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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Saturday and the Race

It probably wasn't our smartest decision to stay out late Friday evening when we had such a busy Saturday, but it was all fun and who really needs sleep?! ME. I need sleep. Haha

After getting to bed around 1:30am Friday night or I guess Saturday morning, we were pretty tired. I set my alarm for 6am to get ready, so my friend and I could go to our annual shopping trip to a HUGE Sale that happens twice a year. 
6am came and I probably hit snooze for a solid 45 minutes. I'm not a morning person. Not even a little bit. In my world the early bird may catch a worm, but I'm more of a night owl so I guess I catch bigger creaters?! hahahaha not really sure where I'm going with that analogy... 
Anyways, Makenna came and picked me up and we went shopping! We have been doing this for a couple of years now, and this was our last time, since she's moving at the end of June. I don't want to talk about it because I'm still in denial...

I got home around 10am and helped get the kids ready for the day, and clean up the house a bit. 
Dan went and helped someone in our Ward move, and then we headed out to one of June's best little friends birthday party. 

It was a lot of fun just hanging out, and letting the kids play. They decorated cupcakes and Owen was not messing around, he ate his cupcake and I'm pretty sure a pound of frosting in two bites. That kid INHALES his food. 
It was a fun little birthday party and the girls loved getting together to play. Poor little Owen is left out, but luckily My friend Amanda just had her little boy and now there is a little buddy for Owen. 


We got home from the birthday party around 4pm and our babysitter was coming at 5pm so we could get up to the race on time and meet up with our running crew. 

Dan and I really wanted to run together since the last race we were supposed to do I was pregnant with June and very paranoid. So we were excited to be running together again. 

We met up with some friends from Dan's work.  They are so marvelous people!

The run was called the Firefly night run. You get a bunch of glow stuff on and you run in the night. So we were preparing ourselves with all our glow sticks. 

Waiting for the race to begin. We were all just kind of hanging out until they told us to line up. 

With a little dancing involved


The run was fantastic! It was fun being in the dark with everyone around you glowing! 
Pioneer work crew with the Medals. 

I admit I am a slow runner. Dan is always way ahead of me, but I kept my pace and I actually ended up shaving 3 minutes off my mile! I think with all the excitement and adrenaline, it just got to me and made me run faster! Plus they were only giving medals out to so many people, so I wanted to make sure I would get one. I knew would, so that pushed me a little to do better. It felt great and we can't wait for our next run! 

Afterward we planned to go have dinner with friends but we actually ended up just wanting to have dinner with us two. It's been so much fun getting a lot of one of one time with the hubs. I'm glad we get to do things like this together and proud of ourselves! 

We've got a pretty good thing going for us. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Millennial Easter Performance

MCO picked right back up after Christmas break to start rehearsing for our Easter Program. "That Easter Morn". I was excited to get back in it and have another fantastic season! 

This go around, was a bit harder than our Christmas program. The music at Christmas was fun, beautiful, festive and a lot of the songs, I knew the basic words and rhythms to, so the reading of music, and memorization wasn't too tricky, but this go around I pretty much panicked right from the beginning of the first rehearsal all the way up to 5:00pm the night of our first concert.

The music was AMAZING, but incredibly hard to learn. Like the hardest music I have ever had to sing in my entire life. All semester long I have done nothing but listen to pre-recordings of our music over, and over, and over again. 
The hardest piece we had to learn was "Chichester Psalms" There are three movements, making the song last a solid 23 minutes, and all in Hebrew. There is no solid structure to these songs, so learning tempo, rhythm, and plus the memorization definitely kept me on my toes. We all were pretty nervous about it the first time we heard the whole thing. That song was on repeat, I even had it playing while I would run. I still can't believe we memorized that and it actually turned out amazing!! It is now one of my favorite pieces and I still listen to it... more out of habit now I guess. Haha 
Honestly if you have a second, go listen to it on you-tube or google it. Just listen for a bit. It's amazing and Leonard Bernstein is an insane writer but such a master of music. It's so crazy! (Think 'West Side Story' then some... and some more... then more...) 

Our rehearsals, I felt continued to get longer and longer as the season progressed. I think it was just because our music was so difficult that we needed the extra practice. 

This was our dress rehearsal night. We were all laughing, because we had already been there for five hours, and then we were scrunched into this tiny little stairway for what felt like forever!

