Friday, December 20, 2013

Last Days and First Days

We finished our 3 months of rotations in Salt Lake City and now have 3 months in Texas.  That means Matthew drove to Texas and I flew with the kids down to Dallas.  I get to stay with my parents the whole time and Matthew will be traveling around the state and will be able to come stay with us on some of the weekends.

The last couple days in Utah I wanted to make sure we went to the Salt Lake Temple to see the Christmas lights.  We went with Aubrey and her kids and had such a great evening.  I think one of the highlights for the kids was the train.  We took the Trax to Temple Square and all four of the kids we just so thrilled to be riding a real train!  Simple pleasures! It wasn't crowded and it wasn't freezing so that was a win-win for us.  I love the feeling around the temple and am so glad we were able to go before we left Utah.

The next day we got a huge snow storm. Tons and tons of snow!  It was so pretty and such great timing!  Austin and Kensley were in awe as this is the first time they remember seeing snow.  Living in AZ for the past three years didn't give us much exposure :)  We got bundled up in borrowed snow gear (that's why Kensley is in a boy jacket) and went outside to play.  

 This is a fire pit that they are sitting in.  Makes it look like they are hot-tubbing in the snow.  Haha

Kensley really enjoyed trying to make snow balls and throwing them.  That is until she did a face-plant in the snow and came up looking like Santa.  She was done after that!  Austin and Aaron made snow angels and had a snowball fight.  I loved that we could play in it for a couple of days and then leave for warmer weather!

Traveling with 2 kids by yourself is never any fun but considering Kensley missed her nap that day and had an ear infection, we traveled pretty well.  After 12 hours of traveling we made it to my parents house.  I think the hardest part was our 3 hour layover. The kids were so bored and I wouldn't let them get the ipad out because I was saving it for our last flight.  
We probably spent about an half hour in this little shop:

 Kensley was building towers with the tampons and Austin was racing cars on an empty shelf...

But hey it kept them entertained!  

I thought by coming to TX that we left all the cold, bad weather behind but no, it came with us.  The night we got into town, Dallas got slammed with a huge ice storm.  Had we landed about an hour later we would have been stuck on icy roads.  It was raining slush and freezing as it hit the roads.  For the 3 days we were homebound.  The whole city shut down too. My little sister Alyssa ended up getting school cancelled for Friday and Monday.  Church was cancelled on Sunday.  Half of the city lost power for a few hours.  TX doesn't really handle ice and snow very well since it is so rare. All they do is pour sand or salt on the roads and hope for the best.  
I think the saddest part of this ice storm was the amount of trees we lost.  The trees were covered with ice and it was making it so heavy and weighed down that several trees split and broke.  Actually everyone on our street lost some trees and driving all across the city we could see broken trees everywhere.

But after the ice melted we have had some great weather.  Like perfect 68 degree, playing outside weather.  

We have had a great time in TX so far.  I love being able to spend time with my parents and with my little sister Alyssa!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We were able to spend Thanksgiving week with both our families this year.  Of course we are living with my in-laws so we were already with them but my parents flew up to Utah since most of my sisters are living up here anyways.  I realized most of my pictures are from my side of the family. But we love taking pictures and the Graffs- not so much. But we really did spend time with both sides.

Black Friday Shopping.  I am pretty sure it was only fun since my whole family was there. None of us had any real, serious objective but it was fun to hang out together at 10pm at Target.  And we did all score the same exact jacket at half off. :)

We had one afternoon where it was warm enough to go to the park.  My kids had the best time with their aunts.
My dad, my sister Kayla and I all ran a 10K race Thanksgiving morning.  It was so fun and motivating to be able to run with them.  Kayla sped ahead but my Dad and I were able to stay together for most of it. We froze but such a great way to start out Thanksgiving Day.  Matthew's dad and Grandpa were so nice to come watch me cross the finish line.

 Austin tried pumpkin pie for the first time and loved it!  He had his fair share (as did I!)
 Matthew and Kensley were pretty worn out after our first Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents.  After they woke up we enjoyed a second dinner with Matthew's parents.  So perfect to see everyone in one day.
 Kensley loves Mimi and enjoyed some bonding time.
 The other cousins did a holiday building project.  They had such a great time.

Thankful for my dad going to build with Austin as Matthew had to leave for his next rotation before Thanksgiving weekend ended.

Poor grandpa had just finished racking these into a nice pile...

We sure had a great time with family during this break and are so lucky and thankful to be able to live with both of them during this year of traveling for us.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Idaho Trip

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I made a trip up to Rexburg Idaho to visit Jenna and her family.  A 4 hour road trip was very worth coming!  Our kids just love getting together.  It's already too cold to do anything outside but we enjoyed playing inside.

Painting together


Cade wanted to build a tower with ourselves so this is as close as we got!

While exploring BYU-I campus we ran into our good friend from back home, Ammon. We grew up with him and our families are close.  That was a fun surprise! Ammon took us all around campus and is an awesome wealth of knowledge.

These girlies were so cute together.

No way were we going to get one picture with everyone smiling.  Not sure where we got 4 blondies from. 

