Monday, December 22, 2008

god bless us every one.

we are very thankful to have so many wonderful friends who helped us with our sub for santa party this year.

we are grateful for those who braved the ice and snow to join us for a great evening, and for those who were not able to join us but still made an effort to contribute to the cause. 

we had our best turnout ever and over 1600 dollars raised to benefit families here in salt lake who are going without this year.

we love you and hope you have a very merry christmas.

My top holiday movies

For those of you looking for a good holiday movie, here are my top picks that I have to make sure I watch every Christmas:

1: Love Actually
2: The Bishops Wife
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
4. About a Boy
5. The Family Stone
6. Christmas Story
7. Miracle on 34th Street
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
9. The Family Man

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Maybe not such a good idea

When trying to sell a "huge" vase, is it really that good of an idea to compare its size to your wife's butt? This vase WAS a fabulous conversation starter! Thanks sale-955934816.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's funny

It's funny when you become a parent, what you really get excited about.

Jack woke me up this morning at about 6:45 screaming from his room: "Mom! I need to pee!" I had been all night up with our sick little Cashman - but I lept out of bed like I just won the lottery.

This is our second attempt at potty training Jack and we have been having such a rough go. This mornings declaration gives me hope that maybe he is finally catching on to one aspect of the process.

No details are needed to describe to you how the other part of potty training is going. But I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

toffee, a weiner dog, and holiday cheer

Last night I went to the Festival of Trees with my sister and my parents. For all those non-utahns out there, the Festival of Trees is a charity for Primary Children's Hospital. People from all over the US bring their children to this hospital because of the care and capabilities of it's staff and doctors.

Here at the Festival, people decorate trees, nativity scenes, gingerbread houses and then they are auctioned off. All proceeds are then given to the hospital.

Most of the trees come from people who had children or family members who once received treatment at the hospital. It is difficult to walk around and see some of those little babies and children who battled some pretty horrible disease. I cannot read most of the stories - they are too heartbreaking.

When Jack had his eye surgery up at Primary Children's, it was a very humbling event for Ryan and I. Jack had a condition called, Estropia - which is basically a crossing of the eyes. I often laugh with Ryan, that when the doctor first asked if we saw this crossing often in photos and throughout the day. I said no - now realizing a mother's love is blind, we look back at photos and can't believe how crossed they were.

So at 6 months, Jack had eye surgery. Our amazing doctor was able to snip both of the muscles attched to both eyes and reattach them further back to correct the crossing. You can never quite prepare yourself for that moment, when all is out of your control. When I had to hand my little marshmellow over to the nurse and just watch them walk away and wait. It was incredibly heart wrenching. But the doctor's and nurses were the best of the best and Jack has not needed a surgery since, nor has he needed any type of corrective eye wear. The staff at Primary Children's is amazing.

That day - now several years behind us - will always stand out in my mind. Our surgery was scheduled for first thing in the morning - he could not eat, so they would try and fit in the younger kids first. Most of you with kids know a waking baby in the morning only wants one thing, food! So we quickly packed him up and hoped he would just fall back asleep in the car. We planned everything down to the very last minute so it would not be too much of an ordeal for him to not have his usual breakfast.

Unfortunately, the surgeries before us took longer then expected and we ended up waiting over 8 hours past our scheduled morning time. I still don't know how Jack, at 6 months, went without eating from 8 o'clock the night before until 2 in the afternoon. I spent all those hours walking the halls of the hospital trying to keep him distracted and happy. My heart would sink into my chest everytime I saw other little children there. Some just babies - others in their teens. While Jack's surgery was serious - it was nothing compared to what I was surrounded with. It was very humbling to see.

You walk around the aisles of the Festival - you see these photos of these children and family members. Some children survived, some passed on. The trees are dedicated, not only their honour and memory, but many times to those who treated them at the hospital.

The Festival earns a great deal of money for the hospital and
is such a great cause. There is also a gift shop located inside the Fesitival where all the items are mostly all handmade and donated completely for purchase at the Festival and also for the hospital to take after the event is over. I picked up this little "get better wishes" weiner dog for the boys playroom. It was only a buck and I loved the type on it and handmade look of it.

So if you have nothing to do this week, head over to the South Towne Expo Center. Iit is only $3 or $4 bucks to get in. It is this week only and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and mood.