My view from the stage. I mostly took this to show Dan where to sit so he could see me, but isn't this church beautiful. We didn't sing in a huge venue this time, but this church definitely was a fantastic place to sing. 


Our Program theme

Other Songs we sang were:
-Alleluia
-That Easter Morn
-He's got the Whole World In HIs Hands
-Rock of Ages
-Jesus, Lover of my Soul
-Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer
-Chichester... I  II III 
-When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
-I know That My Redeemer Lives

You can find all Millennial Choir recordings on I-tunes of these songs. I know you recognize some of them, through their text, but the arrangement is completely different! Go listen. 

Friday, March 27th we had two shows
5:00pm & 8:00pm 

The 5:00pm was not nearly as full. I hate saying this, but we kind of use the 5:00 show to get all our jitters out, and we scale back just a tiny bit to save our voices...

The 8:00 show was so much more fun. I feel we let go a whole  lot more, and I let loose a little more on my voice, because if I lose it.. who cares. It's got time to heal! haha We were pretty much sold out for the 8:00 show and the audience was a much more mature set, so it was more fun to sing in that one. 


Before our concert 

This is such an incredible organization. Children starting from the age of 4 are welcome to sing. All the way up until 18. Once you turn 18 you have to audition to be apart of the Grand Chorus, the one I'm apart of. This is everyone! 

After the concert I met up with Dan and we chit chatted with others for a while. 

Selfie Style

Afterward we went and had dinner and stayed out way later then we should have, given we had a packed Saturday, but we had a babysitter who didn't mind staying out past midnight so we took full advantage and enjoyed our night after the concert. 

I'm so so so grateful to be apart of this. To sing, and learn more than I ever thought possible. I have loved reading music again and getting back all my music theory that I have learned so long ago. 

Go listen to the music, it's inspiring and especially during this Easter Season, very appropriate to have playing in your home. 

MCO. YOU RULE! 





Saturday, March 28, 2015

This Man of Mine

Before I can blog about anything else that has been going on, I must give a shout out to Dan, my husband, my best friend, my secret keeper, and my biggest supporter...

I just want to take a minute and thank him for all his love and support through these past couple weeks. It has been incredibly busy for me, between Cantata, MCO, Relief Society business, and some other stuff that I have on the side... He has just completely stepped up (As I knew he would) and just managed the house, took care of the kids basically every night for the last two weeks, came home early from work at times so I could make it to rehearsals, and not ever, ever, ever did he complain, never hesitated or tried to slow me down. In fact he has been so completely supportive and so excited for me, that he made it so easy for me to enjoy all the craziness instead of worrying about whats going on at home.

It would be very hard to love and enjoy all I have been doing lately if I didn't have him.

I love him from the deepest part of my heart. He brings out the best in me, and somehow forgives and forgets the worst... or he helps me work on them. Ha.

Love him forever and always.

Thanks babe.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Cantata 2015

This past weekend was the 3rd annual Easter Cantata and my 2nd year performing in it. I hesitated actually participating this year just because I already had so much going on, that I did feel a little stretched at times. But I am SO SO SO GLAD I did it. Life is about being a part of something great and not just sitting around right?! So I am so glad I participated and was able to perform. I always feel the spirit so strongly when I'm singing songs regarding our Savior and the gospel, and being able to share my testimony through my talent and something I love so much just adds to the awesomeness. I knew I wanted to do it... 

(I stole all the pictures off of our Cantata Facebook page... Photos were done by the ever so talented  Amy Herfurth!)


The advertisement for this years performance 


Our performance was held in our church's Sacrament meeting room, so there were no pictures taken in there. We had an amazing choir turn out this year and some amazing voices! 

This year I was asked to take part in an ensemble women's group. We sang "Life Thine Eyes" It was a beautiful song to sing and grateful to be asked to be apart of it. 




The performance was all put together (along with helpers) by Morgan Wicker. First of all she has some major music talent and I am so grateful to know her, to have her as our Ward Choir director and to be her friend. Second of all,  she put together an amazing program and each year just gets better and better! She's kinda the coolest!

We had performances Saturday night and Sunday night. Our original plan was to drop Owen and June off at our friends house Saturday night, and then we would take their little girl Sunday night so that Dan and the Anderson's could enjoy the performance... Well Owen woke up with a fever, cough and runny nose (Shocker right?) so we had to back out of our plans. Then we were still planning to take our friends little girl but then she fell ill Sunday... Sickness all around. I'm sooooo over it. 
So unfortunately Dan was not able to make it the performances, but I have been singing the songs all week that I told him he's basically heard the whole thing. Haha. 


