Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ashton's Christmas

I say Ashton's Christmas, because this year was ALL about Ashton.  I thought I'd feel bad for him having a birthday so close to Christmas and that he would get looked over.  Boy was I wrong (at least for now) his birthday and Christmas all just sort of blended together this year.  He kept getting more and more presents leading up to Christmas day, which came with even more presents.  He sure is a spoiled and loved little boy.  
Our trip to Florida was supposed to be part of our family Christmas present so we tried to keep things more simple.  I decided to do a count down to Christmas, everyday Ashton and Jason had to find a piece to the paper chain which either told us what activity we were doing or had a treat attached to it.  We were able to do so many fun things: Festival of Trees, decorate cookies, setting up our Christmas tree, visiting santa from a far away safe distance, Dickens Christmas Festival, arts and crafts,  Christmas lights, watch Christmas movies, read books, drink hot chocolate, donate presents, date night for Mom and Dad, etc.  Ashton got his own nativity set to play with on one of the days, I loved his version of how it all happened.  Wiseman in palm trees and donkeys on roofs.  
The Millward Christmas party was also one of our activities.  Ashton won a goldfish at the White Elephant, and by won I mean he cried until he got it.  He has since named it (tongue click) ya know like the sound your tongue makes when you click it against the roof of your mouth... no idea where he came up with that.
But he really loves his little fish.  
Santa also joined the party.
Unfortunately Jason had to work lots of nights and weekends, we have kind of switched places in that aspect.  Jason had to work on Christmas so Christmas Eve we headed to the Beckstrand's to drop off presents since we wouldn't be there for the gift exchange the next day.  Ashton got to open his presents early while we were there, which led to all of us opening our presents, and then when we got home we ended up opening all of our presents there as well.  Jason spoiled me and I really got every single thing I had hinted/asked for. 
Originally I was pretty sad that Jason had to work Christmas, however, Christmas turned out beyond perfect.  We got to spend some one on one time with the Beckstrands the night before and then Christmas morning Ashton excitedly woke up to see what Santa had brought him.  He had asked for trains or "hoo-hoooos" as he calls them.  He knew Santa would bring them and was beyond excited for this.  
Instead of needing to rush off to families houses we just enjoyed the time and played while Jason went to work.  That afternoon we headed up to Morgan to spend the rest of the day with the Snyders.  We got to Skype with Stephanie, eat yummy food and Ashton got all the attention being the only grandchild.   Grandma's house has a great marble set that he loves to play with, since we will be moving Grandma got him one of his very own.  He was super excited over all of the candy that came in the stockings too.  
I never got my "formal" Christmas picture with us all dressed up. But we did get our usual Christmas jammies shot. :)


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Off the charts

Ashton's doctor said he was actually off the charts for height now.  Good thing he already loves basketball so much.  Oh and naps, on the couch.  
It was a long week of partying for this birthday boy...
 2 year stats
Weight: 29lbs. 12oz. = 71st percentile
Height: 38" = 99th percentile 
(I think they just needed to give me a number)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Big TWO

Birthday time again.  I can't believe another year has flown by.  I'm so proud of all of your achievements this past year buddy! From walking, to jumping on the trampoline, to flying down the street on your bike.  You've got an amazingly good arm and love anything to do with balls, cars, trains, airplanes, trucks, helicopters, motorcycles, firetrucks, and you are an avid stuffed animal lover.  You take such great care of all of your stuffed animals and love every single one of them and like to make sure that we love them all too.  You are getting more and more words by the day and I know you are working hard on this whole talking thing.  You are so much fun to be around and I feel so blessed and lucky to be your Mom.
This is right after your two year check up, buying some party supplies.  Sucker in one hand and a cookie in the other

I didn't have the ambition/energy to do a real party for you this year (sorry dude, but lets be honest you won't remember it anyways).  You still had quite the good birthday though I think.  
The day before your birthday your Grandma and Grandpa Snyder drove up and brought you a new big boy bed! Twin size!  Grandma took you to the store and let you pick out any toy you wanted, you found an awesome motorcycle that you love. We also celebrated with Panda Express and Root Beer Floats at our house. 

