Friday, August 31, 2007

Coming Soon

I am a TV show nerd. OK--I am a nerd in a lot of ways, but TV season premieres are on my mind lately. I honestly get so excited for all my favorite shows to start up again! They're coming soon:

The Bachelor:
Monday 9/24
Monday 9/24
The Office:
Thursday 9/27 (1 hour premiere!)
Grey's Anatomy:
Thursday 9/27
Desperate Housewives:
Sunday 9/30
30 Rock:
Thursday 10/04
Thursday 10/25
Lost: January 2008
24: January 2008

I'll also be watching Private Practice (Wed. 9/26) with Dr. Addison Shepherd from Grey's but we'll see if it's worth the weekly DVR schedule. Am I missing anything good? I also love The Amazing Race and Project Runway but so far I haven't found any new season air dates. Let me know if you hear about them! Now, I have 1 month to clear up my DVR and make some room for all my new shows. I better get watching all my saved What Not To Wear episodes and try to part with some SYTYCD dances--it's hard for me :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

August End

So I borrowed an album name from John Schmidt for my title. It really hit me this week that August is almost over. Our summer has been one of the most fun ever--our first with both the kids mobile and curious and ready to play! But I am still sad to think about our days at the pool, in the sprinklers, at the splash park, in the green mountains, in flip-flops and shorts being numbered. Granted, I love fall and the transition is a fabulous, breath-taking exchange of seasons. At any rate, we are trying to enjoy all the sunshine and deserted pools, parks, etc... while the weather permits. Yesterday, we had a picnic lunch at the park with daddy where the crazies played non-stop. Bentley even convinced us to let him grab a bite of his sandwich while going down the slide. He's reminded me of that a few times already today saying "I can just eat my sandwich while I'm playing on the slide." What have we gotten ourselves into? :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Video Test

After fiddling around on One True Media for a bit last night, I suddenly noticed the new icon on eBlogger near the one for uploading pictures. Voila--it's for uploading videos! It must be a pretty new feature. I think that making a slideshow through iPhoto is more efficient and easy for me compared to One True Media. I can create it and simply export it as a small QuickTime movie before uploading it directly to eBlogger.

Well, I tried that last night and the movie never posted. I think it's because the file size was still much bigger than the slideshows from One True Media--posed a major problem. This morning I tried exporting it to iMovie and then re-exporting it to web-streaming size (an option not available in iPhoto). The file size is much smaller (3.5 MB instead of 50 MB) but the quality may kind of shoddy--we'll see. This entry is simply a blog experiment for me--besides, by now I have lost many of you with this techno-babble--you still reading--anyone? :) Anyway, I decided to go ahead and try posting a slideshow movie to see what happens. If it works--enjoy some pics from our adventures last summer!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Safe George

That's what Bentley has called our little vacation spot for about a year now. Once I told him we were heading down there last week, he asked me at least 10 times a day if it was time to go to Safe George yet. In the future I'll remember to tell him we're leaving the day of!

We spent 3 days hanging out with Grandma Bobbi and Papa Sherm. We did the usual SG stuff: swimming, playing with all the fun toys, walking for a bit of exercise, golfing (dad and Joe), riding in the golf carts (big and small!), shopping at TJ Maxx, attending church and eating yummy food. One extra this trip--Twelfth Night up at the Shakespearean Festival. Maggie watched the kids for us while we saw the amazing production in Cedar City. It's already my favorite Shakespearean comedy, but now it may be my favorite play too! It is just so thrilling to see his works done live--the way he wrote them to be seen. Wow--it was just too good. Ask Joe about his "cameo" in the play sometime :) The weekend was over too quickly. My kids are going through attention withdrawals today--they got so used to having Grandma and Grandpa around. Thanks for all the fun mom and dad and for watching the kids Mag!

Check out my first ever online slideshow--we'll see if it works!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Rob

Happy Birthday Rob! I hope you'll make and post another dance movie for your birthday because they totally rock :)

Rob is one funny guy. I didn't know this when I first met him but as I spent more and more time with the LeBaron family, I learned to tune into to his subtle and dry humor. I love how rational and concise he is when reasoning with his daughters and how calmly he eggs them on to bring out their true silliness. I love how capable he is and how he makes playing the piano, snatching up a PhD, and calming a fussy baby look seriously easy to the general public.

