Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Gabriel

My Baby Boy,

Another years has flown by us and now you are 3-years-old.  You are 3 and you are incredible.
You love to talk to me. In fact, if you and talking and think I am not listening, you will yell MOM until I acknowledge you. Sometimes this is adorable and sometimes I am on the phone and it drives me nuts. Either way, as long as you get my attention you are satisfied.

You are starting to learn how to use the bathroom which is both a blessing and a curse. You do really well for the daycare and for everyone else but when it comes to your Dad and me, you’d rather pee on the floor. You have big boy Spiderman underwear which made me cry the first time you had them on-you looked so big! And now, when you have an accident, you tell me that you have made Spiderman cry. Let me tell you kid, that has been one sad superhero as of late. But you are trying and I feel like you are getting a little better every day.

You love to boss around Freya. You tell her to “Come here!” or “Go away!” or “Get up!” at any chance you get. You will grab her by the collar and drag her up the stairs and back down again. And she is such a good dog and puts up with you without any fight.

You love to color and paint. Hardly a day goes by that you aren’t bringing something home from daycare that you drew. And at home you will color on any paper that you can get your hands on, which is sometimes not so good. But I love how creative you are and I have to force myself not to keep every single paper you scribble on.

You love to play by yourself. You will inform your Dad and me that you are going to your room and you will spend an hour in there playing with your toys. I cannot always figure out what you are saying but you must have quite the imagination. We will watch you play and make up stories and just be amazed at how creative you are. I love that you have such an active imagination.

This year we have also started taking you to the library to pick out books for bedtime. You love going to the library and will randomly grab books off the shelves until I have so many books that I can hardly carry them. When we tell you that we have enough books for one visit and that you can’t pick out anymore, you cry and make a very loud scene. Yes, it is sort of embarrassing but I also love that you enjoy books and reading so much. And you had better believe that we read at least one book almost every single night. It is honestly my favorite part of the night because after your Dad or I have finished the book you look at us and say, “Can I read it?” How can we say no to that? So we hand you the book and you quietly turn the pages studying each one and sometimes commenting on the pictures. I sincerely hope that this early love of reading continues throughout your whole life.

Sports have also become very exciting to you. You love basketball and more importantly, you love the Utah Jazz. During this past year we took you down to a Fan Night at the ESA where the introduced the new Jazz players. You got to give Jeremy Evans a high-five which is awesome because he became the 2011-2012 Slam Dunk Champion. You were more excited about the bucket of popcorn you got to eat.

You also watched the Summer Olympics with us this past summer. You enjoyed the basketball, the equestrian events, and the running. But more than all of those, you loved anything to do with the water. Swimming, water polo, and diving. Oh the diving! You were crazy for diving. You would sit yourself down and watch an entire diving competition without a peep. And when the Olympics were over and you asked if you could watch the swimming and we told you the games were over…you cried. I hope that your love of sports is another thing that continues because I enjoy them too.

Gabe, more than anything, I love you. Daddy loves you. Sister loves you. And so does everyone else. Your Grandparents, your aunts, your uncles, and your cousins. We all love you. I blog because I want you to be able to go back some day and read about our adventures. I want you to see all the things we did as a family and laugh over the funny stories. But mostly Gabe, I want you to always know that you are loved. You have always been loved-right from the very start.

You make me a better person. You have given me a better life. I am blessed to have such an amazing son. And last night, after I put you to bed, I laid on the floor outside your bedroom door and just listened to you sing “Happy Birthday to Gabe” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” When I finally picked myself up and went to bed, I cried because the love I felt in that moment overwhelmed me.

You are the best part of my day every day. You make me laugh more than anyone else. If I am sad you give me hugs. If you are being naughty and I get upset, you snuggle my arm and give me a kiss before you go to time out. You smile at me when you wake up in the morning. And you tell me that I am your best friend.

