8 Months Old

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Afton is eight months old today!  We set up a little photoshoot area behind one of our couches and snapped pictures of this beautiful little girl when we got home from church today.  I can't decide what is my favorite one.  All I know is that this little girl has stolen my heart...it's official!

Picture #1 below

Picture #2 below

Picture #3 below

 Picture #4 below

Picture #5 below

Picture #6 below

Which one is your favorite?  You can leave a comment and vote.

My Birthday

October 11, 2013

I turned 26 years old today.  I feel like when I was a teenager, 26 years old seemed so far away.  My, does time go fast.

I love birthdays.  My mom and dad made them a huge deal for us.  I just think birthdays are the best day of the year!  No matter how old I get, I will always get little excited butterflies come each October for my special day.

Here are some recaps of the day.

I woke up to faint noises of Hyrum and Blaine in the kitchen baking something.  I heard Hyrum say, "Can I have a cinnamon roll yet?"  I was hoping this is what we were having for breakfast.  I got excited and fell back asleep.

At around 9 a.m., Blaine and Hyrum brought me breakfast in bed.  Sure enough, it was cinnamon rolls with cheesy scrambled eggs.  YUM!

 We started a new tradition that on birthdays, we get "Breakfast in Bed" for the whole family.  Each member of the family gets to eat breakfast in the birthday person's bed.  So all 4 of us were piled on to our bed!  It was so fun!

Then I got ready for the day, and did something I had been wanting to do for a few weeks.  And that it, custom fit my shoes.  I found these sassy pink shoes at D.I. for $2 but they were a little bit snug.  My sister in law told me a trick that if you blow dry them for 5-10 minutes while they are on your feet with 4 pairs of socks on, it stretches them out.  I tried it and it worked!  I got to wear my new pink sassy shoes to the park!

I came out of the bathroom to find Blaine decorating some cupcakes for us to take to the park.  He was personalizing each cupcake.  He is so cute.

We then met my friend Darcy and her two boys at the park.  Darcy also has a birthday today, so we played at the park with our boys and then celebrated with cupcakes.  The party didn't last long because it was really chilly outside. 

Blaine came home after class and made me lunch.

Then I had one of my favorite friends stop by with a note and some delicious chocolate ice cream.  We got to visit for a few minutes.

I got to take a nap in the afternoon.

Then we went to the last Farmer's Market of the season.  We tried roasted corn on the cob for the first time.  Hyrum loved this, and practically ate the whole cob while I was chatting with some new friends.  Also at the Farmer's Market was this cute little stand that sold tons of headbands for little girls.  I found some good bargains for Afton to sport around.

We got Costa Vida sweet pork salads for dinner and made some french bread pizza for Hyrum.

Then I had an old friend stop by with some homemade pie!  What a labor of love.  I have never made homemade pie before so this was a tasty treat.

I got to talk to everyone in my family, excluding my siblings on a mission.  This was so fun to catch up and receive birthday wishes from the people that mean the most to me.  I also got to talk to some of Blaine's family.  They are so thoughtful and I feel so loved from them too.

I also got a couple of messages from dear friends.  I love birthday phone calls.  They make me feel so special.

To end the night, we celebrated with chex pie, complete with homemade hot fudge on top,  one of my favorites. 

We had a sleepover in our front room, because this is one of my favorite birthday pasttimes.

What a Happy Birthday!

Chilly but Perfect Park Day

October 2013

Met a friend and her son at the park this morning.  It was nippy, but we created some great memories there.  Swinging was one of my kids favorite today, especially for Afton.  It was her first time.  I am in love with all their different facial expressions and smiles as they were swinging.

Moments like this make everything in life worth it!

Little Photoshoot

September 2013

 Hyrum at 2 and a half years old

 Afton at 7 months

Getting Festive

October 2013

I come from a very festive heritage!  Grandma Allen, and especially my mother were so festive.  My sisters are extremely festive. My dad and brothers have festiveness in their blood.  My family members are always making little events so fun.

For the past few years, I have felt like there has been some festiveness missing in my life.  Finishing up school, being married, and being a mommy has kept me busy and tired.  I have definitely been lacking in the "festive department".

I am not in school anymore and spend more time around the house.  Hyrum is getting to the age where he loves to do fun, new things.

This year, starting with the fall/Halloween season, I have a goal to be more festive by doing the following things:
  1. Decorate my house for each holiday on a budget.
  2. Find fun holiday activities to do and participate in with each member of my family.
  3. Find little ways to make holidays more magical by the energy and attitude I have towards them.
I have already started practicing being more festive.  Here are some pictures that illustrate the "Allen festiveness" that is coming alive in my home.

