Sunday, August 25, 2013

We found a house! Its a girl! And other Utah life catch up

We found a house! Hooray!  We close on Sept 3 right after Labor Day so hopefully we will move in just over a week! Its a cute little old house just a couple miles northwest of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The kitchen and bedrooms are quite small which is not ideal but we are in a beautiful neighborhood, only 3 minutes from gorgeous canyon hiking and biking trails, and only 10 minutes from Blakely's work! And we have extra rooms. Visitors welcome!

Here are some pics from the current owners.

Other big exciting news is that we found out Baby C #2 is a GIRL! I'm still completely shocked because I though certainly we were having another boy but we are thrilled to have a little princess in the house. I continue to feel really good but I am definitely much lower energy this time around. I blame Charlie :)

While Blakely continues to put in long hours at his new job, which he loves, I am busy keeping up with this little crazy person. 
Now that Charlie is past the baby stage he truly is my little companion and friend. Its so fun to spend my days with this little guy who carries on conversation, asks a zillion questions and loves going on adventures with me. 
Ours days are spent with daily walks (where often his head is in a book the whole time), stops at the swings, library visits, play time with cousins and friends, and lots and lots of truck time.

Our new favorite activity is visiting Barnes and Noble and Ikea where Charlie will happily play for hours with the train set and I can sit and read a book. Win, win! 
When we haven't been spending every spare minute house hunting, we have managed to squeeze in a bit of family fun as well. 

Blakely and Charlie with the Instructure Panda at the company party at Hogle Zoo. Blakely and I laughed at the difference between Dell work parties (happy hour at a bar) and Instructure (first a huge carnival then a trip to the zoo for the whole family)

 Family hikes to Cecret Lake, Alpine sliding rock, and Bell Canyon Resevoir. Utah you are amazingly beautiful. I wish we had gotten into the mountains more but many Saturdays were sacrificed to the house hunt.

Baby Noah's baby blessing. Blakely's sister and brother in law adopted this sweet little guy and we were able to attend the family sealing in the Mt Timpanogas Temple. It was was one of the most tender moments I have ever witnessed. How blessed we are to be a part of an eternal family!

4th of July, 24th of July and Draper Days parades. Charlie is the perfect age to enjoy parades with his fascination with cars and trucks. A parade made up completely with police cars and fire trucks is a little boys dream come true.
Totally in the zone.
Visits with cousins to the Thanksgiving Point Farm
Riding the pony It took him a minute or two to warm up to idea (partially because his little finger had just been nipped by an aggressive turkey) but he requested pony rides for weeks afterwards.
Afternoon at This is the Place State Park with Uncle Aaron and Emily.
Charlies favorite was of course riding the train
He also loved the petting zoo. "I hug the goat. I kiss the goat"
We are so lucky to have so much family close by and Charlie adores playing with his cousins. Nothing makes Charlie more excited than running around with other little people. I can't wait to watch them grow up together. Here he is splashing with cousin Annie in her backyard on the 4th
Riding in the Barbie Jeep with Grant. I wish you could see Charlie's white knuckle grip on the side of the car. These two boys are only a 2 months apart and they have quite opposite personalities but they have so much fun together.
Charlie and Daxton are the sweetest of friends. Since Dax just lives down the street from Blakely;s parents where we have staying, we have been able to spend a lot of time with him. I wish Dax could be around always because he makes Charlie laugh harder than anyone else and he can ALWAYS cheer him up.

I can hardly believe that summer has already passed us by. We are taking one last hurrah up to Island Park and Yellowstone this week with my family and then we will move into our house when we get back. I'm looking forward to organizing and decorating our home this fall just in time for baby girl to come in Dec. Hooray! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Charlie 21 Months

21 months old but as talkative and dramatic as a high school girl. Charlie is a total chatterbox. From the second he wakes up, life is a constant stream of Charlie narration."  From his crib in the morning after he wakes up from his nap, you can hear Charlie have conversations with himself "Its a train! I see it! Mine monkey. I have it. I kiss him. Hug him." Although hes been stringing many words together, his first complete sentence was "Watch this Blakely!" as he tried to get his dads attention while throwing a ball across the room. Not sure if he associates his Dad with the name Blakely or if it was a phrase he picked up from his little 3 year old cousin but either way, so unexpected and funny.

