Wednesday, December 30, 2009

While in Provo we've:

- Eaten Cafe Rio thrice (ok only me, but THANKS to that many trips I ventured out and got pork tacos rather than the salad the last time- no disappointment.)

- Seen Avatar (liked it-- made me want a stronger more daring body), Sherlock Holmes (loved it, but wanted a little more romance with Rachel McAdams), Blind Side (cried like a baby through most of it and hugged my girls extra tight when I got home....we're so blessed), and 500 Days of Summer in the DOLLAR theatre (LOVED it, LOVE Zoey whats-her-face, and loved that cute boy with all the great smile-lines, and don't be surprised when my site has some songs from the soundtrack-- great music.) Yup-- 4 movies. In the theatre. And I liked them all. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!

-Made everyone watch "Business Time" on you-tube by FOTC and figured it was way over Sophia's head and so didn't worry... and now she's singing, "It's business, it's business time..."

- Watched it snow outside more than I ever remembering ever watching it snow. It's beautiful and powdery and white everywhere you look.

- Enjoyed the visit from Santa... and mostly enjoyed watching our kids eat up Christmas more than they ever have of course. This felt like the first year I was DYING for Christmas morning to come because they really got it. Well, you know, if tearing one open, tossing it aside, and moving on to the next, in a total present-opening, greedy frenzy means getting it. Even still... magic. :)

- Shopped-- I forgot what a real mall was like.

- Gone to bed after 1 every morning and enjoyed the benefits of Mila learning to climb out of her playpen. (The italics in this case indicate EXTREME sarcasm).

- Overspent and overeaten ourselves (ok mostly me) into oblivion. We were supposed to leave Monday but keep extending ourselves because of the snow and .... stuff... and I'm not sure I have enough elastic wasted pants to get me through 'till Friday at this point. Can't WAIT to lock up the wild when I get home and set some boundaries. Love Christmas. But definitely entering that adult-world where I welcome the boring normalcy of January. Phew.

- Relished a house full of family and fun and 30 Rock till midnight, and Christmas and brownies and Taboo, and chaos . I'll be happy to let myself feel hungry before a meal once again, but so sad to leave all of this.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A White Christmas

The first gas station after a while on the journey to Utah. My bladder was filled to the rim, so this place made me very happy--- happy enough to shoot some pictures. And I liked the color scheme.
The beggining of our trip. Had to start somewhere. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This was probably the second runner up. You can see us all better than the one we chose, we're closer--- more of a traditional family photo--- it was a tough call.

How quickly we think of our "coulda, wouldas". Would have put both of the girls in tennies or both in pretties. Would have done Sophia's hair different. Would have calmed the back of mine so I didn't look like a freshly bathed and shaken dog.

Would have stuck my butt out just a little less..............and then.... maybe just a little more? Wouldn't have offered fruit snacks as my bribe and then snapped the shutter mid-chew. Or maybe I would, because this expression gave us some good laughs. Would have realized we were in Brooke's shadow. So typical, Brooke....always in your shadow.

Just kidding.

Would have started earlier so I didn't have to make these hazy to compensate for the low-light.
Would have remembered to change Mila's diaper before we left the house so it didn't get so full that it hung mid calf in her tights before I took it off leaving her au-natural.... resulting in this.

But all and all-- what a productive feeling it is to get some family photos. And how much more respect do I have for the people in front of my camera. It's hard work trying to keep all your people looking beautiful--- sheesh! glad it's over. Thankyou Brooke!!!
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

But I guess my stomach DOES always feel flatter first thing in the morning... unless I had midnight icecream. Which does happen.

A blustery, COLD day at the park. I couldn't decide if I wanted to post a b/w or a color. And it's gotten too late to make decisions so we're doing both.

This morning, Sophia came in our bed like usual. And wanted to snuggle with me like usual. She's a snuggly one. VERY lovey and tactile right now. She rubs my arms and rubs my back and wraps herself up in my arms. She tells me "you're the best mom ever" like a dozen times a day. It's her new phrase--- I'll take it.

This morning she was rubbing my chest, the bony part just under the collar bone, (my CHEST let me remind you) and must have been a little sleepier than I thought... "mom, your tummy's not chubby anymore!"

Oh that my tummy could feel like (the bony-part-of) my chest (under-the-collar-bone.)

It just seems a little weird without the explanation right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


(oops.... didn't mean to do the light blue borders on my collages but i'm too lazy to fix it now.)

Ten days 'till Christmas! We're off to Utah this year, and I always feel like since we still go home to our parents' houses for Christmas, we have such a short amount of time in our own house for Christmasy stuff... it just goes so fast. I finally feel like I finished decorating even though we ALWAYS try to get it up right after Thanksgiving. This year it was just hard to find the full day-- or evening-- or whatever it takes to get it done right. Instead, I did a little here and there and never felt fully satisfied. I finally went to Homegoods the other day planning on giving in and buying some cute, new stuff (since most of my Christmas decor is stuff my mom didn't mind parting with 7 years ago when I got married)- and there was nothing cute left! So now I may as well wait for the post-Christmas sales and hope I find some treasures in Utah.

What on earth was that paragraph about?

