December 27, 2010

our family

Christmas this year at my brother Bill's house. We had two barbecued prime ribs, ham, potatoes, jimmy's salad and lots of yummy desserts. I am so blessed to have this wonderful big family and that we all manage to get together to celebrate Christmas. There were 35 of us, 5 were missing {visiting other relatives} and 2 little ones are on the way {one in Jan. and one in May}. We always have a great turn out at Christmas. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that my brother Bob gives money away to all our kids!

December 22, 2010

home for the holidays

So happy it is Christmas week and Danielle and her boyfriend Tom are home for the holidays. What I love the most about Christmas is that all the family comes home and gets together at this time of the year. One thing I never thought about when my kids were little is how when they grow up and get married or have a boyfriend or girlfriend you have to share them with another family. It seems like endless {sometimes stressful} negotiation to figure how to spend the holidays with each family. Then you have to get used to the idea that at some of your favorite holiday get togethers your children and grandchildren won't be with you. Something I'm getting plenty of practice in these days......learning to let go.

December 14, 2010

christmas wrapping

Love this wrapping guide from oh happy day. It turns out one of her sources Paper Mart is near my house and they have super cheap prices. So much cheaper then where I get my ribbon now. My favorite is the navy striped grosgrain ribbon and they carry that at Paper Mart.
image: oh happy day

December 13, 2010

brittany 4 months

This 4 month has been heaven for Brittany compared to the first three. She is starting to get a tiny tummy even though the hyperemesis has kept her pretty thin. She had her picc line removed and is taking her meds by mouth. Now and then she gets sick at night, mostly when she tries to do too much. The big ultrasound is coming in two weeks but she has decided to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex. Everyone seems to freak out when you tell them you are not finding out {even though that is how it used to always be}. It has certainly caused a few family members a lot of stress as they just seem unable to wait for the birth. Brittany and I spent the last week hanging out together, catching up and talking about baby plans. I love seeing her smile again and be able to enjoy life. I am so happy to have my daughter back!

December 11, 2010

happy birthday matt!

Matt had a crazy birthday week. His car died for good and we spent it frantically looking for new one for him. His favorite car is a Camaro but that isn't in his budget right now. Instead he found a dark green used Honda Accord. Not racy like he likes but reliable and something that won't be breaking down every couple of months. We did manage to squeeze in a chocolate fudge birthday cake for celebrating and his favorite food eel sushi.

His dream someday......

His reality today!

image 1: Brittany Altman, image 2: motorward, image 3 web2carz

December 1, 2010

joy times 3

Kenna who just a few months ago had a liver transplant is the picture of health in her adorable Christmas photo.
Laci who survived cancer twice is a glowing pregnant mommy who will be having her sweet baby girl in just a month.
Brittany who although not as serious as Kenna and Laci, has stopped getting sick around the clock and is going off her IV meds for hyperemesis. We are so grateful for where we are today and we are looking forward to a Happy Christmas with our families!
image 1: tegyn friedman

coconut and almond granola

I love this granola recipe {minus the dates} and my husband is addicted to it too so I'm making it all the time. It's delicious straight from the jar or with milk for breakfast. I also like to give it as a hostess gift and to our neighbors at Christmas. It's nice to have something a little bit healthier to eat since we are all surrounded by plenty of cookies, candy and sweets at this time of the year.

baby's first house

Over at the blog Young House Love they are getting ready to move out of their first house they remodeled and decorated into bigger house now that they have a 6 month old baby. It was their baby's first house and they wanted a way to show it to her when she was older. They decided to take a video of them touring the whole house with her and showing her what she liked to do in each room. The video is so can see it here.
image: clara's first room

November 30, 2010

christmas tree

I love this little Christmas Tree. It looks about 5 ft. tall which is the same size we got yesterday. Now that we moved into a smaller place we needed to get a tree that fit in our space better. It is the perfect size for our house and I can't wait to decorate it tomorrow.
image: Belinda Graham

November 28, 2010

2011 calendar

Love this calendar by Linnea Designs. Cute prints for each and every month.
via: Urban Grace Interiors

November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that back when Danielle was Noah's age she was the only child in our family. Here she is tasting the turkey and getting all sorts of attention on Thanksgiving Day.
Things have changed in our family since back then. Now we have a few more people to celebrate with and it keeps on growing!
photo 2: Mike Cunningham

