January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy chillin' at the Jack Johnson concert

Yesterday (August 18th) was my wonderful husbands birthday. I was soooo excited to spend the day with him after finding out I didn't have to cover for some co-workers until Tuesday. It was a relief for me. I wanted to go to lunch and spend some time together and thankfully we got to!

We had lunch at Goodwood Barbeque Company. It was DELICIOUS! I love their margarita's (virgin, of course!) and BBQ'ed ribs. Ummmm, Ummmm. Trav got an enormous burger...in fact it was so big he couldn't finish it, which is unheard of! No we had a good time getting covered in BBQ sauce and attempting to stay clean.

Last night we went to a Jack Johnson concert. It was a lot of fun..in a different way. It was a very laid back atmosphere. We went to the Usana Amphitheater with my brother Kacey and his wife Crystal, Nic & Ash, and some of Nic's family. It was an outdoor concert and it was a beautiful night. My favorite part of it all was when the moon began to rise. It was stunning. The moon was a yellow color and it was really big coming over the mountains. Trav and I just stood there listening to the music and watching in amazement. I can't see things like that and doubt there's a living, kind, and all loving God. It was absolutely amazing.

The rising moon...it doesn't look that big but it was huge!!

Kacey & Crystal

Nic & Ash

While at the concert we played a few games of cards, phase 10 dice, and "steam roller". Has anyone played steam roller before? My younger brother, Kacey, (who's known for being mischevious) wanted to play. What you do is everyone lies down and cuddles up together. The person on the outside of the group cuddling rolls over everyone. That's it. Funny huh? Kacey loved it...enough said. ;) There was one point when Trav was rolling over everyone and Kacey pushed up on him and literally made him fly over two people and land on me (it was a very hard landing and it hurt!). Kacey thought that was hilarious. Looking back I must admit it is kinda funny, but shortly after the hard landing I must say I was NOT laughing.

Steamroller: Crystal, Kacey, Nic, Ash, & Trav (I was taking the pic)

We didn't get home until 12:30 or 1:00 last night. Needless to say I'm a little tired and not all here. But all is well. I'm just so glad I got to spend the afternoon with the man of my dreams. He's so wonderful.

So...now it's time for me to brag a little. I'll try to keep this short because I could go on and on and on...

I love so much about my husband. He is truly a genuinely good man. He is so full of kindness. I've noticed that many people don't have the blessing of having a kind spouse. I am so grateful I've been blessed with one. Travis is always serving me. He does large things (like asks me on dates, makes dinner, listens to me, has a discussion with me - I love that-, etc) and he does small acts of service (like buying me a flower and dropping it off at work, tickeling my back, telling me I'm beautiful, opening my door, etc) and I am so grateful for all these things.

I love how Travis is interested in people. He asks questions because he truly wants to know. He doesn't have selective hearing (unless he's watching tv ;)) - when he asks, he listens. I don't know about you but I've caught myself activley participating in selective hearing and I HATE IT. It's actually really hard to LISTEN. It takes time, patience, concern, love, and an ability to focus. Travis is always practicing those things. He listens and I love it.

Travis is so fun to travel with. I'm so grateful I'm married. Sometimes people say, "don't get married when you're young! Go travel, go to school, date, make lots of friends...party!!" I'm lucky enough to say I got married young AND I've been able to do all those things you apparently have to be single to do (or so they say). Trav and I have had the opportunity to do so much together and we LOVE it. We have such a good time. He always has a plan and it makes it so fun and interesting.

Travis is so fun to be around. I seriously wonder if some of my family members enjoy being with him more than me! I don't say that in a self-pitying way. I am happy and relieved they feel that way. My family is very important to me and it would be so hard if my family didn't get along with Trav. Thankfully Travis is one of the easiest guys to get along with! My brothers often ask, when I go over to their house/my parents house, "Where's Trav?" before they even say hi to me. It's funny...and I'm so grateful Trav is so laid back and accepting.

