Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Genevieve!


Today my daughter turned one year old.

Wow.

Thanks to Grandma Cluff, we had a fabulous & pretty butterfly party. We started at 2 pm, which was about when Genevieve was born. Today she wore her new butterfly outfit, and looked adorable, as usual. After her birthday song, she put out her own candle - with her fingers. Surprisingly, she didn't burn herself, but we were all worried for a moment. She thoroughly enjoyed her birthday brownie (cut in a butterfly shape), and ate the whole thing, even licking the plate. It was a fun afternoon.

I had intended on creating a special post for her birthday, with beautiful photos and thoughtful words. However, I am borrowing this computer, and it is late, and I realized that Genna may never read this blog, so I'm just going to tell her how I feel about her in person.

We have also enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, but that story will come later. With pictures.

I promised my sister we would be on time for church tomorrow, so this is farewell. I hope your holidays were equally joyful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We are here!!!

Everything is wonderful.

DESPITE
Genna having the worst night ever on Saturday night at the hotel, and
Reid and I getting only 3-4 hours of sleep, and
us forgetting our stroller, and
our flight being delayed,

we are here in Utah!

We have seen our loving families, and Genna has already charmed them all. She really knows how to work a crowd, I tell you what... We have eaten yummy food, and slept well. There is a hot frittata and bacon waiting for me right now. It is snowing, and will be for the entire day. Maybe I won't get dressed or leave the house. :)


Life is good.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 1 Day!!!

One year ago today, Reid's parents came to visit us for Christmas, with hopes of welcoming their first grandchild into our family. We had a wonderful and anxious Christmas with them, as we sat around, waiting for something exciting to happen. Bill had brought his new hanjie book, and was kind enough to let me try it out...and I never gave it back. It was the perfect activity to take my mind off of contractions (or the lack thereof).

Genevive Isabel Cluff arrived on December 27, and we were so glad that the Cluffs were still here! I think Reid was grateful to have his mom at the hospital before Genna came, as I was content to listen to my music and play hanjie. He might have been lonely without her. :)


Here is Diane with Genna, just after she was born. I am so glad you could share this with us!


Here's Bill with Genna. Thanks for letting me steal your hanjie book, and thanks for being such a wonderful grandpa.

Today is special for another reason - it is the Cluff's anniversary! Congratulations for getting married and having Reid, so that we could have Genna. It all leads back to Genna, doesn't it?

Well, we will be in Utah in just a matter of hours. I am so excited to see my family, I can't sit still! Which I suppose is a good thing, as I still have a few more things to do...

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 2 Days


Our Utah vacation is almost here! Only a few more people to highlight in my countdown, and today it's my parents. I love them both so much! They both had a special birthday in November, and I made them each a memory book, filled with words and images of loved ones. It made me love them more to hear how others felt about them.

I do have more pictures of them, but it is very late, and my to do list is still here, staring me in the face, so I will just leave it at this: see you soon!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 3 Days

Today I decided to highlight Reid's brothers: Regis and Shadow.


This is Regis, the older of the two. He is a shnoodle. After having a dalmatian (Max) for many years, Reid's parents never thought they would like small dogs. Regis changed all that. He led the way for Shadow...


...who is an even smaller dog! Shadow is a choodle...or poouaua? Chiuaua-poodle mix, in case you can't figure that out. :) The Cluffs were once offered $900 from a stranger for Shadow, but they turned him down. Look at that face!


Here they are playing together - they really entertain themselves (sounds like what I've heard about having two kids. Genna, let's get you a sibling!) The last time Genna saw these guys, she was barely sitting up, and certainly not mobile. With her walking more each day, who knows what will happen. Boys, get ready for some action!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 4 Days


Today's special family member is my beloved sister, Holly. We talk on the phone just about every day - thank goodness for free mobile-to-mobile minutes! It will be so wonderful to talk to her in person. I can't wait to see her and she can't wait to see Genna (yes, I am second to my daughter.) So, just for you Holly - here are some pictures of your niece!


Thanks for inspiring Genevieve to be musically inclined. So glad she doesn't have to wear a bib 24-7 anymore; it's totally not stylish.


I wish she was smiling, but what can you do? She is showing off her new outfit, including bow.


Genna participating in her FAVORITE activity: "Empty the Diaper Bag." Observe the look of absolute glee on her face. How could I be mad?


Crawling through the wreckage, laughing with delight...


Genna is already striving to become a fashion diva like you, Holly. We dressed her in this beautiful gown for Reid's work Christmas party, and then set her down while we got ready. She proceeded to crawl over to where my jewelry is, picked up this white beaded necklace, and put it on herself. Wow! What an outfit! Of course, we had to let her wear it to the party. :)

(Those of you with Photoshop, don't judge my efforts with iPhoto editing. One day...)

Lastly, Genevieve walked 5 steps today!!! I tried to post a video, but to no avail. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 5 Days


Today, I am thinking about my older brother, Ryan, and his wife Stacy. They are moving into my parents basement, so they will be close at hand during our trip!


