Thursday, April 30, 2009


Ok - better late then never, right?

1.  We are in escrow on the house we are renting!  They accepted our offer and I am still in shock!  It was so unlikely -- they had no counter, no comments, just "yes".   Thank you to all of you who have been praying - God is amazing!

2.  Lauren has had swim lessons every day this week and is doing awesome!  The first day she cried and acted crazy about it, but ever since she has had a blast and is excited to go every morning.  She is doing freestyle overhand strokes and learning to come up for air, as well as recapping for last year with diving for rings and jumping off the diving board.  It almost makes me wish we had a pool.  Almost.

3.  Paige is really into animal noises right now - trying to say ribbit for frogs and meow for cats, but my favorite is birds, "teet teet!"  SO adorable! 

4.  My house gets really messy really fast when my schedule is interrupted with daily swim lessons!  What am I going to do when one kid goes to school?!?  Rearrange my schedule, I guess!

5.  I am still in the same place with my photography business as I was two months ago.  Nowhere, really.  If anyone wants some pictures taken of their kids or family, shoot me an e-mail.  I will give you 20-30 edited images on CD as long as you allow me to use the images for portfolio and marketing purposes.  My procrastination needs to be put to an end!  ;o)  I am also still in the same place with that little table I wanted to refinish six weeks ago - old habits die hard!

6.  We are going to a burger throw down this Saturday and I am super excited!  I am making Italian Pub sliders - we did a test run on them last weekend and they were pretty tasty, a few tweaks and we may have a winner on our hands.  ;o)  Food - finally a kind of competition I can get behind! 

7.  I am obsessed with The Land of Nod furniture.  I daydream about using their shelving systems in the playroom and getting the girls matching beds when we move them into one room down the road.  It will probably never happen... but it is fun to window shop!

8.  What are your feelings on painting the walls and ceiling of a room different colors?  I want to do complimentary colors - just not identical, and not white ceilings because the ones in our house are really high as it is, we don't need to make them appear higher.  I don't know what is stylish right now, it has been a long time since I decorated a room.  Can you tell I am excited?!?  I told you I am EAGER to put our mark on a place, and I can think of a better way to do that than with paint and photographs!

9.  Lauren was given her very first bike!  She is so excited, but we haven't had a chance to properly take it out yet - unless you count doing circles in the playroom.  Our friends Dwayne & Krista have a six year old daughter who got a new bike and so they brought Lauren her old one!  So sweet and thoughtful!  I just can't believe she is old enough to have a bike... when did that happen!?!

10.  Funny thing - apparently the UPS man thinks our house is vacant.  A package was supposed to be delivered last Friday and he sent us a postcard telling us to contact UPS to have it forwarded.  I know our weeds have gotten pretty bad... but if he rang the doorbell our extremely noisy Schnauzer would have been glad to inform him that it was not at all vacant.  Sheesh!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dibble BBQ

Every year Justin's company puts on a really nice family picnic and this year was no exception!  There were big playgrounds for the kids, a face-painter, a bounce house, and lots of yummy food!
The girls had a great day!

Paige trying to be a big girl and pretty much freaking Mommy out!  Lauren won't even try to climb on these "stairs"!!!  I keep saying Paige is going to be the first one with a broken bone or needing stitches.  UGH!
This is more my comfort level for a 17 month old:

Lauren's "princess face":
Didn't that painter do a great job?!?  Lauren felt so pretty and asked anyone who would listen if they liked her star.  =)

Paige was not quite as enthusiastic:
But, in her defense she was *really* tired. 

Then came the bouncing!!!
Lauren was having a blast, of course - and Paige started whining to go in too.  I was apprehensive because Lauren freaked out when she was Paige's age when she tried to be in a bouncy at a birthday party.  But, I decided to give it a try since I could always climb into this HUGE one to get her out. 

To my surprise...
... she was in heaven!  I had to bribe her to come out with food!  She wanted nothing more than to hang out in there and get bounced around by all the other kids - who were super sweet to her, by the way!
I didn't manage to get a family picture, but we all had a great afternoon in the sunshine!  If only the weather would just stay this way!
Side note:  Yesterday ended up being a very busy day for me, so my TonT post just did not happen.  I am hoping that tomorrow I can do a Ten on Thursday to make up for it! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some more random Vegas

My mom had a little egg hunt for the girls on Sunday - which they loved, of course! We should make Easter last all year by having egg hunts every week!!! Maybe not... too much sugar! Ha! This was my only attempt at a picture of both girls together - they are quite uncooperative. Stinkerbugs!

