Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Take a picture....

The other day the kids were sitting on the couch watching Imagination Movers. We just love those guys! I think their show is so great. They use their imaginations to solve problems. They call them "idea emergencies." And their music is fantastic! Fun for kids, but hip enough for grown-ups to kinda sorta admit they love it too! Anyway, this song came on called Take a Picture and it's this really sentimental song about taking a picture of all the cool stuff kids do, and how they're growing up so fast. And the chorus has a line that says, these are the days for our memories. I was looking at them, sitting there, with that sweet music playing. And I suddenly became overwhelmed with emotion. Tears streaked down my face as I realized how BIG they are. Dustin is officially wearing underwear, and has done really well on the potty, he debates with me about everything, (I remember posting a while back how great it was that he could talk just enough that I know what he wants, but not enough that everything is a debate...oh yeah, I'm in debate city these days) and he is in love with airplanes, helicopters and cars. He always knows exactly what he wants, (it's never a nap) and he says the sweetest things at the most unexpected times. The other day we were driving in the car and Dustin pointed at me and said, "Mommy, you beautiful" and then he pointed at Tim and said, "Daddy you a boy." I laughed so hard. What a sweetie. One of my favorite things he does right now is wander around singing the ABC's in total disorder. It seems like such a short time has passed since he was cradled in my arms, and suddenly he's independent and so...big. He wants to do everything on his own. His favorite phrase right now is, "I wan to do it by mine-self!" Big emphasis on the self. Audrey is a fun little toddler. She is so beautiful with a sweet soprano voice. She sounds like a little fairy. She has quite the vocabulary. I would guess she can probably say about 50 clear words, which is pretty exceptional for a 16-month-old. Her favorite words right now are, "mine, no, food" and "high chair." She already loves shoes and dresses. She picked out her own Christmas dress because when I held it up to see how long it would be on her, she snatched it from me and walked away saying, "mine, no, mine!" I can't believe how early it starts. There must be something innate in us women. She also loves to give kisses. She probably leans in for a kiss 10 times a day. These are the days for our memories.
Looking at them through tear-stained eyes, I jumped between them on the couch and snuggled them close. I, of course, take tons of pictures. But I don't think pictures will be enough when I'm old and they are grown. I'll want to hold them and see them in their beds asleep. I'll want to pick them up and snuggle them on the couch. I'll want to chase them and listen to them laugh. There are some days it feels like having kids at home won't end soon enough, but there are many other days that I wish it could last forever.


Christmas ended up not being so lonely after all! My sister and her husband came down from WA and surprised us Christmas eve, and both my mom and dad came to our house Christmas day. It was kinda fun, hosting Christmas for the family. I remember being little and loving having holidays at our house with lots of friends and relatives. I think my kids probably feel the same way because they loved all the extra attention and goodies. I was so thankful this year, probably more so than I ever have been, for all that we have. I'm so thankful for a husband who loves me, 2 beautiful, healthy, kids. I'm so grateful Tim has a job during these unstable times. I'm so grateful for our home. So many have lost their homes. I should never complain about maintaining my home, what a blessing to have one! I think the number of people in need this year was bigger than it has been in the past. I've heard some tragic stories about people and families not able to make ends meet. I felt a twinge of guilt when my kids started opening up their presents. I felt like I should have done more to help others, that I didn't really look to find those in need. In that moment, I resolved to give more of what I have this year. Since we've been married, I've felt as though we've had little to give. I was always one of those "if I had I would give," people. But we have been so blessed and many are struggling far worse than we. I think I can officially throw that excuse out the window. So please everyone, if I start to complain and get a little selfish, remind me that I put it out there for the whole blog world to witness, that I am going to try, try, try, and be more self-less. Happy New Year to you all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! This time of year always get so busy with activities and party's and presents, I just wanted to leave a quick little note to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas. I hope your testimonies are renewed and the Spirit touches your heart. It's going to be a lonely Christmas at our house this year. No family is coming to visit us, and we're not traveling to be with family or anything, so if anyone out there is lonely too, come on over! The more the merrier! I'm also on the lookout for good Christmas family traditions. One tradition that Tim's mom does is buy everyone a set of Christmas pj's that they open Christmas eve and everyone puts on Christmas jammies and has a pajama party. I thought that would be a fun one to carry on. So if you have any good ideas, write me a post!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Battle of the Buldge...

