Friday, December 30, 2011

One Last Project

I wanted to start the New Year off right...with a little more organization, so I ventured in to accomplish one more project before the year ends. Check out my new dry erase calendar!

Don't let me fool you, this project seriously stressed me out. I wanted the right type of frame and size and adequate sized boxes with extra room for more stuff. And then I had limited resources and so I was working with what I had and it wasn't working and I hate measuring...ack!

Let me first tell you that I didn't buy *anything* for this project. Nothing! Are you impressed?! I too! I had a frame that had a little poster in it, but I hadn't hung yet, so I decided to pull the poster (it wasn't the right size anyway) and set it aside. I then mapped out the calendar portion in pencil, then outlined in marker. I cut the papers and bordered them in black and taped them together and onto the white backing. Then I just put it all together! I just realized how easy that should have been...oh my, my poor husband...he had to listen to me gripe.

BUT, I am WAY satisfied with how it turned out. Glass makes the perfect dry-erase surface! I have been less and less able to use my little purse planner, and I've been needing a big open dry-erase one like this for a little while. I'm ready to conquer having two children, and organization (and maybe weaning in 6 weeks) is the key, I'm SURE of it!

Aaaand, what's the first event that is going on my new calendar? My root canal. :( *Super* frowny face! Comin' to a theater near me on Friday....more on this later.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Lovely Little Christmas

We had ourselves a lovely little Christmas, and we hope you all did too!  Friday the 23rd, we had a little family party with Kristoffer's Bestemor (Oldemor for Marin and Owen) with family and a walk through Temple Square to see the lights.  I hadn't been clued in on the walk, so I had on some flats, and boy were my feet COLD!  I felt like I was walking barefoot on 20 degree concrete, brrrr! 

 Kristoffer also gave me one of my Christmas gifts....a new haircut!!  I was *beyond* sorely in need of one and I dove right in headfirst and came out with a foxy little bob, check it out!

 I feel amazing with my new 'do', and Kristoffer, well....he likes it too!

Christmas Eve was a perfect evening of family and fun.  We headed to Kristoffer's mother's house for a traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner, and it was divine.  Tasty hor's d'ouvres of cheese, asparagus wrapped in pancetta, a delicious meal of clam chowder, tender salmon, potatoes, carrots, pickled cucumbers, and desserts I don't remember the name of.  I...was....stuffed.  Then we had a white elephant gift drawing/exchange.  We loved every minute of being with our family that night, it was wonderful.  I wish I had pictures, but we were having too much fun!

And Santa DID manage to find our house, wohoo!
 Aww, my little guy...and his tiny stocking for this year.  Next year he graduates to a big boy stocking!  He and Marin received amazingly cute stockings this year as a gift from Aunt Siri, and they will be employed for a loooong time from here on out, but next year will be their big debut.
 Hey boy!  (That's a classic Kristoffer to Owen greeting).
 This was just the beginning of "Nooooo, Owen.....that's MINE!".  Sigh, mama had to put toys in time out ON Christmas day.  C'mon kids, why ya gotta be that way, huh?
 A little learning walker for Owen. 
 And what did we have for breakfast?  French Toast Strata, mmmmmm.  An original recipe by your's truly, it was delicious and I'll be posting the recipe on my food blog very soon, oh yeah.  The perfect thing about this breakfast, is that I prepped it the night before and kept it in the fridge, then I popped it in the oven Christmas morning and it baked while we opened presents.  That's how you start the day right!
 I had planned on just roasting a chicken for Christmas dinner, but would you believe...I couldn't find a single ONE!  I found turkey and ham and cornish game hen and I thought, what the heck, DUCK it is!  So we had duck l'orange and it was super yummy.  It's just like roasting a chicken, truly, don't be scared of the duck.  We ate the duck with apple stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, broccoli casserole, rolls and Mormon fluff.  And for dessert....Tollhouse Pie.  Oh...YEAH.  It's your chocolate fix WITH a super yummy pie crust.  DIVINE.  This will also be making an appearance on the food blog.
I have no idea how Kristoffer managed to pull off this little stunt, but he did, and I'm still in shock.  My new Cuisinart cookware set!  It's shiny and smooth and just so lovely.  This cookware was a Merry-Christmas-thanks-for-sticking-with-me-this-past-year gift.  He did tell me that he got a great deal on it, that's my husband...I think I'm finally rubbing off on him!
My old set of T-fal cookware.  I had a friend that I used to work with at the hospital in Cortland, NY give it to me shortly after Kristoffer and I were married, and it has lasted me all these years!  And, you are going to think I'm little heart sunk when I knew I couldn't keep my T-fal.  Those pots and pans have been my faithful culinary buddies for YEARS!  BUT, I have taken great solace...they have gone to live with my friend Amy, so I know they will be in good hands.