In 2003, Joseph and I took advantage of our frequent flyer miles and jetted out to Indiana for a short stay with Flori and Rob. It was such a fun trip due simply to the Christensens' hospitality and the continuous hours we spent together talking and laughing. I am eager to repeat that time together now that they live in Charlotte.

I love that Rob is a good listener--makes it easy and fulfilling to sit down and talk to him. He is also a great learner and tries his hand at several new things (like buying a Mac and then devouring all the software possibilities :) I love that Rob has been in the LeBaron family longer than any other in-law so that he remembers the Canyon Rim house, the neighbors from that area, and even Nanny--the only one who ever met her. This ever so "useful" knowledge makes him laugh even harder when all the siblings discuss random people and events at family gatherings. Rob is an amazing dad and deals with a house full of girls seamlessly--and I am still getting use to the fact that little girls scream and squeal tons more than little boys do (but they sure are cute!) I love to watch the teamwork between Flori and Rob as they raise their little family--they set such a good example for Joseph and me.

Happy Birthday Rob! Hope you have a grand day and that we get to hang-out with you again soon!! (I really wanted to post your favorite pic from Sun Valley--you know, the one of you at the driving range. Maybe I need to add it--it is priceless...)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Notes on the Rascals

Silly summer stories from the LeBaron household:
Lately, Bentley likes to come up to me with a mischievous grin across his face and ask "is Caresie a little rascal?" He waits for me to say back "she is. And you're my big rascal." Then he laughs like crazy and replies with the classic Aunt Heidi "whaaaaaat?"

While we were having lunch as family this weekend, Bentley was not interested in eating the food I had prepared for him. I told him he had chosen a cheese hot dog and so that's what I had made for him. He sat in his chair looking at the food and then said "but that's not the case Mom." It's so funny to hear my own vocabulary thrown back at me by 3 year old!

On Saturday morning Bentley woke up around 7:30 and came wandering in to our room still bleary eyed from sleep. He walked right over to Joe's side of the bed and climbed up and over him to nestle his body right between us. Joe reached his arm around him and said "good morning Bentley. Did you come to cuddle with me because I'm so warm?" And Bentley replied, "Yeah but you're pretty stinky Dad." Gotta love that kid.

Cares has proven to take after her mama in many ways including her love for pretty shoes. Nanny gave us a pair of Sunday shoes that are still about 2 sizes too big for Caroline but they are covered in sparkling pink glitter so Cares absolutely loves them and begs me to put them on her anyway. She also loves the new shoes I got from the Nordstrom sale and has tried them on several times. She likes to stand in them and then step out of them, walk away, and then come back and stand in them again.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Stacey

Here's to my sister-in-law Stacey (the only "sister" who is officially a Smith these days!) I am hoping we can get her started in the blogging world someday so we can see how she and Tye are down in Phoenix :) She did have lunch at Fashion Square today so I know she has found a key location in that city--seriously I love that mall but that is for another blog, another day...

I think my favorite memory with Stacey would have to be our entire girls' weekend together this past April. It was so fun to hang out with her and enjoy each others company without hubbies or kids to distract us. We all chatted so much on our drive down to St George that I could hardly believe we had been in the car for 4 hours already when we arrived. Our time together just reaffirmed several things I already knew and loved about Stacey: She is one sophisticated lady. I love shopping with her (somehow we always end up at Nordy's or TJ Maxx) because she works full time and gets to have one classy wardrobe. It is so fun to see her in pencil skirts and blouses, tailored sweaters and patent leather heals, etc... I love that Stacey is a very hard worker and studied like crazy to become the amazing accountant she is today. I love to talk to her about money and bills and she how perfectly organized she is with her finances (Joe wishes I would listen harder and even take some notes :) I have always thought that Stacey is very brave and determined, especially when dealing with my brother and his crazy habits and strong personality. She is a great fit with him and I am so happy they have each other. I will never forget how emotional Tye was when he saw his stunning bride come walking down the aisle--I know he is still totally in love with her.

