Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Best Four Years

Today marks our fourth anniversary and I cannot believe how incredibly happy these past four years have been and it is all because of this wonderful man. 

I am blessed beyond words that this kind, patient, loving man proposed to me. He has completely changed my life for the better...he has taught me so much about being a selfless, serving spouse and I feel so lucky to be pampered by his love and service every single day. Not to mention how often he makes me laugh. Our lives are goofy ones. 

We spent last Saturday in the temple and as always, it is a special reminder of the covenants that we made to be together forever. Our earthly life has been full of adventures since our marriage, full of big and small decisions, and I am so glad that I got to do it all with him. I can't wait for the forever that was promised to us when we were first sealed. 

You bless my life everyday. I love you more than anything.
Happy Anniversary, love!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hot Yoga

On Monday night, I tried my first hot yoga class with some of my ward friends. As this was my first yoga class ever, I was really nervous for several reasons:

I hate working out in the heat. The room was initially set to over 104 degrees and got well over. I was most aware of this when I could no longer breathe and became dizzy any time I attempted to stand. The fogged up mirrors were also a huge clue.

I don't understand yoga pose instructions. I don't mentally comprehend movement instructions very well. I have to really think about them and even then, I still typically do them incorrectly. Yoga directions are on a whole different level. Mostly because every movement had an animal name, like dog or rabbit. But also because I couldn't see the instructor due to all the sweat running into my eyes.

I dislike sweat running into my eyes. I was forewarned of the excessive amounts of sweat, but man, I looked as if I had just stepped out of the pool. Of course, I looked more like someone who nearly drowned in the pool. At one point, as my body parts were unrealistically interwoven, the instructor suggested I watch as my sweat rolled from my elbow, down to my fingers, to drop onto the floor. Mine splashed into a puddle.

I can't move my body like gumby.  Standing splits? Enough said.

Despite the aforementioned issues, I loved how I felt afterwards. I haven't been this sore in ages. And yes, I will be returning tomorrow night for a second round of torture. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Episode Six: Man-Made and Natural Disasters

Our first few weeks in New York were very eventful.

In our first week, the fire alarm went off at 5:00 in the morning. We were exhausted and Addie was terrified...the sirens have never sounded so loud as we tried to protect Addie's 7 week-old ears. We debated whether or not to evacuate like a good citizen should, and I think that if we didn't have Adalyne, we totally would have gone back to bed. But you can't quiet that little thought that you are putting your child in danger by ignoring the warning, so we went out into the chilly night. We were out there for at least an hour and I had to nurse Addie in the company car since she had woken up and was fussing. In the end, we were told that someone had burnt toast. Wahaaat???  Oh my. Back to bed.

The next night, it happened again, only at 3 am. I could have smashed the alarm in the room I was so tired and frustrated. Addie was startled awake, AGAIN, and this time we seriously pondered staying inside, feeling that it was another false alarm. But again, with Addie, we had to go. This time it was colder and we were outside even longer only to be told that it was indeed a false alarm and that the fire crew couldn't figure out what had set it off.  I spoke with other hotel guests and apparently this has happened every year about the same time when they stayed there for a conference. GREAT. They said the last time it happened three times...thankfully, it remained at two.

Within a few days, Jon was in New York City for a job site tour on the World Trade Center when an earthquake hit the Washington DC area.  He felt it and thought it was a subway or something...haha. First earthquake experience, ever. Thankfully there was no damage in New York and he only felt a small movement.

Five days later we were in the middle of one of the worst hurricane storms to hit the East Coast, Hurricane Irene. Thankfully, we didn't feel a thing. In fact, we slept right through it and didn't even notice the strong winds. BUT...we awoke to no power and by the evening, we learned that due to flooding we would be without power for three days.

Flooding in Pearl River, NY near where we stayed.
 Our company decided to move us to another Hilton hotel nearby that did have power. While it was great we had somewhere to go, it also meant that we had to pack up and move our two months worth of stuff and I had finally gotten it all settled in so that it felt somewhat like home. And it also meant that I had just lost all of the refrigerated groceries I had bought the day before. Bummer. That night was a frustrating one, packing in the dark with a "Princess and the Frog" flashlight, carrying said luggage 1/4 mile and then hauling it down four flights of stairs (since the elevators were shut off due to power outage), shuttling Addie and the multiple loads between the two hotels, and moving into a tiny hotel room with twin beds, one piled high with our belongings, the other for Jon and I to squish together on. And then, two days later, we had to do the same trip over again and I had to pack and unpack our family's stuff for the third time in two weeks.

