Sunday, April 29, 2012

Boys Bachelor Weekend

With Jenni in L.A. for the weekend doing music stuff. It just left us boys here at home to play. The weekend started off early for the boys as they got to be spoiled by Grandma & Grandpa Southworth. Then I went and picked them up and we've played hard the last two days. Each night they have crashed early. I wanted to send some pictures to Jenni throughout the weekend, so that she wouldn't miss the boys as much. I've been posting pictures to facebook for her to see, but for those family members that aren't on facebook or don't check it often, I thought I would post some of those pictures here. Jenni will be so proud of me for blogging.

Naptime and 15 mile run. Who said boys can't multitask?
We've only gone inside to eat cold cereal and mac & cheese today. 

With no Momma on duty, we get to go down the big slide, whatever way we like.

Big kid swings all around. Lots of firsts today.  
Props to Papa for matching socks. Same color = a match right?

Yep, he got up there himself and yep, he now realizes that wasn't the best idea.

All that hard work equals Happy Meals at the Golden Arches.

Proof that Baths were taken & teeth were brushed.
Only set the smoke detector off once while attempting breakfast.

Not all of us are excited to be heading to church.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sweat Shop Weekend

I'm pretty sure that I have the best Mother-in-Law in the world.  One that would fly all the way over here from Idaho Falls for 2 days just to work on a dress for me.  One who would take time off of work as well, and stay up until midnight each night (as well as all day) sewing.

Yep.  She's amazing.

And our living room was basically turned into a sweat shop all weekend long while she worked. I tried to keep up her energy with peanut M&M's, back rubs, and water so she wouldn't kill over. I think I still need to do more than that.

And since she was piecing together like 3 different patterns to make this dress for me, I really owe her big time.

I have had the most difficult time trying to find the perfect dress for my album cover photoshoot coming up at the end of May.  We are shooting at this location (Paramount Theater in Seattle)...

And trying to achieve a photo similar to this one (from a Dior ad shot at Versailles, France)....

I had previously bought this dress, with the intention of filling in the back with white fabric (for modesty):
But the more I tried it on and tried to think of a way to alter it tastefully, I just couldn't do it. So I sold it.

So back to square one.

Did some more looking online, and found this gorgeous chiffon one-shouldered dress that Blake Lively wore.  It had beautiful lace trim and it was stunning.  I thought I could order a "copy" of it from a dressmaker online, buy two of them so we could take matching fabric from the extra dress to make a small cap sleeve on the left side....

And then when my dresses came, they were....uh...not as pictured.  The sizes were WAY off.  And I didn't like the color.  I tried and tried to figure out a way to make the dresses work as is...either replacing lace, redoing stuff, and in the end I decided it would be better to put the dresses up on eBay fully in tact and start from scratch.


So Sandy, my wonderful kind talented mother-in-law, who also happened to sew my skirt for my first album photo shoot, agreed to make the dress from scratch. 

I don't even want to admit how much time I've spent looking online for the perfect material, color, and lace.  But yes, I did, and we now have everything to make a perfect version of the dress for me.  

The dress isn't finished (poor Sandy is going to have to finish it in Idaho Falls), but we got the underneath layers all done and fitted.  I'll post the final pics when it is all done. 

All I can say though is this whole dress hunt has been an expensive mistake, and I hope someone buys my dresses on eBay :) Haha.

 I also decided to do an altering job I needed to get done, while Sandy was here. I am not a seamstress, but I daydream about making awesome dresses someday.  

Anyway, last Fall I bought this BCBGMaxazaria dress to wear to a red carpet event, and then decided to save it for later.  But the problem was that the neckline was way too low.  

Here is a photo of me in the dress last Fall even with  a tank top on, and you can see how low the neckline is.

So what I ended up doing was cutting the sleeves to 3/4 length, and using the material to create more "V" in the neckline.  

I'd say for someone who is not the best at sewing (me!), I did an okay job. Just as long as nobody looks at the inside of the front of the dress to see my hack job, I should be okay.

In other news, Friday night we had James and Elizabeth and kids over for dinner (they brought us dinner, actually!).  It was a lot of fun. I have to apologize for the photo quality - these days we seem to use our mobiles for pictures more than our camera...

 Gwenever had a 2-night slumber party with Preston and Taylor, and they had way way way too much fun.  I don't think they all went to sleep until about 11:30 despite our efforts to get them to be quiet and snooze.

 On Saturday, Will took Dan and the kids up to the mountains and they went on a short little hike...

And finally, to fully understand the following photos...

You must know that Will entered a contest of creativity to win those limited-edition running shoes that are worth $200.  He can explain in more detail, but the soles have the trail notes of the winner from last year's Western States 100.  They only made 106 of them.  Anyway Will won the contest, of course, because he always wins everything he enters (I'm not joking) and he was overjoyed to get his little surprise in the mail last week.  And since he will never be wearing these shoes for reals, Taylor got to try them on.

And with that, we bid you all goodnight!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week in Review

I miss the days when I would blog more consistently, and they were actually creative and fun to read.  

Now you just get the "Week in Review".

I'm really not normally this crazy-busy-super-swamped working woman, but as I'm nearing completion of an album I've been working on for the past 4 years, it is a busy time right now.  I would tell you all about it, but I fear your eyes might glaze over and you would fall asleep on me.

So with that said, moving on.  Here is life outside my music craze.  The guys who support me and deal with my phase while holding onto the hope that one day soon I will reemerge and be a normal person again.  I can promise that soon that will be a reality.

Will ran a trail marathon last Saturday.  And even though he had the flu and a cold, he still insisted on running the 7,000+ elevation gain race.  

