Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

I absolutely LOVE Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. I love to dress up, and I love candy, so Halloween has always been a win-win in for me. I especially love it now that I have kids to dress up! This year Jadyn was pretty sure that she wanted to be "Alice" from "Alice in Wonderland." It is her favorite movie right now and she spent large amounts of time detailing to me exactly what I needed to get for her costume. Including a new kitty named "Di." (Joe was all for that idea). McKay wanted to be a horse of course. He is obsessed with all things horse related and rejected all other costume ideas.  I called my mom who is an amazing seamstress to get her opinion on how best to go about making these costumes and to see if she had any patterns or fabric that would work. Luckily she had both! She was hired to make a lion costume for her local theater last year so she sent me the left over fake fur for McKay's costume, and some old blue Lycra and chiffon for Jadyn's. I love to sew, but these projects were way outside my comfort zone. I had never worked with ANY of those fabrics before so I was pretty nervous about how this was going to work. Did I need to buy special needles for any of them? how was I supposed to keep the darn stuff from fraying without a surger? I got started the first week of October so that I would have plenty of time to come up with something else if they didn't turn out. Amazingly, both costumes came together perfectly!! The patterns were sooooo easy to follow and my new sewing machine handled the different fabrics just fine.

After I finished Jadyn's blue dress she prompting changed her mind about being Alice and declared it to be her Cinderella costume. I figured it would be easier to make a few changes to the dress then to sew the Alice pinafore, so I was perfectly happy to let her switch! i hadn't hemmed it yet either, so it was still long enough to work as for a Cinderella costume.  plus, now I wouldn't have to be mean about denying her a kitten. I changed the lining on the sleeves and took the skirt off to add the hip flounces and it became a cute little Cinderella costume! I was pretty burned out after sewing the two costumes, so it was another week or so before I got around to glittzing her dress up with rhinestones, but I cam so glad I did! She loved having sparkles all over it. I will say that next year, I won't start nearly so early making costumes. At least not when my kids can see it! They had such a hard time waiting until Halloween to wear them.

I tried to get McKay to take a picture without his binky.

Jadyn got invited to a Cinderella birthday party the week before Halloween!.

She was SO excited to get to wear her dress early!

All ready to go trick or treating!
I woke up Halloween morning with food poisoning/stomach flu. It was so miserable and I was so bummed because I knew that I wouldn't be able to go with Joe and the kids to our Church's Halloween party or Trunk'or'treat. Jadyn tried to cheer me up about it by declaring that she would share all of her candy (cute girl!). I got them all ready and then sent them off with Joe to have a good time. They had a blast and came home with waaaayyy too much candy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Playing Catch-up: May

In May Jadyn and I were supposed to go to a baby shower for a close friend here in Alpine. Unfortunatley, the kids came down with hand, foot, and mouth disease (kind of like chicken pox) a few days before, so we were confined to the apartment. I made this cute nursing cover as a baby gift. I love the pocket on the inside for nursing pads, binkies, etc.

After the kids recovered from their illness, we took them to Ft. Stockton to check out a fun park up there. They loved it! There was a huge purple dinosaur to ride, and cool things to climb or spin on. Of course no trip to Ft Stockton is complete without visiting Wal*Mart. Jadyn and McKay had a blast checking out the bicycles and mopeds out front. I took advantage of an awesome $1 per yard sale that was going on and scored some cute fabric.

Mother's Day
Joe got the kids really excited about Mother's Day. He took them shopping the week before to buy a new blender and as soon as he left for school Jadyn burst out with "Mama! we got you a Mother's day present! It's a blender and it's in Daddy's closet! It's a surprise!! You wanna go see it?" Haha we are still working on the concept of keeping a secret right now. And I did go see it, how could I not? She was so excited to show me! 
I was asked to speak in church on Mother's Day. My topic was "Mothers of the Prophets." Not the easiest subject, but it turned out well! I love speaking in a branch, it is so much smaller that it almost just feels like you are teaching in Sunday school!

