Monday, July 22, 2013

Cousin TLC

The last few weeks has been packed full of cousin fun.

Emma hung out with Jessica and Mitch overnight while Matt and I had a night away...

We saw all of Emma's cousins at Olivia's birthday party...

Sophia came over for a few hours to play...

... and then for Olivia's actual birthday, Nicole invited all the girl cousins to a "girls day" at Sherman Kendall Academy. Sara, Jessica, Sophia, Olivia, and Emma all had their hair, nails, and makeup done. It was a great time, and so fun to see all the girls together. 

oh my gosh, as if Sophie wasn't already adorable, she had to pull out this gem. SO. CUTE.

The two princess' were hiding in their pillow fortress...

 I asked the girls to say cheese, and Emma started doing her fake laugh, which made Sophie laugh, which made Emma AND Sophie laugh. The pictures below were the end result. Sophia looks like she's been told the funniest joke in the whole world!

Cousins <3

Girls Day!

This Mama was shocked Emma let a stranger touch her. Must have been the makeup that convinced her.

What the boys did... safe to say they were entertained.
These guys are total buds.

Shannen, the Charlotte baby whisperer. She literally whispered her to sleep...
Birthday girl!
Cousins :) with everyone snapping their cameras, somebody had to have gotten a better picture than this, right?

This last week I've been feeling so grateful for my family. I have always loved my brother's and my sister, and I cherish the friendships we've created over the years. Through all my mistakes and trials, my family has never once made me feel inadequate of their love. When I was going through my separation, my family was always there. You see, that's how we were raised-- to always support one another no matter what. We went to each other's sports games, recitals, school events, church talks, etc. We have our awesome Mom to thank for that, because now, as an adult, I still get excited to support them in all that they do. I wouldn't want to miss out on any of their major life events, because it's what we've always done, and will always continue to do. 

Recently, I have had the impression that I need to take advantage of the fact that we live so close to one another. I have never really stopped to think about how lucky I am that we are in the same state, but as of late, I realize how truly blessed I've been to have my family around me. I have especially felt that I need to utilize this summer in spending time with them. So family, you may be getting more calls from us to hang out this summer, we are going to make some good memories together.

In my patriarchal blessing, one of the first lines state that Heavenly Father wants me to know, that it is not by chance that this special family is part of my eternal family. 

I feel with all my being that this is true. I feel so eternally connected to my siblings; it's a bond that I would fail at explaining to others. I just love them, so much that it brings me to tears when I think about my love for them. It has brought me so much joy to see our children play and become close, and I look forward to those relationships getting stronger through the years. 

I am so thankful for the light and happiness that has come back into my life since I have returned to church. I used to live life so selfishly, not ever thinking about my family and their life events. The support that was ingrained in us as kids, was nonexistent in my life back then. I missed out on so much. I am so glad I have had a second chance in life, because who knows where I'd be if I had continued down that selfish road. 

Thank you all for your love and support for me through the years, no matter what. I have always known you were there, rooting for me to succeed. I love you all so much.

Here's to a summer full of family fun! 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Friends!

Oh my gosh, this last week has been packed full of cousins and friends! It is so much fun, and makes me so happy to see Emma loving her cousins and friends. 


We have played in the sprinklers, played in the pool, played outside, played in the pool again, and played at birthday parties.


Last weekend we went to Olivia's birthday party, she turned 3 this year! It was at one of our favorite parks, West Jordan or also called The Veteran's Memorial Park. It has two playgrounds, one for toddler sizes, and another wood type one that has a castle and everything. 

We did get a little rained on, but overall it was a great time! Again, I love to see Emma playing with her cousins. It is so fun to watch her create memories and friendships with them!


Russ, trying to be stealthy

Got a smile!!

Sophia=freaking adorable.

Grandma Walker and Charlotte

Part of the party crew 
Cuddling with my Emma and taking pictures of my fam!!

we tried to get a picture with Grandma Walker... this was the best one we got!

"Ca-Ca" as Emma would say. You probably know her as Jessica

Sara and Charlotte! 

