Sunday, July 27, 2014

I'll let the pictures do the talking

We've been busy and relaxed and sick since we have been back from our vacations. I haven't been super good at documenting anything since I have the sinus infection from Hades. It started on vacation, went away, and came back with a vengeance. On the bright side, we found an awesome urgent care since I was told "We can see you on September 10th for your sinus infection" by multiple doctors offices (the dates vary...the earliest was August 5th...I'm busy celebrating some babe's birthday that day...but seriously, if I still can't breathe by then someone will get hurt!). I'm still waiting to feel better but Ben has done a fantastic job of being Mr. Mom and Caroline has been the best sidekick I could ask for. Basically, every picture is of Caroline since our world revolves around her.

Caroline loves playing the piano

We put her in her new carseat. And she loves it and we love it. It is so much easier to keep her appeased when she is anti-car. Win for us and win for her!

We went to the pool and it poured! So, Caroline crawled and splashed in the puddles. 

Ben has been building!...the finished product is later on in the collection of pictures

We packed up our DVD's! Hooray for having them more organized and I no longer have to pick them up multiple times a day. Now our shelves our empty and we don't really have anything to fill them with. Haha. I am debating about figuring something out but then we are moving soon so I hate to get more stuff just to have it look nice for a while. We've also been packing up baby stuff--the bumbo, her jumper, and toys that she just isn't into. It's sad and exciting because she is almost ONE!!! My baby! I can't believe it!

Voila! The finished product! It's a kitchen helper for Caroline. The platform moves down so we can use it as she grows. She loves being in the kitchen and watching me cook and now she can really be in the middle of the action. This comes in really handy when I need to fix dinner but Ben isn't home--Caroline can watch me cook and I don't have to hold her on my hip! We painted it bright blue--and I love it. It was quite the project for not having a lot of tools or a woodshop...Ben did a fantastic job!

Sillyness

Beach day

A new family moved in and they were obsessed with Caroline. She loved having them over!

The Craw's borrowed our air mattresses and ladder...guess which one Caroline was most excited to play with?

My baby doll is now hers. It is so sweet to see her playing with it and giving hugs!

I send Ben pictures of proof that Caroline is a calm diaper changing baby for me. Just call me the baby whisperer

While I was at the fancy schmancy urgent care, Caroline went to the pet shop! She got to see birds and pet a bunny! More fun than I had for sure!

Yoga! I have some cards that I used when I was teaching and Caroline found one that has a doggy and a kitty on it. She flips it back and forth and says "Doggy, Kitty" over and over. It's adorable.

Love

Costco trips! We needed both laundry and dishwasher detergent (after the peach recall...so they're safe. The peaches are delicious!). We have banana issues...we have to buy them like 3x a week at least. We love them.

My helper! Cheese!

Her new favorite book is "Pat the Bunny" she loves it!

Ben fixed Chili's for dinner! Earlier Ben helped Danyelle (a classmate and friend) buy a car. She bought a standard one but didn't know how to drive it so Ben drove it home. We got a kick out of someone buying a car they can't drive. I love it when he cooks. Caroline got tired of eating and rested her head. Who knew crumbs were some comfy?!

Caroline at church without a nap. It looks like she is break dancing--and she probably is. She crashed after and I love looking at the peaceful, still, angelic baby...it never lasts long.

C helped me fix pancakes
I've resolved for this next week to be better! My mom is coming into town and I am feeling better so hopefully it stays like that! Ben is back in school and is busy with that...can't believe it's year 2!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Utahness!!!

This post is a wrap up of our time in Utah--it is quite the read as well!

Ben's Birthday and Boondocks and Family Photos
We flew in to Salt Lake late Saturday night. We had a relaxing Sunday and a family get together with some of the Woolley's. Ben and I were exhausted from traveling and at one point I snuck in a little nap otherwise I was going to cry from being so tired. On Monday, Ben and I both had more energy and it was a good thing because it was his birthday! We all got ready and went to Boondocks. Talk about feeling young and like a kid again--motor boats and go karts will do that to you! We also got in lots of ski ball and bowled that evening as a family. Ben and I are both horrible bowlers--which takes the competition out of it and makes bowling hilarious for the both of us.

