Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Ash


So, following tradition here is a big happy birthday message to my sister Ashley. Ashley is one of those people you wish everyone was like. I love to be with her, love her commitment to kindness (really one of the best and nicest people I know), love hanging out with her. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful sister who I can honestly say is one of my very best friends. You truly are one of my most favorite people. Thanks for being you.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Family Update


Merry Christmas family and friends! Here is a quick update on what we have been up to this year.

We have loved our new neighborhood in West Jordan. It is wonderful to have kids...everywhere!!! We miss our old friends and neighbors but feel we are where we should be, we love it.

Richard had a hole in his heart repaired in May. Thanks to the amazing technology we enjoy, he felt totally great the day after surgery! He feels that he has much more energy. We live in such an amazing time. He also was able to travel to Peru for work. He enjoys playing basketball, researching games and playing games.

I was pregnant for most of the year (quite an accomplishment the 4th time)! I am glad to no longer be hot and uncomfortable all the time! I got to visit San Francisco with my Mom, sisters and brother in June. It was such a great getaway. I am always busy doing "Mom" stuff...but in my spare time I love to blog, exercise (=)), cook and eat out!

Kaela was baptized this year. She is getting so old. She is so sweet and loves to play with her friends, sing Hannah Montana and make us smile.

Sam is our big six year old who started Kindergarten this year. He is always smiling! He loves playing with friends, video games and Lego's.

Karissa is...well Karissa! She love to keep us on our toes. She started preschool this year and really enjoys it. She is a beautiful little girl who loves messes, yelling, littlest pets and anything that belongs to her brother or sister.

Addyson was born August 24, 2007. She is such a happy smiley baby. She is truly a joy and we are so grateful to have her in our family. She loves squeaking, her swing and milk. Ah, to be a baby again.

We are so thankful for our wonderful family and friends who make life such a joy to live. So thankful for the gospel and the joy it brings us. So grateful for the birth of our Savior and the amazing blessings we receive because of his life. Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Treats


I love Christmas treats! I have to say I have loved all our neighbor goodies we have received this year. We almost ate all the popcorn from the Johnson's in one sitting tonight. Mmmm!!! So, I have been working the last two days on my annual Christmas treats...caramel pretzels. It is fun to make them, although lots of work! I have made these for neighbor gifts for the last few years and now it doesn't seem like Christmas unless I make them! Only one more day of work until they are done.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Bday Ian


Just a quick birthday shout out to my cute little brother...who isn't so little anymore. Happy 24!! Some things I love about Ian: your never ending health and exercise tips, your jokes, your ability to take a joke, how you can liven up a party, how you make just about anything more fun just by being there, your amazing self taught music abilities, your music and laptop addiction, your personality..YOU! Happy Birthday E!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If only!


Last night was Kaela's annual Christmas dance concert. I am happy to report that I survived another year. It is such an ordeal...driving in the traffic, fighting the crowds, waiting forever for two minutes of excitement, so on and so on (you dance Mom's know what I mean).

Anyway, one trial every performance is Kaela's makeup (she has the most sensitive eyes that water every time I put anything makeup within an inch of them). Our awesome neighbors (Nordquists...you are the best!) agreed to do Kaela's makeup for me. They did it in record time and we only had one glitter in the eye incident. Kaela and I had this funny conversation on the way home:

M: Wasn't that so nice of Kenzie to let you borrow her makeup?
K: Yes.
M: We should really buy that makeup on the internet, it was so easy!
K: Let's just have Santa bring it to us so WE don't have to buy it.

Right. If only life were that easy. Maybe Santa can bring Richard a new car so we don't have to buy that either.

p.s. For my old dance friends, that is Melissa Bird's daughter next to Kaela, small world huh?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

There's magic in the air!

From the snow to a visit from the big man himself...it has been a Christmas week. We are enjoying this Christmas season and excitement that surrounds it, especially with little kids. I think I smiled for an entire hour when Santa visited us at the Brough family party this week(check out our pictures below). I just love Christmas time...only 15 more days!

Check out my Slide Show!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's that time

One of the main reasons I set up our family blog was to give updates on Richard's health. So, today and Friday Richard goes in for his semi annual scans. They do CT scans on his neck, chest and stomach area to make sure he is still cancer free.

He is two years out of treatment now and they told us that the two year time frame for healthy lymph nodes was crucial. So, if you have a little extra room in your prayers, please remember him! By the way, he is feeling great and looking wonderful, no need for concern, I've just found that extra prayers never hurt!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bitter Sweet Cuteness

Okay, so I will be the first to admit that it takes me forever to finally give in to cutting my kids hair. Kaela was three, Sam was 15 months (Richard was pleading for a haircut from 9 months on), and Karissa, well, now she is 3 1/2. But in my defense I did trim Karissa's hair about 6 months ago.

My little sister and her husband have been hinting for about a month now that "Karissa would be so cute with a hair cut" and "Karissa don't you want a haircut?" I got the hint guys! So, I called and booked my sister-in-law Michelle for a Karissa cut today.

When I asked Karissa how she wanted her hair cut she replied, "buns." I guess she didn't totally understand what a haircut meant. I held back the tears as Michelle chopped off a good 8 inches (I am horrible at measuring, but seriously doesn't that seem like a ton!). Thanks Michelle for going easy on me and giving me an extra inch. After she was done getting styled Karissa told me she got an Aunt Ashley haircut. And I do have to admit Karissa looks pretty cute. Check her out...


before


after

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Everything you never wanted to know...

I've been tagged by my cute friend Kacee! The name of this game is to answer the following 10 questions and then tag 4 other friends to do the same on their blog pages...

Best thing you cooked last week...this should be easy since it was Thanksgiving, but since I hosted I gave out all the hard stuff, honestly, I don't think I cooked one time. Sorry family.