They look tough, huh? Don't let them fool you :)

Mom and Charlotte! Charly got passed around quite a bit :D

On Monday, Kami and Kadan came over to play while Anne went to class. I told them we would go play outside in the water after Emma's nap. All morning all I heard was, "is it time to go play outside yet?"

We did have one minor potato bug incident. In the morning before it got too hot, we went outside for a walk and collected potato bugs. LOTS of potato bugs. I mean, a tupperware bowl full of them. 

We brought them inside (first mistake) and I put them on the counter where I thought it would be out of reach for children (second mistake). 

The next thing I heard was Kami shouting, "uh-oh Rachel!!" pointing to the ground in the living room. I couldn't imagine anything that would be so emergent, so I looked over and said, "okay just one minute" and continued making lunch. When I walked over to see what was up (like 30 seconds later), I saw a tupperware bowl on its side in the living room. 

a tupperware bowl that looked a lot like the one full of potato bugs that was on my count... wait a minute! 

Uh-oh indeed. 

Potato bugs were fleeing in every direction. Small ones, medium ones, and the Gigantic ones. I think we got the majority of them, the vacuum hopefully got the rest. It was a sad, sad day in potato bug land. 

But, I still must say...


We've had a fun couple of days, and we are looking forward to more in the next couple weeks!! 

The Twistles

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gerald the Gallbladder

Gerald the Gallbladder is no more. His havoc wreaking days inside Matt's abdomen are over. Gerald, I can't say that I'll miss you, or the pain you've caused my loving husband!

Matt went in for surgery today. Just your average gallbladder removal that is done all the time by many surgeons around the world. But for me, it wasn't just a surgery that most of Americans have. It was my best friend going in for surgery. It was the girl's Daddy. It was me being worried and nervous that everything would be alright. It was waiting in the waiting room anticipating the good news that he was okay. It was the slight chance that something could go wrong. It wasn't just a surgery for me. 

I know that many friends and family prayed for him-- for us, that everything would go well. I have often wondered if my prayers for others are felt by them. I have heard people mention that they could feel people praying for them while they were going through trying times, and always wondered how you could actually feel a prayer being said on your behalf. 

Today, I can say with a surety, that I have felt your love and prayers for us today. I am overwhelmed to tears, because I can literally feel all of your prayers for Matt and I and our family. I feel it through the Holy Ghost, that warm and comforting feeling of unyielding love. I know that many prayers have been offered for us today, and that is such an amazing thing. Thank you for your love, your support, and prayers. This may have seemed like a little thing, but for us, it was huge. Big or small, God listens. 

 I know that God hears and answers prayers. He wants to send us angels, and feelings of comfort administered through the Holy Ghost. He is real. He loves us, more than we could possibly comprehend. I know it because I feel it so strongly within my being. 

Matt is now in the recovery room, doing great and waking up from anesthesia. Saying that I am grateful that he's okay is an understatement. I never want to imagine going through this life without him. He is my rock, my hero, and my best friend. Going through this surgery with him, has deepened my love and appreciation for this wonderful man. 

We will be leaving the hospital soon, to go home and let Matt recover. He has the Xbox hooked up in our bedroom, so he should be happily entertained between sleeping and recovering. 

Here's to a happy gallbladder-less future for Matty!! 

Love you all

The Twistles

Parents Night Out!

Words to describe our get-a-way:





For the last 2 years, we have been broke. Like, so broke we wanted to cry. So, Matt's birthday (and mine) have fallen by the wayside when it came to birthday celebrations. I mean, we did the traditional birthday dinner, but that was about it.

This year, we are in a better spot, thanks to Matt working his manly buns off for us. 

So we splurged and booked a hotel downtown for the night. 

Owen and Crissy agreed to take the girls overnight, which is no small feat considering Charlotte is still not sleeping through the night yet. 

Emma was so excited to hang out with Mitch and "Ca-Ca", and had a great time. 

Matt and I were able to relax, and enjoy each other's company like we used to in our pre-kid life. We laughed just like we used to, before we were so tired from parenthood. Matt and I talked to random strangers on the street, and even rode a bike taxi on the way back to the hotel!

