Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Sweet Life Presents: Thanksgiving Part 1

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Tyler: "What the heck is the Macy's parade?"

"It's what  girls watch on Thanksgiving."
(football? bleh.)

"Hey Mom!...

"When is Santa going to come?"

Getting restless.....losing patience....


I shink I shee shomething!!!!....
("I think I see something!")

Can it be?!!!


Hiiiiiii Santaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

What could be better than a Christmas tree in your house during the holidays?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The List to end all Lists: You won't want to read this.

A few weeks ago, as I gutted the massive amounts of paper in our office closet , I came across a list I had written years before. I can only assume I was having a bad day... therapeutic gratitude lists usually stem from those don't they? Or who knows, maybe it was a really good day I wanted to capture...

It made me smile to read it, and I want to immortalize it on this family record of ours so I can always glance back and remember the myriad of big and small things to be thankful for. 

My Lily
My Husband
My health
My body
My home
My Family
My extended family
Rainy Summer days
Painted toenails
Lily's wrinkled nose smile
Tyler's excited hand rubby thing
Sense and Sensibility
Clean Carpet
Feeling cozy
Clean, white socks
Laughing with Sarah
Best Friends
My Mom
My successes
and a few of my failures
My job
My freedom
My energy
My faith
Bubble baths w/ candles
Diet Dr. Pepper
Autumn Days
yoga (even though I don't do it)
Ty & I's friendship
Mary Kay Skincare
Clean bathrooms
My dad
My backyard in the summer
Lake Tahoe
Study Abroad
The future
Lily's personality
Tyler's personality
My personality!
the farm
each of my sibs
trashy magazines
crying and feeling better after
clean cars
my dollhouse
my sense of style
the ability to DO things
a good perspective
disneyland and disney movies
feeling good
the ability to have children
Sunday afternoons
quiet spiritual moments
lily's bedtime songs
reading to lily
bathing lily
my passion
Tyler's passion
being different
canopy beds
far off places
knowing that i will go to far off places!
BBQ's in summer
dinner on the porch
neighborhood walks
heaters/air conditioners
leather car interiors
the  mall
Macy's home department
Mac eyeshadow
lori's cooking
lily kisses
lily buns
lily loving her baby doll
family's love for lily
Saved by the Bell
The journey of life
old people that still love each other
flowers flowers flowers
bottled water
Country Garden restaurant
Spiced Iced Tea
California fruit stands
summer  mornings
Satsuma orange tealight oil
date nights
dressing up
my eyebrows
Tyler's eyes
CS Lewis books

And then the list ends....

Would you believe

I can still add so. much. more.?

You don't want to read anymore I'm sure...but I will conclude with the three biggest categories that must be mentioned....can't believe life gets better than the above...but it does:

Lundy buns
Lundy smiles
Lundy's chipped tooth
her hugs
ooooh her hugs again!
the way she speaks
her 'wittle' words
the way she says, um um um um Mom....
her imagination
her dramatics
her squishy face
her 4am nightly visits to our bed
the experience of falling in love with her
over and over 
Ellie Jane
her toofers
her giggle
her trailing me throughout the house
begging me to hold her
how she loves to be read to
bathing her 
how she hates getting dressed
her belly
her belly
her belly
her kisses
her eyes
her bend towards adventure
her cheerful

Baby buns #4
the list is coming

Have A Wonderful Thanksgiving all!!

Wishing you a list of your own as looooong as your heart's desire!!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude on the Menu, and these:

This week, I am taking pause. I am committing to shut-out the areas of my psyche that make no contribution in a creating a grateful heart. I'm silencing my cynic, my critic, my skeptic, my doubter, my hater, my inner drama maker. Or at least I'm going to try reeeeeallly hard too. Because nothing is more cleansing to the soul than a hearty dose of simple gratitude. For how wonderful it feels, you'd think I'd do this more often!

My duties for Thanksgiving include a few side dishes and an appetizer. I love to try new things, so here's what I'll be working on these next couple of days:

Beekman Boy's Buttermilk Cornbread Dressing with Sausage

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon, Cranberries, and Pine Nuts
(I am modifying the linked recipe, I love me some bacon and pine nuts!)

The most requested salsa I've ever made:
Fresh Avocado Corn Salsa 

Here's to an excellent Thanksgiving kick-off!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Friday.

The wind is blowing insanely outside. I loved hearing it last night. I alternate between mildly irrational fear hearing its power against the windows and a sense of complete security and comfort knowing I'm comfy in my bed with my babes safely snug under our roof. Apparently others in the city aren't feeling so safe, a fire has broken out and Lily is intently watching the morning news with me. Hope all turns out well soon...

