter, entrepreneur and Eagle Scout. Royce served an honorable LDS mission in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Mission.
He married Melissa Quayle, July 9, 1993, in the Logan LDS Temple. They are the parents of five children: Madalyn, Hunter, Dallin, Spencer and McKenzie.
Royce's entrepreneurial spirit grew as he created the highly successful "Royce the Chimney Sweep" and "The Duct Hunter" businesses that served clients throughout the intermountain area.
His greatest love was for his family and doing things with them. They had a special Hawaiian vacation this past summer and have enjoyed many other family adventures.
Royce loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lived a Christ-like life. He was bishop's counselor, in Young Men's presidencies, a High Councilor and was serving as bishop of the Yorkshire Ward of the Logan Cache Stake.
Royce's love for the outdoors and hunting and fishing took him to Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Arizona and throughout Utah, hunting for bear, elk, deer, buffalo, ducks, pheasants and javelina pigs.
Royce will be most remembered for his ability to make friends through his work, service, and recreation. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his parents Don and Donna McRae; wife Melissa L. McRae; children Madalyn (13), Hunter (11), Dallin (9), Spencer (6) and McKenzie (2); siblings Georgeana (Monte) Cook, Cindy Tanner, Joel (Brigida) McRae, Rodney (Deanna) McRae, LaDawn (Mike) Richey and Sabrina (Nathan) Sullivan.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at noon in the Cache Stake Center, 1200 N. 250 West. A viewing will be held at the Allen North Logan Mortuary, 420 E. 1800 North on Sunday, Oct. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday at the Stake Center from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Services under the direction of Nelson Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers please contribute to the LDS Perpetual Education Fund or Cache Employment and Training Center. Condolences may be extended to the family online at

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Hayes' preschool class went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and we had a great time. We got to do a hay ride, pick out a pumpkin, run through a hay bale maze and have pop corn for a snack. The farm was really pretty and I am thinking about going back to do their Bronco-themed corn maze (or maize?).

Game Day in Bronco Nation

ESPN visited Bronco Nation for Game Day, and Joe and my brother Max made the most of it. They went to the stadium super-early in the morning for the filming of the show.

That night they had me paint them orange and went to the game! I was so jealous they got to go. The Broncos won and the orange paint came out so everything turned out well.

The Fair

Grandma and Grandpa took us to the fair at the end of August just like my grandparents used to take us when we were little. We had a blast riding the rides, checking out the crafts (which the kids loved, I don't remember liking that part), and all of the animals. So fun! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

*Is this a selling point?*


So I am really behind on the blog...but about a month ago we took a trip down to Logan, UT so that I could visit family and Joe could attend the BYU-UW game.

My sister Clare showed us around town. We visited the Utah State campus, which was beautiful! We also checked out the temple and the tabernacle, and had a little treat at the Bluebird.

My grandma took a bunch of us out to dinner (cousins, siblings, great-grandkids, etc.) to the Sizz to make it the perfect Logan experience.

My sisters and I tried to locate a haunted nunnery (where do nuns live?), but never successfully found it so we watched Gilmore Girls with our favorite cousin Madeline.

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of School

Madison had her first day of kindergarten on Wednesday. She was super excited to finally go back to school. She is going to an all day kindergarten that is part of a classical program. The classical program offers a bigger emphasis on grammar, geography, government, and even some Latin (but not until next year)! She also does two days of Spanish per week. She is basically going to be a genius! She gets to ride the bus and doesn't get home until almost 4:00 everyday, but she wouldn't have it any other way.