Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Visit to Santa

Landon understands who Santa is now (on some level at least). So when our ward Christmas party came around we were excited to see Landon's reaction. We have a particularly awesome Santa in our ward. When it was almost our turn Landon looked at him in awe and said "Ah! Santa!" So we were feeling pretty good about it, until he got plopped on Santa's lap ...
Yep, not so much a fan. We asked him if he wanted to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. The conversation went something like "NO! MA! DA! NO! NO!" while reaching for us. We even tried telling him that Santa had candy for him ... this did make him turn around long enough to snatch the candy cane from Santa and jump into Jeff's arms. Afterwards he was very happy to look at him from a distance. When we saw this same gentleman in church the following Sunday, Landon looked at him and said "Santa" with a lot of reverence for an almost-2-year-old. But circumvented him with lots of room to spare... you know, just in case.

Last night we were at the mall and saw Santa again. We asked Landon if he wanted to go sit on his lap. He immediately started shaking his head and saying no. We decided that we'll listen to him so he doesn't get traumatized by the whole thing :)!

Friday, December 16, 2011

To: Dad From: Landon

Yesterday Landon and I decided to wrap his present to Jeff. He loved every second of this very important job. He picked out everything - the wrapping paper first, and carefully applied the tape (wherever he thought it should go) and then picked out the Santa gift tag.

Then I told him we needed to go write To: Dad From: Landon on the tag. He colored the box vigorously. The wrapping paper wasn't colorful enough ... so he helped it along. It was so, so cute! He kept asking for certain colors while he worked on his masterpiece (that included two sides of the box).
It's hard to tell from this picture, but there
is a lot of coloring on the box!
Then when we put it under the tree he decided it needed just one more piece of tape. You know, just in case Dad decides to take a peek!
Now tonight Jeff and I are tackling our wrapping!! Nothing like presents under the tree to make you realize Christmas is just around the corner!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas is Coming!!

Gosh it's been so busy I have been a blogging slacker lately! But you know what I think that means? CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! I'm a big subscriber to Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year!! It makes me so, so happy.

Around here we're getting ready in lots of ways. First off, by having some loved ones in town. My aunt and uncle came to town and met Landon for the first time ever. They were all smitten ... including Landon who thought they were awesome! He particularly loved my uncle Michael who was more than willing to play, play, play! We were so busy I totally forgot to take pictures.

Second, we did a little Christmas Light viewing:
Seven years ago Jeff took me on our first date to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square. Every year he takes me back for a fun date to walk down memory lane. Love that.

And a little holiday getting-together-with-friends:
This year we wanted to give back a bit so we all donated pajamas to the Women and Children in Crisis Shelter. Did you know they always need pajamas? That makes me so sad, because it means that because of circumstances created by others they had to leave home with nothing. It felt good to give where we could. If you get a hankering to donate something to them it can be dropped off at the United Way - just make sure you tell them what group it is for.

Otherwise we are busy shopping, baking and eating!! In fact, sometimes it just plain wears us out and this happens:
What are you doing to get ready for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Angel's Landing

We had a great time at Thanksgiving this year! We went down to St. George and spent the day with Jeff's whole family, stuffing ourselves silly. The next day we planned to hike Angel's Landing in Zion's National Park. When Jeff suggested that we see if some of his siblings wanted to go hiking I was really excited ... it seemed like such a fun, outdoorsy sort of bonding thing to do (very different from my typical Black Friday shopping).

Wow. Did I underestimate just how "outdoorsy" this was all going to be.

Several people mentioned that it was a hard hike and that there was a "small" (please note the "" there ... because MULTIPLE people used the word small ... it was a conspiracy I'm certain of it) part where you had hold on to a chain. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal, especially since Jeff had hiked it before ... really he would tell me if it were that bad, right? Wrong. He knew I wouldn't do it if I knew the truth (and he also added some nonsense about how he knew I could, blah-blah-blah I stopped listening at a certain point in that conversation because I was trying to stay alive on a mountain).

Anyone who knows me should know that I like a good hike, but I couldn't really be considered a seriously or daring hiker. Or really interested in anything much past the two to three mile mark. So Angel's Landing was a bit of a stretch.
The view from the bottom
It all started out fun. We were hiking along. It was steep and there were a lot of switchbacks, but nothing terrible ... it was a picture perfect day and I was happy to be outside.
Just starting out
The whole gang on the way up
The switchbacks
Then we hit the chains. The chain part is actually not "small" at all. It is a HALF MILE LONG.
The longest "half mile" EVER.
And you need the chains for a reason. They weren't exactly there for decoration.
Please notice the grimace
Are we having fun yet?
I have never, ever, ever been so terrified in my entire life. I was crying most of the way up. While I'm not super outdoorsy I wouldn't say I'm a wuss either. Until I met Angel's Landing. I seemed to be the only one who thought it was so scary (with good reason ... several people have died in the last few years hiking it).

