.

.

Friday, January 27, 2012

OKC Temple

Our Sundays are a little longer than we're used to now that we don't have extended family around to share them with. And since we're out of church by noon (we just finished a year at the 9 am block and then we moved into a ward that was just starting a year of the 9 am block - don't get me started), we have a lot of time to fill in the afternoon. So this past Sunday we drove out to the Oklahoma City Temple to show the kids our new temple.

Photobucket

As members of the LDS church, our temples are really important to us. The fact that the only LDS temple for hundreds of miles is in Oklahoma City is one of the major reasons we decided to move here over some of our other choices. Traditionally, temples are much larger than our standard meetinghouses. Not so in OKC. The meetinghouse next door to the temple actually has a bigger footprint than the temple! The temple is so small, but very intimate. It actually looks much bigger in these pictures than in person.

Here's Logan pretending to be the angel Moroni (gold statue behind him).


It was super windy that day, if you can't tell.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What has Isabelle been up to?

Perhaps the better question is, what has Isabelle been IN to?

Answer: EVERYTHING!

In the past month, Isabelle has gone from a tentative crawler to an active, mobile, mischievous monster! Gone are the days of leaving cupboards and doors open. And not only is she fast, but she puts absolutely everything in her mouth. My other two never had much of an interest in eating everything they touched, so I've had to train myself to always be aware of what's in Isabelle's mouth. I've pulled out Legos, marbles, candy, toy rubber tires, plastic Angry Birds, and coins. I have to be diligent about keeping the kitchen floor swept or Isabelle will find herself a snack pronto. The older kids are constantly complaining about her hands getting into their games. I remind them that they used to love playing with her, but I guess that was only when she stayed in one place. She pulls herself up on everything and has a much longer arm span than any of us ever anticipate.

Isabelle is also very destructive. She loves emptying her shelves of toys or knocking down anything Logan builds. She is fascinated with ripping paper. On our most recent flight, I kept her occupied for over a half hour by giving her a napkin to rip into dozens of pieces. Her latest venture is a perfect example of her capabilities. It was a double offense-- not only did she unload half a roll of toilet paper, but she ripped it into a billion pieces, several of which ended up in her mouth.

Photobucket


Of course, throughout all this terror and destruction Isabelle remains eternally happy. She always has a huge smile on her face (unless I am fishing something out of her mouth). She especially loves two things right now: her blanket and the bath. I frequently have to change her pajamas twice at night because she heads back to the bathroom after her own bath to play and splash with the older kids while they bathe. But once we get her dry and start towards her room, she will nose dive out of my arms to get to her blanket in the crib. I never tire of watching her cuddle with it. I just wish she loved cuddling with me as much as her blanket. :)

New Years in Wyoming

Photobucket

As we were planning our drive to Oklahoma, Jeff's sister planted a seed of an idea to visit her in Wyoming along the way. At first we dismissed it, because "on the way" really equated to a seven hour detour. But then we remembered that we wouldn't be seeing family as frequently as we were used to, and decided a couple of days in Wyoming were just what we needed. Besides, I didn't want to be unpacking on my birthday. :)

We made it to Wyoming three days after Christmas and stayed until New Years. We had a lot of fun that mostly involved playing games, watching movies, eating delicious and not so nutritious snacks, and staying up WAY too late. Amy and Joe have always been our role-models in the marriage/child-rearing categories because they had 4-years experience on us when we got married. We laughed at the end of the trip that we had had "couples counseling" every night we were there as we shared our struggles and helped each other think of solutions. Amy planned a fabulous birthday for me, starting with a dance party first thing in the morning! We went bowling (the only time I actually got my camera out) and celebrated the day away with numerous renditions of "Happy Birthday." The Katschkes treated me to a new shirt and sweater as well as some new glasses (Joe is an optometrist) for my birthday, all of which I have loved. Jeff (with the help of Joe) got me some prescription sunglasses. I can't believe I've gone this long without them; it's been years since I've been able to wear real sunglasses (as opposed to the kind that clip on to your regular glasses). It was a wonderful birthday and I'm so glad I got to spend it with family.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Logan had some awesome bowling moves. Sad thing is, he beat me twice in a row.

Photobucket

He did this one several times. I think he calls it, "the bowling pin."

