today i would like to discuss home decor.

first up: rugs.

why is it that most rugs are ugly, brown-ish/beige-ish, or much too expensive?  i am finding myself in love with the power of a good rug... but completely incapable of finding one i like that isn't about a million trillion dollars.  (i bet if i asked obama to put it in the budget he would, but todd is not as, ahem, presidential.) 

rugs are the shoes of a room: i LOVE them and want a million of them but can't afford the ones worth buying, so a large majority of the ones i have (with the exception of a couple hotties from ikea) are only 'meh' and/or came out of a dumpster.

second up: lighting.

WHY OH WHY does most standard lighting (in our house, anyway) look like a boob, all round and fleshy-looking with a big old dark pointy part in the middle?  just looking at them makes me feel nauseated and embarrassed.  and yet, basically 100% of all non-chandelier fixtures in our home are boob lights.  todd does not seem to think they're that bad, and my wanting to rip them all out and put in new ones is beyond him. 

however, if rugs are the shoes of a room, lights are the earrings. 

the other day todd wanted to buy some replacement bulbs for the weird, tacky boob-chandelier (yes, it's a very fancy boob, probably modeled after the queen's) in our bedroom and i was all, i don't want to spend money on specialty bulbs since i eventually want to change out the fixture anyway (even though he did make a good point that of the six bulbs in the fixture, only one works).  then todd was all, i don't get why you don't like that light.  and i was all, lights-are-the-earrings-blah-blah-blah.  and todd was like, have you seen our bedroom?!?!  putting a nice light in there is like putting nice earrings on a guy with no pants.  like, it's nice and all but maybe you should first address the more pressing issue of pantslessness.  and i was all, touche.

last up: wallpaper.

wallpaper gets a bad reputation.  and understandably so, considering the same people that design maternity clothes and very large panties also design wallpaper.  meaning, the patterns are best saved for old people pajamas and not hung on every bare inch of wall space. 

HOWEVER.  i am dying to find a good, untacky wallpaper for our bathroom.  and maybe our entryway.  and maybe some closets.  and other than at anthropologie where it's like $150 per roll (which makes me want to pull a grape lady...ouch ow owwwweeeeeeeee ow ow ow) i'm coming up roses... literally.  80% of all non-anthro wallpaper has roses on it.  unfortunate. (however, looking at my list of potential wallpapered spaces, maybe it's a good thing i'm finding myself limited.)

SO.  if you have any leads on non-brown, non-expensive, non-ugly rugs; non-expensive, non-private-part lighting; or non-expensive, non-old-people wallpaper... let a lady know.

celebreality monday.

i am a pregnant wreck.

first off, i'm a big old fatty.  i am on my third pregnancy and have never before had to buy larger underwear just to accommodate my expanding rear end.  this time, i have not been so lucky.  on saturday night, todd and i went on a special date to go out to eat and to also buy giant preggo undies. romantic.  (and also to pick up some of those giant maxi pads that i will only ever wear postpartum or post-collapse-of-my-pelvic-floor-at-the-age-of-65.)

upon leaving the target parking lot, i opened one of the packages to see what the undies looked like and they were huuuuuuuuuuge.  todd got all grouchy because we bought three packages of undies that were obviously way too big, one of which we couldn't return because i had opened it.  i got all grouchy because i was pretty sure they were going to fit.  we got home and todd had a very brief moment when his grouchiness lifted because we didn't need to take them back.  then, i suspect some grouchiness settled back in because he realized his wife was a big old heifer in underwear made from approximately the same amount of fabric as an american flag.  (i can merely speculate on this, since he was a perfect gentleman and acted all not-grouchy and said he was just happy i was comfortable.)

then, to put the cherry on the big old fatty crazy train cake, i started bawling this morning because even my maternity clothes are too small.  that's right.  the clothes that i bought during previous pregnancies to accommodate my this-is-the-hugest-i-get body are basically crop tops with a nasty pokey-out belly button peeking out from underneath.

also, i was bawling because standing up in the paint chip aisle at lowe's the other day stretched me to the max. capac. of my physical limits.  how the heck am i supposed to BIRTH A BABY if i can't even decide between 'inflamed lesion' and 'arson' (or whatever crazy-named paint i was looking at) without having to sit down to catch my breath and regroup?  are. you. kidding. me.

