Sunday, December 13, 2009


I am DONE with my bachelors degree at Utah State University!
I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology with minors in both Biology and Chemistry.

Commencement was December 12th and probably the best day since Ryker was born! My whole family was there and I so appreciate their support. I couldn't have done it without ALL of them! Ryker was such a champ- he walked with me when I received my diploma! He slept through the whole thing but it was great to carry him knowing that he is the reason I do everything I do.

My grandma Joyce wrote a beautiful poem and I honored her and my grandpa with a stoll of gratitude. What a truly perfect day! (minus the snow!)

So what now? I am going to find a part-time job and am qualified for quite a few different positions. With the economy, I will pretty much take what I can get. Really, I am a mommy first but with a new house an extra income will help.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Crash and Burn

Avert your eyes if you want our Christmas card to be a suprise! :)
I KNOW! STINKING cute huh? My friend Chelsie over at CS Cards designed them and I am so in love. They will have a little "whats new" letter with them and will be mailed out this week! YAY! Seriously go visit Chelsie for all your card and invitations!

Anyways, this year we decided to veto the usual Christmas tree. Why have one more danger in this too-small house for our little man when he already looks like this:

I know, I know- where are his parents? The cut on the cheek is from falling into a table while wearing his massive puffy coat. The ding on the forehead- got bucked off his bronc. The unrelated bruise? A tumble over Mommy's back, sans hands. He looks neglected, but really he is just so tipsy lately! Too fast- his balance just can't keep up!

We decorated our house so I thought I would post a few of my favorite decorations.
Advent calender that Ryker is loving! I guess this could count as our tree?
I made this sign and am loving it! (Yes, four stockings, I guess I get an extra one :)
I love the center sign- "Jesus once was a little child" and my Christus is by far my favorite all year decoration.

Well, there is the grand tour :) Hope you are all ready for Christmas, because I sure am not!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Family Fun

Lately we have really been enjoying being our own little family. With Ryker getting older, it is more fun to take him places because he genuinely enjoys going out. In the past few weeks, we have taken a drive to Hardware Ranch to see the elk- suprise, no snow=no elk. It was a quick, cold, windy trip and this picture is terrible, but we still had fun talking and enjoying the scenery on the way up.

Ryker hates sleep, but he loves naps with Daddy. Here they are on the couch in "the thinker" and "quit taking pictures" positions. I love my guys!

We went to our ward party last night. It was really fun and great food. Dustin and I switched off taking Ryker to run the halls. All the other babies (toddlers?) his age sit very content...not our maniac! He was squealing and trying to pound on the piano and well, being himself. Tyson, a neighbor boy has a little brother the same age as Ryker and he played with Ryker all night saying "my baby doesn't walk yet! Look at him walk! (VERY loud forced laugh) He keeps saying tee-tee! (Another laugh)" Man, it was so fun to see him interact with other kids. I am sure we are the "bad parents" in our ward because our kid doesn't know how to "behave" but hey, how do you discipline a 1 year old and "make" him sit still. I say mission impossible.

Anyways, this is getting long. They had Santa come and I thought- oh, Ryker loves everyone! He will be fine...

Not so! Screaming bloody murder the second I put him on his lap. This picture makes me laugh so hard though (I know, scared does not equal funny, but I beg to differ!) Check out another post below for everything that makes me giggle about Ryker.

We are so glad we have our little guy and can experience being a kid all over again!

This kid...

....makes me giggle!

Puts 'nannas' on his head and says "uh-oh!" Screamed bloody murder the second we put him on Santa's lap (this one especially makes me giggle- is it mean to find humor in his pain?)
Gets a Carrot-top beard while eating spaghettios

Looks like a G in that hat and shirt (ignore the yucky carpet-we rent, remember)
Beware: mustache picture....
Thinks daddy's mustache was silly. I on the other hand found it to be absolutely horrendous. This was the last picture with that horrid thing- disclaimer: my husband is the hottest guy around- sans mustache!

