Thursday, April 30, 2009

Four Months Old

Brynlee is four months old today!!! She has seemed so grown up lately. Some of the things she loves to do are rolling, blowing bubbles in her mouth, spitting and drooling, sucking on anything she can get her hands on, making tons of different little noises, pulling her pacifier out of her mouth and tossing it on the germy ground, looking at colorful books, playing in her "exersaucer", going outside and looking around, stroller rides, holding tight to her blankies, long naps, charming all the little boys at church, and spending time with her Daddy. We love her!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Brynlee LOVES bath time! This video is pretty long, but it's mostly for my Mamasita back home who hasn't seen Bryn take a bath in the real tub. It's also for all of you who have been wanting a close up view of my head. There are some really nice back-of-the-head shots. Enjoy!

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

Brynlee learned how to roll a week ago and it's been so funny. When she first learned how to roll, she was doing it nonstop. As soon as I'd unwrap her from her swaddle, she would roll over. And the rolls would continue all day long. I think she was just so excited at her new trick, that she wanted to do it over and over and over. It's cute, but there are a few problems with this new rolling thing. One, she only knows how to roll from her back to her tummy. She tries and tries to roll back onto her back but so far she hasn't figured it out. This means once she gets tired of being on her tummy I have to come flip her back over. I used to be able to lay her on her back and she would play with toys while I got chores done, but now my chores are pretty interupted because every few minutes I have to flip her over. The second problem is that Brynlee is a spitter and rolling all day just contributes to her spitting up. I think she makes herself motion sick with all the constant rolling. So she'll roll, spit up, then grunt until I flip her back over, roll, spit up, then grunt, and so on and so on. This is our pattern for much of the day! Luckily, the thrill of rolling is wearing off a little and she doesn't do it constantly. Only 15-20 times a day, which is far less than a few days ago!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Here we go again

When I first got married I would take a picture of every meal that I made! I wouldn't let Josh take a bite until I had taken pictures of his pretty plate. Sometimes I even included him in the pictures prompting him to "smile big and act like you're really happy about this new recipe!" I guess I was just so excited to be a wife and to be learning how to cook. Now I laugh when I go through my pictures and find all those pictures of meals! It was a little out of control.

Now I'm doing the same thing with Brynlee's Sunday pictures. We'll be rushing off to church and I'll say "Wait! We haven't taken a picture of Brynlee's church outfit!" We'll have to drop everything, find the camera, and take a handful of pictures. I know. It's a little overboard. How long will this last? It could be a while. Even though I recognize that it's silly, I'm sure I'll be pulling the camera out again next week! This a dead give away that I'm a first time mom. Something tells me I won't be doing this by the time I get to my fourth or fifth child!

Hope you enjoy the picture of Brynlee from this past Sunday!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So about two and a half years ago around Christmas time of 2006 my family decided to do family pictures (in a family of eight kids I was the only one who was still single). Well, after my whole family had taken family pictures, each of my siblings then had some time with the photographer and their individual families to take their own family pictures. For some reason after one of my siblings and their family had taken their pictures the photographer called my name. Why I consented to a single photo shoot of myself, where all the pictures were of me in various poses I'll never know, but the following is just one of the photos taken that day, titled, "Alone":Word to the wise, if you're ever in a photo shoot and the photographer thinks that it will be really cool to take a picture of you at the bottom of a pit with your hands in your pockets and a cheesy grin on your face, ask yourself, "How have I gotten myself to this point in my life?" I didn't, and now I have this photo for the rest of my life.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Any Tips?

Lately I've really felt the need to create! I've got some new paintings planned, but I want to develop other creative outlets as well. I think I'm in mother mode. I bought my first glue gun (a mother necessity), but I've been wanting an even bigger toy...a sewing machine. There are so many little sewing projects I've been dying to try! The glue gun was $8.00, easily fitting within the small "Crafts/Hobbies" section of our budget, but I couldn't really justify going out and just buying a sewing machine out of the blue. They usually run a little higher than $8.00. I thought I'd have to wait for Christmas, or my birthday, or til we became wealthy enough to add a much more generous "crafting" column to our monthly budget.

