Saturday, November 19, 2011

a day to celebrate

i'm probably the one and only,
but i had no idea that national adoption day even existed.
i should have guessed.
i mean, they have a day for pretty much everything, right?
why not celebrate adoption, too?
i know our little family has been blessed tremendously through the gift of adoption.
it's hard to believe that it was four years ago, almost to the day, that we received those impressions to adopt.
despite our fears and anxieties, i'm so glad we listened and obeyed, because i honestly don't know what we'd do without our little ash man.
he brings so much excitement, and energy, and exuberance into our hearts and home.
his life is definitely worth celebrating, and not just on one designated day per year,
but every.
for the rest of eternity, i will thank my Heavenly Father for leading us to our asher.
did you know that his name means happy and blessed?
well asher, we couldn't be happier or feel more blessed to have you in our lives.

we love you, little man.

happy adoption day.

ps. the above photos were in no way posed. i walked into the family room this morning, and beheld this perfect scene with my own two eyes. plain and simple, these two absolutely and positively...adore each other.

mom iz sik

ruby handed me this endearing drawing today.
it made me laugh.
not only is it's also a perfect depiction of how i've been feeling this past week.
yes it's true folks, a nasty green virus is making it's way around these parts,
and unfortunately expectant mothers (or any mother for that matter) are not immune to it's indignation.
it's sad that it's taken as long as it has to get over this thing.
when it caught hold of john, he was able to take an entire day to sleep it off;
and as a result, he was better in just a couple of days.
i guess i have made a few bad choices,
like going to the park (for 4 hours, no less),
and attending the school carnival because my little princess has been talking about it non-stop for three weeks;
but for the most part, i have been doing my best to stay down and take it easy.
unfortunately, the job of a mother must go on...through sickness and health;
and so the term "sleeping it off" is pretty foreign to me, if not to most moms.
i think i'll just stay in tonight, and maybe even play hookie from church tomorrow.

who knows, maybe just a couple more days and i'll be able to nip this thing in the bud...

because apparently, at least according to ruby's drawing, i also turn into the devil when i'm sick.
and heaven forbid my children see me as anything less than the angel mother that i am...

Monday, November 14, 2011

a big deal

as a child, one of my very earliest and fondest christmas memories, was the first time i ever got to see ballet west's nutcracker at the capitol theater in salt lake city.
it was a big deal.
something that my brother's weren't invited to (not that they would have enjoyed it in the least). but this was an outing that my parents and grandparents had planned...just for me.
as a little girl, the privilege of going on a date - not only with mom and dad, but also with grandma and grandpa - was huge.
and then being able to dress up in my very best, and go to the ballet?
it was beyond my wildest dreams.
afterwards, grandpa suggested that we hit up the snelgrove's ice cream on 8th east and 21st south. anyone who has ever lived in salt lake, or ever visited for that matter, has got to be familiar with it's 1960's iconic sign featuring a giant three dimensional, double-scoop ice cream cone.
as a kid, making a stop for ice cream at the snelgrove, was like being taken by hand, straight through the pearly gates of heaven.
i'm telling you, this date was a really big deal.
i'm so grateful for it too, because just a few short years later, grandpa passed away, leaving that trip to the nutcracker, and the snelgrove's for ice cream, one of just a handful of memories i still have of him.
he was a giant of a man. a beautiful man.

as a mother, i want to create similar memories for my children...memories they will be able to take with them into their adulthood.
i've had ruby in dance for three years now.
she's definitely a dancer, and loves all things dance.
i have wondered, though, if she may still be a bit young to enjoy the full production of
the nutcracker.

lucky for me, a couple of years ago, i discovered the perfect solution.
every november, to gear up for their busy season of the nutcracker, a local ballet company presents a
nutcracker sweet tea party.
it's held at a reception center with beautiful gardens in the which you can walk around and meet the dancers, perhaps get a picture taken, or an autograph.
they have a station where little ones can decorate their own gingerbread men,
and a boutique featuring unique nutcracker and ballet items.

also offered is a luncheon buffet - the menu including items such as
dew drop fairy's chicken salad on croissants,
russian ham rolls,
clara's cucumber triangles,
baby mouse cheese hearts,
fritz's fresh fruit,
snow queen's shortbread cookies,
drosselmeyers peppermint bark,
bon-bon fairy's mini cupcakes,
spanish marshmallow puffs,
and party girls' lemonade punch...
just to name a few.