Since we have moved in with Blakelys parents while we find a place to live, he has been surrounded by other family and cousins and has suddenly become very concerned with identifying the owners of everything. "Daddys keys, mommy's glasses, Charlies cookies." He is already sneaky enough to identify all treats as "Charlie's treats". Right now we are all sharing a room and Charlie is sleeping in a pack-n-play at the foot of our bed and we wake up every morning to hearing "Mommy's toes and Daddy's toes" as he tickles our feet sticking out from the blankets.

Current Loves:
Swings: He would spend hours on the swings if I had the patience. He requests them at least three times a day.

Animals: Charlie has no fear of animals and loves to give hugs and kisses to all the animals he comes in contact. Poor Sadie, Blakely's parents little Shih Tzu is smothered constantly with Charlies attention.
Cars: His complete obsession has taken a whole new level as he can now identify every different construction vehicle and is insistent on bringing a different toy car into the car with him whenever we go out.

Reading and the Library: So glad this little man still loves books. We are at the library at least once a week if not more and his face lights up everytime I tell that is where we are going. As we were leaving yesterday he screamed out in frustration "NO! Books fun!"


Life has been a bit of a whirlwind the past couple of months. In May Blakely was invited to come to Utah to interview with Instructure, a small tech company in Utah. While Blakely has enjoyed his time with Dell, he was thrilled with the opportunity to work for a small company. He interviewed and received the job offer to begin less than one month later. We felt completely torn because we love our life in Round Rock but we felt this was the right time for Blakely to make a change in career and the mountains have been calling our names since we left Utah 3 years ago.

With our last month, we managed to only be home for few days spending time at a friends wedding in Utah, a few days at the beach in Galveston with Austin friends and a 7 day Carribean cruise just days before our move date. It was a little overwhelming to not have any time to process our huge life change. We are going to miss beautiful Austin and the many wonderful people that became our family for the past three years. Luckily we were able to squeeze in a few get togethers with our dear friends before we began our trek across the country.

A girls night outing to my Kawaii Ice snow cones. My number one craving while pregnant.

Picnic at Old Settlers park with Dell work friends from the FDP.

Last CGAO pool clubhouse party with all of our dear neighbors and ward friends.
Cavenaugh fam and grumpy Charlie.So sad we wont be around when baby boy Cavenaugh comes in Sept.

Reichart fam and stubborn Charlie. Kristen is due just a couple of weeks before I am!

Darling Kellers, McFarlands, and Seely families. No Charlie present as he was currently throwing a fit.

Sweet Allison and naked Charlie. Allison is due with her just one week before me! 

Thomas family. 

Evans fam.Kaytie was one of my dearest friends since 6th grade. She and her husband just moved to Round Rock about a month before we moved. I'm heartbroken we never got to enjoy being neighbors and that I won't be around when her sweet baby boy is due in August. 

Sadly we didn't get pictures with everyone. Lees, Macias, Bradshaws, McBrides, Nields, Hamiltons, and countless others, you are all greatly missed! My heart hurt as we drove away from all these wonderful people.

Luckily our 22+ hour drive went as nearly as smoothly as we could have hoped. The only major flop was when our trusty Mazda Protege started breaking down halfway through day one driving (boo) and we had to end up towing it behind the truck. I was proud of myself for the driving the truck and trailer a huge chunk of the time even though I ended up having major shoulder pain from stress. 

Charlie was a total dream traveler. He LOVED riding in the "big truck" and was totally content pointing out other trucks, trains, and cows. He was however NOT okay anytime I tried to listen my audiobook which meant lots of radio surfing.

Safely in Utah, we are staying with Blakley's parents (bless them and their generosity) while we house hunt. Unfortunately its been a bit of a slow process especially since we had to pause looking for a house while we went car shopping. The past few weeks I have felt somewhat stranded living in someone elses house without my own transportation. One month later, we finally have a new car, a 2010 Hyundai Sonata (which feels like a Fararri compared to what I have been driving the past 7 years) and we are hopefully close to purchasing a home.

