Monday, December 28, 2009


We had a wonderful Christmas. My grandma Allred came to spend the holidays with us.
We spent a fun Christmas Eve with the Mercers (I should have taken photos, but we were all having too much fun).
Christmas morning we exchanged a few small gifts. We didn't want to have to pack anything else and decided that the kids would be just as excited to open a few boxes of their favorite crackers and drink boxes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

temple square

While my sister Aimee and her family were in town for the holidays we went over to Temple Square to enjoy the lights. It seemed like there were a million people there and it was a very cold night, but the babies were entertained and seemed very happy.

Maya looked like a little snow ball sittign on top of my shoulders in her puffy while jacket.

Maya loved eating the snow.

Max was happy to run all over exploring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

travel buddies

We arrived safely in Salt Lake City on Dec 11th, one week after leaving Katy. We took our time driving and stopped for three days in Sedona. We were glad to be able to go to the temple with Jill and Hannah and also spend time with my dad's cousin Pam in Arizona.

The babies did pretty well on the drive. The looked at a lot of books and at night, when it was dark, they watched the Adventures of Milo and Otis (Thank you Jill!)

We planned our rest stops around restrurant playlands and ate a lot of burgers, chicken nuggests and fries. The moment he would see the playlands Max would wiggle his way out of my arms and climb to the top of the play structure and go down the slide. We often ended up feeding him once we got back into the car. Maya on the other had wanted to spend her time out of her carseat in her dad's arms.

We were happy when we were able to fund a place to stop that also included a changing table and I was sad to learn that changing tables were almost no-existent in men's bathrooms (Can anyone else verify this is true of was Lonnie just trying to pull a fast one on me?).

The babies often had a hard time settling down at night once we got into our hotel rooms. Max, when over tired, gets very silly and runs all over the place. Maya liked to play spider monkey with me and would wrap her arms and legs around me so tightly it was hard to put her down.

Thankfully the kids were pretty happy most of the time. They babbled and giggled together and even feel asleep holding hands several times.

Monday, December 14, 2009

drive through manti

We decided to drive through Manti on our way up North. We wanted to see the temple where we were married before leaving for New Zealand.

This photos is of the Ephraim Co-op where we had our wedding reception.

The Manti Temple where Lonnie and I were married a little over four years ago.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The kids have been doing pretty well on our long drive, thanks to lots of books and a portable DVD player.

Lonnie's parents had unused time-share week so we decided to find a place along the way to Utah to stop and take a break from our drive. We are staying at a nice condo in Sedona and enjoying a nice couple of days relaxing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

San Antonio

After leaving the Houston snow storm we traveled to San Antonio. On Saturday morning Lonnie stayed at the hotel with the kids so I could go to the temple with our friends Hannah and Jill. The temple was beautiful and we had a wonderful time. I was so glad to be in a sacred place with wonderful friends.

After we meet up with Lonnie and the kids and went out for some Texas BBQ at Rudy's. The food was great and the company even better.

When Maya was given a taste test of the smoked turkey she kept saying "yumm, yumm, yumm". She didn't want to leave.

Thanks Hannah for letting us share your special day and for letting us steal your photos too. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


The day of our move Houston had a record snow storm. We had heard warnings about the storm but didn't think any of the snow would really stick. The snow started in the morning and by noon started sticking to the grass and trees. All over the neighborhood kids were building snowmen and throwing snowballs.

Our good friends Sam, Heather and Anna came over to help us finish off the last details of the move and bid us farewell. We were grateful for the help and the empanadas. Heather and I became first time mothers within two weeks of each other. We have enjoyed watching our babies turn into toddlers.


In the last few weeks our house has gone from this to almost empty. We've sold most of our furniture, gotten rid of a lot of "stuff" and packed up the things we have decided we want to keep in storage.

The babies weren't too sure about having to eat breakfast on the floor.

All of our worldly possessions now fit into our truck and a U-haul trailer. We are off on our next adventures.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Sunday was the babies first official day in nursery. They have been a bit clingy lately, maybe it is the chaos of getting ready to move, or maybe it is the 18-month-old separation anxiety. But thankfully they did great. They lasted the whole two hours. I didn't quite know what to do with myself without having to hold on to my two little wiggly monkeys.

One of the women in nursery said that at one point Max and Maya were taken into different rooms. Maya looked a little lost but quickly found another child to cling onto and was happy from then on.

When I went to pick them up Maya said "Mom!" as soon as she saw me and wouldn't let me put her down.

Getting ready to walk out the door and go to church.

Playing nicely in nursery. Don't let the almost empty room fool you. There are almost 30 babies in our primary nursery class. We just got there at the beginning before the start of all the chaos.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The kids, Lonnie and I were lucky enough to have dinner with my mission president and his wife last week. It was great to be able to catch up and reminisce about our time in the Dominican Republic. I am so grateful for their influence in my life. I loved being a missionary.

mi tocalla

I have a really cool friend named Alisa.

Not only do we share the same name but we both served missions in the Dominican Republic (I was even lucky enough to be her teacher in the MTC Welfare program). Both of our parents moved to Danville, CA while we were in our college years. We also both have two children, a boy and a girl. Oddly enough we are both Democrats who support Obama, while our religious culture is primarily Republican.

While we were together this past weekend we also realized that for similar reasons we both refused to have diamond wedding or engagmement rings. Somehow we also ended up both living in Texas for a few overlapping months.

Having so many things in common with someone like her makes me feel validated.

Thanks for being my friend Alisa.

Max and Maya loved the attention they got from David and Mary. The also loved their dog and cat. Every time Maya would see the dog she would start barking like she was trying to carry on a conversation with him.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

things I will miss about texas

1. Our wonderful friends
2. Having a house big enough for lots of house guests
3. Bluebell Ice cream
4. Availability and quality of tortillas.
5. Having everyone at the grocery store recognize the babies
6. Alligators at Brazos Bend
7. Warm weather (but not the excessive heat and humidity)
8. Awesome thunder storms
9. Crape Myrtle flowers
10. Magnolia trees

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Things are going smoothly with selling our house. We worked hard to get everything perfectly ready and on Oct 11 we had five showings lined up for the first day. We received an offer that night. After some short negotiations we came to an agreement and everything was set. We are closing on December 4th.

We will spend December in Utah visiting family and friends and then fly down to New Zealand in early January. We have been busy working on our visa applications which have required extensive medical paperwork, fingerprinting and FBI clearance. Hopefully everything will be pulled together in time. The process has been more complicated than we expected.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The babies have been sick this week. We missed the library party but decided that they babies were well enough to stop by the ward trunk-or-treat and then a couple of neighbor's houses. They looked so cute in their costumes that I had to show them off.
The kids were pretty overwhelmed at the ward party. They just kept staring at everyone. Max wanted to be held the whole time and Maya just kept staring at people.
We went trick-or-treating to a couple neighbor's houses. The kids got the hang of it pretty quickly, although they didn't want to stop at the door, the made it all the way into 3 of the 4 houses that we went to visit.