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My new shopping sidekick


Yesterday was shopping day and since the kids are on break I took Kendall with me, leaving the boys behind to do whatever it is that boys do. 

Kendall had Christmas money burning a hole in her pocket and I had a few gift cards as well so between the two of us we had four different stores we wanted to stop at, besides the regular grocery stops and the lovely errands of picking up a prescription and stopping at the DEQ to renew my registration. 

By the end of the day we had made ELEVEN stops, and didn't pull into the driveway until almost 7:00 pm. And we had a blast.

Here is why Kendall is my new preferred sidekick:

- She has boundless energy. She never walked - she skipped, bounced, danced, and jigged her way around every store and parking lot. While this was funny to watch, it also meant that she didn't burn out after the first couple of stops (a necessary skill when shopping with me!)

- She is as friendly as her father and in all her dealings with random strangers throughout the day she not only garnered several compliments but also a dollar and a mini-perfume. Nicely done, girlfriend!

- She is an enthusiastic shopper and a generous compliment giver. After about every single thing I tried on at Old Navy she would exclaim "Oh my gosh, I would wear that RIGHT NOW. That looks sooo cute!!". Well, I better buy it then shan't I?!

- She loves herself some Quiznos broccoli cheese soup as much as her mother. 

- When she would start to get bored and whine I whipped her back into shape with a little "this is the time where you have to chose to have a good attitude" or "be a fun shopping partner for Mommy", and it would work! Can't really do that with my friends... or my husband... so bonus points for Kendall!

I'm looking forward to a lot of things in 2011, and now one of them is more shopping trips with my daughter! 

Happy New Year!

Sometimes I really embarrass myself


Monday night I went down to the high school gym to watch my husband's team play. Sitting on the seats he'd saved for me and the kids was a gift bag filled with goodies from some of our friends and I smiled as I looked around to thank them, but I couldn't find them. Instead, I showed my neighbors sitting behind and next to me and then the kids when they came over to inspect the contents. 

I continued to hold the bag on my lap as I visited with a friend, until a highschooler came over and started to take the bag. Naturally, I grabbed it back and said "hey!" with a smile, wondering what he was doing. 

"I'm taking it to my Mom" he explained.

I glanced over at his mother a few rows away and smilingly accused her of wanting to steal one of the contents of the gift bag, assuming she'd seem me showing it off. 

But instead she told me the gift bag was actually hers, she'd received it earlier in the afternoon and had just loaned it to Russell to save my seat.

And then I died of embarrassment. 

What made it worse was that the scene was almost an exact replica of one of my most embarrassing high school moments: Valentines Day, 1997.

I was a senior and Russell had already graduated but I fully expected to get some sort of delivery during the school day because that would be Russell all over. Sure enough, after the first morning break I came to my locker that I shared with a friend and opened it to find two beautiful roses and a stuffed animal inside. I squealed and spun around, looking for Russ to jump out from behind a corner. Not finding him, I actually searched the hallways for a bit before taking my gifts and making my way to my next class, being sure to show the items off to everyone I passed on the way.

As I entered the room I proudly announced and displayed my surprise to my English classmates, only to have my locker-mate say "Oh Jodi, I'm sorry, those were for me!"

Yeah, her boyfriend gave them to her. 

I ABSOLUTELY died of embarrassment right then and there. 

It was painful

Even after I received a delivery of a dozen roses and 2 helium balloons at lunch time.

But here I am now, almost 14 years later, and apparently I still haven't learned my lesson.

When you don't find your name 
on a card or note that is
attached to a gift, 
for heaven's sake ask around before
assuming something is for you!

Also, perhaps don't be such a show off...

What I Wore Wednesday - Christmas break


Just enjoying our Christmas break here... lazy mornings, late nights, much reading on the new kindle, you get the gist. 

For anyone that regularly visits on WIWWs you'll be pleased to know that on Christmas morning THE BOOTS LANDED! My detailed and descriptive wish list email worked like a charm - especially when Russ printed it off and took it to the mall with him. Apparently the sales associates were quite impressed with my thoroughness :)

Wednesday: baking day then Wed. night church
top: Target
jeans: Levi's - Kohl's
Uggs: ebay
scarf: ??

Thursday: took kids Christmas shopping for each other
top: JC Penny
cami: Shade
jeans: Gap - Goodwill
same Uggs: ebay

 Saturday: Christmas #1
cardigan: Charlotte Russe
gray cami: Diviine Modestee
skinny jeans: Target
cardy Uggs: Merry Christmas to me! 

from my honey :)

Sunday: Christmas #2
cardigan: Target
ruffle tank: Old Navy
skinny jeans: Lauren Conrad - Kohl's
same new Uggs :)
Monday: basketball tournament day 1
tunic: Kmart
cardigan: Target
skinny jeans: Target
Uggs: that's right, three days in a row, people!
necklace: Romy

Tuesday: basketball tournament day 2
I am nothing if not a devoted coach's wife ;)
shirt dress: Charlotte Russe (4.99!)
leggings: Walmart
boots: Costco
beanie: ??

