Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Photo Shoot

So I realized that the picture we have of our kids that sits on our entry table is a little outdated. Christian is a baby for heaven's sake! I guess when you walk by something a million times a day you tend to not really "see" it until one day it jumps out at you and screams "hey...pay attention woman!" Well, I have been meaning to get the kids pictures done since Maddie was baptized (LAST MARCH!) but have procrastinated until now. I finally called Heather (my amazing sis-in-law, friend, resident photographer) to come to my rescue, and boy did she ever! The pictures turned out great! I keep telling Heather that she really needs to start charging for her photography services. I mean she has the gear, has taken classes, knows how to use photoshop, has a great artistic eye, knows how to tell people what to do (as in how to pose), and relates great with kids. You would think that it would be a no-brainer. I know one of these days she is going to become a "professional" (as in gets paid) instead of an "amateur" and we will be begging for her time and expertise. But for now I am so glad that she is willing to come take pictures of my kids and I can always say "I knew her when..." in the future when she is a super-busy, in-demand photographer. Thanks Heather. You are awesome!

Here are a few of our favorites (for those of you who don't follow Heather's blog and haven't seen them yet!) There are a few of Maddie in her Baptism dress along with the rest of the "casual" photos.

For some reason a few of these photos ended up a bit blurry when I "stole" them from Heathers blog and I don't really know why??? Oh well.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I received a call from Maddie's teacher last friday.  This is what she said:  "We have a child who is ill and I need you to bring Maddie some new clothes."  I thought this comment was a little vague, so I asked for clarification.  Come to find out the girl sitting next to Maddie THREW UP and it GOT ON MADDIE!  Oooo...GROSS!  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OK...We're Back!!!

Hi Everyone! I know that you all thought that we had disappeared from the blogging world, but we were never really gone. We have been here all the time "blog-stalking" all of you. We have, however, decided to at least post a few pictures now and then, and occasionally we may even comment. As many of you know, I have mixed feelings about the whole blogging thing...so please, no one set their expectations too high. Erik actually created this blog, but since March he has been way to...what's the word...I don't know, maybe preoccupied to do much with it. So, that leaves me to take care of this site.

Most of my favorite blog sites are witty and funny, and I would love this blog to be just that. However, I am not witty nor funny, so I am counting on all of you to make witty and funny comments to keep this blog somewhat interesting. We'll see how it goes.

Since there is waaaay too much "stuff" to catch up on, I am just going to start from here. Who has time for the guilty comments that run through my head like "I just realized that I haven't taken any pictures of my family for the last two years!" Yeah, that's us. I am counting on all my sisters-in-law and mom to document my family for me. You know who you are...you camera toting, picture taking freaks! Anyway...on to the good stuff.

LIFE IN REVIEW...at least the last few weeks
(brace yourselves - it's a long one!)

We have basically played the last few weeks (actually, the whole summer.)  We went to California with my family and had a great time.  On the way there we stopped in St. George for a few days.  The pool was fun.  I have mixed feelings about Erik getting his workout by throwing our children into the air. LOL!  What happened to his "injured" shoulder that I have been hearing about all year...?  And what about the poor, innocent children...?

Maddie...she thinks things through.  Notice she is holding her nose even before she hits the water!

Parker "air-running"

Christian "lovin' life"

Erik is tired after launching the little ones...and the one that is as tall as I am and wears a men's size 8 shoe at the age of 11

The kiddles are tired too...they like to chill in the hot tub

After chillin' in St. George for a few days we finally made it to Southern California.  We stopped at Brady & Nicki's house in Riverside for Sunday dinner.  It was so fun to see them.  They fed us great food and their new house is so cute.  We are glad that we now have a "real" excuse to visit Cali a little more often.  And yes...for you camera freaks, we forgot to take pictures.  Oops!

On to Disneyland!  Yeah!  We love disneyland.  We spent one day with our own little family and two days with my parents, Brady, Nicki, the twins (Talmage & Ella), Chad, Bethany, and Sophia.  We had a "magical" time...

