Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our Vernal Life (a video)

It has been easy to feel trapped or stuck in Vernal and pick out all the thing that we DON'T have there, or all the weird things that they DO have there and just be anxious to move.  And although we have no set dates yet, we are moving.
However, Vernal has been a big part of our lives; this is where we bought our first place (like grownups) and where Rai was born, where we learned what life is like without Luke or I in school, and where we lived for almost a year and a half now (that is almost half of Tracen's life). 

I wanted to do something special for Luke for Christmas and decided to make a video of some sort.  I decided to make a video of the past year - but it was hard to know when to start it, and when to end it (I didn't want to cut out anything).  I finally chose to feature our life during the time we have lived in Vernal with only the video clips that were on our phones.  Watching the clips and putting it all together made me realize just how blessed we have been, and even if we don't live in our dream place, we live a wonderful happy life.  It ended up being a gift to me as well, as I found new appreciation of life. 

This video is mostly for our family - but if you want to lose 12 minutes of your life, you are welcome to watch. It was also too long (and I am too cheap) to upload in HD. 

I also want to make record that there are 3 songs, and each is a favorite from the year.  The first one is by Dotan and is Luke's favorite, the second is Coldplay and the third is a cover that Erika and Jenelle did of Gabrielle Aplin. 

Click here

And I also want to make it a goal to try to see more positives.  The negatives are easy to spot and dwell on, but there is always good.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


 I was reluctant to take the boys to go see Santa at the library.  I didn't know what to expect,  and then when I found out you needed tickets, and I didn't have them - It just didn't seem worth it.  Luckily, a Mom in our play group got some extra tickets, and I decided we had nothing to lose.  She also got there early and got our tickets numbered so that we were at the beginning of the group.  Tracen immediately spotted the basket of candy canes on the table beside where Santa would be, and I told him that he had to wait for Santa.  Finally Santa arrived and read all the kids The Polar Express.  Most of the kids were sitting quietly on the carpet listening....
 While Tracen was making his way behind Santa to try and snag a candy cane... behind Santa, but still in front of the entire group. 

 He did manage to get one out, before I got up there and put it back.  For someone who hates to be the center of attention, Tracen sure puts me there all the time. 

All Tracen asked for was "decorations" and was pleased to finally get a candy cane.  I got a picture before Rai burst into tears and started trying to get back into my arms.  
 If only the candy cane would have met expectations. Tracen wasn't too pleased to find out that it was peppermint and "spicy"... this is his face when he had a taste.
In conclusion, the library does Santa right here in Vernal.  I feel like I am learning all this information about Vernal a little too late.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 American Arizona Style

With a mish-mash of photos from my phone and the camera... here is a brief overview of our (American) Thanksgiving holiday.
We left on a Friday, picked up Jamie and Chet's new couch and then drove to St.George and were lucky to stay at Chet's parents place for the night.  We got up early and drove the rest of the way to "Grammie's Phoenix".  There is something about 70+ degree weather in late November that I really like.  I am pretty sure that we warmed up the hot tub and we all went for a swim.

On Monday we did a hike (or part of it) and Tracen happily said "good-mornin" to everyone that walked past us.

After the hike we ate a delicious breakfast. 

We were the crazy Canadians on Tuesday morning as we went swimming at the marriot in the 56 degree weather. 
Luke got to go golfing on Tuesday with his Dad, Dave Cichy and Bill Gibson.  I took Tracen to a movie with Lucy, Summer and Ashley.   They got home just in time for Sharon and I to go to a cooking class at Sur La Table.  I already told Luke that when we move to Denver I want to go to a cooking class once a month.  Nothing like cooking a great meal and eating it, and not having to clean up.  The only disappointment was that I couldn't try the dessert because of all the dairy and chocolate... if Rai only knew how committed I am to his happiness.
Our dinner: A turkey soup, pork tacos (that we ate with this green salsa) and a jicama orange salad
Thanksgiving Day was beautiful and we all spent the morning at the Marriot again, but this time in 85 degree weather.

