Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Our big Halloween festivities were on Saturday!
We had a trick-o-treat fest on Main Street!
We headed back home with a lot of our Davis family (thanks guys!) to our house for dinner.
Just as the sun went down...
the rain came pouring down.  :(
We decided last minute to have a big trick-o-treat party in the house.
Every adult (there were quite a few of us!) took a room and stood behind a door with candy in hand.
All of the cousins trick-o-treated at each door.
We had a blast!

Then we watched football (we won by the skin of our teeth...phew!) while the kids played (aka-tore up the house!).
The game was over....
we did 10 minute pick up and it was as good as new!

I love my litte black cats!
How long will I be able to pick their costumes?
I am afraid Danny and I will have to join the family theme next year---
or we might have a revolt on our hands!

A few (or a lot of) pictures of the girls---

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Kate's dance company participated in a Halloween party on Saturday.
As part of the party, they learned the Thriller dance.
After the party was over they danced on the street!
I think the "bloody dance partners" were a little bit distracting for her.
She had so much fun!
And we had fun seeing them all!

Katherine (aka red riding hood) I LOVE your expression (above)!
Thanks for being so good to Kate!
I also LOVE your costume!
Steph are you available to make my girl's costumes next year!?  ;)
Sewing lessons---maybe :)!

Thank you to our family who joined us there!!!!
Great Grandma, Papa, Grandma Sally, Amanda, Randy & cute crew, Paul, Lilly & Sage!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a patch of leaves

We were in a hurry this morning.  The Halloween party would start whether we were in our seats or not.  We parked a few blocks away.  The air was crisp and cold.  As we were rushing down the side walk we ran into a patch of leaves.  They were beautiful.  I looked around and there were only pine trees around.

Sophie stopped as soon as she saw the leaves!  She was ready to have a party right there.  She could have cared less about anything on our schedule.  She scooped up a bunch of leaves, threw them in the air, and squealed with delight.  I talked her into following me.

After the parade and class party we decided to stop at the patch of leaves and have our own party.  Life is always so much more fun with Sophie around.  She is filled with delight at the simplest things.  I am grateful to have her with me---to remind me to stop and play in patches of leaves. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

on the same day~

I don't believe there are many coincidences in this life.

On Sunday morning my Aunt Patricia passed away.
She died at 1:30 that morning.
My dad was called early by her husband, my Uncle Bobby.
It has been too many years since I have sat at her dining room table.
I have missed lounging in her living room listening to her stories.
I loved hearing my dad and his sister share memories and life experiences:
as they slap their knees---and fill the room with laughter.
They can tell stories!
I could sit there all day.

There isn't a better cook to be found.

my mom, dad, Cameron, Uncle Bobby, Miles & Aunt Patricia

I thought about her all day.
I wondered what her reunions were like "on the other side."
Was she with my Granny
and her sisters who have gone before her-
Aunt Vivian, Mimi and Laverne?

Today my dad called.
He lost another sister that same day- late that night.
My Aunt Doris died,
not knowing about her sister's death,
living several hundred miles away.

I don't believe in very many coincidences.
I do believe it was a sweet reunion---
filled with stories, laughter, and tears.

What I wouldn't give to be in that room quietly listening to those stories.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a new perspective

A few weeks ago I was riding in the car with my friend Mandy.  We passed a Disneyland billboard---and she caught me rolling my eyes.  "You really have to change that experience.  You have to re-think it and feel grateful for it." she wisely counseled.

  • Did you know we went to Disneyland last March??
  • Did you know I had been planning it for YEARS!?
  • Did you know that I bought them matching outfits to keep track of them in large crowds!?
  • Did you know we saved and planned and were SO EXCITED to give our girls that experience?
  • On our first ride (the carousel-Kate and Sophie's favorite ride!) I got teary when I saw the delight/glee/joy on my girl's faces!
  • Do you know that since I have been home I have hardly looked at the pictures we took that week??

Well I have had a really hard time remembering all the wonderful memories we had there---
because one memory overwhelms me completely and is tainting the rest of it.  (I know this sounds really dramatic.)  Well I am ready to get over it!  I am sorry if you have heard this before.  This will be the last time I tell it.  At least the way I have been feeling it.

On our second day at Disneyland we stood in line at the "Finding Nemo" ride.  It was the LONGEST line we experienced while we were there.  It wound and wound around.  We visited Disneyland with Danny's mom (aka GO UTE Nana), and my sister Dede with her family.  Since Danny's mom was with us we each took charge of one of the girls.  As we stood in this particular line Sophie was getting restless (climbing the ropes, dancing around, and just generally having a hard time standing there).  Half way through the line I assigned her to Danny.  He is more mellow and strong enough to hold her on his shoulders for half the day.  The line kept going....and going.  Just after we made the last turn I offered my girl's some frozen lemonade.  Ellie was closest... then Kate...wait-  where's Sophie!?  I turned to Danny, "Where's Sophie!?"  He was on the phone taking a business call.  I turned to my sister, "Do you see Sophie!?"  Just as I started to panic I see the Disneyland employee holding Sophie with a wonderful family following behind.

