Friday, December 2, 2011


This little girl cracks me up. I am so behind on blogging, but I just had to share this. Tonight Arista kept saying "My tummy". When I asked her what was wrong with it, she said there was a baby in it. She kept saying "Baby in my tummy." When Chris asked her what her baby's name was she said "Brylie". SOOOOO cute! She has never said my name before, and now the little baby in her tummy shares my name. She is so stinkin' cute! Now she is pointing to Daddy's baby in his tummy.

Arista has just learned how to say "I love you" and says it all the time.

Grandma Mary got her some big girl panties for her birthday and she carries them around everywhere! They had to go to the grocery store and the library with us.

She calls The Little Mermaid "Lema" and Rapunzel "Punny"

She loves to tell us to "move" and everything is "mine".

Every cat's name is "Chewby".

Everything is the color "buh-yellow".

She called Vader "Via".

She knows the entire song of "Somewhere over the rainbow", "Popcorn Popping", "I see the moon" and "Rock A Bye".

Arista wants to watch "Winnie the Pooh" DAILY and sings all the songs.

She has to sleep with her princess shoes, baby Ashley, and a teacup and spoon.

Everyone poops except for her, and she loves to tell you all the people who do.

Dancing to music is Arista's favorite thing to do.

Man has she grown up fast. :(

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011


We are alive! Just been super busy lately. Will update soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

VHTRC Women's Half Marathon

After ten weeks of training I finally participated in my first ever half marathon. 4days prior to the race the weather was horrible with flooding rains, thunder, lightning, and not a chance of letting up for the race. Fortunately a miracle accrued and the rain stopped! The main road to the race was closed due to flooding, but that didn't stop us from making it to the park. Chad and Sue came over at 7am to watch Arista while Chris drove me to the park. We stopped at McDonald's for some oatmeal, and then reached Fountain Head State Park about 30 minutes prior to the race. After choking down energy beans, drinking a gallon of water, and doing some light stretching, it was time to get ready to start.

I decided the best strategy would be to stay in the middle of the pack to start, since it was all trail running. I didn't want to be stuck behind someone really slow. Fortunately we all spaced out pretty well after we made it to the "Do Loop" and passing was easy. First obnoxious thing to go wrong, I had to go to the bathroom. There were times when I seriously considered going behind a tree. Secondly, I couldn't get my ipod to turn on at all, so I kept myself entertained by thinking, practising kegels(NEVER drink too much water before a race) singing primary songs, and repeating over and over and over "This is the trail that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends."

The "Do Loop" was HARD. I had run on the "Do Loop" twice before, but somehow never did the entire thing. I think we read the map wrong. The loop felt like it went on forever and ever. Luckily they had a water station right when we got out of there.

After the famous loop we headed on a trail back to where we started, and then we entered the trail for the last 5 miles. Right as I went into the trail the leader was heading out. It was a little disheartening to know that I still had 5 miles to go and she was done, however it was nice knowing I was on the final stretch. The last 5miles were tough tough tough. I pulled a groin muscle, which was very painful and didn't help since there were a lot of steep hills covered in rocky mud. At times it took all my will power not to just stop. There were a few times when I would trip over a branch or rock, but luckily it was smooth sailing.

When I finally reached the turnaround point I got a burst of energy, and just wanted to finish. I grabbed some water and a handful of M&M's(mistake) and took off running. I think the last few miles were the longest of the entire race, and I just kept thinking about how much I hated trail running, and swore to myself I would never run one again. Finally, finally, finally, I made it out. I first saw Chad and Arista sitting on the grass waving, and then Chris with the camera.

I did it! I made it! The first thing I did was kiss Chris then walked straight to the bathroom. Then we took some photos. Oh I looked so lovely and smelled just like the great outdoors.

I was so proud of myself and relieved that I finished. I am so grateful for Chris' parents and Chris and Arista coming to cheer me on at the end. It meant so much to me that they were all so supportive. I have learned a few things about myself and things for future races. 1. I am much stronger than I think. 2. Training is important, and I am grateful I stuck with it. 3. NEVER drink too much water before a race. 4. Test Ipod before a race. 5. No matter how many people tell you it will be hard, or you can't do it, you can, and you did!

