Thursday, December 10, 2009

All of my children are taking a nap right now, which never happens, since Grace doesn't nap anymore, and Abby's down to about 30% of the time...but it just so happens that they got to bed really late last night because we were picking up my DREAM oven from a dude on craigslist who also decided to throw in his microwave which is awesome because it also just so happens that at about 7pm last night the dudes who've been working on my kitchen the past week finally finished and as soon as that microwave and oven are installed and my dishes are clean i'll do some serious "after" pictures of what has become my new favorite place to be!!!! (i hope you read that as fast as i wrote it...who has time for punctuation? not me!! ...well, except for exclamation points!) It'll take a while to dig through my old photos to find the "before" pics...since it was about 16 months ago that this started!!! I'm a little embarrassed about how longs it's taken...could it be a coincidence that Eliza is also about 16 months old? probably.

But the REAL reason i can sit down and even type ANYTHING right now is because the project that has taken over my life for the past 3 weeks (+22 months) is finally finished!! Eliza's Christmas stocking is currently being washed, so i have no pics...yet.

I feel like a new woman. Like a person who finishes things. It's nice.

For now, i need to post some pics of our awesome Thanksgiving with Reid's fam, my kids who i've been enjoying more the past few months than the entire year prior, Abby's absolutely adorable performance at her dance recital, our Christmas tree that makes me happier than any other dying plant in my life, and Grace sitting on Santa's lap!!!!


Abby was so stinkin' cute in her dance/tap recital. And i was that mom who's sitting in the audience, slightly going thru the motions of the dance routine in the off-chance that Abby were to look to me for guidance.
I took Grace and Abby to go see Santa at our mall. Now, my children have never done anything but cry, or rather scream at the sight of Santa...so you can only imagine how surprised/happy/proud/hyper I was to see them both climb up there on his lap! AND they told him exactly what they'd told me they were going to ask for. He was very kind and patient with Grace's slow, deliberate delivery of her request and Abby's completely incomprehensible babblings. When we got in the car to leave Grace said, "oh no, mom, i forgot to ask Santa to get toys for the little kids without homes!!" how sweet she is...

We had so much fun on our 60 degree Thanksgiving Day. So much of the day was spent outside in our backyard. Reid and Tom smoked our turkey, which turned out amazing. Everything else turned out awesome, too. And we loved having everyone around for the long weekend!! Thanks, ladies, for going to the gym with me on t-day morning...and sorry that following three days were so miserable :) and sorry, also, that I've completely decided that i hate Black Friday and will never do it again!! not even at second-hand and consignment stores!!

Grace has been really into Christmas this year. And i'm LOVIN' it! She loved decorating the tree. We even made a few ornaments...including my favorites--the dried grapefruit. There's something magical about Christmas trees. Esecially when you get to decorate them with sweet 4 year olds. I really do love this tree. I only hope it doesn't feel jealous sharing my attention with my finished kitchen :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

it's crossing my mind....

A few years ago i made a terrible decision. I decided that rather than buying or sewing cute Christmas stockings that i would cross-stitch them. This was a really, really bad idea. I had NO idea how long it would take to make each stocking!! I finished mine, Reid's and one other one (which is now Grace's) when we were in Chile for Reid's internship. Which was fine, cause i had PLENTY of time those 8 weeks. But then i had more children...which meant less time (the word "less" doesn't quite seem to cut it here...). And of course, they need matching stockings! Abby's was finished in time for her 1st Christmas. Eliza's was not. I started it about a month before she was born and it is STILL not finished. I've been working on it tons lately. I worked on it thru season one of The Mentalist (which i LOVE !), season 5 of Monk, Seventeen Again, eight episodes of The Daily Show, 4 weeks of SNL, five Mediums, four documentaries....you get the point, right? Lucky for me, Reid's usually right next to me working on whatever he's got while i'm stitchin' away...and we're just watchin' our shows...enjoying the quiet evening...maybe it actually was a good idea..

I'm supposed to be saving seats for some friends tonight at New Moon...and I'm seriously considering taking my cross-stitch to work on while I wait--would that be awesome or what?? As if it's not already embarrassing enough that I'm 31 years old and going to watch a 17-year-0ld boy take off his shirt countless times (or so i've heard...) i'm actually thinking about cross-stitching while i'm waiting!!!

