Monday, December 31, 2012

Santa Claus came to town. And so did the crazy train.

On the Elf soundtrack, there is a classic version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." It is sung by Eddy Arnold. Carly became obsessed with this song. We listened to it over and over. "I want Santa Coming to Town sung by the boy!" she would say every time we got in the car. I was incredibly happy when we arrived in Idaho and that song was no longer easily accessible, though it was adorable to hear her sing along and learn all the words.

Our Christmas vacation in Idaho was nothing short of wonderful, as it always seems to be. Our first days were lazy recovery/play days, before my brothers and wives joined the party. From then on out it was lots of food and lots of fun.

-Crazy train headed into the airport. We seriously look insane. And to think I used to hate flying alone.

-We got to play with and open presents from Aunt Jenny and Uncle Christian when we landed in the Salt Lake airport. So fun to see them, if only for a short time.

-Exploring Mimi and Grandpa's house. So much space!

-Resting, recovering, adjusting to the timezone change.

-Sasha makes himself at home on my lap at Michael and Camie's house in Utah.

-Chris sinks his teeth into his first Crown Burger after the light at Temple Square.

-Carly passed out on the way home from Salt Lake City.

-Fluffy head and little hands watching the snow.

-Q making eyes at her daddy on the way to lunch.

-Jason and the biggest burrito ever. I heart El Herradero.

-John likes Costco samples.

-Cousins decorating Mimi's tree.

-Visiting great Grandma and Grandpa T.

-John laying a big juicy one on Mimi.

-Carly's first CTR ring (gotta love a place where the Distribution Center is in the mall!)

-My 24601 shirt Santa put in my stocking. #teamvaljean

Christmas Eve finally arrived!

-Sisters with matching outfits. I love those sparkly deer.

-Christmas Eve breakfast and the best omelette I've ever had. Elmer's for the win.

-Q eating cookies for lunch (hey, its Christmas!).

-Carly rolling cheeseballs in crushed nuts like a boss.

-Making fruit loop candy canes with auntie Addie.

-Sisters in matching pajamas.

-Listening to the Polar Express, a family Christmas Eve tradition.

-Signs so Santa knows where to put our presents. Carly wrote her letters all by herself.

-Cookies and GF fudge for Santa. Carrots for the reindeer. We left one cookie behind with a bite taken out of it. Christmas morning Carly brought me the plate and said, "Look! Santa ate the cookies!"

[The C Family on Christmas Eve.]

On Christmas morning everyone "slept in". It was lovely. I woke up before any of my kids. Granted, I was extremely excited; not for me, but for Carly. I was also very nervous. Carly had been talking about this Barbie house non-stop for weeks. I am just not ready for her to have Barbies, and I'm not sure I'll ever want her to have them, though I'm sure I will lose that battle eventually. But my mom and I found these little princess castles that came with the little princesses and thought they would be a good substitute. I was genuinely worried that her little innocent 3-year-old heart would be disappointed. But, what do you know, she loves her princesses, and we've already spent a lot of time sitting at her little table hosting princess parties, doing princess dances, singing at princess concerts, and rescuing everyone from all sorts of trouble.

We are abundantly blessed, and Carly was so "loved" last year that we had more presents than any of us knew what to do with. We tried to limit everything a little more this year, but our kids still came out with quite the haul, despite the fact that Chris and I got them 1 thing each (well, we got Carly 3 . . . oops). We ended up packing a big box for my parents to ship. It really is unbelievable, how wonderful our families are and how much love and generosity they show our kids.

-Santa saw the signs, and placed presents appropriately.

-Santa brought John a set of little Tonka trucks. They are adorable. I showed them to him when we came into the room, then sat him on the floor. He contorted his little body around to look back at the trucks, like "Are those mine?!" He was quite happy with them. Mommy, however, is not a huge fan of their sirens, and will be taking the batteries out of all of them. Party pooper. 

-My three little pigs on Christmas morning.

