SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!

Right now light fluffy flakes are making an on and off appearance outside our house and blanketing the entire Seattle/Tacoma area. Every time it happens, this show sends me off into a whirlwind of feelings. First, magical wonderment. When I open my eyes and see unusual light pouring through my window, I know why. I peek out to see a fresh, sparkling, untouched blanket. Enough excitement runs through me to wake me up and push me out of bed. I try to share this brief feeling with my baby while pointing outside and repeating in a baby voice, "snow!", "snow!". Second, fear. We switch on the morning news to get the riveting details on the effects this beauty is causing us. Roads closed, car accidents, WDOT isn't enough to go around, freezing temperatures... Third, cozy. Realizing none of us are headed anywhere I feel like turning on the fire, making waffles and watching Elf...right up until Phil tells me he still has to work. (whatever). Fourth, disappointed. I'm beginning to remember all of the things we need to do or want to do that day that are either work or holiday related and I start thinking how they'll need to be postponed until later. Fifth, safe. I realize how blessed we are to have everyone safe and sound in our nice warm home that is conveniently within walking distance to Albertsons :) Good luck to everyone enduring/enjoying the elements!

CHRISTMAS FAVORITES: BOOKS

Hey all, I am really excited because I've almost got all my Christmas shopping done. Wahoo! Hopefully, I'll be left over with enough time to figure out anything I forgot or to put on any finishing touches that fit in the budget. I know gifts have a huge materialistic side, but I love them. I love that I get to give them and is it bad to admit I love getting them? But it's this nice big cycle of giving and it's fun. There is nothing better than getting someone something they really wanted. On that note I'm wondering if I've gotten Ryder enough Christmas gifts? First, of all he doesn't really know what's going on, but I wonder should we spend as much on him as Phil and I spend on each other? Is it bad if we don't? Should you take into the adult gift$:childgift$ ratio? I just don't know... Anyhow, on to "Christmas Favorites: Books Edition". All through growing up my mom collected these great Christmas books. Typically children's books with beautifully illustrated pages. When we got out the Christmas decor, a major high-light was bringing up the "Christmas media" box where all these books, movies and music lived for the rest of the year. My mom now has an amazing collection that I hope to match as my children grow up. So many Decembers I'd either read them before bed or by the sole lights of the Christmas Village (yet another one of my mom's amazing collections). I highly reccommend all these books for your personal collection. And this isn't all my favorites, since I only have room and time for a few, here are my tops. Let me know if you want any more good suggestions. Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard H. Schneider: Sooooo good. I love, love this one. It's an "olden times" tale, if you will, about the importance of inner beauty. It makes me tear up thinking about it. The Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dykes version: This is the book that somehow became "the book" ya know the book you read on Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve my family has an FHE/program of sorts where we all do something and then we bear our testimony of Christ (love it). Well either my brother or my sister would always be in charge of reading "The Other Wise Man". Such a great story about being like the Savior...although I do remember one year my siblings and I getting profuse giggles about the phrase "nodding poppies"...I dunno. Sorry, mom. My sister got this book for me last Christmas. Isn't she great? The first of my personal collection! The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry: I can't find illustrations from the one my mom has, but this one is close enough. I know there are a lot of versions to this classic tale, but the one I grew up reading had a red cover with a matching case with Jim, Della, the chain, the combs and that dreaded cutting hair scene. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen: This classic was one of the first books my mom ever bought, which is why I think it's one of my favorites. The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean: I'm not the biggest fan of Michael McLean, but I really loved this story and the music that went along with it. What are your favorite Christmas books?

CHRISTMAS FAVORITES: MOVIES

So my friend, Jeanelle, posted a bunch of here Christmas favorites. I thought it was a rather fun idea, so I thought I'd do the same starting with movies. White Christmas: The dancing is AMAZING and the romantic, charming storyline doesn't get any better than this. My sister, mom, cousins, and aunt have watched many times together, which is probably one of the main reasons I love it so much. We get a kick out of how small and then cinched Vera-Ellen's (plays Judy) waist is. {A little movie trivia: I actually read that she suffered from anorexia and they made her entire wardrobe for the movie include turtlenecks to hide her aging neck that was apparently a side-effect of the disease. By my, my that woman can dance.} P.S. It's all the housekeepers fault! A Muppet's Christmas Carol: Somehow it became "The Movie". You know, the one you watch every Christmas Eve after opening your new jammies. Love it. Favorite take on the famous Christmas tale. It's quite funny too. Lots of memories tied up in this one. A Christmas Story: I always hated this one when I was younger. I thought why does everyone like this old fashioned movie with a boring grown-up voice in the background? Then, my sense of humor developed. It's not Christmas until you've watched this movie at least once. Elf: Although newer to the mix, it easily falls into the favorite category. There is also "It's a Wonderful Life", "The Santa Clause" and not to mention the great (albeit sometimes cheesy) Hallmark and ABC Family movies. Really try and catch "A Boyfriend for Christmas" (cheesy, but good) and "A Silent Night" (This year's new favorite. Even Phil liked this one).

