Friday, December 18, 2009

Silly Sleeper...

I went in the other day after Brigden had fallen asleep for his nap to check on him and this is how he fell asleep...sitting up! He must have been really tired! Oh how we love this little boy...

Attention! Attention!

Now that I have your attention, I just want to let you all know that I am officially done with school! And not even just for the semester...I am done done - like will have my bachelor's degree done! If you can't tell, this is a very exciting day. I felt like this day was taking forever to come, but now it is here and I hardly know how to contain myself...Casey and Brigden will have a wife and mommy again! And I will be a college graduate!
I know that Brigden will miss hanging out in the library every once in a while...Doesn't he look thrilled to be there?

I turned in my last paper today (which, of course, I started last night...not procrastinating and actually doing it ahead of time would be way too easy) and I took my last final today as well. I wanted to shout for joy in the testing center as I filled in the last bubble on the scantron, I'm sure all of the people hard at work on their tests are grateful that I did not :)

Anyways, here is a picture of me on my last day of school. That sounds so weird to say because I have been going to school pretty much every day of my life, except for summer break, for the last 16 or so years...

When I came home from taking my last final today, the house was so clean (much better than how I had left it) and there were signs all over the kitchen (a tradition in my family), and there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the table. I love flowers. I have such a wonderful husband. He knows how important this accomplishment is to me...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The first REAL snow!

This is what Brigden and I woke up to this morning and I am surprised to say that it actually made me happy! Being from Arizona, I am not a big fan of living where it snows. I will admit that I thought last winter was miserable! When it snowed last winter for the first time, I was already dreading the coming months. But seeing the snow today was different. Brigden and I went outside and it was so peaceful. I think this winter may be different, I'm excited for the new change...Brigden sure thought it was neat, it was hard just getting him to look at the camera!

Feeling Grateful...

**This was my journal entry from last night after Brigden went to sleep...I thought I would share it because it tells a lot of how I am feeling right now...Casey comes home tonight...Yay! I am excited to hear about his experiences!**

Casey left Wednesday afternoon to go down to Mexico with a group to volunteer at an orphanage for a few days. I am so excited for the experiences that he has been able to have the last few days. I wish I could have gone with him! But I am also excited that he will be coming home tomorrow night. Brigden and I sure have missed him! As he has been gone, I have been able to reflect more on my gratitude for him and how much I love him. It has been tough not having him here for a shoulder to lean on when I am tired, a listening ear to listen to my ramblings, or helping hands to play with Brigden when I need a minute to myself. I love him more and more each day for all that he does and all that he is. He helps me to be a stronger person. He is such a great example to me of hard work and Christ-like service.
At the end of this month, we will have been married for 2 years and will have known each other for almost 3. I have learned so much about myself and life in these years with Casey that I know I would not have been able to learn any other way than with Casey at my side. He is my best friend and my confidante. I don't think a day goes by that I don't say to him, "You're the Best..." Usually he shrugs his shoulders or rolls his eyes like what he does isn't that much. But it is. He enables me to become my best self. "He gives me wings to fly." (Sister Hinckley)
This past semester has been really rough with both of us having atleast 15 credit hours, Casey working, and having the sweetest little baby boy to take care of. I would not have been able to do it on my own. But thankfully, I didn't have to - I have had Casey and my Savior to lean on. They both know how important finishing school is to me. They have worked with me to make it happen...I will be finished with my bachelor's degree in less than a week. And it has not happened based on my merits alone. This has been a family effort and accomplishment. WE have done it together - through ups and downs, tears and laughter, faith and hope.
I would feel ungrateful if I didn't also acknowledge our great family and friends who have helped us in this endeavor with watching Brigden, lending a listening ear, or simply brightening my day - I am so grateful for you - Mom & Dad, Margo, Holly, Amber B., Justina, Amber M. - you are the greatest! It is true that Heavenly Father usually meets our needs by means of another...
I love my life. We are living our fairy tale. But our fairy tale isn't made up of fancy castles, knights in shining armor, or princesses in fancy ball gowns. Our fairy tale is made up of a humble home where we learn and grow, a daddy who gets up early and stays up late working and studying to provide for a family that he loves so much, a mommy who is working hard to finish school and who sometimes doesn't get ready for the day until the day is almost over because she has been playing with and taking care of a little one all day, and a baby boy who needs so much love, care, and attention that it is sometimes overwhelming but who brings so much joy and love that his parents never knew was possible. Our fairy tale is written in the ink of selfless service, sacrifice, devotion, struggle, and love. We make it happen. It is not always easy, but that makes it all the sweeter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BYU Football...Go Cougars!

