Saturday, December 29, 2007

thirty, flirty, and thriving!

So, today is the big 3-0.  This morning as I was waiting to enter the birthday breakfast celebration I did a little mental review of the past 30 years.  It can be pretty overwhelming to think about. Especially since today is also our 9 year wedding anniversary.  And I just look around me and feel so happy at what we've created together. Especially our two little jewels Olivia and Bentley.  So much joy has been had, so much more to come. This is going to be an amazing year!  Thanks Rose for reminding me about, "Thirty, flirty, and thriving!"  That is going to be my mantra for this year.  That and, "2008 is GREAT!"  
Today, I am thankful for the joy of life, my fabulous husband and our two little loves. 
 Say "hi" to little baby me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Joy

Wishing you all a little Christmas Joy! 
Hope everyone is having a delightful Holiday!
Merry Christmas!
I am so thankful to have spent two glorious days with my little family. Just us! It was absolutely perfect.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Charity Never Faileth

Today just felt like a little thought on charity might be nice. It was our theme for visiting teaching this month. And it seems like a lot of the people around me have been in need of some lately. Something about the holiday season that makes people so much more stressed out than at a normal time of year. Plus, people still have accidents, babies, and get lonely this time of year. And I can definitely relate with those who are dealing with the stresses of moving. Maybe these needs are more urgent because of all the heightened feelings of the season. So I have been blessed with a few opportunities to serve (and in the process allowed others to serve me). Isn't it sad/interesting/scary....(what's the right word) that in order for me to serve I often need a little service of my own (of the babysitting variety). Luckily, people don't mind and still seem to need me. Isn't it nice to feel needed. But, I still caught myself feeling like spending so much of my "free time" helping others was getting in the way of my personal creative goals. I wish I was to the point where I didn't have those thoughts. Then, last night, I read this, and it made me feel better about my temporary lag in drawing time. Especially this part, "The desire to lift, the willingness to help, and the graciousness to give come from a heart filled with love. Serve willingly." Seriously, who doesn't want a heart filled with love! So what thoughts do you all have about charity this time of year? Any heartwarming stories to tell? Any thoughts about balancing the things others need and the things you need?

Today I'm grateful that I'm making sugar cookies today! YUM! And I'm grateful for "Eden day" every girl needs a few good girl friends don't you think!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A girl and a tree

Today Olivia's Christmas tree is finally complete. After I took several pictures of her by her tree...she wanted to take some pictures of me by my tree.
She even showed me how to pose. And by the end of it I was laughing hysterically.
But I've never looked sweeter, right?

Monday, December 17, 2007

dancing days

This weekend has been really fun for a lot of reasons. One being it's jam-packed-ness with dancing! I know jam-packed-ness isn't a word...but it should be! Saturday we went to a dance Christmas party where Chris performed with three of his students. They were just so stinking awesome. I kept thinking, "Man! I have got to get some lessons with that guy!"
Sunday, I taught Relief Society and I used dancing as my object lesson. My point being if anyone in town should be an awesome dancer it should be me because I'm married to Chris who is the best dancer in town (blatant bragging is always fun!). I had a bunch of other reasons that I related to corresponding things that we are blessed to have in church such as our prophet, scriptures, and etc. So today I had a dance lesson with Chris and I think it's the best one I've ever had. I really improved because I nailed into my head yesterday that I have no excuses and I am pathetic if I accept to be anything less than a stinking awesome dancer. Enough of making my husband look bad at parties! I think I've finally been able to mentally change my thought process from: "My husband is telling me what to do--bossing me around, really! I won't stand for it!!" to: "I'm going to listen to this professional and do exactly as he says because he knows what he's doing." Yay for mental breakthroughs!

Plus I got cute new hair and a really awesome crochet dress. I used to have some killer crochet pants but they got ruined at the dry cleaner. I remember calling my friend who's husband is a lawyer freaking out about my pants. SO FUNNY. (how's that for dramatic for you Mindy--hehehe)

Today I'm thankful for an amazing husband, and that someone in our household thinks that doing laundry is fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

long live the funky junky christmas!

