Monday, December 30, 2013

1 Year Old: Eli

He's technically not a baby anymore!  At his 1-year doctor appointment he was 30 inches long and 23 pounds, both in the 75th percentile!  That's incredible, considering his past markings.  He is our little growing boy!  He is doing great and is super healthy, and I'm so glad!

Some notable things he's up to:

  • Signs "please" -- it's adorable
  • Loves doors -- open, close, open, close, open, close....
  • Still loves lights, and points to them often
  • Speaking of pointing, he has learned to point where he wants to go or what he wants and someone will take him there or give it to him
  • Drinking normal milk!  He loves it.
  • Can stand up from the floor without help!  He sticks his butt up in the air and stands from there.  It's super cute.
  • Clapping!  All by himself.
  • Waves "hi" and "bye"
  • Pro at holding his bottle, and tilting it up so he gets everything that's in it
  • Wants to stand all the time -- including bath time!
  • Puts toys and anything he can hold over the baby gate at our hallway.  He must be training for basketball!
  • Smiles when he sees the flash of a camera!
  • Looooooves his grandpas, and Uncle Weslin --- because he knows they will take him to see whatever he wants to see
  • Has a fascination with exit signs!  If there is one around he can find it.  And he wants to see it!
  • He knows: 
    • exit sign
    • helicopter
    • daddy
    • mommy
    • grandma/grammy
    • grandpa
    • mustache
    • come here
    • give/bring it to (me or someone else)
    • go get (daddy)
    • outside
    • please
    • milk
    • dance
    • bite
    • (and more I'm sure that I didn't think of...)

I can't believe it's been a whole year!  I love my little baby-turned-toddler, oh so fast!

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Family Recap

This year was an eventful one for us! 
Adam has been continuing his schooling at the University of Arizona in the 5-year Architecture program.  He will be graduating in May of 2015.  It seems so far away but at the same time it’s creeping up on us!  Only 3 more semesters to go!  Adam was called in our church ward as the Ward Mission Leader in May, and continues to evolve his love of guns and sports.
Kami is still working in the mortgage business and is blessed to be able to do the majority of her responsibilities from home.  She also continues to dance, mostly ballet, at a local dance studio.  Kami was called in our church ward as the Primary Music Leader (children’s music leader) at the end of September, and quickly grew to love it.  She spends her time trying to be a good wife and mom, while also fulfilling church responsibilities and developing some of her many interests.
Our love and joy, Eli, was born right at the end of 2012, and we have loved every minute with him.  It has been a magical and humbling and wonderful adventure! 
When Eli was 3 and a half months old (in the middle of March) we took him, at the suggestion of our pediatrician, to see a pediatric plastic surgeon for an evaluation.  He told us right away that Eli had a condition called Craniosynostosis on the right side of his head.  The right suture in Eli’s skull had been fused or closed prematurely and was causing his skull to grow disproportionately.  The doctor told us this was not something a helmet could fix and that he would need surgery to correct it.  Eli had his surgery two months later when he was 5 and a half months old (in the middle of June).  The plastic surgeon and neurosurgeon team took about 4 hours in the operating room and we stayed in the hospital for 5 days.  Eli was swollen for a while, but he came out of surgery with only a strip of moisturized gauze over his zig-zag scar from ear to ear across the top of his head.  And when we left the hospital he had no bandages or restrictions, except to not be underwater for a week or two.  He did so great!  He recovered quickly and after a few weeks he was back to his normal, wiggly self.  We are glad this experience is behind us, but we’re sure Eli will have fun showing off and bragging about his scar and 86+ stitches!
Eli is *just about one year old* and FULL of personality!  He is so smart!  He started walking unassisted at the end of November, and is cruising all over the place in all the many ways he knows how, and gets into everything.  He has been taking swim lessons throughout the year, which he loves!  He learned to hold us breath to go under water after only a few months.  And he’s eating great all kinds of “solid” foods, and he has 3 teeth so far.  He likes books, swimming, playing on the piano, exploring, playing peek-a-boo, being outside, the bathroom (and baths), and he loves when Daddy comes home!  We love it when he giggles, smiles, walks and runs around, babbles and squeals, gives us hugs and kisses, and so many more things!  We love our little miracle!
May your Christmas season be filled with love and family, and peace and joy through He who makes it possible.  And we hope 2014 brings you and your family great happiness and adventure!
With love,
Adam, Kami & Eli
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
 to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:1 1, 14