also, then i started bawling because i broke todd's mirror which was probably more because i knocked it in the sink than because my preggerface has the power to bust glass but maybe not.  and also i was bawling because i missed the kids.  and also i was bawling because i don't even know why.

so what i'm really hoping for at this point is for the next 32 days to go by REALLY quickly and also that it won't take the full 32 days and also that i can birth this baby insanely quickly and painlessly, like ricky bobby's mom did in the car and when the dad hit the brakes the baby just flew out and splatted against the window.  and also that my baby turns out nothing like ricky bobby.

shake and bake.


sorry about the late posting today - i'm on vacation.

earlier this week we made arrangements with my parents for the kids to go down and stay the weekend with them.  i would drive them down friday (this) morning, get there around noon, and drive home. 

however, with the forecast looking not-so-great, todd and i decided last minute to take them down last night, which means a couple of things:

1.  we didn't get home and in bed until like 1:00 last night (hence no pre-scheduled posting, which i frequently do in the evening)

2. i have a whole day to myself today to sleep in, unashamedly eat large quantities of chocolate chips without having to hide in the bathroom to do it, and watch the big old fatty snow fall.

i'm enjoying nearly every second of it, except for the times when i think about how much i miss them.  how is it that i can be so DESPERATE for a break, and the second i realize they're not here, i get all sad and lonely?  oh well.  i guess that's a good thing - the opportunity to truly miss my kids.

so today's schedule looks like this:

1. sleep in until 9:00 (check)
2. read in bed until 10:30 (check)
3. wander around aimlessly until i figure out i should eat breakfast (check) and then eating chocolate chips and yogurt (check)
4. blog (check)

soon i will shower and hopefully the forecast will be such that i feel okay driving to town.  i want to go look at wallpaper samples and curtain rods and paint chips and all kinds of other stuff that is downright impossible to do with impatient, fidgety toddlers in tow.  i'm also hoping to get some sheets sewn for finneas' cradle this afternoon.  (sewing will make me really miss those times when penelope climbs up on my lap to watch and hits the side of the sewing machine, pretending that she's spinning that wheel-thing on the side.)

it's still a little surreal, i'm not going to lie.  i'm completely unhindered by impending lunchtimes and naptimes and yet another mess to clean up before i can start on the next thing.  i want to leave for town at 1:30? whatever.  i want to shower at 11:30?  fine.

IT'S LIKE TIME HAS NO MEANING... i think there was an episode of twilight zone about how weird you feel when you're not on toddler time.

church nursery, get ready for the van voorsts.

atticus has decided that i am not the only one in our household carrying a baby.  while he readily confesses that baby finneas is in my belly, he has designated himself as carrying baby st. nicholas, todd as carrying baby moses, and penelope as carrying the baby jesus himself.

depending on how long atticus decides gestation will take, our family is about to get really colorful here pretty soon.

video vednesday: he doesn't like george michael. BOOOOOOO.

look at him, he's just playing to a baby right now.

bee to the dizzle dizzle. (or is it wizzle wizzle? who ever knew what the heck that whole language was about?)

i love buffalo wild wings.  on an embarrassingly typical trip, i order 18 wings myself, with the intent of eating until i'm disgustingly full, sharing with todd, and also savoring some the next day for lunch.  i wake up the following morning counting down the minutes until it would be socially acceptable to eat leftover wings.  (unless i'm particularly weak-willed that day, 10:30 a.m. is the earliest i let myself eat them.  what? some people - and nursing infants - eat lunch then.  if i do give in to the call of the wings before my kids go down for nap, i hide in the kitchen and eat them behind the cupboard door so i don't have to share.  brutally honest.) 

also, they have coleslaw, which i have named 'mmmmmcoleslaw.' because i'm pregnant and apparently finneas is a big fan of the slaw. 

you know what else i love about buffalo wild wings? (or, as those of us with a close, personal, intimate relationship with the food like to call it, 'bee-dubs.') they have allergy information for both corn and wheat - for every individual menu item.

