Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dress ups and Moments with Maggie

When it came to "dress ups" we were seriously lacking in that department. Whenever Maggie would go play at Brooklyns, the first thing she did, besides find someone elses shoes to put on, was head for the dressup clothes and strip down out of her lame old "street clothes" and then cover herself in the glorious, frilly, frothy layers of chiffon and fairy imagination. So, you can imagine MY glee and joy when one of the gifts bestowed upon us was a box of beautiful, frilly, fluffy dance costumes, along with dress up shoes, crown, sceptre, jewelry, etc. Frankly, if that is the ONLY thing that had shown up on our doorstep that day, I would be happy and content. When Maggie opened up the big tub, her excitement was palpable. She IMMEDIATELY stripped out of her jammies and put on the fluffiest and softest outfit of all, the totally awesome, hot pink number that looks like an ice skaters dream costume. Seriously, we love them so much. At first she would ONLY wear that pink costume, because she was SURE the rest of them were itchy. As a sidenote...I'm worried she has some sort of sensory issue, because she FREAKS out at the feel of tags, lines on her socks, long pants, anything that might remotely be scratchy. It makes getting dressed a battle of epic proportions and a time where I'd like to just slit my wrists rather than battle. OY! But anyway, I'm pleased to report that she has now discovered that none of them are itchy, and all are acceptable to her for wearing. So, without further ado, a fashion show of the glorious pretties that now belong to one Miss Sassy Pants VP.

I think Brooklyn might have been MORE excited than Maggie. I can't wait for Brooklyn to come back from break and for the girls to play and dance. I included this because I don't have a shot of Maggie in the yellow. Plus, Brooklyn was GREAT for her, as far as getting her to want to do some "poses."

This would be the shot of her the moment she got the box and put this on immediately. As you can tell from the smile, she was QUITE happy.

Maybe one of the CUTEST outfits and pictures EVER! Wish he hair wasn't such a rats nest, but you can't win them all. After playing in these with Brooklyn, Maggie even agreed to try dance lessons next year.

Seriously? Who couldn't love that happy face? This was another attempt at posing.

By far my favorite pose. Nonthing pointed out to me more how midgey her legs and arms were than this. I mean, there is NO air showing above her arm, while Brooklyn is nothing but a pile of legs and arms, which pose better in ballet poses. But still, so cute!

This is totally MY favorite of the costumes. However, this one was FREAKING her out and "Bugging" her, so she was having NOTHING to do with pictures. I should also mention, this was taken BEFORE Brooklyn showed up and helped her realize that all were ok. So yeah, couldn't be happier. Thanks Jenee P. for being such a dance Mom and passing on the cutest costumes EVER!
Now, for what I might make a regular feature in this blog....Moments with Maggie. I just realized that she says A LOT of funny things and I have not been putting them down for memory sake. So, here are a couple of conversations, or things as I can remember them.
We went to a store the other day and she insisted on taking in her new lipstick and 2 of her new bracelets. We shopped around for quite awhile, and she had insisted on walking around on her own. When we finally got out to the car....
Maggie: Where is my wipstick?
Me: I don't know, did you drop it in the store?
Maggie: Ummm, yeah, I drop it in the store. Where my bracelets?
Me: I don't know, I don't have them, did you lose those too?
Maggie: Ummm yeah, I lose them.
Me: Well, that's really sad Maggie, you've already lost your makeup AND your new bracelets.
Maggie: (looking around, reflecting)...Hmmmm, dat's bummer.
She's REALLY into saying things are such a bummer. Whenever I act disappointed about anything, she says....that's a bummer, bummer Mom. Or, That's a REAL bummer.
I was working in the kitchen and in walked Maggie with a blanket wrapped around her face ala Mary or some biblical character. She said:
"Look Mom, I Jesus." Then she moved the blanket around her shoulders and said:
"Look Mom, I You." Then moved it down around her waist and informed me she was then "daddy." But the jesus thing just killed me.
If I EVER scold her, flick her for saying bad words or sassing, she will immediately say to me. "Shame on you Mommy." Like I'm the BAD person here.
My other favorite thing to hear is, her voice coming from another room, she's trying to do something and I hear: "Mommy, I need a wittle help here." "Can you give me a wittle (little) help?"
She is singing ALLLLLLL the time now. Currently she's sitting at the piano with a book open and "playing the piano" whilst singing the alphabets and Santa Clause is coming to town. As soon as she finishes any song, she'll turn and say " Did you Wike that song Mom?"
Ok, and lastly. When we went to Bass Pro to see Santa, it said it was Santas Workshop. We didn't say anything about that, but, it did say that. On our way out of the store, she noticed all the antlers all over the outside and she asked why those "reindeer" were there. Jere "brilliantly" told her that those reindeer didn't do a good job for Santa, so they ended up outside the store on the wall. Mind you, these are antlers only. She took that in and said "Oh, those reindeer didn't do their job for Santa and they were bad and are there?" We said yes and went on our way. Well, almost a week later I happened to drive through the parking lost past Bass Pro. She yelled out in excitement....."It's Santas Workshop." I said, "oh, yes it is (totally caught off guard), but Santa went back to the Northpole, because he's done here." She said, "Ohhhhh, and those white reindeers were bad, and didn't do a good job for Santa, and they're there." HELLO, does NOTHING get past this girl?