November 22, 2010

happy birthday brittany

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday today! Some people are under the assumption that you are quiet and soft-spoken. That is not the Brittany I have know all these years. This picture of you shows the real Brittany. A tomboy, athletic, playful and fun. You have also acquired some new skills {besides roasting sticks around the campfire} since you are grown and married now.
Crafting, making this cute stool for Noah.
Cooking, such as these delicious homemade pancakes with blueberries picked from the farm by Noah.
What I love the most about you though is how much you love being a mom and all the time and energy you spend teaching Noah to be a loving, good little boy. Can't wait until the arrival of your next baby to add to this sweet family of yours. Happy you are feeling better for your Birthday and hoping soon the IV meds will be gone for good!

November 21, 2010

thumbs up

Kids are so funny at Noah's age and do the cutest things. A couple of months ago Noah did something he was really proud of and turned to Brittany and gave her a thumbs up. We were dying laughing! We couldn't figure out where he got it from because no one in the family had taught him that. We love it whenever he does it so when he is being good we all give him a thumbs up. It makes him so happy and then he gives it right back to us.

November 19, 2010

potato poblano soup

One of my favorite soups is potato. Tonight I made a new recipe with potatoes and poblanos. It was so good and the best potato soup I have made. The poblanos gave it a little bit of spice and a deeper flavor. It was perfect for a cold and rainy night.
image 1: Martha Stewart image 2: Real Simple image 3: Mike's Kitchen

November 18, 2010

cake topper

I love this adorable crocheted cake topper from project wedding. What's great about it is how easy it is. Speaking of weddings we have another one coming up in the family soon. My niece is getting married Dec. 18. I ordered a cake for her bridal shower today from the same place I got Noah's 2nd birthday cake. I found a place near us that will make a 1 tier round cake for such a great price. With expensive places I have used in the past I just give them an idea I want and they make an amazing cake. Here I have to find a design I like and tell them how I want it. It is a little scarier then the expensive places but worth the massive price savings. When I saw how cute Noah's was I was glad I gave it a try. Praying Kendra's comes out as cute as his did!

November 17, 2010

3 months

Wow, I think we need to get a better back drop for these monthly photos. Not loving the outlets and cords. I also had to take this with my iphone because I burned up my entire card on Halloween photos. This is Brittany's 3 month photo and she looks a little thinner here then she did at 2 months. It is really hard to imagine her getting big at this point. When she was feeling better for a little while we thought she was showing but right after her latest relapse she got real skinny again. She had several ultrasounds because of the Hyperemesis and we were excited to see the baby is doing really good and growing normally. The weird thing about Hyperemesis is the mother is barely hanging on during the pregnancy but the babies don't seem to suffer at all. She was sick with Noah too and he has been super healthy since he was born. The last couple of days Brittany has been the tiniest bit better. The key seems to be keeping the IV fluids and meds going even as she starts to feel better. We are so happy for any improvement at all and just pray we can keep heading in this direction. It is her Birthday on Monday and I so want her to be feeling good for that!

November 14, 2010

when it hurts

This is Brittany about a week and a half ago. She was hooked up to a continuous IV after being in the hospital for several days but she was doing a lot better{as the picture shows of her happy face}. We even managed to have a pretty happy Halloween. She couldn't go trick or treating with Noah but she got to see him dressed in his costume and run around the house like a race car. Unfortunately today she took a turn for the worse again. We were really hoping we had the hyperemesis under control but I guess that was just fantasy wishing. She is back to getting sick every 20 minutes and she has a new symptom being super dizzy all the time. This disease is just relentless and you can see why it causes a lot of women to have abortions. It is so hard as her mom to watch her suffer like this. She said to me today "I don't know why I have to go through this". I wish I had an answer to this question but I do not. It is so hard trying to find a way to comfort her through this illness. I can't always do that and I can't take the suffering away and that hurts.

November 9, 2010

favorite halloween costumes

I loved this costume. It is Nicole's daughter from Making it Lovely and she is Olivia from the book by that name. It is her daughter's favorite book which is such a sweet idea!
My oldest daughter Danielle was Hello Kitty and her boyfriend was Gumby. Danielle loves to dress up for Halloween and its fun every year to see what she is. Even at a young age I didn't have much input into her costumes. She had her own ideas and always let me know what she wanted to be.
This is a good friend of mine who was Lindsay Lohan 40 years from now. Janet is hilarious and ever since I have known her is always the life of the party. What a great idea this was!