So all December I have been complaining about my funky junky Christmas tree. And plotting and planning a pretty pretty Christmas tree. So we have had our tree up for a week exactly. But no ornaments until today. I have had my eye on a wax ornament Christmas tree for the past few years. So this year I finally tried to do it. But unfortunately you can't order wax sheets this time of year because they will crack in the cold. So, I tried to make a wax sheet myself. It worked...but not to cut any thing big enough for an ornament because it was too brittle. So sad. But a closet crafter made us some really cute little ornaments (and threatened Chris if he were to divulge his identity). Also, kids spend all month long making one fabulous ornament after another. So I have decided to embrace the funky junky tree and I'm very happy about it!
Looks like I'm not the only one!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

gingerbread mania

Here are Jammy and Karson. (Karson kept eating his frosting so his house didn't stay together..but what does that matter when there is so much candy to eat? Ellie and Chickie being really goofy...all sugared up and having fun making their graham cracker houses while Mandee and I hogged the ginger-mansions. I had a little too much fun with mine. I stayed up really late a couple of nights rolling out starburst into shapes. Here are a million pictures.

These two are details of the roof. I have the most fun with roofs!

Our family in gingerbread, Chickie made herself. Of course.
I can't take all the credit here either... Chickie made this cute ginger girl on the back of the house. Love that creative girl!
I had to completely cover this wall because it was burnt to a crisp.

And look at Mandee and Ellie with their super cute aprons. She does so many cute things.

Today I'm thankful for friends! I managed somehow to get three sets of friends to come over this week and bring Christmas crafts. How I did that I'm not sure. But it has been super fun! OH! And I saw the coolest thing ever at someone's house. She had made a Christmas tree out of books stacked and angled. She put lights on it and little candy ornaments. It was so cute and creative...and so her. Books really express who she is. Needless to say I got a little too excited when I saw it. I hope you all are enjoying the December-ness of it all. What fun things have you been doing?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Insanity, thy name is Gingerbread!

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday have been completely absorbed by one thing and one thing only...OK not true at all. But amid the puree-ing, dancing, and a bunch of churchy-stuff, I have managed to squeeze a little gingerbread making in. SO freakishly fun. I think mostly for me, really. Here Mandee and I are working on our houses (and here is my super silly apron).
You know how when you eat m&m's you divide them into colors before consumption...this is like that but instead of spending 50 cents it's more like 30 bucks. (Isn't part of the joy of the holidays to be ridiculously indulgent?) Finally an excuse to play with food!

I have some fun tips to share. One being the hard candy windows and the other being the gooey candy cut outs.

For hard candy windows:

After you roll out the dough (onto aluminum foil) and cut out your piece you fill window with broken candy bits...not too full or it will over-flow. I have tried many different ways to do the candy windows and this way definitely comes out the best because the dough forms a seal with the foil and no candy leaks out.

For gooey candy cut outs:

Take tootsie rolls, starburst, or saltwater taffy. Microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if needed. Roll out with a rolling pin. Cut with a cookie cutter or knife. Go Crazy!!! It's super fun.
Tomorrow I will post all the glorious details...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home!

Chris was gone for almost a week and we were so very sad. The night before he came back Chickie was boo-hooing on her bed looking at a picture of him. Is it mean that I went in and took a picture? I just thought it was sweet. I went in to give her a hug and started to giggle...couldn't help it. But then she started to laugh, too. At least momentarily. Chris was in Ohio with some students performing in a show. He had a great time. And it's nice to have him dancing again. Plus, he came home bearing gifts. Bentley loves that hat!

Besides from that, this week I have been planing my Christmas projects. I'm not totally overwhelming myself... But still, it does require more concentrated effort as far as scheduling goes. And I can't believe it's already the 6th!
One of my musts is gingerbread houses. I have had fiasco's in the past...yet somehow I persist. I don't know why. Maybe it's one of those childhood things. I remember making a big deal to learn how to make one. That's this weeks project, made much more fun with the company of friends.

We also have our tree...yet to be decorated. And the new book tradition is really fun. It really prolongs the season. We are all happy today wafting in our gingerbread/Christmas tree smells.

I also have some new artistic goals for the first time since I graduated. It's very exciting to have a clear goal in mind and to be drawing again. Nothing I'm ready to fully disclose yet, until I get a lot more sketching time in. But hopefully it will merit some fun pictures in the future.

I also finally finished the apron I began the Christmas before I was pregnant with Bentley...that would be two years ago...SAD. The worst part is that it's not a great pattern. It's a little silly. It's one of those 1950's patterns so it's a little on the tight side also. So no cookie making in PJ's in that apron. I'll have to be wearing a pretty skirt and pearls. Oh, well. It's probably for the best. It's better than an apron splattered with paint.

As far as Chickie goes, at the beginning of the week, her artistic goals were overtaking mine. She is so serious about her art. A very creative soul. When we were moving and unpacking there were a few days when all the art supplies were packed up. She, however would not take no for an answer and decided to make "nests" for her chick collection out of plastic bowls and newspaper. Art supplies are always abundant to such a creative mind.

