Why I’m Voting for Obama (with Lots of Data and Graphs)

For reference, the best non-partisan overviews I’ve found for each candidate’s positions:

For all the data used below, I try to use only non-partisan and mainstream sources. No partisan blogs to make the points.


    Budget/Deficit Reduction

    Background Reading:
    Wikipedia: History of the United States Public Debt
    Wikipedia: United States Public Debt

  1. I don’t think we need a tax plan that cuts taxes for the upper 5% by raising taxes for the lower 95%. To me, the upper 5% seems to be doing OK without needing any extra help from the government. Definitely not at the expense of the middle class.

    Romney Tax Plan: Change in After-Tax Income as Function of Income Percentile. Red is if tax cuts are funded by deficit spending and blue is if tax cuts are deficit neutral. Source (Data from non-partisan Tax Policy Center)

    Note: study also used dynamic scoring with a model from one of Romney’s advisers to account growth due to tax cuts and found no significant difference in the results. Romney’s own advisers “estimated that a broad-based income tax cut […] would recoup only about a quarter of the lost revenue through supply-side growth effects.”
  2. If one extreme is you close the budget deficit solely with tax increases and the other extreme is to close it solely with spending cuts, then isn’t the centrist way to close it with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases? Romney said he wouldn’t accept even a 10:1 deal (10 dollars of spending cuts for every 1 dollar of revenue increase). Obama has suggested a 3:1 deal (3 dollars of spending cuts for every 1 dollar of revenue increase).
  3. I don’t see the logic in increasing our deficit by $2.1 trillion over the next decade by raising government spending on defense from 3.5% of the GDP to 4%. To my knowledge, Romney has specified no spending offsets to pay for this increase, which implies it will come from deficit spending.

    Defense Spending Under Romney Plan

  4. Ignoring rhetoric (no one’s ever in favor of increasing the deficit), the data shows the deficit usually gets worse under Republican presidents. Never in my lifetime has a Republican president decreased the debt of his predecessor.

    US Federal Debt as Percent of GDP by President. Source (Data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget)

  5. We’re told deficit reduction is about making “hard choices”. I agree, but I don’t see any hard choices for the very rich in Romney’s plan. They’re being asked to accept a cut to their taxes. That’s not a “hard choice”. That’s not shared sacrifice. That’s a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper class.
  6. The biggest legislative reason for our debt in the past decade is the 2001/2003 Bush tax cuts. I’m very skeptical of Romney pledging to further cut taxes without specifying how he’s going to pay for it. If history is any guide, there is a good chance this will result in further deficit increases.

    Sources of Debt, 2001-2011. Source (Image Source)


    Legislative Effects on Deficit Under Bush and Obama. Source

  7. Romney’s budget plan (tax cuts targeted at high earners, increased defense spending, no specifics on spending cuts) sounds the same as Bush’s 2004 plan, which ended in large deficits and a GDP crash:

    President Bush and members of his administration have promised to cut that deficit in half by 2009 — by spurring faster economic growth that will lead to higher tax revenue, and by Bush’s pledge to hold the line on spending.

    But Bush hasn’t offered any more specifics for cutting the deficit.


    Jobs

  8. I don’t think Romney’s Bush-like job policies (large tax cuts for high earners to attempt achieving faster growth) would do better than Obama’s policies. Looking at the BLS data below, unemployment was 4.2% for Bush’s first full month in office (Feb. 2001) and 8.3% for Obama’s first full month in office (Feb. 2009). In so much as their policies affected unemployment, here’s how it changed from their initial conditions:
    • Obama (current, September 2012, 7.8%): 6% decrease since beginning of first term
    • Bush (end of first term, Jan. 2005, 5.3%): 26% increase in unemployment since beginning of first term
    • Bush (end of second term, Jan. 2009, 7.8%): 86% increase in unemployment since beginning of first term, 47% increase in unemployment since beginning of second term

    If unemployment under Obama had changed at the same rate it did under the best term of Bush policies (2001-2005), it would currently be at 10.5% instead of 8.3% (under the worst term of Bush policies, it would be 12.2%).