Playing catch-up: April

In April we got to fly out to Idaho for the weekend for Brother-in-law Dan's wedding reception. It was such a wonderful weekend because the whole Christensen family was there and we got to spend some serious quality time with Bob, Dale, and all the sibs. Jadyn and McKay did AWESOME on the airplane ride, we are so grateful that our kids travel so well! (thus far!). They both loved ordering juice and eating the little crackers. 
Flying anywhere is usually a full day experience for us since our closest major airport is 3.5 hours away. We left the house at 6:30am, reached the airport and got through security by 10:15. The flight left at 11:25, we had a two hour layover in Pheonix (plenty of time to find a Cinnabon!!), and then finally made it to Idaho at 4:30. Larry picked us up in one of the big pick ups, we didn't get very far though before the incredible rain had us pulling over to try and fit all our baggage in the cab with us! Joe and Larry are amazing packers and made all 3 bags fit in next to 3 adults and two car seats.
Grandma C. brought home 14 baby chicks for the weekend so all the little grand kids could enjoy them. Jadyn was especially enamored by the soft fuzzy chickies. She LOVED cuddling the little creatures....until one pooped on her. And then another one pooped on her. Later that afternoon she stood over the box considering all of the little chicks and asked me if she could hold one that doesn't poop. Sorry Jadyn! No such luck! After that she just carried them around in a teeny little basket that Grandma found for her.

The night before Dan and Claire's wedding recption we got to go to another family members wedding reception, cousin Vaughn's! After getting all spruced up, Jadyn and her cousin Christian started dancing together. It was SO precious! Jadyn felt just like a princess and kept calling Christian her "prince."

Joe and Jadyn grew these beautiful flowers from seeds. Jadyn loved watering them and watching them grow taller then she is! Since she is a huge fan of the movie "Tangled," a lot of the time spent looking at the flowers also involved her singing "Flowers gleam and glow...."

We were even able to squeeze in a quick visit with Joe's friend Dan and his little family. Joe and Dan have been friends since High school.

Jadyn and I

The little cousins all love going out to the tramp to jump with Auntie Hannah.

Sitting around chatting.
At Vaughn's reception, McKay kept sneaking away to slurp water off of the water fountain. He dragged this chair out of a classroom and climbed up there by himself.
The weekend went by so quickly! Dan's reception was beautiful. He and Claire wanted a farm theme and so they held it in an Uncle's horse arena. Tawana went all out finding beautiful decorations that fit with the theme. She also asked the photographer to arrive a little early and take family portraits of all our different families! They turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Although after the picture taking, Jadyn thought the party was all about her. She kept trying to slide into Dan and Claire's pictures and spread out her pretty party dress.

On our return trip, we had a longer layover in Pheonix. Jadyn and McKay spent half an hour rolling around on the carpet and chasing each other.
Jadyn and cousin Raegan
Raegan, Andrew, and Jadyn

This wasn't one of the professional photos that was taken, this one was taken by Tawana! She is so talented.
Playing on the farm!
The kids love gathering eggs

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reflection on the last 2 yrs

Joe and I have officially completed our 2ND year here in Alpine Texas. Joe has finished all of his required classes for his Master's program, and is now working on writing his thesis. We hope to be completely finished by this December (cross your fingers!).

Moving to Alpine was a huge adjustment for our little family, but I wanted to share a little bit of my "mommy journey" that began the summer before we made it down here. In May of 2010 we borrowed my father-in-law's truck and moved out to Painesville, Ohio so that Joe could work a summer wildlife job for the USDA. We were still waiting to hear back about grad school and had no plans in place beyond the end of the summer. We were pretty nervous about transplanting our family so far East, for just a few months, but our experience in Ohio turned out to be a wonderful growing experience for all of us.

