Can you believe the holidays are basically here? It has been a really quick year for me, so I'm starting to soak in the Christmas feel before that is gone too! My brother and his son Blake are coming up this way for Thanksgiving next week. We'll spend the holiday with my entire, but small family, except for Marissa who is too pregnant to travel. :) We're excited for them to come, and McKenna is excited to see her cousin again.
Now for the news I bet you have all been dying to hear. . . . we are going to be having a boy! We are pretty excited, and I'm ALL ABOUT BLUE this time around! As much as I love the greens, reds, yellows, I want a blue room! It took the concept of a boy a few days to settle in when we first found out. . . . what are you supposed to do with a boy? Tyler's big question was, can you call a boy cute? :) Everything is "cute" with the girls. Oh-well, he's going to be involved in lots of girly stuff throughout his life, he may as well start young! :)
I completed a CERT course last saturday (Community Emergency Response Teams). While it did require sitting through classes, I loved it anyway. I think I'm most excited about the fact that I finally did and accomplished something for me! I've been wanting to get certified for a while now. The concept of the program is to increase safety during different types of disasters. We're not talking safety while you're in the middle of an earthquake, but safety afterwards for all those people who are volunteer rescuers. Many of the deaths and injuries in disasters are from those people who run into a building to "save" someone else. The CERT program taught us to organize search and rescue efforts, assessing scene and safety at all times, how to organize triage, and basic first aid in an event like this. The Portland area sits on a fault line where a major earthquake happens every 400 years. The last one was 500 years ago, and this earthquake is predicted to be at a minimum of 7.8 on the scale. Just another sign of the times for me.
McKenna was a doctor for Halloween this year. Once she saw the costume in the Party City magazine she new that's what she wanted, and after 2 1/2 weeks of not deviating from that decision we bought her the costume. She's been taking "singing and movement" classes for the past few weeks. She enjoys the classes, but it is actually a struggle to get her there. Maybe we'll try something else next time, something that incorporates more running and jumping! Her and I are also involved in a preschool. There are a few moms in the ward who take turns teaching and hosting preschool for that week (only held once a week). We hosted last friday and I taught them all about the letter E. It was fun, but I was so exhausted afterwards. I only taught a 45 minute lesson, and had a craft, plus there were 4 moms there to help. But I was still exhausted when it was all over. (I'm sure the pregnancy has a lot to do with that.)
Kate was our little fairy this year for Halloween. She looked so incredibly adorable I could have just eaten her up. I took tons of pictures, but our camera is doing something funky and I didn't get any of the good ones. She hit a huge milestone 2 sundays ago, she's old enough for nursery now! I haven't been to sunday school in months! McKenna is in there with her until the end of the year, which is great; and I know she has cried a few times, but she can be easily disctracted which is a huge plus. She is learning to communicate and talk more, which we love! Our favorite is when she responds with an "ok!" after we ask her a question. She also loves the letter A right now, I'm not sure how she learned it but it's great that she's learning!
Tyler is busy with the usual. I guess the only thing new in his life right now is being involved in tithing settlement! :) Tyler is such a wonderful husband. I still can't believe how lucky I am. We are currently in the market for a van. We've got three options we're looking at right now, but we're going to wait until the end of the month to make decision and strike with our offer. We know the market is slow right now, there are some great deals for vans, but they aren't moving anywhere. We would love to buy a new van, but feel it is very important to come out of this transaction and still have money in savings! So, we'll buy used, and we're happy with that decision.
Well girls, I love you. Thanks for keeping in contact, and I'm sooooo excited for our reunion next year. I'll tell you though, I'm a little nervous what I'll look like just coming off a pregnancy, my body doesn't bounce back anywhere near as well as Tera's! Holy cow girl, count you blessings!!! :) Oh-well, the price we pay.
Not too much going on here in Colorado, except that it's already November and we have not seen any snow!!! Well the mountains have but we have not seen any here in the city, maybe this will be an easy winter (knock on wood).
Matt is busy with work and school. He is working with the women inmates right now, and he does a lot of translating. He has had to translate some interesting things, for example he had to explain to a woman what a pap smear was, an enema, what it feels like when your water breaks during pregnancy and various other woman issues. He's never had to explain that to some one in English let alone Spanish, so I think it's hilarious!! He is still in school but we are on target for a summer 09 graduation! :)
I am still managing a parking garage in downtown Denver. We are acquiring a new building in February 09 so my work load will double, but I look forward to the change and new change of pace. In church I am currently the Beehive teacher, but am being released next Sunday and being called to be the YW Secretary. It's weird because the last ward I was in my three callings were Sunbeam teacher, YW Secretary and then Laurel Advisor and now in this ward it has been Sunbeam teacher, Beehive Advisor and now YW Secretary. I feel very lucky that I have been able to spend this much time in the YW's because it is so much fun!!!
That's what's going on with us, we hope everyone is doing well!
I know that it has been 4 months since our trip, but I wanted to post some pics of when Holly and I went to Italy and then Greece. We had a fantastic time (to say the least) and I wish all you could've been there! We saw a lot of ancient ruins most of which I was amazed by and I was surprised at how much I remembered or recalled from college.