This is their son, Avery, who is obviously very cute...for a boy. :) Hey, this blog is all about me and my cute daughter. Anyway, I can't wait for them to get together - I hope they will play!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 6 Days


Today's special family member is my brother, Chad. I can't wait to feel really short...not. It's always great to talk and laugh with Chad - he is so witty! He needs a blog. Seriously.


This is him in a ballroom dancing competition in England. I'm just barely missing his dance concert (again), but hopefully I can get him to show Genna how a Real Man dances. :)


I love you, Chad, and can't wait to see you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas...in 7 Days

In seven days, we will be in Utah with our families - the Cluff family and the Nelson family. I am very excited about this...just ask Reid. I've decided to do a count down until we leave by sharing with you some of the people I can't wait to see!

First up is my brother, Jordan, who just turned 16. Whohoo! Jordan - I heard that you were delaying homework last night by reading my blog. All I have to say is, it's not my fault you haven't been keeping up. :) Love you, and finish your homework!

Friday, December 12, 2008

O Christmas Tree...

I have always loved the Christmas season, especially the decorations. There is something so fulfilling about re-discovering the same favorite ornaments and decorations each year; it seems so easy to connect this year to those past, and to connect those items with special memories.

When I was younger, I loved the special feeling that the glow of Christmas lights gives so much that I would curl up behind the tree to play with the Nativity set or read a book, all the while listening to Christmas music. A favorite was "Beneath the Christmas Star" which I have never heard on any holiday music radio station...but I still have the cassette tape. :)

The first two years that Reid and I were married, we purchased live trees. What a treat! There is nothing better than that smell, though I admit the watering gets a little old, especially in this dry climate. This year, we will be in Utah for Christmas, plus we have an almost-walking daughter, and the thought of a live tree didn't sound so great. I didn't want to buy an artificial tree who wouldn't actually get to shelter presents under its boughs, and since we have re-arranged our furniture since last year, we don't really have a place for one.

However, I have just participated in an ornament exchange, so I have about 20 new, beautiful ornaments to display, in addition to those I have already accumulated. What to do? And then one day, it hit me. I will have a Horizontal Tree on a Diet! Maybe it needs a new name. Any suggestions?

Here's how it works: I (actually, Reid) wound two lengths of garland together with some icicle lights and hung it over our front window. Then, I hung the ornaments on our whatever-you-want-to-call-it Tree. I absolutely love it! It has actually surprised me how much I don't miss having a real tree. Last year, I was looking forward to buying one for months! I think this year, I am just so excited to be spending Christmas with my family...but that's another post.

Here are a bunch of pictures of my Tree and ornaments. Enjoy.


The Tree lit up at night - my favorite! The ornaments:






Recognize this little guy? :)



I hope you are each enjoying your tree - no matter what it looks like.

How cute!


This is a few weeks (month?) late, but I just had to post about this. I entered a giveaway on Brooklyn's Bows blog, and I won! I received two adjustable headbands, plus those adorable Disney clips: Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell. It may be a few years before I can use the clips in Genna's hair (if she ever gets some!), but the headbands are super cute.

Here is a picture of Genna with the white headband and new clothes. Wish she was smiling, but she's still my pretty little princess.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Do you have a little girl?


Then you HAVE to check this out! My BYU art history friend and fellow blogger, Lindsay, has recently decided to take her creativity public. She makes adorable tutus which are available through her Etsy shop: Zeelightful.

HERE'S THE BEST PART - a tutu give-away!

Check out another great blog, Light Refreshments Served, and enter to win a FREE CUSTOM-MADE tutu! Simply leave a comment, and start choosing your colors. Time is of the essence, as the give-away ends tomorrow night.

Lindsay has another blog where she shares creative projects. Fun to check out.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity - seriously, go enter right now!

P.S. This is the first time I have used hyperlinks in a post, and it is so fun! Yay! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Once There Was a Snowman...

In November, my friends and I had an ornament exchange: each of us made 20 ornaments and then we exchanged and took home 1 ornament from each person. I decided to make some cute little snowmen, which turned out great - thanks to Reid's assistance!

I found the snowmen cutouts at Michael's, which I painted white. I also found some adorable rub-on snowmen faces. (This is where Reid comes in.)


Here he is with his trusty "craft stick," which he used to rub the faces on the snowmen. Like so:

Then, I finished them off with little buttons and crocheted scarves. Ta da!


Stay tuned for more pictures of the ornaments I received, as well as our "Horizontal Tree." :)

Cheering for the Cougs in the Falcon's Nest

Although we are grateful for Reid's new job, we are slightly sad at the loss of some great perks. El Pomar was always giving the Fellows opportunities to attends various events, which we able to take advantage of often. One last freebie we were able to enjoy were box seats at the BYU vs. AF game in November. (I know it's been a few weeks - I've been busy!)

It was so fun! El Pomar owns three parking spots in an upper lot right next to the stadium, so we drove past the traffic and walked right up to the press box. Lunch was a slight disappointment - we saw the Texas Roadhouse vans and were expecting BBQ, but we found stir fry with rice instead. Huh? Oh well, it was free.

