I am one of those people. I make lists. All the time. About everything. I make daily lists, wish lists, food lists, shopping lists. And my house is covered in chalkboards and magnetic pads of paper that I can write all of these endless lists on.

I recently started thinking about all of these things I write on my lists. I can never really complete a list and I constantly feel like I’m failing. So what are all of these things I feel like I should be doing. Well here it is … in list form :)

This is the stuff I HAVE to do, whether I like to or not, these are daily HAVE-TOS:
1. make breakfast, lunch and dinner for me and my family.
2. take my kids to school and help them with their homework.
3. change diapers.
4. eventually do laundry
5. spend time with Daniel (this is required … for self-preservation)

OK, now here’s the stuff I feel like I SHOULD do DAILY and I feel guilty or like a failure when I don’t do them:
1. shower
2. workout
3. eat healthfully (different than just eating …)
4. practice singing
5. keep my house clean (this varies from day to day as to what specifically I need to do)
6. remind and help Noah practice piano
7. get the boys to do their chores

Then there’s the stuff I WANT to do DAILY and I feel like I SHOULD be able to do … along with all the rest:
1. check my email/texts and respond
2. water my plants and care for the yard – not a daily thing, but at least 2-3 times a week
3. plan activities and parties
4. spend time with family
5. decorate my house (and re-decorate over and over again for each holiday)
6. blog/journal – not a daily thing, but maybe once a week?

When I sit down and write it out, it feels pretty overwhelming. And this happens everyday. Forget about the other stuff like Costco shopping, doctor’s appointments, deep cleaning (and by deep cleaning, I mean vacuuming), working with Noah on cub scouts, doing things for my calling at church, having the missionaries over, planning and doing FHE, and getting our landlord to fix the garage door. Or what about making memories with my kids? Going for bike rides in the afternoon after homework is done. Or working on my blog books so I can print them out and have some sort of family history down in black and white. And then there’s always the truly frivolous stuff like looking at fashion online, or shopping for a new pair of jeans or painting my toe nails.

This is where I’m at right now. I’m sure in ten years the list will change, not necessarily get longer or shorter, I am sure I will be busy with stuff all the time. And then I think, why am I like that? Are there people out there who don’t live like this? Who don’t need to fill their days? What would it feel like to meander through my life in a casual way? Would things fall apart? Maybe my kids would love me more and I’m sure my house would be much messier but would that be the end of the world? …. yes. it would. I would hate it if my house were a mess. Daniel hates it too, when it’s messy. sigh.

Well, time’s up. It’s 1 pm and I haven’t showered and that’s at the top of my 2nd list. pretty needful. Daniel and I were driving home from somewhere the other day and he said, “Does it seem like this year is going by fast?” yes. I feel like time is in hyper drive. Daniel and I are 33 and 34 and life is whizzing past. How can I get off this crazy merry go round and enjoy this before it blurs past me?

Watching Clarkies

We watched the Clark’s kids a few weeks ago. Aria took Zac, so we just had Ben, Rocco and Emily. Not gonna lie, 6 kids is rough. But fun too. There were some serious good times. One of them? Dressing a little girl. Emily came equipped with her own fully stocked suitcase of clothes and accessories. It was awesome. I will let the pictures tell the story. But one story – I went to the store with all 6 one time. It was quick, I only needed like 3 things and was only inside the store for 10 minutes. However, I got stopped 3 times …. by surprised people watching me roll past with a baby in my front carrier (Emily), one in the front of the cart, and two hanging on to each side of the cart. They kept asking, “Are these all yours?”

This was day one … I think hour one.

The Babies. They were the hardest because they both needed the same things at the same time. They both needed to eat at the same time, to get carried in from the car at the same time … I don’t know how mothers with multiples do it. I assume the babies just cry more.

These two look like they could pass for brother and sister, no?

At the store. Hilarious, right?

Look at those boys. Cute in their matching jammies, right? Funny story – I told Ben his jammies looked nice and he said, “They’re kind of small on me, but momma said that I had to bring the ones that matched”. LOL. Weedy, your terrible.