Photobucket

Savannah couldn't bear to watch her ball. She'd run away as soon as she let go.

Photobucket

I had to throw this last one in because it really shows Savannah's knobbed knees. It cracks me up because my legs are bowed so if you put us together you might actually get straight legs!

Photobucket

Saying goodbye


The last night before we started our drive to Oklahoma, some amazing friends took me out to dinner. I have been so blessed to have wonderful friends, and I already miss these women so much. We have had so many good times together, and they have always been supportive and understanding when I have needed them. Lucky for me, if there is one thing these friends are good at, it's keeping in touch. Thanks for everything, ladies!

Family 2011

That last post was getting a little long, so I decided to give these pictures a post of their own. What would Christmas be without a few family photos? We did our best to take these right after church while everyone still looked good and before the kids got cranky. Did we succeed? Mostly. :)

The whole gang
Photobucket

Oldest brother + family
Photobucket

Other older brother + wife (soon to be four!)
Photobucket

Me + family
Photobucket

The original six Mackay children
Photobucket

Grandma + Grandpa + grandkids
Photobucket

What happens when somebody passes gas
Photobucket

A Cabin Christmas

Since none of us have a place big enough to house my entire family for Christmas, we found an awesome cabin in Duck Creek, UT to spend Christmas at. It was spacious and beautiful and none of us had to deal with the clean up when we left. My sister-in-law brought some entertainment for the kids, including a cardboard house and rocket that they could color on and play in. We have a lot of little grandkids in my family, so when we get them all together it inevitably equates to a fair amount of whining and crying. But this Christmas I couldn't believe how well they all played! It was so nice to just let them enjoy each others company while we enjoyed each others company.

Photobucket

Photobucket

We also spent a lot of time in the snow. The steep roads in the neighborhood made for great sledding hills. We only had a couple of tumbles, all of which involved Savannah, and one of which was definitely my fault. (Just before we went down she told me, "Not too fast, Mommy!" Of course I ignored her request, and we ate it bad at the bottom. Luckily she was mostly scared and not hurt, whereas I still have scars from that fall.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The kids loved sledding so much that the next day we took them to Brianhead, a nearby ski resort, and rented them skis and snowboards. We played around on the ski school hill for an hour or so, then hiked a little ways up the bunny hill to let them experience a real incline. They all picked it up super fast. I was so proud of my little snow bunnies. My nephew was the real showstopper that afternoon. At 4 years old, we can already tell he will be the athlete of the family. He has amazing dexterity and balance for such a small kid. The first time we sent him down on the hill he started bunny hopping and catching little bits of air! Not to be outdone, Logan had to try it as well. At the end of the day, they all claimed to like snowboarding better than skiing. (Score: Mom-1, Dad-0.)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

As a slight variation of the traditional Christmas Eve nativity dialogue, my mom had the great idea to make nativity sock puppets. They turned out so cute and will definitely be used for many years to come.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Our last day of the trip was Christmas Day itself. Christmas morning was even more of a tornado than usual between trying to open all the gifts, prepare and eat breakfast, and still get to church on time. I loved having Christmas on Sunday, though. I wish we always had a church service on Christmas Day. I think I will make an effort in the future to attend something a little more sacred on the day itself instead of cramming it all in on Christmas Eve and ignoring the Savior on Christmas Day.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Teeth

The dentist has been a bit of a sore spot in our family. Let's just go down the line, shall we?

Jeff, who has an aversion to doctors and dentists alike, refuses to go at all. I've tricked him into going to the dentist once during our entire marriage. As a compromise, he agreed to use a Sonicare toothbrush so I can at least hope his teeth and gums are in good shape.

I, on the other hand, go every 6 months. I really don't mind having my teeth cleaned and as often as my insurance will cover it, I'll be there. I brush twice a day and floss every day the way the hygienist showed me. Yet, somehow, I still get cavities! I asked the dentist when I was there last if there was ANYTHING else I could do. He suggested mouthwash, specifically Listerine Total Care. If you've tried it, you will know it burns like nothing else and you have to swish it around for a minute! Now I will do a lot to avoid a filling, but the daily burn is just not worth it to me.

