Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy 40th, Michael!

Here's a little shout-out to my #1 brother, Michael, who turned the BIG 4-0 today! I can't believe he's 40. That means I'm almost there! We celebrated on Sunday night with a delicious Mexican food dinner at Mike & Shari's house, courtesy of our one and only Enlightened Homemaker, Shari. Tasty as always. Then we watched a tribute "This is Your Life" movie I made for Michael on my Mac. It turned out great and I think he loved it. I loved making it for sure. What a great experience it was going through so many old pictures and re-living the memories.

Truly, I am blessed to be his little sister in so many ways. He's taught me much about living a Christ-like life by his humble example. He makes me smile. He always greets me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. What sister could be so lucky? When we were kids, he looked after me, included me, played with me, and treated me more like a friend than a little sister. I have loved him forever! And now that we are both grown with families of our own, I am so blessed that we are still such good friends and love to go out on double dates, vacation together, and spend time with our families.

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages I did last year in honor of the world's best brother. Happy 40th birthday, Michael! You're the best!

A Time and a Season

I was just re-reading my blog from last night and I think I sounded a little whiny. I guess I shouldn’t blog at the end of the night following a marathon day :) But then again, I don’t know… I’ve always believed I should write what I feel. Periodically, I go back and browse through the writings of my past. I’ve been keeping a journal for a long, long time. Some entries are long-winded and seem more like an accounting of my life. But the entries that I find most valuable are the ones where I wrote about how I felt instead of just what I did. I believe that I have gained some valuable perspective as I’ve taken the opportunity to look back at those journals, realizing that I’ve:

endured some difficult trials,
been blessed with countless faith building experiences,
survived other crazy marathon days,
reached some goals and fallen short on others,
made an impact on the life of another,
been touched by the simple kindness of a good friend,
gained knowledge from wisdom shared by those much more learned than me,
loved being a mom since the day I first found out I was expecting baby #1,
been humbled by some stupid choices,
been uplifted by an unassuming compliment,
loved with all my heart,
been unduly frustrated by things out of my control,
said some things I wished I hadn’t,
laughed harder than I thought was possible,
been strengthened by the power of prayer,
been filled with gratitude on many, many occasions, and
developed some of the most invaluable friendships and relationships.

I have been blessed beyond measure in my life. Truly, truly blessed. And I’m glad I have so much of it written down. Some days really are lined with a bed of roses, and some we might wish away for ever. And some days are just days passing by on our way toward our next experience. There is a time and a season for all things. I really believe that.

I love these two scriptures.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

1 To every thing there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Mosiah 4:27:

“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and
order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Day "On"

It feels like I've been awake for a week. This day has lasted an eternity. As I sit here ready to pen my thoughts, I am feeling like I've done so much today - much more than I would have liked given that today is my "day off". Whatever that means. That phrase actually rubs me wrong. Yes, Tuesdays and Fridays are my "days off" my 3-day-a-week Pivotal career, but they are more "on" than any other days. They are the days I try to catch up on life. The days I clean, launder, run errands, shop, pay bills, go through mail, organize our home, work on projects, catch up on RMB work, check on properties, cook, tutor, and the list goes on...

So when someone at my office asks me how my "day off" was, I usually smile and say, "Good, but busy." They have no idea. I wonder if they think I sit at home relaxing and eating bon bons all day. Hmmmm...sounds pretty good right now actually. I could use something sweet.

Like most aspiring mothers and homemakers I'm sure, my days are robust and jam-packed with home, kids, "life."

