Friday, February 23, 2007

National Pancake Day

Earlier this week it was National Pancake Day (on Tuesday). Pancakes (or "cakes") are Gabe's favorite foods right now, so we thought it would be fun to take IHOP up on their FREE pancakes. It was fun to celebrate a silly holiday like that. Gabe loved that they had balloons around the restaurant, and was a little in awe of the BIG pancakes (he eats the mini frozen ones at home).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The other night while we were getting dinner read we had our ipod on with a great "I love the 90's" mix of music. A rap/gangster song came on and Cory, Gabe and I started dancing around the kitchen. Gabe did a scary impression of a "Gangsta" with his tipped hat, snazzy glasses, and slouchy pants. Hopefully this is just a stage :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

So here's our little Valentine. Isn't he a cutie?!?! I had actually tried to take some pictures of him this morning - so they'd be authentic Valentine's Day photos, but he wouldn't cooperate. But these pictures are from Sunday, his first official day at nursery at church. (he just turned 18 months old!)
He really had a good time with the other kids. I stayed in for a while, but mostly because after he got comfortable there was another little girl who clung to me and wanted me to stay. I really didn't mind - it was fun to have a change of pace. But I had many comments after the fact of people saying that not only was he super good in nursery, but he was SOOOO cute! Of course, I agreed whole heartedly.
It didn't hurt things that they had goldfish, gummi bears, gummi worms and valentine sugar cookies for a snack, or that they made valentine pictures with heart stickers (and he loves stickers!) So we're looking forward to this new chapter in our lives. It should be lots of fun for everyone!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gabe's new toy

We have a really fun next door neighbor - Jerry. Jerry had told us all about these awesome rocking "horses" that he made, and got us excited for then when I was expecting Gabe. Well this morning we got a rocking "dog" of our very own! Jerry has been working on this for months and months and we were so excited to go over to pick it up from him! He put so much attention to detail into this creation, and it literally looks exactly like our dog Sadie - down to her colors and markings - which are EXACT replicas.

Gabe was a little wary at first, but he's in love with it now. He has a hard time staying on the dog by himself (working on balance), but loves to rock on it with mommy and daddy. In fact, we even read our afternoon stories on it this afternoon before Gabe's nap.

Thanks Jerry for sharing your talent with us, and for giving us this beautiful addition to our family!

Life is too short

Over 8 years ago, when I made the decision to marry Cory there were several factors that affected my decision. One was that he was pretty awesome and treated me so good. But another factor - probably an even more influential factor - was his family; and most specifically his extended family on the Ellis side. They were one of the most amazing families I had ever met, and as soon as I was introduced to them I wanted to be a part of that awesome family!

Cory and I hadn't been dating very long when I met his family. It was their yearly Ellis Family Reunion, and it was being held in Heber City - about an hour from my family's home in Orem. So Cory came to spend the 4th of July weekend with me and my family, and we headed up to the reunion with his family for part of that weekend. Now Cory and I had only known each other for a little over a month, and most of that time had been spent with him in Idaho, and me in Orem. So the idea of a huge extended family totally intimidated me. To add to my nervousness, Cory had only been home from his mission for a little over a month and this would be the first time he'd see his extended family in over 2 years! So I remember literally shaking with fear when we walked into Aunt Lynette's back yard to meet everyone.

We walked into the backyard that afternoon and Cory introduced me to a couple of people and walked away. He left me! Fear came rushing to me and I thought I might actually die right there with all of his family watching me! But know what? Within moments I was a part of the family. I wasn't just the girl Cory brought, but I was welcomed with loving hearts and welcome hearts. I knew by the end of that afternoon that if I didn't marry Cory, I would have to marry a brother or cousin because I had to be a part of the Ellis family! Every aunt, uncle, his grandparents - everyone hugged me, asked me all about myself, were genuine and interested in me. And they made me feel a part of the family, something I'd never felt outside of my own family.

