Saturday, December 15, 2007

What do our Christmas traditions and symbols mean?

What do our Christmas traditions and symbols mean?

I appreciated these reminders of what our Christmas symbols mean, so that even though I know not everyone may think of these things in relation to Christmas stars, red and green, etc., at least I can be reminded of why Christmas is so important when I view these symbols. I am so grateful for the birth, life & example, sacrifice & resurrection of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

STAR: A sign of promise. God had promised a Savior for the world and the star was a sign of fulfillment of that promise.

RED: The first color of Christmas. It was first used by the faithful people to remind them of the blood that was shed for them by the Savior. Red is a symbol of the gift of God.

CHRISTMAS TREE: Green is the second color of Christmas. The pure green color of the fir tree stays green year round. This represents our promise of everlasting life. All the needles point upward, just as our thoughts should point toward Heaven.

THE BELL: The lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell. The bell can encourage men to 'return to the fold'. All are precious in the sight of the Lord.

THE CANDLE: The candle 'shows man's thanks for that star of long ago'. Originally, candles were placed on trees and in windows to remind them of the star of David. Now we use lights instead of candles, but they hold the same meaning.

THE BOW: The bow tied around each gift reminds us that 'we should all be tied to our brothers in the bonds of goodwill to each other'. The bow sends us a message of good will forever.

THE CANDY CANE: The Shepherd's staff. The crook on the staff brings strayed sheep back to the flock. The candy cane symbolizes that we are our brother's keeper.

THE WREATH: The eternal nature of love. 'It never ceases, stops, or ends. It is a continuous round of love, like eternity.'

SANTA CLAUS: 'The gift of love and of life, the ending of evil, the ceasing of strife.'

Friday, December 14, 2007

Looking for some laughter?

Please watch this SNL clip (and yes, it's clean) ... Paul and I laughed so hard at this (and I don't think we were just slaphappy, but then again, who knows) .... Will Forte's part is the funny part, then it is followed by a Jack Black song that really isn't as funny.

Anyhow, watch it! (It wouldn't let me post as a video, so copy the link here. Apparently it won't work as an active link either, but I promise it's worth the work!):

Toupe for the little one?

Paul has made up a new nickname for Taya: 'Toup' (sounded out as TUPE), short for 'Toupee', yes, as in a man's Toupee or hairpiece.
Can you see why?

Apparently, a little hairloss on the sides is cause enough for a father to nickname his daughter 'Toup'. Is there such thing as Rogain for babies?

.... Are we mean or what?

Friday, November 30, 2007

And the Dr. Says ...

Taya's hips are officially, officially NORMAL!! Yay!!! She's free!!!! (And diaper changes, nursing, and holding our little babe are officially easier! No more harness!! Taya wore this harness for the first three months - okay well, we may have cheated a little bit near the end.)
A lot of you know that after Taya was born, the doctors thought she might have a problem with her hip called Hip Dysplasia. Well after several check-ups with the Orthopedic Surgeon and several ultrasounds/X-rays done on her hips, the Dr. officially proclaimed Taya's hips as NORMAL yesterday at her last check-up! Things had been looking pretty good from her ultrasounds/x-rays recently, but it was just nice to hear the Dr. say that she is officially in the clear. Hip Dysplasia is basically when the ball of the hip does not stay in place - in socket because the socket itself is too shallow (if that makes any sense).
Now Taya has better things to do like pull on her toes and roll over!!
And we are certainly grateful for that!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Random Things ...

Color. That's right. I'm grateful for color. I'm trying to choose these subjects at random, can you tell? I like to choose subjects that will make you think - oh yeah, I don't think of that too often.
Aren't you glad that this world has color? It adds beauty and interest to literally everything!!! I love color in scenery. I love natural greens, blues, beiges, reds ... not to mention the thousands of colors splashed about in flowers and landscape around the world. The colors found in various foods are even fascinating (okay, am I sounding dorky enough here?). And if you didn't guess - I love color because of what it does for interiors! We can describe ourselves through our homes (as well as our clothes, our cars, our make-up, the exterior of our homes) with color, and we can create a certain 'feel' that we're longing for. I love the calming and subtle effect that our family room, living room and hallway have on us with their gray greens. What if God had created an all gray or all white or all black world? I think life would actually be significantly different. So thank goodness we have color!

Anyhow, that's my random thankful note for the moment. After all, who says we shouldn't be grateful after Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another thing to be grateful for...