I hope every one is having fun with Holiday preparations. Today I'm thankful for Bentley's little hands clenched to some found soft baby pine cones during our hunt for a tree. Sweet baby hands.

Friday, November 30, 2007

back to life, back to silliness

These days instead of gearing up for a semi-cold weather run I have been donning pj's and practicing Pilates. Bentley thinks I am his personal play yard. One day several months ago, Mandee came over and literally forced me to craft. This was somewhere in the September - October period when I was a little girl interrupted. Before she left she gave me the makings for this little doll. Well, yesterday we finally made her. Isn't she lovely. As of late I am no stranger to yarn hair. And my new favorite trick for yarn hair is just to stick a wad of yarn in the sewing machine and sew it together (to what you ask, to nothing, just to itself)! Then you have your own nice little part that you can very easily hand stitch onto the head. Trim up the hair and and stitch it down to form a cute do. Not the best instructions I guess, I could do better if anyone really wanted to know. {Oops, in adding that link I just noticed your comment, Mindy about making a mermaid for Z. All I did for that was draw a silly mermaid and then cut it out about 1/2" larger. Then I just cut the picture in half and used those as patterns for the fin and body. Not the best way to make a doll, but it worked I guess. This doll below is from the Martha Stewart Kids Mag Sept/Oct 2004 issue, just incase you have that lying around the house. It's not online, but I did find this. It may not be the best instructions if you don't already know what you are doing. I have gotten myself into many a crafting disaster attempting to follow MS instructions. I find they are a little too vague for the novice. One such disaster involved my sisters and I attempting to make a sugar cube house at Christmas. Very funny. It ended up looking more like a demo site than a serene winter scene. Well, that's not much of an instructional, but I'm not a doll making expert. I am dying to do a little instructional on something fun though. Like building a stretcher for a painting or canvas rug making. hmmm}
Today we had another fun visit from Mandee and crew. We cracked up watching the excitement on Bentley's face over this lolli-pop. And even more funny, Bentley's interest in the sign Ellie put on the playroom door. (not intended for him)

I had fun chatting with friends today about Christmas preparations and traditions. I liked Sarah's idea of reading the kids a Christmas story every night by candle light. I think I'll try that this year. That means a trip to the library tomorrow! I love the library! And since Chris is MIA tonight, I have a stack of Martha Stewart Holiday issues to keep me company. Yay! I'm so excited for Christmas. I'm so thankful that I'm finally unpacked and settling in, emotionally and physically. So glad to be back to the real me. Happy me!

Exploring the neighborhood

We live close to a park. Or so I thought. With Chickie riding her bike we live a very, very long way from the park. Although, she did great, I have to give her credit. This was her first long ride on her new birthday bike.

Seriously, could a kid look more chillin' in a swing than this? I think not! And he also discovered ants. Which was very cute.
Ah, memories....well actually this was just yesterday. Funny I feel like its so cold here. But really coats are still optional most days.
I'm thankful for parks. I really love love love them!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Kid On The Block

There's nothing like hanging pictures in a new space to make you feel really at home.
I wish everyone felt that way. Tonight we were dancing in Chickie's room. We settled for Princess music since our New Kids on the Block CD was in the car. Don't laugh too fast, my awesome little sis sent me the CD and a NKOTB T-shirt as a nod to the good ol' days. It definitely gave some good laughs and provided major jamming sessions with the kids! I have the best siblings (& in laws).
So we're dancing and poor Chickie got all banged up running into her bed and the closet, etc.
After she was in bed I went in her room to tell her I love her (I don't normally go back in once she's tucked in) and she started to cry. She missed her old room. She misses it's pinkness and how big it was. I felt so bad for her. It's so exactly the opposite of how I feel. I love our little new house. It's so cozy and easy to keep track of everyone and everything. It seems so much more comfortable. Chris and Bentley are both now sleeping much better. I don't know. Sometimes Chickie cries about weird things when she's really tired. Like once she cried over a balloon she didn't get. So hopefully she'll survive. I don't really know if there is anything I can do. Other than paint her room pink. It certainly isn't going to get any bigger.
ah, well. Today I'm thankful that things are settling least for me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

smell the roses

Kind of weird, really dark pictures. Better than nothing, perhaps? After all my camera issues (lost, found, dead batteries) that came with moving, I now have another one. WHY SO DARK?? Another TO DO: Read Camera Manual.