Today I:
  • Woke up 2 minutes before my phone alarm (like I do just about every day) at 5:28 am. That whole "internal alarm clock" thing is so wierd. It's like clockwork really (no pun intended).
  • Ran a solid non-stop 4.2 miles (and felt great!) My training schedule this week is 19 miles (3, 4, 4, 8). Oh, the 8. I'm a little apprehensive about the 8. That will be the furthest I've ever run. Ever. I've ran a couple of 10k's in my life (= 6.4 miles) and I ran 6 last Saturday, but never 8.
  • Took our suburban into the shop. The battery died.
  • Went visiting teaching to Connie & Heather. I love both those ladies. Easton was my little shadow, but he was so dang good. I took the legos and he just built and built his little towers and cities and was happy as a clam.
  • Picked up Ryan and toured our fix-and-flip investment (a work in progress) to check the status. It's coming along very nicely.
  • Picked up the suburban. They replaced the battery, but then it almost stalled again this afternoon, so something else is clearly the matter. Tomorrow will be another fun car day:)
  • Rode my bike with Easton in tow to J.R.'s new house. It's looking great. We are getting so excited for them to move into our ward.
  • Lunched
  • Did payroll and some other RMB work
  • Washed sheets and ran laundry machine most of the afternoon.
  • The usual housework. Thankfully no deep cleaning today.
  • Picked up girls from the bus stop
  • Took Afty to electric guitar lessons. She rocked again. Today's hit was "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions. She is doing so awesome! Thankfully, Barrett is old enough to ride the scooter to piano lessons since both girls have lessons at the same time.
  • Grocery shopped
  • Cooked some tasty dinner (pork chops, fresh fruit, seasoned onion potatoes, cut veggies, and hot bread). The troops love that meal. It's a winner every time.
  • Bathed the youngers.
  • Supervised the nightly routine (homework, prep for morning, house clean up, etc.)
  • Mail, bills, office paperwork
And now I'm taking a few minutes to write. Nothing really special or deep today, just documenting my life and my thoughts before I forget about today...We forget so easily. Why is that? Maybe to make room up there for the next day and the next. I'm glad I've got a good memory and the desire to keep a record of my life, both for me and for my posterity. Even on days like today when it was just regular life. Someday maybe I'll look back and have a different perspective about this day. Who knows?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Measuring Up

Some days are better than others. Some days, the little tender mercies of the Lord are more evident and our souls seem a little more “in tune.” Some days, it seems like my “cup runneth over.” Yesterday, Sunday, was one of those great days for me. Every one of our meetings was good and inspiring and what I needed to hear. I especially loved our sacrament meeting. Because of the upcoming General Conference this weekend, we had fast and testimony a week early. And even though I don’t love to fast, it’s so good for me spiritually. It helps me realize that I can be strong even when I am weak. It helps me feel a little more humble, a little more teachable, a little closer to the spirit. Sometimes we all need that I think.

Bishop Uncle Jim was back at church yesterday. He looked good and said he felt good. He finished his first round of treatment (8 days in the hospital) followed by a week of recovery. Round two will start in early October. At the end of our sacrament meeting, he stood and took about 5-10 minutes and shared some thoughts and testimony with our congregation. As always, he was humble and grateful, but so powerful in his message to us. My heart was full and my eyes were wet as I listened. Just what I needed to hear.

I was also really touched by the words of Craig Pulver, who is currently serving as first counselor in the bishopric. He is such a good man. He’s an avid bike rider, so he began his testimony talking about his Saturday morning bike ride and how he wasn’t really feeling up to par. He decided that he didn’t want to ride at the fast pace of his group, so he fell back and decided to ride alone that day. He plugged in his earphones and ipod, but said that he never turned them on. Instead, as he rode, he found that he had time to think with a clear head, with no distracting voices. He began singing some of his favorite church hymns. Then he recited the articles of faith. Then some of his favorite scriptures. All outloud, all while he was biking, all while he was alone on his ride. Craig said it was such an out of the ordinary thing for him. He talked about how he started to think a little more about his testimony of Christ and the gospel, and wondered how he “measured up.” He talked about how we seem to measure everything in this world with numbers (e.g., our sales goals, our home teaching, our finances, our weight, etc.). But our testimonies and faith can’t possibly be measured under such a test. And that is what God intended. We need to do our own self-evaluation and see how we “measure up” against the person we are striving to be. Again, just what I needed.

His anecdote rang so familiar. So many times as I am out running in the early morning hours, all by myself, no iPod or distractions, my mind roams free. I think of all kinds of things. I make lists in my head, I recite things I know, I plan for the day. I love it. Time for reflection and re-commitment is essential. I always know I can be better.

At the end of our meeting, our closing hymn was “Secret Prayer.” My parents were sitting in the pew right behind us. As I listened to my mom’s beautiful voice singing loud and perfect, I had the craziest flashback to my young childhood days. I vividly recalled being in the old chapel of the Lehi building where we attended church during my childhood years (before our current church was built). I remember laying on my mom’s lap while winding her fabric belt around and around my tiny fingers. She was gently stroking my hair and playing with my ear, which I love. And as I laid there, she sang “Secret Prayer” aloud with the congregation in that same perfect, simple, clear voice that I heard yesterday. I love to listen to my mom sing. I love the echo in the chorus of that song. First the women, then the men. Every phrase is an echo.

