Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kylie Owes Me Her Firstborn

My beautiful sister Kylie is now happily wedded, all thanks to me.  And a little bit Jon.  And some because she is a really good person who was ready to meet the right person.  And a little bit Stephen who was also such a great dude.  But mostly, me.

We were hanging out with our buddies John and Ashleigh (who were then engaged themselves) when their brother Stephen came for a visit.  We had met Stephen once before many years earlier.  At that experience, we all went to see the BYU game with little baby Scarlet.  While I went to go to the restroom, Jon thought it would be a great idea to hand the baby over to the college freshman.  Stephen, very unfamiliar with babies tried to figure out what to do and gave her an odd little shake.   Jon snatched his baby back and made Stephen feel like a bad person.  It worked out to our advantage since it probably took him many years to decide he could actually handle being an adult with the potential to have children.

So, fast forward 6 years, we are again with Stephen and friends hanging out for an evening.  Jon mentioned that Stephen might be a good match for Kylie.  I whole heartedly agreed.  I showed off my good looking sister to Stephen from facebook photos and talked up all of her best features.  This was in August.  In December, he finally asked for her number.

He called, they decided to go out, I waited in anticipation to see how it went.  But did Kylie call me after her date?  No.  Did she call me the next day?  No.  Shoot me a text?  No.  Not a word.  I was a little miffed.

But I found out later it was because Kylie and Stephen were basically madly in love with each other at first sight and I had made the greatest love match of all time.  Or something similar to that.

And shortly after that, this happened.

Yup they are just about the cutest ever.

Our strange sibling pictures.  Kristy was busy with her brand new baby and Kendall and Bryan were doing the whole mission thing.  So the siblings were lacking.  But, we are the best ones anyway.

Brad: "Uhh, I really don't know how to do a group side hug. Kinda seems like a girl thing..."

The Nielsens in their finest.

Don't worry Jude, we didn't really want a picture with all of the nephews in their matching outfits.   
That would have been too easy.  Running pictures are just a great photographer challenge.

Aren't the girls about a million times easier?
So happy together!

Kylie and Stephen got married on an extra hot weekend in St George.  Us Las Vegans were feeling good but the rest of the crew was kind of dying.  We were all grateful to finally make it to the reception.

There may have been dancing.  I didn't really pay attention.

There also might have been some interpretive karaoke song/dance numbers.  I wasn't really involved.

Adorable Reception Story:   I looked over at one point during the dancing to see Rhode dancing with Stephens niece, Sydney.  It was adorable to watch them slow dance.  Much later, I heard the story behind it.  I guess Rhode walked up to Nate, Stephen's brother, and said,  "If you like a girl, how do you ask her to dance?"  Nate said, "Well, I guess you say hi and then ask if they want to dance."  Rhode then said, "Okay!"  and beelined straight to Nate's daughter Sydney.  So darn cute.

It was a great party and a great weekend.  After their honeymoon, Stephen and Kylie lived in our apartment for a few months.  It was so much fun.  They ate dinner with us, they played with our kids, they took them on special outings, we watched shows together at night.  It was a magical summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hey Jude

Truly the saddest part about my lack of blogging this year is this awesome little guy has not been accurately documented.

Jude is just the best kid.  He is my sweet, giggly mush ball of awesomeness.  He makes our lives so happy.  I really wish I would have done a better job of documenting all of his awesome moments.  But hopefully instead of documenting, I was just enjoying all of  your glorious moment Jude.  Here's a few tidbits about my baby stud.

Jude is the king of cuddles.  Sometimes this guy just needs some time cuddling with mom.  He loves stories right before nap and bed.  He prefers mom reads them but Dad, Scarlet and Rhode have taken turns and he just happily sits and listens to every tale.  When you ask him how many books he wants to read, his standard answer is "5".

He is such a smiley guy.  He says hello and goodbye to everyone and everything.  "Hi doggy"  "Bye bye store"  As you can imagine, everywhere we go there are people sighing telling me how cute that just was.  It doesn't get old either.

This boy would spend every minute of his time at the park on the swing if I could talk myself into pushing him that long.  Thank goodness for Scarlet who should earn sister of the year entirely for her time spent pushing this guy.

He loves hats.  Loves them so much.  I really should own more for him... but when he gets his hands on one, he will wear it all day long.  Helmets, head bands, hard hats, baseball caps, doesn't matter.  He digs them.

