11.30.2015

D-Day

Well hello there! Long time, no blog! Let's not waste any time and get right to it! 


Allison 
She had a scare this past weekend. She developed some stomach issues that they were worried was NEC (google it... It's not good) and so we were all pretty nervous. Turns out, it wasn't, and thankfully she is still doing ok. Her chances of contracting NEC are still very high, so we are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that she stays healthy. I did get to go out and see her again and hold her hand. She is so teeny and adorable. And she's officially been out of the womb a month! Yay! 


House 
We had our first demo day this past Saturday. We didn't get to everything since there is so much to do, but we got a huge chunk done. We knocked out some walls and tore up some carpet and made a massive mess. 
Before:
After: 
Our living room and kitchen area is now so open and basically nothing but Windows and natural light. It'll be small but still nice and comfortable. Today Cory worked on securing the ceiling since the walls are gone. I think the next thing will be to demo the floors and our master bathroom. 


I'm feeling pretty stupid because we've only had one day of working on the house and I already feel stressed to my limit. I just know how hard it's going to be, how much time it'll take, and it's going to cost a lot, so money is a stressor as well. I need to find a good outlet for my stress or I'm going to be a basket case! Throwing a sledge hammer through the walls was pretty therapeutic though. Too bad I can't do that every day. 


Life 
Our Thanksgiving was great! We spent Thursday with Cory's family and then went out to see Allison. Friday my family had our dinner and both days we ate like kings! And now it's Christmas time!! I don't think the English language even has words for how excited Kennedy is this year. It has been both so fun and so annoying. Fun because she's really bringing in the excitement and magic of the holiday season. Annoying because regardless of how many times I've told her Santa isn't coming for weeks, she wakes up early every morning wanting to see if Santa came. Today I caught her and Brynlie yelling up the chimney for Santa and asking if he was stuck. Adorable! 
We have so many fun things planned since she is totally digging Christmas. Next week we're going to ride the North Pole Express (a.k.a. the Polar Express) in Heber which I'm pretty sure will literally make Kennedy's face explode. That has been a favorite movie of hers since her wee little dawn of time. We're making it a surprise. I cannot wait! We also hope it snows so we can sled and build snowmen. Of course we will go see lights and bask in the greatness of Christmas. 


Tonight we went to see the Jolly man himself, SANTA! A city in our area had a parade where Santa rode around on a fire tuck. We missed the parade but waited at the ending point so the kids could go see him. K was super excited!!! We got out of the car and she looked up and saw an airplane flying overhead and screamed, "Look!! It's Santa's sleigh!!!" You see what I'm dealing with?! It's too cute to handle! I totally remember being little and driving home on Christmas Eve and wondering if any of the airplane lights in the sky were Santa. 


Anyway, he arrived on the fire truck and the girls looked on in excitement. Brynlie even waved at him. 
And then after a very short wait we were in to see him! We were only there for 30 minutes, which was awesome because it was -2,000 degrees.  


Every year K has freaked out and refused to get within 10 feet of Santa but this year she went and sat by him and told him what she wanted. My mommy heart was threatening to burst from my chest. 
I wish I could read Brynlies mind. I bet she's thinking "Dada giddigoobob". 
 We tried for a family photo that wasn't super successful 
It was tons of fun! We might want to make it an annual tradition! 


In an effort to help Kennedy understand Santa isn't coming to our house for a while, we're starting this advent calendar tomorrow. We glue a cotton ball on each number until his beard is full and then he finally shows up! I was super impressed with Kennedys coloring job and that she wrote her name by herself. 


And lastly for good measure, this picture is the best! They will randomly just hug each other and giggle. It's the sweetest thing and I love that they're such good friends. Today Kennedy started crying when I put Brynlie down for a nap and said, "But she's my friend!" She wanted to keep playing with her. So dang sweet! 

11.23.2015

The House and Viva Las Vegas!

We're home owners again! 