One of our most favorite things to do while we have been here at BYU has been going to sporting events, especially BYU football! We have gotten the All-Sports Passes both years, so we have tried to go to as many games as possible to make it worth our money...We have had so much fun this year with the home football games and a few volleyball games. We are really looking forward to basketball, too! It has been fun to have Brigden with us at the games this year. It is so fun doing things together as a little family! We really have to make the most of the time that we have together, even as little as it may be sometimes with both Casey and I going to school full-time. Here are some pictures of our fun times at the football games...Go Cougars!
BYU vs. [I don't remember :0]

We got our tickets with our friends (and neighbors) John and Fernanda and her brother, Yuri. We have had so much fun with them at the games. They are great friends. And Brigden LOVES them!

BYU vs. Air Force
Casey's parents came up for the weekend and it was great to spend time with them. They are such a blessing to have in our lives. We love them!

The BIG Game----BYU vs. Utah

This game between rivals was so exciting! The 4th quarter ended with the score 20-20. During overtime, Utah got a field goal so it was 20-23. Then BYU got a touchdown for a final score of 27-23! It was so cool to see the fans rush the field-it was a sea of blue! What a great game to be at!

Oh The Places I GO...

Hi, my name is Brigden. I am almost 8 months old and I love that I can finally move around! I have been crawling for quite some time now and standing too! I am having so much fun...Mommy and Daddy love it too because it is fun for them to see all of the new things that I am learning to do. I'm already fast at getting around by crawling but just wait until I can walk! Mom and Dad will sure have to stay on their toes to keep track of me! They think that it is so fun to play with me and see all of the things that I am exploring, even though I disappear a lot. I love to crawl and stand and walk along furniture. Here are some of the places I love to play:
Well, that's all for now...Mommy says it's time for bed! But I'll be back!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Quick Post...

Wow, we have had a busy month this last month! There are lots of posts and updates to come, but for now, here are some pics from Halloween and some of Brigden standing! For Halloween, we dressed up as Betty, Barney, and BamBam Rubble from the Flintstones, and without even planning it, Fred and Wilma showed up too! Brigden looked so cute in his BamBam costume, too bad it was too tight because he was asleep when I was making it the night before, so I couldn't measure it on him...It was really funny to try to watch him crawl around in it!
Brigden stood up all by himself for the first time today and he is already becoming a pro! He will be 7 months tomorrow...It is crazy how fast time flies! We love you all!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brigden's Army Crawl...

Sorry this video is sideways, but here is Brigden's army crawl! He is getting so big! It is so crazy how fast they grow...More posts are coming soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brigden's Third Month, Part 1

This post is all about:
After we left from Peoria, we were went to the ranch that Casey's family has in New Mexico. We spent about two weeks there and it was great! Torie went with us because my mom, dad, and other sisters were going on the Trek. It was fun to have her there with us. She sure makes for an exciting time, you definitely won't stop laughing when she is there, that's for sure!
We decided to drive through St. Johns so we could stop and see Nana, this would be the first time for Brigden to meet her! We had a great visit and Casey's cousin, Brittany, and her new little baby, Addison, met us there. Brigden and Addison are
only about a week apart.

