Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Prettiest Hand This Side of the Mississippi

Ten years and one day ago, Tyler and I entered a temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. Not bad huh? Fastest ten years of my life, even including the four kids we managed to get here during that time. We hemmed and hawed over what we should do for our ten year anniversary and really we never came up with anything very exciting. (This could be due to my condition—it's just not as much fun to plan a getaway when you are sick or extremely uncomfortable.)

Last year I swore that we would celebrate in June because December is so busy, but that didn't happen either. And so we set out last night for dinner in a light snowfall. (Much better than last year when it was practically a blizzard.) But not before the MAN himself surprised me with this...

This would be a good time to tell you about the first ring Tyler got me. In my mind I always pictured that men go out and find a ring and then propose to the girl they love. Well, we kinda did things out of order. We figured out we wanted to get married, Tyler proposed, and then we went ring shopping. I didn't want him to get the wrong thing, so I went along. It is a lot of pressure to pick out a ring to wear all day, every day, forever. And in the end, I was more concerned about price, so we picked something I liked that was on sale.

Now trust me, I liked my ring, but I always regretted that it wasn't something Tyler picked out and surprised me with. I mentioned this to him and somehow I came out of the conversation feeling guilty because I should LOVE my wedding ring. So, I put my heart into loving my ring (which I do) and dropped the thought of getting what HE would have picked. Tyler however did not drop the idea. Instead he spent some time and energy figuring out what I loved in jewelry and finding the perfect creation.

I'll admit, when I opened that little box, I cried a little. It is so beautiful and exactly what I wanted, and HE picked it for me. What a perfect gift for ten years. I felt like we were getting engaged all over again. I told him that my hands weren't pretty enough to wear such a gorgeous ring, so he told me to go get my nails done. So, I'm not sure if I do the 51 diamonds justice, but here is the end result.

What do you think? Should I keep him another ten years?

Oh, and you should really see this ring in person. A picture is worth a thousand words, but the actual thing is breathtaking.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Good Ole Days

Remember when you were a kid and you weren't in charge of anything for Christmas? All you had to do was show up. Ahhh, how I long for those days. I mean, not really, because I like being the one who gives and I love to see the expressions on my children's faces. But when I look at our little countdown chain and I only see four links on it, I am gripped more by anxiety than excitement. I am looking forward to Christmas, but I may not have my act together when it comes to presents and preparations.

And let's be realistic...husbands are helpful, but we know who is really in charge of stockings, neighbor gifts (once again, sorry we skipped it this year), presents, baking, scheduling, extended family stuff (I have finally convinced my husband that he should shop for his OWN family), cards, decorating, etc. This season is magical, but I can tell you who is holding the wand. (Pipe down men, you know it is true and you wouldn't want a wand anyway.)

I do have one thing checked off. Tricia and I went to Color Me Mine and made cookie plates this year. It was so much fun.

Granted I still need to make the cookies that will go on it, but I will feel a lot more satisfaction eating them this year. (Ahem, I mean, letting Santa eat them.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Relinquishing Control

I can admit that when it comes to making something, I am quite anal (or concrete sequential as some might say) about the process and end product. Everything must be done a certain way. (Usually following directions.) And everything must look a certain way when it is finished. This is probably why I am better at crosstitching then sewing; one you just make a whole bunch of little x's—the other you need real skill.

Anyway, I like to make Christmas sugar cookies each year. It lets the kids create and I can work on finding a good recipe (note to self: the one you used this year...not so great). In previous years, I would frost the cookies then help the children with the sprinkles. This probably wasn't as fun for the kids, but it did get the result I desired.

I'm not proud of my micro-managing, so I decided to let it go this year. I helped the kids cut shapes out of the dough, we baked, and then I put everything on the table...sprinkles, frosting, gel writers, you name it. I put in on the table, gave a few simple instructions and let them go. Yep, I dropped those baby birds right out of the nest and they flew amazingly well.

Granted, the end result was not what I would have done...but that is probably a good thing. I think they all turned out fabulous.

I did use more of the ones I decorated for the neighbors we caroled to, but the children were happy to keep their own creations to sample. (Isn't reverse psychology wonderful sometimes?)

In the end I was happy with the whole experience. I will probably do it the same way next year and the kids are just going to get better at decorating (meaning I hope they don't waste as many sprinkles and gel icing). And this is a step in the right direction for me. I think relinquishing a little control is not so bad.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the 4th Day of Christmas...

My true love gave to me...

Four beauties under the tree.

Technically we took these right before our ward Christmas party. I made them all dress in red and somehow that ended up being dresses, so I figured it was as good a time as any to take a picture of the four of them together.

Ivory is a bit in shadow, but none of the pictures were perfect. This is my favorite of the bloopers—June was going to make Daisy smile.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Super Hero Envy

Tyler got a little jealous of Daisy getting all the attention, so he decided to join in.

Now he is passing on his super hero knowledge, like how to fly.

Together, they should be able to kill time and vanquish sensibility.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Imagine the damage she could do with coal though.

Today was one of those days that you wish you had a rewind button. Maybe a delete button would work as well. I was downstairs folding laundry and Daisy was upstairs being quiet. I was thankful that she had found something to do besides pull the folded laundry off the couch. That is...until I went upstairs and saw what she was doing.

She was surrounded by toothpaste; on her clothes, mouth, hands, and all over the carpet. I think she was dipping her finger in the tube and alternating between smearing it on the floor and eating it. I should have taken a picture, but it was one of those moments where immediate action was required. I went right to work stripping her down and then cleaning up after her. In case you were wondering, baking soda and vinegar do a great job taking toothpaste out of carpet. (With a little scrubbing, naturally.)

