Thursday, March 20, 2014

Grandpa's Funeral Address

I could honestly speak for hours about my Grandpa.  There truly are no words to articulate what a kind, wonderful, amazing person he was.  Anyone that knew him loved him.  I would like to take a few moments  to share some of my favorite memories of my Grandpa.

My Grandpa Loved – He showed us everyday what it meant to be a true father, grandfather and devoted husband.
A day never went by that he didn’t tell my Grandma he loved her.
A day never went by he didn’t tell me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me.  He loved everyone and always saw the best in everyone.

My Grandpa was the BEST friend – When Grandpa was in the hospital Andy told me, “Jamie he’s my best friend.  Hold his hand and tell him I love him.”  He was my best friend too.  He was a devoted true friend.  I know he was each of our Best Friend and would take special time for each person in the family.

My Grandpa made you feel Important – Upon hearing of my Grandpa’s passing my friend said “I will always appreciate the time I got to spend with him.  He always made me smile and feel important.”  He made everyone feel important.  Whether you were 99 or 2 years old he made you feel special.  His smile and presence lit up an entire room.

My Grandpa was a jokester – I would follow my cousin around and copy everything she did. Grandpa always would say to me and my cousin “Monkey see Monkey do.” 
He taught her how to make the monkey faces at the cars next to her and she often startled anyone they were driving next to.  My Grandpa always made up the best pranks.

My Grandpa was organized – This is not an understatement.  There are many things I have learned from him, but unfortunately I have not learned how to be as neat and organized as he was.  My Grandpa always made my bed for me. My attitude was why make my bed when in 10 minutes Grandpa will come pick me up and make it for me.  I was a very good delegator.  Well one day he got the best of me.  One day he was making my bed and “accidentally” dropped some M&M’s into it.  When I went to get in it that night I was a bit startled to see some melted brown gunk on my bed.  When I told Grandpa he laughed and laughed.  After that event, I became a much more diligent bed maker.

My Grandpa could navigate a store and the newspaper coupons better than anyone- My Grandpa loved to hunt for the best deal and stock up on those items.  If anyone is in need of bandaids, toothpaste or alka seltzer I’m pretty sure I could work you up a good bargain. 

My Grandpa was the best playmate – I remember many summer days that Grandpa and I would spend on the fourth level, playing store, doctor or school. My Grandpa even let me use entire rolls of toilet paper to wrap his pretend broken foot.  (That’s true love if you know how much my grandpa values toilet paper – especially when it is bought at a good deal).  Grandpa was NEVER too busy to play with you.

My Grandpa failed the fourth grade – To clarify Grandpa failed my make believe fourth grade several times. Every Wednesday I “taught fourth grade on the fourth level.”  My friend Abby and I would beg Grandpa to come be our student.  With not one bit of hesitation he would come down.  We would say the pledge of allegiance and I would look over and Grandpa would be asleep. Grandpa was an expert at saying the pledge but he never stayed awake past the “in liberty and justice for all.”

My Grandpa loved his country – Grandpa makes me proud to be an American.  He would fly several American flags in front of his home.  This is why the fourth of July is my favorite holiday.  My Grandpa proudly served our country twice.

My Grandpa was brilliant – Grandpa loved to learn.  He could fix anything and was a perfectionist.  He did things so precisely and accurately.

My Grandpa was my biggest cheerleader – Grandpa never missed any of his Grandchildren’s events or accomplishments.  From soccer games, to recitals, performances to graduations he was always there cheering you on and letting you know how proud he was of you.  Now he will be cheering us on from above.  He won’t miss our important events, he never did.

My Grandpa cared about us – He often told us how important we were to him.  He picked me up from school every single day and took me to every single orthodontist appointment.  My Grandpa even bribed me with $50 if I learned how to stand up straight.  I hope I’m not slouching Grandpa.

My Grandpa had a positive outlook on life – I am a very competitive person when something did not go my way at school I would often be upset and moody.  Grandpa would always reply “All is Swell.”  You couldn’t be in a bad mood around Grandpa.

My Grandpa never complained – I feel the song I will/am going to play is perfect for my Grandpa the lyrics state
there's one thing I know 
The blues he sends to meet me won't defeat me 
It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me 

Raindrops keep falling on my head 
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red 
Crying's not for me 
Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin' 
Because I'm free 
Nothing's worrying me
He never complained or let us feel defeated.

