Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Card

I pulled a classic Lindsey move. No really, it's becoming an annual tradition.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time making a Christmas card (seriously, a long time-this year I even created the chevron background), only to never put the dang things in the mail!
At least this year I realized this was going to be the case AGAIN, before printing them out and having a stack of cards laying around, mocking my procrastination skills.
Oh well, maybe next year...until then- HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1 Year Old Tuck in a Truck

Phew! I am posting Tucker's one year old pictures BEFORE he is 14 months old! That's not considered late, right. I mean, 2 months late would have been totally embarrassing. So glad I missed that deadline by a whopping 3 days : )

Whatever. I have been a horrible blogger. I would say I will do better, but that may not be true. Again, whatever.

When I found out we were going to be in Twin Falls close to Tuck's big day, I set my heart on taking his 1 year old pictures on my brother in law's old truck. Unfortunately, the only time we could do it was around noon, so the lighting was really harsh. But a girl wants what a girl wants, and we did them anyways. I think they turned out pretty sweet regardless of the intense sun!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


3 years and 7 months ago, I was 2 weeks post my 3rd IUI. It was pregnancy test day. I waited nervously, excitedly, anxiously and hopefully. When only 1 pink line showed up, I was devastated...crushed. I stumbled back into our room, laid next to Jared and just sobbed. I was only allowed to weep for a few minutes, before returning to the bathroom to finish getting ready for work.

I snatched up the test, ready to throw that awful thing in the garbage- and somehow through my tears saw the faintest 2nd pink line. So faint I still wasn't sure it was there even after holding it to the light, close to my eyes. I charged back into the room, threw on the light, chucked Jared's contacts at him and DEMANDED he take a look. He confirmed that it wasn't my imagination...there were 2 of the most beautiful pink lines either of us had ever seen.

For the past week, I have been exhibiting some signs that hinted towards pregnancy. Every time I would think of the possibility, I would have mixed emotions.

My mind would think about how we are not trying to have another baby right now. It would stress about finances, MORNING SICKNESS, 3 kids 3 yrs old and under, etc.

But my heart would flutter in excitement. It would focus on the newborn smell, the newborn snuggles, the newborn sounds. My heart craves a newborn!

So this morning, I took a test. I was almost certain it would be positive. And I was (mostly) ecstatic.

3 minutes later, I was staring at only 1 pink line.

My mind was immediate overflowing with relief. My baby is BARELY one. He still can't walk. He still doesn't say mama. He still needs me so, so much...not the incapacitated woman I become the first 6 months of pregnancy. Jared is still in the first year of owning a business. Taking care of it, our home, a sick me and 2 kids is more than any guy should have to deal with. This is a good thing.

Then there was my heart. It was broken. It wonders if baby #3 will take a long time to get here, like Kerrigan. It is terrified of having to go through what it went through 4 years ago. In my heart, I wanted to crumble into a ball and cry on the bathroom floor.

Luckily, in this case, my head has been in control most of the day. I know we are going to be fine. We are going to live by the motto "Come What May, and Love it".

However, for a few minutes this morning, I let my heart win, and I cried over that stupid, single pink line.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Birthday partaaaaaaySSSS!

Lucky boy had 2 party's this year.

So I thought it would only be fitting that I posted about them 2 days before his 14 month-day....right?

And in order to make sure I got them posted before the 2 month late deadline (because, remember, in my book that is totally embarrassing : ), I didn't do anything fancy to the pictures.

There is some pretty wonky coloring going on in most of the pictures.
Consider yourself warned.

Fiesta Numero Uno: BBQ at our casa, with the Clarks (my aunt and her family who live about a mile from us. A gift from heaven for our family. Methinks YES!) and Aunt "Cat" as K calls her. We will never again have a party without Cat ever again-she is that great!

Nothing too fancy, but I LOVED the banner I made with my Silhouette and the cake. We had a near disaster involving red frosting. Word to the wise: NEVER write Happy birthday in red gel frosting- looks a tad horror movie-esk.

