Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two things

1. Phil doesn't have to travel to Indonesia!! YEA

2. In an effort to stimulate the economy and weight loss, Phil and I bought a Wii and a Wii Fit.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Vegas Baby

Here is a (somewhat lengthy) recap of our recent trip to Vegas. It all started Friday afternoon (with a little prep work on Thursday night)…

After my last conference call ended at noon on Friday, my mom and I packed Natalie into her car seat, loaded her in the car and proceeded to Trio to meet the uncles for lunch, followed by a pedicure at Nailed and a quick treat and a coffee to split at a local bakery. Warning to all of you who venture from the Holladay area to the 9th & 9th area… 900 East is a disaster and the construction “workers” (I use this term lightly) don’t understand what lunch or pedicure reservations mean and therefore move at a snails pace. We changed our pedicure appointment time twice while driving/waiting for the workers to get out of our way. We took 1300 east home – we learned our lesson!

After the wonderful afternoon, I finished a few loads of laundry and started to lay out all the items we were going to need to pack with us. When I’d had enough of this fun task, I decided to finish the signs that I was making for the Miss USA pageant (the reason for our trip to Vegas). I had already (Thursday night) cut the black poster board into squares so they met the “Miss USA Pageant Poster Requirements” on size and I cut out letters in neon pink paper. I pasted the letters onto the black poster board and took the 8 x 10 photos of Laura and glued them on poster board as well. I now had 3 photos of Laura and letters spelling out LAURA and UTAH! Now all that was left to do was tape dowels on the back of them so we could lift them into the air when we were cheering! The silver duct tape that I used sure made them look classy!

Once I finished that project, we fixed a quick dinner and I finished packing. Natalie had a total of 4 bags including her diaper bag, Phil and I shared one suitcase and I didn’t even take a purse! We had a peaceful night of sleep and woke up around 7 am to pack the car and head to my parents house to pack their stuff in the MDX and hit the road. We made two stops on the way to St. George.

We dropped everything off at the hotel and drove the boys to the golf course for a quick round. Grandma, Natalie and I hit Wal-Mart and Costco and then hung out at the hotel…until my mom decided she was sick and needed to hit the local Instacare. She was so worried she would get Natalie sick, but the doctor reasured her that Natalie would be fine (clearly the breastfeeding is paying off). We made it back to the hotel in time to leave for dinner. After dinner we had a drink with Uncle Philip and went to bed.

Sunday morning we left for Vegas and made it there by 10:30 am (love the time change). We checked into the hotel and had some lunch. After lunch Philip and Phil did some gambling (Philip up $200, Phil down $3). I got ready and tried to convince Natalie that she needed to take a nap. She didn’t agree and in the end she won, by only taking three 20 minute naps the entire day (except for the 30 minutes she slept in the car ride down). I left rice cereal and sweet potatoes (Natalie’s favorite) with Grandpa and everyone else left to attend the Miss USA pageant.
Here I am next to the photo of Laura that was in the casino
During the pageant, two musical guests “sang” and by sang I mean, lip synced their way through the song playing in the background. Also, the hosts were very lame and had trouble reading the teleprompter (which we could see and therefore knew when they were messing up). Overall, it was exciting. I loved being so close to the stage, which made it easy for the camera to find our signs, which meant that I got to be on TV. Waving my sign around and screaming like a crazy person!

I don’t think I could have screamed any louder for Laura! It was so nerve racking waiting for her name to be called. First for the top 15, then the top 10, then the top 5! After her final question I thought for sure she was going to win. Beauty and brains, she was a shoe in. However, they were clearly looking for a blonde with fake boobs, and they got one. I say good luck to her in the Miss Universe competition, hope she doesn’t fall down. It was annoying to see someone win who didn’t give a very good answer to her question, but alas that is why I’m not a judge.

The girl who won is in the blue dress, the girl who should have won (Laura) is in yellow

After the pageant, my mom and I ran back to the room so that I could feed Natalie (and yes, we literally got off the elevator and started running down the hall). Natalie was very happy to see me! She was a trooper for Grandpa, she didn’t ever take a nap, but she had some sweet potatoes and played the entire time. After that we traveled to the buffet for dinner – overpriced, but what isn’t these days? Once dinner was over Phil took a nap and Natalie decided that meant she should go to sleep too, so I left them in the room and hung out with my mom and dad.

Laura came to see us and chat about the pageant, which was great! I left for bed shortly after and found Natalie and Phil still sound asleep.

The next day, I helped pack Laura’s room (she was in vegas for 20 days, so she had A LOT of stuff). Once she was pretty much packed up we packed up the cars and set off for St. George. Phil and my dad played golf again and Natalie, my mom and I hung out at the hotel. That night we had a WONDERFUL dinner at the Painted Pony and then walked back to the hotel and enjoyed the warm summer air.

