Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lots of Smiles

Something that makes me smile? UPS trucks.

Something that gets a toothy grin? UPS trucks on Christmas Eve.

Something that makes me beam? UPS trucks on Christmas Eve with drivers running to deliver packages.

Think of all the Christmas packages getting there in the nick of time!

And finally, something that makes me shout for joy? Snow on Christmas Eve! IT'S SNOWING AGAIN! I'm loving it.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

*I feel that I should clarify: we didn't get any packages Christmas Eve. I just saw the UPS truck while I was on a walk.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Quote 12/22/08

"I hope he won't forget to clack his castinet,
And to his reindeer say,
'On Pancho! On Vixen! On Pedro! On Blitzen'
Ole! Ole! Ole! Cha cha cha!"

Originally by Augie Rios, perfected by Guster (in my opinion). Donde Esta Santa Claus! New quote up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Come one, come all! It's free. F R E E. And who doesn't love Christmas music?


Christmas came early for me this year. Last night seriously felt like Christmas Eve. First, I got to sing in the Forgotten Carols. I have never seen this production before, so it really was a special experience to be on stage, singing in the choir, watching everything unfold. I got all teary-eyed many different times, but especially during Sarah's song in the maternity ward. Oh man, I just about lost it. Once again, I am so grateful to have a daughter, to be a mother. I wanted it so bad for what felt like ages, and now it's like every day is a beautiful gift from God. Anyway, it sounds cheesy I'm sure, but the show felt magical.

And it was snowing! It started snowing at about 4:30/5 yesterday, and it snowed all night. When the show was over, there was quite a bit of accumulation on the ground, and someone in the choir got a phone call that school was canceled. Woo! Not that it affects us in any way, but for some reason it makes me feel like a kid again. It's a snow day!

After some late night cookie baking, Clark and I finally turned out the lights and headed to bed, only to catch a glimpse of this outside:

Do you see the size of those flakes?! And notice all the snow on the ground. I know, it doesn't seem like much to you northerners, but for St George? That is a lot of snow. The most we've ever seen down here.

This morning everything was so lovely and covered in snow, I decided that we just had to go for a walk. So we got all bundled up and headed out:

Julia fell asleep in the first 5 minutes, which is probably a good thing. But I tromped around the neighborhood, pushing the stroller through the snow. Again, cheesy as it sounds, it felt magical to be out in the snow. It felt like Christmas.

We went past a church and saw some kids building some sort of fort. Looks like they are planning on having a battle or something:
Can you see all the snow on the trees? We measured about 2 inches at our house. 2 inches!!!

Here is our backyard at 11am. Things had melted a bit by this point, and they've melted a lot more by now. But still, it's so white and beautiful!

In case you couldn't tell, I love winter. Love, love, love it. And I live in St George. *sigh*

And because it's been a little while, here is a video of my darling baby girl. Crawling, playing, babbling, waving hello, what more could you want in an 8-month-old?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Talon Larson

I followed a link from Katie's blog and read this family's story. Their 6 month old adopted son, Talon, was taken away from them this past week. The details of their story are on the blog. I bawled when I read it. I can't imagine having your child taken from you, it's heartbreaking. I don't know anything about adoption law, let alone native american adoption law, but this seems ridiculous. I hope and pray that somehow they can get Talon back. I feel like there isn't much that I can do personally to help them, but I can try to spread the word. If you feel so inclined, you should do the same.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day

Alex wondered why there were no pictures of the snow yesterday. Well, when I posted, there really wasn't anything to take a picture of. Snow was coming from the sky, and melting at the ground. Really, that's a good kind of snow, because it doesn't make things icy or slick, but it's still pretty. And I figured that it would snow for an hour, and then clear up. Julia and I rushed outside (in our pajamas!) so that she could touch snow for the first time. She didn't seem terribly excited about it, but slightly intrigued. Anyway, I figured that would be that, and we'd have our sunshine back by the afternoon.

Much to my delight, it snowed ALL DAY LONG!!! What a fabulous day! I love snow. And winter. Here is the picture I took of our backyard at about 4pm:

And here is our backyard this morning:

It pretty much quit snowing when we went to bed last night, but you can't take pictures in the dark, so we had to wait until morning. Yes, this is the result of a full day of snowing (and there were even some big, fluffy flakes in there, too). Ah, well. We'll be going up north in a couple of weeks, maybe we'll see some real snow drifts then.

