Thursday, December 16, 2010


Well I figured it is about time I get our Thanksgiving blog done since Christmas is next week! We had a great Thanksgiving this year, especially since we were able to spend time with both of our families. We started off our Thanksgiving with a fabulous Baird Thanksgiving dinner the Sunday before.

I love getting pictures of people eating. :)
Ty was in heaven and was eating with a spoon in one hand and a fork in the other for much of the meal.After dinner Ty had to catch up on his texts while Gabe played the Gameboy (as always). The day before Thanksgiving I was able to spend time with Em watching Oprah's Favorite Things and shopping (although we did much more wishing than buying).

Thanksgiving morning Brandon played football for several hours and then in the afternoon Em took us to the airport. We flew to St. Lewis and Brandon's dad and sister picked us up there and we drove a couple hours to the Wheeler home in Quincy, Illinois. This was our first time visiting there since his dad and Becky moved there several years ago. Kristan and her family drove up from Dallas earlier in the week. So we basically spent Thanksgiving traveling :(. Ty did pretty well other than coughing the whole flight and puking his crackers up on Brandon. The flight was half full so we got to spread out! So we celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday with another delicious meal. After dinner we all went for a walk in the neighborhood.

Ty with Grandpa. We played lots of games while there including Killer Uno, Apples to Apples and Michigan Rummy. On Saturday we went to Nauvoo in the afternoon.
We were able to see the beautiful temple and some of the other sights like the Cultural Hall, Bakery and graves of Joseph Smith and some of his family members. It was great to be there but we needed lots more time.

Ty talking on the phone (he always holds it behind his head on his neck). Sunday morning we left on a train at 6am! to go to Chicago. We stayed at the Felix Hotel right downtown which was fabulous. BUT, our room was pretty small, so Ty got to sleep in the bathroom some of the time. Unfortunately for him this was not the first time. Emily, do you think it's worse to sleep in a drawer or in such close proximity to a toilet?

Sunday afternoon we went down to Michigan Avenue and met our friends Sam and Ashley and their little boys Parker and Lincoln. Why don't I have a picture of them?! After walking around the shops we spent way too long trying to get to the zoo via subway. We got there right around when the zoo normally closes, but shortly thereafter the lights came on and we spent a few hours in the cold seeing the zoo lights and some of the indoor animals like monkeys, lions and penguins.

This is going into the zoo. If you are ever in Chicago check out the is free! Then we took a much easier bus ride back and went to Gino's East for some deep dish pizza. Yum! The next morning we had big plans! We had from 8-12 to see the city. Ty was going to nap from 12-2, then we had to head off to the airport. Well apparently the city sleeps in, which meant our plans were ruined. We took a subway to Willis Tower...closed until 10. So we walked to the art museum (Becky had lent us her season passes)...closed until 10:30. Well now we have wasted half of our time just trying to get to these places and then not even seeing them! Grrr! So we took a cab to Navy Pier...everything there was closed too but we still walked down the pier and looked at the city from the water.
I swear we weren't wearing the same thing every day on the trip. We just each had one jacket and so it appears like we had the same clothes on every day!Then we took a cab back to the art museum and had seriously 30 minutes to spend there. We went straight to the French Impressionists...Degas and Monet are my favorites. Then we had to run back to the Willis Tower. (Drives me crazy that they changed the name. You can't just go changing names like that! Like from BOB to Chase
It was pretty cool at the top...and they have made some little overhangs at the top which are quite scary.
After that we had to rush back to the hotel for Ty's short nap and then made it to the airport on a couple of subways. We were quite the site with one large suitcase, 2 small suitcases, a stroller, a car-seat, a baby, a backpack and a tote bag. We were glad to make it home...and Ty puked on Brandon again on the flight back. This time I couldn't stop laughing/crying and I think the lady next to me must have thought I was a terrible mother. If she only knew how many times he has puked on Brandon, I'm sure she would have laughed too. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gotta Love Free Things