I've had this ongoing battle ever since we got back from vacation. It's me vs. the scale and the scale is winning. No matter how hard I try I can't beat it! The number stays the same! I'm not one of those people who constantly worry about weight, and I am definitely a pro-eater of all foods, but none of my jeans fit! My "fat" jeans have gotten a little tight, and my "skinny" jeans (0r fasting jeans as I like to call them) won't even button up! I'm not writing this for sympathy or using some warped method to get compliments, it's just so baffling that a woman can spend hours at the gym, eat nothing but salad, and only lose 2 lbs. While a guy could do the same thing for the same amount of time and lose like, 17 lbs! Why does it have to be so hard??? I keep on wishing there was some sort of weight loss judge that could grant me clemency. The judge would say something like, "Well---I've noticed you haven't been able to turn down chocolate cake, and you seem to be a carb-addict, but I've decided to grant you 5 lbs in weight loss anyway." And with a wave of his hand, my 5 lbs would be gone and my scale would stop laughing at me. Sigh, if anyone does anything that works without the use of a weight-loss judge, let me know.

In other news, I've gotten to do all kinds of fun stuff lately. Tim and I got free tickets to the Duck football game last Saturday with my Dad and his girlfriend. We had a free parking pass, so we got to barbecue burgers before the game and everything! We'd never been to a Duck game before so it was super-fun to see everyone in their Duck gear and hear how loud it really is. We screamed our heads off and gave high-fives after every touch down. We won, the weather was perfect, and it was the last home game, so it was even more fun! Here's a pic of Tim and I living it up at Autzen.
Let's see, I saw the new Bond movie which was pretty good. Action packed, but slower paced than the first one. We took my Mom out to Olive Garden for her birthday which is always a good time for me because (as mentioned earlier) I love food! We had a farewell party for my brother who moved in with my Grandma in Calgary. Miss ya Ty! We had a movie night at home with all kinds of snacks and beef sandwiches and watched Kung-Fu Panda. Cute show. We also tried a new place called Chicken Bonz in Springfield. It was really good! Kids eat free and the chicken is sooo tasty. Try it if you haven't! I wonder why it's so hard to lose weight and all of my fun times revolve around food....sheesh

Sunday, November 9, 2008

6 years...

On this day six years ago, I woke up to find clouds overhead in the St. George desert. My bridesmaids still didn't have shoes to wear with their dresses, and I discovered that my wedding shoes had been inadvertently packed away in a box, lost in the black hole storage unit. I too, was shoeless. So my Mom, obviously irritated, went to find shoes for us while we went to get our hair done. The hairdresser sighed at my grown-out highlights, muttering some comment about ruining her up-do. She glanced at my unpolished nails and asked me what I planned to do with them. Looking at my blank stare, she rolled her eyes and pulled a set of fake nails out of her pouch. But I didn't care. I wasn't one of those girls who had fantasized about her wedding day since birth. In fact, three months ago was the first time I had ever heard of a color scheme. Highlights, shoes, and nails were all details that any normal bride probably would have obsessed over. I felt kinda sheepish while she applied my shiny new nails, but I really could have cared less. All I knew, was that today, I was getting married to a guy I loved more than life itself.
So when we returned home late from hair and make-up, my already irate mother started to boil over because for some unknown reason, she had scheduled pictures to be taken before the ceremony that we were now incredibly late for. Determined not to let anything bother me today, I dressed as quickly as I could, but fate has a way of pushing irate mothers to new heights. While dressing into my gown, a cut on my thumb got caught and ripped off a scab that put very noticeable dots of blood all over my newly pressed wedding dress. If my mother had boiled over earlier, this was something probably resembling hysterics. I don't remember much, except that we didn't talk on the car ride there and my dress was spot free. But I didn't care. I only wanted to see Tim.
The pictures that were supposed to be taken outside in front of the temple were totally impossible because a flash flood and a monsoon of rain decided to make it's debut for the first time in months. I finally discovered why Flood Street was called Flood Street which you conveniently had to drive down to get to the reception. We also discovered that the wrong address had been printed on the invitations for our reception when people started driving through the flood to the adjacent church a few blocks away. That one kinda frustrated me. But all I really wanted and cared about was holding me tight, smiling at every hurdle. And it's pretty much been that way ever since.
Looking back now, I wish I could do it all over again. I've developed a little more taste for nice hair and color schemes and there's a ton that I would do differently. We couldn't help the weather, but it would have been nice to not have gotten soaked on our wedding day. Maybe that's why so many smart brides choose spring or summer weddings over fall. But, the guy in the tux would still be the same. I would still choose him over everything else. And although the actual day was a semi-disaster, I still look back thinking I was the luckiest bride in the world.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Fun!