The reason I bring this all up is that yesterday morning we received a call from Cory's mom to tell us that his Aunt Margo had passed away in the night. This was totally unexpected and devestating. When Cory told me what his mom has reported to him I kept saying, "Margo, as in Aunt Margo? Aunt Margo Sears?" It just didn't seem possible that someone so young could be taken from us with literally no warning. Thinking of her family, children, husband - everyone whose life she touched, and all that we would miss out by not having her in our lives broke my heart.

But then I was reminded of something. The reason that I was drawn to Cory's family in the first place - the plan of salvation, the gospel, and the idea of families being sealed together forever in the temple. The Ellis family lives these principles, and through his Grandparent's example they really are creating families that will be together even after this life. Grandma and Grandpa's example of temple service and devotion to the gospel has created an extended family whose love will last even beyond life on this earth.

So while this time is sad for those who love Aunt Margo, it is reassuring that we have our beliefs and can be assured that we will see her again, and that really we never have to say goodbye to our loved ones forever. This is something I am so grateful for! So thank you Ellis family for welcoming me with loving arms, and thank you for sharing Aunt Margo with me for the short time we had. Her vibrance and excitement for life will always be with me!

(The Merthen and Vonnie Ellis Family - 7 children and their spouses. Photo taken July 2006)

(Aunt Margo with her typical smile - she really has always had a fabulous smile on her face, and really a wonderful attitude in her heart!)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

a few thoughts

I had some time to myself this weekend as we were in Bozeman for Blind Guy meetings. Something that is rare – time all by myself. The idea itself sounded fabulous at first. Nothing I had to do, no one that needed me, and time to recoup on sleep and wasting time without feeling guilty.

But as I was trying to do that, and trying to relax I got to thinking about Gabe, and about being a mom, and how different my life has become in the last 2 years, and about how very different it will be when I’m not only a mom – but a mom to 2….Lots of thinking and reflecting going on. It was good – really, really good.

So what I’ve uncovered is that I am a mom. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – you already knew that, and I should have caught on about 18 months ago when Gabe was born. But no really, deep down I am a mom. Although I’m a few other things (woman, sister, daughter, wife, scrapbooker, YW 2nd counselor) this mom gig is what I want to be, it’s what I long for when I’m by myself, and what I miss when it’s not around.

I was sitting on a bench in the mall in Bozeman after going to a movie by myself, wandering around Barnes and Nobel for about an hour, and treating myself to a bowl of cotton candy ice cream when I realized that more than anything I wished Gabe was there to share the ice cream with me and enjoy the new books I had just picked out for him at Barnes and Nobel. I missed him fiercely. In fact, I had to leave Barnes and Noble earlier because I had been looking at all of these sweet stories about love and Valentine’s, and loving your kids and found myself crying….totally embarrassing (but it worked – it made me buy the darn children’s book that started the tears flowing!)

I know that I need time to myself at times, but since I’ve been pregnant this go-around my time to relax and unwind has been spent being sick, and when I have had a chance to myself I almost felt guilty because I’ve already spent that time away from my mom/wife duties while I’ve been sick.

So I might complain about coming up with ideas for dinner, or feeling worn out from Gabe’s demands – but when it comes right down to it, there isn’t anywhere in the world that I’d rather be than spending time with Gabe and Cory. I know that when this new little baby arrives I’ll be equally as smitten and in love with them. I can’t wait to get to know their spirit, their excitement and their personality.

I know that not all mothers feel this way – and you know what, that’s their choice. I do know however that no rewards or accolades that the “world” can throw at me can be as rewarding as the look in my child’s eyes when he gets something I’ve taught him, or when he just wants to snuggle with me. I am so grateful that I feel fulfilled being a mom and that for me I’m not torn between other good things in life. I think there are a lot of good things that can take us away from home and can even make us very happy. But for me I couldn’t split myself between my family and other things that the world might throw my way, and it was a great realization for me that I didn’t even want to be split between different things – I am happy where I am! I hope I can keep that focus, because I know for me this is where true joy has come from.