Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hey Jude

I love this. I love it, love it.


Did I mention how much I love this?
So cute.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Post it note"

Just to remind you, I am currently spending most of my blogging time on my new blog site: thejourneyintophotography.blogspot.com . Thanks so much to all of you who have looked and especially to those of you who added your comments. It is very encouraging and much appreciated. If you haven't added my new site to your blog list (and you want to that is) then you might be missing out on my updates. I've only done 3 posts, but I know some of you are a little forgetful (I am definitely NOT referring to you mom!) so I thought I would set out this little reminder "post it" so you can be sure to see my latest and so far greatest photos. ( I know they are not great great, but they are most definitely an improvement to their predecessors). After this post, I'll assume that all who are interested will know how and where to find the photo blog and I'll resume posting my family updates here and I'll keep the photo blog to itself and it's interested followers. Happy Blogging all!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If any one cares...

I started a new photography blog if any one cares to check it out. Please don't misunderstand, I am not a photographer. I repeat, I am not a photographer. Aspiring, a student of, an amateur, very amateur, but I am no professional. This is just a way for me to experiment with photography and learn more about something that I love. Most of the pictures will be of my kids and Ben. Maybe if I ever get a new camera I can twist my neighbors arms into letting me use their kids as models someday. But no time soon. I better get a yard in before I spend money on a new camera. Sometimes I may neglect this blog to focus on the new one and sometimes I might neglect the photo blog to focus on this one. But check it out if you want to, add it to your blog list if you'd like to watch my progress, or my regression (it could go either way really). Let me know what you think, good or bad, I'd love to get some feed back. Especially if you have helpful hints or any resources you'd be willing to share.
Here's the link : www.thejourneyintophotography.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ski Day with Kai

We finally took Kai skiing up to Snow Basin a few weeks ago and we all had such a blast. She has been begging us to take her ever since she got her "pink ski's" for Christmas this year. We really wanted her to have a great first experience so we were waiting for some good weather to make it that much more enjoyable for her. She did so much better than Ben and I anticipated... well, eventually.

The first run was a bit sketchy and we were thinking we were in for it. About one minute after getting off the lift she kept saying "I'm done skiing now Mom" and she would lay down on the back of her ski's and wouldn't stand up. Ben had to hold her up almost the whole first run and it took us quite a while to make it down. His back was aching by the time we made it down and we thought about cutting our losses then before she totally wrote off skiing forever.

Luckily we had taken the advice of one of Ben's co-workers (thanks Steve:)) and brought lots of bribes up with us and we decided it was time to break them out all ready. I'm kinda weird about giving my kids sugar so Kai rarely gets treats (sugar treats that is... she gets crackers and fruit and stuff) and we used fruit snacks to bribe her onto the lift again. She thought that was something else! I guess it's just a matter of changing the status quo. After she knew that I was packing, she was feeling much more enthusiastic about skiing. I would ski up a head of her about 10 feet or so and tell her that she could have another fruit snack if she could make it to me.

The next 3 runs or so went really well and she really enjoyed it. She eventually got to the point were she would stand up on her own for most of the run and Ben would just steer her with the leash. She liked to try and catch me or win me in a race and she really liked the "bumps"(a series of little hills all in a row) that they had on the side of the hill. Ben usually had to hold her up over them, but she was loving it.

After about 4 runs or so we decided to take the gondola up to the lodge and eat some lunch. She really thought the gondola was great and she was a little disappointed when the ride was over. After we ate, Ben skied down and Kai and I rode the gondola back. He tried to stay right under us as much as he could and she got a big kick out of sticking her arm out the window and waving to Dada. She kept calling out to him (even though he couldn't hear her) "Wow, good job Dada, you're a really good skier. You're going so fast Dad!" I was laughing, it was really cute.

We decided to try one last run even though we knew she was super tired, having missed her nap and well, all that skiing can really tucker little legs right out. That last go was a bit like the first, so we decided the day had been successful enough and we threw in the towel. 5 runs, 6 hours, and 3 packs of fruit snacks later. All in all it turned out to be a super fun time and Kai really did so well. She never cried or threw any fits and she was really enjoyable the whole day. I can't wait to take her again and she can't wait to go.

Now I hope you are prepared for a lot of pictures. She was just so cute and we were having so much fun and I documented most of it. Ready, set, go...