Monday, December 2, 2013

11 Months! (Baby Eli)

Eli is 11 months old already!  I say this every month but I just can't believe how the time flies.  But at the same time it's going by at a perfect rate.  I love our silly little boy!  Some things he's up to:
  • He loves to close doors, and he's figured out how to open them too.  Doors, cupboards, drawers, anything with knobs!
  • Speaking of doors, he loves to go outside, and since Daddy takes him out the front door sometimes, most days if not all he plays over by the front door and slaps it because he knows it can open and that outside is on the other side.  Today I saw him putting his fingers in the crack to try to open it.  He's so smart!
  • Also on that note, he likes to slap the windows too.  He plays a lot by the back door which is a sliding glass door (and slaps it) and constantly rolls over on his changing table to slap the window that is right by it.  Sometimes Daddy takes him to the window that faces the street to watch cars go by and he slaps it too.  He likes to go outside and wants to be out there!
  • He loves to go over to the piano and reach up and press down on a few of the notes he can reach with one or each hand.  It especially attracts his attention when I'm playing.  It's so cute and so fun!  I love seeing him reach up and play and hear the "dink dink dink" of his piano playing.
  • He's learning the art of fake crying!  We're trying to teach him that he doesn't need to cry when he wants something...
  • Randomly this month he started giggling like crazy when we would put him in his crib at night along with our wrapping in a blanket and goodnight song rituals.  He immediately starts to roll over so he can reach to the side of the crib to stand up!  It also makes him laugh when we pin him down on his back.  He thinks it's funny!  What a silly kid!  We loved when he would smile when we started singing our goodnight song, but now he just tries to get up like it's a game!
  • Literally the first thing he does when we put him down for bed or for a nap is get up.  He instantly rolls over, grabs the side of the crib and stands up.
  • He LOVES the bath!  Still!  He is the most talkative when the bath is turned on.  He gets so excited!  He squeals and babbles and wants to run/crawl/whatever quickly over to the tub and play in it.
  • We've been going to a swim class still.  He's doing awesome and loves it.  He goes under water like a champ!
  • He's also a champ at eating solids!  He eats a variety of foods, even some to chew.  He's doing great!  He even had (a lot of) Thanksgiving dinner!  That was fun.
  • And he's gotten pretty good at picking things up and put them in his mouth to eat.  He still drops some on occasion, but he's improved a lot!  We started him with puff snacks, but he's even eating little squares of cheese now!
  • He finally caught on to blowing bubbles in swim class (and does it! Sometimes I can see actual bubbles).
  • I think because of that he's discovered new noises he can make with his mouth, namely a motorboat sound (or farting sound).  He does that one a lot.  He did it for like a week straight. 
  • He also makes a blowing noise by blowing his bottom lip out....  It's cute.
  • And he makes a sort of popping noise with his lips.  That one he does a lot recently.  It's sort of his "go-to" noise.
  • His also "go-to" noise is a clicking sound, with his tongue on the top of the inside of his mouth.  Kind of like a "tisk-tisk" noise?
  • He says "momomom" a lot lately!!  He started doing it again and does it frequently.  We think he actually means "Mom" when he says it...  It just seems like he says it when he wants my attention.  Some of the time at least!
  • He really likes playing peek-a-boo.  It makes him giggle a ton!  It's super cute that he plays with us...  A couple times he has walked out from behind something and I'll react and he'll go back behind it (the couch, door frame, wall) and then peek back around with a smile when I react again...  So fun!
  • We have a couple normal sized plastic pumpkins and Eli loves to play with them.  He crawls over to one and pushes it across the floor and crawls after it and does it again.
  • He loves to be thrown in the air by Daddy!  Well, by Mommy too but Mommy doesn't do it very often because I'm not very strong and he's getting heavy!  Eli will smile and giggle and laugh in the air when Daddy throws him up!  It's so so so cute!
  • The other day I sneezed next to Eli and he laughed so hard!  So I proceeded to do a series of fake sneezes, all of which he thought was hysterical and laughed so hard at!  So funny!
  • He likes to play the chase game.  It's cute how he'll be walking along the coffee table and sometimes when we're behind him he'll look back at us to see if we're there or coming and I'll say "I'm gonna get you!" and he'll squeal and run away, and look back, and squeal while he runs down the table, etc.
  • He has been walking along ALL of our walls.  He can pretty much walk all the way around our living room (and down the hall if we let him!).
  • Tables don't stop him because he has learned how to duck. 
  • We bought a walker/activity toy thing, which he did NOT want to walk with the first time we showed it to him (he lifted his legs up like a sitting position while Adam held him in place... so funny!).  But a week or two later he was going to it on his own and walking with it by himself!  It was so cute!!  He would smile and giggle because he was so proud of himself and he was so happy.  And he did it all himself, I only helped him steer.
  • We also had been working with him this month on walking while holding only one hand of ours.  He started doing really well!
  • And we even finally got him to stand unassisted!
  • But the BIG NEWS is that HE STARTED WALKING!!!  He took his first steady step last week and since then he has gotten the hang of it and has been walking around everywhere!  He's still learning and nervous sometimes, but he's doing so awesome and is pretty brave!
  • He has CUTE little cheeks and I just want to kiss them all day!
  • I love love love hearing the pitter patter of his feet when he walks on hard surfaces!!!!
  • He still fits into 6 month clothes.  But we have some 12 month that he also wears.
  • He's getting the hang of brushing teeth!  When I take him to brush his teeth he opens his mouth for me and even doesn't bite down on the toothbrush long enough for me to do a quick soft scrape of all his gums and tongue.
  • When he wakes up from a nap we find him standing in his crib (sometimes crying, so sad!) and when I walk over to him he wraps his arms around me!  He gives us hugs a lot, it's so sweet!
  • He's still sleeping through the night.  It's great.  And he's having two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  They seem to be getting shorter maybe...  But he definitely needs those two naps still.
  • His new trick is pointing!  He points at Mommy and at Daddy and at lights...  Sometimes he'll point and then wave.  It's so cute!
  • He also makes this really cute cheesy face.  He lifts his chin and squints his eyes and shows his teeth.  We love it!
  • Another new trick is getting down from the couch!  He somehow knows how to go backwards, feet first and on his tummy, to get down.  It's awesome.  He's awesome!

