I has so much fun last night seeing some old friends from highschool, I seriously think I haven't seen some of these girls since graduation...
It's so fun to catch up and find out whats going on in people's lives (and refreshing to not do it through social media...). We really don't get to have people over very often, so it was fun to show some people our house after all the projects we've done (and are in the process of doing).
Brad's turning into a photographer- here's some candid shots he took:
Don't you wish you knew what they were talking about?
He can't get a candid one of me, I'm noticing I always make this "party face" where I open my mouth wide open, it looks like I'm happily being attacked by a bear...
a fancy camera so I can take adorable pictures of our kids!
So brad spoiled me and got me this for Christmas.
But, it's not all I got- I was so spoiled this Christmas- in a way that it was thrilling opening awesome surprise gifts, but also made me feel like I needed to give 1/2 of it away to orphans to put the universe back in balance (except orphans probably don't need a new ipod, prenatal massage, or lens for a DSLR camera...) We agreed that beyond the camera I would only get a couple little stocking stuffers, but Brad found so many cute surprises for me- it was seriously like being a kid on Christmas. Thank you babe, and Santa, and family for such generous gifts. I'm sure we'll be all about the kids for all future Christmases so I'll keep my loot- just this one time... :) Plethora of gifts aside, it was really just a great Christmas, one full of fun memories that I won't forget. Here's a sampling of post Christmas mess:
But I meant to be talking about the camera...
I've only ever used a point and click, and I've been very loyal to Canon, but after doing my research, I felt like everyone was telling me to get a Nikon: our amazing wedding photographer Scott Jarvie, the infamous pioneer woman, and informative reviews like this. Although I'd never actually taken a picture with a DSLR camera I felt confident in going with Nikon. Even an older model Nikon seemed to outclass the latest Canon and finding a slightly older model made the whole thing much more affordable as well. I surely hope I can figure out all this fancy camera stuff. As long as I can I think I'm going to love it!
The desire has been there for a while, but really ignited when I randomly saw these cute pictures on project nursery: I thought, I want cute pictures of my babies too. Brad thought they were weird, but I think they're sweet. (and not tacky and not just your average newborn shots)
(don't worry, I won't experiment with hanging my babies from trees..)
Then my friend Brooke posted about these pictures on her blog, and I could immediately tell it was the same photographer (she has great style). I was so excited, I knew who took the pictures now and they were in Utah so I could theoretically get cute pictures of my own babies just like them!
Until i saw the price. If I'm going to pay $500 (yes, 1/2 of a thousand dollars!-no prints included) on one little photo shoot of newborn babies, I may as well buy a nice camera with that money and learn how to take cute pictures myself for years to come. So that's exactly what I'm doing. Teach a man to fish, my friends.
So I was going through the manual for a while trying to figure out how to take pictures, formatting memory cards, all this new stuff, but it still wouldn't take a picture. Brad finally figured out we didn't have the lens attached quite right, the camera suddenly perked up and was ready to shoot. Brad pulled it up to his face as I said "nooooo....I want to take the first picture!" But it was too late, so these are the very first pictures taken:
ESPN and ungroomed feet. Yup, sounds about right. So Brad took a pic of me pouting, he hates when I make this face.
my first picture:
Thanks for the awesome Christmas gift Brad, I love you! xoxo
Pregnancy is like running a marathon. Except the farther you run the fatter you get, so by the final stretch you can barely move. And you get something way better than a t-shirt at the end, I'm hoping.
29 weeks now- I think I'm past the "fun" part of pregnancy. My belly is no longer a cute little ball. People don't tell me I'm tiny anymore- instead they look at my stomach and say "whoa." And when I tell them I'm due end of February they say "oh my gosh, wow." They don't ask to touch my belly much anymore either (which is fine), it probably reminds them of Santa. I'm afraid of getting bigger, which is silly since it's the only direction to go. Sleeping is a nightmare. Sitting after a couple minutes is no good either, standing is worse. There is no hope of comfy anymore, I wish I could fast forward two months, past this final stretch... but I'm trying to enjoy being pregnant during Christmas, who knows if that will happen again. I eat all the goodies I want and don't even think twice.
