Glad you found our site ok! On this page you'll find family journal updates and all recent pictures, and most old pictures.
On the about us page you can learn about how we met and more about our cute little girls.
Likely you'll also want to check out the video page, with super cute videos we've taken of the girls.
Furthermore, if you'd like to view or add some inspirational quotes check out that page! And don't forget, you can leave a comment on most sections, but you need to register with shutterfly first...thankfully its free and easy!
All together now
Hello Family & Friends,
We'd like to announce the birth of our son Declan Asher Horenstein. Born Tuesday, May 7th at 12:20pm. He came out weighing 8lbs 8oz and was 19.75in long. It was an incredible and joyous experience to welcome him into the world.
The day was just a whirlwind of unexpected but anxiously awaited events. Phil was away at AIT with just a week and a half until graduation. We had tried to get him permission to complete early. I thought he had not been given permission so I thought he would not return home until May 15th. I was sad because that would be 4 days past my due date and I didn't think baby would wait that long to come so I made back-up plans for what seemed likely the likely possibility of having the baby without my husband there. Well, as it turned out Phil did get permission to complete AIT early! But he wanted to surprise me. So at midnight the dawning of May 7th I did not expect to see my husband standing in the doorway of my bedroom. I was taken aback and in shock but mostly just very very happy! Well, in all the excitement at 1am I started having consistent contractions. By 5am when they hadn't gone I decided we should go to the hospital just to make sure everything was fine. When we got there we were admitted and they decided baby would be born that day. 7 hours later Declan was born, happy to meet daddy and mommy.
Mercedes and Faith have been very happy girls having daddy back home and getting to spend time with their baby brother. We are thrilled how things have worked out so well for our little family and recognize the Lord in all our blessings.
Now as the summer approaches we soon embark on another adventure...Utah being our next stop, and we're hoping to call it home for a couple years. We'll keep you all updated.
March, march, marching on
While some people may be not be enjoying how "quickly" 2013 is passing, I'm personally loving that March is here already and moving right along. So many wonderful things to look forward to this year. This month in particular means Phil graduates from Basic Combat Training (on March 22)!!! Unfortunately it doesn't mean he returns home though since he goes straight to Advanced Individual Training (AIT). But it will mean he'll rather than being busy 24/7 with out internet access and very limited phone time (one short call a week max is what we have gotten), he'll be able to have his evening and weekends free, and call AND video chat with us! He's being doing really well at Basic Combat Training (BCT). Currently Phil is platoon guide (a significant leadership role), and is getting along well with all the soldiers. He has learned a lot about being a soldier, using weapons, surviving/maneuvering in unfavorable conditions etc. He also enjoys his opportunities to attend LDS church services there on base.
Only 9 weeks left until we expect Phil's return...and the arrival of our baby boy (I'm currently 31 wks/7.5 months pregnant)!! In the meantime Mercedes, Faith, and I plan on continuing to enjoy our time with family. We've had such nice weather that has allowed frequent park trips, as well as just a lot of time in the backyard. Also, still working on potty training for Faith, and more "preschool" learning for Mercedes. The girls seem to be enjoying life. Faith is making strides to want to learn more and try to do more big kid things like buckling herself, or dressing herself...a phrase she says a lot lately is "I try, I try". Or "I try again". Mercedes is learning and growing everyday and it's fun to see. Her development includes her blossoming imagination. It's always been fun watch her play pretend or to play with her. But she continues to surprise me with the things she thinks up, or the vocabulary I didn't know she had. Like how she told her Auntie Taylor today that she was making a "combustible" cake, lol. I love my little girls, they are a joy to have around.
So life is good, despite our growing excitement and anticipation for May (when Phil finishes AIT and I should go into labor). Everyday is a blessing, a chance to learn, to grow, to improve, to serve, to love, and to be happy!
The Power of Love
Our love for someone (or something) is often a driving force for our actions. Perhaps that is why God said the first two great commandments are FIRST "love the Lord thy God", and Second "love thy neighbor". We often feel we would do anything for those we love, thus if we make sure we trust and love the Lord, we will never be led astray as what he asks us to do will always bring us peace and happiness. While sometimes our love for other things may bring only fleeting pleasures and eventually misery.
Still, love for our fellow men is a great thing, and a great power. And especially the love we can enjoy in our families, and close relationships. It is such a comfort and a strength when we know we are loved.
I love my family! Though they may not all hear it as often as they should. And though I shouldn't play favorites, I especially love my children and my husband! Love is a wonderful thing that is both fed by the receiver and the giver. We choose to love, but those we love often do things that make it easier for us to love them. My love for my husband grows, as it is nurtured. It grows everyday as I reflect on everything he is to me, everything he's done for me, and all the wonderful time we've spent together. I'm so grateful to be married to such a wonderful man.
As a mother though, I feel that my love for my children was full blown the moment they kicked in the womb, and especially when I held them for the first time. My love for my children feels immeasurable and constant. But perhaps that is because as a parent we can't help but be constantly nourishing our love for our kids...because we are constantly (inevitably) serving them. And in return those sweet spirits so fresh from heaven, so quick to love, express their love so kindly and frequently.
Perhaps, that is what is ideal in all our relationships to develop a love so pure and constant by being as self-less as possible and constantly serving those we love that our love may grow; and by showing gratitude for all they do for us in return. Also we could probably use to be more merciful, quicker to forgive, and slower to find fault...as a parent typically is for their child so we might be with everyone.
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
A new year
Well it's a new year, and we are anticipating many new adventures. Our current adventure is Phil is training with the National Guard; and the girls and I are enjoying a California winter.
Mercedes is continuing preschool activities at home in the meantime; slowly learning to read, and learning more about writing, and math, and science, and everyday skills. Faith has been doing pretty well improving her verbal skills and she wants to be more independent everyday. Hopefully we will be able to accomplish a lot in the months to come. I'm also really look forward to fun "field trips" we can take. This week we are going to a place just for fun, called "Go bananas" where the girls can run out some energy and play on inflatables and things.
Baby boy is growing and developing well as far as we know, and I would not mind if the next 17 weeks passed by very quickly, but honestly pregnancy is going well and I'm not too uncomfortable or anything.
Have a great day, I'll try to update again soon. Check out our pics, there are a few new ones.
"And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul." (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 11: 18-23)
Merry Christmas Everyone! As we visit with family and look forward to Christmas and the New Year, we try not to forget the true reason for the season. As a family we are so grateful for our savior Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Though, I must admit I love buying presents and watching our happy girls open them up christmas morning. I love eating yummy food, and visiting with family. I love Christmas music, and Christmas lights, and Christmas movies. But there is more to Christmas than that, for Christmas wouldn't be Christmas, without Christ. We wouldn't have reason to celebrate. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. And that was and still is an event worth rejoicing over and celebrating.
Christ was born to a mortal woman, Mary, though he is also the literal son of the Father. He came to this world, and lived a perfect life, He taught the doctrine of eternal life, He established His church, He performed many miracles, and greatest of all He performed the atonement by suffering in Gethsemane and dying on the cross, AND resurrecting. He did this so we, as imperfect as we are, can be perfected through His sacrifice, we can be saved through His atonement and the ordinances and covenants set up by Him and the Father, and we can return to live with His and our Father and inherit all that they have. That is the true reason we rejoice now and all year long.
Recently Phil reflected on the symbolism of the Christmas tree. Christmas trees are set up to represent life everlasting, and light. But even more than that, just as the tree of life that Nephi saw in the vision, the Christmas tree might also be a symbol of that, the tree of life that represents the love of God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
Hope you all may enjoy the spirit and love that usually abounds this time of year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If thou art merry praise the Lord...with...thanksgiving (D&C 136:28)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! There are so many things we have to be thankful for in our family, it would be nigh impossible to list them all. But I will list some of our most recent blessings.
I'm thankful for the House the Lord, the temple and for having my brother and his new bride living so close to us that we can double date to the temple together.
