Thursday, December 31, 2009

silver linings

we're sick. it stinks (not literally-thankfully). today I found the silver lining to having a cold for a prolonged period of time. In fact, I discovered two great things:

1. I have now lost 2 lbs which I've struggled to do for several months now. Maybe this will be my motivation to keep working on that.(Even more of a miracle at the holiday time and I'm still eating chocolates galore.)Terrible, simply terrible thought I know.

2. I am now about 3 inches taller thanks to my trusty bed head and thus I feel much less pressure to lose weight as I was in the "overweight" category. Now with three more inches on my height I'm hoping that bumped me out of that category.

yea me for being a positive thinker!

ps if you have any spare kleenex laying around your house and are feeling generous we could use some. ;)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Is there room in my Inn...for Jesus?

The month of December has been very busy for us. The first half was filled with preparations for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. The second half has been filled with recuperating and sickness. All I want for Christmas.... is a good night's sleep!

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. I came across a quote that left me enlightened and pondering the level of my devotion. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said,

"Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus."

and this poem...

A Prayer for December:

Dearest God,
Please never let me
Crowd my life
Full to the brim.

So like the keeper of Bethlehem's Inn,
I find I have no room for Him.

Instead, let my heart's door
Be ever open,
Ready to welcome
The newborn King.

Let me offer the best I have
To Him,
Who gives me everything.

--author unknown

With all our Love,
The Beck Family

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the human experience

My morning perusing of blogs was most heartwarming and spiritually uplifting when I read Stephanie Nielson's (better known as Nie Nie) blog post. She is such a strength and example of faith and perseverance. All I could think as she shared her experiences was there is something about her new outward appearance that to me allows her inward beauty and faith glow even brighter than before (as far as I can tell since I only know her through her blogging bc (before crash) and ac (after crash). It was just what I needed to make today the best day it can be and do the things that will help me to have that faith and that perseverance.

Just as Stephanie describes choosing to come back, to wake from her coma and to experience life with her family despite all the trials that laid ahead, we each chose as spirits in our pre-mortal life with God to come to this earth and experience life with physical bodies that are subject to death (and injury) so that we can experience the full measure of joy and happiness that God has in store for us. Elder Bednar, an apostle of Jesus Christ, shared the following at a recent Church Educational System Fireside (to read the entire EXCELLENT talk, go here):

"In 'The Family: A Proclamation to the World,' the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles declare that as spirit sons and daughters of God we 'accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize [our] divine destiny as heirs of eternal life' (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102; or Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49). Please note the primary importance of obtaining a physical body in the process of progressing toward our divine destiny.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught with clarity the importance of our physical bodies:

'We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power.'

Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal estate. President Boyd K. Packer has taught, 'Our spirit and our body are combined in such a way that our body becomes an instrument of our mind and the foundation of our character.' Thus, our relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and act in accordance with truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies. In the classroom of mortality, we experience tenderness, love, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations in ways that prepare us for eternity. Simply stated, there are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have, as the scriptures describe, 'according to the flesh' (see 1 Nephi 19:6; Alma 7:12–13)."

To read Stephanie's post, go here.

For those who know me, physical interaction with others can be a challenge. I struggle with confidence in myself and with a desire and willingness to create meaningful relationships outside my immediate family (I struggle with that at times too). Sometimes it feels borderline agoraphobic. This talk about Elder Bednar has left me humbled and deeply pondering my true purpose here on earth and how I can better serve my Heavenly Father as a mortal with a physical body. You might find it ironic or even hypocritical that I am blogging about this talk (you will have to read to understand why) but I think there is a balance in all things (Elder Bednar agrees too). For example, Stephanie's post brought the spirit of faith and fortitude into my day when I wanted so badly to waste away my day. Just like a friend's innocent post regarding her bad mood prompted me to visit and say hello (something I'm sure did more for me and my "mood" than it did for her). I think in these examples online interactions motivated and led to physical action and interaction--uplifting of spirits and souls.

Despite my rationalization of my blogging and facebooking obsession (admitting is the first step to freedom right?), absolutely nothing will compare with physical relationships with which there is, "laughing and crying together, creating rich and enduring bonds of emotional intimacy, feeling the warm tender hug of an eternal companion or the sincerity in the eyes of another person as testimony is shared--all of these things experienced as they really are through the instrument of our physical body..."(Elder Bednar's talk).

So, today I will love, today I will serve, today I will rejoice in God's plan of happiness, today I will rejoice in the human experience.

Temple Treasures and a Map

Temple Treasures

Recently we went with a family in our ward to the Sacramento Temple so that they could see it together as a family. It was a fun and spiritual day for us. It is amazing to see children experience the temple. In August we had the privilege of attending the sealing of another dear family in our ward, the husband and wife to their 3 beautiful daughters. It was breathtaking to see the children walk into the room. To find out more about eternal families and sealing ordinances, go here.

