IMG_8176I feel like I documented Noah and Liam’s younger life better than I have done with Ray. So here’s my effort to keep up. Ray is 3 and a half and adorable these days. And he loves me the best.

He says hilarious stuff. Lately these are my faves:

“nermal” (normal)

“smokes” (cloaks … on his lego guys)

“lellow” (yellow)

“Green Lanturd” (Green Lantern)

He consistently refers to Daniel and I not as daddy and mommy but as “Dad” and “Mom”. It sounds so grown up for a 3 year old. Even as a 2 year old he did that. We’ll even say things like, “Tell Daddy – ‘Daddy I’m sorry'” and he’ll repeat it as “Dad, I’m sorry”. So funny. He also consistently refers to his poop as “stinkies” not poopies or anything else we call it. He seems like he has his own opinion about stuff.

He’s ridiculously happy. The only time he gets in a bad mood is if he hasn’t had enough food or if he doesn’t get enough alone time at home. He seems to kind of love his time with me while the older boys are at school. He gets to rule the house and the legos and nobody tells him what he can or can’t do and for a youngest child, who gets told he’s too little quite a bit, it’s good for him to have time when he’s in charge of his own little life.

Ray is VERY loving. He spontaneously gives “huggies” and kisses throughout the day. He will tell me he loves me all the time too. He’s a love. I can usually talk him out of a fit and I can generally take him with me anywhere I go. He’s a pretty good natured kid. I’ve taken him to class parties in Noah’s fourth grade class several times because I’m the Room Mom and have to go. He stays close to me and is pretty low key in public.

His best friend is Emily Clark, his cousin. Today in Primary they were sitting side by side in the front row and I was teaching singing time and they just kept talking to one another and then finally started kissing each other and giggling. He calls her “Emlee”. Emily is pretty bossy but Ray is pretty easy going so they work well together. They both like pretending together and we call them, collectively, “the babies”. They are both the youngest of our families and we might refer to them as that for the rest of their mortal lives. They’ll probably hate it. But they play so well together, that sometimes I will call Christina and ask her to bring over Emily so I can get some stuff done. Emily and Ray will play for hours, happily. I love it. If Emily or a playmate is not here for Ray to play with, he will follow me everywhere and ask me to play with him. He doesn’t like to be alone. I constantly trip over him because he is usually at my feet or right behind me or within 24 inches of me at all times. I see it in photographs. It’s kind of funny, kind of cute and kind of frustrating at the same time.

I have a hard time playing “guys” with Ray, so I generally don’t do it. We do other things together, but Daniel plays “guys” with him. It’s usually Lego guys. Daniel says Ray is a pretty demanding player though. He has specific things he wants you to say and do and pretend with him as you play with him. He doesn’t seem to do that with friends, just adults. I think he feels the need to guide us because we don’t seem to know how to pretend very well.

He’s a beautiful little soul and I love him.


scheduling conflicts

Oh. my. goodness. Life is just screaming along at a breakneck pace! Daniel and I have turned 70% of our conversations into scheduling discussions. I feel like we’re playing some sort of tag team race. Days and weeks are just flying by and we are so exhausted!

This morning was supposed to be different. We had a whirlwind weekend and yesterday was the first Bishop’s Youth Fireside that we hosted here at our house. We got to bed late and I woke up, got the boys off to school and thought, “phew! I’ve got a free morning ahead of me and Ray isn’t awake yet! huh. I think I’ll sit down and blog.” But as I went to sign in to the blog, I had to reset my password and I had the new one sent to my email …. and that was my mistake. Because then I was looking at my email and there was soooooooooo much there. I found myself answering emails to our Rental Manager in MI about refinishing the hardwood floors and emailing a family photo to the ward YW’s president for a ward event and scheduling with Daniel how I could get him to do the soccer practice rigamorale so I could attend the ward Terrific Tuesday and then I’m so busy that I haven’t eaten breakfast and I’m scheduling piano lessons over email!

It feels like it will never end. But it’s all good stuff. Nothing terrible is happening. We’re just so busy we feel like we can’t get our footing. We feel like we’re spinning. It’s felt like that ever since he was called to be bishop.