Health & Mobility. I just don't think I could ever be grateful enough for health and mobility. I remember one of my dance teachers at BYU talking about how grateful we should be for our bodies and our use of them. Her message really impressed me at that time. What if you could not dance, swim, hike, play tennis, ... even use your hands for arts & projects ..... whatever it is that you enjoy doing, let alone simply living day to day? I don't feel like I can express how strongly I feel about this - I am SO thankful to be healthy. We never know when our good health or mobility is going to be taken away from us. So this is one thing I want to express my gratitude for this Thanksgiving.

(Now maybe I can just show it more by exercising more regularly!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One random thing I'm thankful for...

Water. Isn't it one of those simple things we take for granted? You know those times when you're so thirsty that gulping down that glass of water feels like you've practically had your life saved? I was drinking a glass of water the other night and just thought - Man, I love water, isn't it amazing? It's almost like a magical liquid that God gives us - it's clear, beautiful in mass amounts, very good for us, and it hardly tastes so it's not like anyone could dislike it. I should post a cool picture of water and start posting things I'm thankful for during this Thankful month. (Yes these were my thoughts - it was very late at night).

Well, I couldn't post a picture of water because they're all copyrighted, but look at this website if you feel like looking at great art based around photographs of water.

Okay, can you tell I'm desparate for post ideas?

And this is why I'm teased ...

Just so you know, Jana loves me most.

Sidenote: If some of us 'tease the ones we love the most', then I am loved most by a lot of people!! Especially my siblings and some of my college friends! And definitely my husband.

Not that I'm flattering myself or anything.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Belated Halloween Pics!

Taya didn't swing from a branch very well when we tried it, so we finally just put her on the ground - the little monkey!
I've never seen a monkey lounge quite like this, have you?
Who knew Octopus's and Monkeys could be friends? .... This is Taya's good little friend, Lydia or Lydi as we call her (Melanie's daughter) - they are 10 months apart - can you believe how much they grow?!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Destined to be the 'clingy girlfriend'?

Uh oh ... looks like Taya is the clingy girlfriend type! She's got ahold of Hunka Hunka Julian & he doesn't like it!

Things get a little crazy when he tries to tell her that he "just wants to be friends" ...
Or on a different note, does Taya think they're on a roller coaster ride?

Please advise: These pillows are for decoration only and not for use.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Me? Alert??

Strangers and friends keep telling my mom how 'alert' I seem to be. And they always say just that - 'alert'.
I don't know what they're talking about.
Do you???

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A photoshoot for the little one...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

He had a question for me?

Listen to this song - it has about the cutest and best lyrics for a wedding proposal doesn't it? And it's not cheesy either! Well, this is the song that Paul had playing in the car as we pulled up to the memorable place where he proposed to me three years ago come this Halloween weekend. Yes this was playing before he finally gave a REAL proposal - after 2+ fake ones!!!! Here is our story:

First off, when I was finishing up at BYU and Paul had already graduated and was living/working in Las Vegas by family, we were set up on a blind date by our sisters who knew each other. So we spent a lot of weekends back and forth in Vegas and in Utah. We kept talking about dates we wanted to do in Park City & Sundance in Utah, but never did them. I moved to Vegas and we kept dating. Well we had already begun 'marriage talk' and were heading to Utah for the weekend to visit family/friends. Well, the more you get to know me, the more you'll find out that I tend to plan and dream up a lot of things in my head - ahead of time - this drives Paul crazy! SO -- there was little surprise left for his marriage proposal - or so I thought! I had dreamt of being proposed to in Park City or Sundance because of the natural beauty and those being places near where we had spent some of our dating days. Paul knew me well enough to know that I probably knew he would propose that weekend.

It started on Friday night when I was getting ready in the bathroom for us to go out with some friends. Paul came into the bathroom and hugged me from behind. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box and said "Open it" with a big ol' smile --- My head was saying 'Ummm, what? What is going on? Is this happening already? And is he really doing it this way with absolutely no build-up, no 'Will you marry me?', no bended knee, and in the bathroom of all places?!' ........ My mouth was saying "Uh why ... uhh ... ok.... uhhh...." Then Paul finally opened the box and a pair of earrings laughed me in the face, but not as much as Paul did!! I turned redder than the red shirt I was wearing and simultaneously laughed and started shaking because I was so flustered and embarrassed -- I was in the bedroom across the hall with the door closed, sweating and shaking before either Paul or I even knew it. Paul likes to tell people that I reacted this way because I was furious. Paul - I am not that shallow! I was simply flustered beyond belief - here my heart was pounding like crazy, I was sweating, and all of a sudden I was looking at earrings - I felt so presumptuous and tricked at the same time! Well, we went out with friends and all was fine ... but it left me very curious of course. Would he propose later that night, the next day, would he even propose that weekend?

