Sunday, December 30, 2007

A very merry ME!

I have many blessings in my life. This I know. One of the big ones is my husband, who is an amazing father, a best friend, and pretty damn funny to boot. As if all that weren't enough, he happens to be a VERY talented gift giver. He has a knack. In fact, most of my girlfriends agree that he should start a workshop in November each year, where husbands can sign up for a trip to the mall with him, and he will instruct them in the finer arts of choosing Christmas, birthday, and anniversary gifts. Really, I'm not kidding.

FOR EXAMPLE: Let me tell you a little story about this Christmas.

Here's the preface. Hubby learned from early on in our marriage that I'm not really the type of girl who likes to get appliances as gifts. To me, vacuum cleaners and blenders generally equal work, not pleasure. However, this year I was actually excited when I unwrapped this:

I have been talking about wanting a waffle maker for months, so I was happy as a clam when I received this one. However, as Shawn excitedly described all the features, he encouraged me to open up the box and look inside. Oddly enough, THIS is what I found inside:

One can imagine my surprise, since this in NOT what you usually find inside a waffle maker. THIS is what was inside that little blue box:

Ummm...yes. And I was happy with the waffle maker! And the reason for this craziness, you might ask? (As I did) Well, I AM turning the big 3-0 in about three weeks, and as he said, it's been a rough few months for me with baby #3. He thought I deserved something special. What girl in her right mind can argue with that? I know. I know. I am a very lucky, very loved, and quite frankly, a wee bit spoiled little girl. What a Christmas.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Worlds away

So here is our day after Christmas LAST year - 2006. We were basking in the sun in beautiful Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Truly the trip of a lifetime!

Next time I guess we'll need another horse!

Here is the day after Christmas this year, just in the hills outside McMinnville. We were lucky enough to have snow on Christmas - even though it didn't stick at our house, we drove 10 minutes up the hills and here we are!

It took us about 17 minutes to get Aidan fully dressed, in bibs, boots, two jackets, gloves, hat, etc. He stayed in the snow for about 17 seconds total, just long enough to make this face.

He spent the rest of the two hours we were out in the bus, having a hot cocoa party with his Gigi. Maybe next year!

Jackson is a serious shredder on a snowboard. The kid is completely fearless! Of course his uncle (the adrenaline junkie) only egged him on even more.

Mom can't get shown up too much - even pregnant girls can have a teeny bit of fun in the snow.

We hope you all had a wonderful christmas, and are recovering (as we are) from a complete sensory overload of yumminess - food, presents, and family - oh my! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas-y things

We do have two Christmas-y things we love to do in our family. We try to do them every year, although last year we skipped them both. This year, however, we were out in full force with extra family in tow. We are lucky to have my Grandma Daphne visiting from California and my brother Jacob (also affectionately known as Uncle Boomer) from Bellingham. Zoolights was cold, but NOT RAINING which makes it perfect. We had a wheelchair for Grandma, but halfway through I was really wishing they gave those out for prego girls with swollen feet too!

The whole crew

Aidan loves the red trees, I love the blue

Aidan and his Uncle Boomer

The boys and the bear

Our other Christmas tradition is making gingerbread cookies with the kids. We do love our gingerbread men! (Or gingermen, as Aidan calls them.) This year we were lucky enough to have Gigi here to help. There was a lot of flour flying, but a good time was had by all.
Merry Christmas and love to you!

Joy to the World

There really is nothing like a Christmas Program to warm the heart and soul. Jackson performed in his first school program this year, and he was thrilled to be one of the three wise men. The crown was cool, but he was disappointed that they didn't have robes. The kids, of course, were hysterically funny, incredibly cute, and heartbreakingly sincere. The setting, however, was less than ideal for photography. One of our friends told us they'd been going to programs at this church for 6 or 7 years and have never ONCE gotten a good photo. Imagine, if you will, a dimly lit chapel with seats for about 300. In it are seated about 400 adoring family and friends, as well as about 75 dressed up kids. Being 5 months pregnant and all, I was feeling a little claustrophobic, so I decided to stand against the wall with my dad. Once I got there, I realized he was standing DIRECTLY over the heater vent. FUN. But Jackson was so proud of himself, and that's really all that matters. Please forgive the horrible red eye!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

all i want for christmas

He truly is a big kid now - Jackson is officially minus his first tooth! Hi did remind us, however, that it's not actually "LOST" as in we don't know where it is - it's simply not in his mouth anymore. Thank you, smarty pants. Aidan immediately told us that he'd lost a tooth also (which, if you've ever seen him take a fall, you wouldn't be surprised to hear.) After a thorough inspection, we did assure Aidan that he still had all his teeth. They are a funny pair. We told Jackson he has to sing the two front teeth song until after Christmas. He rolled his eyes. I swear, he's really a 13 year old girl. We're so not funny to him. Oh well.

