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Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Eve

We were lucky this year and got to celebrate Christmas Eve twice.  On Tuesday night, the actual Christmas Eve I worked part of the day then went home early and spent time playing with the babies.  Later we met up with my parents and Cory and Calvin for dinner at Outback.  It was perfect, no mess, no dishes, and I even tried something besides steak.  Calvin was nice enough to share his fries since Luke was intent on scavenging as many as he could get.  Apparently they must have been delicious - as we were leaving he found a forgotten fry on the floor and popped it in his mouth before anyone could grab it.  We stopped by Cory's house to admire Calvin's snow fort and let the boys open a few presents.  Luke was just starting to figure out the fun of presents and Ruby is oblivious so it was a pretty mellow and relaxing evening.

Part two of Christmas Eve came on Thursday night.  Luke was so excited to have his big brothers and sister arrive for another party with family.  We invited my parents and Tim's parents over for what has become our tradition of steak and shrimp on Christmas Eve (thanks to Hailey for letting us borrow that tradition).

This year I don't know if I was off my game or just busy enjoying the company because the only picture I got was this class of Erika and grandma in matching animal print. 

Even though it was a few days late, I still get excited setting up Christmas and anticipating the kids' excitement in the morning.  I always take a picture of the tree and the gifts once everything is ready to go. Oh, and try to focus on the top half of my tree.  You can see the height where Luke's reach ends because that is the only part of the tree where the decorations were still intact.  Kind of funny and just part of Christmas with the babies.  I think we have a few more years before the decorations will be safe again.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I changed phones and while I was cleaning everything off my old phone, I found a series of quotes that I have been collecting for the past year or two.  I wanted to keep them and this seemed like the best place for that:

We don't control the world, but we do control how we respond to the curve balls life throws at us.

Too often we judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.  Steven R. Covey

I have prepared for death all my life by the life I have lived.  Socrates

Women friends cast their own color of sunshine.  The Burgess Boys

Let go of that which no longer serves you.

We wish to be loved the way we would love, anything else makes us uncomfortable.  

Making the decision to have a child is momentous, it is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.  Elizabeth Stone

The smaller the place between your desires and what is right, the happier you will be.

You give it your all, sometimes that isn't enough, and that's ok.

Dear Santa...

We went to the Riverwoods at the beginning of the Christmas season and had a brief visit with Santa.  Luke was afraid of him and Ruby was staying warm in the sling, so we didn't quite get the experience I was hoping for.  Earlier this week we invited Cory and Calvin to join us for another chance to see the big guy.  Success. The weather was warmer and Luke was fairly content to sit on Santa's lap.  He has spent lot of time at our house looking at the various decorations we have with Santa, and will even tell you that Santa says "ho, ho, ho".  So, I had been hoping he would be a little more comfortable.  Calvin told us that he had already seen Santa and told him what he wanted so he was content to just give Santa a fist bump.  Luke adores his cousins and loved having Calvin there to play and watch after him.  I didn't want to be the crazy mom who makes a production out of getting great photos (even though I kind of am), but I was thrilled to see Cory show up with his new camera.  I could concentrate on the babies while he documented everything.  Great night!

The atmosphere was magical.

Ok so we did have to work a little to get him comfortable with Santa

Santa was so sweet with our new girl.

This mama loves her boy.
By far my favorite shot of the night.
Cousins forever!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Festival of the Lights

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork.  We always start with dinner, usually The Pizza Factory.  Lucky grandma, all the kids wanted to sit with her.  It's funny because they all eat so much better with her so win win. 

The lights are at a park in Spanish Fork Canyon and are so much fun, the kids love it  A lot are "animated" and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out which ones are new, and which ones are our favorite.

The best part about the whole adventure is piling everyone into one van.  We keep growing in numbers so it gets more and more squished, but it would be nearly as much fun if we split up into separate cars.  Besides, no matter how much room we had, all of the kids would end up on grandma and grandpa's laps anyway.  

Luke absolutely loved the lights.  Poor Tim and Ruby were not feeling great so we missed having them this year.  No worries, there will be plenty of room in the van next time.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Review

One of the things that has been sacrificed with little ones is the time I used to spend reading.  I do still make time to read, but I don't get through as many books as I would like.  Listening has become a way for me to multi task and get the things I need done and still enjoy a good book.  I listen to books while driving, cleaning, and working out.  Recently I finished two book - I didn't love either of them but they had been on my list of books I wanted to read so this was a good way to get through them.