Thank goodness for the funny and cute moments that make up for the SUPER frustrating moments of total bi-polar craziness. I sure love my cute little sassy pants.
Dress ups and shout outs,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gifts for Santa

Most people like to leave a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa, and perhaps even a carrot for Rudolph, if they're feeling especially generous and "believing". But NOT us, oh no, Maggie had OTHER things she needed/wanted (or perhaps was forced) to give to Santa. (As a sidenote, could someone i.e. Glamazon) PLEASE teach me how to do those cross out lines on would make my writing all the more clever.)

Maggie, back when the world was still a happy and innocent place. A time "before" Santa.

You see, someone (read Jere) thought it would be a GREAT idea for Maggie to give up her Nummies (read binky, pacifier, lala) to Santa. At first Maggie was alll for this. She smiled, she agreed, she thought it'd be a great plan. We worked it into our conversations for a good 2 days before Christmas, constantly reminding her what was coming. She seemed just fine with this idea. She would tell everyone that she was gonna leave her nummies for Santa. But THEN the time of reckoning came. It was Christmas Eve, around 8 p.m. and I informed Miss Muffitt that the time had come for bed, because Santa needed to come, and he couldn't do it while she was awake. So, she grabbed her night night and sippy and then promptly asked for her nummy. I gently reminded her that she had to leave her nummy for Santa. Because another brilliant moment in Jeres head was when he informed her that Santa NEEDED the nummies for a new baby. So, Maggies response was "oh Santa needs my nummy for a new baby?" I said yes and then she said "nooooo, I want my nummy in my mouth." I then suggested that perhaps we should write a letter to Santa. Maggie thought about it and decided this was a good idea. So, I started writing "out loud" and she sat on my lap. When I got about halfway through Maggie interjected her own words. She said "take them away." "Take them away Santa." Oh, and I have to back track and say, earlier in the day she informed me that Santa was her best friend. Guess not so much anymore. So anyway, I present you with the letter.

You may notice that there is only one nummy there....that is because after she sweetly and happily went off to bed sans her nummies, she lasted all of 10 minutes before the wailing and nashing of teeth began. It was sad, it was heartbreaking, so i caved and took her a nummy. She immediately calmed down and fell soundly asleep. The next morning, when she FINALLY woke up at 8:00 a.m. Jere quietly swiped the remaining binky and we walked out to the living room. She was so overcome with her big wheel she couldn't speak. Anyway, awhile later she asked where her nummy was....specifically, she asked "where is the letter?" I showed her the letter and told her the nummy was gone. And that seemed to be it.

Oh how I WISH that was it. I can't tell you what a crap storm of CRAP the last 4 days have been. Naps are almost, completely impossible. Bed time is a drawn out sob fest that lasts almost an hour each night. She wants Max's nummy, 'cause why should he have one if she can't. But, in her sane moments, she will say; to whoever will listen..."Santa take my nummy, 'cause he need it for a new baby." She's not so bitter, somewhat resigned to it. But then the dreaded sleep time comes and all hell breaks loose again. My sanity is on the brink. But, we're sort of between a rock and a hard place here. I mean, Santa knows, he TOOK the nummies, a babies whole future is on the line here, we can't POSSIBLY give Maggie her nummies back. So, suffer through tirades and tears we must. Apparently her addiction and "fixation" was far greater than we even knew.

Someone please just tell me this will end SOON!! Tell me it was worth it. 'Cause this Mama is about to start her own bawl fest.

Thanks a lot Santa, and fooey to that needy new baby too!

Binkys and bawling,


Sunday, December 27, 2009


Sometimes things happen in life, good, bad or otherwise. Sometimes faith is tested, trials occur, OR friendships are made, lives are changed. Sometimes things happen for good and for bad and we don't understand why. And sometimes...there just aren't words enough to express gratitude, or explain why or to understand. This much I do know, ALWAYS, when we follow the promptings of the spirit, we are blessed, not just sometimes.

On a fateful day in June, Jenee called and told me there was a house for us. Something was different about this phonecall. Something told me to go ahead and follow through, to look at this house. When I drove up and saw the front, I instantly felt connected. I walked through the little house and my connection grew. I brought Jere and Julie back, I walked through it again. We talked about it, I fretted about it. We couldn't afford it, moving is a pain, etc. Yet, something in my deepest core told me to do it, take a giant leap of faith and DO IT. It could be the fact that we have the worlds most adorable and amazing landlords, or that the house is so super cute, or that we just needed to move on...who knows. So, after taking deep cleansing breaths, we agreed to move in. From that first moment we pulled up in the moving van and there was a group of Elders waiting to help us unload, to that first Sunday in church and we were greeted with such love and affection, it has felt like home. As the days and weeks passed, and our friendships developed, there has been no question that THIS is home. We were MEANT to live here. We BELONG here, with THESE neighbors, THIS ward, THESE friends. There is no explaining it, other than you just KNOW, you FEEL it. I've written about this nieghborhood enough, you know I'm all cuckoo for it. But, what happened next defies description.

