Monday, December 20, 2010

This Christmas Season...

This Christmas season is...Caroline simply asking for bunny slippers and a toy for Olive
This Christmas season is...reading Christmas Oranges on the couch and Caroline falling asleep between Adam and I
This Christmas season is...time for Jamilyn and Nathan to get hitched!! 

This Christmas season is...getting giddy every time there is a Christmas card in the mail, and leaving the junk mail in the box.
This Christmas season is...S.K.I.I.N.G. in powder!!

This Christmas season is...Adam's halfway done point with law school!  Way to go babe, your girls are proud.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sweeter than a cupcake

When Caroline knew Olive's birthday was coming up she was very thrilled to think up having the party be a cupcake party.  She said, "That will be a great idea mom, it really will."  
And truly why are cupcakes all the rage right now?  Well, because they just make people happy, and that is exactly what our Olive does.  It was perfect.

Here are the tasty invitations...
I fell in love with IZZE soda up in New Hampshire, I actually purchased them because just looking at them make me smile.  They turned out to taste good so they made the cut for the party!
And sipping them with one of these makes me smile even bigger!  These babies are hard to find.  They have red and white ones a lot of places, but they are also very expensive at most of those places.  There is a store called Rock Paper Scissors in Wiscasset, Maine that sells them.  They are the cheapest place to get them and she charges almost nothing to ship them!  It is a small local business too, which is great.  There are lots of colors to choose from just call:  207-882-9930
150 Green Striped Paper Straws
To add a little flair to the napkins I added some pom poms.

It took Olive a while to dip into the cake because these two little ones, Caroline and Liam, had all of her attention.  They were so sweet with her.
Olive would get close to the cake and then stop and look at everyone watching.  She would just wait there like she was posing for us so we could snap some more pictures.  

It truly was a party and a show by this little love.  She had everyone laughing and smiling as big as she is here!
Here's to 1 Olive!!  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Happy Birthday!!

             One year ago we welcomed Olive Mary into our family.  Finally, the constant worry of whether everything with our growing miracle would be ok was over.  Olive had arrived and was laying, snuggling on my chest.  The road to that point was trying and scary.  After having my two miscarriages, I was in constant alert mode while pregnant with Olive.  We had a scare that I was delivering her at 25 weeks, but after a visit to the E.R. we found out that everything was fine.  The next month was uneventful and I could feel her strong limbs pushing against me.  Then after I measured small at a doctor's appointment, they sent me for an ultrasound.  The tech said that everything looked fine, but she kept looking and looking, then switched probes, and still kept looking.  I had a feeling the tech saw something suspicious, but did not want to tell me without consulting a doctor first.  Later the doctor called and said that our little girl had fluid on the brain.  She told me that I would have to wait until the following week to go to Dartmouth for an ultrasound and genetic appointment.  A week!?  I was devastated and worried about what would be necessary to take care of our baby.  I talked with my uncle who boosted my spirits and after a lot of prayer I realized that no matter what our little one has to deal with, we would love her still the same.  After thorough ultrasound by a neonatologist at Dartmouth, the fluid on the brain diagnosis turned out to be another false alarm. 
                The last two months were smooth sailing.  I felt so good and we were becoming anxious and excited for our new arrival.  On December 6th I woke up feeling a little off.  I was throwing a children's Christmas party and had lots to do so I got to it.  Baking cookies, mixing frosting, setting up the nativity puppets.  The party was busy and by the end I was very tired, and feeling a little worse.  Caroline and I went about our day.  Around 4:00 I realized that I was having some sporadic contractions, which I figured were just Braxton Hicks (seeing as how many of my pregnant friends had been having them for weeks).  But then at 4:58 the sharp pains started becoming more regular, longer, and more painful.  This was such a different experience than when I had Caroline.  It felt like my insides were doing flips.  I sat on the couch with Adam's watch clutched in my hand as I timed how long each contraction.  At this point they were about 7 minutes apart.  Quickly that shifted to 4-5 minutes apart and I immediately called Adam and the doctor.  I still have the index card with my chicken scratch writing indicating that at 6:06 p.m. we were rushing out the door to the hospital.  We dropped Caroline off with our dear friends, the Dortchs, for the night.  I had to sit down a couple of times on the floor at their house while some contractions passed.  Part joking, part serious, Cary asked if I needed his wheelchair.  (In hind sight, Adam asks, "Why didn't you just stay in the car while I dropped Caroline off?")
                When we got to the hospital I was measuring at a 5 and feeling energized.  I had Guster and Indigo Girls playing through my ipod in one ear, while Adam was comforting me in the other.  I enjoyed a whirlpool path for a very long time.  It was perfect to keep the pain under control as I progressed stedily to a 7-8.  When I reached a nine, I felt terrible and started throwing.  This is when I decided to call the anesthesiologist for an epidural (too bad I didn't know the anesthesiologist was at home and that it would be an hour before my epidural was finally in place).    One hour post epidural, at 1:02 am, our little 6 pound 9 ounce baby arrived.   As I looked down at our beautiful girl, rather than the sense of pure relief I thought I would experience upon her arrival, I was filled with fear because I didn't hear her newborn cry.  Olive was a dusky grey color and time stood still as we waited for her to take her first breath of life.  In my mind I thought, "We have come this far, and now this?"  The doctor quickly cut the cord and moved her to the warmer where he was joined by a team of nurses.  Adam fought the urge to follow the doctor to ensure that he was doing everything possible  to help Olive breath.  Instead he stayed with and comforted me as we prayed for our little girl.  I sat there shaking my head whispering, "No, no, no," over and over.  The doctor stayed very calm  and told us everything he was doing.  By 1:04, which seemed like an eternity, she was pinking up a little, but the room was still disturbingly quiet.  Finally, at 1:05, after the longest 3 minutes of our lives, Olive took her first breath and the ear shattering silence was broken by her perfect newborn cry.  Minutes later, I was holding Olive in my arms and my Christmas wish of having Olive here safe had come true.