We closed on our house last week in the morning and anxiously waited all day for the keys. They promised to get them to us that day because we were leaving for Vegas the next morning (more about Vegas down below). We finally got them at 5 pm and ran up to go celebrate and show everyone who hadn't seen it yet in our families. I started tearing up some carpet today. I am pretty excited for this chapter. For safety reasons I won't be posting any outside pictures since this blog isn't private. But I will be showing as many inside photos as I can. Here's a sneak peak of the kitchen in all its ghetto-ness. 

We will be gutting everything and taking down some walls to make it open concept. My favorite things about the house are the plethora of huge Windows and the location. Saturday is our big demo party. I can't wait to see it with some walls gone! 

--------------------------------------------

This past weekend Cory and I took our first trip away without the girls to Vegas! 

In 2013 we left Kennedy for a couple days but we only stayed in Salt Lake and Park City. That counts as a getaway, but it didn't feel real enough since we were only 30 minutes away and in a place we've been many times before. We've never taken an actual vacation since our honeymoon (which coincidentally was also in Vegas) so we knew it was time to go before we start on the house and become broke forever. Originally we tried to make going to Mexico work -- but neither of us were comfortable with spending the money on airfare. The only place warm enough within driving distance in November was good 'ol Las Vegas. So, we booked the hotel and prepared ourselves for sin city. 


We were beside ourselves with excitement but it only took us about 30 seconds after dropping off the girls to really miss them. We saw so many things that reminded us of them or that we knew they would love. In fact 97% of the pictures I'm going to share with you were taken just for them. That, and we did a lousy job getting photos together. I kept forgetting the selfie stick. Sad day. 


Anyway, we had SO MUCH FUN!! The weather was warm and perfect! Vegas is a trash hole -- we know it -- and it's only an "adult Disneyland" if you smoke, drink, love prostitutes, and gamble; none of which we do. But sleaze aside, there was plenty to keep us entertained. We stayed at Treasure Island on the 34th floor and our view was incredible! 
We got there Thursday afternoon and Thursday was also my birthday. So we did some shopping at Caesars Palace 
Then stopped and face-timed with the girls because, you know, it had been an entire 8 hours without them, and we didn't want them to forget who we were. Fact: I'm not ashamed of how much we missed our kids.


We also stopped to see the fish in the aquarium. Check out the nose on this guy. I took it to show Kennedy and sure enough, she giggled like crazy. 
And then we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which sadly wasn't as good as the one here in Utah, but it was still delicious. And due to the time change screwing us up, we had dinner at 4pm Vegas time and managed to score the lunch prices. 


After dinner we watched street performers do their thang (<--- that's street talk) and stopped to watch the Belagio fountains, which are one of my favorite things. 
We walked almost the whole strip that night and inside many of the hotels to see their attractions. We also rode the New York, New York roller coaster which for some reason, scared the heck out of me. I kept having this intense fear of my restraints breaking and me falling to my death. That's not something I usually think about on roller coasters. I mean, maybe the first 3 seconds, but not the entire ride. Maybe I'm getting old? 


We also checked out all the candy stores - a top priority of mine since I was on vacation and planned to eat whatever the heck I wanted - and didn't buy a single piece. I know, I'm disappointed in myself, too. But we saw cool stuff and bought souvenirs for the girls. This Statue of Liberty is made out of Twizzlers. Pretty incredible! 
We ended the night with hot chocolate and a bedtime of 10:30. I know... To us it was 11:30 and we walked 10 miles that night, and we never stay up that late. Don't worry, we got better as the nights went on. 


Tuesday we were up bright and early at 6 am; not by choice. I'm telling you, we had a rough time adjusting to the time change. We decided to hit the gym together since we were paying out the nose in "resort fees" which included the gym. Afterward we went to breakfast at Hash House A Go Go. This place came highly recommended by many friends and it was insanely good!!! The portion sizes could feed a bear to hibernate through winter, and the quality of food was out of this world. My phone was charging in the hotel so I didn't get a food picture sadly. But we will definitely be eating there again if we go to Vegas again. 