Paige has got this idea down now!

Lauren showing me her loot.

This was actually taken the day we went to the zoo. We went to a beautiful park afterward to have a picnic and there was this bouncy ATV. As you can see, Lauren was rockin' out!

Thanks for a wonderful visit Grandma, Grandpa, and GG!!!

Las Vegas Zoo

 We had a great visit with my family last weekend, and were able to go to the zoo on Saturday morning.  It is a small zoo, but you can get really close to the animals and the girls just loved it!  There were pigeons and chickens EVERYWHERE which kept Lauren very entertained.  I would like to make special note that both Lauren and the chicken have both feet off the ground in this picture!  :oD

Paige's turn to chase the birds.  This was the day of her first skinned knee as well - but she was a good little trooper about it!

My happy girl!

This peacock allowed her to get SO close!  He was displaying to a nearby female and really wasn't concerned with Lauren inching closer and closer to him.

Petting a baby wallaby.  How cool is that?!?

Such a big girl!  Check out all that drool.  We go through shirts like crazy - but the girl won't leave a bib on!

Looking at the parrot exhibit with Great-Grandma Joan (our GG).

At the exit to the zoo there is a neat petting zoo with about a dozen goats, and a bridge and huge rocks for the kids to play on.  This is their "Kid Cage" - and the goat seemed to know just how to pose!

Lauren getting some snuggles from Grandma Linda!
A fun, beautiful day all around!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1.  It is a very good thing I have TonT to hold me accountable, otherwise this blog would be quite dusty with only the chirping of crickets.  I must find more things to talk about!

2.  I am in an eating rut - I feel like I have no new ideas of healthy things to cook.  And when I find something I'd love to try, often times the grocery budget won't allow for these more extravagant purchases.  Which is frustrating because I am also in a weight loss rut, having not lost anything much in the last month... and I know the two are related!

3.  I bought myself new sunglasses for my birthday, and I can't figure out if I really like them.  I love the lenses, they are Maui Jim's and uber-polarized!  But the frame is a little square-ish and I am not sure if I will get used to it or not.  Luckily, I have a month to take them back for a no-questions asked exchange.  One nice thing about shopping in the mall instead of on Amazon or Ebay!

4.  It seems like there is a major conflict of interest for me to be showing the house I have an offer in on!  People are coming by this afternoon to look at ours, and the other one across the street - and I want to clean up because it is my nature to do so as to not look slovenly, but I also DON'T want them to like it.  I don't want them to put in a higher offer than ours.  But, I am a really lousy liar - so they will be here to see my house at 5PM. 

5.  Probably the most exciting thing about buying a house to me is the opportunity to make a house feel like HOME.  Our first house finally felt like home for the last year that we lived there, and what a difference it makes!  This house, we expected to be out of in six months - so here we sit, eight months later... and it is definitely a house not a home.  I want to paint, decorate, find ways to make our family's imprint all over a space.  So when you come home and plop in a comfy chair there is a big sigh and relaxation.  I want home to be where we want to be, instead of itching to get out of the house every chance we get.  Soon!  Hopefully...

6.  We had a great visit with my parents this last weekend!  I will have a post all about that... once I manage to get all the photos edited.  We went to the zoo, so there are a LOT.  There will be a couple posted on my Frame-A-Day if you just can't wait!  ;)  It was Paige's first trip to the zoo, which I didn't realize until days later.  Nice!

7.  I am convinced that goldfish thrive when you hardly clean their tank. 

8.  Paige is picking up all of Lauren's worst habits.  The girl hates to share, especially with sister - and she actually hides things behind her back!  Then, if you take something away, she will cry and run to stand in the corner - hoping you will feel sorry for her and give it back.  Yikes!  The firstborns are SO much easier!!!