We had a great Halloween! Dustin was a bat, and Audrey was a ladybug. We had a huge struggle trying to get Dustin to put on his costume because he thought it was way too scary. I picked it up at Old Navy thinking it was so cute and also boyish so Tim would approve, but when we tried to put it on him, he started bawling and said it was too scary! We finally convinced him it was a flying pig costume and I warned him no one would give him any candy if he didn't wear a costume, so he willingly put it on for Halloween. They were so cute! Dustin absolutely loved ringing doorbells and saying trick or treat for candy! He thought it was the greatest night ever!

This is the pumpkin that Tim spent like 2 hours carving. (He's very proud of it)

Dustin met up with his friend Davin to hit up some houses. They're holding hands, so stinkin cute!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This year has been one of my favorite falls throughout all my time in Oregon. It hasn't been too rainy, in fact, it's been quite sunny and warm most days. The leaves are changing such bright colors and the trees in Eugene are gorgeous right now. We've been able to go outside a lot and Dustin loves playing in the leaves. Audrey likes to eat them. She's walking all over the place now and has a huge vocabulary. Her first word was "hi" and every time she sees a phone she picks it up and says, "hi" into the receiver. The best news so far is that we've turned in our adoption paperwork!!! Woo hoo! We just have to pass our 2 hour interview and home inspection and then it's just a matter of time before it gets finalized. For anyone who's confused about her name change, we picked Audrey Elizabeth Hess for her new birth certificate. Her birth name was Liz, but we like Audrey better. So everyone please pray for us that things will go quickly and smoothly and she can finally be ours!!

Here's a few pics of our trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Dustin loves feeding the goats and driving the tractor. He asks to go to the farm at least once a day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Best Vacation Yet...

We just got back from vacationing in St. George! I'm happy to be home, but a little overwhelmed now that I'm back to reality. We've been gone for 2 weeks, which is the longest vacation I've ever had (not including school breaks). We stayed with Tim's parents, who spoiled the kids, and spoiled me because they cooked, cleaned, babysat, and even took me shopping! Now that I'm home, food doesn't get served to me, I remembered I'm the server! And the house doesn't magically get cleaned nor do the dishes wash themselves at my house either. Bummer. Also, there's the tiny issue of bills I've been evading for the past couple of weeks. Those didn't appear in my name...till I got home. But, we had a great time. Tim and I left the kids for the first time ever and took off to sunny So Cal totally alone! It was strange at first. I felt guilty for leaving the kids, and it was almost intimidating to go somewhere alone with Tim. I realized that we haven't had a vacation together without family or friends since our honeymoon! In almost 6 years, we've never gone somewhere alone together! But that all changed last week. We got to meet my best friend Kimmy and her new hubby Alex at Magic Mountain to ride some awesome roller coasters and then Tim and I went to Disneyland completely alone! It was like a second honeymoon! 4 days away from the kids was hard, but it was refreshing to spend some time with my hubby! Here's some highlights of the past two weeks...

1) Our first day, we went to a HUGE indoor/outdoor waterpark with super fun kid and toddler zones that both Dustin and the baby loved. We unfortunately forgot our camera for that event.

2) But, we went to another outdoor waterpark that we did catch on film. This is the kids at the Mainstreet park that has a little stream and wading area with waterfalls.

3) Tim took me to see Les Mis at the outdoor Tuachan Ampitheater. Totally awesome! It's nestled in Snow Canyon so all you see is huge bright red cliffs around the stage and the show was incredible!

