Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Cards Display

I feel so loved.
I did not get one from my mom, but maybe she thought I kept one for myself since I did them for her. 
The winner, as if it were a contest, is by my step-brother. It completes all of my "best Christmas cars" check list. Mine did not even have the year this time! They have their letter and family photo on the back.
I thought Baby Clara fit so well in a snow globe so put her inside w/o asking. I love the color on the back images too. I love them all but here are some that stood out. Stunning in style, color, and size: 
Creative because it came in two parts from Afghanistan and Oklahoma, you would have to see the other side too: 
Really cool from a client (they did not use me this year and I love that they still send me cards anyway.) So fun! 
More clients, I like the colors and how they blended with their beautiful families and outfits (which you can't see on this iphone pic, sorry. There are a lot of cards with Fishy Face portraits. So cool that I am a big part of spreading holiday cheer. 
 Lacey's looks like a magazine cover. 
I just got one from my Grandma Millie. That was really unexpected since she passed away. The included Christmas letter explained (by her daughter) that she had signed the cards a couple of months ago so we would know she was thinking of us. Wow. 
Happy New Year! 
P. S. I just found 4 more cards to put up before taking them down. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The Phoenix of the month is Isaac!!
Isaac is an amazing classmate to all of his friends. He is forever kind and helpful. Isaac helps to set high standards for our classroom academically and behaviorally and is truly a student who should be proud of himself! 
Great job Isaac!!
Dylan was the Phoenix of the month the month before for his grade. His teacher didn't do a whole page for him though. My sweet boys:)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weekend Events

 Wednesday I got Ivy a carseat because she has no respect for seatbelts. Don took Tyler and I did a lot of other errands. He bought Tyler a big monkey! Tyler did not want to leave it at their house. I tried. 
That night our friend Mike came in town. We decided to be spontanious and get a babysitter and meet him and his brother for dinner even though we had already eaten. Tyler heard our plans and made up a new cry/chant "I don't want Bayee to come over." Oh he is so sweet but loves me too much. He did not want Bailey. To cope with the situation, he actually put himself in bed! His first time! At dinner, we had fun catching up and reminiscing about our South Beach days which is where we met. Good friends. Tyler greeted us at the door at 11:30 when we got home. He kept waking up! 

The next night, I did not go to a dental hygiene meeting. It was too much. I did the dishes and went to Rachel's house to craft. 
Tyler cried when I left. But decided he wanted to sleep on his livingroom bed he loves to make. Steven said he went right to sleep! See the big monkey?!

On Friday, I took the kids to a school meeting at Panera. Then to the beach! I jogged then they played.
My jogging days may have to have to wait. My insides are bruised. The baby bounced on my bladder or something too much. It hurts. We took a little break when we found swings. Tyler left his shoes in the car on purpose so I left Ivy's. Ivy got a sand spur in her foot. Oops! 
I love coming here when the weather changes. The kids can not see the water so the long hike to the shore is not necessary but I can wear a swimsuit! The weather is a little breezy but warm. Too cool for swimming but perfect for this. 
We napped a little bit, got the other kids, figured out babysitting, and met Mike and his brother Rick. Tyler did his chant even though it was not Bailey. Olivia came. Anyway, we picked up our friends and went to one of the franchise locations they came here to check out. It was so fun to hear their stories and cool to think that they may be back, maybe with their kids, to come train at the Brass Tap Bar. 
The owner comped everything!
We dropped them off at their hotel and went to the airport to wait for Barbie's cousin! 
The next morning I took the kids to the VA hospital for a church service project. The kids colored thank you cards then delivered them and sang patriotic songs to them. Adult chirch members did all kinds of labor there toserve the vets. 
We went to Barbie's for her birthday. Tyler was sad for yet another babysitter but Myah said he was fine like usual. 
It was just us and the crews, pizza and little cakes. Perfect little celebration. 
Brandi just turned 30 so Andre got her a cake too. We took turns holding the baby. Nothing crazy this year:)
Happy birthday Brandi and Barbie!!!