My Grandpa made others smile –Every month I would cut my Grandpa’s toenails.  Every month my little boy Tymon would come with me.  He would often assist with anything he could. I think Grandpa may have worried that he was going to loose a toe if Tymon got ahold of the fingernail clippers. Last month Tymon asked Grandpa what color he wanted on his toenails. Grandpa remarked, “Red!”  I wonder what the doctor will say when he checks my feet!  Tymon preceded to paint each one of Grandpa’s toes and toe nails red.  Bright Red.
 When Grandpa went to the hospital several nurses did a double take.  My cousin asked if I had painted Grandpa’s toe nails (because on several occasions Grandpa had not objected to me trying out the newest color) I said no it was Tymon.  To which my cousin replied, “They look ridiculous.” Grandpa didn’t care.  Grandpa loved to make others smile and have fun and How fitting that Grandpa entered Heaven with Bright Red Toe Nails.

My Grandpa is my hero.
Simply stated.  My Grandpa is my hero.
A piece of him will live within each of us.  He will always be with me.

Grandpa I hope there are lots of bagels, chili, bread, cheese, and twinkies in Heaven.  And I sure hope that there is someone who can touch up your Red Toe nail polish.
Thank you for being my best friend, my greatest playmate, my encourager.  I know you will always be with me, watching over me, protecting me, smiling down on me, and cheering for me from above. I love you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Grandpa - I love you

On Saturday my Grandpa unexpectedly passed away. My best friend in the entire world, my favorite playmate, my inspiration, and my hero left this world. I love you Grandpa. This is not goodbye, rather I will see you soon. You will always and forever be with me. You are not as far away as it seems, you are in my heart--ALWAYS.

I'm truly at a loss of how I'm going to tell Tymon.  My Grandpa was literally his best bud in the entire world.

If you want your heart melted, just look at these pictures.
 Before Grandpa unexpectedly passed, Grandpa let Tymon paint his toenails bright red.  Grandpa went to heaven with bright red toenails.

I'll always look up to you Grandpa. I'll always love you. And you'll always be with us.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

There are two holidays that I love!  The first is the 4th of July.  I have always loved what the 4th of July stands for, the celebrations, parades, fireworks, and the opportunity to reflect on how blessed I am to live in the United States of America.  Not to mention it is summer and hot. 
My second favorite holiday is New Years!  I love the opportunity of reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the upcoming.  There were so many awesome happenings of 2013.  Here is a short recap!

Joe- Joe left the bank and is excited about his new job adventures.  Joe spends most of his time at Home Depot “flipping” houses.  In fact, he is on a first name basis with several Home Depot employees and vendors.  He enjoys the free SWAG. Joe is much happier in his new job and enjoys ever faucet of the housing and flipping market.  Joe completed another year of MBA school (Jamie completed SEVERAL papers) and we are looking forward to his graduation in 2014.  Joe stayed home with Tymon and Laykin quite often the last several months of 2013 so Jamie could assist several ACT students.  Joe continues to play indoor soccer and be an amazing Daddy.

Jamie-This year was super memorable for me.  This year I had my gallbladder removed and it was the best decision ever – I am pain free. So many things on my bucket list got checked off.  I ran my first full marathon in September, I successfully dressed Laykin and Tymon head to toe for every season (I just love kids clothing – I can’t help it), and I grew the tutoring business to new heights.  I assisted several ACT students in obtaining their goal score and helped many secure athletic and academic scholarships.  I made many new and lifelong friends.

Tymon- Tymon grew so much this year.  Tymon learned to ride a bike.  Tymon knows all of his letters and numbers and every sound.  Tymon FINALLY potty-trained J (with slight bribery and a new collection of over 100 cars – not an exaggeration).  Tymon is doing awesome in preschool and played his third season of soccer where he enjoyed standing in the goal, playing in the net, or whining to his parents.  Tymon has asked to play Teeball this spring.  Joe and I are a bit sad he’s not really into soccer.  Tymon is a stellar big brother, always very concerned about his sister.  However, she is not allowed to touch any “special” cars and he makes sure she stays away from his secret hide out.  Tymon loved watching Arthur, Paw Patrol, and Curious George to name a few.  Tymon is very smart, organized, and stubborn.  2013 was a wonderful year for Tymon. Tymon grew into size 5 clothes and is as handsome as ever.

