Friday, April 22, 2016

Tappana Times: Spring Break

Now prepare yourselves. Lots of cute pictures overload. Babies, babies, and more babies. And lots of people you may not know. But we went to Utah over spring break, and what is Utah full of? Babies.

...And almost all of Brigham's AND my extended family.

We decided very last minute on our trip, being that flights were too expensive for my mom and she needed a driving partner to get to Utah to help my brother and wife with their new baby. We decided even MORE last minute to have Brigham come for the first weekend.

So we left. On a 14+ hour drive. With a two kids that get carsick, and a four month old. That hates his car seat.

I was very afraid.

 Luckily the little man did better than I could have ever hoped for. He mostly slept and ate. No long crying spouts.

We did break up the drive halfway, and that probably saved us.

Despite staying at a hotel, my mom and I got NO sleep. Due to constant updates about my sister-in-law's progress during labor, dumb, dumb, dumb hospital staff  and doctors that ruined her birth experience, laying in bed worrying about it all, and Brigham hogging the covers and snoring, I kind of wished we had kept driving.

Once in Utah we were dropped of at Brigham's dad's house while my mom went on to be with Scott, Polyanna, and baby Chloe, newly delivered that morning.

Later that day I caught I ride with my sister to Provo and met my niece!

She is my first niece/nephew on my side of the family, and it was really special for me. I have been WAITING.  Despite an unnecessary c-section, and horrible mistreatment, a rough go at nursing at first, they are recovering well.

Back at Dan and Nonie's house we surprised all of Brigham's brothers. We hadn't told them Brigham was coming, and let them think otherwise. Then when we pulled into town on April Fools, it was the perfect, happy trick.

Brigham and I were able to meet our niece, Raegan, and our nephew, Andrew, for the first time.

I loved seeing Brigham with his family. I know he misses them so much - so do I - and he was in heaven. We were missing his older brother and family, so that was sad - we felt their absence - but we tried to enjoy what we had. Those brothers with their babies, I mean, my heart grew three sizes.

Another bonus of our spring break trip, was that it was General Conference weekend. First I was able to spend a girl's night with my mom and sister-in-law, Katrina, and my kids during priesthood session. We walked around temple square and city creek mall. It was so nostalgic for me to walk around my old stomping ground and see all the places I used to go when I lived in Salt Lake City for two years. Including where Brigham and I met: the Church Office Building. I miss that place sometimes.

Now that my brother, Kyle, has moved back to Utah and started working for the church, he has an "in" and got conference tickets. I didn't think I'd be able to go, but he called me up Sunday morning and said, get here now and come to Sunday morning session. I was still in bed and had only thirty minutes to shower and get there, with a twenty minute drive to go. Lets say I've never showered and done my makeup, or sped so fast to get somewhere in my life. And though my hair was wet and a wreck, I made it and it was wonderful.

Attending conference with my two brothers, hearing the prophet speak, feeling the sweet Spirit, and knowing that we were gathered with people of one heart and one mind was truly renewing.

After conference we had a BIG family dinner with Brigham's family.

Cindy didn't want to be captured on camera, but a hand over the face is good enough. And talk about babies!

Us three ladies had to be captured with our little ones. Raegan was six months, Kendrick was almost four months, and Andy was almost three. Cousins so close in age. If only they could all be close in proximity as well.

Trying to get a GOOD picture of all three together was hard, cute, hilarious, and impossible.

But this is as awesome as it gets.

That night Brigham flew back to Washington so that he could go to work the next day. It was sad. So sad.

Also, we discovered that cousin Abby got pink eye so we weren't able to do quite as much with them as we wanted. Especially when Lydia threw up in the car on the way to the park to play with them. So we hit a few snags and bumps, but we did the best we could.

Caitlin and I did end up going to an evening Zumba class, and though our favorite instructor was absentee, it brought back memories and was fun!