We spent the afternoon shopping at the outlets and spoiling ourselves and then went to go see Mocking Jay. 
It was good and we ate our weight in candy and popcorn. And my mom sent us pictures of the girls which made our hearts bleed and rejoice at the same time. 

We really wanted to do the zip line on Freemont Street but didn't have time, so we did more strip walking and found dinner and stayed out later that night. 


We got about 700 pictures of the Excalibur to show Kennedy. 


So here's a fun story for you... And keep in mind it's wise to learn from other people's mistakes... 

There are booths on the strip where you can buy day-of tickets to shows at a discount. I have been dying to see a Cirque Du Soleil show for years and years and I was hoping to find some discount ones. Well, we got the discount booths confused with the booths where they offer you cheap tickets to things, but with a catch. Some lady sucked us in and offered us two tickets to Mystere and two buffet tickets for $30, if we sat through a "short, no pressure to buy" time share presentation. After being smooth talked, we agreed. I know, I know. This is embarrassing to type. We had never done this before so we didn't know what we were in for. 

Saturday morning was our appointment for our "short" time share thing. After 4 hours, and having to get pretty feisty with the 4 different people they kept sending us to to "get our tickets", when they really just sat us down and offered us a cheaper price at each one with their "no pressure" sale approach, we finally left with our tickets to Mystere and the buffet. I was pretty freaking angry by the end for wasting a beautiful day inside trying to be swindled, and guilt tripped that we aren't having the right kind of vacations, but we have learned our lesson. And you should learn from our dumb mistake, too. 


However, that being said, I was bursting at the seams that we were FINALLY seeing a Cirque show!! 
The buffet wasn't that great, but the show... I don't even have words. It was incredible!!!!! I was on a high for about an hour afterward. It was so, so amazing. Totally worth the time share crap, even though we won't ever sit through one again. Next time we will just pay for the tickets. 


Sunday morning we woke up early and left as soon as possible because we missed our kiddies so much it hurt. The drive home was long and torturous, but we finally made it and were welcomed with open arms. Brynlie kept looking at me in shock and then finally just giggled and laid her head on me and hugged me tight, like she couldn't believe it was me. It was perfection. And they loved all the stuff we bought them. 


We had so much fun! We really needed to get away together and reconnect. Cory highly impressed me the whole time. There's so much trash to see down there and he never even snuck a peek. He always turned away. I sure love that man! We vowed to take more vacations like that to keep our relationship strong. And this may surprise you, but vacations are possible without a timeshare. 

11.17.2015

Random Acts of Camera Roll: Part 6

A couple Saturday's ago I took B on a hike-e-poo; just her and I. It was pretty nippy but we had fun. The second the weather turned wintery I noticed a huge drop in my mood. I'm wondering if I might have some seasonal depression. My goal all winter to combat this will be to get out as much as possible. Hence, the hike. 
Some of the leaves were still pretty-- even the ones under my finger. 
The conversation was kept light; mostly about airplanes and clouds 
And the deer Brynlie spotted. 
She started screeching at them as I pulled out my camera so the above picture was taken during their retreat. It's not every day a two-headed monster makes raptor noises at them. 


Then things got kinda boring. 
(I got great use of my selfie stick) 

I'm really grateful we live so close to the mountains and can go on an adventure so easily. It sure is gorgeous. 
Speaking of seasonal depression:
I usually take a multivitamin at night but was recommended to take extra vitamin D during the winter months. I've been obeying like a good girl. Whether it really does the trick or is just the placebo affect, I don't care. It helps. Maybe someday I'll have breasts it can benefit as well. 


Oh you know, just watching my shows: 
Actually I'm pretty sure it was the news. I can't wait for her to talk so she can start weighing in on foreign policy. 


Th other day the girls were playing with some toys while I dealt with some paper work. I looked up and saw Brynlie brushing Kennedys hair, and Kennedy brushing the hair of a troll. I posted a video of this on my Instagram that is insanely adorable!! But here's a picture. 
I love it when they play nicely together. 


