Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Conclusion of Summer Break

The last week and a half of Cliff's summer break was awesome because it was packed with family.  Cliff's family came for a short visit because of a funeral.  We didn't think we would see them until Christmas so we were so happy they were able to come visit and play with Paul.  He loved having them and all the attention he got.  He had fun getting tons of attention from Grandma Chandler, playing ball with Grandpa, and having great Grandma Peine read him some books (or one book over and over). 

The day after they headed home, we got on a plane to Reno.  Cliff and I took the opportunity to leave Paul with my parents for one night and take a little early anniversary trip up to Lake Tahoe, where we spent our honeymoon four years ago.  It was hard to leave Paul but pretty great to just spend some time together without all the chaos.

We also had a chance to visit the Reno Temple, where we were sealed, and participate in proxy sealings.  It was special to be back there and remember our special day.

Then Janet came to Reno and we all took a trip up to Sand Harbor together.  Paul still doesn't love beach water but it did start to grow on him in the end and he did love playing in the sand and eating watermelon.  

She couldn't convince him that she was mommy.

We weren't abusing him.

We had a great time at my parents.  Paul loved that he could play outside all day since we rarely let him out in the heat at home and he loved playing with all the relatives.

Roasting marshmallows

It's hard to believe from this photo that Paul spent the first day having a major meltdown anytime Tod looked at him.

We love our family.  It was so good to see everyone.  We are still getting used to Daddy being back at work and having to entertain ourselves all day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DIY Kitchen Update

Before and After
As you probably know, Cliff and I bought our house a little over a year ago.  It is a nice little house and is only 14 years old so it wasn't super outdated or anything but everything is plain old builder grade.  I love all those shows on HGTV about renovation and all that so I really wanted to be able to do some projects in our house.  I wasn't sure how much I would be able to do since everything is perfectly livable and we don't exactly have tons of extra mula floating around on one teacher salary. However, when I realized we could DIY our whole kitchen for the same price as replacing our old, stained, faded, and peeling laminate counter top with a new, cheapest laminate installed, we knew we couldn't go wrong.

In order to stay in the price range of a laminate counter for the entire kitchen and get the look we wanted, we knew we wanted to do butcher block counter tops and paint our cabinets ourselves.  

These are the pictures that inspired me

I thought I wanted white cabinets but when I saw this green, I immediately had to have it.  It helps that green is Cliff's favorite color so naturally, he was also on board.  
I started painting way back at General Conference in April and completely forgot to take any before pictures.  Luckily, they have all that stuff on the old listing so here are some before shots with someone else's coffee maker, accessories, ect alongside after shots.

Left Side

Right Side
I love having a sink that the high chair tray and cookie sheets fit right down into.

It was a lot of hard work.  Neither of us have really done any of this stuff before so we just kind of went for it.  Also, it may or may not have ended up costing more because I forgot we didn't own any tools.  Now Cliff has a nice collection started. 
But worth it.
We LOVE our new kitchen.

Friday, June 3, 2016

It's Officially Summer Break!

We are finishing up Cliff's first week of a well earned summer break.  We decided to start the summer off right, with a little canyoneering and a family vacation.

School ended just in time for Memorial day weekend, so not only did the teachers have off, but our other friends with, shall we say, less noble professions were off too.  This made Monday the perfect day for a canyon.  We decided to do Christopher Creek again, it's close to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Paul to stay the day, and is a great canyon with lots of bang for your buck.  We headed up to Grandma and Grandpa's house Sunday after church and stayed the night, along with Sarah and Jeff, and Dustin and Chanel met us at the trail head.

Christopher Creek is such a fun canyon with lots of swimming, jumping, rappelling, and natural slides.  We even learned about a slide we had rappelled last time that had a crazy drop off at the bottom and was so fun.  It is also so pretty and reminds you that Arizona isn't all just dirt, rocks, and spines.

Then we headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a nice bbq dinner.  Paul had a great time with his great grandparents, too.  They took him out shopping, for a walk to the neighbors, and I am sure chased him around trying to keep him out of all Grandma's awesome treasures.

On Tuesday morning, we left for our family trip to San Diego.  Cliff got us free passes to Seaworld for being a teacher, so we wanted to take advantage of the chance to take Paul.  On Wednesday, we spent the whole day at the park.  It was a chilly 70 degrees and overcast (personally, I was wishing I had a sweater).  We looked at all the sea creatures, went on a couple of rides (not Paul's favorite), and saw the shows.  Paul's very favorite was the sea lion show.  He was clapping along with the music and had a grand time.  It was so neat to see all the sea creatures close up and learn more about them.

At the end of the day, we headed to a delicious Korean restaurant and then to take a look at the San Diego temple.

Then on Thursday, we headed to the beach to play before heading back to Phoenix.  Paul enjoyed playing with his toys in the sand but still hates the ocean.  He got real mad when I stuck his feet in the water and when the waves knocked him on his bum.

As you can see, Paul also snacked on the sand throughout our time at the beach.
I would say we had a great kick off week of summer break.  Now we are back in Phoenix, and its 110° F (117 tomorrow).  So I think it is safe to say, we need another trip.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Paul's First Birthday

Well, it has been 4 days since we became the parents of a one year old toddler.  He is definitely still my little baby though. As of May 19th he is 21 lbs 15 oz, 30.3 inches tall, and had two tiny teeth but the day after his birthday one of his top ones popped through and a couple more are starting to poke out. He loves to be outside, runs to the park as soon as you put him down on the sidewalk, and loves to play in the sand. He is super talkative, dances around, started sleeping through the night, eats everything but still loves to nurse, and really knows what he wants these days.  Even since turning one, he has gotten more demanding and started to really let us know when he doesn't get what he wants.  He gives the sweetest little hugs, too.  He wants applause for doing any little thing you told him to do and starts clapping for himself.  He is definitely an adventurer and will run around a corner out of sight without fear, though we can't say the same for mommy.

Here is an overload of pictures from his birthday photo shoot.

Considering how much he likes food, he wasn't nearly as into his cake as we thought he would be.  He did some licking his fingers and stuck a bit in his mouth but then he ran off to go play with his new shopping cart. 

 Then Saturday we had some friends over for a birthday bbq for him.  Cliff grilled burgers and hot dogs but it was quite a hot evening so most of the party happened inside.
Getting sung to and before he tried to touch the fire. 

This was before he decided his cake was great and after he tried to touch the fire and freaked out. 

Showing off his birthday onesie and carrot.

After he decided his cake was a good thing afterall

I think he ate more of the chocolate than his giant yellow cake.

Paul had a great first birthday.  We are so grateful to have this little angel in our lives and for all the friends and family who show their love for him each day, too.