Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lake Belton with Abby and Carly

We got the best summer vacation this year...

Abby and Carly came to visit US! It was so fun having them in Texas, especially because we got to host them in our new house! I am already missing them so much. I can't explain how great it was to say, "I'm going to make lunch now," and have one person rush into the kitchen to help while the other played with Molly in the bedroom. Lots of moms deal with a 3:1 ratio, but very rarely is it 3 "moms" to 1 kid. AWESOME!

Here are some of the highlights of our week:
 (The only other pictures we have are phone pics... mostly of Molly. Oops.)

Window shopping and Margherita Pizza on South Congress
Round Rock Outlet Mall (the girls SCORED with some great school shopping)
Making homemade popsicles (that looked delicious but didn't taste so great)
Bowling ("Isn't it AmAzInG, guys?")
Watching "Les Miserables" and "Psych"
Making cards & painting Molly's curtains
Carly and Abby's photoshoot (and the mysterious stinging bugs in the freaky field)
Discovering "Charming Charlie's" (more cute school clothes for the girls)
Picnic at Lake Belton

Abby and Carly, we miss you already. 

And to the rest of the family... COME VISIT US! We loved having visitors!

Can I get a "Moooo"?!

At her 9-month check up, Molly's doctor said she could start trying cow's milk now. YAY! I hate buying formula! She doesn't chug it like she does with her formula but she does like it. 

Hip hip HOORAY for Molly-Moo, the milk drinking baby!

Tub Time

We finally graduated Molly from the baby tub. It was long overdue, but she was so squirmy if we tried to bathe her in the real tub that we decided it was safer to stick with the little blue plastic thing. She still squirms around like crazy, but the tub in the master bathroom is deeper so that when she tries to climb out (which inevitably happens whether she is having fun or throwing a fit) it is a lot less stressful to her mom and dad. :)  Tubs are still crazy time, but I think all of us are starting to enjoy them more. Now if only we could tape her bum to the bottom we'd be set!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Preview of Backyard Photoshoot

So talking to my family last night gave me the motivation I needed to take a new set of good-quality pictures of Molly. You know, we gotta have a big photoshoot every 3 months so I can pretend like I'm a budding photographer. :)

I promised my family some pictures. I want to edit them first, but here is a preview of a few favorites...

Apparently she was not in the mood to smile this morning, but she was up for eating a little grass! :)

Play Dates

I watched some kids at our house last week and Molly thought it was awesome. The first to kids were older so they didn't really play with Molly but she had fun watching them.

The next day we watched a boy just 3 months older than Molly. They were so funny together. One would start crawling, the other would follow, they'd both stop and stare at eachother, then they'd start crawling toward each other and pass one another. Then the whole thing would start over again. Molly thought Trevor was hilarious. She would just laugh hysterically at him and he'd look at her like, "What?!" Molly never laughs for us, but she almost always laughs when other kids are around.

Feasting on the Word of Christ

 Molly has a thing for books. She's not that into toys, but she loves her books. Unfortunately she likes eating them as much as she likes looking at them. I thought I would never be that mom with a bookshelf full of half chewed, gnarly books. Oops. I've finally given in on a few of her favorites, but I'm trying to stay strong and keep her chompers off the rest of them.

HOWEVER, the other day I found her with one of our small Books of Mormon in her mouth. I couldn't resist taking a picture. Surely this will be the perfect accompaniment to a "feast upon the word of Christ" lesson someday, right? (And don't worry, I didn't let her do any real damage to the BOM.)

The Before and After of our Move to Temple

We closed on our home in Temple 4 weeks ago today.  Since then I can't help feeling overwhelmed by how lucky we are to be here.  If you're not in the mood to read my thoughts, look at this picture (taken right after we closed and right before my mom and I spent hours scrubbing) and move on. Otherwise, read on...

While Bret was busy studying for his board exam, I was busy studying, too. I studied demographics and cost of living and climate statistics for cities in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, and more. I took countless find-the-best-city-for-you quizzes, read the "100 best places to live" articles, called friends living across the country, scoured the APTA website to find jobs for Bret to apply to, and even resorted to "Ask Jeeves" and ChaCha where we should live. 

