Monday, May 26, 2008

Any Good Books

I have taken up the art of reading once again, and have found a couple of books that I really enjoyed and thought I would recommend:

Mistaken Identity is the true story of 7 people involved in a fatal accident- 5 of them were killed. The book is about one family who thought their daughter had survived and were with her every day in the hospital for 6 weeks when they realized that they were not caring for their daughter- their daughter had been mistakenly buried as somebody else's daugher, whose family then found out their daughter was, in fact, alive.

Why is this story so great? It is a pure testimony of both families faith in God- through all of their trials, the overriding theme is "God is with us- He sustained us." When I finished the book, I wanted to be a better person and dedicate my life to Christ and serving Him as my testimony of Christ grew- what could be better than that in a book?

Twilight is a new rave in the county, and, yes, I too joined the band wagon. I am not a huge adamant fan, but it was a fun and quick read. I would recommend it!

If any of you have any recommendations, let us all know!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Are We Crazy?

As most of you know, we have had our house unsuccessfully on the market since February. By unsuccessful, I mean we have hardly even had any showings- at all. So, I posted our house on Craigslist as a trade- we buy your house if you buy our house. The next day I got a response! This was a week ago, and hopefully we will be buying the most gorgeous home I have ever seen! The owner lives in Florida and has for the past year and has had his house on the market for over a year. He wants to buy our house as a rental in exchange for us buying his mansion, I mean house. Here are some pictures:

It has really cool architecture- it has 3 bedrooms and a loft upstairs, a beautiful master bathroom, a very nice bedroom with bathroom and play room in the basement (now guests can come and comfortably stay with us!). The house is HUGE and very spacious, and just beautiful. It is also stucco so we don't ever have to paint the outside. What could be better than that??? Now we are waiting to see if the guy in FL would find it profitable to buy our home as an investment- he is spending the weekend numbers crunching and trying to find someone to be the "manager" and hopefully we will hear back by the beginning of next week! We will keep you all posted, but we are truly very excited!

Then, just because I am shameless in promoting the adorability of Audra, here are some fun pictures of her fiascos within the past week:

Here she is getting into everything- notice that there are plenty of nice toys in the one drawer, but she will only play with the non-toys in the other drawer. This is her new favorite thing to do- pull out all of the tapes and eat the boxes they were in.

I was lucky to get this shot with her tongue out- a new favorite thing to do! She will stick her tongue out and growl like a lion- very cute!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Looking Back

Today is Audra's official Birthday! We aren't doing anything to celebrate today as the celebrations already occurred, and honestly- Audra doesn't seem to mind. But, it is funny to think about this time last year and all of the craziness that was going on. I borrowed this idea from a friend (thanks Carrie!), but here is a look back at our past year, in particular what we have learned about our little Audra...

1. Paper taste better then just playing with it

2. Sleeping is great- unless it is naptime

3. Daddy is my favorite person!

4. If it is toy, it belongs on the floor, not to be played with- plastic bags are much more fun...

5. Dental hygiene is very important- and fun!
6. Audra is always adorable!

7. Audra has the cutest smile in the whole world!
8. Cool shoes are always in style!
9. Reading is very important!
10. When I don't get what I want, I will cry until I do!!!!11. Audra's laughter is the greatest sound in the whole world!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Audra!

On Thursday we had Audra's first Birthday party! It was supposed to be at a local park, but it rained all day Wednesday and Thursday so we had it at our house instead. It was such a blast! Audra absolutely loved having so many people at our house and being the "star". Her actual Birthday isn't until tomorrow, but we had a fabulous time celebrating a little early. Here are some pictures commemorating the day:

She absolutely loved this very healthy carrot cake infused with sunflower seeds, olive oil, and honey instead of sugar! It was very cute how quickly and how much she ate!
My friend Cynde made her the long bib, and Audra didn't want to take it off. She is also excited to use her sandbox toys at the park that her friend Chloe gave her.

Audra was actually quite spoiled by family and friends- it would take at least a dozen pictures to showcase all of the wonderful gifts and generosity shown by everybody, and we truly appreciate all of the friendship and love that Audra has already been shown- even at such a young age. It was so fun to have everybody together, and we send out heartfelt thanks to everybody who came and celebrated with us!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to pay tribute today to the most important, influential, and amazing women/moms that I have in my life and the life of my family. I warn you, this will be a long a post- but I don't apologize, because these women have made me and Ben who we are today and deserve to be honored and treasured, even if only in a small measure on our blog.

