Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Abbi - May 2011

Snacking on a cake ball at Easton's blessing 

This girl loves her cousins!

Loves hanging out with daddy!

Playing in the backyard

Fun at the park

Enjoying a snack

Temper tantrum?  Who? Me?

And happy again!

Loves her baby brother.  (Gotta love the outfit, too!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring 2011 Part II

I guess since today is the un-official first day of summer, I should post the rest of my Spring pics! I didn't get as far through the list as I had hoped, but it was fun getting the ones that I did!

#47 - Raindrops on a window

#13 - Bare feet in the green grass

#35 - Favorite Easter treats

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book #29 - City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels
Cassandra Clare

Blurb: City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.
(From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: "Just coffee, please."

Length: Medium - 424 pages

Notes: I really am over this series now...  I've liked it ok, but there are several things in these books that bother me.  I think I've just kept reading them because I'm so far into them now, and I didn't want to give up.  I actually thought that this was supposed to be the last book in the series, but by the time I got to the ending, I knew that there would be another.  But even though everything is left wide open, I don't think I'll keep reading this series.  There are just too many other books that I want to read!

Random quote: "L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.
"It means that love is the most powerful force in the world. That love can do anything."

Recommend: no

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book #28 - Fallen

Lauren Kate

Blurb: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.
(From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: " Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape."

Length: Medium - 452 pages

Notes: I started this book with an open mind.  The reviews were very mixed on it.  It seemed like people either loved it or hated it.  I actually didn't hate it.  Until the ending.  It just seemed to have so much that came into play in the end, and characters hopping out of the woodwork.  And the ending was way too fantastical for me.  I don't think I'll continue reading this series...

Random quote: "The only way to survive eternity is to be able to appreciate each moment."

Recommend: no

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rear View Mirror

This is why I try to always carry my camera with me.  We were out, and it was a nice day.  Abbi wanted her window down, and as I looked in the rear view mirror, I couldn't help but smile at how much fun she was having with the window down!  I'm so glad I was able to capture that moment!  (and no - it looks like I'm in the driver's seat, but I'm in the passenger seat.  I wasn't taking pictures while driving!!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book #27 - Austenland

Shannon Hale

Blurb: Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own? (From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: " It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her."

Length: Short - 196 pages

Notes: I actually liked this book more than I should probably admit to.  :) It had really mixed reviews on Goodreads, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I think I liked it so much because I saw some of myself in Jane - back before I got married.  I think I could relate to her, and it made me really like her.  I found this book completely entertaining!

Random quote: " All the hours she had spent daydreaming of living in Austen’s world, and now here she was pondering the mundane realities of normal life. It seemed too cruel."

Recommend: yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Easton - 2 Months

Look who is 2 months old!!

At 2 months, Easton:

*Is the giant baby!!  He weighed in at 13 pounds, 7 ounces at his 2 month check up.
*Is still a super chill baby for the most part.  He does have his moments, but for the most part, he's the easiest baby ever!

*has eyes that are turning bluer and bluer every day.  This one's going to take after his daddy!
*discovered the wonder of the ceiling fan.  He loves to watch it go around and around!
*has started cooing.  He still mostly grunts, but has some adorable coos now!

*has started grabbing things better - mostly my hair!  He loves to grab on and not let go!  He also loves to grab onto my hands and arms and clothes.
*has really started smiling.  (Although I couldn't get him to smile for any of these pictures!)  And unlike Abbi, he usually starts hamming it up once he hears the clicking of the camera.
*really loves his daddy.  Whenever he can hear or see daddy, he starts to smile.

*loves to stand up.  He's got great leg strength and loves to be held on the ground with him standing.
*Is an excellent sleeper.  He's going about 5 to 6 hours at night now!
*must have pretty vivid dreams, because he often laughs and cries while he is sleeping.

I sure do love this little guy!  I can't imagine my life without him!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book #26 - From a Distance

From a Distance
Tamera Alexander

Blurb: What happens when the realization of a dream isn't what you imagined... and the secret you've spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?

Determined to become one of the country's premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life. Daniel Ranslett is a man shackled by his Confederate past, and he'll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He's a man of his word, but repaying that debt could reveal secrets from his past he would prefer remain buried.

Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth's lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met from a distance. (From Goodreads)

Opening Sentence: " Elizabeth Garrett Westbrook stepped closer to the cliff’s ede, not the least intimidated by the chasm’s vast plunge."