    Unemployment Rate (2001-2012)

    Job Record for Obama and Bush at same point in their presidencies. Source (Data from Labor Department)

    Note: I haven’t found any info that Romney is proposing an economic plan significantly different than Bush’s.
  9. I can’t find any data to answer this question:

  10. 80% of top economists agree stimulus reduced unemployment. Only 4% disagree. Only 12% think the costs will end up exceeding the benefits.
  11. Even Mitt Romney agrees that under some circumstances government spending can prevent job loss:

    His [Obama and Congress’s] trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs


  12. Health Care

    Background reading:
    Wikipedia: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare)

  13. Obamacare was a Republican plan (for the 20 years just prior to Obama’s election). Mitt Romney was a far better advocate for the policy than Obama ever was. We’ve had universal emergency health care since Reagan signed it into law and now we have a more structured way to pay for it. I think Obamacare was the centrist approach to health care reform.
  14. 86% of Medicaid spending goes to children, the disabled, and the elderly (as shown by the first graph below). Those are the people that inherently have no other way to get health insurance. 60% of nursing home residents use Medicaid for at least part of their payment. Chances are if you’ve ever had a parent, grand-parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, they were receiving Medicaid payments. As the second graph below shows, Paul Ryan’s budget would cut Medicaid spending by 75%. That’s right, 75 percent.

    Medicaid Expenditures by Enrollment Group, 2012. Source (Data from CBO)


    CBO Estimates of Federal Spending on Medicaid, Baseline vs. Paul Ryan’s Plan. Source

  15. Obamacare was basically paid for and doesn’t increase the deficit. There are caveats about the “Doc Fix” which may make the first decade closer to revenue neutral rather than a deficit reduction, but it’s still far from the deficit impact of the 2003 Medicare part D bill, which Paul Ryan voted for, that increases the deficit in this decade by $727 billion.

    Projected Impact of Obamacare on the Deficit. Source (Data from CBO)


  16. Social Issues

  17. I prefer a leader who didn’t co-sponsor a bill regulating “forcible rape”. Our country has many complex problems to solve…I don’t think regulating rape is one of them.
  18. To reduce abortions, I believe you have to reduce the demand, not just the supply. For example, more access to birth control and better health care availability for mother and child.
  19. I think divorce, pornography, and extramarital affairs are a bigger threat to marriage than gay marriage. I don’t think it’s the government’s place to make any of those illegal.
  20. This:
  21. I think immigration policy in this direction makes more sense than Romney’s “self-deportation” idea.
  22. I think Obama’s DREAM Act is closer to how Reagan did immigration reform than what Romney is proposing.

  23. Military

  24. Amazing accomplishment from the special forces team all the way up the chain of command to the commander-in-chief. No apologies to Pakistan. And sometimes you want a commander-in-chief to “move heaven and earth” for one person.

    Time Magazine: May 20, 2011


    War Room for Osama bin Laden Raid

Decade of Marital Bliss

So, we hit the ten year mark on June 15th this year. Even more amazing, we’ve now been married almost as long with kids as we were without kids.

Then

We were fortunate to have Leigh Ann’s parents come for the weekend to watch the girls so we could jettison away to Asheville. We got their Friday afternoon and ate at a restaurant called Plant, which we loved (the smoked hummus and portabella sandwich were awesome). We walked around downtown some and then headed to our hotel. For dinner, we went to The Corner Kitchen and had the pecan-crusted trout and whipped sweet potatoes (yum!). After going around the French Broad River for a bit, we got some salted caramel ice cream.

On Saturday, we started with brunch at Sunny Point Cafe which has their own garden right at the restaurant (it’s actually bigger than their parking lot). Then, we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway and went on a hike at Pisgah. There were a couple of pretty nice waterfalls on the trail. We ended up going about 5 miles. The trails aren’t really blazed as much as we’re use to, so half of that was just kind of wandering around.

