Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012

Ah, another year gone by.  Here's what we did this year!

January:  This cute boy starting eating solid food.  First up was peas.  Quickly followed by, um, everything.

February:  I broke my toe when a rogue picture frame flew off the wall and onto my foot.

March:  My mom, the kids, and I headed to Florida to visit grandparents.  And we bought a minivan!  And the Sunbean started preschool! Busy month!

April:  Well, I'm not really sure what we did in April, but I did take this pic of my sweet girl.  And Little Dude learned to climb up the stairs {a big deal since we were in a 3-story townhome at the time}.

May:  Happy Birthday to the baby boy!

June:  We had a wonderful summer month in the Cap City with some of our best friends.  Also, my mom turned 50 {!!!}, the Sunbean started reading, and Little Dude started walking.

July:  We hit up Dublin's July 4th parade, and then move back to our old city in our old house.  Mixed feelings, but we've loved being back.  Also, I got a new lens for the camera and celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss!

August:  Happy 4th Birthday to my little lady!  Also, we went to a hot air balloon festival, traveled north for a nephew's baptism, and took plenty of boat rides.

September:  {2nd} First Day of Preschool.  Dang Indiana and their cut-off date for kindergarten.  Also, we visited our friends for their triplets' 1st birthday, attended our first of many Halloween parties, and I began the craziness that is photography season.

October:  Our first no-kids weekend!  It was easier than I thought leaving the kids {first time in 4 years...cut the cord already, woman!}, and so so so much fun remembering life in a fun city with best friends and no kids!  I sure did love those welcome-home hugs, though!

November:  I turned 29, and baby boy turned 18 months.  Ah, bittersweet.  Babyhood is over.

December:  MacGyver has 3 glorious paid weeks off of work, and SNOW!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a great Christmas.  The best.  It was different this year because of my mom's work schedule, but just as lovely.

We spent the weekend with MacGyver's family, and that was so fun.  I sure did marry into a great family!  Christmas Eve was a relaxed day.  Husband spent the afternoon helping some new people in our ward move, and I spent the afternoon cooking.  MacGyver's parents + brother came over to help us devour the feast and we played games + Santa.

Christmas morning, we peeked in our stockings:

 And found lots of treats:

The Sunbean found the soft doll she's been wanting:

We spent the rest of the morning playing + opening presents.  Husband's family came over to watch the show.

My cuties in the matching pjs - a tradition.

After naps we headed over to my parents, where these kids continued to be spoiled rotten {and I forgot my camera}.

We had a great weekend with the people we love the most, and are enjoying another week with MacGyver home!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wrapped and Done

My motto for the holidays is 'wrapped and done by December 1'.  I start planning in October, thanks in part to the lovely app I have for my phone, and finish up shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  Then I wrap it up that weekend, and we're all set to go.

There is, of course, always the few straggler gifts, especially the handmade ones.  Tonight I finished up the pjs that are a tradition in our home, and put a few finishing touches on Little Dude's big gift.

This year, the Sunbean requested 'lots' of matching outfits for her and her favorite, 'grey kitty'.  Luckily, 'grey kitty' is basically the same shape as her Bitty Baby, 'bitty', so the clothes were easy to make.  Because I'm way too cheap to buy the matching outfits.  Also, don't you love the creativity we have going on here with the names?

I didn't take pics of the outfits, but I decided that every busy momma needs a bag to hold all of her gear.

I love it!  Kinda wish I had one my size.  I used fusible fleece, which was a first, and loved how sturdy it made the bag.

 I filled it with a bunch of her doll stuff, because the last thing we need is more of that stuff.

Gotta love easy access outside pockets.  Even though the Sunbean asks me why some babies drink from bottles.  She totally doesn't get the bottle thing.

Ah, and to top it all off, a lovely coordinating front pack baby carrier.  I mean, grey kitty carrier.

I got all of those fabrics at Joann's....can you believe it?!?

Here's hoping your Christmas shopping/crafting/sewing/creating is nearing an end!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bah, Humbug!

If you know me, you know I love, love, LOVE the Christmas season.  Like, boil-it-down-and-inject-it-in-my-veins love it.  I love everything about it.

Of course, I love celebrating the birth of the Savior.  I love teaching my children about the miracles that happened on that sweet night and what it means for us.  My four-year-old can tell the Christmas story with the best of 'em.

But guess what?  I also love the 'other' stuff.  I love giving gifts.  I love the increased sense of generosity.  I love the sense of brotherhood.