I asked Tracen if he wanted to try swimming without his water wings, like his friends, and he said "No, I don't want to die".

With the passing of a dear friend on Wednesday, we were reminded of just how blessed and lucky we are to have all that we have.  We are so thankful for our knowledge of the gospel and eternal families, and for our good health and the countless blessings. 

 Dinner was followed by some swimming for the kids and then we put them to bed and headed out to do some shopping.  We went with Dave and Ashley and it was fun to just be shopping and hanging out with friends, without kids. 

Friday night we went to Backyard Taco and the Mesa Temple lights (along with everyone else in Arizona) per Erika's suggestions.  We were impressed with both.  Tracen loved to run down the ramps and up and down the stairs and almost caused a lot of falls of unsuspecting adults.

Look at this cheesy smile.  Rai has the funniest little grin, and it must be the Asian in him coming out, because when he smiles like this, his eyes close.

Luke's parents had to head back on Friday, but we stayed until Sunday and took advantage of the swimming and delicious food.  We also finally got pretty much all of our Christmas shopping done. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Some kids look at the clouds to see what shapes they can see, other kids have fun looking at their poop and seeing what shapes they can see ("Oh it looks like a moon, oh it is a baby one awwww").

I have this one tooth that actually isn't a real tooth (just a crown) that has taken me to the dentist three times, the endodontist once and I have to go back to the dentist AGAIN!  Hopefully everything will go as planned (the crown will go on right and seal properly) and then I won't go to the dentist again... ever. Just kidding, but I feel like I should never go back.

Our house is still for sale.  American Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and then Christmas is not far behind.  I am stuck not knowing if we should be decorating for Christmas here or just pack everything up.  It feels like we are living a little in limbo... and now there is pressure to be in Denver for the beginning of January.

I am thinking about working out, and that is about as close as I get to actually working out these days. With teething babies, sick 3 year olds and then a sick mom,  I don't know where my time and energy is going... or I do know exactly where it is all going.

I have started watching Christmas movies.  I have about 5 recorded to watch and more set to record.  There is something about a Christmas movie that I love.  The cheesier the better!  The problem is finding time to watch them.  I usually watch little portions throughout the day and then I finish it before bed.

I decided to make a quiet book for the boys for Christmas.  It sounded like a great idea, and I got a great pattern, some good coupons for Joann's but it is hard to get everything out and put it all away.  I also was ambitious and thought I would make a bunch of them, HAHA (I laugh at myself), I will be lucky if one gets finished.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween 2014 and a week in Canada

First a few pictures of Rai eating food.  His first taste of real food was a pickle he stole from me. 
 Eating some avocado. 

We are so lucky that the company Luke works for has its roots in Calgary.  Luke had to be in Calgary for a week and we got to tag along. It was Rai's 4th trip to Canada in his short 7 month life - I only wish we could keep these visits up. 

I have pictures on my phone of some of our activities during the week, eating good food (that Dad smoked), going to the zoo, Thea's birthday party and enjoying time with family.  
Tracen is just like his Dad and my Dad with his love for popcorn.

I am not usually one for going all out for Halloween, I can't even remember the last time I actually dressed up and put more than 15 minutes of thought into it... But this year I decided to put in a little effort. 

Tracen had started watching Beauty and the Beast a few months ago, and it was the only movie that he would actually watch start to finish and then want to watch again.  He didn't initially want to dress up as anything for Halloween because it was "scared" (scary) but then he decided he wanted to be the Beast. 
Trying on Luke's Gaston wig

 With Luke being gone a lot for work, and having lots of time on my hands, I made all our costumes. I got to be Belle, Rai was Cogsworth, Tracen the Beast, and Luke Gaston.
We lucked out with the weather being so amazing this Halloween in Calgary - no snow on the ground and above freezing temperatures.  

