Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For In Home Use Only

I got my pics back from Joyana, and there are lots that I just love! She can make anyone look good! I know I said that I would post some of the "not so scandalous" pictures from my first little maternity photo shoot with her...but I have to say...that all of the ones I REALLY like are a little on the for in home use only side. I would be wary to throw them up on my blog where anyone could right click, copy and repost anywhere! {not that any of you lovely people would do that!}
So, instead, you can enjoy this little modest morsel, where really, I kind of just look like a girl with a gut instead of a glowing mommy carrying a bundle of joy. Oh well!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

no news is NOT good news.

We were supposed to find out today whether we are having a boy or a girl. I arrive at the doctor's office with all of our kids who are super excited to be there and find out with us (Az & Bella even made signs).They are all cutsie-pied up for the impending photo op, even Calvin, who I had to wake up from his nap to get there on time, seemed a little giddy. Dan took time from his busy schedule at work to meet us there, and wouldn't you know it, the lady at the front desk insisted that my ultrasound appointment was not for Tuesday, March 24th, but had been on Tuesday, FEBRUARY 24th, and I had missed it. I asked her if that made any sense to her AT ALL that my Dr. would schedule me for a mid-pregnancy ultrasound when I was only 14 weeks along? She begrudgingly agreed, but continued to insist that THAT'S what was scheduled. OK. So obviously, the lady scheduling my appointment made a typo and put in 2/24 instead of 3/24. Not my fault. And NOT what I was told. But they absolutely refused to see me today. They were just too busy. They are going to TRY to squeeze me in tomorrow afternoon if at all possible....which seriously better happen, or they are going to see one freaked out crazy pregnant lady in their office who was supposed to find out the day BEFORE she was leaving on vacation so she could go shopping at IKEA for whatever type of baby this is!!!
Bleh! I guess we'll get to go through this whole circus again tomorrow! Yippee!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Guaranteed to Make You Feel Like a Star

I just spent an hour with my photographer friend to do the first shoot in a series of pregnancy photos. I figured since this will be the last time I am going to be with child I should probably document it. I realized I don't really have any pictures of me pregnant, since I generally try to NOT have photos taken when I am LaRgE and in cHarGe. There's something about knowing that it will never happen again that has changed my mind about the beauty of it all.
Anyway...the point of this post is to brag to you about my friend. She makes you feel like a star, and is truly talented. Spend an hour with her, get some pics of yourself, or you and your special someone...make a date of it...it will be totally worth it. And you will honestly feel like a million bucks after. Visit her site to check out her portfolio: http://www.treasuredphotosbyjoyana.com/
I can't wait to get my pics back! I'll definitely post a few of the not so scandalous ones when I get them. Thanks Joyana!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

HOLIDAY REVIEW: Jenco Retreat '08

We hadn't taken a Jenco retreat since Hawaii three years ago, so we were super excited to head out of cold Colorado to spend a few days in Cancun with the Jenco crew in mid December.
We really couldn't ask for better people to spend time with. We have the BEST partners! Stewart and Buffy, Jen and Kent, Dan & Cumorah
We arrived. We napped. We ate. We watched a traditional Mexican dancing show. Dan & I went dancing at our hotel's club. So much fun! I love dancing, and Dan is a REALLY good sport about it. There was one drunk guy who came up to Dan and reprimanded him for leaving me out on the dance floor by myself...we cracked up, danced a little more, and left around 1:30 in the morning.
Dan and I got up early to take a swim in the ocean, and to make reservations for dinner that evening. We jumped in the hotel's hot tub afterwards to warm up, to find that they don't believe in HOT hot tubs in Cancun. We all attended the 5 hour Jenco executives meeting.
We ate at the "Brazilian" restaurant in our hotel...not really Brazilian...but we ate again at the regular all inclusive place to make up for it. They had the BEST guacamole and beans. Mmmm, I ate them for breakfast, lunch & dinner! Later we shopped for toys for charity and then delivered the toys to the Hard Rock Cafe Christmas Toy Drive.