Next day: We hung out with family, etc. etc. ... Then Paul asked me from the other room to grab his sweatshirt for him off the family room couch (we were staying at his sister's house) and bring it to him. Well, I grabbed the sweatshirt and a ring box falls out of the sweatshirt pocket onto the couch - a different ring box! My head was saying again - 'What?' Paul walks in from the other room and says "Open it". I open the box giving him a look like - I know what you're doing. This is just another joke! Well, it was a ring! Oh wait, no it wasn't! ...It was a lone necklace pendent in a ring shape with a small rhinestone at the head - it looked like a ring at first - and it got me all tripped up again! But I was getting used to this. There was no running into the next room for me this time.

Later that night: We went on a nice date, I was dressed up and looking my attempted best because I thought this might be it - I mean, how cruel could my boyfriend be? We drive to Park City and we have 'dinner reservations'. We walk around for a while in Park City before our 'dinner reservations' and I am just dreaming of Paul proposing to me across the table of a nice restaurant. Paul said we needed to get to our dinner reservations and he walks me to the car and we start driving away from Park City - back towards Orem where we were staying. I'm thinking - 'Huh, I thought our dinner reservations were in Park City - is he not proposing?'. But then on the way back through Provo Canyon, he all of a sudden turns off at Sundance - and we go to eat at a wonderful restaurant at Sundance. I was getting so nervous and excited. This had to be it. At one point during dinner, Paul reached across the table and held my hands. He started rubbing my left ring finger and grinning - pretty much laughing. But that was it! We finished our dinner and started walking straight to the car - not around the beautiful Sundance grounds - no nice walk by a creek with a proposal coming up. I was so confused!!! We started driving back down the canyon again, and all of a sudden Paul pulls off and starts playing this song 'Question' by the Old 97's - the one that is playing on my profile. Then - as we pull up to our destination I get it!!! 'Oh my gosh' I think ... 'He is taking me to the canyon park where we had our third date that was followed by our first kiss .... Duuhhh Breanne'. This song ended as we pulled up to the park. Paul turned on the headlights to light up the park - it was pitch black outside. I remember seeing our long silouettes ahead of us as we both walked out into the middle of the park shaking with excitement. I felt like a little kid. Paul stopped AND THEN FINALLY!!! He got down on bended knee - but then he said "Just kidding!!" ---
Okay, he is not that cruel. This was actually it this time. Paul beautifully proposed to me in this moment.
All in all, I loved it despite the torture! Paul knew I loved surprises (and the ring was a surprise by the way - he had picked out the diamond and had it put on a silver band with a special message engraved on it - we later had the diamond used in the final ring that we designed), but he also knew that I saw it coming - or did I? Yes, he tricked me good. But all with a much anticipated wonderful ending!!
I apologize for the overdone length of this! I told you in an earlier blog - I can't make things short! I'm just not good at it!
Now I am tagging all of my girlfriends. I want to hear some proposal stories. Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I know - one of these is blurry, but it shows her smile best! Yes, Taya started smiling at us a couple of weeks ago and it is so cute! She smiles more and more, but it is still rare enough that Paul and I call each other into the room to come see it all the time. Her coos and goos and gaahhs are also the funnest things to hear.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ode To Grandparents

It's beautiful to see two people who love your child almost as much as you do.
Taya made grandchild #13 for my parents. #14 is due in October and will even the numbers out to 7 boys & 7 girls.

Monday, August 27, 2007

7 Random Things About Me

So Melanie 'tagged' me on a different list, but I'm going to choose this list off of her profile instead ... this should be pretty easy because I have forever been a random person .... let's see what we come up with:

1. I found out recently that when referring to 'Eggo' waffles, I always say 'Leggo My Eggo' - but not knowingly ... Paul pointed it out recently and then I caught myself saying it again today when my sister asked what I was doing on our phone conversation & I told her I was eating 'Leggo My Eggos'
2. I had a lisp on my S's until I was age 12; I said them like the little red headed boy, Winthrop on the movie 'Music Man' -- maybe not quite as badly as him, but even as I say that I'm thinking 'well, probably just as bad'
3. I am double jointed: I can put my elbows in front of my body and if I flip my hair over my face, it looks like the back of my body. I can also stand with my legs facing outwards and keep my knees touching and still have 1' of space between my heels -- you'd have to see it to make sense I'm sure ... and there is more
4. I can't be short; i.e. That intro; I made a conscious decision to make it short & it was still a bit long ... as in I over explain things ... and different friends have made me so aware of it in the past that I am often consciously trying to shorten things instead! .... and this is one fine example where I didn't shorten it! (This can't have made sense to anyone)
5. I chopped my bangs off when I was 4 and my mom decided the only thing left to do with my hair was chop it all off ... so I looked like a little boy wearing girl clothes while I was 4 & 5 yrs. old. My older siblings called me things like Brian ... & Breanne the Man ... just one example of the youngest child teasings I received - yep, I'm milkin it now huh?
6. I had hideous teeth as a youngin - I suppose a lot of kids do for a little while, but I even had an extra tooth comin out the top above one of my other front side teeth -- thank goodness for braces (2 1/2 yrs.)
7. Among things I wanted to be growing up (even currently or until recent years with a couple of them), I wanted to be a dentist, a broadway performer, a cosmetologist, a wedding planner, a high school counselor, a screen writer for commercials, a music therapist, perhaps secretly a singer or actress, a voice teacher, a photographer, a news anchor, run a performing arts/dance studio with my dance friends, an interior designer/decorator ...... and I think the list goes on

