Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Real Cut

Two weeks ago after Millz had a shower with Hubbs, I decided enough was enough. I had to rid her of her awful tresses.

She had a haircut when she was six days old. We did it with all of the kids, you know, to keep some of that sweet, super dark newborn hair before it all falls out. Then she had one when she was about six months old because we had been giving her beautiful little faux-hawks and wanted t0 keep that style.

As she got more hair, that haircut backfired and she ended up looking more mullet-like than adorable toddler. All she needed was a creepy 80's stache and all would be well.

So, I sat her down, and in my haste forgot to take a photo of the before, plus it is really hard to cut hair, take photos of said cutting, and then take photos after. I got one of the three, not bad.

I cut about 1.5" off of her adorable curls. (I know some of you are scoffing and saying, "Curls? What curls?" Just so you know this is as curly as it gets in our house.)

She went from such nicknames as, "Witch hair" "White Trash Hair" "Rat's Nest" "Ugly" Etc, etc (Aren't we endearing?), to pretty much calling her the same thing. Girl is all business in the front and ratty party in the back, but at least now she lacks the mullet-like rat's nest in the back.

Today she actually looked pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. As of today, no one has even noticed her haircut.

Love this squishy girl. Love, love, love, love her.

Also? She moves a lot when taking photos. Hence why these are so out of focus.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Memms,

My heart is full at the moment. It is almost 2 a.m. and I can't get your sweet heart off of my mind. Tonight you had your Christmas dance recital. You got to wear your favorite pajamas that I bought just for this special event. You have had them for weeks and weeks and have worn them so much they looked like they were a year old. We fixed your hair in pigtails, and tied white ribbons around them. Your hair is getting so long, you look like a different girl. You danced so wonderfully. The sweet smile you have upon seeing your friends and your dance teacher Melissa absolutely melts me. So thankful for you.

Tonight was a big lesson in learning to give. There was a gift exchange with all of the tiny dancers. There was a $5 limit on the gift and we gave a very sweet box of Littlest Pet Shop toys that I got for a steal from Walgreen's this summer. Remember how we were saving it for Dilly? Well, I remembered that we had it and thought how fun it would be to use it for the gift exchange. You were so excited when I pulled it out. I could tell how badly you wished it was for you. You were still so very sweet as we wrapped it up to give away to someone else. I guess I should have explained that part a little better. It can be a hard concept for a little four year old to comprehend. When it was your turn to choose a gift toward the end of the group, there were only a few gifts left, and there was your beautiful bag, still waiting to be chosen, no one realizing what a wonderful gift that was inside. So you walked up and snatched it. I felt conflicted, I wanted you to learn to share and give, and so I called across the room, "Hey Memms! Why don't you choose another gift so that someone can have your gift." Immediate alligator tears ensued. I am not sure if it was because of the 50 people watching, or if I had just shattered your tiny heart, or the fact that after some love and coaxing from your teacher she helped you choose another gift which happened to be a pair of beautiful red polka dot socks instead of a toy, doll, or game like the other girls got. Your heart was shattered, and at that instant, so was mine.

Even as I write this tears are streaming down my cheeks. Oh how I love you, and wanted to run away with you at that moment. It seems so silly, but watching you hurt over something so small made me ache. I felt four again. I felt your pain. There was a boy in the audience, maybe 11 or 12 who was watching you. I think your broken heart touched his. He was so concerned about you, he wanted to make you happy too! He gave you a tiny, shiny pink rock. (He must have had it in his pocket.) You loved it. As we drove home we talked about giving, and receiving and being thankful for everything that we have. We talked about the beautiful red socks with the cute green bow, perfect for Christmas. We cherished the gold and blue box the socks came in, and the tissue paper discretely hiding your new treasured rock. We said silent prayers of thanks for a teaching moment, and for a tender hearted girl.

Thank you for teaching me about love today Memms. You are laying right next to me in my bed as I type this. I wish I could stop time, if even for a day, and freeze who you are at this moment. My first girl, my serious, deep, thoughtful girl. Thank you for sacrificing today to learn a deeper lesson in life. Momma loves you, with all of her soul.

