Monday, October 31, 2011

Brycen's First Trunk-or-Treat

Happy Halloween!
I love this holiday! We took Brycen to his first trunk-or-treat on Friday night with our ward.

Brycen went as Winnie the Pooh.

We started the evening with soup and bread sticks in the gym.
Then we put Brycen in his costume for the trunk-or-treat. He was only embarrassed for a minute before getting distracted by all of the kids running around.

Getting shoes put on to get ready to go outside

He had to get his picture taken at the photo booth before going outside for the trunk-or-treat. He wasn't too thrilled about this part, can you tell?
{Thank you, Parrish's, for the awesome photo booth!}

Getting a picture with Dad before the trunk-or-treat started

And he's off! He went to five cars with me before he decided he wanted to just run around with his bucket.
Gotta love that side profile!

I was grateful to find this in Brycen's bucket when we got home. Naturally we bought all of our favorite candy to give out and we ran out by the time it was over. The commercial is so true: "The scariest part about Halloween? Giving away all your Reese's." I was so happy to find a Hershey bar as well as other chocolate treasures in Brycen's loot!

. . . .

I hope you've all had a fabulous October and enjoy your Halloween! Be safe!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lost and Found: One of the Best Days Ever

Allow me to introduce you to a few people:

These are "Our Kentucky Boys"

Joe, Josh and Nathan
Or as we once called them, Kentucky 1, 2, and 3.

And the other person behind the "Our", my Texas gal pal:

Amanda and I
(Excuse the fact that I look hideous in this picture.)

Now I need to tell you an oh so wonderful story:
(This is mostly for me to always remember so I won't be offended if you don't read this!)

It was September 2006 and I was on my way to Lexington, Kentucky to assist in a Johnny Carino's opening there. I would help train the servers there. The Johnny Carino's was located in the parking lot of Fayette Mall, surrounded by the beautiful grass and trees that cover Kentucky. I love it there and miss it often. At the time I was SO nervous to go. Being away from my family for 2 weeks seemed impossible. And I only knew one other person going on this opening. My friend Cory from the Johnny Carino's where I worked was going as a chef trainer. I was happy that he'd be there.

I'd never flown alone so I was really nervous for that. The people who booked my flight assumed that Idaho Falls was close to Boise so they scheduled my flight through that airport. And naturally they scheduled the flight for 6 am. I made the drive to Boise the night before and stayed in a Best Western suite, right next to the airport. The room was nice and big but lonely. I loved sleeping in a king size bed by myself and right in the middle. I'd always wanted to do that. However, I didn't get much sleep because I was worried I'd miss my flight.

The next morning I woke up at 4:00 to get ready and head over to the airport. I parked my Toyota Camry in the long term parking and nervously headed to my gate. My good friend SanDee gave me the advice to just follow the signs if I felt like I was getting lost in an airport. I wasn't worried so much about the Boise airport or even the Lexington airport. It was my next TWO stops before Lexington I was worried about: the Denver airport and Chicago O'Hare Airport, the latter being one of the biggest airports in the world. Gahh!! The flight to Chicago was a long one. I sat between two guys and the one by the window kept trying to talk to me. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I ended up going through all of the airports with ease. In Chicago there was a lot of walking, but I found myself loving the fact that I was walking down the same halls the McAllister family walked through in the "Home Alone" movies. My layovers were all at least 2 hours in each airport. It was a long day.

I arrived in Lexington late afternoon and hitched a ride to the Candlewood Suites Hotel we'd be staying at. The other trainers were all at the restaurant so I stayed at the hotel by myself and read a book. We shared a room with one other trainer and the rooms were HUGE. They all had a separate kitchen and living room, then the bedroom was off away from those with a large bathroom. It was fabulous.

*Speaking of our room, I have to tell this quick story: A couple of days later my roommate and I (I hate that I can't remember her name) had to switch rooms because we had a TON of crickets in it. We'd turn the lights off to go to bed and hear them chirping. It wasn't until we were lying there in bed and we could hear them ON our bed. Oh. My. Gosh. We were on the main level and they had been a problem throughout the summer. Lovely. The front desk felt bad so they moved us to the very top floor into one of the suites. It was like the one we had before but bigger. It had another bedroom with two more beds and a bathroom on the other side with an ever bigger kitchen and living room. Needless to say, the other trainers always wanted to hang out in our room.

