Sunday, September 16, 2012


I am not a cool mom that knows how to facebook, tweet, or instagram.  I blog solely for the purpose of my family and friends that I rarely live in the same state or country with; and even then, I barely do that.  Our really cool babysitter gifted me with this instagram of Isla that I am totally in love with.

Jared's new job has created a lot of opportunities for growth for us individually, as a couple, and as a family.  As we pray for strength and do better some days and weeks then others handling our life; I have learned a lot.  In my effort to do better with "mommy-hood" and "solo-hood" I have been really trying to focus on recognizing the things that make me happy, cherish them, and try to feel and show more love.  Call it corny if you will, but focusing with a serious degree of effort on doing these things really has become a survival mechanism.  So when our baby sitter sent me my new favorite picture of Isla and I enjoyed the afternoon with my daughter I just wanted to put down the things I loved about today, to help make it a happy one for me.

I loved that my babysitter sent this picture out of the blue.  I love the warm light of an instagram and how it gives every picture a warm memory feeling.  This one particularly exuding the pure joy that Isla is filled with.  I loved that Isla had an unexpected and rare super long nap that allowed not only for a very happy daughter the rest of the day, but the only two cherished hours I got alone with my husband this entire week.  They were a perfect moment of sweetness and real love to face this next week with and feel like a real team despite our locations.  We talked without judgement or personal needs.  We helped each other prepare for the week.   And just enjoyed a few quiet moments together.  I love that Isla woke up happy and cuddly and just as sweet as can be.  I love that she happily played without spilling water all over the kitchen floor, while I made dinner.  I love that not only does she know her numbers but has learned to apply them to counting objects, which she happily did while I picked tomatoes.  I love that we have delicious fresh tomatoes in are garden.  I love that Isla loved every bit of our dinner main dish  (A favorite dish of roasted butternut squash and garlic pasta) and even our side of fresh tomatoes, basil, and cottage cheese.  I love that she ate all her dinner, did not throw it on the floor and played well till bedtime.  I love that she said over and over, "Oh mommy, thank you very much for that noodle," when I causally handed her a noodle to test out of the pot of boiling water.  And I love that she loves to read and we read together before bed and she quickly drifted off to sleep without coaxing or reminders.  I love that I got to talk to three of my sisters today.  And I love and feel grateful to have been blessed with such a nice Sabbath day that helped me to feel the sweet Spirit all day long.   I am grateful for such a blessed day that did not try my patience to the Nth degree.  I am grateful for a day that truly felt like the Sabbath all day long in the most subtle yet Christ-like way that is love.  I will try to hang onto the gift of this day and expand on it this week so that these feelings will become more of my character. 

I love that this picture captures all that I felt today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2 Years Old

I am guessing at three years old kids start to really understand and can anticipate birthdays.  We  anticipated Isla's for her, again this year, and tried to get her excited about it too.  Though she didn't get we were talking about the week leading up to her birthday, she loved learning a new song for it, "Happy Birthday," and was stoked about going to sleep in her new cupcake pj's from Grammy, only to have an even better surprise of loads of balloons to greet her on the big day.  Daddy chose right with the Micky Mouse balloon and nine other colors of the rainbow.  Of course her birthday treats of white cheddar popcorn, pistachios, fruit leather, teddy grams and oatmeal were hard to "tare" her away from in order to open her actual birthday gifts.  And I will apologize in advance that most of the pictures aren't really in focus.  I seriously need to learn how to work our camera.

Grammy gave Isla a real pint sized shopping cart.  Isla filled it will all the special animals that Grammy has.

She wasn't sure about the whole, blowing the candles out, thing.  Hence the skeptical look she is giving us as she blew out her candles.  I am pretty sure she was thinking, "You guys are kind of weird.  Who lights up what we are going to eat, only to blow it out seconds later?  Oh well, I sure want that cupcake, so I will just do what they say."

It was also kind of a, "it's my birthday and I will do what I want to" day.  Isla was helping clean some dishes in her diaper, when the next thing I knew she was in the sink cleaning the dishes.  Then later we were cutting up watermelon and she wanted some.  I explained to her that I had to cut it up and then she could have some.  Apparently that wasn't a good enough answer because the next thing I new she pulled up a chair next to me, climbed up, and leaned over and took a bit right in the middle of me removing the rinds.  Oh well.  That's a true birthday part for a two year old right?

