Monday, May 07, 2012


So let's be honest...
the week in UT was really all about this.

At least for these two.  

Noah did so awesome. Only his second time skiing and he did blues with his dad all week.  He wanted to do blacks : )

The boys had so much fun together.  And Noah could ski. all. day. Which is what they did.

And then I would find them like this.  Paul was supposed to be putting Noah to bed.
The funny thing about this picture is, when Paul saw it he said, "hmmm I don't remember that..."
Lol, exactly!

I didn't get a chance to ski this year but the girls and I stayed plenty busy.
With cousins!

Not just Jack and Isabelle and Betsy - I'm just really bad at taking pictures and Kori isn't : )
We also spent time with Cash, baby Gwen, Boston, Naomi, and baby Rowen.

We visited a couple different museums and a bounce house.
Ate way too much good food everyday.
The big girls had a movie date with Grandma.
I spent time with my sister and saw her new house.
Paul made a quick trip down to BYU.
We visited with old friends.

And we celebrated Alex's 6th birthday!
She was so excited to have a cousin party.
But first, Grandma let her pick out a new outfit and then took her to have her hair and nails done.  Alex's dream come true.
Aunts, Uncles, and cousins all met up with us for pizza for lunch, and then we headed to the trampoline place.
So much fun - and not just for the kids : )  We will definitely be doing that again.

Then we headed back to Grandma's for dinner (Cafe Rio for grown-ups, hot dogs for kids per Alex's request) and cake, ice cream, and presents.
And Alex is always so much fun to watch : )

 And suddenly the week was over!
The next morning we loaded up the car and started our drive to AZ.

Thanks to all of our family members who spent so much time with us while we were there.  It was a great week and we love and miss you!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

How it Started

Last year, we loved our time away in FL so much we decided we'd better sign ourselves up for another away rotation the following year.
So at the end of February we got ready to go to AZ.

Paul took some time off so we could drive to UT first, and spend a week there visiting family.  And so the boys could snowboard/ski.

We left on a friday morning...

and we did.not.stop.
Yes, we rolled in to Salt Lake City 21 hours later.

Honestly, it was kind of a spur of the moment decision.
We were proud.
And no, the kids did not sleep.  At least not long - from midnight to 5am, everyone was awake.

But we made it. 
And then we got in Grandma and Grandpa's hot tub : )

And I was really really tired all day, even though Paul did almost all the driving.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Day After

The day after Christmas, with Paul back at work and the kids on break from school, I suddenly decided to road-trip it to my sisters house in Chicago.
Like I literally decided at about 9:30am Monday morning.
By noon, we were on the road.
(You DON'T want to know what my house looked like...although you could ask our friend Kevin.)

It was one of my better decisions : )
That night the kids were happily playing with their cousin Madden

AND their Grandma!
My parents spent Christmas with my sister and we got there in time to spend the last day-and-a-half with them. I think they enjoyed the surprise :)

While we were there we..
ended up on a train ride at the mall, when Legoland turned out to be full to capacity.

Avery seriously talked about that train ride for weeks.

Took the kids to see "Chipwrecked"
The big kids loved it, Madden loved his treats, Avery loved going to the potty every 10 minutes, and the adults...endured.

The major accomplishment of the trip was finally making it to the top of Sears Tower, after a failed previous attempt. It's long been a dream of Noah's to stand on the Skydeck. It was a crazy day (waking up way too early, Tiff's almost broken ankle, the crazy bum who threatened to beat us, lineslineslines, crowds, $$)
But just look at that face!! Totally worth it : ) Made me so happy.

Actually, it was scarier than I thought. I'm not afraid of heights and my legs were shaking the entire time. I had to drag Avery out there and she wouldn't stand up.

Alex kept wondering when we were finally going to get there (after lots of different lines, and a couple different elevators). When I told her this was it she gave me one of her looks and said, "Mom, you are kidding me."
And not in a good way.
She ended up loving it : )

I think these two liked the train ride in and out of the city best of all.

It wasn't a super long trip but we enjoyed every minute!
Lazy mornings...

good food,
lounging around,

and staying up late! As in half the night - that's what we had to do to get our kid -free sister time in : ) Best part of the day.

