Wednesday, April 30, 2014


For starters, please watch this short video:

I love it. It's the reason we celebrate Easter- the resurrection of Jesus Christ! I love how short and sweet it is.

Our Easter Sunday was quite relaxing. The weather was gorgeous finally (and lasted that day only, mind you). We took the opportunity to ride our bikes in the morning and even got to take family pictures finally. I love the camera remote I use. I would much prefer being behind a camera to take pictures, but this handy little tool is much easier than running back to my place in the picture with the 10 second timer on and then holding my smile until the camera clicks. Here are our pictures:

so many shots of  us and only the first picture shown is the winner. With editing of course. Can you see what was photoshopped in it? I'll show you at the end.

 I love how Viv looks like she's pondering the universe here with her handsome daddy

baby Gap?

she loves to smash her nose to ours during eskimo kisses

this was so frustrating to take because they kept shaking those dang baby trees hahaha

I didn't even ask them to do this! They are just natural hams.

 he can be such a GQ poser and goob!

always love an action shot

 and here I had to opportunity to hone my photoshopping skills:
head transplant!
special thanks to Grandma Leder for Vivienne's Easter dress :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Warming right up.

4th of July 2013
 Is anyone else extremely excited for summer? I am. I cannot wait for the sun, warmth, bike rides, water play, and happiness that is associated with being outside! I get the worst winter blues and as I've complained previously, this winter has been the worst. Stopping at that. Look at the next few days:

While Monday is not ideal, I'm still quite pleased with the lack of snow and freezing temperatures we had been experiencing. We don't have any summer plans so far for Carl's 3 week break in August. We have toyed with the idea of camping across the Midwest heading West for 2 weeks so that we can visit family. But, that seems overwhelming with the kids and a lot to plan. Other possible plans are:

- hold a multi-family garage sale to get rid of crap (our junk, your treasure!)
- visit some more of the East/South, like Tennessee, Kentucky, DC and NYC. Perhaps the Carolinas. We are not sure when or if we will ever be this close to the East again and there are states to be visited!
- stay home. Requires no planning and just being a homebody, enjoying local eats and events.

After this summer, Carl will begin his clinical portion of PA school! It's exciting to only have a year of school from that point on. I can't believe the school years are coming to an end. Speaking of school, exciting news for me.... *drumroll*

I just registered to finally finish my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online with BYU-I! I have four nursing classes and one non-nursing course- it will only take three semesters! So technically, I will graduate at the same time as Carl ha! I started it with BYU-I shortly after graduating AND having Ezra, but I deferred because I was trying so hard to find a job and moving all around was tough too. While it was a bit disappointing to stop, I'm glad I did because I gained valuable experience in my professional career while not having to sacrifice much family time. It's been even tougher trying to decide when to go back to school though. I'll tell you this- it does not get easier as the years go by. I have been an RN for 4 years now and there hasn't really been a "perfect" time to return. I think if we didn't have any plans to have any more babies, then I would have waited until both kids were in school, but we don't plan to stop at two :)

Moving on, we have more future planning in the works- I promise to get around sharing one of these days. As for now, I'm going to enjoy this "heat wave!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

There is sunshine in my soul today!

Another picture-filled post!

As thrilling as training with Cirque du Soleil sounded, we had an even greater time in reality when visiting Carl's brother,Chris, and our sister-in-law,Katie, plus the adorable Ellie and Noah in Florida! We arrived late on Monday and got settled in quickly in the kids' room- so nice of them to share! Though the first night of sleep was rough, everyone woke in good spirits and Ezra and Vivienne were so excited to see Ellie and Noah! Ellie is very observant initially, but once she saw that her cousins could be fun, she jumped right into the action! The first mischievous act of toddlerhood was turning our air mattress into a mega slide:
 By popular request (er, ezra and vivi's demands), Frozen was put on.
Ezra enjoyed making funny faces to get Ellie to crack up. So fun to see the two playing together!! We had all been looking forward to this moment!

"watch out for the snow monster!!"
 While we went to the pool, Aunt Katie surprised us all with a "going-to-Disney" and Vivienne's birthday party! So awesome! Katie went to town making this a special experience for us all!
testing it out to make sure it wasn't poisonous

blowing out the candles!

"not sure what's going on, but I think I should be excited!"

look at all the decorations!
 Chris and Katie got little presents for all the toddlers! Sorry, Noah, maybe next year!