Today the ground is covered in snow and the fireplace is warm... I'm planning on sweats all day!

Linking to The Pleated Poppy HERE.

Have a great week my friends!

10 Things about Christmas 2010


1. I love Christmas traditions. One present each on Christmas Eve. New pajamas every year. Presents on Christmas morning. My dad's french toast breakfast. Traditional Christmas dinner. Family togetherness. This year we did it all plus some and it was wonderful.

2. If you are going to take your kids to see the new Narnia movie in 3D on Christmas Eve you don't need to leave early to get good seats or plan on ice cream out afterwards. Apparently it's not as popular of an idea as you'd think and no place is open for dessert. Anywhere. 

We loved the movie!
3. I felt a little funky around midnight Christmas Eve and woke up with a stomach bug around 4 am. This is about the epitome of my absolute worst nightmare: missing Christmas. HOWEVER, I serve a loving and merciful God and after a solid couple hours of bathroom trips and praying my heart out I went back to sleep and was fine! As in, I ate till I was stuffed at Halverson family Christmas that afternoon and helped myself to seconds and thirds of dessert. Thank you Jesus! 

Merry Christmas morning!
4. The boots landed! The boots landed!
Well done honey, well done.
5. Best gift ever at Halverson Christmas: this outfit for Blake, aka Batman (or Superman - it's reversible!), from his awesome grandparents...


I kid you not, he wore it ALL day. And the next day as well. And when he was in it he was Batman, fighting any villain (be it person or object) in his way. Go Batman!

6. Christmas with lots of kids is fun, noisy, rowdy, fun, boisterous, and fun! Meet the Halverson Twelve:

the cousins
7. Our Wilson Christmas was on Sunday so we skipped church and enjoyed the whole day together. The end result of this was that I ate waaaay too much yummy food. Again.

enjoying breakfast, still waiting for Jamin. Finally, someone who shows up later than me!
8. We scored this year: among many other things Russ got a new gun and a cool new hoodie, I got a new crockpot and my beloved Kindle, and the kids got Mariokart and Donkey Kong games for our Wii. Smashing successes.

9. My brother won the awesome gift giver award of the year. He did great with the kids gifts and surprised Dave and Kelly with an espresso machine and my parents with a Wii! 

the amazing Uncle Jay

10. Mariokart is not just for kids. 
some serious drivers

Christmas came!


I can't help myself, I will have to write a proper Christmas recap tomorrow, including how I woke up with the stomach bug at 4 am Christmas morning.

Oh yes. It's true.

But until then, I have to share one other thing that came as a surprise this Christmas...

meet the new Kindle

Holy AWESOME Batman! 

Like I told Russell on the way home from our Christmas #2 today, where I received this sweet little item, "It's one of those things that you didn't even know you wanted until you get it, and then suddenly it's your most prized possession and you are 100% completely and wholly in love with it."

I'm serious. We will never part.

Dear parents:
You are wonderful and amazing
and I will love you forever.
You and my kindle. 

p.s. sorry about the crying,
sometimes I get a bit excitable.

Christmas break recap in photos - week 1


We've been having some fun in the Halvie home this past week. Some fun and some medical issues...

Last weekend we kicked off break with the kids school Christmas program, a movie night with the kids, Cooper's final basketball game, getting our Christmas tree, game night at the "other" Halvies (brother and sis-in-law), Christmas Extravaganza service at church, Red Robin with friends, and a trip to Coldstones ice cream, which closed on Sunday and required a "goodbye, we'll miss you" visit. We know how to pack a weekend full!

school Christmas program

our pick
Bob and Tracy, our kind tree benefactors and adopted grandparents :)
Christmas Extravaganza at church
Monday was the dreaded dental redo day. No more needs to be said.

Tuesday I burned all five of my finger tips on a curling iron (helpful tip: always pay attention to what end you're grabbing), crashed my Mum and sister's bible study Christmas party, and ended the night late night shopping at Walmart with my mother. Burns aside, super fun evening!
the lovely ladies of Tuesday night bible study
Wednesday I baked treats at my Mum's, got the boys fresh haircuts, and the kids had their Kidmania party at church. Oh, and Cooper got croup. LOVELY.

Kendall, Cooper and friend Sarah after their clown party at church.
Today I took the kids to buy little gifts for each other for Christmas and this evening Russ is out on a man date with his buddies to see "True Grit". I would love a night out as well but the truth is I've only wrapped half of our presents and although I've waited almost a month now, they don't seem to be wrapping themselves.

