Wednesday, May 30, 2012

great finds in MN

1)  Lund's.  Ok, this is nothing new.  Lund's & Byerly's have been around for a long, long time.
But have you ever tried their cupcakes?  No?  Do it.  Just do it.
It puts this cupcake to shame:

Lund's makes their own homemade version; and yes, it's worth it.

2)  Rojo, at West End.  It's Mexican food with a kick.  Awesome guac, veggie tacos, and the best appetizer of grilled & seasoned sweet corn I've ever had. Thank you JennyWilson!

3)  Charming Charlie's & Love Couture at West End.  Fun, inexpensive jewelry and accessories.  Very similiar to Forever 21. 

4)  Licks in Excelcior.  You want rich, dark chocolate fudge icecream like you've never seen before?  Go there.  Plus their kid flavors are cotton candy, playdoh and bubblegum. 

I heart Minnesota!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I know, right?

Sophia, when she found out her parents
didn't have cable.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Zayah:  I like your flip flops.
(he likes to try on all my shoes - maybe he will design them one day)

Me:  Come swing! I'll push you!
Zayah:  Looks at chair, sees a picture of a bear on it.
Zayah:  Awww!!! It's only for bears!

Zayah:  I want a muscle shirt!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


next favorite.
wait, this is my favorite.
no, definitely this one.  this one's my favorite.
no, this one because it looks like that guy
in the suit is sleeping.
toes.  favorite.
chloe has mad photo skills during sacrament meeting.
where's the cake?!

kid stuff

yesterday i chased a butterfly.  not in figurative sense, literal.  it was eva's idea.  we got close, but it was sneaky and it lost us. 

i slid down a slide and my skirt flew up.  and i laughed.

i bounced a super bouncy ball all over the pavement, the playground and myself.

i picked some dandelions in a field.

i played hide and seek.

i was with this little girl.  she adds spunk to my life and spring to my step. 

3 cheers for childhood.
it's exhausting, but very fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Legen... wait for it...


Reva thinks that's the definition of camping

My definition is a bit different.

But I go because I love seeing the kiddos
get so excited about eating outside,
discovering bugs,
going to the park at 7 a.m.,
roasting marshmellows and getting it
all over their faces (the kids AND me) 
going pretend fishing,
icecream at the DQ,
hikes on grassy trails,
and so. much. more.

here's to summer!

Friday, May 18, 2012

my desktop - muppet photo bomb

this is a real app on FB.  so.many.possibilities!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

the Master doesn't criticize

excerpt:  The Savior provided five distinctive examples during His visit to the pool that can serve as guidelines to us in ministering to the sick and afflicted:
1. He looked for one in need.
2. He listened without criticism.
3. He often gave anonymously.
4. He understood and acknowledged grief or disease.
5. He followed up with the sufferer.

Don't you love patterns? 
I love how Jesus taught. 
Still working on this. 
It's hard.

I stumbled upon the Purpose Fairy site recently,
specifically the article
my favorite one was #7
give up the luxury of criticism

"give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different
than you.  We are all different, yet we are all the same.  We all want to be happy,
we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood.

my interpretation:
you don't need to comment on everything Marla

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

best shoppers in the twin cities

super cute huh?
and people still rolled their eyes
when he got in their way.
why i oughtta..
trying to get a picture of this kid
was not an easy task.  he was
one energetic cart pusher.
eva was not to be outdone.
i kept putting heavy stuff in the cart, to
weigh it down... didn't slow him down much.
i love this picture.
i love the contrast in size.

ps if you think the photos 
are too blurry,
please, buy me an iphone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


i like shampoo.  and conditioner. 
and body washes.
all types. 
and i love the section at tjmaxx with the clearance stuff.
i counted over 40 bottles.
in my own shower.
strength in numbers i guess.

