My Sensitive Little Guy

Wow, another 4 months has come and gone and ne'er a blog post to be found.  It's the cute, funny, day-to-day stuff that I feel like I am not documenting well.  So, even though I am behind with a lot of the major things, I couldn't let the day pass without documenting a tender little moment that happened today.

This morning I took Chase to the doctor for his 1-year well visit.  On the drive to the doctor Finn asked if Chase was going to get shots and seemed a little concerned about it.  Once at the doctor's office, when the doctor came in to see us Finn seemed to get a little anxious again and started asking me about Chase's shots and asked "Why are you doing this, Mom?"  Things came to a head when, after leaving the room, the doctor returned with all of the shots - 4 of them :( -  on a little tray.  Finn started to get really upset saying he didn't want Chase to get shots and was nearly crying about it.  The doctor asked if Finn wanted to go out in the hall and wait so he didn't have to watch.  Finn nodded his head, picked up a toy truck to take with him, then left the room alone and shut the door.  Finn waited outside all by himself while Chase got all 4 shots in his legs. 

He must have been able to hear things to know when we were done because shortly after the shots were over, the door opened and Finn, a little wide-eyed, re-emerged.  He came right over to Chase and gave him a big hug and was offering lots of soothing "shhhhhhhh's" and "It's OK, Chasey baby." 

I absolutely love that about Finn.  Anytime someone in our family goes anywhere - even a quick 20 minute store to the trip - they are greated with enthusiastic hugs and a jubilant "I missed you!" from Finn.  Often, out of the blue, he'll say to one of us "I like you, Ella" or "Mom, I need to hold you."  He is so affectionate and sensitive but then one second later he's talking silly about poop or pee - he loves the "potty talkin"- or wrestling with one of us or destroying something around the house. 

Today reminded me about one of my absolute favorite things about being a mom.  Seeing the love and concern my children have for each other.  I feel like they really have each other's backs and look out for each other.  Seeing the adoration they have for one another warms my heart in a way that not much else can compare to.  Those are the moments I treasure.  Life is about the relationships we have with others and I am grateful that my children, in some small way, are realizing that at a young age. 


Quote of the Day

Tonight as I was getting Finn ready for bed he was asking me what my eyes were for.  I asked him to tell me what eyes are for and he said "to look".  We started going through different body parts, ears, mouth, etc. and when we got to nose I asked him what his nose was for.  His answer "to pick boogers."  I love little boys!!!



The last few weeks, I've been working on a few little projects and have come across or revisited a few handy little items that I wanted to spread the good word about.  I realize this probably is going to sound like an infomercial, but here are 3 products that have recently made my life easier:

Home Decorating Tips1.  Monkey Hooks - This is the most simple, least damaging way to hang something!  I am all about this after recently patching a wall where I had 12 large holes to patch.  I saw these at Ace and needed to buy some hooks to hang a new mirror.  I asked one of the guys at Ace about them and he said they were great.  So easy!  You don't have to pre-drill, no anchors, you don't even need a hammer.   You twist the pointy end into the wall, rotate and voila!  I was just using it to support a mirror I have leaning above my fireplace, so I do wonder if they are more difficult to use when you need more precision.   But my experience with these is great!

 2.  Rubbermaid Paint Buddy Touch-up Tool - I bought this a few years ago and keep it filled with the paint color that runs throughout the majority of my house.  This is so easy and handy for quick touch-ups.  I used to keep a tupperware container filled with paint, but then there was still a brush to clean and put away.  This just rolls on your paint, then you pop out the little foam roller, clean it off and put it all away.   Love it!

Magic American GGHS12 Goo Gone Spray Gel3.  Goo Gone Spray Gel - I must have had a premonition when I bought this !  The afternoon after I bought this, I was doing some spray painting in the garage and I turn around to see Finn had found a little pot of red paint and painted my deep-freeze with it.  I didn't panic because of course Mr. Clean magic eraser was going to take care of it, right?  Wrong!  I panicked for a moment, looking at my red-streaked appliance, until I remembered that I had bought the Goo Gone.   I decided to try it - testing a little, inconspicuous part first -  and it worked amazing!  No more red paint and my deep freeze has never looked better.  It got out all the dirt that finds it way deep down into the crevices of the textured surface.   This is great to remove all kinds of sticky stuff, like those super annoying price tags that just won't come off.  It also works great on getting rid of grease, crayon, paint, etc.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby and it is kind of expensive ($8.99 at HL) but it works so well, I think it is worth every penny!!!


