Tuesday, December 27, 2011

oh thirty two

yep, it was my birthday yesterday. thirty two. wow. 
i have to get my license renewed today. i remember when i got it, looking at the expiration date and thinking,"i'll be 32 when i need a new one. i can't even imagine being in my thirties." it seemed too far away.
well, here i am.
to be honest, i never feared leaving my twenties and i don't think i'll dislike leaving my thirties when the time comes. twenties brought mark, babies and lots of changes. and while life still changes daily, my thirties have brought fun older kids, a stronger marriage and more time to do things for me. i love all of the growth and learning and confidence that comes with age. getting older seems like a blessing, not a loss. i'm only two years into my thirties, of course, but if they've gone this well so far i look forward to whatever else they might hold in store. 
here's to thirty two!

ps. the striped shirt is thrifted from DI. $3.

Monday, December 26, 2011

holiday greetings

i made a last minute attempt to put together a family christmas card but it didn't quite work out. i'll try to pull myself together a little better next year and get those cards out. i really love all of the cards we've received. we have some great friends and family! 
in the place of that card, here are a few pics from our christmas celebrations.
after church. the older kids made amazing time changing back into their pjs.
ethan and liv waiting for presents to be passed out

cousins, missing little will and lexy.
some of the fam gathered for presents
we had a really nice christmas. we hope you did too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

my two little ladies

i didn't get the memo to make a silly face.

pictures were all taken with only the light from the tree. it's a little dark. but added the the fun of the evening.
those moments when you're sitting on the floor with your two girls on a sunday evening just chatting and being silly are good moments. hopefully, as they continue to get older and too cool for mom, we'll still be able to have those moments. my girls are pretty great. being their mom is pretty great too.

Friday, December 09, 2011

q&a 2011

disney. nov. 2011.
it's been almost two years since i've officially interviewed my kids. although, being their mom, i think i hear about all of these things on a daily basis. my kids like to talk. they get it from their dad...and i mean that in the nicest possible way. izzy wasn't included last time since she was still a sweet little babe. she is always highly entertaining. and she didn't disappoint today.
here we go...

ethan (9):
1. favorite food? your orange chicken.
2. favorite book? book of mormon reader.
3. if you could spend one day anywhere, where would it be? bahamas
4. what's your favorite thing to do with dad? go see movies.
5. what do you want to be when you grow up? architect.
6. if you could choose one thing to buy yourself, what would it be? xbox360.

olivia (7):
1. favorite food? turkey sandwich made with leftover thanksgiving turkey.
2. favorite book? if you give a dog a bone...
3. if you could spend one day anywhere, where would it be? disneyland again!
4. what's your favorite thing to do with dad? rough house.
5. what do you want to be when you grow up? a vet
6. if you could choose one thing to buy yourself, what would it be? a blue ds

izzy (3):
1. favorite food? chicken from mcdonalds.
2. favorite book? dora the explorer.
3. if you could spend one day anywhere, where would it be? the bathroom. (she turns to olivia and bursts into laughter). answer #2: harmons (grocery store). she likes their carts that look like cars and i hardly ever go there so it's a real treat for her when we do go.
4. what's your favorite thing to do with dad? play the piano.
5. what do you want to be when you grow up? i just want to watch other people work. (said with a very serious face)
6. if you could choose one thing to buy yourself, what would it be? a pink ds.

you can totally see their personalities in the answers. olivia might be my mini me in appearance but ethan totally has my personality. i love that. olivia is a bit more adventurous. she and mark have a lot in common. and izzy is just silly. her nickname lately has been dizzy izzy because she has so much energy and personality...it'll make you dizzy! 
my kids are pretty dang awesome.

