Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Yesterday we tried naps in her crib... with no success. So I tried something new.
I thought I was so smart... I figured out how to buckle her in her swing around the swaddling...

But that only lasted about 30 minutes, then I heard her struggling... and she unhooked one of them! Rats! Foiled again!
And look how happy she is that she trumped me once again. Back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


(This is only a re-enactment by a professional stunt-baby. No infants were harmed in the creation of this post.)
First the swing, now the bouncer... She did this in about 2 minutes while I was in the shower. The funniest thing is that she doesn't cry or get mad. It's like she works SUPER hard to figure it out, then is so proud when she does it. I love to watch her wiggle and jiggle her way out with that look of determination on her face that I see on myself every once in a while. She's such a rock star!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This is what 29 looks like...

Mozart was composing by age 5. Picasso showed artistic flair by age 7. Dr. Seuss began writing at age 17. Mother Theresa began her meaningful mission at age 18. And Amelia Earhart knew by age 23 that her calling was to fly. Now that I'm "staring 30 in the face", I wonder what have I done to achieve something great or leave my mark on the world like these influential people? 29 is a daunting age... I suddenly realized I'm an adult. One year until I'm a thirty-something. For some reason that has always been some sort of unspoken deadline for me - IT'S THEN that I will need to have a grasp on my life and a direction to head.

I may not have written a concerto or a best-selling children's book (yet!), but in these 29 years I have learned SO MUCH about myself and tried my best to work hard and better who I am. Today I am genuinely happy, healthy, and living my dream surrounded by those I love. I couldn't ask for anything more!

Some goals for year 29:
-Learn the guitar
-Start teaching piano lessons
-Continue on my new healthy path
-Re-read Mere Christianity and Jesus the Christ
-Run a 10k

Escape Artist

Today my life just got a bit more complicated...
Ella figured out how to bust out of her nap spot and land on the floor gracefully. I have to give her creative points, but I'm mourning the loss of the 2-3 hour naps she takes in her swing. :( Boo to growing up!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Dear Internet,
Please go away and give me my husband back. I don't appreciate you always breaking down so you can have all of his attention. You are way too needy and I think you have crossed some lines that shouldn't be crossed. You're messin with fire here, so if you keep it up you'll feel my wrath! Just back off and let me see my honey again.
Bonnie (The Wire Cutter) Hagen

Ps tell your friends PC and Dell that we need to talk as soon as possible ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

8 Months!

(Thanks to Auntie Kim for doing a little photo shoot in her high school photo class! These are so cute!)
Hey Ella! Happy 8 Monthiversary! You are hilarious and sassy and we love every minute with you! :) Here are some of your favorites right now:
-Your thumb
-Grabbing hair (even your own!)
-Your farm toys
-Your birdie blankie
-Your swing
-Applesauce and carrots
-When we toss you up in the air or tickle you
-Baths in the big-girl bathtub
-Your new tooth!

Here are some things you DON'T like:
-Your coat
-Wiping off your face
-Nap time
-Your new big carseat

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday Night Party

You can tell what I did on Friday night... played on the computer for a bit! This was fun...

Ella's Celebrity Collage

Looks like she's got a pretty good mix! :) Who is that dude?

Hagen Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Geneology - Family photos

Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Gift

One of my favorite things Jon gave me for Christmas is one of those mirrors that magnifies your face like 1,000 times and helps you see every little crater on your skin. I always wanted one so I cound catch a stray hair or finally get those annoying blemishes by my nose. But NOW it's a complete addiction. I could sit for hours and pick and pluck and scrub. (But I don't... not ALL the time.) So much fun. It must be said, though, that I'm a complete facial hair-phobe, and I am constantly obsessing about whether or not I have any stray eyebrow, mustache, or nose hairs.(come on, you know you do, too, just a little bit.) So, the next time you see me, if I don't have any eyebrows left, you'll know why!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Yay for new years resolutions and keeping them for 13 days! It has been a tedious week because I've logged everything I put in my mouth, and worked out consistently, and it's paid off because I finally crossed the 10 lb threshold! I've been working at those pounds since may when Ella was born, but now jon and I are on the same page and helping each other stay strong. (and I haven't had a car, so I haven't been able to eat out as much... Whatever it takes, right?) thanks for all your support and well wishes, they mean a lot!

