Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My 15 minutes of fame

Awhile back, I was approached by Penelope Przekop, an author and artist. She also has a blog called Aberration Nation, and it's all about aberrations, differences and diversity. She found my blog when she was brainstorming about potential additions to her blog. She wanted me to share what compelled me to have a large family, what it is like to be raising a large family and the additional stresses that come with having a child with Down syndrome. She felt like my story would be a great fit for Aberration Nation and interviewed me for her blog.

Go check it out: All My Children: An Aberration Story and learn more than you ever wanted to know about me and my family!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

13 years of wedded bliss . . .

. . . well, maybe not ALL 13 have been blissful, but most of them anyway.

13 years is definitely something worth celebrating! We went downtown for a yummy dinner, shopping and a movie and spent the night at the Hilton. The next day we were pampered to a couple's massage at the Sanctuary Day Spa. I think that will be a new tradition for us! In the evening we watched our wedding video and got snow cones (a tradition from our wedding day). It was a great Anniversary celebration!

Dinner at The Melting Pot

Fondue with the Debrys

Yo Ho, Yo Ho . . . A Pirate's Life for Me

Griffin has been anxiously awaiting his 'pirate party' for several months now. He would ask about the party almost daily. He realized a few days before his birthday that it was finally getting close and started talking about all the details, "everyone will sing Happy Birthday to me (then singing a few verses to let me know what it would sound like), my be 3 years old, my have a pirate party with swords and a cake!" (Grammar is not his strength. As a matter of fact, neither is speech.)

He was so excited to wake up on his birthday morning and see his pirate cake and presents. We sang Happy Birthday to him while he was sitting at the table for breakfast. He kept looking at his cake (on the other end of the table) trying to act happy, but looking very nervous while we were singing to him. Then when we finished singing he reached as far as he could across the table to blow on the cake. He didn't care that there weren't any candles to blow out. He opened some presents and put on his pirate stuff-- an eye patch, pirate hat, telescope, and sword and wouldn't take it off the entire day.

He had a birthday party with his cousins (he has 5 cousins all within 2 months of his age) and neighborhood friend.

They went on a treasure hunt to Pirate Island (our boat), walked through crocodile sand (the sandbox), crossed the shark waters (kiddie pool) and finished in skeleton jungle (swing set) and found gold coins all along their trail. But the BIG treasure (a treasure chest pinata) was hiding in skeleton jungle.
Griffin shows how easy it is for a real pirate to walk the plank

Pinata time

Birthday party friends

Reading one of his new books with grandma

In honor of his 3rd Birthday, here are three things we love about Griffin:
  1. He is a child full of extremes. He can go from being the happiest little boy to whining and screaming (in his high pitched voice) in no time.
  2. He absolutely LOVES his big sister Morgan. They are best friends and he misses her when she isn't around. He puts up with a lot of stuff with being her little brother. He usually has some sort of scratch on his face or neck and/or bite marks on his arms. He is one tough boy!
  3. He is still working on being potty trained and is hoping to start preschool in the fall if he is able to get it figured out!

American Idols Live

I love American Idol and Kris Allen so you can only imagine my excitement when I found out they were coming to SLC right around my anniversary. I thought Gavin would be equally excited about going to the show with me since we watched some of the season together. What a great Anniversary celebration. I was wrong. Apparently it is more of a 'chick' concert (and honestly, he was right, there were not very men in attendance) and he had NO interest in going. GNO!!!

Dinner at Cheesecake Factory before the show

Kris Allen!
I tried to upload the final song with all the top 10 performing but it didn't work. It was really cheesy. I showed it to Gavin after I got home and he was so relieved he didn't let me talk him into going!

My birthday

I had a great birthday (as far as getting older and enjoying birthdays goes!) that started with Jack making me a big glass of chocolate banana milk for breakfast. Ryan watching me clean the house and telling me I really should just be laying in bed all day (didn't offer to help clean but let me know the mess would be there waiting for me when I got out of bed tomorrow and it was no longer my birthday), lunch with Gavin, Adam and Cami at Cheesecake Factory, playing the wii with Ryan and Hadley, 3 hours of spa treatments-- massage and facial, dinner at Hire's with all the kids ( not so enjoyable...all of them were tired and REALLY loud!) and then watching Confessions of a Shopaholic video with the 3 oldest kids. It really was a fun day and it was so nice to have Gavin take the day off of work to let me go get pampered.

Birthday cakes are tricky at our house. It's hard to find a place where Morgan and Griffin don't get into them before we are ready to sing and blow out the candles. We weren't very successful this year.

