Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Shower

A baby shower, that is!  This morning my dear friend Gayle hosted a baby shower for me at her home. It was beautiful!  There were lovely decorations,

I loved these little tissue balls that were everywhere!

Thoughtful gifts,

And best of all, fabulous people that I love!

I returned home after FOUR HOURS at Gayle's house (she and I and her husband, Rick, chatted a long time after all the guests had gone) with a van loaded down with balloons, presents, leftover food, and more pink things than I have ever seen in one place at one time!  :-)  Most of all, my heart is so full of gratitude at the kindness of the women in my life that I love so much.  Not a single woman at the shower today was related to me, but I feel so blessed to have so many "sisters" here in Colorado!
I am especially grateful to my sweet Gayle who does so much for me!  She told me today that she is the oldest woman in our ward; I told her I am usually the youngest woman in Relief Society on Sunday!   But despite our age difference, she is one of my very dearest friends.  I am thankful for the kindness, friendship and love that she continually shows toward me.  What a great day!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Rest of the Trip

I have to say our trip to Utah last week was one of my very favorite in recent history.  I'm not sure why exactly.  Maybe it was because it was the first time all my siblings were together in two or three years, or because it seemed like we were always busy doing something.  Either way, at the end of our week there, I left feeling extremely satisfied and grateful we had decided to go.
We got to meet our new niece/cousin Alexsi for the first time, and we were all totally enamored!  The boys were especially cute with her--always wanting to hold/feed/burp/sing to her.  It made me really excited for them to have their own little sister soon!

On Wednesday, our first full day in Utah, we had what we dubbed "BYU Day."  My sister and I took our kids and our cute nephew, Blaine, who had flown across the country from Virginia the day before, up to campus.  We stopped by my dad's office in the Wilk to see "Dr. Professor Tooge," as Blaine called him.  Then we shopped in the bookstore and finished off our morning at the Bean Museum.  I have to say I was disappointed in the museum; it wasn't nearly as awesome as I remembered it.  But the boys had a grand time together, so that's what counts, I suppose.

Don't they look fearsome?  ;-)

Showing Off their Elephant Tusks
After a long and busy day, I found my boys asleep together on Ty's bed on Wednesday night.

We spent some more good, quality time with my family on Thursday.  This picture just warms my heart. My big brother reading to my little boys.  His stories came complete with awesome character voices and all.  Love.

Adam and Matt flew into Provo on Thursday night (I had driven out on Tuesday with my grandma and my boys), and we headed up to Salt Lake to spend some time with the Marchants.  Adam's dad works in the Salt Lake Temple on Friday mornings, and we decided to attend a session in the hopes that he might be working in our session.  It wasn't to be, but it was still great to be back in the SLC Temple.  It had been nearly six years since either of us had been in a live session.

I Love This Place!!
 After our session we walked across Temple Square to the new City Creek Center.  It was amazing!

Adam's dad took us to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory there, and while we were waiting, we checked out the Disney Store.  One of the employees asked about the baby--gender, when she was due, if she had a name, etc.  And then he made an announcement to the whole store and this flashed up on the giant movie screen in the store.  It was a little embarrassing, but kind of fun, too!
And one more big thanks to our sister-in-law, Angie for taking the kids all day so we could do all that!

On Saturday my cousin, Tyson got married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.  For the second day in a row, we passed the kids off to another kind sister-in-law (thanks, Susan!!), so we could attend the sealing and luncheon.
Two Temples in Two Days.  Wahoo!

The Wedding Luncheon

After we picked up the boys and headed back down to Utah County for the reception, Ty had a little meltdown because I wanted to listen to the radio.  He is a primary music only kind of guy.  Does it make me a mean mom that I kind of love this picture?

Such Cheesers!

Sunday was a big day for my family.  Little Alexsi was blessed, and my brother, Zac, was ordained an elder.
The Five Kaiser Siblings, Together Again for the First Time in Years!

The Original Kaiser Clan

We are missing Carly and three of her four kids in this one, but this is the rest of the family!

And then we traveled home on Monday.  Man, these kids are traveling in style!  Although our van is equipped with a drop-down DVD player, I had never let the kids watch it until this trip.  It was a total novelty!

And, although the trip home was not nearly so smooth as the trip out (I may have thrown up all over myself and we may have very nearly run out of gas on the freeway), we made it!  Thanks again to everyone who made our vacation so enjoyable!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to the Mac-ster!

Last weekend was a pretty big one in my family.  I had a cousin's wedding, a niece's baby blessing, and a brother's priesthood ordination.  Since so much was happening, we decided to make the trip out to Utah to be there for the big events.   But don't tell McKay that--he was convinced we were making the trip strictly so that he could celebrate his birthday with his Grammie and Tooge, Grandma and Grandpa, and cousins.  And really, I think the kid is on to something--two sets of grandparents, two birthday cakes, and two mountains of presents!  Smart boy!
We celebrated McKay's birthday on Sunday since Monday, his actual birthday, we would be in the car all day driving back to Colorado.  
First up, the party with my family.

Funny story:  in the days and weeks preceding his birthday, whenever we asked McKay what he wanted, his response was usually, "A belt."  And every Sunday when Ty donned his belt to wear to church, McKay would say, "Maybe I can have a belt for my birthday, or something like that."  His Aunt Ash was so happy to oblige him!

After party #1, we headed up to Salt Lake to have another party with the Marchants.

McKay and his cousin, Benjamin, who were born less than 24 hours apart.
Let me tell you how McKay's actual birthday began on Monday morning.  We were getting ready to head home, and I was getting myself ready for the day in my parent's upstairs bathroom.  The boys were playing a game on the floor outside the bathroom.  My parents have a two-story foyer and family room, with a balcony upstairs that overlooks it.  Well, as I was applying make-up, my cell phone rang downstairs, so I ran to get it.  It was my dad, who was calling with a small favor.  I was on the phone with him for not more than three or four minutes.  After I hung up, I heard McKay saying, "Mom save me.  Mom save me."  His voice didn't sound panicky or urgent in the least.  I went into the family room and looked up to see my little boy perched precariously on the OUTSIDE of the railing of the second-story balcony!  He was blissfully unaware of the serious danger he was in, and the unforgivingly hard tile waiting for him should he let go.  I had one of those heart-in-your-throat moments, and started running upstairs to reach him.  Then, I thought better of my decision, and ran to stand under him to "spot" him, because I felt like he would fall before I could get to him.  I yelled to Adam, who was still sleeping upstairs, and I am sure my voice sounded both urgent and panicky, because he was there amazingly fast.  He grabbed McKay and pulled him to safety before any harm was done.  It took me a good half hour to calm down after the incident and get my heart beating at a normal pace again.
And that's McKay for you.  He keeps me on my toes All. The. Time.  I'm never quite sure what stunt he will pull next.  At the same time, he has an incredibly sweet side that I adore.  He loves to snuggle with me, and he is still my right-hand man.  There is seldom a night that goes by that he doesn't have a chair pushed up to the counter so that he can help me prepare dinner.  And I seriously adore that about him.  So, I will certainly get a few prematurely gray hairs at the hand of this guy, but I absolutely love him and his fun personality!