Monday, March 22, 2010

Four Fabulous Months

Our baby girl turned 4 months yesterday. With every passing week she is growing more and more beautiful. She has an infectious smile, and a BEAUTIFUL voice. This month was full of a lot of firsts!

* First Cold. Our poor girl had her very first cold this month. The nasal bulb and her were at war for days. She would see big blue and immediately bat away at him. We took her to the doctor and she told us to use a humidifier and saline drops to clear her out. The duration of her cold was about a week, and we are so glad she is better.

* First Rollover. Arista and I were at our friend Natalie's house, and I laid Arista on her stomach. After a little bit of encouragement she did it! It scared her to death! I was a proud Momma!

* First walk outside. Last week was the first beautiful day in Lansing. I put Arista in the stroller and we walked everywhere! The post office, downtown, Chris' work, the supreme court building, and by our old house. A toothless man at the post office came over to Arista in her stroller and touched her arm! We booked it out of there soo fast! Arista loved being outside and took a nice long nap.

* First trip to DC. She loved spending time with her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncle and Cousin. She was full of smiles, and was sad to leave.

* First song. Arista has discovered her voice. Every morning for a few hours she sings. I kid you not, sings. She has a very clear, beautiful voice. She sings just like Ariel on the Little Mermaid. Ahhhh Ahhhhh. It makes my day! I look forward to the mornings to hear her little voice in song. I can't wait to see where her little voice takes her.

We have enjoyed every minute with Arista these past 4 months, and could not have asked for a better baby. She lights up our lives, and heals our hearts. We look forward to many many more months with her.

We love you Baby girl!

Martin March Madness...literally!

Every March Chris reminisces about how every year when March Madness would start his parents would let him and his siblings miss school to watch the games. Ever since the 6th grade Chris and his siblings would spend the weekend on the couch in front of multiple TV screens. About a month ago I thought it would be fun to have his family reunited to watch the games together again. With no hesitation Chad and Sue flew us all out there for an awesome and yet "mad" weekend!

Day 1:

We took an evening flight into DC, and Arista did great! She slept most of the time and was very pleasant and happy. We arrived, chatted for a while and then went to bed.

Day 2:
Chris woke up early and went and played tennis with his Dad, Mom and Sister. I heard it would have been pitiful to watch. Chris' hip was acting up, Marissa had a sore muscle, Chad's knee was hurting and bit...etc. Despite the pain, they had a blast. Chris said that this day was a great basketball day.

It was a nice day outside so we took the girls on a walk to the park. As we were walking I ran into the woman I used to nanny for. She was sitting on a bench with her beautiful 2 year old daughter. I could not even believe how grown up she was. I started nannying for them when their daughter was only 6 weeks old! My sister-in-law Julie and I took the girls and went out to dinner. It was nice to be able to spend time with her and our little babies. We raced home to try to make it to a massage the men had scheduled for us, but unfortunately we got completely lost driving around Virginia. Luckily the massage chair was able to get out some kinks in our necks.

Day 3:
Julie and I drove out to Potomac Mills, an indoor outlet mall. I have been in search for my Jessica Simpson shoes, unfortunately Nordstrom Rack had them in gold instead of pink. It was nice to walk around and shop!

Arista played with cousin Claire and went on many walks with Grandma Sue and Aunt Marissa. She had so much fun!

Chris enjoyed watching the Duke game and was very happy about their win. Later that night we watched the movie "Precious". It was incredibly sad, but we thought it was pretty well portrayed.

Day 4:
Chris played more tennis with his family, while I was catching up on some sleep. Arista and I walked down to a little restaurant and went to lunch with the woman and daughter I nannied for. It was so great to catch up with them. The hour went by way too fast. I just could not believe how beautiful and smart their daughter is. I enjoyed nannying for them and know that it was meant to be. Sadly I didn't get pictures. Dangit! Next time.

Later that afternoon Julie and I went to Fadi...yes he is the hair master. He again made miracles with my hair. He went short...maybe shorter than I would have liked, but I am so happy about the color! Julie's hair looked fantastic as well! That night we played Quiddler and of course watched basketball. Arista enjoyed another day with Grandma and Grandpa and Cousin Claire.

Day 5:
It was a beautiful day and we went on a few walks. More basketball was watched, and Duke again pulled out another win. My dear friend Michelle was able to come over and spend the evening with us. I just love her. It was so great to catch up, and to introduce her to Arista. I miss her so much, and cannot wait until we can meet up again.

Chris' Mom made a cake for Chris and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. His birthday isn't until April 1rst, but it was a great pre-birthday celebration!

Day 6:
We woke up at 5:15am, packed up our stuff and said goodbye. It was a very rocky trip home with a delay in Detroit, but we made it home safely. After a very long nap for all of us, we are ready to take on all we have this week.

We had a crazy mad weekend with lots of laughs, walks, talks, and smiles. Thank you Martin family for a fun weekend! We love you!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break with the Hogge Family

For Spring Break this year we decided to go visit our friends the Hogges. We met the Hogge family here in Michigan, and after Preslie died they took us under their wing and treated us just like family. They were there with us the day Preslie died until the day they moved to Minnesota. We have missed them so much, and were thrilled to spend the week with them.

