Thursday, March 31, 2016

Birthday Boy!

This picture doesn't do justice to Rosie's face.  This girl, when she does not want to take a nap, she'll throw her bear out of her crib, and then her binky; and then she *really* squawks.  And she won't stop until you come and get her.  Trust me, we've left her for two hours and she won't quit.  I pulled her out one day after *much* squawking, and she had burst all these capillaries on her face and little red petechiae on her face.  It was so sad.  Sigh.

 I love doing this for my kids.  Having a table all decorated for them when they wake up on their birthday.  It makes my heart smile to see them so happy on their birthday morning.
 I can't believe this little buddy of mine is FIVE!  He is such a fun boy to have in our house.  He is so goofy and giggling at things little boys love to giggle at.  He makes me laugh, he gets so dirty, he eats me out of house and home (already), he hates socks, he loves riding his bike.  He is just awesome.  I'm so grateful for him!
 Enjoying his chocolate chip breakfast waffles.
 I've told my kids they can have a big birthday when they turn 5, 8, 12, and 16.  So since Marin turns eight this's a big year, lol.  We went to the Classic Fun Center for the party package, definitely the way to go.  So much less stress than doing it at my house, for sure!  Still had to keep up with a lot of little's, but way worth it.

Avenger's cake.  All boy.
 Look at that face!
 He partied hard!
 My mom came out for Owen's birthday and we had a chance to attend Time Out For Women.  It was so wonderful.  Such a great two days of inspirational stories and trial and triumph

 I kind of made my mom go up and meet Michael McLean, haha!  She was so not going to do it and I literally just jumped in line and made her come with me!  I loved his personal incredibly inspiring.
 Mom and I took Owen and Rosie to Ogden's train station.  We had never been before, and it was so neat!
 There's something so romantic about a train station, I kind of wish trains were still a cool way to travel.
 They had the cutest little area for kids to play in.

 Owen is such a sweet big brother.  He totally helped Rosie and she followed him all around.
 Owen and I had a contest to see who could hammer in the spikes the fastest.  He;s a pretty strong dude!
 They had a train cab where you could sit and look out the front window and "drive", Owen had an absolute BLAST doing this, he thought it was the best thing ever.  
 Out the front window they had a movie screen of a train riding the rails.  So cool, we'll totally go back.
 I'm always sad when my mom has to go back, but we loved having her.  Even if I'm terrible at taking pictures when she's here!

February Fabulosity

It's no secret that I *totally* heart Valentines Day.  For real.  I know, I know...some people hate it.  Whatever.  I know you guys celebrate love everyday yadda yadda yadda.  I also enjoy celebrating Christ everyday, but I still like celebrating Christmas.  Boom.  

Anyway, I love V-Day and I put up decorations and it makes the little girl in me totally giddy again, it's so great!

February can be pretty drab and yucky, so maybe that's part of the reason I love Valentine's Day so much, it gives me something to look forward to.  I love hanging my wax hearts every year; they adorn my front window and are super pretty, especially with beautiful sunsets.

I almost forgot.  This year the kids made their own vision boards for the new year...something I want to do every year.  They had so much fun finding pictures of things they love and want to achieve and gluing them onto their paper.
 Rosie took her job of ripping up magazines very seriously.  She actually had a blast, haha!
 Marin's Board.
 Owen's Board.

 Marin decorated her Valentine's Box and it turned out SO cute!  I love that she is girly and frilly with purple and pink and butterflies.  This box quite literally represents so much of what Marin loves!  But all in order and neatly done; so Marin.
 I had some things coming up in February and I wanted to get to a house project beforehand.  I have been wanting to do something to this wall (in particular) for SO long.  Since we moved in and painted the rooms.  I even bought some high gloss paint for an overlay pattern I planned on doing....but I just didn't  get around to it, which usually means it wasn't what I wanted to do to begin with. 
 Once I found what I *really* wanted to do, I honed in on two other walls.  This small side wall here.  I have since also actually fixed up the decor a little.
And the front wall.  I just wanted something to focus on, to bring texture to wall surrounding the giant window which I LOVE.
All geared up and ready to go.
I saw these gold scallops on this blog that I follow and LOVE.  Once I saw it, I knew it was for me.  I started with this small wall.  And my neck was hurting so much.