Travis is spiritually amazing. He has a testimony of our church that's so strong and influential - and he doesn't even realize it. I am so grateful he loves the gospel. I am so grateful he, not only loves it, but BELIEVES and LIVES it. You know that quote, "Actions speak louder than words"? Well, that's Trav to a "t". His actions speak louder than words...and he only speaks of good, honest, true things.

Travis is such a great support system for me. He has made me feel beautiful - inside and out - on many occasions when I've felt anything but beautiful. As I mentioned before, his actions speak of good things, well he has a way with hugs. He loves to give hugs and their the REAL hugs. Not the hugs where you barely touch while lightly patting the others back. It's the real deal. When he's done hugging you, you feel loved. He does that to me all the time.

Travis is a very hard worker. He has learned how to work (thanks Dad and Mom) and doesn't take a dollar for granted. He's frugal. He's smart with his money. But he's not overly stingey with it either. I have learned a lot just by watching him. A penny can go a long ways if you allow it to. How grateful I am for his example.

...ah....I could go on and on. I don't mean to sit here and rub in why my spouse is better than yours...it's just so easy! ;) But I will make myself stop (however, if any of you are interesting in learning more about my spouse and why he's better than yours let me know. I'm willing and glad to share!)

No, in all seriousness, I am grateful for my husband. Many times I am humbled when I think of how fortunate I am to be with a man who respects his parents, respects his siblings, who respects women in general (he's a GENTLEMAN through and through!), who honors his beliefs and isn't afraid to stand, when necessary, to prove his beliefs, who is so influential in a silently loud way....ahhhh. Why am I so lucky? Why am I so blessed? I don't know. I'm just eternally grateful I am.

I love you Travis William!

Push play...this is cute in a weird way. ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday, August 17th

So, today was interesting. Trav and I had every intention in the world to take the kids to church. We bathed them last night after getting home from the water park, Trav shaved and showered...everything and everyone was ready to go. We just didn't realize how tired we were.

The kids were up by about 8:00, Trav was up around 9:00, and I wasn't up until 10:00. I COULD NOT GET OUT OF BED! About an hour and half later Trav and Grayson laid down to take a nap while Braxton, Marin, and I played games of yahtzee. It was a quiet day. We were all pooped. The combination of extreme heat and water just wiped us out.

Grayson, Marin, & Braxton in front of the Provo Temple
Since we didn't make it to church, Trav and I thought it'd be nice to take the kids and walk around the temple. We fed everyone lunch, bathed Grayson again (he had a little accident while napping), and packed up their toys/cloths and we were out the door. On the way to the temple Trav and I were talking about how the temple is Heavenly Father and Jesus' house and that we needed to be reverent. Nic, Ash, & Mercydez came with us.

When we got there things went down hill quick. Poor Braxton is sensitive to the heat and we didn't think about how that would effect him. He struggled. He started going after Grayson and eventually ran him over. Grayson was crying and screaming, Braxton was yelling "SHUT UP!", and Marin was being the older sister and getting after Braxton. Trav was trying to calm Braxton down, I was trying to comfort Grayson, and Nic and Ash were trying to distract Marin. OH MY HECK! It was hilarious (I can say that now). And to make things better...there were seriously a good hundred or two missionaries around the temple taking pictures and such. When this whole commotion took place they, of course, turned and looked. Ohhhh....

We got back to the car as quickly as we could and left. Poor Braxton. We didn't realize the heat would effect him that way. We now know...

Anyway we got them home without any further problems.

Tonight we had family dinner at my parents house. We're celebrating two things. One - Travis' birthday is tomorrow and two, this is Kades (my brother) last weekend here. He is moving to Idaho for the next year and a half for work purposes. We are sooooooo sad to have him go because we all live so close to each other. He is the first to move away. It's an exciting change for him but we're all sad to see him go. Megan, his wife, is planning on staying here in Utah to work until he's done in Idaho. It's a big change for my family (Tim...Chris...don't get any ideas ;)). I've decided I'm going to treat this like a missionary situation. I'm going to write him, send him care packages, etc. I'm determind to make this a good thing - not a devastating thing.