On the 27th Dad had to work so it was just the two of us.  We met up with your buddies Kayson and Landon Reynolds and had lunch at McDonalds and played at the play place.  Then we went home and watched Planes together like three times.  
The next day, Thanksgiving, was your day! We took down your crib, said goodbye to your binky and got your new room all set up! Grandma Beckstrand wanted to do a little birthday for you while we were there for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I should have known a "little birthday" = a BIG Ashton celebration when it comes to Beckstrand parties.  There were balloons and decorations and tractors and special Ashton things everywhere!  You got spoiled with so many presents and there was even a pinata in the shape of a space shuttle, which you thought was absolutely awesome until everyone started hitting it.  You took a few good swings at it but got pretty emotional when the bigger kids started breaking it.  Sorry bud, you will soon learn that pinata's are awesome and they are even more awesome when they get broken!
I made pumpkin dessert for your birthday cake (it was Thanksgiving after all) and you did a stellar job at blowing out the candles.  
video
We practiced a lot.  I'm not sure you fully understood what all this meant but you knew you would be 2 once you blew those candles out.  I was very proud of you for being so brave and doing it all by your self.
Mom and Dad love you so much Ashton.  Two years has gone by so quickly.  Wish I could slow it down while you still love to snuggle with me and need me to kiss any owie you might receive and hold your ears when things are to loud and you're scared.  Everything about you is everything I've ever wanted.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Puppy

  
Just like last year Halloween is still my favorite.  This year though Ash got to pick out his costume.  He chose to be a dog.  Which is fitting because sometimes I worry he really thinks he is a dog.  Anytime he gets embarrassed, scared, or overly excited he *poof* goes into puppy mode licking and everything. It's hilarious actually.

I had really high hopes for this year since we had such a blast last year.  At first I felt like everything was falling apart since all of the plans and activities I had wanted to take him to ended up with conflicts.  However, in the end, I was just as crazy excited as Ashton was Halloween night and couldn't keep from smiling.  
We did some pre-trick-or-treating at Station Park in Farmington with the Larsons the weekend before.  Then Halloween day we went over to the Reynolds for yummy soup and breadsticks before heading out the door with the boys.  Growing up in Washington we didn't trick-or-treat much, we did the trunk-or-treat thing and loved it, but we didn't go to too many houses.  I thought we would make it down one street, boy was I wrong!  We did the entire neighborhood.  
This kid got so loaded up, people give out sodas and bags of chips, toys, and king size candy this part of town (perks of living in a basement apartment in the fancy neighborhood).  Ashton was a little hesitant the first few houses, but was running everywhere by the end.  His costume had a tail on it that would wag when he ran, I couldn't stop laughing watching him.  It was past 9:00pm when we got him home, we were definitely the only parents with little little kids out by that time.
I tried hard to get a picture of all three boys looking at one time, but the sugar had already gotten to them and it wasn't happening.  Elmo, Race Car Driver, and Dog.
We couldn't get Ashton to say "trick or treat" instead he would run up and "woof" at them.  
Which usually resulted in him getting multiple pieces of candy because people thought it was so cute.  
Four days later and he still had a little stash, which is surprising for Ash, he is quite the sugar monster and LOVES his candy (almost as much as his mom does).  I really think Halloween should come twice a year right? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Motorcycle

While I've never really cared much about motorcycles or had much of a desire to ride one (my mom instilled in me at a very young age that they are death machines) I'm not going to lie I can now say I wouldn't mind owning one, way way way down the road.  Like maybe mid-life crisis time.  Jason use to have a motorcycle before his mission and has always talked about wanting another one.  We've also talked about renting them in the past.  So as little surprise I rented Jason a motorcycle for the day.  He of course figured the surprise out way before I could give it to him, but hopefully he was still excited by the time the day came around.  
I wanted to go when the leaves were changing because I thought it would be fun and scenic, it was gorgeous but I definitely didn't take into account how cold it could be in the fall on a bike.  Luckily the bike Jason picked out had heated seats.  We dropped Ashton off at my parents house and headed to Park City.  Morgan to Park City is all canyon and mountains, so pretty. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants in PC, Szechwan, and enjoyed just having the two of us at a restaurant together.  We took a "scenic route" back to Morgan which had some incredible look outs and was just all around breath taking.  It was such a fun day date.  Always nice to have an excuse to hold on to Jason too. 
Ashton is his fathers son and also really loves motorcycles and thought it was a pretty cool toy. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fun. Florida. Family.

