Saturday, December 27, 2008


This was my first year as part of
the extended Vieira family gift exchange.
Auntie Ronnie, Marty's Godmother (Madrinha),
pulled my name this year.
She really wanted to get something that would
be helpful when the baby comes,
so she got me this very spacious little number--
perfect for a growing baby bump:)

I have to admit,
this nightgown is quite comfy.

every time I look at it
I can't help but think of the
Rita Delvecchio character from
Saturday Night Live.

"Mother Nature, yeah, sure. Hey, if you see her, send her over. I want to introduce her to the blunt end of my shovel."

I hope this outfit is still around
when I become a salty old woman like Rita.
It really adds to the effect.

We really had a wonderful first married Christmas together.
Marty and I filled stockings for each other,
and he got me a fantastic diaper bag for baby V.
My parents sent us some great gifts--
I am especially excited for our new Kitchen Aid paddle!
I managed to ruin the one from our wedding
the first time I used it.
Apparently, the silver ones don't go in the dishwasher.
Marty's parents also got us some very thoughtful gifts--
our favorite gift from them was the appointment
we can book at a novelty ultrasound place.
As soon as we are able to go,
we will know if we are having Kaio or Dorothy!
The little goober thwarted us once,
but this place guarantees you find out the sex
no matter how many appointments it takes.

We hope everyone had a great Christmas,
and we're looking forward to starting an
exciting new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rewards Program

Over the last few months,
I have been doing all of our grocery shopping
on a strict budget:
$50/week maximum for weekly grocery and
food storage items.
And I love it!
Not only are we saving money from smarter decisions
and fewer trips to the grocery store,
but we are also being blessed by having
pantry shelves that are overflowing.
Every single week I am amazed at just how much
I am able to buy for our little family.
We are definitely feeling the
rewards of smart budgeting and living within our means.

Last night,
we decided to tack on our own rewards program
to this smart shopping endeavor.
I never actually hit the $50 we have set--
some weeks there is only $1 left over,
some leave us closer to $10.
So, we have decided to start
collecting all this "change."

Here is our lovely bank o' change.
When we start getting a good chunk
in our trusty change bank,
we will use it to go out to dinner
or perhaps a movie.
Maybe both if we are feeling crazy.
Every time we get to go on one of our
change dates,
it will remind us how budgeting actually
opens up opportunities
while keeping us safely within our means.

to let you see it before the holiday has passed,
here is our perfect little Christmas tree!

It was love at first sight,
this cute 3 and 1/2 foot tree
with all sorts of goofy branches sticking out.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Playing mom and dad

First of all,
let me say that suddenly having 4 children
is a shock to the system.
In a good way.
Most of the time.
I mean, look at these faces...

One thing Marty and I quickly realized
was life is easier with 4 kids
when you have activities planned and ready to go.
So, when the "big kids" got home from school,
we all worked together
to make peanut butter cookies
(a little treat for our Friday night movie).

Thankfully, Eva also left us a gingerbread house
to do as a group.
The kids were awesome:
making plans,
working together,
including everyone
(except for poor Lily who
had to stay strapped in her seat--
we threw her an occasional piece of candy:)

Marty also spent some time
helping Isaiah learn to play
"Jingle Bell Rock" on the piano.

We loved spending the weekend with the kids;
we did NOT like how little sleep you get
(I guess we need to start getting used to it).
We also quickly learned
that church meetings are QUITE different
with 4 wiggly-ones in the pew with you.
But the joys
always won out.

The weekend made us
even more excited to be parents so soon
(potty problems,
runny noses,
sibling squabbles,
and stinky diapers included).

Thanks, Challen Family.
We love you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a trip to PA

These are just a few of the fabulous people
I got to give Thanks with last weekend.

you know what's even better?
I get to spend all of this weekend with them too!

Thanks for sharing your family
and your home, Skeeves.
We love you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving some Thanks...

it is something
I should do more often.

There are obvious things in my life
that I am thankful for:
our home,
the church,
But here (in no particular order) is the
of less obvious things I am thankful for.