It was very fun performing! I love the music, I love learning something new every rehearsal, and just being part of something so great that shares and spreads the Gospel. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Girls Day

My head is spinning! It has been a madness of a week, with so much going on including constant rehearsals for Easter Cantata and Millennial Choir. We had our first performance tonight for the Easter Cantata and another one tomorrow, plus Millennial Choir performance coming up! It's a whirlwind and it's just the beginning! It's a good thing I love it so much! BUT more blog posts to come about all the goodness coming up! 


Since it's been so crazy, It was definitely a need to just take a moment to breath and have a day out with my little lady. Dan came home from work on Friday afternoon and we headed out. I have been wanting to take June to see the movie "Cinderella" ever since I first saw the trailer. It had June's name written all over it! 

So we headed over to the mall and spent the afternoon walking around, shopping at the Disney store, clothes shopping, and riding the carousal. We laughed, we talked, she told me stories and all the things that could possibly be happening in a 3 year olds life. It was FANTASTIC! 



 We then headed over to the movie theater in the rain. She's so funny with her umbrella, she has NO CLUE where she is walking when she's holding it. She's all over the place and it's so funny to watch. 


We got our popcorn, went potty so she wouldn't have to go during the movie, and then headed to get our seats! She wore her Cinderella crown so she could feel like a princess too! 

She got her own little kids popcorn and a soda which is a HUGE treat for her! She was so excited to have her own little drink! 

I was so excited to take to her this movie. She was excited to see Cinderella too and kept asking during every preview if it was FINALLY going to start. It was a relief when it finally started. 

Ya'll can I just tell you how AMAZING the movie "Cinderella" was?! Oh it was adorable and had such a good message! It had me in tears from the beginning and it was just a good clean movie for everyone! LOVED IT! 
June did ask where Olaf was, half way through the movie but she really did love it. She does a really good job at actually understanding movies instead of just seeing that there cartoons. She's a wiz kid! 

When we walked about of the movie we talked about it for a while. She told me her favorite part was when Cinderella got into the golden carriage with the Lizards and goose.. She then laughed to herself, and said "Thats so silly, a goose driving a carriage!" We talked about the movie the whole way home! 

It was a wonderful day spending time with just my little lady. With two kiddos tugging at my all day, it gets hard spending that one on one time with each child. So it was great getting out and spending a day with just my June bug. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

June Said

2.03.2015
"Mom I need some gas! Chocolate Oreo Ice-cream is my gas"

2.04.2015
"I need to stretch my body! See, I'm awake but my body is asleep! Stretching wakes it up"

2.05.2015
" If you see a witch you fight her with your kung Fu skills, then yell for my help"

2.08.2015
" Daddy can you teach me how to make a spoon?"
           (Referring to spooning, as in cuddling)

2.11.2015
   Attempting to wipe June's face that was covered in gold fish...
      "MOM! Don't wipe the party off my mouth!"

3.01.2015
     June: "Mommy I'm Hungry"

     Mom: "We just had dinner sweetheart, you're ok for a while"

     June: "Oh mommy, I'm just hungry for dinner tomorrow, not right now"

3.06.2015:
      Running a truck up and down Dan's stomach
  "Daddy you ate too much!"

3.16.2015:
    Owen playing at the play kitchen with June. He knocks over her "soup"
     June: "OWEN!! You're ruining my life!"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

ArkanSas

It's been a while since we have done a little family road trip, and Dan hasn't left Texas since September. SEPTEMBER! Seriously!! For us that's a really really long time to not go anywhere, so it was obvious that a little mini vacation was due! We have been wanting to get out and explore the States around us, and since we have already been to Oklahoma, and Louisiana was too far for a weekend drive, we decided on Arkansas. People from Dan's work go out there all the time to the National Park, so we had some insight on how it would be and away we went. 

We had a massive snow storm here in Texas Wednesday night, and we are talking like snow, real snow! Not the crappy ice kind... But a blog post on that later. 
Our plan was to leave Thursday around lunch time once Dan got off work, well it kind of worked to our favor, the snow was melting but most people were staying home, so we were able to take off an hour or two sooner than expected. The roads were a bit slick, but we are from the North! We can handle a few slick patches here and there. 

The kids were so funny in the car. Anytime I opened a bag, or anything food related their little hands would reach as far as they could to try and get some. 