after lunch, the guests are then invited inside to watch just a few short numbers from the production, and then all the little girls crowd around clara's mother, who reads the story of the nutcracker.

the children are all given a little toy soldier as a favor for coming, and the whole ordeal lasts no more than about an hour from start to finish.
perfect for little ones and their short attention spans.

i personally love it, because it gives ruby a chance to experience the nutcracker...
without having to sit in a theatre for two and a half hours.
i think in a couple of years, something like that might actually appeal to her.
until then, though, this has become one of our special holiday traditions.
we always go to the store and pick out something fancy for her to wear.
this year, her favorite part of the outfit was a little gold necklace with interchangeable charms. for this event, she chose to wear the unicorn.
she wanted her hair in a bun like a ballerina, and put on her favorite gold glitter flats.

i did my best to make it a big deal.
because getting to spend an afternoon alone with my princess...

is a very big deal, indeed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


our little asher is already so much in love with his little brother, jude.
i didn't think he would really understand until he actually got to see jude,
you know, until he got to touch him, hold him, witness with his own eyes,
that jude was actually a person - a real, tiny little person.
but no.
he really understands what's going on in there.
and by there, i mean that big bulging belly of mine.
he often walks up to me and wraps his arms around my middle, stating that he's giving jude a hug. or he'll lift up my shirt (as he's doing in the photo) to give jude a tender kiss.
my all time favorite, though, is when he has a secret to tell - a secret, meant only for jude.
he shares these little confidences by whispering ever so softly,
ever so gently,
directly into my belly button.
oh he knows that there's someone in there alright.

i just wonder if he understands how lucky he is, that the little person in there...

is his brother.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


ruby lost a tooth on friday at school while she was eating her string cheese.
your string cheese? i asked her. not your apple, or your crunchy granola bar?
no. it was the string cheese.
that thing was ready to come out, i tell ya.
it had been hanging by a thread for days.
oh if only she had let me reach my hand in her mouth, it would have been out in a second...
but i guess that's just not as much fun as looking down at the cheese stick in your hand,
and seeing a little bloody tooth stump hanging out in your next bite.

she lost the bottom two over the summer, but her permanent teeth were already growing in behind them, literally pushing her baby teeth out.
so, consequently, i never felt like her appearance changed much.

but now, boy oh boy, you can see the change, and hear the whistle, from at least a mile away.

my little girl is growing up. and it darn near breaks my heart.

speaking of growing up...
i think that when she does, she'll be an actress.

it's just a hunch.

Monday, November 7, 2011

the grand re-opening

for some reason, unbeknownst to me, spa RAD (aka spa ruby, asher, dad), discontinued operation for a few months.
it goes without saying that i - their one and only customer - was completely distraught...
especially because now - more than ever - this tired, ragged, pregnant body, could really benefit from the extra pampering.

well, much to my surprise and delight, the owner and founder of spa rad (my sweet and amazing john), extended a personal invitation to their grand re-opening, which was held last night.
i don't know if they had been undergoing a remodel, or perhaps had just taken a break from business so that their employees could receive some more extensive training (the atmosphere had been enhanced significantly, and also much improved was the technicians' level of skill and expertise).
whatever the reason, it was well worth the wait, as it was bigger and better than ever before.
everything about it was exquisite.
the only light in the room emanated from, not only the 20 or more tea lights and votives scattered about, but also from the stunningly decorated (haha) christmas tree which was perfectly positioned in my direct view...
all of which composed a beautiful, mesmerizing scene.
also setting the tone, and creating the perfect ambiance, was the christmas music which played softly in the background.
with scented lotions, i received a leg and foot massage lasting more than an hour,
after which hot, steamy towels were wrapped around my feet and legs.
once a measure of cooling had begun, the towels were immediately replaced with new, fresh ones...the process was then repeated over and over again.
finally, and to top it all off, my entire body was wrapped in a nice warm blanket.
i could have stayed there all night.
really, i could have.
it was the best spa treatment i have ever received...
because of the people who offered it?
but mostly because of the amount of love that was expressed, and felt, through such a sweet and tender act of service.

i'm crossing my fingers spa RAD stays open for a while this time...

because they would most definitely have a customer for life.