But guess what else?  I love seeing Christmas stuff in stores in October.  I love Santa.  I love Elf on the Shelf.  I love how it takes me nearly 3 hours to get a gallon of milk.  I love taking far too long to choose my yearly wrapping paper.  I love obsessing over food/treats/gifts/everything.  I love buying way too much stuff for my kids.  I love making my house look beautiful and festive and most likely a tad bit tacky.

And, dang it, that is okay.

Something has been making me mad lately.  Like, lay-awake-at-night-and-stew-about-it angry.  And drive-my-husband-crazy-because-I-talk-of-little-else angry.

It's this little comment {or something like it}:  "We don't do the 'other' Christmas stuff so we can focus on the Savior."  Of course, this isn't bad.  Not at all.  But it is *almost* always paired with some sort of attitude.

It's great that you pare down the holiday season to make it simple and focused.  But it's also great that I don't.

We're totally the Santa family.  And I will go to great lengths to keep my kids believing for as long as I can.  Time passes so quickly, and before I know it, I'll have a house full of smelly teenagers {Santa will still visit, though!}.  I want to look back and remember how they bounced out of bed every morning in December to find our elf, Nutcracker.  I want to remember how they shyly approached Santa, and looked at him with awe.

I want to cherish their innocence as long as possible.  Soon, they will learn what the world is really all about.  This time of year is magical, and I feel that it's my job to perpetuate that magic.  Childhood is such a fleeting moment, and I want to relish in each and every innocent moment.

It's also my job to teach them about the birth of Christ, but I'm one of those who believes I can do both.  You're not?  Fine.  Just lose the 'tude.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Haul Out the...


We all spent last week being sick.  And then passed it on to our families.  It was so gross...a nasty stomach bug.  It's been years since I've been sick like that.


I'm still up to my eyeballs in editing.  I love it!  I never, ever thought I'd be taking pictures for people and that they'd be paying me money to do it.  It's just so fun!


Just a few more tiny gifts, and Christmas shopping is all done.  Such a great feeling!  Most of it is wrapped and ready to go.


Well, kinda.  We've had two buyers for our house, and both have backed out at the last minute.  It's really frustrating and very emotional.  Both times, we've found houses we loved.  I'm sure we'll find the perfect house when we actually have a buyer, I just want it to be right now.


We got down the Christmas decorations over the weekend.  They make me so happy.  Although, this year when I got out the bright jewel-tone stuff that I've loved in the past, I decided to spray paint it silver.  And I'm making new stockings that are linen and herringbone.  Yikes...I'm getting old!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Remember That One Time?

When I blogged?

I'm just lost in the crazy-busy of being a photographer and having a house for sale.

I'm thankful for both.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from all of us:

 abby caddabby
{no one had a clue who she was, which surprised me.  aren't all kids sesame street junkies?}

{with the dorothy treat bag.  there are elmo hands, but they aren't very popular with my busy boy.}

macgruber and rosie the riveter
{obviously no one gets us.  people didn't get the macgruber thing.  didn't even guess macgyver.  what you can't see in the pic is the wires and paperclips hanging out of this pockets, and dirt all over the place.  i still say it was a great costume.}

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hallway Age

For a few months now, Little Dude has been what I consider 'hallway age'.  That means that while at church for our three-hour block of classes/meetings, we spent most of the time in the hallway.

He's too old to be satisfied with sitting and playing with toys, and too young to go into the nursery {consider this my request for nursery to begin at 12 months}.  We can't sit in a meeting for more than 5 minutes without becoming a very large distraction.

So into the hallway we go.  We walk around and get drinks from the drinking fountain every 3 seconds.  For a few weeks in a row, the Primary was practicing in the chapel, which mesmerized the dude.  He just wants to be big.

As a side note, the Sunbean was awesome in the Primary Program.  She knew all of the words and sang most of the time.  And even spoke into the mic for her part!  That's a big deal for my shy girl.

Of course, I didn't get to see much of the program.  I was in the hallway.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

We had both today.

After the crazy weekend we had, I feel like we need another weekend to recover.  On Saturday, we cleaned the church, had 4 photo shoots, baked and decorated 4 dozen cake pops and 2 dozen donut holes, MacGyver worked for a few hours, and we went to a Halloween party/hayride.  Sunday was church and another family gathering + home teaching.

My photography has exploded.  This is not a complaint.  Let me know if you'd like to schedule a photo shoot!