THIS MOTHER'S CHRISTMAS LIST

Dear Santa, I think I've been a pretty good (decent) girl this year, so it would really help me out if, maybe, I could find a few of the below items underneath my tree Christmas morning...
  1. Batteries. I always need batteries for the many baby toys, clocks and remotes going dead around here.
  2. A custom-made barrier to keep my baby boy from getting in the kitchen that is perhaps a little more discreet than the kitchen table/toy chest combo we've got going on right now.
  3. Another one of those for our glass fireplace cover that can get up to 300 degrees. I miss my cozy winter fires.
  4. A kitchen sprayer...ours broke, which would usually mean I would just choose not to use it...if it weren't for the problem being that is the only place water will come out of. It's April Fool's day every day around here!
  5. Diapers & wipes
  6. Plastic sheet covers
  7. Tweezerman Tweezers
  8. Nair
  9. A bra or two...or three or four
  10. A label maker
  11. A chia pet...(just joking, Santa)
Thanks & Merry Christmas! Always a Believer, Jazzy

OH, HELLO YOU

Goodness me, where does the time go? I miss blogging and for some reason have found it hard to find the time to do so these last couple of weeks. I never posted a Happy Thanksgiving. I never posted about all the things I was grateful for. I forgot our camera over Thankgiving so there are no pictures to post. AND I colored and cut my hair without mentioning a word of it to any of you (miracles happen). What's my problem? I think a lot of it has to do with the holidays. Besides a busier schedule I feel as though my creative energies are used up through other outlets... and perhaps a bit of laziness. Anyhow, no matter the reason, here is a list of some of the things we've been up to along followed by a list of the things I am terribly grateful for: What we've been up to...
  • First of all, Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving with Phil's parents and little sister, Jaimie. We drove up to Whistler, BC to go skiing. We spent most of Wednesday evening in the car. Ryder was a great sport for the 5 hour drive both ways. We spent most of Thursday attempting the slopes. A little more drama then we had hoped for...lets just say taking it involved searching for a never-existing lodge that only got us stuck with Ryder atop a freezing cold moutain. Again, he was a trooper. I felt horrible. There was a lack of planning on our part that made a bunch of tiny mistakes accumulate into a one big one. I hope I never have to see Phil skiing while holding one of our babies again. (We are very blessed Phil could ski in his sleep if he had to and that Ryder fell asleep during the whole thing. But still...)
  • Once we had arrived safely back to the bottom Phil's parents took us to a Thanksgiving buffet at the Hilton which was delicious and returned back to our condo to watch a couple of movies in good old Thanksgiving fashion. The next day, we scoped out Whistler Village where it started snowing BEAUTIFUL big snow flakes and then started our journey home.
  • Saturday morning (the very next day) we were up bright and early to go to the temple. Jaimie (Phil's little sister) received her endowments. She reports to the MTC February 4 to start training for a her mission in Slovenia. It was one of my more memorable visits to the temple. Great morning.
  • The rest of this week I was busy practicing to sing and play at our Relief Society enrichment party on Tuesday (by myself) and for a ward Christmas party this morning (with the band). Tuesday went okay, although I felt it wasn't my best, but I was a lot more nervous than usual for some reason. Today's gig went great. Things always go smoother when your relaxed and having fun.
I am grateful for...
  • My boys. Oh they are cute and wonderful. Last night I wasn't feeling well, so I just sat there on the couch watching them both as Phil fed Ryder dinner and got him ready for bed and thought to myself how rather lucky I am. I'm smitten with them both.
  • Family. Oh how I missed my family over the holidays!!! Phil and I are so blessed to have such wonderful families.
  • The temple.
  • Elder Wirthlin. Many of his words have had a great impact on me. One of my favorite quotes is "Kindness is the essence of a celestial life".
  • Our home and other wants and necessities.
  • Christmas!
  • Health and happiness
  • Our ward
  • Blogging
Well, that's just a few anyhow. A belated Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!!