For me, Ohio marked the beginning of my time as a stay-at-home mom. I know Jadyn was 10 months old when we moved out there, but the previous 9 months had involved juggling a baby while both Joe and I went to school full-time, and worked part-time. We were a very busy family, and if you know us at all, then you know that we absolutely thrive on being busy. Then we moved to Ohio and I went from juggling a very full schedule to staring at my 10 month old baby wondering what I was supposed to be doing with her all day, everyday. Since we didn't know where we were heading after Ohio, we didn't want to buy any furniture. We basically camped out in an empty apartment for three months, with no T.V. and no internet. If we wanted to check anything online, then we would drive over to McDonald's, or the local Library. My life felt a lot like that scene in Tangled where Repunzel is describing how she fills her day in the tower! Jadyn and I went for a walk every morning before it got too hot. She learned to walk holding onto the stroller so that she could have a break from sitting in it. Afterwards Jadyn went down for a nap and I read a library book. Then we played with her puzzles, and her toys, and I read some more of my book. We'd make lunch, splash in the bath, read some more, and wait for Joe to get home at 2:30. And then repeat every day for the next 3 months. It was a pretty big adjustment for me. I realized that while I had dreamed of finishing school so that I could be a stay at home mom, the reality was pretty darn boring. And I felt pretty low admitting it to myself. I worried that I was eventually going to hate the monotony. Then I would tell myself that surely it would be different when we had a house/yard/garden to keep me busy, and 3 or 4 more kids to chase, but all of those things seemed like an eternity away from our little apartment in Ohio. It took a lot of scripture study and prayer before I really began to see a light at the end of the dark tunnel that motherhood was turning out to be. We started to make friends at our church, and Joe and I slowly developed a routine to fill our evenings. I had some wonderful conversations with other women in my life and all of a sudden I found myself loving the alone time with my little girl, where we could explore the town, and experiment in the kitchen together. I learned to be patient and I have often been grateful for that lesson during the course of these last two years.

We eventually made some really great friends in Ohio, we discovered the $3.99 Chinese Buffet, and the beach at the Lake. We went to visit Kirtland, Ohio, and then all the way to New York City to visit Joe's sister and hear her Husband defend his Thesis at Columbia University. We went to way too many yard sales and ate way too much Little Caesars Pizza and cookies and cream ice cream. We got a visit from my sister and my cousin. We found out that I was pregnant with McKay. and then we were offered an assistantship, and a monthly stipend to pursue a Masters degree down in Alpine, TX, at Sul Ross State University. We could make plans again! and prepare for something again. the first week of August we packed everything back into the truck and made our way down to Texas, stopping to spend the night first with a close friend in Tennessee,  and then with close friends in Dallas, before finally making it to Alpine.

I had a plan that I would make mommyhood as pleasent as possible in Alpine, TX. I was determined to make some other mommy friends, so I searched out toddlertime at the local library and started collecting phone numbers for park days and play dates and craft sessions. with in a few weeks there was a regular group going of stay at home moms who were all looking for some outside companionship. Joe and I made friends with another couple that lived next door to us and started having game nights 2-3 times per week. We both received various callings to serve in the local church branch and began to make more friends there as well. In October, My family came to visit, followed by Joe's family in November, and then our own visit back to Idaho and Utah in December. In February McKay was born and the transition to mothering two babies was amazingly, and mercifully easy. In mid April I was offered a job babysitting a 5 yr old boy a few hours a week until summer, which gave me a little extra motivation to plan fun crafts and activities to do at my house. In June the kids and I went to utah/idaho for vacation for 6 weeks, and in August I was offered another job babysitting one of Jadyn's playgroup buddies. I was asked to interview for a Job with WIC in September as a Breastfeeding Peer Councilor, and then was also asked to serve with the youth in our church as a Young Women's Leader.

My life was busy again! I had bi-weekly playdates with my mommy friends; I babysat another 2 yr old 3 days a week, and I worked 2 mornings a week at WIC where I was allowed to bring McKay with me. Joe was able to be home during those times to hang out with Jadyn and we were able to save money towards tuition the next semester.

Looking back, I have such tender feelings towards the woman who first struggled with adjusting to motherhood in Painsville Ohio. She seems like such a different person than the woman that I am now. I have learned to be patient. I have learned to enjoy the moment, and have greater faith in a loving Heavenly Father who wants us all to be happy. I recognize the moments of discouragement that I experience as being temporary, and quick to pass. As Joe and I prepare to send out the first of his applications for a job post grad school, I am so thrilled to know that I will be taking with me the knowledge that there will be new friendships down the road and new opportunities to learn. I know where to go to find other mommy's who might also be looking for support, and where to go to keep my kids busy for an hour or two. We are so excited to see what this next year holds for us, but we are also determined to enjoy our time left here in Alpine, I know that we will miss it when we leave!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

So many many things to share!!


