Saturday, January 31, 2009

In the Bloglight

As promised, here are five blogs that get the "Loved by MAG Award"~

1. Fresh Designs Studio
Kaela of Fresh Designs is the one I have to thank for my new blog look. She did a fantastic job, and was so patient with my indecisiveness--she should get some recognition just for that! You can see her latest work as well find some great organizational tips and freebies on her blog.

2. Shannon Morgan Photography
Shannon has a fabulous photoblog where she posts a picture everyday--of herself, of her latest sessions--whatever it is, it's sure to impress and inspire.

3. Creative Catharsis
Rae of Creative Catharsis is a beautiful writer and photographer who can relate to people of all types. She is multi-talented, real, and confident in who she is--a very easy person to love!

4. My Magic Mom
Meredith is the sister of one of my dear friends. She recently had her tonsils out and has been writing about her experience with that, but she also regularly posts instructions for some fun crafts. She's got great solutions for how to get down and play with your kids more, something I struggle with, so I really appreciate her ideas!

5. A Girl, A Market, A Meal
I eat up good writing and love this blog because Alison posts lots of yummy recipes simmering with stories about food. This one is worth your time, for sure.

I'd love leads to the blogs you love. Isn't it wonderful how with the click of the mouse you can enter the minds of people from around the world? Yum.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


My sweet friend Courtney let me take her son's one-year pictures--my first baby photoshoot, and I can't tell you how grateful I am because I learned so much! In summary, this cutie pie was much happier indoors, and he made us work for every single one of those smiles! I love that he and Magson will grow up together. He's such an adorable little guy who comes from a family I really love and look up to. Thanks again!

In other newness, you've probably noticed I got a makeover! I love it! I hired this girl--way affordable and awesome--that I found through another blog to design it for me. I'll post more about her soon when I give out blog awards--there are some amazing blogs out there that I've been wanting to recognize, and hers is one of them, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lace Curtains

Oh gently, gently
Quietly lands the snow
Transforming every home
Into an ivory chateau

Too briefly, briefly
Are snowflake stars alive--
Would they hold our interest
If year-round they survived?

How stirring, stirring
That snow would not be white
Without the stayed reflection
Of heaven’s guiding light

So quickly, quickly
We oft soot winter’s art--
To step in mud is human;
From right we will depart

Hence treasured, treasured,
The bible verse well-known:
"Though your sins be as scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow."

Thus thankful, thankful
I laud this diamond dust:
Lace curtains against my window
God’s lessons, mysterious

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Am

I am sweet.

I am watched over.

I am pure.

I am loved.

I am a child of God.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bottled-Up Apologies aka Embarrassing!

(I saw something similar done on a few other blogs and thought they were so funny!) Here are some of my bottled-up apologies:

Dear Magnet, I'm sorry that when you married me I only had $30 saved up, and that I didn't divulge that I'm not the saver type until after we were married. Wink.

Dear Maggie, I'm sorry that I made your bangs thicker and that they have been three different lengths for a week now because I've officially banned myself from the scissors and haven't had time to take you to a professional.

Dear Sister #1, I'm sorry that for about five years straight I gifted you with pajama bottoms for Christmas and your birthdays. And I'm even sorrier that I thought I was giving you something original every time.

Again, Dear Sister #1, I'm sorry that during one of our ritual wash-our-face-and-brush-our- teeth-together-every-night traditions, I acted on the immature urge to spit on your head that was still bent over the sink brushing. I'm still as baffled as ever about why I did that.

Dear Sister #2, I'm sorry that while I was away at college and working at a Thai restaurant, I called home to tell you that Orlando Bloom came to our restaurant and I got my picture taken with him for you, since he was your big crush. You believed my every word, but I have to tell you, it wasn't really Orlando Bloom, but a guy that kind of looked like him.

Dear Misty, I'm sorry that when you asked me to drop off a gift at Shelleena's house, that I lost my brain and left it in her knocked-down garbage bin to protect it from the rain since she wasn't home.

Dear Shelleena, I'm sorry that you had to go get your gift out of your trash can.

