Friday, May 30, 2008


We headed off to Disneyland yesterday evening with my friend Christy and her two girls.  It was a crowded but fun night.  Gwen loved the tea cups so much she had a melt down when it was time to get off.  I had my hands full trying to keep track of the girls.  The minute I would put Gwen down she would take off running to whatever ride she could see and would climb up on the fence to try and get a better view.  We all went on Pirates of the Caribbean.  Gwen couldn't snuggle up close enough.  Her head was burried in my neck but she kept her eyes wide open making sure not to miss any of the excitement.  Elle was finally tall enough to ride splash mountain.  She LOVED the drop at the end and started laughing hysterically.  I had to check to make sure she wasn't crying!  She held my hand laughing as we ran to catch up to the rest of the group.  She kept saying, " I have to call Daddy and tell him that I did it"!  We were at the very back of the park when it closed so the streets were quite vacant as we were leaving.  Elle and her favorite little friend, Brinley, were so cute as they danced down the streets towards the exit.  A fun evening for sure.  

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

A relaxed and fun Memorial Day.  It was a little cold for the beach but we headed there any way to get a grill dog at the snack shack for lunch.  You may think that is random, but in my family that is a very special thing...I grew  up eating those grill dogs from that snack shack.  A true treat!  When we got there, the snack shack was closed but the girls still had fun playing in the sand and water.  They especially loved the train.  The tracks are right on the sand.  Each time it came we had to stop everything, turn around and wave to it.  Cute little Gwen loves the water.  It was all I could do to keep her from diving into the waves.  Elle was so cute and found a shell that she said was so beautiful she wanted to take it home and put it in her jewelry box.  In the evening we headed to Uncle Rob and Aunt Linda's house.  The girls loved playing with their cousins and Grandma and Grandpa.  Days like this make me excited for Summer.  

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

A big day in the McGee house.  After waiting a year and a half, Gwenners finally has enough hair to wear a clippie.  It is so cute to see how proud she is of that little clip.  She pats it, looks in the mirror and says, "pidy".  You sure do look pretty, Gwen!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This one's for you, Elle!

I was in a hurry to get out the door to run a few errands yesterday.  I put Gwen in her carseat and turned around to get Elle into the car when I heard her yelling for me.  I went over to our front porch and saw Elle posing with her stroller, stuffed animal elephant and pink cowboy boots. She said, "mama, do I look so cute"?  And boy did she ever look cute.  At her request, I quickly took a few pictures of her and then I put her in her carseat and off we went.  So, these are for you Elle... and to answer you, YES you look so cute!  I sure love you.  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Shiny Bright

After the girls have their baths, as we are drying them off we tell them that they are now shiny bright.  I don't know exactly how it started or maybe I grew up with that saying but "shiny bright" is said daily in our house.  There is nothing more kissable than our just from the tub, sweet smelling little girls. The morning light was so pretty coming in from the window, I couldn't resist getting my camera out.  Looking at these pictures of the girls, I can see so much of Jon in them.  They both got their daddy's bright blue, almond shaped eyes (lucky girls).  I sure love these little angels. 

Too Quiet

When the house gets too quiet, I know something is up.  I went upstairs looking for Gwen and found her in the shower.  She was fully dressed and lathering herself up in my shampoo.  Her hair was greased down and she smeared it all over the walls and glass door.  The first picture is my favorite...she has the "uh oh, I'm caught" face.  I can't be upset for too long with this cute little girl.  

Friday, May 16, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

The girls had their favorite breakfast this morning...scrambled eggs, oranges and milk.  Elle made sure her elephant was well fed too.  The real reason I broke out the camera this mothers day gift arrived in the mail yesterday.  A new camera lens.  Thank you Jon!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Our house is small and I am an organizer.  The girls needed someplace to play and I was constantly cleaning up after them in the house.  The best thing we ever did was make our garage a playroom.  We still park my car in there every night but during the day, it is  a fabulous playroom.  Jon got "garage carpet" from HomeDepot and put it down.  I went to CostPlus and bought baskets that I could organize their toys in.  We have an ipod sound dock out there that I put their kid music on and voila....a great place to play.  We have a slide out there, their play kitchen, books, puzzles, bikes and dress up clothes.  I leave the door into the kitchen open and they have a blast!  Elle cranks the music up and dances and Gwen cruises in circles on her trycicle.  It is their space and they love it.  At night we quickly tidy everything up and I pull my car back into the garage.  I love this picture of them.  They were both riding in circles to loud music and I made them stop so I could take a picture.  Gwen LOVES Elle's helmet and always brings it to me to put it on her.  Elle, as usual, is sporting a princess crown.  Good times!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day