What an Olympics!

What mixed emotions I am feeling as the 2010 Winter Olympics have come to a close.  I am so thrilled by the competitions and performances of the past two weeks, impressed and proud of the athletes and countries I love, and sad that it is all over.   I LOVE, LOVE the Olympics!   If my life allowed, I would sit for hours and watch the Olympics.  I love it all - the heart-pounding competition, the personal interest stories and athlete spotlights, the team camaraderie, the patriotism and love of country that drive these athletes.  
I am so fascinated and inspired by the athletes and am amazed by the determination and dedication that these athletes put into their sport.  Four years of grueling effort and sacrifice, often for an event lasting under one minute.  Of course these athletes compete in several other competitions in between the Olympics - nationals, world champions,etc.  But I have to believe that an olympic medal - an olympic GOLD medal - is the ultimate quest and goal of every athlete.  The crowning jewel of their accolades and accomplishments.

So, back the 2010 Olympics.  I didn't get to watch as much as I would have liked, but here are some of the highlights and standouts to me.

A Golden Ending! 

What a heart-pounding, pulse-racing, covering-my-eyes-sneaking-peeks-through-my-fingers hockey game yesterday.  I wanted Canada to get that gold medal sooooo badly!  For a few reasons.  The first being that hockey is incredibly popular and important to Canadians, so I think that was the medal that mattered most to many people.  Second, what a great ending to a great Olympic games for Canada!  Third, I really wanted to see those Canadian players win gold on their home ice.  That's not something that many people ever get to experience, so what an amazing feeling for them!  And fourth, Canada winning gold at that game would allow them to set the record for the most gold medals - 14!!! - ever won at a single Winter Olympic games.  Do you know how amazing that is for Canada?  The two previous times they hosted the Olympics - they did not win ONE SINGLE gold medal!  So to walk away with the most golds ever!!! - Crazy and exhilarating!!!  Anyway, what an intense, exciting and perfect ending to an amazing Olympic games.  I am so, so thrilled for the success of the Canadian athletes!!!

O, O, O Canada!  

Although I have now lived in the US longer than I have lived in Canada, I am, and always will be, a Canadian.  I love the US and am so thrilled by their success and love this country dearly and will always route for the U.S......unless they are in competition with Canada.

I am also very happy by the success of the US Olympians and was excited for them to set a record of winning the most total medals in a single winter Olympic games.

Congratulations to both of "my" countries!!!

Watching the NBC coverage, I think everyone was pretty familiar with the stories and efforts of Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn, Apollo Ohno, Shani Davis, Bode Miller, Steven Holcomb, etc.  But, obviously, there wasn't much, if any, coverage of the Canadian athletes.  So, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite and standout Canadian athletes:

Favorite Olympian (from any country!!!)  -  Clara Hughes of Canada.  Hands down!!!!

Clara Hughes, Canadian speedskater,  wins bronze at 2010 OlympicsClara Hughes is donating her bronze-medal bonus to help children in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. After winning gold in 2006, she donated $10,000 to Right to Play.So, most of you may not know much about her since the coverage here is, obviously, done with a US focus.  So, let me tell you why I think she is amazing!!!  Clara Hughes is 37 1/2 years old - pretty darn old for an athlete :)    This is her 5th Olympic games and she is THE ONLY Olympian in history EVER to win multiple medals in both the summer (cycling) and winter (speed-skating) games.  (There have been 4 other Olympians to win a medal at both summer and winter - but she is the only to win multiple in both)  The last race of her career, earlier this week, gave her a bronze medal - at the age of 37, ending a 20-year career.  I was beyond thrilled to see her skate one of the best races of her life, setting a new track record in front of a home crowd. (The record was shortly broken by the eventual gold & silver medalists of the race)  What a phenomenal way to end a phenomenal career!  She also got to be the flag-bearer for Canada in the opening ceremonies.   I am so inspired  her and the more I find out about her I am amazed at what an incredible human being she is.  After winning a gold in Torino, she donated $10,000 of her own money (she did not receive a winner's bonus) to a humanitarian organization that uses sports to encourage development of under-privileged youth.  She also just donated her $10,000 winner's bonus from her 2010 bronze medal, to another charity that helps youth with addiction problems by introducing them to challenging outdoor activities.  What an inspiring athlete and human being!