-Q and Car checking out their presents. Carly's stocking was overflowing; she probably would have been perfectly happy to stop there.

-Carly and her princess "neighborhood".

-I went for a beautiful yet torturous run on Christmas afternoon. At the end I ran up my parents hill for the view, and walked back down.

-Santa surprised every couple with an iPad mini. Mine is named Minnie and has a red case. She is adorable.

Our fun-packed and lazy days on Christmas vacation came to an end entirely too quickly. We just love going out to Idaho. What a blessing to have family I love so much, that even 7 years after moving out of the house, I still can't say goodbye without tears. And this year I shared my tears, as Carly wailed after being dropped off at the airport, "But I don't want Grandpa to leave me! I want to go back to Mimi's house!" Luckily our flight home was significantly more enjoyable than the flight there, with a working movie player, babies who both slept a little, a better time of day, and best of all, an empty seat in our row. It was a festivus miracle.

-Hugging cousin Shayla goodbye.

-Mimi is a jungle gym.

-Tears at the airport drop-off.

-Hugs on the airplane.

-Miss Independent looking out at the lights.

It is so hard to leave, and yet when we walked through our doors at 11 pm on Friday night, I was so happy to be home. Even Carly, who had been whining about going back to Mimi's house and even threw an all-out tantrum in the airport parking lot about not wanting to go home, walked into the living room and twirled and said with a smile, "Its so nice to be back at my home!"

How lucky are we, to love so many places so much?

It was a very Merry Christmas.
Here's to a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


After one insane flight, we are in Idaho, and life is good.
The last few weeks we have been Christmasing our little hearts out.

A synopsis:

-We went to the Christmas tree lighting in Holt, a little town south of Lansing. It was a small event at the little library we go to. Carly loved watching the band and watching them light up the tree. She got to pet Santa's reindeer, and excitedly told me "I got to touch the goat's horns!" There were cookies and hot cocoa in the library, but we decided to forgo the long line, head to Tim Horton's, and have doughnuts for dinner.


 [Carly watching the first snowfall.]

-We held our somewhat annual "gingerbread" house building party. We invited Chris's friends from his program and had lots of fun. Carly requested a pink Barbie castle, and I delivered with stunning results. She was pleased enough, though we didn't walk away with first prize.

 -A few days ago we spent the day in Salt Lake City. My parents were kind enough to watch the twins, and we took Carly for a Christmas adventure. We played at Micheal and Camie's house, then headed for some shopping at City Creek. We enjoyed Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, H&M, and watching Carly walk wide-eyed through the princess sections of the Disney store. Then we headed to Temple Square. Carly doesn't get to see the temple very often, and this was her first encounter with Temple Square. She really loved it, and seemed more mesmerized and interested in the temple and the "churches" (the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall) than the Christmas lights, which was a reminder to me of what is most important (see how she teaches me every day?). We went into the Assembly Hall and listened to a choir and she sat perfectly still. Its amazing to watch the Spirit touch her, even as young as she is.

-On Saturday, I took Carly to The Nutcracker, along with my parents and my brother Michael and his wife Camie. I remember going with my dad as a little girl, and it is a tradition I really want to share with Carly. Add in pretty costumes and ballerinas, and the chance to wear a new pink dress, and I knew Carly would be interested. I just wasn't sure how long she'd last. Pocatello has a very family friendly Nutcracker, with a few professionals and the rest being local dancers. It was perfect for her. She sat on my lap the the whole time, talking the whole time, and asking a million questions. "Who's that? What's her name? Is he mad? Are they getting married?" and on and on. She was so smart to follow the storyline (we have a Nutcracker book), and really seemed to love watching the dancers. I asked her if she wanted to leave at intermission, but she said she wanted to watch more dancers. It was a sweet experience for me. Afterwards, we ran into a nice ballerina in the hall, and she talked with Carly and got her picture taken. When we came home, Carly had to show everyone "what ballerinas do", and poor Mimi was stuck being the Sugar Plum Fairy for longer than she probably would have liked.

