Thursday, February 26, 2015


February 6, my dad had triple bypass heart surgery. I am beyond happy to report that the procedure has been a success and while Dad is expectedly dealing with the struggles that come with recovery from a major open-heart surgery, he is doing so so well!
Chris and I drove to Idaho Falls for the week following the surgery. Chris flew out to NYC for work for part of the week. The kids and I stayed in Idaho. I did not expect to say that the week following this procedure would end up being a great and even fun week, but it was. T and Evs went from house to house all week and were in Heaven playing with cousins, Dad was able to come home earlier than expected, and Mom decided to throw a Valentines/early bday for Evy/welcome home Papa party! :) During all this, we did our best to be sure Dad was as comfortable as possible. I think even he enjoyed sitting back and watching most of his grand kids play and celebrate together. 
Papa and Grandma B with all but 5 of their grandkids

Chris doing his things with the drone while the family looks on

Chris was in his happy place :)

Mom's party agenda: Pre-show- Chris fly the drone; dinner; "Pin the Heart on Papa"; bean bag toss, Valentine Bingo; and decorating cups. We sang to Evy and my sweet family all produced cute gifts for her last minute. The kids then all hurried outside to play night games with flash lights in tow.

Grandma B taking song requests from Evy
Caring for a new birthday toy
Quality shirtless, sucker time!

Syd, Carly, Quincy, Thomas

T had his first slumber party at the Potters. He even borrowed jammies.

One day- post surgery. He's darn amazing!

We love this amazing father of ours! What a strong and wonderful man he is. He has already been going back to work for a while each day. He doesn't want to be slowed down. I'm just grateful he's mine!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

the kids

It feels odd to sign into blogger. I'm glad I'm here. It's time to pick up documenting for our little Young family again. For now, I'll continue to pretend that the last 7 months didn't happen on here and jump right in about the kids NOW.

A friend does these little interviews of her kids, and I think it's such a fun way to remember some of the little things in different phases of their lives, so I'm doing it, too.

Thomas' Favorites (3 1/2 years old):

Book: Food Trucks (happens to be the last book we read from the library today. I don't know that it's really his favorite. Our personal library has grown a lot this year and Thomas is picking something different to read most nights...and days).
Movie: Dusty and Lightening McQueen (Planes and Cars)
Show: Curious George
Food: Carrots and salad
Snack: Am-ee-al (animal) crackers and bunny crackers
Toy: Fishing pole and Dusty the airplane and maybe my fire truck “wee ooo wee ooo!”
Game: Numbers and dots and clips (a counting game from his "preschool games" box)
Friend: Scarlett, Ryan, Trinity, Adalaide, Hunter, Preston, and oh yeah! Lily! (The friends he sees weekly at preschool or nursery). Thomas is actually drawn to older kids first though and seeks out his friends'siblings and other older kids in primary.
Song: Ring Around the Rosies and the Bear Hunt

T is kind of witty. He often has something funny to say, a rhyme to throw in, and is generally pretty animated and enthusiastic about life. He's been way into pretend play, reading, can entertain himself just playing, building, and creating, and wants Evy involved in almost all of it. Their relationship is my favorite thing lately. "Evy, come upstairs with me. I don't want to be lonely!" Evy is usually quick to do anything he asks, "Okay!!" He's been hinting at his disappointment at not being able to read the words in his books himself, so we work on 3 letter words sometimes and I'm considering actually trying to teach him one of these days. 

 A fun date with Mom to Chick Fil A.

I walked into the kitchen to find both kids on separate counters. It seems their wildest adventures happen when I change the laundry!
Super Why and Wonder Red. They've been getting into dress-up.
Following the first and traumatic dentist appointment. Two kids sobbing together. T finally pulled it together and claims he likes the dentist. The only thing Evy likes is her unicorn/duck prize for screaming through it all.

I shared this game with them. After a week of LOTS of Candy Land, I then hid it from them. 

Evy often tries to wear T's clothes, including his hats!

Silly snuggles with snoozing sister

While I got ready for the day, they brought in pillows, blanket, and bagels, and created a real cozy breakfast in bed.

Evelyn's Favorites (23 months old):

Book: Baby Bear...again and again and again. Thankfully, this book is truly lost at the moment.
Movie: Frozen?
Show: Sid the Science Kid, Super Why
Food: Ham!
Snack: Fishies
Toy: Doggie!
Game: Coloring
Friends: Hunter!!!, Ryan, Scarlett, Annie, Ethan, Lily (mostly T's friends)
Song: Little Lamb! and any songs with actions

Evelyn's vocabulary started to really grow in December! Now we're into some full on sentences and she's great to sing along to her favorite songs. I didn't know she was learning the alphabet...not directly from me, but she can sing most of it and shocked me by correctly identifying some of the letters randomly. She picked out a Toy Story book the other day and said "T-O-Y-S". I love her big smile. She recently started giggling while getting away with things...which I appreciate more than the previous sneaky silence. She sneaks snacks all the time, my chap stick, TV shows, songs, toys, medicine, and a whole lot of crafty things she should NOT be touching on her own from the top shelves of the kitchen, and things she can dump out in bulk. She gets things done. Quick to try to dress herself, brush teeth, or just get anything she "needs". While it can be scary, I appreciate her independence. 
Evy feeding doggy and baby. At the piano, after-church-post-nap-pigtails. She just looked so tall and grown up that I had to snap a picture.

