September went by in a bit of a blur which seems to be how most months go around here. Jared
spent lots of time at the station again but we’ve adjusted to his busy schedule and fortunately we had
another pretty smooth month.

Olive is as busy as ever keeping up with her big brother. She loves to copy everything he does,
or anything anyone does for that matter. It’s fun to watch their relationship change as she gets
older but it is also providing us with extra challenges since they are much more prone to fighting
lately. And I mean actual slap fights complete with screaming in each other’s faces. Her vocabulary
continues to expand even if her pronunciation isn’t perfect. One of her most used words and my
personal favorite is ‘han size’ (hand sanitizer). She makes this frequent request throughout the day
when asking for hand sanitizer or lotion of any kind. She is still showing some interest in potty
training but no breakthroughs on that front. We just let her use the potty whenever the mood hits
her. But I’m still so pleased that she is so willing to try. And obviously it represents something
positive to her that she enjoys doing which is my only goal with potty training.

Preschool has been a huge success for Jack Attack. He seems to be quite popular in his class because
whenever I drop him off he is bombarded by a crowd of his classmates all asking him to play with
them. (The little girls in his class are especially enthusiastic.) He usually lets out a huge sigh, as if so
many requests to play might somehow interfere with his busy schedule, before conceding. He always
has so many stories to tell me about games he played and songs he sang in class or about fighting
with Miss Janae’s son, Adam. Fortunately Miss Janae informed me that they only pretend fight each
other which was a huge relief. He has really missed Jared the last few months but he has handled
his daddy’s schedule remarkably well for a three-year-old. He is always trying to think of ways
to ‘surprise daddy’ when he gets home from work either with a story from preschool or a picture
he colored. Lately he has really wanted to send a letter to daddy in the mail (thanks to Daniel Tiger). So that will probably be one of our projects for this week. He is just such an inherently sweet kid. We’ve been working on preparing for General Conference the last few weeks. And I’ve put together some fun activities
to really get Jack excited and involved with the messages. I don’t know who is more excited, me or

Jared took both tests for the AD/O classes and passed both practical exams. So now we just have
to wait to hear if he passed the written portions. If he didn’t pass he can retake the written test
up to three times before he has to take the class again. It sounded like there weren’t very many
people feeling all that confident about passing anyway. Jared said the test was pretty confusing and
they hadn’t covered everything in class so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. We are really looking
forward to seeing a lot more of Jared in October. We even made a ‘Fall Bucket List’ with lots of fun
activities for the cooler weather. He is such a great husband and father that having him gone really
makes a huge difference in our day-to-day activities. I’ve had a lot of people tell me just to buck up
because “I’ve dealt with a husband who is gone all the time too,” and I just remind them that it’s not easy to do when I have a husband who is so involved in raising our children. But I have learned to
cherish any time that he is able to be home with us.

My month has been good but a bit hectic. Three of the sisters on my committee were released
leaving a lot of stress on me. But another sister was called to the committee last Sunday and
hopefully more to follow soon. Even though I have been under a lot of pressure I feel very
fortunate to have this calling. It not only gives me more opportunities to serve sisters in our ward
but I’ve gained such a strong testimony of the Relief Society and the good that can be accomplished
through Christ-like compassion. I’ve also had some really great experiences with the sisters I visit
teach the last month. I have never been one to question visiting teaching but I don’t think I had
really strong convictions about it until this year. I feel like I’ve really moved past just checking
sisters off my to-do list and developed meaningful relationships with each sister I visit. I loved the
messages in the General Relief Society Meeting and I’m looking forward to Conference this coming
weekend. It is definitely one of my favorite times of year.



August Recap

We have finally ended another long month of missing Jared and somehow we all survived. In fact, it went much better than I could have expected. I think that our preparation really got us through. But it has been really nice to have a little more time with him the past week.
A little daddy-daughter snuggle after church

Jack started preschool this month and he could not be happier about it. He goes Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 to 3:00 so it’s nothing too intense. The whole thing was a very last minute decision since I had really planned on just doing preschool at home. But he has been struggling to take me seriously the last little while and we have both been feeling a little frustrated so finding an open spot in a preschool that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg has been a huge blessing. So far he really loves Miss Janae and the chance to spend a few hours away from mom and Olive. He’s such a smart little guy and this has really given him a chance to shine. His imagination is growing rapidly which has lead to an increase in phobias lately. But he’s also naturally very cautious so it’s nothing new. We’re just trying our best to validate his fears and help him feel more secure.
This pose was all Jack. What a stud.