If money, time and babysitting were no object, where would you go and with who...1. Hawaii, Cancun or somewhere tropical with Richard, actually anywhere with Richard. 2. England with Richard's family. 3. Mexico, St. George or some kind of beach condo with all my family. 4. Somewhere with my scrapbooking girl friends (and force them all to not scrapbook and go to the movies, shopping and dinner with me!) 5. San Francisco or Phoenix with my Mom and sisters.

When was the last time you cried? Yesterday when I dropped Richard off at the airport.

Five things you were doing 10 years ago: 1. Completely enjoying being a newlywed. 2. Attending my Senior year at the U of U. 3. Working part time at Clarke American. 4. Buying my 1st married car (our Saturn). 5. Living in a tiny apartment at University Village.

Five things you were doing 5 years ago: 1. Staying home with Kaela who was 3 and Sam who was 1. 2. Working 10 hours a week at Clarke American. 3. Buying our first home on Trowbridge Way. 4. Celebrating Richard's MBA graduation and first real job. 5. Celebrating 5 years of marriage and still totally happy!

Five things you were doing 1 year ago: 1. Selling our first home and buying our 2nd on Oak Run Drive. 2. Making Richard pack everything! 3. Getting the shock of my life finding out I was pregnant...again!!! 4. Moving in with my parents for a few weeks until our new home was ready. 5. Moving (so glad I am not doing that this year!)

Seven of your favorite hobbies: reading, crafting, shopping, going to lunch, playing games, spending money, step aerobics.

Five favorite foods: Diet coke (is that a food?), chocolate chip cookies, Chick-fil-A chicken, carnitas, soft serve ice cream.

Five places you've been: Mexico City, San Francisco, Catalina Island, Disney World and Land, Rexburg, ID (I'm reaching here, need that time, money and babysitting thing to be real!!).

Five Favorite Memories: My entire wedding day...so perfect, college graduation, holding my new babies, my honeymoon, Disneyland with my kids.

So, I am tagging Ashley (she needs to update her blog), Casey, Amy, and Allison Bailey (she needs a photography break!).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been meaning to post everyday for two weeks now but never seem to find the time. I'm trying to catch up on those wintry house projects! Cleaning out drawers, planting tulips, organizing, getting to my twenty million loads of laundry...you know. Here's some highlights of the last couple weeks...

I got a new calling! I am now going to be serving as the secretary in YW. I have to say that I am going to miss my Relief Society calling so much, I have really loved it. But, I am already loving YW and all the wonderful ladies and girls that have made me feel so welcome. I have learned never to get comfortable in what you are doing because there is always change in the kingdom!

I attended Time Out for Women with my sister Ash and my dear friend Tennisa. Thanks Tennisa for allowing me this great opportunity. Amiss all the craziness associated with leaving a three month old nursing baby, it was well worth it! Listening to Sherri Dew speak was a real highlight.

Hanging out with Candace a bunch! Love that you are always willing to overlook Karissa's craziness and still hang out. I feel like we are so much alike in so many ways, and a week can't go by that we don't get together. So thankful for you, honestly.

So thankful for my Mom and Mom-in-law and Ash who have helped with the kids every time I have needed you the last couple weeks. With Richard so busy I have been so, so grateful for all of you. Can't even express how much I love you!

I haven't really seen Richard much. He has been working like mad the last couple of weeks so I am so excited for Thanksgiving. Can't wait to spend time with all those I love the most.

Just feeling so grateful this year for all of our blessings! We are all healthy and happy. Our hearts and prayers are with all those we love so much who are going through hard times and trials. I have just wanted to hug my family a little closer and longer lately. Hope you will do the same this Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cheese-cakin It!


The long awaited day came...the Cheesecake Factory opened in Utah! We had the not so great idea to go opening Saturday to celebrate Keith's (my bro-in-law) birthday. We had a plan...go at 2:30 when lunch was finishing up and before dinner. I thought it would be busy, but not a 4 hour wait busy! We decided to stick it out (thank goodness Fashion Place was right next door to help pass the time). We ended up waiting for 2 1/2 hours (not too bad I guess). Richard and I shared the Chicken Madeira and the Tuxedo Cheesecake. Sooooo yummy. Seriously, it was so good, I was not disappointed. We finally left about 6:45, so the whole day was devoted to our cheesecake adventure. We only survived because we had the fabulous idea of getting a babysitter, would never have waited that long with kids in tow!


Was it worth it, mmmmm YES (but sorry to all my girlfriends who I skipped out on because my lunch date took forever). Can't wait to go back...anyone up for a cheesecake adventure?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Candy!

Okay, Karissa ate all of her Halloween candy in about a day's time (I know what you are all thinking, but honestly I just thought let her eat it all and let it be gone!). Mostly she took one bite of everything and threw it away. On the flip side, Kaela and Sam have eaten one piece every now and again and still have their whole bag full. Yesterday Karissa sneaked Sam's bag and finished off the entire thing! This morning I caught her going for Kaela's bag. I put my foot down, "No Karissa, no more candy!" Then my sweet little Kaela said, "Mom, she can have my candy, it's not very healthy." Wow, where did that come from? My heart swelled with pride over Kaela's total kindness to her sister. It sank to think, another day of Karissa on a candy high. Here's to getting rid of ALL of our candy via Karissa! And to think, she is so skinny I can barely get a pair of pants to fit her.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

About Me

So my friend Angie tagged me two months ago to post 5 things you may not know about me. Okay, so what a procrastinator I am! I finally am getting around to it.

For the most part I feel I am pretty much an open book, but here goes...



1. I hate being cold. During the winter I usually have to take a shower or bath every night to warm up before bed! Love being warmed up...by water, by my heater or the sun. No wonder I love summer so much!


2. I really love to exercise. Seriously, I love that burning feeling in my throat from working out really hard. But it has to be something fun...like step or some sort of dancing. If it is not fun, I totally lose my motivation.

