Archive for July 2011

Trip to Vegas

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Andy and I went on a little weekend trip to Las Vegas because he was sent there for a conference. This was good for me, since I used to live there and have family and friends to visit. When I lived there, I only visited the strip when family was visiting. This time I was the visitor, and I got to stay in the the Stratosphere Friday night. (This was paid for by the pharmacist that sent Andy to the Conference.)
We were supposed to get a regular room, but they didn’t have our room when we got there. After asking a few questions we got a free upgrade on our room. Here is our suite:

I’ve always wanted to stay at a place with a jetted tub!

While Andy was at his conference at Ceasar’s Palace, I went and saw one of my childhood friends. Linda and I were best friends in Jr. High, and this past year we connected on Facebook. It was great to have lunch with her and catch up on each other lives.
That night I went to my friend, Kim’s, house for dinner and games.
Saturday night we stayed at the Rio on a nice discount that we got from my step-sister. I forgot to take pictures of our room there, but it was a great suite as well.
Sunday I went to church with Kim, and then we had dinner with my dad and family. Then I went to see my old bishop and his wife.
Sunday night I stayed at Kim’s house. Her kids were so fun to play with. Monday morning I went swimming with two of the kids while Andy played the Wii with the oldest boy.
I wish we lived closer, so I could hang out with them more.

Savanna Starting School

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I love summer and I hate winter. I am so glad it’s summer, but it is going way too fast! I have already mentioned my anxiousness about Savanna starting school, and I think that has a lot to do with why I feel this summer is just slipping away from us. I am trying to make each day count before my little five year old leaves me! Okay, it’s not like she is going to Japan for ten years, I need to relax. Do all moms go through this when their first child starts school? Some moms I know are so excited for school to start. They can’t wait for their kids to be out of their hair but I feel different. I quit my job about three weeks before Savanna was born and I have not had a job since. My kids have never been to day care, they are always with me. This is a huge blessing and something we (James) have worked really hard for. It feels so strange to turn my daughter over to people I don’t know five days a week. I know it is something that almost all kids go through. I did, of course, and I am excited for Savanna to have the experience of school but I do have some reservations. I don’t like not knowing what she is doing and how people are treating her. I hope that we have done a good enough job with her so that she will be able to stand up for herself and know what is appropriate and what is not. I know that my Heavenly Father gave me these children and has entrusted me to raise them, teach them, and protect them. I feel like sending them away at such a young age is well, almost wrong. As I read this I know it may sound a bit extreme. I mean, it’s only kindergarten! I think I just need it to begin so I can see how normal and good school is, but I also don’t want it to begin at all. Summer forever! I love my kids, I love being a mom and I hope I am doing an okay job. I am sure I will be the one crying on the first day of school.

My Pirate Birsday!!

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Miles just turned 3! Miles has been into pirates lately so we decided on a pirate party! We have been talking about it for months. We had been talking about it so much that one day Miles told me, “Mom, my birsday is July 21st and I am having a pirate birsday.” It’s always birsday, never birthday. We had the party at the new park here that has a splash pad and a fun playground. The one thing they don’t have there is shade, it was so hot, but I think everyone had fun anyway. I know Miles did! He was such a good boy all day, so happy and excited! I can’t believe he is 3! To me it actually almost seems like he is older! Miles was only 10 months old when I found out I was pregnant with Avery. This was not a planned pregnancy and I pretty much freaked out. I feel like I missed a huge chunk of Miles’ babyhood because when the news of Avery came, I pushed Miles to grow up fast. I was terrified to have two babies! This is something I regret because I almost don’t remember that year or so of his life. Poor Miles, I’m a terrible Mom! Maybe I made it up to him with an awesome party? I try to remember to slow down and enjoy all my kids everyday. I love Miles, he is the goofiest, sweetest little boy! My parents gave him a slip n’ slide and he didn’t really know what it was when he opened it. Finally he exclaimed, “I got my very own river!” So cute. Happy Birthday Miles!

Room #6

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This is our guest bathroom. There is not much to it. I put up the same stuff that was in my apartment bathroom. We don’t like that there is carpet in our bathrooms. Putting tile in will be a project for another year.