I love you Gabe. Thank you for being my Baby Boy. Happy 3rd Birthday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This is the face my son makes when he is giving a fake burp.  Real question?
Why does he feel the need to fake burp?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Yellowstone & Montana 2012

July seemed to fly by for our family which is why I seemed to run out of time when it came to blogging.  But I am going to try and give a quick blog to my favorite part of the month: our family trip to Montana.

Ryan and I hadn't been back to Billings, MT (his home town) for about 6 years and so we made it a priority to get up there this summer.  Although we have made our home here in Utah, I know Ryan misses Billings.  He has so many wonderful memories from there and such wonderful friends.  And of course, his parents and Grandpa still live there as well.  (I have tried to convince Scott and Linda to move to Utah but it has not worked so far.)

We spent almost the whole first 2 days in Yellowstone Park.  If you have not been to Yellowstone I am going to tell you now- GO!  GO NOW!  It is the most incredible place and it was awe-inspiring.  I loved it and even better my kids had an amazing time too.  I loved Yellowstone so much that I am already trying to work it so that we go again next summer.

Even more amazing was the time that we got to spend in Billings.  It was wonderful to spend so much time with some of the most important people in Ryan's life.  Ryan's parents helped to shape Ryan into the person that he is and it means so much to me the my kids spend as much time with them as possible.  My parents live so close that they see the kids all the time and I am grateful for that.  But I want Ryan's parents to get as much time with them as they can.

Of course, not all of our moments were golden.  From Gabe & Scott getting stung by wasps that were living in a plastic owl to Gabe flooding Linda's master bathroom causing water to run into the basement.  Or maybe my least favorite moment when Gabe almost started the garage door opener on fire.  Luckily Scott and Linda were understanding of Gabezilla and didn't make us sleep in the backyard...with the wasps.

We also got to spend time with Ryan's grandpa Willard who is really a special person.  He is kind and sincere.  He has the most amazing stories and I could sit and listen to him for hours.  He is a very genuine person and I am so grateful that Gabe finally got to meet his Great Grandpa Willard.
This is my favorite picture from our trip.  Linda took this at an old tree near the Fountain Paint Pots in Yellowstone and I think it is amazing!
 Who knew the Grand Canyon was actually located in Yellowstone Park?
 Love of my life who I was so happy to spend some quality time with.

 Scott, Linda, and the kiddos!
 Playing in the river and seeing who could find the bigger rock to throw. (Sera won but don't tell Gabe!)
All of us together for a family picture.  And yes I realize that I am freakishly tall.

Here are only a few of the pictures that I took during our vacation.  It would take me hours to load every picture that I have.  I look forward to our next visit to Billings-I will make sure that it will not take another 6 years.  Thank you again to all of Ryan's family that welcomed us.  Much love to you all and see you again soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Can't Stop Believing

Last Friday night I spent a lovely evening with my sister and parents at the Journey concert. Loverboy was the opening band followed by Pat Benatar. Going to this concert was like peeking back in time to the late 70’s into the 80’s. My Dad kept leaning over and saying, “This is what your Mom and I used to see all the time!” I think that it is entirely possible that I spent more time laughing with my family about what we saw and what we heard than actually listening to the concert. In fact, there were so many great moments that I decided to write a blog in honor of the night. I do, however, need to pass along some credit to my family who helped me create my top 10 favorite moments of the night.

 1. As I mentioned before, Loverboy was the first band to play. I can officially announce that I am not a fan. The lead singer was too old and too large to be wearing his tight black jeans complete with pocket chain that I can only assume is attached to a Ninja Turtles Velcro wallet. His solid black button up shirt started by being tucked into his not-so-skinny jeans over a beer-belly but slowly became un-tucked as he danced around the stage. And he seemed to be pulling a Bret Michaels by wearing a red bandana to cover up his bald head. But his charm was not lost on what had to have been his biggest fan dancing in the front row. And yes, it is not the lead singer who is the first person on my list but the man in the gray shirt dancing his heart to “Working For the Weekend” From hip thrusting to spinning in circles this guy was not just a fan-he was their BIGGEST fan. He was dancing so hard with fist pumps and he didn’t care who was watching. Oh to be that free!

