Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We are still around!

How could she be more loved?

Ten hours beofre her big debut.

For those of you who haven't completely given up checking our blog ( I don't blame you at all if you have, I would have too). Here is the update. We bought a house and spent a VERY frustrating summer trying to close. We had to itemize everything that needed to be done then get price lists for all of those parts. This was no small task. We have build walls and ripped them out. Ripped out both bathrooms all except one tub. The kitchen was nonexistent for a few months. Everything was remudded and textured. The flooring had to all be replaced. Along with new wiring, a new roof, new lighting, new windows, new doors. Literally everything was redone but that one tub that we had to put a hole in the wall so Tony could get in under it and brace it. Anyway we were finally able to close one week before I started nursing school. We spent endless hours that week scraping popcorn off of the ceilings and on our hands and knees (me with my then six month belly) popping up the old tiles with hammers and chisels.
Then school started and things really got crazy. I have never known stress like the last few months. It was intense and demanding and a whole lot really fast. On nights I didn't have school we were working on the house until really late. When I did have school the kids went with Tony and I'd pick them up around ten when I was done. We'd go home, have baths and Tony would work longer. On Saturdays I'd leave for clinicals at 6:00. Tony and the kids woke up and got to work. When I got done, I'd come here and we'd all work until late that night. That went on until October 31 when we moved in. It was a month later than we had hoped, but still probably too soon. We didn't have a kitchen because the granite wasn't done. I did have cabinets, but no sink and no appliances other than a fridge. We didn't have any heat which wasn't a big deal because the weather was still perfect. The gas guy came a few days after we moved in ran into a problem and we ended up going ten days without gas ( no hot water, no fun). Finally all of that started to work out.

On November 21 we had our baby. Yes, I am lucky enough to get to share my birthday with her. Her name is Anabelle Grace and she has every single one of us wrapped around her little finger. She came out with a ton of hair (a novelty in our family) and a dimple in her left cheek. She's an amazing baby. She is so patient and happy and has brought a lot of peace to a very crazy home.

Two weeks after she arrived I finished my last final. They went really well and I'm excited for next semester, particularly because the hardest semester is behind me and now there will be more time for fun with my family.

The last few months have created emotions like I've never known. I was scared going into it and considered turning down my spot once accepted. My dad gave me a blessing that said I would be provided with everything I needed to be successful. Heavenly Father proved that over and over; making impossible situations and overwhelming circumstances work out just fine. I went to bed sobbing more than once and was always blessed with the peace and hope that I needed to continue. Especially now looking back I am absolutely in awe at the miracles we have experienced. Paricularly with the strength that we have all needed. I am so indebted to my family who sacrificed so much to help us out. They came down four or five times and put in long days over the weekend to make as much happen as possible. They have been endlessly supportive in so many ways. Most of all Tony has been amazing. He has been mom and dad as well as everything else. He has cooked and cleaned and done my jobs on top of his. I couldn't ask for a better husband.

Our house is coming along. Not completely done, but getting better and better every day. I am now starting to unpack everything that wasn't an absolute necessecity and things are getting more organized. I'm grateful for the whirlwind we have been through. It has brought us closer and made us really recognize our blessings. It's a great time of year and we have so much to be grateful for. Even the little things. Last night Hope and I were reading a Christmas story about baby Jesus while we were holding our own little baby and it was all perfect.

Here are a couple of pictures. Our camera is still packed somewhere. I will post more when I can find it and you can all finally see our house that you've heard so much about.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm a dork!

I was getting tired of the same old thing on our blog so decided to jazz it up. I wanted a different template and thought I could figure it out myself. I got the new template but deleted my songs and friends and family links. How do you do it right? I'm a little more technilogically impaired than I thought apparently.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Professional Help

Ever since Hope's first birthday I've tried to make their cakes special. I've had some success and some catastrophes. For example, Hope's first cake was a rubber duckie cake which was all blue with mini marshmallow bubbles and ducks all over it. I used so much food coloring that it died Hope's face, hands, arms, high chair, shirt, everything, blue for several days. For her second birthday, I wanted to make her a Jo Jo the Clown cake which turned out pretty cute until her cotton candy hat melted into a big sticky puddle by the time we ate it. Anyway, instead of having to rely soley on sweets of every kind for my creations I decided to sign up for a Wilton class. Here are my first three assignments.
My very first attempt at using an icing tip.

These bottom two are to prove that not every one of my previous cakes have been a disaster. It's nice to be able to do a little more with frosting that just spread it now though.

The BIG Recital

It just wouldn't be Hope without the big cheese.

