Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Buddies

We feel really lucky that Landon has so many little friends to play with. He is really, really getting into his "fends" as he calls them and lights up when he knows he gets to play.

I think we can safely say that his best friend is Espen. Their birthdays are a mere four weeks apart, they are both only children and have a passion for trains that only little boys understand! They get along in a way I didn't know 2-year-olds could.

Last night we did a temple babysitting swap. Before we left I told Landon that after he finished his dinner he was going to Espen's house to play (a place, I'm pretty sure he believes is close to heaven ... it has Espen and trains). Naturally, he immediately decided he was done with dinner.

When I put him down he started spinning in frenetic circles while changing "Espen's House!" over and over. Then at one point he had worked himself into such a frenzy that he ran and plastered himself against our back door still shouting "Espen's House!" Seriously. I almost died laughing! Clearly we cannot take this friendship lightly.

Tamsin (aka "Espen's mommy") sent me this picture while Jeff and I were at the temple.
Does that not just make your heart melt? Those two and their shared cuteness just kills me ...

Monday, March 26, 2012


Jeff decided to really celebrate my 30th birthday in style! He told me that he and I were celebrating on Saturday - I was so excited! He arranged for Landon to be taken care of and just told me to be ready mid-afternoon (I love stuff like this!).

First off, he took me to get a massage! I love massages ... and I have been having some headaches lately, so it was perfect. And there is no more relaxing way to begin the evening than that!

Then we went to a restaurant called Brio - we love to try new places together. And this one is a winner!! It's up at Fashion Place mall (near Cheesecake Factory). It's a "Tuscan Grille" and pretty fantastic! Great atmosphere, great bread and food ... and great company! It was so nice out we even ate outside. I can't believe we forgot to take a picture there.

Then we walked around for a bit. This is where things started to get a bit suspicious. Jeff checked his phone a LOT! Which, when we're on a date, he never does. He said we were on our way to dessert after and wanted to check with my dad (who brought Landon back to our house to go to sleep) to see how much longer he could "watch him."

There was a part of me that wasn't suspicious at all ... but a small part of me was really hoping there was a surprise coming!!

We headed back south and Jeff told me that the place we were going for dessert looked a little sketchy but he had heard amazing things about it so he wanted to blindfold me so I would be surprised by it.

I was laughing the whole way he led me up to the "dessert place" because he forgot to mention a step (or two) and it was getting pretty comical.

When he took the blindfold off I realized we were actually in Jacqueline and Scott's house ... and I could see party things everywhere ... but no people!! (Just so you know ... at this point I was so excited I was practically bursting!)

Jeff had gathered up my very closest friends ... but I had to guess from his clues who each of the guests were. They were all so sweet about being excited to celebrate my birthday ... we played games and ate WAY too many delicious treats!

Jeff did such a great job of planning the party (with some help from Stepper and Jacqueline ... thank you!!) and making my birthday amazing! I haven't ever had a surprise birthday party and in my head had always wanted one when I turned 30 (does he know me or what?!) ... and I couldn't have pictured a more wonderful night! He made sure every detail was perfect - a dark-chocolate chocolate fountain, brownies instead of cake and even went to the trouble of going to the BYU Creamery and getting my favorite ice cream and caramel sauce (it came in a GIANT can!) just to have everything be perfect for me. Now that is love!!

It was a really special night, spent with those who care so much about me! Thank you, Jeff, for making it such a wonderful and unforgettable night!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reflections on Turning 30

Well, folks, it happened. I turned 30. And you know what? I'm totally excited about the whole thing :)! I know a lot of people find this to be overwhelming, or a crisis of sorts. That hasn't ever been me. I was looking forward to it, excited for the new decade and what it can bring. Weird? Maybe, but I think it is a great time for reflection.

Ten years ago I was thrilled to turn 20. Do you remember how grown-up and cool 20 sounded when you were a teenager? I remember practically salivating to be able to say "I'm in my 20s." And, please don't misunderstand me, those were really good times. I believe that one's 20s are a time of discovery. And I'm quite proud of what I accomplished during that time in my life.