It's that time of year...

Hi everyone. So, it is Christmas time, in case you hadn't noticed. At the Butler compound, we've been a little slow on the uptake as far as Christmas spirit goes this year. We got our tree the first week in December, and it stood in our living room dressed only in lights for about a week. The boys, however, are very proud of the little tree in their room, so I thought I'd post some pictures of them decorating - AND of Jack cutting it down! Merry Christmas!

Jackson cutting it down!

putting it all together

topping it off...

brothers don't shake hands....brothers gotta hug!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday night and the feelin's right!

This was the view of my backyard today - perfect light at about 4:30 pm. Sun, rain, clouds and rainbow. We live in a beautiful place.

If you're wondering what Friday night looks like at our house (don't lie, you know you WERE wondering) here's a little snapshot. This is "Sing Star" for PS2 as brought to you by the Butler & Brooks families. Yes, that is Shawn and Daniel doing a duet. To RunDMC's "That's Tricky." I think Shawn was Run and Daniel was DMC. If that's not entertainment, I don't know what is!

Here are the four munchies at dinner:

Fun night! Thanks for bringing the PS2 guys!

My Table (or not)

Those of you who know me (which is probably all of you, or else why are you reading this?) may recall that I've been shopping for a dining room table since about, oh, April or so. Due to the fact that I am becoming EXTREMELY picky in my old age, it's been an ordeal to say the least. Put it this way: Thanksgiving was all about folding tables and folding chairs. Well, the search is over.

I've fallen in love with this solid slab walnut table from a company called Hudson Furniture in NY. Hooray! So what's the bad news? Well, let's start with the fact that they custom make each piece, and rather than list their prices, they just recommend you call. Translate that to "If you have to ask, it's too expensive." Then let's move on to the fact that I would have to figure out how to get a 7 foot table from NY to Oregon. Hmmm. Translate that to "Completely out of your price range." Bummer. But, while we're dream shopping here, I think I'll also take the buffet to match:

And throw in a few of these lovely nesting table for good measure:

Ahh, to dream. By the way, if anyone knows where I can get a good knockoff of these one of a kind pieces of art, please share!

Here's the link to Hudson Furniture if you have oodles of cash burning a hole in your pocket and you need a new table:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our "Bedtime routine"

So, you know how all the parenting books tell you to have a "bedtime routine" to help your kids wind down, get in the mood to go to sleep? Well, one might think that would include a nice warm bath, cuddling, rocking, stories, etc. And yes, ours does include that. But only following a vigorous session of knockdown, drag out WWF-style wrestling. Yes, every night. And on the weekends, it includes pillows. I'm sure we're being counterproductive here, but it sure is a riot to watch. I just try to stay out of the way. Here's a few highlights from tonight's session.

If numero tres turns out to be a girl, she had better be tough!

Accurate description of winter colds

I almost died laughing when I saw this on someone else's blog. Anyone with a husband can relate!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Welcome to our blog!

Hi everyone (all 3 of you who will faithfully read this!). So here I am, an almost 30-year-old mom of (almost) three kids, with a degree in journalism, entering the PUBLISHING world for the first time. You do know that's what they call blogging now? I am an internet publisher! There's even a little orange button at the bottom of this page that says "PUBLISH." If only I had known all these year that it was that easy. Ahh, c'est la vie, no?

So, I figured that many of you may not have heard from us in some time. Well, here's why. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with baby Butler #3, who at a VERY small size has been causing some very BIG problems. At about week 7 in my pregnancy, I started to get the same nausea and vomiting problems I had with the first two - only worse. Long story short, in the last 10 weeks I have had a PICC line put in, spent 5 days at OHSU hospital in Portland, am taking 3 different anti-nausea medications, and have lost 18 pounds. And trust me, the weight loss is NOT worth the misery! The baby, however, will be worth it. I can say this because we are now on the upswing - eating little bits, getting out of bed for short periods of time - you know, the little things.

I thought I'd include a brief update in photos of life since August, so here goes!

Over Labor Day Weekend, Jackson (5 yrs) was in his first surf contest. He came in 4th out of 14 kids in a cagtegory that was age 4-12!

Of course we all got some surf in since we spent the weekend in Newport.

In September, Jackson started kindergarten. That was a day that made me feel old...

Aidan misses Jack while he's at school, but he's getting on just fine!

They are quite a pair. I'll try to do some more updating as I blog my way into 2008!

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