Thursday, December 31, 2009

{What a Difference a Year Makes}

This morning I woke up and thought about how today is the last day in 2009. This morning, as I mentioned in my Facebook status, I was feeling good & ready to say goodbye to 2009. It didn't start out a great year... I thought.

But then on the way home, as I waited in the car for Justin while Eisley slept {we stopped to rent the movie "9", Chinese food, and some champagne to ring in the New Year}, I thought about how a lot of great things have actually come to us this year. I just wasn't looking at it the right way.

I'll put it this way...

At the beginning of 2009: Justin and I were in a bad state financially, just barely getting by.
As 2010 starts tomorrow: We are experiencing, by the grace of God, one of the most lucrative months of our married life thus far. {And I've come to the realization that we're probably better prepared to handle this now - after learning many financial lessons the hard way - than we would have been prior.} It's comforting, after feeling the effects of our suffering economy for so many months now.

At the beginning of 2009: We knew we were facing a rough year. Very tough changes were in store for us, and we knew it. There were days I just wanted to find a dark hole and stay there for a while..
As 2010 starts tomorrow: The outlook is bright. Sure, things can always change. But we're much more hopeful. And also relieved.

At the beginning of 2009: Justin was employed by a company that was obviously taking him nowhere. He'd been in sales for 6 months at that job and hadn't earned a dime in commission.
As 2010 starts tomorrow: New job since March, and we couldn't be happier with it. We're so excited Justin finished December selling $15k over his monthly goal. I'm so proud of him!

At the beginning of 2009: We were needing change on certain aspects of our marriage. Without going into detail {the inner workings of our marriage is our business, and our business only}, we were somewhat weary.
As 2010 starts: God answered the prayers on needing change. I feel we've definitely been enlightened this year. And that's all I'll say...

In the beginning of 2009: Eisley was the brightest star in our lives on earth.
As 2010 begins: Eisley is still the brightest star in our lives on earth. We're so lucky she's our daughter.

The start of 2009: Was a time of sheer anxiety and stress over my business, Lark & Lola. I wanted so badly to do the shows this year, but I was so very scared of failing.
As 2010 rings in: I'm starting a new year of shows and I *know* people like my work, and am facing this year with new confidence, better prepared, and bigger, better ideas. It's a joy.

So, you see, 2009 wasn't so bad after all. If I could go back in time and confront Heather of January 2009 I'd tell her not to worry. "There will be a lot of positive growth this year," I'd say. "So don't worry so much."

I hope
this post doesn't sound too braggy. I would hate to give the impression that I want you to think our lives are perfect and we're just "oh so great". In actuality, 2009 was mostly about HUMILITY {click} for Justin and I. As for the blessings, those are God's to take credit for. And I hope, if you're having the sort of New Year that we had last year... well, I hope maybe you can find hope in my message? God takes care of His children. The rough spots in life often end up being sources of growth that, in the end, we're quite grateful to have experienced.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

{The Day Eisley Had a Big Sister}

Last week we had the pleasure of having Eisley's cousin, Moriah {or Mo} along with us for an outing.

Mo is so motherly and sweet to Eisley. We had lunch at the mall {see above pic, and we will return to this one in a minute}, played at Monkey Bizness, went to Costco:

{They even got to sit side-by-side in the gargantuan Costco carts. All Mo asked of us was that she get to try the samples. Fair enough.}

Finally, they conked out in the car together on the way home. How cute is this???

Mo, you can come hang with us anytime! Eisley adores her big cousin and is very entertained by her presence - which makes running errands a lot easier for all of us.

Now, I would like to return to this image {a clipping of the first photo in this post}.
We cannot, for the life of us, figure out why Eisley has black lips in this photo? Our camera has a "beauty shot" which evens out skin tone, perhaps this is the "goth mode" we didn't know about?

No, but really... she was eating apples and french fries... there is no explanation for this.

{Cue Twilight Zone theme music.}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

Yesterday we got most of our Christmas shopping done at Park Meadows.

True to my gender, I love shopping.
To Justin it was probably more of a chore.
To Eisley it was probably pretty darn boring.

Except when Daddy threw her on his shoulders and skipped around like a horsey.
That part was pretty cool.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


A few days ago Eisley got a letter in the mail. It was from her Great Grandma Erwin, and enclosed was some money just for her, with instructions to find her something special for Christmas.

I tucked the bills away in my purse and made a mental note to myself to think of something special Eisley would like for Christmas.

A couple days later, after a family portrait session and lunch at Aspen Grove, Justin and I spotted Build A Bear Workshop.

"Do you think that's something Eisley would like to spend her Christmas money on?" Justin asked.

"I'm not sure..." I said.

We hesitated, after all, Eisley is only 16 months old and she cannot tell us herself what she would like and what she wouldn't. But we ended up entering the colorful store anyway, just to see {we told ourselves} if Eisley reacted to anything in the store.

