Saturday, February 27, 2010


These have inspired me and I have signed up for this.

Crazy. But I am excited. Here's to training! And can I have arms like the graceful Joannie come August? Please?

Didn't you just ache for her as she skated when you knew her heart was breaking? I have to admit that I cried as I watched her. As a mom, and a daughter I totally cried. And her performance was stunning because of it.

I have loved these olympics, cheering on the old faves--Apolo and Shaun, and taking pride in the new ones-- Lindsay, Steve and USA Sled 1, Johnny and Billy (see, after 2 weeks together we are on a first name basis :) There are countless others, American and Chinese and Canadian and Korean...

Remember these words, directed to the athletes from the Opening Ceremonies?:

"You are role models for our children, heroes, giants, human champions, the best ever. You are living proof that men and women are capable of doing great good, and in life, as in sport, we should do our best and never, ever give up..."

Good show world. Good show.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Digital Projects

2 big projects I completed this month (and both arrived on my doorstep this week):

1) 2010 Family Calendar

See how we do it? We use pictures to remind us of all the family birthdays during the year. And now you all are reminded that mine is coming up next month...I'm just saying...

I made it through iPhoto--easy peasy. It's the 6th year in a row I have made one for our little family and they are turning out to be dually functional both as the calendar during the year and as an archived year-in-review for our family.

Oh, and the first time I made a calendar it happened to be March (not quite sure how that happened...) Now, each successive calendar runs from March-February. Makes for one less thing to work on during the crazy holiday season.

2) 3rd Volume of my Blog Book

I have done all my blog books through Blurb because their software is so straightforward and user friendly. And they are very affordable. I printed my last book for just about 40 cents a page. Apple charges about $1 a page for digital picture books so Blurb's seems like quite a deal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wie Gehts?

I am teaching Bentley's Kindergarten class about Germany tomorrow because I qualify as someone who "spent considerable time there," per the teacher's request. Do three years as a toddler/preschooler count? I just wish that fluent Deutsch had stuck with me all these years later!

I am bringing my little girls donning their dirndls, my dad's lederhosen, my Nutcrackers, my antique "Ausgang" sign, some trusty pics, and Haribo Gummi Bears for everyone, of course. Did you know that HARIBO is an acronym for the inventor and the city where company headquarters is located--Hans Riegel, Bonn? Well now you do. The things you can learn on Wikipedia.

Just look at this screen shot of their website's homepage. My parents and siblings will love this simply for the tagline. Oh, and Chandler will love it too. He is way into his wife (my big sis) teaching his kids this cool German phrase:

Tomorrow I am also teaching the children a simplified version of a German folk dance I learned at BYU. It's called Die Hammerschmiedsgesell'n. It's a fun and easy dance with an impossible title. Very German...

I also came across this as I surfed the web for pictures:

Neuschwanstein Castle

Anyone up for a trip to Bavaria with me? It has been 16 years since I have been there and I am due.

One more thing. Check out this beauty my hubby just made for all the Kindergartners. Fun:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More From SG

On Thursday the weather was perfect, on Friday it was still lovely but cooler as the wind picked up, and on Saturday it rained all morning. Luckily, it cleared up in the afternoon because my kids wanted to play outside as much as they could this weekend--we had to pack it in before returning to the snow and cold up north.

Sissies. I love these girls playing together.
And how cute is Olivia in the tiny doll stroller?

Memo to Cares' mama: tuck her skirt down next time she is in a swing!
But I love her little legs in this picture.

Did I mention our Vegas cousin Max came to play?

While I packed up the car before heading home, my kids "babysat" Olivia for me by pushing her around in the real baby stroller. Livs loved it.
Bentley was showing off his very slow (aka grumpy) walk in the background...

Our weekend was short, driving down early Thursday morning and leaving for home around dinnertime on Saturday. A few days without my hubby is plenty for me though, and I was so glad we were home to attend Stake Conference today because it was such an amazing meeting.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To My Baby

February 18th, 2009

February 18th, 2010
We have skipped town in search of sunny skies and warm weather.
Mission accomplished in St George. It is gorgeous here.

Dearest Olivia Ann (aka Liver Lous, Livvie Skivvies, Livvies, Liver Maniver, Livs),

Today you are exactly 1 year old. And I am stunned at how swiftly the time has flown. One year ago I held you in my arms, in the wee hours of the morning when I first met you, and discovered you to be my beautiful new daughter. I was thrilled to meet you and you captured my heart from the very beginning.

