Monday, June 29, 2009

Is it really almost July?!?

It happens to be 63 degrees and rainy here today. That is NOT summer weather in my opinion. I can’t believe the 4th of July is on Saturday- hopefully it’ll be nice enough to spend some time outside.

While my parents were visiting us we had one day of nice weather where the sun showed up for us. The rest of the days were cool and rainy, much like today. Not the ideal weather conditions for enjoying the attractions that northern New Hampshire offers.

On the last day they were here, the sun came out and the temperature rose so we headed out to the falls to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

IMG_3926Brendan led the way most of the time with Grandpa. The trail was much muddier this time because of all the rain we’ve had lately but luckily Grandpa prevented any major disasters.

IMG_3941Enjoying the view with Grandma.

IMG_3943The falls were much stronger than the last time we went thanks to a very wet and rainy summer so far.

IMG_3949I love this trail. It’s so pretty along the way.

IMG_3958We even found a spot to take off our shoes and dip our feet in the cool water.

IMG_3983The rest of their visit was spent being silly, Brendan’s favorite activity. He loves to put underwear on his head.

IMG_3914  There was plenty of time to play with his new trains. My parents spoiled Brendan much to his delight. They fell into the trap of taking him to the toy section of Wal-Mart, where he proceeded to grab every Thomas train in sight.

IMG_3987Brendan loved reading with Grandpa. Those two were the best of buds.

IMG_3915  He got to make a cake with Grandma and lick the spoon. What kid doesn’t love doing that?

IMG_3980 Hands down, this is the best photo I got all week. Brendan loved playing on the air mattress (of course) and one night he happened to be naked while jumping on it. My dad grabbed one of Brendan’s sticky hands and smacked his little buns with it. Brendan loved it. He kept sticking out his butt for Grandpa to get him with the sticky hand. It was quite hilarious. Good times.

We miss my parents but are so glad they came to visit. And a big thanks for educating me on my garden (I have slugs eating all my poor plants!)- hopefully I’ll still get a small crop of tomatoes and beans. Come back soon. Brendan demands it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

All good things come to an end

We said goodbye to my parents today, which was a very sad thing for us. Brendan loved having extra playmates and the extra spoiling. I’ll post more pictures once we recover from their visit.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

To My Baby’s Daddy

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Brendan, I hope you always remember that you are the luckiest boy in the world- because you have such a great dad who gives you whipped cream snacks even though your mom doesn’t always approve. Also, your dad is a softie and only makes you stand in timeout for the shortest amount of time possible, when he remembers to put you in timeout at all. Your dad is the best at throwing you in flips on the bed, chasing you around the house and buying you stupid toys out of the quarter machines at Walmart. We’re pretty lucky to have him. Love you, Chris.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brendan’s Mix

The other day, we were going through the drive-thru at McDonald’s when Brendan immediately started to scream at me. It took me a while but I finally figured that he was mad that I turned the volume down on the CD that I had playing. As soon as I turned it back up just loud enough for him to hear, he was fine. I didn’t even know he liked the song I had playing but now when it comes on, I notice he cheers and claps.

Brendan LOVES music, loves to dance and loves to make music. He loves all sorts of music and already has a wide range of musical interests. I think he’s going to be musical in some way or another- it’s in his blood after all (thanks to Chris and the musical side of the Lubniewski’s, of which I got none of that talent). So I’ve put together his playlist of all the songs he loves and loves to groove to, mostly just for me to have record of it but I hope you all enjoy it as well.

  1. Seven Days a Week – Imagination Movers
  2. Use Somebody – Kings of Leon (this, oddly enough, is the song that he demanded during the drive-thru)
  3. Pollen and Salt – Daphne Loves Derby
  4. I Caught Myself – Paramore
  5. Nephi’s Courage – Clive Romney
  6. Listen Up – Valencia
  7. C is for Cookie – Cookie Monster
  8. Time Won’t Let Me Go – The Bravery
  9. Thomas the Tank Engine Theme Song
  10. Kiss Kiss – Chris Brown
  11. You Are My Sunshine – Elizabeth Mitchell
  12. Book of Mormon Stories – Clive Romney
  13. Party In My Tummy – Yo Gabba Gabba
  14. I like To Dance – Yo Gabba Gabba
  15. Itsy Bitsy Spider
  16. We’re Knights – The Backyardigans
  17. It’s Great To Be An Engine – Thomas & Friends
  18. Harold the Helicopter – Thomas & Friends
  19. Wild Thing – The Troggs
  20. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – BTO

Some of these songs he loves simply because I dance with him and swing him around. Some of these I can’t stand anymore but he throws a fit if I try to skip them on my iPod. Others are favorites of mine and he decided he liked them too, which makes me so happy that we have something to share together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Enjoying the Mild Weather

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A traveling Memorial to Veterans came to town and we stopped by to enjoy the beautiful weather (the rain cleared out just in time) and pay our respects to those who have given their lives fighting for this country.

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Brendan spent most of his time in the sandbox playing with the trucks. He couldn’t be bothered to do anything else.

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This was the best part of the night, in my opinion. There are few things better than fried dough. I must admit that this is the main reason we even went to the Memorial. I just couldn’t resist the prospect of having fried dough for the first time in years. And it was well worth it and even better than I remembered.