May my heart,
Be turned to pray.
Pray in secret, day by day.
That this boon,
To mortals giv’n,
May unite my soul with heav’n.

I smiled as I sat there yesterday, singing aloud with the congregation, remembering my church going days from long ago, loving listening to my mother sing. I am so grateful to have my parents in the same ward. I am grateful that they taught us the gospel and encouraged us to be our best. And I am most grateful that no matter what, I always have the opportunity to try a little harder to be a little better.

I know that it’s nowhere near Mother’s Day, but as I was typing these thoughts about my wonderful mom, I thought of the pictures that my mom and I took together on Mother’s Day this year.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A little slice of heaven

It’s Thursday night.  In the Mesa Brown’s House, Thursday night = softball.  Ever since our dating years, Thursday night has been synonymous with softball.   While some of the members of Ryan’s city league team have changed over the years, there’s still a core group of guys that have continued to play, year after year.  During those seasons when he plays at Riverview or Red Mountain (fka Spook Hill), we’ll usually try to make it to his early games a couple of times a season. But this season, he’s back playing at The Field of Dreams in Gilbert, which is a little drive for us, plus he only plays single headers at that park.  So we don’t go that often.  The fields out there are truly amazing – replicas of the original classic major league parks.  They even have murals of crowds painted on the outfield fences and stadium style seating.  My favorite is Fenway Park with the “Big Green Monster” wall in left.  I can’t even imagine how much money was spent on this ball park.  They’ve got batting cages, park areas, incredible dining facilities.  The whole works.  Ryan tells me that the drive out south to The Field of Dreams is really worth it because the fields are totally manicured and well-kept up, unlike some of the other city parks he’s played at over the years.


A couple of times this season, when Ryan has had the 6:00 early game, he’s taken the kids out with him, which they love.  I’m not sure if they love it because they’re watching their daddy play ball, because they are outside and fancy free, because they get to buy something at the snack bar, or some combination of all of that, but they love it.  Last Thursday night was one of those nights.   I too would have loved to have been there, but Thursday is one of my work days and I’m lucky if I leave the office by 6:00.  So making that early game would have been impossible.  Plus I had a hair appointment scheduled. (Barrett took the picture above just outside the gate at the park).


After my hair appointment, I got home just before 8:00.  The house was silent and dark.  Clearly, I was the first one back.  I was surprised that I’d beat the crew home as they should have been back by 7:30.  I was hoping that they would have all been bathed when I got there.  I know better.   So I changed and ate and tidied up a bit, still wondering where they were.  Barrett finally called to let me know they were on their way, and that they’d just gone to Krispy Kreme. 

 That explains it.   

 I asked her if they brought me any leftovers.  She said, “Dad didn’t think you’d want any since you are in training, but I told him we couldn’t come home without one, so we brought you one.”

 One.  One stinkin’ Krispy Kreme! 

 Ryan was right.  I am in training and I have been passing up most desserts and watching what I eat.  But still.  Krispy Kremes!  How could they bring just one???  Occasionally at my office, someone will bring food into the kitchen to share.  When it’s donuts, I always partake.  Always.  A good friend of mine at work, Richard, has said on more than one occasion that he can really just eat like half of a Krispy Kreme because otherwise he just feels awful.  Is he for real?  Who eats half a Krispy Kreme?  With only slight pause as I contemplate the massive caloric intake I’m about to consume, I could easily down a half dozen myself in one day.  Maybe a full dozen (I’ve never tried thanks to the blessing of will power).  But really, it’s like a little slice of heaven.

 Here are my peeps as they looked walking in the door.  

Here is the beautiful box.  It usually makes me smile.  

Here is what I found when I lifted the lid.  One stinkin' donut.

It's a darn good thing that there aren't any Krispy Kreme's close to our house...


Over the weekend, Easton had a great time opening and enjoying all the gifts he received for his birthday. New toys are always a hit. I had anticipated that he'd receive a bunch of fun new toys from his cousins, siblings, and grandparents, which he did, so we decided to go another route. Ryan and I put together a carry tote packed with a hodge podge of good old "man" stuff that every boy should have. You know, flashlights, duct tape, carribeaners, a measuring tape, head lamp...

