Monday, June 28, 2010

My Sweet Dad

This man is my hero. I cannot put into words how much I love and admire him. He is such an example to me of unconditional love, faith, strength, perseverance, selflessness, optimism, humility, and steadfastness.

And I am certain that anyone who has ever known him can attest to all of that.
My wonderful Dad, I love you so very much.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I am so grateful for the opportunity we had to drive up to Idaho and spend time with this amazing man. Dominic and Damon absolutely adore their "Poppie". Damon even grabbed both of his cheeks with his hands and planted a giant open-mouthed kiss on his face. This trip was such a blessing and we made some wonderful memories. Thank you, so much, Daddy and Arlene, for making sure we had a fabulous time.
We love you oh so much. :)

Both my munchkins got some one-on-one time with Poppie as well as time together. These pictures warm my heart. Priceless...

Poppie and Damon:

Poppie and Dominic:

A Couple of Handsome Devils...


One of the highlights of Dominic's visit was going out to feed the "Moo's" with Poppie. He looked so spiffy in his little cowboy shirt, my heart almost melted.

I almost felt like an intruder, photographing this special time they shared together... but I'm so glad I got these pictures.

Dom was sooooo very impressed with the "Moo's". He asked about them for the remainder of the trip! Thank you so much, Daddy, for going to the effort to show our little guy what it's like to live on a "mini-ranch". He had so much fun!

And didn't want Poppie to put him down. ;)

I just love these photos.
My dad still pats my head and rubs my cheek like this. I love it.
He is such a kind-hearted man.

(Eating chocolate doughnuts... Dom got spoiled.)

Dom also had a wonderful time with Grandma, eating her "nandy", watering her flowers, smelling her oils... and spending time back in the soap kitchen, smelling the soap.
("Mmmmm... Nandy.")

We were sent home with a bunch of bars of homemade soap and Dominic loves to go to my cupboard and open the bag to take a little sniff every now and again.

I can't wait to visit again soon. Can't get enough of this guy. :)
I love you so much, Dad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Adventurous? Or Just Plain Crazy?

So... did I really pack both my babes in the car and drive for 15 hours by myself to Utah, and then 3 1/2 more hours in the morning on to Idaho? Did I really do it all by myself? Did I have to vigilantly seek out seemingly secure and somewhat deserted parking lots to discreetly nurse my bottle-snubbing, very distracted 6 month (then) old in while my fiesty two-year-old put together puzzles in the back seat... all while their frantic, stress-case-of-a-mother prayed that said 6-month-old would actually eat and not be distracted and that said two-year-old would be even a tiny-bit patient and not screech (you've all heard his shrill shrieks, you ALL know... well, most of you anyway) during the entire nursing process which took place at least 6-7 times during the trip?

My friends... I DID. I did it. And you know what? It wasn't all that bad. Forgive me for gloating... but I am soooo PROUD of myself. This was kind of a big deal for me. ;)

The night before I left, Rich and I and the boys went out to Sonic for dinner. I was already stressing (what I do best) about the trek... imagining all sorts of shenanigans that would take place... and then the couple sitting at the table next to us got up to leave. The very sweet, and somewhat nosy, woman walked over to us before they made their exit.
"Um, I didn't mean to eavesdrop... but I overheard you worrying about your trip. Don't worry Sweetheart, Heavenly Father will help your babies. It will be okay." Then she smiled and was gone.

A little awkward, yes. And a little embarrassing that I was obsessing loudly enough for someone else to hear. But you know what? I know that's just exactly what happened. If you know my sweet Dominic... you know he's a firecracker. If you've ever hung out with me for a day... or even just an hour or two, you know that your ears are probably ringing by the time you leave. That scream of his.... oh he's so naughty sometimes. ;) But not on this trip. Not one shriek from him. Not one. Seriously. I have no other explanation. Heavenly Father was definitely aware of me during this trip. My child never acts like that. He was perfect. For real. No tears from either babe the entire drive there. Can you believe it? I still can't. But I'll take it!

