Monday, December 31, 2012

Ever have this happen?

We're looking for a house.

Friday, December 28, 2012

PA Travel Log

Hello to family and anyone else who's interested in our Pennsylvania Adventure.  For those of you who may not know, we took a job in Harrisburg and flew out yesterday.  I just wanted to write down all the little details that my Mom and Mother-in-law will desperately want to hear...and anyone else who wants to can read it to.  But Moms...this is for you.  We were also so blessed yesterday and as I was writing in my "how I've seen the Lord's hand in my life" journal, I was so grateful for how He took care of us.

First off, the roads to the airport were snowy.  I was so grateful my Dad was driving (even though I covered my eyes a few times because snow driving stresses me.  Its worse than a haunted house ride).  We got there and took a little while to check in our 6 bags (including 2 car seats and a stroller) and by the time we got up to the security/TSA was 7:45, our flight was boarding and the line went through all the twisty-turnies and then straight back for a hundred feet.  We got in the line and I said, "if we miss our flight...we just have to pay for another one huh."  We decided to just spend our time in line talking about who was going to do what once we got to the place to unload.  Miracle #1: when we got up to the place where they check your drivers license to make sure that you match your boarding pass...Jon's license was expired!  Luckily, he'd also brought his passport so that he'd be able to prove that he can legally work in the US.  I remember when we talked about him bringing his pass port and I'm so grateful because if he'd only brought his expired license and his ss card...he wouldn't be able to start work on Jan 2nd like we've been planning on (not to mention he wouldn't be able to fly).  I was so so grateful.   So by the time we got up there, we were hurrying.  I asked my parents to pray for us that we'd make our flight.  Well they were really great at pushing the line through and we made it to the other side and were running to our gate at 8:10/8:15.  We got there just in time to be in the pre-boarding phase and even though diapers had to be changed we made it!   

The girls did great on the flights.  Lily did cry for some of the time on the first, longer flight but Suzy didn't at all.  I was afraid that take off would scare Lily, but she liked seeing the other airplanes on the run way.  Once they turned off the seat belt sign, the girls had a great time playing on the ground together or just moving inbetween Jon and me (we had a row of 3 seats to ourselves).  Towards the end of the flight, Lily started to have a really hard time.  I held her and read a book to her 9 times, then Jon suggested singing, so I did and she fell asleep for the last 15 minutes of the flight.  She was so exhausted from getting up at 5:30 that morning.  

When we got to our layover in Detroit, we only have 50 minutes before our next flight was taking off.  So, we jumped in a line for some food and again were running to make sure we got there in time.  This flight was shorter and the girls both did great.  Suzy fell asleep while we were taxiing on the runway and slept almost the entire time.  This plane only had 2 seats in a row, so Jon and Lily were behind me.  Lily loved it and was so happy - it felt like a Daddy daughter date to her.  Lily hadn't been scared at all the entire day, until we started our second descent.  Jon had been looking out the window the entire time with her.  There was a wall of clouds and once we were through it and could see the ground, he said Lily started shaking and was really scared.  She said, "shut the window" and Jon thought to himself, "what a smart little girl I have.  She figured out how to solve her problem," then he shut the cover, she sat on his lap, and again she fell asleep for the last fifteen minutes.  However, this time as we got off the plane and got our stroller, she stayed asleep and didn't wake up until we got into the rental car.  

Here comes the next Miracle of the day...#2.  We got the rental car (which only I can drive since Jon's license it broken...but I'm glad because then it forces me to try to get a handle on the roads).  Anyway...we got the rental car and had printed google maps directions from the airport to our temporary apartment, then from the apt to someone in the ward who is lending us two porta cribs, then back to our apartment.  It should be easy to follow - but it wasn't.  The directions said "merge" onto the freeway, instead of saying "take this exit."  They don't have exit numbers out here...just exit names and there are 2 interstate highways and some in-state highways that all connect in Harrisburg...some just turn into a different highway and its super confusing.  So, we got lost after just a few minutes.  We got off, tried to stop feeling so stressed and got back on the freeway.  I figured we'd just drive around for a while until the lady from the apt complex answered her phone.  I was praying - we knew the name of the exit we needed, but we weren't 100 % sure which highway we were on and how to get to the one we needed (maybe Jon knew, but I didn't) and we didn't know which direction we were heading.  I prayed as I drove and in 5 minutes - there was the exit!  Then we could follow the directions really easily.  What a blessing!  

Well after a more successful trip picking up the porta cribs, a long walmart shopping trip, and getting somewhat settled in, we made it to bed by midnight (10 pm utah time).  Lily LOVES being in a new place.  She gets really giddy and excited.  She acted this way when we stayed at a condo in the Tetons with family this last year.  That being said...she's already asked to go to Anna's house twice and asked to go to Grandma's once.  :)  So sweet, and it kinda makes me want to cry but its ok.  

