Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays...

Packing. Packing. More packing. Moving. Moving. Unpacking. Unpacking...and more unpacking. Vacation. Back home in the new house. More unpacking. Go, go, go. This has been my first chance to sit and really write out what has been going on. The last month has been a blur. Crazy, in fact. Remind me never to move during the holidays. Actually, I'm never going to move again. EVER. I will die in this house. That is a fact.

It all started after Thanksgiving. I had felt like I was doing really well on getting things packed. Really, the problem was all of the nick knack stuff (not that I didn't know this would be the problem)! So, the Monday after Thanksgiving we rented a truck and hired some movers to help us move to our new home in Queen Creek, Arizona. It took 2 trips in the biggest U-Haul they had to get all of our things moved, but that did the job. An hour into unpacking the truck, some ladies who live in our cul-de-sac came over and introduced themselves and where each of them lived, along with dropping off a spaghetti dinner. How did we ever luck out to move into such a fantastic neighborhood?? Honestly, this is where we were meant to be! Anyways, after moving everything into the new house we had to return the truck that afternoon and Blake and his entire family left that night to fly up to Idaho for his sweet Aunt Connie's funeral. I was so sad not to be able to support the family, but time just wasn't on our side. I stayed back here with Jovie and unpacked boxes and finally Blake was home 2 nights later! I was so relieved to be able to sleep in the (NEW) house with my husband. It felt so weird without him- and even a bit scary since these were all new noises in the house. On that Friday we left for California to do a little mini-reunion with all of my family. 

California was a blast. It was just what the doctor ordered. We rented a house in Anaheim and had the most fabulous time with my family. We made meals at the house, watched movies, played at the park, created gingerbread houses, laughed, cried, took pictures, went to Disneyland and California Adventure for 2 days, played Phase 10, and made a whole lot of memories! We were there for 5 days and time just flew by!

Carpenter Clan 2010

Kimball Family 2010

We are forever

Jovie and Uncle Eli playin at the park

Indi tried eating the whole pizza....haha. yeah right!

Yo Ho Yo Ho A pirate's life for me! Isaiah loved singing that!

Jovie LOVES Minnie!

Carpenter Clan at California Adventure

Blake & Jovie on Toy Story Mania ride

Kay & Rob Carpenter (Mandy's parents)

Indi & Snow White

Camille & Cinderella

Callia, Papa and Tutu

Nate & Camille, Blake & Jovie, and Papa & Callia

Jovie, Mama and Belle (the 1st princess Jovie actually LIKED!)

Cori & Indi bumping in the cars!

Katy & Camille on the bumper cars!

Mandy, Blake & Jovie on the ferris wheel. 

Papa, Tutu, Indi & Katy loving the ferris wheel

Nate ACTUALLY smiling!
California Screamin' roller coaster practically melted off their faces!!
 When we got home the night of the 8th from California (which was my mom's 60th Birthday-- Happy Birthday Mom!) we got to unpacking more and more. At this point it didn't feel much like December, let alone the Christmas season so I decided to get the Christmas tree put up. So, thinking that this would take me a day at most, I proceeded to remove the pre-lit white lights and replace them with LED colored lights that I had bought just after Thanksgiving- as we had had problems with the fuse blowing the last 3 years. Well, it didn't take me a day to do the tree...it actually took 5. FIVE DAYS!!!! Really. No joke. So, I'm kinda hardcore at stringing lights on the tree (I blame my father) and I actually ran out of lights after stringing up the bottom QUARTER of the tree. At this point there were already 1200 lights on the tree. Seriously. I told you I was hard core. (And I actually thought that many lights could cover an entire 9 foot tree.....sheesh). So since the LEDs were from Wal-Mart I had to buy more of the same kind. But no...there were NONE to be found in this Wal-Mart, nor 7 more Wal-Mart's that I traveled to that day. The last Wal-Mart of the night I went to had some mini colored lights but were teardrop shaped (that were kind of faceted on the outside)- so decided to buy 17 more boxes. That should do the trick. Well, I got home and tried them out...they looked weird next to the other lights. Crap. So, out of frustration decided to hatch out a plan in my dreams as I slept. The next morning Blake had a brilliant idea of taking off every other strand of the one type of lights, and then replacing them with the tear drop lights. After doing that I was very pleased at how it turned out. SO BEAUTIFUL, in fact.
But here is the kicker. What is funny is that the day after stringing up both types of lights and finishing the tree I was in a different part of town and needed something from Wal-Mart and decided to pop over to their Christmas isle to see if they happened to have had any of the original lights I needed. Lo and behold- an ENTIRE pallet of the mini colored lights sat in front of my face...almost taunting me in a way. It took all of my will power not to cry...or do something that would have resembled Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation when his lights wouldn't turn on. Deep breaths...in...... pssssssshhhhhh....out. It was done. I was THIS close to buying them all, taking off all of the tear drop shaped lights from the tree, re-stringing up the new lights, and returning the other ones...but that would  have just been plain ridiculous! My hands and arms couldn't take one more second of getting scraped, cut, and gauged from the tree branches. I looked like a cutter, for heaven's sake! So, that was my 2010 Christmas Tree debacle. Just retelling that story was as exhausting as it felt.