Tomorrow we're catching the new Chronicles of Narnia in 3D with Russ's folks and if all works out we'll be visiting Yo-Top-It as well, because remember: Coldstone's is no longer with us. RIP.
the tree 2010
And that's week one of my amazing and entertaining Christmas break recap. Alright I'm sorry. Even I yawned reading this. But my Grandma will appreciate all the pictures so I'm going to go with that and call it a night.

Merry Christmas everyone! I wish you all joy, peace and love this holiday season. Also, some yummy food. And fabulous boots. Oh wait, that one's for me ;)

What I Wore Wednesday


It's almost Christmas!

There is much excitement in the house over what is going to be found under the tree come Christmas morning and I won't lie, a good portion of it is emanating from me. 

If a detailed email to my hubby with a picture, description, store location and price, along with a link to the item online doesn't help me get my desired boots for Christmas then I don't know what will ;)

In the meantime, please enjoy the same three pairs that I've been wearing over and over again!

(Linking to The Pleated Poppy here)

Wednesday: shopping date with Jana
striped tee: Shade Clothing
belt: rummage sale
skinny jeans: Target
boots: Walmart

Thursday: Mom's group, grocery shopping
tunic: Goodwill
cardigan & belt: yard sale
leggings & boots: Walmart

Friday: kids school Christmas program
coat: JC Penny's
tunic: thrift store
skinny jeans: Lauren Conrad - Kohl's
boots: Ross

Saturday: Coop's bball game
coat: Old Navy
top underneath: Shade Clothing
jeans: Levi's - Kohl's
Uggs: ebay
ruffle scarf: gift
hat: Target

Sunday: church
ruffle top: Target
cardigan: Charlotte Russe
skinny jeans: Target
heels: yard sale
bracelet & necklace: gifts
Monday: dentist
tunic: Kmart
cardigan: yard sale
belt: rummage sale
flats: Goodwill

Tuesday: bible study Christmas party 
(not to be confused with my bible study Christmas party that was last
Tuesday, this was the one I crashed for the food and games :)
tunic, belt & Gap jeans: Goodwill
flats (that don't really go with this outfit): Ross
bracelet and earrings: gifts

Concluding thoughts: time to take a break from my brown tunic and cardy, didn't quite realizing I was wearing them so often. Also, I could use a little color infusion in my wardrobe - sheesh! AND... I love me some great thrifted clothes!

Merry Christmas everyone! 
Isaiah 9:6 - For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.



In my world, disaster is finding out five days after my latest dental surgery that I have to go back and have it REDONE. Painful shots, cut gums and all.

Forget earthquakes and flooding. This news was devastating. Turns out my body has abnormal super-powers when it comes to tissue healing and the gums that were supposed to recede back around the newest additions to my mouth were in fact quickly growing up and over them.

To me this seems to be just one more talent that has absolutely no real use in my life. Like my ability to remember the names of celebrities, movies and music, etc. and factoids about them that I hear on the news or online, even if I've never seen them or heard them myself. So far the only time that skill has come in handy is during certain board games. Or winning arguments about where we recognize that actor from. (Which actually is quite handy now that I think about it.)

Anywho. Yesterday was the day for the dental redo and Mum, my unsung hero, came to the rescue once again and watched my kids. For about the 4th time in the past 10 days. I don't know what I would do without her. I love you Mum! 

When I walked back into my parents house after the fated oral surgeon visit this is the sight I was met with. 

My dad, hemming his own work pants. All thoughts of my poor mouth were out the window, I HAD to take a picture. 

Dear husband: 
remember when you tried to give me a really
hard time last weekend because I wouldn't iron 
your shirt for you for the Christmas service at church?
And then you talked of "wifely duties" and I instantly 
swore off ironing for you for the rest of my life? 
Remember that sweet little moment we had?
Look who irons and then hems his own pants!

p.s. all firewood duty CLEARLY still belongs to you.

For some reason my day just didn't seem so disastrous after that.

Monday Confessional - the tree


Christmas is only five days away and this is the state of our Christmas tree...

We just got it on Saturday. And put it up last night. And then two of my strands of lights wouldn't work, which led me to drive to the only open store at 10:00 pm in the evening in our small town in search of more. 

Obviously it was not a successful trip. 

Why did we just get a tree this past weekend you ask, when Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year and you'd think I would have had it up for a month already? 

Well, as often happens during the wintertime trifecta that I like to call basketball season/Russell's job/Russell's side business... it just hadn't worked out until now. We attempted it the weekend before, but had to go do something else first and by the time we were finished daylight was all but gone. So we spontaneously took our kids out to a restaurant instead (the first one we saw driving by), in all of our Christmas tree hunting gear glory.

