Saturday, February 4, 2017

Thanksgiving 2016.

Thanksgiving was with the Kimballs this year! Mike's oldest brother Billy hosted the masses at his home in Farmington, and the feast was quite the feast indeed. I was asked to make the rolls this year, which actually worked out so well because we are currently living with mom who is the very best bread maker in all the land. Originally when I was asked to make the rolls I was thinking that I would bring about 80, which seemed like sooo many to begin with. That is until I talked to Robin and she asked me to bring 160!!!!!! That is not an exaggeration either. So my mom and I set to work on making one batch of her famous rolls every day the week of Thanksgiving. We would finish the batch of rolls and then stick them right into the freezer to keep them fresh. It ended up working out beautifully and the rolls tasted completely fresh as if we had made all 160 rolls that morning. We had a very full house that day, with 7 out of the 8 Kimball kids + their families, plus this sweet Venezuelan family that has been living with Daniel and Marianne. The kids had such a fun time playing with all of their cousins and with Billy's dog "Utah". Ben also has a pet turtle that Georgia was obsessed with. Georgie is such an animal lover! It's amazing. Any animal that she see's she is immediately drawn to it. I keep telling her that she would be such an amazing Vet someday. We ended the day snuggling cute baby Charlie (our newest nephew) and eating enormous amounts of Ice Cream Pie. We love being with the Kimballs and spending Thanksgiving with them was perfect. I just hope that next year I don't have to bring the rolls. 


We took a little Disneyland trip the second week of November! It's kind of getting ridiculous how often we go to Disneyland, but we love it. I have done so much research on going to Disneyland during the best time and when it is the least busy, and we have pretty much gone during every time of year. But, to be completely honest, Disneyland is just a busy place. Even if the crowd calendars tell you it's going to be a GHOST TOWN, it's still busy. This trip was a pretty calm one though. We did a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and the only day that I felt like it was way busy was Sunday. Tuesday it was so hot. I kind of felt like maybe I might die from heat stroke. Mike really pulled through for all of us and kept saying, "come on guys, we're at Disneyland! Let's go have fun!" Hopefully we never go to Disneyland when it's in the 90's again. Georgia has turned into such a little thrill seeker! She would have rode Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain the entire time if she could have. Mike had a ball with Georgia this go around, because she seemed less interested in meeting characters and princesses, and more interested in going on the big kid rides. Thank goodness we have the tallest kids! Lane was a good sport with the bigger rides, but they definitely scared him. He went on Thunder Mountain once, and that was enough for him. He has had this obsession with Matterhorn for the last few months. He always wants me to ask him "Disney trivia" questions about the Matterhorn and the Yeti! So funny. I kept telling him he probably wouldn't be tall enough to ride Matterhorn, but we would see when we got there. Surprise, surprise! He was totally tall enough to go. Mike took him, and said it was hysterical because he kept his head down the entire time, in fear of seeing the Yeti. Haha, I took Georgia after they got off, and to be honest, I actually forgot how scary that ride was! I was laughing until tears, because I couldn't believe Lane even did it, and that I took Georgia. Leona was quite the party animal this go around! She would not close her eyes for ANYTHING. I was totally banking on her taking a nap every day, like she does at home, but that definitely didn't happen. She was so entranced with everything that she saw, she refused to nap. Which made for some cranky Leo moments, but surprisingly not very many. She was just happy to be there. She and I pretty much spent the entire trip together. Mike would take the older kids to the bigger rides and I would take Leo on the rides her size. Her favorite ride this time was Ariel's ride. She still talks about it every single day. Lane found a new favorite ride this time, Goofy's Sky School! Georgia goes back and forth, but ultimately sticks with Thunder Mountain Railroad as her top favorite of favorites. My girl! Some other highlights from our trip: the theme parks being decorated for the holidays! So much joy walking around Disney with "Jingle Bells" playing in the background and wreaths hanging from every lamp post. Soundsational Parade! Huge highlight for us and the kids. Meeting Goofy, and Leona actually giving him a hug. Meeting the princesses and seeing how excited all of my kids were- Lane included. Making friends with some random lady in the line for Winnie the Poohs ride. The conversation ended with her giving Mike her business card and saying, "If you guys are ever in the Bay Area and need a place to stay, you call me right up and I'll make up a room." Haha, I don't think we will take her up on the offer, but how nice???? Lanes epic meltdown on Main Street USA over a scoop of ice cream. He cried for so long, he didn't even eat any of the ice cream because it had melted. Being at Disneyland on Election Day, and coming home to see the amazing upset win of Pres. Donald Trump. Spending sun up to sun down with my people. I can't tell how precious these memories (tantrums and all) are to me. I look back at these Disney trips with only the fondest of memories, and I hope that our kids will do the same. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Spain Part 2.