-I have a small obsession with dressing my kids up for different occasions, and Christmas Sunday just may take the cake in my book. In the Spring, I found this most fabulous red Baby Gap dress on killer clearance ($11 for a $45 dress) and was just in love. I knew it would be Quinn's Christmas dress, I just had to make sure not to feed her too much so she didn't grow out of it (jokes . . . jokes). I wanted to find Carly a red dress too, and thought it would be fun if her two-year-old cousin, Shay, had a matching dress. After having no lucky anywhere, I found super cute red dresses at Gymboree in City Creek. They were on clearance and there were exactly two left: close to Carly's size, and close to Shay's size. It was fate. They were $65 a piece, and I got them each for $20. If there is anything I love more than a deal, its three gorgeous girls in fancy red dresses.

And now tomorrow is Christmas Eve. 
The main event is just about here.
I could not be more excited to share this holiday with my sweet Carly, who is all the sudden old enough to really grasp the excitement, and am so grateful to be here in Idaho to celebrate with my family.

I hope you all have a most fabulous Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

a mother's heart.

Friday morning I heard the news of the Connecticut shooting and I read in horror, then watched in horror. I looked at my three-year-old and how she is just a few short years from being a kindergartner herself. I thought about sending her to school and her never coming back. And I thought about the terror those kids must have felt. And I was sick.

I painted her nails. I let her stay up past naptime while we played. I kissed her and hugged her until she looked at me like I was crazy. I just stared at her, studying her innocent little face and listening closer to her voice than I have in a long time. And I fought back the tears.

This morning, there has been no fighting them. The tears have come. Twenty babies who have presents waiting under the tree for them are not coming home. And while I know they are safe with the Savior, that doesn't change the sadness.

I read this this morning, and wept.

There is nothing in this world Carly loves more than a good story. She loves to "hold the book and turn the pages." What an incredible woman, to protect those children in more than one way.

My mother's heart is heavy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

they are crazy. 9.5 months young.

Our nine month mark has come and gone, and 10 months falls right on Christmas day. I've even started thinking about a birthday party (!). These last months are flying, and my babies are just about as fun as can be.


At nine and a half months, Quinn . . . 

- is a total mess. And I mean that in the good way that I picked up from my years in Tennessee. (Sometimes I tell Michiganders that my girls are "a mess" and they look at me like I'm awful). She is all over the place, has this yummy fuzzy hair that sticks up wherever it pleases, and is the messiest eater you've ever met. She is climbing stairs I don't want her too, emptying toy bins and book shelves, and torturing her big sister who used to be safe on the couch, but now yells "No! Quinny! Get back! Get away!" whenever she heads in her direction. Which is all the time. She does all this handiwork by speed crawling up on her hands and knees like a boss, pulling up on everything, and walking along furniture. She also started walking with the help of the little push-walker toy thing. Heaven help us.

-is the energizer bunny. She goes goes goes, until she is gone. This makes nap time tricky, and she often resists until I find her passed out on the floor (making for endless adorable photo ops). She rarely just chills and enjoys the scene, she has to be everywhere at once, doing everything at once. 

-has started giving kisses. When Chris gets home she crawls right up to him and opens her mouth and lays a juicy one right on him. She is the sweetest.

-LOVES applesauce, puffs, and crackers.

-fits in 9 mo and even a lot of 12 mo clothes.

-finally had her two top teeth break through after torturous teething.

-just has the sweetest little expressions on her face all the time. Her little face is to die for; she is so pretty, but in a different very unique way. She has a raspy voice. Oftentimes when I'm in the kitchen, I will hear her playing all by herself, just chuckling to herself. Its the cutest thing.

-is totally skeptical of strangers. When a stranger fawns over the babies, John is all smiles and squeals, but Quinn, you can't crack her. She literally does not even let a smirk escape. Tough crowd.

-has such a sweet demeanor, even if she is hyper-motivated. I can't get enough of her.


At 9 and a half months, John . . . 