Besides me bringing over the stomach flu to Jenna's kids, this trip was so great! So glad they moved close to us. For now anyway. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

BYU Homecoming

I know this was a few weeks ago but I still wanted to document this fun weekend.  I love being involved with things that are going on at BYU so homecoming was a must!  First we went on a date to the BYU spectacular show with my sister Kayla and her boyfriend Josh.  It was an awesome show, I had a great date and we got some yummy dessert afterwards.
Next on Saturday morning I ran the Cougar Run.  I know a 5K isn't that impressive but I have been consistently running and training these last few months trying to improve my speed and distance and was really excited to run this race.

It was so motivating to have Matthew and my kids there watching me at the finish line.  I ended up coming in third place in my age group!   Next goal: 10K.

We also stayed for the BYU parade which was right after the race.  My kids loved seeing the fire trucks, bands, and the candy being thrown at them.  I was most excited to see Kayla dancing with the BYU Ballroom Team.

 While we were in Provo we decided to go into the canyon to check out all the pretty fall leaves.  We rode up the ski lift at Sundance Resort and just enjoyed the nice fall weather.  So many trees were bright red and yellow.  It was so pretty!

The kids loved being up so high while riding the lift and you could tell we were from AZ.  We were the only ones all bundled up. We are not used to cold weather yet!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Halloween 2013

 This is the best looking medical staff I have ever seen!

I loved their costumes this year.  Austin got that doctor costume for his birthday this summer and once he opened it I knew what we were doing for Halloween this year.  I made Kensley's nurse costume from a old men's blue dress shirt.  I have been wanting to do a re-purposing project on a button-up shirt for awhile now so this was the perfect opportunity. What made it more perfect was the face that the only thing I had to purchase was the pattern for the dress. Everything else I made from supplies I had on hand.  :)

We had such a great Halloween and had several festivities this week.  On Tuesday night the youth in our ward did a little carnival for all the kids.   They played games, ate treats, and loved seeing everyone dressed up.  Matthew didn't get home until we were leaving for the carnival but ended up staying home since his residency application was due this week.

Thursday night we got all dressed up again and went trick or treating in our neighborhood.  We taught Kensley how to say trick-or-treat and she caught on pretty quick.  It's so cute hearing her say it in her little girly voice.  She wanted to hold on to every piece of candy in her hand. She thought that if it went in her bag she would never see it again. Austin knew how this worked and was awesome at knocking and being polite.   Matthew missed it all.  He got home about a half hour after we finished trick-or-treating.   

 This was the sunset as we started trick-or-treating. 

Then Friday night we had a Halloween party at my grandparents, the Allens. They put on a great party every year for the several grandkids that are living here or going to school here.  They have put on these parties ever since my freshman year of college.  They always have an amazing dinner, some festive games and then cookie decorating.  The cookie decorating gets intense.  We all take it very seriously.  It is a competition with winners.  
This is our medical crew.  Looks like I am in good hands and will be well taken care of :)

Cookie decorating with my sister Ciera and her husband Adam.  I put Kensley in jammies before letting her loose with frosting.

I'm so sad I didn't get a picture of all the cookies from our contest! Matthew's Frankenstein cookie won grand prize with Josh's pirate ship coming in second.

 My sister Kayla and her boyfriend Josh

Then Saturday night we went to a Halloween party for all the residents at Matthew's hospital.  Matthew isn't really a resident yet but he has been there for a couple months and knows everyone so we were invited anyway.  By this time, Kensley did not want to put her dress on again but we got ready again and it turned out to be really fun.  I literally didn't know anyone there but it was fun to meet the residents Matthew works with daily.  
What a fun and festive week! Can't believe it's November already.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jenna's Visit

The first week of October Jenna and her kids were able to come visit us.  She just recently moved to Rexburg, ID so we are loving the fact that we are only about 4 hours away from each other.  The cousins have so much fun together!  Here is a picture narrative of what we did.

4 out of the 5 sisters together for lunch at BYU.  We sure love being on campus. We missed you Alyssa!

Austin and Cade were loving their time together.  They were so worn out everyday from playing so hard they went to bed so well every night.  We had all 4 kids in one room and they did fabulous going to sleep.

 Playing at the park

How many kids can you fit into 1 cart...

These boys are so competitive in everything they do.  It must be a boy thing. :)

Cute girl cousins.  They seem to have the exact color hair but Rylee's is so straight and Kensley's is curly. 

All 4 kids smiling in the same picture!

 Cousin hugs!

Playing play-dough together


We went to a jumping place on of the days. Austin and Cade kept adding foam cubes to their tramp to say they were jumping with more.  Soon they started building towers with them.  They loved it and wore themselves out.

 My friend Melissa was in Utah for a couple months (her husband is also doing medical rotations).  Her mom is a photographer and asked Jenna and I to do some modeling for her.  She wanted a certain type of look in these pictures.  Very artistic and modern. We wore white vintage dresses, red lipstick and did some modern dance poses, jumping poses and storybook poses.  It was so fun!  Our faces were suppose to be serious the whole time but every time Jenna and I would look at each other we would crack up laughing. We had to implement in a no-looking-at-each-other-while-taking-pictures-rule! Melissa was so kind to watch all four of our kids plus her own two while we took these.  Afterwards we had dinner at her house and were able to catch up.  Such a fun day.

We visited both sets of grandparents while Jenna was in town.  This is at the Allen's house. 

We just love when we get to spend time together. I am already planning my trip up to Idaho next month!