Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Time Holidays

Parker and I are really blessed to be able to live so close to both of our families. We've had a really great summer and have been able to have a lot of fun over the holidays and many get-togethers with everyone.

For the 4th we got to have BBQs with both families. (Since everyone lives so close, we end up going on a food binge every holiday!) Here are a couple of pictures from our BBQ at Grandma Barbara's and Grandpa Joel's house. Mae and Vincent were having so much fun playing with Krug, but we put him outside so he couldn't steal food from the kids while we were eating. He felt left out so he kept trying to push himself through the really small dog door to get back inside. (He actually succeeded at one point, but I didn't get a picture of it.)

For the 24th we had a yummy BBQ at Grandma Ainge's and then we got to go to the rodeo in Spanish Fork. It was so fun! The kids were all dressed up for Pioneer Day and looked so cute! (I'm wishing I would have gotten a picture of them altogether.)


Cute cousins! (Hunter & Noe)

Ryan doesn't look like he is enjoying the rodeo :)

The girls! (Me, Amanda and Madison)

The boys! (Collin, Hunter and Parker)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday Girl!

This post is a couple of days late but I wanted to make sure I still got the pictures posted! Alicia's birthday was July 22nd and we had so much fun celebrating with her. The day before her birthday we went to dinner at Olive Garden. With Dad and Rusty gone right now we make such a small group. We had a good time talking and laughing--especially when Parker accidently blew out Alicia's birthday candles. :)

On her actual birthday Alicia came over to our house and we had dinner together, opened presents, and watched her favorite movie "The Other Sister". And, of course, birthday cake in the shape of a giant cupcake! (You can see it in the picture posted at the top). My cake making/decorating skills could still use a lot of work but at least it was yummy! Alicia, I'm so thankful you are my big little sis. We all love you so much and hope you had a wonderful birthday. Thanks for being such an incredible part of our lives.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Man's Best Friend

“My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am. If God thinks you are as good as your dog does, you're headed in the right direction.” -Anonymous

For those of you who know Parker, you’ll know that he is not a dog person. (Deprived, I know.) He grew up mostly with cats, while I grew up with Rottweilers and have always known the joy of having a dog. After months of emailing Parker pictures of puppies he finally agreed that we could look into getting one. To make a long story short, against all odds we found a puppy that was perfect for us. I was SO excited and kept my fingers crossed that Parker wouldn’t regret this decision. Apparently I had nothing to worry about. Krug just LOVES Parker. He follows Parker everywhere. He sits by Parker. He watches Parker. If Parker walks down the hall, Krug goes with him. Given the choice between the two of us, Krug will always choose Parker. And just between you and me, Parker loves it! He is just as attached to Krug as Krug is to him. But don’t tell him I told you that :)

To give just one small example, we went to the park the other night and I could not get Krug to come play with me no matter what I tried. The very minute Parker stood up, however, Krug was on his feet as well and they were off. I keep trying to blame all this on the Alpha Factor. I tell Parker that Krug simply recognizes him as the leader of our “pack”. But I know the truth. Parker was a dog person all along and just didn’t know it!

Does this qualify as a back-seat driver?

Krug is helping Parker study.

Playing Games. You can't see it in the picture, but Krug actually has his very own chair at the computer so he can sit with Parker.

Couch potatoes. They usually have to fight over who gets the remote.

Bath time! (For Krug, not Parker.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Men in My Life

We were gone on our cruise for Father's Day but I still wanted to tell all the men in my life how wonderful they are and how thankful I am for them. You all give and do so much. I'm thankful for the examples you set and all the joy you bring into my life. (And I'm so sorry I couldn't find pictures of all of you! I will have to continue searching!)

Parker--Thank you for being such an incredible husband. I couldn't do it without you! Your support and patience with me is never-ending. Thank you for always seeing the best in me and for constantly encouraging me. I'm so thankful to share everyday with you.

Dad--I'm already counting the days for your return. I'm so thankful for the lessons you've taught me all my life. You've always been there to support me and inspire me to face challenges and achieve my goals.

Rusty--My goodness I miss you so much! I've loved watching you grow-up and am so proud of you and the good choices you are making. Thank you for always being there to make me laugh and reminding me it's okay to be silly. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful little brother.

Joel--You are a wonderful grandpa and am so thankful you came into our lives. Thank you for being such a great husband for grandma and for always doing so much for all of us.

Craig--The first time I met you, you made me feel like I was already a member of the family. Thankyou for welcoming me into the Ainge Family. Thankyou for always being so generous and for taking care of everyone.

