Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

We were able to go to Idaho for Thanksgiving and see both of our families. I didn't take NEARLY enough pictures. I'm getting really bad these days. But we had a blast while we were there! It's always hard when we have to leave.

We left Wednesday as soon as Tyson got home from work. Our first stop was to Great Clips so Amy could cut everybody's hair.

Brycen does really well when he's getting his hair cut! He never cries. Amy gives him a brightly-colored comb and he's happy and smiling.

We got to Tyson's parents' house around 7:30 and we were greeted by them, as well as Dustin and Erika and Angie and Steve, as well as all of their kids. It was a great surprise!

We ate tacos and played Loaded Questions. The kiddos had a great time playing with each other. Brycen was especially happy to be there with his cousins!

Lillie and Kate were putting on their "makeup". They're such cute little girls.

We went to Rexburg to Tyson's uncle and aunt's house for Thanksgiving dinner. His aunt DeeAnn makes the BEST rolls ever. She always makes them for Thanksgiving, as well as extras for everyone to take home. Brycen didn't want to eat anything but one of DeeAnn's rolls for dinner. Tyson, Brycen, Tyson's parents, and I were the only ones present from the Milan Miller family. We missed everybody who couldn't be there. But we had a great time with everyone who could be there!

DeeAnn's table scape was so pretty. She does an awesome job decorating for dinner parties. Brycen even got his own table setting (pictured above left). We eventually traded for a plastic plate and a sippy cup, for obvious reasons. :)

Tyson and I made the place cards. We made 23 of these little Reese's Pieces-filled corn husks. After making about 15 of them we finally had control of what we were doing and got the hang of it.

After dinner we took Brycen home to take a nap. When he woke up we went to my parents' house to visit them. They had Amy, Adam, and my grandparents over for Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma and Grandpa had already left by the time we got there so we didn't get to see them. Brycen was really happy to see everybody else though. Especially Uncle Adam!

And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little YouTube. We spent a portion of the afternoon watching bad American Idol auditions and laughing our heads off.

Brycen watched Timmy Time instead.

Erika, Angie, Julie, and I left Thursday night just before 10:00 to get going on the Black Friday shopping. We went to Walmart hoping to score a PS3 for Angie. We were very doubtful that she'd get one, considering the deal started at 10:00 and we walked in the door at about 9:45. Dustin and Tyson (home with the kids, bless their hearts) were online seeing if they could get a PS3 on Walmart's website for that price, seeing as how Angie would most likely not be getting on in the store. When we walked up to the gentleman in charge of the PS3's he told her she had the very last one and gave her the voucher. It was amazing! We couldn't believe it.

{PS I'm about to go into detail about our Black Friday shopping experience because I never ever want to forget it! I won't be offended if you skip this part!}

Just like that we had one of the big ticket items we were out to get checked off the list. Amazing! And totally lucky. While Angie stood in line in the cereal aisle, Erika, Julie, and I decided to split off. Julie had some groceries to buy so I went with Erika to find the Bissel vacuum on sale as well as 600 thread count sheets. We found the vacuums with no problem. I stayed in line while Erika went to find the sheets. She came back pretty quickly. By the time she had gotten to the sheets and asked if they were the ones on for the great price a woman said, "Yes, these are the ones but they're all called for." There were women standing around the crate of sheets like they were blocking someone with the ball during a basketball game. Erika quickly gave up on those and went back to the vacuums.

I was pretty much just coming along to help the others grab what they needed, unless I found something along the way. Otherwise I was there to run. So Erika stayed in the vacuum line and I went to find the Play Doh packs that Erika wanted. We would meet at the front of the store by the cash registers as soon as I found them. I ran in to my high school gal pal Kaylie's mom by the vacuums and she said Kaylie was there somewhere. So I called her and went to meet her in the automotive section where she was in line for something for her little girl. I was making my way over there when the whistle blew and the sheets came off the 10:00 sale crates. And then all heck broke loose. There were people everywhere: yelling, throwing things, pushing, crying, yelling some more...And I just needed Play Doh!! I was laughing so hard at how chaotic the whole place was. And they hadn't even unveiled the midnight TV and blu-ray sales yet. These people were just after Ants in the Pants games and Rubbermaid containers. I grabbed three Play Doh packages just in case and went up to find Erika at the cash register.