This is me prepping the night before for crème brulee French toast. It’s so good. And so unhealthy.

For the first half of day one I didn’t know where Emily’s bag was, so I was changing her and using diapers and stuff out of her diaper bag. Then I found THIS. It was comprehensive, to say the least.

They didn’t need it, but I gave them both a bath. The only thing better than a soft, squishy Emily? A wet, soft, squishy Emily :)

And now for Emily’s outfit changes:

Braving the wild of our backyard.

I’d do it again.

Northern California trip

About 3 weeks ago, Daniel and I took a trip up to northern California, back home. The trip from here to there is about 7 hours. Not bad. We had watched Clark’s kids so they could go to Las Vegas alone and so they watched ours so we could take this trip. We left on Friday around 2 pm and came home Sunday night around 8 pm. It was heaven.

Daniel and I were originally taking the trip to get furniture from Daniel’s mom, then we decided to make it fun and celebrate my birthday a week early. We stayed at my parents’ house the first night, Friday night, then we spent half of Saturday with Daniel’s mom and Grandfather. But the other half of Saturday was spent playing. We went to eat cinnamon rolls at Cinnaholic in Berkeley right next to campus, we went shopping in Emeryville, then we ate that night at an AWESOME bbq place called B-side BBQ and to top it off …. had a black and tan ice cream sundae at Fentons. We ended the night in the hot tub at our hotel and slept in the next morning. Soooooooo, good.

Sunday morning we were headed home, but had to eat breakfast ….. so we thought, “if we’re going to be buying breakfast and breaking the Sabbath, why not break it by eating a really yummy breakfast??” So, we went to Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. The wait was ri-diculous. So much so, that I would probably never go back. But their specialty is waffles and fried chicken (southern thing). The waffles were dropped straight from heaven. In fact, they almost didn’t make it down to earth because they were so light and airy … they drifted down to our plates :) They were made with cornmeal and they were crunchy on the outside and so fluffy and airy on the inside. It defied all physical laws. And they served the waffles with this really awesome apple syrup. The apple sausage was also stand out, as was the toast. for real. Who does toast that good? Anyway, it was a fun find, in a terrible part of Oakland, but fun. We waited for 2 hours. At an hour and a half we thought, “we’ve been waiting THIS long … should we really leave now??” Anyway, it was a super fun weekend. I forgot how much I love being with Daniel all. the. time. There was not a moment where I was wishing someone else was in his place. Even at Anthropologie.

Oh yeah – red letter day!!!! I finally bought something at Anthropologie! I’ve been gifted things from there but never bought anything. I know, crazy. So I got a delicious coconut milk mango candle, a shirt and a sweater. Very exciting stuff. So that was that.

Car snacks. I guess food is a big deal for me. I’ve spent quite a few words (and you will see pictures) on food. When we travel with the boys, we always have dumb stuff like graham crackers and fruit snacks and bananas. But when Daniel and I do road trips, the car snacks are much better :)

Turkeys roaming on Grandfather’s front yard.

We actually didn’t eat here, but I love that some of the best food is in tiny little huts like this. We searched Zagat for food ideas before we went and found a TON of highly ranked food in Oakland and Berkeley. It’s like they know how to do food here.

My cinnamon roll. At Cinnaholic you get a cinnamon roll and then get to choose the toppings. I had a mocha, almond chocolate roll. Soooooooo yummy. I want one now. right now.

The view while eating my cinnamon roll. It was a perfect day in Berkeley.

At B-side BBQ

One of the highlights of this place? The random pickled veggies on the side! It was vinegar and cloves and pure flavor.

At Fentons


Huntington Gardens

So, in October, we went to Huntington Gardens which is, surprisingly, not anywhere near Huntington Beach. Once every month they do a free day. But you have to be really on the ball and get your free tickets a month in advance and they sell out in like 20 minutes. We went through all the trouble and made it happen and then even took our kids out of school early to go! Then the saddest thing happened. I really have a hard time writing it … Aria somehow locked her keys in her house and was stuck, outside of her house, without keys to her car and she couldn’t get in her car and come. We had free tickets for her and Christina and I were there and Aria was stuck. It was terrible. It kind of soured our enjoyment because Aria wasn’t there that day. We kept thinking and saying things like, “Aria would love this” or “Luca would go crazy for this!” It was a sad day, but it was also sooooooo beautiful. I took a ton of pictures, so I am going to minimize the commentary and let the pictures speak for themselves:

They had all these stations set up for kids to do little experiments and enjoy nature. Very cool.