Back to the first family, the Myers. This visit was especially dear to us because we have home taught and visit taught this family since we moved to Orland. These children helped me to overcome my fears of motherhood (yes Amy if you ever read this believe it or not, they did)! It has helped me to realize that raising children is a process and the way by which Heavenly Father molds and shapes us to be more patient, loving, considerate, and Christ-like people. I was so afraid that my weaknesses would keep me from being a good mother, but the innocence and love in these kids eyes melted my heart. They are precious jewels (and yes they still have their "ugh" moments I will attest).

I thought I'd share a few pictures from our day. I can't wait for the day they go as a family to be sealed!

That's our baby Gavin with Amy. He loves the temple. We've had to take him with us every time we go each month and so he is becoming quite familiar with the temple--love it!

As part of their first temple experience, I wanted to have a way for the family to learn more about the temple since there is no visitor's center at the Sacramento Temple and also to keep the kids entertained. Well, the young kids didn't have a clue about the treasure hunt, but I think it worked out pretty good for their older son. If you like the idea I suggest drawing up a map of your own with your local temple. I am definitely no artist and this was done way too late at night, but it did the trick. I didn't do this but if I use this again, I'll find objects to symbolize (since that's so much of what the temple is about--symbolism) the different "treasures" of the temple. For example, when we talked about the temple recommend I showed them my passport and compared the need to prove I am a citizen of this country when I want to leave or come back to the US to the need to prove I am keeping God's commandments he asks me to enter His house. I thought of white cotton balls to symbol being dressed in white and we talked about our baptismal experiences. I have another document with the specifics I taught them on each stop. If you want it, send me a message with your email and I can email it to you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pepperoni Pineapple Pizza and McKenzie MDT

A Few of our Favorite Things...

Two things are on my mind right now...pepperoni and pineapple pizza and McKenzie MDT. Well, they're probably on Ryan's mind more than they are mine. They may seem like the two most random things and yet this weekend we celebrate them. Say what? Yes, this weekend is the anniversary of two of the most life-altering experiences for us. It was this weekend last year that Ryan flew to Seattle to take the McKenzie MDT Credential Exam (and passed) and it is the weekend one of his buddies he met through the program introduced him to pepperoni and pineapple pizza. So, celebrate with us and if you haven't experienced either go here and get yourself some pepperoni and pineapple pizza, IMMEDIATELY!! You won't regret either of them, especially the pepperoni and pineapple pizza! Yum-eeeee!

Beware of Pirates!

Beware of Pirates!!!!!

This year we decided to get involved in our ward's halloween party. So, I signed us up for a trick or treat room. It was stressful thinking about what I'd do, but luckily it came together and for some young ones was even a little too scary!

Shiver me timbers!

Hang 'im from the yardarm!

Gavin a.k.a. Jolly Roger (he only made a short appearance because was exhausted from a day of hardly any naps--he fell asleep between bites of cereal for dinner. In fact, he was fussy in this picture that's why we only got one picture and its blurry. He was also being overtaken by the overabundance of cobwebs I used to decorate the room. Lesson learned...)

Pirate's Booty!

All in all, we had a fun time. I had fun decorating the room although I was pressed for time. It wouldn't have turned out had it been for my mother-in-law's stash of halloween decor. It was perfect!!! Thank you Janice for all your years of doing church parties and decorating. Its sure making life easier for me! I'm already thinking of a theme for next year's room! I can't wait to have halloween parties at our house for the kids. I want to do that instead of them focusing on trick-or-treating.

Happy Halloween! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Monday, October 12, 2009

grey's anatomy

Our party consisted of yummy homemade McPizza (pepperoni and pineapple--our specialty) with some McSnacks and McDrinks, of course. I do have to say my McDreamy did look pretty McSteamy in his surgeon outfit!
* Despite the Loser pose, Ryan was a great sport and is definitely a Grey's fan. I was dressed up too, but I looked more like a big white blob in a oversized dr.'s coat and plus I was taking the pictures.

a piece of my heart

This little man has a piece of my heart. In fact, he has a BIG piece. The delightful hubby and I just celebrated our third wedding anniversary and since he does whatever he can to please me, we went to San Francisco, CA to see the musical Wicked. The weekend was perfect, except that I had a tough time forgetting about our sweet little babe. I wanted so badly for him to be there with us taking in the refreshing ocean air, yet I knew it would be just as refreshing to enjoy some alone time with my dear husband. I had to be reminded constantly over the first few hours away that I would in fact see my dear child just over 24 hours later. Even after that reminder I still insisted on worrying that what if, just what if we died in a car accident or an earthquake and we never get to see him again. My husband then reminded me that we are an
eternal family, but still, I want the joy and pleasure of raising this dear sweet child we have been blessed with. I just didn't want to stop thinking about him! I finally decided that it would be best for me (and Gav) if I relaxed and rejuvenated myself so that I could be the best mommy I wanted to be and that he deserved.