And seriously, the other option is to take a crossword to work on...

Man, i feel old.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Tamales

For all you Denver locals, a friend of mine, Erika Melendez, is going to be selling her amazing homemade Tamales this year!! The sale will take place on Dec 5th, from 9-2. But Erika will be accepting orders up thru Nov 30th. Leave a comment or email me if you'd like to order some!

The price is $2/tamale or $17.50/dozen. About 2-3 tamales make a meal for an adult.

The three different types she will be making, which are native to Northern Mexico (for all you tamale connoisseurs) are Pork and Red Chili sauce, Jalapeno and Cheese, and (sweet) Pecan and Raisins.

Feliz Navidad!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some things never change

On thursday night I was at a friend's house with some other girl friends. We'd all brought old photos/home videos/old journals. I've never laughed so hard in my entire life.

i didn't have any photos to bring, so i brought my 7th Grade journal. The first entry was in Feb 1989. It read something about my friends, playing in the snow, and how I had a goal to write in the journal every day for a month to receive an achievement award at church.

The next entry was Nov of 1990. (And there was no mention of snow, or playing, or anything innocent and sweet. It was completely drenching in 7th grade drama, crushes, girl-fights, hurt-feelings, more crushes, more drama--someday i really should type it up and post a few entries here)

And although many things about me have changed (e.g. I no longer dedicate songs on the radio weekly), it appears that my ability to KEEP GOALS regarding journal-writing has not.

Truth be told, there hasn't been anything compelling enough for me to write about it. And that's probably what happened in Feb or 1989.

But a goal is still a goal. And excuses are still excuses. And i'm still really bad at the one and really good at the other.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Butterfly Pavilion

Do you know what happens when you take a cold, cold camera into a hot and humid pavilion? a little thing called condensation. And i couldn't get rid of it. So, all the amazing photos i could have taken of the butterflies landing on Abby (grace liked to look but didn't want to touch)--didn't happen. So, just squint and look at this one.
A few weeks ago we met up with some friends from Boston. It was so fun to see them, and the kids had such a great time looking at all the bugs and other creatures.


The zip-line.
Abby, Grace and my friend, Meredith gave it a try....I wimped out.

Giant Spider Web for the....

Giant spider!
Grace was enthralled by this tarantula, but wanted nothing to do with touching it. Abby, on the other hand wanted the "I held Rosie" sticker bad enough that I don't think she really even thought twice about what she had to do to get it. Check that thing out!!


And again, Grace wanted nothing to do with the gi-normous praying mantis out front, so we just got Abby and Eliza in this pic.
Believe it or not, Grace had a great time...she's just not very "hands on" with things like this :) She has since decided that it wasn't really that scary, and that when she's five she'll stand next to it :)
Thanks, again, for the invite, Meredith!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

something i never want to forget

Eliza has spent the majority of her crawling life with shoes (namely crocs, but not always) on her hands. Given our tendency to....um....not put things away? she never really had to look far to find a new pair. I literally could have taken hundred of pictures of her like this.



It's a good thing I think she's so cute...'cause that girl has got a "strong personality"--as the people behind us in church put it the other day :) She's the sassiest, loudest, most stubborn and temperamental lil' thing I've ever seen. But I love her guts. Can't even help it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Call me what you want

I've spent the last 3+ years not knowing what to call myself. I've used the V word several times, just because I think I'm pretty close. But i'm not a true vegetarian. Namely because I eat meat. Granted, it's not very often 3-4 times a month, max. But still, I am sure that true vegetarians would be disgusted to hear me use that term when I was seen sinking my teeth into a big juicy burger just a few weeks ago.

But the other day all my etymological woes disappeared when I stumbled upon this word: Flexitarian

Here are some excerpts from a few different websites defining the term

-- “Flexitarians” — a term voted most useful word of 2003 by the American Dialect Society — are motivated less by animal rights than by a growing body of medical data that suggests health benefits from eating more vegetarian foods.

--Flexitarians adhere mostly to the vegetarian diet as a healthy lifestyle rather than following an ideology. They feel an occasional meal that includes fish, fowl or meat is acceptable.

