Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fun at the Treehouse Museum

On Mon, Zac and I used the free tickets we won back at the Walk for Babies and took the kids up to the Treehouse Museum. We were surprisingly impressed with all the fun things they had to do. Sooo many dress-up, role-playing, imaginative play possibilities. The only draw-back was trying to keep tabs on all the kids (well, Samuel and Elisabeth in particular). We had to each assign ourselves to one kid and keep to it (since there was one incident early on when I went to Zac to make sure he had Elisabeth and he said, nooo he thought I had her - and I went on a mad scramble through the 2 floors of exhibits looking for her until I circled back around, frantic and ready to panic, to find that some nice mom had brought her to find her family . . .ugh.)

Anyway, lots of fun and a great way to spend a winter day!
(just wish it were a lot closer . . . and free . . . haha) ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a lovely Christmas. I was feeling better by the day of Christmas Eve, and we made cookies, and sang songs and did our usual Christmas Eve stuff. My mom and Chelsea came down to spend the night, which was fun. I don't think they've ever joined us for Christmas Eve before - or it's been a long time if they have. Here are some pics:

(the annual Christmas eve PJ's)

(the hard work of Christmas eve done for another year)

(I gave Zac a framed photo of him running out into nothing in his 50 mile race)

(Good Morning Grandma and Chelsea!)
(Isaac and Battleship)
(Elisabeth and fake make-up set. Grandma gave her actual real make-up - and that has now been hidden away out of necessity. hahaha. The stick-on earrings from Grandma were a big hit, though. She loooooves make-up and jewelry, which is just so funny to me, because she sure didn't learn that from me.)

(Samuel and play cash register)

(And finally, Abigail and her "disguise kit." This was the only specific thing she asked for - and I was kind of at a loss, both for how to find such a thing, and what she would actually do with it. But I found some fake teeth sets at the dollar store and ordered some fake noses from amazon and called it a "disguise kit" and here is one such creation (below). She really is hilarious. And next she says she wants some fake glasses and wigs. It must be the love of stage and theatrics in her, because otherwise I have no idea what to think of all of it. haha)

(and no pics of me this year. I guess I controlled the camera. But Zac did a great job picking things off my Amazon wish list and getting me my most favorite treats, which always makes me feel loved. We made the mistake of ordering things for each other using the same Amazon account, so I opened all the packages when they arrived, and didn't get many surprises this Christmas. But that's ok. The best thing, though, was the cord he bought for the Aux plug in the back of the van that reaches up to the front driver's seat and allows me to plug in my ipod!! yippee!!) :)
So, all in all, I think everyone had a great Christmas this year.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, as well!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

letting go (and pics from yesterday)

So, it has been interesting to me this year to step back and evaluate where all my desires are coming from, what my expectations are and why, and what things are really "musts" in my mind as far as Christmas to-dos and which things can be let go. And then, as the weeks have flown by even faster than I thought possible, I have eliminated even more from my "shoulds" and "coulds."

There is so much good. So many great things to do, memories to create for my children, bonding family time, things to see and cherish and wonder. And this time of year, we want to serve and show love to others, especially those closest to us. We want to do so much. I want to do so much.

But I can't.

I know "simplifying" is very catchy and popular these days. But it's hard for me sometimes to let go of things that I really do want. Things I want for me and my family, for my kids. Experiences I want them to have, things I want them to feel in all of this doing.

But I have had to remind myself lately that this year just might not be the most stellar year in our family history of Christmas fun. And that's ok. It will be ok. It might even be better than ok.
I am trying to silence the voices in my head that remind me of all the things we've done in the past that we're not doing this year. I can't even delineate all the reasons why. It just is. And I am trying to let go of some of the expectations I have had.

Here are just a few:
1. we are not driving to Salt Lake to look at the lights at Temple Square
2. we are not going to Gardner's Village to see the cute elves
3. we're not sending Christmas cards (although I bought them and fully intended to) - or a family newsletter - or pictures
4. we're not doing a Christmas scripture and song program at home
5. we may or may not make cookies and/or deliver them to friends
6. we didn't hang up lights outside our house
7. I didn't even rearrange the decorations where I would normally put them (they sit wherever whoever took them out put them)
8. we didn't order my German food for our new traditional Christmas dinner
What are you letting go of this year??
Edit: In the time since I wrote this post last night, I've come down with the sickness that Nathan has had for the last 5 days or so. chills, aches, headache, congestion etc. Zac also started feeling sick last night. So, it appears I need to readjust my expectations even further. Still on my "must" list was cleaning the house (because it drives me crazy having holidays in a mess), going grocery shopping, getting Nathan's haircut, and last minute wrapping and stockings.
I'm not even sure now what will actually get done . . .
can we maybe just skip Christmas this year?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lucky 13

Today Zac and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary. Wohoo!

(This was my favorite bridal photo, taken at the Utah State Capitol building (although a pic of a pic doesn't do it justice) :)

And to celebrate, we are doing this (sometime this year):

I am so excited to fulfill this lifetime dream of mine that I just about squeal every time I think about it. I found a really great deal (60% discount) on one of those Daily Deal emails and just couldn't resist. So I bought the tickets and have a year to use them. I was thinking autumn would be a beautiful time to be flying over the mountains - but I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long, so we'll see. No matter when we go, though, I know it will be incredible and I can't wait!

