My sweet friend of over 10-years, Heather Barlow, had her third baby the end of October. Heather and her husband Jake found out the day Alyssa was born that she had Trisomy 18. This is a fatal genetic disorder and most babies do not live beyond their first month. Baby Alyssa has been with her family now for 6-weeks and has proven to be a fighter, but each day is a struggle. This family is a true inspiration to me. They have so much faith and love. I am inspired each day by their strength. I have had the blessing of holding sweet Alyssa many times and as I hold her, I think of my own children and how I would handle what this family has and will have to go through. My desire for them is that they will be able to spend what time they have left with this precious spirit without the stress of medical bills hanging over their heads. I am asking all of my friends and family to donate to this family in their time of need.
Please click on this link and donate, no amount is too small.
We not only celebrated Thanksgiving on November 25th, but also celebrated Jake's 14th Birthday! I can hardly believe Jake is 14! Time seems to going by so fast!! Soon he will be driving...ugh!! We love Jake, he is a wonderful big brother and such a helper!!
While Mark is touring (okay working) in Germany...I'm in Mapleton, Utah being a crazy working mom! I must say, things are going well. We seem to adjust to Mark leaving...not to say that we don't miss him like crazy! I miss being able to talk to him, he is a really good listener...and we have a great way of communicating. I like having a built-in friend. And I miss that the most!! He will miss Thanksgiving this year, but I've decided to host it at my house. I have invited his parents and sister...so we'll see how things go!! Wish me luck!
As far as what we need to update...first off...Riley turned 5!! I cannot believe my baby is 5. I feel so blessed to have this little guy in our home. He is amazing. Fun. Crazy like his parents. And is such a loving, sweet boy. We took him to Pirate Pizza for his birthday. He loved it!! We also had a family party. Riley received some fun gifts, but of those...Nicky, his aunt, gave him a trip to Disneyland!! She was so sweet and invited myself and my mother-in-law along! Mark was quite jealous and hopped a plane and joined us for the final two days of the trip.
Riley loved Disneyland...he especially loved all the water rides (Bear River Rapids & Splash Mountain). It was so strange going to Disneyland and leaving my other two kids at home! But, it was fun to just focus on one child!
Halloween came and went, it was so cold during trick-or-treating. But, my kids were troopers and had a blast. Jake dressed up at the last minute, Kaycie was a hippy, and Riley was Buzz Lightyear. Call me mother of the year, but I forgot to take pictures!
I am excited for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year! It will be interesting to see where my husband ends up next! Let's hope my schedule allows me to visit him!
I can't believe it...18-years since our wedding day! I am so lucky to have found such a great guy! He's my best friend, a great husband, wonderful father, and an all-around great guy. Here's to many more anniversaries...love you babe!
This is the first year Riley could play soccer. He is loving it. He spends a lot of his time jumping up and down, because he is so excited to play. He has made a couple of goals, which is fun to watch.
Our Labor Day weekend activities included hiking Maple Mountain. Wow...I've lived in Mapleton for 36 years and have seen Maple Mountain by horseback, but had never hiked it. It was quite the experience. So beautiful, but so tough! We took our kids, plus Kaycie's friend, Emily. We left at 8:30 a.m. and returned 6 p.m. Riley hiked the entire way with only being held a couple of times and not for long, because it was hard enough without carrying another 40 pounds. We had so much fun and had a great picnic at the Lake. I recommend this hike to anyone living in Utah...it is a must!!
We made another trip to Sundance and brought Kaycie along to test out her new bike. We had a blast until I decided to take a nose dive over my handle bars! I have a nice fat bruised cheek to show for it! In the same run, Kaycie decided to play the same game. Luckily she hurt her leg only. She's such a trooper. After leaving Sundance, Mark dropped Jake and I off at the top of the Provo River Trail...we biked from there to Utah Lake! It was such a great ride, loved it! I love spending time with the family.
With Mark traveling more and more, our family time is limited. So it's fun to be able to do these types of activities together!
Jake and Kaycie have started school...so far so good! I am trying to stay on top of their homework and activities...it's like being in school myself. Riley starts pre-school next week and he can hardly wait.
Both Kaycie and Riley start soccer next week! Life is about to become chaotic!!
If you know me well, you know I'm not a cook! I can say, I love to watch other people cook...and I love to eat, but I really don't like to cook. Which is amazing to me, because my grandma is an amazing cook, my mother is an amazing cook, not so much me!!
However, last night, my sweet sister-in-law Nicky pulled together a party and had our aunt Glenda teach us how to make gnocchi and her friends teach us how to make french bread & mozzarella cheese. Watching all of these recipes unfold and tasting them, I was amazed how easy and yummy they were! So am I going to try these fabulous recipes...I really hope so, but don't hold your breath!!
Mark just returned from the hot and humid Nashville Tennessee on July 24th!! Just in time to join us in Fairview for the annual Fairview Days. I took the kids up on Thursday night and started the fun weekend with swimming, the rodeo, and the parade!! When Mark arrived, we enjoyed the fireworks, a BBQ, and more swimming! Love the Fairview Days!!
When we were in Fairview Mark had talked about going on another work trip. We talked about going together this time, but unfortunately it didn't work out. However, he was able to take Jake with him this time. They are headed, as we speak, to Great Falls, Montana. I am extremely jealous! But, Mark and I have an anniversary trip in the works for late September early October...can you all say Fall Foliage!! I am "SO" hoping it all works out!
I hope all of you are having a fabulous summer...I am having complete anxiety that it is coming to an end soon!
Jake has been begging Mark and I to take him Mountain Biking at Sundance, because that is part of his Season Pass. He also just bought himself a new bike. So I took my bike in to get a tune up and found out it would cost as much as a new bike. So happy late birthday to me, I got a new bike.
If you've never been to Sundance in the Summer...might I make that recommendation! So beautiful. I love it! We took the lift to the top and took our first ride down! Ummm...I am not sure I was cut out for this down hill stuff.
Our first run down, Mark blew a tire. He was sooooo mad! What a pain!! But luckily Jake was prepared with a tube, tire tool, and pump! What a boy scout!
Our third trip down, we found the coolest trail (Archie's Loop). What an amazing view of the canyon. It was an awesome trail...I loved it! I didn't feel like I was on a downhill race like the other trails, it was more leasure than trying to prove your a good rider! Below is Scott's Pond.
Jake LOVED it! He had so much fun! It was so fun to hang with him for the day!
And there's the love, right there!!
Mark love the trail too...can't wait to go back!
Last run...I decided to take a dive on a pretty rocky trail...bruised shoulder, elbow, and knee. Still hurting...but still want to go again!!
...this time it's Knoxville, Tennessee!! I am not sure if you all know, but I have a goal to hit all 50 states! I have a few more to go, but I am thinking Mark is going to hit the goal before I do...along with several different countries!! So not fair! I do, however; think he is sick of living out of hotel rooms and being away from his family! But, we appreciate all his hard work!
So those of you who know us, know that we like change...a little too much! We've changed our backyard several times! Let's just hope this is it!! After several hours of hard work, we are happy with our final product!!
Here's Kaycie basking in the sun...she wasn't much for helping! But, I did make her pick up a couple hundred rocks! Oh yes, she counted them!! Mark taking Riley on a bobcat ride!! He loved it!! Moving dirt...oh the fun! Moving more dirt!!Mark even did our sprinkling system all by himself! Helps to have a handy man around...saves a lot of $$ too!!
...and here's the finished product...more grass to mow, but less sticker weeds to avoid!!
The kids are happy...and I say...let the summer begin!!