Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joy of December

This December it took me longer than usual to get into the holiday spirit.  I know everyone has the holiday moment meltdowns but I was starting to think that I would just not feel "it" this year.  Then a few days ago my fog started to clear and I was able to refocus.  I began thinking that the Joy of Christmas was around me in a lot of little moments this year instead of one great big TA-DA moment. 

For starters we have not only got to see 1 Christmas performance - but 4!  Carissa performed beautifully with all the Kindergartner's. 
 Audrey performed with the show choir at 2 Holiday events and then again with the 3rd Grade Class at school.  She had a solo one night and just rocked her lines!
 We typically never go see Santa unless the line is short and we just happen to bump into him.  (One time we saw him and Mrs. Claus in their car...).  This year we lucked out and the girls even got to take a picture. 
 And, as I was going about not finding the Christmas Joy this little lady (we named her Candy Cane Jane) showed up and has been doing mischievous things daily.  Two days ago we found her on top of the fridge with the food coloring and she had dyed our milk green!    I owe her a big thanks for continuing to help keep the magic of Christmas alive in our home.
 No holiday season is complete without the Nutcracker Ballet in this family.  Grammy treated us, once again, to the special performance.  The girls looked beautiful and were so good.  They laughed at the Russian dance and were mesmerized by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
 We even arrived in time to listen to one of the dancers read the Nutcracker story before the show. 
In addition to all that we have been reading from our Advent Calendar and studying the bible every night.  It is something we have never done before as a family and the girls LOVE it.  Last night we learned that Joseph and Mary walked about 80 miles to get to Bethlehem - that is almost from here to Lake Havasu! 

It is clear to me now- 4 days until Christmas - that while I was so busy in my fog the Christmas Joy was happening without me.   I didn't even have to walk 80 miles to see the miracle - I just needed to look up - it was right here the whole time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

For the Record

Thanksgiving Weekend in Lake Havasu.  This was our 3rd year in a row.  We camped at Cattail Cove and the weather was so perfect.  I wish I had more pictures!  Mostly what I can say about it was that it just felt comfortable.  The kids felt at home and just played and enjoyed each other.   The food was delicious, as usual, and Audrey ate up the Green Bean Casserole.   We watched the old movies from the 60's and heard some great stories. Everyone came to our Campsite on Friday.  Matt, Suzanne, and Lola even camped for one night this year.  It was so fun to have them there.  Here are some pictures...for the record.  

Nothing better than a squeeze from Grandpa!!
Grandma & Grandpa

Hanging out in the Backyard Playhouse

Sunday, November 13, 2011

10 years

November 3rd 2011 - Our Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago I married a man that I knew for the minute I saw him would be my husband.  I tell the story all the time but the first time he hugged me it was like coming home.  It was love and caring, security and adventure all mixed together.  It was right.
Woodinville Boutique Wine Tour
 Ten year later I can still feel it but it is so much more.  It is knowing when to push and knowing when to let up.   The feeling of joy when you can make each other laugh or see the other through a hard day.   
St. Edward Park Trail
 It is sharing memories and moments that only you both know. 
 Eating great food together and loving that the other one loves exactly the same thing.
Spread from Pike's Place Market
 It is just being...together...
Edmonds Marina Park
happily ever after.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

Today is November 1st and I can honestly say that I am suffering from a Halloween Hangover.  I am so happy that we did so much but I am so glad it is over. 

Of course we carved the pumpkins and played with the squishy insides.

This was our happy Jack O'Lantern results.  I am particulary proud of the ghosts because it was my first ever carved pumpkin!  I might just have to get my own to do next year.
On Halloween I helped spook out Audrey's third grade class.  I made slime with the kids and recruited Grammy to help with the cookie decorating.  I am so grateful I get to help in the classroom but again, am glad it when it is over.  Hmm, I am starting to see a pattern here.  Small doses...tiny small doses...

On Halloween Night we invited our family and neighbors over for a potluck and Trick-or-Treating.  Justin moved the truck and some spooky kids jumped in the back. 
We didn't pick our neighbors but somehow ended up with some great families.  There is Wyatt and Wes and Ella and Cole.  They all ended the night dancing to Thriller in the dark on the lawn and it was super cute.

One of our neighbors, Rachel, brought over the Eyeballs (Chocolate Covered Donuts).  I was super impressed and they were really yummy.

Now we have enough candy until Easter.