San Francisco was beeeeeeeeeeautiful!! Yes it was windy but it only made it chilly after dark and so we decided we'd skip hiking around the city like we usually end up doing instead of taking taxis or bart. We got to experience a taste of Love Fest and that's all we wanted--we were celebrating our own love and in our own special way!! I highly recommend Wicked. It was such a great performance and I loved the story. Ryan was really impressed by the performance, the set, and all the detail that went into it. The music was great too! And of course we didn't leave the city without a clam chowder bread bowl and fish and chips (yes I ordered both and for lunch). On that note, I'm beginning to understand why I'm not losing any more of that post-prego weight but alas I still eat what I want. To my credit, I have gotten rid of pretty much all sweets in our house, but sadly most of that came from just eating them. I plan to not replace them!!! Just in time for Halloween and the holidays--nice!

I was so excited to go and pick up Gavin the following day. I was kind of saddened when I went to lock eyes with him and revel in that moment of being reunited and he took one look and then looked back up at my sister Michelle who graciously watched him. Oh that's ok, he just doesn't know better, right? So, back in the car and back to squeals, slobber, and the greatest joy of my life!

I just can't get enough--I think he has a little more than a piece of my heart--I'd say a chunk!

P.S. We are excited that we have finally had a happy, argument-free trip to San Francisco. Click here to see why!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time Flies...

It's hard to believe that our little guy is already approaching 6 months of age. Wow has time flied! He is more adorable than ever! I apologize if you are sick and tired of his photos, but well, he is my life right now and I am enjoying improving my photography skills.

I love how he is discovering so many new things in life right now and I know its only the beginning of discovery for him. He is so interested in the things he sees, the things he hears (like the garbage truck and then the helicopter outside our house this morning), the things he touches, and most recently, the things he tastes (beside plastic and fabric products he has now be introduced to sweet potatoes).

Ode to Mi Hermano--Feliz Cumpleanos a ti!

Today my brother Keith turns 20, and because he is such an amazing dude he is celebrating it in Costa Rica serving the Lord, Jesus Christ. He has been in Costa Rica on his mission for our church preaching about Jesus Christ and the joy of His gospel for a year now and has one more grand year to go. I couldn't be more excited for him and the year ahead, as well as proud of what he has already accomplished and the man he is becoming. It is truly something to put aside your education pursuits in the prime of that time of your life and commit 2 years to the Lord. His example and dedication to giving 100% to the Lord while there is such a strength to me and my family. I see his testimony of the Savior and his atonement grow with every email I receive from him. The gospel of Jesus Christ has indeed been restored or brought back to the earth and we have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of that restoration! He is making sure that the loving people of Costa Rica have that same great blessing. I love that he puts all his effort into being the best missionary he can be. I love that he is humble and sees that there is plenty of room for improvement and that he wants to improve. I love that he loves the people of Costa Rica. I love that his english is getting worse which means his spanish is improving. I love that he has a sense of humor and is still that teenage boy he was before he left in some respects, and yet his is more a man (especially a righteous one) than before he left. I love that he is my brother. I love that I get weekly emails from him encouraging me to endure to the end and to improve in my devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that he inspires me to be a better example of Jesus Christ. I love that he is embrassing the Costa Rican culture and trying new things. I love that he loves the Lord more than ever in his life and that this will build a strong foundation for him to lead and guide his future family to eternity. Thank you dear brother for forgetting yourself and serving your Heavenly Father and his dear children in Costa Rica. Here's to another amazing year!! Happy Birthday and thanks to the families who are helping you celebrate--I see they're treating you just fine! Feliz Cumpleanos a ti!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

good morning Mr. Hot Air Balloon!

Saturday morning I woke up around 7:00 and went out to open the house up to enjoy more of that cool morning air we are experiencing. I decided to step outside and to my surprise I spied a hot air balloon in our midst. I can't tell you how enamoured I am with these majestic transportation devices. I have never ridden in one, but I would love, love, love to! After I saw the movie, "The Bucket List", riding in a hot air balloon became of my top things to do before I die. Ryan, on the other hand, says, "NO WAY!" Well, I couldn't resist the excitement when I saw it. Immediately I morphed from my 28 year old body into a 5 year old--no joke. The following actions resulted: I grabbed my camera and took about 25+ pictures, all amongst about 10 trips into the bedroom to a sleeping husband where I proceeded to debate whether or not to wake him so he could partake of the same enjoyment I was experiencing. It went something like this: run from the front yard into house quickly to bedroom; nope, he's not awake yet (thinking to myself, "Geez should I wake him, ok not yet"); run back outside to check on status of hot air balloon--its getting closer; take a couple more snapshots; run back into house to bedroom; husband still not up (geez what if he misses this once in a life time experience); jump up and down out of excitement and debate again whether to wake him or not; run back outside and run into street to try to get a little closer to balloon; excitement overwhelms me and I can't help but think my husband might miss this (note: balloon is still so ever far away from passing over house) so I run back into house to see if by chance he's woken; nope, still asleep. Finally after about at least 5 rounds of this I decide I've waited long enough and I wake him up. "Honey, honey guess what's outside? Come and see, please!" My dear sweetheart came out to see said balloon just in time and I think he was almost as happy as I was at this surprise. Oh, and by the way dear, you're in the front yard in your underwear (as the neighbors drive by)!

