Monday, December 19, 2011


*can't believe they're both smiling... actually, can't believe Wendy even got near the guy

Wendy & I agree that the Santa at the Brea Mall is probably the really real one. He's amazing. Like the guy on the original "Miracle on 24th Street" amazing. On top of it being kinda weird that I just stick my kids on some complete strangers lap, Wendy is majorly shy with stragers. Especially men. ESPECIALLY if they have facial hair or visible tattoos ( and I'm gonna try to keep her that way, at least til the end of her teenage years). But the Santa at the Brea Mall is so good... not only does he completely look the part, but he really knows how to talk to the kids. Just look at her face. I love it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


*photo credit: Mossi Watene. Thanks Mos!

This year, Ryan and I were asked if we would be Mary and Joseph in the live nativity our church puts on for the community. It was a pretty big commitment, but apparently they were pretty desperate (I guess the 1st 3 couples had said yes then backed out). I thought, "No big deal. I'll sit in a stable and hold a baby doll." Not so much. When I was practicing my "lines" and cheesy acting skills (or lack thereof), practicing riding a donkey side-saddle, bare back, I realized why a lot of people had backed out. Struggling not to fall off the donkey who was spooked by the white lines on the asphalt of the parking lot, I thought, "OOOkay. Nope. I'm done." But I'm glad I didn't back out.

We had over 2,000 people show up to watch the 18 minute story of Christmas. It was such a touching experience to try to portray such a person and share such a sacred message with so many people. Standing in the rafters before each performance, I had a couple minutes to myself. I tried to really think about how Mary must have felt. It helped me step away from the craziness of December and the Brea Mall and Target and traffic and just focus on what really matters. I was so humbled by the people who came up to me after and told me that I had helped them. Plus, I didn't fall off the donkey even once, soooo mission accomplished.

If you have a second...

I love how Jeffrey R. Holland puts the first Christmas into perspective in his article, "“Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store”", in the Ensign magazine, Dec. 1977, 63–65. He writes:
" We need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that single, sacred, unadorned object of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why “tis the season to be jolly” and why the giving of gifts is so appropriate.
I have recently begun to think more often of Joseph, that strong, silent, almost unknown man who must have been more worthy than any other mortal man to be the guiding foster father of the living Son of God. It was Joseph selected from among all men who would teach Jesus to work. It was Joseph who taught him the books of the law. It was Joseph who, in the seclusion of the shop, helped him begin to understand who he was and ultimately what he was to become. I believe any father would have done any honorable thing in this world, and mortgaged any future they had, to make sure their wife had the clean sheets, the sterile utensils, the attentive nurses, and the skilled doctors who brought forth their new babe. If she or that child had needed special care, I believe any father would have ransomed their very life to get it. I compare those feelings with what Joseph must have felt as he moved through the streets of a city not his own, with not a friend or kinsman in sight, nor anyone willing to extend a helping hand. In these very last and most painful hours of her “confinement,” Mary had ridden or walked approximately 100 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea. Surely Joseph must have wept at her silent courage. Now, alone and unnoticed, they had to descend from human company to a stable, a grotto full of animals, there to bring forth the Son of God.
I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: “Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Is this a place fit for a king? Should the mother of the Son of God be asked to enter the valley of the shadow of death in such a foul and unfamiliar place as this? Is it wrong to wish her some comfort? Is it right He should be born here?” But I am certain Joseph did not mutter and Mary did not wail. They knew a great deal and did the best they could. Perhaps these parents knew even then that in the beginning of his mortal life, as well as in the end, this baby son born to them would have to descend beneath every human pain and disappointment. He would do so to help those who also felt they had been born without advantage.
I’ve thought of Mary, too, this most favored mortal woman in the history of the world, who as a mere child received an angel who uttered to her those words that would change the course not only of her own life but also that of all human history: “Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favoured of the Lord. The Lord is with thee; for thou art chosen and blessed among women.” (JST, Luke 1:28.) The nature of her spirit and the depth of her preparation were revealed in a response that shows both innocence and maturity: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38.) It is here I stumble, here that I grasp for the feelings a mother has when she knows she has conceived a living soul, feels life quicken and grow within her womb, and carries a child to delivery. At such times fathers stand aside and watch, but mothers feel and never forget. Again, I’ve thought of Luke’s careful phrasing about that holy night in Bethlehem: “The days were accomplished that she should be delivered.“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and [she] wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and [she] laid him in a manger.” (Luke 2:6–7; italics added.) Those brief pronouns trumpet in our ears that, second only to the child himself, Mary is the chiefest figure, the regal queen, mother of mothers—holding center stage in this grandest of all dramatic moments. And those same pronouns also trumpet that, save for her beloved husband, she was very much alone. I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.
But it was not to be so. With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay. Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth, peace among men of good will.” (Luke 2:14, Phillips Translation.) But except for heavenly witnesses, these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, the baby to be named Jesus. At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen. Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began. It is for this baby that we shout in chorus: “Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn king! … Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die: Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.'"


