Thursday, December 30, 2010

wedding bells are ringing again!

it is strange to say that my youngest brother is getting married next week. a "little brother" will always seem "little" so watching him grow up and get married is very surreal. as he and his bride-to-be, stephanie, were getting all their plans together, they asked mandy and i to take their engagement pictures. we aren't professionals (we fully know that...) but the photo shoot turned out pretty cute! we made sure to dress super artsy and use very technical photo-jargon just to make the whole experience feel legit. in the end, we got some great shots of the happy couple. i am no seasoned photographer, but i imagine engagement shots are pretty easy to take because the subjects are so happy and lovey. plus they know when to look at the camera-they are MUCH easier to photograph than vi...

congratulations are in order (but not until next week!)

helping with head start

my fabulous sister is over a community action program which deals with head start preschools. this past fall, she was busy planning events all over the state to help get parents involved in their child's education. when mandy plans an event- it is always a full-scale, grandiose production. as she was in the thick of plans, she mentioned she needed volunteers for the events so cade and i gladly volunteered to help out. cade was excited because he was the photographer for the salt lake event. this was right up his alley. he loves taking pictures of EVERYTHING and he was also able to get all sorts of people to pose for him. i was excited because i love promoting literacy and my job was to read to all the kids as they cycled through my station.

at the end of the event, we gave each child a book to take home. it was so rewarding to see their faces light up when they realized that they would have their VERY OWN book to read at home. my sister explained that many of the children grow up in homes that do not have any children's books and these books would be a beginning for them.

i was glad we were able to participate in this event. afterward, cade made a movie to show donors and potential sponsors what this program is doing for the community. so far, the movie has already helped them raise three thousand dollars for future events!

to help volunteer for head start, visit this link. they could really use your help!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a little violet update...

i have been out and about for two months now without being able to blog about anything going on in the taylor home. well, i am back and ready to document it all. things change everyday with a baby. i never knew that a baby's stages and interests would change on an hourly basis like they seemingly do here. i wonder if one day i will look back to read these entries and wish that i had added in more details or taken more pictures... i wonder that mostly because two short months have passed and as i review what i have done to document that time i find myself already wishing i had more pictures of violet the mountain goat or more video of her growling at her food. right when i think, "she always does this" - she never does it again! right when i say, "she hates that" - she will have to have it! she is in a constant state of progression, growth and exploration and i love watching it all happen. here is an update on this little babe.

vi truly is an adrenaline junkie. some of her favorite things are:

hanging upside down
climbing anything in sight (you will notice her pillow crash-pad below)

diving face first off any platform or lap
running wildly through the house in mommy's arms
throwing her toys out of the bath

jumping wildly in her bouncer - she has even bounced herself out a few times...

dancing to any beat those little ears can hear
yelling at anything she can see from the back window

sitting on the ledge of something so she feels like it is "dangerous"

she is also a little trouble maker. she may look sweet and innocent... but she has you fooled. as soon as those little hands and knees hit carpet, she is crawling (at an unreal speed) to anything she knows she is not supposed to play with. the main items of interest are cat food, the toilets, the bookshelf, stairs and sleeping cats. this is a busy baby and we love it. all this action does leaved her tuckered out for her naps...

this girl is on the move and we are doing our best to keep up. she is wanting to walk so bad- you can see it in her face as she watches other kids playing. it is so strange to me that a few months ago i would sit her down on a blanket to play with a few toys... i can't believe she is growing up this fast!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

you only have your first halloween once.

violet's first halloween meant trying to pack in all the celebrations we possibly could. that way she would know everything there was to know about the holiday.

so for starters, we had the geertsen halloween party. for a visual recap on that, you'd have to watch the video from a few posts ago. for a written recap, wait no more. the party was great. lindsey and jon had fabulous food and the decor made the party all the more spooky. with 26 grandkids, you would think it would be hard to keep them all entertained and happy but l&j had it all figured out and the kids were happy clams. even violet loved crawling around and watching them all play.

next up, we enjoyed a pumpkin carving party with the ross fam and some friends. jen had a yummy chili that we quickly devoured before we got right into carving. we learned that this crowd is pretty skilled when it comes to carving... they make their own templates and the projects usually take a few days. we kept ours pretty simple:

we have the jack skelington pumpkin in the middle and the swirly curly pumpkin on the far right.
and for a group picture...

next up was more carving at grammy's house. all the cousins dug right in and the results were great!

the best shot we could manage of all four grandbabies in costume...

violet enjoying her new legs... she loves to stand.

and finally, when the big day came we all gathered at our house for some good eats, great chatter and some trick or treating.

if you haven't figured out cade's costume, he is brian wilson from the giants. he had to find some way to work in that beautiful beard to a costume.

