Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

This year for my 29th birthday (Yes, Amy....we are forever 29!) Eric surprised me and took me to Asheville, NC for a long weekend. It was all supposed to be a big surprise...and it was until Eric opened his mouth on the drive up.

The view on the way to NC. This pic doesn't do it justice.
We are at this point on the trip and the following conversation happens:

Me: We have to get some Christmas shopping done this weekend. What should we get Nicki?
E: Just get here something there.
Me: Where?
E: At the gift shop. I'm sure they have tons of stuff at the gift shop they are willing to sell you.
Me: What gift shop?
E: At the Biltmore.
Me: Why in the world would I buy her something at the Biltmore?
E: "Deer in headlights look", accompanied by, "I know I did not just say that!" look.
Me: Is that where we are going??????? "Big grin! Big grin! Big grin!"
E: I cannot believe I just said that!! I've been keeping it a secret for months!!!

So....following are pictures from our amazing weekend. Start to finish. Enjoy!!

South Carolina Mountains

Eric enjoying the last of our Tuna Martini.
Yummy sushi on Friday night in Asheville!

The Entrance to The Biltmore Estate

Me freezing outside the Winery

Eric saying "take the freaking picture already, honey!!!"
Clearly outside the Winery and Bistro.

Me waiting inside to tour the Winery.....

Headed into the Winery. The whole area is built like this. Even Biltmore Village outside the 8,000 acres of the actual home is built like this. More of those pics down below!

This is the actual room where they squeeze the grapes.
It's more modern b/c they still produce wine.
The barrels where they age. You had to take pics through the glass,
that's the reason for the green glare.

This is where they bottle the wine. It wasn't a production day....but still neat!!

The Cellars (duh!)
This is downstairs in the Winery. Just before you get to walk through
all the old hallways and see where they keep all the barrels. I love this place!!!
So romantic!!

This is one of my favorite pics. These are the halls in the cellar.
I love how old and original it is.
One of the cellars you actually got to see. Look at the layer of dust on those bottles!
Those bottles must be so old! And taste so good!!!

I saw this sign and died!! I told Eric to just plan on that sign
eventually having our name on it!! How cool!!!

Ok, now here comes the good stuff!! As you see the next set of pics,
remember a few things about this home.

It was built in the late 1800's and took 7 years to build
It was never a hotel, or a resort, or a place to "rent"....this was a family's home.
When the home was built, it was designed so that you could not see the home
until you arrived in front of it. How stinkin' impressive is that???

Ok, here are our pics:

This is the only peek you get of the house as you are about 5 feet
from the entry gates.....

And there she is!!!
Is that not the most amazing thing you've ever seen???

And people lived there!!!!

Close ups.....such detail!!

More up close.....

This is the view looking away from the house. You can't see the
veranda behind the tree at the top of that hill....but apparently
lots of people get married there. How special.

Us in front of the house.....and the creepy guy behind me
that would not get out of our pics!!!

This is the greenhouse that lead to the gardens. It was HUGE!

That's me up next to the door. I look so little compared to
the building.

Us outside the Greenhouse

Eric in the greenhouse. The flowers were amazing.

Cool plants in the Desert Room...reminded me of home!

More neat plants....

The same one up close....

Eric's Favorite Plant
Bird of Paradise

Really cool door handles to the Shop at the Garden
I thought Mom and Kathy would like this...

This is the wall you see when you look away from the house. The fountains
embedded in it we so neat.

And now....the Creme de' la Creme'

Eric took this picture right before we went into the house....
I could not believe how well he captured what we saw...

This was taken from the wall in front of the house.
Just breathtaking.

We then got to enter the home, but no pictures are allowed inside.
(How else will they ever sell that $400 picture book?)

We entered and when you first walk in, the winding staircase is to your left,
and to your right is the main dining room.
They had ballerinas dancing to the Nutcracker,
and then they had a choir singing.
It bellowed through the home as you walked it.
Truthfully one of the most amazing weekend's I've ever had.

Thanks Baby, I love you so much!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Riah Girl!!

Riah-1 1/2

Riah-8 Years old. Summer 2008 Top Sail Island, NC

Ahhhhh......the stories that will forever be told about this precious one. Shall we begin? Mind you, I don't post these for you. I post them for my babies, and for their this one is a tribute!!!

