Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our American Idol...

Over the Christmas break I received a visit from Evan's school teacher. She had brought some music by that she needed Evan to memorize by the end of their break. Then she informed me that they had a "secret" audition of sorts for their school musical program and Evan had been chosen to sing a small solo part in one of the songs. I was shocked and excited of course! If you know Evan then you know how painfully shy he has been in the past, although when faced with doing something in front of others he has always stepped up and done it. Today was the performance and let me tell you, I was pretty much sobbing through the whole thing. I am such an emotional mess when it comes to my kids. I suppose I come by that honestly since my mother is the same way. Anyway, here he is! Enjoy the video. (make sure to turn off the music player at the bottom of the blog first so you can hear the video)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My Grandpa Ries passed away last week at 89, I believe. He had lost a lot of his memories already and so the last time I saw him, about 2 years ago, I dont think he really knew who I was. One thing I can say about my Grandpa is that he was always quick to smile. Even when he was looking at me and not really sure who I was, he was grinning from ear to ear. This is what I will remember the most about him.

He was a strict man and had his expectations of people but what a loving soul he had. Children loved him and he them....he was a good man. I am going to miss him and wish I had been able to see him more often. He was buried today and I wish I could have been there.

According to my parents my first word was "Gunka" which is what I called my Grandpa. This is me at age 2 probably getting ready to wake my Gunka up. It is one of my favorite pictures.

We always loved to pat his bald head. I dont think I have ever seen my Grandpa with hair...not even as a young man. I hear he lost it very early in life. He was in the Air Force and was buried in the Veterans section of the cemetary. He took good care of my Grandma and was content to sit back and let all of us gab away...not saying much but throwing a grin and a story in when he could. I dislike the fact that I am growing old and losing loved ones, but I suppose that is the way it has to be. Sure do love you Grandpa.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Skinny Jeans Review....

For those that are close to me, you know how particular I have been throughout my life about my jeans. I have always suffered from the long leg syndrome...I know, there are worse things to have to suffer through...but trust me, it made buying jeans very difficult for me! As I have aged and put on extra weight, my plight has become even worse because now I struggle to find Cute jeans to fit me in all the right places and still be the right length. There are many 'plus size' clothing makers out there that apparently don't think bigger girls want to look stylish and cute. Or worse, they charge you your body weight for the cute ones. Well, I have found the solution! Fashion to Figure.

I recently had the opportunity to choose something from their line of Very cute, Very fashionable clothing. It was a difficult choice to make... but I decided to throw caution to the wind and try out the Dark Indigo Skinny Jeans. I have always wanted to try a pair of skinny jeans.

Not only did they appear to be cute jeans, but the price tag was incredibly reasonable. So I ordered and waited and wore them immediately the day they arrived.

The verdict? I don't think I will ever buy jeans anywhere else! Seriously, they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever worn.

I have been wearing them now for a few weeks. I wanted to wash them a few times before I actually wrote this review because the way jeans wash up make a big difference in my level of excitement. So far, after 4 washings, the color hasn't faded one bit. They are still nice and dark and fit just as well. I absolutely LOVE them!

If you happen to be what the fashion industry considers plus sized (which we all know means nothing) then you seriously must check out this store...the prices will amaze you as will the selection of fabulous, stylish clothing. They even have cute jewelry...heaven help me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Rest of the Holiday's....

Im going to combine the rest of our Holiday into this one save time and catch up quick. I was fortunate enough to watch my nephew Jude one day while Nate and Alisa went skiing. This baby is the sweetest natured child I have ever met. I had good babies...dont get me wrong...but this one is special. He seriously only cries when he is hungry and I wouldnt even call it a cry. His big blue eyes are constantly staring at me and then he breaks into this big grin and I seriously just want to eat his face.... LOVE him so much!!

While I babysat Jude, Denver took the kids sledding since we had received 6 inches of snow that previous night. They were anxious to use their new tubes. Here was Addison a few days before when we were supposed to get snow but didnt. She was highly disappointed as you can see. On a side note, here is Addison with her new Barbie Dream House all set up. She is so happy with this present....hours of playtime :)

For our family Christmas gift, Nathan and Alisa gave us a one night stay at the downtown Hilton. They wrapped the paperwork for it and the kids looked a little perplexed by the gift at the time of opening but boy did they enjoy the gift when we actually took advantage of it!

We checked in on Saturday and headed straight for the indoor pool.

Nothing like swimming in the Winter to make you really excited for Summer! After we swam we showered up and headed across the street for dinner at Macaroni Grill

and then went to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights.

It was beautiful as usual but I think it is always more effective to see these during the season....once Christmas is over it's a little least for me it is. Still, despite the balmy 10 degrees outside and the frozen thumbs, we enjoyed it.

Addison was on a mission to see Jesus. She didnt want to see the lights at all...she just kept screaming that she wanted to go see Jesus. So here she is.....with Jesus!