2. And what would a concert be without seeing some groupies? Correction: What would an 80’s concert be without seeing some groupies? It would be a sad situation for sure! Luckily we were in the perfect spot to see 2 girls, affectionately referred to as The Tank Top Girls, work their magic on the male security guards. Black Tank Top was clearly the drunker and freer loving of the girls and she was rubbing up against a big bald guard working her dance magic. And I’ll be go to hell if it didn’t work! He gave her and White Tank Top girl a couple wristbands so that they could go shake it right in front of the stage. But the best part was when the security guards rotated. Black Tank Top went to go get more beer and when she came back, the female security guards would not let her down. IT WAS AWESOME! And where was White Tank Top? She was making out with a guy she met down by the stage and could not have cared less where her friend was. Classy ladies!

3. But it was not just the spectators who were having a great time. There was one concessions man who knew every word to every song played by every band. And occasionally he would stop walking and launch into the most amazing dance routines that I have ever been privileged to. With his waist long black hair flowing freely he would air-guitar or do this weird jumping jack move in his tight black jeans. I wish I loved my job as much as that man obviously does.

4. And the outfits…oh the outfits! I have never seen so much animal print in one place! Leopard print, tiger print, and zebra print! OH MY! My favorite piece of animal clothing was a t-shirt that at first glance looked like a normal zebra print shirt but was actually just a giant picture of a zebra head. Unfortunately I might have to arm wrestle my sister for it because she loved it even more than I did.

5. Sticking with the subject of the clothing my Dad’s favorite item of the night was the tall skinny guy who had on faux red leather pants that were so tight his barely-there butt still had a giant crack showing! Don’t worry Dad! I am searching the Internet now for your next Christmas present. Best part is that they will be red so you can wear them Christmas Day! HORRAY!

6. But probably the best outfit I saw you could hardly classify as an outfit at all. Becca and I were enjoying people watching when we saw a 13-year-old girl walk past with tiny little shorts on. Becca looked at me and said, “That girl is too young to be wearing shorts like that.” Not even 30 seconds later a tall, bleach-blond, 50-something lady walked past wearing shorts so tiny that we could practically see her fish whistle. All I could manage to say was “And she’s too old.” Seriously…I need therapy now.

7. After all that fun I bet you could not picture it getting any better right? IT DID! Can we say concert beach balls!?! My sister Becca hit her very first concert beach ball. Shortly after that she got hit in the face with that same concert beach ball. Ahhh…memories.

8. Becca wasn’t the only person who was loving the beach balls. In front us there was a woman who proudly got the ball. She promptly turned and attempted to hit the ball but unfortunately spiked the ball directly into someone’s face. Best part? She saw it hit but simply shrugged and turned back to the stage to continue rocking.

9. Better than people watching was the people listening. After Loverboy as the crew was prepping the stage for Pat Benatar there was a guy behind us that I overheard saying, “Pat Benatar? Don’t know him.”

10. But my absolute favorite part of the night had to have been the drunken guy behind us who kept on spewing the best verbal poop ever! Some of his best moments were “I saw that ball coming towards your head and I thought about hitting it but I didn’t because I am drunk.” Or maybe you might enjoy “Before I lost my hair I had my mullet.” Or my favorite that he yelled at two girls, “Hot tamales! 2 for $1.00!” Oh yes Drunk Man! Women love being compared to bad Mexican food that is probably going to give you diarrhea. If I wasn’t married to a man that is smart and classy…I would have been in love. I could not stop laughing. 

So there you go. My top 10 favorite things from the Journey concert. If you want to have a good time that has nothing to do with the band you are watching, I highly suggest you check out any 80’s concert you can. You will have the time of your life! Much love to you all!