Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: Our year

What a year!

Over the past twelve months, we have found 1 new job, lived in 5 homes, visited six states, driven over 1,800 miles to a new city, flown 11,600 miles and have 1 awesome kid who now runs and talks nonstop.

But those are just numbers. Here is what 2012 really was for us:

It was being done with the helmet forever

and learning to walk!

It was pomp and circumstance

and celebrating one year with the little guy.

2012 was moving across the country

finding a job

and settling down.

It was visits from brothers...

...and sisters...

...and friends.

2012 was going to Tim McGraw and Kenney Chesney

and celebrating the Fourth of July with Billy Currington.

It was hitting the pool every single chance we got.

2012 was tons of travel.

It was cooking a Thanksgiving turkey for the first time—
and totally succeeding!

2012 was finding new things to sew

new mountains to climb

and new places to go.

It was visiting the beach in November

and getting to play in the snow in December.

2012 was

huge changes, new opportunities, 

leaps of faith, incredible blessings, 

big adjustments, memorable milestones...

...and lots of fun.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Life is good.

After three rainy weekends in a row, we finally got to take the little man out to the pool. I can't overstate how much this kid loves the water. It'll be swim lessons for this one as soon as he's old enough. He's already kicking his legs in the pool.

We also had another visitor. One of my two best friends, Jeremy, stopped by last Sunday on his way to take a job in Kansas City. It was awesome seeing him again and catching up. Jeremy and his family were in a similar situation to ours (drove halfway across the country to find a job and landed one in just a few days), and we're really excited for them and their new adventure.

Also, our place is starting to feel more like a home and less like some apartment we're squatting in. That may have something to do with furnishing our dining area after over a month without a kitchen table. No more eating while standing up or sitting on the floor—we've got seating for six! 

We're not totally done with the room, but it's way better than the empty space that was there before. Once the couches get here in a week or so, our apartment will be almost good to go!

Jackson, of course, has been having a blast with all the cardboard boxes that have come along with our furnishing projects. This isn't one of them, but that didn't stop him from climbing in with a few of his toys.

This little guy is at a fun age—always exploring and discovering, and learning new things every day. He runs everywhere now (walking apparently isn't cool anymore), and can say "Mama," "Dada," "plane," "ball," and "Jesus." He loves reading, watching airplanes and helicopters from the window, and has dance moves every bit as dorky as ours. Yep. Our kid is awesome!

And life is good.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fourth of July

Wednesday was our first Independence Day here in Houston—and it was definitely Texas-sized!

We started out the day with a ward breakfast and followed it up with a trip to the pool with Jen, her boyfriend, and a couple who just moved into our ward. We all had a great time swimming and eating our picnic lunch, but we're pretty sure nobody loved it as much as this guy:

In the evening we took the train downtown for Houston's Freedom Over Texas celebration. Jackson had an absolute blast on the train.

Here we are, feeling patriotic at Freedom Over Texas:

Jackson loved the military flyovers and the news choppers that kept sweeping by. Every time he saw one he would wave and shout. Not even the ABC cameraman could resist this little guy. He filmed Jackson waving the flag around for a good couple of minutes before giving us the thumbs-up and moving on.

And of course we had to do dinner. The girls got pizza and Ismael and I got these giant barbecued turkey legs. I can't even tell you how long it took me to eat this thing. It was delicious, but I'll probably have to share next time. Man, I hate that I just admitted that.

The main event that night (besides, you know, the fireworks) was a concert featuring Sara Evans and Billy Currington. If you don't listen to country music, you're probably wondering who the heck those people are. But we love our country music and were excited to see them.

 Jen and Jackson getting their country on

 Billy Currington concert

After the concert there was an awesome fireworks show over the bayou. And guess who was still up to see it? While he looks pretty zonked at the end here, he actually did really well that night. We were glad we were able to stay the whole time and do the 4th of July celebration as a family, fireworks and all. 

Watching the fireworks

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Discovery Green

We've been trying to do as many fun, cheap activities as we can before I start work. Yesterday's fun thing was Discovery Green, a park in the middle of downtown. There was a giant playground, a garden, a lake, and a ton of other great stuff, but the highlight was definitely the fountains they had for kids to play in. Jackson, of course, had a blast.

Jackson was the youngest one out there, but he had a great time running around and playing in the water. And yes, those are just his regular shorts that he's wearing. Don't judge.

After we got Jackson all dried off, we walked around for a while and checked out the rest of the park. It's a really neat place and we'll definitely be back.

Right before we left, a nice couple stopped and offered to take our picture. Have we mentioned how friendly people are here?

Yep. Texas is great.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A visitor!

After just a few short weeks in Texas, we had our first visitor yesterday. My brother Jordan was on his way back from Mexico and had a three-hour layover in Houston, so we left church a little early and drove up to the airport to see him.

Jackson and Uncle Jordan

Since Jordan hadn't eaten, we took him to a Jack in the Box down the street for lunch. Jackson warmed up to him pretty quickly.

We had ourselves a great time getting caught up on each others' lives and hearing about Jordan's trip to Mexico. And stuffing our faces with Jack in the Box, of course.

When we were done we drove Jordan back to the airport so he could catch his connecting flight to Utah. Altogether we were able to spend a good couple of hours with him, which was awesome. Who said layovers are always a bad thing?

Thanks for stopping by, Jordan!

Friday, June 15, 2012

This is life... for now

What do you do when you have a job but you're not working yet? When you want to furnish your house but you don't have any money coming in? When you want to go explore a new city but it's so hot and muggy that you break a sweat just thinking about walking to your car?

We can tell you.

One of the first things we did was this:

To say this kid loves the water would be an understatement. We've gone swimming at least once a week since getting here, and he has a ball every time—as seen here:

We've also had a great time getting acquainted with the food in Houston—and yes, it's everything it's cracked up to be. Here we are celebrating the job offer with hamburgers the size of Jackson's head.

Please excuse the ridiculous faux hawk. A haircut is in order.

We also braved the heat to visit Hermann Park and feed the birds. This little guy loved running in the grass!

In the middle of all of that, there's been endless of cleaning, shopping, apartment hunting, picture hanging, nailing, hammering, sawing, painting, sweating, hanging out with Jen and her boyfriend, driving, and playing with the Little Man. And we've loved it. (Except for the sweating. We could do without that.)

So until I start my job on Wednesday, this is life for both of us—playing with Jackson at all hours of the day, meeting Jen for lunch at Jack in the Box, burning through the seventh season of How I Met Your Mother while the little guy takes his naps, going to the store every day for more things we need, and getting together with Jen for dinner. In a few days it will be over (though on the flip side, I'll be making money again—sort of necessary these days) so we're really enjoying it while it lasts.

This is life... for now. And we're loving it.