Laykin- Our baby Laykes cakes grew so much in 2013.  Laykes has a ton of teeth.  Laykes is the happiest, most easy going gal around.  Laykes loves to follow her brother around.  Laykes began walking 3 days before her 1st birthday.  She now runs and pivots everywhere.  Laykes was happy to go anywhere we went this year.  Laykes has many nicknames, Laykes, Laykie, Sis, and Sissa.  Laykes has her own language but especially loves to say, “hi,” “uh oh,” “Ty,Ty”, “Mama," “Dada,” “Papa,” and her newest and my favorite “Baaacks” (for Blacky). Did I mention Laykes likes to eat.  Laykes favorite foods are well…anything and everything.  Laykes especially enjoys ice cream, yogurt, and meat (lamb to be exact).  Laykes does not like milk.  Laykin is very friendly and social and she makes us smile every day.  Against her father’s wishes she has a knack for dancing and we are pretty sure we have a little dancer in our future.  Laykes loves to carry her dolls around and beg anyone she can for food.  Laykes is my super shopping buddy who is happy to accompany me on 4 hour shopping adventures as long as food is involved.  And I may be biased but she is pretty much the most pretty gal around.

Blacky: Blacky continues to be the best dog anyone could ask for and we love him.
Daisy: Daisy is currently available for sale, let me know if anyone is interested ;)
Family Trips:  As a family we enjoyed trips to Yellowstone, Lake Powell, San Diego, Sea World, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo

Please leave me a comment in hopes I'll be a better blogger in 2014!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Marathon - Part One

"If you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right." - Henry Ford

I am now a marathoner.  The marathon seemed like one of those goals I always had in the back of my mind but never would accomplish.  A few days before the race I seriously thought about chickening out and "just" doing the half.  The half in itself is a lot of training, work, and dedication.  I could not imagine running double that distance.  I was so nervous, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, my thoughts just keep coming back to:  What if I can't finish?  What if I hit the wall?  Then what?  I was awaiting the dreaded wall?  I was questioning myself, and my training.  The most I had run before the marathon was between 17 and 18 miles, was that going to be enough.

I started talking to my friends for reassurance.  I told Mandy that I was super nervous and that I didn't think my training run of 16 miles was long enough.  I said, "I have never even run 20?"  Her response, "So, what you'll run 20 tomorrow." Yes, I guess I will.  Lysa told me to go through the motions.  Eat a candy bar the night before and go through the motions.  These were her comments, "You totally have it Jamie! You're killing all your halfs! You know you'd regret it big time if you backed out now. You can't think about it. Just get up and go run and go through the motions. I remember having to just get up and walk out the door bc If I gave it any thought, I would have talked myself out of it that day. It's hard at the end of training bc you're getting really burned out. Idk. I don't really have advice, other than I know you'd really regret not doing it. You'd kick yourself and then have to register for something else and do it all over again."

I talked to my cousin. He told me to Hydrate, take the first portion of the marathon slow, and that he would meet me at mile 17. My sister in law showed me some mental tricks and really helped me know that I could do this.  She talked me back into doing it and told me she'd see me at the finish. My friend Julie, who was doing the half, believed in me. She told me she I would finish and has been such a strong supporter all the way through. Joe told me, "Just do it, I don't want to hear about it when you are mad you didn't." Being a very stubborn person I knew he was right. There were a few people who were pretty negative me about finishing. They put thoughts of injury and disbelief into my head. I took their negativity and it really propelled me to prove them wrong.

I was able to sleep really well on Thursday night, Friday night was a different story. I had nightmares all night. About everything. First it rained the whole time. Then I missed the bus. Then I forgot to wear pants (no joke). Then I didn't have a pony tail holder. Thankfully none of those nightmares came true - especially the one about not wearing pants.

Friday morning I went and volunteered at the running expo. It was a blast! It was super exciting to meet so many different runners from all over the country. I met people nervous just like me: first-time marathoners. I met people who had done 85 plus marathons. I handed the race packet to the OVERALL, winner Danya. I met people from Florida, Texas, and Australia. It was a blast. The race directors were so kind, insightful, and organized. This race was going to be great I just knew it.

