Tuesday, September 21, 2010

AZ is the place to be

So we have big news in our family... Kyle got into Nurse anesthetist school and after a few offers, we've decided to go to Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona! We couldn't be happier about the decision and we are excited to live by some of Kyle's family that we've never gotten to see much of. We don't leave until May but we are counting down the days. Kyle has been working towards this since before we were even married so it has been a long time coming and we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Wish us luck over the next 2 years because, even though we see the light, it will be really tough to make it through that tunnel (aka: school will be rough!). But in all honesty, we're just so happy to be moving on to the next (and final) step of our career path. Here we come Glendale!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 80s Rock

I'm in the Young Women's group for my church and the same weekend we went to the football game, the girls were in charge of their first dance. They were in charge, and it was their first dance, so it was an exciting time in the 3rd Ward. So the theme was 'The 80s rock' and we decorated the gym with old cassette tapes and neon colors. It was a lot of fun and the girls loved it. I was able to run in really quick before the dance started and snap a few shots of the leaders and the girls decked out in their 80s apparel. Unfortunately, they were the only ones that dressed up, but they looked great so it was okay.

The 3 girls in the center make up our entire young women. They're a small group, but big in heart! I love them!

Here's Tali (Brighton's biggest fan!) and the kids. They got a kick out of going to a dance. Brighton was sad to leave, but I told her she could come back when she turned 14, so she was okay with that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go Greenwood Rangers Go

Now that I'm all caught up from our vacation, I can move on to more present activities. We live right next to a high school and for the past month we have been able to hear the marching band practice and on our walks we can see the cheerleaders doing their stunts. Brighton has been so curious about them so I told her they've been preparing for homecoming. Well, of course after I explained to her what homecoming was, she was dying to go to one. So this past weekend we were lucky enough to go with our friends, the Ashbakers, to our first west Texas football homecoming game for the Greenwood Rangers which was a sight to see. They had skydivers with rocket shoes bring down the game ball. There was not a kid in sight who didn't have a big gaudy mum on their shirts. The thing to do was paint your jeans with Ranger colors and the unwritten rule was: the tackier, the better, so there were some ridiculous looking people. I'm not kidding. It's crazy out here. This is Tali Ashbaker with Brighton. She's Brighton's favorite pal at church and Tali just loves her. They hung out for most of the game and Brighton thought she was the coolest.

Don't let his face fool you. Porter was seriously loving his life. He would clap and cheer when everyone else did. He loved trying to find the ball on the field. He was a hoot.

Here is the first rocket skydiver flying into the field.

The last skydiver had the ball to give to the officials. Only in Texas would they make such a crazy entrance for a football game.

Brighton's favorite part of the event was the marching band. They are a nationally ranked team so it was cool to see how awesome they were. I grew up in a place where marching bands were non-existent so it's cool to see them in real life (I'm lame, I know).

I just had to take one more shot of Tali with her huge mum in all its glory. I'd say her's was average size. There were plenty that hung to the ground and it looked like girls were about to fall forward due to the meaty ribbon arrangements.

Last, but not least, we couldn't leave the game without seeing a "royal homecoming princess" (Brighton was loving it) with her 10-gallon hat dad and cowgirl boots. It was a classic Texas night and we really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Comin Reunion

Our last stop on the longest trip ever was to Utah for Kyle's family reunion. It was so much fun because we haven't seen any of his fam for at least a year (For some of them it's been 3 years!) so this was an overdue trip. There were so many things to do and so many people to hang with, that I thought I'd just post the highlights like previous posts. Here it goes!

1. We all hiked up to Timpanogos Caves in American Fork Canyon. The hike was brutal with a 20 lb. baby on my shoulders, but Porter kept cheering "Go Mommy! Go Mommy!" So how could I stop? And I couldn't complain seeing how Kyle was carrying the 30 lb. Brighton. The caves were worth it though and it was fun to go as a big family.

2. By the time we got down, Brighton and Porter's little cousin Kohen was out cold. He was so super cute in his carrier, I couldn't resist snapping a shot.

3. The same day we did the caves, we had a picnic lunch at Sliver Lake in American Fork Canyon. Thanks again Ty for taking your Malibu 4 wheeling through the rough terrain to make it to the Lake. Kyle's brother Will brought his new dirt bike and showed us a few tricks. Tyler (Casey's husband) also showed us a few tricks, but those ones left some battered elbows, beat-up legs, and a scuffed up bike. I'm just sorry I didn't get a picture of him popping the wheelie and then flying off the bike into the gravel. Classic Ty.

4. We also had smores on Grandma and Grandpa's outdoor firepit one night and the kids weren't the only one that knew how to make a mess. Clearly Casey was having a love affair with her dessert and Grandma Wendy was enjoying hers as well.

5. Everyone was gathered here during lunch at the park, waiting for Will to come around with the bike.

6. Since Kyle's dad's birthday was the day after the reunion ended, we decided to celebrate it on the last day with cake, ice cream, a present from the siblings, and a talent show!

7. Like I said before, we had a talent show where each family did anything as a talent. And when I say anything, I mean anything. Some of the featured talents included telling knock knock jokes, crawling, dancing, raising the eyebrows, (and my personal favorite) lip-syncing chin-heads. That's right. Casey, Annie, Val and I all sang the Little Mermaid classic Kiss the Girl. We each had our own parts and I think we had more fun practicing and doing it than anyone else did watching it. There will definitely have to be more talent shows in the Comin Reunion future.

8. Kyle and Annie at Silver Lake.

9. This was Will's talent show act. He threw out some hilarious jokes. He was great throughout the whole reunion and we really miss him.

