Kathleen Lewis gave me this beautiful necklace for taking pictures at her husband's funeral. Her daughter-in-law, Leslie Lewis, makes all kind of great jewelry and this is one of hers. I got to explore her studio yesterday and we talked some about photographing her work. I thought I better try it out and make sure I gave her good advice. Also, I'm putting off doing laundry and going to the store and other post vacation chores. Shooting a necklace and blogging sounds a lot better than what I should be doing. Check out Leslie's creations at www.leslielewisdesigns.com.

Wyatt's second belt promotion was this week. His last one was the night Hank spent in the hospital. He's had a great time in Karate. He's stopping for a while to try fiddle lessons. Right now I just want him involved in one major activity at a time. I don't want to overbooked my kids.

He's getting a 1/2 size rented fiddle for Christmas and starting after the new year with a teacher.










Before: We bathed Wyatt and Hank in one storage bin until they got too big to fit together so then they upgraded to their own bins.


After: Toys, bath water colors, more space and lots of baths.

Before: I didn't adjust the white balance on this picture so you could imagine just how horrible the bathroom was. Actually, it wasn't that bad and had a pretty good look. Not having a tub and the fact that the shower insert was not water tight (leaking in the basement), made the remodel a priority. We went down to mostly studs, put in a tub, new window, tiled around the tub, new floor, wired for a bathroom fan and outlet and replaced the wall tile with bead board.

After: I love it. I couldn't get a great angle without taking off the door or knocking out a wall, but here she is. Please note, this is our only bathroom and it's really small, but I am totally loving it. Fist off, I am a bath taker. It's like coming home to have a bathtub. Having a bathroom fan, an outlet in the bathroom and every detail picked out according to my taste is heaven.



Oddly enough I have a few minutes to myself right now. Hank is asleep. Wyatt is playing at the neighbors and I am taking a little break from work (what I usually do during Hank's nap). I thought I'd post a few thoughts.

Thanksgiving: I love having family come to visit. The kids were in heaven with two sets of grandparents. We had great food, conversation and the annual day after thanksgiving hike. I even went to New Moon with my mom and Kathy and we had a great jam here at our house. What more could a woman want: family, food, happy kids, twilight, live music which includes a handsome fiddler husband? It was great.

Christmas: our tree is up, though not completely decorated. It is so fun having Wyatt and Hank excited about everything. They were so hyper when we put up the tree. Wyatt, despite my talk last year, believes in Santa. I don't mind, it's really cute. So far I haven't done any shopping or even really thought about it. For some reason I feel gloomy when it comes to Christmas shopping. Actually, I'm realizing I don't like shopping much at all, but especially Christmas shopping.

The Bathroom: It's done, except for a few minor details. Pictures will be up soon. It is beautiful. I thought I settled on a color of towels but it turns out I'm going to go back to my first instinct and then we'll do the bathroom shoot. Having a bathtub has been wonderful. I'm pleased with how it all turned out. I'm not sure when we'll be up for our next project. We are a bit depleted on savings and enthusiasm for home improvement. The roof should be next and I think we'll hire it out.

Fitness: AFter several months of wanting to close the deal on my weight loss/fitness goals but lacking the intensity, I signed up with a trainer at my gym. I figured having someone push me along and knowing I was paying for it might help me get what I want. So far I have been so sore that I feel injured. I mean, so sore, can't get out of my favorite chair without help sore. I figured I have to either go for it or get over it (as far as the 10lbs go). *note: I'm not actually fixated on lbs, but that's easiest way to talk about it. I don't care what I weigh as long as I am a bit leaner.

Photography: I'm still obsessed but having some ups and downs. I've had a few recent great classes. I get ahead of myself sometimes and forget that I need practice and be taught and practice some more. Willie reminds me to enjoy photography as a process and not always think I have to reach some kind of destination over night. I thought maybe I wanted to charge for taking pictures, but I'm not ready for that. I just want to have fun and create pictures that make me happy. My newest project is going to be about 17th St. I have a lot of ideas. I really like to look in people's windows in the neighborhood at dusk. The pictures above is our front room the other night.

Politics: Several months ago I declared that I was over politics. I didn't know if that was really going to happen. The good news is that it did. This just means that I don't want any of the negativity that goes along with it (no TV news, conversation with my conservative friends, etc) affecting my life. It's a pretty nasty game at times and I don't like to see people being mean to each other. It's been refreshing not really being into it. Cute Wyatt saw Sarah Palin's picture on the front page of our newspaper and said, "oh, mom, you and dad don't want to read her book". He was right, but I felt bad and told him that she was a nice lady and I was just mad at her because she was mean to Obama but I'm not mad anymore. Kids can pick up so much.