Chris gave us lovely roses and now that they are dying we decided to have a little fun with the petals! It was Chickie's idea as all the good ideas around here are. And it was a lot of fun. Now we have a lovely bowl of pretty smelling petals.
Today I'm thankful for JT's memory. Happy birthday little guy. You are missed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

still alive...almost

I'm sick. But other than that life is great!

I got a new car! It's a volvo and old as all get out. But not as old as my last volvo which was verging on antique. I paid cash for it and that is such a great feeling!

My daughter is crafting fake tylenol for her baby alive....she apparently caught what I've got.

I hope everyone had a delightful thanksgiving. We certainly did. Although I must admit I'm becoming disenchanted with one of our favorite family dishes. I won't mention which one for fear of being disowned.

Today: I'm thankful for soup!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Well, the closing went great! We are moved and unpacking.

Fun moving facts:
I finally found my camera!
I found 18 lost bobby pins while we were moving and I put every single one of them in my hair. I looked pretty....pretty special.
Chris and Holland found $3 in change that rolled out of the dryer.
We found about 25 cheerios and my hairbrush under the couch.

Funny moving story:
Wednesday night I went back to the old house to clean. I was talking to my sister about our cross-country match making and taking out the trash at the same time. When I got to the edge of the back porch to swing the trash into the can I slipped and dropped my phone into a huge pile of leaves.
Our conversation at that point:
Me: Gasp
Leaves: crunch crunch
Me: (yelling) Katie! Hang on! (At which point I ran inside to turn that outside light on)
Leaves: crunch crunch crunch
Me: (Digging frantically through leaves and yelling)Katie, If you can hear me hang up and call back!
Leaves: crunch crunch mocking crunch
Phone: da da da da da da da da da da da da
Katie: I was lost!
Me and Katie: laughter
Katie: The funniest things happen to you! Remember this summer at the beach ......

I'm thankful for our new cute house with really hot water. I'm especially thankful that I don't have a picture of me on moving day (wed) or unpacking days (Thurs and Fri).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chris said...

I made Chris take the quiz and he got Elinor Dashwood. I said, "Sam and Preston got her, too." Chris said, "I guess she must be somewhat of a man." For some reason that made me giggle quite a bit. She is the responsible one. Before that I took the quiz for Chris and I got Elizabeth for him. I should be packing.
I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Closing Time

So tomorrow is the big day! We are closing at 1:00. And if all goes well moving. So wish me luck.
As far as the Jane Austen quiz comments...very funny. I think if I could be anyone it would be Fanny Price. Remember, "Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!"
I think I've really only fainted once. Now that's a funny story.
Actually that quote is from the movie Mansfield Park, not the book. What I like about Fanny: her name, obviously. She always tries to do the right thing. She is creative, likes to learn, and does a good job of weathering life's ups and downs.
I'm thankful for possibility.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

How Awesome is this!

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

What do you think Jane Austen Fans? Accurate?

still packing

There is something about going through all of your belongings that reminds you who you are. How is it that it's so easy to forget. When it is always all around you.
Today I'm thankful for all my junk. And that I still have stuff considering what a non-keeper I am.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had fun trick or treating! I know we did. We had fun both trick or treating and trunk or treating. I made Chickie's mermaid outfit. It makes me laugh.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

oh yeah,

October has been a lackluster blogging month for me. And looking through my pictures I have missed out on some great moments. Especially Bentley's birthday! So even though the nature of blogging doesn't really lend itself to playing catch up....I'm going to anyways. At least squeeze in some of October's great moments with a summary post. Or maybe several summary posts....
On Bentley's big day, my Dad, his lovely wife Ana, and my two cute pie sisters came to visit us all the way from Peru. Well, technically all the way from NC, because they went to see my brother first. We had a very action packed, fun time while they were here.

packing fun

Seriously. Aren't boxes the best fun ever.

Friday, October 26, 2007

good things.

good thing number one. We have a closing date and it appears to be smooth sailing until nov 14. at which point it should be even smoother sailing.

good thing number two. My sister sent me the best package ever. Which totally made my day yesterday. And here's why:and if that weren't enough, there is really nothing better than torturing children with really awesome costumes.

We spent the whole day braiding pony hair. It was really fun.

That was yesterday. The day before yesterday, I asked Chickie what she had enjoyed the most about soccer. She said, "running." I said, maybe you'll be like me and like to run. So in the morning she of course wanted to go running with me. I said yes and the three of us and her stuffed pumpkin set off on a nice jog. She actually did a pretty good job. We had to take several breaks, but she runs at a pretty good pace. I ran a little more on my own after she was done. So this morning we went jogging again. This time she wanted to take her ponies with her. We have been going pony crazy and loving it! Thanks Katie! love ya.