Sunday, December 28, 2008

I think she'll be a good big sister...

Abby loves her new doll (complete with a binkie and bottle) that grandma and grandpa gave her.
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life. --President Gordon B. Hinckley

Christmas Festivities - Part 2

Coming back into town last night we stopped at my parents for dinner. It was great to visit with everyone, do a little nativity with the grandkids and open the traditional pajamas.This morning we woke up and opened family gifts. Abby loved the train set from Santa and the books and toy from mom and dad. (She caught on to the whole opening presents idea very quickly.)After opening gifts, we went to Grandma Nielsen's house for breakfast. It was fabulous to see so many of my cousins (especially knowing that it might be a while before I see them again). Next we went to visit Grandpa Tom in the care center and then to my parents house to exchange gifts with them. It has been a busy day and we are now about to head to a movie...

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Festivities - Part 1

Last Sunday we journeyed to visit with Mike's parents and sister and brother-in-law. We had a great time and enjoyed celebrating Christmas with them. We returned to Salt Lake on Christmas Eve. Somehow we lucked out completely by not hitting any snowstorms. (We made both trips in under 4 hours and 30 minutes!)

We swam at the nice rec center. Abby loved the big fast water slide.

She was enamored with her gorgeous new princess crown and earrings.
We did a mini hike to an overlook of the city and it was hard to pull Abby away from all the rocks!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa's Super Hero Elf

A couple weeks ago we went to Abby's cousin's Spiderman birthday party. She made a fierce super hero and went through at least 3 swords. Fortunately, Abby's uncle is a master balloon twister.

Meeting the webbed hero himself was a bit tramatic.
Funny thing--Spiderman showed up at the family Christmas party as well. He must really like our family:)
Last night Mike and Abby tried out the Spiderman tattoos he handed out. She was scared of the water (?) at first but then thought it was pretty cool that dad got one too!

Just for fun, here is Abby with our Christmas lights. She loves them. (Remember that I am decorating very simply this year.)
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Where in the world...

Way back when when we decided to move, I started thinking about all the issues of going private, not revealing too much on the blog, etc. so I am going to do a little experiment. We have (finally) accepted a job offer and know where and when we'll be moving. It is a good feeling! Here's the experiment: I am not going to say where. Most of you already know. If you don't, feel free to email me because I'd love to tell you (really). I'm going to try for a while to be a bit less transparent on my blog (at least as far as locations). I think I'll hate it and just end up going private, but that doesn't sound super fun either. So, we'll wait and see.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday, Mike!

Happy birthday to our favorite daddy. Here he is reading with Abby and her cousin.

Today is Mike's 30th birthday. I did a little hubby questionnaire all about him. I love you, Mike!

1. Where did you meet your husband?
At a Stake FHE when we were both attending University Student Wards

2. How long did you date?
7 1/2 months

3. How long have you been married?
It will be 5 years in March

4. What does he do that surprises you?
Lots of things - he is really good to do dishes or laundry without being "hinted" at. Once he made plans to go snowboarding with some friends and when he got halfway to the ski resort he turned around and came back so that he could spend the day with me! That surprised me, but it is definitely true to his character!

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
I love his smile and dark hair.

6. What is his best quality?
He is very patient and extremely rarely gets upset.

7. Does he have a nick name for you?
Not really, but does call me "honey" a lot.

8. What is his favorite food?
He is very un-picky and will eat just about anything.

9. What is his favorite sport?
His knees don't let him participate in a lot of sports, but he does love snowboarding and enjoys watching U. football and Jazz games.

10. When and where was your first kiss?
Our first kiss was in a little canyon close to my family's cabin over Labor Day weekend.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love to take vacations and road trips.

12. Do you have children?
2 girls and a boy on the way

13. Does he have hidden talents?
Mike is very compassionate. He reaches out to everyone and always strives to make others feel included.

14. How old is he?
30 years old today!

15. Who said I love you first?
He did! We took a drive up in Lamb's Canyon and stopped to sit by a pretty stream...

16. His favorite music?
Right now--Christmas music. Other than that, he's pretty eclectic.

17. What to you admire most about him?
As I already mentioned, I love how he reaches out to so many people. I also admire his ability to keep his cool, be patient and not get upset.

18. What is his favorite color?

19. Who eats more?
I actually think that I do (especially when I am pregnant). He is a healthier eater!

20. Who sings better?
I think that I probably do, but it is something that he really works at!

21. Who is smarter?
Mike. (I take pride though in knowing that we got the same ACT score in high school.)

22. Who does the laundry?
We both do (especially with Mike home so much now). I am really good at starting it and he is better at finishing it up!

