Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Weekend With The Blacks!

Lindsay and Joey asked us to watch their kiddos for a couple days while they took their first full weekend
away. We were SO excited to have B&B over to play! We had the best weekend
and were so glad to help Lindsay and Joey have some adult time!

They left on Thursday so Grandma Merrilee had a sleepover and took care of them while Jake and I
worked Friday. She surprised us and I had 2 special little visitors at work that day. Brooklynn got to color
at my desk while I ate Brody’s cheeks. I showed them off to everyone in the office while Grandma got
a little work done. After work we patiently (or not so much in B’s case) waited for Kailee Bug to come
play! Her mommy brought her over and I didn’t see them the rest of the night unless they needed a
snack, dinner or a drink ;) those little girls played their hearts out! They love each other a lot! Now that
Miss B is getting a voice and doesn’t just do whatever Kailee says, there is a little more arguing, but they
still get along so well! LOVE those little divas! They played dress up, school, mommy and baby, every
kind of animal, and we even had a little family game of Candyland! Bathtime was definitley the biggest hit and they were both such good listeners!

Saturday the kiddos were SO good while Jake and I watched the BYU vs Notre Dame game. Dang BYU.
Get my hopes up to shoot ‘em down ;). (side note:) There was one time Brody was sleeping and BYU
scored.. Jake and I quietly freaked out and were jumping up and down and hugging.. I looked over and
Kailee was watching us with the biggest smile on her face. Made me happy. One of those moments
where I hope she could see and feel how much Jake and I love each other, and how much fun we have
together. One day when she’s old enough (cough. 30) I hope she looks for someone who will treat her
just like her daddy treats me : ).

After the game we got dressed up, well the kiddos did, and it was off to Grandma Andrus's for her
annual Halloween party! We had so much fun and are SO grateful JoLene was so thoughtful and
welcoming to B&B. Meant a lot to me, and I know it meant the world to Linds and Joey. How cute is she
to do all this? She goes ALL out! We had fun hitting the pinata, trick-or-treating down the hallway, and
eating lots of yummy food! Thanks for such a great day JoLene!

As much work as 3 kiddos can be, I have to admit. My husband is one hot daddy! ;) He was SO good to
help, hold Brody, help the girls, and just be there for whatever I needed. Just ONE more reassurance
that this guy is the greatest daddy. I’m SO so lucky to know that and to see it! Brody would smile every
time Jake was around.. He isn’t a cuddly little one, until Uncle Jake was holding him. MELT.MY.HEART!
Seriously. Almost made me want to make a baby a year early ;) I kid, I kid (sort of).

And Kailee Bug..
what an AWESOME helper she is. She was so patient and understanding when my arms were full, or
when I needed them to keep their voices down a little.. She is going to be the best big sister ever. So
grateful that she’s such a good example and so good to the little ones. I brag all the time, but she really
is the best!

Thanks Linds and Joey for trusting us with you babes! I loved the times we’d be sitting on the floor and
Brooklynn would just come sit on my lap and hug me. She told me she just wanted me to “hold her for
a minute”. Her sweet little arm around my neck while she played with my hair was thee BEST feeling.
Then your little man.. I can’t imagine anything better than waking up to that cute smile everyday! Loved
holding him, secretly loved when he’d fuss if I left the room, and just being able to love on him without
anyone taking him away! I always wanted to be a fun aunt, since I had the best aunts in the world.. and
it was so nice to get to spend that time with your kiddos.Hopefully someday they'll think I'm that cool too! Love them so much! GO TO VEGAS AGAIN! ;)

PS. Waking up to this in our bed? HEAVEN!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our time with A&A and boys!

Whats going on in our lives..

Last Sunday (now 2 Sundays ago).. Ahhh.. Best day! I had to hold this surprise in for over a month! THAT was tough! Aaron and Aubrey and boys were coming to town!! We’ve missed them SO much, and although they’ve only been gone since July, it felt like eternity! Aaron was going to be in town for work for the week, and it so happened to work out that the family could join him! Aubrey let me in on the surprise so I could help coordinate getting everyone to Sunday dinner for the big surprise.. Which turned out to be a little
harder than expected.. I ended up having to tell Jake the Friday before so he could help get his brothers
and their families there without me blowing cover. I am not a very good liar, apparently, but he was able
to use his ‘older brother’ voice and get them all there. ;) They may or may not have thought we were announcing a new baby.. but it worked! ;) SO much fun to see everyone’s faces light up when Aaron, Aubrey and the boys pulled up! We all miss them so much and it was so nice (AND NORMAL!) to have a loud and crazy family dinner! I swear, time flies in every aspect other than their 3 year stint in Washington. Is it over yet?! Ugh. Love that girl and missed her fun family! It was nice to get to sit at the table with my other 3 S-I-L’s and chat… not like we don’t do that without Aubrey, but its just not the same. I remember the first few family dinners.. didn’t really know my place yet.. Wasn’t comfortable enough yet to sit with the girls, so I floated between the kids and Jake. Now, we park our bums on the kitchen table and laugh, vent, yell at the screaming/running kids, sometimes cry, and just enjoy each others company! It’s the best.. the guys are usually in the front room watching whatever game is on, or playing their guitars and singing.. And the kids are running wild with Grandma on their heels ;) I know a lot of people don’t enjoy their time with their in-laws, which makes me sad. I can honestly and genuinely say, I look forward to the 2nd Sunday of every month! We all have our quirks, right?! Love my Andrus time and I’m blessed to have 4 guys I consider brothers and 3 new sisters who are also my friends! Aubrey, thanks for being our ‘leader’.. It just isn’t the same without you. Your glow, your sweet laugh, and your crazy boys! We miss you so much! Washington is sure lucky to have the 5 of you, but they only get 3 years. We want you back!! Xo