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: Harold Fry--retired sales rep, beleaguered husband, passive observer of his own life--decides one morning to walk 600 miles across England to save an old friend. It might not work, mind you, but that's hardly the point. In playwright Rachel Joyce's pitch-perfect first novel, Harold wins us over with his classic antiheroism. Setting off on the long journey, he wears the wrong jacket, doesn't have a toothbrush, and leaves his phone at home--in short, he is wholly, endearingly unprepared. But as he travels, Harold finally has time to reflect on his failings as a husband, father, and friend, and this helps him become someone we (and, more important, his wife Maureen) can respect. After walking for a while in Harold Fry's very human shoes, you might find that your own fit a bit better. --Mia Lipman

I wanted to love this book, I really did, but I just didn't.  I expected it to be slow, that was king of the point of the plot, but for the most part I didn't find it slow and engaging.  To use a British term, I thought some parts were quite dull.  There were a few sections that I really liked, and I did think the ending was great, it redeemed the long journey.  Perfect for listening because I wasn't tempted to skip pages to get to the end and not bad to keep me company on my travels.  B+

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2012 (Debut Spotlight)Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is an old school mystery set firmly in tech-loving, modern day San Francisco. Clay Jannon (former web designer) lands a job at a bookstore with very few patrons and even fewer purchases. His curiosity leads him to the discovery of a larger conspiracy at play, one exciting enough to rope in his best friend (CEO at a startup) and love interest (works at Google). As Clay and company unravel the puzzles of Mr. Penumbra's book shop, the story turns into a sort of nerdy heist, with real-life gadgets, secret societies, and a lot of things to say about the past, present, and future of reading. Sloan originally self-published Mr. Penumbra as a short story through Kindle Direct Publishing, before expanding it to its current form with a traditional print publisher--a fitting trajectory for a fast, fun story that has so wholly and enthusiastically embraced the tension between the digital and analog books. --Kevin Nguyen

I'm not positive what I expected of this book but whatever that was, the book wasn't.  The story itself was pretty interesting but got a little too philosophical for my taste.  The plot was heavy on the bookstore and light on character development - I would have liked it to be a little more character driven.  Again, this was a great one to have done the audio version.  B

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ruby - Two Months

While we try to teach or children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

There are only 940 Saturdays between your child's birth and them leaving for college, 
So make them count.   

It's hard to believe that sweet little Ruby has already been with for eight of those Saturdays.  As much as I love to see her grow and develop, I mostly wish I could slow time down to just keep enjoying her sweet little newborn spirit.  Luke was such a easy baby.  I didn't think it was possible to get another baby that was so good natured but we have definitely been twice blessed.  Ruby is just sweet.  She rarely fusses and is generally very content.  At about five weeks she started sleeping through the night - most mornings I have to wake her up if I want to feed her before I leave.  She is holding her head up really well and can turn it from side to side when she does tummy time.  A few weeks ago she got some sort of bug and had a lot of spit ups and blow outs.  It made me nervous because she really wouldn't eat much and started to get too skinny.  Luckily she recovered well and is finally starting to put on some weight.  Recently she has grown out of some of her newborn clothes and has moved into size 1 diapers.  Unfortunately, she still is prone to blow outs.
The best thing ever is that Ruby has found her smiles.  She smiles and coos when you talk to her and already seems to have something to say.  Luke loves her, and always wants to be close to her but he hasn't really figured out the need to be soft with her.  She is going to need to be tough to survive him.  
When she was seven weeks old we left her to be babysat for the first time, Grandma Broadbent.  At eight weeks she stayed with Grandma Whitesides.  We are lucky to have grandmas who love her so much for the few times we are willing to leave her. Unfortunately, I have had to get really used to leaving her - I had to go back to work this week.  Boo, it's hard and that's all I can say about it right now...I mean really, who would want to leave this sweet Little LuLu

And here are the smiles.

Remember what I said about blow outs.....

Hopefully he will always be this willing to share his toys with her

She is absolutely adored by everyone

And the rest of the shoot...