Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alpine Slide

Whenever we had the Allen family reunion in Park City my cousins and I would have so much fun racing down the Alpine slide! This time my cousins weren't there but my children's cousins were. I was pretty excited for them to keep the tradition alive!
 I never remember the ski lift being scary but with two wiggly boys it kind of was!
We went right over the top of a deer eating in the shade of the trees which made for some extra excitement on the way up.
Jordan and Garrett,
Ridge and Brady,
And Arica all flew down the slide! They were super fast!
Nash had a breezy ride down the slide.
He is working on potty training this summer.
Right when I threw the sled up on the track I heard liquid hitting the pavement behind me.
I turned around quick but there was no stopping it.
Nash had soaking shorts, socks and boots.
Thankfully the man behind us thought it was funny and held up the line while I hurried to strip off Nash's wet things, get his boots back on and get everything situated in the sled!
Nash got some strange looks when he climbed off the slide with a bare bottom
but it didn't slow him down at all! 
 Brynlee the brave! Her first time down the slide and she did it alone!

A new generation of Alpine Slide lovers are born!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Recap of 2013

 I thought it would be good to do a little recap of 2013. Unfortunately I lost my phone that had most of my pictures on it so I only have a few pictures from the first few months of the year. January started off as not my favorite month even though we were had lots of fun with activities at the kids school and Bryn's basketball games. Brady was having to travel to Utah every week that month after having to do it every other week the previous few months. It had already gotten old and we were all tired of it! Brady loved the job he had and the people he worked with but we knew we needed something to change. Brynlee and Nash were having an especially had a hard time with Dad travelling so much. We weren't sure what we could change, but at the beginning of February Brady heard about a job opening up in Salt Lake that sounded like his dream job. At first we were a little hesitant but as we began discussing the possibilities, praying about it and finding out more about the opportunity we became very excited. It felt like a long shot but Brady contacted the company and they agreed to fly him back to their head quarters in Massachusetts for an interview on February 14th. He felt like the interview went well but they had other candidates that they were still interviewing so we didn't hear anything for a week or two. After what felt like forever Mass invited Brady to make a business plan and come back to their office on the last day of February to present it. Now if you know Brady you know he is passionate about planning! Lucky for us Brady had been working on his business plan for years! He has always wanted to be a general agent since entering the management side of financial planning and had been creating and using all kinds of ideas and strategies for building a better business for his entire career in the financial industry. I knew this would be a moment for him to shine and get to share his passion for the work he does. Once again he felt like the presentation went well but they had several other plans that needed to be presented before they could get back to him. On the 13th of March Mass contacted Brady to let him know they wanted to extend him an offer. They wanted to have one last conference call the next day. Fifteen minutes before that call that we had been anticipating for so long was going to happen Brady's dad Read called to let us know he was being taken to a hospital in SLC with life threatening blood clots in his lungs. Excited emotions to devastating emotions. We quickly packed our bags and I ran to get the kids from school while Brady had his phone call. Despite the shock from his dad's phone call, the call with Mass went well and they told him they would send him a formal offer/contract by the next week. I'm getting way to long winded for a blog, but after a couple of months everything finally worked out. Brady got the job as GA for MassMutual in Salt Lake and after a couple of scary weeks in the hospital Read was able to recover enough to return home!
 Some days are like that!
 So that pretty much sums up January, February and March!
They were busy months full of the usual ups and downs
plus a quite a bit more than usual but we came through smiling!
 And then it turned into April which is always a glorious month!
Sunshine, warmth, and new growth! 
 On April 2nd Brady was introduced to the SLC office of Mass Mutual as their new GA. He moved into an apartment close by the office that they provided for him until we could sell our house and move down there. At first we thought we would take our time looking for a place, selling the house and letting the kids finish school in Meridian but those plans quickly changed!
 The first weendend in April the kids and I drove to Utah to be with Brady and our extended family.
 The children had so much fun being with cousins!
 We had a hard time leaving and driving back home to Idaho without Brady after such a wonderful weekend. At least we could see the light at the end of the tunnel!
 Brady found a house for us in Alpine UT and we decided to close on it and move as soon as we could and once we decided that things happened quickly!
We tried to be prepared for the move but with all the craziness of moving it felt like we didn't get to do all of the things in Meridian that we would have loved to do one last time before moving. Before we knew it movers where packing up our house and it was time to go! What a whirlwind!
 Brynlee's sweet friends kidnapped her out of bed one morning for a good-bye party!
 She loved it and ate up all the love and attention they gave her.

 It really helped her be ready for the move, even though she knew she would miss these beautiful girls it helped to know she had all these wonderful friends supporting her.
 We love Meridian and all of our sweet friends there.
It was such a blessing for us to have those great 5 years that we did in Meridian!
It will always have a special place in our hearts!
So that is pretty much a recap of our major life events of 2013, at least until May!
I'll have to make another post of the second half of the year later, gotta go pick up the kids!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Re-cap - Sort of!