Oh, by the way, the hubby says he'll go up in a balloon with me if he can wear a parachute. Do they work at that height? If so, sign us up!!!

catch a falling star...

So this last Sunday Ryan and I took a stroll around the neighborhood to put little "G" to sleep. I am just loving this fall-like weather in the evenings and mornings. Oh it is delicious! If there is somewhere that is like this all year round please tell me, and quick! Well, we decided to make one last loop around a cul-de-sac in our neighborhood and as we gazed up at the stars we saw two, I tell you two falling stars, and not just any falling stars, one was fast and super bright. You might think this is silly, but I only saw my first falling star a meager 5 years ago on our first date. That's right--I was 23 before I saw my first falling star! It must have been a magical night (or during a meteor shower works too, I guess).

On that starry night we went to dinner at California Pasta and had deep conversations (ok not really anything deep but he was sure something else to look at across the table), saw a play "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at a local theatre (Blue Room), headed to the observatory in Upper Bidwell Park for a great light show and my first ever experience with the falling star, and then topped the night off with ice cream at Coldstone. It was the best date I had ever been on--no lie! And 2 years later we finally, after that blessed false start, tied the knot. 

That first date has resulted in so many great things--the joy of seeing falling stars galore, our marriage, Gavin (an hopefully other delightful kiddos), and Ryan's love (and at times obsession) with ice cream. Yep, he hadn't had it for many many years (he observed a strict overly healthy lifestyle I quickly broke him of), and well, the list of amazing experiences and gifts goes on and on. 

In 3 weeks, we will be celebrating our wedding anniversary--3 years of marriage. Every year it seems our marriage gets better and better. One flesh I tell you, ONE FLESH, or at least that's our goal! What an amazing man I married! Oh so amazing. I couldn't have imagined a more precious dude. 

Can't wait for more walks, talks, and falling stars. Oh, and don't forget the ice cream!

Monday, August 31, 2009

5 months...

5 Months...
We are having so much fun with this little guy. You can't stop him from smiling these days if you try. He is really pretty much perfect, except for some napping issues. We love him to pieces! What a blessing from God (and in case you were wondering, we'd love him to pieces even if he wasn't near perfect).

Post UPDATE: Gavin finally had his 5-month doctor's appointment. He continues to grow like crrrrrrazy! He now weighs 17.5 lbs (75% for weight), is 27 1/2 inches long (90% for height). He is doing great the doc says. He did better this time with the shots too and he had to get 3 pokes. He cried for a minute max and was smiling at the ladies in the office before we could walk out the door. What a flirt! 
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

SAHM aka Stay At Home Mom

So today I was introduced to a new acronym--SAHM. So you'd think I'd be in the know since it describes my "title" right now, but well, I'm not. That's Stay At Home Mom for those who were in that boat too! It just looks so funny and a lot less prestigious. Since when was wiping poop off a baby's bum, rice cereal off everything in sight, or doing loads and loads of laundry become "prestigious" you ask? Well really I think its been that way since Adam and Eve, and probably before this world was created. I bet there are SAHM's in heaven! haha! 

I do have to admit when I've had to enter my title or occupation its a difficult transition to leave behind those secular purusits and put "homemaker", "stay at home mom", or the infamous "housewife". If I were to put "housewife" I would almost feel dirty thanks to the "real" housewives all over the world now, as if I am a fake or a fraud.

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. You probably quit reading by now. Its after 10pm and I've been mommying it up since 7:00am so let me get to my point...what was my point? I don't think I actually had one. Ok, well I'll tell you what this SAHM has been up to:

1. Still adjusting to SAHMing a.k.a postpartum meltdowns.
2. Playing the piano more and loving it!
3. Starting back to school, not starting back, starting back, not starting back, NOT starting for sure.
4. Researching mommy & me groups (pretty much unsuccessfully) so I'm in the works of starting my own.
5. Signing the G-man and I up for kindermusik, super excited!!
6. NOT exercising (I haven't lost weight in over a month I don't think that's supposed to happen).
7. Shopping at IKEA--that's another post I've been meaning to write.
8. Photography, kind of.
9. Church, church, church and its made all the difference.
10. Plenty of family time and its DEFINITELY what this life is ALL about! That's why I'm a SAHM!

