This and That

Wow, has it really been that long since I last posted? I suppose we've just been busy enjoying the Christmas season, spending time with family, hosting a party, and loving our little family. All good things.

I have a new year post that will come tomorrow -- still working on my new word. That will be fun!

For now, here's a few random things that we've been up to lately.


We finally got a little family picture! In fact, I think this is the first family photo we've taken since W was born. Lame, I know. But at least we have one now! :)


Me and the little monkey. His hair is crazy, we know. One of these days we'll get to cutting it. Or maybe just a trim. We'll see...

We met up with the hubby's family at the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside for dinner this week. It was fun getting to see everyone again before they all headed back to Utah and Boston. We ate at a yummy restaurant there, but I was not impressed with our wait time -- it took us almost an hour and a half to get our food! Ridiculous, especially with small children. W had to be walked around and entertained by PaPa for a long time. Luckily there were lots of lights and Christmas decorations still up, so they got to see those.

Mission Inn dinner








I love the holiday season where we can get together with family, play games, eat good food, and just have a good time. Thanks to Janae, Renee and Lewis, the hubby and I also get a chance to have a date here and there! It's amazing. :) In fact, last night we got to go see Sherlock Holmes. I liked it a lot. We discussed some new things coming up for us this year and are working on the changes that we need to make. It's going to be a good year.

Be back tomorrow. (That's one of my goals for this year -- to blog a little more about our lives and not feel like I have to conform to what I think 'people' will want to hear, but to be more authentically me on this blog. I mean, it is my blog, so why should I be so concerned about it? But that's for another post...)


Holiday Happenings

December is here and the Christmas music is a-playin'!! I just love using Pandora and putting in something along the lines of Kenny G's holiday music and it gives me such great stuff! If it weren't for those pesky commercials (which they didn't use to have, btw) then it would be a perfect situation. But I know, I know, everybody's gotta make their money. :)

Anyways, Christmas music has been the one thing kept me going last week (that and getting to see my dad!!) because it had been a hard week! I'm not sure why, just lots going on and that ominous feeling of being overwhelmed has started creeping up on me lately. And it doesn't help that poor hubby was working until 10 o'clock almost every night last week, and this week he's sick and getting home 'early' means around 7pm. Crazy, I know. It's hard for me to feel grateful for a job that keeps him away from our family so much, but it does provide for us, so I'm glad for that. I can still be a little bitter about it, right? ;) Thanks.

Anyhoo, I've been slowly but surely getting our other decorations out of the garage abyss and putting up some things here and there. We even got the tree up this past weekend! It's so fun to get out all the ornaments and remember the ones I forgot we had. The boys 'helped' put ornaments up, and I know E had a fun time. I'm excited for the Christmas season, it's my favorite time of the year. And we've even been getting some cooler temperatures as well. It actually is starting to feel like there's a change to the season! I'm loving it.

Know what else I'm loving? That W is pretty much a walking fool! He's been teasing and taunting us with these 2-step jaunts that end in him falling dramatically to the floor, where he pounds the carpet with both his arms. Too cute. But now he's starting to take those hesitant long walks from the coffee table to the TV, which is a good 5 or 6 steps! And the best part? He gets up this momentum going and tries to get there as fast as he can before succumbing to gravity. Seriously, it's the funniest thing to watch. I'll have to try and videotape it one of these days and then figure out how to post it here. You'll love it. :)

I would just end it right here and say Happy Holiday, but what's a post without some pics? I know when I read other peoples' blogs, I always want to see more more more photos. So here you go. Enjoy!


The great rain we got earlier this week. I LOVE the rain and miss it from living in Texas where we would get these amazing rain and lightning storms. Like, light up the whole room in the middle of the night amazing. Yeah, I miss that.


W giving you a wave hello!


My favorite ornament right now -- commemorates our first home purchase last year.


