Wednesday, September 27, 2006

They should all be models...

I haven't gotten my camera out much lately...really sad. For Sophia especially. Her first two months are woefully undocumented. But the other day, I decided to do a full blown photo shoot of all three girls (together and separate). These are my best shots of the day:



This is my favorite of Sophia...isn't she gorgeous??? (Just ignore the big black spot on her arm...my scanner is filthy.)


Also love this one. She really liked the camera. Everytime I brought it up to my face she'd start smiling and cooing at it. (Now the black spot is on her shirt. I really should clean the thing.)


Here's Beautiful Bria. She kind of looks like a vampire since she's missing her two front teeth, but she's still adorable.


And Chloe....the scan doesn't really do this picture justice. Got some great catchlights here that you can't see.


And this one...again the scan isn't doing it justice. Aren't they the cutest girls you ever did see?

I am so blessed to have them.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's like Christmastime in Arizona
(and I think I might die from the cold...)

Fall has officially arrived here in Cedar City. I love fall. It is my very favorite season. I love the crisp chill in the air, the vivid blue of the sky, the turning of the leaves, the smells...everything. It was something I sorely missed while living in Arizona. Fall never really came there...the crisp chill would sort of arrive by mid-December and possibly stay till the end of February, but that's it. In September it's still 100 degrees there! I'm still getting the playgroup emails from my AZ crowd and I can't believe they're doing things like playing in the sprinklers at the zoo! I can't comprehend anymore, because I'M FREEZING TO DEATH!

It was colder here yesterday than it ever gets in Arizona, except on very rare occasions. (It did snow in Phoenix in March, so I shouldn't say never...) Anyway, it's only going to get colder, and I DON'T HAVE ANY APPROPRIATE CLOTHING! I've lived in capris and tee shirts for the past 3 years. To make matters worse, I don't quite fit into the jeans and long pants I do have yet. So I have two choices: Go on a major crash diet or spend a fortune on warm clothing.

But for now I am just going to go get in my flannel PJ's and snuggle with Sophia in my nice warm bed...I can always make that decision tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Just trying not to get hit

Sometimes I feel like my life is a game of dodgeball, and I am the one standing in the middle of the circle. The problem is, there are so many balls constantly coming at me that it is often difficult to stay in the game. I'm lucky if I can catch a couple of the balls, and even luckier if I make it through a day without getting hit.

So many things to be thinking about and doing. Eat right. Exercise. Read scriptures. Feed 3 kids. Clothe 3 kids. Keep 3 kids clean, happy, and obedient. Referee arguments. Make dinner. Make lunch. Make breakfast. Wake up in the morning (a super difficult task when a newborn is thrown into the mix). Take kids to doctor and dentist. Scrapbook. Paint furniture. Clean toilets. Make beds. Drink enough water. Pick up toys. Supervise chores. Take shower. Brush teeth. Make sure children brush teeth. Mop floor. Unpack last boxes. Plan voice lessons. Take vitamins. Teach voice lessons. Help Bria with homework. Read to kids. Play with baby. Vacuum. Fold laundry. Grocery shopping. Feed Baby Sophia at 2 a.m. Take DVD's back so we don't get a fine. Spend time with hubby. Plan Family Home Evening. Be ready for all those unexpected balls that are thrown at me (like getting a phone call from Bria's teacher while at the Doctor's office with the baby who has thrush. Her shoe had broken and I needed to bring her a different pair). Take Chloe to preschool. Pick her up. Clip coupons. Practice violin with girls. Balance checkbook. Pay bills. Have a social life. Are you tired yet? I am, and I still haven't even been given a church calling!

Oh. And Blog...

On my blog that is titled "overstuffed."

There's a reason for that.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

But thanks for the memories

I admit it, I am something of a packrat. I don't like being this way, but it is incredibly hard for me to get rid of things. I prefer to think of it as sentimentality. Yet, the longer I live, the more I see how important it is to rid ourselves of clutter--mental as well as physical. In fact, I have found that I function much better mentally and spiritually when my physical surroundings are free of chaos.

But still, the clutter has a way of building up. If you don't do Flylady's "27 fling boogie" daily (which I don't), then stuff just multiplies until it takes over your life. While packing to move from Arizona to Utah in the last two months I really tried to get rid of unneeded things. I must have driven 4 or 5 fairly large loads of books, clothes, toys and other things to DI before I moved. Yet I still must apologize to the men who loaded the truck for me: I've continued to get rid of things as I unpack them. I could have saved them from having to load at least 5 boxes worth of stuff if I'd only gotten rid of it when I was still in Arizona.

Last week I dropped a huge load off at the DI here in Cedar City. A few days after that we went to DI to look for a dresser. (We are desperately in need of a new one as the baby's clothes are currently sitting in a box in her room). We didn't find a dresser, but we did see many of the things I had donated beforehand. Mostly stuffed animals. Now, I honestly tried to cut down the stuffed animal population in our house before I moved, but only to great wailing and gnashing of teeth by two little girls. So, we gave four (yes, I typed that right) stuffed animals to DI and boxed the other three hundred (an exaggeration, yes, but not by much) up to bring to Utah. Well guess what happened? I didn't unpack most of them. And nobody cared. Nobody cried for their green stuffed frog or their talking Nala. So, I quietly went through them and kept only a few and took the rest to DI.

