Wednesday, October 31, 2007

my halloween quandry

here is lily's halloween costume which she proudly wore at my friend's awesome halloween party this past saturday; honestly, she was happy about it and had begged me to let her wear the dress at home for the whole month preceeding the party. she was cindy-lou who from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (inspired by the gazillion comments that we received when she was a baby that she was a cindy-lou who look-a-like plus i heart the book). for the past two days, she has informed me that she now wants to be gabriella from high school musical for halloween (yes, tice, i think it is because that's what kylie was at the party).
what to do? remember this is my child who wants to wear a swimsuit to church practically every sunday (which probably would be my worst nightmare). i've had to physically put a dress over her swimsuit on a couple of occasions when it became clear my coaxing wasn't going to work (or i was really late). i guess i could take out the cheerleading outfit from the dress-up box and talk about how that is high school musicalish (since gabriella is in regular clothes and i don't feel like going out and buying a brown wig.) but i like the cindy-lou outfit; it was after all, my idea. so most likely i will insist that she wears it and estimate/cross my fingers/hope that it will take no more than three houses of candy to get over her heartbreak.

life is good

here are just a few of the recent reasons i've had to smile, laugh, jump up and down and/or cheer!

new england looks like this right now. the weather is POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL: crisp, clear and sunny in a way that only autumn can do.

on monday, i held this six pound bundle of joy for about an hour while my older two were at school and my younger two were at my friend's house (thanks, tice). it was so theraputic and i couldn't be happier for the proud parents. congrats, ken and chelsea!

made this wonderful cake for FHE (which was the first legit reason that i could think of since my friend stace put the recipe on her blog. the picture is from her blog; my bundt cake is not that nice. my cake, however, did turn out very yummy! and yes, it's all gone.)

my show starts this sunday!!!! is there a better host than phil? i just don't think so.

daily occurrences or rather bits of crazy that occur in my family on a daily basis. case in point, this is what happens when you wipe your toddler's nose after he's just eaten a gummy worm.

I WON DESIGN MOM'S RANDOM GIVEAWAY!!!! [this is where the jumping up and down screaming fits in]. if you haven't checked her out on my frequent faves' list, you should. aside from wonderful giveaways, she features creative guests, artists, products and ideas. thanks to laina for turning me onto her when i started blogging back in february. thanks to pomegranate inc for the great giveaway. and thanks to design mom for blogging, introducing, connecting and (in the words of lara sorich) "making me famous." [CUE MUSIC as I EXIT STAGE RIGHT]

i won tea towels, apron and tablecloth similar to these. i got to choose my own patterns. i'm so stoked to use my new tablecloth for thanksgiving dinner!!!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

a favorite family pastime

in the previous post, i forgot to mention that we've been checking out "I Spy" books from the library. lily, grace and i all love them and even pat will join in the fun at times. every christmas, my family would put together a puzzle and i'm glad to see my kids enjoying the puzzling challenge of these books. i got a good thrill when i finally located the "cat with stripes" on the last page of this book after a couple of weeks of intermittent searching [it was on the a nesting doll that was on a bookcase].
in a related topic, gracie has been devouring chapter books lately. she has just started reading the boxcar children series and also enjoys the magic tree house books.

what we've been up to

conference and columbus day
our church had its semi-annual conference in the beginning of october. we have a family tradtion of making waffles, whip cream and strawberries when this occurs. the kids always enjoy the breakfast. unfortunately, we were late getting started and didn't have time to get jake's wheelchair out of the car. so he was on a blanket in the room with us; it did make for a fun picture though. columbus day was spent painting, reading good books and resting. it was a perfect day!

the girls and some friends made this wall of handprints (on the back of our house) with sidewalk chalk and some water. they surprised us with it when they were finished.

we did a little photo shoot for nanna jean's birthday. i thought i got some good pictures. (jake had fallen asleep early the night before, so we did his photo session the next morning.)

just felt i needed a picture of evan. here he is enjoying the pumpkin cheesecake that i made pat for his birthday. which reminds me, i've never mentioned our little oven fire on pat's birthday. this cheesecake was very tall in the pan, and i think some might have leaked over the top when it was cooking. later when i went to grill the quesadillas for dinner, the oven was set at a much higher temperature and caught on fire. it was a pretty good fire too! amazingly, no food was hurt or people for that matter. just another story to be reminded of for the rest of my life. (trust me the list is getting ridiculously long!)

