Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in NYC


Our weekend in NYC was so much fun. Here's a brief rundown of what we did. My sister's friend and her husband live in the city, so they were nice enough to let us stay in their place since they were out of town for the weekend. They have a sweet apartment and an awesome view of the George Washington Bridge. (Thanks so much Lindsay and Rob!) We got there late Wednesday night, around 10:30. Bryan drove around for an hour after dropping us off looking for a parking spot. The girls went to bed at about 12:00 am and we woke up at 7:00 to get ready for the parade. We caught the subway at 8:00 am and it was so crowded when we got off the subway. We stood still for 20 minutes just waiting for the crowd to disperse. We ended up at Columbus Circle to watch the parade. It wasn't the best spot, we could only see the balloons and no people. Niah was really mad when the 'Bolt' float went by and we couldn't see Miley Cyrus. I was a little disappointed for her too. We decided about halfway through to walk up the street and see if we could find a better spot. Well, we did and it ended up being so much better and Niah loved it! It was so much fun seeing the parade, I have always wanted to see it in real life so now I have! After the parade, we headed down to 5th Ave. to check out the FAO Schwartz toy store and the decorated windows. Just a bit of advice if you ever go to the city with kids- go without the stroller! NYC is not a stroller friendly place, the store aisles are too narrow and the subways are a pain with them. We actually ended up leaving the stroller home on the second day. We had sore arms from carrying Chloe but it was worth it. Anyway, after 5th Ave. we headed to Times Square and ate lunch at a place called Ellen's Stardust Diner. The waiters and waitresses are Broadway wannabes so they sing while you eat. The atmosphere was great but the food, not so much. I love Broadway so I thought it was a great way to get that theater feel when we didn't go to a real play. We then took the girls to the gigantic Toys R' Us store. There is a ferris wheel inside that you can ride, we didn't because the line was soooo long. Out of all the toys in the store the girls picked out stuffed giraffes. Bryan and I tried to talk them out of it, but that's what they wanted. Whatever makes them happy, right?! We were all so worn out that we decided to call it a day, it was only about 4:00 in the afternoon but we had had enough! The second day we went to the Statue of Liberty. Niah loved seeing her in real life. She had to pose for the camera in front of the statue. It was really funny. This was probably the highlight of the trip. After the Statue, we went and saw Ground Zero and then headed to Times Square again to eat lunch/dinner. Niah wanted to see the Disney Store so we went back to 5th Ave to let her see it. The store was awesome and we even got to see Minnie and Goofy. The walking was exhausting. We walked a ton and when I woke up in the mornings I could hardly walk because of sore feet and legs! Since I didn't get much shopping in the first couple of days, Bryan took the girls to a park near the apartment while I went into the city by myself to shop. It was a ton of fun and I want to do a girls trip now! I had a great time shopping all by myself! On our way home, we missed a turn off and got pretty lost. We eventually found our way back to where we needed to be and then got lost again in Albany when we tried to find somewhere to eat. Needless to say, our drive home was not that fun and a little longer than it should have been.

I'm so glad we got to visit NYC. It was so much fun and I want to go back someday for sure.

New Couch

My new couch is here and I love it! Here are a few pics of Bryan putting it together. It is a really great set-up. There is storage underneath the cushions, which we really needed! If you are in the market for a new couch check out homereserve.com. We are very happy with our purchase. Here's Bryan testing it out for the first time.
It came in two huge boxes so I turned them into houses for the girls. The girls got to work decorating them with markers.



I love my new couch. It's so nice to have somewhere to relax and lay down at the end of the day. Thanks B for my wonderful birthday present!








Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today I turned 26! I feel really old. I think it's the first birthday where I have actually felt older. I had a fun day. Bryan surprised me with a new couch, it will be here on Tuesday. I can't wait! I am so sick of sitting on the uncomfortable recliner chair. Those just don't work for short people like me. My mom and dad sent me a package with some money and a few other fun things that I love. My sister McKell, who is the NYC expert, put together her tips for traveling in the city. I am really excited about it and I'm sure it will come in handy. My sister Tam made me a cute apron. I can't wait to use it. It's red fabric with white polka dots and when Niah saw it she said, "Mom, now you will look like Minnie Mouse!" Thanks fam for the wonderful cards and presents. You are all so nice. Bryan and I went on a HOT date (haha) tonight and we saw Twilight. I went with low expectations because the movies are never as great as the books, but I have to say that it was really, really good. It follows the book pretty well and the actors did a good job, I think. Bryan even said it was pretty entertaining. I am still trying to get him to read the books- I'm not sure he'll go for it. Also, our friend Vanessa is a great photographer and about a month ago she offered to take family pictures for everyone. We got them back today and I am so happy with them! They turned out beautifully and I can't wait to hang them on my wall so I can look at them all the time. The girls look so pretty and grown up. Here are a few of my favorites. (I hope you don't mind me posting some, Vanessa!)