Well, I'm not exactly sure that every man needs a head lamp, but I'd been wanting to get one for Easton for a while. Ryan picked it up for us at Harbor Freight (a great store by the way). Easton is pretty much obsessed with flashlights, so I figured this would be a real winner. And it was. When he woke up on Sunday morning, he came walking in with his jammies on and his head lamp strapped to his head. He wanted to wear it to bed Saturday night, but I suggested he might be a little more comfortable leaving it on the dresser for first-thing-in-the-morning easy access. He obliged.

So on Sunday night as we were calendaring the upcoming week's events with the crew, Ryan asked whose turn it was to give the FHE lesson on Monday night. As I looked around the room at our peeps, I couldn't help but smile at Easton, who again, was wearing his head lamp proudly along with his green bug jammies. And then it hit me. I had a great idea for FHE.

My kids can vouch that Monday was one memorable night. I looked up a number of scriptures that talked about "light" and printed them out on strips of paper. Then on the back of each one, I wrote a clue that led to the next scripture. Each of the scriptures/clues was placed in an envelope and strategically hidden around the house. Basically, it was a "light" scavenger hunt. The really fun part about it was that we turned off every single light inside and outside the house, closed the blinds to block out the street lights, and manned each child with their own flashlight. All the navigation was done in the dark. As we deciphered the clues and read each scripture, we sat together and discussed them, asking questions about what each one meant and how those scriptures could apply to our lives. It was a good experience and one that I think our kids will always remember. The last clue instructed them to strap on their shoes and head to the "blue light", which the kids quickly figured out was the blue light surrounding our in-ceiling TV screen inside the suburban.
As we all got inside the suburban, they found the last clue congratulating them on their success and telling them that we were going somewhere that would surely bring out their "brightest" smiles. Since the kids were already bathed and wearing their jammies before we started, it made our little outing even more crazy and fun. We drove to one of our family's quick treat favorites, Water & Ice, and enjoyed some Thrifty ice cream together (yes, all wearing pajamas). We had so much fun! Of course, in typical mom fashion, I had to take a couple of pics to memorialize the evening. So I grabbed my iphone and snapped these. Barrett was a little embarrassed that she had her "short shorts" on that she sleeps in, but other than that, the kids couldn't have cared less about being in their jammies. We ran into another family from school as well as some of our neighbors from church. Good times.

(Nice blue teeth, Barrett!)

For reference, the scriptures that we found and discussed were:
1) D&C 93: 2 “And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;”

2) D&C 10: 70 “And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen.”

3) Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

4) D&C 93: 36 “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.”

5) Luke 11:33 “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”

6) John 3: 20-21 “ For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. "

Monday, September 21, 2009

The "Cars" Birthday Bash

Here he is.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  "Mom, when is it going to be time for the party to start?"

The best part about the whole day was when Easton wrapped his arms around me Saturday night, completely tuckered out, red cheeked, bloodshot eyes, heavy eyelids, and said, "Mom, this was the best birthday ever."  Seriously, does it get any better than that?  Our little man had such a terrific day.  He woke up early along with his sisters and they immediately started helping get things ready for his 4-year old birthday bash. They put all the goody bags together, stuffed the pinata, set up the tables and chairs, helped dad with some much needed yard work, and tidied up the house.  They were all so good and so amazingly helpful.  I loved it.  The party went like this:

Ryan grilled up some tasty burgers and dogs and we pretty much had a feast.

All the kids and some of the brave adults went swimming.  Ryan also heated up the jacuzzi for us wimps.  104 degrees in Arizona, the pool temp dips below 80, and we think its cold!  Holy Cow!  Here's Easton enjoying the warm waters (but he was also loving the cool pool with all his cousins.)

After feasting and swimming, it was present time.  Don't you just love how all the kids keep moving in closer and closer until they're practically on top of each other?  I thought this picture captured it perfectly.

Time to bust the Lightning McQueen pinata.  Always a hit with the kiddos. 

Got kids?  And this was only some of the cousins.  

Love this face!

Jolie taking a whack.

and Gavin...

and Tan Man...

and Tallin....

I always love the "scream and run" session as soon as the candy starts flying.

My oldest niece and nephew, Randi & Bryant, enjoying the finds in their little brothers' goody bags.  Nice.

Nice teeth, Tallin.

Birthday Boy

Thanks for the great cake, Jayme.  We loved it!

Barrett & Avery macked on Jayme's tasty cupcakes (and so did I).  Oh my gosh, they were so delicious.  It was like a little slice of heaven...