Amy and I held our second official book-club meeting. I enjoy the simplicity of a one-on-one book club. However, Nae was invited to join because we know she has a secret penchant for dork-fests as well. It's more subtle, harder to detect: but she is a sappy romantic at heart. Plus it's more of an excuse to get together, because life somehow manages to move at lightning speed and although we are now all in the same city we end up going months without seeing each other.

We enjoyed lunch and discussion of Tess of the D'Ubervilles. Good classic. Innocence, rape, love, wrath, redemption, retribution, and an ending I didn't expect.

Up next: Orange is the New Black.

I'm also going to try and pick up another book I've had my eye on: Radical Homemakers.

The approaching cold brings a new itch to read. Tyler has picked up his kindle more during the evenings, the television is on less, and my girls are catching the fever too: at the library last week I found Lily at the help-desk waiting for assistance.

"Lu, what are you doing?!"

"Asking the library lady how to read."

Awww, isn't that cute and sad? Lily is always grabbing large chapter books from the junior section because of their interesting covers. I try to explain to her that she knows almost all of her letter sounds and each day as she goes to kindergarten and has reading time at home with Mom/Dad she is learning to read. However, it serves as a reminder that I don't plan on waiting around for the school system to kick-start her education...we're starting these:

I remember doing these lessons with my Mom. Many of my questions about education are directed to her, when she points me to this/that book and tells me stories of school district meetings during my younger days. I smile now looking back and imagining her as a young Mom with me, enthusiastically obsessing over my future as much as I do now with my own girls. 

Smart women, I hope to raise a few of them. Wish me luck. It's ridiculously daunting and I'm under-qualified for the task at hand.

Have a great weekend, we are off to enjoy the best kind of Friday: slow, cozy at home, and full of books. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

little BIG questions.

{Lils and her buddy}

Lily loves to have our "five minute" talk every night before going to bed. It's another one of her brilliant stall-tactics. Stories, scripture, prayer, kiss, hug, brush teeth, glass of water, one more hug, one more kiss, i forgot-to-go-potty, i-want-to-eat-my-vegetables-from-dinner-now, i'm-scared-of-mummies, one more kiss, one more hug.....and now our five minute talk. So smart, this kid.

I allow it for a two reasons. First, it is so fun to lay with her in bed one on one and discuss the day snuggled close to her round little face and lispy voice as she confesses her days worth of naughty deeds (Mom, i okay like...don't get mad at me...but i kinda schneaked your gum outta your purse. It's in the piano drawer but i ate it all...i am sho sho shorry). Second, it is a tradition I hope will become so ingrained that she will find herself at the ripe age of 16 confessing crimes much more intricate in detail only to find herself chained to the bed next morning with a note that reads:

Dear Lu,

Loved our five minute talk last night.
Like I promised, you can tell Mommy anything.
Oh yes...about the chains...they will be unlocked when 
you are twenty-five and Mommy and Daddy have 
made our final decisions regarding a future husband.
Breakfast will be delivered at 9, I made eggs: your favorite!



For now, the chat is mostly filled in a question and answer format.

Mom, why do we have boogers?
To help catch bad things that would get in our nose.

What are all the planets?
There are too many to name sis, this is a big universe. And truthfully, I can't even remember the ones in our own solar system. And...I don't know exactly what a solar system is.

Are there people on them?
Maybe, nobody can tell for sure...

Why do boys have weenies*?
Ask Daddy.

Why are there germs?
Um, well...they are small forms of life that serve some sort of to do good things...and some to...kill humans? question please...

Why do I like Jackson? Like in my did it get there? 
Because God hates your parents.

*(We refer to the differential parts of the male/female anatomy with our own special words. I challenge the child experts on this topic. They say teach your child the accurate terminology. I would then like to ask them what a parent is supposed to do when their child goes through the ever-pervasive-potty-humor-phase when the absolute pinnacle of comedic genius involves calling their sibling a 'weeniebum' or suggesting we name our new baby 'foofy' while browsing books at the library. What am I supposed to do when the librarian instead hears them giggling the word "penis-butt" or referring to our unborn babe as 'vagina'? Our library membership is already hanging by a thread due to late fees...don't ask me to lose my only free weekly venture during these strenuous winter months!)

My mind is frequently boggled with the magnitude of questions this little mind processes. Seriously, how does this kid come up with some of this stuff? Tyler has peeked in before, heard a question and stated: I am so glad you are the one answering those.

Oh don't worry darling, I've referred some of the best ones onto to you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So many.

"When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
when you are discouraged thinking all is lost...
count your many blessings
name them one by one
and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
                                                        - Johnson Oatman Jr.

My greatest blessing...

And the BEST photographer to capture them.

THANK YOU so much Eden, you have given us such a timeless treasure.
Our growing family looks forward to many more times with you to come!!


All photos courtesy of