-made a major leap into 1st place as favorite child. I have no idea what happened, but Carly is in some sort of "phase" right now (or maybe she's just 3), and Quinn is ALL OVER THE PLACE and stressing me out. And John is all the sudden so chillax and and just smiles and plays with stuff. He kind of has this attitude about him like "I'm just happy to be here!"

-moves. This is a HUGE contributor to his newfound happiness. He can arm crawl as he pleases. When he first started moving, he would drag his dense self along, grunting and gasping. We joked that he looked like he just got shot in the leg. But now he is moving like a pro, and I even catch him up on his hands and knees once in a while.

-still wakes up most nights between 2 and 4. But he sleeps through the night every once in a while, just enough to get my hopes up.

-loves to play . . . get tickled, throw into the air, play peek-a-boo with Carly. In fact, his quickness to laugh and smile has won him points with big sis, and she now really loves to play with him. She other day she was running laps around his exersaucer and he was spinning trying to keep up, then she would stop and crouch down and pop up, and he was laughing SO DANG HARD. It was the cutest thing.

-is a total dweeb. He has the goofiest laugh, snorts, and has the most delicious big ears that are perfect for nibbling. The other day I went to get him out of his crib and I could see his little face peeking through the slats, and, I kid you not, on the other sides of either slat I could see his ears poking out. I die.

-LOVES those nasty Gerber meatsticks. And pretty much any other kind of food you put in front of him. But I did give him a tomato today and it sent him into dry heaves. Guess there is something he doesn't like.

-wears 12 mo clothes.

-has 6 fabulous teeth.

-loves strangers and loves getting attention. Like I said, he smiles big at strangers at the store. And this past Sunday a sister took him to Relief Society and he ended up getting passed around a bit and was happy as a clam.

-gives tough love. He will grab you by the hair or face and try to bite your face off. And he means it in a loving way.

John is such a good boy. I never thought I'd be saying that. He still screams his high pitched scream from time to time, and sometimes he just whines all dang day, but he is really becoming such a pleasure to have around. Yum.

J and Q had their 9 month appointment a while ago. Q weighed in at 16 lbs 15 oz, while John was 19 lbs 15 oz. Two days later at a different doctor, he weighted in at 20 lbs 12 oz. Either way, he feels significantly heavier than his sister. They are both nice and healthy. Q stalled on the growth charts, and if she repeats they might test her for Celiac Disease (I'm not worried, Carly did the same thing), just because I have it. John Thomas has yet to be circumcised because a urologist has to do it, and he will have to be put under anesthesia for the procedure. We saw the urologist for the second time and they are going to set up his surgery for after Christmas. Should be a party.

They have both finally begun to hold their own bottles. Spoiled babies have been perfectly capable for a long time, but just refused. They will now, but it often ends up with a lot of rolling while they drink, and formula all over the place. And then they scream because they want a bottle  . . . . 

It is so much fun to watch them now that they both crawl. Quinn loves to pull up on the toy shelf and empty the bins. She is also OBSESSED with the bathroom, and literally throws a fit when I pull her out and shut the door. She also loves to climb the stairs and chew on shoes, and climb stairs while chewing on shoes. She likes to hold objects, like spoons or spatulas or Carly's magnifying glass or anything else that could pass for a royal scepter. And she seems to have one very important life goal: to eat my iPhone. 

John is still much more limited, but the love this boy has for floor vents is unparalleled. I take the vent cover off the one in their room because it makes the room warmer, and he is obsessed with that "hole". The second I set him down in his towel after the bath, he whips around and pulls his naked bum over to it and sticks his arm down and scratches at the metal. Gives me chills. He also loves to hit the vent covers, because obviously it makes a cool noise. He loves tags and straps. And this Fisher Price basketball hoop a friend just gave us. 

They are beautiful babies.
They are crazy babies.
They are sweet babies.
They are happy babies.
They are fun babies.
They are good babies.

