Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in Hawaii!!!

This year we had Christmas with the Swensons in Hawaii!! Scott and Sherri were so generous to bring all 21 family members!! You can imagine the skeptical we were walking around all together. It was such an amazing trip! We got to do SO much thanks to Matt. He had fun planning for hours so that we could get the most out of our island hopping trip. We hopped from Maui to The Big Island to Kauai all in 8 days! It was a blast! Our favorite experience was definitely the Giant Manta Ray dive/snorkel in Kona. Some dived and some snorkeled up top. It was a night dive so everyone had lights on that attracted to manta ray food. The manta were very friendly and a few of us even got little manta ray bumps : )
Back tracking a bit, since we were in Hawaii on Christmas we decided to do Christmas dinner on the Sunday before we left. So Matt and I had our first Christmas with our little family in our home and then we went over to the Swenson's for a Christmas dinner. It was fun having all of the siblings home from school.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Devan's 2nd Birthday!!

Devan is getting so old! I feel like he is still my little baby!! Last week he turned two years-old and it seems like just yesterday that we were driving to the hospital to have him. I remember right after the c-section being so anxious to see him while the nurses were cleaning him. Seeing him for the first time was one of the best moments of my life : )
So much happened since then, he even became a big brother!! He is learning something new every day. I love watching him grow and progress. We love him more and more all the time.
We went to the pumpkin patch on his birthday with Grandma Swenson and the Blankenfelds. Then, we had cake with Dad and Elizabeth at home. That Saturday we threw a little baseball birthday party for Dev so that he could have some fun with his friends. Several of them came. It was a good time : )
I Love You, Devan!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Three Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe it has only been three years since Matt and I were sealed in the Mesa, AZ Temple three years ago. So many great things have happened that it seems like it has been several more years. Matt and I both graduated from BYU-I with our Bachelor's Degrees, his in Accounting mine in nursing. We moved to Lincoln, CA for Matt's Internship. We gave birth to our first child, Devan Scott Swenson. Matt was given an accounting position at Gallina LLP. We purchased our first house in Lincoln, CA. We gave birth to our second little one, Elizabeth Kate Swenson. The most recent achievement is that Matt passed the last of his CPA exams and now he is a Certified Public Accountant! We are so proud of him for studying this last year almost every night in order to get this certification.

We are excited for the new challenges and experiences ahead of us!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Random Left Out Pictures from Summer

These pictures were just on my camera and I wanted to put a couple on our blog for memories sake. They are pretty random : ) Here is Matt and his first picture with his fist child, well at least an ultrasound picture : ) He was so excited about these shots because you could really see Devan's face. Matt put one of these pictures as a background of his phone and he just told me the other day that he is so excited to change it to a real picture of his little boy. Matt is going to be such a cute Daddy!

The Swenson and Valentine boys and Cameron Jones did a camp out up near Rexburg during the Summer Semester. This is just a lame picture that I got of some girl, Adam, Matt, and Cameron. We only stayed for the bonfire and tinfoil-dinner feast, but it was fun to get out of the house and out of Rexburg.

Okay so Matt and I thought this was hilarious because this little ladybug was hanging outside of our front door for at least a week. He didn't move at all and we thought he might be dead, but we poked him every once and a while and he was not dead! The day after I took his picture he left!! Maybe he just wanted to be put in our blog : )

Matt and I graduted from all of our BYU-I classes this semester. Our families came up for the graduation convocation. It was really fun to celebrate being actually DONE!! We were really glad that they could all come. I will have to get pictures of that from the patents sometime becuase I didn't take any... wups!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beginning of "Summer" 2010

This semester Matt and I have been pretty busy figuring out what our next step is going to be in life. Matt has to do his internship and we have been planning on doing it somewhere in California or Arizona. After a week and a half of looking around both areas we really didn't have anything solid. We had a few possiblities, but mostly we just enjoyed seeing our families : )
So... I'm starting to "show" I thought it was really noticeable, but my mother thought I was being silly for saying that I was getting big. I see what she means now. This is me at 14ish weeks.

I was really amazed that this was all I could suck in. When we went to our first appointment we figured out that the uterus is set far back so it's kind of taking a long time to pop-out. I think Matt is getting frustrated because he things his little boy is going to be too little.

