Friday, March 23, 2012

Hawaii Anniversary Trip

So I am not sure how many people update or follow blogs anymore, but I have decided that I am not a Facebooker and want to update my blog about life in my world more frequently. So with that being said, I am going to start with the first exciting thing that happened for us this year.
Brad and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary on January 23rd. Each year we take turns planning a way to celebrate our anniversary and since this was a big one we wanted to celebrate in a big, fun way. We decided on Hawaii. After talking with Grandma Patti during the summer to see if she would be able to watch the kids for a week, we got our go ahead and started planning, making reservations, and counting down. We left for Oahu on January 11th and got home the morning of January 19th. We enjoyed every minute we were there! We started our trip out with a two hour massage the morning after we arrived. It was really funny because Brad said to me that I can't leave the massage place when we get there and I see it. When you see massages taking place on tropical islands you usually think massage on the beach next to each other, well this was not the case for us. We pull down this alleyway in the middle of the city nowhere near the beach and all we see are mechanic shops and a sign for Island Massage upstairs. Now I understood why Brad told me I couldn't turn around and leave. Well, I do have to say it was the best massage I have ever had and I keep telling Brad that I need to go see Maria and not just because it is in Hawaii, she knows what she is doing and Brad's was just as good. The girl that did his massage was so good, she put him to sleep. Anyway, it was a great way to start the trip. Later that day we found our favorite beach, Waimanalo. The waves were fun to ride and the sand beneath the water was extremely soft and there was no algae in the water. It was the best! Throughout our week we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor and we thought both were neat, but won't visit them again unless the kids are with us. In fact, we thought the 'PCC' was a waste of a day and wish we would have just done the night show. One funny thing that did happen at the Luau at the 'PCC' was they invited all people celebrating "love" up on stage for a dance. One couple from our table went up too and when they had the couples step forward who were celebrating ten years or more her eyes about popped out of her head when she saw us step forward. They popped out of her head a second time when we got back to our table and she asked if and how many kids we had. LOL! Our favorite thing to do was to drive and beach hop. We drove to North Shore and loved the town and shops and beaches there also. Its funny we have talked about the places we ate and our top favorites were at North Shore. So North Shore is known for its huge waves and we learned that waves are measured from the back not where they peak. So a 5 foot wave may look like 7 feet from where you sit on the beach. Anyway, we went to Waimea Bay expecting to enjoy calm water and that was not the case. The lifegaurds got on the intercom and gave a warning that only people with experience, a board, and fins were allowed in the water due to the 15 foot waves and the undercurrent. They would also go up to families that would approach the beach and basically tell them to leave and gave them names of kid friendly beaches for that day. It was pretty cool to see the waves and people riding them, but for a chicken like myself they were very intimidating to say the least. We did not get in the water at that bay and headed down the shore later on so that we could get in the water where those huge waves were a lot further out. Another fun thing that we did and enjoyed was Hanauma Bay and snorkeling. I remember living in Pennsylvania and having to learn to snorkel in swim class, so I figured this was something that I could do and wouldn't chicken out. Well two things, first when we lived in Pennsylvania I was eight years old and second that was in a pool and not the ocean. I got pretty nervous and finally just took the plunge and did it. I told Brad that I sounded like Darth Vader making sure I was breathing right. We had a blast and it was totally fun to do something out of my comfort zone. We had underwater cameras and you can tell who took what pictures. Brad would get right next to the fish and I would get just close enough. It was a really fun day. One thing that amazed us was the amount of Asian tourists there. Our last night there we went on a dinner cruise. We took a bus from the hotel to the ship and Brad and I were the first ones on the bus. So here we are sitting on the bus and watching every person get on and they were all Asian. We were beginning to wonder if we had gotten on the right bus until the last couple to get on was Caucasian. We had a fun time on the cruise and enjoyed our last night there. Our last day (since we had a red eye flight) we went back to our favorite spot Waimanalo Beach and enjoyed our last day. We had a spectacular time and can't wait to go back. It was so relaxing and so fantastic for Brad and I to be together without the kids. It was also great to know that we didn't have to worry about the kids while we were gone and to know that they were in good hands. Thanks Grandma!!! Thanks Brad for the trip and for the last 10 years!!!!!!!
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Did it Again

