Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kansas City

We went to Kansas City in August to help my parents unpack.  Dave stayed home to hold down the fort, oversee the basement project, and work on school.  We spent most of the time sorting through boxes, organizing closets, and meandering our way through my parents' huge house.  However, Tam Tam and Poppa made sure the kids had some fun too!

We went to Legoland.  Cooper was in heaven!

No ball pit here...just giant pits full of Legos!

Building Lego cupcakes with my little lady.
Tam Tam took Sloan to the American Girl store.

I think Tam Tam was just as excited as Sloan!

Sloan enjoyed her first Waffle House experience.  The bacon was a hit!

We had lunch at a cool restaurant that delivered your food via a train track and elevator system.  The kids loved it!
Two crazies!

We visited the Hallmark museum.  Sloan was quite the poser!

We spent Sunday visiting some local LDS church historical sites.

Liberty Jail. 

Kansas City, Missouri Temple.

It was a busy trip, but we got a lot done and enjoyed exploring Tam Tam and Poppa's new digs. They sure know how to show us Yankees a good time!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Year in Review 2014

Per the norm, we've had an eventful year full of  new experiences and adventures.  I've mentioned before it has certainly been a season of change in our household.

In chronological order...

1. My parents moved from Utah to Kansas City, Missouri.  We had a feeling this move was coming and we supported it 100%.  My dad had been working in KC for over a year and my parents had been trying to commute back and forth.  They were apart a lot, paying for two places to live, and spending most of their time actually living on airplanes.  Even though this was the best decision, it was still hard to see them go.  They lived only minutes away and we spent a lot of time with them.

We're grateful for Face Time so we can see them everyday and Cooper loves all the postcards he's been getting in the mail.  My parents are adjusting slowly and we pray for them every day.  The Lord needs them there.  Of that, we are certain.

Cooper, helping Tam Tam and Poppa unpack in Kansas City.

2. I started working for Ellen Hutson LLC.  Megan recommended me for a Social Media Coordinator position with the amazing Ms. Ellen Hutson.  Before I knew it, I was getting paid to play on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Ellen has an amazing blog and online store that I have the honor of promoting.  What can I say, some girls have all the luck!  Oh, and totally check out Ellen's store and blog (linked above).  They're AMAZING!

Meeting Ellen and the talented Julie in Bellevue, Washington back in 2006.

3. We finished our basement.  Since my parents planned to return to Utah at least one week each month (or more in some cases), we really needed a permanent place for them to stay.  Setting up an air mattress in Cooper's room is fun and all, but a designated guest room was in order.  In truth, our family of four has plenty of room upstairs so we didn't have any immediate plans to finish the basement.  But now that it's done, we're making sure it's well used.

This project consumed our entire Summer and part of our Fall.  Now that it's done, I can say wholeheartedly that there is no part of me that ever wants to build a custom home.  I hated having to make a billion choices, track down tardy drywallers, and all the management that came along with overseeing a project on our own.  While everything went fairly smoothly, Dave and I learned lots of interesting things about ourselves during the process.  In short, we're OCD, spreadsheet-obsessed, schedule-driven control freaks.  Heaven help our children!

'Twas the Summer of paint swatches, fabric samples, and carpet squares. BTW, we picked Siberia!

4. Dave finished his MBA.  Dave has spent the past 2 years working on his MBA.  He spent the 2 years before that climbing the corporate ladder and working on certifications for work.  He's basically had some form of school and studying for most of Cooper's life and all of Sloan's.  Let's just say there are a lot of letters after Dave's name on his business cards!

We are all SO PROUD of him and all of his accomplishments.  We're also exhausted and extremely ready to get used to a new normal that doesn't involve all nighters in the office for Dave and the life of a single mom for me.  We've already had after-dinner basketball games in the family room and a Saturday spent visiting friends and watching TV all as a family of FOUR!  Now we just need to re-train Cooper so he doesn't bless, "that Daddy gets lots of studying done" every time he says a prayer.

5. Paper Crafts magazine ceased publication.  I have worked for Paper Crafts magazine in some capacity or another for the past 8 1/2 years.  While the content of the magazine was stellar, the landscape of enthusiast media is changing.  The magazines weren't selling and the powers-that-be decided to shut the doors.  While I feel like a little part of me has been lost, I am so grateful for all of the amazing friends I have made along the way.  In truth, those relationships (with co-workers, designers, and manufactures) is what really mattered.  And those inside jokes and bonds won't go away with the magazine.  

So many good memories with my Paper Crafts peeps!

Apparently he's a fan!

Our lives are very different today than they were this time last year.  But with change, comes blessings.  We're grateful for all the Lord has given us and know that He has watched over us.  We hope all of you have a blessed Christmas and that you have found the joy in the past year and experience much joy in the year to come.      

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Apostrophe S

When Miss Megan Hoeppner asks if you want to play with some new crafting goodies from Stampin' Up! you answer with a resounding, "YES".  Stampin' Up! is launching a new venture called Apostrophe S.  They're selling pre-made kits and encouraging people to throw crafting parties.  The idea is that you pick a kit, invite your besties, have the kits delivered to your doorstep, and let the fun begin.  I'd also add a yummy salad and a dessert covered in chocolate, but that's just me.

I made this Dreamcatcher and it was SO EASY.  Megan sewed Cooper's ninja turtle masks while I worked on my little lovely and it was simple enough that I could craft and talk at the same time.  That might sound silly, but when you're thinking about hosting a crafting party, that's definitely something that you need to take into consideration!

Picture, courtesy of Stampin' Up!  Pretty, right?!

Picture, courtesy of Megan. ;)  Pre-feathers and beads.

Thanks for the fun afternoon and the great project, Megan and Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cooper's Heart Update 2014

We took Cooper in for his yearly heart check-up in October.  After an hour of tests, a little Monster's Inc. on the TV, and a box full of toys, Coop was done.  The doctor is still confident that we should wait before we repair Cooper's heart defects.  If anything, she said the amount of blood going back up into his upper chamber (a result of his faulty valve) looks smaller than before.  The doctor still says Cooper will need open heart surgery but not any time soon.

I've always believed in miracles.  Now I'm lucky enough to be the mother of one.  When Cooper was first diagnosed, the doctor said on two separate occasions that Cooper would need open heart surgery before he was 5-years-old.  I even told him my mom was praying for a miracle and he said she would need one.  He was confident that Cooper's problems were serious enough that they needed surgery soon.

Luckily, the second doctor had a different opinion that was later confirmed by the surgeons.  I don't fault the first doctor at all.  Instead, I wholeheartedly believe the fasting, prayers, and priesthood blessing that were given for and to Cooper worked.  

Dave and I are both at peace with Cooper's heart condition.  One day he might have surgery or maybe he won't.  Perhaps the advancements in medicine will allow for a less invasive procedure.  No matter what happens, we know Cooper will be fine.  He's our sweet little boy and the Lord has big plans for him.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pictures with Santa

We had cousin pictures taken with Santa.  These three kiddos clean up pretty nicely!

Loving Graham's laugh here!

Oh...hello, there!

Children + technology = perfect distraction!


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