Just some points of interest:
1- I was telling someone from the car rental place my address.  (823 E 820 N)  She said, "what kind of an address is that?"  I responded, "Its a utah address"  I'm already realizing that the twisty roads and only having road names to go off of is going to take quite a while to get used to.  But, its fun and its beautiful.  The trees are all dead now, but spring is going to be gorgeous.  

2- they told us we have a no smoking apartment...but there was an ash tray in our bedroom and i keep getting whiffs of something funny.  i'll just keep the air freshener pumping.

3- we'll probably go out driving and try to see some apartments today.  i really wanted to get one chosen today or tomorrow when i was in utah. but now that we're here...i'm feeling like it might be ok if we take longer.  i can be here with the girls for a while if it just takes longer for us to find a place we really feel good about. (that being said...i still really want to live in hershey).  we drove out to hershey last night to get the porta cribs and i just love that town.  its got a more small-town feel than where we are now.  

4- the houses are all older and a lot of people park on the street, a lot of them not having garages.  i realized that i've associated those things with lower income neighborhoods that i don't feel as safe in.  but...out here, the houses that are like that are really well taken care of and i think its just because this is an older area.  i'll get used to it.  


alright, we'll the girls are up so i'm signing off.  love you all!  thanks for all your prayers and help.  and especially - thanks to my Mom and Dad who finished up with helping the movers get our stuff out of our house and did the final clean up.  thank you!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Videos and Pictures

 Discovery Park with Uncle Joe

Grandpa and Lily.  Lily says his name "Ban-cah"

Jon planned a date and we painted these with toes only.  

This is supposed to be the was a race and Jon smoked me.

I found this on the floor...Lily has been trying to figure diapers out for a while now.

Lily's favorite book, so she reads it to Ernie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Date Day

Three years ago today, Jon took me on our first date.  I forgot that it was today and he came home with these.  Sigh, I'm so "lucky ducky" (as Lily would say).  I love our little family.  A lot can happen in three years!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Low-Fat Lasagna (or Lauren's Low-fat Loaded Lasagna...take your pick)

The first recipe I ever made up all by myself goes like this:

- 12 lasagna noodles cooked
- 2/3 pound Italian pork sausage 
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cans of petite deiced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
- 6-8 cups fresh spinach when roughly chopped
- 2/3 c greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- ½ c parmesan cheese (give or take)
- ½ c cheddar cheese (only for the top layer)
- Italian seasoning

First off, I'm not sure you're allowed to call anything low fat that has pork sausage in it - so you can use less or more sausage if you want, but you can't use hamburger.  Against the rules.  In a pan, sauté the onion and garlic until onion is translucent, then add the sausage and cook until brown.  Add the petite tomatoes and tomato sauce and heat until its close to boiling or lightly boiling.  Then add the spinach.

Side note: It should be roughly six cups when its chopped not before its chopped.  Just trust me on this ok – the spinach becomes really wilted after being boiled in the tomato mixture, so it decreases a lot in volume.  It’ll look like a ridiculous amount of spinach when you put it in – that’s good.  Since we’re going to use a lot less cheese than normal lasagna, the spinach helps it have substance. 

Put a lid on the sausage/tomato/spinach mixture and turn it down to low, letting it simmer for about 5 minutes.  While it simmers, mix the greek yogurt and egg together (this replaces your cottage cheese).  Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 or just put a little of your tomato mixture in the bottom.  For the assembly:   [You’ll do a layer of 4 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the tomato mixture, 1/3 of the yogurt mixture, and sprinkle with a light layer of parmesan cheese, Italian spices, salt and pepper].  Repeat what in the brackets two more times, so you’ll have three layers of noodles.  On the very top, put the cheddar cheese and a little extra parmesan.   Bake on 350 for 30-35 minutes.  For the last five minutes, turn the heat up to 450 or to broil and watch it.  You want to cheddar cheese to get that burn-ish crispness but its really easy to let it go too long.  Enjoy! 

You can also try cutting out the cheddar cheese on the top if you want it to be really low-fat.  I also make this often with an 8x8 pan when I’m just cooking for my family.  I just halve all the ingredients…except the noodles.  It takes about 9 noodles for me to fill the area of the pan 3 times. 

Sorry I don't have a picture of when its all made - maybe I'll add that later.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hit the moon...or the stars...or something?

So, my birthday has come and gone and so has my ambition to run a half least for now. I told Jon, "If you shoot for the moon, maybe you'll land on a star?" I'd always thought that was how the saying went but he reminded me that the moon is much closer than the stars. So...whatever. I did end up running 8 miles and after running for that long I just decided that it was far enough for me. I guess that's the down side to not paying for a half marathon, its really easy to just not do it. The other day I ran 3.4 miles in 36 minutes, which is about a 10.5 minute mile while pushing a heavy stroller with flat tires, so I'm happy about that and will keep running, just shorter runs.  I have new respect for anyone who has actually done a half marathon.