We had so much fun while we were at the ranch. Jeniffer and Josh were there for the first half of the time we were there. It was fun to spend time with them, Casey's parents, and Kimberly and her cute boys. Casey was able to help his dad a lot and also helped put in some great wood flooring. It looks awesome! It was such a great experience to be in such a beautiful place with people we love. The ranch is seriously a retreat from the world. When I am there, I am reminded of what is really important. We have such a beautiful world around us. Here are some fun pictures from the time we spent there:

We celebrated my birthday while we were there and went to this cool place called the Catwalk. We swam a little bit but the water was so cold. It is really cool- there is this waterfall that you cannot see from the trail, it's kind of in a cave-like place, and you have to go through the water under a few huge rocks to get to it. Casey, Torie, Mikayla, and I went to it. It was so neat! We also had a great BBQ there when we were done. We love adventures!

The rest of my family came after they were done with the Trek to get Torie and stayed a night. We did some fun things while they were there like digging for pottery and riding the four wheelers.

There is a hummingbird feeder on the back porch that attracts tons of hummingbirds. My dad renamed the ranch the "Hummingbird Ranch." He started acting like a hummingbird, buzzing all around with his arms out and Brigden LOVED it. He also recruited Torie to help him with his hummingbird exercises. So fun...
We had so much fun while we were there and wish that we didn't have to leave! Hopefully we can make it back soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One year already!

This is my handsome brother, Elder Jordan Ames (I cropped this picture from a family picture from our wedding). I cannot believe that it has been a whole year since my mom, dad, and Jordan came to stay with us before we took Jordan to the MTC. It has been exactly one year today that we took him there - which I'm sure he doesn't like to be reminded of. :) In his last email he said, " First and most important! You are all completely ridiculous!!!! Why do you always have to make a comment amount how much time that I have been out!! :) I know that I only have a year left, but that does not mean that you have to mention it!!"
This is so Jordan. When he has a job to do, he is so focused and determined to do it to the best of his ability. No distractions! Jordan is such a hard worker. He is an awesome example to me. We are only 14 months apart in age, so I do not ever remember a time in my life that Jordan has not been there. I have so many great memories from growing up of us together. Here are a few:

-catching lizards together in our backyard
-playing in the sandbox and digging for "clay"
-making bracelets out of electrical wires that our uncle Lenny found
-having our own little "club" every Christmas Eve, we would always sleep as close as we could to the downstairs and then sneak out in the EARLY morning hours after Santa had come and gone to see what fun there was in store. Our little sisters were always mad that we would always be the first ones down there...They never understood how we did it!
-riding bikes in the cul-de-sac
-playing in our tree house and smashing up wild olives from the tree it was built in for "ink"
-driving to early morning seminary together - he would always get mad at me for doing my makeup in the car or spraying hairspray! haha :)
-going to EFY together and being in the same group- it actually was awesome!
-having him come to visit while we were at EAC - he stayed with Casey and his roommates in their apartment (it was before we were married) - I think that was a real eye opener for what college life is really like!
-Jordan always made me promise that he would be the first to know when we found out that we having a baby. Even if it was while he was on his mission - I had to write and tell him first. Well, we ended up telling him the night before he went into the MTC - what a mean sister I am! But I wanted to do it in person and that was the only chance I would have. I think he knew that he would have a niece or nephew before he came home, but I don't think he realized they would be a year and a half! I am so grateful for the amazing missionary uncle that Brigden has to look to for an example. It definitely will be a great day when they can finally meet! He will be able to speak Spanish with Casey and Brigden. :) Casey speaks mostly Spanish to Brigden, so they can talk together...
Jordan is working hard and doing awesome. It is definitely hard work, but he puts forth his all. His example (from when we were growing up and now) helps me to be a better person and see how I can improve. We love you, Elder Ames!

What a special day!