Getting ready in the parking lot (it was a wee bit bright)...Good thing we brought her shades...She loved the lifts (this is the first ride up)..."Make a piece of pizza"..."I'm doing it mom!"...
So warm we had to take our coats off...In the gondola with momma...In the lodge after lunch just being cute...This is one of my favorite pictures of these two together...This was how the first run went. the whole...way...down...
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This is the second run, she's starting to get it now...
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Here she is not so "getting it" and giving Daddy's back a run for it's money...
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Now that she's gone pro she hasn't even got the time to say "hi" to the little people...
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Last but not least, the "bumps"...
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What a fun time to spend together and we can't wait till next year when Jude can come up with us. Thanks Grammy Gay for spending the day with him so we could go skiing!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ben's Bday!!!

Ben's birthday was on the 26th of Feb. and we had a great little celebration for him when he got home from work. We had decorations, homemade cards, a yummy dinner, and party hats!

Too bad I look like butt in this cute family pic...
Jude was more interested in eating his hat than wearing it...Kai in her princess birthday crown...
Ben enjoying his birthday dinner in his birthday boy crown...
I made him a very yummy lemon cheesecake with strawberry frosting and white chocolate drops...It was SO good...
He also got two new backpacks for hiking with the kids. Ok, maybe it was more of a family gift, but he was happy anyways. We took them out for a test hike and the kids did great. They were in them for about an hour or so and they both loved every second of it. Thanks to my good pal Amber, we got a sweet deal on these Kelty packs and they are AWESOME! We love, love, love them and we can't wait for warmer weather so we can use them more.

Kai and her Dada...Jude and Momma ( i just love his little smile!)...
It was a very fun and low key celebration and we hope Ben felt how much we love him and hope he felt special on his big day!

We also went to the park the other day and were a little surprised at how much snow was still on the ground. We were so sick of being stuck inside and thought that all the snow was gone. Guess we were wrong! It was freezing cold but we loved being outside and the kids had a great time.

Kai loves a good slide...So does Jude...Swinging in the snow...Look how cold they look, cute, but cold...
Please hurry Spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentines Day

Ben and I normally don't go all out for Valentines Day, it is just a little too commercial for us and seems a little hokey to spend too much money on each other. Sure we love each other and love the chance to let one another know it, but we usually don't use Valentines Day as an excuse to show it. Usually a simple card and a romantic dinner suffice. But this year was a little different for some reason. Maybe it had something to do with our conversation a few weeks earlier about rekindling the magic and not letting our relationship get put on the back burner, I'm not really sure, but we had a really fun time spoiling each other and spending some well needed mommy and daddy time together. It started out on Friday night with an evening of Sushi... and climbing...Two of our most favorite things to do together, and then on Saturday a day of skiing and just relaxing at home afterward and exchanging our heartfelt gifts.

It was super fun skiing together which came as a little bit of a surprise to us. This is only the third time I have ever skied and the first time since high school. Snowboarding is my winter sport of choice, but even that is a bit of a gamble for me. On a good day I could maybe pass as novice, but not on ski's, skiing is a much different story. For those of you who know Ben, you know he was born with ski's on and he loves it loves it loves it. It's kinda a requirement if you want to be born a Marsden. We've tried skiing together before and it just ends up in frustration for both parties. It's always the same thing, he's frustrated with me because I can't get my gloves on and I wont ski until they're on, me frustrated with him that he wont help me get the snow out of my gloves and wait for me to catch up. This time we just stayed on the Little Cat, which I'm sure was thrilling for him, but I loved it. Ben was totally patient and such a good teacher. And I might add... I totally owned that bunny hill by the end of the day. Oh ya, I have some pretty sick ski skills.

Warming up in the gondola...
After skiing we went home and relaxed and exchanged our gifts. Ben surprised me with this lamp post that I have been coveting ever since we built our house... It matches the sconces that we have outside and it is SO gorgeous. I love it so much. We will hopefully install it sometime this summer as we are planning on beginning to landscape then. He also got me a super cute shirt from Victoria's Secret. I got him some classy new brown shoes to wear to work and a new wedding ring. He lost his original ring down in Zions as he was going through Mystery Canyon without me. Serves him right for leaving me behind on that trip. The new one is just a sterling silver band, and cost but a fraction of what his original one was. Good thing neither of us are terribly sentimental. I know he loves me with or without his original wedding band. After we did our traditional gift exchange, Ben told me he had one more surprise for me. He sat me down at the computer and pulled up our blog and showed me his post. I was so touched at his thoughtfulness and his poem was so beautiful, it just brought me to tears to think of how much I love him and of how much I felt he loves me. The poem means even more to me as I read it over and over and realize all of the hidden meaning that was behind it all. It is full of symbolism's and memories of our life together. He is so incredible and I love him so much more now than I ever did. So that was our special Valentines Day this year and as always, I now leave you with some random funny pictures of our kids...

