Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving cruise

Our cruise was so much fun!  My parents took our entire family for our Christmas present this year.  We had such a good time together.  There were so many fun things to do on and off the ship.  We saw comedy shows, watched movies under the stars while sitting in a hot tub, eating lots of good food, shopping and sitting around at the beach.  

This is where we spent Thanksgiving day this year.  
St. Thomas.
Do I need to say more?

I loved every island we went to but I have to say St. Thomas was my favorite.  I had so many eye opening moments being there.  I look forward to the day I can go back.

Emerson had lots of fun riding bikes on the top deck of the boat with Ryan (all the time)!  He loved splashing in the waves on the beach and ate tons of fruit.  He was so excited to go on the "big boat" but when we got on he did not think it was a big boat at all.  He pointed out all the tiny boats in the ocean and said "mama, big boat" it was really funny.

It was hard taking the boys on a cruise (mostly because of the sleeping conditions) but it was well worth it.  We had lots of help from my family so that helped a lot.

Now back to reality, I am looking forward to Christmas.  It is just around the corner!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fall Break

This is how we have been spending Mike's fall far:)
We took Emerson and Madden to the McCormick Train Park in Scottsdale.  He LOVED it!  It was $2 to ride each time and it wasn't really long but he had so much fun we had to take him a few times.
Other than this cute train ride they have train museums and exhibits set up for you to walk around and see.  They have a play ground area and lots of grass to just go sit around and play.  It was a really fun place and I have a feeling we will be going back several times!
After a few days of hanging out with Mikes mom, Mike decided to tackle the big project of landscaping our backyard.  I am so glad he got the urge to do this but it has been A LOT of work.  There is no way Mike could have done this without the help of friends!  

We still have work to do back there but now we have sprinklers and grass!!!!  We are so excited to look out the window and see green, not rocks!  THANK YOU SO MUCH to our friends that came to help us but especially for DAN and JASON!  These two guys saved us and there is no way we would have been done with this (or had a clue what to do) without them!

Now we can get cleaned up and move on to part 2 of our break.....Caribbean here we come!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We are thankful for all of you!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Halloween was lots of fun this year.  On Friday we took the boys to Midwestern to go trick or treating.  They have trick or treating around the school and a fun carnival for the kids to go to.

This is our football player Emerson, Madden our Monkey and Mike.
Emerson was having so much fun running around with his friend Easton.

Madden was so happy in his costume.  Everyone was commenting on how cute he was.  He was happy the whole time and of course, had his dimples on display!
Emerson was loving the idea of going up to someone and getting to take candy out of a bucket.  He had a pumpkin bucket and he kept saying "treat? my pump, pump!"  It was so cute.
This was Emerson playing with the ring toss at the carnival.  He got lots of stuff and by the time we left he had almost filled his entire bucket!

Halloween night was lots of fun (for Mike and I) we took Emerson out trick or treating to a few houses but he got scared and wanted to come home!  Our neighbors all get really into Halloween and decorate their entire houses!  We had TONS of trick or treaters!  I had 3 huge bags of candy and we went through all of them in less than 45 minutes!  Last year we had 1 trick or treater the whole night!

Anyway, after we did that for a little bit Mike and I left for a party.  It was lots of fun.  It was a murder mystery party and I had never done one before but it was great!  We didn't get home until about 12 am and Emerson had just gone to sleep about 10 minutes before we got home!  Madden and Emerson both struggled that night so Mike and I felt so bad for his dad and sister!  They watched the kids for us and that night was in no way fun or relaxing for them but we really appreciated their help so we could go have some fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Lyssie Loo

October 30, 1989 my sweet sister Alyssa was born.  Although me and lyss are 6 years apart we have always been friends, we have so much in common and always have.

When we were much younger Alyssa wanted to copy everything I did.  If my mom bought her something that she really didn't like all I would have to do is say I thought it was cute and she would start wearing it.  She always wanted to try and look like me (who knows why) but she was always so sweet.  The funny thing is is that I am the one who looks up to her now!  She is such a good wife, sister, friend, daughter, photographer and soon to be mommy.  She has so much energy and is so good at making people feel good about themselves.  