I was grateful Jeff and one of my brothers-in-law were super helpful getting me up (I was happy to stop at multiple different points, but like an idiot, kept going) and back down.

The view was pretty, but I'll be honest. I was still so scared (we were about 5200 feet up at this point) that I wasn't that impressed.
The last part you climb just before the summit
Finally the top!
And maybe a real smile?!
And you know how they say the way down is way easier. They lied. It isn't.
Heading back down. Don't be fooled,
I was only smiling because I was sitting down.
I was terrified.

But I did it! So did everyone else, but they weren't scared so it doesn't really count.

One lady we met on the really-narrow trail told Jeff she hopes I don't divorce him after it was all said and done. Clearly everyone could tell things were going really well.

Jeff took lots of pictures to prove I did it. Please notice my pained smile. Or lack thereof :)!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful for Family

I can't believe November is almost over! I have tried to hit all of the really big things in our lives that we are thankful for. I was driving along the other day listing off a million other things in my head. It's such a blessing to be able to list so many things to be thankful for. I would feel remiss, though, if I didn't list in one grand finale the thing I am the most grateful for. Family. I have touched on this one in different ways, but can you really ever be grateful enough for these people?

I'm grateful for the family I came from and the family who accepted me as their own 6 years ago. I'm thankful to be our own little family. I'm incredibly grateful that not only are we put into these groups to love and support one another, but that I have the knowledge that families are forever.

This is the gang I came from. We're looking particularly snazzy here don't you think? (This was at our most recent family pics, which if you're wondering, Landon wasn't happy about:)!) I love these people. They gave and continue to give me the best they have on a daily basis. They have never given up on me, they let me be opinionated (and right!), and most of all they love me (and my little family) unconditionally. And they SHOWER Landon with love and attention.
And this is a small part of the gang I married into. Here we are the day after Thanksgiving braving the hike to Angel's Landing in Zion's National Park while Landon hung out with Grandma and Grandpa (and a few cousins, which he was SUPER excited about!!). That day will get it's own post ... but I picked this picture because it really proves to me that when these people claim you it is for life ... and no matter what (again, more explanation will come with that post!)!
I love them all so incredibly much. So, so much!

So today ... in our grand finale (just for now though, because I'm a firm believer we should never stop being thankful!) ... we are thankful for family.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful for Little Friends

In addition to our friends I am really thankful for Landon's little friends. He was born at a great time ... lots of really cute little boys and girls are around his same age. With fun moms (something I'm also thankful for!). They are all experiencing the growing pains of toddler-hood and all that comes with it. Fortunately they are all patient with everyone's inability to share sometimes and tendencies to do not-nice things every once-in-a-while because, you know ... being little is hard sometimes (again, thankful for those moms who help this process along and are patient too!)!

It is fun to watch them learn to share (which I am finding to be a really LONG process :)!), learn to get excited when they hear "play with friends," learn to say each others' names (I love the way Landon says his friends' names ... so cute!), and learn that there are other people out there that are just their size when the rest of the world must seem so big to them.

I also have to express gratitude for Landon's best friend - Bear. Bear has been with him from the very beginning. And boy does Landon love Bear. And clearly it's mutual considering all that Bear goes through :)! He is there to comfort when mom and dad can't be (or aren't doing the trick ... like during his shots when mom clearly was a conspirator), and is just so snuggly for Landon at night. He can calm any storm and instantly makes Landon light up with delight. Landon starts shouting "BEAR" at the top of his little lungs whenever he sees him, and often goes in search of Bear. I love when I walk in to check on him at night and he is sound asleep, Bear snugly in his arms ... it melts my heart.

For privacy's sake I won't post any pictures of Landon and his people-friends... but here he is with Bear.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful for Date Night

Last night Jeff took me on a date ... to Trafalga for a little mini-golf/arcade competition. And do you know what it reminded me of? Just what a fun guy I married ... and how much I cherish date night with him. We had quite the Saturday afternoon. It included a toddler who was perfecting his throwing-fits-in-public-because-I-can't-do-what-I-want fits and two very frustrated parents. Needless to say, it was much needed night out.

