Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Little Help With New Years Resolutions

Getting organized.

Keeping grounded.

Having fun.

New Years resolutions.
Good intentions.
Goals for a perfect world.
A fresh new start.

Most of my life I've poo-pooed New Years resolutions.  To even attempt to keep a goal for an entire year just seemed entirely unrealistic to me.  What's the point in making lofty goals that I know I'll forget about in a matter of days?  That's how I've always felt about them.

But these past couple of years I've found myself coming around to the idea of making goals for a fresh new year.  Of course on some level I know I won't meet them 100%.  That's just life.  Unexpected things come up.  But I don't think that means I should give up on making goals all together.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

4 years and counting

an engaged us

Happy Anniversary to us!

Four years ago today we were busy getting married and all that jazz.  Today we're sitting on the sofa vegging out while Olivia busies herself with little things around the living room.  No offense to weddings or anything, but I'd definitely rather be doing the later.

Truth be told, Bryan and I are both pretty terrible at remembering our anniversary.  There are two reasons for this.  We got married December 28th, 2007.  So, first of all, we both get the 7 and 8 in that date mixed up all the time.  And, second of all, you may notice this date is only three days after Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

Photo credit: pictures taken by our lovely neighbor, cards designed at and printed from Shutterfly

In case you can't read the text on our Christmas card (above)...

Here's our top ten from 2011:

  1. Bryan graduated from BYU!
  2. We visited Oregon
  3. Katie opened an Etsy shop
  4. We moved to Ohio!
  5. We visited Virginia
  6. Olivia started preschool
  7. Bryan started optometry
  8. Katie continues to blog
  9. Olivia learned the alphabet
  10. We love our new home!

Merry Christmas!

 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all athe world should be btaxed.
 (And this ataxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is calledaBethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 To be taxed with Mary his aespoused wife, being great with child.
 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 And she brought forth her afirstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the binn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the aglory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great bjoy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.
 12 And this shall be a asign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.
 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16 And they came with ahaste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18 And all they that heard it awondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19 But Mary kept all these things, and apondered them in her heart.
 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Guess what?

It's Christmas Eve!

Needless to say, I'm super excited.  And I think the three little little girls here would be a lot more excited if they were old enough to know what was going on (i.e. presents tomorrow!).

It's funny, though, how much the weather plays a part in the whole scene of Christmas.  Maybe it's different if you've grown up someplace like Florida where it's warm and sunny year-round.  But when you've grown up somewhere with, ya know, four seasons, it's weird to not have it be super cold and snowy and everything on Christmas Eve.

Airplane Museum

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quick & Simple Gift Wrap Ideas

I, like my sister, totally jumped on the basic gift wrap band wagon this year.  Partly because it's pretty and I really like the style.  And partly because I was too cheap/lazy to go to the store and actually buy Christmas wrapping paper.

I wrapped mine here using some basic brown paper that I bought on a roll from Home Depot for about $8.  It's a huge roll.  I bought it a few months ago, I've used a bunch, and I still haven't made a dent.

However, you definitely don't need to go buy paper to get the look.  Just slice the sides of a paper grocery bag and wrap your gifts so the inside of the bag faces out.  It'll totally look the same.  Or go for a cool recycled look and wrap it so the outside faces out!  So many possibilities.

This isn't a comprehensive look at all the gifts we wrapped this year, but here are a few of my favorites with a little how-to.


  • Wrap gift in brown paper.
  • Tie two bits of string in a knot.
  • Fix string to package with a small roll of tape.
  • Draw a kitty on the package, making the string the kitty's whiskers.

Repeat Conversations

When Bryan and I first arrived here at his parents' house it was just our little family plus Bryan's mom, dad, and younger brother, David (pictured above with a rockin' video camera).

A few days later Bryan's other younger brother and younger sister joined us.

Then, yesterday, Bryan's older brother and his little family of 4 joined the throng.

So now when we're all at home there are 12 of us.

It's big and crazy and fun.  But with so many people around, I have noticed a pattern of repeat conversations.

Case in point:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Bib on Babble

My Quotable Chalkboard Bib is being featured over on Babble today!

Lauren, writer of, The Little Things We Do, has rounded up a fab collection of beautiful baby products, including this fun little bib by yours truly.

Many of the the items there would make great gifts--Christmas or otherwise.

This bib is especially great for taking monthly photos with your little one.  You can just write the age right on the bib!

Click on over to Babble and check it out!

Monday, December 19, 2011


This morning I painted my toenails and then talked Olivia into painting her nails.  She already wanted to, but I think she was afraid it was going to hurt or something.  So she needed a little talking into at the last minute.

We were going to paint her toenails (like Mommy's), but, like I said, she freaked out at the last minute.  So instead I talked her into letting me paint her tiny little pinky fingernail on her hand.

Once she realized that it didn't hurt at all, she was thoroughly delighted and kept insisting "more," indicating that she wanted me to finish painting the rest of her nails.

This is how her little pink nails turned out:

Or, I guess I should say, this is what her little pink nails look like to boring old grown-up eyes.

This is what they look like to little girl two year-old eyes:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Double Date

Last night our super good friends Emily and Richard invited us over to their cute house for a double date.

They treated us to some really yummy homemade pizza.
They made two pizzas and we gobbled up both in about five minutes.
Mmmm.  Sooo good.
Wish I had some more right now.

Bry and I contributed by making some yummy molten chocolate cakes.

Okay, actually all we did was bring the ingredients and mix it up.
In their bowl.  With their whisk.

Truth be told, Bryan and I are actually pretty bad at making molten chocolate cake.

So once the easy part mixing was finished, we basically made Emily do the rest.

