Saturday, December 31, 2011

My year by the numbers

First of all, I have to start off this post with a disclaimer that writing a post of this sort is kind of hard for me to do, mostly because I am afraid of what people will think of me.  I don't want to appear egotistical or like a "show-off."  But ultimately, I have to remember that I am writing this for myself and my own family, and this is kind of a big deal to me.
It's no secret that I enjoy running and that I faithfully log my miles on a daily basis.  The Saturday before Thanksgiving, I tallied my miles and discovered that I had run exactly 700 for the year to date.  I had exactly six weeks until the final day of the year (today), and I made a goal to run 100 more miles before the year ended.  Well, yesterday I completed my goal and hit the 800 mile mark!  And just for good measure, I ran three more miles this morning.  :)  So my grand total of miles run in 2011 is 803, and I feel pretty darn good about it!  It's nearly 100 miles more than I did last year.  
And speaking of last year, remember that cake that Adam bought me?  Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised (but I was!) when he repeated the tradition last night:

He's so awesome.
I think I'm going into retirement for a little while.  I might have another month or so left of running in me, but as I am starting to "show," I feel like running might become uncomfortable very soon.  Elliptical machine here I come!

My second "number" accomplishment for the year is an idea I borrowed from my friend, Beth.  She is an avid reader, and logs the number of pages she reads each year.  I decided since I read quite a bit, too, it might be fun to try that, as well!  So my grand total of pages read in 2011 is 11,993.  That is strictly leisure reading; it doesn't include any gospel study (Ensign, scriptures, etc.).  And just for fun,  here is the list of books I read this year:

Book Title Author Date Finished # Pages
Les Miserables Victor Hugo 1/4/11 311
Outliers Malcolm Gladwell 1/20/11 299
The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell 1/25/11 259
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café Fanny Flagg 2/5/11 403
Highest Duty:  My Search for What Really Matters Sully Suellenburger 2/13/11 340
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! Fanny Flagg 2/21/11 467
Inconceivable Carolyn & Sean Savage 2/25/11 296
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford 3/5/11 290
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain 3/12/11 220
Peace Like a River Leif Enger 4/16/11 311
Ask Me Why I Hurt Randy Christensen 4/30/11 265
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand 5/15/11 473
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot 6/4/11 369
Sarah's Key Tatiana de Rosnay 6/9/11 316
The Virgin of Small Plains Nancy Pickard 6/24/11 335
Midway to Heaven Dean Hughes 7/9/11 225
Before the Dawn Dean Hughes 7/15/11 297
Candle in the Darkness Lynn Austin 7/23/11 431
Heaven is for Real Todd Burpo 8/6/11 163
Journal of the Trail Stewart Glazier 8/13/11 189
Please Look After Mom Kyung-Sook Shin 8/16/11 237
Elizabeth Street Laurie Fabiano 8/19/11 386
Boys Adrift Leonard Sax 8/25/11 267
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd 8/27/11 302
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson Mark Twain 9/2/11 337
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame 9/7/11 171
Caleb's Crossing Geraldine Brooks 9/15/11 306
Gift from the Sea Anne Morrow Lindbergh 9/16/11 134
Adrenaline Jeff Abbott 9/20/11 400
Debunking 9/11 Myths David Dunbar 10/15//11 107
The Forgotten Garden Kate Morton 10/21/11 552
The Wednesday Wars Gary D. Schmidt 10/31/11 264
Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer 11/5/11 333
The Candy Shop War Brandon Mull 11/12/11 404
Cheaper by the Dozen Frank Gilbreth, Jr. 11/20/11 180
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins 11/23/11 374
Catching Fire Suzanne Collins 11/27/11 391
Mockingjay Suzanne Collins 11/29/11 398

Like how I didn't read anything at all this month?  It's been busy.  And truth be told, whenever I get free time lately, I am using it to sleep!
So, there you have it!  My year in numbers.  When I told a friend that I was doing this, she laughed and said, "So, you are recording both how active you are and how much time you sit around reading?"  Yep, pretty much.  But running and reading are two of my greatest hobbies.  In fact, I worked simultaneously at Seagull Book and Foot Locker while I was in college--pretty much the perfect jobs for me.  
Again, this is strictly for my benefit.  I am not trying to compare myself to anyone else or be a braggadocio.  It's just fun at the end of the year to look back and recognize that I did some pretty great things for myself--beyond the hundreds of meals I have prepared, the endless loads of laundry I have done, and the thousands of stories I have read to my boys.  Not that those things aren't great, too!  

