Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas has come and gone...

But I hope the magic feeling that Christmas brings of love, excitement, happiness, a belief in something good...I hope that those feelings will linger and that my kids will grow up with memories of a fun-filled, love-filled childhood.

Santa brought Bella a razor scooter,

and Ezra an extension to make his train track an 8 track,

and Cali this turtle bouncy, toy thingy.

Ezra also received a spiderman snow mask and spiderman slippers. He kept the mask on as he opened up all of his presents and made us call him spiderman all day. :)

Christmas day was so warm and sunny, we took the kids to the park practically dressed in summer clothes. It reminded me of Christmases growing up in CA.

Even though you can't see his mouth, you can tell that Ezra, er, uh, I mean Spiderman, is smiling because of his eyes. So cute!

Since Cali is also allergic to dogs, this dog that moves, talks, and grows might be the closest she'll ever get to a pet puppy.

And when Ezra isn't playing the role of spiderman, he can be found playing the role of batman, thanks to his new cape that Grandma A made him. Blaine specifically asked his Mom to make the kids some capes because he remembers how fun it was running around his house with his cape on. I remember underroos quite fondly myself! Bella uses her cape more like a princess cloak and Cali runs around with her's on but I don't think she knows why!

The morning after Christmas, Ezra was sooooo exhausted that he came down stairs, said he only wanted blueberries for breakfast and then promptly fell asleep at the table.

And we've been having lots of family fun while Bella has been out of school and Blaine has had a few days off. We took the kids ice skating. Bella LOVED it and Ez endured it for about 5 minutes before he was done!

And tumbling towers has become a nightly family ritual. We put Cali to bed and then play a few games because the family that plays together stays together...right?!?

I love my family!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December fun

We took the kids bowling for the first time. It was SO FUN! Ezra was the BEST cheerleader anyone could ever want. The kids had a blast and the parents did, too.

Bella and I got to go on a really fun mother-daughter date last week. 4 little girls and their moms all went out to lunch and a movie. The girls had a gift exchange at lunch and then we all went and watched Tangled. The movie was so cute and it had the moms and the kids alike all laughing. I so enjoy our little mother daughter dates.

Santa came to our local library. Ez hopped right on his lap and requested a zhu zhu pet.

Then Cali got on Santa's lap and was fascinated with his beard. I thought maybe she would protest being on Jolly Old Saint Nick's lap but no, not at all. She was enthralled in the experience.

Bella, on the other hand, has NEVER liked being on Santa Claus's lap. She wanted her siblings to go up with her but they ended up just standing nearby and Bella was forced to go it alone with him. She survived. She asked Santa for a Razor scooter.

Bella and Ezra's friend Lyddia was also at the library visiting with Santa.

The kids in their Christmas Sunday best.

We went Christmas caroling last night and while I was buckling Ez into his seat, I found that Cali had jumped in the driver's seat. She looked so cute and big in the driver's seat with her santa hat on...I just had to snap a pic.

Blaine was working but I took the kids Christmas caroling with some of our friends. The kids had fun at first but it became too cold and Cali started crying, which you can imagine was a really nice touch to the singing!

Quick trip to Texas

Blaine had a conference for work in Fort Worth, Texas in November. Because Mom and Dad A. were able to watch our kids, I got to tag along. I was sick with a nasty head cold so I pretty much laid low in the hotel during the day (I loved it!) and then Blaine and I headed out in the evenings for some fun. We are so grateful that Mom and Dad dropped everything so that we could have a little getaway. Dad even celebrated his 70th birthday watching our kids. One thing is for sure...our kids are either going to keep you young or speed up the aging process!

Playing memory with a 6 year old and a 3 year old keeps a brain SHARP!

When in Texas...ride a bull, right?!?

We stayed in the old Stockyards.

All of the following pictures are of Billy Bob's...the world's largest Honkey Tonk! Yes, that is right...we went to Billy Bob's (now that is just fun to say!) 2 nights in a row where we line danced, listened to live music, and watched professional bull riding. I was seriously impressed with not only Blaine's WILLINGNESS to line dance, but with how GOOD he was! And, I was a little surprised at how much I ENJOYED the professional bull riding show. I can't wait to see another one!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our 15 minutes of fame

It was an honor to share our family story with the local newspaper. I have copied and pasted it here or you can follow this link to read it.
Our family is the third story highlighted starting with FIRESTONE.