Fall in Florida

I miss summer. Mainly for not being tied down by car line, having all of my kids with me all day, and warm light late evenings. I will get in the holiday spirit soon I am sure, and do love that I am getting energy back. I am excited to see family at Christmas too. Today I walked on the beach instead of running since my bladder/insides were still tender/bruised from the previous job. I went with a friend and met another there too.
I was so anti-social that first trimester too.
We decided to make the long walk to the water since Iwas there to walk anyway and the kids were not climbing on the playset. 
Ivy said "I can't walk" and pouted a bit both ways. 
Tyler ran ahead. 
Do you know how not optimal the month of October was? I did a bunch of photo sessions then got behind, did not do our own photos, did not go to a pumpkin patch at all, did not carve a pumpkin, steven was sick the whole time, others of us were a little sick off and on, steven was not getting paid because of the government shut down, I was so tired, the computer had a long slow death, I had to pay for a new lens and computer, I double booked things, and I am glad it is over! 
After getting all of the kids today, we made thankful trees. 
I should have made my own. I am thankful for all of my little problems and for my many blessings. My littlest brother went through monsoons, flooding, an earthquake, chicken pox, and a crazy Typhoon in just 2 weeks! He is safe. Wow. 
Now I need to calendar my days and minutes to make the most out of these short days. I need to pray and study God's plan for me and meditate and focus on what my priorities should be. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cravings and girl thoughts

I had a craving for Carmelita's that had to be quenched. We finished Dylan's creative book report and went. It was delicious! 
Tyler tried to embarass us by wearing his PJ pants and old birthday crown. But with his happy attitude and my craving quencher quest happening, nothing could get me down. It was so delicious! One of Dylan's vocabulary words was "glutton." I was being a glutton with the chips and salsa! ate most of my left overs that night. 

Today, I am feeling apprehensive about having a girl. I have been saying for years that I would love to have a little girl who looks like myself. I would love a newborn girl, but am scared a out all of the years leading up to her having her first baby of her own. That is when she will like me and my advice again. 

Today I feel the same. I do not like any girl names. I do not like how complicated girl clothes are. I still do not want to mix in girl toys with all of the boy ones. Having a girl IS more exciting, but I love my boys. They are the best. I don't want a spoiled little girl. I doubt she will be the innocent little doll that needs her brothers' protection. I am nervous about having the right timing and the right delivery when she needs me to teach her important life lessons. This is a whole new world. I am not sure I am ready! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pregnancy Brain

In one day, I double booked a lot of things.

I booked a 10am photo session and a babysitter for Tyler and Ivy.
But there was no school so I would have 6 kids that day. Luckily half of my kids went to their Mamaw's house. The other half went to the babysitter's house and the photoshoot was awesome.

I am supposed to pick up organic produce from the sponsor lady in the afternoon. I set an alarm reminder for when I'd be exiting the kids' car line from school. But there was no school. So I forgot and was too busy to have my phone on me and didn't remember. Steven actually remembered when we were on our way to soccer.

I had a Friday with just my kids so had a lot of things I could do like the pumpkin patch, give them hair cuts, take an uninterrupted-by-dang-car-line nap, get a jump start on their book reports and homework, shop for birthday presents, go for a run, upload/download photos, etc. But, the day before, I decided that those things are a little selfish and I need to do what Steven would appreciate the most - a clean house. (He would have suggested that I cancel the photo shoot too of course, but I couldn't.) So I asked my cousin to come over and help. Because I can not manage to do normal things and I was no longer in control. In the evenings, I sit to watch TV with Steven and notice the clutter under the couches but I have no energy to crawl under and get it out. I instead fall asleep on the floor there, or if Tyler is particularly needy, I fall asleep in the bed next to his crib (or let him fall asleep in our bed with me.) Anyway, my cousin said she'd come over after lunch. We threw out two huge black trash bags full of clutter and filled another with things to give away. She was amazing and I couldn't have done it without her. But Tyler and I did not get a nap and I forgot to pick up the produce and didn't think about dinner.