9.  The realtor listing the house across the street called today to update me and said, "Your contract is in contention for approval".  Huh?  Am I the only one that finds that to be a confusing sentence?  Wasn't it in that state since the moment it was faxed to the bank?!?  *sigh*  I am convinced she was only calling so that we don't give up and move on to something else.  Speaking of, I need to make some time to visit  LOL!

10.  It is official.  Triple digits today.  101 degrees.  Very, very sad.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ten on Tuesday (the Easter Version)

1.  Yes, this is a cop-out.  I am going to post Easter morning pictures and Ten On Tuesday at the same time.  So sue me.

2.  Why is it that all the big holidays require the suprise to occur upon waking up?  On Christmas it is the complete distraction to toys for the remainder of the day.  On Easter, it is the incessant whining to eat candy.  Now, I have no problem letting my kids indulge in sweets on special days, but before breakfast?!?  That pushes me a little.

3.  The girls loved opening their baskets, and it was very fun to watch Paige really experience everything this year.  She even knew to go right for the good stuff!

4.  I failed to mention in the last blog that Lauren fell on the way to the park.  Ordinarily that is nothing exciting to report - except that this time she somehow landed on her nose.  Or, under her nose... somehow.  Making for b-e-a-utiful Easter pictures:

5.  Like those glasses?  What I found funny about them is that they are really sunglasses, with full 100% UV coverage.  As if I am going to let my kids walk around in public with them on!
6.  I was truly impressed with our church's Easter service.  The pastor managed to deliver an awesome message to both non-Christians and the regular attenders as well.  I was almost dreading having to listen to yet another Easter message geared toward non-believers... and was very blessed by the sermon that I heard.  It was incredibly refreshing!
7.  Lauren has spent the last 24 hours eating.  No joke!  The girl wants more food all the time - now I just have to figure out if it is a growth spurt, or just her way of hoping she will get access to even more of her holiday candy by eating more regular food!
8.  We are not being kicked out of our house yet!  Colleen called it my Easter Monday Miracle - which was pretty accurate!  Three hours before it was supposed to go to auction, the bank delayed it another 30 days.  In the meantime, we are waiting to hear back on our offer, and have just today put another offer in on the house accross the street!  It is the same floorplan, but actually has a few more upgrades - so we are excited about that.
9.  I had a wonderful birthday!  I never usually like the years when my birthday is right near or ON Easter, because one usually gets drowned out by the other - but we had two seperately fun days!  Justin took me to Postino for dinner - a wine cafe.  Fabulous!  Loved the food, and the qulaity time with my hubby.  Yay for 31!
10.  We were running late for church on Easter - shocking.  So, there weren't too many pictures taken of the girls before we left.  After half a dozen attempts at a family picture we were off and running.  When we returned home they were both crabby and wearing their lunch.  This is what we got:
I am not above bribery to get just one shot to document what they were wearing!
And, for those of you who think Lauren's dress looks familiar - it is last years' dress.  That is horrible, I know - but the dress I bought her this year was too big.  I guess holding it up in front of her at the store is no longer an acceptable way of determining size.  ;o)  Lucky for me, this dress was there in her closet, spotless from the three hours she wore it last year!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday evening we took the kids down the street to our little park to do an egg hunt.  It had been raining on and off all day, so we had quite the little swamp to play in.  The kiddos didn't seem to mind, though!
Paige actually got into it, finding her own eggs to put in her basket - but her favorite part was taking them all out and putting them back in.  Over and over and over again!  I love how Lauren is holding the egg in the above picture -- like a little rainwater is going to hurt her somehow.  Always a princess!

Now where would that sneaky bunny have hidden an egg..?
Wow, he hid some really well this year!
Paige was so proud of herself!
You didn't believe me when I said it was a swamp, did you?

More like a lake!
For the record, his mom gave him permission!!!  ;o)

Checking out all the loot.
Bring on the sugar high!
More pictures tomorrow of Easter Sunday.  See you then!

Disney on Ice

Justin had the opportunity to take Lauren on a daddy-date to Disney On Ice with Brad and Porter on Saturday.  I was thrilled because I knew Lauren would love it, but I couldn't talk Justin into it alone (thanks Swope fam!).  ;o)  They had a great time, though Lauren was disappointed that she didn't get to talk to Mickey directly.
Waiting for the show to start and enjoying some munchies!