Did I mention that I can't keep things short & I tend to over explain??
Maybe later I will do a 'Random Things list about Paul' .... watch out Paul!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mother To Child

Mother To Child
By Carol Lynn Pearson

Your little fist
Fits mine
Like the pit
In a plum.

I think,
In the time
Before remembering,
These two hands
Clasped companionably,
Then parted.

Help me, child.
Forgive me
When I fail you.
I'm your mother,
But in the end
Merely an older equal
Doing her faltering best
For a dear
Small friend.

You know you've been housebound when ...

You know you've been housebound when you have no idea what day or date it is.

You know you've been housebound when you have no idea what the weather is like (although who's guessing, it's between 107 Degrees & 117 I'm sure).

You know you've been housebound when you primp to go out and get the mail (and this is the only way you know what the weather is like).

And ........

You know you've been housebound when ... you're watching a sitcom with your husband and you laugh hard outloud ... and the sitcom joke you laughed at was so dumb that your husband looks over at you and honestly asks 'What?' ..... and you sheepishly say, 'well I thought that joke was funny .... at the time'

(I'm sure some of you have a million 'You know you've been housebound when .....' - any challengers?)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wink & a Smile

This picture epitomizes the joy that Taya has brought and is bringing into our lives. We love her so much & are so happy to have her. There are challenging times, but the difference to me seems to be that they are meaningful challenges. Maybe I am still really excited as a new parent, but I don't forsee this changing too much.

Don't you like bath time too?

Styling in her crib

Yes, we're ready to have this baby...

Waiting for Taya

Maternity Photos

These are a couple of many photos that my friend Jana took of me a week and a half before I had Taya. Jana is truly talented at photography & asked me if I would be her guinny pig for practicing maternity photos. I said sure! This one bares the belly a little bit, but I decided to post it anyway b/c it is one of my favorites and shows Jana's great skills.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Whatever comes to my mind...

Hmmm ... let's see how well I keep this blog up! Well that intro makes people maintain their interest I'm sure!

Don't you wish there were more dynamics to use in typing than exclamation points -- and even happy faces? I always find myself using both of these and looking at it like - no, that misrepresents what I'm trying to say ... especially with those smiley faces, I feel so cheesy (and some friends would love to tell me how I am), but they just don't describe what I'm trying to say, but they seem to be the only option sometimes :) :) :) :) I should look into patenting a whole new set of typing dynamics (should I end that with an exclamation point or smiley face? - neither would do it quite right, but neither would a simple period) .... !

Well, here we go: What's going on in our lives right now? Oh that's right - TAYA .... our beautiful little 3 week old Taya Kathryn Johnson (pronounced Teh-ya, not Ty-ah). She is so cute & lovable! And that I do - I love my little baby girl! I think I'm in love too!

Our little darling is starting to give us some 'parental experience' in the evenings. She wants to eat, but she doesn't; she wants to sleep, but she doesn't, she wants to be held, but does she really? .... she wants to cry, and she does. Well, I didn't mean to go right into that -- perhaps I shouldn't even have mentioned it. I will say though - that it is pretty amazing how things are different when it is your own child; instead of getting annoyed when your daughter cries, you just want to solve the problem & nurture her instead. I like that feeling.

We enjoy our days - and nights with Taya beyond measure. Paul is being such a good dad & husband! I didn't know just how helpful he was going to be! I appreciate it so much!

Taya is learning very quickly. She is following high contrasting images with her eyes very well and should be ready to work on the alphabet & numbers by next week for sure. I need a bumper sticker on my car that says 'Honor Roll Baby on Board'. Has anyone seen where I can buy one?

I'll let you know how the alphabet & numbers go next week. Expect big things!


(do people sign their names at the end of their blogs? Probably not - I'm new to this - but I suppose I can do whatever I want! It's my blog!)