Thursday, August 27, 2009

git yer boots on

It's time for the County Fair!

And believe you me, we are up to our eyeballs in this. . .

and this. . .
and this (look under the lamb). . .

So maybe I'm not up to my eyeballs in any of that.

Maybe I'm standing nearby with a camera, wearing a cute skirt and flip flops.

But it feels like I'm up to my eyeballs.

Stay tuned. Because lucky for you, I can GUARANTEE. There's more where this comes from. . .

Monday, August 24, 2009

captured memories

Aaaaah, family pictures. Each year, the very thought makes me shudder. And smile. I shudder because the thought of finding coordinating clothing alone is daunting. Add to that finding a photographer, location, and . . .well, lets face it. . .simply arriving anywhere with all of us clean, looking snappy, and happy all at the same time is enough to make me quiver.

So, what about a family picture makes me smile? It's the after. The post-family picture moments, when we look back at that seemingly perfect, smiling family in the photograph and laugh at loud because we knew what it took to get there. Like the year (2007) when I was ushering everyone out the door to meet the photographer, just in time to find Emmy hiding in the bathroom with a container of hair gel. Plastered all over her sweet little head. The head I had worked so hard to wash, dry, and coif in timed perfection so it would still look nice by the time we had to go.

When it comes to family pictures, I always say you never know how many swear words lay beneath all of those smiles.

This year was no exception. The clothes, of course always give me a headache. It's not like I live in a booming metropolis that I can flit about in search of that missing puzzle piece. And even if I did, it's not as if I enjoy shopping enough to want to. And having Dad home long enough to snap the camera? Another toughie.

A day or two before our scheduled session, Courtney remarked, "It just seems like we go through this every year. I don't think you are learning your lesson." To which I then (calmly) responded, "What lesson would that be?" and explained the reason behind the yearly stress.

What happens one day if something unexpected happens to one of us or the girls? Hopefully, nothing will. But undoubtedly, twenty years from now, we won't remember this particular season of our lives without a picture to capture it forever in our memory. We might not remember the freckled noses, the toothless grins, and the chubby fingers. And to be truthful, there is just a certain reassurance that comes knowing that at least one time this year, we all arrived at a location wearing clean clothes and looking somewhat respectable, all at the same time.

Thank goodness we at least have a great friend who happens also to be an amazing photographer. That, right there, makes it much easier. And I love the name of Nicole's company, "Pixie Dust Photography". In my opinion, a good picture truly is like capturing pixie dust. It is magic.

And so, another year of shudders and smiles is behind us. And no, I haven't learned my lesson. I'm sure I'll set myself up for the headache again next year. It reminds me of something my Dad used to tell us. "It's hard to be beautiful". Boy, is that ever the truth.

Even if it's only once a year.

*As a side note for posterity, this location holds special meaning for Courtney and I. It is located in Fielding (the farming community where Courtney grew up), next to his boyhood home. From the time we dated in high school, we both loved this home. Once we were planning to get married, we both commented that if we ever built a home, we would want to build it to look like this one. We even once asked the owners if we could walk through it, but were told it was too dangerous now.
The night we had our pictures taken, we were thrilled to get peeks in through the old, leaded glass windows. To our amazement, the house is still filled with neat old furniture, sinks, and claw footed tubs. It's as if they just locked the door and walked away. What we wouldn't do to get our hands on that neat old "junk". We're suckers for old stuff. (If you get a call one night to bail us out of jail, you might know why. We just couldn't help ourselves.)
There's just something cozy about an old farmhouse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

skippy turns five!

It's true! Our little Emmy Summer is five years old, and she couldn't be more excited!

Her birthday was a pretty eventful day, as Uncle Josh and Aunt Kendra were married on the same day! We celebrated that morning with daddy's traditional birthday donuts (he talked her out of bacon cheeseburgers, which is what she had ordered for her birthday breakfast!).
Mommy and Daddy left for the temple, and Emmy was able to spend the day playing at Grandma C's house with her sisters and the Stosich boys, who were there playing for a few hours. That evening we had a little celebration at Grandma & Grandpa J's house. (Emphasis on little!) Last year we celebrated her birthday while Claire and I were in the hospital, and I wanted to make it special this year. Added to my worries was the fact she had been planning her birthday shin dig for months months! Her plans included a water party, ice skating, swimming, and on and on. When it worked out like it did, I was afraid she would be disappointed, but in typical Emmy style, she was oh so happy about her big day!
Her cousin Mckell made her the cutest cake, complete with a monkey, flowers, ladybugs, and a butterfly. She loved it and I loved that Mckell made it!

