“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”
Dr. Seuss

Sunday, December 30, 2012

When Grandma Came to Town

I love this time of year! I adore Christmas and everything that comes with it, but there is something so cleansing and fresh feeling about the new year starting.I love sitting down and reflecting about what I want to make better for the new year and new things I want to try. I have missed blogging and having a chance to write down all of our memories. But it has been a couple of crazy, stressful, up and down, blessed years. I keep repeating in my head when I think about all the things that I would love to do...time and a season. So of course one of my goals this year, now that we are in Ohio and things are starting to settle down a little (ha, ha!), is to get this blog rolling again! But first I need to do a little bit of catching up. Too many wonderful and glorious moments have happened in the last couple months not to take note! 

You couldn't find a more giddy group of people then the ones in our house days before the Grandma's and Grandpa were coming to town! We were counting down on the calendar and planning all of the things that we wanted to do with them for weeks before they got here! Grandma Debbie came first and with her she brought a gift that left me breaking down and crying in front of the entire airport! My brother and sweet sister in law are pregnant...with TWINS!!! We have been waiting and praying for this sweet news for a long time now! They are going to be AMAZING parents and I can't wait to snuggle those little ones! They announced it in the cutest way and as soon as I get my scanner to work, I will show you! ADORABLE!!!  I really only have one outing of pictures to post because we were so busy the whole time that I forgot to take pictures a lot. But, boy did we have fun! We played and snuggled and talked and repeated and repeated the process over and over again! 
In these pictures we were driving around Hocking Hills exploring and admiring all of the beautiful leaves! Everything was so pretty! We stopped at a few shops and had lunch at a pizza joint! I was a great day! We were also scouting out places to take Livia's baptism pictures! The little girls had a blast playing outside with Grandma! 

We found the cutest little cottages that you can rent and as we were leaving, Ainslee all of the sudden said, "Mom, pull over." I asked her why, and she said, "because I need to take my picture right now, right there!" I of course pulled over and got her out, she walked right over to this spot and started posing! It was hilarious and so dang cute!!! Oh I love this girl!!!

 When we were shopping, the kids found this bunny cage...they thought it was a fort for them, until they discovered that it locked, then they weren't too fond of the idea! 
 One of the things that I love about Ohio is all of the old architecture...houses, barns, buildings! I love to picture what the house looked like when it was first built, who lived there, what was going on around them. I instantly put myself into their story.  I would love to go inside...if I thought it was safe...and legal! I just wonder if anything has been left. I would love to talk to the owners to see why it is still standing and maybe answer some of my questions. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to try it!

 We went down to the lake in Logan...yes we moved from Logan, right next to another Logan. It kills the kids sometimes...I say, "we are going to a park down in Logan" and Trey gets all excited, and then I have to break it to him that it is 15 minutes away, not three days! The leaves were amazing and the girls had fun showing Grandma everything that they found on the ground!

 Ainslee decided that sticks were a good thing to collect on our little walk. She picked up every one that she found!

 We love you Grandma Debbie! You are the best!!!
 We thought that we had it bad back in Smithfield with all of our leaves...HA...this is just the first time we did this. We had to do this three more times before winter came. We had a total of thirty five big black garbage bags full of leaves when all was said and done! Side note...one of the things we get a kick out of here in Ohio is that they pick up the garbage old fashioned style. You set the garbage out on the curb, in a garbage can provided by us, if you even want a can...you don't have to have one. And the guys ride around on the back of the garbage truck and hop off and dump it. For some reason we find this fascinating. Tad and I have been known to make bets on Monday morning on whether something that we have put out there will really be taken by them. So far, they have taken everything! Back to the leaves...we were shocked when they actually took all of the bags...it lined our whole front yard.

Grandma Debbie was with us for a few days before Grandma Retta, Grandpa Larry and Uncle Tyler and Aunt McKaylee came. I will blog more about what we all did together in the next post! We are so blessed to have such wonderful Grandma's and Grandpa's! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012


I will post pictures soon of our trip out here to Ohio, but for now, I am just going to try and keep caught up with what is happening in our life right now! One of the reasons we were excited to move to Ohio was so that we would be able to visit all of the places we had talked about visiting. Tad came home on Wednesday and said that he had to go to a meeting in Chicago on Friday. He didn't even have to ask if we wanted to come along...I was already starting to pack before he finished his sentence! 
In all honesty though, I wasn't packing, I was dialing! Once upon a time when we lived in West Jordan I lived next door to the most amazing friend ever! She only lived in Utah for a short second, but we have stayed in touch ever since! Her cute family now lives in Chicago and after six long years I was so excited to finally get to see them! She was sweet enough to clear her schedule so that we could spend the day together on Friday while Tad was working!  So...by Thursday afternoon we were ready to head out the door! My awesome new neighbor took care of Kaya while we were away! The kids were so pumped...until we had been driving for about an hour, and then all of our 1700 mile memories came flooding back and they started asking if we were there yet! Luckily, it was night time, and one by one they all started falling asleep. For me, I was in Heaven! I love road trips with Tad...we just talk and talk and it is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I hated having to come out here in two cars because I didn't have my traveling buddy right next to me. Anyway, we got there at around midnight.  
The Nelson Family (taken from Facebook!) Hope that's ok Nicole!

