Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our Christmas Week

One of my favorite things about our Christmas was that it snowed on Christmas Day. From what I understand, that's a rarity in WA. (Note the snow in our backyard in the picture below.) Also, Maggie loved the dress we bought her. She calls it her Cinderella dress. But what makes me smile even more is that her favorite present from Santa was a bottle of toothpaste. Don't ask me why; it's the same type of kid toothpast we've been using for as long as I can remember, but for some reason that's what she got the most excited about. I just thought it was endearing.

She loved everything she got but below is a picture of her swimming in her Strawberry Shortcake bubbles and a little piece of her tub artwork that she made with her new bathtub crayons. (I'm not sure that was the smartest purchase on my part. It takes more effort than I'd like to clean up the tub when she's done bathing, but she seems to love them.)

Finally, we're about done with Maggie's room. There are a few more pictures to be hung and little things like that, but I'm done sewing. Hallelua! Magnet's mom spotted a bed on craigslist that matches the rest of her furniture perfectly! We love it!! And Magnet's Dad surprised us this week with a bookshelf he painted white to match her bedroom furniture and house all her books. Before they were in a pile in the corner. Thanks Grandpa Billy and Grandma Rise!


My Great Day

Just a little tip: don't go shoe shopping in boots when you're six months pregnant. It's hard to get boots on and off and it's simply not fun bending over that frequently.

But on to my great day. We went shopping and miraculously flew through the return lines. Five or six stores later Magnet took Maggie to his parent's house and put her down for a nap while I proceeded to spend about three hours in the mall. I spent the first two leisurly hitting all the shops and some great sales without feeling rushed. It was SO nice! I can't remember the last time I went shopping alone at so much leisure. Then for the last hour I sat in a really comfy chair at Barnes and Noble and inhaled the beginnings of a few books. The first one left me exhaling in disappointment (too much swearing for my taste), but the second has me holding my breath; I'm headed to the library ASAP to check it out. At 6pm Magnet and Maggie picked me up from Barnes and Noble and we went to Olive Garden for dinner to celebrate his aunt's wedding. (Congratulations Aunt Julie and Uncle Ray!!!)






Oh, and I also got my haircut today, so I just feel totally spoiled! And one more thing...at Olive Garden we had their raspberry cheesecake. Yummmmmm.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Advent Calendars Rock!







Grandma Lisa sent Maggie the greatest advent calendar to count down the days 'til Christmas. (I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!) Every morning before breakfast Maggie can't wait to open her chocolate and see what picture is on it. It's even made for some tears when she can't open more than one in a day. The advent calendar is actually on top of the fridge now because one day when I wasn't looking she ripped out an entire row of chocolates. "Sorry, Mom" was all she had to say for herself with a grin. :)

Happy 29th Birthday, Magnet!


Will turned 29 for the second year in a row on Thursday! I know, I know. That's impossible. What happened was I thought he was turning 29 last year and even had him convinced. But when Nick, Magnet's best friend from high school, overheard Magnet telling a crowd that he was turning 29 when he was really turning 28, Nick announced, "You're not gonna be 29, Magnet!" We quickly did the math and realized Nick was right. Magnet loved the idea of gaining an entire year of his life back. We laugh about it all the time.

Anyway, a big happy birthday to the best husband in the world!! I don't have any great pictures because our camera batteries were dead when I needed them to be alive, but here's a cute one of him and Maggie on his big day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tinkerbell Conked Out





Twice in the last few days Maggie has gotten out of bed, planted herself on the stairs and conked out. Last time Magnet found her and put her in bed (she was going down for the night). Today it happened during her nap time so I took some pictures and let her finish out her nap on the stairs. Crazy girl! I think she had a hard time going down for her nap today because I told her she couldn't watch a Dora movie we checked out from the library until after she woke up.

Also, notice that she is now dressing herself and doing her own hair--mix-matched socks, Rambo hair-do, and her Tinkerbell t-shirt that she refuses to let me wash because she wants to wear it every day and night. It's become a real battle and I have to sneak it into the washing machine after distracting her.