The Christmas season was on us. As you all know, I am far to practical for this Holiday. Even if I had money, I wouldn't spend it frivolously. But, since we literally DON'T have money, well then it's even more subdued. This KILLS Jere. He is eternally five when it comes to Christmas. He wants presents, he dreams of presents, and he has expensive taste. However, it had become clear to him that no big Christmas was forthcoming. We kept it very simple for the kids, giving Maggie a bigwheel we had bought last year, and some small makeup things I'd purchased, and a little computer that my parents gave her. Max got some hot wheels and all hand me down toys. (for the record, let it be known that I am JUST fine with hand me down anythings. They're all in great shape and SHOULD be enjoyed by someone else) As for Jere and I, I would have much preferred NO presents between us, but since I knew that would literally kill him, I had eeked out a tiny budget that we could buy a couple of things for eachother. So, on the 23rd we shopped at Target and got a couple of things. So, there it was, simple and yet just fine. As I stated earlier, I still feel blessed, material means or not. We are getting by, we have food on the table, and we have amazing friends and family.

First came a letter and gift from our landlords, expressing their love and adoration for our little family, and decreasing our rent for the month of December. Talk about a Christmas miracle. I can't begin to tell you how much that meant, AND helped. Then came late night gifts from a secret 12 days of Christmas friend. Just sweet little trinkets left on our doorstep each night. But what happened at 4:45 on Christmas Eve was MOST unexpected and has forever changed us.

We thought we were waiting for A friend to drop off a little gift. Instead, at 4:45 the strains of "feliz navidad" began playing loud and clear outside our window. As we looked out our window, our entire yard was covered with friends, people we love all wearing sombreros and singing and dancing, holding gifts. I opened the door to watch the spectacle and began bawling as I realized what was happening. Jere was confused, and kept asking, "what is happening" as one by one they entered our little living room and placed gifts under and around our tree. These people, our friends, our neighbors took it upon themselves to give us Christmas. For no other reason than they love us. You can NOT imagine the feelings of inadequacy you feel in a moment like that. The feeling of gratitude, yet undeservingness of it all. Why are WE so blessed. I'm sure, no I KNOW there are others out there MORE in need, and yet, it was exactly what we needed. We were taught a lesson in humility and gratitude that we might never have learned otherwise. The look of happiness and excitement on each of their faces was so great. It reminded me of my childhood, and the greatest Christmases I experienced, those where we gave up some of our own presents, or picked a family and bought them their whole Christmas. We generally did it anonymously, but the feeling was still so great. After the last person left, and walked out the door, Jere said "I'm so embarrassed, I don't want to be a charity case." I replied "you can look at it that way, or you can look at it as, we are loved, and this made THEIR Christmas even better." Needless to say, their generosity and kindness is epic! These friends and neighbors DO NOT mess around. I don't think I stopped crying for most of that night. Every time a present would get opened, a fresh round of tears would start. HOW could we be so blessed? WHO loves us this much? WHY are we so lucky? We don't feel deserving in any way, but we feel grateful! When all was said and done, Jere and I stood, hugging and crying, wondering of our blessings. He asked "how do we EVER say thank you, what do we do?" And I replied.."the ONLY thing we can do is to serve. We MUST serve in any and every capacity possible, to show our Heavenly Father that we are grateful and deserving." His response was "OK, consider it done." And to me, that was the greatest gift and miracle of them all.

So, though no amount of Thank yous could EVER possibly cover our gratitude...we say thank you once again to our friends and neighbors. We say thank you to the 85201, to our "other" family. You will never know the true "gift" you gave us. Far beyond material things, you gave us perspective and understanding of our Lords greater plan. We will spend the rest of our lives striving to live up to and repay this great act of kindness!!

To our amazing "crew"...thank you! Thanks for the silly dancing and singing, the sombreros and love! You are the GREATEST!!
Sometimes....the greatest gifts are not found in a box, but are from the heart. And sometimes, lives are changed for the better! Sometimes, the Lord opens up a path, and ALWAYS, when you follow the prompting, you are blessed. We are eternally grateful for a phonecall, a feeling and a move.

Power to the 85201


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa and Snow

On Wednesday the 23rd, after we got home from Showlow, we dropped all our crap on the floor of our kitchen and headed out to visit Santa. We totally ghettoed up and went to Bass Pro Shop. Hey, the pics were free, and I'm all about free. The line was crazy long, we waited for almost an hour. The entire time in the line Maggie kept waving at Santa and saying "Hi Santa, HI!" Then she'd excitedly tell us that she was gonna sit on Santas "wap". Of course when the magical moment arrived, she immediately dropped her chin to her chest and stared at the floor with her finger firmly stuck in her mouth. She wouldn't look at nor speak to this Santa character, woulnd't accept a piece of candy from him. Max of course screamed his gutts out, as he is wont to do when anyone but me holds him (ugh, he's one of THOSE kids). Sadly, I have no pictorial evidence of the lap sit, but just know, there is a reason the pic is free. Not so much in the quality hehehehe.