When we had asked Emmy whether she wanted clothes or toys for her birthday, she said "clothes!" And she was happy to get quite a few new sassy skirts and shirts for preschool. She only wears dresses or skirts- no shorts for this little gal!
In addition to her new duds, she received a little notebook, post-it notes, and a calculator. (She loves to be a secretary!) And we can't forget her pink baseball mitt. When I picked that out, her dad asked, "Does it have to be pink?" Sometimes we get a little heavy on the pink around here.

Even though Emmy is now a big five year old, we decided to wait another year before sending her off to kindergarten. Instead, she'll be going to Miss Jami's preschool (a first for our girls). And we can't forget ballet! She is SOOOOO excited to be starting ballet with Halle and has been wearing her leotard and skirt around all week. It's funny how with Ryenne, we were so antsy to get started with kindergarten, and now I'm hanging on just as long as I can. I guess I'm just realizing how fast they're growing up. I'm so glad I get Emmy to myself for one more year.
Happy Birthday Emmy Summer! You bring a happiness and laughter into our home that is unique only to you- thank you for making our hearts smile!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

sometimes it stinks to be the youngest

someday i'm gonna miss this. . .

It's almost time for school to start. Which means I've been wondering if I've enjoyed the summer enough. Summer and all of it's magic.

Summer is precious, because for these three months, the girls are all mine. Too soon they will be swallowed up by the school year and all that it brings. This is the last summer Ryenne will be 9. Next summer will find her even more grown up. . .a little taller, a bit more mature, and a smidgen less innocent. School does that.

So this week? I want to savor each minute. Hang out. Take naps. Cuddle with my girls. Let them play. I don't want to be responsible this week. I just want the girls to have a little more time to be children.

And while I haven't cleaned a toilet, put away the laundry, or mowed the lawn, I've looked around at my home in all of it's disordered glory from a different perspective. I realize that someday, my house will be clean again. My laundry will be caught up. I won't have post-it notes stuck on my mantle. No dollhouse or polly pockets strewn throughout the dining room.

And you know what I'm thinking? I'm pretty sure I'll miss it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

miss claire's first birthday

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since Claire has come into our family and changed our lives forever. She has been a complete joy and brings so much happiness into our home.

Those first scary days of her life, when she was in the NICU, the nurses always joked about how naughty she was at her birth. "You invited us all to your birthday party, and then you were so naughty!" they teased.

Well, a year later, it seemed as though Claire woke up knowing it was her big day, and this year she was going to enjoy every second! When we went in to get her out of her crib, she was all smiles.

Daddy thought we should celebrate the big day by having breakfast together at the Pie Dump.
Claire's sisters, of course, thought this was a great idea!

And the birthday girl was pretty happy with the idea, herself.
When it came time for the cake, however, she was all business.

Talented cousin Mckell treated us with her cake decorating talents by giving us her weekly cake project she made in her cake decorating class- a giant OREO. It's hard to tell how big it really is i this picture, but it was huge! We barely even made a dent!
We enjoyed a yummy dinner with all of the grandparents. Even Nana and Papa joined the party, which is the first of my kids parties they've been able to come to!
And then? . . .Yeah! Present time!
I know this makes us sound like the tackiest parents ever, but we didn't even buy Claire a gift. Earlier that day I dug into our storage and found all of the girl's old toys. They were still in such great shape it seemed silly to buy more, so we scrubbed them off and re-gifted them! (Claire: if you are reading this down the road, just know that you really, really loved them! Think of it as a savings for your college fund.)
Grandma's and Grandpa's gave lots of fun, new things too!

The hit of the day was the girl's old walker! Miss Claire thinks she is pretty big stuff!

Back and forth, around and around.

Happy 1st Birthday little Miss Claire! We are so happy you stayed to join our family. You light up our lives!