Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grandma Elyse's Visit!

Grandma Elyse, Shelby, and Rick came out to visit us for a long weekend. It was so great to see the girls reconnect with their grandma! They warmed up well to Rick as well, but they LOVED Shelby! Especially Liliana, which is a miracle. We didn't get to see the cherry blossoms as planned because of weather conditions and busy metros, but we did get to eat lots of yummy food, see the Virginia Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, shop, and play. Here are some pictures from their visit- some of them taken by Shelby!

Our first order of business was to make sugar cookies.

While the cookies chilled in the fridge, Grandma got to take Grace to school. Grace insisted on introducing her to everyone (literally, everyone that she saw) and showing her around the classroom. She tried to talk the teacher into letting her stay through class, but it didn't work.

After school we decorated the cookies :D

That night the girls had a movie night sans us parents.
Even Moira got to stay up and join the party!

We had some downtime at the park Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon was the Air and Space Museum-
this one has a space shuttle and a Concorde jet.

We skipped up to Dulles Town Center after that for a train ride
and Cheesecake Factory. Yummmm....

Most nights we had the girls show off their Guitar Hero skills-
we even got Elyse, Shelby, and Rick playing!

We didn't want it to happen but Tuesday did come and we had to say goodbye.
But not without some pictures!

Thank goodness we have an Arizona trip planned for this summer- it was hard for the girls (especially Grace) to let Grandma go! Hopefully someday we can move closer!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sneaky Sneaky!

Kaylon and I love to surprise each other. We hate not knowing a surprise, but in a good way. So when I figured out that while Elyse was here that I wouldn't be pregnant or have to nurse all the time, I decided to plan a night out for Kaylon and me. We have not had a night to ourselves since Grace was born- no anniversaries, no birthdays, no nothing. So I got Elyse in on it, made reservations at the Melting Pot, and booked us a hotel room.

The tricky part was pulling all this off while Kaylon was home on Friday without him getting suspicious. Dinner was easy- I just didn't tell him till 45 minutes before that he wasn't getting the Chinese he wanted and that he should get dressed to go out. It was getting to the hotel that would be tricky. So I sneaked out while he was running and checked into the hotel, dropping the bag off, since carrying an overnight bag would be a dead giveaway. Then at dinner (which was delicious!) I fed him a story about an old high school friend being in town for a convention and asked if we could go see her. You should have seen the confused look on Kaylon's face when I pulled out the door key from my wallet to make the elevator work! It was a great way to relax before Kaylon started his job on Monday, and I finally got to sleep in past 7am without 3 little girls needing me. I love them, but yeah, sleep is good!

And at this point the bar is set high for surprises. I'll be interested to see if Kaylon can top this one!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's your Mamma?

Grace has given me one and a half compliments in the last few days. You'll understand the half by the end of this.

We were driving to playgroup last Wednesday and I was singing along with the radio as usual, when out of nowhere Grace says, "Mom, you could be a rockstar. You sing pretty. You sound just like the girl on the radio."

It might have been the best singing compliment I ever got.

My half compliment came the other day while we were eating. Again, out of nowhere, Grace commented, "Momma, I love you. You're the best mom. You're the only mom I want. Well, except for this one time at school when we went to PE but we didn't have PE, but we sat and watched some dancers and one danced just for me. She was so beautiful and I wanted her to be my mommy."

Yeah, no sure how to respond to that. At least she's resigned herself to me being her mom. Maybe I should work on my dancing...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dictator in Training

We often joke that Liliana is a dictator in training. We do so because of conversations like the following:

Back when we were deciding what type of classes to register the girls in, we were talking about it in the car. Grace easily decided on a ballet class, but we were throwing stuff around for Liliana. Jokingly, Kaylon asked Liliana,

"Do you want to do a class where you learn how to kill people?:
L: "No."
K: "Do you want to do a class where you learn how to hurt people?"
L: "YES."

And that is Liliana.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dancing Princess and a Tumbler

One of the things we promised the girls was that when Daddy got a new job they could take a class at the community center. I just made good on that promise by signing Grace up for a Princess Ballerina class, and Liliana for a Tumbling Tumbleweeds class. Liliana had asked for "soccer ball" but the classes were either full or didn't fit the family schedule. I think she'll like tumbling, though!
And I can't wait to see Grace's face at the end of the first day of class :) Heck, she started trembling just when we told her she was going to take the class! What is she going to do when she sees the princess costumes she gets to wear?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chartered Financial Analyst!!!

After studying for a cumulative 18 months, passing three day long tests, and working in the professional field for four years, Kaylon now can add the initials C.F.A behind his name! Congrats honey! We are so proud of you!


I thought that I got to skip all this by not having boys.

I was mopping the kitchen floor when I looked up and saw Moira's head in the wall cut-out to the living room. my heart dropped to the floor. She had climbed up on top of the piano in order to retrieve Grace's box of Nerds. Liliana was not far behind her.

