Friday, July 28, 2006

Beautiful Colorado

My mom, Jon and Aaron are enjoying the beautiful day in Breckenridge. The scenery looked almost unreal, like it was some movie set. It really was amazing.

It did rain a little on one or two days, but after coming from scorching Arizona, the rain felt wonderful. This is another of the many picturesque locations in Breckenridge. Even though it was starting to rain, I had to stop for a picture.

One of the fun outings we did in Estes Park was take the tram up to the top of the mountain where we got to hike around, feed the friendly (and rather fat) squirrels, and enjoy the view.

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Catching Up

Sorry it's been so long again. I'm really horrible at keeping up with this. Not that I don't think about it, but my uninterrupted time seems so short and precious that I never quite commit myself to sitting down and writing. Well, I'm back to update you on the last couple of months, so here we go!

Well, Sarah, who turned 3 months this week, is certainly living up to her early reputation as an angel baby. She is just so happy and sweet, loves everyone and everyone loves her. And did I mention that she is also just the cutest thing in the world. Her smile alone could knock over a football player. But don't just take my word for it...I'll be posting some pics so you can see for yourself.

Aaron is being a great big brother. He does get a little bothered now and then when he's not getting quite as much attention as he'd like, but on the whole, he's been great with Sarah. Better than I had expected, actually. Unfortunately, with Aaron turning 2 next month, I have seen some signs of the impending "Terrible Two's" already--a little more defiance, a little more aggression, and a lot more independence. If only I could just skip over the next couple of years, but I know that along with the trials, I'm sure there will be a lot of super sweet and special moments as well. Having Aaron look at me with his big eyes and huge smile and say, "Mom!" as he gives me a huge hug is just one such sweet and special moment.

As for what we've been up to, other than the usual fun hanging out and playing with family and friends, which we do A LOT =) , Jon and I also just got back from a week-long trip to Colorado for a family reunion. We took both kids on their first airplane trip and both did remarkably well. Aaron was adorable falling asleep on Jon both ways. (Having Jon home for 6 weeks this summer really helped strengthen his and Aaron's bond. Aaron sure loves his daddy.) We spent the first part of the week in Breckenridge with my mom and sister and their respective families, and then the second part of the week we spent in Estes Park at my huge Carpenter family reunion. (Carpenter is my mom's maiden name, so it was basically my grandma and her descendents--about 50 of us.) Breckenridge is a great touristy mountain resort and we loved going through all the little stores, hiking around the area, and just relaxing with my family. In Estes Park, another cute mountain resort town a little more north, we stayed in this great lodge on the edge of a fishing pond (jumping fish and all!) and had a blast. Lots of card-playing, hanging out, reminiscing, and catching up. Sarah was the belle of the ball--I hardly saw her all weekend except to feed her. Everyone thought it was very nice of me to bring such a cute baby to the reunion. Well, you know me...I do what I can to please. =) It was great to see all my cousins again and catch up--because we all live so far away, we only really get to do this every two years at this reunion. Grandma does a really good job at guilt-tripping everyone into being there--thanks, Grandma!! I really do have a great family, both immediate and extended. And in-laws, too, for that matter. Man, I'm lucky!

Jon started school again this past week and has been loving it this year, although he does come home exhausted every night. The Lord did bless us with the 6th class that Jon was hoping to teach (a 20% increase in salary for us to barely survive on)--and it turned out to be this new experimental Spanish 1/2 transitional class. Jon's really liking it. It does mean that he has 3 different "preps" (subjects) to prepare for now (last year he only had two--Spanish 1 and Spanish 2), but since this is his third full year as a teacher, he seems to have the process down a lot better. Also, this is the first year he has his own classroom, so that will make it a little easier and a lot more fun for him, as well.

As for me, I've been enjoying staying at home with my two beautiful children, playing with my friends quite often, and trying to make our home the haven I hope it to be. It's been a great year for us so far--we can hardly believe it's almost August!--and despite the unbearable heat, we've been loving our life here in Arizona. We welcome any of you to come visit us, although I might recommend waiting until late October!

We sure love all of you! Let us know how you're doing, and hopefully it won't be 2 months before I update this again.

Isn't She Sweet

As promised, here are a just a few of the so cute pictures of Sarah. She really is a doll. I'll post more on my Yahoo site, so check those out as well. (P.S.--Mom, just be sure you've taken enough insulin...these pictures are just that sweet!)

