Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CHRISTmas 2011

Putting up decorations and the tree
Watching all of our favorite Christmas movies
Family get-together a week in advance at Grandpa Larry and Mimi Paula's
Making my first green bean casserole
Olivia's first stocking.  Grandpa Larry gave her juice and a gift card
Listening to Larry tell about 'The Other Wiseman' 
Getting a compilation of Larry's memories about each child and about his work in the church
Christmas Eve dinner at Carol's with us, Carol, Amanda, and the Woffindens
Olivia as baby Jesus in the Nativity Pageant at Carol's
Adjectives describing Christ
Reading The Night Before Christmas as a family of 3
Putting Olivia to bed and telling her about Santa coming
Waking up at 8 and going to Carol's to open gifts
No snow
Olivia's first dolly, a baby Rapunzel from Grandma Carol
Giving our moms big screen plasma TVs
Christmas morning breakfast, quiche and sweet rolls
Having our own Christmas at home while Olivia took a nap
A handgun for my Mr. and a Michael Kors watch for me
Having my family over for gifts and a lunch of soup and breadbowls
Hunter driving up from St George
Tons and tons of gifts for Olivia
Going to Larry's to wish them Merry Christmas a play a few games

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last week was hubby's and my FIFTH annual Christmas Date at temple square and The Roof restaurant.  I can't believe I've loved this guy for 5 Christmasses :) time flies. 

The very first year, Jack surprised me with the date.  Little did he realize that I was fresh off of 15 years of Southern Utah winters and not used to the tundra that is temple square in December.  When he unveiled his plans to hire a horse-drawn carriage to take us around the block, I didn't mask my horror well enough and he conceded and tucked me into his warm beemer instead.

Last year I was three months pregnant and had been sick as a dog.  We crossed our fingers and made the dinner reservation anyway.  I prayed hard all day that my stomach would let me enjoy the date that I was so looking forward to.  It ended up being a wonderful night out and I kept my dinner down like a champ.

This year we left our little one with Grandma and got our date in before it was time for her next feeding (still no luck with the bottle).  It was so nice to have a couple of hours to ourselves and enjoy the spirit of Christmas as we ate fantastic food and sat overlooking the lights and the Salt Lake temple.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Birthday Girl

I turned 25 on Monday.  A quarter century :)  I can't believe how quickly the time goes.  This was already the fifth birthday that Jack has celebrated with me.  As usual we milked the occasion, having a 'birthday weekend' and 'birthday eve', where basically I get to choose every meal, every activity, request massages, etc.  It was such a nice three days.  Saturday we dropped Olivia off with my sister, Chandler, and saw Hugo in theaters (it was good if you love movies).  Sunday we relaxed and watched The Holiday (my favorite chick flick). 

Monday morning while I was feeding Livs, Jack decked the living room out in pink decorations and put my wrapped gifts on the coffee table.  He gave me clues to locations around the house where I would get a gift number and then get to open that gift.  Jack is the best I know at paying attention to little comments I make about things I want.  He got me the movie Persuasion, Saved by the Bell: the College Years (I know, I'm the coolest person ever), the books A History of Witches and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Ralph Lauren sweats, he renewed my year subscription to People magazine, got me a nice ceramic sautee pan, a Harry Potter mug, and a cool pendant necklace that he designed and had engraved with representations of my, his, and babygirl's nicknames :) so clever.

Monday night we had a retro roller rink party with both of our families at Classic skating in Sandy.  It was seriously a blast.  I felt twelve years old again....except the baby on my hip for half the night.  when I was younger I used to roller blade for hours every day.  It's been a long time but it all came back to me ;)  Along with skating, we rented out a karaoke room and a superhero room.  I had a big rainbow cake and when everyone crammed into a room to sing Happy Birthday, I felt so loved and supported.  Thanks everyone for all of the thoughtful birthday wishes and for helping me celebrate.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hat Trick

Apparently tupperware for a hat is hilarious when you are 6 months old.  I don't know why we are even buying her Christmas toys, she'll just want to play with the containers they come in :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Olivia saw Santa for the first time yesterday.  She didn't seem too phased, which was a relief.  When I was little I was terrified of Santa.  My mom says it was probably because the first time I ever saw him was a bad experience.  I was two years old and we were at a Christmas party where a very active and boisterous Santa  came in and proceeded to dance around the room, shaking jingle bells.  He must not have seen the small girl standing near him, because one of his great, gloved hands flailed a little too freely and caught me upside the head, knocking me to the ground. 

