Monday, July 27, 2009

Pioneer Day(s) Celebration(s)!!!

Okay folks. Let me tell you one thing. Pioneer Day is the most anticipated and looked foward to event of the entire year here in Monroe. This float from the parade is a perfect likeness to Monroe. If you haven't been here, this is exactly what our town looks like. Seriously. To get to our house, turn left at the Texaco.We are the resident town that hosts festivities for the surronding towns, and it is 4 solid days of PARTY. So you may think the following description of events covers an entire 3 month summer, but really, this is all that we did in the last 4 days. We are EXHAUSTED but ridiculously satisfied and full of fun and memories.


It all begins on Wednesday night with the 3-on-3 tournament for little kids. We had heard that it runs til about 1 or 2 in the morning, and wanted to see what the deal was. So, we took the girls at 10pm to main street. It was glorious, no pics, but just imagine our little main street closed down, with 6 courts of hoops and painted lines and hundreds of people milling around. We didn't stay until 2am, but we stayed late enough to give our girls a no sleep start to our week. :)

Thursday my sister Jamie, her hubbie LaDon, and the world's cutest niece Ally came to stay with us!! Hooray! We took them to the Monroe city Barbeque. It was some good eats, and hundreds and hundreds of people! (Remember, that may not mean much to you if you live in a big city, but our town only has two thousand people to begin with!) It was WONDERFUL. Following that, the big boy 3-on-3 tournament started. The girls played at the park for a while and we peeked in on some of our students' games. Then we took the girls home, and Eric and LaDon went back so that Eric could play. Summary of Eric's team? 0-3 and a lost wedding band. But totally worth it. (And here is when we are thankful that Eric's ring only cost $25.99 to begin with. A sad sentimental loss, but easier to swallow than a more expensive ring).
Friday morning, the actual Pioneer Day, started out with the PARADE. Debuting our very own VIANA! She performed with the mini-cheer camp. It was pretty priceless. She was gung-ho that morning, and this is a classic video of her performance. The last two seconds make every single second worth it.

After the parade we went to the park for the "fair" portion. It was SOOOOOOO crowded, and I totally had a pregnant moment with tears and everything. But it was still wonderful. Wonderful enough that we said, let's go home and come back in an hour when there won't be 9 million people here. And when we came back it was delightful. Viana and Brooke raced goldfish. Viana won, but they both got to keep their competitors. Viana's fish died the next day. Brooke's is still swimmin' though! Viana also got to ride a pony. Pretty exciting. And, Eric had a deep-fried ding-dong, and we ventured to a deep-fried Snickers this time as well. YUM!

Shortly thereafter our good friends the Tuckers, Brady, Marla, Bailee, and baby Rachel came to stay with us as well. Full house on Pioneer Day, what could be better! We had dinner at Rice King Buffett, Viana and Bailee became instant friends, and as an afterthought we realized that it was a celebration dinner for LaDon's 25th birthday the next morning. After that we headed to the Middle School for the concert and fireworks show. HOLY COW. It was a GREAT show! See how we did not bring chairs to sit on, but only blankets? That is becasue you have to lay down to see the fireworks, that is how close they were, it was AWESOME! Jamie and LaDon had to leave after that...I love the Lindes and I'm sad they are moving, but we are so glad they got to come for a bit!

Saturday Eric was in the Pioneer Day tennis tournament! He played from 8:30am until 1:30 in the afternoon. Can we say SUNBURN!! But guess what? He took 3rd in the singles division!!! Good job Eric! It was SOOOOOOO fun to watch him play tennis. And Bailee and Viana (and Brooke) got to play at the park by the courts while Eric played, so they were in Heaven. Next we did lunch at Bullies where Eric and Brady had free shakes from being in the tennis tournament. Saturday evening we went to the High School to watch "The Broadway Revue"--more good Monroe celebration. It was such a great show! I love our town. So, that wrapped up the celebrations of Monroe for Pioneer Day.