1) Vacuum Cleaners--yes, indeed. The little vacuum we got for
our wedding does not have a bag; it sucks the dirt into
a clear tube that you dump after a few rooms.
I don't know if it is finally having my own space
or if it is being able to see all the dirt that the vacuum actually pulls up,
but I love that machine.
I beam as I move from room to room. Sad, but true.

2) Freezers--what a fantastic invention!
Not only are they the keeping place for the ever important
pint of ice cream, but they also house all the
frozen leftovers I will THANKFULLY be using as I get
more and more pregnant.

3) Price Rite--could there be a more chaotic place
to do your grocery shopping? I think not.
The food aisles are tiny. The carts all seem to squeak.
You pull your groceries directly from the boxes they were shipped in.
Marty and I were almost crushed when a display of kool-aid
juice bottles collapsed at the end of an aisle.
Oh, but it is wonderful!
Everything is cheaper than Shaw's or Stop and Shop.
I now make it my first stop every grocery shopping day.

4) Lower Gas Prices--I think that little
explanation is necessary here.
I filled up at BJ's for $1.79 a gallon the other day.
I don't know what is happening to the economy,
but I love the way it is effecting gas prices.

5) "Buy one, get one FREE"--what genius came up with this idea?
Seeing a little sign that says this magical phrase
(especially when I already needed to buy the product)
just makes my day.
Marty is probably sick of hearing all of my in depth explanations
of the unexpected deals I find at the grocery store.
Tough. It brings me joy.

6) Lap Tops that won't quit--Framingham State
requires all students to get a laptop when they begin classes.
So, I did.
It worked pretty well for my years there. I can't complain.
However, the other day it blue screened (typical).
I turned it off and attempted to re-boot.
Error: Hard drive not found. WHAT? What does that mean?
I turned it off and on over and over.
I pushed every key on the keyboard.
I opened the back and a piece fell out that I could not identify
to return to its proper location.
I stood on top of it in anger.
I tired again; I am blessed.
It started up without a problem and is still working today.

7) Subway--I don't know what it is about this pregnancy,
but I cannot get enough of the veggie delight sub from Subway.
This baby loves every veggie in the store
topped off with a little American cheese and a squirt of Southwest sauce.
Oh, with plenty of jalapenos.
Even if they cause heartburn
I can't help myself.

8) Ebay and Craig's List--In attempt to scrounge up some
extra money, Marty and I have been trying to sell
many of our "Why did I buy all this stuff when I was single" items
that are laying around the apartment.
Cathartic? Yes.
Lucrative? Often.
What a great combo.

9) Energy Saving Lightbulbs--and not just because we save energy.
Don't get me wrong, that is the main reason to use them.
However, when you turn them on they start out quite dim
and slowly warm up until they give off full light.
My little eyes love this,
especially in the morning when I am still waking up.
The harshness of the morning light turn on has been alleviated.

10) AND My Winter Thermals--I splurged on a great pair
of thermals at EMS a few years ago,
and they are still kickin'!
Now that the weather is cold, I wear them everywhere.
I wear them at home as an outfit in themselves.
I wear them under my outfits to run errands
and smile when the wind cannot make me hurry into the store.
I even wore the leggings under my dress to church last week.
THANKFULLY they still fit over my pregnant body.
SO, that is my list for today.
May you all enjoy a wonderful tomorrow
filled with delicious smells, tastes,
and lots of love.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Marty's changes...

I started thinking the other day
just how rude it is of me
to only be charting my changes through
this pregnancy.
Marty deserves some of the spotlight
in this pregnancy as well!

Marty--week 6

Just as handsome as ever.
No morning sickness
(lucky man)
or weird cravings.

Marty--week 24

Isn't his baby bump adorable?

Marty has been such a wonderful husband
during this whole pregnancy.
He deserves plenty of praise for
the nightly backrubs he gives,
the maternity yoga classes he willingly attends,
and letting me choose all the meals we eat.

And those are only the things
I can think of quickly.

Kim--week 24

Can you believe we are almost
through the second trimester?
I'm going to miss this stage--
no throwing up,
not too uncomfortable.
But the third trimester means
our little one will be here soon!
Here's to 16 more weeks!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

last year at this time...