It breaks my heart that I cannot be with her on her birthday because I love her so much!  I pray that Justin will be able to get into law school in Arizona so I can see her more:)  

Here is a picture to show off Alyssa's fun and crazy personality that she has had since the beginning.  My mom always said Alyssa was an easy kid!

Alyssa is not just my sister she is my best friend.  She is always boosting me up and making me feel so good about myself.  I think she should have been the older sister!  

She has made 3 visits to me in Arizona in the last year and I love the time we get to spend together.  

Me and lyss have had soooo many good memories together especially over the last 5 years and I know that will continue forever!  I feel so lucky that I get to be her sister but I would like to think that even if we weren't blood we would still be such good friends!

Lyssie Loo I LOVE YOU!  I hope you have a great 20th birthday because you deserve it!  You are so wonderful and I am so sad I can't be with you on your birthday but I hope you know how much I love you and how important you are to me! 

Fire Station Tour

Today we got to take all the kids to tour the fire station.  I was thinking that Emerson wouldn't be that into it because he is still so young but he loved it!  When we were walking to the car he kept saying "more fire truck mom!"  They all got hats and coloring books.  
Madden was so sweet the entire time.  He just looked around and didn't make a noise!
We were trying to get all the kids to line up for a picture....wasn't going to happen!

Emerson was so happy climbing in the fire truck.  He thought he was so cool.  

Monday, October 26, 2009

We survived!

By the middle of saturday I thought I wouldn't make it through the day!  Mike went to Mexico with some friends from school and I stayed home with the boys.  I thought I would be fine by myself since I am at home with the boys all the time anyway.......I was WRONG!  

Saturday was the hardest day I've had since becoming a mother!  Everything that could have gone wrong did.  Emerson who is normally a sweet, easygoing child was a TERROR!  I don't know what was going on with him on Saturday but he was not himself.  On top of all of his tantrums and destruction and problems, my phone wouldn't work because Madden stuck it in his mouth for 2 seconds.  I could write a novel for all of the things that happened on Saturday, it was that bad.  

Luckily my wonderful friends saved me!  I had several come over to hang out that night and keep me company and a couple more bring me flowers and ice cream.  I felt so loved and supported.  It was so what I needed that night and they were all so kind!  I was starting to feel so homesick during the day and felt so alone.  If I was in Utah I would have my family to help me out or at least keep me sane.  I am SO grateful for these awesome people in my life who made my day so much better on Saturday!  

Anyway, we survived and Sunday was much better, Mike came home!  I am so glad Mike went on his trip but I am even more glad he is home:)  All of these fun experiences make us stronger, right?!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze

Last night we got invited to go to the corn maze with a few friends.  Emerson had lots of fun climbing on hay bales and throwing bark all over the place.
Our little family at the pumpkin patch
This was so funny!  We thought Emerson would have fun going on a ride in one of the cows.  He didn't want to go by himself so Mike went with him.  We thought they would just go around in a little circle but they actually went through a little bit of the corn.  The cows moved up and down and the guys that went with the boys looked so uncomfortable.  I enjoyed watching Mike and Matt take the boys on it way more that watching Emerson on it! They looked like they were getting whip lashed pretty bad:)

Here is the group: the Jones, The Burns, The Harmons, The Gronemans, Us and The Mcclenaghans. In front of the corn maze.  

Emerson liked getting another pum-pum (pumpkin).  They had a haunted maze right there too so anytime a chainsaw carrying scarecrow would walk by, Emerson would get scared and run over to us.  We went to dinner after and it was a fun night.  Good company as always!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Boys

Best Buddies
Emerson loves to hold Maddens hand when they are on the couch or in the car.  So sweet!

Lately I have been feeling so sad that my boys are growing so fast.  Emerson turned 2 in July and is almost all the way potty trained.  I should be happy about this (and I am in many ways) but part of me is feeling like it is one more way he is getting older and more independent.  