It does have a very small counter, but it left room for a hamper. Currently the hamper holds our beach towels, but I’m sure someday it will be used for our kids’ clothes.

Room #5

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This is our guest bedroom. Thankfully Andy and I both had a bed before we got married, so we were able to put his mattress in the guest bedroom. (His was older, but still in great condition.) This room never got painted. It is just the plain white that was painted when the house got built.

It reminds me of going to some old cottage or something.

This room kind of got a lot of my old random wall decorations. The bedding was Andy’s. The nightstand was mine from my last apartment.

The hope chest was made by my grandpa. For years it held the kitchen stuff that I had been collecting, but I never used it until last year when I got my own place. Now it holds my old baby clothes and baby books.

The wall hanging (quilt) was made by me my senior year. I made it for my mom, but she insisted that I should have it back now.

Well, I think it will be cozy enough for our guests. Mom and Bill used it when it was mainly just the bed. Trisha and Jeremy will be the first ones to try out the “completed” guest bedroom.

I would love to make it more than what it is, but that will have to wait. By the time I get around to really fixing it up, it will probably be because I will be changing it into a kids room. That will not be for awhile though, so don’t get all excited now!!!

Time Well Spent

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I was talking to my mom recently and she was saying how important it was to make memories with your family. She said, “Do your kids remember what they got for Christmas last year? Or their birthday? No, but Savanna is still talking about the time we all went to the zoo together. (which was before Miles was born!)” She said that the toys and stuff they collect won’t mean nearly as much to them as the things we did and the time we spent together. I haven’t had the best attitude about Savanna starting school this fall, and there really is no reason for this except that I am so sad that she will be away from me and that my kids are growing up so fast! I felt like since this is the last summer we have before “real” school begins, I really wanted to make it a summer to remember. While we can’t vacation all over the world, or even make to the swimming pool each week, my kids are happiest just playing in the backyard. I’ve said it before but it’s true, even though motherhood makes me tired and stressed sometimes, I love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else, that’s why it scares me that they are growing up! What am I going to do when they are gone? I guess I will worry about that later, but for now I am enjoying this time well spent.

Rooms #2, 3, and 4

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I know I said I was only going to blog about one room a day, but I made an exception for the downstairs. I feel like the kitchen, dining room, and living room are pretty much one room anyway.
Here is a picture of our kitchen before we moved in.

Below is a picture of our dining room and part of the living room. The entire downstairs was green (along with part of the upstairs), and green is one of my favorite colors. However, this green changed every time we saw it, and the previous owners didn’t do a great job at painting. There were splotches on the walls that didn’t get enough coats, and there was green paint on parts of the white trim and ceiling.

We decided to get rid of the green downstairs. I think it took us a whole day to tape everything, and 2 or so days to paint 2 coats.

Andy and I decided we wanted a more neutral color, so we went with Porcelain Skin. It really lighted up the downstairs, which makes it feel more open. It was way too dark before. I felt like I was in a cave.
Here is what our kitchen looks like now:

We had to buy the fridge and microwave. I also used a lot of the jars left over from our wedding.
Below is our dining room. Don’t you love the table for two!!! It fit perfectly in my small apartment. It works fine for us now, but someday we will upgrade to a table that can fit a few more. We also now have drapes and decorations on the walls. The dark wine drapes help keep the sunlight out. I went for 2 months with sliding glass windows wide open and no privacy.
We put my old couch and ottomans in the downstairs living room. We still want to get to chairs to put across from the couch, so we could actually have enough seats for people that drop by (like home teachers and visiting teachers). Those chairs will have to wait for now.
Here are some photos of us and our families:
This is one more view of our dining room.
I think it looks a lot better than it did before we moved in. What do you think?

Room #1

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I am finally ready to show you pictures of the inside of my house. Thanks for waiting patiently. I’ve decided I’m going to blog one room a day. My first room is the master bathroom. You may wonder why I am starting with a bathroom. It is because Andy and I actually built some shelve for it in the past week and a half.
This is how our bathroom countertop looked for the past 3 months. I’m a girl, and I come with a lot of stuff. We only have 1 cabinet and 2 drawers in our bathroom, so I needed some more storage space.