My favourite part of Tracen's Beast costume was the little bow on the back of his weird ponytail hair thing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

7 month Rai

His first time in the swing, he loved it

Rolly polly little boy, it's hard to get him to fall asleep.

Bath time is one of our favorite times of day.

Rai is now 7 months old - closer to a being a year old than being a brand new baby.

We had his 6 month check up, when he was 7 months.  

He is still a healthy growing boy and hitting all the right milestones (passing objects from one hand to another, sitting up on his own, showing some stranger danger, and trying to chew on everything).

He was about 18 lbs (the scale kept changing as he sat on it) and is 27 inches long.
His weight has kept him in the 50th percentile.
His height JUMPED to the 85th-90th percentile.
And his head grew into the 95th percentile.

He is SO close to crawling, and i guess if you count continually moving backwards, he is crawling.  He finds himself in all sorts of interesting places (under couches and tables and in corners). 
He lives in awe of Tracen and always has smiles to offer him.
He loves to much on food, zucchini, broccoli, banana, green beans, etc. and the nurse gave him his first sucker after his vaccinations yesterday (I let him have a taste and then took it away... don't want him to turn into his brother and Dad quite yet).
He is quite difficult to put to bed because he rolls and rolls around.
I am just hoping he can learn to sleep a little more at night.

Oh Rai - what would we do without you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tracen at 3 years

Tracen's birthday was over a month ago, but I just keep feeling like I need to write down some things about this stage in his life.  He just seems so grown up all the time.  Luckily he still needs me to do a few things: Like dress him (however, we are working on this and he is [finally] getting good at finding his clothes to wear...)
He is discovering money and all that goes along with that.  This makes for trouble every time we go to the store and he sees something he wants (why do grocery stores even have toys at them?).  When he was first figuring things out and asking for a hot wheel toy at the store one day with Luke, we told him we had no money, and asked him if he had some, and he answered "Ya, I do" "where is your money?" and he quickly answered "in Daddy's pocket".  I have been trying to get him to earn money by doing chores.  The other day he wanted money and said "Oh yeah, I have to earn it, I put my cars away!" And he did just that, he put away all the cars he was playing with, I gave him a penny and then he happily went and pulled all his cars back out. 

He always wants to make us laugh, or 'just wants to be happy'.  The only way he actually will look at the camera and be still for a picture usually involves him making a funny face, and he loves to admire his funny face afterwards and make sure that we both laugh at it. 

Not always a good rule follower, he is a good rule enforcer, so I know that he does know what the rules are, and although he pretends not to hear me, as soon as anyone else breaks a rule - he lets me (or them) know.

He is really into pretend and we spent a morning at The Children's Museum in Denver when we were last there, and he loved it.  He is also really into monsters, he is terrified of them, but talks about them all the time.
At the Children's museum, they had this cool little garden area and farmers market.

He loves to build things and thinks that his Daddy can build anything.  He also recently learned that Luke buys pumpjacks for work, and likes to tell me about it a lot.

He sure loves Rai.  Every time I bring Rai downstairs from his crhib, he always says " Mornin' Rai".  He usually will help me out and grab me things if it is for Rai.  Oh and for some reason he says "Yes Sir" to me. He also shares his best and favorite toys with him too. 

He is still very much into anything with an engine, cars, planes, trucks, construction equipment etc.

We love reading books, and he just started to tell his own stories.  "Once upon a time, there was a boy Tracen," He also sings a lot and makes up his own songs, with made up words.  He loves Beauty and the Beast and belting out "Be Our Guest". 

We love to go on walks and he points out every ant, beetle, flower, sound and likes to throw as many rocks as he can.  At this point in his life, every kid he sees is a friend and he is always ready to play with them.

He always asks for toast for breakfast, and any other meal he asks for peanut butter (pb & j) sandwich. 

I am sure there are so many other things I had every intention of writing down... but I can't seem to think of them.  I sure love this little boy of mine and I am grateful for the chance I have to be his Mom - even if it does keep me constantly on my toes.