I'm thankful for our sweet little girls, and our newest developing baby. I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed us to be able to afford a growing family and that we could buy a mini-van to accommodate our family getting bigger.
I'm thankful that Phil worked hard over the summer and had another successful sales year, so that he can provide for our family and even have some time off to just enjoy with us this fall.
I'm thankful for the scriptures, because we can study them as a family, as a couple, and as individuals to learn, grow, and be enriched.
I'm thankful for the holiday season that brings families together, and am very much looking forward to visiting California soon.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! WE LOVE YOU ALL! HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
Vision parables and a heartbeat
Today in Relief Society we talked about "vision", particularly referring to some General Conference talks from April 2012 by Sis. Beck and Bro. Haleck. We discussed the importance of seeing ourselves as the Lord sees us, knowing our true potential. We discussed the many connotations of the word "vision" (understanding, direction, faith). The discussion reminded me of two of my own experiences that were sort of modern day parables of "having our vision restored" and "improving our vision". The first experience happened a few years ago right before we road tripped out to Baltimore for our first summer of sales. I lost my glasses, and at least according to my license I couldn't legally drive without them. I needed them so I could help Phil drive the several thousand miles to our destination. We prayed, and eventually I had the thought to check the temple. I had recently attended the temple and was pretty sure I remembered having my glasses when I went. Sure enough, I found my glasses there. We always look back at that experience and kind of chuckle at the symbolic truth that we can have our vision restored at the temple. The temple is a place that brings clarity to the mind and soul and reminds us of what matters most.
My other experience was when we went to the eye doctor earlier this year for a check up. I was excited to for the appointment because I felt my glasses weren't quite right, that my depth perception was off, and that maybe I needed a stronger prescription. As it turned out, the doctor said my prescription was off, it was too strong...my eyesight had improved! I didn't see how that could happen, but my doctor explained that it was uncommon for a woman's eyesight to improve (or decline) after having children (something to do with pregnancy hormones and such). So, another funny parable for life. You can learn a lot from children, and apparently thus far my experience of being a mother had improved my "vision" in more ways than one.
So on that note, I hope I can continue to learn and grow in this adventure of parenthood. Especially as we welcome more children into our family. The next baby Horenstein expected May 2013!
Yep, our family is growing. We are excited. I'm only 12 weeks at the moment, but we were anxious to make the announcement after we heard the heartbeat. I think the girls will be excited about the new addition and Mercedes some understanding of it already. At least she knows "mommy has a baby in her tummy". But Mercedes and Faith are such sweet sisters to each other I think they will be great sisters to their new sibling too. Well, we'll keep you all updates. Look at our recent album for some new pics too. Love you all! Take care!
The "intention" counts for something
Well, I intended to go workout this morning. I wasn't 100% wanting to, but decided with this crazy week of not being able to get any workouts in yet I needed to go this morning while I had time. But I had to get to and from the gym before Phil needed the car. So I got up, got ready, and headed to to he car with plenty of time. Then I went to start the car, it wouldn't start. I tried several times. No luck. Phil called a mechanic, I googled. It looked like it could be the battery, but no guarantee. After help from wonderful AAA, it turned out to be the battery. Phil was running late for his meeting at this point. So he called to let the guy know; as it turned out the guy was running late too and everything fell into place perfectly.
It was certainly a blessing that even though I didn't get to work out, that because I intended (or even felt prompted to try) to I found the car not working early enough for it not to completely mess up Phil's plans. Then it was such a tremendous blessing that AAA was so helpful and quick, and the meeting was easily pushed back a little.
These little blessings make me feel warm and cozy on this chilly morning. Though it would be especially nice if the "intention" also lead to desired workout results, hehe. Ok, I'll stop being lazy. Maybe I'll do some push-ups or something at home.
"Returning with honor"
"Return with honor", it's a phrase often used in the LDS church in reference to full-time missionaries, reminding them to serve faithfully. Recently at church we were discussing how we invite the spirit in our homes. One sister shared that in her home she placed a sign on their door that said "Return with Honor". Everyone saw it before they left for the day and often she made a point to remind her children. It was a reminder to them to remember who they were, to be true to their divine heritage as well as their family name.
I was reflecting on that phrase (return with honor), as our summer has come to an end and we are packing up to leave. It has been a successful summer. Phil has done well with sales, I've met some of my fitness goals, the girls continue to grow and learn. Not all my wildest dreams have come true, there is still so much to accomplish, but still in a way I feel we can say we will be "returning with honor", having grown and learned and all the time striving to better practice what we believe.
But even more than that, the phrase implicates a greater hope, a grander meaning, return with honor to that God who gave us life. There is much purpose to this life, and many beyond the veil who plead for us to return with honor, to do our duty. And we needn't feel that somehow honor and duty bind our wills and rob us of the happiness we desire from this life..."for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself. Happiness comes from doing one's duty and knowing that his life is in harmony with God"(Joseph B. Wirthlin)
While the bigger picture will not always fill our view, everyday is a new day and a chance to "return with honor".
Happy Independence Day!
I truly believe that God played a hand in the birth of this country. And though as a country and people we have never been perfect, we have been blessed for trying. I hope we can trust in God, and cling to righteous principles as we continue to grow as society, that we may ever be blessed and protected by the hand of the Lord.
*If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. -Hamilton Fish
I hope everyone has a fun and safe time celebrating!
Let's hear it for the dads!
Happy almost Father's day! It's a great to take a chance to celebrate father's because they are so central in a person's life. I think I realize that now more than ever but it could be partly because I feel like my life completely revolves around my husband and kids.
So why do Father's play such a vital role, because they are equal partners with mothers and mothers are AMAZING, hehe. But really, the role of a father is very important, ideally they are to preside and provide. Presiding is a word probably not many are familiar with and the meaning with respect to fatherhood even less understand I'm sure. Basically presiding means "watching over", "protecting", being a kind of referee and taking responsibility for their family's welfare. That's what makes a partnership of mother and father so ideal, because with so many needs to be taken care of it's hard to do alone. I'm so grateful for my husband who is a wonderful dad for our children as he strives to provide, to teach, to play, to learn, and to just enjoy life with family.
I'm grateful for my own father who has been an wonderful example to me. He's taught me much with the words he's said but especially by example. The things he does, the way he handles situations. He's slow to anger and quick to be kind. He's humble and a hardworker. He's always fun to be around, and I know he loves me!
I also know my Heavenly Father loves me. He wants me to be happy. And while there are many worldly philosophies of what a dad can and should do to help his children be happy, Heavenly Father has set forth the best way. And for that I am eternally grateful! Happy Father's day!
A day in the life...
I've known for awhile that it's a bad idea to go to the park the day after it rains. But I did it anyway. We wanted to get out of the house, I needed some exercise, and we all needed a break from the pool. Thus, a walk to the park was the proposed solution. We went to explore another new park I looked up online recently (reportedly the only one in the area with swings). It was a quick walk, and we enjoyed admiring the beauty all around us. When we got there, I knew to anticipate some wet playground equipment (I brought a hand towel just in case, to dry off swings or slides). What I didn't think to expect, a flooded playground. Sure if I'd used my common sense I might have guessed (after all it was a pretty bad storm last night, flood warnings & tornado watches...why did I choose to go to the park??). But we'd walked there and it seemed a tragedy to just walk back (my girls would have thrown fits for sure). So I waded threw to the swings with Faith. Mercedes happily hopped in puddles (until she realized she didn't enjoy the feeling of soaked to the bone sneakers). We made what we could of it. But, it was a swamp, and in the end none of us were having it...so we went home.
Trying to entertain ourselves here in our budding boredom the girls have played with legos, watched tv, painted, fought...etc At one point Mercedes made a little obstacle course for us using some toys. She showed us how we needed to zig-zag through them. After watching Mercedes and I do it a couple times. Faith decided to join in. She approached the start and then walked straight thru it, kicking every obstacle that lie in her way. Gotta love her.