I would never pick this for my life but I can see how it changes me for the good. For instance, I am back to praying constantly. I have felt this scripture play out in my life:

2 Nephi 32:9

9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

I felt this way while I was a young mommy too. That was terribly hard. It was exhausting and it was painful. I needed to pray. I needed the help. I feel that way again and it worries me. I don’t want life to be a struggle, I want to enjoy it but maybe the only way I can be perfected is through struggle. I would not go to my Heavenly Father unless I were in dire need. Why am I like that? Maybe if I were a more perfect being I wouldn’t need struggle to bring me to my knees; I would seek for the Lord in times of relative ease too. But I have to say – either way, I have felt the Lord with me. I feel a sense of strength and assistance.

I also feel closer to Daniel. Weird, cuz he’s physically and mentally gone more. But because he is gone more, we relish the time together. We really appreciate one another now. It’s only been about 6 weeks with him serving as bishop, but it has made a massive change in our lives. Our love feels concentrated now, because it’s given and received in small chunks, but it’s like taking a spoonful of orange juice concentrate – it’s strong. We also don’t have time to be angry with one another or have fights. That’s wasteful. Every time we get angry (in the last 6 weeks), we are quick to resolve it and melt toward each other. We need each other more.

That’s where we’re at right now. It’s crazy busy and I don’t know how to change that. I want more downtime and I wish things were less hectic, but it has caused me to depend more on the Lord. Daniel remains as the most wonderful thing in my life. I love him.

begin again

I recently finished putting together a blog book … from 2012. I’m a little behind I guess. I really had the intent of creating a blog book each year that I blogged, but I only have two books printed. One from 2008 (Daniel did that as a surprise gift to me one year) and 2012 now. Anyway, I got it printed and it came in the mail last week and I love it. I really kind of treasure it. It’s my journal and a picture book all in one and it documents our little lives. Daniel and I poured over each page when it came and read through a few entries and by the end of 147 pages Daniel looked at me and said, “you should blog again”. So here I am.

I’ve been so busy since I moved to CA with family stuff and trips and everything has been so happy that I haven’t really needed to blog like I did in MI. I did it before as a form of therapy and it was so nice, but I still enjoy writing and I want my kids and family to have a record of the good times too. So let’s get going.

Funny enough, I’m writing because I’m a little sad. It’s Monday and I miss Daniel. I always miss Daniel on Mondays because I’ve had him near me all weekend and Mondays I always have separation anxiety :) But this Monday it feels especially poignant. We met with the stake president yesterday and Daniel has been called to be the Bishop of our ward. We’re both dreading it. We’re nervous and worried and I’ve been weepy on and off since we were told.

He accepted the call to serve, as did I to support him in this call but I couldn’t get the words out when President asked me, I just whimpered and nodded. I’m sure we caused some alarm to our stake president, or maybe not. Maybe he sees this kind of reaction a lot when calling Bishops. Daniel looked flat out scared and I was crying. It was a strange experience – to be called to serve as a Bishop, like one of those that feels like it’s imprinted in your mind. It felt like things slowed down and yet your mind is racing. I was hearing the words our stake president was saying, but didn’t really know what to think about it.

And now it’s the day after, it’s Monday and he will be sustained on Sunday and he already has two meetings this week before it happens – Wednesday and Thursday night. This Monday feels worse without him because I feel like I’ll never see him again. I’m being dramatic, I know I will see him, but his attention and time will be severely divided from me and the boys. He will have a lot more stress and responsibilities. Which is crazy because he already pulls 12 hour days at Amazon – 7am-7pm and that felt hard. Now instead of having his evenings and the weekends, the boys and I will probably get a couple nights a week, no Sundays and I have no idea what to expect for Saturdays. It just makes me want to cry …. again. And I miss him already.

