Sunday, November 16, 2008

So the word is out....

We are expecting baby #2!

I am due in April, and things are moving along well! Nicholas is super excited to be a brother, and he likes to tell everyone he sees that "Mommy has a baby in her tummy." He likes to ask lots of questions and make name suggestions. The names aren't necessarily real, or ones we'll pick (why would I name my baby Sponge Bob?), but he loves being part of the naming process. Nicholas would like a sister, I am happy with a boy or girl, and Sam says it would be good if we have another boy since we already have all the clothes. We're hoping to find out what we are having because it makes planning a lot easier.

I am 18 weeks along. I'm not too sick anymore as long as I eat immediately when I wake up, and I go to bed before 10. I do have some crazy pregnancy symptoms, though:

Things that make me sick:
1. The color pink. Of course, this is my favorite color, and I have a lot of clothes this color. Too bad.

2. Palm trees blowing in the wind. This is because of the heavy morning sickness during hurricane season.

3. The words Florida, Keys, Florida Keys, Key West.

4. Black and Kidney Beans

5. McDonald's. Ugh

6. Ketchup and BBQ sauce. This is a big deal since I love ketchup on everything, and BBQ sauce is a staple to Texans.

7. Milk products

8. Pickles

I haven't really craved many things...I just think about what I want to eat, and once I decide what won't make me sick, then I have to have it right then. Afterwards, I can't have it again for a few days. No leftovers more than once.

Sam says that I am forgetting more than usual, and he says that I have been saying some things incorrectly in sentences. (I totally disagree, though. I blame it on "guy listening" which he has always suffered from.) The little muffin is kicking lightly, and Sam actually got to feel it the other night when I was very still. It was really cool. So yea! We're on our way!


Grace and Nicholas got to spend Halloween together this year. We took the kids to our library for a fun Halloween party. That night, the church had a trunk-or-treat to kick off the night of candy frenzy. Everyone then took to the streets of Key West in a big group and had a blast. Nicholas needed help carrying his bag by the end, and since he only really likes the lollipops, Sam and I were obligated to help him get rid of the rest. Summer and Brent, I mean Grace, made a haul, too. That little girl is so cute, people gave her a ton of candy, even though she is only 7 months old and can't eat any of it. Brent and Summer had fun helping her eat what she couldn't.

Nicholas wore his costume to the Library party for 5 full minutes, which is a big deal! Every year Sam and I struggle getting his costume on him, even though Nicholas has picked out what he'll wear. We usually have a small wrestling match 3 minutes before we walk out the door to trick or treat, and the costume is off the second we walk back in the door. (I guess I don't have to complain about being one of those moms whose kid wears the full costume to the grocery store in the middle of June.) This year I thought things would be different because he tried on the whole Thomas costume in the toy store BEFORE we bought it - he beamed and smiled and wanted to buy it immediately. I was a little surprised that he didn't want to wear it all the time, but Nicholas has never been that way. No dress up for him. Sam is glad about that, and I'm glad for E-bay. I'll just put Thomas up for sale next year - Worn Once. Practically Brand New

Disney World!

Summer, Brent, and Grace came to visit for a week, and we met them in Orlando at Disney World! What a great day. Nicholas LOVED riding the roller coasters and cried every time he got off...he wanted to go again and again. Sam and I were amazed that he is tall enough to go on the big rides (our baby is growing up!). Nicholas did not want to meet any Disney characters, though. He was too afraid! Scary roller coasters - no problem. Favorite Disney characters in person - freaky.

Because of the little muffin on the way, I stayed off some of the rides and got to spend some quality bonding time with Gracie. What a sweetie. I just love her! There were some rides I could go on (yea!), and it was fun to go with Nicholas and see Disney World through his eyes. It was also a blast to go with Brent and Summer and remember the times when Summer and I went growing up.

