Saturday, December 27, 2008

6 Years, 2 Babies, 1 Great Life

Sam and I have been married for 6 years today.  In that time, we have had 2 children, moved 5 times, and changed jobs a few times.  The last 6 years have been wonderful, and I couldn't imagine being with anyone else.

Here's our story: Sam and I met buying BYU all-sport passes.  (If you know how much we love the Cougars, you would know how fitting this is.)  Since we both shared a love for anything BYU, we had an instant connection.  We also had a mutual friend, which allowed for us to get together later.  A week or so later, we went with friends to a movie, and from that point on we were together all the time.  We spent the next year doing our favorite things at BYU: attending games, going to the bookstore, hanging out at my apartment, and instant messaging at the SWKT.

We dated for a year and a few months and then we got engaged.  We were married on December 27, 2002 in the Manti Temple.  The day was perfect!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Christmas 2008

Whew!  Christmas came!  After telling Halle for days that she can't open any presents until Christmas, we were finally able to let her rip into them.  We celebrated Christmas at our house in the morning, then we went off to Sam's parents, and then to my parents in the afternoon.  It was the perfect day.  Halle loved every minute and we loved cuddling with Chase on his first Christmas.  

Pictures of our day:

Halle checking out her gifts from Santa.  She made out like a champ!  Santa brought Littlest Pet Shop hospital, Polly Pocket Mega Mall, Barbies, art supplies, movies, and other fun things.  Chase got a mobile for his crib, a new blankie, and baby toys.

Our sweet boy on his first Christmas.

Halle and Mikey ripping into a gift at Grandpa and Grandma Taylor's house.

Chase enjoying his new mobile.  He "coos" every time we turn this on.  It's so precious!

Halle checking out her new Kit doll from Grandma and Grandpa Burr.  I remember when I got my American Girl doll, and now my daughter has one of her own.  How time flies!  (Side note: If Kit goes missing, she may be found with me.  I like playing with her as much as Halle does!)
"Audrey, say cheese!"  Halle is getting a glimpse into how difficult it is to get kids to smile for the camera.

Christmas Eve

We spent Christmas Eve at Sam's parents house this year.  We enjoyed great food and great entertainment.  The kids put on the Nativity story and did a great job.  Halle played Mary, Mikey was Joseph, Lincoln filled in with whatever character was needed, and Chase was Baby Jesus.  Chase was the only one who didn't have a meltdown during the performance.  It was a great night!

Mikey as Joseph, Halle as Mary, and Chase as Baby Jesus.

Baby Chase in his new Christmas jammies


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Halle's First Dance Recital

Halle had her first dance recital last night.  Her dance group did a tap number and a ballet number.  During the tap dance, Halle didn't realize that her teacher was in the front row showing them what to do, so she just did a shuffle step the whole time.  It was priceless!  Her ballet dance faired a little better.  I think she actually did 3 or 4 of the steps.  It was so fun to watch her get up on stage.  I think she already has more dance talent than I ever had.  We are so proud of you, Halle!

This is her class getting ready for their tap number.  I think Halle is figuring out where her spot on the floor is.  If nothing else, she has figured out that she is supposed to stand on the dot.
This picture cracks me up!  They are all trying to figure out what the person next to them is doing.
My little ballerina!  Pretty cute!  (Disclaimer: Halle does a "cheese" smile now whenever I ask her to smile.  Gotta love it!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Tag

1. Wrapping paper or Gift bags? Wrapping paper!  I love to wrap gifts, although with a newborn this year, I'm not dedicating the time I usually do.
2. Real Tree or Artificial? Artificial--all the way.  You don't have to string lights!
3. When do you put your tree up? Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take your tree down? A couple of days before New Years.
5. Do you like eggnog?  Let's see...drinking eggs? No thanks.
6. Favorite gift ever received? My American Girl doll.  All of my friends got them that year, so it was pretty cool.  My mom is getting one for Halle this year!  Thanks, Mom.
7. Hardest person to buy for? My mother-in-law.  She has everything and honestly doesn't want anything!  What to do?
8. Easiest person to buy for? Halle.  If it's on a commercial, she wants it.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?  Yes.  Thanks, Roxane!
10. Mail or e-mail Christmas Cards? Can you e-mail Christmas cards?  I'll have to look into that.
11. Worst Christmas present? I got a little kids tea set when I was like 17.
12. Favorite/Worst Christmas movie? Christmas Vacation all the way!
13. When do you start shopping? Black Friday.
14. Have you recycled a gift? Yep!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas time? Wassil.  Okay, I know, that's a drink.
16. Lights on tree? White.
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
18. Travel on Christmas or stay home? Stay home Christmas morning and travel to our parents house during the day.  (Does it count as travel if we only have to go 20 minutes?)
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yep!
20. Angel on top of tree or star? Neither.  We have a snowflake.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve? Pajamas.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Okay, this really happens after Christmas, but I can't stand it when people leave their Christmas lights on their roof top year round.
23. Favorite ornament? My long-legged snowman that sits on my tree.
24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Didn't I answer this earlier?  
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A happy family.  
26. Tag friends! Mom, Bethany, Shanell, Dede, Rhiannon, Michelle