E 'helping' to trim the tree. :)

We also made a gingerbread house that E has enjoyed picking apart a little here and there this week. :) I keep catching him just "taking a piece" off the roof or walkway. Too fun.

so ready to get started

Here's E, so ready to get started on this gingerbread house!

the goods

The goods.

sneakin' candy

Already sneaking candy and we haven't even started the house yet! Sheesh! :)

work in progress

Humble beginnings.

the finished product

The finished product! Not exactly the same as the perfect model on the box, but E didn't seem to mind when he was eating it. :)

And what was W doing while E and I were making our gingerbread house?

trying to escape

Trying to escape out the back door to the rain. And yes, he's got no pants on. My boys seem to like to be pant-less as often as possible. And since he was fighting off some diaper rash, I complied. Luckily we had no accidents. ;)

Well, that's about it for this week so far. I've also been busy wrapping presents and figuring out the big grandparent gift that we're doing this year. Have to get moving on that soon. I've also got a few other things here and there to finish up, and we also just decided yesterday that we're hosting the hubby's family for a Christmas Eve party at our house. With 17 people attending, it will be the most we've had here since we moved in, so I hope we can pull it off! If there are any good appetizer/small bite food recipes that you love, send them my way!

And if you're so inclined, we'd love some prayers for healing in our family. Like I said earlier, the hubby's sick, W has the end of a cold (probably where the hubby got it from) and E, well, I can't ever tell because he doesn't slow down even when he's sick, so he may be fine. I don't know. :) I'm just hoping I don't get anything because Moms don't get a day off to stay in bed and recover!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for my amazing immune system that allows me to fend off disease when every other member of my family gets it.

I'm thankful for close family members that allow my husband and I to get random date nights together, because we sure need it these days!

I'm thankful for my hard-working partner who provides so well for our little family, especially when it's not fun and hard. For the way he's constantly making me happy and making me laugh.

I'm thankful for two handsome boys who keep me on my toes and always trying to be a better mom for them. I fail miserably, but they make me try. And I'm thankful for moments like these:

extreme closeup!

I'm thankful for a wonderful sister who is inspiring and spiritual and whom I love to talk to.

I'm thankful for a wonderful sister who is hilarious and fun and whom I love to talk to.

I'm thankful for a wonderful brother who is serving a full-time mission for our church, who inspires me constantly with his devotion and amazing attitude, and whom I am so proud of.

I'm thankful for a wonderful sister who is just so cute, who makes me want to be more stylish, and who is the most caring person you'll probably ever meet.

I'm thankful for a wonderful brother who makes me laugh with the silliest things, who loves playing with my children and is growing into someone who they can look up to one day.

I'm thankful for an amazing mother who loves her children to the nth degree and who has so much creativity is just spills out of her. I'm so grateful to her for the hard life she led to raise SIX children at home (I have two and don't know how I survive some days!) and who tries so very hard to do what is right.

I'm thankful for an amazing father who taught me right from wrong and how to aspire to something greater. For the example of a great work ethic that he showed me.

There are so many more people and things in my life that I am grateful for, it would take a long time to list. Just suffice it to say that I am grateful for every single blessing in my life, recognized or not. And most of all, I am thankful to my Savior, Jesus Christ, for his sacrifice for me and my family and all that that means for me. I can't adequately describe how that makes me feel, both because I lack words and because it is so sacred to me. But I know that it's real and I am grateful.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?


happy happy birthday hubby dear!

Well, today is my sweet husband's birthday! I can't believe he's turning 40!

Haha, okay, maybe he's not that old. But I sure feel like we're getting closer to that every single day! Must be the kids that really take it out of me. Or maybe it's the distinguished salt-n-peppa hair that my sweet husband is sporting more and more of lately.

All I know is we're not 21 anymore. And I'm so glad that we're not!

So here are the top ten things that are better now than when we (you) were 21:

10. I don't have to worry about you hanging an "Iron My Shirt" sign in front of our house. At least, I hope I don't have to worry about that anymore.

i don't think so...

9. Pretty sure the platinum blonde days are over. White may be on its way, but not platinum blonde!

Platinum blonde?

8. No more creepy jealous roommate who sits on the couch with us while we're trying to talk to each other.


7. You know my family a lot better now and can laugh at a lot of our inside jokes!


6. We don't live in a state that requires us to own large and heavy down coats anymore.

little girl in a huge coat

5. No more vying with other girls for your attention! :)


4. You make more money now than you did back then (I know, it's not that hard to make more than a college student, but I'm still happy about it)!

