Friday, February 29, 2008

Family field TriP

(I thought this sign outside the museum was quite appropriate for a family shot!) Our field trip to the Phoenix art Museum was absolutely fabulous. It actually filled me with joy! I left feeling so enriched and uplifted. In large part because of my friend Darla who taught us. She is so passionate about art, and she just glows when she talks about it. She would lead us from painting to painting telling us the stories behind them, the artist's story as well, the tricks the artists uses to draw our attention to the story he wants to tell in the picture. The history we learn, the techniques. We were all so drawn in and captivated. The kids were as excited as I was. Darla, you have a gift. I can't wait to go back and take Dave. FYI, if you want a free date night the first friday night from 6-10pm it is free and there is a free tour at 6pm. I can't wait to learn more. Some painting just looking at them I wouldn't particularly like, but than when Darla explained about them I appreciated them so much more and actually enjoyed them. My eyes were really opened. So here are some pictures from our fabulous day. I wish I took some out on the patio where we enjoyed a fabulous organic and healthy lunch on a perfect arizona day. Wow. What a neat day. We came home exhausted, but we all had alot to share with Dave. I loved how interested Jacob was, and all of the questions that he asked Darla. I was surprised to hear that the Asian scroll paintings were his favorite. Walking in.... the anticipation and excitement of a day away from school. Jacob's belt buckle that he is so proud of and loves. yes, he is getting that age. Loving the little things that make him different and stand out. It reads on it to rub it for luck. Of course, only Jacob is allowed to, mom's orders. ha ha. This is Darla. I told you she glows when she talks about art. It is easy to love it too when she teaches you about it with such enthusiam.
two of the paintings that we learned alot about and loved. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of filling a child's brain with knowledge and light.

Now for the hands on part of our day. They have a children's area where the kids can touch things (absolutely no touching anywhere else). So I don't reccommend taking small children who like to touch everything. You are watched like a hawk in there. Seriously. The girls were so cute. They got so into it! This is the painting that they were sketching

I love Lizzie's expression as she looks up. She wants to be an artist when she grows up.

This is Lizzie's favorite thing to write. When I was reading from her school journal she brought home, they were asked what makes them happy. She wrote her Mom. Made me tear up. I will have to say that this was the best piece of art I saw all day. Smile. And I know the artist personally and that makes it all the more meaningful and priceless! smile

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

love being a mom

Being a mom is all I ever wanted. I wanted a comfortable and cozy home, a hardworking and God fearing husband, and children to love and teach. I have been blessed with all of those things and so much more. It is so much harder than I ever thought possible. It has pushed me to the limits of my abilities. It has painfully stretched me to grow wiser, in a very humbling way. But I wouldn't change it for the world. The family is God's way to help us become like Him, and I believe that with all my heart. All I need to do to become like God is be a mother and a wife. To do those two things well takes developement of every Godlike characteristic. Again, did I say it was easy? Sometimes I want to run and hide and never come back. But the truth is.... real joy in life comes through the family relationships. I also love the quote "happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ." Nothing could be truer than this. Dave and I have always struggled with some issues in our marriage. With the new year I wanted to work on some of those struggles. As always pride is the main reason that most things aren't resolved. I really really really want a marriage like Gordon and Marge (Hinkley-smile). I need to put up a big picture of the two of them where I can see it every day. I want that so bad. So, I decided that I want to get up early every morning and read scriptures and pray together. We also read a section of one of my favorite relationship books "The seven levels of intimacy" (it is so awesome! I highly reccommend it!) Can I tell you that our marriage has improved. Alot of pride has been removed, and replaced with more consideration and kindness. Another thing that I know has saved us many a time is going to the temple together at least once a month. Nothing softens your heart more, and gives you that eternal perspective back, and reminds you of who you are and what you want most, what true joy is and where it is found. So a big thanks to my incredible husband, who really is the one who is making this goal happen. As you know, I am not a morning person. He has been the one to wake me up every morning and make sure it always happens. More often than not he has to do all the reading. My voice and eyes don't even work right when I wake up. Pitiful I know. That is why I married Dave. He is Mr. Discipline. I need that for my undisciplined self. He is so steady and sure. How wonderful that is. I love him so much. Is our marriage perfect? Of course not, we aren't perfect. But we have the same goals in life. So girls, if you aren't married yet, here is a piece of advice. YOU HAVE TO MARRY SOMEONE WITH THE SAME GOALS AS YOU! Which is why we are taught at church to only marry someone who is a member of the church and worthy to take you to the temple. Not because members of our church are better people, but because than you will have similar goals. Without that, as I have witnessed, you will impose upon yourself alot of frustration and misery. Marriage is hard. Being one in purpose is crucial. Every choice you make in life is based upon your knowledge of who you are, where you came from, where you want to go. Anyway, as always, off I go a rambling. I started out saying that I love being a mom. The kids have half day today and I decided to take them out of school and go on a field trip. My lovely friend Darla is a docent at the Phoenix art museum and has agreed to give us a private tour. I am so excited. I have been wanting to do this for awhile. So I will be having a wonderful day with my kids learning and enjoying beauty today. More later on all the things I love about being a mom. Off on another adventure.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My new best friend