The day began and ended with a treat, too. Breakfast at Chik-Fil-A and Dinner at Sonic. These are two places I totally miss - there are NONE anywhere near us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Grandma Laura, Papa Sam,
and Nicholas

Sam, Big Sam, Laura, Kim, and Jake
at the White House

Nicholas (and train, of course)
in front of the Washington Monument

People, this is not a joke. It is a real post! We are alive and doing well...we've just spent a little time off the internet "air waves" or whatever. I don't have too many excuses for not posting for so long; just the usual busy summer, trips, hurricane evacuations, and work. But things are getting back to a normal pace, and I'd love to catch you up! Here are our updates:

In July, Nicholas and I went to Texas. We had a wonderful time seeing friends and family. My sister, Reeta, our friend, Latina, and I threw a baby shower for my other sister, Summer and her sweet little Grace. Thanks to Facebook, there were people at the shower that we hadn't seen in years! Nicholas enjoyed playing with his cousins Claire, Grace, Annie Jane and Bryce. It was nice to visit with Grandma Betsy and Papa Robbie. Nicholas misses you! Papa Ben, Grandma Carol, and Uncle Corbin were a lot of fun and great hosts! We love their new home, and it was fun to decorate for my mom. We can't wait to come again soon!

In August, we had our first Key West visitors! Sam's mom and dad came from Salt Lake City to soak up some sun and some grandson time. It was fun showing them around, going to the beach, eating yummy food, and getting out of town. We took a day trip to Miami so Sam and his dad could catch a Miami Dolphins game, and Nicholas, Grandma Laura and I hit the mall. It was hard to see them go - we loved having the Delises here!

The week after Sam's parents left, hurricane season came in full swing. We prepared for Tropical Storm Fay like it was Armageddon, only to find out that the storm wasn't too big of a deal in the Keys...just like a Texas rain storm. It got worse for others north of us, so we felt lucky. As each new storm came, and the media set up camp in Key West, we found ourselves surprisingly disappointed. The storms would either turn just in time or pass us all together. We felt very blessed that nothing worse than a little flooding around town happened here. Thank you, everyone, who called, e-mailed, and prayed for us! We really appreciate your concern for us!

In September, Sam's dad received a call from the White House inviting him and his immediate blood relatives to attend a speech President Bush was giving at the White House on volunteering. Sam Sr. received an award from the President two years before for his volunteer efforts during Hurricane Katrina. Although Nicholas and I weren't able to go to the speech, we all went to Washington DC to spend time with Sam's parents, brother and sister, and cousins. Sam and his family had an awesome time at the White House. We had wonderful trip seeing all the sites: The War Memorials, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, The National Archives, Museum of Art, and the Space Museum. I also got to see the Washington DC LDS temple where my parents were married -- so beautiful! Sam's cousins are so awesome...thanks for a terrific time, Tina and Jim! And thank you, Sam and Laura, for the awesome trip!

Nicholas started school when we got back from DC. He is in Pre-K and loves his class and his teacher Ms. Chris. Nicholas likes to play on the playground, play with blocks, and is learning to write letters. (Nicholas also wants you to know that he likes books and playing with puzzles.)

Work is going well for Sam. We have some new interns and will be getting two more within the next few days. Sam hired our local friend Richard, as well, and he kicks butt in the store. The tourist scene has slowed a bit for the season, but October will bring back a lot of business, so we are looking forward to it. Bring it on.

So, that's us in a nutshell for now. Things are good, we are well, and we still would love to have visitors!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July KW Style

Nicholas on the beach

Beth and Sam

Nicholas and Daddy

While waiting for the show,
Nicholas did what he does best:
plays with his trains.

By the way, the whole matchy matchy red shirt
thing was really a coincidence! It was not planned!

Happy Fourth of July! (Happy Birthday to my cousin, Stephanie, too!) We went to a local beach to watch the fireworks, and it was so cool to see the different colors reflect on the water. About a hundred boats lined up in the ocean to watch from the water, and often people on the boats and on the land shot off their own fireworks while we waited for the big show.
Being near the water brought back so many memories of when I was a little girl. I'd go with my family to Town Lake in Austin, TX, and the fireworks were so close that I thought they'd land on me! I was pretty terrified of them for a few years! Eventually I realized they couldn't get me, and now they are my favorite part of the 4th festivities.
It was fun to watch the fireworks through Nicholas' eyes, too. He really enjoyed them and would comment on each one (Did you see that Mama?). I loved looking over at him laying on Sam's chest to watch. (I'd get in my mom's lap to watch them when I was his age.) It was like time was copying itself!
So here are a few pictures of our Fireworks show in Key West. Even though we feel so far away from everyone, it was really cool to celebrate with so many others from all over the country. It reminded me that no matter where you are in America, you are home.