An hour or so after your birth, at roughly 4:00 am, your nurses whisked you away for your routine check-up, more testing and your first bath. This gave me a chance a catch a few hours of some much needed sleep. And I crashed hard. But I woke around 7:30 as your nurse brought you back to me--and I was so very ready to see you. She told me your temperature had been dropping just a degree or 2 every so often and that I should bundle you tight and snuggle you close to me as much as possible to keep you warm, something I was all too happy to do for you. And me. I lifted you into my bed, nestled you in my arms, and we were both back to sleep. We took many naps like that throughout the day and it was pure heaven for me. I loved seeing you, smelling you, nursing you, inspecting you, cooing over you and basking in your newness and purity.

We shared the day together in our calm and very quiet room. I think I turned the TV on for about 5 minutes and then realized I wasn't even interested. We were both exhausted and really, all I wanted was your warm and nuzzling infant body resting on mine.
We had a few visitors that day and I took a quick shower while they held you and marveled over you. Around dinner time Daddy and Bentley and Cares arrived and things certainly livened up! Oh, those siblings were just so excited to meet you and hold you and ask a hundred and one questions about you. They were very tender and sweet with you. They have loved you from the very beginning too.

Olivia, you are such a gift in my life, in Daddy's life, and in our family as a whole. You are happy and bright, saucy and fun, beautiful and very blonde, and completely lovable. I love all that makes you my unique little 1-year-old girl: your swift army-crawling, squished-nose smiles and snorts, full-body loves and hugs, the jabbering that ensues just before you fall asleep, your endless appetite, and mad dashes to bury your face in the pillows anytime you are up on my big bed.

I love you tiny girl. And happiest, happy birthday on this, your very first one.

--Your adoring Mommy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Fun

Our Valentine's wouldn't have been complete without our favorite activities: making and decorating tasty sugar cookies and filling our house with homemade hearts and love notes.

Cares' face is so silly in this pic. I had to share it.

Yummy frosting for our cookies

Favors for my dancers after our Valentine's class last week

A heart-attack FHE: We all wrote what we loved about each member of our family.

Bentley's heart for Cares: "I love Cares because she is such a good friend."
I love the little drawing he made and carefully cut out to place beside his valentine for her. He actually drew each of us to be hung beside the hearts he made. Can I just freeze him at this age forever and keep him from growing out of these tender and creative gestures? I love him.

To Mother Nature,
We are tucking all our reds and pinks away today, a signal that winter is over and spring can begin. Please oblige in the not too distant future--by March would be perfect. Our fresh green pillows and cool blue vases look much more inviting next to sunshine rather than dreary gray skies. Thank you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Liventine's Day

We combined a birthday celebration for our babe with the holiday of love last night. Livs is still not quite a year old yet, but we love parties! We had the LeBaron family over for dinner and cupcakes and lots of love.

Our Liventine's party favors

Liv's frosted cupcake was a huge hit. Again.
She could really get used to all these parties!

With her adoring Uncle Bob

Oh, and I was there too :)

Olivia's actual birthday is this Thursday. How in the world is my baby already a whole year old? Growing and growing too fast...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Date

Remember that hubby time I was getting excited for today? Turns out said hubby is swamped with work, trying to get a million things done before a tight deadline next week. He really needed to work today. So I left him home, took the kids to their birthday party and opted for a date with my baby. We made returns at Old Navy and I admit that I also bought a new handbag which I may or may not keep. Then the 2 of us popped over to The Dodo for a tasty lunch.

Olivia was a most pleasant and smiley companion today--getting adoring comments from fellow shoppers and eaters. She is so sweet. Just look at that blue-eyed beauty, my funny little valentine:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

When We Were 3

Last Saturday, both Bentley and Cares were invited to a birthday party. Joseph dropped the kids off, picked up Livs (fresh from her morning nap) and me and we were off. We grabbed lunch at Gandolfo's in Draper and then popped over to JoAnns to return some things and peruse the store for a while. It was lovely. Just Joseph and me with one baby in tow. It felt like a date! We talked to each other, then cooed over Livs, and discussed serious, pertinent things as we drove around--because we simply had a baby in our car who didn't care one bit about the things we were saying. And she never interrupted us or asked us "who" and "what" we were talking about. Delightful. For our 90 minutes as a trio I was reminded of not too long ago when my family really was just 3--Mommy, Daddy and 1 adorable baby Bentley. Is it sad that I miss those days, especially when I gain a glimpse of them here and there?