I have been excited for our church's Halloween party. Maybe it's not called a Halloween party since that has some evil connotations in some cultures etc. Anyway, I even invited friends and was planning on inviting others. It has been on the calendar and I was excited to see certain friends' costumes and to be there to see how my party planning friend did with her first big event. But it was the kids' last soccer games at the same time. The night where they get their medals. I was so bummed.

My biggest disappointment was missing the church event. Steven's was missing dinner. There was pizza after the soccer games, but this year, it was only for the players. We went to pick up the produce then went to Stake and Shake where the kids got shakes and I got a frisco melt and Steven got a grilled cheese. Then I went to bed.

I know that it's all my fault. I know that I bite off more than I can chew. I know I am slow at everything I do, but I also know that I'm in charge of my own attitude. I woke up before 5am and spent an hour letting the computer warm up to me again. I watched a really old Jamie Lee Curtis movie, The Fog, while editing and finishing a client gallery. Then I made chocolate chip pancakes and eggs and sliced cold oranges. It was ready when the family one-by-one woke up. I literally have 8 more photo session folders to go. 3 are going in one gallery b/c a family broke their session up into three this year. And two are Barbie's birth and newborn ones. So in scheduling, I really only have 4 that I had planned for my Rocktober busy month. I always tell myself not to get stressed. I know going into October that it'll be a rough couple of months because of photography. My brother Martin's wise counsel one year was that everything that needs to be done WILL get done, so not to worry.  I went to a Women's conference a couple of weeks ago and the prophet told a story about a wife/mother named Tiffany who got so overwhelmed at the holiday season that it was affecting her physical health. If my husband would let me invite friends and their friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, then that could easily be my story. All she wanted was some home made bread. Well earlier that day, my step-dad had made me some home made bread. It's not that significant I guess, but I left with a horrible headache and I felt awful all over. I mentally know that I'm okay and that everything will be okay and that there are people all over who forgive me, but I need to be stronger myself! I went to bed even though I had planned on being spiritually uplifted and on fire being productive. Steven told me that I needed a day off. I called into church the next morning. I actually still went in b/c I had some obligations, but only for a short time.

So today is another day, and I'm going to be productive and happy! I have a schedule and will hopefully stick to it so I will stop making pie crust promises/commitments.

Monday, October 21, 2013

cinco de Mayo - I'm ready!

This is my excuse. 
For everything. 
For neglecting this blog, for it being 2 weeks since photo shoots that I haven't even given sneak peeks to yet. Anyway, here's what's been happening. We decided to go ahead and try for a 4th baby. Wanting a girl wasn't even one of the factors. We fully expect another boy. We weighed the pros and cons for months. Then one Fast Sunday I fasted and prayed and read scriptures and journaled. I wrote down the pros and the cons and, on paper, the cons seemed superficial. The pros seemed eternally worth it. So I knew what I wanted, but to figure out if it was best for our family was still the question. Steven and I decided that we'd try for a couple of months and if it worked, then yay. If not, then we're completely content with our 3 boys. 

We announced it to our parents and Andre and Barbie on Tyler's birthday by Tyler saying "There's a baby in mommy's tummy." That's how I tried to tell others, by Tyler telling them over the phone. For my sister Kat, I indian-sent her some maternity shirts - asking her to return them at Christmas. She figured it out. 

So I started out bloated. And it's only gotten worse. The "morning" sickness was worse in the morning AND the evening. I was nautious and tried to puke multiple times and even ran to the bathroom a couple of times, twice excusing myself from my patient at work, all in vein though. Even when I tried gagging myself I couldn't actually puke. I had a week of acne, then a month later another month. I have been tired. I NEED naps, long ones. I need to go to bed early too. I get sick to my tummy in the evenings. 

