Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can you overdocument an Anniversary?

We recently celebrated our 6th Wedding Anniversary.  Paul took me (with a lil' wifey hint, hint) to a unique Phoenix restaurant he found called St. Francis.  We had my brother's family watch Taya, and Dyllan accompanied us.  I tried to doll on up & off we went.  Yummo food, killer atmosphere (hence the abundance of pictures), and one & only type of company.  My only complaint was trying to ignore my knarly sinus infection headache/achy muscle symptoms ... but ignore I did  (sort of) & enjoy I did. 
Thanks Paul for a night on the town.  You know I love 'em.  And you.  Most definitely, you.

(50mm lenses make a tight self-portrait fit!)

The Good.

The Bad.

And the ugly.

Paul teased that those latter two are his favorites & for that, he gets a funky photo posted as well :)
His salmon was our favorite of the night.  It was perfect.

Actually, Dyllan's cheeks could have been the best thing to chew on all night.  Don't you just want to bite them?  ... softly I might add (as if I meant vigorously ...).

A little design admiration ...

A little vanity ...
(a lot of vanity actually, I don't think any post except my birth story has involved more pictures of myself, but I say it's a good thing for us moms.)
And a little more design admiration ... warped as it is.
This was a great night!  I can't believe it's been 6 years.  Every year feels like that though.  6 sounds closer to 10 (I know, just barely) & 10 will have just flown by like that. 
Thanks for the strength, dedication, laughs, fatherhood, husbandhood, & the love Loaf.

So can you overdocument an Anniversary?  Yes.  But can you like it?  Hope so. 

(On a side note, I love going to one of a kind places like this.  No more expensive than Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Changs, but everything is a first time experience.  There are a ton of unique restaurants in this valley.  We love finding them when we have an occassion to).

**This has been edited now.  Thanks for the photo HTML tip Lauren!**

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parlez-vous fran├žais?

 At Christmas time, my parents received their much anticipated mission call.  We, along with my brother's family gathered at my parents' house for the big opening of the mission call to see where they would be spending this next year and a half.  We connected with my other siblings over Skype.  We had all cast our predictions March-Madness style; my bro even laid out a map & pinned everyone's guesses - including friends' guesses.  Considering my parents' history of having simultaneously served missions in France & Belgium as young adults (their mission president told my dad to ask my mom out when they returned to BYU - and later told them he never suggested that to any other missionaries), and their verbalized willingness to go to a foreign speaking & or challenging mission, most predictions were for a French speaking mission. ... A lot of us predicted French speaking regions of Africa (as per my mom thinking that might be the spot & my dad excited about the idea of such foreign place).  And only one person, one little 3 year old girl guessed the correct location of their mission call -
and that was Taya (ok, so maybe I assigned a prediction for her name) - so do you want to know what she guessed that landed her the position of best grandchild in the family (finally firming up our suspicions anway)? 

Well, she guessed ...

Paris, France!

We are all so stoked for them.  This mission includes other areas of France & part of Belgium as well.  I know they will be such a blessing to those they encounter.  They both have so many wonderful skills, qualities & talents to offer, and most meaningfully to me, they are incredibly people oriented & service oriented.  We will miss them of course, but are really excited for the adventures, challenges, & wonderful times they are bound for. 

While they are gone, Paul, the girls & I will be living in their home. So once they leave in April, we will be moving into their home.
We had originally hoped to rent our house out while doing this, but have decided it is better for us to sell our home instead (well, short-sale). That has been a tough decision, not so much due to what we're losing, but just making peace with it (though I am feeling quite nostalgic about our home these days). The fact that this decision enables me to stay home with the girls, as well as gain other important blessings, has driven us in this direction and overall, we feel it is best.
So come Spring, we will be saying goodbye to this beloved territory & heading 22 minutes away : )   (Come visit!)
I know I will have many a chance to share my gushy love for you friends so close by, so I will wrap this post up since it is about my parents and not me!
They are busy, busy preparing & brushing up on their French.
I am proud of them & grateful for them, to say the least.

And to cheese up this post lil' league style:

Go get 'em Mom & Dad!

(yah, I really did just say that)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coming to Grips

There is a word that keeps coming to my mind lately:  paralyzed.  I realize that this or that feeling or the other sometimes paralyzes me into NO action.  For instance, I have such a hard time knowing who & what to vote for because I don't know what information is credible out there so I'm paralyzed into indecision on who to vote for right up until I'm taking pencil to ballot.  Or on seemingly smaller elections, I'm sometimes paralyzed into not voting at all.  This really bothers me because I do believe in being a devoted, participating citizen.  Anyway, something to improve on. 

And so the other key example that I've been paralyzed in (have you heard that word enough yet?) is .... blogging!  I'm sure this comes as no surprise.  But because I have elaborate blog posts come to mind, I end up putting them off until I can do them justice.  Then those memories & feelings are void of justice all together.  I'm probably stating a common problem. 
Oh yeah! (light bulb fills head that is filled with air), I think that's called 'writer's block'. 
... Writing ... I miss writing.  Which is why I need to just post; post anything.  I do feel like blogging can be a very good thing.  I have missed it.  So, this is my start.  Writing ... anything. 

So, let's see each other back here soon.  I am coming to grips with the fact that my stage of life right now is not conducive to my idealistic dreams of elaborate posts.  And so, I will not stay immovable.  I will blog.

(You like that dramatic conclusion don't you?  That's what I thought  ... I know you've missed me because I've missed me - and apparently my narcissism too). 
And on a note about much more important things ... my girls!  Taya is loving Joy School & has missed it over the Christmas break, and she is doing a great job on her new 12" training wheel bike that Santa gave her.  She is still as sweet a big sister to Dyllan as ever.  And she keeps us on our toes with smart plans to get what she wants (yikes) & wordy, witty comments throughout the day.  And Dyllan - has hit a development spurt lately.  She loves to jump on our laps, stand on our laps, roll around both ways everywhere, say 'dada, lala', & just for me, an occasional 'mama'.  She is showing more & more personality & smiles a lot.  Still a bald little q-tip of a head on a long body, with a beautiful smile - & I really say that oh so lovingly.  Parts of her look like Taya to us, but overall, she has her own look (somewhat resembling my sister, Tiffany's baby pictures, which is endearing to me). 

We had a wonderful Christmas.  Several times a day for weeks I thought to myself ... I love Christmas time.  I really do.  I am sad that it can be a hard time for some, but am happy that life is full of happiness & special gifts right now to make the season that much fuller.  I've been enjoying my new bike trailer that Paul gave me for Christmas, giving me the chance to take the girls on breezy bike rides ... As well as a couple of photography books.  Soon, I'll share more of the photos I've been taking and spending my hobby time on.  Perhaps 1 or 2 at a time without an in-depth post to go with it is how I should think of it ... after all, I am trying to come to grips, right?

Below, I'll leave you with 2 photos from our recent Thanksgiving/family reunion on my side:  And for kicks, see if you can find the 5 things I eliminated in photoshop in the first photo.  I think I would title the second photo:  'We ain't got no brains' - complete with my family's sense of humor & drama. 

(Do you think that I can wind up with a long post, complete with a couple of pictures - having lost parts of it, re-edited it more than once, taken forever and a day for pictures to upload on my computer, and still call this post 'Coming to grips'? ... Maybe it's 'Trying to come to grips'  : )  )