Thanks a million Tiff and Randy, for letting us crash your place at the last minute and cause chaos for 3.5 days.
Potty-training toddler and all.
Good thing I brought Cherry Bombs, right Tiff??

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas 2011

A miracle. A bit of snow the day before Christmas Eve.

An even bigger miracle. The rolls I made for Christmas Eve dinner (and orange rolls too, for dessert and breakfast).
I can't remember being more proud, at least of my accomplishments in the kitchen.
A big thank you to my friend Carolyn, for the tutorial and the faith : )

Paul was home.
The kids were excited.
Dinner was delicious (tri-tip, gouda potatoes, rolls, sparkling cider).

The kids each opened one present, as per tradition.
Noah loved making slime (from G&G)

Alex read her new Fancy Nancy books from Noah.
(A few days before Christmas he asked Paul to take him to the store so he could use his money to pick out a present for both of his sisters. We kind of couldn't believe it, it was awesome.)

Avery immediately undressed and snuggled the newest addition to her collection of babies (from G&G)

We finished up, by candlelight, The Christ Book, A Countdown to Christmas.
Something I put together for my family. Been wanting to do it for years, so glad I finally did, we loved it.
Also spent the week of Christmas reading "The Nutcracker" and "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". I think those will be a tradition now too.

Set our alarms and woke up at 6am Sunday morning - the kids insisted on doing ALL the gifts before 9am church : )
Everyone was happy!

Noah's favorite was his remote control helicopter (in the background)

Alex got the American Girl look-like-me doll that she's been "wishing for"

And Avery loved it all - but mostly the soda and goldfish she found in her stocking : )

I actually loved going to church on Christmas Day, it was a beautiful meeting.
And, bonus, we got a family pic!

We spent the afternoon playing with all our toys (helicopter, just dance, karaoke).

Oh yeah, and Avery started potty-training herself. No joke. She got undies in her stocking and there was no going back for her. I broke out the little potty and she took it from there.

Paul and I snuck in a little nap/rest.

We face-timed with the fam in different parts of the country.

And had fondue for dinner with our friends the Weights.

4 Christmases spent here in this home, in Rochester, MN.
I've loved them all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The pictures wouldn't be appropriate

I'm pretty certain that Santa is bringing Avery some underwear for Christmas.

Cuz lately, I keep finding her with no diaper on.
Pants, and no diaper.
A skirt, and no diaper.
A shirt and sneakers, and no diaper.
And, my personal favorite, a shirt and legwarmers...and no diaper.
(Like I said, the pictures wouldn't be appropriate.)

She's been asking to wear "Unnies"
and she's about to get her wish.

I really wasn't quite ready for this Avery, but you've left me no choice.
As for being done with diapers Now that, I'm ready for!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Entire month of NOVEMBER

Paul working crazy (night shift) hours in the ICU (hate).
Thanksgiving, Noah's 8th Birthday, Noah's baptism and visits from the Grandparents (love).

{Because I'm never going to get to all these things individually...but I'm not ready to give up on this blog yet.}


Great food,

great friends,

the kids had a blast (Noah says it was his best Thanksgiving ever),

Avery was a ham,

and the Bumans were amazing hosts!!
Thanks guys :)

A few days later...
Noah turned 8 years old.

We celebrated by taking Noah and Alex and 2 of their friends to the Mall of America to ride the rides. That's my kind of birthday party. Kids had a blast, Paul and I did a little shopping (not at the same time) and Avery had fun at home with a babysitter. Win win win.
We also had a family party on his actual birthday, with presents and lemon cake with lemon frosting.

A few days later...
Noah got baptized.

It was such an important day for Noah and our family. Everything went beautifully and we're so grateful that both sets of grandparents were there to share the day with us and be a part of it. We also had the love and support of many, many dear friends. We are so proud of Noah and we feel so blessed.

We also got the first (real) snow of the year that day, the kids could not have been happier.

And Paul surprised the kids with a tree. Not the best surprise ever, but they sure had fun decorating it.

November was busy. I'm not gonna lie, I got stressed out at times, I thought it was too hard some days. But there was also a lot of love, laughter, friends, family, and good food.
It's a wonderful life. And I am happy and grateful.