Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why is it...

that I always get burned the last day at the beach? Seriously, 2 weeks burn-free for us all, and today we all got crispy, despite re-applying twice! ARGH! It doesn't help that both kiddos have my whiter-than-white skin or that the large beach umbrella broke beyond repair yesterday. Sigh.
We'll post pictures on our Jersey Adventures soon! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Road Trippin'

What family vacation with young children would be complete without some road trippin'? Yes, road trippin' with my 3 favorite guys. We've packed snacks and supplies...fortunately, we did not get lost.

Tyler's family lives back east and Tyler had some BYU donors to visit in random places (like upstate New York), so we figured "Hey, why not see the sights and kill two birds with one stone" (except that we never use the "kill 2 bird with one stone" saying since we could end up killing my relatives with that one stone--no killing birds!). Why not? Well, to many the 2 children ages 3 and 1 would be two HUGE reasons why not. But we are a litle crazy and like to live life on the edge. So, after a flying into Philly at 10 pm and spending some time with my baby brother and his wifey (see Memoirs of a Rockstar), we slept. Hooray for sleep!

That's when the fun really began. 4 hours on the road to Tyler's sister's house in Cortland, NY. The kids did pretty well and slept for a few hours, watched a little Little Einsteins, and joined me for an excursion to Target along the way while T met with some BYU folk. We spent the evening with Rachel and family (Jack and Sheridan fell IN LOVE with their 6 cousins and really bonded with them during this unique one family on one experience). Next morning, on to Palmayra and Buffalo. Jack kept asking "Are we in New York?" He even said a prayer and asked the Lord to bless New York, but that's another story.
Palmayra was cool. For those of you who aren't LDS, you've probably never heard of it--it's the place where Joseph Smith first prayed to know what church to join and had amazing experiences that put things in motion for the restoration of the LDS church and the translation of the Book of Mormon. If you have questions, I've got answers! I was amazed at the tiny house Joseph Smith lived in with this 7 (or was it 9?) siblings and parents. I LOVED walking through the grove of trees where Joseph was able to ask God what church to join (even with 2 little kids, it was VERY peaceful!). I did not love the hike up to the top of the Hill Cumorah, but that's probably because Jack fell asleep 5 minutes before arriving there, the trail is STEEEEEEP, and Sheridan was yelling at me "A WALK! A WALK" because I was carrying her up said steep terrain while Tyler was pushing the boy up in the wheelchair and she really wanted to walk. Man, being hugely pregnant was not an asset there!
In Buffalo, Tyler had more work so I got the lone adventure of putting the kids to bed in a hotel room. I know, that sounds like a silly thing to blog about. There was, after all, silence for 5 minutes after I laid them down. My kids, however, are used to their own rooms (spoiled, I know we are!) and were having WAAAAAY to much fun riling each other up instead of sleeping. So, rather than reading Fablehaven, I had to lay down with Jack to prevent him from jumping on the bed and yelling "Bah!" to his sister in the pack and play. There was no help for Sheridan sleeping, regardless of the shortened nap and LATE hour, until brother was asleep. Yeah, I laid down with him and he was out after 5 minutes...Sheridan kept popping up and exclaiming "Mama!" or "Brother!" or "WAAAAHHHHHH!" So, I actually fell asleep before she did. Cool.
Saturday morning we decided to take off, eh, to the Great White North. Buffalo is geographically quite close to Niagra Falls and (as EVERYONE told us) the best view is from the Canadian side. We needed passports or birth certificates for everyone (Thank You, Tyler's Mom, for FedExing the birth cert to Rachel's house) in order to cross the border. Then, we had to wait in this LONG line to actually get a Canadian border guard to look at our docs and photo ID's, ask some questions (where do you live? Is that a rental car? Are you bringing any guns into Canada with you? Do you have any drugs?), and wave us through. Come on, like anyone wants to wreak havoc in Canada? They might say weird things like "eh" but they don't tend to stick their feet in their mouthes quite like Americans. Let's be honest, so long as they're sharing the border with us, they don't have to worry about wackos coming into their country to cause problems--the wackos will be coming to OUR country, unfortunately!
Niagra Falls is BEAUTIFUL and I have to echo "everyone" in that the Canadian side has a MUCH better view...but I would not recommend a summer Saturday as the best crossing-the-border-time. Jack really wanted to see the mailbox where butterfly's invitation wasn't (check Little Einsteins for that reference). I didn't know there were 2 falls--I only thought there was Horseshoe Falls. Canadians will take American dollars at a random, slightly sketchy paid parking lot. Wendys is even better in Canada--they have tasty Canadian yogurt as an option in the kids' meals. Oh, and my kids were far more interested in walking barefoot through the Canadian grass than in gawking at the amazing wonders that nature shared. Jack especially loved the "spiky fruit" he found below a tree (I think it's a sycamore seedling).

