Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring has Sprung

This past week it has finally felt like spring has arrived. In fact, yesterday it reached 88 degrees and suddenly felt like summertime. I am thoroughly enjoying the nice weather and getting outside with the kids. Last week we walked to the park almost everyday. Both Maybrie and Thomas love being outside and playing on the playground. On Saturday we did yard work for the first time and got going on a some spring cleaning. Here is a picture of Maybrie helping daddy clean the kitchen cupboards. Maybrie is really into helping clean lately... it usually ends up taking longer with her participating, but I am not going to object to her desire to learn and be independent. 
 We have seen quite a bit of rain this past month and Maybrie was thrilled to go out in the rain with her new umbrella. 
 Thomas is looking more and more like a little boy rather than a baby. Here he is on his cousin's 4-wheeler. I  pushed him around on it for a while and he thought it was pretty cool!
 We joined the "Mormon Mobile" club! We sold our beloved Mercury Milan and bought Brian's parents Ford Windstar. It is nice to have more space and we will actually be saving money by switching vehicles.
Thomas has discovered the swings and we can almost always get a good laugh out of him while he is swinging. Here is a little clip of his cuteness. Also, notice his cute green converse and shorts... I love pulling out the summer clothes and having more exposed chub to kiss on! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Trip Part 3

On Saturday, between Easter egg hunts, Brian and I took the kids down to our old stomping grounds- BYU. This time we got to see the water features Brian worked on while working on BYU Grounds with water running through them (the water was off when we visited in November for Thanksgiving). It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed a nice walk around the well-kept school grounds.
Brian and Thomas

I just love pretty waterfalls. Someday I'd like to have one in my own yard to enjoy... nothing like the sound of the flowing water. We also got to go to lunch at In-N-Out with our good friends Matt and JeriAnn Lukens, who we always have a great time with.

On Monday we met our friends Helaman and Maija Haynie at BYU for bowling with their kids Adam and Benson. It was Maybrie's first time and she LOVED it! I don't know if she was a better bowler or cheerleader! She was pretty enthusiastic. Thomas loved walking around the bowling ball dispenser too. It was fun to get together with them one last time before Helaman graduates and starts work in Arizona. It looks like the last of our BYU friends are graduating and starting work around the country... so this was likely the last trip to Utah where we get to catch up with friends who are still in the area going to school. :(
Maybrie cheering her purple ball on as it travels down the lane!

Benson, Thomas, and Adam- what cuties!

Maybrie using the bowling ramp... can you see the joyful smile on her face?!

On Tuesday we went up to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo canyon with my mom, sisters Ashley, Jalene, and Keri, and their kids. We couldn't believe the hot sun, I actually got a tiny sunburn! It felt awesome... I am definitely ready for summer weather and all of the fun outdoor activities you can do in it.
Thomas looked stylin' in his sun hat and cargo shorts

The twins- Maeryn and Afton

Maybrie in her princess sunglasses- she loved sticking her feet in the water

Helen and Thomas

Brian and Maybrie at the base of the falls

The crew eating lunch

Anna Banana

Maeryn, Anna, Maybrie, Penelope

Me and Thomas

Daddy and Thomas

Rachel and Helen

Thomas conked out... the trip wore him out (and the rest of us for that matter!)

Our little family- the kids weren't feeling very photogenic! :)

Thomas found a new favorite play place under my parent's dining table! The rail in the middle is just the right height for him. He had a great time exploring new places and getting kissed on by all of my family. We had a wonderful trip and were so glad we got such good visits in with my family and some friends while we were there. The kids were good travelers and we made great time both ways, which is always a bonus when going on long road trips. Now it's "home again, home again! Jiggety jig!"

Spring Trip Part 2

We stayed at my sister Hillary's house in Orem. The Easter bunny left the kids baskets on Saturday morning. Maybrie oo-ed and aw-ed over everything, and Thomas loved pulling everything out of his basket. We went to the annual Northridge Easter Egg Hunt at my parent's neighborhood. Maybrie got lots of eggs and even found one prize egg, I enjoyed seeing some old friends from my ward growing up, and we all enjoyed the free Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast.Later that afternoon we had a family Easter Egg Hunt in my parent's backyard. There were 20 eggs for each kid, so Maybrie ended up with plenty of candy. It is always fun to see the cousins playing and having a good time together. The weather was perfect too, which is always a bonus for outdoor activities!
Check out the loot!

