Wednesday, March 26, 2014

3 years

Three years ago I got a phone call that changed my life forever.  My brother, Craig, passed away.  It's one of those moments you don't ever forget-what was said, where I was, what I was wearing, who was at my house.  I can still remember all the details like it was yesterday.  It's been quite a process, there have been ups and downs and days I thought I couldn't make it.  My heart has never ached so much in my life.  I swear at times my body did physically ache because of the pain I was experiencing. It's hard because as time goes on you create new memories, memories that Craig isn't in.  Oh how I wish he was here.  Here are some of my favorite memories that I don't want to forget:
-One Thanksgiving he insisted on cooking a deep fried turkey.  My mom wasn't too sure about the idea, thinking it would turn out poorly, so she cooked a turkey in the oven too.  The deep fried turkey was awesome and has been a tradition ever since.
Deep fried turkeys are the best!

-One year in high school one of my girlfriends did not have a date to a dance.  So Craig asked my friend, Krystle, and we got to double date.
-Craig and Dennis came to ski one year in Utah.  Somehow Craig's skis got switched with someone else's at the mountain.  He didn't realize it until we went to return them.  Luckily, the resort he skied at had the skis and we went and switched them.  Let's just say it was a good thing it was Craig's mistake and not Dennis'.
-My favorite thing to tease him about was my parents came home from a night out and found him in the pantry with the babysitter (she was not babysitting him, she was his age.  He just happened to come home before my parents and I guess they liked each other).
-I loved talking to him about world events, politics, medicine, diabetes, anything.  He seemed to know something about everything.
-When I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was pregnant with Izzy he was so helpful.  It was so great to have someone to talk to about what to eat, things to avoid, how to manage my blood sugars, etc.  It has been so hard not to have him around to chat about some of my concerns that I've had with my diabetes.

One of my favorite pictures with Craig.  We took a family cruise to Hawaii; one of my favorite family trips. 
He always made an effort to spend time with family.  He flew to Montana one summer and he was only there for 36 hours before flying back to start med school.

Craig holding Izzy at 7 weeks.  
Stallone, Craig bought him while my parents were out of town (without their permission, of course).
Thanksgiving 2010.  The last time I saw Craig and unfortunately I didn't take a picture with him.
LOVE you Craig!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


On Thursday we flew to Phoenix.  We've gone the past 2 years and love it.  We have always had great weather and it is the perfect break from Utah.  We stay at the Arizona Grand Resort and they have tons of pools, plus a water park with slides, lazy river, and wave pool; Izzy loves it!
Izzy was an angel, as always, on the flight.  She has been on well over 50 flights, and I don't think she's ever had a bad one.  She is an awesome traveler.

 We got to the hotel in the early afternoon, unpacked and headed to the pool.  Mike had a dinner/hockey game with a client. So I considered getting room service, but Izzy wanted to go to a restaurant so we went to Aunt Chiladas, A mexican restaurant, near the hotel.

We ate outside and the girls were awesome.
After dinner, I put them to bed and enjoyed some quiet time reading Divergent.

On Friday, Celeste and Brandon joined us.  I went to the gym in the morning and then Mike went to a lunch with a client.  Celeste and Brandon went to a baseball game and I hung out at the pool with the girls.
Such a cutie hanging out by the pool.  A few weeks before this trip we took her to the Provo Rec Center and she cried the whole time we were swimming.  In Phoenix, she loved swimming and couldn't get enough of it.  Such a funny little girl!

That evening we went to Claim Jumpers, another favorite restaurant of mine.  Then we went back to the hotel, put the girls to bed, and went to the hot tubs to hang out (our room was right by the pool).

On Saturday, my parents joined us.  I went to the gym in the morning (I can't help it, I'm a creature of habit). Mike took the girls on a walk while I was at the gym.
Izzy thought the cactus were pretty cool.

Love this picture.

Of course, she found the horse.

Then Mike went to buy himself some golf clubs at a PGA store.  He said they have a great selection in Phoenix because of all the golfing.  We spent the rest of the day at the pool.  That evening I went to my first spring training game, my Mom was sweet and stayed at the hotel with the girls.  It was a fun atmosphere, but I didn't really care much about the teams.