Back to the main story! The training leader, Brilynn from the Meridian, Idaho Johnny Carino's, came back to the hotel to get me to bring me over to the restaurant. I had butterflies in my stomach thinking about all of my responsibilities and hopeful that I would make friends with these people. It was exciting at the same time. We pulled up to the restaurant and walked in the front doors and I was greeted by the hostess trainer and five other girls who were training.

"Hey, y'all! Welcome to Johnny Carino's!"

And that was only the beginning of "y'all". The employees were SO nice, it was heaven. All so friendly with that southern drawl and charm. It was wonderful. Brilynn introduced me to Christina, the hostess trainer from New Jersey, and we continued on so she could introduce me to a few others, including the three I'd be training for the evening. There huddled by table 63 were four people that I had no idea would forever change my life:

Joe, Amanda, Josh, and Nathan all turned around and with the warmest smiles greeted me and introduced themselves. Amanda was a server trainer from Dallas, Texas. Joe, Josh, and Nathan were all trainees from Lexington (originally from Pikeville) and they were my first group of trainees. They were all three good friends, and Josh and Nathan had been a couple for almost two years. These are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in a lifetime. Amanda was hanging out with these guys quizzing them on food knowledge while they waited for me to get there. These four made that opening such a fun and memorable time. Amanda and I got to be good friends, and we ended up becoming close with these boys, Kentucky 1, 2, and 3. :) It was SO FUN training these guys! They were a hoot. I could listen to them talk all night long. As a trainer we had to make sure they were doing everything spot on and saying all the right things at their tables. These three were naturals and did a great job all the time. I found myself laughing a lot at some of the things they'd say and how they'd say them. Here are some of my favorites (picture a thick southern accent):

"I just love you, girl."
"Oh my heck, you're the cutest."
"Have you ever tried sweet tea? Oh girl, you've got to try sweet tea!"

Amanda and I loved training and being at the restaurant with "our boys". We weren't always their trainers, but the high fives and hugs we got from them as we walked by were wonderful. We weren't allowed to leave and go off by ourselves (especially with the rental vans) so the boys would come pick us up in Nathan's Volkswagen Beetle. We'd go to Josh and Nathan's house and look through photo albums, talk, and just laugh our heads off. We loved the time we spent with them. Saying goodbye was ridiculously hard. The three boys gave me a present before I left that I've cherished since they gave it to me: a stuffed Heart Shine Bear Care Bear and a book about Lexington. They wrote me the sweetest note inside the cover that I've read over and over. Brycen has loved that Care Bear. I hated saying goodbye to those boys.

I was the first to leave Kentucky between Amanda and I. She stayed almost a week longer than I did. My flight home was early like before. Amanda took me to the Lexington airport early in the morning and we said our goodbyes at the sidewalk. It was so hard to leave Kentucky. The people I'd met there were so wonderful, especially my four buddies. When I got home I called Nathan to let him know I'd made it safely, as he had asked. I put him on speaker phone so my family could hear him talk to me. They laughed as he asked about the trip and if I was safe, if I stopped to take breaks while driving, etc. It was so fun and I missed them already.

I stayed in touch with my four pals, so much so that we all decided to spend the weekend before Thanksgiving together. I would fly to Dallas and Amanda and I would drive to Lexington and stay with Josh and Nathan. I was SO excited, I could hardly stand it. I booked my flight out of Boise (it seemed appropriate) and Amber and SanDee drove me there. The night before we stayed with our friends Rachel, Pristine, and Marita at their apartment. It was so fun! Amber and SanDee dropped me off at the airport and drove away. With excitement I walked inside and arrived at the counter to check in. When I told the girl my name I was horrified at what came next: I wasn't on the list. They had no record of me buying a ticket for this flight. I checked my paper that I had printed and made sure I had the right date, airport, etc. It was all correct. All there. But they had no record of me. And the flight was full. All other flights to Dallas that day were full as well. I broke down right there. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! It was horrible. I called Amanda and let her know what happened. She was disappointed but supportive. Then I had to call the boys. It was the WORST. They were so sweet as I cried on the phone. I couldn't believe this was happening. I called Amber and SanDee and they turned around to get me. They were so nice and helpful, knowing I was devastated by what had just happened. We ended up stopping at the Twin Falls Johnny Carino's to see some friends. Jeremy, the GM there and our old manager, bought our lunch and did his best to help cheer me up. It helped, yes. But I felt so sad inside. It was such a hard day.

