Lot 48: May 2013

May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was amazing!  I took Taran home with me to St. George for the weekend and we had so much fun!  

He first surprised me with these babies that he made for our drive!  They are chocolate covered strawberries covered in cream and are soooooo good.

When we got to St. George, we cleaned and prepped the boat to take to the lake the next day. Then we met with my dear friend Kim and went up on the red hill and talked and ate chips and guac.  It was a great and realxing evening.  The next day we went to the lake but I didn't take any pictures.  

My birthday is on Wednesday, and I asked for tickets to Beatles Love in Vegas as my birthday present.  So late afternoon, Taran and I headed to Vegas!  He was so surprised with how quickly we got to Arizona.  I told him my house was a mile from Arizona, but I guess he wasn't listening when I said that. 

Taran hadn't really been to Vegas before, so we got there early so I could show him around.  
First sight on the strip!


I was so excited to see the show!  I had been wanting to see it for YEARS!  I couldn't wait!

I really wanted to go to Cheescake Factory, so I took him to Ceasars Palace.  I love these spiraling staircase.  Taran was so shocked at how much shopping there was.  When we were walking through the Forum Shops at Ceasars, he asked if we were at a mall.  When I told him we were at a hotel, he was floored.  

We ate quickly and booked it back to the Mirage.  We walked in at 7:01 and the ushers closed the doors right behind us. We barely made it, whew! I loved this retro entrance to the theater! It was so cool!

The show was amazing!  We totally loved it!  There was so much going on, we didn't know where to look!  We especially liked the acrobatics in the show, those people are completely amazing.

The Wynn is my favorite so I took him there after the show.  I love these disco ball looking flower ball things.  They are so pretty.  I think the Wynn is pretty.

And I really like these lights.  I just like the Wynn, I think is the most elegant casino.

The next day, my dad suggested we go visit my relative's grave.  Her name was Mary Christine Heiner Hinckley.  I'm a Hinckley, did you know that?  I am named after her, as my middle name is Christine.  It was very special to go to the grave of the woman I was named after.  And apparently, I am part German.

We visited another friend of mine that day and watched some new episodes of Arrested Development!  That is our favorite show.  We quote it all the time.  

The next day, we went back to the lake!  I was very surprised when my dad asked Taran to drive the boat to the lake.  He doesn't even trust me with that.  Taran was nervous.

He did so well wakeboarding!  He got up so easily and did so well!  I was so proud.

He's a stud. He also jumped off the highest cliff.  He's brave.

We went to Pasta Factory with my best friend Elise after the lake.  Classic St. George meal.  Then we drove back! It was such a great and perfect weekend!  I was a little sad when it was over, especially because I wasn't going to be able to be with Taran all day everyday anymore! Stupid work and life that we have to get back to.  
I hope you all had a good memorial day weekend!  

May 21, 2013

Baby Animal Party

 On Saturday, Taran and I took Eli to a baby animal birthday party at Thanksgiving Point! I was soooo excited to take him.  I knew he would LOVE  it!!!!!!!!!

Here is my little Eli petting the baby goat.  He was a little nervous, but he was very brave and petted it anyway.

They had huge cows.  He thought that was cool and tried to climb over that fence and into the pin.  Taran grabbed him because I don't like being the bad guy.

He rode a pony!  He looked a little nervous but I asked him if he was scared and he said no.  Of course he wasn't!  He is a brave boy! I was so nervous he was going to fall off so I followed him around for a minute but then Taran assured me that he wasn't going to fall off so I just told Eli to hold on tight and stood back.

He looked nervous for the first few minutes, but then Taran waved at him and smiled so then he looked like this.

He waved at us! And then I knew he was okay. He loved it.  I was so proud of him!

He asked to make a party hat, so I showed him how to color the hat and then his attention span ran out so, naturally, he toddled away to look at the baby chicks.  So I finished the hat but he didn't want to wear it, so I put it on myself.

He bowled! He was so good at it and get asking to do it again and again.  I let him do it a few times until I told him it was another kid's turn.  Then he saw a balloon and said "I want it!" so he ripped it off the sign it was attached to and then let it go and it floated away to the sky.

Then we took him to Scheels to go on the Ferris Wheel! When Eli is trying something new, he doesn't say much, he just has this expression.

 But then he smiled. He thought it was okay.  He kept commenting on how high up we were.  And then he commented when we were moving.  And when we stopped.  And that he wanted it to move again.

He was very interested in the canoes.  Very interested.

I was starving so we went to Buffalo Wild Wings.  He was such a good boy and contently and quietly colored in a coloring book they gave him.  Then we ordered french fries and he went to town.  He was so good the entire day! We walked over to the restaurant and I had Taran got get him a toy from my car and while we were walking Eli said "Where's Taran?"  I thought it was so sweet that he noticed he wasn't there!