Anyways, since it's Kades last weekend here we had a good-bye-dinner for him. Megans side of the family came and had dinner with the Gourley side. One of Megans sisters, Hannah, married a guy named Corey. He's a character! He has many "talents" as Braxton would say. We were able to record one of the many. Take a look (and turn your volume up)! It's hilarious!

Saturday, August 16th

We took the kids to Seven Peaks today. I wasn't able to get any pictures because I don't have a water proof camera and I didn't want to risk ruining it with the extreme heat or having it stolen. Pictures or no pictures - we had a blast! My mom, Kolton, & Auriel came with us and I'm glad they did! Braxton just loved that my mom was there. Braxton kept running up to my mom saying, "LeAnnnnnnnn" and would hug her. If he wasn't next to his "Brother Travis" he was with my mom. We still haven't figured out why he has targeted her with affection but my mom is just flattered.

We played in the wave pool, the lazy river, went down some slides...relaxed a little. It was a laid back day we were all in need of. I think we were at the water park for a good 4 or 5 hours. By the end of the day we were pooped. Braxton & Grayson fell asleep before we ate dinner (that NEVER happens!) and Marin was out shortly after.

It was a good day :)

Friday, August 15th

Happy birthday Alicia! Travis' sister, Alicia, is celebrating her birthday today. As is tradition, for me anyway, I would like to brag about my awesome family members.

Alicia is incredible. I refer to her as super woman because she REALLY is. She can do about 7 different things at the same time. It's insane! She can drive, make a phone call, keep the kids happy in the back of the car, plan a birthday party/family gathering, and smile all at the same time (I think smiling is the most important)!!! Seriously, she's so incredible.

Alicia is a fabulous mother. Her kids will NEVER question if they are loved. She is so good at verbally and physically communicating her love and appreciation to her children. She is always throwing parties for Marin (her party animal), hosting the entire neighborhood kids every night (I think I heard they have anywhere from 25 - 30 kids playing in their back yard on a regular basis), she's a member of the PTA at Marins' school and actively participating at Braxton's school (The Pingree School of Autism) on a weekly basis. She just had a cute li'l baby boy, Keegan, on July 24th and is still able to keep up with the other three! And I think it's so wonderful that her children love to be home. It seems that children don't enjoy being home anymore but her children love to be home. By the time we've had the kids for a two days Grayson is asking when he can go home. I think that's wonderful! They love to be home because home is safe, fun, happy, and secure. It's my opinion that the mother (essentially) sets the atmosphere of the home, in most cases.

Alicia is a thoughful sister. I can say this because I am married to her adorable brother. Alicia calls Travis every other day or so to see how things are going with us. She is SOOOOO thoughtful. I really admire the fact that she takes the time to make a call despite how busy her life is. Another thing I am so appreciative for is her sixth sense. With everything that has gone on with Mercydez, Alicia has been there. There have been many times when she has called me and just BAWLED with me over the phone...after reading the latest "update". She just knows when to call and what to say. She has gifted Mercydez with some of the cutest outfits EVER! She cares so much! Alicia is beautiful inside and out. Really, the bar has been raised as I watch and try to learn from women I'm close to. Alicia is by far above and beyond, she always goes the extra mile. She's a lot like her mom. They never settle for mediocre. For anything! It's always an experience when with Alicia and/or her mom.

I love watching Cam and Alicia work together as parents. They love their children (I know I've said that way too many times but it's because it's TRUE)!

Alicia, I hope you had a wonderful birthday. You are so wonderful and we love you so much. I love and value our relationship. You are so good to me. So kind. You set a great example.


So, Trav and I picked up Marin, Braxton & Grayson for the weekend tonight! We have been planning on having the kids and taking them back to Seven Peaks Water Park for a month or two. I'm sure you can imagine their excitement! Braxton called "Brother Travis" around 7:15 this morning to see when we were going to pick them up. He called a little later that morning to follow up. :) They were full of excitement!

