June 30, 2017

The BIG move!

Our target moving date was June 28th. We had already closed on our new home back in May, but the lease on our town home wasn't up until July 1, and Dave and I were still working so there was no rush to get to Amarillo any earlier. The university gave us a moving stipend, and we did get a bid for having a company do it for us, but in the end we chose to do it ourselves to save money.

I got a great deal on a truck from Penske ($700 for a 26' truck for 5 days, with a car towing hook up) and my school had been saving up boxes for us. We spent most of our June evenings slowly packing up the house. We didn't have a big place, but we sure managed to accumulate a lot of stuff while we were there!

We picked up the truck the morning before the move and emptied almost our entire house in the front yard. Then the ward came by that evening to help load everything into the truck. It was one of the quicker moves I've ever seen.

Our route took us out of Utah near Moab, down through Colorado, across New Mexico, before finally arriving in Texas. It was 98 degrees when we arrived in Amarillo, but some members from our new ward and Dave's mom and Liz, who drove up from Dallas, still came out to help us unload. We were so grateful to have them after our long journey!

The packing begins... It always amazes me how much can come out of kitchen cupboards

The two most important things boxed themselves up :)

Truck is here! Sophie was a big helper and grabbed anything small enough for her to carry.

We also had lots of help from the ward and our friend Todd. Davey was fascinated and scrambled up the ramp into the truck any chance he got. 

Almost empty house the night before we rolled out

Family party the morning of moving day

Amarillo bound! Dave drove the truck, towing one of our cars, and my mom came down to help me drive the other car with the kids.

Rest break near Moab. It was really hot, but Sophie loves the red rocks so we explored for a little bit. 

Davey was not the happiest traveler and was really happy to get out at our hotel in Gallup, New Mexico

The final stretch! Sadly there was a traffic stop on I-40 for over an hour. We never really knew what caused it, but it took Davey's entire nap. 

When we arrived in Amarillo, our realtor met us at the house with the keys. We took a picture with a "Sold" sign in front, but I don't know what ever happened to it. If we ever find the photo, it will go here. 

June 27, 2017

Goodbye to a few Utah friends

As the time drew nearer to leave, we tried to hurry and see some of our Utah friends one last time. Sadly we weren't able to see everyone, and sometimes we did manage a meet up, but forgot to take a picture - oops.

I took the kids to a spash pad in Highland with my friends Heather and Paige. The kids all scattered the moment we arrived so we didn't get a group photo, but I did take this one of Sophie. 

Sophie had a "late over" party with her best buddy Paisley, and a birthday party with Lincoln, her babysitter's son. They were definitely "frenemies", but she has missed him a lot since we moved. 

I had been meeting up with my two cousins, Allison and Kimberly, once or twice a month at the aquarium or Thanksgiving Point and will miss our little get togethers.

We tried to take a picture of all the kids on the big turtle, but it was a huge failure. Henry is escaping off to the left, Peyton was running away to the right, the red head was a photo bomber, and Sophie was valiantly performing her sisterly duty of holding Davey without letting go :)

My Grandma Mimi is someone we will miss the most. It's been so great to live close to her for the last seven years. I will miss our lunch dates and trips up to her house. She let each of the kids pick a book off her shelf and gave them a small gift for the road trip. She really is the best!

Dessert date at the Baked Bear with Heather - we have know each other since 3rd grade and roomed together at BYU. I really feel bad we didn't see each other more while we lived close (mostly because of my work). Good thing we have a roommate reunion planned for December in Vegas!

June 24, 2017

Farewell Noah Webster Academy

School ended back in May, but I stayed and worked three additional weeks in June to help get ready for the new year and to train my replacement. And when my time was up, it definitely was hard to say goodbye to the place where I had spent most of my days for the past seven years. 😢 

When we moved back to Utah for Dave's MBA in 2010 I had no idea what my future would hold. One day I was browsing job listings on Craigslist and found an office position for a charter elementary school in Orem. I was called in for an interview within hours of applying and then an offer was extended a short time after. I started the next day, which happened to be the day before the first day of school. Those first few weeks were an absolute whirlwind, but there's nothing quite like on the job training to get you caught up quick!

Fast forward to 2017 and the kindergarten students from that first year have now graduated and are moving on to Jr High. I guess it's only fitting I am moving on as well. I could not have asked for a better job and feel so blessed to have been part of the NWA family. Noah Webster helped support our family financially for seven years while Dave was in school, but more importantly it gave me the opportunity to do meaningful work in a great environment where I was able to interact daily with hundreds of amazing scholars, families, and staff. Change is hard, but we have exciting times ahead. I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with my kids while they're still little and the many adventures we will have in Texas!