I love this quote, it applies to all aspects of life. 

I've picked the floors I want in our new house (we close tomorrow)
They make me swoon. 


Tommy, my dads guide dog, probably loves my kids more than I do, I think. 
They've got a great ecosystem going. B keeps him fed, he protects them and keeps them warm, and these two aren't allowed in the backyard because they eat too many apples and get sick. 


Since birth Kennedy has been painfully shy with her uncles. I didn't speak to my uncles until I was about 7 years old, so she obviously gets that from Cory ;) but she's opened up a bit lately and actually interacted with Uncle Dustin at dinner on Sunday and actually let him *+* touch *+* her (cue angelic music). He was beside himself. 
And all our hearts were turned to mush. 

Also, on the Allison Homefront, she's still doing well. Collin and Natalie got to hold her for the first time this weekend. What a great moment for them. They've been through so much this year. I hope it was all worth it in that moment and many more moments to come in the future. 


Throwing it back to 2008 when Cory was still a goof and I still wasn't impressed. 
You know, I don't talk about him much on here because I believe HE should hear how I feel about him and not the Internet, but just know he's amazing and I love him so, so much. He keeps me happy and smiling (even though the picture suggests otherwise) and I can't think of anyone else I would want by my side through this crazy life of ours. 


11.11.2015

Updates and Stuff

I figured I should update publicly the things I've been asked about most. 


Allison 

She is still doing well. There hasn't been anything concerning, they're just helping her grow and survive until she's bigger. She's gaining weight and doing as good as they can expect! My brother and his wife are having a really hard time for so many reasons, so please remember them in your prayers still, if you can. I've been told she's feisty and a fighter. That'll be a good thing helping her get through her first few months of life and beyond. I can't wait until she's more stable and we can can go out and hold her and get to know her a little better. 


Our House 

We're all set to close next week. I am so excited and so in love with it -- or at least what it can become. I promise to post pictures after its officially ours and I will be documenting our renovations on the blog, don't you worry! It's a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath house, although we're going to put in a shower in the master bathroom, so I guess technically it'll have 3 full baths. I literally cannot get over the backyard! It's big and has apple trees and I am so excited to let our kids go outside and play in it. The front yard has an amazing view as well. I'm hoping once we remove the huge bushes in front of the living room window that we can get a glimpse of the view from the window... We shall see. It also has a front porch, which I've always wanted. It's a little smaller than our old house and obviously without some of the luxuries our old house had, but I don't even care. I know we are going to be very happy there and life isn't about luxuries or things. Anyway, that's the update on how things are going there. Hopefully after next week I'll be posting lots of projects and pictures. 


Running 

I've taken a long break from running. I'm starting to miss it and plan on going for my first official run (in a while) this Saturday. Mostly I've been benched because I need new running shoes, which I've been saving for. I'm hoping to go with a new brand this time. My birthday is next week and all I've asked for is running shoes from Cory and family, so I'm feeling confident I'll have new kicks next week and can start getting back to the grind. I haven't minded though. I've been focusing ALL my attention on strength training which is actually my favorite thing. I'm shooting for the Ogden Marathon in May to be my next big race. I am also saving up to register for that, hopefully before it sells out. Until then I am enjoying the break but excited for colder weather running. It's my fave. 


Kennedy's speech 

Oh my goodness this gir is growing so much!! She love, love, LOVES her preschool class this year and her teachers. She's made incredible strides and I couldn't be more proud of her. She had her first primary program on Sunday and she got up and said her part loudly into the microphone. I turned into a sobbing mess because I couldn't contain how proud of her I was for doing something that huge. She is very, very shy and still unsure of herself at times, but she has amazing primary teachers and I could see her face beaming when she was done. She was proud of herself, too, which she needed. She still struggles with some sounds but she's talking all the time and is super bossy. She's even getting better at talking to people she doesn't know very well. I sure love that girl and am so proud of all the hard work she's done. 