The obligatory family pose in front of the Disneyland Castle

"I can't wait for the fresh, sweet scent of Disneyland"  Maddie exclaims as we drive into the parking lot

After a few hours without sufficient Churros or Cotton Candy...Maddie begins to melt

All is well again...after a Churro, cotton candy, and popcorn

I included this photo because I just realized that if I am left partway out of the frame I actually don't look too bad. LOL

...and this shot isn't too bad either!  Hubba Hubba!

My little cutie with Mater.  By the way...we actually have a real life "Mater" that lives in my friend's driveway.  Every time we drive by and see the old truck they are restoring Christian says "look Mom, it's Mater!"

Erik, Parker, Chad, Maddie, and my Dad on Grizzly Rapids

Yeah, I'm tough

Our little family on Space Mountain

Grandma Jeanne with Sophia (she is so dang cute!)

Bethany, Sophia, & Chad on Dumbo

Grandma Jeanne with Ella, and Nicki with Talmage

The twins:  Ella & T-ray.  
They may have had enough of the Magic Kingdom by this point in the day.

Ella, Maddie, & Christian  
Cute Kids

One of the highlights of Disneyland was the Star Wars Jedi Training.  The kids were "chosen" to be taught in the ways of the force.  All three of them were given a light saber and a jedi-robe and then learned some moves just in case...  Little did we know that they would need those moves so soon...(que dark star wars music.)  Out of nowhere our kids were all of  a sudden in a death match with Darth Vader and Darth Maul.  Of course...our kids won in the end.  It was fun.
Christian, Maddie, and Parker excited to have been chosen

The evil Darth Vader...dum, dum, dum,   dum,da, dum,   dum, da, dum

Sandwiched in between Disneyland days, we headed off to the Beach.  It was awesome...although it really wasn't that sunny of a day.  The kids loved playing in the sand, collecting sea shells, and chasing waves.

Christian being a "typical" little brother and throwing sand at Maddie.  If you look closely you can see Maddie's funny expression.

It looks like Maddie can hold her own when it comes to throwing sand!

Parker finding "mollusks" growing on this shell.  Cool.


Parker and Maddie with Grandpa Dick

What an AWESOME Dad.  Aren't I lucky to have such a great guy that loves me and our kids!

Grandma Jeanne & Grandpa Dick
My Dad has had many health problems this past year, the most recent being West Nile Virus.  He is virtually always in pain.  He was such a trooper during our whole vacation, even though it was hard on him.  And of course, my Mom is amazing too...always taking great care of my Dad.  I love you both.

California was AWESOME!  It was a great vacation and we truly did get to relax and have a ton of fun.  

...now onto our next adventure...


Thanks to Cam & Shaunee we were invited to a great cabin near Park City for the weekend.  It was great to spend time with most of Erik's family.  Here are some highlights:

Maddie, Erik, Christian, and Britt on Shane's 4-wheeler.  
The kids love the "roller coaster" trail.

Yah, that's my man!

Is there anything sweeter than this???

...or this?
Syd, Parker, Krissy, Maddie, Paige, Christian

The absolutely beautiful scenery.  WOW!

Uncle Shane with Emma and Maddie

Mike Stubbs followed along in this little car.  We were all amazed at the terrain he was going on.  Who needs a 4-wheeler when you have a Suzuki X-90?  Way to go Mike!

It was such a fun weekend.  We laughed and played so hard.  I have to say that when we returned home Sunday morning we were VERY tired.  I had a hard time keeping my eyes open during sacrament meeting.

Anyway,  I am tired of writing this post, and I am sure that you are tired of reading it, so I am signing off for now.  