Our little O,
Today you are 1
Today you L.O.V.E. to climb
Today you love eggs, any meat, all cooked veggies, bananas, blueberry pancakes, pears
Today you lay your head on my shoulder before you go to bed and we 'hmm' back and forth
Today you love to lay on Caroline's chest and make her giggle
Today you have two and a nubbin teeth.
Today you love to spoon water out of the Nalgene bottle when you bathe
Today you have lots to say to everyone all day in your happy voice
Today you sign doggie, all done, and milk
Today you love to put things in bowls and baskets
Today you say hi and wave, and bye, mama, and dada
Today you love to try to put on hats, headbands, and shoes over and over again
Today you can't tolerate milk, but love to drink soy milk from ONLY a spoon so far
Today you help put your coat on by sticking out your arms
Today you have taken 7 steps alone toward toddling
Today darling Caroline can always bring a toothy smile to  your face, even if you are sick
Today is the second Christmas season that we are blessed to have you
We sure do love you sweetheart!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I woke up Thanksgiving morning and there was definitely a different feeling in the air.  Our home was filled with a quiet, yet thrilling holiday excitement.  Today was the day we were going to visit some incredible dear friends.  We were going to decorate later for Christmas while carols played in the background.  We got to feast on so many divine delicacies.  We were able to smell those delicacies cooking all day and the candied yams made our home smell like a sweet shop.  Adam got to play football (and there were no injuries!).   Caroline was beside herself with glee because she thought the Indians really were coming to our feast later.  Oh how we L.O.V.E. her!!
We were able to go to Jill and Behrad's for dinner.  Let me just say, mouth watering perfection!  The turkey (pic coming soon) was brined by Jill and was moist and so tender.  She had some cranberry sauce from Williams-Sonoma that will be finding it's way to our Thanksgiving table from now on.  

 I have been lucky to have known Jill since highschool.  Here we are years later celebrating the holidays together with two little girls each!  Caroline and Izabella had only met once right before Jill moved out here to D.C. and we left for New Hampshire.  The girls were young and were just focused on the swings then.  Well, they sure hit it off this night and it made the evening so enjoyable!  They tried on about 20 dresses and twirled and ice skated on the wood floors to their hearts content.  Olive and Pearl enjoyed watching the live entertainment and were just being their usual sweet selves.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If any of you are still wondering what to do for Christmas cards, you should check out!  Right now they are giving 50 FREE Christmas cards to anyone who blogs about how amazing they are.  I have done some photo books through them in the past which turned out incredibly.  I was very happy with how they ended up.  The pictures are always very clear and their products have a classy look to them.  (This might be a great gift idea to capture that family trip you took this year! or if you have kids you could make a photo book with family pictures for them to look at, that's always a favorite.)

