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Friday, December 20, 2013

Ok - I lied about being a better poster....but here is the last email I sent!

Have you missed our sweet faces?

It's the holiday season which means we spend lots of time hanging out in festive pjs while our mom runs around like a crazy person. 

She'll probably get back into the swing of the daily email updates soon. Maybe. You all have to nag her a little bit when she starts slacking. 

Love you all,

Ivie and Liam Linderman 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Squish

I must tell Ivie at least 4982 times a day to not squish her brother. Seriously. All her love comes from a good place, but some of her hugs and snuggles get a little intense.

Despite the squashing, Liam loves her more than nearly anyone else--with the exception of Mom when he is hungry--so I guess he enjoys being flattened on occasion. 

I've always thought he was relatively safe from his sister when sleeping, so I laughed right out loud this morning when Trev and I came back into our room from showering to find this picture. 

Both kids always end up in our bed around six or seven am, and they finish out sleeping there until eight or nine, depending on the day. We all love the snuggle time in the morning. We usually line up like this: Trevor, Ivie, Chelsi, Liam. Well, today when Trev and I snuck out of the bed early to get ready Ivie must have missed being right next to someone else's heartbeat, because she immediately rolled right over next to Liam, and as you can see, proceeded to "squish" her brother with one leg. 

Love our little squisher and squishee.

Yes, I know the picture is upside down--but don't worry, you can stand on your head to see it in its full glory. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Daily posting....a blog thing now

So I've been sending out daily (mostly daily, anyway) emails of the kids to family and friends afar. We call this the Ivie and Liam-A-Day email, and it helps keep our kiddos connected to grandparents etc. who live far away.

Then I thought, "Heck, I'm already writing a little blurb and taking pictures...I should post these on the blog too..." Duh.

So I'll start sticking them up here as well. **PS - leave me comments about how cute my kids are to help me stay motivated to do this (that is the same deal I made with the grandparents and the emails) :)

Here is today's:

I love these pictures because I think they perfectly capture my "big little people."

Isn't it strange how small children can seem so little and so grown up at the same time?

Liam adores being on his tummy. This little bug is going to crawl soon. He can "belly surf" these days for minutes at a time, he can also push himself way up with his arms (think the cobra yoga pose) and he is starting to "pushup," raising his bum and tummy from the ground. He desperately wants to move, and while he is pretty good at rolling and back-plowing (laying on his back and kicking his feet to propel him around) his way across a room, his little brain is so clearly thinking about the whole crawling concept. My money is on 6 month movement.

Part of the reason little man wants to move so bad is to chase this big girl around. (He loves her more than anyone). This is Ivie outside of her drop-off preschool class. Don't you love how her backpack is bigger than her? Funny story about that backpack - Trevor shopped and shopped for the thing--I think Uncle Josh Jackson was also consulted. He spent so much time picking the perfect pack for her--and making sure to find one in pink like she asked for. He read reviews and placed the order. And Ivie loves it. 

I'm trying to soak up each moment because they simply go to fast. Seeing them grow is such a bittersweet thing. I celebrate all their new milestones and experiences and  cry a little each month as I pack away tiny clothes that don't fit anymore. 

These two are truly our greatest joys.

Love,
Trevor, Chelsi, Ivie and Liam

Monday, October 7, 2013

School Mania

If you have figured out anything from reading this blog over the last several years, it should be that school is a big deal in the Linderman family.

When we found out that we would only be up in our Pleasant Grove home primarily over the weekends, I jumped on the bandwagon of all the other mothers of 3 and 4 year olds that I know and enrolled Ivie in a preschool program in St. George that meets on Tuesday and Thursday.

Miss I. has been beyond excited about this and adores preschool, and most especially her backpack.
Here is the shot from her first day of school. Doesn't she look like she is ready to take on the world?

I have been pretty happy with Ivie's preschool....but annoyed by some things and feeling like some things were missed. I mean, let's be honest, I'm sure these people love children and teaching and blah, blah, blah, but they are also interested in running a business--primarily interested in running a business.

Couple that observation with the fact that I worry about my kids' educations A LOT (Ok, I worry about everything, but this topic is one of my favorites). I have some serious quibbles about the public education system, and am only moderately impressed by the charter school option. In addition to the idea that Trevor might always work a job that requires extensive travel, alternative schooling options become a real possibility for us.

I have some incredible friends who homeschool. Their children pretty much defy all home-schooling myths and they make it look easy.

But it is not, and Trev isn't sold on the home school thing. So, I've been researching independent school groups and finding some favorable things. Obviously, life can change a lot in the three years before Ivie starts school--but in the event that it is doesn't  and we do decide to do some alternative something or other for our kids in order to have more control over what they are learning/how their learning time is spent and to maximize the time we have together as a family I wanted to be ready. And I knew I'd need a few years to practice alternative schooling options.

So I decided to organize a homeschool preschool co-op., in addition to setting up the homeschool workbox system at home (more about this later) to keep Ivie's little brain engaged in those moments when I need to focus on Liam and she is adamantly refusing to play by herself and insisting that watching TV will not "rotten my brain."

I've been thrilled with the result. I'm working with 9 other incredible women who are equally passionate about spending meaningful time learning and playing with their kids. We have a dedicated space outside of the home that we meet and with the 14 kids involved we split them into two groups of 7 and basically run rotations of subjects (taught by rotating moms) between the groups for two hours. We only meet once a week now, on Wednesdays in between Ivie's other school days. We have all been so happy with it! And I've loved the cute/fun things everyone has come up with. It's enabled me to feel more involved in Ivie's academic and social experiences outside the home.

Who knows where the next few years will take us, but one thing is for sure, we are loving our preschool year so far.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Epic Mistake

I have waited all summer for Criminal Minds to start again.

I have sort of a morbid obsession with crime stories, movies, TV shows, documentaries, etc. I"m not really sure why.

Anyway, I love Criminal Minds.

However, I was up in Pleasant Grove this past week getting the house up there ready to paint. BOO. I HATE prepping to paint. It takes forever and is sooooo tedious - a tediousness that is magnified by a needy toddler and baby.

So I missed the season premier.

Now I'm back in STG, but Trev is still up in PG til tomorrow night and even though I knew it was a BAD, BAD, BAD idea I put the kids to bed and then watched the premier on CBS's website, alone, in the dark.

Now I am too scared to sleep.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

School, school and....more school?