We felt pretty confident about two things: 1) We didn't want to get any further from home and would prefer to be within a 12 hour driving distance from our families. 2) We didn't want to move home. I still worry sometimes that my parents will be offended when they hear me say that. I trust that our many conversations about it have left them understanding why. We LOVE being around family, but we have experienced such incredible personal and joint growth living away. Living outside of the Utah/Idaho "bubble" has also provided us with wonderful experiences that are molding our testimonies of Christ and His church and are giving us opportunities to share the gospel and serve as well as to learn from those of other faiths. While we know this is possible in Utah, the feeling is so much more prevalent here. While we hope to keep making our way toward home in the future, we felt strongly that it wasn't time yet. So that left us with a pretty blank slate when it came to looking for jobs. 

We decided Colorado would be the perfect combination of the things we were looking for. But we just weren't finding job openings that fit what Bret was looking to apply for. So while I kept checking (daily) for Colorado jobs, Bret applied for multiple jobs in the central Texas area. I usually drove with him to interviews so that I could take a peek at the city. Temple was not my cup of tea upon first inspection... or second. But he felt really good about the job itself, the people he would work with, the hours, and the location. So we scoped it out some more and decided it wouldn't be that bad of a place to live. 

But it wasn't until Bret took the job and we went to church in Temple to "check things out" that we got really excited about moving here. On that first visit we were swarmed with kindness and conversation. We were given names of neighborhoods to look into and areas to avoid. We were giddy with excitement. 

So we house hunted. Our realtor was awesome. We learned tons about loans and mortgages and insurance. We questioned if buying a home was really the right thing. We persisted. We found. We signed. We waited. We bought. Such a whirlwind of a month, but so incredibly exciting.

My mom came into town to help us move. We loved having her with us, and I think without her help cleaning and organizing and painting I might have freaked out. 

On our first Sunday at church we were invited to dinner. On Monday I was invited to an after-FHE girls' ice cream party. On Wednesday someone watched Molly for me. On Thursday we ate ate another family's home. The next Monday we had a family over for FHE. On Tuesday I went to a playgroup at someone's home.... Are you getting the picture? The Relief Society counselors came to visit me and bring me a welcome packet, I have been added to the RS Facebook page and email list. Someone invited me to a Jazzercise class. I've babysat for two families and Molly has been watched by a couple people as well. It would be one thing if we were the only new people in the ward... you know, if we were a novelty or something, but we're not. In fact, I think we're like the 15th family to move in this Spring. (Side note: Temple has a medical school and hosts tons of residents, hence all the move-ins.) I can't help but feel like the Lord allowed us to be here as a blessing to me. I so wanted to find and make friends. Being a stay-at-home mom in Georgetown was hard for me. But this place has surpassed my expectations in every way. 

We love our house. We can't believe we were able to afford this house on a 15-yr conventional loan with a mortgage that doesn't break the bank. We can't believe what a nice neighborhood we live in. We can't believe how quickly we came to like our neighbors. We can't believe how fun and friendly our ward is. We can't believe the Lord is so awesome to let things work out this way for us. We know that He can see the big picture of our lives and that He knows both where we need to be and where we will be needed at each stage. 

This post is long and wordy, but I don't ever want to forget how blessed we feel to be in Temple for this chapter of our journey.

4th of July (a month late)

Last night Bret and I skyped with my family and were reminded that some people take it pretty seriously when I don't keep my blog up-to-date. I forget sometimes that people actually look at it or check to see if there are any new pictures of Molly, so when I flake out for a month, I figure no one really knows or cares. And then I get in trouble.

So this is me trying to make up for the lack of posts and pictures over the past couple months. Let's start with some pictures from the 4th of July...


It has become our tradition to spend the 4th with the our Texas family, the Jeppsons. We love them and truly feel like family. It was a low-key, stress-free, hang-out kind of day and we had a great time.


Tackle! Avery, Kate, Meg, Bret, and Molly.

My sweet, wonderful friend Lori.