Friday, September 28, 2018

Birthday in Disneyland

So this year for birthdays, I offered to the kids to have experiences instead of presents. And being so close to California makes that a lot easier than it might have been in the past. (one perk for living in Vegas)

So Henry chose to spend his 12th birthday at Disneyland. And I wasn't going to complain so off we went. We got a park hopper and went to Disneyland and California Adventure. The Guardians of the Galaxy ride was awesome (formerly tower of terror) but it made my nervous system so jumpy that I giggled for about 5 minutes after ward. Which prompted Henry to ask a few time, "Are you ok mom?"

I let him hair spray his hair blue for his birthday. And he got a button since it was his actual birthday and he's a quiet kid but he enjoyed having everyone say, "Happy Birthday Henry"

My favorite part? He held my hand almost everywhere we went. I didn't ask him too. He just reached over and grabbed it and my mama heart nearly burst out of my chest. I love this boy. Oh so much. He is tender and sweet, funny and kind and he wasn't embarrassed, at 12, to hold my hand. So, so grateful that Heavenly Father let me be his mom.

On the way home, there was a wild fire that shut down the freeway, our only way home, for 4 hours. So we got food, found a good book on how to draw Spider Man and just chilled and talked. 

Such a great experience to be one on one with out kids. To hear their thoughts on life without anyone interrupting. Focusing on an experience rather than just stuff made his birthday one of the best experiences ever. And guess what? He didn't miss the stuff;)

Happy birthday Henry. You are one of a kind:)

Monday, August 27, 2018


This girl. So much talent and insight and beauty rolled into one person. Julia is proof that we can shine in the middle of growing experiences and take the lessons learned to help others.

I am so proud of the young woman she has become. She is funny and engaging, spiritual and spirited and so ready to learn about herself and the world around her.

When she was a baby, I looked at her and instinctively felt that her spirit was older than mine. Even as a baby and toddler she has shown a depth to her that has always astounded me.

Happy birthday Julia. There is so much that awaits you. I'm excited to watch you as you journey on:)

Thursday, August 23, 2018


This girl. What a lovely beautiful surprise she was. Charlie was 9 months old when I found out I was pregnant with her. But how grateful I am that they are 17 months apart. They have been good friends their whole lives and as our lives have taken us many places, I am so thankful 15 years ago that she came into our lives a little earlier than expected ( not only getting pregnant with her, but the fact she was 3 weeks early, which meant she made the cut off for school and was only a grade behind Charlie).

Anne Marie is genuinely one of the funniest people I know. She cracks me up DAILY. For reals. She is a natural creator-of funny things, of art, of dance. She really exudes talent and creativity in everything she does. And she brightens up my life and any room when she is truly being herself.

Her face in this photo is because we enjoyed those cookies A LOT staying at a friends vacation home for two weeks in between rentals. So I found more for her and she was pretty excited.

Also, this has been the year of Korea. Korean pop music, Korean food Korean dramas and the Korean language. She loves the Korean culture and language and especially the cute K-Pop idols and their music. I mean, she loves it so much that we are ALL pretty well informed on their names and ages and their favorite work outs. So for her birthday, Jeff and I took her to a Korean restaurant. It was really tasty and really fun and she was so happy to be able to understand some of the things being said around her.

Anne Marie has learned a lot about herself and others this year. It has not been easy moving to Las Vegas, but she has worked hard and grown a lot. We are really proud of who she is and can't wait to see what else she creates in this life in the forms of art, music, dance and the joy she brings to others.

Happy birthday Anne Marie

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Nora is 10

Nora is 10. How is my baby ten years old?

Seriously, I don't even understand how so much time passed so quickly. 
Not. At. All.

But alas, it has and it has been wonderful. Filled with the little blonde head bobbing around our home and our lives since 2008. 

And once again, she spent her birthday surrounded by moving boxes as we prepared to move to a different house. Not state this time at least. 