So I'm sure most of you have used Shutterfly for one thing or another. I mostly use them to order prints when I finally get around to it. I have been wanting to make one of their cute calendars forever! Hopefully I will find time soon. The other thing I have been wanting to do is send out Christmas cards. Brandon and I have never done it. First we decided it was lame since we didn't have kids...who wants a picture of just us? Then we had Ty, so I wanted to send cards last year, but we ended up moving the week of Christmas (note: bad idea). Needless to say, Christmas cards didn't happen. So I planned to do it this year. Once again we have been busy and time just seems to fly by! Now it is December and we have no family pictures and no cards ordered. I was about to skip it yet another year until my fabulous friend Jennae posted about getting free cards from Shutterfly. Yippee! How could I pass up 50 free beautiful Christmas cards...even if we didn't take any family pictures?!

Well I couldn't, so... it's time to send out the first Wheeler family Christmas card! I don't know how they will turn out or what picture I'm going to use. What I do know is that they'll be free and maybe our beautiful, free, non-staged, unprofessional picture will hang on friends and families refrigerators for a month! I could spend all night browsing through their gorgeous selection of cards. Go to the following links to look for yourself...that is if you have not already ordered yours. (Am I the only one just starting this process?)

Holiday Photo Cards

Christmas Photo Cards

Here are a couple of examples of how I wish mine would look, but our pictures will likely not be as high quality or cute since I have slacked! Hopefully the cute card design will make up for the pictures.

If you want to get in on the action of 50 free beautiful cards...there may still be time. Go here to get the details.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

DIY Wannabe

In October we finally did our first real home improvement project (other than the usuals of painting and hanging light fixtures/fans). In Ty's room we replaced the base boards with thick pretty ones and put up bead board and a chair rail. There were a lot of hiccups along the way and it is definitely NOT perfect which drives me crazy. (I will not even point out the major problem). But hopefully now we can do it next time without the same mistakes. Here are some before and after pics.


Sorry about the poor lighting.

Now all the room needs are curtains and new carpet! So glad to have one project done...just a thousand more to go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Recap

So we have had a busy month! At the beginning of October I had my 10 year high school reunion! I cannot believe it has been that long. I decided to go kind of last minute. It was fun to see all of these girls...but it really wasn't a very good turnout unfortunately.
On October 3rd our little Ty turned 18 months. He is the cutest! He still wasn't walking (due to his low muscle tone) but by about 18 1/2 months he had it figured out. Yeah for me! My arms can finally get a break occasionally. :) He is just the sweetest boy. He is so friendly and has to talk to EVERYONE he the store or running down the street where he sees a neighbor. This past month he has been learning new words about every week. Some of the favorites are bye-bye, hi, ball, car, ding-dong (belly button) and uh-oh.
One weekend Ty and I went with my mom up to her house in Snowflake. My sister and her kids were already there. We went from Thurs night to Saturday night...not long enough but still fun. Here is Ty mowing the lawn. He loved this and just mowed the whole lawn. He was really trying to walk on his own then so this was the perfect toy to help him.
We also went to the pumpkin patch. I wanted to stay longer but it closes at dark. So cute! Here is Milly pulling Ty in the wagon (she still tries to be his little mom even though he weighs more than her :)

Ty was really not into getting his pictures taken...but I sure tried!Gabe, Corinne, Ty and Milly
Milly just loved that sheep!

Nana and Ty
We spend a lot of time outside in is Ty playing with popsicle sticks. Milly and Ty in the bath.

