Monday, December 22, 2008

Finn Says: "Sledding Sucks!"

It has been snowing like crazy here lately...and Aaron and I just got a sled for Christmas from my parents...so we decided to try it out! We were so excited to take Finn sledding for the first time. I pictured him laughing and smiling on my lap as we glided through a picturesque winter wonderland...this is what we got instead:I think he MAY have liked it if it wasn't snowing so hard. The snow kept blowing in his face and he HATED it. I think he was a little scared/confused by the all-white atmosphere.
Our attempt at a cute family shot...he wasn't even going to look at the camera he was so mad:The happiest he was the entire time:

Here is a video in the peak of sadness...oh man he was miserable. Even Aaron's attempts to cheer him up were fruitless...he was pretty mad at us I think.

video

And here is a quick video of the only time he went down the hill with me without crying: video

We ended up staying for about a half hour. He semi-liked watching me go down by myself, and didn't mind going down with me, but he was definitely not enjoying himself. He let us pull him on the sled back to the car...but did not get happy again until he was out of all his snow gear in the warm house. We're going to try again when it's sunny and clear out...hopefully he'll man up to the challenge.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Man of the House

Handsome in Orange

Aaron turned 29 on Friday. Funny when you realize that 30 really isn't old at all. We had a great day. I gave him a couple shirts and a new penny whistle. He took one of the shirts back and-- with my help as personal shopper--was able to get 2 shirts and a scarf instead and only paid 5 dollars more! And FYI: a penny whistle is a celtic instrument (basically a glorified recorder) with a much prettier look and sound. My mom had one when we were home last and Aaron picked it up and figured out how to play a few hymns...now he is hooked! The one my mom let him have has been chewed on by Finn and has become a toy in our home so I bought him a newer, more legitimate looking one...and it sounds great!
I think he looks like Finn here...with a lot more hair of course!

On Friday evening, we used our brand new babysitting list (aka our singles ward directory) and had two wonderful girls from our ward watch Finn. We grabbed a bite to eat and saw "Ghost Town" in the dollar theater followed by some holiday shopping (where Aaron got three things for the price of one!). We loved the movie...it was so hilarious! I think Ricky Gervais (plays Michael in the British "Office") is so funny.
What a cute scout!

We came home and shared the yummy "Chocolate Blackout Cake" I made Aaron and visited with friends till late into the night. Aaron usually requests the chocolate cake from Costco on his birthday...but this year he let me make one from scratch and it turned out really yummy! We had such a great day.
Our fancy date in L.A. a couple months before he proposed

I know this post is already long, and we didn't get any pictures of the actual birthday :( but I want to end it with 29 things that I love about Aaron, in honor of his 29th birthday:

1. He makes me laugh
2. He laughs at my stupid jokes
3. He is the best dad ever and is usually more concerned about Finn's safety than I am
4. He is the biggest animal lover I know, but still thinks PETA is stupid
5. He serves me ALL THE TIME
6. He vacuums without being asked
7. He is a better cook than I am
8. He is the easiest person to get a long with ever
9. He loves board games
10. He knows all the words to the "Newsies" sound track
11. He's not embarrassed to sing all the words to the "Newsies" sound track
12. He makes friends easily and is kind to everyone
13. He's good with cars and has fixed ours a lot
14. He is informed and knows a lot about history and politics
15. He is a safe driver...which helps him be a safe pilot...which helps me sleep at night
16. He is a righteous priesthood holder
17. When he leaves for work in the morning, he always pretends to close the door and plays peekaboo with Finn a few times...and he always gets a kick out of it
18. He works hard every day so that I can stay home with Finn
19. He knows all the words to "Gangsta's Paradise" and sings it at full volume with me in the car
20. He is always willing to help out a friend
21. He likes to read as much as I do
22. He watches movies I like, even though he knows I'm going to fall asleep
23. He has always treated my family like his own
24. He can be surprisingly crafty and makes me awesome cards
25. He is so thoughtful and is constantly showing me he loves me
26. He always puts the toilet seat down...and usually has to remind me to put the lid down too
27. He likes amusement parks as much as I do
28. He likes to 'talk' to Finn on the phone
29. He is a great penny whistle and trombone player!

Every year we are married I learn more things that I love about this guy. Happy Birthday Aaron!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dancing Machine

Even before he learned to crawl, Finn has always LOVED to dance to music. He dances to the music his toys make, he dances to commercials on TV, he dances when I sing to him. Usually when asked to perform, however, he gets really embarrassed and hides his face. Here is a quick video of him dancing to "Santa Baby" while we decorated the tree. We weren't even watching him...Aaron just noticed he was doing it and caught the tail end on camera. I will try to post more videos of his moves as I capture them!
video

Oh Christmas Tree

Last weekend, Aaron and I finally got around to decorating our place for Christmas. Since our living room is barely big enough for our couch, we set our Christmas tree up in the loft (aka our bedroom) every year and I have to say, it makes me really happy.