On the way out of Santa land we thought this would be a cute picture spot. All Maggie cared to do was pick her boogies. AWESOME!

Next we headed over to Tempe Market Place to actually do shopping for the first time this season. I HAD to get a salt dough ornament that has a space for each of our little family members names. It's "MY" tradition. Plus, we heard it snowed there every night at 7:00. Ummmm, I HIGHLY reccomend you give this little snow show a go next year. It was so fun!

A little self shot of the Maxer and I just before the snow started falling. He's such a GREAT smiler.

See that, it's snow falling. Cold, wet snow. Don't mind Jere....he was having some "I'm freezing balls" moment in life and insisted on two sweatshirts a hat and a scarf. You would have thought we were in Antarctica. But the point is, cute pic of Maggie and Daddy enjoying the snow.

The snow comes shooting out to the lovely strains of "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." Really, it doesn't seem like it would be so fun, but it is, I promise.

Yep, ANOTHER family shot. I had to laugh at Max's pants all the way up his leg. He had REFUSED to keep his shoes on, so whatev. I might possibly be as big as the goodyear blimp. Good hell, time to take some control back in my life!
With that said...time to boogaloo.
Sunshine and snow blow,

A sicky and a Visit

So the last few weeks have been insane to say the least. Just so much going on between programs, parties, sick kids, visits, etc. Hence why I'm so behind on keeping up on the deets of life. Anywhozle, a couple of weeks ago Max just up and got sick, like out of nowhere. And by sick I mean, his breathing sounded like he was trying to suck air through mud. It sounded horrible, and it was disturbing and scarey. I s'pose it was a form of croup. But, when you have no insurance and no money, and you have past experience with this kid and his creepy breathing, you just watch closely and wait it out. Last year, as a newborn he did this 3 different times. I was SURE it was RSV or something terrible. I took him in each time, and NOPE, "there was nothing wrong" "Just watch him and give him breathing treatments." So, when he started up this time, and there was no fever, no other symptoms, I just watched and treated. Thank goodness I had extra breathing medicine left from last year. And thank goodness that Jenny has her own nebulizer that I can use. PHEW!

He was so sweet about taking the breathing treatments. He would just sit there quietly and sweetly just breathing in and out. He even fell asleep a couple of times.
I love this boy so much! Thankfully it only lasted a few days and then he was good to go. Well, except the part where his nose started running like a faucet. That hasn't been pleasant, but I'll take it anytime over the scarey breathing.

In other activities...we made a trip out to visit Gramma Peg and have lunch with her, picnic style. I made some of my "famous" (well in my mind anyway) corn chowder, and brought the french bread and a delish lunch was had by all.

Here she is, in all her glory. She looks really good. And, thankfully, she likes her "rehab" home. Unfortunately, she's still in WAY TOO MUCH pain and can't do anything for herself. We're not sure what is gonna happen.

I don't know, I was watching the kids do something. Perhaps Maggie walking into the bingo game for the 1000th time. She has NO regard for us telling her what to do. OY! Anyway, I'm including this pic because that guy in the back is Jeres older bro. Jeff, and everyone should see the shorts he wears. I'm just saying.

He looks like a little walrus. That is bread hanging out of his mouth. He had SO MUCH fun playing in all those leaves. By the time we left, he and Maggie were soaking wet, since it was apparently all wet under all the leaves.

Just a shot of my kiddos, having a sit down in the cold, wet leaves.

A shot of Jeres family, minus his sister Jen. It is Jeff and peggy in front. Julie and Jere in back.

And finally, the requisite family shot of us. As i said, it was a nice afternoon visit to Gramma Peg. We're so glad that she's in a good facility and that she is healing. But, we sure wish that she'd get better faster and feel shipshape.
Chowder and chases,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Temple Lights

Reminder: This is the 2nd of two new entries today.

So, Saturday night we decided to brave it and take the kids to see the Temple Lights. I mean c'mon, you live in Mesa, you MUST go to the Temple lights for goodness sake. Max was VERY excited about it all. He would point and grunt grunt at everything. He sat happily in the stroller and took it all in. Maggie insisted on walking with her Daddy.

She definitely was more impressed by the lights this year than last. However, the ONLY thing she cared about was seeing Jesus. We're walking around outside, and the entire time, she kept saying..."where is Jesus, let's go see Jesus." This is from the only other time we came to the visitor center. About a month ago we decided to pretend to be all righteous and do an actual family home evening. So, we took the kids to the visitor center and looked at Jesus and watched a movie. Anyway, back to the story...
At each stop, we'd assure her that we WOULD get to Jesus soon. Can you tell who takes all the pictures. There were none of Max or i to be had.