Hope had her second recital for tap and jazz. The first one was dress them up in Christmas colors and come have fun. This time they ordered costumes, had professional pictures taken, and performed at the ampitheatre. She loved it all; especially the costume. She did a great job. If she has many more I'm going to have to invest in another memory stick. I didn't want to miss a step. I'll save you from all of that and just give you a couple.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hope's Graduation

Hope graduated from the preschool that four other moms and I took turns doing each Friday. We learned ABCs and reviewed shapes and colors. She can now write the letters in the alphabet and loves to ask what words start with or "What starts with...." It was a great chance for her to make wonderful friends and she's heartbroken now that it's over. I'm glad she loves learning and has such neat friends.

We are still here!

I figure after almost three months, it's time to post. Life has been uncharacteristically crazy. In April Tony and I stole away on a 7 day cruise of the Mexican Riviera while my parents kept the kids. Those pictures are on Tony's camera, so more about that later when I know where that camera is.

A few weeks before we left for Mexico we found out that we are expecting our third. Kind of a shock, but it didn't take long to get really excited. The day we came back from our trip we found out that I've been accepted into nursing school in August. That has brought it's own excitement along with anxiety, stress, and lots of contemplation of what to do with our little one coming. We've prayed and thought and prayed more and have decided to get it done before our lives get possibly more hectic. So, I've been working through orientation, financial aid forms, drug tests, background checks, physicals, etc. etc. etc.

We've also picked up the home search since our two bedroom condo is seemingly shrinking by the day and we undoubtedly need another bedroom now. It's been exciting, frustrating and consistently overwhelming. It's definitely a good time for us to buy, but the sheer number of foreclosures alone makes my head spin. We think we've finally found the one and will hopefully have some definites this week. However, nothing is happening as fast as I want since we want something we can fix up and need to have the majority of it done before school starts in August.

Anyway, I think that's most of the big stuff that doesn't come with pictures. Above are the ones that I did take picture of. Thanks for being patient in our absense.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Am a Mother

My mom gave me I Am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson last year for Mother's Day when I was reading nothing but anatomy textbooks. I finally picked it up and was hooked instantly. She's an amazing lady with an amazing testimony. The book is about understanding our callings as mothers and taking pride in it; realizing the impact we have, and what we've been given to fulfill our callings. There are great stories from her life and beautiful quotes from prophets and apostles. It's full of encouragement and inspiration and made me want to try to harder. One proverb in particular struck home for me...

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I've learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

I stress way too much about everything there is to do and have asked Hope to wait too many times to be snuggled or to look at the pictures in her book while I finish something, and then we can read. I know there will always be things that are urgent and can't be done later. But a lot of it can, and it's important for me to "help" Ben with his puzzle that he can easily do himself, but just needs my attention.

I hope you will all read it and that it will impact and touch you as much as it has me.

Cole and Amy's Wedding

Even more in love than on our wedding day!
Hope the flower girl, Tryston the ring bearer, and Jess who smiles through everything.

Our - the bigger the better- happy family!

These are pictures taken at Amy's wedding last weekend. It was such a fun weekend. But really bittersweet since it was the last time we got to see Dave and Monica or Emilee, Lehi and Emrie before they both move way too far away.

Peekaboo and Spooky

I'm not sure if he's resting or if he's wedged.

This last weekend while we were in Escalante for Amy's wedding we had the unusual experience of having an entire afternoon with nothing scheduled. So, Tony decided we were going to go hiking in the slot canyons. I was excited because we've been really trying to work out more and I knew that packing our kids most, if not all of the way, would be awesome exercise. Keven and Jen came over and we headed out. The farther out on the desert we got the harder it rained and blew. I was really starting to dread this. I was just thinking about two very tired, wet, cold kids. The flash floods that go ripping through the slot canyons after a rain storm had not yet even crossed my mind. Tony was absolutely determined; so I said a prayer as we bounced over the washboards. I sat in the truck at the top of the canyon gathering my courage. As soon as we all got out the wind stopped and a great big circle of clear sky appeared above us. It turned out to be a magical afternoon. It was great to be able to share that with Grandpa and share such a cool thing with our kids. For the most part they had a great time jumping out at each other yelling "boo" and climbing in and out of the rocks. They were absolutely beat towards the end and in some places we tried to carry them at arms length as we squoze through the canyon. Keven gets clostrophobic so he hiked along the top and took all the pictures. I'm grateful for such an amazing experience. Even though my mom took us numerous times when we were teenagers, it was a whole new experience with our kids.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Proudest Big Sister in the World

Mike being honored for Academic Allstate.

Cutest Fans!

I wish you could hear the cheering and screaming during this picture.

Proud and happy fans all sporting our red.

I've never heard dad get into anything as much as he did these games. Nobody was quite as proud as him.

