the holidays: away

just a few highlights:

*being told within minutes of arriving that i had "hippy stank."
i'll take it.

*grandma jodi's sur-PEZ party.

*putting the final touches on our first, ever, homemade gifts
in my dad's shop.

*being woken up by my adult brother (with the fu manchu) at 6am to open gifts.
he must have know he was getting these.

*having our heart-sister, ka'leen, join us for family christmas.

*opening gifts - grandma jodi style.  

*watching my dad open his remote control shark blimp.
and then watching bodhi fly it.  

*getting to hold and fall in love with my adorable niece, le tijená. 
watching my kids jump on beds and laugh hysterically with their cousin, tibbyus.

*further conversation in regards to our family sci-fi novel.
procuring an editor. 

*winning the cup.

*rusten's beard.

*movie night ;)

*pedicures with my sister, lekina,
  saying "yes" to the "design."
and yes, that is a green christmas sparkle.  

*getting to see off 
my brother, roody and his lovely family
as they moved to NY 
(there were tears). 

*macy's with my momma.

*george the chiuaua.  

* margaritas.

can i just say,
i love my family.
and i am so proud to belong to that group up there.
they make me smile.


more photo booth

so so so much more...


babies, dreamers and happy tears

look at those babies...
this photo was taken nearly 10 years ago
at the cbc christmas banquet.  
gary and i dressed up western style
because we like it spicey 
and because we've never really liked to dress up fancy.  
the frame was made and given to us 
by our dear friends barb and greg klassen
(in the photo with us),
christmas time 2004.
please note the impecable craftsmanship
(especially what's going on in that top left corner).
we went to school with these two.
specifically, i shared a bathroom with barb my first year of bible college
(that was more than 10 years ago)
and have loved her ever since.
we got to watch greg from a fruit farm in california
 and barb from the prairies 
fall in love. 
we missed their wedding (one of my only regrets in life), 
but we have been around to see so so so much.
 we watched them dream and laugh and risk it...
we got to  believe in them as they completely changed vocations and 
moved to california to go to woodworking school.
we got to be there to laugh over the hundreds of jobs barb took in order to make it work.
we got to see them put it out there at the farmers markets and holiday shows.
we have bought each other big big things of cheese 
because cheese in fridge makes us feel like things are going to be ok.  
 barb and greg even lived with us the summer before both of them studied art in sweden.
it was so much fun
and i truly believe one of their beautiful daughters was conceived in our basement.
anyway, i could go on.  
i could say a million lovely things about these two.
i got an email from greg today (and sorry greg, i just have to)
with this simple note:
Hey Carleigh, I'm not famous or rich, 
but I am about to be a movie star.
and there was a link to this video.

i'd be lying if i said i didn't shed a couple
happy tears.
what a journey, 
and what a blessing to be apart of it.
for my 30th birthday,
my sweet husband gifted me with a pair of greg's bird lamps.
they are probably some of my most favorite things.
i like them almost almost as much as i like the picture frame!
see greg's website here
and his online store here.


love and cheer

with christmas approaching,
we've slowly, but steadily 
been working on gifts for our families.
we've done a little decorating,
a little baking,
a little crafting (as in making a paper angel to sit atop our tree).
yesterday i put together our christmas card.
i don't usually mail one out.  
the cards are usually just an edited photo i give in passing at 
holiday events and gatherings.
this year our photo card is pretty cute and pretty chill.
i put it together from a photo shoot we did this summer 
(when the kids ages were 2,3 & 4)
with my amazing and talented friend,
(you might remember these incredible photos, taken by her in 2010).     
this year i told her i didn't want anything too fussy or too posey.
i wanted "us" in all our messy hair, dirty faces,
 elephant shirt and butterfly dress glory.
i think she nailed it.
i thought i would share the photos here,
in case our paths don't cross this holiday season.
i thought i would also share my most 
sincere hope for your blessed holiday.
Joy to the world,
The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King.

Merry Christmas!


i'm not sure what i expected...

from northview's kids christmas production.
i can tell you one thing, 
joy and laughter got into an awkward fist fight 
in my heart.
these photos kill me in the same kind of way.
i have a feeling the grammas and papas will 
eat 'em up too.
jane knows all the words to her songs 
and sings them at home, continually.  
my guess is that she has the same stage-condition and 
public speaking impairment as her momma... (sorry baby).
she does love to look at her pictures, point and say
"janie gwumpy."
bo was the real surprise for me.  
i think i expected he wouldn't actually make it on stage, 
considering he barely makes it into the class room on sunday mornings. 
he stood there in the front row and actually sang the words.  
i'm not sure what was up with the ear head bands though,
like he needed any help looking like a deer in the the headlights.
char did great.  
confession: i did a million of these christmas productions when i was little 
and loved every second of it. 
i'm not joking - i had my own custom mary garb.
(this was before the condition, mentioned above, developed). 
i have a feeling charlee will enjoy plenty of christmas productions to come.     
this time, she just happened to be right behind a really tall boy and  
i wasn't able to get many photos of her singing.  
oh well. i get to listen to her singing all day long,  
"happy birthday jesus
i'm so glad it's christmas
and the tinkles and bells 
and the presents are nice
but the real gift is you" 
(not actual words).