Wednesday, December 30, 2009

our halls were decked...

okay, so we don't really have a hallway, but our front room was decked.

christmas decorations are gone at our house. they've been gently packed and are now resting in a cold, dark storage garage a few blocks away.

until next year, christmas.

i think i wanted everything down for a combination of reasons. one being that i came from a house where we have a birthday boy on december 30th. my mom always made sure christmas was put away so it could be his day. i used to be bitter. but i totally understand now. i also wanted everything to be cleared out for our new year's eve bash. either way, it's gone.

i snapped a few pictures first. there are a lot of ornaments because i planned to write a post about some ornaments i want to remember, but never got around to it. maybe next year. as always.

in no particular order, christmas at the layton's house:
01. fabric nativity. long story as to why i have it rather than one of my siblings, but i won't complain. i love this thing. amazing. crafted completely by hand by my amazing mother.
02. year of the rooster {1981} ornament from the laytons. 28 year olds rock.
03. ornament of ryan as a little boy. complete with burt and ernie slippers.
04. our nutcracker family.
05. stockings.
06. wood crafted nativity ornament from bethlehem. courtesy of a coworker from byu.
07. incredibly awesome vintage advent. again crafted by my amazing mother.
08. two-thirds of our christmas cards this year. it pays to send yours out early.
09. mod-podge NOEL. new addition this year. kinda like it.
10. 2009 addition to ryan's nutcracker family.
11. 2009 angel ornament for leah. we get her an ornament each year. randomly, they've all been angels. coincidence? maybe. but she is our little silent angel, so we'll keep the tradition going. if anyone ever finds a really unique angel ornament, let me know. they're surprisingly hard to find.
12. nutcracker ornament from this year's sfo expedition.
13. 2008 hong kong ornament to remember our incredible trip.
14. christmas books. stacked and ready to read. i wrapped each one and planned to open one every night in december and read them as a family. ryan was a work-a-holic and leah was cranky most nights, so i opened them and read them on my own.
15. one of my all time favs: santa adoring the baby jesus. even he knows the real reason for the season.
16. leah's hong kong ornament.
17. a sweet, gift from a sweet friend and her mother this year. they said it reminded them of leah and me. and it just happened to be an angel. i love it.
18. berry wreath, quilted table topper found on etsy and crate and barrel dish containing yumminess throughout the month.
19. leah's shepherd ornament from nursery this year. if you didn't notice, she's not much of a color-er.
20. rudolf ornament made from a clothespin. matthew 5:16
21. plastic little people nativity. my new fav for any slobbery infant, toddler...or child with rett syndrome.

{mind you, this is all in our front room. it's not a very big front room. we actually had to purchase a smaller tree this year because the tree we've used for the previous 6 years wouldn't fit.}

i also did some purging of old decorations. things i know i'll never use again. i took some pictures. and i gave lots away as a white elephant gift. perfect way to purge if you ask me. feelin' good.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

christmas at our house

christmas eve was full of friends, good food {mmmm...ham}, music and fun. family picture to come?
christmas morning was full of sleeping in, presents, exploding scone dough and breakdowns. i guess i should add that i was the breaker-downer. and it went something like this, "{cry, cry} this just isn't how leah's third christmas was supposed to be, {cry, cry} she is supposed to be full of wonder about santa {cry, cry}, she's supposed to be excited about her toys {cry, cry}." the end. i got over it pretty quickly, no worries. and she did like the personalized alphabet book i made for her. post on that to come?i think she wondered why a yule log had taken over the backyardigans' usual spot on the tv screen. christmas evening was full of clogged sinks, tired kids, de.lic.ious. crab, a not-so-delicious corn dish, lots of movies and games.
...oh, and ryan and scott crocket. post-christmas was full of movies, games, friends and a rainstorm to boot. merry, merry.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

scanned classic: december 1987

couldn't resist. this is me circa december 1987.
loving the skinny jeans and sneakers.
and is it just me or does mr. claus look a lot like my fantastic uncle gary?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

dear santa {2009},

dear santa,

wow. what a year.

because my naughty/nice status is a bit confusing this year, please allow me to explain. i'll begin with the naughty:

first, you may or may not have heard that i have what some may call a little bit of a temper problem. an anger management course has been considered, but i'm just not sure i have the attention span to sit through one. i'm working on it. it's frustrating, though...i have so many things to say and i can't say them! there are so many toys i want to play with and i can't figure out how to play with them! there are so many good things i want to eat but i'm not supposed to eat them {my crib especially}!

since we're on the topic of eating things i'm not supposed to eat, i think my mommy mentioned that my crib looks like a beaver lives there. so does my mommy's newly-painted and reupholstered chair. sorry about that. things are looking up. the parents finally got wise and covered the sides of the crib and they watch me carefully around the chair. oh, and about jeff and sarah's chair: we'll reimburse them. i promise.