23. Who does the dishes?
We both do.

24. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

25. Who pays the bills?
That is a complicated question. Mike pays the bills that are not on auto pay. I maintain the day-to-day budget.

26. Who mows the lawn?
Mike does. He tells me he likes to.

27. Who cooks dinner?
I do nearly always. He does on occasion. He's a good cook.

28. Who drives when you are together?
Most of the time Mike does.

29. Who is more stubborn?

30. Who asked who out first?
Mike did. He got my phone number at the FHE activity and called me a couple days later.

31. Who is more sensitive?
I think that we are both pretty sensitive in different ways.

32. Who has more siblings?
I have 4. He has 3.

33. Will he read this?
Eventually yes:)

Friday, December 5, 2008

A few numbers...


This is how much I paid per gallon of gas last night. Delicious!


This is how old my grandma is. We went together to the Jazz game with my aunt and uncle Wednesday night. It was a lot of fun! I love being with her. We parked a block and a half away and I genuinely had a hard time keeping up with her as we walked to the arena. (Yes, she really is 91.) (Unfortunately, the Jazz did not score more than 91, but the Miami Heat did--i.e. they lost.)

3 lbs. 2 oz.

This is how big baby brother is. (No, we don't have a name for him. The list keeps getting longer rather than shorter. Someday he will have a name. I am sure of it.) We got to "see" him on Wednesday. He is very cute. Speaking of baby brother, here is a cute anecdote about "big sister". When we ask Abby where her baby brother is, she taps her tummy and says, "My tummy!" We try to tell her, "No, he's in mommy's tummy." She will have none of that!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Job and Moving update:
Ask me on Monday. I think we'll commit then. We have a couple job offers and if you have heard us talk about where we have been leaning the last few weeks, you're probably gonna be right.
The house is under contract. We have been very blessed.

What to do with a Little People's Nativity set:

1. Let Mary read touchy-feely books. I couldn't turn the pages until Mary had her turn to touch. So cute.
2. Lay all the toys out on a blanket so I can cover them up for their naps.
3. Feed the donkeys their hay.

Christmas Trees:
"Hmmm...where to put this one..." These are our vacation trees. We like to get little souvenir ornaments on trips...
This is the very proud girl next to the oh-so-simply-decorated-with-lots-of-love tree. (There really are more ornaments on the tree than meets the eye. It turned out to be a very cute tree!)

Stay tuned for some very cute pictures of baby brother just taken today thanks to my cousin, Marilee, the sonographer...
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for (but not necessarily in this order)...

Mike wonderful friends Hope my education my parents financial security a great ward Abby Mike's education and good jobs siblings a beautiful world the temple my home Baby Brother the mountains nieces and nephews vacations prophets Mike's family material possessions the USA prayer and personal revelation the gospel grandparents my marriage scriptures Jesus Christ memories health ease of transportation good books

I hope you all had a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I feel obligated... share a good customer service experience. (I can be fairly critical of poor customer service so I owe the good experiences equal time.)

A week or two ago I bought a photo book from Snapfish. They were doing a big Oprah promotion where you could get the book for shipping only!!! Well, as you can imagine, the web site was fairly slow because I wasn't the only person on the planet taking advantage of the promo. Long story short, I had to reenter my credit card number twice because it didn't take the first time. They didn't charge me twice, but they did charge me full price when it actually went through--quite disappointing.

The book arrived (and my baby is as cute as ever in it). I really wanted my money back though.

I emailed.

They said something like, "Sorry you must have ordered the wrong book." (I don't think so.)

I called.

The recording said something like, "If our phone system doesn't throw you off beforehand, you'll be on hold for about an hour." (I hung up.)

I was sad, but happy to have a cute book?!?

Now the good part...

Today I was checking my credit card balances online and...they credited me $21.35 a day or two ago! Why? I am not really sure, but they really did, and that is fabulous!

So, I'm a fan. Thanks, Snapfish!

Monday, November 24, 2008


One of my favorite holiday traditions is that every year my family cuts down Christmas trees from the property surrounding our cabin (we know the property owners:). It's so nice to have a fresh, nice smelling tree in my house! So that I don't feel guilty misleading you all, though, I must admit that I stayed behind in the cabin this year while several of the others traipsed around on the mountain. (I'm pregnant, right?) Here are a couple shots from this year's journey:

What is asked of us...

Today I read Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk from last month's general conference. I thought that these thoughts were worth remembering:

The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Big Game

Marinda is a Cougar fan. Mike is a Ute. The big question is what will Abby turn out to be?

Tonight, he taught her during the game to call out "B-Y-Utes". I thought that was fairly diplomatic.

