married to the sea

yup. still funny.

my big fat gypsy wedding

oh, my--it's our lucky day.....

..... because tlc is showing the series my big fat gypsy wedding starting this sunday.

which means you get to see awesomeness like this:

thankful thursday

the thing i am thankful for this week:

a motorcycle ride with a hot dude on a gorgeous may night in st. george. WIN/WIN/WIN/WIN.

which just kept getting better when we spotted this:


(these photos were taken from my cellphone whilst doing around 50 mph. muy impressivo, no?)

and then a (semi) double rainbow!!:


sometimes the scenery here in southern utah just takes my breath away. i love living here and am thankful that i get to raise my family in such a beautiful setting.


NOT thankful thursday

the thing i am NOT THANKFUL FOR this week:

the fact that i had 2 tickets to see the u2 360 tour in salt lake earlier this week, and i didn't go.

timing was crappy, and i convinced myself that making the last-minute trip to slc was just gonna be too much.

that is, until i started seeing these photos show up on facebook:

and then i realized that i was just an idiot.

universe: 1

mindi: 0

oh, rio, rio.


meet rio--she is currently living rent-free on our back porch.

and i am THRILLED!

i've always wanted a tiny wild birdie of our own, so when i saw this being carefully constructed on one of our stereo speakers i could hardly contain my excitement:


since i am a geriatric when it comes to birdies, i have to resist the urge to document her every move, flight-patterns, eating habits, and consistency of her poop.

i think it would be safe to say that i go to the back door to check on her upwards of (no joke) 20 times a day. which could allegedly be more times than i checked on one of my infants.

and i spend WAY too much time standing there, watching. (likeWAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY.)

i'm just really grateful that she built her nest up so high so that dave & martin can't mess with her, because i would be really peeved at them if they did.

what can i say? she brings me joy:


she spends a lot of time on that nest, so we figured there had to be eggs up there. since she built her nest so close to the roof, though, we had to climb up a ladder and stick my cellphone in the 1 inch of space between the nest and the roof to (fuzzily) confirm three babies:


we think she's the best bird, ever.


& the 80's child that i am is not afraid to admit that i've sung the lines
"moving on the floor now, baby, you're a bird of paradise...cherry ice cream smile-- i suppose it's very nice" to her multiple times.

{jealous, vanessa?}

me + you

my blogging bff kami posted about the lovely lovelies at lisa leonard--

i especially love her decor line (how cute is that pewter wand? SO.}

but what i really, WEALLY love is the pewter heart wall hanging that kami got:

methinks it could have something to do with the fact that it's the opening line in my favorite (yes.) j. biebs song:

but what makes me love it MOST is that her stallion of a man, kyle, shows that a "real man" makes this thing look good:

to each their own.


have you seen these oh-so-clever commercials by honda for the 5 civic brand choices?

seriously, so genius. they make me want to be a consumer. in fact, i am fairly certain that they DEMAND THAT I CONSUME.

all i'm missing is the mexican wrestler/nacho libre clip. but you can bet that i'll be watching for it and passing on the love right to you -know- who. (who? YOU!)

thankful thursday

many things to be thankful for over the past few weeks:

**a cheerful 4th grader who experienced a pioneer handcart trek with her class:

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**a birthday cake for a 6-year-old girl made by aunt megan--

mia specifically asked for a "wedding cake". and it was spectacular:

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**a broken vow made by a mother 16 years ago in which she stated (and i quote) "i will never, ever buy one of my children a motorized mini-vehicle."

eating my words never tasted so delicious:

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**the best day, ever, on survivor when boston rob kicked some ass and took some names--

he was ruthless, diabolical, cunning, cut-throat, and manipulative.

and i couldn't have loved him more:

**temporary tattoos airbrushed-on at the desert ridge marketplace--

it was a big kitty. in honor of my kitties:

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**& finally, speaking of kitties--why was i NOT creeped out by this video?:

hb jody!

