Friday, November 30, 2012

the ultimate holiday month is upon us

The last 2 months have been leading up to this month.  I am happy its here!  December will be a lovely one since we will be home the whole month soaking up the spirit and decor.  Like I was for Oct.  I am so grateful for a house to fill with holiday decorations.  Also, I am so grateful to be a mom.  My son is old enough to get most of what its all about.  I get to spend the holiday teaching and creating special moments.  How much better is that going to make things?!!!  I am really excited.

*  this image is from a little family outing to the Festival of Nativities by the Seattle temple tonight.  I was amazed at how much he liked the exhibit of over 500 different nativities.  He was very gentle and tried really hard not to touch.  This picture is of him not touching baby Jesus which is what I'd asked him to do.  It was very sweet for me to be explaining that all of these people in each nativity came to see Jesus because they loved him.  If that didn't get me in the spirit of Christmas, I don't know what would.  

a call for addresses!

See these pictures?  These 2 things have gotten me in the Christmas spirit more than anything else.  Plus the fact that we came home from our Thanksgiving vacation to find several neighbors with Christmas lights on their houses!  Not to mention, we are going to do 3 festive things this weekend! AND, something else, I am totally sending out Christmas cards this year!

lmmtolbert at gmail dot com 

Tis the season to be jolly and we'd love to send you a Christmas greeting to add to that Christmas cheer!

square photography

* all photos from my Instagram

Thursday, November 29, 2012

from my pin boards

Here are a few recipes I've tried lately from my Pinterest food board.  

the pumpkin cake was light and yummy.  a no-fail alternative to the normal pumpkin dishes.

the green goddess grilled cheese was so amazing. (my favorite!!!)  it needs to be a staple in my diet!

the hawaiian hay stacks were the prefect meal for a large family gathering.  so easy and tasty!

* not my pictures - see link for source

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

useful + beautiful

This is my current moto.

I just got back from vacation.  We stayed at my brother's home and his wife is the best.  She is a dream of a Sister-in-law.  Whenever I come back from visiting her home I am always motivated to live a better life, be a more patient and loving mom/wife and have a happier HOME.

We had some good talks about being a mom and staying home with the kids all day, everyday.  She sees it as her job.  What a concept!  She says she wants to do the best she can at her job just as if it were a salary paying, 40 hr/wk job.  Why I never thought of it this way... it beats me!  I am an outstanding employee  so why not at my current, first choice job?  Obviously, there is some change to be made.

So, here I am, home from a lovely stay with my mentor/SIL.  All I want to do is clear my home of everything but the useful and beautiful, to de-clutter, organize, decorate and keep a clean home and what happens?  My son gets sick.  Then my daughter and of course, then I get sick.  (Stay healthy husband Love!)

Well, there is nothing like a bump in the road to really get you motivated!
I'm glad for this quote to help me along the way.

* thank you Deary Z for coming home early from work to take care of me and the kids and to friends who have offered to help and brought warm soup to my door!  I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a wedding

My sister got married.  
Her whole family was there to celebrate.  
She wore the dress from my wedding that our sister made.  
And our other sister that did my wedding day makeup was there for her too.  
It was a beautiful occasion for this happy bride.   

* all images by Zack except the last by our cousin Jodi

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We had Thanksgiving with almost all of my family.
It was a blast.  I'm a thankful girl, I am.

The last Thanksgiving holidays included:

Friday, November 16, 2012

art for a good cause

Check out these posters you can buy to support Hurricane Sandy victims.  One of our friends designed one and I think it is quite cute.  I'll have to buy one and maybe another one or two...

Other ways you can help and donate.

Organize your own coat drive through New York Cares
Donate to your local Deseret Industries
Check out NYC SERVICE for other ways to help from near and far.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My favorite month is October with its beautiful fall days, the beginning of crisp air and the start of the Holiday Season, in my eyes, with Halloween kicking it off.  November is just one more month of
holiday fun.  I'm so glad its here.

We have left our pumpkins out to rot and decay.  I had good intentions of making pies with them but that didn't happen this year.  Its so crazy how easy it is to waste perfectly good pumpkins... anyway.  November will have been an exciting month once its over.  We've already celebrated Thanksgiving with friends, hit the scooting milestone with one child and mastered the Big Boy Bed with the other.  We still get to attend a wedding and vacation where it is snowy and sunny.  I am really looking forward to that infamous Thanksgiving feast and spending time with family.  

Oh, November, I am so happy you are here!

ps.  Am I the only one with a husband that MUST participate in Movember?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

coat drive : update

I'm pretty much obsessed with my little (not little at all, actually) coat drive.

It started as a serious desire to help a week ago today.  (I wanted to rent an apartment for a month and bring my mom out to babysit just so I could go to the areas that are in need and help non stop.  Unfortunately, that just isn't in the cards for me right now.)  It has spread to many different organizations and groups.  I am so grateful that so many have rallied with me in this cause.  I am so lucky to have been able to start the ball rolling to collect warm coats for my neighbors back "at home".

There is a sweet story about one of the coats donated.  The son of Zack's co-worker wrote a note and left it in a pocket of the jacket he donated.
It said that the coat was his favorite coat but that he was giving it away because he knew some other child needed it more than he did.

I too thought of writing a note but didn't.  I regret it now.  This is what I would have said.
"This coat is very special to me because it was from my husband when we were dating.  We lived in NYC and I didn't have a warm coat for the winter, only this light weight one that I layered over everything.  He gave this to me one day and it kept me very happy and warm.  He has since given me other coats and I knew someone could get better use of this coat.  I am happy that I could give it to you."

This is a great post from the New York Cares website where I am sending the coats. 
Read the entire post here.

The final count for the first shipment...  
Can you believe it?!!!  I thought my goal of 100 coats in a week would take a miracle.  I am pleasantly surprised and so humbled by the response to support my idea and mostly those in need. 

Stay warm, NYC!

Friday, November 9, 2012

coat drive

After living in NYC for so many years and then not being there to help after Hurricane Sandy, I felt terribly sad.  I wanted to help so badly.  I actually prayed to know how I could help.  I was searching online for ways I could help other than monetarily when I came across the New York Cares website.  This organization is no stranger to me.  Zack and I both volunteered with the organization several times.  I knew what I could do to help once I read the following quote.

"In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers are in need of warm coats more than ever this winter. To meet demand we need to collect 200,000 coats, but, due to the urgency created by Hurricane Sandy, we desperately need 50,000 coats this week!"

 So, organize a coat drive I did!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

peaches + pectin

I have canned plenty of times in my lifetime but never in the last 15 years and never freezer jam.  Recently my in-laws picked up a box of peaches for me.  I decided to make freezer jam.  Mine turned out more like peach syrup.  Its actually really good so I'm not sad about it at all.

* I used the recipe on the pectin package.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a lot of Halloween firsts

Happy Halloween!  It was a lovely October.  Fall here in the PNW has been so beautiful, and Halloween was a dream.  Living in a house and in a neighborhood with houses, not apartment buildings like I've had for the last 8 years, made for a very different and familiar celebration this year.
We had decorations up all month and wore costumes several times.  We partied hard.  After all, it was Haven's very first Halloween, Odin's first Halloween trick-or-treating, our first time hosting a Halloween party, and lastly our first Halloween as a family of four... AND in a house!  I can hardly wait for next year.  Its a good thing that Halloween marks the beginning of The Holiday Season.  Its going to be a good one!