Aren't these the cutest study bugs ever?

This pose - Trevor in the rocking chair with a ginormous textbook - has been standard at our house for the past two years...if we see him at all.

You think I'm joking. I'm not. The earning of his MBA and MAC degrees has been grueling...grueling on him...grueling on me...grueling on our family. Factor crazy pregnancy and post-baby hormones into all of it and the last year has been especially rough.

All that said - I am amazingly proud of this guy. Top of his MBA class, speaking at graduation. He is amazing  - and has one of the biggest brains around (even with a significant chunk of it missing from surgery!). I love that Trev is always working to better himself so he can better provide for our family - but I'm ready to be done with school for awhile and have eagerly looked forward to July 10 - the official commencement of his graduate programs.

Famous. Last. Words.

When Trevor was completing his second bachelors degree at Dixie, we became dear friends with the head of the accounting program, K, and his family. We see them regularly, and traveled to Glacier National Park with them last summer. They are amazing people and so dear to us.

So we were extremely concerned to learn that K found himself deathly ill while on vacation this summer in CA. I don't want to reveal too many of their personal details here, but long story short the man needs some serious healing time.

K called several weeks ago and asked if Trevor would fill in for him at DSC this semester. If you have ever taken an upper-division senior level accounting class, you know what a tremendous compliment (and challenge) this is. K told his DSC colleagues that Trev is the only one he would recommend take his more demanding courses, and the college was on board.

As were we....even if the slightly selfish part of me wanted to shout, "No! I'm tired of being a single parent, and ready to have my husband home before midnight more nights than not."

But it is an incredible opportunity for Trevor, and we know K and his family would do anything for us, so how could we not help them during this difficult time?

Back to school the boy goes on August 20 as an accounting professor at DSC....of course, he will still be working his other job full-time, so we will be back in the busy swing - but it's only four more months of school, right?

RIGHT?

RIGHT?

famous last words......

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Snapshot - Liam Goes to Church

This was the outfit Liam made his great church debut in.

To be honest, I LOVE bringing the new baby to church that first time and seeing everyone fawn over him. Our ward doesn't get too many new babies, only about one or two a year, so it is always an event when a tiny package shows up.

However - I didn't realize that one of the drawbacks of this ward love that comes with a second baby is that everyone else loves to snuggle him. Between chasing Ivie and life in general, I already feel like my down time t just cuddle Liam is precious. I was looking forward to that time at church, but had forgotten how new babies make the rounds to everyone else's arms. I hardly even held my little man today. It's okay, and I'm happy to share - I'll just have to find more quiet time for the two of us at home. You can't blame the sweet ladies in our ward who want to snuggle them. As my sweet friend Brynne always says, "holding a new baby is the closest we get to heaven in this life, because they just came from there."

He does look like a little bit of heaven, huh?

*Also - I LOVE that his bow-tie looks as big as his head in this picture. :)

Off To Idaho

The kids and I took a quick trip up to see all the fam in Idaho this past week.

It always makes me wish we lived closer. We had a wonderful time, and it was actually one of the more relaxing trips we've made up there. Usually we end up dashing around everywhere so fast that I come home more worn out than anything, but we had a slower pace this time and just got to hang out and visit with our three familiesL Cobbleys, Suttons & Lindermans.

We are blessed to have so many people to love and be loved by.

Some of the Idaho highlights included:


  • Attending the Flamm family reunion at Green Canyon. LOVE this reunion and my family. It warmed my heart to see Ivie play with new cousins as I visited.
  • Ivie floated the drybed with Grandma and Grandpa Cobb for the first time. Awesome. 
  • I got to see some special childhood friends. Love those girls.
  • I also visited Trev's cousin William and his wife Ashley, we won't see them in Newport this year, so it was good to catch up for a quick minute. 
  • My dad planted trout in the pond up at the farm and they were an absolute riot to feed. There are some golden trout too, which are fun to see. 
  • Had a nice visit with my Grandma Gwen

  • Floating the dry bed

    Eating Pizza with cousins Bodee, Tyce and Jyler

    Liam meets Grandpa Dan

    Snuggling Grandpa Cobb

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Liam Barton Linderman

We are so excited to have a beautiful, little boy in our family. Liam Barton Linderman was born on June, 08, 2013...and made quite an exciting entrance into the world.

His birth was one of the sweetest, most spiritual things I've experienced, and will be among my happiest moments in life. He arrived with quite a story, which we are recording here for family and friends.

I woke up June 08, 2013 at about 6:30 having contractions. I've had lots of predominal labor contractions this entire pregnancy - but these felt different. I went back to sleep until about 7:30 a.m, when I couldn't sleep through the contractions anymore.

One day old
I had been working with a lovely mid-wife throughout this pregnancy because I wanted to experience this labor without an epidural. I'd had an epidural with Ivie - and while I wouldn't change my birth experience with her, I wanted to try both things, so I was planning not to have an epidural. This is important to know, because I was trying to hold off going to the hospital until things were more progressed. Our hospital is awful and old and with Ivie I went so early that I ended up being there eight hours before I delivered her, but only in really intense labor for half that time.

I woke Trevor up at 7:30 and told him that I thought today was the day we'd have a baby, and asked if he'd cook a big breakfast, because I was going to need the energy and I wanted to clean some at the house before we went in.

Two days old
Trev ran to the store, picked up breakfast supplies, came home and cooked up a storm. My little sister, Rachel, was here visiting for the week, and Rachel and I began cleaning away. We all sat down to eat about 9:30 AM. My contractions were about 20 minutes apart at this point, and I didn't think they were too bad yet.

At about 10:30, things picked up a little, contractions were closer together and a little more intense--like I was starting to noticeably cringe through them, which I thought would be stressful for Ivie, so I told Trev it was time to take her to Darci's. He ran her over there just as his friend, Tyler, showed up to study for a test they had to take in a few days.

Meanwhile, I was freaking out about getting everything done at the house that I wanted to do. It sounds crazy, but I kind of went into hyper-nesting mode. Rachel was awesome to help me clean, but I was worried we would need to head to the hospital soon, so I told Trev I was going to call my dear friend, M to come and help me get ready.

M is one of the sweetest friends I've ever had. She has the kindest heart, and is always trying to help people. She is also my midwife's sister in law, and had been through several natural births herself. Trevor is well-meaning, but for some reason just is super irritating to me when I'm in labor. I'm a firm believer that women need other women in times like this, and I also wanted M to be there to help me gauge my contractions and know when to head to the hospital.