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hb to my jody--as usual, you are just LIVING THE DREAM.

may you always lead the glamorous life. i love you!

making a house a home.

this sweet little email and photo came a few weeks ago, and i thought her thoughts and observations were so sincere and so eloquently put. (but this IS my mother, after all.....who just so happens to be the smartest woman on the planet.)

i wanted to share:

Dear family and friends:

While first getting acquainted with Costa Rica, we were amazed at the variety of bright colors that the homes are painted. Well...maybe amazed, entertained and amused. I don’t now remember the exact thoughts I then had, but they ran somewhat in the following smug vein: “Who in their right mind would ever live in a house THAT color?” As I have lived here however, some of my perspective has changed, or at least enlarged. Now I look at the homes we pass and notice that it is seldom a large or expensive home that is painted bright lime green. But the tiny square or rectangle box constructed of wood or plaster or even tin, leaning slightly askew? You can bet it will be bright coral, hot pink, sky blue, or any other of the brightest colors available. Often times it will have two colors, such as lime green and purple. I think of the people who live in those houses--especially the women--and realize that if I were in their circumstances, trying to make a home out of a flat-faced house with a door and MAYBE a window or two on the front, I would do whatever I could to brighten, individualize and freshen my abode. And hey, a can of paint costs a heck of a lot less than anything else that can be used to cheer up the world: so celebrate color, Costa Rica. Bring out your paint brushes!

Hugs to all,
Lana (& Derrill, of course)

warning: infectious dancing ahead

my brother mike sent me this video, which just made me happy.

it totally reminds me of my other brother, ryan, who used to love getting up on the fireplace hearth and putting on an impromptu dance recital for the family. with ALL the best moves.

i am also pretty sure that i have performed at least 35% of his moves, including both :54-:59 and 1:15-1:20.

if you want to feel good today, then watch.

dinner @ rita's kitchen

i cannot sing enough praises to rita's kitchen at the historical jw marriott camelback inn--

we wanted a place to have dinner with all (yes, ALL) 361/2 of us one night in scottsdale, so i contacted ashley at rita's and explained our situation. she hooked us up, BIG TIME, and made our experience one to remember.

we love to eat there because of the beautiful inside/outside atmosphere, but mostly because the food is TO DIE FOR.

my favorite is the chicken enchiladas rojas--they are life-changing.

what made me love rita's just a tiny bit more was the fact that they printed a special menu for our group, which was at each place setting:

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we were able to have tables for adults:


tables for adults with tiny kids:



tables for the up-and-comers:


and a table for the "too skool for cool" crowd:


the evening couldn't have been lovelier.

one of my favorite moments was when we managed to get a shot of all of the young ladies (and cole!) in our group looking so fetching:


scottsdale 2011


ahhhh, scottsdale. how we love thee.....

you keep us coming back for more, and 2011 was the year that 36 and 1/2 of us landed on your desert shores. we partook of your beautiful bounty. and it was GOOD.

here are the lessons we learned this year while enjoying your sunshine:

1. taking a group photo at the gas station right at take-off is always required:


2. this group is one wild & crazy bunch:


3. sometimes you must endure a mother's smothering/love in order to get stuff you want:

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4. there are many, many photo-ops in the desert for your "wood" coffee-table book:


5. our annual hike up camelback never seems to get any easier. perhaps it's our advancing years? (NOOOOOO.):


6. your hotel is the bomb-diggity for putting on a desert reptiles show:

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7. ginormous snakes are creepy:


8. swimming with your friends is made even better if you can charge $80.00 at the waterside cafe for a couple of drinks and a burger:


9. the view from a balcony is always just a little bit better:


10. an easter egg hunt in the desert totally rocks:

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11. when the lord said to multiply and replenish, we took it pretty serious:

(why did we have so many flipping kids??!! and we were missing three in the photo.)


12. having a sugar daddy is the best: