Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Brigg

We finally got to meet this gorgeous babe yesterday. He is such a tiny mush and we love him already. Cares was of course quite excited to hold her baby cousin--she is fascinated by and in love with all babies. Sweet Brigg--he is such a beautiful site. Makes me rather eager to have another one of my own!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tulle Pom-Poms

The girls and I felt a bit crafty this morning and whipped up a few hair clips with tulle pom-pom puffs on them. We used the tulle we had on hand but I'd like to try some in silver or gray and add some sequin or tiny rhinestone sparkles to them.

We used Martha's instructions and they were very easy. They also seem easy enough to modify for making tinier puffs--just make the tulle half as wide (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches) by 20. Fun stuff. Makes me want to plan a fun birthday party for Olivia and get things all ready. But I am actually hoping to be in sunny SG that weekend as celebration enough!

Notice that Caroline's rash is all cleared up on her random...

Thursday, January 27, 2011


...Cares is sporting a bright, lovely rash all over her beautiful cheeks and down onto her abdomen. We saw her doctor this morning and feel reassured that it's nothing more than a pesky viral rash--one that should clear up in the next 24 hours or so.

...I am going on day 10 with a hoarse, barely there voice and I'm losing patience with it. Just the fact that I cannot sing Baby James to my Caresie each night makes me sad, but I am a teacher by trade and last night's classes were not pretty. I feel like helpless (annoying) little Ariel...but I need my voice back! I mean, maybe I need to serenade my man too and remind him why he fell in love with me in the first place!

...I am furiously trying to get another blog book edited and ready to print before my Blurb Groupon expires.

...I read this post over on C.Jane's blog and liked that it made me think about substance--not only on my blog but in my life in general. In response to the Mormon Mommy Blog article flying around the internet, I think C. Jane shared an excellent response.

...My hubby is finally beginning to recover from his own bout with the flu. We are such a sad pair these days--going to bed at 9:00 pm every night, sleeping with the humidifier in our room and feeling too exhausted to spend much time together. I am getting excited for healthier days and a much needed date night out. My mom brought me an article on this Dorothea Lange exhibit and I am very eager to see it. Miss Lange played a major role in my master's degree research and thesis many years ago--her work is quite powerful.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Modern medicine is totally genius.
And yes, I have used all of these the past week (and a few of them in the past hour--now that my body no longer feels like a train wreck, I am a congested, coughing, mess.
But I feel soooo much better. I'll take it.)

Now, what I really need is a tropical escape. Last year we got it right and headed to Hawaii.
Oh, Hawaii....

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Pics from last weekend:

The kids had a lot of fun on the new sleds at the cabin. I had to try them out too and they are coolio--so fun to steer and curve down the hill. It's like riding a mini car.

Cares loved the brakes and used them all too often. It was funny to see her gain any speed at all and then brake to a full stop.

Joseph taking the old-fashioned sledding route

Cares snuggling Sadie (and Livs joining in from afar)

Livs and Max watching a show in Grandma's bedroom

Polka dot overkill.
Just wait until we get a chance to have Cec and Stacey join in!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I am not going to lie, the past 4 days have been torture for me and are easily the worst I have felt...ever. Maybe the one day I got the stomach flu when I was brand new pregnant with Olivia and barfed even more during a 24 hour period than I normally do with morning sickness--maybe that compares to what I felt this week. But honestly, I have been miserable. The flu of 2011 (for lack of a better name) hit me hard. I am just so not used to feeling so awful non-stop and not knowing how to fix it. It is so hard to be a mom and feel so ill. Even the simple tasks of getting Bentley from school or fixing the girls some lunch have been so hard. Plus, I have zero voice so my kids don't hear anything I say (except Olivia--she kind of loves the calmness of the whispers I share with her :) I have been in tears way too many times the past few days over my throat hurting so bad, my hubby heading out to work, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if I am ever going to feel even a little bit better (BTW--have you ever cried when you have no voice? It is quite a pathetic sound.)

And now, enough of my sob story. Especially because I went to bed at 6:45 pm last night with Nyquil, woke up a few times to hack up half my lungs and the drowsily fell back into a sleep coma, and then by 12:30 am woke-up feeling so much better already. My throat had finally calmed down and wasn't hurting as much and my body felt so happy to have had some solid sleep. I laid in bed thinking about how grateful I felt to feel improvement. Then a whole list of things came to mind reminding me how blessed I am.