When I was 3 or 4 I remember, in vivid detail, a ward Christmas party.  I was playing with some other little kids in our church's gym where the party was being held, and ran out into the hallway.  It was then that I heard a frightening sound coming from the dark end of the hall....bells.  I didn't have to turn around to know that he was coming my way.  I ran back into the gym and, unable to locate my parents right away, I lifted the nearest tablecloth and scooted under  the long food table.  I tried not to breathe as I saw Santa's big, black boots stride into the room and come near the table.  I heard my mom calling my name several minutes later and for me to come sit on Santa's lap and she must have panicked when she couldn't find me, but all I know is that I did not come out from under that table until long after those boots had left the room.

Anyways....Olivia did great.  And the mall Santa was very nice.  I do wish that the photographer had made it worth our $20 while and taken the picture when she was smiled, but oh well. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

6 Months

I can't believe our girl is six months old.  I can't imagine my life without her.  It's hard to remember how I filled my days before diapers and snuggles and spitty baby kisses.  Every night while I sit in her nursery feeding her, the soft glow of the nightlight on her fuzzy little head, I lament at the fact that a little bit more of her is hanging off my lap. 

One of my favorite bloggers talked the other day about babies resemble a certain animal, which is their spirit animal.  Our Liv is definitely a little bear.  She is often 'hungry as a bear' or a 'cranky bear'.  She definitely knows her mama and would follow me around like a cub if she could walk yet.  As it is, she just clings to me fiercely when she needs comfort or is happy. 

Olivia is very affectionate and loves to snuggle.  When I pick her up from naps or bed, or take her from another person, she will grab fistfuls of my hair and violently pull me in to hold her open mouth against my cheek or chin.  These 'kisses' are the best part of my day.

She loves when I sing to her and will pitch in with her own loud wailing.  She has also discovered that she is in possession of an extremely high-pitched scream that I just know will someday make its appearance during such things as church or quiet stores.

Olivia loves cold things: cold weather, cold water out of a water bottle, and cold rice cereal.  She still prefers long warm baths though, and has learned to kick and splash.  I have never seen a baby move so fast as when her rubber ducky gets away from her in the bath and she lunges forward to snag it.  I have to make sure I am holding on to her super tight.

Livs has no interest in being mobile.  She is not a fan of tummy time and even though she can roll over (I've seen her do it a few times), she won't.  Nor will she try to scoot or crawl.  She started standing up at 3 months and could do it holding on to something with only one hand.  Breaking her leg set her back a bit in that department and she is just now getting comfortable with standing again.

She has learned to 'fake cough'.  Sometimes when she wants attention she'll pull this out, and I'll pretend to be concerned and then she'll smile.

Livs loves to explore and is always so interested in what is going on around her.  She is borderline obsessed with Tucker and also loves other little kids and babies.  I think she likes having others that are close to her size.  She likes to touch other babies' faces and hair and will even hug or kiss them or hold their hand.

She still looks almost completely like Jack, with just a few of my features thrown in-my ears, eyelashes, cheek creases...

Olivia really does get more fun every day.  She is such a bright and contented baby and we have so much fun with her.  6 months has been the best age yet.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmasses Passed

There are times when I find myself surprised at the point I'm at in my life.  Sometimes I hardly feel old enough to have a husband and a house and a daughter.  I can't believe how quickly the years go.

The holidays are here again and it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was laying on the top bunk in our house in Brigham City on Christmas Eve.  I leaned over the edge so I could see Hunter, laying on the bottom bunk and told him that I swore I had just heard bells in the distance.  I lay back down and a few minutes later he said he thought he might have heard some clip-clopping on our roof.  It was so hard to sleep that night and we woke up bright and early to see all of the gifts Santa had brought us.

Fast forward a couple of years and we are in the relatively warm southern Utah, watching Brittain tear open her presents.  She got tons more than the rest of us for a couple of years because she was the baby, but we didn't mind.  She brought back the magic of Christmas for me again as we helped her write letters for Santa and leave out carrots for his reindeer.