Waits patiently for mommy when she goes to warm up the car in the mornings. I return to this huge grin across his face- love him!

I love my little guy and the many giggles he gives me everyday. Kids really do keep you young (except that no sleep part :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Good (No Bad or Ugly)

We got Ryker's test results and the good news is that he does not have celiac disease or cystic fibrosis! Don't get me wrong- I am very glad that he does not have a serious disease. We just can't help him becuase we don't know what is wrong! So so frustrating, but now we wait until we go see the great doctors down at Primary Childrens (December 12th). Thanks for all the support and prayers- they are very much appreciated.

In other news- we have chosen a house plan!! We still haven't got the lot stuff all squared away (hopefully by late January) but since the owner kind of likes us we think he is still game to have us as neighbors :)

Anyways- let me have your input- the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here is the outside- it will be jazzed up a bit with some rock and hardy board. It will be darker too. There will also be 3 dormers on the roof. Basically, it won't look like this :)

Here is the houseplan itself. Horrible picture but I don't know how to get a bigger one. Anyways, there are a few changes that I tried to write in. They are just small: double sided wood burning fireplace, mudroom, walk in pantry and possibly a half bath added to the back of the house near the laundry and minor changes in the master bath.

  • Things I LOVE about this plan:
    Huge master (16X21) and large bedrooms (12X12)
    Nice open living area with a large island in the kitchen (don't be suprised if I never ever leave that kitchen).
    Fireplace and nice sitting area in back- I can envision myself sitting in my sunroom (I have always wanted one!) sitting with a book, blanket, hot cider and a nice fire reading a book while the snow falls. *sigh*
    Large walk in pantry for all of my future canning.
    Bonus room for crafts and lots of family fun!
    Dustin just loves the 3 car garage and we will be adding a lift for him to perfect his Camaro.

There is also a bonus room above the whole house that doubles our space (YEAH!) Since we can't have a basement due to the high water table, we are building up.

Seriously, tell me your input because living in this cracker box, I have no real ideas as to what makes a great house!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Start

We went to our much anticipated doctor's appointment today. He is a great doctor and has given me some hope. He is running test to check for: lactose intolerance, milk protein intolerance, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis. Those last two scare me to death but I am not going to worry until we get results next week.
My little guy is so tough- literally! We had to do a sweat test for the CF and he HATED having his arm held for 5 minutes. We then had to let him run around for 25 minutes (just what he loves!) but he touched a hot piece of metal when on his adventures :( Then came the hardest part, we had to do the blood test twice, so he has battle wounds on both arms :( :( The nurses were amazed at how strong he was and how hard he fought. That's my man!
So now, we wait...wait for the results and wait for our doctor's appointment at Primary's on December 21st....but at least it's a start.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I will get to the failure part but I thought I would throw in a little bit of the craziness in our lives lately.
I am still trying to finish up with school (only 2 more weeks!) I have tests, assignments, papers, discussions...something due everyday. I will be so glad when this is all over! If you hear a loud "WAHOO!" on December 12th, don't worry, it's just me letting everyone know that I am free!
I have also been super busy with AVON. I had two boutiques this weekend and they both went well. I also now have 7 people working under me so that keeps me busy but I am really enjoying it!
On to the not so fun stuff that isn't looking like we'll have answers soon.... As you know if you read my blog, Ryker has acid reflux. We don't know what has happened in the last few weeks but it has gotten much worse. He is now on a fairly restricted diet and on the maximum medication that his little body will allow. Good news- he has increased in height quite a bit and is at the 57th percentile for height. He has not gained weight for three months and hadn't gained for the previous three months either. I think he is maybe a pound heavier than he was at 6 months.
Anyhow, the doctors up here can't do anything so we are scheduled at Primary Children's on December 21st. What a long wait when my little guy is in pain! I have an appointment with Dr. Armstrong up here next week because I hear he's the best.
I think this may be the hardest thing I have ever been through. I can't do anything for my sick baby and his cry is so sad because he is in pain. The constant wiggling to try to get comfortable, gulping swallows to try to keep the acid down and inability to sleep is all really getting to me because I can't do anything! Perhaps the worst is when I called the doctor last week and they repeated his notes to me. Included was the diagnosis of "failure to thrive". I can't think of a worse term. To a mother (or at least me) it sounds like "well, you don't do enough or feed him enough or take care of him well enough!" I know I know, it's a term to describe his poor weight gain but come on- FAILURE to THRIVE?!?!
Hopefully next week holds the answers we are looking for.
PS- happy post below about birthdays.