I was quite disappointed by the outcome of the game, but in all fairness, it'll be nice to have a hometown team in a BCS bowl again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Little Daredevil

Abby has always been daring. She loves to climb. Lately, she'll see something up high she wants and push the closest stool or chair over (that usually doesn't get her much closer) and then climb on the next most accessible shelf or counter.

In this picture she was jumping off the stairs. Not too high, I know, but it was very cute. She'd say "Ready, go!" and then kind of throw herself off the stairs.
Mike also taught her to do somersaults. She learned after one demonstration! What a smart girl.

What was really fun was when she decided to combine the two and throw herself off the stairs and do a somersault at the same time. We might need to discourage that one!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Veteran's and Birthdays!

Happy birthday yesterday to my mother-in-law! We hope it was a great day!
Yesterday was also Veteran's Day and my grandpa was honored at a ceremony, along with 12 other veterans, at the U. This is the nice write up that they read at the ceremony and here is a story that a local NPR station did on my grandpa and dad. Here is a picture of the two of them. It was fun to see my dad in his Air Force dress blues.

Friday, November 7, 2008

We made a snowman yesterday

Then added a baby snow robber?!?
And this is all that is left of them today!
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I am so glad we live in a country where there is a way to express our opinions and participate in the law making process.
I appreciate that many of us share similar opinions and that many of us will disagree. That is OK. It is good to look at the world through different eyes on occasion and try to see someone else's viewpoint.
We are so blessed to be able to vote as a way to express opinions.
I am deeply saddened when that right of a people or an organization are protested and, in effect, denied.
My church and fellow church members have every right to express their views on moral positions.
They should be treated with respect by those whose views on those moral issues differ.
Many of you know that the LDS Church has been targeted by opponents of Proposition 8 for their involvement in its passage. It seems very unfair to me that they are being targeted this way. Here is the church's statement with regard to the opposition's protests.

Incidentally, I still feel strongly that our country has spoken with regards to our elected officials and now we pray for them and do everything in our power to help us all succeed!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


So, I will throw in my two cents on the election results. Most of the candidates I voted for won, but a few key candidates didn't.

It's kind of weird though because in the past I have been very passionate about election results--getting very worked up about results that I "approved" or "disapproved" of, but tonight I'm not (except for the individual who beat my dad in a race a few years ago and it looks like he might lose his seat tonight--I'm feeling a bit smug about that).

My main thoughts:

I need to just pray for my leaders--old and new, regardless of party, and try to make my corner of the world a tiny bit better. We live in a great country and I am proud to be an American. I know that with our prayers and our efforts we can accomplish much.

Right now that is how I feel, but maybe tomorrow morning I'll wake up feeling differently--more upset about the upsets or giddy about the wins. We'll see.

By the way, Mike and I showed up at the polls at 6:55 this morning (woke the baby up to beat the rush). There was a pretty good line when we arrived, but by the time we left at 7:20ish the line was almost gone. Strange...I heard that the lines were quite short most of the day...nothing like the early voting lines (so I hear).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

That's our girl

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Day

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A free giveaway...

My friend Jen makes very cute bags, bows, headbands, scripture covers, capes and more! (I really want to get a headband for Abby:) You should all visit her website for a chance for a free giveaway and to see her great stuff.
(I've seen a ton of it in person and it is darling!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Today is the real birthday.
Abby is 2!

Here are 10 things about Abby that I think are great:

1. Abby is a talker-and-a-half. Especially in the car, she can talk like no other and we love hearing her cute voice.

2. Abby has a ton of energy. She wears me out and doesn't sit on our laps for long but I love her exuberance and busy-ness.

3. She is very friendly. I am glad that she is social and enjoys talking to and meeting new people.

4. Abby loves to read. We spend lots of time with books and a common phrase is, "I need to read!"

5. Abby is quite a happy kid. We all have sad moments, but I am grateful that we can generally count on a big smile from our girl.

6. We think that she is very cute.

7. Abby likes reading the scriptures. She loves finding pictures of Jesus and Alma (her favorite Book of Mormon character) in her story book. (She also has a very exuberant "Amen" at the end of prayers!)

8. She is very fashion conscious. Sometimes it can be pretty hard to convince her to wear pants instead of dresses. I always love it when she tells me she likes my clothes and then proceeds to pick out shoes to match them.

9. She is quite the smarty pants. She counts to 4, knows several shapes and colors and is learning letters. I also laugh as we drive through the neighborhood and she tells me who lives in which house.

10. We love that she is ours forever!

Here are a few pictures of our day today (Wheeler Farm--I think I could just eat that little piglet up--not literally, cake, presents plus a visit to grandma):

(That is a smile.)