4) We also hiked through Snow Canyon and had a picnic in the shade. The Canyon is so gorgeous and I loved the hot dry heat. Here's Tim with the baby and the canyon in the background.

5) We did two hikes at Zion National Park. This is a must-see-before-you-die park. The hikes are amazing, the views are breathtaking and it's home to the best cheeseburger I've ever had. Here we are along the Virgin River on our way to the Narrows.

6) This is Kim and I waiting in line at Magic Mountain. We did alot of waiting because it was packed! But the roller coasters were totally worth it. Kim and Alex are a super fun couple to hang out with. Love ya Kimmy!

7) After shopping, and going out to eat with my BFF, Tim and I headed down to Disneyland. No lines, great weather, and best of all no kids! Every time I started to feel bad about leaving our kids, we passed parents with screaming kids, and I felt better. It was great to enjoy the park together and do all the stuff that's hard to do with little ones. We went late night swimming at the hotel, went out to eat and actually got to enjoy our food! Anyway, here's a little shot of Tim and I with Wall-e!

We've only been back one day and I'm ready for another vacation!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Terrible Two's...

The other day Dustin and I were taking a nap together...or so I thought. Turns out I was asleep while Dustin was "doing laundry". I woke up to find this...
...beside my bed. He had taken every single article of clothing out of the dressers and put them all in a huge pile. Underwear, socks, jeans, pjs, everything! Not only that but, I opened my eyes to find Dustin laying in the pile (*WARNING* this next bit may be for Moms only, stop reading if you have a sensitive gag reflex) saying, "little poop Mom, little poop," with his diaper halfway pulled down and poop all over the clean clothes. (This picture is minus the poopy clothes) SO FUN. Only not. As if that wasn't a big enough mess to clean up, he also hit up the bathroom and pulled everything out of those drawers.
Including an entire box of tampons. Nice. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a day that I won't have to clean up poop or find a catastrophic mess after leaving my kids alone for 2 seconds! Oh, and Dustin also took out my makeup and put on mascara. I couldn't be mad for that one though. How can you resist this face!!
I'll look back and laugh one day...right??

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I know, I know, I have been slacking...big time. But when the rain finally dries up and the sun starts to shine, I put off all the inside house-y things (like spending time on the computer) and focus on going as many places as we possibly can! (I have a tremendous laundry pile and a half-painted bathroom to prove it)
Summer has been great so far. The weather has been perfect with only one day of rain in the past month. Which of course, is one day too many for me. But we have had plenty of great, dry, even borderline hot, weather to have some fun adventures.
Firstly, I joined 6,000 others who felt the need to get up at 6am and run several miles on our country's most celebrated holiday. (Someone told me it's the Eugeneian way!) Yes, I ran the 4th of July Butte to Butte. Besides being lost for a couple of hours at the end, it was actually a pretty fun run. Lot's of hype and music. Thanks to Robin for sticking it out with me! You did great girl!
We spend the rest of the day boating with a few other families which was my favorite part of the day. The clouds cleared, the sun began to shine, we cruised around, wake-boarded, laid out in the sun, ate tons of unhealthy food....perfect. Then we went to another friends house and ate more unhealthy food and spent the whole night blowing up 100 dollars worth of fireworks. The guys obviously enjoyed that part the most and kept saying something about it being their patriotic duty.
Shortly after that, I got introduced to the Twilight world. I know I'm a little late, because this has been over the blog world for quite some time now. But put a chalk line up for me...I'm hooked. I finished the first 3 in a week. I think you all know how obsessed I am. I don't know how I'm going to function in the real world when Breaking Dawn comes out. I'll be there this Friday at midnight to get my reserved copy finally! I don't know how all the rest of you could stand waiting a year between saga's!! I had a hard time waiting 3 weeks!
When I was able to will myself out of Bella-and-Edward-land, we spent a weekend at the coast and went to the Newport Aquarium. So fun! I mean, it's not exactly Sea World, but really amazing for Oregon attraction standards. The kids had fun. Dustin loved the shark tunnel, and the jellyfish exhibit. Worth doing if you haven't done it before.
We've had lots of fun hiking adventures. Sweet Creek Falls has been one of my favorites so far. It's a breathtaking trail by Mapleton with beautiful waterfalls and cliffs. We had 4 Moms and 10 kids that day so it was a big group. The kids had fun catching salamanders and swimming, we had a picnic lunch in the sun by the river, swam some more, and headed back. Thanks to all the brave Moms who went with me!
Kristine introduced us to a great spot to go blueberry picking on a cute little farm south of town which was a really great way to entertain the kids. And the blueberry's were so cheap!! I'm never buying them from Costco again! I'm so glad Kristine has been willing to take us out to these places because it's always been so fun and satisfying. There's something about gathering your own food. It's almost therapeutic.
Finally, we just came back from visiting my sister in Kennewick. We got to watch the hydro-boat races on the Columbia gorge which was really neat to see. And Tim got to visit some old friends (he went to high-school there) which was also fun. The weather was so beautiful. I think 90 is perfect! Thanks seester for hosting a fun weekend!
Thanks again to all my Mom friends who has made this summer so much fun! I would be completely bored without you and I'm making a new rule that none of you are allowed to move away unless I give permission!!!