Friday, December 30, 2011


And cue the Fiddler on the Roof music.  Anyone else think of that song every single time they hear the word "tradition?"  Just me?  Ok then.  
This was our fifth Christmas in Colorado, but the first that we have actually spent in Colorado (meaning the first time we haven't traveled to Utah over the holiday).  We spent all of last weekend playing and playing.  Adam had Friday off of work, and we took advantage of the fresh snowfall to take the boys out sledding.  They loved it.  Way more than I expected them to.  Like for instance, when Ty totally wiped out and got a face full of snow, he came up laughing hysterically.  Most kids would have been bawling, I think.  Shoot, I probably would have been bawling if it happened to me.  I actually thought McKay might be sort of wimpy about the cold, too (remember that he is my son!), but he did great!  After watching Adam go down on his stomach on the sled, Mac said he wanted to do the same thing "by myself!"  We were at a pretty steep hill, so we told him he had to be at least four years old before we would let him go alone.  He yelled, "I am four!  I'm big!  I can do it!"  So, we relented and let him give it a go.  He rode face-first down that hill like an old champ, and shouted, "See?" when he reached the bottom.  Little stinker.

 Don't let those grumpy little faces fool you.  They LOVED it!

After a glorious afternoon of napping and hanging out at home, my uncle, aunt, and two cousins drove down from Broomfield to spend the evening with us.  We had a really, really nice visit with them.  The boys were pleased as punch that they had a fresh "crew" to travel to outer space in their "rocket ship" with them.  I was pleased, too.  Those boys have dragged me all over the solar system in the last couple weeks!  :)  (Yes, Grandma, that spaceship is the box that you sent their Christmas presents in.  Next year just skip the presents and send the box!!)

On Saturday morning, we kept our tradition of going swimming on Christmas Eve alive.  No photos of that, though.  Nothing like getting into a swimming suit to emphasize your ever-expanding mid-section.  Yikes.
After McKay's (ok, and mine, too) nap, we headed to downtown Parker to do another of our Christmas Eve traditions:  a carriage ride.  It was a long wait in the cold, but somehow it's always worth it once it's your turn to get on the carriage.  Then we warmed up with a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  That's something we have never done on Christmas Eve before--but it might become a new tradition.  Yumm-o!

Christmas morning was lovely.  There is something about waking up in your own home on Christmas morning that's kind of awesome.  We missed our families like CRAZY, but at the same time, it was really nice to just have a calm, relaxed morning without worrying about driving back and forth between grandparents' homes, etc.  And with all the gifts from Santa, Mom and Dad, and both sets of grandparents all in one place, the boys had quite the time getting through the pile.  Here they are showing off just how happy they are:  :)

And this is right before church, all dressed up in their adorable Christmas clothes from G&G Marchant.  I can't believe how big my babies are getting!

I LOVED that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, and it was the first time all year long that I was grateful that our Sacrament Meeting started at 2 PM!  It was so sweet to be able to be able to worship in church on Christmas--it really helped me to focus and remember what it's actually about--our Savior, Jesus Christ.
After church, we invited three other families over to our home for Christmas dinner.  Everyone pitched in big time, and it was a most glorious feast!  We had honey-baked turkey, ham, potatoes and sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, veggie and fruit trays, jello, bruschetta, green bean casserole, and pies for desert--and it was all prepared to perfection!

And here's a shot of the whole group, sans Adam who was taking the photo.  

Since this was our first Christmas that we have stayed in Colorado, the having-friends-over-for-Christmas-dinner was a new tradition for us, but it's one we would like to continue in the future if we decide to stay put again!  Anyone else in?  ;)
It was a wonderful Christmas.  It was definitely different than anything we have done before, but we totally loved it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Serenade

My boys want to share a few of their favorite songs from their Christmas repertoire with you.  Enjoy!