We had a busy week ahead and a fun night planned with the A&A clan.. We decided to hit the corn
maze on Wednesday and were so glad to squeeze in an extra night while they were in town. Kailee had a
blast with ‘her boys’, as she called them and was so excited to show them her Hello Kitty room. I’m sure
they were super impressed! ;) They played and we all scarfed some pizza and had a nice chat, then off to
the corn maze. Kailee insisted on holding Evan’s hand.. That is after she realized that we weren’t lying..
this was NOT the haunted corn maze ;). It was so cute to watch Evan be so patient with her. She loves
those boys a lot! Makes me happy! We finished the maze in record time and decided it wouldn’t be a complete night with out some ice cream, so we ended our night at Leatherbys. My first time!! YUM! My belly was a little achy, so I didn’t get to enjoy it like I normally would.. meaning I didn’t eat a HUGE ice cream and THEN pick at Kailee and Jakes ;), but it was still fantastic and I can’t wait to go back! Kailee also had a yummy hot chocolate and she thought that was the coolest thing ever!! She really is the cutest!!

Thanks again for a great ‘extra’ night. We sure love you guys and miss you like CRAZY! So glad to have
you as family! And Kailee’s right.. “Why do they have to live at Washington”? ;) Okay, okay.. we’ll be
patient.. But our countdown is on until the end of December! Love you all!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Jake and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on the 24th of September. Can I just say, that was the fastest year! And I have a feeling it’s just going to go faster from here! I could go on and on and on and on and on about how wonderful my husband is. A lot of times, I do. I get sappy, I get spoiled, and I want to shout out to the world that this is REAL! This kind of happiness exists! Our real life fairytale!

Don’t get me wrong, I do not live a life of denial. Marriage is hard.. its work.. and its hard work EVERY SINGLE day. There are days when I am pretty dang unlovable. And he loves me anyway. There are days I want to punch him in the face, he isn't very lovable either. But I love him anyway..To me, that is a fairytale. Someone that you know EVERYTHING about (and I mean EVERYTHING!) and you still love them anyway. On good days and bad. Through ups and downs. On our worst days, and on our best. When things are hard and when things are easy. We just love each other!

We were able to have the day off for our anniversary so the night before we went to Cheesecake Factory for dinner and spent our day sleeping in, shopping, and best of all Kailee's school carnival. It was a perfect day!

This next part is for Jake and I. I want to remember all the little things I love about him on the hard days. And I want him to know how much I love all of these things about him on the days when I’m not very loveable ;) On days where the stress is sky high, on days where I feel lonely or down because I miss my family and friends from home, the days where I’m super emotional and NOTHING satisfies me. The days where I’m tired and I’ve given as much as I can give and I break. The days where I let the little things bother me. The days when I have a hard time prioritizing all that I need to do. On the days I feel bad for myself. On the days where I have a hard time communicating.. I could go on and on.. I am FULL of flaws. Thank you for loving me through them all.. and if there is ever a day where you wonder about your decision to marry me.. I hope you read this and remember all the things I love about YOU!