It's a good thing, too.
Because they turned out beautifully under Emily's carefully trained eye.
All my eyes are trained for is... I don't know.
Something other than perfect molten chocolate cakes, I guess.

Emily and Richard also have Carly, the most adorable dog ever.
She never sits still, so that's why this picture is small and blurry.
But you kind of have to love her anyway.  Look at those eyes!
Despite the fact that she shed black fur all over my white shirt, I love her a lot.  She is so sweet!
Also, she is about the same age as Olivia, but Carly is...

...wait for it...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Showers Are The Worst

For those of you who are about to suggest taking a bath instead, I leave you with the following piece of information that my brother graced me with when I was probably somewhere around the age of eleven:

"Taking a bath is like swimming in your own filth."

If you think I have never fully enjoyed soaking in the bathtub since then, you are right.
Me and my friend Alex--post Jello fight--in our single college days

Now let's talk about why showers are the worst.  Because they really are.

First of all, you have to get wet.  I kind of hate getting wet.  I mean, it's nice once you're actually in the shower, but afterward it's a total pain.  Especially if you have long, thick hair like I do.  I always ring my wet hair out several times after I'm done with a shower and the wringing-out is followed by a thorough drying off with a towel.    

An entire separate towel just for my hair, by the way, because if I try and use just one towel I end up soaking wet and even after I get dressed I still have awkward wet places all over.  Gah.

But even after wringing and drying, if I put my hair up in a ponytail (which I always do), at least part of my hair will still be wet hours later.  It's long and thick and a mean little beast.

Okay, so being wet.  That's the first part of what makes showers the worst.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Speaking of Christmas with Family...

Have you seen this one yet?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

These Crazies

I'll be spending a serious amount of time with these crazies for the next couple weeks.  So posting may be a little more sporadic than usual.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Thoughts: Making Sense of Things

Christmas morning was always happy in the home I grew up in.  And I hope my parents won't be offended by my saying so, but the fact that I always remember Christmas morning as being a happy time is really saying something.  My parents divorced when I was little and from there on out the Christmas season brought on an endless round of visitation schedules that I was never a fan of, even as a little kid.  But somehow none of that ever seemed to touch Christmas morning.

In all the overthrow that divorce and remarriage brings on a household, some traditions went the way of the wind.  Which is okay.  Because even if the change hadn't been caused by rearranging our family, it would have been brought on by siblings growing up and moving out and getting married and having their own kids.

I know because that's what happened.  I'm the youngest of five kids.  And my step dad has three kids.  And my step mom has five kids.  And later my mom and step dad adopted a daughter.  But all of those siblings (except for my little step brother) are older than me.  So I watched a lot of siblings grow up, move out, get married, and have children of their own.  And of course all of those things are a good part of growing up, but they do tend to change the way traditions work.

But before we all grew up and moved out and got married and started having children of our own, there was Christmas morning at home.  We ate homemade cherry pie with whipped cream for breakfast.  We stayed in our pajamas and took turns opening Christmas presents one at a time so the fun of opening gifts would last for hours.  We got calls from grandparents wishing us a Merry Christmas.  We'd spend the afternoon and evening tinkering with our gifts and feeling happy.  But before we ate cherry pie and opened presents, we came down the stairs and opened our stockings.

My stocking growing up was a red felt stocking with a white brim and on the front there was a little patch with a picture of Santa holding a kitty.  We hung our stockings on the back side of the stair railing so that each of us had our stockings hanging above a stair.  And usually our stockings were so full that the goodies spilled out onto the stair, which made for a rather exciting sight to come down to on Christmas morning.

I don't remember when it started, but one of my sisters and I got in the habit of waking up around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and sneaking down to take a peek at our stockings.  We never set an alarm, but the excitement of Christmas morning woke us up like clockwork each year and even as teenagers and young adults if you had sat on the stairs very early on Christmas morning you would have found Kendra and me sneaking down around 3:00 or 4:00 am.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sales End Today!

Get the coupon code for 25% off your total purchase HERE.

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Enter the shop HERE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You know what's nice?

the engaged us

Having a husband.  That's what's nice.  Even if he did fall asleep during the movie.  At least he has time for a movie!

This is all by way of saying that--hooray!--finals are over!  Bryan (my husband) started optometry school this year and he is now officially done with the first quarter.  And while his 2nd and 3rd and 4th year counterparts are still busy working in the clinic and whatnot, the first year students are totally off the hook.  Woo-hoo!  This means a lot of great things, but mostly it means that I finally have my husband back!

This boy studies in a way I am truly not capable of.  Hours and hours of sitting and staring at... what?  I have no idea.  I mean, I went to college.  I have a bachelors degree.  I took a lot of midterms and finals and things.  But I never studied like this guy.  His studying is intense.  And, umm... effective.

He writes things down and reads his notes and... I honestly don't know what all goes on, but most of it goes on in his head, that's for sure.  Because from where I sit it looks like he's just sitting there staring at his notebook for a loooong time.  And what that means for me is that he is really busy.  All the time.  He studied a lot in his undergrad too, but somehow he manages to study even more now.  So it is just that much more exciting to have him done with school and home and not studying!

Hooray!  Hooray!

In any case, it is now party central around here.  Except for, like, the ten loads of laundry we've been working on doing all day, this place has been full of working on fun projects (Bry's almost done with another custom portrait), making cookies (like these--you totally killed me with that picture of the cookies with M&M's, Dana), and watching movies (It's nice to have friends with a cooler movie collection.  Thanks Jess!).  Although, like I said, Bryan did fall asleep during the movie.  But, hey, it's his vacation, so I'll cut him some slack.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reporting live from... my couch!

Me with my exciting parcel
Eeee!  I'm so excited about what came in the mail today!  It's my brand new very own teeny tiny baby...