Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Birthday and the Ball

The big "1" cake
"That was fun! I'm ready for a bath...and a shave!"
Full-body shot. I obviously need to work on my super-model stance!
I'm about 2 weeks tardy, but here are the much-anticipated events. We had such a fun weekend! I can't believe how quickly Finn's first year flew by! He's such a good little boy and we're so grateful to have him in our family. He likes pushing around cars (thus, the cake) and he was so cute to watch eat his cake. He started out cautiously, but soon put the pedal to the metal! He had whole rocks (aka chocolate candy rocks) in his diaper the next day! As soon as we got Finn cleaned up, it was time for Brad and I to get ourselves cleaned up and ready for the fancy Christmas gala that his school put on. It was in downtown Portland at a place called The Crystal Ballroom and there was a nice dinner and a live band and tons of dancing. The dance floor was actually spring-loaded so it really got you swingin'! I can't remember the last time we had so much fun--it was great! Thanks to my mom for coming to celebrate and babysit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good-bye Photos...Hello Holiday Tag

Well, Brad has officially informed me that my pictures are permanently lost (and the videos, which makes me very sad because I had one particularly endearing one of Finn taking some of his first steps). He can't explain it. The thingamajig came in the mail and it was supposed to revive them and he even had his very kind and computer smart friend, Steve, helping him. So I've been sad and also not able to sneak much computer time in since both our laptop and our desktop have been under construction by Brad. But, on the bright side, it really could've been much worse. It was only our pictures since July and we had ordered a bunch so we have those and the select few that I've blogged. So we'll just let this be a lesson to us and all of my blog readers--back 'em up! Also, I do have some pictures from Finn's birthday and the Christmas Ball that were still on our camera, so I'll get to that. In the meantime, how about some holiday cheer with a Christmas tag from Dani!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? A well-wrapped gift is almost as fun wrapped as it is unwrapped! Brown paper packages tied up with string...or colorful packages tied up with ribbons. A festive wrap job really makes the present. And when there is also some kind of fun ornament or trinket attached it is extra special!

2. Tree--real or artificial? For sure real. You can't beat that fresh pine smell. But I have to admit that our tree this year, while it's definitely real, is only about 18" tall and is on top of our fridge. I just didn't want to be on constant tree-duty with the kids. As for the scent, my "The Perfect Christmas" oil for my oil warmer from Bath and Body Works smells pretty good.

3. When do you put your Christmas tree up? Whenever we get a chance, but sooner than later.

4. When do you take the tree down? A few days later. This year our little tree will go out on our porch because it's actually in a pot and Brad wants to keep it and eventually plant it at our house when we buy one. We'll see if it makes the big move to CA in a year.

5. Like egg nog? Love it. A must-have treat for the holiday season!

6. Do you have a nativity scene? I LOVE our nativity scene! Brad's mom gave it to us a few years ago. It is the Willow Tree by Susan Lordi set and it is beautiful.

7. Favorite gift received as a child? A stuffed elephant that seemed as big as I was (when I was, like, 4). I don't know if it was really my favorite, but it seems to be my most memorable at the moment.

8. Hardest person to buy for? I'm going to have to go with Dani and say...Jefferson. No, just kidding! I mean my husband, Brad! He's picky and particular and I always want it to be so perfect. But I have pulled some pretty great gifts...ask him about his leather jacket and his kayak!

9. Easiest person to buy for? Again, I'm with Dani, our young kids. Finn doesn't know what's going on and for Galla, can we say "princess?"

10. Worst Christmas gift? Ok, there are a lot of questions here and I really can't think of one for this, so I skip.

11. Mail or email a Christmas card? Anyone who knows me knows how much I love mail. But I can't judge because we're not getting one out the old fashioned way this year.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? Elf. That movie is hilarious.

13. When do you start your shopping? It's never too early to purchase the perfect present.

14. Have you ever re-gifted a Christmas present? Not that I recall.

15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? Christmas quiche!! And fudge. And mine and Amy's all-night almond toffee. So much food, so little pant space....