Monday, July 27, 2009

photo op

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (minimal cropping, color contrast enhancing)

I've been dabbling in photography for the past few months since we invested in the Nikon D60. I love the camera and I really know nothing about it. So, with trial and error and an amateur eye, I've been trying my stuff. I am really loving it--both trying to take great shots and the photo editing. There is something exciting about taking a photo and it being almost exactly what you were imagining in your head without having to edit. So, with my interest peaked I'm searching for a mentor or some classes I can take. There are some through the local community college but with a little infant I'm hesitant to commit so much time and energy right now in my life to the formal class (2 days a week for 2 1/2 hours plus travel time of 1 hour each way). Any suggestions? Any good textbooks or things that could get me going until I have the time to commit?

If you haven't seen this photos in my recent posts, here are some of the ones I've received props for:

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (adjusted exposure, color, cropped, and straightened or actually off center in this case.)

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (minimal cropping, contrast and exposure)

photo taken by Stacy Beck July 2009 (exposure, color contrast, and exposure, minimal cropping)

photo taken by Stacy Beck April 2009 (black & white, cropped,pre- D60)

So far, my tricks have been taking the shots at different angles and never dead center. I also try to include the surroundings or background into the shot and not just the person I'm photographing. I think the way a photo is cropped does so much for it. In lots of Gavin's photos I've actually cropped off his forehead and when you see the two side by side before and after I think it makes all the difference in the result, but what do I know I'm an amateur. 

4 months...

4 months old

Today Gavin celebrated 4 months in this wonderful world and in the greatest family possible!!
Here's a look at the little man himself...

... at 4 months Gavin is: holding his head up like a champ, still only rolling to one side and has made it to his stomach once (Ryan says so), He is smiling like crazy and giggling a bit, He loves to jump and jive to the song Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree, He is sleeping 10 hours a night most nights, he poops only every other day (I know you were wondering) which makes diaper changes super easy, He loves cuddling with his silky blankets and his luv luv buddy named Fritz, he loves baths (especially laying in the big tub so he can kick and splash), he is very aware of everything going on around him, and his drooling has kicked up a notch (I call him the suds machine--he looks like a washing machine overflowing), he wears Size 2 shoes, 3-6 month clothes (is close to outgrowing 3-6 month onesies due to his long torso (inherited from his mommy), enjoys changing his outfit at least 3 times before heading to town just to make sure he looks cute enough (I hope he grows out of this one!), has quite the death grip, he no longer needs to be swaddled at night, has the most buff legs ever, is already taking up beat boxing, loves sucking on his lower lip and tongue, weighs approx. 16.5 lbs, he loves playing under his baby gym and is beginning to enjoy his newest toy the exersaucer which he can stand up in!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Utah Trip, Part 1

For the 4th of July weekend we headed out to Utah to visit family and friends. Ryan's family was having their Lowe Family Reunion so we made it into a trip to see both sides of the family, plus some treasured friends of mine. We started out at my sister Julie's house visiting her family. My little sister was able to come down from Idaho, as well as our great family friend Spinney (Debbie is actually her first name but we've always called her by her last since she coached us in sports years ago).

We really enjoyed our time there. The kids are growing up so fast! I'll let the pictures tell the story. Thanks Julie for letting us spend the day with you! We love the bbq and had a really nice time bonding! We hope for many more as our families continue to grow!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Belated Birthday!

happy belated birthday honey!
well, technically the celebration wasn't belated, but the post is. I have been so horrible about posting that I have some catch up work to do. Ryan turned the big 29 this year! It is his last year of innocence! Ah ha! With all my family in town for my littlest brother's graduation, the fam decided to go camping. I decided I didn't want to miss out and would brave taking the G-man with me. Unfortunately, the camping event overlapped with Ryan's birthday so before I left I decorated the house for a pre-party so he wouldn't feel forgotten. I can't wait to make a big deal of our kids' birthdays. Ryan is learning to appreciate it which is good because now he is understanding why I like him to do little special things like this when its my birthday (hint, hint). 
I even went as far as letting him know where I keep all of the balloons, streamers, you know the party supplies. He won't even have the excuse of no time to go to the store now! 

We didn't get each other large presents for birthdays or mom's and dad's days because we decided to invest in a nicer camera when G-man was born to take our own photos instead of pouring $$$$ into other photographer's work. It is also an opportunity for me to develop a hobby since I seem to have left all of my behind. I am loving the camera and taking photos and can't wait to take some formal classes. I really like the angle I found on the candy bowl I had with Ryan's fav candies--peanut m&m's. What do you think? The camera does a great job on its own with the colors too, not much photo editing. 