Another treat to the day has been our junk mail (really truly). In the mail today we got a fake key attached to a Car Sales ad. I gave it to Mercedes and it fits perfectly into our bedroom door locks (the ones that lock/unlock with butter knives). So she's been going around the apartment doing that, saying, "I gotta surprise for you. [locking the door unlocking it and opening it] TA-DA!" lol
Well, in honor of Mother's Day tomorrow...I'll end with a note on Motherhood. I love my little girls and they are a tremendous blessing...but they are hard work: to raise, to take care of, to please, to teach, and to not lose my sanity to. Still, nonetheless I know they are precious. And getting to be their mother is an honor. Likewise, having a mother is an honor and a blessing. I'm so grateful for my mother (who is undoubtedly one of the best!) and her mothers (her biological and foster mom). I'm grateful for all women everywhere and through out time who have raised, nurtured, taught, or taken care of children in anyway. I'm grateful for the women who dare to be moms, and I pray for the women who so desperately want children but haven't been blessed with them yet. I know motherhood is a calling from God, and should be work we do in partnership with God and our spouse. I know I have a heavenly Father and like the hymn says "truth is reason, truth eternal, tells me I have a mother there" too. Families are eternal. We did not just fall into the idea of motherhood because evolution or society dictated it and we are wrong to assume it holds us back as women. Being a mother (being a parent) causes us to learn and grow in ways we never could otherwise. I hope more children can be born to and adopted by those sweet, caring women who want them. And I hope I never take my job, my occupation, my life calling as a MOTHER for granted. Happy Mother's day!
There is sunshine in my soul!
Another Horenstein adventure has begun. We've traveled to Texas for hopefully a very successful summer of sales with Vivint! The summer time always means getting into a new schedule and adjusting to a new home and environment for our family. So far, so good. Texas never ranked high on my list of desirable states to live in, but I must say it is more than bearable. hehe
The girls put up with living out of the car and hotel pretty well for the first week, though I think we were all very happy once we got into our actual apartment. Mercedes still isn't convinced this is our "home" now though. But we have friends here and plenty to do so I think she'll manage just fine. Faith has adjusted pretty well, her toys are here, food is still ready at hand and most importantly her family is by her side and I think that sums up any of her possible concerns.
Last week was Phil's first week getting back into the Door-to-door salesman grove. Overall, he had a great week! The start to this week has been rough, but hopefully things will pick up. Life of a summer salesman definitely has it's pros & cons and ups & downs. I think he's excited to have one more shot at it, and we all really love Vivint (the company he works for). But for our family this job was just a stepping stone to help get from point a to b (school to career). So, sometime in the near future Grad school will be completed, and a career will open up for Phil. it will be a nice change. But for now, we're enjoying another summer of sales.
The summer holds for me mostly: meeting fitness goals, doing preschool activities with the girls, reading, swimming, and hopefully enjoying a lot of fun family & friend activities.
All in all, we love the adventure of life and the lessons that can be learned from it. One truth that is always reconfirmed to us is the many blessings we receive from the gospel of Jesus Christ, our lives wouldn't be the same without it and for that there is sunshine in my soul!
Well, currently in the life of the Horenstein family we are enjoying a very mild Utah winter. The only bummer is that we haven't been able to take the girls sledding, not enough snow! But we did build one snowman. Still, the benefit has been more trips to the parks and sunshine, and less dry skin, and days indoors.
Phil and I are still working on getting fit and training for the Rex Lee Run (fight against cancer) 10k run. Mostly we train indoors, treadmill/track, but we sure don't mind if the nice weather keeps up so we won't be running in snow.
The girls, besides enjoying the sunshine, enjoy any chance to play with us or with friends or to get out of the house. (I do try to do that often, but it never seems often enough or long enough for them) Yesterday as a family we went to the Museum Of Ancient Life. It was our first time going as a family. The girls loved it. They had a lot of hands on things for the girls to explore. I think they both especially liked the new Notion in Motion science exhibit. But learning different things about fossils was fun too, for all of us. Dinosaurs are one of those mysteries to me and I still love learning new things that help me complete the equation in my own head.
Next up in our adventures, Phil and I are speaking in church together tomorrow. Should be fun, we are speaking about life changing experiences in the Book of Mormon. We'll have to share some of our talks (our post them both) on the blog later. We also look forward to General Conference, Faith's 2nd birthday, Easter, and everything we will enjoy participating in before the winter is over. With March just days away, winter seems to be moving very quickly, and before we know it we'll be on another road trip taking us somewhere new. Which, we'll be Texas this year, bytheway.
Well, now you know wha'ts up with us. Have a great day!
Happy New Year
We look forward to a new year of adventure and learning! We are now settled in to our new apartment. It has more space, that we are using quite well I think. The girls room now functions as a full on playroom and bedroom (rather than part storage). We also have a laundry room, so we bought our first washer and dryer! The kitchen also has more cupboard and counter space which makes life easier for me, and the girls love it too (they love having an empty cupboard to add to their secret fort hiding spots). We are excited about getting to know the area, our neighbors, and our new ward. It should be fun!
These next several weeks Phil will be preparing for the GMAT, and another summer of sales with Vivint. We are also preparing to get in shape (a typical new year's resolution). We've signed up for the Rex Lee Run. We're training for a 10k, running to help cancer research.
For the girls and I these next few months will be a mix of preschool activities at home and around town. Hopefully, finally, potty training both girls, and getting our snow gear out in an attempt to survive another Utah winter. I feel bad for Faith though. It will technically be her first Utah winter (we were in SoCal last winter). We went to the park today (it was around 45*f) and she did not want to be outside at all, even being bundled up. She thought it was too cold and was not happy until she was back in the car. Mercedes on the other hand didn't want to keep her jacket on.
Well, check out our recent pics and videos. We wish you all a happy new year and hope wonderful things await you! Look forward with hope and remember with God all things are possible! Lots of love!!!
The Spirit of Christmas
The Christmas season is near, the season of love and giving is here! And so is the snow, the only drawback. Phil will also have a tough next two weeks with projects due and finals; but really it's not a bad thing because that means the semester is ending and graduation is so very very near for him!
*I asked Mercedes what Christmas means to her and she said," A Christmas Party!"*
*I asked Phil what Christmas means to him, he said, "I think of it in spanish [or how the english word Christ-mas sounds in spanish] 'mas cristo' or more christ. It means a time to reflect and appreciate my relationship with all my family and with God."*
*I asked Faith too but I couldn't really get an answer out of her.*
*To me it means, a spirit of happiness, spending time with family, remembering Christ, and doing as He would do.*
Christmas time is a wonderful time of year, though I realize not every one has the opportunity to enjoy it. Sometimes the stresses of the year are too much, but if only they knew. The greatest reason for the season is Christ, and He has made it so even the roughest of times can be overcome, that all our struggles can strengthen us if we turn to Him and in the end we can say it was all worth it. He suffered all things, He knows exactly what we go through, He can comfort us, He loves us. That bright new star on the first christmas was the first sign of hope, so remember hope this season as you top your Christmas tree with a star.
As the holidays approach we will be busy packing and moving (just to another apt in UT). But then we get to road trip to California and enjoy the company of family and friends!
We wish you all a Merry Christmas!
Give thanks/Toddler Teenage years
Happy 'almost' Thanksgiving! The top 3 things that we are most thankful for:
Phil says, " 1) My family 2) My freedom 3) The gospel ( 4) hot fries )" : )
I say, "1) Family 2) Gospel 3) Technology/machines (from fridges, ovens, washing machines, laptops, cellphones, cars)
Mercedes says, "Breadsticks". And what I'll say for her, "People to play with (all friends and family), dresses, and shows/movies to watch...and very specific yummy food."
And I'll say for Faith, "Snuggling with mom & dad, Blue's Clues, and exploring...and anything edible."
We're planning Gratitude/Giving lesson for FHE tomorrow so I hope that the girls learn more about what it means to be thankful and the importance of "because I have been given much, I too must give".