Because that WAS the plan all along. We'd labor at home awhile, then go to the hospital where I'd meet the mid-wife, who with my doctor, would help coach me through a natural labor.

I should have known not to make a plan...because whenever I try to plan really big things they backfire.

Which is pretty much what happened. I was folding a load of laundry in my bedroom at about noon, when my water broke. I asked M to call the mid-wife, who said she'd be down to examine me in about ten minutes and then we could gauge when we'd need to leave for the hospital.

This is when things started to get real, real fast. It was like someone suddenly stepped on the gas pedal of my contraction gauge. They seriously went from mild to maddening in minutes. Trev started to get a bit more amped up about this time too, so Tyler headed home. Trevor gave me a beautiful priesthood blessing.

When the mid-wife arrived, she examined me and said, "If we are going to go to the hospital, we need to leave now."

Then I'm not sure what happened. My contractions were fast, and intense and to me it didn't seem like time was moving at all - but apparently minutes were marching by as M, the midwfie and Trevor were trying to gently move us toward the car. As Trev said later, I "just kept standing there."

Finally, the mid-wife said, "Chelsi, we need to leave now, and I'm not sure we are going to make it to the hospital." (The hospital is about fifteen-twenty minutes from our house). Trev asked her if we'd make it to the hospital, and she said she wasn't sure if we would or not.

It sounds silly, but all I could say was "I don't want to sit down." Really, the thought of getting in the car was absolutely horrifying to me. The mid-wife listened to the baby's heart and said, "Your baby sounds good. We can do this here, or we can try to make it to the hospital. We need to do whatever you are most comfortable with."

I still didn't say anything, other than that my contractions hurt and I didn't think I could stand up through another one, but I didn't want to sit down.

The mid-wife gently asked if I'd like to get in my bathtub. In my head, I think I thought that doing this would make the pain less and give me more time to gear up to sit in the car and drive to the hospital (obviously the rational part of my brain wasn't kicking in, all I could think about was that I didn't want to get in the car until the pain was a little less intense - silly huh?)
Liam's first bath. We hoped he'd feel all at home in the tub, seeing as it marked little man's entrance to the world, but nope, he pretty much hated it. 

Trevor was the picture of calm - even though he told me later he was panicking a bit. It's hard to explain, but there was the sweetest feeling of peace through all of this craziness. The midwife later told my mother, "That house just had the best spirit, I'm sure there were lots of loved ones there with your kids." And that is just what it felt like. Trev and I were trying to process all of this later, and we just kept saying, that we felt so peaceful.

The bathtub was awesome! Seriously, there is something to the people that swear by water-births. the water felt so good and helped my through the last few contractions, and then almost as suddenly as it had begun, we had a baby.

Liam was born at 12:47. The entire labor from the time my water broke took just over forty minutes. We would have been lucky to make it into a room at the hospital.

Liam was perfect and healthy. I was perfect and healthy. He weighed seven pounds and two ounces, and was 19 and a quarter inches long.

And, there you have it. Not only did Liam make us into home-birthers, but home-water-birthers as well.  It was all a bit surprising - especially to our families on the other end of faraway phone lines who were pretty panicked by it all--and we are so blessed that everything went well.


Thirty minutes old



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Once upon a time I got...

a label-maker for Mother's Day and our lives almost instantly improved 100 fold.




Really, I'm not exaggerating.

 I don't know if I would describe myself as being an organized person or not - a more accurate description is probably that I am a person who WANTS to be organized.

I'm extremely adept at organizing other people's stuff, but when it comes to my own, I've pretty much failed .

Don't get me entirely wrong - I know where my stuff is - its just in organized chaos. No one else could find it. There are a couple problems with this:

1) My memory isn't what it used to be. Maybe it's having babies, or maybe it is just the fact that now I am responsible for keeping track of the stuff for two (soon to be three) other people and a handfull of animals that has made it virtually impossible to keep up on all of it.

2)Organized chaos looks bad....like a-bomb-went-off-in-here kinda bad.

I've reached a breaking point in my life where I've had to accept that I will no longer be able to have a marathon cleaning day once a week and have my house stay in decent, presentable shape. My house gets totally and utterly destroyed every day, and without a good, organized system to restore every night stuff just ends up in piles and then I die when company unexpectedly shows up on my front porch. DIE.

We are busy people. And until this year I've let busy-ness over-ride organization - but NO MORE. I decided in January that 2013 was going to be the year of dejunking/organizing. It's good that this was my only resolution, since it is literally going to take me all year to do it. We have some major life adjustments just around the bend, and I know to manage everything I can see coming that I need strong, intact organization systems that I can rely on that do not involved putting things in a pile to "get to tomorrow," because in my world tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow are already booked tight.

So, my victories thus far?


  • The office - this was a major one. Our files, mail system, and other major documents are incredibly organized. It feels soooo good. HOWEVER, I still need to organize that actual office desk components (paperclips, etc.) Our desk drawers are a nightmare. 
  • The Playroom - I need to take pictures of this, but I'm very happy with it. I split all the toys into little bins that have pictures of their contents and labels on them. It makes it so simple for Ivie to find what she wants to play with - and better yet - put it away when she is done. 
  • Food Storage shelves in the basement - very organized and easy to navigate.
  • Trevor's closet - makes my life sooo much easier, because he knows where to look for his own clothes now (short sleeves together, polos, button-downs, etc) rather than opening the door and yelling, "Have you seen my..."
  • My bathroom cabinets - This was another big one. Trevor has always complained about sharing a bathroom with me because I end up leaving my makeup and hair stuff our when I'm done with it. This was partially due to the fact that I didn't have a very good way to store/put all my crap away. So I spent a week really thinking about and organizing the bathroom storage spaces. We are going on three months now that I've not left anything out on the counter. Yay me! 
I wish I had pre pictures to show you all so you could see the post difference. I've been so happy with my new organizational leaf, which is why I asked Trev for a label maker for Mother's Day. 


It was easy to decide what my first label maker project would be.

Two weeks ago all of Trev's family was in town, and we invited them over for a bbq. As  discussed above, I'm the queen of shoving crap unorganized out of sight to pass my house off as "clean." So I nearly DIED when arrived home to find my extremely tidy brother-in-law eating crackers and peanut butter at my kitchen table.