Yay, i have a climber. Yes, that was sarcastic.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Changes

I am proud to announce that a long awaited event will be taking place this Friday. It has taken a lot of work- a lot of patience, but it has all finally paid off.

We are getting Fios TV.

(For you west coasters, that's super cable TV.)

Oh wait, that's not what this post is about! (Well, not entirely.) The reason that we can finally afford to splurge on a non necessity like cable TV, is that Kaylon got a new job this past week! He is the new fund manager at ICMA-RA, where he will work with fixed income! (You're welcome to call him and ask him what all that means.)

Many, maybe most of you reading this, know what a long road this has been for us. The market was about to start its downturn just as we prayerfully decided to start putting his resume out there. We expected instant success. We looked at positions in NYC, SF, Ohio, Kalamazoo, Atlanta, PA, Boston, Hartford, and even India. We started out excited, but as one after another applications went unanswered we became discouraged. As the market fell, we became thankful that we were not one of the New Yorkers who had lost their jobs, and as more time went by, we were just plain grateful that we had a job that paid the bills. Even that was not entirely true for a while, at which point Kaylon gave up his weekends to work at an Alzheimer unit, and I babysat for a friend twice a week, just to make ends meet. But we made it through-I believe because we paid our tithing- and soon Kaylon's day job was enough for us.

Kaylon would have sudden bouts of enthusiasm as he looked through job postings. As he investigated jobs, he would delve into the intricacies of certain aspects of that niche of finance. By studying all these various jobs, he started to define what he wanted to do in the finance field. Jobs he once found appealing were crossed off his list, and new ones took their place, again and again. He studied for and passed his three level CFA exam, each on the first try (which is not often done!), and learned to be more professional. He joined the National Economists Club, networked, and was then nominated and elected to a leadership position. Recently he even had a couple interviews. But it was not until now that he got a new job.

Over this period of time, I have often wondered why we felt inspired to look for jobs then, when the job he wanted would not be open until now. I always believed that if we had faith that the Lord had a plan for us, I just couldn't see how this fit in. Looking back I can see that without the searching, Kaylon would have never gained the experience needed to take this job, at least not while in a position stable enough to take care of him family. During this time his CFA was paid for by his company, and just last month he accumulated enough professional time to qualify for his full CFA designation. He had time to study after work and during his commute. He fulfilled his callings in the church with exactness and increased his spirituality. I doubt fixed income was on even his long list of jobs when he first started, but now he knows that it is something that he will enjoy and that will challenge him. Because he was searching he forced himself to learn, and that learning prepared him for now.

Mom told me a story once about a man who was asked by the Lord to push against a rock with all his might. The man obeyed, and spent day after day pushing on the rock. The man became discouraged and gave up, going to the Lord in prayer and apologizing for being unable to move the rock and so failing.

The Lord then said, "Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock."

I am grateful that the rock is finally moved for us. I am also grateful for a husband who has the faith to keep pushing on the rock, every day, even when there seems to be no progress. I am grateful to all of you, for your prayers, thoughts and constant putting up with all our job talk. And I am indebted forever to my Heavenly Father who knows us, and loves us, and gives us the exact life experiences that will help us grow to our full potential.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lost 2

My keys are gone now. Thank goodness it's a nice day so I can walk to pick up Grace.

In my defense, Kaylon lost my keys.


Yesterday at church everything was going fine, I was listening to the speakers, when all the sudden one of my fingers on my left hand felt very light. I looked down in horror to realize that my wedding/engagement ring was GONE. This has happened a lot lately, actually. I guess I lose weight first in my fingers. But it's always been at home where it's easy to look. I have no idea if I lost it at home, in the van, or at church. I'm hoping that since it was lost at church that someone will be honest and turn it in. Honestly, monetarily it wouldn't be worth much to anyone else (even with the spike in gold prices), but it means so much to me. So here's hoping that someone will turn it in!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good Day For Our Sunbeam

Liliana had her best day yet in Primary today. She was sitting so reverently that she was chosen to hold up a visual aid for the teacher. I was half hiding in the back, but she found me after a few minutes. She got a huge smile on her face and yelled, "Mommy, Mommy! Look at me!" I grinned back and gave her a thumbs up. She was just so adorable up there. It was a proud mommy moment for me:)

Here's a pic of the older two in their new spring dresses!
(They came up with the pose themselves.)

And one of the youngest in the interest of fairness :)

Weight Loss Update #1

After four completed weigh-ins, here are the standings:

Kaylon has gained .2%
Shawna has lost 2.2%

In Kaylon's defense, he had lost 1.3% in the beginning but then had a few stressful weeks when he was not able to exercise. I'm sure as things settle down he'll be right on my trail (or moving ahead of me).

I feel like I'm really making exercise a habit after this week. Nap time is now a time to exercise. I also started using SparkPeople.com, which tracks my exercise and nutrition, counting all the in and out calories for me. It sent me a red letter message this week telling me that I had exercised too much this week. I never did more than an hour a day, so I'm ignoring it. :)