3. I feel really sad when I can't keep some important relationships up. Mostly, my friend Amy who is what I would call my soul mate friend. We were totally inseparable in high school, went to Rick's together, worked together, and basically hardly let a day pass that we didn't call each other or hang out. We always planned to live next door to each other. Sometimes when I get lonely, I remember those days and know we would be together constantly if our lives allowed that. But I love it that when we see each other...we still have that forever friend connection. Love you Amy!

4. I usually cry everyday! I hold my emotions so close to the surface (poor Richard). I can cry about really insignificant things too, and crying always makes me feel better. I can cry because I am sad, happy, when reading a happy/sad book, thinking about something that might happen that scares me, when someone is mean to me, when my kids are driving me crazy, when I think about how much I love my kids, watching a TV show...the list goes on. No wonder I cry so much!

5. I love learning and expanding my mind. I love reading the newspaper and being informed about the world. I also love having an opinion (and expressing it) on many things (sorry fam, especially Mom). I loved college and feeling like I was expanding my mind constantly. Miss those days, but I sure don't miss the tests.

So, I am pretty boring but there you go!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Birthday

Time for a new post!!! Life just gets so busy sometimes. So, a quick birthday shout-out to some of my favorite people who have had birthday's this month!


Happy Birthday to my friend Jenn. We have been friends for 16 years now! Crazy. Love your never ending funny stories and knowing that when we are together I will get a great laugh. Love that you share in my treat and diet coke love/addiction. Just so thankful for a friend like you! So sad I don't have a picture of us together!!

Happy Birthday to my sister Casey! I have always loved sharing my birthday month with you and being the same age for 3 weeks. My favorite story to tell people during October growing up was that we were only 11 months apart because I always loved being like you. Love our long talks, love that you have introduced me to almost everything cool and hip that I own. Love your genuine love to give and make others happy. Love having a sister like you!!







Happy Birthday Sam. I can't believe my little guy is already six! So many things that I love about Sam. Love how easy going you are with everything in life. Love your constant smile and how everything is a joke to you. I don't know what I would do without your silly sayings that make me laugh everyday. Love the all boy that surrounds you. Just love you so much.


Well I have decided that I haven't met to many people that I don't like who were born in October. It's just a great month for a birthday!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thanks...

I have felt so thankful lately for the wonderful family and friends I have..I am so blessed...

Mom...thanks for my birthday dinner and for always making birthday's such a big deal. Also, thanks for all you do for me and my kids (seriously). Taking Karissa totally made my week (and hers!). So grateful for a Mom like you.

Casey...thanks for lunch on my birthday and buying my very favorite and expensive ice cream cake, your generosity never ceases to amaze me! Also, for lunch on Sunday and taking the kids. You are the best!
Ashley...for just dropping by to visit me on a lonely day...such a great visit. Love it when you are home and can hang out.
Ian...for always making me laugh. It is an instant pick me up to hang out with you.
Scrappin friends...I could name all of you individually, but you all made my day with your phone calls. I couldn't ask for better friends in a million years...you all know how much I love ya!!
Allison...for the pictures of Addy, just love them so much. I appreciate your willingness to spend the day with me and the kids and friends! Love the results so much.

Jayme...for always calling just when I need someone to talk to! So glad to have you for a friend.

Mom Brough...for your willingness to chat and for volunteering to take the kids so Richard and I could go out. Love you for your constant understanding and encouragement.

Richard...for everything. You make every day the best. Couldn't do much of anything without your constant support and love.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Deals

You all know how much I love deals. I saw these on Good Things Utah yesterday...so enjoy!

At hasbrotoyshop.com you can get free shipping and 25 percent off your order. Just use 25Fall in the promo code. Awesome for Littlest Pet Shop lovers!

Get Oprah's favorite popcorn for free. You just have to pay shipping for 2 bags (5.90). Here's the link:
Link: https://www.daleandthomaspopcorn.com/freepopcorn/default.aspx?Channel=LSHARE&siteID=IR2OVDzZM7s-SWMT81nucEYJ7miIxOw5Kw

Get a free medium 1 topping pizza from Domino's when you order online through October 10! Use promo code click.

Enjoy and pass your favorite deals along to me!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Perspective

While Karissa was at preschool, Sam and I gave Addy a bath and had this conversation:

S: Mom, are we going to have any more babies?
M: No Sam, this is our last baby!
S: But, we should have like 25 babies.
M: Well, babies are a lot of work and expensive.
S: Mom! Babies are not expensive, they come from your tummy not from the store!

Needed a good laugh today, love a 5 year's perspective!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Question of the day


I just love Sam's natural piano playing ability, especially how he loves to play any themed song (Star Wars, Mario, Pink Panther, etc). But I am just wondering many times one reasonably sane person (okay, arguable!) can hear one line of Harry Potter played (with the loud pedal-mind you)...before they go totally crazy? I'm going on a half hour of Harry Potter straight...

Love you Sam!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little dreams...



The kids sort of had a Disneyland moment this weekend..thanks to Grandma! Grandma had promised them a trip to Build-A-Bear for back to school, which during the summer seemed forever away. Well after many months, September finally came! Sam was so excited and asked me so many times when he was going that I finally wrote in on the calendar for him to visually see.

Since we have 4 kids we were invited to attend the party so we could help Grandma with crowd control...but Richard and I were both glad we did. It was so much fun to see how excited the kids were and their personalities come out as they decided. Karissa who has never been to BAB before and clearly did not understand the concept..found a sample Bear and carried it around the store and just wanted that one to keep. We helped her make her bear exactly like the one she dragged around and by the end was beginning to understand what was going on (she loved dressing her bear). Sam was all smiles from ear to ear the entire time. He picked out a "Super Monkey" which he had planned on making long before we arrived. After much deliberation on Kaela's part, she decided to make a bride bear. Addy (with some help) made a super soft bunny that plays Brahms lullaby. Mack made what we call a mini-Mack, a bear dressed just like him, complete with Sketcher shoes. Grandma totally spoiled them by basically letting them pick out what ever they wanted.