In other news, Julia finally polished off a jar of baby food. We opened a jar of "Blueberries & Apples" Friday night, and we've been giving her a few bites at every meal. She is much more cooperative than she has been, but only to a point. Which is why it's taken 3 days for her to finish it. But we're making progress! Also, we gave her some mashed potatoes last night, and she gobbled those right up. Good girl!

And finally, I was searching the library's website for new movies to watch, and I came across this gem: Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Wow. Nothing like bikini-clad robots to spice up a movie.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekly Quote 12/15/08

"What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heav'nly King?
Awake the voice!
Awake the string!
Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honour to this day
That sees December turn'd to May,
That sees December turn'd to May."

This was from "What Sweeter Music" by John Rutter. We're singing it in choir, or else I wouldn't know the words. New quote up!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Haul out the holly

Christmas is in full swing at our house, which is delightful, but also quite busy. Here's a sampling of what we've been doing:
  1. Our itty bitty 4 foot tree is up! It's worked nicely for us in the past, and I think it will serve us well once again this year. It's so small that we can put it up on a table, and then Julia can't get to any ornaments, lights, or presents. But I think next year we might need to spring for a bigger tree. Maybe we'll have to hit the day after Christmas sales.
  2. We went to our ward party last weekend! We had us some yummy food, and enjoyed sitting with the Lowes. Also, they didn't have Santa, instead the bishopric dressed up as the Three Wise Men and gave out gifts to the kiddies, isn't that an awesome idea? I thought it was so clever.
  3. The presents are (almost) all wrapped. I've only got a couple of things left to purchase, and it's only December 12! Woo! I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I was inspired by this woman and her desire to simplify Christmas last year. And so we are each receiving something we NEED, something we WANT, something to READ, and something to WEAR. And, of course, Santa will leave a little gift as well. I figured this would be a nice tradition to start, especially since I can see how easy it would be to go overboard on gifts for your children. Julia's gifts are all done and ready, and Clark's are almost done. We decided that our NEED would be the combined gift of a new vacuum cleaner. Thrilling, I know.
  4. I've been singing, singing, and singing Christmas music! I'm singing with the choir in the Forgotten Carols next week, and my community choir (Lieto!) has its Christmas concert next Saturday. All of you who live in the area should come, because it's FREE. 7:30pm, Saturday December 20, at Pineview High School. It should be uplifting, I know it is for me every week when we practice. Oh, and then we have our ward choir stuff next Sunday. Lots of music, and I love it!
  5. Tomorrow we are going to see all the nativity sets at the Green Valley Stake Center. We've done this the past 2 years, and I have loved it. They seriously have hundreds of these nativity sets on display, and they play beautiful Christmas music, it really is wonderful. You should go to that, too. It's open house today and tomorrow.
We still need to finish our Christmas card, and I am dying to make some cookie press cookies (thanks to Melissa!). Between all that, Julia boycotting naps (she looks so tired at the end of the day, but the girl just won't fall asleep unless someone is holding her; I think it's part of her recent stranger anxiety flare up), and my ensuing meltdowns, I haven't had much time to blog lately. But you all are probably too busy with your Christmas things to read it anyway.


I'm not what one might call "crafty." Occasionally I dabble in the craft arts, and usually it turns out looking like a first grade art project. I don't do scrapbooking for this reason. And most of our home decor is somewhat random. I like it, and thus it goes on my wall. Things don't necessarily match, per se.

But this year, I decided I wanted a Christmas wreath. We have a house, we should at least try to make it home-y. However, I was not willing to pay over $20 for said wreath, because, well, we already have enough stuff to buy for Christmas, and our budget is looking pretty sad these days.

Enter Roberts Crafts. I purchased a grapevine wreath and a sprig of fake berries for $7.42. I cut up the sprig and stuck the pieces in the wreath. And then I found a piece of ribbon lying around and tied it at the top. My mother was so kind as to provide the wreath hanger. And then, by a major stroke of luck, Holly had some extra vinyl lettering, so we put that in the middle. Voila!

Celebrate is right, I've got a cute wreath on my door! I am shocked, really, that it turned out so well.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Loads of Laundry

I think this picture should be part of an advertising campaign for laundry services:

"Do you feel buried in laundry? Let us do it for you!"