The other thing I've been meaning to write about is our toddler the teenager...Mercedes. It's funny, parent's complain about the teenage years but maybe it's because they forgot what toddlers were like. Here are 3 examples:
1) The other day we had friends over. Mercedes loves friends, even friends that are her parents age and not her own. She was having so much fun playing. But when she became less the center of attention and tire of who knows what she ran to her room and shut the door. I tried to get her to come out and play. She said she wanted a time out. She stayed in her room the rest of the night and fell asleep.
2) Mercedes, as I said usually loves playing with friends. She also loves any excuse to leave the apartment. Well, a few days ago we were about to head out to a mom/kid brunch/playdate. I was trying to explain to her that we were going to see friends, but she was too busy in the bathroom (not even going potty which I wouldn't have minded). She loves standing on the stool looking in the mirror. I told her it was time to go...she said she needed to brush her teeth (so I let her brush her teeth). I reminded her we needed to leave, she said she needed to wash her hands...so I helped her wash her hands. Finally, I said we really needed to go, and she shouted "I need to take a shower." *eye roll* She takes baths and usually in the evenings, so I made her put her jacket on and she was happy once she we were on our way.
3) Lastly, I reminded of older kids who call their parents by their first names to spite them. Mercedes isn't exactly doing that but she does get a kick out of it as she knows that I want her to call me mommy but she doesn't understand why other people don't call me mommy. So lately, Mercedes has been calling me "honey" or "Summer".
It's funny just the stage we go through in mortality and how stinky toddlers can remind of us silly teenagers and vice versa (because I'm sure several years in the future when I my girls are teenagers they may just throw an occasional tantrum kicking/screaming/whining and forgetting their language skills reminding me of when they were toddlers).
October has come and gone but before it was over we did attend some halloween festivities with the girls. They just wore their princess dresses and we went to a kid carnival at BYU, we attended a small cornmaze in Orem, and then also went to the big cornmaze/festival with Blake. Finally, when Halloween arrived we took them trick-or-treating with Phil's brother's family. So it was a lot of fun. I've slowly been posting pictures of all we've done recently. Shutterfly, or our internet, or both have been having some issues with me uploading pictures so I can only accomplish it in bits and pieces. And though I try to snap a couple of shots at least at each special activity we do I still don't catch all the sweet or funny moments, though I wish I could.
With the entrance of November soon came Mercedes 3rd birthday! For the first time we threw her a party. We did a joint party with a friend of hers who also turned three this past week. Then we invited all the neighborhood kids around their age, which is quite a bunch. We had crafts, and games, then dinner and dessert. It was a great party if I do say so myself.
Now with some of the excitement dying down I'm working diligently to find a place to live. Because we currently live in on-campus married student housing, we have to move once Phil graduates. I really like where we live, although we could use a slightly bigger apartment anyway so it isn't too devastating. But, it is hard to find an apartment that meets what we're looking for in the right price range. We don't want too cheap, nor too expensive. But we also need a little more space than here...and I wouldn't mind the perks of things like W/D hook-ups, utilities included, and playground near by...or something of the sort. So I keep going back and forth between "Fine I'll just take the cheapest, most convenient", or "I really really want whatever extra amenity". As long as we're out before we come to Cali for Christmas all will be well. But I'd sure like to just find that place that just works, and feels right, and I won't mind being in several hours a day, especially during the cold winter.
The rose and the thorn
I remember watching something (because I don't really want to admit it may have been The View) and they said the Obama and his Family did something at the end of each day together called the rose and the thorn. It was where each family member could share one thing that they didn't like about their day (the thorn) as long as they also told something that was really good about their day (the rose). I thought it was a sweet thing. It's always good to be positive and find the silver lining but sometimes we just need to vent. This post consequently will be a little of both.
Last week we were preparing to go to California to see Blake come home from his mission. Faith was getting over a cold but it seemed she was getting better so we were going forward with our plans. Then the night before our road trip Faith had a seizure, a seizure caused by a fever (febrile seizure). This was her second one, and just as scary. We took her to the ER just to have them check her out. Turns out she had bronchitis. They said we still didn't really need to worry about her having seizures unless they are ever longer than 5 minutes or if continues to have them after she is 5 yrs old. Part of the thorn of the situation being that we didn't dare take our planned road trip and instead spent the week mostly cooped up inside.
The rose...well, we've still had an okay week. Faith is doing a lot better. Mercedes and Phil had a daddy daughter date, I was able to go to another Cardio Kickboxing class (I'm trying to go to both classes each week now, it's a great workout). Also, even though we missed the big homecoming for Blake we did get to skype with family. But better than that, Blake is coming to visit in a week. And eventually we will be out to California for some quality family time. I'm really hoping to spend a few weeks around Christmas time.
So despite a stressful and depressing event of the seizure and missed road trip I know we have a ton of things to be grateful for and I am very thankful to my Father in Heaven for all my wonderful blessings.
October should be a good month. The first two days have been already living proof. General Conference for the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints was this weekend. There were many great thought and topics. Reminders to communicate with our heavenly father in prayer, reminders to study the scriptures and the power that comes from knowing and living the word of God. There were messages of hope and calls to action. Mercedes was fun to watch it with. She payed attention to bits and pieces. Plus it was fun to color my notes with her, or watch her takes notes with Phil on the ipad.
October is also a great month because Faith is almost 18 months which means she we'll soon be entering the youngest of all sunday school classes, nursery. She'll be happy, and we'll no longer have to chase her around during our sunday school class.
And of course, one of the most exciting things about this month...my brother returns from serving a 2 year mission in the Milwaukee Wisconsin mission for the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. It will be so exciting and crazy to see him after two years! Plus, I can only imagine how much he has grown spiritually and intellectually; and it will be fun to hear all his adventures in person! We hope to drive out to California for his homecoming and perhaps see some other family while we are down there. YAY! It will be great!
A Forever Family
Recently in our home we've added some more decorations with quotes about/and pictures of temples. We've also been dedicating many of our Family Home Evening lessons to studying "The Family:A proclamation to the world". Last fall we memorized "The Living Christ", which is the testimony of the prophet and apostles (of The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints) that teaches about Christ's life and role as our Savior. (I'm not sure how perfectly we still have it memorized but it was a great experience to study it) Now we are trying to memorize The Family proclamation. It teaches true doctrine about the purpose and eternal significance of the family, gender roles, and values that can strengthen marriages and families. We recognize it as something vital for our family to understand and our children to have testimonies of as they grow up.
Because of unfortunate circumstances and sometimes poor decisions of predecessors not every one has the opportunity to be born into a happy, loving home with a mother and father. But that does not change the significance and importance of the family unit. Also, happily, it does not change the fact that a loving, home, with spouse, parents, children is possible for every to enjoy in the life to come, if they come unto to Christ and learn the doctrines of salvations and the ordinances of the temple.
The temple is significant to our family, because there in Phil and I were marriage not just for time, but for eternity also. We can be a forever family!
We've settled in for Phil's last semester of his undergrad at BYU. We're all happy to be back and excited for the future. The girls and I have enjoyed the outdoors. It's pretty warm here but nearly as bad as it had been in OKC.
it's fun to see all the changes around campus, a lot of construction is going on. The only sad thing is that it means when we take our kids to tour our Alma Mater years from now it will be so very different (already gone are the buildings I lived in my freshman and sophomore years, soon to follow may be the place Phil and I first met). Still, they are working on making a beautiful campus even more beautiful, earthquake safe, and economical.
Phil is really enjoying his classes so far. He's excited about some of the things he gets to learn, and the fact that he is graduating so soon. He is taking a Family History class (fulfills his last religion elective), which will help us as we start working more diligently on finding and learning about his ancestors. He is also taking a Real Estate class (part of his Major in Business Management: Finance). Which is also very helpful because eventually, perhaps even in the next couple years, we'd like to buy a home.
The girls keep growing more beautiful each day; they're learning so much, often by example, though I wish they would also learn to obey what we say more often; they're getting into more things; and finding more ways to stress me out. Gotta love 'em. And gotta go, Faith's crying, Mercedes is being a stinker... Hasta luego!