Before sending Steph off on her mission we squeezed in one last BIG family va-kay.  Kayli was missed since she was nannying in Europe but Grandma Liedtke took her spot instead. :)
I'd never been to Florida before and was very excited for the trip and of course got completely obsessed with planning it.  Anything you needed to know, I knew.  Especially when it came to Universal Studios, I had our rides mapped out perfectly.  We went Saturday to Saturday and I really feel like we accomplished everything!  We got to stay with my Grandma's brother which was a perfect location, a quick 10-15 minute drive to the parks so we could swing home for naps easily with Ashton.
-Saturday was all traveling, it took a family of 10 travelers 4 different flights all with different arrivals to get there.  Lots of driving to and from the airport for my Dad, who got there first, to pick us all up.
-Sunday we went to church, saw the temple, had a great lunch with new cousins that we got to meet for the first time, relaxed, and explored the Disney Boardwalk.  Disney World wasn't on our list of things to do, but we got a little taste in driving through the park and walking the boardwalk shops.
Ashton especially liked exploring the Rainforest Cafe, don't worry Dude it's on my list of places to take you to eat someday.
-Monday we drove out to the Kennedy Space Center, this was way cooler than I thought it would be.  This was an Eric and Jason pick, everyone else was just along for the ride but I think at the end of it we all agreed it was really cool.  Something I wouldn't mind going back to when Ashton is older and actually lets me look at things.  
After Kennedy we went to a wildlife preserve and drove/walked around.  We saw two alligators which absolutely terrify me.  Seeing them in the wild was really cool but that is one major reason why I will never live in Florida and have had several nightmares since.  We drove out to Cocoa Beach and the boys, I mean men, went in for an evening dip.  We had originally planned to stop by a different beach, but the road we were going to take to get there was closed, we found out that night that there had been a shark attack at that beach.  So glad we didn't end up there.
-Tuesday was Universal Day! This was our big day for the trip, the one thing we all decided on doing: Harry Potter World.  Like I said before I researched this place front and back.  We timed everything just right and hardly ever waited in line for anything.  My favorite ride was probably the Amazing Spider Man.  Harry Potter did not disappoint, and we had many many rounds of butter beer.  Ashton would have been happiest had we stayed in Seuss Land the whole time.  I thought he would be afraid of all the big roller coasters because of the loud noises, but he was more upset over the fact that he couldn't go on them.  His favorite ride was the Cat in the Hat which we rode numerous times.
  -Wednesday we rented some boats and got taken out on a manatee tour.  I've always loved manatee's for whatever reason and was so excited to be able to see them in the wild.  It wasn't the right season for them but we still got to see and snorkel with a few different ones including a mom and calf.  We also got to touch one of them, they liked Jayden the most.  Again Ashton just really wanted to get in on the action.  The boat it self was a lot of fun too and they took us by this little island that had monkeys on it, Ashton especially loved that.
The guy in the very back with his hands up was one of our crazy tour guides.
-Thursday was another top of my list day... SeaWorld.  I had been dreaming about taking Ash to SeaWorld since before he was born.  I've always loved Sea World and thought it was just magical.  This was definitely more exciting for Ashton too since there was more to look at and places to run around.  We rode the Manta roller coaster, the only reason I'm documenting this is because I think it was one of the coolest rides I have ever been on.  More of an experience than a ride, like you were really flying.  We were only able to make it to one of the shows, which I was super sad about since I LOVE all the shows.  But did I mention that it rained at some point in the day, every single day, in Florida?  The rain storm hit in the afternoon on this day and they had to cancel the shows because of the lightening.  We waited until the park closed seeing if the rain would stop so they would do the big main Shamu show but it never did.  By the time we decided to make a run for it to our car the lightening was hitting so close that both Stephanie and I's hair was standing straight up.
-Friday was our last day, we headed back out to Cocoa Beach and rented surf boards, boogie boards, and a beach cruiser.  Which is incredibly fun by the way.  Who knew riding a bike on the beach could be so awesome!  Jayden and I were both pretty spooked with sharks, and some of the boys saw a sting ray in the water.  But we all survived.  We had some pretty good waves and we all felt pretty cool out on surfboards, even though I'm pretty sure we all looked awkward.  Ashton was not thrilled about the beach at first, the sand was to weird for him I think.  However, with a little help from Dad he ended up loving it.  Again he just got upset that he couldn't participate in everything, and kept wanting to go way out into the ocean.
-Saturday we were all off on different flights again headed home.  
The entire trip was so much fun.  Not relaxing one bit, but a ton of fun none the less.  Traveling with Ashton was a lot harder than I ever expected it to be.  Throwing the kid off schedule and putting him in new environments constantly definitely took a toll on the poor kid.  I think he did great considering how much was going on around him.  He got his binky a heck of a lot more than we ever allow at home and that was definitely a life saver.  In talking with my Mom on the trip I now understood why my Dad would take us older kids out on trips while my Mom stayed home with the youngest ones.  It's just exhausting!  I don't regret going on the trip one bit though and I am so glad we got to spend some good quality time withe everyone before Stephanie leaves and our family continues to change and grow up.  I'm grateful that my Dad has always encouraged us to go on big family outings like these and to keep creating such fun memories.  I'm also glad that even though we're married my Dad still allows us to tag along too.
Ashton really was a superstar traveller. Both our flights to and from Florida had horrible layovers and we were traveling for 10+ hours each way.  He was so excited about the plane ride, we'd been talking and hyping it up for a long time before we left.  The first flight out of SLC he literally ran onto the plane he was so excited. I had to throw my ticket to Jason to run after him.  Now every time he sees a plane he talks about his plane ride and how he went "up, up, up" "down, down, down".

