Packing

I am exhausted from packing for most of the day. The only other interesting thing that happened was Misty’s baby shower at Gourmandise. I love that bakery, and I actually had fun at this shower because there were only four other–nice!–people there, and the food was delicious. The only reason I originally went was because I love Misty, but I came away having enjoyed the whole event thoroughly.

Then it was nose-to-the-grindstone packing for the rest of the day. Well, sort of. Abe and I congratulated each other on how much we were getting done as we drifted off for a two hour nap in the middle of the day, but with that exception, the rest of the day revolved around putting stuff into boxes.

Here are the two pictures from Abe’s phone that we got today:

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Lydia was actually a phenomenal helper. I didn't just make up imaginary tasks for her like I sometimes do. She actually helped me a lot by fetching me things, helping me arrange stuff, and scooping packing peanuts wherever I needed them. She was a doll.

Lydia was actually a phenomenal helper. I didn’t just make up imaginary tasks for her like I sometimes do. She actually helped me a lot by fetching me things, helping me arrange stuff, and scooping packing peanuts wherever I needed them. She was a doll.

fix-it cut, the aviary, and Provo

This day was the kind of day that made me stop and feel grateful to be a stay at home mom. I enjoyed each part of the day. Even though I dropped Lydia off half an hour late to preschool, I didn’t panic (like I normally would) and feel like a terrible mom. I just figured I was doing my best, I didn’t yell at the girls to hurry, and the timing kind of fell where it did. What will be will be–I should have that attitude more often!

While Lydia was at preschool, I took Mary to Cookie Cutterz to get her haircut fixed, and then we went to the Aviary.

The store was selling lice deterrent leave in conditioner. Of course, I bought some. Apparently, rosemary is even better than tea tree at deterring lice. Duly noted. I will remember to ask Santa for a jug of Rosemary essential oils this Christmas.

The store was selling lice deterrent leave in conditioner. Of course, I bought some. Apparently, rosemary is even better than tea tree at deterring lice. Duly noted. I will remember to ask Santa for a jug of Rosemary essential oils this Christmas.

IMG_9949 IMG_9945 IMG_9942 IMG_9940Then we picked Lydia up and came home. While the girls were down for quiet time, I napped and researched essential oils, salt lamps, house plants, and diffusers. The experience I had with lice has made me very interested in homeopathic remedies, and now I’m convinced the reason we stay sick six months out of the year is because our home is filled with toxins. This winter I am going to invest in some of the above things and see if perhaps we stay healthier for it.

After daydreaming about filling my home with salt lamps, I dragged myself out of bed and folded laundry for an hour. It’s all folded! Just in time for more loads tomorrow! But hey, I will take it.

Then I loaded the girls in the car and drove to Provo. Abe’s work gave everyone free flu shots/nose sprays. After getting our sprays and shots, we drove to Abe’s friends’ house. Morgan and Jesse bought a house with my dream backyard in Provo, and Abe has been wanting to show it to me for a while. Afterward we drove around their neighborhood. We have looked at neighborhoods more than a few times since Abe transferred jobs, but we never find anything that seems to compare with how much we love the avenues. However, today we found a great neighborhood that resonated. It’s good to know that there are places in Provo where we won’t be abjectly miserable!

We sped home so I could be in time for my meeting…which went so well! I can’t put my finger on what it was, but I actually enjoyed the meeting. Perhaps I felt like I had more to contribute tonight, or I came away with legitimate action items that made me feel useful; whatever it was, I was grateful for an experience with my calling that made me like it more.

While I was at my meeting, Abe took pictures of the girls playing with their Happy Meal paraphernalia from Provo:

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And now we’re going to finish Stardust! I can’t wait. I had nightmares about the witches last night, but I still really want to find out what happens to everybody.

Sewing costumes, more whining, and sequiny pictures

Today was non stop. Abe ran to clean the church while I bathed the girls, made popovers, blew dry Lydia’s hair (a must with her new hairstyle, so said her stylist), and got everyone dressed.