I graduated from college, started a career, got married and had Landon.

That's a lot, when you really look back! More importantly there are the nuances of those things that have made me who I am today.

I learned what I was capable of when put to the test, I learned how to work hard for something bigger than myself. I learned what a broken heart felt like, and how to be more careful with others. I learned what real friends are and what they mean in your life. I learned how to sacrifice. I learned how to love another person completely. And I learned what it means to be a mother.

I don't think I could have asked for a better decade in a lot of ways. I feel fortunate to have had so many growing experiences in the last 10 years. I have come out of those experiences knowing who I am as a person and what I believe in. And what I want out of life.

I'm stronger and more confident. I think this is always a work in progress, but who I am now is worlds stronger than the girl I was then.

I respect myself a lot more. I know what I'm capable of. That girl could still fit into her cheerleading uniform. Now, I'm sure (okay, really sure, but I digress) that I couldn't anymore ... but I respect this body so much more. This one has grown a life and given birth. This body has learned to live on no sleep because a little baby needed me more. And I have learned to balance motherhood, being a wife and working.

I love being a wife. Then I liked the romanticized view of what I believed love and marriage were. Reality is so much harder ... and a million times better! I wouldn't trade one day of the last 6 (almost 7!) years of being married to Jeff for anything else. Marrying him was the absolute best decision of my 20s. On the brink of this new decade, I am looking forward to 10 more adventurous years together.

At 20 motherhood seemed like a distant "someday." And in reality I had Landon two days before turning 28, so it was far off then! It has changed me in so many ways. I'm grateful for every single one. Landon put the final touches on my 20s in the best possible ways. I wouldn't trade extra time, sleep or money for even one minute with him. As much as I don't want him to grow up, I also look forward to seeing all the different ways he will grow and change. Every new little thing he does thrills me and makes me want to be a better mother to him.

Through this past decade I realized what true friends are. I made some amazing ones in college and even more after. I was really touched on my birthday when so many took the time to visit, call, email or text me good wishes. I love that I have an incredible network of women to rely on, laugh and cry with and learn from. And to top that off? I became friends with my parents (who are wonderful) and my sister (there were some big bets this wouldn't ever happen ... but it did!). I am blessed.

I have loved looking back and taking the time to reflect on how much I have changed in the last decade. And because of that change I am looking forward to this next one so much. How much more change and growth will come? I have a lot to accomplish in my 30s ... and I'm eager to get started. I'm entering this time with faith, excitement, hope and optimism all wrapped into one.

Now 40? That will probably bring on a crisis :)! Check back with me then ... but until then ... here's to 30!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Celebrating Two!!

We had such a fun birthday with Landon! I still can't believe he is two!! Here he is doing his VERY favorite thing ... playing trains!!
What a little heartbreaker!
Love that cheesy grin!

We decided to do a family party this year. But we still celebrated in style! Our original plan was to do a Lighting McQueen party ... but about 2 weeks before his birthday he emphatically decided that Thomas the Train was the only kind of party he could have.

Kristen at Sage Digital Designs made his invitations. And then was nice enough to completely re-do them when he changed his mind about what he wanted :)! Aren't they adorable?!
We started with dinner ... soup, salad and rolls. Landon normally loves this, but he was way too excited to eat anything!
Then he wanted to get to those presents!! He loves to say "open it!" to everything! He got spoiled rotten. Last weekend Grandma and Papa Terry came up and gave him a car mat and new cars and planes for it! And an apron to help mom and dad in the kitchen (it's impossibly cute!).
Then Grandma & Papa Wuthrich, Ale and James stopped by on Saturday with new fish for his fish tank!
Then yesterday Grandma & Papa gave him a step stool for the bathroom. Ale and James picked him out a Lightning McQueen tent! Which we all had to try out :)! His favorite person to have in there is uncle James!

We had "aunt" Jacqueline and "uncle" Scott over as well. Landon is totally convinced they are related. They got him a really fun (read: loud) Elmo guitar. Landon LOVES it :)!He fancies himself quite the rock star!