But......then I sold two paintings this week, which brought in enough moolah to buy a sewing machine, or two or three sewing machines. Woot woot! Josh is currently gone on a Scout Camporee, and I haven't told him my big plan, but I'm sure he wouldn't object to me buying one. Especially if I promised to sew him a new outfit, or a cape, or at least a colorful neckerchief for his scout attire. He's always a sucker for neckerchiefs.

Now, to the point of this post:

Any recommendations for good sewing machines? Or nice features to have? Or brands? Anything?

One final note directed only to family members, who are no doubt worried about this purchase:

No, I will not be sewing any more pairs of neon green pajama pants with bright purple swirls. And if, for some reason, I did sew another pair of those pants, I certainly would not wear them outside of the house to play sports, thinking it was cool to ditch the regular black shorts and make a bolder statement with the neon green. There's no dout that they made a statement, but that's a whole other story.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Best FHE ever! and a few other things

Last night we had Family Home Evening with three elderly couples from our new ward. They were so nice to include us. It was such a great evening getting to know them better. They had such wonderful stories. Some were serious and touching. Others were so, so funny! Josh and I were dying. It came out that one of the men used to be a professional wrestler! He told us stories about throwing men into the four row of the audience. He was known as the "Masked Marvel". Here is a picture of the "Masked Marvel" demonstrating some of his signature moves on Josh. I can't tell you how much I was loving this!!!

Jim wasn't a professional wrestler, but he wanted in on the fun! This was seriously the most fun Josh and I have had in a long time! We've got to get together with them again soon!

And now, for a few other random pictures:
Summer weather is here! Bring out the sundresses!!! Before church on Sunday. Bryn was being a cheeseball. Sometimes she gets in these silly moods where she blows little bubbles and drools down her chin. Her dress was soaked by the time we got to church! Oh well. At least it wasn't spit up!

Yesteray it was a record high of 98 degrees in Huntington Beach. Way too hot for my liking! Luckily Bryn could change into a nice airy little outfit. I wanted to do the same, but I kept myself a little more modest.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I am LOVING...

...this biography! I'm only a third of the way through it, but it is great! What an incredible man and prophet of the Lord. It's been a treat to get to know more about his sweet wife, too. I want to be as supportive and loving of a wife as she is!

One Hundred Dollars Later...

...we have the official scout pants, shirt, and belt. The only pants Josh could find were the kind that zipped off into shorts. He isn't a huge fan of the zip-off look, so he asked the worker where the regular scout pants were. The worker smiled and said "Sir, zip-off pants are in style. It's the only pant style we carry now." I had to laugh. This whole zip-off pant business makes me think of a dating experience a few years ago:

I was on a date, hot summer day, the room was full of people and getting a little warm, little beads of sweat begin to accumulate on my date's forehead. Luckily he was wearing zip off pants, so he zips them off to the capri level. Back up. He was wearing zip off pants on a date, and what makes it worse is that they not only zipped off into shorts, but they zipped off into capris. I sneakily pulled out my camera and took a picture of the pants because it was too much for me.

Here's the evidence:

That was our last date.

No offense if you wear zip off pants. In fact, according to the Scout worker, zip-off pants are supposedly the latest come-back trend.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Calling

Last night I bought this nice Kelty sleeping bag for Josh. Why? Because while I was in Utah, Josh got set apart as the new SCOUTMASTER for our ward in Huntington Beach. The poor guy is going to be soo busy with his 7am to 6pm job, studying for the CFA exam this summer, and now this demanding calling. BUT he will be awesome in this role and it will work out! We're actually really excited about it. He had his first scout meeting last night and he had a lot of fun. Here's what we'll be buying this weekend:

The uniform. I'm way more excited about buying this than he is!

New Suit

What was in Brynlee's Easter basket from her grandma...I mean the Easter Bunny? A swimsuit and pink fuzzy cover-up. My mom and I were DYING. Way too cute.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

So....I surprised my family and drove to Utah with my Uncle Mark. (Josh couldn't go because of work and studying for the CFA exam.) We got in late Thursday night and then arrived back in California late last night. What a great trip! It was so fun to see my family and for them to spend time with Brynlee. The trip included shopping, movies, a late-night frozen yogurt run, dyeing Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt, a Tueller Family gathering, and tons of time playing with cute little Bryn. Here are several pictures I stole from my sister's camera:

Logan, Dad, and Mom at YogurtStop.
Marie, Bryn, and I

Bryn didn't enjoy our long shopping trips as much as I did.