Also, I found it amusing that Magnet got her to do several things she didn't want to do this evening (like clean up the sea of books on her bedroom floor) by challenging her to do it as fast as Tinkerbell, and saying things like, "Tinkerbell loves helping Peter Pan; can you help me clean up these books?" It totally worked. Aw, my little Tink.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!


One of the Christmas tree farms up here sets up shop on a piece of Flowers to Go property every year, so every year Magnet's parent's get two free fresh-cut Christmas trees. Both last year and this year we've been the lucky recipients of a free tree, but we lost our coupon this year!

I've been so distraught over losing it, even though I'm not sure it was my fault. I've searched the house high and low and have no idea where it disappeared to. Maggie has probably found a great hiding place for it. Who knows, but Magnet surprised us and brought home a Christmas tree last night! I guess the tree people believed his story about his upset wife and they gave him a tree for free. We had so much fun decorating it last night! I need to crochet quite a few more snowflakes, though. Will's grandma made all the ones on there right now. Aren't they beautiful??

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Storm


I'm feeling a little ignorant and bad about teasing Washingtonians about their reaction to snowy weather in my last post. I failed to mention that I had my eyes covered in the car on the way home from Poulsbo Saturday night because people were slipping and sliding everywhere on the roads. This storm that hit has actually been really bad and I hope that everyone who has suffered from the flooding and power outtages are managing OK. We don't have television and so I haven't been keeping up with it in the news. This morning I read the news online and was shocked to hear how bad it's been!

I think everyone who's been staying indoors is smart!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"Snowed In"

It's funny how Washingtonians react to any amount of snow: time freezes and nobody does anything or goes anywhere until it stops. (I'm exaggerating, a little.) A couple of inches on the ground this morning got church cancelled for us. We got word just as I was tying Maggie's bow in her hair. I was disappointed, and Maggie was really disappointed she wouldn't be going to nursery, but we enjoyed a quiet day at home.

Watching the giant snowflakes float against our kitchen window has helped me soak up the season this past weekend. Between jammin' to Raffi's Christmas album with Maggie to decorating the house, it's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! It's so fun to hear Maggie run back and forth between our two nativities shouting "Merry Christmas!" She likes to hide baby Jesus in all sorts of random places (like buckled into her carseat!). It makes me nervous, but she always seems to remember where she last put him. Anyway, our house really feels like home and so magical at this time of year. When we came in the house after being out and about in the snow storm yesterday it felt so good to step inside our cozy home. I just love it!

Well, we're headed into a party-packed week with three Christmas parties to go to! It's insane how dead last week was compared to how busy this week will be, that is, if it doesn't snow!

Below is a picture of Maggie helping me make Christmas cookies this afternoon. They taste a lot better than they look! It was a spontaneous endeavor and we were lacking some necessary supplies like a rolling pin, cutesy decorations and my mom's to-die-for recipe. Next time. Don't worry, we didn't gift a plate of these Smurf-looking things to our new neighbors. :)


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving with Aunt Lulu


I am so thankful that my sister Lauren got to spend Thanksgiving with us this year. It was a blast to have a shopping buddy and someone to watch chic flicks with. We may have done a little too much shopping, however, because the other night when Maggie was trying to think of three things she's thankful for during her bedtime prayers she said, "Thank Thee for Woo Woo (Lauren), Thank Thee for shopping, and Thank Thee for Target!" I was laughing so hard.


Lauren also helped me pick out some fun new glasses, which I don't have a picture of yet. But I do have a picture of the fun "fake" glasses I also got. Who knew my head was miniature? The optomitrist lady insisted I needed glasses from the children's section! I was very reluctant at first, but found some cute ones. Plus the kids' frames were much cheaper.

Lauren also took our family Christmas picture for us. They turned out cute, although Maggiewas acting like a overworked model in most of them, closing her eyes because she was "sleepy" and refusing to look into the camera. That girl!