Because we were technically in Spain for Mikes work conference, I knew that I would have time on my hands to explore on my own. I also knew that because we were only there for 5 days, I wouldn't have time to go to a different country, but I definitely wanted to get a feel for Spain outside of the big city of Barcelona. I ended up booking myself a day tour out of Barcelona to an area about 60 miles north called the Costa Brava and Girona. I was a little hesitant to go because I just felt like a loner going on this tour by myself, but I realized that I was in SPAIN and I needed to take the opportunities to go explore this amazing country. I'm so glad that I went! This day tour was hands down the highlight of my trip. Our tour guide was an Englishman that had lived in Barcelona for 9 years, doing these tours. Mark and Janell, and Pete and Diane, both retired couples in their 60's were the only other people on the tour with me. Haha! I felt like I was on a tour with my parents and my inlaws. They were all so cute and fun though, I really did enjoy having their company for the day. The Costa Brava is a Mediterranean paradise. It was hard to decide where to look because every angle of every view was breathtakingly beautiful. I kept sending pictures to Mike like, "can you even believe this????" The weather was balmy and warm, the ocean was crystal clear, and the cute little houses and shops that lined the cobblestone street that bordered the sandy beaches were unlike anything I have ever seen. I wish so badly that Mike was able to see it with me. We spent a pretty large majority of the morning meandering through this coastal town and soaking it all in. After that we went to this really cool Medieval (thats the hardest word to spell by the way) town of Pals, where we were able to walk through all of these cobblestone streets. Again, everywhere I looked I was amazed at the beauty. It's amazing to realize how old some of those structures have been around. You really understand the meaning of America being "the New World". At this point, it was probably 2 pm and I hadn't eaten since breakfast so to say I was hungry was an understatement. Also, adding fuel to the fire, I was deep in the pregnancy nausea stage and not having any food was definitely not helping. We all got back in the van and started for a town that borders France, called Girona. I was trying so hard to be talkative and friendly in the van, but I was SO SICK and I hadn't told anyone I was pregnant. The tour guide looked over at me, and realized I wasn't doing too well and asked if I was ok. I sheepishly asked if he could pull the van over and I jumped out and started puking my guts out. Not my finest moment! I got back in the van feeling like a new woman, and turned an incredibly awkward situation into a celebratory situation when I said, "I"m so sorry! I'm pregnant with my fourth baby." At that point everyone was so excited and overly nice to me. Haha, in hindsight I should have told them earlier? Once we got to Girona we got to eat an authentic Catalan meal at this really cute restaurant. Girona was an amazingly cool city. So much history! There is a huge Jewish museum there because of all the Jewish history in that area. Diane was a really devout Jew so it was really cool to go through that museum with her and talk to her more about our different beliefs. We visited a church there that has been around since the days of Charlemagne! It was such an eventful and exhausting day. I enjoyed every single moment of that day and like I said, am so glad I went. The only thing that could have made it better would have been Mike right there with me. I was so excited to see him when I got home that night. It made me excited for the day when we can be retired and just go explore the world together.

Spain Part 1.

