Thursday, February 13, 2014

their valentines

Taking Valentine's pictures of my kids this year went surprisingly well.  

Actually, the first attempt did not go well at all.  
Not enough sunshine of the literal kind or the personality kind.  Grumps and clouds and a camera do not mix well.

We tried again a few days later. The sun was out, my room was bright, and the kids were happy to pose and look cute.
Because of that, I had way too many to choose from, 
so I did them all. 

 This one wasn't my favorite, but...those curls!...I just had to use it somehow.
Her curls looked that perfect on accident--from us going to the pool that morning and me not washing it after. (Cause I'm Supermom.)

Some most days her curls are just a frizz fest/strawberry blonde rats nest, but then there are days like this one, 
where I get all giddy because of how much I have always wanted a little girl with curls.  

The grumps weren't entirely gone that afternoon either, so I focused on his sweet little toes.

 Happy Valentine's Day! We love you all!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

february date

Kent and I continued our Year of Dates  by going to see the Sacred Gifts exhibit at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

When I planned the whole year of dates back in November, I wanted to make sure we had a wide variety of activities.  
This was a gift for Kent, yes,
but I get to go on these dates too,
so I wanted to be sure we had a good mix of things that were more for him
and things that are more for me.

Going to an art museum.  I was definitely more excited about the idea of it,
but it turned out we both loved the experience.

In case you haven't heard of it,
the Sacred Gifts exhibit (12 years in the making!) 
displays Altar pieces and religious paintings by Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hoffman, and Franz Schwartz.
If these names don't mean anything to you (they didn't to me at first)
here's a link to the paintings.
I'm sure you've seen some of these before.

The coolest thing about this?  Many of these paintings have been hanging in a castle in Germany (the Fredericksborg Castle) and have never been removed. Ever.  And they most likely never will be again.

Incredible.  The rest of the paintings are from historical Churches in Denmark and New York.  And we got to see them, right here in our hometown.

It was definitely a different kind of date, 
walking quietly in a museum with our headphones on (they had ipads to rent with an app that had details, music, quotes, scriptures and other information about each painting)
feeling awed and in reverence for the artists, the people who allowed these paintings to be shared, and 
the life of our Savior.

It was different, but wonderful. We left feeling inspired, nourished, and closer to our Savior,
which brings us closer to each other.

When we finished at the museum, we went to a place that sells sodas and cookies (these places are popping up everywhere in Utah) and got hot chocolate.

We're only two months into the Year of Dates, and already we are thinking this is definitely going to be a yearly thing. 
It has been so much fun.

Thank you, Kent, for taking me out yesterday,
and thanks Alicia for watching our kids!  (they cried when it was time to leave....sometimes you just feel so loved by your children....)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

messes, exhibit E

Our house is being overrun with golf balls.
We live on a golf course, and I have a son, 
so I suppose it was inevitable.

We have golf balls everywhere.  In the toy bins, the bathroom sink (he washes them), his bedroom, our bedroom, the couch cushions, even in the freezer.  (I have no idea why.)

Nearly every photo I have of my children in our home includes a stray golf ball somewhere.  We should make it a game, kinda like Where's Waldo.

On afternoon, I was doing my 4 pm clean up (I tend to let the house just be until about 4:00 each afternoon, then we all work together and pick up and prep for dinner, Daddy coming home, and the evening ahead) and I reached across the table to pick up a cereal box.

It was heavy.
Unnaturally heavy.

So I looked inside.

Things are never dull around here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

messes, exhibit D

Most messes in this house seem to involve the items in our pantry and kitchen.
It might seem like a good idea to install a lock on the pantry.

It already has one.
And I don't like it.  I leave it unlocked all the time.

Because to me? The mess we clean up together is worth the 45 minutes of peaceful, happy, creative playtime.  

These are the things I hope they remember about being a kid.  
Creative play, inventive ideas, experiments, a mom that encourages instead of punishes (I'm still far from perfect at this!),
and getting along and having fun as brother and sister.

Monday, February 3, 2014

january date

For Christmas I gave Kent a "Year of Dates" 
Kent's amazing, inspired sister, Shannon, came up with this idea a few years ago: here's her blog about it.
It looked like so much fun, so I spent months researching and planning, and then at Christmas I gave Kent a box full of twelve envelopes with planned dates for the year.