Day 1:

We drove 11 hours with only a few stops in between. Arista did really well the entire time, but was ready to get out and stretch once we arrived. I spent half the time up front and half the time entertaining Arista. Sometimes all she needed was her leopard blanky and binky.

Arista loved Brian immediately. When no one else could get Arista to sleep he came to the rescue.

Day 2:
We woke up and went to the McDonald's playland, which was the coolest McDonald's we have seen! After a yummy lunch Erika and I went and saw the new Alice in Wonderland movie while Chris watched the kiddos. Ethan gave Arista her first tattoo on her foot, and she loved it!

That night we had an awesome Family Night about the Word of Wisdom, and the kids all danced for us. It was a hoot! We ended the night watching the movie 2012. It was such a fun day!

Day 3:
This was our favorite day! We woke up and headed straight for the Mall of America! We bought all day passes to the amusement park there. I went on a very rocky roller coaster and had to sit out for a while, but enjoyed watching everyone else go on rides.

We went to their indoor aquarium, and LOVED it. It was so cool to see all the sharks and fish. Arista thought it was very cool.

After a few hours of fun the Hogges left and Chris, Arista and I went to the American Girl store. We purchased Arista her first baby doll. We think they look pretty similar. We can't wait to go back when she is older and make another one. We then went to the Barbie store and found out that it was Barbie's Birthday! They had a beautiful $3 Barbie, so we got one for Megan and Arista. After shopping around for a few hours Brian and Ethan came back for more fun. We rode more rides and were exhausted from such a fun filled day. We ended the day watching the movie "Up in the Air". We cannot wait to go back to that Mall someday. It is a shoppers dream!

Day 4:
We slept in and then went ice skating. Erika is such an awesome Mom, and let her kids skip school to spend the day with us! The Hogge kids are such good little skaters, they made me look like a baby! I held onto the side for a while and then braved it up and held Chris' hand across the rink and back. Chris is a great skater!

After skating Erika, Megan and I went and got pedicures. It was so fun to see Megan get her little toes painted green with white "grass" as she called it.

Chris and the boys watched Arista while we were out. Ethan and Ashton loved feeding and holding Arista. They are such great helpers!

Later that night Megan and Arista played together in the tub. It was so cute! Arista just loves Megan.

Day 5:
We woke up and Megan laid next to Arista on the floor, and they watched cartoons together, it was so sweet.

We went back to the Mall of America to purchase a pair of Jessica Simpson shoes I loved. Sadly they were gone when we got there. Brian met us there and then we went back to the house and played games. That night we took Brian and Erika out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was so yummy! Then Erika and I went to her friend's volleyball game. We ended the night eating Cheesecake and watching shows.

Day 6:
We woke up and packed, and then said goodbye to our dear friends. Megan and Owen wanted to hold Arista one more time before we left. We are sure going to miss them!

It took us quite a while to drive back home. Arista wanted nothing to do with the car, and we made frequent stops. We pulled into Lansing around midnight, and were so glad to get out of the car. The long drive was completely worth it. We had such a great week, and can't wait to see our friends again. We love you!

Our Spring Break week ended with Chris and I going out on a date Saturday night. Our friends Branden and Breezy were so nice to watch Arista for us, so we could have a much needed date night. We ate at Chili's, walked around the Meridian Mall, and then went and saw "Remember Me". It was so fun to be able to talk and relax with each other, while knowing Arista was being taken care of. Arista did great, and we are so grateful to our friends for taking such great care of her.

"Over the Rainbow"


"We're off to see the Wizard"

Born in Utah, Murphy(Mary) grew up the youngest of 6 children. As she was following the yellow brick road she ran into ScareTor(Tory). ScareTor asked if he could go along with Murphy on the search for the Emerald City. Together they went, skipping and singing along their way. They had 5 munchkins(Kelsey, Rylie, Mikelle, Kipley & Merrick) that came and joined them on their great search, along with AbAb(Dog). With munchkins in hand they continued to follow the yellow brick road through apple throwing trees, wicked witches, a field of poppies, and a spooky forest. Sometimes the flying monkeys would catch the munchkins and take them away to the Wicked Witch's castle. With the help of The Great Wizard of Oz(Heavenly Father), Murphy and ScareTor would save the munchkins and they would continue forward onto the Yellow Brick Road. A Tin man(Chris) came along and joined the gang, as well as a few baby Munchkins. With the motto "There's no place like home", they continue singing and skipping on the Yellow Brick Road until they all reach the Emerald City and live with The Great Wizard of Oz again.

M - Mother. There is no other like my mother. She loves and adores her children and grandchildren, and is always trying to find ways to bring us closer to each other and the savior.
A - Attitude. Despite the trails in life, she always has a positive attitude.
R - Religious. Mom tries very hard to do what is right, and to please the Lord. She loves to read and share the gospel.
Y - Y. Why do we love Mom so much? Because she is awesome! She is always serving others, taking care of her family and parents, and still finding time to strengthen her testimony.

Happy Birthday Mom! We wish we could come and celebrate this happy day with you. We love you so much and are so grateful to have you as our Mom and Grandma. You are such a great example of strength and courage. We don't know what we would do without you. We hope you have a terrific day, and we can't wait to see you soon!


Chris, Rylie, Preslie and Arista

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

So This IS Love

"If you don't have a SMILE,
I'll give you one of mine."