The next morning we spent the entire day with this cute family!
It was as if we had just seen each other the week before...which of course was how we knew it would be! But the awesome thing was that our kids all got along so well! They played and we talked and it was a perfect day! The only thing was that in all my chatting I didn't snap one picture. She is such an amazing mom and wife and person! I love all of the ideas that I get from her and I am so excited that we get to be a little bit closer now! We already have a trip to Indianapolis in the works...she has lived there too, so she is sharing all of her tips with me! Thanks Nicole for such a great day! The kids miss you guys already!

When Tad got back Nicole took us to one of her kids favorite places to eat, Portillo's for Chicago hot dogs! Superb of course! Then we went back to the hotel. Tad was excited because our room said that we had ESPN 2 for the Utah/Utah State game...but we didn't. So I took the kids swimming and he hunted down a bar to watch the game at. He ended up at Applebee's. When he asked the bartender to turn the station to ESPN 2, the guy turned it there and then looked very confused when he saw what it was. Tad explained that he was from there...but then he said it was hilarious to watch all of these people look totally confused when they looked at the TV and there was a Utah game on. He was just excited to watch the game...especially since we won...OH YA...UTAH STATE-HEY AGGIES ALL THE WAY!

Quick funny story from the day...so anyone that knows our family can tell you that our little Livia is a feisty one! She makes a big impact FAST! Livia was in the hotel room with Tad getting ready and I was down with the four other kids having breakfast. A lady that was at the desk the night before when we checked in came up to me and asked in full, loud Chicago style where my other daughter was. I told  her she was upstairs. She then proceeded to tell me and everyone else having breakfast that morning..."That girl is SPICYYYY! She has more spunk and personality in her little pinkie then most people have in their entire bodies! Woooeeee! She's spicy!" I laughed and asked her when she had met her. She said...oh just last night when you guys came into your rooms! I had to laugh...two seconds and Livia was being described by a Chicagoan as Spicy! So that is the day that Livia gained her nickname Spicy! 

Saturday we woke up and went into Chicago! We got yelled at by the parking lot attendant for going in and then going right out ($25 dollars for parking for 3 hours).  But then went back in when every where else was just as expensive! Then we walked along the water at Navy Pier. We were there pretty early (9am) so nothing was open yet and the only other people around were the runners and bikers. The kids loved seeing all of the sail boats and the light house. 

The light house in the distance (for you grandma Retta!)

 The city was awesome! The water was also really blue! The kids loved looking at all the different buildings! And that chain behind us is what runs along most of the walk way. That is why you see the two little ones in the stroller freaking out...there was no way those two were getting loose! One little trip and an early morning swim would have been on the agenda!

 We of course had to go into Garrett's Popcorn as soon as it opened. We could smell it all the way down the Pier! We got the caramel popcorn and just for Uncle Tyler we got the mix (caramel and cheese). I was skeptical, but it turned out to be the family favorite!  I had it under the stroller when we were walking around and I kept finding Ainslee getting into it and handing it to Audrey!
 After popcorn we headed over to the Ferris Wheel! Tad was just going to take the older kids, but last minute Ainslee and I decided that we couldn't miss out. We had to split up, and I won't lie....Tad was a little freaked out!

 Oh wait, maybe that was me. I was holding onto Audrey like there was no tomorrow. Even as I was taking the pictures, I didn't move my body...just my hand.
Picture courtesy of Trey

 It was crazy how high we got up! But it was awesome to see everything from way up high!!!

 Trey usually doesn't like stuff like this. He did pretty good, he was just being like mom and wouldn't move! Don't rock the boat!

 After the three older kids wanted to go on the swings! They had so much fun!

 And then the big kids had to watch while the little ones went on the carousel. They loved it!

 Chicago has all kinds of great sculptures and art work! The kids loved looking at everything. We decided to walk from Navy Pier to Millennium Park. We didn't think that it would be too bad. This sculpture was our first little break! The kids had a blast sliding down it. (PS...there was group after group getting there pictures in it and sliding on it...I don't normally let my kids play around on art work!)

 This bridge was fun to cross too! Ainslee ran the entire way!
 And then we finally made it to the BEAN! It took us about an hour to get there, but I am really glad that we saw it! We didn't stay very long though...we were tired and it was lunch time!

This is under the bean looking up...pretty cool huh! 