I love Zumba and have been doing it at least once a week for about 15 months, it is an addiction I have. What is even better is that we have a certified instructor in our ward who does a free class once or twice a week. So last Monday here I was at Zumba, a few minutes into the class, and I went to lock the building doors as per our bishops request. On my way out I was watching Kenzi, as long as she didn't see me I was good. She caught me as I was jogging out and I turned around to get her so she would not scream and just as I turned I stepped on a kid's flip flop which threw my ankle off and it rolled all the way out and then all the way in and I fell to the floor. In those short seconds a couple thoughts ran through my head oh sh*#, who saw that, and what am I going to do. Jackson saw me sitting on the floor and I yelled at him to get my phone and I called Brad's cell phone. Luckily he answered and I said, "Brad I just busted my ankle, I am at the church, what do I do?" He said he was on his way. I started to get really light headed and blacked out and at the moment I knew I needed to lay down or I was going to pass out. I was better after laying down and two of my friends noticed and came over, got a chair for me to put my foot on and a yoga mat for my head. I called my sister in law, Kat, and asked her if she could watch the kids and said yes. A little bit later I hear my friend say, "Isn't it great to have a knight in shining armor." YES IT IS!! We got out to the car, the kids to Kat's, and to the Urgent Care and about three and a half hours from the time I rolled it we found out that it was a pretty good sprain, I was put in a big walking boot, on crutches, told to stay off it for about a week, and a referral for physical therapy.

This is 5th time in my life that I have sprained/broke my ankle. The last time I injured it was 12 years ago when I was a senior in high school. My poor parents to have dealt with it four different times. Brad has really been my Knight in Shining Armor. He has recently been put in as the project manager for his work and a new marketing company, so he has a TON on his plate. He took time off to take me to the doctor, took some half days, stayed up late to work and catch up on what he missed, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, bathed and got the kids to bed on time. On top of that on the days that he wasn't home to feed the kids lunch he had bottles and drinks in the fridge, lunch ready to go in the microwave with instructions written out for Jackson to follow along with snacks on the counter and the step stool out so the kids could reach them. And he helped me with everything from getting my ice to wrapping my ankle before bed to getting my book. What an amazing man!!!! I am the luckiest women alive. I am so blessed and I hope you know how appreciative I am of you. Thanks babe, I Love You!! The kids have also been so helpful and curious as to how I am doing. Jackson knows and has loved being the helper with lunch, cleaning up and Kenzi. I know that I am very blessed!! It is amazing what you tend to take for granted and what happens to make you realize that you have. I LOVE MY LOVE, MY KIDS, AND MY LIFE!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