On my way to find Erika a woman asked me where I found the Play Doh. I told her but also let her know that it was most likely gone. She looked really sad so I gave her one of mine. I only needed two anyway so I was glad I could help her out. I passed a lot of people I know during all the chaos. And things got even more chaotic when I reached the front of the store; particularly the produce section. There was a mass of people and arms in the air, holding movies up high and pushing through the crowds. The big-sale movies and Wii/Play Station/XBox games were all in the produce section and people were going NUTS over it. At $1.99 a piece it was apparently the biggest moment of all of their lives. Especially for the jerk who punched a pregnant lady right in the face to get the movie she was holding. The poor thing (probably 7 or 8 months pregnant) had a bloody nose and a cut lip, all because that idiot wanted her movie. It was horrible!

I found Erika in line already, having found everything but the Vtech lap top for her little girl. I gave her the Play Doh and told her I needed to go find my friend. I would meet Erika at the front of the store past the checkout where she would be waiting for me. I headed back down from the way I came and was almost to the electronics department when I saw Erika come flying around the corner. It was so loud in there so I had to yell, "Erika, what are you doing!" She yelled back, "Bissel Shark!!!" I turned around to see a pile of Shark steam mops disappearing before my eyes. I saw Erika quickly do a drive by pick up for one of the mops and run off to the front of the store. I impulsively grabbed two of the steam mops and put one under each of my arms. At that point I realized I probably wouldn't be able to find Kaylie. I was an extra wide load carrying those two boxes in my arms and I wasn't getting far. I also spotted Rose Art coloring kits for super cheap so I grabbed one of those. A miracle occurred when I turned a corner and saw Julie standing there with a cart full of groceries and Angie's findings. I put my two steam mops in the cart and stayed there to stand guard while Julie went to go do some more finding.

It wasn't too long before a woman came up to me and asked where I got the Sharks. I told her, but when I grabbed mine there were only 5 left. So I gave her one of mine and kept the other one. She was so thrilled and it made me happy. (I told my dad about the two incidences of giving stuff away and he had the idea of going Black Friday shopping just to give everything back out in the store and make people's day.) Julie and Angie came back and found me, and in great time too. There were a lot of people walking by and eying my Shark and the PS3. I was scared! We pushed the cart and eventually found the line to the checkout. It was clear back in the middle of the store. We thought for sure we'd be there all night. Then out of nowhere Julie comes back and waves us to move. We ended up going clear up to almost the front of a checkout line. I'm still not sure how that happened but wow, we were happy about it! It was here that I watched a girl in the checkout line next to me put something down. It was big and pink, and I immediately recognized it as the Vtech lap top Erika was looking for. So I asked her if she wanted it. She said no and I took it. Score! Perfect timing.

We eventually paid for our stuff and found Erika. We were laughing the whole way out of the store, carrying our bazillion bags and boxes of loot. We got in the illegally parked car and discussed our next location. It was only 11:00 so we were just getting started! We decided to give Kohls a try. We dropped Erika off to stand in line while the three of us went to Maverick and refueled. We got back and sat in the car for a few minutes until about 11:55 to go walk up and get in line. The store would open at midnight so we were just going to join up with Erika. We started approaching the crowd when people started yelling at us. "You better not cut!!" "Get in the back!" "We've been here for hours!" It was an angry mob at its finest. Obviously we weren't going to just cram our way in at midnight with the people at the front of the line. On our way back to find Erika we saw other people coming from the parking lot getting ready to just join in with the front. There were people coming from out of the line yelling at those approaching the building, using a lot of questionable words that aren't very Thanksgivingy. We found Erika and didn't wait very long before the line started moving. She had made a couple of friends in the line who were really nice and kept her company. We all crammed our way in the door and split ways. I found exactly what I was looking for and fast. I then found what I thought was the line to the checkout but later found out it wasn't. Of course the people all around me were yelling and swearing at the associate because obviously it was her fault that hundreds of people decided to go shopping there and made us all get in that line. I felt so bad for the employees there. It was like every angry person in the greater Idaho Falls area decided to come to Kohls that night and just rip into everyone who even looked at them wrong.