Around 2:00 we left and got ready for family pictures! Nothing makes you feel more like family than dressing in coordinating colors and smiling in a fun location. We all removed our Boondocks bands and got dressed up and went to this random lot in Kaysville. There was a barn, and old building, and lots of weeds but I know the pictures turned out well...we are looking forward to seeing more of them. Caroline enjoyed shoulders rides on Uncle Matt and a wagon ride. Afterwards, we went to Winger's and then back home to change and go to Boondocks. Cathy stayed home with sleeping babies so we could go and have a later night than we normally would have.
Delicious birthday cupcakes!

Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes are the best treat!

Lighting up the candles
Handsome birthday man!
Serious bowlers
Ben kept asking why I was taking so many pictures--we needed the proof that we actually bowled

Was it a strike??? We may never know!
Somewhat normal picture of us

Ben thought about investing in more velcro shoes while we were bowling
Hanging out with Uncle Mimi and Uncle Jakey. 

Me and my favorite guy

Amanda, David, and Joey...oh how we miss them. Caroline especially misses Joey. Cousin friends forever.

Uncle Matt and Caroline. We had to keep the babies entertained while all of the photographing was going on

Nothing better than a wagon ride

I love my little family

Uncle Jake and Provo
On Wednesday we woke up to take Jake to the MTC in Provo. I had never sent off a missionary and it was a really cool experience. I was so glad that we were able to be there for Jake to be set apart and to send him off on his mission. We woke up and all went to Kneader's for a brunch--my favorite. Then we caravanned down to Provo and went to the temple to take pictures. Jake loves Caroline (it's mutual) and I'm glad that I got some cute shots of them together. Ben and I said our goodbyes and then went to BYU. We stopped by the bookstore--or the new BYU Store--and checked out some of the changed around campus. We love how they redid the parking and road by the WILK it so sooo nice and so much safer. After we picked up some tshirts (we bleed blue at our house) we went and met Mo and Lauren for lunch at Zupas. Caroline ate up all of the attention and was absolutely adorable. 

Ben and Caroline at the Provo Temple

Caroline and Uncle Jakey

This is my favorite picture. Jake is the handsomest missionary out there (besides Uncle Spencer)

Walking around BYU...it's best when you can hitch a ride on your daddy's shoulders
4th of July

Last year we celebrated the 4th on Miami Beach and while it was magical it did not compare to Kaysville, Utah! Ben and I missed celebrating with family and the small town feel of parades and fireworks. We really loved seeing Matt and Emma in the parade (band and flags). After the parade, we all came home and had lunch and took naps! That's the best! Later, Neil grilled burgers and hot dogs and we had potato salad--gotta have American food on the Fourth of July. Later, we played 5 Crowns and Melody and Dallin came and we went to watch fireworks. It was fun to catch up with my old roommate. It was the perfect 4th of July and Caroline quite enjoyed all of the festivities.


Matt smiled and winked at us! He's quite the drummer!

Watching the parade with Granny

The babies and the Granny. Caroline loves Joey!

Emma--the flag girl! We had watched Emma practice for the parade and it was so excited to see her walk in it!

The best parade seat ever!

Love my girl!

Caroline loved collecting necklaces 

Sitting in our awesome shaded spot watching the parade

Joey!

A family picture was necessary! 