Being a parent, you sometimes lose sight of who you were before kids. That you used to laugh a lot, and be spontaneous. Matt reminded me that who I am now is not bad, just different. I've evolved to take care of my children and to be a good Mom, it just comes with the territory. He told me that if I hadn't have changed to take care of the girls, then that would be something to worry about. He is my voice of reason when I am too hard on myself. One of the many reasons I love him so. 

It was just nice to feel like, "us" again. Like we were newlyweds, living downtown doing what we wanted when we wanted. It was good to be reminded that even though we are stressed with work and life matters, that "we" are still in there somewhere. 

It just takes a little "Parent Getaway" to let our single flags fly. 

Thank you Crissy and Owen for granting us this great opportunity, we so badly needed it! 

Matt is using a new app called, "Day One". It's an online journal for your computer/phone. He wrote down his own thoughts of our weekend together, and you can read it below:

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013, 9:14 PM

Why not start out on my 32d birthday to log the incredible journey I am sharing with my sweetheart. The night started out by dropping our two little ones off at their aunt Crissy and uncle Owen's home for a sleepover with their cousins Jessica and Mitchell. We zipped downtown SLC for sushi at a restaurant that we have had in our sights for quite sometime. The place is called Sapa and features an incredible ambiance highlighted by authentic Vietnamese tea houses that were disassembled in Vietnam and brought to Utah and consequently reassembled on State and 700 South. We ate and ate and ate some more before heading to the Hilton to check into our
room for the night. The excitement of a fresh hotel room (with hot tub) is always such a rush! I snapped a couple of shots of the room and we decided to walk through downtown on a nostalgic adventure so similar to that which we used to enjoy on a semi nightly basis back in our pre-children days. The air was warm, Rachel held my hand and was my steady reminder that I always get too close to the street while waiting for the crosswalk signal to change. I had my sights set on a strawberry and cream from Starbucks so that was our next stop. So refreshing! Along our walk we made some friends one of whom may have unwittingly made a lasting impression on us for life. His name was Doc and he was a former homeless person who now made a humble living selling newspapers in the street and helping others who find themselves in the same situation. He beamed when he spoke of his daughter and seemed humbly reverent as he told us of her searching him out by asking the various valets around town if they knew where he was sleeping back in his less fortunate times. He was brave and confident in himself. We continued on our way and found ourselves lured in by the air conditioning the rushed through the corridors of the outdoor City Creek Mall. Shopping! I needed a new hat because 50 isn't enough and Rach needed shirts and jewelry because she's a female. After shopping and noticing the creeping night we started the 10 block walk back when we happened upon Louis Alexander, bike taxi. Man, this guy was such a great addition to our new list of friends in the city. He had an iPod playing some hippy-bongo-Indian music and filled the aromatic night arm with the warm, masking smell of patchouli oil. As he pedaled us through the city en route to our hotel we shared small talk of culture, family, and drunks. Sophisticated to say the least! Only a couple of scares and we made it to the hotel safe and with a new friend and yet another line item to check off our bucket list that we have never yet written down. Energy drinks!! Our hotel, in all of its accommodation had none! In the car, windows down, and Nelly/Pandora playing loud we headed toward the Pharmacy. Rockstars and sleep aids were the only items on this grocery list. Inspiration hit on the way back to the hotel to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a midnight snack. After waiting ten minutes in the drive through line we decided it would be best to go in and wait in that line for ten minutes!! A six pack of donuts and we hit the hotel.
Without going into great detail we got back to our room and spent some good, quality, quiet, and uninterrupted time together; something the has been all but non-existent in our lives as of late. We slept in until 930 and left to reunite with the two little miracles that have changed our lives in such a positive way that words fail to describe.
As far as birthdays go, THIS was my best and most favorite ever. We made memories for life. We reminded ourselves of what it's like for us to be in love.
Created in Day One 

He is my love. He is my best friend. And this week, I have felt so much more thankful for him. So thankful for all the things he does, that I do not see, that he does for us. When we were dating, he told me there was no possible way that I could ever understand how much he loves me. I know that's true, he loves me and our girls so deeply in a way that I will never know. 

Happy Birthday Matty, and thank you for loving me the way you do. You make me the happiest girl in the whole world!

Here's some pictures from our weekend:

Sushi at Sapa, it was so tasty!