so, i'm on the website the other day and i find myself in the FAQ section.  (and for you snarks in the audience, i was on there to find the allergy chart.  NOT to drool over the food.  believe me.  they unfortunately don't have pictures.)  for those of you not in-the-know regarding pre-texting abbreviations (or, abbrev's), 'F.A.Q.' stands for 'frequently asked questions.'  and what do i find there?  this little gem:

'why aren't all the wings the same size?'

and this answer (paraphrased by yours truly):

'because chickens aren't all the same size.'

yes, that is apparently a frequently asked question.

i recognize that i have a tendency to be a bit judgmental, especially when other people are being idiots, but are you kidding me?! a literate adult who is capable of navigating the buffalo wild wings website (not an easy feat) to ask a question cannot figure out why the wings aren't all the same size?!

apparently that guy is too stupid to realize that the 'teriyaki wing tree' is malfunctioning this week and unfortunately not growing uniformly sized fruit.  our apologies.


this pregnancy has caused some major body image distortion issues.  but you know what? i have found that body dismorphic disorder doesn't have to be as scary or sickening as TLC specials would make you think. 

i'm a big old fatty with rampant preggerface and boobs that are significantly different in both size and shape, and i'm all like, seriously what a hottie am i?!?!  my butt is huge and the skin on my legs is super sensitive and therefore very prone to razor burn, which means my legs constantly look like a 16-year-old KFC employee's face, and i'm all like, LOOK AT MEEEEEE! i feel like a million bucks riding on a unicorn eating everything ever made out of gluten.

that's pretty happy.

i will say that this pregnancy has been very good to my skin - it's really clear and a lot of my dark acne scars have faded.  plus, my cheeks are all rosy from being constantly out of breath and out of shape.  i can even sleep in my contacts without my eyes getting all strung-out-alcoholic-looking.  that is a pregnancy miracle.

however.  i am growing a beard.  or as i call it when i want to sound dainty, 'my lady whiskers.'  and also, instead of a dark line running down my belly like i've gotten in both previous pregnancies, it is above my upper lip.  i call it my pregstache.  and it's dark enough that todd noticed and suggested covergirl come out with a new concealer called 'stache blast.'  (or "conceal 'er stache," he couldn't decide.)  but you know what? i still feel like i'm looking pretty darn good.

which was my heads-up that this is not just a matter of high self-confidence or being secure in who christ made me to be.  (i'm pretty sure when it says we're made in the image of god that god doesn't literally have copious numbers of leg pimples.)  this is mental distortion at a concerning level.  should i talk to a medical professional about this? and i feel bad for my husband, who's expected to find my 'as-wide-as-i-am-tall-and-also-i-have-a-beard' bod as rockin' as i do. 

but soon enough, the swelling and engorgement will give way to sagging and flopping, and maybe then i'll be able to see myself through a more realistic lens.  maybe not, though.  steven tyler seems to be rocking it pretty hard and he has seen his fair share of sagging and flopping.  if i believe in myself hard enough, maybe i can be the steven tyler of the postpartum mom set.

2011: the year in which i started voicing my opinions.

actually, untrue.  just ask my mom or sister or husband, or anyone who has known me for more than a week: i have always been quite opinionated and also kind of loud.  but 2011 is the first year in which all my opinions and mental tangents have not only been documented but rounded up into the following list:

what i think about skinny jeans.

what i think about tweeting.

what i think about christian radio commercials.

what i think about being the mom of a child actor.

what i think about getting rid of stuff.

what i think about spring cleaning.

what i think about LFO lyrics.

what i think about alanis morrisette lyrics.

what i think about matthew mcconaughey and the radio.

what i think about our local natural health practitioners.

what i think about people who are bad at guessing ages based on voice alone.

what i think about being just like that one black eyed pea.

what i think about my bathtub.

what i think about texting.

what i think about college co-ed clothing choices.

what i think about halloween revelry.

what i think about boys with long hair.

what i think about black friday.

what i think about my first professional massage experience.

what i think about inflatable lawn ornaments.

well, there you go.  all the subjects that are near and dear to my heart.  to know these things is to basically know me.  no pressure to read them or anything.  but if you don't, i'll cry and say i thought you were my friend.

have a fun weekend of reading, bestie.

now that we're two-thirds of the way done with january...

