Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday Swag

I had sort of a non-birthday because it was spent at church and then sitting next to Creed on our ten hour drive home from Lake Tahoe, but throughout the week I received a few really amazing birthday gifts that I just have to blog about so those who gifted them know how much they meant to me.

First of all, every year for at least the last five years, Cat, my adopted mom in Columbus, has made me my favorite lemon bars for my birthday. Even when we were no longer working together, there would still be a fresh batch waiting on my desk at my new office. I knew I would miss it this year, but low-and-behold, Look what arrived in the mail! Cat didn't forget, and that along with the cute T-shirt she sent, gave me a huge smile that lasted all day.
I love buying gifts for my little sister because I feel like I know her so well, that I can come up with all sorts of fun options. Well, she can say the same for me. This year she gave me the DVD of Harry and the Hendersons, which we LOVED when we were little and she said it took all her willpower not to open it and watch it without me. She also gave my the easy reader My Friend Is Sad by Mo Willems. I love this series and this book especially captures my heart.

Even though my mom had already given me a wonderful gift that you are sure to see on the blog later, she brought this paper mache robot up to Lake Tahoe so I would have something to open. My mom and I both collect these Lori C. Mitchell Halloween figurines so it was especially thoughtful coming from her. Even though it's not Halloween, he's been sitting out on our mantle and Creed points him out and giggles a few times a day so I guess I'm not the only around here who likes him.Larry bought me this ampersand for my ampersand collection (which now consists of about four ampersands, but the best part of a collection is the search or the gifts and I'm always a little sad when my collection has grown large enough that I don't need anymore so I'm sort of happy that this collection is slow growing.) (And ok, maybe I put it in his hand at Pottery Barn and told him that I loved it and it would make a wonderful birthday present, but he waited in line and paid for it)
And now, for the gift that really blows my mind. Friday, was a busy day. Creed and I left our house at 8:00 a.m. and got home at 2:30 for a late nap, and I was so surprised to find this on my porch.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!?!?!? Nikki, David, and Audrey sent me a whole box full of pints of Jeni's ice creams. I was worried that it would be melted after sitting on my porch all day, but they were still frozen solid. As I opened the box, Creed recognized the pints and dived right in to grab the ice cream. I have to confess that they have been sitting in my freezer all weekend and I haven't touched them yet, but it's killing me. I know it sounds crazy, but they just feel too special to eat! Maybe it's because this is truly amazing ice cream that I can't get here. Maybe it's because it's a little piece of home that I like knowing is sitting in my freezer. Maybe it's because it reminds me of Nikki, David, and Audrey, and Cat who introduced me to Jeni's so even catching a glimpse of it there makes me smile and I can't bear to eat it. I seriously can't decide what to do with it. Part of me just wants to hog it all, savoring it bit by bit, but I would also love to save some to share with the Zozes when they visit in October since I know they miss it too. Or maybe I should invite new friends over so they can sample of bit of why Columbus is great. Or maybe I should invite old Columbus friends over to share it . . . what do you think?
And Last but not least, I got an Imac! I know you are probably groaning thinking I'm spoiled so I have to include this disclaimer. Our last year in Columbus, Larry and I needed to buy two big ticket items: a sewing machine and a new computer. We put off buying them as long as we could because we didn't want to move these fragile items and we weren't sure how much our move would cost so we wanted to wait and re-evaluate our finances. Well, Larry really wanted to get me a new sewing machine for my birthday, but when the big date came, I told him that I looked things over and decided it could wait for a few years. The sewing machine that I have from when my mom got married will serve me well in the meantime and then I won't buy a less expensive machine that I'll want to replace someday. At any rate, the new computer cannot wait as our old laptop is dying a painful death so we decided to get a new computer for our anniversary/my birthday/Larry's birthday and maybe it will be for Christmas too.
We decided to finally make the jump from a PC to a Mac and it is a thing of beauty! I have to admit, I'm a little nervous to open up some of my design files on it, but I'm sure in the end, we won't regret the switch. We just bought it last night so I haven't even pulled it out of the box, but oh, it is a thing of beauty.
The best part is that right now Apple is running a back-to-school special and when you buy a Mac with the education discount (which Larry gets because he's considered U of U faculty and is also sort of a student), you get a free Ipod Nano or Ipod Touch. Larry's Ipod holds way more music than these options so he wasn't interested so now I'm the proud owner of an Ipod Touch and Creed gets my hand-me-down Nano

But wait, there's more! Apple is also running a special that when you buy a computer, you get $100 towards a printer, and since we're happy with our current printer, we picked up this little portable Canon Selphie photo printer for free! I used to work as a wedding photographer's assistant and he had a similar little photo printer, and part of my job was to choose one of my favorite photos from the day and print and frame it during the reception so the bride and groom didn't have to wait weeks to get their first look at their wedding photos and they could even take it along on their honeymoon if they wanted. Now my brain is swirling with possibilities for this printer. Think about it, you could have a birthday party on location somewhere and take a group picture of the kids and slip it into their goodie bags to take home. Or you could set up a "photo booth" at a wedding and print of the guest pictures and have them printed and signed and slipped into a guest book. Or . . . Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes. It was nice to still be spoiled while I was trying to entertain Creed so Larry could study all week for his internal medicine board exam.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Has Creed Been Up To?

