Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Some Good Christmas Reads

For those of you who are all done with your Christmas shopping and are now ready to snuggle up with a warm blanket, some Steven's Hot Chocolate and a good book, I thought I would suggest a few of my favorites. I would love some suggestions of other great Christmas books, too.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Pictures

So, our friend Ryan offered to take some family pictures for us at the beach and I have come to the realization that it is impossible for each member of our family to keep their eyes open, look at the camera, and give some sort of a smile without picking their nose all at once. Lucky for me, I have discovered photoshop and was able to cut and paste eyes and a smile from another picture and we came up with something good enough... not great, but we look as if we might possibly be a happy, normal family.

The Big 2!

We celebrated Davis' second birthday a couple weeks early while we were in Arizona, so his grandparents could be in on the action. He had a Thomas Birthday Party at a train park and had a blast... the proof is in the pictures...
Big Sis... always ready for a photo opp.
Davis loved all his presents... probably would have been OK with just tissue paper, though.
Birthday hugs from Grr.
All aboard the party train!!!
Papa, Uncle Rob, Uncle Erik... wishing they were on the party train.
Grandma and Grandpa Nelson... two seconds before the post party meltdown.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


We had a great Thanksgiving in Arizona, making the rounds to see friends and family and family again. The cousins are posing in front of the "Thankful Tree," a newly begun tradition in the Nelson household. I just wanted to mention a few people I am grateful for...

-my Husband... he puts up with a lot (especially from the grouchy beached-whale pregnant wife). He works so hard for our family (maybe too hard). He is great dad and is always willing to participate in a game of "hop on pop" even if he ends up with a punctured lung or too.

- my mom... her daily check-up calls are a constant and she is a wonderful "Grr," always showering my kids with love.

-my sweet Tatum.... well mostly sweet. She always tells me how pretty I am and that I am the bestest mother she ever had (I trained her to do so). She is always entertaining me with her wild imagination.

-Davis... he has so much love to give and so many snugly hugs. He is always saying "thank you, mama," whether I changed his diaper, kissed his boo-boo, or buttoned his jacket... it helps make the mundane a little less mundane.

-my dad... he is always such a good example of hard work, strength and self-less love, I still know that he is always there if I need him.

-my mommy support group... I have got the greatest friends in the world!!! I know that I always have someone willing to help out. I can laugh and be silly and just be my self with them. They listen to my gross motherhood stories, call me whenever there is a great deal a Target, are always willing to get together for a much needed girls night, and are always ready and willing for a nice, long talk on the phone.

-my family.... in laws, siblings, grandparents.... I really lucked out in this department. Everyone is so kind and loving and accepting. (Although it is kind of boring I have no crazy family members to talk about). I really enjoy being with all of you and am grateful to have you all in my life.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good Luck Swearingen Family

Just wanted to wish the Swearingen Family good luck in Nebraska and let them know that they will be missed! Tatum already misses Aiden terribly. Anyone wanting to keep in touch with them can visit their blog at:

Offically Californian

Okay, it has been nearly a year... but we have finally transitioned into legal Californians. It was quite the ordeal getting our cars registered, we had to make several trips to the DMV (not one of my favorite places) get smog tests, sign additional forms, donate our right kidney, etc. But, it is now finished and we have our California Licence plate. It was somewhat sad taking off the Arizona ones (even if they did expire last August)... chances are we will be putting Arizona plates on again one day.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I've been tagged!

So, my friend Niki tagged me... which has nothing to do with spray paint... I am suppose to share 6 things about myself so here I go:
1. I am both a perfectionist and a procrastinator...two traits that often work against each other to make my life just a little crazier than it needs to be.
2. I absolutely love being a mother! It has been one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. It has taught me to love selflessly and has expanded my heart in unimaginable ways. It is one of the hardest jobs in the world but the compensation and benefits are some of God's sweetest gifts. I have two precious little children who have so much love for me, and an endless supply of slobbery kisses and tender hugs.
3. I have a secret dream of one day practicing medicine. I realize chances are slim to none that this will ever happen, but I figure that statistically, I have two thirds of my life ahead of me and who knows what can happen. Maybe it is time to lay off Discovery Health Channel and E.R.
4. I love reading! I am always interested in a good suggestion and haven't quite grown out of the youth genre. I love Holes, Gathering Blue, The Giver, Because of Winn Dixie, Tuck Everlasting, Matilda, and so many more... I can't wait to start sharing these books with my kids! I also love anything by or about Jane Austen. The Vampire series were great too (I even got my husband into them).
5. I miss all of my favorite Arizona restrants: Gecko Grill, Costa Vida, Cafe Rio, Joe's BBQ, Crackers & Co., Oregano's, Texas Roadhouse, The Farmhouse, (did I get them all???). Every time we come back to visit I coerce my family friends into helping me feed my cravings... can you tell I am pregnant?
6. I am a pretty lucky lady! I have an awesome husband, some truly wonderful friends, two mostly sweet children (and one on the way), wonderful supportive parents/inlaws and so many blessings I couldn't possibly name them all.