Maggie was trying to "smell the flowers" here. She cracks me up. Ok, so we finally made it to see Jesus. She was so excited to see her old friend. She yelled out..."Jesus died and then he went back to life." This is her complete standard on jesus. So, we looked at him for a minute and then said it was time to go. As we turned to leave and walked out the door, she yelled out..."Bye jesus, HAPPY BIRTHDAY." We just started cracking up. I guess we should be pleased that bits and pieces of what Christmas is is actually getting through to her. She spent yesterday singing Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Jesus. So funny. As a matter of record keeping...she is singing A LOT these days. She sings Santa Clause is coming to Town, ABC's (perfectly), Some gingerbread cookie song that Brookie taught her, Ginkul Bells (Jingle Bells) which goes something like this..."Ginkul Bells, Ginkul Bells, GINKUL BELLS HEY!" As for Max...He says Santa, and it's so freaking cute! He also says/signs Shoes, eat, HOT, cracker. Along with his Mom, Dad, uh-oh and ball. He has such a mischevious little twinkle in his eye and knows exactly what he's NOT s'posed to do. He loves to play "catch me", and bangs ANYTHING he can get his hands on. His other favorite past time is undecorating the tree. It really hasn't been too bad, but the ribbon hasn't faired very well, along with the balls. Good thing I have the non breakable kind, 'cause the other day at Grandma Dars, he ripped a ball off and slammed it to the ground, just like he does ours. However, Dars was glass and it shattered all over the floor. WOOPS!! That wasn't embarrassing or anything.

Anyway, another quick shot by the big tree at the Visitor Center.

And finally, our attempt at a family pic. Oh, we do try, on occassion.
Twinkles and fa la las,

THE Dress

Ok peeps....your LONG awaited pic is finally here. At long last I got to wear my and beautiful dress. What...I was saving it for Christmas Sunday. Anyway, I took a couple of pics, plus I've thrown in some family pics. I mean really, we were taking them as we were RUNNING out the door, so they're nothing great, but at least you get a small glimpse of what we were lookin like for our Christmas Sunday. In desperation, I STILL may just use one of them, if we ever get around to making a card. Oh, that reminds all of you who sent us lovely pictures, letters and cards, THANK YOU! I LERVE me some Christmas cards, and getting real mail in the mailbox. Our walls are adorned with the pics, and I can't wait to re-do the fridge to showcase all my peeps.

As a very random side note....this would be the second day in a row that my kids have been asleep until nearly 8:00. COULD it be a new trend? One can only hope.

Too bad you can't see my waist, due to my big ol' arms hanging there. Just know, that I DO have one of those. Isn't it pretty? The dress I mean, not my waist. OY! And it has sleeves, seriously, so hard to find these days.

Just a bit of a side view. Oh, and can we discuss that this is the first pair of pantyhose I have owned, much less WORN in probably 3 years. I hate those things, they're just a pain in the arse, literally.

Shot number one. I'm quite fond of this because we're all smiling. However, I'm sad because Maggie is too short down there and you can't see her beautiful dress. (Thanks Jenee P. for hand me downs)

I told you, Maggie is all into smiling now. Thank goodness.

Well, we can't win 'em all in the Maggie smiles department. But, Max looks better. Who is good at photo shop, maybe we could work something out here.

Yesterday was a fantastical Sabbath. I got up oh so early and headed over to my sister Jenny's ward to sing with her and Dana. We did a beautiful trio that my friend Carson found. I rushed home from that to get the kids dressed and ready, take pics and then head out to our ward. I was privelaged to sing in our ward as well. This time I did "Child of Peace." It went fine, although I'm totally sicky with sinus issues and crapola in the throat. However, it didn't seem to bother anyone but me. Ok, then came home during Sunday school to frost some cookies for Jeres lesson, put Max in bed ('cause YIKES!) and grab some stuff. Went back to church, sang in a Young Womens lesson, then booked it over to my moms ward to sing in HER Young Womens lesson. Phew, it was a busy one, but I really enjoyed it a lot. I have not had many opportunities to sing or use my voice in recent years. But, since moving over here, for whatever reason, I've done a lot of singing, and that makes me happy. I was given a gift and I feel blessed to use it. So, after all singing and churching was done, I delivered some goodies to friends and then hung out at home for a bit. Last night was "third Sunday" at our Wright family. There was delicious dinner, a super cute Nativity program with all the grandkids. Sadly, when we asked Maggie if she'd like to dress up and be a part of it, she swiftly answered NO. Even Jenee tried to convince her to dress up as an Angel. Maggie would have NOTHING to do with it. Any time we EVER ask her if she'd like to perform something, whether it's sing at the family talent show, or maybe be in a dance recital next year, her instant response is NO. I fear we have a total fraidy cat, non performer on our hands. Boo on that. Anyway, cute nativity replete with audience participation of song singing. After that was over, everyone went caroling. Well a few of us stayed behind, because let's be honest....I HATE caroling. It's just awkward and wierd and not enjoyable to me. Who came up with this gay tradition anyway? But, i digress. The rest of the evening was spent visiting and laughing. Max and Maggie had such a ball, playing, wandering, exploring. It was nearly 10:00 before we got them to bed. YIKES! But, at 10:00 we had a delightful surprise visit from some cute friends in the ward. They brought us a cookbook, and I'm totally excited about finding new recipes! I'm such a nerd, but I really love to look at recipes and to cook. Ok, so they stayed 'til midnight and then it was fall into bed. I've been up since about 5:30 'cause there is SO MUCH TO DO before we leave town today. Gotta go up to Snowflake to perform our Christmas show for 2 days. Then come home and desperately attempt to get some things wrapped, and or bought. Wish us luck.
Goodies and girdles,