I'm sad to see Christmas go.  It's always hard to relinquish the warm, cozy anticipation of the still, reverent reflection of Christmas Eve, and the joyous, bright celebration of Christmas Day.  I love that the world unites in peace and love for a whole month of preparation to celebrate the birth our Saviour.  I love that I can hear even the most agnostic of non-believers listen to Christmas's almost like a small victory.  I'm so grateful for my loving Saviour.  I am so grateful for His loving mercy and sacrifice.  I'm amazingly grateful that through the sealing powers of the temple, I can be together forever with my husband and children.  If there is any season I would wish that everyone could have an eternal family, it's the Christmas season.  Everyone can have an eternal family, and can carry their marraige vows beyond the grave.  To find out more about being a Forever Family, please click HERE.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Marin's Treat Shoppe

So, we happened to have a rather large cardboard box from an Amazon delivery, and I wanted to use it for...something.  I wasn't quite sure, and then I remembered what my daughter!  I took a knife and started slicing at the box to make the 'window'.  Marin kept asking "What are you doing, mommy?".  As SOON as I finished the window, she clasped her hands and gasped and said "Mommy!  I can make food and have a store!".  I hadn't said a WORD to her about what I was planning, but she knew what she wanted.

And with a large permanent marker and some creative touches, Marin's Treat Shoppe was open for business!

 We've played in her Treat Shoppe everyday...switching roles.  Sometimes she makes the food and I order at the window, sometimes I make the food and she orders.
 Marin's Treat Shoppe comes with a state of the art oven, and cookies baking inside, oh yeah.....  (And a rug on the floor, of course!)
 ....a shelf for her goods, a counter, cupboards, window, pictures on the wall...
 ....another shelf and a fridge (I didn't have room for a sink, haha!).
 Tonight, mommy was the Italian/Russian chef selling stromboli, shish-kebabs and spaghetti and meatballs.  She sang in a crazy voice while she made the food and charged ludicrous prices for her entrees.
 Here's your food mama! 
 Owen always wants 'in' on the fun, sweet boy.

We should have saved the box for a very special morning coming up here in a few days...had we known how much she was going to love that box!  It's ok though, we've had so much fun playing with it in the meantime.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lesson's I've Learned

I've been thinking today of all of the things I've learned, especially since I've been married.  And, since it *is* the season of reflection, I thought I would share just a few of my top picks...perhaps in hopes that someday my children will read this and be all the wiser...?

And, lest you think I'm posting all of these because I've mastered them in their entirety, I do hope you'll notice that this post is titled "Lesson's I've Learned", not "Things I No Longer Need To Work At".  I may be amazing (oh stop....!), but I am undoubtedly human. we go, a few of my top picks for the season of reflection!

1)  It's better to be a first rate version of yourself, than a second rate version of somebody else.
*I LOVE this one.  It has been my mantra for *so* long, and it has truly helped me to become more confident.  I would tell this to my Young Women in church ALL THE TIME...and why?  Because they (especially!) are pelted each and every day with the idea that being themselves is just not enough.  It *IS* enough to be yourself, it really and truly IS!  The good, gracious Lord Almighty created you, in all of your two legged wonderful-ness to be YOU, not Suzy McTall or Andrea VonPerfectHair!  You are YOU, and you are *amazing*.  This isn't to say that we can't develop our talents and explore our interests, we should!  They are all a part of what makes us unique and perfectly *us*.  I still repeat this little mantra to myself, because even after 27 years, would you believe I still have self esteem issues from time to time?  It's a work in progress!