I’m writing this all out now, but won’t post this until after he’s been called on Sunday, since we were asked to keep this to ourselves until then. So I can’t tell Christina, because she’s in my ward. I told my parents yesterday. Daniel and I called them together, mostly to get advice since Dad has served as bishop twice now. It was good. Mom said some things that really helped Daniel – that he would know what to say and be inspired in the moment to say things he wouldn’t normally know how to say. She also said that the Lord blesses His bishops. Dad gave some great advice also – to ask for help from the stake leaders, Elders Quorum president, Relief Society President, High Priest Group Leader, and even other bishops in the stake. Deferring as many responsibilities as Daniel can.

As for me, I have felt a slight shift already. I feel a greater sense of responsibility in the home. I feel like I will be leading out in everything. I thought I was already but I have felt it even stronger just in the past 24 hours – making sure we did our family scripture study before the Google hangout and family prayers. It won’t just be dinners alone, but now bedtimes too and everything really. It all makes me so sad. Just really sad. I picked out my husband, I didn’t just somehow end up with him. I picked him out and desired to spend every waking moment with him and the longer we’re together, the harder that becomes.

There’s only one thing that seems to stand out in my mind over the past 24 hours and it’s something Daniel told me. Before we went in to meet with the stake president on Sunday morning, Daniel and I were talking about what we thought he wanted to talk to us about. We were worried that this bishop calling was on the table because our current bishop has been in his calling for over 5 years and his time is about up. So as we talked, I asked Daniel what he was feeling and he told me that he kept worrying it would be a calling he wouldn’t have time for but the thought occurred to him that his time was consecrated to the Lord. He made promises with the Lord to give all that he had – his time and talents and life to the building up of the kingdom of God, and because he had already made that commitment, the answer for whatever calling it was, would be yes. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me that this was true and it’s the only thing that seems positive in all of this.

Everybody is asked to serve the Lord in different ways and everyone has their own personal struggles. Nobody chooses their trials. Trials change you because they are harder than you think you can handle. Change doesn’t seem to happen any other way. At least not for me.

So here we are. I keep kind of thinking that maybe they’ll ask someone else this week and tell Daniel and I that we’re off the hook, that the Lord had different plans, that all we had to do was make the choice to accept the call …. that’d be awesome right? I guess we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

Weekend in SF

Have you ever woken up at 6:33 am and thought, “I have to get kids up and ready for school!” and then suddenly realized it was Saturday? … and you were in a hotel room? … in Oakland? … and you’re about to spend a day of fun with your honey in San Francisco? I have. You immediately smile and snuggle back deeper into bed and sidle up to your honey and fall back asleep, until 10 am. For reals!!!

Daniel had to work out of town a lot this month. He was in Seattle for a week, then home for a week, then gone to Tracy, CA (northern CA) for a week. I knew I’d be toast by the end of the second week he was gone and we had a free flight that was expiring in May, two free nights at Marriott and that’s all we needed as an excuse. Christina and Aria split up my babies and watched them from Friday afternoon until Sunday night and that was that! Daniel met me after I flew into Oakland and we went to dinner in Oakland at B-Side BBQ, which was our favorite meal of the weekend! It was soooo good. I had a pulled pork sandwich with spicy coleslaw and Daniel had the brisket and cornbread. We shared the yams – which were out of this world! They were so creamy and smooth and sweet it was almost like some dessert soup. So awesome.

The next day was just ours.

It was a 90% chance of rain in the city and 57 degrees, so we knew what we were in for, and I planned for it, but Daniel forgot one of his many jackets, so we of COURSE had to make our first stop at … REI to buy him another rain jacket. Yes, an absolute must :) I tease Daniel a lot about the amount of jackets he owns … because it’s a little ridiculous. We also picked up an umbrella and headed out into the rain.

We really plan our trips around food. I don’t know how that happens. Just does. And I love it. At noon we ate breakfast because you can eat breakfast whenever the heck you want when you don’t have any commitments or children begging for it. So we did. We found this cool little place on yelp called Tomate Café in Berkeley. Their fresh squeezed OJ was like eating an orange out of a glass. Very pulpy, but I liked it. I had the French toast with berries and slivered almonds on top and a side of bacon. Daniel had a breakfast sandwich. Mine was the best! The bread for the French toast was amazing … it was like a challah that had cinnamon swirled through it. So yummy. My favorite review I’ve ever read on yelp was about this café. They said, “call your momma, cuz she’s about to be slapped! The French toast here is ridiculous!” I had to say that at regular intervals to Daniel throughout the day – “call your momma, cuz she’s about to be slapped!”