Marty and I were gearing up for a drive to NC
so that he could meet the parents.

I was nearing the end of the most difficult semester
of my undergraduate years.

And Will was gearing up for the start of his
2 year mission in Argentina.

And Now??

Will has been faithfully serving for almost a year!
We are all so proud of him
and grateful for your prayers in his behalf.

I have not only graduated
but also have my first "real" teaching experience
under my belt.

And Marty and I have been married 7 months
with a 23 week old bun a-cookin'.

Some days I start to feel a little stagnant,
so I like to play this game to help myself realize
just how much I have changed/accomplished
in only a year.

How about you?
What have you done in only a year?

Friday, November 14, 2008

what the world needs now...

is LOVE, sweet LOVE.

It has been one of those weeks
where my heart aches because of all the anger in the

So to every person out there,
no matter what you believe,
consider this post a
HUG from me.

Our differences can make the
world more beautiful,
or they can tear it apart.
It is up to us to decide which will be the case.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

happy little piggies



That's right.
I will happily be sporting

beaded, fringed, stitched,

for the rest of this cold weather season.
My little piggies are
with joy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

TAG. I'm it.

Here it is, Carly!
My 4th picture in my 4th folder.
Let me explain...

Kristi and I took this while we were waiting in line
to get into the Vatican.
Apparently one can wear anything but a
1920's style bathing suit on the tour.

The campground we stayed at in Rome
was a hot spot for all the 18-20something travelers
without much money to spare.
Everyday we would see these twin brothers,
(we nicknamed them Hanz and Franz)
and they would be wearing daisy dukes and tank tops
(a stunning combo with their shaved heads).
Then one day,
out of the blue,
Hanz and Franz were wearing pants and turtlenecks.
We decided that must have been the day they
decided to tour the Vatican.

Way to follow the rules, boys.

I tag: Skeevy Skeeves Marie,
Krusper the Squib,
Pugalicious Graham,
and Aubrey "when will the sickness stop?" Layton

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Feels like Home

Before our wedding last April,
Marty and I had to decide where we were going to live.
While I was showering one day,
I received a strong impression that we were to move
down by Marty's family.
So here we are in Dartmouth, MA!

Although I am constantly discovering more and more
reasons why this was the right choice,
it does not mean that this move has been extremely easy.
It has been hard to adjust to a new area
where Marty knows all the places and people, and I do not.
It has been wonderful to be near his family,
but it has also been a hard reminder that I am far from mine.

The other day we found a little spot that
reminds me of some of my favorite places up in Northborough,
and it made me feel like
I can start to associate this new area with home.
Such a simple little thing,
but thank goodness for the simple things in life.
The little cafe/gift and book shop
was the perfect place for a beautiful fall afternoon lunch.

The sandwiches were delicious.

And the company was exceptional.

I am so grateful to have such a sweet husband
that will go exploring with me
even in an area that he already knows by heart.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

HaPpY bIrThDaY....

Patricia Ellen!

This beautiful lady is the best mother,


woman in general that I know!

I'm grateful for her every single day--
her example,
her patience,
her humor,
her generosity,
her love.

Keep it extra HAPPY today, mama!
You deserve a day for all the happiness you bring others!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What a GOOBER!

After 20 weeks of waiting,
it looks like we will have to wait 20 more!
Apparently our dear, darling,
little baby Vieira
does NOT want to give away the big secret.
The little stinker squirmed around
all during measurements,
and then he/she decided to hunker down with legs
firmly crossed when the time came to find out
if this is Kaio Lewis or Dorothy Mae.

Boy or Girl?
Submission deadline for guesses has been extended
to March 1st.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A trip with P. Heaps

To Walden Pond!

I always feel extra blessed when the beauty of the fall
comes to New England,

especially at a place as beautiful as this!

And to make the day even more wonderful,
I got to enjoy it all with my beautiful mother.

On the way home we found a little farm stand and
shared freshly pressed apple cider and honey crisp apples.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ode to Fall--in a bowl

Here's a great fall recipe to try:
Fall roasted vegetable soup!

I never make it with exact measurements,
so please excuse the lack of specificity in the directions.