After the party, Avery stayed, and Riley & Lainey came over to play.  Ryan went to the D-backs game with his dad and brother, so we all went swimming (again), then had some dinner before taking all the girls home.  We were all thrashed and ready for bed at 8:30.

I love our little man, my Easy E, with all my heart.  I am so grateful every day to be his mom. Tonight at FHE when it was Easton's turn for announcements (our weekly ritual in an attempt to coordinate schedules for the upcoming week), his announcement was, "I love mommy." Enough said.  He rocks my world!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good Times at the Cabin

I know this is a couple of weeks over due, but I am finally getting around to posting some of our Labor Day pics.  We spent the whole weekend up at Grandpa Reid's cabin in Pine and loved loved loved the cooler weather.  We are so grateful that Grandpa had the desire to build such a beautiful home in the pines many, many years ago.  This has truly been a place of refuge and memories for our family.   The kids were thrilled that we were staying all weekend, and not just for a couple of days.  We had originally planned to come home Sunday night, but decided on Sunday afternoon that we we'd stay through until Monday.  And I must admit - it was sure nice to be there for 3 nights so that we could just relax and really enjoy the time away.  

When I was growing up, I remember playing lots of games at the cabin, especially the marathon Monopoly sessions with my Grandma Sue.   We definitely kept up the gaming traditions this Labor Day.  Clue was the game of choice (one of my all time favorites).  My cousin, Julie, and I used to play that all the time growing up.  It has been so much fun teaching my girls the art of Clue, and helping them become better thinkers, be more attentive to details, and pick up on the little things that make all the difference in the game.  They are learning good skills and they don't even realize it!  They just love that we are playing together and having fun.  I love that we are making memories.    We also broke out some other games over the weekend like Uno, Dominos, Scrabble, and of course, one 4-hour game of Monopoly.  I luckily bowed out of the Monopoly game on the grounds that I had to cook dinner.  Or at least that was my story and I'm stickin' to it :)  But Ryan, Afton, and Grandma Cheri were in it for the long haul.  In typical real estate mogul fashion, Ryan put his broker skills to work and monopolized the board with his properties.  He finally sent his rivals into BK and ended the game.   No compassion for the women and children!  

Anyway, it was a great weekend with so much family.  Grandpa Reid & Kris and my parents came up on Friday before we arrived and stayed until Sunday afternoon.  Mike & Shari & crew and Heather & Bob and crew came on Saturday morning.  The Emelity's and Ben both came for a while on Saturday afternoon, but they didn't stay the night.   

Morgan & Jessie's family and Ryan & Jayme's family were also up for the weekend staying in a family cabin in Strawberry. We had a great time hanging out with them over the weekend too, especially playing games. We played an insanely funny game called "Questions", where the object is to try and get your opponents to smile and laugh based on the random questions you ask.  I, of course, lost every time.  I had a terrible case of the giggles and couldn't even make it one second without busting up.  I think that would be a great game to play at our Christmas party this year.  Bob & Cheri met us at church in Pine on Sunday morning and then stayed until late Sunday night.  We loved it.  Such good times.

So here are some pictures from our weekend.  Maybe sometime next year they'll  get scrapbooked, but until then, this will do.

Rowan loves the swing!

Easy E

Afty Cakes

Molly & Rowan

Tate loving the outdoors

We always do some work while we're there

Tallin at work

Does this look like a kid whose having fun or what?

My kiddos after church on Sunday

Friday, September 18, 2009

He makes me blush

I've been sitting in this chair for a little too long this afternoon. Work shmirk! So glad I just sent off the email and analysis to our client and that now I can take a few minutes to write. I just got done checking on my regular blogs, and my eyes are teary. One thing I love about reading my families and friends' blogs is that it allows us to share emotion and insight and perspective, even though miles may separate us. One of my fabulous cousins who lives out of state is struggling right now with much in her life. I remember having some of those same feelings years ago when I was single and looking for direction, not to mention wondering where the love of my life was hiding out. I am thankful that there is a time and a season for all of our trials, regardless of what they may be, and that as we look back with the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom gained from enduring the trial, we can see the growth and progress on our path. I hope that she finds joy in her journey.