Grandma topped of the night with a trip to Litza's pizza. It was perfect for the kids. We were so exhausted after the night was over that Richard and I both commented that we felt like we had been to Disneyland. The kids all fell asleep in the car with their bears...and played with them the entire day (except for church!). Thanks Mom for making this such a memorable day with kids...for sure a highlight of the year that will not soon be forgotten.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall is in the Air

After being very pregnant all summer, I didn't think it was possible to ever be cold again! Last night I got the shivers from the cold air. my air conditioning didn't kick on all night and I had my first really hot shower in a long time! Welcome back cold. It is a little sad to say goodbye to summer. There are so many things that I love about the warmth. No coats, no socks, no layers...but this year I am actually looking forward to fall a little more. So loving my kids being back in school (three cheers for public education!!). It feels great to get them back to some what of a productive life. Loving that I am no longer sweating all the time, love that the holiday season is just around the corner. I'll change my mind about the cold come December, but right now I am just loving a little change.

I also started reading again. I have to read in waves because I get so into books I can literally ignore my kids for a day. But Richard reminded me that it had been awhile...so I picked up Twilight, a book many of you have raved about. Knowing me I should be finished in a couple of days here, so I will let you know how it goes. Hopefully the kids survive... =)

Happy Fall and Back to School to all of you!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Baby Love


I can't believe it has almost been a week and this is the first chance I've had to sit and report on our sweet little one (life with 4 kids!). Addyson Ann was born August 24th. She weighed in at 7 lbs 2 oz, 21 inches long with lots of brown hair. She is so sweet, precious, beautiful and the list goes on (parents are allowed some bragging rights, right!) She is such an angel. You forget that "fresh from heaven" spirit that babies bring. She has brought such a sweet spirit into our home. The kids love her so much, and the biggest stress is them fighting over who gets to hold her first.
I am also happy to report that life is just as crazy/chaotic as I thought it would be. Definitely feeling the sleep deprivation this time. Maybe it is because we have so many lives to manage, going here...going there. Maybe because I'm 30 this time. Whatever it is, I'm tired!! So grateful that Richard has been home this week...could not have survived without him. Addyson has had jaundice and has had to be in a beli bed (little light bed that is suppose to bring their belirubin down). Needless to say she did not love being in that bed at night at all. Not the funnest start to life. We have been at the doctors office everyday to get blood tests, but I am happy to report that as of today she is off the lights and healthy. I don't have to go to the doctor until next Friday!!!


Besides welcoming a new family member, it has been a busy week! Kaela started 3rd grade, Sam started Kindergarten and little Karissa attended her preschool orientation. She will start school next week. We also celebrated our 10th anniversary. I can hardly believe we survived it all. But with all the craziness Richard and I have both been teary eyed several times this week because we can't help but feel that we are so blessed. It has just been reinforced to us that family is truly the greatest blessing of all. Thanks to all of you for your love, prayers and the many other ways you have helped us. We have the greatest family and friends...really!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blog "lifting"

Okay Steph...I totally loved this list on your blog, so I am blog lifting it!! Here's my take on your thoughts of randomness:

  • I'm happiest when...I am with the people I love.
  • Someday I'm going to...see Richard driving a different car (it's been 10 years...and the car has been in the family literally since I have known him...15 years!!).
  • When I'm really down, what I want to do is...get out and do something fun. Eating out usually does it for me!
  • I feel anxious when...my kids are fighting and it's only 10:00 am, when my house is a mess, when I have no time for me.
  • I like people who...are happy, upbeat and look on the bright side.
  • All it takes to make me happy is...Richard (and chocolate!).
  • What I really want to do is...not be pregnant anymore!
  • I wish that...I was always content with everything that I have, get over the "always needing/wanting more" syndrome.
  • I don't like people who...are overly critical.
  • A person really should...count their blessings. When it all comes down to it, we all have so much more than we need!
  • I just hate it that...I'll never be a size 8.
  • If I could do whatever I wanted...live the life I'm living...it's pretty great. But a vacation to Hawaii doesn't sound too bad!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Assuming

So I think that I am learning never to assume anything in life! Here I am still pregnant even though I told almost everyone that I would probably have the baby on the 17th since my last two children were both induced a week early. Um, still pregnant with no contractions. I have tried...running my stairs (but only for a few minutes, I am really feeling the little to no physical activity strain), eating pineapple, eating Mexican food and various other methods recommended to me. Still pregnant. Oh well.



It still has been a great week. A big Happy Birthday to my Mom!!! You are the greatest. We had a wonderful time celebrating her big day at the Roof. It was quite relaxing and a great way to celebrate. Thanks for your love and inspiration on so many aspects of life Mom! I also was able to spend time during the week with my Mom since it was her last week home before school starts. Thanks for lunch Mom -- I'm going to miss you. Sadie and I also ventured to the vinyl boutique where I got flowers and butterflies for the girls rooms. Thanks for your help Sadie, you are the best! The girls rooms are almost finished...I will post a picture soon.


We had a relaxing weekend. Friday we spent playing games with the Elggren's in our ward. I am so grateful for their friendship. When we moved I was praying to find a friend that I could just call up and chat with or go to lunch with...and I found one. I am so grateful for your friendship Jayme! Sadly I missed my scrapbooking night...can't wait until next month. Besides totally wearing the kids out with a 2 hour Lowe's trip on Saturday (Richard has promised to not complain at Target/Old Navy/ where ever I want to go shopping next...) we had a fun family day. The kids really wanted to have a "water party" so Richard set up the sprinkler and then ran the hose down the slide. They were in water heaven! Then we watched Catch that Kid for a family movie night. Not the greatest show ever, but after enduring Ninja Turtles, nothing seems that bad!