Monday, November 12, 2007

Book Worm

Here's a list of the books I've read in the last few years. I'll highlight the ones that I thought were especially good reads if you're looking for a new book. (Yes, I'm a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books.) Oh, and I really liked the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, but I have to say that after the third or fourth one they all kind of read the same to me. Books that I wouldn't recommend on my list are Smashed and The Memory Keepers Daughter.

Life of Pi-Yann Martel
Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck
East of Eden-John Steinbeck
Eats, Shoots and Leaves-Lynn Truss
The Wedding-Nicholas Sparks
The Rescue-Nicholas Sparks
Nights in Rodanthe-Nicholas Sparks
True Believer-Nicholas Sparks
Uncle Tom’s Cabin-Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Firm-John Grisham
The Gaurdian-Nicholas Sparks
At First Sight-Nicholas Sparks
Angels and Demons-Dan Brown
Night Time is My Time-Mary Higgins Clark
Message in a Bottle-Nicholas Sparks
A Bend in the Road-Nicholas Sparks
Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen
The Five People You Meet in Heaven-Mitch Albom
The Read Aloud Handbook-Jim Trelease
Sarah Bishop-Scott O Dell
The Day No Pigs Would Die-Robert Newton Peck
Playful Parenting-Lawrence J. Cohen
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-Ann Brashares
The Glass Castle-Jeannette Walls
Smashed-Koren Zailkis
Memoirs of a Geisha-Arthur Golden
The Catcher in the Rye-J.D. Salinger
The House On Mango Street-Sandra Cisneros
The Five Love Languages-Gary Chapman
The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd
For One More Day-Mitch Albom
Tuesdays with Morrie-Mitch Albom
The Giver-Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue-Lois Lowry
Skipping Christmas-John Grisham
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter-Kim Edwards
The #1 Ladies Detective Agency-Alexander McCall Smith
Dear John-Nicholas Sparks
Tears of the Giraffe-Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Girls-Alexander McCall Smith
The Kalahari Typing School For Men-Alexander McCall Smith
The Full Cupboard of Life-Alexander McCall Smith
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies-Alexander McCall Smith
No Plot, No Problem-Chris Baty
Blue Shoes and Happiness-Alexander McCall Smith
Jane Eyre-Charlotte Bronte
Darcy’s Story-Janet Aylmer
Fishers of Men; The Kingdom and the Crown-Gerald Lund
Come Unto Me; The Kingdom and the Crown-Gerald Lund
He is Risen; The Kingdom and the Crown-Gerald Lund
Number the Stars-Lois Lowry
Twilight-Stephenie Meyer
Little Women-Louisa May Alcott
New Moon-Stephenie Meyer

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This doesn't happen very often...

If you see a copy of the Nov/Dec issue of LDS Living Magazine check out my article, "Christmas Card Craze! Or click here to read it online! It's about Christmas cards. I get so excited when I get published because, like I said, it doesn't happen very often!

PS. I've had one other article published in this magazine if you're interested in more: "What I Wish I Would Have Known For My First Pregnancy."



Also, we took Maggie to the Seattle Temple for the first time on Saturday and she loved it. She kept calling the Angel Moroni a little baby. It was funny and just fun to be there with her.

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's a BOY!!


Sooo, now that I've publicized to the world that I would love to have all girls, I get to announce how wrong I was about that. After seeing little Magson during our 45-minute ultrasound today, I'm in love and HE'S so what I want. I can't wait for him to get here!


I couldn't believe how well we got to see his cute little face, and Maggie couldn't stop saying "baby brother!" through the entire thing. I wish I had a scanner so I could post an ultrasound pic, but oh well.


I've also been wanting to "tag" Maggie and write six random things about her since she's got such a budding personality and I've been slacking with her baby book and journaling lately.