--Flexitarians: Include the groups below:
•Vegetarian: Those who say they are vegetarian, or "almost vegetarian," but use some meat, poultry or fish.
•Vegetarian inclined: Replace meat with meat alternatives for at least some meals, usually maintain a vegetarian diet, or eat four or more meatless meals per week.
•Health-conscious: Strive for a balanced eating plan or eat two to three meatless meals per week.

--Flexitarianism might be the answer for you. A flexitarian — or flexible vegetarian — is someone who eats mostly plant-based foods but occasionally eats meat, poultry and fish. Want to give it a try? It could be the jump start you need to begin eating healthier.

--It's for people who want to be vegetarians most of the time but "don't want to sit at a barbecue in their neighborhood with an empty bun," It is not just about eating less meat. The most important part is eating more healthful vegetarian foods, such as beans, nuts, whole grains and produce.

So, there you have it. That's what you can call me (along with a large list of other things).

Truth be told, most people I know (Kristin, you are not included in this group) would probably see themselves as some sort of flexitarian. More and more people are realizing that 3-5 servings a day of fruits and veggies isn't really enough. And one of the best ways to get more of those in your diet is to base meals around the veggies, and cut down (or hold off) on the meat.

When people find out how many veggies/fruit we eat in a day, and that we rarely have meals with meat, they ask WHAT DO WE EAT?!?!?! Well, since none of you asked, lemme just tell you. Some of my favorite recipes are from vegetarianation.blogspot.com - a blog that my friend, meredith set up-- that I and other veggie-lovers contribute to. So, if you want to become more FLEXible, but don't know where to start, i'd suggest trying the Oven Chimichangas (you gotta use quinoa in these--delish!), the Roasted Veggie Quesadillas or this delicious Fiesta Pasta Salad. And for those of you with that famous my-husband-won't-eat-meals-without-meat excuse, I can almost guarantee that he'd be happy with any of those three meals :) For all you know you're married to a closet-flexitarian...and he's just waiting for you to open that door...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I love this girl

I, along with almost everyone else who knows her, have been noticing that over the past 2 or 3 months Grace is really growing up and changing. She's overcoming her debilitating shyness. She's cooperating when she's asked to do things. She's "pushing buttons" less and less. She's "asking" for negative attention less and less..and I'm enjoying being her mom more than ever.
Five months ago when the 4-11 year olds from church stood up front during church and sang a Mother's day song, Grace completely freaked out and wouldn't even consider doing it.
Today, during the children's Primary Program, Grace stood in front of our entire congregation (along with all the other kids) and sang all the songs, and even spoke her one little line into the microphone. We'd been rehearsing all week, and she was as prepared as possible--but that's never mattered in the past. Months ago she would have followed the lead of the two kids before her who completely froze up and couldn't say their lines. But not today--she spoke clearly and perfectly and said "I can strengthen my family by saying my prayers" right into the microphone. Reid and I literally got teary.
People have been telling me for over 2 years that she'd grow out of this. It's taken me until just recently to really believe it.
Granted, she has her setbacks. For example, when Reid's parents were here she was quick to tears, and acted out quite a bit. As with all kids, certain kinds of attention (e.g. adoring grandparents and aunt) unfortunately bring out the worst in her. But even that is something that she's overcoming.
She has the kindest heart you'll ever see in a 4-year-old. She loves her sisters so much. She has recently fallen in love with knock-knock jokes. And she wants to know how to spell everything (and what everything spells). She's still so good at entertaining herself, and her sisters. She loves to play pretend. She's constantly hungry (I am not exaggerating--it's constant!!) And she loves, loves, loves clothes--she goes through 3-7 outfits/day.
She's a great oldest-child. She's very aware of the influence her example has on her sisters (mostly Abby), she's very responsible and is really good at listening to her conscience. Once she really understands why something is right or wrong, she's very good at choosing what is right.
I'm so glad she's in our family. I love her a million times more than the day she was born. And that was something I didn't think was possible.
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween 2009

Grace was Wonder Woman --she loved her costume, had a great time carving pumpkins, enjoyed ripping off the chain links of our "halloween chain" and said the words "trick-or-treat" at all seven houses we went to.
Abby was Tinkerbell--she loved telling everyone what she and Grace were for Halloween, and every single time she'd say it they'd look at me with a big ? on their face. She loved the Monsters vs Aliens tv special, and she kept telling us how beautiful she looked in her costume.
Eliza was a cow--she cried every time we put the hood up, she had her first candy bar...and she loved it.