Saturday morning came quickly. I woke up at 3 a.m. I then pumped. (Yes, I'm still breastfeeding). Why I choose to run a marathon and still try to nurse is beyond me. I won't recommend it but, I got through it and it was fine. I then laid on the coach wondering what I was about to do. My friend Julie came and picked me up and drove me to the bus pickup for the marathon. I said goodbye to her, wished her luck in the half, and hopped on the bus. Why am I doing the full I thought?  Then my positive mental energy kicked in.

I get really carsick, and riding 30 plus miles in a bus up a canyon is not the most fun way for me to begin a morning.  I took a seat in the front of the bus where I could look out the front window.  An older gentleman sat next to me.  He was from New Mexico.  He was great to talk to.  He talked about how he was in Boston last year, his hopes of returning this year and his training.  I asked him for his best advice.  He told me, “Take one mile at a time.  You’ll have good miles and bad miles but, run the mile you are in.”  I can’t tell you how much this helped me. I only thought about the mile I was in.  Not what was ahead or behind me.  My cousin told me to text him a picture of what I was wearing, hence this lovely. (He text back "Run Little Red Riding Hood)"

We got to the top and it was a bit chilly, and foggy (as the picture shows). I had set good, great, and awesome goals.  A good goal is something you can accomplish no matter what. A great goal is something that you can accomplish if you have a "great" race, and a an awesome goal is one that all the planets align and everything worked out. I also had a running mantra: "fast as a fox calm as an ox."  These two mental tricks really helped me.

Good: First 17 miles slow save the juice

Great: Under 5 1/2 hours

Awesome: Under 5 hours

These goals kept me focus.

 We still had over an hour until the race started.  I learned after my half-marathons to always bring a fleece blanket.  I packed well and wrapped myself up and sad down on the side of the road.  I always make friends easily at races.  I found a girl who was from Las Vegas.  She had 3:30 written on her hand.  I asked her if she was trying to qualify for Boston and she said yes.  We talked about talked and talked until the start of the race.  She wished me luck, and headed to the front. (I looked up her time after the race and she finished at 3:33 :( breaks my heart ). A bus had high centered getting up Guardsmen pass and the start time was pushed back. Great I have to sit her and worry more.  I literally felt sick to my stomach.

Without putting too much thought into it we began the race.  I listened to my favorite speaker.  My goal after all was not to go too fast down the canyon.  I heard some talks I had never heard before, two of which he referenced running in.  I was, calm, motivated, and keeping a steady pace.  The best thing about starting at the back of the pack is that you always pass people and start to feel pretty cool.

I saw the 4:30 pacer ahead of me.  I always kept her in my sight, but in reality I was going for a great time of under 5 ½ hours and an awesome time of 5 hours so I was not terribly worried when they were not in my view.

The first six miles were not just good they were great.  I enjoyed the view of the canyon and stayed warm.  Mile 8 rocked my world.  The porta potties were calling and my hip was doing something weird I had never felt before.  I visited the bathroom and then stretched my hip out.  I was just trying not to think about it. 

There are definitely some interesting runners out there.  For instance a girl who I will refer to as “pink tank top girl.” Pink tank top girl had never run a marathon.  This was evident and I think she made it her goal to make sure I did not pass her in the canyon.  She would literally sprint with all her might for probably 400 feet.  Then walk. Then when she saw me coming upon her she’d sprint.  Let’s just say at mile 11 her strategy did not work so well and I never saw her again.   There was also a guy dressed in sponge bob boxers and a shirt.  Believe me, I was not going to get beat by a guy dressed in a sponge bob outfit.  At mile 14 I made sure he was no where near me.  The mile markers started passing quickly.  Mile 13, I text my cousin “13 and feeling lean.”  At this point my friend, who killed the half text me: “Run, Jamie, Run.”  I needed that. Mile 15, I text, “Mile 15 feeling mean.”  At this point my hip was really hurting (maybe all the downhill?) and I was not the happiest of campers, but I pushed on.  I realized that I only had 2 more miles until I met up with my cousin. “16.” I managed to text him.  I had a steady pace going and my legs did not feel like I had just run 17 miles.  I did not have a Garmin or a watch, and because of a bus high centering I had no idea what time we actually started.  I run better without knowing.

