Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Blues

Happy Birthday Jay!!!
(I cannot believe I am the parent of a one year old child!! How did this happen?)

Okay back to Jay:
Poor Jay hasn't really enjoyed his birthday so far. He woke up with a fever and it hasn't gone away yet. I had to take him to the doctor this afternoon because his fever was up near 103. I thought it was the normal teething routine but the doctor found out that his throat is all swollen and gross too. Jay has only been sick one other time in his whole year of life and it kinda stinks that the second time happens to fall on his birthday. The doctor also said that my child is too skinny! Still fifth percentile. He's 18 lbs. 10 oz. I think he's perfect but I have a month to fatten the kid up before his next appointment. I'm going to have to give him soy coffee creamer! I discovered it a month or two ago and the doctor thought it was a great idea. We'll see how it goes.

Even though Jay is miserable today, he's still is a smiley kid. I LOVE Jay's smiles. One time we visited my parents' ward and a cute old man sitting next to me was just gaga over Jay. He said, "This boy has a million dollar smile." It's true. He is always so happy and excited about literally everything. Joe made a funny comment the other day about that. He said that the reason why Jay hasn't learned to walk yet is because he gets so excited that he falls down! If you saw Jay try to walk you would understand. He stands up and looks at whoever is waiting for him to take a step. He giggles and gets a huge smile on his face. Then he starts waving his hands in the air like a bird taking off and falls backwards. It's pretty cute. Jay is also an abnormally cuddly kid.... which I also LOVE. He'll even hug you and pat your back. I don't know where he got that but it's adorable. Being a mom to Jay is incredible and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love him so much!

As for birthday plans, we're not actually celebrating his birthday today (due to illnesses, temple assignments, spider invasions, etc.) But as soon as the madness settles down, bring on the dairy free Elmo cake! (I'll post pictures of course.)

Oh and Hawaii posts are coming soon.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Well, I'm not going alone. (I'm letting Joe and Jay come too.) But I'm going to Hawaii TOMORROW and it will be for two weeks, and I'm going to love it, and I'm going to lie on the beach, and I'm going to get a tan, and I'm gonna eat a lot of good food and hike to a lot of cool places, and I'm going to take a TON of pictures, and I'm going to blog about it, and it'll be all I can talk about for the next year or so, and... the end.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blessings and Pit Stops

Once all the fireworks were over, we went back to Amy's house to sleep. Joe was so tired but Michael wanted to stay downstairs and talk to him. Joe got a brilliant idea to show Michael how real men sleep. Worked like a charm. The next morning was John's blessing.
Does the outfit look familiar? (I wonder how many babies have been blessed in this now.)
What a cute big brother.
These boys just melt your heart huh?
And this picture is for Amy who says I put Jay into every post even if it's not about him.
The blessing was great and after sacrament meeting we stayed to hear Zachary give a talk in Primary. He taught some very wise principles about prayer. Basically talking to Heavenly Father is supposed to be fun. After that we hit the road.

One of the best things about being married to Joe is that he is always game to stop and check things out on road trips. First we stopped in Twin Falls to eat and see the Temple. It was pouring rain, so in the blessing on the food I asked Heavenly Father to stop the rain long enough to take some pictures. (I was applying what I had learned in Primary that day.) A few minutes later the rain let up! I took a bunch of pictures and as soon as I got back in the truck, it started pouring again! Sometimes my faith scares me.
Then we did something that in all my years of traveling that horrible drive to Utah, I have ALWAYS wanted to do. We stopped at the Malad Gorge State Park. If you don't think you know what I'm talking about... you do. It is pretty much the only cool thing from Boise to the Utah border. And you only get a glimpse of it from the highway.

As we drove into the parking lot we saw this sign.
Funny stuff.

But then I understood.
(This was taken from the Devil's Washbowl Lookout.)

There was a little catwalk across the gorge... which was quite scary actually. But there were no big fences like at the other bridge we stopped at near Shoshone Falls. You could literally walk off the edge if you wanted to.
It was kinda cool and it only took a few minutes. The next time you're taking the dreaded drive to Utah, you should stop there. It will make you feel better about Southeast Idaho.

4th of July

We spent Saturday night hanging out at Jim's house with all the Utah cousins. It was fun to watch the kids play and run around. I can't wait til Jay can join in that. He mostly slept.

Here's John and Jay. They look like cousins to me. And they got that face from my Dad. After he woke up, Jay was all about the swing set. He got that from me. (Swing champ.. kindergarten.. I don't think I need to expound.)
I have to say that I have the CUTEST nieces and nephews alive. (That goes for both sides of the family!) I just have to show them off:

Michael (Amy's oldest)
I love the helmet... mowing the sidewalk can be dangerous.
Zachary (Amy's 2nd)Daniel (Amy's 3rd)
John (Amy's new baby)
Emily (Jim's oldest)
Spencer (Jim's 2nd)
Matthew (Jim's 3rd)
I couldn't not post this picture... also Matthew.
I missed getting a picture of Gabriel (Jim's youngest.. but not for much longer.) Cute kids no?

Anyhow we ate, played, and of course did some fireworks.
My favorite part was the sparklers though.
My dad was pretty good at the twirling technique.
I just love how magical they look in pictures.
Emily was really good at getting cool pictures.
And once Jim saw how cool the pictures turned out, he wanted to try too. Like father, like daughter I guess.
I love this picture because it makes Emily look like a wizard or something.
There are a ton more pictures but I don't want to bore you all. Just know they were cool too. To my family: Thanks for the weekend and I'll get you a CD of the pictures. Love you guys.