I recommend checking out the amazing stainglass and blown glass tree on isle L or M, the monster-sized gingerbread castle, and of course, the gift shop and goodies isle where you can buy all sorts of toys, beanies, blankets, yummy toffee, handmade treats, and support the hospital that is responsible for taking care of our little angels.

Monday, December 1, 2008

the mobile is a go go

I made this mobile for Cash a few months back when he seemed utterly dissinterested in his baby mobile. I finally convinced Ryan over the holiday weekend, to help me hang it up and I think it actually turned out pretty cool.

Plus - when you pull on the birds, they flap their wings (an All-a-Dollar find jazzed up with some spray paint) and Cash squeals like a little piggy. It's the best. The branches just came from our overgrown trees in our front yard. I saved a few branches when we first moved in figuring I would use them for something and voila!

Monday, November 24, 2008

great book find #2

The boys and I make regular trips to the library each week. Jack is obsessed with reading (or being read to I suppose) and I love to find all these great new artists and stories I have never heard of. So here is another to add to your list to check out.

(see book discovery 1 here)

Oliver Jeffers, The Incredible Book Eating Boy

The story has a great little message about a boy who starts eating books - and gets smarter and smarter with each book he reads. But then he starts eating them too fast and in too great of quantity and all the information begins to get mixed up and make him sick.

So he decides to stop eating one day, and opens the book and reads it. He discovers how great it is to read and that he can still become the smartest boy in the world - it will just take a little bit longer.

The illustrations are amazing, and I love all the use of type as texture - and how he collages pages of dictionaries and such on each page. It is beautiful - you should all check it out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

z pizza just might cure all world ill will

we love z pizza

and when i say love. i mean love. really.

z pizza is owned by our lovely friends zach and miranda barnard, and when we lived in sugarhouse we ate there twice a week ... at least. believe me when i tell you, it is hands down the best pizzeria in the world, dare i say the universe. we stopped in this week, and as always ordered the buffalo chicken pizza, a cheese pizza for jack, and salad's with home made dressings. so delicious. i have never really understood why there is not a line around the block to get in. i assume you have already left to get some of this pizza. it will make you a better man, woman, child, lover, fighter and more compassionate with your fellow humans. 

go there this weekend. do it. call us. we'll go with you ... your treat.

3295 S 2000 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Thursday, November 13, 2008

don't be mad

I hope I do not offend, but as I am waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive, I am getting very excited about Christmas.

Where is the harm in that right?

Now before you start to judge, I haven't started listening to the Christmas mixes yet, hung any lights outside, or even begun to dig out the boxes that contain all our holiday decor, but - while Cash and I were out on a date tonight, I saw this adorable nativity set from Playmobil (which, as a side note, is one of my favorite toy makers) and had to buy it.

I have been on the hunt for a nativity set for many years now. I want something old, vintage - but so far, have not found it. My grandmother Shirley had this beautiful set. She hand painted each piece. The complete scene, when placed out on her mantle during the holidays, was breathtaking. I look every year - around this time - as everyone pulls out their holiday gear, for "the one". But every year come out empty handed.

But as I saw the happy Playmobil scene tonight, I thought it would be a good starter set for the boys until I can find a more adult version for myself. Okay - maybe it is for me too. I just love those happy wisemen!

Monday, November 3, 2008

there's a new sheriff in town

preview from halloween this year ... more to follow.

it's all over now baby blue ...

the auctions ended today. we are really stunned.

the guitar auction finished at 1526.00 and the poster finished at 151 something. almost 1700.00 dollars raised

we have always loved wilco, and we love them even more now. 

we love the nielson's.


Monday, October 27, 2008

if you feel like singing a song

i am sure many of you, like us, have been following the progress of friends Stephanie and Christian Nielson who were involved in a plane crash in August. it has been a remarkable thing to watch as hundreds, and even thousands have been drawn to this story. we have been praying for this sweet family, and have been closely following the updates on their progress.

we have posted on ebay a couple of items for auction to raise a little money to go towards the relief efforts. i met john stirratt, bass player for the world's greatest rock and roll band wilco, last year in Denver when we took a roadie with mr. and mrs. campbell. i sent a letter to mr. stirratt who put me in touch with the incredibly good people at tony margherita management who arranged to have some things donated and a guitar signed.

i was originally going to send an old fender telecaster that had been the victim of my merciless guitar playing, but after some searching I found the perfect guitar to have signed and auctioned off. you can see the auction for the guitar here.

if you could pass this on to your friends, and have them pass it on to theirs it would be greatly appreciated.

also ... to the nielson family. we love you, and pray everyday that you will continue to get better.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

super saturday

The weekend started off with some great indian summer weather. We opened all the windows in the entire house and let the nice crisp fall breeze fill the house. We took the boys over on Saturday to pick out some pumpkins at their cousin's farm. Jack is obsessed with pumpkins this year - and was trying to haul away every last one.

