Thursday, February 28, 2013

Christmas in February

Sydney's birthday was February 1st. All she wanted was a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse high tops. I didn't want to spend a day driving around to I don't know how many different stores trying to find a pair that she wanted so we looked online at converse.com. They had quite a selection. Such a selection that negotiations began for 2 pair of high tops. There were shoes with marvel comic characters on them. The superman shoes were especially appealing. And then guess what we discovered? You can custom design your shoes. Well, that is what she did. So exciting! She couldn't give up the superman shoes so she had to buy those & the shipping was about a week. It's very fun to have superman on your feet in middle school. It's even more fun to tell everyone you've ever met that you have custom designed shoes coming your way. When the tracking number shows up in your email inbox and you can check day to day where those shoes are it's even more fun. When you can tell people that your shoes started out in China, went to Japan, then to Alaska, then to Kentucky, then to Salt Lake, back to Kentucky and then to Salt Lake before being delivered to your home in Sandy it's even more fun. Then when you get to put your shoes on and show everyone how awesome they are it's the most fun of all.
I had to have this picture extra large so you could really appreciate how cool these shoes are. Also, after years of swimming Sam & Syd are taking a little break and are playing Lacrosse. I don't think I fully appreciated how nice it was to have kids smell like chlorine instead of their clothes being covered in mud.

Christmas came for me today also. My book is here! A week early! Yippee!
FYI (this is mainly for my sister Pam) there is a purple snowflake on my red tshirt that matches 
perfectly with the purple sweatshirt I am wearing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

1 Book a Year

Each year I take tons of pictures. Rarely do I have any of those photos printed. They just stay on my computer. The girls get to see them whenever they ask or if they are around when I download new pics from my camera. Sometimes they give me a hard time about my always taking pictures of them. They are pretty happy to see them though. Each January I start on a new yearbook for the previous year. Each January I also pledge to start the current year's yearbook as soon as the previous year's book is done. So far I have never followed through with that pledge, I just feel guilty about it knowing how much time it will take to do the book in January. This year I have decided not to make that pledge, part of my go with the flow mentality. I'm just going to accept the fact that I don't want to get started on the current year. After I don't know how many hours I finally finished 2012. My project world kind of comes to a stand still until the yearbook is done.The stand still is now over. I'm smiling really big right now. This year's book has 216 pages with 1155 pictures. I have a very difficult time editing out pictures so I have lots of small pictures and a few big pics. Keep in mind that I really am leaving lots of pictures out of the book. It should be in my hands on March 8. I'll make sure to post a picture of it when I get it! The girls get really excited to see the book too. It's a very popular item in our house for about 2 weeks and then it goes on the shelf until someone remembers something from their past and needs to see a picture. I love looking through them. One day, many years from now, Brian & I will have a big party and the entertainment will be looking through the yearbooks to see what fun things you remember.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

More progress

Life is coming along quickly. So quickly that I'm having trouble keeping track of the days. I'm sure that happens to you also. Did you know that it's February 21?  It has been all day and I'm just shaking my head at the fact that it's past the middle of February. Already! Good thing I have a calendar to remind where I am and where I need to go.
Mid glaze

 
Finished firing


Last week was my mom's birthday. She turned 71. I don't think she'll mind too much that I'm sharing that news. 71. The great thing is that she doesn't act like I thought a 71 year old would - and definitely in a good way. One of my mom's greatest traits is her willingness to do whatever is asked of her. Embrace the world. When I was younger and our family would go to amusement parks she was always the one ready for the scary rides. The last time I was at an amusement park with her she still was up for the crazy rides. I can't remember if that was 5 or 8 years ago. I invited her to go tubing with my family at Soldier Hollow for her birthday last Friday. She was all over it. Yes, she was nervous. A bit worried about getting on and off the tubes and would we be able to stop. I wish I could say those worries never crossed my mind but they did. What would my siblings do if I let my mom get hurt - I'm pretty sure I would NEVER live it down. Anyway, tubing was awesome. My mom was awesome. No one got hurt, except maybe my throat from the thrill of screaming down the hill.

One of my daughter's friends told me that my girls and I have too much confidence. I don't think that's quite true but I do know that I am fairly confident that I can do most anything. I know that not everything I do will turn out great but I will try just the same. I think Brian and I have done a pretty good job instilling that in our girls. Sometimes I forget that that confidence gift is from both Brian and me, not just Brian. Then I need to remember where I got that gift from. I'm sure it came from both my parents but when I look back at my mom's life I can see how that quality has always been one of hers. She has never doubted that I could do anything asked of me and has been a great example of living with confidence.
Happy Birthday Mom!

 Just thought I'd give you a little something to laugh about - post skiing helmet hair. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

State meet for sweethearts

Quite a weekend we had! We started early a little early by including Thursday in the weekend but that was because we couldn't cram all that fun into just 2 days. The 5A state swim meet was Thursday and Friday at BYU. We began Thursday by getting braces on Gretchen's upper teeth, which of course transforms her look into one of a big kid. She is thrilled to have them!
Next, we went to the first day of the meet. Sydney swam in the 200 medley relay. She swam the butterfly. Her teammates Maddie, Olivia and Rhylee swam the other legs. They were super nervous, but did great. They came in 11th.
A little while later Sydney swam the 200 individual medley. She took 1/2 a second off of her best time - yay! She placed 11th. At the state meet the announcer tells you the name of each swimmer and who they swim for. I think the swimmers should be like gymnasts and salute the audience. Usually they just stand there and ignore everyone. Maybe it's a focus thing. I don't know but I told the girls I'd like them to acknowledge that their name has been called, mainly so I can take a picture.

