Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I awoke to this cute sight one glorious, Saturday-morning in September.  The girls were dressed and ready to go.  Their excitement was off-the-charts!  So, you might be asking yourself...
What special occasion or event could possibly be

...that matching dresses had to be put on?

...that we had to sport our lime-green hats AND fuscia, glitter, lip-gloss?

...that we had to look our very, very sleekest?

...that we had to be crowned AND doting dirty, white socks??

You DON'T know?

Grandma Ladybug's Yard Sale, of course.

Monday, November 16, 2009

FALLow Me....

Around the end of September, I realized that my days to drive up the Canyon for a 'color rich' tour of Fall, were quickly diminishing.  So, spontaneously one evening, I decided we were going to drive up Emmigration and squeeze in a little nature moment.  It was WELL worth the time. 

 I happened to have my camera with me.  It wasn't really cold at all.  It was windy.  McKenna had had one of "those moments" earlier that day, where she insisted on wearing an outfit that looks questionable to the rest of society.  She was in the shortest shorts she owned, and was only allowed to wear them with the agreement that they would be put in the "summer clothing bin" after that day.  But, what do mismatched, questionable outfits almost always bring on?  

Kodak moments. 

What does a mother do?  Skip the pictures?  I almost did.  But, I think you'll agree...it was smart to just relax and let the memories happen. 

Showing me their leaves they were taking home. 

When they're not worst enemies, they're best friends. 
I love the "best friend" moments.

Doesn't matter who the hairy woman is...she's lucky to get a sweet hug like that!

And, it doesn't matter what you have to do after they get older...you MUST insist on a few Mommy pictures for the blog. 
(She's humoring me, but I'm okay with it.)

Favorite quote of the night -
"Hey Berkeley, Let's touch our butts for this one!"

The girls were having so much fun, I just let them walk ahead and enjoy each other for a moment. 

McKenna being "herself" and having nutty fun on the trail! 

Berk was singing on the trail.  I wish you could see her face, it's so "dreamy". 
She's got the most beautiful dreams in that head of hers! 

McKenna wanted to take a picture of the rock I didn't want her to bring home.  This turned out to be a cool picture, I thought!  Good job, Kenna!

We live in such a beautiful world. We are so blessed. I couldn't decide which was more beautiful.... the leaves? Or my sweet girls enjoying them?

We will miss you, Fall
It's always a joy when you come to visit.

Friday, November 6, 2009

We Specialize in Imperfection...

A person I know posted a blog like this once, and I'm copying her. I don't worry about 'stealing her idea', because:   1- It was an awesome idea.  2- She "de-friended" me on Facebook for some unknown reason...and so I don't worry about offending people like that !  And 3- If she doesn't like me stealing the idea...she'll have to actually "re-friend" me to complain about it - or comment on this blog post and admit she still reads it.

So, on that note...

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has finished reading a friend's or a stranger's blog and logged off, thinking:

"Wow, I wish I could be a cool Mom and do stuff like that."
"She always has it SO together.  I wish I did."
"Their marriage sounds sooooo perfect.  Why can't ours be soooo romantic too?"

I'm sure there are many, different, self-depriciating judgements that we place on ourselves...depending on the blog and depending on our current state of being. 

But the fact is...on a blog....it's easy to make life look perfect.  I'm more than sure that my friend's are aware of how imperfect I am....but for the one's who I still have fooled, I will confess:

1.  Berkeley was late to school seven times last quarter.  (Although, I'd like to point out that she was "on-time" - 31 times!)
2.  It's unusual if my bedroom is EVER clean.  It is the "catch-all" of the house...and I only get to it once in awhile.  It's embarassing, yes, but it's our reality until we have a basement or "extra room" to hide the "extras" in. 
3.  My car is only clean like 30% of the time.  And, if we are being totally honest, we did grow mold in one of the food trays once.  Im not proud of this fact, nor did I have any idea the food was there -- but it happened.  The food tray is in the trash now, but "ew." 
4.  After Mrs. J told us Wednesday night, that Berkeley needed to have her homework in on-time more often- We left for school Thursday morning without the *&^! homework.  I had to drive it back to the school later
5.  Sometimes, we have cereal for dinner.
6.  Sometimes, we have cookies for breakfast.
7.  I told my kids "no" when they wanted to go play out in the first snowfall this year.  I didn't have any warm coats for us yet (just jackets), no boots, and I didn't want us to get all "wet and cold".  What Mom denies their kids the first snowfall?  Isn't it supposed to be "wet and cold"?   
8.  Sometimes, often, I stay up late on Facebook - when I could be doing housework.  Facebook takes less energy, and the laundry will wait for me.  
9.  I don't always remember to clean my kids ears with q-tips after every tub and shower. 
10.  While there are many Mom's on the playground early, that are dressed, showered, and have make-up on - I'm not one of them.  I'm the Mom with the pj's on and mascara under her eyes. 

Truth be told, perfection is frightening to me.  I don't want to be perfect...because then people continually expect perfection.  How exhausting is that?  We specialize in imperfection in this house and, quite frankly, we're okay with that.  Would I like to be the "cute Mom" on the playground?  Yes.  Would I like to have a clean bedroom?  Yes.  Would I like to get all the laundry done?  Not really.  I hate the laundry.  But, I would like a tidy, neat home. 

Sometimes we get those things.  Sometimes we don't. 

What I feel is important, is that my kids know to keep trying.  Every day we can work to be a little better than the day before.  That's all.  And we can work hard to see the "little things" in life that bring us true joy.   

