Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Christmas Morning

This Christmas was actually really fun and low key. We were trying to make it to Oregon, but due to a combination of things we decided to brave it alone this year. We woke up bright and early to a very excited little girl and headed downstairs to start the Christmas extravaganza. We made cinnamon pull aparts, (lazy version of cinnamon rolls, but same great taste) opened presents, played with new toys and then after lunch we went bowling. Since I was a little girl until I was probably 16 or so my family tradition was to go bowling on Christmas day and it was so fun. I can only remember specifically a few christmas gifts (even though we were always spoiled with tons of them), but boy do I remember bowling. So now that Maisie is old enough we picked up the tradition and I am so glad we did. It was a blast and there's something magical about dancing to upbeat christmas songs, in bowling shoes with a 3 1/2 year old.

Also, Maisie randomly wanted a stuffed owl for Christmas. That is seriously the only thing that she had asked for. So of course Santa obliged her with the cutest and softest little owl. When she opened it she was the happiest thing in the world. She was kissing it and bouncing up and down and kept saying "I got what I wanted!" in the cutest and most thankful voice. Shortly after opening it Austin asked her what his name was and she quickly replied "his name is Nudey. That's a really pretty name." So now her and Nudey are inseparable- he goes every where she does. The last picture is of Nudey and Maisie dancing in between frames at the bowling alley. 

In case you were wondering the game stats:
Austin finished with a 101
I finished with a 96
and Maisie with an 86

1st Snow

The most terrifying snowman you ever did see.

He looks a lot less menacing with a hat.

Maisie's first snow! She is obsessed with the stuff. If Austin and I had snow appropriate clothing we might enjoy it as much as her, but we don't so therefore we don't haha. We usually oblige her with a short outing once a day, but sometimes that doesn't stop the nagging and begging for more snow play. That girl would play outside until she was gangrenous from frostbite, no joke. I don't understand how her concept of temperature could differ so much from ours, maybe it's a kid thing? Oh well, we better take on her attitude of snow because it's going to be a long winter if we don't. I mean, who could hate the fluffy white stuff?! We currently have two more feet of it outside as we speak and a roofless igloo. How does one build an igloo roof?

Rexburg Ducks

These pictures were taken in early November and in retrospect all I can think to myself is how in the world did I think it was cold then!? Now we are surrounded in multiple feet of snow and the odds of it melting before spring are slim to none- if anything we will just be adding a few more feet. Bleh. I am happy though that we are in the 20s again because two weeks of -12 as the HIGH was pretty lame. Last week it got to 37 and it felt like summer, no joke! I will say though that despite the cold and snow it's sunny and bright almost everyday and I do appreciate that. 

ANYWAY, back to this day in November... We met our friends Summer, Hayden and little Avery at the nearby park to feed the ducks and do some fishing. While throwing rocks a christmas ornament washed up right next to Maisie and she was in heaven as she was shouting "LOOK MAMA! A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!" over and over and over. Summer and I couldn't stop giggling at Maisie's enthusiasm. Maybe we will head to that park soon to see if the pond froze over yet, my educated guess would say yes. Idaho, you are cold, but I guess I like you anyway. 

p.s the other day we saw a bald eagle!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


My little Maisie is officially 3 1/2 today. I'm trying to wrap my head around how it could be possible because 3 1/2 is closer to 4 and 4 is almost 5 and 5 year olds start kindergarten- ah, some one stop me, I feel my head spinning! Could it really be true that my baby, the precious girl who made me a mama really be 3 1/2?!

I'm blown away by her, not only by her sweet and silly spirit, but how perfectly she completes me. I truly don't know how else to explain it other than saying she's the one for me. I couldn't have been entrusted with a more perfect daughter .

Happy half-birthday Maisie! Thank you for blessing my life more than I thought was imaginable.

p.s yes, we celebrated with half of a funfetti cake because what would a half-birthday be without funfetti?!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We're off to see the Wizard!




Our pumpkins were Nightmare Before Christmas themed because it's currently Maisie's favorite.