It was such a fun day! I absolutely LOVE these aunt-nephew dates with my little man.  I can't wait until all the other niecephews get old enough so I can take them too! Eli is my best bud! And my sister says that he hasn't stopped talking about the baby animals and that he rode on a pony in days.  So, mission accomplished.

May 9, 2013

I owe that man my life

I had the most special experience the other day.  I went home for the weekend and there was a lovely surprise in store for me.   I got to meet the guy who baptized my mom, Steve Whulstenheum!  It was so special.  I was so happy to meet him and was such a spiritual experience.  Think about the impact Steve has had on so many people.  Steve has effected the lives of me, my mom, my dad, my sisters, my brothers in law, my niecephews and all the people in our lives who we have touched because we are members of the church.  If it wasn’t for him, who knows if I would be here.  If it wasn’t for Steve, who knows if my mom would ever have joined the church.  we had lunch with this man and his wife and we were all crying.  It was such a spiritual moment.  I was filled for love for this gospel and love for this man. 

Can I  share with you my mom's conversion story?  Her job in high school was driving around a blind man who tuned pianos for a living.  He tuned a lot of pianos at churches.  My mom was raised catholic and was living in Detroit but was looking for a new church because she didn’t have faith in the catholic church and it couldn’t answer the questions she needed answered.  Pastors and such were at the churches to let the tuner man in and she would sit with them and talk with them at each church she went to while the guy worked.  The guy (I forget his name) was Mormon but very inactive.  He noticed that she was asking a lot of questions at churches and could tell she was interested in finding faith.  So he began to talk to her about the gospel.  She asked him so many questions and she was very interested.  Finally, he said “you know, there is someone who can answer your questions better than I can” so he called the missionaries.  My grandparents were very against her joining the church and finding faith outside the catholic church so there was no way she could meet the missionaries at her house, so she met them at the piano tuner’s house.  The missionaries (the man who baptized my mother's name is Steve) took her to a baptism and she said she clearly remembers that being the first time she felt the spirit so strongly.

She met with the missionaries for a really long time.  She met with them for so long they were running out of discussions.  She was really scared to get baptized because she knew she would lose her friends and her family would be angry.  One day, the missionaries just brought over a tape to listen to (this was the 70’s so they obviously didn’t have videos like we do now) and she was sitting there and then the spirit knocked her over the head and she knew she just knew that she had to join the church.  press pause.  Meanwhile, back in Utah, my grandmother, my dad’s mother, was dying of brain cancer.  The day she died was the day my mother decided to join the church.  my dad likes to think it was my grandmother’s spirit who knocked her over the head with a brick, and I think it was.  I know it was.  My dad hadn’t even met my mom yet and wouldn’t meet her for another five years, but I think my grandma knew that this woman was her son’s future wife and she stepped to help my mother have the strength to be baptized.

I owe that piano tuner my life.  I owe the missionary I met my life.  As I sat at lunch with this man and I listened to him and mom recount that day that I just told you about and my dad tell steve (the missionary) that he thinks it was his mother’s spirit, I was so overcome with love for this gospel and love for missionaries.  

It was an amazing day! And I hope somebody I can repay him in some way.

May 5, 2013

My sweet little Oliver

This is my nephew Oliver.  He is ONE YEAR OLD TODAY (what?!? he's growing up way too fast!)

Tough guy.

What a story of his birth!  Andrea insisted on coming to my graduation dinner even though she was in labor! She squeezed my hand all through dinner while Adam wrote down how far apart her contractions were.  I felt so bad she was in so much pain and was there!  I told her not to come, she was in labor for crying out loud! But she insisted.  She is such an amazing sister and I love her so much.  And then I was there when Oliver was brought home from the hospital!  While Andi and Adam put Eli brother to bed, I took him to him to his nursery and we rocked in the rocking chair, just us.  He were two days old and soooooooo tiny I was scared to hold him for fear he might break but he was sooooooo cute and soooooooo heavenly.  He already had fat cheeks then.  And he would do this little yell before he sneezed.  He doesn't reallyt do that anymore, but he did for the first few months of his life.  Man oh man, nephew of mine, I love you.

Let keep discussing his cheeks.  HIS CHEEKS.  Let's marvel at their fatness for a moment.  I can never stop kissing them.  They look like they have golf balls in them.  They are sooooo fat and soooooo chubby and soooooooo sweet and soooooooo kissable I could kiss those cheeks all day! AH! I can't handle the cuteness!!! I don't know what to do with myself!