Marathon Part Two

I meet up with my cousin. I totally could identify him by his "John Stockton short shorts." ;) We ran past Joe and the kids, and I handed him my ipod and gear belt.  (I had come prepared – I had my ipod, and my phone, and my gear belt). I was NOT going to run 26.2 miles without music.  My cousin asked how I was feeling and I said, “fine.”  His "fresh" leg pace was kicking my butt a little (come to find out he had done 18 miles two days earlier, and was going to run 9 with me) but I enjoyed the change of pace.  My cousin was a champ and is seriously my hero, this next month he will complete his 12th marathon!

I remember many years ago, when he was running the Deseret News Marathon.  He asked my brother and I to meet him at certain mile markers to help him through.  I ran 3 miles with him and could not fathom running a full marathon.  My brother helped him through the end and he received his PR on that race.  Ever since that point and time I had wanted to complete a marathon.  He inspired me.  I kept putting it off, long training runs were hard, time consuming, and painful.  It was always a thought in the back of my mind, but honestly, I never thought I would really follow through with it.

My cousin helped me so much.  He carried one bottle of Gatorade, a bottle of water, his phone, cliff blocks, and a bottle of propel.  Slowly, through the miles I finished off the Gatorade and cliff blocks.  I carried the water from mile 19 on until it was gone.  I stuffed the cliff blocks in my bra. Until Mile 19 when I sqooze them so hard they started to disintegrate (any runner who knows those things knows that is really not possible).  Mile 20 was ahead.  I could not believe it.  Did I really make it to mile 20 without walking? There was a hill.  It felt good on  my legs to use different muscles and I got up that hill without any difficulty.  Person after person were walking up the hill and my cousin commented that that was “nothing but a mole hill.” I’m sure a few runners heard, but didn't care.

                                      *Look at all the crap he carried for me!

He asked me how I was feeling and I said fine.  He said, “If you were going to hit the wall, you would have by now, I’m going to push you.”  Great, I thought.  He pushed me to quicken my pace and obsessed about the miles and my time so I didn't have to (I had hoped I would run under 5 hours, but I told him never to tell me where I was at). He sang (err screeched and yelled) songs about a Blue Dog, and a solider.  He made fun of my music (Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and Lady Gaga).  We talked, and ran. And talked, and ran some more.  We were approaching mile 23.  I read a sign on the side that said, “You can do anything for 30 minutes.”  I could. I had almost finished a marathon.

didn't hit a wall but I was feeling it.  It was getting hot, and my hip was hurting.  I searched every aid station for a medical tent, hoping that I could get some icy/hot to rub on my hip.  No such luck. My cousin pushed me along, running a couple feet ahead of me.  I was not a big fan of him at this point.  Why would he just not let me go at my comfortable pace? He didn't want me to have anything left at the end.  I ran the mile I was in. 24 came.  I was not letting anything stop me.  We crossed the intersection of 6200 S and highland, a car whizzed past nearly missing us, and some other runners.  I told my cousin, “If that would have been a Murray police instead of another police officer at that intersection, that would not have happened.”  ( I won't single out another police department here, but you get my drift).

Mile 25. Lovely Mile 25.  I got water and felt something sticky being poured on my back.  My cousin had dumped grape propel all over me.  It was gross, sticky, and I smelled like a giant grape.  But at that point I didn't care.  It was cool and I had a mile left.  Was he going to let me run my 10:00 minute pace? Um. Hell No.  We came to another intersection.  An older lady, who probably should not be driving tries to pull onto the road with other runners.  A Murray police officer literally jumps in front of her car and starts banging on her windshield   Yelling at her! "What are you doing?" He proceeds to lecture her, and I run pass smiling.  Yes, I was smiling at mile 25!  “See I told you Murray police take their job seriously,” I told my cousin.  He laughed.  Then it began.  He began singing at the top of his lungs, “I've got Soul but I’m not a solider” (Lincoln forgive me if I did not type the words correctly, but seriously at this point I was not focusing on what you were singing).  He was singing and singing, and then his singing got louder and louder. I was getting a bit annoyed at his singing and yelling so I turned up my music and tried to ignore his singing.  At one point an older lady turned around and told my cousin to, “Sing it to me baby.”  Awkward. She wasn't kidding.  We then had to run faster to get away from her.