Anyway--- I'm finally really feeling the groove. We did the gingerbread house over the weekend (so what if Costco helps us out a little by selling them already assembled and ready to go--- SO much easier that way), we walked around the neighborhood to look at lights last night with the Lamms for family night, and Ross added "Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella" (no idea what it's really called) to our playlist because I told him I missed hearing it when I was a kid dancing in the curtains with Lacy like Celtic women (remember Lace?)

Ahhhh..... Christmas time. When the weirdest things can burrow themselves permanently into your heart and memory and become forever and magically nostalgic just because.... it's Christmas time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting

I love it when I can just snag a collage off of someone else's blog to document something I forgot to take pictures of. Thanks Brooke.

Friday night, Christmas Tree lighting, Santa Claus passing out candy, Stuft Pizza to go out on the grass, hot chocolate after a mere 25 minute line (I'm guessing, but it took forever), and REALLY genuinely COLD weather.... mmm-- I love Christmas.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bikes? Help.

Does anyone know much about bikes? We've said for years that we should get them for Christmas. And I think this just might be the year.... only problem: we're the blind leading the blind on what-to-look-for-when-in-search-of-family-bikes. Of course what I really want is the Madsen bike above since it's... ummm --- beautiful.

Look at it. The perfect blue. The orange fender. Mmmmm. The huge trash can to tote my girls around in. I la la la love it. Except that it's $1300

SO--- if I were trying to make a more educated decision on what bikes we should get and we're looking primarily for:

- Beach cruisers (what? It's only 2 hours away, you never know when we'll cruise over... )

- OK so maybe we just want to pretend we live somewhere cool enough for a beach cruiser, but whatever... we've got 5 or 6 months of ride-outside-without-dying-of-heat-stroke weather ahead of us and and endless desert-scape to explore.

- uh... that's about it. We're looking for beach cruisers. Did I mention that?

So can we get the under-$200 ones we see online or at Costco (Schwin?). Or will they fall apart like our Walmart Trampoline? (Ross was jumping the other day and a spring shot off and hit the neighbor's house WHILE the neighbor was outside. oops.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

... The Old Man is Snoring....

It's true. Rain. All day long... so much I'm almost ready for a reprieve. But then I remember that this one day has to last me through the rest of the year (more or less) and then I'm counting each blessing again... one raindrop at a time.

Sophia didn't want to be in the photo with her hot chocolate... can you tell? she's not doing her normal neck-scrunch and smile or on-cue laugh I've taught her so well. She was sad--- she doesn't like the rain. She likes it hot. We have debates about it all the time. It's strange to me that she'll be raised (at least for some memorable years) in the desert. And she just might be one of those people that loves the heat and hates the rain. I'll have to come to terms with it. I LOVE chilly air, puffy clouds, and mostly... VARIETY. So today... even though I washed my hair yesterday and it got ruined on my preschool pick-up... and even though Mila only took an hour nap and will spend the rest of the afternoon begging to go outside--- I LOVE me some rain.

Speaking of love. It's Christmas time.... can you believe it? I wish there were 2 months between Thanksgiving and Christmas so we could anticipate it just a little longer... (and prepare for it... for those of us who procrastinate for a living.) I haven't bought a single present. But the tree is finally up (even if it is DWARFED and a bit toy-ish in the vaulted living room of this house), and the stockings are hung, and we're writing to Santa tonight for family night (that's a whole other blog post... I never believed, did you? A bit nervous about years of lying to my children)... and trying SOOO hard to relish each moment before I blink ----------and it's over.

I love this season!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thanksgiving in photos...

Everyone came. All six of us kids and all 18 grandkids--- we filled my house, two friends' houses that were out of town, (I know... I have SUPERB friends) and an RV in the driveway. We cooked all day and ate all night and scrabbled... and ate... and watched movies... and ate.

and ate

and ate...

Papa Kirk came equipped for a nerf-gun ward in the backyard. It did not disappoint. It was serious stuff--- I wish I had a video to do it justice.

Then Friday we got to celebrate again with my Dad who came in from Texas. (We missed you Mary Beth!) TWO days of party. Way more eating... and lounging... did I mention I got on the scale at the gym today for the first time since? I won't. It's bad news. You didn't help dad. Fettuccine Alfredo and mashed potatoes in the same meal? Only my dad.

Pretty sure my kids would need me ONLY for food and drink if we lived with 16 cousins ALL the time. I could not have imagined how relaxed I'd feel having a big party at my house--- along with 16 cousins comes 16 entertainers.... I feel like I should have been paying a fee.... AWEsome.

Oh and have you seen Ivy lately? I wanted to nibble on her arm rolls.
Hope you had as much fun and ate as much food as I did.

ps. Check out my BABY brother and his family on the photo blog.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In recovery and mourning....

There's always some relief when the big festivities are over and you can go back to normal life where you keep your house clean, get some projects done, and stop seeing how many feasts you can fit into one 24-hour period. There is, however, NO relief when my cross-country sister leaves for another 8 months. Only mourning.

And the photo? I was going for sexy. I know right?? Poor Ross. I had no idea. Guess I'd never had it photographed before.