Vegas Weekend

We have been so busy this summer with my sister’s wedding, Daryl’s new job, me starting my photography program, and other random things we haven’t had much time for fun trips.  I felt horrible because Macklyn has been saving her money FOREVER (honestly, about a year… which is almost 1/3 of her life…) to stay in a hotel.

Daryl decided to go to a convention in Vegas and we decided to make a vacation out of it.  We told Mack, made a paper chain, and counted down the days until we got to leave.


It was so windy when we arrived! We had to walk through a tunnel thing to get to our hotel and it made the wind WAY worse! Layla thought we were at some kind of attraction and was loving it! She laughed the whole way through it.


Vegas was so fun.  As soon as we got there Macklyn asks if we could go see the “big M&Ms” so we went to the strip.  Layla wasn’t a big fan of the 3D show M&M show but Mack LOVED it. She yelled at the screen the whole time and kept swiping her arms everywhere.


After the movie we met up with Drew  to walk the strip and visit the Coke factory. The girls we dying over the bear at the Coke factory.  Layla couldn’t stop staring at it and Macklyn asked it over and over “Please do not bite my head”.



“Look! This whole in the wall is the perfect size for kids to wait for parents!”








Drew offered to watch the girls the evening for us so we could go see a show.  We went to Ka and they stayed at the hotel eating pizza and watching Netflix.  Macklyn couldn’t wait to tell us how they stayed in their hotel room and someone BROUGHT them pizza.  Her first experience with room reserve was a raging success.

People watching in the parking lot

While Daryl worked the convention Drew was gracious enough to drive us around (because I kept getting lost) and hang out with us all day.  He took us to his favorite breakfast place, grocery shopping, to see his apartment, to help me with my photography homework, and we went swimming.

She thought she was too cool with her little shopping cart



That evening we all went to The Adventure Dome at Circus Circus.  Macklyn WON an arcade game all by herself and then a women just GAVE Layla prize because she thought she was so cute.  At the adventure dome we started off going on the kid rides and it was so cute.  This is the first time Macklyn has ever been big enough to go on rides and I was so excited for her.

The first big kid ride Mack went on was the swinging ship and she kept telling Daryl “There is something wrong with my belly!” and thought maybe she needed to throw up.  Once we explained that is what rides sometimes do to your stomach and that as long as she didn’t feel nauseous she was fine she was all about the rides!


Layla was too little for almost all of the rides but she was happy just sitting in the stroller and looking at all the lights.  And the crazy people. Vegas attracts a lot of crazy people.

Daryl got sick after the first ride so he volunteered to take Macklyn to all the kids rides while Drew and I ran to all the grownup rides.  Daryl won’t go on certain rides with me anyways so it was nice having Drew there! We ran from ride to ride until our bodies said we were too old for anymore flipping and we started to feel sick too.  So much fun.



When we met back up with Daryl and the kids he told us before Macklyn would start a ride she would yell “I LOVE VEGAS!”  She is going to freak out when she realizes the carnival comes to Payson every year.



On our last day there my old BYU teammate came to visit us at the pool and it was so great getting to catch up with her.  She is a performer in Mystere and we got to hear all about her training and what it is like being a circus performer.  Hopefully the next time we come down we will be able to watch her perform.


The girls were saints on the drive there AND back.  I don’t know what we did to get such amazing little humans but I sure am grateful for them.

Overall it was such a fun trip.  Daryl made some great contacts at his conference and we got to hang out with friends and family we don’t get to see very often.  Can’t wait to go back.
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What a week

My new goal is to post once a week and I think he easiest way to do that will be to post right from my phone occasionally. Often by the time I get around to blogging I am so overwhelmed and behind and it is miserable.  Hopefully this will help me keep up on my “journaling” and be less daunting. 


Also, I destroyed my phone this week and lost a lot of pictures that hadn’t been backed up anywhere so I’m hoping to avoid that in the future. 


