Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday Memory

I've missed a lot of updating the last few months. I even missed Ethan's birthday last May, so here's a little summary (and then lots of pictures).

Ethan's birthday was pretty laid back. We don't really know anyone here, so it was a close family event. I'm hoping that Ethan's too young to either know or care that parties are a lot more fun with friends his own age. As he gets older I think we'll all have a lot more fun with birthdays. Maybe have a birthday hat, birthday meal, party with food and friends, presents, and maybe even a koala! OK, the koala's a bit much, but I've always thought they were really cool. We had cupcakes (gluten-free but tasty!), sang Happy Birthday and helped the little man open his presents. He loved everything, as much as a two-year old can, and I loved his clothes! He's slowly getting to the point where he can wear all of them! I'll have to be better at taking pictures of him in his awesome outfits. The one present he did get excited about is the movie we got him. This kid is a movie fiend (just like his dad)! All in all, it was fun and relaxing and really nice to have Grandma and Grandpa Abbott to share it with. Now to the good stuff, pictures!

He's such a neat freak it took us a while to convince him to get a little dirty

Now for some birthday videos!

Thank you everyone for your cards and gifts! I'm sorry we didn't get the cards on video. We're putting all Ethan's birthday money in a savings account for him. Thank you and Happy Birthday Ethan!


We've been taking lots of random pictures, so this post with have a taste of the happy, sweet randomness that is us. That made more sense in my head. Enjoy!

I call this my really happy gecko face

I was surprised how well Derek did on Ethan's little car


Where you talkin' to me?

While daddy's gone Ethan just has to wear his socks! I have no idea why.

Fish Hatchery and more...

I really haven't seen much of Arizona, but what I have seen have been from really fun day trips taken with Derek's parents. It's amazing how much energy Grandpa Rick has. One day we loaded up in the car and took a trip to and around Payson, AZ. It was a couple hour drive so we stopped at a park and let Ethan run around for a bit after arriving. There was grass!!! Real live grass! It was wonderful! While the guys played around on the playground Grandma Sue and I were smart and relaxed in the shade.

A little later we drove up to the Fish Hatchery that wasn't too far away. It was a lot cooler than Buckeye, and felt wonderful. It was a bit in the mountains, I think, and was surrounded by a forest complete with a little stream. I think the stream was drainage from the hatchery, but it still counts.

Ethan loved seeing the fish. In the larger pool the fish are large enough that you can buy some fishie food from a machine and throw it to them. They were like mini-great white sharks fighting for food dangling just above the water, I kid you not. It was crazy.

As you walked up the hill the fish in the tanks gradually got smaller. We didn't get a picture of it, but we did see one fish swimming around with only half a face. Half a skull actually. It was gone! You could even see the bone of the other eye socket. I didn't even think that was possible.

At the top of the hill was the house of the care-takers (I'm guessing) in front of which they had a little flower garden teaming with butterflies. We all tired to get awesome photos, but since I have no gift of photography I'll post Derek's successes instead.

After lunch we drove up to what I think was called (my memory is horrible) The Honey Stand. It was just a little shack on the side of the rode that sold honey in any flavor you could want. They also sold a random but good assortment of other natural goodness. You can see them here. The guy who runs the stand gave us samples of whatever we wanted to try, and Grandpa Ricks says he's great to talk to. I wish I had taken a picture.

It was a fun trip, and nice to see a more pleasant side of Arizona. Thanks Abbotts!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's been a while...

I have a lot of time to catch up on, but rather than bore you with every detail I'll highlight the more interesting (hopefully) parts through a post or two.

We're still in Arizona, but we're hoping to move to California soon so Derek can go to school. He's been accepted to the New York Film Academy (who has a campus at Universal Studios) for their Masters Screenwriting program, and if all goes well he'll start in September.

We've been trying to use this time between work and school to be a bit healthier. We're trying new recipes, working-out, cutting down on junk-food and playing more with Ethan, but I have to admit it does get hard when average temperatures of over 105 degrees everyday prevents you from doing much outside. It's a definite thing, I'm not made for hot weather. While Derek's made it clear that we're not living in a really cold place either, sometimes I find myself day dreaming about Rexburg winters.