Birthday lunch at Cheesecake Factory with Gavin, Adam and Cami

This was my big birthday present from Gavin. Now I just need to learn how to do some stuff with it...or there's always auto mode!
I am finally starting to feel old. Gavin was talking to someone and they asked him how old I was and Gavin said, "38". She didn't believe him and kept saying, "No, really. How old is Heather?" Which makes me realize 38 is OLD--at least I should be happy that she didn't believe I could be that old!

Happy 4th of July!

We celebrated the 4th of July by swimming at my parents' pool, playing at Trevor and Annie's house and watching fireworks and then going to Holladay to watch the big firework show. This is our first time in 3 years to all go watch the fireworks together. Morgan hates fireworks and is scared of the loud noises, but since it isn't any better inside the house we decided to all go and enjoy (suffer) together.

The whole gang--group shots were not our specialty this holiday

Swimming at grandma's

Kamen, Zach, Griffin and Nixon
Happy 3rd birthday, Zach
Griffin looks so much older than the other boys (he is the youngest in the group)

Morgan found someone's Diet Coke while we were busy playing games and decided to make it her own

Water balloon toss--Gavin and I dominated this game!

Watching fireworks at Trevor's in the back of our car

Morgan is getting ready for the big firework show


Grandpa and Grandma

Sunday BBQ

The best part of summer -- BBQs and family gatherings

BBQ-- Fun--Croquet

grandma and grandpa

Gavin's got mad skillz

Pretending like I always stand up this straight and not just when I see a camera

More Croquet action

Lilly, Mia and Sarah

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I am extremely behind on my posts so if you don't care to reflect back on Father's Day from last month, feel free to skip right on by. :)

What's better than breakfast in bed with all six kids cuddling around you?
We went up to Park City after church to visit Laurie and Lily. Cute cousins!

Gavin with Ryan, Hadley, Mia, Griffin, Morgan and Jack
Gavin is an amazing dad! He helps change diapers, make bottles, take sick kids to the doctors, give baths, plays sports together, get kids in jammies and bed, and everything else. The kids are so lucky to have them for their dad (and I am even luckier to have him for my husband!).

Monday, July 6, 2009


We were able to sneak away from the kids again in June. We spent a week in Maui. I guess it's a given that we had a great time. We rented a condo in the Kaanapali beach area and played in the pool, went to the beach, snorkeled with sea turtles at Black Rock and Lanai, went on a catamaran ride and watched wild dolphins play in the ocean, rode bikes down from the volcano at sunrise, sat in a 90 minute time share presentation, enjoyed a luau, ate too much Hawaiian ice...actually just ate too much period(I came home 7 lbs. heavier!). And we took lots of pictures on the beach with the beautiful sunsets. You'll see!

Gavin in front of the condos --Honua Kai

Kipp, Gavin and Adam enjoy some boogie boarding on our first day

Gavin takes a break from boogie boarding to declare his love to me

We took a bus up to the Haleakala visitors center at 2 am to watch the sunrise at the volcano and then rode bikes back down the mountain. It was really cold and windy but warmed right up after the sun came up. It really was a spiritual experience to be up above the clouds and watch the pre-dawn colors and the sunrise. The lady chanting her love for creation and the sun in Hawaiian probably didn't hurt the experience either.

Pre-dawn colors
The first peeks at the sun

Hanging out with Cami
Getting ready for the bike ride. I was a little speed demon down that mountain.

My cute husband!

Me, Cami and Adam--my patient friends that didn't mind sitting on the edge of the road resting while they waited for me to finally make it down the mountain.

We stopped at this lodge about half way down for breakfast and yummy hot chocolate

Getting ready for the luau

Gavin gives this guy his autograph (aka Tobey Maguire).
Cool Cat Cafe

Every morning we ate homemade omelets out on the lanai

Pacific Whale Foundation snorkel and wild dolphin adventure out to Lanai. Holding Zack gave me my 'Mia fix' for the day.

Enjoying the catamaran ride

Cheeseburgers in Paradise!
(I think I already mentioned I gained 7 lbs.)

Out to dinner with Chad and Jill at Kimo's in Lahaina

Adam rented a truck and was excited to find out it was legal in Hawaii to ride in the back of a truck. So here we are making Adam happy by riding in the back of his truck to go get Hawaiian Ice.

A little Hawaiian Ice

And finally . . . the beautiful Hawaiian beaches and sunsetAdam, Cami, Heather and Gavin