If all else fails, we can at least find the humor in our short comings.  There is a sign at my house, that reads:

"You can touch the dust, but please don't write in it."
I've seen others that read:
"Our house was clean yesterday, sorry you missed it!"
"Please excuse the mess, the children are making happy memories."
"Martha doesn't live here."
And one of my personal favorites...

In the words of Michael McLean "Life can be hard.  But we, need not be, so hard on ourselves...We must be more gentle with ourselves."
I gotta go clean the car. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Steps No More

I've already groveled about posting McKenna's Birthday late. BUT....I guess there is always time for more groveling.

Along with McKenna turning five, came time for Kindergarten.  I was worried that she would HATE Kindergarten, because McKenna already complained that pre-school (a mere two and a half hours) was too long.  "I've had enough of my ABC's, Mom!", she would tell me.  What was she going to do when it was three-and-a-half hours of her ABC's?

Well, the big day arrived.  She had her outfit layed out the night before and her backpack - ready.   It was so sweet, because McKenna wouldn't eat at all that morning.  She just wanted to GET THERE.  She was nervous and excited all at the same time! 

Finally...it was TIME to go....and I couldn't help but get a little emotional when I saw my baby walking down the sidewalk to the car with, what seemed like, a GIANT backpack on her shoulders. 

She was so READY.  I knew it.  She knew it. 

Armed with cameras, the parents took turns capturing memories...

 She looked sooooo tiny up against the GIANT school wall.

On the Kindergarten playground, McKenna jumped right into playing.  I don't know why, but that surprised me.  Usually she's so anxious.  She did become a little overwhelmed as more kids showed up though, and kept looking to make sure I was close by.  I was.

 When it was finally time to line up...I could see that my "Little Bug" was the tiniest one in the class!  I wasn't worried though - her stature is tiny, but her spirit is large! 


I was happy to see Kenna's excitement and surprise when she recognized one of her friends, Isaac, there too.  A familiar face helps even the biggest-of-kids feel more comfortable, when you're starting something new.  (Isaac is the boy in the brown shirt, above, right next to McKenna.)  I guess the two 'newbies' found comfort in having one another there, because when Berkeley checked on Kenna during their recess that day, she said Isaac and McKenna were out on the playground....holding hands.  

I felt a little lonely after they followed their teacher inside and the doors shut.  McKenna's 'Elementary Journey' had officially begun.  It will move fast from this point forward. 

I paused for a moment and wondered what I would do first.  For the last eight years, all daytime activities had been centered around Berkeley and/or McKenna.  I was no longer the mother of toddlers. This was my 'Rite of Passage' too!  What would I do first?  The possibilities were limitless!  Three-and-a-half hours?  Really? 

So, I did what any smart, self-respecting, Mother would do....
I went home and took a nice, guilt-free, nap. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

I love, love, love....


Monday, October 26, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks Rock the Number FIVE !

So...any Mom can post about their child's birthday right after it actually happens. It takes a really SPECIAL Mom (and by "special", I mean, disorganized) to celebrate it two months afterwards. Since Im probably still working off the birthday cake from then...it's only fair. McKenna turned FIVE in August! We had a small, family and neighbor get-together on Kenna's actual birthday. We sat outside, played in the grass, and tossed around balloons. Good, cheap entertainment! Then, on Saturday, we had an "Alvin and the Chipmunks" themed party at the park. Here are some pictures and details of those events:

Sitting, waiting patiently for cupcakes and ice cream!

How old are you Kenna?

These are three of McKenna's MOST favorite people to play with. Our neighbors, the Nolans. Dave, Alexis, Noah, and Baby Phoebe are the BEST, most patient, neighbors EVER!! Dave carried ALL of the presents back up the stairs and into the house for us after the party. (Not many husbands will do that for other women besides their own. Thanks, Dave!)

Here's Grandma Ladybug with four of the six granddaughters. Kenna refused to smile or look at the camera for the picture! (She can be a little turkey about that sometimes!)

Here is the picture we sent out with the invitations for McKenna's Chipmunk Party....

It took a lot of creativity to come up with ideas for McKenna's party, because there is NOTHING out there for an "Alvin and the Chipmunks" party theme. **For all of you Mom's or Dad's out there searching for "Alvin and the Chipmunks" party theme favors and ideas -good luck! I had very little success at finding anything. Feel free to steal the ideas I will share in this post,and PLEASE comment and share what you, too, have been able to come up with.

For decorations...we made the balloons to match the Chipmunk's sweater colors...adding Alvin's "A" for effect. Then - for a party banner - my 8-year-old, daughter made music notes, initials of the Chipmunk's names, and we copied pictures of an actual toaster waffle to add on!

For party favors, we bought the "Extra Large Cheese Puffs" and bagged them up. The kids loved it.

We had a little "Party at the Park" this time. Shirlene, our local "cake lady" and friend, makes the CUTEST cakes each year for the Girls' birthdays. As always, she did NOT disappoint! We found some Chipmunk Coloring Pages online and sent the picture to her. Check out the finsihed product!

The best part about Shirlene's cakes is that they taste even better than they look! Thanks so much, Shirlene!

The kids played at the park for a bit. Here are some cute pictures of McKenna and friends having a good time.

McKenna opened presents and it was so cute to see her sit there, really concentrate on the cards, and enjoy her surprises. She was very blessed with many fun things! Thanks to all.
All in all, it turned out to be a fun-filled day. I was touched to see how grown-up McKenna and her friends are becoming. Maggie, Murin, and Rileah couldn't have been sweeter with her on this day...and McKenna truly felt special. That's all you can ask for in a five-year-old's world.

Happy Belated Birthday, Little Bug!