Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm The Luckiest

"I've just about had it today", I told Kenny on the phone as he was leaving work. Brynlee had been especially difficult yesterday, and has reached the throwing up phase. Tyler did the same thing. It seems like at 3 1/2 months or so they start having massive spit-up issues. That's why I started Tyler on rice cereals when he was 4 mo. cuz the doctor thought that might help. I am contemplating starting even earlier with Bryn. Not only that, but I had spotted and killed 5 SPIDERS in my home. No, I actually only killed 4. The 5th (which I found on the wall above Brynlee's bed) was put in a jar and displayed on the counter as a warning sign to all other spiders who think they can get away with stepping even 1 of their 8 nasty legs into my home. I hate spiders.

After I got off the phone with Kenny, I decided that the best thing to do was to pray. I prayed for strength and a little more patience (a common theme in my prayers these days). Then I decided I had a choice. I could be one of those wives that always is stressed out and throws her kids at her husband the second he walks in the door. Or I could act like I have it all together and greet him with a smile, making him WANT to come home. So that's what I did. I forced myself to smile, finally got Bryn to take a nap, and finished making chicken pot pie.

As I did so I was thinking about how lucky I am. Seriously. Kenny always comes home happy and anxious to help. He always gives me a big hug and a kiss, and steps in to help with Tyler, or Brynlee, or whatever needs to be done. He listens to the tales of the day and shares his with me. He compliments me every single day about something. "wow honey, the house looks great!" or, "This meal is delicious, thank you. You did an excellent job." etc. How many men really do that every day? Mine does. And I love him all the more for it. It makes me want to do it again the next day and every day after that.

I also thought of every woman that is single and doesn't have anyone to come home and help share the burden. Or even temporarily single, like my sister who's husband is gone a lot and will be deployed soon. My heart goes out to them.

Then I felt lucky that I am able to pray multiple times a day for help, inspiration, patience, etc. and know that my prayers are heard and answered. I can't imagine raising children, or living at all, without it. The knowledge and blessings of the gospel are endless.

I am the luckiest.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The rains came down and the floods came up

Happy Memorial Day! Are you spending yours indoors too?

This is one of our neighbors behind our house. Do you see the lady under the tree? She is walking in it and the water is at her knees. I'm sure their house is going to need some repairing.

This is looking out our living room window to the front of our house...our poor neighbors.

These were taken this morning. It's still raining. But we saw a possom in our backyard today. It came right up to our house! I have never seen one before. It was cool.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Did any of you watch Popeye when you were little? Or maybe you still do? (Is it even on tv anymore?) Well, maybe you'll clear something up. Kenny ALWAYS calls Brynlee, "Popeye baby" because that's what she looks like, apparently. I think that it's a good thing Bryn doesn't understand what he's saying because otherwise she might be offended. :) First of all, Bryn is a thousand times cuter than that baby. See for yourself.
I know she's not in a nightgown, which is usually when he says it because she looks a lot longer. But second, I think it's hilarious because one of my old highschool coaches used to call me Olive Oyl. (You see, once upon a time I used to be really skinny.) I guess that would make Kenny, Popeye right? :) He does have pretty big muscles. And just for coincidences sake, I just have mention that I am making spinach quiche tonight for dinner haha. Oh I'm too funny.

So what do you think? Is my little girl a popeye baby?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life Here Thus Far

Kenny suggested last week that I pre-type these posts so that I wouldn't have to do it all in one day. So that's how I'm putting all of these up so quickly. I'm just copying and pasting. Sorry for the over-load but again, you don't need to read it all.

For the short time that we’ve been here, we love it! We live out in the country, which offers some new things for me. Let me tell you some of the creatures we’ve seen at or near our house since we’ve been here: frogs, a snake, foxes, hundreds of spiders and all manner of “creepy” things, bunnies, our neighbors have sheep, other neighbors have buffalo, your usual dogs and cats, and oh the birds! There are constantly SO many beautiful birds flying all around our house. There’s a bird’s nest in the tree in our front yard, and on our porch light next to our front door. The weather has been so beautiful so we just have the windows open all day long and I love LOVE hearing the birds singing all day. We are all so happy here. Brynlee is getting prettier and chunkier with each passing day, and Tyler is getting smarter and more talkative each day too! It’s so fun to watch their relationship blossom. They love each other so much. Tyler just adores Bryn still, and she always smiles and jabbers at him. It is so sweet.

bath time! Tyler got out of the bath and Brynlee was about to get in.