Commence internal freak-out. I wasn't panicked because he was eating a little pre-dinner snack. I was panicked because I knew it meant he had dug (and I mean this in the most literal sense) through my pantry cupboards to find something to eat.

See - we don't really eat anything out of the pantry. This is because it is so scary in there that I would rather walk down to the basement to pull food our of food storage then mess with the pantry. The pantry wasn't really functional, it was a place to shove stuff out of sight.

True confession time? Check out this picture.

Don't judge me. 
Gross, huh? It's like one step away from being on Hoarders. I was so completely utterly horrified that my BIL had opened those cupboards that it took everything in me not to start yelling in the kitchen, "What are you doing opening other people's cupboards? Don't you know you never open other people's cupboards because that is where they hide their hoarder secrets!?!"

But I didn't. I just smiled, died a small death inside and vowed that the pantry was next on my list to be fixed.

I spent the next week strategizing and thinking about what would work for me. Then I stayed up late for the past three nights until today, when my pantry cupboards look like this.

Aren't they beautiful?
Amazing that all the same food from above fit in these cupboards like this. 

I practically want to have people over on the odd chance that they will rifle through them. When I proudly showed Trev the cupboards after he got home tonight the first thing he said was, "Wow. I should have got you a label maker a long time ago."

And on we commence to the rest of "Get Organized 2013." Just for fun - I'll let you all pick the next organization project. What should I start labeling next? Suggestions please!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fire!

Ever wondered what you would do if smoke started pouring through your house and your neighbors began  yelling "fire!" in the middle of the night? 

Now we know. 

We are all okay, our home is okay, our neighbors home is not - although everyone that was there is. From 12:30 AM til 4:30 AM, this is what the scene outside our home looked like:




That is our house directly behind the fire truck. The tall tree in the middle marks the corner of our home and sits just outside Ivie's room, the house beyond that is the home of our sweet neighbors, the Botts, that caught fire.

Because of the way our condos are zoned, our house sits only about fourteen feet south of the home on fire. I'm afraid the house will be nearly a total loss. The garage, two rooms and one bathroom are completely gone - leaving only the master bed and bath and kitchen--but what fire didn't get smoke and water from the trucks has pretty much destroyed.

It is horrendous to watch someone's home burn. Really an experience there are no words for and my heart breaks for the Botts. We were so lucky - a little wind, a little more time and I don't know what might have happened. 

As frightening as this all was - we learned A LOT from this night. We learned a lot about ourselves and about how we need to be more prepared for such emergencies. If you know me, I tend to become an impassioned advocate for whatever recent event/phenomenon I'm currently experiencing - so in the interest of becoming more prepared, I wanted to share our thoughts with everyone on things we wish we had done differently, were glad we did, and hope to be better prepared with next time. The things I felt like we did right are listed in blue, and the things we need to improve are listed in red. 

12:35 - Trevor came running into our bedroom from the office where he had been studying. The back door in our bedroom was open to the screen and he started to hear popping noises and voices outside. I was sleeping. Trevor turned on all the lights and said, "Chelsi there is a house on fire, I think it is Karma's, but it might be ours, we need to get out." We jumped out of bed and ran outside

  • Wear Shoes - Trevor was in such a hurry to see what was going on he ended up with a massive cut on his  toe, ripping part of the toenail off as we ran to help/evaluate the situation. He still doesn't know what he tripped on or kicked. You DO NOT think very clearly in those first panic-filled moments. 
  • Wear Clothes - Sounds obvious right? I was sleeping with hardly a stitch on, which meant that I was soon running around with a hose outside with not much on in front of all my neighbors. (I always sleep in my underwear, and couldn't find anything fast to put on over my pregnant body, so the first thing I had were sweat pants=good, and a skimpy, low-cut black spaghetti strap that hardly covered my stomach at all = not so good) So glad a neighbor brought me out a sweater. 

12:40 - Once outside we could see that our house wasn't on fire, but had great potential to be. We ran inside and moved a sleeping Ivie out of her bed and onto the couch inside the front door (her room was closest to where the fire was) . We also shut all our doors and screens to stop smoke from pouring into our house. We learned that different people react very differently to things. The Botts were out of their house, and so were the Lukes across the street. They had called the fire department already, but were then simply standing watching things burn. Just as we were coming out is when we heard our other neighbor J.A yell that someone needed to get the Lindermans out. I think the Botts and Lukes were in shock. JA was really the only one operating with his head on at the time. He asked about hoses to start spraying down our side of the other houses closest to the Botts. 

  • Always keep pressure nozzle sprayers on the hoses and the hoses hooked to the spouts in the appropriate season - YAY! We did this one right. Those pressure sprayers work way better for coverage than a dinky hose stream would.
  • Keep your hoses organized and coiled correctly. Our hoses were a MESS. It was frustrating to try and yank them around bushes and corners when they had giant knots and snarls in them. We'll be buying some hose-keepers this week. ***I'm not sure how much difference it made to keep the houses around the one on fire watered down, those flames were so hot and so intense, but it made us all feel like we were doing something, and that mattered. 

12.50 - The police come. When the police arrived they told us we needed to get all living things out of our house. We got Ivie and the animals. We put the animals in the big car, which was parked in the street in front of our house.

  • Trevor realized we needed to move our car. You shouldn't be lazy and park on the street in front of your house if possible. We did this right. The fir trucks parked right where our car was to have the best access to Botts. I'm sure they could have worked around it, need be, but we will now be parking our car in the actual parking lot across the street. It's a short walk and safer for everyone.
  • Ivie was terrified. She thought our house was on fire. It is such an awful thing to see, and no child should ever have to see that. I got her out of there asap. I walked with her in my arms to Darci's house on the other side of the neighborhood complex. I knew Darci could take care of her while I was at our house. No matter where we live I will always have a neighbor within walking distance who I can take my children to in emergencies like this. Little kids should not see such things. Ivie is still freaked out today. I will communicate with these neighbors way before anything happens, and make sure that my children are familiar and comfortable with them. This takes effort to be a good neighbor and establish these relationships, but it is so important. Darci said Ivie clung to her and cried a bit for awhile. She told me to stay at her house too, but I realized that Trevor had no idea where we were, and I needed to go back to our house. Darci said Ivie could sleep at her house and to call if we needed somewhere to sleep too. She said Ivie held her hand the whole night, and when she and her husband woke up this morning with Ivie between them, Ivie had a hold of one of Gordon's hands and one of Darci's. They talked with her a lot about the fire, and tried to ease her concerns. We've still been talking about it a lot today.