Justin held her up to look at all the un-stuffed bear & animal skins to see if she took to any of them. A gray kitty made her smile so we decided to go with it.

Eisley watched as the employee used a huge machine to stuff fluff into the kitty and then sewed the kitty up.

Eager to see how she would react to her new stuffed friend, we handed over the kitty and...

"MWAH!" {The air kiss noise we taught her recently.}

Eisley kissed the kitty on the face, hugged kitty, and then kept going...


And we didn't even prompt her. She did it on her own whim.

Any doubts we had had about Eisley being old enough to enjoy Build A Bear were long gone. It was clear she had a new, and very dear, feline friend.

We dressed kitty in a Mrs. Claus outfit for kicks, paid {Eisley's Christmas gift money was exactly enough for the experience}, and left happy.

She still kisses that kitty...

Last night we put Eisley to bed with her kitty, and heard her kiss kitty. "MWAH! MWAH!"

Again this morning, I was downstairs and heard Eisley waking up...


She *really* loves her Christmas gift, Grandma, thank you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Car Rides

Dear Eisenheimer,
{as your Pappa Erickson calls you}

Gone are the days of relaxed reclining in the rear-facing car seat. The lovely Chicco model we brought you home from the hospital in will go into storage until Violet or Paxton arrives {No, I am not pregnant. Yes, we have the names of the next children picked out}. This photo is not of you on the day you were born, but last week in King Soopers, where they give free cookies to the kids:
Now you ride in a forward facing seat. Much to our joy. Because unlike the day you were born, you now know how to get attention by throwing your milk, food, and toys over the edge of your seat to get attention and make the car messy. Also frustrating is driving while reaching one hand way back desperately searching for some way to stop your screaming. And finally, we can make use of that DVD player the previous owner of our car installed. If any kid deserves it, it's you, as you currently spend too much time each week riding in the car. So mom & dad are more than willing to give up listening to their new Glee CD so that you can watch Yo Gabba Gabba.

We're just SO happy your favorite show happens to be this one, and that we don't have to listen to Elmo's shrill voice or Barney talking down to children. Oh no, this we can put up with:

Mama & Jsuhshen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

All About Eisley @ 15 Months

Dearest Eisley,

You are about 15 months old these days. Most strangers guess that you are only around 10 months though. Your BFF, Mara, is catching up with you.

You have mommy's long eyelashes and daddy's easy-tan skin tone.

When you're upset with us, you sometimes try to claw our faces off. Don't worry, love you anyway.

The most common compliment we get on you from strangers? "She's so happy! Look at that beautiful smile!"

This is why mommy nicknamed you "Cheerful."

Auntie Bea says you look too small to be walking, and fawns over your tinyness. She is right, after all, you're only in the 5th percentile.

Dr. Heble your growth, despite being in the 5th percentile, is steady and right where it needs to be.

You chase boys and try to hug them. From this comes mommy's favorite rhyme, "Eisley Piesley in the skiesley, kiss the boys and makes them criesley."

It's true, the boys are scared of you. Well, I guess it's more that they're just little wussies, because when you smile and wave, they frown and cling to their mommy's legs. Don't ever change. Ever.

You call your father, not "Daddy", but rather a primitive version of his name, "Sjah-shen". He thinks it's cute but would rather you say "daddy". You say it because you hear me call him that.

Other word's you say a lot these days:
"Chase" (Pappa & Gmas dog)
"Bye bye"
and probably many more we just don't realize.

Oh, there's also "Sh**!" Where you got that word I have no idea... but is your word of choice. When you go downstairs each step you exclaim, "Sh**!"

We don't even say this word. You must mean something else. But it has earned us some interesting & amused looks in public.

You get over things quickly. If you get hurt you might cry for a few seconds, but you're quick to move on. I like this about you.

Trying on mommy & daddy's shoes is one of your favorite past-times these days.

You are often obedient, but sometimes you exhibit a little rebellion. Mommy can't always keep a straight & stern face when you're being naughty, but smiling so bright.

Sometimes you growl and yell ferociously. Then I call you my "Eisleyzilla."

You make our days so bright, little girl.

Mommy & "Sjuh-shen"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eisley. Dancing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

{Halloween 2009}

Doesn't Eisley look like such a child in this picture?
Anyway, second Halloween so we deaded (ha!) to...
to Gaylord Street! This is special to me because I went to this when I was a child.

Eisley was Alice. As in Wonderland. Because of her birthday. Some people this week guessed Dorothy. As in Oz. Obviously they aren't aware that Dorothy had ruby slippers. Alice had black shoes. You know?
It is so lovely to hear people oooh and aww over your baby. Makes me blush. 'Cause, well, she's my best craft project to date.Here is Eisley and Daddy trick or treating at one of the Gaylord Street shops.

And just down the street is the house I lived in as a child. So we had to visit. Unfortunately no one was home to hand out candy.
When we got home safe and sound, little Alice...
checked in on her loot.
Now that childhood is over for us, it is SO MUCH FUN to
live vicariously
through your children. What joy.

