Our newest bribery!

Most people know I'm pretty against bribery. Nate and I have had several discussions about not using dessert to bribe our children to eat dinner, as that will put dessert on a pedestal and make them think it tastes so much better than healthy food. (I'll spare you the rest of my theories on childhood obesity and such.) But for several reasons, I'm okay bribing Tayvin with the puppies. (For now at least.)

Reason #1: It won't make him fat. In fact, it's good exercise for him to run from the puppies when they're licking him and he doesn't like it.

#2: It makes it a novelty a little longer. Ya know how kids beg and beg and beg for puppies and you try to explain how much work they are but they don't listen? Then after you've caved and they've had their puppies for more than a few days, they suddenly think that even playing with them is a chore? Well, Tayvin is obviously too young to beg for puppies and to understand the work concept but still, knowing my sweet boy like I do, I know that it will wear off. So the more I talk it up, the longer it will last. (At least I hope so...)

#3: It gives him something to look forward to in the morning.
Anyway, without further ado... Here are pics of Tayv with the newest bribery...Crash and Sassy

And a couple cute pics of Tayv...The last one is his new thing-his fake smile!

"Oly Mokes, Bampa!"

...As Tayvin would say.

My Parents will both reach the top of the hill this year-the big FIVE-OH! My mom's birthday was in June and my Dad's is in October so we decided to throw them a surprise party. My sister, however, leaves for New Zealand in a couple days so we figured why not throw the party in the middle of July, when they would least expect it!?! And it's a dang good thing we did because holy cow, were there a lot of slips... from my mom walking in to my aunt's house where we had 50 black and white cupcakes and a zillion kabobs on the counter, to my sister slipping and asking my dad if mom knew about the surprise yet! So needless to say, it was a little stressful but so worth it in the end! Holy Smokes, Grandpa!

The Only Picture we got of the veggie bouquet and my sisters...
I love this picture of my tough-cowboy dad with the baby...


Not much to say...

Well, it's Whatever Wednesday, which is my blogging day but I don't have a lot to say. Here a few tidbits of what we've been up to...

-Nate's job is going great! A few things have happened at the office that are pushing him harder and faster into the next level, but he's loving it. Hopefully, at this rate he'll be opening his own office before Christmas. He's taking a crew to Vegas in a couple weeks to do a week long blitz. Tayv and I might fly down and stay with him for a few days but we'll have to see because it's all guys that are going.

-My sister will be reporting to the MTC a week from today and we're not looking forward to it. She went to St. George for the weekend with some friends and while she was gone, Tayvin was looking at a picture of her and said to me in the saddest voice, with his puppy-dog look, "See Aunt Rara." I think that will be the hardest part about having her gone for so long- seeing her miss out on the kids' lives. Heck, she'll hopefully have 2 more nieces/nephews when she gets back.
-We got two puppies... Before my dad had grandkids, he was pretty much like a grandpa/favorite uncle to his roping partner's little boy. Jarom would always come sit with dad in sacrament and dad would always have candy for him. Apparently, he took Jarom a puppy once and Kurt (his roping partner) said he would get back at him. Well, last week I get this call...
"Hi Princess, is your dad home?"
"Yah, just a second I'll get him."
"No, no, no. Is your son home too?"
"Ok, thanks, bye"
I got off the phone thinking how weird it was and explained it. My dad knew instantly what it was all about, I believe it went something like this...
"He better not be bringing a puppy."
"Didn't I give Jarom a puppy once and Kurt swore he'd get back at me?"

Anyway, about 30 minutes later Kurt showed up with two puppies that look exactly the same. I couldn't stand for them to be separated so we ended up with both. They're both girls and Tayvin loves them! (I'll get pictures of them as soon as Tayv wakes up.)

-We had a great 4th of July! I flew in the morning of the 4th, Nate picked me up and we pretty much went straight to the parade. It was fun for Tayv to see the horses and get to catch candy. We went to the rodeo that night (thanks, Dad) where Tayvin loved the bulls and fireworks. He kept telling me how he wanted to ride a cow. My little bull-rider in the making.
The best part for me was the beginning of the rodeo. I'm very patriotic and usually can't get through the Star Spangled Banner without crying. They did something a little different this year before they sang the National Anthem. There was a flag ceremony while they played this incredible new song (which I've yet to find.) Anyway, it of course brought me to tears and I'm sure I looked like an idiot but I have such a great love for this country and most especially all those who have and are sacrificing for our freedoms. Not just those in the armed forces, but also their families and friends. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to sacrifice a spouse, child, or parent but I also could think of no greater honor. Thank you, to those who make sacrifices on our behalf.


Some things I'm looking forward to...