...i suppose i should finish up posting about christmas.  and i have been true to my promise that i would leave the christmas stuff up around my house until i was done blogging about it.  but hey, i'm a realist and i recognize that no one who reads this was actually holding me accountable to that and instead, my no-longer-live christmas tree is still up only because of my own laziness.  but my pregnancy supersense of smell (it can't really be called a sixth sense because smell is already one of the five senses, but it really is in a league all of its own) can tell that it's starting to rot.  every time i walk into the entryway i can smell it...that sickly sweet smell of stuff that's begging you to just let it go to the grave already.  (it doesn't help that i haven't watered it - or directed todd to water it - for nearly three full weeks now.)

which is how the deathbed desperation of my christmas decor leads to the rest of this post.

atticus 'helping me' make puppy chow.  he kept digging the spoon - or his hands - directly into the melted chocolate or bag of chocolate chips and coming up with quite the load.  he was quite the help.

helping me shake the bag, which ended up with him trying to eat the puppy chow THROUGH the bag.

penelope in her fancy christmas dress, all ready to go to the christmas eve service at church.  that tiny, pointy ponytail was my personal christmas miracle, sent directly from heaven to make me happy.

watching mommy get ready for church.

after church, opening new pajamas to wear to bed.

we have to gather ourselves together properly before going absolutely nutso over the presents.  these are his new christmas jammies.

sis' new christmas jammies.

atticus' new guitar, which we have not told him is a hand-me-down walmart guitar from todd's younger days that we had to spray paint to cover todd's teenage artistry and choice of stickers.  he doesn't seem to mind.

penelope's new owl hat.  which we bought over the summer in south dakota but is particularly funny now that she has glasses.

opening his stocking.

reading her new bible.  wearing her new hat.  fancy girl.

atticus helping todd open his stocking.

todd showing atticus the ornament he got.  (every year we get something from the world vision gift catalog for each member of the family, and get a fair trade ornament labeled with the details of the gift.)

finneas was not left out; i made him a couple flannel swaddling blankets and a heavier-duty blanket for his bed.  also a flannel stocking with a sherpa cuff.  he strikes me as a 'plaid flannel' kind of kid.

looking a bit dazed from the festivities, but they survived to tell the tale!

 the weekend after christmas, we all went down to my parents' for a final christmas hurrah.

after opening our gifts, we spent a LOT of time reading our new books.

and also looking like a maniac after opening 'martha stewart's encyclopedia of crafts.'  watch it, judgey. 

reading more books.

and THAT, friends, was our christmas.  whew.  time to send the tree to the chipper, put the nativity set away, and completely ignore the lights until next christmas take down the lights.  ugh.

video vednesday: can you move approximate six or seven million light years to the left?

there is definite space available this direction.

hallo, colleagues.  where are you going? chipotle? yes? i will come as well.

wherein i tell you why your backseat will NOT be getting much action.

yesterday i parked in the parking garage at the OB office, and i walked past a car with a backseat full of stuff.  i don't just mean 'full of stuff' the way my van is full of stuff: stale graham crackers and board books and mcdonald's trash in random nooks and crannies.  i mean like, floor-to-ceiling, crammed-in-the-back-window, spilling-into-the-front-seat full.  cracker boxes and thermoses and clothing and giant glug cups (or whatever those things are called from the gas stations) and only-the-good-lord-knows what else.  and my knee-jerk, first-reaction, tip-of-the-brain thought?

"i would never marry that person."

now, i would just like to clarify three things here:

1) i am obviously not searching for a soulmate at this stage in life.  already have one, and his car is spotless except for after i drive it.

2) because i was at the OB office, it was probably a girl's car, which is entirely another reason why i would never marry that person.