Saturday we drove back across the border (the US guard looked at our documents, asked a few quick questions, and then asked if we were bringing anything back with us. Tyler lied and said no, but I quickly pointed out the Wendy's cup of Fresca--we must keep things on the up and up! and the US guard had a much better sense of humor than the Canadian one and actually laughed). On to Cortland, where Rachel and kids had preceeded us to New Jersey. Yep, we made ourselves at home and bugged Chris, then got a nice night's sleep. Church in the morning and driving in the afternoon. We arrived early enough in Philadelphia to actually spend time with Learon and Ashley, where Sheridan cried hysterically every time she saw their dog and Jack worked up the nerve to pet the dog.

Road Trip, check! We had a well-earned break in Philly Monday and enjoyed some unseasonably wonderful, Seattle-like weather. The kids LOVED the park by their house, I enjoyed a little trip to Trader Joe's, and we completely monopolized my family for the day! I guess alls well that ends well!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What with our Anniversary...

I thought I'd complete Jenni's blog tag and tell you about my spouse and why he's so wonderful (although if you know him, you already know why he's wonderful). Yes, I am Trouble in our relationship!

We are celebrating our 6th anniversary on Saturday (actually, he just told me he's taking me somewhere overnight on Thursday, since his mom can watch the kids--THANK YOU, MOM!) and it has been the most fantastic 6 years of my life. Hard times, sure, but no one I'd rather work through hard times with. And no one funnier to work through them with, either!

What is his name? Tyler John Lawrence (and you wonder why our boy has 2 middle names?)
Who eats more? Although he eats more in one sitting, I'm pregnant, so I eat more throughout the day!
Who said “I love you” first? Tyler. He also said it second and third.
Who is taller? Tyler (6'1")--he's got me beat by 6"
Who is smarter? We're both smart mouths...I think I have the bigger vocab, but he does listen to NPR daily, so he's intheknow.
Who is more sensitive? I'm pregnant--if you can't figure that out...
Who does the laundry? Me.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? OK, so do you mean the right side looking at the bed or lying in bed? Because I think that wherever I am is the right side of the bed...
Who pays the bills? With the assistance of Quicken and Tyler's paycheck, I do. Oh, except the online ones, he pays those. But I balance the checkbook.
Who cooks more? Me. If it were up to him, we'd eat chicken and rice daily. I like variety.
Who is more stubborn? Yeah, we're about equal there.
Who is the first to admit when they’re wrong? Hmmm, well I'd have to be wrong first, so maybe someday we'll find out.
Who has more siblings? We're both the 4th of 5 kids.
Who wears the pants in the family? Wow, while Tyler does have nice legs, he gets sheepish about wearing a skirt. The proverbial pants? We tag-team it.
What do you like to do together? Heh heh. Oh, I mean we like to sing children's TV music, tickle the kids, work on improving our home improvement, dance dance revolution, go to the beach, eat dinner, watch our fetus' "night show", and talk. We really like to think that we're funny, so we laugh a LOT together.
Who eats more sweets? Me. Tyler is trying to help me like healthy food.
Guilty pleasures? Peanut butter, pretzels, chips and salsa...although he doesn't feel particularly guilty about any of those. Basketball, maybe (he plays at 6 am and feels a little guilty about my having to get up with the kids since I am SO TIRED ALL THE TIME).
How did you meet? He picked me out of his buddy's BYU ward directory and his buddy set us up on a blind date. I was a little intimidated by him (he looked older than me and was so handome!) but once we got to talking, we never stopped.
Who proposed? Tyler. He did it with a ring pop (It was actually what I'd always wanted to be proposed to with...). A few days later he popped the question again with the real ring. I was surprised. We got married 3 months later.
What is his best feature? His sparkling personality. Ok, and he's HOT!!!
What is his best quality? He really, truly cares about people. He is a fantastic husband and father and is always with us 100% when he's home!

I love you, babe! Happy 6th anniversary!!!