And we handed out whistles, parachute dudes, and play-doh.Happy Halloween!

(you could probably figure out how much i care for this holiday by the amount of blog space I'm giving it)

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Friday, November 6, 2009

It's close to midnight....

...and i just got back from This Is It with some of my favorite lady-friends. And i must say that it was amazing. I enjoyed it far more than I'd anticipated. That man was better at a lot of things than I'd given him credit for. Mostly just being a decent human to the people that worked for him. And he is more musically gifted than I could have imagined, if that's possible. Thanks, Lindsay, for the invite! And thanks for not killing us when we sang Happy Birthday to you during the "don't be loud and obnoxious at the movies" commercial.

My house is so quiet right now. Everyone's asleep. This is usually the time of night when I have myself a little inner debate--do I stay up and work on any one of the millions of projects I have hopes of finishing before Christmas? or do I do my 31-year-old body a favor and get some sleep? I've got too many rhythms and beats running through my head and veins to sleep right now...what i really want to do is be back in college and head to the awesome Club Omni and get some Billy Jean dance moves on.

Why don't they have a dance club for 30-something year old moms who may have a few pounds to shed, maybe didn't get a chance to shower today, have most likely lost their minds--but not their rhythm-- and still know how to shake their post-childbirth hips?

If I built it would you come?


You don't have to answer that.

but seriously....would you?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We took the girls to a corn maze about a month ago. They absolutely loved it...for about an hour. Grace LOVED being the leader and choosing at each crossroad which way to go. Abby loved running ahead and hiding with Reid, and then jumping out to scare us.
We made it about 2/3 of the way thru, and then the girls were done. So, rather than admit that we totally had no idea how to get out of there, we used the girls as an excuse and took the emergency exit. We were mocked relentllessly by the dudes at the exit gate. Which we deserved
We ended the night with a greasy, nasty-licious funnel cake.
And, corny as it may sound, the whole night was a-maze-ing
oh, boy, i gotta go to bed...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Visit from G, G & K

A few weeks ago Reid's mom, dad and sister came for a long-weekend visit. We had such a great time with them. I always look so forward to their visits. Not just because it forces me to clean my house, (which I put off until the LAST minute every single time!)but because they keep my kids completely happy and entertained when they're here, because it's so fun to visit with them, and because they are so much help when they come.

For example...

Grandma and Karen, who are master organizers, helped me get some frames up on my wall, helped clean out my van, watched my kids while i went to the gym, constantly were picking up toys/clothes/clutter, did the dishes, went to Costco with me, organized our kid's craft area, and helped me make this cute little thing to hang all of the girls' bows (of course i still haven't hung it up on the wall yet...)
Grandpa never stopped working the whole time he was here. He spent hours breathing in insulation in our hot attic as he fixed our bathroom fan. He walked to Home Depot with Grace to get parts, multiple times. He fixed our other bathroom fan, our toy chest, our grill handle, and other things I can't even remember right now. The last night they were here, he was all out of projects so he cleaned the whole kitchen. This man is such a hard worker!! And when he's not working he's playing with the girls.

Eliza LOVED having Grandpa here. She worked that man for food every chance she got. She'd grunt, and he'd feed her. She'd grunt, he'd feed her some more. They both loved it. Her distended belly was the only thing that eventually stopped the feeding frenzies.

Eliza also loved this little "car" that Grandma made out of a box. She was giggling up a storm. And Eliza was laughing, too.


We spent the evenings talking, watching cute movies, and just generally catching up. One evening we decorated this cute little Halloween ginger-bread house. This was the first year that Grace has been interested in this sort of thing, and it was really, really fun! And although we adults were deterred from eating the candy by the fact that i'd purchased this about a year ago on clearance--Grace and Abby didn't let that stop them.
It turned out pretty cute, and i was even a little bit sad to toss it this morning...i dare say this is the first Halloween anything that i've gotten sentimental over! Grandma is a pro-gingerbread house maker--i don't think that thing would've stayed together without her skills--thank, Grandma!

