Monday, January 31, 2011

Boom went the transformer

So the really wet snow fell and within an hour our trees were bending backwards.  And then they started breaking.  Tree limbs *SNAP* falling to the ground.  On the cars, the street, barely missing the houses.  And then, *BOOM* one hits the transformer in front of our house and out went the lights.

We get a D when it come to storm preparedness.  We had no wood for the fire, no matches (I used them all over Christmas and hadn't replaced them yet), and 1 flashlight with low batteries.  Thanks to Neena, we were saved.  She bought us a really cool LED flashlight for Christmas and I knew exactly where it was.

I went to the basement and gathered extra blankets for my sleeping beauties.  Then I curled up in my bed to call Alex.

He was in transit home from the hospital.  And it was scary out there.  The government had an early release that day, sending A LOT of people home from work at 3pm.  The storm struck at 4pm.  Everyone was stuck in gridlock on the roads.  It took people hours...literally person reported a 10 hour drive that usually took 30 minutes.  Cars were stuck, stranded.  Traffic lights off.  Total nightmare.

Alex finally made it home.  The thunder and lightening continued and our transformer gave us a light show.

We went to sleep and woke up.  Cold.  Out we headed to our local diner for some hot coffee and pancakes.  Then to the church because it was warm there.  It was the perfect place to stay and play--friends came, lots of toys, movies, and even cribs in the nursery.  And then a great snow ball fight on the play ground.  Eloise was not afraid to get in the mix of it.  I think she was trying to impress a certain 8 year old boy that day.

The lights did not come back on Thursday night so we headed to our dear friends for a yummy dinner and a family sleepover.  In fact, we got to sleepover 2 nights.  And it was a fun, bonding experience.  We thank God for such hospitable friends.

I unfortunately didn't take but 1 photo of our time with our friends, the Ewings.  We were too busy with the 5 children between us and chit chatting and laughing.  At one point, the children were well occupied, so my friend Annemarie threw me a paper and said to sit back and relax for a while.  We chuckled because when was the last time I kicked up my feet in the middle of the day to read the paper?  Oh yeah, never.

So I did just that.  I read all about the storm we had just weathered.  One story struck me.  A young woman (one of very many) was stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night Wednesday.  She desperately tried to hitch a ride to a safer location.  She says, BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, all kinds of cars passed her until finally a very old and beaten up car pulled over.  An older, ragged looking man told her to get in.  He took her where she needed to go.  He had apparently been driving around all night Wednesday helping stranded people.  If that man wasn't an angel, he was divinely inspired for sure.

It was so nice to parent with my friend for the day.

And the girls loved it too!

Saturday at noon, the lights came back on.  And our little almost-4-year-old screamed all the way home.  She did not want to leave her friends.  How sad the girls were that the lights were back.

And while I'm sitting cozy in my warm house on my computer right now, I'm a little sad too.  It was so good to be together.

Next time we'll just do it at the beach, right?  :-)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The moments before the thundersnow

Last Wednesday I blogged at 6am in the morning about being full.  And I had been full--sick baby, lots to do, not much time to myself.

But Wednesday actually brought us a lazy day.  School was cancelled for Eloise.  Cordelia was still too sick to go to church nursery, so I couldn't go to Bible study.  So we stayed home and relaxed.

Little did we know that the 4 inches of snow that they predicted for Wednesday night was going to come in the form of a "thundersnow."  That's a thunderstorm with snow.  It was the perfect storm...or not so perfect storm, really.  It started out as a warm(er) day.  Then some sleet and rain came down.  And then that froze and all of the sudden, a very wet and heavy snow came crashing down.  Thunder and lightening and ...

Well, I'll save that for tomorrow's blog.

For now, here we are on Wednesday.  Pre-thundersnow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Wow.  I'm finding it really hard to blog these days.  I've tried and tried but it is really difficult to type while holding a fussy 14 month old.  While she is not still officially sick, she is one incredibly grumpy person.  I think we've been slammed from both sides--a virus and a new tooth.

It seems I've had a buddy with me at all times during the day.  With Alex working lots of hours lately, it's me and a lot of girl time.

This happened yesterday.

Me:  "I'm going to the potty, Eloise."
Eloise: "Okay, we will come watch."
And then she grabs Cordelia's hand and brings her to the bathroom to watch.  PLEASE, LITTLE PEOPLE.  That is not what I intended.