So, back to Ryan's birthday. I just want it to go down in the history books (aka my blog) that I have the most amazing husband, a man I dearly admire, respect, adore, appreciate, and to whom I owe so much of my happiness and joy in life. We have grown so much closer together and so much as individuals and it is largely in part to his spiritual strength and love for me. What a man, what an example! He is so intelligent, motivated, talented, driven, faithful, humble, teachable, healthy, generous, and not to mention good-looking, to say the least. Thank you sweetheart for loving me and for patiently supporting me. You are such an amazing father and husband and I am forever indebted to you for your daily sacrifices for our family. 

"sexy beck" in Cabo December 2008
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

long time no talkie!

I must apologize for the lack of blogging. I really want to enlighten you with all that's happening in life and in my head, but right now I'm determined to live life and to be honest, its demanding my time regardless. My goal: to enjoy it to its fullest. 

Gavin Update: at 3 months he weighed 14.3 lbs and was 25 inches long. He is our bean sprout! Ok, several have described him as a "fatty" (what I have come to realize is a term of endearment, at least when it comes to babies, I hope). He continues to grow and develop like crazy: jabbering like crazy, grinning from ear to ear, continuing to train for WWF (did I get that right?), loves standing up, rolls over on side, sleeping more through night, playing and conversing with his toys on the baby gym (so adorable), and I've already started teaching him sign language (I know they say 6 months but it won't hurt--first word "mommy" that's right a little selfish but I think its pretty important to know your food source, best friend, side kick, and mother's name--don't you?!?

Ok, gotta go. More to come, soon, I promise!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Resting Place

Just shy of 3 months old, we finally moved the little guy into his very own room. You know what that means...the unveiling! It was technically unveiled at his baby shower, but I've added some more touches and now that he's here I'll share it with the rest of the world. Interior design/decorating is my favorite passion. Its my most developed hobby these days. I had a so much fun putting together this room and most of that fun came from recycling, reusing and repurposing things we already had or were given from friends and family. So, indulge me for a moment...I hope you enjoy the pics (and yes I did mess with exposures and what not so some are a little over exposed).

His resting place...(does that sound morbid?). We were given this crib by some friends. It was originally oak color and we painted it black. The Van Gogh painting was something Ryan had pre-marriage and its been used in several different settings in our different homes. I made a bird mobile for Gavin and so far, its a hit. The bedding is custom made by me, my mom, and mother-in-law. I love it! You can't see the pattern in the lime green fabric, but I love it! 

(Above) View of the changing pad, necessities and one of the few "custom" pieces of "art" in Gavin's room. There was a small built-in desk in this room that I thought at first would be annoying but it has worked out great for changing table and someday the little tike's own desk! 

(Below) Rocking chair from WalMart (I couldn't bear to spend $$$ on the rocking recliner or gliders), pillow I already had, clouds (white paper lanterns) we already had that were just chillin' in closet, tree/bird decal from TJMaxx (the best store on this planet--may end in my demise), birds flying in clouds (online), curtains (I made all by myself!!), curtain rod (recycled-it was white from old apartment and we painted it black).   

(Above and below) These are essentially the same shots but I couldn't decide which I liked better. I'm actually going to submit photos of Gavin's room to Apartment Therapy. I love love love that website and spent hours on end (literally) figuring out what I was going to do for Gavin's room. They have a whole site within theirs dedicated to kid/baby rooms. So, if you need tips I highly recommend them. In this photo the dresser was actually Ryan's and was at his parent's house. It was a natural wood color and we (actually Grandpa Beck) painted it black. I changed out the knobs to a pewter color to make it look more modern. The lamp, plant and vase are from Target (my home away from home--I had to go, even risked Gavin getting sick day 2 days after discharge from the hospital. You bet it as soon as I walked in the doors I sighed and all the worries of the day melted away (no joke!). More of my "custom artwork". I made these up one morning when I decided walls were too bare. I want to do this more with some other themes. I just need more places to decorate. Any takers? The frames are from Ikea. I had them from pre-marriage and they'd been taking up space in our closets. I used scrapbook paper and traced the bird cutouts from Gavin's mobile and viola!! I think they really finished off the room. 

(Below) View of room as you enter from hallway. I still want to add a bird/branch decal to his window and maybe a planter outside the window with flowers so he has something more than a fence to look at. Bird feeder possibly? I am so glad I decided to paint the ceiling. It was a big debate and the guy at the paint store tried to steer me away from it. Definitely not something to do all the time but I think it works here and I love to lay on the floor w/ Gavin and imagine looking up into the sky. This picture most accurately reflects the actual colors on the wall and ceiling. We only painted two walls yellow and left the other two off white. The yellow is called "lemoncello" kind of like lemon ice. The ceiling is a slight turquoise blue. The colors do change throughout the day based on the type of lighting in the room.