Funny things etc
The other day there was a fly in the house. Mercedes ran to get two wet wipes (her weapon of choice), handed one to me and said, "When you see the fly, say 'Fly'". She likes to watch Dora, can you tell?
A little while ago while I was washing dishes I noticed the spout to our spray faucet on the sink was spinning in a slow circle. I was a little spooked until I discovered a little munchkin named Faith twirling the slack of the faucet's hose under the sink. (how she snuck under the sink undetected is beyond me)
Mercedes has always been sweet and nurturing but recently she has become rather rambunctious and even aggressive at times (hug tackling Faith etc.) Well today she really surprised me. Out of nowhere she punched me in the eye! I was shocked and upset, but also impressed (shes got quite an arm!). Thankfully when she realized it wasn't a good thing she said "Sorry mom I hit you in the eye". That kid.
A few days ago Mercedes was saying the family prayer. She started off great all by herself but then got stuck. Instinctively Phil and I both started to remind her of something she could include in the prayer, then as we were unintentionally talking over one another Faith joined in with her baby yells. A family that prayers together, stays together.
Phil was helping Mercedes say the prayer earlier today, but I think Mercedes thought she was helping Phil. She was whispering the prayer and then she said, "Speak louder".
I was trying to think of other funny events that have happened recently and then in this very moment I hear Mercedes "Eye patch, eye patch" (calling out as if expecting a response). "Mom, where's the eye patch". She's looking for her pirate eye patch she got at a birthday party the other day.
Kids, gotta love 'em. They make me smile and giggle on a regular basis, I wish I could share all the sweet little moments with you guys. Sometimes its the pull my hair out moments that stay in my memory longer, but I'm trying to fix that. Well, we love you.
PS-Things continue to go well here. The lord is really blessing Phil with sales. In a recent company wide sales tournament Phil got 2nd place (out of about 256 veteran salesmen that made it into the tournament bracket)!
Hope you are all doing well!
I had a great birthday last week. We went to the zoo (died in the heat), went to the pool, and went to the mall. Phil spoiled me; everyone spoiled me. It was fun and I'm happy to be another year older!
Phil continues to be awesome with sales, though I'm sure he'll be very happy when the Fall comes and he get out of the heat. I don't know how he does it, but I am grateful that he is willing and able to provide for our family.
The girls are a handful, to say the least. But, of course, we love them tremendously! Mercedes is bustling with emotion and learning so much. She loves music and dance and dresses. The other day when I said she could where her pink dress she said "I love my pink dress" and gave it a great big hug. Faith is into climbing and chewing on things. We can tell she understands so much, but she still doesn't use words to communicate.
I've been reading here and there, taking care of things at home as usual, and slacking in some of my summer goals. I hope to recommit myself soon and then stay motivated.
Recently we went to the OKC science museum, it was a lot of fun! The girls and I went to a Youth Pageant about OK history and Gospel truths. Mercedes loved it, and I think it really held Faith's interest too. Then this morning we attempted a Kiddi Photoshoot with a bunch our friends out here. Our girls were the least cooperative, but I'm excited to see some of the results.
Our Nursery is going well. We have a big group and sometimes our own kids are handful enough but we're managing and we have help. I love teaching them about Jesus, scriptures, and Prophets...etc. And singing and playing never gets old!
I hope everyone is surviving this summer heat wave. Take care!
A summer update
I guess it is now officially summer, although summer for us pretty much started with the move out to OKC. Things continue to go well with sales. The stormy weather is mostly behind us and now we are in the midst of heat and humidity. Not quite like deep south humidity but muggy enough. The temperatures have been abt 97-100*. So we try to go to the pool often or stay inside with the a/c; we're spoiled to not have to endure the heat. Phil toughs it out though, and is good about staying hydrated.
I have been trying to think of a few other things to entertain the girls. We have playdates and movie/game nights with the other wives and kids out here. Also, we've done some exploring in the area but haven't found too many exciting things yet. There are a few lakes, mostly for boating. We found a really nice mall; and even took the kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2. However, they really aren't all that thrilled about sitting and watching a movie in the theater still. We'll probably go to the science museum this week or next, and maybe the zoo, or animal farm.
The girls just like to get out and do things. Faith is walking now bytheway. Also, Phil and I were recently called as Nursery leaders at church so the girls love that. We're also speaking in church this Sunday, hopefully that goes well.
Well, we love you all. The girls and I are thinking about a trip to Cali before we head back to Provo at the end of the summer. I just need to work out the details still.
All is well
We've been out in Oklahoma just over 3 weeks now. In some ways it feels longer because the past 2 1/2 weeks Phil was commuting 2.5 hrs (one way) to Wichita, Kansas. Which with the hours he works meant he could only come home and spend essentially 1 day out of the week with us, the sabbath. He started off strong with his sales goals though, which is a huge blessing. I learned with even more conviction how grateful I am for a loving husband and how hard it must be for single parents. Going 6 days a week with the girls 24/7 and no car was hard. I can't imagine having to work outside the home on top of all that.
The girls are well though, and happy to have their daddy back. On Sunday, as much as Mercedes loves Nursery she wanted to leave it early to sit with Phil during priesthood. Even Faith as much as a mommy girl as she is has been full of giggles for daddy.
Well, we love you all, and will continue to pray for all our dear family and friends with the hope that your lives will be full of joy.
A successful road trip
Well, we all survived the move, our pet fish included. There was one casualty, our futon which I willfully and wastefully disposed of, I know I'm horrible. We're past that now though. Oh, and we had to donate our tomato plants as there was absolutely no room. If Phil does well, perhaps I can still have a salsa garden this summer.
So far so good. We're settling in the apartment nicely. It has a pool and playground, and grass area to play, plus a workout center... and there is a washer/dryer in the apartment! Life should be good, despite not having much within walking distance.
Weather has been decent. One thunderstorm so far. We bought a emergency weather radio as I'm ultra paranoid about tornadoes.
Phil has started selling and is doing well, we pray that continues. Mercedes handled the move great (she is currently dancing around in her ballerina dress), Faith has been a little fussy on and off but it could also have to do with teething (she is playing the keyboard happily at the moment, oh wait now she's whining for me). It should be a good summer.
A grateful heart
Recently Faith had a seizure. It was quite a scare for us. It happened around midnight, last Friday night. She had gone to sleep with a fever and woken up a few hours later still hot with fever. According to our thermometer it was 102.7. Phil gave her a blessing, the Lord assuring us the fever would break although it might be hard at first. We tried washcloths and the air conditioner, and ibuprofen. As I googled other ways to bring a fever down, she began shaking (not quite like shivers but more like convulsions). Phil was holding her and asked me what was happening. I suddenly realized, or something revealed to me she was having a seizure. Phil urged me to call 911.
As I spoke with the operator, Faith's seizure continued. Faith's face went white, her eyes rolled back. The operator instructed us to lay her down on her left side. When the seizure was over about a minute after it began, we were to dress her down to her diaper because of her fever. The ambulance came and took Faith and I to the ER. Phil stayed home with Mercedes who was still asleep in her room.
Faith's fever at the hospital was recorded at 103.8. Three hours later, with acetaminophen, her fever dropped and we were released. The fever most likely was brought on by some virus that we all ended up getting a cold of some sort from. Faith is okay though, we all are okay.
Still it was a scary experience. The following Sunday, having already been assigned the talk, I spoke in church. My talk was on "Facing adversity with a Thankful heart". I might post the talk in it's entirety on the inspirational thoughts page, or at least scriptures and quotes from it. Still, I'm grateful for the chance I had to focus on that topic and study it. It helped not be angry or frustrated in our trial. It help me find each silver lining and truly learn from the experience. And learning from all experience is a very key part to this mortal life. I'm thankful for my husband and my two little girls. I'm thankful for my parents, and my siblings, and all my extended family and friends. I'm thankful for the knowledge I have a loving Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, our savior. I'm thankful for the gospel of Christ. I'm thankful for the millions of blessings I have in my life, not to be boastful. I'm thankful, especially coming into Easter weekend, for the atonement of Christ. And I know, that through the atonement all things can be made right. We can, if we are willing to keep the commandments of God, enjoy the blessings of exaltation and be with our families for eternity enjoying life even after this one. Christ resurrected and so will we. For all that I am truly grateful!