Let's Party!

At our house, late October and November are busy with birthdays! Dustin turned 24 on October 22nd and we went to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate.
Ryker's first birthday was November 5th! I cannot believe it has been a whole year! We had a party that Saturday. Thanks to all the family who came! We had a potato bar and a frogs and snails and puppy dog tails theme. It was really fun and he sure got a lot of fun stuff. I was busy setting up so I didn't get my own pictures, so I am just waiting for my Grandma's pictures.
Ryker got a push car, lots of clothes, cowboy boots, camo suspenders, a cute toy puppy dog, rocking chair.... I am sure I am missing something!
For my birthday, on November 11th I had a fun day with the girls making necklaces at Beadles. We went to (where else!) Texas Roadhouse that night also! Thanks for all the gifts and love on my birthday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


One year ago today, I first held the cutest little boy ever. It has been such a crazy year and I can't believe it has gone by so fast! He is full of life and is so interested in everything. I love that he can't miss a thing and know that in the future he will be so successful because of his enthusiasm.

I have had so much fun being a mommy. I am blessed to be this crazy kid's mommy and know that in the next year it will be just as fun and filled with suprises as this year.

Happy Birthday Little Man! We love you!

Thanks Nikelle (Ryker's Cousin) for this great Happy Birthday Song!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


For Ryker's first Halloween we had to spread the festivities over two days! On Friday we went to a carnival and our ward's trunk or treat. Ryker was very excited and kept waving his hands because he was so happy. We got a lot of candy that he has been bringing to me to open for him ever since.

Halloween wasn't the best day. He had been up a lot the night before and I had a cold. We didn't do much during the day but then went and ate pizza and trick-or-treated at Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen's. We went to Grandma and Grandpa Baer's and he got his favorite- animal cookies! Then it was off to the Nielsen Great Grandparents. It was a fun night and Ryker was so cute in his outfit!

We had no trick-or-treaters at our house and it was too bad because I had rice krispy treats to give out! Oh well, more for me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I know...what a sweet little stud muffin :)

Ryker has been changing so fast! He learns not just one new thing everyday but about 10 it seems like! Some of his most recent accomplishments:

Saying Daddy (Dustin is so proud!)

Saying "vrooom!" with lots of spit bubbles when pushing his trucks

Saying something that resembles "thank you"

Bringing me things he wants, like the whole box of graham crackers or whole huge bag of cereal :)

Kissing me right on the lips, open mouthed. He will not take "no" for an answer! I know, he will be real smooth with the ladies :)

Making messes...big messes.

Knowing when he is in trouble before he gets reprimanded...and he's starting to get sneaky!

Walking quite a bit! Climbing a lot!

Bringing me books to read. His favorite- The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

And I am sure I have missed so so much. He is so fun and I am sad to see him getting big.

In other news, Dustin got a deer! We are enjoying steak, roast and quite a bit of jerky. Mmmmm...

Enjoying Autumn...

I call it autumn because Dustin thinks saying fall is kind of weird...I know, there are only two seasons in Utah- Freezing and Blistering hot. I love the way too short in between seasons, except for Halloween. I hate Halloween...I know, it's almost worse than hating Christmas to some people!

We have been out and about enjoying the good weather that has now left. The highlight was playing outside in the sand box with trucks. Entertained my little man for almost 2 hours!