Afterward we stopped at Starbucks for some peppermint hot cocoa and then went back to the hotel and played board games. It was a lot of fun to just get away from the house for a night. I highly recommend it :)

So now, the kids are back in school and I have to say as much as I loved the Winter break this year it is nice to get back into routines. There is something to be said about having some "quiet" time! I start back to school next week and I am nervous but excited now that I am getting into my Major classes. I will be taking a Grammar class, a Theory class, a Writing class, and a Childrens Literature class. Should be fun and busy!

As for the New Year, Im not big on making resolutions because I nearly always fail at them however, there is something to be said about setting goals and trying to move forward through life rather than sitting still. With that being said, I think this year my goal is to stop limiting myself. There is no reason I cannot accomplish all of the things that I dream about and so that is what I am going to focus on. That, and Im going to try really hard to be nicer to myself....I tend to be very self critical and I see this manifesting itself in my son Ian. As far as the other New Years resolutions, like losing weight....well, I believe that will be a lifelong battle for me and so Im just going to do my best to keep a handle on it. That's about all I can do at this point.

I hope you all have a Fabulous 2011 and that all of your dreams come true ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning....

My intentions were to have all of these posts done before the new year but alas, my tendency to procrastinate has prevented me from reaching that goal. Better late than never though!

Christmas Eve was awesome for 2 reasons this year:

1. I had completed all my shopping by the 2nd week of December and if
you know me, then you know what a miracle that feat alone is! It allowed for a lot more relaxation :)

2. Anticipation! I love Christmas Eve better than Christmas Day
because everything is so magical still. After Christmas morning is over,
it feels like the holidays end....I think this is why Christmas Eve is my
favorite day of the year!

Christmas Eve afternoon we gathered at Nathan's house for what has become our traditional pizza lunch/gift exchange with my brothers. It is always a great time and we love spending time with everyone. The little ones of course make it even more enjoyable. Soren wouldnt pose for my camera but he didnt mind spinning in circles for me! He is in his own world and is so much fun to watch....

Here is Jude, the youngest of the bunch getting excited over the stuffed Frog we got him. He is so cute!

We were happy that Jeff and Nicola were able to come by for a bit even though Nicola was not feeling well. It wouldnt have been the same if they hadn't come! Jeff was pretty happy about his Snowbird ski pass that he recieved!

We all LOVED the gifts we received and I am grateful to have my brothers living close by. I love this picture of them cracking up. One thing our family knows how to do well is laugh.

Later that evening, Denver flew into town for his Christmas break. He is still here as I am typing this so he was able to enjoy a nice extended break from 70 hour work weeks! He will be returning to South Carolina tomorrow and I know the kids are sure going to miss him until his next visit. We made cookies for Santa that night also, although this year I let go of my usual necessity for perfect cookies and bought pre-made dough (gasp) and pre-made frosting (double gasp) and I had the kids use sprinkles that we already had in the cupboard. Im not sure what it was but I just decided that perfect Santa cookies werent necessary and very time consuming....time was something we didnt have a lot of this year. Sadly, the pre-made dough is not intended for rolling and cutting out you can see these blobs of sugar cookies were originally christmas trees, haha...they turned into crispy disc's instead.

Oh well. I just love the colors that the kids chose to use....pretty much every color I had in the cupboard! Im sure Santa didnt mind ;)

Of course we can't forget to mention the Christmas Eve PJ's....thanks to Momaw (Denvers mom) for providing them along with the cute accessories seen in the picture.
Addison is also wearing her Hello Kitty slippers that Grandma and Grandpa Ries (my parents) gave her. She got to open them early because she was having a PJ party on her last day of school and had been begging me for slippers to wear. Knowing that my mom had gotten some for her, I had to let her open them. Evan is obssessed with the How to Train Your Dragon movie and has watched it everyday since Thanksgiving when my parents gave him the movie as an early Christmas present. Then of course Momaw sent him a stuffed dragon from the movie and he was over the top excited.

We watched a couple of movies before bed and then proceeded to finish up Christmas Eve. I always love the tree after the presents have been laid out...its one of my favorite pictures to take.

Everything turned out perfect and I was so excited for the kids to open their gifts the next day. The biggest gift under the tree was Addison's and as you can see she was more than thrilled to see that Santa brought her the Barbie Dream House that she has begged us for week after week for the past 6 months!! I remember when I got my Barbie Dream House although I was a little older :)

And here is Ian with one of his favorite gifts... LEGO Harry Potter. I think he may have been just a titch disappointed that he didnt get more Lego sets than this one but he was overjoyed to finally get his own Nintendo Dsi so hopefully he got over it!

And last but not least is Evan with one of his favorite gifts....One thing that I love about Evan is his simplicity and the fact that if I gave him a rock, he would cherish it for life. So sweet. This is his Discovery Channel Shark Week set of DVD's. Evan loves sharks and plans on becoming a Marine Biologist when he grows up....after watching some of the DVD's with him, this mom hopes he changes his mind and picks a nice desk job!! Yikes!!