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And don't forget our cute boy!

Not to be outdone, I felt I should add some super cute pictures of my sweet Aaron as well. Aaron continues to make us laugh and smile everyday.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

She's here!!

Okay, this is the second time I've had to write this entry, since the first time my internet stopped working just as I was finishing, and of course I lost everything. After boycotting my blog for a few days out of sheer frustration, I am now back and will hopefully be able to finish this time. I'm sorry for the delay in getting this out--I've been called to repentance by more than a few of you for not sending out pictures, etc., of the newest member of our family sooner, so let me take this grand opportunity to introduce you all to our precious little girl.

After 5 days of impatient waiting (Sarah was due on April 19th), Sarah Ashlyn Coombs finally joined our family at 6:35 a.m. Monday morning, April 24th. She weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz., was 20 inches long, and was simply perfect--healthy, rosy, and everything else you hope a baby to be. She was born with a whole head of light brown/dark blond hair, and while her eyes are dark blue at the moment, I have a feeling that she might end up with brown eyes, which I'm sure will make her a favorite with Grandpa Coombs. (Sarah's cousin Haley is the only other grandchild with brown eyes, and Grandpa Coombs loves brown eyes.)

For those of you who know what I went through following the birth of my first child (not being able to hardly walk for 4 months, etc.), you can imagine that I was more than a little apprehensive preparing for Sarah's delivery. Let me just say that I have an extreme testimony of the power of prayer, and a great big thank you to everyone who kept me in their prayers over the last several months, because this delivery was nothing like what I went through with Aaron. I finally discovered what having a baby is supposed to be like.

I actually went into labor on my own around midnight late Sunday night and we headed to the hospital a little after 3 a.m., made it to the hospital by 4 a.m., started pushing at 6:20 a.m., and had Sarah in my arms at 6:35 a.m. By Monday afternoon I was actually up and walking around, and I left the hospital to go home at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, less than 36 hours after I had arrived. In comparison, Aaron had to be induced 10 days after his due date, required 12 hours of pitocin (the labor-inducing drug) before I was able to push, another 2 hours of pushing to convince him to come out, and then another 2 hours of being stitched up to repair the damage he did to me on his way out. (Now you know why it took 4 months to recover.) Since Sarah's birth, I've been feeling really good, albeit tired from late night feedings and a lack of naps. (Having 2 kids means that by the time I'm done meeting the needs of one kid, the other one requires attention.)

As for personality, Sarah is just precious. She mostly just sleeps and eats, loves to be in her swing, and likes to just cuddle up into whoever is holding her, and so far she seems to be happy being held by anyone. She basically only cries when she's hungry and when she's trying to fall asleep on her own (a skill I'm trying desperately to have her learn), and has a little fussy period in the evening, a very typical infant trait. Of course, she's still only 2 weeks old, so we'll see if anything changes as she spends more time awake, but after living through Aaron's colic, Sarah's crying seems like nothing.

As for Aaron, he's being great. He's such a sweet boy anyway, and after a short adjustment time, he seems to be actually trying to live up to his role as a big brother, helping out his mom, being more responsible, and listening more when I ask him to do something. He has no problems with Sarah at all and excitedly squeals whenever he takes notice of her, but he does, however, get a little tempermental when I have to nurse her and can't dedicate my full attention to him. Don't I know that he's supposed to be the center of my universe and that I'm supposed to leap up at his every request? Luckily my mom was here the first week to help keep Aaron entertained and Mom and Dad Coombs are here now to help out. But I do think having a sibling will be good for Aaron, hopefully teaching him a little patience as he begins to realize the world doesn't revolve around him, a tough lesson for any 20-month-old.

So, now you've all been introduced to our new sweet Sarah and have been updated on all the excitement here at the Coombs home. I'm sure there is much more to share, but since I want to make sure I get this out to you all today, I'll have to wait for another day to write any more. We love you all and thank you all for all of your love, prayers, calls, and concern. We are grateful everyday for all of you in our lives!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sarah's Here!!