-The local Melodrama is next Monday and Tuesday to kick off the celebration of our beautiful state's birthday. I grew up going to the Melodrama and usually knew all or most of the actors. I wanted Nate to experience the comedy and fun of melodramas so I took him to one that was put on in Anchorage for Rondy (I think.) It was okay, but not near as great as I remember them. So guess what we're doing for FHE on Monday? That's right... I'm going to subject Nate to more of my home-town memories. (In all fairness though, it's my turn right?)
-Batman! We've been planning this date for a looooong time now. We considered going last night at midnight but the last time we did that, we paid for like a week. We even had my mom pick up our tickets earlier today when she was in Park City so there was no chance it would sell out. The reviews have been great Oh, and Nate's buying me popcorn!
-Triathlon- There is a triathlon here at the end of August that I just found out about and really wanted to do, but since we haven't been training for it, I didn't really want to spend the money on it. So instead, my sis showed me this program that she's doing with her work. It's a two-week triathlon where you run 26.2 miles, bike 112 miles, and swim 2.5 miles. Of course Nate doesn't want to do it because he hates swimming, but I think I've talked him into it. And just for the record, it's not like I enjoy parading my stretch-marked, white skin around in a bathing suit either!
-Crafting- I'm loving the time I have not worrying about work and everything else. My mom and I split the housework and cooking so I stay busy enough to not go crazy but don't feel so guilty sitting down to play with Tayvin or read a book. So naturally, I'm getting excited to have some time to scrapbook, make cards, and find some super cute crafts I want to make!
-Our own space- Nate and I have never really had our own space. Since we got married, we've lived in somebody else's house. Not that we regret living at Helvi's-it was a great opportunity for us to start our family and finish school with no debt, and it was so fun being a part of the Culvers' lives. But let's face it, it's time. Tayvin needs his own room and we need our own space-Can't wait until we have it!
-BREAKING DAWN! I already talked to my mom about babysitting Tayv for the day so I can go to Salt Lake, get the book, and spend the day at the park reading. But this morning I looked into which stores are holding midnight sales the night before. I'm not usually that type of a fan but I'm considering it... (By the way, they've started the quote of the day on her website for anyone who missed it.)



I know I've been a totally lame blogger lately... It's just that when I'm down here with a yard for Tayvin to play in, horses to ride, hay to haul, wood to stack, and family to see, I just don't want to spend all my time on the computer. But today I feel crappy, am still in my pajamas, and have read an entire book in the last 24 hours. Maybe after I get dressed and make dinner (these should never be in the same sentence, I know,) I will update on what's been going on down here in sunny Utah-sorry to those of you who are enduring Anchorage's crappy weather!


My Wednesday Whatever List

As much as I am looking forward to being back in Utah for a few years, there are many things I will truly miss about Alaska…

1-Family- Of course this one is first. Being 3,000 miles away from my family for over 5 years has been hard. But I was very blessed to marry into the family I did. Nate’s family has taken me in and treated me as their own. From sledding _________, to eating my food off of my plate, they have truly treated me as family, and I couldn’t ask for more.
2-Our Friends- We have made so many friends up here and learned some great games! I couldn’t have survived without them!
3-Coastal Trails- Basically anywhere you want to go in the city of Anchorage, there is a trail to take you there. And I’m not just talking dirt trails, I’m talking paved, often lighted, marked trails. We spent all our time on them last summer and will miss them terribly. Even better than the trails through the cities, are the coastal trails. There is nothing like a midnight sunset on the ocean with your family.
4-Sunsets after midnight- Every now and then, when Tayvin didn’t want to go to bed, we would take off to the coastal trail at 11 or so and bike till the sun set way after midnight. Being the night owl I am, I LOVED it!
5-If you go south of anchorage, you’ll find one of the prettiest scenes in the world. There’s a rather large inlet that often has whales in it. But even when there aren’t any whales, there is the reflection of the sun on the ocean and the smell of pine trees. On one side of the road is the inlet (with mountains across the way,) and on the other side of the road are the mountains with waterfalls falling so close to the road that it’s possible to get splashed while driving by. It is one of my favorite places in the world.
6-Halibut- Anywhere else I go, I just don’t dare order halibut in a restaurant. I’ve been absolutely spoiled with fresh halibut here and don’t think I will ever be converted back.
7-Playgroup-Hands down, Tayvin and I have the absolute best playgroup there is. There’s not much more to be said, it just breaks my heart when I think about not getting to spend time with Autumn, Jen, Julie, Jess, and their kids.
8-Green everything! In late spring, usually about the third week in May, everything blooms! One day you’re just driving down the road and the green just pops out at you. Even driving down the highway, one is surrounded by green everything. It can’t be beat.
9-Construction- This is not something one would usually miss. See, in Anchorage, they have to redo most roads every year or two because of perma-frost. Because of this, they seem to have a pretty good handle on it. Having grown up in Utah and driven there when I have gone back to visit, I appreciate the lack of traffic that Anchorage’s construction causes. With a few exceptions, I’ve not seen any roads that are completely blocked off for more than a day or two. We didn’t know how good we had it.
10-Love of Music- Anybody that knows me well, knows I can’t live without music. Whether it’s dancing, violin, singing, or just listening, I HAVE to have music in my life. I believe so strongly in the power of music and have felt that here in the people also. It’s nice to drive down the road, see people singing to their heart’s content in the car, and not feel alone.
11-Glacier Brewhouse- I would eat there every week if I could afford it. If you’ve eaten there (with the exception of my family who didn’t have a very good experience there,) you know what I’m talking about. I LOVE that place!
12-Comfort- Although I grew up in Utah, I did most of my maturing here in Alaska. I met my husband here and some of my best friends. I had my first child here, and I learned to truly appreciate my family here. I have lived in Alaska for over 5 years and am comfortable with it. It will be hard to leave.
13-Tuukee- Last week I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but Tuukee was here before Nate. When my friends left after our first summer here, I was so lonely. After a month or so, I decided to get a dog. I went to the pound one day, just to see if they had any puppies yet, and they had just gotten a batch in. Tuukee was the chubbier one that all the others picked on. I just felt for him. I paid for him, went back to work, and picked him up from the vet 3 days later. He has been with me since and has gone through everything with him. I hope and pray the kids will love him as much as I do and take good care of him.