Happy trails to you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Born To Run

I read this little article this morning, and I felt like I could relate so well with it. It's sad how negative our thoughts about ourselves can be. This is just what I needed to start my day.


By Laurel Christensen

August 22, 2011

I walked into the New Balance store feeling just a little out of place. I knew I wanted to be a runner but I also knew I wasn’t. And I knew anyone looking at me could tell that I wasn’t.

And when the sales guy told me to put on a pair and run across the little mat on the floor (you know the little contraption that tells them what shoes might be best for you?), I felt awkward and silly.

But his words stopped me (okay, the fact that I felt silly pretending to run might have stopped me too): “You know, I think you were born to be a runner.”

Now, sure, maybe he says that to everyone to get them to buy the $138 cute running shoes (yes, they really were but don’t judge me. I had a gift card that needed to be used). But, honestly, when he said it, something inside me felt like I was waking up.

And I found myself thinking about that a lot over the course of the next few weeks.

And then I had to ask myself, “Laurel, what if you were? What if you really were born to be a runner? And what if you’ve just never done what it would take to find that out?”

Thoughts like that haunt me sometimes.

But this isn't about those other thoughts.
It's about this one.

And, I'm not going to lie…

Changing my life pattern...changing my perception of myself...reprogramming my brain to believe something differently about myself...well, it's been one of the hardest things I've ever done. And it has been a great irony for me because I truly believe that "You Are What You Believe" and I also truly believe it is possible to change. I really do. For everyone else.

But THIS kind of change? For me?

I mean, you're talking about a girl who spent way too much of her life with negative thoughts about herself, with a really messed up relationship with food, who couldn't conceive that she would ever be "normal". (Am I saying all that out loud? Yep, I sure am.)

But, I knew in some very deep place inside me that I wasn’t entirely living as the girl I was born to be. And for some reason, I knew the sales guy was right. I really did believe I was born to run.

And I came to know God believed it too.

One of the greatest things I have learned on this journey is that I can’t experience change of any kind without Him.
And since He created me, I knew He could confirm to me who I was born to be.

And He did. He helped me believe and then know I was, in fact, born to do this.

Turns out, the sales guy was right. I am born to run.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Summer is coming to a close, but that doesn't mean that the fun stops there. We have been filling our last few days of summer, with quite a bunch of fun things.

Arista loves to go on Walks in the park with Daddy and Vader. She loves to hold onto the leash and pull him in the opposite direction he is trying to go. After about 15 minutes Vader is pooped, and enjoys sitting the in wagon for a ride.

Eating while watching Barney

Yes, visiting Bob again.

Arista has been obsessed with coloring lately. She rarely like to color alone, and loves it when you join her. She loves to throw the crayons at Vader and watch as we try to retrieve them from his mouth. Silly girl.

If there are high heels, there is Arista. She love love love love loves shoes! Not her shoes, MY shoes. She has perfected walking in heels, and has attempted walking down our stairs with them. Her favorite shoes are pink and brown heels, that I got at an estate sale a while ago. I am sure the woman in heaven is loving the use they are getting.

About once every 2-3 weeks we take Vader to the vet to have his shots. This is an adventure that I dread. The appointments are usually around Arista's nap time, and I am usually waiting for quite a long time to get into the vet. Once I can get both of them into a closed room, we tend to do better. As long as Vader and Arista stay away from each other. I am excited for the day when his shots are all done!

Arista and I have been enjoying our surroundings and about once a week we go and try something new. Last week we went up to Glen Echo Park for a Wizard of Oz puppet show. Arista watched the entire thing, and LOVED Dorthy's silver sparkly shoes. Being a HUGE Oz fan, I loved it as well. 3 weeks ago I took Arista up to Wolf Trap Children in the Woods preformance. Arista loved dancing to the singers and watching the "dinosaurs" fly around.