So, here it is the....hmmmmm, what day is it? Either way, it is a few days shy of Christmas and I can actually say I've done a pretty good job decking my home in Christmas, as well as making my home really feel like home.
I've actually almost finished Christmas shopping and sending gifts! There is still SO much to do, but at least we have had time to test out the spa (yes it works!!), jump on the trampoline, watch Despicable Me in the theater room and get all of Jovie's toys unpacked and played with. We have already met lots of people in our neighborhood and gone to a church Christmas party and are very excited to be at this stage in our life! We feel so blessed to be here in our new home and hope our old friends still make the drive to hang out and our new friends stop over at their hearts content!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This has truly been one of those days. Joyous and sad all at once.

For the past few years Blake's Aunt Connie has struggled with breast cancer. She was released this morning from her mortal body and was able to reunite with her parents in heaven. She was a magnificent woman. So much strength, positivity, happiness, and Christ-like love for others. She will truly be missed here on this earth. She was always so kind and welcomed me into the family with open arms. Many tears have been shed on her behalf, but we know that we will see her again and be reunited for eternity!

In other news, Blake's sister Chelsea was married today to Rajiv Patel in the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple. It was a beautiful ceremony. As you can imagine, emotions were running high today (I'm pretty sure I went through at least one mini pack of tissue and dirtied a sleeve or two of my own). I loved how the sealer spoke of the 4 C's- commitment, communication, care and covenants. We are so thrilled for the both of them and know that they have found each other for a reason. We couldn't be happier! We are excited to spend Thanksgiving with the whole family and celebrate at their reception on Saturday!

Not that you care, or are even interested...but I got my period today- on top of everything else going on. Why say this at all- you ask? Millions of women around the world are dealing with this today too. Well, this just means one more thing to me ...that I'm not pregnant. You may or may not know that we've been 'trying' for the last 8 months to no avail. This isn't super surprising as it took us 3 years to get pregnant with Jovie. I am absolutely positive that the Lord knows all things and that it comes in due time. But it also doesn't mean I can't be frustrated or sad when things we hope for (especially children) don't come when WE think it's time. I'm sure that stress has something to do with it as well...but honestly I know I just need to lean on the Savior's shoulder through this trial. I will get through this. I will have more children (eventually). I will cry...lots. But I will continue to have faith in my Heavenly Father that he knows ALL things, and the right timing for them. Jovie came at the PERFECT time. I know that now. I'm sure He knew that moving at the beginning of December, grieving through an Aunt's passing, celebrating the wedding of my sister-in-law, Thanksgiving, and vacationing with my family to California for 5 days the first week of December was all too much on top of being pregnant. I should probably just be grateful. I am. I have SO much to be grateful for.

Breathe, just breathe. This (month) too shall pass.

Friday, November 19, 2010


If you're wondering where I've been (which, let's be honest- you probably haven't noticed since I've been a super sporadic blogger in the past, well, forever...) I've been letting the natural course of life take it's course. However, I think I skipped my whole middle age (partially out of the desire to forget I actually just turned 32 yrs old...boooo) and went straight to 80. I wasn't planning to go quite so quickly, but when I started sorting all the stuff that was tucked away, sorted, neglected and otherwise shoved to the back of the closet in my "crap", I mean "craft room", I happened upon a felt advent calendar that I had purchased who knows  HOW many years ago, in the hopes that I would (someday) finish it.