The current office crew - I will miss these ladies! Heather on the left is my replacement, Caradon next over was my desk mate for the last year and so fun to work with, Angie was pretty much the best boss ever, and the Debra was also one of my desk mates for a few years before changing offices. 

My collection of badges from the last seven years

June 20, 2017

182 Rockey Park Lane

We rented our town home in Draper for four years. It was the longest we had ever stayed in one place. We moved in when Sophie was 4 months old in July 2013, and stayed until June 2017. We had 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a small yard and patio, and I would guess square footage was between 900-1000 sq. ft. It was a good little place and we have lots of happy memories here. The location was fabulous and we absolutely loved how close we were to pretty much everything!

I never took pictures when we first moved in, so I tried to take a few before we moved out:

Our downstairs was like a long tunnel - living room, eating area, then kitchen 

The little powder bath on the first floor

The kids room - a third bedroom would have been so nice, but we made sharing work

The kids bathroom - I had mixed feelings about Sophie having her own bath. It was so nice to have her own toilet for potty training and their own tub to keep all the toys, but the free access to running water sometimes was a problem. I found her playing in the sink quite often :)

Our bedroom and Davey's napping room

Our bathroom

Some things within walking distance to our house:
  • 3 playgrounds - 2 small, 1 big
  • Post Office
  • High School with big open fields
  • Grocery store
  • Retail shops like Petco, Michaels, Ross, Kohls, and Dollar Store
  • Restaurants like Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Frozen Yogurt, Cafe Rio, Rumbi, and Smashburger
  • The kid's pediatrician
  • Entertainment like the movie theater, bowling alley, and water park (even though we never went)
Some things within a 5-10 minute drive from our house:
  • The Aquarium!!
  • Our church building
  • Thanksgiving Point - farm, dinosaur museum, curiosity museum, and botanical gardens
  • Library
  • Costco - we ate lunch here most Saturdays
  • Rec Center where Sophie had swim lessons

June 18, 2017

Mother's Day & Father's Day 2017

We were crazy busy in May and June this year, so not much was put into the celebration of either of our "special" days this year, but here is a quick recap just for memories' sake:

Mother's Day for me was spent in the Washington D.C. airport on our way home from Europe. We had a gourmet McDonald's dinner, complete with apple pie, to celebrate.  The kids were with grandma Howe and Sophie got to sing with the Primary in Sacrament Meeting for the first time. I'm glad grandma was there to hear it since we couldn't be. Nothing like a long layover after a week away to make you miss your babies even more :(

Father's Day came just a week before our move. We took this picture before church, but sadly returned home just a couple hours later with a crying Sophie who had a case of swimmer's ear. Her primary teacher brought her to us in tears and Davey was wreaking havoc in Sunday School so it was definitely time to call it quits. I don't remember what we had for dinner, but it was probably some special concoction of what was left in our freezer and pantry since I had stopped grocery shopping at this point. Good times :)

June 5, 2017

May Roundup

May was dominated by graduation, our Europe trip, closing on our house and then a getaway to Disney. What a month!

Sophie had another round of swim lessons and advanced to level 5. She can now jump into the pool, come to the surface, and swim about 10 feet unassisted. Sadly it will probably be her last class for awhile since we will be busy with the move and then traveling for most of the summer.

Davey went from taking a few steps to full out walking. He has been enjoying the ability to reach higher and carry things around the house. Sadly his latest obsessions are trying to get into the toilet and banging things on the TV. He also is finally sleeping through the night and add the words uh oh, nana, and yehyoh (his yellow blanket) to his vocabulary.

A visit from Grandmari and snow in May - crazy!!

Enjoying a sunny day at Farm Country

Another successful Sunday nap. I hope to keep this going as long as possible!

Davey is definitely a meat & potatoes type guy, and after those were gone he ate the strawberries too. It's nice that he is finally starting to eat better. Soph is still a terrible eater, but we love her anyway :)

The Four Banditos - our kids and my co-worker's kids both ended up at the same babysitter one day. They had a blast together, although it was probably a crazy day for the sitter. 

Lately the front yard has been our favorite place to kill the hour between work and dinner. Davey also still just has those two little bottom teeth :)

June 4, 2017

California Trip - Pool Day & Heading Home

We ended our trip with a low key day at the pool. Another day at the parks would have been fun, but it was nice to have some time to rest and recover before our drive home, plus it saved a lot of $$$. Also, after three days of fun, leaving early and returning late, our hotel was quite the disaster and it took some time to get everything sorted out and cleaned up again.