I love that he has to touch me when he sleeps. I love that he tells me thanks for dinner every night before bed. I love that he calls me sugar. I love that he holds EVERY door open for me ALL the time. I love how he says my name. I love that he doesn’t let me move or carry anything that is even remotely heavy. I love that he goes to the grocery store with me. I love that he LOVES my cooking. I love that he makes me feel different, still. I love that he makes me want to be better. I love that he keeps me grounded. I love waking up to his baby lotion cheeks. I love that he is such a good dresser. I love that he compliments me at least once every day. I love that he calls me every morning before he gets his day started. I love that he makes me text him every morning when I make it to work. I love that I can wear ZERO make up, pull my hair up and have stinky breath and he STILL makes me feel beautiful. I love that he texts me just to say he’s thinking of me. I love that he has so much drive for better and more. I love that he is such an amazing daddy. I love that he will do anything and everything I ask him to help with. I love that he is a hands on dad. I love that he surprises me all the time. I love that he listens when I need to vent. I love that he smells so good all the time. I love that his shoes have to match. I love his 60+ hats. I love his watch collection. I love the way he talks. I love it when he giggles. I love that he makes me laugh. I love that  every day I have someone who can’t wait to see me. I love his hugs. I love his hands. I love that he always holds my hand in the car. I love that he always puts his hand on my leg. I love how he sticks up for me. I love how he plays with Kailee. I love how he looks at me when we’re fighting disagreeing and I can tell he’s sorry. I love his sweet kisses. I love how he answers when I call him. I love how we hate being apart. I love how easily our hearts opened up to each other. I love how much he loves sports. I love going to BYU games with him. I love that he introduced me to the Braves (and really Major League baseball). I love that he shares so many hobbies with me. I also love that we can have our own hobbies. I love that he loves my family. I love that he can’t wait to come home to me everyday after work. I love that he secretly hates my girls nights, only because he misses me. I love that he is so excited to have a baby again someday. I love how he rubs my back and feet EVERY time I ask him to. I love that he plays with the hair on his knuckles. I love that he is proud of me. I love that he cares enough to work on things he knows make me sad. I (secretly) love that he teases me. I love how he tells Kailee how much he loves her. I love that he is such a hard worker. I love that he is so active. I love that he plays football twice a year and has to match from his socks to his gloves and EVERYTHING in between. I love that he spoils me. I love that he texts me when anything good or bad happens during his day. I love that he says sorry anytime he’s wrong. And even when he’s not. I love how much he loves and cares about his brothers. I love that he loves to make people laugh. I love how he can make ANYONE feel comfortable. I love how good he makes me feel. I love that he keeps me warm. I love his amazing voice. I love when he plays the guitar and sings for me while I’m in the bath tub. I love that he will kill spiders, even though he’s scared of them too. I love how safe he makes me feel. I love that he doesn’t talk badly about others. I love his sense of humor. I love that he does the laundry most of the time. I love his patience. I love that he helps me clean up after dinner. I love that he will vacuum any time I ask and sometimes when I don’t because he knows how much I love ‘lines’ in the carpet. I love the way he cracks his knuckles before he gets out of bed. I love how fast he falls asleep. I love that he takes the trash out without me ever having to ask. I love that he is so thoughtful. I love the little notes he leaves for me. I love that I trust him more than I’ve trusted anyone else in my life. I love that he trusts me just as much. I love that we can be our WHOLE selves around each other. I love that we are more in love now that we’ve ever been. I love that we have learned (and are still learning) how to communicate. I love that kiss he gives me that takes my breath away. Not the rushed kiss.. the real one! Even though I’ll take all his kisses.. I REALLY love his kisses ;) I love that he is so understanding and patient with my crazy emotions. I love that he remember special days in my life, not just the big dates. I love that he always waits for me order first at restaurants. I love that he will call and order pizza because I HATE calling to do anything. I love that he reminds me every night to take my birth control. I love that he wants to make Kailee and I happy above anything else. I love him for bringing her into my life. I love him for giving me my very own family.

Jake – there are so many things I love about you. I didn’t even have to pause a second between the hundred things I just listed. I could go on all day. You are amazing. You are my best friend. You are my happiness and my strength. You are the reason life is so good. You are my future and the reason for my hard past. I got you, more than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you for loving me when I’m not lovable. For treating me with respect and always looking out for me. This has been the hardest and by far the best year of my life. I love you more than words could ever say, but I’ll die trying. I will spend each day for the rest of our lives proving to you how happy and proud I am to be your wife. You’ve given me more than I could have ever dreamed of having. Thanks for all you do for Kailee and I. For being the best daddy and husband we could ask for! Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart! I love you more than life itself! I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life next to you! And these words I spoke one year ago, I will speak for the next 50. Our wedding vows mean more to me now than the did then. I love you baby! Thanks for everything you do! Xoxo

The day you walked into my life, I knew a lot of things. I knew that you were it.. I knew that THIS was it.. and I knew that I would never again be alone. This was finally the beginning of the rest of my life. The rest of OUR life. You, me and Kailee. Life was no longer about me. it quickly became, and forever will be, US. My search was over.
Jake, you are my best friend and my one true love. When I´m with you, I feel I can be the person I want to be, and I cannot imagine my life without you. You make me smile, you stick up for me, you take care of me and you are always interested in what I have to say and do. Today, I want to make a promise to you and to myself, in front of our friends and family, to love and honor, protect and respect you for the rest of my life.
I promise to encourage your individuality,
Because that is what makes you unique and wonderful.
I promise to nurture your dreams,
Because through them your soul shines brightest.
I promise to be next to you through all of our challenges,
Because through them we will become stronger.
I promise to share with you all the joys of this life,
Because together they will be that much sweeter.

Lastly, I promise to you… perfect love
For one lifetime with you could never be enough.

I love you, Jake.. and forever could never be long enough for me. Thanks for marrying me and making me the happiest girl alive! 

(some of my favorite pictures from my favorite day)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

25 and feeling SO good!

Wow.. another year come and gone.. and I'm feeling like I am RIGHT where I want to be! Feeling incredibly blessed, happily married, best 5 year old, great job, and wonderful family and friends.. I am so so happy right now and so very content! Life is good!

25 things I thought I’d throw out there about myself. Things I’m learning.. my quirks.. goals..things I still don’t like about myself.. serious notes.. and some funny facts to keep it from getting TOO sappy ;) in no particular order..