Dear Claire, I'm sorry that in college I made you pretend to be me on the phone and turn down dates for me, and even cough here and there so guys would believe I was sick.

Dear Blog Readers, I'm sorry if you stopped washing your hair because of the three posts I wrote about how I was giving it a shot and that it seemed to be working. I never followed up to say that it didn't work out for me; I'm back to washing my hair every other day. I'm sorry if I talked you into trying it and it didn't work out for you, either!

And Dear Joella (and this happened tonight), I'm sorry that when you mentioned your home birth video, I told you I'd love to see it. I've heard so many wonderful things about it that for a second there I forgot what I was actually asking to watch...awkward!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Three Things:

1. Here's Magnet as a baby wearing the same coat Magson wore in the photoshoot in my last post. (Three cheers for his Aunt Julie who made it!)

2. Do you think Magson and Magnet look alike?

3. What do you think made the photographer of this picture think that a sweet little boy wearing a suit goes together with a chain saw?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Up Close, My Brown-eyed Boy

It's difficult for me to describe Magson with my vocabulary--he deserves better than my English. Let's pretend I'm speaking French. Then, even if I can't pick the perfect words, the lyrical and peaceful tune to French will compensate.

N'est pas il juste splendide? ...Just kidding, but man, French even looks pretty all typed up! Thank you, free online translator.

You see the catch lights in his eyes above? Because his eyes are so dark, they're almost always there. When he's sitting in his high chair in the kitchen with his messy face, his eyes pop; when he's playing on the floor and looks up at me, his eyes almost always sparkle at me like that. Usually you have go find the right angle of light to see that in a person, but it's the other way around with Magson. The light finds him. Often, when I look at him, I think about how pure he is, and I think Heavenly Father let's Magson's heavenly glow escape his eyes to remind me that He loves me and that God is light. I love light, and I love dark chocolate eyes. They've been my favorite for nine months now.

All the smiley pictures I have of the babe make me giggle because it looks to me like he wants to smile bigger, but his chubby cheeks are in the way.

How about that collar? Dashing, isn't it? Or maybe just silly of me.

I'm drawn to teddy bears now that I have Magson. For some reason I always want to snuggle him up to a teddy bear. They go together.

Finally, I don't know what you call it, but see those two vertical lines right beneath his kissy lips? J'aime ceux. (I love those.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cool to Crochet

I learned how to crochet as a freshmen in college--way before it was cool.

One of my roommates would regularly cozy up on our ugly zigzaggy couch and crochet away, her big basket of yarn a perfect fit in our murky and ancient apartment. Some of us roommies would do a little "psst-pssst-ing" in her direction whenever we had people over. You need to put that away! we'd say with strained eyes zoomed in on her afghan project. We didn't want anyone thinking we were old-fashioned, especially not on a Friday night. We were much too cool for that.

But being the confident girl Jamie is, she paid us no heed. And I love, love, love her for that! I wish I were like her and could say I started crocheting long before a few hip celebrities brought it back.

After a semester or so of watching her, I got an itch to have her teach me--anything to make a scarf someday, I thought. So, for my birthday, Jamie took me and some others to the craft store and helped us pick out yarn, and then taught a few of us. From then on, she wasn't alone in her needlework. Apartment 105 was alive and crocheting! Many a Friday night one could find at least three of us crowded on our lone couch, tangled up in string and great girl talk, though I had a speedy hiding spot picked out for my yarn, just in case anyone came knocking. :)

Now I'm a crocheter, loud and proud! And it's funny, every Friday night I crave to cozy up on the couch and relax to the steady rhythm of my fingers tying pretty little knots as my mind is set free to ponder.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snow is Good for a Scarf

I don't have snow pictures. We were in Germany when Washington got its record-breaking dump. When it snowed again last Sunday and we were here, I just couldn't bring myself to go out in it. Nee-ner, Nee-ner! Lame alert!

But I do have scarf pictures!

Those are kind of cozy, right? You might like to read about snow after seeing those pictures--maybe? Well, grab a cup of hot chocolate and wrap a scarf around your neck. (I just barely downed some hot chocolate and it was so yummy, especially since I had to work for it. I searched high and low for the Swiss Miss packet that I just knew we had one more of. I've learned that there's always one more M&M in those giant Costco trail mix bags; you just have to look hard enough. It was the same thing with the Swiss Miss; I looked hard and found one in the table cloth drawer. I'm serious.)

