Thursday, December 25, 2008

A month and a half in review...50 pics!

Well...it has been a while. Between the move from NY and the holidays, we haven't made a post in almost 2 months. The good news is that there aren't many people who actually visit this blog. Katie had been very good about updating but she was without internet during the first month in our home in Utah...and I am about as regular as Dad's blood sugar levels when it comes to posting.

Anyway, we wanted to give a quick update on what has been going on these past few months. It has been a real whirlwind but it is nice to finally be settled in and it has been great to spend the holidays with our extended families.

We have 50 pictures to go through...so I will stop typing now and get to it!

Halloween 2008
Halloween this year was...not ideal. Dad and I pulled in from our suicidal trip across the country just a mere three days before Halloween. Unfortunately, I had to leave the morning of Halloween to go to San Francisco for work. Yeah, Katie wasn't the happiest I have ever seen her. What amazes me though is that through all the relocating, the boxes and the craziness, Katie in her typical out-of-this-world fashion managed to pull off Halloween...alone. She never ceases to amaze me.


Here are the kids Halloween evening, getting ready to head up to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Ellie is Minnie Mouse, Caleb is Steve from Blue's Clues, Joshua is Buzz Lightyear, and Caitlyn is Hannah Montana.


Ellie is growing up so fast. She had this rash on her face that wouldn't go away! Stress?


Caleb with the ever-present remote in his hand. We go through DirecTV remotes like toilet paper at our house.


Yeah, you have to love the purple skull cap Joshua...very classy.


Ellie was so sticky she had candy stuck to her dress, face, hair, and pretty much every other surface on her body!


Joshua with his cousin Alex (aka: Handy Manny)

Family Pictures 2008
After Halloween, we had a few quiet weeks to get settled down before most everyone made their way to Mom and Dad's house for Thanksgiving. During all the festivities (which we will get to in a moment) we decided to take some family pictures for the upcoming Christmas holidy.

Caitlyn and Joshua in the gardens at my work. Couple of good kids.


Here is the picture we ended up using. I had to photoshop Caleb's head from another picture but it ended up ok, you can't really tell it wasn't there originally. I also removed some dark circles from under my eyes as well as from Katie and toned down the rash on Ellie's face. In the end, it actually turned out to be a good family picture!

My girls....thank heavens they get their looks from their mother.

My boys, again, thank heavens they get their looks from their mother!

Ellie is really becoming a beautiful little girl!
Thanksgiving 2008

The night before Thanksgiving, we got toghter at our place and had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner dinner. We purchased a big filet minon from Costco and sliced it up, threw it on the grill along with some shrimp and added salads and other semi-healthy stuff to the mix. It was a lot of fun to get everyone together and to help give mom a bit of a break before the big day!

Thanksgiving morning, a bunch of the family went to Orem for the "Earn your Turkey" run. It was a 4-mile run with prizes and other cool stuff. Everyone left before the prizes were handed out, but we did all learn that Ammon is a freak of nature (blew everyone out of the water and he "isn't a runner") and that Katie can run a lot faster than Chris.

The day after Thanksgiving, we all met up again at Costa Vita for a little lunch and bowling.


Ellie and Joshua getting ready to bowl (my sweet belly making an appearance behind them)

Katie and Mari looking chipper....and it wasn't because they were bowling well...


It was great for the cousins to get to see each other. KK hadn't seen Caitlyn for a while and they had a great time playing together!

Later that night, before everyone left, we went to Temple Square to look at the lights. This may be one of the best pictures I have ever taken.

Temple Square lights...

The kids loved looking at the Christus. During a quiet moment when we first arrived, Joshua yelled "Dad, Jesus Christ is in OUTER SPACE!!!" Got some funny looks, but I was laughing pretty hard.

The lights were cool....what a great family tradition!

Joshua and Ellie were happy because they got pushed around in a stroller all night!

So...Ellie was a little tired. Katie jumped in the shower and when she came out, Ellie had finally fallen asleep...just like this. No joke. Classic.

Such a cute little girl!!!
Christmas 2008
Ok, now that finally brings us to Christmas. This year we made the trek to California to spend the Christmas holiday with Katie's family.

Santa came on the Sunday before Christmas because there were going to be a lot of kids in the house. Caleb, Joshua, and Ellie got new bikes, Caitlyn got a Hannah Montana guitar (yes, she is obsessed) and they all got helmets. We brought everything down with us so they could ride outside in the warmth of California (even though it has rained about every day since we have been here and that plan was shot to crap).