From there I started getting some major whining for lunch.  "I'm hungry Mom!"
"I know sweetie, I'm hurrying to get some lunch ready."
I start throwing food around, cutting, smearing, stacking, and in record time the food is on the table.
"What can I eat?"  I think.
"Oh, sweet, leftover pizza."
I sit down and Cordelia goes wild.  Of course she wants my pizza.  But it wasn't my pizza she wanted, it was me.  Me. Me and only me.  At least all this hugging is keeping me warm on these frigid days.

So that's been my story for the last couple of days.  Not a lot of hand free time.  Not even at 5:30 this morning.  My hands are full.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart Faces: Innocent Wonder

Nothing has brought more wonder in our house than our pet caterpillar this summer.  Eloise was enamored by her.

And I really enjoyed browsing my summer photos while sitting in front of my space heater...It will be nice to get outside again to play!

Check out other "innocent wonders" at I Heart Faces this week.  There are bound to be some great ones!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Days like today are hard for me!  It felt like a complete waste because I never left the house.  I hardly spoke to anyone over the age of 4 (Alex was working) and I sat on my rear almost all day.  Not only am I feeling unproductive which I hate because I'm a neurotic "doer," but I'm also feeling lazy.  Double yuck.  (But note to doctor--I did the "Shred" workout for free on Direct TV.  BooYa!  I'm doing my homework and working out.)

It's the 3rd day of this virus in our house.  Alex had it Thursday and Friday.  And now Cordelia has it.  So I've been care taking for 3 days and tomorrow will be more of the same.

This is Cordelia on a Tylenol high.

Tomorrow is supposed to be my day for Kid's Church.  I look forward to my Kids Church days because it reminds me of my days teaching Spanish in Pittsburgh.  30 minutes of educational fun.  High energy.  Games, songs, learning.  But this is even better because Jesus is cooler than Spanish.  So teaching Kids Church is the best.

And I have the most awesome lesson plan and game planned.  That Alex is going to do now.  Bummer!  But there's no way around it.  Cordelia can't be at church.  Alex has to be a church.  Oh well.  If I had to pick a substitute for my awesome Kids Church, I'd choose Alex anyway.

Although it was bitterly cold today, the sun came out and it was pretty.  No rain.  No chance to wear these bad boys.

I went for the flower pattern because rainy days are usually dark and dreary so I thought something bright and cheerful would be better.  Kinda like how I wear fun and crazy knee socks that no one can see.  It just makes life a little more fun.

And finally, this is what happens when you stay in all day.

You get lots of little princesses rearranging and reorganizing the house.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fix It Friday: PSE-8

It's Fix It Friday at I Heart Faces.  It's been ages since I practiced my skillz on one of these, but I got the editing itch during nap time today.  I clicked on over to IHF and wow, I loved this hot.  Why?  Because it's fun and different and really cool.  Thank you, Angie, for letting us play on your great image.  And thank you to all the contributors for sharing your fixes and editing secrets.  I learn so much from you all!


Edit 1
Some exposure/vibrance/clarity tweaks, some boosting, a crop, and then PW's Homeland.

Edit 2
Same exposure/vibrance/clarity tweaks as above. With some more saturation/sharpening and then a crop.

Edit 3
Same tweaks as above, no crop--I love the full frame--and PW's Lovely and Ethereal.

A lot of photos have an edit that I think is "just right."  This one, though, could be played with forever.  It's fun.  It's addicting.  And it's hurting my parenting right now.

Which is your favorite? 

(For those loyal readers, rain boot photos coming soon.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


We ladies went to Target today.  I love that store.  We all love that store.  Because we buy things that aren't on our list.  And while that can be dangerous, it's never that dangerous when you're at Target.

So we ladies bought 3 pairs of shoes because we wanted them.

Eloise picks her own clothes now, in case you didn't know that already.  And she is a confident shopper.  Mommy, I want those shoes right there.  No second guessing.  Those are what she likes, those are what the lady gets (most of the time).

I love that she is a little person with unique talents and gifts and style.  I love that when I met with her teacher this morning for our conference, her teacher described the passionate girl I know so well.  She is who she is.  She LOVES the Nutcracker.  And princesses.  And lipstick.  She is Eloise.

Then there is Cordelia.  I love that I still have a voice in this house.  I get to buy her bright pink converses because I can.  Because she's only 14 months.  And while her little will is emerging nicely and she screams bloody murder when you take away Eloise's lipstick (it's really just chap stick, don't get worried), I still get to dress her.  She'll be dressing herself soon enough.