Let's discuss Christmas trees for a moment. You may be one of those people, let's call them "Tree Elitists" that needs to have your Christmas tree "just so"...with symmetrical sides, carefully selected matching ornaments, and strictly white lights of a particular size. I know quite a few of these people myself whose immaculately trimmed trees glisten boastfully from front room windows as if to say "Christmas in this house is better than Christmas in your house." If you are a Tree Elitist, we can still be friends. I have a certain admiration for the organizational skill and aesthetic knack it takes to pull off such a task. However, I would venture to say that the tree I prefer, let's call it a "Homestyle Tree" creates more lasting memories and nostolgic fondness than Tree Elitists could ever acheive.

View of our tree from the living room

Aaron and I have started collecting tree ornaments from every vacation we take. We have a little log cabin that reminds us of our trip to see Joseph Smith's home in Palmyra and a little bear from our trip to Yellowstone to name a couple. One of my favorite ornaments is a little silver-spray-painted christmas tree made of macaroni noodles that Aaron made in elementary school. All of these sentimental, mismatched ornaments with a few Christmas balls thrown in and a smattering of colored lights sums up our tree. It is ecclectic, it is colorful, and I love it. It reminds me of the tree I had growing up -- full of glue-gunned ornaments and kid-made crafts.

The following is my favorite line from "Oh Christmas Tree":

O Christmas Tree,O Christmas Tree,
Your boughs can teach a lesson
That constant faith and hope sublime
Lend strength and comfort through all time.

Whether you have an Elite Tree or a Homestyle Tree in your home, I hope it "teaches you a lesson" and reminds you of the true spirit of this holiday season. Merry Christmas everyone!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brunettes Have More Fun

As most of you know, I like to experiment with my hair. If you watch the resume tape I made in my broadcast journalism days, my hair is different in every clip :) I was born a blond but I have slowly turned to the dark side over the years and my natural color now is a medium brown. In August, I went more blond than I have been for a long time at Aaron's request. It was fun, but I felt like I was wearing a wig every time I looked in the mirror. After my roots got completely out of control, I decided the maintenance of blond hair is definitely not my thing, so I have become a brunette once more. And I gotta say, it's nice to be back.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun at the Park!

On Black Friday, Aaron and I took Finn to the park together. (Something we rarely get to do due to Aaron's schedule.) And it was so fun! For the first time, Finn went down the slide, sitting up, all by himself, a zillion times! It was so exciting. Usually he loves the swing and freaks out when we take him out but this time he was all about the slide!




The above shot was taken right before Finn slipped and hit his head on the stairs...giving him a nasty bruise to match the one he got on the other side of his head the day before. And that's when it was time to go.
But since we wanted to end on a high note, we cheered him up and had him go down a couple more times. Here's a video for those of you that aren't sick of this topic yet.

video

I can't believe how fast he is growing up. It is so exciting to see him try new things!

Three Guys I Am Thankful For

1. This guy... ...for being such a caring, thoughtful, and fun husband.

2. This little guy...

...for being such a loving, happy, beautiful boy.



3. And this guy...



...for making the ultimate sacrifice. Mmmmm.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Been a While

For those of you who actually read this blog...sorry I have been in la-la land the past few weeks. I just haven't had the time/the motivation to post anything. But don't fret cuz you're about to get a large dose of monologue mingled with semi-amusing photography...just what the doctor ordered.

Story #1: Finn's new Winter Gear!

We got a couple early Christmas presents from my sister-in-law...one being this sweet snow-suit! I think it makes Finn look like Randy from A Christmas Story. I am so excited to take him sledding!



And I couldn't pass up on this adorable toque (beanie for you non-Canadian speakers) that I found at Wal-Mart...he usually hates hats but he loves to wear this and it makes me so happy. I love to see the little guy all bundled up. It also came with matching mitts which he doesn't really understand (he tries to clap while wearing them and gets confused when there is no sound).





Story #2: Pat Sajack's Number One Fan


For those of you who don't know, Finn LOVES Wheel of Fortune. It started because they clap so much and he had a lot of fun clapping along...but now he just loves to zone out with his milk cup and solve a few word puzzles. It comes on at 7pm here so lately we have gotten in the routine of letting him watch most of it before we put him to bed. He can seriously be in another room playing and as soon as he hears the sound of the wheel spinning he parks himself right in front of the TV and doesn't move...it's pretty funny. Here is a shot of him in the Wheel Zone.