Some of the men put together a picnic table for my parents and the kids enjoyed playing in the boxes!

That evening we had an adult night with my parents and siblings at the clubhouse at my sister Ashley's condo. We all grabbed food and treats on the way, ate, talked, and played games. We all got a good laugh playing charades! On Easter Sunday we went to church with my sister Hillary and her family. Then we had a festive ham dinner at my parent's house. There was so much good food over the weekend, both Brian and I felt like we gained ten pounds! Dinner was of course followed by more enjoyable visiting among the adults and running around for the grandkids (Maybrie and her cousins).
This is Maybrie in her Easter dress that Brian's mom made. This is right out of the bath... I forgot to take pictures of how cute the kids looked just before church... oops! Maybrie is holding her cousin Ruby's baby doll, one she decided to adopt during our stay, and one she was not happy about letting go on our last night! :)

Maybrie and Ruby relaxing after church, cuddling their baby dolls and watching Princess and the Frog.

These are the cute edible bird's nest decorations my sister's Jessica and Hillary made to decorate the tables for dinner. We had a wonderful Easter with my family full of good company, good food, and good weather! We hope you all did too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Trip Part 1

We decided to head down to Utah to visit my family over Easter weekend. Brian got off a little early Thursday afternoon and we jumped in the car and drove as far as the kids would allow us, knowing full well we would stop at some halfway point, but not sure where. We were glad we didn't book a room in Ontario, OR because the kids were doing great at that point and we knew we could push on to Boise, ID. I found myself in awe of modern technology as I managed to book a great room at a Holiday Inn Express on Hotwire just 14 minutes prior to our arrival on my iPhone! Did I mention how much I love my phone and how well it entertains Maybrie on long drives?! It was a wonderful addition to this road trip for sure! Plus, I don't have to feel as bad about Maybrie getting too much screen time when she has her shapes and some letters mastered after a few hours of driving! :) We reached Boise around 10pm, and let the kids enjoy moving around a little before we put them to bed. They were so thrilled to be out of the car and thought our hotel room was awesome. Thomas made sure to explore every inch of the place, and was all smiles as he did.
Thomas happily chillin' with daddy

Maybrie enjoying her LATE McDonald's dinner in our hotel room

We all slept quite well and enjoyed a yummy continental breakfast the next morning before getting back on the road. We made great time and the kids were very well-behaved. We stopped at temple square in Salt Lake and met up with my sister Noelle and her son Howie. We were excited to show Maybrie some of the sites now that she is actually understanding some of what we teach her during Family Home Evenings. When we pointed out the Conference Center to Maybrie we told her that that is where the prophet spoke to us during conference the week before. As we walked across the temple grounds Maybrie said, "I want to go see President Monson. He's my friend!" It was so sweet. Definitely a proud parent moment!
Me and Maybrie at the Christ statue in temple visitor's center

Our whole family

Noelle, Howie, Me, Thomas & Maybrie in front of the fountains at City Creek Center

The fam

We walked through the incredible new City Creek Center... it is truly a beautiful place. I love the sound of running water everywhere. We only went into the Disney store, which was absolutely magical to Maybrie and then grabbed a bite to eat at the food court.

The creek running between all the shops

Retractable awning

Water feature outside the food court

In front of the reflection pool at the Salt Lake temple

We took the kids to the children's Book of Mormon exhibit at the Church History museum. Maybrie LOVED it! It was a great interactive place to play. She, Howie, and Thomas had a lot of fun.

Maybrie and Howie having dinner with the missionaries

Thomas harvesting crops!

Picking vegetables from the garden

Howie and Maybrie driving the truck

Maybrie learning to Mexican dance

Howie relaxing with the animals

Playing in the back of the pick up truck


Maybrie painting

After a fun afternoon in Salt Lake we drove the final hour stretch down to my parent's house in Orem. We ate pizza and visited with family. We also got to visit with one of my dear childhood friends Kristi-Lynn and her family who were in town from NYC. It was fun to catch up and meet her newest addition Colton.

Ashley, Kristi-Lynn & Me