second, i'm pretty certain you know about my sleeping situation. i went from a champion sleeper {one of the things that put me on the nice list last year} to a very mean, horrible, terrible, awful person during the night. i scream. i flail. i pinch. i hit. i grab. i kick. i. get. mean. but this really isn't my fault either. i can't help it. my tummy hurts so much. and i get night terrors. and sometimes i just plain don't like my parents. but i know it's not their fault. they were nice enough to find me a medication that works so i can get my beauty rest. it's working...for the most part.

i don't really like to talk anymore. i'm totally over it. talking is overrated. there are so many other ways to communicate, don't you think? panting, screaming, grunting, hitting...all good options. i'm very creative that way.

okay, okay, so i don't love to play with my toys. or my crayons. or anything really except my dvds and my cd player {unless i can put it in my mouth}. i'm just a modern gal. i like technology. just because it's new doesn't mean it's bad. there are lots of good things you can learn from dvds...and good, wholesome music is played on my cd player. mom even switched it to christmas music for december, so really, i'm just doing her a favor by playing it all day long.

i'm a library reading-time drop-out. i know this sounds bad. it just wasn't for me. i'm more on-the-go than all those goodie-two-shoes. i like to run free and experience life at full speed. no sitting down and relaxing for me. give me a book on cd, sure. just don't make me sit there.

i think that's all i have for my naughty list. if you have more in your file, please notify me at your earliest convenience so i can clear them from my record.

as for the nice checklist, it's a good one:

i learned to walk! did you read that correctly? I LEARNED TO WALK! this alone should place me on the nice list. i told you i would in last year's letter and i did! i held up my end of the bargain for sure. and not only did i learn to walk, i learned to run. and i've held on to this skill for dear life as the rest of my body seems to be deteriorating. that's got to be worth something. i think it deserves triple nice points, don't you?

i started school this year. i'm so good at school. my best subjects are kicking soccer balls 101, going up and down stairs 201 and eating 500. i'm so good at eating snacks. my teachers really like me. i'm sure if you contact them, they'll give me rave reviews. the other kids like me too. i stand up for them when they're bullied. i share my slobbered-on toys. mostly i just stay out of their way.

last year i mentioned i was really good at letting my mommy do my hair. i know i hit a rough spot this year...and i'm still not totally out of the rut, but i'm getting better. once in awhile she can get some cute pigtails in. i'm working on it. plus, i let her cut my bangs and it's done wonders for my appearance. you can have my mommy thank me later.

last month i got an mri. for a two year old, that means general anesthesia. enough said.

we took a road trip last month and i slept the whole way. both ways. i was a champion in the car. and when i was transferred to beds both times, i went back to sleep. i'm becoming such a good traveling companion. i know i don't like it when i have to stop at a red light {and, as i mentioned before, i communicate my displeasure with high-pitched screaming}, but i'm a mover and a shaker. just tell my parents to use the freeway more often. fewer red lights.

i give the greatest hugs. my mommy and daddy just eat them up! i have a sweet, sweet giggle. once in a blue moon i shout out the words "mama" or "daddy." it takes a lot of effort and concentration, but i do it for parental benefit. they seem to like it. i do still love reading. i know most people don't consider eating books the same as reading, but it's the same material no matter how you look at it. i'm learning to communicate with my eyes. i have such pretty eyes, don't you think? i'll keep working on that this year. i promise i'll be better at communicating by next year. and i'll work hard at keeping up all of my other skills - especially walking.

well, mr. kringle. i think my arguments can only lead to one solution. the nice outweighs the naughty. i'm just a fun-loving gal. people have a hard time not liking me. and i'm not trying to boast. i'm just laying out the facts.

if you need gift ideas this year {you can pass along any extras to my parents}, i'd love some backyardigans paraphernalia, books, music, maybe a baby doll and something that makes noise. i like to make noise.

merry christmas!


little leah

p.s. thanks for not laughing at me when i didn't realize i was supposed to sit on your lap, not in front of you this year. sometimes i just need someone to hold my hand and show me the way.

p.p.s. are you younger this year? or is it just me?

Monday, December 21, 2009

palo alto lights

fun fhe with fellow thomanders, mcphies and smiths {sans jeff and ryan who were busy winning the bread} walking a street in palo alto with houses all dressed up for christmas {the houses, not us}. i know, people actually can own nice, beautiful homes in california...and afford to pay the electric bill! who'da thunk?

of course it rained.of course leah didn't just made the hot chocolate at the car afterward all the tastier.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

dear neighbors, love the laytons

hot chocolate on a stick.

purchase, chop, melt, stir, mix, pour, set, melt, dip, sprinkle, set, package, tie, deliver, enjoy.mmmm....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

turns out....

it turns out, ryan is a good liar. who knew?
turns out, i just might believe him when he tells me we are going to a client dinner in the city.turns out, the jig is up when he tells the host at ruth's chris the reservation is under 'ryan layton' and we are seated at our own table.turns out he knows how much i really love the nutcracker.turns out, our hotel room {which he booked for a screaming deal} needed three entrances it was so big.
turns out, it really can feel like christmas when there's no snow...even though it's not preferred.
turns out, starbucks has a really yummy apple cider drink and hot chocolate.
turns out, we really needed this.
thanks, babe. turns out, i really love you.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

winter recital 2009

recital #5 was a success.
moment to remember: william tell march was played an octave too high...and the student had no clue. to give him credit, it was flawless in the higher octave. his mother came up to me after the recital and said, "did he?..." to which i nodded in the affirmative. we both smiled.