Kate, Marissa, and Kati... I am now tagging you.

How to make your own blog template...

So, sorry to toot my horn, but I am quite proud of myself... I finally learned how to create my own blog template!! It took me about six hours, which a normal person could probably do in half the time, but computer programming totally confuses me. I thought I would pass on a website with a great tutorial- step by step on how to create your own. If you are interested, the website is:

I found cute (and free!!) digital paper designs at:

You just download and extract the files, then uplaod them onto photo bucket. See template tutorial website for further instructions.

I made my header in Adobe Photoshop... I have had it for almost two years and am finally able to do some basic things on it. Again, very confusing for me.

Hope this helps anyone interested!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Halloween 2007

The kids prior to their trick-or-treat induced sugar rush.

Tatum aka "Madeline" (Not to be confused with Little Bo Peep, Matilda, or any other random costumes one might assume she is).
Davis as Thomas the Train... just as a side note- don't knock him over... he won't be able to get up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

California Wildfires

Some Pictures from our house... our flash is not working... so please excuse the poor quality.

So... we have had a couple of weeks of uncertainty here. Thanks for all of the calls of concern during the fires... we were blessed not to be directly effected by them. We live in the Santa Ana Mountains, but were on the opposite side of the mountain to the Santiago fire in Orange County. The air has been so thick with ash and smoke, school has been canceled and we have been told to be prepared for possible evacuation. We only saw the flames crest over the mountain a couple times, but it gave us a little scare. We also had a red moon on Wednesday night due to the thick smoke???... a little creepy... we had to make biblical references to it. It seems like things are getting better. The Santiago Fire is slowly moving away from us and is expected to be contained by Nov. 2nd. It has been a lesson on self-preparedness... it is crazy to try to think of what you would take if you were told you had ten minutes to evacuate. We had our car packed with some of the necessities just in case, 72 hr. kits, scrapbooks, documents... Ryan helped Tatum pack a bag with some of her special things... it was precious what she chose (her favorite doll, a blanket for her doll, some play food for her doll, 2 barbies, her wedding dress-up, a couple of toys for Davis and the book "Someday."
Our hearts and prayers go out to all the people who are now without a home and to all the firefighters still working to put out the flames.

Big Boy Bed

Davis just graduated from crib status and is officially in his big boy bed. He was very hesitant the first few night and cried for his crib... but he has recently discovered a benefit of the big boy bed... not being restrained (getting up to grab a book/toy/ blanket/waking up mommy,daddy, Tatum/getting a box of cereal and spreading it throughout the house etc...) and he has decided he likes it. Oh, and of course... it is fun to jump on!

The proper poise when you talk to boys...

Ryan and I went to see "Wicked" back in May and absolutely loved it!!! So we got the soundtrack, and like to listen to it on occasion. Tatum seems to enjoy the CD... she always requests it, and she is always asking questions about the storyline. We have plans to take her to see it when she is a few years older. So, the other night while I was making dinner, Tatum was dancing circles around me and she sang the phrase... "I'll teach you the proper poise when you talk to boys, little ways to flirt and flounce." It was from the song "Popular." So I probably just lost Mother of the Year Award... good thing her daddy wasn't around.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There is still hope...

So despite the fact that Davis has an overly girly princess of a sister and loves to copy everything she does, his natural "boy" instincts are coming on strong. He loves to sneak dirt in the house, play catch, put a bucket on his head and run around the house yelling "fieman!" (as in fireman). Okay, so on occasion we still catch him making the barbie and his toy tiger kiss, but the outlook is good and we think Davis will survive his sister's prima-donna example after all.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flashback Friday... Crazy little thing called LOVE!