Sometime later - Honestly, I'm not sure when the fire department got there. It felt like forever. Once they arrived we all just sort of stood around and watched. But it made us think of the following things:


  • Everyone was out of their houses, but had the fire fighters needed to go in to find anyone, I would have wanted it to be as easy as possible for them. I don't think I've ever had better motivation to keep my house picked up. The fire department cut the power to the Bott's house as soon as they got there, so they were operating in complete darkness and flames. I don't want to ever be in the position that I have a ton of crap out on my floor if someone is trying to find their way through our house in fiery darkness. This also made us think a lot about simplifying the layout and contents of our rooms. For example, there is WAY TOO MUCH crap out in Ivie's room. There would be too many places for her to hide if she was afraid and in a fire. We are going to be moving some stuff out of her space, putting other things up in her closet and only getting them out to play with etc. It made me realize that a de-cluttered house is really a much safer house. 
The fire aftermath--We stood by our neighbors on the other side of the street and watched things unfold. As we listened to the firemen come and talk with the Botts, we realized there were things we needed to do to be more prepared for the aftermath of a fire. 
  • Save all insurance contacts and policy number information in our phones. The fire department informed the Botts they needed to call their insurance provider asap, even at 2:00 AM. They couldn't do so because all their insurance info. was either in the house or in the cars in the garage. 
  • A few weeks ago we actually gutted out office and I organized important papers into these binders.
          The black binder on the top is full of our crucial life documents and info (each family member birth certificates, passports, social security info., list of all medications and medical history, marriage certificates, major pet records, car titles) I need to add insurance info and policy numbers into this binder. THEN we actually need to grab the binder when we leave the house. This was the whole point of making the binder - and we pretty much failed first shot out the gate. Deciding who is going to grab our emergency binders/documents will become a part of our active emergency plan and drill - so we all know ahead of time who is getting kids, animals, items etc. 
  • Inventory the house. As we listened to the Bott's talk, we realized we need to inventory the items in each room in our house. They hadn't done this and were overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to list items down last night. This is my project this week, to create another binder to keep our house inventory in. The home owners manuals and warranties binder I made last week has a lot of info. about our big ticket and gadgety items, but I was surprised to hear the fire inspector tell the Botts that they even needed to estimate how many clothes, shoes, plates etc. they had. He said that insurance companies bank on people not knowing this information, and then push for quick smaller settlements. I'm going to go through our house room by room throughout this week and list, photograph and video the contents. 
  • Create a "bug out bag" for our family and keep it either in a car or in the hall closet by the front door. As the fire fighters were fighting the blaze, they kept coming over to ask about crucial items and their location in the home that they might be able to rescue. One of the things they asked about were crucial medications. This made us realize that we needed a bag that had a change of clothes for everyone, toothbrushes and medications in it that was easy to access and grab on the way out the door. The Botts lost nearly everything. As we've checked in and talked throughout the day we learned they didn't have any clothes besides what was on their backs when they left. We plan to make a bug out bag and then use LDS general conference to update its contents every 6 months as kids grow. We always have some downtime while watching conference, so it will be a good time to update the contents of the bag and keep up on our emergency plan. We will be putting our first bag together this week and either keeping it in the car trunk (since we never park in the garage) or in the hall closet by the front door. 
  • Organize pictures and location - this was one of the first things the fire fighters asked to try and locate while they fought the fire. That was interesting to me. I've actually been working on organizing all our digital pics. into a system of CDs. But they are so far stored in an awkward place in my basement that I don't think I could even describe to someone unfamiliar with our house. It made me realize I needed to have these digital pics and any print pics in an easier to access place and in a more organized fashion. 
  • The biggest thing that we learned is that we need to HAVE A PLAN. we need to sit down and discuss who is grabbing who, what, and where we are meeting outside. We need to practice this plan too, frequently  maybe as part of family home evening once a month or every other month?  Trevor remembers his family doing something like this as a kid, and we realized how important it is during the panic-induced moments that we experienced last night. Without a plan you know and practice you simple won't think of the right things to do. We didn't, and it wasn't even our house that was directly on fire. 
I also think that one of the greatest things we learned is that as devastating as a fire can be, the people are who matter. Ironically as I visited with Karma today she told me how one of the few things that hadn't been destroyed in her living room was a sign above a doorway that read: Our joy is not in things, it is in us. We agreed there is no more fitting sentiment to survive such a disaster. 
The Botts' garage

My heart aches for them, the days moving forward will be hard and I hope we can help our neighbors as well as prepare ourselves more effectively for whatever life decides to throw at us. We are so grateful that our home and family are safe. We are so thankful to live in a place where neighbors come running when they see trouble. We are very, very blessed tonight and always. 

If you have something to add to our list, please leave me a comment with your prep ideas! I think we can all learn from each other and our experiences. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tick-Tock goes the Rock Clock

Before Ivie was even born, Trevor ordered the smallest rock-climbing harness that Petzel makes.

He was headed out this past Saturday to climb and do some canyoneering with some friends. He and Ivie had so much fun digging through and trying on all their gear. Hers is still too big, but it's getting closer and closer to fitting. Her rock-climbing countdown is definitely beginning.  She loves trying it on and can't wait for the day when she can climb "all the rocks."


It was sort of bittersweet to watch Trev go out on Saturday. Four years ago I would have been right there with him, and my heart ached a little bit to see my climbing shoes get put in the old climbing bin. I guess my life right now is babies and toddlers, which when I see how grown up Ivie looks in her still-yet-to-fit gear, is okay with me. They are little for such a short time.

Since we couldn't go climbing with Dad, I decided to train Ivie up in another great family activity. Shopping. I had soooo much fun with her. I've never taken her clothes shopping before, but Children's Place was having a major sale and we had a ball. She actually loved trying on clothes and shoes and picking out colors of shirts she would like. We found some darling (and even better, cheap-on-sale) pink sparkle shoes and I think both of us got a little giddy when we tried them on her feet.

She loves them so much that on Sunday morning I found her contentedly coloring in the toy room wearing her panties and her pink shoes. She'd woken up before us and taken off her footed pajamas just so she could put her pink shoes back on.


A girl with adventure and style sounds like the perfect combination for this family!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finished Projects Make Me Happy

Check one Pinterest project off of that never-ending list I mentioned last post.

