Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Little Christmas

Happy December-- the most wonderful time of the year.

It means a piano recital for Ava, Hinckley, and Halle. I have videos of them that only a mother could love. Here's a picture for the rest of you.

Ava's 3rd grade teacher (who we LOVE) put together a little nativity play with parts for everyone, a real live baby Jesus, lots of songs, a classroom transformed overnight with dollar store tablecloths and cardstock stars, sets and know, during her extra time. Oh, and she accompanied them on the guitar. She is Maria von Trapp. Ava played the donkey. That's her down in the left corner. She had a solo but sang it so quietly that we couldn't really hear it, so again, no video.

Riding the train to Temple Square to see the lights. This is an yearly family tradition with Darron's brothers and sisters

The first of our children to LIKE SANTA! She had a nice little chat at our family Christmas party.

A brief clip of our family nativity

Christmas Eve at the cousins' house! We really do take more pictures of Delilah than all the rest. Can't be helped.
Then hurry home, brush your teeth, hop in bed, and try try try with all your might to go to sleep! Santa Claus comes tomight!

 Christmas morning, the kids stayed put until 7, ahhhh.....

And we woke to this beautiful sight, a clean, fresh blanket of snow. This hasn't happened in years. Such a treat.

And then....




Legos to be built

Music to be played

Breakfast to be eaten, video games to be broken in, new books to be devoured, snow to be packed, thrown, tasted, and reveled in. Blessings most dear to be counted and enjoyed. God's precious gift to the world celebrated and remembered. We love you all, our friends and family! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Catching Up and Sending Off

My parents touched down in Germany early this morning. We said goodbye to them last week for a year and a half. They will be missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, doing...well, we haven't yet determined what precisely they will be doing, but we're sure it will be great.

In the meantime, my daughterly sense of duty compels me to make at least an effort at blogging a bit more. Which would be every six months instead of nine-- or so. Ish. Whatever. The point is, it will surely be more frequent as it would be virtually impossible to be less. But let's not be hasty and accidentally make a commitment or some such nonsense.

Sooo....where were we? Ah yes! May! I last wrote in May. Since then we've

played soccer,

and the piano,

started school,

had some cupcakes,


done a science fair project involving Mountain Dew--naturally,

 and eaten Thanksgiving leftovers with cousins.

And if I have no record of the other 99.5% of life that happened, do me the favor of trusting me when I say it did. Happen. While cursing along with me my stupid camera on my stupid phone that inexplicably started taking really grainy pictures so all I'm left with is the few on my good camera that I thought to take only during super momentous occasions. Like Thanksgiving leftovers.

Good-bye Grandma and Grandpa! We love you and will miss you!!!!!!

(If you are interested in following along on their Germanic adventures, my mom has started a blog (!) here.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Mom Song

I heard this song for the first time a few years ago and thought it was pretty funny-- then I heard it on the radio this morning on my way home from dropping my kids off at school and it made me cry (???!!). Of course I'm a crier, no news there, but this was weird even for me. So I thought about it and realized that overwhelming emotion I was feeling was solidarity. You read that right. A heavy moment of solidarity. With this woman singing the song, and all the other countless women throughout the world's history who have said these same things to their children. I mean, how many times has the phrase "chew with your mouth closed" been uttered since the dawn of civilization? I am in good company, you know? I also may have reached new depths of lame. Until I decided to blog about it...and TOTALLY redeemed myself.

Just an hour earlier my song had been: brush your teeth! hurry up! out of bed now! eat your breakfast! lean over! have you brushed your teeth? where's your lunch? comb your hair! try that again in a respectful voice! sit down! brush your teeth! hurry we're going to be late! come back and give me a hug! did you get your homework? you have 2 minutes to finish your breakfast! one minute thirty seconds! don't get distracted! get in the car! homework! library books! lunches! brush your teeth! hurry hurry hurry! have a great day! I'll see you after school! I love you!!! You'll be late unless you run!

Sure I nag. Sure I sound pretty annoying (just ask Hinckley). Sure I could do it all better. But I don't because I'm already doing the best I can. I am doing the best I can.

I love being a mom. It's nothing new. It's not groundbreaking. But it's who I was meant to be.

One of the blogs I follow, Clover Lane, has been doing a series called Coming Home, with different women's journeys to motherhood. I have loved so much reading about all these women who feel the way I feel, who are part of my sisterhood. Solidarity, sister (*fist bump*).