Markers and Toddlers Don’t Mix

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I really should know better by now than to leave Brendan alone with markers for even 10 seconds. This is what his face looked like after coloring so sweetly on paper that I thought I could turn my back on him. He even colored inside his ears. Unfortunately these markers don’t wash off skin too well despite being “washable” markers. They come off of clothes alright but skin is a different story. The green faded to look like ugly bruises while the red look like welt marks. So Brendan walked around all day looking like he got into a rough fight but still as cute as ever.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Hope this Makes Sense

I’m feeling a little under the weather (thanks to Chris for spreading his germs) but I hope that my brain can pull it together for this post.

We had such a wonderful visit with Chris’s parents. They were in Michigan for Chris’s Grandma’s 80th Birthday (Happy Birthday!) so they decided head on our way. I’m glad they did. Brendan loved being with them and loved getting to stay up late and miss naps.

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We had one nice day of weather and it was a good thing that we used that day to hike to Glen Ellis Falls. It was the prefect day to enjoy a short hike.

IMG_3770Brendan was all for the hike and led the way most of the time.

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The trail was very well cared for, short and scenic. That’s my kind of hike.

IMG_3793 And the end result was pretty great too. The falls are invisible from the highway so we didn’t quite know what to expect but we weren’t let down.

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And Brendan, of course, loved it all. You could feel the spray from the waterfall which was very exciting for him. I think he would have jumped in if it wasn’t for Grandpa keeping a hold on him.

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While in Vermont, we also got to visit the Vermont Country Store. This was on Robin’s list of things to do and it was only a short drive from Joseph Smith’s birthplace. I don’t know how to describe this store so you can get the full picture. It has lots of nostalgic toys (but also modern ones), practical items and trinkets, and a ton of things I never knew existed. We left there with a wooden block train for Brendan, a switch pocket comb for Chris (because he thinks it’s funny, not because he’ll actually use it) and some delicious candy for me. Their candy section was AWESOME, full of some of Chris’s favorites from his childhood, imported items and homemade fudge and chocolates. They also sold Vermont cheese, all kinds of dips, spreads and jellies, and yummy sausages. If you’re ever in Vermont and want something fun to do, this would be the place to go. It was so cool. We spent an hour there and I still didn’t have enough time to look at everything.

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They even had old school lawn cutters to try out and Brendan gave it a go. It was too heavy for him to push so he just had fun running around in the grass (which really did need a cutting).

Thanks to Dan and Robin for coming out and visiting us, and giving us a good reason to get out and do something fun. Brendan misses you and can’t wait for you to come again!

A few thoughts

I think this deserved its own post since I didn’t want to crowd a recap of our adventures with my in-laws (more on that as soon as I finish editing all the photos I took). I don’t often write about spiritual experiences since they are so personal and hard for me to put in words, but this is going to be an exception.

We were lucky to be able to drive out to Sharon, VT- the birthplace of Joseph Smith- on Tuesday. It was an amazing place and I’m so glad that we took the time to go there.

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We listened to a sister missionary as she gave us a short tour of the visitor center and the grounds, and even though Brendan was not in the mood to cooperate much after sitting in the car for 3 hours, I couldn’t help but feel the spirit strongly there.

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As a teenager, I was able to spend a weekend for Youth Conference at Nauvoo. It was during that weekend that I truly began to believe, specifically while I was sitting in Carthage Jail, where the beloved Prophet was martyred. It was one of the first times that I felt the spirit so strongly that I couldn’t deny what I was feeling. I have had a deep appreciation and love for the Prophet Joseph Smith ever since and I can honestly say that that moment changed me and the path that I was on. The experience I had this week reinforced those feelings and belief that he truly was called of God, but on this visit I was struck with another feeling.

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As we walked around the site and as we got in the car to head to our next destination, I had the repeated thought of the scripture in James that says “faith without works is dead.” I am so glad that I have a testimony of what happened in that sacred grove in the Spring of 1820 but I kept reflecting on the fact that I have to act on that testimony as well. I couldn’t help but feel that there is more that I can do, more that I can be.

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Joseph Smith was an amazing example of doing more and being more. Being here in New Hampshire has been a great opportunity for me to not only build my testimony but also to put that testimony to action. We’ve had so many opportunities to serve and I’m grateful for those, even though I haven’t always been in the best mood or felt up to the task. Sometimes I just want to be lazy. But then I think of Joseph Smith and all that he sacrificed- my sacrifices can’t even compare. I think I’ll be a little more willing to do more from now on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More to Come Soon

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Chris’s parents are in town visiting and we have had such a wonderful time with them. Their last day here is tomorrow so expect an update soon after that. We have lots to share!

(photo by Chris, from a very special place that we got to visit yesterday)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How we get Brendan to sleep at night

It's simple, really. We just let him outside where he runs in circles until he's exhausted.

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In reality, he was just really excited because there were some large birds (hawks maybe?) and seagulls flying over the river across from our house. Running around in circles is just how he expresses his excitement.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why I should never leave my purse out where Brendan can get it

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Have I mentioned how much Brendan loves gum? He got into my purse the other day with the sole purpose of getting my gum and proceeded to stuff the last EIGHT pieces into his little mouth. Wait, make that seven. He tried to get that last eighth piece but was too lazy to take off the wrapper. But then he decided he didn’t like that after all, so he discarded it. That wad of gum doesn’t look as impressive in the photo as it was in real life- it was huge. He couldn’t talk with it in his mouth. The only good thing was that he quickly spit out the giant wad so I didn’t have to worry about him chocking on it. The bad thing is that I am now out of gum.

A Lucky Shot

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I just happened to snap this picture at the perfect moment when Brendan was in the bath the other day. This was the first time he’s done tried to drink the water dripping from the faucet, so I was quite shocked that I caught it. Silly boy.

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