Friday, November 28, 2008


if i had a few of
these, i think it

might motivate me to drag our tree upstairs.

which one's your favorite?
go here for some lovely Christmas shopping and to donate
to a very, VERY good cause at the same time!!
we love you stephanie.
our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I thought I would make a huge list of things I'm thankful for this year on this day of Thanksgiving. I'm in awe at how quickly I thought of 100 things! They are in no particular order... whatsoever (I put crochet hooks as #1 and temples as #100 to prove it)!

1. my crochet hooks
2. Parties... of any kind
3. talented and inspiring girlfriends
4. Heavenly Father
5. my Savior, Jesus Christ
6. the Holy Ghost
7. my Shmoopie, Clay
8. Jack Dale and EVERYTHING about him
9. Grace and EVERYTHING about her
10. Maxwell Dennis and EVERYTHING about him
11. my Mom
12. my Dad
13. blogs
14. online shopping
15. my sewing machine
16. my house
17. my kitchen aid
18. my beehives
19. the Utah Jazz
20. Tish, my hair stylist
21. Heather, my masseuse
22. good tv shows
23. my tv
24. my dvr
25. my brothers and sisters
26. doctors
27. facebook
28. gmail
29. the sun
30. clouds
31. Thanksgiving dinner
32. my children's schools and teachers
33. my imagination
34. my creativity
35. mountains
36. my ridiculously stuffed tummy, fridge, cupboards, and pantry
37. my dentist
38. President Monson
39. that Stephanie is doing better
40. pureology
41. flowers
42. my extended family
43. good books
44. good magazines
45. my volvo
46. digital camers
47. my pictures
48. Missionaries
49. my Marriage
50. my ancestors
51. Martha, Ina, and Nigella
52. my smile
53. hip and humble, anthropologie, nordstrom, dear lizzies, j. crew, tj maxx, corn wagon quilt shop, american quilting, roberts, target, children's hour, border's books, soel boutique, the flower shop, gap, mini boden, thanksgiving point, evan's country store, all tucked in, urban outfitters, naartjie, trendy tots, ebay, costco, body works, the land of nod, etsy, pebbles in my pocket... i could go on but i won't.
54. the beehive bazaar
55. crayons, markers, and all artsy things for the kiddies
56. that the elections are over
57. that i've had a head cold and an ear infection the past week (and not some life threatning cancer) to help me not take my healthy body for granted
58. my closet stocked with cute clothes and shoes
59. good music/ talented musicians and artists
60. my ipod
61. my vacuum
62. great in-laws
63. my computer
64. Clay's ability and work ethic to provide such a great life for his family
65. geneology
66. Joseph Smith
67. my pottery wheel
68. chocolate
69. my sense of security
70. mac cosmetics
71. that i get to celebrate Christmas soon!
72. spring
73. summer
74. autumn
75. winter
76. yummy restaurants
77. electricity and all other modern luxuries
78. antiques
79. soft, high thread count bed sheets on my cozy bed
80. down comforters
81. my fireplace
82. that my family is healthy and happy
83. to be a member of the true church
84. the ensign
85. good memories
86. vacations
87. pedicures
88. that Christmas party invitations are already coming in the mail
89. that i didn't have to do the dishes tonight
90. my sewing/ crafty room and everything in it
91. gold's gym
92. relief society
93. the bishopric in my ward
94. the fact that my daughter set the table today and did a great job... she made a big deal about the place cards and was adamant about the center pieces on the kiddie table precisely matching the grown up table. that's my girl!

95. my darling mismatched antique plates that i decided to use today
96. that my kiddies have such great cousins to play with and to love
97. bubble baths
98. my knowledge and wisdom
99. that you came to my blog
100. Temples

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A few years ago, two researchers conducted what they called the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness. They found through science what most of us know intuitively: gratitude makes people happy.

For the study, several hundred people were divided into three groups and asked to keep diaries. The first group listed the day’s events in their diaries, the second group recorded any unpleasant experiences they had during the day, and the last group made a daily list of things they were grateful for.

The researchers found that the simple act of taking time each day to count your blessings makes a person more enthusiastic, determined, optimistic, and energetic. Those who expressed gratitude experienced less depression and stress, exercised more regularly, and made more progress toward personal goals. Researchers even noted a relationship between feeling grateful and feeling loved, and they observed how gratitude inspires acts of kindness and compassion.1

Remarkable, isn’t it? All this from daily gratitude and thanksgiving.

Of course, the best way to discover the benefits of gratitude is not by observing them in an academic study but by experiencing the miracle for ourselves: When we daily count our blessings, we feel better about life, even in the midst of adversity; we garner a strength of character and largeness of soul that will help us through hard times; and we see life as basically good, despite its challenges and heartaches.

Gratitude does not need to be reserved for holidays and special events. Every day is filled with miracles and blessings. If we open our hearts and look, we’ll find reasons for gratitude and thanksgiving each day, all around us.
-Lloyd D. Newell

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Images of a

These are pictures we had taken a couple of months ago. I love how they turned out! I think photography is such an important thing in a child's (and mother's) life... to capture these fleeting times. A treasure of angelic faces and smiles. Pictures truly speak a thousand words and so this is a very important part of my record keeping. I love that after the tantrums, headaches, loss of patience, and exhaustion I can look at these pictures and be reminded of what my life is all about..... FAMILY.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A bunch of "firsts"

First time it was warm enough to lay out on the deck on October 30th!
It was such a gorgeous day that we spent the afternoon on the deck reading, snacking, tanning, and, and making up stories... Gracie and Max would make up stories and Gracie was happy to do the illustrations and production (while Jack and I were happy just lounging around).
We had a wonderful time! And, yes, Maxwell is in his tighty whities... that's how warm it was!