Afton in a Halloween outfit from Grandma Sherri.  She has worn it 3 times this October so far!

window clings from the dollar store

Decorating Halloween sugar cookies for F.H.E.

Blaine's 2013 half and half pumpkin
Ready to eat the sugar cookies he helped mom make!
Hyrum with his sugar cookies.  There was about a pound of red and green sprinkles on each cookie!

Our Halloween sweetie!
It's fun to be festive if I do say so myself!

Spud Day

Saturday, September 28, 2013

One of my favorite towns in Idaho is Shelley.  I love it.  Perhaps it is because of the good people we know who live there, or maybe it is the fun memories we have created there.  Today helped my love of Shelley grow even more as we attended "Spud Day."

This event is centered around what it sounds like....SPUDS!  We have been wanting to go the last few years, but have always had something come up on Spud Day.  So we knew this was our year.

We drove down to the Shelley City Park and got to watch a few things while we were there.   My favorite was the "Spud Tug."  Basically, the "Spud Tug" is a tug-o-war over a giant pit of mashed potatoes.  The losers get pulled into the pit of potatoes.

My favorite part of the whole day was watching them set up the "Spud Tug."  They bring in a cement truck, yes, that's right.  A cement truck.  They put bags and bags and bags of fake potatoes and mix them with water inside the truck.  When they are ready to start the event, they pour the potatoes into the hole just like cement.  Can you say, "Eww!"  I am already fairly heebeed by fake potatoes, but then seeing them come out of a cement truck and plop into a giant pit!  Wow!  It about made me lose my lunch, but I loved seeing it take place!  How clever to bring in a cement truck.

Before the first team started, they had Miss Shelley jump in the pit, crown on her head and all, and salt the potatoes and get a huge ladle-full and try them!  I think if I would have grown up in Shelley, Idaho and would have wanted to run for Miss Shelley, I think knowing I would have to try the fake potatoes at "Spud Tug" might have been enough to discourage me from running for this position.  But kuddos to her!  She deserves an award just for doing this!

All this while, Hyrum was in heaven!  He is in love with cement trucks right now.  We have gone on a "Cement Truck" search around town just to find one for him to watch.  So today, he couldn't be happier that there was a cement truck to assist in the "Spud Tug".  He loved knowing that there were mashed potatoes in it.  So fun.

Some other fun thing that took place at "Spud Day" was the Spud Digging Contest where we watched a lady dig and bag potatoes so quick!  I am sure she had been practicing for years because she definitely had a system down.  Before going to this event, I might have thought about participating in this event.  But after seeing how hard core these spud diggers were, I think I would need a "Spud Digger" tutor and I would need to practice for years.

Our kids each got a free book and it was so rewarding to catch up with our friends after the event.  What a great day!  We will definitely attend another "Spud Day" again!  I love living in the potato state!

Canning with my...

September 2013

When I was a little girl, I was excited to grow up and be a mom so that I could can with my mother each fall time.

I know this is going to sound really funny, but when I found out that my mom was going to pass away, I thought to myself, "But who will can with my when I am a mom?"  I had watched my mom can with her mother.  Grandma Allen always came for a couple days and helped my mom put up many jars of peaches and pears from our trees.  I guess I always thought that if you didn't have a mother, then you wouldn't be able to can?

The last few years, since I got married, I have had the opportunity to can with my mother-in-law.  My mother-in-law is wonderful and actually reminds me a lot of my mother.  We had canned applesauce and salsa and tomatoes together.

This year, we grew some produce in a small garden.  When it came time to harvest these things, I had a few sad days of missing my mom, probably because my mother loved gardening and the thought of harvesting and canning things always reminds me of her.

We picked our produce and Blaine and I decided that we would use a lot of it to make homemade baby food for Afton.  I was a little sad at the thought of not having my mother here to help me.  On the day I had planned to make the baby food, my sweet husband Blaine asked me if he could help me and we made an afternoon out of making baby food while our babies were asleep.

We made baby food green beans, baby food squash, applesauce and apple juice.



That afternoon, even though I was worried would be gloomy because of my sad feelings of missing my mom, turned into a sweet experience with my Blaine.  We laughed and told stories of growing up, and he listened to me talk all about my mom.  I looked into his sweet eyes as I snapped green beans with him and I felt so much love from him.  I just know that my mother loves him too!

Sometimes I really wonder how I got so lucky to find this sweet man who is my husband.  He is so sensitive to my needs and feelings and is always willing to help.  He cheerfully does things that he knows will help me feel happy and loved.

I am so grateful that this year I got to do canning with my....husband Blaine!