Monday, November 23, 2009


Avery had so much fun this year for Halloween. She loved the idea of getting lots of candy. Joey and I ran to the thrift store and picked out costumes that totaled $11 for the both of us! I was D.J. Shockley and Joey was an old school golfer (The Legend of Bagger Vance). The night of Halloween we headed out in the rain to take Avery trick or treating in Marietta. We did a quick practice round at Grandma and Grandpa's and it didn't take long for Avery to figure out that all she had to say was trick or treat and she got candy! We are still trying to teach her what the "Good Candy" is...Why is it when kids get to pick out the candy they reach for the dum-dums, candy corn or taffy? CHOCOLATE is the stuff to pick!!!
There is a family in Joey's parents ward that we have become good friends with and they have a little girl just a few weeks older than Avery. We went trick or treating with them in the rain!
Avery and Finley...SO CUTE!
Avery's favorite activity at our ward trunk or treat. She could have cared less about the candy at this station. She just wanted to play in the water and keep the rubber duckies.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN (Only a month late)


**This may be a little lengthy (but it is fun for me to reflect on everything that got me to this point!) So back in March a group of us from our stake got together and trained for a marathon relay. At this point running more than the 4.3 miles had never crossed my mind and I was content until... Tenille became my full time running partner/one of my most fav friends ever and as we ran more, she'd casually mention she'd like to add a mile to our route. Eventually we were running 10 miles. We would begin our runs at 5:30am to beat the GA summer heat, and 4-6 mile runs, we referred to as "short runs!" Never in my life did I think I could ever run that far without walking! Unfortunately, Tenille and her family moved to Delaware in June, but before she moved I promised we would do a 13.1 mile run. We did it but it took me 2 hours and 25 min. (Tenille just finished running the Baltimore Marathon with an AMAZING time & she is pretty much my hero!) I thought that I might slack off after she moved, but after 4 months of a consistent running schedule, I am addicted to running and in July I signed up for the Silver Comet half marathon 10/31/09. A group of us began training. Because of my school schedule I was only able to do 3 days a week but my running schedule looked like this, Tues: 4 mile run Thurs: 6-8 mile run and Sat: 10-12 mile run. So if you don't already run or like to, this is why you should... Its a great way to start the day, you have more energy, its healthy, and it helps and carries over into other aspects of life. For example, whenever I am thinking I can't fill up 2 more pages of a 10 page paper assignment I think, you can run 10 miles and at mile 8 you're so close to finishing, just tough it out and finish strong! Running is such a mental game, so if you can beat it, you can beat so many of life's obstacles!!! Enough of that, here is SILVER COMET RACE DAY!!!
My racing buddies and running partners. Emily (in the blue jeans) she trained with us and was my main running partner until she got a stress fracture in her foot 4 weeks before the race:( She gave her spot to her husband and came to cheer us on!
Here we are anxiously anticipating the start
It rained (downpour)on us the first 2-3 miles, but the rest was just a light mist which was perfect for the remainder of the race. I had been reading lots of runners blogs before the race trying to find the best source of energy snack to use during the race. Unfortunately, most people said to use the GU gels (which I had previously tried and made me want to vomit), so I went to buy some Cliff Shot Blocks instead. While I was there a worker was putting out these new GU chomps, (which are the same consistency as the shot blocks but provide the same energy of the GU packs). I used these and loved them!
Here comes Amie and I heading down the home stretch! So remember back when I first ran 13.1 miles and it took me 2 hours and 25 min. I was shooting for a goal time of 2:11 (averaging a 10 min. mile) Well, I looked at the clock and it read 2:04. I started to tear up (partly because I could not believe it and partly a fulfilling feeling to see the finish of something you've worked so hard for), but it made it hard to breathe. I choked back the tears as I saw Avery and Joey and gave all I had left to sprint to the finish line with a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 24 seconds!!!
My in-laws were so sweet they were holding this sign for me at the finish line and cheering me on with Avery and Joey! The sign was in pink and green which ironically matched us so we got a picture!
My biggest fans:) Joey was such a trooper and so supportive of all the time (Sat. mornings) I put into this. He stood in the rain from start to finish of my race having to hold Avery the whole time because I thought her shoes were in the car and they weren't:( I love them so much!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Uga VII: 2008-2009

Yesterday was a sad day in the Bulldog Nation as we mourned the passing of Uga VII. He was four years old and died of a heart attack:( This one was special for us because it is the one that Avery got to meet! In case you didn't know Uga comes from a prestigious line of English Bulldogs and any puppy that comes from this line is sold at a minimum of $10,000. Inside Sanford Stadium is the grave where all previous Ugas have been buried. RIP Uga VII!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FALL Festivities