WOW

I am so productive this week! To start off I went to the Department of Licensing and no worries people, I didn't have to take the test! It's amazing what a wink, a smile and a few flattering words can get ya! Or maybe I got the nicest lady on the planet who didn't even look at my proof of residency. She saw I had a WA address on my info sheet and a rambunctious little boy and put me on through. Phew! I was so excited. Phil brought me home some poinsettias for "passing" my drivers test. [for those of you in my same situation, I think the thirty-day thing only applies if you get caught (pulled-over, in an accident, etc.) that you get penalized for not having your license updated in a timely manner. Probably best, however, to learn from my mistake and just go get it done.] However, the day wasn't done there. Later in the afternoon, we had Ryder's 15 mo. check-up where he was declared healthy as a horse and thought whatever place this was that let him hang around in his diedo (diaper) and socks all day was totally awesome! Until...the shots. He got three including his flu and for some reason watching him this time was only a little short of pure agony. But he is a brave one, that boy. As soon as we walked out I immediately saw a bowl of succors on a receptionist's desk and with out hesitation sternly asked (like I dare you to tell me no) if I could have one and immediately shoved it in Ryder's mouth. So sad. For some reason this round of vaccinations seemed the hardest to me. I think it may have been because there was one more shot than usual and the dosages (and needles) seemed a bit larger. (Maybe it was all in my head). And finally, Phil and I went to the dentist this morning!!! {woot, woot, Hip-hip hooray, Way to go, You guys rock!} So we're a little excited because we both may not have been in the past 5-6 years. Whatever. Minor detail. So to say the least, Phil and I (especially me, because I HATE the dentist) were embarrassed and a little nervous about what they'd find. I am happy to report that it went very well! It was an all around pleasant experience. Phil had no problems, I have three baby cavities that probably won't require getting numbed and we were both told we were in pretty good shape along with detailed updates and helpful hints. Again, phew). I have resigned myself to taking extra great care of my teeth the best I can. It's unfortunate it's taken me this long, but now I can see the numerous positive effects this can have. Plus, my toothies feel sooo clean. And there you have it folks! Can you believe how productive I've been this week! I can't. One day I'll be on top of all these things, but until then, I'm going to be very proud of what I do get done. I also tried to fit in a hair cut this week, but it just wasn't happening so it had to get pushed until next Tuesday. That's fun though.

SCARED

So lately, I feel like I haven't done so well about living in the moment, and found myself getting stressed about all of the things ahead of us and I've also been rather saddened by the response to Prop 8 getting past (goodness gracious), but I had one of those rejuvenating Sundays where I got my oil lamp filled and felt determined to be patient, happy and just chill out, ya know. But then I get tossed a REAL curve ball. Well, I had on my to do list for this week to finally get my Washington State drivers license (I know, it's been like what? Two years now?? Huh.) Anyhow, we we're going skiing in Canada over Thanksgiving and I found out that Washington residents get a discount on their lift pass if we purchase them before this Friday. So--better time than ever to declare my Washington state residency, right? An annoying errand, but it must be done. Well, as I started checking the website and gathering all my ID and proofs, I read that I was supposed to have done this 30 days within becoming a resident. WHAT!?!? And if I didn't, I have to retake the written and driving tests! WHAT?!?! I've never liked driving or cars and its for reasons like this. Now an annoying errand has turned into a stressful nightmare! First, I have to go tomorrow and hope with all my heart they'll lightly scan my documents take an unflattering photo of my head and be done. I've already prepped, hi-lighted and strategically folded my documents so only necessary information is obviously stated and any other information that might casually lead to the fact that I've been here for more than 30 days will be overlooked. I also plan to look well-groomed and put-together. However, if I am ousted, as Phil would say if I you do the crime you have to pay the time. (He on the other hand is finding this whole situation rather amusing.) Yup, that's right I get to re-live drivers ed. Oh goody. Doesn't graduating from high school mean anything anymore? I have to take a written exam and a driving test. I have to study, make an appointment, and come back to take them. And if I don't pass... oh, I can't even think it. Oh the pit in my stomach! Did I mention I hate tests. Then, not only do I still have to pay $50 to get my stupid license, but I don't even get the discount on my lift ticket! Holy shnikeys, I'm nervous. I'm going to wake up and go first thing in the morning so it can be over and done with. Wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes. And yes, I do realize that this isn't that big of a deal. But for some reason that thought doesn't make the pit in my stomach go away.

ME, ME, ME

Howdy! Well, this looks like fun. Thanks AnnMarie, for tagging me! (ha, that rhymes!)

8 THINGS ABOUT ME

8 Favorite TV Shows:

  • Chuck
  • Eli Stone
  • Gilmore Girls (they show reruns on the ABC family channel)
  • Divine Design
  • 24 (new season starts in a couple of weeks, just in case you weren't aware!)
  • Lost
  • I'm kinda diggin' Fringe
  • Oh, the Amazing Race, how could I forget!

8 Things I Did Yesterday: (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

  • Cleaned the casa
  • Played with Ryder
  • Made a dentist appointment. Woot, woot!
  • Went Running
  • Played with Ryder some more
  • Fed Ryder dinner
  • Gave Ryder a bath
  • Watched a movie and ate pizza with Phil
8 Things I Look Forward To:
  • Visiting my family at Christmas
  • 2009 and all that entails
  • Our future children, hopefully
  • moving back to Utah one day
  • Hopefully learning more about graphic design and web design (I have a dream!)
  • Seeing Peanut grow older
  • Growing my hair long again
  • Waking up to some very cute boys every morning

8 Favorite Restaurants:

  • Spiros
  • Olive Garden
  • Cafe Rio
  • Taco Time
  • McDonalds (it's true, people)
  • Fredrico's
  • I kinda eat at the same places all the time.
  • I like breakfast food places like IHOP, Village Inn, etc. They always make me feel like I'm on vacation.

