Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Very Merry Birthday

I am so excited about this tree. This tree is the newest addition to our birthday traditions! After the Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby I bought 8 candy ornaments and a load of brightly colored garland. Then the week before the birthday we get the tree out and decorate it. Every morning when the birthday girl wakes up she gets to place on the tree one candy ornament. Then when she places the last ornament on the tree that's the day of the party. This was so much fun to help build the suspense to Emma's big day and also to help a little girl grasp the concept of time.

March 1st came early this year as we celebrated Emma's birthday on Saturday. Ryan said multiple times "you know this is all for four year olds, right?" Duh. But you should have seen or heard how excited Emma was about all this. Plus, I had a blast in the process and kept the cost pretty low since I have been planning this for months.

I totally redecorated the dining room. We had so much fun preparing for this little party. I gave the chandelier a make-over, bought colored bread for sandwiches, and just had so much fun buying the place settings and making the party favors.

Emma had six little friends join us for her party. We watched Alice in Wonderland and then would pause the movie and take a break to play a game or have an activity that related to the scene we just watched. Every girl won a prize for playing the game but the winner of the game got to wear the Queen of hearts crown until the next round of games began.

I want to just pause here for a moment and give a special mention to my friend Cheri who makes the most delicious and charming cakes. Sure only two of the girls ate their cake and we had an insane amount of left overs....but guess what, it was totally worth it. Cakes make me happy in my heart, literally happy, I think I get butterflies when I see a cute cake. If anyone needs a cake for any reason, let me know and you have to use Cheri, she's the best!

For Halloween Emma was Alice and Lydia was the Cheshire cat. I had thought maybe it would be fun to have a Wonderland birthday party. But when I saw these Barbies on ebay I knew that fate was sealed for the party theme and I just HAD to have these Barbies and then everything fell into place from there. Is it wrong to live vicariously through your children?

We played pin the tail on the Cheshire cat in case that random photo of Lydia isn't making sense to you.

The party favors were necklaces for each of the girls, cheshire magnets, slinkys, and a glass bottle that had a little lemonade packet on the inside that had a tag reading "drink me." I'll be honest, some of the favors looked like Emma made them, but at least the bottles turned out nicely.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One year older...

Dear Emma,
I could make a LONG list of what I love most about you. But instead I want to tell you about one of your qualities that makes you truly unique. You have the softest, most tender heart of anyone I have ever met. I used to prompt you to be Christlike and now you take your own initiative. Regardless of where we are you always seek out people who are in wheel chairs, are missing an arm, or have scars on their face or some other form of a set back. You make a point to go up to them and tell them "I sink (think) you're doing great, and I sink you're beautiful." Then you give them a hug on their arm and either stay to visit or return back to me. It is one of the most rewarding moments I'll have as a mother to see these total strangers, who most people don't even make eye contact with, turn to me with tears in their eyes and a smile that lights up their face. I am so thankful to have a daughter who teaches me every day by example of how to put my inhibitions and insecurities aside and reach out to those who need to be remembered. You are a rare little girl and words don't do any justice to how thankful I am to have you as my daughter. This birthday will be quite the party, I know you are only four, but you have a life worth celebrating, and celebrating it well!!! Happy birthday my little "treasure" box.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The sweetest girl ever!

My little girl turns 4, I repeat F-O-U-R, in a week from now. I decided to do a post of SOME of my favorite photos of her third year and I'm so sorry, but THIS is my narrowed down version. Some are frilly and some are candid, but they tug at my heart strings. Expect to see a few more posts dedicated to this perfect little girl over the next few days :)

Feeling rejected because the lambs wouldn't eat her flowers

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear comments, I bid you adeu.

Every year when I come to AZ I am always edified and uplifted by my parents. This year I am taking with me the new desire to stop caring what other people think, and focus more on what God thinks. So my first big step is to distance myself from the evils and temptations of the all mighty Internet. I think it should be addressed in conference how destructive the Internet can be to women, not just men. Although we are not spending our time looking at pornography I do think we spend way to much time with blogs, facebook, and for myself, online window shopping. So my first step to free up my time and help me tone down the narcissism is to remove the comments option from my blog. I want to thank my friends who I haven't seen or talked to in years who have been so loyal in leaving words of encouragement, support and praise, but I have got to stop wanting that in my life. I'm not going to lie, I have said many times "This would make a great blog post." And I need to start thinking along the lines of "this would make a great journal entry, or better yet, memory for my children." So if you have questions or do want to comment about something, you can reach me on facebook, I'm not disappearing from the world. But I am trying to take baby steps from the evil distractions that the Internet has over my life. I will also be committing to not driving with my cell phone turned on. I need to focus more on the road and less on my social game so that I can keep my most precious treasures in life safe and sound. I feel liberated already!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

One last Hoo-rah!

WARNING: Obscene amount of photos in this post. My mom's computer does not have the collage option. Also, the words WILL NOT line up with the photos. I am about to lose it! So instead I have decided to take a deep breath and move on, realizing that most people don't even read the words anyway. So I hope it makes sense :)

So for those of you who don't know, I am down in AZ for my annual fun in the sun getaway. However, it is my last because my parents are selling this house as well as Liberty :( So I am here to make the most of every day. My dad rerouted his flight schedule to join me in SLC and fly with me to PHX. It was soooo nice to have him. Security is a hassle as is and then to try to squeeze through with two kids and a large stroller is a bit of an ordeal. It was so nice to have some extra hands and eyes helping with the girls.

Emma has come to AZ every year starting when she was only a week old. We are usually here over her birthday and do some form of celebration here. I decided to have one last little party here before my parents move. I am also trying to learn how to shoot in manual with my new camera and fiddle around with the different settings. It's definitely a work in progress but I think it makes SUCH a huge difference.

My dad went above and beyond again. He went out on his own with no help from my mom or I and bought Emma a really sweet card that matches her very own dress up gown. Seriously, what MAN does something like that? It meant so much to Emma and even more to me.

My parents surprised Emma with her first bike. She had no interest in one last year but was very excited at the thought of one this year. They secretly rolled it inside while she was opening gifts and she ran right past it without even noticing it. The picture below is of her very shocked and confused reaction when she did finally see the bike.

While Emma tried her new bike out Lydia was fussed over as the "snowbirds" made sure she was warm enough in the 60 degree evening weather.

I love this photo. I mean really. Who wouldn't want to name a baby after this woman? Thanks Jamie for the suggestion ;)

You can't totally see it in this photo but the girls were in matching outfits that my friend Natalie gave them when Lydia was born. Awwww, I absolutely love matching sibling outfits :)

We're having SO much fun and we're in no rush to come home!! More posts to come soon!