(and I know this photo doesn't really have anything to do with the #4 thing -- I just like it of us.)

3. We don't have to live in a crappy first apartment anymore!

(please ignore the text, this is from when we were first looking at it to buy)

2. We are married! I'll just let you imagine all the great things that that entails and not elaborate...


1. And the best thing about our life now that we didn't have then? These two.



I love you, babe, and hope that we get to celebrate 29 more birthdays together!



just some fun stuff

Thought that maybe I'd share some recent layouts that I've been working on.

Here's what I've been seeing on my computer screen lately:

November Desktop

And don't worry, we still consider the hubby a part of the family, he just wasn't in Utah at the time we took these photos. Besides, this is on his computer's background, too, so it's more of a "we love you dad and hubby" kind of layout for him. :)

Here are some more I've done for various product designers at Scrap Girls:

This one is for Erica Hite's Redefine Collection. You can find all the supplies I used listed here.

This one is currently on the front page of the Scrap Girls Boutique! (It may be gone by the time you see this, who knows...) I made this for Melissa Renfro's monthly Club selection -- the Inspired Collection Biggie. So beautiful, don't you think? I love all the little details. :)

Like I said, just a few. There are going to be more coming out in December, so I'll make sure to post them here (or at least link them so you can see) and keep you all updated with my scrappiness. :)

Have a wonderful night -- and go create something yourself. I'd love to see it!


happy friday

It's a great Friday!

say what?!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


Just so you know...

Want to win a cool piece of jewelry from Lisa Leonard?

Simple Mom is having a giveaway! So go over and check it out! Trust me, you're going to love Lisa's designs, especially for those hard-to-shop-for women in your life. :)

(Are you taking notes, my love??)



Secret Agent? or Vaudeville Star? You decide!

Today we were inspired to create some laughs. And we needed some today, since E is now swine flu free (more on that later) and W is in the thick of a cold (not the flu -- knock on wood!). AND the hubby stayed home from work today with a cold as well. Boo.

So like I said, we needed some laughs. And if you would like to share in them with us, well then read on my friends, read on...


the 'stache

We made our own mustaches using this tutorial and had a lot of fun with them! We ended up sticking a few right onto ourselves and got some fun laughs.

And the best part? Once W got distracted with a toy, he kept his mustache on for a good 20 minutes until he realized it was there again. :)

Have a great night!



We've got a sick little one. Coughing and fever and not feeling well. I hope the little little one doesn't catch it. Sanitizing everything I can get my clorox wipes and hand gel on.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some fun pictures of recent stuff soon. I'll keep you posted.


This is a long, drawn-out post. Consider yourself warned and proceed at your own risk.

Ever feel like it's just going to be one of those days? Well, it's only 2pm and I'm ready to go back to bed, if that tells you anything about how my day is going.

First off, last night little W didn't sleep so well so both the hubby and I were up with him during various times of sleep-deprivation. So that meant morning came much too early for either of us.

Then we had a frantic morning with a tired and cranky baby, punctuated by the sound of something crashing and splattering out of the fridge. Cue my three-year-old, who knocked over a huge bowl of (yummy) Cafe Rio green sauce while trying to get out the fixings to make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


So after cleaning and mopping up that lovely mess, it was time to head out to the doctor's office for W's 9-month checkup, which had had to be rescheduled to 2 weeks after he turned 9 months old because the doctor's office lost our appointment. No record of it whatsoever when I asked them about it. And even though it was their fault, they made me reschedule for 2 weeks later. But whatever, that's in the past, I'm not bitter about that particular mistake. :)

So today was the rescheduled visit. We walked in to find about 20 people in the waiting room, spilling out into the hallway. Great. I signed in, and proceeded to watch Parent Trap (the Lindsay Lohan version, not the original, which I really enjoy) for over an hour. In the meantime, people were being called in, but a lot of people were not, so I didn't think much of it. By the time that we had been waiting for an hour and 10 minutes, I finally went up to the counter to ask how long it was going to be. She asked for his name, and looked in her pile of charts and realized that his is not in the stack.


