Saturday, August 23, 2014

Eight Years!

August 17th brought us to eight years of marriage, CRAZY!  How in the world did that happen so fast?!  It's funny because it feels like we've been married forever, and at the same time it feels like we just took the plunge.  We kept it pretty simple this year, just dinner out and an evening in at home; the kids were at Kris's mom's house overnight, so that was fabulous!

We went to a steakhouse in Layton, Corbin's.  It was absolutely delish!
 Mmmm, a little passionfruit smoothie.

 Some seafood 'martini'.  It was totally hitting the spot, even though I have SO not wanted seafood while pregnant, I really craved this fresh appetizer.
I can't resist a filet of beef, it's my fave, because I don't have to worry eating a chunk of fat (blech!), and it's so ridiculously tender!  I ate the whole thing, served with a trio of amazing sauces (pictured behind).  I figured if I was going to pig out, I should do it with protein.
 Kristoffer had a strip steak smothered in onions and mushrooms.  Don't mind all the food pictures.
 Dessert was a chocolate molten lava cake. YUM.  Who doesn't love chocolate and cake and gooey all in one?
 We took a few celebratory pictures....

 I love being crazy with this guy.  We can be total dorks together.

And a couple of belly shots.  32 weeks, sheesh!  Where is the time going?! 

 I'll be perfectly honest, I have had quite a number of people come up to me with comments like "Wow, must be getting pretty close, now!", and then when I tell them I have eight weeks left, they look at me like I'm joking, and then they look at me with pity.  I didn't really think I looked that big, or WAS that big for that matter.  I've never been pregnant in Utah before, though, so perhaps I'm big in terms of Utah pregnancy? 
We also had a little, surprise before the kids and I went to NY.  Kristoffer lost his job the day before we left.  Kris has seen the signs for a long time now that his department has been struggling, and the time for him finally came.  I can't say that either of us are devastated, it seems as though there is a plan for us as a family, and for Kristoffer and his career.  We are scrambling to figure out what to do in terms of having a baby soon, but truly, we are at peace knowing that whatever happens, all will be well.  The Lord has a plan, and I would rather have this trial than a myriad of any other trials we could face.  Even in times like this, I feel enormously blessed.  I have so much and money is only money.  We are still looking forward to the arrival of our sweet girl!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NY-Coming home to Utah

My husband always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and he LOVES being on the inside of a good surprise.  Truthfully, a surprise doesn't bother me...unless someone tells me they have a surprise for me a tease me with my husband does!  I asked him what he was going to be doing with all his time at home alone, and his coy response:  "Don't worry about it!".  He likes to use this line jokingly when he wants to tease me.  So the whole time I was away, I was trying SO earnestly to not be concerned about his little surprises, but it makes for a rather difficult nightly conversation when your husband can't say a word about what he's been doing all day!

I have to say, when I came home, I was absolutely SHOCKED at what he had done while we were away.  He seriously must have worked the entire 10 days, day and night to get everything done.  Take a look at project number one:

So this is a little arbor/pergola my husband built over our garage.  Yes, he built this all on his own.  Amazing!  We had been talking about how pretty it would look, especially with some wisteria growing on top.  So, he did it!  It looks pro, he really amazes me with how skillful he has become. 
 It makes the boring side of our house not so boring and blah, so pretty!!
 This was the first project I saw when he drove us home.
I did make him tell me at ONE thing he was doing, so with project number 2, he yielded.  We have this really big landscaped area in the front of our house that has just been a thorn in my side.  It held some big juniper ground cover bushes which I hated.  We started with building the raised beds back in March, and putting in some plants...and that was it.  I hated having those junipers, but I didn't want to rip them out until I had a plan for what to put there.  So, Kristoffer ripped them out, sifted out all the gravel that was underneath (evidently that was a real pain) and put in some sod...a great cheap alternative to have there in the meantime.  It looks SO much better! 
 Just such an improvement!  He did a fabulous job.
Project number three:  He also started building me a raised bed in the backyard for a vegetable garden in the spring.  Not complete as of yet, but good grief, he got so much done!

Project number four:  He ripped off the baseboards in our family room and added extra height to them, like with what we did in our main floor bathroom.
 It makes it so pretty!
 And Project number five:  He replaced the flooring in our family room.  We replaced the flooring in our front living room and dining room last fall, and had purchased enough to do the family room, but we just didn't get around to it.  It kind of bugged me to have such mis-matched flooring, but I didn't let it get to me too much.  Well, Kristoffer hauled the flooring up from the basement and replaced the flooring.
 It looks absolutely gorgeous and makes a huge difference!
I am so grateful to my amazing husband for his hard work and dedication to our family and home.  Fortunately, he loves projects, but he didn't have to do any of them.  He made me cry when I came home and saw all of his hard work...especially after he told me he was just trying to get our home ready for our baby.  Seriously, tears...everywhere.  I am so blessed to have him!