We flew out to Idaho a couple of weeks ago to attend brother-in-law Daniel's wedding reception in Nampa. It was so wonderful to spend time with our family up there! We miss them like crazy so this trip was truly awesome for us. Dan and Claire were completely stunning and soooo in love, we are super happy for them!! While there my Mother-in-law (Bob) arranged to have individual family photos taken by a professional photographer. I am really excited to see how they turn out! For now though, I am updating the blog with an awesome picture taken by Bob. I think she is so talented. She was completely willing to be a goofy in order to capture the kids' attention. Thank you bob!

She also brought home 14 little chicks for all of the grandbabies to play with. Jadyn and Mckay absolutely loved holding those babies! haha the first two that Jadyn held pooped on her, so after that we saw her hanging over the box saying :"Oh I just need one that doesn't poop!" sorry girly, but they all poop! She took to carrying 3 or 4 around in a little basket after that.


The kids caught the hand, foot, and mouth virus while we were in Idaho. Jadyn wasn't too bad but poor Mckay really got hit hard. He had dozens of the little blisters/sores in his mouth and throat, and more scattered on his arms, hands, legs, and feet. For a couple of days I had a really difficult time getting him to swallow anything, he was so miserable! My sister-in-law Sarah suggested using a syringe to squirt water down the back of his throat to keep him hydrated, and that ended up working really well! He still accepted his sippy cup when I would offer it, but ajust taking a sip would be him freeze up and start screaming. :(

Oh yeah, and since it was finals week, Joe had to be at school to study, and so I took the week off of work to keep the kids from spreading the virus to any of their babysitter's families.

Oh, and the Father and Sons campout was that weekend. Joe had promised to take one of his scouts with him and Mckay, but since Mckay was sick he (baby) didn't get to go. Joe took his boyscout and they had a great time together. Jadyn and I were supposed to go to a baby shower/ girl party while the boys were away but we had to stay at home with our sick baby McKay. I had signed up to take chips and cheese dip to it, so I ran it over with the kids...and upon pulling onto the gravel to park I knocked the crockpot of hot cheese dip over the entire front of my car.


I think every woman at the baby shower had a personal experience with spilling hot crockpot food on the floor of their car. They were all very sympathetic and rushed over to clean up the spill so I could get my kids home. I am so grateful for their concern for my had been such a long week already!


Can't think of another lowlight. :)


AWESOME day with the kids and hubby after finals week was over!! (it was actually yesterday). We drove up to Ft. Stockton and went shopping, played at the most amazing park, had dinner at the Chinese buffet, and drove home to work on my talk for Mother's day. (tune in next week for details).

Sunday, April 15, 2012


We had a wonderful Easter this year! My family came to visit, great lessons in church, AND a package from our family in Idaho! <3

My parents and brother Joseph drove down from Utah to visit us over my mother's spring break. they arrived Saturday afternoon and got to stay until Thursday evening. We had such a wonderful visit! It was so fun to celebrate Easter with them. 
Joe and the kids at the community Easter Egg hunt.
Grandpa and McKay taking a nap after church.
The kids camped out in our room while Grandpa and Grandma Eagar were visiting!
Mckay wasn't so sure about the egg hunt.
On Saturday Morning Joe and I took the kids to the community Easter Egg hunt. We were a little late getting out the door and literally walked up to the staring line just as they blew the horn. We kind of looked at each other, a little startled, and then threw our kiddos out into the mass of squealing children and let them have it. Jadyn was so enthused about collecting eggs! Mckay...not so much. He gathered a couple and then just looked around at everyone else very suspiciously. He looked like he didn't trust the madness going on around him at all, haha.

After the eggs ran out, we stood a line for a little while to get a picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Joe was positive that neither of our kids would tolerate being held by the beast but surprisingly they both did really well. Jadyn couldn't stop petty him and saying "nice bunny!" We wandered over to the face painting table after the picture and got to visit with some of our friends while we waited for Jadyn to get her face painted. Whoever was in charge of the eggs this year thought they would make friends with the parents by filling the eggs with stickers, rings and little toys. But no candy. Jadyn sat down and opened every single one of her eggs looking for the candy!
Jadyn loved it!
Hi Easter bunny!