I don't know why but this little girl really likes me. I only know because her mom tells me so. She doesn't talk to me really. But apparently she talks to her mom about me all the time. She calls me Sister AVes. The expression above is usually the one I get. But her mom says that if she makes eye contact with you she likes you. ha ha. I'll take it. Little miss Lennon came along on a photo shoot with me, and I snuck in a few shots of her. I think you are wonderful too Lennon! I'll put some more up on my photography website here

Friday, February 22, 2008


More photos are up on my photography website. I had alot of fun with these. The one above I edited for a vintage feel, and added a texture to it. You can click on it to enlarge and see more closely. Oh I love photoshop. I learn more every day.
Right now I am starving and it is almost one a.m. I am back to work on losing weight. Did I tell you I went on vacation from that for awhile. ha ha. I say over and over in my mind a hundred times a day, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." If you say it enough you really do start to believe it. ha ha. Actually it is true. I was so inspired this past week by the successes of the other ladies in my weightloss support group. To see how their lives have changed and their self image, not from weightloss necessarily but from positive thinking. Our group is so awesome and so fun. We really support one another and cheer each other on in life. Thank you my dear sisters. How wonderful to have friends who watch over and care for you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

soft and yummy babies...

is there anything better?! Spent today doing alot of editing. Can't wait to share lots more tomorrow when I am done. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

on a lighter note

These are a couple of the little luxuries of life that I love. Sometimes I just have to splurge. Above is the greatest toilet paper on earth. It even has aloe in it. Below are crisco sticks. The greatest invention ever for a girl that loves to make chocolate chip cookies, but hates cleaning up a crisco mess. Again, it comes down to this pampering business that I am so into. Ok ok, you can call it spoiled. Is it wrong to want to be spoiled? Growing up the budget was really tight on food and household, so my parents could afford some extras for their kids like violin, and piano lessons. Which means the cheapest hardest toilet paper, the worst tasting toothpaste, and gross frozen orange juice. Not to say that I was unhappy about it. I was happy as a lark! You don't need name brands to be happy. But sheesh, it is a good thing that I didn't know what I was missing. I don't think I can ever go back after drinking Tropicana freshly squeezed orange juice. It is like heaven! My upbringing has just given me a greater appreciation for the little luxuries in life. I relish every one with such enthusiam that it makes me glad that I didn't always have them and take them for granted. If I could pick one word that describes my life it is Comfort. It makes me feel so safe and happy and grateful. It is the first thing I pray about and thank Heavenly Father for every night...that I am safe in a cozy bed, in a cozy house, with my cozy family. So many in this world suffer for the basic necessites of life. How blessed and grateful I am to have all that I need and more. I am so very very grateful, and hope that I am always found giving whatever I have to those in need. I am pretty sure I begged Heavenly Father to not come down to earth until they had invented air conditioning, and other modern conveniences. Oh man, I am spoiled aren't I?
p.s. fyi this kind of toilet paper I have only found at Walmart. The crisco sticks are cheapest there too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the Lucille bluth wink