We also went to our old Friday morning Zumba class. The instructor remembered us! Before we went our final ways I took a few more pictures of the kids and their cousins.

Especially of these two boys - exactly one month apart!

The sun was bright and tortured our kids, hahaha.

We were sad to leave them.

While Lydia was sick, I left her and Ammon (I was sure he was going to get sick as well since they were sharing a bed, but miraculously he didn't) with the grandparents and went with Kendrick to introduce him to MY grandparents. I also had dinner with my Aunt Raquel and Uncle Gary, and cousin Becca. It was so nice to see everyone and my Grandpa loved having Kendrick smile at him.

After visiting with them I went to see baby Chloe again with Kendrick.

We put them in a bouncy chair together, and oh my. Cuteness overload. Kendrick even started to accidentally hold Chloe's hand.

Someday when they're older, and making us want to pull our hair out, I'll show them this picture and remind them how sweet they between making us want to pull our hair out...

The kids and I were supposed to move to my brother Kyle's house earlier in the week, but with Katrina 37 weeks pregnant and Lydia with some stomach virus and fever, I didn't want to risk getting Katrina sick. So we waited until Lydia was better and ended up spending one night with them.

While waiting for Kyle to get home from work, Katrina and I chatted while the kids colored on a box and sat playing war in it. Everything is more fun when I giant box is involved.

It was fun going to Chili's and walking around the capitol building and then playing games with Kyle and Katrina. We use to do weekends like that with them all the time and we have missed it!

The next day was a busy day visiting more family, my Grandma in Tooele, and loading up to start the drive back, and saying goodbye to my side of the family.

We took family pictures -minus Brigham- with baby Chloe. She's going to be so big and look so different when we see her next this summer.

My mom, after spending all week helping to care for Chloe, had a hard time leaving her. It had me emotional as well.

It's so hard to live so far away.

Our drive back was good. We were all tired and emotionally spent after so much time with family and so many good byes. And Lydia was feeling sick again.

Kendrick did well; not quite as amazing as the first trip, but I really can't complain. Near the end he was starting to lose it so I pulled out some Baby Einstein and it did the trick. He's always loved the screen and I think I'm in big big trouble if he is such a tv fanatic at four months.

I felt like I had lived a whole year when we got back. When we left it was March and when we got back it was halfway through April. It was a long, wonderful, spring break. I enjoyed taking time off from life (I even took off my fitbit!) and enjoying what truly matters!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tappana Times: Reading, Lusty Eyes, and Batman

Around these parts we like to read. A lot. Walking in to see my two oldest snuggled in the rocking chair reading together, I snapped a quick picture.

Then I decided to throw the caboose in the middle and pretend like he had been there all along.

He was about as thrilled as he looks.

Ammon has been busy at preschool making messes artwork.

And launching rockets.

Kendrick and I have spent lots of time together.

And Kendrick is not sure he's a fan of the situation. On his bad days he likes to sit with a perpetual grumpy face.

On his good days he's enough to melt anyone's heart.

I spend a lot of time with my boys while Lydia is at school. With the weather becoming spring-like we've enjoyed some time at the park.

Ammon throws rocks in the stream while the baby drinks his bottle on the bridge. It's the life.

Kendrick was recently embarrassed to be caught literally drooling over his brother's breakfast.

But now that the cat's out of the bag, he doesn't try to hide his envy at all and openly watches us eat with his lusty eyes and salivating mouth.

My boys like to stick together and keep it real. We were having a family home evening at my parent's house, and the lesson was so inspiring.

Inspiring enough that all three boys were out like a light. Brigham says it's because the Spirit causes sleepiness.

And of course, life wouldn't be complete without a little Batman.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easter Festivities

I love Easter. And this year I was especially excited for it.

I found my exceptionally cute Easter cookie cutters, and I knew I had to do something with them. So for the first time ever, I braved making sugar cookies. I have always been intimidated by the thought of the work, but I must have lost my mind this year and decided to attempt it anyways. Even with my fussy three-month old.