I sat in the middle of the chaos pretty sure I would be spending the night there (the line wrapped all the way around the store and the bad line we were in was clear back in the dishware). I considered getting in the jewelry line but I would have to buy jewelry to do that. Not that I oppose jewelry in any way. Pretty soon my phone rang and it was Erika. Her call made me feel like we were in a Mission Impossible movie. She said, "I'm at the front of the line with the two friends I met outside. Get up here as fast as you can. I'm by the chocolate. You have one to two minutes." And that was it. I ran up to the front of the store and found her behind the Godiva chocolate stand and we laughed and laughed about her dramatic phone call. Eventually Angie and Julie joined us and we all checked out in record time. The girls Erika met outside and who saved us a spot in the checkout line saved over $900. It was amazing! We ran in to DeeAnn, Meg, and Annie checking out (Tyson's aunt and her daughters) and DeeAnn's husband was still outside of Target waiting to get in. They were only letting 25 people in at a time there. So we all crammed into Julie's car with all of our loot and drove them to Target to meet up with him. We laughed and laughed about our crazy experiences and all the "pleasant" people around us.

After dropping off the girls at Target, the four of us went back to the house to get some sleep. We woke up at 4:15 to head into Fred Meyer where Julie was hoping to score a TV and blu-ray player at some really great deals. We got there at a little after 5 am when the store opened and Erika and I ran right for the electronics department. She went for the TV and I went for the blu-ray player. We were both successful and worked our way back out to find Julie and Angie with a cart. We also passed about 5 PS3's for the same awesome price that Walmart had them, as well as the $99 Wii systems. We both asked (or yelled, rather), "Should we grab one!" in all the confusion and knowing how high in demand those things were. We passed on the game systems and made our way back to the "Buy One Get One Free" board games. We got the games we needed then headed back to the socks. You can't go to Freddy's on Black Friday and not get socks for half off! We met up with Angie and Julie and went back to the toy section to find Christmas presents for the grand kids. It was nice being able to get so much Christmas shopping done!

After Fred Meyer we went to the mall for $10 Stafford shirts at JCPenney as well as a few other excellent finds for those in our group. I bought a black skirt on a whim as well. I ran in to a few high school buddies while there (Robyn and Jarae, it was SO good to see you both!! I miss you!). We were exhausted and got home by 8:15.

I took a 3-hour nap that afternoon. I was so exhausted! We had so much fun shopping though. I can't wait to do it again next year!

That night I had a movie night with my mom and sisters. We watched Christmas with the Kranks and we just laughed and laughed as usual. Tyson stayed at his parents' house with Brycen. Brycen got to take a bath in Grandma's bathtub and he loved it! She's got a really fun tub.

The next morning Brycen and I went shopping with my mom and Amber. We went to Real Deals and Shopko then we stopped at Wendy's to grab some lunch. After Wendy's we went and saw our bf Ashlee's new baby, Maddox. He is so cute and I just love him!

Brycen was worn out from shopping so he relaxed in front of the TV with Timmy Time. Please ignore the mess ha ha.

That night Tyson's parents ordered pizza for everyone for dinner and we had another game night. These two little girls didn't want pizza so they had cereal. They're too funny!

After dinner we made friendship bracelets. Easton learned to make them in scouts so he taught us all how to make them. We now call them Buddy Bands. ("Hey. They work.")

Lillie and Brycen decided to go in the play room and draw after they were done with their bracelets.


We left Tyson's parents' house on Sunday morning to go see my parents one last time. It's always really hard having to say goodbye to our families and we really appreciate their hospitality and letting us stay with them.
The night of the pizza party Brycen was really fussy and didn't eat much. He really hadn't eaten much the entire time we were in Idaho. He slept HORRIBLY on Saturday night. We visited with my parents and siblings for a few hours before we decided we should head back home to Utah. Brycen had just gotten cozy on my mom's lap at this time and fell asleep on her.

We needed to change his diaper before we left so we decided to take a chance. It didn't even phase him and he snoozed the whole time. The poor kid was exhausted!