So this is back-tracking a bit, but I am working so hard on getting caught up so I can try to stay caught up!
On Sunday, May 31, 2009, little Brigden was given a name and a blessing by his wonderful daddy. Casey is such a great example to me. He prepared prayerfully to be certain that the blessing he gave would be the blessing that our Heavenly Father would have for Brigden, not only what we would want. He gave a beautiful blessing, which I knew he would. We decided to bless him in my family's ward in Peoria, the ward I grew up in. This was so all of our immediate family could be there to share this special day with us and Brigden. And everyone was there except for we were missing Elder Ames! But he is working hard. We were able to have so many special people that we love with us. Thank you everyone for taking the time to travel and come to be with us. We love you all! We even had some great friends that travelled to come share the day with us - Preston and Cordae, Dustin and Cynthia, and Jessica, Josh and little Braxton. And then there were some others from Peoria who made a special trip aside from their regular ward to be there - Michelle and Neal, Deanna, Sarah, Casey, and Paedn. Sorry if I've forgotten anyone...I'm kinda sad that we weren't able to get pictures of everyone who was there, we should've taken them right after because then it got a little busy. But we were able to get some great family pictures.
The power of the priesthood is a great blessing to our lives. I am so grateful for the example that Casey is to me and the faithful priesthood holder that he is. He works so hard and does so much to be the best he can be. He amazes me with all that he can accomplish. And he is the greatest daddy - so fun and so helpful. Brigden is a lucky little guy...Thank you Casey for all that you do!
We also are blessed to have a wonderful little son who is so much joy to our lives. We are so grateful for little smiles, little giggles, little hands, cute little feet - everything about little Brigden.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brigden's 2nd Month

Brigden had a pretty adventurous first few months, which you will see in this post and the next. When Brigden was 6 weeks old, we went to Arizona. Brigden and I went a week before Casey, so we decided to fly. I was very nervous about flying with a newborn, but it went great! The Salt Lake airport wasn't too busy and we flew through security. I couldn't believe that they would make me wake up a sleeping baby to carry them through! Just kidding, I understood, but sleep is precious. We got to the gate with a little time to spare and I ended up being able to take Brigden's carrier onto the plane because the flight wasn't too full, which ended up being very nice to have. He slept through take off and then woke up a little later to eat. Then he fell back to sleep during landing. I told Casey after the flight that we needed to invest in a flight simulator! :) I took some cute pictures on the plane, but cannot seem to find them, so I will have to add them later.
My mom and sisters picked us up from the airport and we went to my dad's work to show little "Baxter" off. It was so cute- we walked in the front door and there is a sign that usually has the stock quotes listed on it, but instead it read, "Welcome Baxter! #1 Grandson" What a great welcome! My dad was holding Brigden and he went up ahead of us because he was so excited to show off his first little grandbaby. When we walked in the doors to the main office, we saw my dad holding Brigden with about 8 women around him. One even had stayed later after her shift was over and waited to see him. He is a pretty popular little guy there!

It was great to be there with my family. I decided to go down a little bit earlier than Casey because Kamrie had her 8th grade promotion and was singing the National Anthem and it was Torie's birthday. I thought that it would be fun to be there for those things.
Kamrie did awesome with the National Anthem. She is a very talented and beautiful girl. High school here she comes!
You better be ready for her!
Happy 10th Birthday, Torie! Torie is a crack up. She is seriously one of the funniest and smartest girls I know. She is so clever and comes up with the craziest things. We love hearing about all of her crazy antics.

We also got to go to the lake while we were there. Thanks uncle Linsey! It was so fun! The water was perfect temperature and it was so nice outside. We love the sun! Casey had lots of fun wakeboarding and I was very proud of myself- this was 7 weeks after Brigden was born and I kneeboarded and skiied! I felt like that was quite an accomplishment. Needless to say, we were very sore after, but it was so worth it! And Brigden looked so cute in his little life jacket!

Brigden also got to meet his new little friend, Braxton, while we were there. He is Jessica's little boy that was born a few months before Brigden. Brigden was still a bit too little to really know what was going on, but Braxton sure was excited! I'm sure they will be the best of friends, just like their moms!

