Friday, December 29, 2017

Life in September

Rory started figuring out how to open containers. She managed to get the puffs out of the diaper bag, take off the lid, dump them all over the floor, and then proceeded to help herself to a snack. My favorite part of this little misadventure was that she would get sidetracked playing with her toys, at some point see the puffs she had dumped on the ground, and be delighted and surprised all over again that they were so accessible! 




At the beginning of September, my mom asked if I would come to Moses Lake to do a little teacher training at the studio. Stephen happened to have taken that week off of work and so the three of us went to Moses Lake for a short week getaway. Stephen got to go golfing with my dad and Rory and I got our Grammy fix. Q and Angie came from Tri-cities to hang out with us for a day, too! There were scones and swimming at Grandma's, dinner at Michael's, and lots of cousin play time since my mom was watching Declan for the week. Declan and Rory were not the best of friends, there was a little pushing and plenty of tears, but after some time they got to the point where they could mostly ignore each other- yay progress! The picture at Michael's is not the most flattering of Mom and Stephen, but that is Rory wielding a steak knife while her mom takes a picture- parenting at its finest!










 After getting back from Moses Lake we got back to life as usual. These elders- Elder Wessman and Elder Napier- served in our first ward in Mesa and also lived in our apartment complex. They came over for a lot of dinners and even gave me a sewing machine they found in their apartment when they were cleaning it out. We got to meet up for a dinner with them a few weeks before Elder Wessman went home. They are sweet boys and it has been amazing to watch them mature and grow in the gospel.


Now back to my little fuzzhead baby. She is just so darn cute and fun. The more mobile she gets the busier she is. These are some of my favorite things she's been doing lately. 
-Whenever I cook dinner or am cleaning in the kitchen she opens up these cupboards and pulls everything out. She can keep herself busy with this stack of bowls for almost an hour! I think it's only a little bit dangerous. 
-I usually try to work out while Rory is napping, but lately I've been doing it in the mornings before her first nap when we are just hanging out. If I am doing anything on the ground she loves to climb all over me and find a way to sit on me. It cracks me up because she only wants to be in my arms or on me if I'm trying to do something that is not completely centered around her. If anyone else were around to document I would have some pretty impressive pictures of myself doing push ups with her on my back. 
- One time while I was getting ready it occurred to me that my makeup might be an excellent distraction for Rory. She was fascinated by the brushes and happily played with the ones I never use while I took as long as I wanted to get ready. It was bliss and I felt like I had struck gold. Every day that week I would sit her down next to me and my make up bag so she could play and I could get ready. About midway through the week she started picking up my makeup compacts and just holding them in her hands. Adorable, I thought. Well after one week she managed to figure out how to open up just about everything in my make up bag. There were tiny scratches in all my eye shadows, 










Rory is my little bestie. I took her to the park to feed the ducks one day this month. She loved looking at the ducks and all of them paying attention to her, but she did not understand the concept of sharing her food with them. So while I threw the ducks some bread she happily watched and enjoyed a snack of her own. 







Rory is a super fun and super curious age right now. I recently discovered her love for the public library. They host week activities for all age groups. So far Rory doesn't love baby story time as much as she loves following older kids around at the play center. Her eyes would light up as she crawled over to some little stranger boy, she would smile real big as she sat down next to him and then she would excitedly jabber away at him in her make believe language while he tried to ignore her. She's just my favorite. 




My friend recently gave us a bunch of toys that her daughter had outgrown. It helps us feel like better parents now because mostly we were just letting her play with golf balls.



One of my favorite Rory quirks is the way that she cannot sit in a shopping cart normally. First she cries and cries until I unbuckle her so that she can turn around and face her public. Her new thing is to stand up, which is terrifying and I always make sure that it doesn't last long, but it is also hilarious and adorable.




Curtis has a good friend who is working with the Imagine Dragons on their tour right now and he was able to get us all free tickets to see their Evolve tour. We left Rory with our friends the Collins and met Brad and Jules in Phoenix for the show. Our tickets ended up being on the ground, super close to the stage. We caught the second opener, Grouplove, and while we did not enjoy their music (at all) we did enjoy making fun of them. Luckily it did not take long for the Imagine Dragons to take the stage and they were INCREDIBLE! It was an amazing show and Stephen and I sang and danced through the whole thing. Their show in Phoenix was the very first of the whole tour, which was awesome because we ended up being the only audience that got the full effect of these screens. They moved all over the stage and changed position and color with every single song. I guess they broke really quickly so they weren't able to use them the same way the rest of the tour, but they were awesome. They also had smoke filled bubbles at one point. Like I said, the show was incredible. Side note: I woke up that morning with pink eye. Of course. Nothing says rock show like glasses, no make up, and an oozing eye!