I don't know why every mom in America doesn't make these. They take approximately the same amount of time as instant oatmeal to mix together, they're portable, and they don't make a crumbly mess!

I don’t know why these aren’t at least as normal as pancakes at the American breakfast table. They take approximately the same amount of time as instant oatmeal to mix together, they’re portable, and they don’t make a crumbly mess!

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After I shooed them out the door to Lydia’s dance class, I read scriptures and looked up witch costumes online.

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Then I hurried to the Primary program practice, during which I really struggled to feel like I was contributing.

Honestly, I’ve traced this eczema back and really feel like it was a stress reaction to my calling. I have never had eczema before, and I remember when I got the calling feeling like I was having an allergic reaction. Then all of the sudden: eczema! (without me knowing what it was). Yuck. I daydream every day about asking to be released, and then I feel guilty and decide to keep doing my duty. I heard a talk the other day about the different reasons why we serve (in order worst to best): to show off, duty, hope of eternal reward, and love of God. I do love God, but I am having trouble connecting serving in my calling to that love. I’ll think to myself, “Think of all Jesus did and does for you! This is NOTHING in comparison! Just serve out of gratitude!” and when that doesn’t work, “It could be worse! Think about all the other callings that you would hate even more!” ..but somehow I just can’t get my heart right. Sorry, God! You’ll have to fix up my heart since I just can’t seem to get it in the right place by myself. I’ll give You more time.

Then I picked up Lydia, took her to the Farmer’s market, the fabric store, and Trader Joe’s. After that, I came home and whipped out two little, very poor quality witch costumes. But the girls love them, and you can only see my sewing mistakes if you stand within a foot–or five–of the girls. Anyway, Grandma, what do you think? The girls are going to wear these for the Wee Witches night at Gardner Village this weekend.

I made the necklines waaaay too big on both capes, but I think I can fix it with a safety pin. Also, the skirts are ridiculously unprofessional, but from a (long) distance, you can't tell, right?

I made the necklines waaaay too big on both capes, but I think I can fix it with a safety pin. Also, the skirts are ridiculously unprofessional, but from a (long) distance, you can’t tell, right?

IMG_9657 IMG_9663 IMG_9664Then we went to the library, the park, and two more grocery stores before heading home for dinner.

Outside of the library doing "tricks."

Outside of the library doing “tricks.”

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Some random stranger came up to Abe at the park and raved about Mary's hair. I was in the car reading some cookbooks I'd just checked out from the library, but when Abe came back and told me, I felt so happy! Shallow, I know, but I cut her hair and have felt guilty ever since, especially since my hair cutting skills (HA!) are...searching  for the right word...nonexistent. But yay! Someone likes the cut!!

Some random stranger came up to Abe at the park and raved about Mary’s hair. I was in the car reading some cookbooks I’d just checked out from the library, but when Abe came back and told me, I felt so happy! Shallow, I know, but I cut her hair and have felt guilty ever since, especially since my hair cutting skills (HA!) are…searching for the right word…nonexistent. But yay! Someone likes the cut!!

Post birthday Sunday

Today after church and meetings, we headed over to Red Butte Gardens for an afternoon stroll (and to eat leftover birthday cake).

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All together!

All together!

Feeding the fishies.

Feeding the fishies.

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In the three bears' home.

In the three bears’ home.

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eating cake

eating cake

sep28pic20 sep28pic18 sep28pic19Then we came home and just chatted for a couple hours.

At one point, Abe came down to the kitchen after playing with the girls. He looked like this:

Abe is such a great dad. Tonight the girls made him the fairy in charge of bringing the treats in their tent. He complied.

Tonight the girls made him the fairy in charge of bringing the treats in their tent. He complied.

And now Clark and Swathi are about to catch their late night flight back to New York. I am blogging before I take them. I hope they end up here because it will be hard to see them go. It has been such a wonderful treat to be all together! Thanksgiving, when we’ll all be together again, can’t come soon enough!