…and Now

For dinner we got some pad Thai at Doc Chey’s followed by some more downtown exploring and then some dessert at The French Broad Chocolate Lounge (I mean, you can’t go wrong something called a “chocolate lounge”). Finally, on Sunday morning we ate brunch at the highly recommended Tupelo Honey Cafe having some of their sweet potato pancakes (we’re pretty big sweet potato fans).

Now, on to the next decade…

Hey Girl

There’s this thing going around right now online, particularly on Pinterest, where people post pictures of Ryan Gosling saying some funny line that starts with “Hey Girl.” Here’s an example:

So this other blog I follow is having a contest where you can upload a picture of your hubby in his very own “Hey Girl” photo. Of course my hubby is super hot so I had to get in on this action! I could only submit one to the contest, but here are a couple that I made.

p.s. The Red Card is the Target credit card in case you didn’t know.

(You can click the images to see them larger.)

UPDATE: Matt is into this as much as me. He keeps sending me lines like this one! 🙂

Aha!

I had one of those “Aha!” moments this week. You’d think after 4.5 years of being a parent I would have figured this out by now…

Evie is really into playing Polly Pockets these days. We have two Polly Pocket cars and her favorite thing is for her to have a car and me to have a car and for us to drive our dolls around and pretend stuff. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my little girl, but I just can not get into playing with these toys the way I wish I could. I still suck it up and play anyway, but it’s just not fun for me. Similarly, Kaelyn can play with her Little Pet Shops or her vast collection of plastic bugs for hours on end. And, again, I can hang with it for a little while but after a while I am just totally out of imaginative ideas for my Pollys/Pet Shops/bugs.

BUT, I can totally dig going out into the backyard to jump on the trampoline, play keep-away with the soccer ball, or set-up a totally rockin’ obstacle course like this:

(run, go down big slide, crawl through tunnel, kick soccer ball through cones, jump in trampoline and throw the kickball out over the top, throw the frisbee past the cones, go down little slide, run to finish line, give lots of high-fives)

My girls had a blast with this and would have played for who knows how long if it hadn’t of gotten dark and dinner time. I was having real fun too!

So, back to my “aha!” moment. I was thinking about this and thinking back to my own childhood. I always loved to be outside playing, running, riding my bike, skating (making skating routines in the drive way), jumping on the trampoline, digging in the ditch, and anything else I could get myself into (and always accompanied by my BFF, Lisa, and my little brother, Jared). I did like to play certain things inside, but more like “real world” type pretending: school, grocery store, fabric store** (Ha!). We even played radio station DJ when we discovered that Lisa’s house had a portable telephone with a speaker phone. I was never that much into things like Barbie dolls. I think I had maybe 2 or 3 Barbies while friends my age would have boxes full of dolls and accessories.

That’s when it all made sense – even as a child I didn’t get into the playing with little figurine things that much. Suddenly I just felt this sense of relief like I wasn’t this horrible mom who doesn’t like to play Polly Pockets. It’s just really not my thing, and never has been.

Nothing is really going to change on the outside – I will still sit down and play dolls/bugs with my girls because they like it and I want to engage with them and do things they enjoy. BUT, now I don’t feel this guilt like I’m doing something wrong by not enjoying it to the fullest. I DO enjoy the time with my girls, just not the activity (see the difference there?), and that’s okay! Also, I will pay more attention to also engage them with activities that I am naturally inclined to do, because they actually love those things just as much. (And thank goodness we’ve had just beautiful January weather to do all sorts of outside playing lately!)

I think us moms are bombarded with all this “stuff” we are supposed to be doing (who comes up with this stuff anyway??) – play with your kids every second of the day, have you taught them to read by the time they are 3?, have you enrolled them in the perfect preschool program to ensure their entrance to Harvard? – AHHHH – seriously it can get ridiculous. It’s so hard to not feel that pressure even when you try to block it out. I am thankful for this simple moment of realization I had this week that has helped me to relax a little as I go along this journey of motherhood.