It was just so easy and I really had no idea how idyllic it was until I had 2 children. I do think my hubby and I made the most of our 1 child state--lugging our tiny one all over the city (and the state...and Arizona and Mexico...) with us and making the very most of every free minute we had together. It helped that Bentley was the world's most content little guy and could fall asleep anywhere when it was nap time (namely his carseat, stroller, or hiking daughters are quite the opposite on this front and simply wait for their beds before sleeping--no matter how tired they are...) Such good memories. I do love my 3 darlings with all my heart, don't get me wrong. But everything we do as a family just takes so much more effort than it did back in the day.

This Saturday Cares and Beans are once again invited to a birthday party. And I am getting excited for our little window of enjoying just our one babe for a bit.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Heart Broadway

I don't know what it is but I am craving a good Broadway show these days. And I'm realizing as I'm typing it must have something to do with that fact that I have been singing my favorite tunes to Livs at bedtime the past few days. So many amazing songs to sing--I love a good musical. They always remind me of my days living in London when I could pop over to Les Mis or Beauty and the Beast any night of the week and grab a last minute, student rate ticket for like 15 pounds--such a steal!

I now feel compelled to make a list. And then I will have to make a new Broadway Favorites playlist so I can revel in all of these songs again. I wonder if I have all of them in my iTunes...

10) I Still Believe--Miss Saigon
9) Another Suitcase--Evita
8) Close Every Door--Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
7) This is the Moment--Jekyll and Hyde
6) Music of the Night--The Phantom of the Opera
5) On My Own--Les Miserables
4) Defying Gravity--Wicked
3) Seasons of Love--Rent
2) Race you to the Top of the Morning--The Secret Garden
1) Endless Night--The Lion King

I love that song so much. It holds a special spot in my heart, as does that whole show. It is the most beautiful and creative musical I have ever seen. A story for the ages for sure and one that will never get old for me. So now I need to find myself a ticket to see it! And since I am pretty sure the Salt Lake run in sold out next month, I will just have to find a way to see it in Vegas sometime. I really want to take Bentley and Caroline too...but we shall see.

My list is a good one (if I do say so myself :) but certainly not complete (I didn't want to double up from any one musical even though many of those have 3 or 4 amazing songs). What am I missing?

Monday, February 8, 2010


I love this whole outfit. I feel like I really need it too. Does that ever happen to you with clothes? Or shoes? Shoes are equally tempting to me. I dream about them often.

Maybe I can create my own, less expensive version of this look. What I really love is the printed dress, layered cardigan and skinny belt in that bright purple. Oh, purple. I want to wear you every day lately. I have deemed you the color of the season. I bought this beauty at Target last week--so bright and fresh! Of course I am in love with it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thank You Mr. Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest. What a silly and clever and totally entertaining play that is. Joseph and I saw it last night and it was such fun. Allow me to refresh your memory of (or introduce you to) the witty charm of Oscar Wilde:

In this scene Algernon is posing as the quite fictional younger brother of his good friend Jack--a man named Ernest. Jack has a ward, the young and precocious Cecily, over whom he is guardian. Algernon has just learned of his friend's hidden charge and decides to visit the country to meet her--all while posing as Ernest...