16. Clear or colored tree lights? Colors!

17. Favorite Christmas songs? Must I list them all? It's really getting late.

18. Travel during Christmas or stay home? Since Brad and I have been married we've always done our own thing, but this year we're hitting both fams. I'm sure you'll get the report in January.

19. Can you name Santa's reindeer? Who doesn't know the song?

20. Angel or star on top of the tree? I've got a thing for stars all year round.

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Pajamas in the eve and the rest in the matter how much we begged!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? How quickly it's over!

Ok, I would like to tag the following people if they feel like participating: Natalie, Randi, and Amber. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Our laptop conveniently crashed on Tuesday just when I was going to blog Finn's birthday and the Christmas gala (I'm on our desktop now). The laptop took our last few months of pictures with it to a gadget grave. Brad says we can retrieve them, so I'm calm. But I don't actually have them back in my posession yet, so I'm not content! I've been on somewhat of a cyber strike since. And just when I was starting to like computers! So now I have to wait for some thingamajig to come in the mail because they were sold out in every store around here and wait for Brad to actually reunite me with my precious pictures (and videos!) before I can document those big events. In the meantime I've been using my free time to do non-computer related things--it's been eye-opening how much time I would kill on the computer!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Put on Something Appropriate for Me"

My cheeks are sore today (my face cheeks that is) after Brad and I went to see Brian Regan perform live last night. This man is crazy funny! Those of you familiar with him know what I'm talking about. But if you are not, Google him and listen to his stuff--it will change your life! Pure comedy! All that laughter was the perfect toner for my 12-week prego tummy to fit into my outfit for the fancy Christmas Gala that Brad and I get to go to tomorrow night...stay tuned!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pies and My Cutie Pie

We had a yummy Thanksgiving! We got together with a few of our friends here that also weren't going home for Thanksgiving and had a big potluck dinner at the church. There was tons of food and plenty of room for the kids to run around and play (which is why there are no pictures of Galla--we never got a chance). I made a pecan pie and a pumpkin cheesecake pie--very tasty and very fancy with the stars that took forever to cookie-cutter out and then arrange around the edge! I also made cranberry sauce. I like to make cranberry sauce and listen to the cranberries pop as they boil. I also like to add a bunch of stuff so it was technically more of a cranberry, apple, blackberry, orange sauce with a dash of cinnamon! Mmmm! Brad made a rosemary roast (don't worry, we also had turkey, but that was Christy's department and she did a delish job), lemon-almond roasted green beans, and his grandma's white rolls. It was a grand feast to say the least and we couldn't be more grateFULL!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Forget the Halloween Candy!

I was skeptical at first, even scoffed at the notion. But these babies are awesome! Pop ‘em in the freezer (Brad’s clever culinary idea) and they’re even better! And 5 grams of fiber? Where did that come from? BUT I guess if you eat more than one pack then it’s no longer just 100 calories….

Monday, November 5, 2007

"It's Like Charlotte!"

That's Galla's treat bag that doubled as her necklace all night!
I guess I'll put in our Halloween report. We didn't get any good pictures of the kids in their costumes and were planning on redressing them up to take some pics over the weekend, but who are we kidding? That's not going to happen! So here are our sub-par pictures. I made spider costumes for the kids and Brad and I wore all black and wrapped that fake spider web stuff around us to be spider webs. We partied it up all day going to playgroup, the ward party, and trick-or-treating in 2 neighborhoods! I was surprised that Galla kept her costume on so well, but she liked it because "it's like Charlotte!" from Charlotte's Web and I think she knew that the costume was her ticket to treats!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where a kid can be a kid

If you haven't been to Chuck E. Cheese's lately, you are missing out! We went for a friend's birthday party a few months ago and we've wanted to go back almost every weekend since. We finally did go last Friday and it was awesome! They did do away with that ball play pen thing since we were kids, but it's probably better because that thing was always mysteriously moist on the bottom. Just as long as I get to play that game where you put the tokens in and a pushy thing tries to knock tokens over the edge! Definitely addicting!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tagged by Natalie AND Dani!