I’m signing off now because it’s almost bedtime and I know my little Evie will want to “boom” (aka drive) her Polly Pockets around one more time before drifting off to sleep.

I’ll leave you with videos of our action packed obstacle course:

**Fabric store: this is when my grandmother passed along a bag full of old fabric scraps to me and we would pretend to shop for fabric, bring it to the counter, measure it out, cut it, etc. It was awesome! 🙂

Just Like Me

Kaelyn is in the process of making her own Valentine’s for her classmates. We are starting early so she can work on them a little at a time. They aren’t very complicated, but it just takes a while for those sweet little hands to cut things out.

A few days ago we printed off all the templates. Then we made a to-do list of the other supplies we needed to buy. We also made a list of things she had to do to complete them such as “Write Kaelyn’s name on Valetines.”

So today she was working on cutting them out and the conversation went like this…

Kaelyn: “Check cutting them out off of the to-do list.”
Me: “We didn’t put cutting them out on the to-do list.”
Kaelyn: “Well, write it on there and then check it off.”

Yep, she’s just like me. That’s exactly what I would have done.

Christmas Letter 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

We hope this letter finds you well. We have had a fun-filled and busy year with much energy devoted to raising our two beautiful daughters, Kaelyn (who turned 4 in August) and Evie (who turned 2 in June). Some highlights for the girls were their first trip to the circus, a new trampoline in the backyard, a big girl bed for Evie that was hand-made by Papa, and their first weekend alone at a grandparents’ house.

Kaelyn is in her second year of preschool and has really been getting interested in drawing and coloring activities as well as telling jokes (“Moo”-related cow jokes are her specialty). Evie thinks she should be in preschool too and is definitely the nurturer of the family, always carrying and taking care of her baby dolls.

Leigh Ann continues to be a full-time, stay-at-home Mom, but also started doing some part-time, work-from-home marketing for a friend’s website, MealBaby.com. She continues to be addicted to running, completing her second half-marathon this spring in Raleigh and then her first full marathon at the Outer Banks in November. We were all so proud of her and several times since, the girls will run through the house doing their own “marathons” like Mommy. Leigh Ann also got a Mommy break a couple of times to go out of town while Matt watched the girls for the weekend. She visited her brother in Charlottesville, VA and went to a Beth Moore conference in Charlotte. Leigh Ann also finds time to do volunteer events like organizing some summer activities for kids at the Durham Rescue Mission and a Fun Run for Charity for the girls’ friends.

Matt’s paragraph reads about the same as it has the past several years (plays some ultimate Frisbee, does some gym and running non-superhuman distances, blah, blah, blah). He did decide to leave Cisco and take a new job at NetApp this December. It is still doing software development, which he loves, but working with different technologies.

Our larger family had several changes. Kaelyn and Evie got their first cousin when Lila was born to Eric and Lisa in February. They got a new aunt when Jared got married to Jenna in July. Also, they lost their first living great-grandparent when Grandma Miller passed away in August at the age of 91.

Lastly, we were blessed to go on several trips this year. First, there was Ohio over Memorial Day to meet Lila. Then, we went to Virginia for Jared’s wedding followed by a beach trip to Oak Island with both grandparents. We spent Thanksgiving in South Carolina with Leigh Ann’s parents and will go to Ohio again for Christmas to see Matt’s family.

We pray you have a blessed and joyful 2012!

Love,

Matt, Leigh Ann, Kaelyn, and Evie

Fun Run

I’m copying this blog I wrote for the MealBaby blog here for you to enjoy too. 🙂

——————–

I am a runner and I love that my children seem to love running as well. They will put on a watch and run around the house as if they are running a race. Sometimes they’ll even put a baby doll in the toy stroller and take their “jogging stroller” too. Anytime my hubby or I participate in a race our girls always enjoy doing the “fun run” for kids (which most races usually have as part of the event).

