Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beach!

Ever since we bought Kylie a sandbox, she has had a fascination with the beach. The weather was PERFECT today so we ventured out to Tunnel Park in Holland to enjoy a relaxing day. As soon as Kylie saw the water, she ran for it! The water was totally cold but she didn't seem to mind one bit.
Kylie found this little plastic scooper, one that resembles the kind you would find in a can of formula. She would scoop sand by our beach chairs, then walk ALL the way to the shore to dump it out. That's dedication.
It must have been hard work because afterward she ate an entire PB&J sandwich
*sigh* I'll miss this...

On our way out, we stopped at the playground. All in all, a wonderful day at the beach.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Events

It has been really hot and humid here this week so we bought Kylie this cute little pool. The slide actually connects to the pool, but she wanted to test it out before I could even set it up.
Testing it out...
Looks like it's a big hit to me!
Apparently splashing is hard work!
Every year I look forward to summertime. In addition to warm weather, ice cream, walks around the block, and other various outdoor activities... there's softball. I've been watching my dad play since I was a little kid and I've always loved it. This year has been really special because my dad, uncle, brother, and husband all play on the same team. (My uncle was out of town this week but I'm hoping I can get pictures of all 4 of them sometime).

Josh: Catcher
Kramer: Right field (he's obviously not in right field in this picture)
Dad: Shortstop
It looks like Kylie may be following in their footsteps!

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Just In... We're Moving!

I mentioned in the previous post that Josh received a very interesting phone call while we were on vacation. His boss called to inform us that there would be some reorganization going on within the company. Basically they were eliminating the entire Implementation Department (Josh's department) because it just wasn't cost effective for them to have employees traveling so much. The good news is that they wanted to keep Josh, despite the many layoffs that they would have to make. They would promote him to the position of a project manager, BUT... he would have to move back to Utah in order to do it. So we had 2 choices: take the position in Utah, or stay in Michigan and be unemployed.

In a way the decision was a no brainer- you go where the jobs are. We are so thankful that Josh's company is keeping him and providing him with a new position that will give him additional experience in his field. But it's hard to leave Michigan! We've only been here for a year and it feels like it flew by. We have loved being surrounded by family, making new friends, and serving in our ward. To be honest, we knew that we would probably go back to Utah at some point but we wish we could have been the ones to decide when that would be.


So... we are moving to Utah! We are still waiting to hear more details from the company. We're not sure when we're going (we're guessing 4-6 weeks from now) or where we'll live. We'll keep ya posted!

Days 9-14

Remember how I mentioned Kylie's cold? Well, she was kind enough to give it to me. By Sunday I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The original plan was to drive 2 hours south to Enumclaw that afternoon so we could have a cook out with Josh's aunt. His family went ahead without me because I felt so gross. On the drive there, Josh received a very interesting phone call from his company (I will address this in another post). Bottom line: Sunday quickly became a very interesting day.

Josh's install in Portland was postponed for another weekend so he was able to stay in Washington with us. I can't exactly remember what each day consisted of, but we had a great time just hanging out and enjoying the beautiful weather. There was a really cool look-out point just minutes from Josh's parent's house, so we checked that out one day.
We could see his parent's neighborhood pretty clearly from up that spot


On another day Kylie and I went to the beach/park with Josh's sister, her son Colton, and Josh's dad. Don't let this picture fool you-- it was pretty cold that day, but it was especially breezy by the water. Did it phase the kiddos? Of course not!
I love how you can go to the beach and enjoy a nice view of the mountains at the same time.
We couldn't hang out at the water for too long-- it was way too cold for that. But luckily there was a small playground nearby that the kids enjoyed.
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Don't you love our photogenic children?


Kylie and Colton became pals almost instantly. It was so fun to watch them interact with one another, especially in settings like this where they could just go off and explore on their own. You could see pure joy in their faces as they played and giggled together.
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Before we knew it, it was time to come home. Things started off great! Our flight from Seattle to Dallas was delayed so we spent a little time in the children's play area in the airport. What a genius idea!

Kylie did REALLY well on the plane (both to and from Washington). We read books, colored pictures, had a few snacks, and played with stickers.
It's a good thing she did so well because that turned out to be a crazy day. Since our first flight was delayed, we missed our connecting flight from Dallas to Grand Rapids. We were able to get on a flight from Dallas to Chicago that night, but we had to spend the night there. I was SO exhausted by the time we got to our hotel that night. We didn't get to bed until about 1:00am, and then we woke up 6:00am to continue our journey home. We really enjoyed our time in Washington but it does feel nice to be back home and back on a schedule again.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Days 5-8

The past few days have been interesting. A few minutes outside of Mount Vernon is a Carter's outlet, so we spent some time there on Wednesday. I picked up a few things for both Kylie and the baby-- I'm very excited about them :)
A sundress for Kylie
Jammies for baby girl
On Thursday we had planned to drive down to Seattle to drop Josh off for his install (he would drive a rental car from Seattle to Portland) and the rest of us were going to go to the zoo. On our way there, Josh got a phone call informing him that the project manager was in the hospital and the install was postponed. So...quick change of plans... we ALL got to go to the zoo. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we all had a really good time. The only down side was that Kylie came down with a cold that morning so we had to wipe her nose every 2 seconds.
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On Friday we had originally planned on going to the beach, but we decided against it because of Kylie's cold. We were still blessed with wonderful weather so we spent Friday and Saturday outside. Aunt Jennifer brought over some sidewalk chalk, we went on walks, fed the ducks, and played catch in the yard.

