Thursday, December 22, 2011


Dear Santa,

I know you want to remain anonymous, but thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Graham is currently using one of the gift cards as a phone. Liam is chewing on another. They say thanks, too.

We are overwhelmed with gratitude.

Thank you.

Love, the Aufdermauers


Liam is weaned off formula and the bottle.
Graham and Liam are off pacifiers (except car and sleeping).
The kitchen is reorganized.
My clothes have been sorted and purged.
I made an impromptu trip to the city yesterday with the boys.
The house is still a mess.
I have yet to actually make dinner this week.

Okay, okay. Being home on winter break hasn't turned me into Supermom, but at least I get to put all the baby bottle stuff in storage! Oh man. I'm excited about that.

Time off is AWESOME!

Friday, December 2, 2011

did you know?

Did you know that you can search the content of a blog using the little search field in the upper left corner?

I always thought that was a general internet search. It's not. It's specific to the blog you're viewing.

You know when you saw something on a blog and you can't find it and you spend 20 minutes going through their blog history trying to guess which post it was in? Oh wait. Was I the only person doing that? I am holding you all personally responsible for not telling me this sooner.

Go ahead and try it. Search for something funny like "butt" or "snots" or "punch-face."

My life just got 10% better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas gift for the man

I made these for Christian a few years back. He loves them. I love them. And he gets compliments on them every time he wears them. I liked them but didn't realize other people would, too!

So this year I'm making some for you! Nuts and Bolts Cufflinks: $10/pair

Sure, you could make them yourself, but be realistic. Will you ever get to it? With all the Christmas shopping you need to do? Making 6 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange? Decorating your house? Attending fifty billion holiday parties?

You don't have time.

Just buy them. I'll even ship them to you for free*.

Let me know if you want some. They make the perfect stocking stuffer.

*Regular USPS mail. If you want them faster, you can cover the extra shipping, which probably wouldn't be much since they are light weight.

nature, nurture, and soul

"We all reach a point where we take nature and nurture and soul and decide who we really are and what we want to continue to be or what we want to change."
-My friend, Shannon Booher

Shannon wrote this in her blog today. She is writing about her brother, who happens to be adopted. This is perhaps the most powerful sentence I've heard all week. I love it.

Happy Adoption Awareness Month, everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

there's vomit in my hair

Liam has thrown up at least once a day for a week. It doesn't seem to be contagious, judging by the fact that no one else has gotten sick. 

I think he throws up in order to score more tub time.
Last night he threw up all over me. I've gotten used to it. I was so tired that I changed my clothes, washed my arms with a wash cloth, gave him a quick bath, and went to bed, ignoring the bit of vomit that had found its way into my hair.

This morning I was about to get in the shower when I remembered that I had a dentist appointment in 30 minutes... 45 minutes from my house. I threw on clothes, brushed my teeth, and ran out the door without showering. 

I still have vomit in my hair. And I'm going to bed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

letters to my mom: part 2 of 2

On to note #2...

This note I wrote on my own. Looks like it was March of 2001, so I was 19 years old, living at Liberty Square, which was the next logical step after the dorms, right? How do I know it was 2001? I mentioned that Tiffany gave a free concert at BYU. Ah, memories.

My mom had just sent me (and probably my sisters) a list of her top 10 qualities to look for in a spouse. Not that she was pressuring us to get married--we were never pressured to get married or have babies by our parents. I was always grateful for this when my friends would complain about family pressure. So in response, I sent her the top 10 12 qualities I'd want in my future husband (which, naturally, I wrote before I looked at her list, lest I be swayed by her opinions). Here they are:
  1. Great sense of humor but not too sarcastic
  2. Shares my religious views
  3. Likes children
  4. Goal-oriented
  5. Taller than me, fit
  6. Athletic, likes outdoors
  7. Great singing voice
  8. Outgoing
  9. Very accepting of people different than him
  10. Strong testimony
  11. Comfortable w/ talking out problems
  12. Cares about his appearance
Looks like I did a pretty good job with Christian, eh? Turns out it doesn't actually matter if your husband can serenade you. He sings next to me at church and holds a decent tune. ;) That's good enough to check off #7. Check. Check. Check.

