As most everyone knows, I'm always working on a project.  My projects are what give me energy.  I love being creative.  They can also wear me out when I'm up against a deadline.  I love making presents for Christmas.  This year, I underestimated how little Hank-free time I would have to quilt or work on stained glass.  I had to put in some major effort the few weeks before Christmas to finish a quilt for Calder and Starr and some stained glass ornaments.  I had so much fun.  Now that Christmas is over I'm moving on to working on new stained glass windows for our kitchen door and a crazy quilt.

I love decorating for Christmas.  I'm trying to stick to my goal of two boxes of ornaments (it used to be a goal of one box), so I keep it pretty simple. I love hanging glass balls off the chandelier in the dinning room.  This year, Wyatt helped pick out the colors he liked and handed them to me to put up.  He's so cute because he thought my decorations were "so beautiful".

This year we tried to figure out how to protect Hank from the tree and the tree from Hank.  Of course we turned to the internet for our research.  We decided to weigh the tree down with heavy rocks and then I put only kid safe ornaments in Hank's reach.  As you can see from this picture, he was very interested.  After a few days of him constantly undressing the part of the tree within his reach, I just left that part bare.


Here's sweet Wyatt.  He's such a good boy.  He made several adorable ornaments this year at pre-school and at an ornament party at a friend's house.  He's very proud of his art work.



I finished my stained glass class and this was my project.  It's pretty simple considering it took about 12 hrs of instruction to finish it, but we went over every step thoroughly.  My solder lines are beautiful.  




I made about 12 stained glass star ornaments for gifts.  They are so fun to make.  I could really spend a year making all different kinds and different colors.




I gave this quilt to Calder and Starr.  I put the top together initially and didn't like the color I used between the blocks, so I unpicked it and used unbleached muslin instead.  Since the quilt was going to family, I knew I would see it again and I had to love it.   I saw it on their brown couch when we left today and I think it suits their house well.


Here's the back of the quilt.  I did simple line quilting on it.



I don't post much about my journey back to my pre-pregnancy body but it's a big part of my life.  Sometimes I feel vain worrying about it, but I just don't feel like myself until I'm back in shape and I just can't give up.  After I had Wyatt, I was able to loose the weight, eventually, but I also had two months shorter of a pregnancy so less weight gain.  The last few months I've hovered between my last 5 to 10 lbs (I gained 60), so I'm officially taking it up a notch in order to bust through my plateau.

So I met with a trainer at the gym and she went over my workout plan and gave me some good advice.  She said it's 33% diet, 33% exercise, and 33% attitude.  I'm assuming the last 1% is magic or maybe patience.  Her pep talk helped and I feel like I can make it happen.  

EXERCISE:
So below is my workout schedule.  It may seem like a lot, but I actually really like it.  I've been going to the gym for a year now and I am so into it.  I always have a bit of an endorphin buzz and my kids just love the nursery.  We all win. So my workout week now goes something like this:

Monday: 1 hr spin class
Tuesday: run 3 miles
Wednesday: 1 hr chisel weight lifting class (free weights)
Thursday: 1 hr pilates class, 20 minutes cardio
Friday: heavy weights on machines, 20 minutes cardio
Saturday: run 3 miles
Sunday: rest

DIET:
So as far as diet goes, I'm trying to keep it really healthy.  Good quality, organic, unprocessed foods, very little sugar and refined carbs (one in the same) and lots of fruits and vegetables.  So a typical day's meals could look like this.  The point is to eat healthy most of the time and then enjoy some deliciousness on special occasions.

breakfast: 1 egg, one egg white omelet with asparagus, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, a pomegranate.

snack: sprouted grain bread with almond butter

lunch: salad made of spinach, romaine lettuce, red pepper, asparagus, turkey sausage,  snow peas, halved grapes, a sprinkle of feta cheese and a splash of watered down healthy dressing.

dinner: wild caught salmon, brown rice, broccoli and a few squares of 70% dark chocolate for dessert.

Willie doesn't mind the healthy eating because I send all holiday treats to work with him so he's got his own stash of cookies and candy.

ATTITUDE:
I can do it.

Last weekend I went to Las Vegas for my cousin Laura's wedding.  Willie, Wyatt and Hank stayed home and I flew out to meet my mom, Travis, Calder and Starr.  It was such a fun vacation.  The day I left was stressful (packing, making cookies for an exchange, crying kids, messy house, etc).  After just sitting and waiting for my plane, knitting and listening to CNN, my stress lifted and I knew a weekend away would do me a lot of good.

We all shared a hotel room the first few nights, so we stayed up talking and reading.  My mom just finished the book Twilight the night I arrived and handed it over to me.  I had to put 100 years of Solitude on the backburner to check it out.  We'll after reading the whole thing in about a day or two and going to see the movie while we were there, I knew I'd never be the same.  


Here is my cousin Laura and her husband James.  They got married in the Las Vegas temple and had a reception at a beautiful golf course on the edge of the city.  Everything turned out wonderful and I loved spending time with my cousins.



Our first hotel was just off the strip and nice enough, but my mom and I stayed Sunday night at the Mirage.  It was really fun being in such a nice hotel (5 stars) and right on the strip.  We walked all round Sunday night looking at expensive shops.  I even tried on a ring at Tiffanys.  The sound of the busy streets, the smell of cigarets and all the people reminded me of London.

How could I not post a picture of Edward and Bella.  Frankly, I'd heard all the hype but I was a little hesitant to get into it.  Not because I'm a literary snob but for entirely different reasons.  I was so into Buffy the vampire Slayer, that I felt like no other vampire/mortal love story could offer me anything (I use the term mortal loosely for Buffy, she is the slayer).  I have never been so wrong.  Several times over the trip you could find me clutching the book to my heart.  I couldn't stop smiling.  It really brought out my inner school girl romantic.  I thought I could wait to see it again after it came out on DVD.  I now realize that would be impossible and I'm hoping to see it again this weekend.

 
Here's Travis and Calder busy texting on their iphone.  I found the iphone very handy for checking my email at a wedding reception, giving us directions and instantly googling something to satisfy curiosity or end an argument.  Willie is getting an iphone for Christmas.  It will be hard not to browse facebook at church.
 
Here's our fancy room at the Mirage.  Flat panel HD TV, granite countertops in the bathroom, high thread count sheets, and an ihome.  Nothing is as fun as a nice hotel for a Stratford.  It's a pivotal part of a vacation.  We even saw Giovanni Rivisi, Phoebe's brother on Friends, twice.  The second time he was with one of the Utah twins from Ocean's 11.  



Here we are at the reception.  I brought a silk shirt, knowing that I wouldn't have two kids putting sticky hands on me and rubbing snotty noses on my shoulder.  Even without my kids I managed to get two oil stains on it.

Here we are in the Parisian hotel.  In my head I'm wondering how long it will be until we find a place to sit down so I can keep reading Twilight.

Here's me reading twilight in another fancy casino while my mom is shopping. 

Even though my vacation was great, I was so glad to get home to my boys.  I started missing them all my first night.  They had so much fun while I was gone.  They went to the library, the park, a ward party, a movie, a road trip to Fruita (20 mins away), and ate cookies and candy galore.  

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