Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best Vacation in the World

If I could pick my dream vacation, it would not be laying on a beach somewhere, or visiting historical sites in Europe. I would want to something that I love, and that would be snowboarding. For my birthday, Mark and I got to spend four days and three nights at a resort in Park City. It was a blast. Okay, I guess if it is was really my dream vacation, I would go somewhere like Chili or even Canada---somewhere that is more than 45 minutes away. It was great though. We did miss the snow by one week. But it was snowing while we were there so we had plenty of powder, just not plenty of mountain. Because of this, we got creative and worked on our "craft". The ski in/ski out accommodations were fantastic. It's was so nice to walk to our room after a long day of boarding and sit in a jacuzzi, watch a movie, and do whatever we wanted. I'd love to do a group trip sometime with friends or family. Maybe next year :)

We used a disposable camera and the pictures didn't turn out very good.

A Self-Portrait (after almost 7 years we are getting pretty good at these)

If you look really hard you can see me. It is kind-of like an I-spy.

Mark in the trees. I love the trees.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I know - the pictures turned out... interesting.

Because we are moving soon, I have not decorated at all for Christmas. This kind-of bums the kids out so I have been trying to go out and do Christmasy things with them. Tonight we went and saw Santa at the mall. I have never done this with my kids before because it just doesn't seem worth the wait in line. But after 45 minutes of waiting we made it. Abigail did not like it at all, and Emma and Gabe were very shy. Emma asked for a leapster for Gabe for Christmas and a candy cane. Gabe asked for a leapster. Just to clarify Emma's selflessness. She already has a leapster and we think she wants Gabe to have one so he'll stop playing hers. :) I love Christmas time. I can't wait to get where we're going and really get into it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Elf Yourself

Here is our Elf Yourself video. These just crack me up.

Click Here To Watch

Monday, November 10, 2008


Life doesn't stop, especially when there are kids involved. They are always doing, growing, learning, and creating. So, life goes on, and with it goes Halloween. We took a short-notice trip down to St. George the week before Halloween. Thus, we were not completely prepared, but that was easily remedied by one trip to Wal-mart. Emma didn't want to come with me to the store and when I told her we were going to pick out a Halloween costume, she told me to just to get one and surprise her. :)

We went to a ward block party where the kids got to dress up and parade around. They enjoyed that. They got to carve pumpkins with Grandpa, who is the world's best pumpkin carver. I wish I could learn this trade. I can never figure out what to cut out to make it look like I want. Trick or treating this year was so fun because the kids were so excited. I felt like it was the first year where I was trying to catch up to them instead of me nudging them along. It did help that we were in sunny St. George instead of freezing cold Lehi. They were so hyper and excited. You would have thought they had had a whole bag full of candy when in reality they had had none. Mark had to work so he missed out for the second year in a row. He'll have fun with them next year, hopefully. We went to the McDermot Mansion where the kids got to go on a spooky train ride. That thing hauled, it seems like a law suit waiting to happen - very dangerous. Anyway, by 8:00 the kids were begging to go home, which we did. And then I chowed down on candy for three days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ode to Basketball

I'm pretty sure that this should not be my favorite thing I do in a week, but it is. About twice a week, I get to play basketball at the church. Everyday I do, I go home on a high. There is nothing like this sport, and I feel so lucky that I get to play. I know what you're thinking, 'woah, it is just basketball, you might be a little obsessed'. You moms out there know about the monotony of our lives. Maybe I shouldn't generalize. I feel the monotony of my life. Yes it is busy, and I have three kids that are constantly being funny, naughty, cute, amazing, annoying, etc. They keep me on my toes, but sometimes the days can blend together of making food, cleaning up food, and doing laundry. I'm not complaining. I wouldn't trade my life for any other. The thing that breaks my days up is basketball. I get to spend an hour using my brain in a completely different way. I get to push myself, sweat, be rough and strong (although recently I was accused of not having any effect when I foul someone). I get to be aggressive and competitive, and it is an hour just for me. I don't think about how I'm going to get Gabriel to eat something other than cereal, or how to get Emma to talk without an attitude. Really, how lucky am I that I get to do my most favorite thing twice a week? To clarify - I am not saying I am really good, especially compared to the men, I'm just saying I love it. I sometimes wonder where other women get this kind of thrill and enjoyment. I know that I am an anomaly when it comes to this. When I was in high school, my mom always said that I would never be able to use basketball later in life, and a much smarter choice would be to become a piano player, because I could teach and play all my life. Sorry Mom, but basketball has brought a joy to my life found nowhere else. It is who I am. I am a mover - an athlete.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gabrielson Family Reunion

I have a few pictures others took, but none of my own. I was having way too much fun to get my camera.