The hardest Christmas was when I had just turned 18.  I was a senior in High School and my parents had just gotten divorced.  I had moved in with my dad, who was still coping with the loss and who wasn't much of a holiday person anyway.  I woke up on Christmas morning to no tree.  I made myself some cereal and watched TV that Christmas morning.

In college I lived in a huge, rundown house in St George with my four best friends.  Our heater didn't work that winter and every morning before classes I had to make the dash from the warmth of the shower, through the frigid house, back up to my bedroom to crouch in front of my space heater.  We loved that house.  We drew names and bought and wrapped gifts for each other and put them under our sad little Christmas tree with the homemade ornaments.  The day before Christmas Eve, my friends and I had our own Christmas and opened the gifts, then stayed up late talking and eating treats.

On Christmas two years ago, Jack and I were only a couple weeks away from our wedding day.  We brought my family back together again at our condo.  Each family member told the story from the point of view of someone present at the birth of Christ.  It was an incredible experience.

Last year we just barely moved into our house in time for the holiday.  We barely had time to put up a tree and I was just coming off my two months of bed-ridden morning sickness.  We spent our first Christmas as a married couple spoiling each other with gifts and anticipating the next Christmas, in which we'd have a new member of the family.  We savored the time we had as a family of two.

This year we are three.  For so many Christmases before this, I didn't even know these two other people in my life, and now they are my life.

I have had holiday seasons where the gifts were the reason for my excitement.  Ones where I learned the meaning of family,  been so grateful for friends, and experienced strongly the real reason for the season-Christ.  I have never felt so blessed though as I do this Christmas.  I love thinking about how far I've come and can't wait to see what Christmas is like in years to come...but for now, I am appreciating my best holiday season yet.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pammy's Babyday

My SIL is having a baby girl!!! We are so excited.  She and Olivia are going to be besties.  Pam found out she was pregnant only an hour after Olivia was born.  Pam and I are convinced that her baby just couldn't be in heaven without her buddy, Liv.  Anyways...the Austin girls (minus Deb, we missed her!)  Spent the day in Salt Lake while our husbands watched all the kids.  We got pedicures and ate at Z Tejas, which was so fun.  I had never eaten there and it was pretty good, even better though was sitting by their big windows talking with all the girls and watching the snow fall outside.  We then went shopping at the Gateway Mall.

Memories from the day include:
-Pam's nosy pedicure girl listening to our conversations and telling us about her boyfriend ha ha
-Having to practically immobilize Pam in order to pay for her pedicure (Amanda and I split it)
-Our snotty waitress at the restaurant who acted like my special drink request was the most difficult part of her day (Jenny got it too and it was worth all of the waitress's effort ;)
-Splitting the cost of chips and salsa 5 ways
-Amanda getting stern with Kanessa about sneakily paying Pam's lunch bill (Jen and Karen settled it with her)
-Me not hearing Amanda's animated explanation of something at the table
-Hearing about the fun things Karen and Jenny were thinking about getting their kids for Christmas
-Kanessa leaving Natalie with Dan for a few hours for the first time!
-Getting pajama pants with Pam and Amanda for Christmas
-Karen's super cute new outfit
-Jenny pushing past Amanda in Rocky Mt Chocolate (I didn't really get the joke cause I wasn't listening...it sounded funny though)
-Pam and I joking that our husbands would be happy with the one small bag we each had from Gap...nevermind the other bags from a few days beforehand.  It was Gap's 'friends and family' event!

We decided that this should become a tradition for every time someone is about to have a baby in the family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


11. 16.11 

It's that time again....

1. Mint Truffle Hershey's Kisses
2. Twilight Woods scented anything from Bath and Body Works
3. George Carlaw's Christmas Serenity Album
4. The Walking Dead season 1
5. Heather Telford Photography. I will post our family pics soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Livi's Book

I know Livs isn't old enough to talk yet, but I am constantly planting seeds.  I say "Mama" as much as possible so that she might associate the word with me and say it first :)  I thought it would be neat (yes, neat.) to make her a little book with important words in.  Enter pint size productions.  It's super easy to enter your own pictures and words into their template and they mail you your own board book lightning fast.  Here's babygirl's book:


...pages no pictured: Jesus and Temple.

ps. No, I was not paid to advertise by Pint Size Productions.  I should have been... I'll let them know.

Monday, November 7, 2011

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