“You need to catch up to the girl in the pink shorts,” yelled my cousin.  What? Why? I thought.  But I did it and then he’d tell me my next victim until one by one I was passing people on Mile 25!  “Come on Kalikakis,” he’d yell. “Faster!” “Gray shirt guy….go!!!!!!!” (Who by the way was actually someone I knew and I was pretty proud of myself to pass).  “Kalikakis go!” (Why is he yelling my maiden name I thought? But it motivated me.  Reminded me of my soccer days, reminded me of how far I had come, how much I had accomplished.  I was going to finish a marathon.) I passed person after person on that last mile.  My cousin stopped running with me at Mile 26.  He told me I better sprint to the finish.  I thought about not. I was tired.

*In case you were wondering I did beat that guy!

But then, the competitor in me sprinted.  I sprinted the last .1 miles of that 26.2 mile race.  I had finished the marathon.  I had checked it off my bucket list. I was a marathoner.  I saw the 4:30 pacer, and I saw them behind me after I crossed the line. 

I did it.

I walked across the line in a daze.  A volunteer told me to go to the medical tent.  (I must have looked pretty bad).  I was stubborn, I was fine.  I got my medal and went to find my family.

Joe, my Mom, my cute sister-in-law Kim, Tymon, and Laykin cheered me on at the finish.  Joe asked if I could hear them when I was crossing the line, and I said I could hear Kim.  Kim said, Joe told her, “Now that’s one determined girl.” He was talking about sprinting to the finish.  I told him Lincoln would be mad at me if I didn't  and in reality I would have been mad at myself if I finished the race having anything left in the tank. I shortly found out that my awesome friend, an amazing runner and athlete had finished only 10 minute before me.

*Look at Laykin, any chance to eat food she will

Tymon had the cutest smile on his face, and grabbed my medal. “Let’s put these with the rest of your trophies Mom. I hang it up with the rest,” he remarked in his cutest little voice.  Then grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the free food! 

I thought in my mind.  Yes, I’ll put this medal with the rest of the trophies.  But it is unlike those half marathon, 10k, and division winner medals.  It is my marathon medal.  I completed a marathon.  I did it for myself.  I woke up at 6:30 am countless summer mornings to do 10 plus miles.  I prepared, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  I accomplished it, and that medal and I will proudly hang that medal with my others.

When we got home, I took a freezing cold ice bath.  It was miserable.  Ty hung my medal in the middle of my trophies.  It represents more than finishing a marathon.  It represents having the determination to finish something I started.  It represents proving others wrong.  It reminds me that, if I put my mind to something, I work at it, and I want it bad enough – I can accomplish it.

Up next....Marathon number two.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Welcome 2013!  Maybe this year I will be a more diligent blogger (probably not, no promises).  I have not even blogged about Laykin’s birth – which will be coming after this post.  I wanted to do a recap of our exciting events of 2012.  What a great year it was!  Here is our month by month breakdown, complete with pictures of 2012.

What a way to start the year with a second trip to Hawaii.  Ty was older this year and loved playing in the sand with his cousin, Annabelle, and his aunts and uncle.  My favorite part of Hawaii included “learning” to surf, paddle boarding, and the road to Hana.  Even though I will probably never do the road to Hana again, it was fun to do it a second time.  The road to Hana is an ALL DAY driving trip, but the stops are unlike anywhere else. 

Joe also began his MBA in January 2012.  His is now over half way through and doing amazing.  He has maintained a 3.9 GPA (with some writing assistance from his wife) and has worked very hard.  We are very proud of him and also excited for some new job opportunities that having an MBA degree will open up.

February was a fun and nerve racking month for us.  This is when I found out we were expecting Baby #2.  I was very nervous until our first ultrasound that confirmed the baby was in the uterus.  I was so grateful that this baby was not in my tube!  Not to mention the fact that I was able to get pregnant again was quite a miracle for us.

We also redid our basement.  I had been wanting to tackle the big white room forever.  We painted it tan, added an accent wall as well as a magnet board and a place to store my running stuff.  I love having a big basement with a workout area, toy area and office.