Friday, December 9, 2011

7 Months

Harvey at 7 Months:
  • weight: 23lbs 2oz (97th percentile)
  • length: 29inches (95th percentile)
  • wearing size 12 - 18 months... at 7 months! So much for all the 6 - 12 month winter clothes.
  • is breaking my back, for real. My lower back has been mad at Harvey (and at me) for a couple weeks now. I've been trying hard to focus on lifting with my legs (which is kinda hard to do when you're leaning over the railing of a crib).
  • a month of firsts:
  • 1st (and 2nd) tooth
  • 1st real food: rice cerial, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas (LOVES sweet potatoes)
  • started sitting up at about 6 1/2 months (can't get into sitting position by himself, but will stay there)
  • does this weird head butt-y thing in his high chair then cracks up when I do it back
  • likes to use my chin as a teething ring. I would have NEVER let Wendy put my chin in her mouth (oh, the germs), but I guess I'm a little more laid back with #2. He gnaws on my chin while I laugh, then he laughs. I turn my head back and forth to cut off his voice and he cracks up. If I'm ever kissing his chubby cheeks he whips his head around to find my chin. I guess I do it a lot because I even caught Wendy acting this out with one of her baby dolls. I know it sounds kinda weird, but it touched my heart to see her wanting to play the roll of mommy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notice something missing?


*both pictures by my talented sister Nessa

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, in Wendy's nursery class at church, her teacher had all the little kids go around and say things they're thankful for. What was Wendy's answer?

"I'm thankful that my gap closed!"

It was something I noticed while helping her floss her teeth a couple nights prior to that day. Only the daughter of a dental hygienist.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yo Gabba Live!

Today we got to go to the Yo Gabba Gabba Live show in LA! And it was "AAAAWWESOOMMMMME!!!" to say the least. Harvey slept in my arms most of the time and Wendy was a little nervous we were going to make her go up on stage to do one of Biz's Beats of the day. It wasn't without reason because it was offered to her and brave little Harper was super excited about his chance to go up on stage. She kept leaning over to me and saying, "Mommy, I don't really like Biz a lot. Maybe I just wanna stay here with you." Once Biz's Beats were over (and she had a fist full of cotton candy) she relaxed a little and let herself enjoy the show. Her most favorite part, though, was the after party. My most favorite part was just sitting back in awe and watching this phenomenon that my uncle Scott created. I was sitting next to him wondering if anyone around us realized they were sitting next to the man who dreamed this whole thing up and brought it to life. Being surrounded by thousands of people all decked out in Gabba gear, screaming and singing along and all the celebrities that are fans... it's surreal.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Our family on Harvey's 1st Thanksgiving

I thought about doing a list, but it would take too long. I have SO much to be thankful for. All the love, support, health, joys and freedoms in my life are overwhelming. I love Thanksgiving and the opportunity I get to step back and realize all that I've been blessed with in my life.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

6 Months

*don't ya just wanna squeeze those chubby little arms and legs!? Cuz I do.