Soooo, ummmmm, about this next picture. My proudest momma picture, probably not. She is proud enough of herself (for helping blow out the candles) for the both of us.

Does it make me pee my pants every time I look at it? Yes, it most definitely does. The look on her face is absolutely hysterical. I will probably be showing this to future suitors.

So not to steal Tuck's thunder, but check out my nose. I always thought of my nose as a German looking one. So where does it get off lookin' all long and pointy in this picture? And how did it take me almost 28 years to see this natural wonder?

Just something to think about.

How did I get Tucker to go to town with his cake, you ask? Well, do you remember Kerrigan's first birthday? She was a bit of a cake snob- way disappointing. This year I did my research, and I will let you in on a little secret, my friends. Behold the power of the Twinkie:

(as in I gave him a Twinkie a day for 2 weeks straight, except for the 2 days before his birthday. Lemme tell ya, the kid was jonesin' for some chocolate! 4 out of 5 dentists probably wouldn't recommend this method, but it works people!)

FIESTA NUMERO DOS: With the Stokes clan. Recycled decor. Pizza. Pop. Cupcakes.

My 2 favorite things about my 1 year old Tucker are:

1. He is ALL boy. He grunts. He farts. He is messy. He is stubbornly refusing to walk or talk. He is busy, busy, busy- and usually busy doing stuff he shouldn't be doing. His favorite "toy" these days: the toilet. Gross. 100% boy...and I love it!

#2. He is such a curious little guy. He is always getting into stuff and always on the go, but it is hard to get mad. He has this sense of wonder about him that I cannot get enough of. I hope he always possesses that quality. I hope he continues to explore the world around him with the same enthusiasm he has now- the world is his toilet...I mean, his oyster!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Princess Dress Tutu-orial

It might be kinda lame that my first post in 1 1/2 months is a tutorial. However, I couldn't find any tutorials for the costume I wanted to make for K- so I decided to make my own.

That's right folks, you read that correctly. I, Lindsey Stokes, stepped into the realm of super Mormon mama-hood and MADE Kerrigan's costume for Halloween. Never thought I would ever say that sentence.

Ok, so my costume was a lot of trial and error. I am hoping to help YOU (if you choose to make one) avoid the error part. I also learned a few tricks that saved me a ton of time/frustration.

Also, I think you can tweak it to work for any princess dress. Considering it cost about $10 to make, we may or may not have already bought the supplies to make a few more princesses.

Elastic (I used 3/4")
9 yards of tulle (I did 4.5 yrds white, 3.5 yrds dark purple and 1 yrd light purple) I know you can buy tulle on a spool- but I don't know how much you would need, and I think it is more $
Coordinating ribbon
Hot glue gun
Yardstick/measuring tape
Needle and thread or sewing machine

Step 1: Lay your tulle out flat on the ground but still folded in half length-wise, like how it is on the bolt when you bought it. Measure the length from the child's armpit to however long you want the dress to hang. I had Kerrigan's hit her midcalf, so I had to cut a couple inches off the bottom (open end) of the tulle (NOT ON THE FOLDED SIDE).

Step 2: (Which I didn't take a picture, but HOLY TIME SAVER) Starting with the top (folded side) of the tulle, roll the tulle into a long tube. Make sure you are rolling evenly, and the sides of it stay lined up as best as they can. Obviously, the edges aren't perfect, but you want them to be as close as possible. So when I did this with the white, I had a 4.5 yrd long roll of tulle.

Then, line the roll up with a yardstick, and cut every 3 inches. You will have little mini rolls that look like this:

Seriously, this saved so much stinkin' time, and made my strip edges soooo much straighter than trying to cut it while it is laying flat.

Step 3: Cut the ends of the rolls so they are rounded at the bottom. Again, make sure you are never cutting on the folded side of the tulle.

Step 4: Measure around your child's chest close to their armpits. Then subtract AT LEAST an inch for the length of the elastic. I only subtracted a little less than an inch, thinking I didn't want it to be too tight, but these dresses are a little heavier than just a skirt, so the elastic needs to be a little tighter to hold it up.