 We decided not to walk all the way back to the car. Instead we got a taxi. I think that the taxi driver thought we were nuts, six of us in the backseat, Tad in the front and a huge stroller in the trunk. Oh did I mention it was a compact little nothing of a car. It only cost us five bucks...we should have done that in the first place...oh well, now we know right!  When we were getting out of the car, I was holding both of the little girls. A lady from London was standing there as we got out of the car. She said to me as I got out, "wow, you have your hands full!" Then as Trey, Livia and Aurianna got out she took a step back and said, "Oh my. Do they all belong to you?" Tad and I laughed later...we probably looked like clowns that get out of the tiny car at the circus! Yes, the car was that small! But it was also funny because this has become a normal part of our everyday life here. When I took the kids to the zoo, there was so much staring and questions, I swear some of the people thought that we were an exhibit!

 We had so much fun in Chicago! We are excited to go back and do some of the things that we didn't have time for! Thanks Nicole for taking such good care of us! Thanks Chicago for producing great hot dogs and popcorn and a really cool gigantic bean! Goodbye family and friends... until the next adventure!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A lot like childbirth!

I waited too long to write this post. Moving across the country with two cars, five children, a husband and a dog was a lot like being pregnant and going through labor. It quickly leaves your mind, so that maybe if you ever have to do it again, you won't remember the pain and agony that accompanied it. Am I being a little dramatic...well maybe, but just a little bit! I did have to ask my husband for a step by step account of our trip. I had pictures, so therefore I thought that I would remember. I make this mistake all of the time. I don't remember. Thank heavens for my husbands unbelievably good memory...now I can share it with all of you, and one day when the kids ask about it, I can just send them here and not ever have to talk about it again!
Saying goodbye to our good friends the Jenkins Family! 

I really am just kidding. We were truly blessed on our trip out to Ohio! I guess I will start from the beginning.

We had our summer turned upside down when shortly after it began, we got news that Tad was being promoted to VP of Sales and that it would require us to move to Ohio. After a lot of prayer, we decided that Ohio was to become our new home! The preparations began immediately and our house was turned upside down to put on the market ASAP!  In a few short weeks, we found someplace to live in Ohio, got the kids all signed up for school, made all of the preparations to run Whimsy from afar, and all of the dozen other things that we had to do to make such a big move! The kids were excited, scared,  and so very helpful! Moving weekend came and the packers went through our home like Tasmanian devils getting us all boxed up in one day! The weekend before we had spent an amazing weekend with my family and on the Saturday before we moved, Tad took the kids down to spend time with his family while I stayed behind...we had two weddings to shoot that day! The kids (and Tad and I) loved every minute that we spent with everyone. It was hard to say our goodbyes. I will have to do a post about our mini family reunions soon! On Monday the movers came. Grandma and Grandpa Tatum came up and we all went to lunch and tried to stay out of the way.  We spent our last night in Logan at a hotel! The kids were so excited to finally get on the road the next day! After about two hours in the car the "Are we there yet" started. I gave them all my evil eye and told them that they were going to get sick of asking that question really fast, as we had seven more days of travel!

1700 miles...I am sick of looking at the back of this truck!  (Just leaving Bear Lake!)
Tad had planned our trip out with a lot of wiggle room! We usually have our trips planned out knowing what hotels we are staying in, what we are doing for entertainment and where the best restaurants are...this situation was completely different. With two little girls under two, as many of you know, the car seat is not always your best friend. And when the screaming starts and there is no end in sight...the driving day is done! Our first day was great though! The kids were amazing and we made it to Laramie, Wyoming.

Tad's truck...the cool truck...everyone was always happy!
My van...one happy one!

Bright and early we were off to Lincoln, Nebraska!  When we arrived into town we were heading straight to the Hampton Inn and right next store there was a hotel that looked like a castle. The kids were of course freaking out wanting to stay in the cool castle hotel with the knight on a horse in front. They were in luck because this Hampton wouldn't accept pets. Ainslee was having a little bit of a rough time, it was late, she was tired and sick of her seat...you get the idea. Aurianna took her over to the knight while Tad was checking in. She thought that it was amazing and wouldn't stop talking about it all the way up to our rooms. We got two rooms every night and split the babies up just in case one of them woke in the middle night we wouldn't have a room full of screaming babes! Anyway, I was tucking Ainslee in and she was talking about the knight and as I was looking at her I could see her train of thought start to change as she talked about he knight being right downstairs. All of sudden she started looking around the room and every time there was a noise she started saying..."knight coming, knight coming". Tad had to take her back outside to the statue of the knight and show her that it was fake. She of course doesn't know what that means so he called it a toy. From that point on for the rest of our trip, every statue was called a toy...and we saw a lot of statues...I mean toys!

Okay...as I see the length of this post....and there aren't a whole lot of pictures to go with this post....time to make this a two parter! I will be back soon to post the second half!