2)  Listen to the Spirit.
*This should be a no-brainer, right?  Hmmmm, riiiiight.  We've been described in the Bible and Book of Mormon (another testament of Jesus Christ) numerous times as sheep.  I always thought this was kind of cute...until I remembered that sheep are hopelessly stupid.  That's right.  I guess I can't be too offended, because I look at how we must look to our Heavenly Father.  He must be thinking; "Geez, come on here people, get it together!  I give you the Bible, AND the Book of Mormon AND the Spirit and you STILL make mistakes?!".  We as paltry little people-lambs can make really dumb choices (myself included).  The Spirit is totally on our side, He really wants to help us out down here!  Everyone hears the Spirit differently.  I typically have a fleeting thought, which can easily be passed off as a wandering mind, so I need to be careful and stop myself to think a little more about that Spirit-thought.  I can remember one instance in particular when I did not listen and things just fell....apart.  I know I have lots of examples, but I'm learning my lesson.

3)  Cut Your Losses
*I remember when my husband (then fiancee) said those words to me, it all became so clear!  I had been struggling with someone in my ward who just...didn't like me, and she made that *very* clear.  I was very hurt and even though I had struggled with an unkind friend years before, I just didn't understand why she didn't like me!  I'm really a very amenable person!  It didn't matter.  My  loving fiancee hugged me and said "You've done everything you can do, so now you just have to cut your losses and move on.  There's nothing else you can do.".  I was amazed!  Cut my losses?!  Move ON?!  That meant I would have to be 'ok' with knowing there was someone in the world who didn't like me!  I mulled that thought for a few seconds, and I began to feel incredibly...liberated!  Wow, did that feel SO good!  He was absolutely right, I have no control over whether or not someone chooses to like me, and I had to be ok with that.  So I've learned; Be Kind, Be Christlike, but cut your losses and MOVE ON.

4)  Sometimes, you just have to let go.
*If you haven't learned this about me already, I like to fix things and see it through.  I like to make a difference-this is why I chose to become a's the perfect outlet for my personality.  But, having that trait can be a challenge, especially when life throws you so many curve balls, you just can't see to make it to first base...not to mention it really hurts!  My husband and I actually gleaned this lesson from our daughter's sweet little Pixar movie:  Finding Nemo. We realized, in the midst of our frustrations and tears and torturous journey with heavy laden shoulders, that there was nothing we could do.  We HAD to let go...we had to let it all go, and just roll with the punches.  There was no other option.  And let me tell you, it is HARD.  It didn't solve our problems, but what it did give us was the realization that we just can't fix everything and we have to let life run it's course, and let the Lord guide us through it.  It's not a solution to your problems, it's a better way to deal with them.

5)  People don't always want your advice.
*Haha, I'm laughing!  Only because this is superbly, 100% meant for me.  I've always considered myself fairly level headed, and while I certainly make mistakes, and paaa-lenty of 'em, I have a hard time not pitching in my two, very eager cents sometimes.  It just goes along with the whole nurse thing, I think.  I just really want to help people-really and truly-I love to help people!  I frequently bite my tongue when I hear an opinion or a decision I don't agree with, because I know I can damage a lot of friendships if I let-fly.  We all have different opinions, and that's how we're made.  Even though I may think someone may be making a bad choice, it's not my job to call them out.  So I zip the lips and change the subject.  I'd rather be a good friend than a bad experience!

I'm so glad we are on this earth to learn and grow, it certainly isn't a pleasant experience all the time, but someday I'll be the old smarty pants with white hair....and maybe then I can throw unsolicited advice at people! ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tab Update

I've finished updating my *Childbirth* tab at the top of the page.  It has a TON of great information about having a healthy pregnancy and delivery with some other great tidbits thrown in for good measure.  Whether you choose to deliver with or without medication, there is some excellent stuff that every pregnant mama should read.  You can find my two book references there as well.  Happy reading!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


My blogging has been leaving a little to be desired lately *gulp*.  I truly think it's the holiday's just the nature of the beast, my friends!  I have been taking some pictures here and there, and now they've all accumulated to a giant blog-post-conglomerate!

