Monday, January 28, 2013

Steven's Birthday

We celebrated Steven's 32 (!!!) birthday all last week.

Saturday, Steve got to go skiing with his dad, even though the day was already booked with preparations for freezer cooking day, dog grooming, and a Relief Society activity. Sunday, we had a birthday dinner with his immediate family and a marzipan cheesecake made by yours truly. It was fantastic.

On his actual birthday, I sent Steve off with lunch and chocolates for dessert. For dinner, I made homemade naan with Korma Curry and basmati rice. It was delicious, but resulted in a lot of babies (though William was doing his best to entertain them) crying for my attention as I cooked.

Thursday, Steve's parents watched the munchkins and we headed out to Brasa Grill for Brazilian Food. Also delicious...and way overdue. I need to learn to make Brazilian food.

He didn't get much in the way of presents due to the cost of his new guitar (which is against my principles to do Christmas/Birthday presents, but he wanted that new Fender Stratocaster so badly) , but I did get him a new book and a down pillow and he got a new Joseph Smith book from his parents, and nice gifts from his siblings.

All in all, I'd say Steve lucked out with multiple yummy birthday celebrations...hopefully next year he may even get to take the day off of work.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Freezer Club

Some friends and I started a freezer cooking club because dinner time is crazy for all of us. We each plan for 2 recipes (multiplied by the # of attendees) and spend hours in the kitchen, creating a total disaster zone. We spent 5 hours on Saturday cooking and assembling meals while watching chick flicks and chatting. I probably won't need to cook again until March since we made enough food to feed a small army.

This new project has been good for all of us. Some are pregnant or have new (or 2!) babies, others work full time, and all of us are benefitted. My favorite part is only having a kitchen disaster once a month. I think Steve would prefer that I go back to my pre-child cooking; but seeing as that's not very realistic right now with 3 little ones, I think we've really got a good thing going. And my new freezer and wallet are thankful, too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

The babies are 9 months old and I’m finally feeling like I got this down. I can pick up and carry two heavy infants like a pro.
Both of us can wrangle three youngsters and make it look easy.
We’re starting to see a lot of the benefits of an insanely rough pregnancy and infancy.
Such as their pure love and admiration of each other
twin love
And keeping each other entertained.
But my favorite part is having double the smiles and double the sweet babies to love and be loved by.
and losing the downsides (like being awakened ALL. NIGHT. LONG). 
Or having to feed them myself for every meal.
It truly has become the 2-for-1 deal we hoped it would be.
As long as we don’t go anywhere, lol.  Bundling up 3 littles and/or putting them in car seats is still a lot of work. 
I still can’t believe we’ve almost made it a full year already. Each month brings so many changes.

At 8 months, for example, we started finger foods, diagnosed Caleb with Eczema (and possibly Lily too), and both babies started to get around the room by rolling everywhere.
And now at 9 months, we’ve got these guys eating like pros and growing like weeds.  I love seeing their personalities and differences shine through in all the little things.

Baby Caleb, for example, at 19 lbs. is now a whopping 2 POUNDS heavier than Lily!  Our little 5.10 lbs. guy is now a little linebacker.  They are the same length, and Caleb has a slightly bigger head, but his denseness and thick little body continues to surprise me.  I LOVE it.  After a couple of skinnier babies, a chunky one is a nice change of pace. Caleb is a lover.  He loves to snuggle, loves to smile at everyone, and LOVES to eat (though has had a harder time getting it into his mouth). Caleb was, surprisingly, the first one to realize that rolling multiple times can get you somewhere.  We love watching him struggle to roll over that round belly of his.