Photobucket

On to Logan. I took him and Savannah to a pediatric dentist almost 2 years ago. It was a horrible experience and I walked away wondering how I was ever going to be able to bring them back. Fast forward to this past summer. Included with Logan's Kindergarten paperwork was a recommendation that all incoming Kindergarteners see a dentist before starting school. I resisted and ignored it, but one day out of the blue Logan told me he wanted to go to the dentist. So I took him in. I had the lowest of expectations, but he did GREAT! He let the hygienist clean and floss his teeth and was stoked to get a new Diego toothbrush. Which brings us to...

Photobucket

Savannah. At Logan's appointment, Savannah noticed the new toothbrush and sticker Logan got as a reward and decided SHE wanted to go to the dentist. So a few weeks later I brought her in. At first she was awesome. She lay back as the hygienist covered her teeth in that nasty grainy stuff and started polishing. I couldn't believe how mellow she was being. Then for no reason at all she freaked out. And that was that. We couldn't get her to open her mouth for anything. She sobbed the rest of the appointment, but still got her Dora toothbrush.

Finally, we come to Isabelle. No dentists for her, but she does have 5 new teeth! The first two made an appearance in early December, followed by 2 more just after Christmas, and now another is peeking through.


If you would have told me 5 years ago I'd have that much to say about teeth, I would never have believed you. That's just the way my priorities have gone. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scenic runs

I feel like every post lately has some reference to running. I don't mean to mention it so much, but this past year has completely changed my outlook on running, and now it is on my top ten list of favorite things to do. Before Savannah was born, I had never run more than a few miles, and I had hated every minute of it. A few years ago a friend helped me surpass that mark and I started running 4-5 miles once or twice a week. But it wasn't until I committed to and started training for a half-marathon this past summer that I got "the bug." It also helped that I found some good running buddies to help pass the time.

Here in Oklahoma it is my running routine that I miss the most (behind family and friends, of course). I am still managing to get out and run, but I miss my running buddies and I miss the routes that I used to run and love so much. The streets here are narrow without shoulders and sometimes without sidewalks, so it makes it tricky to run long distances on the streets. And Oklahoma is FLAT. There are no mountains to escape to or hiking trails to run on. One of the last runs I did before we left Utah was the L.A. (Lactic Acid) Freeway on the foothills of Provo. Halfway through the run I had to stop and take a couple pictures on my phone because the view was so breathtaking. We'd had a light snowfall the night before and I felt like I was in a Thomas Kinkade scene. I never thought I'd say this, but I actually miss the snow. I don't miss shoveling it, but I miss the pretty white blanket that covers all the ugly dead bushes and grass.

Photobucket


Now is the time of year to map out next summer's races. I'm pretty sure I'll be back in Utah for at least one race, but I'm open for other suggestions. Who's in?

Thanksgiving and Pre-Christmas 2011

We were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with both sides of our family this year. I started my Thanksgiving morning with a run with friends. I think I may have to make that a Thanksgiving tradition: it gets you up and going, you get to spend quality time with good company, and you burn a few calories in preparation for the big feast! We then spent the morning baking and prepping before heading down to Spanish Fork to do what we do best... eat! The only picture I got all day was this one on my phone, but I think it describes the afternoon mood perfectly.


The Saturday after Thanksgiving we celebrated Jeff's grandma's 80th birthday. It was a well attended event with most of her posterity and a small gathering of friends. We held the "Dale Smith Academy Awards" in commemoration of her legacy. The party doubled as an excuse to start singing Christmas carols, and no Smith holiday party would be complete without a lively musical rendition of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."



The next few days we quickly put up our Christmas decorations. I wanted to get them up early because I knew we would have to take them down quickly after Christmas. What I didn't know is that we would end up taking them down just 12 days later! If you think it's depressing putting Christmas away after the holidays, try putting them away before the holidays! I feel like our Christmas season was shortened this year, so I'm glad we got the little bit in that we did.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The finished product. Not perfect by a long shot, but perfect to me because of the little hands that helped me decorate. :)


We did manage to squeeze in one Christmas party the weekend before the moving extravaganza began. We went to the overcrowded, under-planned BYU employee Christmas party. The games were a joke and the line to see Santa was longer than any line I've ever seen at the mall, so all we really did was visit Cosmo. The kids didn't care-- they loved it anyway.

Photobucket