Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I feel that I've reached a milestone in my life.

Until now, I've never quite felt "at home" in a Relief Society. I was either one of many students, just another newlywed couple, or the poor college students with one (or 2) kids. I felt a little lost in the crowd, though I'm sure that was my own perception because I've always had caring leaders. I felt guilty many times for being "the needy family" who couldn't contribute much to the ward - we were just the takers of others' service.

That is no longer the case. I feel truly united with the sisters in my ward in a way that I never have. The women I've gotten to know aren't exactly like me. In many ways, they are different. One sister is old enough to be my grandmother. Another has never had children and is middle-aged. Some are my age with children, but they have vastly different interests than I do. (A woman I visit teach, my age, loves to decorate and redo furniture. I'm completely lost on things like that!)

If I wanted friends exactly like me, I probably wouldn't find any. Even if such a friend were possible, who says we'd even get along? :)

I'm glad to be a part of this Relief Society. I don't know how long I'll be in this particular ward, but it won't be forever. I'm glad to be here as long as I can be, because I feel needed and loved. I hope that the sisters I know get the same feeling from me.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Wintry Spring Break

Last week after the family left, we had a warm few days, hence the little hike and some biking. Unfortunately,  that warm weather was short-lived. I'm a little annoyed that the weather here has been EXACTLY like spring in Rexburg. Though we are further south, we are at a higher elevation so it's not any warmer here. :( We had snow twice this week and highs in the 30's. I hate spring when it's not spring. This Southern girl misses being warm during March and April.

a hike in Dinosaur Natnl. Monument

going somewhere, Joseph?

a happy boy with a marshmallow

two happy boys ready for a bike ride

Christian (my brother) got here for his spring break on Saturday. We went to the dinosaur quarry and took the back way home. It's really easy to explore the wilderness around Vernal, and it doesn't take more than 5 minutes to drive out of town in almost any direction.

Sunday was like normal except for meeting with another ward in the stake center. Our building is being repaired or something. We went to the rec center for FHE on Monday. The little boys always love going swimming. I got my new suit in the mail! I've decided to layer it with my old suit for maximum coverage/fit/support. I really like it even though my baby bump comes nowhere near fitting into it yet.

Christian and James played some bball and racquetball. We checked out the library and D.I., watched movies, and ate too much junk food. I've been going to bed too late (though not later than 11, but that's late!) and eating too much junk food. It's just too easy to make extra goodies when people are visiting.

James finally found some .22 ammo at the pawn shop! He's been looking for a few months. Vernal is a very conservative town, so everyone is completely paranoid that Obama will personally come and take their guns away. I think it's pretty funny. I like shooting, though. It's pretty fun and I'm not a bad shot. 

James and Christian talked me into learning how to play Risk. I'll admit, it's a pretty fun game. We called a tie after 2 hours because it started dragging on. I feel like I did pretty well for it being my first time.

That's about it for this week. I have an appointment today and ultrasound first one! I can't wait to actually see my little baby. Christian leaves tomorrow. Between now and then, I think there is more junk food and movie-watching in my future. If there's one time for me to ease up a little on my health food habits and not worry about gaining weight, I suppose it could be now, right? :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Family Visit

We invited James's family to come stay with us during their Spring Break, which happened to fall over Conference weekend. I'm all recovered now, but I was pretty worn out from their visit, much of it self-inflicted. You'll see why.

The family arrived Thursday night. On Friday morning, I went birthday shopping with Melodie. My goal was to find a really good swimsuit, plus some new white shirts/camis since I wear them under everything. We checked out every clothing store in Vernal...all 6 of them, not counting Cal Ranch. That's not my style since I'm not a cowgirl. I tried on what felt like a million things, and I managed to find all the white things I needed. No luck on swimsuits, because swimsuit makers are foolish designers and don't seem to realize that swimsuits should probably have underwires and adjustable straps, not just one or the other. I remember why I hate shopping for clothes. Being almost done with my first trimester, I'm a little chubbier than normal, so nothing really looked good on me. However, I scoured online and found a good swimsuit from Target which should be showing up any day now! It's maternity, and I'll wear it with man swim shorts. No one wants to look at my thighs. On that note, we went out to a nice, fattening lunch when we were done shopping. :)