1.       DREADING the fact that this year, my brother will leave us for 2. I can’t even think about it without the eyes filling with tears. UGH. I’m so selfish. I am definitely going to have to sneak to where ever he may be at least every other month and catch a peek of his cute face. He’s so fun right now. So happy and actually likes hanging out with us. He’s the cutest uncle and I can’t imagine having a baby without him around to love on him/her. Kids love Riley. I guess we’ll be waiting another 2 years ;)
 2.       Marriage.. is hard. Who forgot to tell me that we won’t LIKE each other everyday? ;) just kidding. Its the hardest, BEST thing I’ve ever done. I’m so in love and feel like the luckiest girl alive!
3.       I fell off the exercise bandwagon. Not sure how, I felt the best I’d ever felt.. and just stopped. It’s not easy folks! This year, I WILL get back into the shape I deserve to be in!
4.       Kailee has to be the funniest kid alive! No joke. Little girl CRACKS me up! Some of my recent favorites..
.       Every time we drive by the house in our neighborhood that has Utah flags out, she says “BOOOO!” :)
.      Told me the other day that I’ve GOT to do something about my hair. ‘It’s everywhere’ ;)
.       She LOVES making me laugh.. and sometimes, to the point daddy doesn’t like it (he’s telling her to stop, or trying to be serious)! Oops!
.      She gave me a sticker for being ‘a good teacher’ after I helped her with sight words. Made my heart smile!
.      She’s going to be the class clown ;) I’m telling you.. this kid has a TON of her daddy in her blood!
.        She makes my heart so dang happy! I can’t WAIT for Wednesdays and every other weekend!

5.       Growing up is kind of hard! I miss my friends! I hate living far away from them. Lord knows I’m NOT moving back to T-town, so  you girls are going to have to move down this way ;) In all seriousness, I miss driving across town (30 seconds) to their houses. Miss the chats, the walks.. borrowing clothes. All of it. I feel like I miss out on their kids lives, and they miss out on Kailee’s. Makes me really sad. But I know it’s part of it. doesn’t mean I like it ;)
6.       I am SO hard on myself.. still.. about finding time for all the people I want and need to find time for. I need to find a good balance.. I struggle with that a LOT. I want to be every where, all the time.. and I can’t be. Life just doesn’t slow down like I’d like it to!
7.       I am really missing my Aubrey. I never had an older sister, and I finally got one. And she had to move far away. BOO. ;) Missing you lots, Aubs! These next 2 years and 8 months better FLY!
8.       I LOVE where we live. We live in the basement of an older couples home. The NICEST, KINDEST people in the world! We were so blessed to find people who were trusting enough to open their basement to a strange couple like us ;) for as long as we’d like! No contracts, or weird agreements. Just trust. Kind of nice in this crazy world!
9.       I have been able to witness some pretty special people in my life ‘falling in love’. Makes me so happy! There is nothing like watching the people you care about, find what you always knew they deserved.
10.   I could eat either mashed potatoes, pasta, Chinese or macaroni and cheese every day of my life and be satisfied. or extremely overweight. Whatever! ;) I’ll pass on the sweets, send me the sodium, please! Hoping someday I will grow out of the mac-and-cheese phase, especially since it disgusts Jake. Ha ha
11.   My husband spoils me. like S-P-O-I-L-S me. kind of a lot. Between my birthday and anniversary, WOW! He’s the best!
12.   I can only picture myself having a baby girl. Is that weird? I can’t for the life of me picture a boy? Not that I’m pregnant.. but when I get pregnant, I wonder if that will change? All I can see is pink. And ruffles. And sparkles. And tu-tus. And hair bows. And lots and lots and lots of $$$$$. ;)
13.   I still like my job. Also still really, REALLY underpaid. Sigh. aren’t we all?!
14.   I got two of the cutest new nephews this last year. They are close in age and it is SO much fun to see them grow.. I love watching my sister be a mommy :) she’s a really good one and it makes me so proud!
 15.   I am STILL a BYU fan. Even though they break my heart and RUIN my birthday. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. UGH! Actually, I’m a much better loser than I used to be. Still don’t like it. Still MAYBE pout a little.
16.   I’m learning (yes babe, LEARNING) how to not over react to everything. Oh, my poor husband! Its getting better… slowly.
17.   I can’t shake this cappuccino lip gloss obsession. I’ve tried. I’ve tried the new bright and colorful lipstick. YUCK. Can’t do it! somehow, always fall back on the good ole Bonnebell lip gloss. My kids are going to make fun of me, huh?
18.   I may be a little biased, but I have stinkin’ cute nieces and nephews! SO much fun! And thee cutest kids! 5 nephews and 4 nieces. LOVE it!
19.   I made a pretty great friend.. 2 years ago, but the last year has been the best! So nice to chat with her about life, K-bug, boys, love and everything else. I know it’s pretty rare for our circumstance, but we love it! I feel incredibly lucky to have you, Ang :)
20.   I discovered the worlds best floor cleaner. Now I use it to clean almost everything! Love that there is no harsh smell and its incredibly cheap. It cleans things better than ANY expensive cleaner. Baking soda, BLUE Dawn dish soap and vinegar (with hot water of course). Try it. I can promise you, it will not disappoint!
21.   I get a lot of compliments on my make up..I have always loved doing it.. I think because I always watched my mom do hers when I was a little girl. I remember sitting on the floor in the bathroom and being completely fascinated by how good she was at it. Guess that’s where it came from?! But here’s my secret. I buy cheap EVERYTHING! Maybelline, Revlon, Cover Girl.. that’s as expensive as it gets for me! And works JUST fine! don’t tell ;)
22.   I have grown to LOVE baseball! Who knew?! And I feel it, going to be a special year for our Braves! They are KILLING it right now!
23.   I have a scarf obsession. I want to wear one every day of my life.
24.   I have found myself to be much more calm this last year. I am a bit more rational. I said a bit, not there yet. ;) Little things don’t bother me like they used to.. I don’t get caught up in little emotions. Still struggle at times, but I’m getting better! my husband is so very glad for this! I find myself having a lot more ‘good days’. Days where I am almost giddy because I’m so content. We’re still poor, still live in a basement apartment, still struggle with lots of things. But life is SO good all at the same time! I have SO much to be grateful for, and I’m so glad I’m starting to see things for the good that they bring, rather than the stress. I’m getting there!
25.   Every year I’m alive I learn and appreciate more about my mom. Isn’t that how it goes? It makes me really sad I didn’t ‘see it’ back when I lived with her. See all that she does/did for us. The jobs she hated, but stayed with so we could have a good life. The commute to Ogden every day. The hours she worked. The dinners she made. The expensive trips to the grocery store to feed a family of five. The way she made holidays so special. The vacations they took us on. The time she spent doing the things we liked to do. The sacrifice she made to do the things my dad liked to do. The games, dance recitals, practices… The school clothes from Buckle because we HAD to have name brands..all of it. Now that I’m the mom and wife, I choke up thinking about how selfish I was. I wasn’t ever ungrateful, I just didn’t really understand all that she did for us. I am so lucky to have my mom. She’s one of  my closest friends and confidants. I don’t know what I’d do without her example of love, unselfishness, and just the aura she brings anytime she’s around. My husband and Kailee think she’s the greatest thing to walk the earth, and so do I! I was lucky enough to have lunch with her last week. Just the two of us. I think I talked her ear off, I just miss her so much sometimes. It was one of those days I will forever cherish. I only hope to be half the mom and woman she is. I never gave her enough credit for all she did and went through. Now, she’s my hero!! LOVE my mom so much!

