Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Reed and I just got back from Barcelona and all I can say is "wonderful, marvelous, lovely". The only possible way I can record our trip without an exorbitant number of redunancies and superlatives is the ever faithful top ten (cheesy, but oh so useful). So, in no particular order (because I just can't load the pictures in the order I want)...
1. Grandparents
First, I have to thank our wonderful parents, brothers, sisters and friends ("Jacob and Justin's family") who watched our boys while we were galavanting: especially when they were so sick.
2. Sleep
As pathetic as it may sound, sleeping was a definite highlight. Being able to wake up when you want to, without an alarm, or boys jumping on you is a true luxury. Luckily, the spaniards believe in a more relaxed lifestyle, so this worked out perfectly.
3. My Boys
Yep, about half way through I began to notice a big something was missing. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my time away I missed them dearly. Also, I realized that my life will NEVER be the same. Since when are caterpillars so fascinating? Well, when there are about twenty of them playing follow the leader and they look exactly like a snake, that's when.
I know, I'm a dork. But, ever since growing up in Sweden I LOVE European gummies. One year for Christmas my sister-in-law gave me a bag of gummies she brought back from Sweden and it was my favorite present. Anyway, our hotel was right next to La Boqueria, the open air market. Imagine my delight in discovering an entire stall of gummies. Let's just say I ate my weight in gummies and spent most of my Euro there as well :)

5. Time alone
Although I arrived Tuesday morning, Reed had to work until Thursday. This meant that the first few days Reed and I would just meet up for dinner/parties at night. At first, Reed was very concerned that I would feel neglected, but it was AWESOME. It made for the perfect balance of personal and couple time.

6. Food, glorious food
What would a vacation be without food? We ate at the most amazing resturants with great atmosphere and wonderful food (I warned you about an excess of superlatives). Thanks to some great recommendations we were able to have some very memorable dinners. Interestingly, most Spanish restaurants don't even open until 8:30pm and dinner takes at least 2 hours. This of course, gave us complete licence to indulge in #2.

7. Reed
What can I say? I love this wonderful man. I am so grateful for the opportunities he works so hard to give our family. Although I'm still not entirely sure what he does for a living, I've decided it's really cool and involves a lot of really cool people. It was great to meet most of his colleagues and to see just how amazing and extensive GSMA is. But, of course, I loved most just being with Reed; talking, walking and laughing.

8. Walking
Our hotel was located next to the gothic quarter and we wandered those tiny, cobbled streets for hours. During the day they were charming and quaint, steeped in history. Because of it's location on the Mediterranean and it's proximity to Africa, Barcelona is a fascinating mix of cultures. At night, they are truly GOTHIC, and let's just say I'm glad I never finished reading The Historian
9. Gaudi
I tend to be more traditional in my likes, but Gaudi is a master and his work is truly awe-inspiring. Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece on so many levels. First, the minute detail is breath-taking. Second, the sheer magnitude is overwhelming. Finally, the dedication and sacrifice it represents are humbling. Gaudi dedicated the last 16 years of his life to creating this church. But, work still continues TODAY! Amazing, especially in light of the fact that it is funded entirely by private donation. I was very touched by the sense of consecration that is present throughout the entire structure.

10. Remembering my past life...art, architecture, literature
I often wonder what, exactly, I studied in college. Well, as I browsed museums without being pulled by the hand it all came rushing back. Now granted, half way through the Picasso museum, I realized Reed is still one of my boys (it involved re-titling works, don't ask). But, I love art. I love what it conveys about people and cultures. I love being where art was created and feeling the weight of generations of hardship and creativity. I love...well, I'd better stop before I use Reed's new favorite word, existential.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bye bye Baby Gray

After scouring the internet for some really sappy country song I decided I just don't listen to country enough and I need to update my cell phone with Brad's number(blasted 3 cell phones in a month). The point being, my baby boy is all grown-up. Earlier today I was going to post a triumphant post under the heading I saw the sign (can't let my creative genius go unnoted). In it I was going to laud Gray's latest accomplishments. Just this weekend he's started signing "more" "all done" and "please". In addition, he's started nodding yes (not just shaking no) and performing all kinds of tricks that he thinks are hilarious.

It all changed tonight. It all started out innocently enough, just a haircut. Next thing my eyes welled up with tears as my baby boy disapeared before my eyes. In his place was a little man, complete with scrapes and chocolate smears. To add insult to injury we discovered that Gray has a crazy cowlick and has inherited the infamous Jones(Grandma Candi) forehead. Reed's been teasing me all night. But, there's a good chance Gray may be our last little one and I just want him to stay little and sweet and cuddly. In his honor (and to even the screentime score) here's a slideshow documenting Gray's transformation.


Check out my Slide Show!

Our new prophet

By way of background, two weeks ago President Monson spoke in our stake conference via satellite. He told some great stories, including some from his time with the Navy. It went in history as the first talk Matts has listened too in Sacrement. Today...

Me: Mattson, President Monson is our new prophet
Me: slightly confused look
Matts: He's the navy guy, this is awesome!!!! I need to call Grandma Candi, Grandma Diane, Grandpa Greg, Grandpa Don, Great-Grandma and Grandpa and Dad (in that order).

Later while talking to Reed "Dad, he's our prophet, I just know it"

Apparently, brainwashing is successful and little kids do know more than we think.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Meet our good friend, Trooper. Actually, his full name is Emporer Trooper Mattson. Trooper is a fireman who lives in London by the London tower bridge and across from Buckingham Palace. Trooper has had a TRAGIC life. His mommy and his daddy died when their stove caught fire and their house burnt down. Luckily, Trooper was able to save all his pet snakes and meerkats. Trooper likes to appear randomly, such as when we are meeting people. When we saw Great-Grandma Newell over Christmas he introduced himself and said "I just got back from London" before walking off. On that same note, Trooper is quite the world traveler. He has been to New York, San Francisco and, of course, London (eerily similar to Reed's travel schedule).

After the tragic house fire we decided to adopt Trooper. But, he still gets "just so sad because he doesn't have a mommy or a daddy or uncles or brothers"
Just to clarify, Trooper is NOT an imaginary friend. He's more like an alter ego.