This is the pose you get when you ask preschoolers to smile while they are trying to pay attention to something else.  =)  I *think* Porter was enjoying his nachos!  Mmmm!!!

What a lucky girl to have such a fun Daddy!  
Now we just need to start working on him to get on over to Disneyland, 
then Lauren can have her long awaited conversation with Mickey!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1. The girls slept in today! Yay for Mommy!!! Paige has been SO crabby with teething lately that I am really hoping that an extra hour of sleep will have put her in a bit of a better mood for today. So far, so good:

2. The appraiser came last night, so I am anxiously waiting to hear what the new number will be. Since the last one was OUT OF THEIR MIND thinking this house was worth $260K!

3. Today I have the joy of drafting yet another letter to the collection agency for the carpet issue at our last apartment. You know, the apartment we moved out of eight MONTHS ago?!?

4. I love this:

You can make your own at Wordle. They are pretty fun!

5. It is supposed to be 88 degrees today. I should NOT complain, since many of you who are reading this have much harsher spring weather to deal with... but once we get over eighty I start feeling the ominous oppression of the triple digits that are quickly on their way.

6. I think Daisy had hives yesterday. Which is strange since she is seven years old and has never had any before! I came home from the store and she was all antsy, running from place to place and hiding under tables and behind doors, all the while rubbing her snout along the ground. I finally got ahold of her to see that her skin was red and hot, with small welt-like raised up areas from her nose to the middle of her back. I looked up how much benedryl to give her online (don't we love the internet?!?) and after one dose it has not come back. WEIRD. I have no idea what she go into or got bit by, but I had dreams about scorpions all night long.

7. Lauren is into a phase where she likes making up words. She will look around for inspiration and use half of one word and half of something else. Like yesterday in the car, Paige screeched and Lauren said, "No screaming, ya monkeekle!" (She was looking at a little book with Monkeys in it.) And this morning, "Mommy, I am going to chew my meat with my chompler teeth." Chomping and Molars mixed together. She shocks me with her cooky-ness every day! =)

8. Speaking of her and her cooky-ness... I have started re-reading the book Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leaman. Enough said.

9. I can't wait for this weekend. I LOVE Easter. Love it! I have great memories of Easter as a kid... including the time there was a live chick in my basket. Too bad those cute balls of fluff have to grow into smelly, messy birds! Anyway, I can not wait to dye eggs, open baskets, egg hunt, and talk about Jesus' resurrection. I adore how Lauren tells me, "Easter is about how Jesus rose again." That is from a great board book, What is Easter? This line of books has simple, fun ways for kids to learn the real meaning of holidays.

10. The other reason I have always loved Easter... I love chocolate. Now, I used to be the milk chocolate lover but recently have discovered REAL chocolate. Not merely dark chocolate, but 80% cacao or higher chocolate. No high-fructose corn syrup, no milk, no artificial anything. Thanks to the cleanse I did back in January clearing out my sweet tooth, this somewhat bitter chocolate tastes like tiny squares of heaven. There is such an appreciation with this kind of chocolate - I liken it to tasting a fine wine. Try it sometime, but don't expect the sugary taste of a Hershey kiss - expect something new and different. Maybe, like me, you will find yourself ready to spit that next Hershey kiss into the trash!

Monday, April 6, 2009

As promised...

Here is Lauren all decked out for her debut as a flower girl!
She did an awesome job and was VERY careful about where she was putting the flower petals as she walked down the aisle.  She was SO careful that she ran out about halfway through!  :o)  

Waiting very patiently for the ceremony to start.  She amazed me with how calm and sweet she was all morning, through pictures and the ceremony.  Once it was over - she began to crash a little, which was understandable since it was 3PM and well into nap-time!

She insisted upon wearing this necklace that her GG made for her and asked everyone if they liked it all day!

The reception was in an amazing backyard.  There were tons of big mature trees and lots of fun areas for the kids to explore.  Downside: about two seconds after I took this picture, I realized that is a mulberry that she is holding.  Against her dress!  UGH!  So, she had a pretty little purple mark in the middle of her beautiful dress for the rest of the evening.

She LOVED playing outside in her "wedding dress" (as she kept calling it).
I am proud of my beautiful outdoor-loving-fancy-girl!