I never thought I'd see the day where I dined out in these beauties:

I was stunning. And embarrassed. It was worth it though - Russ and I very much enjoy our kids and family time together and we had a riot with them that night.

dining out at the Redland cafe.
Now, to trick them into letting me decorate the tree exactly the way I want, all while letting them think that they are helping me - that's the sole object of my day today!

Clean up on aisle 4!


The pinnacle of my all around not so wonderful day yesterday was when Blake stuffed a whole mini-quiche from a Costco sample table in his mouth, gagged on it, and then barfed... all over himself, the cart and the floor. 

It was one of those moments where for just a second you stand absolutely frozen in horror, then move quickly to acute embarrassment, then just as quickly become super-mom and take care of everything in a matter-of-fact but discreet way, all while consoling the crying and now quite stinky offender.

I even cleaned the store floor myself so as not to draw unwanted attention. 

And then I sent a group text to at least three different people to ensure maximum sympathy for what had just happened. 

A girl's gotta get her props somehow!

A day out with Jana


(and as it would turn out, Cooper and Mum as well)

A minute-by-minute recap of my 13+ hour day out yesterday, because who doesn't want to know every single detail of a girls shopping trip? 

9:00 am: scheduled time to meet at our kid's school to leave for our day of shopping fun. 

8:43 am: receive text from Jana that she's running 10 minutes late. I reply back, "excellent!" because, me too.

9:15 am: we both pull into the school parking lot at same time, 5 minutes later than our "10 minutes late" time. And that's why we're best friends.

9:17 am: I run into the school to take Cooper his lunch which he left at home. A teacher see's me in the hallway and hangs up her cell phone, halfway through a message that she just happens to be leaving for me to come pick up Cooper because he's hacking up a lung. Well that's not exactly what the message said but close enough. I could hear him from the school entrance!

9:20 am: call to Mum to see if she minds watching Cooper as well as Blake who she was already watching for the day. She'd love to, phew!

9:30 am: drop off boys and leave on our shopping adventure, only half an hour behind schedule - worthy of a high five in our books!

10:00 am: arrive at mall.

10:15 am: park at mall. Oh, holiday traffic how you frustrate us...

10:20 am: Starbucks!

The first of many pictures in which I look twice the size of my petite friend. Sigh.

 10:45 am: Charlotte Russe and their $4.99 sale = two very happy shoppers!

 1:00 pm: Panera Bread for lunch, so yum.

1:40 pm: realize we forgot a gift and run back into the mall for a mad dash to TWO stores and are back in the car and on the road by 2:00 pm to head to the school for pick up. We are awesome.

2:05 pm: open my Christmas present from Jana that was waiting for me in the car: new makeup case, ADORABLE ruffle scarf, my current fave candy and our favorite book of 2010: "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". Jana is awesome! And sweet, and wonderful :)

the loot

2:45 pm: back to Mum's to pick up the boys and call doctor's office about Cooper's cough (he's already been on antibiotics for a week now). Hear the bad news that they would like to see him right away, but they have no appointments open so could I drive to urgent care which doesn't open until 5:30 pm and is at the Interstate office, AN HOUR AWAY IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND? Oh the joys of having Kaiser insurance.

3:00 pm: call Russ to tell him he's getting Kendall and Blake dropped off at his basketball practice and whine about having to drive in rush hour traffic all the way up to Kaiser Interstate, which just happens to be 5 minutes from his work that he has to drive to Didn't quite get the sympathy I was hoping for.

4:00 pm: leave Mum's for the Doctor, with Mum in tow for rush hour traffic moral support.

4:40 pm: Starbucks stop #2 of the day! Ordered a different coffee than stop #1 to mix things up a bit. I'm crazy and wild like that. 

6:30 pm: receive the joyous news that I drove forever and a year to hear that I need to give Cooper honey. HONEY. He's fine. Oh and a cough can last 6 weeks, news to me

7:00 pm: decide to make the most of our evening and head to Ross!

9:00 pm: leave Ross!

9:05 pm: decide we might as well go all out and stop at Pizza Hut. Anything to make that trip to the doctor's more worth it. 

I have the best and MOST FUN Mum!
11:00 pm: at home, in jammies, realize I still have to make the Pretzel Hugs that I signed up to bring to the kid's class parties in the morning. 

11:20 pm: Realize I'm a wee bit OCD with the m&m colors... first used Christmas colors (red and green), then the next best pretty colors (blue and green), then school colors (blue and gold), then the last of the blues with 3 oranges, leaving the rest of the orange and brown m&m's in the bowl of shame. 

11:30 pm: check Facebook before heading to bed. Big mistake. 

Past midnight: 300 pictures later I'm all caught up on our friends recent trip to Africa! Phew, good thing I made such great use of my time!!