My favorite part of this song is at 1:42:  "It's not weared, it's wore!"  He's totally my son.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just to Clarify

So, the number one response I have had when people find out I'm pregnant is, "Maybe you will get your girl this time around!"  And that would be nice, I guess.  But I'm not at all planning on it.  And I really won't be disappointed at all if I find out we've got another Marchant boy heading our way.  It's funny, actually.  When I was pregnant with Ty, both Adam and I really wanted to have a boy.  I thought McKay was a girl, but I was secretly really hoping for a boy the second time around, too--a brother close in age to Ty so that they could be best buddies and so we could re-use all those boy clothes.  (And really--that has worked out perfectly!)  This is my first pregnancy that I honest and truly don't have a preference on gender, although Ty is convinced that he needs a sister.  We will find out the gender sometime next month.
The second question that I find myself getting asked repeatedly is, "How are you feeling?"  Well, thanks for asking!  But unfortunately, it's been a pretty rough go.  I have found that it is paralleling my first pregnancy quite a bit, although I may be a tiny bit less sick than I was with Ty.  For several weeks I was throwing up daily, sometimes multiple times a day, and I had a daily afternoon nap date with my couch!  The past 2-3 weeks have gotten better.  I will feel absolutely fine for five or six days in a row, and then I will have a really awfully sick day.  But the good news is that those awful days are getting fewer and further between.  I think I'm pulling out of it!  Hooray for the second trimester!
I have also been asked quite a bit if I am still running, and the answer is yes.  And yes, Rosemary, I have the approval from my doctor to do so!  I have slowed down dramatically, though, in order to keep my heart rate at that magic number of 140 bpm.  I find myself getting frustrated nearly every morning at the gym because of how long it takes me to get the miles in.  But I am still very determined to hit the 800 mile mark this year, regardless of how long it takes me each morning!
Someone even asked me if I was excited to be having another baby.  A fair question, really, for anyone who has heard me talk about how much I dislike being pregnant and even those first few weeks/months with a newborn.  But the answer is YES!  Sure, there are things I am nervous about and truthfully, not really looking forward to.  But the timing was right and I have had a strong witness that this child needs to come to our family at this time.  And to have another June baby--heaven!  I have always said that that is the perfect time to have a baby.  I am THRILLED!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oh, baby!

Yep, it's true.  Marchant baby #3 is due June 12, 2012, my second baby to be due on June 12, and incidentally, Ty's fifth birthday.  I am 14 weeks along.  Truthfully, I'm a bit nervous to make the jump from two kids to three.  But we are all very, very excited!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmastime is Here

Last Saturday night, we had the fun opportunity to go to the Wildlife Experience and watch the Polar Express on the Extreme Screen.  Some of our good friends from our previous ward rented it out for the evening, so it was a free night at the movies!  In addition, Santa was there, so the boys got to sit with him and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.  Ty said he'd like roller skates (where did that come from?) and McKay asked for a Mater with a bomb inside.  Not sure if Santa is going to be able to deliver on either of those wishes, but I'm sure he'll try.  ;)

On Monday, we had an awesome family in our ward drop by unexpectedly.  They caroled at our doorstep, and then gave each of our boys an advent calendar with little chocolates for them to eat each day.  We LOVE this family--they have two boys, too, but they are something like 13 and 10.  Their boys are always so, so kind to our kids at church, and they have given our boys all sorts of hand-me-down clothes and toys--so nice!!

We are definitely getting into the holiday spirit around here.  If only I could find the time to write that darn Christmas letter...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Big Boy Bed

My baby's not much of a baby anymore.  Besides being practically potty-trained, he made the switcheroo from the crib to big boy bed today.  McKay is more than a year older than Ty was when he started sleeping in a regular bed, but since McKay has never tried to climb out of the crib or anything, we saw no reason to make the switch yet.  Next month, though, the boys are going to start sharing a room and sleeping in bunk beds, so we wanted to get McKay adjusted to sleeping in his own bed before moving him in with Ty.  

"Thumbs up for being a big boy!"

Monday, December 5, 2011


McKay had his first accident-free morning today.  Woohoo!!  He is doing remarkably well.  Here's his potty chart again, 72 hours since I last posted it:

He has made some serious strides in three days, and considering he has only been at this potty training thing for a grand total of four days, I am feeling pretty good about his progress!
I still hate potty training, though!  It's not so much about cleaning up the mess, I just hate being in lockdown mode, feeling totally stir-crazy because I can't leave the house (not that I really even want to in this yucky 10 degree weather).  It's also the constant stress of wondering, "Where is he right now?  Is he going to ruin something if he has an accident right now?  How long has it been since he last went?"  Because at this point, I am still the one initiating the trips to the bathroom.  He definitely still has a way to go before he will be fully trained.
I'm feeling good though.  And I won't post a picture, because I don't think it's appropriate to put a picture of my boy in his undies on the blog, but there is nothing cuter than a 2-year-old in tiny boxer-briefs.  :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here we go again...