After that incident I stayed in touch with Amanda and the boys, but it slowly started to disappear. Even with Amanda. There was a long period of time where none of us called each other, we didn't send cards...then nothing. I decided one day to get back in contact with Amanda. We stayed connected ever since (this was about fall 2007). During Christmas time 2007 I decided to try giving the boys a call. But to my surprise all three of them had different numbers. None of them went through. I was so sad and realized that I didn't have any contact with them. Joe and I had been friends on Facebook for awhile so I still had that, but Josh and Nathan were nowhere to be found. I searched and searched then gave up. I thought about them constantly for years. I hate the word "years" when you're trying to find someone. It feels like a lifetime. They were always on my mind. I had asked Amanda a few times if she had heard from them, and every time she said no. It was hard for both of us.

I decided to try searching again in May 2011 after having a very vivid dream about coming in contact with them. The next day I was searching for them online when I came across their MySpace page. It was a page they shared. Perfect!!! I was so excited. I didn't have an account at the time so I created one to add them as a friend. Then I noticed it had been over a month since they had last been on MySpace. In June when I still hadn't heard from them I started to get desperate. I looked at their top friends list to see if there were any relatives listed. I found three and wrote them all messages telling them who I was and that I was trying to contact Josh and Nathan. I checked back constantly to see if they responded, but nothing. One person read the message but didn't write me back, and the other two never opened it.

At the beginning of September I was beginning to give up again when one day I was talking to Joe on Facebook. I mentioned that I'd tried finding them again but it didn't work. Joe, Nathan, and Josh had since lost contact and Joe didn't even know where they were. HOWEVER, Joe did know that Nathan was on Facebook and gave me a link to his profile but he didn't seem to get on Facebook very much. I followed the link and sure enough, it was definitely him. I added him as a friend and wrote a message with it. Then I looked through his pictures and got teary looking at him and Nathan. I was happy to see that they were still together and doing well.

A month passed and he still hadn't responded to me. I gave up again this week, on October 25th to be exact. The next day on October 26th I was online and got the most wonderful notification ever: "Nathan Brown has accepted your friend request." I squealed with joy and tears instantly came to my eyes. Tyson came into the office to ask what was going on and I explained. It was such a wonderful feeling. I immediately got on chat and started talking to Nathan. And it was the best!!!! We were both so excited to have found each other. He and Josh had been looking for me as well and had looked all over just like I did. I couldn't believe it. So many prayers were answered.

While chatting with Nathan I sent Amanda a message on Facebook:

"Look who I found!! Thanks to Joe, Kentucky 1 and 2 have been found. I'm chatting with Nathan right now and it's fabulous."

I also left a link to his profile. This is the response I got from Amanda:

"Shut. Up! I'm going to go log on my computer now!!!"

Nathan and I talked for about a half hour. It was so fun catching up! I never want to forget what he said to me in his messages, it was so sweet:

"OMG you have no idea how SWEET that just was, you were with out a doubt the easiest person in the world to LOVE!!! We miss you so much and really hope to get to see ya again, I know were East and West coast but Josh and I are gonna take a vacation after we get moved in and I'm pushing to head out West for a couple weeks... If I can convince him that Cali isn't going to slide off into the ocean maybe we'll be in LA for a little while....Your totally not a STALKER, we've been on here 1475894744574 times looking for you...Sooooo I think we might seem more like a stalker, it was seriously like we lost a SISTER that we would never see again.... It was awful!!! I'm so GLAD that you found us:))))"

In response I said this:

"You are just the best!!! Talk about make me cry. That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me! I would totally come out to LA if you guys came west. I'll definitely see you two again, I'm going to make sure of that! Do you remember that Care Bear and Lexington book you gave me? My 18-month-old son loves that bear and takes it around the house with him. And I look at that book and read the note you wrote me in the front all the time. You're right, it was like losing a sibling! It's felt like a movie over the last few years and I'm wondering where my lost brothers are. I just love you both and I can't tell you how happy I am! I can sleep tonight knowing my brothers are found!!"