Well, I am hoping we will have some exciting baby news to report to you this week. Off to eat pineapple, run the stairs, and so on... (cross your fingers for me!)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Splurges

"PEOPLE are more important than THINGS, but I love my things."
-unknown

So splurging has just been on my mind today. I so love this quote, isn't it true of all of us in this capitalist society? I really do love to spend money...way to much. It totally gives me a high. It all started in college when I worked at Holiday Inn and Amy and I would go shopping all the time. The only catch was we were always looking for a bargain. Well, the hunt for the best deal has never stopped, nor my love for shopping, nor my love for spending. So here are some things that lately I just haven't been able to resist!!

  • Haircuts and color. Just got mine done today which is probably why I am thinking about splurges. There is just something about a haircut that just makes you feel 10 times better instantly. Add in color and were talking a hundred times or so better. Every time I get my hair done I think, wow this is such a splurge...but so worth it. I really shouldn't because I get a great deal with my sister in law who does such an awesome job, but compared to Richard's do it yourself jobs, it is quite the splurge.


  • Decorations. Can't even begin to tell you how many times I've said I'm done going to Roberts or Rod Works (which sound like the same place anyway when you say it really fast), or Target or so on because I've been in a decoration buying frenzy. I said that just last week after I finally got a few things to go atop my cabinets. Honestly, I think about how great something would look somewhere and I just can't stop thinking about it until I have it. If I wake up thinking about it, then I know I have to have it. (I know you are all thinking I am totally crazy). I won't even start on the Target thing, could go on for hours about how I love that place...

  • Kids clothes. Again, only if it is a bargain. Love searching for deals at Old Navy, Gap, Children's Place, Target. Just love to say, "and that only cost me 1.97." It's a wonder how 1.97 can turn into 50.00 so fast.


  • Not money related but my favorite splurge lately...SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Did anyone see it last night? It is so good and so addicting! I don't even have a favorite because I love them all (although I am blown away every time Danny does a pirouette or leap, oh my, technique!!). I don't know what I am going to do when it is over. =) Although it doesn't even begin to compare with my all time favorite Gilmore Girls which I just love so much. I haven't watched the last season yet. Couldn't bear to...is it really over? Just picking an old wound, sure many of you (if any of you) have been over this since May.

I could probaby go on forever with the many ways I love to spend money and time, but those are my favorite as of late...I'll keep you updated!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy weekend...long weeks

Well I have officially decided that the weekends just go by way to fast and the weeks can just drag on. This weekend was no exception, it was so fun and gone in a flash!

Friday we hired out a babysitter and went to our ward date night. We had such a blast. We had a pot luck dinner and then we learned swing dancing. I think I stressed Richard out a little about his dancing abilities before the date. He has always felt he was a bit uncoordinated since he grew so tall so fast..but he was fabulous. We had a great time and I think we were one of the last couples there. We didn't even have any collisions with this huge belly of mine.

Saturday I went to lunch with my mom, sisters and mother-in-law. They gave me a little shower which was lots of fun. It is always fun to get some new things for each baby. I felt really spoiled and it was great fun to get out without the kids for a few hours. Richard had fun spending some time with the kids. That night we went to a luau for a family that Richard home teaches. Their son just got baptized and man do they know how to throw a party. There was tons of food and we have tons of food in our fridge. I have no idea how we will ever eat it all, but Richard assures me we will be just fine. I am great with a week free of cooking! Ash and Keith came over later to play games. Richard got a couple of new games and game night is never a disappointment with Ash and Keith.

Sunday after church we went to Casey's for a BBQ. They got a Wii over the weekend and we all went to try it out. It was lots of fun! There was awesome food and even better company. We had fun creating our Mii's (our own personalized characters) and bowling. I only wish I could bowl as well in real life as I can on the Wii (184 - a personal best for me - ever). Pretty sure I will never actually bowl that score with a ball, but hey I can dream. The kids had fun playing with Mack and a crazy cat outside. Lots of fun.

Like I said the weekend was over all too fast and now back to the long work week! Only 4 more days...

Monday, July 30, 2007

A few shout out's...

Thanks to my sister Casey for this awesome new header she made me. I just love it so much. Thanks for the creative inspiration on so many projects Casey (from photos, to scrap booking, to decorating)!

Also, a big happy birthday to my Grandma Conley yesterday! I can't even begin to tell my Grandma how much I love her. I have so many wonderful memories of her from my youth. Dress up parties, shopping (from the time I was young!), Window's on the Square, baking together, eating out, San Francisco, Disneyland, swimming and so many more. I hope to be the kind of Grandma and person that you are. I love you so much, hope your day was great.

Thanks to our parents who watched our kids over the weekend, we had a 48 hour date (almost!). It was wonderful. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary a little early since we thought it might be a little more fun without a newborn. We did so much: park city, johnny carino's, mulligan's, a movie, the temple, rodizio grill, hale centre theater, and lots of shopping. Needless to say I am totally exhausted from the weekend, but it was so fun to get out. Especially since it will be awhile until we get to be alone again.

3 weeks to baby!!! Crazy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ah, parenthood!

"Some days I wonder how my kids will turn out, but most of the time I'm just figuring out how to survive them RIGHT NOW!" -the story people

So, it has been a really long week...does school really not start for another month? Wow. Does Richard really have to work another 10 hour day!!! Feeling some serious crazies coming on! Okay, it really isn't that bad, but having to take 3 kids to do everything (especially all the fun things they love like...getting the oil changed, grocery shopping, going to the bank, you fill in the blank) just takes twice as long with way to many whines going on!

Ah, such is the life of a big family. Really, I have had so many moments this summer where I have just thought I have the greatest kids ever. Seeing Kaela and Karissa play Polly Pockets and princesses nicely has made me believe that they have a really special sibling connection. Other moments too...like watching Sam push Karissa in the swing, Karissa begging for someone to sit by her in the car, Sam reading to Karissa, playing lego's together nicely (as illustrated in the picture)...all are evidence to me that they really love each other. But, on the flip side, the moments filled with fighting, whining, complaining...have all been plentiful too. There have been too many times lately where I have decided that parenthood really is for those who like to get a glimpse of their less than perfect self!!!