Jude is a little guppy.  He loves the water.  He loves putting on his life jacket and the run diving into the nearest water source.  Luckily for this mom, he is at least aware that he needs his life jacket.  All summer he just cruised up and down the pools, following his siblings with his kicking feet and scooping arms.  He occasionally hops out and then cannon balls back in just as quickly.  Such a water guy.

Doesn't he look so big with a haircut?  This kid also potty trained at 21 months after only about a day of me half trying to teach him.  And not only did he start peeing in the potty basically of his own accord, but from day one was potty trained during naps and night too.  I have saved a fortune on Pull ups with this one.  

I also picked up one of those amber teething necklaces on Amazon really cheap one day.  It is supposed to help with teething because amber is a pain reliever... or something witch doctory like that.  I'm not a big believer that it worked any great miracles, but he loved that necklace so much. And I thought it just looked adorable on him.  He wore it 24/7 for months and months before he decided to move on.  

Jude is everyone's favorite at the moment because he is just sweetness personified.  Even his tantrums are adorably sweet.  He probably won't turn out very well as we dote on him entirely too much.  But we just can't help ourselves.  Who could?

Friday, June 12, 2015

When the boys are away...

Jon, Rhode, and Asher took of for a Father Sons campout, leaving the girls, and the honorary girl Jude, to play.  The boys went to Lake Lindsay and had a fantastic time.  They came back with stories of kayaks and camels... or something like that.  I wasn't there, no pictures were taken.  Hope you boys have good long term memories, but I can tell you you had a really good time.

As for the girls (and Jude), we took off to try the brand new Shake Shack at New York New York.

Car selfie!

We ate huge burgers and got a concrete.

  Jude might have eaten more than his fair share of the chocolately goodness.  But the fact that he scored any with Scarlet vacumming it up next to him was a win.  Pretty much I was the one that got ripped off.

And then we swung upstairs to see the Hersheys Chocolate Store.  Who doesn't want to get a pic with a giant Hershey kiss?

Jude went to bed while Scarlet and I stayed up to watch a movie.  Having only one girl sure works out sometimes.  Can't wait until next year when we get to send all three boys!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Some good old ML Time

Sometime during TD season, the kids and I road tripped up to Moses Lake.  We got to hang out with Courtney and Dean as well so double awesome bonus.  I even got to babysit Dean for a day.    I am the best babysitting aunt ever.  I bathed him, taught him how to hold his own bottle, 

 and even sent his mom fun selfies so she would know how good I was doing.

 On the way up, it snowed in Utah while we stayed in our hotel.  My kids were severely underdressed... and severely dramatic about it.

We got to stop at a beautiful park and there was a lake full of goslings.  They were the cutest.
 Well... almost the cutest thing in the park.

 Jude and Dean were great buddies.  Well as much as any kids their age are buddies.  A few great moments, a few toy stealing moments, a few face grabbing moments.  Ya know, the usual.

My kids and I took a little trip downtown to see all that Moses Lake had to offer.  It didn't take long.  But we found this fun stage and my kids performed for me a routine of their own creation titled "Ice Cream."

This was a later trip to ML when I taped the recital but a great weekend with Courtney and my mom.  Love hanging out with these guys, even when we spend the whole time running and doing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Day When Jude Wins

One day I was feeling ambitious so I got up early and made a cinnamon coffee cake for breakfast.  I thought I had gotten an early enough start on the morning but obviously I hadn't, because my kids joined me shortly after.  And for whatever reason, Jude woke up ravenous.  He was extremely uninterested in waiting for my delicious breakfast cake to be done.

So I distracted him for the last few minutes while the cake baked.  Once it had finally popped out of the oven, I immediately served pieces to my children, who at that point were wasting away to mere skeletons.  Shocker coming, cake straight out of the oven is crazy hot.  And this cake was especially not cooling down very quickly.

I had a brilliant idea.  Why not add ice cream on top to cool it down quickly?  Heck I was already serving cake for breakfast.  So I added a small scoop of ice cream.  Jude, happy as a clam, reached in for a large bite of cake and somehow missed the ice cream entirely.  Instead, a full mouth of very hot cake was now filling his cheeks.  As you can imagine, he was a bit miffed about the situation and refused to further injure himself with the scalding breakfast dessert.

And that, my friends, is why my son had vanilla ice cream for breakfast.