Here's the little angel, quietly entertaining himself...

Haha! I love this picture...

...too many oreos can make one ill...
... and a little crazy.
(Kristen and Tom, THANK YOU for the DVD player. This really saved me!)
And Damon? Angel.
He nursed like a champ and didn't fight me to look at all the gadgets in the front seat like I pictured him doing.
This type of behavior on behalf of my chitlins would never ordinarily happen. Ever.
And so, Heaven.... great big thank you.
Thank you for understanding just how important it was for me to make this trip to see my Dad.
Isn't this enough to melt your heart forever?
I LOVE this amazing man.

It was sooooo worth it. And I'm so happy I went. :)

On the way home, it was pretty smooth sailing too. This time, however, each bambino had a good cry or two... but nothing I couldn't handle with my hubby beside me. (I drove to Idaho while Rich worked for the week. He flew out the next week and stayed for a week... then drove home with me.)

Funny Story:

We wanted to take the scenic route on the way home. The one that goes through Panguitch and Kanab... that one. Well, we missed Highway 20 that goes over the mountain and connects with that route. We missed the next opportunity to connect with that route as well. Finally, on our 3rd attempt, we found a road that said it would lead us in that direction. We drove for quite a while before we started seeing signs for Zions National Park. We hadn't ever been through Zion's and were interested to see where the "turn-off" for it would be. My mind was a little preoccupied with the bottle-snubber in the back seat who was beginning to tell us it was eatin' time. Google Maps said this road was only about 25ish more miles to Panguitch ... or Kanab... or one of those towns... so I figured he'd make it until then. If not, I could handle a couple minutes of crying. We drove some more and came across a quaint little tourist town. We must be close to the turn-off to Zion, we'd keep our eyes peeled...maybe we'd go there sometime in the future. Then... we hit traffic. I strained my eyes in the distance and what did I see? A ranger station... letting cars in one by one. What!? Crap. There wasn't a "turn-off" for Zions... this was Zions. We would have to go through it.

Speed limit: twwweeeennnnttttyyyy - ffffiiiiivvvvve.

(Although I'm sure we went 15-20 the entire time.)

As we got closer, I noticed the sign said "$25.00 fee". Perfect. Dame was sooo hungry. This was going to add another HOUR to our already oh-so-long roadtrip.
AND... we were now out $25.00 to boot.


But just as I began to get all cranky, Rich rolled down his window and the Ranger handed us this:

Hot dog! It was our lucky day. No fee for us... I was feeling a little better as we drove into the canyon. And then... we saw this:

... and this.

And this...

... don't forget the mountain goat.

Beautiful, huh?. :)
And there was even this tunnel that went right through the mountain.

A little scary. PITCH BLACK. But so cool. In the end, I'm glad we made the "wrong turn". It was scenic, it broke up the monotony, it was FREE... and Damon didn't even have a melt-down. Rich and I should just take 15 hour road trips every week... somehow it seems to bring out the best in our kids. ;)

Pictures of my wonderful trip to Idaho/Utah coming up next! On the edge of your seats!? I'm sure you are. Haha.
And here are some lovely videos of our road trip for your viewing pleasure...
The Tunnel:


Dame: least they took turns.

Here's Dom, drawing. Quite the set-up, huh?:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Pictures!

I have an amazingly sweet and talented sis-in-law who is a photographer. Lucky me. :) Here are our family pictures. We even got a few of Dom smiling, a daunting task with an unlikely outcome... but thanks to Uncle Ross's craziness... mission accomplished. Here are a few (haha...if 14 is a "few") pictures that I swiped from Angela's photography blog because I was so excited about them I couldn't wait until I got my cd from her in the mail. Thanks Ang!

Only a few tantrums were thrown in our attempt to capture a family picture... again, thanks Uncle Ross for being so amusing... you even got some "real" laughs/smiles out of my hubby! And thank GOODNESS we were able to take them in Utah and not in the 115 degree
desert! ;) AND... thank goodness for dandelions.