This wall was the easiest.  Straight sides, no angles.  And it looks so beautiful!  Doing house projects makes my heart so happy, especially when it turns out like this!

It was a bit difficult to get a picture of the front wall with all the light, so I did my best to lighten it up.  Again, I am SO thrilled with how it all turned out!  
That month, Kris and I threw a Valentine's party with some friends.  It was so fun!  We ended up having four other couples over for a 1940's themed party, appetizers to share, games, and a kissing booth.  I think this is something I'll want to do every year!  One of my fave pictures from the night...truth be told, I have no idea where all of our pictures from the night ended up!  I can't find them!
I was absolutely racing around my house that evening to get it and everything else I had a few minutes to throw on my party clothes and do my hair....luckily, my hair was behaving and it just kind of...turned out.  SO lucky!  I wish cool up-do's were an "in" thing, maybe I should start a trend.

I had a great time for the first half of February, and I'm not done yet!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Missing Marci

When Kris and I lived in Portland, OR., we would drive up to Vancouver, WA., and visit his aunt Marci and her family.  Marci was the youngest of the seven children in her family, and Kris's dad, the oldest.  There were only four years between Kris and Marci, so really she was like a sister to us. When we attended a wedding for Kris's cousin in September of 2014, Marci was there and looked so terribly thin and frail...citing stomach ulcers; later that month she was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  Marci fought a long and difficult battle with cancer, and in January, she passed away.  She was 40 years old.

We prayed so hard for Marci.  Only a few short years ago, her husband was in a surfing accident and was subsequently paralyzed from the waist down.  It has been the most heartbreaking story.  The evening she passed away, Kris and I decided we needed to be up there.  We rented a minivan and drove through the night to be there the following afternoon.  Driving through the Dalles that morning reminded me of how breathtakingly beautiful western Oregon is and I was reminded of how much I missed it!  This picture simply doesn't do justice to the scenery!  I barely caught the tail end of a rainbow that we was so big!

Marci had five children, and passed away on the youngest's 7th birthday (back right).   The day after we arrived, we took the youngest two out for the day, to try and have a little birthday celebration spite of the circumstances.

Of course, we had to go to Helvetia Tavern.  We went here a LOT when we loved here.  I was pregnant with Owen and I'm already a hamburger lovin' girl, so this was definitely the place to be.  

Hats on the ceiling there.

Just delightful.  Right here.

Then we went to 'Out Of This World'.  They have bouncy houses and a huge, three story playground...though since we went years ago, it seems they've removed some of their play structures to make room for a buffet....we weren't thrilled about that.  The kids seemed to have a good time though, so, mission accomplished.

Ellie and Launa loved playing with Rosie.

Brian and Marci had just finished building a brand new, wheelchair accessible, beautiful home...and had just moved in two weeks before she died.  Her mother, DaNeace is pictured here.  This woman; I simply don't know how she moves forward with her life.  The strength she embodies simply astounds me.  She buried her first husband at the age of 52, and her second just 8 years ago.  She buried her first daughter 22 years ago who was seven months pregnant, and now she buried her baby.  The day we left, I walked in to see DaNeace ironing temple clothes, the clothes she was preparing to dress her daughter in to bury her.  I hugged her and we cried.  I just don't know how this woman finds the strength and the testimony to live each day.  She is such an example to me!

I offered to cook dinner for everyone on Sunday night.  A pretty big crew (though not everyone had even arrived).  Ravioli Chicken Caprese, Olive Garden salad, blueberry muffins and better-than-sex-cake.

Cute little Ellie is wearing the hat her mother wore after she lost her hair from the chemotherapy.  Even though it was a relatively quick trip, and they didn't plan to have the funeral until two days after we left, we were so happy to be there.  Sometimes it's nice to just know someone is there and hurting with you. Marci's sister, Lynette (bottom right) asked me to write the obituary, I was so honored!  I tried as best I could to get little details from her life, things I wouldn't have known about her and piece them together in the as non-obituary of a way as possible, while keeping it relatively short (obituaries are WAY expensive).  It turned out beautifully and I felt so privileged to be asked to do that!

We will all miss Marci so very much.  She was just an amazing woman and I think about her and her family often.  40 is so young to die, and I think about what I would want to leave behind, what I would want to have accomplished if I had to leave this world that young.  I am so grateful for the Plan of Happiness.  Knowing that this wonderful family will see their wife and mother again is such a comfort!