The day she was born...arriving at the wee ole' hours of 4am, the child has forever been an early riser. We rushed to the hospital to greet the nurses with the first baby of the day. They checked me at roughly 8am, and the minute the nurse walked out of the room, I looked at mom and said,
"Something doesn't feel right, call her back."
Mom-She just checked you, you're fine.
Sarah-MOM!!! Something is not right, get her!!!
Nurse comes in....."Get me an MD, we have a baby coming!!"
To this day she is always in a hurry!! Oh, and she follows in her mama's footsteps, gotta love being delivered by a nurse. The doctor didn't make it. Funny how she still charged me.....

The day she fell out of the window....let me paint the picture. Riah couldn't have been older than 2....maybe 3. (I think I mentally blocked this day....I'll have to go dig to find details.) Beautiful day. All the windows open in the house. Me in the shower. Matt downstairs with Tim Bird (Hi Kelly!! Are you reading this???). Girls in their room playing (aka jumping on their beds). Tanner.....I'm pretty sure he was still an infant. All we have is the story Madeline, to this day tells so vividly.
Maddie and Sariah were jumping on their beds. Sariah's bed was under the window, and all we know is that she fell backwards into the window.....and down she went. Not down a few feet to a flower bed. Not down a few yards to the yard. She fell 10' (if not more) from her bedroom window straight down onto the concrete driveway. This is the coversation:
Maddie (running down stairs): DAD!!! Riah just fell out the window.
Dad: Maddie, no she didn't. Go play.
Maddie: Dad, she really fell out the window!!
Dad: Maddie, that's not funny. Go play.
....from outside the front door all he hears is screaming and crying....
Matt and Tim jump (I can only imagine....remember, I was in the shower) faster than lightning and as Matt is opening the front door, our baby girl is sobbing and walking up the sidewalk. Matt grabs her and brings her inside. While this is happening, Maddie is beating on my bathroom door and I hear her say "Riah fell out the window!!" I grab my robe (sorry, Tim!!) and race downstairs. I've never been more terrified in my life. I grab Riah and lay her on the couch. Matt an Tim are scowering for broken bones and as I try to calm her down, the only thing this sweet baby girl can say is:
"Mom, can I have a green popsicle?"
I'm sure I cried harder than she did at that point. Probably just because if you know Riah at all, you know that nothing stops her. NOTHING!! And this was proof she was ok. We didn't find anything broken, but our state of shock was nothing short of a heart attack. I remember calling mom to say, hey, can you come sit with T and Maddie while we run to the hospital? If you know my mom, imagine this sentence in the most "Sarah, have you lost your ever-lovin' mind?" tone:
Oh baby just fell out of a window....on the concrete....hummmmmmmm.
Now here is the best part of the story. While they were up in their room "playing", they were also playing dress up. Riah had on a dress that was for a 6 month old. No baby of mine is going to the hospital in a dress 3 times too small, with her booty hangin' out (and they are lucky I didn't go searching for a bow to put in her hair!!) can also imagine the tone of voice Matt took with me when I insisted she change. I'm gonna say I deserved that one! (But she did change....... :) )
Riah was fine. In fact, the only proof we had that she actually did fall (and not fly) out of the window, was the imprint of the window screen on the outside of her right pinky finger.
Go ahead, tell me there are no such thing as angels. I have proof of one.
She's sleeping on the sofa right now. Sariah-2 years, Madeline-3 years, Mom-doesn't matter how many years and Tanner-2 months

The above picture was pretty close to when
the window incident happened (+/- 6 months).
She's so little....

And then there was the day after Thanksgiving.....I'm pretty sure the exact same year.
Who hasn't played in the Christmas Tree box after Mom and Dad take it out for the first time? Well, Grace...I mean, Riah, put this Turkey day in the books for us. Riah was standing inside the tree box, playing away, and as she tried to step out, he legs were too short. The box tumbled to its side......the side that was next to a corner point of two walls. Down Riah goes, and all I hear are screams. I do the "sane" mommy manuever and tell her she is fine, we'll get some ice. We got ice all right......and 5 stitches to sew up the gash on the side of her head left by the wall. I tell you'd think we bought stock in the Paulding Co. hospital!!

That was all almost 5 years ago, and instead of her falling off of things, we're teaching her to tumble through them. We fall off the monkey bars, but we are learning how to do back hand springs nicely!!
She's our running, jumping, tumbling, fast talking, blonde bombshell....
who we wouldn't trade for the world!!

Happy 9th Birthday, Ms. America!!!!