Olympic Bravery - Joannie Rochette 

A Canadian figure skater, whose mother died 2 days before she skated her way to a bronze medal.  Joannie's 55-year old mother died of a heart-attack shortly after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter skate.  Many people thought Joannie would pull-out of the competition, but instead she put on a brave face and skated her way to a bronze medal.  I didn't watch, but read that her performance in the Sat. night Exhibition Gala was also phenomenal and moving and that she skated with passion and emotion, clearly showing her love of the sport.  Her performance ended with the crowd on their feet.  The courage and hope she displayed in the face of her hardship during these Olympics, captured many people's hearts.  Also, because of her heart, and bravery she was asked to carry the Canadian flag in the closing ceremonies.

Thriving on Adversity Pays Off - Jasey-Jay Anderson

Canada's Jasey Jay Anderson celebrates with his two daughters after winning goldCanadian gold clubA 34-year old blueberry farmer and dad to 2 little girls, doesn't fit the typical profile of an Olympian.  But in his 4th Olympics Jasey-Jay finally got a seemingly elusive olympic medal - a gold, nontheless!!!  He has won several World Championship and World Cup titles - but has never finished higher than 5th place in his 3 prior Olympics.   He is Canada's most decorated snowboarder and won gold in the parallel giant slalom on Saturday. He said he was so excited to share his medal with his daughters (above!)I love what he said about trying to pursue gold in his last race of his 20-year career.   "I just thought a true athlete thrives on adversity," he said. "So, I tried to be a true athlete."There's no better feeling."  

So, now it is all done for 2 more years, until the Summer Olympics!  What a great two weeks of excitement in Vancouver and I'm looking forward to 2012 in London!  



For Finn's 3rd birthday party, he chose to have a "super-hero" with the featured super-hero being Spiderman, of course.  So, for his invitation I thought it would be fun to make it like a comic book.  I dragged Jeramy, Ella & Finn out into the backyard to snap a few "action" shots.  Here's how it turned out.



The funny part about doing this invite was that shortly before I dragged everyone into the backyard to take pictures, unbeknownst to me, my next door neighbor looked out her kitchen window and there was a man in her backyard and on her deck.  I know - yikes!!!  She called the police who happened to come during our little photo shoot.  My neighbor said the policeman couldn't figure out what we were doing and was a little curious as to why there was a little girl tied up to a chair in the backyard.  You know, just a typical day at our house...



A few weeks ago Ella turned 7! Seven!!! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.  Seven just seems so much older than 6 to me.  Even looking back at her pictures last year, she has grown up so much. 

This year I really wanted to try and focus on making my kids birthdays special.  They have brought so much joy into my life that I wanted to try and give some of that back to them and help them experience a tiny glimpse of the exponential joy that instanteously filled my heart the day they were born.  That sounded totally cheesy, but it's true!

So I didn't do anything fancy, elaborate or expensive but I just tried to make their day all about them as much as possible.  One new tradition for this year was a birthday box.  I bought a cute, painted little wooden box for her to keep all of her special birthday wishes in each year and with the intention of writing her a birthday love letter each year for her to keep and collect in her box.  For fun, I also bought a crown that I "made" her wear all day (for those of you who know Ella, I'm sure it's no surprise that she loved that!) that we will keep in the birthday box.

Besides that it was a matter of letting her chose whatever she wanted to eat for all 3 meals, making any kind of cake she wanted (kind of regretting that one :)), meeting her at school for lunch and taking her to Target to spend some birthday money from the grandparents.