And then he said this:

"We just said that we feel like we found our long lost sister...I can't believe it, we even think alike:)) Josh would cry sometimes thinking about you and if he would ever get to see or talk to you again. I can't believe you still have that Care Bear and Lexington book, thats so sweet. We have the card you sent us and we scrap booked it so we would NEVER loose it, its open and the only thing on the page!! We read it every now and then to reassure ourselves that there is still people in the world like YOU, your 4SURE OUR SISTER and ALWAYS WILL BE...Your little famliy is sooooooooo ADORABLE and blessed, you have such a beautiful litte boy!! Its like you guys were made for each other, soooo darn CUTE!!!! Josh and I have talked about adoption here the last few months, hoping this move will put our family together:))) If we do come to LA I will let you know far ahead of time so we can figure out how to see each other... We have to keep it touch and WE LOVE U VERY MUCH and MISS YOU MORE THAN U KNOW!!!"

Talk about make me cry!! Who wouldn't want to know these guys? Later that evening I was tagged in a Facebook status by Amanda:

Today was all smiles! I Met and had breakfast with a new friend Heather Ponce Lowry... Then Allison O'Connor Miller reconnected me with some lost loves Nathan Brown and Josh!!! how fun! =)

I felt the urge to change my status to this:

Feeling super blessed to have found two friends I've been looking for over the last few years. Such a great day!! Sure do love you, Nathan Brown and Josh!!"

Then later that day Nathan tagged Amanda and I in his status:

"I just want all my friends to know that I found 2 ladies last night that mean the world to Josh and I!!!! Allison O'Connor Miller and Amanda Robertson Gonzales you guys were and still are the sweetest angels and we can't wait to GET TOGETHER, we've missed you girls SOOO MUCH!!!! I feel like I've got my sisters back and now we get to meet their incredible new families... You girls are VERY PRECIOUS to us and ALWAYS WILL BE:)))))))) WE LOVE U!!!!!"

And later commented on his status with:

Allison we got out our scrap books and was reading over your 4 cards again... You have the most angelic heart, never met anyone with soooo much care about other people and without prejudice you became our best friend soooooo FAST!!!! I wish they're were a full 1% of people in the world JUST LIKE YOU, it would make it alot easier for Josh and I and others like us who get soooo much bad rep's....I still can't believe we found each other again and we'll NEVER LOOSE this connection....FRIENDS FOREVER!!!

. . . .

I feel like so much weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. For the longest time I felt like there was a piece missing in my life because I had lost contact with Josh and Nathan. I felt a little empty. This week has completely turned that around for me. I am so happy to have found them again and I can't wait for the day that we get to reunite in person. I love those guys so much! All four of these people are some of the greatest friends ever. It's amazing how you can go so long without seeing someone then it all comes flying back once you reconnect. I feel so blessed! What an amazing week.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We Have an 18 Month Old

It's hard to believe that Brycen is 18 months old. He's actually going to be 19 months next week so we're just inching closer and closer to 2 years old. His age will soon be stated in years and no longer months. Bittersweet!

This week I took Brycen over to the Ogden Botanical Gardens for his 18-month photo shoot. These are some of the results! He's at the age where attempting a photo shoot by myself is nearly impossible. Let's just say I followed him around and just took what I could. I still like what we got though. They're good memories. Enjoy!

He was so excited when we got there he just took off on an adventure.

Every now and then he'd turn and look at me when I said his name.

There were lots of falls and trips to get up from...

...but he kept on smiling and moving!

Lots to do at the gardens!

He loved the apples that had fallen off the trees.

Eventually he'd had enough of the picture taking.

But the tears went away when Dad came!

A Little About Brycen at 18 Months:

  • He knows his stuffed animals by name. At least the ones that have names. His giraffe Jerry, lamb Lambert, and puppy Franklin are the three that he really knows and loves. We'll say, "Where's Jerry? Go get Jerry!" and he'll go get him.
  • Yesterday he shared a six-inch ham and turkey sub from Subway with me. He ate three inches of it. I was impressed! He's a pretty good eater.
  • If he's in another room and he hears one of his favorite shows come on he'll run (with a big smile and arms a goin') toward the TV.
  • He hates wearing long sleeves. He loved the summer and all the short sleeves and shorts he got to wear. He'll tug at the sleeves and cry when we put a long sleeved shirt on him. It doesn't take him long to get used to it though.
  • He started saying "grandma" last week. I tried all weekend to get him to say it in front of my mom or Tyson's mom, and it wasn't till Sunday afternoon that he finally said it. It was at my grandparents' house and my mom was there too. They loved it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Story About a Full Moon

We got home from Idaho last night after spending an awesome weekend with my family and Tyson's parents. (Pictures to come later!) After getting our suitcases unpacked we got Brycen in a new diaper and his pajama shirt to put him down for the night. After putting Brycen down for bed, Tyson and I decided to catch up on a couple of shows from the week and wind down before going to bed ourselves.