highlight: sleigh ride duet with a student. so fun to learn the secondo and re-live my 14-year-old experience with my mom.

leah was a fan favorite.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

brace yourselves

i got invisalign. after 28 years, say goodbye to maren's special tooth. forever.

bites from my apple will no longer look like this:here's my before {note special tooth at top left...i think it's tooth 7, dr. hauley??}:
we'll catch you on the flip side with an after picture in about 10 months.

p.s. i realized just how much i snack during the day after having these on my teeth. it's so not worth it to take them out, eat a snack, then brush and put them back on. this could be a great way to lose those last few pounds!

going commando

yup, it's what you think. today after church, leah ran into her room and went to her CD player first thing. ryan came in to join us and started laughing. so, i peered around the chair and this is what i saw:
if you didn't notice anything abnormal, look down at her ankles. that's her diaper. the one she wore to church. the one that is full and needs to be changed. it totally just fell off and she kept running.

that's what i get for forgetting a diaper cover.

that canNOT taste good

we always joke that leah has an incredible immune system because she eats, licks and bites everything in sight.

that beautiful chair i repainted and recovered? bite marks all over the arm.

her new crib? looks like it's inhabited by a family of beavers.

sand at the park? a delicacy.

daddy's dirty shoes? yuuuuuuuuummy.

she'll eat anything off the table...when it's not dinnertime. the other day i was cutting up some cheese for dinner and she seemed extremely interested, so i cut off some cubes for her to eat. then i noticed the block i was using looked like this:nice, leah. i know. how dumb am i to leave the nice, big piece next to her little portions? i never learn.

a few days ago, i saw a tiny bit of an orange peel on her chin, so i went to investigate. i found this on the counter:she ate the peel! she took a chunk, ate the entire piece she got in her mouth, then set it back on the counter.

so gross.

at least she eats. at least she eats.

we survived....

ryan and i, that is. we survived parenting three children two and under for approximately 29 hours.and then we decided we're done having children. don't even try to change our minds.

okay, so it wasn't that bad. we watched two cute boys while their parents when on a three-day getaway for their mom's birthday. quite the surprise...and i helped execute the planning. it was fantastic. a few other girls also helped out, but we had the boys for the home stretch.
we survived four meals, at least four snacks, two bedtimes, one nap {where all three slept at once}, a long afternoon where ryan went to work and i was all by my lonesome, a triple-toddler bath, lots of games/books/toys, and a little bit {okay, a lot} of tv because it was raining outside the entire time. i would consider the weekend a success.

leah's so vintage

so my mom saved some of my dresses from when i was a little girl. i've had them in a box waiting for leah to grow into them. i thought a few of them were 3T, which is what she wears now, so i decided to take a look the other day. my very favorite jumper in the ENTIRE world ended up being a 2T...and a small 2T at that, so i think we missed the boat. but, this dress said 3T, so i tried it on for size. i little on the short side, but i'm pretty sure that was just the style 28 years ago, because the rest of it fit beautifully.
my mom asked me how i felt knowing that clothes i wore in my lifetime are now considered "vintage." i say bring it on. vintage is in. :)
funny thing about this dress is that my good friend rachel asked me if it was mine...because she had one just like it when she was little too! walk down memory lane for both of us. thanks, leah beah.

when i find the picture of me wearing the dress, i'll post it. that's just way too much effort for right now.

fa la la la la la la la. :)

at the beginning of december i participated in a double quartet from my ward to sing some carols at our ward christmas party. kind of fun to dress up as victorian carolers. i was a bit disappointed that cousin jeff didn't sport the chops as he promised. next year, jeff. next year.someone please remind me to smile when i sing. i think i am...but i'm not.
isn't mary pretty? i think she's beautiful. mary is one of those people i wish everyone had the chance to know. sometimes i just think of mary and smile because she's such a nice, kind, good person. i love being at her house. i love being with her. sorry to embarrass you, mary. i just think you're great.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


hmmm...somehow forgot to post about the goodness that was thanksgiving this year. quiet. simple. delicious. entertaining.

i started the day off at a local turkey trot with one of my favorite people in the world. just us. no kids. so fun. i wore my new nike id shirt: see mj run. love it.
then we cooked dinner with said favorite person and her cute, cute family. mmmm...dinner. kids slept while adults ate {brilliant!}. kids woke up. kids ate. everyone played outside. kids went to bed. adults played games. adults fell asleep to a movie {yes, we had a sleepover}. female adults woke up and went shopping on black friday - childless {again, brilliant!}.

like i said. quiet. simple. delicious. entertaining.

leah jekyll/leah hyde

we've had some jekyll/hyde action going on at our house lately.

this is from our last day in san diego. after an escapade inside denny's. leah hyde may or may not have rubbed ketchup all over the wall.

this is a few nights before that. leah jekyll being her regular, silly self.we much prefer leah jekyll.