Kai likes to bury Jude with pillows...
Jude thinks it is hilarious...Ben and Kai snuggling out on the deck to watch the sunset...
Kai and Jude playing in their "hut"...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Perfect Beauty

This is Ben (I’m not nearly as witty and well-versed as my sweet wife), I’ve yet to post anything on the blog, it has been Ashley’s deal that she has very much enjoyed and done an awesome job with. I wanted to post a short love poem I wrote to Ash and tell her how much I love and appreciate her this Valentines day. Plus I think it’ll help “rekindle the magic.” ;-) It seems that the longer we are married the stronger our love grows for each other, yet the simple things that say I love you don’t happen as frequently as they should.


Perfect Beauty

The stars formed a rose the night we met
Just thinking of you made my palms sweat
A love was born that seemed to always be
I could have died that night and gone happily

Perfect beauty, I think describes it well
The way you look, is one reason why for you I fell
Your eyes like crystals, your smile so bright
You walk with confidence and talk so light
Such a perfect face and body too
These are some of the reasons why I love you

But love is more than just the way you look
Love is more than some words in a book
Love is the way I feel as I walk by your side
It’s a permanent smile as I hold you, my bride

Love is life’s journey we travel together
Love spans way beyond for worse or for better
Love is holding you as we cry
Love is kissing you as we say good-bye
Love is seeing you every day of my life
And waking up next to you, my beautiful wife

Love is forever and without end
It cannot be broken and does not pretend
My love for you will always be
Forever and ever throughout eternity


Ash, I love you! Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Self Portrait Day

I haven't been able to come up with any good self portraits lately, but Ben and I got braces the other day and I thought these would be some funny pictures to post. Both of us had braces when we were younger, so this is go around #2. Not much hope for our kids is there? Ben's retainer for his bottom teeth broke on his mission and it just wasn't feasible in the Dominican Republic to get a replacement. My two side teeth (the two on either side of the two big middle ones) just wont stay in place despite all my faithful retainer wearing. It's a pretty subtle difference, most people probably can't even notice, but it drives me crazy. I feel like a bucktooth beaver sometimes. Here are some before and after shots (well, not 'after' as in 'straight teeth after' but 'after' as in 'after the braces went on'...'after')...

This was a failed attempt at before shot/ self portrait in the mirror...In the car on the way to the ortho. This really isn't my best side...This shot is even more flattering than the above one. Take note of the side teeth that are slightly behind the two front teeth (they're not supposed to be behind them, they're supposed to be right by them, sorta like a relationship. Ya know, don't walk behind me, walk beside me, or somethin' like that)...Here are Ben's bottoms (teeth that is)...I didn't get any shots of Ben's chompers with his braces on, but here are mine...The best part of the whole deal is that I got my braces on for the first time when I was a senior in high school. I just found out that my ten year reunion is this summer. Sweet. I left high school in braces and now I get to return to high school in braces. That is so awesome. Oh well, you know what they say, "Once a nerd, always a nerd". Actually, there is a good chance they'll be off by then. Ben's on the other hand will take a little more time. But I'm pretty sure I'll still be a nerd even if I don't have braces at my reunion. It's a good thing I married such a stud and we happened to graduate the same year from the same school! Feeww, I guess I'll still have a little chance at redemption if I show up on Ben's arm!

And at least I have cute kids.

Jude thinks the saying is "Eat it AND wear it"...
The little cuddle bug after tub time...
Grampa P got in big trouble for showing Kai this new hiding place...It was too cute not to photograph though...The end.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The things they say...


One thing my mom is always saying is, "I wish I would have written down all the funny things you kids used to say, you were just so funny". I see a lot of you doing this on your blogs and the more funny things Kai say's, the more I wish I did it too. I'm beginning to forget some of the funny things she has been saying. I always mentally note to write it down somewhere, sometime, but never do. So I am going to learn from my mothers regrets and from those of you who do this and start writing down the things I don't want to forget from these precious years of little children in the home. One day I hope that my kids will get a kick out of reading over posts like this and I'm sure it will become a priceless keepsake to have.

