Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, Thanksgiving has past, and what a weekend it has been! I had been preparing for this holiday the whole week. We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year (25 people) so I started getting ready for it early.

Wednesday evening Paul came home!!! It was so wonderful to see him again. Can I just say that in the last 94 days, Paul has only been home for 9 of those days. Kinda depressing. But that's an entirely different story, that includes some complaining, that I may or may not get to.

For now, back to our weekend. So Thanksgiving day we get up, start the turkey and try to keep the girls from destroying the house before everyone comes so they can see it clean for 30 seconds. Like I said, 25 people came which is a lot to cook for, but when it's my family, you don't have to worry so much about the cooking. People brought just about everything from yams, ham, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, pies, pickles, olives, stuffing... I'm sure I'm leaving some things out, but there was a lot of food that I didn't have to prepare! It was wonderful! People started showing up around 12:30 and the last people left around 6:30.

Here are just a few pictures of that wonderful Thanksgiving day!

Grandma and Grandpa's anniversary was the exact same day as Thanksgiving this year! 57 years together! Paul and I did up a special DVD for them that I'll post later.

Paul and Karl cooking in the kitchen, and doing some geek talking (stuff I don't understand, I just nod and smile at).

Our cousin Mindy was able to make it!

Ashley made a turkey mask to wear.

Aunt Sandy and Eden.

Ryan and the lovely Melanie.

Host and Hostess.

The kids table. (Does anyone else have kids who like to make silly faces just as you're taking the picture?)

The adult table.

Amanda and Paul.

And here is the absolute, most delicious part of the evening. Dessert included several kinds of pie, ice cream and a chocolate fountain with a variety of fruit and candy to dip.

And if you're still reading, I'll keep going! On Friday Paul had to work, but we were able to go out for lunch as a family. The girls and I started decorating for Christmas. We basically had a quiet peaceful day!

Saturday morning I had to run out to do pictures of a family. When I got back we had lunch and decorated our Christmas tree! (Well, decorated one of the 3 large trees I have up.)

The final touch!

The finished product. We normally get a real tree, but this year we didn't. We decided with our house still on the market and needing to turn on lights for open houses, we didn't want to run the risk of a huge mess or the fire hazard of lights on a real tree. So this year we went fake.

Saturday afternoon we decided to head downtown as a family to see the lights. We got to the Joseph Smith Memorial building at 5:00 expecting to get right into The Garden Restaurant, but there was already an hour wait. So we decided to do things out of order and see the lights first. We got outside at about 5:25 and got to see the light come on at 5:30! It was pretty cool to see so many lights come on all at once. Of course, I forgot my camera, so there aren't any pictures of it. But I promise we were there.

After stopping to see the Christus statue, we headed back to the restaurant to eat dinner. During dinner, Eden kept saying how tired she was and that she wasn't hungry. So I held her and she fell asleep on me. We had a wonderful time there. Ashley and Amanda pigged out on cheese sandwiches, fries and chocolate cake!

On the way home though, we heard the thing that no parent likes to hear. The horrible URP that makes you realize your child is 2 rows back and you're driving in the middle lane unable to help her. I was driving, and thankfully Paul was able to make it over the seats to help her a bit and found a make-shift container for Eden to finish throwing up in. Thankfully Eden only threw up twice on the way home. Ever since then she's had a very high fever.

Which brings us to Sunday. It being Thanksgiving weekend and all, we couldn't find a babysitter, so my mom graciously offered to watch our kids for the couple of hours between church and Paul's leaving so we could finally go on a date. The last time he was home we didn't have a chance to go on a date, so it had been 2 months since we'd been out.

With Eden still running a high fever we had to cancel. So now it's going to be at least 3 months between dates. That's more than just kind of a bummer, that's down right depressing. So, instead of the day we had planned, Paul spent his last day at home like this:
Eden spent the vast majority of Sunday in the exact same spot on the floor.