10. Violet is Keri and Dan's (Kyle's sister and bro.-in-law) little girl and she is the sweetest baby. Her smile is infectious.

11. On the first day of the reunion, we all met at the Salt Lake Temple. It was great to walk around Temple Square, talk with family, hang out, and feel the spirit.

12. This is my favorite photo of the reunion. These two were inseparable. Brighton really misses her cousin Landon. They had such a good time playing together and they played so well. She still talks about the time she got to hang out with Landon and can't wait for the day when we live close.

13. Sadly, this is one of the only pictures of me during the reunion and it's a weird one at that. Sarah and Mike (Kyle's sister and brother-in-law) organized a minute-to-win-it tournament (Thanks again guys!) and this was me trying to get a slinky on my head. It was a ton of fun and all the adults loved playing it. I think an adult tournament of sorts has become another tradition for the Comin reunion.

14. Mike and Sarah graciously brought their big water bounce castle, so that was a hit with all the little cousins. Here is Alexandria, Brighton, and Livie playing in it. Alexandria stood by the water hose and let it squirt her backside all day due to a severely burned bottom so the girls all migrated to her. Can you believe Brighton is the oldest out of that gang?

The reunion was the start of a great Comin tradition and I'm so glad we didn't miss out on it. There were a lot of memories made and now I look forward to every other year when we can get together and meet as a family.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's a Zoo Out There

One last thing we did in Alaska (before I move on to the next phase of our voyage) was go to the Alaska Zoo. It's been like 10 years since I've been there so it was nice to go back. Also, the animals were all out playing due to rainy, cold weather, which was nice for us. It's not everyday that you go to a zoo that has grizzly, black, and polar bears, musk ox, and moose so the kids were loving the array of animals. There were too many pictures that I liked so here's a sampling of the event. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

we're bAcK

So, since it's been such a long time since I posted, I thought I'd just fill you in on the highlights of our long and fun trip. First, like I said before, we went to Washington where my friend and I did a marathon. Next we were off to Alaska for a whole month to visit my parents. We had so much fun that all the things we did turned into one giant awesome blur of a month so here's a recap in no specific order:

1. A mother black bear and her 3 cubs found a garbage sack across the street from my parents' house and tore it to shreds. It all afternoon and we were watching in the safety of our home so it felt like a homemade zoo.

2. My sister and her fiancee came up for 2 weeks we went hiking, played games, and talked all the time. I forgot how much I miss her. She's the best.

3. We went hiking at Winner Creek. This might not be that cool to anyone else but it was super special for me because on the hand tram where we're standing (which is like 200 feet above a rushing river by the way) was where Kyle proposed to me 6 years ago! We hadn't been back since so it was really great to be there and remember that special day.

4. It's amazing how much you take for granted the beauty if the earth until you don't live in a place that is abundant with rich scenery. That is our case in Texas. It is a desert wasteland so it was nice to be able to walk out the front door and see the mountains and rivers in your front yard. Just one more thing to miss while living in TX.

5. Brighton missed her G' Pops so much. She loved snuggling up to him and reading a book or watching a movie together. She's definitely a Grandpa's little girl.

6. We got a special treat when my Grandpa said he was coming to visit for a little while during our time in AK. My grandparents live in Michigan/Florida so it was a long trip for him to come see us and we really appreciated it. He got to meet Porter for the first time and see Brighton again. We loved having him there. He will go with the flow and participate in anything we're doing. We love, love, love him. Our only regret is that my Grandma couldn't come with him. We missed you Grandma, so hopefully we'll be able to come out and see you soon!

7. We were so close to the temple and since my parents were able to watch the kids, we were finally able to go. The Anchorage temple is close to my heart too because that's where I received my own endowments. It was great to go back.

8. More Hiking pics. This was at Winner Creek again with Sarah and my dad. We made a day of it.

9. Porter loved hanging with G' Pops as well and was sad to see him go back to the slope. They can't wait to see him again.

10. My mom is a walkaholic so it was almost everyday that we were out with her going for walks. The kids loved it and they still talk about all the walks we went on in AK. If I ever say we can't go on a walk to Brighton, her retort is "But Nana always went on walks with us."

11. This is a pic of Grant (My sister's fiancee), Sarah, Kyle, and my dad. We decided to take a break from hiking and I couldn't resist the cute shot.

12. We went four-wheeling quite a bit and even took it out on a 28 mile excursion out to Eklutna glacier which was fun. Sadly, the kids weren't invited to that trip, but they loved driving it in the backyard.

13. This is just another shot of how beautiful it is up there. Everywhere you turn there's a mountain, a river, a moose, or a patch of wild flowers. It's gorgeous and it's nice to have been raised in such a picturesque place and to have that appreciation for the natural gifts Heavenly Father gives us.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Big Step

There is much to update on, which I will get to, but before I start rewinding and reflecting upon our summer excursions, I had to post about the present. Brighton has been excited for this day for quite a while now. She knew the day was here when she woke up at 6:30 in the morning, made her bed, got dressed on her own, and finally came to wake us up to go to her first day of preschool at Step-By-Step. She did go to preschool last year with some other mothers from our ward but this was the real deal. Long days, snack time, recess, certified teachers. She was ready. I had to document the elation she felt as we walked out the door for the first time. From the moment I dropped her off, to the moment I picked her up she had a perma-grin on her face. As for mom and dad, we're hanging in there. We were both able to see her off which was nice, but it's hard to see our little girl grow up so fast. She just needs to slow down!