Olive has shown a sudden interest in potty training this month which was completely unexpected. We planned on using the same approach with Olive that worked so well with Jack, which was simply letting her take the lead. I’ve heard that girls potty train sooner than boys but I thought that she would show an interest at age two at the earliest. She started by telling us when she had a dirty diaper or bringing us a new diaper and a case of wipes and that progressed to telling us before she needed to go so we would let her sit on the little potty. She has used it a number of times in the past few weeks. She still has wet and dirty diapers so I’m not planning on putting her in underwear any time soon. But the fact that she has shown this much interest is very exciting. She had her 18 month check up and she was in the 105% for height and under the 50% for weight so still a little string bean as per usual. She’s also using more words every day and doing her best to keep up with her big brother.
This little cheeser thinks she's pretty cute too.

Jared never seems to stop. He’s working to prepare for testing the first Saturday of September and as soon as that is finished he will start with the second half of the ADO class (Apparatus Driver/Operator). The first half has been ADO Pumper (learning how to operate the engine and pump the water) and in September he’ll start ADO Aerial (which will cover the operation of the ladder). He did some in-house testing today and passed off all of the skills so I know he’ll do well during the State Testing. He is planning to take the Paramedic course offered next year. The classes will take place at the station remotely through Weber State. And he has also expressed interest in Wild land Certifications. And of course he is still working full-time at Aircom. So it looks like our schedule will stay packed for the next year or two. But our hope is that all of these certifications will help us get a full-time spot and ensure a higher salary so it will definitely be worth the sacrifice.
Bowling with the Reeves family

My calling and the kids keep me busy most of the time but I did get to spend some time helping with Cora this month. And it was heavenly. She is such a sweet, little baby and I’m so grateful that we got to spend some time bonding with her. It was fun to spend some extra time with Ali too even though I’m sure having my kids there all day every day only added to her stress levels. I’ve been struggling a lot this month with feeling depressed about some trials and struggles people around me are going through. But Jared and I got to go to the temple on Friday night and I received some inspiration about how I can better serve the sisters I visit teach as well as the sisters in our ward. And I’ve just felt a lot more peace in general but especially concerning my callings. I’m so grateful to live in this beautiful house in such an amazing neighborhood and ward. We are surrounded by wonderful people and it sure does make life that much easier.

Love to all!




We had an awesome but very busy April so I’ll try to keep things brief. (We all know that’s not very likely which is why is used the word ‘try’.)

The majority of our month we saw very little of Jared since he was scheduled to work so much at the station. This is both a good and a bad thing. Mostly good since he has a chance to gain more experience and show his Captains his dedication and work ethic but difficult for me and the kids to share so much of our precious time with him.

Luckily we had a family vacation planned for the end of the month and that got us through those long hours without him. We rented a home in St. George with some of our good friends who have two kids around the same ages as Jack and Olive. We got to visit a little with grandparents, swim, hike, swap babysitting for date nights, explore Las Vegas for a day, barbeque, shop (just me and Megan of course) and basically just enjoy the perfect weather of St. George in April. We’re planning on making our trip an annual event. It was a much needed break for all of us and it was definitely difficult to come home. Especially since Utah County has been so cold and dreary.

 Jack had a lot of fun ‘living’ with his sweet friend Vera. The morning after we got home his first question was, “Where’s Vera?” Followed by, “I’ll go find her.” He also had lots of fun at his story-time group at the library. He’s such a social butterfly so we’re going to look into different activities to get him involved in over the summer.

Olive is just as sweet and sassy as ever. She has such a funny and STRONG personality. She can be so sweet and chill and mellow and then turn on you in an instant. She always leaves us guessing and we are never short on laughs with her around. We’re really working on getting her to be nicer to her big brother. (We’re actually working on that in both directions.) She has a really terrible habit of trying to wake Jack up when he falls asleep in the car. She screams, kicks, grabs and even throws her shoes at him in an attempt to keep him awake. I assume it’s because she expects him to entertain her since she’s not very good at falling asleep in the car.

We are grateful everyday for our sweet, healthy children, our beautiful, warm home and each other. And we’re looking forward to more traveling and time with family this summer.


Where does the time go??? One minute we’re hanging our stockings by the chimney with care and the next we’re hunting for eggs. And boy did we have fun hunting eggs!! Our egg hunt total for the year was three. I’d say that’s pretty decent. Plus we got to enjoy time with family which is always fantastic.
The “food poisoning” I got at the end of February was actually a stomach virus which quickly spread to everyone in our family. So we started the month of March with lots of dirty laundry and midnight clean-ups. It made all of us extremely grateful for our health when it was over.

