Sunday, November 25, 2012

Matt's 29th Birthday Celebratorium

This year I decided to surprise Matt with a party for his birthday. This is the first time I've thrown a successful surprise party where the person is actually surprised. It was so much fun! We all had a blast and Matt was truly touched that so many people would come celebrate him. For those of you that missed out, you missed out on a great party! So, here's some pictures for you to view.

Me and the birthday boy, gosh I love him!

Lydia, Jenn, Me and Kelly at the cornmaze, thanks for coming girls!

We broke the rules... haha

Me, Mary, my mom and Hayley.

All of us minus Kelly who's taking the photos, and those of our friends that had to leave early.

Spooky birthday cupcakes.

All in all it was a great night, and a special shout out to all who helped make it so! Thanks to Jenn and Matt for the use of their time, and their home! Thanks to Brian and Kel for helping set up decorations, thanks to my mom, dad and sister Hayley for helping with food, and the cupcakes!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adventures in growing up...

        So, Matt and I have been talking a lot lately and we decided to take the plunge and see if we qualified to buy a home. Matt isn't keen on paying rent much longer, and frankly, it would be nice to have a place of our own and really get settled down. Especially since we are feeling ready to get started on trying to start a family! (I know, I can't believe it either!) So, we've gotten our limit, and the realtor called me today to set up some times to go look at some homes. We've been looking at a specific website, and had quite a few homes saved that we liked. I went through the list, got the listing numbers of the ones that are doable, and sent them over to him. Most of the houses we liked are short sales, and I'm well aware that short sales can take months and months to decide and close. Since I'm still really nervous about becoming a homeowner its okay, I'm not really in a rush! We are going to try and go out and look at some places Friday afternoon/evening. Did I mention I'm really nervous? Pretty excited, but REALLY nervous. Maybe something will come of it now, or maybe it won't and we'll end up waiting another year or two, I don't know. I didn't want to Facebook about it because I didn't want EVERYONE to know, but I don't care if the people who take the time to read my blog know, because obviously YOU reader, are a pretty good friend. Well, that's all for now, I just needed to get that off my chest. EEK!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Bonfire

We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon a few weekends ago to enjoy the fall weather, a fire, some roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and of course some good friends. :) I didn't get pictures of everyone, but we went with Matt and Jenn, Kelly, Lydia and Fernando. It was a good relaxing time.

Our Seattle trip

Back in July, Matt and I took a trip up to Seattle to visit my family, and for a friends wedding. My cousin let us stay at her place since her and her family were out of town. It was nice to have a place to stay for free and to have it to ourselves.

Ferris Wheel on the dock at the Pier.

A boat called 'Beaver'

The Space Needle from the freeway

Matt and I with cousins, from left: Ellie, Cole, Trevor, Me, Lincoln and Matt.

Space Needle from the parking lot of the Space Needle

This cat was doing the robot outside this museum and his friends were filming it.

The view of Seattle from the restaurant inside the Space Needle.

Space Needle as seen from Alki Beach

Bridge we drove over one of our scenic drives

I was feeling artistic, what can I say. Check out the barnacles
Matt and I atop the Space Needle
Driving and being tourists

More Space Needle, its so cool

Us and Seattle

Us on Alki Beach

Not a sandy beach
Looking for rocks

Lunch, yum!

Rooftop seats at Duke's Chowder House at Alki

Ferry ride

Snoqualmie Falls
Snowqualmie Resort

Cheesing it on the ferry to Kingston
Makes my heart melt

My favorite and I

Me and baby Lincoln

All in all we had a wonderful vacation, and we are so grateful for all my family that took care of us while we were there and those that showed us around and showed us a good time. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Xanax anyone?

Lately I've been noticing that I worry a lot. And usually about dumb things. I don't know if it's how I've always been and now I'm just starting to get sick of it, or if I'm getting worse. Matt and I have great jobs and yet I still worry that we won't be able to pay bills. Life will be going smoothly, and I worry the other shoe is going to drop and something will happen to ruin it. I feel like we are always playing catch up, I feel like we are constantly 1 step forward and 2 leaps back. I don't know if this is normal or if I'm overly negative. I try to tell myself not to worry but its much easier said than done. I constantly feel uneasy and can't just enjoy the good things because I'm worried its too good to be true and something is creeping up and going to boot us in the rear.
How about any of you guys? Is this normal? How do you deal with it?