Well, I knew that I'd be moving to a new house sometime before Christmas, and wouldn't it be nice to finish a project that is Christmasy oriented?? Well, I will be honest and say that I couldn't just stare this project in the face and say "maybe next year". It was calling me...NOW! I have spent many afternoons during Jovie's nap time and at nights in the pale glow of the tv working on this...and I'm still working on it. But the great thing is that I haven't lost steam. And I haven't neglected Jovie (well, not usually). And I've still spent time packing the house- EVERY DAY! And I've made dinner (usually). This has been one of the most fun, challenging, and rewarding projects I've ever done. And so grandma-ish, I know. But I've just been itching to do something other than read a new book, or watch DVRed shows. But I still do manage to watch anything HGTV while sewing. All that creativity just keeps me motivated!

Amongst all of the string, sequins, fluff, poked and bleeding fingers, I've gotten to enjoy something that was part of my childhood. And I hope to finish this by December 1- in time for the 'advent calendar' part to come to fruition. It is just NOT in my nature to finish things...but this time I WILL!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween time!!

Time to carve pumpkins...my favorite!!

Jovie loved putting her Princess Mrs. Potato Head pumpkin together with Daddy!

 Jovie was a big helper scooping out the seeds...but not a bit fan of getting "goop" all over her fingers!

I'm obsessed with owls and thought I'd challenge myself this year to a cool looking pumpkin!

 Guess which one Blake carved?? OF COURSE THE APPLE ONE! :)

Since Halloween was on a Sunday this year, we didn't take Jovie trick or treating, but instead stayed home and passed out candy- Jovie loved seeing the kids in costume and putting candy into their buckets! We did take Jovie to Kids Club the Thursday before Halloween and they did a big parade of costumes. Remind me  NEVER to buy a costume where when they sit down, the animal's head is right in their face. Sheesh, you'd have thought that would've crossed my mind before buying it. 

Jovie as a flying horse...

Mandy as "Seeds of the Tree" and Blake as "Jake Sully" from movie Avatar

 Blake crackin' everyone up pulling wheelies...
this looked legit in the dark. 
 Overall it was a nice and (semi) relaxing Halloween!! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

little footsteps...

It seems like overnight Jovie has turned into a big girl...and it makes me really sad. How do parents get over this stage?? Well, usually they just have more kids- to fill the baby void...it's just not that easy for us...which is unfortunate. As much as I want another baby to cuddle and coo over, I can't help but to love the phase that Jovie is in right now...she acts so silly...which I love...

And then there is the sweet innocence that comes with being two years old. She is acting older and older every day, which do include the tantrums. They actually make me laugh. Maybe I just laugh because I don't know what else to do...because really I could be embarrassed of a two year old flailing their body onto the floor in the middle of a store...but I'd rather laugh...because if I didn't, I'd probably cry. Haha.

But with the joys of two year olds comes with constant gratification...she thinks I'm funny... and who couldn't appreciate that? She knows how to make me feel good. Laugh at my silliness, and you're golden. I love that smile, Jovie girl! You make Mama SO happy to be a mama.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jovie turns 2!!

Every day I'm more and more in awe with what Jovie can do! Well, today that is no exception! Jovie turned 2 and so I decided since she loves farms and animals and such- we could do a Barnyard Bash!! We had a lot of fun! 

Yes, I went over the top and spent hours on this barnyard cake including pigs, chicks and cows. It was intense, but totally worth it. And it actually tasted great too! I'd like to say I'll never do that again, but then again, I'd probably be lying. 

 She had her cake and ate it too!! (and so did her cousin Isaiah!)

...We did do a few fun things for the party... 
we colored farm pictures 

did foam art 

and pinned the tail on the donkey

Overall, we had a great time and were exhausted by the end of the day- but we know Jovie loved her Barnyard Birthday Bash, and was so happy to spend it with her family and friends!