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blessing Day

Yesterday was Chase's blessing day.  He was blessed by Sam, who did an amazing job.  It was a wonderful day and we appreciate all of our family who joined us for Chase's big day!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dreamland

My Christmas wish came early this year.  For the first time since Chase came home, both of my babies took a nap at the same time.  Halle hardly ever takes a nap, so this was quite a treat!  Now, instead of using my time to catch up on housework, I am taking a break.  

Here are the pictures of my sleeping angels:


My baby is one month old today.  Isn't he just perfect?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome Christmas!

I love Thanksgiving weekend.  Not only does it bring great food and family on Thanksgiving day, but it also brings two of my favorite activities: shopping on Black Friday and decorating my house for Christmas.  

I absolutely love Black Friday.  It is so fun to wake up early and fight the crowds all in the hope of saving $10.  This past Friday, I met my parents (yes, parents--plural.  My dad is such a trooper.  He packs the bags while my mom and I shop.  Thanks, Dad!) at 5:00 a.m. on Friday to hit the stores for 3 hours before I had to head home to take care of my kids.  We weren't looking for anything in particular, so we spent most of our time at Gymboree and Target.  As always, I got some great deals and, more importantly, had a great time.

On Saturday, we got out all of the Christmas decorations and spent the day decorating our house.  For me, this day is like Christmas morning, because opening the storage boxes is like opening Christmas presents.  I love to see all of my ornaments, village pieces, and snowmen.  Halle helped me decorate this year, and it was so great to see the sparkle in her eyes.  There is nothing better than a child's anticipation of Christmas.

I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of the Christmas season.  So far, we are off to a great start!

Luckily, my mom likes to spoil me.  Every year she gives me a new village piece.  My collection is growing.  Now if I could only keep Halle's 3-year-old hands away!  


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Card Addresses

I'm going to be sending out Christmas cards soon, and I need all of your addresses.  Please send me a quick email with your address.  My email is ashleytaylor10@gmail.com

Thanks!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Binkies, Blankies, Bottles, and Bibs

Chase has been home for a week now, and we are having a great time with him.  He is absolutely the best baby!  I can't imagine life without him.  I must admit, I was a little nervous about having a boy, because I love baby headbands, pink, and all girl things, but I've discovered that boys are just as much fun.  Chase is a total "Mama's Boy," which I love, because Halle is definitely Daddy's Little Girl.

Halle is a great big sister.  She loves to tell Chase stories and baby-sit him while I am out of the room.  She has had a few moments of jealousy, but for the most part, I think she is adjusting well.  She is quite protective.  She doesn't like it when people look at "our baby."



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome Baby Chase!

Chase Samuel Taylor was born on November 4 at 8:49 p.m.  He weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. and was 20 inches long.  (Pictures are slightly out of order...Blogger is not my friend.)

This is Chase in his crib right after we got home.

Chase & Daddy

Mommy, Halle & Chase (I know I'm not looking my best, but give me a break, I had just given birth.

Baby Chase right after he was born.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halle has been looking forward to Halloween for over a month, so we were relieved when the day finally arrived!  She wanted to be a "mean" witch this year.  I don't know how mean she is, but I do know that she makes one adorable little witch!

This is her mean witch face.  She's been practicing it all month.  Quite scary, right?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gardner Village Witch Festival

Last Friday, my mom and dad were watching Audrey, so I invited them to join us at Gardner Village for the Witch Festival.  I had never been before, but since Halle is obsessed with witches right now, I thought it was the perfect year to give it a try.  Halle loved seeing all of the witches, and Audrey loved chasing Halle around.  They are such cute cousins!

I tried and tried to get a picture of the two girls together, but one of them would look away every time.  This is the best I could do!

Halle with one of the witches.  She is so excited to be a witch this Halloween.

We bought this hat for Audrey before we went and she hated it.  By the time the day was over, we couldn't get it off of her!

Pregnancy Update

I'm a tad bit apprehensive to post about this, because I don't want to jinx myself, but, what the heck, I'll live dangerously.  I went to my 37 week doctor appointment yesterday.  Since Halle came late, I wasn't expecting much, but my doctor had pretty good news for me.  I am already dilated to a 3!  He said that the baby could come at any time.  So, the waiting game begins.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TAG!