Jeff and I got Landon an ocean toys set, Legos, a dump truck and a balance bike (and helmet). He loved everything ... except for the bike! His emotions have ranged from excited (it has a bell, folks) to totally terrified. I'm sure he'll come around eventually :)!

Then we went back to the kitchen to sing and eat cake. Here's the cake table ... cake courtesy of Aunt Ale!! Landon was delighted by the cake and the fact that Thomas, Percy and James were hanging above his head!
He loved the candles SO much he had
to put an extra set of 2 in :)!

Landon was thrilled to be sung to and blew out the candles at least 4 or 5 times. He kept saying "more fire!" Which, naturally we couldn't resist ... so we kept lighting them and letting him blow them out!
We had such a fun day with Landon. We feel so lucky to have him as part of our family and can't imagine life without him. Happy Birthday Buddy!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Landon is 2!!!

Landon's two today! I can't believe it... two sounds so big! It makes me sad and excited all at once. I miss the tiny baby he once was ... but love the rambunctious, intelligent and funny little boy his is becoming.

We started celebrating yesterday with a trip to see The Lorax (SUPER cute!) and lunch. Uncle James came along, which made Landon SO happy! Then we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some friends at a fun party. Landon was in heaven - almost all of his favorite friends were there!

And as a huge bonus they got a visit from a leprechaun who just happened to know that all the little boys in attendance love cars and skittles. That's one smart leprechaun :)!
In his lucky Ireland Soccer Jersey

This morning Jeff and I went in to say good morning! And then had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast!! YUM!
Then I was watching him get ready for his bath and couldn't help but think about how much change two years brings. From his first bath (which I didn't get to see, but heard he really disliked) to this morning ... when he was running and squealing delightedly through the upstairs naked, discussing with dad how many bubbles were in the bath and what color he wanted his water and then having a raucously good time with his whole host of bath toys. Again, it made me smile and want to cry all at the same time!

Now we're busy getting ready for his little party!! More on our celebrations tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Landon ... we love you so much!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

San Diego!!

We had so much fun on our trip to San Diego! It was so sunny, warm and relaxing ... it was good for the soul!

We took an early flight out on Thursday morning (too early ... we won't do this again if we can avoid it!), and landed with lots of time to play. Our hotel was really close to the airport and water. It had a great walking trail with a playground on it, which was fantastic. We started by playing a bit and getting all that airplane stuffiness out of our system. While Landon was playing he slipped and bonked his chin. I was worried about it, but it didn't seem like too big of a deal. Until blood started coming out of his mouth. It took everything I had to stay calm (and Jeff being his level-headed self). It turns out he bit his tongue on both sides when he slipped. I was so worried he somehow knocked out a tooth! After that mini-crisis and once Landon was back to being his playful self we made our way to our hotel and took naps (all of us, not just Landon!).

That afternoon and evening we visited Old Town. When Jeff and I were in San Diego a few years ago we ate at a great little Mexican place in Old Town - The Coyote Cafe. It was fun to go back. This time the balloon artist came over and made Landon an Elmo balloon ... he was thrilled by this. Then the singers came over to serenade us. And it totally freaked him out! It was hilarious ... and yet they still kept singing. I'm pretty sure I would have taken the hint and started walking around if a little kid was freaking out :)!
Friday we hit Sea World!! We were there before the doors opened and closed the place down. Landon loved EVERY second of it, and so did we! Luckily friends warned us to bring extra clothes. When we checked the weather before we left it was supposed to be in the low 60s ... turned out it was in the mid to high 70s! AMAZING!! However, this left Landon in blue jeans - which get really wet :)! So we always had a set of clothes drying on the stroller. Classy, I know :)!

