Friday, November 25, 2011


I got out of the shower this morning and hear Katie yelling under her bedroom door, "Mommy! Is Thanksgiving over?" "Yes, Katie." "Is it Christmas time?" "Yes, Katie." "I'm so insited (excited) for Christmas time!"

As much as I used to protest Christmas decorations coming up before my birthday, here we were, the day after Thanksgiving, listening to Christmas songs and putting up some of our decorations. Katie is SO HAPPY about Christmas. She wants a big red and white striped candy cane for Christmas. She can't wait to get the lights up and get a tree. I was thinking about all of this and wondering about all the advertisements I've been seeing since September for Christmas anything. The message seems to be we can all have a "magical Christmas" if you just buy the right thing. Today as we spent time making each other giggle and singing songs, it was a good counter-culture message. A magic Christmas is one with love. Love, even the idea of it, is what makes the lights and the smells and the snow so wonderful.

Here's to creating some Christmas magic, with the least amount of "things" as possible.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I just wanted to write some of the things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Hot water


a bed to sleep in


a working fridge

a stove

socks and shoes

waterproof boots

the nicest dog

a kitchen table

a washer and dryer

being in the Handel Society

Coats that keep us warm

a working car and truck




drinkable water

not living in a war zone



the seasons


ponytail holders

electric mixers

beautiful music

this beautiful country

that I can walk, see, talk, and hear


The Savior





my parents

my sisters and brother

all of Jeremy's family

the many friends who've blessed our lives

and really good dark chocolate.

Katie's thankful for:






(and she's "thankful for all the things she's thankful for, but there's not anymore")

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope you can count a bunch of blessings.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vacation Pics (It's a lot)

We took a two week vacation to spend some quality time with the fam. Here's a brief recap. Above are Cora and Sydney (with the hood covering her) on a sled my mom's pulling. We spent our first week in Cedar with my parents and brother and introduced them to snow (last year doesn't count since they can't remember it). They loved the snow, but were not so thrilled about the sled ride.
Just to contrast the previous picture, we went a little further south for some good hiking time.

Unfortunately for us, good hikes can only be pulled off with at least three adults for now. My dad had Cora on his shoulders most of the time.

Jeremy had Sydney.

And this is me packing Katie around. Anyone who likes to wander in the woods with a little one, I highly recommend the above contraption. It's called and ergo and it's nice. This made it so nice to be able to wander through wilderness without a stroller! But hey, I guess strollers have come a long way from what they were even a decade ago, so we will continue to get out as much as possible, whether it's 3,2, or 1 adult.

See that worried face? That didn't stop her from going farther. She was determined to climb up all the rocks she could (I'm so proud). Notice the mark on her head? She got 5 stitches from a tickling accident with Uncle Jeremy (my bro), while we were there. My favorite was when we got out of the car at the instacare there she yells, "I just can't believe I cracked my head open! I'm just a little afraid." For how many falls and things she runs into, I'm a little surprised this is only the first round of stitches!

I can't wait till they're bigger, it's warmer, and we can come back and swim! It was beautiful!

We took a trip to the zoo when we got to Salt Lake with Jeremy's sis, my sis, their kids, and Jeremy's parents. It's nice when it's cooler, the animals seem to be out more. We even saw the mama elephant trumpet.

Lunchtime with the cousins. The three on the right are all within 5 months of each other. There is a missing boy in this picture who was so excited to be set free of his stroller. He's only a week older than the twins. About time these boy cousins had some girls their age around.

Daddy got to play a little football with Katie in his parents yard. She loved it.

There's the missing boy from the zoo picture. What a good photographer I am. The three of them found an empty cupboard to play in while my sister was working on dinner for us.

Other than all of us now having a nasty GI bug (started the day we flew back, and it's not just 24 hours), the trip was great. As always, there was never enough time to see all the family and friends, but it was too long with three little girls. They gave up sleeping through the night again by the second week. Which translates to so did we. But we sure loved every minute with everyone. They loved their cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and all the dogs we got to play with. Jeremy and I were so happy to just be in every one's company. The weather was great for us, and no one had a stay in the hospital.

As always, I leave a trip pondering many things. First and foremost is will we ever not be so exhausted? Every activity (including eating and sleeping) is so compounded now when you're in charge of tiny creatures with little-to-no sense of self preservation every waking and sleeping second of the day. Thank goodness they smile, giggle, and cuddle so often or they may have been left at the zoo.

I'm always grateful for the love and generosity of so many people in our lives. I ache for the different struggles everyone has and we can't seem to do anything for them other than pray for them. I wish we were closer, but I love where we live. There are so many advantages and disadvantages to each location. Both Jeremy and I always end up wondering where in the world we will end up when residency and fellowships are done. Hopefully closer than a 5 day drive, but that would be almost anywhere West of the Mississippi. Oh, well. It's not our time to know that yet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Halloween and Then Some

Trick or treating was a good time this year. Katie was our little witch again, Syd was the lady bug, and Cora the monster. They had a lot of fun knocking on doors and carrying their buckets of candy.

And here's how things go at home. These three can't stop helping me. It's a little scary at times because they're all so busy, but I let them jump in when I can.

I didn't get the red eye out, but this picture needs to be included. She was playing with her neighbor friend and decided she wanted chocolate milk. My very creative child then filled a bucket with water, mixed it with mud, and drank the entire thing. I could not stop laughing.

Family Pictures

We had a friend from church take pictures for us. It was unbelievable how difficult it was to get all three of them to look at the camera without scowling. The trick we finally learned was to ask the girls what a dolphin said. Their imitations were enough to get the eye contact and a smile. These pictures were taken with our own camera at the time, but I'll be sending out the real deal hopefully for Christmas.

If you can't guess who's who, it's Cora in the red and Sydney in the white.

Quick Visit from Mom and Dad

This is a very late post. My parents were out for a few days in the middle of October. It was quick, but we had a good time. These are pictures of a hike we took to Quechee Gorge. These little girls gave all three of us a run for our money as they couldn't help but run and look out over the gorge every chance they got. It was a little wet, and I was so glad my parents were there to spend the time with us.