Cut up
Butternut squash
Red Potatoes
and Carrots
into inchish sized chunks.

Toss with
Olive oil
and Pepper.

Put veggies on baking sheets
and roast in a 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes,
tossing occasionally to prevent burning.

When veggies are all nice and tender,
pull from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Then in small batches,
blend veggies with vegetable broth in blender until smooth.
(will be pretty thick coming out of the blender.)

When all the veggies are done,
put the blended mixture into a pot on the stove.
Over low heat,
stir and add more broth until you reach desired thickness.
Add minced garlic, more salt and pepper,
or any other spices to taste.

Serve with some nice crusty bread,
and ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let's hear it for the ladies!

Next week,
I get to spend my time with
Lovely Ladies.

I feel so blessed to have such
Simply Brilliant

women as my sisters and mother.

The last few years
(especially the last few months)
have helped me to appreciate not only the women around me
but also just being a woman myself.
The more I come to understand the divine privilege
of being a woman,
the more I feel Heavenly Father's love.

In his book Standing For Something,
President Gordon B. Hinckley
"After the Lord created the earth,
and everything upon it, He created man.
And then, as the crowning act of creation,
He created woman. She was the ultimate of all His creations."

Did you catch that?
The ULTIMATE of all His creations!
What an incredible privilege.
Think of THAT the next time you are feeling down.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Any happy little thought

Over the summer,
I was called to teach Sunday school
to the 15-18 year old youth.
For those of you who knew me at this age,
the irony of this calling should make you laugh.

A few weeks ago,
my class was
No hands raised.
No comments to add.
No smiles.
I decided that something needed to be done.
I started what I like to call "Bit o' Happiness."
At the beginning of every Sunday school class we now take
about 5 minutes
and someone shares something that makes them happy.
This (usually) brings some smiles and unity
to the room before the lesson begins.

Today, I was in charge of the "Bit o' Happiness."
I spent part of this past week
organizing old photographs, and each one was attached
to a wonderful memory.
So for my "Bit o' Happiness," I decided to share
some of my memories.
I also decided to share a quotation by
President Thomas S. Monson:

"God gave us memories so that we may have
June roses in the December of our lives."

May we all listen to the words of
Disney's Peter Pan
and take the time to "think of a wonderful thought--
Any happy little thought"
when we are in need of our own "Bit o' Happiness."
We have enough Blah in our lives;
let's strive for more Roses.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hide and Seek

Spartacus, our baby iguana, has a slight obsession:
our old hippie COUCH.
We're not really sure why,
but he will sit on it for hours;
he will try to eat it;
And his new favorite thing is to HIDE in it.

He crawls down behind the cushions
and tucks himself in so that only his head is showing.
He then proceeds to do
Just sits there and looks around.
We haven't really figured out why he does this,
but we're guessing it is just comfortable (?).
I love getting all snuggled up in a big quilt
with just my head sticking out.
So I guess he's just mama's little boy!
I will start to worry,
if we find him snuggled up
on the couch with a pint of Ben and Jerry's
watching sappy movies.
I guess I better be careful about the example I set!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

to life. to love. to Marty. cheers.

My sweet husband is off to
the Priesthood session of conference,
and I miss him.
I love him.
I'm so happy to know we have

I love this picture of him.


When Marty and I began dating,
we lived FAR away from each other
and were both terribly busy with work and school.
a LOT of our courtship became electronic:
phone calls.
One wonderful aspect of this type of relationship
is that we have so much of it saved.
A few fun texts are still in our phones,
many an email live in saved folders on our accounts,
and even a phone message or two have survived deletion.

So, as a tribute to our love,
I am posting some of my favorite email snippits.

WARNING to all of you lactose-covered love intolerant people,
major cheese is about to be shared:

"Here's to Sunday afternoon walks in our garden of Eden,
to sweet moments without words
(but maybe a few kisses),
to warm memories created over warm, homemade meals,
and to the peace that comes when I hold your hand,
hear your voice,
or when my blue eyes meet yours.
Here's to us."

"Green grass. Red lips. Golden sunshine.
Blue eyes. White temple clothes--
Look at all the color you bring into my life."

