Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - An Overdue Update

We have not updated our blog in a long time, so I thought it would be a good idea to fill in those who may still care on what we have been up to.  Since June of last year, we have...

1.   Had some more family pictures taken.  Here's one of our favorites.

2.  Mason turned two at the end of August.  He is a fun, happy, (pretty) laid back kid.  We are enjoying watching him learning to talk.  He LOVES to tease.

This picture was taken on September 1 - Mason's Family Birthday Party

3.  Lincoln turned FIVE at the end of January.  He likes watching youtube videos on the iPad (usually of kids explaining legos, other toys, or video games).  He loves his school and is getting really good with his numbers and words.  He is a good and patient big brother.

Lincoln, watching videos and being a good, patient big brother.

4.  We went to Utah in October to visit family and attend the blessing of a new niece.  The kids did really well on the trip.  It was great to see so many family and friends.

Kelli and our new Niece, Kaylee Jane Hutchison

5.  We enjoyed a fun Christmas.  Nana and Stormy came to visit and brought snow all the way from Boston.

6.   Daddy turned 35.  He's old and what hair he has left is starting to go gray.

Daddy's Birthday - See the gray hair?

7.  Mom had a birthday.  She turned 29 again.

Mom's (and Auntie Sara's) Birthday Party

8.   Tyler and Kelli celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary.

9.   Tyler got LASEK eye surgery in December.  It was a difficult recovery week, but the results are awesome.  He went from worse than 20/400 (off the scale, a -9.00 in both eyes) to 20/15.  He loves not having to wear glasses or contacts any more.

Pre-LASEK Surgery

10.   And, finally, for the exciting new news - WE'RE MOVING!    We have been outgrowing our fun little first home for some time.  The stars recently aligned and we found a buyer for our house without having to put it on the market.  A young family that we have known for a long time is buying our home.  We also found a new one.  It is much larger and needs a little TLC - which works because we love a project - but the bones and neighborhood are great.  We will do a longer post on the house later, and will, I'm sure, have a number of posts detailing our updates and remodeling.  We are super excited for the next stage in our family's life.

Our New House

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ten on Tuesday (for Wednesday)

Kelli usually takes care of updating our blog, but she is plenty busy with her craft blog, so I thought I would give a "ten on Tuesday" post a try. It's been awhile since we've given any update on our family.  Here's what we've been up to in the past eight months:

1.  We had family pictures taken twice - in November and April.  We use Kim Greenfield and do her mini-sessions.  She does a great job.  Some fun examples (I'll let you guess which are from November and which are from April):

Lincoln decided he needed to do pushups.  Hilarity ensued.  

2.  Kelli and Tyler celebrated their Fifth - thats 5! - Wedding Anniversary on December 21.  We went on a cruise in early January to celebrate.  We went to Cozumel (which is fun since we went to nearby Cancun on our honeymoon), Isla Roatan (of Honduras), and Grand Cayman.  We were supposed to go to Belize, but that stop was changed to Costa Maya before we got on the boat and then cancelled altogether due to rough seas.  We had a great time, won trivia games three times (getting three ships on sticks), and enjoyed our excursions.  We missed the kids, though.  Some pics:

3.  We celebrated a fun Christmas with TONS of family.  All of Tyler's family was here; Jake, Courtney, and Bentley came.  Grandma and Grandpa Miller, Derek's (Tyler's brother-in-law) parents came for his graduation from UAH and stayed through Christmas.  AND Nana and Stormy came from Boston.  It was great to see everyone.  The kids had a blast and ate up all the attention.


A wicked flu went around.  Everyone except Grandma Miller (and maybe one of the kids) got it.  Tyler got so violently ill that it "enraged" his tonsils to the point it was difficult to swallow.  Consequence: second ever trip to the ER (for his own treatment)

4.  Lincoln turned four at the end of January.  He is so smart and loves being silly.  He loves super-heroes, especially Spider-Man and the Avengers.  He still loves cars and has recently really gotten into the Transformers.  This is how he chose to dress on his birthday:

You can read all about his great super-hero birthday cake here.