So if you are questioning just what to do for that yearly card, just go to and check out all of their great layouts.  They have simple ones where you can use just one picture, or layouts where you can incorporate many photos.  There are over 800+ layouts to choose from so there is bound to be something for everyone's taste.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

After toting this quilt around to about 4 different homes, it is finally done!  I love to do projects, but a big problem that I have is that I am a huge perfectionist.  When I was little I would vacuum my room everyday.  I wouldn't let people sit on my bed if it was made because I didn't want it to have wrinkles in it.  Luckily somewhere while growing up, I chilled out a bit.  I still like things to be just right though.  
This becomes a hindrance when I start a project that I am really excited about, and then just can't finish it for fear that it won't turn out just how I picture it.  It sounds crazy, but that is how my little mind works. 

I have many different crafting projects starting to loom over me in our closet, so I decided to begin to finish all of them...perfect or not.  This is my first feat.  My dear friend Emily made one of these quilts in red and white Pottery Barn bedding material, I was obsessed so I had to make one.  So I went to the "last chance" downeast home strore in West Valley and picked up some Pottery Barn bedding and went to work.  Years later, here is the finished product.  (The funny thing is the only piece I had to finish was the binding!)  Once it is washed, the little circles fray and it is a nice addition.

So here's to one down and many more enticing projects to go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


While Adam's parents were here we had to hit some of the local farms!  One of the farms we went to was Cox Farm, which I had heard lots about from good friends that used to live here.  
It did not disappoint.  The only very sad thing was that Caroline stayed in the stroller the entire time.  She had mentioned once that she didn't feel well and then there she sat.  That's when I  knew she really did not feel well at all.  That is not her style at such a fun place!  

She enjoyed the conrnundrum corn maze where there was tons to see such as a 20 foot giraffe, pirates, fun house mirrors (that actually got a smile out of her!), a tunnel of bugs, and other random silly things.

The hayride was quite eventful with aliens coming out of the corn, Starwars music playing at one point, and getting stuck in the mud.  Our driver kept things very exciting.

And this little 11-month old love was just so content.  (She is also content climbing up on Caroline's craft table, climbing the stairs to platforms at the park, and sticking her hand in the toilet if she gets the disgusting chance.)

Oxon Hill Farm was another one we went to.  It kind of made me want to be a farmer.  It was so refreshing to walk around the open surroundings among the red barns and sheds.  
We walked down the path to find this beauty at the end of it.  All shades of leaves are popping out all over out here and it has been a long and beautiful fall.
Caroline got to milk Virginia, the cow, and she was way into it.  We also enjoyed a movie about how cheese is made.  When they talked about curds and whey Caroline was thrilled because she knew little Miss Muffet eats that.  
We had such a nice time with Grandma and Grandpa B!  I had a week where I felt so energized and kept wondering what was different.  It wasn't hard to realize that I had two extra sets of hands that were always busy loving the girls, reading to Caroline, carrying the: camera, diaper bag, kids, food, loading dishes, cleaning up toys, unloading dishes, buckling the girls in the car, keeping up with the loads and loads of Caroline energy.     It was glorious!!  I feel lucky to have such incredible in-laws that I can hang out with all week, regardless of if Adam is at school or not.
Thanks for visiting, we love you guys!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Must Do's in D.C.

Many of the places to go in D.C. I could return to over and over again.  There is usually always some new street to discover, part of the history of a monument to learn, or some charming stairway to glance at.