Today I started--and actually finished--making a hair-bow board for Ivie's hair bows.

One of the greatest things about having a little girl is the myriad of hair-dos you can create until they are old enough to start fighting with you about what they wear and how their hair is done.

One of the worst things about having little girls is that their hair accessories can get overwhelming.

Until today, we've mostly been "throw it in a pony" and go kind of people. Sure, every now and then and each Sunday I bust out a cute, accessorized do - but most of the time I don't want to dig through the massive tub that holds all of our hairbows, scrunchies, headbands etc. to find exactly the right one.

So during my organization/de-junking of the bathroom cabinets I sorted all of our hair stuff out and determined to organize it all. Scrunchies, soft headbands, hard headbands, clippies and banana hair combs were relegated to their own sliding drawer organizers, and then I made this cute board for hair bows.


Here it is all loaded up:

Ivie was thrilled to rediscover all her hair treasures as we sorted and organized today. In her little baby voice she told me, "Mommy, I think I will be...(she thinks along time about how to say big words...a-dor..rab..le.. with this in my hair" holding up bow after bow.

Bet she's right.

Bonus points for spending NO money on this project, just delving into the depths of my craft room :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

103 things to do....

I want to blog about so many things.

Problem is that blogging somehow makes it to the bottom of a list that never seems to get entirely checked off.

It's normal to feel overwhelmed every now and then, right?

Bigger problem is that when I start to feel overwhelmed I almost immediately then get the urge to do absolutely nothing - I think my mind and body go into a state of overwhelmed-ness shock and then all I want to do is crawl into bed and watch Gilmore Girls or The West Wing.

I have an obnoxious habit of creating both real and imaginary deadlines. For example, real deadlines = written work that my clients expect by 9:00 am every morning- most of which is work I do not want to do.
Imaginary deadlines = I have to clean the kitchen by 2:00 pm today. I'm not sure why 2:00 pm....it's not like the health department is on their way to shut us down - though maybe they should consider it.

So June 18 is a mere 125 days away. If we make it to June 18. Trevor keeps pointing out to me that June 18 is the perfect storm of both my real and imaginary deadlines colliding, because whether I am ready or not this little boy is going to show up sometime in June (we have due date discrepancy every time we do an ultrasound and measure the kid, so I'm sticking with June 18 because somehow more time makes me feel better right now). Baby boy is a real (albeit unknown) deadline. The imaginary part of this deadline comes in the approximately 100  1000 things I want to have finished before then. Things I worry about every.single.day.

If you know me, you know I can be obsessive.

And even though I know a few people will leave comments like, "It's ok, don't be overwhelmed." I'm still going to feel overwhelmed.

I just really wish I could have a day where my to-do list all got done. I miss that feeling from days when life was simpler. I also wish I had a support staff - a bunch of people to order around to do the things that I've got to get done so I could do some of the things I actually want to do.

Factor in being pregnant on top of it, and the difficulty in struggling to accept the limitations that come with that (feeling exhausted all the time) and I just finish most days feeling unsatisfied with what I have been able to accomplish.

This might be because I have some seriously huge goals to accomplish right now, and am staring down that imaginary June deadline.


  • Sort and organize everything in the house. I know this sounds extreme, but it has to get done. I am trying desperately to de-junk and organize many of the areas in our house that always get categorized as "i'm going to get to that someday..."
    • Successes thus far:
      • playroom is sorted and organized - LOVE IT. I need to take pics for you.
      • Baby clothes of days past sorted, organized and labeled.
      • Sewing basket organized (this was a ridiculous disaster)
      • Just organized all of the bathroom cupboards today (threw away so much stuff - it felt sooo good - and started trying to create some kind of system for Ivie's hair stuff. Her hair accessories are out of control. 
  • Sewing: I have to finish baby brother's blanket, my sister-in-laws pillows, a new quilt for Ivie and the new chevron shower curtain I want to make. I HAVE to do these things because I also would really like to makeover our master bedroom, including piecing a small quilt/throw thing to lay over our duvet.  It has taken me six years to settle on what I want to do in our bedroom and I finally have it, but can't start it til all this other sewing crap gets done. 
    • Successes thus far:
      • Finished this cute advent calendar for next Christmas - I know I'm not going to sew much after June and what I do work on will  probably be Christmas presents for other people, so I had to do this now if ever (PLUS I got the materials and kit for this for a whopping $3.00 on an after Christmas clearance in January.) The little squares are actually little pockets for putting things in. I thought about already stocking it with  24 different Christmas-related activities to do for next year, then realized I would just be working waaaayyyy ahead of my insane to do lists if I booked December 2013 with sugar cookie and card-making promises. 
  • Ten or so home decor projects on Pinterest that I should be able to make. Should. 
    • Successes
      • successfully pinning them counts, right? ha. 
  • Work with Ivie on letter recognition and speech patterns. m
    • Successes
      • She can sing the ABC's - but doesn't recognize any letters yet, though she seems to get that words are a thing for reading. 
        • I need advice/help here. How did you teach your kids to recognize letters? Also - how do you help with speech? I'm not sure how much of Ivie's pronunciation on certain sounds is still a baby voice, and how much to worry about speech yet...? ADVICE?
I didn't really start this blog post with the intention to vent - but I feel a little better now that I have. I know I'm not alone. It is just frustrating to always wish you could do more, be more. I don't know how to turn that negative inner voice completely off that keeps pushing me to run faster than I can. 

There is actually a line in my patriarchal blessing that says, "I bless you with the abilities that you need to accomplish everything that you need to accomplish. Be faithful as you do this. I encourage you to not run faster than you are able, but to accomplish all things in due time." I remember leaving the patriarch's office and my dad telling me that was his favorite line from my entire blessing. 

Sigh. 

To end on a randomly more positive note. A few things that have been going on. 

Ripsi got a massive hole in her leg on one of our walks (when we are out in the boonies I let her run off leash and she must have caught herself on some rock or stick.  We tried to keep it clean, but stinker wouldn't quit licking it, so now she has to wear the cone of shame. Everyone but Ripsi thinks this is funny.





22 weeks pregnant (Beth this pic is for you!)....which is exciting, but also just means we move that much closer to June. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Time to Turn 29

That's right - Trevor is officially enjoying his last year in his 20s--kinda depressing huh?

Since 29 seems pretty monumental - and to distract from the fact that we are now on the verge of our thirties -I decided to try and make this birthday really special.

