Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Teenager???

It honestly seems just like yesterday that I was swimming with my big belly (ok so maybe that really did happen yesterday) talking to Gavin and Rae about how excited I was to finally become a mom. My due date was only 3 days away and I was hoping to go into labor some time soon. I got out of the pool and was closing the cover when my water broke, at least I was hoping that's what it was. We drove up to the hospital for a test that confirmed it was amniotic fluid. I talked the nurses into letting me go back home to shower, take a nap and pack my hospital bag. Everyone, and I mean everyone, from both of our families rushed up to the hospital, excited for Jack's big arrival. By 2 am everyone had been waiting for about 6 hours and I think I was dilated to a 4. Everyone went home except for my parents, Gavin's mom and Aunt Rae. Unfortunately it was an extremely slow labor. I was hoping to deliver naturally but couldn't relax enough to progress. I finally gave in (ok, I was begging) after 12 hours of labor and got an epidural. Things finally started moving along. Jack was born at 6:02 am on July 20th. And changed our lives forever! I know it's cliche but it really was love at first sight. Becoming a mother was better than I could have ever imagined (and I always imagined it would be pretty amazing) and I knew I wanted to do it again and again and again . . . It's been an amazing 13 years! Our family is so very, very lucky to have Jack!

Jack's Birthdays

13 years old

Jack asked me last night what time he was born. I'm lucky if I can remember their weight, let alone the hour and minute of their arrival. I do remember the general time of their arrival so I told him it was somewhere in the morning hours. That wasn't good enough. He wanted to know the exact time. Luckily it's written down in his scrapbook. 6:02 am. He set his alarm for 6:02 and went to bed. I asked him today what he did when his alarm went off. He said he listened to some of his favorite songs on his ipod and then went back to sleep. Isn't that the cutest thing? Celebrating the exact time of his arrival into this world with some good tunes! I love it!

He wanted to go boating again this year for his birthday party. He had a great birthday celebration on the lake-- swimming, wake boarding, knee boarding, and tube wars. Jack got right up on the wake board and even crossed the wake. A huge improvement from last summer.
Happy 13th Birthday, Jack! WE LOVE YOU!

Fourteen Years!

We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary this past Saturday. The same day as Griffin's birthday party. We didn't plan anything since we knew our big celebration would be in a few days . . . an Alaskan cruise. So I was very happy when my sister, Brittany called and asked if we would like to go out to dinner and a concert (they had extra tickets from their friends who just had twins) on Saturday night.

Griffin's birthday party was in my parents backyard right where we had our wedding reception exactly 14 years earlier. We celebrated by feeding each other some birthday cake, only we (I) were a little nicer this time.

We went out to dinner for gourmet hamburgers at Salt City Burger Co. with Jamie, Brittany, Rae and Jeff

And then went to see the Jon Schmidt concert in an outdoor amphitheater. It was a beautiful, warm summer night and the music was amazing!

My favorite song they performed is Love Story meets Viva la Vida. I decided to put a little wedding video together to this song from my video footage from the concert. I wanted to highlight all 14 years but realized that might take me another year to put together so instead I highlighted some pics and videos from our dating and wedding. Enjoy!

I love you Gavin! I am so lucky to be your wife!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday, Griffin!

Griffin loves birthdays. Really loves birthdays. He's been planning his party for months and months. The plans started out being a Spiderman party then it changed to Star Wars and then to Diego (not sure how Diego got involved since he never even watches that show). I wanted to do something fun but it needed to be easy. We'd been out of town for most of July and got home on the night before his birthday. I was too tired to make him a cake and decided I would wake up early in the morning and buy him a cute cake at the grocery store before he woke up. Unfortunately there weren't a lot of cake options. I bought him a generic birthday cake and had them add his name.

He woke up and saw his cake and looked confused by the generic cake, "so what kind of birthday am I having?" I explained that today would be his family party and in a few days he would have his friend's party.