Eli is growing up so fast!  I'm loving every new milestone and trick and thing that makes him laugh and happy...  It's so fun watching him learn and explore and try to figure things out and see what he's interested in.  He's growing up and we love him to pieces!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Eli's 9 Month Dr Appt Results

Eli had his 9 month appointment with the pediatrician this morning.  He's doing great!  It took a little while but he is bulking up and growing like crazy.  And he's perfectly on time with all his developments (something I had worried about prior to his surgery 3 months ago).  :)  According to the doctor's office Eli is:

19.8 pounds - 33-34%
28.3 inches - 47%

WOW!  Considering he was down to the 0% in weight and under 20% in height, that's awesome!

And he's growing lots of hair!  At least lots more than he used to have.  ;)

LOVE this kid!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Primary Music Leader

 I was just called to be the new Primary Music Leader.  (Primary is the children's Sunday School, ages 3-11)  I've had a crazy mix of emotions about this new adventure, but after having a week to process it and let go of my previous calling as a youth Sunday School teacher I'm feeling excited!  Children are so forgiving, way more than adults (but not that adults aren't).  The last music leader moved out of the ward, but thankfully stuck around to finish out the Primary Program.  I'm glad I get to start with a clean slate!

I rarely attended Primary growing up, but our first calling after Adam and I got married was to teach a Primary class.  We did that for a year, and I had an awesome music leader model!  She was called into that calling right after we moved in, and she did a GREAT job, so I can too, right?  Even with my lack of Primary attendance I still know a bunch of the Primary songs, but I'll definitely be learning more!

I'm taking solace in the fact that I have an extra week to prepare because General Conference is this next weekend, and I also got to sit in during Primary last Sunday and observed.  We have an awesome Primary Presidency, I'm looking forward to learning from them!  And out stake is having their annual auxiliary training this month.  I couldn't have been called to this new position at a better time!

I'm looking forward to all the fun things I'm going to get to do with the children in our ward.  I hope I can learn all their names quickly!  We've only been in the ward for a year and we're still trying to learn who everyone is.  But I hope they will be able to learn through the music about how Heavenly Father loves them, that Jesus Christ is their Savior, that we need to be good so we can be worthy to have the Holy Ghost with us, and that we can be happy by living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I hope I will be able to inspire them and invite the Spirit so they can feel the love our Father in Heaven has for them and learn by the Spirit, so they can feel real happiness!

I'm humbled by this call to serve, and I'm grateful for this opportunity.  I know I will grow right along with these amazing children.