Happy birthday, Mary!

I have thirty something pictures of today, so let’s get to it!

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

Mary woke up to see her new bicycle in the room. She climbed right out of her crib and went to it.

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She couldn't reach the pedals.

She couldn’t reach the pedals.

Abe solved that problem this way.

Abe solved that problem this way.

It was raining, so we went to the aquarium instead of the zoo.

sep27pic2 sep27pic3 sep27pic4 sep27pic1 sep27 sep27pic5 sep27pic6 sep27pic22Then we came home and had pizza for lunch.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it's her birthday, so I couldn't say no.

Mary finagled her way out of pizza and into a cookie. Funny how that happened, but it’s her birthday, so I couldn’t say no.

sep27pic8 sep27pic10 sep27pic9After lunch, Mary refused to nap. She didn’t want to miss a minute of her birthday! Instead, she ran around the house in the bugaboo necklace you gave her for Christmas, Grandma!

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She also played the piano…

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...and she played with Abe.

…and she played with Abe.

Abe took the girls outside to jump in puddles in the rain.

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Then I made dinner, and we celebrated Mary’s birthday with Tom, Suzanne, Clark, Swathi, Balu, and Mom.

We had Mary's favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

We had Mary’s favorite foods: Macaroni and cheese, squash, and salad.

And cake!

And cake!

Cake!

Cake!

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The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

The inside was scrumptious but skiwampus.

Then, gifts!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

A Minnie Mouse dress! Thanks, Nana!!

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Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases!

Grandma, the girls adore their new suitcases! Thank-you so much. It meant so much to Lydia to have a gift on Mary’s birthday. Also, thank-you for the garlic case you sent me–I LOVE it!!

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Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

Mary zipped and unzipped her suitcase for an hour. Thanks, Tom, for assisting patiently that WHOLE time!

With all of her gifts. Happy birthday, sweet Mary! We adore you!!

With all of her gifts. sep28pic13 sep28pic12 sep28pic11Happy birthday, Mary! We adore you!

 

dinner prep

Today I basically spent the whole day preparing for my primary dinner with Judy Jardine, Lira French and her two kids. I decided to do something simple, but it ended up taking the entire day. While Lydia was at preschool, Mary and I shopped almost the whole time, although we managed to squeeze in story time at the library.

Mary loves to say, “Oh, nooooo!” during books, and during story time she went crazy with that expression. The librarians kept looking back at her and smiling because every time something bad happened in story time, she’d say, “Oh, noooo!” in her darling little voice. We were all enchanted.

Then we came home and I fed the girls lunch.  Afterward, Lydia and I made cake together.IMG_9439After Lydia and I made cake, Lydia played in the dining room until she fell asleep on the floor.

IMG_9442Grandma, she was wearing the attire she told you about on the phone the other day. She thinks those teething balls make a really great bracelet.

After dinner, I vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, sanitized the upstairs bathroom, and polished all the hard floors downstairs.

I came upstairs to find the girls playing sweetly in the closet. Mary looked up, grinned at me and said, “Big mess!” She pulled down a small tower of toys as she said that.

"Big Mess!"

“Big Mess!”

Then Abe played chase with the girls to try to tire them out. They are still awake two hours later, so I kind of think we’ll have to try a more soothing approach in the future…

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Chatty Sunday

I had to do sharing time for the first time today. Last night I had so many qualms about that and other aspects of my calling that I almost decided to ask to be released, but then I decided to stick with it and endure. Sharing time wasn’t a complete disaster, and the time went by faster than expected.

After church, I got to see Maria again! It was so rejuvenating to visit with her again. I should have taken a picture.

After dropping her off at the airport, I came home and made dinner before Fallon, Audrey, Vera and Eli came over. We only got three pictures today.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

A Bon Appetit recipe for tuna melts, tomato salad, and Izze.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and Mary liked hers.

