Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lillian Gabriela Baird

Look who's here!   Dara and Ryan are excited to have their firstborn daughter finally in their arms.   Lillian Gabriela was born December 6, 2011 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.    Dara was in good spirits when we came to see them the day she delivered.  Ryan was certainly a proud and brave daddy, already involved in bathing and changing her.   She's home now after just three days, and Dara and Ryan love her more every minute.   Grandma misses her already and  is planning to visit again on Sunday with Kara.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving and Other Things to be Thankful For

I really have a lot of wonderful things to be thankful for lately.  Here are a few:

I'm thankful for the wonderful gift of new life.   

Dara and Ryan are about to experience that wonder in their lives when they welcome Lillian into the world on Tuesday morning.

I got to visit in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago, and Ryan took us on a short walking tour of UVA. Ryan's almost finished his first semester there.   He's learning a lot and doing well.   It was nice to see and hear about some of the places he spends his time.  

I'm thankful for all the opportunities we have to learn.

I'm thankful for Skip and our wonderful marriage.   

We are blessed to have had so many years together.  Whether in sunshine or shadow, things are better together.   (Cheesy, but true!)   Last weekend we took a few days  away from home and enjoyed a time share vacation in Williamsburg.  We walked a little around the Jamestown area, historic Williamsburg, and the outlet shops.  (Christmas is coming.)

I'm thankful for my parents.   

We spent another Thanksgiving gathered with them around their table.   They continue to be an anchor and inspiration in my life, and I am so blessed to be their daughter.    Next year - their 50th anniversary.  They're already golden in my book, though.

I'm thankful for food!

 This was my contribution to thanksgiving dinner - fudge, apple pie, chocolate fudge pie, broccoli casserole, and roasted vegetables.

It took four pictures to get in all the food on the table:

We have green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and olives

Then fruit (frog eye) salad, ROLLS!! (Mom's homade - my personal favorite)

Then the beautiful and delicious pink salad, with another variety of rolls!

Then the turkey and stuffing:

It was a fabulous day, and a delicious meal.

And just a few more things I'm thankful for:

chocolate, iPhones, scriptures, nursery kids, music of all kinds, creative opportunities, friends, jokes, temples, television, prophets, trees, air conditioning, rain, colors, motherhood, turbo tax, pillows, lace, cars, contact lens, Christmas trees, blogs, pinterest, mornings, ears, cheese, books, museums, children, libraries, parks, refrigerators, testimonies, piano students, sunshine, heated car seats, bread, be continued in thoughts and prayers everyday

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hot Chocolate in a Pot

Here it is!  Just what the world has been waiting for - a step by step tutorial for "Hot Chocolate in a Pot"-the oh-so-good Baird family treat always right for a crisp fall day or the cold winter season:

1.  Get out your pot (ha ha - just had to say that).

2.  Put in a generous 1/2 cup of cocoa.  

3.   Add 1/2 cup of sugar

4.  I then add a 1/2 cup of Splenda.  If you don't care to cut the calories, just add 1 cup of sugar instead of the 1/2 cup.

4.  Whisk dry ingredients together.

5.  Add 1/3 cup hot water, and whisk until it's a smooth paste.  You can turn the heat on at this point, but don't burn this mixture.

6.  Add 6 cups HOT water and stir.

7.  Now add 2 cups of Nestle NIDO powdered milk. Stir and heat.

8.   Enjoy the best cup of hot chocolate ever!
(Yesterday, we topped them with homemade marshmallows.  I forgot to take a picture of that!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday

How about a new feature here on the Basically Baird Blog - Flashback Friday!   I'll take a little trip through the archives and feature a few favorite pictures every week.

Today, here are some featuring our children as budding musicians:

Laura ready to play in her first solo recital after learning all of Suzuki Book 1

Kara playing in a Primary talent show

Beth practicing piano as Ryan looks on

Ryan in his first violin concert

Natalie in her first piano recital

Now the next generation is ready to play!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

About a Month Away

Yay!   There's going to be a baby Baird very soon.

Ryan and Dara are pretty excited, and have been "nesting" at their new place in Charlottesville.   A few weeks ago, Skip and I went to visit.   We went with them for a beautiful drive to an orchard nearby to get some apples.

On our way back we stopped at a nursery/gift shop. That evening, Ryan and Dara took us to the outdoor mall in downtown Charlottesville.   We went out to eat there at The Nook, a restaurant with diner type food,  and then got gelato at another place.   I loved that you could get very tiny cones or cups there for only dollar I think.