As a side note, can I also say that I am a pretty stellar mini-golfer (so is Jeff, but really, he should be - he actually plays golf). Also, one should not make statements like "babe, it's all about the defense" when playing air hockey unless they fully understand that statement will come back to haunt them approximately 2 minutes later. Not that I speak from experience or anything :)!

We've gone on some really fun dates over the years, but the ones that get us out and about and provide lots of time to talk (or tease for someone's not-so-stellar skills at some activity) are always our favorite.

And along the lines of date night ... I am thankful for really good sitters. These, I have discovered, are hard to find. But when you have both family and a favorite sitter in the neighborhood it is totally priceless. We can leave the house knowing Landon is in capable and loving hands.

Here's to a lot more great dates ... and being thankful to have someone to go on them with!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for Friends

I'll be honest, a lot of people think their friends are wonderful. But mine? Mine are even MORE wonderful. Some examples...

I got a well-timed email from a dear friend who lives much too far away these days. It said just what I needed to hear with a promise to catch up on the phone soon.

I have friends who give me a shoulder to cry on (something that isn't easy for me), and a listening ear... and sometimes even little surprises to make my day go better.

I have learned so much about motherhood from them...

They are patient and loving with my sweet boy even when he's having a not-so-sweet toddler moment, or are willing to pitch in when I need a sitter.

They make me laugh ... these are a hilarious, fun, ferocious bunch of women. Trust me - their loyalty will tell you it isn't wise to mess with one of us...and it feels good to know you have someone else (or lots of someone else's in your corner).

Jeff and I are also blessed with very amazing couple-friends and neighbors. They have saved us more times than I can count ... from a cup of flour, a fixed car, or a meal brought in to much, much more. It's sometimes hard to believe we have so many wonderful people in our lives. It makes me (and us!) feel really blessed. So today I'm thankful for friends!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful for Home

Lately I have been thinking a lot about home and what it means. Five years ago Jeff and I bought our little house and set about making it a home. It's been good to us. We've made wonderful memories here, and had so much fun making it ours (read: lots of hours on Jeff and my dad's part doing things I want done :)!).

Early this year we decided to put our house up for sale. With the economy and the market it hasn't sold. And as we decide what the best next step is for us, I'm so grateful it hasn't. Sure, on one hand we want to sell it. But on the other hand this is our home. And we love it (and no matter where we live after, I will always love it). And as the weather gets colder and with the economy not getting any better I am extra grateful to have a warm, safe place for our family.

I decided that what we needed was a little project around the house. Every once in a while I get that itch. I've been resisting it with a for-sale sign in the front yard ... but I couldn't resist any longer. We have a closet under our stairs ... we affectionately call the "Harry Potter closet." It's always been storage. Then as Landon had more toys it was toy storage and regular storage. I wanted it to be just for Landon's toys. He thinks it is a really fun area and it is just his size.

So we moved everything out and painted it so it wasn't so stark white. Then we added a new toy shelf and some vinyl lettering/decor ... and voila!

I present Landon's new toy room:

He LOVES it! When he first saw it with the circles he started yelling circle at the top of his lungs. He loves to point at them and name his colors (which may or may not be correct depending on the day :)!). Then he went right to playing with his toys! Nothing like putting a little love into the home that loves us so much!

Not only are we thankful for our home in the literal sense of where we live, but we are thankful for our little town and community. It means a lot to us to be a part of a great community and to have such wonderful neighbors and friends.

So tonight we are grateful for home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful for My Boys

I could think of millions of big and small reasons I am thankful for these two:
But let me just summarize by saying they make my life brighter, happier and more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. Ever.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for Maw-Maws and Papas

Around our house we are really grateful for Maw-Maws and Papas (translation: grandmas and grandpas). Landon loves both sets of grandparents so, so much! What's funny to us is that he calls them the same thing, but there are very specific things about each that he knows are specific to them. For example:

Grandma and Grandpa Wuthrich: My dad is a BYU fanatic. He might have gotten teary eyed the first time Landon ever did the "rah-rah" part of the fight song he was so proud. Landon loves to watch football and Elmo with Grandpa. Grandma spoils him rotten. She watches him a couple of times each week and he loves to destroy their house dragging all the trucks around. She also loves to drink Diet Coke. Now, when Landon sees one he immediately starts pointing to it and screaming "maw-maw!" We're lucky they live so close!