Then we finally made it into SF. But by the time we got there, the rain had subsided and it was marvelous! Everything smelled fresh and the air breezing in off the bay was so full of memories from my childhood – of my family spending time in the city. Daniel and I found a parking spot right of the Embarcadero, next to the bay and walked over to the Ferry building, which is right on the water. The sky was all moody and cloudy and blue and grey and Daniel’s hands were so warm to hold … awwww, it was a moment. We walked around the Framer’s Market there at the Ferry building – trying out olive oils with sourdough, looking at the flowers and fresh food, and we bought some local honey sticks to bring home to the kids. We even walked a bit farther inland and down to Boudin, to get a sourdough round for Aria and Walter to say thanks for watching the kiddos!

We were trying to figure out what we wanted to do next and Daniel mentioned Amoeba and that sounded awesome, so off we went. Because you can decide things in the moment, when you have no commitments or children getting tired or bored. Amoeba is the coolest, largest used music store anywhere. They sell used CDs, vinyl, tapes, DVDs and even VHS and they have everything you’re looking for. We got a Natalie Merchant CD for Christina, two Tonic CDs for me, a Sam Cooke CD, and a Matt Kearny album. We also bought Joe vs the Volcano for $4 and Wizard of Oz. Then we perused down Haight Street.

This is a Daniel thing. He used to do this a lot in High School. He had quite a few favorite stores and only a few of them were still there – Wasteland was one of them. It’s a clothing store, with retro, unique clothes. I loved it and found several things I would buy, if it weren’t so expensive, but Daniel said he couldn’t find anything he would actually wear in public. We’re different that way. I found this big snuggly sweater that was all chunky and nubby and big that I could see myself living in with a pair of leggings and maybe boots. I also found a full length black skirt made completely of black sequins. I loved it. Daniel asked where I would wear it and I said “church”.

Now it was about 4 pm and lunch sounded good about now. Daniel’s mom had sent us an article about this pizza place – Tony’s Pizza Napoletana …. it was incredible. The wait was like an hour to go in and sit down, so we went next door to their “slice house” where you can buy it by the slice and take it to eat somewhere else, so we did. We got the Margherita pizza, meat lovers pizza, vegetarian pizza and hot peppers pizza (can’t remember the catchy name of that one). They were all awesome. The crust was perfect, crispy on the bottom but not burnt, fluffy and bubbly … and flavorful! The hot pepper one had little dollops of fresh ricotta plopped on top and cooked – it was just too much for words. So good. The funny thing was, that we didn’t have a place to take the pizza and eat it, so we just took it to the car and chowed down. But we had such an awesome little parking spot, that people kept driving up next to us and asking, “are you guys leaving?” We just shook our heads and kept eating pizza and fogged up the windows pretty good. Once the windows were all fogged up, I took the opportunity to get in some kisses with Daniel. Of course, right as I was doing that, some guy drives up next to us and asks … I just looked at him and shook my head as if to say, “uh uh dude, no way”. He laughed and drove off.

Then we went walking. We walked up to Coit Tower, only to realize it was closed for refurbishment – yeah, lame. But the view even from the base of Coit Tower was spectacular. The city looked so beautiful and it still wasn’t raining! This whole time it had been rain free. Daniel noticed that there were steps in the sidewalk up to Coit Tower and mentioned to me that he didn’t think there was any other city where he’d seen that before. The hills in SF are pretty taxing. But it was just nice to walk around the city with Daniel. We’d stop in at stores when we wanted to and talk and hold hands. It was just a beautiful thing.

We had planned on meeting Daniel’s best friend from growing up, Nick, and his wife for dinner. We had eaten pizza at about 4:30 or 5 and met Nick and Jessica at 7 … so dinner had to be light :) We were stuffed. We spent the night laughing and talking and catching up and then driving into Pleasant Hill and hanging out at their house for a bit and visiting and watching the funniest thing on Netflix (Jim Gaffigin – sp?? – Mr. Universe), then to bed.