As always, their visit was wonderful, too short and left us looking forward to the next one! we LOVE you, Grandma, Grandpa and Karen!!


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Talk

Yesterday morning Grace and I had the talk. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. I had no idea how it would turn out. I had fears of it going one way. But i'm pretty sure it went the other.

Grace: Mom, what's a teach-leader?

Me: What?

Grace: a teach-leader. that's what Lola is for Halloween this year

Me: Oh, you mean a cheerleader. yeah, that's....um....(i'm trying hard not to say any of the many thoughts going thru my mind....) what people are called who help other people cheer at games.

Grace: People need help cheering at games?!?!?



One down. Two to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Family Night

Most every Monday night Reid and i have Family Night. This is something that our parents did with us, and it's a tradition we've looked forward to continuing with our own kids for years.
We have a little wheel that we spin each Monday to see who gets to be in charge of the lesson, the songs we sing, the activity/game and the treat. Usually Reid or I fix it so that we are in charge of the lesson. And usually the lesson has something to do with "reasons not to beat your sibling" or "why being a poor sport is no fun" or "and that is why we don't whine" (see Arrested Development: Season 1, Episode 10. no, really, do see it. best. episode. ever.)
But tonight, Reid helped Grace give the lesson. It was priceless. She asked us questions about how praying as a family can make us a stronger family. She told us that Heavenly Father can help us. She told us that last night she dreamt that there were whales coming to get her and she was scared and she said a prayer but that God didn't help her in her dream. It was cute to see that praying crosses her mind, even in her dreams. (She even seems to understand that not all prayers are answered how we want them to be answered sometimes.)
And then, after some deliciously sweet pineapple, it was time for the activity. Tonight's activity was an impromptu recital (prompted, i'm guessing, by this cute book we just got from the library, "The Song of Middle C") at our little 4-note Fisher Price piano.
This cute video shows a side of Grace that no one ever gets to see besides us. And even we don't get it that often. She's not a performer. She hates that kind of attention (praise, direct compliments, etc.) but every now and again she pulls something like this out. When she's comfortable. And Reid and i couldn't have loved it more. She's the cutest thing ever.
The girls took turns. Abby was next. Performing like this is second nature to Abby. Or even first nature--if there's such a thing. She loves to sing, she loves applause. And she, too, was absolutely adorable. At the end you'll see that Eliza even took a turn.
It was such a fun night. One of those nights you never, ever want to forget. And, thanks to NaBloPoMo, I'm actually taking the time to write about it.
Note: at about 1:38 Grace, without breaking from her beautiful composition, gives acknowledgdment to Eliza for taking a few steps. love it.
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video

video

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo

So, not until about 10 minutes ago did i know that there was such a thing as National Blog Posting Month. But, thanks to the lovely marissa, I now know. And I'm committed. You could say i'm blommitted (i know, i'm a total blerd). I'm going to post something on this neglected blog every single day this month. Really, really exciting things....like....
#1 About 4 days ago Eliza took a step. Ten minutes later (and just after Reid left for a neighbor's house for a quick visit) she walked across the room. She was so proud of herself. Reid got a re-run when he got back. She has thoroughly LOVED the attention she'd been getting for the past 5-6 weeks when she'd stand by herself (Grace and Abby almost made it a competition to see who could freak out more over this amazing accomplishment) and now she's even MORE in love with the applause, and oo's and aah's that she gets with each step. What a ham. Dunno where she could get that from.
(And since i haven't gotten any pics of it yet...here's a cute one of Eliza just cuz)

AND...
#1, again.
if you'd ever heard my theory on potty-training you know that it's this--wait until the kid is really, really ready. I'm not talking about "showing signs"--that approach can take months, and usually requires plastic/portable potties. I'm talking they're coming up to you and telling you that they've gotta pee....or even better--they're coming up to you to tell you that they just did pee on the pot and they need your help washing their hands.
And that's just what happened this week with Abby. As of about 4 days ago (that was really a big day for us) Abby started telling me when she has to go peepee! and she's gone about 2-3 times/day every day since! She even can take off her diaper and get herself on the pot!! And she's really good at washing her hands, too! She's still fine wearing diapers...and so am I. No need to rush anything (obviously). She's literally doing this all by herself, which means no bribes, no candy, and noooooooooo pressure. I should really write a book. I could put this picture on the cover--people would buy it just for this little face, no?

