Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I hope you had a lovely Christmas! Ours was exhausting but so much fun! We started with a sunrise hike on Christmas Eve up Mt. Rose. It's a hike that can't usually be done this late in the year but with only two small storms so far we made it up without snow shoes in the single degree temperatures.

My sprained finger couldn't get enough warm blood at the frozen summit and I thought I might loose it but then Erik told me to put my hand down my pants and that warmed it right up! We encountered a lot of ice and most of us fell down two or three times but no one fell off any cliffs which is the important part. The 10 miles with the rough conditions and a lengthy freezing breakfast at the top took 7 hours this time so we were pretty beat by the end but happy we had accomplished it with some really great friends.

I didn't know Camelback hoses have a tendency to freeze up in this kind of weather! Keeping it in my sweater helped a lot. So that's something new I learned on this hike....that I hope I don't have to put into practice ever again.

Donuts and cocoa in the parking lot after was the best part for sure!

Christmas day with the kids is always so much fun! We didn't get a lot of presents for each other but we tried our best to spoil the kids - and so did the Morton Aunts and Grandparents! Grant had a great attitude about every present but when he opened one that he didn't love he would quickly say, "Okay, I'll go put this in my room." It was almost as though they got time out and his "good" presents got to stay in the living room to play.

And of course we had the whole Lange Family together again this year and Dad got the ladies new Dyson vacuums!! What!? I'm a little happy about that!!

I am so thankful for my family and friends! They make it all more fun!

Monday, December 19, 2011

reminder to myself

I wrote this as my status on facebook yesterday, after a terrible day that God redeemed, but I'm also keeping it here so that I'll be reminded of the truths that soaked into my heart when reading "Counterfeit Gods" by Timothy Keller. And maybe you're a friend who is not on facebook, this is also for you!
"Whether you believe in God or Buddha or someone else or no one else, we all have our pursuits, our goals, the things that drive us and define us. We can't live without these things and when they fail us, or we fail them, we often go down hard in a ball of anger or depression. It's because these things become gods. Yes, even those of you who have "no" religion have types of gods that you elevate everyday. We all can worship status, career, perfection, athleticism, creativity, beauty, and______ (name your favorite here). But the true God fills hearts much better then these pursuits we give our lives too. And don't get me wrong, I worship God AND athleticism, and being perfect in relationships, and being good at my job. But God wants me to live only for Him. And He is a good God. He doesn't elevate me to awesome one day and shove me straight under the bus the next day - like my job (and my ego) does. I hold my place of free and beautiful and loved everyday. It's not always easy, but it's good! Christianity is not following a list of commands - you do that already in your social circle and, you may have already figured this out, it's not very satisfying long term. It's believing in the gift sent in a baby named Jesus. And it's following a God that is helpful, forgiving, and caring not a god (and not people) that you can never feel good enough for.
Merry Christmas! This is how I send my love, because I know Jesus is just the BEST gift I've ever received!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

year wrap up

Many of you received our Christmas card this year - totally on time, I would like to add! And to all our friends and family we'd like to say, "WE LOVE YOU!", even if we couldn't afford 200 cards.

God has continued to bless us through my business (Mavora Art and Design) which makes it possible for Tim to go to school full time another year. In February we should find out whether we will be moving to Portland for pharmacy school next year or not. If we are denied we have other plans to keep us busy and we're excited for those too! But Tim has been doing his job - getting A's! And he enjoys learning all he can in this new field.

Grant is in full day kindergarten this year and having a great time. We often walk his friend Marley to her car since her Dad picks her up at the same time. They run and laugh and at the street they yell, "Bye Mr. Crocodile" and "Bye Mr. Burger Goober." Yeah, I don't understand either. Grant is a funny one though. He can shout out a "your face" joke with the best of 'em.

Calli is learning more and more words including: Alright! oh no! Whoa! Mommy, Daddy, Where's Papa? Where's Beba? Ack! Potty, and Hey guys! And there are many full sentences coming out that no one can understand except Calli herself. She is currently on my lap coloring her fingers and my volleyball registration form. In short, Tim and I LOVE her 21 month old littleness, silliness, and cuteness.

I also have been working part time for Coram Deo Christian Church with my brother. I still do the design and communication support but now also direct the volunteers in the Children's Ministry. That's been a new challenge but I work with GREAT volunteers so it's not the headache I was thinking it might be! God is doing great things in our church family and we're happy to be a small part of it!