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Seven Peaks

We did the oh so amazing Pass of all Passes again this year.  Seven Peaks was so much fun with Ashton.  The kid loves to swim, especially after swimming lessons he lost all fear and just went nuts!  I'm always sad when the season is over and we can't go anymore.  
 One of his and mine favorite things is the people watching.  We are quiet good at it too.  
Jason was able to join us a few times, we also met up with my family and the Larsons.  
And we had a few play dates too.  Check out this handsome trio...
Ashton (21 months) Gage (2 years) Bennet (22 months)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Park City take 2

I had so much fun in Park City earlier this summer that all I wanted for my birthday was to go back.  It wasn't quite the same relaxing trip, but it was an adventure for sure.  Stephanie and Dallin came up on my b-day to watch Ashton and Jason and I headed to PC.  Since my birthday was on a Sunday things were pretty quite.  Jase got us a ton of snacks and treats and we spent the evening being lazy and relaxing at the hotel. 
This picture about sums up the rest of the trip.  

We woke up the next morning and headed for Park City Mountain Resort where we rode our bikes up (no lifts for us) before heading down, which is always the best part.  I about died, as usual.  But loved the scenery and the ride back down (as usual).  Next we headed for Jordanelle where we picked up some paddle boards and spent a few hours out on the lake.  My parents had gotten Jason and I gift certificates for our birthdays and we were excited to try our hand at it.

Looking back we should have done it opposite, adventure day then relaxing night... Rookie mistake. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Swimming Lessons

I'd been dying to do swimming lessons with Ash since he was born.  After working at Goldfish I just loved the idea of these little babes being able to swim so early.

I thought I'd be able to teach him on my own, and he did pretty good last summer.  This summer though he was just too distracted, and trying to get him to do anything at the busy public pools wasn't happening.  So I decided to sign him up for swim lessons in Pleasant Grove.

I tried going in with ultra low expectations, but I was still disappointed.  Goldfish really just raised the bar as far as what I expected out of a swim class.  
Ashton still had fun though, and even though he wasn't the swimming master I had hoped, by the end of classes he was incredibly brave and was going down the big tunnel slides and jumping in all by him self.  
Plus we got to spend some quality pool time together.  Even Jason took him to one of the classes.  He sure doesn't like listening to directions, but cried every time class was over.
Love you little fish.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Morgan

My family moved to Morgan the summer I was nannying in New York.  They've been in the same house now for 8 years.  This is a huge record for our family!  They have been wanting to build a home in Morgan ever since they moved there.  Now it is finally happening! My parents are incredibly hard workers and have done a lot of the work on their own.  I know my brothers have spent countless hours up there too.  We've been able to go a handful of times, but I feel bad we haven't been around to help more.  
Ashton is a great electrician now if anyone needs help with anything.  He is also great at playing in the dirt and throwing rocks.
They built their new home on the land they owned behind their old house and are now renting the old home out.  The first time we visited them in their new home Ashton kept wanting to go to the other house.  Stephanie took him back and said he brought her into every room of the house and would just shake his head and was really sad cause it was all empty.  She said he looked heartbroken and confused.  When they came back to the new house though he discovered the secret toy room that my Mom set up just for him and he hasn't asked to go back to the old house since. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July in the Sun

Ashton and I have been spending a lot of time this summer at this man made lake we discovered in Pleasant Grove.  It may be more of a pond, but we like to say lake.  I was really excited to be able to show Jason our new favorite place so we spent the morning of the 4th playing on the beach and in the water.  That night we met up with Auntie Stephanie and had third row tickets to the Bee's game (thanks for the tickets Dad!).  We're trying to squeeze in as much time with Ashton's favorite person before she leaves on her mission.  The Bee's really put on an awesome firework show too.  I was quite impressed and so was Ashton as long as we were holding him tight and plugging his ears.
Love the 4th of July!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fathers and Sons