Grandma and Grandpa Terry: The SECOND Landon saw them the last time they visited a couple of weeks ago he immediately started intimating a noise that Grandpa makes with his mouth (where you put your finger in and when you pull it out against your cheek it makes a popping noise). Every few days he says "papa" while trying to make the noise. Grandma recently bought him a book about farm animals ... and we read it approximately 90 times a day! He loves it so much!

We are so grateful to have them in our lives!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful for Reading

I love November! It's a blustery month, but one that reminds us to step back a little from our crazy lives and appreciate all that we have. I can't think of a better way to prepare for Christmas and the New Year. The last little while has been a challenging and growing time for me. I have spent a lot of time reflecting a lot on how much we have to be thankful for. I'm excited to share some of those things with you.

We started November doing something that means a lot to me - reading! Books and reading are one thing I am always grateful for. Not only do they provide me an escape from day to day life and some me-time, but I'm a firm believer that reading and the ability to do so one of the greatest gifts you can ever receive. My mom loves to read and passed that along to me, for which I am so thankful! I have always hoped that my children would love to read as well - and so far Landon LOVES to!! I think it is our biggest shared "interest" so far :)!

Sometimes when kids get quiet it means trouble ... most of the time in our house a quiet Landon is one I find doing this:
Here he is reading with Dad ...
Our local library recently did a reading program for kids 1-5. We read different groups of books and did some different activities (finger plays, library programs, listened to a silly song CD, etc.) after each "group" he got a little prize. The end prize was a new book! He picked one about fire trucks - it is so cute!
I love that he loves to read and I hope that it continues to bring him joy throughout his life.

Up next: more things we are thankful for ... so stay tuned!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Landon LOVED Trick or Treating this year!! He also really liked his costume (a bear) - he thought the hood part was a football helmet. Needless to say, we let him believe it :)!
He was so happy walking all over the neighborhood. And was a pro at knocking on doors (he would knock until someone answered, or we told him no one was home) and saying his version of "trick or treat." He loved picking the candy out of the bowl and even got really good at saying "thank you" at the end. Who knew we could improve manners on Halloween ... nothing like a little motivational candy!We had so much fun taking him around the neighborhood!! The first thing he said the next morning when he saw his bucket was "candy!" Oh dear!!

It was so cute it was worth the Halloween-excitement-hangover the next day!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Little Cheeser

Lately Landon has decided to smile for the camera (when he can bother standing still long enough!) and it cracks me up ... his "camera" smile is so, so cheesy!
Helping to dig up our now-dead flowers out back!
Helping make dinner ... he loves these mini-pizzas and
LOVES to eat the ingredients while we're making them!

So cute! I just can't help but smile every time I see this adorably cheesy face!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins

We just can't seem to get enough pre-Halloween festivities around here! Last Friday during fall break my little brother James and mom wanted to take Landon to the pumpkin patch. It was SO cute! They have a petting zoo ... Landon was in heaven. He seriously couldn't get enough. And they had a corn "sand" box too! (And bonus ... it was all free!) We petted the animals and played in the corn. James does a great job of getting down on Landon's level. He would hide his arm and when Landon started looking for it make it jump out and scare him. Little boy heaven I tell you!

Sunday night we carved pumpkins. Last year Landon LOVED it ... he couldn't get enough pumpkin goo on him. I thought this year would be even better. Wrong. He HATED it! Not only was he not interested in sitting there to help, but Jeff put some of the goo near him and on him and he got SO ticked. We washed him off and let him down where he had a much better time running around playing trucks with Grandpa.
Luckily he has a talented Daddy who carved his ghost pumpkin for him!
Tonight we headed back to the pumpkin patch with some friends for family home evening. Landon couldn't get enough of those animals and Jeff really wanted to get in on the action. They even had a free hayride. I'm telling you ... it will be a while before I want to pay for pumpkin activities again when this is free!
Halloween is still a week away ... I don't know how much more festive we can be. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend Jeff's parents came to town, and it was so much fun to have them visit. Landon was really excited to see them. I'm amazed at his little memory - as soon as they showed up he immediately remembered that Grandpa makes a funny noise with his mouth and tried to imitate it. Love it!

While they were up we went to a little pumpkin patch called Estrada Farms. It is in Lehi and is super cute. They are a nursery during the summer months and built a hay maze, corn "sand" box, and have a little ride and bounce house for the fall. It's perfect for the super-young crowd.

Landon was in heaven!! He especially loved the corn kernels that make up a type of "sand" box for the kids. Now if only his mom and dad were cool enough to get him one :)!We are totally getting ready for Halloween around here ... how about you?