We went to Incredible Pizza that night to celebrate. The kids all love the buffet (especially the cinnamon rolls, ice cream and Icees), mini-bowling, air hockey, arcade games and simulated roller coaster.

I asked him what he thought about having a Toy Story swimming party. "Ohhhhh. Like I did when I was two?" Yes. Welcome to the world of summer birthdays. I had a swimming party almost every year growing up and so has Jack. I don't need to feel any more guilt than I already do. Luckily, it didn't seem to bother him too much that he had already had this kind of party and he got excited to go swimming with all of his friends and who doesn't love Woody and Buzz?

The party guests

Every birthday party needs a pinata . . . and some big kids to help break it open. Griffin and his friends tried to break the pinata and were unsuccessful after lots of attempts. It finally broke once Hadley stepped in.

He kept asking us all day, "Who's four years old???" and "Guess who's birthday it is today???" And then he'd raise his hand up and turn his head to the side and say, "ME!!!". Cutest thing ever. I don't think his party had been over for even an hour before he said, "Now I'm going to be five. What kind of party should I have?"

In honor of his 4th birthday . . . 4 things we love about Finners!

1. Griffin totally knows his love language . Physical Touch. He shows us how much he loves us by pressing his head into our arm. Hard. I try to act like it doesn't hurt but it really does.

2. He likes to use the word "so" in place of "because". For example, "I don't need to hold your hand so I walk on the sidewalk and not the street."

3. He loves to run up and give us hugs when we come home. "Mommy, you're home!" It doesn't matter if I've been gone for 2 hours or just went outside to get the mail.

4. He panics when his clothes are a little wet or if he spills, even if it is a small amount. He has to immediately change his clothes. And he loves his clothes and outfits and has to change his clothes multiple times a day.
And one more just because he's already looking forward to being 5.

5. He's still trying to figure out how to smile (see pictures in post for examples).

Happy 4th Birthday Griffin! We love you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Rushing Resort

We were long over due for a trip to the Rushings in Portland. After we were done with our trip in Sunriver, we drove 3 hours (through the most beautiful towns and scenery . . . the town of Sisters and Salem) and made it to Vancouver, Washington. My kids were so excited to go back to their home. It had been 5 years. As we turned into their neighborhood, the kids got so excited. Amazed at the beautiful homes and huge yards. Layton played off of that excitement and tried to jump out of car before we had even had a chance to enter his driveway. Ryan walked in the house and informed Will that his house is a mansion. Will seemed just as surprised as Ryan, "Oh. I never knew that."

We went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) in Portland for FHE. We toured the Albert Einstein exhibit, played in the sand and water area, saw what we would look like in 20 years, performed puppet shows, played the weatherman with the green screen, drew with heat and so much more. It was a really fun museum and had something for all ages.

We ended our FHE with the candy bar game.

We also had some good scriptural discussions with our family scripture study. Gavin really brought a new light and understanding to the teachings of Isaiah. It reminded me a lot of the Chronicles of Narnia.

The next morning we drove 40 minutes to hike Beacon Rock. Hiking always sounds so fun to me but somehow I conveniently forget about my extreme fear of heights. We started at ground level and quickly started wrapping around the rock, overlooking the water and cliffs. Morgan surprised me. She usually has such a fear of heights but didn't seem to notice we were on a cliff and that with one slip she would fall off the mountain. She kept running away from us. It was too much. Trying to hold her hand and her pulling me all over on this extremely narrow path with not much of a railing. I took Morgan and Mia back to the car while the others climbed to the top. Griffin kept tripping and Jack volunteered to bring him back to the car too. Someone offered to take a picture of the finishers at the top of the rock. Heidi and Gavin laughed about their blended family portrait.
We got home from our hike with just enough time to grab our swimsuits, beach toys and towels and head to the beach. The Columbia River beach. The sun came out and warmed up right when we got there. The kids had fun playing in the sand, swimming in the river, digging the largest hot tub in the sand (for "Jay's Resort"), blowing bubbles, and doing a dunking machine.