8 Things On My Wish List:

  • a nice house that comfortably accommodates my family, decorating and organizing needs
  • Good health for everyone I love
  • Storage
  • To sell our condo this summer (wishes don't have to be realistic, do they?)
  • To find some way to become a graphic designer
  • A nice Mac that helps me along with that last one
  • Safety for my family
  • A craft room

HOLY OCTOBER, BATMAN

So--here is the rundown of October in picture format. I found that I had made like this rule with myself that I couldn't post until I had these all done. Well, now they're done and so my blogging freedom returns! Wahoo! Anyhow, as you will see October was a very busy month, indeed...
Halloween
My Mom & Dad's Visit
Lunch Date

HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS SING!

So the other day I was talking to my good friend Laura on the phone (mid October, I'd say) and she divulged to me that she had already whipped out the Christmas music. Having, earlier, made a promise to myself that I wouldn't start listening to those blessed holiday tunes until after Thanksgiving, I told her that I was going to hold out a little longer. I think I lasted 24 more hours. Can you blame me? I mean, I was making pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins, for heaven's sake! How could I not? Anyhow, I'm glad I did. I really do feel like Halloween and Thanksgiving are, yes, wonderful holidays in themselves, but at the same time a prelude (no pun intended) to Christmas. And oh, how I love it. Plus, I figure it's a lot better to love something TOO much as opposed loving it just enough.

HELLO, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

...and good-bye light. It hurts me to see you disappear for 14 hours of every day during this bleak season. If it weren't for your absence I would love everything about this Northwestern climate of ours. Yes, even all that rain. Luckily, there is the glow and cheer of the holidays to carry us until Christmas, but after that, it's all about Starbucks. But for the rest of us who don't drink coffee, we just get a little sad and aren't sure why until one glorious day in April, we see you and feel you and there is hope in the world again. Missing you, until then.

MY DAD SAID...

Some of you had been asking about my dad's reaction to my little "joke" . Well, I sent it via email, the only response I got from from my dad was, "How did you do that?". Not a phone call, not a "wow, you're amazing, how can I ever be as cool as you?" reaction that I was expecting. But when I did see him later that week he did tell me in more detail how I totally freaked him out and had him pondering the whole morning as to how on earth could I do something like that and if I could do it, then he was sure he could do it. So, I was left satisfied. Thanks again Jason and Shauna! Oh. And hello! Happy Halloween people!!!

OH, HELLO

I've been a little less inclined to blog these last few days because of my WEEKEND O' FUN! Yup, my parents came to see us and so, of course, we had to make the best of it and do lots of fun things and have a really good time {sigh}. I will post more details about it later, when I have the photos ready, but until then, I must say how much I love my parents. It always does me a world of good to see their beautiful faces. Another great thing that happened this weekend was my wonderful friend, Laura, brought me this totally cute door mat! Why? Because she's cute and nice and knew I liked owls. It's more for Halloween, but I'm pretty certain I'm leaving it up through Thanksgiving. And maybe then some. Finally, some other thoughts:
  • I love that gas prices are going down. Wahhooo!
  • Running. It's hard. I was getting back on the horse. Got a little sick last week, and I'm having a hard time getting the little engine up the hill this week. I just feel so tired lately? What's my prob? Probably that I'm not doing anything. Hehe. Any good cold weather workout motivations out there?
  • What is your favorite Christmas song (of a more spiritual nature)? I want to learn to play a really cool one this season on my guitar.
  • I still have a Utah driver's license. I don't know how I've lasted this long, but when I heard a story about Brittney Spears getting fined/arrested/ordered to court...whatever it was... because she didn't have a California license and just a Louisiana one, I thought, "Oh no! I could be Brittney." It's currently at the top of my to do list.
  • And finally, a few beautiful fall views of sweet Seattle...

GOOD JOKE

So yesterday, my friend Shauna, informs me that her brother was at the Apple Store and saw who he thought was my dad. Not quite sure, he inconspicuously took some photos with his phone and sent them to Shauna to see if it really was him. It was. And now I'm in possession of two random photos of my father browsing a Mac in an Apple Store. Cool huh. Seriously, imagine a loved one, who lives far away, sending you photos or yourself checking out something at the mall. CRAZY. I've been laughing to myself about the whole thing since. Anyhow, back to the joke. So of course, I can't wait to confuse the socks of my dad. So this morning I emailed the PC loyalist this: Mission accomplished. I love my dad.