What would I add to the list now?
  1. Patient
  2. Able to admit when he's wrong
  3. Trustworthy
  4. Able to look on the bright side of life
And a note to my 19-year-old self to be all these things if I wanted to find a partner with these qualities.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

notes to my mom: part 1 of 1

I'm lucky enough to have my mom come babysit my boys once a week. They are so excited when she arrives in the morning (and so am I). However, I never seem to get to work on time those mornings. Christian says I get my chatting skills from my mom... But getting to work late is sooo worth it.

My mom has been reading Unstuff Your Life and seems to be on a de-cluttering rampage. (If she didn't already watch my boys and do my dishes for free--and if I were actually at home for any given period of time--I'd ask her to help me de-clutter my house.)

In all her decluttering, she found some old notes from me to her.

No idea why the photo is sideways
The first was written when I was 12. It is undoubtedly the result of a Young Women's activity (Young Women is the girls' youth organization in my church). What gave it away? Flowery stationary, churchy stickers, and a list of reasons I admire my mom...written in January (nowhere near her birthday or mother's day). I love my mom, but I wasn't one to write notes like this other than on special occasions or when prompted by church activities. Even so, the words are sincere.

Let's look at what I admired about my mom:
  1. I admire the way you seem to always know where things are, when I think that I have already looked everywhere. I still lose everything. Just ask Christian. I never know where my keys/phone/running shoes are.
  2. I also admire the way you keep your room so nice, neat, and tidy. It's never dirty. My room is never nice, neat, and tidy.
  3. And you can do the dishes so fast. I am slow. Slow, slow, slow. It still takes me forever to clean or do the dishes or do just about anything. How do people do things quickly?
  4. Also, you do a wonderful job of putting on your make-up. I[t] is such a good job that you can't tell that you really have any make-up on. This is a skill, people. My mom always looks nice, but in a natural way. She doesn't look "done up." I, on the other hand, am too lazy to put on make-up half the time. On those days, I just pretend I look good and avoid mirrors...
  5. P.S. I love the way you cook. P.S. I don't like to cook.
I went on to write, "I hope that in the next week's time you can help me to improve these qualities in myself."  (Note the correct usage of "myself." I can guarantee that 12-year-old me knew how to use "myself" correctly.)  Is it funny or sad that 17 years later I haven't figured out how to do these things? I obviously still need my mom to help me do my dishes and keep my room clean...

What would I add to the list now? 
  1. How outgoing she is.
  2. Her confidence.
  3. How willing she is to help all her children with just about anything.
  4. Her gardening skills.
  5. Her decorating style.
  6. Her furniture refinishing skills.
  7. Her affinity for reading good books.
  8. That she's not afraid to go to the movies alone (and does so quite often).
  9. That she always has something interesting to talk about.
  10. That she exercises regularly and has healthy eating habits.
  11. That she remembers everything that's going on in our lives even when I can't even keep track of it myself.
  12. I could go on...
Stay tuned for part 2 to see the list the qualities my 19-year-old self wanted in a future husband...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

i have big hair

I have big hair. My sisters used to make fun of my frizzy hair. The boys at church would throw tiny balled up pieces of paper into it. I'm not scarred by these things. I'm pretty sure I laughed with my sisters and loved the attention from the boys. We were old enough that they were my friends.

But my hair has never been curly. Just poofy. I've tried straightening it, but that just looks silly on me. I usually just wear it up.

According to many people, I have great hair, because it holds curl well and it's nice and thick. But who has time to curl their hair? And who even WANTS to have to curl their hair every day? Not me, says the low-maintenance girl with the ponytail.

And I never understood products that claimed to "lift" and "boost" your roots. The last thing my hair needed was a boost.

But I was wrong. Oh, I was wrong.

Last weekend I decided that if my hair wanted to be big, I would embrace it. So I boosted those roots and wore it BIG. Christian called me a lion.

I took a ton of pictures of myself in an attempt to show how big it was. None of the photos did it justice (hence the reason I took at least 20). I deleted most of them, because they looked like I was taking a picture of myself and trying to look all cute. I was just trying to show how big my hair was without having a stupid look on my face.

So after all taking billions of photos of myself (and feeling stupid in the process), Carly was actually the one who snapped a good one. So I stole it from her blog. But by then the top had fallen. I've got to master the art of maintaining the lion. Roar.

Go big or go home, right? Right.