So in a nutshell: crazy normal morning+100.7FM+ billions of women= having a moment in the minivan

Then I got home and cried again because I wanted cookies for breakfast and we don't have any.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Meet Your Dinner

Last night I made the most delicious dinner and I feel the need to share the love because you probably have never had these. And YOU SHOULD! They're Pot Roast Tacos from Mountain Mama Cooks and they are just delectable. Finger-lickin'. Yummity yum yummy. I am literally just finishing off my last bite of lunch leftovers so I can't give you a picture of my own particular taco, but I'll show you Mountain Mama's.
I don't make mine exactly like hers. I make my pot roast plain and onions or veggies, just s&p, garlic powder and water or broth, mostly because I like to save my effort for...I don't know exactly, but not that. I also don't do the caramelized onions-- a general rule for me, same reason as above. I actually did make them once, but I thought it almost detracted from the heavenly pot roast/horseradish combo. I add thinly sliced cabbage (raw) to mine, like the plain coleslaw mix, which I think adds a delightful freshness and crunch. And now I'm wishing I had started this post twenty minutes ago before I snarfed down my last taco so you could see a picture, but whatcha gonna do? These are just too delicious for words. Try them. 

I got a pressure cooker for my birthday. I've only used it once because I promptly lost the instruction manual and it seems I never have time in the midst of dinner prep to figure out how to work the durned thing via Google. But the once I did use it (last night for a certain pot roast) it took me one hour--read it ONE HOUR--to make a roast that would have taken 8 in my crockpot or dutch oven. Why are people not more into these things? That's amazing!

Thomas is getting his tonsils out in a few weeks. The poor boy is beside himself. WITH JOY, people! Sorry for all the caps today, I'm not sure what's going on. He's so excited that he asks me at least once a day if he can do it sooner.  And then gets mad when I tell him no. Every time. Like it's news. He is going to be in for one great big disappointment pretty soon here, but I'd appreciate everyone just going along with it. The ice cream! The pudding! The popsicles! Yeah, like that. 

That's all. Mostly just make the tacos. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter, Christmas, and a New Kitchen (In No Particular Order)

It's high time I show you my new kitchen, right? Okey dokey.

First, here are some befores and durings. I know that they are all from different angles and not the best photos for comparing, but really just be impressed that I thought to take them at all. I know I am.

Creamy cabs, forest green laminate, and a really terrible photographer.

With everything taken out and the french doors put in.

And then the tongue and groove ceiling, before paint.

And then cabinets. And an island. 

And then....? Light fixtures, countertops and backsplash, hardware, sink and faucet, paint, and you get the After....and *poof* a baby too.

Oh, I just love it. It was Darron's idea to change the layout from a peninsula to an island. It didn't give us a whole lot more space necessarily, but it did open up another access point to the kitchen which now allows another body or two in the small space. And if there's one thing we're not short on around here its bodies or two. I was so so so nervous that the ideas in my head wouldn't translate in person, but I am so pleased with it all. The floors will be done some other day or decade, but I hardly notice their grossness now because of the beauty above them. I also need to decide on a window covering for the window and french doors so that my back door neighbors can get a break from the all day all night reality drama going on behind them. But someday. I'm all decided out right now.  

So during this reno, we had two major surgeries, two birthdays, and the neverending daily ongoings of a family of seven. And all of my social anxiety disorder in full rage. Ok. Not really. I know I don't actually have social anxiety disorder, I just happen to possess all of the symptoms. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was to not have people in my house all the time out of my personal safe space and my house back in order. Like, it made me happier than actually having the new kitchen. But, in the words of my mother, "Heather, everything isn't always about you," (still chewing on that one after 25 years), so let's see what else I can find to talk about, hmm?

Well, there's Delilah. And plenty of her.

Delilah and Dad

Delilah hunting eggs

I do have other children, I suppose. Whatever.

Tommy at the dance festival. Aargh!!!!

Way back at Christmas, but I just found this one. Everyone loves Uncle Daniel. He's awesome.

Ava Bean

Halle Lou


Avie again. Her first piano recital!

All three. They're so cute. Excuse me for a moment while I die.

Every now and then someone gets a picture of Mom. Thank you Halle, I do exist.

I just like this picture of my Dad. It's just so...him.

Folks, I think that's it. It's bedtime and there's a book on my Kindle calling my name. Heather...come reeaad meee... I must obey.