Madden is 5 months old and is the best baby.  He is always so happy and is becoming so aware of the world around him.  His little life has been a whirlwind for me.  We have had so much going on and now that life has finally started to settle down he is 5 months and I feel like I missed out so much of the newborn phase.

On the positive side, they are both becoming a lot of fun.  Emerson loves playing with Madden and that is usually a scary thing.  Yesterday I heard Emerson go into my room so I followed him in there and found him in Maddens crib kneeling across him and bouncing up and down.  Madden was laughing so hard every time he did it but I felt like he was going to smash him really bad.  Yesterday Madden was in his bouncer and me and Emerson were eating lunch.  We look over at Madden and he is flashing his precious dimple smile at us.  We went over there and something I said made Madden laugh really hard so Emerson and I both started laughing.  This made Madden laugh even harder so the 3 of us sat there and had a laughing moment for a few minutes.  

I guess I am just reminded that time goes by so fast and I should just enjoy every moment in any stage and try not to look forward to when my kids gain more independence.  That will come way too fast & I will never get it back!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Mike and I tried the local KFC-A&W when we first moved down here.  As soon as we walk in the door an angry man is leaving telling everyone in line to leave and that you aren't going to get the food you ordered.  We all just thought he was one upset customer, oh well.  Well we finally get up to order and after walking away we realize that the packed restaurant is full of people who had not got their food yet!  We waited for a good 20 minutes before getting our food.  Many people were really mad.  We didn't really care because we weren't in a huge hurry.  We got our food and our order was off.  Mike had ordered regular fries and ended up getting Chili Cheese Fries.  Mike went back up to the counter to ask for ketchup and heard a worker in the back ask the other workers "where are those chili cheese fries I have been waiting for?"  Mike told the other worker "I got those" she said "you are lucky, those are expensive."  We just kept laughing at the many angry people and the fact that they were giving the wrong food to everyone in the restaurant.  

Well,  I had just thought that this was a one time thing, just a bad night for KFC.  This weekend while my family was here we needed lunch and the only place Ryan and Chelsey could agree on was KFC so we gave it another shot.  The restaurant this time is relatively empty.  There is an older man in front of us picking up his food.  On his plate the worker gave him was 1 piece of chicken.  He said "I ordered 2 pieces of chicken, you only gave me 1."  As the worker turns around to get him another he said "for $4.63 I should be getting 5 or 6 pieces!"  The worker looks at him and says "calm down."  It was so funny.  We all looked at each other and were trying not to laugh.  

Once we got our food it was wrong again.  We had ordered 3 popcorn chicken boxes but got 2, Chelsey ordered Fries and Macaroni and Cheese for her sides and got 2 orders of fries.  I ordered potatoes and gravy and got fries.  So after we got this corrected we sat down.  We watched as everyone after us came in, their food order was messed up to.  Every time a worker would take food to someone she would apologize.  It was so funny.  

We were still hungry because they didn't give us much food so my mom went to order another popcorn chicken.  She brought it back to the table and Ryan needed more ketchup so he went to the counter and asked for some ketchup.  The worker looks at him and hands him another popcorn chicken instead of ketchup.  He starts walking back with it and my mom said "Ryan we already got ours, go put it back."  He said "They told me it was ours, I told them we already got ours but she said no, aren't you sitting at that table?  I told her yes but she is confused."  So, Ryan took it back and got ketchup.  

We laughed and laughed because I honestly thought that the time Mike and I went was a fluke but apparently it wasn't!  If you ever need a good laugh and you are feeling very patient go to KFC-A&W in Surprise, it is always an adventure!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our New House

We are finally getting settled into our new house.  We had only been here for 3 days before we went up to Utah for the summer.   We love this house and the area!  We can walk 7 houses down on either side of us and end up at a park.  We have an awesome clubhouse with 2 pools, fireplaces and party rooms.  There are so many other parks close by that we haven't had time to explore yet but we love it.  Needless to say, it is going to be so hard to move away from this place in 3 years!!!  Here are a few of the pictures of it...

The family room

Our bedroom
The dining room
The kitchen
The boys room
The view from the front door with the living room/office on the left

The front of the house

Friday, August 14, 2009

More summer

Since I haven't posted anything since May I am a bit behind.  I have posted this post and another to try and get a little up to date....sorry it is scattered!

