Tuesday, April 26, 2016


This week was a hard one to come back to to adjust to reality. We had scheduled a home study through Utah Foster Care for Friday. We already have a current home study done through a private individual that is effective through next month to be able to adopt, but the state does not accept private home studies and has a different list of qualifications that you have to meet...thus a list of stuff for me to work on this past week. Blah!

After we got home she wanted more braids in her hair. We spent about half an hour, and added quite a few. She loved them, and insisted on them being in until I insisted they were washed out on Saturday.

We spent some fun family time together playing memory...as per S's request. We played several rounds before she was done.

One of the many projects I conquered while Brett was at work to meet Foster Care home study approval. This was much more work that one would have thought, but we nice to get something handy done on my own :)

Yet another thing I installed this week to meet foster approval. All chemicals have to be in a locked cabinet. Our pesticides, spray paints, fertilizers, etc... all together in one place.

We had our home study on Friday, but a friend needed someone to watch her 2 yr old while she had something at school with her kids. I debated whether or not I really had time to, given all the stuff I needed to finish and have tidied up but have a really hard time saying no. So, we spent about 45 minutes at the park. S was such a good friend. She helped to distract him when he wanted his mom, insisted on being the one to push him in the swing, and just play. I wish so much that she could have that little play buddy all the time. I feel like we've been on this road for ages. I wish the time would pass faster in that regard.  


pushing her little buddy

I had to get a picture of this cutie in her Jamaica shirt and braids. I loved it! It was a little sad to take them out that afternoon. We got dressed that morning without checking the weather...it had been so nice since we got back that we were doing shorts and t-shirts. We were going on errands and I had to run back in the house to get sweaters because it was so cold. It was quite the little reality check for me. We had been so used to constant temps everyday that this drop was unexpected to us.

We have our usual Sunday family picture. S wanted to be the photographer. I love how she would turn the camera and frame Brett in. She also insisted on setting the timer and running to jump in. 

little photographer

just her

She was quite grumpy about not wanting to get in a family picture with all of us. So, I set the timer and ran to sit by Brett. She decided to be funny, and ran to jump into the picture. She found herself quite funny. I love the way it was captured!

We went over to see Nana and Papa on Sunday evening. We had S ride her bike to wear her out a bit. Before we left she played through the window with her littlest cousin. It's lots of fun to watch them together!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


 I debated blogging about this because of the appearance of the cost of it from others, but ultimately decided to because this is us and our family and used as a family journal of sorts. We have been on vacation this past week. It has been SO great!! We tried to widdle down our options several months ago when we were trying to decide how to celebrate our ten years. Ultimately we decided on Jamaica, and we are SO glad we did! We were able to fly for just taxes and fees by using Brett's frequent fliers. We stayed 4 nights free at a Hilton using Brett's Hilton points, and paid for just 2 nights.

This place was pretty great. It was right on the ocean, all inclusive, kids under 5 stay free, free activities to do there as well as free water activities. Brett has enough time put in with Hilton from traveling that he is a diamond member, and got extra perks that way as well.

I was a bit nervous traveling that long and far with S, but was hopeful it would all be okay. We had lots of activities up our sleeves for her while traveling, and different fun snacks. All in all we felt pretty well prepared.

I jotted down this note in my phone when we were waiting for our first flight there from something S said. It went something like this...

Me: The people are going to call our name so we can get on the airplane.
S: But she doesn't know my name!!

She had a very valid point there.

checking our bags

our little traveler

walking to our gate with dad

watching the plane get ready

pre-boarding our first leg of the trip

our ride on a brand new plane

lunch break in Atlanta

sunset over Jamaica

first morning checking out our hotel

playing in the ocean

enjoying a pina coloda

Brett's favorite

fun swimming together

birds at lunch

ice cream every night

live music most nights

an alligator under the couch- this one startled her to begin with.

our afternoon at the beach

at the water park

swim up bar

playing together

paddle ball

swinging on the beach

our cabana for a day

view from our cabana

pool time

our little fish

enjoying the beach

finding "treasures"

I'm not sure who she learned that from...not me....I don't sunbathe.

Brett enjoying the ocean

lounging together

a fancy dinner together

getting her hair braided

playing the drums

grateful for the large brimmed hat we bought just before leaving

our view from dinner

Jamaican sunset

after our dinner on the beach

Miami Vice, my favorite drink this past week

sunset our last night

Brett and S

our family

our "pretty girl" as all the locals called her


our hotel

last walk on the beach...

...and in the ocean


view from our room

This was our favorite server, Javahn. He really took to S and would look for us at each meal whether or not we were seated in his area. He was SO kind and friendly!

She insisted pushing the button each time, and by the end kind of got over her issue of elevators.

us just before leaving

the courtyard at our hotel

view from the entry balcony

S's alligator friend

our place for a week

the bus ride back to the airport

leaving Jamaica

sad to go

view from the plane

thank you Delta for all the free in-flight movies

greeting the plane for our last leg

getting a ride from dad around the airport

the things you do to keep a 3 yr old happy

our Salt Lake sunset from the plane