Brycen stayed asleep all the way back to Tyson's parents' house to get the bottles and then to Pocatello. The rest of the way home he watched Timmy Time and was such a good boy. He was a little fussy when we got home and was tugging at his ear a lot. He went to bed at about 7:15 and woke up this morning with a fever. We gave him some Tylenol and he watched cartoons in my bed with me till about 7:45 when he fell back asleep. He didn't wake up till 11:30. He still has a bit of a fever but hopefully we can get it under control soon.

All in all we had a really great Thanksgiving weekend! I am so thankful for family, friends, and all the wonderful experiences I have with all of them. We already can't wait to come back to Idaho for Christmas. Until then we have the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert to look forward to! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes It's Nice to Be Reminded

"One of the greatest challenges is to overcome the feeling that we are unimportant, that we are not special and unique. Do you think for a moment that Heavenly Father would have sent one of His children to this earth by accident, without the possibility of a significant work to perform?...

"My dear friends, you are a royal generation. You were preserved to come to the earth in this time for a special purpose. Not just a few of you, but all of you. There are things for each of you to do that no one else can do as well as you. If you do not prepare to do them, they will not be done. Your mission is unique and distinctive for you. Please don't make another have to take your place. He or she can't do it as well as you can. If you will let Him, I testify that our Father in Heaven will walk with you through the journey of life and inspire you to know your special purpose here."

"Your Life Has a Purpose," New Era, May 1979, pp.4-5
- Bishop H. Burke Peterson

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brycen at 19 Months Old

Brycen is 19 months old these days. He is a really funny boy and very happy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that any time we go to a store someone comments on how happy he is. He's very friendly with strangers (which MUST be addressed when he's older!!!) and he loves to talk talk talk. He just blabs. Every now and then we understand a word, such as ball, mama, or dada.

More things about Brycen these days:

He loves to color. We'd had a rough day at church since Brycen could start walking and he has really struggled during sacrament meeting. A couple of weeks ago I decided to bring a notepad and crayons with us. And he LOVED it! He lasted over 30 minutes before having a meltdown. Record! He only went out twice that meeting. Ever since then he has colored almost every day. I have a "Davey and Goliath" coloring book for him to use at church and a Disney one to use at home. Most of the time he sits on the living room floor to color, but every now and then he sits in his highchair for it.

And speaking of church, Brycen went to nursery for the first time two weeks ago. He did awesome! I filled in at the piano in primary that day so Tyson stayed with him. He ended up leaving though because Brycen was doing just fine. He played with the toys (he loved the kitchen), had a snack and dumped his cup of water all over him, and colored. He was confused when it was time to put the crayons away and move onto the next activity. Last week he left early because he seemed to be getting a fever and was really fussy. But he seems to really enjoy nursery. So far so good!

Brycen loves to stack things and take this off of that. In the case of the picture above, he was taking the little plastic lids off of bottles of liquid protein in the hall closet. He was thoroughly entertained for about 10 minutes.

After the cups were all taken off and put back on he'd clap. ("Yay!")

And a few more things about Brycen:
  • When Brycen hears upbeat music he starts to dance. This dancing includes bending his knees and swinging his left arm like he's at a hoedown. He can really get that arm going! He also swings it when he's running. He's too funny.
  • Normally we put our Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving when Christmastime officially starts. This year we will be in Idaho for Thanksgiving so we can't put it up after Thanksgiving. We wouldn't be able to put it up till the first Saturday in December (which is also a busy day) so we caved and put it up yesterday. It took Tyson and I three hours to do it and Brycen slept the whole time. Brycen woke up as we were getting the boxes put back out in the storage closet. He was in awe when he walked out and saw the lit tree and the lit garland on the TV stand, saying "ooh" as he saw it. Brycen loves the tree and likes to touch the ornaments. We're always telling him "no" and saying "Brycen...Brycen...don't touch.!" The whole time we're saying these things he's staring at us with a big grin on his face and his hand reaching out to touch. And we're not exactly using a nice tone either. Then he'll do one of three things: 1)Hit the tree a few times before we stop him, 2) grab one of the ornaments off and shake it, or 3) pull on one of the branches. And all three are done with a big smile. At this point he is taken to his crib for a one-minute timeout. He cries the whole time and screams. Then we take him out and he's back in his crib a little later for another one. He went in his room for a timeout six times yesterday. Today he's gone twice. The little turkey!
  • Brycen is wearing size 5 diapers now. He's our growing boy!
  • Brycen loves to stand on the scale. I hope this isn't a bad sign for his future! :) The last time I was able to see a number while he stood on the scale he weighed 27 lb. 6 oz.
  • Brycen is saying a lot more words these days. He now says momma, dadda or daddy (last night Tyson came in the room and Brycen said "Hi, Daddy."), water, ball, balloon ("boon"), ow, grandma, and grandpa.
  • He likes to pick up my phone and "talk" on it. He'll hold it against his ear and say "Hewo?" It sounds more like "Awo?" but we get what he's trying to do. He loves to talk to people on speaker phone when Tyson and I are talking to someone. He'll get really chatty and start pointing at stuff. He things our travel electronic Yahtzee is a phone too and he holds it to his ear and talks.