1) Joseph. He has been taking such good care of all of us the past week making dinners, doing laundry, getting baths and homework and haircuts (for the boys) done, and running a hundred errands (often times to Walgreens--they love us there this week). He is so patient and loving and helpful--even staying home from work yesterday morning so he could attend Bentley's little reader's theater at school because I was sure I couldn't make it. He is the real deal and I will always encourage my daughters to marry a man just like him.
2) My dad. He called in a last minute prescription for me while he was doing surgery yesterday. His assistants saw my text and he had them call me from the OR and get everything figured out for me right away.
3) NyQuil. I hardly ever take that stuff because the sleep agents in it mess with my head, but it certainly numbed everything in my mouth and throat and allowed me some much needed rest last night.
4) Our neighbor Russ. He came over last night to help Joseph give me a Priesthood blessing. I love that he would come at a moment's notice and aid our family like that. I am also so grateful that if Russ hadn't been home, there are at least a dozen other good, good men in our neighborhood who we could call to come over. That is a such a good feeling.
5) Facebook. I needed help with my sore throat and got some great advice right away. I honestly tried most of the ideas and they each worked for a little bit, 10 or 15 mins at most. But any relief was good news at that point.
6) Baby Brigham. Just before falling back to sleep around 1:00 am last night, I got the happiest text--my big sis had just delivered her 5th babe!! I was elated and it made my heart feel so happy. Whenever I woke up again in the night to cough or grab a refreshing spray of Chloraseptic I thought of Cec and her new one and just felt so much love for the both of them. It makes me smile now to think about them. I'm sad I am not well enough to run over to the hospital and hug the pair of them right now, but luckily she only lives 8 miles away.

Today is already shaping up to be 10 times better than any other this week and I am thrilled to be feeling better.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Too Sick

Last night around 10:00 pm I started feeling horrible--a pounding headache, burning chest, and sore joints and muscles. This morning I could be found in the fetal position in bed fighting off racking chills. Joseph brought our freshly washed and dried sheets into the room and wrapped them around my freezing body. They felt amazing. I think it was the best part of my day.

Anyway, we had a lovely cabin weekend (even though no one recovered from any sickness but just seemed to acquire new symptoms). I feel too tired to grab pics off my camera--but not too tired to watch Bachelor. 'Til later...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Everyone made it out the door late today. And I was just fine with that because I decided to let everyone sleep as long as they needed to. Livs woke right at 7:00 (pretty good for her lately) but it was quite a while before we saw anyone else this morning. Bentley finally wandered upstairs at 8:20, Joseph woke up at 8:25, and the two of them had breakfast together before heading out of here at 8:50--20 mins past the bell at school. But sometimes I just have to let my kids sleep in. Beans will be fine without those 20 minutes today and hopefully the extra sleep will help everyone in our house finally recover from their wicked colds.

Cares had preschool at 9:00 and Livs and I waited until 8:55 to wake her up. Amazingly, we still got her to school by 9:07 (preschool down the street is my new favorite thing).

Now for a random pic of my nearly 2 year old baby:

Loving Liv's soft curls and her bright blue eyes

And did you know we now have a pet fish thanks to a white elephant party? Cares calls him "Goldie" and Beans calls him "Big Gills" and neither will budge on calling him anything else.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cousin Sleepover

We had Johnny & Krista stay with us back in December but I am just now getting around to posting pics. I love that our kids are getting old enough to play together really well and sleep together without major issues (do chatting and giggling until 10 pm count as major issues for Sisi and Cares? Cute Bentley was worn out and fell right to sleep while Kai roamed around the basement until he felt ready to sleep).

Once we got all the kiddos to sleep we stayed up with John and Krista playing trains and just hanging out. With all the Christmas festivities during December it was so nice to have some real face time with those two. And snuggle the darling baby Anders.

The morning arrived, we ate a huge breakfast, and then the kids were dying to go outside--even when the snow was mostly melted. The boys (dads) took it upon themselves to gather up remaining snow and create a tiny little sledding strip on the front lawn which the kids happily used again and again.

I opted for the role of designated babysitter and Anders, a sleeping Livs and I stayed inside while Krista documented the fun.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

At the Museum

Late Friday night I was working on my lesson for the YW on Sunday--one all about developing a relationship with the Savior. Joseph suggested we go see the Carl Bloch paintings of Christ at the BYU Museum of Art as preparation for the lesson and an educational family outing. And so we did just that, late yesterday afternoon.

