Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Girl...and her dirt bike

On Black Friday, my dad bought two little Yamaha 50 dirt bikes. Emma's favorite boy cousins, Cole and Noah, also have dirt bikes. My dad and Jake (Cole and Noah's dad) carved out a little bike track in one of the corners of the farm for riding, complete with jumps. At first, Emma was a little scared of the bikes, but it didnt' take her long to warm up to the idea of being a "biker chick." She kept saying, "Let's hit da dirt!" and "Hit dat jump!" Here are Emma and Russell, don't they look like little dirt bike thugs? (I don't know if you can see it in the background or not, but my dad turned his grain bins-the Harvestores-into climbing walls with grips and a belaying system. It is fun-although I think it is scary!) Here is Emma wearing Cole's helmet. It is a little big for her, but she kept saying "Do I look like Cole, mommy? Do I look cool?" Yes, Emma, you look cool. Very cool, indeed. In fact, I am getting a little worried. Does this mean that if she keeps dirt biking and wake boarding into her teenage years, that boys will chase after her? Or are we creating a very intimidating girl? Seriously, what boy wants to go out with a girl who can out jump, out flip, and out perform him in extreme sports? Or should I even be worrying about that when she's three? This is the first time that Emma got on the bike with Aaron. Let me clear something up. She doesn't drive the bikes by herself. No! She rides with someone else. Like Aaron. We will save driving for another time. Like the spring.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Six Years

Aaron usually does something to surprise me on our anniversary, and I usually give away whatever secret I have been desperately trying to keep because I get too excited. So, I have been hiding out on the computer this evening creating this "surprise" for Aaron. He's on to me though-he keeps trying to sneak over and see what I am up to.

Six years ago, I was in my last semester of college, which meant that I was finishing student teaching. I was working part time for my dad. I lived in a little white house by myself in Rock Island. Six years ago, Aaron was taking some classes at Pellisippi State in Knoxville, and living with his dad. He was working for the Migrant Education Program in Tennessee.

Aaron and I were married on December 14, 2002 in the Nashville Tennessee Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I skipped my college graduation ceremony for my wedding. It was a great trade off! After our honeymoon, we moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for Aaron to attend school. This is us in our second apartment, in Pleasant Grove, Utah. At this point, Aaron was attending BYU, we were both working in Salt Lake, and PG was a good middle location for us. (We also didn't get a digital camera until that year, which is why I don't have any pictures from 2003!) Emma Katherine was born in August of 2005. We were so excited that our family was growing. This was our family Christmas picture that year. We were living in Provo, and Aaron was still going to school at BYU. I was working for my dad from home. This is our 2006 family picture. Emma was just over a year old, and always making us smile and laugh. We were still living in Provo. Aaron was still in school, and I was still working for my dad. One of our favorite things to every year was to take a drive up in American Fork Canyon and take pictures in the fall. This is us in 2007. Still in school, still working. Still loved taking pictures on fall drives in American Fork Canyon. We knew we were expecting another baby at this point. What we didn't know was how many we were expecting. You could call this picture "the calm before the storm!"

This is a side view of me about two weeks before our twin boys were born. We just bought our first home in Georgia, and Aaron had started his job with one of the "big four" accounting firms. I wasn't due to have the babies for another 2 months at this point.

William and Jonathan were born 6 weeks early at the end of March. They spent 8 days in the NICU. This is the only picture I have of us (well, where you can see some of both Aaron and I) at the hospital when the boys were born. When we brought them home, they both weighed less than five pounds. Looking back at this picture triggers some really strong emotions for me (and that is William in the picture). Here we are with our boys at Thanksgiving this year. We feel so lucky to have two healthy boys, who continue to grow and progress each day. Our family-August 2008. This was after we blessed the boys. Emma was a week away from turning three.

The last six years have been some of the best years of my life. I know, people say that all the time, but it is true! I feel so fortunate to have my very best friend as my eternal companion. I love the life that we have together, and I am sure it will only get better. Happy six years, Aaron. I LOVE YOU!

PS-I am excited for my steak and crab leg dinner that you are cooking for me tomorrow!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Disneyworld (Two Months Later...)

In October, we went to Disneyworld with my parents, Russell and Katherine. We had a lot of fun! I thought that by going in October, it wouldn't be nearly as hot, and lines wouldn't be very long. And that's what I get for thinking! Yes, it was HOT. And yes, the lines were long. And although it was fun, I think we will wait to go again when the boys are a little older! Here I am in the van on the way to Florida. Can't you see how excited I am? Here are Emma and Jonathan (and the side of William's head) on the monorail heading to Disneyworld. Emma was so excited. In case you have missed my blog in the last few months, Emma's favorite princess is Cinderella. She loves Disney movies like Cinderella, Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid. Here is Cinderella's castle. As soon as we walked up, there was a show going on. It was several of the Disney princesses and their princes dancing with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and some regular ol' dancers. Cinderella and her prince waved to Emma! Jonathan and William enjoyed the show, too. One of Emma's favorite rides was Cinderella's golden carousel. You know, the merry-go-round. Here we are together, riding the carousel. Emma also got to meet Buzz Lightyear. She loves him! And so does the rest of our family! This is when Emma go to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story. Did I mention that Toy Story is one of her favorite movies? Well, I think she has a crush on Woody. She LOVES him! (Since she saw Buzz the day before, he kinda got the cold shoulder at this meeting!) This was after she got a kiss from Woody. She didn't know quite how to act. I hope she will always feel akward when boys try to kiss her-at least until she is 25! This is her real love-her daddy! We saw a fireworks show at Cinderella's castle after a night parade. Since Cinderella is Emma's favorite, and purple is Emma's favorite color, I thought this was an appropriate picture! Cinderella's castle amid all the fireworks. Isn't it pretty? My pictures don't do it justice!