There was a major splash zone in the bathroom...they had a blast!This year we carved a pumpkin as a family. Ty mostly put the seeds back in the pumpkin when we took them out.
This picture was shortly before he started slinging all of the pumpkin guts around my kitchen and onto the recently mopped floor! That's when he was removed from the kitchen and Brandon and I finished alone.Ty was a pumpkin this year for Halloween. Brandon and I decided to dress up for once this has been too long! We went to Goodwill on half off day and came away with Dorothy and Scarecrow costumes...they are pretty ugly but were only a few bucks. Then I felt bad that Ty didn't match our theme...oh well! On Friday before Halloween we went to our ward's Trunk or Treat. Ty LOVES being outside so he had fun just wandering around in the dark.
At some point he found Piglet in a stroller and started pushing her around.On Halloween we went to my parents for our typical Sunday dinner and then did a little trick-or-treating on their street. Here is Missy with Ty, Milly the frog and Corinne the Fall princess fairy?
Ty just held a candy bar in his hand all night (nice and melted) and half of the time he would put candy back in people's bowls instead of taking from them. That's ok though because the candy was all for mom and dad. Ty didn't eat a single piece...he was content just to hold it all. I'm afraid that won't happen next year.
Then for the second half of the evening we rushed home to our neighborhood. Our neighborhood goes all out with decorations and everyone sets up tables and chairs in the driveways with food and lots of alcoholic beverages. We felt like the slackers on the block but at least made our rounds to say hi and to decline numerous drinks (don't think they ever caught on!) So glad our neighborhood is so festive! Next year we will have to step up our game.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family Room

So I took these pictures of our family room forever ago and decided it was time to show a little more of our house. We have just begun our first major project (in the nursery) so hopefully will have some good before and after pictures by the end of the month. Actually, painting in this house is a major project due to the soaring ceilings...but we won't count that.

Obviously I didn't clean up all of the doodads that had accumulated on the pass-through...please ignore.

Here is a quick peak at our adjoining kitchen. It is smaller that I would like but so far works just fine for our 3-member family. We really haven't done much to it other than replace that hideous light fixture over the kitchen table. One day when we have lots of extra money to spare (please say this will be the case one day!) those ugly kitchen cabinets will be gone!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


OK so I am finally posting the pictures from our cruise as requested. Of course it is hard to narrow the trip down to a few pictures but I will do my best. We went with Christin (above), my friend from PA school, and her husband Bert, on a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise. We arrived in Miami on Saturday afternoon. We went to a place called Bayside for linner (never ate lunch) and shopping. Then we went to South Beach for awhile and got back to the hotel late.

On Sunday we boarded the ship and did some exploring. Brandon and Bert didn't waste anytime starting off with some ice cream cones...the first of many each day. Monday we spent at sea...pool, reading, eating and shows. Tuesday we went to Grand Cayman. We went to a sandbar called Stingray City where the stingrays come and we fed them squid. It was amazing! A little scary at first when they literally charge right into you to get the food, but awesome! That's Christin and I checking out a stingray.Seven years good luck for every kiss. Then we went snorkeling and then to gorgeous 7 Mile Beach. This was the most beautiful island and water and there was NOONE there. The resorts on the beach looked like they must be closed...we would definitely return.

Wednesday was Roatan Island (Honduras) where Brandon and I went scuba diving. We saw turtles, eels and lots of fish...also a cool wrecked ship. Afterward we had a little time to meet up with our friends at a beach near the port.Thursday was Belize and maybe my favorite. We did zip-lines through the jungle canopy. LOVED it!
Then we went cave tubing. There is a river that runs through caves in the pitch black. So cool!
At the end of the day with our awesome guides.
Friday we docked in Cozumel but Brandon and I went to the mainland so we could go to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. We ended up ditching our tour group shortly because we were too impatient to wait every 5 minutes for all the slow people. So we walked around ourselves.
It was blazing hot there...good thing the Mayans were so smart to build their temples right over the beautiful Caribbean ocean! We had to go for a swim to cool off.
Saturday was another day at sea. We were exhausted from staying out late each night at the shows and then getting up early for our excursions. So we were glad to have another day to just relax. Brandon and I didn't get out of bed until 11am. This is on the last formal night.
This is us at our table together on the last night of the cruise :(We arrived in Miami Sunday morning. Since we had several hours until our flight home, Brandon and I decided to do an excursion to the Everglades. We saw lots of alligators just hanging out (there were no fences in the park).We went on one of these sweet air-boats and saw more alligators and snapping turtles.
We got to hold this baby named Snappy.It was a fabulous cruise and great company. We are so grateful to my mom for allowing us to go by watching Ty. We are already planning our next cruise together. We want to do the Panama Canal...probably won't happen since it is a 14 day cruise and we both have kids...but we can dream, right?