We decided Dara should have a baby shower with her Woodbridge friends and family, so Kara and I hosted a baby shower here last Saturday.   Kara and I planned fun games and food.  We played the dirty diaper game where you melted different candy bars in diapers, and the guests had to guess what the candy bars were.   Very funny!   I think someone even tried tasting them!   We tried to guess how big Dara's baby is, and played a fun baby shower game on the i phone.   Dara got lot's of cute things for Lillian.  She is all set to be warm and stylish!

You can see Jenn Shreffler smiling in the background.   (She brought the balloons from Party City.)  Kara took a bunch more pictures, so maybe I'll try to get a hold of those for a later post.  

Needless to say, we are very excited to welcome little Lillian, and hope we'll be able to see her often!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everything Creative

I'm a little bit addicted to the Mormon Channel program, Everything Creative.   I've gotten into the habit of listening to it in the morning (via i phone) while I'm getting ready in the morning, and driving to and from work.   In the earlier episodes, they interview one person, then each new person interviews the next one.   In the later episodes they're all hosted by Nancy Hansen, who I think is a singer/song writer.

I just love hearing other people's stories of how they start doing what they do, and how they are creatively inspired as they pursue their craft.

Some of my favorites have been:

Singer/songwriter Meaghan Smith

Composer, conductor, producer Rob Gardner  (future son-in-law???)

Children's book author/illustrators Mark and Caralyn Buehner

Cake decorater/baker Laurlee Morrison of Cakes de Fleur

The Five Browns

Artist Cassandra Barney  (her father is James Christensen)

There are LOTS more.  I haven't heard them all yet.  Each one inspires me to trust in my creative spirit, and keep trying to make more out of what I've been given.  

Listen to a few episodes, and tell me which ones you liked hearing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As I was blog hopping this afternoon, I found out that November is National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo.   You can learn more about it here.   I've been meaning to start blogging again, and maybe this will be what I need to get me started.  I haven't officially signed up, but the challenge is to blog everyday in the month of November.   I can TRY that.

Blogging is good for me, and not just like eating my vegetables is good for me ( I  love vegetables! ) Like President Uchtdorf says (counselor in LDS church presidency), each of us has an inherent desire to create something that did not exist before.  I strongly feel that creative desire.     Writing is one way I can satisfy that.  Recording life helps me keep grounded and focused on what's important and fun about living.  Through blogging/journaling, I can leave something to help me remember, and remembering is something that I find myself doing more and more, as I have so many wonderful memories piled up to sort through, learn from, and bask in.    

This is first and foremost a family blog, a way of sharing our news, and celebrating what it means to be a family.   So, in the spirit of that, here are some of my favorite family moments of the year so far:

Learning that Ryan and Dara were expecting a baby.
Revisiting Belgian delicacies with Beth in Occoquan

Jamming in Charlottesville with Beth, Ryan, and Kara

Seeing some beautiful sisters having fun together

Being together for Leslie's wedding in June

Skip and four of his siblings being able to be sealed to their parents
Enjoying family times at Grandma and Grandpas including visits from Karyn, Jamie and boys, and the Hullinger crew.

Spending time in Orem with Laura, Kart, Aiden, Emma and Owen                                                                                                   

Getting to see Beth and Natalie in Provo/Orem too.

Celebrating Beth's birthday, and eating some pretty amazing cake

Seeing our children's true colors

So there's a quick run down of just a few of the highlights.   There were so many more, and maybe I'll go into more detail on a few in the days to come.  So check in every day, and we'll see if I can keep this up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Many Wonderful Things

 This past month has been full.   We've enjoyed some wonderful times with family.

 We celebrated with Colleen at Sakura on her birthday.

 Skip went to Colorado, where he, his brother and sisters were sealed to their parents in the temple.

 Emily went with the Forest Park choirs to New York City for a music festival.   They competed with other choirs across the country and did extremely well. 

 Kara has been singing with the NOVA/DC Institute choir.   She was able to be in the choir that sang for a Young Single Adult fireside with Elder Bednar.   This picture is of her singing in a beautiful and inspiring Easter Program at the Chevy Chase chapel.  

 Beth came to visit during Spring Break.   We went to Occoquan one afternoon, and had Pomme Frites and Mussells at the Cock and Bowl, a Belgian bistro there.

 I couldn't resist taking this picture with my i-phone of everyone on their i-phones

  While Beth was here, we went to Charlottesville one afternoon to see Ryan and Dara.   Skip made a delicious brisket on a little Weber grill we bought for them.  

 We enjoyed playing and singing together.

This one VERY musical family!

 We are thankful to have enjoyed so many wonderful times with so many beautiful smiles this month.