"We should do some yoga.
We should climb a mountain.
We should listen to the rain fall.
We should...
We should...
We should...forever."

I know that these words mean much more to me
than any of you who will read them.
So, my friends, here is a glimpse of our love.
And may we all cherish the miraculous phenomenon
that love can grow more
every day.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No tricks. Just treats.

The art lesson I teach on Thursdays
is really more of an arts and crafts kinda thing.

Here is a fun project I found
for the upcoming Halloween season.

So easy to do:
1) Save your old toilet paper rolls
2) Fill them with treats
3) Wrap them in colorful paper
4) Tie off the ends with string or ribbon
5) Decorate with stickers, markers, etc.
6) Share with any friends needing a treat

HaPpY TrEaTiNg EvErYoNe!

wise words

I came across this quotation the other day.
I think it fits very nicely with the message from
President Uchtdorf.

"Use what talent you possess:
the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang
except those that sang best."

~Henry Van Dyke

Sing on, my beautiful friends.
Sing on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creativity and Cravings

The satellite signal at our ward building was being a little testy Saturday night,
so I was not able to watch the Relief Society broadcast.
However, I was able to watch it here at home yesterday, snuggled up with a giant mug of apple cider (thank you technology!).

Marty got home from work around the time President Uchtdorf began speaking to the women.
As President Uchtdorf talked about women focusing on
what they do wrong
rather than what they accomplish,
Marty said, "that sounds like you, babe."

I realize that I do this, as I think most women do.
It is a hard habit to break.
But I listened intently to the rest of President Uchtdorf's talk and truly want to work on exercising my ability to create WITHOUT criticizing and nit-picking my creations.

I love to paint--picking a canvas, mixing colors, watching the paint come to life--but that old stinker
(that part of me that likes to nit-pick),
always keeps me from finishing or hanging one of my own paintings.
But today is a new day, and I am going to try to not make up excuses in the process! Here is the progress I have made so far:

And while we're on the subject of creating, I have to share the oh-so-delicious dinner we made last Friday night:

Yes, that is a steak and onion ring salad.
No, it is not super healthy for us.
Yes, I enjoyed every bite.
I have to take a moment to thank Beezers for 6 years of training in order to make those onion rings. Those years in a hot, greasy kitchen are sure coming in handy when I get hankerings during this pregnancy.

So, ladies, let's be kinder to ourselves
and let ourselves more freely exercise creativity.
Our Heavenly Father trusts us to be vessels for the most important of creative processes. It's time we realize our worth instead of recognizing our faults.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Starting to POP!

15 weeks and I'm starting to show!
I feel like this is my prize
for all the puking, up-chucking, retching, tossing of cookies
that the first 13 weeks entailed.

Bring on the baby belly;
I'm ready to show it to the world!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

And these 5 are just the beginning...

Can you believe it?
These two crazy kids have been married 5 months!
Ahh, so much Love.
So much Joy.

To celebrate, we went over to Gooseberry Island to take a walk in the sunshine.
It's nice to get some fresh air for the baby.

I'm amazed at how I love this sweet man more and more each day.

Here's to another 5 months....or how about Eternity?
Sounds Perfect.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The times they are a changin'...

After months of looking and feeling like this...
I'm UP! I'm ALIVE! I'm COOKING! Tasting the bitter certainly does make you appreciate the sweet things in life.
Having our own space definitely helps with my drive to get up each day. I love our open kitchen, and I think Marty loves that he no longer has to eat frozen burritos or lean pockets for dinner.
We spend most of our time out in the living room area. Don't you love our groovy free couch and chair?--Circa 1978, Germany. Eventually we would love to pick out our own set, but we couldn't really argue with free for the time being.
And here is the other half of our open living space. I love all the afternoon sunlight we get--perfect for reading or painting. Notice the lack of television? Yes, we absolutely love not having a t.v. around and how much more productive we are because of it.
Of course the apartment is still a work in progress. I'm busy working on some paintings for our bedroom, trying to organize everything better, and figuring out how our "office" will be able to turn into a nursery. But overall, we're just thrilled to have a warm place to call our home.