Olive has taken off with walking in the last month. She’s much more stable than she used to be which is good so she can keep up with her older brother. Most of her days are spent wandering the house. Sometimes she wanders empty-handed, sometimes with a blanket or toy in tow. We’ve taken to calling her our Little Wanderer. She’s also working on talking. Right now she says da-da, ma-ma, Jack (sounds a little like dad but we always know what she means) and of course, the ever important no-no. And even though she knows the signs for more and please she rarely ever uses them and has opted instead for an ear-piercing, blood-curdling screech that could easily shatter glass. It’s a good thing she’s so cute. She gets away with a lot more than a less attractive baby would. All four molars are finally in so we’re just waiting on the cuspids and then we can move to the two-year-old molars. Teething is just the best. (Sense the sarcasm here.) She loves to unload anything and everything she can get her hands on: bookshelves, drawers, laundry baskets, purses, etc. And she is so sneaky about it too. It’s like living with a tiny, very silent and very destructive tornado. I grew too accustomed to Jack’s quiet, mellow playtime with one or two toys. And for the very first time in my three years of motherhood I had a child play in the toilet a couple of weeks ago. She follows Jack around like a little shadow so sometimes I don’t catch her when she follows him into the bathroom. I heard Jack yelling at her followed by her excited squeals and splashing. Luckily it was before Jack had done anything and it was only her arms. In the last few days she has started folding her arms during prayers or more accurately during the first three or four seconds of a prayer. It’s very exciting to watch her mimicking behavior.

What can I say about Jack Jack? He is my little angel boy. Most of the time. He’s very polite and he constantly apologizes even when he hasn’t done anything. He always says please and thank you and asks to be excused from the table. Most of the time he’s super sweet with Olive. He has to be reminded to be soft sometimes but it’s usually because he’s so excited to play with her. He started a reading group at the library that goes for about six weeks and he has absolutely loved it. He’s a very social little guy so I’m going to look into signing him up for more activities this summer. He and I are still working on preschool at home and I’m still very back and forth about whether or not to worry about sending him to preschool at all. I’d prefer to teach him those things at home and sign him up for sports or gymnastics or anything along those lines to fulfill the social aspect. It seems a little pointless to me to pay for someone to teach him the things that I can just as easily teach him at home. I am very interested in a specific charter school in American Fork once he’s ready to start kindergarten so I’m going to try to go to an open house and learn more of the specifics. Everyday his imagination grows. It’s so fun to sit and listen to him playing. As he got closer to three he started phasing out of his naptime. (sniff sniff) But lately he has started phasing back into it again. I can’t count the number of times he has gone missing and I find him asleep in his bed or in our bed or on the floor. Sometimes he’ll climb up into my lap and fall asleep snuggling with me.  We’re so blessed to have two amazing kids.

Jared is working hard as per usual. His schedule changes every week so sometimes we get lots of time with him and other weeks we hardly see him at all. This coming week will be one where we see very little of him. Of course he works all day at Aircom Monday through Friday but this week he’ll also be at the station Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and then all day and all night on Saturday. But he loves getting more training so we’re not complaining. Right now he’s working really hard to finish his fire certifications. The department is going to hire a few extra full-time guys in the near future. Jared may not have his certifications done in time but he will apply anyway and if that doesn’t work out there should be more openings in the next two years. We have really fallen in love with this area and we want to stay here permanently. And even more importantly we love American Fork Fire Department. Jared really feels like he has found his calling in life and he wants to stay with this department long term. Right now the department is having a mustache competition. Jared doesn’t grow the thickest facial hair but he has made a valiant effort. And he is very good-natured about the teasing remarks from the other guys. He has been working as the building coordinator for our ward and he seems to enjoy it. I would enjoy it more if the families who signed up to clean actually showed up so Jared wouldn’t end up doing all of the work. But I know he’s getting extra blessings for being so willing.

I have a new calling as the Compassionate Service Leader. It’s a big calling for this ward since last year there were 31 new babies and the committee tries to set up at least three meals for every new mother. And that’s not to mention the extra service for some of the single mothers, those who have had surgery, sickness, loss of a loved one, etc. But it’s exciting to get more involved with our ward members and neighbors and I really love working with our Relief Society President. She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever had contact with.  And I have already been so moved by the amount of service that takes place among these sisters. It’s such a good reminder to me of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I’m getting so excited as I countdown the days until Sister Patten gets home from her mission. (I can’t imagine how excited Cindy and her family must be.) The other day I watched an episode of TLC’s What Not to Wear (a show Brin and I both love) and I started crying because I’m just so excited to see her again. Jack kept asking me what was wrong.