'Good Times Were Had By All' Disneyland 2011

Back in February Brad and I talked about wanting to take our first family trip. Disneyland was always a front runner, but we were worried that the two girls would not enjoy it or be able to go on many rides. We asked a lot of friends who have been with tiny ones what their thoughts were and they all said to go. So we decided to go. We wanted to tell the kids in a fun way, so we ordered a Disney Vacation DVD and when it got here we told the kids that we were having movie night and that mom and dad got to pick the movie. We made popcorn and turned the movie on. When the train rides and monorail came on the screen Jackson was all grin, ear to ear. So, we anxiously waited over the next two months making trip errands on the weekends for beach toys, swimsuits and summer clothes, glitter toes for mom, and testing out the new DVD player in the car. We left on May 6th and drove to Vegas. We decided to stay at Excalibur on the strip so the kids could say they stayed at a castle. As we were driving down the strip, walking through the casino to get to registration it did not take Brad and I long to figure out that we were fish out of water with three kids in Veagas. We wanted to take the kids to the M&M store and the Coke store that night, but we were so uncomfortable being out from all the looks we were getting and having to walk through the casino to get anywhere else that we went to the golden arches for dinner and stayed in our room the rest of the night. The kids enjoyed it because we had a room on the 21st floor that overlooked New York New York's roller coaster. (Don't get me wrong, I love Vegas as does Brad, but go as a couple and not as a young family.) As my brother said to me that night, "Tomorrow you will be at a place where you fit in." He was right, we got to Anaheim on Saturday evening and we stayed at the Fairfield Inn across from Disneyland. As we pulled in we woke up Addi and told the kids we were finally there and you could just feel the excitement. We had 3 day park hopper passes and our first day at Disneyland was Sunday, Mother's Day and National Gothic Day. They had cast members handing out a carnation to each mom to pin on her shirt. It was awesome to walk down the main street and to feel the magic as you look at other people, the characters that were out, and at all the sites. Our first ride that morning was Big Thunder Mountain and on our way to the ride we came along Woody and Jesse. Sometimes its not so great to have shy kids as only Addi would go up to them and when she got there she would not leave dad's arms. We got to Big Thunder Mountain and I promised myself that if Jackson wanted me to go on something I would go because I did not want him to sense my fear of heights, so Jackson and I went first and we got a switch pass for Brad. What a blast! Towards the end Jackson was saying 'Mom I want to get off!' We got off and then he went again with Brad. Later that day Brad and Jackson went on Space Mountain and got another switch pass for Jackson and I to go after. After waiting an hour for the ride Jackson came off and DID NOT want to go again because of the dark. We enjoyed the merry-go-round about two times that day, Dumbo once, and the tea cups twice. We watched all the Gothics walk around and in the bathroom I heard a little girl say to her mom, 'Why are there all these people dressed in Halloween costumes?' I got a really good laugh at that. We waited for the fireworks that night in front of the castle, but because of high winds they were canceled, but all in all we had a great first day!!! On Monday we hung out at the hotel, went and saw the movie Rio, and went to the hotel pool. On Tuesday we had made reservations for breakfast with Mickey and his friends. We went to the PCH Grille at one of the Disney Hotels and this was totally awesome!! We met Mickey, Minney, Daisey, Goofey, and Stitch. They came right up to the table and gave the kids hugs, signed their books, danced with them up on the stage and the kids (and even mom and dad) had a great time. When we went to the park Brad and Jackson went on some big rides and the girls and I headed over to the Princess Fantasy Walk. After a looooong hour and 45 minute wait Addi got to meet Belle, Cinderella, and Ariel. Though the pictures may not show it, she was excited to meet them and keeps telling me they signed her book. Throughout the day we came aross Raprunzel and Buzz. Rapunzel came up to Addi in her Tinkerbelle outfit and asked her if she used her wings to fly to Disneyland and if Addi could teach her to fly. Buzz gave Jackson a high five. Later that day we went to Pixie Hollow and met Vidia and Addi's favorite, Tinkerbell. Addi was sooo excited to meet Tink and we were just glad that Tink was there. Tink looked at Addi's fairy wings and talked with her and Addi actually returned Tink's hug. We went on many more rides some for the first time and others for the second or third and ate a huge fried turkey leg (yum!). Wednesday we took the kids to Newport Beach for the day and we had such a great time. Jackson loved the waves, Addi loved having Brad make Sleeping Beauty's Castle, and Kenzi loved the sand and having the space to roam. We did not want to leave the beach and neither did the kids. Our last day was Thursday. We spent the morning at Disneyland and the afternoon and evening at California Adventure. At California Adventure we met Pluto and Donald Duck and a couple of our favorite rides are there. Jackson wore his pirate costume and handed Pluto his sword pen to sign his book and Pluto took the pen and held it in a way to start a sword fight with Jackson. Jackson thought that was pretty funny. We went on Soarin' Over California and Jackson and Brad went first because there were signs saying if you are afraid of heights this ride is not for you and if Jackson did not want to go again I would rather me not be able to go then Brad. So they get off the ride and Jackson absolutely loved it and wanted to go again. I was really nervous and hesitant to go, but I did and loved it. The lady on the other side of Jackson was getting a good laugh when she saw how tight I was holding on before the ride had even started. Later that afternoon Jackson asked Brad if he wanted to go on Califonia Screamin' which is a huge, fast, roller coaster with a loop and they both loved it to the point that Jackson wanted to go again. It was really cute though he kept complaining that his neck was bothering him afterward and Brad said that he really tensed up when the ride took off and was that way the whole time while being whipped around. But he still loved it. We had plans to see World of Color that night and we wanted to make sure we had a great place to watch it as Jackson has been watching it on YouTube the last two months, so we made reservations at Ariel's Grotto since tickets for the preferred seating area came with dinner. We went and got a spot and soon the show began and we all had huge smiles on our faces, but a few minutes into it the water stopped and the lights came back on in the park and there was an announcement saying that the show was cancelled due to technical difficulties. We were SOOO upset! This was supposed to be our big grand finale and we did not get it. Addi kept saying 'I'm so mad right now' and Jackson kept saying 'at least we can still watch it on YouTube.' We left the next morning and stayed in St. George for an extra day and came home Sunday.

I LOVE Disneyland!! It really is the happiest place on earth (even with a few hiccups). You see parents dancing around with their kids, dad's wearing princess backpacks, kid's dressed in costumes of their favorite characters, and more special to me is seeing the magic light up our kids' faces. One of our favorite rides was Small World because all three of the kids especially Kenzi just paused and literally took in everything all three times that we went on it. We had such a fabulous time that NONE of us wanted to come home. I even cried when we left! We can't wait to go back!!!!!!