Ok, I've been double tagged so I figured I'd better reply before someone else tries to tag me. I think 6 facts and tagging 6 people is excessive (and leads to double tagging) so I'm going to modify the rules and cut it to 3. So list 3 habits/little-known facts about yourself. Then tag 3 more people, post their names, then go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog for these instructions.

1. I LOVE sending and receiving mail! Checking the mail is often the highlight of my day and I usually have something fun thanks to a nice mother-in-law, online shopping, and the fact that I sign up online for at least one free sample almost everyday. Yesterday I received a sample of Sunsilk "anti-flat" shampoo/conditioner for me and a free Schick Quattro Titanium razor for Brad. I think it would be fun to be a mail carrier and might consider doing it after the kids are older? Maybe if they do part-time.

2. I HATE umbrellas. That doesn't work out so well since I live in Portland. They are big and annoying and I'm always getting hit in the face by them. I think they should be frowned upon in crowded public places.

3. I HAVE to multi-task while brushing my teeth. It's impossible for me to just stand in the bathroom and brush. I will put my shoes on, get the kids dressed, clean up clutter, anything I see that needs to be done. I also love to floss and do it every evening but it's harder to multi-task when my hands are so tied up.

I tag Jaime, Jessica, and Stephanie!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hubba Hubba Husband

Making spinach pasta--it's just pureed spinach, whole wheat flour, a little EVOO, and a lot of yummy!
Sewing curtains for the office. Brad is far overdue for a tribute. I know many of you have amazing men of your own so I’ll try to keep it short, but that won’t be easy. This stud seriously does it all! He can cook, clean, iron, sew, and fix and does it all well. He does great at Chiropractic school and makes plenty of time to save me from insanity at home. Brad comes home from school and plays with the kids (they get excited when he walks in the door), then makes dinner, bathes the babies, and puts them to bed. I’ve mentioned a couple times that he cooks, but you don’t understand. He takes “delicious and nutritious” to a whole new level—his food is extremely yummy and unbelievably healthy. Our freezer is always stocked with a variety of super soups and homemade whole-wheat bread. Brad is so good to me. One evening last week while I was out shopping with a friend, he hid little notes all over the house where he knew I’d find them eventually. Over the week I’ve found sweet notes in my diaper bag, robe pocket, jeans pocket, make-up bag, running shoes, calendar, scriptures, chocolate stash, favorite cereal box, even folded up in a fresh diaper and I’m still finding more! Then the other night when I was hungry at 10:30 he catered to my craving and whipped up a scrumptious snack: sauteed baby portabellas with mozzarella on toasted hazelnut bread. Thank you, Brad, I love you! Saying I’m spoiled is an understatement. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sneaky Mac and Cheese

With the depressingly cold weather and rain that we've been having, I thought it would be a good idea to make a classic comfort food last night...some yummy mac and cheese. Galla loved it and Finn was eating it faster than I could get it to him, making me a happy mommy! At one point I got up from the table to refill Finn's tray and Brad started to eat off my plate. Galla immediately tattled on her dear daddy and dutifully reported to me that he was eating my food. Now, you have to understand that Galla is a "good little monkey and always very curious" like the way her good friend George is described. Brad and I try to encourage her exploring but are always telling her to not be sneaky (taking things she knows she's not supposed to have and the such). So when Galla told me that daddy was eating my food, I said, "He is?" and she said, "Yes. He's being sneaky!" Pretty funny! We were glad to know that she knows what we mean when we tell her that. Maybe you should set a better example, Brad! :) Here's the recipe:

Sneaky Mac and Cheese
I didn’t measure anything, so just throw it all together—it’s faster that way!

Boil a big pot of whole wheat elbow noodles (cheap in the bins at WinCo).

In a medium saucepan (over med heat) combine ½ can cream of mushroom soup, some milk, a few big spoonfuls of pureed pumpkin (it was leftover from the pumpkin rolls I made and a great way to sneak in some veggies and makes the dish a nice color), small cubes of cheddar and small cubes of mozzarella. Stir it for a while until it is all melty. Then stir in some fresh broccoli cut into very small pieces.

Drain the noodles when they are done, pour the cheese sauce in and stir. Try not to eat the whole thing at once because you will want to—it’s so good!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stowaway Baby!