Today is mothers day.  Jon wrote the previous completely surprised me.  I had no idea he even knew our "blog address"!  I was in tears reading it (literally) because I was laughing so hard, could completely relate and because I love him so much. In so many ways he makes my being a mother so much easier.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful mom who taught me so much and loved me.  Not until you have children do you realize how much your parents really love you.  It is an amazing thing how much love our hearts can hold for our children.  I love the pictures above because they represent the two days, July 21st (elle's b-day) and December 13th (gwen's b-day), that I officially became a mother.  I love those pictures.  They were taken so shortly after our girls were born.  I feel so blessed to be a mom, more specifically, Elle and Gwen's mom.  I have always known what an amazing gift being a mother is.  I feel blessed that I understand that even though somedays seem monotonous, they are not meaningless.  As mind numbing as unloading the dishwasher AGAIN can be, or breaking up a fight, or having to rationalize for 15 minutes why patent leather shoes are not a good idea for a school field trip, I still get the bigger picture.  There really is nothing more important that I could be doing right now than raising our girls.  Yes, I get burned out.  In fact, Jon called home the other day and I was being really quiet on the phone.  he said, "hey, where are you"?  I didin't know if I should start laughing or crying but I sheepishly said, "I am sitting in the dark in our garage on the floor...I needed a break and I am drinking a diet coke.  I can't talk too loudly or they will find me".  Yes I have days that seem like they last for months but when I look at the girls asleep in their little beds, they are growing up much too quickly!  I feel blessed that I can stay at home with them and hug them and hold them tight when they are sad or happy.  I love that we can put music on and dance in the kitchen while they help me clean.  (Elle's favorite cleaning song is "Boogie Shoes" and Gwen gets a big crooked smile on her face and dances by turning around and around in a circle).  I love when Jon puts them in bed with me in the morning before he leaves for work and we watch cartoons together. There is an amazing essay on motherhood from the author, Anna Quindlen.  My friend Elizabeth quoted her today in a talk she gave at church.  This quote from the essay that she shared has been ringing in my ears all day.  
"The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this (being a mom).  I did not live in the moment enough.  This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs.  There is one picture of the three of my children sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1.  And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.  I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed.  I wish I had treasued the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less".  

I try to whisper in my girls ears throughout the day, "I love being your mommy". I said it to Elle the other night as I was putting her in her bed.  I thought she was asleep.  She whispered back to me, "I love being your Ellers" with her eyes still shut.  Those are the moments that I will hold on to forever.  That is what being a mom is all about.  I adore these sweet little angels that I was given to care for.  I dreamed that I would be their mom from before they were born.  