After putting the boys down for a lazy nap, Ryan and I kicked back and watched the U of U game. My new Martha Stewart issue had just come earlier that week - and Ryan and I were so inspired by the "remains of the day" article on all the food you can make with leftover turkey, that we went out and cooked ourselves up a mighty bird - just for the leftovers.

The sandwich Ryan made was so divine! Toasted ciabatta rolls, avocado and blue cheese spread, fresh hot turkey with slices of bacon and a fried egg to top it all off - oh man! We invited the newly weds, Jeff and Jennie over, to share in the tasty grub. They came bearing caramel apples for dessert - so my night was made.

For anyone who has never seen Jack and Jennie together - it is a pretty cute thing. Jack's mad crushes seem to be for the blonde women in his life, but Jennie is definitely at the top of his list. He was putting on a show all night for her. Then went to bed a happy happy boy with Jennie reading to him his bedtime stories.

It was a prefect day.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jack & The Cash

Tonight Jack was playing ball with Cash (and by "playing ball, I mean - chucking a ball straight at Cash as hard as he can throw while Dad deflects any blows to the little man's head ). After the game came to an end, Jack walked up to Cash and said matter-of-factly, "Cash, you are a good friend."

He has also started referring to Cash as, "The Cash", as if he was some sort of stuffed animal mafia ring leader.

And his latest attempt to avoid naps, diaper changes or anything he doesn't want to do, is by saying: "It's Cash's turn." And then takes off running.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ditto what Sarah said...

Sarah said it perfectly - it was one of the best shows any of us had seen in a long time. Paul and the guys were amazing. It was pretty cool to sit there watching the night unfold - remembering back to the first gigs I saw Paul play in small dark venues in little ol' Provo - now here he was, practically exploding off the stage.

Paul has always been an amazing musician, but Saturday night took the cake. They have seemed to have found a perfect combination of talent as well - Paul, Scott, George, Pat, Dylan and Ryan - you DID get chills during songs like "You're the Song" and "At that Day". They were incredible. And the live version of "Proper Noun" was wicked.

The benefit raffle for Stephanie and Christian raised over $500 - Sarah and I both won amazing Leia Bell original prints and poor Holly (Paul's wife) even managed to attend with our little adorable Leo refusing to take a nap for the last 12 hours. It was a great night, a great CD release party - and I encourage all to go purchase Paul's new CD - I can't stop listening to it, and neither will you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I miss you ... I always do

if you are busy tomorrow night, you should cancel your plans and come up to the fort douglas theatre to celebrate the release of Paul Jacobsen and the Madison Arm. 10 dollars will get you in the door and get you your very own copy of the record. Also ... there will be raffle prizes, ray lamontagne & leona naess tickets, leia bell posters, loads of cd's and other goodies to be had. All raffle proceeds will be donated to help with the medical costs of friends stephanie and christian nielson who were in a plane crash last month. you can read more about that here.

let's face it ... your taste in music is sometimes questionable. it's time for redemption. it's time for change. it's time for Paul Jacobsen.
Here are the details of the show ...

Paul Jacobsen and the Madison Arm
Saturday, September 27 7pm
with Dominic Moore and Sarah Sample
Post Theatre, Fort Douglas, University of Utah

Sunday, September 21, 2008

ending the summer on a good note

Saturday the boys and I went out to Thanksgiving Point to see Ryan play with our friend Paul. They were opening for Peter Brienholt - who, I have to say, is a really nice human being, but I am not really a fan of the music - so when Ryan announced we were staying until the whole show was over, I realized I had been tricked into taking only one car so I couldn't make a quick getaway after Paul's set was over.