I love you all so very much! Happy Belated Father's Day!

Bon Voyage!

Back in January I realized that for the first time in my life I didn't have a Spring Break to look forward to. It is, after all, a critical break that helps split up all the hard work and craziness of life that goes on. I quickly decided to investigate possible vacation ideas. One month later I found super cheap tickets for the Mexican Riveria Cruise (the exact same cruise we went on for our Honeymoon last year) and we decided we couldn't pass it up. I was getting super trunky as I waited for May and our long awaited vacation time to arrive. Well, it finally arrived, but it also brought the swine flu with it. We received a cancellation call from our travel agent just 2 days before we were supposed to leave. We were so disappointed (I'd already packed my bags and was counting the hours), but Parker (who is ALWAYS so positive and quick to look for the good in everything) pointed out that with the delay we could now go on our cruise for our 1-year Anniversary! It all worked out perfectly and we had such a wonderful time.

We stopped in Vegas on our way to LA and spent some time with Ryan & Amanda and the kids. We just always seem to have too much planned because there is never enough time for us to all just hang out, but we did have fun going to lunch together. We're always so thankful for the time we do get to spend with them. Amanda & I always have to talk in fast-foward motion so that we can catch each other up on everything, and Ryan & Parker head to the office to talk sports and laugh at funny things online. Boys :)

For our Anniversary that night, Parker surprised me with tickets to Phantom of the Opera. Isn't he wonderful?! We got dressed up and had a great night out on the town. The show was absolutely amazing! Afterwards we walked around the Venetician and looked at the many intricate displays they have. We actually ended up getting lost and couldn't figure out how to get back outside to the parking garage. Those darn casinos trap you inside! Cheesy me, I reminded Parker of a line in a Brad Paisely country songs "...we were lost but holding hands". We had a great time on our little adventure but luckily we were able to escape.

Our cruise made 3 stops: Cabo, Mazatlan, & Puerto Vallarta.

In CABO we did some power-snorkeling. We had little machines that basically propelled us around so we didn't have to do any of the swimming ourselves. Normally I would have felt lazy, but I am so afraid of fish that I was just thankful to have something that could speed me past them. Parker had fun propelling and diving downward while I stayed on high-alert watch for jelly-fish.

We had a rainy day in MAZATLAN but it still turned out great.

We spent the day on a city tour and did some shopping.
There were cliff divers that jump from 45 ft into only 7 ft of water and they have to jump in between rocks! At the end of the day, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant right on the beach and the food was just fantastic. Parker ordered coconut shrimp and they brought it out in an actual coconut. Needless to say, Parker was pretty pleased.

Our last stop in Mexico was PUERTO VALLARTA. We did a short city tour and then rode a full-size bus up a narrow, twisted, and occasionally unstable, mountain road. I kept having to close my eyes so I wouldn't have to wonder if we were going to go over the edge at any moment. At one point, the road became so unsafe that our guide had everyone get off the bus and walk the rest of the distance. Then we got to hike through the jungle! It was so much fun and we got to take some great pictures. Our guide spent a good portion of the time pointing out areas of the city and jungle that were used to film the movie Predator. It was pretty funny.

Once we reached the top, we had lunch at a great restaurant in the middle of the jungle. You could swim in the river or go on the zip-lines while you were there. And, of course, get a picture of the Predator!

After all of our port stops we spent two-days on the ship relaxing as we sailed back to LA. Our ship was enormous so there wasn't a shortage of things to do. It was so nice to sleep-in, do some reading, watch movies, and best of whenever we wanted! And trust me, we did! Where else can you find a free 24-hr. soft-serve machine? We played around in the gift shops, spent lots of time in the hot tub, and even got to go ice-skating and play in the arcade! There were performances and shows every night--some of them were better than others. (Poor Parker had to listen to one too many horrible renditions of 80's hits. )

They also had an ice-skating production that was amazing! I would get dizzy just walking on the ship so I'm not sure how those skaters managed to land all those jumps and lifts. Our dining room was enormous and so elaborate. Actually, the entire ship was pretty amazing.

Once we were back on land in California we stopped for a Dodger game. I always love watching baseball live but it would have been even better if they could have won! My souvenir from the game was our mini-foam fingers. Parker won them for answering Dodger trivia--the Dodgers have won 6 World Series. Aren't you all impressed that I know that?! I've actually learned all players and their positions and Parker is now trying to teach me the pitching line-up. One thing at a time...

Our trip was so wonderful but it is really great to be back home with all of you. Honestly, there's just no place like home!