And yes, we are taking reservations for next years celebration if you would like to come be our house guest and partake of all the goodness Monroe has to offer. There's plenty. We didn't even do EVERYTHING.

Viana had so much fun with Bailee and we are so glad the Tuckers could stay with us. It was nice for Viana to have a 3 year old to play with all day long for 2 straight days! Whew. What a great weekend. Thanks for lasting this long, I'm sure you're tired from reading that, and now you can imagine how tired our bodies are. Especially Eric, the prize winning tennis player!!

And I only have 6 more weeks of full term pregnancy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camping!

Eric had the goal of seeing a Midnight movie, "check," and I had a goal to go camping at least once this summer. CHECK! And to any women out there who are 33 weeks pregnant, camping with an air mattress is a piece of cake! I worried about my large pregnant body sleeping on the ground, but add a water flotation device and you're good to go! We went to the campground right next to the Manti temple, because we intended to mix camping with a couple trips to the temple. That is not so advised. But we had a blast being at the foot of the temple, the girls really really liked that. We did a horrible job documenting our wonderful expereince, but here's what we did get...

We kept it simple and had such a great time! Next summer, watch out world, we're going to be camping fools!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We are CRAZY...about Harry Potter

You know how you have crazy life goals? Well one of Eric's was to see a midnight showing of a new release. And now he can say, "CHECK." For those of you who didn't know, Harry Potter was released today. And although we may have just a simple one screen theater in Richfield, it pretty much planned it's whole year around getting Harry Potter 6 opening day, and even doing a midnight showing. And we are okay with a simple theater, because hey, tickets were only $4.50. So, we went. It was SOLD OUT. Good thing we pre-bought our tickets. And don't worry, we were loyal fans.

This is us before in our awesome costumes.Don't worry, we were like 2 of 7 who dressed up. It was great. We had a near standing ovation from the students/Potter fans as we meandered up to our front row seats.
The movie was enjoyable and worth seeing. My favorite part was probably the preview of the Twilight movie coming out. The theater (filled with lots of teenage girls) went BEZERK. It was HILARIOUS.
And I was almost certain I would fall asleep, but I made it! Stayed up till 3am for a movie. Can you tell? This is us, post movie.
Fun fun. I really enjoyed the energy that comes from a midnight crowd opening day of a long awaited movie. Thanks Harry Potter for the good times!! (And thanks to our willing babysitter...first time she probably ever pulled an 11pm-3am shift!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On being pregnant

Can I share my feelings on pregnancy?

Pretty much, I love being pregnant (once I make it through my first tri-mester anyway). I feel like it is what I was destined for. In 9th grade I was in the Regional science fair and was being interviewed by the newspaper. They asked, "What do you want to do when you grow-up?" I said, "Be a mom." The reporter looked at me like I was crazy. That line of the interview did not run. I was sorely disappointed! He essentially scoffed at my life long dream. During that same time of my life I HATED learning about the second coming because I was so afraid it would come before I ever got to have children, which I so desperately wanted to be a part of my mortal experience. Well good news, I'm already on my third pregnancy...and I do love it!
I am blessed to have fairly easy pregnancies. I really admire woman who are sick for all 9 months who have more than one child. (My mother-in-law being the one I am most grateful for since Eric was the fourth of her horrendous pregnancies). I am a first tri-mester sickie, but after that, I'm good to go and glowin'.
I am so thankful that I have been able to become pregnant. I know of many woman who have shouldered the burden of infertility. What brave women. I am thankful for adoption and the advanced medicines that have still allowed them to be mothers.
Pregnancy is such a sacred and miraculous thing. I mean really, right now there is a little person inside of me. How crazy is that? It is a MIRACLE! A miracle I tell you.
And do you want to know about THIS pregnancy? I love having the excuse to get fat :) No but really, third time around and it is still this amazing process to me. Everyday I still am in awe at the miracle that it is. That really is the best word to describe it. A MIRACLE. And this little boy that is growing in my womb is a mover and a shaker. HOLY COW. I just keep thinking to myself, if he is awake and moving this much on the inside, when will he ever sleep when he's on the outside? But, I can't complain, I would much rather feel him move around as much as he does then wonder if he is ok in there...remember those moments I'm sure all women who have been pregnant have had? When you haven't felt anything for a while?
Anyway, there's just some of my thoughts on being pregnant. I love it. I am thankful for the opportunity and blessing I have to be pregnant, and even more so I am eternally grateful for the joy and SILLINESS that comes as a result of this wonderful time called pregnancy. And, I only have 8 more weeks till that joy (and I'm sure the silliness) increases!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brooke's Birthday!

