Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Sorry a long time I know. I really need to get better at this. The last couple of months have actually been more eventful than most. I guess it's time to finally post some pictures. First event - Nina and Papa's visit. Joe and Lynn came up to visit us and to celebrate Aaron turning the big 30 in early September.

Piper getting her face painted at Soldier's Hollow.

To celebrate Aaron turning 30, we had a BBQ with some friends.

Trying to light the candles on his cake. Unfortunately, the night breeze was not allowing this to happen.

Piper with Nina and Papa.

We had a great visit and enjoyed having company. The only downside to this fun weekend, we had an incident at Soldier's Hollow (which at the time we felt was only minor) but it ended up claiming my Maxima. While I am grateful for the fact that we have a car again, I really, really miss my Maxima.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Last week was pretty busy for the Stringer household. We had a house full of visitors the entire week. My brother and sister-in-law went to Boston and so we had their three kids staying with us Mon-Sat. Needless to say it was different taking care of four kids as opposed to just one. I tried to do some fun things with them, so they could keep occupied and busy and not think so much on missing mom and dad. We had a couple of bumps starting out. Monday night, I couldn't sleep and was awake until about 2:30 until I finally drifted off to sleep. A little after 3:00 the fire alarm went off. I was downstairs on the couch so I wouldn't disturb Aaron with all of my tossing and turning. I ran into the kitchen, and couldn't see anything on fire there, so I ran upstairs as fast as I could. By the time I got to the top of the stairs, the alarm had shut off. When I got to the guest bedroom, I could hear little fingers scrambling to open the door, but unsuccessfully, and I could hear panicked sobs. I opened the door and found Reese in quite the terrified state. After checking the rest of the house, I assured her everything was okay. She slept in our room the rest of the night while Tate went right back to bed. Piper must be deaf, because she didn't stir one little bit. All day Tuesday was consumed with talk and talk and more talk over fires and fire alarms. Try as I might I could not get Reese to calm down over the whole fire alarm incident. Tuesday morning also brought my piano lesson. I had to bring all four kids as I had previously talked with my piano teacher about. They were really good, except Piper at the end had to come and climb up in my lap for the last ten minutes while I played. I don't know what it is, but she gets so jealous when I play the piano. As we were leaving my lesson, no sooner had we walked out the door my phone rings and as I'm trying to balance Paysen, my piano books, and scrambling to answer my phone Tate informs me that he got stung by a bee. Since we had been outside for a total of five seconds, I didn't believe him and worked hard to usher the three older kids down the street as I'm trying to talk to my brother. By the time we got home, one look at Tate's face told me he really must have been stung by a bee. He is one tough dude and since he was so distressed, I knew something wasn't right. Sure enough, he was stung by a bee. Once I acknowledged that fact he burst into tears. We mixed up some baking soda and water to make a paste and fixed up his hand. I couldn't help but think that Lynn and Jaclyn would think I wasn't taking care of their kids between Reese's distress over the fire alarm and Tate getting stung by a bee, all happening with them only being with me for about 16 hours. But it got much better after that. We spent the rest of the day hanging around the house and going to the park.

One of Piper's favorite thing at the park. This tractor is always here and she loves to play with it. She keeps telling me she wants a tractor. (Something that her great grandpa Penrod would be so proud of) Although when I get her a tractor I will get her a John Deere tractor, because every one knows they are the best.

Wednesday we went to Kangaroo Zoo, which is an indoor play area with big blow up slides and jumping areas. A big success. Everyone enjoyed themselves, including myself because it kept all four children happy and entertained. We stayed there for almost three hours, I was just so happy that everyone else was happy. I didn't get any pictures there at Kangaroo Zoo.

Thursday morning we played at the park and that afternoon we went somewhere, but I don't remember (pregnancy brain for you). That night we roasted marshmallows and made s'mores in our fire pit in the back yard. Reese informed me that s'mores were the most delicious things EVER. I was in close agreement with her, although I have a few things I like better than s'mores, but they are pretty good.

Hanging outside with Cooper.

Piper really enjoying her s'more.

Friday morning we went to the park and later that afternoon we went to a trampoline gym and then when Aaron got off work we went bowling and had pizza.