1. This girl wakes up every morning and asks me if we're going shopping. She loves to shop! I don't have any problem taking her shopping with me; in fact, it's usually more fun when she's around because she likes to give me her opinion, and she truly has an opinion about the things I buy. Today we were in TJ Maxx on the hunt for maternity clothes and she wasn't in a cart. (Bad idea, but she was loving every second.) Anyway, she ran up to me with the cutest shirt and said, "Mommy, I like this one." I said, "Me too!" And we bought it. She also likes to point out random things in the house and ask me where I got them. She usually says something like, "Did you get that at Wal-mart?" or "Did you get that at Target?" It's funny.


2. Maggie is the best sleeper! I can count on one hand the times she has fussed about going to bed. I love it. We do our thing--jammies, brush, stories, prayer and a few lullabies--and it's goodnight! Usually she entertains herself for ten minutes or so after I'm gone by singing and reading to herself.


3. Maggie has a quiet confidence about her. Will and I love to observe how when she gets around other kids who aren't into sharing (a phase she's fast-approaching, I'm sure) she just shrugs it off and goes and finds something else to play with. It's kind of hard to explain, but even her nursery leader from our Poulsbo ward told me how Isabella just has this natural confidence about her and really doesn't let others get to her.


4. My favorite physical feature about my girl is her smile. She has a killer smile and beautiful lips.


5. She loves jumping on our little mini-tramp. I've taught her how to do tuck jumps, straddle jumps and jump full turns. She likes to get on it and have me dictate which jumps to do and then we switch and she tells me which jumps to do. It's pretty fun, but it's getting harder to jump like that while pregnant.


6. Finally, Maggie is very polite! But she doesn't completely grasp when to say what, either that or she's prompting me to say thank you all the time. For example, she does something nice or hands me something while saying, "Thank you, mommy!" She also says, "I wanna hold you, Mommy" when she wants me to hold her. It makes me laugh. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tinkerbell!



Above are some pictures of our Tinkerbell before the ward Trunk or Treat last night. By the way, for those interested, we've put potty-training on hold. I'm relieved! Sleeping in a "big bed" has been quite the success, though!

Friday, October 26, 2007

HELP!


Maggie has seemed ready for the past month or so to start potty training. I thought. Actually, I thought I was the one holding us up. I just wasn't quite ready for accidents and all that jazz. Well, today I caught her doing the thing she does when she poos (I hope I'm not grossing anyone out), and so we ran to the potty and made it in time for her to finish the job in the toilet. Well, after we cleaned up she refused to put on a new diaper, so for some reason I decided it was time for her to wear the pretty princess panties she's been begging me to let her wear for weeks.

That was around noon. She's had SEVEN accidents since then!! I don't think she's ready after all, but it seems like I heard somewhere that once you start there's no looking back or you're just going to make it worse for yourself. Is that true? I have all these potty training books on hold at the library, but I just jumped the gun for some reason. We're going to the library first thing tomorrow to pick them up. haha

As if that weren't enough of a milestone, I finished the patchwork duvet cover I've been making for Maggie today. The poor little girl has probably been wonderin' if I'd ever finish. I've been a slave to it ever since we moved in. Similar to the cute way she begged me to let her wear her big girl panties, she's been beggin me to let her sleep in her big bed. I've been telling her for the past two weeks that she could sleep in it when I finished her duvet cover. It just so happens that I finished it tonight, and she noticed and wasn't about to let me back out of my promise, soooo as of about a half-hour ago she's been sleeping in her big bed with her duvet cover.
I can't believe I'm jumping into these two big toddler milestones in the same day! Agh!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've been tagged!



Nicki tagged me, so I have to think of six random tid-bits about myself and then tag six more people. Here's what I've come up with:

1. I hate calling people. I love being called, and I like to talk on the phone, but I hate dialing the digits. It's weird. There are a few exceptions to that. I do like to call my family, my husband and a few friends, but mostly I hate it. It's ironic that I was a print journalism major since I had to call all kinds of people for interviews. It stretched me and made me get better at calling people, but I still don't like it.