We had finished up The Wizard of Oz book and had been watching the movie like crazy so we decided we would be the gang for Halloween. In the book Dorothy mentions that the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman were her best friends and although she loved the lion, she was much closer to the other two. So we decided to nix the cowardly lion and come up with some sort of costume. The only things we bought to make these outfits were my burlap, Maisie's shoes, Austin's axe and silver spray paint. Everything else we just found around the house. Pretty pocketbook friendly.

We started the night with a trunk or treat followed by a hot chocolate break to warm up (G's german chocolate coco is out of this world good!),  hit up our neighborhood for good old fashioned trick or treating and then finished the night at Hayden and Summer's eating homemade chili and hanging out with friends. 

Our intention was to have Hayden and Summer over for a scary movie later Halloween night, but we were all too tired, so we did it the next night. We made homemade pizzas and watched The Conjuring. It was the most hilarious and frightening night of my life. I screamed- like full on screamed like 4 times. No joke. I kept waking Maisie up and she gave Austin a huge lecture on how we were being to loud. haha 

If you want to see a trailer and freak yourself out be my guest- watch it here.

I would say Halloween was a huge success. We have more than enough candy to make all of us thoroughly sick, it didn't snow, Idaho's halloween spirit is impressive and we spent it with friends. 
2014 better step it up.

Halloween Photo Shoot



bad kitty



My friend Summer had her maternity pictures done by a local photographer in Rexburg and when we saw she was having a fun Halloween session for littles, we thought it would be so cute for Maisie and Avery. They all turned out so cute! Maisie is of course a ham, but sometimes it's difficult to get her to look directly at the camera. I am very happy how they turned out!

p.s Mom and Dad- if you want copies without the "caretouch" watermark, just let me know!

Hemming Village Fall Harvest








The Saturday before Halloween, we went to the family fall festival at Hemming Village in Down town Rexburg. It was so warm and sunny that we even wore short sleeves AND ordered frozen yogurt (!), but it pains me to say I think those warm days are over, as we have started getting a little snow already. Anyway, the festival was a lot of fun. Everything was free- great for us because we are poor students now. Maisie loved looking at all of the costumes (the Disney movie villains were her favorite especially Ursula) getting her nails painted, getting her face painted, going on the hay ride and participating in the costume parade.

This Halloween season Maisie had four occasions to dress up in costume. She would have been Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz all of the occasions had her outfit been finished (I had to sew parts of it and finding those ruby red slippers was more difficult than previously expected) but lucky for her she got to dress up in four different outfits- a make shift cat costume for a halloween photo shoot, a lamb costume my mom sent for a trunk or treat,  a cowgirl dress we had from last year for the festival and then of course Dorothy on Halloween night. Could she be any more spoiled? haha

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chapter Books

6 months ago we introduced chapter books into Maisie's bed time routine and I am proud to say that it's still going strong- I don't think we have missed a night so far (knocks on wood). I have had a few people interested in how it works. So many parents thinking that it would be a waste because their kid wouldn't pay any attention. I felt this way too, but I thought of two things that might convince any parents out there to give it a try:

1) So what she's not paying any attention to the actual story, hearing the vocabulary alone even if it's just background noise is still good for her. Kids are listening, they always are... even if they're not... make sense? Here is something to prove it... It was Austin's turn to read a chapter from Stuart Little and Maisie was in full on la la land singing to her stuffed animals and not paying the littlest attention to the story. Austin was growing frustrated so he hurried the chapter along and happily said goodnight to the slap happy child. The next day Maisie started talking about what had happened in the very chapter she was singing throughout. It proved to us that even on the hardest nights where my eardrums ache from her belting a song so loudly and I just want to close the book up early and turn in, I know that it is doing her so much good. It's worth it. Her vocabulary is insane for only being three- she can talk about pretty much anything and does on a daily basis. Today she was telling me about space storms. Oh, and that if you sweat too much to will get dehydrated...yup that's my child. 

2) My child rarely falls asleep any where other than her bed. I rarely get to see her eyelids grow heavy and surrender to sleep. So reading to her until she falls asleep is magical (this is still a rare event, but cherished nonetheless). I love when I am caught up in the story and I glance up and I see her chest rise and fall with deep and steady breaths and knowing she feels so safe listening to my voice until the moment she starts to dream. It really is incredible and it makes this mama very happy.