There are so  many things I love about my birthday. Not the presents or the cake.. But the whole season. The September feeling, I like to call it. Fall is in the air, football, cooler weather, and the holidays approaching. As I’ve gotten older  my actual ‘day’ has become less about what it is all about.. and its become more of a time for me to reflect on the year, get back on a schedule, and challenge myself to grow even more than the year before. Life is so great and so much fun right now. I have the greatest man alive as my husband. He’s my whole life. My strength, my drive to be more, my shoulder to cry on, my partner, my best friend, my EVERYTHING. I know it sounds so cliché and cheesy, but honestly, I couldn’t love him an ounce more. He has made my whole life better. He changed me. He was the first person to come into my life and reach my soul. I thank God everyday our paths lead us to each other. It was a rocky path, but I know I wouldn’t have been ready for him if I hadn’t faced those obstacles. So for the dark days, I am forever grateful.. They gave me Jake. Every hurt, fear, and heart break was worth it.. because I got him!

And Kailee… I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll be saying it the rest of forever.. she brought meaning to my life that I never EVER could have imagined. I never knew what a love like that felt like, until she was a part of my life. I want to keep her 5 forever.. I want her hugs and her sweet laugh everyday. I am so so proud to be her step mom and friend. I’m so proud as I watch her learn and grow. I am scared to death to be a parent some days. I don’t want to screw up because I know what she deserves.. and that’s EVERYTHING we can give her. Strength, dignity, courage, self esteem, respect for others, respect for herself, and most importantly, love… I feel like the lucky one in all of this. And baby girl, I want you to know, I never knew how much I loved your daddy until I saw how much he loved you! Thank you for letting me be family. I know its not always easy to live in 2 homes, but I know you know how much we all love you, and that everything we do is for you! Thanks for making me the happiest step mom on Earth!

Its been a great year and really, the best parts of life are just beginning for me.. Our families are growing all the time, and some day our own little family will grow. I can’t wait for that day! Until then, I am LOVING my two babes and I'm not sure life gets much better than this!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kailee's 5th Birthday!!

Pinkalicious Party!

Happy 5th Birthday Kailee Bug!! This little thing is growing up WAY too fast! She had the CUTEST birthday party last Saturday with her favorite girl friends; Jordan, McKaylie, Maddelyn, Brooklynn, Maizy  and Ava. It was based on the Pinkalicious books and it was stinkin’ ADORABLE and we all had so much fun! It was darling, and the girls were in HEAVEN! It was pink, pink, PINK! Pink cupcakes, pink push pop cakes, pink dipped marshmellows, pink candy galore, pink gum, and even pink punch.. If pink doesn’t describe Kailee to a T, I don’t know what does!  Little princess is ALL girl! Thanks Angie, for such a fun party! And Kailee bug.. STOP GROWING ALREADY! 

We were able to snag her after the party for the rest of the weekend.. She fell asleep in the car from all the fun she had and slept ALL the way to our big surprise.. LAGOON! J After a drowsy walk in, she woke right up and literally didn’t stop until after 10! She was in HEAVEN! We rode kid ride, after kid ride, after kid ride and she was so patient in line.. She was the best little girl that day and even got to paint her face and chose a green tiger! (SHOCKED she didn’t choose the princess) From then on out, she was in full character.  Growling and hissing and making us laugh! (side note: daddy loved her SO much and wanted to let her have the $10 face painting on her birthday so bad, he literally ran ALL over Lagoon looking for an ATM. We are so lucky to have him!) Her favorite ride was the swings, I think she rode them 5 times or more! She would laugh and yell our names anytime the swings would bring her close to us. It was pure heaven to see that big tiger smile! She was so good we left WAY later than expected, it was well after 10 by the time we got to the car.. I couldn’t believe, and still can’t believe how good she was.. no whining or complaining or attitude. AT ALL. It was bliss for daddy and I!  the attitude is coming right along, as expected I guess, and it was fabulous to have a full day away from that! She was such a good kid and fell right asleep when we got home. Tiger on her face and all! She even slept until almost 9 the next day! The 5th birthday is going to be hard to top!!