Bear Lake

Bear Lake was actually back in July.  I forgot our camera, not that I am a great photographer anyway, but nonetheless, just got a few pictures of Isla I thought I would share.  I am pretty sure Isla was confident she had stepped into some sort of "heaven on earth."  There were loads of fun people and kids to play with, endless treats to swipe from everyone down at the beach, enough water and sand to play in for as many hours as we would let her, and late bedtimes.   Most of you know Isla is definitely a little water baby and the following depicts her at her finest.
Who needs pants when you have a helmet?

Okay help me up mom ...

All right so that's how you do it?

I'll take it from here then, you can get off mom.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Catch Up

It has been a very long while since I did a post about what has been going on here.  This is my attempt at catching you all up with some tidbits despite not having all the photos I wish I did from activities we have been busy with.

Andy and Lindsey were definitely Uncle and Aunt #1 for Isla this month.  They treated us majorly to a nice week in Indianapolis, IN.  While there, we toured the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL Colts  team.  Isla had a TOTAL BLAST with Andy, Lindsey and Charlie.  It was a huge sacrifice for them to take on these to little ones that might as well be twins.  They so much like siblings I am really wondering what our little boy will look like.  Thank you Andy and Lindsey for treating us to a really nice and needed week together (even if he was working) and the biggest blessing to know Isla was happy and so well taken care of in our absence. 

This  pic should not be a surprise to any of you but for documentation sake here was a fun surprise we had one early Saturday morning in March.  I spent the later half of the evening on a group date with Jared's siblings and parents wishing my stomach would stop trying to jump through my throat and the world would stop spinning.  Jared recalled the other day at that he was thinking at that movie, "Oh man I can't take her anywhere for the next nine months!"  I remember thinking, "Oh man, I don't want to go anywhere for the next nine months!"

For Mother's Day we surprised Anita and family with a quick trip up Sunday afternoon.  We loved having all the kiddos together.  Isla especially loved that her cousins include Ruby the dog and all his toys ... like a water bowl.

Memorial Day was filled with one of my favorite things, hiking, hot pots, and the Wrights.

Sweet Eli James was born July 23rd and we got a chance to head up that afternoon to welcome this little boy into the world.  You can check Estee's blog for some pics of him.  Isla was not allowed to go to the hospital with us so we took turns going in to see him.  Jared captured this video of Isla seeing the local hospital garden statues a tune.  As a side note, Isla is a very good at learning and memorizing songs.  She sings them most of the day, but rarely on cue.  She prefers backseat singing and serenading her toys and books.  For documentation sake, she has known the following songs for months and months:
I am a Child of God (all three verses)
Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam
I like to look for Rainbows
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Mary's Lullaby
Three Little Speckled Frogs
Slippery Fish
Love One Another
I Feel my Savior's Love
 Row Row Row Your Boat
Give Said the Little Stream
Wheels on the Bus
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
I Love to See the Temple (both verses)

Next up was Lizzie James birthday.   It was a really fun evening with neighbors and family.  She is such a sweet girl.  I love that she and Isla enjoy each other and seem to play so well together.

With all of craziness of Jared's travel we are continually adjusting and trying to make the most of our time together while he's home.  We recently instigated an annual hike Friday when he get's home.  The first one was up Neff's canyon.  The picture of us are totally unflattering, but for again for documentations sake I had to post this little muffin just LOVING our hike, the birds, bees, flys, flowers, and trees.  It turns out if one is to actually go to the very top of Neff's canyon, high up to the wildflower fields, the trails turns ridiculously steep.  I don't think it was just the 5+ month pregnant belly that was slowing me down.  The trail turned into a steep beast for the last mile or two.  Going down though was worse.  I would prefer not to recount the number of times I slipped.  Just one more reason Jared wore the kid pack this time.  We might have lost Isla rolling down the hill, had I and my butterfinger feet been carrying her.

We started July off with one of my favorite doctors appointments together.  Here is a pick of our little man!  We are so looking forward to meeting him.

One more trip back to Logan for Sam's brithday party was filled with his annual dinner in the canyon.  Isla loved her weekend hanging out with Sadie, talking to Drew on Sadie's phone and going for little excursions with her cousins in the canyon.