They have a Elmo/Sesame Street themed "Bay of Play." Landon was in heaven. Everything was just his size. He loved the bouncy area, the water (of course!) and the Elmo's Flying Fish ride. Pretty sure we rode it 10 times or more!
We made our way throughout the park. Our other favorite area was the Beluga Whales/Arctic exhibit. Landon could not get enough of the whales or the walrus. Do you know how BIG those things are? We loved it!!
We loved every inch of the park!! At one point Landon was snacking and the next thing we knew we looked down and saw this:
So cute!

Jeff and I took that time to walk around a bit and just enjoy ourselves. Sea World is actually quite empty on a Friday (not during Summer I'm sure), so it was a great day to be there.
We left really tired and happy!! Then we hit our favorite place in Little Italy (we found it last time too!).
Saturday we took a long walk in the morning. We didn't realize we would be so close to the water (we went a different direction than before). Landon found a friend ... and got right in the water ... fully clothed :)! Then we spent the rest of the day at Coronodo and the beach! What a beautiful beach it is!! Did you know the sand has gold flecks in it? That and the white hotel make it really enchanting. We tried to snap a few pictures of Landon since he is turning 2 ... we got a couple and then he decided that was totally over-rated and it was time to play!!
Sunday we started out at the Zoo. I always have mixed feeling about zoos. They just aren't my favorite places in the world. But the San Diego Zoo is really well done and beautiful. I don't know if it is his age, or interest level (or perhaps his parents!) but Landon wasn't very interested in it. Some of the exhibits are so good you have to really look for the animals and I think that was hard for him.

After a couple of hours we decided to leave. This was a really good decision. Sometimes we have a tendency to push through and keep going at things even though we aren't loving them just because they are an "area attraction" (are we the only ones who do this?), and this time we decided to move on and do what we really loved. And it was so much better!!

We couldn't leave without riding the train though :)!
We took a drive so Landon could get a little snooze in and passed the temple and stopped at Torrey Pines Golf Course (it's a famous one), so Jeff could look around and buy a hat.

Then we headed back to Sea World! This time we were more prepared with shorts ... this kid will just head right into a splash pad even with freezing water. We re-visited all our favorite exhibits again (ask Landon what a Sea Lion says ... his impression is hilarious), and naturally rode the ride again (and again, and again!)!!
Landon was so tired this is what happened before dinner that night.
Oh how I love these two!

Monday was Jeff's birthday as I mentioned before. We had to celebrate in style ... and leave San Diego with a bang! I found a golf course we could accompany him on (which is rare!) and we golfed with him that morning. Jeff and Landon were both in HEAVEN!! It made me so happy to surprise him with something he loves to do so much and to be able to have Landon and I go with him. The golf course is a really peaceful place, I can see why Jeff loves it.
First golf lessons!

Acknowledging his fans :)!

Then we took a drive up Highway 101 along the coast - it is so beautiful!! We spotted a little Mexican restaurant and had lunch and then headed back to show Landon the temple (since he was awake this time!). He loved it as much as we do!
At the airport Landon fell in love with this water fountain (this kid and water ...) and then we lucked out and he had his own seat. He was very interested in the safety card and his window. Then after takeoff he crashed and slept the rest of the way home!
One last look ...
We had a great time and were sad to leave ... but we came home refreshed, bonded, sunburned and tired :)! Truly the signs of a great vacation!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to Jeff!

We kick the month of March off right by wishing a happy birthday to Jeff!!! It was so fun to be on vacation this year for his birthday!! I'll blog all about our fun trip later ... but first things first ... celebrating our first birthday of month!

We started the day by doing a little birthday golfing - Jeff's favorite activity!
Then we ate lunch at a fabulous little Mexican restaurant in Cardiff by-the-sea (doesn't that name just kill you it's so cute?!).

And before we boarded the plane we stopped by the beautiful San Diego temple and walked around.
We are so blessed to have Jeff!! I feel so lucky to have someone I can call a best friend and husband ... and someone who gives so much of himself to us every single day. And he has a wicked sense of humor that never ceases to make me laugh :)! He is the best daddy a boy could ask for - he and Landon are cutest little buddies. We couldn't ask for anything more!

We love you so much Jeff!! Happy Birthday!!!