My little tiny baby is no more. She is now a real live toddler. Two years?? Did that really just happen?? Brooke gets really excited when colorful things are hanging from the ceiling, so she danced and paraded on about this sign when she woke up for a good 5 minutes. What a good Daddy she has to make such a great sign!We tried to spoil her rotten all day long, and Viana was even nice to her most of the time! And when the evening came it was time for the festivities. We started with this:
What could be better than McDonald's for a two year old? Not much!

Brooke has been such a blessing to our lives. She truly is Talei, her middle name, which is Fijian for 'precious.' She is sooooo funny and keeps us laughing constantly. She is sweet and loves her sister, and LOVES her Daddy. She likes me too. :) She has this amazing light that exudes form her eyes, always has, and it just keeps getting brighter. Brooke is simply a joy. We love here so so much!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fifty is Nifty!

Happy Birthday to my very own MOM! She is 50!! And here is a story to demonstrate this amazing feat and note-worthy accomplishment:

When I was 10 my mom had a c-section with my youngest sister Summer. My other three sisters and I were all at the hospital that morning to greet Summer along with my grandparents. As we were in the nursery with Summer a doctor came into get my dad. I watched them go out into the hall and have a very serious talk. Dad had his finger and thumb on his chin and everything. Shortly thereafter my grandma got really quite and really sad. Dad didn't come back. I was observing all of this through my little 10 year old brain and was trying to process it.

Well, back in the day if you made it to school by 10am then it was only counted as a tardy and not as an absence, so after the hospital visit I was whisked away to 5th grade in a very quite and somber car.

Do you want to know what my ten year old brain made of the atmosphere at the hospital?

Well, I walked into school, my friends asked about my morning, and I told them that my mom had died.

How sad is that?? No one told 10 year old me what was going on and so, I just assumed the worst.

In reality my mom nearly died through complications of the surgery and everything else too. But the great news is...SHE DIDN'T! And now she's 50!!

The last 16 years with my mom NOT dead have been wonderful. My mom is my playmate bud and my best friend. I was one of those lucky teenagers who loved their mom and had a great relationship with her. I don't know how a teenager would survive if they didn't! Basically, she is Renaisance woman. My dad is one lucky man, and if I ever grow up to be half the woman my mom was when she was 30, not to mention the woman she is now that she is 50, I'll be sittin' pretty. She's the smartest, hardest-working, most logical, common-sense thinking, fun, healthy, loving, serving person I know.

I love you mom!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We love America!

We are so blessed to live in this promised land! It is a wonderful country, and I hope that we can continue to be good citizens so that we can keep this good life! To celebrate we Carters...
Shared some magical fireworks with our neighbors last night. The girls loved it. But not as much as Eric did. This was his first 4th of July that he was the one in charge. He was very proud and bought plenty of ground flowers to prove it. Can you see the grin on Viana's face when she's laying on the grass next to our neighbors, it's really priceless...
Today we went to the Richfield festivities. It was wonderful! The girls got to buy a ticket and use it in the bounce house, we all shared some cotton candy, and for the first time we tried a deep-fried Ding-Dong. It was amazing! The name and idea make it seem like it would be gross, but it was actually delicious!