I feel bad for Paul, but I know he loves taking care of his daughters. Along the same note of sickness, Amanda most likely has an ear infection and Ashley was complaining of her ear hurting just before going down. Either way, I'm definitely going to be spending some time at the doctor's office tomorrow. I just hope the rest of us don't get what Eden has.

So, our Thanksgiving weekend started off wonderfully and just kinda went down hill from there. Oh well, we see Paul again in 23 days. Maybe if we're really lucky no one will be or get sick and hopefully we'll be able to go on a date!

(Can our house please sell!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bow Holder

With Paul up in Washington and my girls going to bed by 8:00, I've taken up a few hobbies to help keep me sane during the long evening hours when it's just me. I tried the vegging out on the couch thing with snacks, but that got old, and I gained weight, which doesn't fit in with my losing weight plans.

So as most of you know, I started making hair bows for my girls. I've made around 10 bows now and each time I put them away, I have to carefully set them in a spot where they won't be smashed by all the other hair stuff. I don't have enough drawer space in my bathroom to keep all the bows nice and neat, so I started looking around for hair bow holders. I found these and thought they were absolutely adorable! At the time I found them, she wasn't taking orders because she was behind. The cheapest one on there is $35. She's now taking orders, but I don't need one anymore!

I made my own pattern and just went for it! But since I have 3 girls, I still need to make one more. Oh, and please let me know which bodice top you like better. I can't decide if I like it straight across or with the little neck cutout.

The colors are off slightly. The top one is a sage green with a soft rose pink color. And the bottom one is a bright pink with a dark purple. The pictures for some reason didn't turn out very well.

What you do is clip the bows on the ribbons that hang down. That way, they aren't taking up drawer space and they aren't getting squished. My cost, about $8 each. Not as great as the other lady's, but hey, I'm still working on it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Exactly 10 Years Ago

Can I just tell you how wonderful my husband is!?! As most of you know, Paul is up in Washington State with his new job while the rest of us are here in Utah trying to get the house sold. It's been hard and at times depressing. We've been making it work though, but we all miss each other more than words can say.

Last night, Paul and I were talking and I just burst into tears. I'm sick of all this waiting and not knowing what's going to happen. So I kinda let it all out on him. Which I'm sorry for, Paul. So, today I woke up feeling kinda bummed about things still but tried to go about my day in a happy way. We ran out to MacDonald's around lunch time and when we got home there was a package on the doorstep.

Inside was this:

And a card that said this:
"An Epic meeting + 2 hours of babbling = 10 years of the greatest happiness.
Who knew? Thank you for being everything you are to me, and letting
me become part of your life those many years ago.
-November 22nd 1998"

Let me explain that note a bit. The day we met was at a singles ward on a Sunday. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Paul and I had never met, but he says he saw me up on the stand. I was asked to play the piano at the last minute for Sacrament meeting. He said he noticed me up there looking kinda frazzled and nervous. Paul told me after seeing me up there he wanted to find me after Sacrament meeting was over and introduce himself. But after the meeting he lost track of me and went to stack chairs in the primary room and then stayed to practice some songs. One song he practiced was a song he wrote, which he called "Epic" (which is the "epic" part of the note). As he was practicing, I was stuck out in the hall just a few doors down from the primary room and could hear him playing, so after I got out of being cornered by someone, I decided to stop by the room to see if maybe whoever was playing had sheet music they wouldn't mind sharing.

I cracked the door open and stuck my head in, fully expecting a woman to be sitting at the piano. But as I blurted out the words "Sounds good, do you have the sheet music for that?" I noticed it wasn't a woman at all. It was a man I'd never seen before, but since I'd already asked the question, I figure I may as well go in and see if the sheet music was available.

I had no idea that first meeting with Paul would be over 2 hours long. He talked and talked, and I sat and listened. I could have told you a ton about him after those 2 hours. I did get the music, a couple of weeks later. Paul was going to be up in Washington for Thanksgiving so I knew it would be 2 weeks before I saw him again.

