Friday, June 18, 2010

This Week

This week has been busy. I guess we are taking advantage of Bryan being home and filling our days with things to do.
We got a coupon in the mail for two free pints of Benjamin Moore paints, so being a little spontaneous, we decided to paint our family room. It was a dusty blue color and it just wasn't very bright. It looked dingy and dark. We picked out a color called Sunny Days. It was a bold choice for us, but I think the way it turned out is fabulous! Here's the before...And here's the after... It makes the room feel bigger and so much lighter. I love it. Eventually, we want to put a big painting or mirror above the fireplace. The colors of the room are going to change too. Maybe some blues? We'll have to see.

I had to throw this picture in. Bennett is pretty attached to his blankie. He LOVES anything silky and soft. This is how I found him last night when I went to check on him. He's so cute.

We have been spending a lot of time in our yard. The kids love to be outside. Bennett likes the porch swing. Oh, and his eyes are really that blue. They are gorgeous! I think they are getting more and more blue the older he gets.

I let my girls take some pictures of the rose we have growing in our front yard. They took some great pictures of it. Here is the one that Chloe took...

Here's the one that Niah took...

Some of Niah's new friends participated in a soccer camp this week. She wanted to join them so she has been going every day this week for three hours and learning how to play soccer. I think she really enjoyed it, even though she cried every day when I dropped her off. It was put on through a Lutheran church and she got a soccer ball, t-shirt, water bottle, and some Lutheran indoctrination! Really, the devotionals weren't that bad, nothing had to be corrected at home! It was good for Niah to get out and get to know some of the kids here a little better.

Next week the work begins! Bryan goes back to work and so do I. It's been a while since I have had all three kids by myself every day. I think it's going to take some getting used to. We will have to figure out a new routine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Graduation weekend was great! We were lucky enough to have lots of family join us for Bryan's graduation. We had a lot of fun with everyone.
The Forbes side... The Mason side...
Yeah! He did it!! What a proud moment.

The whole clan...

The kids did great during the ceremony. It was super hot in the chapel that graduation was held in, but the kids hung in there. I was so glad that they behaved- they usually do, though!

Bryan's three brothers came to support him. (Weston, Bryan, Jon, and Denton) I think they had a lot of fun together.

Here's Bryan marching into the chapel.

I am so happy for Bryan and proud of him for reaching his goal of becoming a doctor. Many, many thanks to all of our family members who supported us (financially, mentally, and many other ways!) during the last four years. We couldn't have done it without all of you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Big Move

Well, I finally have a free minute to post about our move. Our huge Penske truck was completely full! I really didn't think we had that much stuff or that we would fill a truck that size. Driving out of Vermont was awfully hard. I actually shed a few tears. I love Vermont. It will always be a special place to me. The kids were terrific on our road trip. Our DVD player is broken so they didn't even watch a movie in the two days of driving that we did! I was pretty impressed. Bennett did great and never let out a cry. He was such a trooper, he just chilled in his car seat if he was not sleeping. The girls were highly entertained in the front seat of the moving truck. They took turns riding with Bryan and his brother, Denton. Who needs movies when you can ride in a big truck?! We left Thursday at about lunch time, got to Rochester at 10:00 pm, headed out in the morning at 9:30 and got to South Bend at 8:30 pm. The only catastrophe we had wasn't actually that bad. The tire on the car carrier blew about an hour outside of Rochester, NY. Bryan and Denton waited for the Penske guy to come fix it while the kids and I continued on to our friends' house that we were staying at. (The Mickelsens were great for letting us use their house!)

Here we are on our front porch in Vermont. I miss this place so much.

Here is Denton, Niah, and Bryan waiting to get on the ferry. We had to take the ferry across Lake Champlain because they blew up the bridge. It was fun. Bryan had never done that so it was a good way to leave Vermont! The girls did so great on the ride. We played lots of games: The Banana Game- you have to find yellow vehicles and you get points for the ones you find, the License Plate Game- I think we saw almost every state, Team Storytelling- we got the giggles on this one- somehow it always ended up being a story about someone peeing their pants!
Bennett is such a good kid! I still can't believe how good he did while being in the car so long.
All the boxes were great entertainment for Bennett.