On to snow:

I've been skiing twice. My first experience was in ninth grade when my dad took me and a carload of my prissy girlfriends--all first timers--to hit the slopes. When we pulled into the resort and saw the mountain of snow from the car window, my dad was the lonely male audience to a chorus of panicked squeals.

"That's just the bunny hill, girls," my dad said with a chuckle.

Our squeals quickly escalated to dramatic shrieks when we pulled in close enough to see the actual ski mountain. We all vowed we were sticking to the bunny hill--if we were to make it that far.

I picked up skiing well enough to have a decent first experience, but the mental snapshots I have of my two friends from that day are messy. In the visual I pull up for Priscilla--the funny and dramatic one--she is laughing, her skis perma-crisscrossed and her arms flailing to pull down anyone within her reaching distance, strangers included--cute boys, definitely included. She was pretty well stuck looking like a snow angel for the day.

Mindi--my sweet ballerina friend--got her snow gear inescapably caught in the rope tow on her first ride up the hill. I helplessly watched her dangling body steadily drag up the slope. She was nearly swallowed by the pulley, but luckily the tow was shut off right before it ate her. It was a horrendous sight. I'd be shocked if she ever tried skiing again. She spent he rest of the day recovering indoors.

I once got involved in a mean snowball fight where this show-off baseball player pitched a fast one right at me. It killed! I'm sure I had puffs of cold, smoky air coming out my nose and mouth from the cold--and my ears from my anger! I was explosive, I was so mad. What kind of guy blasts a packed snowball at a girl like that? Maybe that's where the permanent blue mark on the back of my thigh came from! I've always wondered. I really think that's it! (I can pretend that's where that particular varicose vein came from, anyway.)

I went sledding once-ish at college in Rexburg, ID. While thrilling, I'm sure some guy bribed me to go with hot cocoa. It met my prediction for a dangerous and irresponsible activity--the hill we flew down was not meant for sledding. Maybe an Olympian could have handled it. I'm pretty sure I remember reading stories in The Scroll (school newspaper) about sledding catastrophes on that "hill" resulting in hospitalization.

Also in college, I went on a snowmobiling date that nearly ended me. Heath was the name of my near-murderer. He took me flying over a snow ramp he and his buddies had made. Awfully sweet of him to take dates to his death ramp, wouldn't you say? We got enough air time for me to panic and think, "Crash already!" We crashed alright, and my neck jarred my spine to a cracking tune upon collision.

My college snow dates actually did get better. When Magnet and I first met, we used to run two miles together every night. Even when Rexburg's bitter snow came and caused our nose hairs to freeze, we'd still bundle up and go for our jog. I don't how to explain this lunacy. All I can say is, it must have been love.

Since Magnet and I have been married, I've built one snowman. It was rosy-cheeked Maggie who made it enjoyable for me. She loved every minute of it. Still, if it ever snows here again, I intend to remind Magnet that it's his year for snowman duty. (PS. Maggie now has mittens, and I crocheted her a scarf for Christmas (upcoming post), but she still needs snow boots.)

I am forgetful, but that chronicles my lifetime's snow adventures. While predominantly negative experiences, I do appreciate that snow played a small roll in my love story and that snow is a great excuse to buy a new scarf. (I got three new ones for Christmas, warranted by the 18 inches of snow WA got while I was gone, I'm sure.)

My heart pitters for snow and pounds for scarves--I puffy heart scarves!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thirty and Still the One

Magnet turned the big three zero while we were gone, and while I can't believe I'm married to a thirty-year-old, he's still the same sweet, often silly and sometimes serious guy I love. Ok, so I totally just said that because it goes along with these pictures. But he really is all of those things and my dream guy, even in his old age!