So there!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Surprise visits and summer fun....finally!

So I'm a little late, but I wanted to give a shout out to my dear Grandma who drove all the way from Calgary, Alberta to surprise me for my birthday. I heard the doorbell ring shortly after my sister had arrived from Kennewick to celebrate my b-day, and lo and behold, my Grandma was standing there with a huge card in front of her face!! I knew it was her right away and was so shocked and excited. I almost wanted to cry because when she had asked me earlier what I wanted for my birthday, I told her I wanted to see her more often! And she drove all that way despite horrible gas prices for just one weekend! My Grandma is an amazing woman and I love her so much!! Here she is surprising me at the door and my big happy family. Also, Tim has tried to beat my dad arm wrestling pretty much our whole marriage to no avail...until the infamous match at Olive Garden. My dad had to cheat to put Tims down. We'll never know who really won, and there's been some serious debate, but I think Tim woulda taken him down!! Go Hubby!!

Also, I wanted to say how incredibly grateful I am that the sun has finally decided to shine, and in celebration we have bought an outdoor slide for the backyard, a little pool for the kids to swim, and have gone on many outdoor adventures. Thanks to Kathy and Chelsea for taking me hiking! We went strawberry picking and I made my first batch of freezer jam! Thankfully I had some guidance from a veteran so it turned out ok! The kids have made me smile so much lately! Things are looking good for the adoption and she has officially been in our care for 6 months! Now the fun begins! We have all sorts of meetings and paperwork to look forward to, but I'm hopeful everything will work out smoothly. The things Dustin has been saying lately crack me up! I find it hard to get mad at him because he sounds so dang cute when he talks. He has a small little lisp that melts my heart. The other day he spilled his milk and looked up at me and said, "oh man, milk evywhre!" So cute. He's at an age where he can communicate enough that I know what he needs, but not so much that everything is a debate. Perfect! Here's some pics that made me smile!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So I have yet another random blog. I get so jealous of all you people with super cute blogs and themed entries and neat templates! Creative writing was never one of my strong suits. However, today is my birthday and since my husband is downstairs cleaning up the birthday mess, woot woot, I get some blogging time. So this is the first birthday that I actually feel older. All of those things I remember Moms telling me would happen, are starting to happen. In fact, I looked in the mirror yesterday and swore my Moms butt and thighs were staring back at me! It's not like I'm freaked out about getting older, it's just such a strange feeling to be on the other side of the fence. I remember being little and thinking about adults as, "old" or "mature" or in other words, "no fun". I remember when my "fun" aunt got married I was totally devastated because I thought that meant she was "grown up" and wouldn't be any fun anymore. And here I am, married, and a Mom myself. So, in light of my recollection that I am now the old, mature, no fun grown up I didn't want to become, here are a few fun thoughts about me.
  • I really dislike washing dishes. I put EVERYTHING in the dishwasher. Even if it says not to. And all those things that say "top rack only" oh yeah, I put them on the bottom.
  • I say seriously all the time. Seriously.
  • I sometimes think I was meant to be a ballerina. Seriously, (ha, there I go again) I have naturally curved arches and pointed toes that dancers work for years to get and long arms. If I was 15lbs lighter and my dang mother had put me in a ballet class when I was 3, I might be famous.
  • I sometimes fantasize about being famous.
  • I won state in a speech and debate tournament my junior year for Radio Commentary.
  • I am pretty sure I got skipped on the whole "natural ability" thing. I don't think I have a special ability to do anything naturally. I don't know that I've ever made an all natural meal, I didn't have a natural birth, and I naturally suck at anything that involves making things from nature.
  • I am a carb-addict. I eat a piece of plain bread for a snack all the time.
  • I love musicals and one of my lifelong dreams is to have everyone burst out in song and dance in a random place like a mall or restaurant just like on My Best Friends Wedding.
Well, there you have it. More random thoughts from Jen. We had a fun barbecue with some friends to celebrate and our awesome neighbors came over for the first time for my b-day bash. Good food, good company, what more could a girl ask for!?!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Weekend on the Coast