If you liked this post, leave a comment for Eisley to read someday!
{Just click right down there!}

One Year Ago

I have yet to get Eisley's picture for Halloween 2009 so I thought I'd amuse us all with some photos from
1 year ago. Halloween 2008:

I really miss having a teenie tiny baby...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

In celebration of Halloween... {I'm a total sucker for these things.}

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The House Elf


Why can't we keep up with the laundry? The piles just keep growing.

Why do the dishes never seem clean anymore? There's never a clean cup when we need a drink.

Why are Eisley's toys always strewn throughout our living spaces? Tripping us in the middle of the night if we get out of bed...

There's been a lot of extra mysterious messes around here lately.

It's the strangest thing. We clean. And then the very second we turn our backs, the room is messy again. It's... well, disturbing.

In fact, I'm beginning to suspect our home is infested.

With a house elf.

And I even think I caught it on camera the other day. Making a mess.

So tell me what you think, could this be a photo of the little elf, in my crafting room where a mess suddenly appeared out of nowhere the other day? The reason why we can't keep anything clean anymore???

Do you see it, or are we just going crazy?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Mexico Trip Slideshow!

We're back safe and sound from New Mexico! Eisley was very good and enjoyed her first trip out of state. We all wanted to stay longer. We visited Santa Fe, Chimayo, Taos, and Taos Pueblo. And Trader Joe's. Here's a slideshow, but you can also see my web album below!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Catching Up

Here's another Smörgåsbord for ya.

I've gotten REALLY behind on blogging. Lots to blog about, but very little time to do so. And we have some exciting things planned ahead so I'm just going to have to do a catch up blog. Here goes... I have about 7 "mini-blog posts" here.

First, we live on a farm now. With the in-laws. To save money. After a rough year. All is well, however, from way out here. Not like we're cramped in a basement or anything, too, we do have about 1,400 square foot "carriage house" to ourselves. This is especially nice in helping us ride out that first year of Justin's new & wonderful, but commission-paying, job. I love his job...

SECOND, I wrecked my ankle this week. It hurts. I was like a Californian on the Colorado winter roads: going waaaay too fast. {No offense to you lovely Californians... I just think you drive crazy sometimes. That is all.} Slipped on the ice. Twisted my ankle. So this is my view, literally as I type this. Laptop. Injured foot. Ice bag. Justin cleaning house. Because I can't. But I wish I had a less painful excuse...

Thirdly, we're leaving Friday {with my parents} to go here:

That would be Santa Fe, NM. Which is a lovely trip in the fall. I know. I've been twice before. We're also going here:

SO! New blog posts to come this weekend, from New Mexico! The thought of a road trip gets me giddy...

FOURTH, you should expect more blogging about life on a farm. Like how the chickens have replaced any need for a garbage disposal:

Seriously. There was chicken and steak in there. They loved it. ___________________________________________________

Fifth, here's the new car, for those of you who have been asking what it looks like. I've had my heart set on a Volvo for a while now. And no, not because of Edward Cullen, but because - hello! Safety! For an anxiety-driven-worry-wart like myself, Volvo's amazing safety standards had me at hello...

Sixthly {and without a picture}, I now have two jobs. The first, as you already know, is being a stay-at-home-mom. Keeps me very busy but it's also what I always wanted. The second job has become my "jobby" (my job/hobby) with Lark & Lola. I thought I'd be able to relax once the summer market was over but instead I'm finding myself drowning in orders from retailers. A good problem, yes? Except that I already work full time as a SAHM... and my intentions with L&L are to just do what I love. Make pretty things. So I need to keep it under control. I really don't want my business growing any larger than it is right now. I think being a mom is more important, and it shouldn't be put on the back burner for the sake of money. Let's see if I can hold myself to that...

But seriously, we were up until past 1am last night, finishing an order that had a deadline of this morning. I'd done 98% myself but I enlisted Justin in the final hour to help me string my garlands. {My bum leg really has held me back this week and Justin was kind enough to help.}
I'd been crafting about 15 hours, Justin about 30 minutes, when...

"I'm so glad I don't make things for a living." Justin said.

Confused, I asked, "Why? Don't you like the pleasure in completing a creation?"


"Don't you think it's fulfilling to create something with your hands?"



"Even if you could quit your job and just stay home and make things with me?"


Meh. What can I say? It's not for everyone.

Seventhly, I have a new project called "save up and buy furniture you love instead of settling on cast-offs." I'm starting with dining room chairs... how exciting! Like these two I got at Paris Street for a steal... I'm really into the re-vamped old furniture thing these days. Expect me to rock your world when I paint our piano one of these days.
And finally, that leads me to a promise that I will include more pictures, such as this one below of the "crafting area", of where we now live because people have been asking me. I promise, I'll get right on that in a blog post soon here...
Just as soon as Justin finishes cleaning.


don't forget to comment below, friends.