PRIMARY PROGRAM: CHECK

I don't believe I've mentioned this before, but I'm our ward's primary chorister. I know this calling isn't that big of a deal to some (most) women, but I've never thought of myself as primary chorister material so often find myself out of my comfort zone. Well, today was our primary program... and the music portion went pretty well, if I do say so myself. I mean my shirt was drenched with sweat and I felt like I wanted to sleep or a week afterward, but hey, no problem. AND considering at the practice a week before I kept forgetting to "raise" and "lower" (you primary graduates know what I'm talking about) my cute little choir and at one point reacted to my forgetfulness by cursing "oh cr@p" in the chapel to 30 young impressionable minds (I knew I had done something really wrong when I heard the wee gasps of nine-year-old girls and a few teachers put their hands to their mouths) I think I've come along way. Thankfully, I am part of an amazing primary including great leaders who've always got my back (during cussing spurts and bouts of forgetfulness) and, of course, 30-something beautiful children, to whom I owe any success. Whew. Our theme was "I Am a Child of God". So obviously, our year was focused on teaching the children that very fact. So simple, yet the crucial piece of knowledge that's missing in the solution to some of the world's most complex and troubled issues. I think even some of us who have grown up hearing "I Am a Child of God" their whole lives still struggle with understanding its importance. I think its sometimes really hard for us a humans to realize and accept our huge potential. That we're divine. That we're loved beyond our understanding. That someone is always there blessing us, rooting for us, and molding us to be our possible best self. That can be a hard thing for us to wrap our head around sometimes. But it's true, dang it! (oh no, there I go again.)

HOLIDAY TUNES

I need some help. Some of my happiest memories of elementary school reside in the multipurpose room of North Park Elementary where every holiday season we'd gather to sing songs. And not just Christmas mind you. We sang Thanksgiving songs and, yes, even Halloween songs. And for the life of me I can' remember them!!! I want more than anything to have fun Halloween songs to sing to Peanut and my memory is failing me? I do remember one:
Have you seen the Ghost of John, Long white bones and the rest all goooone. Oooo. oooo-oooo-ooo-oooo, Wouldn't it be chilly with no skiiiin ooon. {sing in a round--very catchy}
And I do recall something about three little witches and something regarding turkeys for Thanksgiving. Even if you don't remember do you have any good sources for some classic children Halloween/Thanksgiving songs? (I've got Christmas covered). I would really appreciate it :)

SESAME STREET HUMOR

So when Peanut gets a little cranky or bored, we pull out the big guns. The Sesame Street music videos. He loves to just sit on our lap and dance and clap to these surprisingly entertaining music videos. The one I linked you to below makes me laugh every time. The Feist "Counting to Four" video is also a favorite. So go ahead and watch. Everyone needs a little sesame street every now and again. Preschool Musical So very funny.

CHANGE

Oh how I love General Conference. Especially October Conference...the chill in the air, the smell of my Spiced Pumpkin candle, cute friends who surprised us with delicious pecan cinnamon rolls. So great. I usually like to do a rundown of my favorite talks and mention briefly my thoughts from each one. However, this time around there was one talk that really struck a chord with me. Don't get me wrong. I can't wait to drink many great words of wisdom, encouragement and motivation again from that November Ensign, but for now, I want to focus on one in particular: President, Thomas S. Monson's talk on Change. The main message of this talk, to me, was about living in the moment and accepting change. There have been a lot of things going on lately that have made me think about this. This is a concept I understand and that I strive for, but have a hard time living. A very 'easier said, than done' thing for me. I feel like the majority of my life, I've lived for the next moment. And although I think that's more understandable while growing up, I feel that the regret you'll feel for not living in the moment, grows exponentially as you enter the adult phases of life, such as marriage and parenthood, just like how your joy grows exponentially in those phases for choosing to "find the joy in the journey, now." I also have a hard time with change. I'm a planner and I'm a worrier and those two things don't mix well with change, let alone with unexpected change. I think the reason this talk resonated with me so much is because it offered me the perspective of the effects living this principal can have. Not only will my regret go down and my joy increase, but I will be more able to accept unexpected change when the occasion calls for it, and that's a great comfort to me. I also loved how President Monson pointed out that living now goes "hand in hand with gratitude". How can you not be grateful for your blessings when you are taking the time to embrace and live each one? All of the pettiness, envy, grudge holding goes away because you no longer have the space for it. I think the Savior was really good at living in the moment. He got what life was all about. I think when you figure that out, you know you only have time to love. President Monson also focuses about how it's our choice: "It's our conscious choice what secret garden we will tend...Not to focus on what is missing but are grateful for the abundance that is present: love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us happiness...the waste land of the illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth."