When we were in Utah last Justin Hackworth took a few pictures of us at his studio. I really admire Justin's work. I love his style and I think he's such a talented artist. You can see more of his work at www.justinhackworth.com. You can click on any image to make it bigger.









The mornings have been cold. For the past few days when I've turned on the car to heat it up, I've been in awe at the ice on the car window and leaves.



This weekend we went to Boulder to the funeral of Gordon Lewis. He was my sister-in-law's father, a friend, and also our bishop when Willie started law school. His funeral was inspiring. He had so much character and loved his family. Willie and I both left wanting to be better people.

Today I kept thinking that I have no idea when my life will be over. I want to be thankful for every day and focus on what matters. I was impressed by the love and closeness of the Lewis family and their faith in life after death.

Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day.
--Thomas S. Monson

Hank had a bad case of croup last week. He had such a hard time breathing that we had an emergency room visit, a hospital stay and an urgent care visit. Here are a few pictures from the hospital. Hank did really well. I slept with him in the tent and he was the sweetest snuggle bunny. His hair is so soft and fussy. As long as he did wake up and see that I was gone, he was content. They gave him apple juice in a bottle when we arrived and he thought that was the great treat ever and has been asking for apple juice ever since.

Cool humidity is supposed to help with the vocal chord swelling. It was loud and cold in there.

Hank got special treatment from me and got to play with my iphone.



We brought in special toys for him and in the morning he was full of energy and having a great time playing.

He didn't like his hospital band.

Willie and I can't seem to decide on the flooring for our bathroom. The original plan was the 1 inch white hexagon tiles, but then we took up the linoleum floor and the oak is in such good condition. With a little sanding and sealing it would be so beautiful and seamless from the hallway and bedrooms. So now we are going back and forth and feeling like it's a choice between two good things. Of course there is the fear of having wood in a bathroom, but if it's sealed need we worry? Weigh in please. HEre are two inspiration bathrooms to help you visualize what it could look like.

It's hard to see the white hexagon floor in this picture. We have a pedestal sink and this glass kind of shelf and similar sconces. There will be white beadboard on the wall instead of tile.



9 years later and life is better than I imagined it could be. This day was the start of something wonderful.











Hank is two years old today. This little man is so dear. I couldn't find any pictures of him as a new baby that I like except the one below. He was crying in most of them and the ones right after he was born were either in a NICU oxygen hood, with a horribly bruised head from a traumatic birth or, even worse, they had me in it. You know those women that just gave birth and then they look all pretty and vivacious? I'm not one of those women, by a long shot.


Hank looks a lot like Wyatt but they have different personalities. He's a ruffian. He wants to wrestle, jump on your head or dive head first off the couch. He always has a dirty face. He's emotional. Even as a baby he would cry so hard I thought something was wrong. Now I know he's just upset and it will pass. He'll cry so hard he'll faint then shake it off and start running around.

He is affectionate. He constantly wants to snuggle and give kisses. He copies everything Wyatt does, including jokes, wearing his underwear over his diaper and doing Karate moves. He is cheery, curious, and constantly getting into things. Hank gets up so early, between 5-6am, consistently. I can sometimes get him to go back to bed with us and he'll snuggle into the crook of my arm and put his face against mine and we'll doze off. What a great way to wake up in the morning. We love you Hank.







Wyatt had an amazing birthday on thursday and a wonderful party today. I didn't get any pictures of the party because I was too busy.

Wyatt loved all of his gifts and had a great party.

Wyatt asked for his own watch and a nerf gun set from us. He and Willie have had hours of fun chasing each other around. Both nerf guns broke by the end of the his birthday but we already exchanged them for new ones.





The only picture of the homemade pinata. This was in the early stages.


Five years ago today this little guy was born. I love this picture because it was the day Wyatt finally turned a corner after being so sick as a preemie. He was off the ventilator (big step for sick preemies), no IVs and lights, and he was wearing clothes. They also found a way to transfer him back to Boulder which meant we could sleep in the hospital with him and not have to commute to Denver anymore.


1 year old. I love how chubby he was and I loved his adorable bald, fuzzy head.

2 years old. I remember this hike. He fell asleep and I tried to make him a pillow with my fleece.


3 years old. This was on our first hike with brand new Hank.

4 years old. Here is Wyatt at the Natural History Museum in DC. I forgot a sweatshirt for him so he's wearing Hank's small sweatshirt and I think it's pretty cute.


Wyatt is such a good boy. I hear that from his preschool teachers, church teachers and most recently his Karate teacher. He's gentle and smart. He loves to talk. He gets excited about everything. He is so kind with Hank. He comforts him and encourages him. He's a helper. I love you Wyatt.

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