Six eggs! (Thanks for helping Daddy).
This one has TWO colors!
Since Jadyn is only recently potty trained, I still have to ask her frequently whether or not she needs to use the potty when we are out and about. After she got her face painted (like an Easter Bunny) she suddenly informed me that she needed to go potty. The closest one was clear across the park, I knew we were never going to make it all the way over there, so I made the executive decision to find her a large tree. She was pretty incredulous about mommy even suggesting such a thing, and then, unfortunately, she decided that it was the coolest thing ever. Hopefully I won't find her behind any trees in the future!

After the egg hunt, we went home to meet my family and have burritos for lunch. We were planning to go to a toddler Easter egg hunt later that afternoon but it suddenly began hailing and raining like crazy! My dad had decided to go get a quick bicycle ride in before the egg hunt and so he was half way to our little airport when the hail hit. He pulled off and ran in to the veterinary clinic to wait it out and had a great time visiting with the people there. Dad was planning to enter a bike race in Phoenix Arizona the following weekend, and so he wanted to train a lot over the course of the next week. He ended up riding to all three of the little towns around us, about 25 miles each time! On his last ride he actually made part of the loop, riding from Alpine to Marfa, and then from Marfa to Ft. Davis. A total of 50 miles. What a beast!!
Getting her face painted like an Easter bunny.

On Sunday we all went to church together, grandma had made Jadyn a beautiful Easter dress, and brought one for me to! Have I ever mentioned all of the tender loving feelings I have about getting new clothes?...because I really do. Jadyn and I loved our new dresses and felt pretty darn beautiful at church. Jadyn kept walking up to people and saying "Do you like my dress? It's so wonderful!"

After church we took the kids to the rescheduled toddler Easter egg hunt. This one was much more relaxed, it was great to visit with the other parents and enjoy the beautiful weather while our kids played together.

Looking for eggs at our toddler Easter Egg hunt.
Jadyn is a pro.
On Monday Mom and the kids and I met Dad in Marathon after his ride and we browsed the little shops and had lunch at the city park. The kids loved seeing all of the water there at the pond and running around on the grass. Grandma bought them each a new book to look at on the drive home (thanks grandma!). After returning to Alpine we all had much needed naps before getting ready for the evening. My honey took me on a much anticipated date to go see "The Hunger Games." It was a great way to enjoy some of our Easter candy! hehe. We loved the movie. While we were gone, Grandma and Grandpa took the kids outside to ride their little "bikes" and made some friends for life with those grandkids.
La Casita!

On Tuesday we took the kids to storytime at the library. Afterwards mom went to pick up dad in Fort Davis. The kids and I spent some quality time with uncle Joe before going down for naps. Tuesday night we all watched "Maverick" (my parents had never seen it before) and about died laughing. I love that movie!

The park in Marathon.
Wednesday came way too soon! My Dad and Joe (hubby, not brother) set about fixing a leak in the power steering system of our car. They ended up having to take about the whole top part of the engine just to get down into it enough to see what was going on. Two afternoons and $$$ later....we have a beautifully functioning  vehicle! We are so grateful that Dad could help us out. Wednesday afternoon we all went to our favorite little Mexican restaurant for lunch. It was soooo yummy! Joe had to go to class when we got back, so Dad went out for another bike ride while Mom and I pursued one of our favorite pastimes of dress making. She brought fabric to make lovely new dresses for Jadyn and I for an upcoming family wedding (congrats Dan and Claire!). We both love to sew, and she makes it so easy that we always have a great time working together. Wednesday night Joe and I went to our Church's Youth group, since we are both Youth Leaders, and Grandma and Grandpa got to babysit again. Grandpa took the kids out to the park while grandma mopped and waxed my floors. (I know, heaven on earth, right? I hate you are my hero).

McKay didn't even try to go swimming this time!

We love water.
Thursday the men finished fixing the car and then the Eagars packed up and headed out. It was such a wonderful visit!! We are already missing them. And are SO grateful for all of the ways that they found to help us while they were here. Love love love our Families!!