Many people asked me who I ran the marathon with and I said, "myself." But it turns out that our suspicions were correct and I had a stowaway! Baby #3 was truckin' along with me! I presented Brad with his pumpkin baby to give him the news. Galla likes playing with the pumpkin baby and telling people that "mommy has a baby in her tummy." We figured since Galla knows we should tell people before she beats us to the punch. I feel like having one baby is a huge life change. Having 2 babies is like, "well, we have one so we may as well have another." But having 3 is like, "whoa, this is getting serious here!" I'm due June 12 we are super excited!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marathon: Mission Accomplished

It's over and I finished! Sorry I don't have any pictures--when I ran past Brad at the end I guess I was running too fast for him to snap a shot. I was hoping to be sub-4 hours but gastric distress and 5 trips to the porta-potties during the race (and again at the end) set me back a bit. The whole experience is some-what of a blur, but I feel it can be summed up by quoting the t-shirt of the guy running in front of me: "Life is short. Running a marathon makes it feel longer." Now I'm just limping around, waiting for my knees to bend again.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Princess Paradise

We got to go to Disneyland a couple weeks ago during Brad's break from school. I think Galla felt as if we'd been fooling her for so long..."you mean to tell me that these people are REAL! Why didn't you bring me here sooner?!" Notice in the pictures that she couldn't take her eyes off the castle and she was ready to go home with the Fairy Godmother. Nothing is as magical as Disneyland with a character-loving little girl.

Finn's First Ride

Finn loved the infant-appropriate rides (that's Brad's mama in the background), but spent most of the day being a good sport in the stroller.


Oh the emotions experienced at Disneyland!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shoe Deal

Ok, so I just got an awesome deal on shoes for the kids at The Children's Place. Galla and Finn are both short on shoes this fall (time to retire the green Crocs that Galla has worn almost every day for over a year) and I've been shopping around a ton. I've been disappointed to find that shoes every where are either not cute or too expensive. I checked out The Children's Place and they are having great sales right now. I got 2 pairs for Galla and 3 pairs for Finn. It was going to be $36.45 (including shipping), but first I checked out one of my favorite websites and found a coupon for $10 off an order of $30 or more bringing my grand total to $26.45! For 5 pairs of shoes! I'm trying to convince Brad to be as excited as I am.

Friday, September 28, 2007

On my Toes

Many of you know that one of my odd hobbies is painting pictures on my toenails. I painted these a couple weeks ago and thought I'd document them before I take nail polish remover to them. The big toes were just for doodles, the Mickey was in honor of our trip to Disneyland (blog on that to come), and the foot was to keep me motivated for my marathon (9 days to go). Halloween toes are next and they are one of my favorites, but after the marathon I might be too sore to get my feet into painting position!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Family Photos

We recently took family pictures and there are a whole bunch I'd like to share. Galla didn't let us down in continuing to be the most difficult little girl to catch on camera. She intentionally looks the other way when she sees a camera and when she does look towards the camera, getting her to smile is like trying to get a cow to say oink. So, here are some highlights and I'll post others every so often.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Panties in Public

Galla is making steady potty-training progress. She has been wearing panties (she prefers princess or Curious George) when we're at home for months now, but a couple weeks ago I got brave and decided it's time to go public. We've been all over the place including playgroup, Target, Costco, the grocery store, the park…all of the usual locales. Each time I've been prepared for the worst, but she's been accident-free!

I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but I don't enjoy the nasty public bathrooms and the fact that Galla insists on me not holding her on the toilet so she holds on to the sides of the filthy toilet seat to prevent her cute little bum from falling in. But apparently she didn't hold on tight enough when daddy took her to the bathroom at the Olive Garden and she fell in--in the men's bathroom mind you--gross! Anyway, she's so cute and likes to announce to anyone within earshot that she went pee-pee on the potty. I'm really proud of her and also pleased with the dip in the diaper bill!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Whole Fam-Damily

Here's a pic from our trip to AZ. The order: dad, mom, neice, brother, sister, neice, bro-in-law, sister, nephew, brother, nephew and the Falkes!