One of my favorite parts of moving to Sandy has been having such a great neighborhood.  The other night we had some of our dear friends and neighbors over for an impromptu dinner and ice cream.  They have five really cute boys.  Their youngest, Kingston (3 yrs) and Isla have particularly bonded.  He has adopted her as his pseudo sister and they adamantly declare  their best-friend-hood to any who asks.  Though I don't have a picture of them together yet, here is one of Isla enjoying full control over her dad's cup of ice cream that night.

Sara and Birch came for Alex's first EFY and we got to spend a couple of evenings playing with them.  I am pretty sure that the swim party at Matt and Jessica's and ice cream cone with Birch are tied for Isla's favorite events together.

Fire season hit Utah, among other states,  about three months to early  we have had the fortune/misfortune of seeing fires ignite and spread at massive rates right from our house windows.  Jared caught this shot the other night of the West Valley fire.  This one brought ash in the air around our homes in addition to the strong stench of smoke.

At the sake of celebrating Isla's independence and removing some of my dignity I will now depict what Isla likes to do in the morning while I get ready for excercise.  She has been very good at using the toilet these last few weeks especially loves trying on my underwear instead of hers.  After taking this picture we had a knock at the door and I quickly pulled off all the underwear and rushed with her down stairs.  Then we hoped in the car to run some errands and it wasn't until returning for her nap time that I realized she still had three pairs of underwear around her waist that she had been wearing all day.  Nice

And now August.  Last weekend we reenacted one of my favorite childhood outings.  Sandy had it's very own air balloon launch and it started at a blessed 7am verses the typical 5am times.   I have been wanting to do this with Isla for a while and this park was just down the street.  We had so much fun watching the launch.  The flying pig, was by far Isla's favorite.  If you look at the last picture closely you will also notice a man flying his air balloon in a chair rather than the typical basket.  It reminded me of a favorite movie, Danny Deckchair.  Rent it if you haven't.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not so easy

Some of you are aware of the tragic accident my brother Seth, his family, and a few friends just experienced this week.  Seth and family have been living in Zambia for the past year and were taking a trip to Zimbabwe one week ago.  Those of you who went to high school with Seth and I, will also know Seth Wiggins who has been a close friend for years.  Seth W.  and Caroline's sister Katie were with Seth's family when they got into the accident.  I share this with you not only because of it's importance in my life, but because many of you have asked.  The letter I am posting is from my sweet parents, serving a mission for the LDS church in Fiji.  It is slightly outdated, and the extent of Seth's injuries are greater than we knew at the time it was written, but it at least gives you an idea of the turn of events:

Dear Friends and Family,

Some of you are very aware of the recent tragic auto accident Seth and Caroline were in, others of you may be learning of this for the first time. We wanted to give you all a brief update:
A few days ago, Seth and Caroline along with their children, Tommy (4 1/2 yrs) and Cali (1), Caroline’s younger sister, Katie (18yrs.), and 3 friends – including Seth’s best friend from Corvallis, Seth Wiggins, were all traveling by car from their home in Zambia to Zimbabwe. The driver fell asleep and the car rolled three times, crashing into a tree just at the front passenger seat where our Seth was seated. Though banged up, Seth Wiggins and the two other friends appear to have not been injured badly. Tommy was thrown from the car and had a concussion and cuts to his head, Cali seems to have been spared any serious injury, Caroline has a very serious cut on her foot, Katie has broken ribs and lung contusion along with a serious concussion and perhaps other undiagnosed injuries. Seth Sherry was critically injured with a broken neck and back (C-1 & C-6 vertebrae). As you can imagine, the care in a 3rd world country is lacking and compromised, particularly with Seth. Over a period of a day and half, it became clear that if Seth’s life and limb movement abilities were to be preserved, he would need to be flown to Johannesburg, South Africa which the insurance company did arrange and Seth Wiggins accompanied him on the flight (where he remains to give perfect care and attention to our Seth). Caroline and family stayed behind in a clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe (the capital) where they are now in the care of local LDS church members. All of them have been treated and released with the exception of Katie, but she now seems to be showing signs of improvement.
In South Africa, all exams and tests were redone and the injuries more specifically identified. Seth continues to have movement in feet and hands though his shoulders and arms above the elbow have diminished sensation and movement (this however, has improved over the last couple days – a very good sign). As of today, neurosurgeons are still discussing the best approach to stabilize Seth’s neck and back. The next step in doing so is critical and of immediate concern to prevent paralysis. As of this writing, we don’t know what course of action will be decided upon but it will likely happen in the next 24 hours.
There have been so many prayers, blessings, people in the right places, and miraculous help from LDS Church members in both Zimbabwe and South Africa. We appreciate your concern and prayers, they are deeply meaningful to us and important for Seth, Caroline and family. Between the physical injuries, time zone differences, challenges in long distant communication and getting accurate information, and the future unknowns, this is a terribly trying time but we trust in the Lord and pray for His watchcare to do what we cannot. We will update you all as we are able. Thank you dear friends for all you mean to us and our family.