After potty training Ty, I have since avowed that it is the most unpleasant part of parenthood.  Ty was actually pretty easy to potty train, too!  I have been somewhat concerned about taking this step with McKay, not because I didn't think he could do it, but I wasn't sure if he would do it.  He is the type of kid that wants to do things on his own timetable.  
But yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and begin the process.  As of last night, he had had four accidents (luckily only the wet ones!) and had actually gone on the potty once.  Now, that may not sound all that successful, but I was actually feeling quite encouraged.  I am almost positive Ty never actually made it in the toilet at all on his first day, so the fact that McKay did had me feeling pretty good! As of naptime today, he had gone four times on the potty and had just two accidents.  I think he's getting it!  I'm proud of him for doing so well, so quickly.  Hopefully we just keep going up from here!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankful for a great trip (and to be home again!)

We just returned home today after an extended (9 day) trip to Utah.  It was a lovely trip, and I am kicking myself now that I took so few photos while we were there.  I didn't get a single one of anyone on the Marchant side.  Dang it.  
This one was taken on our first or second day there.  My cousin, Shane; brother, Matt; and Ty played baseball and football outside for literally hours.  As in, about 4.  On one of my excursions outside to see what they were up to, I found them like this.  They were calling themselves the Rhino Brotherhood.  Weirdos.  :)

We had our big Thanksgiving meal at my parent's house.  There were something like 30 people there.  It was eclectic mix of family:  my own siblings (except Josh and his family), my Dad's mom, one of his brothers and his family (including married children), both of my mom's parents, several of my mom's sisters and there children, and even some of my sister's in-laws.  There were lots of family units represented, but it was a grand party!

We did a lot of just hanging out.  We spent a fair amount of time on board games, Biggest Loser, and books.  I read the Hunger Games trilogy.  My guys got in their fair share of Dr. Suess with Matt.

And, though I don't have a picture of it, I need to insert an unprecedented occurrence that happened at Adam's parent's house.  Every other Sunday night, my in-laws invite all their children and grandchildren over for Sunday dinner.  With 25 people to feed (excluding us, since we obviously don't get to make it all that often!), it's a big deal.  My mother-in-law does not do anything halfway,  so it's always an enormous feast with copious amounts of food.  Well, a few of us somehow convinced Rosemary that we should just have "Cereal Sunday," mainly so she wouldn't have to go through all the work of feeding all of us again right after Thanksgiving.  It took some intense persuasion, but she finally relented.  The idea was that each family would bring a couple boxes of cereal, and Rosemary would get a break.  It was a grand idea, really.  Until it backfired.  She supplemented our cereal with an enormous fruit platter, bagels, cream of wheat, pancakes, and both orange and cinnamon rolls.  So much for no work for Rosemary.  :)

Yesterday (was it really just yesterday?!) the boys and I were able to meet up with a former college roommate of mine and her kids.  We went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving point.  The boys had a blast, and so did I, because I was able to catch up with my good friend while the kids played themselves out!

And last night my mom was attending a night class and my dad was teaching a night class, so we were left to our own devices for dinner.  Matt and Ty had a hot dog roast in the fire pit in my parent's backyard.

Notice how Matt plays so prominently in the majority of the pictures I took?  My boys adore him, that's why.

It was a really great trip, more so because we won't be there for Christmas, so we made the time count.  I'm already kind of missing it, but I am ready to be back into the schedule and routines of our lives here.  Next up?  Potty training.  I'm going to start tackling that one with McKay in the next couple of days.  Wish me luck--I have a feeling I might need it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Dinner Conversation

Ty:  "Mom you are Lightning McQueen and I am the bad Professor Z.  Watch out!  I'm going to blow you up!"

Me:  "Oh, no, please don't blow me up Professor Z!"

Ty then commences to blow huge breaths of air at me.  After a minute, "Ha!  I just blew you up!"

I love how literal kids are!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Talent Show

The youth in our ward had a talent show for mutual last night, organized by the Beehive class.  It was so entertaining!  Somehow, Adam convinced me to sing a duet with him.  I have to admit, I am pretty self-conscious about singing in public, not because I have never done it before, but because I really don't enjoy doing it.  I feel like I have a great choir voice--I can hold my part and blend in in a crowd--but I don't think my voice is solo quality at all.  So, this was kind of going out on a limb for me.  Here we are, a la Tim and Faith, singing, It's Your Love.

Besides that little mess-up at the beginning, we felt decently good about the rest.  And apparently the Beehives liked it, too--we came home with a second place ribbon.  First place went to the YW leaders performing a hilarious skit--there was just no competing with that!

Sorry for posting this without permission, ladies!  You knew we were recording it!