This is Marin, and she sits on the couch...JUST like her daddy.  It made me laugh to see her sitting like this, she is such a daddy's girl.

 I've been wanting to make cookies with my little Marin and I seem to struggle having a little Owen crawling all over the place and needing attention.  It's a very punctuated process!  But, we triumphed!
 Sweet girl :)

 She loves to use my little red rolling pin, and she refers to it as though it belongs to her.
 Sugar cookies with white frosting and blue sugar sprinklies.
 Owen was a spectator for this one.
 I love this pic, Marin with her giant cookie and Owen with his silly grin.
 Oh, my boy, he is such a sweet guy.  He just touches my heart with tenderness.
 Sometimes I wonder if he thinks his name is "Buddy", we call him that quite a bit, so I've made an effort to stop using that nickname so much.
 Hey, there's my cookies!  I bundled them into little party bags (LOVE them) and Marin and I delivered them to our neighbors on Saturday.  Ahhh, I love the holidays for this reason!
 There's my little helper.  It's hard to get things done when you have to monitor/entertain a little one.
 But who can get mad at this face, huh?!

 At our ward Christmas breakfast on Saturday, daddy and a *very* sleepy Owen.
 The line to see Santa!!
 The gym was FILLED, there were so many people there!  I signed up to bring a breakfast casserole, and I hesitated over what I knew people would be familiar with (a sausage egg casserole) and something different (a hash brown casserole).  I ended up making the sausage egg....and so did *everyone* else!!  Haha, next time I know....make the one that's different!
 Marin and her friend from nursery, Sammy.  The saw each other in the Santa line and jumped and held hands, it was the cutest thing ever.
 Those little girls.
 Playing toss-the-jacket.
 Sitting with Santa!  Sammy was a little less sure.
 Marin did....ok.  She was excited, but a little hesitant, but she pulled through, good job Marin!
 Owen was less than thrilled.  He took one look at Santa, put his head down and came up crying for mama.  Haha, it's ok, next year maybe?
 And Saturday still...Grandad and Sallie took us out for a late lunch to Red Robin and Marin had fun playing Angry Birds on Sallie's phone.
 And MORE Saturday (it was a busy day!), Our children went with Grandad and Sallie, and my husband and I went to a Christmas concert at the Conference Center.

 This performance featured Jane Seymour and world famous baritone, Nathan Gunn.  It was a fantastic show.  It's funny that the one thing that really stood out to me was the organ solo...WOW!  They showed the organist playing his solo, and all I can say.... is that playing the organ is a finger slappin', toe tappin' choreography of sheer talent!!  There was so much going on with each of his hands and both of his feet on the pedals, amazing!

 Marin in her pretty Christmas dress, she is such a pretty girl.
 Oh, that girl!

 And she's off to her next adventure.
 And....Owen's first haircut!  He's been sporting a bit of a baby-mullet now that his hair is growing in, so I bit the mommy bullet and took the clippers to my son's hair.  This is the before.

 Aaand the after.  I'm not experienced using clippers...I cut Kris's hair, but I use scissors, so it was a new adventure for me today!
 I think I did pretty well, all things considered!  Owen was obviously distracted with the buzzing sound, so it was tough to work with, and you can see I had a slip up on (his) left side there.  But, I can't believe how much like a little boy he is looking!
I truly think I aged about five years today though.  Seeing as today was Marin's last day in nursery and then she will be my little Sunbeam!  And giving my son a all made me feel like I had aged!  Plus, I've been rearranging Owen's feeding schedule slightly to prepare for the one-year-weaning in 8 weeks.  I cannot even imagine that my sweet boy will be a year old in (less than) 8 weeks!!  It's going to be another emotional roller-coaster when the time comes and I'm already feeling it.  Kristoffer does the bedtime feeding now and I pump.  It will be nice to be done, but I'm really a weepy basketcase of emotions for a good week.  The Lyman kids are growing up!!