I BLEED BLUE

So as we're sitting here watching BYU cream Utah State. No worries my USU friends, there's still a quarter left. Anyhow, during the commercials they played this little promo clip or donations pitch, if you will, for BYU and...well, let's just say through my tears, I almost gave Bronco everything in our savings account. Almost. Very inspirational. If you bleed blue like myself, take a look see: Check out BYU Football Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall in this new film, 'With Honor.' It can be viewed at http://bronco.byu.edu

THE OTHER BLOG

Introducing...again: Putter Wall! You may have visited Putter Wall before or you haven't visited Putter Wall at all, either way come give us a call! www.putterwall.blogspot.com And if that clever poem isn't enough, to kick everything off we're going to have a drawing for one of our very own and very cute "feeble attempts at domesticity"

GOODBYE SUMMER

So while I hear people lamenting over Summer's end, I usually just keep my mouth shut when truly I want to yell, "See ya, Summer! Welcome, Autumn!" I love Fall with a passion. I love it's the season that ushers in school and the holidays, I love wearing cute sweaters and turtlenecks, I love hot coaco and cozying up in blankets, I love the colors, I LOVE IT ALL! However that's not to say we didn't go out of Summer with a bang! Here is end of summer/September recap: (I'm trying to get better and do a group of digi scrapbook pages for each month...we'll see :)
{click on pages to enlarge}

WORRIED

Are any of you as worried about the current economic state of our country as I am? I don't know about all of you, but we're feeling it. Mostly because we know we want to sell our home within the coming year. I'll spare you the details, but it does make me concerned as to what decisions are being made in Washington. Will pumping $7oo bagaillion dollars really help? Or will it just hurt us more in the long run? I think there is really something to be said about everyone learning their lesson, but I'm greedy and I want our, my, needs met right now. I do think something needs to be done. I don't know about a $7oo billion something, but perhaps a plan that prevents all of main street from hitting rock bottom. Anyhow, so much to be said. Crazy world.

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR....AGAIN

I don't know if you read my first encounter with froggy season, but it's that time of year again. I was abruptly reminded of this when the other morning I ran the garbage disposal (which is a frightening business within itself) and right when I flipped the switch, something in the opposite drain flew up. I jumped thinking it was a piece of lettuce or something, but didn't scream until I realized it was a bite-sized froggy. I quickly hopped him into a plastic cup and hopped him right out the door. And well, let's just say, I found froggy from last year....
(He has a little lint on him...seriously though...where did he come from?)
In all honesty I don't think this was Mr. Froggy from last year. At least, I hope not because I don't know why he would just appear on my kitchen floor like that. I suspected he liked the coolness of the fridge. Anyhow, if it was Mr. Froggy from last year...well, I think that's a little creepy.

I NEED TO STOP WATCHING OPRAH

In just this last week I've managed to convince myself Peanut was dry drowning at least once, that Suze Orman yelled at me for reasons I still remain unsure about and that I'm beginning to like Jenny Mcarthy and Jim Carrey???

NEW ADDRESS

Dear Invitees... I'm going unprivate...or in other word's I'm "open it up!" But before I do so I'm changing my blog address to: Don't go there yet because there isn't anything there. I'll make the switch over next Friday, September 26. But make sure you change the link you have for me now to my new one up there before then. Does that sound good? I hope so. Also, I've seen other bloggers do this and I think it's a good idea. Every member of their family is given a nickname and thereafter ask people not to use their reall names. So blog roll goes as follows: Me: Jazzy Ryder: Peanut (it goes way back) Phil: Mr. Man

The Protect Our Children Act

I just wrote my senator!!! Why? I'm glad you asked. To request the pass senate Bill 1738--the Protect Our Children Act. I don't know if you watched Oprah yesterday, but within the first 5 minutes of the show I was sobbing. I was overwhelmed and disgusted with the wickedness of this world. I could only watch a few minutes before having to turn it off. I thought to myself, "what can I do?" The only thing that came was to make my home a light. A refuge. So when my kids learn and see what I see, they know there is safety and peace that exists too and teach them to pass it on. I did watch the rest and fortunately found out there is something else I can do and you can to. Write your senator. Seriously, it took me 2 minutes. Super easy. Here is the link all ready for you along with a pre-written letter, if you choose to use it. If passed this bill will:
  • Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
  • Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
  • Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.
Here is the link to yesterday's show if you want to find out more. So thanks Oprah, for bringing this up. Now, if you could only make the connection between this and many other of the things you support, or choose to ignore because its not popular, we'll really be getting somewhere. P.S. I don't know if this worth mentioning and it's been something I've been guilty of in the past...let's just say I'm never, EVER putting any sort of slightly n@k3d photos of my children, no matter how cute or how young, on the Internet ever again.

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow!

Congratulations, Tyler Jay!!! Way to go! Woo! Woo! You're Amazing! Yahooo! Oh, yes. My brother found out today that he passed a little test called the Bar. I am oozing pride. He just graduated this last spring from Law School in Syracuse with his Juris Doctorate and passed the Idaho State Bar Exam on his first shot. Kapow brotha!!!