5.  Lots of Running: We have continued our running kick.  We ran the Skinny Turkey 10K in Guntersville on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (finished in around 68 minutes) and we both won door prizes - Kelli's was a bottle of chardonay, which we gave away:

In March, we ran a 10 Miler in Moore's Mill, AL, finishing in just under two hours.  It was brutal, but Kelli still looked great after.

At the end of April, we ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville, TN.  We finished in about 2 hours, 40 minutes. It rained the whole time and was cold, but, overall a thrilling and fun experience.  We would do it again.

6.  Lincoln suddenly outgrew his toddler bed.  He was constantly complaining that it was too small.  He even told us once he had a nightmare that his bed was too small.  We finally broke down and got him a new big boy bed.  He loves it.

7.  Mason is getting so big, and he has such a fun personality!  We are starting to understand more and more of what he tries to communicate.

8.  The boys are playing together so wonderfully! Here's Lincoln being the tunnel monster:

9.  We have a new niece.  Our sister-in-law, Courtney (Tyler's brother Jacob's wife) gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Brooklyn Olivia on May 29.  Brooklyn was born with some challenges that will likely make her sojourn on Earth a brief one.  We are, nonetheless, honored and grateful to have her as part of our family.  We have been so impressed by the faith and perspective that Jake and Courtney have shown throughout this process.  We are grateful to have been witness from afar as Brooklyn's special spirit has impacted our family.  We are also grateful to know that God has a plan and that His Plan is called the Plan of Happiness for a reason.  We are grateful to know that, through the Atonement and Grace of Jesus Christ, whatever happens, we will see Brooklyn again; she will be part of our family forever, and, someday, her body will be perfect.  We continue to send out thoughts, prayers, and love, to Brooklyn, Jake, Courtney, and Brooklyn's big brother, Bentley.

10.  Tyler has finally updated a weight loss blog he started a long time ago.  It was private, initially, but he recently made it public.  If you're interested in his journey to date, feel free to check it out here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. I got out of the habit of doing a Ten on Tuesday post here when I started doing Ten-Pin Tuesdays on my craft blog, and that needs to change, so here we are.

2. Mason turned 1 at the end of August!  And then the day before he hit 13 months he started to crawl on his knees instead of pushing with a foot and pulling with his hands.  Go figure. 

3. We finally ordered that new jogging stroller, and we've done two long runs with it so far.  The 4-miler was a wake-up call that pushing a jogging stroller changes the game significantly, so we were pretty happy just to finish our 5 miles this past weekend.

4. Lincoln has started saying that he wants to do things "all day."  For instance, "I want to watch Spider-man all day" or "I want to eat little pop-tarts all day."

5. As I cut Mason's chicken nuggets at dinner last night, he looked up at me and sweetly said, "yay-yoo."  Which I'm pretty sure translates to "thank you."

6. Tyler and I want the family to be the Avengers for Halloween, so we introduced Lincoln to some of the superhero cartoons, and we've created a monster!  He's officially obsessed. 


7. Mason LOVES the bath.

8. I'm almost caught up on my Project Life album, and I've posted the first 20 weeks of the year on my craft blog.

9. We visited my parents in Boston last month!  Pictures might be posted one day.

10. Lincoln loves taking pictures.  He took these shots (and MANY more) before church a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wastin' Away ;)

As some of you may have heard, Kelli and I have been doing Weight Watchers this year.   I have decided to enter Weight Watchers' Celebrate Success Contest.  Preparing my submission helped me realize how much progress I have made.  This was helpful because, sometimes, it feels like my progress has been very slow.  I thought I would brag a little and share the 400 word essay and the before and after pictures.  Please forgive the indulgence (and the shameless plugs I included in an effort to win the contest).  