Monday, August 27, 2007

At the "Finn"ish Line

This past weekend I ran in the largest relay race in the world, Hood to Coast. Teams of 12 people start at the top of Mount Hood (8:30am Friday) and relay their way all the way to the Oregon coast (3:00pm Saturday--197 miles). Each person runs 3 legs of about 5 miles per leg. But the running wasn't the difficult part. The hard part is staying up all night (I slept from about 7am-8am Sat) and running 5.75 miles up a 900 foot incline from 12:50-1:40am on a dark'n dusty gravel road. The other not-so-pleasant part is the porta-potty usage and the repeated wiping with a toilet paper that was more of a sand paper/wax paper hybrid. But overall I had a great time and the free t-shirt makes it all worth while. Seriously, it's a pretty sweet tee!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blog while I Log

So, I went out for a run yesterday and thought it would be a good idea to brainstorm for my next blog to help the time pass. I logged 20 miles in my training for the Portland Marathon (it's on Oct 7 and I'm all registered so there's no turning back now), but today I just have sore legs and no great blog topics. I really just needed to put up a new post so I don't have to see that weird picture of me everytime I come to my site. I asked Brad what I should blog about and he said, "the irony of something." So that left me with even less of an idea (hey, that's kind of ironic).

But while I'm posting, I may as well put up a picture. When I got home from my run Brad was having a good time with the kids. Galla was wearing this Tinkerbell costume and tap shoes that Brad's mom just sent her. You can imagine how much she loves it (except for the apparent chafing)! Thank you, Mimi!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Blueberry Fairy

What do you do with 14 pounds of blueberries? No, it's not a riddle, it's the question Brad and I were faced with last weekend when our bulk order from church came in. For weeks we'd been looking forward to basking in blueberries. And then they came...a big bucket-o-bluebs that were already mushy on top, so we could only imagine their condition on the bottom. So we got to work making every berry-oriented creation we could think of: jam, muffins, tarts, scones, even pureed for Finn. Now we're all packed with antioxidants! A Deep Thought by Jack Handy comes to mind: "If anyone ever offers you something in a bucket, take it. Because I can't think of anything bad that comes in a bucket." Or something like that.

The kids and I are off to Cali/Arizona in the morning!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuna Finn Sandwich

The other day for lunch Finn had his homemade pureed pears and apples. Then he saw his sister eating whole wheat macaroni noodles and wanted some of those. I gave him a handful and he quickly finished it off. Then he saw him mommy eating a tuna fish sandwhich and thought that looked good. I gave him a piece, positive he would spit it out. Instead he banged on his tray for more and ended up eating almost half the sandwich! He's a crazy good eater and such a good little boy. Poor Nemo in the bathtub, never had a chance....

Little Lovey

A post script to my last blog,this is my favorite picture of Galla.


We love our little Galla more than a monkey loves bananas, but boy is she a rascal (rasGal). Whenever she sees the camera come out, she goes running the other way! So we have very few good pictures of her, but I wanted to share a few of the best. This little girl keeps me on my toes. She's like a blog an hour, but I'll try to limit it to the highlights (plus, I don't have enough time to write about all her little stories). This morning I was still in my pajamas and feeding Finn when she put all her clothes on and her flip-flops, turned off the TV and lights and headed out the door announcing that we were going for a walk. I couldn't tell her no, so I put my shoes on and we were off. We're lucky to live in an apartment complex with many friends near, so we checked the mail and then stopped in to visit her friends Jace and Hyrum. On our way back home, she fell and skinned her knees--her first bloody knees. She cried the rest of the way home and said, "It kinda hurts." When she got home, she looked at her knees and said, "It's red, it's pretty!" She also got a Curious George bandaid out of the deal, so she wasn't too disappointed. But she didn't want to put the bandaid over her pretty red knee, so it went on her arm instead. All better!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Brad's Lush Garden

Brad has two little plots of land that he's worked over with his green thumb. The fruits of his labor were a long time coming since we live in the not-so-hot Oregon climate, but we are finally enjoying some fresh from the vine veggies.