I caught him off-guard on his birthday and told him it was time for his birthday photoshoot, and he surprised me right back with a million funny model poses. I think he was trying to poke fun at all the posing my sisters were doing for me on the trip. Here are three of my faves:

For part of Magnet's birthday celebration, my parents took us all out to this yummy, YUMMY Italian restaurant. While we were waiting for the bill, I caught this moment of Maggie with her Grandpa Tracy.

Also on Magnet's birthday, he and my mom teamed up to trim Magson's hair. The baby boy was his usual squirmy self, but they got the job done!

Happy birthday, my love! And happy first haircut, handsome boy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This Christmas

Unfortunatley, this won't be in any order and will likely come in increments--we've caught stubborn colds that I fully blame the airplane for. Having sick kids really slows me down, but here's a sweet sliver of snapshots and blurbs from our, airplanes aside, relaxing trip!

Okay, so this is a crazy picture. But these two are just that together--crazy, crazy! I love getting them in front of the camera because you seriously never know what you're going to get. The sister in front in this picture made Christmas morning a regular comedy show. For starters, she squeezed herself into her old childhood Christmas nightgown. She also let us pawn our presents off on her for wrapping and got carried away with the gift labels. Laughter was the prelude to much of the gift-opening because here's a taste of how some of the gift-labels read, courtesy of Emma:

To: Itsy Bitsy Bryant
From: Big Macho Christian

Blurry, but below was "itsy bitsy Bryant's" reaction:

To: Rose Pedal Marie
From: Queen Elisabeth

To: The Woman that Raised Me
From: Baby Marie

My cute parents laughing at the funny gift labels.

To: Baby Bryant
From: Perfect Lissie and Flawless Emma

To: My hulk
From: Your little lass

To: My ruggedly handsome husband
From: The little wife

Here's Magson on Christmas morning. Happy First Christmas, Sweet Boy. Both Maggie and Magson have spent their first Christmases in Germany--pretty special!

Magson just rolled around the floor all morning going from toy to toy and wrapper to wrapper, generously distributing his baby slobber among his goods!

My baby brother is the most lovable thing ever. He's always good for a hug!

Here's Maggie giving Grandpa a big thank-you hug.

I really loved singing with my brothers and sisters on Christmas Eve. We sang some beautiful songs together. I can't believe how talented they all are. The whole trip I kept wishing I were the youngest instead of the oldest--after my parents had me, the kids just got cuter and smarter and better all around!

My lucky kiddos were always held and showered with attention:

Even the cat got lots of attention!

On Christmas Eve my mom has us all share something. We tend to lean toward sharing a Christmas musical number of some sort, but poems and stories are shared, too--even artwork sometimes. I've anticipated this, and for months have been teaching Isabella to sing "Oh Christmas Tree" in German for my family. She really loved being in the spotlight and gave us a good laugh when she sang for us and insisted on accompanying herself on the piano.

Here's Liz singing for us. She has a gorgeous voice!

Here's Christian playing the piano for us--this guy is amazing. He also plays the guitar and sings. He's written lots of his own music, and plays the guitar in a band. I loved finally getting to listen to all of his stuff after hearing about it for so long!

My mom reading to us. Maggie was completely mesmerized.

I have to say, my parents make wonderful grandparents! It was fun to see them with my kids who just adored them.

This is a picture of Maggie and her Uncle B. I can't tell you how many times I'd go to check on her and she'd be with him. When she wasn't with him, she was calling for him: "Uncle B-eeeeeeeeeeeee! Uncle B-eeeeeeeeeeeee! Uncle B-eeeeeeeeeeeee!"

This isn't really Christmas related, but I thought I'd squeeze it in here. One morning Maggie came out of our room looking like a smurf. It was so startling and concerning, but after a little investigation we discovered she'd gotten into some blue ink in the middle of the night and had a private paint party! She looked a faded blue for a day or two.

Maggie loved her Christmas gifts, although I made her some tutus that she wasn't a huge fan of. I should have known not to make them for her, since she rarely plays with the store-bought tutu we already have for her. Magnet showed how much fun they could be by putting it on his head. It made for some good laughs, and since we've been home she's seemed to have a change of heart. She'll wear her tutus on her head now!

Hope you guys had a great Christmas. I could go on forever, but I think I'll stop here for now.



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