And his cheeks are not the only part that is fat on this boy.  He has monstorous thighs and fat arms and wrists and I just want to snuggle with this chubby boy all day.  And don't even get me started on his eyes or his eyelashes.  A family friend told us once "well he just looks right into your soul, doesn't he?" Those brown eyes sure pierce right through you.  And those eyelashes. Ah! And his lips!  Those big, red kissable baby lips!  I could die.  I could die from this boy's cuteness.

He has really started "talking" a lot lately and just gabs away.  It is sooooo cute.  He likes to be the center of attention so he just yabs away and hams it up when people are paying attention to him.

He has the BEST SMILE.  He has these few teeth in the front and his smile is so big and happy and his cheeks look fatter.  And when he laughs, the world is better place.  I was playing with him the other day and he was playing with a truck and when he pressed a button the trunk popped open.  He was mesmerized.  My boyfriend, who is an engineer, was with me and said to him "oh look, you're an engineer already, you want to see how that works don't you?" Nerd.  But Oliver kept opening that trunk over and over again and smiled and look up at me with big, wide eyes with excitement for learning!  It must be such an exciting thing to be learning about the world and figuring it out.

When you aren't his mommy or daddy and you hold him, he will turn around and stare at you with a confused look on his face.  Trust me.  He will.  And he will do it repeatedly.  He doesn't do it to me so much anymore, but he did it when my boyfriend was holding him.  And that stare is so intense and serious, it'll make you uneasy.  Ollie knows wassup.  He knows you're not his dad.

He is so sweet.  The sweetest baby boy I know.  He is so calm and chill and is so good for our dramatic and frantic family.  He just sits there and entertains himself.  He never complains or fusses, really.  (my sister might disagree) He is soooooo sweet.  I love him so much.

And his FATNESS! I just want to cuddle him and hold him in my arms and kiss his cheeks and make him smile.  That toothy smile.  Oh my word.  My oh my I can't handle it.  I can't handle the cuteness, guys.

Oh my word, him in this robe!  I CANNOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS!

Happy Birthday baby boy!  I can't believe you are one year old today!  I am so happy to be your aunt and I love you so much.  You are such a blessing in our lives.

May 1, 2013

My miss sassy Avery

When Rachelle was in labor, my mom kept calling me every hour of so (in the middle of the night) to give me updates.  I was so confused during those calls because a call would wake me up and I would have forgotten what was happening and I remember being super confused and groggy.  But then, the final call came.  Two words was all my mom said in between happy sobs, "she's here."

That's really all the words to describe my sassy little bundle of firecracking, spitfire, squealing little niece.  She's here.  Her presence is always known, her opinions always shared, her spirit and personality so big and voluptuous sometimes the walls and ceiling can't hold her personality.  From the moment I met her, I knew she was going to be a firecracker, just like her mamma.

Miss Avery Jade spends most of her time squealing.  Boy oh boy does she love to squeal.  There is a home video from Rachelle's 3rd birthday party where Rachelle was sqquuuueeeeeealing like nobody's business.  And it is the exact same squeal Avery does.  It is adorable.  Avery definitely likes to share her opinions with us and she definitely knows what she wants.  She also knows when she looks cute and that baby girl can work it.  

She also has the best smile.  She is a very smiley baby and I looooooove her big smile when I walk in a room.  It is the best part of my day.  Her whole face brightens when she smiles and she looks like just about the happiest kid.

She does this weird thing where she stares at men.  Any guy that isn't her dad, she just stares at them.   When she met my boyfriend, she just fixed him with this intense stare for a full half hour.  No matter where he went in the room, her eyes followed.  She did not smile, she did not laugh, she just stared at him.  She was not sure if he was okay.  I sat down next to him and gave him a hug and said "look baby, he's my friend, he's okay!" And she looked from me to him from me to him and then he started making faces and she gave him the smallest smile.  She continued to stare at him with great intensity until her daddy came home, and then she was her squealy, happy, smiley self.  But not until daddy was home and was there to protect her!

This was when she was in the hospital for the flu.  She wasn't keeping anything down so she had to go on an IV.  It was so sad it broke my heart.  But this little firecracker is tough and she still smiled and kept light spirits during her stay.  She is so brave I am so proud of her.

 The day she was born.

I already gave her her birthday present! It is a phone that lights up and makes noise!  She loooooves phones and she only has an old phone of her dad's and I thought she would really like one that lite up and made noise.  My boyfriend was so sweet and got her a present too, I didn't even ask him to or anything.  He got her a cute little elephant that she can play with in the bath and it squirts water.

Here she is on the day she was born!

Baby girl, I can't believe I get to be your aunt.  I am so lucky and the most blessed girl in the whole world.  My boyfriend is completely in love with you and I am convinced he likes you more than he likes me.  I love you to the moon and back baby girl, thanks for being my niece.