We arrived with our tickets and our small kids to find a very full museum. I started to feel apprehensive about bringing my young family to view the artwork, knowing these paintings were quite spiritual works surrounded by reverent and respectful viewers. As soon as we entered the exhibit, Olivia wanted to roam, Cares insisted on being held and Bentley seemed a little overwhelmed. I thought we would last 2 minutes before needing to bail and wondered why we had brought our children instead of trying to find a babysitter. After following my busy Livvies past several works and around many corners, we traced our steps back to a painting of Jesus in Gethsemane and found Joseph crouched down low with Bentley tucked under his left arm and Cares gathered up on his right knee. Joseph was quietly explaining the scene to our children and in doing so he reminded them of the words from Gethsemane, a beautiful children's song all about Christ in that very garden. Standing just behind the 3 of them, I felt the tender power of those words and then the sweetness of Joseph's testimony as he described our Savior's suffering for each and every one of us. I loved how Bentley and Cares were staring up at the huge oil painting, listening intently and sitting very still, snuggled close to their daddy in that gallery.

I am so glad we went as a family, even if it only provided one short but important teaching moment during the course of the night. Maybe my kids will remember how they felt and maybe they won't, but I will remember how I felt. And my heart was completely full.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Last night Joseph walked in from work with these beautiful lilies--just for me. Flowers on a Thursday in January. He told me that the flower lady was quite interested in his purchase. When he told her that they were for his wife she asked "for a special occasion?" He replied "just because she's the best wife."

Well played, hubby. Thank you for bringing a little romance into our crazy (happy) lives.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In Retrospect

2010 was a good year. A really, good year in fact. I feel like I learned some new things, tried some new things, visited some new places, and had a lot of fun with family and friends.

My favorites from 2010:

1) Celebrating 10 years of marriage with my hubby in Kona, Hawaii.

2) Finally tackling yeast and making many, many batches of no-knead bread, pizza crust and cinnamon rolls.

3) Training for and racing in 2 sprint triathlons.

4) My new road bike.

5) Chicago. Traveling with 3 kids is super hard work but so very worth it for me. I loved exploring the city with them and feeding off of their excitement and amazement. Next stop, Europe--right babe?!

6) Reading The Book of Mormon with Joseph start to finish (2nd year in a row.) I wish I had a journal of all the times/places we read together--late nights in our cozy bed, in the car while driving to Sunday dinner, snuggled up at the cabin and relaxing on the top of the house boat after sunset.

7) Our annual Smith family Lake Powell trip in July. Always a favorite vacation.

8) Attending the temple 10 out of 12 months this year--a huge step for me in the right direction. Joseph and I also took our kids on several outings to different temples: Las Vegas, Oquirrh Mountain, Salt Lake City, and Chicago--a family tradition we are eager to build upon.

9) Working with my sisters and big brother on compiling my mom's 60th birthday present--a collection of 60 letters from beloved people in her life. It was a big undertaking (mostly because we wanted each letter on the specific stationary we created and organized just so) but definitely worth it. I think my mom loved it and will treasure those kind sentiments and words of love for many years to come.

10) All the small and simple moments I spent being a wife and mother. It's all about family these days and I am completely in love with mine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Eve

How was your New Year's Eve? We celebrated with the lively Adams Family (Joseph's mom's side) early in the afternoon. In fact, we were home with plenty of time to put our kids to bed early (7:30--they were wasted from so much partying/holiday"ing") and complete a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle by 10:30 pm. And then we kissed each other goodnight and went to sleep. I woke up at midnight to fireworks outside my window and had to think really hard before realizing what they were (or more so "why" they were). One day I envision myself staying up late to celebrate but sleep is just too inviting while wrestling small kids all day.

Cares and her Sisi and her Tillie (cousins who are all 4 going on 5)

And here's my homage to early church—although I had to get the kids and myself all fed and dressed by myself this morning (Joseph's meetings now start at 7:00 am), I love that we have so much of the day ahead of us for interviews (Joseph and the kids), making a yummy dinner, and Olivia's nap. We are totally going to rock the 9 am church schedule. And make it to church on time 90% of the time. Or 80%...