We planned to leave around lunch so we could feed the kids, Owen would fall asleep and June would happily watch her movie. We got her the New Tinker Bell movie (of course) for the drive. Ranger is pretending to be a super chill dog in this picture, but don't be fooled, he was up and about most of the drive, bouncing back and forth between Dan and I. 

My favorite of this might be June photobombing in the background. 

The drive went well enough. Owen didn't sleep as long as we were hoping but he was still happy. It took us a bit longer than planned just because of the roads, but we finally arrived!

We rented a house down by the lake in the National Park. Can I just say it's so much easier then getting a hotel. It's pretty much the same cost, you have WAY more space and you can put the kids to bed without having to go to bed yourself! It's definitely the way to go! 
We unpacked and let the kids stretch their legs, explore and play around for a bit. 




We took it easy too

After feeling settled enough, we went down to the lake to explore. It was really pretty. There is more of a view here in Arkansas then there is in Texas, I mean it's no mountains, but still really pretty. 





I love this age!! It has been so much fun lately with Owen. He's communicating a bit more with what he wants, he's more independent and can't talk back to you. I love it! 

I mean just look at that face! He wins! 

The location of the house was beautiful. We were able to sit out on our deck and just sight see. It was very calm and peaceful. Exactly what we wanted! 


Our house for the weekend! Plus the adorable family walking up to it. 

It hadn't crossed our minds to check if the place had any bathtubs... Well it didn't. So we compromised and made a tub out of the sink. We thought June would just want to shower, Oh have I mentioned that yet?! June is kinda loving the shower situation now days.
She saw that Owen was getting in the kitchen sink and wanted to try it. She's itsy bitsy still so we thought why not?! She fit and she LOVED IT! 

They actually both fit! They were squished in there pretty tight but totally got the job done and we didn't have to do two separate baths!

We called it an early night and got the kids to bed. I think the first night in any new place is a bit restless. June was still a little wired from the trip and Owen just really didn't want to go down. Even Dan and I slept a little weird. We mostly got sleep, but it ended up being a weird night all around. 


The next morning we woke up whenever we wanted. It was nice. We were still up early because of the kids, but nothing was rushed and we were pretty lazy all morning. After breakfast we decided to head over to the National park and walk around. 

We went to the aquarium and saw some fun animals. It's an aquarium thats a bit low budget... you would say!? hahaha but they had a big turtle and they let us pet it, so it was great fun watching June giggle at playing with the turtle. 


OD needed a little guidance. He basically wanted to pick the turtle up and carry it around. He's not the most gentle around bulk things, so Dan helped him out!

My Geologist in front of an open face hill. He looked at me and said "I could tell you all about that hill and what is happening" I chuckled and told him, I've known him for 9 years now... I wouldn't expect anything less then you telling me about this rock formation! Have I ever said how much I love that he's a geologist?! Like I really love it. Another day for that. 

We went and had lunch at a little 50's diner. It was good, the burgers were just another burger, BUT their hot dogs that we got for the kids were AMAZING!! I think Dan and I ended up eating most of the kids lunch. Hahaha they were so good! 
OD patiently waiting for his food with one of his beloved trucks. (ALL BOY MIGHT I ADD)

After lunch we went and walked around the town. We did some shopping and played at the natural hot springs. The water was really cool. They have taps of water for free that people just can go and fill up jugs of water whenever. 

In the hot springs, because of the hot water, obviously, they had Bath houses back in the day. They were like our Spa's now. They have whats called "Bath Row" where there are a bunch of different bath houses. Some are still operational. We went and took a tour in one of them to see what they used to be like. 

This elevator was kinda creepy/cool. It was the original interior elevator! They obviously have made it safe and secure, but still a little creepy riding in it. 

The male bath house. 

Dan taking a soak. Doesn't that tub look super uncomfortable?! These were the original tubs too. 

June wanted to take a soak as well. 

To help the "Larger" set people get into the tubs. I don't know why but Dan and I couldn't stop laughing at this. 

Bath Row. The buildings were all really pretty! 

National Park Rangers!


This cupcake shop has been on "Food Network" for their cupcakes (DUH) so we had to try it of course! They were REALLY REALLY GOOD! 

After an afternoon of exploring and shopping we headed home and let the kids play for a while. 