Friday, November 4, 2011


we took our kids to the schnepf farms this past weekend.
it's a huge family owned and operated local farm that offers tons of festivities year round.
but the biggest and best of all, has got to be their pumpkin and chili party held during the month of october.
we had been wanting to take the kids all month, but in true eagleston fashion, we let all of our weekends fill up, and didn't actually end up going til the very last possible minute.

it was nice, though, with the weather just starting to cool off.
it was probably best we waited to go when we did...because even still, it was hot.
normally i welcome the heat - inviting it to stay as long as it pleases, but not this year.
this big pregnant body just can't take it.
plus i have a ton of oversized cardigans and sweaters that i've been itching to wear...
mostly because they'll hide some of that lovely back fat i've been growing.

throughout the day, we enjoyed hay rides, corn mazes, a train ride, giant slides, pig races, a bmx/scateboarding show (asher was mesmerized by this one), and several kiddie rides.
the one i was most excited about going on was their roller coaster, but after we had been in line 45 minutes or so, i got super sick.
i darted in and out of, and through, all the people in line (probably running into a few of them) until i found a big hay bail to lie down on...and then made sure there was a trash can close by.
it was the worst.
john, still in line with the kids, spotted me from a distance, took one look at my white-as-a-ghost face, and immediately gave up his coveted place in line (they were nearly at the front of it, too, darn it).
by the time he came to my rescue, i felt as if i were seconds from passing out.
in an attempt to calm my super upset stomach, he ran and grabbed me a (much too sweet) coke; and then, to prevent the kids from crawling all over me (something they seem to do on a regular basis when i'm at my very worst) he took them on another ride...
all the while i lay miserable, shifting back and forth (you know, the way you do when you're really, really sick?), on that itchy bail of hay.
by the time they got back, though (only about 20 minutes later) i was almost 100% back to my normal feeling self.
it was the strangest thing.
i'm glad it didn't ruin our night...because we still had quite a few things on our agenda.

when it was finally time to leave, though, ruby threw a fit.
she was whining and crying, wanting to do this and that...asking if we could buy this, or eat that.
it was ridiculous.
i told her that her face paint was smearing because of all her tears,
and that made her cry even harder.
she was super, super tired.
then she pulled a sly one on us.
she said mom, you know how you always tell me that you never want my heart to be broken?
yes, i replied (hesitantly).
well, my heart is broken right now, and the only thing that will help it, is if we stay a little bit longer.
so what do you think we did? well first we laughed (i mean, how manipulative, right?), but after that, we ended up staying a little bit longer (we are such suckers).
we went on a hay ride, let the kids feed corn to the deer, and got some yummy roasted candied cashews.

and that was all it took...
for every single one of us, to leave with a smile.

and for me, a smile = success.

asher LOVING the bmx and skateboarding stunt show

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

i've got a golden ticket!

i knew full well that we'd never be able to top last year's costumes.
i wasn't even going to try.
in fact, john and i decided that we would scale WAY back this year, picking a relatively simple theme, and then each year we could do a bit more...
you know, make the costumes a little bit better than the previous years',
thus gradually working our way back up to the top again.
so for scaling back and simplifying, i think we still did a pretty good job.

we decided on the willy wonka theme almost a year ago, but thought we'd get some resistance from the kids about being oompa loompas.
after showing them the movie however, they were thrilled about the idea...
and even suggested that we make dix-d an oompa loompa, too.
they've viewed the film a hundred times since, and every time they watch it, asher says "look mom, there's ruby and asher!".
it was obvious that john would be willy wonka, and i decided to be violet beauregarde (only because, although i love veruca salt's red dress, i didn't think i'd be able to pull off because of how short it is).
as it turned out, my pregnant belly, and rather large body, thanked me profusely for going with the violet look.
we ended up having such a great time;
and the kids (and dog) managed to keep their wigs and gloves on all night...
which, i figured, would have been less likely than finding a golden ticket in a wonka bar.

Willy Wonka

Violet Beauregarde

Oompa Loompas

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

oompa loompa doompadee doo...

i've got a perfect puzzle for you.

can you guess what we were for halloween this year?

more pictures coming your way!

plain jane

i spent the morning taking all of this down...

my house feels pretty plain jane.
i like it like this, though.
too bad it's not going to last for more than a day or two...
because CHRISTMAS here we come.
i started something new last year,
which i've decided is going to become tradition...
(i don't have much by way of thanksgiving decor anyway)

and i can't hardly wait!