Thursday, December 17, 2009


What a difference a year and a neighborhood makes.

We went from this cute little cluster of trees, to this:

And in these two pictures is some sort of analogy to our lives. I LOVED those three little scraggly trees. They were PERFECT in that corner of our cozy little apartment. They put off a happy glow of light, and they made me happy. But, when it came to putting them up in our house, they were just not right. They didn't fit anymore. So, we got this tree, this beautiful, big tree. And therein lies the analogy. I feel as if this big tree represents the bloom of our lives and the ABUNDANCE of blessings we have recieved since moving here. While we are highly lacking in monetary means, and certainly struggling in plenty of areas, we have more blessings than I can count. Not the least of which is our AMAZING and incredible, giving and loving friends and family; A home that we love, neighbors that I'd die for, a ward that is beyond Celestial, food on our table, health, beautiful children, talents, opportunities to share said talents, FRIENDS, laughter, acceptance, and did I mention friends? etc. Our blessings have increased as our tree has grown from three little scragglers to a gorgeous fully formed pine.

What brings on this little soliloquy to the tree? Well, tonight I had the opportunity to go and sing at the Desert Vista Mental health facility. It is literally around the corner from my house, and I had NO idea what it was. Jere and I sang at a Stake fireside Sunday night and they asked any that participated that night to come and sing at the hospital tonight. Jere couldn't go, but I agreed to do it. I didn't know what to expect, but knew that I needed to make the time for it. After being led through several heavily locked doors, we made it to the dining room where a tiny little keyboard was set up and a small crew of us were ready to perform. After a bit the room began to fill with patients. There were a lot of patients and they ranged from young to old, disheveled to well kempt. As I watched them shuffle in my mind wandered to why they might be here, and what their stories were. Who were they? So, we did our small little concert, and they were a rapt audience. There were commentors who would yell out how much they liked this or that. Or those that I could overhear, talking to eachother, as if they were experts on all things musical, expressing their appreciation for the singers. At the end we did a carol sing along. They each were handed a sheet of paper with the words to 7 carols printed on them. It was fascinating to watch them "come alive" and sing along with so much ghusto and excitement. As I looked around the room and watched these people, again, I wondered....who are you? What kind of life had they led? At what point, what age, did they "break?" Were they once carefree and happy children, excitedly waiting for Santa to come? Did they have warm family gatherings and sing carols? **As a sidenote, I've been obsessed lately with homeless people. I always ponder on their life stories, and wonder if they were once happy go lucky kids, and did they EVER see themselves as they are today? I think I'm terrified on some level of ending up unprepared and somehow on the streets. ** But, that's niether here nor there. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, I was moved by this brief experience tonight. As I walked into my warm, beautiful little house, and the tree lights were twinkling, I was made MORE grateful for all I have. I was thankful for good mental health (as it turns out, this facility houses SEVERE cases, those deemed a danger to themselves or others. Schizophrenics, bi-polar, etc.) for the Gospel as a beacon of light and direction, for my family, for the opportunity to come and bring a little joy to these poor peoples lives.
I may not have a lot of the material things in life. I may cry and stress out a lot and I may struggle to understand "why me" in certain things, but in the end....I am BLESSED! And this season is about that blessing, and about blessing others. It truly is NOT about worldly gifts, it is about giving of yourself, as the Savior did for us. And so, I'm grateful for a little perspective learned in the walls of the mental facility around the corner. Be grateful, be grateful for what you have, and don't ever take for granted the small moments. You never know what the future holds, enjoy every moment as you go. And never ever forget how blessed you are, or who we are as children of a loving Heavenly Father.