Now, dare you say this is not a "boyish" room, well bite your tongue. I went for a gender neutral room so that it can remain a nursery for our next child. (Not even considering it, just thinking ahead to our future and hoping to expand our family). Plus, they say its more for the parents than the child and that is totally true! Ryan loved it so much at first that he wanted it for his room. I offered to let him take it and Gavin would bunk with me!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vacations, Parties and a Blessed Child

Life has been busy to say the least. I really don't even have time to post this. Gavin has been on overload the past 5 days and so I've finally had to deal with a "crying baby". I lost it quick! Thanks to a loving husband by my side and the 5 S's from Dr. Harvey Karp in "Happiest Baby on the Block" we are making it through. He is still the most adorable little guy. He is learning all about his hands and smiling more than ever. You can sure tell his little brain is developing! You know what that means--lots of good moments and memories cuddling him in my arms. Everyone says enjoy it now because sooner than I know he won't want to cuddle and he'll be off playing.

So, here is what we've been up to:

The G-man had his first trip to Santa Cruz. I think he really liked it, except the windy beach time on day 2. He was such a good boy. We had a nice time eating tons of lemon drop, peanut butter, Dr. Midnight and snickerdoodle cookies from Pacific Cookie Company (THE Best cookie store on the planet--so good Ryan orders them online for me a couple times a year).  We also ate dinner at one of my favorite upscale mexican restaurants El Palomar Restaurant in downtown. SO YUMMY and the best atmosphere. Kinda like Tres Hombres but WAY better!!! We kept up with Beck family traditions with breakfast at Zachary's, and touring the O'Neill shops at Capitola and downtown, however we didn't get to pizza at the great Tony & Alba's. I really liked Pizza My Heart when we were there last year and so Ryan, being the sweetheart he is let us go there (actually we went twice). Its pizza by the slice and oh so very YUMMY!! I love a little of everything so it was just my style! We are pizza fanatics!!! The weather was cloudy most the trip but that didn't bother us a bit. The only problem was when we tried to head out to the beach before leaving since the sun had decided to come out. Well Mr. Wind came along for the ride too and spoiled what seemed would have been paradise. It would have been fine but with a 2 month old it spelled disaster. We packed up quick and got out. We did have one nice day on the beach for a short while, enjoying the breeze and reading. I can't wait for Gavin to enjoy digging in the sand and all that fun stuff. We took some nice walks enjoying views of Cowell's Beach (sorry Papa Beck for not surfing this trip hope we didn't let you down), Steamer Lane, and Pleasure Point. So, so relaxing!! I love the ocean! 

Pleasure Point in Capitola

Santa Cruz Beach
A week ago things got really busy. My brother Brent graduated from high school, then the next day Ryan's sister, Kristin had her baby shower, and then Sunday we had Gavin's baby blessing. Needless to say Gavin was pretty partied out after that weekend! Well, he was a doll and everyone enjoyed holding him, which became the trend that weekend. I'm not too sure that Gavin enjoyed it as much as everyone else did. As a result I get to try and re-establish order in his life now. We're handling it and I'm glad to be at home with peace and quiet again (not for long).

Gavin not too sure about hanging out with all the ladies at his Aunt Kristin's baby shower. 

Literally looking up to his Uncle Brent.

My youngest brother Brent graduated from high school. He was valedictorian and basically stole the show. 

Gavin on his blessing day--what a cutie! Ryan did an awesome job and Gavin didn't make a peep! I'm so grateful that Ryan is a worthy priesthood holder and is willing to bless our family with the priesthood. I feel like a very lucky lady!

Gavin seems like such a little man and he seems giant size compared to babies his age or even older than him that I have a hard time thinking of him as only 3 months old. Time is sure flying by!!!

So, if you made it through this post, CONGRATS!! It's a book! Just haven't taken or had the time to post. Next week we leave for Utah! The fun just doesn't stop!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2 Months and growing...

So the G-Man is now 2 months old! Time is flying by and I love spending every minute of it with him. He is definitely more active, enjoying his baby gym more (swatting at the toys), his right leg is pumping more than ever (got a sweet right hook I might add (too bad there's not a sport where you box with your legs)), he's holding up his head better everyday, he is sleeping an average of 6 hours straight at night (sometime 5, sometimes, 7 and once 8). He's growing out of some 0-3 month clothing, even some 3-6 month onesies. He is cooing and talking more--I love having conversations with him. He's enjoying tummy time more and grabbing onto the toy rings (and not letting go). He is still sleeping in our room (but not in our bed, maybe just that last hour in the morning when I just don't want to get up). We will be transitioning him eventually (watch for the post when I unveil his room) but I watched an Oprah episode about child kidnappings and it freaked me out to have him sleep in another room. We've since gotten a baby monitor and I let him sleep in there one night but I was so exhausted it was hard waking up to a quieter sound and having to go to the other room to get him. He has been called "fat", "a fatty", and "chubby" more than once, but I don't think any are accurate. I think he is just SOLID!! He's so adorable and now that he's smiling more and cooing I can't get enough of him even more!! We have had some of the most happiest times of our lives with the G-man's arrival and I know there will be many more to come!!