But just when I've convinced you our life is totally awesome, I'll add this picture for you. This is how our christmas shoot really went... and in real life one out of 4 is usually mad about something, but those odds aren't really that bad right??

Through God's Grace & Love - MERRY CHRISTMAS!

(Thank you to Lori Mathews Photography for snapping our pics just as a friend. She does great full sessions if you need a photographer in Reno that gives you a CD with your prints.)

Sunday, December 04, 2011


It's beginning to look a lot like christmas! Our tiny tree and candy cane stained lips will tell you so.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

we feast tonight!

Today I had the MOST fun I've ever had in a grocery store. My mom and I (and Calli) went to the rich Raley's up the hill (the one right next to us usually has one to two crazy people wandering the milk aisle shouting curse words at the air). She shared her $500 gift card she received as a christmas present from one of Dad's associates. It was clean and uncrowded, we were grocery queens! I helped myself to:

a pretty little tri-tip steak
3 bottles of wine (but they were on sale!)
2 bags of sugar cookie mix
a pineapple
Sushi for lunch
Odwalla superfood
Juice Squeeze (2 packs)
and was there anymore absurdly exotic and expensive things...?
oh yeah,
1 giant wild salmon

Ahhhhhhh.... it feels good to be rich! We feast tonight!

Thanks mom!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the turkey trot

I am now the owner to two 10k Turkey Trot sweaters. But how many Turkey Trots have I run? ZERO.

The white sweater was last year. I had the flu for 2 days before the run, couldn't eat, couldn't move. But I woke up at 5am that morning to try and eat something before the race. I couldn't eat. I couldn't run.

The red sweater was this year. I got the flu the night before at 8pm. Since it's fresh in my memory I can tell it it was the most painful night of non-sleep I've ever had. But I didn't throw up in hopes that it would pass and I'd still have my carb dinner to carry me through the run. I woke up from 2 hours of sleep and dressed. Lauren picked me up (this was her idea). I ate a little. My fever was gone. I was NOT going to be beaten this time!! Except I was. In line for the bathroom, 3 minutes before the gun, I felt flush and blacked out. I stayed on my feet but that was it for me. If I couldn't stand in a line in the freezing cold I couldn't run 6 miles. I stumbled to the car with half of my vision blacked out. I just kept telling myself, "don't pass out in the parking lot where no one will ever find you again."

Tim came and got me.

And so I was sick on Thanksgiving again. I swear people, I'm not just signing up to get these awesome sweaters.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the hard transformer

I get discouraged often. Although it looks like I have a lot of my life together I often think I'm still coming up too short.

My business could be richer.
My design talents higher.
My running faster.
My spike harder.
My love greater.

I had been thinking these thoughts for the last 30 minutes, and then I remembered what I said to Grant when I put him to bed tonight....

As I squished him and he giggled I said:

Do you know I think you're cute.
And I think you are smart.
You are so good at puzzles.
You are the very best at transformers.
And you're funny.
And I love you.

And just then his giggles turned to tears. He said sadly:

Mommy I'm not good at transformers.
I've been trying to fix Bumblebee and I can't get his arm in right and I can't get his gun to fit right either.

I explained that even if he couldn't do this one thing on this one transformer that he could transform 5 others perfectly and I could not transform one. I told him to be proud of how many he could do, and that he was way smarter with transformers than his mommy was. I told him I was still very proud of him.

I just realized I needed to hear what I said to his little heart tonight. And maybe you do to.

God created you, and He loves you. He never expected, or hoped, you'd be perfect.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

wedding challenge

I'm a part of the Etsy Wedding Team "at my work" and I need your help to be awesome! Before Nov 15th follow this link and vote for my piece in the Fall Team Challenge. Just click on mavora #6 on the right hand side. Thanks for the support!

And to see more of my new products go to my store: www.mavora.etsy.com

Saturday, November 05, 2011

halloween 2011

I forgot to show you our flying fairy this year! She soars thru the air yelling, "fly!!!"

and Grant was.....can you guess?

If you are old enough to read blogs you probably don't know, but when a pack of children knocked on our door for candy I heard the first little boy yell out, "You're Ben Ten!! Awesome!!" You just have to be hip to know it.