This is the beginning of what ended up to be a VERY long meeting. But hey, we had this meeting in Cancun with all the Banana Mamas we wanted!
Checking out at Walmart.
You would not believe the screams, applause and cheers that this crew gave us when we showed up with Jenco's toy donation. It was a little bit embarrassing, but also gave us such a great feeling knowing that what we had done was so appreciated. Thanks Buffy for looking into that for us!

Playing cards & sipping Banana Mamas on the beach. What could be better?

FRIDAY: Puerto Morales
We rented a van and drove to Puerto Morales about (about an hour and a half from Cancun) to go snorkeling. This was an amazing day! We went there to go snorkeling, and ended up exploring some local, non-commercialized cenotes as well. We came upon the coolest tour guide. Paco worked for the little snorkeling company we found. He wasn't a guide, or the boss, he was "just in charge of the blah, blah, blah." But, he hooked us up with the best things to do and best places to eat in that cute little town.

The coolest thing we saw snorkeling was a sea turtle. But, it was all beautiful. I was seriously freezing, but I figured out if I swam super fast, I got a great workout, and kept warm!
with Paco, post snorkeling

Paco sent us to this little shack to eat lunch. I think we were all a little nervous at first, but it was hands down the BEST meal we had the entire trip. We ate on plastic white tables in the dirt, but this food could be served at the FINEST Mexican restaurant anywhere. Amazing!

Buffy & Stew freefall into the first mouth of the Sieta Bocas Cenotes.

Dan. Always the daredevil.

This is the mouth that we actually ALL jumped in to. Whew! I didn't know that I was a month pregnant at the time, or I probably would have been more apprehensive about the cave jumping!

Up in the tree tops in a make shift tree-house.
SATURDAY: Chichen Itza
This is just an incredible thing to see in person. I asked for a Mormon tour guide when we got there. I was told that there weren't any there at the time, but we landed a guide who had read the Book of Mormon and was familiar with our understanding of the people who lived there. It was awesome to witness the architecture, the preciseness of all that they did, and the spirituality that surrounded it all. My favorite thing that he told us about were the 2000 pillars, representing 2000 great warriors, who he mentioned "are perhaps your 2000 Stripling", and I didn't even get a picture of it! The whole thing was amaing though.

A baptismal font

Our awesome guide. I wish I could remember his name!

Our balcony at night.

Right below our balcony during the day.

SUNDAY: Departure

We left Cancun, and when we arrived in Denver that night, the flight attendant welcomed us to the -15 degree weather! Luckily, Kent braved the cold to get the truck and picked us up curbside.

The only bad thing about the entire trip, was that we didn't have cell phone service - so keeping in contact with our kids was challenging. Stewart let us use his phone, but I just missed my little cuties! I wanted them to be able to call me whenever they needed to, and I wanted to be able to chat with them whenever...but it didn't quite turn out that way. Fortunately, they were in great hands with Auntie Lia! I know they had fun without us, but it was really nice to come home and give them all HUGE hugs and lots of kisses!

I really do think there are so many good things that come from some time away from them though. First and foremost, spending time alone with your spouse, without the normal everyday stresses, gives you the opportunity to remember why you love each other, and why you chose to be together in the first place. It's really refreshing. And secondly, it makes you realize that you really, truly would be so empty without your kids, and they realize that you really are nice to have around! It's a win-win all around!

Thank you Jenco & Thank you LiLi! Love you girl!

HOLDIAY REVIEW: Thanksgiving '08

We spent THANKSGIVING 2008 in California with the Hunts.
Tuesday: Breakfast with Bapa & a Day at the LA ZOO
Warm enough to eat outside on Grandma's patio

Dad gave lots of shoulder rides at the zoo.

I'm probably a wee bit heaver than the kids. Check out Dan's face.

