Monday, December 24, 2012

chrismas around here

i like my house dressed up in christmas. the lights on the tree make the living room cozy. the best is late at night with all the other lights off, just starring at the tree. am i right? it's peaceful and beautiful. most of the decorations have either been passed down to me from my parents or grandparents or i've made them. there are memories with each one. traditions being carried on or being started with each one. 
also, it's just fun to have a change of pace...something else to look at than what you normally see day in and day out. let's be honest, a tree in the house is just plain cool. 

pre-presents - the night we put it up.

my grandma made this for my family when my siblings and i were all little. it's my favorite christmas thing ever.

remember the pie party backdrop? i didn't want to take it down so it got sucked into the christmas decor.

i made all of the stockings (with my mom's help) and my grandma made mine. i've had it my whole life. and while it would be nice to have all of our stockings match, i'm not ready to give it up.

we are excited for christmas around here. this is the first year in a while where i feel like i'm truly enjoying every minute of the season. don't get me wrong, i'm busy. like super, crazy busy just like most people. there's a lot to do. but i've tried to make sure the important things take first priority.
 it's made a big difference. though it's busy, my actions are purposeful. they will be lasting memories.
 time with family. holiday movie nights. visiting with friends. getting to know more about my neighbors. building relationships. laughing til my face hurts. watching my kids pick out presents with such concern and care for the recipients. watching them serve each other. watching their pure excitement. those quiet, personal moments reflecting on christ's birth.
these are the moments i'm truly grateful for this christmas. 

merry christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

a pie party

last friday we hosted a pie party. ya know, invite friends who make (or buy) delicious pie and you sit around eating way too much of it. it's the perfect after thanksgiving event, if you ask me. laurel's apple pie with warm caramel really won over the group. well done lady!
as far as the backdrop is concerned, i had big plans for it. but as soon as mr. mark walked through the door home from work (early i might add!) and offered to take me to dinner, those plans quickly faded. come on, a one on one date with my guy before our pie party group date? yes please! 
so the decor stayed simple. kind of a wintery feel going on. and the white backdrop is still hanging in my dining room. i think i'm going to incorporate it into my christmas decor somehow. stay tuned. 
all in all, the night was successful! the countdown to next year has already begun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the one and only thanksgiving picture

despite the fact that this is my only thanksgiving picture, we did indeed have a wonderful holiday.

sleeping in
orange rolls
parade watching (on tv still counts, right?)
lots of football watching
no showering til at least 1pm
yummy thanksgiving dinner
delicious gluten free pumpkin pie (if i do say so myself!)
movie watching
no shopping. none.
mark home four days in a row. epic.
laughing. more laughing.
friends in town
parents, siblings, cousins...

the perfect thanksgiving break.

Friday, November 16, 2012

one post that should've been a few posts

image via

i'm really trying to change this habit i've gotten into of posting too many things in one big post.
oh blogging, i love ya...but seem to have a hard time committing to you lately.
i have so many ideas for posts, projects i've been working on, random things i just wanna share...
i really do want to show this blog the love it deserves.
that goes for a lot of things in my life.
i've really been feeling the need to get better organized. i want to focus on those things that will be most beneficial to me and my family. i don't need to do a million things all the time and run around like a crazy lady about to lose her mind. i'm really trying to figure out when that happened anyway...the running around doing too much part. i've strongly believed all my life that i would rather only do a few things in life really well than a hundred things not very well. i don't need to be as busy with all the little things.
i need to focus on my talents. i need to focus on what's going to make my family the strongest in the long run.  i need to help those around me and be a good friend. these will be the things i think about first before i start taking on too much more in my life.
i have good things to offer, not to sound too boastful, but i do.
we all do. i know so many of you have offered and will continue to offer so many of your wonderful talents to benefit those around you. i've felt your influence in my life and i appreciate it with all my heart.
point of long rant: focus on the good meaningful things. i can and i will.

now on to catching you up...

santa's smallest helper.

this hat played music. be assured that we left the store without purchasing it.

trying to load the cart with christmas candy. can't blame her. but we still have halloween candy. one holiday candy at a time.

kids happened to have the day off from school when the first major snowstorm hit. they loved every minute of it.

this has pretty much been my hairstyle lately. my hair is longer than ever and sometimes it just needs to get out of my way. oh, and i'm too lazy to wash it more than once a week.

you better believe this happened! i went with my sister, brother in law and my sister's bff. so much fun!

alesha, me, steve and laura.