As I have mentioned many times, Old Town is a 5 star place to go.  Blake and Gae loved walking around the townhomes, the pier, and the shops.  And I loved spotting a classy red and white striped beach hat to wear for my next trip to the beach.  Yes, we were so spoiled!
The National Zoo is a place with some hidden jems like a red-faced panda, exotic tree frogs, and naked mole rats.  To be honest, I didn't know naked mole rats were real.  I only knew there was a witty children's book about one who wanted to wear clothes. 
They are much cuter to look at in the book.  I am getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about those creatures.
The National Cathedral has beautifully detailed architecture and an incredible amount of space to explore.  They started construction in 1907 and didn't finish until 1990.
Miss C was in awe by the jaw dropping organ music that was played.  She went from tap dancing and spinning in circles to this:
A picnic at West Potomac Park is so relaxing and pleasant.  We watched a crew team row back and forth too.  I don't know what it is about crew, but I l.o.v.e. watching it!  Adam thinks it's because it makes me feel 'ivy league'.  
Right across the street from your picnic you can go visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial which makes you realize how much he did for our country and that his wife was quite a woman.
(Sorry about the poor phone picture, but the memory is so great I had to put it!)
And when you're in town, don't forget to visit the Beckstroms!  We will keep you busy with festive fun of making "juggler jigglers" (as Caroline calls Jell-O Jigglers), carving pumpkins, decorating and eating lots of cookies and singing festive songs. 

and stay tuned for a couple of farm tours :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Treading on foreign soil

The past week we have had the pleasure of having Grandma and Grandpa Beckstrom in town!  Adam's mom had just two days before had surgery for recurring breast cancer so we were so glad that she was ok and that they could still come!  It was a week packed full of loving the girls, seeing the sights, and of course Halloween!

We found out that you could go Trick-or-Treating on Embassy Row and visit other countries which sounded appealing.  So one afternoon we went and toured the world.  
We had to visit the Irish Embassy where the whole tradition of the holiday began.  I could have listened to her accent all day long.
We stopped by Romania, Chile, the Ivory Coast in Africa, Korea, Finland, and Madagascar to name a few.  The insides of the Embassies were lavishly decorated and I would have been fine to pull up a high back leather chair and   just take in the architecture.
The Embassy of Brazil wasn't quite ready for people in costume, but as we were walking away, a very kind man from there stopped in the street and got out to give Caroline her goodies.  
(I forgot to bring Adam's pants and booties therefore he is new age Peter Pan)
More of our numerous adventures with Grandma and Grandpa B to come!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where will the train stop this time?

It has been a bustling past several years for us.  We seem to have this unspoken goal in our marriage to move every year...and then some.  So far, we have met that goal by moving four times in Utah, then venturing to New Hampshire, and now Virginia.
This time, just to keep things exciting, we thought we would up and move to New York City!  
We are thrilled that Adam got a job for the summer so we will live in the Big Apple for 3 months.  
I am eager to stroll through Central Park, explore the city, and hit a Broadway show with Adam, but  I am very anxious to navigate the subway system with our girls.
Either way it will be an adventure and we can hardly wait!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A little bit {tinky}

Caroline has known what she wanted to be for Halloween since summer.  Months ago out of the blue she said, "I want to be Tinkerbell for Halloween."  
I get really excited for Halloween, and Adam and I, well I LOVE dressing up and Adam is always a good sport.  
I was not excited about the Tinkerbell idea for some reason.  I had in mind a cute little Bo-Peep and Olive a sheep or some other cute combo.
Caroline was off and rolling with the Peter Pan theme, however.  She assigned Adam to be Peter Pan.  We suggested Captain Hook, but she insisted on a tight wearing character :)  I was to be Wendy and at first she wanted Olive to be Captain Hook.  A few weeks later she had a grand vision of Olive being Nanna, the dog, which I loved.

Now the fun began.  My super sew savvy friend said I should make the costumes.  I was hesitant at first, but after a trip to the fabric store, I was becoming more excited.  She basically gave me sewing lessons to get the costumes done. (Except I ended up finding the dog costume at a consignment store, only the Nanna hat was made.)  Even if they wouldn't have turned out, Caroline's reaction the morning she saw her costume made it all worth it!  She went out to the living room and I could hear her say very enthusiastically, "Oh, WOW!" (spin around) "Wow!  Mom, it's sooo TINKY!  Thank you for making my costume mom!" 
Later when she put the costume on she grinned and said in a sassy voice, "I feel soo tinky!"