I'm sure we have many adventures a head of us.....

Monday, August 11, 2008

My special friend is....

I have a very special friend who had a birthday today. She is one in a million. I know that sounds cliche' but it's true. She really is one in a million. She is so kind. She is willing to accept people for who they are and excited to serve and love them. She is patient. She is friendly. She will sacrifice her wants so those she loves can have "more". She is interested in people...really interested. She asks questions because she truly wants to know what's going on with "you". She is dedicated to choosing the right. I love that about her. Even if she stands alone, she still stands. She is rooted and isn't ashamed of it, but she's not overly proud or self-righteous about it either.

My special friend has cried many, many times with me, whether it be face to face or on the phone. She cries. My special friend has a way of looking at life that brings out the best in people, in situations, in predicaments. She's so willing to give people the benefit of doubt. My special friend is full of knowledge and light. Her eyes glow with happiness and truth.

My special friend cares so much about others. My special friend has lived a good life...had some hard times and some fun times. She has a wonderful family. My special friend loves everyone. My special friend is one who has a deep love for children and what they have to offer the world and people individually.

My special friend is someone who has changed my life. She has influenced me to be a better person. To accept people, even with different values, standards, beliefs, ideas, and lifestyles, for who they are. She has taught me that discipline, when done correctly, can be one of the greatest acts of love & service. She has taught me there is more to life than just "me". This world is here for our learning, for our developing, for our enjoyment. This world is a gift from God. Our lives are gifts. Our families are gifts. Our knowledge is a gift. Our experiences, though they be hard, are gifts.

My special friend is my Grandmother. I am so happy to say...and to say honestly...that my Grandmother is one of my best friends. I love her so much. I treasure her. She is absolutely beautiful.

(Happy birthday to my beautiful, special Grandmother!)

Here are a few pictures from her birthday party this past weekend:

Three siblings: My Great-Uncle Ike (the oldest), Great-Uncle Verl (the youngest), and my beautiful Grandmother

My Grandmother is so kind! She let her great-grandchildren help her open her gifts because she knew it would bring them joy.

After putting on a wonderful (musical) play/skit for Grandmother and helping her open presents the children swarmed her with hugs and kisses.

Grandmother with her great-grand daughter, Kimber.

Grandmother with her great grand son, Brendon. These two have a special relationship. Brendon is so kind and loving towards her. It's wonderful to observe.

After the skit my dad, her son, got up and said some kind words to honor her. He ended by telling her, "...a quality individual who, not only myself, but anyone in this room can go to and seek advise from. I want you to know that there isn't anyone in this room that doesn't love you, starting with me. So, happy birthday. I love you." Afterwords, my Aunt Carol came running in and got us all singing to our beloved birthday girl. (sorry about the video taping! I'm NOT pro, as you'll quickly learn! I was trying to get a shot of everyone there and ended up making myself motion sick. But you get the idea!)

There should be a triangle somewhere on the sqare below for you to click on. This is a video recording ;)

It's so obvious my Grandmother is loved by her siblings, children (my dad and Aunt Carol), her grand children, her great grand children, and so many others who attended the party. My Aunt Carol spent hours and hours preparing and it paid off. It was a wonderful night of celebration.

I love you Grandmother. Happy birthday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Friday, August 1: Breaking Dawn release party


One of my friends is a die hard fan of Stephanie Meyers. I really enjoy her work as well. Angel, my obsessive friend ;), reserved copies for me, Ash, and Auriel. Angel also had t-shirts made for the release party! It was a lot of fun! But I don't think I had as much fun as I could have because I've had one too many late nights this week. American Idol about killed me!