And once again, she had a Harry Potter birthday because Harry Potter and the world JK Rowling created is her second home. 

For her family party, I made a beautiful and yummy cake just for her. But for the big party, the one with her friends? Nothing but a Snitch Cake would do. 

Her house is Hufflepuff. And yes, knowing which house you belong to matters and separates the true Potter fans from the muggles;)

I'm also so grateful for good friends. Nora has been REALLY blessed with good friends. And when you have had to move and leave behind other really good friends, it makes all the difference in a new place

I'm so grateful to be Nora's mom. She brings lots of ideas and fun and keeping us on track to our family. She's a general if I ever met one, but she gets things done, she accomplishes her goals and she's really really fun and nice while she does it. 

Happy birthday sweet, darling Nora. Thanks for being a bookend and for being so gosh darn cute:)

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Sometimes mom pulls one out of that hat that even this “gives me a list so I don’t get it wrong “ birthday kid didn’t see coming. 

When we left Ellensburg, Charlie left behind his beloved sweatshirt from Winter Musical freshman year. He left it at a friends house and by the time we realized it, they had just taken it with a pile of stuff to goodwill. Charlie was pretty sad about it. 

But never fear when you have a tenacious mother. Unbeknownst to Charlie, I reached out to the director and asked if he happened to have any left. And guess what?! He did! So I sent off a check and he sent me the sweatshirt and the following is a chronicle of the surprise and delight and the “my mom is the best mom in the whole world”  look on his face. 

He was turning 16 away from his extended family and friends. So making his birthday special was a little trickier. But I think we pulled it off:)

Pictures are grainy, life was a bit grainy this last year. But the picture is getting clearer and living in Las Vegas has been alright. Charlie is an amazing kid with a lot of talents and gifts that I am excited to see him get to use.

We are so grateful Heavenly Father sent Charlie to us. He has taught us a lot about unconditional love, acceptance and growing together as parents and son.

Love this boy. Forever

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Dreams do come true

our children probably thought they were the only kids ever that had not been to Disneyland. According to an informal poll that Henry took in his 4th grade classroom, this is true.

But it turns out they are no longer in the "my parents must hate Disneyland and us otherwise they would have taken us by now" club.

We had a blast. It was so fun to see everyone's excitement at everything. We missed Kate and Julia terribly because they had a dynamic to our family that is so wonderful. But such is life when people dare to grow up and move out.

We saved for months and kept it a secret. Then gave it to them for Christmas. Their reaction was hilarious in its underwhelm-ment. But the second we walked through the gates at Disneyland, they suddenly understand what everyone gets so excited about.

We also went to Universal which was Nora's personal dream. Julia and her share a vast love of all things Harry Potter. So universial studios was imagination come to life for sweet Nora.

It was a wonderful and an amazing memory. And hopefully it did a lot to soothe the sad hearts that resulted from moving to Las Vegas. When Disneyland is only 4 hours away, there is a lot of healing it can do:)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Julia. The grownup

This girl has been making us proud since the moment she was born. She is brilliant and straight forward and kind and funny and talented. We are beyond grateful to have her in our lives. And now she is officially an adult. Which just means she has to sign her own permission slips;)

Love you Jules.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Turn that frown upside down

On days when you feel like this:

Or this:

What do you do to change it to this?

And this:

For me it helps when the sun is shining, and I have a splendid walk with kiddies in tow. And being able to enjoy the day at home without anywhere to go is helpful as well.

Other things that help:

 1. diet coke
 2. chocolate
 3. being down a few pounds
 4. date night
 5. other people's babies
 6. a clean kitchen
 7. all the laundry done
 8. money in the bank
 9. fresh homemade bread
10. sleeping in
11. new clothes
12. shopping
13. redecorating
14. warm chocolate chip cookies
15. a great book
16. a great church meeting
17. a bubble bath with candles and a good book...alone!
18. family movie parties
19. my kids telling me they love me
20. my husband's arms around me

What does your list look like?
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