An hour later Brycen started whimpering in his sleep. He's been doing this a lot lately and we always let him just go back to sleep. Eventually he started full out crying and getting really upset. We decided to bring him out in the living room with us for a few minutes to let him calm down. Tyson went in to get him and brought him out in the living room. Brycen smiled and laughed when he saw me. He looked so cute in his pajama shirt with those pudgy legs hanging out.

Then Tyson turned around and I noticed something.

Brycen's shirt was pulled up in the back so his bum was in full view. Instead of a diaper I saw Brycen's cute little naked bum squished, wrinkly, and dimply as it sat up against Tyson's arm.

Through laughter I said, "Tyson, he doesn't have a diaper on."

Tyson lifted him up to see that Brycen's bottom half was completely exposed. He and I both started laughing, followed by laughs from Brycen. We went in his room to find his diaper on the floor and his bed soaking wet. We changed his clothes (with pants this time) and bedding then put him back to bed. He slept great the rest of the night.

This morning I went in to get him to find his pants on the floor but his diaper still on. Phew!

So Brycen has started taking off his diaper. Oh, the joys that lie ahead! We'll be putting him to bed with pants on from now on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome to Our New Home!

Welcome to our home in Ogden!
We've been here for one month this weekend. I can't believe it's been a month already.
So far we really love it here in Ogden.
We're starting to be to the point where when we drive down the road it feels like home.
We've made friends with a couple in our ward and they also live in the same building as we do. They have two little kids, a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, and they're super fun and nice. We'll be having fhe with their family this Monday and taking each other's family pictures. (The first couple we meet in our ward and they're photographers. Go figure!)

Let's go on a tour of our new place!

Welcome! This is the front of our building-that's us on the top left. We were bummed about getting the third floor but it hasn't been bad at all so far. So far! We'll see how I feel about it when it's super cold and snowy. (Do you see Brycen down there in his car?)

This is the view when you come in our front door. The kitchen and dining area is actually pretty open. I was pleasantly surprised when we moved in.

This is the entry to the apartment. That's a coat closet right there that's currently full of board games. Anybody up for a game night at our house??

Here's the full view of the dining room. Our bar stools don't fit up against the bar area so they're sitting back in the corner. Brycen's highchair is in perfect view of the TV so he's happy. We had to get a microwave for the place, and since we didn't want to use up counter space for it we made a little table for it. Right at Brycen's level. And any day now he's going to learn how to push the buttons so we'll have to come up with a Plan B. For now it works right there!

Another view of the kitchen
That door back there is the laundry room / pantry. We've loved having a pantry! This kitchen has been a lot more spacious than we thought it would be. It's still smaller than what we're used to but it's bigger than expected. The appliances...well...these models are older than I am. Either that or we're the same age. All I know is that they're the same ones we had growing up on Michelle St. I guess you could say they bring back some memories ha ha. I've had difficulties with the oven and stove, burning one dinner and over baking a batch of Chubby Hubby Bars (recipe to come tomorrow at Cupcake Diaries!) Not good for someone who loves to cook and bake, and also runs a recipe blog. That will take some getting used to!

There's not a lot of space to decorate in the living room and kitchen area, so this small space is my holiday area! I have the tops of the cupboards to decorate too though. It's been tough trying to figure out what to use and what not to use for fall/Halloween. I'll let you know how Christmas goes! Our annual Christmas Decoration Post won't be as exciting this year!

This is our living room. It feels open and homey so we like it. Brycen loves dumping his toys out all over the floor. He also really likes our balcony.

Time to head down the hallway! The first door on your left is the guest bedroom/office. You could also call this my mom and my sisters' room ha ha.

The next door on the left is Brycen's room. We set it up similar to what it looked like in our house in Idaho, minus the curtains, bead board, and nice paint (tear). I miss Brycen's room in Idaho. And not so much because it looked better there than it does here (even though it does by a landslide). It's the love that went into the room that makes me sad. My dad, brother, mom, and grandpa all helped make that room what it is by building and installing the bead board and painting it, and it was so hard to say goodbye to it. Brycen still enjoys his room here though, which makes me very happy. I'll always have a special place in my heart for his old/first room.