Let's be honest the real reason I go to games is the food-nachos, popcorn, frozen lemonade, etc.

On Sunday we went to church at a nearby Phoenix ward.  The girls we not happy about getting dressed and there were moments I thought, 'it's vacation, let's just stay at the hotel and relax.' But we had planned on going so we went and I am glad we did.  They had fast and testimony meeting because the previous week was the Gilbert, AZ temple dedication.  It was such a sweet meeting with such a strong spirit listening to people's experiences about the temple dedication.  

After church Mike went to a game with Celeste, Brandon, and my Dad and I went to a carnival with my Mom and the girls. 

Of course, Izzy had to ride the camel. 

There was a petting zoo that both Izzy and Cambry enjoyed. 

There was a place where you could pay $2 to see snakes, monkeys, and take your picture.  Being the animal lover that she is, Izzy couldn't pass this up.

She loved the snakes.  I thought she might be scared, but nope.  This was my conversation with Izzy.
Izzy: "Mom I want to go in the cage with the snakes to feel their scales.  They won't bite me, I know."
Me: "Izzy snakes bite you can't go in there."
Izzy: With a confused look on her face, "They won't bite me, I'm not scared, just let me in." As she is pulling on the lock.
I'm not sure where she gets her fearlessness from.  

Sunday night we went to Rainforest Cafe.  Izzy said this was her favorite thing we did the whole trip.  She loves looking at all the animals. 

The animal bar stools were pretty cool too.

Dad, Celeste, and Izzy hanging out on the elephant.

On Monday we hung out by the pool in the morning and then packed home and flew home that afternoon.  We had a great relaxing trip and enjoyed being with family.

And this is what we woke up to Tuesday morning.  Can we move to Phoenix please?!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Having Fun

One of my goals this year is to have more fun with my kids.  I tend to be the one to clean, feed, bathe, make Izzy do her homework, all the boring stuff.  Mike takes the kids out for treats, in the hot tub, all the fun stuff.  So I wanted to change things this year.  I have opportunities to have fun with the kids, but I tend to choose cleaning/paying bills/etc instead of playing with them.  So far this year, I am doing a much better job with enjoying these moments with my kids.

On Thursday, Izzy had a private swim lesson at the nearby Rec Center (I am getting her ready for our upcoming trip to Phoenix).  Typically, I would watch from the side of the pool, taking care of Cambry, playing on my phone, impatiently waiting for the lesson to be over so I could get on with my day.  I decided today was going to be different. There is a daycare at the rec center so I dropped Cambry off at the daycare and headed to the pool with Izzy.  We were there a few minutes early so I got in with Izzy and played.  Then she went to her lesson and I swam laps.  After her 30 minute lesson we played in the water.  We had races, we made big splashes, we played games; it was so fun to just have FUN with her.  Driving home, Izzy was so cute telling me how much fun she had.
She swam the length of the pool switching from freestyle to backstroke.  I LOVE that she is a swimmer.  The teacher recommended that she join swim team for the summer.  I am not sure I want to make that commitment, but we will see.

On Friday evening, Mike wanted to do something special for Izzy, so he took her out to get a slurpee and then he told her she could stay up late and go in the hot tub.  Cambry was in bed and Izzy asked if I wanted to come to.  But first response was, no thanks, y'all have fun.  I was thinking: 1. I didn't want to get my hair wet (lame, I know) and 2. I love the quiet time when the kids are sleeping.  Then I remembered my goal of having fun with the kids, so I joined.  Izzy enjoyed picking out which swim suit I should wear and we headed out.  We had a great time!  Mike told stories involving witches and ghosts (he used the hot tub light and bubbles for extra effects) and Izzy loved it.  I was really glad we went, it was a great time.  I am so lucky to spend these moments with my kids and create memories with them.
Izzy loving her slurpee with Little Bear.