Here is the cake Ella wanted.  She wanted a cake pop cake that she could take to school for her birthday treat!  What a ton of work and in the end I ran out of time to display it as cute as I wanted.  Thankfully my friend Brecken stopped by and helped me or I never would have finished in time to get it to school.  How about Krispy Kremes next year, Ella? :)

Presents in the morning, lunch at school and dinner at Red Robin -
all with her birthday crown and loving every minute of it!!!

Here are some things about Ella at 7:
  • She loves, loves, loves gymnastics.  It brings out so many good qualities in her and I'm amazed by her determination and persistence.  Oh, and her upper-body strength.  She can whiz up and down that 30-foot rope 3 times in a row like it were nothing! 
  • She is an amazing big sister.  She loves to play with and read to her little brothers and if Chase is crying and I can't get to him, she will often stop what she is doing, without even being asked, and go pick him up to take care of him. 
  • In the mornings, she moves slower than molasses in the winter!  She is often the very last kid to make it onto the bus.
  • She is so much fun, loves to have fun and has a spectacular, infectious laugh.
  • She is very creative and artistic and loves to draw, color, paint and create all kinds of wonderful things
  • Is very social and enjoys anything with lots of people
  • She can't stay on her chair through a whole meal.  A few years ago I told her I'd pay her $1 for any meal she could stay on her chair the entire time.  I haven't had to pay her a dime! 
  • She is incredibly committed to reading her scriptures.  She reads her own (the scripture readers with pictures) every night before bed and I don't think she has missed more than a few times over the past few years.  She blows my stats out of the water!
  • Her room is usually a huge disaster and it doesn't seem to bother her. 
  • Like all kids, says some of the craziest things and has hilarious insights.  I'm in awe of how her mind works.
  • She is a more amazing, incredible, head-strong, emotional, fun, talented and loving daughter than I could ever have imagined. 
I love you Ella and hope your birthday was wonderful!



I recently used a Pottery Barn gift card that I had to purchase their Bedford large recharging station.  I've had my eye on this for a long time and when it went on sale and I had a gift card I decided to do it!  Why didn't I buy this two years ago???  I LOVE it!  It is such an easy way to stay organized and it makes my electronic life so much easier. 

I keep my the things I use most plugged in and read to go:  my card reader, iPhone, camera battery charger (DSLR) and my WD external drive.  It also has a little drawer that I keep our Flip Video camera, iPod charger, batteries for my keyboard and mouse, flash drives, my Canon battery charger (point & shoot) and an extra USB cable.

Great item!  I only wish my computer had about 3 more USB ports and that they made a charging station with 8 docks.


What I've Been Up To...

Agghh! It's been 2 weeks since I last posted. Where does the time go? So, here's a quick update of all the very uninteresting things that have been keeping me busy:

1. Birthdays - Ella, Finn & I all have our birthdays within 2 weeks of each other. Mine and Ella's are now done - onto Finn's. My birthday was amazing!!! Let's see - pedicure, manicure, massage, shopping, surprise (well, not really..) party with ridiculously yummy food - all of my favorites and so many of my favorite people! Who could ask for more. Ella just had her party on Friday, so I'll post more about that later. Tomorrow I've got to get Finn's underway...

2. Article for The Friend -I am in Stake Primary (church) and we did this fantastic Stake-wide service project last year.  So, I finally just finished writing an article - with pictures - and submitted it to The Friend (our church's magazine for kids).  That would be so fun for the kids in our Stake if it got published!

3.  Trying to figure out Lightroom - For Christmas I got PS4 and Lightroom.  I used to have PSE, so have been able to stumble my way around PS4, but Lightroom - NO clue!  I haven't had a big chunk of time to devote but have gradually been trying to figure things out.  I know I am going to LOVE it!  Presets are amazing and a huge time saver.

4.  Being wishy-washy about going with Jeramy on a big trip in March.  More details to come.

5.  Working on finishing up my 2008 Family Album photo book.  No, not a typo - that is 2008, not 2009.  I'm a little behind.  I'm 95 percent done, just trying to add a few last pages then onto 2009.