(Update: Today's weekly freebie newspaper came out. Imagine my surprise when I took it out of the little baggie and found a ginormous picture of our family on the cover! Apparently they re-ran the story for the weekly insert but they cut out the other two stories and just focused on our family. As I drove out of the neighborhood, I could even see my kids faces on my neighbors driveways. It was weird! Then we went to lunch at a local restaurant and saw the paper with our ginormous family picture right there at the front door for all to take. It was a fun but weird experience. I know it is only the local newspaper but it is fun to feel special for a day! )

Residents share stories of personal miracles, the flip side of tragedies

By Magdalena Wegrzyn
© 2010 Longmont Times-Call

LONGMONT — Miracles celebrate the improbable, the unexpected and the joyful.

So often, they spring from calamities and disappointments, evolving from heartbreak and devastation.

Really, miracles are the flip side of tragedies.

Hanukkah commemorates such a miracle — an unexplained moment of joy on the heels of a would-be disaster.

The Jewish Festival of Lights, which began at sunset Wednesday and lasts through next Thursday, celebrates when the Maccabees, a Jewish force, took back the city of Jerusalem from the invading Syrians during the second century B.C.

To rededicate their temple, the Maccabees needed to burn consecrated oil for eight nights.

Although the oil supply they had would normally burn for only one night, it miraculously remained lit for eight nights, according to the story.

So in honor of the holiday, we’re bringing you three stories of miracles from various faiths.

What’s left behind

BOULDER — After the Fourmile Canyon Fire engulfed their home in the foothills of Boulder, the Davidoffs weren’t left with much.

But what the Boulder family did find in the ashes of their former house on Melvina Hill is something Alice Davidoff can’t explain.

“The few things that survived were all spiritual items,” said the 36-year-old Spanish teacher at Monarch High School in Louisville.

A metal menorah she and Mike, her husband and a social worker at the high school, received from a cousin at their wedding was spared. One of the candelabra’s candle holders broke, but Alice was able to replace the piece.

The family also salvaged a mezuzah, a small case that holds a scroll inscribed with passages of Scripture. The scroll was scorched, but the mezuzah still held small shards from the glass goblet Mike broke under the chupa at the couple’s wedding.

The family returned to their property to say a prayer for their two cats, Smoky and Eagle, who died in the fire.

Alice fled the burning canyon at about 10:30 a.m. Sept. 6 after packing her twins, 5-year-old Noah and Lily, into the car along with the family’s two dogs, a great Pyrenees named Yeti and a Rottweiler mix called Wally.

Ten minutes later, Mike, 38, followed with a few possessions — hard drives, instruments and a ketubah, a traditional Jewish marriage agreement from the couple’s wedding.

The family drove the dogs to a relative’s home in north Boulder, then took their twins to a baby sitter in Superior.

By the time they arrived at the baby sitter’s, they had heard from a friend that their home had burned to the ground. Of the 14 houses on their hill, the fire destroyed 10, Alice said.

After staying with friends in Niwot, the Davidoffs recently bought a house in Boulder.

During their first Hanukkah in the new home, they are using the menorah that was saved from the fire.

“It symbolizes the survival of the Jewish people, and that’s really what Hanukkah is all about,” Alice said.

Despite their losses, Alice said the fire brought certain miracles to light.

“One of the miracles is recognizing that even though we lived in a very isolated place, we’re not isolated at all,” she said. “We’ve been so supported by the community of Boulder County.”

A new beginning

LONGMONT — For most of his adult life, Tom Baker believed medicine was the most noble profession.

“You get to a point where you don’t believe there’s a life outside the operating room,” said Baker, 58.

But after a career-ending neck injury in 1996, the former anesthesiologist and specialist in pain management found a new road.

Today, he and his wife, Annette, 52, are ordained Christian ministers and run Baker Family Ministries, a parent church organization that supports Christian ministries.

After surgery on a ruptured disc in his neck, Baker started to lose feeling in his right hand and wasn’t able to practice medicine. Ironically, the man who was double board-certified in pain management became a chronic pain patient.

And he started searching for something more.

“I was drawn back to my roots, and I knew what I needed to do was pursue God,” he said. “And it was clear but nebulous at the same time.”

Baker said his faith healed his neck and upper-back pain, helped him regain movement in his arm and cured his longtime asthma.

“I was delivered from being a chronic pain patient by prayer,” he said.

The path to a new career and a new perspective wasn’t easy, Baker said. But his miracle stems from getting through the darkness.

“That light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not a train trying to run you over, but it’s actually my future. ... But you have to walk through that tunnel to get there,” he said.

One big, happy family

FIRESTONE — When Tirsa and Blaine Allen wed 10 years ago, they knew their dream family of four children might not come easily.

Relatives had struggled with fertility and, sure enough, the young couple received grim news early in their marriage: unexplained infertility.

“When you are going through something difficult, like infertility, you just can’t see around the corner,” said Tirsa, 34. “But God can. My faith has been strengthened as I have learned to trust in his plan for me and my family. He has blessed me beyond what I ever could have imagined with my three miracle babies.”