Wednesday: Disneyland
It was a perfect day. Overcast, a little chilly later on, and not super crowded. A miracle for the day before Thanksgiving! In fact, we got there early and rode our first three rides without even waiting in line. Nana, Bapa, Cherry & Rachie helped out with the kids throughout the day so Dan & I could ride some "big kid" rides too. We packed lunch in a cooler and ate out in the parking garage, where Dad snuck a quick nap. Of course the kids were way too riled up to be convinced to do the same. And who can blame them? I love, love, love Disneyland!
We all had a BLAST!
1st ride of the day: Pirates of the Carribean of course.

2nd ride of the day: Splash Mountain - we got SOAKED and it was CHILLY! We dried out eventually, but this explains why my hair is completely frizzed out the entire rest of the day.

Az in Pixie Hollow
Bella in Pixie Hollow. We actually got in trouble for letting them sit on the props - I didn't mind too much.
The girls during their 2 minutes with Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow. We stood in line for that longer than anything else all day! But Az & B thought it was totally worth it!

Submarine ride with Sarah, Sienna, Bella, Nana & Az

Dan, Calvin and I on the Submarine ride before we all dozed off there.
Az, B & Cousin Sienna with Aurora
Mulan & Jasmine would not stop "being in character" and making our kids look the other way over the fence for some reason. I finally had to be a teensy bit rude to make them look my direction.
Az & Cherry on Dumbo. We made it. I would NOT let Azure get out of line to go potty. Am I a mean Disnelyand momma? Maybe a little. But we were there to have fun not to go potty!
Nana & Bella

Hyrum & Pegah came around 1:00 in the afternoon...and took a second to pose with Cal - right after he dumped an entire water bottle on himself. But, what's new?
In line for Small World...an oldie but a goodie!
Calvin's favorite ride of the day: the Carousel, without a doubt! Just look at that smile! That right there makes it ALL worth it!

The end of the day, and we're all still smiling. It was fabulous! I love being with Dan and the kids when everyone is happy and enjoying themselves...everyone really had so much fun.

The crash...waiting for Nana to finish up shopping so we could head to the car. We couldn't complain too much, because she was shopping for our kiddos of course! AND, she took our kids home and put them in bed so we could stay an extra 2 hours and ride Space Mountain 3 times, and hit the Jungle Cruise - which was just as great in the dark.
Thursday: Thanksgiving
I don't have ANY pictures of this...probably because Dan & I were busy fixing Thanksgiving Dinner for the 20 people that were there. Hyrum did come later and make his scrumptious mashed potatoes...but we were pretty much in the kitchen all day...so no pics! Bummer!
The girls helped me set up and decorate tables in Grandma Zena's living room...they were really proud of themselves. They turned out pretty dang cute.
Friday: Bowling in Valencia Bapa & Bella

Bapa was the designated kid bowler...this was Bella's favorite way to send the ball rolling.

Cute little chicas - Azure, Pegah and Charity
We went to Pegah's parents house later on for an INCREDIBLE Persian meal. Her mom must have been cooking for days, honestly. They were so kind and generous with us, I wish we had pictures with them, but we were too busy eating, and eating, and eating some more to take time for snapshots. It really was soooo nice.

Saturday Morning: Seal Beach
I love this beach. We would usually go here or to Huntington growing up...lots of memories. My kids loved it too.The water was seriously chilly. It didn't stop the girls rom taking a swim, but Calvin wasn't too excited.

Sienna, Rachel, Bella, Azure

Grandma Z "holding" Cal. I actually had one hand under him to support his weight. She's a little more frail than she used to be. But she's 90 for crying out loud! That's to be expected!

Saturday Evening: Grandma Zena's 90th Birthday Party
Celebrating with Grandma was really the reason we went out to Cali for Thanksgiving. She truly is an incredible person. A convert to the church, she was a pioneer in her own time. Once she was baptized, there was no stopping her. She is a great example of strength and dilligence, and enduring to the end. She still serves in the church, attends water aerobics and watercolor classes, and is forever an optimist!

She had 2 children (my mom's sister Jan passed away in '98), 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren...and almost all of us were there to party with Grandma for her 90th. Her husband Mac was there as well (her first husband, my Grandmpa Hill, passed away in '94).