Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Birthday to Gwendolyn!

I can't believe baby Gwen isn't a baby anymore. For the past few months, I've transitioned from calling her "my baby" to "my daughter," but I understand now that children will always be their parent's babies.

Gwendolyn is a fabulous person.
She loves calling Grandma and Grandpa.
She loves to FaceTime with cousins.
Gwen loves popcorn and she loves mac and cheese.
She loves opening the sliding door for Fred, and loves even more to try and shut him in it.
Gwendolyn loves us so much. When Jake comes home from work, she immediately calls out "Daddy" until she can get to him and hug and kiss him. When I get home from working, she'll run over to me and ask to be held, and just say "Mom-mom" over and over, all while patting my back.
Gwendle loves working outside with Jake. They can pull weeds and garden for hours.
She loves stealing seats from people.
Gwen's favorite friends for bedtime are 1.Her orange baby and 2.Her reindeer. She needs them to be sitting by her or she can't sleep.
Gwen loves drawing. I've scrubbed countless walls from her escapades with pens, and have now moved on to colored pencils.
She loves going on walks with me, as long as the sun isn't in her eyes.
She LOVES the park.
Gwendolyn loves going to the nursery at church. She loves her teachers, and doesn't like leaving them.
She loves naps.
Gwen has multiple moms. I really am thankful for the village that helped me raise Gwen, so when she calls grandmas and aunts "Mom-mom" it fills my heart. I couldn't have been successful without all the love we have flowing in.

Gwen does not like to be sprayed with the hose outside. She enjoys spraying others, but if she gets sprayed, the game has gone too far. :)
She is absolutely terrified of showers. In our tubs, the shower will turn on if a knob on the faucet is pulled out. She has pulled it only a few times, and each time causes mad fits of laughter to Jake and I, and a very sad and upsetting experience for Gwen. I have a feeling she'll love baths for life.
Mini does not enjoy sharing anything other than food. If it's food, she'll gladly send some over(even candy) if you say thank you. If you want the Lego that's near her that she hasn't seen in 5 hours and has no interest in and take it, she will rip it out of your hands faster than I can eat an Oreo.

I'm so thankful for Gwendolyn. She is adventurous and loves exploring. She loves giving out hugs and high fives to anyone that will ask. She is always playing the piano with me, and when we do our nightly routine of scriptures, song and prayer, she will sing with us and try to read her scriptures. Gwendolyn has been the best addition to our small family. I love her joy and I love her frustration. I know this girl is going to go amazing places in life, and I'm so happy that I get to watch her adventure unfold on a daily basis.









Sunday, March 6, 2016

January and February 2016

We have had quite an eventful few months. Around the end of December, a company had come to Jake about him working for them instead of his current place. We had loved our time with the place he was with, and wanted to stay, but it was time for us to go. By the end of January, we had a place in Mesa set in stone, and I put in my two weeks at Around the Mountain Pediatric Dentistry. I was sad to go, but we were excited for our adventure!

We used our January wisely. We played in the massive amount of snow we got, made a few Target trips (just to walk around. At Target, I have to keep my wallet in the car!) and visited our loved ones.

One day, we were just sitting around watching TV and we got a knock on the door. Normally UPS or FedEx would come by at that time, so that's who we expected. Lo and behold, our favorite missionary was at our door!!! Elder Oakey served in our old ward in Flagstaff, and then got transferred to Glendale/Phoenix. We hadn't heard from him because he was busy serving the Lord, and we were busy being alive. When we answered and saw Elder Oakey, Jake and I were so happy!!! We got to have them come over for games on New Year's Eve, and it was such a treat. We love him and loved his companion.

On the day of our move to the valley, we had multiple people come help. I was at work that day, and planned on coming home and cleaning the empty house, but I got a text at noon that 1.the house was completely loaded into the moving truck, 2.the house was perfectly clean, and 3.Jake would be leaving now since they finished so early! When I got off work on January 29, I went and picked up Gwen from our wonderful sitter, and we took off! We had taken Fred to my parents house the week before the move, so the two of us set off with Starbursts and Skittles in tow!

Our new home is beautiful. I don't have a picture of it, but it's big and we love it. It was also barely more expensive than our trailer in Flagstaff, so we feel like royalty living here! If anyone ever needs a place to stay, come here!!! We are a block away from a great park so Gwendolyn and I go nearly every day. If we don't have an errand or something, you can always find us at the park. Fred is still adjusting to the warmth. We can't take him on walks in the middle of the day because the sidewalks are too hot for his feet, so he has been enjoying morning and evening strolls around the neighborhood.

We are currently trying to grow some grass in the backyard. It is, for now, just dirt back there. We are seeing some new growth, though, so we're hopeful. We're also excited to garden here! Jake has decided that he will try tomatoes once, and if it doesn't go well, we will give up tomatoes forever. He'll never get over the Flagstaff tomato thief. 

February was quick this year, even though it had that extra day! I quickly found a job here, and it was very close to my house. I ended up quitting that very shortly after getting hired. The dentist and I had different ideas of what was appropriate and necessary, and I was worried for my own license's sake to stay. I've since signed on with a dental staffing agency and have started temping for hygienists that call in sick or go on vacation. It is a really great opportunity for me to meet local dentists. Being pregnant, I don't want anything full time because I don't want to put anyone in a situation where they need to find a replacement so quickly after hiring me. Now I can completely avoid that, and I'm really excited!!!!

We announced that I'm pregnant! We are going to have another baby girl, and we are so excited. I have been sicker than ever, and when I was expecting Gwen, I would be sick in the morning and then it would go away. Because it was so different, I was convinced this baby would be a boy! At the ultrasound, we all quickly saw her lady parts, and while Gwen had no clue, Jake and I were very happy. This girl will come mid-July! We can't decide on a name. Every Sunday, we work on family history to find something we both like and agree on. . . still no luck. We luckily have about 18 more Sundays to figure a name out, but still. Jake is so stubborn. . . and I am so stubborn. . . so at this point we've been calling her Fanny. If she is born and we still have nothing, Fanny is in the running!

We live close to beautiful trails, and have been able to take advantage of hiking and biking. It's a little scary with all the cactus encounters, but our city is beautiful.

We've been so blessed with amazing friends. We go to the park on Tuesday with a group of moms. The people always change according to the park that we go to (some parks are too far to drive to) and we've made great friends through that. We've been able to go to story and singing time at the library and have loved picking out new books to read for the week. We get to go to the mall on Thursdays and ride the carousel for free, and Gwen LOVES that so much. There is so much to do here and we are so happy to be closer to family. Once a day, Gwen will say, "Grandpa? Papa? Ridgey?" because she wants to go see her family. It is so fun.

Snow storm in January

We love the Elders. And Settlers of Catan.

This is one of our favorite trails.

Gwen is going to be a big sister!!!

I had a good hair day. . . those deserve documentation.

To get this, we were constantly stuffing Gwen's mouth with candy. She is such a mover and wouldn't hold still!

Gwen and Ridge on the carousel!

Kayaking! Gwen was so great and still while we were on the water!