Sunday, May 30, 2010

I owe Iowa

My trip to Iowa was perfect. My sister Laura lives in Iowa Falls, a small town an hour or so north of Des Moines. She has a wonderful piece of property that kept us very entertained and relaxed for more than a week. I timed my visit so that I would be there for Myra's baptism, which my parents would be attending as well. So we were able to see cousins as well as Grandma and Grandpa.

The baptism was wonderful. Anna was perfectly adorable, and Hattie was extremely exhausted. Laura lives 40 minutes from their branch, and little miss Hattie isn't used to driving in a car for that long to go to Church. And since we had been traveling the days before the baptism, Hattie hadn't taken a nap in days. She finally zonked the last 15 minutes of the drive home.

And here is the whole Bernard bunch: Grace (6), Jonas (3), James (9), Anson (3), Owen (1), and Myra (8). Hattie absolutely loved them.

We decided to take a quick trip over to Nauvoo, Illinois, about 4 hours away. Considering that both Hattie and Anna hadn't been the greatest travelers at that point, I was a little leery. But they did great. And the trip was well worth it.

The kids were excited to get out of the car and check out the new temple - well, new to me since last time I was in Nauvoo there were only the cornerstones.

Of course traveling with 8 kids under the age of 9 can be a little crazy, so we didn't see a ton as far as sights go, but it was wonderful to be there and feel the Spirit of the early saints.

We were able to find a babysitter so that my parents, sister, and I could all go to the temple together.
And for the kids, the highlight was of course the wagon ride.

On the way home we stopped in Pella, Iowa for the Tulip Time Festival. It was a quaint little town, with lots of little Dutch shops. We just had yummy pastries for dinner :)

Besides Nauvoo we did a lot of random things around the house:

Play with dry beans. This is Hattie's favorite thing to do now...thanks for the idea Laura!

Dress up and sidewalk chalk

Snuggle Uncle the end of the trip, Hattie was really missing Paul and started to attach herself to Aaron. That's when I knew it was time to go home.

Playing with Kirby the snake

Hugs from Jonas. This little guy became Hattie and my buddy. Every time Hattie sees something that she did at Jonas' house (like play with beans, watch Cars, etc) she gets a big grin and squeals "Like Jonas??"


Walks down to the Iowa River...Laura's house is just a short walk through the woods to the river. It was such a nice Sunday walk down there.

And Hattie spent a good portion of the trip at the coloring table. She could color for hours! Thanks for the wonderful week Laura...we miss you and your kids!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Recent fun times

I am still working on a post about my visit to Iowa, but in the meantime, here's what we've been up to:

Visits to the Science Spectrum with Callie and Reese (we'll sure miss you when you are gone!). Hattie loves this place, especially when there are not a lot of kids there. She loves being with friends but when too many people are around she kind of panics. Hum...she sounds like her dad.

Crafts. I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and kind of went crazy. I came home with this flower mirror, 3 picture frames, and 3 flower pegs, all of unfinished wood. I have big plans to paint/stain them all and add them to the girls room. Why the sudden urge to decorate the girls' room and get crafty? Well we recently bought a toddler bed for Hattie from Julie when she moved, so we put it in the same room as the crib (where Hattie had been sleeping...Anna is in the Pack and Play). Now that the beds are in the same room, we have moved all the toys to the spare room and have dubbed it the playroom (which has actually helped Hattie play there more, I think because it has a better name:). With all the rearranging the walls looked really bare, so my trip to Hobby Lobby inspired's been a lot of fun. Hopefully I can get it put together soon.

Side story: The first night in her new bed I was terrified that Hattie would be in our room by midnight and wouldn't go back. But she was perfect. She never even made a peep. But the next day I asked her if she wanted to sleep in her big bed, and she refused. Every day I ask her if she wants to sleep in her bed and she always picks the crib...weird girl! You would think she would jump at the chance to be able to get out of bed by herself. I never would have guessed she liked her crib so much.

Baking...well, this is pretty normal for me, but I really do love making my own bread. My recipe is great, thank you Laura. And thanks Erika for the fun loaf pans.

Trips to Sheridans. I must admit that we have been addicted lately. Their frozen custard is delicious and it's close to home, so it makes a great study break for Paul (besides Church, Paul didn't leave the house all week except to go to Sheridans). Hattie likes to dance on the cow and relishes in the attention she gets from other customers.

Eating bananas. Anna has finally mastered self-feeding. She loves mealtime now, especially when bananas are on the menu.

Photo shoot! Thanks Kristina! More to come...

Paul is studying for Step 1, possibly the most important test of his life. We have moved a table into our closet and he spends about 12 hours a day in there. It's nice having him home, so that I can run errands during nap times, or chat with him during lunch and dinner breaks. But we are anxious for when the stress is over and we get past this milestone.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I feel so many mixed emotions recently. I love living here in Lubbock, mostly because of the amazing friends I have made. They have made Lubbock a wonderful place to live. But the nature of living in a college town means that every year some friends move away. Last year I lost Nicole; on Sunday Julie moved to Idaho. On top of that, Chelsea and Debbie have also announced that they are moving away. And even added to that, our ward was recently divided, scattering my friends and me among 3 different wards. Of course I can still be friends with them, but it certainly will take a little more work. And my new calling will keep me more busy than my old one of Sunday School teacher. I feel so many things. I am so grateful that the Church is growing so quickly here that our stake needed two new wards. I'm glad that my friends' husbands have graduated and are getting an income :) But I am a little fearful of the changes that will inevitably happen. I have always valued friendships. Paul can't believe that I still talk to friends from high school and have roommate reunions. No matter how happy I am for the progress and changes happening in the lives of my friends, I am still sad to see them go, and consequently have our friendship change. I know change is good, but when you are standing on the threshold, it can be a little scary.