Happy Mothers Day

Amy was gone Friday and Saturday for  stake youth conference and I had the girls all on my own.  With Mothers Day this weekend, it was a good opportunity for me to see how much Amy does on a daily basis.  Friday evening and night were no problem.  However Saturday morning when the girls woke up, the fun started.  Both girls were hungry and Elle wanted to go to the Bagel Shack.  I thought, "no problem"!  I got the girls dressed and when I got to the Bagel Shack it was packed.  No parking spots and it was crazy inside.  Trying to park, get the kids out, get the stroller for Gwen and navigate the traffic was a bit much.  Once inside I was trying to get into the huge line but with the stroller and Elle grabbing Bagels we ended up getting cut in front of 10 times.  I'm sure it was very funny for the people to watch.  Gwen decided to have a complete meltdown in the stroller.  One word.  ArchBack!!  This continued as I tried to get Elle to hurry and finish her bagel.  I felt much better once we were back in the car belted up and driving out of the parking lot.  For the past few days I had been looking for a camera lens that Amy wanted for her mothers day gift.  Of course it was sold out everywhere.  I tried 30 stores.  Friday night I found a store that had it but it was in Santa Ana.  I decided to drive there after the bagel shack.  When we got there the store seemed unusually busy and then I noticed their "no tax" sale for the weekend.  A professional camera store, tons of people and me with the kids... not a good combo.  It took Gwen 2 minutes before having another complete meltdown.  As I tried to get someone to help me I finally gave-in to Gwen and let her down and told Elle to watch her.  We were surrounded by lots of breakable items!  Once I finally got someone to help me, I was told that they were sold out of the lens I wanted.  At that same time I heard things flying off the shelves behind me and realized it was because of Gwen.  I almost lost it.  I told the guy I had called and that they told me they had the lens in and that I had to load the kids up and drive from San Clemente!!  I grabbed Gwen who was continuing to pull things off the racks and told Elle to follow me.  I had asked her to pick up some of the items Gwen had pulled off the shelves and Elle thought I asked her to bring them with her.  As I walked out of the store I turned around to see where Elle was.  She was now in the custody of the security guard who now thought we were some kind of shoplifting team.  I got back into the car and started to pull out when Elle says, "Dad, Gwen is stinky".  I knew what had happened... I just didn't know how bad.  I pulled over and as I pulled Gwen out to change her, we had it everywhere.  A total blow out!!!  It was all over the car seat, her clothes and body.  It took me a good 30 minutes to get it cleaned up.  I decided at that point the best chance for survival would be to retreat back to the house.  Gwen didn't sleep long at home for her nap because she had fallen asleep in the car on our way home.  The rest of the day consisted of lots of sippy cups, snacks, a fun trip to the park, another blow out from Gwen who managed to get her diaper off in the crib and to finish the day off I found Gwen standing up on the kitchen table ripping our mail up.  Right about then is when I realized that this is what Amy deals with everyday.  This is one of the many reasons why I love her and why the girls love their mommy so much.  The girls were so excited to see their mom when she walked in.  Gwen especially...she ran with open arms and a big grin straight into Amy's arms.  Elle mentioned to me that, "mom is much better at this" several times, which I will have to agree with.  Happy Mothers Day!  Thank you for working so hard and for being the Best Mom for our girls.  I love you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

We went to the strawberry fields this morning.  Elle and Gwen each got their own little bucket and were able to pick their own strawberries right off the vine.  After Gwen picked a few, she sat down in the dirt and just ate to her hearts content.  Elle kept picking the whole time we were there but I think her motto was, "one for the bucket, two for me....".  The strawberry fields went on forever.  It was a little overcast this morning and so beautiful.  I am thinking we will have strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight...that is if the girls and I don't finish them off before dinner!  

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Mama loves you.  

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cherie N' Me

We were walking back to our car after dinner and Elle yelled, "Mom, come here!"  She was looking in a shop window.  Remember now, she is only 3.  I walked back and asked her what she needed.  She said, "Mom, isn't that the most beautiful lamp in the world!"  Ahhh, my heart sang!  When I had Elle, not only did I get a little girl, but I got a girl who loves all things "girl". She will flip through my home magazines and find her favorite page.  It really is so cute.  When I was a little girl, every time we would go into the mall, I loved going into a shop called "Cherie N' Me".  I would tell my mom that while she did her shopping throughout the mall, she could just leave me in that store.  It was a home store and I would just stand inside and  dream that someday I could have a bedroom that looked like that store.  As a little girl, I thought it was the most beautiful store in the world.  I have always loved all things to do with interior design.  I could read and study about it all day long...and never tire of it.  The lamp Elle is sitting next to is not the one she saw in the store window, but it is a favorite of mine.  It is from an online french antique boutique called French Blue and Co.  The owner of this online shop, Janet, used to have an antique boutique (say that 3x's fast) here in San Clemente...I frequented the store so often (the marble top dresser Elle is sitting on came from her shop too) that Janet and I became friends.  She now has this amazing website.  Check it out!