Locked doors and open hearts,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Besties are the Best

Karen, Angie, Me

Sit back and let me tell you a little tale, a tale of a fateful date. Nearly twenty (TWENTY) years ago (I sort of want to barf a little bit as I write that), my best friend Karen informed me that we would be hanging out with this "other" girl. I was NONE to pleased with this information and told her NO. I didn't like this girl. She was a boyfriend stealing who-er. She was lame, she was dumb, she was....I didn't know her AT ALL, but I knew she had stolen one of my friends boyfriends, therefore she was NOT worth knowing or hanging out with. Unfortunately, Karen had seminary with her and had become friends and decided that we all needed to hang out. Mind you, Karen was MY best friend, she had been since we were five years old. But, upon her insistence, we were going "out" with Angie, like it or not. So, the fateful night came, we met up at my house and decided to video our entire evening, whatever that might entail. We went to Taco Bell, we cruised the happenin town of Mesa, we went bowling, we laughed and we laughed, we came back to my house and made commercials. Of these commercials, all I can say is....shame spiral. That video is still in existence, and it serves as a hideous reminder of our highschool retardedness. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is...this night, this unwanted night, this night of unending laughter and silliness ended with a newly minted foursome (sorry, RuthAnne is not pictured) of best friends. We were fairly unseperable from that point forward.

In the following years there would be ebbs and flows. Sometimes we were better friends with one than the other. Some were closer to eachother than others. Karen and RuthAnne went off to college and Angie and I stayed in Mesa. She moved into her own apartments, worked different jobs, had exploding cars, etc. Our bond deepened immeasurably. This girl, the HO (haha) the one I was sure I hated was my best, best, BEST friend. We knew EVERYTHING about eachother. Noone could make me giggle like her. Noone could understand me, irritate me, love me like her. She even named her first daughter after me (well her middle name anyway).

As these last twenty years have passed, we've all gone through A LOT of changes. We've gone through so many things together, weddings, babies, heartache, joy. I am so grateful for TRUE friends. For girls who GET me and love me in spite of my flaws. I'm thankful that no matter how much time passes between seeing or talking to them, it's as if no time passes. I'm thankful that we can and always WILL be friends. I'm thankful that we can still giggle like the highschoolers we were. I love that we can lay in bed and have a sleepover like we were teenagers all over again. I love that when Angie recently needed some perspective and a little love and kick in the booty, she knew she could come and visit and get that from her two besties.

I just want my girls to know how much I love them. Thank you for all the memories, old and new. Thanks for always being there. Thank you for listening, laughing and loving! You are truly THE BEST!

Old friends and giggle fits,


Cullens R Us

Remember that post a few back...that one about my vampireish husband and my sensitive skin. Remember that? Well apparently....this problem, this biting and bruising problem runs in the family. Just call us Cullens lite, or something like that.

You see that mark on his back? Look closely, really's a perfect set of teeth. A perfect bite that left a charming bruise for a good week. Apparently my angelic/demonic little daughter chose to take a bite out of crime and latch onto Max's back. Who the heck knows why. I wasn't around to witness said event. I only recall hearing crying, and wondering what it was for. Then hearing my friend say, in a loving way "Oh Maggie, no, we don't do that." Or something like that. Then, the next day, Julie asked me who bit Max. Lo and behold, there it was, the proof was in the pudding as they say. His sweet little back was, well, scarred. I guess i should just start calling her Alice, or Rosalie or some other Vampirical goddess. Seriously, what to do with that girl of mine.

Just another shot of the damage done. Yep, you REALLY did it you little biter. I'm telling you, I spend half my life yelling at her to GET OFF YOUR BROTHER. She's always laying on him, sitting on him, pushing him, or apparently biting him. I'm in need of some advice on how to deal with these situations. 'Cause apparently, telling to stop it just isn't working. hahahaha

Bites and bods,


For Fer Fer

The phone rang tonight and it was Jenny, Jere's older sister. She lives North of Chicago and we don't talk all that often. But tonight, she called for an address and we ended up chatting for a good 40 minutes. It was a delightful conversation. In the course of our chat, we discussed the kids, of course the kids. She lamented that she wished she lived closer so she could see them. She went on and on about how adoralbe they are, etc. Jenny prefers to be called Aunti Fer fer, thus the title. After fillling her in on some of their antics and goings ons, I told her I would dedicate a post to her. Just a bunch of random pictures that have been building up on my computer with nowhere to go. So, enjoy some max and maggie goodness!

Trucker Shiek
That is what I like to call this little get up. One morning as I was changing Maggies diaper, she informed me that she MUST wear her pretty princess dress, AND her hat. I asked which hat, she told me it MUST be THIS hat. Then, once we had be-decked her in all her goodness, she had to finish it off with her lovely "slippers". She felt awesome, and I think her morning hair only added to the utter fabulouslness of this whole look. Don't you all agree?

This sweet boy loves NOTHING more than to be outside. He is walking everywhere and just so pleased to be mobile. We played out front the other day for a good long time. He played and played and played. I won't lie, there was more than once (or 10 times) that he RAN for the street. By the end, he thought it was a hysterical game, watching me chase after him.

I decided to let Max feed himself oatmeal one morning. Not so much a good idea, but he's got to learn sometime, right?

Have you ever seen a cuter butt? Seriously. I don't know what was happening here. I think she was "helping" me make dinner. Lately she LOVES to take her diaper off and "go potty". Sometimes she really does go potty and others, she just wastes a diaper and time. We're potty training on her terms, 'cause I'm frankly too lazy.