January was our "reenact our first date" date.
Our first date was sometime in the middle of January, 2007.  
Kent stopped me after our biology class and told me,
"Do you like ice skating? I'm going on Saturday and wondered if you wanted to come?"

He said it like he was going to go anyways....and he wouldn't mind if I didn't come....
But he is not the kind of guy to go ice skating all by himself. 
I know that now.

We went.  We went to a tiny little outdoor rink outside of Rexburg, Idaho,
and it was just us on the ice.
(Well, us and a strangely alone 6 year old boy who wouldn't stop following us and talking about horror movies.)

After we skated, we drove out to this hole-in-the-wall hamburger place (Big Judd's).
As we drove, Kent turned on Josh Groban,
and that started the conversations.  I was impressed that he liked Josh Groban. 
We talked easily.  I was comfortable with Kent.  
I found myself telling him things that I would normally never tell a boy I barely knew. Things about my plans and dreams and what I wanted my future to look like.  
The whole time I was talking, in my head I was thinking "what am I doing?? This is our first date! Why am I saying this??"  
I guess it was meant to be. 
We had happy, easygoing fun.
As he dropped me off that afternoon, I said,
"We should do this again sometime."

Turns out "sometime" is seven years and two kids later.

 The rink was crowded.  
We were wobbly and slow,
but it was so great. Great to be doing something other than the typical dinner-and-a-movie dates.

After skating we finished it off with hamburgers at the college's creamery (got to include that college vibe, after all.)
And we listened to Josh Groban as we drove our family car with empty carseats in the back.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

sweet routine

I've been working hard. My darling busybodies keep me on my toes. 
January was a month of our blessed, sweet, daily routine.  Nothing big going on, just normal, daily
 It's loud. It's messy. It's crying and fits and chattering and laughter.  It's learning to clean up after ourselves and learning to read and learning to do yoga. (which I discovered I love, by the way.)
It was a month of reading--I'm still devouring books on my new kindle, a month of not much computer time, and a month of listening to the kids discover how to imaginative play together for hours at a time (joy!)
I've been working to eat healthier and feed my family better.  
My one little word for 2014 is Nourish, but more on that later.

In January,
We went carpet shopping with monkeys:

(Just so you know, she put that bow back in on her own.  I don't pin it dead center like that.  And he insists on wearing the hood up. All. the. time.) 

Enjoyed unusually warm weather: 

(I think it was a balmy 41 degrees that day!)

Played ghosts after Church:

Took my Chatty (seriously, this girl can talk!) to Hobby Lobby:

She touched every.single.item. we walked past in the store.  Every one. 
"This-a-pretty, Mama! This-a-pretty!"
It took a very long time to make it to the scrapbook paper and back to the registers.
(and boy would I love a phone that took better pictures!)

Discovered new hideouts:

and said goodbye to this guy:

 (the car, not the boy, naturally.)

So that we could say a big hello to this beauty:

Thanks January, it was fun!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

afternoon painting

 Last week I brought out the paints one afternoon.  The house was clean (because we'd had friends over...I love how that works: we get friends and I've cleaned the house!), the kids were happy, and we sat together at the table and painted.

Ellie was very serious while she was painting
But she found it completely hilarious when she got paint on her fingers.
She tossed her head from side to side (so adorable I can't even stand it) and said
"Paint on mine-a-finger. Ellie silly!"

 Speaking of sillies,
this boy.  His stories.  His slight lisp as he struggles to get all the bursting words in his head to come out in a sentence.
His facial expressions.
 Gosh I love him.
 And me.  I painted a bit too.
We had to have scrambled eggs and a smoothie for dinner because I sat with them and painted instead of prepped the meal I had planned to make.

Honestly? They liked the meal better anyway.
And I got to stop, savor, and breathe for a moment with my darlings.
 So we all won.
(Except maybe for Kent.  He didn't get to be there with us, and he had to eat scrambled eggs for dinner...)

Our finished masterpieces:
Ellie just kept layering on color after color after color.  
I think we'll call hers "Boulder Impressions" or something like that.