happy halloween!!

bob ross in the house.

cade is a fabulous artist. truly. he has such an eye for how something should look and is very artistic in everything he does.

i am not an artist... but i honestly wish i were. so, i live through cade. i think up big projects, buy all the materials and then set it all in front of cade. he is a good sport to indulge me and he always does such a great job. a few months ago, i asked for some tree art for our bedroom and this is what he made...

he just sat down and painted. no plans. no sketching. no outlines. he just did it. i wish the pictures could show all the texture on them. the trees are all globby and gnarly. i love them.

now he is working on a few christmas project that are FABULOUS. since we want those to be more of a surprise for the recipients, you will have to wait to see those.

i sew wish i could sew....

i have always wanted to sew. i have clothes i want to alter, baby clothes i want to make and i am always thinking of projects that i could do- if only i knew how to sew. cade gave me a sewing machine last christmas to encourage my creative juices... but i shyed away after i sat down to make my first project and failed. so a few months ago, a pamphlet came in the mail advertising classes offered through UVU extensions. when i saw that there was a sewing class offered in lehi, i was ready to try again. so, i called my sister and we decided that we would take the course. a few days later my mom found out we were going to pay for a sewing class- and she wouldn't let us do that. she made a great argument: why pay someone to teach you how to sew something you don't even want to make- like pajama pants or a pot holder? why couldn't she teach us instead?

free sewing class with a fabulous teacher? she sold us. we started meeting once a week to have sewing class with miss leslea where we could work on projects WE wanted to make.

first projects:


these were easy enough....we passed lesson one with a b average (just don't look too closely at my crooked seams.

with such great success behind us, we decided to take on a harder task... a much harder task.
halloween costumes.
i had no idea how much work goes into making a simple costume, but i quickly learned that i had jumped into a project waaaaaay over my head. i am pretty sure i quit at least once per lesson.

but we stuck with it...

truly, i couldn't have asked for a better sewing class. there was plenty of time to chat, giggle and eat yummy food. i loved spending all that time with my mom and sister. violet loved all the time she got to spend with gramps. she was spoiled rotten.

in the end, violet's elephant costume turned out to be a success and owen's dinosaur/dragon (he kept changing his mind on what he wanted...) was awesome. picking such a difficult project right off the bat taught me a whole bunch. i feel much more confident behind the needle now. my mom and aunt lynette sure helped me to get it done in time- and i thank you both for it! violet loved wearing it- and she looks so cute in it!

my next sewing projects all involve, i am sure, will follow. i am just a regular martha stewart.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

geertsen halloween party

we had such a fun time at the geertsen halloween party with cade's family that we decided to make a movie of it... this was our first halloween party of the year and it was a blast.

homecoming in logan

we have a yearly tradition (i can say that it is yearly because this year is officially "year 2") to go to utah state for the homecoming festivities. we have made a pact with eddie, kylee, sam and allie to try and do this every year until we are finally the oldest folks in the stands...and also the oldest folks to climb the steps to be true aggies.

this was violet's first trip to a usu football game outside of the womb and she liked it MUCH more than she did the byu game. probably because the stands weren't as full with screaming fans as the byu game... anyway, i made violet her elephant costume for halloween this year and cade wanted her to wear it as much as possible. thus, she wore it to the game.

notice how we are all smiles in the photo below.

this was about 20 minutes before the torrential rain came down in sheets and completely drenched the stadium. we brought enough umbrellas for everyone but that didn't stop the rain from flowing down the steps and puddling around us. plus, our umbrella fortress was no match for the wind and the drippage that seemed to sneak off the umbrellas and onto our clothes.

needless to say, sometime during the second quarter kylee, allie, violet and i all left for drier ground. the boys, of course, went and snagged better seats where they could heckle the opposing team best. the girls ended up at allie's house where she was kind enough to let me borrow some clothes while we put mine in the dryer.

as you can tell, i am an amazon compared to allie. you can also tell that i didn't plan on anyone seeing my socks this day.

the game aside, the rest of our logan trip was great. we were able to eat at our favorite thai restaurant, see some good friends and enjoy another slumber party.

cade even ran into his old friend geoffrey. you better believe we pulled the car over to flag him down and take this picture. he wasn't as excited as cade about the reunion...mostly because we didn't give him a ride to the library.

i love logan. i truly do miss it. as we were driving into town, i got all teary eyed when i saw all the main street windows painted and all the college kids walking around. it was a fun place for cade and i to meet and make so many memories. even though the aggies were slaughtered by hawaii in the homecoming game, it was a great time for us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

indian summer

an indian summer is like the best belly tickle ever. you love every second of it and you never want it to end.

8 months old!