I have been meaning to blog about this a month ago, but Arista has gone potty in her own little potty 4 times! I rented the video "Once Upon A Potty" from our library and we watched it a dozen times, before I knew it Arista was becoming very aware of what was happening in her diaper. Chris and I went out and bought her this little potty and sat her on it, and she went! The secret has been using M&Ms. We don't want to start potty training her fully until after we get back from our Disney World vacation in October. (I don't do public restrooms) My friend sent me this E-book that worked for her daughter, where she was potty trained in 3 days. I look forward to train her the beginning of November. Not going to lie, I shed a few tears when my baby went potty.

During our summertime fun, we also had some summertime scares. Last Tuesday I was getting ready to lay Arista down for a nap when the house suddenly started shaking, and things started moving. My first thought was that we were being attacked. I grabbed Arista and ran downstairs and called my parents and Chris. Apparently there had been an earthquake. 5.8 on the scale! Our phones wouldn't work for hours, so Chris came home from work to be with us. I was so scared I slept for a good 3 hours when Chris got home. That night I had a horrible time sleeping, because I was so afraid of it happening again. Luckily we didn't have any damage except for a figurine. We are blessed that it wasn't worse.

To add to our obscure weather, we were hit by Hurricane Irene over the weekend. Luckily I was prepared and bought water early from the stores, because they ran out quick. We filled our bathtub with water and then went and filled Chad and Sue's as well. Our power went out for about 36 hours, and the howling and rain kept us up late into the early morning hours. Arista painted a picture of what the storm was like. We were so lucky that there wasn't damage. The only thing that fell was the little tree in front of our house. Another huge blessing!

We have had such a great summer, and are grateful for all the great memories we have made. We are grateful for being safe during the storms, and for the chance we have to spend our time with such a beautiful, happy and spunky girl. Arista has brought such a huge joy back into our lives, and we are constantly laughing and smiling when she is around. We are looking forward to the fall to celebrate Preslie's 3rd birthday, Arista's 2nd a trip to Disney World, and a new nephew. Hello September.

5 Years

On the 25th Chris and I celebrated our 5th anniversary! I woke up a few minutes early and made Chris breakfast. I made 5 heart shaped french toast and scrambled eggs.

After Chris got home from work we exchanged gifts...I got a massage! I gave Chris a picture of George Washington to hang in his office.

Vader enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper.

Arista talked with Grandma and drank her juice.

That night some great friends in the ward graciously watched Arista while we went out to dinner at Texas De Brasil. We had some awesome awesome meat! My favorite was the house special top sirloin, and Chris loved the Parmesan crusted pork. After a huge dinner we walked over to The Cheesecake Factory and ordered (hold your breath) 4 pieces of cheesecake! White chocolate macadamia nut, red velvet, 30th anniversary chocolate, and carrot cake cheesecake. No we didn't eat them all, we took a bite of each of the next several days. Chris loved the red velvet, and I loved the white chocolate macadamia nut.

We ended the night watching an episode of John Adams. We have been addicted to the series from the local library. I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary, or man to spend it with. The past 5 years have not been easy, but with Chris by my side we can get through anything.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What Time Is It? Summertime! It's Our Vacation.

We have been back from Idaho for almost 2 months and life has been crazy busy. Not only have we added a new addition to the family, we have been busy having fun!

Arista loves dancing to the Kingdom dance part of Tangled.

We have said hello to old friends...

Us with the adorable Allen family

Little Miss Peytyn!

And goodbye to good friends...

Chris and I went and saw Wicked...

And have been on many fun and relaxing dates thanks to our favorite babysitters Grandma and Grandpa Martin.

We have visited the Splash park over a dozen well as the swimming pool...

Arista with her best friend Sam and Cassandra

We have visted Chuck E Cheese's quite a few times...

We sure have a lot of fun...

We have had a lot of fun, with more fun times ahead! I will do better at keeping up with the blogging. I have been busy training for a half marathon coming up in September, and Chris has been busy with work, tennis, and his church calling. We love spending time as a family and can't wait to see what lies ahead for our fun summer.