You know what I love about the women in my family? We aren't afraid to pamper ourselves. We don't sit around and pout that our husband won't pamper us, we just get to work pampering ourselves. It is quite satisfying if you haven't tried it. While we all love to serve others, and are very devout in our conviction that loving and serving others is the most important thing we can do in this life. We don't believe in leaving ourselves out. ha ha. We don't get caught up in the trap that some women do of feeling guilty to spoil ourselves. What a talent, I know. ha ha. I am being serious in part. I do really really feel it is important to take time for yourself and make yourself pretty, and be the best you can be. Than you have the confidence and mental and emotional energy to give back to others. Does that make sense? I know it does to my sisters. I am not so sure about my dad. ha ha. I think he still thinks that just the men should do that. ha ha (gotcha Dad! Let's see if this gets a comment out of you. I am sure something about my being in my robe at 9am with hot chocolate and not out pulling weeds. ha) So to explain the picture above..this is my youngest sister Nicole on Christmas morning. So far in her family it consists of just her and her husband. Yet it became my Dad's big joke that almost every single present under the tree was for her and tyler (but mostly her). There sure were alot to her from Tyler and Santa, and neither had any idea what they were. ha ha. So out came the lotions, the cremes, the dvd's the cute shirts. With each came new expressions of joy and excitement from Nicole. Of course, I understood. If you want to feel pampered at Christmas, sometimes you have to take it into your own hands. I have done it myself, and it feels every bit as good. Hence, the Lucille Bluth wink (you know what I mean if you have seen arrested developement) from Nicole to me as she opened yet another splendid gift. I totally get it Nicole. And if you know me or my sisters you know that we are always very happy because we know how to keep ourselves happy, and that in turn makes our husbands and our children very happy. My sisters and I did get this from someone you know. We didn't come up with it ourselves. For years our joke to our mom was one of her favorite phrases, "for once in my life I am going to be selfish." Of course it was a joke because she always said it. So as they say the next generation always gets better. We don't feel guilty about it and make excuses or feel that it only needs to be once in our life. We should always be doing things for ourselves as well as doing for all who come into our life. So ladies, let go of the guilt already. Why don't you just run out and get yourself a pedicure, guilt free. You will still be a good mom and wife if you take time for yourself. I promise.

Monday, February 18, 2008

If you know me.....

If you really know me, you know that I love to be cozy in one of my cozy robes (I have a small fetish for robes). I am not a morning person. If I could, I would always spend every morning this way, at home, cozy of course, with a cup of hot cocoa. I especially love to have that hot cocoa in this particular mug. I bought this mug at a very wonderful place to me, and to my family. The place is the little store at fallen leaf lake. A place I will always love. Let me share with you why.Fallen Leaf Lake is one of the many small lakes in the Lake Tahoe area. We go to Lake Tahoe at least once a year. My Dad lives there and before my parents moved there in 1989 we went to Tahoe almost every summer for our family vacation. Tahoe is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It really smells good there too. How could it not, look at all those pines. There are so many places in the Tahoe area that have become our favorite spots that we have to visit every time we go. This is one of them. It is a small one way tiny road that takes you to this lake and until recently there have only been homes there of families that have passed them down for generations. The old store wasn't this big new fancy building pictured above. The old store on the lake that we used to come to is the one that Meg Ryan in city of Angels goes to buy some things right before she is killed (sorry if you haven't seen the movie. I am afraid I just ruined it for you. ha). I am not complaining about the new one though. We always come and get an ice-cream and sit on the porch and enjoy the beautiful, and peaceful view. We than take a look at the falls that are nearby and walk around. If it is hot and earlier in the day we may plan an afternoon of it, and I read a book while the kids play. Although I rarely can keep my attention to the book. Watching my children in this magical place usually wins out. Pure joy for me. Let me share some of the things that I see.