We went to Sea World...which was pretty much a disaster. It rained the whole time we were there and we lost Caleb for about 30 minutes (yeah, not fun), but I think the kids had fun. It was yet another example to me of how much work it is for parents to create memories for their children sometimes...thank you mom and dad for all the memories, I never knew how much work it was for you!

Shamu was in rare form

Yeah, you can't tell, but I am completely wet....

As you can see from the immense crowd behind us, the rest of the world understood that going to Sea World in the middle of a tropical storm isn't a good idea.

On Christmas Eve we all headed over to the church to take some family pictures. It was the first time that Katie's entire family had been together in a very long time.


Ellie was really enjoying the picture taking.
Katie was trying to keep her happy though...

After the family pictures, we headed back to the house to reinact the nativity. Katie's mom has some pretty sweet costumes...you can see how happy Caleb was about wearing it.


Caleb the donkey and Caitlyn the angel...

Ellie sporting the "belly"...

Caleb still rocking the donkey suit...

Caitlyn looking angelic...

Reading the Christmas story...

Joshua got sick that night. While we were taking family pictures, he threw up all over the place and one of his cousins, running to greet him, couldn't stop himself in time slipped and slid about seven feet through the vomit on his back. Yeah, it was gross... So, Joshua just slept through most of Christmas eve...

Christmas day arrived with the usual fanfare, the kids were so excited and in a good mood. It is really what makes Christmas for me.

Opening presents...I was in charge of keep the wrapping paper cleaned up (notice the garbage bag)

Happy boy with the Christmas afterglow

Caleb was very excited about the Cars toy he got, but most excited about his own sweet Sony headphones.

Ellie got her My Little Pony collection (or, as she calls them "me horsies")

Yes...even more Hannah Montana stuff....

Christmas playtime

Caitlyn got a blanket that Katie's mom made her featuring...you guessed it...Hannah Montana.

Joshua sporting his Diego truck. It came with dinosaurs...the perfect gift for him!
Well, that is about it! It feels good to get the blog caught up again! Hopefully I can get Katie updating again so it stays current!
Merry Christmas to all!!
-Cim





Saturday, October 25, 2008

Road Trip: Day 3

Ok, I am soooooooooo tired tonight. We were going to try and just make it home tonight, but after another 15 hours in the car, we just ran out of energy/desire/will-to-live and had to stop. It is after midnight, technically Saturday, but I wanted to get this posted since I know all of you are just dying to watch more videos of Dad and me in the car.

We started in St. Louis this morning at about 7:45am...we were not feeling to well (we really overate for dinner). We drove through the rest of Missouri, Kansas (the most boring place on earth), and 99% of Colorado. We stopped 3.5 hours from home, but we just couldn't do it...we had planned on trying, but just couldn't push ourselves... Click on the map below for a larger version.




Check out the videos for the details...

Here we are getting our day started...notice we aren't quite as excited as we were the previous day.

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Some thoughts while driving through Missouri...

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Thoughts as we begin driving in Kansas...little did we know what we were starting...

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More Kansas...wow...how long is this freaking state!?!?!

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We finally make it to Colorado...

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Dragging ourselves into Grand Junction, Colorado at a quarter to 11pm...serious doubt creeping in regarding going all the way home tonight, but we are both still talking tough at this point.

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Yeah...we are done...we don't care about being macho anymore...Holiday Inn, here we come.

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Ok, it has taken an hour to do this post (videos take a while to upload)...and I am BEYOND wasted....good night!

-Cim

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Road Trip: Day 2

Well, my goal with today's post is to TRY and make it interesting (to quote Lauren's comment). I don't know how to make a 2,000 mile road trip in 2.5 days interesting, but we are doing the best we can. :)

We decided yesterday to put in as much time as we could today and we almost made it half way. We traveled 962 miles today in just over 15 hours (including a 30 minute lunch) and made our stop tonight in St. Louis, Missouri. Here is the progress on the map.



We started off in Paramus, NJ, after a restful night at the luxurious Holiday Inn Express. Here is dad in the car..if you look closely, he is actually wearing a seat belt! Sure, it only lasted a few hours, but hey, it was a small victory for those of us who worry about him never wearing one.

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Here is a picture of what the first half of our drive looked like through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and most of Ohio. Trees and hills.



Here is a picture of what the second half of the drive looked like. Few trees and flat.



We made a quick video after about 10 hours...because we were bored and worried that we wouldn't be able to keep Lauren entertained with our post tonight.

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Here we are on our arrival in St. Louis.

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Another full day on the road tomorrow! We still have about 19 hours left, I am not sure how much we will get in tomorrow, at least 10 hours, maybe more... Time to go to bed!!


-Cim