Logan is a great uncle! He was so sweet with Bryn. He even put his pink flamingo "beanie baby" in Brynlee's easter baasket and said she could have it for keeps.

Uncle Jae has never been happier.

I loved spending time with my beautiful sister Marie, and so did Bryn!

Love those big blues! (Maybe I'm a horrible mother for posting this, but it's just too funny to pass up). Bryn is wonderful and perfect in almost every way...but she definitely spits up a lot. I carry a burp cloth with me all day because you never know when she'll strike. Aunt Margaret snapped this picture right as Brynlee spit up. Poor girl! I'm hoping Bryn will grow out of it soon!

My family figured out how to make Brynlee LAUGH! (Why didn't I mention this sooner!?) It was the cutest thing in the whole world to see her giggling and throwing her head back with a huge smile!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Once and a while it hits me so hard just how very grateful I am to be a mother. As I played with my sweet little girl this morning my heart was just so full and I had a special moment, just thinking of how blessed I am to be her mom. I wouldn't trade this for anything! It was such a big decision whether or not I should do grad school right away, but I finally decided to put off grad school and just be a stay-at-home mom. Now that I am home all day with Brynlee it is so clear why this decision was right. I absolutely love art and am still planning on pursuing a master's degree eventually, but it doesn't even compare to the joy and fulfillment that comes from being a mom. This is the best job in the world.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little Update

Last night Mark took us to Sharkeez, a sports grill on Main. They have a Monday night special on yummy chicken fajitas. They were delicious. Huge platters of chicken, grilled vegetables, rice, beans, tortillas, guac, the works. It was so good! I've got to take my family here when they come to visit. I don't remember being that full in a long time! Thanks Mark!
Yesterday was over 80 degrees and soo sunny, but it cooled off in the evening so it was really nice to eat outside. We caught a little bit of the championship game while we were at Sharkeez, but it wasn't much of a game. (I'm pleased to report that once again I won first place in my family's bracket challenge yet again - much to the dismay of my brothers, dad, and husband. See my brother's (Jae Clarke) post about this by clicking his link to the right. This year I ended up in the 98.8th percentile nationwide, which isn't as good as my previous victorious years, but it's not bad. Josh can't decide if he's jealous or proud of me!)
Sunday night we went on a beautiful walk along the beach trail. Sometimes it's a little windy on the beach trail when I go walking with Bryn, but Sunday it was such a nice, clear night.

Brynlee's new favorite thing to do is grab things. Anything. Whether it's her shirt, her skirt, her blankies, her toys, our clothing, or even...

...our faces. She had such a tight grip on my nose last night! Kind of a weird picture, but we thought it was funny. One hand tightly gripping her skirt. The other tightly gripping my nose. We love this little girl!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Conference Weekend

Josh and I had a great conference weekend. It was so wonderful to hear the testimonies and counsel of the prophets and leaders of our church! Doesn't it always give you such a great resolve to be better and improve? I love that feeling! Conference did make me miss my family, though. Josh and I used to get together with my family or his and watch the sessions together, so we thought of them as we watched conference alone in our little apartment. But it was still a great weekend. We don't have TV, so we were a little worried about how we would watch it, but we got it crystal clear on the internet.
My dad was released during the Sat afternoon conference session after serving on the Young Men General Board for the past four years. I love and admire my dad so much, and am so grateful for the faithful church service he has given. I am grateful for his example of putting the Lord first and being willing to serve in whatever capacity he is called upon to do. I couldn't ask for a greater father.

The only solo pictures I have of him are so funny. My family will have an idea of what I'm talking about. I was so tempted to include one of the other pictures in this post, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I opted for a cute picture of he and my equally amazing mom.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Uncle T

I recently finished reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. Wow. Loved it. I really should have read it long before now. I didn't have time to read the classics because I was too busy reading Nancy Drew books!
I was so moved by Uncle Tom's faith and perseverance. What a strong, faithful character. And then there's sweet little Eva! I've got to raise Brynlee to be as pure and loving as little Eva! I loved her!
Excellent book. So glad I finally read it.