WOW! It has been more than a month since my last post...just a little bit of what we've been up to. We took a trip up to North Georgia and hiked Amicalola Falls! It was a nice 2 hour get a way and Avery loved the waterfalls. We went with some friends of ours and had a really good time.
After a little bit Avery was not thrilled about walking anymore, so Daddy volunteered to carry her.
Family pic half way to the top
Here is Avery and Logan (Our adopted Athens Family, the Beckstead's) invited us bowling with them. Avery and Logan play so well together (sometimes too well, with a little bit of hugs and kisses) but are so CUTE!
WHy pay for bowling for the kids, they had fun playing in this little truck without putting money in it?!
Uncle Kevin moved back to GA to prepare for his mission.... We all decided a hair cut was MUCH needed!
Avery with the traditional nutter butter ghost cookies, which she devoured
Uncle Karl flew down for a visit from Utah and we had so much fun, including late night outings to the Waffle House...mmmmm:)
Pumpkin carving (and Kevin's new hair cut, SOOOO much better!)
Their completed pumpkin (Nice job guys)
The traditional weenie roast and s'mores at Granma and Granpa's
Avery with all her cousins. I love watching her try to run and keep up with them! They are so sweet and always are sure to include her.
Avery and Taylor BUDDIES
This puts into perspective how TALL she is! At her last dr. appointment a few weeks ago her height was barely under 3 feet (in the 96th percentile) but yet her weight was 26 lbs (in the 38th percentile). Tall and skinny little thing, and so darn CUTE!
Daddy and Avery in the Watkinsville Pumpkin Patch. We were disappointed with it this year; all the pumpkins had a bad side or were rotted so we just got a few pictures and went to Dawsonville in North Georgia. That Pumpkin patch was like none I've ever seen before!
I LOVE the country for this reason... Where else can you go and ride a COW train?!?!
Family pics in the Pumpkin Patch
This is the one in Dawsonville! I highly recommend it, definitely worth the beautiful two hour drive. They had pumpkins bigger than Avery!!! + hot apple cider, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bread, pecan logs, basically any yummy fall treat you can imagine... I was glad we took the time to head that way!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Look Who's Growing Up

Our little Avery is growing up before our very eyes! We've reached a few big mile markers this past month and before school starts getting crazy again, I wanted to take the time to document it! (+ we got a new camera, so picture taking is so much more fun!) Above is a picture of Avery bouncing around before church, and ready to hurry and get to NURSERY!!!
I love this picture because it sums up Avery and her outgoing, never-ending, fun loving personality! :) (It was time to go to bed and she comes into our room, jumps on the bed, then plays a hiding game with dad, that he can't resist, and this results in bedtime getting pushed back another half hour...)
Although I put a diaper on her at night, for the most part she is officially potty trained!!!! YAY!!! I have not changed a dirty diaper in 3 weeks, and today I took the plunge and left her in her "big girl panties" to go shopping and run errands.... NOT ONE ACCIDENT!!! WOO HOO! We practically used the restroom at every other place we went to, but I was so proud of her! I love the idea of not changing diapers:) above: I found Boots (the stuffed animal in the pic above) in the bathroom and Avery tells me, "Boots go potty too."
Avery also got a "big girl bed", courtesy of "Gwanma and Pit-paw Pogo"(Thank-you). So, for about 3 months Joey and I were waking up to a surprise guest in our bed (Avery). She would sneak in so we would not tell her to go back to her own bed and since we have been desperately trying to break this habit. Ever since she has had her "big girl bed" (she is so proud of it), she has only snuck into our room once! :) She will wake up and tell us, "I sweep well, in my bed the WHOLE night!" We just go on and on about what a good girl she is and that keeps her sleeping in her own bed! [The sunbonnet quilt was made by my 90 year old Grandma for her bed and she loves the little girls. Grandma always does such a good job]
The first picture taken on our new camera! Man, I love these two!
So, I am always wanting Avery to let me do her hair and for her to actually keep her hair bands in her hair, but she always pulls them out :( A couple Saturdays ago she made my day.... I had just finished doing a hair cut on a friend of our and after he left Avery climbed up in the chair and wanted a haircut. I took full advantage of this opportunity, draped her and started trimming away. She was so good and excited that she even let me round brush blow dry her hair, put a bow in it, and she kept it in the whole day! Here is a picture of her that day, She is so stinkin' cute and she sure made her hairdresser's day!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In case you missed it...

As most of you know I am one of TAYLOR SWIFT'S biggest fans and tonight at the VMA's she won best music video of the year for you belong with me! GO TAYLOR! If you have never seen it before you should check it out on; it is sooo cute! Well, as she was humbly making her acceptance speech, Kanye West, (pardon me, but one of the biggest idiots of all time) ruined her moment by telling everyone Beyonce had the best video, and in case you missed it here is the link to the video

Poor Taylor, she looked like she was about to cry:( The video doesn't show it, but the crowd started to boo Kanye and lots stood up to give Taylor their support! Beyonce is talented, but it doesn't matter if you agree with the award or not, you don't go up on stage and steal her big moment.... He is such a jerk! Although this pic was taken as Kanye was saying his spill, didn't she still look stunning?!?! GO TAYLOR SWIFT!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our little Avery turned 2!

Our little Avery Madison turned 2 on Tuesday so we had a fun little party for her over at Granma, "Pit-paw" & Pogo's house! [Avery distinguishes her grandparents by their dog... Texas Granma and Pit-paw have Scruffy and Georgia Granma and Pit-paw have Pogo] We played games and ate pizza and cupcakes! I can NOT believe I am the mother of an absolutely BEAUTIFUL and ADORABLE 2 year old!