Clowning around
(sorry for the blurry photo, he was on the move)

Laying around

cuddling with his favorite blankie and penguin

running around

walking a mile in everyone's moccasins

Driving around
conquering fears

Climbing on everything

And just plain being cute!

It's NieNie Day!

I'm sure that you've heard, but in case you've missed it, here's the info.

Stephanie Nielson (author of the absolutely amazing NieNie Dialogues), and her husband Christian were in a plane crash and face a tough – and expensive – road to recovery.

Gabby Blair (author of the absolutely amazing Design Mom) has declared today Nie Nie Day! and has helped organize over 190 auctions to help raise money for the beautiful Nielson family (Stephanie and Christian have four beautiful children). Check out all the participants listed at Design Mom, and marvel at the goodness that exists in this world!

When tragedy strikes, people often wonder how they can help. Well, folks, here’s how! Check out the totally cool stuff being auctioned and part yourself from a few dollars or join in the fun and auction off something on your blog. Many of the auctions close on 8/31/08.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What can you get at Lake Tahoe for $20?

A lot if you're checking out garage sales.

I don't know if my mom will forgive me for letting you in on the secret, but the best place to go garage saling (I know that's not a real word) is Lake Tahoe. I think it's my mom's favorite thing to do at Lake Tahoe because there are a lot of wealthy people with vacation homes there that they are cleaning out and remodeling, so many items are barely used and most of the owners don't bother to haggle over prices. And there's not much of a market for kids' items, so even when you start out late in the day, you can find some gems.

We spent an hour garage saling Saturday morning. I spent $20 (and I am not much of a haggler myself) and here's what I ended up with.

A child-size doctor's coat to go in Creed's dress-up box, which I don't have a photo of, but I assure you that it is cute.

A toddler carrier for hiking (which I have been wanting, but wasn't willing to pay full price for since Larry works so much that I don't think it will get a ton of use). I also spotted two jogging strollers, but I knew I would be pushing it just to get the backpack home. I thought I would have to leave the backpack at the cabin for use next summer, but my dad the engineer miraculously fit it in along with all of our luggage and my mom's garage sale purchases.

A Little People farm, which it seems was mixed up with the Little People Zoo, thus the kangaroo, but luckily, my mom bought the zoo and the train set at the same sale so we can get it sorted out.
Kids books, which you know I don't NEED, but it's nice having 25 cent copies that Creed can drag around in his wagon without causing concern. I also had a copy of Go Dog Go, but I gave it to Marissa as part of a compromise, so I could buy this vintage copy of Richard Scarry's Going Places that we both spotted. Hello, 50 cents for one of the most charming books ever!
Who can resist Pip pip goes to London?
And Creed is already enjoying the section in the back on things that go with beautiful illustrations like this.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Creed takes a trip to Tahoe

Creed did remarkably well on the nine-hour drive to my grandparents' cabin at Lake Tahoe. We just relaxed with my parents and grandparents our first few days there. The downside of traveling without Larry was this is the only picture that I ended up with of my. In fact, I didn't take pictures of a lot of the things that I meant too because I always had my hands full with Creed. I wasn't sure what he would think of the beach. Would the water and waves scare him? Would the water be too cold? Would he try to eat the sand?

Well, I shouldn't have worried. He was fearless and charged right into the water until it was up to his chest. He giggled at the waves from passing boats. He was happy to spend hours playing in the sand. He was so busy that despite my best efforts, I couldn't even get him to look up for a picture.
He also loved watching grandma, aka the yoga queen, do a little yoga on the beach
And he loved playing in the sand with her too.
And grandpa spoiled him every morning by sharing his green drink. My parents have been on a diet and they drink a green shake every morning made with OJ, spinach, and a bunch of fruit. I can't get over the way it looks, but Creed LOVES it. He could not get enough.My sister Marissa and her husband Mike and baby Logan arrived Wednesday night so we headed back to enjoy the blue lake. This time we went kayaking and even Creed got in on the fun (although he's mad here because they arrived back on shore and I made him keep his life jacket on for one more picture). When we lived in Hawaii we had a house on the beach and spent a lot of time out on the ocean on our kayaks, boogie boards, row boat, wind surfer, and catamaran so it was nice to be out on a kayak again.
He just looked so funny all bundled up.
It was so fun to spend a little time with Marissa and her family. I kept wishing they didn't have to live so far away.
It was fun to see how much Logan has grown up. I have a feeling Creed and Logan will be great friends one day.
It was especially nice to arrive home in the wee hours to this site.
Larry has never made or even purchased a cake for my birthday before so I was totally surprised.
More trip details to follow. I'm off to unpack and sort some laundry.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Did I mention . . .