We had a BBQ a couple days before we left Utah.  This is all of the guys playing a little soccer in the backyard.  We had so much fun and we love getting together with our wonderful friends back at home.

My mom took all us girls to Thanksgiving point gardens.  It was so beautiful there.  I loved being surrounded by all of the green and flowers.  After walking around the gardens we went to lunch at the cafe there, so pretty.  I had a great time with my sisters, Love you girls!

My big boy turned 2!!!!  We wanted to make Emerson have the best day of his life so me, Mike, my mom and Ryan took Emerson to Kangaroo Zoo.  He loves this place.  We went many times over the summer.  Emerson still asks for Zoo, Zoo, Zoo.

After Kangaroo Zoo we took Emers to McDonald's for lunch and he played in the play place.  We went home, took naps and got ready for the party.  We went to the park for his birthday party.  All of our family came.  He had a baseball cake (which he LOVED and was upset I wouldn't let him grab it before the party), we played baseball and had a pinata.  The kid was super spoiled with gifts by his parents, grandparents and all his aunts and uncles.  You all know how to make a kid feel special.  It was a great day.  Emerson had so much fun!

We also celebrated my birthday.  I usually hate birthdays for myself but this year was so fun.  It started with going to lunch with my mom and my sisters to Cheescake Factory in Salt Lake.  After that my sister Alyssa took me to get pedicures at the Sanctuary Day Spa at the Gateway.  It was AMAZING!  I love pedicures!!!!  We went shopping for a few hours after.  Then, I met Mike and my mom and dad and we went to dinner at Tuscany.  It was such a fun experience.  The food was amazing and the atmosphere and company were too.  As soon as we got home the rest of my family came over and we had cake and ice cream.  It was so nice.

A few weeks ago I also found out that I am going to be an aunt!  My sister Alyssa is having a baby in March.  I am sooo excited that someone else in our family is providing children and that it is not me every time:)  

Summer Fun

This summer was so much fun.  We were so lucky to spend over 2 months in Utah with our families and friends.  Here are just a few pictures from things we did.  

Mike and I at the Real Salt Lake soccer game.  We went with Rob and Rocio and it was so much fun!  It was nice to be able to go out together and have a babysitter for the boys.

This summer was so nice because Mike was home so much and helped out a lot with the boys.  Even though he spent a lot of time studying he was there and helped so much.  I will be so sad and miss him when he goes back to school in two weeks.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another fun adventure!

So, Monday night Mike got a call from a friend in Utah asking when we were coming back because they needed another soccer player for the new season. Mike asked them when they were starting and he said tomorrow (they had a game at 11:30 pm)! Of course Mike said "I'll be there". We had just barely finished moving into our new house (we started the move on Friday) and packed up our bags Monday at 10:30 pm so we could drive to Utah and make it to the soccer game the next day.

At 7:30 am Mike had the car loaded and was going to drop off some trash at our friends house, (thanks Erick and Mandy) because we don't have a garbage can yet. As he was backing out he ran the car into our house! Luckily nothing happened to the house (except a little black paint) but our car is scratched pretty bad in the back. So, we left a few minutes later and I had kicked Mike out of the drivers seat because of the incident. We were on our way to my Dr. appointment and I pulled off the freeway and got to a stoplight that said "no turn on red." I was in a hurry so I stopped but went anyway and got pulled over...the cop was really nice about it and let me off with a warning and just told me to go get my drivers license in Arizona. So, we went to the doctor and ran a couple other errands and made our way out to Utah.

As we were driving up I got a voicemail from a lady in our new ward who had brought us dinner the night before. I realized after listening to her message that we had dropped off her dishes to a different family in the ward who had brought us dinner on Sunday night! I felt so stupid and had to call her back to explain what we did and since we were already half way to Utah I couldn't even go back and get it to her. A few minutes after I talked to her, Mike got pulled over for speeding and got a ticket. This is now his 3rd speeding ticket in less than a month!

