This is what happens when it rains diamonds!  They stick to the trees and when the sun comes out, it makes everything *sparkle*!!

 I am TOTALLY ready for spring, but how do you resist all of these glittering, sparkling diamonds?!  We had a panoramic view of this shimmering wonderness this morning - my pictures don't come close to capturing how magical it was.

'kay - that was fun.  Now STOP with the cold.  I'm ready for summer.


Happy St. Pat's to You!

Happy St. Patty's to all of  you!!!  May there be a huge pot of gold at the end of your rainbow!  (or chocolate....I'd settle for that)

I told my kids this morning that since I go ALL OUT for....Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's, Easter, and all six of our birthdays....I get a break for St. Patty's!  We had green eggs and pancakes - that was the extent of my celebrating.  The kiddies are on their own after that.  We might get a green layer cake tonight - we'll see how crazy Brookie is today.

Something fun to do on St. Patty's day - sit down with some Irish Cream Soda and watch "Leap Year!"  {squeal!}  Nevermind that it kind of has a cheesy ending - {what chick flick doesn't?} - but the scenery, music, and Amy Adams' outfits are amazing!!!  Randy Edelman did an incredible job with the music, and I've even purchased some of the soundtrack songs, as well.  I've got the instrumental music in my iTunes for when I need something fresh, bright, and easy to listen to.

{LOVE} this movie!!

...for fun, here are some fun Olde Irish sayings:

“You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

“It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years, and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.”

“If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough.”

“Beware of people who dislike cats”
{I personally disike cats...what does that say abou me?!}

“Who gossips with you will gossip of you”

“I believe in the sun when it's not shining, I believe in love even when I feel it not, I believe in God even when he is silent.”

“Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.”

“There are fish in the sea better than have ever been caught”

“It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life”

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures”

“Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within”

“Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat”

“Don't give cherries to pigs or advice to fools”

“A silent mouth is sweet to hear”
{haha!!  I like that one!!}

“When God made time, he made plenty of it”

“Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth”

“A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle”

“What is nearest the heart is nearest the mouth”
{does that include chocolate?!}

Strega Nona! viva Italy!

Like so many of us, I have a mixed ancestry.  My family mostly came from Wales, Great Brittain, and Ireland.  I'm almost 100% positive that there was an Italian in there somewhere because I have this unexplicable love for everything Italian.  Their deep friendships and family ties, their mass quantities of amazing food at any kind of gathering, and their love of celebrations, all resonate with me and we naturally have those things in common. My brother even married a cute Italian girl and cooks incredible Italian food.  My dream vacation would be a tour of Italy - along the sunny coastal areas, up into the countrysides, all through towns and villages, and sampling all of the Italian cuisine.  ahhhh---  There MUST be some Italian blood in us somewhere!!!

SO...you can imagine my joy upon discovering this cute little book at the library with my kids.  It's the cutest little pop-up book I've ever had my hands on!!!  We were all enthralled - and once again I am reminded how much I love Italian culture!  (not my 5-year-old, though - he hates pasta...weird-o)

Nona comes from a big family tree, where she inherited certain qualities within herself.  (love that!!)

Her big family gathering under her arbor ; everything fresh, made from scratch, I'm sure, as she was taught by her elders!

pull the door open - watch that little green hat on the roof pop up---
AHA!  How fun is that?!

...and then the last page...

This says it all!
Family, friends, good food, celebrations, and lots of love!  Brava!
(I'm definitely buying this book...if only just for me!)


I like Birds & Bees.

I think it's no secret that birds fascinate me - especially the 'couples' birds who work together to build a beautiful, perfect nest for their future babies...and then work together to take care of the little birdlets.  Hence the name of my blog!  However - another crazy fascination I have is with BEES!  Interesting....the two things I'm obsessed about - birds & bees...hmmm...!

Let me make myself perfectly clear---insects of all varieties creep the heck out of me---except BEES.  I LOVE bees!!!  {I don't love getting stung by them, though}  I've actually nicknamed my baby girl "Brookie Bee" because she's so dang busy all of the time!!! ...and Brooke starts with "B" - get it?! haha. {cleverrrr}

Bees are amazing little guys and here's why I love them so much:

1.) They symbolize hard work and industry.  You know, "Busy as a Bee!" Exemplifying bees goes back to ancient days - bees and beehives have been used in many civilizations as a symbol of hard work and productivity.  In fact, my church {The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints} adopted the term "Deseret" meaning "honeybee" as an inspiring symbol of our people's desire to prosper and become self sufficient.  I love that!!!  {Utah was requested to be named "Deseret" but obviously that didn't happen.}

2.) Every bee has a job and they spend their short little lives fulfilling that role with precision.  They don't compare or compete with each other - they work together - and they work HARD.  They are each different and unique, complete with their own individual scent and...get this... they dance to communicate!  {gasp!}

3.) Bees make honey.  We could spend all day talking about the amazing qualities of honey.  Don't you just LOVE to look at a beautiful jar of liquid gold?!  Honey is the only insect-produced food, and it is the only food that includes all life sustaining ingredients:  water, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.  Honey is the only food with the substance "pinocembrin" which is an enzyme to improve brain function.  {interesting!}  Looks like I need to eat a lot more honey...my brain needs improving.