Adam pointed out how fun it will be for Eli when he gets to Primary for his mom to be the music leader.  That's only in about 2 years, so it's possible!  In my married life I have yet to have a calling for over a year.  But we're not going anywhere for a while so maybe this will be the one to set the new record!

P.S. (10:45pm)

I got set apart tonight.  Bishop Alexander talked to us for a few minutes before.  It's his opinion that the music in Primary is one of the most important things.  He started to get choked up when he told me they (the bishopric) are grateful that I am in the ward (we just moved in last year).  And he said they felt strongly that I should be the one to take this place.  I don't know how deep this planning has been on Heavenly Father's part, if this is one reason why we were drawn to buy a house in this location (the past music leader just bought a house out of the ward), or maybe every good choice we've made has just led to more blessings...

The main points in Bishop's blessing tonight were:
  • put family first
  • be organized
  • you've been blessed with talents to bless others
I definitely received some simple yet profound answers to recent prayers and some needed guidance.  I'm grateful for the priesthood and for those who serve under it's direction, and under the direction of Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He lives!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

9 Months! (Baby Eli)

Here we are at 9 months!!!  Eli has been outside of my tummy for as long as he was inside...  Approximately.  It goes by so fast!  It's so crazy.  I know I say that every month, but it's always so true!  Here's what he's been up to in the last month:

  • Sitting up.  He sits unsupported like a champ!  He has learned how to balance while sitting.  He used to start falling and then fall, but now he starts falling and corrects himself.  He still falls over sometimes though.  Usually when he's distracted by playing with something or reaching for something.
  • Pulling up/Standing.  He always wants to be standing!  He even tries to stand up in the bath tub, constantly!  He loooooves to be standing.  And he's so smart -- He'll be sitting next to us and will turn around and grab our hands and start pulling himself up when he wants to stand.  :)  It's hard to get things done sometimes because he only wants to be standing, for which he needs supervision of course.  :)  In the last couple days have witnessed him pull himself all the way up from sitting to standing all by himself, twice!!
  • Walking.  He loooooves to walk too!  He'll walk around and around the coffee table.  He'll walk around one of our cushion chairs.  And he's brave -- He'll be walking across the coffee table and then turn around and grab onto the couch behind him, or one of us or something.  He'll even let go of us when we're supporting him while he's walking to grab something else.  We like to hold each of his hands and get him to walk places -- to Mommy, to Daddy, to his room...  It's fun, and he's gotten really good at it!  
  • Slapping.  And he'll slap things too.  It's so cute!  Walk, walk, slap, slap, slap, walk, walk...  He does that in his crib with the changing table that's attached, he does it on the piano, he slaps the entertainment center when he crawls up to it, and the coffee table of course.  And Eli will give Adam high-five's too.  :)
  • Bouncing.  He bounces a lot in his exersaucer and when we're holding him.  He definitely thinks it's fun!
  • 2 naps a day.  He's on a flexible schedule, has been for a couple months now, and it's awesome.  So much better than the 2 hours on, 2 hours off thing I tried doing for a while (when he was younger).  I'm glad he is able to handle this routine, it's really helpful for me!  He gets up at ~7am, has a nap at ~10am and ~3pm, and goes to bed at ~7:30pm.  And he sleeps through the night!  He's a champ.  For reals.
  • Loves bath time!  He LOOOOOVES the bath!  The bathroom is right across from his room, and every time he sees it he kicks and flaps his arms and gets really excited!  When he's sad I'll take him into the bathroom and he is instantly happy.  But when I turn on the water to start the bath, he goes crazy!!  And squeals!  And I've been letting him stand next to the tub while it fills up for fun.  He loves it.
  • Crawling.  Just in the last week or two Eli has finally been making forward progress with crawling!!  He got really good at holding himself up on his hands, and then turning himself around, and then he would reach out for things and then would end up rolling over.  He used to roll everywhere and it was so cute.  But he's crawling now!  And it's so cute too!  We're so proud of him!  He does a half-army crawl thing.  He army crawls with his left arm (bent, using his elbow to push himself), and reaches out with his right hand, with his tummy dragging on the floor.  But I think he'll be walking unsupported before he starts hands and knees crawling.  Guess we'll see!
  • Poop.  Haha, just need to mention that he has regular bowel movements pretty much at the same time every day -- Usually right before or after his morning nap.  It's helpful to know!
  • Tongue. He started feeling around his mouth with his tongue lately, it's cute watching him try to learn how to use it.
  • Netflix.  He gets really excited when the red Netflix loading screen comes on the tv.
  • Paper/Books.  He loves paper!  He will endlessly try to get a hold of anything with paper in it.  Hymn books at church or on the piano, books when we read to him, any paper we ever are holding near him...  I've been letting him play with one of his baby books (one of those with the stiff cardboard pages) lately and he loves it, he'll just play and play and play with it.
  • Mirrors.  He still has fun looking at himself and Mommy and Daddy in the mirror.
  • Head turn.  When he meets new people or when people talk to him who he doesn't recognize, he cocks his head to the side like he's shy and/or trying to figure them out first before he gets too friendly.  It's silly, but that's his thing!
  • Friendly/Easy going.  He's really easy going and doesn't mind being passed around to other people.  He's friendly with anyone and just likes to play!
  • Social.  He's become aware of other "little people" -- It's cute and fun watching him interact with other kids, which he doesn't get to do a lot of.  I have realized this month that it's time to get him out and socializing!
  • Talking/Squealing.  He is exploring all the different sounds he can make.  He's making "cuh-cuh-cuh" sounds, and "guh-guh-guh" sounds in addition to his "buh-buh-buh" sounds.  Since he's been doing that I'll sing the ABC of sounds song ("Apple, apple, ah-ah-ah...")  He likes it, and I think tries to do some of the sounds back.  He also squeals often.  It's so fun and cute.  Sometimes he'll squeal and I'll do it back, and then he'll do it back to me.  Tonight he got a little scared from the sound of the blender but when I held him while using it he started squealing like he was trying to be as loud as the blender.  And later when Daddy was holding him and I started the blender, he looked over toward the kitchen real fast and started squealing again like he was happy and excited, and like he remembered from earlier.  So cute!!
  • Tummy.  Maybe it's because I'm lazy and don't clothe him all the time at home, but he's become more interested in his tummy lately.  He looks down and plays with it, and his diaper too!  So silly!
  • Cups/Bottles.  He loves cups and bottles!  He loves to try to drink from them, and also to chew on the bottom of them.
  • Garbage/Kitchen items.  He will play with just about anything.  I don't know why people even buy any toys for their children!  He'll stay entertained by these things for a while.  Some include: empty tissue boxes, empty toilet paper rolls, crunchy sounding bags, cardboard boxes, whisk, cups, cookie cutters, even his Bumbo chair.  He also likes to roll around and play under the coffee table.
  • Eating.  He eats like a champ!  He's eaten tons of new foods now.  I've even started making my own baby food.  It's a money saver for sure!  And who knows what they really have to put in baby food on the shelf at the store to make it last a whole year before it goes bad?!  Right now Eli will eat about 15-30 minutes after he wakes up -- he'll start with a bowl of something solid, oatmeal mixed with fruit in the morning, and in the afternoon and evening he'll have either veggies or fruit.  Then about an hour or so after that he'll have an 8 oz bottle of formula.  Occasionally he'll have more.  I feel like this is going really well and we've got it down!  (But I'm sure it will be changing soon...)
  • Electronics.  This kid loves electronics.  He goes for my laptop even when it's closed.  He'll also go after the Xbox remotes, the tv remotes, our phones, any cords, DVD boxes, the entertainment center, etc!  I was telling Adam the other day that I think kids these days were taught how to use technology in the pre-earth life.  Like for reals!  They are so smart!
  • Teething.  Boy is this boy teething!  He doesn't have any teeth to show for it yet.  But just in the last week or so he's started making these faces like his mouth hurts.  And he's been more fussy than usual.  And he sometimes sleeps longer than usual.  Poor kid.  I wish he didn't have to hurt so much!  But I'm not sure what we're going to do when he has teeth...  I don't know how to have a baby with teeth!  It's amazing how there is always something new to learn.  Once you get familiar and comfortable, another curve ball gets thrown your way!  Welcome to parenting.  :)

I love our little miracle!!!  :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

She's Leavin' on a Jet Plane

My sister Holly left home this morning for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She'll be serving in the Salt Lake City, Utah, Temple Square Mission!  She is such a beautiful person, inside and out, and I'm so proud of her for being worthy and willing to put her life on hold to serve the Lord with all she's got for a whole 18 months!  She's going to bless so many people's lives in such a short amount of time.  

"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19
 (That's the scripture she chose to go on her missionary plaque.)

