Sunday, September 30, 2012


This weekend Jeff attended a MS conference in Sedona so the kids and I tagged along for the weekend. We really only had Saturday to do a few things because Sydney didn't want to miss her Primary Program she had today. So this morning we drove back home while Jeff stayed to finish up today and tomorrow or else I would've wanted to explore more. Sedona is about 2.5 hours away and looks very different than Phoenix. Now that I think about it, I didn't see one cacti in Sedona. Sedona is beautiful. Red rock, cooler weather, clouds coming and going, and great outdoor activity to enjoy. So besides going swimming in the hotel pool and jumping on the beds in the room, we did two fun things: we hiked to Devil's Bridge and visited Slide Rock State Park.

1. Devil's Bridge. I saw it on the internet when I was researching what to do here and I knew I had to do this. The only thing questionable was the kids of course. But we've learned in AK to take them with us anyway and make the most of it (i.e. hikes, camping, fishing, whatever seems like fun but could be a headache with kids). We drove Jeff's Outback and got to the spot where you stop your car and hike for miles or off road and get as close as you can. We decided to put his all-wheel vehicle to the test and off road. Luckily we didn't get stuck or get a flat tire. It was pretty rough and bumpy. Mostly Jeeps that we're off roading it, but we did see a Kia and I'd be surprised if it made it out okay. We got close enough that it was only a mile hike to the bridge. It was a decent trail too. At the end it was steep and rocky, but our kids being the crazies they are, they flew up these steep rocks. Levi took some good crashes, but took it like a tough 2 year old. The packing, hiking, kids, complaining, fighting, singing, peeing in the forest, etc was worth it. I absolutely love seeing amazing natural creations like this was. It's breathtaking and puts me in awe that something can be created like this over years and years. Here are some pictures.

 Nice shady nook get a snack and have some water.

 Gorgeous day and loved the panoramic view

 There it is, Devil's Bridge. AMAZING.
 Jeff and Levi on the bridge
 "Am I gonna go across that???"

 Me and the girls. I urged them to hold my hand and they fought against it. I have a strong grip though.
 As we came back across the bridge we saw a couple and actually got some family shots. Gotta take advantage of that!

 Hiking can take the life outta us kids. 
#2: Slide Rock State Park. After Devils Bridge we got some lunch and headed to this state park. All of us were tired, but we knew if we went back to the hotel we weren't gonna see anything else. We headed up the road about 7 miles to this State Park I saw online. Another thing I thought looked like a ton of fun and thought the kids would enjoy. There lots of walking around here but we went right to the natural "water slides"as we called it and spent a few hours cooling off. When I say cool I mean it. The water was freezing or so I heard. I didn't go in. I would've but I'll explain why in a little bit. Another natural creation, a slippery, 30 ft long sandstone chute (a.k.a waterslide) hollowed out by icy waters of Oak Creek. 
 A picture inside the park.

 All three of them
 Jordyn by herself
 Syd by herself
 Petting the river snake. By the way, that Jeff isn't holding that snake. Just in case you thought he got tatted up ;)
 Jordyn even went more even though she was freezing. She blew me away that day. Usually the apprehensive one but today she was a stud.
 Sydney climbing and old water wheel
 The two that actually didn't get in...maybe next summer.

Had to cross this bridge to get to the state park.
Oh so this is why I didn't go. After seeing this face, I didn't think it would be good for a pregnant women to go over these rocks. It looked a little painful by his expression.
Such a fun time. Now you know why I didn't want to leave Sunday morning.