Over Thanksgiving vacation I was having a discussion with my 4-year-old and we came up with the idea to create our very own Fun Run for all of our friends. As the idea evolved we decided we’d ask our friends to bring a toy to donate to charity as their entrance fee for the race.

Today was the big day and about 20 of our little friends came out to a local park to run a lap (or several laps for some of the kids who were *really* enjoying it) on a paved trail that encircles the playground. We collected around 30 books, toys, and games that we are donating to a local charity just in time for Christmas!

We served cut up fruit, bottled water, and of course some cookies to all of the runners. And I just love the little “ribbons” we handed out to all of the finishers.

I am so thankful for all of our friends who came to participate. I loved having this opportunity to share the joy of running and exercise with my kids and their friends, and I especially loved making it all be about loving on other people and giving to others.

Halloween Montage

The girls had several opportunities to dress-up this year for Halloween festivities. For each event they picked an outfit out of their dress-up box so we had many different costumes this year. Why pick just one when you can be something different every day?

The first day was a festival at Matt’s work. I forgot to get a good picture of the whole costume, but I did get these pictures of their face paintings. This day Kaelyn was Rapunzel and Evie was Abby Cadabby.

The next day Kaelyn got to dress up for school and she was Abby Cadabby. Evie dressed up as a super cute 2-year-old this day. 🙂

The next day we had a playdate with some neighborhood friends and both girls dressed up like puppy dogs. Their names were “Rock-o” and “Peekos.” (Can you tell who is who??)

And finally, on actual Halloween night, we had a Princess Tiana and a repeat appearance from Peekos the puppy dog. (You should have seen that little puppy tail wagging up to all the houses collecting candy!!)

Speechless

When a woman completes a marathon at 39-weeks pregnant and a 100-year-old man runs a marathon, then I’m feeling less impressed with myself and my own marathon training. Come on people, can you stop overachieving so I can feel good about my own marathon experience?! 😉

Seriously though, these stories leave me absolutely speechless.

But then there is this one dude who totally cheated and tried to claim 3rd place in a marathon by riding a bus for the last 6 miles. Why would you do that?!

Random Observations

A few thoughts from today…

(1) Timing is everything. For example, the last bits of chip crumbs spilled all over the floor would usually result in much stress and anger. But today, the last bits of chip crumbs spilled all over the floor just before I was going to vacuum anyway = “Yay! I get to suck up lots of fun stuff that will make satisfying noises as they are being sucked away!”

(2) This simple game brings much joy to a 2- and 4-year old: turn out all the lights and hide all of your teddy bears around the house (you know you have at least 300 of them if you have a 2- and 4-year old). Give the children flashlights and let them go on a bear hunt! Use laundry basket as a “cage” to collect the bears in. Much fun had by all.

Side note: while you clean the bathroom/fold laundry/mop/nap, tell the kids you are going bear hunting after dark. It’s a great activity to have them go around the house and collect all the stuffed bears in preparation for the big event. 🙂

Warning: they will ask to play the game over and over again. Be prepared.

(3) I am one super blessed girl.

(4) Happy birthday Daddy, I love you!

When You Wish Upon A Star

Bedtime conversation with Kaelyn:

“Mommy, I wish a wishing star would go by so that I could wish for these things: I wish I could tie ribbons, I wish I could live at Caroline’s house, I wish I could have all the other princess dresses, and I wish I could stand on top of the barn.”

Check, check. Is this thing on??

Well hello there. It has been a while, eh?

There are too many stories to tell to try to catch up on everything. I will just do a quick run down of the basics from the past few weeks.

We went to Ohio to meet our niece, Lila, for the first time. She is beyond precious.

We got to hang out with our good friends, Willerie and their kids.

We took the girls for a visit to “The Cabin” in West Virginia where we spent lots of time playing in the creek. The girls took it very seriously as they decided it would be much more appropriate to play butt-naked in the creek like true country girls. 🙂 (Not posting those pictures, but trust me, they are adorable!)

