Friday, January 31, 2014

So I (finally) gave the chairs a face lift...

When we purchased our lovely table (for a steal on craigslist!) the previous owners had chosen to remove the woven seat bases from the ladder back chairs and upholster them instead in a gold fabric with little maroon flowers that... well... yeah. 

Anyway, I told myself I'd re-do the seats in drop cloth fabric as soon as possible, and as expected, it took me about half a year to get around to it... *wink*

But yay! What a difference!!

Some things are totally worth the wait!

They're heavily Scotchgarded, and ready for use! And the nice thing about them is that in the worst case scenario (like, boys ladling marinara sauce onto them and smearing it in with both hands, or something else equally outrageous and yet within the realm of typical behavior...), it's so super easy to re-do it again with another piece of inexpensive drop cloth.
It just might take me six months... :)

I love it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Hearts

Danielle asked me what cute stuff I was doing to decorate for Valentine's this year.
I thought, "What? Huh? Oh, yeah. That's coming up. I guess I should get on that!"
This sort of thing happens a lot. My friends and family tend to have a lot more faith in my on-top-of-things-ness than they ought. But I'm always thankful for the boost of motivation that an undeserved compliment brings about!

So, I got on it.

Previously I have done little to nothing to decorate for Valentines day. It always sneaks up on me, and I'm not sure why. What is there in January and February besides Valentine's Day?? Anyway, I'm usually scrambling the night before to throw some pink and red around the house and get a fun breakfast together. But not this year! This year, we're Valentinesey!

I crocheted these adorable little hearts to hang on the piano display...

Cut out hearts from pretty scrap book paper...

Made a paper garland for the dining room window...

And printed off a simple banner...

Gray is learning his shapes, and he's convinced that hearts are actually called "Valentines." 

We're all festive over here! And I'm already scheming up plans for our Valentine's Day breakfast. What should it be? Chocolate Ricotta Muffins with fresh strawberries and cream? Or heart-shaped cinnamon rolls with fruit parfaits? Oooooh the options are endlessly sweet!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snooooow Cold

It's chilly, but chilly is ok when there's SNOW on the ground!

It's especially nice when the snow keeps Daddy home from work!
(Although it had much more to do with a kind proctor than with bad roads. *wink*)

Snow ball fights, snow angels, snow tracks, and...

Just mix 1 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of sugar and a scant teaspoon of vanilla. Add enough snow until it's thick and creamy.

What a fun treat!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Snow... Finally!

The pale, grey sky waits.
She’s gathered crystals trillions strong.
She aims, she flings: snow.

We've waited all day.
We've waited all winter.

It finally came... with gusto!
First snow!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Vitamin C

I’m taking a sick day.

Well, as much of a sick day as a mommy can get. It basically looks like a sleeper sofa pulled out in the middle of the living room, a buddy snuggled under each arm, a cup of tea nearby, and PBS kids on repeat.

Oh, how I am thankful for PBS on days like these.

Fortunately, the worst is over. My body was very wise and chose to save my worst days, those days when lifting your head off your pillow is too great a struggle, for the weekend when my Doc in Shining Stethoscope could tend to me (and take care of the boys). But here I am, the start of a new week, well enough to let Riley go to work, but not well enough to think about folding the laundry, enjoying some snuggles from my buddies.

During nap time, I came across one of my favorite quotes, and found it easy to relate to with this nasty virus working to wear my body out.

"Discontent is to the soul as a disease is to the body: it puts it out of temper and much hinders its regular and sublime motions heavenward."
-Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

After going through sickness we are better able to appreciate health. But in the middle of our illness we find ourselves tempted to despair, tempted to complain. 

Yet, it is those days when our contentment is tested that we must adjust our perspective and fight against that which will destroy our souls. We must chase that disease away with a spirit of thanksgiving and contentment.

Contentment is like vitamin C for your soul.

And I’ve been taking lots of vitamin C lately!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cozy Little Corner

A quick update for you on our living room.
In the pictures I posted earlier, there was a little shelving unit leaning against the wall, awaiting the help of a certain hubby to hang it. He did, and I'm most thankful, as it has now provided me a lovely little space to keep my computer and work on ever-so-important-things, like online shopping and blogging... *wink*

The shelf was in Riley's dear Grandmother's house, as were the lovely blue mason jars and the milk glass vase. 