Minus the Almond Joy's, which I quickly hid for late night snacking. 

Each year just gets better and better.  The girls are into everything and it makes my heart happy when they can enjoy all the little things I try and make special. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's all about the Hair...

The latest "new thing" is having feathers in your hair.  The girls have been talking about it from the summer and we finally had the chance to get them (thanks to Auntie Sara).    I have to admit at first I had my doubts but now that the feathers are in they are pretty fun and really maintenance free.  

This past week was "Spirit Week" at school.  Everyday was a new theme and the girls went all out.  The first day was Crazy Hair Day.  I learned my lesson early on that just waking up and going to school without brushing your hair is just NOT crazy enough.  

No - Audrey needed colored hair spray, spoons, and a mermaid.
Carissa though was not quite sure.  She opted for just braids and some color because she said she wanted to look crazy, but NOT nuts! 
Another day of the week was decade day.  The girls and I had so much fun looking through my old pictures for inspiration for the '80's.  We were able to "rat-out" Audrey's hair and she looked, well, like me when I was 8.  Carissa went like a '70's chic and I think it suited her great.

 This school year has been great so far.  The girls are doing excellent, Carissa is starting to read and Audrey received all A's the first semester.  They are learning so much  - we are so proud!!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I am here to document that you were Student of the Month and figured out how to blow a bubble in the same week...inspiring!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now that I am 34

... I know they say age is just a number but I would have to disagree.  

Age is a milestone and a journey.  It is a story and a path. 

When I was 14 it wasn't just a number; it was my second year of being in the "teens".  It was working for the first time and having a little independence.  It was learning how to have and be a really good friend.  It was walking around the mall without my mom.  It was church summer camp and learning God was there.

When I was 24 it wasn't just a number.  It was putting on my wedding dress and walking down the aisle.  It was becoming a wife and learning how to love a man unconditionally.  It was paying my bills on time and buying enough groceries for the week.  

Now that I am 34 I can say for sure, age is not just a number.  My convictions are stronger and my expectations are higher.  I know what I am good at and what I am not.  I know what makes my heart ache and what brings me pure joy. 

I am happy to have been 14 and 24 and I am grateful for my journey and the choices and chances I have received along the way.  I am proud to be mom and a wife.  I am glad to be 34.  ~

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just Realizing

Earlier this week I read a quote from Michel De Montaigne (a very observant French man that lived in the 1500's).  He said "The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful."

When I really thought about this I know it to be true but have realized that I am not always making the most natural of choices and I have a hard time determining what it is that will cause me the least strain. 
 But when I watch these two beautiful girls I am amazed.  It is so easy for them to make a natural choice.  Do you want sauce on your noodles?  No!  I don't like the sauce...  How about these socks?  Gross!  They itch my feet...
 Are you sure you want to run for Student Council?  Why wouldn't I?  It will be so much fun.
These answers just roll off the tip of their tongue.  They are so intuned with their true self that it is not a strain at all to make the natural choice - and wow is it beautiful to watch!

Congratulations Audrey on Making Student Council!!  You really do shine.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Recover an Ironing Board

Here is how I recovered my Ironing Board:

  1. Selected my fabric. I needed two yards because of the length of my board and I choose a bright cheerful yellow so the task of ironing wouldn't seem so dull. My fabric was on the JoAnn's clearance rack for 2.50/yard.
  2. Selected my wine. I needed a nice crisp white wine because it is still 108 degrees at 7:00 p.m. here so I choose a Pinot Grigio by Kate and Cassie (mostly because I loved the label). The wine was purchased at Target for 8.99.
3. Take a look at your old ironing board cover and realize that might be the reason you never really took to ironing in the first place. Pour yourself a glass a wine and pull the cover off.

4. Grab your seam ripper and rip out the cord.
5. You should end up with a full piece of elastic cording and a "template" for your new cover. You might want to iron the old cover flat (if you are into that sort of thing). It makes it easier to trace.

6. Trace the old cover on the wrong side of your fabric. I used a fancy yellow Crayola marker. You might have a washable fabric pencil. First trace exactly around the whole cover. Then trace an outline of the cover about an inch out from the first line.

7. Cut your fabric using the outer line you traced.

8. Now is the tedious part so take a sip of your wine. You will use your iron (I know!) and fold the edge in a 1/4" first and iron flat. Then fold and pin so the fold is on the first line you drew. This will leave enough room to thread your elastic cord back in.

