Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Sent from my mobile.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Foyer adventures

I told my kids we weren't leaving for church until they cleaned the guinea pig cages. Perhaps they thought I wouldn't REALLY enforce that, since getting to church on time is a bigger priority than most anything else.
So they dawdled.
Little do they realize that teaching them I MEAN what I SAY is a big priority too. So... we were late for our first time! Fortunately not too late - we made it in time for Sacrament - but too late to get a row big enough for our fam (unless we wanted to go to the front, but I wasn't about to make a scene like that).
They love going to church, and didn't like sitting outside, so hopefully this teaches a good lesson and we'll be an obedient AND punctual family next time :)

It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic

Most mornings, I only find that one or two of them have crawled into bed with me between the time Daddy gets up (an hour or so before me) and the time I'm up. But this particular morning... Brian found ALL of them had snuck their way into the cozy mama bed.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Princess and the Bunny

I love that she will go hang out with Carrot, our boy bunny in his big outside cage.  
I *don't* love that she is doing it in her cute Sunday dress ;/

Courtney the Party Planner

I came home and she had orchestrated a whole party plan. It was adorable. She had juice and snacks out, and had cleared the front room for a big dance party. There were more elaborate details involved that she excitedly squealed out in one long breath after another. Games, contests, etc. 
Now if she were only as excited about CLEANING UP the party as she was about creating it ;)

Staring contest with the oven

They were so mesmerized watching their mini pizzas bake.  It was fun because we used the broil setting (oven not working right,  regular setting not working)  so the pizza was turning brown quickly.  So cute seeing their little braided heads together πŸ’›πŸ• 

Backdoor Bunny

Back in dance class!

The Greatest Movie!

Annalee and I went to see The Greatest Showman while Brian took the girls to the Ball and Bennett hung out with Nathan.
 This kind of thing isn't typical for me... I don't initiate movie outings for practical reasons,  and if I do,  I go with Brian or kids or mom/sisters. But I thought Annalee would appreciate the invite cuz we'd both been super eager to see it after hearing everyone rave about it. Well they weren't exaggerating!! It was amazing!! Seriously one of my top favorite movies ever. I'm going to hunt down the piano sheet music! And give a copy to Annalee!  It was fun to see her so super excited about it too πŸ˜„
I'm not bringing my kids though. They're too young. A lot of parents would disagree. I just don't want to expose them to adult themes. They don't need to grow up any faster!

Daddy Daughter dance πŸ’ƒ πŸ’ƒ πŸ’ƒ πŸ’ƒ πŸ‘¨

I love that Brian got to spend the evening helping these girls have a magical night! We made a big deal out of getting ready - glitter eyeshadow lipstick and all.  I feel like I nailed Lily's hair, which I'm especially proud of considering I was in a rush, and I'm not usually that great at hair styles. But I want to get better (add that to my list of things I wanna get better at,  ha!)
I'm so glad we got to bring Lily and I hope she knows how much we love her just like our own.  


Warm drinks on a cold day got me all like 😊😊😊

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The best gift to give Meredith on her 32nd

I like to make a big deal about Meredith's birthdays. 
I usually go all out and do something fun. Like on her 30th... surprised her with a trip to Disneyland. 
Last year,  threw a huge party at my house.
But just days before this one I didn't have a solid plan! 
I had a few little gifts ready... A shirt,  some floss piks, new protein powder with shaker bottle.... I wanted to do more,  something practical and generous,  but gift cards are so boring. 
Store credit to Fred Meyer... In the form of really huge embarrassing items she has to return first!!!
Size 42DD bras,  massive silky grandma undies,  loud big men's boxers....IT WAS SO FUNNY!  All with a convenient gift receipt :) All she's gotta do it take it to customer service, explain that it was too small πŸ€£πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†πŸ˜…πŸ˜ and she can buy anything else at Fred Meyer.  Boring stuff like groceries.  But the most unforgettable shopping trip ever!! 