There was a time in our lives together that special birthdays were my standard. I always threw huge parties - including two epic surprise parties--for Trevor when we were living in Logan and still in college. I also always got him awesome presents and really tried to make him feel spoiled.

Then I'm not sure what happened, but I got LAME.....really lame.....and we didn't have a party for a long time.

So this year when I caught myself completely skipping February and already eagerly looking ahead to planning Ivie's birthday party in March I realized I had broken one of my cardinal wife rules--kids can't get more spoiled by me than my husband. 

So I turned my attention back to Trevor and February 1st.

Here is how it all worked out:

Friday - the first I picked Trev up from work at 3:00 and surprised him by dropping him off at a local spa. He has never had a massage before - always been shy about the idea--but I knew he'd love it if he tried it. The girl that booked the appointment for me was hilarious. I explained to her that it was my husband's birthday present, and his first massage, and he needed to have a really cute and bubbly girl to make him feel relaxed and not completely embarrassed. She said, "So, this is a drop and run?"

Basically.

And that is how it went down too. We got there. Trev died a small death in the parking lot and I informed him I'd already paid for the massage and he could either walk in the spa like the proud 29-year-old man that he is, or sit on the curb for an hour and I'd be back to get him later.

He went in and LOVED it. He was so happy and relaxed when Ivie and I picked him up an hour later - I knew it was perfect.

We went home and opened presents and ate an early dinner (salmon, asparagus  and twice baked potatoes: one of his favorite) then we headed to the cheap theater in town.

I was planning a party with friends for Trev on Saturday, so I wanted Friday to just be our little family. However, it is pretty challenging to find much to do with a toddler that was still relaxing and enjoyable for us - so I settled on seeing Wreck It Ralph at the cheap theater. It was cute - but still not exactly a movie I'm thrilled I took my toddler too. She's had such limited exposure to TV she gets overwhelmed and scared easily - but she loved the popcorn and having a fancy date out with mom and dad. We ate cake and lounged the rest of the night.

At 6:30 PM on Saturday we had a party. Guests were asked not to bring presents, but just to bring 29 random objects to surprise Trev with. It was pretty funny some of the stuff he got--29 redvines, 29 plastic bags, a 29 man picnic kit (29 plates, forks, cups, etc.) 29 mountain dews, 29 cheese-it crackers, 29 red m&ms, 29 oranges  29 frozen cream puffs, and a bunch of other stuff. The best was that we had 29 people there - at least until the Barrets showed up late, then we had 33, but it was still funny to have 29 for his 29th.

I served a pretty great baked potato bar with all the trimmings. I love baked potato bars because they are an easy and economical way to feed a lot of people a healthy, filling meal. Maybe it's my Idaho roots, but there is nothing like a baked potato with chili on one side and cheese and broccoli sauce on the other - then loaded up with sour cream, cheese, bacon, onions and French's fried onions. Paired with salad and big dinner rolls, it is a party-pleaser. We also had a couple of yummy cakes with Bavarian or raspberry filling.

I think one of my favorite parts of the evening though was just watching everyone and thinking about how our lives have changed. At the last big party I threw for Trev, there were a bunch of young college kids, some newly married, a lot still single.  We had a great time eating and visiting. We played classic rock and roll music in the background, had a pool tournament, opened a bunch of goofy presents and watched some B-rated new comedy that had just come out.

This time there were a bajillion kids running around crazy while adults milled and visited. We jammed to some classic, family-friendly 50s tunes, and laughed at our kids cake-crumb faces. I guess we really are growing up.

I'm so grateful for Trevor, for the many birthdays- big and small - I've been privileged to share with him, for each phase of life we've been able to pass through thus far, and I can't wait for the rest to come.

I'm also glad the party went off without a hitch....although the one major fail was that we didn't take a single picture. Oh well  - there is always the big 3-0 right? :)



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Funny stuff

This might be slightly inappropriate...and someday our kid will probably be horrified that this pic is up on the family blog, but I thought this was hilarious, given the sensitivity certain words are gifted with in the English language.

Last night Trevor was looking over the long printout of ultrasound pictures from Tuesday again and he started laughing.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"I think it funny that every other part of the baby is labeled--you know legs, head, ear, elbow, foot, arm--then they get to the penis and they just write, "It's a boy!"



It is kinda funny. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What we need around here...

Most days at our house look like this:


We've been in need of a little more rough and tumble, but a baby BOY should fix that for us in June!

Additional Baby Boy facts:
* The ultrasound tech informed us that Baby E is measuring a week and half ahead of where we had thought we were. This FREAKS me out - I know you are so miserable at the end of pregnancy that you are grateful for an early baby, and Ivie was 6 days early too, but we have some major things rolling out this summer that I am frantically trying to get ready for and I seriously need every day I can get before little man comes. (We aren't letting our summer plans out of the bag just yet, but you'll want to be regular blog readers again over the next few months:) )
**Baby E - we are 90% sure we have a name picked out. I told Trevor he better hurry and decide if he's down for sure because I've already been calling this baby E for the last two months and I'm sold on the name.
***Calling HIM baby E for months: Yep - I've thought this baby boy was a boy the whole dang time. This makes twice in a row that I've called the gender of our kids. From the second I knew I was pregnant with Ivie I felt like she was a girl (even though I'd been hoping for a boy then) and this time I've thought all along it would be a boy. Trev gives me trash because really you only have a 50/50 chance of being right and he says I'm getting a big head about my prophetic parenting powers.
****This pregnancy is AWESOME. I was soooooo sick with Ivie. Sooooo sick. I threw up every day at least once a day for seven and a half months. We were laughing at her baby journal the other day when we were remembering some of the most memorable places I puked my guts out with her (top of Angel's Landing hike, my boss's office in a meeting, all over the mountain while hunting, biking, while fishing....not to mention just the regular roll of the day to day) but this time around while I had some nausea and A LOT of heartburn during my first trimester I now feel like a ROCKSTAR. :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

And we are having a......

ultrasound!

(made you look!)

BUT it is the BIG one where we find out if this little peanut will be wearing blue or pink, so check back with us for an update--and meanwhile, we are taking bets in the comment section, so go ahead and throw out your prediction :)

Tomorrow at 10:30, here we come! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Bit of Mommy Brilliance

So I do about three million 500 hundred things wrong as a mom on a regular basis, but this is one that I got right.

Busy Bags.