Since we've started we have completed 7 books and are more than half way through our 8th. Since we realized that this new routine was a keeper I have been on the look out for chapter books that a 3 year old could semi-follow. We have some favorites already and a lot more on our "to-read list". But in case you are looking for some ideas I thought I would share a few...

Our Favorites:
1)  2)  3)  4)

E.B White is notorious for crazy long sentences sometimes I would get winded reading Charlotte's Web, but it's such a sweet story other than all the talk of being killed and turned into bacon... remember this conversation? haha

Mr Popper's Penguins- I really liked the story and how it was told, I just wished it would have ended better. But Captain Cook and Gretta and all their babies made the story for Maisie and me.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz- This is the book we are currently reading- Maisie has listened to this story better than any other. She loves it and I like all the back story on the characters that you don't get in the film.

Winnie the Pooh- such a classic and I like how the narrator tells the story. It has such a sweet voice to it- but I could see how others could find it different- It's a story in a story.

The Classics:
1)  2)  3)  4)
Of these we have only read Stewart Little, but I look forward to reading all of these down the road.

1)  2)  3)  4)
We don't own any of these but I think Maisie would like all of them- I remember reading the Trumpet of the Swan in third grade and I remember liking it a lot... all I remember now is something about watercress sandwiches. haha

Roald Dahl:
1)  2)  3)  4)
We have read all of these except The Fantastic Mr Fox- we own it and it's most likely our next read after we finish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I would'nt recommend the BFG to kids under 8- the Big friendly giant has very poor grammar and I was so worried Maisie was going to start saying "I is going to the store". It was a rough read for me, but Austin loved it.

Fun Picks:
1)  2)  3)  4)
We don't own any of these, but we are going to need to get our hands on them. I think Maisie would love Freddy the Detective- I think she would like solving mysteries and this sounds like a good starter.

Oh and Wildwood was written by Colin Meloy front man of the Decembrists (one of me and Austin's favorite bands) and the story takes place in Portland... awesome right? The only thing is it's huge... like 500 pages huge.

Speaking of huge, this post is massive. I could go on, but I will stop here. The End.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Ice Cream Man

Austin's coworkers threw him a farewell party at Bush Park the weekend before we moved (how sweet is that?). One of his co-workers brought his son who happened to be Maisie's age and they were instant pals. While they were playing we all heard the ice cream truck so we ran full speed to get some. It was Maisie's first ice cream truck experience and she was the happiest owner of a batman popsicle you ever did see (it even had gum ball eyes!). I took some pictures of the sticky duo going to town on their beloved popsicles.






Goodbye Oregon Coast

Before we moved we made a last beach trip. It was really sunny and warm, but the wind was a killer. We started the day in Pacific City, where we played around the beach and tide pools and then ended up in Lincoln City building a fire, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and watched the sunset. By the time we packed up we were pretty cold, so we stopped in Mo's for some hot clam chowder and then we made our way home.






Sunset Selfie- Maisie technically took the picture.

Oregon State Fair







Austin was so mad at this kid who was pretending to shoot Maisie. "Look at him! He's annihilating her!"haha

Austin and Miranda riding the Sea Dragon.



I convinced Austin who is not fond of heights to go on this with me. Don't be fooled by this picture, it was really tall.

Farris wheel reflection in a bubble.

I have always loved the fair, but this year was my favorite yet. Maisie was tall enough to ride most of the kiddy rides and watching her was my favorite part of the day. We ate lots of yummy (and unhealthy) food including schnitzel, curly fries, roasted corn, scones and washed it all down with fresh squeezed lemonade. It was overcast as you can tell in the pictures, but don't be fooled it was hot. Hot and sticky and gross. I hope we can make it back to Oregon next year for the fair, it's the best way to say farewell to Summer.

Remember the last time we were at the fair? It was in 2011. 

Flower Girl (continued)

Kelsey and Scott got their professional wedding pictures back and I had to share a few.







Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The most random status update

I just happen to check Facebook to see this status update from the husband....

Never a dull moment with those two.