We took Natalie for a dip in the pool – which she loved even more than the last time she was in the water. She was laughing most of the time and was very happy that we were the only three people in the swimming pool.

Here she is in her "pool robe"

Big bonus, the water tired her out and she slept over 10 hours straight! We clearly need to put a pool in the back yard.

We traveled home Tuesday afternoon. What a wonderful vacation!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Have you voted?

This vote might not be as important as the vote you cast in the presidential election; but, that is up for discussion. I’m headed to the Miss USA pageant this weekend and need votes! No, I’m not competing; I’m going to support my dear friend Laura Chukanov, Miss Utah USA! And she needs your vote!

Here is what I need you to do (and spread the word – everyone you know should vote)
  1. Obtain internet access and proceed to http://www.nbc.com/miss-usa-2009/
  2. Click on the “Your chance to vote for Miss Photogenic” link
  3. Pick Utah (page 8) and any two other girls, click select after each selection (your selections will appear below the photos)
  4. Once you have selected Utah and two other girls click “submit vote”, enter your name and email and submit.

YEA! You just supported Utah and a very special girl. Laura is not only beautiful on the outside (as you can see from the photos), she is beautiful on the inside. She has such a giving soul, heart and spirit and she is someone who I’m lucky to call a friend.

Now, go vote!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My dear husband, Phil, just celebrated a four-year anniversary and Natalie and I couldn’t be happier. Here is a little background…

When Phil and I started dating, he was a smoker – a pack a day smoker – something I hated, but was willing to overlook, for the time being. As we continued dating, and I started to like him more and more each day, it became clear that I was going to either have to break it off with Phil, or he was going to have to break the smoking habit.

So one night, after one-too-many cocktails, I told Phil that I no longer wanted to date a smoker. That I didn’t see any point in continuing a relationship with a person who was going to keep killing themselves one puff at a time. I even went so far as to say, “I want you to be around to walk our daughter down the isle.” I think this might have been the proverbial nail in the coffin, the straw that broke the back of the camel, or maybe just the push he needed.

The next day, Phil took the last pack of cigarettes he had in the house and wrote the date on them, 4/10/05 and told me he was done. He was ready to quit and other than a small slip up when he was visiting a foreign country (when in Africa, do as the Africans) he has been smoke free ever since. I’m so proud to be married to a man with such determination and will power.
Even though Natalie can’t talk, I know she is happy to have such a wonderful dad. I’m sure when Phil walks her down the isle he will be very happy he stopped smoking so he can be a part of that wonderful day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What have you been up to?

We have been busy!

Natalie went on yet another date. Auntie Fran set her up with Baby Kyle and we had fun. It was a lot of fun to catch up with Frances prior to the date and she made bite-size chocolate chip cookies – YUM!

Natalie proved, once again, that she is her mama’s daughter. Upon seeing baby Kyle she decided it would be a good idea to lunge towards him and try and eat his shirt, rather aggressive for a baby. She managed to pull Kyle’s hand into hers and pose for a photo. She continued to wave her arms around (maybe trying to hit him, but who knows) until Kyle decided he was done with the date and tried to cry. You can read more about the set-up here.

Last weekend we spent a lot of time with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Philip. Grandma and Uncle Philip have taught Natalie how to bang on the table – which is great, because she likes to do it ALL the time! Saturday Natalie joined me at a Jobie meeting, and was a very good girl. After the meeting we went to dinner at Sean and Liz’s house. It is great to hang out with good friends, and their two year old little boy, Griffin, gives us a glimpse of what we are in for with Natalie.

I used some vacation yesterday and Natalie and I ran errands and played in the park with Grandma. It was such a lovely day! A true sign that summer is on its way – I used the air conditioner!

Now on to some random updates about Natalie:

Her hair is long enough that I decided to start using sponge rollers to give her curls

She found her feet and currently enjoys trying to eat them

She has a new favorite toy

She likes books (they seem to taste good)

She rolls over from her back to her belly

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thanks...I think

My phone at work rings, it's my mom. I answer, "Hello"
Mom, "Are you free"
Joelle, "Sure, what's up?"

I can hear Natalie in the background

Mom, not talking to me, "Do you want to talk to your mama?"
Natalie, "baby talk, squeeling, cooing" the usual Natalie speak

I say (loudly), "Hi baby" Natalie speaks some more. I then hear my mom say "I'm making her laugh", Natalie laughs some more. Then my mom says "Bye" and the phone goes dead.

I don't know if I want to cry or laugh.

It is hard to be away from my sweet baby.