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A-Z w/ Easy E

Thank you Hollie for bringing me in the inner circle of  "tagging!"  I hope you will all let your children continue to spend time at my house after reading this. :)
A-attached or single: Attached.  More appropriately stated, "She's drawn to me like flies on stink!"
B-best friends: Brittany, the kids, my brothers (this includes my brother-in-laws who are just like brothers), my Sister-in-laws, all their kids, both sets of parents, many of my co-workers (whom I view as family), my "blue blanket," and my pair of skis.
C-cake or pie: Yes!  Do I have to choose.  I like white cake w/ cream cheese frosting, and Brittany's banana cream pie.
D-day of choice: Wednesday's because it is "hump day," and who doesn't like hump day!  I also like Thursday night (Kyle will understand).
E-essential item(s): Deodorant, eye cream, my jackets, iPod, my planner, cell phone, box of Better Cheddars, a Box of Captain Crunch w/ Crunch Berries, Oreo's and milk, my wallet!
F-favorite color: Red!  It describes my personality, my alma mater (The University of Utah) and the fact that I see the world in bright colors.  Ironically I've been told I look good in blue!
G-gummy worms or bears: Neither.  I was creeped out when I ate a bunch of gummy bears one time and had them re-appear 24 hours later after using the "facility!"  It was disturbing when they were looking back up at you!
H-hometown: Orem, UT.
I-indulgence: Shopping for clothes, playing golf, skiing, cycling, at times playing with Spreadsheets (I know that is wierd), and sitting w/ Brittany watching shows recorded on TIVO.
J-January or July: January, the Powder is fantastic and the crowds from the Holiday have left.
K-kids: Three to be exact.  Parker, Maddie, and Christian.  All three incredibly unique children with fascinating personalities.  
L-life is incomplete without: Dr. Pepper!
M-marriage date: June 30, 1994.  Yes, we are approaching 14 years!
N- number of siblings: 6 brothers, a sister, 4 brother-in-laws, 7 sister-in-laws.
O-oranges or apples: Apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!
P-phobias or fears: Bears, Failure, and people with Hairy Moles!
Q-quotes: Thoreau, and Christian.  We refer to him as "Quotable Christian."  His latest quote was, "I used to eat from my Mom's one of those!" - This was in response to him walking in on my Sister-in-law, Nicki, as she was breast feeding her baby!
R-reason to smile: Profits, sunsets, kids playing, fast snow, downhills, Arrested Development, and Thursday Night (Again, Kyle will appreciate).
S-season: Fall, because of the Beauty, Pre-Ski Season, Golfing, Vacations to Southern California, time to pull the jackets out (Those of you who know me know that I love jackets!), Holiday time, and Brittany's soup!
T-tag friends: I Tag Spencer and Kyle because I know they are both "bloggers" at heart!
U-unknown fact about me: I have a secret crush on Sydney Bristow.  Let me make this clear, I do not like Jennifer Garner, only Sydney Bristow. 
V-very favorite store:  Nordstrom, Park's Sportsman, and most book stores in airports across America!
W-worst habit: Pulling on my hair when it is long!  Very annoying!
X-x-ray, ultrasound, or mammogram: Ultrasound for sure!  Yes ladies, I have experienced ultrasounds.  Like many of you I have experienced a "Child Birth" of sorts.  I've passed 7 kidney stones in the past 10 years.  I was even asked if I would like to have an epidural on the first one.  As the doctor asked that question I thought, "I'll hit him if I know he is messing with me down there and I am awake to see it!"  Never the less, I had him put me out and surgically remove it.  So for all you ladies who think I don't understand, well, I've got the stretch marks to proof it!
Y-your favorite food: Nicolatalia Pizzeria and Cafe Rio.  I also really like just about any soup that Brittany makes.
Z-Zodiac: Scorpio

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Maddie Turned 8

Although the event has come and gone, I figured I would post a few thoughts and pictures since I still have the "I am new to blogging" card.

We couldn't be prouder of Maddie and her decision to be baptized. It was a wonderful day and most of our family was able to be there. I performed the baptism, although I had a couple people in the wings in case I was unable to "go come game time!" :) I do need to ask, "Was it wrong for me to submerse myself completely with her?"  I just thought I could use the cleansing as well.

No really, it was a fantastic day and we are so fortunate to have so many family and friends living so close who could share this great day with us. We love you all and are grateful for your support of our family.

Life Experienced at the Last Minute

We tend to be creatures of habit. We yearn for consistency, stability and predictability. So when life throws you curve balls it can be good or bad. On Thursday night we experienced the good.

Our friends and neighbors, Jen and Hyrum Knapp, called me as I was driving home from work and asked if Britt and I were able to attend the Matchbox 20 concert with them. We scrambled, found a babysitter (Thanks Cassi), and headed to the E-Center.