We hit the Discovery Museum Sunday night and trick or treating with our little friend Eliza (and Rory!) Monday night. I will never forget Calli running wildly through the streets, like a horse that had been corralled for years, finally free. She yelled and jumped in the dark eating more smarties then she could ever dream of. Pure joy I tell you, pure joy!

Happy Halloween 2011!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

library day

This afternoon I took Grant and Calli to the library. We've been to busy to read most of our books at home so I just said we'd read some at the library today for a while. I sat in the kids section and told Grant to pick out a storybook. He of course complains. He hates storybooks. He likes science books. I sat with Calli trying to read as she just kept turning the pages like she always does. After a few minutes Grant is still gone and I'm thinking I may need to look like I'm supervising him. I look around the kids section. No Grant. I sit back down to gather Calli and go find him and then here he comes from the other side of the library carrying the LARGEST book he could carry.

Last time we went I took him to the reference section with me to look for a cook book and he found a giant ocean encyclopedia. He remembered this time where is was and hunted it down all by himself. Good grief kid! So we sat on the kiddy couch learning about clams and hatchet fish, and flat worms. Oh this book has it all! He has officially read all the elementary school books on cephalopods and sharks anyway, might as well go for the encyclopedia! So this I guess is on Grant's Christmas list for the Morton Aunts and Grandparents who love to buy book he enjoys: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0756636922/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

It's 512 pages of pure little boy excitement - well maybe 395 pages - the maps aren't his favorite.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

project 365

Tim and I may give up soon, but for three weeks now we've done Project 365 (a popular idea among bloggers and flicker-ers to take a picture of ones life everyday for a year). We're not sharing this online. Just taking pictures and once a week I print them up for an album. We don't even actually have an album yet. Tim has a box. I have a mavora cubby. BUT we are taking notes and will put them in a real place soon I hope. So, if I tell you to smile it's because you're probably the picture of the day. And if you come over you can ask to see the album of the everyday shots of our life - like a reality show I think you'll like them.

Tim - October 26th

Abby - October 15th

Thursday, October 20, 2011

life with kids

Tonight I found a package of fruit snacks in the bathroom so I hid in there and ate them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

the recipe killer

I've started ANOTHER project: The Recipe Killer. I'm insane, I know, but its been fun so far! Please check it out and share it with your friends. I'm hoping to get a whole new following of people I don't know! At church we're always swapping recipes or at least saying we should, so I am! Hope you like it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

mt rose 2011

Tim and I took Thursday off for a Mt Rose hike. Tim likes to get up there every year while I....well I'll hike it if it's needed.

The hike was a little more exciting this year as we had a pretty tight time limit. We dropped Grant at school and had to pick him up too. When we got to the top we knew a record descent was needed so we ran the 4+ miles down the mountain and out of the woods to our car in an hour and 25 minutes. We did the entire hike in 3 hours and 40 minutes (a typical time would be more like 5 hours) and that was with a lot more snow on the trail then we expected to run through in my tennis shoes. We arrived at the school 5 minutes late - but there were still 2 other kids in the room so we won! Thanks for taking me honey!

Monday, October 10, 2011

just like her brother


She knows you stand on the red stool and you spit when the water is turned on.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

like strawberry shortcake - but not

Grant and I finally had a moment to make Tim's birthday cake - it's only a week late - I have a feeling he'll still like it. This morning we also signed the papers to sell our old house. It was a little anti-climactic seeing as we moved out over a year ago but it's very good news that we don't have a foreclosure or an empty house on our hands any more. Praise the Lord!

The Cake Boss on Rachel Ray made a strawberry short(layered)cake this week so I of course stole the idea and changed it (I'm just not that good at following directions and raspberries were on sale). I have a feeling my lemon-raspberry super-short(layered)cake will be just as fabulous!