Saturday, August 26, 2017

Two Weddings and a Funeral

July 27-30, 2017
The weekend after the reunion, Rory and I took off for Washington so that I could go to Caitlynn and Elliott's wedding. Our flight left at 6:45 am and I woke up in a panic at 6:30 having MISSED MY ALARM, which by the way is a horrible horrible feeling. Thanks to my living and forgiving parents, who booked us on another flight that left just a couple hours later. It cost them some points and threw off their plans for the entire day, and they were still somehow excited to see us. 
Rory was a busybody on this flight and it was all I could do to keep her from crawling over our seat to sit with the person behind me or from lunging into the lap of the lady to our left. She finally fell asleep and I got to listen to my audiobook for a solid twenty minutes before she was awake and lunging at strangers all over again. 




 My mom picked us up and took us to her favorite new place in Spokane, Chaps. It was eclectic and delicious. I really wanted the blueberry muffin french toast, which they were somehow out of- the nerve- and so I had some delicious Mac and cheese instead. It's a hard dish to mess up, but theirs was still undeniably good. My mom and Rory enjoy each other's company much more than these pictures suggest, but that's why they make me laugh so much. Rory was SO DONE with sitting at this point and my mom was hastily trying to reschedule all her plans and meetings for the day.


 It was kind of trippy being at home without the rest of my siblings being there. I never get my parents all to myself! I have to say, I didn't hate it. On Friday morning we went to a fitness class at the studio. It was so crazy to walk into my dance studio with my baby! If I had stayed in Moses Lake she would practically be living there by now, but being so far away makes you grateful for how much places stay the same even when you are gone. Plus, there were so many small disgusting things on the floor to find and eat so Rory was a huge fan of the dance studio. Just like I always knew she would be.




Rory also helped me get ready for the wedding in my old bathroom. I got ready for many a big date or dance sitting on this floor, but it was usually a cat getting in my lap and keeping me company. Just so everyone knows, having a baby is just like having a cat only it's one million times better. I love this baby so much.





 We left Rory with a babysitter and my mom, dad, and I drove to the wedding in Wenatchee with Lori, Danielle, and Tyler. We arrived the same time as Lauren, which was fortuitous timing as she quickly became my date for the evening. We ate, laughed, danced, and mostly just enjoyed being in each other's company again. I was so lucky to be raised with such amazing women. And the wedding was just as gorgeous as I always imagined Caitlynn's wedding would be. I told her that as much as I want this to be her one and only wedding, I would also like to watch her get married every single day.  I have beautiful, wonderful friends.





The next day we went for swimming and scones at Grandma's after a quick stop at the studio to help Jana prepare for Washington's Distinguished Young Woman- which she won, you are welcome, Jana :) haha. Rory was mostly anxious to be on her way. Also she needed a nap so she was not super happy about any of the fun we had at Grandma's, though she did take a little nap on me at the pool and she hasn't done that in FOREVER. 


And then just like that our weekend of fun was over. But we're always happy when the end of a vacation means we get to go back to dad.

Everyday Rory shows more and more of her personality. She loves trying new food, but she takes about 4 or 5 bites and then starts dumping the other pieces on the floor. Not because she doesn't like it, but because she wants to save it for later. On days when her lazy mom doesn't sweep under her chair after every meal, i.e. every single day, she will crawl on over during play time and get herself a little snack. It's disgusting, hilarious, and ultimately too convenient to try to put a stop to it.



One of our main activities during the week is grocery shopping and I honestly think it is so much fun. Rory doesn't mind sitting in the cart, but she would like to do anything but sit normally. In fact, this might be the most normal she has ever ridden in the cart. She like to pull one foot up and shift her weight until she's facing sideways and can see people and grab things a little better. I know she probably won't always be this fun to shop with so I am enjoying it while I can.