This has been quite the week. Macklyn has had a lot of attitude these last few weeks and this week it felt extra hard to handle. I am trying really hard to focus on being positive with her and reinforcing her good behavior, but usually by the end of the day I feel like a monster and she is telling me how she loves her dad more. *sigh* At least she likes one of us. 


On a brighter note- Macklyn had swimming lessons all week and has learned so much! I can’t believe how much they can teach them in 9 short days. She is totally comfortable being in the water without a life vest on, she puts her ear in the water to see what the fish are saying, and blows them bubbles to say hello. She likes to sing the “motorboat” song and go under the hula hoops that are submerged in the water. She is working on gliding and floating on her back. 

Practicing her kicks

Swimming with friends
Practicing gliding arms

Exhausted from so much swimming!

Jumping in the water

“Motor boat, moat boat, go so FAST”

Macklyn and Jess


While I am so proud of how much she has learned and wha a confident little swimmer she is becoming, she currently has way more confidence than she has actual swimming skills to back her up. 


After her last day of swim lessons we went to Salem Pond with some friends to feed the ducks. Because Macklyn still has her swimming suit on she decided to get in the pond with them. 

She eventually went a little further out than I wanted (shocking… My brave little three year old didn’t want to stay next to the safe shore edge…) The water was up to her chest and I didn’t want her to trip and get scared. When I told her to come back she yelled “It’s ok! I’m being safe, Mom.”

The constant arguing with what I say will be the death of me. 

Almost right after Macklyn reassured me about how safe she was she stepped out a little further and off an underwater cliff. She suddenly went from the water being to her chest to not being able to touch the bottom at all (and, again, having no real swimming skills). She yelled “MOM!” And then started sinking under. 

I yelled “Watch Layla!” to my friend that was with us as I jumped in after Mack. It was such a scary realization at how fast s little kid truly could drown and I am so, so grateful we were watching her closely at that moment. What if we had just been visiting, thinking she was still close to the shore? Despite the back talk I don’t know what I would do without her. 

I was in such a hurry to get to Macklyn I didn’t check my pockets properly before jumping in and accidentally left my PHONE in my back pocket. Needless to say- it didn’t make it. On the way home Mack said “Mom, thanks for jumping in the water and saving my life!  I’m sorry your phone drowned, but I’m glad I didn’t!”
Because I was able to get to her so fast her “near drowning” wasn’t a big deal (health wise). There were some tears about how scared she was, some “I’m so sorry I didn’t listen” and sobs about how she would never swim again, but she ended up jumping right back in the pond later that night- with a life vest this time. 

The next morning I wanted to mow the lawn before it got too hot out so the girls were playing in the playset. I suddenly heard SCREAMING coming from Layla, who had just been stung by a wasp. 

Again, it could have been so much worse. There was a very active wasp nest hidden under the second stair- right at her face level.  She was only stung once but if she had grabbed the nest (since curious one year olds seem to touch everything) she likely would have been stung several times. 

My girls have amazing angels watching over them. 

Layla’s face started to swell up immediately. I started to stress because I didn’t have a phone (it drowned in Salem Pond…) so if she had a horrible reaction I wouldn’t even be pable to call 911. 

I FaceTimed Daryl from my computer so he could call the doctor. Because it was on her face I was worried somehow the swelling would reach her throat and she wouldn’t be able to breathe. 

 Leaving the doctors. Swelling is starting to go down, which is great!

Her nurses all coddled her and were impressed with how she was running around like a maniac even though half her face was crazy swollen. 
Her doctor assured me the odds of it spreading like that were slim but it was wise to have her checked because that much venom in a little tiny body is going to be worse than if an adult was stung. He always reassured me so I don’t feel like crazy, overprotective mom and I appreciate it 🙂

Here is to next week!