 We stayed for the rest of the meet and then came back the next day for the rest of the events.  Sam & Syd both swam in the 400 free relay. Do I even need to mention how much I love having them swim in the same relay? This relay team, which includes Maddie and Rhylee, has consistently improved their time throughout the season. Towards the beginning of the season they set a new school record and then proceeded to break that record each time they swam. Pretty fun for them (and us!). Friday night was no exception.

 Sydney swam first. Samantha was third. They swam their best times.
 

Rhyee and Maddie swam their best too and their overall relay took off 3.55 seconds their previous time. Super excited for them! They placed 14th - one better than they were seeded. It has been a great season for Sam & Syd! We're sad to have it end.

Saturday was Jordan High's Sweethearts dance. Usually the dance is on the same day as the state meet so the swim girls ask the swim boys to the dance. Sam went with some of her swim team to the dance. They ate dinner at our house first and then came over for fondue after the dance. I loved that! It was so fun to have them here and listen to them laugh together.




Samantha is such a good example for her sisters to follow. I can't believe how fortunate Brian and I have been with our girls. They have been amazing children and they are growing into some pretty amazing teenagers!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Progress


February is bringing good things - I just know it! I made sure to spend a little time in the studio at the beginning of the month on a day I didn't have tons going on. Days like that are lovely. Too many days like that are not so lovely. I have a love/hate relationship with the calendar. I love to have time to spend in the studio, time to read, time to make my projects & every once in a while time to clean my house. Lately the house has NOT been the priority. Swim meets have. Carving out time to spend with Brian and the girls always is. We do spend a ton of time together as a family, we always have. Hopefully we always will. I haven't been sad/emotional at the big milestones in the girls' lives. There were no tears for Sam's first day of kindergarten and no tears for Julia's either. I've enjoyed being a mother so much more than I had ever hoped. Samantha is a junior and I'm starting to get emotional about the future. It's coming too fast. I find myself being a cliche all the time when I talk to anyone about raising children. It goes too fast! Time needs to slow down! We need to take another vacation! (Just kidding on that one, well, kind of) Maybe by the time Sam is leaving for college I'll be pulling my hair out because it really will be time for her to be on her own and do her own things her own way without her parents monitoring her every move. But right now we're in a pretty great phase. Once all the girls are grownup and living lives separate from Brian and me I know it will still be great, just a different phase. That phase won't be here for awhile yet but some days when I'm throwing pots and thinking how grateful I am for the life I get to live it feels like it's going to be here sooner than I want.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keeping busy

A year ago I stumbled across a blog that featured a review on a bag/purse that I thought would be perfect for me. I bought the pattern from http://erinerickson.com/store/patterns/two-zip-hipster-pdf-pattern/ and promptly made one for myself. I so absolutely loved it that I made a few more for gifts. I used my bag all the time and completely wore it out. I recently made a replacement bag out of heavier fabric and guess what? I love it just as much as my other bag. I might love it a little bit more or I'm just super happy to have a bag that is bright, shiny, and most importantly, clean.  Sydney loved my bag too and decided she'd like one for her birthday. Of course I was happy to oblige. We went fabric shopping and after debating for 30 minutes she ended up with the blue version of the fabric I used. I think they both turned out super cute. Which color do you like better?


Monday, February 4, 2013

So, how is your swim season going?

Yesterday was the Superbowl and I believe I watched most of it. At least, I was in the room for most of it. I can't say I actually I remember any plays or any of the action except for the part where the kicker squeezed his own bum with both of his hands before kicking the ball. Fortunately my brother Kevin was able to point that out and have it replay for us a couple of times. We watched the first half of the game at Brian's mom's house and the second half at my mom's house. I'd do that again even though I'm not that interested in football. I am interested in my family so that works out.

This past month has been all about swimming for us. Sam & Syd are finishing up their high school season. Gretchen & Julia are in the middle of their comp team season. We have spent some major time at swim meets over the past few weeks. Growing up I was not a swimmer. My parents made sure all their kids knew how to swim (yay for the 2 week summer swim lessons). I just never enjoyed getting cold which happens when you get in a swimming pool. That has never been a problem for our girls. I'm glad they take after Brian for that. They love the water! And guess what? I love to watch them in the water! They are all hard workers and beautiful swimmers. Each girls has different strengths and weaknesses in the water. That should not be a surprise to anyone. They are each so different from the other. It's amazing to me to watch them - they are unique. There are definite similarities, they are sisters after all. But they truly are 4 entirely different girls. 

The 5A state high school swim meet is this Thursday and Friday at BYU. Sam & Syd's team has 7 swimmers competing at state. Last year they had 2. Last year there were 40 kids on the high school team. This year there are 20. Their numbers dropped but their competitiveness increased. I'm excited to go watch the meet. I'm aggravated by the hassle it will be to actually get in a seat at the meet but in the spirit of my new year's resolution that's all the griping I'm going to do about it. These swimmers have worked so hard all season - I know that's the case for every sport. 
I hope they all do as well as possible and that they have a great time doing it.