We're Home

**before I begin I just wanted to mention that another one of our St. Jude friends went to be with Jesus this morning.  Please remember the Moseley family in your prayers.**

Well, we made it.  We are home.  Erik had dinner waiting on us when we walked in the door and we played until the sun went down. When we woke up this morning, we started all over again. We were outside from 8:00 this morning until about 7:45 tonight.

Ella had a soccer game first thing, so that set the mood for the rest of the day.  I still haven't unpacked a single bag, but I have spent some much needed time with my WHOLE family today.  I guess tomorrow I will actually have to spend some time on the house or the kids may be walking around naked next week!

I have to brag on Erik for a minute.  While we were gone, he not only took my van to get a fuse issue resolved, but he also had it detailed for me.  Oh my goodness!  I was shocked (and so very grateful).  I will be the first to admit that my van can get pretty nasty sometimes.  I really do try to keep it clean, but when you practically live in it with 3 kids, it easily gets out of hand.  I don't get it done but about once a year, but stepping into a freshly cleaned vehicle is such a nice feeling.  I guess I should enjoy it now because I'm sure by this time next week it will be messed up again.  Oh well, such is life.

While we were gone he also worked tirelessly in the yard.  It is so beautiful right now.  It was such a wonderful sight to come home to.  These pictures don't do it justice, but I wanted to remember what it looked like.

When we moved into the yard, we basically started with a blank canvas.  One year we poured a patio.  The next year we landscaped the front yard.  The next year we added azaleas and hostas to the back.  Last year we created a flower bed around the patio.  This year we filled in an area of the yard that refuses to allow grass to grow with azaleas, hostas and monkey grass.  I assume that by the time we move on to another home, this one will be simply amazing.

I love you sweet husband.  You rock!

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Have a wonderful weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? We're heading to Austin, YAHOO! It's slated to reach 90 degrees tomorrow, so hopefully we'll get to go swimming here. Wish us luck on the round-trip flight with this little dude, and I'm looking forward to sharing photos next week. Hope you have a great weekend, and here are are a few fun posts from around the web...

The funniest Tumblr ever. Made me laugh out loud like fifty times.

Fancy nannies = WOW.

Cute summer shoes. (On my wishlist.)

This colorful art exhibit looks rad.

Good quote about blogging.

Sleepy lambs.

Striped bridesmaids.

A Vogue writer puts her 7-year-old daughter on a strict diet. Controversy ensues.

Behind-the-scenes at Abbey Road.

Ombre nail polish.

It's hard to be two.

Sweet Easter egg.

Thumbs up for giant balloons!

What a fascinating article about love and life.

After going through my own bout of depression last year, I loved this description by Rachel Maddow about her experiences. (Listen from 32:00 to 33:30). Thought you might like.

Have a good one! xoxo

Los Angeles: Mini guide

Last fall, I wrote our personal Guide to NYC. But a few readers have also asked about our thoughts about LA, where we go every Christmas to visit Alex's family. We LOVE LA--and the sunny skies, taco trucks and dudes on skateboards. So, even though we're far from experts, I figured I'd share our favorite places in the city, and most of all I'd love to hear yours...
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Leaving on a Jet Plane

So tomorrow morning we head out bright and early.  REAL early.  I dread the travel days.  Lucy still gets pretty worn down from the stimulation overload and seems to get nauseated on the plane.  Nevertheless, I am so grateful to have spent a wonderful week with my girls and my parents.  I missed my two men like crazy, but its been a wonderful week for sure.

Being out in Colorado helps me keep things in check.  Seeing God's earth in all its glory, all its splendor, reminds me that the God that created this glorious country can surely take care of my children.  I am never closer to God than I am when I'm in the mountains.  It is always so serene and peaceful.  Tonight I am so very thankful for my life.  

**Please remember the Edwards family tonight.  One of our nurses from St. Jude (who we came to love so very much) lost a son this week very unexpectedly.  Today they buried him, but their burden is lighter knowing that their son is now in heaven.  I can't help but to be thankful for the gift of salvation and the hope that it brings us all.  

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Ballet dancers in super slow motion

Have you seen this video? Two dancers from Staatsballett Berlin are shown in slow motion at 1000 frames per second, to the song Radiohead's Everything in Its Right Place. I actually danced ballet in junior high and high school, and it's a super precise athletic endeavor that's a million times harder than it looks. (Plus, the teachers are terrifying!) Bravo, beautiful dancers! xoxo

(Via Swissmiss)

How big can your wedding kiss be?

Before Alex and I got hitched, I wondered if our wedding kiss should be big or small. In the end, swept up by the emotion of the day, we just went for it! And it felt awesome!