So, that's that. We're walking and peeing here.

Day One--check

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home, sweet home

We've got 8+ inches of snow all around us right now. The view out our back window is amazing. School is cancelled. Dance class is cancelled. We're home all day, and before we head out back to make the world's most amazing snowman (something Reid's always been in charge of....until today) and since my girls are all playing really well right now in the fort they made with our couch cushions, I'm going to do a little catching up.

We spent the second and third weeks of September in UT. Yes, we finally got up the courage to make that drive again. This time we stuck with I-70. Not that it's any safer, but it's slightly less likely that you'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere than on I-80. Not to mention that it's such a gorgeous drive!!

We got there the day before my sister's house-warming party. Julia just bought her very first house, and it's amazing. It's this quaint little 1920's house in the heart of Provo, and there's nothing about it that isn't just perfect for her.

The housewarming party had a "spa" theme--with fingernail painting, bath-salt making, fresh kale-smoothie drinking, and a professional masseuse. The food was amazing, the company was great, and I was so glad to be able to help out with this big day for my sister!!


Reid flew back home for the work week, and the girls and I stayed to soak up some good ole Utah fun. I love my mom and dad so much, and I love how much my kids love them, too. Nothing makes me happier than to see Grace, with zero hesitation, run into my dad's arms when we get there, or to see Abby sit next to my mom at the piano and plink along with her. They're so good to us when we're there, too. I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to have my whole crew plow over their otherwise serene daily routines, but I'm grateful they let us do it time and time again.
The weather was gorgeous, so we played outside lots.
We went for a walk to feed the horsies.
and my dad took us to a little house of bounce place, which was so much fun for the girls. Grace overcame her fear of the 3 story slide and conquered that thing..over and over and over again. (she did not, however, conquer her fear of the dragon balloon on top of one of the bouncy toys). Abby and Eliza had a great time, too.

We feasted on the fruits of my dad's labors. His garden is one to be envied...and it is...by me! He was kind enough to send us home with dozens of tomatoes to ripen here...which we have since completely devoured.

I also spent a few days up in Logan, where my girls' only cousins on my side live. On my way there I stopped by one of my life-long best friend's house for a few hours. I could have stayed for a few weeks!!! I love Carrie dearly, and she (somehow) loves me, too!! And we know everything there is to know about each other. And I just love feeling that comfortable around a person that isn't Reid. I remember when I was graduating from H.S. that people would say "none of the people you are friends with today will be your friends in ten years" and I must say how wrong they were. Some of my closest friends, to this day, are friends i've known since grade school. And somehow, knowing me as well as they do, they still put up with me... Here are our kids all together
Abby, Eliza, Grace, Ally, Broderick and Grant

We had a great time in Logan. Reid and I were married there, and that's where my grandparents lived...so Logan has a special place in my lil' heart. And my kids loved playing with their cousins. Although Eliza never really warmed up there (i'm convinced it's because of the size of their house...it's a bit...daunting) we had so much fun with the whole Logan crew. Grace and Abby have been asking to go back since we left.

We played games, ate delicious food from Melanie's (also amazing and coveted) garden, ate some delicious Aggie ice cream,
and spent one morning at this cute park/zoo in "downtown Logan"

Thank you, Logan crew, for putting up with us for a few days!! we love you!!

We left Logan on Friday to spend a few days in SLC with Tom and Jana. There were about a billion people i'd hoped to see this trip. (Anyone who doesn't live near their parents understands how hard it is to squeeze in visits with all the people you want to see when you're home for a visit.) It never works out to see everyone I want, so i just try to enjoy the peeps i DO get to see. One of whom, this trip, was Candace--a good friend from law school. It was so fun to spend a lunch hour at her place and see her cute kids, and catch up on life. There's only so much that emails and blogs can do for a friendship. It was sooo great to actually SEE her, face to face, and talk about real life. And to all those i didn't get to see this trip--you really didn't miss out on much.
Here are my kids with Candace's kids. Katelyn and Grace used to be "buddies" back in boston...it's so fun to see them really play together now.