Matt didn't know I was taking pictures of him. I think he is doing his homework or maybe watching an "A's" game : )

We went bowling one night on a date. It was really fun. Matt ended up killing me though. This was when he was doing kind of bad.

Matt and I went on a bike ride up by Mesa Falls along the Snake River, where he previously proposed to me. It was really nice weather, but kind of lame that there was still snow on parts of the ground. It was pretty muddy on parts of the trail and I am really out of shape so we made it a short ride.

Or camera died after a minute or so, so we didn't get any pictures of Matt : ( I am getting even larger now as you can see. This is about 19 weeks along.

Winter 2010

This semester I started my fulltime job at Rexburg Care and Rehabilitation. Matt was taking a couple of really really hard Accounting classes (which he did really well in). The biggest news was that Matt and I found out that I was pregnant! We were, and are, really excited about this! I was getting too stressed out with 13 credits at school and working fulltime so I switched to parttime and eventually quit for several other reasons. We had a nice little visit from Jesse and Francesca Harrison during the semester. We had a lot of fun bowling and playing games around town.

Aparrently our camera was on the wrong setting because Matt lost Jesse's head in this one.

We stopped by Brittany Munk's boutique "Brittany Rae's" because Jesse and Matt wanted to check out her new place. They found these amazing neck warmers!

Jesse broke the manikin's hand while they were modeling for us : )

Sean and Court stayed in Rexburg for Easter and Juan was up visiting so Matt and I decided that they should come have Easter with us! It was really fun being in charge of my first Easter dinner. Matt helped out in the kitchen a ton! He prepared the ham all by himself!!

The finished and eaten product : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mexico City - February 2010

Here are a couple of aerial views from the plan that Matt took of some of his areas and of Mexico City. The first one is incredible because if you look closely the entire thing is jam packed with city/buildings.

During our visit one of Matt's convert couples (Veronica & Noah) came up to him during church and asked if he would baptise their son (Ivan). Matt had the opportunity to baptise him the day before we left. It was a neat experience.

I thought it was hilarious that they sold toast at the grocery store!!! It made more sense when I saw that most of the people did not have toasters in their homes.

This is Dulce and her three children. They were sooo precious! The two little girls didn't quite understand that I didn't speak Spanish and they persistantly tried to make conversation with me! It was so funny because they adopted me as their friend and were talking to me the whole time while Matt was talking to Dulce. I had to keep on interrupting them because they girls wanted responses and I couldn't give them any! Hahah! It was great! They taught me names of some animals in Spanish from their school books and insisted on me taking gifts that they had for us and the "baby". The youngest girl (the one in the light shirt) wanted us to stay forever. It looked like she was going to cry when were leaving. It broke my heart!

Here is Matt and Paulina (left) and Matt and I on Paulina's balcony. Paulina has been one of Matt's strongest converts. We were excited to hear that she was planning on going to the temple that month. Paulina LOVES Matt!!! So was so nice to give me, and both my mom and Matt's mom some intricate table doilies. We were extremely flattered because she said that the large ones took her about a year to make! I am holding a stack of the small ones in the picture. Those took her a couple of months each!

We stayed at Blanca's house while we were in Mexico. Matt calls Blanca his Mexican mother. She is a really strong member that Matt was able to baptise. Her daughter was already baptized when Matt come into the mission and her two sons were baptized after Matt left. While we were down there the oldest son was on his mission in a two a couple hours away. It was really sweet to hear that he wanted to see if Matt would come back to Mexico and baptize him, but Matt took too long : )

Here we are at their house playing cards on one of our last nights. We taught them hand and foot and they taught us this speed type of game, very intense!

Here is Matt standing on top of a hill looking over one of his areas. We went to the church building that they used to meet at and there was a wedding reception going on. Matt figured out that it was the sister of a man that Matt knew from his first transfer. Surprisingly the man remembered Matt by name!!! They were extremely nice and offered us to eat and join the celebration. The bride and groom came up to us to welcome us! I felt like a celebraty! I don't think I would've noticed a couple of casualy dressed people walk into our reception. We felt really welcomed. This is really how it was wherever we went. The Mexican people are very hospitable. We had to turn down a lot of meals while we were there because there were just too many people to visit!