Meet our newest friends!! Finger puppets from Ikea! Love them! I'm still thinking of their names. I've only come up with Fred the Frog and Eli the Elephant, and George the Giraffe. (There's also a lion, brown bear, panda bear, dog, and some kind of white bird with a yellow beek (a duck?).) 

Friday, May 22, 2009

little man not so little

"Cliff Hanger" (his newest nickname) at 8 weeks old

The little man is now eight weeks old! I can't believe how time is flying by. He will be two months old next week. Amazing! He is growing like crazy and starting to talk and smile more. We are really enjoying him. What a blessing! That's all I have time for right just want to see the pics anyway. Oh, and as for the origination of his newest nickname, well, let's just say I think we have a dare devil on our hands...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Setting Limits...

So I've decided I need to set limits...on myself. Its so easy to let the day go by watching tv, blogging, surfing the internet, facebooking, photoshoping pics, eating junk food, and the likes. I tend to neglect wonderful things like exercising, cleaning the house (my fav ;) for sure), reading books, scripture study, cooking, and accomplishing things on my "To Do" list. Well, yesterday I was inspired by the talks in Sacrament Meeting. The word "experience" rang loud and helped me to realize that when I die and meet my maker I want to be proud of the experience I have gained and the things I've accomplished in my life. So, today I am setting limits. Today I am setting goals. I am going to be a good steward of my time here on earth. I am here to gain experience. Check back next Monday to see what limits I've set and how I'm doing...

hair-do's and the likes...

The new hair-do. What do you think? It might look a little weird in this photo because I put a different background behind me in photoshop (just trying new features out) because I took the photo in the bathroom. Its hard to trace around hair! I like my hair, although I had major 24-hour shock! I came right home (as I do almost everytime) changed the style to look more like the photo, did my makeup to try and improve my chances of liking it, changed my outfit and then waited...

I'm weird, I know. I'm really glad I got it cut! It needed it--its been since last June! Yuck! I tried out a new gal and she did a great job with it, just have to get the bangs trimmed a little more since I figured out how I want to style it now. I'm excited that I finally found another stylist. If anyone is interested, I have several friends/family who go to her and love her. She's great and she is inexpensive! Thank you dear hubby for twisting my leg for oh months to get in and get it done! I just got lazy being pregnant and didn't take care of it (plus I hate calling on the phone and so I avoided making an appointment). As I said, I'm weird, I know.

So much more to post about, but things have been busy and I haven't been in a posting "mood". It may end up being a picture post. Plus, I'm taking Elder Bednar's counsel to heart--see his CES Fireside Speech for May 2009 at BYU-Idaho. I'm so grateful for blogging so I can keep my family and friends involved in our lovely life, but since it is so lovely--I'm going to live it and enjoy it because its going by so fast--Gavalicious is almost 2 months old!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Striped Pajamas

So last weekend we rented the movie "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and I LOVED IT! As it says on the DVD box, its a story about "Lines may divide us, but hope will unite us." It was somewhat depressing (stories about the Holocaust usually are), but there is something I love about these stories of hope and love. I can't wait to go to Europe someday and experience this rich history in person. It truly is a "A Timeless Story of Innocence Lost and Humanity Found." It was one of those movies you feel enriches your life and gets you really thinking about the gift of humanity. The movie is based on the book by John Boyne. I can't wait to read it now! Too bad my stack of "Must Reads" is growing and I'm having a hard time finding time to read.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"White Gold Is..."

So Ry Bread is obsessed with the White Gold commercials. He is super obsessed--obsessed to the point I had to ask him to chill he was repeating and laughing at them so much. He's that way with the Mac v. PC commercials. So, when I told him I wasn't going to use first names on our blog anymore and that I had  a nickname for him, this one was only appropriate. The first nickname I was referring to was actually Ry Bread which was actually started by his PT Aide. His suggestions were, just to name a few, "McKenzie" (the PT post-grad program he's currently working on), "Robin" (the first name of the founder of McKenzie Method- Robin McKenzie), "Sexy", and others which I won't disclose. He loved it when I announced it would be "White Gold". So there it is all your glory! Do you muscles have an agent? If not, I'm interested! White Gold is White Gold.