the old q&a can be found here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

the traced hand

izzy has been drawing a lot lately. she's always asking for paper and crayons. sometimes she asks for a pen. usually that's because the older kids are doing their homework and she tries to copy them. she'll ask me how to spell things and then make little scribble marks on her paper. i've at least been successful at getting her to write her name the correct way. 
however, her very favorite thing to do is trace her hand. i find papers all over the house of her little (and sometimes really exaggerated) hand. 
recently i found her hand tracing on more than just paper.
yep, that's my light colored rocker with her hand on it. 
i was in the shower when she decided to have a little drawing time. when i came out, she was so excited to show me what she had drawn. she was quite proud of herself. 
i just laughed.
i couldn't bring myself to yell at her. don't get me wrong, she was punished. and she's not allowed near anything that doesn't say "washable crayon" these days. 
mark found some awesome cleaner at work (the perk of him working at a place that makes those kind of chemicals) and was able to completely remove the hand.
oh my sweet izzy.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

my second turkey

mark and i went bowling on friday for date night. actually, we started the night with crown burger for dinner. yum! crown burger and bowling...pretty much a great night out! oh, and frozen yogurt after bowling. can't forget the dessert! yum again! 
but i'm getting off track...
we went bowling.
and this happened for only the second time in my entire life...
i had three strikes in a row! a turkey, if you will. i'm not a great bowler so this is a big deal. 
mark still beat me.
but he never managed to get a turkey!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

looks like christmas at our house

i finally set up a few christmas decorations. thanksgiving was super busy and i just needed a small break to recover before diving into the christmas season. but it's here now. i love it. i'm considering leaving the tree up all year. i can't get enough of just staring at the lights at night, in the quiet after the kiddos hit the hay. and it takes up the space under the window that i've had a hard time filling with some sort of decor...if i'm being honest! yep, i really do love this time of year.
my grandma shirley always gets the kids these singing toys. izzy turns all three of them on at the same time. not sure how much longer these are going to be out of storage...

the advent calendar my grandma pat made for me and my siblings. it's old. but it still does the trick and i love it.

my mom bought me this set a few years ago. simple and beautiful.

love gold at christmas...or anytime. i'm thinking my mirrors need to be dressed up in one way or another all year.
i made those blocks last year with my mom, sister and sister-in-law. the trees my mom had when we were little. its great to have so many christmas items now that i had growing up.

someday i'll have a tree that i can really decorate the way i would like but for now i think it's great to let the kids take over. the ornaments are colored balls that they picked out from target when they were little. no breakables. they get a kick out of decorating "their" tree.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a little thrifted dress

i'm really intrigued by people who thrift shop. you know, the ones who can walk into a thrift store and come out with a creative and cute outfit. or, like my husband, have the patience to look over every book and find some pretty great classics. 
so i thought i would put myself to the test. 
i've redone furniture in the past. i still need to post those pics, don't i? 
now i'm onto clothes. 
i started at kid to kid looking for clothes for, well, my kids. they have some great stuff! my brother's girlfriend works there so it's fun to go in and chat it up with nicole while i dig through the clothes for some gems. i'll try to post pics of the kids in their outfits as the clothes are worn.
first up, izzy in her cute little dress.
dress: $5. tights: $2 target. boots: handed down from her cousin.
doesn't she make the cutest little model?
i spent some time at my local DI today and walked away with three tops. $12. i'm pretty happy with myself. i think i have a new addiction. at least it's relatively cheap, right?

Monday, November 28, 2011

birthday letters

sorry about the quality. i really really really need a new camera.
my dad's birthday is this week. friday to be exact. he and mom are in hawaii for two weeks to celebrate, not only his birthday, but also their anniversary that was last sunday. i know, he leads a hard life! he's a lucky man indeed. 
after thanksgiving dinner on thursday (which was glorious, by the way), all the family gathered in the living room and asked my dad to join us. he had no idea we were giving him his birthday present early. he sat down in the rocker and we handed him a stack of envelopes wrapped up in twine. in the envelopes were letters that i've been gathering over the last month or so from those close to my dad - family and friends from all different areas of his life. i think he ended up with about 30 letters. it was fun to watch him open them and relive some of those memories. most were funny memories. a few he couldn't finish reading because they made him cry...in a good way, we're told. he's becoming rather sentimental in his "old" age. 
that dad of mine is a pretty good guy, if i do say so myself.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