On Sunday we saw my family for just the briefest moment at Drew’s baby blessing. I wanted to pick up little, fat Drew, but he was sleeping and Bethany wanted him to stay that way until the blessing was over, so I got down on my hands and knees in the pew and crawled over to Drew’s carseat he was sleeping in and snapped a few pics. Then I snapped a few shots of the wonderful family I was sharing a pew with. So cute. I love my family. After the blessing, I stole a few minutes in the foyer talking to Dad about religion but that was it. It was too short. Everything we did on Sunday felt like too little time.

After the blessing we went to see Daniel’s mom play organ for a church in Berkeley. Liz is always phenomenal, flawless really. And we got to see what she does every Sunday. She introduced us to a few friends then we jumped back in the car and off we went to Pleasant Hill 1st ward. We could only stay for 2 of the 3 hours of church, but it was great. The meetings were wonderful and insightful. We still were able to be spiritually fed in a short time. And then it was over.

This was the first trip away with Daniel where I wanted to get back to my kids at the end of it. I missed my little men.

The last, fun thing to do with Daniel was to travel with him in snazzy clothes. We were still in our church clothes, so I was in a black dress and heels and he was wearing his Zegna suit. It was cool to travel like that. I’m usually sporting athletic shoes and yoga pants while traveling with the boys and it felt nice to dress up to fly. I felt like a business woman on important business. For all they knew on the flight, I was meeting with big wigs when I flew into southern CA … but instead, I was driving to Christina’s house, throwing off my heels and getting on the floor to squeeze babies. But they didn’t know that.

It was a perfect trip.

I flew in style on the way to Oakland too. Just because I could. Yep. I wore heels and everything. Daniel was surprised when he saw me at the airport … that was kind of the point.

Good morning, from Tomate Café in Berkeley. My French toast, bacon and fresh OJ.

The view while driving into SF … glad it stopped the moment we got into the city :)

Hanging out at the Farmer’s Market in an Adirondack chair I should own.

There are too many hilarious things about this picture. It’s a gem. This was D in Amoeba. You’re welcome.

Lunchtime at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

Me taking a breather while walking up the sidewalk stairs to Coit Tower.

Daniel, disappointed at the top.

Andrew Reed Price, aka Reedzilla, because he rang in at 11lbs at birth. heck yes. That’s how we Damiano girls roll!

Jack, Bethany, Taylor and Livie sitting next to me on the pew.

Dad and mom, totally not ready for this picture.

Flying home in style with my Cake face.

Daniel NOT cooperating for a cute picture of the two of us. Ruined! … good thing I love him anyway. You should’ve heard him giggling after this picture was taken and I saw the result. I had no idea what he was doing while taking the picture and he waited for me to see it … he can be such a bum sometimes.


I spent a serious amount of time this past week in the boys’ room. I was going through boxes of toys and tossing old stuff, reorganizing what they had and making labels for everything. Standard day in the Forsyth home. As I was doing this, I came across this piece of paper jammed in a drawer on their desk. Noah wrote it. It says (in case you can’t read it):

3 things I think are osum (awesome): Play gumpootr (computer), ches (chess) with dad, Famle (family) and I, play with Mathyoo (Matthew Rocco Clark, his cousin) enewer (anywhere).

I love my little Noah. He is so awesome.

I don’t think I ever wrote this down, but it needs to be documented, so here we go … Christina picked up all the boys from school one day about a month ago and they were all excited and talking about the drug-free day at school. All the boys were talking about the stuff their teachers were teaching them about being and staying drug free. Christina asked Liam how his day was and he piped up and said, “I heard that drugs were free and I’m gonna get some”. :)

And I haven’t told a good Daniel story lately, but the other morning I was getting ready with Daniel in the bathroom and I asked how he slept, and he responded, “I slept okay, but I kept dreaming about trying to go to sleep”. Unbelievable. Daniel dreams of sleeping.

Thanksgiving was a blast, I will have to post pictures and tell all about my turkey making experience.