Fishlake Weekend

Daryl has been going down to Fishlake with my dad lately to try and get the cabin done more quickly.  You may not believe this, but we aren’t the most patient people… oh, you knew that? Alright then…
Because it is really boring staying back and I only had a few weeks left before I started my photography program (where I will be in class every Saturday from 10am-2pm so our weekends will be nonexistent) we decided to go down with him on weekend.
On this trip with got to Fishlake a few hours before the rest of the work crew so we headed over to the lake so Daryl could do some fishing.  We caught one huge fish, Macklyn made a new friend, and Layla swam around in the shallow water like a maniac.
When we headed back my dad and the Piersons were there and it was time to get to work.  The boys worked on the cabin while we tried to keep the kids entertained.  I’m not sure who had the harder job…
Lexi has been down to the cabin more often than we have so she has become a professional at entertaining kids at a construction site.  She had Macklyn fooled into thinking sand toys are awesome for dirt and had her sorting all the big rocks.


Macklyn with her best friend Karsyn
They have been working so hard on it and I can’t wait for it to be done!

Cousin Sleepover

While Lexi and Wesley were on their honeymoon we got to spend a couple days with my favorite (read: only) niece.  Macklyn was so excited and could barely contain herself each day.

Day One we met the Judsons for breakfast and fun times at 6:30 AM (those are true friends there!) We put Layla and Karsyn in one swing to see if we could push them all at once.  Layla was laughing her head off but Karsyn stared at the ground in alarm so after a few minutes I decided to take them out.  
Turns out she LOVES it though and was just shocked at the number of children running around her.  She stood right by the swing until I put her back in and loved hanging out in our tandem set up.
Macklyn was so excited to have Karsyn sleep at our house.  She had me set up the pack-n-play in her room so she could “keep an eye on her”.  Karsyn and Layla ran around like maniacs and Macklyn was actually a huge help playing with Karsyn while I was putting Layla to sleep.
 Pre-bedtime walk with the three kiddos
Daryl is out of town this week and I don’t have a double stroller, so I pushed Layla in the jogging stroller while Mack pushed Karsyn in the umbrella stroller.
Mack is basically ready for babysitting.  Contact me if you are interested in her prices.
Day two we went to the park again with the Judsons.  The older kids were so brave and younger ones worked so hard to keep up.  While the “big kids” (you know, the 2-3 year olds) were mastering the monkey bars, Karsyn was determined to conquer the slide stairs.
 Macklyn and Penny climbing the rainbow monkey bars
 Karsyn 

Layla and Bronx
 Macklyn wanted to learn how to do this, but the bars were just too wide apart for her little arms!
Seriously though-  Karsyn and these stairs.  She was determine to figure out how to get off them off the left side (where there is no lower step).  I guess when you are 3 feet tall that is a pretty courageous  move.

We also headed over to the splash pad where Macklyn and Penny ran around introducing themselves to all the other kids and had fun in the water.  Nixon and Bronx decided the water was way too cold for fun times.  Karsyn would venture over every once and a while to check it out, but mainly just wanted to monitor who was coming and going out of the bathroom.  Layla? She mainly just wanted to sit in the wagon that she’s obsessed with.
 Macklyn loves running through the water

Layla and her wagon! Cracks me up every time.
Ever since Macklyn found out what twins are she has been upset with me that I selfishly didn’t birth Layla a buddy.  She has been trying to talk Lexi into giving us Karsyn for a year now but Lexi isn’t ready to give Karsyn up.
When I said “We need to get Karsyn’s stuff together because Lexi and Wesley are on their way to pick her up.” I was met with HYSTERICAL SOBS.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN LEXI AND WESLEY ARE PICKING HER UP?!”
Macklyn FOR REAL thought Karsyn was moving in with us and we were officially a family of five.  
This poor kid.  She seriously just loves Layla and Karsyn so much.
It was so fun having our first cousin sleepover and spend time with Karsyn all week.  Can’t wait to do it again 🙂

Big Decisions

I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies.  The plan was to eventually get my Masters and be a therapist of some kind.

Then I worked in therapy fields.  At Birdseye I worked with juvenile sex offenders and at Center for Change I worked with women with eating disorders.  While they are two totally different populations they both taught me the same thing: I do NOT want to do that my entire life.  I do not want to go to work all day and listen to the horrible (HORRIBLE) things that people have done or had done to them.  Somedays I would come home from work so drained.  I couldn’t imagine doing that for the next 40 years.