Reminds me of growing up. I am sure we drove my Mom so crazy. Couldn't even count on all my fingers and toes the amount of scratches I endured (or dished out) and the countless other mean, crazy fights I got into with my siblings. Now they are my favorite people. So, there really is hope for the future...not just for the kids, but for me too!! =)

Monday, July 9, 2007

On my mind

5 things I am totally in to right now...

1. Naps...must be that pregnancy thing. I could nap everyday if my kids would let me!! Unfortunately, I only catch one a couple times a week. Sunday's I can always count on (thanks Richard)! It's funny how your perspective changes so much as you get older. 10 years ago I thought naps were the biggest waste of time, now I can't get enough.

2. Shade T-shirts...okay I probably told most of you about my disbelief that 'Mormon t-shirts' had become a multi-level marketing business...probably throwing in I would never buy one. But, here I am eating my words. Love them so much.

3. Getting Out...the days are kind of long with all of the kids home. We have a movie day, library day, and eating out day (okay maybe a couple of those). Don't know why but I am just not the stay at home type person. I love to get out so much and it makes such a difference in my day.

4. Grouchiness...the pregnancy thing again. Sorry to all my family members I have lashed out at lately. Just can't help it...chalk it up to the hormones.

5. My family...especially my husband. I know you have all probably had enough, but seriously I just think I am the luckiest ever. Can't seem to get enough of him. So grateful that he listens to me go on and on about everything. My extended family too. Had so much fun spending the 4th of July with them.

Would love to hear what you are "in to" right now!
Some favorite pictures from the last week (4th of July, Build a Bear, Karissa in the garden) :




Monday, July 2, 2007

Summer Lovin...

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language." -henry james



I can hardly believe it is already July! Summer time just goes by so much faster than dreary old winter. Although I am hot and tired, I just love summer. Love working out in the yard, love not having to put a coat or jacket on me or the kids, love flip-flops, love bbq'ing, love soaking up the sun...just love summer!





Speaking of soaking up the sun, we had a chance to swim at Ashley and Keith's pool on Saturday. We had lots of fun--and it was the perfect way to spend a 100 degree day in Utah. I realized that old habits die hard..I wanted to spend the entire day at the pool...Richard was ready to go after a couple hours of swimming. Growing up, we would spend the whole day swimming at my Grandma Conley's when we went to visit her. Grandma or my Mom would bring us lunch to the pool and we would head in late afternoon to get ready for dinner. We loved it...there is just something wonderful about spending the day in the sun. So, Richard and I compromised and left about 3:00. Casey and I are kindred spirits when it comes to the pool (actually I think she could stay even longer than I can) and she only left because everyone else was. Anyway, it was great fun. The kids all loved it. Thanks Ash!!



Richard surprised me by getting a babysitter on Friday night and we went out. We enjoyed dinner at Johnny Carino's (one of my favorites) , strolled around Barnes and Noble (Richard's favorite) and went to see Ocean's 13. It was a much needed break for both of us! We really enjoyed the movie and spending some time together. I really do love those kids of ours...but time together is so rejuvenating..so glad I married my best friend.



I also think Richard and I are a shoe in for parents of the year. Karissa has been so tired this entire summer. She stays up late and then wakes up as soon as the sun comes up. She has also missed quite a few naps. The other night we were working on getting the house cleaned up. Karissa wanted to watch a show and so for peace we let her. She opened one of her suckers and sat down quietly. Richard and I were busy cleaning when we went to check on Karissa. She had fallen asleep with the sucker in her mouth...which made me feel like such a great parent. Can't wait for those dental bills.







Looking forward to the 4th of July this week and spending time with our families. It should be great. Holiday's are always a blast!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Catching Up

So much has happened this past week...so, here's the scoop...first of all on Richard's health...

Richard had a check-up with his cardiologist this week and everything looks great. There doesn't seem to be any complications with the device they used to close the hole in his heart. We are so happy!! He also received results from his CT scans and everything looks great. Still cancer free. We are so grateful. We always feel a little bit stressed every time his scans come around, but we feel so blessed that everything turned out to be normal. Thanks to all of you for your prayers on our behalf. In September Richard will be two years out of treatment and we are so glad everything is still looking good.


Richard had a stake camp with the Young Men on Thursday night. So, you know the saying..while the cat is away...the kids and I went to play. We went to the Mayan Adventure with my Mom and sister Casey. The kids loved it and well, it is interesting for sure. I don't know what to call them, actors (maybe?) roam around speaking some crazy language and interacting with the kids. The whole idea was a little freaky to me, but hey the kids loved it and were entertained for a couple of hours. I guess that is what counts.


Richard came home on Friday afternoon and we packed up for the annual Bud Campout. This is an activity we look forward to every year, because we camp and hang out with lots of our friends from high school. So many people think it is crazy that after 13 years we still keep in touch with so many of our high school friends, but it really is just the greatest time with some of our most cherished friends. This year we "camped out" in the Blake's backyard because there are quite a few of us that are pregnant. The Blake's live on an acre of land in Saratoga Springs, so everyone just set their tents up in their backyard. I was so proud of myself because at 7 1/2 months pregnant I slept in the tent! We laughed lots, ate smores and the kids enjoyed playing together. We also had an awesome group breakfast together (thanks men). The guys enjoyed playing volleyball, while us girls sat and chatted. Already looking forward to next year...











We got to hang out with my sister Ashley and her husband Keith on Saturday night for our ritual game playing night. We haven't been able to get together as much lately, so it was good to play again. We had a great time and the kids always love it when they come over.