Eli liked his, too.

Eli liked his, too.

I basically talked to Fallon for hours. She was so fun. I got a lot of friend chatting in today, and it was really, really nice. That kind of keeps me going these days, it seems.

Now I am really excited to get to bed at a reasonable time and start off the week well-rested. Tomorrow my floors need SERIOUS attention, not to mention the mountains of laundry, sheets and other cleaning.

Beautiful September Saturday

This morning, while Lydia was at dance, Mary, Abe and I shared a cup of cocoa and strolled through the lovely neighborhood near Lydia’s studio. We went to a yard sale and walked to a park, although by the time we got to the park, it was time to turn around and go pick up Lydia.

On our walk

On our walk

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can't stay in Salt Lake forever...

My ideal house, right in the beautiful neighborhood we explored. Too bad we can’t stay in Salt Lake forever…

Lydia before ballet

Lydia before ballet

 

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

Lydia during the tap dance part of her class

After dance, we came home and hung out in our yard. Anique came for a visit and to pick some apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Fleur and Lydia eating apples.

Then we went to the Avenues Street Fair.

After the fair, we headed down to Provo for a birthday party for Olivia. Elsa was there!
sep12pic7 sep12pic6Then we came home, I planned my Primary lesson, and grocery shopped for the week. Now I can’t wait to get back to The Mists of Avalon.

The Mists of Avalon

I designated today my Get-Well day, and since I couldn’t go back to sleep after Abe left, I started at 5:30 by nestling in a cozy chair and reading…for the next fourteen hours. I did feed the kids a couple times and take care of their basic necessities, but other than that, they were on their own.

I am currently engrossed in The Mists of Avalon. Fourteen hours later, I am only halfway through it (page 446 as I type), but it is fascinating! Since I couldn’t bear to put it down, I didn’t manage to snap pictures until I sat down at the computer to do homework and blog.

Chase with Daddy!

Chase with Daddy!

Trying to escape from Daddy...and, as you can see, the bed isn't made because I was in it with my book all day. Lydia and I never made it out of our pajamas...

Trying to escape from Daddy…and, as you can see, the bed isn’t made because I was in it with my book all day. Lydia and I never made it out of our pajamas…

Naked babies after the bath.

Naked babies after the bath.

The only other thing of note was that Abe had an amazing work week!! He hit his quota early, and it looks like he’ll double it in the next week. Go, Abe, go! We’re so proud of you!!

Hodge Podge Wednesday

This morning we woke up to discover our house had been “heart attacked” by my friend, Kristin! Before she left for the airport, she did this to several parts of the house. She is amazing. I feel like the hearts are little blessings, and I’m not too eager to take them down.

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sep10pic3sep10pic5At 11 am I went to Institute. Tad Callister, author of The Infinite Atonement, was the speaker. I derived a lot of comfort from his presentation.

Afterward, I took the girls outside to pick grapes:

sep10Then we came home and had a play date with Sophia and Max. Misty had to take that icky glucose test you take when pregnant, so I watched the kids while she endured that. I love her kids, so it was a win-win situation.

IMG_9421Then we had quiet time, and Lydia actually took a nap! Lalitha and Eden stopped by during her nap, but since Lydia was sleeping, they just picked apples instead.

I read to the girls for hours today, and my throat really hurts, despite the six hour rest I gave it at school tonight (I don’t talk there unless I absolutely have to). Tonight was Austria night at school:

red snapper and a corn chowder.

red snapper and a corn chowder.

German apple pancake

German apple pancake

meats in puff pastry

meats in puff pastry

duck, endives, and rosti

duck, endives, and rosti

While I was at school, Abe took the girls out to the park and to Isabella’s house. Lydia was disappointed none of her friends were at the park, but she decided to make a friend with a girl named Azalea. Abe said that the two were inseparable all evening. However, he only took pictures of Mary and Lydia.

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