2. I think families with children that are all one gender are adorable. I would love to have all girls. I hate to say that because I could very well have a little boy on the way, which would be totally wonderful, too, but I really like the idea of having all girls. If I had had a boy first, I'm sure I would have loved all boys...well, I don't know about that. I am kind of a girlie-girl. We'll just see what happens; we find out the gender next Friday!!


3. I love cold cereal. I eat a bowl every morning and every night. My theory for why I like cereal so much is because it's the easiest thing on the planet to fix, it's not terribly unhealthy, and if it weren't for cereal, I wouldn't drink milk, and I need my calcium.


4. I really love to write, although I'm very chicken about it. I always hesitate to publicize this hobby of mine because then I feel like if I ever write something, like now for instance, people will analyze how well-written or not it is. I rarely-rarely-rarely let people read what I've written unless I think it's absolutely perfect first, which it never is. But I make myself tell people what I'm working on so they'll follow up on my progress. Right now I have 80 pages of a novel under my wing and it's been at 80 pages for several months now. It was my new year's resolution to finish a rough draft of a novel by the year's end. Maybe this will get me plugging along again because it's almost the end of the year!


5. If I could change one physical feature about myself it would be my hair. I have never liked my hair and I despise it now more than ever because ever since I had Isabella it's gone even more psycho on me. It's been a life-long bugger. I didn't even start growing hair until I was two. (Imagine Isabella without hair right now. Yikes!) Then I hit puberty and an ugly perm never grew out. I don't mean to complain. Luckily my hair is fixable. It just takes a lot of time to get it to look normal. That's why it's always up!
Something I wouldn't change about myself is my profile. I like it.

6. Ah, number six. Not to sound regretful, but one of the things I'd go back and do again if I could is I would go to German school like the rest of my genius trilingual siblings instead of the American military high school. I hate explaining to everyone I meet that I'm from Germany but I'm not fluent in German. All I can say for myself is that I can get around. Whatever that means. It's made me dread the "where are you from" question when I should enjoy it because it's pretty cool to say that Heidelberg is home. Instead it just ends up being embarrassing.
That's it!

(Thanks, Nicki. That was fun!)

Now I tag Melissa, Amy, Kandis, Wendy, Amanda and Heather!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Party!




For FHE tonight we carved a pumpkin with Bella. It was funny how opinionated she was about how we carved the nose, eyes and mouth. I gave her a lot of options and she was very insistent on diamond eyes, a square nose and a heart-shaped mouth. She also insisted that the pumpkin's name be Isabella, and when I told her we were having a pumpkin party she was convinced that it was the pumpkin's bday, and that it was turning two. I've never been big into Halloween, but having her around makes it so much fun. I can't wait to dress her up as Tinkerbell.

Isabella's also been saying the greatest things lately. Today on the way home from a RS brunch she begged me to let her hold the pan of muffins I had, some laden with frosting. I told her she could hold them but couldn't eat them 'til we got home and could share them with Dadddy. I really thought the seran wrap would keep her from eating them, plus she had just eaten a bunch of muffins at the brunch. Anyway, the whole way home she kept saying, "Daddy's gonna like these!" She probably said it twenty times, but I didn't think much of it until I unbuckled her to find crumbs and frosting everywhere.

On a sweeter note, she said "I love you, Mommy" clear out of the blue yesterday. She tells me she loves me all the time, but it's usually prompted by me saying it first. It was soooo sweet to hear her say it randomly like that. I'm loving the twos.

By the way, I cut Will's hair for the first time in a long time on Saturday. It was a success! The last time I cut his hair was at BYU when we were engaged and it was disaster. I also trimmed Bella's hair. I'm feeling quite accomplished. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More on the Move (All interior-designer people look with merciful eyes!)