Happy 9.5 months, J and Q.
We're glad you joined us.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Christmastime has arrived at the C House.

I opened our giant bin of decorations, picked out a few of my favorite things, and put everything else back in the bin. Every year I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff all over the place, so this year it was all about simplifying. And I have to say, I like the look of it.

Last year, our 6-foot tree died on us. We are real tree people, but since we are gone every Christmas, we settle for fake. This year, we were faced with a dilemma. We wanted a tree, but we'll be leaving quite a ways before Christmas, so we didn't want to get a real one. And we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a big fake one, since next year we are thinking we'll have our first Christmas at home, necessitating a real tree. Not to mention that we have two crawlers. The answer? A little 4-footer set up on a table. When we first pulled it out of the box and I saw it was barely taller than Carly, my heart sank. But we put it up on the table and added extra lights and Carly's eyes grew wide and she said "Its so beautiful!" I turned the room lights off to show her the glow of the Christmas lights. I turned them back on and we went to feed the babies, and when I looked back out, Carly had turned the room lights back off. Chris turned the light on to get something and left it on, then when we looked back again, she had once again turned the lights off, laying on the couch in the glow of our Christmas tree. That's when I decided our 4-footer isn't so bad, after all.

I was much too sick to go to church today, so I stayed home with the babies and spent a lot of the time making a scripture advent. I have seen them around, but never found one that fit our family, or that stressed what I wanted it to. So I decided to make my own. Twenty-five scripture passages are not as easy to whip up as one might think. I decided to make our 25 days all about getting to know Christ. Carly knows "Jesus loves me," but how much more does she know about Him? My scriptures include His miracles, His characteristics, and His mission, as well as the story and prophecies concerning His birth. Every passage I chose, I made a note of what we could teach Carly about Jesus that day, catering it right to her level of understanding and needs. Not to mention, each day has only a few verses! That is about the max of what we get through every night, with these wild things. I am excited to see how it goes. It was actually a wonderful experience, making one that fit our family and my desires for my children. I highly recommend it.

Tonight we used our new Little People nativity to tell the story of Christ's birth, and really explain to Carly why we celebrate Christmas. She was a little hyper, and I felt like it wasn't getting through. But after the story, she said "again!" And when we asked her why we celebrate Christmas, she knew the answer. Christmas is such a fun thing with kids: Santa and presents and lights and crafts and treats and traditions. And I want all of that Christmas magic in my home. But I want my children to cherish the story of a Savior being born in Bethlehem so long ago, as it is their mother's very favorite story in all of scripture.

[Christmas loot from grandma!]

We have two very insane weeks coming up before we leave for our Christmas trip, so I am trying to enjoy this season despite the high levels of stress and absence of my husband that is heading our way. I traditionally skip town during practicals/finals weeks, but it didn't work out for us to do that this semester. Hopefully we will find the joy in these weeks, since, as they say, Christmas comes but once a year.

You know that reindeer bum just made you smile.

Happy happy December.

Friday, November 30, 2012

seven little things.

1. Things are wild around here. Everyone has a cold of some sort, Chris is crazy busy until Christmas break, and I'm trying to get some sort of handle on Christmas. Today shopping for aunts and uncles turned into an emotional breakdown over a Barbie Dreamhouse (What?! You don't even like Barbies!), so hopefully everyone ends up with a present. Or we'll shop when we get to Idaho, and my only store options are Walmart and JC Penney (I heart you, Pocatello. Never change.) The good news is John can once again breath through his nose and Q's bright red chapped nose seems to have been magically healed by Vaseline. And Chris completed a major presentation today without going into a coughing fit, a major win considering all the coughing the poor guy has been doing.