Let's Discuss

So before I post about our last week's happenings, I've been having some thoughts...
  • I feel like I'm in a funk. I went home for a visit and it was FANTASTIC and it was just what I needed, but I get home and I'm having such a hard time putting my new motivations into actions. I'm so easily swayed, lately, into not being my best and I don't like myself like that.
  • I have just caught myself up on all the NieNie news and that whole story is another inspiration that is causing reflection.
  • I feel like a very boring mom. I don't think Ryder saw the sun the whole day yesterday and today is shaping up to be not much different. I think a visit to the park is desperately needed. Any other ideas out there to keep a curious one-year old occupied are more then welcome.
  • We are trying to figure out how and when to sell our condo. This stresses me out greatly. The economy is so bad and I'm not blind! I see things around me not selling! If you know anyone who wants to buy a very loved 2 bed 1 bath condo please tell them to give me a call. Or any advice in the real estate area? Again, give me a call.
  • I'm thinking of going "un-private". Can you do that? Is that against the blogging rules? I hate to be blunt, but private is boring. I will fully admit one of my favorite aspects about blogging is the dialogue the oppotunity to meet a friend of a friend's sister's cousin's friend. All that diminishes and I'm left with people like my sister who tell me that they just never think to check my blog anymore (when your private, you're not eligible for Google Reader, Blogroll or any other feed reader options). Or maybe I'm the one that's boring now...Oh no!! That's it isn't it!?!!....shoot.

Ryder's Birthday Party

These last couple of weeks have sped by as we have been up to so many things...some of which have been stressful, others fun. Where I've had a rather difficult time getting out of vacation mode, I'm now going to finally start putting together some accounts of what we've been up to. First, off: Ryder's Birthday Party! A huge hit. He enjoyed the company, loved opening his presents...although difficult to get him to move from one to the other :) and had a hay day with the cake (video below). When people ask me how old he is now, I love saying, "he's one". A whole year! No more of this silly month business.

Thanks Nana and Pompa!

Hey Mom and Dad, Here's a little somethin' to show you how much Ryder loves his new birthday present! Really. He LOVES it.
video

Talent

With all this Olympic craze going on, it has made me think a lot about people's talents. I look at these amazing athletes and can't help but think that if they were born into any other circumstance than they were privileged to, they may not have discovered they were crazy talented in a given area. For example, what if Michael Phelps never encountered the coach who discovered his potential or for that matter, never had the opportunity to take swimming lessons? They showed feature stories on him over and over about how his abnormally long torsoed/short-legged/long fingered body making him as close to a fish as one can humanly get. This makes me wonder if every individual in this world could be a gold medalist at something. Whether its building skyscrapers or playing the violin, I think every person, if given the opportunity to discover it, and the mentors, and the education and the money, could be spectacular at something. Obviously, that's not realistic because on one had you have those who lack opportunity, or are lazy and on the other hand you believe in balance and wouldn't be happy pursuing perfection just because you could. So with that said, these thoughts have offered me the following...thoughts that are a bit more applicable to me.
  • Share your talents. Obviously, it's a commandment for a reason. I believe Heavenly Father wants us to find joy in what we love and become good at it. I think it's an aspect of humanity that will come into play big time in the eternities.
  • As a mother, I hope I can provide opportunities for my children to find talents they love.
  • Is it to late for me to become a gold medalist at something? Seriously. The athletic route is out, but all my life I've been a dabbler. I dabble here, I dabble there...Jack of all trades--master of nothing. But lately my secret desire has been to become Amy Butler or Heather Bailey. Stop laughing. It encompasses everything I love and I could maybe make money at it one day (on a much smaller scale...I'm thinking like Etsy.com is all) Anyhow, is it too late for me (considering I got my first sewing machine at Christmas)?
As for the 2008 Olympic round-up: I hate to admit it, but I'm a little relieved to see the Olympics come to an end. Ya know, all things in moderation...too much of a good thing. Don't get me wrong I love watching them, but toward the end the staying up late, the ups and downs, scores, competition...it's starting to get repetative, plus I feel like the best stuff is over. I'm not really in to the teams sports that are finishing up right now (soccer, softball, basketball, etc) so I'm ready for that closing ceremony. I was a little annoyed by how we knew everything before we actually saw it...but my favorite things to watch were...
  • Michael. He puts on a good show.
  • Nastia taking all around gold.
  • USA men's gymnastics team taking silver.
  • Misty and Kerri. I love them.

Family Photo Session...Yes, we actually had one

I know, can you believe it? These are our first official family photos! Notice the coordinating outfits and everything! And finally, finally, we got some photos of our little guy. His official one-year old photos! I didn't have them done right when he was born, but I figure better late then never. My plan is to do his once a year and who knows how often we'll do a full-fledge family photo shoot...I'm so bad at these types of things. Anyhow, their random placement is because they files were to big to download so this was the quickest and easiest way for now for me to get them online for my mom to view :) So here you go mom! These are all our favorites. I'll show you the rest when I see you. If you click on a group of pictures it will make them bigger so you can see them better.
The Whole Family
Just Ryder
Ryder and Me...and Phil

Happy Birthday Ryder!!!