9. Go to your machine and stitch around the cover leaving a 2" or so gap to thread your cord through. Don't forget to back stitch at the start and finish.

10. Bring your wine and go sit in a comfy chair. Take apart your elastic cord from the little holder. (Very technical - I know.) Thread your cord through the casing and then reattach to the holder the same why you took it apart.

11. Fit your new cover back on your ironing board and hang in a pretty spot.

12. Finish your wine ;)

Linking up to:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First week of School

If you read my last post you would know I left off waiting for the bus...

Well, it came and dropped off Audrey at the corner I was NOT at... then it proceeded to drive by me with Carissa still on it! Apparently I was standing at the wrong corner AND they won't let your Kinder off the bus unless you are standing there. Justin ended up chasing the bus down and the rest of our week kind of went down hill from there.

The kids came home famished and tired everyday. I tried a new techinque everyday to help ease the transistion but nothing seemed to work. We ended everynight with someone in tears (Audrey or Me) and started every morning with more and more anxiety (Carissa and Me).

Did I mention I had bloodwork on Wednesday and fainted and Justin and I aren't drinking this week? (Who's idea was that?)

By Friday morning I probably had the whole week written on my face and Carissa could feel it. She announced right away that she didn't want to go to school and I just couldn't find it in me to be upbeat anymore. We both ended up crying in the school hallway. UGH!

Thankfully my neighbors walked by and one of them (a sweet angle from God) convinced Carissa to go back into the class and then they told me to go home. Good advice. I was a wreck.

To end the week Audrey was stung by a scorpion. Really? Yes. Here is my advice. Put the number to Posion Control in your phone. You never know when you will need it. She is fine her foot just remains asleep.

My one glass of wine Friday night did me in and I was so thankful for it. Sometimes it is best to just curl up and go to sleep. Carissa asked me this morning if Saturdays are like "Pretend Summers?"

Uhh no, we call this a Weekend - but don't worry - they are just as fun. Phew TGIS.

Monday, August 8, 2011

School Year is Here

It is so quiet here.

I have finished all my work.

I ate lunch.

Only 3 more hours until the bus comes.

You should have seen me this morning. I was so brave - Justin surprised us and came home so we could take the girls together. We dropped Audge off first to 3rd grade. She was all smiles taking her new room in. I just know she is going to love it.

Kissa was next. It was kind of hectic and crazy in her room (with 30 students and their parents!) She seemed a little overwhelmed. The teacher said we had to leave in 5 minutes. So we hugged and chatted then all of a sudden she said we had to go in 1 minute. My baby held back the tears so I just gave her one last squeeze and left.
Thankfully I could spy on her through the window. She looked so little but actually really big all at the same time.

I wish I could go there right now and check on her again. I could just spy on her through the window again... But Justin said she will be fine. He said to think of all the times they bugged me. But that just makes me really sad.

Oh good. Now there is only 2 hours and 45 minutes left.

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Long Summer

Just in 3 short days school will be back in session. I had high hopes for this summer and for some wierd reason I feel like it didn't go exactly as I had envisioned. Instead I got something far better - something not even I could have planned.

We were blessed with Justin getting a little 2 week job in Flagstaff - which happens to be one of the coolest place you can be in Arizona. The girls and I were able to join him and stay at the KOA.
Audrey snapped some shots while we were there on her new camera. We rode bikes and hiked. We breathed in the fresh air and just had a great time.

The rest of July the girls kept me busy. We had a neighborhood "Summer Bash" and lucked out because Lola was able to be there. We had the chance to spend a great Saturday with Gramps and Gram where I learned about the fine art of frying pork chops and family dynamics all at the same time. While I had to spend more hours working on the computer than I planned I was enjoying the soundtrack of my girls playing, playing, and playing some more. Justin and I were even able to sneak out for a few date nights.

This summer the girls really were each others "built-in" best friends. While I can't say it was all roses, for the most part they were inseperable and didn't mind it. I can see them changing everyday and I know that it is time, once again, for me to follow suit.

I can not put in words how thankful I am for my life. For the opportunity I have had to stay home with my sweet daughters for the last 6 years. On Monday, I plan on putting on my brave face, pulling up my big-girl panties, manning up... I can do this. I can drop off my baby to Kindergarten and know that if I am not there to put the straw in her juice box someone else will. Heck, maybe she will even be able to do "myself".

I will let you know how it goes...