2. We are working toward full potty independence with Carly. The girl is so dang smart, she picked up on how much faster and easier it is when I wipe her, so she has been making me help her every single time. Trying to break that habit because she is fully capable of doing it herself. She has a chart she has to fill with stickers, and then she gets the Dora watch that she salivates over every time we go to Target. Well, yesterday she was going potty "all by myself!" and all the sudden she is screaming. Like, intense screaming. I run in there and she had, I kid you not, fallen in the toilet. She was expecting her Cars seat to be there, but it wasn't, so she didn't brace herself and fell right in. Oh, dear, it took everything I had not to laugh in her face because she was totally traumatized. Luckily, there were no lasting effects.

3. This morning I was singing "Deck the Halls" and every time after the "fa lalalala" part, Quinn would sing "la la la la." Like, for reals. She had never really made that sound before, but I would sing it, and she would right after me. I die.

4. You should probably know I'm hard-core addicted to Vampire Diaries. Chris says I'm channeling my inner 16-year-old. Unfortunately, that 16-year-old is not nearly as inner as I thought. Is it ok to want a cardboard cutout of Stefan Salvatore for Christmas? I'd only use it to scare off bad guys, of course. But really, whenever I see someone outside in the dark I kind of expect them to attack me or vanish into thin air. So far neither has happened. I will keep you posted. But for the record, Chris told me to watch a show he wouldn't like so he wouldn't get distracted, so I chose Vampire Diaries and he approved. But every once in a while he will sit and watch an episode with me, and I dare say he seems a bit interested, even if it is purely looking for an excuse to escape schoolwork for a bit.

5. Today at the thrift store Carly found a magnifying glass that was still in its package. She called it "a spyglass!" and I knew she had to have it. All day she carried it around, looking at things through it. She got a million comments at Target because she seriously looked amazingly unique in her crazy self-picked outfit, studying marks in the tile with a magnifying glass. She is the coolest.

6. PS. I'm becoming a thrift addict. I've been getting Gap, Carters, Children's Place, OshKosh and Old Navy clothes in perfect condition. And I found some awesome Calvin Klein jeans for me for $5. Some people think its gross, I know, but that is what washing machines are for, right? Everything we had for Carly was brand new, and I'm realizing kids just go through too many clothes and get them too dirty to buy everything new. At least in the phase of life we are in, having three kids and a single student income. Of course, I also found John a few $3 sweaters at Target, and found $6 sweaters and red skinnies for me. So bargain hunting works, too.

7. Yesterday I woke up and I really was just over being a mom. Just right then; just that day. I wanted to do whatever I darn well pleased, not wipe bums, force feed tiny mouths, and get screamed at all day. Well, we spent the day at home, playing Simon Says, coloring purple Christmas trees, rolling around on the floor, and watching entirely too much tv. And you know what? Holy crap, I love these kids. I would not trade this job of mine for anything. It is so stinking hard, but how can you not just want to watch every move they make and be a part of every single second? I just have to, because I live for them and they are my life's work. They rock my socks.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

love and water.

Love and water.
For good and for bad, we've had a whole lot of both flowing around here.

Thanksgiving can't help but bring out the love. 
But it also brought out the water.


Last weekend we started off our holiday season by going to Silver Bells in the City, a light parade and tree-lighting celebration by the State Capital. We got there just in time to catch the light parade. Carly loved the parade, but was way more interested in the marching bands then the lights themselves. Girl loves herself a good marching band. We didn't get to stay for the tree lighting, but hopefully next year we'll have more stamina. Its a goal of mine to go up and see the tree lit up by the Capital before we leave for our Christmas vacation.

The following day I hosted a little brunch for my wonderful friend Camilla, who is having a baby any day (minute?) now, and who will be moving away in a few weeks. I'm far from a Pinterest Queen, but it turned out cute enough. I'm in love with my doily banner. It is still up. It works as Christmas decor, right?