Would you do a big kiss? Or keep it small and grandparent-friendly? If you're married, what was your kiss like? Here's some lovely wedding-kiss inspiration...

P.S. A Swedish island wedding, and two rad City Hall weddings...

(Photos by Max Wanger, Jess + Nate, Our Labor of Love, Mikael Olsson, James Mountford, Lauren Ross, Bayly & Moore, Anastasia Volkova, Olivia Leigh Weddings, Kyle Hale and Boutwell Studio)

Made me laugh.

(Comic by Gemma Correll)

Playing hard

Someone skied very hard today. Sweet girl.

another test
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Skiing Day 1 and 2

To say that skiing was interesting would be an understatement.  It's March and there is no snow.  It's crazy.  Between 10 am and 2 pm you can make your way through the "mashed potato" slush, but before that its a solid sheet of ice.  Despite that fact, we have managed to get 2 days of skiing in and have had a great time.  I am so proud of how well Ella has done.  She is quite tentative on the slopes, but she has improved so much since we started this trip.

We are missing Erik and Jack like crazy.  I mean really, really missing them.  They spent Sunday at Shiloh National Park with Grandma and Grandpa.

We are pretty bummed that there is no sledding hill.  The town has a small kiddie hill that we were hoping to take Lucy on, but that isn't going to happen.  I think she is having a nice time nonetheless.  She and Nanny have been doing some major hanging out.  The first day we skied we stayed on the mountain about 2 hours longer than we had planned.  I was OK staying until lunch, but after that I began to fill sick.  My heart hurt.  All I could think about was Lucy.  It's one thing to leave your child back at the house if they choose not to ski, but its another to know that your child doesn't have an option.  It not her choice not to ski.  As a matter of fact, she is a great skier and would have loved being on the slopes.  Maybe, hopefully, soon.

Here are some pictures of our first two days:

no snow!!

love this silhouette of my Dad

Ella's favorite run was such a disappointment.  It was all ice.  Like a good Mom I took her down the trail and my right knee is still screaming.

I actually skied without gloves.  CRAZY!

No snow!!

The playground at the base

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Wednesday giveaway!

Today's giveaway is a great one! Alexis Russell, a designer based in New York City, makes hand-crafted jewelry that feels raw yet elegant. (Wouldn't her rings be lovely for an engagement?) Today she's giving one lucky reader a pair of her rough diamond earrings, which are beautifully simple studs you can throw on every morning. I love how natural and real they are--just gorgeous.

For a chance to win, please visit Alexis Russell's shop and leave a comment below. A winner will be chosen at random tomorrow. Good luck! xo Update: Christine U. is our lucky winner. Thanks for playing.

6 wine bottle stoppers

Our babysitter noticed how much I like wine (busted) and gave me three lady bottle stoppers for my last birthday. They make me smile every time I walk through our kitchen. Bottle stoppers make great gifts when going to a dinner party or wedding, and are also just sweet to have on your kitchen counter, chilling in a half-bottle of red.

Nine favorites, clockwise, above: Fish, anchor, piggie, lady, flower, bird. (And this thirsty bird is so cute, too!)
(Layout by Jennifer Hagler for Cup of Jo. Thanks to Emily Hsieh for scouting help. Comic by Christopher Weyant)

The Best Tomato Soup You'll Ever Have

New York is having a surprisingly chilly week, so we've been craving comfort foods, like tomato soup with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. There's nothing cozier and more bolstering on a cool day, or a lazy Sunday evening at home, don't you agree? Luckily, Helene from Tartelette has agreed to share her recipe for the perfect warm-you-up-and-hit-the-spot tomato soup...
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Trike a Thon

Wow!  What more can I say?  The Trike a Thon was a blast and I am so proud of our little school... and all of you who donated.  Last year our little school raised $13,355.  Of 8,400 school nationwide (world wide???) we were tops!  This year our total is already over $19,000 with several students still needing to turn in money.  It's really amazing.  I'm hoping for $20,000 because Mr. Steve, our Principal, will be wearing a chicken suit and dying his hair blue!

Thanks again to everyone who gave.  Your contributions will never be in vain.  Lucy is living proof of that.

Here are some pictures of the event:

K-3 lining up

Gracen, Jessie and Lori

Daddy giving his baby girl a little "push"

Ella chose to ride her scooter for the majority of the event

Our sweet Gracen
2nd grade cheering on the preschool students

And they're OFF!!

The babysitting crew

Ms. Jamison and Lucy
1st grade lining up

Sweet Lucy (I've figured out that all those hair bows look adorable on her hats.  I'm so happy)

Mr. Steve.  What a wonderful principal

Pops and his girl

Our friend Sam

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