Sew the ends of the elastic together and find something round to hold it in place. In my case, it was my leg. I would like to apologize that you have to look at my gross sweat pants for the next few pictures...but that is my go to craft apparel, so what can ya do?!?!

Step 5: Holding the folded end of the tulle, put a strip of white tulle either in or behind a strip of purple. I did mine inside so they kind of blended together, but either will work.

Step 6: Pull the 2 strips together under the elastic, so a few inches of the folded side are above the elastic. Use 2 fingers to go through the opening...

...grab the other end of the tulle....

...and pull it all the way through.

Step 7: Pull the loose end down to tighten the knot. One trick I figured out was stick one finger in the knot as you are tightening it to keep the elastic from bunching up. When the knot is tight on your finger, pull it out and give it an extra tug to make sure it is nice and snug.

Step 8: Continue all the way around the elastic. For the Rapunzel dress, I used the darker tulle around the back and sides, and the lighter purple for about 4-5 inches in the front.
Step 9: Not totally necessary- but tulle is ITCHY. I wrapped ribbon around the elastic and tulle to make it more comfy and I think it gives the dress a more finished look. For mine, I used a ribbon that had a little velvety detail in the middle. Don't. Next time I will just use plain 1'' silk ribbon. It will look better, promise!

10: Try it on your little model. Really really puffy, and a little low ridin'.
While she is trying it on, tie a ribbon around the waist. Not too tight that you can't get it on and off, but snug enough to keep the dress on.
11: Add sleeves and embellishments (I used hot glue on the x, and thread and needle for sleeves). This is what the original dress looked like. Cute, right? BUUUUUT, I had 2 problems. #1 I felt like there was too much pink going on up top. #2 I couldn't figure out how to get the ribbon sleeve to be loose enough to easily get the dress on, but tight enough not to fall off her shoulders. So I did a little tweaking. If you like the ribbon sleeves, and can figure out how to do it- go for it : )
For the new sleeves, I used tulle, because it is stretchy. I may switch it out for (or add) some stretchy lace or ribbon, but for now it works.
I attached one side the same way I attached the skirt to the elastic, and then tied a regular knot on the other side, then covered them both up with the ribbon.

Then hot glued on some smaller/less obvious pink ribbon for the x's.


I think it turned out pretty darn cute- especially for having no freakin' idea what I was doing!

The only thing I would change (dang hindsight) is the colors of tulle. They had a much darker purple I wish I would have gone with. In person you can see the contrast a little better, but it isn't as obvious as I wanted. Other than that, I love it. So does Kerrigan.

Now we just have to figure out how to make her yarn wig, get Tucker to love (or at least tolerate) his Pascal costume and we are good to go!

Sorry if any of this was confusing...I am going to totally play the 'this is my first tutorial' card : ) Feel free to ask questions!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later

I started this post with talking about where I was September 11, 2001, feelings I experienced and the reactions around me. After I finished, I realized not only was it long, but it was also probably not a whole lot different than others' experiences- so I started over.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”
- Confucius

10 years ago, America collectively "fell"- physically, emotionally and spiritually. Many of us caught our first glimpse at real evil in our world!

Thankfully, in the same terrible event, we were able to see the good in mankind as well. We saw heroes risk everything to save people they never knew. I think their unbelievable acts of kindness started the healing process almost immediately.

As a country, we are now more resilient. We are more patriotic. We are more grateful for the freedoms that we have.

We fell hard, but we rose so much stronger!

"After all that has just passed, all the lives taken and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them, it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear.

... I know there are struggles ahead and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them.

As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror. This will be an age of liberty here and across the world.

... We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.

...Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.
Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

...I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them."
George W. Bush

*photos taken in April 2007 at Ground Zero*

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rock Star, Skater or Goth?