Having been a youngest child and always a healthy, young girl I'm never even on the totem pole for special assistance or people giving up their seat for me. Its kind of been a fun change, I really appreciate when I'm at a store and someone says "let me help you with that", "are you sure you can get that all by yourself? why don't I get someone to carry it for you". And occasionally when there are more seats than people, people stand up so that I can sit down. I know its because they pity me with my big belly looking as uncomfortable as it sometimes feels, but the special treatment still makes me feel like a queen. :)
That being said, it's funny to me when there are several people who could "deserve" the seat. I feel like I've met eyes with an older person and we're both thinking the same thing- "should I let you sit down... who needs it more?" That's when people are conscientious of each other.
I've noticed some older women already seem to feel entitled to their sitting position, they have had their babies and don't seem that impressed with my belly- they let me stand. A surprising amount of younger women too, probably just used to guys giving up their seats and they don't even think about it. I haven't had a guy yet not offer his seat, if he were young and didn't I'd think he was kind of a jerk, but I'd understand if he were frail and elderly. Some older gentlemen who don't seem so frail do seem used to people getting out of their way at their convenience, that bugs me a little when they don't realize that they are getting around better than me at this point.
I guess my point is, that once you are up on the totem pole for special treatment, some people get used to it and forget that there are other people who need it too. I think I was good at recognizing it before this, but to be honest I can't remember. I can tell you this, in the future I will try to take good care of anyone who appears to be limited in their ability to get around (I guess that still might be me lugging around 2 babies...) :)
So, in the spirit of Christmas, as other people are shoving their neighbors down in the grocery aisle, remember that you have an opportunity to serve someone with a giant belly (or hip replacement) by making their outing a little less challenging!
Our family puts together gingerbread houses over Thanksgiving every year. My mom, sisters, and I only got around to baking them and getting the basic structure together. So we've had this charming, but bare little house sitting on our table for a while now, and I decided decorating it would make a good FHE activity.
Brad is actually really good at this stuff- he's very creative and sometimes we're both working on things and I notice his is just a little cuter. I think to myself- hey, this is my thing...I'm supposed to be better than you at this. (at least he wouldn't know how to roll out/bake the dough or do stained glass windows, right?...) Oh well. It's so backwards- I built the house and he decorated. :) Luckily I get to do most of the decorating in our life-size home! Notice the snowman sledding and the ivy growing up the house? Yup, Brad did that. He truly is a man of many talents.
A week or two ago we went to our favorite little tree lot and picked out a tree. Last year was our first Christmas together and we were a little frivolous when picking out the tree...this year we agreed we would go a little more charlie brown style. However, we got an awesome deal on a tall if not somewhat sparse wild (as opposed to perfect-shaped farmed) tree. Once I filled in the blanks w/ decorations it was actually quite lovely:
I love colored lights, I know all white is more elegant and adult-like, but I grew up w/ a beautiful, festive tree every year filled with colors- and I want our tree to be just as magical.
I love to pick out ornaments when I'm on vacation somewhere, they bring back fun memories when I see them. Although less sentimental, also enjoy finding cute ones on sale after Christmas, but my favorite way to get ornaments is inheriting them from my mom's surplus decor.
These are a couple of my favorites:
My great aunt Vilo's snowflakes that she crocheted or tatted or something very special and labor intensive like that:
My mom gave me this ornament of my Grandma Burt's, I will probably worry about breaking it every year:
I got this little treat after Christmas last year, it's beauty and significance to me is self-evident:
This is a Russian ornament that I got in Alaska while visiting my parents on their mission. I can't quite explain why I love it. Maybe the bell. Maybe the painting. Maybe how it's reminiscent of an Alaskan winter wonderland and a fun, mission-y time in my life:
I made this little baby Jesus in young women's, I was probably 13. For some reason I just love getting it out every year and sitting it on a quaint little branch:
One more nice addition this year is stockings with our real names on them. I still bought them cheapy, they just happened to have our names on them at the store! (thanks to my sister Melinda for finding them) I'll probably have to unpick them and embroider mommy and daddy for next Christmas, but I'll worry about that next year.