And with a WONDERFUL thunderstorm this afternoon (this over-heated pregnant woman is always thankful for that) we did not barbecue...we waffled! That is right, I made waffles that looked like the American flag. It was very fun, and very delicious. Except I think that by random chance, Brooke's ended up looking like, well, America!!
We love the USA, and are headed out to watch the fireworks later tonight! (Viana is a little confused and thinks we are going to Disneyland to do such, and I said, do not tempt me...) :)

Happy 4th everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Are you ready for our life in a nutshell?

Many moons ago my dad gave us a new laptop. I have finally pulled it out and hooked it up today, and I have new hope that blogging can once again become a part of our life. Because seriously, had you been dealing with our old computer, you too would have only had 6 posts covering the last year like us :)

So in an attempt to fill you in on all the ongoings since, oh April/May-ish, here's our life in a nutshell...
We still LOVE living in Sevier County...because where else can you be welcomed into a county with a billboard as classic as this? LOVE IT.
And we love the Monroe part of Sevier county. Here is our Little Green Valley. That's the official nickname. That itty-bitty text in the picture is trying to show you where our house is.
We love to go to parks...well, in May and June we did. Now it's getting HOT. And yes, that is a giant fish that you can climb up. And in our Monroe Lion's park (not this park) the girls and I go for free lunch everyday. That's right, taxes from imported foods allow for free lunch. It's great.
One of Viana and Brooke's favorite things to do is the dishes. I do not complain. I just hope it lasts into their teenage years. And be amazed at the angle of this picture. My house has a pass through window from the kitchen to the dining room right above the sink. A simple novelty that still keeps me enthralled with my not-so-new-anymore house.
For Memorial Day Eric's parents came down and we went up to Draper to visit Eric's dad's family's grave's (I just couldn't stop putting apostrophe's!) Our ancestors had an integral part in establishing Draper. This is a statue in a Draper park of Eric's Great-great-great grandpa. And yes, Viana has donned a beard for this picture so she could match the statue of her ancestor.
We have been spending a lot of time with the temple these past couple months. Weddings, pageants, attending...little bit of everything. It has been great to teach the girls about the temple. They really love it. (And how lucky are we to be in the Manti temple district. Only one hour from our home, and it is a BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING temple).

For our 5 year anniversary Eric and I had a little get-away trip to Las Vegas. We went to see The Lion King. It BLEW OUR MINDS. We would highly recommend it to everyone. It was a really fun way for us to spend our anniversary. Thanks to Jamie, and a surprise trip from my mom and Summer for watching the girls!
And although Eric will not approve of me putting up this picture, it still must be noted that he lost a tooth!! Oh man, that's a funny picture. Call it bad dental work he had done in Fiji. But just a note on Monroe, Eric had his first summer seminary class the next morning, so he called up our dentist at 7pm during the NBA finals and said, "AH! I just lost a tooth!" and our wonderful home town dentist said, "Meet me at the office in 15 minutes." (Which was when halftime started :) But then stayed till 1opm to get Eric fixed up.
We had a wonderful Father's Day, for our wonderful father. We really do have the best Daddy, and we ourselves have the best Daddies. Great Father's all around! I made Ding-Dong cake to celebrate Eric. I was really proud of myself (still not an expert baker, if you know what I mean).

And did we mention that we loved the movie "UP" because we really did.

And I have about 2 more months to go before we add little baby brother to our family. We are getting really excited!! I am feeling great, and looking fat, and I am HOT...this is a summer pregnancy!! But, it is good. Eric still works 40 hour weeks, and is very busy with prep and summer seminary and conferences and visits. And, did you hear?? He is the new seminary principal at South Sevier. Our other teacher moved to Virginia Tech to coordinate out there, and so we got a new-hire from BYU-I, which makes Eric the old guy around these parts.
So, there you go. Life in a (pretty big) nutshell.
And here's to high hopes that with this FABULOUS new computer (thanks DAD!!) you can be kept a little more in touch with the Carters. I mean seriously, we are adding a BOY to this mix in 9 more weeks!