Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Elisabeth pronounces baby with a French accident. Sure do love our "bebe" girl! She also pronounces bag with a MN accent, much to her Papa's chagrin. Makes a mama proud.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Diddle diddle dumpling

This little kid hates shoes. No sooner do I get his shoes on then one comes off. We can't help but recite the nursery rhyme every day - so much Elisabeth knows it by heart.

One shoe off and one shoe on
Diddle diddle dumpling my son John

New type of confidence

I know we are always growing and changing. However, I look back on this last year and realize I am a drastically different person than I was even a year ago.

Here are some of the things that have changed:

1. I am now a runner. For anyone who has known me since high school you will realize how against my nature this is. A flat-footed, short-Achilles tendoned, uncoordinated girl has no business running. Yet I do. Three to four times a week averaging 14 miles a week. I have run two 5Ks and one 10K. I love it. I love the 30 minutes it gives me four times a week to just think and do something completely and solely for myself.

2. I am into fashion. For someone who used to joke that I needed to be nominated for TLC's What Not to Wear and would buy most of my clothes at H & M, TJ Maxx, and Target, this is a shock. I wouldn't say I have good fashion sense. But I do have a few friends who have impeccable taste and I have started to take their shopping advice. I have discovered the beauty of the personal shopper at J.Crew and the thrill of fitting into size 8 at the White House Black Market. I love buying shoes at Nordstroms and for the first time in my life have passed over mary janes and flats for a pair of fashion boots, Sperry top-siders, heels and wedges. I love how I feel in nice clothes and love getting dressed in the new outfits I have. I love wearing clothes that are modest, yet still fitted and attractive. In the words of my friend Tai, I have abandoned my Minnesota Mormon style for California Chic. I think I need to re-read Confessions of a Shopaholic. Though I am not anywhere near addicted to shopping, I think I now understand the heroine in that book better than when I first read it.

3. I have lost 40 lbs and kept it off for four months. I have lost this amount of weight before in the past. The only difference is this is the first time I have kept it off and have done it by just living life - no dieting. Just exercising, watching what I eat most of the time, and enjoying the foods I want to enjoy within reason. #1 explains why I have been able to do this and this probably explains why #2 has become such a big part of my life.

4. I am going to grow my hair out. I haven't had long hair since I was in 1st grade. Something inside of me is aching to abandon my sensible, short conservative hair cut and embrace long, sexy locks - even if it requires me taking time to style it every day.

Overall, I feel a new type confidence within me that is blossoming, different from the confidence I have felt before. I have been a capable person for much of my adult life. I am far from perfect but feel I am well-grounded, hard-working, determined and have a firm conviction in my beliefs. This year I have gained a different kind of confidence - a confidence in my physical self. For the first time since I have gotten married I feel beautiful inside and out. Something about this is wholly satisfying to me.

I have a few friends and my sister-in-law to thank for the inspiration that has led me on this journey. You guys know who you are :-). One of the beauties about relationships is the best ones inspire us to be better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What makes the happiest baby on the block unhappy?

A haircut.

Look at that boy's expression over an hour after the traumatic experience of getting his hair cut.

I am sad too. I miss his thick wavy locks and the surfer do this boy had. I am stuck waffling between wanting a clean cut boy to keeping crazy longer locks if his beautiful hair.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Abundant Life Experiment - Part 2

I absolutely love this picture of our family. It captures what I love best about my family - a cute little dramatic girl who loves pretty dresses and thinks she is a princess, an adorable baby boy who has funny expressions and is happily learning how to be independent, two parents who are not only in love with their children yet still hopelessly in love with each other.

It is a moment in a sometimes stressful, crazy, not-so perfect life that paints a picture of a family who none-the-less has an abundant life.

I truly want more moments in my life like this one and have a family that focuses on what is most important. Which is why our family is going to focus on the following in 2012:

1. Give generously
  • focus on family service opportunities
  • focus our prayers on those that are in need
  • magnify our callings at church
  • magnify our callings as visiting teachers and home teachers.

