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Aug 31, 2011

Byron's Don Juan...

I've been watching Don Juan DeMarco here and there over the last couple of days from a recording on our DVR. As someone who suffers from an incurable case of romanticism, I love this movie. It is surely the tale Byron meant to portray with his Don Juan. And it speaks to that silly, daydreamy, poetic, passionate side of me.

I think most women have a side like that, even if we don't let on to it often. It can be hard and embarrassing to open up to it, to be vulnerable enough to let down our guards when a man might look at or speak to us that way. We laugh. We say it’s corny or hokey or lame.

And, unfortunately, a lot of men come off that way when they try to be poetic or passionate, or we can see right through their façade and into their intentions, which are far from our own.


But sometimes, some of them with pure intentions can get us to open up and hear it. And believe it. And believe them.

What a rare and wondrous thing that is.

I thank God for poetic souls and passionate people. People who can feel and think. And people who express it all.

Like when Don Juan says:

“There are only four questions of value in life. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? And what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.”

Or when some of the most powerful poets write:

“Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” (Shakespeare)

“The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessèd my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.” (Shakespeare)

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion - I have shudder'd at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyr'd for my religion. Love is my religion, and I could die for that. I could die for you.” (Keats)

“Touch has a memory.” (Keats)

“…if all I have said and done, and am still but too ready to say and do, have not sufficiently proved what my feelings are, and must ever be, towards you, my love, I have no other proof to offer.” (Byron)

“Oh, God! that we had met in time, our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; when thou hadst loved without a crime, and I been less unworthy thee! Then to the things whose bliss or woe, like mine, is wild and worthless all, that world resign---such scenes forego, where those who feel must surely fall.” (Byron)

Aug 28, 2011

Lena's Two!

How, oh how is my sweet baby girl two years old?

She still has her baby cheeks and fat baby feet, but evidence that those last vestiges of her babyness will soon be gone is offered up in every photo of her I see and every day when she says a new word or sings a new song.

I can't keep them from growing up. I know that. But it's hard to watch it go by so fast.

Maybe that's why I am obsessed with appreciating every moment, trying to soak up my kids as much as humanly possible. And why I keep this blog. Sometimes I use it for my mind's endless meanderings, but I really try to use it to document our lives, my kids' lives, so I can remember each moment, where they were, what they said or did, how we celebrated, how blessed we are...

Anyway, enough with the heavy.

This year Lena's birthday theme was COLORFUL! She's a colorful girl, so I thought it would be fun to decorate for her that way.

Rich's parents came down for the weekend too, which was so awesome. And so helpful. Thanks, Grammy and Papa Cole!

Party details (thanks to pinterest again for all the ideas!):
  • I made a 4 layer rainbow cake, which I have to say I'm pretty proud of.
  • We found the most adorable fabric at JoAnn's for the tablecloth and ribbons for the chairs.
  • I made Martha Stewart's tissue paper pompoms to hang around;
  • Rainbow goodie bags with Twizzlers and chocolate gold coins; and
  • Rainbow pudding pops.
  • The food was brunch fare, because Lena's favorite meal is breakfast. So we made lemon cranberry scones;
  • Individual cheesy egg puffs in muffin cups;
  • A delicious ham;
  • Rainbow fruit kabobs; and
  • Served milk, orange juice and lemonade in glass frappuccino bottles.
It was a perfect party with loved ones all around. Lena loved having everyone at her house, loves playing with all her new girly toys, and is the happiest two year old in town!

Aug 27, 2011


We met Lori, Grant and Jack at Creekside last week after speech class. I always forget what a nice little place that is down there. I need to take the kids more often.

There was a beautiful rainbow in the middle of the fountain that morning. Lena was not into standing still for pictures, but I got a few of Sam and caught a couple of Lena running around.

Good times.

Happy Birthday, Dylan!

My oldest nephew turned 12 on Friday. I cannot believe it.

A pre-teen.

How did that happen? Seems like I was just holding this tiny five pound baby boy in the palm of my hand and now my sister can wear his shoes.

Love you, Dyl.

Aug 25, 2011

Crafty McCraftertons

That's me.

Having babies has made me crafty, purely out of necessity. I don't have a creative bone in my body, but boy can I imitate others' creativity!

Pinterest is the greatest place for someone like me for that very reason. Great ideas are bursting at the seams and you can "pin" them to your virtual cork board so you have all the great ideas you find in one place.

Sam's Motor Mouth teacher's thank you gift for the last day of his group speech class. It's a clear plastic craft box filled with candy and office supplies. Isn't that a great idea? She loved it!

Sam's individual speech teacher's birthday present - a little paper plate bowl filled with candy and a sign. Nothing much, just a little quick and easy something.

Aug 21, 2011

Windle, Windle Widdle Tar...

Sam has been in speech therapy for his articulation disorder since spring. He's progressing very well, but still has a way to go until the proper sounds make their way into his regular speech patterns.

I worry about it, sure. No one wants their kid to be delayed in any way, to struggle with anything. My sweet baby boy starts preschool in just a few weeks (can you sense my tears as I write that?), and I want him to be understood and to be able to express himself without frustration. I know that it will come. I have faith in him to the utmost, but I'm a worrier. What can I say.

That being said, there are a few things I'll miss when his articulation disorder becomes a thing of the past, and this is one of them. Sam's rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

King's Island

We had such a fund day at my company's King's Island day last week. But no one had a better time than those two beautiful babies of ours, as best evidenced by the video showing their huge smiles during the mini scrambler ride.

Aug 17, 2011

Ordinary Heroes

Do you ever notice how some of our days have themes?

Sometimes it's an I'm dropping everything today theme (one I have a lot). Or an everything is going my way today theme. Or you notice a certain number a hundred times one day or hear the same song everywhere you go another day.

Do you ever have days like that? I do.

And today's theme is heroes.

It started off this morning with a story on the news about Antonio Diaz Chacon who, upon seeing a six year old neighbor girl get thrown into a strange van, hopped into his truck and chased the van while his wife called 911. The van ended up crashing, the child abductor fled, Antonio rescued the little girl and the cops caught the bad guy.

Hero number one.

Then on my way to work there was an accident on the freeway and traffic was creeping by. When my car reached the crash, I saw a few firemen around a car trying to get the driver out. Their hats were all lined up on the trunk, one fireman held the driver's hand while another was cutting the man out. Seeing that firefighter holding that man's hand brought tears to my eyes.

Hero number two.

Just a few yards up the road alongside the freeway I found more lights, this time from a police car. When my car reached that scene, I saw a police officer helping a man change his front tire, mere inches away from cars zooming past them both.

Hero number three.

I so often hear scary stories and witness ugly things. There is so much tragedy and corruption and so many terrible awful people doing terrible awful things in this world. It's easy for me to forget that God is good and that he uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things every moment of every day.

Today was a nice reminder of that - of our everyday heroes.

Aug 13, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

I introduced my husband to one of the greatest worst 80's movies ever made - The Incredible Shrinking Woman.

We have Encore movie channels and one of them always plays old throwback movies like that, including one of my all-time favorites, one of the greatest great movies ever made - The Four Seasons.

Thanks, Encore.

Aug 11, 2011

Catch Up

Here are some catch up photos of the summer, including a hysterical video of my low-voiced 1 year old daughter saying "Awww, baby" to a teeny tiny piece of broccoli at dinner this week and my sweet 3 year old boy laughing at her.

My sweet little fairies.

Sam with his head gear.

Visiting Grammy and Papa Barker.

Meeting Daddy for lunch after speech a few weeks ago.

Family photo on the day we left for Idlewild.

And the aww baby video.