For now, though, I have the illusion of control when it comes to her shoes.  Mwhahah...and I like it!

And for me, rain boots.  I've been thinking about getting rain boots for years.  Literally years.  Would I really wear them?  Or, would they take up too much space in our incredibly small closet? The last straw came a few months ago when I was standing in pouring rain buckling 2 children in the car.  And I was soaked.

I'm tired of being soaked.  Of being the last one in the car.  The coldest, wettest lady in this family, so I decided to do something about that.  I bought rain boots.

I guess the martyr thing was getting old.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


For a moment this morning, our girls were matching.  It was so lovely and nice and perfectly coordinating that I insisted on getting a photo outside.

Sisters holding hands.  Eloise helping Cordelia on the icy grass.  So precious.

Then, Eloise changed her clothes.

Perfection is fleeting, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ice Days

It's an ICE day here.  Not a snow day because there is certainly no snow on the ground.  Just ice.  And the stinky part about that is that there is not much fun to be had in ice.

Except, if you are Eloise who gets to go to swimming today.  She is taking swim classes.  I called to sign her up last week and the woman who took my information was not the instructor.  I'm not sure who she is but when I described Eloise's dislike of water on her face--she doesn't want to get premature wrinkles--she commented "Well that'll be difficult for the teacher, won't it?"  And I said, "That's why I'm coming to the best..."  Geez...why do you think I'm calling?

Eloise couldn't be more excited.  I know she'll do really well and overcome any fear she currently has.

Also, I went to the doctor a while back.  The doctor lectured me on needing to exercise more.  Doesn't toting 2 young children a workout enough?  Anyway... I grew up and got over the lecture UNTIL I received a form letter in the mail.  It told me the results of my blood work.  Then, she crossed out parts of the form letter that said "exercise 3 days a week for 20 minutes" and instead wrote "exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes."  Is she giving me extra homework?  I hate extra homework.  Geez...

So I'm trying to be a good listener because I like doctors.  (And Eloise reminds me of the importance of good listening skills everyday), so the entire family did the Billy Blanks Cardioke exercise routine from On Demand yesterday.  Yes, all 4 of us moved and grooved.  A family that dances together, stays together, right?  It was a hoot.

So there we are.  My first 30 minute workout this week.  Only 4 more to go.  (Haha...yeah, that's not going to happen...)

And off to swimming we go.  Thankfully we are getting out of the house.  Because the girls fought over a trash can this morning.  A TRASH CAN.

We really need to get out of here!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Portraits and Priest Things

Yesterday we adventured downtown to enjoy some art.  And boy did we enjoy some art!  There is a British photography exhibit right now from the 1860s.  It is amazing how incredible these photos are 150 years later.  And did you know that the camera was invented in 1839?

These two ladies really caught my eye.  I loved them.

Who painted this?  I can't remember!  Please tell me.  Isn't she stunning?

Pablo Picasso painted this beauty.  I love Picasso.  I love these colors.

And finally, yes this is a very terse entry because I shouldn't be sitting here when I have 10 things I need to be doing, if you came to our house, would this surprise you?

What if the collars were hooked and the oval was more clear (like they are in our bedroom)?

Answer:  They are priest collars.  And we have them scattered all around our house.

I've had the pleasure of spending some time with new friends who do not attend our church.  This is rare.  Everyone I know here falls in 3 categories: church friends, neighbors, school friends.  But this week, I've encountered some un-churchy people (which is so refreshing for this pastor wife).  And as I was cleaning the house today, I wondered, "did they notice the collars scattered across the house? do they thing we're crazy?  this is not normal..."

But I think they liked me anyway.  I really really do so it must not have freaked them out too much.  Or, this just didn't notice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


So we didn't make a snowman.  Or even a snowlittleman.  He is more like a figurine.  But he's wearing this cool peace lovin' hat that makes him most like a snowdude.

And that's where we'll leave it.  Our little snowdude and his maker (Eloise!).

Alex's day off is Friday so although it's Thursday night, it's our Friday night.  So I'm out of here!  

Happy Weekend!

Yes, it did snow.

Have I been keeping you waiting anxiously?  Have you wondered if we got the snow I wanted so badly?  Have you missed me so very much?

I know you have.