I was surprised that the girls only recognized one of their former toys, while I recognized all of them. And I was further surprised my reaction: I wanted to buy them all and take them back home with me. Not because of the toys themselves, but because of the particular memories attached to them. There was the stuffed Gund puppy that Joel bought me for Valentine's Day when we were first married because I had just found out I was pregnant with Bria. There was the huge stuffed Teddy Bear that we got Bria for Christmas when she was a year old. She loved that bear...you should have seen her hug and kiss and cuddle with it when she first saw it. There was the little stuffed Teddy Bear that I got for Christmas from Elder and Sister Dudley while on my mission in Romania. They were the CES missionaries and I was called to be their helper. I named the bear "Dudley" after them. There was the frog purse we got on our trip to Hawaii. Chloe loved it and constantly put her little treasures inside. And I could go on...but I'll spare you.

With much restraint, I left the store without buying the animals (and, alas, I didn't buy any dresser either). I kept telling myself that I still have those memories. And, being the avid scrapbooker that I am, most of them are well documented in albums. I really don't miss the animals, and I am much happier without them. Heaven knows that it's hard enough to keep the twenty stuffed animals we kept off the floor without adding twenty more.

Friday, September 08, 2006

From one desert to another

Even though Utah is technically considered "the desert," after living in Arizona for several years I personally consider Utah a lush, green oasis. The girls do, too. I mean, we actually have a backyard that they can *gasp* PLAY in! It's quite the novelty right now, and our particular backyard is actually the topic of a whole 'nother blog.

We do have a desert in our neighborhood though. Bria's elementary school is brand new this year and hasn't quite been finished. There's no grass, so of COURSE it is a desert. Every morning and afternoon while walking to school Chloe gets extremely excited and yells to the whole neighborhood, "There's the desert!!! I can SEE the DESERT!!!" And then, while we traipse across the dirt (aka "sand") she very carefully looks for scorpions. That's my Arizona girl.

Friday, September 01, 2006

We are alive!!!

After a long two weeks or so, the Neves family FINALLY has the internet. We still don't have TV (and probably won't get it), so I have felt mercilessly detached from the world. I've just lived in my own little bubble...which really isn't so bad. It's nice actually.

But here I am...connected again. Obviously, the girls and I successfully made it to Utah and joined Joel. Life has continued to be crazy ever since and so I thought I'd quickly (ha!) update you on all of our comings and goings, because I know every last one of you has been waiting on pins and needles for this blog to be updated!

Joel: He has settled into a pretty good rhythm where the high school and middle school orchestras are concerned. The 8th graders are difficult, but of course that is to be expected...they're 13 year olds. His adjunct position is only 3 hours a week directing the Jazz band at SUU, which is good, because he still spends a crazy amount of time prepping for the high school and middle schools. Hopefully that will calm down soon enough and we'll see him more often. He won't start working with the Orchestra of Southern Utah until September (wait...it IS September!) so he's not completely crazy yet.

Lara: I have been spending most of my time unpacking and putting the house together. I have to admit the last few days I've lost some of my steam, though. (Could it be that I just had a baby and have put superhuman energy into the whole packing, moving, unpacking scenario before she is even 6 weeks old? Yeah...that's it.) I love our house. It is the first brand new house I've lived in since I was 5 years old. I think most of the places Joel and I have lived in our married life have been older than we are. Of course, I've completely immersed myself in my first decorating project and have many more cooking up in my brain. I got rid of my old dinette set before I moved up here because I was getting my Grandma's old set. It is a beautiful set, but old and definitely in need of a pick-me-up. I've been recovering and painting chairs every morning this week. When those are finished I'll paint the table and the hutch. This is my September project. The living room is on the docket for October...I have grand ideas for my old tired furniture. Finally, I got a job (totally unexpected) at SUU teaching adjunct voice. Apparently they are overflowing with vocal students and were desperate, so I went and sang for the vocal faculty yesterday and they called me back a few hours later. I have at least 5 students, and probably more. They're paying me the same I would charge if I were teaching at home, so basically, I have an instant studio and don't have to stress about finding students too much. The only thing is the kids can't come with me, but my sister-in-law has already offered to help out, so I'm sure all will be well.

Bria: She started first grade the day after (yes, the day after) we arrived in town. She loves her teacher because she has "a beautiful face and beautiful hair." She's not wrong, either--her teacher could be Miss America. I'm sure she's also a great teacher. I've been impressed with Bria. She normally doesn't deal well with change at all, but she has done fabulously with the whole new school, new house, new baby, new everything scenario we've forced her into. She occasionally has a difficult time going into her classroom in the morning, but she is happy when she comes home and has a new best friend named Shelby. I love that the school is about a block away and so we walk every morning and every afternoon. Hopefully it will help me get some of this darn baby weight off.

Chloe: She has been spending the days with me and the baby, but I just found a preschool for her. We went and met her teacher today, in fact. She will be attending 2 days a week for 2 1/2 hours and she is so excited. I'm excited for her to have this experience. Chloe ADORES her baby sister (maybe a little too much) and is constantly loving, hugging and kissing her. She shows her off to everyone she sees (this is my baby, her name is Baby Sophia, do you love her?). She and Bria are both thrilled to be near some of their favorite cousins who are just their ages.

Sophia: We blessed her in Orem the week we got here. She is such an easy baby, for which I am extremely grateful. She sleeps for 5 to 6 hours at a time, sometimes more, and when she is awake she is mellow and calm. She only fusses if I eat chocolate (dang it! But yet another thing that might just help me lose this weight.) or if she's been in the car too long without being fed, which has only happened a few times. She is beautiful, even with the horrible case of infant acne she's broken out with, and people are constantly stopping me in public to look at her.

So that's the Neves rundown for now....more later, I'm sure.