Thursday, March 31, 2011

as of late...

after realizing that i hadn't updated the blog in a while, i looked through our recent photos to recall what we have been up to. what i found are ten, random pictures that highlight some of our recent highs and lows. here are the gems i found:

photo one: cats rule

after despising one another for months, our two kitties have a new love. when they aren't wrestling with each other, they are cuddling and fur-balling up my white chair or cuddling and fur-balling up the sheets on our bed. ahhhh, the joys of being a cat owner. some people would say photos like this make it all worth it...

people like cade say things like that.

photo two: the apple slug

above is a picture of an apple that i was eating. then, i ran across the apple slug. can you see him? snug as a slug in an apple.... if you don't get the willies looking at this photo, you need to reevaluate your life.

photo three: i'm exhausted!

moving right along in our march slide show, you will find a photo of violet and i zonked out on the norton's couch. questions you may be asking about this photo: where did ashley's chin go? what forsaken hour was this taken at? who ate all the ice cream in the bowl?
the truth is, pregnancy kills me. sure, i don't really get sick or throw up... instead, i just fall asleep EVERYWHERE, eat lots of ice cream and collapse into bed at night fearing another sleepless night. pregnancy and sleep have a serious fight with one another until the baby comes. i remember feeling MORE rested with a newborn in our home than when i was hauling the babe in my belly. you should probably plan on many more photos like this during the next 6 months.

photos four and five: skiing

cade loves to ski but with busy schedules and two pregnant winters, he really only ends up getting to the mountain once a year or so. this year, he spent the day with jason. from the photos, it looks like skiing is similar to riding a bike- it just comes right back to you after a long absence.

photos six and seven: smorgasbord at dickey's

ever heard of dickey's? ever heard of ordering meat by the pound at a restaurant? ever heard of the meat sweats?

boy, we sure have!
the cougar crew went out to eat after watching a disappointing cougar game. to cheer the hearts of the men, we went to a place where the meat pours down like rain in march. we literally took over the entire restaurant but in the end, we all got a taste of dickey's. and we loved it.

photo eight: the ledfords left us

our dear neighbors, the ledfords, decided they were going to move. i teared up. i was in denial. in the end, however, it turns out they were pretty serious about it. within two weeks, the entire house was packed, renters were found and they were loading into cars headed to chatanooga. i miss them terribly. not just because i needed honey yesterday and found that i was plumb out, but also because they had become great friends.

photo nine: a head shot

who doesn't love a good head shot? we hope the people casting extras on the new testament movie do!

photo ten: good friends. good family. good life.

i think this picture is a good representation of how blessed we have been feeling lately to have such good friends and close family. we have had a lot of time to spend with them this month and we have loved every second of it. we didn't photograph the joy on our faces in each individual instance, but we loved all of them nonetheless.

there you have it: ten photos of march.
i feel like violet wasn't accurately represented in the photos- so just know that she is doing great. cruising around like a toddler and climbing all sorts of furniture. cute as a button, that one. i'll get some photos of her on here soon to satisfy your craving.

until then!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

big announcements come in small packages

it may be tough to read that little peanut's shirt...but sure enough, it says BIG SISTER.

cade and i are expecting another baby september 21st. i am 13 weeks along and loving life. we can't wait to welcome this lovey into our home.

for the record... i did not ride the scary rides in disneyland (i know you were all judging).

GOLDEN BIRTHDAY... it's a big deal.

this year i turned 27 on the 27th. that means, this year i celebrated my one and only golden birthday. i have been looking forward to this moment for 26 years and cade did not disappoint. he surprised me with


i love that man.

so, we dropped violet off at my mom's and headed out on an adventure for just the two of us! first, we wanted to see our friends who live in california and spend some time with them. we drove straight through and met up with them in time to spend the weekend with them. it was great to catch up, meet their adorable daughter lucy, and sneak in a few competitive games of wii tetris. my highlight of the first night with them was our root beer tasting party. russ manged to find like 30 different kinds of root beer to try and our goal was to find the best. let's just say there is really tasty root beer out there and there is root beer that is hazardous. it was a fun, creative way to relax and enjoy the company.

the next day (my VERY birthday), we made sure to hit up the beach and the temple with these folks.

the newport temple is gorgeous.... i wish we would have arranged to go inside but it was sunday. maybe next time.

corona del mar was also beautiful. we walked the beach and checked out the tide pools- both awesome sunday activities.

later that night, katie prepared a delicious meal complete with a cake and sparklers. it was a perfect ending to a great day spent with good friends. with adjectives like that, life can't get more positive.

the next day, we were off to the ship- but first, we decided to use russ and katie's disneyland passes for an hour or so before it was time to board. that hour had us hooked- and we decided that we would come back to disneyland again after we got off the boat as well.

let the cruise begin....

as we were boarding the ship, there were massive lines of people being shuffled here and there as we were showing paper and such. in all the madness, cade wondered if we knew anyone in the crowd. this is so typical cade. whenever we walk in to a crowded place, he always assumes we know someone there. truth is, he is usually right... and he was right again this time. from behind us in the line i heard my named and turned to see an old high school friend! what are the chances!? cade is always right! we didn't really end up seeing them much the rest of the trip but it was just a coincidence worth noting.

cade and i were excited to eat, sleep and relax. we did PLENTY of those things and it made the trip excellent. at dinner on our first night, we met our table guests who happened to be a couple from kaysville. we made instant friends and ended up hanging out with them quite often.

our first stop was catalina island. before we could go ashore, cade wanted to compete in the ship's ping pong tournament. while he played, i watched as scores of dolphins played in the bay. everyone marveled at how many dolphins there were- the cruise staff said they had never seen so many. meanwhile, cade handily beat out the other competition and walked away with the trophy.