In March we went to the monster truck rally.  Ty could not stop talking about it.  After the final event I looked over to see a boy wearing a Grave Digger shirt crying.  Grave digger had lost and this little boy was quite upset!  I tried not to laugh.  Joe kindly reminded me of all the times I had cried over the Jazz losing.


In April we celebrated my 27th birthday. Not much to report except I am another year older.

In April we were also able to help with the Save the Day for Gage.  I organized the race course and managed to get the Cadets to help us out.  Joe acted as the DJ.  We had such an amazing turnout and were so happy to help little Gage.  We raised a ton of money to help with the medical bills for Gage's brain cancer.  Gage is doing very well!  


May brought the opening of my business, Totally Tutoring Utah (  This is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time but finally made the jump.  The business has been so challenging but so rewarding.  I currently employee 14 tutors.  I love tutoring!  This year I have helped countless students achieve a good score on the ACT, pass a math test, or learn how to read.
Our growth this year has been amazing, and I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to employ such amazing tutors and work with such great clients.  Tutoring is the most rewarding job because you are empowering students with knowledge.

I can’t say I was fully ready to run a business on my own.  From payroll, marketing, and even website design I have had a lot of ups and downs.  Thanks so much to all those people that have helped me make this goal a reality


We enjoyed outings to the zoo and on the parkway.  Ty started his summer program at preschool and had a hard time at first but enjoyed it.  It really prepared him for his new preschool.  We enjoyed swimming in Grandpa and Grandma shark’s pool.  This was Ty's first time on the Alpine slide and he loved it.

On July 5th, we found out Baby was a Girl!  Much to Joe’s disbelief he asked the tech to “check again” followed by “are you sure?”  We love baby Laykin and July was a fun month we (I mean I) spent searching for baby girl clothes and items for the nursery.

We were also lucky enough to watch the Days of 47' rodeo in a suite.  Ty absolutely loved it and was convinced that the horse that lives by our house, sugar, was in it!


In August I was a bridesmaid at Brandie’s wedding.  Her wedding was beautiful and she was so PATIENT with pregnant sick me!  Initially, when she purchased my dress I did not know I was pregnant.  We had to purchase another dress for me and luckily I could still zip it up.  A day before the wedding I had to go to the hospital because I was so sick and losing so much fluid.  After a trip to labor and delivery some zophran and iv’s, I felt good enough to go to the wedding.  I lived off of peanut butter and crackers during the wedding and made it through. 

Ty enjoyed many summer days on the patio with Pa.

I was also able to attend a taping of the Voice in L.A. with my sister-in-laws.  It was so much fun.  We had a blast and I got to cross something off of my bucket list.  


Much to mine and Joe’s delight Ty began playing soccer.  Half the time he would sit and pick the grass.  Or run by and simply smile – not even paying a bit of attention to where the ball was.  We were proud little soccer parents when he scored his first goal and even prouder when he received his trophy at the end of the year.  Ty wants to play in the spring and we are already harping on him to kcik with his left foot!

We enjoyed a fun time in Midway over labor day weekend.  We played in Gram’s backyard and enjoyed the parade, booths, and food.

Ty began preschool at the Little Blue Schoolhouse.  He struggles some mornings to go but has had so much fun.  I can tell he is learning and even told me yesterday how to spell Dog.  Ty can recite the alphabet, count to twenty, and is starting to recognize colors.

We also took Ty to the fair.  He had so much fun riding the horses and monster trucks.  It was my first time ever at the fair and we enjoyed it!


We celebrated Ty’s 3rd birthday at our house.  Ty had the most fun eating the cake and playing with his cousins.  Ty received some hulk gloves from my brother , a semi truck from Papa and Nano and a fire station from Grandma and Grandpa shark.
He also had a friend party at Jungle Jim’s the next weekend!

On November 25th at 10:30 a.m. our beautiful baby Laykin was born.  I will reserve a whole post for this.

Joe also obtained his real estate license (this picture has nothing to do with it – but I really like it)


We really enjoyed the holidays with Laykin.  Santa made a special visit to Grandma and Grandpa Shark’s house.  Ty got a skateboard from Santa to which he exclaimed, “Oh my hell, Santa!”  (Oh dear!) Ty loved everything about Christmas and it was the best christmas present to watch him and to have Laykin join our family.

2012 was a wonderful year.  We look forward to many exciting things in 2013!