I am realizing that I really am losing my mind being pregnant. On Sunday morning I was so hot...seriously. I was sweating getting ready for church. Richard chalked it up to my hot showers. I realize that I take hot showers, but it didn't seem any hotter than normal. Anyway, after church I was still dying of heat when all the sudden I realized that I had turned off the air when my sister was cold the night before and never turned it back on. The house was 82 degrees by that time. Thank goodness I don't have to give up my showers! =) I also found myself squinting the whole day yesterday and couldn't figure out why. I just kept thinking my contact prescription must be wrong. When I went to take out my contacts that night, I realized I had only put one contact in and never even thought about it as I was squinting. I guess I 'm not functioning at full capacity.


Just a funny note to end on. Karissa was throwing one of her usual tantrums this past week. While she was throwing her fit I turned to Sam and said, "What are we going to do with her?" He came and whispered in my ear, "The person you need is Nanny McPhee." It made me laugh so hard. Just what I needed in that stressful moment, and will probably only be funny to you if you have seen the movie...so if not pick it up and enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thoughts on SF


"No city invites the heart to come to life as San Francisco does. Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living"~William Saroyan




San Francisco was such a blast!! We had such a wonderful time laughing, shopping, eating, spending time with family and so on. There truly is no place on earth like San Fran. Some reflections and favorite memories from the trip:


-Eating at the Cheesecake Factory in the Macy's building in downtown San Francisco (picture of me alone above taken from the CF terrrace). I didn't think it could live up to all the hype my sister gave it -- but absolutely the best food I've had in a long time. I already can't wait to eat there again. Seriously, it was that good. Mmmmmm.


-Seeing Paul, Sherri and their boys sealed in the temple. Such a great experience that made me reflect on my own family and how grateful I am we are forever! When it all comes down to it, you realize that what really matters in this life is family and the gospel.




-Totally relying on public transportation to get around downtown. Sure better than driving in all the crazy California traffic. What an adventure -- thanks Ian.



-Shopping downtown San Francisco. So fun, so many great stores, so close together. The three floor Old Navy and Gap Stores were pretty awesome too. (And, I only spent $30!!)


-Getting to hang out with most of my extended family on Saturday afternoon after the temple and realizing how wonderful they are and how much I love them. Honestly, I have not laughed that hard in a six hour time frame in a long time. Good times...


-Mostly, this trip made me realize how blessed I am to have my wonderful husband who watched the kids so I could go off and enjoy myself for a weekend. I just can't get over how amazing he is and how much I love him. Being away from him for 4 days made me realize that vacations just aren't the same without him, and after 10 years he is still my very favorite person in the whole world to be with. Lucky me!!


Hoping that all of you get a chance to rejuvenate and relax with some of your favorite people out there soon in some place wonderful....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer is Here!

Well, I officially survived the first real day of summer. I know summer doesn't officially start until the 21st but with all of the kids home (and the weather for casted to hit 100 this week!) it sure feels like summer. I think Kaela is surviving being home all day too. Yesterday we got up and made a to do list book. We came up with several items that she and Sam need to accomplish everyday. Then we took the books to the copy store and had them bound. Hopefully it will get the kids motivated to get some worthwhile things accomplished this summer. We'll see...



I also had a great weekend!! I somehow found the motivation to get things done that I have been putting off for a while. I finally got the girls closets cleaned out and organized. Bye-Bye winter clothes, and clothes thrown in spots they should not be. There is just something about an organized space that makes me happy! I had to go open Kaela's armoire several times after it was clean...which made me realize how organizing something just makes you feel empowered (I know many of you are laughing at me right now). Richard had been camping with Sam on Friday but when he came home realized his dream of spending Saturday's organizing was happening and so he cleaned out the garage. He moved everything out of one side and literally scrubbed the floor of the garage. That floor is so clean you could eat off of it. It felt great to get things done. Usually when Richard brings these sort of ideas up to me I tell him Saturday is a day to get out. I still love getting out but I do love the feeling of getting a big project done (well, at least I love it when it is done!).



I also got quite a few creative projects done. I made my friend Tennisa some baby bows and a bracelet for her new baby Isabella. They turned out cute and made me excited to make some for my own baby. I was able to hang out with my girlfriends from high school on Saturday. We had such a great time. There is something about these friends that always makes me feel refreshed and happy. These are my friends that I can just laugh at everything with and be myself. I always feel better after spending time with them. While hanging out I finished a mini scrapbook that I had purchased a while ago. It turned out really cute.



I finally got my wall finished that I had bought vinyl for five months ago. Richard helped me center it last night and I love it!!! I finally got to Rod Works to buy picture frames (thanks Tennisa and Allison). This one wasn't the one I was planning on buying, but I like it even better. I think it goes really great with the vinyl. Now I just have to get the girls room finished that I bought pictures for 5 months ago. I guess you can understand why I get so excited about a project completed!







I am getting so excited for my trip to San Francisco this weekend. I can't wait to see family and hang out with my Mom and siblings. Besides Richard they truly are my best friends and I love spending time with them. So grateful for Richard for being so supportive of me and encouraging me to go on this trip. What a wonderful Father's Day gift he is getting -- a chance to spend the weekend alone with the kids! I am sure I am going to owe him plenty of game/camping nights after this. But, I am excited to see Paul and Sherri (my uncle and aunt) sealed. It is going to be so wonderful.






Monday, June 4, 2007

Eight is Great


"Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears you out. "

-libbie fudim


There comes a time in every parents life when you realize you have become those people that you once thought were old...that happened for us this weekend. Kaela was baptized on Saturday!!! I really can hardly believe that we are old enough to have an eight year old daughter.

The day started out a little rough. Kaela woke up with the stomach flu and was pretty sick. I asked her if we should wait until July for her baptism, but she said no. Richard gave her a blessing and we all got ready. Kaela was still sick on the way over to the stake center, but once we got there she was fine. She made it through the whole baptism, smiling (actually beaming) and all. Once we got home she went to sleep, but when she woke up she was as good as new. She was so beautiful at her baptism and we are so proud of her. We also enjoyed having our families over for lunch afterward. We feel blessed by the love and support they constantly show us.