Our drive back was uneventful (the perfect kind of drive) and we stopped mid-way in St. George again. It was such a great week and are already starting to think about and plan our next Disney adventure.

Little Davey slept until 10 am after Disneyland

We made a quick trip to the store to get some food for lunch and snacks for our drive home. I think all stores should have car-carts. They are the best!

My little dude at the pool

She is fearless

At Mimi's St. George house

Just an hour left until home! This gas stop had a picnic area and playground and it gave the kids just enough happiness to make it the final 75 miles.

June 1, 2017

California Trip - Disneyland!

Thursday was the big day - Disneyland!! I was expecting magic, but was prepared for tears and tantrums, and luckily we ended up having a great day. The kids were absolute champs and held it together really well considering we were at the park for over 12 hours. At one point we asked Sophie if she would like to go meet some characters or do more rides, and she chose rides - that's my girl! It turned out that Mickey at California Adventure was our only encounter for the trip, and she was fine with that.

Sadly the low point of the day was when Dave walked too close to a line stanchion pole while we were waiting to ride Small World and it completely obliterated his phone in his pocket. It was a complete loss, including all the pictures and videos from earlier in our trip, which is why everything on the blog is from my phone. Sad moment :(

Here are tons of photos, and this isn't even all of them. I ended up making a video of our whole trip since I knew it would be ridiculous to post them all on the blog. You can watch the video here: California Trip 2017 or at the end of this post.

Happy faces ready to go in!

Pirates of the Caribbean - Davey doesn't know what's coming and looks a little anxious :)

Jungle Cruise - this ride can get terrible lines, but he hit it just right and pretty much walked on

Splash Mountain - you can barely see Sophie's terrified face up front. She said she liked it though, and ended up going twice. 

Small World - always a hit with the kids

Ready for the Matterhorn! She liked it, but Dave and I both thought it was a pretty rough ride without much reward and probably one we'll skip next time. 

Napping while we went on some rides he couldn't do anyway

Star Tours

Astro Blaster Rockets

Thunder Mountain Railroad

In the middle of the day we went to a sub-par Rapunzel show that Sophie was excited for, but didn't really understand. Sadly, while we were at the show, we missed all the good spots for the character parade and Sophie only caught a glimpse of things from Dave's shoulders. And while they were trying to get a view, Davey pulverized his snack and spread it all over himself. Lovely. 

Space Mountain closed for two days after Memorial Day to reopen as "Hyper Space Mountain" with a Star Wars theme. We were glad to be there on the day it was running again, since it's always a favorite. 

First time ever riding the Casey Jr. Train. Somehow I've always missed this little ride in Fantasy Land, but it was a good one, especially for little kids. 

Sophie rode with Uncle Brent on the teacups because she wanted to go fast, and I'm pretty sure they out-spun everyone else on the floor. 

The Electrical Parade was amazing! The kids were mesmerized from the moment it started and I was glad we were able to visit during it's short run (it was only there for a few months). We had great seats and Cinderella even waved right at Sophie. 

Good night Disneyland and thanks for the memories!

  • We went straight for the back of the park and were able to ride the Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Splash Mountain, and Jungle Cruise all with no lines. Some of those don't take Fast Passes either, so it was nice to get them out the way. 
  • We brought our own lunch, but ate dinner at the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland. It was great! Everywhere else was super crowded, but we were able to walk right up to the counter and order at there. Seating was plentiful, and it's indoors so it was a nice break from the heat. There was also a player piano near our table that kept the kids really entertained.
  • Since Sophie loved the popcorn so much before, we brought some bags of popped microwave popcorn as one of our snacks. It was a little bulky, but weighed nothing so it was easy to just tie on the stroller. It was great to break out as a special treat while waiting for parades to start.
  • I had purchased glow wands at the dollar store to use at the night parade, but left them at the hotel by accident. Bummer. They never knew I had them and weren't disappointed, but it would have been nice to hand out while we waited. 
  • The kids loved the Electrical Parade, but were zonked for fireworks. Both passed out before they even started and I wish we had just left instead of waiting around for the show. When it was time to leave, they were both out cold and it was pretty challenging to collapse the stroller and carry two dead weight kids plus all our stuff to get on the bus. The people waiting on the bus cheered for us when we finally made it on.