Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kitchen Update

 the kitchen table became the center of chaos the day our granite came:
 and after:
 Joseph installed some under cabinet lighting and we like it so much we may add some more...
A close up of the backsplash:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sock Hoppin'

My cute sisters-in-law planned a darling sock hop party for the February birthday girls this past week (since Livs falls in that category we were able to help with things a bit too). I was planning to make my girls some poodle skirts all week but never got around to them until Thursday morning (they look cute enough but were super last minute and weren't really fitting my tiny ladies...) Luckily, Nanny had the same idea and whipped out 5 for all the granddaughters who'd be attending. They were awesome and fit the girls perfectly. And now we are the proud owners of 4 small girl poodle skirts so if anyone ever needs one you know who to call!
Anyway, the night began with crazy cousin playtime all around the house. Sisi and Kai are in town from Cali and the kids were so excited to see each other and just play (laugh, hug, chase, hide, run, giggle...the usual.) Then we gathered them up for some Twister which they loved (even if some were still figuring out which sides are right and left–they just loved stretching into silly shapes on the mat!)
 It was so fun to watch them. Cute Tiago arrived looking so sleek and adorable and opted for spinning the wheel because he didn't want his cool hair to get messed up.

We ate burgers, hot dogs, fries and root beer floats for dinner followed by cupcakes for dessert.
Then it was dance party central! Mary made a 50s dance playlist including the Hokey Pokey and the limbo. It was so fun to see the kids go wild and totally get into it.
 Of course there were also presents to be opened by the birthday girls:
At the end of the night we got almost all the kiddos corralled for a big picture so we needed serious entertainment to keep their attention. See how happy they all are? 
The reason for all the laughter: 
Joseph being silly with an awesomely ugly mullet wig. Simple pleasures...

We also got to meet the lovely baby Annacapri (Luke's cousin buddy—he's only 8 days older). Love the striped babies meeting each other for the first time.
And Johnny holding the pair of them together. Luke is in outfit number 2 for the night—that babe was blowing it out all over that night. Nothing like a sock hop to let it all loose!
 Luke snuggling with Nanny—he loved watching all the action and was quite content to watch the kids (as long as he was being held...spoiled baby :)
The 3 Kindergarten girls at the end of the night. I have big dreams for them to be college roomies their Freshman year and break all the boys' hearts! They would have such fun. I love how much my children adore their LeBaron and Smith cousins—I hope they will stay close forever. Guess we need to keep throwing parties like these!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2 Months

stats on this gorgeous babe:

weight: 13 lbs 11 oz.
height: 24.15 in.
no acne on his face but many faint bumps in his hairline
he can roll (since 7 weeks) from his belly to his back
he's smiling now and often gives us big, gummy ones after a feeding
his poops are less stressful
he has a reddish tint to his barely there hair
he loves to ride in the car and sleep in his seat--made our SG roadtrip a breeze last week
(but makes naptime at home less than breezy...)
he's one toasty little babe and can't handle many covers or he gets too sweaty
 at 7 weeks with adoring sisters

Monday, February 20, 2012

Olivia's Birthday

Scenes from our day. After dinner that night and finding 12 golf balls on their daily hunt the kids came inside saying "best day ever!"
 hiking Johnson's Trail in Snow Canyon
(Livs chose to go swimming and hiking on her birthday so we obliged)
 Luke clinging to my jacket while he slept

Had to add a pic of the babe in all his chubbiness...yummy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Olivia is 3

Dearest Most Darling Olivia--

Happy Birthday 3 year old girl! What a big girl you seem like these days; cooing over tiny Luke and saying "it's okay, mommy's here," hiking all the way to the Hidden Pinyon Overlook yesterday all by yourself, getting registered for preschool starting in August. Big accomplishments for my not so little lady.

I truly love everything about you Livs; the way you rub your nose with your tattered pink blanky just as you're falling asleep, the way you brush your blonde bangs out of your face all day long because you hate to leave any sort of hairdo in, your cute little scratchy voice and the way you read scriptures with us repeating such big words, how happily you play with Cares and enjoy all things girly with her.

You have had a big year rocking the whole potty training thing like a superstar and popping into a big girl bed without any troubles. You are still working on communicating when you are bugged by the kids or need help—screaming out is not the best way to get what you need...

Thanks for having a birthday right when we needed a getaway this weekend and for helping us remember that we're here to celebrate. On our walk yesterday we were down the street nearing the river and I told everyone it was probably time to head back home. You piped in and said "yeah, we better go back to St George for my birthday." Too cute. I love you pretty girl and all your vivacious running, playing, laughing and speaking. You make our life so full and so fun! Hope you have a happy day sweet Livvie Lous!