All in all, it was a great day. Growing up, I always wondered what I would be doing when I was this age and today, I realized that my life is exactly as I imagined it would be 10-12 years ago. I have a wonderful, forever family, a terrific husband who works hard every day for us, and two beautiful little girls who are the joys of my life. I am so happy to be a part of their lives. I am so blessed. I can't wait to share the next 26 years and many more with them!





Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Snow

It snowed on Tuesday, not very much but the ground was covered. When I looked out the window that morning I was kind of depressed about the snow, but the girls were really excited about it. I gave in and decided to take them out to play. It was actually pretty fun.

Niah working hard shoveling the snow...

Chloe couldn't use the rake and shovel with her gloves on. She got a little frustrated. She liked to watch her feet kick the snow when she walked!

I am definitely NOT ready for winter, but ready or not it's coming!



Friday, November 14, 2008

8 Things...

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch (when I get a free minute and the remote!)
1. Jon and Kate Plus 8
2. Baby Story
3. What Not to Wear
4. Everybody Loves Raymond
5. CSI
6. Biggest Loser
7. Reba
8. The Today Show

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. The Old Spaghetti Factory
2. Cafe Rio
3. PF Changs
4. Olive Garden
5. Longhorn Steakhouse
6. Steve's Steakhouse
7. Quizno's (does that count as a restaurant?)
8. Joes: American Bar and Grill

8 Things That Happened Yesterday
1. I got online to use a Baby Gap coupon and after watching these dresses for a month, they were sold out online. So, I got myself and the girls ready and we rushed to the mall to buy these gorgeous Christmas dresses for the girls at the mall. Luckily, they had them!!
2. Went visiting teaching
3. Hung out at my friend Erica's house (I also visit teach her so it's great!) and just talked while the kids played.
4. I started making our Christmas cards.
5. The girls and I colored.
6. Went to a primary meeting
7. Went to 'interest group' with all the med school wives.
8. I watched Monsters, Inc. with Niah.

8 Things I am Looking Forward To
1. Date night with Bryan tomorrow.
2. My birthday and Twilight (oops, that's two!)
3. Thanksgiving in NYC.
4. Going home to Utah for Christmas.
5. Seeing my Dad's new cabin.
6. Summer.
7. Living in a house.
8. Niah and Chloe's birthdays.

8 Things On My Wishlist
1. To have more space, our apartment is shrinking by the day!
2. To be able to travel anywhere at any time.
3. For my girls to grow up and be happy, good people.
4. I wish for more patience.
5. A new fancy camera and a new computer.
6. To sleep all night without kids in my bed or hearing Chloe yell 'MOM' in the middle of the night. (even though it is pretty cute when she does that.)
7. To go on a trip with just Bryan when he finishes med school.
8. I wish to live a little closer to family some day.

8 People I Tag
1. Tam
2. Kaitie Bug
3. McKell
4. Miquelle
5. Sara Jane
6. Kaitlan
7. Mom
8. Mel F.

Monday, November 10, 2008

6 months...

It has been six months and two days since my grandma died. I really can't believe it has been that long. It seems like just yesterday I was at her funeral. There is not a minute or day that goes by when I'm not thinking about her. She was such a special person and I miss her terribly. Every day, it seems that I find something that she gave me or that makes me think of her. I know that she is okay and that she's watching us here on Earth. I can't wait to see her again, I know the day will come.
This is my grandma and me on my wedding day- actually, the day after our wedding, we had two receptions.
Isn't she pretty?! I love this picture of her. It was taken one or two days before she had brain surgery. I was pregnant with Niah at the time.
I miss you and love you Grandma Saundra. I know you're always with me!

Rocket

Bryan's mom sent us this great rocket toy last week. We took it over to the park to play and I got some fun shots of Bryan and Niah shooting it off. This one of Bryan is my favorite- he's in the air!
Niah can get it pretty high up in the air.
Chloe just wanted to run and ride her bike on the court, she didn't really care about the rocket!
Thanks Grandma Shannon for the fun rocket. It's great entertainment for all of us!!
(P.S. I know my blog is still decorated for Halloween... I'm waiting to get our new family pictures before I change it again!!)