Our wonderful friends the Zollinger's invited us to spend Memorial weekend out on the coast in an amazing beach house for a couple of nights and although it meant the fourth weekend in a row that we have been out of town, (hence my lack of blogging) we of course were thrilled to have some play time in friendly Depoe Bay! The fabulous 2-story, 3 bedroom, 3 bath beach house came fully equipped with everything you could possibly need including a 60 inch big screen T.V. The highlights of the trip included...
  1. We stuck all of the kids in the jacuzzi tub, turned on the jets, added some bubbles and sat back and laughed at how cute they were. They looked like adults sitting in a hot tub because the water came up to their shoulders.
  2. Cari and I got to watch a chick flick on the big screen after all the kids went to sleep. I would recommend P.S. I Love You, it totally made me appreciate my husband more!
  3. We of course went and played on the beach. Corbin and Dustin got soaked and had a blast throwing sand and jumping into every vat of water they could find.
  4. We tried to build our own bon fire, but failed miserably and commandeered someone else's fire and marshmallow sticks after they left. Hey, at least we're resourceful! We had some pretty darn good s'mores on those sticks!
  5. Cari made my favorite bean soup with fried tortillas for lunch before we left. The perfect end to a perfect weekend!
So a big thank you to Cari and Jason for a great time. We were so grateful to have some time to hang out with them and let the kids play.
Some other things that I wanted to post were that Liz stared crawling and is officially into everything. Dustin is talking like crazy and my favorite thing he says right now is, "whasup dude." I ran the Rhody Run in Florence 2 weeks ago and got 2nd in the 5k in my age group. Thanks to Brian and Ann for hosting us that weekend also. (We have the best freinds. I mean it. All of you are so awesome and mean the world to us) Tim is an official biker because he bought a jacket and rode the bike the long way to Florence and back again and got to do the "biker wave" to all the bikers in Florence. For those of you who don't know, I guess there's a special wave that only bikers give each other on the road. I hope I'm not violating some sacred biker code by disclosing that. Anyway, all is well and we're safe and sound after our many adventures!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vacation Baby!!!