1.  If every job paid $50,000 a year, and you had no physical or mental limitations, what would you do?  Ever since the movie Bed of Roses came out, I have thought that delivering flowers has to be one of the best jobs out there.  Not only do you handle something beautiful, you make someone's day too!

2.  What is your current church calling?  What do you like about it?  What have some of your callings been?  I am currently over Activity Days and part of the activities committee.  I love working with the girls in our ward as they prepare for young women's.  As far as activities committee goes, I love working on the activities with Sam.

3.  Name a person you regularly encounter (outside your family) who brightens your day.  I love when Halle's friend Quinsi comes home from kindergarten.  When she comes home, it means I don't have to entertain Halle anymore.

4.  In twenty years, what do you think you will miss most about your life now?  I'll miss having little kids.  I'll miss picking up toys.  I'll miss making cookies with Halle.

5.  What's something you appreciate about your spouse?  Lots of things...I love how he calls me a couple times a day just to tell me he loves me.  I love that he cleans the kitchen because I don't like to.  I love that he wakes up in the middle of the night to talk to me, since I can't sleep anymore (can't get comfortable, pregnancy heartburn, etc.)

6.  What is your favorite routine, household chore?  I don't like cleaning (Sam can attest to that), but if I had to pick one thing, it would be vacuuming.  I love when the carpet has straight lines in it.  

7.  What's a book you return to occasionally (besides the scriptures)?  There's no way I could pick just one.  I return to The DaVinci Code, The Great Gatsby, The Giver, Twilight books (among others).

8.  Favorite Small Pleasure:  On Saturday mornings, Halle comes and climbs into bed with us and we all cuddle and watch the Care Bears.

9.  Favorite time of day?  5:30... Sam comes home from work!

10.  Name a person who performed what they thought was a small act of service, but ended up being a big deal to you:  My mom came and talked to me when I was stressed out a while ago.  I was a mess that day, and she helped a lot.

11.  Name someone who somehow changed your life:  My first (and best) friend at BYU was Lisette.  We had the best time together at school.  Plus, meeting her led to meeting Sam.  So, needless to say, she had a big impact on my life!

12.  Consider what you do each day.  Think of one attribute or trait that you bring to your daily work that is a strength--what is something you do really well?  I am a good listener.  I remember just about everything anyone tells me.

Anyone who wants to play along...go ahead!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We went with our friends to the pumpkin patch on Monday, but my camera was out of batteries (note to self: always check beforehand!), so Halle and I went to recreate the experience today.  I love fall colors, so I couldn't pass up the photo-op.  Even though it was her 2nd time in 3 days, Halle loved every minute.  





Friday, October 3, 2008

Dear Halle,

When you woke up this morning, were you planning on terrorizing me all day?  Was it really your plan to turn the bathroom into an indoor pool?  Did you have to waste a whole bottle of new shampoo just because you didn't have enough bubbles?  At painting time, did you have to paint 3/4 of the table and 1/4 of the paper?  Was it really necessary to dump out every toy basket to find one baby shoe that was exactly where it always is?  Did you really need that red punch so bad that you couldn't wait 30 seconds for me to pour it for you, so it didn't end up all over the floor?  

On the other hand, were you planning on looking so adorable every time you got caught?  Did you practice saying, "Sorry, Mommy?"  Did you know that when you kiss my cheek you can get away with anything?  Were you aware that your big blue eyes can solve any problem?

Snookums, I just have one request.  Next time you wake up with trouble on the brain, will you warn me first?

Love,
Mommy

That's what she said...

For those of you who love The Office, check this site out: http://www.ew.com/ew.gallery.0,,20190268,00.html

It's a top 20 list of Jim's best pranks.  Be prepared to laugh!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Family of Four

No, the baby hasn't arrived yet, but we do have a new inhabitant in our house.  Halle officially has an imaginary friend named Kendra.  She plays and talks with her all day.  Whenever Halle plays babies, she makes sure the Kendra has a doll to play with.  When we get in the car, I have to buckle Halle up...and then I buckle Kendra up.  I guess I'm glad that her imagination is so vivid!

Aside from the new friend at our house, our lives have been relatively boring!  We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the baby.  I am hoping for sooner rather than later, but since Halle was late, I'm assuming I won't be lucky with this one.  We still don't have a name picked out.  One of these days we'll figure it out.  

And, on a super bright note, we are loving cheering on the Cougars this year!  #8 in the country!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Little Ballerina

Halle started dance last week. She absolutely loves it! She loves to get dressed up in her ballet "costume" and wear her dance shoes. Her class consists of tap, ballet, and tumbling. So far, she's already mastered a forward roll and back bend, and she's working on her cartwheel. She loves to show me first and second position. It's pretty cute.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ghetto Fabulous?




You Belong in 1995



With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rise and Shout!