Faith's birthday weekend has been fun, although not everything has gone as planned. We were hoping for good weather to go to the beach, instead it threatened rained and was colder then it's been since January. Still, her birthday evening was fun with presents and cakes and playing at home. Then today we discovered a really fun park (I didn't want to be inside all day on the weekend especially so we bundled up). It's not with in walking distance but it's a decent drive. Still, the park is amazing, it has almost everything the ideal park would have. Wonderful playground equipment for ages 1-12 I'd say. As well as sand and baby swings. Which we were hoping for because Faith loves to swing (so does Mercedes but she can swing on the big kid swings pretty well now). The sand we wanted so she could play with one of her new b-day toys (the ultimate sand castle bucket kit, not sure what the real name is but that should be it). Plus, it had soccer fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts. It was very neat and clean too as well as scenic. I pretty much fell in love with this park. They should have one in every city.
Also, we watched Tangled (one of Faith's birthday gifts from my parents, Thank you Thank you!) We all really enjoyed it.
Now, the sabbath is coming. We are looking forward to church. We have assignments now, although we'll only be in this ward a few more weeks since we're moving. Still, we're excited to be involved. Phil will get to substitute in the 16-17 yr olds Sunday school, and I get to sub in the Nursery. Also, I will be speaking in church next Sunday. I'll share some thoughts with you all after I prepare my talk. Also, tomorrow we were invited to eat dinner at our neighbors house, they are from Iran and are making Persian food. Should be fun!
We love you all!
Our family is doing well, learning and growing, and having fun. The warmth and sunshine has dwindled a bit and we are getting some spring showers now. Hopefully the sun will come around in time for a family beach trip. We are planning a "fun in the sun" beach themed birthday for Faith's 1st birthday. So any friends or family interested should come down the weekend of April 8th, the beach trip will be the Saturday morning after her birthday. Maybe she'll even be walking by then, but so far she is just a crawling machine and loves to pull her self up to stand using anything (especially mom's pant legs). Faith also has 3 teeth and few more on the way. She loves most activities (eating, tv, playing with Mercedes) especially when mommy is involved (she is a mommy's girl to the core).
Mercedes loves her lil sister and enjoys her company (most of the time). She is also learning a lot (vocabulary, shapes, colors, numbers, some Spanish). Potty training is still moving along, slowly. She has graduated from diapers to pull-ups, but it may be a while before she understands she needs to do all her business on the potty.
I'm hoping to spend more time doing preschool-like activities, as well as gospel teaching. Also, I want to learn more gardening and budget skills. I've been putting together an in-depth excel sheet for our grocery budget. As far as my on-going nutrition and exercise goals I still have much more I'd like to achieve in that area.
Phil is doing well. He loves that it is March Madness season (BYU is doing great so far). He also is excited for summer sales. We are hoping to be able to buy property (for living and renting out) some time in the not too distant future and those dreams ride on a good sale season. Consequently, we will probably be off for summer sales around mid-May.
Well, that's most of what's up for now. Hope we can visit friends and family before we are far away again. Love you all!
We're all healthy again thankfully and we've enjoyed some fun family time the past two weekends. Which you can see the photos below in the 2011 Beginnings album. We most recently went to the aquarium in Long Beach.
It's a lot of fun these days with Mercedes communicating so much and learning. Her and her sister both bring smiles to our faces on a regular basis. She is slowly learning to be potty trained as well. With about 1 success a day but still a long way to go. Mercedes currently loves dancing and her new dress. Seriously, she loves her new dress so much she cries sometimes when it's time to change. But is always so happy when she can wear it again.
Faith loves watching Mercedes dance and even has some moves herself. She still isn't crawling but she's figured out her own method of pushing herself backwards on her tummy or in circles and turning while sitting up, it seems to work but she gets frustrated having always to go in reverse.
Phil and I are working on health and fitness goals. Which in a way include our little front porch garden we've been created. It is fun and hopefully we'll have something to show for it.
We love you all, and wish you a happy valentine's day!
About two weeks ago now, Phil started feeling sick with a cold or something. It got pretty bad and slowly spread form Faith, to Mercedes, and although I'd hoped to miss out on that I ended up feeling a little sick as well. Phil felt pretty nearly a whole week, and so far that has been the fate of the girls this week. Hopefully we'll all be healthy and well in a couple days if not sooner.
It is crazy to think a month has gone by already since we moved here and Phil started his internship. Things are going well.
We planted a little garden, trying to grow radishes and cilantro, as well as zinnias and snapdragons. So far, the radishes and zinnias are doing well. The cilantro and snap dragons are a little slower and perhaps more delicate.
We are looking forward to doing more fun family things on our weekends when we are healthy again, including a weekend trip to visit family!
What's new in the New Year
2011 has crept in. We're glad for the new year, as we have already started our new adventure. As far as news, Faith has her first tooth and the second very close to breaking through (it's her two front bottom eye teeth/incisors). Mercedes has been a fan of dancing lately, and made a few attempts at riding her tricycle. Phil is getting a handle on his internship, figure things out pretty well. And I'm still in the planning process of organizing my life so that I really feel I'm accomplishing all I should be.
We found a park really close to here, so I'm happy about the prospect of walks. The weather has been great! We've only had few rainy days, and this week has been in the 60s. People here are complaining about the cold, but really it is winter. I'll take a 60* (and even 70* winter this weekend) over 20* and snow/ice on the ground.
We went to a spanish ward and an english ward for church. But I think we are sticking with the english ward since they have a good sized and fun nursery for Mercedes.
As far as New Year's resolutions. A word of advice from a friend I'd like to pass on. It's good to have the big goals, and the end results we want to see. But really, we should be focusing on the steps. The mini-goals, the short term, daily goals that get us there. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and we may need to start very small. Keep at it, whatever it is. Then build and progress.
Happy New Year, good luck in your pursuits, may we all become the best we can be!
Merry belated Christmas etc
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that the spirit of the season lives on in your lives through the year. We had a great Christmas ourselves, spending time with family. Now the short holiday break is over. Phil has started his internship and the girls and I have been setting up home in our new apartment.
The move has been made so I'm just trying to be optimistic about enjoying living here. It's not the best area so anywhere outside of the complex means driving rather than a nice walk. But on the plus side no snow, so we should get to play outside, and maybe even go swimming this winter/spring!
Other than that, wish us luck, we may be making some family plans to brush up on our Spanish (Phil brush up, me practically relearn).
'Tis the season
Happy that the holiday season is fast approaching. We're looking forward to thanksgiving with Phil's mom and Christmas with my family. It's crazy to think we only have one month before yet another move, but we'll enjoy it. We're anticipating fun family, friend, and ward events before we leave. I might even get a chance to perform in a flute trio for our ward Christmas party. Yikes! I better go practice!
Well, finally I've been able to add some new pics to our Fall album so check it out. I hope I'll get some videos up soon too, we've taken a bunch lately. The semester is more than half way through. We now know Phil will be doing an internship next semester, so we'll be moving again and then back next Fall for Phil to finish his degree. It's a great internship which will greatly improve his chances of getting a job. Hopefully even a job with this company. It also means we'll be in "SoCal" for winter and won't have to worry about snow! Mercedes has a birthday this week, and I'm super excited...I love an excuse to party with family and do something fun! The plan is to go to an animal farm with petting zoo and pony rides!
Not too much else to update. Love you all!
Well, we've been in our new apt and back in provo for about a month now. Things are going well with the new schedule. It's similar to how things will work when Phil has a job I imagine. But there is also time for a date night once a week (swing dancing at BYU, and getting a baby sitter for the girls!!!). As well as, I get a chance for morning workouts while the girls sleep before Phil leaves for the day.