Brynlie 

The girl is almost 18 months! Yay!! She is so much fun and freaking adorable! She also challenges me to the very end of my rope, but then she turns around and can be the most tender and sweet little angel. I love every thing about her. She is my cuddler, sometimes too much, and has suddenly developed a need to be by my side at all times. It's so fun to watch her copy Kennedy and witness them playing together. She doesn't say much - just like Kennedy at this age - and I've decided if she doesn't start saying some full on words by Christmas then we will get her in early intervention. I'm not going to wait forever this time. She's smart as a whip though and understands us perfectly. She does. Not. Miss. A. Thing. I can't wait for her to start talking though because I know she's going to keep us laughing. She has the best sense of humor. 


I think I've covered everything I can think of. I have felt really happy these last couple months and I'm excited for what our future will bring. I love my life and my adorable family, and mostly my amazing husband. He's incredible. 

11.09.2015

I'll Never, Ever Tire of Mexican Food

I awoke earlier this morning with the intention to jump in the shower and shave my legs and pits. 


I hit snooze. 


So I wore long leggings and a t-shirt to the gym today. I didn't hate it. I could get used to this no-shave-November thing.


Just kidding. I shaved later.  


Actually besides making sure I stayed nice and unappealing with my body hair, my morning was interesting. Kennedy woke up and started getting after me for leaving my bedroom light on... Then she has a complete meltdown because I asked her if she needed to use the bathroom... And after an inexcusable amount of crying, I did what any great parent would do to get her to stop
Halloween candy for breakfast! I kept thinking of this quote as I applauded my amazing parenting skills. 
In reality I felt pretty guilty shoving candy at the situation but in all fairness, we put her candy up high on Halloween night to keep B from getting into it and totally forgot about it until now. That's the first piece she's had. Oops. I should write a parenting handbook: "How To Teach Your Children That Hard Work Yields No Rewards." Also, it they had peanuts in them, so... Protein. 


Then we got ready for the day and headed to the gym. I had this nifty idea a while back to buy 8 oz water bottles to mix my pre-workout in. It's been so easy! I just grab a bottle from the fridge, dump a scoop in, shake it, and we're out the door. 

The gym was great. And Kennedy came up with a much better use for the TRX straps. 
Next it was grocery shopping where we spent the whole time with someone either crying or yelling. I cannot even put into words how much I hate grocery shopping with kids. Our local Walmart just started doing drive-up grocery delivery that I need to try out. You order what you need online, select a pick up time, and back your car in and they load your groceries in for you. Pure brilliance! I usually don't shop at Walmart but I think one week we will test it out. Totally worth it! 


Brynlie went down for a nap and Kennedy got to go have a play date with Aunt Hillary. So I got a couple intimate hours with Netflix. It was wonderful. 


For dinner tonight I decided to try making carne asada tacos. First I made the meat marinade:
(I got this GENIUS idea off the recipe website. It's going to change my life) 

And grilled it after hours of soaking in flavor. The meat turned out wonderfully. And by the way, a cold, windy evening was the perfect night to fire up the bbq... Not. 
They tasted pretty good. Next time I won't use the white sauce or cole slaw mix, just meat, pico, and avocado. Also, does anyone know if they would be better with corn tortillas? I wasn't sure. Either way, it was Mexican food, so it was delicious. I will never, ever get sick of Mexican food. Ever. 


Well, Brynlie has been on the loose unsupervised long enough. Time to go be an awesome parent again. 

11.02.2015

Little Sickie and A New Recipe!

It's been a sad 24 hours. Kennedy woke up super cranky yesterday but I figured it was because we played super hard all week and she stayed up way too late the night before. Turns out, it was those things and she seemed to have caught Brynlie's tummy bug. Around 4 p.m., she started throwing up and didn't stop for hours. It was awful and I felt so bad for her! I let her sleep in my bed since Cory was working and I wanted to be there in case she kept throwing up during the night.