Or something like that.

It's Monday. Laundry day. And Julia is just now, at 5pm, asleep. Oy.

Weekly Quote 12/8/08

"Trends come and go, and your friends wanna know why you aren't just happy making crappy little gizmos; Every kid knows they'll just throw this stuff away."

Last week's quote was from the album Barenaked for the Holidays by BNL, the song "Elf's Lament." Excellent stuff. New quote up!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Silly Times with the Blockburgers

We finally put up our Christmas decorations today (Clark is working on some lights right now!), and I discovered that with very little effort this:

becomes this:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Thanks to Aunt Suzanne, Julia got to experience the zoo for the first time last Friday. Woo! We went into it knowing that Julia probably wouldn't notice the animals, but she surprised me. Sure, there were a lot of animals she didn't seem to care about, but once we got in the small animal building, she was all over it. Probably because the small animals are always on the go, so she can see them better. And she wasn't in the stroller, I think that helped. Here is a video:

Remember how it is impossible to take a non-blurry picture of 2 squirmy kids? Yeah, this further proves the fact:But here is a solo shot of our well-bundled child. It was chilly, but not nearly as cold as I worried it would be. And cold weather means fewer people to fight with over window space.

Clark buying part of the coral reef. This was a big deal to him.

I took this picture to document perhaps the only time the whole weekend when someone other than Clark or I was holding Julia and she wasn't crying. Props to Carrie and the power of distraction.
Clark buying part of the rainforest. Again, this was a big deal to him.

Riding the carousel!

Sweet baby "Joo-ah," tuckered out from all the fun.

Seriously, Suzanne, thanks for taking us to the zoo. We all had a grand time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We survived Thanksgiving! We went up to the Salt Lake Valley to visit all our family up there. Our big turkey meal was at Grandma and Grandpa Hurst's house, and I thought it was wonderful to see so many aunts, uncles, and cousins there. Julia had other thoughts. The poor kid had a rough weekend, between having a cold, cutting a new tooth (we're up to 2 now!), and all the people trying to hold her. Her own grandparents might as well have been complete strangers who were trying to kidnap her. And even Clark got a taste of Julia's "stranger danger." I had to tell her more than once, "Hello! This is your father! You know, the guy who sees you every day!" It was all mama all the time. I decided that, since it was Thanksgiving and all, I'd be grateful for a daughter who loves me and wants me to hold her, rather than wishing for a break. Anyway, back to the big news. Oh yes, there is big news. JULIA ATE FROM A SPOON! It's a Thanksgiving miracle! My grandma kept saying, "I'll be Julia would like some of those yams, you should try it," and I kept saying, "Well, she hates to eat everything from a spoon." But I decided to just show everyone her dislike for spoons, and BAM! Suddenly the yams were in her mouth, and she was chewing them, and swallowing (swallowing!), and opening her mouth for more. Here is the evidence: See how she has yams on her face? And see how she isn't flipping out? As a side note, I also ate yams for the first time in many years, and I liked the yams for the first time ever. Bring on the vegetables, I'm a changed woman.

We also visited the Blockburgers on Thanksgiving, and attempted to get a shot of Julia with Great-Grandma Meme. But this is what happened:

A pretty good example of what happened every time anyone tried to hold her at all. Christy asked if we had tried giving her something for sore gums (which we hadn't), but I couldn't help be notice that she's not upset all the time, just when someone besides mom is trying to hold her. In fact, she loved loved LOVED to see other kids. We were so glad to see the Shaefers, but I don't know if anyone was happier than Lauren and "Baby Joo-ah." Julia decided to demonstrate a new skill by full on saying, "Hi," when she first saw Lauren. And then she learned to wave at everyone. She also loved to watch Lauren run around, and Lauren liked to show Julia how to crawl. It was very cute. But how do you take a picture of 2 squirmy kids?
The answer is: you don't. But you can take a video! Mostly this video is of Julia crawling over to one of the the floor vents, but Lauren pops in as well.

Coming soon: our trip to the zoo.

Weekly Quote 12/1/08

"You've been so kind and generous
I don't know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I'm in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
And for everything you've done
You know I'm bound to thank you for it."

Bean was right, it was Natalie Merchant.

New quote up!