Nielsen Family Reunion 2014
On the 5th of July we went to the Nielsen Reunion at Heber Valley Camp (Ben's mom's mom's side of the family). The Rainbow family also decided to have reunion at the same time so there was more security at the camp. The signs were covered up and before we could drive up the camp road (which has beautiful scenery) we had to check in and then check in once we made it up to the camp. We were also given bracelets to wear and we were told that if we weren't wearing one that the sheriff would have to come up and talk to us. Caroline lost hers (it fell off of her ankle) but luckily they didn't think she was suspicious. It was fun to see old faces and new faces. A lot of people knew who we were because of our Nosy Notes--but I still didn't know who they were! There was lots of chatting going on at the ropes course and Caroline loved playing in the sand (and eating it too!). After the family finished at the ropes course we went to hangout at the campsite. Caroline was pretty much melted so we took a generational picture and then Ben, me, Caroline, Amanda, and Joey all packed up and left to go back to Kaysville. Caroline was not happy to be in the car but not to worry--she ate about 5 fruit snack bags and was very content.

Granny and the babes

Joey and Caroline played and played!

Ben and his girl up at the campsite

Five generations! Caroline looks like she's smiling (but don't be fooled!)
Caroline, Ben, Cathy, Gran, and Granny
Parks and Playing
The absolute best think about being in Utah was having so many people for Caroline to play with. Ben and I get boring real fast. We went to this really cool castle park in Kaysville. Caroline was only on the swings but she had a blast and was adorable. What wasn't adorable was the lady standing behind her the whole time. I have lots of cute pictures of Caroline but this ladies bum is in every shot. Talk about a bummer! We also went to a splash pad and Caroline loved being toted around by Matt, Emma, or Ben. I loved getting to watch and take pictures.

Buds

Catching the water
The splash pad crew!
Swings! Look at that excited girl! 

She could swing all day

Granny and Grandpa have the best backyard!




She couldn't get enough!
Caroline really liked the stairs. She is still trying to figure out how to get down them though!
Caroline loved picking all of the flowers that she could get her hands on

Caroline was mesmerized by the piano--she is a total music girl

Getting some assistance from Aunt Emma

I love this picture! This was our first morning there and the first time Joey saw Caroline this trip. Best cousin friends.

Playtime with Granny!
Granny's are way more exciting than Mom and Dad
So sweet
Grandpa's are also a lot more entertaining. Caroline loved reading the bee book over and over and over.




Otis
This part of our trip was so hard. Otis died while we were there. Ben and I were so so sad. Otis was old and had been really sick but we were so glad that we got to see him one last time. Also, we know that families are together forever and that Otis is part of the family. When I first met Otis he had really stinky ears but was the happiest and sweetest dog I had ever met. Luckily, the stinky ears were only temporary and seeing Otis was always a highlight of our visit. I think because school stressed me out I would get really bad headaches and Otis would always come and nap with me when I wasn't feeling well. I don't which he loved more--me or the down comforter but I could always count on an Otis nap when we went and visited Neil and Cathy's. Ben has so many memories of Otis (they got him when he was in high school) and really really misses his dog. Plus Ben and Otis (and Emma) were all diabetes buddies which made their bond even stronger. We were glad that Caroline got to hang out with him again this trip. Otis was so good with Caroline and let her pet and crawl all around him. We miss you Otis and love you so much! 

Sweet girl and the sweet dog
Look at how much PURE JOY this puppy brought to Caroline. Ah! That face!
Talking with Otis
Giving Otis goodbye snuggles and paw shakes

Plane ride back!
We had a long day ahead of us. Ben and I woke up at 3:30 and got all of our things together and Neil drove us to their airport. Little did we know there was a HUGE line to get through security. We waited and waited and then boarded our flight. We flew to Houston and had a layover that got longer and longer everytime we checked the boards. To kill some time we decided to go out to eat (partially because Caroline is messy and it's easier to contain the mess than in a food court) and that it would be good entertainment for Caroline. Also, we walked around the airport and would find places that Caroline could crawl and then we would walk so more. Right before we boarded our flight to Miami she conked out--there was no waking her up. She slept and then woke up and screamed because she was still on an airplane. I felt so bad for her. Caroline calmed down pretty quickly though and was so good the rest of the way. She's a pretty good little traveller--especially if there are fruit snacks, go-go's, and vanilla wafers involved! When we got to Miami she was so happy to be free and crawled all around while we waited for our luggage.



Walking, dancing, and celebrating to be home!!!