*feliz navidad 2012

I wanted to get these pictures up before things get crazy with packing!! We had a wonderful Christmas yesterday! It was the first Christmas morning we've woken up in our own home - so fun to set out our stockings and the cookies and milk, open presents at our own pace, etc. Vera is extremely into Santa and fully believes - kids have even told her he's not real and she doesn't believe them


Santa's big presents were a razor for Vera and a tool box for Edie :)  I'd say Vera's favorite is the Cinderella Barbie-ish doll which she slept with!  Ayyy I've come a long way :)  They also got new jammies to go with the new bunk bed with help from Lola and Pop-pop that will [hopefully!!] be waiting for them in MA.

This is the cardboard gold-painted star Vera made all on her own:

There was one little tiny present I wish I tool a picture of - it was really a jar of face cream for me, but Edie was convinced it was a little kitchen for her doggie :)

Edie had her first candy canes this year and looooves them!!  She also loved her little Mickey doll - though when Ben tried to put him in her bed last night she threw it out with vigor :)

Edie loves her doduts too:

Matty got them an original lite-brite!

So many wonderful gifts!  I opened up a couple big packages from the Caters the night before and set them around the tree - looked nice and full and beautiful :)  They wrapped everything up so pretty and had nice little notes on each present - it really felt like they were here with us.

part 2 coming soon..


*the holydays

It's been fun preparing for Christmas this year! It's the first time ever that we are not traveling - I don't usually mind that, but sure does lessen the stress.

This was where we got our Christmas tree - it was such a cute, old fashioned lot.  We totally didn't argue about trees or anything either ;)

Vera is in hyper-decorating mode.  She made a couple paper ornaments like this one and has discovered snowflakes!! It was one of the biggest, most exciting revelations of her life and it has been a battle to get her to clean up all the paper clippings!

We've had the Newells over a couple times. Here is Nate playing the piano for Vera's dance performance:

We went downtown Carson for the lighting of the Capitol - it was very fun and small-town, something I didn't know Carson did!

Vera and my mom made a gingerbread house, something she has wanted to do her whole life.

We were at the mall and the girls really wanted these little bags that came free with a gift certificate.  One of those times where you wonder why you buy them things since something like this is so exciting and wonderful

Candy Cane express on the V&T:

We had a little party last week with several families. It was really fun to watch all the kids play.  Wish I had a picture of Edie Morgan feeding Edie Cater crackers :)

Riley and Edie - so glad she has more friends her age!

Reagan and Edie ♥ 



I am out of the habit of blogging about the everyday, so I thought I would just post this cute moment from the other day. Watching the girls play and laugh with their daddy :)



Just wanted to note some things that she does and says here at about 26 months:

*She and Vera and my dad like to call each other silly names. My favorite is when she says, "you bald eagle!!!"

*we love how she says that something is, "amaazing!"

*"Gleat job Vera!", "I do gleat job. I help daddy wif flashlight. gleat job!"

*'y's are pronounced 'l' - "lummy, lucky, lum!, lup!, I lose this?" (use)

*"that's superfunny! that's supersilly!"

*she loooves food and makes lots of yummy noises when she eats and exclaims that it's de-licious or lummy!

*she loves to point out things that Vera likes, especially if Vera is away at school. Like the disney fairies, "Vera love dem!"

*she is always drawing me pictures and folding and taping them up. "surprise for you!"(or for Fifi or Jubilee or "my friend!"

*she still will throw herself on the floor in protest. no screaming or kicking, she just lays there :)  I have several pictures, I will post soon...


*noticias grandes!!

I thought I would post here first to our faithful blog followers that Ben has accepted an offer for a tenure track position!!!  Starting in January, he will be assistant professor at a small college just outside of BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS!!  I am so proud of Ben - the provost had such wonderful things to say about him in his email with the attached offer.  They actually didn't even entertain any other candidates as they knew about Ben through some connections and thought from the start that he was a great fit. 

I had mentally prepared to be here in Carson for a whole year, and here we are leaving in a few weeks! It is crazy and exciting - I am so excited for him to get teaching and for us to experience living in one of the most interesting cities in the country.  Praising God for his answer to prayer!

We actually went out last weekend for an interview and really liked the campus, community, etc.


*thanksgiving: dos mil doce

We spent Thanksgiving in Tustin this year.  Every year, every holiday, I am so thankful that we enjoy and love each others' families so much.  It is truly a gift.