Sarah Ashlyn Coombs was born at 6:35 a.m. Monday morning, April 24, 2006. She weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 20 inches long. And more than anything, she's a perfect angel.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

At the Zoo

Jon, Aaron, and I got to visit the Phoenix Zoo twice during Jon's Spring Break in March. It was a lot of fun, and Aaron LOVED seeing all the animals. Hopefully we'll get a chance to go a few more times before it's too hot to enjoy it as much!
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My Baby Shower for Sarah

With only 11 days to go 'til Sarah's due date, my friends threw me a fantastic shower last Saturday, April 8th to help me get ready. The girls in the picture are all the ones that helped put it together and made it so wonderful. From the left--Darice Bosley, Hilari Howard (the shower was held at her house), Rachel Colby, Rebekah Rose, Me, Cary Brown with Spencer, and Tami Dunn with Bridgete.

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Just Waiting

Sorry everybody that it's been so long since we last updated our blog--unfortunately I really don't have much of an excuse other than I've been trying to take advantage of the little remaining time I have before Sarah comes to take more naps while Aaron is down for his nap. Sarah's arrival is now "presumably" just a week away, but since Aaron had to be induced 10 days late, I'm not holding my breath for anytime too soon. But that's okay by me, as I'm not quite sure I'm ready for the late night feedings, painful recoveries, hormonal imbalances and complete lack sleep again! My parents will be coming to stay with us for about a week starting April 19th (Sarah's due date), so hopefully she'll be here at least before they have to fly home! Mom and Dad Coombs are also planning on coming down to help out a little later after I've gotten a little more settled with Sarah.

Aaron still has no idea the changes that are about to happen in our family. I try to tell him that he's going to have a little sister soon and that there will be another little baby in the house, but he continues to be blissfully ignorant of the impending interruption to his Aaron-centered life. That may be the trickiest part of this whole two-kid scenario! I just don't know how Aaron is going to deal with the divided attention he's going to have to share with his sister.

Some fun and exciting things have happened since the last time I had a chance to write. In February I celebrated my 31st birthday with all our friends at Claim Jumper, which was a lot of fun. I have to admit the only reason I chose Claim Jumper (and endured the hour-long drive to get there) was to indulge in one of their chocolate chip calzones, a true taste of Heaven that I hadn't had a chance to enjoy since California. It was definitely worth it!

On February 26th, we celebrated the arrival of Spencer Michael Brown, Cary and Warren's third child and first son. I have to admit, with as many false alarms and hospital runs that Cary had to make, most of February was spent in nervous anticipation of the big event as Jon and I were on call to watch Emma and Cami whenever necessary. I think I felt more nervous waiting for Spencer than I feel now waiting for Sarah! But Spencer did arrive and he is adorable--one of the sweetest and cutest little babies I've seen. Cary and Warren certainly know how to make cute kids!

Spencer's arrival also heralded the arrival of much family, and we loved playing host to both Mom and Dad Coombs and then Amy Coombs. It was so much fun to have them all in our home and we were only sad when it came time for them to leave. Mom and Dad spent most of their time with Cary helping her recover, but Jon and I joined them most nights at Cary's for dinner. I also got to enjoy being with Mom and Dad as we took Emma and Cami away to the mall while Cary enjoyed some alone time with Spencer and Warren. I think that was Cary's favorite part of their visit!

Amy's visit coincided with Jon's two-week spring break, so it was extra fun to have her with us. Amy did her best to make sure everyone had time to be with her one-on-one and as a big group. Several game nights, movie nights, trips to the zoo and to the mall, and great meals made for a fabulous week with Amy. We love having people come stay with us, so don't hesitate to come visit!

And finally, we once again hosted our fabulous Bi-Annual Inter-Session Conference BBQ the first weekend of April. This was our 5th BBQ and it has become one of our favorite traditions. We had a great group this year with 5 families (including 13 kids!) joining us between sessions of Sunday's conference. This is one tradition we hope to continue for many years to come!

Well, that pretty much hits the highlights of the last couple of months. It's been fun, and now we are just sitting back and preparing for Sarah to come. I have to admit, as uncomfortable as I am (at 39 weeks pregnant), I'm still a little nervous about the delivery and recovery after the 4+ months of trauma I endured after Aaron's birth. My doctor is very optimistic that I won't go through that again, but if I do, we may end up being just a 2-kid family! Okay, I'm probably joking, but please keep me in your prayers that this time is nothing like last time! We'll keep you all posted on everything and I'm sure we'll have pictures up as soon as possible.

We love you all and would love to hear how everyone is doing, so don't forget to keep us updated on your wonderful lives!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Jon's First Surprise Party

The whole gang at Applebee's for Jon's 30th birthday.
Joining me, Jon, and Aaron were Cary and Warren Brown (with Emma and Cami), Hilari and Paul Howard (with Haley, Colton, and Emily), Rebekah and Derek Rose (with Matthew and Joshua), and Darice and Ryan Bosley (with Carson and Morgan)
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Happy Birthday Jon!