Saturday after I dropped the kids off with Jaclyn's mom, Aaron's grandparents, Mama Jane and Papa Doc along with Aaron's uncle Randy came and took us out to dinner and spent the night with us. They had been up in Montana visiting another uncle of Aaron's and then were going to Flagstaff to visit Aaron's parents. This was a lot of fun, especially visiting with Randy since we don't get to see him too much as he lives in Australia.

For some reason, we couldn't capture Piper's smile, I guess the camera was too slow.

Piper with Randy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Last night, Aaron and I were watching the news and they were talking about the start of the upcoming college football season. I felt a feeling inside of me, that really is quite difficult to describe, other than a pit of dread and if I'm being completely honest, part disgust for the next few months ahead, with every Saturday being consumed with football games, and being unable to go and do things with my husband on Saturdays, because so many things have to revolve around what games are on TV. The real problem is, the longer I'm married the more I hate football. I used to just really dislike it, but every year it evolves into something worse. Don 't get me wrong, I don't hate sports, just football. I love basketball, and find that very entertaining, I just can't get into football. The more I watch, the more I hate it. I like watching the highlights of the game, because I get to watch the best parts, without having to devote four hours of my day to it. Hopefully next year we can buy season tickets to the University of Utah football games. If it takes selling my plasma twice a week to get it done, that might just have to happen. I can appreciate the enthusiasm of going to games, and I think that it is a great time for male bonding. In fact, I loved it the year Aaron had season tickets to the U. He got to hang out with some of his friends at the game, get some time away from the wifey, enjoy a great football game, and I didn't have to watch it! A win-win situation!! Now don't get me wrong, I think my husband's love of football is kind of cute, I love that he has that enthusiasm, I just don't share in the enthusiasm. The reason I think it is cute, is because Aaron has such a wide range of interests. He really has such a variety of interests, it is one of the things that I found so attractive while we were dating, and is definitely one of my favorite things about him now. I love that he is so well rounded, I think I would go absolutely nuts if his whole life revolved around sports, and this is all he could talk about. Luckily for me, I am truly blessed, and I don't have this problem.

With that said, as I laid in bed pondering what my Saturdays are going to entail this football season, I realized (not for the first time) how compatible Aaron and I really are. We may not share in the love of football, but most of our interests are the same. We have the same tastes in so many other activities and the ways in which we want to spend our free time, even if we don't have the time/money to do those things at this time. I know this is part of the reason adjusting to marriage was so easy for us, it was such a smooth transition. We really are lucky to have found each other.

One of my favorite pictures. This was while we were still in the hospital. Aaron had gone to a Utes game that day (at my insistence, really! I knew it was hard for Aaron to sit in the hospital, and we had bought those tickets, and I wanted him to use them.) Aaron had just gotten back from the game, and Piper just watched and watched him. Isn't it an adorable picture? I think so.

Well with that said, I DO care what happens with the Utes this year, I hope they do well in their new conference. I hope Aaron has a lot of good games to watch this year. Go Utes!!!! (And go Aggies!! Although I don't hold out much hope for them, I do love them!!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Fun

I don't really have much to blog about, so I thought I would just post some pictures of some of the activities Piper has been up to lately.

Enjoying her first ice cream cone - completely solo, without any help from Mom or Dad. A proud moment for us ice cream lovers.

One of our favorite things, going to the park behind our house. Piper loves climbing up the different levels to get to the slides, and of course she loves going down the slides. She loves to say "Ready, Set, Go!!" A phrase she learned from another kid at the park. She also loves the swings, but since I have to stand right there in case she falls off, I haven't got a picture of her on the swings.

This summer we have enjoyed our fire pit. Since we didn't get to roast some s'mores for the 4th of July, we did it a couple of days later, and Piper learned of the joy of a simple s'more.

Piper showing off her sticky face. Incidentally, she kept saying "Sticky, sticky." This however did not prevent her from grabbing a handful of dried grass clippings, which was funny because she kept trying to wipe them off, without much success of course!

Just getting warmed up on the s'mores.

Creating magnificent chalk artwork on the sidewalk and driveway!

Working hard, helping Mom pull weeds out of the flower beds. (And a few flower petals as well).