I was sorting through pictures and found these fun shots of when Ryan and I were dating... we look so young and thin... it is funny (well not so funny) what three pregnancies, two children and nearly seven years of marriage does to you. The pictures made me smile though, reminiscing on all that Ryan and I have been through as a couple, and how we have helped each other grow. It also reminded me of how grateful I am for my wonderful, hard working husband and the great father that he is to our children.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anne of Green Gables

So, apparently I missed out as a youth... I just read Anne of Green Gables for the first time. I totally fell in love with it. It seemed to be such a wonderful countenance of youth and innocence and growing up. Just thought if anyone else has been left in the dark... I would totally recommend it. I can't wait to get a copy of the second one. Prince Edward's Island was part of Ryan's mission and he has often talked about planning a trip there... after reading the book I truly appreciate the beauty and can't wait to see it for myself someday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cowboy Day

We had so much fun during cowboy day... Tatum (above) is lassoing her unicorn in her Ugg boots... we tried.

So, even though he wasn't an official participant in preschool cowboy day... he was so cute running around in his western gear, I couldn't help snapping a few pics of him.

From the Dust of the Earth

So we survived our annual beach camping trip, yet again. We went to Doheny State Beach with our good friends the McEuens. So, basically it rained a lot. Think lots of water, lots of mud and five kids. There was no escaping it, so we just gave up and let everyone get as dirty/muddy/wet/snotty/sandy as they desired. The kids loved it! Luckily, we were able to end the day with hot showers... so, I don't think that we qualify as pioneers yet. So much fun... can't wait until next year!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Importance of Being Tatum

  1. She likes to follow rules... teeth brushing, seat belt wearing, pre-dinner snacking, the slightest violation will bring her to tears.
  2. She thinks Sponge Bob is the Devil. I don't really care for Sponge Bob, myself, but she absolutely detests him. Once she came came in to tell me Davis was doing something "really bad." I rushed out, terrified as to what I might find... he was sitting in front of the TV watching Sponge Bob. After coming home from a date once, she broke out into tears, announcing "the babysitter made us watch Sponge Bob." These are just a few instances. Watch out Sponge Bob.
  3. She likes to sing Ariel's "Ahhh, Ahhhh, Ahhhh" quite loudly in public places, but is as tone deaf as her mother. We get a lot of raised eyebrows.
  4. She misses her grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends from Arizona. She likes to break out in a fake whimper cry, often during sacrament, in the doctor's office, while in line at the grocery store or in other inappropriate places, until a bystander asks her what's wrong, then she dramatically whimpers out, I miss my grandmas... or whoever she is missing at the moment.
  5. She puts soda on the same levels as illegal narcotics and embarrassingly confesses to people that sometimes her daddy drinks soda.
  6. She has a future as a singer/songwriter. Her newest song is, "I looked out the window and what did I see, One little, two little, three little, four little, five little missionaries staring back at me." A little creepy, but a Tatum original nonetheless.

The Importance of Being Davis

  1. He will eat just about anything, once confirmed that it is not poop... the other day he brought a small, purple grape, from who knows where up to me and questionably asked, "Poop"? I smiled, and told him, no, it is a grape. He mimicked, "grape," then popped it into his mouth.
  2. He has yet to discover swords. While visiting friends, he found a sword, pointed it at me and said, "Bippity, Boppity, Boo."
  3. He has great potential as a contortionist, considering he has the ability to worm his way out of any buckle/child restraint.
  4. He sings, "Slippery Fish," word for word, puts his hands on his cheeks and exclaims "OH, NO!" after every verse.
  5. All it takes to make him happy is a "nack" and a "tippy cup."
  6. The only ones who love nursery more than him is his mom and dad.
  7. He is magnetically drawn to dogs. He will run up to any strang dog, and refuse to leave until he has ridden it, pulled its ears, and gotten a few good face licks from it.
  8. He is a ladies man... mommy, grandmas, sister, his little girl friends, his mommy's friends... he loves them all.
  9. He has learned that he can get away with just about anything by flashing his sweet Davis smile.