This place was one I have no idea what it was about... I think it had to do with the Minoans??
Holly and I using the john the ancient way in Ephesus Turkey...
Our last night on the cruise all dressed up...
Holly in the Grotto...
Holly the beautiful in Pompeii...
Walking the streets of Pompeii...
The Colosseum, Rome Italy...
We we also able to find the best "good game" picture for your viewing pleasure...
Hey there girls! So I know I've been promising to update forever, but it's like writing in your journal, the more you put it off, the more you have to write about, the more you don't want to write about it, and the cycle continues. Where to start? So I finished massage therapy school in December (yes it really has been awhile), 5 days before Christmas and the same day the twins came home from their missions. Taylor and Tanner were originally scheduled to come home a day apart, but my mom was able to get it worked out that Tanner flew to Prague, and then he and Taylor flew the rest of the way home together. They showed us video of when they met up in the airport in Prague. It was fun to see how excited they were to see each other. Sometimes I really wonder what it would be like to be a twin. They have so much fun together, and they're such good guys. Anyway...I digress. After I finished school, I continued to work at the chiropractor part time, and then I did massage on-call in the mornings for this girl that I met randomly. I made good money when I worked for her, but I felt like I had to sit around all day waiting for her call, and then nothing would happen. Plus some of the people were a little shady, but hey...it did get me a $200 tip once. A story for another time :) I ended up finding another part time massage job at a small clinic, which I liked. With both jobs, I was working 6 days a week, and long hours. It was killing me, so I ended up quitting the chiropractor and started working full-time at the massage clinic. I loved the flexibility I had. I didn't have to come in until 10, and I was done at 6. If I have something to work around, he was really great about that as well. Unfortunately business is slow right now, and we were not very busy. Truthfully I've been lucky to be able to pay all the bills. Why is it so difficult to find a job you like that actually pays decently? Things should have picked up in Sept., but they didn't so I started looking for another job where I could count on a steady paycheck. I just started a job at a physical therapy clinic. I'm only part-time right now working 30 hours a week M, W, F. I will start doing massage on the side on Tues/Thurs. I keep trying to think of other things I can do to make money on the side, but they all require that you put money in before you can make money, so that doesn't help much. :)
I moved out of my apartment in Mesa when my last roommate got married. It's a crazy story, but she got engaged and married within 4 weeks to a guy that she had dated a year previously. I decided to find a bigger place, did all the research, found a nice apartment in Ahwatukee, had a roommate all lined up and everything. I moved out of my apartment, put my stuff in storage, and stayed with my parents for a week until we left on the cruise. I was going to move in right after we got back. The day before we left on our cruise, she called me and told me she had decided not to move in with me after all. Thanks for the notice chick. :) That freaked me out, because I knew I couldn't afford the rent by myself, but I didn't have any time to do anything about it. So I tried not to worry about it when we were on the cruise. I got home, got all moved in, and luckily I found someone to move in within the next month. I ended up living by myself for almost 3 months, and I gotta say, it was hard having a roommate again. I never thought the day would come when I would rather live by myself, but it's true. I'm turning into an old fart. :) To make things better I just got assigned to be the VT of the girl that bailed on me. :) I'm not sure if she's figured out the connection. I'm over it...she seems like a nice girl, and really I think it worked out better for both of us.
My family had a really good time on the cruise. We went to the Eastern Caribbean and visited Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, and the Bahamas. We got to do fun things such as swimming with the dolphins, a canopy tour (which was 9 ziplines and then a ropes course in the rainforest), snuba-it's like scuba diving but your tank is in a boat on the surface of the water, and there is a tube connecting it to you. You can go up to 20 feet down. We also went swimming with and fed some stingrays. It was okay, but not near as cool as it sounds. The others were all awesome. I loved the Caribbean! I loved the blue water, and it was so warm and calm. It was a lot of fun meeting the locals and seeing their culture as well. All of the places we visited (except Puerto Rico), they drove with the car on the left hand side of the road. Depending on whether it was US or British Virgin Island, sometimes the steering wheel was on the left, sometimes on the right. That would be seriously confusing for me. They all drove somewhat crazy too, but what was interesting, is that the drivers were actually courteous to each other. Put Americans in a situation like that, and it would be a huge mess of accidents all over the place. After the cruise, we stayed in Florida a couple more days. We went parasailing, hung at the beach some more, went to the Everglades and did an airboat tour. It was a good trip, and hard to come home and go back to work.
My parents moved into a new house (not new, but new to them) right after we got home from the trip. They finally got the old house all cleaned up and put on the market about 6 weeks ago. They got 2 offers on it in the first week. They finally accepted one about a week and a half ago. It kinda makes me sad actually. I basically lived in that house my whole life. They've remodeled since I last lived with them, so it's not like it's completely the same as when I used to live there, but still...It's just weird to think that someone else will be living there. It's not like they moved all that far...the new house is just on the other side of the main road, not even a mile away. So it's been exciting for them, and chaotic, and they swear they will never move again. I was just happy they finally took the plunge. They've been talking about moving since I was in jr. high.