We have often commented on how grateful we are that Kaela is our first child. She is such a good example to her younger brother and sister. She has a zest for life and for the gospel. She loves to read her scriptures, write in her journal, and sing primary songs. She even cried on our vacation when we couldn't go to church (hope that lasts in her teenage years!). I have often commented that she gets that trait from Richard, his parents have commented that his convictions were similar at the same age. She gave the family home evening lesson last week and I had to fight back tears because of the wonderful job that she did. I am just so grateful for her and her sweet little spirit.

My earliest memory of Kaela loving the gospel was from about the age of 18 months, when she just fell in love with the nativity story. You never saw such a young child taking such good care of little figures. People were always afraid that she would break pieces, but I always assured them that she was more careful than most adults! She has since acquired around 10 nativities, most of them gifts from family members who saw how much she loved them. I can say that she has never broken one piece and always has at least one displayed in her room.
Kaela, we love you so much and hope you always have the same convictions and light about you. You continually amaze us with your goodness. We are so proud of you and the wonderful daughter that you are.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Boy is a Joy!



"Don't cry because it's over -- smile because it happened." -Mary Engelbright


Well, we can hardly believe it, Sam graduated pre-school today! He is getting big so fast, it seems like just yesterday he was a baby. Today when I took him to his practice for pre-school graduation, he asked me "what am I doing here because I am in Kindergarten now."


And he is such a big kid now, although he has always been big and is even as tall as some of the second graders in Kaela's class. I have had several people remark to me that he is the tallest preschooler ever, which I guess is a combination of his late birthday and Brough genes. He is doing big kid things now too, taking out the trash, playing with Karissa, talking Mom into doing 100+ piece puzzles (and encouraging me all the way, telling me I'm really good at puzzles, even though I'm not). He is also reading so well, and loves spelling words he sees to us so we can tell him what they say. We are so proud of him and love his ability to make us laugh and smile every day. What can we say, except he is our only boy and we just love him and all of his mischievousness so much.



I think Kindergarten makes you realize that kids really do grow up!! And in a way it makes you long for the sweetness of the time in life when your children need you so much (although I feel like I am never leaving that stage). But, growing up is also exciting and wonderful and a whole new stage in parenting. I am so excited to see Sam's little personality emerge even more as his social world and opportunities expand. Parenthood really is a laboratory of learning and changing emotions and stages -- which often helps you step back and enjoy the moment while cherishing the past.


So, here's to the next stage of Sam -- learning and growing and changing, I can't wait to see what he can become!!


On a lighter note, Sam is also finishing his first season of T-ball this week. Any parent who has been involved in T-ball knows how comical (for the most part) watching four and five year olds try to pay attention during a T-ball game is. Sam and his teammates spend the majority of the game picking grass and throwing it at each other and putting it everywhere they can think of (inside their cap, inside their teammate’s cap, in their shoes, shirt, pants, etc). When we were leaving the baseball park the other day Sam asked me when he was going to play on the big fields (meaning the ones they were playing baseball at, with the diamonds and that are mostly dirt). I told Sam that he had to learn to pay attention before he could play on those fields. He quickly responded back, “Mom, I will be able to pay attention – there is no grass there.” I was glad to know that Sam’s attention span, or lack there of, had nothing to do with him, just the grass!












Sam's proud parents!


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Getting Started


"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney-

Okay, so creating a blog is something I've had on my to do list for a long time. My main excuse for putting it off was our old dial up connection - but now we have DSL -- so here we go!! It seems that with everything that goes on in with our family, a blog would be a great way to keep everyone posted on our lives. I have been inspired by so many of my creative friends and family that I just had to start! So a few updates on our family as of late:
As many of you know, Richard was diagnosed with a hole in his heart earlier in May. His Dad found out he had this condition last November and since it is genetic, Richard was tested. He went through several tests to see if he needed surgery to close the hole -- and it was determined that he needed it. They mostly perform the surgery to prevent a stroke. So, last Tuesday Richard underwent surgery to close the hole. The hole in his heart was 12 mm and an ASD (I'm still not sure what all that means) and the hole ended up being larger that his Dad's. Needless to say it was a good thing he had it done. It is quite an amazing procedure, outpatient, and the device that closes the hole was able to be placed through a catheter in his leg. He ended up having to stay a night at the hospital (because of the size), but is as good as new. All I can say is that medical technology today is truly amazing, and besides a sore leg and not being able to lift anything over 50 pounds, he is doing fabulous. We feel blessed that he was able to be diagnosed before he had a stroke. Kudos to our wonderful family members who pitched in to watch the kids (Ethel, Ashley, Mom)...we couldn't have done it without you.

We also had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. We can largely thank my wonderful Mom for that - since she took our kids Friday night. We enjoyed having dinner with the Elggren's (a couple from our ward) and also went to see Spiderman 3. We almost had a peaceful night's sleep until I got a charley horse in my calf in the middle of the night (I love being pregnant!!!). Richard thought I was going into labor from the intense pains I had, I would almost say that charley horses are worse that labor. He has made me eat bananas every day since. We also were able to attend the temple. We could hardly believe the amount of things one can accomplish childless! But, nonetheless we missed the kids and were excited to see them when we picked them up Saturday. I can't give my Mom enough thanks for the wonderful break (I am trying to talk it up a lot so another sleepover can happen sometime in the future!). We also enjoyed watching the Jazz game with the Maylett's (some of our longest and greatest friends) on Saturday. We enjoyed BBQing with Joey's family and a brunch on Monday with Richard's family. We feel so blessed to have our family members so close to us, we love them so much.
So, I think I have gone on long enough for my first post. I am so excited to get started blogging. Check us out once in a while!



Pictures from Memorial Day


Grandma, Grandpa and Kaela enjoying time together


The family!