Annie and Tom

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Knowledge and Faith

Isla suffered a minor concussion today.   It was a stupid fall out of the shopping cart while I was looking at something for a second.  The dumbest part was that I had actually made her sit in the seat up front and buckle in (which I usually don't do because she fights it so much).  Any way it was a pretty sizable fall (a bit more than five feet) onto the cement floor which was followed by serious puking when we got home.  Details aside, after a few hours of observation at the doctors office and a very stressful day of watching her, not allowing her to eat solids until dinner time and keeping her up without a good nap all day, she is finally sweetly sleeping in her bed with an "all clear," I guess.  As the gravity of the situation sinks in with a quiet moment alone; I am totally brought to my knees in humility and gratitude for the knowledge of God, our purpose for living, for families, for life, my faith in the truthfulness of this gospel, and for the gift of the priesthood power from God on this earth.  I trully hate thinking about life without those I hold most dear.  But somehow this "Plan of Happiness," this gospel brings me real comfort.  Not comfort that it is okay if my child or someone died, but real comfort that it will be okay because God is perfect and His love for us is perfect and that despite my imperfect understanding I can trust that love and joy will be at the heart of my life if I let myself walk with God, my Father in Heaven.  And so for that my gratitude knows no bounds despite the fear I might someday have to let go of someone for a time.  I hope not to be asked to do such now though, and am grateful my little girl is still fully functioning and with us.  And in this faith I will try to live with strength. 

Sorry I haven't posted so long, and this is what I first post about.  I have lots of fun things I should post about, and maybe I will get to it.  But for now, for some reason, maybe because it's just me alone tonight, I share my feelings with you.  Whom ever.  Tonight, this is how I feel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pizzeria Limone

We had a spur of the moment fun dinner with Matt and Jessica's family at Pizzeria Limone.  AH-mazing!  It's like having a fantastic version of Settebello's but right around the corner. And their lemon pizza?  Please try.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Jared treated me to a special weekend, joining him at the Four Seasons for his Medgate Conference.  Don't worry I didn't attend anything at the conference accept for the delicious meals!  Jared was usually tied up for the day, and I spend a glorious week exploring Atlanta, GA.  What a GORGEOUS city.  I seriously loved it.  Humid, warm, green, history, amazing architecture and some seriously nice people.  We contemplated moving there each night as we took an after dinner walk around the neighborhoods with out jackets.  Glorious.

 The hotel
 A view from the Piedmont Park onto the city.
 A yummy seafood dinner at the amazing Atlantic City Fish Market.

Okay, so we forgot to take pictures pretty much the whole time so that is all we got.  During the days I got to see the Carter Museum with a special exhibit on George Washington Carver.  I knew next to nothing about Pres. Jimmy Carter and the museum was outstanding.  I learned so much.  I also got to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  Wow.  Biggest one in the world or states or something like that.  The dolphin show was not something to be missed.  While clearly for children the dolphins were so cool.  That was my first time having such close contact.  Now I am dieing to go on one of those cruises were one can swim with them, like Emily did.  They had a pool where you could pet baby sharks, a 4-D moving theater that was hilarious, and some increadible exhibits where fish, sharks, and other sea life were swimming above, below, and besides us.  Definitely a must if you visit.  But I wish I would have had Isla with me.  She really would have loved it.

Leah and Geoff kindly took care of Isla for us with help from their three little ones.  Here are a few shots from her stay.  I think she had a good time being the goofy little one she always is.  Thank you Leah and Geoff!

Couldn't  find your Binky Isla?
She is plenty comfortable at the Wrights I think.