tessa and olivia
ethan and beckham

my sister and i each have three kids. they don't line up exactly in age but they get along so well. izzy is constantly saying how much she loves her cousin beckham (he's about 9 months older). 
saturday was beckham's birthday. 
the party was at chuck e cheese. 
the kids were in heaven. 
i'm grateful that our families live close enough to each other that they are able to spend happy moments like that together. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

little lexy

this is little lexy ray. 
she belongs to my little brother cam and his wife rachel. and she's only about five weeks old. i was able to babysit her a few days ago while her parents had a fun date night. i held her and she slept. it was pretty great. i'll take an opportunity to snuggle a new baby anytime.

Friday, November 18, 2011

breaking dawn at midnight

hi. my name is emily and i'm addicted to the twilight saga. 
the books kept me entertained while constantly (it feels constant sometimes, doesn't it?) nursing a newborn. the movies have made for fun, late nights out and a reason to swoon over robert pattinson. yes indeed. you better believe i'm team edward!
breaking dawn opened at midnight last night. 
yep, i saw it. 
it was awesome. yes, awesome. 
even the super awkward sex scenes and wolves talking to each other like they're scooby-doo. the movies get better as they go. i'm looking forward to part two.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

winter swimming

we went swimming over at the rec center with some friends. the water was warm, the kids loved it and it wore them out. i think we'll be taking advantage of winter swimming more often. 
i promise i won't get carried away with the polaroid app

izzy loved the pink goggles

izzy calls gretta her best friend. aren't they cute?
the older kids wouldn't hold still long enough for me to take decent pictures. and izzy pretty much loves any opportunity to have a picture taken.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

thanksgiving tree

i really like my new polaroid app
guess i took the picture the wrong way here. oops.
i love projects that include materials that i already have around my house. the thanksgiving tree was that kind of project! each of us took at least one paper dollie and wrote down what we're thankful for in our lives. izzy drew some doodles and every time we ask her what they are she says something different. they've represented toys, her family and candy. all good things to be grateful for, i suppose! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

its in the lyrics

the last couple of weeks i've been listening to this song on repeat. it doesn't get old. i think i've listened to it five times already today. the lyrics get me every time. they say exactly how i feel about the last couple years of my (our) life.
i'm gonna get personal for a minute. it's my blog, right?
the last three years have been difficult. i think i've said that before. as a result of some of these difficulties, my personal beliefs and my marriage have taken a hit. there's ups and downs in life but for a while i (we) was (were) on a downward dive that was starting to get too difficult for me (us) to pull myself (ourselves) back up. i throw "us" and we" in there because a strong marriage takes two people, right?
you're darn tootin!
but before i lead you to believe that we are still in this downward dive, let me assure you that we are not. thanks to some very hard work, special people and overwhelming blessings, we are on our way back up. it's pretty dang great. life is good now. and we're still working on it. always will be. that's the way life is.
so this song says exactly how i feel.

i'm letting go of the devil on my back. all these past issues are disappearing for me (us). the visual of shaking it out/off is awesome. so if you see me dancing around more (which for your sake i hope you don't, coordination isn't my strong suit), you'll know what i'm actually doing.
shaking it out.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

brigham & amy

thanks for letting me use some of your pictures, amy!
my brother, brigham, is getting married in january. he met amy though my parents. yep, they did it again. my mom set up laura and steve as well. she is quite the little matchmaker! my parents were having dinner at outback steakhouse, where amy was their waitress, and they got her number for brigham because they immediately thought the two of them would get along so well. they were right! january 4 is the big day. i'm excited for them and look forward to getting to know amy better. she has amazing taste in clothes. just sayin. some fun shopping days may be in the near future.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

izzy meets some crazy characters

izzy wanted a picture with just about every disney character. and we made it happen! while mark or i were off with the older kids on a ride izzy was just a bit too short for (like an inch!), we found characters in the park for her to take pictures with. it actually worked out perfectly every time.
here's her character photo gallery
jesse from toy story



buzz lightyear

pooh bear

sully from monsters, inc


sleeping beauty


mickey mouse, of course! her number one picture request.

minnie mouse. her number two picture request. liv was back from her ride in time to hop into the picture as well.