Shelbie just turned 11. Can you believe it? If you saw her, you wouldn't recognize her at all. She's got glasses and braces now (they come off in Oct I think). She's totally hit her growth spurt, I think she is almost as tall as my mom now. Not quite caught up to me yet, except that her feet are bigger than mine :). That's not too hard to accomplish. Matt's been dating a girl for over a year, and they just recently got engaged. They are getting married in November. Taylor and Tanner are just doing the community college thing, dating, having a good time.
Well, I think that's all the news. Sorry it took me so long. I hope everyone is healthy and happy!
P.S. I have more pics of the cruise on my facebook profile if you want to check it out here...
As you know from the email I sent out we are having a girl! Joe got his next assignment to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. It was the closest option West. We are only 6 hours from home (Phoenix) which will be nice especially with the baby. The unit he will be with is set to deploy to Iraq in May. I can't believe we are already talking about that again. At least this time it is only a 12 month deployment and who knows maybe the next president will bring them home even earlier. I'll definitely move back to Arizona when he goes. As of today he plans to get out of the military as soon as he gets back or November of next year. Which ever comes sooner. YEAH!!!
Joe gets done with his classes here in Georgia the middle of December. Luckily the military does all of our packing and moving. I'll fly home to AZ and Joe will make the cross country road trip (something he actually enjoys) and meet me in AZ for the Holidays. We will probably deliver in El Paso instead of Phoenix but we are still not sure about that. Joe's unit is suppose to leave for the usual month train up in the Mohave Desert in prep for Iraq January 12th. Since baby is coming (around Jan 17th) Joe plans to use all of his leave days and not report in until they have already left. Missing baby #1 is not an option.
The second trimester has treated me well. The morning sickness has ended and I'm a normal person again. Since I'm not working I've had lots of time to improve my domestic skills that I never had time for with school and work. I got behind a sewing machine and made an apron and purse something I never thought I would do. I'm also spending more time in the kitchen trying some fabulous recipes. I started taking cycling classes again and discovered zumba classes at the YMCA. If you ever get a change to take a zumba class totally do it. It's a combo of dance and aerobics. It is so much fun, such a good work out and the time flies by.
I'm pretty sure I emailed all of you about my other blog (in case I didn't, it is www.thedickfam.blogspot.com). I update that fairly regularly, but I still want to be a part of the Upper blog too. So, here is our little update. We are doing just dandy. We had a fun trip to Duck Creek, UT over Memorial Day with Sean's family (riding quads and hanging out in the beautiful mountains). I spent 5 days with the Young Women from our ward for Girls Camp in June. We had a good time with very little drama (which is a serious accomplishment when you get a group of teenage girls together camping in tents for a week). I even did a little repelling and hiking while I was there. The kids spent that week at my parents house. I took a little trip down to CA for Caleb's graduation and Kyra's 8th grade promotion, which is when I also dropped the kids off. They had a fun time, of course. We had plans to go to a family reunion over the 4th of July, but Sean just couldn't take 4 full days off. So, we spent the holiday here in Kingman (which had a decent firework show for a small little place) and made homemade ice cream. Then we drove to Flagstaff the next day and spent the night there (just to get away from the heat and enjoy a little vacation of some sort). We went to the Grand Canyon caverns, saw Wall-E, swam, went to a petting deer farm outside of Williams and picked up a new addition to our family. While we were at the deer farm one of the workers told us about some puppies that someone was giving away up the road. Sean wanted to go and check them out.... and we ended up bringing one home. He is a cute little guy (who will one day not be very little at all). The kids LOVE him, and he is pretty fond of them too. You should see how excited he gets each morning when they head out to the porch first thing. Next week we are heading to Colorado for a different family reunion. We will stop in Utah to see Sean's sister's new baby. Good times. Other than our small travels, we have just been hanging out at home and trying to stay cool. We loved the monsoon storms that came through last week, and actually Kingman is not quite as hot as many other AZ places. I am feeling pretty good - definitely getting bigger and feeling this baby moving all of the time. This is the first time I have been big and pregnant through the hot part of the summer, and I think the heat wears me out a little more, but I am still good. Sean is busy with work - he is still working LOTS of hours, but his job has gotten a little better for him during the past couple of months (the stress was crazy back in the Spring). Caelan has a little reading preschool class that she goes to twice a week during the summer - she is getting good at reading simple words and writing words on her own. I can't believe she starts Kindergarten in less than a month. We're going to get adjusted to that change just in time to have a new baby and have something else to adjust to. I think it will be a big adjustment for Ben - he and Caelan are great friends who play together all the time. I guess he and Megan will start doing more and more things together. Megan is a busy little thing. She is always trying to keep up with her big brother and sister. She loves to run around and play with baby dolls and be a part of whatever anyone else is doing. Oh, what fun. Well, I love you all. I hope things are going well for you. I'd love to hear an actual update on the goings on of your lives. Can't wait for next year when we will all be together for an Upper Reunion.