SOPHIE!  I was stunned!  What had happened!?  We were just in line!  I made some lame comment to the gentleman- I felt in that moment that the false security of "strength in numbers" weakened my alertness.  There were 5 adults and 7 children.  He handed us a big pin "YOU'RE REUNITED!" and I just held Sophie so tightly.  I started to ask her what happened when a woman approached me.  She looked me in the face and said, "You don't deserve your children.  You never even stepped out of line.  You didn't even know your daughter was gone."  I was stunned.  I stood there speechless...and heart broken.  "YOU DON'T DESERVE YOUR CHILDREN!" was playing repeat in my mind over and over and over again.  The woman walked away and I was left broken hearted.  Really.

My mind was turning and turning.  Is she right???  How did I not know she was gone!?  I tried to bring up my defenses....I thought of all of my friends---both near and far.  Do they think I deserve my children?  They know me better than this lady.  Again I questioned--- how did I not know she was gone!?  I thought of the nice comments here---comments about my mothering ability---and I felt like a total fraud.  :(

We shared the submarine (Finding Nemo) with the nice family that brought her to us.  I lamely said, "Thank you so much!"  How do you thank someone enough for finding your lost daughter?  We walked off the ride and I threw the "YOU'RE REUNITED!"  pin in the trash.  We headed to another ride and I just held her so tight.  I didn't let her out of my sight the entire day.  Thankfully, she didn't want to be out of my sight after that.

At lunch---I just sat and cried.  I couldn't believe I had lost her.  I felt so grateful to be reunited so quickly but I couldn't let go of those words.  Danny looked at me across the table.  "Carin, she is fine.  Why are you so upset?"  "Didn't you hear her??  what she said to me??"  He didn't know.  He was still on the phone.  

Now it is time to change.  Following Mandy's advice I have decided to be grateful for it.  SO here is my list.  My gratitude list.

  • My girls are safe.  Maybe this heightened my awareness of our vulnerability (although I thought I was pretty good at this before).  Maybe I needed another reminder how precious life is and we are to each other.  Maybe it has saved me from a situation that could have been much worse. 
  • This experience taught me to be careful to see the whole picture.  Remember not to jump to conclusions with out knowing the whole story.
  • Try to live my life independent of what other people think of me.  I was furious that I had let one person's opinion effect so much of my day/life.  I really tried to keep a stiff upper lip---but I was crushed.  Crushed all day.
  • I am grateful to realize that it is not fair for me to pass off my kids to Danny when they are in their most difficult states.  I have them 90% of the time.  So when the going gets tough and Danny is there---he is the first person I think of to rescue us.  That isn't fair.
  • I am grateful for the reminder that I am not perfect (not that everyday is not filled with those reminders).  I have to let go---do and be my best.  Focus on the love we have for each other and try to help one another with all of our strengths and weaknesses.  I need to be ok with all of it.
  • I am grateful that it has taught me to be gentle---with my family, with strangers and just life in general.

Thank you Mandy for the inspiration!  It has taken the pain away (again...sorry for the drama!).  I am actually looking forward to looking through my pictures!  I will post them soon!  Maybe I will even make a book of our trip!  Woohoo!

P.S.  I loved this that I read today!  "Embrace that I am not perfect."  I love it!  :)  That is a great mom list!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


What does UEA stand for anyway???

I know we get a few days off of school and our regular schedule!
I LOVE that!!

Our friends, the Lowe's, invited all of us (even Charlie!) up to their favorite spot in the mountains!
It is our new favorite spot too!!!  We played outside ALL DAY LONG!
My girls are new fans of 4-wheelers.  They have one just their size...and I am afraid they were a bit "hogish."  Sorry 'bout that boys.  :)

What a beautiful spot in the world that is yours.  We loved EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
Thank you for being our kind, generous, wonderful friends!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

say say oh playmate...

"Sophie did you know that Halloween isn't real!?"

The girls are apart now for the majority of the day.  They are all three at different schools, Sophie just in preschool.  There were play dates and music lessons that separated them longer today.  By 5:45 we were all under one roof---even Danny!

Once together---there were games of make believe-

  • Ellie and Kate making secret potions with ashes from the firepit, twigs and branches.
  • Kate telling Sophie "Halloween isn't real."  (If only that was true...hehe!)
  • Sophie was the dance teacher and Kate and Ellie followed her performance.

They mixed in a little toy trading, swinging, and wagon riding/pulling too.  We finished the day off with a little Nancy Drew and "The Hidden Staircase" while huddled on the couch.  I wonder what the next few days will bring.  We have several days off for Fall Break!  I can't wait!  I hope I remember to take pictures along the way.  I have been terrible!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

leaves in the backyard

The fall season has been calling and calling--- bidding for us to come out and enjoy.  The cooler air, warm sunny afternoons, and changing colors are all so inviting.  Unfortunately, I have been ignoring all of it and continuing on a busy course.

All three girls were enjoying play dates with friends this afternoon.  Instead of rounding them up in the car, Charlie and I headed out on foot, connected by his leash.  We walked around the neighborhood to gather each girl.  Danny came out to find us when he returned home from work.  We walked all together enjoying the fresh air and friendly neighbors outside.

The new pace was a wonderful treat.  I thought of the words of President Dieter F Uchtdorf,

"One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.  Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.
It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Over-scheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks."

Fall is a great season to reflect and simplify.  I am trying to eliminate unnecessary stresses.  I am taking more time to sit and read on the couch.  I am saying "no" to some busy work.  I hope to say "yes" to more evenings like tonight, taking walks together.