Much love always,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Newborn Amelia

Newborns are delish. I mean that with all of my heart. My desire is to photograph them all. the. time. Amelia was just placed into the loving arms of her mom and dad by her courageous birth mother. Adoption is rad. Doesn't that last image say it all?

View entire session and order prints here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The week we set up Christmas my friend Lindsey asked me to take some photos because she loves to see how people decorate.

So I did. It was so fun to walk around and photograph the things that are important to us each year as this special time rolls around.

Our tree is simple. It is not real. We bought it after Christmas the first year we were married. it was $10 at Walmart. It stands about 6ft tall. Tiny in our living room with vaulted ceilings. Still, it is ours and we keep it.

Colored lights. I prefer white, but Hubbs and the kids love color. This year I decided to add some colorful glass balls to fill in and add depth. These are in addition to the ornaments we collect each year to honor or commemorate something that happened in the year before. We each get one. For instance, this year Joth is getting a Curious George ornament. George is reading a book, this will remind us of the year that Joth learned to read. I love looking at it.

The angel on top is a gift from my mother. She purchased this angel and one that I am not sure she has anymore when I was a little girl. I had always loved them and was so thankful when she gave it to me the first year Hubbs and I were married.

Ever since I was 11 years old, we have had a photo of Christ on our tree. I got the idea from my primary teacher. My mom loved the idea and I carried it over into our little family. I decided that I preferred this photo of the baby Jesus. It holds a very special place in my heart for a few reasons. Ones I hold dear and sacred.

Each year I try to add one new decoration or Christmas themed toy to our house. this year it was the cookie tray advent calendar. Not only was I sick of the kids fighting over the one below, I also adore them and always wanted one when I was little. Next year I will venture out and find one more so that when Millz gets in on the action they can all have their own, or rotate each day doing a different one. Smartest investment ever.

This was our first countdown. I got it at Hallmark. I love all of their Christmas for Kids items.

I joke with the kids that this nutcracker is as old as I am. Truth is, he probably is. They love to touch it and I let them, but cringe a little when they do.

Another item from my childhood.

Our homemade stockings. I made two more last night. I wish I had a photo of those two. I feel I get better each time I make one. I made the first two, mine and Hubbs' a year after we were married. I got the pattern at some ward craft thingy. I don't love shabby crafty things so much, but these I love. Everyone loves having their very own.

Hubbs has the tree, I have a star, Joth a car, Memms a doll, Peanut a mitten, and Millz a gingerbread boy, er uh girl?

Our toy box of Christmas only toys. It is full of finger puppets, Fisher Price Nativity sets, and ornaments to decorate the tree on the left. (Also from Hallmark.)

My favorite piece.

I hope you are all having a Merry Christmas. Get out your cameras this week, and show me your favorite holiday things, and what is special to you this time of year. Then link them to me so I can oogle them and be jealous your stuff is so much better than mine.

Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express

Last week my family and I had and amazing opportunity to drive to Heber to ride the North Pole Express.

We eagerly arrived at 15 minutes to spare before the train boarded. I didn't tell the kids where we were going. I think childhood needs to be FULL of surprises. When we arrived the kids were ecstatic and over joyed to be in such a magical place.

We sat in the very front of our car. I wished later that we had been more toward the middle, as I felt like that is where all of the action was.

The train was decorated beautifully for the Christmas holiday. We were given cookies and hot cocoa (that was THE perfect temperature, even Millz was able to partake). Our hostess was such a delight. She led us in singing Christmas songs. The classics. Like, "Up on the Housetop" and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer". There were stories like T'was the Night Before Christmas and funny elf jokes. Even Hubbs got in on the action.

Mrs. Claus even made an appearance. She sat down with my kids and gave us her secret special recipe for Christmas cookies.

Then the big moment arrived. We stopped at the North Pole. My kids, along with about 7 other kids piled into one seat to catch a glimpse of Santa. During the huge pile I hear someone exclaim, "Ew! Someone farted!" After which the seat cleared out to about 3 kids. I'm guessing the farter stayed, because, my kids were still sitting near the window waving at Santa. Yes, it was my kid. My oldest kid if you must know. (On the way back he shared his goodness as he was sitting next to me.) Sigh.