We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving this week! We can't wait to spend time with our families!

Monday, November 7, 2011

When Mom Came to Town

My grandparents were coming down to Brigham City last Wednesday and my grandma had the brilliant idea of bringing my mom to stay with us. They came Wednesday afternoon and my mom stayed with us till Sunday morning. And we had a blast!!

When they arrived my grandpa had a box of tools with him. When he walked in the door he said, "Ok, what can I fix for you?" Our bathroom door is super annoying and doesn't stay open. We've had to put door stops on the floor to keep it from closing. So he went back there and fixed it for us. We've also had a problem with our front door not closing well. So he fixed that too. My grandpa is a Mr. Fix-It BIG time. He can fix anything. He's amazing! They stayed and visited for a little while then left to Brigham City to see some friends. I love all of my grandparents so much! It was so good to see them. I probably would have cried when they left if my mom wasn't staying with us. That night we had roast, veggies, and rolls for dinner then lounged around in our pj's and watched Wednesday night TV, including "Modern Family" and "Revenge". With diet pepsis and M&M's in hand we were set!

Thursday, November 3

That morning we woke up and had breakfast, got ready for the day, and headed out the door to do some shopping. First we went to Sam's Club and my mom did a little Christmas shopping for my brother, who is leaving on his mission in March to Brisbane, Australia. (Exciting!!) I found Brycen a pair of Levi's while we were there. Brycen loved the aisles with all the Christmas trees and toys. He was holding a little Christmas book through the store so my mom ended up buying it for him when he wouldn't let it go. After Sam's Club we went to lunch at none other than Warren's. We love their burgers and shakes! So does Brycen. He especially loves their fries dipped in fry sauce. After Warren's we went to the Carter's store. Brycen LOVES the Carter's store. For one, they have a Lego table and little chairs for the kids to sit and play. They also have little things to play with against the cash register desk. He is in heaven every time we go. And this day was no different. He also loves to just run around the place. And these days he's fast. I let my mom shop while I followed Brycen around. He had tripped six times as I was following him. Multiple times I picked him up and tried to hold him and shop with Mom. But he tantrumed and kicked so I let him down to follow him some more. I stopped for a minute to talk to my mom when I heard Brycen make his seventh fall. But this time I knew it was bad because he started to cry. Hard. He was lying flat on the floor by the Lego table, and when I looked down I saw spots of blood on the carpet. His mouth was full of blood and he was screaming uncontrollably. We opened his mouth to find a gash against his bottom lip. He had bit right into it with his bottom teeth. At first we thought the teeth went through because he was bleeding so much. One of his bottom teeth also felt loose. One of the employees gave us a paper towel and we cleaned him up as best we could. Mom took him outside while I hurried and made a small purchase. His poor little lip was starting to get big in the spot where he bit it. When they walked outside and the place went quiet again I realized everyone in there was looking at me. They all felt really bad about what happened. One lady was really nice and gave Brycen a Tootsie Roll. I bought some Christmas jammies for Brycen and set my mom's stuff on the counter for them to put aside for her to come buy later. The drive home was a sad one. Brycen cried the whole way. The bleeding had stopped so by this time he was in pain and tired all at the same time. By the time we pulled up and went to get him out of his car seat he had fallen asleep and his lip looked like this:

Poor thing! I had to get a picture while Brycen was still. I sent it to my dad and my siblings so they could see it too. We gave him some Ibuprofen and put him down for a nap. He slept ok but kept waking up sad. After about 3 hours he got up and was pretty happy, fat lip and all. We decided not to take him to get stitches and hoped that we made the right decision. Poor little guy!