I love how much attention Stacey gives her nieces and nephews and how they are attracted to her calm and gentle nature. Last year in Lake Powell, she spent a lot of time with little Bentley digging big holes in the sand, walking hand in hand on the beach and having many conversations about "Kunkle Tye." I am excited for her to experience motherhood in the future because I know how tender and loving she will be. Stacey is a great example to me in many ways and I am thrilled that she is part of our family. Happy Happy Birthday Stacey!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

10080 Minutes

Not as monumental as "525600 minutes" but you get the idea...One week has passed and I have meant to blog about at least 10 things ("meant to" being the key words here). It was one of those busy, busy weeks where I sadly (and stupidly) forgot my camera most of the time--boo. I am forced to recap for the sake of my own journaling/blogging efforts--I'll see if I can narrow it down. Here goes:

1) Girls Night Out to see Becoming Jane--loved it immensely and seriously, how can you go wrong with anything about/from Jane Austen right?
2) 10 year High School Reunion--go RAMS :) I still have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I was thrilled to see my good, good friends who now live far away and revive our old bonds of friendship. I honestly had THE very best group of friends in high school and they made those years so much fun. I love them all so much. I guess that's why it felt so odd--only a handful of them were there and I missed those who weren't. I also would have loved to see some old faces that I've lost touch with or just haven't run into since college, missions, marriages, etc... It was great to talk with fun people I wasn't necessarily close with in HS and see how amazing and cool and down to earth they are (and most likely were 10 years ago except that I was too caught up in my own life and own things to really find out...) I was impressed with everyone's maturity, honesty and openess at our little gathering--says a lot about the quality of people there.
3) Dinosaur Park--Cec already blogged about this perfectly but we did have a great time checking out the huge bones, mystery trails, huge dinosaurs and their loud roars, and way cool (as in temperature) gift shop :) Ethan was our guide for the day, reading the map and directing us to the varied dinosaurs outside. Bentley thought that was a way cool idea and so each time Eth pulled out his map, Bentley did too and pointed and told us where we should go next.
4) Joseph's Birthday--Thanks for all the calls, emails and blog shout-outs--my hubby felt pretty spoiled! I felt bad because it was such a rushed morning (I had to get myself and the crazies out the door by 8:00 for a faculty meeting up at the U of U). But Cares and I did manage to make Joe some breakfast in bed and we shared it with him nice and early at 7:30 (Beans woke up just in time to score some bacon and orange juice and help daddy open his presents from us) After a long day away from home, Ruth Ann and Neil took the kids while Joseph and I grabbed a quick birthday dinner at Trio Cafe before heading back to ole' Herriman. Once the kids were in bed Joseph played X-Box and I read Harry Potter--how's that for an awesome evening in!
5) Secret Garden at the Hale Center Theatre--I honestly think this is my favorite musical. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I saw it for the first time in NYC when I was 12 years old with most of the original Broadway cast (minus Mandy Patinkin--so sad I didn't see him in it!) I adore the story, the music is so lovely, the characters all human and flawed but wanting to be better, and the symbolism inherent in almost every song speaks volumes about love and hope--it's all just so wonderful. Last night the show was good but not great. I did love the girl who played Mary--she gave the show some much needed energy and charisma plus she had a sweet young voice. I still loved hearing such familiar tunes and some rather amazing numbers that just grab at my heart every time (Lily's Eyes, Race you to Top of the Morning, Hold On, How Could I Ever Know). Makes me want to watch A Little Princess again :)
6) Rebecca Mudrick Photo Shoot-- I am so excited to see how the pictures turn out!! Rebecca met us at my mom's and photographed the kids both inside and out in the yard. She is one amazing photographer and I love all the pics she has posted on her blog and website. Cares and Beans were both very accommodating and really sweet so I hope we get some stellar shots of each of them. I will post a link to the pictures online once they're ready (in about 3 weeks).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Joseph

My hubby turns 30 today. Quite a monumental birthday--another decade under his belt--but he still seems just like the fresh, smiling, newly returned missionary I met almost exactly 9 nine years ago. Did I know that August day that I would be the one to share his 30th birthday with him let alone his life, and his children? Not at all--because it would have seemed only like a happy fantasy or an incredible dream.

Joseph is my favorite person--the love of my life. If I actually wrote all that I could and wanted to about him, it would fill the pages of a short novel (well--maybe a long novel since being succinct is not one of my strong points :)

I love how friendly, open and warm Joseph is. I love that he is optimistic, determined and incredibly hard-working. I love his creativity and humor which so easily go hand-in-hand. I love his smile, his curly hair, his moon eyes and his kind heart. I love his faith, his testimony and his honorable nature. I love to hear him sing whether he is performing in a concert, in church or simply singing lullabies or a popular song from the radio. I especially love to see Joseph with our children. He is totally and completely enamored with them and he makes sure they know it. He makes our home so spirited and playful--we are so lucky that he is ours forever.