Camilla and I became friends two years ago. We had both just arrived in Lansing. Her husband was a law student, mine a PhD student. Carly had just turned one, and her little Kennedy was due that winter. We went on an "awkward ice cream date", as we now lovingly refer to it, for my birthday. Since then, she has been my best friend. She was one of the first people to know of my pregnancy, and one of the first phone calls I made after finding out about the twins. She took care of Carly on truly one of my sickest days during my pregnancy, watching her for most of the day before Chris could come home and we could get ahold of a doctor. She came and slept on my couch so Carly could stay in bed as we headed to the hospital to bring John and Quinn into the world. We have hung out in our pjs in each others' living rooms doing nothing, gone on chaotic shopping trips with our kids, and frequented the movie theater she worked at. And, most of all, she taught me to correctly pronounce "Flo Rida." Its good to have friends who are significantly cooler than you are.

I can't believe our two years here together are already coming to an end. We love her and her husband, Cameron, and their soon-to-be two little girls. We will miss them a whole lot. I'm not sure exactly how I will get along without her. But I'm grateful this place brought us together. And hopefully someday we'll live near enough to each other to actually see each other again. Like, how about in the same cul-de-sac?

That brings us to Thanksgiving.
We had a lot to be grateful for this year.
During Family Home Evening, we each got to make lists on our "turkey feathers" and Carly's kept going and going. She even included the Solar System, that nerdy little beauty. She also made John and Quinn's lists. She was a gratitude pro by the time we were finished.

Thanksgiving Day was warm and sunny. Chris played in the ward "Turkey Bowl", something he had been wanting to do for years but has missed since we typically are out of town on Thanksgiving. He came home sore and covered in dirt. Then it was my turn, and I headed out for a run. My outdoor runs are numbered. That very well may have been my last one. For a person who once loved a treadmill, I am finding my gym runs rather boring these days. Our warm and sunny Thanksgiving was a beautiful little gift.

Then we got our cook on. This year was the first Thanksgiving we've ever had in our own home. We busted out our wedding China, which we have literally never used before. We made a ham instead of a turkey, because we like ham more and turkey is just too dang hard. But I have to say, I missed the turkey when push came to shove. We made potatoes and stuffing and fruit salad and pie, all the basics. But it all came out totally mediocre, to say the least. I will have to hone my Thanksgiving skills. Or we can just go to family every Thanksgiving for forever. That works too. The experience was fun, and it definitely gave me a greater appreciation for what my parents and in-laws have done all these years.

Our above-mentioned friends came over to share the holiday with us. Baby girl decided not to come yet, which didn't thrill them, but worked out for us because we got to have them over. Luckily they were old friends and not new ones, or my cooking would have surely scared them away. Carly and Kennedy showed up wearing nearly the same thing. Totally embarrassing. But it was fun to share a last little hurrah with them. Two years ago we had a New Years' get-together, and K was born 4 days later. So maybe we're the good luck charm and baby girl will be born 4 days after our shared Thanksgiving?

The rest of the weekend has been pleasant, doing a sad excuse for Black Friday shopping at 8 am with Camilla, painting masterpieces, listening to Christmas music, and getting ready to break out the Christmas decor. Yesterday I took my two girls out for a morning of shopping and lunch (at Sam's Club; still counts, right?). We just might have to make that a mother-daughters Thanksgiving Saturday tradition. They sure are fun to hang out with, not to mention the little taste I got of what having two kids is like.

See all that love flowing?
We are incredibly blessed.

As for the water?

Tuesday night, Chris went down to our basement to find a pool of water near our washer. Maintenance came Wednesday and "fixed" it. Thanksgiving Day we did a load of laundry, and the water is spouting out all over the place. It had soaked our carpet and clean laundry and was making its way toward our boxes of storage. They came back Friday morning and really fixed it, leaving a huge disgusting mess for us to clean up. We actually lucked out, with our only major casualties being Carly's Ikea circus tent, our bassinet, and our big piece of carpet (sure was fun getting that sopping wet thing out to the dumpster; it looked like we were dragging bodies). Chris was good enough to clean the floor with bleach, because it smelled so bad. He's amazing like that. It made me grateful that a) it wasn't more significant, and b) we are renting. It was so minor, and yet still a huge pain. 

Fingers crossed for no more flowing water.
But a whole lot more flowing love.