That night was another laid back night. Tyson got home from work and we made beef sandwiches with the leftover roast. Then Mom and I ran back over to Carter's to buy the clothes she had set aside earlier and also to head back to Sam's Club to take the Christmas book back that she bought for Brycen. It was a pretty dumb book. In fact, when my mom took it back and the guy asked her if there was anything wrong with it she said, "Yeah, it's stupid." I thought that was pretty hilarious. We also stopped in at Seagull Book and bought a few things there. When we got home we put Brycen down for bed then watched some TV. Brycen slept really well that night, we were so glad.

Friday, November 4

We went shopping at the mall on Friday. Mom got a few more Christmas gifts and we did a lot of oohing and ahing at all of the things we loved in all of the stores we went to. I bought Brycen two new pairs of shoes, including a size bigger than what he wears now. We had lunch at Chik-fil-A and it was yummy as always. Brycen shared with us and made a mess with the fry dipping. He's such a funny kid. We put Brycen down for his nap and watched the Thursday night TV we'd missed the night before. Tyson got home and we skyped with Amber for about an hour. It was so fun! And really weird for Am to have Mom on this side of the screen instead of on her side. After skyping we decided to go to dinner at Applebee's. We were put on a 25 minute wait, and before we knew it there were people being seated before us who came in after us. Eventually they called our names just to tell us they were waiting for a table that they could put a highchair at. Brycen was getting really restless. By the time we were seated he didn't want anything to do with it. After over 30 minutes of waiting at Applebee's we ended up going to Bajio down the street. Brycen did better there but still threw a fit during dinner. It was kind of a joke. We took him home and got him ready for bed, including a bath. The three of us stayed up and watched TV and visited. The newest episode of Grimm was on and it was awesome. It snowed that night for the first time in the valley this season. It was so pretty.


We got ready Saturday morning and left to do some more shopping. We went to JC Penney and took advantage of some coupons we all had. Mom ended up with a new outfit, Tyson a new work shirt, and Brycen some more socks. After JC Penney we went to Applebee's for lunch (tried it again) where Mom treated us. It was yummy and I'm really glad we tried it again. Then we went over to Target to pick up eggs and graham cracker fish for Brycen. We ended up with the eggs, graham cracker Teddy Grahams, and a whole bunch of clearanced Halloween candy. I couldn't believe the variety they had! It was great. We stopped at Sam's as well for Tyson to pick something up. We went home to put Brycen down for a nap and get back into pj's. Tyson, Mom, and I played Wheel of Fortune on the Wii where Mom won $1,024,950 in cash and prizes. She picked up the million dollar wedge throughout the game so we made sure she got to the final round to see if she'd win the million. And she sure did! It was a lot of fun. We made breakfast for dinner that night. We had the cinnamon and sugar pull apart rolls that Mom used to make in the bundt pan when we were growing up, as well as scrambled eggs and sausage. Then we watched Home Alone 2 and laughed and laughed. That movie is awesome!!


Grandma and Grandpa came to get Mom at 9:30 Sunday morning. We visited for about 20 minutes before they left. I hated seeing them go. I was trying my hardest to hold back the tears as they were packing up all of my mom's stuff and getting ready to leave. We said our goodbyes, and I didn't feel like I was as genuine as I usually am. I didn't want to cry. As soon as the door shut behind them the tears came. And came. And came. I went to Brycen's bedroom window and watched them pull away. All three of them waved to me as they drove away.

I love my family so much and I'm so grateful for all of them. We had so much fun with my mom while she was here! Lots of fun shopping, eating, was a fabulous weekend. I already can't wait for this coming Friday when my parents and Amber come for my cousin Rachael's wedding in Logan. Then after that...Thanksgiving with Tyson's family! Great times lie ahead.

We love you, Mom! Thanks so much for coming and staying with us! And thank you, Grandma, for having the brilliant idea to bring my mom with you this weekend!!