Highlights (and lowlights) of the Gabrielson Family Reunion (from my perspective), and in no particular order.

- Chris taking a bite of pie with a huge nasty Caterpillar in his whipped cream.

- Getting to see aunt Carol - a rarity

- Aunt Carol decides to try running in the "Olympics" only to pull a hamstring after 3 steps.

- Staying up until 4:30 am talking with brothers and sisters, and finding out all the horrible things we did as kids.

- Brian's amazing flipper running skills

- Chris losing his hearing from a balloon JJ popped

- Laura(Gunnar's girlfriend) meets the family, and Aaron makes the entire room uncomfortable with his "try a different brother" bit. Unknown to us, she already asked out Brian 2 months ago.

-Guitar Hero

- Swimming in warm St. George weather pretty much whenever I wanted

- The best of The Colbert Report

- Sand Volleyball

- Lisa scaring all bystanders at a park by screaming her lungs out, as she is trapped by JJ and Brian in a spinny thing.

- Watching many of the adults spend hours doing the kids crafts - well, mostly Mark did this.

- Watching JJ as a parent. It is so neat to see him as such a attentive and fun dad.

- Playing Boogieman for the first time with my kids. It was so fun, and weird. One of those, "oh, I'm a grown up now" moments

- Gunnar's sprint into a concrete wall head first while playing boogieman.

- The good food - mostly prepared by Mom and Jen.

I'm sure there are many other things that I've already forgotten. The best thing was being able to spend time with everyone. We all have our own very busy lives, and it was so enjoyable to talk, laugh, and play with each other. I am blessed to be part of such a smart, fun, and real family. It was a very relaxing, and relatively peaceful vacation/reunion.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Originally, I wanted to write a blog every week, but as I am thinking about the week, I am realizing, I didn't take any pictures. Hopefully, blogging will help me with my lack of picture taking. I'm not sure if it is bad blogging etiquette not to include pictures. If so, oh well, here we go.

Saturday, I tried to potty-train Koda. Yes, it is amazing that I would volunteer to potty train someone who is not my child. I actually didn't mind. These days, I enjoy serving where I can, and I know that a potty trained child is a great treasure. So, since this is something that I can do, (unlike bringing a nice homemade dinner over to people - I'm sorry if you are ever sick, and I show up at your door) and Koda wasn't responding well to Heather and Dan's efforts, I decided to give it a try. Mark took all the kids over to Dan and Heather's. It was nice focusing on just one child for a whole day. It went okay, not as good as I'd hoped, but we are definitely on the right track, and I think it will take about another week or so until he is totally potty trained.

Sunday, we watched conference at Dan and Heather's, and pretty much hung out there all day. It was a little hard for me to focus on the talks, but what I did catch, I very much enjoyed. Things that I really needed to hear, like living in the moment, and enjoying our days right now. Also, I really liked the quote, "The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare." I know there was a bigger point to it, but I really needed to hear that if I am going to run a half-marathon in a month :) Sunday night, we played a new game called Elfenland. It was pretty fun, except I didn't win. Dang.

Oh, a funny quote from Emma. I printed off a conference packet for her, and the front page had a line for name and date. Emma came up to me and said, "I don't know what to put for date because I have never been on a date." It was funny.

The rest of the week was filled with pretty normal things. Abigail had her one year check up. She is weighing in at 17 pounds, which puts her in the fifth percentile. It is fun having such a little baby. I spent some time helping in Emma's class, which is always fun. Although the things they have her do are so easy. She could have done this stuff 2 years ago. Thursday, Chantel let us play with her dogs and kids for a while. That was a lot of fun, because my kids LOVE dogs. It was so nice for them to get to play with one for a few hours, and it was also nice to realize that I don't want one. :) I'm glad Emma and Hailey got to play together too. They are such cute friends. Thursday, we also got flu shots. Me, Gabe, and Abigail had ours with very little fuss. Emma was a different story. Holy Cow. She was screaming, "No! NO! I don't want it! NO!" We had to physically hold her down to get it done. Afterwards it was no big deal. I love to compare things that happen in my kids lives to things that happen in my own. This makes me think about things that God know are good for me, but might be just a tiny bit hard, and I freak about it. I might put up a huge fight, and if I'd just listen to the spirit and have faith, I'd be much happier.