Liam and Rocco.

Ben, Liam and Noah checking out this massive leaf.

The Children’s Garden. It was awesome. It was fenced in and felt so safe for the kids. All of them loved it and we spent half our time here.

But Ray spent ALL of his time at this little fountain area. genius.

Entering the Chinese gardens

It was unbelievable really. The views were breathtaking. The pictures don’t really capture it.

There was some scene in “The Wedding Planner” with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey here. Weedy was pretty pumped about it.

There you have it. Aria, we HAVE to do this again!!! And you will be there next time!

October part 1

First and most importantly – My lover had a birthday!!! Daniel turned 34 this year.

Once he turned 34 he evidently changed his favorite color to grey, because everything he asked for was in grey. Grey Vans, grey REI fleece, Grey and white checked gap shirt … anyway, we actually did a blow out party for him this year because he asked for one! What??! I know. Last time we had a party for him was probably about 9 years ago and he said I basically ruined his birthday because I made him go on a scavenger hunt before the party to see friends and get presents. Moving on … this year’s party was so fun! We did it after conference on Sunday and invited the Jamiesons and our family. We did a BBQ and I botched one set of ribs, while Jeff saved mine and made some super delicious ones :) For some dumb reason, I have no pictures from the BBQ. lame, I know.

Also in October –  I made a mad amount of dress ups for Halloween.

The one for Emily, though, was really the most incredible.

Yes, that is all toole. When she wore it, it looked like she was floating on a cloud. So awesome. I really don’t know why, but Weedy and I just got super excited about going all out for Emily’s Halloween outfit. She was a fairy princess. But we never got to the wings … I guess that made her a princess?

I did all of this beading by hand and then hand embroidered the gold stitching around the flowers of the lace. Anyway, it was ridiculous. But such a rewarding finish.

Oh yeah, and not to be forgotten, was the hand beaded bracelet to match.

Then there was Liam’s king outfit:

That dragon took me for.e.ver! I looked at a dragon picture I wanted to copy, then drew it out bigger, to the size I wanted, then cut that out and pinned it to some faux silver leather and cut that out …. THEN sewed that dragon on to the front. Very time consuming.

My very serious king :)

And a not so serious king. The really lucky thing was that I had a pair of sparkly tights already (from a previous Halloween dress up), but they were my size. Anyway, I used them to make the arms and then legs on Liam’s costume, to make it look like chainmail.

Then, Christina and I went on a little shopping trip to check out the local thrift shops and we came across these amazing, matching prom dresses that reminded us of that old movie. White Christmas. Remember when the two girls do that routine, “Sisters”?? With matching prom dresses on?? Anyway.

Also on this shopping trip, we came across this awesome amount of pirate stuff – toys, skeleton mugs and wine glasses, swords, 2 or 3 of each pirate character … it was rad. So we had to get it for Luca (Aria’s little boy) because he LOVES pirates and his birthday party is in November (actually this Saturday).

Oh yeah…. and then in October, I did something I’ve never done before … wait for it … I bought my first piece of Potterybarn furniture!!!!!!! Daniel and I got a dining table! We’ve been using my Nonna’s old table (that I painted aqua, yeah!) for out entire marriage. I finally had enough children that we outgrew the Nonna table (BTW, having children is NOT the recommended way to get a new table, but hey, it worked). It’s beautiful and big and it smells like the Potterybarn store. It’s gorgeous and I love it everyday.

It barely fit in the back of my van with all the seats down and no children … sign of a good table … that it’s huge-mungous.

Yeah, that’s me lying on my table. I love it. Some people lie on the hood of cars … while I lie on my table. To each their own.