Little Moves

She melts my heart. Definitely made the nice list this year!


Veterans Day

In honor of a special day, I thought I'd link this gem from days past.

We sure have a lot of respect and love for our grandpas! All four served in WWII. And I'm overwhelmed with admiration for their mommies at home, and Grandma Gunderson who had to send her husband off to war. I feel like I should have some of that courage in my genetic makeup, but I can't think of anything more terrifying!


Wait for the Rexburg Shout Out!

Love how the hair gets bigger as the video goes on!


Kitchen Reno: Process

I've put off posting this because we weren't "finished," but I think that's just kind of how life goes. So here is our big change that happened this summer. If you notice any little pieces of trim that are missing or scratches that need painted, you'll just have to understand that we're human. Tom usually takes a week in the winter and works on all the little gingerbread things that don't get completely finished on his projects.

First, Tom put in the ceiling and lighting. Then, with a little help from the Elder Quorum, we gutted it. Scary day!
Tom donned the paint suit and went to town.
Thomas did a lot of reading, planning, and thinking.

And it started to come together.

A little bit at a time.

Countertops go in.

Prepping for trim.

We had to wait for the brick to come in. So the cement board floor was getting old after a month or so. 

The floor ended up being a ridiculous amount of work, but it really turned out lovely!
And here it is!

Kitchen Reno: Favorite Things

Countertop workspace! Windows that open!
A built-in dishwasher that doesn't leak water all over the kitchen floor! A big sink with a faucet that makes warm water (our old one was either hot or cold).

More cupboard space!

A bar where my little monkeys can sit! Brick floor!

Kitchen Reno: Before and After

Here is a shot of the wall that came down. Our kitchen was so tiny it was hard to get much more in the viewfinder than this.

This is the wall from the dining room side. The layout of everything was dysfunctional and cramped. 

This was the best before picture I could find.

And this is after.

I'm so fortunate to have an amazing hubby who is willing and able to do all this beautiful work. He really did a perfect job and put his heart and soul into it. I still can't believe it's mine sometimes! How lucky am I to have scored this guy?

Crazy Hair Day

Annie and her cupcake hair. I wasn't sure how it would hold, but they still looked pretty good in spite of the cartwheels, monkey bars, and first-graders.

Off to Neverland!

My kids have been enthralled with Peter Pan ever since we went to Disneyland in September. Max still talks about Fantasmic and how "Mickey and Peter Pan killed the bad guys." So it was only natural that this year for Halloween they star as their favorite characters. And the casting was perfect!

Peter, Wendy Darling, and Tinker Bell

I love this tough shot of Max. He thought that dagger was wicked cool.

Mae didn't care what I put her once she realized it resulted in large quantities of candy.

Annie with her witch pumpkin. She's such a fantastic kid to have around!

Maelie loved the candy so much it was a little disconcerting. Hope she doesn't have to get lifted out of her house with a crane someday...

She was super independent all night. She wanted to walk everywhere by herself and then would say "trick-or-treat" SO adorably. But when it came time to pick a candy, she would linger in the bowl; stretching her chubby fingers to get as many candies as humanly possible. She never came away with less than two. Way to work the system Tink.
I could not get enough of this little lost boy in his leggings!
Overall we had one of the best Halloweens ever. The weather couldn't be beat. Pocatello's temps set records! You'll notice in the pictures it was getting dark and we didn't even need jackets. That is not normal for Idaho in October! Especially considering we woke up to mountains of snow just days before this. Such a fun year!


I had NO idea...

Turns out I can be more emotional than I thought. I've never been much of a crier. But Annie started school this morning. I cried before she woke up, then managed to keep it together until the second I walked out of her classroom, and I've pretty much been a wreck since then. I think people driving down 1st N thought someone had died as I pushed the stroller home bawling. She's in first grade, and it's just such a huge change for her to be gone all day! It's about more than I can handle. Oh jeez, I'm crying again just writing about it.

On the other hand, Annie was totally fine. They even did a last second teacher switch on her, and she rolled with it (a lot better than me actually). She will absolutely love it. If I wasn't 100% sure of that, I couldn't do it.

Guess I better bust out the waterproof mascara for the next couple of weeks.


Sweet Maelie Bea

Our little Amelia Bea turned one on August 3rd. She doesn't have teeth yet, isn't walking, and is still relatively hair-less (that's nicer than "bald" right?). So she doesn't seem like a one year old to me. She says about a dozen words though and is cruising all over the house. At first, we weren't sure who she looked like, but now it's apparent she is her Gramma's girl. She looks a ton like the Hammond side of my family (to me at least), and she's become quite the tow-head like her mama. 

This little girl is as sweet as they come. Eternally patient with her big bother and squishter, there aren't many things that make her upset. She's just been easy all around. When she wants to show affection, she doesn't kiss, she leans in slowly and does a gentle forehead bump. It melts me!

I did a quick photo shoot when the kids were playing so that we'd have some one-year-old documentation. And there are also some shots of her birthday at the zoo.

Checkin' out the monkeys at the zoo.

Opening presents!

And demolishing a cupcake of course! She blew a candle out at home when we were practicing, but got a little stage fright when it came time to let-er-blow. She didn't hold back when it came to snarfing the cupcake though.


Where the heck have we been?

Seems like it's always harder to keep updated in the summer, even though that's the time I have the most exciting stuff to blog about. So here's a condensed post of our summer activities.

We've spent a lot of time at the park (free lunch is where it's at)! Mom is seriously sick of pushing kids. If you hear of a swing pusher for hire, let me know!

We've almost died of heat exhaustion a few times!
The Idaho summer has been ridiculously warm (which I LOVE), but it's been an adjustment for sure.
Annie played t-ball in June. It was a challenge for her, which I appreciated and she didn't. She doesn't handle not being the best very well. I think it's good for her. She did fine overall, and I might even be able to get her to play next year!
This has been the year of the bikes (or anything with wheels really). The kids ride all day long. On this particular outing, Max took the dirt hill on his trike and ate it hardcore.

Fourth of July races with cousins. Annie got third in her age group and Max was second. 
Waiting for the parade in Menan. No chocolate milk this year though. Major letdown!
See if I support the United Dairymen of Idaho ever again!

Max caught this fish at Wade lake. He was the proudest little guy I've ever seen. He thought the fish was "disgusting," but ate it happily for dinner.

Maelie struck a pose for me at the lake. She is a water lover like I've never known! She sat there for the longest time even though the water was freezing. She liked to sneak handfuls of rocks into her mouth from time to time. So when Annie was playing eye-spy with Dallin she said, "I spy something wet and full of rocks..." and Dan quickly guessed "Maelie!"

And the biggest project we've been working on this summer is yet to be unveiled!
The K I T C H E N ! We totally gutted and renovated it. So here is an old image of what it used to look like from the dining room. We need to finish the floor still and then I will upload photos of all the stages. It's been exhausting, but I absolutely love it!


Fuzzy Wuzzy

Annie's class was in the Standard Journal online this week when the bears came to visit. There are some cute pictures of her at



Annie Eye Over!

Annie has her own camera with about 900 photos on it. So she's starting a photo gallery blog! She does the comments herself, and we might include some poetry and artwork she does. If you're interested it's www.annieeyeover.blogspot.com

It is private, so if you'd like an invite comment here or send me an email.


Take that Disney!

I overheard a conversation between a neighbor boy and Annie the other day.

Brian: "So I'm going to be a truck driver like your dad when I grow up. What are you going to be? A princess? Ballerina?"

Annie: "You can't just be a princess when you grow up. That's not a job. I'm going to be a dentist."

My heart is full.