For The Beauty Of The Earth

This weekend Joe and I traveled to Utah for a baby blessing (my sister's new baby). We got there late Friday night because I had plans with my mission companion, Shannon, on Saturday morning. Shannon and I decided to go hiking and it was such a fun morning. She took me to Stewart Falls up Provo Canyon. (I think that's where we were.)

So pretty. The falls were gorgeous and weather was perfect.
Here's Shannon.. she didn't know I was taking her picture but I like the effect.
Somehow even nature isn't safe from my picture taking awkwardness... as if I had to point for you to notice the big waterfall behind me! (Arg.)
The hike was much more strenuous than I would like to admit. It left me wondering how all the people ahead of me with children and puppies were managing. We did however, take a harder route up a steep face to get a better view of the falls. We basically had to climb up and slide back down... whether by accident or on purpose. But it was worth it.
The view was breathtaking.
Thanks Shannon! Good times and much needed girl talk. My favorite part had to be when we were passing those people and I was midsentence on the word "mourning" and the man I was passing looked up happily and said, "Morning!" Gotta love homonyms.

Chasing Bees

Just some more new camera love.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Old Stompin' Grounds

Growing up it seemed like my Dad was always talking about his "Old Stompin' Grounds". I know I was just a kid and probably don't remember things exactly right, but it seemed like almost every vacation we went on Dad would say, "These are my old stompin' grounds kids," followed by some story about what he used to do there as a kid. Maybe he moved around a lot... or maybe we just always went to the same place!

Well since I was born in Pasco, Washington (actually Richland because Pasco didn't have a hospital) and since I hadn't been back there since I was two, I never really had a place to use that phrase. (I've lived in Boise for 22 years... except for college/mission/singlehood... and saying that the place you live in is your old stompin' grounds just isn't that cool!) Anyhow, as you can probably tell, I got the chance to visit Pasco this past weekend! Joe's brother, Devin, moved to Yakima for a new job and we went up to visit. AND they just happened to be going to Pasco the next day... so of course we tagged along.

Here's a picture of the house my parent's built when we lived there. A.K.A. my "Old Stompin' Grounds"!I guess it was meant to be their garage and they were going to live in it while they built the rest of the house. They only stayed in Pasco six months though, so the house part didn't happen. The guy who lives in the house now was really nice and he kept talking about how well built the house was. I hadn't even told him my parents built it! Good job Mom and Dad! And my Mom put the lawn in while she was 8 months pregnant with me!

This is my "Here's where I came from" pose.
It was really interesting and kind of scary to drive through Pasco. It's sort of like Caldwell. (Probably one of the big reasons we only stayed six months.) Anyhow, the drive to the Tri-Cities was gorgeous. I guess that's because that part of Washington produces a high percentage of the hops for America's beer companies! (I find that ironic. Beautiful and yet so misguided.) All the low rolling hills with orchards and vineyards made me feel like I was back in Italy. The misguided part helped too.

The trip was so fun. Part of that was the fact that we decided to go about an hour before we left. Spontaneity is rare these days. But MOST of the fun was spending time with Devin and Monica and the girls. They were so gracious and forced us to take their room! Comfy bed. Thanks guys. Aside from a brief sausage encounter, the weekend was great. Just kidding guys... it was actually pretty good and if you noticed I even stole a bite from Joe! I didn't get any pictures. Lame huh? Oh well, we'll see them all in Hawaii NEXT WEEKEND!!! I'm so excited!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance... Sort Of

Jay just started this new thing where he shakes his head back and forth. It took me a few days to figure out that he's dancing. One of my ALL TIME favorite shows is "So You Think You Can Dance". I don't watch much television but I hardly ever miss this! And ever since Jay was born there have only been two things on television that can hold his attention: football and dancing. I don't know what that says about him but he must have picked something up from it because here we are watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and watch what he does...
video
(Please excuse our messy living room. That's Jay's fault. We love him though. And once he either joins the NFL or becomes a professional on "Dancing With The Stars", he'll get us a maid to make up for it.)

Where Has This Been All My Life?

I wouldn't normally catagorize myself as materialistic. In fact, I happen to think that I'm pretty low maintenance and prefer to lead a simple life. (My family might disagree, but that is only because they have seen me through all stages of my life and like to torment me with memories of my lesser moments.) Anyhow, back to what a great person I am... possessions don't usually make me happy. That is until I discovered a Nikon D90 with an SB600 external flash, 8GB Extreme III memory card, and Lowepro Slingshot 200AW camera bag to carry it all in. It might be love. It might be obsession. Whatever it is... it feels good.(Quick sidenote to anyone who cares: I got this camera because my old Nikon D40, which I have had for 3 years, has a problem with it's sensor. So instead of paying almost what it's worth to fix it, I upgraded. I HIGHLY recommend both cameras and you can now buy a D40 for around $450+.)

This camera is AMAZING. Everything is right at your fingertips, so making adjustments is easy. (My D40 was a bit tougher in that area, so I would spend hours editing after shooting because messing with the settings was such a pain.) And I am learning so much about how to improve everyday. Here are just a few examples I've taken while just goofing around with color settings, aperture, exposure... blah blah.
Honestly, it was worth every penny... and there were a lot of them... that went into this. I'm so grateful to Joe especially, for believing in me enough to purchase this. (Did that sound like I'm giving some kind of acceptance speech or what?) And I'd like to thank my mom.. because that's just what you do at moments like these!