Now, I have to go get ready for our week long family reunion in St. George. It should be a blast.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abigail's Birthday

Abigail turned 1 today. I can not believe it!!! She is such a sweet girl. Mark and I are so sad to see her grow up because we love the adorable baby she is, but I am getting excited to hear her talk. I love this stage. I don't have to question my parenting all the time. I didn't have a lot planned for her birthday - just the eating of the cupcake, and presents, but Emma was so disappointed by this. She kept saying, "why are there no streamers up, where are the balloons, when is everyone going to get here etc." So, this afternoon, we make a banner for Abigail, hung streamers, blew up balloons, and invited Abigail's good friend Canyon over for the "party". (Canyon is Dan and Heather's baby, and if a good friend is someone who will let you rip their hair out, then Canyon and Abigail are BFFs.)

Abigail dove right into her cupcake. I love this ritual. This is the first dessert my 1-year olds ever have. I love to see how they react. Yes, she tore it apart, chowed down, and laughed. Similar to me eating dessert.

We had the hardest time getting her interested in her presents. She just didn't care. Finally we opened her present from Nana and Grandpa, which was books. She looked at those for a little while, and we had to take them away to get to her to notice her next present. We got her a super super soft blanket. It was from us and Grandma and Grandpa Ward. She LOVED it. She is so funny with soft things. She rolls around on them, and wiggles her bum. She played with her blanket for a good 1/2 hour. It was so cute.

So, Abigail is 1. Her first year of life was very blessed. No huge accidents or sicknesses. Mark has never interacted with our babies as much as Abigail. Those two are buddies. She is happy most of the time and very independent. She entertains herself so well, which makes for some mischief. Like playing in the toilet, or pulling all the things down she can reach in the pantry, or getting into cupboards and breaking things. It is fun to watch her explore though. I am looking forward seeing her personality continue to grow. I love her so much!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Abigails first pigtails

I was just able to put Abigail's hair in pigtail. They were so cute!

A little about us.

So, where to start. We are a family of 5. Mark and I, Emma(5), Gabriel(3), and Abigail(1-tomorrow). We are really lovin' life. We currently live in Lehi, Utah. Mark works for Investools, and is taking classes at the U. He is pretty busy, but works from home so we still get to be with him a lot, which we love.

Emma started kindergarten this year, and loves it. She loves everything, but her most favorite things are reading, dancing, singing, and playing with friends. She is an amazing girl who is positive and thoughtful. She is very intelligent and keeps me on my toes.

Gabriel started preschool this year and is also loving it. He keeps me very informed on what he does each class, and is so excited to show me his projects. He is a crack up, and makes me laugh every day. He is also very thoughtful and loves to play with cars and trains. Recently, he has spent a lot of time doing puzzles and workbooks.

Abigail is the funniest baby I've ever met. She really makes me laugh. She is so adorable, and it makes me a little sad how fast her first year went by. She is a toddler now, toddling around. She is a music and dog lover. Every time she sees a dog, hears a dog bark, or sees a picture of a dog, she lights up. She does the sign for dog and pants. It is so funny. She also loves music. She recently learned how to "dance". She can turn the CD player on, and she will dance for an hour. The cutest thing is when we all join her and she smiles and laughs.

I am very blessed to be able to spend my days at home. I love it, and couldn't ask for a better life. The things I am enjoying right now, are early morning basketball. I love it. Also, Mark and I just did a triathlon last weekend, and it was awesome. Training for it was nice too. I am really enjoying any physical activities I can get in. So, that is a little about our family. I guess I will post what we are up to now, and hope to stay pretty current.

In the Beginning . . .

This is the beginning our our blog. I realize that I am behind the times with this, but better late than never eh? I am excited to have a place to record our family adventures. I am crossing my fingers that I can keep it up to date. Here we go.