Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Anniversary and Fun

It's all fun and games when these girls get together!  We decided that we would head to home depot on Labor Day and take a spin around in the old race car shopping cart.  Ava loved it as she kept trading back and forth between the passenger and driver seat (although both were technically driver's seats). We were really there looking for rugs and lumber to build a built in window seat.  It could be a good project to finish up but we are crossing our fingers that it looks good.  

We also had our 7th anniversary on August 18th.  We spent the night at the movie in these cool reclining lounge chairs.  We saw the butler which was pretty good, but we both agreed that the casting, except for the actually butler, was pretty bad.  We had a nice dinner at a local restaurant which was nice, and the manager even gave us a free dessert even though he didn't know it was our anniversary.  So all in all it was a very good night.

Ava is to the age where she realizes that clothes in the summer are hot and muggy and so she prefers to play outside without them.  But it's fine, it means less laundering/dirty clothes to be washed.  She continues to love the outdoors and prefers outside to inside.  She is super skinny which I think she gets from both of us, but she is super funny, which she obviously gets from Brandon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Look who decided to work

Yesterday was a great surprise Ava surprised Daddy at work to go and have lunch.  She was a little shy at first with most everyone at the office, but she slowly started warming up towards the end of the visit.  Everywhere she went she got such great prizes.  The Secretary gave her a pen and paper to draw her name, the geologist gave her some sandstone with real oil inside (see the rock on the table), the engineer gave her some sand used to frac wells, and the accountant, well he gave her a bill...just kidding.  

She mostly just loved sitting at Daddy's desk and slamming her hands down on the keyboard as hard as she could, she also enjoyed twirling around and around in daddy's big soft chair. It was so much fun to spend time together during lunch and we realized that we should do it more often!

Afterwards we went to Bubba Gump Shrimp just across the street for some boiled shrimp and other yummy food.  Ava put the cajun spicy shrimp in her mouth and seemed to enjoy it, but after a second realized that it was too foreign for her so she refused to eat it.  We will take the small victories like that whenever we can.

Last week we went down to Utah to help Laura pick out a wedding dress for her upcoming wedding.  We are lucky to have Brandon around who made all of the appointments called all of the dress shops and approved of the final dress before buying.  He should definitely be on the show "say yes to the dress".

Ava had a great time at Grandma and Grandpa's home and loved spending all of her time outside playing and running, swinging and exploring.  She especially loved throwing rocks in the river.  She also loved helping Grandpa kill the weeds and playing the piano with Grandma.

Surprisingly she didn't pound the keys too hard and even made a pretty good sound come from the piano.  At just 16 months she is definitely on her way to better things!

When we got back we went to the grocery store and Ava rode the horsey for the second time.  This time she didn't need any help at all, but still had the same expression on her fast as six months ago (the, "I'm not sure about this look").

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ava's Favorite things

There are few words to describe the most magical place on earth... One is magical the other is unforgettable (unless you are just a 1 year-old and then you'll probably forget).  We definitely would use these two terms to describe the vacation we took to Disneyworld this year.  From 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM at night every one had one gear "go".  In the beginning Ava enjoyed the 3 hour flight to Florida, but by the end was just ready to take a nap.  Mom and Dad had just finished entertaining her for 3 hours straight which also left us exhausted. But we arrived safely and were ready to gogogo.  It was a trip of many firsts and many favorites, it was Grandpa Ron and Grandma Patty's first time at Disney World, it was Ava's first time at Disney World (it was Riley's like 10th time but who is counting anymore). Here are the many favorites that we encountered.

Ava's Favorite thing #1 - taking a nap after a 3 hour flight (mom and dad were also pretty tired)

Favorite thing #2 - First time for Ron and Patty on a Disney World Ride - Soarin (Ron was the darkest person in Florida despite everyone's efforts at the tanning booth)

Favorite thing #3 - Ava playing with her cousins every single day (Her cousins were so good to take care of her and play with her)

Favorite thing #4 - Bagels!  This simple round food got us through the day.  When you live with such a picky eater finding foods she will eat is difficult

Favorite thing #5 - Watching daddy ride the big tall free fall

Favorite thing #6 - Chilling in the baby pool with the family

Favorite thing #7 - Spending time as a family and posing for many many pictures

Favorite thing #8 - Every single ride for which there was a camera (Brandon had the same pose in all of them, which hopefully he regrets doing one day (it never got old to him)

Favorite thing #9 - Watching the fireworks the first day at Epcot

Favorite thing #10 - Meeting all of the bigs (that's what Brandon called the major players in the disney scene) Pluto was by far the favorite and the least favorite.... Mickey! (She was just too tired to be happy for the mouse she has adored from day 1)

Favorite thing #11 - Sea world "oneocean" show and eating with the killer whales afterwards

Favorite thing #12 - It's a small world, hands down her favorite ride at Disney

Favorite thing #13 - Pictures of just the boys (and Jason trying to recreate a pose that Joseph and Hyrum made famous in our family)

Favorite thing #14 - The girls (because lets face it they are extraordinary)

Favorite thing #15 - The smoothie on the ride home (she pretty much claimed it as her own and would not share with anyone; we have a lot to work on as parents)

Our trip to Disneyworld was absolutely fabulous, we wish we could have had everyone there, but that didn't stop us from enjoying the food, the fun, the family, and the endless lines at the most magical place on earth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Worm

We have a little book worm on our hands, she can pretty much read like a 4th grader and she is only 14 months.  Not really, but she does a good job at picking up a book and pretending she is reading.  Everytime we turn around she has a book in her hands and is turning the pages.  We signed up to do a program to encourage early childhood reading in the community, and so every month she gets a free book in the mail.  As you can see from the reaction on her face she loves to get presents, especially books!