Maggie has decided that she likes to smile "it's her favorite." So, i asked her to pose in her outfit and give me a smile. This is what we got. She's so silly. As a side note. The other day, Jere was watching something and laughing out loud. Maggie started laughing and she blurts out. "Oh Dad, that's hystercal." I turned and said, "did she just say what I think?" And Jere said, "Um yeah, she did." Our TWO YEAR OLD daughter just used teh word HYSTERICAL in proper context. For reals peeps, genious!

Have I mentioned the drama queen? I can't even begin to tell you the lengths this girl goes to. She was butt hurt about something here. And I'm such a thoughtful and loving Mom that I just had to grab the camera and laugh at her tantrum.

When Gramma Peg fell and was in the hospital, I decided it would be a good idea to take some pics of the kids and blow them up really big and put them up on the wall. This was as good as I could get with both kids. Again, Maggie is practicing her mad new smiling skills.

This is Maggie saying "I love you" to Gramma Peg. I just love her in her little piggy buns. It's my favorite. I could eat her up this way.

And finally...just can't leave this kid anywhere. Turn your back for one second and this is how you find him. He was in quite a pickle here, it took some fenagling to get him back out.
There ya go Fer Fer, plenty of pics to keep your Auntie from afar status satisfied!
Photographs and holly,

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Tis the Season

Miss me? Wonder where I've been? Yea, Thanksgiving happened and then the world exploded or something. Seriously, I have no idea how every day has flown by, but I literally have NO freaking time to do anything it seems. I'm weeks behind on every TV show, haven't learned music that I should have memorized, my kitchen floor just got mopped for the first time in over a week or 3 (don't judge) and I have had days where showering was almost not an option. Good grief. So, here I am with a short bit and a LOT of pictures on how Christmas looks around here.

Thanskgiving was delightful with the family. A lot of food, a lot of chatting, singing and laughing. That night Jere was VERY intent on getting the Christmas tree set up. Peggy had bought a new one this year, and since she is in re-hab for her shoulder, etc we are the lucky recipient of the tree. Anyway, Jere and Julie fetched the tree and this is what it looked like.

This big of a mess, and it is a HUGE mess can turn into this:

We LOVE the tree. Thank goodness for our lovely neighbor Jen for making my giant bow and threading the ribbon through my tree. It's all so lovely.

I'm so happy....the necessity of a place for Christmas Decorations forced me to FINALLY paint this shelf and hang it. YAY! I was so sad putting up the decorations because I'm missing our fireplace this year. Don't get me wrong. LOVE our house, but miss fireplace and the familiar hanging places.

LOVING our battery operated garlands. Thanks to Gramma Peg and QVC we are so Christmas fresh.

My Kitchen is Gingerbread and "country" fresh. I really do enjoy pulling out the Christmas Decore and all the "joy" it brings. Even if we are poorer than poor, and there isn't much "Christmas" to be had. We are so totally blessed and our house can look awesome.

I LOVE my hanging balls this year. It's a new addition. I totally stole the idea from my beloved friend Jenny D. She has a gorgeous home with gorgeous hanging balls in her enormous 100 ft. cielings.

My piano has always been covered in decorations that have some long meaning to me. Such as the Raggedy Ann doll, it was made just for meby a member on my mission. The little red pony (look closely) painted in polka dots was made by Andrea 100 years ago (hey Andrea). The quilt stocking onthe right was made by my dear friend Angie, out of an old quilt. The sparkly teddy bear was bought by my favorite gay Stephen, while he was visiting for Chritmas oneyear. My Horizons doll is on there for goodness sake. Yea, THAT doll, from 25 years ago. Man, Horizons was awesome. Give a shout out if you got to attend that. Anyway, enough explainging on that.

I even got Christmas crazy in the bedrooms this year. Once again, go battery garland, woo hoo! I found some cute, cheap little ornaments that matched their bedroom and hung them. It makes me happy every time I go in there. Our bedroom has a garland and balls as well, but it was too messy to photograph.
Hope you've enjoyed your tour of my Christmasy house.
Oh, also, there has been this going on:

Jere and I are doing a little Christmas Caberet of sorts. We had this last week to practice and put it on last night and tonight. It's been a hot mess really, and taken up our whole week. However, in the end, it IS fun to get to perform a little something. And we love our friend Carson who asked us to do it. We're going up to Showlow to do it in another week. Good times.

Carson has a minor in costume design, andhe's sort of a crazed man about costumes. So, for this VERY small, very intimate show, we all wear these costumes for A song. He whipped out my skirt yesterday. However, as much as they're a pain to get in and out of, I think we all look rather festive and cute, even if that damn bonnet does RUIN my hair. hahaha
Ok, I MUST shower and get ready to leave for the show. I need to put the chairs back in the kitchen and deal with my kids that are waking up. But, at LEAST I finally got something different posted on here. I promise I have so much more that I care to write about. For instance, how illegal it should be to love ones ward and neighborhood SO MUCH, or our ridiculously awesome Ward Christmas party, or how vampireism apparently runs in my family, etc. hahahaha
Stockings and twinkles,