Driving into South Bend was exciting. Niah was anxious to get there and kept asking, "How much longer?", "Where's our new house?", and "Where's our toll road?!" When we got to our house, the Smith's (our friends from Vermont) were there to meet us with our house keys. They were nice enough to mow our lawn for us and to buy a few groceries to get us through the night and next day. Looking through the house, I quickly became overwhelmed by it. It was dirty and there was pet hair (there was no sign of a pet when I looked at it in April!) all over. I was a little discouraged, but we got to work and after about a week of cleaning and unpacking our house is clean and put together. It still feels like I'm on vacation and living in someone else's house, but once we get into a routine I'm sure it will start to feel more like home. We have so much space!! I have empty cupboards in my kitchen, empty rooms, and empty corners! The kids are loving the backyard and the basement. They have spent most of their time playing in the hose and on the slip n' slide we got them. They also love to watch a Robin tend to her new babies. There is a nest on our pergola. We named the bird Maid Marian and the daddy bird (I can't say for sure it's the daddy bird, but the girls think he is) Robin Hood! We also have a cherry tree in our backyard. We are slowly adjusting to life here. We have met some great people already.Bryan starts work in about a week. We are going to live it up this week and do some fun things because after this week Bryan will be M.I.A! Niah has made some new friends, and Chloe has too. Niah is going to soccer camp this week with some of her friends. I think she will enjoy it. We got Niah all registered for Kindergarten (weird). She LOVES that she will get a locker at school!
We are liking South Bend so far and are slowly getting settled in. Life is good!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Bryan and I headed to Cancun for a little graduation vacation. My mom was nice enough to stay in Vermont with the kids while we were gone. This was the first trip we've taken just the two of us since our honeymoon and it was fabulous! Mexico was beautiful. We had perfect weather the entire time. Bryan got to swim with a nurse shark. I wasn't brave enough to get in the water! Bryan enjoyed it though.

This is the view we had from our room. We were about 30 yards from the beach, it was so great. Thanks to my grandpa for getting us an awesome place to stay!

We visited a lighthouse on Isla Mujeres. There was a true 'island' feel on the island. I loved it.

We sent my mom this picture of us on the beach and she said that when Niah saw it she said, "Gross, they're falling in love!" She is such a crack up.

This trip was so much fun but we did learn a few things about Mexico:
1. Don't talk to the guys at the airport, even if they tell you they'll give you free breakfast and free tickets to an activity. We ended up wasting our whole morning on a time share presentation that took over three hours, and even after we told them we weren't buying they wouldn't let up. We got free breakfast, free tickets to Isla Mujeres, and free Pina Coladas. I still would have rather bought all of those myself than sitting through the presentation when I could have been on the beach!
2. Make sure you take plenty of money with you whenever you go somewhere. We ended up doing some shopping and didn't have enough for the bus ride or taxi ride back to the hotel. So, what did we do? We walked along the beach to our hotel. It was exhausting walking in the sand. When we got back we googled the distance to see how far it was- it ended up being over 4 miles! No wonder my feet hurt so bad.
3. When purchasing tickets for the activities always do something that seems a little more family friendly. We went to Isla Mujeres on a boat- we didn't know it was a party, tequila drinking boat! We saw things that we didn't really bargain for. Let's just say that we'll never be the same!
4. Make sure when you are buying Mexican sunscreen that it is waterproof! We bought some that we thought was waterproof. Knowing how to read Spanish would have helped. Being sunburned is not so great.
We had a great time. I forgot what it is like to just hang out with Bryan and enjoy each other's company. We are so thankful for my grandpa and mom for making this trip possible. We couldn't have done it without you!

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
  • 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