James took his parents and siblings to see the dinosaur quarry and petroglyphs. I was going to take a nap, but the boys refused, so I sulked instead. I was pretty tired and annoyed. We celebrated Kenny's 1st birthday and had cake. I already put that video on FB...but I'm behind on blogging, as always. Kenny loved his cake and dug right into it. Joseph, on his first birthday, ate his cake very carefully and didn't make a mess. It's funny to see the differences between those two. We all went to the rec center to go swimming, and everyone had lots of fun.

Saturday was my spring cleaning during Conference. I wish I hadn't decided to wash the covers on 3 car seats, 2 strollers, and the bike trailer. And high chair. Strollers are really horrible to take apart! However, everything came out looking nice. I dyed the bike trailer a dark blue since it was really faded. It took me the whole 2nd session to put everything back together, and James was kind enough to lend me his drill. I still ended up pretty sore the next day. How lame is that? I will never do it again for the strollers. That was just too intense. I'm pretty happy about the clean car and clean car seats we have. Kenny is now is the big convertible seat (rear facing, which is lame, but necessary) and Joseph in a new (to him) seat from Uncle Joseph. I tested it, and there's no way on earth that 3 car seats will fit in the back seat of our Corolla. We will absolutely have to get a new car by October or make 2 trips to go anywhere as a family. Hopefully we will be able to get something nice and keep our current car rather than trade it in. During priesthood session, we checked out the local bookstore (not Deseret, but sells church books) for ladies' night. I didn't win anything, but I've been pretty lucky in the past. Darn.

Sunday was more enjoyable since I listened to whole time and didn't do anything else. We had a relaxing dinner and played Cranium.

The family left Monday morning, so I've been relaxing (to some degree) this week. I've been going a little crazy with James staying late some days (till 6) since I've not been awake when he leaves in the morning. It's tough knowing that he works so hard but doesn't get paid a penny past 3:30. When is he ever home at 3:30? Never, unless someone has a dr. appointment to be to.

Kenny had his one year checkup, and he's doing great. I always knew he was a pig. He's gone up to the 20th percentile on weight, just where Joseph is. Joseph was more consistent his first year, but Kenny's been all over the place. I think 20th is where he'll stay. I have 2 short, skinny boys with big noggins. Kenny's learned about 10 words already and he's starting to pull up on everything (to kneeling). Maybe he will walk a little sooner than Joseph? (16 mos.)

My pregnancy has been completely uneventful. I've had no nausea to speak of, just a little bit of breaking out which has thankfully cleared up. I'm not as tired as I was the first few weeks, and I don't have any aches or pains since I've been working out. 30 minutes makes all the difference, and I count myself lucky if Kenny doesn't climb all over me and try to bite me while I'm on the floor. (That little vampire!) I can't wait for my first ultrasound next week. I'm dying to know what I'm having since yard sales are in full swing, but I'll just have to wait till June. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kenny!

brand new
I'll admit that I fit the normal stereotype of a parent who takes a million pictures of the first child and not so many of the second. However, here is a pretty good sampling of how much our little guy has changed over the past year. We can't believe he's one!
one month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7/8 months

9/10 months
11 months

1 year!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter/Spring Break (Pics!)

Uintah County gyps teachers when it comes to Spring Break, but we decided to make the most of ours. We took a day trip to Salt Lake City with our boys this past Friday, and it was really fun. (I was pretty tired all week, but I felt my best on Friday, so it was a perfect day to go!)

We left in the morning around 8 and got to SLC around 11. Our first stop was the train station to ride the train up to Temple Square. Joseph taught Kenny how to say, "Whee!", so Kenny apparently enjoyed the train ride, because he didn't stop saying it the entire time. We spent a little time in the Joseph Smith Memorial building and took the boys to see the Christus statue.

Our next stop was the capitol. I've been to the one in Boise, ID, but never the one in SLC. It's got some really awesome architecture. I bet I'd appreciate it even more if I knew anything about architecture.