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lily wanted to take a picture of me and the below pix is a result. i'm posting it because i actually like it (probably because i straightened my hair that day.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

nanna nan

belated birthday greetings to my stepmom, nan!

as you can probably tell from the pictures, nan has a very fun-loving personality (which my kids especially adore). nan also loves to learn, cares deeply for her friends and family and enjoys life. when i was young, she whole-heartedly accepted me as one of her own. i'm appreciate her example and influence as well.

we love you, nan!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

faves from pat

discovered this little gem last week (don't know how i overlooked it). and you all thought i was exaggerating about's pat's childhood glasses in my last post?

in honor of pat's b-day, i thought that i would write about pat's influence on me. while i can't say that he has totally changed me (thankfully he doesn't endeavor to try), i do feel i am better due to his influence. so here are just a few things that he has taught me over the years intermixed with some pictures of how our family has grown.
  • one of pat's great loves (other than me) is music; i have grown to love many songs that he has introduced me to. through much more effort and time than was necessary, i have created a playlist with a small sampling of some my favorite songs from pat. there were quite a few faves that i couldn't locate to download; i was still able to represent some of those artists with other songs, but was disappointed that i couldn't find more of my favorites. (after hours of fruitless searching, i realized that i couldn't download any songs from my itunes playlist to the blog.) despite these frustrations, i hope you enjoy my playlist. it will play automatically for the next few weeks and then i'll turn the automatic switch off.

(eight months after we were married, we both graduated from BYU)

  1. laugh at yourself
  2. don't worry, be happy (in other words, don't overthink.)
  3. the difference between what the make and model of a car is.
  4. a man can never own too many knives
  5. as americans, we pronounce many italian foods incorrectly. (frankly, i don't care that i pronounce them incorretly - but i have LEARNED FROM PAT that i do this.)
  6. be supportive
  7. find the humor in life

(here's how our family has grown: one child at a time. future posts will use the passing of years rather than additional children to demonstrate growth in our family.)

here are a few things that i hope to eventually learn from pat:

  1. keep a journal faithfully
  2. be patient
  3. don't let an unpaid bill sit around (thankfully he pays the bills)
  4. be concise
  5. don't waste time regretting things you cannot change
  6. be prompt
  7. "a soft answer turneth away wrath" (i greatly appreciate this one!)
  8. write nice love letters to your spouse on occasion

pat, thank you for your influence; you truly "complete me" (and any other

cheesy movie quote that you can think of.)

(bonus picture: like father, like son)

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my "mr. november"

Last, but certainly NOT least is my hubby, patrick, who celebrated his birthday on the 26th of september (yes, yes, don't remind me on how late on am in doing this post!) here are some snapshots of his life before me.

what a cute baby!

a little older: i couldn't find a good childhood picture of pat wearing glasses. he still has most of his glasses from childhood and i always have a good laugh whenever he models them for me (which doesn't happen often enough to be quite frank). since the glasses often take up at least half his adult face, i don't quite know how he was able to hold up his head as a child, but i guess he managed.

graduation from high school picture, and yes, he wore bow ties back then.

not sure what he's doing in this picture, maybe showing off facial hair? but he does look buff and handsome, right ladies?
(i'm working on another post about his birthday which i hope to finish and post on sunday.)
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a blitz of birthdays

a lot of important people in my life have recently had birthdays. i am late at acknowledging these birthdays (too many busy days followed by too much watching premiers/tv at night). here it goes:

first off, my friend amanda (shown here with her mr. november) turned 30 on september 29th! amanda has done so many quiet acts of service for me this past year (cards, a meal when jake was in the hospital even though she had just had a baby, remebering my birthday, flowers of comfort, etc....) that i just couldn't forget her. she is amazing: creative, well-spoken, thoughtful, kind. i am so glad to count her as a friend. (i'm also glad that she is finally 30; it's unbelievable to me how many of my good friends aren't even 30 yet! i'm glad you are finally joining me in this decade of life- even if i have a good head start). HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY, AMANDA!

my mother-in-law also celebrated her birthday on september 29th. she has come to help right after the birth of three of my children. i don't what i would have done without her! here she is with my newborns.

she quilts (all by hand), knits, sews, gardens, etc... her talents and creativity run deep. here is a TINY sampling of some of the treaures that she has made for my children:

here is a picture of her in younger years with the family minus pat and his little sister, ann. (side note: pat pointed out to me that his parents were younger than us in this picture; we think by at least four years.) my mother-in-law has gently encouraged me to do good things (like keep a journal when jake was in the hospital for 2 1/2 months after birth) as well as supported and respected me in my roles as a mother and wife. i don't think that i could
imagine a better mother-in-law than her. i'm glad to have her influence in our lives.

since i'm wishing two moms a happy birthday, i'd thought i'd share this post with all of you; i loved it when i read it over the summer. (the picture of the girl on the bottom is the author's youngest daughter.)

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"is that lily holding baby lily?" -lily's response when i showed her a picture of gracie holding her when lily was a baby.

"drama class is actually a lot of fun." -gracie (this is only humorous in that grace seemed surprised by how much she likes drama class. this from my child who we refer to as "a drama queen" when she is not around.)

"mom, you can go with my teacher and i'll stay home with japie and evan. daddy can go to work, and i'll be the mommy" -lily, in response to learning that she would be going to preschool next year instead of this year.

"mom, if you don't get rid of that smell soon, you're going to have to buy a new car." -gracie when it took me a couple of days to clean out my car after returning from a road trip.

"mommy, they have dress-ups for you!" -lily while walking by the prom dress section at macy's.

"i said the prayer "last"-erday." -lily's replacement word for "yesterday."