P.S. If you listen closely, you can hear Nicholas say at the end, "Now we can go home!" So silly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Our friends, the Delphs, invited us to one of their favorite places in the Keys: a sandbar about 6 miles away from Key West. You feel like you are in the middle of the ocean, and then the water becomes only a few feet deep. In all of the pictures, we are sitting down. There is a little deserted island where you can go camping - so cool. We had such a blast visiting, swimming, and collecting sea shells. It was a really great day.

Sam, Beth, and Nicholas

Kelly, David, Piper, James, Daniel, Sam, Beth, and Nicholas

Daniel, David, Billy, Kelly, Piper, James, Nicholas, and Sam

Key West is somewhere that way!

Our Running Trail

Here are some pictures of the "boardwalk" by our house. It's a concrete sidewalk that goes around for about 4 miles.

The view of the water when you leave our house.

Looking to the right of the picture above.

Sam and Nicholas across the street from the East Martello Museum

I'm posting these pictures for two reasons. First, I love this part of Key West. It is so beautiful in the morning because the sun rises right here, and there are always people out walking, running, biking, and roller blading. I like to come out here to walk/run in the morning or evening, and we often take Nicholas here so he can run run run and then crash into bed. Second reason for the pictures is this was an unusual night. We brought our camera on our walk and noticed that the water and sky were the exact same color. There was no wind at all, so the whole place was still and quiet. You couldn't tell where the water ended and the sky began. It reminded me of the Neverending Story and The Nothing. It felt a little creepy, but mostly really cool. And very very hot.

Nicholas Pants

Nicholas likes to call everyone "Pants." Mama Pants, Daddy Pants, Nicholas Pants. It comes from two things...first, because he can't say poop unless he is really talking about it (he thinks it is really funny to say the word poop), so he says pants instead; and second must be from Sponge Bob Square Pants.
Anyway, Nicholas' humor lately has been opposites. He likes to say I am his "sweet boy" and Daddy is his "sweet girl." So it wasn't too surprising that when I asked him to get dressed the other day, he thought it would be funny to put on his clothes the opposite way. When he walked into the room to say he was ready, I laughed out loud, and he was pretty proud of his little joke.

Cayo Hueso

History Lesson for the day....

Cayo Hueso is the Spanish name for Key West. It means "Island of Bones." When Ponce de Leon first arrived at Key West, the island was littered with bones from the Indians who had lived here.

Shipwrecking used to be a major contributor to the KW economy back in the day. People would watch the water from the top of a tower, and if they saw a shipwreck, they'd ring the bell and yell "Wreck ashore!" Everyone in the town would run out to the wreck. The first boat captain to make it to the wreck took control of the ship (whether those aboard wanted him to or not), and people removed everything they could from the ship to sell, trade, or keep for themselves. Usually the ship was not completely underwater. Actually, the majority of the time, a "wrecked" ship had only slight, but mostly fixable issues, the major one being unable to move because the boat had crashed into something (often placed there by KW locals). Although highly unethical, shipwrecking provided interesting salvaged items...including pianos with ivory keys. (I couldn't imaging dragging that out of the water!!) At one point, Key West was one of the richest cities per capita because of the shipwreck "industry."

Sam and Nicholas went around town recently and took a few cool pictures of our little island. Nicholas is pictured ringing the bell at the top of the Shipwreck Museum's tower.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just a few new pics

Nicholas on the train

Beth on the train

Nicholas at Sunset

Nicholas with our intern, Oanh

Rachel, Beth, and Chelsea (two of our interns)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Aquarium

Ahhh! That fish is eating my child!

Nicholas and a starfish

Sam touching a nurse shark

Hungry nurse sharks

Great white shark eating lunch

Nicholas and Beth

We spent the day at the aquarium getting to know some of the things we swim with when we're at the beach. Nicholas was brave and touched some of the starfish and sea cucumbers. Sam and Beth got to pet a nurse shark. There were tons of really cool fish and huge turtles (one with "Bubble Butt Syndrome." It really is a thing). Now we'll actually know some of the names of the fish we see when we snorkel!

All Aboard!