He is just as delicious as a baby can be.  Still no teeth, and more hair than our William at age 2.  We especially love his cowlick since it means we don’t really worry about styling his hair. We love the happiness and joy he brings to our life, though we could do without his tendency to have a hot and cold personality.  I prefer his warm side. :)

Our sweet little Lily is a joy.  She’s definitely a girl, always a fan of jewelry and shoes. She’s a little shy, and not a fan of anyone besides her immediate family for the most part.  Though occasionally a stranger or grandparent or uncle can win her over. She seems very bright, like she’s always trying to figure things out (like crawling…Lily is on the verge but hasn’t quite figured out the movement part). Lily is great at entertaining herself and loves to jabber.  Her favorite sounds are bababa, mamama, dadadada, and lalala, among many others that I’m not sure how to pronounce or spell. She has two little teeth on the bottom and is a very clean eater. She also likes to bite…I’m not a fan since we’re still nursing.  Her fuzzy thin hair is about 1.5 inches long and sticks straight up so we often flatten it with a headband.


I love what each of them bring to our family and am excited to watch them continue to grow and learn. And I’m glad to say that I couldn’t really pick a favorite.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Between the moves, the twins, and Steven’s job status, last year’s resolutions were a bit complicated to complete.

I did read somewhere that you should only actually accomplish 75% of your goals or else you are setting the bar too low.

Let’s see how we did, shall we?

  1. Pay off our car Thank you to a generous tax return!!!
  2. Lose baby weight…this one didn’t work out so well. I think I’m one of those who hold on to the baby weight while nursing. The only reason I lost it with William was because I ran a marathon 4 months post-partum.  Between the bed rest, twins, and move, this wasn’t realistic this year.  But I already have several 1/2 marathons lined up next year, and am giving up baking, so this should be better this year.
  3. Potty train William  Now if only we could get him to remember to flush and wash his hands…
  4. Wean William from pacifier Not even interested anymore! MUCH easier than we anticipated.
  5. Read 12 books Lots of bed rest and hospital time made quick work of this goal.
  6. Be a better budgeter---I have a goal of replenishing our emergency fund. Steve didn’t get full-time work until the end of September, so we’re still working on it.  We have a small cushion at least.
  7. Monthly DIY projects Lots of crochet projects on bed rest, and I made some new baby projects, too.
  8. Finally finish William’s baby book---this one has been nearly done for 2 years. Our stuff was in storage until mid-November, so it just wasn’t going to happen with the move and the holidays.
  9. Get a race PR Too much bed rest for this to be realistic.  I did get my 1/2 marathon time down to reasonable levels (1:47), but I still need to cut off 20 minutes to PR. My new treadmill will be helpful with that.
  10. Pay off all our debt Unless you count the house (which we will pay off in 14 years at this rate), we are debt free!
  11. Try 52 new recipes  Considering we moved twice, and had new twins, I’m pretty impressed I actually did this.
  12. Organize our life---monthly organizing projects We are mostly unpacked, but it gets hard to organize when most of your stuff is in storage so this was a no-go.

7/12 (58%) isn’t great, but considering our crazy and complicated year, I’m okay with it.  This year will definitely be much better.  We are in a much more stable situation, the babies are on a schedule, and I have (more) time and energy and health to deal with resolutions this year.

I’ve got only 10 goals this year, but many of them are mighty ambitious.

1. Pinterest Projects (52): I figure I may as well have a reason to try those fun things I’ve been pinning.  2 down, 50 to go!

2. Lose the rest of the baby weight.  My old clothes fit, just not as well as they used to.  I’m hoping for 15 pounds, but we’ll see what happens when I’m not carrying around a gallon of milk all day, lol.

3. New house projects (12): we have quite the fixer-upper.  We are painting the entire house, adding base molding in the basement, new carpet, tile, re-doing the kitchen and yard, among other things. I promise I will post real pictures of the new house when we get a few more things done…it just needs some help right now.

4. Organize (12): Got to get to those projects that I finally can now that we’ll be in one place for awhile.  Starting with the toy room.

5. Race PR: I’m focusing on 1/2 marathons this year.  I just don’t have time for full marathons at this point in my life and before I got pregnant, was just starting to do really well and place in bigger races.

6. Discipline: I’m going to focus this one on the baby weight---I’m limiting baking for special occasions only, and have been working on eating healthier and getting back to focus on what I eat now that my milk supply is not an issue.

7. Save for a Disneyland Trip:  Liam and I have been having withdrawals…we’re not sure if we’re ready to take the twins on vacation yet, so it just might be two of us, but we’re tentatively saving for a family trip in Jan/Feb of 2014.