Right across the hall from Brycen's room is the guest bathroom.
(No pictures)

Straight ahead down the hall is the master bedroom. This room is huge, it's weird. We couldn't fit the piano in the living room so it's in our room. It hasn't been used once since we got here, it's sad. This Christmas it will get a lot of use though. I love Christmas music on the piano!

To the right of the piano is the walk-in closet (door right there) and a vanity area. However, I can't really use it to get ready because there aren't any electrical outlets. So it serves as bathroom storage. The bathrooms don't have drawers in them (so weird and frustrating but that's another story) so everything we put in drawers is now in plastic drawers in the vanity area. It's working out just fine though and it hasn't been tough to work with. The door to the master bathroom is on the right of the picture right before that table. It's a nice, big room!

So that's the apartment! Let's head back outside:

This is the back of our building. Our friends live in the middle apartment right there on the left. Back here there are basketball courts, lots of grass, and Brycen's favorite part...

...this lovely playground! He loves to go out here. We'll take his car and I'll push him to the playground. Then we'll walk around the complex on the small sidewalk that goes all around it to go back home. So fun!

Right behind the playground is the main office, swimming pool, hot tub, and gym. Super close to us, just how we like it!

. . .

So that's where we live. It hasn't been as hard of an adjustment going to an apartment from a house as we thought. And one day we'll be homeowners again. But for now, we're happy to be renting this apartment. We've really enjoyed it so far and we're really loving Utah!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Little Dipper

Tyson decided last Friday that we needed to go out and celebrate surviving our first two weeks here in Ogden. Not that it's been bad at all, but it's a reason to go out and do something fun!
So we decided to give Warren's a try. And we LOVED it! It's a burger place in Ogden and the food is so delicious and fresh. We each had a burger and shared fries and a little peach shake. It was so filling and delicious!
Brycen LOVES to dip his food. Especially chicken nuggets and french fries.
(I know, right? Healthy. We all need to be treated every now and then!)
We ordered him a little kids meal of chicken nuggets and he ate three of the four. He loved the crinkly fries, too. He had chocolate milk for his drink (the usual). His dinner came with a side of ranch so he was in heaven.

Sometimes he'll take a fry or piece of chicken and barely get it in the ranch or fry sauce. So he's really just doing the dipping motion in mid air. He's a funny kid.

Brycen makes a big mess of his face and hands when he's eating chicken nuggets with ranch. But we really don't care about the mess. He loves it so we love it!
Brycen has learned well from his Uncle Che' and cleans up at the end of the meal. Why keep up all the cleaning all through the meal when you're going to have to do it at the end anyway? Great advice, Uncle Che'!

After dinner we went to Carter's in search of a Halloween costume for Brycen (which we ended up finding later at Babies 'R Us). Brycen loved being at Carter's! They have a Lego Duplo table with tiny chairs and netted holes to put the blocks in. Brycen was in heaven! Either Tyson or I sat with Brycen while the other shopped for 24 month clothes for our growing boy. He's starting to push out of 18 months and 24 month clothing is a little scarce at our house. They had a great sale while we were there so we got Brycen a few things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Visit from Gramps and Grandma Miller

Tyson's parents came down for the day on Saturday and we had a blast with them!
It's funny how when you move away, the time spent with family turns into much more quality time and you appreciate it more. It was so good to see them!

We drove up to the hospital so Tyson could show his parents where he works. Then we drove down to Salt Lake and ventured around. Our day included:
  • Lunch at P.F Chang's - We all ordered something different then shared. It was perfect!
  • A visit to the new Deseret Book across from the temple - That place is amazing! It's so big inside and we all loved the art work. His parents got us our very own copy of "17 Miracles" and a cute "I Am a Child of God" book for Brycen. We stocked up on candy (Heavenly Caramel's - divine!) and ventured across the street to Temple Square.
  • Temple Square - We walked through the visitors center and enjoyed the familiar sights inside. I had never seen the model of the Salt Lake Temple before. That thing is so cool! It shows you all the different rooms of the temple. I've never been inside that temple before so that was especially cool.
  • Shopping at Gateway Mall - My birthday is on Tuesday so Milan and Julie wanted me to pick something out at the mall to add to what they had already gotten me. I'm such a spoiled girl. I had been on the hunt for the perfect pair of Toms but haven't been lucky enough to find anything I like in my size. Thanks to Lola Bella I found some! Happy birthday to me from Milan and Julie! That was so nice of them and I love my new shoes.
Brycen was a really good boy, and by the time we got back he was exhausted and ready for a nap. Our server at P.F Chang's even mentioned that he is the cleanest kid she's ever seen at one of her tables. Go Brycen! Being a former server, I told myself I would never let my children get as messy as the kids I'd have to pick up after. But I've never had to really try with Brycen. He's a very clean kid.

