Sunday, February 28, 2010

My first and last solo

I sang the first solo of my life this past Thursday. It was at a Stake Relief Society "meeting". Have you seen or heard about the 10 Virgins Musical? I hadn't until last month when a girl from my ward called and conned me into participating. I specifically told her that I don't sing solos. She responded with, "Oh, you'll maybe only have like one line to yourself. The rest of it is group stuff."

Yeah, well, that one line turned into SIX PAGES.

I don't know why I didn't back out as soon as I found this out, but I thought it was an innocent mistake on her part. Later I found out she'd performed this program before so she knew that every single participant, all eleven of us (10 virgins + narrator) had a solo. When, on performance night, I finally kind of sort of confronted her (in a joking way) she feigned shock and said that she'd told me there'd be a solo.

Yeah, one line.

Anyway, I sang it. All six pages. On stage, lights off, spotlight on me, microphone and all. It was fine. I wasn't the best; I wasn't the worst (I don't think?). The program was a success. The Spirit was there. I didn't die. People offered compliments.

But I know my limitations. I'm comfortable singing with small groups and choirs. My voice needs others to b-l-e-n-d with. It knows when it's out there all alone, and it doesn't like it. So next time someone asks I'll be adamant. I DON'T SING SOLOS. Oh, wait. There won't be a next time. Pretty sure I took care of that on Thursday. . .

Mission Accomplished :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


How did this happen?

one day
one month

six months

one year
eighteen months
two years

three years

And we love her more and more every day.


Friday, February 26, 2010

My Brand New Niece

My little sister gave birth to her second child (first girl) this afternoon. Juliette Magdalena and Claire Ruby (who are both middle-named after this man) are going to be the best cousin-friends ever; I can just feel it.

Congratulations, Eddie and Chelsea!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

16 Weeks

Paige has said that Claire is the best baby ever, and I would have to agree except that she ties with Paige which makes her one of the best babies ever :)

At any rate, she is pretty great. From her cheerful gurgles and smiles in the mornings to her grumpy frustrated yelps in the evenings, I love EVERYTHING about that little baby. I even love when she gets really mad. Really, REALLY mad. It happened this evening. She decided she was hungry while Ben was changing her diaper, and she just exploded. Red face, tight fists, stiff legs, and yells. Not crying, YELLS. That baby can yell. Even Paige (the loudest kid in the universe) covers her ears. For some reason I react to Claire's infrequent yelling fits with laughter. I just can't help but smile. Maybe it's the sudden onset or the intensity and it takes me by surprise. Or maybe I can smile because I know it will stop just as quickly as it started. I think mostly I just appreciate that she knows what she wants and she is going to let you (me) know it too. I admire that. Anyway, she's definitely got a temper (now I wonder where she got that from....), although it doesn't show up often.

Some other things we love about Claire:
  • Her precious dimple (singular) - seriously it will make your heart melt
  • She's patient (mostly) and watchful
  • Those deep blue eyes (please stay blue!)
  • She falls asleep in her crib by herself
  • Her coos and goos - she gets especially talkative right before she gets tired
  • She takes a pacifier (so nice!)
  • Her snorts and horse noises (what's that called when horse's blow air through their lips? - Claire does that)
  • and that wonderfully intoxicating baby smell that makes me want to nibble her neck (and listen to her giggle) all day long
My mother once told me the reason she kept having kids is because she loves babies so much. I think I'd have to agree with her, because almost-3-year-olds?, yeah, not so much.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We took Paige to Build-A-Bear this morning for her Valentine's Day present.

I imagined she'd pick out a cute bear or maybe a puppy and we'd find an adorable outfit and the trip would almost be worth the $40 it'd cost for a stupid stuffed animal, 'cause at least it'd be cute and we'd have fun.

I was wrong.

Paige had fun, I was miserable (why was everything she picked out SO tacky?!), and we came home with quite possibly the ugliest creature ever built at Build-A-Bear.

Paige adores her frog, has undressed it too many times to count (only to ask me to put it's clothes right back on) and keeps referring to it as a boy and having it kiss me to turn me into a frog.

I think it might be awhile before we go back there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Furniture Shopping

Since we moved into our new-to-us c.1928 house last July, I have learned just how much money it takes to furnish a house (a lot more than I can spend and still be considered responsible), and how much time it takes to do it on a budget. Even after buying a refrigerator, washer/dryer, two sofas, an entertainment center, a kitchen table and chairs, three armchairs, two ottomans, furniture for the nursery, shelving, bookcases, storage bench, some bedding, and several accessories (all at the best deal I could find without waiting forever), our house does not yet feel completely finished. But I know that what makes a house a home are the relationships of the people who live there and the memories made there - not the fancy furniture and perfect decor... so I'm trying to be patient with my not quite finished living spaces. The better I am at being patient with it, the more fun it becomes to find those last finishing touches.

Back in August I found this Pottery Barn Kids magazine rack at DownEast Home (a great place to find discounted furniture and accessories) for more than half off the original price.

With my mother's encouragement I snatched it up, and Ben hung it in Paige's room to hold her books. Its espresso finish matched the cherry wood of her crib perfectly. But she moved out of the nursery in December and moved into a big girl bed and room which has no place to hold her books. Since there is limited floor space (old house = smallish rooms) I really wanted to get the same magazine rack in white for her room. But DownEast isn't the kind of place that carries the same things all the time, and I didn't want to pay the Pottery Barn Kids price tag.

Today while sorting through a stack of old mail I came across a catalog called Through the Country Door. I had never heard of this company before, never received a catalog, yet there on the front was a sticker telling me this could be my last one unless I ordered something. Both girls were napping so I thought I'd give it a look even though the style I'm going for in this house is more modern, more YHL, than country. And lo and behold what did I find? This.

Same dimensions, same materials, same everything, MUCH lower price,and it comes in white. I did a quick online search and found a 15% off promo code. Ordered :)

This or this
is what I might be saving up for next.

For any of you looking to get ideas or decorate for less, I like these sites:

And if you're ambitious/handy, take a look here:

Do you have any sites you like to go to for DIY or ideas for less? Please share.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ben's Side

We don't get to get together with Ben's side of the family very often, but we all met up for almost the whole week between Christmas and New Year's at Ben's sister's house in Oklahoma (thanks again, Em and Russ!). The last time we were all able to get together was 4 years ago in Michigan. Just look at how much we've changed (and grown)!



Monday, February 1, 2010

Princess Etiquette Class

On Saturday we attended a free princess etiquette class at our local Disney Store. The students came dressed in their finery and for 45 minutes learned how to curtsy, drink tea, and . . . I'm not sure what else because I was too busy talking to friends :)

The class was a bit slow-paced for 2 and 3 year olds, but Paige was so excited for an excuse to wear her dress-up clothes out of the house and show them off for all the mall to see.


Last week my sister and I took our little girls bowling for the first time. They were pretty cute in their tiny bowling shoes. They both cheered loudly for each other and waited excitedly as the ball SLOWLY rolled toward the pins.



Unfortunately these are the only pictures I got because some ladies 4 (FOUR!) lanes away said the flash was ruining their game. . .

Really? On a late Wednesday morning?