8. Set up Caleb and Lily College Funds: This all went on pause during our long unemployment, but we’re ready to get back into it.

9. Pay an extra $2000 on the mortgage this year: We have a 15-year mortgage, but I’m hoping we can shorten it down to 10-13 if we keep paying extra. This will depend on how much we want to spend on house projects, of course.

10. Decent Emergency Fund (10K): I’d prefer a bigger cushion, but it will get us through a few months of problems, and/or if we end up with expensive house/car issues, we’ll be ok. 

Hoping for at least 75% this year!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas at the Garffs

First off, I promise we intended to send Christmas cards to each and every one of you.  We got the pictures taken about a month before Christmas, but due to a series of delays, the cards didn’t happen this year.  Maybe next year.

Even so, I thought we’d still post some of the pictures on the blog. Imagine this on a cutesy custom card full of holiday clichés and tidbits about our last year.

family 2

And yes, that is our new house in the background.  We live across the street from a soon-to-be park, which currently makes for awesome photos.

family will smile

It’s impossible to get 3 kids to look at the camera and smile all at once.  We gave up after 50 tries. 

But we did manage a decent twins pic:


It doesn't truly capture their personalities like the next picture, but still, I am a fan. I took this with my iphone, but still, I LOVE it.  These are the babies I love.


We had a great Christmas at our new house.  I made an advent calendar that had a different activity for every day.

Like pick out a tree

tree shopping

Making play-dough snow


Delivering treats to the neighbors.


And playing in the snow.

snoman monster

We got some darling outfits from a neighbor of Steven’s parents…she had twins and thought for sure of of her kids would have a set, but no such luck.  So she gave them to us.

Twin Christmas outfits

Christmas Eve, we went to the annual Kemp family Christmas party where I got to experience what life would be like with triplets (it doesn’t seem appealing.  I think 2 is my limit).


Christmas morning was perfect.

Christmas morning

Even the twins got in on the fun.

twin presents

Lily tried on Liam’s first Christmas onesie.  Newborn size is a little tight.

first christmas onesie

Everybody got just what they wanted/needed/hoped for.

All the kids got new Disney jammies.

Caleb loot

Caleb got binkies, a sippy, baby snacks, a cuddly blanket, a couple of books, and a Disney train (picked out by William, surprise, surprise).

Lily Loot

Lily got binkies, a sippy, baby snacks, a cuddly blanket, some books (including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse!). Do I sound repetitive yet? And a Disney Princess push car picked out by her oldest brother.

The twins got some links to share.


Nike got some treats, a rawhide, and a goose.

Nike Loot

Steve got a book, some treats, a swiss army tool keychain, and The Dark Night Rises.  , Steve Loot

He also got a new electric guitar (not pictured because he wanted to pick it out and by the time we ordered it on Christmas Eve, it didn’t arrive until yesterday.

My loot

I got a Silhouette Cameo (Yay!!!), the new Ken Jennings book about parental myths (like if gum actually stays in your digestive system for 7 years and if chicken pox parties are a good idea…neither are true, btw), and some chocolate.

We also got some toys and cds for the kids from my parents, and several sets of nice tools (for us and our never-ending house projects).

I’d post a picture of William’s presents, but he wouldn’t stay still long enough for a picture.  He got a kitchen to share, Buzz and Woody toys, some books, and some treats.  If you look closely, you can see him playing in the background of some of the earlier pix.


Buzz and Woody sleep in his bed, and the kitchen was a HUGE hit.


After, we went to Grandma and Papa Bill’s house for breakfast.


And still more presents.



We had some friends from Rancho, the Twetens, stay over a night after Christmas and we took the opportunity to go sledding.


liam sled

We took turns being at home with the twins since they were napping.sleddingtweten kids

And now, Christmas is over, we’ve (almost) put all the decorations away, and Steve is back to work (unfortunately, though I am grateful he has a job; but I did miss having help and being able to run errands!).

A new year is upon us. I’m thinking it’s going to be fantastic.

Especially since Silly Billy is now constantly singing Jingle Bells. Better late than never, right?