We are all missionaries for the good cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some are blessed with the opportunity to dedicate a small portion of their lives to full-time service, but all have the opportunity to be a missionary wherever they are.  God is good.  He is the Father of our spirits.  He loves us and wants so much for us to have true joy in our lives and to live eternally with Him and our families.  True happiness is possible!  Real hope is possible!  Salvation and exaltation are possible.  We can overcome anything.  Through Jesus Christ.  His Atonement has made these possible.  I know that's true!  He lives!

"The Atonement was made. Ever and always it offers amnesty from transgression and from death if we will but repent. Repentance is the escape clause in it all. Repentance is the key with which we can unlock the prison from inside. We hold that key within our hands, and agency is ours to use it." 
— Boyd K. Packer, "Who Is Jesus Christ?", Ensign and Liahona, March 2008

"[Jesus Christ] made salvation available to every repentant soul."
— Richard G. Scott, "The Joy of Redeeming the Dead", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

"Wherever our members and missionaries may go, our message is one of faith and hope in the Savior Jesus Christ." 
— Boyd K. Packer, "The Atonement", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Be a Humble Follower of Christ

I was reading in the scriptures this morning about how there will be many people who will have gone astray from the Lord's way because of pride and wickedness, etc, and came across this short phrase:

"...because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ..."

I was humbled by this statement.  Just last night I was thinking about how I wish I could have and could still spend more time in the musical theatre scene, and was getting a little consumed in the thought.  "I chose a different life -- that of a wife and mother."  I told myself, "My choice was the one I was supposed to make...  And I'm happy about it...  Right?"  I wasn't completely convinced last night, though I knew I was right.  But coming across this verse in my scripture study confirmed to me again that I was on the right path.

The family is central to God's great Plan of Happiness.  And it's called that because it's our road map to happiness in this life and in the next.  The world tells us to put ourselves first, and do whatever we want.  I've put Jesus Christ at the center of my life instead, and have found the greatest happiness in having and being a part of a family.  I love my family!  I love my husband and my son.  I love being a wife.  I love being a mother.  I knew there would be sacrifices I would have to make.  But I knew they would be worth it.  I may not have a ton of extra time on my hands to explore interests like participating in musical theatre, becoming a professional photographer, or website and graphic designer, learning to be a seamstress or expert crafter, or even having my house completely organized.  But my family is happy and healthy, my house is functional, and we're on the Lord's path to eternal life and exaltation.  What more could I need or even want?

Isn't it amazing how you seem to always hear what you need to when you're letting the Lord speak to you through the scriptures?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colorado Trip - Part 1

At the beginning of August we went on a trip with a few destinations.  Our first stop was Utah, and our second stop was Colorado!

** Disclosure: There are many, many pictures. **

We took an Amtrak train ride from Salt Lake to Denver.  We left Salt Lake at 3AM and arrived in Denver around 6:30PM.  Phew!

Looking out the window at the hotel:

We stopped by the Colorado temple.  Eli was taking a nap and we wanted a family picture but we didn't want to wake him up, so we just brought him out with the carseat!

We visited the Aquarium in Denver.  Eli loved it!  So many moving things to look at!  I think he tried to catch some as they swam by.  ;)  He really liked the sting rays!

Denver has a really cool, pedestrian only, mile-long outdoor "mall" -- the 16th Street Mall.  We walked up and down it.  Eli liked playing in this water fountain.

We also went to a Rockies game at Coors Field with my parents and my cousin Nik and his girlfriend Sydney.  It poured on us!  And there was lightning so we weren't even allowed to go to our seats for an hour or so until it cleared up.  But there was a beautiful double rainbow!  Oh, the beauty of the earth.  :)  We left after the 5th inning because it was so late after the hour rain delay, and Eli needed to go to bed.

My dad found out about this old castle-like building and we stopped by it after church.  It was built in the 1800's I think, or maybe 1900's, as a school and they wanted to become "the Princeton of the West" -- they wanted to be as good and prestigious a school as Princeton and the best in the West.  But they ended up deciding not to continue admitting women, and then WWII happened and there was no one left to attend the school because all the young men were being drafted into the war...  Oops!  Looks like a cool building though.  Too bad it never lived up to it's intended potential.

Our last stop on our way out of town was to see my Aunt Evelyn.  Eli had fun listening to the piano, playing with Grandma, and hanging out with Daddy while a rainstorm passed by.

[7 1/2 months old]