They both got new toys from a really fun toy store. We were in there for over an hour just playing with all the different toys. The Owner was an older man, and we were the only ones in the store, so he let the kids just play with whatever they wanted. It was tough making them leave, but were happy with getting to pick something out. June ended up with a cat and a carrying cage. She named her Ella, Cinderella. No not Ella for short, and not just Cinderella. It's Ella, Cinderella. Hahaha you have so say the whole thing. 

Owen got a truck that carries cars. He would pick that. 


After playing for a bit we headed back down to the lake to play a bit more and feed the ducks. The ducks wanted absolutely nothing to do with us, but as soon as we would walk away they would come eat the bread. 

Owen was getting a bit cranky so we went in and actually decided to just stay in for the night. We fed the kids dinner and then put Owen to bed. June was still happy and awake so we went and sat out on the deck and watched the sun go down. We talked, told Knock knock jokes, and just laughed. She is pretty darn close to perfect and I love this little lady with all my heart and Soul. She is definitely a special spirit. 


June love's taking selfies with our phones. She's getting better! 

After putting June into bed and getting her to sleep, Dan and I just sat out on the deck and talked. It's funny, because we know we could do the exact thing at home, but at home there is responsibilities, and constant interruption and just being worn out from the day. It was nice just talking to him about whatever and just feeling content and happy. It was a "Life is good" kind of moment. 


The next day was more of waking up at our own pace and getting out the door when we felt like it. We had a few things planned for the day but nothing set in stone. We took the kids to a little candy store full of all these fun different candies. We told June she could pick out whatever she wanted. Any candy! She picks zebra gum. The gum you can buy at any dollar store in America. Hahaha all this fun candy and that's what she chose. It was funny, but it's what she wanted. We may have also let her get some other candies too. 


We then went and signed up to do a duck tour. You know, those cars that turn into boats?! Well that's what it was. 
June holding on to dear life of her gum and waiting for the duck bus to start loading. 

The duck tour was fun. Mostly because we made it fun. The tour wasn't anything special, but June loved going from land to water. 

Owen... not so much. He was really tired and was slowly falling asleep on me. Hence the grumpy face. 

He eventually passed out and got a rather long nap on the duck tour. 



Once we got off the duck tour, we headed over to a really tall lookout point. You ride the elevator up and you have a view of the national park and surrounding areas. It was pretty cool. I didn't know Arkansas was so hilly. 




So this awesome local that we started chatting with, told us about this lookout point over in the national forrest where you drive up this dirt road and you can have a view over the lake and the different islands. He told us to stop at this smokehouse along the way, grab some sandwiches and go up there for lunch. We figured why not! So we did just what he told us to do. 

When we turned on the dirt road both Dan and I got a little worried... It was a little bit more off roading than we had anticipated, but we just kinda started going up this giant hill.. (sorry I can't call it a mountain, I just can't)
It was pretty wet and muddy from the snow and rain previous to us being there, but after holding our breath a lot of the time, we made up to the top. It was really cool up there.  

Dan and I carved our initials in the tree. It was a bit tricky since we had only a tiny little keychain pocket knife, but it got the job done! We left our mark. 

June kept telling everyone who's tree was who's. This was her tree, and she said "mom you have to take a picture of me and my tree!"

We ate lunch and we played up there until the sun started going down. 


Owen just sat next to Dan and kept saying "Whoa!" about everything! He might just be the cutest thing that has come to be. He is such a little mini Dan and I have a VERY VERY special place in my heart for my boys. 

The boy just poking his car with a stick. Doesn't get much more boy happy then that. 

The kids got one more bath in the kitchen sink and then it was to bed. Dan and I had a nice quiet dinner one last time in Arkansas, then called it a night ourselves. It was daylight savings, so we knew losing an hour of  sleep and having the time be off wouldn't help if we didn't get a good nights sleep. 


The next morning we woke up and pretty much just started packing up and straightening up the house. It was a fun stay and we loved the location. We want to head up there again in the summer when we can swim in the lake and play more in the backyard without freezing! Plus with Owen still getting over his sickness we were more cautious. 

It rained 90% of the way home. Surprisingly it didn't slow us down at all. Owen fell asleep pretty quick and slept most of the way home and June watched a movie and played games. The last hour Owen had had enough and wasn't too pleased being in the car anymore, but we attached a DVD player to his side of the car and seemed content watching a movie. So it all worked out. 

It was a well rested, chillaxed fun weekend away with my family. I very much live for these moments! My heart is so full after writing this blog post. I've said it before and I will continue to say it for as long as I can speak, write, or type... I'm completely consumed by this family of mine.