But we are SO grateful that we were safe and well taken care of. Our county was one of the few that was hardly hit. Just five minutes away, there was severe flooding and damage. The ward we attended in NJ was incredible...the area authorities asked the wards in the East Coast area to only hold a 30 minute Sacrament meeting early in the morning and then go help the victims. They did this for over a month every Saturday and Sunday! The Saints were amazing and the stories they brought back to Church the next week were incredible and incredibly sad.

We belong to such an amazing Church and I loved seeing the influence for good this opportunity provided.

Hopefully, we've had our share of disasters for a little while...I think the only one we're in danger of in Chandler is drought. Phew!

Episode Five: Hilton Hotel Living

Episode Five: Hilton Hotel Living

Living in New York was an absolute blast. Jon went everyday to training which he loved. We made great friends and he learned so much! He also got to work personally with some of the top dogs of his company. In fact, one of the Senior VPs offered to babysit Addie on several occasions and I got to meet the CEO!

Everyone was so nice and it was so great to hang out with people from all over the country, from all backgrounds of life. Everyone was especially wonderful to me and Addie. They called her their "little BIM baby" and were absolutely enthralled with her. It was kinda funny to see how curious they were about babies...In Utah culture, we just take babies for granted--they are everywhere you look, someone in your family or friend group most likely just had one. But these people were from a very different world...they were almost afraid of her, haha...but they certainly warmed up. I'd like to think that their experience with her will encourage them to have kids of their own one day!

Now, living in a hotel for two months was an adventure. Thankfully, it was an incredible hotel. The amenities were awesome, from racquetball courts to indoor pools, to gyms, to a beautiful walking trail.

The beautiful grounds of the Hilton. 
And in a strange way, living in that hotel was the best thing for me at the time. People always looked at me like I was crazy and then they'd ask, "But what do you do all day?" It is amazing how little things could fill the day and with a baby, it was perfect. Addie and I had no responsibilities...we were free to relax and enjoy each other's company. I got to spend one-on-one time with Addie like I will never be able to again in my life. Someone made my bed every morning, cleaned my bathrooms, and vacuumed my floors. We had free breakfast every morning and free dinner once a week. The extent of my responsibilities was the weekly laundry and shopping and Addie. I sound totally pampered and I was! What a blessing...instead of trying to balance a million things and be a good mom, I was blessed to learn how to be a mom first, then slowly add back the responsibilities.

The living room suite part of our room (for the first half of our stay)
Our bedroom
Like I said, we were pampered. For the second half of our stay, we were moved into an actual apartment within the Hilton, complete with full kitchen. It was pretty much the above pictures plus a kitchen. It was awesome! We wish we could go back...at least, we sometimes wish we could go back :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reap What You Sow

Without the permission of our landlords (because we're sneaky like that), we planted a garden during January (which is awesome, that we could plant a garden in January). We bought all the materials for a box garden and planted buttercrunch lettuce, Romaine lettuce, spinach, baby tomatoes, sugar-snap peas, carrots, and onions. Oh, and an artichoke...we call him, "Arty." He almost died, but we revived him and now he is a giant. 

In the beginning
 It has been a blast watching everything grow, mostly because I haven't killed anything, which is a strange and rare thing. 
And it is so gratifying to see your work pay off:

Our tiny garden has definitely gone a little wild and crazy...next time, we'll build a bigger box!
We eat our lettuce in our salads every night...pretty much because we have so much lettuce that we have to keep up with the production. Wooo Wooo.

Picked a bowl-full of sweet peas which are to die for. I have distinct memories of the Arizona garden at my parent's house, where we used to just pick them off for a mid-play snack. And that's exactly what we do with ours!

The carrots are still growing and so are the onions. 

And we picked our first tomato a couple days ago. I'm a little afraid for our tomatoes...we have over 60 that are still green, but that are soooo close to ripening. I'm sure that in just a few days, we'll wake up and we'll have over 60 ripe tomatoes...looks like I'll be searching for recipes that can use fresh tomatoes.

This is Jon and I's first garden and we are so excited and proud over such a small thing, it is really silly. But we are proud, nonetheless. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Addie-babe is a whoppin' 9 months old. That is only 3 months away from a year. She is definitely growing up way too fast!

But I am loving all the hilarious new things that she can do. Her personality keeps growing every day and she has become such an independent, stubborn, loving, curious little girl.

At nine months (technically 9 1/2 months), her stats are:
Height: 27 3/4 in (50%)
Weight: 16 lbs 1 oz (5%)
Head Circ: 16 3/4 in (10 %)

Still just as tall and skinny as ever. 

She has three teeth (all on the bottom), and a couple more that will be coming in soon.