Let's not forget how much we love our bunnies. Here is Piper getting up from her minute of crying and being consoled by Cooper our bunny. For those of you who didn't see on Facebook, one day we had four little girls over to play. Piper all in all had a good time. Three of those girls were triplets, and during the time they were over, I had to change three poopy diapers. After each diaper change, Piper wanted her diaper changed as well, which was so funny, since Piper hates having her diaper changed. Every time I wiped their noses, Piper had to have her nose wiped. Each time I gave them a high five, Piper had to have a high five. You get the picture. I guess this is what it will be like when the baby gets here. But when it was time for them to leave, Piper was SO upset. After they left Piper sat right next to Cooper, flopped her body down, flew her arms over him and buried her face in his fur and sobbed. It was one of those moments as a parent, that you can't help but laugh a little, but also it was sad. She laid there for about a minute and cried. Well I FINALLY realized what a good photo op that moment was, but caught it as it was winding up. This is Piper getting up from that incident and giving him one final kiss before coming over to get a hug and cuddle from Mom.

All tuckered out! Piper fell asleep during dinner and I couldn't resist getting a picture of it.

Piper has enjoyed summer and has loved spending every minute outdoors that she can. Despite a wasp sting and a couple of tumbles outside, this does not deter her nor slow her down. She loves to run around and explore the outdoors. Hopefully soon I will be getting over this "morning sickness" and we can take a camping trip, something I have been dying to do, but in reality, don't really feel up to leaving the comfort of my bed and the convenience of throwing up in toilet, for sleeping on the lumpy ground and scrambling to open the tent door and stumble my way through the dark to vomit in a bush.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

American Girl

Well the 4th of July has come and gone. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I'm always a little sad when it is over. This year we didn't do too much, we can thank the pregnancy for that. But I think we still had a great weekend. Saturday we went over to Josh and Kim's and had a BBQ, and spent a great evening with them and their family. They have a daughter that is 11 months older than Piper and they played and got along really well with each other. Their daughter had some princess shoes, and Piper thought that this was great! For those of you that don't know, Piper LOVES shoes. And I mean LOVES. A couple of weeks ago grandma Hurst bought Piper some shoes and talk about excited. Anyways, Piper had fun playing over there and so did mom and dad. It is such a blessing to have good friends to share life with.

Sunday both Piper and I were sick. We had to stay home from church while poor Aaron braved our primary class by himself. Although I'm sure it went well because the kids love him. Last Sunday when Aaron was dropping Piper off at nursery and she was having her meltdown, the kids kept asking "Where is Brother Stringer?" concerned that he wouldn't be there. It really is so cute. I'm so lucky to have someone like him. He just takes things as they come and is so patient and understanding. I'm really grateful he is like this, especially recently, since some nights dinner doesn't consist of anything nice, and the house isn't exactly up to par some days.

Monday brought us lounging around, relaxing and enjoying each others company. Then mid-afternoon, we combined lunch and dinner and had a BBQ with some fantastic food. After food coma set in, we laid Piper down for a late nap and engrossed ourselves in episodes of 24 on Netflix. After Piper woke from her nap we went down to Sandy city to their festivities. There was food booths, craft booths, all sorts of fun things. Then they had their parade in the evening, which was kind of strange, I have never been to a parade in the evening. But it was a great success. Piper really enjoyed the parade and did a good job sticking by mom and dad.

At home.
Enjoying a snow cone while waiting for the parade to start.

Being a cute, silly girl!
One of my absolute favorite things was watching my daughters face light up during the parade. This isn't exactly a picture of her with that expression, but here she is waving to some veterans who were waving at her.

One of the best parts of the parade was a refueling jet that did a low fly by over the parade. It scared Piper the first time, but the second time she handled it better, giving a tentative laugh after it flew by. This is the plane flying away after its last fly by.

After all the festivities were over, we were all a little tired, at least I was! We were going to go home and cook some s'mores in our fire pit in the back yard, but it started to rain, so that let that out. The last fun of the day involved giving Piper her glow in the dark bracelets which she thought were pretty cool. She even wanted to share and made sure that mom had one too. So we settled down on the couch cuddling and admiring our glowing jewelry in the dark. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of her and the bracelets, because she wouldn't quit looking at them long enough to get a picture.

