Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I am feeling the love this week. Let me tell you why.
Last Saturday my sweet in-laws decided to throw a little family baby shower for me and the bun in the oven. I felt silly since this is my second baby and I already have everything I need from the first one. But, I would never pass up a chance to be with those wonderful women and eat delicious food. Before the baby shower I headed up north a little early to grab some things at the craft store for an upcoming relief society project. I had about ten minutes to spare as I walked out of the store and put the key in my car and...nothing. My car was dead. Stranded in the parking lot of the Hobby Lobby while the rain was pouring down. I called Wes and he said to go to the baby shower and he would come up later and change the battery (he was at home watching Halle enjoying his first Saturday free from work. I felt terrible.)
I called my mother-in-law to come pick me up so I could make it to the baby shower while I left my car in the parking lot. Without even hesitating she said my father-in-law would come. She didn't have to ask him or anything, she just knew that sweet man would come even though it is his day off from work as well. He came. And he came with jumper cables. In a matter of minutes he jumped my car and told me to head over to the baby shower. While I did that he went and bought me a new battery and installed it while I was chatting and eating and opening gifts. No grumbling, no rolling of the eyes, no nothing. The guy was all smiles. I've always thought he was a saint, but Saturday sealed the deal for me. And Wes didn't have to spend an afternoon driving to come change my battery.
At the baby shower I was given so many sweet gifts and baby and I were totally spoiled. The food was fantastic and gorgeous and so much work was put into everything. More sweet service and love. My mother-in-law made my favorite salad and had a whole bit of it set aside so I could throw it all together at home another day. She just knows how much I love it. It is heavenly and she is so thoughtful.
I drove my car home and found Wes had spent the afternoon folding the mountain of laundry that had been waiting for me for the past few days. He hates folding laundry. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry.
What a day full of service.
Lately, service seems to be everywhere. On Sunday I made dinner for my brother and cousins who live in Provo. It is the only way I can get any of them to come see me. Food is very tempting, you know. After dinner we usually hang around and relax. Except this time my lovely cousin Jeni and her fiance didn't come downstairs for awhile. I didn't know if they were having special couple time or not so I waited a bit to go upstairs and put the leftovers away. When I went upstairs those two were just finishing cleaning up everything. Bless their hearts it was the sweetest thing.
Our ward has provided 16 meals for sick and afflicted families in the last month.
Even Halle is in on the love. Each time I drop something she says "I will pick it up for you." Even if she is in another room and she hears something drop she will come in and say "you need me to pick it up?" It is something so simple that she does for me that saves my pregnant self from bending over.
This pure love all these people have shown this week is amazing to me. I love that we have the beautiful ability to take care of other people. The ability to show love as our Savior taught us to do. Thank you to you sweet souls out there trying to lighten others burdens in any big or small way the way these people have done for me lately.
I'm hoping to look outside of myself a little bit more and spread more love to those around me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

snowed in

Some days after about nine thirty in the morning I look at Halle and think "now what do we do?" In the spring and summer this is my cue to take her to the park or to play outside. But in these cursed Utah winters that is just not an option. Freezing our buns off outside is not my idea of a good time and turning our brains to mush inside watching shows is not my idea of a great time either. On icky cold days we have a few standby activities we love to do inside the house.
Here are our top 10 favorite things to do inside.
1. watercolor and art: Halle loves to color, paint, paste, tracing, etc. Anything art she is all over. She loves to bead pony beads onto pipe cleaner. We make bracelets with them. The pipe cleaner helps the beads stay on because her little mind doesn't yet understand holding a flimsier material up so beads won't fall off. Watercolors are especially her favorite.
2. vacuum monster: We scatter a few of Halle's toys around a room. She has to pick up all her toys and get them to a safe place (bed, couch, chair) while I chase her with the vacuum. Two birds with one stone: entertainment and cleaning.
3. bubbles: Outside or in we love doing bubbles. I know doing bubbles inside freaks some people out, but they are harmless and Halle has turned into a pro bubble blower. And on slightly warmer days it is an easy way to take advantage of the sun and get some vitamin D.
4. blanket caves: We stuff a blanket into couch cushions and over the ottoman (we use beds too) to make a little cave. It is a fun little nook to bring stuffed animals and to eat snacks.
5. craft snacks: Turning snack time into a little project kills some time. Some of our favorites are making snowmen out of banana slices, pretzel sticks, chocolate chips, and apples. We also love making witches brew.
6. dress ups: It is no secret Halle loves to dress up. She gets a kick out of dressing up in my shirts or Wes's shirts with all kinds of shoes. When she dresses up she loves to act out scenes from her favorite movies.
7. gluing silly faces: We make a face on a piece of paper and have little eye, nose, mouth, hair, and earring shapes cut out ready for pasting. Not only does it teach them where the parts of the face go, but they can learn to use their little hands to glue as well.
8. puppet shows: This puppet stage was a gift we received with little finger puppets way before Halle was born. We love making up little stories with the animal puppets.
9. flashlights in a dark room: Halle loves a good scary game and exploring rooms with flashlights is perfect in our dark basement.
10. dance-a-lot robot songs: Halle's favorite part of nursery and joy school is when the kids get up and move. Dancing and making up moves to songs is another one of our favorite indoor activities. The Dance-A-Lot Robot songs found on the Disney channel are perfect for this. You can buy the songs on itunes. Our favorite is the dinosaur song. Disney songs are always a hit as well as pretending we are whales to the song "Baby Beluga" and we can't forget the ever annoying song "Who Let the Dogs Out."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