All in all, life is good. However, yesterday wasn't so great. Mercedes fell at the playground and got a fracture in her wrist. She has a splint and has to get a cast on friday. When she fell I didn't think she could have possibly fractured anything. I thought mostly she was just tired. She took a short nap and then played some more at a friend's house. Then later that day (yesterday) I was helping her up on a chair and pulled her hand and it made her cry. Then I was worried. But I thought again, her nap was so short maybe she is still tired and cranky. What do you know, she fell asleep again. This time a longer nap. As I was finishing dinner, and Phil got home. She woke up crying. Then we called after hours pediatrician and took her in. Almost 3 hrs later after check-up, x-ray, and splint. We were home again giving her dinner and getting her to bed. Not a fun night. But she is doing relatively ok.
The sun is setting on summer
Well, Fall semester is just around the corner for Phil's final year of his bachelor's degree!! We just have one week left in Washington. Not likely that we'll have time to hit up Seattle unfortunately. Phil's been working pretty hard. But we have done some fun things in the mornings just around town. Like we went to Playground of Dreams (in Kenniwick), flew kites at another park, hung out at the mall, and went swimming here at the apartments. Maybe this last week there'll be more time to have fun. Phil has been working some long days though, so the girls and I have been trying to entertain ourselves and take care of things at home.
We're excited to head back to Utah though and get into a new routine. Phil and I are giving ourselves until the end of the year to finish our weight loss goals. Totally excited to post before and after pics. lol Anywho, that's about all for the update. Oh, Phil and the girls have been sick with colds this week but I think they are all starting to feel better. We love you all!
About two weeks ago we received the news that Phil could transfer to Washington and that there would be an apartment available for our little family. So now we are settled into our new apartment in Washington for the rest of the summer. We miss family and friends but are happy to be back with Phil. The girls love their daddy time.
We haven't done too much sight seeing yet. Although we did visit the Richland (Columbia River) Temple grounds. And we plan to visit again. As well, we would like Phil to take a day off and spend a day in Seattle.
One fun activity we did the other night was make ice cream in a bag. Mercedes got into the shaking the bag too. It was pretty cool that it worked in minutes.
Mercedes and Faith are both growing and learning more each day. Mercedes has had some potty training success, although it feels there is still a long way to go. She also can say some sentences. She loves to play outside, color, and is addicted to Dora the Explorer (unfortunately). She has been eating pretty well lately too.
Faith is almost 4 months. She coos all the time, and has many smiles for us too. She hasn't rolled over yet but maybe in another month or so. She also likes to suck her thumb.
Phil and I are enjoying being together again and trying to work on our summer goals (one of my main goals being weight loss). Wish us luck!
Well, the girls and I are out in Cali while Phil is in Alaska. It's nice having family around and lots of help from my parents and sisters. But it is definitely hard being away from Phil. Thankfully sales are going well for him so far and he is getting work done on his internship as well. Mercedes definitely misses her daddy but she loves spending time with grandparents and aunties. She also continues to love her baby sister Faith.
Faith is almost two months old! Both the girls are growing and learning so much. Mercedes has said grandpa, grandma, auntie taytay, please, cherry...plus all the words she had before we got out here. I think she has a few other new ones as well. She has done so many cute things; Like mimicking dance moves, grandpa's elephant noise and motion, lots of songs with motions that grandma teaches her. I'll have to video tape a few or something soon.
Just wanted to update while I had the chance. Even with help I feel pretty busy these days. We love you all!
The semester has ended. I've officially graduated and Phil did well on all his finals. Now we've been able to enjoy some family time having Phil home more. He'll start putting in some hours for his summer internship next week however, and then there is work and all on top of moving. Still, we're enjoying something of a spring break until all the summer things swing into action.
The girls are doing well. Faith is now entering into the next phase of being a baby including tummy-time and soon baths in a baby tub. And Mercedes is managing with getting less attention and still showering her baby sister with love. She is also doing a lot more baby talk and expanding her vocabulary bit by bit (not to mention getting into everything and squealing very high pitched to get attention). Despite how they cause parental lack of sleep and frequent headaches we can't help but find our two little girls absolutely adorable!
Faith has arrived!
Yay! She was born April 8th @ 7:05pm. 7lbs 12oz. 20 in. = )
So, after getting all our hopes up...Faith still has not arrived. My body is surprisingly very ready...but I'm still not in labor. Soon though...very soon...right?
Also, I uploaded some old and new videos of Mercedes so go check out her page when you get a chance. Other than that hopefully we'll have good news to share in a week or so. = )
Good news, I passed my final and got a B in my class, which I will happily take. Thus I have met all requirements to graduate with my BS in psychology.
Other good news is although I only went for a couple walks this week it turned out to help move things forward and there is probably about an 80% chance of Faith coming while my mom is in town! (15% chance she comes before Saturday and 5% she comes after)
Mercedes toddler bed came earlier this week and as I was too anxious to wait for Phil to have time to help I took the task of setting it up and moving the crib into our room. (I started to regret the decision about half-way through but by then there was no turning back) Thankfully, all went well and both toddler bed and crib are put together in their proper rooms. Plus, Mercedes loves her new bed being at her level and being able to climb in and out of it. And she still sleeps through the night even in her new bed.
Phil just survived a grueling week of three hard tests back to back and he continues to study diligently and get good grades.
I am looking forward to this week as it should mark the end of by bachelor's degree. Although its not graduation time yet, I will be taking my final for my very last class. YAY! Hopefully, Mercedes will understand as I need to put in A LOT of studying time this week.
Other than that...summer plans are still up in the air...as we wait to see if I will be able to get a job as a Hall Advisor or not. That is pretty much the determining factor of where we'll be living and which internship and/or summer job Phil decides on.
We hope all is going well for our family and friends and we apologize if we have not been keeping in contact very well. We love you all!
28 or 29 weeks...
I'm starting to lose count but I am in the third trimester, though April still seems pretty far away. Baby Faith is doing well though and she is pretty active.
As for the rest of us we are doing well too. We had a fun weekend celebrating Phil's birthday. His birthday was this past saturday. I made him some of his favorite foods for breakfast and dinner and we went out to In N' Out for lunch..another favorite for him. (they have one in Orem how...crazy) We bought him a water bottle and I framed one of his mission relics that is now hangning up in our room and matches well. The big thing was that we actually got a babysitter and went out on a date to a BYU basketball game. It was fun and I think Mercedes did pretty well with the babysitter...and I did pretty well not worrying about her the whole time we were gone. = )
We try to have a date every week but that has meant really a family outting since Mercedes has been around...but now maybe we'll try for a real date more often. I don't know. I still wish my parents lived closer so we could just drop her off at their house for date nights...lol.
A new semester...a new year
Well, we have started a new semester, a new year...and many new adventures await us. This semester I am a full-time stay at home mom...with only one class standing between me and graduation...and its all on-line. Phil has been told that this semester in the business program (junior core) is that hardest semester. He also is working and doing some training for his summer internship so he has his plate full. I am mostly pre-occupied with all my new year's resolutions...organizing the house, being fit, teaching Mercedes, graduating...etc.
We had a wonderful Christmas break. So even though it would have been nice to enjoy it longer we were well rested to come back into the swing of things. It was wonderful to spend time with family. It would be nice to live close to all our family and visit more frequently though.
Mercedes is a pretty happy girl and does a while lot of baby talk lately. She also has 9 teeth! 3 more came in just over the break!
Our baby girl in the womb is doing good and I'm looking forward to next weekend when we have another ultrasound. It will also be a fun weekend because of Phil's birthday, as well as having the following monday off from school in celebration of Martin Luther King day. I'm hoping I can make it a special b-day for him.
Well, we wish you all a happy new year. Good luck with all your new year's resolutions. I'm personally very excited to achieve my goals.