This i love.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Ladd

Is she not gorgeous?! If you remember the Maloy family shoot. This is Petra's mom. She is getting married. A love connection made in our own ward. She is so happy!!! That makes me very happy! Congratulations to the two love birds!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Leah Love

Pictured above is one of the nuttiest, and funniest kids you will ever meet. My daughter Leah. She isn't trying to be funny. In fact she often gets upset that we laugh at the things that she says. She takes life very seriously and tries very hard, I think that is a part of why she is so funny. She is always talking seriously about things and these things usually have a letter or two wrong in them. Examples from the last few days are vinder instead of binder. She is going to "fade out" which meant faint. She announced at dinner that she learned a new word "steadecki". We couldn't figure out what she was trying to say, and told her that wasn't a word. She than explained, "you know, when your hair is sticking up after you rub it?" She meant Static-y. Which isn't a word for something that has static either, but we understood than what she meant. She just hears things differently. And the list goes on and on. Everything is off by a letter or two. Above she is singing her heart out at Christmas time in her own world wearing her absolutely favorite shirt. She tries to wear it every day. Also above is a letter that she wrote to me at church last sunday. Do your kids do this? During sacrament meeting my kids are sending me non stop notes. Usually about how much they love dave and I. I guess that shows they are feeling the spirit. smile. I think this one in particular is so precious. It shows her serious thinking as well. She is very serious about the gospel as well. She tries to run Family home evening every week. She always has a lesson planned, and ready to go. Crack me up. Leah is also very fond of food. This morning I heard her asking Dave at 9:30 am for a sandwich and chips. She had already moved on to lunch. Food is very important to her and she loves to eat healthy. She is very devoted to the cause of stopping diabetes since she had an assembly about it in school. She has been talking about it for months. She is always wanting me to donate more money to the cause. I told her we are fighting diabetes by eating healthy. I mostly love Leah's pure heart. You can see it in her eyes. I hope she never loses her desire to do what is right. I love this girl.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

HappY VaLenTines Day!

I had a very happy day. I am just so grateful for all of the love that is in my life. To celebrate and remember that love I bought this festive bracelet from Target. I just couldn't resist. I can't wait to use it in photo shoots. I have alot of fun ideas I want to try with it. Coming up this month. I am going to dedicate my blog to sharing the things that I love both big and small. I am pretty sure that the month isn't long enough to share all the things, but I am going to try. Today I am sending love out to you, my fellow bloggers. If someone hasn't told you today that you are unique, special and wonderful give me a call. Celebrate the wonderful person that you are and your individual ability to give love, and touch the lives of others. We often don't realize how much we give. I think of one of my all time favorite movies "It's a wonderful life". It couldn't be truer. We actually have a great power for good. It is so amazing. So if you ever start to think that you don't make a difference, remember that thoughts that we don't matter, and what we do doesn't matter do not come from our Heavenly Father, but from someone who does not want us to be happy. HMMmm.... who could it be?.... let me think....Could it be Sa-TAn? ( I love the church lady skit from Saturday night live). All this to say, I love you and happy Valentines Day!
ps. Ms. Heidi Hill your note arrived today in the mail and it meant so much to me. It made me cry. The seemingly little things really do make all the difference. Thank you so much.
p.p.s. I forgot to mention ( and I promised I would) that Rebecca took the picture of me above. She is so proud.
p.p.p.s. Thank you Natalie for talking with me for an hour in Costco today. ha ha. I really love talking to you, and I appreciate your friendship so much. Thanks for the advice, it soothed my soul.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tomorrow's forecast

I just want to announce that tomorrow the high is going to be 77 degrees. Aren't you so jealous?! I better get to bed now so that I can enjoy it. smile.

Rebecca's photo shoot

Rebecca needed some special time with mom on saturday. She decided that she wanted me to do a photo shoot of her. We decided that Rachel would be her assistant and picked out outfits for her and did her hair, helped with props etc.. We had so much fun. We just drove around and stopped at places I have been wanting to try out. Here are a few. I found a new place too to try. Those will be coming up probably with the next kid, or maybe rebecca again. Leah is requesting the next photo shoot. but which of these above should I put on my photography blog? I love doing different looks with one photo and than I can't decide. I still need to edit a bunch more too. But when you aren't a paying customer you are put on the back burner. ha.
p.s. I just added a few more to my photography site. fun fun.