Today we went to the Pumpkin Walk. It apparently ended last night (why so early?!) Anyways, between the freezing cold, having my keys locked in my car and a slightly runny nose...Ryker and I survived and had some fun with his cousin.

I was very proud of myself today. I had my niece who is almost 3 and Ryker. Somehow, I managed to still pull off my "autumn supper". The menu included potato corn turkey chowder and pumpkin rolls. Seriously DE. LISH! and super easy. Check out the soup recipe here. Try to withhold your laughter when looking at my rolls. They look a lot like the carved pumpkins are looking this late in the season...droopy, misshapen, just plain ugly. Oh well, it was fun! I just rolled them in orange food coloring and then put a stem on top...ta da!
It's okay to look away :) Dustin refused to eat them...

I LOVE AUTUMN! Seems that it has now passed...oh well, there is still Thanksgiving to look forward to before I have to submit to winter fully!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a year...

A year ago today was one of the saddest days of my life and my families lives. We lost my step-dad Steve after a short, but very hard illness. We have been through so much in this year. I remember going to my Mom's house and praying that I wouldn't go into labor. Now, I have a bouncing little boy who is walking, but am also missing 2 of the best guys I knew. My grandpa Clynn also died the night before Ryker was born (November 4th). Here's what I remember about these 2 great men:

You were always smiling. Hunting was your thing (you would be proud- Dustin's trying to get his BBD *big buck down*) We think about you a lot when Dustin uses your elk call to get Ryker excited, or when he puts on your camo.
I remember that you told me I have a lot of dads and that you will always be there for me and it is true, but I miss you a lot and wish you were here. You sent me Ryker and I see a lot of you in him (mesmerized by those elk and loves the outdoors!)
We spent a lot of time together in the months before you passed. You were so so positive and give me so much inspiration to get through my trials. I walked into the specialty hospital for the first time last week- where we spent lots of time and where we got the news. I thought it would be hard, and it was, but I was comforted knowing that you aren't in pain anymore and that you did meet Ryker.
Thanks for being a great dad to me and for always being such a fun, loving person. Miss you and love you lots!

Grandpa Clynn
I remember the first time I layed eyes on you...what a sad day but you made me so comfortable (little back story- I met him at my Dad's funeral and had never met that part of my family before). Your love for me was always there, even though I wasn't there.
You were also such a fun person. I loved d the time we spent talking. You made me feel so welcome into the family and I never once doubted that you loved me. You also were a great example of strength in hard times.
Although I only got to know you for a short while, I really love you. You overnighted Ryker straight to us and I can just see you smiling as you sent me this fun, crazy boy and said "good luck! He's going to be a fun little handful!" Love you and miss you!

Since I couldn't let myself end this post while crying- I thought I would give some happy news.
RYKER IS WALKING! Yay horray! He is so brave and stands up and takes 4-5 steps, falls down and right back up he gets! He has also taken a liking to bringing me things. This morning it was graham crackers that he wanted opened and this afternoon- every book he owns. He also has become even more lovey and gives big open mouth kisses that leave me with slobber all over and a big grin on my face. Thanks Steve and Grandpa Clynn for sending me my fun little guy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I am so spoiled in two ways- one: I have the greatest family ever who really take care of me and two: I already know what I am getting for my birthday and Christmas. Takes the fun out of it, but I am sure that the gifts will more than make up for it! So, what am I getting?!?

and this:
The first is a steam cleaner that I have wanted since I got married- so much easier and safer to clean with. Clean house, here I come!
The second is my BRIGHT PINK! laptop. Mine died and with school I really need another one.
Best. Day. EVER!

I love you family, thanks for spoiling me!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1 Year Pictures


My grandma Shanna took these pictures for Ryker's first birthday- November 5th. I love this cute little man to pieces!

This makes him look just like Dustin!

My favorite!

His new "snorty" face!