This is a picture of one of our seats...

...which were on the front row! This is Reid and Genna standing in front of our seats, checking out the crowd before the game started. (Note the adoring look that Genna has for her father.)

Of course, Genna couldn't be without her favorite little blue puppy, Sammy. "Hey, what's going on down there?"

Genna spent a fair amount of time crawling and climbing around, which meant I spent a fair amount of time following her. She makes friends wherever she goes, and this day was no exception. Two ladies just could not get enough of her - they are clearly lesser fans than my mother. :)

Although we had to leave a bit early to get Reid to work on time, we were able to pick up the game on the radio in the car (we even got KSL, though it was a bit staticky). Yeah for BYU!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stair Master

I thought some of you out there might be needing a little Genevieve in your lives, so here you go!

Here is a video showing off Genna's skills of climbing up the stairs, with intermittent waving.

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This one shows Genna clapping, and you can see her two teeth!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie!!!


Well, I just got home from watching the midnight showing of the "Twilight" movie, and - of course - had to blog about it. There is just something unique about attending a movie on opening night. The audience has a shared excitement, and is always more vocal with cheers, laughs and applause.

Yes, there were cheesy moments and awkward moments; I was expecting that. But there were also funny moments and thrilling moments. Mostly, it just made me want to read the book again, which I suppose is what any good film version should do for a great book.

Some favorite quotes:

While the Cullens prepare "Italiano" food for Bella~
Rosalie: "Is she even Italian?"
Emmet: "Her name is Bella!"

Carlisle to Edward~
"Remember who you are." (Sound familiar?)

Even Stephanie Meyer pops in! Despite the theater filled with girls not legal to do just about anything, it made me want (for a short moment) to go to prom again. If that prom included Edward Cullen. And he had less lipstick on.

~

As a side note, I did NOT enjoy the previews. Most of them were for dark, twisted, graphic, disturbing movies, not exactly in the same vein as "Twilight." I even had to turn my head a few times because I cannot stand images of freaky children. Where were the romantic comedy previews? We need more love and less explosives, people.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scentsy Giveaway

Check out this blog for a Scentsy giveaway! The products look really cool.

http://phelpsfamilyfun.blogspot.com/

It's FINALLY cold!

Today it finally feels like end of fall/beginning of winter, like it's supposed to. The weather has been so nice through most of October and November, and I have really enjoyed and taken advantage of each day. We've gone to the zoo and walked at the park many times. Two days ago, I went outside in short-sleeved t-shirt because the high was 74 degrees!!!

Although it has been nice, it has put me in a state of denial about the passage of time. I cannot believe that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is well on its way. How could I, it felt like summer? Well, today, I almost believe it. It's about 34 degrees right now, and overcast. No snow, but still a wintry feel.

(Un)fortunately, it won't last. Tomorrow will be back in the 50's and then 60's next week. I'm really not sure if I should be complaining or rejoicing. I just hope winter doesn't last through June just to make up for it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Congratulations to Reid!

Recently, Reid has been complaining that this blog is really all about Genna. True. I've decided to try to blog about more things than just Genna - let's start with Reid! (Ironically enough, I couldn't find a picture of Reid without Genna...)

Reid just got a new job! We were not searching, but this job found him. Reid is now the Box Office Manager at the World Arena. His first day of work was yesterday, and I think it went well. He is already familiar with many aspects of the job and people he will work with, as he
spent a part of his fellowship there last year, and has been working part-time since then. Reid is currently asleep on the couch (didn't make it through "Super Nanny"...) after coming home from work at 8 pm. He works so hard for our family, and I sure am grateful!

Love you, Manager Reid!

Genna's Magic Trick

Genna just inherited a new toy - a pink ball, which was rejected by her friend, Sammy, the cat.

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She likes to do a little magic trick with her new toy...

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waiting...

In honor of Election Day, Genna decided to wear her patriotic red t-shirt. Never mind her pink pants or my dirty shirt...not my fault. Despite Genna's patriotism, she will have to wait until tomorrow to find out who our new President is. It's bedtime! :)

Pocket Full of Sunshine


My house is a little bit chilly today, but I feel perfectly warm. The sun is shining through the window on my back as I sit here and type. It feels wonderful. Memories of curling up in the sunny spot on the floor of our house in Texas 15 years ago come to my mind. I love sunshine...

(And yes, I took that picture. :) )

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Fun

Thanks to everyone who voted for Genna's Halloween costume. The Witch Cat won by a much larger margin than the Presidential Election, that's for sure! Speaking of which, we did our civic duty over a week ago at an early voting location. Even Genna voted! (Well, maybe not really, but she still got a sticker!)


This is Genna with Sophia, who is Little Bo Peep. And yes, her sheep are lost.

Genna did NOT love to keep her Witchy-Cat hood on!

These adorable 10-month-old girls were not as interested in posing for a picture as they were in exploring. At least you can see Genna's cute tail.

Here are Genna and I on the hay ride at our Fall Festival. What a fun day!