3) my van is by no means the pinnacle of tidiness.  it is, in fact, a very large trash can on wheels.  so i am being a tad hypocritical here.  but i've already bagged me a man, so now i can really let my true colors shine.

however.  the point i am making here is that if you ARE a person searching for a soulmate, or a person who hopes to one day be the soulmate someone else is currently looking for, perhaps soberly evaluate the condition of your back seat.  because it DOES say something about who you are and how you live.  (i saw a show on HGTV once where this professional landlord guy who has had thousands of tenants said he always checks the backseat of an applicant's car before approving or denying their application.  so it just goes to show matters.  to a guy on hgtv and also to me.)

just a little something to think about.

celebreality monday.

i am letting the TV teach my children to read.

i swore i would never be 'that mom.'  when we had free cable, we would limit their (or really, at that time, atticus was the only one of them watching) screen time to 20-30 minutes a couple mornings a week.  now, we don't even have pbs.  i've been known to fantasize that i'll homeschool using the charlotte mason method and spend hours on end reading books out loud to my enraptured children.  curriculum in a box? no thanks, i'm better than that - i'm totally capable of best catering my teaching approach to each individual child and  determining what i deem important for them to learn, thankyouverymuch. 

i even hate 'educational' toys.  not really because they're educational but because they all make noise and i hate noise.  so maybe it's unfair to include that on the list.


i caved and for atticus' birthday i got him the leapfrog letter factory video (VHS - old school) to watch in the van on the way home from town.  i figured it would keep him entertained and at least have some kind of educational value.  one month later, atticus can identify all the letters and most of their sounds.  penelope can identify over half of her letters and quite a few sounds as well.

now, i'm probably going to start handing out pamphlets on how much i love leapfrog and how it allowed me to pass off onto someone else what i could have (and arguably should have) done myself but was just too lazy.  and i'm cool with it on the inside, although i'm still a little embarrassed to admit that the full extent of their formal education has been provided by an animated frog.

2011, we salute you. (or, you're going to love this post so much it will change your perception of friday the 13th.)

as a short hiatus on the christmas news, i thought i would bring you some homework light, entertaining, and memory-jogging reading to do over the weekend. 

in honor of 2011 and all that she was to us, i have gone through the 254 posts from last year (i apparently had too much time on my hands in 2011) and picked out our most memorable moments.  get ready to 'member that time.

that time i did my best to avoid living next door to a pervert.

that time we bought our house.
that time penelope had a freaky brush with death.

that time i turned twenty-five and met a lady at aldi.
that time i saw kobe at the mall.

that time penelope turned one.
that time i said au revoir to wheat and corn.
that time i got my washer and dryer for free.

that time we closed on our house.
that time i found a bag of cockroaches all hopped up on antidepressants.
that time we did stuff to our house before succumbing to laziness.

that time my apartment managers stole and subsequently broke my vacuum.
that time my apartment managers forced me to talk to a jehovah's witness.
that time todd squashed a gerbil.
that time a bat almost ate me while i slept.
that time i got all intimate with our mulberry tree.

that time we made $150 for not buying anything at ikea.

that time i tried to kill weeds naturally.
that time we went to south dakota.

that time we announced we were pregnant.
that time atticus moved out of his crib and i cried.
that time i puked in my own eye.
that time a mouthy lady on the plane got what was coming to her.

that time penelope busted her lip open.
that time we flew on a plane.
that time we spent the weekend in california.
that time we announced the sex of our baby and also i looked like a douche on video.
that time i flashed my undies at the trash guy.

that time a mouse most likely procreated in our ceiling.
that time penelope developed a lazy eye.
that time penelope got glasses.

that time atticus turned three.
that time we picked out a name for our kid.
that time i about had a stroke while trying to hang christmas lights.
that time i picked up poop with my bare hand.
that time we were overtaken by spores.

a very van voorst christmas

for various reasons, this year todd's parents were able to celebrate christmas with us!  (they typically get to sweat the winter out in arizona...luckies.)  here are some highlights:

opening gifts....the anticipation is killing me.

it's a pearl buttoned western shirt, just like papa tony wears!

girlie loves her grandma!

i think she has papa tony pretty much wrapped around her chubby little finger.

got some bling...

and was way ready to put them on ASAP.

her favorite present was this little jewelry box that has a ballerina in it.  she kept filling it with bows and then dumping them out.

but the best part of christmas was the new pool of live books on tape.  which is all she really sees people as.

video vednesday: break your gun on a stump.