Undeterred by the diagnosis, she and Blaine, 33, pursued adoption, and three years into their marriage, they welcomed Bella, who is the biological daughter of a distant relative not related by blood.

One year later, the Allens started the adoption process again with help from the family service arm of their church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

By the time Bella was 3, they were set to adopt another baby, a girl with special needs. But after the family drove to Utah to pick up the infant, the birth mother opted to keep the child.

Distraught and heartbroken, they returned home to Firestone.

Shortly after that, the adoption agency found another baby for the couple, this time a boy. He weighed 3 pounds and 13 ounces and was born with life-threatening gastroschisis — a condition in which an infant’s intestine protrudes outside the body — but the couple fell in love with baby Ezra and took him home after surgery.

A little more than a year later, the couple received unexpected news: Tirsa was pregnant.

“It just was something that wasn’t in our minds anymore because we were so happy with the way our kids were coming into our family,” Tirsa said.

After seven years of infertility, she gave birth to Calista, who is now 16 months old.

Along with Bella, 6, and Ezra, 3, Tirsa said she considers all three of her children miracles.

“I don’t believe (God) makes mistakes when he’s forming families,” she said. “I believe 100 percent that he intervenes. He always knew that all three of these children would be ours.”

Magdalena Wegrzyn can be reached at 303-684-5274 or

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A family jog

The little moments in life that bring so much joy! Watching the kids exercise with Blaine this morning made me laugh!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My favorite colors

Ezra said to me tonight, "Mom, we need to build a rocket ship so that we can go to that big, yellow moon!"

I say, "Ezra, I'll go to the moon with you anytime!"

Then Bella says to me, "Mom, I'm going to wear my fish earrings tomorrow. Because fish are kind of like thanksgiving."

I say, "How so Bella?"

She says, "Because China people eat fish on thanksgiving." Not sure where she got that from but it made me laugh.

Then Cali is walking around with her zombie little walk, playing peek-a-boo with me while sporting the biggest smile ever.

Oh, how I love my kids! On this Thanksgiving Eve, all I can think about is how richly I have been blessed. So, to Bella, Ezra, and Cali...thank you for coloring my world crazy, beautiful, and fun! My life wouldn't be nearly as bright with out you in it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

2 halves = a whole, right?

Well, I'll just start off by saying that math has never been a strength of mine but I'm going to say that I ran a marathon this year on the premise that two halves equals a whole.

Six weeks after the Buena Vista 1/2 marathon, the pink ladies struck again in Loveland at the Heart Center of the Rockies 1/2 marathon/10K. This course was not as brutal as the last one, that is for sure. The evidence of that was not found in my time but rather in my ability to actually walk the day after.

Becoming a runner has been sort of fun...mostly because while running, I get to hang out with girlfriends and while we run and chat, somehow I start to forget that I am doing something kind of hard!

We had a few newcomers to our "hot pink mamas" group. From left to right in the picture above we have: Ginny, Wendy, Joy, Amy, Tirsa, Jennifer, and Nichole.

Only Jennifer, myself, and Nichole opted for the half marathon this time around while the others did the 10K. That is why Jenn, Nichole, and I get these lovely "Finishers" medals that we are kissing.

Having already proven to myself that I could run a whole half marathon (whole half...that's funny), I decided to take this 1/2 easier. I barely trained for it (that was mostly scheduling difficulties...not my actual plan) and I decided to be more of a team player and hang out with my friends. When one needed a potty break, I actually stopped, waited in line and blew about 10 minutes of time! I never would have done that the first time around! I also walked with Jenn when she needed to. It wasn't until mile 11 that I decided to fly solo and finish as strong as I could. So, my time was 12 minutes longer on this run than the last one. I'm o.k. with that though. It has been about the adventure for me, not the time.

Amy actually first inspired me to run a half marathon when she ran the BV one last year after recently taken up running. At the time I was VERY LARGE with child and could not attempt it with her. After shrinking a bit, and after being invited to start running with Nichole, I began my runner's journey, only this time, Amy was the one with child. But with her baby being only 4.5 months old, Amy ran this 10K. We decided to take a picture together as proof that we were actually at the same race!

After it was over, some of us went out to lunch. And after running 13.1 miles, all I can say is: "Um, Jenn, get your own burger! I earned this one!"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween Fun

Those are some seriously adorable kids.

A newly walking bumblebee who learned very quickly how yummy candy is. Still no chocolate for her because of her milk allergies but she didn't complain about all that sugary candy one bit.

A beautiful pirate princess with awesome blue hair.

The cutest Diego I've ever seen... Go Ezra Go! Vamos Ezra Vamos!

Some peace loving hippies.

And the annual Witches Night Out. We always make quite a scene at the restaurant and random people can't help but snap our picture.