Ryder turned one today!!! We celebrated his birthday yesterday with Phil's family and I think it was a success. He seemed to enjoy himself quite a bit. I'll post photos from the birthday festivities later. Part of me can't believe he is already a year old. While I'm very happy he's a healthy, energetic baby boy, a little bit of my heart breaks to see him growing so fast. Oh how I love him. He brings Phil and I such joy and I can't imagine life without him. Here is a little look back on his first year...
Oh we love you little boy!!!

Baby Face

So lately, I've gotten enough comments about my age, that the randomness of them aren't becoming random anymore. I'm beginning to think I really look a teenybopper.
  • The first one was in the airport in February. I went to go grab a treat for the plane ride and the lady was shocked I had a baby and in her Indian accent mumbled something about how she thought I was 14. I had recently gotten my haircut, so I blamed it on that.
  • The other time was sometime in June when my friend Elizabeth and I were eating lunch at a restaurant in Tacoma and some lady came by and was cooing at our babes and was baffled that one was actually mine. She clocked me at 16. I was wearing a hat, so I blamed it on that.
  • Finally, I was in Home Depot yesterday buying spray paint and a woman asked to see my ID. More surprised by the fact you had to be at least 21 to buy spray paint than the lady asking to see my ID, I easily handed it over and assumed this was normal protocol. She then sat their taking a long look at my driver's license and after seeing birthday did the calculation in her head and slowly said, "...sooo that would make your 24?" Mumbled something about people looking younger than they are, apologized and told me to enjoy it while it lasts. I wasn't wearing any make-up, so I blamed it on that.
Keep in mind for every single one of these instances, Ryder has been with me. I'm beginning to wonder whether or not I should take it as a compliment that people still think I look like a teenager (a troubled teenager for that matter). Hmm..or a I guess I should just enjoy it while it lasts. In other news...
  • I cried for Alicia the other night. Not because she messed up, because I felt so bad she felt so bad. I later heard Shawn and Nastia stepped outside the bounds too. That made me feel better, but for some reason my DVR cut that part off.
  • I'm wondering whether or not to leave both my boys for a quick trip to Utah. Leaving Ryder makes me nervous.
  • Speaking of which he's up, so I gots to go!

Beijing 2008 !!!

Da, da, DA, DA, DA, DA...(Olympic theme music playing in background) Are you ready for the Olympics!!! Woo hoo! I'm so excited. I've been watching the Today Show coverage and Phil and I have been good about watching all the trials, so we are up to date on Team U.S.A. along with all the heart felt stories and athletes that make me smile. Here are a few I'll be looking out for: Women Gymnastics: Shawn Johnson, Nastia Lukin, & Alicia Sacramone. Of course, this is the sport I've followed the most. I love that Shawn just seems to get pure joy out of it all. You never feel as though someone locked her in a gym, stripped her of her childhood and made her eat, drink and sleep gymnastics and even if they did, she would be as happy as a clam. I believe that Nastia is the gymnast who I get the most joy out of watching. Her unusually long, extended lims make everything she does exquisite. I also love Alicia. She is kind of the 'if at first you don't succeed' story and I think she is cute and funny. Everytime she gets on camera she makes me laugh and I love that she doesen't take thinks too seriously. Women Weight Lifting: what? I know. But local, Melanie Roach, a mother of three including one autistic boy, is who I'll have my eye on. I sound like I'm writing a news story. Apparently, she was doing awesome but gave it all up for ten years to be a mom and now she's back at it and predicted to do really well. Back to you, Matt. Swimming: Of course, Michael Phelps (what is with the stash he's sporting?). I think he'll do pretty good. And there are a couple of girls I'll be watching, although I can't remember their names. (side note: you know people who know everything about sports, name, stats, it's really quite impressive...I'm not one of those people.) And finally, I have to say something about the medals. They did a cover story on them this morning and they are B-E-A-Utiful!!! The Chinese wanted to add a little somethin' somethin' of their own to the design so they all have an embedded ring of jade in them. The bronze has dark green jade, the silver has light green jade and the gold has white jade, which, of course, is the most rare. I want to buy one for whatever multiple amounts of grand they are worth and wear it as jewelry. Yeah, so for any of you athletes that care about fashion-this is the year you really want to win one of those puppies. (If you get second...its okay because you may have, indeed, won the prettiest medal...) If you haven't been in the loop, hopefully, this post gets you jazzed and updated for the Olympics. Opening Ceremony tomorrow night: Friday, 8-8-08! (Check you local listing for times :)