Noah was a race car driver {his favorite activity is to race his little cars}. As soon as he put it on he was making screeching noises and racing around the house like he was a car. I love his age at Halloween. It has always been my favorite part of Halloween to see the little ones come to the door trick or treating.

Tried to get this post up right after Halloween but I have been busy at Brittany's taking care of Noah while she is sick. Her Hyperemesis continues but things are going a little bit better and I am praying they will stay that way. Will post an update on her soon.

October 26, 2010

baby costumes

Brittany and I ran across these cute Halloween costumes from Tom Arma about a month ago when we were looking for Noah's costume. He is a little bit to old this year but they will be cute for next year when she has a new baby!

October 25, 2010

October 21, 2010

hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)

Hyperemesis gravidarum {HG} is a severe form of morning sickness, with "unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting" that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.
My daughter has been dealing with this horrible disease since she got pregnant two months ago. It is heartbreaking for me to watch her go through this and feel so helpless in trying to relieve her suffering. The sad thing about it is that not many women get this when they are pregnant so there has been little research or studies into it. So there has been basically no progress in lessening their suffering from HG. Before IV therapy women would die with this. IV therapy helps when they can get it, if they have an understanding doctor but most of them still are very very sick. A lot of days Brittany can't keep any fluids or food down at all and has repetitive vomiting. Their are no days off when you have it as severe as my daughter does. A lot of women have abortions that have HG because they can't stand the constant dehydration and repetitive vomiting that never lets up. It is a tragedy to think these babies are dying because the medical community in this day and age can't make any progress to lessen their suffering. There is an excellent book about it that was written by a mom with it that is called Beyond Morning Sickness. Anyone who has it or has a loved one with it should read this book. It has been a huge help and source of comfort to my daughter and me. The best description Brittany has ever come across to describe what it feels like with HG is the quote below she read by another mother who suffered from it like she is.

"I SO want this pregnancy to be over. I want my mouth to taste right again. I want to eat without a thought. I want to get up, cook, clean, tend my house. I want to be my son's mommy again. I want to go places and do things and be his teacher again. I want to go to church and make a dish to bring to prayer meetings again. I want to wash dishes in the church kitchen and wipe off tables and be a part of life. I want to go to cookouts and pool parties. I want to go to the beach and pick up a bushel of oysters on the way back. I want to steam them and share them with my crazy friends. I want to be a part of the organic coop again. I want to have playdates at the park with the kids. I want to function and encourage and be encouraged. I want to live again."
image: here

October 19, 2010

a new baby

My daughter Brittany is pregnant with baby #2! We are super excited to have another little one in our family and can't wait until the baby arrives. Here she is at 8 weeks. She has actually lost 8 pounds since she has been pregnant and is quite thin. She wishes she could eat like crazy but she can't. In my next blog post I want to give some information about what she is going through. Not very many women have this disease in pregnancy so they haven't made any progress in treating it through the years.

October 3, 2010

snapshots of summer

My favorite pictures from this summer now that we are moving into fall. My favorite memories, hanging out with my family as much as possible, barbecues, going to beach a lot since we live close by, watching Noah enjoy the beach as much as I did when I was little, having a surprise visit from Danielle and Tom, Danielle coming back 2 weeks later from DC so we could have a girls weekend at Brittany's house, lunch's with Matt, bike riding, swimming now that we have a pool, heading to the farmers market every weekend for delicious fresh fruit and vegetables and then breakfast by the beach at The Crema Cafe. The funny thing is now that it is fall we finally have the first hot weather here of the whole summer!
image 4&5-Tom Jenson

September 24, 2010


Adorable pinwheel escort cards via oh happy day.

September 23, 2010

anthropologie mug

Just got this cute little mug from Anthropologie. I love their mugs for my excessive tea drinking. They are light and don't retain the heat, so the handle stays nice and cool even after numerous times of reheating in the microwave.

September 22, 2010

mark twain

A great Mark Twain quote that is a favorite of Jon Hamm's from Mad Men. This and some great pictures from behind the set at Mad Men via Rolling Stone
via: say yes to hoboken

September 19, 2010