We had so much fun with Reid's brother and fam. I hadn't seen little Gabe since he was 2 months old. He's the cutest thing, and Eliza loved being by him and playing with his eyeballs.
Reid's mom and little sister joined us, too, and it was so much fun. There was golfing, garage-sale-ing, eating-out, eating-in, pumpkin patching, prom-dress shopping, game-playing, gabbing, and more gabbing. I love Reid's family and we always have such a hard time saying goodbye to them. Thanks for hosting and spoiling us and our loud crew!!!

And I was driving on the way home, so we got zero photos of the most beautiful Spanish Fork Canyon i've ever seen. Even Grace couldn't stop from saying "Oh, Mom, look over at those trees" every 2 seconds. It really was breathtaking. It made the drive home much more pleasant. Which is nice, because often times the drive home is spent wondering why it is that our families have to live in places that we don't really want to live....so, instead we just looked at the leaves and enjoyed the accident-free drive:)

Friday, October 23, 2009

What i've been up to....

All blogging has been pushed to the side by a series of large novels that i finally decided, a year later, i better finish before Hollywood ruined for me--a certain teen-aged romance series about certain pale-skinned beauties and their hairy enemies. I regretfully say that i am not a huge fan. I did like the last book. And I liked some things about the books, but overall....not a huge fan (sorry emily, isa, lindsay, amber, isa, april, isa, stephanie, alisa, emily, liz, melissa, emily, elise, and isa!!) Keep in mind, however, that I've read a total of 11 books since college....7 of which were Harry Potter, and 4 of which were, well, these. So, really my judgement is completely irrelevant and unimportant, and I should be banned from all discussions on all literature. period. I have the attention span of a 4 year old, a vocab of a 12 year old, and the opinions of a crotchety, know-it-all 80 year old. i should really just be banned from life. definitely from book clubs.

oh, and i listened to "wicked" on tape. interesting and creepy.

the only sad thing about finishing these books NOW rather than 1+ years ago is that no one wants to talk about them anymore. it's all so, well, last year. And, although i'm not in love with them, I got stuff i wanna say. And this isn't the place to say it. I need another "newborn" to discuss this with....anyone? anyone's tweeny daughter?

well, at least it's over now and i can blog about what we've REALLY been up to. where to start...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Top 10 unblogged, unexciting events of the summer

In (dis)honor of Mr. Letterman, i thought i'd highlight the Top 10 unhighlighted ongoings of our summer. In no particular order.

#1. Playing in our back yard. This summer we spent endless hours swinging, sliding, swimming, playing, pretending, picnicking, and enjoying every square foot of our backyard--reassuring me that buying a house because of the nearly perfect backyard really is a good idea


#2 Millions of Peaches. Okay, it was only about a hundred. But that song was in my head the whole four days that those peaches sat on our counter, making up about 90% of our calorie intake each day, and convincing me that i can make jam and jelly!




#3 Family Movie Nights We took the girls to see "Up" and "Monsters Vs. Aliens" this summer at a little cheap theater here. Grace and Abby LOVE movies. Eliza just wants to crawl around. So Reid and I usually take turns with her in the back of the theater. And we almost always grab something to eat at Johnny Mac's (owned and operated by Andy's dad). they've got yummy burgers, fries and shakes....you know, health food.

#4 The Full-Shade garden This is the third, but not final year of us attempting to grow our own vegetables. Why can't i just give up? Why can't i just accept that a green heart can't make-up for a black thumb?? dunno. This year i thought was going to be THE year. The day we planted our garden it looked like this:
A month later it looked like this:

So I was all sure that we'd actually have zucchini bread, tomato feta salads, and enough pumpkins to carve and eat. But, alas, even these big-leafed plants need more than 2-3 hours of sun to produce much fruit. We got exactly 3 tiny zucchinis, 1 tomato, and 1 pumpkin.


And I'll surely try again next year. It's like pregnancy--it always sucks, yet i do it again and again (perhaps my garden could do with the same five-year break my uterus is getting...hmm) I just love the idea of having my own garden so much that i think if I change just a few things--the compost, the plant choice, the magical all-natural fertilizer-- that it will actually work. i know the only real answer is to change the location, but I just can't bring myself to mess with our fantastic landscaping. So i stick with my annual failed garden and rely on farmer's markets, overly-generous neighbors & family, and Sunflower market. How hard is my life!