We had a great time with Tyson's parents and we really appreciated them coming to see us. Even if they only got to stay for 5 hours. We love our parents so much and we're grateful to have such a great support group in them. I can't wait to see them again!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Couch Potato

Brycen loves to watch TV. He has his favorite shows and he loves to sit on the couch with a snack and his water watching TV.

Some of his favorite shows:
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Little Einsteins
  • Third and Bird
  • Small Potatoes
  • Timmy Time (the DVD my mom gave him)
  • Jungle Junction
  • Special Agent Oso

September 27, 2011 - Watching "Timmy Time" and eating mini M&M's

September 30, 2011 - Watching "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" with Clifford while reading a "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" book. He's good at multitasking.

October 3, 2011 - Watching "Little Einsteins" while eating a Veggie Straws snack

Brycen These Days:
  • He throws the BIGGEST tantrums. When he gets mad or doesn't get his way he walks over to the wall or door and hits his head against it. After it happens he always cries, like anyone would if they hit their head. This is a daily occurrence at our house.
  • He turned 18 months old on October 5th so he is officially in the nursery! He does really well with other kids so we feel like he'll do fine in nursery. I guess we'll see!
  • He is starting to say a lot more words. Lately he's trying to say "thank you" (daydoo). He started saying "hi" at church on Sunday. He was told by members of the ward that he was the best greeter ever. He points to things that he wants and yells if we grab the wrong thing in the pantry. He's vocal, that one! If only he could use his words instead of screaming ha ha.
  • Lately he has been having night terrors. Tyson and I weren't sure at first what was going on but realized today it is night terrors. I hate the idea of my little guy having night terrors. But we know a few things to do to avoid them so we'll see how it goes. My mom was staying with us last night when he had one. She almost came out to check on him because of how he was screaming. She thought he was in pain. Poor little guy.
  • He loves the little Lorna Doone cookies in the 100 calorie packs. Those are a favorite treat of his. He also really likes to eat chicken nuggets still. We made homemade mac and cheese for dinner last week and he LOVES it. (Check out Cupcake Diaries on Friday for the recipe!!)
  • He loves to dip his french fries and chicken nuggets. It started one day at Carino's when he saw me dipping bread into the oil and garlic, as well as into a side of ranch. Ever since that day he has loved to dip stuff. Sometimes he's not even getting any sauce on whatever he's dipping. He'll do the motions right above the dip then eat it.
  • He loves to brush his teeth. He loves to watch us brush our teeth as well. He has a little Thomas the Tank Engine toothbrush and toothpaste. I think he has 12 teeth. He could have more.
  • Brycen is such a good kid in public. He smiles at everyone and waves at them. He's very happy when we're out shopping. Today at Kohl's he was told by three different people that he's a happy boy. It makes me feel good to hear things like that.
  • He loves to give kisses. If you say the word, "Kisses" to him he'll pucker up his lips. Or if you're up close to his face he'll automatically pucker his lips, assuming that's what you're wanting. He gives the best little kisses!
  • Brycen loves to dance. His latest dance style is bending his knees and swinging his left arm in and out like he's at a hoedown. He gives us a good laugh when he dances.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Reason Why Hermione Rocks

"I find the whole concept of being ‘sexy’ embarrassing and confusing. If I do an interview with photographs people desperately want to change me - dye my hair blonder, pluck my eyebrows, give me a fringe. Then there’s the choice of clothes. I know everyone wants a picture of me in a mini-skirt. But that’s not me. I feel uncomfortable. I’d never go out in a mini-skirt. It’s nothing to do with protecting the Hermione image. I wouldn’t do that. Personally, I don’t actually think it’s even that sexy. What’s sexy about saying, ‘I’m here with my boobs out and a short skirt, have a look at everything I’ve got?’ My idea of sexy is that less is more. The less you reveal the more people can wonder."

- Emma Watson