Monday, June 30, 2008

Nick's favorites

We made the mistake of letting Nick watch "Lion King" last week. He has been acting like a lion ever since. Above is his classic roar face!

Nick's favorite activity in the world right now is having Brad and I act like a horse. Whenever I am on all fours (bathing Chase, scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom floors, etc.,) Nick will jump on my back and say "You a horse, Mommy!" Fortunately, sometimes he lets us be a "sick horse" which just consists of lying on our tummies while he bounces on our backs and says "giddyup!" over and over again.

Nick loves to help in the kitchen, especially on those rare occasions when we make something C H O C O L A T E!

And, as always, Nick continues to be the best big brother! We love our Chase-man, who just turned 5 months old! Yikes! Time goes by way too fast.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

A chocolate K I S S

Nick had chocolate pudding during lunch one day that left his face looking like this:

He then went over to hug and kiss on his brother, leaving his face looking like this:

I love chocolate kisses!
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

To the F A T H E R S in my life...

* I apologize for this atrocious picture of me, but it seems to be the only one I can find of my Dad and me together.

I was raised watching the movie "Mary Poppins," and when I was little I used the phrase "practically perfect in every way" to describe my father. This opinion has not changed and has only proven to be more true as the years have gone on. Brad agrees with me. Hard-working, loyal, humble, and spiritual are the words that automatically come to mind when I think of him.

- My Dad and I have many things in common. From our physical appearance (short legs, long torso; bad back; round face shape and similar eyes), to our personalities (private by nature, quiet, apparently unaware that feelings are something that should be talked about...I should perhaps mention that these traits are not often appreciated by Brad or by my Mom), I have often heard my Mom say "Are you your father's child or what?"

-My dad is the best example to me. All through junior high and high school I would wake in the morning to see him studying his scriptures. He always reads the Sunday school and priesthood/relief society lessons. He gives 100% to his callings. He volunteers at the temple every week. He and my mom were/are diligent in having family prayer, family scripture study and family home evening. Inspired by President Eyerings talk in conference in October, he sends weekly emails to his kids telling us what he is grateful for.

- I love music but am incredibly picky. There are probably only 50 songs or less that I could say I truly love, and I can remember the first time I heard all of them. My dad instilled and fostered this love in me. As I was learning to play the piano he would practice with me, playing the left hand as I played the right. He has always had to travel for business and in the summer time my siblings and I would take turns going with him. I still remember driving home from Idaho and hearing the soundtrack to "Les Miserables" for the first time. My dad told me the whole story line and promised to take me to see it one day (promise fulfilled when they came to SLC while I was in junior high and my parents sacrificed to buy us 14th row seats). I know "Wicked" is all the rage right now, but "Les Mis" will always be my favorite. On family road trips we would listen to classical and jazz music and my dad would make us name the instruments we could hear. When I was in high school and college my family would all sit and sing each others favorite hymns after Sunday dinner. Although my dad rarely shows emotion, I have seen him moved to tears by music numerous times, something else I inherited from him.

-Everyone knows that I can't go a day without talking to my mom, but something else that I think is special is that I talk to my day at least four times a week, too. He always calls to check up on me, on Brad's school, on our church callings, and especially on my boys. He is the best grandpa. When we lived in Salt Lake he would randomly show up at my house, asking to take Nick with him on errands. He is very hands on and loves to play and wrestle with his grand kids.

-I have never heard my dad swear or say anything negative about anyone else (minus politicians and college/professional athletes).

-My dad is the most loyal, dedicated family man you will ever meet. Not only to my mom and to his children, but also to his parents, his in-laws, and his siblings and nieces and nephews. He really understands that family is what it's all about. He cries when I sing, he cried when I left home for the first time (and second, third, and fourth times), he cried when I got married, he cried when I graduated from college, and he cries when he drops me off at the airport. Last year I went from August to January without seeing him, and the day he flew into PA I could hardly contain my excitement. He brings feelings of calmness, peace, safety, security, and love wherever he goes. Happy Fathers Day, Dad. If you can't tell, I kind of like you.