I keep you waiting no more.  YES, we got our snow.  It's beautiful, fluffy, and white.  And Cordelia learned after some experimentation that it's best if our gloves stay on the hands.  It helps keep your fingers warm, you know.

Eloise helped me salt the walkway.  And she really really likes polka dots these days.

In other news, last night I stayed up late with some old college friends.  It was fun and it made me feel young again.  (Having an almost 4 year old is making me feel old these days!)  And it was good for the soul.  How does the song go again?  Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.  

C is taking her nap now and E and I are bundling up to go make a snowman.  Probably a snowlittleman.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Waiting for Snow

Right now I want to be in Vail.  Imagine this: Just finished an amazing meal at Sweet Basil.  Delightfully worn out from a great day in fresh powder.  Breathing in the cold crisp air as we stroll through Vail Village back to our beds at any hotel there.  Maybe the Sonnenalp or the Mountain Haus or really, any of them will do.  Collapsing and awaking again to bright blue sky and a chair lift ready to take me up again.  Just me and Alex.  All day.  Skiing together.

Okay, that dream is so unrealistic.

How about this one?  All I want is there to be enough snow on the ground tomorrow that I can bundle the chicas up and sled down our sidewalk.  And I can hear them roar with laughter.  That would make my day!

For that to happen, I'm going to need it to snow more.  Need more snow.  Need more snow.

Dear God, please let it snow more than 1 inch tonight.

I really want it to snow.  Like really really badly.  It's time.  I'm ready.  Let's get the show on the road.

So what do you do when you are waiting for snow?

We take an afternoon bath and pour water on our heads and play like mermaids and splash our sister.

And I play with my camera settings.  I'm practicing lots of indoor low light situations these days.  Because that's what we've got a lot of....a lot of indoor low light situations.  Ugh.

Then we cuddle in warm towels and run around squealing with delight and we never even pause to think that Mom tricked us into having a very fun bath time in the afternoon so that she didn't have to do a really difficult bath time at night.  

I love it when that happens!

Monday, January 10, 2011

4 Thoughts Today

I have had some thoughts through out the day.  3 funny and 1 touching.

First, never say never.  My friends, the impossible can happen.  My meatless child ate all her meatloaf tonight.  I don't think she even knew what it was.  I'm not sure I've served it like this before, she didn't ask, she just ate.  Thank you, Pioneer Woman.  Thank you!

Second, why does my Christian radio station talk about weight loss so much?  They play a good song about needing God in this hurting world and then they come on and talk about ways to lose weight.  I'm a far too faithful listener.  I should have left them for my iPod years ago.

Third, Cordelia has a secret.  Shhh....don't tell Eloise.  Cordelia plays on the scooter when Eloise is not here.  And I let her.  And she loves it.

Now for the serious thought.

This morning, a news anchor covering the shooting in Arizona told the story of victim Dorwan Stoddard.  The anchor interviewed a friend who recounted the sacrifice Dorwan made to save his wife's life.

I hope I'm getting all the details right.  Dorwan's wife was shot and injured.  He fell on her body and took the bullets so that his wife might live.  She laid under his body and talked to him until he breathed his last breath.  He died to save her.

The anchor starts crying on live tv because the story demands our tears.  To sacrifice yourself is so against our nature that it has to be supernatural.  We self-centered humans just aren't that way--we are really ego-centric, self-centered, self-preservationist....just ask Darwin...or read the book of's true.

And so a selfless act like this touches us from the outside.  It's the finger of God touching our hearts, making us better than we naturally are, and gives us the love to give to others.  It's Jesus on the cross.  And it makes us cry because it's the supernatural acting in a naturally ugly world.

So the news anchor fought back her tears as her voice cracked and until her co-anchor took over. Beautiful.

I Heart Faces: Smiles

The challenge at I Heart Faces this week is all SMILES.  Like many of you, I've been going through all my photos of 2010 and picking some favorites. 

This one of my youngest is one I love.  It really captures her sweet little face and her little vampire teeth so well.

Happy smiling!

Hop on over to I Heart Faces to see some more shining beauties.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Right Now

Do you have a Mac?

Do you play on Photo Booth?

We do.  It's really fun.

Here we are in 2007.  We are at a coffee shop in Colorado, and I'm very pregnant with Eloise.

Here are the children about half a year ago.  They are wild!  And very loud.

And here we are right now.  The girls are asleep.  My tea is steeping and it's peacefully quiet.

Have a great weekend!