15 months

Cambry has become so independent.  She loves to do things on her own.  Some of the things I want to remember:
-When she wants a bottle, she gets one from the drawer and brings it to me.
-She loves going up the stairs and gets mad when I pick her up.
-She would rather walk on her own, than be held.
-She is a squawker.  When she wants something she tends to squawk instead of speak.
-Words she says: mama, dada, tux, sit
-She is constantly in EVERYTHING!  She empties drawers faster than I can clean them.  She has learned how to lift the toilet lid and loves to put her hands in the water.
-She doesn't like to swim.  We took her to the pool and she cried for the majority of the time.
-It seems like she has had a cough/runny nose the majority of the winter.  As soon as she gets better, it seems like she gets something else.
-She sleeps from 7:30pm-7ish in the morning, which isn't too bad.  Anything after 7 is fine with me.  She still takes two naps, the first one around 10:00 am-11:30 or 12 and then again 3-4:30 or 5.
-She still rides backward in her infant seat.  She doesn't seem to mind it so we are leaving her backward for a while.
-Some of the things she likes to eat are: yogurt, cheese, blueberries, strawberries, beans, corn, and cheerios. But nothing is a guarantee, one day she'll eat it and the next day she is throwing it on the floor to Tux. Things she won't eat: most any vegetable (I can't think of one she'll eat) and meat.  Which cuts out a lot of food we eat, which makes it hard to come up with food for her.
-She loves music and loves to dance.  As soon as music comes on, she is moving.

Insists on walking out of the gym on her own. 

This drawer is emptied multiple times/day. 

Toilet paper, kleenex boxes, she's all over it.

Another favorite cabinet of hers.

Walking around.
She might not love the water, but she sure is cute hanging out by the pool!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Valentines Day

I woke up Friday morning feeling a little guilty.  I am not crafty, I don't like to bake, I can't do cute heart braids, so I was feeling bad that Izzy wasn't going to have an awesome Valentine's Day like all of her friends.  I know, comparing is not good, but I find myself doing it.

We got up and headed to the gym, then I had worked for a couple hours.  I was not in a good mood and wanted to do something fun with Izzy.  We went to Ridley's to buy some pink sugar cookies.  They had something even better, a decorating kit-complete with: heart shaped cookies, pink frosting, and sprinkles.  Then we picked up a heart shaped pizza at Papa Murphey's.  Izzy thought the cookies were awesome.  I was feeling pretty good about the day, she loved decorating the cookies and I didn't have to cook.  It was a win win.  Mike came home with flowers for both the girls and me.  Then we had a dance party in the play room and called it night.  After the kids were in bed we watched a movie and then headed to bed.  Next year, I will try to remember not to stress the small stuff and know that I don't have to make cookies, the store will take care of it for me!
Pizza and cookie decorating kit.

Izzy was all smiles as she decorated cookies.

Eating them was the best part, of course.

Love this cute girl of mine!

Flowers are the best.  Izzy and Cambry even got their own little vase.

Last day and flight home

Friday was a day at sea.  It was nice for the last day to be at sea so we could sleep in and just relax.  I got up around 10 and headed to the gym.  The Denney's and Johnson's were also in the gym and the 3 girls happened to be wearing purple shirts.  I guess that's what happens when you spend a week together, you get on the same wavelength.  After we finished our workout we headed to a brunch in the dining room.
The rest of the day was spent laying out, reading, and chatting with the girls.  The pool deck was packed and there weren't any lounge chairs available so we headed to the front of the boat and found some chairs with the Denney's and Johnson's.  Mike spent some of the day watching a movie in the room, but I spent the whole day soaking up the rays (maybe a little too many rays).
So long paradise!

We had our last dinner and then watched an acrobatic show; it was really good. I was sad for the cruise to end, but excited to get home and see the girls.  I missed them so much!