My grandma's tea cup and silver sugar & creamer set also grace the shelves. Displaying our Grandmothers' wonderful taste is a lovely way to honor them, and it also adds a special kind of charm to our room!

That gorgeous tablecloth on the desk was something I inherited from my grandma as well on my most recent trip back to Spokane. I'm in love. 

And now I get to see it all the time! I'll probably replace it with something for everyday use, as I don't want to give it too much exposure to the little rascals living under my roof, but I'm certainly enjoying the grandmotherly touches adorning my cozy little corner.

Also on the shelf is an adorable little vintage inspired timer, meant to help me keep track of the time I waste on the computer. So far it hasn't worked very well, but I don't think it's the timer's fault.
Oops! There goes 20 minutes.

I Smile...

The truth in this picture made me laugh...



*The picture was taken from a blog post titled Running a Home while Running on Empty. Both the laugh and the encouragement blessed me this morning.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Giant Load of Cute


Oh, Gray.
You make my heart simultaneously melt and bubble over with laughter.
You're just one giant load of cute!

This kid has been cracking us up lately!
Not only is he the skinniest, tallest, clumsiest, wildest thing we've ever laid eyes on, but he's so full of personality it's kind of an overload of adorableness. And he's two! Doesn't get cuter.

It's been awhile since I've done updates on the boys, so I'm going to start with this little buddy, who happens to be just just 3 months from turning 3! Here are a few samples of the cute little personality we're falling more and more in love with every day...

First off, his smile. He already had dimples before, but several months ago he was jumping on the bed and landed funny, which launched him head-first into the headboard, smashing his left cheek so hard that it's left a permanent dent, right where his dimple was. Every time he smiles we can't help but laugh at the giant crater! And he smiles A LOT.

He is constantly making sound effects to whatever it is he's doing. Whether it's smashing cars, telling a story, or just walking around with a jingle stuck in his head, he basically accompanies our life with a Gray-inspired sound track, and we love it.

Example: He trumpets this little ditty every time he finishes his plate...

And on (a pretty frequent) occasion he simply runs through the house, squealing as loudly as he can, clearly pleased with the sound of his own voice. I can't blame him. The noise level is impressive.

He says the cutest things. Seriously. We can't get over his expansive vocabulary! Two year olds just shouldn't say things like,
"Wait a minute! Hold on a minute!"
or "I just have two questions"
or "All ri-i-I-I-ight..."
He speaks in full sentences with adult-like intonation. Couple it with his adorable little baby boy voice and... gracious! He's got me.

He's into everything. EVERYTHING. He's constantly finding new discoveries and getting excited. He loves to run into the room, tell me what he's playing with, and then turn around and shout, "Ok! Bye!" as he runs out. He's thrilled every time he masters a new skill, and has no struggles with insecurity. In fact, he's sleeping as I type, and yet I can practically hear his little voice exclaiming, "Mommy, wook at dis cool trick! Wook at me! Wook at me! I'm modified!" He's awesome and he knows it.

Block tower pride

He's a dare-devil, and yet the clumsiest little guy I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure he'll be the first to solicit an E.R. run. He has no concept of how big his head is, and is thus smacking it into things constantly. He's that kid that tries to stand up under the table he just crawled under, or lays down on his back without checking to see what's behind him. Oh, man. But he's tough!

And I'm pretty sure he's the messiest eater on the planet. Still! He's been messy since he was little, and unlike his brother (who hasn't needed to have his mouth wiped since he was, what, 12 months old?), could probably use a bath after every meal. I just don't know how one goes about getting chocolate inside their ear, or spaghetti sauce on the back of their neck. Fabulous! Perhaps he would do better if we could get him to use his fork, but at the moment he seems convinced that the fork's primary use is as an instrument for banging on the table to simultaneously disrupt the conversation and beat up the beautiful wood surface. But we're happy that we'll one day get to show it to him when he's grown and say, "Look what you did, you little rascal!"

And last, he snuggles. Boy does this guy love to snuggle. He requests every night before bed, "Mama, I want you to snug wif me." I'm pretty sure he'd sit on my lap and snuggle all day if I had the time to let him. It's just. so. cozy. 
Ack! I love it.
And I love him!