We have so many blessings to enjoy and we are so happy that our little family is healthy and living comfortably. Easter provided us with a wonderful reminder about the power of the Atonement to change our lives for the better. And we are looking forward to listening to the Prophet and Apostles this weekend in General Conference.


This post has nothing to do with a New Year's resolution so don't get too excited.

I've neglected the blog for a number of reasons. But mostly because I keep journal entries in about a million other places so honestly this blog has fallen off my list of priorities. I keep a family journal, journals for both kids, baby books for both kids and a personal journal and I update all of these at least once a month. Plus I send out a family newsletter every month. So I've been thinking for a while now that I should just post one of the other journal entries I'm writing anyway. And that's what this is. I'm just copying and pasting our family newsletter, adding a few pictures and calling it good.

I doubt I'll post again until next month when I write our newsletter entry again. So enjoy this little glimpse into our lives.

Happy New Year!!! We hope that everyone is enjoying a happy and healthy 2013. We are so far. And… I probably just jinxed us.

We did take Jack to an ENT appointment on Saturday and it looks like he’s starting with a tiny bit of tonsillitis. Awesome. But the tubes in his ears are looking great and doing what they are supposed to so that was good news. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic but told us only to fill it if he started displaying other symptoms besides the horrendous dog breath we’ve been enjoying for the past month or so. After the appointment we went to the station to see Jared because he had been working all day. The first thing Jack said to Jared was, “Daddy I’m not broken!” Adorable. Jack has also been working on using the toilet the last couple of weeks. Santa brought him some Toy Story underwear that he was pretty thrilled about. He still doesn’t quite get the concept of letting me know when he has to go. But he has used the toilet successfully several times so that’s progress. I think the problem is that he gets busy and distracted. But I’m going to let him decide when he’s ready for underwear all day. Right now it’s just for a few hours here and there.

Olive is working hard this month on walking. She spends the day pulling herself up on furniture and cruising around the house. She has even started pulling herself up against walls and using them to balance as she makes her way around. She’s a bouncy, bubbly, happy baby but, oh man, do not cross her. She will let you have it. She also has a flair for the dramatics. (Can’t imagine where she gets that. Probably Jared.) And if she gets bumped or nicked she can really put on a show. Her newest trick is to put her hands up on the sides of her head and pull the most pathetic pouty face I’ve ever seen. She's also trying to use a few signs here and there. That's something that we'll work on a lot in the near future so she can begin communicating with us. 

Work at Aircom and the station keeps Jared as busy as ever. But it’s much easier for me to handle now that I’m not working. I still don’t love it but I’m happy that Jared has good jobs and that he is willing to work so hard providing a comfortable life for our family. He started playing soccer with the department again and has already rolled his ankle. He came home limping and told me what had happened. When I shook my head at him he smiled and announced that at least he stopped the ball. And yes, that was the only reason I was concerned, the thought of the other team scoring was just unbearable. The bad ankle hasn’t stopped him from responding to fire pages and he seems to have recovered for the most part. Hopefully that’s the worst of his injuries this season. But I’m not holding my breath. He’s got a penchant for damaging himself.

We enjoyed a nice, quiet Christmas here in our new house. Because of Jared’s work schedule we didn’t make any trips out of town. But it was nice to spend the day relaxing instead of driving. The kids got some great gifts but we really tried to keep things fairly small so we could focus on the Savior. We made out with the usual bundle of loot at the Aircom party including a 50 inch flat screen so there really isn’t a reason for us to go out and spend a bunch of money every year. For some reason both of our children have a severe aversion to wrapping paper. Neither one of them wanted anything to do with the gifts until they were unwrapped and unboxed. Little weirdos. Jack didn’t even want to help us unwrap the gifts. He kept saying, “Mommy I can’t. You do it.” So Jared and I did a lot of unwrapping this year. We’ll see what they do in February for their birthdays.

We rang in the New Year with Jared at the station so it wasn’t the most exciting night ever. But we did have dinner with friends earlier in the evening and that part was fun. We haven’t had a chance to have FHE yet this week because of Jared’s work schedule but we will do that tonight and work on setting some goals for ourselves individually and as a family. One of the most exciting parts about the coming year is switching to nine o’clock church instead of one. Going to church at one in the afternoon with kids is like slow, awful torture.

Jack the cheeser and Olive the sassy-pants

Looking back at 2012 we received an overwhelming amount of blessings from our Heavenly Father. We have seen His hand guide us through every step of our marriage and for that we are truly grateful and humbled. The new year has presented us with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our lives and our choices and resolve to do better in the coming year. We’re excited to make new memories and experience new adventures.