VIP action. i was thinking i could just wear this all the time and that way i might earn a little respect around the house. izzy acting up? just flash the VIP tag and she'll have to shape up because a very important person needs to be minded. but then i remembered that she's four and i live in the real world and there's no way that could ever happen. a girl can dream.
thoughts on the last twilight movie? here's my opinion. i liked it above all the other movies. i liked the way they molded the characters. bella is a way better vampire than sickly looking teenager. i liked the storyline. i liked they way they wrapped it all up nicely. i liked the better than normal acting. and i liked looking at pattinson for two hours...but let's face it, i've always liked that. it's been fun over the years to attend these premieres. i think i might miss it a little.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

halloween 2012

bank robber: ethan. baby: olivia. strawberry: izzy. baby: maggie. princess: gretta.

give it up for the strawberry! the girl knows how to pose.

the bestest of best friends

the babies of the group are no longer babies.
carving isn't the coolest thing in the world. just ask ethan.

but they did enjoy their end result. the older two pretty much created theirs all on their own.

halloween has always been fun with the kids at different ages and for different reasons. but i think this year was my favorite. last year izzy didn't quite make it halfway down the street without wanting to be picked up because she was tired of walking. this year she was running from house to house. this was the second year we've gone trick or treating with our friends, the clayton family, and the kids just love it. it's cute to watch them walk together, talk about their candy and see the two little ones holding hands between houses so that they don't get separated. 
oh, and while it snowed last week, it was almost 80 degrees during the day yesterday. our evening knocking doors was rather pleasant, as you can imagine.
now on to the endless candy eating and sugar crashes...
happy halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

family halloween party

laura and i decided about a week ago that it would be fun to get the whole mero gang together for a halloween party. initially, we thought the kids would be the ones having the most fun with it. but let's face it, we were the ones who really wanted to dress up and have some fun! it was mandatory that everyone dress up. what's the point of a halloween party where you don't dress up, right? man, our family didn't disappoint! also, we're all super competitive and there was a best costume award up for grabs...

side note: the quality of some of the pictures aren't great. that's what you get with an iphone camera and bad lighting. live and learn. i'll set up the photo booth area a little better next year. and i tried to make the pics look a little smokey...yeah, not so much. also, i missed getting some pictures so this isn't everyone. i need to get better at being an organized host so that i don't miss out on some of the party while it's happening. okay, i'm done pointing out all my faults!

indian and cowboy
they were each other. my brother cam and his wife rachel. baby zebra lexy. we were all dying when they walked in!

he couldn't take the extensions halfway through the party. still very pretty though! seriously, he's 6'4''. i laughed all night.
polygamists. my brother evan and his real wife jess (left) and his sister in law kilie. i LOVED this idea! they nailed every detail down to the hair and keds with socks.

my dad and mom. the kids were terrified of my dad. he was forced to take the mask off so that little kids would stop screaming. but my mom looks cute!

power rangers. my brother brigham and his wife amy.

a witch cooking something up in the kitchen. my sister laura.
baby emmitt the tiger. my brother evan's son. adorable!

our jack o lantern pizza - we had SO much fun halloween food. everyone felt like they gained 10 pounds.
the winners of the costume contest (by one point) was my brother cam and his wife who dressed as each other! cam says that was a one time thing that will never be happening again. ha! he kept asking how in the world girls can have long hair cause he couldn't take it being in his face all night. 
oh i love it! 
this will definitely be a new tradition. every minute of it was so much fun!