*  *  *  *  *

And a bonus: the nick names we currently call him...

Gray Way (for Grayson Wayne)
Gray Way Lay (We have naming issues)
Geesie (How Asher said his name when he was first born. Pronounced with a hard G.)
Geesie-muff (no explanation)
Geesie-muffin-head (poor kid)
Big Gee
Mr. Fluffy Head (Have you seen this kid's hair? Ha!)
Sugar Buns
Sugs (like sugar)
Sweet Boy (ok, I'm the only one who calls him that)
Brother (Lately this has been the ONLY way Asher refers to him! So cute.)

But if you ask him what his name is, he will shout with pride, "My name's Grayson!"

Monday, January 6, 2014

An Epiphany Story

Happy Epiphany!

Today we remember the wise men from the East who payed homage to the newborn King, offering Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gospel is for people of every tongue and tribe and nation, peace on Earth, good will toward man!

We aren't really doing anything special to celebrate today, but I do have a cute story about Asher.

And I always love a good Asher story. :)

A few days ago Asher popped his head out the front door, and upon seeing the first, bright star in the twilight sky, he exclaimed excitedly, "Mommy! Mommy! It's the Magi star! It's the star the Magi followed! Let's go! If we follow it, it will take us to see Baby Jesus!"
He was totally ready!
So sweet.

Oh, star of wonder, star of light!
Star with royal beauty bright!

Wishing you peace and joy as the Christmas season formally comes to a close, and wishing you the heart of a child, ready to follow after the King of kings!

Blessings on the new year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Jefferson Hotel

It came to my attention that I have yet to get around to posting about our trip to Richmond with our good friends the Weizeneckers, and as that's a memory I'm determined to keep, I'll go ahead and post about it now. My favorite thing about blogging is browsing through old posts and thinking, "Ohhhh yeaaahhhh! I remember that! That was fun!" 

So, long story short, we got to live here for a couple days in early December.

Yeah. Wow.

Philip had to go to Richmond for some fancy ceremony where he would be sworn in as a Lawyer, and since Rachel wanted to go to the ceremony but wasn't allowed to bring her daughters with her into the court room, I offered to watch the girls. Farmville is on the way to Richmond, so I thought it would work out perfectly.

Clearly, it worked out a little more perfectly than I could have imagined, because I ended up watching the girls here. How fun is that?

The whole place was covered in fresh poinsettias and white twinkle lights. 
It was simply magical. What a treat!

We had the pleasure of staying two nights, and spending lots of quality time with our friends, exploring both the hotel and a little bit of the city. We even made it to the totally awesome Children's Museum!!

"Apple Picking!" 
"Mommy, I can be a farmer like the Wiezeneckers!"
 It was an absolutely wonderful trip, and we were so thankful for the chance to get away and live in a dream land for a couple days.
Many thanks to the Weizeneckers for including us in their celebration of Philip passing the bar and becoming an official lawyer! 

And here are the boys, enjoying their souvenir from the trip.

You'd think you could count on organic farmers to give reasonable snacks to your children.
Apparently not.

HAPPY 2014!

Happy New Year from the Lathams!

We rang in the new year with friends we invited for a sleepover.
It was loads of fun!

The Okimotos!
I set the table with as much glittered glitz and glam as I could drum up around the house.

For place cards I printed out clock templates and wrote each person's name at a different hour. 

Since there were (almost) 12 of us, after dinner we sang the 12 Days of Christmas, and each person was responsible to sing the day that coordinated with the hour on their place card. 
And we did it as fast as we could.
And we laughed a lot.

 I served an Italian inspired meal, as Rome was welcoming the New Year right as we sat down to eat. 
(Well, they would have been... except that I was running late... oh well!)

 We played games, munched on snacks, prepped the (AMAZING) Okimoto's Traditional New Year's Danishes that Megan provided for our breakfast the next morning, visited, laughed some more, and then counted down the seconds until the year 2014 arrived.
After a quick champagne toast and some cheering, we escorted the Okimoto kids (who were allowed to stay up, and did a very good job of it!) outside to bang on pots and pans, hooting and hollering into the cold wintery air.
Talk about bringing back childhood memories!

And then we all collapsed. 

It was an awesome visit, and we were so glad they could party with us!

What a fun way to kick off a new year!
Happy 2014!!