Monday, January 24, 2011

3 month birthday

I just can't believe how fast little Aly is growing up! Everyday is wonderful. Some days are better than others, but she always can find a way to put a smile on my face...even when I'm so frustrated!
We just got her a bouncer and she ADORES it!! It has a couple elephants that hang down and she yells at it all day and just loves it when she hits it and it swings back! See the bouncer here...
We have so much fun everyday and it just gets better and better! We love you so much Alysha Renae!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


hmmm...forgot one thing...comments=love :D thanks! far...

And here we are to the new year! Already it's been great! ...Bittersweet.
My job finally started to pick up. I'm working every Friday, which makes me happy cuz I have some way to give back and feel like I'm making a difference in someone's life again. My best friend Allison is willing to babysit for me in exchange for using my washer and dryer! She's been such a blessing and a life saver! She's so good to Aly and I'm very very grateful to not have to pay for daycare.
We spent a wonderful time with my parents last night. Kinda a last hurrah for them in Idaho. We went to dinner at Cafe Rio and then enjoyed a couple hours in the hotel pool. Playing Marco Polo and swimming races. Then this morning they started the long drive to Washington D.C. My dad is starting a new job there and they're very excited for a new adventure! I'm happy for them to be able to try something/place new, but I'm gonna miss having them across town! And I'm a little bit jealous of their experience too...;). But Loren and I are planning on taking AlyRae across the country to visit her Granny and Grandpa Howell!

December and 1st Christmas!!

December was full of miracles for us! As all newlyweds and new parents can probably test. It's hard. It's work. And making ends meet is especially hard at the holiday season. Halfway through the month Loren was blessed with a raise at work. He was already getting benefits, but now he's making salary and getting paid holidays and vacation. We were so grateful!! But there was one particularly hard day. We were at the point where we were pretty sure we couldn't get a Christmas tree which was VERY difficult for me to accept. I am so used to having one! And it didn't feel quite like Christmas without it. Loren kept telling me that it would be ok and so I was believing him. That night we decided to get out of the house. So we went to his co-worker's wife's dance recital. (Which happened to be free). Afterward we drove down Candy Cane Lane to look at all the lights. At the end of the street was a house beautifully decorated with Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting out front! So we stopped and asked to take a picture of Alysha with them. They were so nice and we got Aly's 1st Christmas documented with Santa Claus. :) (Again. Free.) I was so excited to get a picture that I didn't have to pay $12 at the mall for!
Then we went to Walmart to pick up some baby formula and some Christmas lights which Loren said he was going to use to decorate the apartment and make it feel a little bit more like the holiday season. With all the coupons we had we only owed 26 cents. I was thinking that was pretty amazing, and then the cashier said, "oh don't worry about it." A previous customer had not accepted his change and it was still sitting on the register. It was 26 cents. We decided to push it a little farther by going to dinner at Famous Dave's. (Loren's newest favorite BBQ place.) I had gotten him a gift card for his birthday a couple weeks earlier which we were going to use. I realize that this was technically paid for with our own money, but the point is that it was money already spent and put aside for when we needed a treat. Including the tip it came to $30. Exactly the amount of the gift card. Loren had a surprise for me when we got home. He'd called a friend of his and told him our situation with the Christmas tree and asked if they happened to have an extra plastic tree. He did and they got it into the van without me noticing at the dance recital. Once I learned what he'd done and put together everything else that had happened that night, I started crying. I was so overwhelmed by how blessed we had been! We spent the rest of the evening decorating our beautiful tree and being grateful for everything we'd been given!
We spent a wonderful Christmas eve with my parents, siblings, and a good family friend. Christmas morning we went back to my parent's house for breakfast, presents, and fun! :) We played with new games, tried on new clothes, and spent some wonderful time together as a family. Loren and I were so happy to be spending our 1st Christmas together and getting to share it with our beautiful little girl!! Loren got me the most wonderful coat!! It's Calvin Klein and puffy and white! It's got down feathers and I LOVE it SO much! It was the one thing that I wanted for Christmas and he got it for me. What an amazing guy! I needed a warm coat so badly and now I'm not cold anymore!
The week after Christmas we took a quick trip down to Logan for Angela's wedding! It was a very very cold day, but it was beautiful. Angela and Bryan are so happy together! It was great to get to share in their joy. Thanks guys!!
We ended the year exactly how we wanted to. Together.


Bringing Alysha home was quite the adventure, but by November I'd pretty well settled into a routine everyday. We had a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the month with Aly's weight, but she finally started eating correctly and she started gaining weight, and once she started, she picked up speed!! We spent our days cuddling, watching Ellen and Oprah and the news, and trying to figure out the whole mommy thing! :) Loren had totaled out his car in September and then at the end of October, the car was a victim of a hit and run in front of our apartment. So needless to say we were ready to get rid of it! So we took the insurance money we got from it and bought my parent's van. They were selling it because they didn't want to move it to Washington D.C. with them. We have loved it so far! I love having all the trunk space and it's so much more reliable than my little 24 year old Honda :). Loren hates paying so much in gas, but I feel it's worth it to know that I'm not gonna be stranded in the middle of the street again. (Which happened in September.)
We decided to make a long trip all over Northern Utah for Thanksgiving. We left after Loren got off work on Wednesday and drove through "the blizzard of 2010" to Logan for the night. It took us over 3 hours to get there. It normally takes me about 2 or even just under 2 hours. Thursday morning we drove to Herriman, Ut to eat with a couple of Loren's siblings and their families. We had a fabulous feast prepared by Marlene and then we had a great time hanging out with Jeremy's family for the rest of the day. What a neat family they are. They're so welcoming! They had just moved into a new house and it was BEAUTIFUL! We watched the deer outside and enjoyed being together. We stayed there that night then left in the morning for my grandma and grandpa Howell's cabin. Alysha was so good! There were tons of people there and she did very well getting passed around all weekend! Though by the time we got home, all she wanted was her mom. :) good for me :). So Friday we ate another Thanksgiving dinner with my grandparents, and my parents, and all my dad's 5 siblings and all their children. The only person missing was my cousin who is living and working in California. It was the last time that was going to happen for a very long time so we were all very happy to be together!! We took a huge family picture and spent some time together out in the snow and doing crafts. My smart mom brought all the stuff for each family to make a "kisses" advent calendar.
On Saturday Loren and I headed back up to Logan, making stops along the way to a few more of his sibling's houses to show off AlyRae! She really is the center of our lives :D. We then met up with some friends in Logan, again to let them meet our baby, and had dinner and Spoon Me! :)
Thanksgiving weekend was a great success. We had a wonderful time visiting with so much family and we were SO grateful for such a great baby that tolerated all our driving around!

Friday Night

So while my baby and my husband are sleeping, I thought I'd catch up on my blog! So here come a whole lotta posts!!!