Happy Birthday baby girl! 5 seems so big, and there are so many exciting things happening in your life. You are just starting Kindergarten and you couldn’t be more ready. We are SO proud of you and love you more than you’ll ever know. I’d like to think that where ever I was 5 years ago, August 25th, 2007, that my heart skipped a beat when you came into this world. That somewhere, deep down I knew.. that  my life was forever changed in that very moment. Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity to help raise you, help guide you, help teach you and help show you about this crazy life. I’d never sleep if I let myself worry about all the bad things in this world you will someday face, but I know you’ll be a leader, and that makes me happy. There are so many things I want to tell you and show you and teach you one day when the time is right. I want to save you from some of the heartache I experienced. I want to tell you about dumb choices I made that really made life hard at times. I want to share my mistakes and my bad choices, and even more  I want to share with you my growth and happiness, in hopes that you can be stronger than I ever was.. but most importantly, I hope you remember, that your mom and dad love you more than anything in this world, and so do I! and I hope when it’s a little too embarrassing to talk to them about things, you’ll turn to me. That we can be friends, even if I have to discipline too. In the next few years there will be lots of changes in your life, but the fact that you are our WORLD, will never change.  We love you bug, and are SO SO happy to have a big 5 year old in our lives! Happy Birthday Kailee Grace! I hope your day was everything you could have ever hoped for! XoXo


Jeona's Birthday!

Happy happy birthday to my pretty friend, Jeona! Jeona and I grew up in the same ward, but to say we were friends, may be a stretch ;) I did love that her parents brought Nutterbutters every Sunday to Sunday school, but her and I definitely werent fond of each other.. neither of us really know why… But lets be honest, its quite possible I was a tiny brat. Me!?!?  I know, sounds crazy.. ;)

Our first year of friendship came just after I started my sophomore year. We had our differences for a VERY long time. (Again, I was maybe a little brat? Shocking.) Regardless, over the next couple of years our friendship really blossomed. I remember hearing about this new “Travis” guy she was dating. Quickly, they were inseparable, and I got to know one of my favorite guys in the world! They are so lucky to have found each other! There were a couple of years just out of highschool that I spent a TON of time with them. I was able to be a part of their relationship from pretty much the beginning. I remember when she called to tell me she was pregnant with Drake. I think I called every day during her last couple of weeks to see how she was doing. I fell in love with him the day he was born and couldn’t wait to get up to Tremonton every weekend to hold him! I have SO many amazing memories with Jeona… San Francisco, Club Munns, her apartment, and hanging out at her and Trav’s new house where I spent MANY nights, rabbit hunting, and possibly some of my wilder days.. ;)

In the next year or two, life really changed for the both of us, and I started spending a lot more time in SLC. Her family grew by one, another baby came, pretty little Paisley. That’s when her and Trav’s life became more complex than any of us could have imagined. Drake and Paisley were both diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. I remember when she told me, I truly had no clue what it meant. I did my research, asked questions, and my heart broke. I knew there was no one better in the world to handle that trial than Travis and Jeona. To this day, they are one of the strongest couples I know. They’ve been through more hurt, worry and pain then any parents ever should, and you’d never know it. Both of them could light up a room with their smiles. I’m so blessed to know such fun and positive people. That is one thing about the two of them, they are so much FUN! It’s impossible to be around them and not laugh! They are constantly making fun of each other or laughing about something. It’s amazing to see such happiness when most would have crumbled under the pressure of taking care of two sick kids. 

Jeona, I think I can speak for all 3 of us girls when I say, we are SO lucky to have you in our lives. The example you are as a mother, a wife and a friend. Thanks for being so goofy, for letting us laugh at your blonde moments, and for constantly reminding us what life is about. FUN! Even when times are tough! Your strength and positive attitude amaze me and I’m so lucky to call you one of my best friends!

Thanks for such a fun and REALLY late birthday dinner/shopping! We need to take the guys there next time.. To Cheescake Factory, not shopping of course! ;) Love you! Hope you had a Happy Birthday! XoXo

'Stay'cation and Remodel Surprise!

Oh, how I’d love to go back! The last week of June was our big vaca of the year.. and it was quite fabulous! Our week started off with a surprise remodel we were doing for my Mother-in-law. I have the most talented and amazing sister in law who was DEFINITELY the vision here. But I know we all had an absolute blast helping her pull this off. I went from work on Thursday and spent the evening there, all day Friday and most of Saturday.

Before I get to the before and after pics, I just have to tell Aubrey, Amber and Heather (and the boys of course!) how much stinkin’ fun I had! It was a TON of work for 3 days, but somehow the girl chat, a LOT of energy drinks, a caffiene pill or six, 2 nights of Pizza Hut and lots of time with the family made it fly by! The before and after pictures really speak for themselves, so I will leave it at that! But quite a beautiful transformation if I say so myself! Aubs – you really are AMAZING! Your vision, talent and eye for décor are just a few of the reasons I’m going to miss you so much! Thanks for such an amazing experience. Spending time with you all, the look on JoLene’s face, and the joy in her voice made every second worth it!!