be my valentine

I love Valentine's Day.
I love that it is a day all about celebrating people you love and that it gives you just one more reason to show them you love them.First on my love list is my very own sweetheart. You forgot we were in love didn't you? Halle seems to be the focus of my postings, but yes we are still very much in love and were able to spend an afternoon together kikster-free on Saturday. We had lunch at the Mayan and went to a movie. A classic date we used to do before we had a baby. How is it possible that he still makes me laugh so hard? It never gets old. There is always something new to talk about or laugh about or (sadly) mock. Isn't that the best kind of Valentine? Sometimes I see older couples sitting at dinner just eating, never talking and I wonder if they have been married so long that there is nothing more to say. I don't think we will ever have that problem.
We picked up Halle after the movie and took her on her own special Valentine's day date to the Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery. Little miss Halle Bell is next on my love list. This little girl has stolen my heart and all my sleep. She is spunky, sweet, obedient, and way too smart for her
own good. All she wanted was a pink cupcake and she devoured it. We loved taking our little Valentine out just to celebrate her.
Third, comes little miss Lily Bell. We have reached 32 weeks and this girl is an acrobat. Halle was not nearly as active in the womb as she is. A sign of things to come? I sure hope not. I already love this girl and have felt many times that she is one special spirit. Last week Wes gave me a blessing that made me realize just how wonderful this new little one will be for our family and the unique role she will have in Halle's life.
Next on the love list is all our wonderful extended family and friends. We have an amazing support system both near and far. They show love to us and Halle by doing big and little things. To celebrate all of them we delivered little princess valentines to all Halle's neighborhood friends, all the kids at her joyschool, and mailed them to cousins. We made art creations for Grandparents and an aunt who lives very far away (shout out to Andi in NYC).
We spent the actual holiday eating heart shaped pancakes for breakfast.
We colored special Valentines for Dad and made special "thank you" note packages for nursery teachers and delivered them. This was probably Halle's favorite part of the day.
We baked a heart shaped pizza and opened a bottle of Martinelli's when Dad came home from work. A heart shaped pizza is about as romantic as I get. We ate the pizza and watched a little bit of Rugrats, per Halle's request. So if there were any thoughts of having a romantic night at all, they went out the window with Halle's choice of movie. We had family night about love in a family. And finally, Halle opened her Valentine gift from mom and dad.
Ever since I can remember my mom made it a tradition to give each of us kids a gift on Valentine's Day, so I thought I would pay it forward and do the same for my little ones. I love this beautiful day about love. The opportunity to serve or say thank you or just let someone know you love them (even if they are not your sweetheart) is something I could never pass up.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

potty training, round one

We had the undies. We had the mini princess potty that plays a song when you do your business. We had the special potty treats. And we had little miss Halle who seemed like she was ready to do this. The first two days of hard core training were going pretty great. She went in the potty a couple of times, heard the pretty song, got the potty treat (reese's are her current favorite), and seemed like she was recognizing when she had to go. And then something snapped. She started holding it and holding it and holding it and really holding it. I didn't think it was possible to hold it that much, but she did. She refused to go potty at all. Eventually, when I realized what she was doing, I told her it was okay for her to go in her diaper, but she still kept trying to hold it. It got to the point where she was always doing the potty dance around me telling me her bummy hurt, whining, not playing, and clinging to me. She wouldn't even let me be in another room to make her dinner. I had to be right by her side always. She would go potty about once a day. For three days she did this. She was pretty backed up and very miserable and didn't want to even look at the potty. I didn't either. I was so tired of hearing her tell me how sick she was and how much her bum hurt. So we're taking a break. I'm hoping she'll resume her normal "business" routines and then we'll try again.
Mommy and the toilet: 0 Halle and the diapers: 1

Thursday, February 10, 2011

just because i think she is adorable

and because i think she it getting too old and i don't want to miss any of it.
and because i said i would take more pictures of her.
and because i love her in leopard print, which is why she owns this and a leopard print faux fur coat.
and because she likes looking at pictures of herself, especially the ones where she is making faces.
and because she actually looks at the camera now.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


One Saturday afternoon we took Halle to the local bowling alley for the first time. I don't understand how she can have such an extensive vocabulary and string beautiful sentences together but can not say the word "bowling." She calls it "balling." And it has quickly become one of her favorite things to do. After just a few pushes she was so pro she was using the air for her hands every time she went to get a new ball. Also, don't try to hold the ball for her. It is totally uncool.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the goals

new year, new goals.
here we go.
  • Read the ensign every month. No more letting it sit on our book shelf unopened. A prophet speaks to us every month people, it may just be a little bit important.
  • Potty train Halle.
  • Have a true family home evening every Monday night. This means a song, prayer, and short lesson for Halle.
  • Make a warm breakfast for Wes once a week before he heads to work.*
  • Get back in shape after baby joins the family. Healthy eating, drinking lots of water, and back to running are on the list.
  • Read scriptures every night.
  • Write in my journal once a week.
  • Take more pictures and video of the kiddies. I seriously need to videotape Halle singing the songs that she makes up. She loves to sing about princess pirates and broken hearts. Too many princess love stories? Maybe so.*
  • Be more grateful for things people do for me and our family. Saying thank you more, more grateful prayers, or writing more thank you notes are all part of this goal.*
*These goals were added to the list today and so I am not accountable for them for the month of January.