Another interesting tidbit:  The average worker bee {all are female, by the way} produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime -- AND it takes only an ounce of honey to fuel a bee's flight around the world.  WOW!  Does it surprise you that the hardest working creatures are female?!  {girls rock.}

4.) ...you still with me?  Another reason why I love bees...They pollinate!  They help this whole earthly ecosystem function through the pollination process - as if honey production wasn't fascinating enough!  Without bees, about 70% of the earth's crops would fail, eliminating many animal species, as well as humans.  {eeek!}  Live on, little bees---may you flourish and prosper.

5.) And, finally - every colony has a Queen Bee.  Enough said.  She stays  home, has the babies, and gets lots of help.  {interestingly enough, the male bee doesn't work--just mates---go figure.}  A bee colony is a highly organized society with everybody cooperating and doing their part.  They provide life-sustaining services by hard work - VERY inspiring!

Do you see why I'm so in love with and fascinated by Bees?!  Now you're going to want to collect bee stuff with me - and look at what I found on Etsy! {squeal}  I want all of these!  I want to have little bee reminders around me to inspire me to work hard and be productive.  Which is your fave?!

Bee Tags from Creative Visions

Bee Bracelet from Lili Swan - I REALLY think I need this one.  It's perfect.

Beehive wreath from A Work of Heart
Oh MY - I want this so bad!  It would be perfect for my house.

Honey Bee locket from Rose and Raven
SERIOUSLY - I love the little drop of honey on this necklace...
Also from Rose and Raven - another Honey Bee necklace - I LOVE the simplicity of this one.

Bee pendant from The Pendant Emporium
LOVE the golden yellow and the bee image.  

How perfect is this for me?!  Birds and Bees painting?!  OH, how I love it!!!

Credits:  Here is where I found some interesting info:  10 Amazing Honey Bee Facts


Praying for Japan

So, so very sad today - my heart is heavy.  My prayers are with those who are suffering.  I'm going to be looking into ways we can help these people.  Small, simple things can make all the difference.

It's hard being busy...

(...just kidding - I know there are much busier people than I am---but time is indeed a precious commodity of which I seem to run out of quickly.)

HEY EVERYONE!!!  I feel like it's all I can do to keep up with everything going on lately, so I apologize for being so absent.  I feel like I'm constantly trying to squeeze in my exercise with the bazillion other things going on.

So how are my Fitness Challengers doing?!  I hope you're all doing better than I am - I'm only down 7 pounds total and I finally got real serious at the beginning of March.  {eeek!}  Needless to say...I'm not planning on winning the challenge, but it has helped with the motivation.  WE'RE ALMOST DONE!!!  Only 22 more days left to go - this will be exciting!!!  

Something that has kept me motivated is this picture of my ADORABLE skirt that I made 2 or 3 summers ago.  (sad that I can't remember when I made it---the last 2 years have been a fog)  It is my goal to fit into this skirt at some point this summer, which would mean that I would need to loose about 20-30 pounds.  {gasp!!!}  It's doable, but going to take some work, which I'm finally ready for.

I keep this skirt and these {adorable} jeans hanging on the front of my closet door to remind me "you can do it!"  and "just think how cute these are going to be on you!"  I sometimes wish my skinny clothes would talk louder because it just doesn't sink in some days.

Let's see...other random, unimportant stuff:

Check out this gorgeous specimen!!!  
I got it at the Pottery Barn Outlet...we had candlelight with our dinner last night and the kids LOVED it!!!  How am I going to survive when I don't live near the Outlets?  {I love you, Pottery Barn...}  I also purchased the larger one (below) - I have yet to fill it with something fun.  I'm thinking about putting a little spring scene in it - but that'll have to wait.  I am excited, however, to use it during the summer nights with candles!!!  

Time fillers that have kept me busy:  Along with SIX other projects going on, I've  had to keep up with my entire reorganization of the visiting teaching routes - THAT was a job!!  I also attempted to read a book for heaven's sake.  This book is way overdue at the library and I'm barely on page 35?!  I'm just going to return it and try it again some other time.

And, as usual, my days are filled with this little precious...

LOTS of this...I have to be right with her every second...and if I walk away, she becomes very disagreeable. {eww! gross!}

Oh, and she loves ink pens. ???  Fantastic.  What's with pens, anyway?  It's all I can do to keep them hidden.  She MUST have one in her hands at all times....maybe she's going to be a writer?  

Aaaaand now I get to go clean up her mess that she created whilst I was typing this entry.  Fantastic!   
(I thought I closed that bathroom door....wrong-o.)

Precious thing.  Notice (above) the crayon/pen thing she's holding.  She's trying to color on that piece of paper.  Cute---if only that is the only thing she's going to try to color on.  Looks like I've got a problem brewing...

Have a great day!!!