And I feel guilty. Maybe that's not an actual pregnancy symptom, but I'm neglecting a lot of people, places, and things. Time is flying by, not in a good way. The mornings are way too short, the evenings are way too long. Getting the kids through the evening routine and getting terrible-two-know-it-all-Tyler to sleep is exhausting. 

I find out if it will be a girl or boy on Thursday. That's 10 days from the appointment where I thought I would be finding out. They said they have a lab there now and that they'd do the test last Monday. Well, they do NOT have a lab, just a lab tech girl who sends my blood out to the lab. I was bummed and forgot to be so thankful that we saw our baby do sit ups, wave, kick, and wiggle all over in her ultrasound, and her neck fold looks good so she's healthy. Did you notice that? I just said "she." That day was the first day that I really wanted it to be a girl. I just think that would be more exciting. I'm nervous for barbies and princesses though. If I have a girl, I'll get her to like cars and superheros. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tae kwon do YA

Before kindergarten, Isaac started tar kwon do. He loves it of course. Tyler does not mind being there for two classes because there is a little baby girl there. He loves seeimg baby girl Bianca. She has a big sister in Isaac's class and a big brother in Dylan's class. Master Lee just had his 20 year anniversary of having his Champion Tae Kwon Do business. The boys tested and Dylan is now a senior brown belt and Isaac is yellow. 

I take all 6 kids sometimes on Mondays. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tyler's Birthday Day

Tyler woke up ready to sing "Happy Birthday" to himself. I laid out his clothes and crown and he loved them. He has an opinion on what he wears now.
 Ivy came over and gave him his present. Corrie stayed at my house while we walked Dylan and Isaac into school and dropped off paperwork at the school office. I thought of going to the store with the babies, but since we had to come back home to get Ivy, we just hung out. We ate mangos. 

I considered taking them to the zoo but it was my first day having to take them in two car lines. I videoed them interacting and before I knew it, a half hour had passed, that'll be a boring video:) 
You and Ivy took a long nap, but it was right in the middle of when I needed to go pick up Malia and Noah. So Bailey came over! I took Malia and Noah to Target where I bought you some big boy Mickey Mouse undies and some maternity shirts for Aunt Kat. (It's no fun spending money on maternity shirts at the end of a pregnancy since it seems like a bit of a waste.) Then Bailey said Tyler and Ivy were still asleep so we went to Dylan and Isaac's car line. When we got home, Bailey said the kids had only been awake for 5 minutes. So the gift of a long nap was a present that I personally would have appreciated. 
Then the Taylors came over and we swam before it rained. It had been raining a lot in the evenings so we got in the pool right away.  

Inside, we ate Hungry Howies and the kids went wild.

 Steven brought home new Crocs for Tyler. The shoes look like they'd fit Isaac, not sure how that's just one size up. Tyler liked them that day, but still wears the old ones. He likes crocs and I like that he can put them on himself and they are so washable.
 Tyler got a helicopter cake! It was much anticipated. and when it was gone, he missed it.
 He blew the candles out first try right when we put the cake in front of him, so we had to re-light, sing, and he blew them out first try again. We sang many times to him that day.

These Taylor kids are so sweet, they thanked me for everything!

 Steven got a new car for Tyler's birthday. There was paperwork and test drives and instruction going on that evening. Steven finally has a new car after years and years of driving one that was old (and paid off.)

 (I never changed out of my swimsuit.)
When the crews left, it was just family. Tyler told my everybody how we plan to spend Cinco De Mayo next year and my mom thought I'd blog it. So I did :) Barbie understood Tyler first.
Tyler was about as excited for a potty book as he was about his undies. He liked the water table set from Grandma and Grandpa though :)

You even feed your mower grass and dirt. So cute.
Thank you Uncle Andre and Aunt Barbie for the Tee Ball set and for the homework books for the other two, and Thank you Taylors for the duplos. Ivy has claimed all of the pink ones, a new source of sibling rivalry :) They both love them!