#5 Cirque Du Soleil--Kooza

In spite of the fact that I'm a total wimp and had to cover my eyes for a couple of the acts (i really wish I were kidding) we had a great time at the Cirque Du Soleil. Those people are amazing. Their talent blows the mind. I just have one question--why don't they use more nets?? this is all i want to know. Regardless, we had a great time.



This isn't my picture, but these are the girls we saw. amazing!!!

#6 Gettin' all artsy
It appears, so far, that my sweet children have acquired their mother's artistic inabilities. As much fun as we had finger painting, in the end, their blobs look exactly like the blobs I painted as a child. And when we made play-doh, their blobs looked exactly like the blobs i used to sculpt as a child. But we've had fun. Eliza's nap time has become our get-creative-and-let-loose-time. And our perfectly shaded back porch often provided the perfect studio this summer.

#7 Park days and nights.

The weather this summer was absolutely amazing. I don't think it ever hit 100 (don't quote me on that...) and it was mostly just in the 70's and 80's all summer long. (yet another reason for you to move here, marissa!) We hit up just about every park in our community. Grace and Abby brought their bike and scooter sometimes, which adds at least 30 minutes to the park day's life-span. And we'd often meet up with friends, or make new ones. Grace, who can be so insanely shy, also loves to make new friends when we're out and about. it's cute.

Here we are at Redstone Park. We went to feed the geese, and my camera died after this one picture.




#8 Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Red Rocks Amphitheater

We had a great time with our neighbors and good friends from law school at this concert. The choir was amazing, as to be expected. Tears were shed, as to be expected. But the rolling hills between the amphitheater and downtown Denver were covered in this perfect green, perfectly fresh late-spring grass--more beautiful than could have been expected--the prefect backdrop for such beautiful music. It was unforgettable.


And Thomas Monson, the President of our church, and a man we revere as a Prophet, was there--which was really fun to come home and tell our kids about. The whole evening was great, a definite highlight of my summer.


I was hoping to come up with some clever joke about "did you hear about the mormons, the catholics and the adventists who went to the Mormon Tab choir concert?"....but i'm nowhere near that clever. ML--care to take a crack? anybody????



#9 The Broncos Game

We took no pictures that night. But if we would have, here's what you'd see: 1st quarter--dudes sittin next to their ladies--leaning over us to comment to each other about the bad call, the interception, the injury, etc, while the ladies were leaning over their men talking about real-life issues--our kids, pedicures, etc. 2nd quarter--we all wise up and put the dudes together, and we ladies spend the entire remaining 3 quarters gabbing about all sorts of things, having the time of our lives...and not paying even a bit of attention to the game. I have no idea what the guys did. I can only assume they watched the game. And I swear to you, that in this moment i have no idea if we won or lost. Actually, I think we won, cause i don't remember a lot of tension as we left the stadium....oh, and cause I think the broncos have a perfect record this year...right? i'm a disgrace, i know...(lindsay, can we still be friends??!?!) Anyway, it was probably of a waste of the amazing VIP tickets we got from reid's work--except that is gabbing between ladies ever really a waste!?!?






#10 Starting Pre-school (and Joy-school)

Grace officially started preschool this year. She goes 3 days a week, and looks forward to it 4 days a week. She loves her teacher and she loves her friends at school.


Grace's first day of pre-school

She's changing so much, and slowly overcoming so many fears and anxieties. She is more and more fun to be with every day! And we're butting heads less and less throughout the day. We're reall starting to be good friends and have real conversations. She asks me such fun things, like "how does God hear all of our prayers at the same time?" or "Does He speak spanish, too?" and "what are apples made of?" and "how did Eliza get in your tummy?" -- I love the challenge that comes with answering her! I really do!

When Grace is in preschool, Abby goes to joyschool or dance class--both of which she's thoroughly enjoying. Those two girls really need that break, too. They play so well the days that they have a break from each other. And I enjoy the 2+ hours a week with just Eliza!!




Abby's first day of joy-school