Sunday, February 12, 2012


January has been a VERY mild month for us.  I have enjoyed not lugging around my dslr camera with me everywhere I go.  However, almost all of my photos are taken with my smart phone, so please excuse the low camera quality.

 We had some fun dates with the Hatches before they headed back to Colorado.  This is at our favorite hippie restaurant in Logan that serves the yummiest crepes ever!

Lydia just adores her aunt Kylee and likes to pretend to talk to her on the phone.  She also loves to wear the skirt Kylee gave her and gives it a hug every time before she puts it on.
 I bit the bullet and had ONE of my MANY bunions removed. I participated in a drug study where they paid all of my expenses and also paid me $650 to be their guinea pig.  It would have been worth the money, except I had the placebo drug and was in extreme pain after the anesthesia wore off.  It was a good five hours before they could give me something other than their study drug.  However, that's all behind me now and I am saving the money for a spring break adventure.  The best part of the experience was staying two whole nights in this TINY room.  I had nurses to bring me meals, drinks, and fluff my pillow.  I watched movies, read my book, and slept like I haven't done in months.  I believe I slept 13 hours that first night.  I wish I could have stayed longer.  It was so lovely having some peace and quiet, even if I was at a pain level of 7 most of the time.

Let's face it.  My feet are going to be ugly regardless of how many surgeries I have.  If you'll notice, I still have two bunions on each pinky toe and another big one on my right foot by my big toe.  The procedure on my left foot involved shaving down the bone, then breaking it, and placing a screw to keep it straight.  Check out that big gap between my toes now.  I didn't just do this for the money, I did it because this particular bunion was actually causing me a lot of pain.  So although my foot will be swollen for nearly a year, and has that big ugly scar, I'm hoping to have the pain be gone at least.

This little Emma girl.  She's the best.  I love having mommy/daughter dates with her.  She's just so appreciative and enjoys every little moment.  Here we are at Macy's eating upstairs with our doughnuts before school.  This was a memory I had with my mother and I am so thankful to repeat it with my own daughter.

These are my niece and nephews who were with me from the start of my career as an aunt.  They have been such a huge part of my life and I have such a soft place for them in my heart.  They moved to Seattle this year with my sister and her husband and another nephew and niece.  Josh, the oldest stayed in Cache Valley, but I will sorely miss the Casperson family.
 I was glad I was able to take some senior photos of Rachel before she left for Washington.  I also made my sister a farewell dvd that brought back so many wonderful memories of their time spent here in Utah.  Rachel was my first niece and I hope that someday she and I can be as close as I am now with some of my aunts.
Addi continues to make the 1 hour venture to come and have play dates with Emma.  We just love this little girl and enjoy having her for the weekend.

A family "fun" night spent at the Treehouse Museum.  By "fun" I mean for Emma and Lydia.  Ryan and I had our fun when we went to Thaiphoon for dinner.

Who wouldn't want to be friends with this little girl?  I sent this photo and a little letter to the parents of some girls in Emma's class who I would like her to have a play date with.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

so long 2011

 The tradition in our family is that the kids have to wait for dad to go see if Santa has come and left the presents, and if he has then he yells "Good Ga'll he's been here!!"  This goes back to when my mom was a little girl, her dad did it for her, my dad did it for me, and this year my dad did it for my girls.  A favorite tradition to start off the morning.  I love the look on the girl's faces as they wait for the signal.

Both girls are into Whinnie the Pooh and were thrilled with their new plush friends.  

After we had a delicious breakfast we told the girls they should go down the slide and there was one more gift waiting for them in the gym.  Ryan revamped what used to be a cheesy hot wheels with Disney stickers all over it, and turned it into this darling little "bumble bee" as the girls call it.  Their reaction was all that we hoped it would be.  Lydia was more confidant driving it than Emma was, and even Ryan took a turn.  This is something we both always wished we would have had as kids, and it was fun to see that at least our girls will get to enjoy one.

Ryan played with his new helicopter all day and the rest of the family came over at night for games, food, and cookies.  Papa and Annie gave the girls their gift after the Christmas morning had calmed down, and they were both thrilled.  Lydia lives in her dress up clothes, and Emma finally has her own camera so she can leave mine alone.  I absolutely love giving gifts to those I love, it's one of my most favorite things about Earth Life.  I am so thankful for my family and our health.  What a wonderful time of year this has been.

The next day I made my new favorite recipe, molasses cookies.....delicious!

We had a really fun girls outing to Salt Lake with my mom, sister, aunt and cousins.  We stopped at various boutiques for end of season decor and hit up the Gateway for some shopping and Thaiphoon.  I just LOVE my family.

Speaking of LOVE my family.  We have been so happy to have my dear cousin Kylee and her husband in town for an extended Christmas break.  Kylee and Brody are our closest friends and we try to spend as much time with them as possible.  This night we went up to my aunt Lee's for some home made pizza, monkey bread (to die for) and a fun night of cards and games with the rest of the family.

I had the best mommy-daughter date with Emma at Firehouse.  She is such great company and knows how to hold an interesting conversation.  I just adore her personality and genuine nature.  Although it makes me sad how fast she is growing, I am also really enjoying how much more of a "friend" she has become.

Lydia is our little "baby."  Except she's two, so she's not really a baby.  She delights us with her croaky voice and her large vocabulary keeps us laughing all the live long day.  I never deny her when she asks for a snuggle or for me to sing her a song.  I know how fast this phase will end and I am trying to soak it up as much as I can.

Well, I did it.  I completed a WHOLE YEAR of taking a photo a day.  It about killed me, seriously.  There were times I wanted to quit, but I hung in there.  What a year this has been.  Last January first when I started this project I knew I had a few big events for the year.  I knew my baby would turn two, my husband would turn 30.  I knew Emma would start Kindergarten, that I would see Josh Groban in concert, that we would have a girl's trip to Las Vegas, visit the Bundys, and just enjoy every moment we had with our girls.  However, I did not know that we would hideout in a basement cellar waiting out a tornado, or that we would make so many new friends who would leave such a lasting impression.  I did not know that we would move FOUR times, the final time we would have to say goodbye to our little dream home.  I did not know that at one point this year our marriage would be stronger than ever, I did not know that my testimony would be shaken.  I did not know that we would have our lowest of lows.  I did not know that everything would be okay.  I did not know that I CAN do hard things.  I did not know that at the end of such a trying year, I would look back and have some of the fondest memories we've ever made.  I learned who I am.  I learned where my testimony is, who my God is, just how deeply our parents love us, just how thankful I am for my girls, and who our real friends are.  2011 didn't beat me, it didn't win, because we're doing something with what we learned, and we're going to be better and stronger because of it.  So long 2011, you're no friend of mine....and yet, I know I owe you a big juicy thank you.  I'm prepared to give it to you, someday, but not yet. 
So here's to 2012!  May we never know what lies ahead, so that we can enjoy the gift of the present.