Night of the Running Dead 2012

My little sister Mary registered as a human, Me, Matt, Alisa and her Matt registered as Zombies. Needless to say, Mary was out numbered.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's been too long, let's get caught up.

My last post was all the way back in May. A lot has happened since then. So, let's see what I can recall...
*We had lot's of fun hanging out with Matt Van Duren while Jenn was in NY. We watched movies, went hiking and had a beach day on the 4th of July. 
*Matt and I went on a vacation to Seattle in July and had a seriously awesome time.
*Jenn FINALLY came home from NY.
*Matt Van Duren finally graduated from school and is officially a registered nurse! We are proud friends, he's worked really hard.
*Matt got full time work at Ebay! YAY!
*We made Jenn go hiking to Donut Falls and she did it, she's a trooper!

*We went to Oktoberfest at Snowbird for the first time this year and had a lot of fun, we took the tram, and the ski lift all over and ate yummy food. What more could you ask for? See above as we take in the 11000 ft elevation views.
*We got a new camera and I'm trying my hand at photography, haven't had too much practice lately, but I love it anyways.
*Matt and I are thinking of buying a house, its a pretty involved experience, and will be awhile before we find out or even decide what we are going to do. Either way, we'll be moving out of my parents house soon. :) Not that we don't appreciate or love my parents, but we're ready to be on our own again. So, this is our life lately, nothing too crazy, but we're enjoying life, taking it easy and we're happy. That's all that matters. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It has come to that time of the year when my best friend Jenn goes to NY for the summer to work for her dad. And though I've had to deal with this every summer for the last 4 years now, I still never adjust. I go through "Van Duren withdrawal" as I call it. Of course I'll live, and of course I'm glad Jenn is able to go home for 10 weeks during the summer and work to take care of her and Matt, and I'm glad she gets to see her family, but I still miss her. :) At least we will have plenty of summer left when she gets back. :)

See you soon Jenn!

Motherhood and Popular Opinion

So, I'm sure most of you have seen/heard/read this article by Time Magazine. I've read the article, seen the controversial cover and heard many opinions on the picture, the parent, and the parenting style. This is the conclusion I have come to. Please remember this is my opinion. Key words here: "my opinion".

I am not a mother yet. I haven't made all the decisions on how I will raise my children yet, so I won't presume to know everything about parenting. Here is what my experience as a nanny has taught me so far. As far as breastfeeding; I don't think it really matters as much as people try to make it seem. I nanny for a girl now who was adopted and NEVER breastfed. She is advanced, she is smart, she loves her mom and dad and they love her. She is rarely sick. I nannied for two children in NY who were breastfed, maybe not for extended periods of time like the little boy on the above mentioned cover, but for more than a year. They too were smart, advanced and rarely sick. They loved their parents and their parents loved them. I was never breastfed. I think I turned out ok. I think I'm pretty smart, and I'm healthy.

As far as co-sleeping; the girl I nanny now has always slept in her own bed in her own room. She sleeps great. Her parents sleep great. Everyone feels rested. The kids I nannied for in NY, the baby slept in a bassinet in mom and dads room for the first year. He slept well, they seemed to sleep well. Everyone is rested. Again, I don't think that any one of the children is more well adjusted or feels more loved than the other.

I have some friends that are AP (attachment parents) and non AP. I don't personally believe that my AP friends are better parents than my non AP friends. I just think that you have to do what suits you. Do what feels comfortable to you. If you feel it necessary to wear your child all day, or share your bed with them or breast feed until they are 10 go for it. If you need to put your child in a swing so that you can get 20 or 30 minutes of mommy or daddy time, or if you need your own space to feel well rested at night that's ok too!  My grandma gave my mom the best advice when she was pregnant with me, and my mom passed it along to me. She said "everyone is going to try and tell you how to raise your children, they will all have advice, and the best thing for you to do is to smile and nod your head, then go home and do it your own way". I have a friend who's adopted one of the "Spock principles", and here it is. They do not tell their children "no". They believe that their children will be better disciplined and learn faster this way. And despite the multiple ER visits they insist it works for them. That is great. Is it something I would do? Probably not. I personally think, key word: "think" that that's a little nuts. But they are not my children. Thank God for free agency.

What it comes down to, is that there is not ONE right way to raise children. All people and children are completely different. What works for you, may not work for me. What I swear by, may not be your cup of tea. People need to stop tearing people down for their personal choices and be more tolerant. Am I saying don't call someone if you see a child being abused? No. But use common sense.

I'm finished ranting now, and if you have any opinions, I'd love to hear 'em. :)