Matt wanted me to be able to see the Teotihuacan Pyramaids. Mario and Montse, two of Blanca's kids, offered to escort us to the pyramaids. It was really nice of them, because I don't think they had a lot of fun : ) It was really interesting to see all of the village ruins surrounding the pyramaids and imagining what it looked like back when they were whole. We climbed "El Piramida del Sol" This was the tallest pyramaid and it was a good work-out! The next picture is of me at the top looking over at "El Piramida del Luna". It was really cool to see all of the symbolism to the gospel. Matt pointed out that there were 12 little pyramaids surrounding the three larger pyramaids (very interesting!).

This little festive man is dressed us to do an incredible trick with a few of his performers. You can see in this picture that they all start at the top of this 50ish foot pole. They are each tied to these ropes that are coiled around the pole. When they release themselves the weight of their bodies unravels the ropes and the spin around the pole! It was pretty fun to watch.

Here we are with Blanca's family, her husband is sitting on the right. On one of the first nights they took us out to dinner to try the best "Tacos Al Pastor" in town. Since this was a sit down resaurant we flet like it was safe for me to eat. Most of the food people get in town are from stands, which can be sketchy sometimes (we didn't want to possibly disease our unborn child). These tacos were the best tacos I have ever had in my life, Matt agreed! They are spicey pork with pineapple. They had a bunch of salsas and vegetables to put on top, SO GOOD!!! The corn tortillas were made right there near the tables. It was super cheap too! Matt said he thought the bill for all 6 of us came to about $40.

We went for a LONG drive down to the town that Blanca's son was serving his mission. It was near the town Puebla. We had the address but it was really hard to find. I think we were driving for a total of 6 hours that day. Luckily Mexico City is actually a really pretty place once you get outside of the city! This is a picutre I took up in the mountains.

Here are two picture of this huge volcano that we drove around. These are pictures from opposite sides. The picture on the right you can barely see the outline of the volcano in the clouds. We just liked this picture because you can see how large it really is.
Here are some of the locals near Puebla it looked like what I always picture Mexico to look like.

This is one of our favorites. The little boy on the left had a little puppy that hid when we took the piture. These kids just look so picturesque to me!

Here is a picture of one of the LDS church buildings in Mexico. It's was such a breath of fresh air to see in the city. I kind of made me feel at home. I was surpirsed at how many there where just in the area we stayed in.

The most memorable part of the trip was going down to visit Juan Alberto, Blanca's oldest boy, where he was serving his mission. His parents weren't supposed to see him so the just rode with us and we planned on just leaving them the car while we visited. So, what ended up happening was that we couldn't find their house so we asked some of the towns people where the missionaries lived. They pointed us in the right direction and to our surprise while we were driving we saw "los eldres!" walking along the street. Blanca and her husband ducked down in the back seat and Matt waved to Juan Alberto he waved back and when he saw it was Matt he freaked out! He was even more surprised to see his parents sitting in the back seat : ) So we found a place to park and Matt and I went up the hill to meet him and his companion while his parents stayed down the street in the car. We stopped by a little tienda to buy them some drinks and just talked for 15-20 minutes. He was so glad to see Matt it was a really emotional moment for all of us. Matt was so glad to see someone that he taught the discussions to teaching others the same principles. We later heard from Blanca that Juan Alberto wrote in his e-mail that he had been having a hard time on his mission, but seeing Matt and his parent's support just gave him such a great boost! We were really glad to hear that. Definitely worth the long drive.

These pictures are all chronologically backwards... so this is a picture of us at a Mexican cathedral in Puebla. It was really interesting to see the similarity in styles compared to the European cathedrals. The insides were just as immaculate, but the outsides had a definite Spanish style.

Here is some fancy building in Puebla. I don't think we knew what it was, it just looked cool : )

Here is Alberto and Blanca in the back of our car on our trip to visit Juan Alberto. They were fun to travel with. They actually took the whole five days off of work and their duties to make sure the we always had an escort when necessary around Mexico City. That was a really big deal I think because he is a big business man. He works as an accountant. There family is actually very well off for Mexico. I felt like we were in a normal American home when we stayed with them. We actually had our own room with a huge flatscreen TV, bathroom and balcony exit. I wasn't expecting that at all. Matt also noticed that Alberto had an incrdible amount of suites and dress shirts in his enormous closet next to our room : ) I thought that was awesome!

One last random photo. Here is the picture of the Basilica in Mexico City. Matt thinks it is one of the largest cathedrals in Central America, not sure though.