August 4-6, 2017
My grandpa Jim died this summer and so my family planned a memorial for him in California for the first weekend in April. Stephen had been crazy busy on a new client and wasn't getting home until between 12-2 am every night. He had taken Friday off for the funeral and the original plan was to drive Thursday night around 6 pm when he got home from work, but with his work hours being what they were that didn't end up working out. So Rory and I went to bed Thursday night around 7:00 and waited for Stephen who got home around 11:00. We left around 11:30 and drove through the night. Rory gratefully slept the whole way, and we made it with no accidents by 6:00 am Friday morning. Stephen, now running on approximately 0 sleep had to crash while Rory, who had just slept for 13 hours, was revved up and ready to go . Kacey and her crew had rolled in maybe 3 hours ahead of us after flying from Bozeman to Vegas and then driving the rest of the way so at least we were in good, exhausted company. 


 We left the boys with the babies and the girls took a walk down the pier and found a restaurant to eat breakfast at for Jule's birthday. We chatted and enjoyed our kid free meal like only a bunch of moms can. Even though Curtis had kindly offered to watch Rory while Stephen slept, he already had two kids of his own to keep an eye on, so I laid her down for her morning nap in the room Stephen was sleeping in and hoped that he heard my quick, "You're in charge of Rory!" on the way out. When we got done eating I had a text from Stephen an hour old saying "Rory's up" and then I had a text from Curtis 30 min later with a picture of Rory that said, "Just hanging out, she is so chill!" I was obviously a little confused and concerned. Had Stephen woken up, took Rory downstairs, and then left her to sleep? I knew he was tired, but that just didn't seem like him at all!


 We got back the house and Brad, Curtis, and Trevor were all sitting around talking while Rory crawled around between the three of them and Stephen was no where in sight.
Me: Where's Stephen?
Brad: He's still sleeping I think?
Me: Did he ask you to watch Rory?
Brad: No, she's just been here. She's fine though.
Curtis: Yeah I haven't seen Stephen, but all the sudden Rory was down here and dressed. But she's happy!

It was bizarre! I went upstairs where Stephen was ready and getting dressed.
Me: Did you get Rory dressed and then leave her downstairs?
Stephen: When you didn't answer my text I get her ready and came downstairs. But your dad saw me first and said, "Here I'll take her, you look like you need some more sleep."
And suddenly, my mysteriously abandoned baby made so much more sense.

There was a lot of cousin play time, and Grammy picture taking time. We went to a cool little park where Declan, who hates water, decided to swim in the little fake tide pools. We ate a lot of yummy Costco snacks and Stephen and I took 5-6 more naps that day.






On Saturday my mom's family all came over to the house for the memorial. It was a really nice tribute to my grandpa. My Uncle Bill made a movie of pictures from his life. My cousin Bryce, Brad, and my Dad all spoke and they were all the perfect combination of heartfelt and funny. My sisters and cousins and I sand God Be With You Till We Meet Again, and I hope that Grandpa Jim could feel how sincerely we meant it. He wasn't a perfect man, but he gave me some of the greatest blessings in my life. The memorial was a nice excuse to get together with my mom's family who we don't see nearly enough. The last time I got to be with most of these cousins was when I was single and before I had even met Stephen. They are all so much fun to be around and I am grateful to call them family. I stole these pictures from my mom so it is her fault that Courtney's face is cut off in the second one.



Saturday night, after the memorial service, Stephen and I packed up the car to drive through the night once more and make it back in time for his 6:30 am Sunday meetings. It was a short, sleepy, whirlwind of a trip, but time spent with family is always time well spent. My mom and her siblings organized a beautiful weekend to honor their father, and the world is a better place because Jim Knudson was in it.

August 25-26, 2017

Stephen's cousin Harrison married a girl that grew up in Tucson, so we were able to go down and celebrate with them for the weekend. They had a family dinner on Friday night that was a delicious BBQ. Rory got a plate of "kids food" that had a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries. She LOVED it, but she was also more than willing to share with the rest of the table, which is why she's the greatest baby in the world. Here are Grandma and Poppap keeping her busy on the phone and Rory literally stuffing her face with french fries. So many proud parent moments in one evening. 




Thanks to Kathy and Brooke, we were able to attend the sealing while Rory played with the boys. She had a blast and all those little boys are so dang sweet to her it is a little bit ridiculous. They would do anything to make her laugh and Rory was more than happy to oblige and be the center of attention. Weddings are so much more fun now that I have Stephen. We also got to dance a little bit, which I am ALWAYS a fan of. It was a great weekend with people we love.