After a months and months of listening to predictions, reading the newspaper, and talking with Sam for hours about what will happen, the predicting can finally end...BYU football season has arrived!  We went to the first game yesterday and watched the Cougars win 41-17.  Halle even mastered the "Ra-Ra-RaRaRa...Goooo Cougars!" chant.  I don't think Sam has ever been so proud.  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

San Diego Sunshine

After spending all summer at home, we decided that it was definitely time for a vacation.  We finally decided to go to San Diego and take Halle to Sea World.  It was so much fun!  Aside from a few minor temper tantrums, Halle was great and loved every minute.

After we flew in, we went to the San Diego Temple.  It is so beautiful!  Halle kept reminding us that it was Jesus's house, and Moroni is at the top.  Apparently, she is listening in nursery!  That night we went to a Padres game.


On day 2, we went to Sea World.  Halle loved getting splashed by Shamu, watching the dolphins, riding the Sesame Street rides, and touching starfish and bat rays.  


On day 3, we spent the morning at San Diego Zoo.  We saw baby giraffes (9 days old), panda bears, and all sorts of other animals.  That afternoon, we headed to the beach and hung out for about 6 hours.  We were so dirty by the time we left, but we had a great time!


video
On day 4, we headed back to Sea World to do a few things that we missed out on the first time.  We fed the dolphins, watched the pet show, met the Sesame Street characters, and went back for another dose of Shamu.  It was a fantastic vacation!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just waiting for baby

 
I'm almost done putting the baby's room together.  I still have about 2 1/2 months until he shows up, but I've had a great time decorating his room while I wait.  

Thank Goodness for Boy Scouts!

Last night we found a snake in our garage.  It was just a garden snake, but slimy and slithery nonetheless.  Now, I knew Sam didn't like snakes (we usually avoid the snake section at the Hogle Zoo), but I didn't know how much until last night.  When he saw it, he took a few steps back and just stared at it, trying to figure out what to do.  I, of course, was no help.  I have no problem killing spiders that make their way into our house, but snakes are another story.  I told Sam he was on his own on this one. 

About 15 minutes later, neither Sam nor the snake had moved.  Luckily for Sam though, 3 boy scouts were on their way home from the church, so Sam stopped them and asked them if they knew how to catch snakes.  They were thrilled to come and help.  (I use the term "help" loosely.  The boys did all of the work.  Sam just gave instructions from the other side of the garage.)  Anyway, the boys put their boy scout skills to work and caught the snake.  One boy even took the snake home to have as a pet.  I'm sure his parents are thrilled.  Our garage is now snake-free.

Sam is probably going to kill me for telling this story, but I couldn't resist.  It was too funny!  For the record though, Sam did say that if he were still 11, he probably would have thought catching a snake was fun too.   

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Five and Ten Tag

I got tagged by Dede. Here goes...

Ten Years Ago...
I was getting ready to start my senior year in high school.  That summer was spent working at K-Mart, designing the yearbook, and going to cheer practice.  Ryan left on his mission that summer, so I got to drive his car.

Five Years Ago...
I was a newlywed.  Sam and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a tiny kitchen.  I had just graduated from BYU and was anticipating my first teaching job.  

Five Months Ago...
I was teaching school.  3rd Quarter was just about to end, so I was busy grading papers and finalizing everything.  At home, Sam's birthday was approaching.  I was about 6-8 weeks pregnant and very sick!

My List of Five Things to do Tomorrow:
1. Clean the house
2. Weed the back flower beds.
3. Go shopping
4. Read
5. Play with Halle
(I'm now realizing that I have no life!  I have nothing to do tomorrow.)

Five Bad Habits:
1. Leaving my shoes all over the house.
2. Spending too much money.
3. No patience
4. Buying too many toys for Halle
5. Complaning

Five Places I Have Lived:
1. Riverton
2. Cottonwood Heights
3. Provo
4. Salina
5. Redmond

I tag... Janell, Alison, and Autumn

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swimming Lessons

Halle has been taking swimming lessons this week.  It is so cute!  She has learned how to do swimming arms, and leg kicks.  Mostly, though, the kids just work on splashing each other.  She is still apprehensive about putting her head under water, so we'll have to keep working on that.  I may be biased, but I think she's the cutest little fish around! 



Glitter Toes

Ever since I heard of "glitter toes," I have wanted to go and get mine done.  It is literally glitter instead of nail polish.  The glitter stays on your toes for about 6-7 weeks.  Anyway, we made a girls day of it.  My mom, Halle, and I all went to the La Villa Salon in Lehi to get our sparkle on!  Go and try it!  It's worth it!  

Here's the finished product:


These are Halle's cute tootsies.  She wanted purple glitter.  She was holding so still through the whole process.  We'll see if she can keep from chipping it!


And, my toes...I chose "hot lava."  I love, love, love them!