Above our toilet was an empty wall, so I thought it would be neat to make shelve to go above there.

Andy thought it would be easier to just buy some shelves, but I convinced him that it would be fun to build something together. It was his last day off before his rotations started, so we set to work. We bought some wood and wood brackets, and then we headed over to his parents’ house to use some of his dad’s tools.
We cut the wood into 2 pieces for our shelves. Next, we routed the front edge to give it a little design, and then we used the sander to make it nice and smooth. I think Andy had fun using the tools. I know I did, even though I’m not as good as he is at using them.

Then we put two coats of stain on them.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday:
Over the next couple of days I put 3 coats of polyurethane on them. I also lightly sanded them before the 3rd coat. It took forever for everything to be done because each coat has to dry for like 4 hours. Poor Andy had to park outside for a couple of days.
The following Saturday:

Once Andy finally got some free time, he went to work on attaching the brackets to the shelves, and hanging the shelves up in the bathroom. I believe we were up to 1 or 2 putting these shelves in. It is quite hard to get the screws in the right place.

Monday (today):
Now they are holding some of my junk. I think it adds some color to this little white space. I love my new shelves! (Sorry I forgot to take pictures of them up close.)

My counter now only holds a few of my necessities. I can actually see myself in the mirror when I’m sitting and doing my hair. We also have some plastic drawers under the counters that hold all my make up and hair supplies.
This is what the rest of our bathroom looks like:

We are lucky to have his and hers closets. His is attached to the bathroom. On the right of it is this space that could have been used to have a shower. We will eventually make this a linen closet, so I will have even more storage. Currently it just holds our laundry hampers.

Wedding Details

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Okay, so I know most of you have seen these pictures on Facebook, but now I get to include the details. We got married on June 4th, 2011 in the Draper Temple. We were supposed to get married at 11 a.m., but I think it ended up being more around 11:30 a.m. We came out of the temple a little after noon.

Then we took pictures with everyone and then my family. Unfortunately the Bayless family had to leave to go get the luncheon ready, so we took pictures with them at the reception. I’m very grateful for my friends and family who were able to come from far away in order to be here for my special day.

The weather was warm, but it had a breeze to cool us off. It was a little bright out (especially for my northwestern family members), so you wil
l see some people squinting.

Can you see all the little girls squinting?

Then everyone besides Myntillae (my friend/photographer), Andy, and I left. We went and had our pictures taken all around the temple. I loved how they turned out. There was a little bit of wind to work around, but we liked how it kept us cool.

Many people helped me look amazing for this day. My mom made my wedding dress while she was in Washington and I was in Utah. We sent a few samples back and forth for me to try on with my mother-in-laws help, but I wasn’t prepared for it to fit me exactly right when I first tried it on. My mom came down a few days early, and we thought we would probably have to do a few adjustments. Thankfully my mom is amazing, and my dress fit just right.
My mom also arranged my bouquet, along wi
th all the other flowers. I think my sister helped with the table arrangements.
My sister-in-law, Shanda (my brother Brian’s wife), made my jewelry. I just sent her a picture of some that I liked, but I did not expect her to make it exactly like the picture. It was all so beautiful.
One of my best friends, Kate, made my veil and did my hair. It looked lovely!
I wore my sister, Trisha’s, wedding dress slip.
I bought my shoes at Ross and did my own make up.
My husband, Andy, had my engagement ring and wedding ring specially designed and made for me. Yes, my husband is amazing.

I love how my dress looks in this picture!

Then we went to our luncheon, which my mother-in-law, Lindsey, did with the help of some of her ward members and friends. It was at the Veteran’s Hall in Lindon. After we ate, we went and took some more pictures at my in-laws house because they have a pretty backyard.

We finally got our pictures taken with the Bayless’s!