Saturday we got up early because we were supposed to get off the ship at 7:20.  We ended up waiting in our assigned area for an hour before we got off, which annoyed me because I could have slept another hour, I love my sleep!
Our flight was scheduled to leave Puerto Rico at 12:30, we pushed back the gate and I was already sleep.  Then the pilot comes over the speaker, "I said we would be towed to an isolated area because we had suspicious luggage on our plane and a person had made a bomb threat and did not board the plane."  That woke me up.  We were towed for about 45 minutes.  When we were finally far enough away the captain said, "TSA will be coming on the plane and asking questions, everyone needs to cooperate." He also said all phones need to be shut off, not just in airplane mode.  Then TSA couldn't get on because they had to bring stairs over, so more waiting.  At first, flight attendants were not letting anyone get up to walk around unless they were escorted.  But, that didn't last too long, people started to get irritated the longer we waited.
I just kept thinking about our girls.  I wanted to get home and wrap my arms around them.  I was thinking where is the bomb, where is the safest place to be on the plane, maybe just my feet would get blown off and I would survive.  I know lots of crazy things were going through my head.  I didn't want my girls to be orphans.  I was near tears so many times.
This is what you look like when you sit on a plane for 4 hours with a suspected bomb.

Then the captain came on and said, "The FBI is coming to get the suspicious luggage off the plane."  More time passed.....Finally, he said the bag had been removed and we could return to the gate.  If people wanted to get off the plane they could and the plane would continue to the scheduled Philadelphia destination.  After waiting for about an hour at the gate, we took off for Philadelphia.  We landed 4 hours late so obviously we missed our connection.  They put us on a flight leaving in the afternoon, but I wanted to leave in the morning and get home.  I argued and they finally put us on a direct flight with Delta.  We stayed the night in a Marriott connected to the hotel and I slept like a baby. I think so much stress wore me out.  We flew home without incidence and I was so happy when I walked in the door and saw Izzy and Cambry.  There's nothing like home.

While we were gone, they did lots of fun stuff with Mami and Papi.  Derdle sent us pictures periodically, which was awesome!

Izzy went skiing for her first time with Papi.  She said the boots hurt her feet and had a melt down because of it.

Cambry and Zeke hung out a lot!
Cambry started attempting handstands.

Izzy LOVED the seashells we brought home for her.  So happy to be with my babies again. We are so glad they got to spend a week with their grandparents and have such a good time.

St. Lucia-final stop

Thursday morning we were in St. Lucia.  I was really looking forward to this island because we were chartering a boat to take us around to different parts of the island.  When we woke up, it was pouring rain, thunder, lightning, everything.  I was thinking there is no way I am getting on a boat when it's lightning.  I mean I was a lifeguard for 10 years, that's safety 101.  Luckily, it calmed down to just rain as we got on the boat.  After about 30 minutes the rain was gone and blue skies were above us.
Of course, Mike had to take a turn on the wheel.  The guides were really fun.  They informed us that the Bachelor was filmed there (which now I've seen the episode, but at the time I didn't know).  There was a kid who jumped off a 50 feet cliff then swam over to us asking for money.  Hey you have to make money some how right?!

The first stop were mud baths.  I have never had a mud bath so I was excited to try something.  The water was warm and felt really good.

Then we lathered up in mud.  It was windy and a little chilly while we were covering ourselves in mud.
I should have done my face.  Maybe next time I'll remember.
Oh the things we do for smooth skin.

Have you ever seen such happy, muddy people?

This is what we really felt about it though.  Couldn't get back in the warm water fast enough!
It was a cool first mud bath experience.

From the mud baths, we walked to a waterfall. I don't think I've ever sat under a waterfall with Mike before, so another first for us!

Doesn't our skin look so much smoother?!

The view hiking out was gorgeous.

After the waterfall we had lunch at an outside buffet.  The food was good, especially the macaroni.  The girls who cooked and served us were so sweet.  

Hanging out on the boat.
Such a gorgeous island.
On the way back we stopped to do some cliff jumping.  Mike stepped on a sea creature and lets just say the sea creature got him pretty good.  He had black prickly things all in his toes.  They said to pour lemon, vinegar, or urine on them and just let them dissolve into your skin.  Just a couple days ago Mike pulled one out that had yet to dissolve.
We had another formal night on Thursday.  As always the food was delicious, the company was great, and my honey looked hot!