now we could go on land. once on the island, we went miniature golfing with our new friends.

afterward, we rented a golf cart and explored the entire island. it was awesome! we were able to see all the cool houses, the bay and we even picked up a couple of latinos that looked tired of walking. we loved driving oscar and ruth around as we saw the sights.

the next day, we docked in ensenada. we decided we wanted to see the blowhole so we jumped on a random tour bus and took off. the bus ride itself was worth the money we paid. cade loves talking to interesting people and the crowd on our bus sure fit into that category. we made numerous stops at corona stores so the passengers could get more and more tipsy as cade and I laughed more and more at the craziness.

we made it to la bufadora in time to see it shoot off a few times. after that, we shopped through the stores and made out like bandits. we bought a few adorable dresses for our little vi, a wallet for cade and a pendant for me. here i am looming over a small mexican woman who sold me a dress.

the final full day of the cruise was a day at sea. we spent it poolside with good books and great food. one highlight of the day at sea was watching as a contestant in the "hairy chest competition" slid down the banister right in front of us and broke his leg almost clean off. his ankle was twisted all funky and he was writhing in pain- but cade was sure to let the crowd know that he had indeed broken his leg. they handed him his trophy as they carried him off the deck on a stretcher. an odd highlight but something you don't see everyday.

our rest, relaxation and extreme eating had finally come to a close and the next morning we left the ship and headed to disneyland.

i had not been there for YEARS so it was fun to see all the rides from my past as well as enjoy the new ones. it did, however, make me miss my little girl terribly. i wanted to get home to her more than ever. we still enjoyed the day and saw all the attractions. it was fabulous. i left more tired than i have been in a long time but it was worth it.

that night, as we slept at russ and katie's again, cade and i weighed ourselves to see the effects of our eating. cade gained 9 pounds and i gained a whopping 12 pounds! i hope your mouth is gaping. mine was as i stared at the scale in disgust. luckily, the next morning we had aleardy lost half of the weight. we think we were just swollen with disney love the night before as we stepped on the scales.

finally we rushed home to see little vi who had double ear infections while we were gone. she loved getting spoiled while we were gone and it was quite the transition to get her back on some sort of schedule. i sure did miss her though.

so, in the end- my golden birthday was my best yet. i love cade, i love vi, i love mexico and i love walt disney.

the end.

sk8 4 k8

our friend kate had a birthday party at classic skating the other day and we had so much fun that i had to post a few pictures on here.

cade still had his groove.

violet loved to be pushed around the rink. she would sing and dance the whole time. it is hard to see through the classic mist- but here she is dancing for lisa and matt.

another reason to love february- happy birthday, kate!

ps. i love vi's face in this photo. two words: brick wall.

more birthday celebrations

the birthday celebrations just keep coming. since cade, violet and i all have february birthdays, i think by the end of the month everyone is a little sick of us... but we love it!

here are all the february birthdays in the family

violet was feeling a little more ready for chocolate cake at this party

and she was spoiled rotten AGAIN!

we sure do love february.

look whooooo's turning one!

although cade was quick to point out that violet would never remember any part of her first birthday, i still insisted we have a big ol' bash for the cutie. we invited over all of vi's cousins- all 29 of them- for the party. it was a blast! the only downer for the day was that violet was terribly sick. her nose was a leaky faucet and her eyes were swollen and red. she tried to laugh and play with her cousins but she just wasn't her happy self. so sad- but her cousins sure had a ton of fun! here are the party essentials....

hot dog bar
finger foods galore
yummy food that all the guests brought (thanks!)
and owl cupcakes - i ran out of brown m&ms but they still turned out cute.

the kiddos were nice to take a hot dog break and pose with one finger up for violet's first birthday.

bounce house for the little tykes
movies in the man cave for the older gals
making owl headbands (you can see mandy's model perched on her head. she was great to organize all this for me- and the kids looked so cute!)

and a pinata

the pinata and i had a love/hate relationship. when i decided to make the pinata instead of buy one- i was imagining how cute and fuzzy i could make it look if i did it all myself. i was in love the idea i had in my head so i eagerly got made the shell and shape. that turned out to be the easy part. next, i cut a zillion purple squares of crepe paper and started "fuzzing." i really wanted the pinata to have dimension and to look fuzzy so i wrapped a square of crepe paper around the end of a marker and glued it onto the shell piece by piece. well... HOURS later cade and i found that we were making little progress. we were ready to be done but we still had a large section of purple and we hadn't even started the yellow or pink sections! after a lackluster pep talk, i convinced cade to help finish fuzzing the purple and then we would find another method for the belly and wings. we slapped pink and yellow paper on and walked away from the project vowing to just buy the dang pinata next time. loved the idea... hated the work.
we stuffed the owl full of all the treasures we could find: candy, pennies, stickers, warm fuzzies and even instant ramen. the kids loved it- even if i shuddered as i watched my hours of manual labor be crushed in minutes.

cake and presents
being sick, she wasn't all that ready to dive into a slab of chocolate cake- so she tenderly picked at it and sucked the frosting from her dainty fingers. it was a very ladylike approach at devouring a cake.

vi had no shortage of helpers when it came time to open her presents. she was spoiled rotten with all sorts of goodies.... but you only turn one once, so i allowed it!

we had such a fun time and thank all of our guests for coming out to celebrate. violet has been such a joy to cade and i. we sit and laugh at all her personality and spunk while wondering at what life was like without her. we truly are blessed to have such a beautiful, happy baby and we are already starting on the pinata for her second birthday. she deserves it!