Mike's job requires to him to a pretty large amount of traveling! Which is a bummer for a lot of different reasons. Most of the time his trips aren't very long, around 3 days, but when he travels out of the country, they are always around a week or longer. Thankfully his international trips aren't the norm, and those only happen two or three times a year! So when he told me that he had to go to Barcelona for a work conference, I was so sad, until he invited me to go with him! I figured that this kind of trip would be a once in a long time type of trip because of the ages of our kids, etc... My parents were so kind to gladly watch the kids while we went, which made me leaving them a lot easier. Just knowing that your kids are in the hands of people you completely trust gives you so much peace of mind! 
Spain was my first European experience! I really never travel anywhere, so this was such an adventure for me. Like I said, I have never been to another European country, but if you ever have the opportunity to go to Spain, GO!!! It is the perfect mix of palms and pines, beachy yet very metro. It's like a tropical dreamland that's oozing with history and modern art. The flight there was long, exactly what I expected it to be. I watched like 6 movies or something, which was actually kind of enjoyable because I feel like I never get to go to the movies that often. We had a brief layover in Amsterdam and then it was only an hour and half longer to Barcelona. Once we got there I was exhausted! I cannot sleep on planes to save my life, so I was running on fumes. We checked into our hotel and Mike and I took a two hour nap before exploring the city that night. We did a ton of walking that first night. It was fun to get a a good vibe on what Barcelona was like. It's a HUGE city with so much going on at all times. I think we got lost trying to find a place to eat like 4 different times. Haha, which made our walking excursion much longer than it needed to be, but it was still fun. The next day was Monday, and Mike didn't have to start working until Tuesday, so we had the day with each other. We decided to take a bike tour of the city, which was probably one of my favorite highlights from the trip! The weather was amazing that day, and we were on the tour with another couple from the bay area that were really nice. Our tour guide was a girl from Holland that had been living in Barcelona for the last 6 years and knew so much about Spanish and Catalonia history. I love history, so that tour was the perfect mix of history combined with exercise and sight seeing. After the bike tour we wandered around the city a little more before going back to hotel to freshen up for dinner. The amazing thing about tagging along on these business trips, is that Mikes company paid for all of our dinners, so we definitely ate like kings! Plus it was so fun to go on a date every single night for a whole week!
The next day, Mike had to be at his conference all day so it was my first day out on my own. Like I said, I haven't done a lot of travel, and definitely zero travel on my own. So it was a day of adventure and new experiences for me! Like, catching my own cab for the first time ever, and trying to communicate with locals. I went to the MNAC, National Museum of Art Catalunya. It was a really rainy day that day, so getting lost in the most beautiful Museum for a few hours was perfect. I really enjoyed that experience alone, because I could go through all the exhibits at my own pace and not worry about if Mike was bored out his mind or not. After the museum I walked around the grounds, and saw the Olympic Park, also went to McDonalds for lunch (so classy, I know), before catching a cab back to the hotel to read my book and wait for Mike. When Mike got home we went on a tour of the La Sagrada Familia. This is the most incredible work of art by the late Antonio Gaudi, Barcelonas crown jewel. This church was his life's work! It's a quirky looking building, but once I started the audio tour I was amazed by it's true meaning and beauty. People come from all over the world to see this church. It's been under construction for over 100 years!! I think it is set for completion in 2020, which would be the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi's death. I couldn't believe how free I felt the whole week!!!! I didn't have to pack diapers, strollers, baby carriers, kid snacks, or even think twice about a nap time schedule. It was almost an out of body experience. It was so out of the routine of  my normal life. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but I couldn't help but miss my kids every time I saw a stroller pass or a toddler holding his moms hand.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Halloween 2016.

Halloween was so much fun this year! I made my life 100 times harder, and decided to make Georgia and Lanes costumes again this year. Lucky for me, we are currently still living with my mom, and she literally did Georgia's entire costume! It is the most incredible Rapunzel costume, ever! I don't think I could have pulled these costumes off without her. Actually I know I definitely would not have been able to. We had a crazy month in October because Mike and I took a trip to SPAIN  the week before Halloween! I have to write a post on Spain, maybe even 5 posts, it was incredible. Anyway, because I knew I wouldn't be able to work on the costumes the week before, it was so helpful to have my mom helping out. Leona wore a costume of Georgia's from a few years ago. It was so cute, every time someone said, "well look at you" or something like that she would just say, "I'M WITCH. I'M WITCH." She wanted to be very clear to everyone that she was dressed as a witch. It was so stinking cute. Lane was the tough guy in his Thor costume. He has the cutest little voice, I hope I never forget his voice as a little boy. He has a hard time pronouncing certain sounds, like the "L" sound and the "TH" sound. Anytime someone would ask what he was going to be he would say, "I'm going to be four!" But of course was trying to say, "THOR". It was really confusing for people, so I had to explain that he was going to be Thor, a lot. They all looked so adorable. Mike and I even got into the fun and dressed up as Batman and Alice in Wonderland. 
We took the kids trick or treating at Mikes work in the late afternoon. Digicert really went all out and decorated all of their respective "pods" with a different theme. The kids loved it, and they made out like bandits with buckets full of candy. After Digicert, we went down to the Alpine Main Street trick or treat! My parents came with us, and we got to go around to all the local little businesses in Alpine for some candy. The weather was so beautiful that day, which made walking around outside so enjoyable. Most of my Halloween memories as a kid consisted of my mom putting an entire snow ensemble over my costume, so no one even knew what I was. I'm glad our kids have enjoyed nice weather on their Halloweens. After the Alpine trick or treat, we came home to eat some chili before setting off to our old neighborhood in Lehi to meet our friends, the Olson's. It was actually kind of hard going back to our neighborhood to trick or treat. I got out of the car and immediately thought to myself, this is a mistake. But then once we got going, I found that I really enjoyed seeing my old neighbors again. Even though it gave me a huge dose of home sickness, it also made me happy to reconnect with the friends and neighbors I have been missing. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

First Day of Preschool 2016!