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Me

Me in 2006 - At Caity's bridal showerUs in 2009 at Candace's wedding

(Warning: This is going to be really cliche, but I embrace the tacky-ness in my life sometimes!)
Every year I set a goal to lose weight, and every year I feel like I need to, but this year there's an urgency about it that I can't ignore. I put on some serious weight with the baby (as you can see above) and I am super jazzed up about losing it this year. Ella is almost 8 months old and I've lost 15 lbs. since she was born, but it's not nearly enough.
So, the temptation is there to jump on some crazy diet bandwagon, and trust me, I've been there before. For example:
-The cabbage soup diet (effective, but stinky... just ask my sisters. That soup REEKS!)
-The Carbohydrate Addict Diet (Thanks for this one, mom. You eat no carbs all day, but one hour a day you can eat whatever you want. It led to some crazy binging... not fun.)
-The Apple Cider Vinegar Diet (Eat whatever you want, but drink two tablespoons of vinegar before every meal or something like that. Sick. Acid down the throat. Not good. Thanks again, Mom. :) )
-Cactus Shakes (I can thank the latinos on my mission for this one. Cactus isn't so bad once you remove the spines, blend it up, strain off the slobber-like foam, and add a tub of crystal light!)
-The Body for Life approach (probably the most balanced, but still pretty restrictive)
-The Ultra-simple Diet (I did this two years ago with Emily, and it wasn't so simple...also involved a stinky soup, but pretty darn effective.)
-South Beach Diet (Uh, no. Not cool.)

There are probably many more. But I am now leveling with myself and realizing that it isn't going to be a six-week cookie diet type of fix. I need to change my life. And now I'm ready.

Here are some of my inspirations:
-Emily - My bestest friend - she is in a wheelchair, but still managed to lose 100 lbs!

Video Courtesy of

-Jen - Another teacher friend who posts about her weight loss here :

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Ella is learning to eat solids, and I absolutely LOVE letting her play in it when she's done eating (as long as she's still in her jammies or almost ready to go to bed)! She is one funny girl.

But I need some mom advice. What is the best way to get the spoon to the mouth without hands intercepting? I've tried everything short of a straight-jacket, but nothing is working. I've given her two spoons to hold, I've held her hands down with one arm while swooping in with the other... she's just too tricky!

Also, what is your best M.O. for cleaning up? There must be some magical order to do things, but it seems like whatever I try doesn't work. For example, if I wash her face first, she will inevitably wipe carrots all over her mug before I get the hands clean. If I start with the hands, there is still stuff on the tray that she will grab. If I wash the tray first, then she will hit it with her hands while I'm washing, OR if I remove it she will, no doubt, pat her belly with a fist full of peas. I'm about ready to get out the garden hose...

Moms need 2 extra sets of hands to get it all under control. Surely I'm not the only one who has ever faced this circus-like dilemma. Any advice??

Monday, January 4, 2010


Another installment in my self-discovery journeyMy booth at the Bijou Market... a huge success!

I am a hard worker. I have had nearly straight A's from Kindergarten to College and paid most of my way through it. I know what it's like to get up at 4 a.m., go to work , go to school, go back to work, do homework, and go to bed at midnight or later and start over again the next day. And I don't give up. I have loved my teaching career and felt like I was pretty amazing at it while it lasted. I have always felt like a very self-driven, motivated person.

So, when I had Ella and decided to stay home, I knew I'd need something to supplement Jon's income and keep myself sane. So I decided to pursue grant writing. I knew I could do well at it, just like my other jobs because I'm a "hard worker". How hard could it be? Meet with principals, get information, write it up (I love to write!), submit it, get money. Right?
WRONG. Turns out, most of the principals I've met with have never worked with a grant writer, and they're mostly too busy to give me the info I need when I need it. So grant writing has not done too well. I have been pretty darn frustrated with why this isn't going as smoothly as everything else I have tried. And recently it's become very clear to me why. All through school, from Kinder on up, and even through my teaching career, people have told me what to do and how to do it, and I ROCK at meeting expectations. So I did.

But now I am my own boss. I decide my hours. I figure out what steps to do to meet my goals. In fact, I even set the goals myself. And I tell principals what they need and why. Or, I should... in theory.... do those things. Instead I have near anxiety attacks thinking about meeting with them, then find myself cursing these principals for never getting back to me and sitting and waiting and feeling sorry for myself.

I've also tried my hand at sewing baby shoes (as many of you know). It's a lot of fun, but my confidence frequently wanes concerning my creative abilities and whether or not anyone will even want to buy anything I have made. Truly it isn't financially smart to spend my time on shoes that I only sell for $10. But it's fun and exciting for me. And it gives me a creative outlet that gives me so much to look forward to! Unfortunately I often find myself "finding inspiration" or "trying something new" instead of working even harder at what I know will bring in more income. So, what do I do? Do I spend my time doing something that I enjoy, but can't focus on very well, for the sake of income, or do I spend my time doing something I really love but doesn't bring in a lot of money right now? I just hope to make good life choices, and they both seem great, but I can't keep doing both.

Jon is a huge example for me in this. He's so motivated and driven, I swear he thinks of a new business idea every week, AND he gets them going... it's fabulous! So, I always thought I was a driven, independent person, but I am finding now that I really need to work on that trait if I'm ever going to succeed as a writer or shoe designer!