We're going to Disney!

sucking on fingers never looked so cute! Noah is the chillest and happiest baby ever. And look at those eyes!
 The children blew bubbles for a time after cake and baths:

I heard her yelling for help and found her stuck in the play closet in this toy high chair!

We drove in the evening with the toddlers tucked in the back row
 In the morning, Vivi woke up crabby from her cold, but she cheered up for a bit when she got her birthday present:

Princess Anna from Frozen!
 It was unusually cold in Orlando- about 45 degrees the morning we went to Disney! Curse you, Wisconsin, for following us to Florida!! Thankfully we packed a fleecy blanket that the kids shared. It was cooooold. Thankfully it did warm up by late morning!
 Classic picture for Magic Kingdom:

 We only went to one park- Magic Kingdom- because we only planned for one day. Personally, that was plenty. With two toddlers, we only went to a few of the mini-parks within Magic Kingdom and we were there for 14 hours! The whole day went by quickly though and it was packed with fun but not over-tiring.

These were the only two characters we met up-close. We decided we didn't really want to dedicate much time to meeting characters (those lines took 45 min to 2 hours!!) so when we first got to the park, Goofy and Donald Duck didn't have lines yet:

 I was brave and took the kiddos on Teacups:
faster! faster!
uggghhhh. why did I think that was a good idea?! Don't think about breakfast......

it's my birthday and i'll pout if i want to!
 Vivi had a moment when she was so exhausted and upset that nothing would comfort her. Except a bottle of milk. Which we had to stand in line for. This is her screaming on Carl's head:
 Lunch time!!! We packed PB&J fixings and other snacks for the day. Though we spent a considerable amount of $$$ on food as well.

vivienne is passed out in the stroller. She fell asleep on carl's shoulder while waiting for milk.  

mmmm giant turkey leg! feeling much better with a nap in.
her birthday doll came with an adorable matching dress
We got two different Dole Pineapple Whips- this one and the swirl. I stood in line for one because I've heard so much about them, but after trying them- whoopdee doo. It tasted like nothing-special pineapple soft-serve. 
You may have seen my instagram video with Vivi and I driving on the Speedway. Ez drove with Carl and Ellie with Chris!

modelism runs in the family!
riding the train around Magic Kingdom.
While on the train, we saw Woody and Jessie from Toy Story in the distance. I had heard that if you yelled "Andy's coming!" they would fall to the ground. Not true. Carl yelled it pretty loud and only got looks from other park-goers.
Noah being the most calm and collected infant ever to spend a whole day at Disney. He didn't cry once!
 Carl and I took the kids to the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin- Ez thought it was amazing! He loved shooting Zurg and other robots. It was cheesy, but perfect for Ezra. Vivienne preferred to stay close to Carl:

seeing Buzz in the distance. Good enough.
 This was an amazing parade! So exciting for the kids and adults alike!

 We all slept quite well when we got back to the hotel around 11 pm. Magic Kingdom was a blast and I can't wait for another Disney experience with our family again!!

When we got back to Chris and Katie's, I had made plans to meet up with my long-time friend, Dustan! We met at a GIANT flea market called the Swap Shop. I'm not sure that was the best meeting spot as when I say GIANT, I mean the biggest freakin flea market I've ever been to. I don't even know what to compare it too. It was huge. After several minutes of trying to find each other, we did and had a nice little visit! So good to see Dustan and his beautiful wife, Jenessa.

Upon our return, we packed up the families again and drove to a favorite beach and burger place of Chris and Katie's! Only the wait was mega long and it started raining- this did not damper our moods though and we enjoyed our beach time and made plans to eat at Steak n Shake when we got home.

they were all being "crazzzy!!" in the back. I love watching these two interact!!

 We seriously need to live in warmer weather. And have access to a beach all the time.

it started with throwing sand into the water...

...and then the clothes had to come off!

skipping stones

someone else needed to strip down and join the fun in the water!

love this mid-run picture! Vivienne is not as brave as Ezra when it comes to playing in the water, but she doesn't shy away from it either! 

Carl made all the children's breakfast the morning we left:

We miss our Florida family and their weather so much already!! I keep looking for family cruise deals leaving from nearby ports so that we can come visit again!! As you can tell, we all had a lovely time and can't wait to do this again :)