We stopped for lunch at JB's, feeling pretty rich since we'd saved up for 2 months to take this trip. :) The boys were angels and didn't throw too much food on the floor.

We then decided to go to the zoo. Since it was a warm, spring day, everyone else in Utah decided to go too. We had to search for parking, but we finally got in and walked around the whole zoo. I think the boys really liked it, though Joseph really doesn't like big animals. He told James, "Daddy, I don't like the elephants!" Kenny took a nap for an hour and I took a break while the boys went to see some of the animals. I was feeling pretty exhausted by 4:00 and couldn't walk much further.

We headed home and stopped for some fast food for dinner. The boys got a fussy by 8:00, but James sang to Kenny so he'd fall asleep. We got home around 9:00 and considered the day seized.

Saturday, we had our Easter fun. I spent the morning prepping for our Easter feast and making long-awaited strawberry freezer jam from some cheap strawberries I got from Bountiful Baskets. I froze the rest for smoothies and we ate some for a snack.

After Joseph's nap, we hid eggs and gave him a bucket to find them. He didn't really get it at first, but then he started to find the eggs, some with candy and some boiled. I turned the boiled eggs into deviled eggs.

Sunday I led the music (subbing) and also subbed in nursery. Kenny loved it in there. I wish he could go every week! He's definitely ready to take only one nap a day, so I put him in the room with Joseph and they both sleep from 1-3:30ish. It's great. I don't know why I didn't do it a few weeks ago when he really started refusing afternoon naps. He didn't even act tired until naptime today. Joseph wasn't ready for this transition until he was 18 mos., so it took me by surprise, but my whole day won't be taken up by naps anymore, and I won't have a grumpy baby every afternoon. I will consider that a blessing.

Today (Monday) is James's last day of spring break. We're still working on eating the leftovers of our Easter feast (ham, cheesy potatoes, deviled eggs) since I made so much. James is going shooting with a friend and working in his classroom a little. I'm hanging out with Gracie, the girl in the ward who stays with us some weekends while her dad is in SLC. Joseph loves playing with her, and I hope she likes playing with him just as much.
happy boy on the train

my new favorite of the boys

Temple Square

Joseph Smith Mem. Bldg.


a happy boy with lots of candy

making messes while Joseph found eggs

getting up close to the animals

A Quarter of a Century

I don't know why I've been such a blog slacker recently. Maybe it just gets pushed to the back burner when I'm tired. However, my 25th birthday deserves its own post and recap because it's one of the best birthdays I've ever had.

We celebrated on Saturday, the 23rd. I woke up to breakfast, a delicious omelet that James made for me. I then opened my gifts. I got some yummy dark chocolate truffles and bars (all gone now), a camera, the Hobbit movie, some capris from my mom to replace my favorite trashed ones, and a few other small things that I forget right now. It was more than I'd usually get, but James had won a gift card to Walmart, hence the camera. I was completely surprised and definitely not expecting a new camera! I've been using the iPhone/iPod for so long that I forgot how awesome 16 megapixels looks.

I went out to lunch with my friend Jo. It was my first time eating at Cafe Rio, and I was pretty impressed when the enchiladas I got. The sauce was really tasty. Jo gave me some bread bags, for which I am very grateful. I've been too lazy to buy any, but my freezer is too crammed to fit my usual bread box.

I had a relaxing afternoon and then James and I went out to dinner while Jo watched the kids. We had Chinese and went all out with the dinner deal. We got seafood dishes and appetizers. It was delicious and way too much food, so we had the leftovers for lunch the next day. I made a cake that mom sent me. It was pretty good.

My actual birthday wasn't terribly exciting. James stayed late at school. However, my friend Cindy finally (9 days late!) had her baby! That was by far the most exciting part about my birthday...a little birthday buddy. She is one of the most beautiful little girls I've ever seen, and she has a head full of dark hair. What a doll. I hope I get to meet her in the near future. I think of myself now as honorary aunt, or something, since my own niece won't be born for another few months. :)

I'll always remember my 25th birthday because of that dear baby, who has long been anticipated by her mommy. (Congrats again, Cindy!) :)