*please note Tucker sending the vibe in the middle picture*
I am starting realize how hard it is to dress boys. I feel like I am constantly needing to buy pants for the poor kid, and they are still always short (heaven help me when puberty hits!). Especially in the church pants department. As much as I hate to admit it, the boy has basically been sporting khaki capris for the past month. So when I spotted these black corduroys, I grabbed them without much examination.
Fast forward to the next Sunday. We are at the in-laws' house, doing our normal Sunday morning scramble. Jared is getting the kiddos dressed while I am running around shoving treats and books into my purse. As they come upstairs, I notice Jared is perspiring slightly. In response to my curious look, he demands to know the reason I bought HIS SON skinny jeans. Not only did he break a sweat trying to wrestle our chunky, ever moving kid into them, he thinks they make him look like a teenage skateboarding punk. Whhhhaaaaaa???
My sister in law later admitted she thought Tucker had taken a turn in the Gothic direction.
Upon first look, I will admit they did look silly. I didn't notice how tapered they were when I bought them. Since then, however, I have decided I love them. They are stinkin' hilarious! I prefer to call them his rock star pants. Not only do I like the way they look now, they restrict his leg movement. Anything that helps me catch him easier gets a gold star in my book!
Every time I put them on him, Jared objects. I innocently explain they are his only church pants that fit right now. I tend to leave out the fact that the desperate search for church pants has dramatically slowed...if not stopped for the time being : )
In other news, in exactly one month I will have a 1 year old. Cue baby hunger.......

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Life Reset...

So you know that feeling you get when you walk through the door of your own home after being gone for any extended period of time. I LOVE that feeling- the familiar sights, sounds, smells...just knowing I am in my own space gives me the warm fuzzies.
The kids and I have basically been gone for a month now, with the exception of a few days we spent at home in between trips. We just got home, opened the door (kids and luggage in tow) and took a (what should have been) deep, cleansing, relaxing breath of my home...only to be overwhelmed by an incredible stench- which appeared to be emanating from my pantry.
I feared something had literally crawled in there and died. Turns out I was half right. Something had indeed "died", but it was something I had put in there and forgotten about. A sack of potatoes to be exact.
I kind of feel like those nasty, juicy potatoes represent what I have allowed life to become for me. I need to take back control.
I need to organize. The wreck that destroyed so much happened over a year ago. No longer a valid excuse to have a hoarder's garage. We need to throw away broken belongings once and for all!
I need to exercise. My baby is almost a year old, those last 6-8 lbs have to go. The slight postpartum "issues" I have had need to be replaced with positive, esteem building thoughts.
I need to make my house a home. We have been in this beautiful house for 10 months...put some stinkin' pictures on the wall already, Lindsey!
I need to excuses!
And possibly most importantly, I need to make friends. I have used all of the aforementioned excuses as reasons for my complete lack of a social life. I need me time. Not a ton, but enough to keep me sane.
I am officially pushing the reset button on my life. Possibly pounding it. I am completely done with sitting on my rear waiting for things to change...when I am the one that needs to change them. I had a month to collect myself, regain perspective and now I am ready to give myself a life makeover.
And I am going to starting by scrubbing off the bottom shelf of my pantry- thank you juicy potatoes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

Mother's Day was perfection this year!

I got to celebrate the fact that I have these two cuties that call me mommy (ok, one calls me mommy, the other one is a work in progress)

I got to spend Mother's Day in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been (Salmon, ID),

with the people I love most!

We even experienced the delightfulness of this view for many, many miles. Like I said- PERFECTION!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Easter Ensembles...

I am currently on strike, I refuse to take anymore indoor pictures. Take that, frigid, stubborn winter!

Sunday was finally warm enough (BARELY) to try to take pictures of the kiddos in their Easter attire, so we ventured out.

So this picture isn't the best of Tucker (he is kinda out of focus), but I found my new fave bench angle! Now I need to work on getting my camera to focus on the actual person : )

I was so kinda bummed when I noticed the placement of my boy on the bench resulted in him looking like he had ears sprouting out of the top of his head. Then I remembered they were Easter pictures, so decided to go with it : )

Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!