President Gordon B. Hinckley

I just found out that President Gordon B. Hinckley, the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, passed away at his home a few hours ago. He passed away today, Jan 27th at around 7:00 at the age of 97 years old. I have to say that upon hearing the news, initially I was very, very sad. What an incredible, selfless, warm, funny and righteous man we have had the privilege of calling our prophet for nearly 13 years. I cannot imagine a General Conference without his presence, humor and spirit. Who can forget him having a little fun by "knighting" Elder Henry B. Eyring with his cane last General Conference. What a wonderful man!

As I have had a little time to continue reflecting on President Hinckley's passing, my sadness has given way a little to gratitude for such an incredible man and his life of service that he has given to others. He gave everything he had and now his work here on earth is done and he will be reunited with his adorable, sweet wife. Millions and millions of people are better, including myself, because of him, his testimony and his legacy. This occasion reminds me of a this quote I've heard:

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." -- Kahlil Gibran.

It truly has been a delight to have lived and grown under this marvelous man's counsel and leadership. You will be greatly missed, President Hinckley!


Five Years Old!

Today was Ella's birthday - five years old! She was so excited all day long. Everywhere we went she would say to me - VERY loudly - "Mom, I can't believe it's my birthday today" or "I can't believe I'm five years old today!" and then try and make eye contact with anyone around and smile and wait for a reaction. She could barely contain herself - she wanted everyone on the planet to acknowledge that it was her birthday and to make a big deal about it.

This afternoon we had her birthday party. She had decided to have a "cheerleading" party. So this afternoon we were invaded by several 4 and 5 year-old cheerleaders. It was so cute! (My nieces and nephew came too, but I didn't get a good picture with them in it.) The girls all came ready to cheer in their cheerleading uniforms. We spent a while decorating megaphones and the girls all got their hair done all cute and fancy with bows and curls - thanks to my friend Neeley. They spent time watching and cheering and dancing to the Bella Dancerella CheerleaderDVD then we made up and did a few cheers. Finally it was the moment everyone was waiting for - the cake. Ella picked an ice cream cake from DQ and because my birthday was 2 days ago and my cake said "Happy Birthday T" she insisted on "Happy Birthday E." So cute!

In the spirit of the party and to pay homage to my former life as a cheerleader, we borrowed our friends SNL Spartan Cheerleader costumes. We were not about to be outdone by a bunch of little girls! We had a great time dancing and jumping around acting like goofs. And of course we looked amazingly fabulous in paper-thin polyester outfits. You can't really see Jeramy's pants, but they were hot! They look like he stole Santa's pajamas! In another few years, Ella will be mortified by what took place. Sorry honey - kids aren't the only ones who get to have fun at parties! I hope you'll forgive us when you realize you should be embarrassed by your parents.

Gooooooo Spartans!

Happy Birthday Ella. I love you so much and hope today was everything you imagined it would be. I hope this is your best year yet!


Round 4

This morning Finn had his fourth laser treatment. I've wondered if he would get to a point where just seeing the hospital or the doctor would traumatize him. We reached that point today. The minute we walked into the laser treatment room, he started crying. Talk about breaking my heart! Only 8 more rounds to go, little guy (or thereabouts).

Luckily, it doesn't seem to hurt him at all - he's just so mad that he's being pinned down and that his eyes are being covered with gauze. As soon as it is done - less than a minute - he calms right down and seems his usual happy self for the rest of the day. Here's a picture of him a few hours after the treatment. It looks so horrible. You should see the looks I get out in public! I can only imagine what people must think happened - after all it does look like someone took a cigarette and burned his poor little face. Good thing he's such an adorable, happy little guy!

A Birthday

So yesterday was my birthday. Most of my adult life I've been a little traumatized by getting older. As much as I love to celebrate my birthday with family and friends, I don't mind if my birthday quietly passes by so I can live in denial about aging.

Anyway, it was a fun birthday. Last weekend I went out with some friends for a little pre-birthday celebration. We went to one of my favorite restaurants - Hacienda Colorado and to the movie 27 Dresses. Super fun! Then yesterday, most of the day was business as usual. I went to the gym in the late afternoon and when I came home my cute little family was waiting with a cake and candles and a round of Happy Birthday! Then Jeramy and I left the kids with a sitter and went out to dinner and to a movie. What a treat to go out in the middle of the week! We went to a fairly new Asian restuarant called Jing, which was so yummy and then over to a new movie theatre. The theatre was really cool - it is $12 a ticket, which is about $2 more than the other theatres - but your ticket includes all your popcorn and soft drinks. For an extra $2 you can upgrade to VIP which gives you prime seating, really huge chairs with a little arm rest and place to put your popcorn and someone comes and takes your order and brings you your drink, popcorn, or whatever else you want. It was fun to try the VIP, but, personally, I think the non-VIP seats are more comfy. Also, someone will only come bring you stuff until the previews start - not during the show. Finally, as buttered popcorn is one of my passions, to have the opportunity to fill my own popcorn and layer the butter is such a treat! It's not a job I would entrust to someone else.