Babe #3:

We've made no electronic announcement, but have told family and friends as we see them that we are expecting again. It becomes more real and exciting as the little bump grows and the morning sickness continues to improve! I'm grateful that while I've had some sickness, it has not been nearly as difficult as any of our past pregnancies. I anticipate and soak in hearing that sweet heart beat each month at our check-ups. It's week 17. We'll find out the gender in 3 weeks. Thomas desperately wants a brother. 
Throw back to week 14

Sunday, May 18, 2014


For months, the topic of potty training brought on instant ugly-face crying for Thomas. At the beginning of this month, Chris explained to Thomas that the Super Readers go potty on the toilet. That statement worked like magic and so we began (Monday, May 5).
We did a sticker reward system. One sticker for each time on the potty. Ten stickers equaled a new toy car. Day one- I thought there would never be enough stickers or cars in the world! This kid was a fountain (on and off the potty). "I don't want to pee on the carpet!!" he would cry as he seemed to inexplicably keep going potty...non stop. It was like he didn't realize what he'd been doing in his diaper for the last 2 1/2+ years! I had to question our timing, but we powered right through to day 2. By the end of the week (mostly day 3) he was totally done with accidents! Technically POTTY TRAINED. Except for one detail: he refuses to go to the bathroom anywhere that is not his "froggy toilet". He won't hardly go in his diaper, day or night! He'll hold it for HOURS till he can get back to his beloved potty.
I'm proud of the little man, he's done great, but I'll save my potty-training- hallelujahs for the day he stops discriminating against other potties. Kidding, but not really at all. Love this boy. He's been a champ.

A friend was moving, and we bought this set from her moving sale for 5 bucks thinking maybe for a birthday gift. It was perfect timing for potty training. Thomas wanted to earn cars so bad! He'd say, "Mommy, I need a louie (sippie) so I can go potty again!" 

Evy has been a great potty cheer leader, well, more of a spectator. Often tries to help clean up before I even know her brother has gone potty. Always appreciated help.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Hour

It's that one hour in the late afternoon, the last one before Chris will walk through the door from work. It's dinner prep time. This is what it looked like tonight:

  • While making pizza crust, feed the kids a little "pre-dinner" to keep them occupied and hopefully happy as they realize they are getting hungry for dinner. 
  • Help Thomas go potty on the toilet (2 times)
  • Wash hands (2 times)
  • Work on pizza sauce and question which spices I have/have not added at this point
  • Chase Evy down to change a messy diaper that's been waiting
  • Wash hands
  • Discover that Thomas has "helped" reshape the pizza dough. I reshape dough again.
  • Finally have pizza prepared and in oven. Start to prepare salad and fruit and set the table.
  • Kids keep bringing toys into the kitchen. I keep redirecting them to the family room. 
  • Evy has been repeatedly letting out her shrill scream. This means that Thomas is (a) taking her toy, (b) laying on, pulling at, or hitting her, or (c) smothering her with LOTS of loves. 
  • It was C this time. I break up the extensive hugging.
  • Now I have Evy's attention. It is time to take the pizza out of the oven and she follows me. Doing my very best box-out position to keep the oven out of her reach and dramatically explaining, "Hot, hot, hot! No, no!" Successful and safe removal of one pizza. Now bake small 2nd pizza.
  • Sweep kitchen floor, which includes remnants of breakfast, lunch, pre-dinner, and whatever else. Evy swoops into the pile and pops a tasty treat into her mouth before I can do a thing. Lovely. 
  • Tommy needs help at the potty again.
  • Chris gets home! YAY! We are all happy.
  • Time to take out second pizza. Grateful Evy is secure in her highchair and happy with a bottle.
  • Pray and eat. Thomas only eats the pepperonis off his pizza and fruit. Evy has no pizza, just fruit. Thomas cries about Chris touching his head. I am just happy that no one is sitting on me or touching me.
Tonight I am thanking God for my hours. There are times when I feel frustrated, like I am running on fumes...and losing my mind. :) Thankfully,  "Men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25) I do find joy and fulfillment in my job and purpose and identity as a mother to my children and as a daughter of God. Sometimes, I have to pause, recollect, and search for it, hard. But it's always there. The joy that comes from knowing I'm trying to be better, to be obedient, to do good, or simply just trying at all. Sometimes (often) I fall short. I am grateful for Christ's atonement. That I can repent and try again. And, hopefully, my kids will turn out alright, while I'm learning and hopefully becoming the mom that they need.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Getaway