When I first got to the release party (held at Borders Book Store in Provo) I couldn't find my group of peeps. So, Trav said he'd wait with me until I did. I have to say I LOVE MY HUSBAND! HE'S SUCH A GOOD GUY! Obviously nine out of ten people were female and Trav noticed real quickly too. When I saw some males walking towards us I said, "Look, there are guys here...see?" but as I pointed towards the guys I said, "Oh...they're all wearing scarves." We just busted up laughing! I honestly have nothing against gay people. I've never had a problem with them. What we found so funny was that my attempt in comforting Trav quickly went down the toilet. I only discouraged him more! Thankfully he has a good sense of humor and still waited with me.
Our awesome t-shirts said,
"Screw being a princess I want to be a VAMPIRE"

Another groups t-shirts. I think ours were better.
(there was a t-shirt competition - we didn't win either!)

We stayed up until 2:30 to get those books! Get this! My friend, Angel (I call her Angelita - the "g" makes the "h" sound!) stayed up ALL NIGHT and finished the book by noon Saturday! I told you she's a die hard! What a gal!

So, what did Trav do while I was gone? We bought him an early birthday present and got him Bose head phones. He was testing 'em out until I got home! I think he's pretty excited about them, don't you?!?!?

I had to include this picture! There's Sam, Ashley, Me, and Auriel.
It's funny because Sam is SO focused, Ashley doesn't know what the crap she's doing, me looking stupid, and Auriel in her own little world.

Saturday, August 2nd: Little diva!!!!!!!!!

So on Saturday my adorable niece, Marin, turned 9!!! I can't believe she's already 9. I met her for the first time when she was 3....and now she's 9! Ah!

(the beautiful birthday girl)

Marin is a one-of-a-kind girl. She is so wonderful. My love, respect, and admiration for her has only grown as she's grown. She has one of the most pure, non-judgemental heart ever. She's so open minded and sees people for who they really are. I think a lot of the reason she's like this is she's had an older brother, Braxton, with autism. She understands there are people of all ages with special needs. I've had the opportunity to witness this with my own eyes. Marin has been so accepting of Mercydez...I can't think about it too much because I start bawling. Marin told me that "Mercydez is one of the most beautiful baby's she's ever seen". When I responded with, "oh...that's so nice of you to say Marin." she said, "It's true Aunt Addy. She is." That's the type of person Marin is.

Marin is also a wonderful "older" sister too. She really takes care of her brothers. She's always looking out for them, whether it's making sure Braxton takes his medicine or whether it's making sure Grayson eats all of his dinner when Uncle Trav & Aunt Addy threaten bed if he doesn't finish (this has only happened a few times!). I know she'll be just as protective and loving to little Keegan.

Marin is also a wonderful friend. Even when she was 3 or 4 she called her friends her "girls". She is so loyal to her gender. I absolutely love watching her around boys. It's especially fun when Trav teases me in front of her! I'll tell you what! She immediately takes my side and will fight to the death for me! I just smile and fall even more in love with her. She's one of my favorite nieces! ;)

I had the great opportunity to help with her birthday party on Saturday. It was so fun to meet some of her Hannah-Montana-and-High-School-Musical-obsessed-friends. I thought it was so cute! All of Marins friends are little divas. They all had purses, were wearing lip gloss, OF COURSE they all looked adorable, in style and all....and some even had cell phones (but Marin was seriously the cutest - can I say that without being mean!?!)

(Marin and her group of friends)

Alicia takes after her mom - PARTY QUEEN (and I dare say Marin will follow in their footsteps). There were 14 girls plus me and Alicia. Alicia treated the girls to a movie, Journey to the Center of the Earth, complete w/drinks and popcorn. They had a blast! I must say I did too. I always love spending time with Alicia. I learn so much from her - through observation alone.

Trav got to hang out with Braxton, Grayson, & Cam. They ran some errands (they went to the grocery store together! I don't know why but I thought it was hilarious!!) and hung out at the house until the party was over. They seemed to enjoy themselves...and Braxton is beside himself when Uncle Trav is around!

Anyways, later that night we all went out to The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate the birthday girl. Ummmm! Ummmm! It was delicious! We had a great time.

We love you Marin!!!!! Happy birthday girl!