He got 2nd place.

The boys and I met him on the trail near the end, so that Preston could run the rest of the race with him. You can see how excited he was waiting for Papa to come running through...

I would also like to add, that every time Taylor sees a man running down the road, he says "Bapa! Bapa! Bapa!".   Any time. Any where.

Preston has really been enjoying our spring weather here in the Seattle area. I told him that he would know it was spring when the flowers came out, and so he's been having so much fun picking dandelions and daisies everywhere.

The boys and I had fun at the park the other day...

 And fun at Costco...I actually combed their hair that particular day.  Got lots of compliments from the checkout ladies admiring my little men.

 And here we are tonight....

Preston got a buzz cut tonight.  I was hoping to show you, but he is possibly the hardest person on the face of the planet to photograph.  The percentage of pictures I get of him actually looking at the camera is very small.  So here, you get to see his book instead of his face.

And then we have Taylor, who is a total ham in front of a camera lense.


And here is moi, who rarely gets in front of the lense and when I do it's a horrible mobile phone self portrait only to prove that yes, I'm still here, I'm still alive, and still smilin'.

Recent Highlights:

- Taylor has been my #1 helper lately.  Loves to help me put the silverware away when I empty the dishwasher, helps pick up books in his room, and also feels that he is helping when he throws the clean laundry off the side of the stair balusters.  

- Preston has become a lover of drawing pictures for everyone. It's neat to see his art skills improve.  He enjoys drawing firetrucks, and the letter "P" and "T" (for Preston and Taylor).  He wanted to mail one of his drawings to Grandma Thomas, and took it with us in the car on the way to the gym and requested I stop by our mailbox so he could put it in.  If I were a better mom I would have stuck in an actual envelope with a stamp, but instead the mailman got a nice present.

Recent Woes:

-  Boys are totally in a fighting stage.  Taylor is actually the instigator quite often. He has a fiery little personality.  I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with situations that arise between the boys as they adjust to sharing a room together.

- Not a woe, but a funny:  Tonight after Taylor had a bath and I got him in his pajamas, Preston then got into the bathtub.  Taylor LOVES his baths, and was jealous that Preston was in his bath now.  He leaned over and fell into the bathtub fully clothed in his pajamas.  He wasn't too happy about that.  So onto pajama pair #2.  

Upcoming Happenings:

- Grandma Thomas (and Grandpa too?) is coming this weekend to help with a dress for an upcoming photo shoot.  James and Elizabeth will be coming up Friday night too. It's going to be one huge par-tay!

- Next weekend I fly down to Los Angeles to perform at three different gigs in the LA/Hollywood area. One is a pre-party at a movie studio, another is a formal concert at the Swedish Church, and the other is the Indie Music Channel Awards.  I'm also meeting with a possible new PR person, as well as a filmmaker I worked with last year. I'll be gone on my "business" trip for 4 days. Will calls it a "Fun trip", but I am working.  Really I am. Now if I could find some practice time before then, I would be ecstatic.

And that's a wrap.  Now I must go wake up Will, who fell asleep on our bed after he got home from work in his work clothes. I don't think he would be too happy to wake up tomorrow morning realizing he was still in yesterday's khaki's and button-down shirt. Poor guy has been sick and is still recovering from his marathon.  He hath hitteth the wall.

Post Edit:  New pictures from the race:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend.

We had a great time together as a family - and here are the pictures to prove it....

Saturday Will had the idea of hiking up to the top of Poopoo Point (I know, great name, right?).  This is a spot you can see from the valley floor - and it's pretty popular for paragliders to take off from there.  It didn't look too far up and so I thought it would be like a 2 hour hike (round trip)...

5 hours later we made it back to our car.  But the view from the top was incredible, even if I did feel a little on edge that one of my chicklets was going to fall off an edge somewhere.

Preston hiked the entire 2 miles to the top all by himself and did a really great job.  He did struggle on the way down though - and you really can't blame the poor kid.  4 miles in Lightning McQueen shoes is rough. He walked so much that he almost wore out the battery that makes them light up.  

Taylor got a free ride though...

You can see Mt. Rainier in the background...

I did give Preston a piggyback ride half the way down, and today my biceps are a little sore.  Okay, a LOT sore.  Carrying a 40 lb child is not easy.

Will told Preston if he could finish the hike he would pay him $5 and he could pick out a new toy at the store. That was a lot of motivation for a 3 year old and he really tried his hardest.  24 hours later he is still complaining about his feet "needing a rest". :)


This is the first year we did an Easter egg hunt and baskets - on our own, that is, without other people bringing them baskets or inviting them to an egg hunt.  

I admit, I'm all into Christmas and Birthdays, but I struggle with really getting into all the other little holidays throughout the year, and this year I've been trying to make a better effort.  Our boys are finally getting old enough where they (at least Preston) gets really excited about things like this, and it is fun to get into it.  I remember as a kid, my parents only did Easter baskets for us when we were little, and then after that it was just a big nice family Easter dinner and everything was Christ-centered.

Here are some pictures from this morning off of Will's phone camera - not the best quality, but you get the idea....

Preston was pretty excited that we hid eggs in his train.

And then of course, we had to get a family picture taken.  I thought it would be fun to show the last few years on Easter up until this year....

2010...Preston was almost 2, I was prego with Taylor.

2011...Preston was almost 3, and Taylor was 8 months. front of our new house. Preston is almost 4, and Taylor is 19 months.

My...what a year can do!

And then this was tonight, as our lovely son decided to eat his popcorn like a dog.

Happy Easter!