We also had fun just hanging out at home, which might have been my kids' favorite part of the trip. The pinball machine was everyone's favorite. Jack even set his alarm for 7:30 am so he could beat everyone to the pinball machine. The goal was to beat Uncle Blake's high score. No one was successful. Not even Gavin. We packed up to go home, got everyone loaded in the car and then Gavin was nowhere to be found. After some searching, I finally found him in the game room, playing one last game of pinball before hitting the road back to SLC.

We had such a great time. Heidi is an amazing hostess. Never complaining about cooking dinner for 11 kids and 4 adults, messes everywhere, broken floral arrangements, coat racks falling over, a broken dishwasher, extra laundry, blinds being pulled out of the wall, someone using a guitar to play the grand piano, and exercise balls thrown in her formal living room. I think she might even let us come back and visit. If we give her another 5 years.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


We love Sunriver. It's a beautiful resort located in central Oregon. My family's favorite thing about Sunriver? The Rushings. Not that they live there or anything but we go there with them. All of the kids would probably be perfectly content just staying inside the rental house the entire trip. And we did let them do that one of the days. The other days we forced them out of the house to enjoy the beauty of Sun River.


I love to read but rarely get the chance to read a book. Finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and starting The Help were way up there on my list of favorites from this vacation.

Cooking and Eating

Board games

Bike Rides
There are bike trails all over Sun River. It hadn't been that long since Morgan's been on her bike but she rode it like it was the first time. Very S-L-O-W-L-Y. We didn't make it very far on our bike ride and she made several bikers have to stop at the last minute and almost fall off their bikes. "On your left. On your left. ON YOUR LEFT!!!"

Scott and Gavin's favorite part of the week was their tennis match. This is the racket that Scott used. Somehow he kept coming back and eventually won using this racket. They had so much fun laughing at the sound it would make every time it made contact with the ball. Scott got to keep the racket as the winning trophy.

Hot Tubbing
Heidi had this great idea of bringing water balloons on the trip. The kids spent a lot of time filling up water balloons in the hot tub. The maintence guy spent a lot of time cleaning broken water balloons out of the jets. Water balloons quickly became the answer for anything that was broken in the house.

Coloring Mandalas

Deer Sightings
We were out to dinner and the kids were babysitting themselves when this deer came to visit. Apparently they could see his ribs and felt like he needed some food. Thinking he was used to living in the tropics, they fed him several whole bananas and oranges. Hopefully he survived their kind offerings.

Magic Shows

Gavin and Scott took Layton and Ryan golfing but decided it was easier to have them come along for the ride and not pay for their golf. It was Ryan's first time golfing since his golf classes last month. They had fun being together and Ryan enjoyed getting to practice driving and slicing and all that other stuff golfers do, like avoiding the golfing police (I know there is a more accurate name for them, but don't know what it is).

This ended up being one of my favorite activities from the trip (with my birthday massage from my mom and Heidi being a very close second). It's hard to find an activity where everyone in our family can participate. This activity was perfect. The parents and younger kids paddled down the Deschutes River in canoes while the bigger kids got to do it all on their own in a kayak. It was a very scenic ride down the river. It runs through Sun River with some of the ride being next to a golf course. Uncle Scott and Jack took advantage of all the bad golfers and got out of their boats to dive for golf balls. Morgan threw them back in the water almost as fast as Scott could find them.

Heidi lucked out and was the only adult with kids in her canoe. Layton tried his best to help paddle the canoe but I think Heidi would've been better off rowing all by herself. Theircanoe ended up in lots of trees and bushes on the side of the river.

The Rushing Family

A video recap of all the fun!

(I gotta do something to compete with Ryan's post and Heidi's post. Jack told me it was dumb that we were all blogging about the same stuff and then added, "Sorry mom but Heidi's blog wins for being the funniest.")