Life is a little rocky now as we figure out our long term plans and work to establish routines but we feel very blessed with the opportunity we have to be here and and look forward feeling settled in a place of our own.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Christyn's Wedding

What a treat it was to spend a week in beautiful Utah for my dearest friend Christyn's wedding. When Christyn moved into my ward when she was 3 years old, we immediately became best friends along with Maren and the three of us were inseparable through high school. Since we graduated and went to different universities and moved all over the country (and world for Christyn) we haven't been close physically the past 7 years, but these girls will always remain my bests.  Maren flew in from Oklahoma and I flew in from Texas and we had the best week being able to spend so much time together as we celebrated beautiful Christyn and her wedding to Stephen Lundquist. We drove around with loud music, stayed up late laughing and chatting on Christyns bed and squeezed in a Jakes Shake run for a Peanutbutter cookie dough shake. It felt high school again. Except for going home to take care of our one year old boys....Almost like high school :)

The week of wedding festivities began Wed evening as I was able to accompany Christyn as she went through the temple for the first time. We attended a live session at the Salt Lake Temple which was a new for me as well and it was such a sweet experience to be able to share this special evening with her. Temple Square was especially gorgeous in full bloom with spring flowers and the whole night was perfect. 
 On Friday, Maren and I hosted a small bachelorette party which included pizza at a darling Italian restaurant and viewing of The Great Gatsby. Of course we gave Christyn her confidence boa and a few other honeymoon essentials. Thanks Maeg for the best tradition. Hope it was put to good use!

We loved getting to know Christyn's darling friends from college, DC internship, and Salt Lake roommates. Left to Right Annie, Lisa, Maren, Christyn, Michelle, me and Julie
The only picture Maren would pose in without being the middle. Only for Christyn :)

On Saturday night, a few days before the actual wedding, Christyns family hosted an wedding open house at the Eccles Art Center in downtown Ogden. I have fond memories of this building since I played in all my piano recitals here under Carol Hurst and it was a perfect venue for a wedding especially since the weather was perfect. I loved being able to run into past high school friends and sweet family friends from my home ward.  

Maren and I with her awesomely adorable little man Leif. I can't believe this was my first time meeting him right before his 1st birthday! 
A rare shot with me and my Dad. I'm so glad I was able to spend so much time with my parents as well this week.

Wedding day was perfection. Christyn had planned every tiny detail and everything went beautifully. She and Stephen were sealed in the Draper Temple and felt so blessed that I was able to witness their sealing along with Maren. Nothing could make me happier than having my friends and family share in the blessing  of a temple marriage. I just wish Blakely could have been there to share the experience as well.

Beautiful bride and a few of her bridesmaids. Wearing matching dresses always makes me feel a little like a little girl at Easter time.

After the temple ceremony there was a wedding dinner at Sea Salt restaurant in Salt Lake City where the whole night revolved around a travel theme. You checked in and received your luggage tag which told you which location you would be seated. Each table was a different city/country that wedding couple had either visited or were going to visit on their honeymoon. At the table was your passport which included a dinner menu for the night. The whole event was done with gorgeous presentation and  execution. I wish I had taken more pictures!

Wedding week also fell over Mother's Day so I got to share the holiday with this wonderful lady for the first time in three years. I love  my sweet mother and her example of selfless service to not only family and friends but the whole community. I love being the mother to this awesome little guy. He brings me more joy than I ever have known.

When I wasn't attending wedding festivities Charlie and I were able to squeeze in some family time with the Ashtons and Craguns. We spent the day in beautiful Eden at my brothers house along with my sister Julie and her family. Charlie loved riding on the scooter and learning to share with his cousin Grant. I love watching these little guys learn how to play with each other. They are going to be such fun friends.

We were also able to take a trip to the park with Maren and her baby Leif. Since Maren and I have shared every stage of our life together, I think these little guys are destined to be best buddies too.

By complete suprise Maren and I ended up being on the same flight from SLC to Houston. Even though we weren't able to sit by each on the plane, we were able to watch each others babies so we could go to the bathroom etc in between flights which was a huge life saver. Yay for small miracles since traveling with a toddler is such a treat.