Now, just a quick back history here. Normally when I would meet someone, the next time I would see them, the person wouldn't really remember me. Paul seemed to like me and I liked him. Wasn't sure anything other than a friendship would come of it, so I decided to test him. The first time he saw me and we met, I had straight hair. So the next Sunday I knew he would be there, I decided to do my hair up curly to see if he 1- would remember me and 2- if he was actually serious enough to come looking for me.

It worked. He found me! But when I told him later (after we got married) that I did that to test him, he was glad he passed the test.

So anywho, 10 years ago to this exact date, Paul and I met for the very first time. I have to say, being with Paul has really changed my life. I cannot express how thankful I am to have him for a husband. He's so extremely patient with me and our daughters. Paul treats me with absolute respect. He loves me and tells me in so many ways each and everyday. I have to say that I am the most blest to have him.

Paul, I love you with all my heart and more. Thank you for all you do. I can't wait for us to be a family again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hawaii Here We Come!

Or, at least in 100 days!

Yup, that's right! Paul and I get to go to Hawaii in February! I'm so excited, I've been counting down since 167 days. We'll be there for a whole week. My amazing Mom and wonderful step-dad have offered to take us! Now, don't get me wrong, Karl (my step-dad) has a time share down there and he needed to use up some time, or lose it. So he offered to all my siblings a chance to go. We're still paying for the trip, and everything that we do, but we don't have to worry about where to stay. Another plus that I see in all this, is that we'll be going with Mom, Karl and I think Aunt Sandy, so they've all been there and know the best places to go, so we won't be wasting time wondering what to do. Oh, and Karl is awesome because he loves shopping just as much as I do.

I'm so stoked! But, with all that being said, I'm also a little stressed. For one, our kids won't be with us and I've never been away from my kids for more that 3 and 1/2 days. For second, I now only have 100 days to lose weight. I'd like to lose 35 pounds (which won't even put me close to my weight when I was married) but for the trip to Hawaii, I'm shooting for a loss of 20 to 25 pounds. Mostly I just want to be fit and healthy, but losing weight and thinning out is most likely going to happen too, but if not, oh well. I'll spare you before and after pictures (which I will admit to thinning myself out on each picture I post, so you can't really compare). At the moment, I've lost 5 pounds. Well, I'm keeping the 5 pounds off. If I eat right and exercise then I can get down to 7 pounds lost, but I'm still struggling with it all and if I slack at all, some of it comes back. For now, I'm keeping those first 5 pounds off (which are also the easiest to lose). So I guess we'll see how well I do for the next 100 days.

Anywho, sorry for the ramblings. I'm just super excited to be going to Hawaii!!! YES!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fun Hair

Well, today being Saturday, I thought I'd play with Ashley's hair since she goes back on track Monday and I won't have much time to do her hair in cute ways since she has to be ready to go by 7:45 am. On Sunday's I have to have all 4 of us ready and at church by 9:00. I know that doesn't sound hard, but when Paul isn't here to help, it gets hectic.

So here's Ashley's hair. I got the idea off of here. I'm still learning how to do messy buns, so Ashley's are kinda lopsided but you get the idea.

Here's the top. You can get the instructions off the site I got them off of. I'm not even going to try to explain it.

And here's the bottom, which the other lady didn't do, but you basically do the same thing only up towards the top and join the pigtails.

And here's Ashley from the front, although I should have shot from higher up so you could see more of the hair. But hopefully you get the general idea.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home

Paul was home last weekend! For 4 whole days! He flew in Wednesday evening. We got home, he put our daughters to bed and we had a lovely meal that he made, fettuccine alfredo! He's a wonderful cook.

Thursday we went to the zoo! Who knew it would be 70 degrees the second to last day in October. I was expecting it to be at least a little cool, so the girls and myself dressed in long sleeves. We were sweating walking around out there.

It's so fun to go to the zoo in the fall. The animals aren't too hot so they're more active. And there aren't as many people. We spent several hours there.

