Thursday, April 29, 2010

I need an adventure

Tomorrow I am going to find one.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Loves music and playing dress up. I love those things about her.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Did she get so BIG?

I mean, she has ALWAYS been a fiercely independent, strong, smart and capable child. But when did she turn into a little girl?? Today was Sophia's first swim lesson. She loves the water, always has, but today she amazed me. She was keeping up with the big kids, the 5 year olds. Ellie and her are in the same class and it actually went well. I was worried Ellie might boss her around, but they were fantastic together. Ellie  was very sweet with her.Sophia didn't stop smiling the whole time. Neither did I.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Princess Play Date

My girls have been asking to have a playdate with friends for weeks! So I put together a little luncheon and party for them today. I covered party hats with fabric and ribbon which the girls decorated, we also decorated cupcakes and of course there was plenty of running around and play time. I made lunch for the moms, yummy salad and cheese bread.We had 6 little friends show up, as well as mommies. Ellie and Sophia were thrilled with their party, so it made all the hard work worthwhile. I love being able to create some memories for them, especially with Ellie going to school in the fall, I want to have lots of fun girly moments together.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do you ever feel like...

you need one of these to be heard, understood? That is how I have been feeling lately. Of course a bullhorn creates a deafening, obtrusive, obnoxious image! Yes, all of those things for sure come to mind when you see, or better yet, hear someone use one. But really, I feel invisible sometimes. Simply completely invisible. It has been one of the mantras of my life that if you don't like the situation you find yourself in, change it! I feel like I have been busting my bum to be positive, open, friendly, social and yet still feeling like I haven't made a dent in finding friends. Moving here has been HARD. Every time we move I have to reinvent myself, find new friends, establish contacts, etc. It is a lovely paradox of military life. I love meeting new people and exploring and all that, but I wonder why THIS move, THIS location has been such an adjustment. Leaving Italy was hard for so many reasons. We left behind a wonderful place and wonderful friends, but Italy was hard living at times, life wasn't easy, it was different. Opportunities to be enriched culturally were there, but if you wanted an easy life, forget it! 

Here I find that life is so much easier and convenient and has all the things anyone could ever want, and yet I am so lonely. Sure there are moments when I see people that I have met and we exchange pleasantries etc. Occasionally I even get out of my house and socialize! But where are the real connections? Where is the friend I know I can call at a moment's notice when things go wrong? Where is my sounding board? Still searching. In the meantime I struggle each day to find some lovely meaning in life, working hard to take care of my kids, taking on a new calling that involves a tremendous amount of time and energy and effort, all the while trying to grow as a person and expand my own dreams in the process. I keep hoping that the relationships I crave in my life will begin to materialize. I will continue to live with that faith and just be me, maybe then I will feel that I don't need an obnoxious bullhorn to be noticed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Found a pleasant surprise in our backyard tonight.
PEONIES! I have been wanting to grow peonies for years, and here we have TWO varieties growing in my backyard. This makes me very very happy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

25 weeks plus a few days...

25 weeks. I feel like I could 'pop' already. I just feel stretched a bit,and round. =) I have only gained 10 pounds so far, I am hoping to only gain another ten. With Sophia I was able to keep it down to 20, so here's hoping for a repeat. After trying to take some photos yesterday of my belly I realized that self portraits are so HARD! I think I took 100 pics and all but about three were awful. Baby boy is moving around like crazy which is a good sign. I am glad he is active and healthy. He is a STRONG little guy, I feel his movements more accutely than I did with either girl, I also think he is going to be a bigger baby. Just thoughts, not sure what will really happen, but I am just grateful everthing is going well to this point. Both girls are really excited about the baby, especially Sophia who really wants to 'see him now'. Its cute. She likes to touch my belly and talk to the baby. Ellie is still hesitant, but I am sure she will be excited once he arrives.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Today has been one of 'those' days. Days when I STRUGGLE and FAIL with my patience. Its actually been one of those WEEKS when nothing seems to go right and everything is wrong, kids just don't seem to want to listen, be obedient, follow istructions or generally go with the flow. I was so looking forward to having some down time today, I just NEEDED it, needed a break today to somehow disconnect a little...but that didn't happen. Everytime I went to sit down for a minute one of the girls would get into something or throw a fit, or fight or break something. I think my FAVORITE moment of the day (heavy sarcasm here) was when I went to go make some lunch for myself I sent the girls out back with bubbles. Somehow Sophia found the carton of salt and proceeded to empty the salt into the brand new bubble bottles. Ridiculous. I know. You are all laughing at me, but its just stuff like that I don't understand! WHY?? Why why why why. Huge messes. Beads all over the floor, broken toys, tantrums at my friends house when it was time to leave....and the list goes on. Finally I decided we needed to make something together so I could keep my eyes on both of them at once. SO, we made donuts. The girls love working in the kitchen, so this was a good diversion. The donuts were a yummy antpasti to my simple dinner tonight, the idea of cooking flew out the window around noon. They are now happily in the bath and I am ready to go to bed, weary of this day.

They don't look like much, but they were yummy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Backyard picnic..Sunday style

So the girls wanted to eat outside after church yesterday. It was nice. I love being outside together. In Italy we had a TINY yard, so picnics and fun times outside were limited. Now...we have soo much space, and lovely trees. Maryland, you are growing on me...