Chris and I took a trip together (February 25- March 4), just the two of us. No kids. We dropped our kids off at my sister's EARLY in the morning, said good-bye, and the two of us shed some tears as we drove away for our 8 day vacation....and that was the last time I felt sad about leaving them. I could become a spokes-person for getting away without the kids. I love those littles dearly, but reminder note to self- IT WAS WORTH IT! We had so much fun and did so many things that could never have been done with our precious babes. The trip is long since gone, but I still smile to myself about some of the great memories we made in the beautiful Puerto Rico!

Day 1 – 
Travel to Puerto Rico

Day 2 – 
We started the day with breakfast at a local cafe. It was SLOW service for an omelette that I could have prepared better...and I've never made an omelette. Just nice to be outside together and luckily the plan for the day was to do nothing. :) 

After stocking up a bit on groceries at Amigo (Walmart) we had the most lovely morning at the resort! Beach chairs, umbrella, books. I have a fear of the ocean and haven't really swam in one for about 10 years. However, it was a blast learning how to jump over and dive under the waves from Chris. I was a giddy fool, screaming and laughing. It was awesome.

Then came shopping and lunch at the Kioscos (Kiosks) off the Highway. Only meal we regret from the whole trip. Don't think I'll say anything more about that.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the El Yunque Rainforest. Beautiful. We took a good hike to the waterfall. Also drove through more of the forest and visited a tower while it rained a bit. GREEN! 

We arrived back at the hotel with a room upgrade. Ocean View Suite. Very awesome.

Dinner was at Don Pepe's. This was Chris' first experience with the PR specialty of Mofongo. I was still recovering a bit from our special lunch experience and played it safe with quesadillas. Live music. Cool atmosphere. After we grabbed some needed supplies and dessert at Walgreens.

Finally, sitting by the pool, we talked late into the night about religion, life, goals, kids, etc. and walked around the property. 

I'd say that made for a pretty fantastic first day.


Days 3-4

The trip continues...
We woke up early to catch the ferry to the island of Culebra. This was without a doubt our favorite day! Once on the island, we rented snorkel gear and a scooter for getting around. We then drove the scooter to the Flamenco Beach parking lot. In the end of the parking lot there is a fence with a "Do Not Enter-landmines" sign which we were told to ignore and go through the locked fence which had been pried open. We then hiked nearly a mile to get to Tamarindo Beach. Here, we snorkeled. It was phenomenal once we got our heads in the water instead of trying to swim. Live coral reef, and probably 30 different types of fish, all different shapes, colors, sizes. I was still nervous about being in the ocean. Thankfully, Chris didn't mind holding my hand the whole time we explored the reef! 

We laid out on the beach and watched the wild chickens and roosters wander in the wilderness behind us. We then scooted to town, found a place to eat lunch called Dinghy on the Dock- great little restaurant on the marina, right on the water, and watched the large fish swim just below us while we ate.

Then we experienced Flamenco Beach. Picturesque! "Second most beautiful beach in the world!" they say. The water was warm and weather was perfect. Dead reefs, but we still saw fish...and Chris still held my hand. Chris slept on the beach and I took a walk. We definitely could have spent at least one more day here, but we had other plans, so we caught our ferry back to Puerto Rico. Incredible view coming back. I slept and Chris soaked in the sites on the back of the boat for a while. 

Upon on our return, we rushed to Bio Bay. We ended up having plenty of time and ate dinner at the little street market near the kayak launch. Kayaking was crazy! There was NO light in the channel. We followed the glow sticks on the kayaks ahead of us and looked out for those coming toward us. SO MANY people getting through the dark channel got a little chaotic and people would tip over or run into the trees hanging down around us. Bioluminescence  was actually pretty cool, in the Grande Lagoon you could see it gliding off of oars or on our hands when we dipped them in the water. "Traffic" was crazy on the way back, and we were glad to be done! 

Day 4
Beach and pool relaxation. Lunch on the grass. Admired the LARGE iguanas by the pool.

Naguabo excursion. We got lost trying to find the beach. Luckily, we love to go on drives! We drove through the countryside, up the mountain. Beautiful. Only a couple times did I fear for our lives when some local kids stared us down as we passed. 

Finally found the coast! Dinner at El Makito. I tried my first Mofongo with shrimp. Chris had octopus with Creole sauce, beans and rice. Of course, we didn't turn down flan for dessert. Incredible view of the ocean and the coast. No other tourists in this area!

Warning: This was a trip with just the two of, we are about to see many photos of just the two of us! 



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