Scene: Kai's room at bedtime. Mommy and Daddy kneeling down by Kai's bed and Kai trying to kneel and sit still for 30 seconds...
Dada says, "Kai, do you want to say the prayer tonight?"
Kai: "Sure Dada."
Dada: "Do you want me to help you?"
Kai: "No, I'm gonna do it all-by-my-self."
Kai: "Heavenly Father; thank Thee for this day, thank Thee for root beer, bless us, name, of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Scene: After tub time trying to dry Kai as she sits in her sink. I put a towel over Kai's head and held it closed under her chin. Kai looks in the mirror and gasps...
Kai: "Mom, Mom!!! I'm Jesus!!!"
Me (laughing): "You do kinda look like Jesus."
Kai: "No mom, I'm not Jesus, I'm Married." (she meant Marry, like the mother of Jesus, Marry. She thinks her name is Married.)

Scene: Bed time. All the lights are out. Kai gets out of her bed for the 3rd or 4th time and sits in the hall way and sings...
Me: "Kai, what are you doing out of bed?"
Kai: "I don't know, Mom."
I put her back in her bed for the one millionth time.
Me: "Kai, if you don't stay in your bed this time, I'm going to spank your bum."
Kai: "Spank-your-bum?! Don't spank-your-bum Mom!!!"
Me: Trying not to laugh.
Pretty sure she doesn't know what "spank your bum" means.
A few days later Gramma Gay came over to watch the kids and as she is putting Kai to bed Kai tells her,
"Gramma, my mom is going to spank-your-bum if I get out of bed"
We had to explain that one to Gramma when we got home.

Scene: Just another day. Folding clothes in my room. Kai comes in and watches me for a second...
Kai definitively: "Momma, you are trouble!"
Me: "What? I'm trouble?"
Kai: "You are IN trouble Mom, get in the corner. Right now."
Me laughing: "What did I do to get in trouble?"
Kai: "Just put your nose in the corner Mom. You are in trouble!!!"

Scene: Sacrament meeting. Just trying to maintain a shred of reverence and dignity. Kai is driving me crazy...
Me: I lightly bonk Kai on top of the head with my fist. (That sounds a lot harsher than it was. It was more in a funny, why are we at church, what else can I do at this point to get through to you sort of way)
Kai loudly as she scuzzes me: "DON'T HAMMER ME!!!"

Kai certainly keeps us laughing around here. I'm sure Jude will too one day. We just have to teach him to talk first. Anyways, these are just a few of the things she has said lately that I can remember. Hopefully I'll stay up to date with her "Funnies" from now on so I don't forget any more of them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kai and Jude

KAI AND JUDE UPDATES:

As if I don't blog about them enough, here are what my babies (i know Kai isn't a baby anymore, but she will always be my baby) have been up to:

Jude: Jude is the most laid back, sweet, adorable little baby cake. He is so funny and I love him more and more each day. He started crawling several days after Thanksgiving and has been unstoppable ever since. He loves to crawl as fast as humanly possible and it is hilarious. His little tooshie waddles back and forth like a little puppy wags his tail. You can hear him tear out and cruise around from miles away. He will pull himself up on anything and everything and sometimes forgets he can't walk. He'll let go of his balancing post and act like he is going to walk right over to you and he eats it every time. His two bottom teeth came in at about 6months and his top two fang teeth came in about a month ago (he is 9 months now). It is so cute when he smiles cause he looks like a little vampire. His middle ones are starting to break so he won't look like Dracula for too much longer. I've tried getting a picture of it but the little wormy just wont sit still long enough. He thinks Kai is the funniest person on the planet and he loves to squint his eyes and snort his nose at her. He is happy just playing by himself or following Kai around. What a little doll he is. He adds so much to our little family and we love him so much. Here are a few of my favorite shots of him...