I found a decent recipe on Pinterest and away my boys and I went.  Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be, and we had a decent turn out. It just took the whole afternoon.

Ammon's most appreciated help was when he fed and held the baby for me so that I could try to wrap up all the baking.

After becoming consumed in my work, I was snapped back to reality with a, "Mom? Can I get up now?" I forgot that Ammon was stuck on the couch with his brother and when I went to relieve him, I had to snap a picture first because they were so sweet together.

That night we invited Kayleen over and decorated our cookies.

Ammon, of course, tried to cover every square inch of cookie with candy, so I finally told him he was limited to ten candies per cookie. Soon Lydia was given her own limit as well.

My kids' creations.

My creations.
Our ward put on a Easter egg hunt. Both kids declared their independence by informing me they were going to find eggs with their friends.

And then they both pretty much ended looking by themselves.

It was a lot of anticipation built up for a short search, but fun was had, nonetheless.

When Ammon saw the Easter Bunny in the church, he stopped dead in his tracks. I could tell he was scared, but also trying to keep his cool.

I understand, Ammon. Especially when it looks like the Easter Bunny is about to eat Lydia's arm off. The most hilarious part is that the lady who volunteered to wear the costume, is probably the sweetest, most gentle, pretty lady ever. When I found out who it was I could not help but laugh at the irony.

Kendrick is already developing a strong sense of jealousy of his siblings' loot.

The Saturday before Easter we made sure to color eggs.

My mom hates coloring Easter eggs so it was just me and the kiddos while she watched the baby.
I personally love it, so I didn't mind at all. We had some wild-style shrink wraps this year and they looked awesome.

Easter morning the kids came out to an Easter delight. I'm afraid the Easter bunny didn't realize how much she had purchased to fill the baskets in the previous months, and the kids were SPOILED.

It was so worth it with how excited they were.

After baskets came the egg-hunting. Like usual, they were truly horrible at it and missed eggs literally in front of their noses and had to be helped half the time to look IN and AROUND things.

Finally, all forty eggs were found and laid out in rows to admire and the kids were able to pick one to enjoy before breakfast.

All while Kendrick watched, blew raspberries, and smiled.

The kids are obsessed with these stuffed animal creatures called Beanie-Boos. Basically they are beanie-babies with giant, sparkle-rimmed eyes. The Easter Bunny brought each kid a new Beanie-Boo. Lydia received a pink and green dragon named Darla. Ammon, a sweet owl named Sammy. Even the baby got a baby toy one made out of squishy rubber that he loves.

After the kids finished their Easter morning events, Brigham looked though his basket and then we had a our favorite delicious oatmeal breakfast that I had prepared the night before and baked that morning while egg-hunting.
Of course, for Easter we dressed in our best for church and I had my boys all in matching ties. They are so handsome!

Lydia and I put on some of our spring dresses and made sure the girls were represented.

And then we tried to take a family selfie together....

Basically, it was a beautiful day with beautiful people celebrating a beautiful event.

The Sunday before Easter I taught my Sunday School class all about Palm Sunday and the events that took place the last week of Christ's life. I learned so much preparing for that lesson and it really touched me. I felt inspired to share these events with a video on Facebook each day leading up to Easter. I don't know if it helped anyone else, but I do know that it sure brought the Spirit into my heart and into my home each day as I shared my posts and what they meant with my children.

My appreciation for the Savior and this gift that He gave rose exponentially. Easter held so much meaning and I have felt the Spirit touch my life stronger since. This gift of love that the Savior gave to you and me, the greatest miracle we'll ever know. I am so grateful. My Savior lives. He suffered for all pains of all mankind, He died for us, and then He conquered death and rose from the tomb. He loves me, He loves you, and I can live again with Him and my family forever. With this knowledge, how can Easter not be wonderful?