Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving Day yesterday, had delicious meals at both of our mom's houses and just spent quality time with family.  I love this holiday.  What could be better than eating large quantities of food and relaxing with loved ones, talking about our many blessings?  This year has again brought us an abundance of things to be thankful for.
-First and foremost was another healthy baby girl.  We are so grateful for our little Oakley Berlin
-Our wonderful families who are nothing but supportive and amazing
-Our company, which brings Jack so much fulfillment, allows us to be financially comfortable, and allows Jack to be at home with me every day.
-A comfortable house that meets all of our needs.  It won't be our permanent home, but we are more than content right now and it has space for everything we need.
-Our health.  This one is so important to me and I give thanks multiple times a day that my husband, girls, and I are in healthy, working bodies
-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  God and the Gospel give meaning to my life and all other blessings.

I hope you all had a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

recommendations

1. Mindy Gledhill's new album: Pocketful of Poetry.  It is light and breezy and has some way cute lyrics. I love putting it on as background in the mornings while Olivia and I eat breakfast and play with her toys.  It's a happy start to our day.

2. This chocolate-mint cookie recipe. I even used peanut butter chips instead of mint chips the other day and that turned out fantastic as well.  The chocolate dough is dark, dense, and rich. I just love it.

3. The lemonade at Mrs Field's in the mall.  Not too sweet, and super refreshing.

4. This cool-mist humidifier.  It doesn't collect bacteria (because it is cool instead warm mist) and doesn't use a filter so you don't need to change anything!  It can put up to 2.3 gallons of water into the air in a day.  It has been wonderful for out little Berlin who gets stuffed up so easily.  I just turn it on in our room every night and it helps her breathe easier.  A great buy for this cold and flu season.

5. Blackfish.  It's a documentary about the workings of SeaWorld, and the killer whale, Tilikum, who is responsible for the death of three different people.  It's totally absorbing and a pretty sad, on behalf of the whales as well as the trainers who lost their lives.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Save a Sister

A couple of weekends ago we went down to St George for my 5k!  This is what I had been training for for the last 3 or so months.  I know for all of you avid runners a 5k wouldn't merit 3 months of training, but for someone who dislikes running and therefore is not very good at it, it was quite an accomplishment for me :)  (also, I started running when Berlin was 8 weeks old so I had to start out with 20 extra pounds on me). It was also for an important cause.  The proceeds wend to breast cancer research.  One of my best friends, Tasha, lost her mom, Sheila, to the disease about 5 years ago.  It was so neat to be able to run the race for her and I know it was especially meaningful to Tasha to be able to do something like that in memory of her and support of the cure.  We pinned Sheila's picture to the backs of our shirts.  The race went by quickly and I felt like I did pretty well!  It was actually really fun running with my friends.

I'm not sure yet if I will keep running; on the one hand I would hate to have worked up to running 3 miles and then get out of shape again.  On the other, it has been a little bit of a sacrifice to find the time every other day to go running for 35 minutes while Jack watches the girls.  Either way it was a great experience.




Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Club

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Rating: 10 out of 10

I just realized that I had never written the review for this book!  I finished it several weeks ago.

I Loved it.  Capital L.  Once I picked it up I didn't want to put it down until I was finished (and at the same time, not read it too quickly because I didn't want to be done with it as you saw from my post while I was reading it).  It's about a girl, Hazel Grace, who has cancer.  She falls in love with a boy who also has cancer, Augustus Waters.  It's an easy read and is funny and sarcastic and real and heartbreaking.  I recommend it to anybody and everybody.  I love a book that makes me think of things differently and The Fault in Our Stars definitely did that for me.  It makes a very sad subject light and humorous, but still gives the story the gravity it deserves.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Club

Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Rating: 7 out of 10

I can't give too much of a synopsis because I don't want to give too much away (even though I pretty much figured it out within the first 20 pages heh heh..)  But the book is about a group of students at a school and there is a lot of mystery surrounding their situation.  To them though it is more naivete than mystery.  It delves into their relationships with one another and is really mostly about the power of the way we are taught and raised (I considered it to be more than a little political).  And how we only see or believe what we want to.