I didn’t know what the next step was.  I love coaching gymnastics.  I have great bosses who treat me like family and I get to help girls learn awesome tricks.  However, as Macklyn grows older and is getting closer to starting school I have been anxious about my employment situation.  I don’t want to be home all day while my kids are at school and then go to work as soon as they get home.  I would never see them and I want to be there to make connections at transitional parts of the day.  I wouldn’t mind being home in time for family dinner at night either- by the time I get home from coaching it is time to get the girls ready for bed.  Right now we have very little time where we are all together as an entire family unit.

I know I need a career option where I can make my own schedule and attend all my kids games, recitals, etc.  I also need something that would allow me to provide for my family if something (God forbid) happened to Daryl and I needed to work full-time as the bread winner.

After looking at many options and really thinking about what kind of career would provide all I am looking for I have decided to enroll in photography school! The program is kind of intense but it is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

I didn’t tell anyone when I originally applied because I still had to test in (and since I currently have very limited skills I honestly didn’t know if I would be accepted).  Also, there is something about being in Utah that makes everyone with a camera *think* they are a professional photographer (even though their pictures show otherwise…) and I wasn’t ready to fight that stigma yet.  But I’m in the program now and I seriously can’t wait!

This was a huge commitment and I looked at probably 100 other options first.  Online classes don’t offer the feedback I’m looking for and I don’t want to take a million specialty classes in hopes that each of them are worth the time.  It made so much more sense for me to participate in an all encompassing program.  I want to be properly trained and need an opportunity to gain lots of experience (with objective feedback) if I want to pursue this professionally.

I am so nervous (and kind of freaking out) but am so excited for this adventure.  I can’t wait for July to get here so I can start learning everything the program has to offer!

No, we aren’t pregnant…

I have loved our jeep. We bought it right before Macklyn was born and we have made so many great memories in it. We brought both girls home from the hospital in it!

Unfortunately, Jess the Jeep has been having some issues lately and it was looking like her transmission would be going out. We have been saving for a camper trailer, but it looked like we’d be buying a new car instead.

See ya Jess. You’ve been good to us. 
Instead of buying a car we’d grow out of soon, we decided to get a little bigger one we could grow into. It is awesome and despite its bigger size, it actually gets better gas mileage than the Jeep. 
The Nissan Pathfinder- my new “mom car”
The first thing everyone has said to us is “Oh… Are you guys needing a bigger car soon?” *wink wink*
So, no, I’m not pregnant. My baby just turned one and we are not ready for that yet. Hopefully one day though 🙂  In the mean time we are loving all the extra space and the fun new features this car has (Keyless start and back-up camera! Holla!)



Layla Birthday

For Layla’s first birthday we invited the family over to celebrate Layla and enjoy some pizza.

Layla fell asleep right before the get together and we let her keep sleeping as everyone arrived.  Once we busted out the cupcakes we figured we better wake her up so she could blow out her candle.

We lit the candle to sing and Layla looked at us like “Did you guy FOR REAL just light my food on fire? Did you guys just place fire RIGHT IN FRONT ON ME? What is even happening right now?”

“I am seriously questioning my parent’s judgement right now…”
While Layla loves blowing on her food to cool it down, she couldn’t get over the fact we had just stuck fire right with in her reach and she would not be tricked into blowing on it.
After a bit Macklyn stepped in to help her.  Thank heaven’s for sisters.

Once the fire was out Layla relaxed a bit and was able to enjoy her cupcake.

“What is happening right now? I still can’t believe they LIT MY FOOD ON FIRE!”

“Whatever.  I love frosting.”

Once Layla woke up a little more and got some sugar in her system she was ready to PARTY.

Despite her very generous family showering her with gifts we could not get her to focus on anything but the balloons.  Layla danced around with her balloons while Macklyn helped her open the gifts.

We are so grateful for everyone who made it to our home to be with us and celebrate our favorite little one year old.  Layla is so blessed to have so many people in her life who love her so much.