10.21.2014

Autumn Love

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The colors are changing  and the mountains in Utah are gorgeous! The air is cooling and the nights are crisp; life is good. We are loving all things fall and I am trying to take it all in and make the most of it!

Last Friday my mom had the idea to go on a drive through Provo Canyon & take the ‘Alpine Loop’ while my sisters were out of school for Fall Break. Scott was working, so it was just us four girls and sweet Vivi in the middle of the back seat. We loaded in my car and took a drive with multiple stops along the way, enjoying the beauty of the trees.

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The yellow was so vibrant and beautiful! We love these quaking aspens and my dad especially loved them. We thought of him and imagined him hunting in them all day long. He loved to hunt and this probably would have been the week for his annual elk hunt.

We stopped for lunch at Sundance Ski Resort and loved exploring the grounds. It is such a beautiful place and it was alive and busy with families there for Fall break. Vivi loved being there and was such a happy girl the whole day. She makes us all so happy with her sweet little smile! She loved looking at the creek and wished she could go play in it.

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My mom treated us to lunch at the Foundry Grill and it was delicious! I ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad, my sisters had burgers and my mom had the Portobello Sandwich. The sweet potato fries were really yummy as well. They had a perfect little ‘deli plate’ for Vivi to snack on {which she actually ate- hurrah!} from their good sized kid’s menu.

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We had a really nice time together and Vivi slept all the way home.

 

Since Scott missed out on the drive, I had him take us up Provo Canyon on Sunday night. We drove up Squaw Peak and watched the very end of the sunset. It was beautiful and lots of other people had the same idea as us so the windy road was pretty busy {at least compared to how dead it usually is}. Our poor little vivers had a cold and wasn’t feeling too good, but she was a good sport for us.

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She is learning how to smile at the camera and it is so fun. I love my little family s0 much. I feel like a lot is going to change when we have another baby and I quit my job, so I am trying to enjoy these precious moments with Vivi as my only babe. She fell asleep on the way down the mountain, but only because I held my hand to her face from the front seat the way she loves.16

 

And of course, fall nights are not complete without some homemade apple pie!

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This is Scott’s favorite dessert and this is only the 2nd time I’ve made it for him. But, I found a simple and super yummy recipe on Pinterest {here}, so now I am not afraid of making pie! I used Jonathan apples for this pie and it was great with a little whipped cream~

10.08.2014

Perfect Pumpkins

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Sometimes the stars align and you have a perfect night. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it centers you.

The last couple weeks have been very overwhelming for me. My pregnancy hormones have been all over the place, I’ve taken on way too many things and have just been stressed about all the upcoming changes in our lives. Vivi has been sick and Scott has been really busy with work and school. I’ve cried way too much and been saddened that I can’t seem to get things under control. My goal this year has been to simplify my life & focus on my family, yet that seems so impossible most of the time.

But, last night we got a break from all of that when we decided to go to Rowley’s Red Barn in Santaquin. As soon as I got off work, we headed straight there, hoping to pick a pumpkin in the sunlight. We skipped dinner; Vivi ate a granola bar in the car and somehow drenched herself in water from her ‘spill-proof’ sippy. But, she didn’t care, so I let it go even though I was hoping her clothes would look perfect for a photo op or two.

When we arrived, we waited for our turn to take the hayride to the pumpkin patch and Vivi happily waved at all the kids and kept saying HI!, even though most didn’t respond {why don’t people respond..??}. We found seats on the hayride and Vivi just had to sit right next to us like a big girl. It was a beautiful night and pretty perfect temperature as we rode the bumpy trail to the pumpkin patch about a mile away.

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When we arrived Vivi was so excited and kept cheering {as her daddy has taught her} “Pumpkins, Pumpkins!” We even saw a few horses on the way, which she loved. She ran right to the patch to see all the pumpkins and we had a lot of fun walking around and choosing one. It was bumpy so she happily held my hand and we even got some beautiful photos without even trying hard {miracles do happen!} I had to take a work call while walking around, but I didn’t let it bug me. I’m realllly trying to just accept things as they are. Right now I am blessed to work from home; which means I have to take calls & texts most hours of the day, even though I really would like to hit my phone with a sledge hammer instead. But it also means I get to spend more time with my baby girl, so the trade off is worth it.

There were a bunch of other activities for the kids and even for us. Vivi found a sandbox and could have played for hours. After awhile, the sun was setting, so we hopped on the next hayride and went back to the Red Barn for snacks. Vivi didn’t even cry like expected when I took away her shovel and pulled her away from the sandbox. The night felt so easy and smooth. Being out in beautiful Santaquin at this time of year didn’t hurt at all either.

