Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Zoey's Baptism

Back in January, our cute, sweet niece Zoey was baptized.  She had been meeting with the missionaries and was so beautiful and so excited!  It was a beautiful winter day and it was wonderful to celebrate this with Zoey and her family.

Mike, Mandy, Zoey & Alyssa

 Beautiful girl

Zoey wanted my brother Rich to baptize her.  It was a beautiful service with lots of family & ward members there to support.   It was cute that right after the service was over about 10 10-year old little girls came up and just surrounded Zoey.  They were darling!

Congrats Zoey!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kate turns 9!!

On January 11th, our sweet Kate turned 9 years old!  She is the best kid and we just love her to pieces!
The big surprise for Kate was getting her ears pierced!  Since her birthday was on a Sunday this year, I told her on Saturday morning that we were going to the mall to get her ears pierced.  She was so excited!   We had a great time!  There was only one worker at Claire's so she had to get them pierced one at a time, but she was really brave and picked out some cute earrings.  We then went and got her a new outfit!

She was excited to also get a couple of new Legos Friends sets, a new Kindle case and book light from us.

On her birthday, we had a birthday dinner.  She chose steak & mashed potatoes.  Delicious!  I think every bite was gobbled up!  Lindsey made her this really pretty cake!

My mom made her a beautiful quilt from a line of fabric called "Miss Kate."   She snuggles under it every night and I have to wake her up nearly every morning.  She's always just nestled under that cute blanket sleeping away!

Since she was turning an odd number, Kate got to have a friend birthday party too!  She chose to go to Airborne Trampoline Arena.   She invited several of her friends and they happily jumped and jumped for a couple of hours.   Easy!!!

 Kage, Kate, Josie & Camri
 Jack was happy to work on his flips
 Rare evidence that I was actually at the event :)  Hailey refused to smile at Jon who was taking the picture, so I had to tickle her leg.
 Alyssa & Hannah


 Emily & Zoey

After they jumped for an hour and a half, we went into a party room for pizza, cake & icecream & opening gifts!

 Kate's cute group - Kage & Carson (the two boys she invited) had already left for a basketball game
R1: Hannah, Alyssa, Hailey, Kate, Ava, Camri & Sophie
R2: Zoey, Megan & Josie

Kate was really wonderful, sweet friends!   Happy Birthday to you Sweet Kate!

Friday, January 30, 2015

St. George - Women's Retreat

One of the highlights of each year for the last 5 years has been our women's retreat with my wonderful friends from Ohio!   I look forward to it and am so grateful for each year that I'm able to go.   It's a lot of work for Jon and others for me to leave for a few days and I am so grateful for their willingness to let me go.
This year, Kirsten & I were in charge and we held it in St. George, Utah.  I love planning, scheming, talking, preparing and hosting events with Kirsten.  She is definitely the creative, fun, thorough one and it was a blast to do something together again. 
A couple of months before September, my brother Mike announced that he was getting married and getting married on the day of the reunion starting.   I was so excited for Mike, but sad about missing the first day of the reunion.  Kirsten was so understanding, especially because it meant more of the work would be on her - getting into the house, buying groceries, etc.
Circumstances worked out just fine to not only be at Mike & Mandy's wedding, but my sister-in-law Beth came into town for a couple of days and we were able to travel to St. George together early the morning after the wedding.  The drive went so fast - we just talked and talked the whole way down and got there around 8:30 that Friday morning.
We were able to find a house that worked perfect!  It was gorgeous, easy to get to, and we had plenty of room!
(The following pictures were all taken by Kirsten - thank goodness for her!)

 The first night - Ali, Holly, Angie, Melinda, Sarah, Lisa, Becky & Kirsten

 Kirsten brought these little goody bags for the first night - lotion, nail polish & silver flip flops.  The second night, we gave the girls Utah Truffles and the 3rd night, we had delicious cupcakes from a local bakery.

 The first night was apparently spent on somewhat of a secret mission - these cute girls headed out to find 40 bottles of Diet Coke!   Keep reading to find out what they did with them!
 Friday morning was spent going to the St. George Temple Visitor's Center and the Brigham Young Winter Home.  I sure love all these women - they are incredible!
Me, Sarah, Lisa, Angie, Andrea & Holly
 Anne (holding Becky's baby Sarah), Melinda, Becky, Beth, Kirsten & Ali
 The 3 of us have been to all the reunions:  Me, Lonica & Kirsten
 What a beautiful Temple!

This was our awesome group this year!

 Brigham Young home - we had a fabulous tour guide, who got emotional several times on the tour.

After our tours, we stopped for lunch at 25 Main.  They had delicious soups, sandwiches and cupcakes!

That afternoon, we relaxed, shopped, napped, etc.  Kirsten, Becky & I were able to slip away and go to a couple of quilt stores - seriously heaven!    That night, we had delicious BBQ chicken salad and bread at the house.  Then we played a fun game of things that happened to us over the past year - we laughed and laughed!  
The next morning, was the morning of our hike!  AnnDee had found the perfect hiking place.  As she was describing it, I had the thoughts that for Becky & Lonica, it would be really hard to take their little babies on the hike.  In talking to Becky the night before, she decided that she didn't want to go and I was more than happy to stay with her and offer to watch Lonica's baby.
We ended up doing that!  I think I messed up some fun surprises that were planned and I felt terrible about that, but I was so happy for Lonica to be able to go and have a good time and I was so happy to stay and visit with Becky.  We held babies and just talked and talked.  I miss our early morning walks and I loved hearing about her cute family and their lives in Las Vegas.
After everyone got back, Becky & I slipped away for some Chick-Fil-A (they don't have any in Vegas and it sounded yummy to both of us).  Again, I think I messed up more fun surprises, but we were able to hook up with the group again at Tai Pan.

 That morning, as everyone was getting ready to leave on the hike, I noticed the birthday banner on the wall and thought "Hmmm....I wonder who's birthday it is today?"   Then, I saw the 40 Diet Cokes, arranged in a 40 and I immediately knew!

Yes - I am the old lady in the group and was the first to enter into the 40's.  I'm happy to pave the trail for all the youngsters coming after me.  My friends know me well - seriously, I didn't need anything else for my birthday after getting all that Diet Coke!

After shopping, we got home and found these 2 amazing posters!   The night that I wasn't there, they had come up with a "Veggie Gram."  Holy creativity!   I laughed and laughed!   I am seriously like a kid and just don't have the palate for most vegetables.  I simply don't like them.  I reassure myself that I think there's still a chance to get into heaven without liking vegetables. :)

And, then, to help satisfy my sweet tooth and to have something to use that Diet Coke to wash down, they also gave me a Candy Gram.

 When I went up to my room, it was splattered with all sorts of cute post-it notes with kind words about what they like about me.  I got choked up and really, really appreciated all of their kind words.  These are women that I look up to and strive to be like!
After eating a delicious dinner at a pizza place, we came home and had delicious cupcakes and a wonderful discussion from Andrea about the Power of Moms.  Again, another wonderful evening with incredible people!

A super, huge thank you to all these great women (and their husbands and babysitters back home)!  It was a wonderful weekend and full of more great memories!  Next year......Nashville, TN!  I can't wait!