Everyone here is as happy and well as can be, without being too stressed out. Ethan had an appointment with his ear doctor today. For the last six weeks we've had to give him drops three times a day because the tubes that were supposed to have fallen out by now were still there and his ears were a bit swollen and red. Happily, today's appointment went well. The doctor said that while the tubes (at least the left one) is still there and there's a little bit of fluid Ethan aced his hearing test and he wants to wait a while instead of having tube surgery right away. I keep hoping that it will clear up, or fall out, on it's own and surgery won't be needed. The main problem we've had with Ethan's ears while here has been wax build up, but it seems to be getting better we don't have to give him drops anymore!! Wahoo!!

I've been going through some self-assessment and discovery, and while my last posts have been rather depressing in tone, I'm hoping the future one's will sound more like my happy self. Stay tuned for an Ethan update complete with pictures, and maybe even a video or two. I'll try to keep it from being too overwhelming. Ta Ta!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ethan in Pictures

I really haven't been motivated to write lately. Of course, I'm still not motivated, but I am in trouble with certain family members for not updating as I should, especially about Ethan, and especially since we got a new camera. Right now that's motivation enough to at least post some pictures. I'll have to give a proper update later. Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lily Victoria Sallay

In actual news...guess what! My sister Christy and her husband Tim welcomed their new little baby girl January 4th, 2011. She was 7lbs 2.2oz, 19.5 inches long and has a head full of strawberry blond hair. Mommy, baby, and hopefully daddy are all doing well. That's about all I know. Welcome Lily!

Jo's conundrum

I've been thinking a lot about, well, me. Odd I know. I have a good life. Paradoxical but good. At first glance it's chaotic, messy, restrictive, and sometimes eclipsed by frustration, stress and an unpredictable future. A longer look reveals a lot of happy moments, great conversations, freedom, laughter and love that binds us closer than we've ever been. There is so much that I want to be and do, and yet it feels like there's so much that I'm doing without anything really happening. I don't want to belittle my family. The question is, how do I make sense out of it all?

Bear with me, I'm not sure what I'm exactly trying to say but hopefully this post will enlighten us all without boring anyone too much.

I have pretty much the same routine everyday. It's not one I planned, or even one that I like, but it seems to be the one I always fall into no matter what. I wake up and then I take care of Ethan. If I make time for something else it's cleaning. Luckily, I'll get to spend an hour or two with Derek before we get ready for bed, and then I wait for it to start all over again. If I do get some time to myself I usually take a nap, balance the 'business' part of our lives or end up daydreaming about our future home because I'm too tired to do anything else. I sat down last night and thought about this past year: what my goals were, what's happened, what I've accomplished. I have all these ideas for doing things but they never get done and it's so disheartening. I had to cry when I realized that through an entire year I can't think of one goal I've reached or accomplished. Even when I think I'm making progress with one of them I end up back a square one. I don't want to be depressing, bear with me a little longer.

Now, I can hear the voices in my head start to make excuses for me (it's funny, they usually sound like those whom I love most). Excuses like: you've had a really stressful year (or 5 really stressful years); you've had a huge lifestyle change; you've moved to another state; Ethan's almost two and he's learning and changing so much, of course you're not going to have time to do much; you've been sick for almost three months now no wonder you're not doing much. I've been kindly given these excuses by myself as well as others, but I'm not satisfied with them. As soon as one starts to echo through my head my rational, heartless brain steps in to reason it away until I have no more wiggle room. I've gotten really good advice about how to balance my life and I'm trying to apply those parts that I think will help but I seem to get lost somehow and end up back with the same old routine.

This mass of confusion is my present state, and has been for a very long time. I'm tired of it and I've decided to get rid of it. Now, while I'm still working on implementing a new schedule for myself this is what I'm going to do right now:

Stop. Take a deep breath. Say a sincere prayer. Listen for a moment. Go and do something worth doing.

I guess from here it's just one step at a time.