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Back at the barn we bought some homemade ice cream and a pumpkin cookie. Vivi was in heaven and so were we. They have their own creamery as well as beautiful produce and all kinds of other yummy goods. The best part was that all we spent for the hayride, pumpkin and treats was $20. We drove home glad we had discovered this little gem of a farm as Vivi kept asking for bites of ice cream, which was always followed by a “nummm nummm!”

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Nights like this where I have few distractions from my family and we can really enjoy life together make everything worth it. They remind me of why I do what I do day after day and make me feel like my efforts are making a difference. Although life cannot be perfect, we can make precious memories together that when pieced together can really make you feel like you have the perfect life.

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10.06.2014

Greatest Grandpa!

 

Reasons our grandpa is the best:

 

1. He poses in the funny face-hole posters we make for him:

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2. He hangs out with the grandkids and makes us laugh:

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3. He takes selfies with us:

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4. He plays his harmonica for us & tells us stories:

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5. He wears the pretty party hats we make him (even though he probably doesn’t want to):

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6. He raised 6 girls! And has never ceased to show his love for them {even during the teenage years…}

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Happy  80th Birthday Grandpa!!! WE LOVE YOU!

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9.09.2014

Baby Number 2!

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I’m Pregnant!

Some of you may already know since we posted photos of our gender reveal party on Facebook- but if you are just finding out, don’t feel bad; I feel like I just barely found out too! 

Around 11:00 pm on a Thursday night, I was getting ready for bed, wondering why I was so tired and generally feeling like crap for the previous few weeks. My dad had passed away only weeks ago and life had been such a whirlwind emotionally and everything else that I thought I was still just overwhelmed physically from that. But, I decided to check my “P Tracker” on my phone and saw that I was like 7 weeks late! For some reason I had a pregnancy test in the cupboard, so I took it wondering if there was any way it could be true.
“Oh my gosh! Scott, come here!!!”

I was pregnant. We were both so shocked. I was a little overwhelmed; my current baby is only 1 year old! Of course, Scott ran to Walgreens to buy another test ($10, seriously??) and it was positive. By now it was sinking in that we were having a baby and I was already 7-8 weeks along. We were super excited and I was already planning way too far ahead in my mind as I tried to sleep that night. Because of my experience with adoption, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to get pregnant so ‘easily’. We weren’t even trying or thinking about another baby and that always makes me feel guilty because I know the struggles couples go through with infertility. I ache for them and that makes me even more grateful for this opportunity that is clearly heaven-sent.

I am now 19 weeks along and due January 29th. Last week we got to go to our baby’s ultrasound and see the gender, along with cute little legs, arms, a heart, a brain, etc. She seems to be growing perfectly healthy and strong.
Yes, I said SHE. It’s a girl!

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We held a gender reveal party that night with my grandparents, Chris, Tina, Tiffany and my mom. Of course we had about 5 phones face-timing other family members when we got ready to cut the cake. I had fun with the theme and kept it simple (at least for me) with little ties and bows.

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I made the cake the day before but cut a hole in the middle so that I could fill it with the correct colored candies. I had to work the day of the ultrasound and knew I wouldn’t have time to make a cake. So, after the ultrasound I filled it with pink and covered the hole with frosting. It worked really well and tasted yummy.

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We are so excited for our baby girl and I already feel her moving and kicking a ton (Scott has already felt her as well). Vivi is excited to have a baby sister and when we ask her where mommy’s baby is she points to my stomach (or boobs). I am glad they will be close in age (about 22 months) and I hope they will be great friends!

Scott graduates with his bachelor’s degree in December, so having a baby in January is really perfect timing. I am planning to quit my job and hope to be a stay at home mommy, wherever Scott is able to get a job. Lots of changes for us, but we are excited for the future!

8.14.2014

Jer is old.

{Which makes me old too I guess, since he is 2 years younger than me!}

My brother Jared and his little family came to Utah for a weekend in August and since his birthday was coming up soon, we celebrated him! He is married with 2 kids and has a grown up job, so he is officially old. Just kidding…he is still as funny and random and weird as ever, which is just how we like him!

We had a great day together spent at Grandma’s pool, hanging out at my mom’s house eating {one of Jared’s very favorite activities} and then going shopping at the outlet malls.

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We all gave him gifts; Chris and I chipped in to buy him some nice Nike slip on sandals and a pail of gumballs (necessary of course). My mom made him ‘Change Your Life Brownies’ instead of a cake, per his request and as usual they were amazing.