All my love,

a little video from our hike

Friday, February 17, 2012

Playtime in SG

We have escaped to the south and it feels lovely here! Yesterday we swam, went for a walk, layed in the sun eating golden Oreos, played catch with Bentley's super bouncer and let Livs spend her special birthday money from Grandma Bobbi at Target. It's her official big day tomorrow—the perfect reason to head out of town (and the kids are on winter break...)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Valentine's

 little surprises for my tiny lovelies (Luke got milk just like he always wanted)
 on the much enjoyed lunch date at IKEA with Livs and Luke
 a new picture of us

Our date ended with soft-serve, some frames and a new rug. And that's how it's done these days folks. One day we will celebrate Valentine's Day with grand adventures and romantic gestures like we did in our youth. One day. We did have a date night last Friday night. There was no dancing in the park or skinny dipping in the dark...but we did see We Bought a Zoo and enjoyed it (cried through it) thoroughly. Luke even behaved like an angel and snuggled in his sleep with me during most of it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Came across this list of the 10 Best Love Poems accompanied by famous artwork—perfect viewing for the holiday of love today. But it got me thinking too. If I were to create a list like that there were definitely be very different artwork included. Of course you can't go wrong with Klimt's The Kiss but where was Rodin's sculpture by the same name? Or the pop art LOVE sculpture? To each her own aesthetic I guess.
And if we're talking about poetry, why wasn't Robert Browning included? Or any of Shakespeare's sonnets? Those always remind me of this epic scene from my fave show as a teenager...Heidi Allen and Meagan Gilmore—this is for you:

Happy Heart Day! 
Glad I get to spend mine with my favorite valentine. We have big plans to meet for a lunch date at IKEA and shop for our home. Dreamy :)
August 2011--I need a newer photo of us!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

iPhone Pics Today

(I was at worldwide leadership training when the babe got hungry--glad I have a mini-mom in training)
 creating Bentley's valentine's box
(my kids are so lucky! finished product below)

We ended the day at Settebello for pizza and gelato with Joe's sis and her family. It was a party! Somehow I always nab pics when we eat out there and nowhere else...I do love the green walls in the gelateria!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

5 Thoughts and a Recipe

1. Thanks to new granite countertops all my kitchen drawers have been purged and organized. Love all the order it brings to my life. The tile backsplash is going up in the kitchen in about 10 days so I will post pics of everything when it's all the way finished (sneak peek in the bath pic below). The granite looks awesome and I LOVE my huge, new kitchen sink aka Luke's bathtub for the next 18 months!

 2. Speaking of granite, our bathrooms were also refinished and turned out quite lovely. Did I mention that Joseph bought credit at a granite shop during an online auction in December? We were able to do our kitchen, 2 bathrooms and get 4 new sinks for more than 50% off.
main bathroom before
 and after
 master bathroom before
 and after

3. Half of my family will be in Hawaii this weekend (and one of my sisters was just there in November—lucky!) They're going to enjoy the warm sun and gorgeous water and time together so much. I'm sad to miss out. But we're heading to SG fairly soon in search of a little fun, and maybe some sun, ourselves. Any vacation is a good vacation (swimsuits and I are not yet friends again anyway so it's good I'm not tempted by the beach...)

4. Best baby advice that we're using daily around here—putting Luke to bed when he's drowsy but awake so he learns to fall asleep on his own. He's brilliant at this during the night, returning to sleep after eating very easily, but we are still perfecting naps. I think I'm pretty rigid when it come to baby sleep methods but making baby learn to self-soothe has been the magic sleep trick for all my kids (there has been, and may continue to be, a lot of talk about sleep on this blog during the next while—typical of life with a new babe and me desiring to have more of it...)
5. I have been so unlike myself in the past week and tried 3 new recipes—3! I am amazed. This is not a normal thing for me. Turns out that we really liked all 3 of them too. I made crockpot chicken tacos, tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, and a first, I made the yummiest breadsticks. All recipes were found on family members' Pinterest pages and are going to become regularly used around here. I'm posting the easy-peasy breadsticks recipe below (thanks to Joe's cousin Catherine (breadsticks) and my sister Cecily (tacos & cookies):

EASY BREADSTICKS found on this blog via Pinterest:

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. flour

1/2 C butter (I think 6 T works just fine too and seems a little healthier :)

Mix all ingredients and knead for 3 minutes. I did this in my kitchen aid with the dough hook. Cover and let the dough stand for 10 minutes. While the oven is heating to 375 put 1/2 cup butter on jelly roll pan (deep cookie sheet) and let it melt completely. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into strips. Take your pan of melted butter out of the oven. I like to take my strips and basically dip both sides in the melted butter, fold in half, then twist. If you would rather just place the strips on the pan and not twist at all, that would be just fine too! Then sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Cover with a towel and let them rise 30 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.