Lindsey also did most of the food for the wedding reception. She made a lot of food….little sandwiches, cookies, and much more. She had more friends helping during the reception.
My mom did the chocolate covered strawberries and vegetables. Others helped make the strawberries, too. My friend Tami taught my sister, Trisha, Aunt Mary, and my step-mom, Darlene, how to do the tuxedo look on the strawberries. Grandma Clift washed and dried all of the strawberries.
The reception was held in the backyard of our new house. It was a beautiful evening. So many people helped get this ready. My in-laws, Jon and Lindsey, were the design team. Jon had been working on our backyard for a couple months to get it looking just right. Lindsey planted tons of flowers in pots and bought tons of decorations. My mom brought tons of decorations down with her. We borrowed tables and other decorations from friends and family. My parents, Andy’s parents, other family members, and friends helped set up. Here is a picture during the reception.
Here is a picture from before. We did our line by the arches, and had people wait in line by the shepherds crooks. The cake was under the tent because it needed shade so it didn’t melt.
Then we did the normal reception things…cut and ate the cake, drank some pink lemonade, danced, threw the bouquet, and then left in the midst of bubbles.
Trisha bought our cake, but had Andy and I design it of course. We got it from It was delicious and beautiful

Then we left for our honeymoon in Midway for 2 days and then Yellowstone for 2 days. My dad and step-mom, Darlene, provided us with timeshares there.

We are so grateful for all the help we got from our family and friends. It really turned out to be a beautiful wedding. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was amazing to see how many people were involved in our day. I felt very loved.
Everyone always tells you how stressful the wedding day is, but I was not stressed at all! However, our parents may have been a little stressed because they were busy making sure everything went just right. I just know that my wedding day was the best day ever! It was nice not to be nervous or stressed. I was surprised how fast the reception went. Time flies when you’re having fun.
Everything felt just right and normal all day. It was like it was meant to be!
Andy and I are now husband and wife and loving it!
I am very blessed to find an amazing man to love me like he does!

4th of July!

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What?! It’s the 4th of July already?! Less than two months until my Gooshie goes to Kindergarten? AHHH! … Anyway, we love the 4th of July! This year was especially enjoyable for many reasons, some of which I will now share with you. We are right in the middle of the busy season for James’ business and he has been so busy! This is awesome, but it means he is gone a lot, so on the 4th of July he got to spend the entire day with us, which was so nice. We have had a tradition for the last few years of going to the hot air balloon launch in Provo then to breakfast at the park, so we carried on the tradition this year. Waking up at 5:45 on James’ first day off in months seemed insane, but we did it anyway (we made up for it later with the entire family taking a three hour nap). Because of weather conditions, the balloons didn’t get to actually fly, just like last year. The kids had fun seeing a few of the balloons filling up, but were kind of grumpy and hungry. James and I decided that next year we’ll skip the balloons, sleep in, and head straight for breakfast. We went to the Scera park in Orem this year and had doughnuts and breakfast burritos, we don’t mess around. It was a cloudy day too, so it wasn’t too hot to play on the playground for awhile. Miles still likes to swing in the “baby” swings at the park but one of them was wrapped around so the swing was really high up. James put him in there anyway. We had to flip the swing upside down and slide him out head first to get him down. After the park we went to get some bbq supplies and fireworks. This year Utah legalized aerials, which I thought was the dumbest idea ever, until James bought some and I saw how awesome they are! We let off a few but there were so many going off all around us, we had a great firework show from our front porch. I was a little surprised that our neighborhood didn’t burn to the ground though, there were seriously so many! That’s a lot of hard earned money us Americans burned up! Anyway, we had a relaxing day at home then grilled up burgers, brats, and hotdogs for dinner, just like the founding father’s would have wanted. I also made a flag cake with strawberries and blueberries, so yummy! It was Savanna’s idea to put the strawberries in a curvy line to make it look like the flag was waving. This year was the first time since we have been married that we spent the 4th at home. Every single year we have been at the in-laws and it was so fun to stay home! The kids were in their own environment, I didn’t have to worry about them making messes or breaking things, there was no fighting to wrestle them into the car at the end of the night, we made our own dinner so we knew we would like it, and we got to see how much Spanish Forkites love fire! Family get together’s are fun of course, but I think it was nice to be able to be alone together and spend some quality time with each other and our kids. At the end of the night Savanna said, “I don’t want the 4th of July to be over, this was the best day ever!” I agree.