In the [ballet] army now

Brianna just started up ballet again. She did it a little bit a couple years ago.
Personally I'd rather she didn't. It's a hassle to add *another* extracurricular to our already packed schedule. 
But she wanted to so badly,  and if she doesn't do it now... Well it's not really something most girls jump into during their teens. 
We lucked out and there was a spot in a level 3 class at the studio nearest us.
 Actually there are 3 studios near us.  This one is STRICT. 
The instructor likes all her ducks in a row. 
She's intimidating but sweet. 
And the class is a challenge for Brianna - these girls have been doing formal classes for years.
It'll be an interesting year and I'm sure I'll be glad in June when it's all over.  

Friday, December 29, 2017

Can't even haaaandle all the presents from Nonny!

Bennett loves the aquarium...?


This is dedication. Oooor insanity.

Driving thru a blizzard to visit Sammy and the Temple!  
Usually takes 30 min or less to get there. Took a full 45. 
Had a few "Jesus take the wheel" moments... but made it through safely!
Totally worth it. I love going to the temple. And I love visiting with Sammy. Hung out with her for half an hour and didn't wanna leave, but needed to drive home before it got too dark and even scarier to drive!

Christiansen Cousins!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Visiting Great Grandma Smith

  Brian sent this to me and it made my heart so happy!! I want to go visit her too, sometime soon. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Gift for Grandma Smith

Having Brian drop off a little photo book of our family Thanksgiving party plus the 2018 family calendar to Grandma on his way through Bountiful! She'll love it.  I miss her.  

Adorable Charity

"I wanna bring all my stuffies on the drive to youtube!"
Sorry baby,  just choose one stuffy to bring to... Utah... πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜†πŸ˜…

That's my man!

I asked him to get a makeshift pergola cover up,  and he did it! 

Now we've got 2 of them!

BacaBaca needed a friend.  Guinea piggies are herd animals.
  So I put an ad on Craigslist and got a response the day before Christmas Eve!
We arranged for the surprise on Christmas Day.
The kids were in heaven!
Her name is Chrissy. 


This girl knows how to listen to her body!
No school,  stuck inside all day... She needed to get her energy out! So she asked if she could use the treadmill! Funny girl.  I was pretty surprised at her request.  But of course said yes! She was so cute on it,  and actually has pretty good natural running form and good endurance! 


I've been looking forward to posting these for months!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

The best present I could give Brian his year

No more mortgage!
It's done! 
We now own our house.  All of it.  
Brian was completely overwhelmed.  He knew we were close to paying it off,  but thought we were still a year or two away.  He doesn't pay close attention to our finances,  that's my job. 
So I got it done... and framed the final statement! 
Not joking.  Ever.  No child birth or movie ever elicited tears.  But I got a solid one or two and a sniff from this one :) This has been his dream for years.  Dudes like to feel financially successful and this was his personal definition of it.  πŸ€£πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‹

Friday, December 22, 2017

The joy of giving

It's so awesome to see my kids get crazy excited about what gifts they're getting each other.  Brianna was doing her squealing-jump-up-and-down dance when she found the perfect gifts - LOL Dolls for Charity,  Shopkins for Courtney,  etc.  I'm so proud of her for earning all the money to buy things herself and buying it herself.  She worked hard and saved!
Courtney and Bennett got a little help from me πŸ˜‰ They had a bit of money they'd saved,  but not enough at all,  so I made them a deal that if they spent a set amount of time working hard at doing chores and cleaning up at home, I'd let them pick presents they really thought their siblings would love and I paid for them. Pretty good deal,  eh? It's hard cuz I want to teach them the value of money,  earning it all,  what things actually cost....but I also want them to experience the joy of gift giving.  It's so fun to buy or make a present you know the other person will just love.  

No school? Hit the pool!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Santa Claus comes to our town!

I love living in a neighborhood where they do things like this πŸ’š❤️πŸ’š❤️πŸ’šπŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ€ΆπŸ»

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 Christmas Card(s)

I got very indecisive and ended up spending way too much time making this happen. The red one is what we finally ended up printing our 200 (!!!) copies of!