Easter Dresses

I love these girls.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Are SO beautiful right now. Our dogwood in the backyard is pretty amazing. Spring has truly taken over my heart. I LOVE Spring on the East Coast. Everywhere I look there is something beautiful to see. The flowers popped up first, and as they fade into the background the TREES are busting out in all colors. The soft green hue of their leaves is so fresh and inspiring. Our whole neighborhood is covered in petals.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brookside Gardens

This place is Heaven! I invited a couple of friends to go too, also photography nuts who love to take outside natural light photos of their kids. It was crazy for me! All the kids wanted to do was play. I finally had to give up and realize that I wasn't going to get any 'dream' shots and just take some candids.I will definitely go back, with others and with just my kids to explore more and shoot more!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter & EGGStravaganza

So much fun! Egg hunts at two homes, good food and friends. Spring weather that was perfect. On Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday we enjoyed General Conference and a wonderful Easter meal of lamb, mashed potatoes, asparagus with parmesean cheese and a perfect triple layer lemon pie. The Easter bunny was very generous to the girls this year. They were very happy with their treats and goodies. All in all a great Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I am so tired tonight! But overall pleased with a wonderful Easter weekend. Yesterday was spent busily running from one wonderful egg hunt to the next enjoying our new friends here in MD. When we first got here I felt like people didn't accept me or were reluctant to know me. I have found that that is not true. I think folks here are just cautious. They want to get to know you, learn about you, see what you are made of, and then slowly, slowly, you become part of their worlds. I felt this way today as I mused on how much fun my girls had collecting eggs and playing with new friends. We are still slowly making friends, but I hope that soon we will find ourselves comfortably acquainted here with people we love.

Something that I LOVE here in the East Coast has been the definite transition of seasons. Winter was BRUTAL, and spring has entered triumphant, all knowing, warm and sweet. I feel a new sense of purpose, the ability to accomplish so much more, the desire to be creative again, after a long hiatus and hibernation under the blankets of snow we had this winter. Winter just seems to sap my strength, it didn't help that I was in my first trimester, struggling to feel good and not be weary. Now I am back to my old self, I am sewing and taking TONS of photos. I am working on projects with the girls, and learning new things all the time. I am inspired by women around me who are artsy and accomplished and constantly creating life for themselves. I am watching my little 5 year old Ellie grow into an amazingly sweet and aware person, conscious of others, deeply sensitive and kind. My heart is aching as we near summer, which means soon she will be going off to school...what will I do with myself? How will Sophia cope? Oh well we will handle it, and in the mean time enjoying our time together.

I am grateful in particular today for our semi annual general conference. Every six months, I sit back and listen to the important messages from our prophets and leaders. Each conference is unique and each conference I always feel like the messages have been written for me. Things I took away from the wonderful messages this time are these: do not procrastinate becoming who you need to be, watch and teach your children, love each other and selflessly serve each other. Get to know the Savior more, he is our greatest advocate and wants us to realize our individual potential. It wasn't easy dealing with two small kids during the broadcasts, but Ellie and I filled the Sunday morning session with drawings and letters and word practice. I am deeply touched right now as some important things are happening in my life. I feel overwhelmed (yet again) by the call to serve in the church and work with the children of our primary. I wonder now why me, (again) what do I have to offer, what more do I need to learn? It has also been a really hard week, I have been stressed and tired and have felt like my anxieties and worries about life in general have been near the surface. I have not been my best self. I realized that this is the adversary working on me distracting me from what is most important. I must do better at not allowing him to work on me, and focus more on the positive things of life, and search the scriptures for the answers to my questions. TRUST. PRAY. BELIEVE. WORK. SEARCH. It's amazing how no matter where I am in my life, these things are so vital to me. I hope I am learning some of life's lessons. I hope I am becoming who I need to be. I hope that after this weekend of beauty and life, new beginnings and hope, I will go forward remembering them and use these thoughts to propel me forward, to the me yet to be.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cherry Blossoms in DC

Took a whirlwind trip into DC today to see the Cherry Blossoms in all their glory. It was a beautiful spring day, perfect weather. People were out in droves, everywhere enjoying the day. We didn't have a lot of time today to leisurely stroll up and down the mall, but we had a good two hours to enjoy ourselves. DC is really a place that deserves DAYS to fully experience it and appreciate it, so we are doing it in little chunks with the time that we have. Luckily we have at least 3 more years here, so we should be able to make it down again soon.

We went down with our friends the Madsens, took the Metro (which the kids really loved) and braved the crowds. We ate our picnic lunch on the mall which was enjoyable. We hiked up to the Lincoln Memorial but didn't have the time to hike all the stairs to see the 16th President's impressive statue. We did take some fun pictures in the trees and all in all we are looking forward to our next trip into the city. The girls did really well, were nicely behaved and obedient as we navigated the many people, and were careful on the Metro. I am grateful (again) that we live in such an amazing area with so much to offer our kids. Like Italy, we have culture and history at our feet and I hope to make the most of it by showing the girls our American Heritage, one adventure at a time.