NY-Odds and Ends

I'll admit, I wasn't the most diligent with taking pictures while I was there...I was kind of in survival mode the whole time!  But I'm really hoping I captured enough to remember the trip by.

So in the tiny little town that I grew up in, we have a teeny tiny little general store.  It's in an old house...and by old, I mean over a hundred years are most houses in the area.  Anyway, this tiny little general store makes delicious sandwiches, NY style sandwiches....white french bread rolls, meat, cheese, basic toppings, and always with the option for sub sauce, it's like Italian dressing.  It reminds me of home.
 My mother works as a town clerk just down the street from the house, and they have a cute little playground right next to her office (another 100 year old house), so we took our sandwiches from the general store and ate them in the park.  It was nice to have a relaxing day where we didn't need to drive 2 hours to get somewhere.
 Traveling on the plane completely shot my poor feet; swelling all the time, BUT, if I can put them up for an hour or so in the middle of the day, they do much better.  So here I am just hanging with belly!
 There was a day we had planned to take the kids swimming at the lake, and about 45 minutes before we left, my sister was carrying her little girl down the stairs and tripped, Owen was in front of her and they both came crashing down.  Tabitha twisted her ankle, poor Clara was scared to death, and Owen's foot was squished in some form or another.  Poor Owen was crying pretty hard by the time we got to everyone.  We ended up not going swimming, but honestly, I think maybe it was for the best.  You know those moments when you just feel like something awful has been prevented, even if it means a minor inconvenience?  That was kind of how I felt about this experience.
Jacob, my little brother, came home from a week of camping on Sunday, and the kids absolutely *clobbered* him.  They loved him and they thought he was hilarious.  He kept saying he wasn't enjoying all the attention, but we could all see that smile on his face.  Here they all are ganging up on Jacob.
 This is my son.  This is how he looked when we watched a portion of Star Wars for the first time.  Absolutely enamored.  Not a sound, or a movement...not even acknowledgement when you called his name.  Such a boy.
 I was so sad that I didn't have anyone to rub my feet that week, but finally when Jacob came home, he begged for a trade, so I offered him a head and back scratch in exchange for a foot rub.  Jacob is an excellent foot rubber, and I told him my fingers were too swollen to do any kind of massage, but I could at least scratch, so he accepted.  After a week without foot rubs, it was heaven!

Monday night, our last night there, we went up to my grandmother's house where my uncle still lives and met with Aunt Brenda and her family for a mac and cheese throwdown.  It was so nice to see family, I always miss being able to see them more.  I asked my aunt if I would be able to take some of my Grandmother's handwritten recipes home with me; I would love to be able to have an actual piece of her memory and heritage in my home.  So my plan is to take her recipes, frame them and hang them in my kitchen.  She generously allowed me to take some, and I've brought them home, made copies to send back to her and I'll be on the lookout for the right frames!

After the throwdown, I took the kids just up the street to the cemetery where my dad (and his side of the family) is buried.  It's my first time back since the funeral last year, and I miss him so much every day.  A good, good man taken far too soon. 

My children at the grave for the first time.
And my sweet Marin sang 'I am a Child of God' for her Grandpa.  I'm sure he was listening and was there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NY-Boldt Castle

My mother had SO been wanting to take the kids up to Boldt Castle, on the St. Lawrence River, so we prepared ourselves for the long 2&1/2 hour drive and set off.  It was...ahem...a very difficult trip.  What was supposed to be a 2&1/2 hour drive up, turned into 4 hours.  I felt so bad for the kids, they had just had enough.  My sister's youngest, 18 month old Clara was just done with not having her naps and being stuffed into a car seat and not being able run.  BUT, we made it.

Here is a picture of the boat that I took Kristoffer on for a lunch cruise right before we were married.  Such happy memories!
 Four of the five kids on the ferry over to Boldt Castle.  Owen is totally loving the ride, if you can see his happy little cheek.
 Happy....and very tired.  I think this boy was in the middle of a growth spurt while we were there; his appetite was absolutely insatiable!
 It was a gorgeous day.  Personally, I was hot, but these days, I'm *always* hot.  Hands and feet on fire....all the time.
My mom with little Clara.  Having kids around the water and on the docks made me on NERVOUS pregnant mama, oy vey, I was a bundle of nerves having five non-swimmers on the docks!
 Boldt Castle *was* lovely.  It reminded me of everything in Downton Abbey.  Just so pretty and stately.
 The ballroom.  All of the girls were happy to dance and run.

 The Castle guides were a little on edge having kids there.  I thought one of them was going to have a heart attack when Owen ducked underneath one of the rope barriers and ran to sit on a chair!
 The grounds were so pretty.  After we took our hasty, self-guided tour, we sat on the lawn and let the kids just run and run.  They needed it, poor things.
We managed the drive back a little better and ended up feeding the kids in the car on the way and then they fell asleep watching a movie.  It was a day that, as a tired, swollen pregnant mama, I could have skipped, but in the end, we got some great pictures, eh?!