Thankfully she was fine all night, minus being the most wild sleeper in existence and kicking me all night. I had to take some sleeping pills at midnight to be able to sleep through her craziness. She was still a little grumpy all morning but kept down some applesauce and Gatorade and had an Octonauts marathon on Netflix while laying on the couch. Finally around 2 p.m. she perked up and said, "Mommy! I'm back! I'm Kennedy again!"

I'm not 100% convinced we're out of the woods so I restricted her diet and wouldn't let her drink straight soy sauce for dinner. It's not easy being the meanest mom ever.

So we stayed home today and did absolutely nothing. But it was still fun.
After a week of eating pure crap and probably gaining a ridiculous amount of weight I am more than ready to get back on track and eating clean again. I have a week filled with new recipes and if they're successful, I plan on sharing them with you. Tonight's was THE BOMB!!!!
It was an amazing orange chicken recipe that you can find here. I paired it with this delicious goodness from Costco
and just like that, I kicked dinner's butt! Even my mom and dad loved it and Brynlie ate up the rice and quinoa.

I really hope we can get back to normal life tomorrow and that everyone wakes up healthy and happy. I need some stability in my life again. And lots and lots of ice cream.

11.01.2015

Halloween Festivities

I planned to blog every day this week about our adventures but Wednesday afternoon I started to feel crummy and woke up Thursday with a cold. It hasn't been awful, but being sick sucks either way, so I didn't blog.

But I have a slew of pictures to make up for it!

Wednesday we stayed around the house for the morning and the kids spent hours playing outside. The leaves were a big hit! Me getting out the leaf blower and blowing the leaves on the kids, however, was not.
 We pulled out the Jeep and let the kids take turns cruising around the backyard and trying to run each other over. Some were more successful than others. The key was to find a victim who wasn't paying attention.
 Then the babies woke up and they wanted a turn. Thankfully they thought just sitting in it was great. If they weren't cousins I would crack some joke about "parking" but we don't support that kind of thing.
 We decided since the weather was holding out that we would head up to the pumpkin patch and scope out some pumpkins. There wasn't much left but we were able to find something for everyone. These two... They're so cute!

 Even after hours of playing outside, they still had energy to run around the hay maze and cause mischief. I wish I could go back in time and appreciate the ability to move, move, move without wanting to die.
 Then we had dinner. I wish I could say this picture existed because I'm the favorite aunt. I'm not. Maybe it has something to do with the leaf blower incident. I was just desperate for some attention from Kennedy. As soon as her cousins arrived it was like she disappeared. I hardly talked to her all week! I missed her. So naturally I weaseled my way into the pile of kids long enough for her to be embarrassed by me and ignore me. I didn't try again after that.
 For everyone wondering, baby Allison is doing well still. This her mom getting to touch her and hold her hand. It's the sweetest thing! The nurses told them they should be able to hold her on Tuesday. Exciting!!

 Thursday we had plans to go to Gardner Village but the weather was crappy. Instead we took a ride on Trax through the free zone in downtown and played at the play place at City Creek Mall. Sounds lame if you're an adult but the kids loved it! Like, a lot!



 Getting a good picture of all the grandkids is nearly impossible. The attempts just got worse and worse.
 This has nothing to do with anything it's just very sweet. This girl loves my dads dog.

 Halloween day my sister put on a great party for the kids. The crowd favorites were the donut eating contest (which Kennedy totally cheated at)

 and the pinata.
 Then it was time for trick or treating. I can't explain to you how much Brynlie hated her owl hat but at least I snapped a picture before she started screaming and tearing it off.

 Kennedy had a blast the first little while and then you could almost pinpoint the second her body was done. She rode in the stroller the rest of the way and couldn't have cared less about getting candy. I didn't complain, less laying around to tempt me.
We had such a great week! It was exhausting but so much fun to have my brother and his family here! We have missed them. Now Cory is back at work, I'm still fighting my cold, and Kennedy is throwing up. So we're already off to a great start for November... *thumbs down*