Ashton went to his first fathers and sons campout with Jason and Grandpa Beckstrand this summer.  I was pretty skeptical on how well it was going to go, but apparently the kid had a blast, till it was time to go to bed and Jason ended up bringing him home at 1 in the morning.  Good try buddy, better luck next year.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19th

I had a special surprise party planned for Jason's birthday this year.  However, with some medical stuff going on with his parents I decided to cancel it and go to Plan B... Family Pictures.  Jason's favorite thing in the world!
 Actually Kayli was coming into town from nannying in Luxembourg and it would be the last time we were all together before Stephanie left on her mission.  We went for the quick and cheap Target option. That way if they didn't turn out, no worries.  The day before family pictures Ashton was running out side and fell. hard.  His poor nose.  I couldn't believe the timing of it.  Again, grateful it was just Target.  
We worked really hard on practicing saying "cheese" and smiling for weeks.  He still refuses though.
After pictures I had my Dad suggest that we go to Dairy Queen for ice cream.  When we got there all of Jason's family was there as well and I had arranged for Jason's favorite DQ ice cream cake to be ready for us. 
 It was a small surprise, but still a surprise non the less (something I can't pull off well with Jason).  Love you Jase!  Happy Birthday and thanks for being such a good sport!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

1.5 and lovin it

 We bought this fancy car seat because it is suppose to be more comfortable to do rear facing till two years old.  However, someone is just too long to be rear facing now.
Plus I love looking in the rear view mirror and seeing this big boy.  
Always crackin me up. 
18 month stats
Weight: 28lbs 5oz. = 79%
Length: 35.5" = 99%
Head Circ.: 48.2cm = 62%

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mission Accomplished


After finals and graduation Jason's next big task was the MCAT.  He'd been preparing for this for a couple years now.  It was kind of a big deal, ya know.  I was so proud of how hard he studied and he did so amazing on all of his practice tests.  Even scoring perfect scores on some of them!  He was taking an MCAT prep course which told him to have something to look forward to at the end of the test.  Something that you could put on your radar as your reward at the end of the finish line.  

So I surprised him with a getaway to Park City.  (It was also Mother's Day so I was kind of treating myself a little too). 

He took the test Saturday and we left after church the next day.  This was our real first "trip" with Ashton, other than the family reunion/camping or sleeping at grandparents houses which so far hadn't gone over well.  I was a little hesitant to see how Ashton would do away from home.  He was a blast though.  The trip alone was a lot of fun but having Ashton along made it that much more exciting.  
We stayed at the Sundial Lodge in Park City with great views making us really feel like we were away from it all.  Checking into our room Ashton thought it was so cool, all the new things to check out, he probably could have stayed and played in the room that whole first day. Instead we took him swimming in the pool which he of course loved until he got frustrated that he couldn't do it on his own.  Then we went and explored.  We went to a park that has a bunch of art and cool instruments made out of recycled materials.  We played and walked along the river/stream and really just enjoyed being together with out any thought of what we needed to do or accomplish the next day.  
That night we ate yummy treats in bed, cuddled and watched movies together.  The next morning we woke up and had breakfast in bed, AKA bagels. I taught Ashton the cool way to eat bagels (finger through the middle, like a ring) and he is now obsessed with them.  We went to the Olympic Park and hit up the outlets before finishing the day off with yummy food at Loco Lizard.  We scored a spot outside and I was in heaven with my boys just enjoying all this time and attention we were getting from Jason.  We didn't work or study or look at our phones and it was a much much needed break and re-boost for all of us. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Class of 2013

Guess who graduated...
This guy and we couldn't be more proud.
It's such a big deal they make a two day event out of it at BYU

Thanks to everyone for all of the love and support that made this possible.  We were lucky to have all of our parents come join us.  Grandpa Snyder spent two days playing with Ashton around campus to make sure that I didn't miss out on any of Jason's shinning moments.
B.S. in Neurosience in three years.  Pretty impressive if I do say so my self.
Now on to the MCAT.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

and I just smiled...

Tonight Ashton and I had another late night dinner consisting of BL take out followed by ice cream on the couch, right out of the carton.  Catch Me If You Can came on and we snuggled up and watched it till he fell asleep.  I knew I had seen the movie before, when it first came out, with some old boyfriend of sorts.  I looked down at my little man snuggled up on my lap and I just smiled... I wouldn't trade this boyfriend of mine in or moments like these for anything.