Monday, November 7, 2011

how do you de-stress?

Here's a good question for all of us: How exactly do you de-stress?

Do you exercise?
Sit around and watch TV? Movies?
Read blogs?
Drink hot chocolate? Tea?
Go shopping?
Make lists?
Talk it out?
Simplify your life?
Create with your hands?

And does it work? Or do you feel like you're trying to de-stress and it's not really working?

When you already have a million things to do during the day, how do you find time for "stress relieving" activities?

These are my de-stressers (in no particular order, except for the first one):

  • getting enough sleep
  • crafting
  • running with friends (running alone only if it's on a beautiful trail)
  • long bike rides in beautiful places (alone or with a friend)
  • shopping with Christian (shopping alone bores me)
  • listening to music (hymns, Christmas, brit pop--for some reason brit pop falls in that same destressing category)
  • turning the TV off
  • being outside
  • laughing with friends
Your turn. What de-stressors are most effective for you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Sat in ridiculous traffic on the way to pick up the boys.

Got home and realized I was locked out.

Boys crying.

Took them to McDonalds until Christian could get home.

Graham pooped at McDonalds.

How do you change a 2-year-old's diaper at McDonalds when you are alone and also have a 10-month-old?

You pull the high chair into the bathroom.

How do you guys do it??

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Owls. Birdies. Either way, they were adorable.

We were going to trick-or-treat with a big group of friends, but decided at the last minute to make it a family affair and went with Ashley and Tyler's kids and my parents.

So many cute little boys!

Charlie and Max's penguin toys were a hit.

Graham's favorite house had this cool light. He wanted to stay there all night.

Birds of a feather...

In his nest.

And I quote, "This is why I'm medicated."

Melts my heart.

How did I think I could go trick or treating alone with my boys?? Never would have worked. So glad I had my mom there.

Such a big boy.


Trick-or-treat, Panda! (Who says you can't trick-or-treat at your own house?)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lake Tahoe Half Marathon

I have been wanting to run this race for YEARS. I finally buckled down last year and signed up. All by myself. Then I got pregnant (fully on purpose, mind you--but faster than expected). No problem, I thought, I'll just do a walk-run. Then I ended up on bed rest. Blast it all!

So this year I was determined. I got half off the (outrageous) registration fee since I had to drop out last year for medical reasons.

And do you know what? I actually trained hard for this race.

So let me tell you about it...

See this photo of the race start?

Do you see me?


Oh, that's because I wasn't there. I was mixed up about the starting area and was standing near a water stop at the halfway mark of the marathon course with a bunch of other people. The policemen manning the area told me they thought the half marathon started there. As the minutes ticked by and no one seemed to be organizing a start line, I started getting nervous and did a little more asking around. I was in the wrong place! Turns out the start for the half was almost a quarter mile up the side street behind me! We turned to head up the street, and BANG! Off went the start gun in the distance. I wanted to curse the policemen, but it was my fault for not asking the right people. So I started running up the hill toward the start only to be met by a huge crowd of people running down. So I just stood there until half of them ran by, and then turned around and joined them. Easy enough.

However, running UP a steep hill at 6300' elevation trying to get to the start line is not the best way to start a race. By the time I turned around to come back down with them, I could barely breathe. BUT, I realized later in the race, this was the only time I even noticed the elevation. I guess I got it out of my system in the first 3 minutes of the race.

Moving on.

Mile 1-2: Flat/down hill and gorgeous. Rubicon to the base of the "hill from hell." Christian, Graham, and Liam made the best cheering crew ever.

Mile 2-3.5: Up the "Hill from Hell." This is a 1.5 mile hill that climbs from 6300-6800 feet (up to the entrance of Bliss Park). This was practically the best part of the race. I passed people THE ENTIRE TIME. No joke. I guess training at Rancho San Antonio was a good idea. I think maybe 6 or 7 people passed me, while I passed at least 50 people. I didn't notice the altitude AT ALL. I'm pretty sure I was in shock when I reached the top. I'm not normally the one doing the passing in races. Talk about feeling good! And my cheering crew was at the top waiting for me!

Mile 3.5-5.5: Down to Emerald Bay. Absolutely beautiful.

Mile 5.5-6.5: Up, up, up to the other side of Emerald Bay. I definitely started feeling it here, but I kept chugging along.