(Just a fun picture of Isabella hiding underndeath Will's desk before I start. )


Ah! Moving! It's not all that fun, but living in our own new place has made the minimal chaos and stress well worth it. Of course, it wasn't smooth sailing and there are a lot of things yet to be checked off our to-do lists. For instance, we haven't been able to get the drinking water thingy-majig to work on our craigslist.com-purchased fridge, and after Will and his dad spent a lot of time refinishing our bed, which looks amazing, we slipped the mattress into the frame to find out that our bed isn't a queen like the seller told us, but a king!! So annoying. And so while buying pretty much everything off of craigslist--fridge, sectional couch, mattresses, washer and dryer, tv, etc.--has spotted us some great deals, it came with a few headaches, like the headache I feel coming on when I think about having to go on a king-sized mattress hunt. Oh well. :)

Will went to Tacoma (40 minute drive) to buy the "queen" bed we found on craigslist a few months ago. It's always a little risky driving too long a distance to buy something you've only seen pictures of, even if you've asked the seller every possible question to make sure it's what you want. We once drove all the way to Seattle (1.5 hour drive with a borrowed truck that guzzles gas) to buy some couches that were in "perfect" condition only to arrive to couches that had marker drawings all over them. We obviously didn't purchase them and drove home pretty annoyed. Since then I've been even more cautious and really inquisitive before I decide to buy anything. Unfortunately, when Will got to Tacoma to buy the exotic wooden canopy bed he arrived, yet again, to a bed that was pretty trashed--scratches everywhere, filthy, dinged up-- but because the seller brought down the price and it was really cheap to begin with, he decided to buy it and came home with sand paper so we could sand it down and stain it for many FHEs to come. After four hours of sanding away during FHE refinishing activity #1 (luckily, we had two sanding machines) we were exhausted and quit. Isabella and I dropped out of the fun after the sanding was done and Will and his dad ended up doing the rest. I wish I would have taken some before pictures (picture a really old UGLY bed), but here's an after-pic. (Disregard messy bed.)





Didn't they do a great job?? I'm still on the hunt for the perfect duvet cover (not off of craigslist), but I'm having little luck finding the perfect thing. I'm way too picky about it, I know.


Will's parents, the flower gurus, helped me put flowers in our flower boxes, which I'm loving. It's really brought some color and personality to our house.


I'll throw in a few more pictures of our living room and dining room, just for fun. It all looks much better in life, but these will do:



Saturday, September 29, 2007

Our house!!

I can't believe it, but we closed on our house yesterday! We love it!! We're hoping to get moved in by next weekend. Will's been painting some fun accent colors today. I feel bad that I'm not helping, but somebody's got to watch Isabella, plus I don't want to be around the fumes since I'm pregnant. So, my favorite things about this house are (1) the yards are in and we didn't have to lift a finger, (2) my walk-in closet is big enough to be a bedroom; we're thinking we'll put the new baby in there for the first few months, since I, unfortunately, don't have enough clothes to fill it up, and (3) the master bath has two sinks, a tub and a shower!! Anyway, I'll take more pictures once we're moved in, but below are a few!
My HUGE walk-in closet!!

Isabella posing next to "Mommy's potty."

Our pretty fire place

A closer view of the porch area and my cute girl

Our yard!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Scarlet's Wedding


Emma, Lauren and I took a girl trip out to Soap Lake, WA to be bridesmaids in our cousin Scarlet's wedding this past weekend. It was a blast! Scarlet looked amazing. She's one of the most beautiful people I've ever met, so that was no surprise. Us sisters got to wear gorgeous dresses and it was an honor to be a part of Scarlet's special day. Em and Lu got daring and dyed their hair the night before the wedding! Lauren's now a red-head and Emma's a California blonde. Luckily, it turned out great!! Lauren and Emma also played a guitar/violin duet at the wedding. They played "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. They did so well. It was a proud moment for the less-talented big sis. :)

Ever since the wedding I can't get a special song out of my head. It's called "BabyLove." Scarlet wrote the song for her new husband and sang it at the wedding. There was harldy a dry eye, and I seriously can't get it out of my system. It's so good. Here's a link to some of her other music: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=218829399&MyToken=44df2c5d-9476-4036-afdf-3c2983421504 (BabyLove isn't on there yet, unfortunately, but check out her other songs!) Here's a few more pics:







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