selfless. loving. joyful. artist. loyal

These are words that describe my friend Heidi. She is such an amazing example to me and I am so much better from knowing her. How does she do it? She works hard, loves hard, plays hard. She is an incredible mother. I have learned to listen better, to pay more attention. She touches something ordinary and it is suddenly fabulous. She truly is an artist. Her mediums are dishes, food, fabric, paint, canvas, paper, and wood.

I was spoiled this week by Heidi and her family. Thank you sweet Khloe and Paige for sacrificing your room for us. Thank you dear Matt and Lincoln for putting up with the chaos.

She knows how to make someone feel so loved and so special. My bed had a tray with welcoming goodies. Our days were filled with fun activities. Mealtime was always an exciting and delicious treat. Any free second was echoed with laughter and insight. I love Heidi. I truly think that she is so beautiful and I am so thankful to have her as a friend.

The sacrifices that she made for me were endless. Seriously. Words can't explain the endlessness of her niceness. I know that makes absolutely NO sense but she is so sweet.

She worked so hard to make my Little Miss Priss party perfect...and it was!! It was so fun to meet all of her friends and so many people who love and adore her. I heard from more than one person that she has been an answer to their prayers. Everywhere she goes she makes people happy. She makes people better.

She worked for hours with me to get her house all decorated and the food prepared. She sacrificed so much to make it easy for me. She even spent 3 hours in the backyard playing with all of the children while we were in the air conditioned house eating and partying. Again....seriously!!???

Heidi has an eye for anything beautiful and it she always takes the best pictures. It's so natural for her. She was so great at finding the perfect location and picking the perfect props. It was a blast!! Here are a few of my favorites:

I have added pictures of some of the delicious food that we made while I was there. For all of the yummy recipes plus many many more visit her food blog here. I do not know how to add photos from someone elses blog, but the top few pictures were all from the week that I was visiting her. She has the yummiest recipes and she is so good at cooking and baking and making it all so delicious and beautiful.

Here are a few more pictures with great memories attached to them!

Paige and Izzie...so sweet.

Hee, Hee!! This cracks me up! Hailey is so tall that usually dress-ups do not fit her so well. Case in point...this Fancy Nancy costume is a little small but she is still adorable!

Check out all of the princess shoes on the grass. These girls wore these shoes ALL week long! They were taking a break in the sand box!

Heidi had the kids do potato paintings. Of course they thought this was so fun!

The day that we left our home to go visit the Russells, our cocoons were starting to hatch so we decided to bring them with us. We enjoyed our butterflies all week and decided to let them go while we were there.

Their backyard is AMAZING!!! It is large and green and fun and beautiful. There are so many fun things to do out there and the kids had a blast. Hailey came home three shades darker from spending so much time outside. I loved it!!

Roxy is a beautiful dog and the kids thought she was awesome! Isabella especially...she formed a SPECIAL bond with Roxy!

Isn't this photo so sweet?


A MUCH needed update!

So where in the world have I been?? Seriously! It's definitely time for an update! Lets start with the kids!

Talon is growing so fast! He is 8 months already!!! He is the proud owner of two very sharp teeth. He is a champion sitter but would prefer to be held...all day! He is rarely on the ground on his tummy or back so I will be shocked if he ever learns to crawl. He is sleeping a little better. He only wake up like 3 times a night. Trust me...it's an improvement and I feel blessed. Talon has been called a fussy baby more than a few times by me and by others but I think that it's time to give him a new description. The more that I get to know him, the better I understand him! Makes sense huh? He fusses (cries, squeals, whimpers) when he is in one of his many lounging spots (exosaucer, swing, bumbo, jumper, vibrating chair) and wants to be picked up. He is happy as long as he is in my arms. He is more of a lover than a fussy baby! He just wants to be close to John and I. As soon as we pick him up, he grabs on and squeezes...there is usually a giggle or two in there also. He gives the BEST hugs and will do it over and over again. He doesn't like to be put down...its true! It's not always the most convienient but I'm okay with him wanting to give me hugs and kisses. He is so sweet to his family! He is also so easy to make laugh and smile...however my camera and him do not see eye to eye! He smiles and I snap the photo and by the time the picture has taken...he is done smiling! Seriously...I can't get a good shot of him smiling! He sits in his little bumbo while I cook dinner and that is the only way that I am able to get anything done in the kitchen. Cooking with one hand just doesn't work so well.
He is still nursing and he loves it while on his terms. He needs a dark, quiet room...and sometimes that is npt available. It makes it a little frustrating but I'm hanging in there. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get him to nurse when he is distracted.

Yummy~ corn on the cob! This is where Talon usually resides during the dinner hour!