Now we have not attended a "real" concert in quite a long time. Sure, we saw Richard Marx at the Scera Shell this summer, but I'm not sure that counted. In fact, I think the last "real" concert I saw was Depeche Mode in 1994. We saw Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagen a few years back as well, but they are all in their 50's now, so again didn't count.

The opening act was Alanis Morisette. She was a far cry from her 90's rocker image. She sang all the classics, finished, and then was apperently on her way to be inducted into the National Canadian Hall of Fame (It is all I can do to not provide commentary on that! Come on, "Canadian Hall of Fame! That's like an oxymoron.). The concert broke and we went for a drink and some nachos.

Upon our return the stage was set and the band was getting ready to come on. They opened the concert with "How Far We've Come." A smashing hit that got the crowd riled up and ready to party. They played for a little more than two hours and it was a lot of fun. Britt and I felt like teenagers again, although we were ready to get home and find some tylenol to cure the headache from the noise. Thanks to Jen and Hyrum for reminding us that concerts can be a lot of fun.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tour de St. George

We all sat in "Ah" as we watched Lance Armstrong win his 7th straight Tour de France. Maybe some of us watched those moments and thought, "What's the big deal?" Well friends, let me tell you, I experienced what the big deal was on February 23rd. Myself, Kyle (My Brother), Brady and Chase (My Brother-in-laws), and Jeff (My Wife's cousin) all headed down to St. George to ride the "St. George Century." This is a 100 mile bike ride from Bloomington Utah all the way to the mouth of Zion National Park and back. Last year I attempted this ride and was unable to finish, and so this year I was not going to let that happen again.

We started our journey that morning with great anticipation of what the day would hold. With excitement, we went to the alleged starting gate and found that no one was there. We were in the wrong place. So with some quick scrambling we found ourselves back on track, but just a little late.

We dismounted the bikes from our trusty Sport Utility Vehicle (OK, my mini van) and quickly scurried on our way. We were fresh, our legs were ready and our spirits were good. And then...tragedy! Our resident expert cyclist, Jeff, went down on mile three due to some wet roads. As he lay there I thought, "Maybe this is our out...we won't have to finish the ride. Man Down!" But to no avail. Jeff gallantly rose from his incident and saddled himself back on the bike and began to lead us back up the road. It was truly a feat of bravery! Well done Jeff!

The ride was going well until we hit mile 54. We had just experienced an excruciating climb and were headed into Springdale, UT when I felt myself "Hit the Wall." About this same time my brother-in-law Brady was in the same boat. We looked at each other as if to say, "I'm comfortable laying my bike down and snuggling with you if you are comfortable with it!?" But no, we kept riding. As we continued, the fatigue and pain continued and there were moments where I felt delirious. It was in those moments I believe I saw my deceased ancestors running along side me pushing me up the hill. :) But we kept riding. Mile 58 brought a much needed rest stop to eat some food and pop some ibuprofen. With nutrition and drugs surging through my system, things were looking up. We had reached the half way mark, and our most debilitating climbs were behind us. And then mile 97 hit! Now at mile 97 you think that you are through the worst of it. At mile 97 the motivational music starts playing in your head. At mile 97 endorphins kick in that create a sense of accomplishment that you have achieved the unachievable. But no, at mile 97 we were faced with ANOTHER CLIMB! At that point I thought of getting off my bike and throwing it at the side of the hill, only to never cycle again! As I started the climb, I recognized that this was going to be much more mental than physical at this stage. The mind plays funny tricks with you as you go through an exercise like this. It is in these moments that you appreciate athletes who have overcome obstacles to achieve greatness. All I could think about was not quitting! I didn't want to be the only one to not finish. I didn't want my kids to see me not finish.

We overcame the hill and road to the finish where my sister-in-law (Heather)had her two daughters (Krissy and Kendall) and my two kids (Parker and Maddie) were waiting for us. It was liberating to finish. It was as if nothing in this world could stop us. These are the events in our lives that define us and give us hope. It is in these moments that we define who we are and what we are made of. This transcends the event and defines the character. We experience what we are made of, and in that we define who we are!

Lance, this was a big deal and thank you for inspiring us all. I'm out! -E

"What would life be if we had no courge to attempt anything?" - Vincent van Gogh