In addition to all the food and fun, I got a little spoiled this year. For Christmas 2006 I got a new camera - the Nikon D80. I had my eye on a lens to go with it, which cost nearly as much as the camera itself. Obviously I knew I wouldn't be getting the lens anytime soon, so I opted to get only the camera body and use one of my old 35mm film lenses. I didn't want to spend the extra $300 to get a mediocre lens that I knew I would want to upgrade anyway. This combination has been OK but not great. So for my birthday, Jeramy got me the lens I've been drooling over for the past 15 months. It's a Nikon 18-200mm lens and is supposed to be fantastic. I'm so excited and can't wait to get it out for a test drive. I think I'll take the kids out on Saturday and torment them with a little outdoor photo shoot. Here is the lens. It's a beauty!

Also, I got an adorable necklace from Ella. The other day I was online looking at the new stuff from Anthropologie. Ella had seen me looking at the earrings. After I left my computer, I guess I still had the window open, so she hopped on my computer and zoned in on a pair of earrings she loved and wanted to get me for my birthday. She had Jeramy take her to the mall to Anthropologie to buy the earrings, but I guess they didn't have them. So she looked through everything and decided on this necklace. The one she got me is a different color, but the style is the same. So sweet!

In addition to those I got a yummy and beautiful arrangement from my sister and her family from Edible Arrangements. I got a new filter for my lens from my parents and from my friends I got The Holiday on DVD (love that movie!), some great hand cream, a gift card and a cool wallet calendar called a WhoMi. Completely spoiled!!! So thank you everyone for your e-mails, calls, cards, gifts and love. All your love and thoughtfulness helps dull the pain of another year older. Despite getting old, I'm looking forward to another wonderful year!


At the Gate of a New Era

This morning I registered Ella for kindergarten. Through the many, many tantrums and emotional battle of wits that we have had over the years, I have to say there have been many days when I have dreamed about her being in school. Now that those days are right around the corner, I have to say I'm a little bit sad. I'm just starting to realize how quickly they grow up. And although there are a ton of things that I am looking forward to about having older kids - they are just so precious when they are little. I guess it's good to have moments like this to help me appreciate and endure the roller-coaster ride that we are so often are on.


Ella's Birthday Invitation

Ella's birthday is in just a few days. I can't believe she will be five! After lots of great, fun and expensive birthday ideas - like taking all her friends for pedicures and manicures - she finally decided that she wanted to do a cheerleading party. I think it will be a lot of fun! Here's the invitation (I deleted our address and changed our phone #)

Caught Up!

I have been so behind and neglectful of our blog! It had been several months without a post but I finally just got caught up. You've probably noticed that I "cheated" and back-dated everything. It's more for my sake so I remember when things actually happened.

For Christmas I got a new computer, an iMac that I LOVE, which has made blogging and other computer-related activities (ummm - online shopping...) so much more enjoyable. So now I have no more excuses for getting behind!


Zoo Lights

One of our favorite things to do around the holidays is hit the zoo lights. Each year the Denver zoo puts over 38 acres of lights throughout the zoo. They have all kinds of fun animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns and hide in bushes. It's a ton of fun for the kids.

This year we didn't manage to go until nearly the last day. Jeramy had taken 2 weeks off work but with company and illness (a lot of it!) we didn't get to do a lot of the things we'd planned.

The great thing about going when we did was that the weather was pretty warm. The bad - it was ridiculously crowded. And of course, everyone - like us - has a stroller or wagon which makes it so difficult to maneuver. Despite that, it was still a lot of fun and the kids - especially Finn - had a great time riding the carousel.

I pulled out my camera to bring but realized the battery was nearly dead. So, I brought the car charger but like a big dummy, completely forgot to charge it. I was so mad! I felt like we hadn't been able to do nearly as many fun things as we had wanted because everyone was sick and finally, we were all healthy and out doing something fun as a family and I wanted pictures! As we walked into the zoo someone took our picture and gave us a ticket. As we left the zoo I was still so mad about not having my camera that I fell for the swindling scam, and paid $15 for a bad picture with a superbly tacky border. I love it!