That Creed and I hitched a ride with my parents and are spending over a week at Lake Tahoe with them? A great place to celebrate my 28th birthday, don't you think? I just wish Larry wasn't stuck at home, working and studying for the boards.

See you next week!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Martha, Martha, Martha

For those you you Martha doubters out there (I'm not naming names, but you know who you are), I have decided to feature some ideas that I love from my Martha Stewart Living subscription every month. The September issue just arrived, but I have to share a few ideas that I love from back in July.

First off, I love these red, white, and blue ribbon star banners. And don't they make cute straw decorations too?
I think they would look really good with these Patriotic fans. You would have the cutest Independence Day party on the block.

Now, usually the recipes are a little beyond my skill level, but the July issue had really tempting ice cream and popsicle recipes. Like this one for ice cream mixed-berry pops.

And this one for ice cream sandwiches made using thin brownies on the outside (so simple, why didn't I think of that?)
It looks like the September issue isn't up online yet, so check back later for that, but you're still in for a treat because Martha already has her Halloween stuff up (Don't you love how I refer to her by her first name, as if we are chums?) I was in Michael's the other day and you can already buy the Martha Stewart Halloween items. Here's an awful picture from my phone.

This year, Martha is running an online Halloween workshop that you can sign up for to get her editor's Halloween tips to craft a creepy Halloween.

And for the next eight weeks, you can check in for the Halloween idea of the day. Today's idea for this baby costume made me laugh.
And don't forget to check around her site for other Halloween ideas. I think I want to try to make these invisible pops this year. And did you know that Wal-mart just started carrying some of the Martha Stewart craft products? I was a little surprised by that, but I'm still curious enough to want to check it out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Creed Gets A Haircut

It's kind of hard to capture Creed's hair on film because it's so white, but trust me when I say this kid was getting shaggy. The top was too long to stay up in a mohawk and when he wore baseball hats, he had a little ponytail sticking out of the hole in the back so it was time for a haircut. I've trimmed his hair in the past, but it's so hard to get him to hold still that I decided it was time to let a professional do the job.

Here's the before. Doesn't seeing him sitting with that cape on, sucking on his binky, just make you smile? I thought he would be kicking and screaming, especially when it came to the clippers, but he was so absorbed in the Baby Einstein DVD they put in for him that he didn't mind most of the time.
And here's the final product.
It ended up a little shorter than we wanted, but I still like it. Larry and I are both shocked at how grown up he looks with shorter hair.
Truth be told, he really has grown up a lot lately. He's picking up new words all of the sudden and loves to parrot different noises. He loves the Count on Sesame Street and says, "Ah, ah, ah" just like him. It cracks me up.
He's been having a fun summer spending lots of time at the park and out in his little wading pool. Even though he doesn't say a lot of words, he says a couple of phrases like, "I did it!" and "What that?" and the other morning when I started to lay down while he was playing he looked at me and clearly said, "Mama, no no no!"
And now when you ask him questions and he doesn't know the answer, he does this.
He's only 16 months old so why does he suddenly seem so grown up?

Monday, August 11, 2008

A View Of Our Weekend

Our weekend started out so well. Larry and I actually went on a date and he planned it! We saw Salt Lake Shakespeare's production of Twelfth Night. It was a modern setting so I wasn't sure how it would go, but it was great. We particularly enjoyed Festes, the fool, who had an amazing voice and Malvolio (and in my opinion those two really make or break this play). I whispered to Larry that Malvolio looked like a grown up version of Duckface from Full House (a kid that Stephanie teased) but I was totally surprised when we looked at his bio in the lobby and he was Duckface on Full House. Oh yes, we had a brush with fame. You know you're jealous! Saturday Larry got off of work much earlier than expected so instead of working on our talks for church the next day, we met up with the Randall's and drove down to Payson Canyon. I went camping once there in high school, but I did not remember how beautiful it was. We checked out The Devil's Kitchen which is touted as a mini Bryce Canyon.

We checked out Mount Nebo

The steep cliffs made some of us a bit nervous And then we stopped at Payson Lake. Oh I was dying to stay and camp! We HAVE to go back soon. It was gorgeous. The kids couldn't resist dipping their toes in the water.

And those lead to babies being stripped down to their diapers and diving in

I have to say one of my favorite views with this newlywed couple on their vespa

Our gracious hosts, Jason and Melinda even ended the evening with two batches of homemade ice cream that rocked. Their recipe for cake batter ice cream is posted on their blog.