Harvey at six months:
  • weight: 22 lbs!!!
  • has discovered his hands. He will gaze at them opening and closing in slow motion like they are the most fascinating things in this world. I love watching him take it in.
  • has also discovered his feet. Every time I put him on the changing table, he curls his chubby little body in half and grabs his toes. Sometimes, if he's lucky, he can get them into his mouth. It should probably gross me out or something, but I love it so so much.
  • has developed some super sensitive skin. Baby eczema, bacterial infection/rash, dermatological fabric allergies, constant diaper rash, blah blah blah. not fun.
  • still the most laid back baby ever. If all my kids are this easy, I might have 5 or 6 of them.
  • My favorite thing about Harvey at 6 months: his baby babbling. He's constantly talking and it kills me. I could listen to him all day. It's usually a single sound over and over: Ba ba ba..., ma ma ma..., da da da...., fffffff, screaming or the "motor boat." I remember why I wanted Wendy to stay that way forever now.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It has happened... again. Ryan got an iPhone... again. Last time he got one I have to admit, I hated it. I hated talking to myself all the time and his delayed, "...Huh? Did you say something?" I hated the glow that ruined my perfectly pitch black room at night. I hated the extra $30 a month on our already overpriced cellphone bill. I hated how he couldn't function if it wasn't working or was lost for 5 seconds. I hated this unnecessary object that took all of my husband's attention. Seriously. We have a desk top and a laptop, why would you NEED to have the internet in your pocket 24/7? Honestly, I had visions of throwing it out the car window.

But this time around, for some reason, I don't mind so much. Maybe it's that he's not as obsessed. Maybe it's that I love watching Wendy laugh over and over again at the "Talking Tom" app. Maybe it's because I have reaped the benefit of having the internet in Ryan's pocket on more than one occasion. Maybe it's because I secretly covet instagram. Okay, I admit I was wrong. Maybe I might kinda want one some day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our Very Hungry Halloween!

For Harvey's 1st Halloween, I knew I wanted him to be The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's one of my favorite children's books and so appropriate for my happy, chubby, HUNGRY little boy. (Have I mentioned that my father-in-law calls him "Starvey Harvey"?). I found some great ideas here and here, bought some yarn and sent it to my amazingly talented grandma. She whipped this little number up for Harvey and mailed it back to me within a week. And since this may just be the last year Wendy lets me sway her into a costume of my choosing, we made it a family affaire. She was the butterfly, Ryan & I were pears and strawberries.

*i LOVE how she's kissing his hand...

* ...and i LOVE how he's grabbing her tutu.

*this face reminds me of another little baby I knew, back in October of 2008

Wendy was a trooper, going for the whole butterfly thing. We found a pet caterpillar over the summer and watched it morph from bug, to cocoon, into a very ugly moth. She also helped me make her antenna, so those were the selling points. We did have SEVEN opportunities to dress up this year (1.Charlie's spooky dinner, 2. Yo Gabba Halloween Wrap Party, 3.Sloan's 4th BDay costume party, 4. My parents "trunk-or-treat," 5. Wendy's pre-school Halloween parade/party, 6. Our "trunk-or-treat," AND 7. the REAL Halloween trick-or-treating) there were a couple times she decided to be something (or should I say, "someprincess,") else. I have a feeling I won't be so lucky with the family themed costumes next year. Or maybe I can just hope Wendy doesn't want to be a princess and we can base our costumes around her instead.

*Yo Gabba Season 4 Wrap Party

May yours be safe and full of Reeses snuck out of your child's stash once they're asleep :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 Months!

