Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Razzle arrived from the North Pole on December 1st to help us get ready for Christmas.  She brought a gift for Charli and Claire and has been quite a silly little elf since she arrived.  Here are a few of her shenanigans.

tea party with some friends

building a snowy log cabin with Claire's licoln logs

decorating our house with snowflakes

she makes messes sometimes...
covered our tree in candy canes!

enjoyed popcorn, candy and a movie

read all of our christmas books

got a little bit thirsty

thirsty again...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Pictures

My talented brother, Brooks, whom I have raved about in the past, outdid himself again taking our family pictures in hopes of getting a good Christmas card photo.  Here are a few of my favs...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Claire has been the talk of so many conversations lately.  She has been sick for 3 weeks with a stomach virus that she just cannot kick.  I cannot tell you how many blowouts and awful diapers we have changed.  It will definitely be a memorable time of her life for me.  Despite her continued illness she is exploding with new abilities. Just in the last two weeks she has learned to crawl on her knees, pull up to her feet, and even started to take a few steps cruising around her favorite piece of furniture, the ottoman.  Not only has she developed her physical skills, she has cut 4 new teeth and is now wearing an 18 month size in most clothes.  Her list of words and signs is growing daily.

Words she says:
Ball (sounds like BAWWW) (her fav word and toy)
Dada or Da-deeeee
Kitty-Cat (ti-ta)
Cup (pup)
Duck (her lovie)
Pop (my dad)

Thank you
All Done
Get Out
- the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider
- the motions to Happy and You Know it
Folds her hands when we pray

She's a busy girl, loves people, waves at everyone she knows and doesn't know and daily brings joy to our lives.  She's more stubborn than her big sister and takes a harder spank than Charli ever has to get through to her. (Charli wilts at the thought of our displeasure or impending punishment.) Claire defies our instruction already!  Boy, are they different!  Claire also takes falls, bumps, and bruises much better than Charli... maybe her pain tolerance is higher? Claire sleeps less than her sister but is generally happy with the amount of sleep she gets.  The best thing of all, is though they are so different, they love each other dearly and generally play well together.  The squeals of delight from their reuniting each morning or after naps is one of the highlights of my every day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stationery card

Navy Flourish Party Invitation
Check out our modern shower invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Few Firsts

I really enjoyed voting this past week.  It was my first presidential election to vote in not by absentee.  (only my 3rd to be eligible for)  In college in California I voted by mail in the 2004 Bush vs. Kerry Election and 4 years ago we were in Turkey for the 2008 McCain vs. Obama election and again voted by absentee.  Not only did I vote in person this year, I decided that since our poll was only a couple miles from our house, I'd try to jog there and back.  I made it there, voted in record time, and jogged back home.  It ended up being the longest distance I've ever run: 5 miles.  I was proud of my two big accomplishments.

Now I am also imagining where will we be in 2016?!  (from California to Turkey to Mississippi to ....?)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We had a great evening welcoming home my dad from Buenos Aires, Argentina and doing Halloween-ish stuff with Charli and Claire. Charli had a little trouble deciding what princess to be and today finalized her Rapunzel decision. Claire got to be a purple fairy but I joked all day that she was going to be the brown fairy because of the number of blowout diapers in the last few days. (Teething isn't fun for any of us!) We took the girls trick-or-treating in mom and dad's neighborhood. Claire made it to one house then went back to help Pop hand out his tradition of tracts and candy. Charli did great and said "trick-or-treating!" at every house. Adorable. Her love of candy outweighed her fear of strangers. She even fell down a couple times but got back up and pushed through the pain. Mom, the ever-faithful republican, persuaded many a kid to vote for Mitt ;)

I taught Charli me and Lee's tradition of dumping out your goods when you get home and she promptly began "organizing" it. Love her so.

It was such a fun time with our first real trick-or-treater.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Girdwood, Alaska

Amazing hike at The Hotel Alyeska. We were hoping to hike The North Face Trail but there was too much snow. The best part of this hike was an incredible icy waterfall. After the 5 mile hike we got in the hot tub (indoors of course) and then got cleaned up for dinner. We ate at the Double Musky Inn and I had Salmon, yummy :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Made it to Alaska!

After a long travel day, I arrived to cold, but not too snowy Alaska! I was greeted by my BFF and her almost 4 yr old; a very happy reunion!! We went and had dinner at a yummy pizza place/brewery called Moose's Tooth. Here's a couple photos so far...

Friday, October 12, 2012


I haven't talked much about this but I've been trying to lose weight since I stopped nursing Claire. (Unlike most people, weight loss and nursing do not go hand and hand for me...) since March, I'm down 20+ lbs and today marked a big accomplishment: the last pair of jeans from the too small stack! They are no longer too small and I'm sure gonna keep working hard to make them too big. I'm smaller than I have been in 4 or 5 years and I'm really feeling proud of my hard work. And it has been hard. Here's to keeping it up, and getting healthier and happier in my body.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

That feeling

Have you ever been on an overseas trip or cruise where you had to leave your phone at home or off for a few days? I've done it a number of times and I'm always amazed at the freedom I feel from not being tied to it. I think this is the third time I've mentioned my Facebook departure but obviously it was a big deal to me. (I was on it for 7+ years...) Well, that feeling I had with no cell phone in China for 6 weeks is the feeling I've had from deleting Facebook. Free. Cut the ties of the unnecessary, de-cluttered my time a little, and found new depth in some of my friendships.

Do I wonder where you're eating lunch today? Nope, never cared in the first place. Are you dying to know the weather at my house? Doubt it. And I guess if we're actually wondering about those things or more important things we can use our phones to call instead of posting pointless statuses in the hopes of what???

The answer to that question has been precisely why I've gotten off Facebook. It's ambiguous and I do hate assumptions.


After a LONG travel day with two flights, we made it home. Brandon and dad went their separate ways off on business trips. I always try to clean the house so that getting home is a relief and not a chaotic mess. Thankfully, the house was clean and we made a quick can of soup and I put the girls straight to bed. They both slept like champs! Over 13 hours each! I slept great too and we've all enjoyed being home on this cool, fall morning today.

Vacation was great but we are glad to be home!

Monday, October 8, 2012


We just spent a few days in Orlando with my parents & Brooks. We went to Disney's Magic Kingdom and Sea World. Charli, of course, loved all things Disney and surprised us all with her bravery! She rode the rockets in Tomorrowland and laughed her head off the whole ride. Claire loved Sea World and all the animals she saw in the shows and exhibits. Mom and Das kept C & C one night so Brandon and I could go out too, what awesome grandparents my girls have! We drove down to Orlando so that marks the longest road trip my kids have ever made 12 hours in 2 days. Thankfully, we are flying (not driving) home tomorrow. Enjoy the various phone pics and hopefully I'll do a follow up post with more pics from the real camera.