Monday, November 07, 2011

happy memories

we're all wearing our "1st visit" buttons
you know those moments that you wish you could freeze in time because they were so wonderful and happy and precious? 
our entire trip to disneyland was just like that.
well, okay, not the part where we got rear-ended by an old lady and now have a huge hole in the side of the car.
everything else exceeded our expectations.
i mean, come on, you know you're having a good time when it's just as hard to pull mark away from the park as it is the kids. poor guy. he could have happily spent a fourth day there. 
really, it was that great.
more pics and stories to come.

Friday, October 28, 2011

things that make this girl smile

(found on pinterest)
so life can be annoying, right? we all can relate. there's something almost everyday that we wish we didn't have to deal with or that we could ignore. but there's also great things that happen everyday, something that makes us smile. i've been trying to concentrate on those things more. life really is good. and here's a few things that are making me smile.

first, i've discovered two new blogs. for the love and the daybook. have you heard of them? click on the names and check it out for yourself. i love their ability to find cute thrift store outfits. i actually really envy this ability. i'm working on it though. but do you know how much patience you have to have to sift through all those racks of clothes to find the gems? anyway, back to the point...these blogs make me smile. i like their sense of self and sense of style. they dress the way i aspire to. they spend the amount of money on clothes that seems ideal (pennies!). and sarah's short hair style on the for the love blog...holy cow...it's amazing. someday i might have to just go for a style like that. i imagine it would be a freeing feeling.

hot chocolate. i can't get enough of it these days. my house gets pretty chilly at night, and in an attempt to save the heater from being on too much, i just bundle up and have myself some hot chocolate. mint chocolate, to be exact. it makes me smile. 

okay, back to the discussion on clothes. i found these boots on pinterest and now i'm on a quest to find some. i've never been a huge fan of boots but...come on...these are just darling. boots, layers, scarves. yep, fall clothing makes me smile.

i'm back to going to the gym on a regular basis. i canceled my membership a while ago because i just didn't have the time to go and i was wasting money on something i didn't use. well, a few pounds later, i'm back to the gym. i've made it a priority again. it's the me time i need sometimes. i feel happy after i go. here's a little secret - gold's gym has opened mini gyms that they call gold's gym express. it's a condensed version of the real deal...and it has a condensed price. $10 a month for the gym? sure thing! it has everything i need in a gym. and that makes me smile. 

izzy has started making up songs. i look forward to hearing her latest hits everyday. they range from, "i love cheese, I love cheese, oh yeah!" to "hello kitty's cute, hello kitty's cute, oh yeah!" there's always an "oh yeah" in there somewhere. she's pretty dang cute, if i do say so myself.

oh this man. he's my favorite. period.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

rise and shout

and that we did! ethan and i were able to go to the byu game last night with my brother, evan. we had a great time. we arrived early enough to do a little shopping before the game - ethan bought a cougars hat and foam claw to use during the game. then we grabbed some hot dogs and settled in to get ready for the game. 
it was utah state's game almost the entire time, which was discouraging, but byu held on to make a huge comeback and won the game in the last 11 seconds. so. much. fun! 
ethan now wants to be a football player...or a mascot. he cracks me up. 
before the game - watching some players practice

in our seats waiting for the game to start...and wearing his new hat...sorry for the bad shadow

players taking the field

my fellow football lovers...and maybe heavenly beings

don't you love that guy behind me on the right smiling? ha!
loved the game. loved the company.