Hello friends and family! We wish you all a Merry Christmas. We wish we could spend time with all of you this time of year and always. Thankfully at least we have the blessing of technology that allows us so many ways to communicate. We are grateful to our Father in Heaven who has blessed us tremendously time and time again. Especially as we reflect on the ultimate gift, our Savior, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas! Christ was born in bethlehem over 2000 years ago, He suffered all our pains and afflictions and overcame death and payed the price for our sins...He saved our souls and made our exaltation possible!
We hope you can all enjoy the spirit of Christ and feel the blessings He brings into your lives now and always!
The Christmas Season!
Chirstmas is always a wonderful time of year, even if when your're a student it is preceded by final exams and ulcers of what your grades will be...lol
I've attempted to scrounge up some of our christmas decorations to help bring the christmas spirit into our home. But, mostly, I hope that we can enjoy a spirit of Christ and all that he stands for in our home through study and discussion and giving service...and of course making time for family. While searching for good quotes and christmas related things on the LDS.org website I found a link to a page they have devoted to Christmas. please check it out:
We hope you all had a happy thanksgiving. We've been enjoying our break. Wednesday, the first day of break, we spent part of the day in Salt Lake. We went to the state capitol, walked through temple square, and went to the mall.
Thursday we ate some yummy thanksgiving food with Phil's Dad, Stepmom, and all the family there. Then we went and saw twilight: new moon.
Today we actually went shopping despite the fear of crowds and finally purchased a high chair for Mercedes and some new maternity clothes for me! The rest of today has been about homework and housework mostly. With only 2 weeks of classes and 1 week of finals left we have to really crack down and study. It was nice to have a break though.
Other than Mercedes turning 1 and finding out that our child we're expecting is a girl, other exciting news is that Phil got an internship. If you didn't know already Phil was accepted into the Marriott School's Business Management Program, a very intense program at BYU. One of the program requirements is an internship, usually done during the summer in between junior and senior years. Phil was blessed to receive a great (PAID!) internship with Northwestern Mutual, a financial advisement firm. One of the many benefits of this is that we shouldn't have to move out of state this summer.
We're having a girl!
She is due April 11th.
We are happy to announce we are pregnant again! We will be welcoming a new baby sometime in April. It will be fun to transition with our family already getting bigger. Mercedes will be a great big sister we know already because she can be very sympathetic when she wants to be and she loves other kids. We'll keep you all updated. We heard the baby's heartbeat earlier this week, it is always such a fun event making the whole experience that much more real (which can be hard when we still have many months ahead of us).
We were a little surprised but this is certainly a very pleasant surprise all the same!
General Conference weekend
We've enjoyed watching general conference this weekend in the comfort of our own home. Mercedes enjoyed it too though mostly she occupied herself with switching between mommy and daddy's lap and playing with her toys on the floor beside us. The messages were wonderful and I look forward to reading them through in the November Ensign. Though I often can recall the message or quote that struck me I always Ihave a hard to remembering who said it so having it in written form as reference is always helpful.
Our semester is going well though this month will be much harder than the last as tests and projects and things are becoming more frequent. Still we are looking forward to many other wonderful things this Fall and holiday season. Mercedes turns one next month! It will be fun to celebrate her and remember the experience of her birth, even if she may be clueless as to why she gets to enjoy cake and tearing open presents.
Here we are back in Utah. Already starting our third week of school tomorrow and happily FINALLY moved into our apartment. We are setting up the place as this is only our third day in the apartment but we should finish tonight.
Mercedes is doing well and adjusting bit by bit to the new place and new schedule. I don't have my full load of classes worked out yet but I will soon, and it will be a very very hectic schedule.
Mercedes is standing on her own pretty well and continues to "cruise" (walk with the support of furniture) pretty well. But she is not officially walking yet.
I am looking forward to visiting my family in California next weekend!!! It will be so nice to see them again as I have missed them all so much!
Phil is doing well and enjoys his classes in the Marriot School (BYU school of business).
We attended our new ward for the first time today and were loved it. Mercedes made a new friend and they shared their toys very nicely. One our new neighbors came by after church to welcome us and said they noticed Mercedes because of her big beautiful brown eyes but they didn't notice us at church at all!!! lol (I guess neither Phil or I have big beautiful brown eyes)
One last hoorah!
We wanted to have one more fun play day before we head back to Utah. So we reattempted our Central Park Zoo trip. It went great! It didn't rain on us...well except for one freak incident when the sun was shining as it was a very hot and humid day yesterday and then all the sudden run pour down from the sky for about a minute. Still, the weather was nice, even though I was soaked with sweat (gross, I know).
Mercedes had so much fun though. She loved being with both her daddy and me and she loved watching all the interesting people. Some of the animals were hard to find in their exhibits, so I don't know what she thought of all of them but her favorites were definitely the penguins. When one penguin swam right up to her in its tank she got so excited and was waving both her hands and kicking her legs!
After the main part of the Zoo we went to the children's zoo and Phil fed some sheep. Mercedes was pretty intent on watching but I'm not sure what she thought.
We walked around in the park for a bit too after the we left the zoo. I went on a Carousel with Mercedes. I think she was scared at first but then she started to get into it.
On our way back to the parking garage we also stopped to watch some guys putting on a break dance show. Mercedes liked that. You should have seen her peeking her head around the crowd to get a better look. I bet it was weird for her to see people standing on their hands and stuff.
We had a great day, even with sweat and traffic!
Time to cram...
So, just 1.5 weeks left out here. We drive home on the 25th. The past two weeks I have been especially aware that I need to finish my online course. I still have two papers to go and then I'm taking the midterm and final when I get back since its cheaper that way.
Having to study so much again though has reminded just how tough this next semester really will be. Phil got into the Marriott Business School program, and I will be taking 18 credits. Still, if all goes according to plan I will graduate, so it is totally worth the long hours and hard work we will have to put in this Fall.
I look forward to life after college. It will be fun to spend time teaching Mercedes. I also plan on taking one class each semester for fun and to keep learning. But it will be nice to have my overall focus on home and family and whatever else the future has instore for us.
Blessed with a place to live!
We found a place to live. I was trying for wymount yesterday and at first the same thing as always happened and a apartment disappeared beneath my fingers. But then I decided to check back and see if there was anything left. Usually there isn't. But there was, I clicked on it. And I got! No screen saying I was too slow and it was on temporary hold for someone else! It was ours! Needless to say we are very grateful for this wonderful blessing.
School is just around the corner
The summer is more than half way over and Phil and I are starting to plan for our trip back to Utah. The #1 item on the list is finding a place to live. When you live the life of a BYU married student affordable, comfortable, and convenient housing can be very hard to come by. We'll probably just end up settling for affordable but we are still trying our best to find a two bedroom apartment within a mile from BYU campus...please let us know if you know of anything that may help us!
Happy Birthday To ME!
Today I turned a year older, yippee! The day is only half spent and it has been great! I have been showered with gifts and kind acts of service particularly by Phil. We went to the beach early this morning and had a great time playing in the sand, sitting on our new beach towels, and playing a new travel game he got me. He also made me breakfast and bought subway for lunch (yummy).
I've been pretty spoiled today. Unfortunately Phil still had to work, but Mercedes and I are having fun just chilling at home now. Yay for birthdays!!
Phil's First Father's Day!
Yesterday was Phil's first "official" father's day. Mercedes and I lavished him with his favorite foods and a present. We also did a fun activity, a father's day craft. Mercedes and Phil made hand prints in plaster. But unlike the ones many of us did when we were kids now they have this cool 3D gel you can use to make the hand print pop out rather than be an impression. The only down side is we had to attempt to hold Mercedes hand still and keep it in the gel for a whole minute. All in all, I was pretty impressed with the turn out given the difficulty of keeping a 7 month old from grasping whatever her hand is placed on. I'll put a picture of it up once we decorate it...which hopefully we'll do for FHE tonight!
Yay! I love shutterfly more and more everyday! It was easier than I realized and we now have a new but virtually the same family blog with our name spelled correctly!
Mercedes and Faith
The new year...
Cell Phone Pictures
"1 yrs old" Pictures by Ashley
End of Summer-Fall 2009