Kai: Kai is everything a typical 2 1/2 year old princess/fairy/kitten/butterfly/puppy/drama queen/everything pink and fluffy should be. She is so bright and is constantly proving to me that she is so much smarter than I think she is. She loves to read and to sing and to twirl. She loves to bully Jude around and comfort him when he is sad. She loves Ariel and Cinderella and anything princess. Lately she loves Barbie and the Diamond Castle and sings "Connected" all the time. Kai's biggest news is about her thumbs. About 8 months ago I noticed that her thumbs were quite stiff and bent downward. I was rather worried at this discovery so we had the Doctor check them out. He said she had something called Congenial Trigger Thumb. He gave it 6 months to clear up on it's own and if it didn't he recommended surgery. Well, it didn't clear up so we consulted a hand specialist and he also recommended the surgery to prevent any long term disfiguring and any other serious conditions that could result. So here are some photos of that ordeal...

This is as straight as either thumb would get...

Here is a shot of her doing "Cool Dude" (this one is for uncle Thys)... This is her waiting at the surgical center in her hospital gown. It was so cute on her. They gave her a surgery bear that had cute little scrubs and a little face mask. This was before they ripped out my heart (and Kai's) and sat on it. The anesthesiologist, who just happened to be a very handsome yet older 10 ft. giant stranger, came in and said, "It's time", and then ripped her out of my arms and proceeded to walk out with her. It took about a second and a half for her and me to realize what was happening. She totally freaked and started screaming "Mama, Mama" and struggled and struggled to get away from the giant scary strange man that was taking her away from Mama as I just watched and did nothing. It was horrible. Of coarse I started bawling and had to just walk away. Luckily they claim it is only a matter of seconds before they drift off into la-la land, even fewer seconds if they are screaming cause they breath in so deep, but it was gut wrenching none the less. Check out her cute little bunny slippers too...Here she is after the surgery. She was pretty disoriented and all she wanted to do was lay in my arms and have me sing to her. She didn't want to open her eyes and she kept asking me to take out her IV. After I would finish a song she would mumble "Sing another one Mama."
By the time we got home she was feeling much better. Very tired, but much better. Say "Cheeto cheese in my teeth"...
Close up of her "bandaides"...
By 7:00 that night she was back to her cute little princess self...
We were instructed to keep her thumbs dry for 2 weeks. Ya, good luck with that one. But we did the best we could...
These next ones are a little graphic so look away if you tend to get wheezy. They're really not that bad though. She had about 5 or 6 "itches"(stitches) in each thumb...
She was pretty hesitant to go in for her follow up appointment so I kept telling her the Doctor had to check her thumbs to tell us if we could get them wet so we could go swimming. She did great at the appointment and we made another appointment for a month away. When the receptionist handed Ben the reminder card for the appointment he gave it to Kai to hold and he asked her if she knew what it was. She said "Ya Dada, it's my swimming pass!" Of coarse we took her swimming the next day and she loved getting her thumbs wet. She still wont let me touch them, but they are looking better and better. The Doctor says we won't even be able to see the scars as they are right along her natural hand creases. She was so brave and did so great throughout the whole thing. Two thumbs up baby, straight up!!! Cool Dude!!!

Happy Haircut:
Kai's other big news is about her mullet head. We finally took the plunge and gave her a real hair cut. She's had somewhat of a mullet for the past little while so I decided to chop it. It looked so cute and I was very proud of my work. I've been a big fan of her cute little bangs, they just kept her looking like my little girl, so I've kept them trimmed since she's had them. But I finally decided to grow them out and they were getting pretty long. They were almost to the point where I could tuck them behind her ears, but they drove her crazy. Especially if we didn't do her hair that day and they would just hang in her eyes. So I thought to myself, "Maybe I'll just trim them a little to get them out of her eyes". It wasn't really that good of an idea. An inexperienced unofficial hair cutter + a wiggly little 2 year old= some pretty funky bang action. She still looks adorable cause lets face it, she is adorable, but it was a much cuter haircut with the long bangs. All well, can't turn back now. I'm sure it's not the last time I'll maime one of my children's haircuts. I only cut off about 1/2 inch of bangs so it won't be but a couple of months before they are back to where they were. But, from here on out, I vow not to touch Kai's bangs with the scissors ever again...so help me.

Here is her first (and only, for a while) braid. I won't be able to do this again until it grows out, but it was cute while it lasted...
I love this picture of her. She just looks so grown up...Before...After...Cute bangs...

Not so cute bangs (but seriously, she is too cute to look too ridiculous)...
So that's Kai and Jude in a nut shell. Kudos...again, if you are still reading this. I love my kids.