All in all a fun weekend! It is great to celebrate Independence Day and to reflect on the kind of life that I have because of others actions and sacrifices. No country is perfect, but I am grateful to be born and raised here, with the kind of life that I have had because I am an American. What a great blessing!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cowgirl Piper

Last weekend we took Piper to Thanksgiving Point to see their farm animals. We saw goats, Llamas, turkeys, chickens, peacocks, horses, cows, pigs, ducks and rabbits. Piper's favorite thing was riding a pony. She was so excited and thought it was awesome!

Trying to pet the Llama.

Not quite sure about the goat.

Then she sees the horses. "I want that!" Piper's exact words. Good thing Nina and Papa have horses she can ride when we visit, so we can say she can ride all the horses she wants at Nina's and Papa's.

The best part! What a blast!

Then it was time to pet some animals.....

As much as this little guy wanted to be pet, and try as I might, I could not get Piper to pet this adorable little Jersey calf. I think she knows from petting the calves at great grandma Penrod's house that cows lick. When I took her to Grandma Penrod's a couple of months ago a baby calf licked her and she did not like it. But then I held out my hand and let the cow lick me, and then she decided if mom was okay with the cow licking her, it must not be too bad. But I think she must remember, because she refused to pet this adorable calf.

Another funny thing, they had two peacocks that had their tails fanned out, but did she show any interest? No, she wanted to go back and watch the ugly chickens!!!

All in all a fun day at Thanksgiving Point. I am however very, very disappointed in how they keep their rabbits. Two of their rabbits were practically on deaths door. Most of the rabbits had severe eye infections and all of them were in bad health (I could tell by their poop) I was very frustrated and wanted to take them away, not that I could take any more rabbits. Two is definitely enough for me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tender Mercies

Okay, so I've been guilty of something awful this week - feeling a little bad/having my feelings hurt over something that I've come to realize maybe doesn't matter as much as I think it did. I woke up last night at 3:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. In part due to my churning mind and the other part due to my crazy allergies (Thanks new batch of rabbit hay). I was frustrated as I contemplated things, tossing and turning, all the while wishing desperately I could go back to sleep. After I got my sneezing and burning eyes under control, at 5:30 I could hear my husband's soft even breathing, and then I had an epiphany, which I hope will last a long time. I had a voice in my head reminding me that I have ALL I NEED. I have an amazing husband, who for some reason loves me, even with all my bad habits and annoying personality traits. I have a beautiful, funny, smart and happy daughter. I have some people who, rain or shine I CAN rely on. I have my sister who I think is one of the most amazing people, EVER. She is so much of what I hope and strive to be. She is my hero. I have my brother who I know would be there in an instant if I needed him. He is so many things I wish I was. He has an easy ability to talk to anyone, I wish I was more like that, he is much less afraid than I am. I have a sister-in-law who lately I've come to rely on so much. She is so funny and easy to be around, and the more I'm around her, the more I love her and I'm so glad she is in my life. She is becoming a great and amazing friend. I have another friend who constantly amazes me. I spent the day with her. She is medicine for my soul. She is smart, witty, direct and upfront, kind and compassionate. She somehow always lifts me up, by doing what I don't really know. I wish she could always see herself the way I see her. I know she is in my life for a reason, she is one of my tender mercies. Laugh if you want, but I truly believe that Heavenly Father knew what a blessing she would be. I've only known her for a few years, but in those short years, she has quite literally been there for my lowest and most painful moments and my best, brightest and happiest experiences. She's been there, constant, stable, always reliable through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. Somehow I do not think this co-incidence. As these thoughts replaced the negative ones, I felt the hugest peace washed over me and I soon drifted off to sleep.

Today I was with this friend and we had a crazy, silly day - just what I needed. We took our daughters swimming. For the record- I think I have a little fish on my hands. Piper LOVED it. I just feel bad I didn't get any pictures, I just didn't want to risk my camera getting stolen. Piper went down a couple of slides herself, with me at the bottom to catch her, and then we went down a big twirly slide that went around and around about four times. As Piper giggled and giggled going down the slide and then later grabbed my face and gave me a kiss, I just thought that was just about the greatest thing. It felt really good. After a crummy week of stupid things happening and not feeling well, today was such a breath of fresh air.