This is my wonderful father-in-law, Jeff. Warm, inviting, and hilarious, Jeff has the gift of making friends and making people feel special wherever he goes. He welcomed me into their home and into their family from the moment I met him, and is always so complimentary to Brad, me, and our kids. He is literally the most hard working man I have ever heard of and has more energy than I can fathom. He and Debbie have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to give their kids the best life possible and they continue to shower us with love, attention, and gifts. I feel blessed to have the in-laws that I do. Jeff has a love of animals (birds especially) and is always taking Nick to see the horses, rabbits, and birds when we're in Ohio. We love you, Jeff, and we appreciate the father and grandfather you are to our family!
This is a little insert by Brad about my dad. I owe a lot of where I am in life to my dad. I worked a lot with him from a very young age, and I think the most important lesson I ever learned from him, I didn't even realize was a lesson until recently. My dad never questioned if he could do something, he just decided what he wanted or needed to do and did it. I feel like I've been that way in life because of my dad. When we were working together over the years we worked on a lot of things that we probably weren't capable of doing, but that didn't matter, we did it and we succeeded. As a result in my life I've decided where I wanted to be and what type of person I've wanted to be, and I've done it. It doesn't matter if I was capable or not. This rambling might not make a lot of sense to everyone, but I hope it does to my dad. My dad is an ordinary man, but in his own way has chosen to be extrodinary, not because he had some special ability, but because I don't think it ever crossed his mind that he couldn't be.

Now to the number one dad in my life, the father of my children. I know I say this on here a lot, but I am constantly amazed, humbled, and appreciative at the kind of dad that Brad is. My boys have their daddy wrapped around their little fingers, and Brad couldn't be happier about it. From the moment he gets home from school, Brad is hands on: he cleans, he changes diapers, he wrestles, he plays, he pretends, he disciplines, he teaches, and he l o v e s. The best part is, he does all of this without any encouraging or nagging from me. He has a lot on his plate right now (school, a huge summer research paper, teaching a class, and serving as stake executive secretary), but he gives 100% to everything he does. When Brad decides to go after something, he does it. He has recently lost almost 20 pounds. He gets straight A's in school. He scored in the 99.9% on the GMAT (yes, he almost got a perfect score. It's not bragging to say that about my husband is it? He's going to kill me for posting this!). He could have gotten his MBA from anywhere in the country -- literally, Harvard, Yale, etc., but chose to do a PhD instead so that he could have more time with his family when he's done with school. And he never asks for anything in return. When I asked him what he wanted for his fathers day dinner he said that frozen pizza would be fine so that I didn't have to cook! What? Don't worry, that's not what we're having. I admire my husband in so many ways and am so grateful that I married someone who inspires me to be a better person everyday. I love you, Brad. Happy Fathers Day!
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Nick's first C R U S H

We have the best neighbors and friends here in State College, and Nick has recently become enamered with their daughter, Morgan. Not only is she polite, kind, generous, silly, beautiful, and blonde, but she's an o l d e r w o m a n ..... 5, to be exact. The odd thing is, Nick isn't really great at playing with other kids yet. He still mostly plays along side them. When we're with Morgan he just watches her and says everything she says and copies everything she does. When we're not with her he asks me about her constantly. "Morgan at her house?" "Morgan at a party?" "Is Morgan sick?" "Morgan come to my house and play?" And since Morgan's mom is the greatest gal ever, I take every opportunity I can to encourage Nick and Morgan's friendship (I hope you're not sick of us, Melissa!). Thanks for always being so nice to Nick, Morgan! We love you!
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Katie's in U T A H

I know I have sung Katie's praises a lot on this blog, but I wanted to let all my friends and family in SLC know that Katie is in UT for the summer! She already has a lot of photo shoots booked, so make sure you reserve yours! I hope this isn't getting obnoxious. I just think she's great, plus a lot of you have asked! She's not paying me to advertise for her or anything! :) Here (again) is her website:

And here are some photos she took of Chase on his blessing day in March.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

r a n d o m

Chase has recently started rolling over in the last 3 weeks. It's lots of fun except for that he hates being on his tummy (as you can see in the picture below). Lately my days have consisted of helping him roll back onto his back...every 30 seconds.

Little Nick got his first bee sting last week. Luckily it was just a little sweat bee, so he only cried for about 30 seconds. Nevertheless, still a momentous occasion, worthy of a picture.

Tim, Katie, Jack, and Calahan came to play over Memorial Day weekend (those pictures are coming). We were about to sit down for dinner one night when Brad decided to quickly make some crystal light. I heard him say "whoops" as he was filling up the pitcher, and when I asked him what was wrong he said he accidentally put hot water in instead of cold! What?! Who does that? Despite jamming as many ice cubes in the pitcher as he could fit, we all enjoyed some nice warm raspberry lemonade with our dinner! :)

Nick L O V E S being outside. We were out playing one evening and this is the lovely outfit he concocted from all of our sports gear. This kid keeps us laughing!

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