June is Local's Month in Key West, which means we get to see a lot of cool things for free. Nicholas is a train freak, so (of course) he chose to ride the train tour that goes around the entire town. Nicholas wanted to ride on the last seat of the train, but it faces backwards, so I told him we could sit there the last few minutes of the tour. He fell asleep halfway through, and I couldn't wake him up, so we didn't change seats. He was pretty sad when he woke up to say the least. The next day, we went to the Aquarium, which is also free. When we came out, a train had just ended it's tour. Nicholas ran up and tried to get on the last seat. As we were trying to explain that he needed a special sticker to ride, the conductor came up. We told him how Nicholas wanted to ride in the last row yesterday, and that we plan on coming again later in the week so he could. The conductor said he had to go around the corner and up a few blocks to the train station, so he let the three of us ride on the back row. Our own personal train ride! It was very exciting for Nicholas (who seems to get a lot of cool things for free now that I think of it!). After we got to the train station, the engineer let Nicholas sit in his seat. That made his day!

Hooray for June!

So besides a great trip to Michigan, May pretty much sucked (sorry, Mom. I know how much you hate that word). I'll save you all from the boring details, but basically this month had way too many downs on our little roller coaster of life. We tried to keep positive, but life kept throwing large, rotten, maggot infested lemons at us. In times like these, it was great to have my faith, my Sam and Nicholas, and a really great view of the ocean to keep me from cracking. Here are the things I have learned this month:

1. When life throws large, rotten, maggot infested lemons at you, sure you can make lemonade. And it's okay to make one batch with sugar and another batch with a little anthrax if you have a some in your cupboard.

2. There isn't too much a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper can't cure for the time being.

3. It's always good to stop and smell the roses. Nicholas and I did just that, but in Key West they are called bougainvilleas, and they are all over the place. Even though they really don't smell like anything, it was a really sweet moment walking down the street and stopping to smell each flower with my little guy.

4. Hope is a very powerful antidepressant. Chocolate is good, but hope really feels better (plus there are less calories). When the rotten lemons moved in, and brought along their friends, Hope moved in, and stayed in our room with us. Hope is a great house guest. She keeps out of your way but is by your side in a flash. And one day, she just sort of quietly lets herself out when you aren't looking. Before I knew it, her stay wasn't needed anymore. I can still feel her presence, but I am not as dependent on her as I was.

5. When the boat rocks, you hold on tighter to the person you are in the boat with. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Sam and I are not dead, and we are much stronger together because of it. Also, it is hard to feel down when you have a cute Nicholas telling you that he loves you or saying, "Mom, you're my sweet girl," and "Dad, you're my sweet boy."

6. If you think of someone, call them. Write to them. Google them if you don't know where they are. Tell them they are important to you. God puts their name in your head for a reason. I learned this lesson the hard way, and now I have shoulda-coulda-wouldas to deal with forever.

I think I would have loved to have just been told these lessons instead of walking through them the hard way. But like the Footprints poem goes, there will be times when He carries you. I am grateful for those times.

So from the Delises, we give May '08 the finger and say "Hello June. We are glad you are here."


This is Nicholas' favorite picture!

Summer and Beth

Nicholas loves to kiss Grace!

With Grace at PF Changs

I love the way they are looking at each other!
I hope they are always close!

Nicholas and I went to Michigan to visit my sister Summer, her husband Brent, and see their new little muffin, Grace. She is so sweet! Brent and Summer are great parents, and they are all so lucky to have each other! We had a blast getting to know little Gracie. I was able to spend some quality one on one time feeding Grace and hanging out with her while Summer slept, took a shower, took a breath! Nicholas is a great cousin. He was so helpful, and when Grace cried, Nicholas would say, "Just a second Grace, I'm coming," or "Hold on Grace, I'm getting your passie." He kept saying, "Let me give her a kiss." What a sweet guy. He will be a great big brother...someday!
I also LOVED going shopping. I dragged Summer and the kids all over the place - Ikea, Target, Wal-mart, Old Navy, the (most awesome) mall, Pottery Barn. As much as I love Key West and the beach, there is NO PLACE to shop. Most locals shop online or take a 3 hour drive to Miami every now and then.
Summer also took us to the zoo with some of her friends, and we had a really fun time seeing the animals. It poured buckets of rain, but it was fun to run around in the rain. Key West only gets a short rain shower about once a month, so it was nice to see rain again. Michigan is cold, so I liked wearing jeans and long sleeves for a few days. But not for too long! It was great to come "home" to the beach, the sun, and the palm trees. I just hope Gracie doesn't grow up to much before we see her again!