We celebrated Evie’s 2nd birthday at a local farm with lots of friends and family.

We’ve been growing a garden pretty successfully for our first attempt.

Kaelyn completed her first year of preschool (where does time go?!) with a super adorable class performance.

We’ve done lots of other fun things this spring like visit the zoo(s) several times, played outside on the new trampoline, spent tons of time at the pool, hung out at the nearby “lake beach” as the girls call it, visited SC for my brother’s wedding shower, ran in several races (5ks for Matt, 1/2 marathons for me), and took the girls to their first circus.

Life with the girls is so incredibly fun right now. They keep us laughing all the time. Just tonight Matt and I almost spit our dinner out about 6 times from laughing so hard. For example…

Kaelyn fell and scratched her leg. Matt was giving her a band-aid and Evie really wanted a band-aid too. Matt told her that she didn’t have a boo boo, so Evie promptly *flung* herself on the ground and declared she now had a boo boo. She repeated this drama a couple of more times just to make sure she earned herself a band-aid (she did).

Oh, and I must leave you with one more incredible cutness – Kaelyn’s first dance recital!

My Little Comedians

This morning I had just taken off Kaelyn’s night time pull-up as I was getting her dressed. Then the following conversation happened:

Kaelyn: “I’m going to put on this pull-up and throw these dirty panties away.”
Kaelyn: “But not really.” (giggles)
Evie: giant roar of laughter
Kaelyn (in sarcastic tone): “Was it really that funny Evie?”

A few minutes later Kaelyn gets a taste of her own medicine:

Evie picks up little piece of trash
Kaelyn: “Eww, that’s dirt Evie, we don’t play with that.”
Evie: “Why?”
Kaelyn: “Because we don’t like dirt.”
Evie: “Why?”
Kaelyn: “Because dirt is yucky.”
Evie: “Why?”
Kaelyn: “Evie put it in your pocket.”
Evie tries desperately for next 3 minutes to put the trash in her tiny little jeans pocket.

Mommy Weekend Away

This weekend I spent my very first night away from kids in almost 3 1/2 years! I took off by myself to Charlottesville, VA to visit my brother Jared. We had an awesome weekend!

My drive up was nice. It was all back roads and I often felt like I was driving back in time as I passed through tiny towns that seem to be living life in the past. I saw some interesting sights like a bison farm. Actually as I got close to Charlottesville there were farms everywhere. Very pretty! Also on my drive I went through a town called Farmville and I saw a sign for a town called Yogaville. Those both made me laugh a little. I would have called and told someone about it but I couldn’t get phone reception in the middle of no where.

I arrived on Saturday afternoon. We stopped by this place called The Garden. It’s a building that hosts several groups including Jared’s church. An old friend, Evan, from my college days runs The Garden. Jared, Evan, and I went out to a local place for lunch. We also shopped around some boutiques next door to where we had lunch. Jared showed me around the area known as the “downtown mall.” It’s a cool area of town with outdoor shops, street vendors, etc.

That evening Jared was working on recording some music for a guy. I got to sit on on the recording session for a couple of hours. It was cool because I had never done that before. Plus I always love to hear my brother play music. They even had me clap and sing on a song. If the album becomes famous I’m sure it will be due to my clapping. If it does not become famous it will probably be due to my singing. Ha!

After the recording session we picked up Jared’s girlfriend, Jenna and the three of us went to dinner at another fabulous place.

That night we went to a benefit for a homeless shelter that was being held at The Garden. They had a variety of artists – musical, creative, visual – all give performances. My brother played a couple of songs with a band as well. It was very cool. In case you haven’t figured it out already Charlottesville is a very artsy, creative type city. It has a cool vibe. Lots and lots of hipster types. All the restaurants had local, organic food and for very reasonable prices. Recycle bins were common around town and most places had those toilets with an economic flush option for #1s.