ALGERNON: ...I don't care for anybody in the whole world but you. I love you, Cecily. You will marry me, won't you?
CECILY: You silly boy! Of course. Why, we have been engaged for the last three months.
ALGERNON: For the last three months?
CECILY: Yes, it will be exactly three months on Thursday.
ALGERNON: But how did we become engaged?
CECILY: Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger brother who was very wicked and bad, you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between myself and Miss Prism. And of course a man who is much talked about is always very attractive. One feels there must be something in him, after all. I daresay it was foolish of me, but I fell in love with you, Ernest.
ALGERNON: Darling! And when was the engagement actually settled?
CECILY: On the 14th of February last. Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lover's knot I promised you always to wear.
ALGERNON: Did I give you this? It's very pretty, isn't it?
CECILY: Yes, you've wonderfully good taste, Ernest. It's the excuse I've always given for your leading such a bad life. And this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters. [Kneels at table, opens box, and produces letters tied up with blue ribbon.]
ALGERNON: My letters! But, my own sweet Cecily, I have never written you any letters.
CECILY: You need hardly remind me of that, Ernest. I remember only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always three times a week, and sometimes oftener.
ALGERNON: Oh, do let me read them, Cecily?
CECILY: Oh, I couldn't possibly. They would make you far too conceited. [Replaces box.] The three you wrote me after I had broken of the engagement are so beautiful, and so badly spelled, that even now I can hardly read them without crying a little.
ALGERNON: But was our engagement ever broken off?
CECILY: Of course it was. On the 22nd of last March. You can see the entry if you like. [Shows diary.] 'To-day I broke off my engagement with Ernest. I feel it is better to do so. The weather still continues charming.'
ALGERNON: But why on earth did you break it off? What had I done? I had done nothing at all. Cecily, I am very much hurt indeed to hear you broke it off. Particularly when the weather was so charming.
CECILY: It would hardly have been a really serious engagement if it hadn't been broken off at least once. But I forgave you before the week was out.
ALGERNON: [Crossing to her, and kneeling.] What a perfect angel you are, Cecily.
CECILY: You dear romantic boy. [He kisses her, she puts her fingers through his hair.] I hope your hair curls naturally, does it?
ALGERNON: Yes, darling, with a little help from others.
CECILY: I am so glad.
ALGERNON: You'll never break off our engagement again, Cecily?
CECILY: I don't think I could break it off now that I have actually met you. Besides, of course, there is the question of your name.

So maybe you should just see it for yourself--YouTube has the entire movie broken into several 9 minute segments. Check out the first few minutes of this one (should sound familiar if you read above...)

We saw the play at Hale Center Theater and it was very well done. Too bad Algie didn't quite have Rupert Everett's gorgeous hair...but then again who does? Besides Rupert of course...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Good Read

Cares choose this book from the library last week and we have been reading it nonstop. It's basically The Monster at the End of this Book but redone a little bit to include flaps and pop-ups. It has been so fun to revisit this story as it was a huge favorite in my home growing up. I am pretty sure my siblings and I beat that book to a pulp with how many times we read it! Such a classic.

I just discovered it at Sesame Street eBooks and think I'll check it out with my kids. But can anything really replace snuggled up, one on one parent-child reading time? I most certainly think not.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Onesies

For some silly reason I adore that nickname (in the title) for miss Olivia and her cousin/buddy/almost-brother/baby-playmate mister Connor. Technically, Olivia is not yet 1 but little Connor is (as of 20 or so days ago) and so we celebrated the darling babies' first birthdays last night.

We had a "Princess and The Frog" theme which my sis and I had so much fun prepping for. We invested in pinks and greens, frogs and tiaras, colorful candies, party games for the big cousins, delicious food, and delightful party guests. I am realizing we had such an easy time with things because both the onesies took late afternoon naps during most of the festivities--and woke just in time for the traditional, first birthday, cupcake annihilation. Such fun for the babies, and all of us watching them :)

Candy everywhere!

A closer look at the banners I made (with the help of my amazing hubby, of course).
I am quite proud of these--probably because we tried a few different approaches before settling on the final product. So, they were a lot of work but I loved making them--something about bringing an idea to fruition...

Speaking of my hubby, my Dad got him started on penicillin because it's looking like he has strep throat. Joseph obligingly wore a mask just to be safe. He's a good sport :)

a little frog dot-to-dot (and Princess Tiana coloring pages for Maddie and Cares)

These next pics are all from our game of "What Are You Kissing?"--a hands free guessing game

The kids LOVED the kissing game

And I love this silly cross-eyed kiss from Bentley

Our darling cupcakes made by this business (co-owned by an old friend of my little sis)

Livs devoured her cupcake handily--quietly and with great focus--but I could tell she was very pleased with her cupcake, especially the delicious pink frosting

Olivia's tubby buddies: Max and Connor

All bathed and cleaned up in her birthday tutu and brand new chair from Grandma Bobbi and Grandpa Sherm. As you can see she was not going to wear that headband.

My tiny princess and her soft little frog