Hey Everybody! Jon is now 30!

Amidst teasings and jests about his impending "old age" (including those from his almost 31-year-old wife), Jon turned the big 3-0 on Friday, January 20th. Now, I love birthdays (particularly mine), so of course I wanted to do something special for my Sweetheart's 30th birthday. Unfortunately, planning a party for him turned out to be more difficult than I had expected because everytime I would bring up the subject of a birthday bash, Jon would become very non-committal, even uninterested in the idea of having a party with our friends. Of course, with as many kids as there are adults now in our small group of friends, group gatherings have become less of a fun, social experience and more of a crazed episode of Fear Factor as the adults try to referee or salvage everything from fights over toys and sippy cups, to hungry and tired temper tantrums, to daredevil stunts and the ingestion of anything inedible (rocks, bugs, dirt, Drano--you get the idea.) Anyway, accepting our social lot in life (heck, we have 3 more kids due between now and June within our circle of friends), I wasn't willing to give up the idea of having a party for Jon's birthday. Finally, after continual badgering of the birthday boy regarding what he might want to do, I eventually got out of him that he had always hoped that someone would throw him a surprise party. Shheeeesh! How are you supposed to throw a surprise party for someone who asks for one? Kinda removes the whole element of surprise--the key ingredient to a good "surprise" party. Well, not wanting to disappoint my dear husband, I set to work on ways I could still surprise him for his big day.

Since Jon's birthday was on Friday, a school day, I got up super early (5:15am!) to spend some time with him before he headed off to work, which since he wasn't expecting that, I suppose qualifies as a surprise. Then later that morning (and this was my favorite part), I drove out to his school in Chandler and decorated his car with Post-it notes filled with fun messages, balloons, and a love letter outlining the "Top 30 Reason Why I Love You". Of course, I could think of many more than 30 reasons, but for the sake of his 30th birthday, I decided that would do. So, that was his second surprise. Then, that night, Jon and I had planned to go to Applebee's for dinner with just the 2 of us (and Aaron), so as my final surprise, I arranged for all of our friends to meet us there for a big party. SURPRISE! Jon loved having all of his friends there, but I have to admit, it was better in theory than in practice as it took us about 2 hours for them to seat our party of 20 (10 adults/10 kids). But it was still a blast, everyone had fun, and the kids (who by the time we were seated were all starving and exhausted) did remarkably well. But the thing I think Jon enjoyed the most about the evening was going back to Cary and Warren's home and having all the parents put their kids down so that we could enjoy some real adult conversation completely uninterrupted. And by golly, it worked! We had 7 kids soundly snoozing away throughout the house, while 8 adults just relaxed and chatted like the good ol' days. Heck, that might have been the biggest surprise all day! All in all, I think Jon had a great birthday. And I was even able to make it one full of surprises.

Happy 30th Birthday Jon!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Finally "Baby Girl" Gets a Name

Well, I think Jon and I finally decided on a name for our soon-to-arrive little girl. Of course, we still have almost 3 months to change our minds, but I think we may have a winner...

Sarah Ashlyn Coombs

Jon picked the first name (although we are both partial to Biblical names) and I picked the middle name (one my mom mentioned to me that just kinda stuck with me.) Doesn't she sound beautiful already? =)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Jon and I celebrated the New Year with Mom, Dad, Crystal and Kekoa up in St. George. It was a small gathering, but filled with lots of fun, tons of food, and all-night game playing. Even Mom and Dad stayed up to ring in the New Year, something they hadn't expected to do. And, of course, I got to kiss my Sweetheart at midnight. What more could you ask for in a New Year's Celebration!
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This was the grounds of our beautiful resort in Las Vegas. The large Mayan temple behind us actually has a cascading waterfall (that was unfortunately turned off for the winter) with a hot tub underneath on one side, and water slides on the other. We'll enjoy coming back here again during warmer months to enjoy the huge pool, multiple hot tubs, and shaded hammocks that dot the lush grounds.
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Aaron had a blast playing at FAO Schwartz inside the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. This was definitely our favorite place on the Strip.
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Ringing in 2006

Wow, such a fun and exciting Christmas and New Year's, I hardly know where to begin! First of all, we hope you all had a great holiday as well, and we wish you all the greatest for 2006.