Amanda was so funny! She hated the statues of the animals, was totally afraid of them, but loved the real things. We couldn't get her to stand in front of this gorilla. Although I can't say that I blame her. He looks mean.

Here they are picking his nose!

I have taken several pictures of brides or grooms closing they're eyes right when I take their picture. I even took a picture of an owl right when she blinked. So here's another picture to add to my "Marvelous Book of Blinks".

That evening we decorated a gingerbread house. I love doing those, but my kids don't eat any of it once it's done, so I feel kinda guilty throwing it out. But we had a lot of fun doing that.

Amanda helped a little, but decided it was funner to eat the decorations. I think she had the right idea.

Being married to a geek, we got a special decoration to put on the house. Paul spent a while on this. I think it turned out kinda cute.

And the final product!

Friday was, of course, Halloween. Eden had a party at preschool and afterwards with the girl totally decked out, we went to a few shops, just so they could be seen, and had lunch at Arby's.

We did our pumpkins that afternoon. We normally carve them, but since we were short on time, and I forgot to get big ones, we just used stickers to decorate ours.

Amanda saw me kiss mine so she had to do the same. So cute!

That evening we went trick-or-treating with my sister and her kids. We got a ton of candy. At one house, I went to wish them a "Happy Halloween" and instead blurted out "Merry Christmas"! The kids heard that and decided to say "Merry Christmas" at just about every house after that.

I know you've already seen their outfits, but here they are again.

Saturday we spent a couple of hours raking leaves and just being home. Sunday, Christie and Dillon blessed Bailey, so Paul was able to see everyone before he left that evening.

So, if you've made it all the way to the end of this, I'm sorry for the flood of pictures.

We had a wonderful time having Paul/daddy home. We really miss being together as a family. Luckily this time we only have to wait 3 and 1/2 weeks before he comes again. Still not very fun having to wait though. So if ya'll could keep us in your prayers that our house will sell soon, we'd greatly appriciate it. THANKS!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Voice of the Soul is Music

I have to say a big huge "Thank you" to my mother. She taught me to play the piano. I've always loved playing the piano, though while I was taking lessons, she would have to force me to practice the songs she gave me. I'd much rather have just played what I wanted, but because she was so diligent, and at one point, sent me to another teacher, I learned the piano. I've especially enjoyed my calling I've had for the last 3 and 1/2 years, I still have it. I'm the primary pianist!

I've never thought I was very good. Not that I'm terrible, but I still enjoy learning new songs. My absolute favorite songs to learn are Christmas songs. I have an awesome book by David Lanz. He's songs are so beautiful, and not just the typical happy, go-lucky Christmas song, some are very moving. I've played one of his song in Sacrament meeting and several people came up to me afterward and said they were so touched. One lady was telling me how much she enjoyed it and her teenage daughter looked at me, kinda rolled her eyes and said "Yeah, she started crying, over a song." David Lanz has some extremely well written songs. Other songs of his, aren't so good.

But that's not the point of this post. I received in the mail today a book that I have been waiting for! I've looked for over a year for some sort of song book, or sheet music that had George Winston's music. Finally they came out with a whole book full of 20 songs of his!!! I was so excited! For those of you who don't know his stuff, he did the music for the Velveteen Rabbit and The Snowman movies. He's put out several albums and he has so many songs I've wanted to learn. Finally, I can!

Some of the songs I can't wait to learn out of this book are: Joy, Carol of the Bells, Reflection, Thanksgiving, Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel, The Veleteen Rabbit, Walking in the Air and The Snowman's Music Box Dance (I'm most excited to learn this one). Here's the Music Box song if you want to listen to it.

So, this year for the annual Christmas Eve program that we do with the families who live in Utah, I'll probably play one of those Christmas songs instead of one by David Lanz. You know, those of you who don't live in Utah could still come. It's at our house this year (assuming our house hasn't sold yet).

Paul was home this weekend, for 4 days! I'll post stuff on that a bit later.