Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Last Christmas Reid got this: his very own, hand-crafted guitar.

Well, he actually got it a few months before Christmas, but it was for Christmas...and our Anniversary...and his Birthday...and Father's Day...and Labor Day...

Anyway, I just realized that I never really blogged about it, or, more importantly, about my amazing brother-in-law, Tom, who made it!!!! He has a very natural talent for instrument making. It blows my mind! When he's not at the middle school teaching the special needs kids, or home taking such great care of my sister Cynthia, who has M.S., he's sure to be found in his garage working on some new creation. He's a saint of a man, and it makes me so happy to see him have this little hobby that he enjoys it so much.

So, just in case any of you are in need of a Christmas gift idea, Tom would gladly custom-make you a guitar in time for the holidays!!!

OR, if you're in need of a slightly more economical gift this year, and you know someone with a small business they're trying to start, you could do what we did for Tom last year. He'd been wanting a website to post pictures of all his guitars, but didn't know where to start. So, since we had their names last year, we got him started with his very own guitar website-- TomsGuitars. And, to help get his name out there, we had these business cards made up, and sent him half of the pile.
As part of the gift we divided the other half of cards amongst all my siblings, Reid's siblings, and anyone else we thought might use them, and put them in an envelope with instructions to hand them out freely. It was a really fun gift to give, and Tom really appreciated the work we'd put into it, since his free-time is limited, to say the least.
Anyway, I know I'm not the only one with Christmas on the mind...so, maybe this is just the idea that someone out there was looking for!! You're very welcome.
The guitar Tom made for Reid is beautiful, and plays so well. We are so happy to finally have one of Tom's instruments in our home!!! To be perfectly honest, this guitar was really a gift for me. I love few things more than Reid serenading me on his guitar. I have such great memories of him singing to me when we were dating, and at our wedding. I love to hear him sing to the girls. He is amazing! I mean, speaking of gifts, isn't it kinda disgusting that on top of being super-dad, super-husband, super-everything, he also has an amazing voice and has written me multiple love songs?!?! It is pretty easy to love him as much as I do :)

Birthday Lens

In theory, this new lens that Reid gave me for my birthday (which was on backorder until a couple weeks ago) should help my photos look less like this:
and more like this:which is much easier to figure out with flowers than it is with small children.
It also allows me to choose to focus on either the creepy Barbie head

or the obnoxiously loud Thomas train
I secretly was hoping that with this magical lens all my pictures would automatically just be amazing. But my sister-in-law keeps reminding me that "cameras don't take good pictures, people do"...and i think she's right!! Blast!!
Soooooooo, anybody know of any really awesome book i could check out about photography? cause my whole plan to get-a-fancy-camera-and-save-on-professional-photos is really $tarting to add up!!
BTW, this is the lens i got, and I bought it from this local Mom and Pop store. They were AWESOME to work with, and even threw in a filter!!

Photo Shoot

Maybe if i show you this...
or this...
or this...
or especially this...

You'll understand why I'm even considering making big prints of this....

and this...
and this....
and especially this...
See? Those look fantastic now, no?

Why is it so hard to get all three of them to smile, keep their pose, look at me, act natural, and hold still all at the same time??!?!?! Am I asking too much!?!?!

I think I need to up the bribe. Gum just ain't cuttin' it anymore.

I wonder what bribes they used back when the kids had to hold still for hours, and there were no digital cameras with continuous shooting....fruit leather? peaches and cream? dates? YES! that's the answer! Dates!!

Girls' Night

Gillian is missing from this picture--she joined us later

We had the time of our lives on our little get-away. We shopped. We ate. We shopped some more. We tried on the most ridiculouse outfits. We thought we were hillarious. We crashed in our (connecting) rooms (too late for karaoke). We talked until 2am. We laughed. We divulged. We cried. We remenisced. We slept. We woke (somehow I ended up in the room with the early risers--Who gets up at 7:30 when there are no kids around!?!?!?! I'm with L. and A. next time!!). We went to the gym (okay, i went alone--and had a great time :). We shopped some more. We ate some more. And then we went our separate ways...only to reconvene a few hours later for the BYU game--this time with hubbies and kids--who all enjoyed their newly refreshed wives and moms :)
Thank you, ladies, for the refreshing night away!!
P.S. I brought my camera...but only took this one picture!! For all 2 of you who might care, you can see more pics on Lindsay's blog, here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm off!

The second Reid walks in that door i'm outta here until some time tomorrow. I've got a girls' night out that's gonna top all other girls nights!! we're staying at a hotel in Cherry Creek (near downtown), shopping till we drop, hitting up a couple karaoke joints, talking till our eye lids can't stay open any longer, SLEEPING IN in the morning, and THEN we'll decide if we ever want to come back home to our kids and hubbies.

My guess is we will :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The difference the difference can make

A couple nights ago, within 20-3o minutes, we learned two valuable lessons in this household.

First, Abby learned, the hard way (meaning seeds and all!) that there is a BIG difference between this:

and this:

And then I learned, the hard way, the difference between:

And this:

I really could have sworn that the latter was just the replacement for the former, which they no longer carry at my costco. Who knew a couple little words could make such a big difference.
3 glasses of milk, and 2 hours or suds-scooping, water-dumping, and energy-wasting later, we're all the wiser for it.
And I have enough dish soap to last me a lifetime.