Happy Birthday Timothy! I love you more everyday and look forward to the new chapter of non-home-ownership with you. ♥

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

midnight wild


I made Tim get the camera last night. Just another midnight cuddle session, my very favorite thing. When Calli wakes up, playing loudly in her crib, as we're brushing our teeth I always grab her and pull her into our bed. Last night I wanted to remember everything about her. Her sweet, gleeful smile as she knows she shouldn't get to be in mommy's bed in the middle of the night. Her crazy, curly hair that's been tackled by all the blankets. Her joy every other minute that spills over from smile to full volume squeal in the silent house. I try to cuddle her tiny frame but she can't be overpowered. She is more wild at night then in the day. And then when Tim says it's time for bed I cradle her tightly and tell her it's nigh nigh time. She's not thrilled but she seems to understand and takes her blankey in her hand and her thumb in her mouth and lies calmly in her crib with a smile. I don't want to forget a moment of our midnight friendship. I LOVE my baby girl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

big girl

We're celebrating 1 year and 6 months just a bit early. She's a lover of clothes and grabber of cameras. Her newest fashions include Grant's underwear over her shorts and Daddy's as a toga.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

the growing never stops

Last week I was wondering how I would feel when Grant went to Kindergarden. Most women around me asked the loaded question in the super spooky voice, "What are you going to do when Grant goes to Kindergarden!?" I felt a bit like if I was a good mom I would cry or be disturbed or something... but alas, today is the day and I feel good. I guess I'm just not as surprised as I used to be that my baby is always growing. And I find a lot of joy in sharing new things with him. This summer Grant has accomplished a lot! He went from the little bike with training wheels to the big bike with a kickstand. At the water park he went from not wanting to go down the frog slide to taking on Tortuga - by himself - backwards. And in his kindergarden interview, even though he'll be one of the youngest in his class, the teacher said he'll be in the advanced group. I guess I'm ready for the challenge because he is. He can do it! And I'm very proud of him!

Now when Calli goes to school it may be a whole different story seeing as she will be my baby forever.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

calli fashion

when Calli and Daddy play...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ruby mountains: the whole story

I posted a few pictures and videos from the our camping vacation in the Ruby Mountains a couple of weeks ago but you may not have heard the whole story. This is how it goes.

My old Jeep is packed full as we hit the road at 1pm.

The air conditioning hasn't worked well for about a year (I'd say it runs 40% of the time) so on the hot desert road between Reno and Elko we're excited that it's keeping us cool at 2pm.

There it goes again. No air at 2.30pm. Tim and I enjoy a nice talk and laughter as I pour water on us to keep our cool with the windows down.

We hit Winnemucca at 4pm and as we take the exit and the wind blast of the highway vanishes we hear terrible noises coming for the car. Tim checks under the hood and adds some coolant.

2 more hours and we're pulling off in Elko, just slightly behind out friends who left early but got a flat tire on the road. This time the noises are the most painful my Jeep has ever made. It's not going to make it to the campsite that night.

So this is our Elko hotel room.

We did finally make it when our friends picked us up and our car made it too after a new air conditioning compressor and accessory belt a day later.

Calli learned to say "cheese" for the camera - seen here - and "yes" which we had a lot of fun with!

We did a night trail run/hike - running for the wives, hiking for the dads with kids -

and a 5 mile day hike with all the littles next!

Later that day there was RAIN. The thunderstorms there do not mess around! Thankfully we knew it was on it's way and we took cover with our valuable possessions.

But the biggest highlight? My lasagna in my new dutch oven.

Put it all together and there you have it - a family vacation.

the big time

Tomorrow is Grant's kindergarden interview and tonight there was this:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

happy 6 years

We celebrated our 6th anniversary all week (including a night out at Harrah's) but the actual day was a family of 4 extravaganza including Wild Island, Grant's first giant slide: Tortuga, and a picnic dinner watching Tangled on the air mattress. I am very blessed!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

sing song

Calli tries to sing the Wild Kratts theme song now. It sounds a bit like, "while while rice!" but she's in tune. This new word stage is hilarious fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

real photos

Check it out - we had family pictures taken! Beats the usual tripod or extended arm method.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

video time!

Our new digital camera has some better video capabilities - lucky you! Here are a few clips from the past few weeks.


Calli's new "words" she learned camping last week. "Cheese" is only hummed but we all know what it means! And since this lunch we've all been saying, "Calli, say yes!" and she almost always obliges. Love it!


In fact the very first time she hummed and smiled was for this picture a little earlier:


And this one is Grant doing great on his longest and hardest hike ever - 5 miles, 1,000 feet gain, 3+ hours total. We passed the time with a little Wild Kratts (that's his favorite TV show).


And I'm not a paranoid mom - it was his idea to wear the helmet!