Length: Medium - 352 pages

Notes:  I really like historical fiction.  I think that's how this book made it to my list in the first place.  It's also classified as a romance, but not that kind of romance.  :)  It is a "Christian" romance, which basically meant it was really clean.  And there was some religious content in it, but nothing too cheesy.  I honestly didn't know if I would really like this book, but it was good.  Not so good that I want to immediately run out and read all the books in the series, but I may read them one by one, down the road.  The main character is a photographer, so that aspect - of how difficult photography was back in the 1800s - was also really fascinating to me.

Random quote: "At thirty-two, she still wasn't the woman she wanted to be, which was partially why she'd traveled nineteen hundred miles west to Timber Ridge, Colorado. To leave behind a life she'd settled for, in exchange for the pursuit of a dream, for however long she had left."

Recommend: yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!


I was sitting here, the evening of Mother's Day, thinking about how this day didn't go quite as I had planned.  I'll admit that it wasn't the best Mother's Day.  I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, and then my children's faces popped into my head.  I realized how lucky I am to have them in my life.  Each of them so different, and so special.  And I couldn't help but think about just how blessed I am.

For Abbi - for her smile that seems to go on for days.  I love how she loves life.  How she is such a free spirit.  How she believes that by saying "I'm Sorry" all of the problems and hurt go away.  I love that she still loves to cuddle after nap time and when she gets tired.  I love her laugh and her love for her family.  I love that every single day, she asks to go to nana and gump gump's house, or to one of her cousin's houses, or to grandma and grandpa's house.  I hope she always keeps that love of family with her.  I love that she is the smartest little 2 year old that I know.  I love that she dances in circles and sings songs at the top of her lungs.  I love that she can't go to bed at night without a kiss from both her mommy and her daddy.

For Easton - I know he's only been with us for 2 short months so far, but there is already so much to love.  I love that he is such an even tempered baby.  I love that he smiles so big for his daddy and his sister.  I love that he sleeps so well and that he's always so happy to just chill out in his bouncy chair.  I love the cuddle time we get together.  I love the way he looks up at me when he is eating - I can already see the love in his eyes.  I love wondering what kind of boy he's going to be, what kind of man he is going to be.

As I was thinking about these 2 angels in my life, I couldn't help but realize that it's not about the day - it's about how blessed we are.  I remember back in my early 20s, how I just wanted to be a mom.  It's the only thing I've ever felt like I was called to do in this life.  It's definitely the hardest job that I have ever had, and sometimes I wonder how I'm going to raise these children to be what I want them to be - what their Heavenly Father wants them to be.  But I know I have a lot of love to give, and the love that they have given me is more than I could ever ask for.  And that makes this a perfect Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tulip Festival 2011

(Warning - photo overload on this post!!)

It was time again for the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival!!  It was kind of funny, because Josh and I were talking about how we didn't go to the Tulip Festival this year, then a couple of hours later, I got a text from Tami saying they were going and wondering if we wanted to meet up!

So Abbi, Easton and I headed up to meet up with Tami and Janell.  Traffic was really bad, and Janell was delayed, so Abbi, Easton and I had some time to hang out and run in the grass and take some pictures before we met up with the girls and their kiddos.

Abbi had to sport her cool sunglasses, and Easton just slept away!

"Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart,...for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and enliven the soul."  D&C 59: 18-19
The perfect words!!

I love watching these 3 boys together - they are the best of friends!!

It's a good thing that Abbi is good for hanging with the boys - especially since she doesn't have any girl cousins her age!!

And thank goodness for Tami - saving the day with a bag full of fruit snacks!!

Yes, Easton slept through almost the whole thing.  At the end, he did wake up hungry and was not happy.  I had a screaming baby the entire way to the car - poor guy.

Tami to the rescue again - saving the kids from the heat with Creamies.

I think that Abbi was completely exhausted at the end of the day. When we got home, she grabbed her blanket and went and laid down in the backyard with it. What a goof!! But what a beautiful and fun-filled day!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring 2011 - Part I

I love Springtime - even if Spring in Utah is short lived. I found this checklist online, and thought it would be fun to see how many of these Spring-things I could capture with my camera. It's nice to take the time every once in awhile to slow down and look around you! So - here's part 1!

#31 - seedlings poking out of the soil

#30 - close up of Easter decor

#10 - new life

#24 - a patch of dandilions

#1 - a tree in bloom