6.  Getting everything together so I can do my taxes.  Since we are some of the lazy ones that allow the government an interest-free loan, I always try and file by Feb. 1st, (hmmm, that's tomorrow) so we can get our money back sooner.  I used to really crunch the number to ensure we would break even every year but that kind of fell by the wayside a few years back.  Jeramy and I have talked about it and really, would we save that extra money each month?  Not so sure - so it is nice to get a little chunk of change every year. 

7.  Dreaming of the day when I will actually give my blog a much needed makeover!  Sorry Chase, I know you're almost 6 months old.   Our life was really not that fun before you!!!

In a nutshell, that's been my recent very uninteresting, ordinary, world.  More posts to come of Ella's wild and crazy, cake-pop-alicious birthday, and my hyper little baby who is in a huge rush to grow up.



I was sitting at the computer working on a project listening to some tunes and after the 3rd song in 10 minutes was about "breathing" I realized I have a lot of songs about breathing. Super random, I know. So I just did a quick keyword search in my library - 16 songs with a variation of breathing just in the title. Now I'm trying to read into it, wondering if there's a message there I'm not getting. Anyone care to try and interpret for me?

Anyway, so my favorite 5 "breathing" songs:

1. "Keep Breathing" - Ingrid Michaelson
2. "Breathe In, Breathe Out" - Mat Kearney
3. "Just Breathe" - Pearl Jam
4. "Breath Me" - Sia
5. "Breathe" - Taylor Swift (with Colbie Caillat)

Honorable Mentions: "Every Breath You Take" by the Police for my favorite old school and "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant for favorite Christmas


Potty Training

Finn will be 3 in a few weeks. so it is probably time for me to get serious about potty-training him. So, here's how today went.

2:45pm - He wants his Spiderman "underwears" on with no diaper. First time with no diaper.

3:20 - Put him on the potty to try. "It's not working!" He says. Give him a gumball for trying.

4:50 - Try again, still nothing. Another gumball. The mass of chewed gum in his stomach is starting to grow.

5:20 - He pees all over the carpet.

We've got our work cut out for us. Really, diapers are not that bad.



I realized that I have never posted about one of my all-time favorites EVER!!! My wallet. I have a Hobo Interanational "Lauren" wallet (actually, mine is patent leather and is called "Belinda" but it is exactly the same as the Lauren - it's just patent leather) that I bought nearly two years ago. My super-stylish, savvy friend Mindy was visiting from Utah a few years back and whipped out this phenomenal wallet, so I promptly went out and bought one. In fact, there were a bunch of us out at dinner for Mindy's wallet reveal and I think we all fell in love with it. So a few of us bought our own and then it became the group birthday gift for 2008/09, so now there are 9 of us that have one. Most of them are different colors - everything from black to bright patent-orange!

Now, like many great things, these wallets are a little rough on the bank account - they retail for $108 and you can find them online or at Nordstrom. If you have patience, the best place to buy one is on ebay. You can get them new for around $70 - you may just have to spend a few months watching and waiting for the one you want and I would recommend using an auction sniping service so you don't miss the end of the auction! I found mine at piperlime.com and I had about $70 in Gap rewards and gift cards that I hadn't found anything to buy with, so I was so happy to use them towards my wallet.

These are some stock photos - my wallet is navy blue patent with the polka-dot lining. So, from the last picture you can see on the right is a spot for your DL. It is a slide in little slot with the clear vinyl. I LOVE that it is so easy to slide it in and out when you do need to get it out, so easy! On the left is 3 slots to put a few of your most used cards. I keep my Debit and Credit card, my Costco card, and my gym and rec center cards in these slots. This is probably my most favorite thing about this wallet. The things I need 95% of the time are right there and I don't need to dig through several slots, or have the entire contents of my wallet on display as I find something. Then you will see the zipper on the last picture - inside there I keep my checkbook and any receipts I need. Then you will see you can open the closure on each side. One side is open with another zippered pocket. I keep cash in this side and change in the zip. The other side has six more credit card-sized pockets and another larger one about the size of a paper bill.