I am grateful that 14 years ago I found my true love. I am grateful that I am still madly in love with him and that he adores me like he does. I am finding joy in my journey every day and loving that I have my best friend trekking along the path with me. I love that I still get excited to go out on a date with him, and that I feel the desire to get a little "gussied up" before he takes me out on the town. This morning, as I ran out the door to make my 9:30 appointment with our new IT company crew, Ryan planted a kiss on me and told me that I looked amazing. I was just wearing shorts and a cute little top, no big deal, but my hair was down and curled and my lips were freshly glossed. And even though my romantic husband says little things like that to me all the time, he still makes me blush and smile like a school girl without fail. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Zebra Print

A couple of weeks ago, I was out shopping for some new shower curtains and towels for the cabin. It was one of those rare times when I was all alone.  

No little appendages asking all their wonderful kid questions.  
No one pleading for treats.  
No one climbing in and out of the cart.  
No one using the cart as leverage to propel themselves at superhuman speeds down the aisle on their Heely's

No one complaining that it's time to go home.  

Nope.  Not this time.  
Just me and the goods and the store.  

So I relished the moment (I mean hour) and perused every aisle.  Just looking, thinking, wishing, planning, scheming.  The perfect shop as it was meant to be. 

And then I came to the fabric area.  I love the fabric area.   Truly, I am my mother's daughter! Even when I don't have a specific project in mind, I love to look at the fabrics and think, "Hmmmmm....what adorable thing could I make with this?"   I had just barely started to look and then I saw it.  The zebra print parked right next to the hot pink and black polka dots! I knew I had to have them.  For what, I hadn't decided, but I knew it was the beginnings of something irresistibly cute in my mind.   I'd been wanting to make a couple of new aprons, and I thought it would be the perfect print for the little diva in me.  But then I thought again and remembered that my dear friend Andrea's baby shower was coming up and I instantly knew that her babe just had to have it.  So I picked out some coordinating prints, a little batting, and headed home with my treasures. 

While we were at the cabin over Labor Day weekend, I cut the quilt squares and got it prepped. Then last week before the shower, I went to town on my newly serviced 1960's Singer (the same sewing machine my mom received for her 8th grade graduation as a gift from her parents).  My mom granted me custody of this gem years ago and I have really enjoyed sewing with it.  I must admit, her Bernina machines are way awesome to sew with, but this little beauty has served me well.    

So while I fully realize it's not very polite to toot your own horn, I'm tooting away on this project because THIS QUILT IS SO STINKIN' CUTE!  I love Andrea and I can hardly wait to see little Lauren Annabelle with her diva zebra print quilt!  

(Double click on any picture to make it larger)

One of my dear friends, Ann, who I met years ago at work and who has been such an inspiration to me, gave me the pattern for this quilt a few years back.  She's made hundreds of them I think, including two she made for Rowan and Easton when they were born.  Both my little angels still sleep with them every night!  And the great thing about these quilts is that they get softer and softer with every wash and dry.  Below is the pattern (just in case one of my fellow cronies wants to make one...)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Almost 4

Easton's big day is fast approaching. Only four more days to wait until the Lightning McQueen pinata gets cracked open by a bunch of excited cousins enjoying the four year old birthday party of Easton Matthew Brown. Just about every night for the past two weeks as I tuck my little man in for bed, he asks, "How many more days until it's my birthday?" I tell him, but he doesn't really get the concept of time so well yet. So he immediately follows up my answer with another question, "Is that going to be a really long time?" Tonight, with only 4 days to go, I could honestly tell him that it's not going to be a very long time at all. It will be Saturday before he knows it. He smiled contentedly.
Without sounding too much like a cliche, I really can't believe that it's been four years since Easton blessed our family with his presence. I know that time seems to pass more and more quickly the older we get - no doubt about it - but it really seems like we just celebrated his 3rd birthday. I still remember the cake, the presents, the party. And here we go again. The really terrific part about this year's milestone is that Easton is getting old enough now to understand what birthdays are all about and old enough to anticipate his big day with much enthusiasm. He talks about it all the time.
Last Friday, he and I went out to do errands and tackle some things on my to-do list. Conveniently located next to Michael's, one of my stops, was the Discount Party Store. It caught my eye so we decided to dash in and scout out the pinata selections. Easton instantly spotted the one he wanted, then found some napkins and cups to match. All in the theme of the "Cars" movie, one of Easton's favorite picks. And then the bonus: the Lightning McQueen cake that Aunt Jayme is making for the party. She is so talented with her cakes - I can hardly wait to see it!
So in honor of Easton's upcoming celebration, I'm posting some scrapbook layouts this week about him. Here are some of the pages I really love. I'll share Easton's past birthday layouts later this week as well.