Before :
Amazing, right?! Love it! And so did she!!

Week off!

I can think of a few things that would have been better.. Taking Kailee to Disneyland, spending a week on a beach in the Caribbean, blah, blah, blah.. but really, I may have found another favorite vacation spot.. HOME! We got to spend a week doing whatever we wanted, and it was FABULOUS! As I mentioned above, Thursday night through Sunday were mostly spent at the in-laws doing the remodel. From Monday to Sunday we had time with just the two of us, our families, and best of all, the three of us.. HEAVEN! Thinking about making this an annual thing! SO much less work than an actual vacation and no more than usual laundry ;) Monday we headed up to Lindsay’s to spend time with her and Brody. When we took this week off, it was mostly intended to help her out, but we didn’t want to smother her, so we just stayed a couple days. We picked her and sweet baby up and headed to my mom’s for the night. I offered and LOVED keeping Brody with me that night. We got to cuddle all night! I literally could eat his cheeks! It was nice to be able to help Lindsay out on the night before her birthday, I know she was so sleepy, so I was glad to let her sleep for as long as her mommy body could. The next day was her birthday, we had an awesome sushi dinner and just hung out! Loved my time with the new mommy and baby boy. I may be obsessed with him!

Wednesday we picked up little miss and spent the night at home! She even got to have a sleep over in our bed!
;) Thursday we spent the day at SevenPeaks, Friday evening we hung out at Ammon and Amber's and Saturday and Sunday were chill at the pool and family days. I really loved the whole concept of a ‘staycation’ and am considering making it at least an every other year thing! DEFINITELY recommend it for us busy career people! <3

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fathers Day 2012

Happy Fathers day to my main squeeze! He really is the best daddy in the world. I love him for that! I remember my mom talking a lot when Jake and I were dating about how special it was that I got to see my boyfriend/future husband as a dad before we bring children into the world together. I remember thinking that was cool, but not REALLY thinking about it until recently… Watching him be Kailee’s daddy really is one of my favorite things about Jake. It brings me more comfort than words can express to know that my kids will have the BEST daddy in the world! He is Kailee’s first love and I know he’ll be our boys’ best friend! Nothing means more to me than knowing he’ll be RIGHT next to me raising our family. I couldn’t ask for a better companion. He is patient, loving, playful and stern. Kailee respects him, listens to him and she LOVES him like crazy!

We spent the weekend with our families and had an amazing time! We played at Boondocks, watched McKaylie dance, had dinner with Roger and JoLene and a BBQ with my dad and family.

Loves to all the men in my life who are such great daddies!

Thanks for being our favorite prince! We love you more than anything in this world! XoXo

Welcome Baby Boy!!

I remember one night in October getting the phone call. THAT phone call. The one where I saw it was Linds (at a super weird time) and knew.. she was preggo :) I answered, she was in tears, and asked me if I was ready to be an aunt again! I cried, she cried and we laughed.. I was SO happy! I was able to go to her first appointment with her listened to little man's heart beat for the first time, and again.. we cried. and laughed and we were SO happy. I remember her asking me to be in the delivery room when it was time, I was so honored and excited to be a part of the whole experience..

Nine months FLEW. Like they always do.. It was Friday afternoon (June 8th) and I got THAT phone call again. I answered, she was crying and I knew.. It was time!  She said the doctor wanted to admit her that night . Her blood pressure was pretty high and they wanted to get her started. Plus little man was measuring quite big.. 8lbs 11oz at that point if I remember right. I was SO excited!

I had plans that night with my girlfriends to go to City Creek for Morg’s birthday. Since they weren’t admitting her until 9, I decided I’d go do that, and head to Ogden when we were done. At a little before 7, I got the call that they were going to do 8 instead of 9. I remember feeling so nervous for her! So excited and anxious and just had CRAZY butterflies. I wanted to be strong for her, but I was nervous too! I cut our shopping trip short (thanks for understanding girls :)) and was on my way to O-town.

I got to Lindsay and Joey’s house and my mom and Riley were already there. We sat and chatted awhile.. all of us talking a million words a minute… we were SO excited! we couldn’t wait to get up to the hospital! We pulled in and Joey called. Said they were still getting her hooked up to give them a little while.. so we drove to Smiths and walked around, grabbed our late night snacks and headed back up there. we walked into the room and there she was.. in her pretty blue and white gown ;). It was FINALLY here! I was already a boobing mess! (That’s weird.) We were in there for a couple of hours and just talked and laughed. They had put her on an iv to get her thinned and the doctor told her it’d probably be the next day before the little one arrived. We decided to go back to their house and catch some zzz’s. I kept my phone right next to my ear all night.

We woke up pretty early Saturday and headed to the hosiptal. She was at a 5 and doing well. Her doctor had broke her water at 2:45 that morning, it was a slow process, but she was a rockstar! At 1:00 pm she was ready to start pushing. I remember thinking to myself THIS was the part I was worried about. Not the physical side.. she’s strong, she’s played sports her whole life, I knew she could handle the pain and that her body would be able to do it. I was worried about her mind though. Emotionally and mentally getting through that block that says ‘I can’t’. She pushed. And she pushed and she pushed. She had the most AMAZING nurses and that rockstar pushed for 3 hours! At a little before 4, the nurse called her doctor and told her it was time. She was exhausted at that point and her labor just wasn’t progressing. The doctor showed up and it was all a blur from there. She checked her and calm as could be, told her that she had 2 options at this point. She could have a c-section, or she could push a couple more times with her help (forceps). Lindsay looked at her and said ‘lets do this’. I was so proud of her! Two contractions later (and me deciding to go with adoption ;)) there he was at 4:13 pm.