Apparently when we signed in, the receptionist was on the phone and too busy to remember to check us off when we put our name down.

Needless to say, we didn't even get our chart pulled or signed in until I went up to the counter and asked, after I had watched half of the movie. She promised me she would get us in next.

And still we waited. For another 20 minutes.

[It was at this point that I should have just left, but I had already paid my co-pay and I figured I may as well stay and get my money's worth.]

Finally (and I do mean finally -- E was on his last bit of patience, not to mention mine was beyond recovery at this point) we got called back and they took all of 5 minutes to check his height, weight, and hemoglobin count. Luckily he didn't need any shots (which I had no idea about, since every other checkup had meant shots up until this point) and so after briefly discussing his eating, height percentile (75th) and weight percentile (95th, lol, the chunk), we were good to go.

And as much as I really love our doctor (she's so sweet and caring), we had a horrible experience at the her office today (and by reading the backstory, you know it's not the first). Which means that as much as I don't want to go through the hassle of it all, I am on the look-out for a new one. That doesn't make me happy.

Which is why I'm ready to go back to bed for a nap.

So tell me, how is your day going??


Stair-climber and other nonsense

This little man. What are we going to do with him??

I swear, he's lucky he's so adorable because otherwise, he'd be on the first boat to Where the Wild Things Are.

[Sidenote: I don't suggest seeing that movie. While it was visually cool, I was bored for most of it. Wait 'til it comes out on DVD, in my humble opinion.]

Recently W has been keeping us on our toes! He's a fast little crawler, so you have to watch him at all times. The minute your back is turned and you've forgotten to put the gate up, this happens:





And while he's great at going UP the stairs, he still hasn't mastered the DOWN part. At least not without falling headfirst onto the wood floor (and that has only happened once).

But, like I said, he's lucky he's cute:



In other news, E was recently "really brave" (as he told us) and went on a merry-go-round. He's pretty wary of going on any kind of movable ride, probably since I made him go down the Alpine Slide with me this summer. Bad mom! :) Hahaha, but he told us he wanted to go on it and so we went! You can watch the progression of feelings, ha.

First, here he is, excited to get on the horse!

merry go round3

Then the ride actually starts to move and he gets pretty nervous. Wouldn't let go of the hubby's shirt for pretty much the whole ride.

merry go round2

Then, once the ride stopped, I asked him how he felt and this is the reaction I got.

merry go round1

So all in all, I think it was a success! :) Hahahaha.

And if you're wondering why I seem to post more pictures of W recently than of E, it's because W doesn't run away from me the minute I pick up my camera! I wish E would pose more for me, but I'm not about to force him and ruin it forever. :) Maybe someday he'll want to get his picture taken again...


Happy Halloween!

I'd like to present to you all our very own:

our own halloweenie!


(get it? get it??)

I have to tell the story behind this costume, it's too funny. One day we got a flier in the mail for Party City and to keep E busy, I told him to look through it and see all the cool costumes. Well, he looked through the entire thing and when he saw this hot dog costume, it was over. That was all he wanted to be. And me, knowing him, thought I'd wait a few days and ask him again, because surely he'd forget about the hot dog and want to be something else.

Well, obviously not.

For almost 4 weeks, that was all we heard -- Mom, I want to be a hot dog for Halloween! And then it morphed into -- Mom, I'm going to be a hot dog for Halloween and you and dad will be ketchup and mustard!

I don't know about the ketchup and mustard, but I do know that he made the cutest little hot dog at our Trunk or Treat activity last night (that's why you see him with some other people in the 'costume parade' -- he wouldn't sit still to take a decent photo!).

And just in case you thought I forgot, here's your little dose of adorable baby costume:

cutie patootie pumpkin

Can you see his killer teeth? I just love them. Too fun.

So yes, we had a great time at the ward activity,


even though there was a man-eating hot dog on the loose!

attack of the killer hot dog!


And just curious, but does this make my child a cannibal??

cannibalistic hot dog


PS: I won 3rd place in the chili cook-off. And I was robbed!!