Sariah Alexis
August 2008
8 Years Old

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

I'll never forget the day she was born. 2 weeks over due, 8 hours of petocin....and the booger wouldn't have a darn thing to do with coming into the world. Options presented to us were:
1-Have a C-Section

2-Finish the remaining 4 hours of petocin dosing, if she doesn't come, come back on Sunday (3 days later) and try again.

You chose.

My response:

Option 3-Pick a new plan...cuz I ain't having a C-Section and I ain't leaving without a baby!!

Roughly a decade later....she presents her tiny 6lb. 12oz. little body to us and I couldn't have cried harder.

Matt and I made fools of ourselves trying to be perfect parents. Including the following:

-Rushing a sleeping child to the ER because "she was sleeping too long and would not wake up!!" I kidd you not. We really did. From that point forward.....she never slept again. Until now...and she's still the worst in the world to wake up.

-Buckling her carseat in "backwards/upside down/in the wrong seatbelt" only to be driving back from SLC to Orem and Matt say to me...."hey, check on her". I look in the back seat and her carrier is literally laying on its side. Do you think she woke up?

Okay....this was not the "retarded parents post"...let's talk about her.

-She's amazing. Kind of bossy....but amazing.

-She's selfless. Except to her brother and sister...I'm pretty sure that's allowed. No teacher loves a child more than they do Maddie. She'd give you the shirt off her back.

-She's funny. And when she laughs, she laughs so hard she cries. I love it.

-She can sing. God bless America!!! She got the good talents!!! She really does have a set of pipes, and i'm excited to get her into vocal lessons. Sure wish her Gramma Vicki lived closer...what's the use of having a Gramma who's a vocal coach when you can't take lessons from her? What are the odds???

-She is SUCH a girl....and my mother dared say to me tonight, "What? She's exactly like you were!! Only you were worse!" And then Dad agreed!! Oy Vey!!

-She's my oldest baby. I love her more than life!!! And she's 10. I'm gonna throw up.

Being sung to in the office at school. She was the only one in the entire school with a birthday on the 29th. That's the most amazing thing in the world to me. When you grow up in a family as large as mine, we shared EVERYTHING. I love it that no matter what, you might have to share clothes, a room, a bathroom, a car and possibly a toothbrush (put that in there to see if you actually read this crap!) but never a birthday. It's all yours!!! I made that perfectly clear to the Dr. that delivered T. One day earlier, or one day be it....just NOT the same day as anyone else!!!

Being a girl....The 1st day of 4th grade

Her chorus performance at Christmas in 3rd Grade.

At her 10th Birthday party....caught in a web!!

One of my favorite pics of her. This is one of those times she was laughing her little head off. Her smile is contagious!!

Happy Birthday

Madeline Ashley!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Scariest day of the year..... I have a 7 year old, and 8 year old, and a 9 year old.

How funny is that?

But tomorrow I will have a 7, 8, and 10 year old.............

How scarry is that?????? I have a 10 year old.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tanner and Madeline!!!

It's birthday season again!! We call it birthday season because all of our birthday's fall within 60 days of each other....and on top of that, all the babies are within 4 weeks of those 60 days...
so for us, it's a season.
This year, Tanner and Maddie's birthdays (the 27th and 29th) fall during the week, so we celebrated them together with a HUGE family party. Mom of the year(that's me!) went all out this year and got a GINORMOUS jumpy thing, and I must admit, they had a blast. The $$ was never better spent. Here are some pics of their awesome day!!

T Man's Cake!!

Kuddo's to Auntie Kelly!!

Madder's Cake!

Kuddo's again to Auntie Kelly!!

Super Giant Obstacle Course Jumpy Thing

Other end of the jumpy thing!

I won!! Just because he landed on top of me does not mean I was cheating!!

Eric and all the "Rents"

Ed, Eric, Dad, back of Janet, back of Mom.

Tanner totally beating Eric in the race.....

Eric and I got Tanner a new Nerf gun....fully auto, belt fed, fires 3 shots per second.

Having said that, you now know that we didn't get anything for T. We got it for all the "Big Boys"

to play with. Here is a pic of Tanner, Uncle John and Eric starting to put it together.

Uncle Levi, Uncle Wayne and Eric....again, putting the 7 yr. old's toy together.

Such kids. :)

Final product!!!

Riah, T, Maddie and Uncle Levi

in the jumper!

Maddie stuck in the web!

Me and my baby.....who isn't such a baby any more.....

We had tons of fun....and missed The Burns and Aunt Nicki.

Next guys come home for Halloween, ok?