Don't I look great here? That's on purpose. The other 8 race photos showed what I really looked like. This one is deceptively flattering, so, of course, I'm going to pretend that's how I looked the whole time. :) ("Borrowed" from the race photography site. Don't judge.)

Now let me tell you something. When you have all the difficult hills in the first half of a race, by the time you reach the halfway point, you feel like you've conquered everything. And then you remember that you still have 6.5 FREAKING MILES TO GO!

Shoot me now.

Mile 6.5 to 8.5 or 9 or something: Down, down, down, down. And did I mention down?

Mile 9-ish to who knows what: More or less flat. Oh my gosh. It was never going to end.

Mile 10.5: Water stop where some girls were telling everyone they only had 2 miles to go. I knew we were far from the 2-mile mark. I wanted to slap them. But slapping little girls is really not nice. Maybe I should have slapped their parents who told the girls that they were 2 miles from the end.

Mile 12: I gave in a took a little walking break. Give me hills over flat any day!

FINISH! Then I got to hang out with my cheering crew on the beach. I love them.

Oh my gosh I hurt by the end. But it was so worth it. I'd love to run it again in the future, but this time I'll remember to train for more than just the hills.

I love Tahoe!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Crushing on this area rug.

If only I had $1800 lying around somewhere. 

Actually, even if I had $1800 lying around, I'm not sure I could spend that much money on a rug. 
What a waste of money.

But it's mesmerizing. Crushing anyway.

Friday, October 28, 2011

mustache guide

Fu Manchu or Horseshoe. I guess that's technically what was growing on Christian's face. He said that the other night. I just wasn't paying attention.

In honor of my husband's face and all husbands around the world who are forced to shave off their 'staches, I present you with the mustache guides:

Famous Mustaches

 Style Guide


 The 20 Manliest Mustaches and Beards in History
Brigham Young and Santa Claus make the list. As they should. Check it out.

The Trustworthiness of Beards
My favorite guide. Definitely click to see this one bigger. Note that the Horseshoe falls under "Unsavory" which is dangerously close to "Threatening." Although the lone goatee is only one step below that. Really? Good thing he's normally a scruffy full beard, which beats even Santa Claus in trustworthiness Phew.
{source--everything on this page is amusing}

Thursday, October 27, 2011


When I woke up Christian this morning, he immediately got this funny smile on his face.

Christian doesn't wake up with a smile. Ever.

Then I saw this.


He thought it was hilarious.

He went to work like that.

I couldn't even pay attention to anything he said to me today. I was too distracted laughing.

The molestache has got to go!

We are a house divided.

What's your vote?

camping with the babes

If I could choose one place to be, it would be the mountains. Give me thick trees, soft forest trails, and babbling streams over sunny beaches any day. Just the thought of the mountains is comforting to me.

So, naturally, camping in the forest makes me so happy. So incredibly happy.

We went camping as a family for the first time a couple months back. Graham burned all 5 fingers on one hand within an hour of us getting to the camp site. (While we were vigilantly guarding the fire we were making, he grabbed the top of the lantern. Of course.) Graham proceeded to cry for the next 3 hours until he fell asleep from exhaustion. I mean, who WOULDN'T cry that much after burning all 5 fingers?? The poor, poor little guy. I was so stressed out all evening. I couldn't even hold a conversation until Graham fell asleep. And our neighbors who went camping with us were amazing and were totally patient and helpful and never made us feel like the trip was a bust due to our poor screaming child. 

Luckily, the next morning he acted as if nothing had happened (despite the blisters that had appeared on his tiny little fingers). Graham LOVED exploring the campsite and huge redwood trees. Liam just watched everything in awe the entire time. I'm not sure he ever made a peep.

The second time we went camping there were no burnt fingers! Hurray!

We spent two nights at Memorial Park with a trip to a pumpkin patch on Highway 1 during the day. Despite the fact that the boys barely slept the second night due to the fact that they were coming down with colds (which we didn't figure out until on our way home), it was a wonderful trip. The boys sure love being outdoors and exploring. Graham even got to see his first banana slug. Slimy.

Christian showed Graham how to roast a marshmallow. Then Christian and I ate a few too many s'mores. Mmmmmm. That's the life, I tell ya. That's the life.