We got to all go to Richfield to watch Mikey play in the state championship tournament last weekend. They played Rich on Friday and trailed most of the time. Right at the end Mike drained a three putting them one ahead. After a foul shot they won by two. On Saturday they played Paiute for the championship and after a great game won by six. I love the excitement of watching him play and wish we could do it all over again next year, but know that he has great things waiting for him. He also received academic allstate for athletic ability and academic success. He's amazing!! It was a great weekend and was so fun to just spend time with the family.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mommy's New Hair, Hope's New Hair

This picture doesn't show the 1/2 inch long patch she has right on top. My swollen eyes are from crying.

Even Ben decided to try something new.
After it's all said and done, Hope is happy that it's short like mommy's, and I'm getting used to the bangs all the way back across the top of her head look.

I went and got my hair done on Saturday. A badly needed freshening up. I cut a lot off and apparently this got Hope to thinking. Sunday after church she came in and asked me to take her hair out so she could put in the curlers I'd used. Since only the top was fixed I told her there was lots of room to put them in the back. She walked away and came back after having cut out the left side. I'm told every little girl has to go throught his, but this is round 2. The first time I'll admit was kind of my fault. I had cut Tony's hair and left the scissors out (about a year ago). This time she had used her safety scissors. Not quite as safe as I'd imagined. I was totally devastated. It had just grown out long enough from last time to really be able to braid and do stuff with the back again. So, on Tuesday she got her first trip to the salon. I took her where I'd gone and we had a good talk about who can cut hair. Hopefully, this will be her last haircut done herself. In the end, it is a lot longer than last time. I should be grateful.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Emrie's Biggest Fan

Although she's a couple of weeks old now. I've just downloaded our pictures so am now posting my adorable new niece Emrie. As Hope has watched Emilee's belly grow she's talked about the baby chicks in her tummy. She couldn't wait for her to come and once she did she never wanted to give her up. I was so impressed how good she was with her. She did awesome holding her and loved playing with her, putting her hat back on, giving her binkie to her, and figuring out the nursing concept. That's a whole other story in itself. We all can't wait to see her again.

Bouncing Fun

To make the day special for the kids (before I knew about Tony's plans), Jackie and I decided to take the kids to Pump It Up, well that's what I thought. After a little miscommunication, another friend and I ended up there and Jackie went where she had actually told me. It was still a ton of fun!! Most of the pictures are of Hope. That isn't because Ben didn't enjoy it. It's because it was so hard to catch him standing still.

Happy Valentine's Day

The "mommy enough pictures, let me play" look

We had a great Valentine's. Tony made it so special for all of us. Hope woke up to this balloon and her own chocolates (which she didn't even notice past the balloon). She came running in to wake me up and said "mommy come get my balloon" I laughed and asked if she was sure it wasn't for me. She gave me the dumbest look and said "mommy I love Tinkerbell" Once in hand she ran around the house with it yelling "wow, it's so huge" and "I'm so impressed" that was cracking me up. Ben got yet another Lightning McQueen who talks and races. He's been everywhere with us since. Tony and I have been trying to work out a lot more and so he surprised me with a Sony Walkman. Amazing. I spent all night downloading and have put it to good use. What a great husband and daddy.

Bonnie Springs

A couple of Saturdays ago we decided to spend a fun day as a family at a spot we'd been hearing about called Bonnie Springs out at Red Rock. It was fun, they had a train ride, a petting zoo that proved to be more than I had expected with a lynx, kangaroos, wolves, the most massive ox I could possible imagine, etc, etc, etc, and Hope's favorite - about fifty peacocks freely roaming. We could hear a donkey for about an hour before we finally found it and Ben was so excited to see "shrek and donkey", not completely disappointed, but of course a little let down. They even have a gun fight with a hanging at the end. Tony was excited, but I was scared for the kids. We did watch it, it was appropriate for kids, but really on the slow side. Don't go for the entertainment, but the rest was fun, especially for the kids.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nobody like a Grandma

Grandma Pat came and spent the day with us last week. Although we hardly ever get to see her, she and the kids clicked instantly. Hope didn't want to leave her side. We had a great day at the Natural History Museum, opening late Christmas presents, taking lots of pictures (all of which Ben slept through), and just catching up. Hopefully someday we'll live much closer.

The Big 4!

Hope had her birthday. She's been so excited about it since about last February. She's been telling us about the fireworks they have for her and the great big party she was going to have. So on New Year's Eve she stayed up so we could take her down to watch the syncronized fireworks off of the hotels on the strip. We got to officially wish her happy birthday as we put her to bed totally exhausted, but she had made it. We had a fun family party for her on her birthday and she got to have her first friend party a week later. We had seven friends, two of their younger brothers, four other parents, and a great time. Notice the mountain of balloons behind her with her cake.. I asked Tony to do the balloons and he claims he didn't realize I hadn't meant the whole 80 count bag. Needless to say our house was full and I had a battle with Hope for the next two weeks convincing her to let me get rid of any of them.