For those of you who don't already know, we went on vacation last week to St. George and it was awesome!!! Dustin was so excited to fly on a plane, he could hardly wait to board and kept pointing to the plane saying, "go....plane....fly". But right before we were about to board, apparently a check valve light indicated that we would be delayed for 5 HOURS!!!! So our trip kinda got off on the wrong foot because we were stuck at the Eugene airport with a screaming baby for a long time. But we finally did board, Dustin slept the whole way to Las Vegas and Liz was super happy. (I think she got all her screaming out at the airport) We stayed at Tim's parents house which is really fun because they have a big play room, a swim pool, big screen, all the fun stuff. So the kids were totally entertained even if we were just hanging around the house. The highlight of St. George was taking the kids up to Zion and going on a hike where you can stand underneath a waterfall. So pretty and both the kids loved it! The weather was perfect, not too hot, and the sun hit the rocks at just the right angle. Zion is one of those places where you feel so grateful to Heavenly Father for the beauty he created. A highlight for me was that my mother-in-law also gave me and the kids tons of new clothes which is always exciting because she has really good taste. Then I left my cute little family to go to my best friends wedding in Phoenix. So I hopped on a plane from Vegas and finally got to see my Kimmy!! It was so fun to see her again and it felt like we had never been apart. I was the only one out of the bridal party who was married, so it felt like I was living with roommates for the weekend. I forgot what it was like to borrow your girlfriends clothes, put on makeup everyday, or go out to eat at like 10:00 pm! I'm so used to sippy cups, diapers, boogers, and unwashed hair, I think I forgot that I clean up semi-cute (after tanning, showering, and taking time to put on make-up...it's not like it happens naturally!!!) I missed my family terribly, but it was a breath of fresh air to take a little break. I got to go to Kim's graduation, and although the speakers were kinda well, like graduation speakers, it was super neat to see her in her grad outfit and her little diploma. It made me think of high school graduation, and I was so proud of her. Then we got to hang out with the girls, and had some "girl talk" which is always fun. The day before the wedding, we laid out by the pool and went swimming, had In n' Out Burgers and milkshakes, went wakeboarding at one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen, went out to Mexican food for dinner, hung out in the hot tub, painted each other's toenails, and finally went to sleep. Can you imagine a more perfect day!!!! I was able to get up on the wakeboard twice, and did a few face plants that everyone still seemed to be talking about the next day. Kim's wedding of course was amazing. The sealing was beautiful, and the Mesa temple is really unique and pretty. Kim looked gorgeous, her hubby is awesome, and the day went really smoothly. I got to get my hair done with Kim, which we haven't done since high school, and she had the most amazing luncheon ever. Her husband is half Mexican and his Mom put on the best tasting Mexican food I've ever had. The reception was at an amazing golf clubhouse that was really beautiful especially while the sun set. A really perfect day. It was so great to see all her family again. They kind of feel like my family in a way since I spent so much time with them growing up. Then I had to say my goodbye's and hop back on a plane to Vegas where Tim was staying with the kids, and then we all got up to get on a plane to come back home the next day!!! Whew! All in all, amazing trip, but 3 days was definitely long enough to be away from my hubby and kids.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Random Thoughts....

I love bath time!! It's the one time both the kids are totally happy and entertained. I thought the one of Dustin holding Liz is so cute. He just started hugging her as soon as I broke out the camera! This blog is mostly random stuff I guess. I haven't posted a blog in a while and these are some of the things that have happened since we hiked the butte, plus some random Jen thoughts. One of the things I wanted to mention was that we took a trip to Portland to go to IKEA. SO FUN!!! IKEA is one of my absolute favorite stores. We just got up one weekend and said, "Let's drive to IKEA!" So we packed the kids up and got out of Dodge! The kids were really good in the car, and as soon as we got there we all had to find the family bathroom so we could change diapers and all that good stuff. I mention this only because the family bathroom at IKEA is so amazing. For one thing, there's cute decorations all over the place. On the walls, hanging from the ceiling...what store puts decor inside a bathroom!! There's also a play area with chairs and toys, which kept Dustin entertained the whole time I was cleaning Liz up, and a nice step stool so Dustin could wash his hands and get on and off the potty. There's a big chair in the corner, a diaper changing station with free Huggies wipes, and a dispenser that dispenses free diapers. FREE DIAPERS!!! I never thought such a thing could be possible in my lifetime. There's also free bottle warming, and jarred baby food! We had so much fun just browsing around. We left with toy boxes, kitchen utensils, mixing bowls...that store is dangerous!!!

Here's a random thought. I am having the hardest time getting Liz to drink her bottles. It's like she started solid foods and has no desire to drink from a bottle at all. She'll only drink 4 ounces max. I've tried cutting back on solids, I've tried spacing out longer feedings, I've tried skipping solids all together...nothing works. She went from drinking 30 ounces a day to around 16. Anyone have any ideas?

Dustin is at a really fun age right now. His speech has really taken off and he's repeating back everything we say to him. It's a lot of pressure knowing that he picks up on everything I say and do!!! Some of my favorite things he says right now is poo poos, o.k., anku mommy (thank you mommie), ere'dit go (where did it go), and my most favorite thing he does is sticks out his hand and says, "hand?" when he wants me to hold his hand. Love it.