The only good thing that happened on the way up to Utah is that the boys were such angels in the car! Madden slept most of the time and Emerson was so good and hardly watched movies. He just looked out the windows and pointed at every single car that we passed. We are finally here in Utah and hopefully we can stay away from getting pulled over for a little while. Now you can probably see what I meant in my last post that we like to keep life interesting!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Need a good laugh?

So this morning we got ready to take Mike to school. He had class at 9 am so we walked out the door at 8:30. When Mike tried to unlock the car the keyless entry would not work. We immediately knew it was the battery because it has been needing to be replaced for a while. We had no neighbors around to jump us so I thought I will run (yes literally) over to Walmart and buy a battery and Mike can stay home with the boys and take the old one out while I am gone. Walmart is about 1 mile from our house so I took off running and it was close to 90 degrees already. The run was really hard because last night Mike put me through a good work out and my legs and arms were so tired!

I made it to Walmart and bought the battery but I didn't realize how heavy it was. There was no way I was going to be able to carry that back home by myself. I looked around and found a cooler with wheels and loaded the battery inside. Meanwhile, Mike is at home taking the battery out of the car. Emerson is sitting in the jogging stroller watching him. Emerson had his sandals sitting next to him in the stroller but not on his feet. After Mike got the battery out, about 5 minutes later, he looked over and Emerson was gone. He looked all around the garage and around the car but he wasn't there. He went in the house and looked all over and called his name and he didn't answer. He ran outside and ran down the driveway area, turned the corner and saw Emerson halfway down the road. Some lady had pulled over and was trying to talk to him but he could have cared less. He had put his shoes on by himself and ran down the road kicking rocks.

So, Mike called me and told me this story as I am pulling a cooler at 9 in the morning down a busy road. I am crossing this busy intersection and I hear a "Sister Hall" being yelled from a car. I turn around and it is a lady in my ward asking me if I needed a ride. I felt so dumb and told her I was okay because I was almost home. As soon as I get to the other side of the street a friend from my ward pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride. My arms were killing me and so I said yes to her. It was such a wild morning and so funny! So, if any of you are in need of a good laugh just picture me pulling a cooler in my sweats in 90 degree weather down a busy was pretty entertaining for all those driving by I am sure!

Thanks Jamie for the ride home and for dinner last night, you are the best!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Madden James Hall

Welcome baby Madden James Hall. Madden was born on Tuesday April 14 at 10:06 am. He weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches long. He has got really cute dimples on both cheeks.

Going into labor this time I really wanted things to go different than last time with Emerson. I got my wish but some ways were not what I was hoping for. I got to the hospital to be induced at 4:00 am. When I got there I was checked and was already dilated to a 4. They started me on pit at 5:30. By 6:30 I was starting to feel some good contractions and asked for the epidural before it got worse. Unluckily for me the anesthesiologist was tied up with other people and didn't make it in to do my epidural until 9:15 am. By this time I was in SO much pain I thought I was going to die! As soon as they finished my epidural at 9:45 I was still in crazy amounts of pain and knew something wasn't right. Mike grabbed the nurse right after they walked out of the room. She came back in and she checked me and of course I was fully dilated and ready to push. Needless to say my epidural didn't have time to kick in so I had to just deal with it. I still had to get an episiotomy but everything else went really well and I made it through.

Even though labor was so painful and hard my recovery has been so much better this time around. I got to go home the next day and I am up and moving around pretty well. Emerson is adjusting a lot better than I thought he would. He likes to look at him and take him things but he doesn't want to touch him or hold him at all. He has been really sweet and tries to take him his binky or a ball. He doesn't love it when I am holding him but is still doing better than I thought he would be. I will try and post more pictures as soon as I figure out how to do it better.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter bunny visit

Taking Emerson to see the Easter bunny at the Midwestern easter egg hunt was equally entertaining as it was with Santa at the Christmas party this year.  After we tortured him by making him sit over by the Easter bunny he would cling onto us and kept looking back to make sure we were not going to take him over again.  I must be a really mean mom if I put him through this knowing what his reaction will be, but I have to admit, it is so funny that I can't resist!