On the way down... you would think that with six roadtrips over the last couple months, that it would have gotten easier.  On the contrary, it's like the girls are sick of it and have lost all resilience.  This was a sweet little moment where Edie declared she needed to go potty and we promptly pulled over along the 395.  She was so excited to point out "a moon!!!"

Happy to be at Lola and Grandpop's:

with Auntie J and Tula at the park... Edie especially just loves this dog.

Jessie made matzoh ball soup one night, the first I'd ever had.  Wow - it was delicious and I am itching to make some myself....

I want to remember this beautiful dessert Jessie [who saw, motivated and planned in the first place] and I made.  Crepes layered with lemon curd whipped cream and then topped with a mascarpone whipped cream.  Um... seriously?? It was so fun to make and so beautiful and delicious!

Granny and family:

It was so cute to see Edie sitting so comfortably and Granny giving her loving little squeezes.

Assessing the Thanksgiving dessert spread:

Rosie makes a beautiful table, always:

Vera and her Pop-pop:

One night the boys went to see the USC/Notre Dame game and so the girls [minus Granny and Eden] went out for a de-licious and fun dinner in LA and then to see Cirque du Soleil (sp) in Hollywood.  Such a fun, memorable night!!

how pretty are these two:

at the Cliff's Edge for dinner:

the morning we left, these girls squeezed in some cookie decorating... just before Vera fell apart at the thought of leaving :(




It's been hard to keep up with the blog lately... busy, tired, extra step of plugging my phone into the laptop...   Anyway I am always happy I've recorded things, so here's a few random bits from the last while:

 I love seeing where their imagination goes - these cardboard bricks are sometimes used for building things, but mostly used as cakes.  Here they are singing happy birthday to someone:

 I love love love seeing her sound things out.  I will decode at the bottom of the post, in case you'd like to guess:

I made gnocchi for the first time in like 5 years.  It was really fun and really delicious, like the best batch ever, if I do say so :)

I took these pictures our last time at the Utah Natural History Museum.  This huge glass exhibit is so awesome.

sweet Marilyn came for tea and scones a couple weeks ago:

We tried a little Asian fusion place down the street and were so excited to find they had Vera's favorite eggy soup.  I just love this picture of Edie! They were both so great, trying all the different foods. Edie thought the raw tuna [doused in wasabi soy sauce no less!] in my poke salad was tomatoes and stole most of it - made me proud!

*it says: One day I did see a bird and it did talk to me. Kind of a hard one :)



*I think that's how you say sold.... goodness, my Spanish is fading :(

We were in Salt Lake briefly this weekend to pick up the remaining things left at our house and to sign the papers to close on its sale.  I had been there for a quick weekend with the girls in October too and felt like I dealt with the sadness/weirdness of it all then. This time for the most part I felt normal and just happy to see our friends.  I will say that as I walked through the house once last time I couldn't help the tears... hearing the girls voices echo through the empty rooms was pretty heartwrenching.  There is just so much about place.  The place we moved to as a couple and left a family of four.  I have always thought about Wendell Barry's book about place [haven't read more than the first ten pages, but feel like I know what it might say anyway - haha isn't that academic of me?] - there is just a connection.  Anyway....... I was just meaning to post some pictures of our trip.

I am awfully sick of roadtripping.  This is our 5th long trip since the end of August and we have one more coming up next week.  I was thankful this time to be driving my parents' suburban equipped with a DVD player.  Unfortunately [yes I supposed it is a good thing], Edie still doesn't have the attention span for a whole movie, but it was still good for a bit of quiet.  The way there she didn't nap at all and the way back she closed her eyes for literally 90 seconds before waking up to scream at the top of her lungs.

This was the view of our neighbor's backyard the day before we left. I love this picture:

A big storm blew through over the couple days.  This was our Utah house the morning after we arrived:

We stayed at Tia's which was wonderful, but sad as she was gone the whole time!  I stood in for Tia and got a pedicure from Vera:

We did see a lot of friends and I regret that these are the only two pictures I have:

tea at the beautiful Rose Establishment with Shannon:

3 sad amigos.  unfortunately this was shortly before one amigo got sick.  We brought that sick home with us - another story :/ :)

Driving away - bye-bye eleven-seventeen...

sad, but hello some $$ in our bank account!!!

[in case you are wondering - we sold it for about 6K less than we bought it for in 2006, which is pretty good considering the economy.  We left with some down payment and equity and are very thankful. I am glad to be rid of this house before some massive plumbing disaster breaks our bank!]