Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

My friend Christy inspired me to do a post on what Christmas looks like at my house.

Christy and I have had lots of conversations on why it is that we blog. Blogging is a very time consuming thing and there has to be a good reason for doing it, right?

We came to the conclusion that we blog because it is how we are choosing to record the daily happenings of our family life. My hope is that some day this will be a way that my children and their children can remember and learn where they come from.

So when she posted the Christmas pictures of her house- I thought it was such a fun way to record what it looks like in our house too!

My pictures leave a little something to be desired, but you get the idea.

Here's how we display all the Christmas cards that come our way....what's up this year people? Keep them coming!
The mirror in the entry way....I love this!
the stockings were hung.....
Oh Christmas tree....
This sleigh was Erik's dad's when he was just a little guy....
a little of this....
and a little of that.
So there you have it. A little peek into our house at Christmas time. I hope this idea inspires you to give us a peek in to your house too! Thanks Christy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I'm not sure what the heck has happened, or who told her she could do it, but Nicole has turned 18 and is now a legal, voting adult.

Erik and I must have done something especially great in Heaven to be chosen to be Nicole's parents.

There is one word that pretty much sums up her whole existence. That word is awesome.

She excels in everything she does, she makes the world better place every single day, and she doesn't give herself any credit for anything good that she does. She's almost perfect.

Three weeks before her birthday, she announced that she wanted to have a dance to celebrate her big day.

By some miracle, the ward house was available on her birthday (the only day out of the whole month it was not already reserved!), so we booked it, made up 100 invitations and then Erik and I left on a cruise. :)

The night we got back, Erik disappeared for a few hours working on a little surprise we had for her birthday gift. I started working on decoration and food ideas for her party.

The day of her party, my lifesaver of a friend, Christy, and her children helped me decorate the gym and get everything ready while we waited for Nicole to come home from school.

Inside the garage, her surprise waited for her....

And this was her reaction.....
It was priceless. She cried and laughed and screamed and cried some more.

Then the party began....

In all the excitement, I neglected to take a picture of the birthday girl in all her sparkly dress-high heeled-gorgeousness, but I did manage to snap one blurry shot of the party.
It was a birthday to remember.

I'm so excited to see what her future will bring- she is just 5 months away from graduating and then she'll be off and running.

Happy Birthday Nicole! Thanks for letting us share it with you!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sail Away

You know how you have a million things to do the day before you leave on a trip?

Today my list of to-do's is long, because tomorrow Erik and I fly way on a trip for our 20th anniversary. It's a little early to be celebrating, but I will be neck deep in nursing school on the actual day so we are running away now while I still can breathe.

Back to the million things I SHOULD be doing. I should be packing, putting fresh sheets out for the sitter, organizing meals, finishing up that last load of laundry, but instead I find myself baking a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (oh and blogging).

It's so exciting to think that tomorrow I will be on an airplane flying somewhere warm and wonderful- but today, my heart is here with my kids and all that I will be leaving behind.

December is not the ideal time to run away. So much is going on. A lot had to be arranged for this to happen. And even with all of that, we are still missing out on much. Nicole has several events at school that we would have loved to support her in- a program to raise money for Sub for Santa, a dance that we were supposed to be chaperones at. She is also taking the ACT and I won't be here to make sure she has a good breakfast and to give her that last encouraging hug before she heads out the door. And that's just Nicole. I could go on and on with everything else.

So today, I am taking time to bake fresh cookies for my little loves. I want them to know that even though I am so thrilled to be running away with their daddy, that a part of me will be missing them the whole time I'm gone. Maybe these cookies will remind them of how much I love them. And that everything I do is for them and our family.

So for now, my to-do list will be set aside. And when they walk in from school today to the smell of pumpkin spice, hopefully that will give them something warm and wonderful to think about when I can't be here to tuck them in at night.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Day the Grinch Came to My House

It was the day after Thanksgiving and I had just finished putting up the last of the Christmas decorations when my house was bombarded with Whos (Student Body Officers) from Whoville (a.k.a. CHHS).
As they happily sat around visiting in the family room, then soon settling in for an afternoon nap,

the front door opened and in slithered the Grinch himself.
As he snuck around the house stealing stockings, wreaths and and ornaments,

and even candy canes from the littlest Whos, I wondered if Christmas would be ruined (or at least my decorating efforts).
But alas, I should have not worried for the Whos are amazing little people with tons of Whoville spirit.

Upon waking up, they did not cry about what was taken. Instead they gathered around a tiny Christmas tree and sang their little hearts out.
And as a witness to it all, what did I do?

Snapped about a billion pictures!

It's not everyday that you get to see How the Grinch Stole Christmas, acted out right before your eyes!
Why all of the theatrics you ask?

They were making a video for an assembly to get the kids at CHHS pumped for the annual Sub for Santa fundraiser!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Close To Home

A phone call from my friend alerted me to a car accident on a major street near our home.

"Has Nicole come home from school yet?" she asked.

The accident had occurred just down the street from the high school just a few minutes after school had let out for the day.

An hour or so later, we found out that the accident had indeed been a high school student. A Senior girl, and it had been fatal. It happened to be Nicole's friend from cheer her Sophomore year.

She was devastated.