Clearly I LOVE this wallet! For sure in my top 3 purchases EVER! (I'm not sure what the other 2 are). I am very partial to patent leather so I would highly recommend the patent. Beyond aesthetics, it has held up amazing! So easy to wipe dirty little finger prints off and I have noticed that on the non-patent versions, where the wallet folds in half that the leather has cracked and kind of peeled. The patent-leather versions still look brand new.

If you are in the market for a new wallet or need to give your hubby a suggestion for your birthday or anniversary or Mother's Day, this is the one! It will change your life!!! :) ha ha


Happy New Year!

It is so hard to believe it is 2010! It sounds so futuristic. Also, I haven't figured out if it is going to be "Twenty-ten" or "Two-thousand-ten". Any thoughts?

Anyway, 2009 was a very special year because we had sweet little Chase BUT it was also not my favorite. So, I am not despairing as I close the chapter on last year and I am looking forward to starting a new year!

Near the end of 2009 I had an opportunity to attend some great "life management" classes (through our church). In one of the classes we talked about writing a personal mission statement. We learned different things to consider when writing one and discussed various areas of our lives to assess in helping us find "clues" to writing our mission statement. I really took it seriously and spent some time really pondering and assessing my life. During this process one word repeatedly kept entering my mind. That one word is the heart of my entire mission statement and I feel ties into everything that I value, love and aspire to be. Create.

In Sept 2008, President Uchtdorf gave an AMAZING talk at the General RS Broadcast. That talk resonated so deeply with me and is my favorite and most valued talk of all time. He talked a lot about "creating" and it really helped to put it into a different light for me.

The main part of my personal mission statement is: Learn to Create, Love to Create, Live to Create, Help to Create. Then, there are several paragraphs of detailwith tons of specific things that I will strive to create (or help others to create) - eg. a life of gratitude, joy in the lives of other through love and service, memories, fun and laughter, opportunities for my children, a healthy lifestyle, etc. I love to create! It makes me happy and it is such an important part of raising my children and serving others.

One of the many things I want to do better at "creating" in 2009 are memories and recording and documenting those. I read a really great quote the other day that said: "Because we are mortal, every talent, skill, ability we possess, every thought and feeling we ever have, every beautiful sight we ever see, every material possession we own, will ultimately be lost. Unless we share it." (from The Practice of Kindness) I loved that! And it reminded me how important it is to document mine and my families lives. Through journals, pictures, blogs, etc. - they are all ways to share thoughts, feelings and beautiful sights so they won't be lost.

So, for 2010 I am going to try to do a better job at recording and sharing the thoughts & feelings, the beautiful sights and the memories. Heaven knows I can't do any worse than I did in 2009!!!

Playing in Photoshop

I must have been really good in 2009 because I got kind of spoiled for Christmas. I got Photoshop CS4!!! (Actually, I was pretty awful in 2009 - Santa must have got me mixed up with someone else). I am so excited and I have absolutely NO idea how to use it. I used to have PSE and knew how to do enough but I had a really, really old version that kept crashing and that version prohibited me from doing several things that I wanted to. So, thank you Santa and regrets to whoever got my lump of coal.

Tonight I spent a little time playing around trying out a few different actions and textures. I used a picture of Ella from 1st grade picture day and tried an urban action with a ginger overlay and an antique texture. I think next time I will tone down the yellow - she looks a little jaundiced to me - but I guess that antiquated look is supposed to be quite yellow. Kind of fun!


Haircut for Astro Boy

Today I gave little Chaser a haircut. I put him in his Bumbo seat on the table and tied a towel around him for a cape. First of all, he is CRAZY in his Bumbo. I can't even really put him in it anymore because he arches his back and twists himself sideways until he can get one of his legs out of the Bumbo which he then uses to launch himself out of his seat and then he belly-flops onto the floor. It was quite the challenge to keep him in his seat and try to keep his head still and not cut him. I don't know how I thought I'd get any pictures! Needless to say I only managed to get one picture - him trying to eat the table centerpiece!

Ella thought he looked like Astro boy with his "cape" and his hair combed up in a swirl.