buffalo guy...step on your foot...ouch.  don't wake up.

last holiday decorating post, i swear.

you may think that i'm really late in posting this.  "yeah, yeah, christmas was like 2 weeks ago and we're all ready to cut the cord and move on to 'clean slate: 2012.'"  well, people, i can tell you that my house still looks exactly this way, so just consider that you're seeing these in real time.

our porch lights from the outside.  i felt really tech-savvy when i figured out how to cover our house number in microsoft paint.  so if you were planning on stalking us, consider your plans foiled.

the 'before' shot of our entry way.  yes.  it normally does look this sparse.  and recently i took down the baby gate, so there is even less 'furniture' in there.

another boring entryway shot.  you can see my millions of paint samples on the walls and also my three-year-old son wearing a baby girl hat.


well, hello big boy.  *creepy wink at inanimate object.*  (atticus comes down the stairs every morning and says, 'good morning green guy!')

this year, i spent seventy cents on dedicated wrapping items.  the brown contractor paper has been around for many christmases now, the jute string was leftover from a failed high school attempt at macrame.  so the doilies were my only expense, and i bought them from the baking section at hobby lobby and used a 40% off coupon. 

unless you were a gift recipient who expected extravagant wrappings, in which case, i commissioned blind italian nuns to crochet those doilies by hand from chinese silk thread.  and also i did not use a coupon.

celebreality monday.

i have a lot of annoying and sometimes super wasteful habits.  the more you live with someone else the more you realize that you're not 'quirky' like you like to think of yourself, but you're downright annoying.  (i realize this not because todd says it, but because i realize if HE did these things around me i would be irritated.)

..i hardly ever finish a task or project or book from start to finish.  at least without a lot of distraction and procrastination and large lapses in time in between.

..i sometimes pick my nose.  there, i said it.

..i always forget to turn off the hall light.  like, ALWAYS.

..i'm always behind on laundry, not because i have too much of it to keep up with, but because i hate laundry.  so then stuff sits in there too long and smells like old washer water and has to be re-washed.  which means it takes me even longer to get it done.

..i refuse to drink the last bit of insert-beverage-here from the bottom of the glass because in my mind it's mostly backwash.

..i refuse to drink the milk out of my cereal bowl because it's gross when it tastes like cereal.

..i don't really eat leftovers.

..i'm not super tidy and i leave my crap everywhere until it bugs todd so much he picks up after me.

..i leave half-empty glasses of water EVERYWHERE.  (i'm like that kid from 'signs.')

..i spend too much time reading books and magazines and blogs and the paper and not enough time reading my bible.  or reading to my children.

..noise makes me grouchy, which means i'm usually grouchy.

..i make todd wash his feet when they stink and fart in the other room, but make him rue the day he hints that my 72-hour pajama marathons are getting a bit out of control.

..i HATE taking naps, so i don't, which means that on days when i need a nap i get really and preventably unpleasant.

..i don't make the bed.  ever.

i'm sure there are many, many more, and maybe i haven't even mentioned some of my worst offenders...i'm not sure.  i'm really tired and i always seem less annoying to myself when i'm barely coherent.  BUT.  these are definitely some.

anyone else pick their nose and want to announce it on the internet?  what's your most annoying habit?

christmas FRIDAY!

i did pretty minimal prepping for christmas, other than conquering hanging the christmas lights on the porch, and decorating our tree after todd and my mom felled it.  i decided to be all 'good and memorable mom' this year and let atticus and penelope help trim the tree.  ahem. 

those ten minutes of memory making involved an hour of sorting ornaments earlier in the day, dividing them into categories such as: "belong to atticus," "belong to penelope," "belong to me but unbreakable so let the kids do it," "breakable so todd can participate by hanging them up high," "no one but me will ever touch these - they're lucky they even get to gaze upon them," and "where did i get this ugly thing?"

then, during naptime, i tried desperately to string popcorn and cranberries to bedazzle the tree with, only to get engrossed in a documentary about home birth and to call it quits on the garland.  not to mention, it was my first-ever attempt at popcorn-and-berrying and i used fresh, rather than stale, popcorn.  rookie mistake.  i'm pretty sure there are enough popcorn crumbs in the basement to feed the resident army of mice.