I don't remember too much about my Grandma Clark. What I remember most is that she was old! But, despite that, she always wanted to play games with us kids and create memories. I remember she was often in a lot of pain, and I remember the great love my grandpa had for her- taking care of her for so many years. Those two showed by their actions what true and eternal love is, and I pray that Ben and I can have that same love which they shared. My Grandma Clark was an amazing women, but most of what I know about her comes from stories from other people. She had seven children- and buried three of them. But, her faith in God and Jesus Christ never wavered- she had a love of God and Christ beyond description. She was a women of faith and of service. My Uncle Garth was severely mentally retarded, and she worked very hard throughout his life to improve the condition of those with disabilities. She sacrificed much for her children, and I know that my mom can say nothing but wonderful things about her. I wish I had known her better, and I look forward to getting to know her better in the life hereafter.

My Grandma High can turn a tuna sandwich into a gourmet meal. Honest, I don't know how she does it, but mealtime with Grandma High is always a feast. She cooks with love (corny, but true!). Grandma High raised six children- including 5 boys and a set of twins- and somehow is still sane. She is amazing, I don't know how she did it. Every time we went to visit, she would take us all fishing and sing songs so that the fish would come and bite. She can gut a fish like nobody else! And, she does all of the driving- I have seen Grandpa drive once. When I was little, I thought that was totally normal, that when people became grandparents, the grandma started doing all of the driving! She has a great love of people, and most especially of family. When Ben and I go visit, she treats us like first class VIP's. When she heard Ben had never been to Yellowstone, she and Grandpa took us on a special trip, dropping everything so that he could experience the national treasure. That meant a lot to me, knowing that she wants us to see and experience as much as we can. What a blessing! She travels across the country with Grandpa watching countless soccer games of the grandkids and great grandkids, and I swear she never gets tired!!! She and my grandpa have been married for over 55 years! They are an absolute inspiration.

Ann is an absolutely wonderful mother-in-law to me, mother to Ben, and Grandma to Audra. I think Audra would rather be with Grandma and Grandpa Marriott then just about anybody else! (sorry mom and dad, I guess you will have to move to Denver!) Ann is an amazing example of faith. I am so grateful to her for taking Ben and Beth to church all of those years by herself- I cannot imagine how difficult that must have been, and I am sure there were days when she didn't want to. But, I am 100% convinced that because of her faith, determination, and conviction Ben decided to go on a mission and we were able to be married in the temple, and for that I am eternally grateful. On a practical note, she is also one of the smartest people I have ever met- if you play Trivial Pursuit with her, make sure you on her team- she knows EVERYTHING! And, she is one of the best homemakers I have ever met. She gave and continues to give so much to her kids, sacrificing herself for them, and she is a wonderful example of the mom that I want to be for Audra.

My mom. No words can truly express how much she means to me. I was not, how do you say, the best/nicest teenager, but she always loved me unconditionally and allowed me to be me. I remember when I wanted to go to Germany for a year (I forged my parents signature on the scholarship application knowing they wouldn't approve) and hearing my dad saying that he didn't want me to go, and my mom insisting that I needed to be free to go. That decision changed my life, and were it not for my mom loving and trusting me enough it never would have happened (or, maybe she wanted to get rid of the rotten teenager living in her basement, I don't know!). She has always supported my in my decisions- even moving to Denver to teach in the same school district as Columbine (she was very nervous about that). She had FIVE kids in SIX years (yes, you read that correctly), and I am quite certain that there were many days that she wanted to quit and give up. I even had colic, as if that weren't enough. But she stayed, and was the best mom to us kids that I ever could have thought possible. I remember when one of us was doing some things that weren't right, things that many parents would kick their child out for, and her response was "we just have to use love" and that's exactly what she did- she loved us all individually and unconditionally, regardless of the mistakes we made and the paths we chose. I also get my stubbornness from her, however- there were many times when we clashed and sparks flew, but at the same time she always me to have my opinions, make my mistakes, learn and grow. Looking back, I don't know how she was able to accomplish so much with us kids. Now we are all world travelers (I imagine when Michelle said she was moving her family to England, mom simply thought to herself "yet another crazy adventure for my girls- they sure are crazy, but they will do what they want!"), we all have firm and strong testimonies of the gospel, we are all very independent and successful- all because of the many things that she taught us. I would like to hope that I can somehow be half the mom that she was to us- I love you, Mom!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Well, unfortunately we didn't win The View video contest. It was sad, made worse by my opinion that the winning video was not nearly as exciting, adventurous, fun, or creative as ours. But, it was a total blast making the video, and thanks to the beauty of the web, I can show all of you our wonderful video! Enjoy!

Friday, May 2, 2008


Two years ago I made the mistake of cross-stitching Ben a Christmas stocking, so when Audra was born I knew I had to make one for her as well. I am not an expert cross-stitcher like my sister Melissa (who is a pro), but I was excited about how this turned out! It still needs to be sewn together-hence the tattered edges- but it is almost done! That is good, since I started it about 10 months ago! I still am unsure as to whether or not to make one for me!

Then, this morning I woke up to Ben and Aud just sitting on the couch together. This almost never happens, as she is usually running around the house getting into everything. She does love her daddy!