Several hours later I was on the phone with my sister-in-law telling her why I am worried about taking Daisy to Washington for Christmas. "She is just so busy. Speaking of which, I haven't heard her for a few minutes...I should go check on her." Spoken too late...

She had managed to pull out the chair at June's desk, climbed up and gotten into her paints. She was surrounded by paint; on her clothes, mouth, hands, and all over the desk. I should have taken a picture, but it was one of those moments where immediate action was required. I went right to work stripping her down and then cleaning up after her. In case you were wondering, you should only purchase paints that are water soluble. Period. Then it will come off things. (With a little scrubbing, naturally.)

I may need to talk to Santa because I'm pretty sure she is on the naughty list right now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Super Daisy

Super powers include:

Being absolutely adorable.

Giving sweet hugs (usually to avoid having her nose wiped).

Eating Peas.

Faster than a pregnant mommy. (Or Daddy with a camera.)

Scaling tall chairs (or anything climbable).

Pretending to play quietly while secretly getting into trouble.

Ability to detect cookies through walls and doors.

She usually uses her powers for good, but I have seen her succumb to raiding her sisters' rooms for treasures. Then she will look shocked and innocent when she is caught.

When Tyler asked her for a fierce face, this is what she gave him.

I'm not fooled. She is mischievous to the core, but underneath she is just a big softy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I am a Rock...

(Sing it with me)... I am an Island. Gotta love Simon and Garfunkle. And if you are too young to know who they are, we need to talk. (Or perhaps not, because you would probably be staring at all my wrinkles and white hairs while we never mind.)

In the winter time, there is nothing like a warm bath to get my body temperature regulated again. I say warm, because I don't do so well in hot baths, but the concept is the same:

1. Dip your entire body in warmth
2. Soak
3. Try to avoid children joining you in the bath (this works better if you don't have all girls).
4. After you are toasty, get out of the bath, but dress quickly to trap the heat and secure the warm feeling. (A coat of lotion on your skin between those steps can do wonders to relieve dry skin from this wonderful Utah weather.)

Now, this is my recipe for when I get super chilled. Except, I have one problem at the moment. I don't fit under the water right now. Yep, you guessed it. The belly remains above water and creates a beautiful little island that stays COLD. I sat there in the tub yesterday evening lamenting that I can't actually fit this baby under the water unless I turn sideways. Then, I picked up Dora (do you also have kids toys in the adult bath tub?) and placed her on the island. She looked content sitting there, until...(duh, duh, duh), there were tremors in the ground. The whole island was unstable. There was definitely seismic activity. Dora survived the event. She was almost bucked off the island by the baby kicking, but in end she was saved by the Christmas Devotional starting and my having to exit the tub.

Who says that kids should have all the fun in the bath?

The Christmas Devotional by the First Presidency was excellent by the way, and reconfirmed all my feelings that Christmas has become too commercialized. This year we are trying to focus more on memories and activities than presents, and I'm trying not to get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff to squeeze in. This is going to be a lazy (yet meaningful) Christmas at the Cazier's. Hope you neighbors are okay without a neighbor gift this year. (Sorry, that one got axed this year, but will probably return in other years.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Festivus for the Restivus

Today we braved the Festival of Trees. Since this is not only a journal, but a reminder of things, please note Maleen, to NOT attend on Saturday afternoon, since that seems to be when the rest of Utah decides to attend as well. I'm glad Tyler was in charge of parking, because it was a Darwinian experience—definitely survival of the fittest, or pushiest.

Once inside we started touring the trees. We all came with an item in mind (I SPY style, as Deanne puts it) and then we set to work locating our goal. Robyn found hers first. (Not surprising since she choose a snowflake.)

June was distraught that we didn't find hers right away, but we eventually found a rose,

followed closely by my strawberry. (Thank goodness for the Hungry Caterpillar.)

Ivory chose Elmo and we found him in two places. I am showcasing the gingerbread house because I LOVE that section.

It is amazing what people can do with food. I wish I had taken more pictures.

We did find some pink Daisies, which we chose for Daisy (I know, we are so original), but I thought it was more fitting that I found her name. (On a gun no less. It should make her Dad proud.)

Sadly we never found any legos for Tyler. We didn't see all the trees so perhaps the legos were hiding in the middle section.

Our trip usually goes something like this:
Peruse trees until children become bored. (I can sometimes stretch them to 15 minutes, but they really aren't that enthralled by the trees. Silly creatures.)

Find something to eat because no one gets bored of cinnamon rolls and scones. Plus, the parents love to find the messiest snack available just to make things interesting.

Shortly thereafter we wander over to the stage area to watch the dancing and entertainment. This is Tyler's favorite part and the girls seem to enjoy it as well.

Mom then begs to be allowed to go back to look at the gingerbread houses and more trees and if she is lucky she will be given a rendezvous time. (This year Tyler gave me twenty whole minutes to myself to explore. Yippy skippy.)

Somewhere in there we let the kids go over to the the Small Fry area and choose a treat (June chose her calendar again this year) and then it is time to go home.

Sometimes I feel it takes more time to drive there and back, but the memories seem to be sticking. June remembered a lot of what we did last year and everyone seemed to have a good time. Maybe some day I can even talk Tyler into taking me as a date so I can see more stuff, but in the meantime, I will chalk this one up to family time and take what I can get.

p.s. I love this picture because of the holey smiles, the fact that I didn't move three feet to the left to avoid shooting the door, and how Daisy's hair looks ridiculous. We are working on finding some kind of style for it, but it is a work in progress.