Our house is for sale.  We've had a fair amount of interest, especially considering the time of year.  Two couples are awaiting financing.  We're doing for sale by owner for now, and then we'll list it with MacGyver's mom in the spring if needed.  We're staying in the area, just wanting something a little bigger.  With a basement.  And high ceilings.  And odd angles.  And lots of bedrooms.  And a big kitchen.  And a big garage.

I'm sick of politics taking over the television.  

Suggestions for Netflix shows?  Or hulu+.  We have both.  I'm not sure why.

For your viewing pleasure, here are my cuties:

Like always, a labor of love but totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Give 'Em the Ol' Razzle Dazzle

Great musical, better city.

Last weekend, I took a very big step as a parent.  We dropped the kids off with my parents on Friday night, and then headed up to Chicago with our good friends.  Six adults, no kids.  It.  Was.  Awesome.

We were so high on being alone without our kids for the first time in um, ever, that we barely noticed the torrential downpour that graced Chicago the entire time we were there.

It rained pretty much all day Saturday, though we did get to enjoy dinner outside, sans rain.  If you're a Chicagoland-er, please eat at Brick House Tavern.  Seriously delicious.  We got to talk to the owner, and he was pretty jazzed about the menu.  He over-explained everything, and we ordered just about everything and shared it.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, it was so good that we found the three large rats running past hilarious.  It was right on the river, though, so I guess that's just part of the experience?

This cute girl celebrated her 30th yesterday!

We've been friends with these 4 people for years.  It was so great to just hang out.

We had some Chicago-style pizza for lunch.  Everyone else wasn't super impressed, but mine was delish.  Yummy stuff.

We also hit up Nordstrom Rack, where our big purchases were an umbrella and socks.  Next was Target {ya, I'm totally the girl who drives to Chicago and then shops at Target}, where I got a cute new jacket.

We of course snacked on Garrett's popcorn and walked up and down Michigan Avenue.  I kept trying to convince MacGyver to take me shopping at Tiffany's for these, but he didn't.  ;)

We also made the requisite stop at American Girl Place.  The Sunbean had a gift card from her birthday, and sent us with a detailed shopping list.  I was just happy to have a valid reason to visit.

See my new jacket?

The best part of the trip was just spending time with this guy.  We've never done anything like this without our kids, and it was seriously great.  Can't wait until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I Felt Like the Fun Mom

To save ourselves from a day of the grumpies, we decided to bust out the playdough.

Except the playdough was hardish and weirdly crumbly.  Which is actually no surprise, since I rarely have the patience that playdough requires.

Well, we took it one step further and made our playdough today.  We used this recipe, and I'll use it again.

I got out the cream of tarter, only to find that it was empty {who does that?  me, apparently.}, so I omitted it.  I didn't see any ill effects.

And all I keep in the house is whole-wheat flour, so our dough was pretty brownish and had a distinct 'wheaty' smell that I doubt the white-flour versions have.

And adding the food coloring after it cooks didn't work for us.  Well, I guess it did.  We just have brown dough with swirls of color.  My littles didn't care.

Ah, and Little Dude.  So sweet.  He was totally getting into this.  He loved mashing it down and using the cookie cutters.  Made him look like such a big boy.  I love activities my kids both actually enjoy.

And he didn't eat much of it.  Actually, I think this is the very first thing that he has ever put in his mouth, and then taken out on his own.  I told him to go ahead and eat it, but he spit it out.  Maybe it was that cup of salt?  But really, this is a major improvement for the boy who eats his own poop {it only happened once}.

Happy Weekend!  We're headed on an adventure without kids.  Pics to come on Monday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Serious Second Life

Remember how we inherited a dresser from my grandparents?  Well, the Sunbean's birthday party {two months ago} was the perfect little push we needed to get it done.  When we have parties, people see every square inch of our house.  The way the floor plan is arranged, if anyone needs to use the bathroom or goes back to the kids' rooms, they're also going to see our room.

So we knew our bedroom would have a little traffic, and we wanted her lookin' good.  As a reminder, here is the piece as we got it:

And here she is now:

Wowzers!  Hard to believe it's the same piece.  I love, love, love it.  We got the hardware and legs {LOVE those legs!} at Lowe's.  We sanded it down first, but didn't get too crazy with it.  Then I used 2 coats of a bonding primer and 2 coats of latex paint in matte.  I can't remember the name of the color, but it's slate gray.  Pretty dark, but not quite black.

I just seriously can't believe it was so easy and so cheap to get something that looks almost exactly like really expensive dressers from West Elm or Pottery Barn.  Winning!