We had a great time, and we are thankful to my parents for letting us go with them. And stay with them. And greatful to them for listening to the time share thing so we didn't have to pay for our part of the hotel room! And for keeping the babies so we could take Emma to the night parade. And for helping us so much. I am sure I am forgetting something, so here is a blanket thank you-THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Here you go, Laura. It is December and I am posting my Thanksgiving pictures. Just like you predicted!

For Thanksgiving, we went to Knoxville to Aaron's Dad's house. Grandpa and Grandma Hale flew out and Janel and Derek drove down from Michigan. Kathy and Janae also came in. It was so much fun to see everyone again. We haven't seen Grandma and Grandpa since last Christmas. This has been kind of hard since we saw them at least once a month when we lived in Utah. We also met Janel and Derek's little girl, Brooklyn, for the first time. She is two weeks older than the boys. (I didn't get any pictures of them together. For some cute pictures go to Janel's blog.) Here are William, Emma and Jonathan with Grandma and Grandpa. This is Grandma with William. Here are Grandma with the boys. I love how everyone matches! This is Aaron's mom, JoLayne with Aaron and the kids. She came up to Knoxville to visit, and we saw her for a few minutes before leaving to go to McMinnville. William (and Jonathan) have been pushing themselves up like this, and getting on their knees. I think that crawling may be coming soon. I am amazed at Jonathan's speed. Even though he isn't officially crawling, he can really get around the floor pretty fast. Baby proofing, here I come. One of the benefits of having a twin is that you never need a pillow. A leg works just fine for that!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Recent Trip to Tennessee

Since Aaron has been traveling for work, we have made a few random trips to Tennessee, to break up the time and escape the boredom. Here are some pictures from one of our more recent trips. This is my Papa, my dad's dad, holding Jonathan and William. He kept saying what "good babies" they are. And, of course, my head started to swell with pride after a comment like that from him! William was being so funny while he was playing on the floor at the farm house. I guess he was getting sleepy since he was using the ball as a pillow! I went in to check on the boys while they were sleeping and I found this. William was rubbing Jonathan's head. It was so sweet! And then one morning, in my mom's kitchen floor, I found this. While I was busy with the babies, Emma snuck into my mom's kitchen and started "cooking." She emptied the flour and rice canisters, half the oatmeal container, and used a pinch of cornmeal to make her creation. It was pretty funny. She loves to "cook!" Here is Emma in her attempt to cross the monkey bars. While we were at the farm, she snuck outside and tried to go on the monkey bars by herself. When she came back in she said, "When I was going 'cross the bars, I falled off. But I didn't say aughhhh. I just falled on the ground." Do you get that? She must have not had time to scream when she was falling. She just fell off. And no, she wasn't hurt. My parents have this little dog named Killer. (He looks nothing like a killing dog of any kind. He is small, white and quite fluffy.) Anyway, Emma loves to torment him. And chase him. And spray him with the water bottle. She really likes him a lot. So much, that she is pretending to be him. By digging in the dirt like a dog. She didn't know I was taking this picture.

Fighting boys and Fall

I just wanted to put up some pictures that I took a few weeks ago. Aaron put Jonathan and William on Emma's bed one night while we were giving Emma her bath. He gave them some toys to play with. Apparently they both liked this book. It was funny to watch them "fight" over the book. They weren't interested in any of the other toys on the bed-just this little book! This is a picture of our house with all the pretty fall leaves. I know, a lot of them are still green, but if you look closely, some have changed colors. This is one of my favorite trees in our yard. We live on a fairly large lot, almost a full acre. The yard is one of the reasons I fell in love with this home (although the kitchen isn't bad, either). There is a little creek that runs along the edge of our property, and this tree is down by the creek. One night, Aaron and I were walking the neighborhood, and I saw the top of this tree blowing in the wind. I said, "That tree is huge! Do you think it is ours?" Yes, it is! If you enlarge the picture, you can see how tall it is compared to our house. I love the shape of the tree, and it is one of my favorite kinds: willow oak. Just thought I'd share-you know, in case anyone else out there is a plant lover like myself (Tammy, that's you!). Here are Jonathan, Emma and William, playing on my bed. The outfits the boys are wearing are two of the four "neutral" outfits that Emma had as a baby. I just wanted to get a quick picture of them before they go back to the storage bin!