Here is a link to see our fun pictures.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Winter Fun

The kids loved playing in the snow this winter, especially when Brad was home to go outside with them and help build a snowman. Addi was really hesitant at first and only lasted about 10 minutes the first time. But the second time she loved it. Since our house faces north we have had snow on our lawn up until the last week or so and Addi has still been eating it. We would tell her how gross and dirty it was, but she didn't care (guess I need to remember that I am talking about the child that ate 1 or 2 rolly polly bugs and rocks when she was 1). We had a fun winter, but we are SO excited for spring and summer and are anxious to kiss winter goodbye!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mckenzie's First Birthday

Mckenzie turned one on January 12th. I can not believe that my baby is already one! It seems like not that long ago we brought her home from the hospital. She is such an amazing baby girl and is so full of life. She follows her brother and sister everywhere they go and tries to join in with them in all they do. She loves to give hugs and is very cuddly. She makes me smile.

For her birthday we had family over for dinner, cake, and ice cream. She wasn't all that sure about opening presents, but had LOTS of help from her big sister. She loves the gifts she was given and is very territorial when Jackson and Addi play with them or take them away from her.

We ordered her cake through Walmart and the cake decorator took the napkins that we were using so she could make the cake identical to the birthday decorations. I was actually pretty impressed.

Walmart also made an individual cake for a penny for the birthday girl to dig into and enjoy. She wasn't so sure about it at first, but....

she really got into it and had to have a bath immediately after. She had cake in her hair, ears, up her nose, it was everywhere. I think she enjoyed it. We had a fun time. To our big one year old, We Love You!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

December 2010, Part 2, Christmas

We had such a fun Christmas season this year. Jackson and Addi understand more and more each year. The season started off with Jackson and Addi spending the night at Grandma Patti's early in December to help decorate her Christmas tree. This has been a yearly tradition with Jackson and this was Addi's first year. They both had so much fun and Grandma always goes the extra mile. Both of the kids came home with new Christmas pillow cases on their pillows that she had made and they both were so sad to see the sleepover end. Brad and I both traveled this month, me for fun and Brad for work, so the month went by too fast. We live in such a great and fun neighborhood and ward. We were constantly receiving treats and gifts from friends and enjoyed giving out my Great Grandma Rowley's chili sauce. On Christmas Eve we had a fun night, full of anticipation and excitement at Grandma Patti and Pappa Joe's with Aunt Jenni and Uncle Justin. We came home and once again Santa's elves had dropped off new pajamas for everyone including mom and dad this year. They also left a magic Santa key to hang on the front door Christmas Eve to let Santa in since Jackson was so concerned this year about how Santa gets in since we do not have a fireplace. The kids woke up around 7:00 Christmas morning and surprisingly followed instructions to "come and get mom and dad up before going in the front room". Addi was not feeling well that morning and did not want to do anything. When we got out into the front room she fell to the floor and fell back asleep. The kids were so excited and had tons of fun opening their gifts as did mom and dad. We had our family tradition of Hot Roll Pull Aparts for breakfast and let the kids enjoy the afternoon with their toys and a visit from Uncle Greg. Later that evening we went to Grandma Donna's and Pappa Kirk's house for Christmas dinner, exchange gifts with cousins and siblings, talk to Uncle Paul, and enjoyed a great game of spoons. Just as every Christmas Day Night, I came home, sat down, and stared at the tree and felt sad. I LOVE the Christmas season and as the day came to an end I was sad that all the excitement, happiness, giving, and focusing on our Savior's birth was done for another year and wondered if I did all I could have in the past days to embrace the kids and such fun moments in our lives. And just like every other year I promise myself that next year will be just as great, if not better. :)

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

December 2010, Part 1, NYC

Yes, I am a little behind (as usual), but better late then never. I had the opportunity to go to the big apple with my sister and best friend and we had an amazing time. Brad went to the Utah Notre Dame game back in November as did my sister's husband. My sister and I watched the game together and talked to each other a ton that weekend because neither one of us like being home alone. On one telephone conversation she said we need a girl's trip, so we decided to think about it and talk the next day. When she called the next day I told her that I thought about Park City or St. George and she said that we were so not on the same page and she was thinking Chicago, San Francisco, or NYC. We decided to go for it when her hubby found a great deal on plane tickets the next day. We had such a fabulous time. We stayed less then a block from Times Square, shopped, saw the Twin Towers site, took the subway, ate great food, but my favorite part were the Broadway plays we saw. Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. Phantom was amazing and the girl who played the main part had the most amazing voice. I have never heard such a strong, loud, clear, amazing voice. However, Wicked is my favorite of the two. The story line was great and the music was just amazing. I loved every minute of it and could see it over and over again. I decided that I could go to NYC and just see plays. We had a great time and can't wait to go again. Thanks sis for the great trip! I still look back and laugh at all the silly things (milfo pla and the 29 year old grandma walking down the stairs) and all the great talks we had. It was a blast! Thanks to my Love for making my dream of seeing NYC at Christmastime come true and letting me go, taking time off work and taking care of the kids, and giving me a much needed break. I love you babe!