Tuesday, January 26, 2010

squirrels and macaroni and cheese and staplers

This is Gracie being held by my longest friend. We're talking she moved in two doors down when I was four and she was three. She and her older sister Emily are the ones I built nests for squirrels out of lawn clippings and filled them with acorns with. She's the one I taped cooking shows making macaroni and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches with. They're the ones I was going to start the Kid's Cafe with where all the neighborhood kids could come eat (probably macaroni and cheese and peanut butter sandwiches and fruit roll-ups for dessert) and we started by making aprons out of material scraps. We used a stapler because it was easier than sewing. They're the ones with whom we decided that going door-to-door to sell lemonade might make a bigger profit than just sitting on the sidewalk, and we were right because NO ONE turned us and our little wagon full of cups and a pitcher down. I still have her phone number memorized (See? XXX-XXXX :). Every so often a wedding or a holiday will bring us back to the same neighborhood where we grew up and we make plans for lunch, which we had last Friday. This was the first time I had a daughter to bring along, which sweetened an already exciting afternoon. It was fun to hold my little girl while I caught up with my friend from when I was a little girl.

My 5th birthday party. Cousin Kenny, you're in there too.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Last night I saw some footage from Haiti that included a baby girl being given a bath in a washtub on the street. It especially tugged on my heart because there are mommas in Haiti who love their baby girls like I love mine. I haven't yet figured out how to cope with large-scale tragedies like this in the world. Why do I get to snuggle up next to my husband with my little girl on the couch tonight and watch a movie while people in Haiti are pouring their loved ones into mass graves? So I'm trying to learn to cope by exercising my faith that God is the Ultimate Father. He must love and care deeply for His children. I trust that He is all-knowing. He has the answers to all the questions and situations in life that perplex me and He will help me understand them if and when I need to. I believe prayer is a power strong enough to pour a feeling of comfort and love over a nation and so when I pray for Haiti, I am helping. And because we have so much, I want to give.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Is This?

This is seconds after Gracie figured out where I go when we get in the car. I was reaching back from the front seat to give her her pacifier like I've been doing the last six months of her life and I saw her head whip around and connect the pacifier with my arm and my face. She looked at me like, "Is that where you've been when we get in the car my whole life?" It was super sweet. I'm thankful for camera phones that allow you to have a camera on hand every second in case something like this happens.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why High School Musical? you may ask

NOTE: Title of this post refers to the song that was playing on our blog at the time it was posted

The truth is, I have never seen Danilo so little in my life (well, since we've been married) during these last few semesters of his schooling. We will go four, five, six days solid seeing each other for prayer in the morning (during which I am somewhat comatose) and a half hour at night. It has given me an appreciation for how sweet it is just to BE TOGETHER when we are. So while Troy and Gabriella are in a cheesy high school relationship worrying about life after graduation, it's amazing how fitting the words to Just Wanna Be with You are!! I am thankful for my little girl who keeps me company. I would be super lonely without her!

What made this Christmas different...

A sight that never ceases to prick my heart is of our Christmas tree lying sideways waiting for the garbage truck to come. It always gets to me. Thank you for brightening our house and filling it with the wonder of Christmas...I will now leave you on the curb. Our curb happens to be a bus stop, however, and someone propped our tree and our neighbor's tree upright while they were waiting for the bus, which I thought was kind of silly and cute. Yes, I have a hard time letting go of Christmas every year. It's time to blog about three things that made this year's Christmas different.


Here was her impression of Christmas...

She had this amused look on her face all morning that I think said, "Mom, why don't we play with pretty paper every day?!" I'm sure parents of older kids can tell me it's going to get sweeter and sweeter with every year. I'm convinced!

Thanks so much to family for giving us a place to come celebrate, delicious food, and sweet gifts. We love you!!

The GRACIE song.

When Gracie was born I put a song on our blog called Gracie by Ben Folds. Apparently my brother Andrew got a hold of the sheet music and has been practicing it on the piano to get it ready for Christmas. And here's the kicker--he talked Danilo into singing it on Christmas Eve. Danilo doesn't sing for people. Danilo only sings in the bathroom. Danilo wouldn't let me post the video, but it was one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received. Thanks little brother!

Jason Luna

Danilo knew the wonderful Luna family on his mission in Orlando. That's where we ended up going on our honeymoon and Sister Luna (who works for Disney) and her family did so much to make our trip so incredible!! Their son Jason moved out to Utah the week before Christmas to start work and school here, and we kind of absorbed him into our family for the holidays. He was so nice to put up with us. We spent time with both the Achters and Byingtons. Coming to all our Christmas parties meant that he met both sides of my entire family. I don't know if any boyfriends have even ever had it that intense! Christmas night he was teaching my sisters how to latin dance. There was some serious Wii competition throughout the holiday. The day after Christmas we ate out at the restaurant where he works where we felt like we had the inside scoop on what to order and how. We just really like him!