First time we went to Gardner Village for the "Witches Night Out".
I've been wanting to go for years but never found the time! I'm glad we went! It was fun!

First season of soccer! Clay was Jack and Gracie's coach so it was really fun to be so involved! The twins started out a little unsure, but warmed up and finished the season off with a good attitude and a lot of skills (thanks daddy!)!

First time to the Hogle Zoo! Soooo fun and we went on the Perfect day! Gorgeous weather and zero crowds! If you wanna see my control freak daughter who LOVES her Zoo map, go here and look at the video! It makes me laugh.

First BYU football game! Jack and I went to a football game with my brother's inlaws (who are also good friends of mine) It was sooo FUN!!! I'm not a huge football OR BYU fan but it was a blast spending time with Jack. He was so excited and stomped and clapped and sang along with the crowd. Now he calls hot chocolate that is a little too hot "BYU hot chocolate" LOL

First ballet class! She LOVES it and is learning new things each week! When she gets home from class I ask her to show me what she learned. I can't tell you how much I love watching her! Soooo cute!

Some other Firsts-
First day of Kindergarten for Jack and Grace
First day of Pre-School for Max
Sorry no pictures... they were accidentally deleted.... :(
I need to snatch some again

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Catching up!

Ok, I figured out how to post pictures again!
I'm feeling quite proud of myself.
I should have had more faith in myself a long time ago... it just took some determination and patience.
Here are some happenings from the last few months... there will be more to come soon!

Anyway, brace yourself for a long, picture happy post!

This is one of many day trips and overnighters at my parents house. We love going up there! Highlights include 1. baking something yummy with grandma 2. playing basketball 3. making a clay pot, box, and "cookies" with grandpa (then receiving the final product all fired the next visit!) 4. witnessing a car accident at midnight 5. running through sprinklers
6. picking flowers from grandpa's garden (and putting them behind our ears) 7. a bee sting for max 8. wonderful, happy, patient grandparents to care for us!

The Twinners turn 5!!
We didn't have a friend party for Jack and Gracie this year. I think we'll switch off between friend parties and family parties... this year was family party and I know they had a fabulous birthday! The night before we had a bunch of family down to celebrate. We had cake and ice cream. Gracie wanted a "flower cake" and Jack wanted an "Iron Man" one. (they turned out pretty Home made looking to me, but they were thrilled so I was happy!) On their actual birthday (which was Monday, labor day...... they were born on Monday, labor day!) September 1st, we woke up and got ready and headed up to park city for lunch and some shopping! Then we made our way down to Salt Lake City and went to the Children's Museum at The Gateway. I can't remember where we went for dinner... bummer. Anyway, we got home super late and we were all ExHaUsTeD!!! What a joy Jack and Grace are in my life... they are soo different in some ways, and soo very alike in others. They compliment each other beautifully and they are so deeply loved.

This is Laura, me, and Lisa in Park City
We have had a couple of these girly overnighters that seem way too few and far between!

This is a typical afternoon on our deck this summer. Who needs a built in pool when
you have two mini baby pools and some water toys?? LOL They spent so much time
out there with each other laughing, spashing, smiling, and soaking up the sun!
I'm so glad they are such good friends!

Maxwell turns 3!
This was such a darling party and we all had a blast! Max had wanted a Superman party so I thought I would give the birthday boy his wish! We invited a few of his neighborhood friends over to help celebrate the Wonderful Day! Dear, Dear Max... You are so special!
We "totally" love you "soooo good"!

Fourth of July!!!!
We live in the best city in the world when it comes 4th! The parade is the best, the firworks are the best, and the festivities are the best! This year a few of Clay's family joined us and so did my family! We had sooo much fun! I love celebrating Independance Day! In fact, it's one of my favorite holidays (ok, let's face it... every holiday is my favorite when it comes around) There's something about celebrating with Millions of people something so sacred yet so magnificent as our freedom. I get teary eyed every year without fail... the patriotic music + American flags proudly flying at every turn + the gratitude of being a citizen of such a blessed nation + the sweet yet brave veterens waving or marching in the parades + family + friends + fireworks =
Gleeful, teary Kristen!

Clay's uncle Jay passed away this summer. He was such a good man. A very GOOD man!
We miss him dearly and love him immensely.
This is a picture of the kiddies with their cousins, Hailey and Daniel at his viewing.

Good times with the Johnson family! They came and stayed with us for a few days. We feel so blessed to have them in our lives. They are AwEsOmE friends! All of the kids got along so well! Darling children inside and out! I can't wait until we get to see them again!

A fun visit to the farm country at Thanksgiving point.

More good times with friends! Thanks for throwing this pool party Jen!

I took a trip down to Arizona to meet my baby nephews and see them be blessed! They are sooo freaking cute! Good job Dave and Amy! However, upon the return home, I felt very grateful that my twinners are not babies anymore. It's true.. as a mother you tend to forget about the struggles and challenges of having a newborn (especially two) around. Oh, the joys of twins! Keep it up you two... They grow up soo fast!

Death Cab concert at Thanksgiving Point!
These are my SwEeT concert pals!
Amy, Kirstie, me, and Anne
K, I kinda felt old there but once in a while you have to have fun and let loose after being Mommy all day. We sang and danced to our hearts content and got it out of our systems!
What's coming up next Kirstie!?!?