Monday, May 14, 2012

sam's club, the american dream

this is the place where dad
buys big huge gallons of stuff
we never, ever finish.
nobody needs this much mayo
am i right?
(yes, i am right)
eva, with her 'i just got in big twouble' face. 
she wears sparkly shoes.
she's so related to me.
all this kid does is smile.
marla:  make a funny face
eva:  :~)&

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the eagle has landed

welcome home little allen family!  we have missed you. <3
some fun things to look forward to:
  • reva's summer camping excursion - near the DQ
  • eating crazy mexican food out of the back of a truck
  • emily and reva's marathon roller blade race
  • visiting emily and reva in the hospital while they get rehydrated
  • chasing benson around - especially now that he's speedy & upright
  • park trips with eva & lala over lunch
  • our lovely cabin vacation & the beautiful chaos (bonus)
  • lots of time for quote books
  • summer blockbuster movies
  • jacob's baptism
get ready to rumble!

Belated Cinco De Mayo Greetings


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

never too young

and one and two and three...

 & plie (plee-yay)
end scene.

Monday, May 7, 2012


whaddya do with an almost 8 year old 
when you live the burbs
and there's a rain storm?

you go to pet smart, gander mountain,
and walmart to get your kicks. 
jacob liked the finches.

if i was going to get an animal, i'd get a bird.
specifically this nice little blue and brown bird
with rosy red cheeks.  because he's cute.

relaxing - tent style.  totally normal.

petting a stuffed turkey.
also totally normal.

what isn't normal is what i had
jacob bring up to the cashier
for me.  it wasn't pretty.
it might be making an
appearance on father's day though...

Saturday, May 5, 2012


just a bit. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Temple

I am so grateful that there is a temple in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It's lovely and blooming now; more than just a pretty face.  Like many things of any importance, it's the inside that counts.

Temple covenants and things of eternity are of significant interest here.  The entire picture, laid out for all who choose to see it in its beauty and entirety.

I remember how I felt when the Minnesota St. Paul Temple was dedicated.  This power that I didn't entirely understand "sunk deep into my heart".  How the ground, air and even the trees felt holy.

I fell in love with temples at a young age.  Many youth trips were devoted to driving to the Chicago temple.  There are so many fond memories of this time - so many dedicated leaders and Bishops, great times with friends and family members and fun activities in the Chicago area. 

I recently ordered some temple pictures from my dear friend Nell.  Aren't they lovely?
Adore button.
 I am so grateful for a temple in Minnesota.
I think that every time I go there.

Another favorite temple - from a dear friend -
now hangs on my red wall. <3

Thursday, May 3, 2012

a bucket list: enjoying each new day

AOL alerts me (and the rest of the world) to a variety of news stories.  Some of them make me laugh, others are entertaining, some of them I wished I'd never clicked on.  But sometimes there are stories that tug at your heart; the kind of stories that encourage a more grateful attitude and a kinder, gentler perspective. 

I had one of those experiences this week.  I read about a little girl named Avery.  She didn't have long to live, so her parents created a bucket list for her and they did fun things every day and documented them on her blog.  I spent time reading about her life - thinking about her family and the pain, anger, joy, and helplessness & frustration they must experience daily.  Every happy moment would be tainted by the knowledge that death was near, that the inevitable would happen. 

I can't help but think of the children in my life when I read a story like this.  What would I do without little Zayah, sleepily wrapping his chunky little arms around my neck and plant a kiss on my cheek before going to bed?  Or watching Jake win his first trophy and seeing him beam?  Or seeing Chloe graduate from preschool, with a cap and gown, grinning from ear to ear?  Or how about seeing Benson, kick his legs and smiling til the cows come home?  Or Eva, saying 'duck' over and over?  It doesn't seem fair sometimes.  I know God has a plan and that he is aware of us.  There is comfort in knowing there is life after death, but it doesn't ease the breaking heart of today.
So the other day when I held Sophia on the front step of Jana's house,
and told her about the beautiful world and the things
she would be able to do, I felt grateful. 
We started her bucket list right then and there.
I picked a dandelion and blew it,
Sophia's first. 

So here's to you, dear baby, and Chloe, Jake, Zayah, Benson & Eva. 
May you grow to make many wishes
on dandelions and do many wonderful things...
so that your bucket list overflows. 

May we always remember
how lucky we are to have you.

For Avery, April 30, 2012.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

my desktop wallpaper

i have to restrain myself from kissing the screen.
because that would be weird and awkward.

love you sophia!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

a lesson in exchange rates

dear james, 

the price of an afternoon of babysitting is equal to about 4 deliciously glazed old-fashioned donuts. 

you're welcome.