Santa boarded the train and we were off. He sang some songs to the kids, ran up and down the isle (but didn't quite make it to us). Then he took time to talk to each girl and boy. He didn't ask my kids what they wanted, but we did get to take a photo with him, which was so so so fun for Joth and Memms. Millz was a little freaked out, which is completely normal at her age.

Santa gave each child a wooden top. Which Millz promptly put in her mouth.

We arrived safely back to the station. The kids were on cloud nine. The Christmas spirit had bitten them. We finished up the night with a visit to Dairy Keen, where the train whooshed around above our heads reminding us of the train ride that night.

Want to give your kids the magical experience of the North Pole Express? Here's how.

Families Experience a Magical Holiday Journey Aboard The North Pole Express

Heber Valley Railroad’s “North Pole Express” Gives a New Twist to a Family Tradition

HEBER CITY, Utah — Heber Valley Railroad’s “North Pole Express” is a magical journey Utah families will treasure this holiday season. As a new twist on an old tradition, the North Pole Express will feature a live reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” a classic holiday favorite that will come to life as families enjoy a festive ride to the North Pole.

Guests aboard the North Pole Express will enjoy singing carols, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies while reading along or listening to the “The Night Before Christmas.” Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa and his sleigh will greet the children and give each child a special Christmas gift.

Tickets are now on sale for this popular holiday train, which is a long-standing tradition for thousands of Utah families. First class service is available most weekends during the North Pole Express schedule. Due to the high demand for tickets, the Heber Valley Railroad is offering two matinee excursions on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, 2010.

The North Pole Express will depart every Monday through Saturday through December 24, 2010.

Nightly Excursions

  • Depart 5 p.m.; return 6:30 p.m.
  • Depart 7:30 p.m.; return 9 p.m.

Matinee Excursions (December 23-24 only)

  • Depart 2 p.m.; return 3:30 p.m.

Schedule and Fares

Family Night: December 1, 2, 6, 13

  • $29 adult, $26 senior (ages 60 and above), $18 child (ages 3-12)

Coach: December 3, 4, 7-11, 14-18, 20-23

  • $32 adult, $29 senior (ages 60 and above), $21 child (ages 3-12)

First Class: December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20-23

  • $47 adult, $44 senior (ages 60 and above), $36 child (ages 3-12)

Matinee: December 23, 24

  • $29 adult, $26 senior (ages 60 and above), $18 child (ages 3-12)

Tickets can be purchased by calling SmithsTix at 800-888-TIXX, by calling the railroad at 435-654-5601, online at www.HeberValleyRailroad.org, or at the Heber Valley Depot, 450 South 600 West, Heber City. For more information and directions, contact the Heber Valley Railroad at 435-654-5601 or visitwww.HeberValleyRailroad.org.

**Full disclosure: My family was given free tickets to ride the train. This post and the opinions contained herein are my own.**

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The winner of the Thanksgiving Point Annual Pass is:

according to www.random.org the winner of 93 comments is commenter #46:

Blogger The Snellie's said...

I am a follower now!!! Still crossing my fingers!!!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010 5:03:00 PM

Thanks so much for all of the fun comments and ideas of things to do at Thanksgiving Point. I wish I had a pass for everyone to have the opportunity.

Have some Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Them's Fightin' Words

Giant Snowstorm.

Karate chop action.

Quite possibly my favorite photo of all time. For the moment.
Please note Hubb's Spencer W. Kimball glasses. His latest nickname is "Spence".

My favorite photo of all time. For now.

The realization that my daughter needed waterproof gloves. I got some the next day.

Mis-matched. Good thing these are in black and white.

Her eyelashes are TDF. Who am I kidding? All of her is TDF.


A few weeks back we got a heaping amount of snow. As in DUMPED on with snow. I have not seen snow of this magnitude since I was 8 years old.

Of course a fight ensued between Hubbs and Joth.

Love these people more than anything in this life.

Truly, truly, the luckiest girl in the world.