Isabella is talking so much! It's surprising how much she talks because she always has a binky in her mouth! Her personality is really starting to show. Sometimes I have to decide if she acting like Izzie or if she is acting like Hailey. She does love Hailey and wants to be grown up so badly. Hailey has a few friends in the neighborhood that she likes to hang out with outside and Isabella is there...next to Hailey...following her every move. Not so sure thats a good thing. She has become a lover of sleep...which is really funny for those of you how remember what my life was like with her a year ago! Getting her to sleep and to sleep all night was a NIGHTMARE for me! She now naps for around 3 hours each day and practically puts herself to bed at night! She doesn't ever wake up in the middle of the night. She should'nt...she's two...but it's still shocking because of her history! She is still in love with her daddy. For about a month, anytime that I put my hair in a ponytail, she FREAKS out! She begs for me to put my hair down until I do it!! I am not a ponytail wearer but occasionally by the end of the day, I am ready for my hair to be out of my way. I don't know what it's all about but John and I giggle everytime!
Izzie loves cheese, yogurt, strawberries and fruit snacks. She almost always tries everything on her plate at dinner and usually likes it all. She is so easy to take on errands (as long as Hailey is not with us) and just enjoys the ride. She loves nursery. She loves her friends. She loves my friends. Her favorite cartoon is Sesame Street ( Hailey has always disliked it). Her burp cloth is her bestfriend. I'm not sure how we will ever part the two. She has beautiful curly hair...although we rarely have her hair down because John loves her pigtails! She already has an opinion about what she wears...I am not ready for that! She recently opened up nail polish and painted her own nails...and the rug, and the table and her shirt.
She is easy to love!
Isabella's egg did remarkably well at our traditional Easter Egg Bash.

Hailey is a ball of energy and trouble! She keeps our life busy and interesting and wonderful. She is creative and smart. Yesterday I was lucky enough to go on a fieldtrip with Hailey's preschool class (thanks to good friends) all by herself. She LOVED it and so did I! We just snuggled and laughed and loved to be uninterrupted from Izzie and Talon. She still dislikes preschool and at her Kindergarten Registration she informed me that she didn't like that school either. Homeschooling is not for me but I have to admit that I have wondered if that would be better for her. For now, I couldn't do it if I tried! I think that my body would quit on me. I am praying that she will find the joy in learning from others. The funny thing is thather teachers love her! She is very well behaved and wants to please them. She loves to play. Babies and stuffed animals are always around her and her blanket is never too far away. She loves to swim and cook. She has always loved to get her hair done...which of course I love! Hailey loves to garden. She has started to learn to do chores (puts her laundry in their drawers, vacuums, cleans her bathroom). She is a good helper. We signed her up for soccer. At the first practice she did great! She had a blast and played with her friends. Then the first game came and she refused to play. That was the end of soccer. We were dissapointed.
This picture was taken at the Washington DC National Zoo in front of the Panda exhibit!

Nice diaper shot Izzie! She still shows absolutely NO interest in potty training!

Hailey is always a good sport in letting me try out new hairdos on her! Her hair is so long and so thick. It's so fun ans easy to make beautiful. Her curls that she had as a toddler are long gone and her hair is super straight now. I am wondering if Isabella's curls will do the same!

This is a picture at Hailey's first soccer game. She didn't want to even get close to the field! Not even with John right next to her.

I have been uber busy with Little Miss Priss. I make jewelry everyday. I make headbands everyday. I love it! I wish that I had a warehouse to keep all of my stuff in ( I hate to have it out in house and so I have to clean it up a few times a day and then get it all back out again! UGH!!) It would be so nice to go to work....and work hard...and then be done! I kind of just do a little whenever I can-usually during nap time or anytime that I think I can get atleast 5 minutes work in. Being a mom is my main priority and I love it. There will be plenty of time for working hard (the kind of work that pays) later in life. Right now it's more of a hobby! I love to cook! Dinner time is so fun to me. I love the days when I have a few hours to spend in the kitchen...it truly makes me happy! It's even more fun when my family sits down at the dinner table to enjoy it and to be together. That is my 2nd favorite time of the day. My very favorite time is when John and I get to relax side by side after a long days work and all of the children are nestled snuggly in their cozy beds. I don't just love it because they are asleep and out of the way...I love it because they are all happy and peaceful!
John has been so busy juggling school, writing his dissertation, being the executive secretary at church, working at a new job (Neuro Pshycology Office), and being a father and husband. I think he feels very stretched somedays and I am amazed at all that he does. He is the glue that holds our family together. It's almost like we are just surviving all day and waiting for him to come home! He was out of town this last week for his beautiful sister Emily's wedding and we missed him SO much! My days didn't have as much purpose or meaning without him coming home to be with us. Thank goodness for families! We all have our purpose and responsibilities to make our lives enjoyable and successful. They are my greatest blessing!
Talon was asleep in the stroller when this Easter picture was taken. We had so much fun searching for eggs in our community!