Tyler climbed under here one day and said "look mom! 2 babies!" then he tried to teach Brynlee how to hit the toy haha it was hilarious.

He loves to push her around in her walker. It's actually really helpful b/c it keeps her entertained since she's still too little to reach the floor or the toys :).

Every day I take the kids in the stroller a few blocks away to the lake where Tyler likes to throw rocks in the water. He never tires of it. I love having that so close by. It’s beautiful there. On the weekends Kenny gets to join us and we love it.

We have planted a little garden, and I work on the yard whenever I can. That’s something that’s new to us is having to take care of a yard. But we both love working outside so we don’t mind at all. I think there’s something very therapeutic for me about gardening, wedding, etc. I’ll let ya know if we actually grow anything ha.

The other day I was out in the sun room, that we made the play room, with the kids. I was nursing Brynlee in the rocking chair and watching Tyler try to figure out his bicycle and play with his animals. The windows were open so I could hear the birds, and feel the breeze, and there were blankets drying on my clothes line outside (I have a thing for clothes lines), and I could smell the bread I had baking in the oven and I had one of those perfect-life moments. I say moments because obviously no one’s life is perfect all the time. But honestly I couldn’t think of anything else I could have wanted. It was one of those times where the spirit confirms that we are where we are supposed to be, and it feels so good.

May 9 - May 10

We made it back Saturday night and Kenny put the kids to bed while I went to the store to get some groceries and diapers. I also picked myself up a bouquet of flowers from Wal-mart for Mother’s day haha. I brought them home and said to Kenny, “you can give these to me”. So he hands them back to me and I hugged him and said, “Oh this is so unexpected! Thank you so much!” haha.

Mother’s Day was about as good as every other holiday so far this year, if you know what I mean. Kenny did make me bacon and cinnamon rolls from a can (that I had picked up the night before). It was our first time at church in our new ward—finally! Everyone was very kind and welcoming. I think we’re going to like it there a lot. Except Tyler got in a fight in nursery apparently, and came home with scratches on his face. I was so sad about that. But I talked to him about fighting and sharing our toys, and I know he just needed more time to adjust and he was still so tired from all the dang traveling. He’s normally such a nice boy. They also gave me (and all the other women) chocolates. One little bag during Sacrament meeting, and another little bag from the nursery. ALL chocolate. Do you know how torturous that is for me? I couldn’t resist and had 3 or 4 pieces, but regretted it later when Brynlee screamed the rest of the night. Colic or chocolate? I don’t know, either way it made for a very rough evening. Happy mother’s day indeed. Even though it has been a very hard last few weeks, ok months, I do love being a mother and couldn’t ask for better or cuter kids. I feel so lucky and honored to have them entrusted to me.

Seriously though, this has been the worst year for holidays so far. My birthday was great, but Tyler’s was stupid because we didn’t even celebrate it on the right day since we got home from the hospital that evening. Valentine’s day was a total flop because we had a 1 week old and a toddler and an overly emotional me. I totally forgot about St. Patrick’s day. Easter we were all separated and didn’t get to do any of the celebrating on actual Easter day. Then our anniversary and mother’s day I just went through, obviously not the greatest. Maybe we’ll have it all together by Christmas??

After traversing back and forth across parts of the country here is my conclusion: Texas is way too big, Arkansas has way more road kill than it does road signs, all 15 people that live in Nebraska should move out so we can get rid of that nothing-state entirely and save ourselves a few hours, Wyoming leaves much to be desired but somehow still seems pretty because I’m usually driving in it when the sun is rising, and Utah always feels like coming home. Also, anyone that says we are over-populating the earth has never taken a road trip.

May 5 - May 8

Tuesday morning I got up early and packed all our stuff in the car and waited until Brynlee woke up, then we were ready to go. Obviously I hadn’t learned my lesson yet because I drove the 4 ½ hours to Rockland to stay with Kenny’s parents. Again, she screamed almost the entire time and we stopped a lot. We stayed there until Thursday night. Tyler started getting sick on Monday night. He just got this random fever. He had no other symptoms that I could tell or that he complained about. I don’t know what it was, but we just took it easy with him and kept him on Tylenol/Advil rotating to keep his fever down and after a few days it went away.

He's playing with my hair. cute huh?