It is a bit of a slow read because most of the book is written through memories of the lead character, Kathy, but is beautifully written and incredibly thought-provoking.  Ishiguro does an amazing thing with the perspective from which he writes  (via Kathy) in that he makes a deeply sad story seem so ordinary and every-day.  For me, what really happened in the book and how it all came together didn't really settle in until after I had finished and let it settle for a bit and then thought about it from my perspective.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves a deep book.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Halloween

I just love Halloween.  I don't know what to say about it that I haven't already said, but just know that to me it is the most magical day of the year.  This year lived up to expectations.  In the morning I drew a bunch of Halloween pictures with sharpie and we colored together.  We made pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies using this recipe (it's my favorite for thick, fluffy sugar cookies), and after Olivia's nap we put on the girls' costumes went down to visit both grandmas in Provo.  That evening before we went trick-or-treating we painted pumpkins and ate our frosted cookies while watching Hotel Transylvania.  We had one of my favorite experiences ever trick-or-treating.  Last year we didn't go because Liv was too young, and we got several trick-or-treaters at our door; but this year when we trooped out into the driveway, Berlin in stroller, Olivia with bucket in hand, the street was teeming with families!  Crowds of little kids ran from door to door and adults stood on the sidewalks talking.  We quickly fell into step with some friends.  On the first three houses, Olivia tried to go in.  She didn't understand why we would knock on a door, take a piece of candy, and then just leave (it does sound pretty impolite).  Before long she got the hang of it though, and sounded so cute saying "Trick Treeeee!"  She liked doing it with the other kids too, and would patiently wait her turn to pick out a candy.  We had read the Little Critter Halloween book several times, where they say "Happy Halloween" a lot, and a few times at doors I could hear Olivia mumble "Happy Howeee" upon leaving. :)

The day before, we had pumpkin bars and a sundae before going to Cornbelly's




 A couple of months ago I pulled up a bunch of photos of princess costumes, a Jessie the cowgirl costume, and a Buzz Lightyear costume and asked Olivia to pick one to dress up in.  She picked Buzz. I wasn't surprised, he is her favorite Disney character.  It was funny the day though to see how many people thought she was a boy!  When we went to see Jack's mom at work, some of her co-workers asked if she was her grandson haha.  Berlin was a mouse.  It looked like the most comfortable costume ever, all soft and warm.



 Partway through the night Liv stopped to rest and sample some of her candy
 Baby was content to sit in the stroller and observe the festivities
 She was pretty happy with her haul (this doesn't look like much because she probably ate half of it in-transit between houses).  We put her to bed and put the rest away to distribute in the coming weeks

Friday, November 1, 2013

Another Milestone

Olivia is sleeping in a toddler bed for the first time tonight.  She started climbing out of bed this week and so we converted her crib today, stripped her room of all things entertaining (books, toys, and accessories went into the closet), and secured all things dangerous (shelves and dresser anchored to the wall, drawers and closet secured shut), explained the situation to her, walked out and closed the door.  She didn't nap today (spent most of naptime in her rocking chair and exploring the vent and I spent the two hours with my eyes glued to the monitor, praying she wouldn't get hurt and that she would still take naps after this transition), but tonight after her regular routine and a long lay-by, she is asleep.  In her toddler bed.  Whew!  Hopefully over the next few days she will learn to take naps there too.

When I was a teenager and thinking of what it would be like to be a mom, I never thought about these sort of things.  The hard things.  Sleep training, coerced healthy meals, potty training, transitioning to a bigger bed, etc.  I thought about holding a tiny baby, dressing them up in super cute clothes, reading books together, baking cookies together.  Lots of kisses, laughter, butterflies, rainbows :)  Not the hard stuff.  The hard stuff makes it better though I think.  Every time I cross one of these milestones and succeed, I feel like I make a difference.  Today I helped my daughter fall asleep in a big bed.  It's a big deal.
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