I also wanted to say how grateful I was to go to the temple last weekend with four other couples from the ward. It was so great to see familiar faces and it made the experience more meaningful in a way. The temple has such a wonderful feeling about it. It's impossible to leave the temple in a bad mood, and sharing it with members of our ward family made it that much more enjoyable. I felt so much love for everyone. Dustin watches Cars constantly and Filmore sums up my feelings perfectly with his line, "There's a lot of love out there, y'know." Sigh, I never thought animated movies would pop into my head to describe a temple experience. I guess that's the mommie brain in me.

On a last note, since the weather has been so crazy, I've been desperate to come up with inside things to keep Dustin entertained. And one of my strong suits is not arts and crafts...at all. But, Dustin and I pulled out the glue and finger paint and made a rocket ship together one cold and rainy afternoon. I had to post it because it is so rare that I do anything crafty. Here is Dustin "helping" me.

And here is our beautiful creation.
(I told you I wasn't crafty!)

Monday, April 7, 2008

True Eugenians

I've heard several times that you're not a true Eugenian if you haven't hiked Spencer's Butte. And I am happy to announce that after over 2 years of living in Eugene, we finally hiked the Butte. And not only did we hike it, we carried both our kids on our backs the whole way up and down in true Eugenian style. As you can see, we had Dustin in the backpack, Liz in the front pack, and Tim and I huffed it the whole way up the mountain. The kids were amazingly content riding their taxi's to the top. They were a good workout for us. I was a little surprised that you actually kinda rock climb at one point, which added a level of difficulty with a kid throwing off my center of gravity. But, it was totally worth it to see the view at the top. We all sat and had some snacks and let Dustin climb around. It was such a clear and pretty day, we could see everything. Just beautiful. The way back down, however, was another story. We decided to go the opposite side of the mountain and be adventurous. Within the first 5 minutes, we lost the trail and ended up having to repel down a very steep cliff of mud!!! Yikes. All I can say is that we must have some good guardian angels taking care of us because we all made it down safely in one piece. All in all though, definitely a worthwhile Eugene experience.

This nice little cliff was what we had to go down to get back to the trail! I swear it's even steeper than it looks!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Dustin and Tim!! And Easter Too!!

Whew! I am finally blogging about our busy weekend! We had 3 birthdays to celebrate, and Easter. We were partyin fools. My brother has a birthday on the 21st, and Dustin and Tim have their birthday on the 24th (yes, Dustin was born on Tim's birthday, he got the best present ever!) so we usually have a big family party to celebrate the 3 birthdays. This year, Tim made the best steaks ever, and we had an amazingly huge chocolate cake from Costco. My sister and her hubby drove down from Kennewick to celebrate with us and got to stay in our freshly painted guest room. It was fun to have everyone together and hang out and eat food.

(I told you the cake was huge!)

The next day was Easter, so we got to party some more! We colored eggs, cooked a ham and had a huge brunch with everybody, had an easter egg hunt and then opened Easter baskets. Dustin and Tim were so funny coloring the eggs. Tim was trying really hard to make his swirl eggs look pretty and Dustin just wanted to make a mess. After Tim gave up trying to get Dustin to make "pretty" eggs we all had a good time. Dustin had fun ploping as many eggs as he could into one color, and then he would move right on to the next color. He didn't really care about the end result, he just liked picking eggs up and dropping them.

The egg hunt was super fun. We hid plastic eggs all over the living room and Dustin picked up his little bucket and knew just what to do. Every time he saw an egg he'd run over and pick it up and yell, "egg!" And then he'd open it up and yell, "trrrreeeat!" He was so excited! I think he did that same thing for every egg.
The next day was Dustin and Tim's actual Birthday, and unfortunately, we spent the morning at the doctor's office because Dustin got an ear infection. Bummer! We kinda just took it easy for the day, and then we had some friends over in the evening for cake and ice cream yet again! Tim got a motorcycle helmet and a Wii for his presents and we bought Dustin his first tricycle for his present!
Happy Birthday to both my boys! I love you so much!