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It is tradition to take a sibling picture at every birthday party and ours is growing! We missed having our daddy take the picture and make us laugh, but we are so grateful for each other and for our wonderful mom that does so much for us.  She misses her love all the time, but is still a strong matriarch for our family and always serves us in any way she can.

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We ended the night around the campfire; eating s’mores, solving the world’s problems and drinking Mountain Dew (don’t tell mom). Good times with the fam.

Happy Birthday Jared!

 

7.09.2014

4th of July!

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We started our 4th out at the Provo Freedom Festival Parade this year! We met up with my aunt Cindi, cousins Jenn & Laura (& kids) and my grandparents. Scott and I drove around the parade route the night before, looking for a spot to save and set up our blankets but it was so insane! We were amazed by the amount of people camping on the sidewalks and barbequing or just hanging out in their parade chairs- prepared to stay all night! There were no spots to be found; my aunt ended up saving us all a spot on the street once it was closed off in the morning.

It is a good parade, but I still think its such a bummer that they don’t throw candy anymore. It was pretty dang hot, so Vivi spent the parade drinking her ice water and eating popsicles from Laura. It was fun, but not worth camping out for, in my opinion!

Afterwards we headed over to my grandparent’s home to cool off in the pool and eat delicious food! It’s the American thing to do, people!

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It sure feels different doing family activities without my dad. It definitely feels like there is a void, even though we have fun. I can’t help but repeatedly think ‘I wish Dad was here’ and tear up a little. Today it was while I laid by the pool watching everyone play. He was the most fun to swim with because he would throw the kids around, make whirlpools, try to dunk the boys and play 500 with us. We miss him and always will.

 

Later on that night, my mom hosted her side of the family for S’mores and fireworks watching. We had some primo s’mores, let me tell ya! Super yummy. Her neighborhood is the best for firework watching. We didn’t even need any of our own- it really feels like a war zone with amazing colors and booms going off in all directions.

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The 4th of July is easily one of my favorite holidays; it is all about celebrating family, country and life. It just feels good to be a part of such a great nation where so many of us are happy to live here; working hard and enjoying life with our families. Having a day off from normal life to appreciate what we have because of the sacrifices of so many brave men and women is so rewarding. I hope this great nation can thrive for decades to come and I think we can- if we all help to uphold & live the values and laws that this country was built upon.

Happy Independence Day!

6.29.2014

60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration!

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Yesterday we celebrated my grandparent’s 60th Anniversary!!!

LaVell & Barbara are an amazing couple with so many people that love them. They have spent the last 60 years teaching and serving their 7 children, dozens of grandchildren and a bunch of great grandchildren {that keep on coming!}. They have also served two missions to Nauvoo and have made so many lifelong friends. We are all so blessed to be in their {large} wonderful family and have them be such an important part of our lives.

My aunt Cindi spent a lot of time putting together a great party at the park for us to celebrate them. Everything looked beautiful and all the food tasted amazing.

 

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My aunt Kim had an awesome calendar made for them that shows all of the family birthdays and anniversaries. They loved it! My grandma always remembers all of our birthdays and sends us each cards.

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Cindi made them a gorgeous cake that we had them cut into the way they did at their wedding. It was so cute to watch them feed each other- they are forever young and such a sweet couple.

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We stayed at the park for hours, just enjoying the company and the sunshine!

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There was an awesome little stream {actually a part of the Provo River} that the kids loved playing in.

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It was a great time and such an fun occasion to get the family together!

We love our grandparents~ Happy Anniversary!!!

6.18.2014

Our Little Manny Graduated!

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Well, my little sister Samantha (a.k.a. Mandy, Manny, Aslan, Sosa,  etc…) in now a high school graduate!

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She is basically super smart and an honor roll student; always doing her best in school. She recently got accepted into the School of Business at Utah State University. She also received a great scholarship for partial tuition. We are pretty excited for her and can’t believe our baby sis will be in college!

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She also graduated from LDS Seminary the Sunday before graduation. My dad even got to attend, in his white shirt and tie with his cute overalls on top. He was in his wheelchair and had to leave early, but he was glad he got to be there.  I made her a cake and our Grandma and Grandpa Veteto were also there with us.

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A few days after graduation we celebrated with the rest of my mom’s extended family. Our cousin Jake graduated this year as well, so we had a fun little joint party with photo props, candy bar cards and lots of good advice for the graduates. I also made cake pops, but apparently not enough because they were gone in like 10 minutes.

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Congrats Mandy, we are proud of you and know you will do great at Utah State! GO AGGIES!