However, we did get to hike Provo Peak which was incredible. Its about 11,000 ft in elevation (700 or so lower than Timp). You drive up the mountain quite a ways to the trail head, so it only took us 2 hours to get to the top, but it was very steep and there were a lot of false summits. I love it up there, its fun to see the valley from a different perspective and to see the mountain ranges that are hidden from view.

 The pictures don't do it justice, so gorgeous.  Next time we do it, I want to do it in the spring...but I also loved the fall colors on the way up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lately I've been re-learning the truth that my young girls really need me right now.  I went to the afternoons if ed week (thanks to my wonderful husband, my sister Mary and my sister-in-law Molly) and I loved it...but it was a little tough on the girls.  Then, that Saturday I spent the afternoon running errands and the evening on a date with Jon.
Last week, I also had the idea to start an online store to sell little crafts, etc in order to save up to be able to travel home for Christmas.  (Its very likely that our little family will be moving out of Utah for Jon's next job).   I've been thinking a lot about different things I could do to earn extra income and I found myself thinking about it so much that I had to be wasn't just for travelling to see family, it was for wanting more money - wanting more things.  I found myself feeling tempted to spend so much time trying to make money, that I'd be forgetting who needs me most right now - my girls.  These scriptures came to my mind today: (you can see these verses dramatized here)

Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart  be also.  
 No matter how much the world tries to convince me of does not bring happiness and making money doesn't either.  On that note, I wanted to share some pictures and videos that show why I'm so grateful that I get to be a stay at home Mom right now.  And yeah...I'll probably try to go ahead and sell some things online, but I need to be patient and not get so carried away doing it that my family suffers.  When my kids are older, there will be plenty of time for branching out more.  Right now is the only time that I'll have in all my life to be Lily and Suzy's Mom when they are home all day - not at school - not at soccer or football or piano lessons or anything else - just home with their Mommy.  That is worth the sacrifice.

I love this video because its just Suzy being so sweet - just normal every day cuteness.  What if I missed it?  I like the way she plays with the kix in her mouth.

Suzy's creative crawl:

And even this last video makes me grateful because while crying can be really hard...when its not in the moment its pretty cute and I might not pay enough attention to Lily if she didn't do it every once in a while.

Running update

 So, a couple setbacks.  First, I thought that I'd been running 6 miles to my Mom's house in the Riverwoods...turns our its only 4.7 miles and that 1.3 miles makes a really big difference.  Also, the wheels of my stroller have a slow leak and I didn't notice today until I'd already set out...pumped tires make a big difference too.  And lastly, I learned the hard way that if you're training and then you stop for a while, its sets you way back.  Sheesh - who knew that a 5 day break would make me so unable to run.  However, the girls still love it and we're still working on it.  I guess I might end up walking half of my half marathon...but I'm gonna do it all the same.  I took these pics while running today - so cute!

Lily holding Suzy's hand.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Suzy Sleeping

 These pictures were all taken on different nights.  Sometimes I wonder if shes going to do damage to her shoulders.

Wrestling.  I think Lily might have a future in it...provided her opponent can't stand and is half her size.

Some Summer Fun

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday. Half Marathon.

I made a goal to run a half marathon and now I'm making it public so I'll be somewhat accountable.  I'm really excited about it and started training today.  I wanted to run the Big Cottonwood half marathon...but its $75 and they're sold out to boot.  So...I figured that Jon and I would do one for me on my birthday and I'd make a shirt that says, "I ran a half marathon for free."  Jon worked from home this afternoon while the girls were napping so that I could go get my new running shoes.  They are super comfy and super expensive and are supposed to help me not over pronate (roll my ankles).  Anyone is welcome to do it with me!  I'm going to be pushing a double stroller the whole time so my goal is not to have a fast time but just to do it.  Wish me luck and thanks to Jon for being so supportive.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blast from the Past

 This picture was taken at the BYU outdoor movie in July of 2009, the summer before Jon and I started dating.  (Sorry Jon, I think you were in the process of blinking)  At the time we were just good friends.  After my roommate took this picture she said, "Well Jon, you'll just have to be part of the Tyler family now."  She didn't realize how prophetic that was.  
The movie was Enchanted, so of coarse Emma was dressed as a princess. 
 Jon and Emma colored for a long time while we waited for the movie to start.
Thanks to my roommate Crystalee for the pictures!

Friday, July 6, 2012

So Grateful

Just looking through old pictures and thinking about how blessed I am to be married to Jon.  

 Also, some talks I've listened to lately that have made me even more grateful for my family:
Repentance and Forgiveness in Marriage
Laborers in the Vineyard
Remember Lot's Wife
Oneness in Marriage
His Grace is Sufficient