2. Cultivate a house of faith
  • have daily family prayer and scripture study
  • have daily couple prayer and scripture study
  • sing more as a family
  • hold meaningful Family Home Evenings every week

3. Live providently
  • spend less than we earn
  • have a financial plan and stick to it
  • find a solution for food storage that works for us

4. Improve wellness
  • create and follow an exercise program
  • do more physically active outings with the children
  • eat healthy

5. Simplify
  • take break from Facebook
  • plan less on weekends so we can spend more time together as a family

6. Cultivate love at home
  • learn better ways to parent/discipline
  • avoid raised voices, anger, spanking
  • strengthen relationships with extended family (create calling calendar so we make sure to keep in contact with all of our siblings)
I have already felt a difference in our home this past month as we have focused on these goals. If anything, I am happier. Which means my kids and husband are happier. Looking forward to everything 2012 holds for us!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another one bites the dust

The picture below illustrates what 16 month old does while his mom and big sister have a stomach virus and Dad has a meeting until 9 pm. Walk around all day pant less while having to entertain yourself by emptying DVD cases all day with no one feeling well enough to stop you.


Elisabeth woke me up at 4 am saying she threw up. Seriously??? After a week high fevers, coughs, runny noses, and miserable babies? Not. Funny. At. All.

At least my husband stayed home so I could go on a three mile run before I had to come home and scrub carpets and do three loads of yucky bedding. I love that man.

I am seriously lucky. Puke and all.

This time. . .

Baby boy has been sick now. Four days of a fever and one full-body rash later, he is on the mend. He has only wanted to snuggle and sleep on me. This mama will cherish these moments.

Offer #3: Other offer accepted. My poison this time was half a bag of Cadbury mini eggs and buying a new dress online. Trying to stay hopeful. The house meant to be ours will come. Right? One thing is for sure - we are becoming quite real estate savy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bathroom reader

Books are probably my kids' favorite toy. Carsten is constantly bringing us books to read the moment we sit down.

As you can see from this picture, his favorite place to catch us is when we are going to the bathroom. I guess he knows he has a captive audience.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog's Day Love Note

Lance sent me an email today with the title "Happy Groundhog's Day." The body of the message only included the following:
When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
Now to anyone else, this probably just appears to be a quote from Groundhog's Day, the movie. However, to me, it is a perfect expression of love from the fun-loving, goofy, nerdy, kind man I married. One of the things we have always loved to do together is watch movies for holidays. Whether it is for Christmas, New Years or Valentine's Day, we have a collection of good movies that we watch on the same day year after year. The first time I saw Groundhog's Day I wanted to shoot myself in the head. A movie about the same day that happened over and over again? ANNOYING to the nth degree. But Lance laughed hysterically at the movie - every single time he saw it - as though it was the first time he saw it. After 10 years, the movie has really become quite endearing and funny to me. I especially love how it makes him laugh. And hearing him laugh so unabashedly makes my heart so happy. So when I read this silly quote, I instantly smiled, chuckled at the though of him writing it out to me during his busy work day and heard his laughter in my head. It made me think that we have been watching this movie for 10 years and will be watching it for many more every February 2nd.

Comforting indeed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One, Four, Two, Zero, One.

One. The # of lbs I gained in Hawaii.

Four. The # of lbs I have to lose in order to be a life time member at Weight Watchers.

Two. The # of homes on which we have put offers.

Zero. The # of offers that were accepted.

One. The # of Dairy Queen blizzards I have eaten in order to drown my real estate sorrows.

The first one isn't that bad, considering all I ate while I was in Hawaii.

The four will be really hard to lose as long as we still entertain the idea of buying a house, especially since I tend to use DQ as my vice for dealing with house hunting.

Time to buckle down to get rid of those blasted four lbs. I know I can, I know I can, I know I can. . .

Taking a sick day

Both my kids have been sick quite often this flu/cold season. Though I wish they didn't have to suffer, I have to admit I love taking sick days with them. We watch a lot of movies, cuddle together and eat comfort foods. Something about caring for them and trying to make them feel loved while they are so weak makes me wish I was a nurse. This part of being a mother is so satisfying to me.