Have you seen these little things? I first learned about them from my friend Tiffany, then investigated them a bit more on Pinterest. After thinking about it for awhile I decided I was going to make one. The bag I choose for my maiden voyage into busy bagdom required a pair of plastic tweezers.

So I jumped online to order plastic tweezers, and uncovered a conundrum.

I could order one pair of plastic tweezers on amazon for 6.75, or I could order a set of 12 tweezers from discounted school supplies for $3.49. Obviously the price was a no brainer, but then what was I going to do with the other 11 tweezers?

This is where I realized I could pretty easily make 12 of the same busy bag, but would have to invest in a lot of stuff to make a wide variety of busy bags....unless I talked some friends into building bags also and then we all swapped.

So I posted a call out on FB, seeing if anyone was interested in participating - by the end of the day 26 moms spread from Logan to Vegas wanted in. Because of the impending holidays we had the means to transport the bags without mailing hem back and forth, and we all decided to go for it.

Now, it was a little hectic being in charge of this crazy project...but it was COMPLETELY worth it.

By December 29 we had 26 different and awesome busy bags, and I don't think any mom spent more than 20 bucks making all of their bags.

The activities are amazing and Ivie loves them, which means I love them. These bags are so simply cool and are the perfect TV or "play with me now, mom" alternatives for little hands. I also really love how each bag is built on a learning by play concept that helps develop literacy, math, sensory or motor skills.

Truth be told, Ivie actually has gone for her busy bags more in the last month than any of her toys or new gifts from Christmas. Which is why as I was picking up the toy room after bedtime tonight it was no surprise to find this pom-pom pattern game out on her lap tray from the day.

The other moms I've talked to all love theirs as well, and I can't highly recommend starting your own exchange enough.

I need to feel like I'm actively involved in making I's life interesting, fun and home-made to some degree. That's just me, and I end up kicking myself for not doing more, but the busy bag exchange was the perfect answer to being able to create those kind of activities in a way that maximized my time, resources and creativity. All the other moms I've talked to have loved theirs, and I am chalking this one up as one magnificent mom moment.

Want to do an exchange of your own? Here is a link from Pinterest that talks about an exchange. We actually ended up with many of the same bags featured in this post, but there are seriously like a ZILLION different things you can do, and it was so fun to see what everyone came up with.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sweet and Small Things

My heart fills full as I write this, even though I'm not really sure what it is I want to say.

Today was the due date for the baby I lost in June (miscarriage sounds so clinical, just never seems like the right word to use.)

An incredibly kind and intuitive friend brought by this little plant, remembering us.  And as I've looked at it all day I can't quit thinking about how grateful I am to have a small reminder and memento about one of the most difficult times I've experienced.

Because losing a baby at any time is hard. And it makes your heart hurt.

But on this January day I find myself feeling so grateful. Do I wish there was already a small bundle of baby in my arms today? Of course. But through those sad days last June I felt the love of my family, neighbors, friends, Savior and Heavenly Father so intensely that I know I could not have experienced the same growth that came through my sadness in any other way.

I am so grateful for those sweet 8 weeks and all they brought, and I know wherever that little spirit is now that it is safe, happy and fulfilling its divine purpose.

I am also so grateful for the beautiful teeny face that I get to snuggle and kiss each day. I'm thankful for the funny little things Ivie says, her happy blue eyes, the chance to brush her long blonde hair and the way that her tiny body still curls so perfectly in to mine to be rocked.

I am so grateful for the little life inside of me right now, and thankful that I can again experience the hope, excitement, terror, and love that comes daily with carrying a child.

I am also thankful to share this lovely journey through life and motherhood by the side of a man I love more than I have words to express.

Whatever is to come, I know this mortal experience will be richer than I ever could have imagined, and I look forward to every day, the happy and the sad, the celebrated and the ones we quietly mark in our hearts for things that were or might have been.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One cold hike....

Last Tuesday we found out we had a surprise vistor coming to town - an old childhood/high school/college buddy Jacob F. Jake and Trev were close growing up, roommates their freshman year, lost touch for awhile and reconnected the past year and a half. Since the rediscovery of their friendship we've enjoyed several great weekends, dinners and general hang-out sessions with Jake. We all love to talk, eat and do anything outside.

So it was natural the boys wanted to go hiking this last weekend. Even though the projected weather in St. George was 25 degrees.

It was also natural that Trevor would choose a hike we'd never done before, clearly marked as "7 miles: strenuous" not quite thinking about how his toddler girl and 4.5 months pregnant wife might feel about it.

We headed out to Little Purgatory in the Red Cliffs Conservation area on Saturday anyway.

It was beautiful....and COLD......so cold......really freezing hardly does it justice. I said it was cold right?

After gaining 2400 feet over one mile I was not only out of breath, but surprised to find out that the top of the Little Purgatory trail had been burned over by wildfires this summer (ironic given the trail name, right?). This mean no trees, brush or anything else to provide any wind cover. So the wind was whipping, biting right into you. SO COLD.

Soon Ivie was crying because her face was cold, so we pulled her out of the pack and I held her in my arms with another fleece lining wrapped around us so she could just bury in. Once she was out of the wind and warm she fell sound asleep - which was then like carrying a 30lb bag of flour down the last 3 miles of the trail. Dead weight. Two days later and I am still exhausted.

We made it though...but we never did find the petroglyphs the trail-teaser advertised.

Not my favorite hike ever, but definitely the coldest. However, I couldn't argue about the scenery or the company. One more adventure for the book, right?
It doesn't look like much of a stream crossing, but the rocks were super slick and the last thing we wanted to do on a cold day was get our feet wet. 

Love, love, love this little adventuresome bug

Jake

Ivie's favorite way to hike when she isn't walking: asleep - this pic is pre cresting the hill and stepping into the artic winds 

My outdoor monkey! 

Am I the luckiest girl ever to have these two? 

Daddy packing Ivie

So Trev will hate that I have this pic on here, but I love it because it just captures  how great a dad he is. When Ivie started to cry from the wind and we moved her to my arms, Trev took off his super warm stocking hat and his nice scarf and put them on Ivie. It was so cold that after walking awhile with a bare head and neck he finally donned Ivie's cute, but way-less-warm hat and my scarf. He always takes care of us. 

Jake looking for the petroglyphs we never found. 

Packing Ivie down the trail. Rips didn't mind the cold, she ran around like a maniac and loved every second of it.