 For my weak attempt at keeping up on my blog here are a few highlights from the last month or two. After 3 years, Nash graduated from Miss Molly's preschool at Mary MacPherson!
The teachers there are phenomenal! They went out of their way to help our boys while they were there and they were so extremely kind and supportive of our family. We love them and will always be thankful for their positive influence in our lives! I just love how these ladies treat every kid in their class like they are the most important and smartest kid there! They were even so kind to have an early graduation before we moved so Nash could be there.
 Miss Andrea
 Miss Molly
Miss Wendy
I also have to mention the boys bus drivers, Bonnie and Lorna. They are amazing and always so patient and happy even while they waited for us to find backpacks, get shoes on and coax Nash onto the bus. When I told them we were moving Lorna said, "Well you can't take Nash! We've practically raised him, he's been riding our bus since he learned to walk!" I had a darling picture of the boys with these special ladies but sadly it was on my phone that I lost on the Alpine slide last week. Wish I had backed up all the pictures and contacts from my phone cuz now they are all gone! =(
 Brynlee also said good-bye to her 1st grade class. That is her with her jacket over her head being "it" as they played corners one last time before the bell rang on her last day at Mary Mac.
It was really hard to say good-bye to all of our friends in Meridian!
Brynlee's friends had a surprise going away party for her. They "kidnapped" her and had a breakfast party where they made her the center or attention and promised they would all write to her. 
She of course loved it!
My sweet friend Amy offered to have a good-bye party for all of us which I declined because I knew it would make me sad and I would cry and I try to avoid that. She still threw a surprise party for me which did make me cry but I loved it and was glad she did.
We absolutely loved the 5 years we had in Meridian.
It was home for us.
 Ridge was born there and it was the only home Brynlee and Nash could remember.
 The friends and neighbors we have/had there are amazing!
Good thing facebook, phones and blogs make it easier to stay in touch.
On the 10th of May we packed up our sleeping bags, the children, Cassie and the hamsters. Quickly cleaned the house one last time, drove to Salt Lake quickly cleaned out Brady's apartment and came to our new home in Alpine.
 Driving away from our home and neighborhood and so many people we love made it an emotional day for me...that and the fact that I hadn't been sleeping well had me more on the sad side of the fence than excited side. When we left Brady's apartment it started pouring rain. As we drove around the point of the mountain and headed into Alpine the sky cleared up, the sun came out and a beautiful double rainbow arched across the mountains right in front of us. It felt like it was just for me.
It was breathtaking and all of the sudden I was so excited and felt so grateful and blessed to be in Alpine all under the same roof again!
 I grew up in Utah so for me it has felt like coming home. I love mountains and the ones here in Alpine do not disappoint! Every time I walk outside my eyes wonder up those beautiful rugged  peaks. Brady and I kept commenting about the incredible mountains, apparently a little too much because after about a week Brynlee begged us to please stop talking about the mountains!
The top picture is the view of the mountains to the North of us.
The bottom picture is the mountains to the East of us.

 Looking down the street to the South you can see Utah Lake and in the distance (too far for my camera) you can see the Mt. Timpanogos temple.
I love the scenery here, the cool mountain breeze, the dark nights (no street lights = lots of stars), the crickets, the nice people, that there were lots of kids wearing cowboy boots with their shorts at the kids schools, and being closer to family.
Most of all I love having Brady home every night.
As long as I have that I think I could live anywhere!
I feel so blessed to be here with my family and am still just trying to take it all in and enjoy it.

One more mountain picture just for good measure!

 The children have loved getting together with their cousins more often!
Big Grandpa with all of his grandkids at Keatons baptism.
 Brynlee went to and loved the last two weeks of first grade in her new class at Westfield Elementary. She got there just in time for all the end of school fun and the pet show where she proudly shared not only her hamsters but her brothers!
We spent Memorial Day weekend in Cove and Preston visiting family and loved that!
We've had a lot of fun over the past couple months between all the packing and unpacking, someday I'll get better at doing shorter more frequent posts! ;)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

 Happy Fathers Day to all those wonderful hardworking dads everywhere!
 I've had part of a song running through my head all week it goes like this:
"Father's are so special with a very special love.
They watch us and protect us. They guide us and direct us" How true that is!
I am amazed how much influence dad's have on their children especially as I watch Brady with our children. My dad has always been and still is a hero in my eyes, and I love seeing that it is the same for my children. They look up to their dad in every way!
They miss him while he's away, even if its just for 8 hours of the day. I've noticed that they are always more calm and confident, more obedient and usually more happy and cheerful (as long as they've had their sleep!) when their dad is near.
Ridge tells me daily, "I want to be big like my dad!" And he's willing to pay the price too...he'll eat all his dinner, pick up his toys, and play nice with his brother when he knows he's being like dad.
It works out well for me!
I am so glad that Brady is such a great example to our children!
And I am thankful for all of the fathers who are examples to me!
 I love you all, thank you for doing what you do!
Happy Father's Day! 

Love this little video about fathers!

 The kids get so excited to pick out gifts for dad
They adore him!
Excuse Ridge's nose picking and Nash's missing pants =)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nesquik Boys

 I found the boys in the kitchen this afternoon helping themselves to spoonfuls of Nesquik.
The fun didn't end even when I took the can away.
It doesn't take much for these two to entertain each other!
After being silly with the spoons they got serious about cleaning up their mess,
and licked all the spilled chocolate off the table.

 Makes you want to eat off of our table doesn't it?!
 So happy together! What a blessing to have a brother!
I love those little chocolate faces!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Locks of Love

Once upon a time there were two adorable friends who had beautiful long hair...
after being apart for almost a month (their longest separation since they were two years old) they were so happy to be together again! They wanted to make the occasion super memorable
 so they had their moms take them to the hair salon.
Notice the shared flip-flops :)
Bailey the brave went first. With a snip of the scissors and with out a second thought,  
10 inches of that beautiful hair was gone!
A few more snips and Bailey had her a gorgeous new short hair style!
Brynlee followed her friend and climbed up for her turn. 
Another snip of the scissors. Smiles and giggles and another 10 inches of hair!

 A few more snips and whala!....
 Twins with matching short hair!
 With their cute hair and freshly painted nails, the girls headed for their next stop.

 There they mailed 20 inches of their soft shiny hair to Locks of Love so another little girl somewhere can have beautiful hair too!
What sweet little friends and they played happily ever after all weekend!
The end!