End of 1st trimester, start of 2nd

My official last day of my first trimester was last Wednesday. I have kept careful watch because I was hoping my morning sickness would magically be over on the very day. When we got home from CA, I started throwing up multiple times a day. It was bad. I was starting to believe that the small condo we were temporarily living in was making me sick. Seriously, the smell of the garage and fridge would make my dry heave. The feather pillows would stab me in the night and I was about to take a knife to those suppose-called things that aid in relief and comfort at night. The couch was uncomfortable so I stayed in bed and my room was starting to feel like a prison since there was no where else to lounge. My poor 2 year old would ask me if I as going to throw up every time I coughed. All this sickness and lack of energy is difficult for a person like me who is usually up on my feet wanting to be productive whenever I'm awake. The first 3 months are always rough and this time around wasn't any easier since we we're living in a condo and then moving into our new home, which I love by the way. Luckily Jeff's mom and brother came when the movers unloaded our stuff to help out around the house and with the kids. Soon after, my parents came to do the same. Jeff was gone to New York that week they were here so that also helped. I'm very grateful for family who helped out at this time. In AK that wouldn't have happened and so we're already benefitting from our close proximity to family. My OB gave me Zofran which has helped with the vomiting but I still feel like I want to throw up...if that makes sense. I'm already starting to show. I've had 2 ultrasounds already. The baby's heart beat is normal and appears to be healthy. We will find out what were having this time. Oh, and I'm due April 2nd. I'm looking forward to holding and having a newborn around our home. The kids are excited. We told them at Grandma Marianne's house and then they broke the news to the family. Here's hoping I start feeling like normal soon. Despite the vomiting and feeling sick, I'm grateful I've never had to go the hospital for this and my pregnancies have never been high risk. So even though I'm kinda complaining I realize that it could be worse.

10 year anniversary

Well for our actual 10 year anniversary we were in CA. As soon as we woke up, I told Jeff I had something special planned, and pulled out of our luggage, a pregnancy test. To our excitement the test came out positive. I hadn't started my period for a few weeks and suspected I was pregnant, but I thought it would be special to find out that news on our 10 year anniversary. We didn't tell anyone until later that night. I'll mention more of that later. After finding out this good news we visited Jeff's dad who was in the hospital and then headed to Disneyland and CA adventure for the day...thanks to family hook ups. Jeff's cousin, Lauren, met us there and spent most the day with us. She works there and had gotten Jeff and I anniversary buttons to wear on our shirts. It was fun to have a handful of people tell us congrats. The kids did everything they wanted, Space Mtn, Splash Mtn, Soarin' over CA, Screamin' and more. As if our day wasn't busy enough we met more family at the Angels baseball game for Mormon Night. The Angels won and we watched a firework show right after. The kids didn't nap all day and crashed as soon as we left the game. It was an awesome anniversary and later we had a date night without kids. The next day we went to Raging Waters with the Rueckerts and Juns. It was a bloody, hot day. We had fun, but I was starting my morning sickness phase of pregnancy and the heat wasn't helping. We have some funny stories for that day: Carl's Jr. waiting line, long wait lines, bathrooms closed, lazy river closed, drop out flashers, and getting free tickets.
 Two of the cousins Luke and Jake
 Towards the end of the day we're both pretty greasy from all the walking and heat of the summer.

 Waiting to go on Buzz Light Year
On Jungle Cruise

back to school

Jordyn goes to preschool 3 times a week. Her teacher is Miss Miles. She also loves school and bringing home crafts and work she does there.

 I was surprised just how early school started. Sydney started 1st grade and Benjamin Franklin on Aug. 8th. Her teacher is Miss Ritter. I just had her parent/teacher conference last week and her teacher raved about what a good student she is academically and behaviorally. Sydney is loving school. It took about a few weeks to adjust but she's enjoying it. She is motivated by "dollars" her teacher gives out. When a student get $10, they can pick a toy from a treasure chest or eat lunch with Miss Ritter. I must brag and write what a dream child Sydney is. When she comes home, she immediately does her homework. I don't have to ask her, nag her to finish or anything. She does it right away, I help when she needs it, and we're done. I brag because I realize that this probably won't be the case with the rest of my kids so I'm not taking it for granted. It probably won't last forever either so for right now I love this about her.

 walking to her seat in her new classroom