anyway, decking the halls: we set about our tree trimming shortly after dinner.  i had todd pick up some apple cider from the store and was all set for a cozy night of making family memories.  i had visions of the kids looking lovingly at each ornament before finding the perfect branch - nay, bough - for each treasure.  instead, the kids were basically grabbing fistfuls of ornaments as quickly as i could get the hooks on and sprinting them over to the tree where they'd pass them off to todd and dash back for what few new ornaments i had gotten hooked in the last 2.3 seconds.  and even though i had put on christmas music for a relaxing and memorable ambiance, it was basically all family force 5 christmas music which really only served to make the kids want to breakdance.  also, the cider initiative was a flop considering the kids weren't interested in anything but chucking ornaments, todd doesn't like cider, and i was too frazzled to drink mine before it got all cold and gritty-feeling.

here sis is trying to convince the tree that even a tree needs the right pair of pink mary jane sneakers to finish the look. 

ten minutes later, the bottom half of the tree was crammed with ornaments and the grown ups kids were ready to be done for the evening.  after the kids were in bed, todd and i finished with the top half of the tree and the 'finishing touch' ornaments (the kind you buy at the store in a ten-pack so they all match and make your tree look like you meant for it to look this way rather than found it on the side of the road last christmas after it had fallen off a bean truck.)

after all was said and done, i'm glad we got to include the kids this year in some of the excitement of preparing for the season.  and i'm glad it was only ten minutes.  and i'm really going to write a lot of christmas-related posts so i don't have to take all the ornaments off anytime soon.

christmas week!

i said it: it's CHRISTMAS WEEK here at home with the van voorsts.

what? christmas was over like a week and a half ago? and what? it's thursday already and that's an inappropriate time to topically dedicate a full week?  WHAT. EVER. Y'ALL.  i do what i want.

as it turns out, december was a bit of a whirlwind for us.  and i'm pretty sure we were the only ones on the planet who felt that way. 

the first weekend in december was atticus' birthday.  the following week, belated gifts and cards trickled in.  the next weekend, todd's parents came to visit and what was the first thing out of atticus' mouth when he saw them? 'where are my presents?'  that's when i knew he was (unfortunately?) old enough to understand christmas this year.  the following weekend was actual christmas, when we spent time at home as a family doing what else? opening gifts.  and last weekend, we went down to visit my side of the family, which involved three separate gift openings.

and while i am seriously considering getting a tattoo on my shoulder blade in tribute of my new fruit/veggie juicer (i'm thinking it will be a picture of a carrot with wings being juiced by a juicer with wings - thoughts?), i'm ready to have a breather from all the gifts.  atticus is getting a little too...expectant, if you know what i mean.  halfway through the month, todd was like, 'come january, he's going to wonder why no one loves him anymore.'  and for the next eleven months, that may very well seem to be the case after the veritable dharma drop that was december.

HOWEVER.  the thing i have loved most this month has been getting to see so much family!  so this 'week' (today through whenever i'm done) i'll be chronicling our many adventures to and fro over the season.

and also? i solemnly swear to you, dear reader, that i will leave my christmas lights and nativity set and live(ish) christmas tree up until i'm done chronicling, so you can rest assured that this won't go on forever...eventually the tree becomes a fire hazard, so i'm on a pretty strict time line. 

up next? admitting that it's 2012.  but not yet.  baby steps.

shamelsss self-promotion

hello paige's world.

i'm todd, paige's rib donor.

check out my blog:

my blog is my dumping ground for everything I've learned, am learning, and hope to learn regarding the historic, orthodox, Christian faith found in Jesus.

my primary motivation is to create a resource for my children to one day use and read so that i can pass on to them all that God taught me and continues to teach me.

so check it out.

***you will now be returned to your regularly-scheduled programming - already in progress

video vednesday: 1-900-OK FACE

that's not even enough numbers.

(our security settings don't allow me to see the ad at the beginning, so i apologize if it's completely inappropriate.  now on to the phone sex line commercial.)


thwr: #truestory

todd: if atticus had a twitter, i'd follow him.

and that's how we roll.