Joseph is my heart, my happiness, my protector, my smile, my day-in and day-out, my morning cuddle and my late night kiss. He's my home, my best friend, my laughter and my lover.

Happiest Birthday honey--I love you.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

30th Surprise

We pulled it off. I seriously can't believe it! Even during the last few seconds it could have been the surprise that wasn't. But thanks to some tricky maneuvers, bold-faced lies, and Joseph's total trust in all of us, he was indeed surprised--phew! A huge thank you to all of you for coming--it was so great to have a big crowd there to shout surprise and play with us on Tuesday night. I know it made Joseph happy--he couldn't stop smiling all night.

Here are my best pics from our climbing experience (too bad they don't allow cameras out at the pool since we rocked those water slides hard ;). Most of them turned out blurry which tells me only one thing: Joseph really does need a new camera for his birthday. I'll see if I can get things rolling on that for one more surprise on his birthday morning.

Check out Jess and Tommy's blog for a great pic of my hubby as he walked into the surprise party :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Potty Time

Last summer, after Bentley turned 2, I thought about potty training him. But I had just had Caroline and found the transition from 1 to 2 kids a huge change already so I waited. Then fall came and I thought about doing it then. But the holidays loomed and I knew that we would be away from home time and time again with unpredictable schedules so I waited, again. In the new year, I bought Bentley a little portable potty and he tried sitting on it a few times. And then I put off potty training again. At his 3rd birthday in May, I realized he was getting pretty old and those size 6 diapers weren't quite the same bang for my buck as Caroline's size 3's. I decided to potty train him as soon as the lazy days of summer came along. But then we had a big family trip to Sun Valley planned and another to Lake Powell which would most certainly interrupt the process. So I waited yet again. And last week...I finally ran out of excuses. We are in the throws of this crazy process and Bentley is doing very well...with pee pee anyway. He has only had 2 accidents during the past 7 days and has kept his training pants dry during the night every night except 1. "Number 2" is a quite a different story and a gross one at that. Enough said. Bonus to this big change--Bentley is pretty darn cute in his big boy underwear :)

Bentley's Potty Chart

Thursday, August 2, 2007

All About Me

Heidi posted this on her blog and it said all who read must do it themselves. Since Heidi is the queen of blogs I am obligated to obey. Here goes:

Favorite Places for a Weekend Getaway {from Salt Lake City}
1. St George
2. Newport Beach, CA (too bad there won't be anymore CPA meetings...)
3. Phoenix (even in the summer heat I love that city and miss it)

Movies I Can {and do} Watch Over and Over
1. Notting Hill
2. Bridget Jones Diary
3. Princess Bride
4. Moulin Rouge
5. Dirty Dancing
7. Thomas Crown Affair
8. Orange County (way dirty but so funny!)

Guilty Pleasures
1. Banana split with hot fudge and Canadian vanilla ice cream
2. Homemade oatmeal cookies
3. Pedicures and eye brow waxes

Places I’ve Lived
1. Denver, CO (birthplace)
2. Germany
3. Salt Lake City, UT
4. London
5. Phoenix, AZ

What I First Thought When I Met Ben
1. Reserved but funny
2. Way fun at games
3. Totally in love with Heidi

oooooooh--you want me to write about MY hubby ;)

What I First Thought When I Met Joseph
1. Awesome smile, great hands and adorably curly hair
2. Tall and slender--perfect kissing height...
3. Friendly and I got a catch :)

Places I've Never Been but am Dying to Visit
1. Israel
2. Italy
3. Brazil
4. Tahiti
5. Bali
6. Washington DC
7. New Zealand
8. Anywhere in Australia

Favorite Foods
1. Pizza and Pasta
2. Tacos and chicken enchiladas
3. Peaches and Bananas and Watermelon
4. BREAD (especially restaurant bread--know what I mean Heid? :)

If I’m In a Jam With Joseph, Tactics I Use To Get Out of the Doghouse...
I am still learning. Seems that after almost 8 years I'd know better :) But we are good at making up when we decide to!

Places I’d Rather Be Right Now
1. LONDON- all day every day I wish I was there (I had to copy Heidi's answer!)
2. Laying in the sun on the beach--any beach, anywhere
3. Disneyworld with my kids--I know they would eat it right up and that Joe and I would love it too!!

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged (meaning you have to do this same thing). Have fun!!


Just wanted to share a lovely piece of choreography that makes me proud to be a dancer. Simple and stunning.