Saturday, January 23, 2010


My dad turned 55 yesterday. Experiencing a birthday not long after you have almost died seems pretty significant to me, and yesterday was a very reflective day for me. I was just so glad that today was a happy day and not a sad day, and that we were celebrating my dad's birthday with his recovery moving along. He has actually started going to the shop a couple of days a week and life gets more and more normal each day.

For the party, we kept it low key. Ashley made lasagna and I made my devilish chocolate cake. When it was time to sing Happy Birthday my mom and I put a "sparkler" candle in the mix. It didn't sparkle, but it did fall over and almost start a small fire on the cake. Stella and I bought my dad a balloon and cards. It was totally cute when we realized that Stella and Ava picked out the same exact card for their grandpa. I let Stella sign the card herself and also add some squiggly embellishments.

We had a great time, and the cake was enjoyed by all. My dad called me this afternoon: "Michelle, I have some serious news." Me: "What?!" Dad: "We are out of cake."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Stella does so many adorable things and I try to document most of them. Lately, she has two new skills that are totally amazing me.

First off, she is all about feeding herself with utensils. I think I first noticed this when we were at a restaurant and she was making whining sounds while reaching out for something. I realized that what she wanted was a fork. Suddenly, the simple task of using her fingers was not sufficient and she wanted to use her fork. With her skills of obtaining food with the fork being about as good as mine are with chopsticks (i.e. not good) it made it a lot harder for me to eat my food because I was constantly being interrupted with Stella's pathetic whines for help getting food on her fork. She is getting better fast though, and today when I took these pictures I didn't help her once getting the banana bread on her fork.

Stella's next act of genius seems more advanced, and that is how she holds a pen or pencil in the correct way. No one ever tried to teach her this. She just started picking up pens and then paper and then she would pretend to write on the paper while holding her pen just like her mom. It was my mom that started helping her write letters on paper, and now when she wants to do it, she brings me the necessary tools and says "A B," referring of course to her ABCs. I keep trying to remind her that we only draw on paper and not anything else. Do you think she is listening?

Some words that Stella is saying now are:
  • Apple
  • Shoes
  • Juice (which sounds the same as shoes)
  • Milk (which means she wants juice)
  • Cold
  • Mmmm Good.
  • Cookie (referring to an actual cookie, and also that she is a "smart" cookie)
  • Mote (referring to the TV remote--I don't know how proud I should be of this one.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010


So my dear friend Bree has written a book, and I have been to a couple of The Dark Divine events and taken pictures. Each time I have not taken Stella, but I thought it would be a fun idea to take her to a signing and have her get her own copy signed by the author.

And it was first. Ashley and I took the girls to lunch, and then headed over to Barnes and Noble. Both Stella and Ava were in love with their own copies of the book. This was fine until I got the feeling that Stella was going to accidentally rip it. So I had to take it away which was the beginning of a mini meltdown until I gave her another book. I thought that the crisis was averted and so we went to hear Bree speak. I got one picture taken and BAM, off went Stella with her stroller. Ashley and I decided to leave the store and then when I wouldn't let Stella drive her stroller she threw an absolutely HUGE tantrum. My main objective was to get her away from the reading, but the crying just got louder. So I thought if I just let her walk on her own she would stop, but NO, she ran away from me in total tantrum mode and I had to chase her down WITH the stroller AND my camera AND the diaper bag AND our coats. Once I grabbed her and drug her through the store, I had to wait in line to buy the book since Bree had already signed the copy for us. Did Stella stop screaming in line? Of course not. It was humiliating at the time, but I am already laughing as I write down what a wicked child Stella was being. It really is so unlike her and I certainly was not prepared to handle the scene we created.

So, moral of the story? When the sequel comes out, I am buying the book online and having Bree sign it at her house. Or I will be leaving the little one at home, and attending the signings solo.

To see the other posts I have done about The Dark Divine you can head over to the photo blog HERE and HERE.

I actually give this book two thumbs up, but I had to use my other thumb to hold the book and keep it away from Stella.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Tonight was Tyler's birthday and we all met up at The Red Lobster for a fancy dinner. Stella was in absolutely no mood for a dinner out. She was totally irritable on the drive to the restaurant and while we waited for a table. BUT then suddenly she saw AVA and everything that was wrong and irritating with the world vanished into Ava's blue eyes.

I freaking love irritating my brother with pictures--it is one of the great joys of my life. I always look forward with great anticipation to special days like his birthday when I can make him the spectacle of my flash. Dinner was really fun even though we were the wild group in the dining room.

The craziest part of the night though was seeing my dad walk into the restaurant. It was so weird seeing him like our life was normal again, and here he was walking in for dinner with his little cane. It was kind of surreal and made me appreciate our dinner together even more. I hope that me really appreciating family time lasts forever.

Brent thought he was hilarious...or rather WAS hilarious when he wrapped the DVD he got Tyler with the tie that I had bought for him.

My mom really wanted me to get a picture of Tyler and Ava's Vans. It totally annoyed Tyler so I was all over it.

I don't know if I have ever known two babies that like each other more than Stella and Ava. It is so freaking adorable.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


My mom got me these potted tulips as a congrats for being published in Utah Bride and Groom. They were just green stems when she gave them to me and suddenly they are adorably bright yellow tulips.

Everyone knows I adore spring and hate winter, so I just had to take a picture of my kitchen window with the illusion of spring.

To read about my big published moment, click HERE.

Friday, January 8, 2010


My dad has been on the news/TV more than anyone I know. I guess his shenanigans are often newsworthy, and I think this is actually the fourth blog post about Dad being in the spotlight.

This segment was for Fox 13. They interviewed my dad about his experiences with the H1N1 virus and his recovery. They filmed him at his rehab center asking him questions about how the last few months have been for him. He encouraged everyone to go out and get their shots. Then they got some footage of him working out in the rehab center's pool that has a treadmill on the floor. I got some pictures of him working out, and I have to say that he is looking better every day.

The segment will air on Tuesday I think.



After we left the rehab center and my dad was still working out, we went shopping with my mom. On our way back to pick up my dad we grabbed some Jamba Juice. They make these baby cups that you can pay a little more for and then they put some of your smoothie in the small cup. Stella loves them, but I picked a red smoothie this time and it ended in disaster. When I got her out of the car I discovered smoothie everywhere. In these pictures her cup is covering the worst of it. I had to laugh or I would cry.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Last year I had Stella wear this headband to ring in 2009 and she could barely sit up, but I still wanted her to sit up in the pictures. At one point, she toppled over and banged her head on the floor and Brent was not happy. "Was that worth it? To let Stella get hurt for a picture?" Thanks to an infant's short term memory loss, she was over it in no time, and we were still able to enjoy 2009.

I don't think 2009 has been that awesome, but I have to say that I don't really have anything bad to say about it. I mostly seem to remember all of the happy memories, and the times Stella made me laugh more than the times she made me crazy. My dad is alive and getting better, and we all have a new perspective on family and life. The world is only going to get sadder and more disgusting, but it will be our attitudes and understanding of the Gospel that will help us remember the good stuff year after year. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but if we are really going to be like Jesus than we had better see the good in our lives, and move past the sorrows and disappointments. I am of course saying this more to myself than anyone else, because I never want to forget how many blessings I enjoy in this life that I need to be thankful for each year.

To see how Stella wore this headband last year, you can click HERE.