Harvey at 5 months:
  • weight: 2o lbs 14oz - 97th percentile
  • length: 28 in - 96th percentile
  • head: 17.7 in - 88th percentile
  • in the grab-whatever-i-can-reach-and-put-it-in-my-mouth phase. especially loves to try to eat: his fists, fingers, blankies, and my hair
  • simply ADORES his sister, even after all the abuse. his face lights up when she talks to him in her silly baby talk voice. she can get him cracking up so easily by jumping on the couch or making fart noises (yes, i admitted it) (i know boys are boys, but isn't he a little too young to think that's funny?)
  • has rolled over once, from his tummy to his back on his left side
  • My favorite past time with 5 month old Harvey: right before i lay him down to sleep, i sit in the rocking chair and sing (or try to sing) "You Are My Sunshine" to him. He always stops squirming, lets the pacifier drop out of his mouth, opens his eyes and smiles a wide open smile at me the whole time i sing. When I'm done his mouth searches for the pacifier, his eyes close and he's out.

*i gotta give a shout out to my little helper. notice how he's smiling big in every picture but not quite at the camera? yeah, that was all her.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dear Pinterest,

I was introduced to you 2 weeks ago and I wish I had never met you. I love you too much and this relationship isn't healthy. I NEED to go to bed early. I have a newborn that needs me. But you keep me up too late at night and leave me with a hangover in the morning. It's not you, it's me. Maybe one day, when I have a smartphone, you will fit more conveniently into my life. But for now, I think we should just be friends. Sorry to do this to you so abruptly, but I'm suffocating. I think we need some limits on this relationship. Don't worry, this isn't goodbye, it's more like let's cool things off for a while and slow down. Thank you for being so understanding and giving me the space I need right now.

Your Friend,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Williams Family Beach House 2011

*family photoshoot by my talented sister, Nessa!

*"OUR" lifeguard tower, #17

*The grandkids: Harvey, Wendy, Ruby, Landon, Charlie

Almost every summer of Ryan's life, he has spent a week with his family at the same beach house. So, for the past 9 years (the length of our dating & married life) I've got to benefit from this family tradition as well. Every summer at the beach house has been wonderful, and this summer was no exception. Some highlights:

  • having the help of my MIL, SIL, aunt-in-laws, teenage girl cousin-in-laws... I was actually able to have some time to myself and do things like take showers and make dinner without worrying about the kids!
  • sitting out on the beach all day. Wendy played in the sand with her cousins and Harvey professionally kicked it in our hand-me-down baby tent (thanks aunt Ruth- that thing is awesome!)
  • games at night! (This is always my favorite part. We put the kids to bed, cover the table with treats and play games til we can't keep our eyes open anymore. Love it.)
  • family bike rides along the boardwalk and to the ice cream shop
  • the time I accidentally locked us out. We didn't mind being stuck on the beach. The land lord came within an hour or two to unlock the door. Apparently during that time, all the other beach front rentals were broken into and all the vacationers' electronics were stolen. Good thing I'm so scatter brained!
  • finding out that my sister-in-law is pregnant! Everyone thought they were done. I'm SO excited that Harvey won't be the odd man out, trailing behind all the older cousins. Can't wait to meet my new niece/nephew!

Monday, September 12, 2011

4 months

Harvey at 4 Months:
  • weight: 19 lbs. 10 oz
  • has been wearing size 6-12 month clothes since he was about 3 1/2 months old
  • cooing all the time. loves to have long "conversations" with me after he eats and it's my FAVORITE time with him. he gazes up into my eyes like i'm the most wonderful thing on earth and just sighs over and over again. i melt.
  • loves to gnaw on his fists & fingers
  • easiest way to get him to laugh: stand him up and bounce him on my lap and say "Har-Vee-Jay!" as he bounces (Wendy likes to "help me" do this and changes the words to "CHUB-EE-JAY!" Harvey's laughs turn into nervous smiles, but he still loves it).
  • loves the mirror... will smile big and coo to himself then gets embarassed and burrows his face into my shoulder, he totally flirts with himself
  • SO laid back. I feel like it's because I neglect him (compared to Wendy who NEVER got put down as a newborn, he spends some time in his swing & bouncy chair so I can take care of both of them). It's like he's learned not to expect much. But then again, I really think it could be his personality.

*thanks to my talented sister nessa for taking these adorable photos