On Thursday night I drove (again by myself) down to Logan, Utah where we stayed in the hotel Kenny’s Grandpa used to own and we met up with all of his family. It was so fun to see them all again. I miss living so close to Andy and Shalee, and James and Shariane. Tyler was more than thrilled to be reunited with his cousin, Josh. Kyle and Keli picked up Kenny at the airport for me on their way there which was SO nice of them. Oh it was so good to see him again. I missed Kenny like crazy, especially when I have to do hard things I miss him even more. Tyler stayed up swimming with his cousins till 10:30 or 11 which was fun at the time, but of course I always regret it the next day. This kid REALLY needs his sleep. Especially when he hasn’t had any sort of reliable or consistent schedule in weeks.

The next morning, Friday, May 8th we went to Jeni and Eric’s wedding in the Logan temple. I had never been to, or in that temple before and it was beautiful. I was really nervous about leaving Brynlee during the sealing, but I must have had a little extra help from praying in the temple because she slept all but the last 5 minutes. Hallelujah. After pictures (and lots of crying from our exhausted children) we went to their luncheon at the Blue Bird restaurant which was so yummy. From there we drove to West Haven for the Open House at a church. I am so glad we were there to celebrate this important time for both of our sisters. We love spending time with our families more than anything.

A dangerous duo, Ty and Josh.

After the open house ended, we changed our clothes, rearranged the car and got back on the road to come home to Illinois. We again drove through the night, with Kenny driving most of the way. It’s 20 hours each way, just for the record. Man it's nice to be done with trips for a few months.

May 2 - May 4

Saturday I got to meet up with 2 of my best friends from high school, Brooke and Kaylynn. Kenny kept the kids and we went out to eat at the Pizza Factory and just talked for hours. It was so good to see them again. I wish we would have gotten a picture.

That afternoon Kenny and I took the kids to Thanksgiving Point and looked at all the pretty flowers. They were having a Tulip Festival but we didn’t want to pay to go in so we just walked around for a while. We grabbed some ice cream cones at good old Arctic Circle on the way home (I used to work there in high school) and watched Bedtime Stories that night. It was nice to relax and be all together.

The next morning, Sunday the 3rd, we drove up to Mtn. Green and went to sacrament meeting with Kenny’s brother Chris and his family. From there we left and I dropped Kenny off at the SLC airport. He flew back to St. Louis and had to pay 70 outrageous dollars for a taxi to get home. I drove down to Mapleton and was there to celebrate my cousin Hadlie’s 1 yr. birthday. From there I followed my Grandparents down to their house in Spring City, Utah. I love visiting them and they live in such a beautiful area. We loved spending some time with them. Mind you, every time we get in the car and drive anywhere, there is loud screaming and crying from Bryn. I hate it more than you’ll ever know.

The best great-grandparents taking Tyler out for a 4-wheeler ride to let him help change the water

April 27th - May 1st

Monday morning Kenny went back to work and I started unpacking and cleaning. I unloaded as much of the U-Haul as I could by myself. Kenny did the rest with our kind neighbor when he came home. We did that Monday, and Tuesday. Wednesday was our 3 year anniversary, but we didn’t get to celebrate of course. Kenny went to work. I stayed home and unpacked and cleaned some more, then put clothes back INTO our suitcases and packed up the car. Kenny got off work an hour early and we immediately left. We dropped off the U-Haul and started on the road to Utah. We drove through the night and switched off driving when the other was too tired. Kenny drove most of the way though. We did get to talk a lot on the road and that was nice. We realized that in the 3 short years we’ve been married we have had 2 children, graduated from college, and moved 5 times. I told him we’d better slow down.

We made it about 5 hours before my sister’s reception, which was good timing. It was beautiful. I was so glad to be there with my whole family and see so many relatives that I hadn’t seen in so long. Brynlee was acting terribly though and Kenny was kind enough to take her in so I could talk to family and friends. She just cried a lot. I kept having to leave and go help take care of her, feed her, etc. After a couple good doses of Tylenol she finally fell asleep. It was also the beginning of Tyler’s rough attitude. I don’t blame them. I mean hello, look at what we have been dragging them through.

This is me with my cousin, Charlotte. She is the woman I have always wanted to be when I grow up. I admire her so much and wish we lived closer together. We don't see each other very often anymore, but every time we get together it's like we were never apart. I always feel so comfortable around her. If you're reading this Charlotte, I love you!