Although this doesn't happen too often at our house she also loves to watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse on the phone.  I'm not sure if she has realized that she is watching the same episode over and over again or can't get over the fact that a mouse and duck and dog, etc are talking.

We caught her reading one of her new favorite books, Red Fred, about a birdie and all of his friends.  She loves birds and her favorite pastime is to watch the bird feeder out of our front window.

She is also taking to solids a lot better now than she used to, she's still a little bit behind in eating a lot of solid foods, but we're just lucky that God thought of bananas.  She even managed to drink 1 oz and 1/2 of whole milk yesterday which is quite the miracle in and of itself.  

She is such a happy and fun little toddler here is a list of things that she loves lately:

1) Saying "no" and shaking her head
2) Bananas
3) Doing things all by herself like eating with a spoon and fork
4) Walking and almost running everywhere
5) The outdoors
6) Dogs
7) Birds
8) Her little people bus
9) Mickey Mouse
10) Bathtubs (except she still hates water on her head)
11) Cheeseballs (for like one day)
12) Reading
13) Getting the mail
14) Brushing her teeth

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1 year-old photo shoot

As a parent of a first born you tend to get excited about everything and anything, and end up doing things that your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc... child will probably miss out on because they were just born at the wrong time in the wrong place.  In this case Ava went in for her third photo shoot in under a year, but every year we are in awe of the beautiful pictures and beautiful baby girl that we have.  Before I go on can I just say that our photographer, who has taken Ava's photos twice now, is super talented and has the most amazing outfits, backdrops, props, and skills out there.  She sent us a few "peeks" at the most recent shoot (which happened to be 3 hours long) and we are in love all over again.

(Don't ask me how she ends up posing in most of these pictures but she sure does seem to enjoy getting all girlied up and getting her pictures taken)
 (The yellow stool seemed to be her favorite, because she was just so happy to be on top of it)

 (Again with the adorable poses.)

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year

It's a new year 2013, but as we reflect on 2012 we hit a lot of different milestones, Ava turned 1, Brandon turned 30, and Christina continues to be the young and beautiful girl that married Brandon in 2006!  Brandon got a new job working in his favorite industry (oil and gas) and couldn't be happier about the great people that he is working with.  It has been such a blessing having him home all the time and never having to see another busy season again!  Ava continues to be our little ham!  She is so happy and crazy.  Brandon thinks she has some sort attention deficit disorder because she is all over the place.  We're not sure if that's normal or not, but she seriously is so distracted with everything that goes on around her each day.
 We took a few pictures to commemorate her turning one year old this year.  She loves so much her little dolly, and although she is good to leave her in the crib, we thought we just had to capture how much care and love she shows towards dolly.  Here is a list of other things that she loves:

- Mommy! (Of course Mommy is at the top of the list)
- Hanging upside down
- Puffs
- Strangers
- Anything soft and cuddly
- Chocolate
- Blowing all the water out of her mouth that she swallows
- Doggy (Her stuffed animal)
- Saying: Ball, Tree, Arf, book, momma, dadda, babba
- Being Chased around by daddy
- Storytime and reading any book
- Bathtime
- Sharing
- Her cousins
- Grandma and Grandpa
- Uncles and Aunts
- Papa D and Mama J
- Daddy
 On the flipside, Ava does not love everything, fortunately she loves most of the important things, but here are the things that she could live without (if it were up to her):

- Water on her head (always screams when we wash out her hair)
- Food (she doesn't like most solid foods)
- Cleaning her nose
- Nap time
- Bed time
- Anytime really that she has to be sleeping
Christina continues to be a natural at this mother thing, she sometimes misses teaching those cute 5th graders that she came to love so much during her few years that she was teaching, but she has found many projects to do and Ava keeps her locked up full time most days.  Brandon continues to work-out 4-5 times a week and has recorded very good muscle gain during the last year, it's very nice having a strong burly man around the house!  As a family we continue to enjoy shopping, watching a good television program, and laughing with each other every single day!
We hope 2013 brings all of you the blessing of our Heavenly Father, Health, prosperity, and the good company of family and friends!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I promise that we will start including pictures of the parents in the next few posts... You can, however, tell who is at the center of everything we do each day, and for good reason.  These past few months haven't brought us too much excitement just watching Ava's hair grow is about the highlight of it all.  The other day we dressed her up for church in her cute frilly shirt and cute new pink shoes and took a look at how much older she had gotten, in what seemed to be overnight.

I know that every parent says this, but we feel like Ava is the smartest and cutest baby ever.  I have highlighted some of the evidence we have gathered:

1) She loves to climb up in her crib and throw her pacifier out (no other baby has ever done that right)

2) She speaks in languages we can't yet understand in noises that obviously mean she has something important on her mind

3)  she screams loudly at night when she has to go to bed because she knows that mom and dad are probably watching vampire diaries (a show she has watched since in the womb)

4) She has ridden a horse at the grocery store with very little help from mom

5) She has chosen not to have any teeth yet because she knows once she gets them she will have to brush them

6) She prefers not to eat real food too often because it is too messy

7) She loves the camera and prefers to pose when she is looking her best

8) She loves her mom and dad more than anything else

This toy came from a friend in the ward and she was absolutely enthralled with it for about 10 minutes, she's not quite sure how it works yet, but the complexity of it all has captured her attention.

She doesn't look as excited as she usually does, probably because she prefers to be riding in the Kentucky derby on the rose winning horse.