Get Smart

Bryan and I rented this movie over the weekend. We LOVED it!! It was so hilarious. I haven't laughed so hard for a long time. Steve Carell is so funny. If you haven't seen it, you must watch it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grandma Sally

Today is my Grandma Sally's birthday! She is such a great Grandma and I love her to death. I have so many memories of her. Here are some of my favorites...
- Sleeping over at her house and waking up to French Toast in the morning. (Maybe that's why French Toast is my favorite breakfast now!)
- Getting my back tickled before going to sleep.
- Building snow forts and having Easter egg hunts in her backyard.
- Watching musicals with her. She introduced me to Doris Day! She gave me the movie Calamity Jane when I was in third grade and it's so worn out that it almost doesn't work anymore! Doris Day reminds me of Grandma. I still remember going to see her in the play 'The Music Man'.
- I slept with the baby blanket (my 'horsey blanket') she made me when I was born until I got married. It's still up in my closet.
- After Bryan and I got married we would go hang out at her house in Provo and do our laundry. It was always fun to sit and visit with her.
- I remember the day they got home from their mission to Canada. I was so excited to see them!
- When I see pressed flowers I think of her, she was really good at that!
These are just a few, there are so many more. I will be here all night if I type all of my memories! She is a mother of six, grandmother of 23, and three, almost 4, great grandchildren. She has served two missions- Canada and Laos- and she knows how to love every body unconditionally. She is an awesome example to me. Hope you have a great day Grandma. Love you lots!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Crisp

So, my mother-in-law gave me these great Family Home Evening kits. Each one has some pictures to color and cut out and it has a story to go with the pictures. The best part is that each one comes with a recipe! I have been working on the Thanksgiving kit so that I can share it with my kids. Anyway, this recipe sounds really good. I think I will make it tonight for our FHE treat. I thought it was perfect for this time of year. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Crisp:
1 large can pumpkin
3 eggs beaten
1 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 yellow cake mix
1 1/2 cubes melted butter
Directions: In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, salt, all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9 cake pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over entire top of mixture. Pour melted butter over cake. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
DELICIOUS!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

We had a great Halloween! We started the week off by decorating pumpkins. Niah wanted a Sleeping Beauty pumpkin so she found some pumpkin stencils online, yes Niah found them!, and Bryan went to work. It's hard to see in this photo but it looks really good! We decorated some sugar cookies. The girls enjoyed the frosting more than the actual cookies!Last night, we went to our ward Halloween party. It was so much fun and the girls had a blast trick-or-treating around the church. Niah was a little shy and wouldn't say 'trick-or-treat' but by the end she warmed up a little. Chloe is our little sweet tooth so she was in heaven. Here's Ni with her friends at the party... Gracie, Niah, Georgie, Beth (the perfect Snow White), Brooke, Addi, and Grace.

Here's us at the party. The sign says it all when it comes to Bryan and me dressing up. Bryan isn't a huge Halloween fan- I have told him, and he will admit that he is a party pooper!



Here's Chloe eating a cupcake. I don't think she ate her dinner at all, she just wanted candy and treats!

Niah and her friend Addi.


Niah dressed up as Ericka from Barbie's Princess and the Pauper. She wanted her hair just like Ericka's so, I had to straighten her hair first to get all her natural curl under control so that she could have curls like this. She looked really pretty! I love fixing her hair- she doesn't let me do it fancy very often so I had fun!



Princess Ericka...


Our Little Angel girl...


Thursday night I had the crazy, last minute idea to turn one of our pumpkins into a witch for the girls. I worked on it for 2 1/2 hours and was up until midnight. I had a lot of fun and Bryan even helped me make the hat. I thought she turned out pretty cute- I'm not an artist so the face is kind of funny looking, oh well. I made up a Halloween story that night for Niah and the witch in the story was named Agatha. I set the pumpkin on the counter so the girls would see it when they woke up. I told Niah Friday morning that Agatha, the witch from our story came to visit her for Halloween. Well, both of the girls hated the witch and wouldn't go near it! I had to move it away from them while they ate breakfast and they haven't touched it since. I guess I'll know in the future that the girls don't like pumpkin witches! I also made them pancakes for breakfast and cut them out in Halloween shapes... the girls wouldn't eat them so I ended up giving them cereal. I was trying to be a fun, creative mom and it didn't go over well with the kids! I guess I'll try again next year.


Here's Agatha with a carrot nose, yarn for hair, and a hat made out of a cereal box. I think she's cute...


We had a fun Halloween. It's weird to think that it's already over. Now, on to the real fun holidays!!
















Here we are at the top of Niah's castle!

Here's Niah and her best friend Addi playing in the dirt!

Bryan's favorite things:

  • BYU Football
  • Pandora.com
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Mountain Biking
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Kayaking

Natalie's Favorite Things

  • Naps
  • Blogging
  • Cooking
  • Going on dates with Bryan
  • Reading good books
  • Being a mom

Niah's Favorite Things

  • Hannah Montana
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • High School Musical
  • Reading books with her dad
  • Singing
  • Disney Princesses
  • Playing outside with her friends

Chloe's Favorite Things

  • Being outside
  • Her binki
  • Bananas
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Playing with Niah
  • Taking a bath