Jon and I actually stayed in Queen Creek for Christmas this year and celebrated the day with Cary and Warren and their girls. We enjoyed a great choir performance directed by our musically-talented Cary at her church building, went back to the Brown's home for cinnamon rolls and orange rolls (special request--i.e. requirement--of Jon) and later had a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings at our home. It was my first year doing a turkey with stuffing, and I have to admit I thought it came out great, as did my homemade rolls. I'm all set now for next Thanksgiving!

Our real vacation started the day after Christmas, however. Jon had the two weeks following Christmas off, so we left for a 10-day trip that included 5 days in Las Vegas and 5 days in St. George with Mom and Dad Coombs. In Vegas, we got to stay at our time share, the Cancun Resort, for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful. It will be an even more fun place to visit during the summer when it will be warm enough to enjoy the huge pool and waterslides. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately), Jon has an almost allergic reaction to the Strip in Las Vegas, so out of our 5 days there, we probably spent maybe 4 hours on the Strip, but we actually found lots of fun things to do away from Sin Central, including touring the Ethel M.'s chocolate factory and seeing their cactus garden all decked out with holiday lights, visiting an old western village complete with a melodrama and other productions and a petting zoo, and catching up on a couple of movies that we had been wanting to see. (King Kong was really good, but Chronicles of Narnia was exceptional.) What made the Vegas experience really nice, however, was that Mom and Dad Coombs and Crystal kindly offered to keep Aaron for 2 days while Jon and I enjoyed some much desired time alone. We dropped Aaron off on Wednesday afternoon in St. George, drove back to LV for 2 days, and then headed back to St. George Friday afternoon. This was the first time Jon and I had left Aaron for longer than half a day since he was born, and although we both had been looking forward to the time alone, I have to admit, it was harder than I thought it would be! I cried for almost 20 minutes after we left, and I missed him the whole time. Okay, maybe I am a little extra hormonal because of being pregnant and all, but both Jon and I were excited to see our cute boy when we got back to St. George. On the flip side, Aaron did just fine without us and charmed Grandma and Grandpa just like I knew he would.

The rest of our vacation in St. George was a blast, too. We didn't really do anything extra special, but just hanging out with Mom, Dad, Crystal and Kekoa was the best we could have asked for. We played lots of games, went for a beautiful hike over red rocks, looked at a couple of nice homes in the St. George area (for future reference, of course), and ate Mom's really good food. Jon and I also got to see the new Joseph Smith movie playing at the Temple Visitor Centers, and it was wonderful. Of course, it made me cry (again, I am pregnant), but I was comforted by the fact that most people in the room were also crying. Overall, the time at Mom and Dad's was wonderful and relaxing--we didn't want to leave.

Jon and I reluctantly returned home on Wednesday, January 4th, but it was fun coming home and having our new neighbors, the Roses, all moved in down the street! Cary and Warren hosted a big gathering of the old Las Campanas group on Friday night, and it was just like old times--only with bigger homes and more kids! We're totally looking forward to all the fun we'll be having together over this next year.

In other news, we also came home to a message from the Stake Executive Secretary asking to visit with Jon and his lovely wife. Right then, we knew Jon was in for a new calling, and we both started crossing our fingers and hoping it wasn't Elder's Quorum President. Well, Jon did get a new calling--he is the second counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency, so I guess our silent prayers were answered. He'll be a great member of the presidency and it doesn't surprise me at all that he's been called to serve. Jon is looking forward to getting to know all the men in Elder's Quorum better and working with the other members of the presidency, all of whom he loves and respects a great deal.

Well, Jon headed back to work today, and I settled back into my routine being Aaron's mom. Sadly the decorations are now all down and put away, and we still have over 350 days before we'll have another Christmas to enjoy, but until then, we have many fun and exciting events to look forward to, including Jon's 30th birthday on January 20th! We hope you all had a great holiday season, and may all your New Year's Resolutions hold true! We love you all!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Lights at the Mesa Temple

Jon, Aaron, and I loved going to see the lights at the Mesa Temple. We got to enjoy a beautiful high school choir perform and had fun hanging out with the Browns and the Bosleys. This will definitely be a fun family tradition for us as long as we're in Arizona. Posted by Picasa

Aaron was so cute clapping for all the lights and each musical number.
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