Monday, October 01, 2012

catching my attention

i love the scene going on in my sunglasses.
life is busy. while i like having things to do during the day, i find the busy parts of my day to be annoying. i feel like sometimes i get caught up in the mile long to do list that awaits me every morning and it's hard to enjoy what's going on around me when i'm just focused on what's gotta get done. anyone else feel like this? anyone? anyone? i have a feeling i might not be alone in this.
so i'm really grateful for those things that jump out at me and grab my attention every now and then. those things that make me stop for a min and enjoy life. those things that make me appreciate what's going on around me.

a good quote does a lot to motivate me. i have a lot more wordy printables hanging in my house than would probably be recommended. but they keep me focused. grounded. the following has me thinking and reorganizing and relaxing. it's a good one. being content with what i am seems like that's asking a lot but i know it's important. and i actually crave the peace that would bring.

found here

 i like my husband. a lot. and i like the life we've created for ourselves, especially over the last year or so. there's more happiness than i can share. and i'm sure you're grateful for that so you don't toss your cookies listening to me gush over all the wonderfulness. we aren't perfect, by any means, but geez...the two of us together is pretty darn great. this song is on repeat for me these days just because i really like my husband.


a good recipe definitely makes me stop and take notice. it can almost make me giddy. seriously. i made gluten free pumpkin cookies the other day and i'm pretty sure they were gone in 24 hours. no joke, folks. they can be made with regular flour too so if you don't want to do the gluten free thing, you don't have to. this recipe has pumpkin and orange extract together. brilliant. 

not my kitchen. recipe is found here.
 because i love, love, love a good blog, a new blog that launched last week totally has my attention. it's the bomb dot com. it celebrates motherhood and childhood. it points out the small moments that shouldn't be taken for granted. the three ladies who run it are legit. i've been a fan of their personal blogs for a while so the fact that they are now working together is awesome. take a look. it's called small fry.

life is good.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

summer picture round-up

hello there. 
yes, i finally remembered that i have a blog. ugh. i'm so far behind in most aspects of my life lately...but let's not go there. 
first, i'm feeling better. i'm pretty much back to feeling like me again. can i get a "yahoo!" 
let's just say that recovery mixed with gnarly pain meds sprinkled with insane hormone changes doesn't make this chick a very fun person to be around. 
just ask mark. actually, don't ask mark.
it's been a frustrating (and somewhat tear filled) four weeks, to be perfectly honest. 
but enough of that...

let's move on to the fun stuff, shall we? 
i was going to break up all of these pictures into little posts but i'm thinkin i'll just go for it and overwhelm you with pictures. also, a lot of these i've already posted on instagram so i apologize for the repeats. 
and here we go...
lots of library trips

saturday mornings at the farmers market

slip n slide fun on the days we weren't sitting at the pool all day

late summer nights where izzy put herself to bed on the couch after long days
izzy had her fourth birthday. my baby is four?!
i also signed her up for a gymnastics class. the hour she spends there every thursday is the highlight of her week.
ethan's birthday is two days after izzy's. so we did a little more celebrating. not a picture of: mark and i taking ethan and his friend, kayden, out to dinner and then to see the new spiderman movie.

ethan requested dirt cake instead of a regular birthday cake. fine by me!

also during the birthday week, we went down to thanksgiving point in lehi and toured the gardens. it was beautiful.
up next, vegas! my dad made the three day trip happen by getting rooms for those of us who could make it. so much fun! pictured up top, left to right: my sister laura, me, mark, my brother cam, my sister in law rachel and my mom. my dad made the cut for the picture on the bottom.

just us girls hangin in the casino. we have twilight vampire eyes for some reason.

eating out has got to be a vacation highlight for me. no cooking and cleaning up? yes please!
vegas bingo! cam is the only one of us who won anything. that's a frustrating, and highly addictive, game.
a few days after vegas, my sister and i participated in the 'kiss me dirty' mud race. as you can see i copied this pic from their website. i'm sure we'll do the race again next year. it was a lot of fun!

and then school started and ruined all the summer fun. actually, my kids love school so they were happy to get back to it. can you believe i have a 5th grader? craziness. 
so, there you have it. our summer in a nutshell. summer was kind to us and we had a lot of good times. however, i'm completely ready for fall! bring on the cooler temps, football games and holidays!