After the benefit the three of us tried to go to a local tea place to hang out but it was too crowded (a band was playing, surprise surprise). Instead we just hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru and then went back to Jared’s house to play games.

Sunday morning I got to sleep in – YAAAAY! Jared had a meeting at church that morning so I just hung out at his house, took my time getting ready, and read a little. When he got home we headed out to eat at a place called Michie Tavern. Oh.my.word. Delicious! I swear they had a magic fairy garden in the backyard that produced fresh vegetables and chicken every day because the food was amazing. Michie Tavern first opened in 1784 – yes, 1784. The building was very interesting and all the staff wore period clothing. It felt like you stepped back in time. A definite must if you ever visit the area!

After lunch we went up the street to Monticello which was the home of Thomas Jefferson. I can’t describe how much I enjoyed this. Jared and I had great quality time together walking around and having great conversation. Plus learning more about Thomas Jefferson was incredibly inspiring. It is definitely worth the drive to Charlottesville to visit this place!

Unfortunately we didn’t have as much time at Monticello as we would have liked, but we had to run back to town to be at church by 5:00. We went to church at All Souls where we met back up with Jenna. After church the three of us went to yet another awesome restaurant. After we finished dinner everything was closed down for the night so we grabbed some munchies at the grocery store and headed back to Jared’s house to play more games. (Side note: if you are at the grocery store exploring exotic fruits in the produce section be sure to read the names before picking up any fruit unless you want to go through my experience of picking up a “cactus pear” only to be left with cactus prickers stuck all in your fingers. Harris Teeter should really put a warning on those things!)

Monday morning we headed to the downtown mall to The Country Store. It is a really cute little country store where Jenna works. We ate breakfast there and after that I headed back home.

I can’t thank Matt enough for allowing me to get away for a long weekend while he watched our girls (and he did an AMAZING job). I was so very happy to get back home and see my girls though! 🙂

Me and Thomas Jefferson contemplating (he was 6’2″)….

Research and Explore

This morning I was reading a baby book to Evie. The book had a simple drawing of a butterfly. Somehow Kaelyn and I got on the subject of butterfly legs. I claimed that butterflies do in fact have legs. Kaelyn claimed they did not. I’m not sure if she was trying to prove me wrong (she gets that from me) or if she was truly trying to research the subject more (she gets that from Matt), but she ran to her room and grabbed this book for further information. (You know Dr. Seuss is the leading authority on butterfly research.)

After flipping through the pages (along the way describing to me in detail the life cycle of a butterfly and also naming several butterfly species) she came to the conclusion that butterflies do have legs based on the pictures in the book.

This story does not have a dramatic ending or anything, but I was just proud of my girl for doing her research and investigating her thoughts! I wish time could stand still, but I’m also excited to see how she uses that brain of hers as she grows up into the incredible woman I know she will become.

Later in the day, I see that our little Evie just might become an explorer. During a diaper change, I found all of these items in the feet of her pajamas: toy CDs, chalk, smushed edamame, and toy tweezers.

Christmas Cards

It has always been our Christmas tradition to send out Christmas cards and to also include a letter with the highlights of our year. It’s a fun way to look back on the year and remember some of the things we did. It’s also fun to look back at past years and remember things we had already forgotten. The past few years we have also included a photo with our Christmas card/letter of our beautiful girls.

This year I am planning to order Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I have made several of their photo books and I have been very pleased with the quality. My goal this year is to make a giant photo book of our entire 2010! So far I have completed through June. Seems like the summer got busy and now I have some catching up to do. 🙂 I might have to make it into 2 books as we like taking pictures of our cutie pies and it’s just hard to narrow it down on which pictures to include.

Matt and I have also made photo cards for each other in the past and that was always fun. I like getting a card with pictures of my family even better than some random design from the card store.

I am thinking of going with the starlight flurries card this year. I like it because it will be a great layout to use with the pictures that we had taken this summer for Evie’s first birthday.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s time to be thinking about Christmas cards already!!