Friday, November 11, 2011


You know, as in the stacking king.  That was my totally lame attempt at being clever.  Fail.
But, really, McKay has been stacking everything lately.  He says he's "building towers."  And I think it's cute.
Today's tower was constructed out of books in Ty's room.
Ty took this picture.

That was the entire shelf of books, and had there been more, he undoubtedly would have tried to add them on.  But still, that's a pretty tall tower for a two-year-old to construct singlehandedly.  Can you tell how proud of himself he is?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Snow Surprise

Last Friday night, I was on my way up to bed when I glanced out the sidelight window by our front door and was startled to see a large form on my front yard.  Initially, I thought it was human, and I had that heart-in-your-throat reaction for a moment.  But when I pulled back the curtain and really looked, I found this friend:

So obviously the work of young men from the ward.  The following morning at our volleyball game, I singled a couple of them out and thanked them for the "friend" they left us.  They denied it, but their huge grins told me I had nailed them.  If this is as much trouble as they will cause on a Friday night, I think they're doing pretty well.  :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Another Awesome McKay Quote

I spent this morning at the stake center coaching three volleyball games.  Adam brought the boys to watch for a little while, too.  Between games, Adam was hitting with some of the kids in our ward out on the court.  McKay came to me and asked if he could go out on the court and play, too.  I told him that if he went on the court while the big kids were playing he was apt to get leveled.  His response:

"But I am a volleyball player, Mom.  I NEED to play."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My shoulder-less boy

All bundled up in his heavy winter coat for the first time this year, McKay says with great concern in his voice, "I don't have any shoulders!"

Me:  "Yes, you do, sweetheart, they are just hiding inside your big coat."

McKay then sticks his hand down the neck of his coat, feels one of his shoulders, and says, "Oh yeah!  That's good, huh Mom?"

I sure do love that little boy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Festivities

This post is apt to be huge, considering I am lumping all of our Halloween festivities into a single post.  Consider yourself forewarned.  
Last Monday night, we participated in the annual Kaiser Family Pumpkin Carving Contest.  This is something my family has done for probably five or six years running now.  And there is certainly a good incentive to participate--a $20 cash prize!  We always email pictures of our carved pumpkins to my family, and they email us theirs, so we can all see each other's and cast votes.  This year McKay wanted a Tow Mater pumpkin:

And of course Ty chose to do McQueen:

By the end of the night Ty was a mess.  That tends to happen when he stays up late!

But in the end I guess it was worth it because Ty was the winner this year!  He was thrilled when his cash prize arrived:

And just in time, too.  He bought the new Cars 2 DVD with his winnings.  Appropriate, I suppose, considering his jack-o-lantern.  ;)

On Thursday we went to a special Music Makers, where all the songs were Halloween-themed and the kids got to trick-or-treat to each Mommy!  The boys loved it, but I didn't get any pictures.

Friday we invited our entire Sunbeam class to a party at our house.  Sometimes I think I must be a little crazy.  Nine 3- and 4-year olds.  Yikes!  I was grateful a couple of the moms stayed and helped out--it could have been pretty wild all by myself!
We played pin the head on the skeleton:

And a fun game called Grab the Ghost:

Then we did the pumpkin beanbag toss.

And we finished off by decorating cookies.

I would say it was a success!

On Saturday we had our ward party.  There was dinner, carnival-style games, and a trunk or treat.  And I just have to add this in here:  one of the games was a shooting range where the kids could shoot monsters with nerf guns.  Ty had the best score of the entire night, of any age kid!  He shot down all six monsters in just four shots.  Apparently he was acting well his part of Woody!
Here are the boys checking out their loot after the party:

On Monday Ty had a party at preschool.  Daddy was able to get off work early so the two of them could go together.  It worked out perfectly that way--McKay and Mom got a good nap in to prepare for a late night of trick-or-treating!


After a dinner of mummy dogs (which the boys LOVED!!), we went trick-or-treating around the block.  The weather was perfect, and it was a lot of fun, although Ty commented at the end of the night, "Wow, trick-or-treating really wore me down tonight."  Love him!


The boys finished the night with hot chocolate in pumpkin cups that G&G Marchant sent in their Halloween package.  

It was a LOT of Halloween this year.  My friend Beth cleverly coined the term "Halloweekend" to describe all the time we spent celebrating--and it's certainly a fitting word.  I am pretty Halloweened out, I would say.  But we spent this chilly, snowy morning getting all our Halloween decorations down and Thanksgiving up.  Crazy that Thanksgiving is just three weeks away!