First the essay:

I have struggled with my weight/health since high school.  Each year, I would say to myself that "This will be the year!"  But, every year, I failed to deliver.   
At the beginning 2012, I had reached my heaviest ever (pushing 265 pounds).  I had high blood pressure and my HDL cholesterol levels were too low.  I was on medication for both problems.  I was severely out of shape.  I got winded easily.  Just the thought of running could do it.  My knees and my back hurt.  It was  increasingly difficult to keep up with my two little boys.  With heart disease in my family, I was afraid that I would not live to see them grow up.   
Then, I saw some pictures my sister took during my son's third birthday party at the end of January (my before pictures).  I hated the way I looked and how heavy I had become.  This was it.  Something had to be done.  I told my wife that I was going to try Weight Watchers.  She was still trying to lose some baby weight after the birth of our second son and decided to do it with me.  On February 7, we signed up together.   
Weight Watchers proved the key to the door that would finally lead me to success.  Just following its guidelines for better eating, I immediately began to see results and became excited about the process.  In addition to my wife, my mother and sister joined Weight Watchers, as did a co-worker and her husband.  We encourage each other in our process and journey.  A group of friends from church also got together in a friendly get healthy competition.  
Since starting, I have also taken up running...me.  
Now, less than seven months into my journey, I am down more than 40 pounds to the lowest I have been since college, and am on track to meet my goal of weighing less than 200 pounds by my birthday this December.  My blood pressure is down to normal levels and my HDL is good.  I am off all medications.  I run three miles a day, several days a week.  I will be running my first 5K in October and my first 10K in November and my wife and I are training for a half-marathon next spring.  I am happier, healthier, and I like myself more.  Finally, this was the year...thanks to Weight Watchers.  

Now, the before picture (taken at Lincoln's birthday at the end of January) - at 265-ish pounds:

Now, for the (temporary) after picture taken today, August 29, 2012 - at 218 pounds:

I still have a way to go, but am pleased with the progress I've made thus far.  Many thanks to Kelli, my family and friends for their encouragement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Whatever on Wednesday

1.  Mason loves the camera.  Gets very excited when it's pointed at him.

2.  We were planning to fly to Boston over the long Memorial Day weekend to visit my parents, but the day before we were supposed to leave, Mason spiked a fever that turned out to be the result of an ear infection.  Even if I was willing to risk getting lynched for flying with a screaming infant, I wasn't willing to put him in that much pain.  But, on the bright side, we've tentatively rescheduled our trip for Labor Day weekend.  (This may or may not be the first my parents are hearing about that.)

3.  Lincoln rarely takes naps on the weekend, so I was not surprised when I went in to check on him on Saturday and he wasn't in his bed.  I was suprised, however, when I finally located him here:

4.  We had a pool party on Friday night, and this kid is fearless.  It's a good thing we're starting swimming lessons next week.

5.  I hunted down a monster truck book on Amazon that has a list of the Monster Jam cars.  Don't ask.  Lincoln's obsessed.  My efforts were worth it when he had to bring the book to Gramma and Papa's and then show it to his cousins.  My SIL dubbed these three The Three Muskateers, and it's pretty accurate.  It's fun to watch them play together.

6.  Seriously, though.  How cute is this?

7.  I don't even know where he learned to eat fruit that way - we always cut his apples.  But he actually finished most of that peach.

8.  In other news (sorry, no more pictures), Tyler has a new calling!  Elder's Quorum President.  He's still getting his feet wet, but I know he'll do a great job.

9.  Lincoln's started claiming that inanimate objects or people not present are talking.  And sometimes he does the voice.  He gets this from Tyler.  Here's an example:  Mom, can I take that coin inside?  It's saying (switches to high pitch), "Mommy, please take me inside!"

10.  We've started the big push to have Mason sleep in the boys' room.  He's been in the pack 'n play in the office since he left the bassinet in our room.  We wanted to get him sleeping through the night.  But we've given up on that.  We also wanted Lincoln to start going to sleep before 10, but we've given up on that as well.  So now we get to listen to them giggle between 8 and 9 and go in and hush them several times.  Confession: I love to hear them laugh together, so I'm not too broken up about it.  Yet.