Story #3: Singles Ward Here We Come!

Don't be confused, Aaron and I are happily married :). He just got called to the Bishopric of a BYU singles ward! We are actually really excited about it because we were feeling kind of old in our married student ward anyway and think that this will be a perfect transition for us. (Aaron will serve for one year and then we will start going to a family ward). The only bummer is that Finn just turned old enough to go to nursery...and now I have to take care of him by myself for the whole three hour block! Bummer. Luckily, there are about a hundred single girls who think that any baby is the most sensational thing on the planet, so I have lots of help...and a whole new babysitting directory! It's a little weird being referred to as Brother and Sister Parks, but we are really excited about this new opportunity and know that we will both grow spiritually from the experience. We have to speak in church this Sunday on 'preparing for marriage'...wish us luck!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Walking at Last

Finn is finally walking for real! It is so fun to see him toddle around everywhere he goes. Here is a video we caught of him just starting out:

video

And here is a short video that Aaron took which is a little sad but mostly funny:

video

Halloween Fun!


A while ago my playgroup had a Halloween get together...basically as an excuse to dress the kids up an extra time before Halloween. We were so surprised that all the little ones stayed still long enough to take this picture! The best part is, they have no idea that they are wearing anything out of the ordinary.


Left-Right: Finn, Khloie, Grant, Emmy, Ayden

Halloween finally arrived and we had so much fun! Finn became a bumble bee once again and I took him to Novell to trick-or-treat around Aaron's office. This was the first day that he wanted to walk everywhere instead of being carried...it was so fun!


Aaron, Finn, and a creepy statue



His first sucker...he loved it so much! Here's what I didn't love: having to pry the sucker out of his sticky hands and wipe up his drooly chin before strapping him into his carseat...oy.


After dinner, we took him to Megan's house to get some pics with his cousins and go trick-or-treating in a real neighborhood (as opposed to condo land where we live.)


Left-Right: Milo (Aniken Skywalker), Finn (bee), Gemma (fairy), Sawyer (Luke Skywalker)


Gemma and Finn after a long day of pixie-dusting and pollinating



Finn was so cute as he walked from house to house carrying his little pumpkin. I'm pretty sure he was clueless as to what was actually going on, but at least he had fun!








You may not even be able to see Finn in this video because it is so dark, but I think it is adorable. Megan took the video...see if you can tell the difference between our voices!

video


After a warm bath to wash off all the candy residue, Finn went to bed and Aaron and I played games with our neighbors and watched Disney's Ichabod Crane (my version of a scary Halloween movie :) ...what a great day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Walker Texas Ranger

Alright, it's true he's no Chuck Norris, but Finn has become a walker...of sorts. He took his first steps a few days ago and last night took 9 steps on his own! Aaron and I got so excited since most of his friends are already running around. Plus, I really want him to walk in time for Halloween so I can take him Trick or Treating fo' real. The down side is, he doesn't seem very interested in turning the novelty into a full-time mode of transportation. He won't perform for the camera and most of the time just lets his legs go limp when we try to make him do it...ARG! He is still very fast at cruising around the furniture and has started to stand up in the middle of the room unaided but pretty much has no interest in walking whatsoever. And yet, the 9-step incident has given me hope...a hope inspired by the holes appearing in the knees of all his pants. Let's just say his wardrobe will be a very big beneficiary once he truly becomes a bi-ped.

This is the closest thing we have to video of Finn walking on his own. He is using a toy that I borrowed from my neighbor which he LOVED. He walked up and down the sidewalk for the entire day. Okay, it was only about 30 minutes but since watching him push a walker was the only form of entertainment available, time sort of stood still.
video

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Conference Weekend


My parents came to town for General Conference this weekend and we had such a great time!

My sisters and I went to the Saturday morning session and hung out in Salt Lake all day kid-free. Then the boys brought the kiddies and traded off while they went to the Priesthood session with my Dad...followed by the traditional dinner at Outback.

Then Sunday morning, Megan watched Finn while Aaron and I went to the morning session with the 'rents and my brother Dustin. It was pouring when we went in, but when we came out the sun was shining and it turned into a perfect Fall day!

Fear Conquered

Finn used to freak out and cry every time we put sunglasses on him.

I think it's safe to say that fear is conquered.

PS: No, Aaron does not have a 'fro...he is standing in front of a tree.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Little Model


These are Finn's official one-year photos. They were taken a while ago but I just got them on CD so I wanted to share some of my favorites! My neighbor, Kati (http://www.katiellis.com/) is a photographer and was kind enough to take some pictures of Finn for me...didn't she do a great job?