The next morning was my sister’s wedding at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, which is where Kenny and I got married so it was really special to be back there and think about our own sealing, the same week as our anniversary. Kim even wore my dress so it was fun. She looked SO pretty in it. I’m so happy for her and Caleb. Afterwards there was a luncheon, and the rest of the day we just all hung out and it was great.

Laura--Can I get that pic you took of me and kim please?

Back from the dead

We FINALLY have internet again, and I get to play the lovely game of catch-up because it has been an eternity since I’ve been able to blog. I hate catch-up. But SO many things have happened that I can’t let them go unrecorded. Prepare yourself for many long posts. Or don’t prepare yourself, and just don’t read it.
Let’s go way back to Friday, April 24th – 26th. I had been packing everything up and cleaning our apartment getting ready for the move. We spent Thursday night, and Friday night at my parent’s house so that I could continue to pack/clean everything without having to leave half of our stuff out to live there. It was very much appreciated. Kenny flew in from IL Friday night. He was supposed to arrive around 10 or 10:30, I can’t remember now because it’s been so long. But anyway, my dad and sister, Laura, said I could leave the kids with them so I didn’t have to wake them up and I could leave a bottle for Brynlee. I was scared to death getting to the Hobby Airport because there was a torrential downpour and it was crazy. I get to the airport and I’m late, but Kenny hasn’t called yet so I figured there must have been a plane delay because of the weather also. Delay? HA! He calls me a while later and says that his plane, and all others that were supposed to go to Hobby had been flown to Bush Int’l Airport and were waiting there taxing around. Apparently Hobby was flooded! They still hadn’t decided if they were going to let them all off there, or fly them all back eventually, but he would call me when he found anything out. I got off the phone and cried and prayed because I was stressing about having to have my family stay up late with Brynlee (there’s nothing I hate more than not taking care of my own ), not knowing how she would be with them or if she would scream all night (her colic makes her somewhat unpredictable) plus the weather was scaring me and it was late, etc. Anyways they eventually flew them all back and we made it home, slowly. We drove past many many cars that were just stranded in the road because the roads were flooded or just pulled off to the side waiting for hours for it to drain so they wouldn’t get stuck, etc. We were lucky to be in a tall Explorer so we could drive on the edges and not get stuck. We finally made it back and to bed a little before 2 a.m.

The next morning we got up around 6 and Kenny went straight over to our apartment to start loading the U-Haul that I had picked up with my dad the day before. He got ALL the boxes in by himself. A few hours later my dad and brother went over to help with some of the bigger things, and then he called a few guys from our ward there to help. We were SO grateful to have help and it went so much quicker. We left around 1 or 2 p.m. with Kenny driving the U-haul, and me driving the car with both children. Have I ever mentioned how much Brynlee hates the car seat? Because it’s quite amazing how much she hates it. With most children, people say to drive around for a while if you’re having a hard time putting them to sleep. But Brynlee does NOT sleep in the car, and she does NOT calm herself down. Without giving you any details (and because I would rather not relive that experience), suffice it to say that no baby should have to scream that much and no mother should have to listen to her baby scream and cry that much. But she did, and I did, and I suppose we made it through alive. It was definitely a learning experience. I learned how to nurse while driving (please don’t leave comments about how unsafe that is, I am fully aware), Tyler learned how to sleep through her screaming, and Brynlee learned how to be the most persistent and loud baby ever known to man. We ended up pulling over and sleeping at a hotel in Texarkana that night around 12 because we ALL needed some sleep. The kids were totally exhausted and so were we. The trip took more than double the time it should have, but we made it in 25 or 26 hours. And get this, we made it home and grabbed something to eat, then got BACK IN THE CAR and had to go pick up Kenny’s car at the airport in St. Louis which took another almost 2 hours. Are we not the worst parents in the world? I know, but we had to do it. We don’t know anybody here yet that would have helped or babysat, etc. so we had to do it all ourselves, and I guess we survived.

Our 17 foot U-haul stuffed to the brim with all of our crap. We even had to get rid of quite a lot that just didn't fit in the end. Like our vacuum, kitchen garbage can, a big white shelving thing, etc. sad, but it was a little late to go get a bigger one.

My view the entire way--the back of the U-haul. Oh so pretty.

This is our new house! More pictures to come later.

Ty taking a turn "driving" the "big daddy truck"

thank heaven for DVD players.