This hit close to home. She was the same age as my daughter. I couldn't help but put myself into her mother's place.

We had just sent off the money for our high school graduation announcements. So had this mother. We had been applying for colleges. So had they. We had been dreaming of the future and what our child will become. So had this family.

A few weeks later, as Isaac was searching frantically for a lost shoe, he heard sirens behind our house. Isaac looked out the window in his bedroom.

"Mom! Come see! There's been an accident behind our house!" he yelled.

We watched out his window as emergency workers frantically raced around in what appeared to be organized chaos.

I could see mothers in pajamas standing around, looking helplessly on. As daylight started to shine light on the scene before us, I could tell it had been a pedestrian/vehicle accident. They were frantically working on someone on the ground. My heart sunk.

It was the hour when the middle schoolers are off to school. The road behind our house is quite busy at that hour and it had been so dark. I prayed it wasn't a student.

Isaac rushed off to school just as they were putting the victim in the ambulance. It didn't take off. Not a good sign.

Life flight came soon after, landing directly behind our house. They turned off the engine. Things started to slow down. Emergency workers seemed exhausted and their heads hung down. I knew they had lost the fight they were desperately trying to win.

A few hours later, I found out it had indeed been a child on his way to middle school. He was in 7th grade, just like Isaac. In fact, Isaac had had two classes with him, sitting behind him in one.

Again, too close to home.

I thought of this mother- who had just sent her child off to school on what appeared to be a normal day- and now was facing her worst nightmare.

I spent the day crying as I looked out at the scene behind my house. Police tape, fire trucks, flashing lights, news reporters.

We now have a pink memorial on the street we travel on daily reminding us of the young life lost there. Behind our house, a blue memorial.

These constant reminders have helped me to treasure each day with my children. I let them know, just a little more often, how much I love them. I hug them a little tighter. I find more joy in the simple daily events- family dinner, helping with homework, tucking children in.

My heart aches for the families who lost their precious children. And like so many others who have been affected by these tragedies, I will never forget.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Catch up

I know this is a bit ridiculous, and I do beg your pardon, but I need to play catch up on my blog (for posterity's sake, you know).

So here's how we spent Summer 2011....

We definitely did not do enough of this....
or this....
and can you ever get enough of this? Wet sandy faces. Gotta love 'em.
We enjoyed hanging out at the park with family for a reunion but the water was a bit distracting. Once the boys found it- that was pretty much it.

I never get tired of feet pictures, do you? Just wish I had glitter toes at the time so mine were all sparkly and such. :)
I win the mom of the year award for this one....swimming lessons.

Isaac (12) and Ian (7) have never had swimming lessons. The only excuse I have for this is my own phobia of swimming. But I finally realized it wasn't healthy to pass that phobia on to my children. So both the boys were enrolled and are now good little swimmers.
Love the mysterious.
Isaac can float! We weren't sure he would be able to do that since he has minus 20% body fat. :)
Then there was girls camp. Oh my! I was the camp director again this year and once again, for three months straight, I did or thought about little else. Girl's camp takes over your life and your house- literally.
But it is all for a very good cause I must say.

Fun was had by all- and testimonies were strengthened. So it was worth it all for sure.

We stayed in a lodge by Park City. It was awesome! Don't you love our chandelier?
And the table decorations? It wouldn't be girls camp without table decorations would it?
Some of my cute girls....
They all worked so hard helping in the kitchen or with whatever they were assigned to do!
The skits are always a favorite and this year was no exception. So much fun!
A week before school started, Nicole had her wisdom teeth removed. Her cute face says it all, doesn't it? No fun. It was fun for me though, I got to play nurse. :)
And now to the final event of the summer. One last BBQ with my family where we celebrated my mom and sister's birthdays.
It's all about the decorations I tell you. Tissue flowers have become my new love.
To keep the kiddos entertained and to help us get to know Grandma Rose and Aunt Terra better, I thought up some facts about each of them and the grandkids had to decide who it was about.

It turned out better than I had hoped because after everyone had guessed, the two birthday girls went through them all and shared a little more detail on each one. So fun!
And that my friends, is our summer in one post! Ahhhh. Now I feel better. Thanks for hanging in there!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Senior Pictures

Nicole came home from school this week with a packet of papers for us to look through regarding her upcoming graduation from High School.

I can't believe it's that time already!

For the past few months, we have been talking about the need to get her senior pictures taken. It's a tradition to have professional photos taken of your senior least that's what I've been told.

So everywhere we go, we are always looking for beautiful venues where her pictures could be done.

Recently we spent a weekend up in Park City and found some very scenic spots to have them taken. And since I am an amazing photographer, we decided to save a few bucks and just take them ourselves.

What do you think?

This one we call, "I'm so excited to finally be on my own and out from under the firm gaze of my ever present father." Didn't I capture the essence of that nicely?
Then there was this one...

It was just such a lovely backdrop that I couldn't resist. Her brothers couldn't resist either.

Speaking of her brothers, this one says, "You can't live with 'em, but I think I could live without 'em."

Ok, here's my favorite one....
It turned out really nice....after I cropped Isaac out of it!
I will definitely be leaving the photo taking to the professionals, and I am definitely going to miss this girl when she's off to college. But for now- we are enjoying every crazy, busy minute of her Senior Year!