(and, lest you think we always do amazing things for our anniversaries, let me briefly mention the one time we were grocery shopping on our anniversary and Zac picked out a card for me while I was standing next to him. Yep. Some years have definitely been better than others.) :)

Happy Anniversary, Zac.

(also, tonight is a complete lunar eclipse - so maybe we'll stay up and watch it, and toast with our sparkling cranberry-apple cider! exciting!) :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

recitals and performances

In the last week or so we have been pretty busy with the annual Christmas music recitals and school performances!

Isaac's 4th grade class sang "Hot Cup of Cocoa."

Abigail's 6th grade class sang a funny version of "Noel" (with the chorus refraining things such as "no whale", "oh well", and "no well" - you'd have to hear it)

Elisabeth's preschool class did a cute presentation, including singing "Up on the Housetops."

Abigail had her violin recital at her teacher's house where she performed the entire Suzuki Book One. She's now ready to move on to Book 2 and that's pretty exciting!

And Isaac had his piano recital where he performed "Flamenco Dancer" and "We Three Kings."

I'm so proud of all of them (including Samuel who didn't have a school performance this time).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Zac's Sibling Christmas/Birthday Party

Three brothers:
Three sister-in-laws (no photo, sorry) ;)
11 cousins:

One dang fun party!

[unfortunately absent from the sibling fun: one brother in IN (and his wife and 2 kids), and one sister in NJ (and her husband and 2 kids) We miss you!]
Merry Christmas, guys. It was lots of fun getting everyone together.

birthday before and after

Zac's boss pointed out to him the other day that we must be in the stage of life where our "needs" still make pretty good gifts. Indeed, indeed.

I don't even think his boss even knew that we had actually mutually decided to get this:

as a combined birthday gift for both Zac and myself (since my bday is in just a couple weeks, hint hint hint).

I know, it's such an exciting gift. (Does this make us pathetic that this is what we are giving each other? Oh well.)

So, today as part of my "gift" for Zac's birthday, I tackled the family room. It really needed it. A friend of mine has inspired me to post before and after pics of simple accomplishments (even though I cringe a little to do so, the difference is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. Just don't judge me).

Here's the before pic:

And after:

Ta-da!! I have to say, the carpet cleaner was pretty awesome, too. (and someday we'll even replace this old ratty freecycled couch)
But hey, maybe on my birthday . . . he'll even clean the living room for me. aww, yeaaah. ;)

naughty or nice

Sorting through some papers Isaac brought home from school, I found a worksheet with this assignment:

Topic: Should I be on Santa's Naughty or Nice list?

My opinion: I don't really care about what list I'm on because he doesn't exist. But I think I would be on the nice list if he existed.

Reason #1: I am not yelling in the house like my two younger siblings.

Reason #2: I am a crazy video game boy - but I always do my chores - so if you don't like video games "Boo-you" to you cause I'm still smart!

Reason #3: I always wait patiently when I have treats and I don't beg for things like my little siblings.

Reason #4: I am a great example and I am smart!

I notice 2 themes here: he's better behaved than his younger siblings, and boy, he's smart! ;)
This kid cracks me up.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


{Picture reposted from Dec 2008)

Well, I say it every year. But I am just so thankful that this cute little boy grew up to be the man I love so much.
So glad you were born, Zac.
Happy Birthday.

(and it occurred to me this morning that I have now known him -and have been wishing him yearly Happy Birthdays - for exactly half of his life (and mine) - and that is just crazy)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a couple Christmas songs for today - Enjoy

(if you are viewing this by email or on FB, you may need to click on "view original posts" to see the videos)

Monday, December 13, 2010

he loves me:)

(I don't really know what this is or where it came from, but I love that he left it just for me this morning. mmmm . . . lemon)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Zac tossing homemade pizza dough

yeah, he's pretty much awesome at it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

following in my footsteps

Elisabeth told me that she was going to read my book while she ate her breakfast. :)

(ps - my lips are still zipped. But it's fun to post just pics for a bit.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

my new baby nephew has finally arrived!

welcome to the world, little one. :)

(2 wks late, over 24 hrs of induced labor ending in a c-section, you can sense his reluctance to be here in his expression. But trust me, baby boy, you'll like it here. Promise.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Ballet Showcase

Abigail had her annual Christmas Ballet Showcase on Sat. at the studio and she did such a beautiful job (she's the one in the middle). I was very impressed with her gracefulness and expression as she danced.
(I decided to just post the pics on here rather than the video that I posted on FB, sorry).

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It was an afternoon where I thought I might be losing my mind, so I took Elisabeth for a drive.
The water at the marina by Utah Lake was very nearly frozen solid.
It was sooo cold, but kind of pretty.
And I felt better.

east and west

a few nights ago, this was the sunset to the west:

and this was the sunset reflected off the mountains to the east:

and the reflection a few seconds later:

love it.
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