The weather threatened to pour down on us - and during sound check there were a few showers, but then it turned out to be a perfect night. The cool cat Wileys came (our friend Scott is also in the band), along with the adoring Holly and Leo. Jack shoved his face full of popcorn, hotdogs, and all sorts of treats while our men did their thing up on stage.

Paul just came out with a new CD - his CD release party is actually this upcoming Saturday and I invite all to come. The CD is amazing and the boys and I have been listening to it non stop in the car this last week (although the new Leona Naess might be getting some extra air time as well... another CD you should all purchase right away).

It was a really fun weekend to end the summer on.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

just some thoughts

I don't really know what this blog is about.

I have been thinking so much about the woman (Nie Nie) that was in the plane accident. I am addicted to her sister's blog - she is an amazing writer, and makes every word sound so delicious that I just can't stop.

I read it for updates on her sister or just to see what thoughts she has on being a new mom, and today was another one of those days that I was sucked in. Sometimes I think I try to hard to do too many things on top of being a mom. I have my moments of frustration sometimes, when Cash won't sit still as I try and google a recipe for dinner or fit in some design work, or when Jack insists I sit on the couch to watch cartoons with him as I stare at the loads of laundry to do, dishes to wash, and beds to make. Then I think of Nie Nie. I think of how these little moments are on hold for her right now and I feel extremely guilty for even letting them cross my mind.

So tonight after I cleaned up the stairs from Cash upchucking his prunes all over our carpet, got the boys in the bath and ready for bed, I snuggled them a little extra tighter. Kissed each of the boys a few more times before saying goodnight, and will pray just a little more harder tonight that Nie Nie will continue to recover and become closer to the day she can cozy her own little angels.

I love being a mother to these little monsters. Nothing could ever compare to all the joy and happiness they bring me. And while it may not sound that great to others, I love that tonight I sit here with dried up prunes and oatmeal on my clothes, that my day was spent playing with a T-Rex and a matchbox $2 van around my living room and that most of my conversations throught the day involved topics such as: how cool train tracks are, how fast a bus can drive, and what hot dogs do once they are in your belly.

It doesn't get much better then this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

welcome little man

Tonight my friends and I took my friend Alicia dinner to welcome new baby boy Jacob to the neighborhood. The little man could not have been cuter. You really forget how small these little jellybeans start out as. Cash looked like Godzilla next to him. Jacob was so fun to cozy and squeeze, and Alicia looked amazing. Motherhood suits her just fine. Overall, it was a fun afternoon... plus, as always, it was fun getting cokes with Lizzy and catching up.

Here are some pics for all to enjoy:

It took awhile for Jack to warm up to the group. He stood in the corner for a good 5 minutes pretending to be interested in Alicia's library of classic literature.

Cash putting the moves on the Ladies with his "blue steel" look. It is too much for Janelle to resist!

Cash wasted no time as he tried to take his relationship with Lizzy to the next level. Come on Cash... No means no!

Little man Jacob Carter - so cozy in those pjs.

Me and Alicia. If you are wondering where I am looking in this picture - I am looking off in the distance remembering all the nights of sleep deprivation that comes with new baby. Good luck LeeSha! You can do it!

P.S. I think it is time to cut me hair.

Monday, September 8, 2008

spreading the word

While I am getting to this much later then most of the other blogs out there - I have so many people asking about it, I figured I should officially spread the word.

An old friend of mine was in a recent plane crash with his beautiful wife. You can learn more about their story in the links below - there is also serveral links on any of these sites, where you can donate to help with their recovery costs.

Christian was burned over 30% of his body, while his wife suffered over 80% burns.
There are so many details to which I will not attempt to involve in this blog, but if you want to know more, or be part of the amazing online donation charity that is going on in their behalf, go to some of these links.

Our friend Jonathan Canlas, one of the most amazing photographers I will ever know, has also started up a donation in their behalf. For the month of September - he is donating all the proceeds from from his family portraits sessions - to the foundation set up for Christian and his wife.

Jon took our wedding photos - as well as countless of our friends weddings and most of the brides we have done invitations for. He is phenominal. Check out his work and then book him to take your family photo - it's a good cause and you will have amazing photos to show for it.

Here is a link to my friend Sarah Wiley's family photos he recently took.

> benefit blog
> NY Times article
> Nie Nie (stephanie's) blog
> Nie Nie sister's blog (updates on their recovery)