I just love Christmas- the goodies, the decorations, the music- I always have big plans, but this Christmas will be a success if I at least make a few fabulous treats and remember to keep myself and this tree hydrated.
This is my favorite time of year and it’s especially fun this year being pregnant! It just adds one more magical aspect to the Christmas season. It’s our last holidays without these little girls, I can't wait for them to be a part (and probably the center) of all our future holidays and traditions. This is my theme song this year, the lyrics capture so many of the feelings I’ve been having lately. I was reading in Luke the other day about when Elizabeth feels John leap inside of her when Mary comes to tell her that she is pregnant- all the while feeling my babies kicking. How fun is that?
It is really amazing to feel these little babies moving around inside of me, and to see them during ultrasounds. I mean, there are people inside of me. I’m growing people. It blows my mind whenever I think about it. There are 3 beating hearts in my body. (we're counting mine, I'm still in here too, you know) 3 working brains. 6 lungs. I can feel little heads and limbs poking up into my stomach. It really is a miracle, I’m so grateful that I get to be pregnant! (and am trying to remind myself of that) I really think I'd miss it if I didn't know I'll have 2 little baby girls afterwards, it sounds boring just having me in here.
THE LAST CHRISTMAS
I feel your heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
That night in a stable
Our Saviour was born
Yes, we have so much
To be thankful for
On the last Christmas
The last Christmas
They're choosing the colors
Preparing your room
For one day; Midsummer
The advent of you
Together we wait for
A heavenly gift
Is winter a wonder?
Enchanted that this is
The last Christmas
See the stars shining from above
Hear the singing
Praise to the Giver of Life and Love
Maker of Beautiful things.
I feel you heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
When darkness was shattered
The dawn of God's grace
And the journey'd begun
To the first Easter day
On this Christmas
The very last Christmas
man, how is it I already love you so much little babies? I can't wait to see your sweet little faces and kiss your little toes. I'm not looking forward to changing your diapers, but I'm sure you'll be worth it. :)
Let's talk food again, it's been a while. (my posts as of late mostly just gush over my babykins and complain about pregnancy symptoms)
So how fun are these to make for a holiday appetizer? I used to make tamales at new years with my mom, but the tradition has been fading. These are definitely easy to make more frequently as they require no washing of corn husks, borrowing lard from the neighbors and such. I used my own pork recipe for the meat, but the masa was great and I'm sold on the idea of tamale bites!
I made them for a relief society Christmas party tonight- they were yummy and Brad requested that I make them again. Better yet, I learned Wal-mart sells mini muffin tins for $4, since I have a double oven I decided I needed 2... I don't care what you may have against Wal-mart, you just can't beat that.
I don't know if disneyland is really the happiest place on earth, but it is definitely a happy place. We went there with my family the week before thanksgiving, it was kinda different not being able to go on any of my favorite rides, but I lived vicariously through Brad who had never been there before. It was hard though because he didn't get nearly as excited about the rides as I do. After space mountian you don't say, "yeah, that was cool." Shouldn't you say: "YEAH! that was sooo cool!!! I love it, I love it, I love it."
Thats okay though, I can't hold everyone to my high standard of childish delight in nostalgic things and places. I really enjoyed soarin' over california, it's a small world, pirates of the carribean, and the haunted mansion. Everything is decorated so cute for Christmas in disneyland so it all still put a smile on my face! It was most fun to enjoy warm weather, eat places I can't eat in Utah, and relax with family. Southern California is a nice place to visit, I don't have to wear face lotion there and its amazing what a view of the ocean can do for your inner chi.
it's a small world was so stinking cute.
here we are prentending to be parents, grandpa then bought the girlies their first stuffed animals:
oh yeah, i got to go on this "cool" ride too:
a lovely breakfast w/ the girls:
a hideous image of me looking like a pregnant snowman whale, with a cute husband and the beautiful fashion island tree in the back: