Sunday, June 29, 2008

Best Roommates EVER

When I was in college, I absolutely had the BEST ROOMMATES known to mankind. We did everything together and were the best of friends. (In fact, there was one time a guy asked both Mandy AND me out on a date because he said we were inseparable and didn't want to ask one of us out without the other one). I was reading through my old journals, and I realized once again how important they were in my life. We helped each other through boyfriends, finals, major life decisions (like careers!), spiritual trials, and everything inbetween. It's funny, because Ben didn't know them until we got married and so he doesn't understand, but some of the other husbands knew all of us too well because they married my roommates while we were all still living together, so they totally understand that when we get together, things can get a little crazy!

Anyway, Ben and I drove down to Portland (from Seattle) for my annual roommate reunion. It is hard to believe, but this was our 7th reunion! We try, as best we can, to get together once a year, and these gatherings have been very special as we reminisce about our BYU days and catch up on where our lives are taking us all now. We are all at different points in our lives and are spread out around the country, but nevertheless- we are still amazing friends, and I feel very blessed that they were and are in my life.

Ben and I drove down early Friday morning. This year, only two of my roommates were able to make it (I hope the rest of you were all jealous!). We went to The Grotto- this amazing outdoor cathedral and worship area to Mary which is inlaid on the bottom of a cliff. Then, you can take an elevator to the top of the cliff, where they have AMAZING grounds to walk around and views of the city- it was amazing. I am not Catholic, but I have a great respect for their religion and beliefs, and I found The Grotto to be a beautiful, amazing, and very spiritual place.

Here are the roommates who attended the reunion: Kristin, Katie, and MeHere is a little family picture at the gardens on top- it was so beautiful!
Then yesterday we drove to Oceanside and went to the beach. It was such a relaxing and beautiful day!!! Audra absolutely LOVED the beach- she would run out into the water so that she could feel the water run over her feet. She was freezing so we would take her back to the warm sand, only to have her immediately turn around and run back to the water. Then, she would take and try and pick up sand and couldn't understand why it would run through her fingers and was so difficult to hold. It was fun to see the world through the eyes of a one-year-old.
Ben was great with Audra- playing with her in the sand- I was once again reminded of how grateful I am that I married a man who is such a wonderful father!
Katie's husband, also named Ben, made a ditch in the sand for Audra to play in. He and Katie are expecting their first baby in September, and it was awesome to see him with Audra and Kristin's baby Spencer- I know he is going to be a great dad!

Here are Kristin, Alan, and baby Spencer. Even though the baby is crying in this picture, he had a great time as well! (For the record, both Spencer and Audra were AWESOME- Audra is no longer our fussy, ornery baby- she was stuck in the car seat A LOT the last two days, and took very few naps and had to sleep in a hotel, but she didn't fuss at all and was the happiest, most wonderful baby- I will no longer say she is ornery!!!!)

After the beach we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Because it was Saturday, they were not running any of the mahines. Ben and I had been there once before, but it was last July 4th so they were also not running the machines. Maybe next time we go we can go on a work day! Nevertheless, the ice-cream was the best in the land! Here are Katie and Ben S. eating their little bit of heaven. (I didn't ask any of you if I could post you on my blog, so if you don't want your pictures here, let me know! Same goes for you, Danielle!!!)

Then it was time to say good-bye. It was really sad. I got the pit in my stomach that I used to always get when I would visit them in UT and then have to head back to CO. It is always hard to say good-bye, and it is hard to explain how important my roommates were and are to me. It is awesome when you can meet people who change your life in a positive way and who stick by you no matter what. I hope we all stay in touch with each other forever!!!!!!

(There were 6 of us total who truly became the best of friends and ended up living together at BYU for 3 years or maybe more. However, I had several other roommates my freshman and sophomore years who I am/was also very close to- some who I would really like to get in contact with or stay in touch with- so if you are out there, post to my blog so we can get back in touch!!!!)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monkey in the Middle

We went to the zoo today with one of my best friends, Danielle, and her adorable little boy Nathan. Needless to say, Audra and he hit it off (she has an awful lot of boyfriends, I must say!). Here are some of my favorite pics:
Though you really can't see it, there really is an orangutang in between Audra and Nathan- hence the title of this post.

Above is a picture outside the butterfly pavillion.

Here is a picture of me and Danielle with the kids:

Obviously, Nathan and Audra did "hit" if off (ok, totally lame pun intended). And, below, Audra with her true favorite person in the whole world: her daddy. (Who, by the way, we were both VERY excited to see- Audra couldn't stop coming up to him, hugging him, and running away laughing when she saw him. And I, of course, was ecstatic to finally see him after his eternally long flight- but that is another story entirely...)

It really was a great day, and I was so glad to see Danielle who I just absolutely love!!! What a great blessing to have so many wonderful friends!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This is a cute little video of Audra with a pinwheel stuck in her pants- my mom was putting it in her pants and Audra's reaction was pretty cute. The other one is of Audra dancing with her cousin Katie to a rockin' dog my mom has. These aren't great videoes, but they show how big Audra is getting! Thought it might be fun for all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Reason I Came Early

I flew out a week earlier than Ben, and the reason is simple:I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family. I never really knew my cousins growing up, and I regret that, so even though Audra won't remember this, I want her to know her cousins. At least she can have pictures of her with her cousins when she is older to help her remember. Here are some of the fun pictures thus far, with more surely to come:

This is with cousin Isaac.He told me that he thinks he is replacing Ben as her favorite person- he might be right, she absolutely LOVES him- all he has to do is look at her and she laughs and laughs and laughs- very cute!

Katie and Audra enjoyed playing in the water...well, they kind-of enjoyed it! The water was really cold, but the splasing was a blast!

Then there is a picture of everybody walking to the park- notice Isaac is pushing Audra, he absolutely insisted on pushing her!

More pictures will follow!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Look out, Cache!

Everybody knows that I plan on Audra marring Cache, but now he is getting some competition (sorry, Jen:)) Last night we had a wonderful evening at my friends Adam and Lisa and Audra had her first "dinner date." It was cute- Audra would lean her head toward Joshua and Joshua would wipe his hands in her hair. Then, Audra would throw her sippy cup at him.

Audra had a blast playing with Joshua, which actually consisted quite of bit of Audra bonking him on the head. Not the best way to win a boy's heart, but Adam said it was ok because Joshua needed to man up and get tougher!

I had a blast meeting with Adam and Lisa. I have known Adam since 6th grade in Mr. Inglebritson's class. Meeting with him reminded me again of how grateful I am for the wonderful friends I had in high school. We went to a pretty ghetto school where there were plenty of drugs and alcohol, but none of us were ever even approached to drink or do drugs. We were never tempted to do anything like that, and we had such a tight group of friends that we kept each other strong. I will always be grateful for that! Especially in high school, friends are incredibly important- and I had some of the best friends anybody could ask for!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grandma Fun

Audra and I flew (without Ben) yesterday to Seattle to visit my parents. To my surprse, she was great on the plane. I had been very nervous, and I was lucky because I sat next to this wonderful woman who was a grandma and just loved playing with Audra. I feel very blessed to have had her sitting next to us!

She has also done a great job even though she is in a new environment with new people, new house, new crib, and no daddy. Everything was going great, until about 7:15 Colorado time when she started freaking out. It was very rough getting her to fall asleep- I rocked her to sleep twice and twice she woke up as soon as I put her in the crib. I felt so bad for her! It must be tough, and she doesn't understand. But, tonight she was great- didn't fuss at all! Maybe she will sleep in later than 5 AM tomorrow morning! (Gotta love the time change!)

Here are some pictures of her adventures at Grandma's:

Alicia taught Audra to throw all of Grandma's CD's on the floor. What fun!

I couldn't find Audra and was calling for her looking for her, when I found her by the plant. The above picture is how Audra ended up (who knows how much dirt she ended up eating...)

Here is how the plant faired:

Guess I will have to watch out for the poor plant!!!!

On another note, we have some good news on the house. A young couple looked at our house a couple of weeks ago and they really liked the place. They don't know if they want to live in the suburbs or in downtonwn Denver, so they are going this week to look at some places downtown. If they decide to stay in the burbs, they will put an offer on our place!!! We feel relatively optimistic because in that price range we don't think you could find a very nice place downtown. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shout Out to Dads!

In honor of Father's Day, I wanted to extol my praise to some of the amazing men who have helped and shaped me, and been amazing fathers:

My Grandpa High always took us fishing and can fix anything! He fought in WWII and loves to tell us his heroic stories. He also has quite a sense of humor. My dad was in trouble with the law when he was around 14 for driving a tractor without a red sign on it. My grandpa told the judge, "If you can't see the tractor, how can you see the red sign?" When the judge was unconvinced and about to fine my grandpa, he said, "Why are you fining me? Ron was driving the tractor!" At least, I think that is about how the story goes- what a great man!
My dad is the greatest man I know. He is the hardest worker I have ever met- EVER! He instilled in all of us the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. He always put his family first. I remember when my sister Stephanie and I were on the JV softball team in junior high, and we were NOT good (softball was definitely not our sport...). Well, my dad took off of work to come and watch us. That meant a lot to me, because it could not have been fun! He was at all of our games- and he would drive me 45 minutes one way to go to soccer practice twice a week. He did this for two years- get off work, drive home, pick me up, drive me to practice, sit in the car and read the newspaper while I practiced for two hours, and then drive me home again. What a sacrifice!!!! I always knew that he loved me and put us kids first.

As you can see from this picture, Ben's dad- Mac- is a fantastic Grandpa. He absolutely LOVES being a grandpa- every time we go visit, Mac takes Audra and walks around everywhere with her. When we found out we were pregnant, he kept saying how excited he was for a grandSON, but I think his granddaughter has completely won his heart over! Like my dad, Mac always put family first, and Ben often talks about how wonderful a dad Mac is, and I can tell by how he shows such unselfish love that it is true. Audra is a lucky girl to have Grandpa Marriott so close!
Last, but not least, is my WONDERFUL husband Ben. He was so scared when Audra was a newborn- once he thought he broke her thumb while changing her clothes because it got stuck a little bit in the shirt he was dressing her in. After that, he was always scared to change her! He had never changed a diaper before, but he was a fast learner! Within a week he was a diaper master! In the hospital after she was born, Ben was the only one who could get her to calm down- he would just hold her and rock her for hours.
What I absolutely love most about Ben, however, is that he doesn't just say he wants to be a good dad, he actually IS a good dad. While other guys go play golf on Saturdays or have video game parties until all hours of the night, Ben never wants to do those things. When I encourage him to go out and have guy time, his response is always the same, "I would rather be with you and Audra." How can anybody not LOVE that about their man?

As you can see, I truly have been blessed with some wonderful men in my life! I am so glad that Audra gets to enjoy those same blessings.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Park Day!

I took Audra to Park Day at Belleview Park and we rode on a train
Notice she is sitting next to her boyfriend, Cache, but he isn't paying any attention to her!

And then Audra got attacked by a pig at the petting zoo
It was pretty funny- notice the pig is eating her dress (sorry mom!). She was just standing there and the pig came right up to her and started attacking! She didn't seem to mind at all. It was really cute. She had a great time, even though really she just picked up and dropped the rocks (at least she didn't pick up any animal droppings!)

It was a perfect day- very sunny, but with some wind. We had a great time! Thanks for the pics, Jen!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So Grateful For Ben...

You know, marriage must be ordained of God as the scriptures say! Of course, I am still really bummed about the house- Paul accepted the offer yesterday and they close on the 24th of June. Unless financing falls through, our dream house is gone. Anyway, Ben has been so positive and has kept me thinking positive as well. It's funny, because usually he is the negative one and I am the one looking on the bright side of things, but I have found (and am very grateful) that when I am having a bad day, he is not, and when he is having a bad day, I am not. We balance each other out, you know? It's really nice to be married to your best friend and confidant- even if the dream house doesn't work out!

P.S. This is a picture taken right before Audra was born of Ben's Birthday present that year- a flight in a WWII fighter jet. Very scary for me, but he loved it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tragedy or Blessing?

After 15 months of being on the market, sitting vacant, with no hope of selling, and ONE DAY before we were about to get an official offer to trade from them, our dream house got an offer. The 10% chance I gave of them getting an offer by the time we were under contract came true. The offer they received was very low and they are still negotiating, but it looks like we have lost our dream house.

I am very saddened by this. Ben is being optimistic. Because my sister Michelle moved with her family to England, we had always said that if we didn't buy a new place we would go to England over Thanksgiving and visit her. So, Ben is very excited to go to Europe as he has never been.

I just need to put this in perspective- it is just a house. And, as many people have told me, that must mean there is a better house out there waiting for us. We don't know what we will do now. We will probably keep our place on the market until the end of July, but I doubt very much that we will get an offer. Oh, well- it's just a house, right?

Friday, June 6, 2008

House Update

I don't have any pictures for this blog, but wanted to give everyone a quick update on our house swapping situation.
On Sunday, the realtor of the guy (Paul is his name) whose house we want to swap with is coming over to "inspect" our house. I take that to mean that he wants to make sure it is what we say it is, since he is not a real inspector. I talked to Paul last Sunday and he said he "really hopes this all works out." His realtor said that after he looks it over, they are looking for a quick turn around time.
With that said, it looks like this is really going to happen- I give it a 90% chance of happening. I think the only thing that would stop it now is if they happen to get an offer between now and Sunday.
Ben refuses to get excited in case it falls through, and he is also starting to get really scared about money- but, who doesn't get scared when they double their mortgage payment? The numbers look great, but it is still scary!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Taking the Plunge

I finally decided to get my haircut- much to Ben's dismay. He likes long hair, but he is not the one who has Audra pulling it all the time, so he lost that battle!

Here Jeanine and I are at her house getting ready- men wouldn't understand, but all you ladies know what this is like! The bonus is that we had a showing on our townhome inbetweeen when I had to process and when I could take everything out, so I drove home like this to quickly clean the house! I got some strange looks!

Here is Audra getting into the action

The finished product

You can't see it real well, but I took off almost 6 inches, and I LOVE it! A new hair cut just feels great- fresh and new, and this is perfect for the summer time!

And here are Jeanine's glamor shots- I think she looks GREAT- she has such fantastic hair! She is just so beautiful- Dan is a lucky guy!

This next picture has nothing to do with getting hair done, but I wanted to show you what Audra does now every time we put her in her booster seat to eat:

Isn't that so cute?