Among many things, at nine months she can:
Wave "hello" and "bye-bye"
Stand by herself for a second or two
Drain her sippy cup of juice
Pop the lid off of her "puffs" container with her teeth (i feel like this is so genius, haha)
Turn book pages one by one by putting her pointer finger between the pages (too cute)
Suck through a straw
Open and close doors
Whine in a certain way to let me know when she wants something
Walk along anything, including walls
Eat big people food like sweet potatoes, bananas, peas, green beans, watermelon, eggs, etc. and LOVES it

Has discovered how to unroll toilet paper
Has learned that there is a mini-pool inside the toilet that is just for her fun
Has learned that there are certain cupboards I'd rather she not get into, and she heads straight for them

Likes to eat the fireplace soot

Loves bathtime more than anything...in fact, she just LOVES water
Is attached to her mama, especially since our Utah trip
Plays hide-and-seek in her crib. When we first come in to get her from a nap, she gives a huge grin, then drops and crawls away from us into the nearest corner to "hide" from us and happily pumps her legs until we finally pick her up.

Shares, but only when she is feeling ultra generous. She will take Jon's glasses, give 'em a little suck, then hand them back to him (never releasing them from her grip) so he can slobber a little, and then she takes them back for her own suck.
Loves to be chased, whether by Jon or I or by a stuffed animal, it makes her squeal and giggle more than anything else.

Our most favorite characteristic of Addie's (or the one that makes us laugh the hardest) is that she is totally

If you put her blocks back in her bucket, no matter where she is, she will stop what she is doing to completely empty the bucket. Usually she accomplishes this by dumping it over her face.

If you build a tower, she will do whatever it takes to get to it, and level it until not a single block is on top of another.

If you pop up the animals on one of her toys, she will stay there until she has successfully put them all back down into their places. Usually she accomplishes this by slamming the toy upside down, effectively shutting each animal back in its place with minimal exertion. How smart is she?

If there is a container of anything or a stack of anything, it can no longer exist. This includes: Easter baskets filled with eggs, folded laundry stacked higher than two items, DVDs on a shelf, tupperware in a larger container, clothes in a drawer, clothes in a suitcase, items in a decor basket, cords in a drawer, food on a shelf, etc. You get the idea.

I sometimes feel that my baby is allergic to order. She is not content unless ordered things are put out of place. 

While it can be frustrating at times, it makes me laugh more often than not.

This girl is the joy of our lives. We love being her parents. We love how special and unique she is.

 Love you, big girl. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homeward Bound

Do any of you remember that movie? Homeward Bound, with the talking animals. We just watched it the other day at my friend's house. Anyway...off the subject.  

We just spent over a week and a half with my family back home in Utah and managed to do a million things. With those millions of things came millions of pictures, so be prepared for an overload. Of highlight are the following: 

Seth returned from his mission to Paris, France and came back more stylish than any of us.

The best picture I got...I was obviously too excited. 
Watched Conference with family: the Randalls, the Berretts, and the Frandsens. 

Playing with cousin Taygen during Conference. 
Distracting everyone during Conference. 
 Had a mother/daughter/granddaughter night out with good food and a chic flic accompanied by buckets of tears. 

Addie got her third tooth and her first black eye which can be seen in many of the pictures (the first of many to come, I'm sure).

Reunited with a best friend, Nicole, and introduced my adorable baby. Not to mention some good shopping and eating was done. 

Watched Jake's soccer games and froze at McKay's lacrosse games.

Visited with Great Great Grandma and Grandpa Frandsen...LOVE them!!

Window shopped at the new City Creek Center in Salt Lake City with aunts and cousins. 

Sleeping peacefully after a full day of shopping. 
Returned to my old teaching grounds at OJHS and loved being with old friends and wonderful past students.

With Krystin, my best friend from OJHS!
Road tripped to St. George with the family and was reunited with my husband...finally!

Hiked to petroglyphs.

bumming a ride with McKay
she has learned how to "cheese"
Addie discovered she loves to run, or at least run with you. Check out her gleeful face!

Don't judge...the only thing that would make her happy was to hold and suck on a rock. 

the hiking clan
Hung out with a majority of the Frandsen family, including recently returned Elder Dallin Frandsen.

Had a delicious family BBQ and killer kickball game.

Hunted for Addie's first Easter eggs.

check out that face: pure determination...and a little bit frustration that the egg is unyielding to her little gums
Hiked Fossil Canyon, which involved some serious boulder-scaling.


I told Katie I was taking a pic of her bum and she told me that I probably should since she's the only one in her family who even has one. hehe. 

jon climbing up a difficult side canyon to get to a hidden meadow

Went on a bike/long boarding adventure, which included stealing construction cones to create an obstacle course.
yeah...we're hard core like that
Enjoyed Easter Sunday and Easter dinner before heading home to Arizona.

papa reading to Addie during Easter Sunday
Easter Outfit! This girl is too dang cute!

We're happy to be home, but we had a blast while we were away!!