Here are a few more fun pictures of Brigden that were taken while we were there in Peoria. We sure do love this little guy! We found a cool teacup at Wal-Mart and decided to have a fun photo shoot with Brigden in it. Most people who see this picture do not believe that Brigden is just shy of 2 months when it was taken. But it's for real! He has always been a strong one...

See ya later!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello again!

I have set a goal for this week before school starts to get caught up with blogging, so I am going to set each day aside for a different month of Brigden's life! He is growing so much (and so fast) and it is fun to see the changes and progression from month to month. Today I am going to do his first month. There are lots of pictures and many more to come!

My mom and Casey's parents were here when Brigden was born, which was so wonderful! My dad was coming on the Saturday that we got home from the hospital, which I was so excited for. Originally, I thought that it would be about a month or so until my sisters were going to be able to see their first little nephew. That made me a little disappointed and I know that they were sad thinking that too. Well, Torie gave me a little tip-off that they were coming with my dad for the weekend. :) Torie is my little accomplice in figuring out secret information! (She let me know that Casey had talked to my dad before he asked me to marry him...but I'm not innocent in the situation - it was definitely after some prodding by me!) SO, I was so excited for them to come, but I still let it be somewhat of a "surprise." We got home from the hospital and they arrived a few hours later to meet little Brigden! It was great to have them here for a few days. I give them credit for all of the pictures we have of Brigden's first few days at home! If they weren't holding him, they were taking pictures. Which is great because we sure do have a lot! We didn't have a camera that worked that well at the time, so it helped a lot!
This is Brigden with all of his "tortillas." Casey speaks mostly spanish to Brigden and Torie kept hearing him say things about Brigden's tias (aunts in spanish). So when she was getting ready to hold Brigden, she said something like, "Ok Brigden, come to your tortilla!" We all just looked at her like she was crazy until we realized why she was saying it. Brigden sure loves his tortillas! So silly...

I LOVE this next picture. It is one of my favorites. My dad is so so good with Brigden. I love watching him play with him and take care of him. Brigden is so calm whenever he is with his Poppa C...This was the start of the Easter cake creation.
Here's a couple of the new mommy and daddy! (Notice that most pictures of me in this posts are of me laying down...that was pretty much my position of choice for the first couple weeks- sitting down just hurt too much with all of the stitches!)

Here's a few of Brigden's firsts...It was fun for me and Casey to give Brigden his first bath together. In the beginning, he did not like baths. But after the first few times, he started to love them. They are now one of his favorite things!

It is crazy how small he looks in his bath tub in these pictures. Now he fills the whole thing and it's almost too small for him!

My mom got him this fun outfit for his very first Easter and he wore it on Easter Sunday which was four days after he was born. We also had a fun photo shoot!

This is Poppa C's finished Easter creation. He is very creative. This is the "He is Risen" cake.

My dad and sisters left on Monday and my mom stayed for another week to help us out a little bit more. We are so grateful for all that she did to help. She had been in the hospital for her back before she came up to help us and her back was hurting a lot, but she did so much to help us - more than I ever could have asked for. Thank you mom! Also, thanks goes to my sisters who let me have mom here for so long!

Casey's mom and sisters also came for a week to visit and to see little Brigden. They brought two of their little boys who are so much fun! They also helped out so much, especially with meals. It was so great to have them here. I had Brigden a week and a half before finals, so I was still recovering during finals week. I was really worried about how finals week would work out with both me and Casey having finals to take, but Casey's mom saved the day! She was so great to drive me around and help with Brigden while I was taking my tests. She is great! Thanks so much Jenny!
Like I said before, we didn't have a camera that worked too well at the time, so I do not have any pictures from the time that they were here...this makes me so sad! (I stole this one off of Kimberly's blog, I hope that is alright!) But there are so many fun memories from the time that they were here...
This is little Colten trying to sweet talk Uncle Casey for gummy worms with his BIG smile...

Overall, we had a pretty smooth transition to being parents. We love having Brigden as a part of our family. We are so blessed to have a little boy who is so good. He has such a good temperament and is so good to us.
Stay tuned for month 2!