There was that sweet baby she carried in her tiny body for 9 months. The baby boy her and her husband created. The baby boy that would forever change their lives, and all of ours, as well. Brody Kevin Black. 9lbs 15oz and 22 inches long. Yes. That’s real. No typo. My sister is a rockstar! The Dr Johnasson told her she’d have pushed all day, that big boy wasn’t coming without some help.

I was floaded with emotions and couldn’t wait to share the news with Jake and Riley and the rest of the family (who were listening at the door). I stood there, next to my little sister, and just couldn’t help but be so proud. She was amazing. She was so strong and patient and every other thing that she should have been. She was my hero right then.. Lindsay, YOU ARE AMAZING! – thank you for letting me be a part of the miracle of bringing a child into the world. Thank you for being such an amazing example, thank you for being so strong. Thank you for giving me the sweetest nephew and thank you for being the best sister in the world! I LOVE YOU!

Kailee's Preschool Graduation!

Congrats to our Kailee Bug!! She’s a big Preschool Graduate!

The three of us couldn’t be more proud of her! She’s grown so much this year! Here are some of her biggest changes and things she has learned since Fall and some of my favorites that still haven’t changed.

  • She can identify all letters and the sounds they make
  • She can sing just about every nursery rhyme, even ones I’ve never heard of
  • She is getting her counting down.. Still says 18 twice ;) SO cute, I have a hard time correcting her!
  • She now says ‘yellow’ instead of ‘lellow’ sad face :(
  • She now says ‘licorice’ instead of ‘necolish’ sad face :(
  • She LOVES school and her friends at school, her best friend this year was Talon.
  • She can recite the Pledge of Allegiance WORD for WORD
  • She can write her name really well
  • She can write DADDY and MOM
  • She can now use our letter magnets on the fridge to spell words. Her favorites are “NO” and “OK”. :) and she always sings “ N-O spells no; O-K spells ok” too cute!
  • She has lost her toddler cheeks and officially looks like a little girl. SAD L
  • She can recite the ENTIRE book (dang near word for word) of I’ll Love You Forever. I may or may not have cried my eyes out when she asked to read it herself for the first time..
  • She still wants to marry Brock
  • She loves her cousins
  • She likes to play games and LOVES Art – painting, drawing, coloring, stamps, stickers, all of it!
  • She has become quite the Daddy’s Girl as of late
  • She loves to help me cook, her favorite is to stir things
  • She has developed quite the sassy attitude. Sometimes funny – sometimes not funny at all.. We’re all in for it with this little one, that’s for sure!
  • She says –ing like –een. Never says the ‘g’ example: ‘thing’ sounds like ‘theen’ and ‘ring’ sounds like ‘reen’
  • Still loves the words ‘Lacy.. watch this’
  • Her and her daddy still call each other ‘boo boo head’

Still have yet to meet a more loved little girl! So blessed to be a part of her life and share such an amazing bond with Jake and Angie. I love that we are all on the same team and can raise her together and genuinely support each other. And Kailee loves when it’s just me picking her up or dropping her off and she has Angie and I’s FULL attention. She is such an amazing little girl. She is so smart and SO funny. She picks up on everything and will always ask about new words, or things she sees. I love how curious she is.. most of the time ;)

She has brought more joy and worry to my life than I ever could have imagined. Most days I find myself worried about the world she’ll grow up in, the trials she’ll face and the temptations she’ll experience. I have never felt more challenged at anything in my life. Being a parent is hard! It’s exhausting and it’s frustrating at times. I HATE to see her hurt or confused or sad. I hate that there are times when I can’t comfort her or answer all of her questions. But I love her more for making me a stronger person. For teaching me what life is all about. For teaching me to dig deep for patience when I thought I’d long since ran out. And mostly, that there are no boudaries for love. I’ve grown more from the ‘step mom’ experience that I have from anything else up to this point in my life. I’ve learned to let go of the term ‘ex’ -such an ugly little word. I’ve learned that love has no limits when there is a child involved, I’ve learned that people who aren’t ‘supposed’ to be friends, can turn out to be pretty great friends. And I’ve learned that no one quite understands these relationships unless you're in them. and even more importantly, that it is okay if they don't. I’ve learned that this ALMOST 5 year old little girl has taught me more about love and life than I could ever hope to teach her!

Kailee bug, I want you to know that I love you so much! That you and your daddy have been the best things that have EVER happened to me. Thanks for teaching me so much and for letting me love you and be a part of your life. I love you more than words can express! And I am SO proud of you for the little girl that you are, and especially for the big girl you’re becoming. You have more love and support around you than you’ll ever know! I hope you will always come to me with questions, tell me all things you’re scared of, talk to me when you’re sad, laugh with me about silly things, share your secrets, and someday even talk about boys!.. I hope we can always be this close! You’re growing so fast.. Too fast!! But I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you! You will rock it all, girlfriend! Love you baby girl! Daddy and I are so so proud of you!

Sept 2011 / June 2012