Josh is wrapped around Kylie's little finger anyway, but he really appreciates her love for sports.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 4 cont'd (video galore)

Yesterday was jam packed with fun stuff to do. Not only did we visit the children's museum and have lunch at Olive Garden, but Kylie also had a chance to spend some more time around various animals. When we got home from the restaurant, Kylie went for a walk with Grandpa and Daddy and fed some ducks.




Do you think she liked it??? (Sorry the video is sideways)
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That evening we watched Grandma take Keeper through some agility courses. Since Kylie has been obsessed with this dog ever since we got here, we thought she would love watching him strut his stuff. We should have known that she wouldn't want to just sit and watch-- she wanted to do it too!

For anyone who is interested, here is what they do at an agility class. I had no idea it took so much work to get dogs through these courses.

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We had a hard time keeping Kylie off of the equipment so Josh took her outside to wander a bit

The agility class was held at an equestrian center so there were horses in the pasture right by where we had parked the car. While Josh and Kylie were exploring outside, these horses came right up to the fence.

Despite their gentle natures, Kylie was a little leery to pet the horses at first...
...but she overcame that fear pretty quickly.


I couldn't believe how friendly these horses were! The one kept getting right up in my face, as if to say, "Hey, is that me on camera???"
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Here's a VERY random video. I mentioned before that Josh's parents owned a macaw-- Merlin. Here he is singing along to the hum of the vacuum. The video isn't the greatest quality, but I was trying to hide so he would continue singing. Personally I think it's hilarious that there is a singing bird among us, but Kylie still hasn't shown much interest in him.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 4: My Birthday

This vacation is significant for a variety of reasons. (1) We haven't seen Josh's family in a year, (2) we celebrated Mother's Day, (3) we celebrated my 23rd birthday, and (4) Josh and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary next week. The mall here has a small children's museum in it, so we went there this afternoon. Colton showed Kylie the table with the toy cars but Kylie didn't stay there for long-- there was too much exploring to do!

Whadda ya know? She found the sandbox!The children's museum appealed to people of all ages :)
Following the children's museum, we had a late lunch at Olive Garden. The family surprised me with a couple of gifts and a very sweet card. I have been very close to Josh's family for about 11 years and I can't remember the last time I celebrated a birthday with them, so that was really cool to be able to do that. I married into an awesome family :)



Day 3

Yesterday we had some grocery shopping to do (that happens when you surprise relatives and announce that your stay will be 2 weeks long). Not the most exciting activity but here is a little video of Kylie and Colton interacting. It has been a lot of fun to watch these two together, especially since they're only 3 months apart and the best of friends! They're so different, but equally cute :)

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Day 2: Mother's Day

Mother's Day was very laid back, as I think it should be :) We enjoyed a WONDERFUL family dinner that was lovingly prepared by the men of the family, and then we just hung out! Again, Kylie was fascinated with the dogs (the little one is Josh's sister's). She loved throwing the ball for them- she thought it was the greatest thing ever.

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Josh's dad really enjoys playing the guitar and apparently so does Colton. So cute!

Grandma trying to teach Kylie the concept

Kylie's one and only song request was "The Wheels on the Bus."

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Mother's Day Surprise

*WARNING: Long post!*
Josh has known for a while that he would be having an install in Portland, OR at some point. Since his parents and 3 of his 5 siblings live in the Washington/Oregon area, he requested to be a part of that job so that he could see his family at the same time. Well, after a lot of debating, we decided that we would make it a family trip. His install is from May 14-18, so we planned our trip for May 8-20. It just so happened that the trip would be over Mother's Day weekend, giving us the perfect opportunity to surprise Josh's mom. The only person who knew we were coming was Josh's brother, Aaron, who picked us up from the airport Saturday morning. When we got to his parent's house, we all just walked in the door and wished his mom a happy early Mother's Day, like it was the most normal thing in the world. She had the most shocked expression on her face and then she just burst into tears. We haven't seen her since my graduation last year. It was very sweet.
After the shock wore off and we spent a little time getting settled, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and spend the day outside at Deception Pass. Gorgeous.

Just in case I don't get anymore pictures of us together the entire trip, here's one.

The gang from L to R: Rachael, Dad Steorts, me, Mom Steorts, Kylie, Aaron, Jennifer, Winston (Jen's husband), Colton. Patti (Aaron's wife) was there too but she must be hiding behind someone.

Kylie must have a thing for the men of the family because she warmed up to them right away. She absolutely loved dragging her Uncle Aaron everywhere.

Kylie and Colton were not afraid to play in the water, even though it was freezing. They were both very upset when it was time to get out.

Josh's parents have a dog, 2 cats, and a macaw. Kylie loves animals so this is heaven for her. The guys were throwing a stick for Keeper, so here is Kylie's imitation of the activity.

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Kylie and Colton doing puzzles with Grandma
The cousins hanging out on the couch together after a very long day

Basically on Saturday we just enjoyed spending quality time together as a family. We spent the entire day at Deception Pass, ordered pizzas for dinner, and just hung out. It was so wonderful to see everyone again!