This fall was such a busy time for us, and I feel like it has been non stop ever since we moved! I was "after Labor Day" so much this year because not only did I have to send Georgia back to preschool, but I had to send Lane too!!!! I guess I shouldn't say I had to, but after much agonizing over the decision whether to send him or not, I decided that preschool would be the best thing for him. Lane has such a hard time being away from mom & dad, which is the sweetest thing EVER but I also felt like he was totally capable of going to school for two days a week, and I knew that once he could show himself he could do it, he would be so proud! Georgia absolutely loves school and always has. I didn't worry about her adjusting to school, because she did so well last year. Well the first day arrived and they were both so excited! Georgia said, "Mom, I am so excited I think I might die!!!" and Lane said, "I'm excited for school, also sad and nervous." Dropping my kids off on the first day just never seems to get easier. The tears are flowing as soon as we leave our house to get in the car to go to school, and they don't really stop until they walk in the door after school. But don't think  I am too weird, these emotions really only last the first week of school, and then I realize that they are thriving and loving it! And at that point, my heart feels calm and happy. Lane surprised us all by absolutely loving school from day one! He has loved it every minute since. They are both doing incredibly well at Bear Hollow and are completely well adjusted to the new routine. Leona gets to be with me every morning, and to be honest, it's actually kind of nice to have only two kids every single morning. We love Bear Hollow!!!! It has made my fears of sending my kids to preschool completely subside. Miss Molly and Mr Dave are the best of the best and my kids can't wait to wake up and go to school every single day.

Our House.

August was a TOUGH MONTH for us. Probably the toughest month to date. Mike and I made the decision to put our house up for sale the very end of July. It was a hard decision to come to, because we loved our house and location so much. Also, just refinishing all of our bathrooms made the decision that much harder. But we felt like we had so much equity in our home, and we knew that it wasn't a house we were going to want to stay in the rest of our lives, that now was the right time to sell. We ended up going the "for sale by owner" route, because we knew that our area was in hot demand and all of the houses in our neighborhood that have sold, sold within the first week. Sure enough, we immediately had a ton of interest in our sweet little abode. I can't even tell you how difficult the showing process was. My mom and dad came over to help me try and get all the junk I wasn't using out of my house, finish up looming projects, attache closet door, deep clean, paint, you name it. When you show your house, it doesn't have to just be clean, it has to be immaculate! I would scrub my house every single day, and then I was so anal about my kids playing with ANYTHING. I felt like this nazi mom, that couldn't live in my own house. It was super hard on all of us. Most of the time people want to come see your house after they are off work, so Mike would schedule these showings right around our dinnertime and bedtime. So that week was full of eating out, lots of time spent at the swimming pool, and late bedtimes. Thank heavens we only had to show our house for a week. The family that ended up buying our house came through on day 5. I kept praying and praying that the right family would walk through our house and love it. I wanted a family that would love that house as much as we did, and ideally be a great addition to our ward and neighborhood. The family that bought our house was literally the ideal family!!! I am so thrilled that they are the ones that purchased it, because deep down, I feel like they were an even better fit for that house and neighborhood than we were. 
I miss my friends and neighbors that I had in that house, but I mostly just miss our house. It has been so hard on me to not be able to drive back to that house that we loved so much for 3 years. The walls of that house hold so many of my dearest memories that I never want to forget. I feel like all of my kids baby years were spent there. The night I said goodbye to that house was one of the most emotional goodbyes I have ever had. Actually I think it was THE MOST emotional goodbye I have ever had. Mike was like, "are you going to be OK?" haha, genuinely worried about the state of my mental health. And the truth is, I'm not sure I will be OK. Just kidding, I know I will be. I realized that anywhere I am with my 4 lifelines (mike, georgia, lane and leona) automatically feels like home. We could live in a tent for heaven sakes and I would have all I need with them there. So, onward and upward as we move forward with building our new house!!!! I will have to do a full post on that, soon. For now we are living in my parents basement and just as snug as a bug. To be honest, I kind of love living here and may never want to leave. But don't worry mom, we will leave! And hopefully we'll get out of your hair sooner than later.