It seems like just yesterday that she was so small and we brought her home with us from the hospital! I know I am a dork, but I was looking through photos of when she was still a baby and got a little emotional. She has blessed our lives in so many ways over these last two years! Time really does go by way too fast!!
Daddy still adores her as much as he did here!
Avery has always been a ball of fire and soooo much FUN! Its hard to believe she was small enough to fit inside our popcorn bowl, but she loved it when daddy pushed her around the living room in it! :)
Avery at 1 week old! So precious!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The things we teach our kids...

Daddy and Uncle Jason have taught Avery that every time she sees this picture of a gator to say, "Florida Gators stink, P-U!" and she holds her nose. So, kids really do pick up on these things because on two occasions she remembered what she had been taught (& was not prompted by Daddy or Uncle Jason.) I am in the kitchen baking with Avery and we of course had ESPN on tv. She starts tapping my arm to get my attention saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." I finally look up from cracking the eggs into the bowl and she points to the tv (where Tebow is in an interview with the gator symbol behind him) to tell me "Mommy, Gators stink, P-U!"
The next occasion is even funnier... She was in nursery and playing with a puzzle piece of an alligator similar to the Florida Gators symbol. She took that piece around in the nursery telling the kids that "Gators stink, P-U!"

So yes, we were all disappointed after the Dawg's loss Saturday but its ok, we'll get the Gamecocks this weekend! GO DAWGS!!!

Avery and Kayden playing at Kayden's house on the day of the OSU/ UGA game. The girls had such a good time and were so CUTE in their Georgia attire!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trip out West Part 3 "Montana"

After leaving Idaho we headed up to one of my MOST favorite places.... COOKE CITY, MT! This place holds so many fun memories from childhood to college and now I get to share it with my little family! This year was really special because my grandparents celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary! 70 years ago my grandma and grandpa eloped and got married cause their parents did not approve of the marriage. My grandpa was a Lutheran and my grandma was LDS. Now 70 years later my grandpa works in the temple as many days a week as he can and sealed Joey and I when we got married! They are such great examples and I love them so much!
We drove in through Yellowstone and it seemed like this year there were so many more buffalo!
Which made getting through the park take longer than I wanted it to.....
Once we got there, Avery quickly found Grandma's boots and wanted to head down to the river in front of the cabin. Joey took her down and they caught some small fish.
The next day all of my siblings, my dad and his brothers headed over to Absarokee to do some white water rafting.
We divided the rafts into the younger kids and married couples.....
and the "old farts" as they put it! The water was 53 degrees (I don't remember it being this cold in years passed) and I thought to myself, surely we won't do any water fighting or raft battles throwing each other in this year!
That was not the case! We demolished the "old farts" with the exception of Kathryn jumping aboard our raft to take the water gun back. It was definitely cold, but tons of FUN! So much fun that....
When we got to the cliffs for cliff jumping the water temperature was no longer a concern. Here is my dad doing his dive off the cliff. No matter how much of an old fart he is, he will always act like a kid :)
So my jump was not as pretty. In the past I have always done a back flip off, but this year I didn't fully rotate around and.... lets just say its a good thing Rose didn't get a pic of the landing!
Bryan jumping off! (He is afraid of heights so we were all excited when he jumped off!!!)
Super cute pic of Rose and Bryan
Joey and I in front of the rafting place
Then we went to Roscoe to the Grizzly Bar for dinner. It was delicious & in the middle of nowhere!
On our drive back to Cooke City the views were breathtaking. We would round a curve on the mountain and another lake would appear. The best part about the lakes is that the water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom! Did I mention, I love this place!
Pilot Index
The salt block in front of the cabin attracts a lot of wildlife, but this night was my favorite. A baby moose with its mama:) Avery loved this.... it was all we could do to keep her quiet.
That night after rafting we could not get Avery to go to bed. Then after finally falling asleep she woke up in the night, 3 am, with a stuffy nose. After she had pretty much woken up the whole cabin...Sorry guys! we headed to the store to buy some medicine. The best part about this is that the nearest store open at this time that sold children's medicine was 1 1/2 hours away. Joey and I (with smiles on our faces) ventured down to Cody, WY to Wal-Mart. (Luckily, Avery fell asleep in the car so we didn't have to listen to the crying the whole way! ) We were grateful! That was a fun trip and Joey and I kept laughing about it because where I am from is really small and Wal-Mart is about a 20 min trip. He said he wouldn't complain about that distance anymore after this total of 3 hour trip:)
We stopped on our way back and read about the history of these mountains. The Nez Perce War was fought in this area and it was interesting to read about.
We also got to get a some pretty views of the sun coming up over the mountains.
After a nap, my mom watched Avery and we went four wheeling with Rose and Bryan through the mountains.
Everywhere we went it was BEAUTIFUL
Hey Rose, nice coat:) hahaha
Here you can really see just how clear the water was
More beautiful scenery
& Here is the town of Cooke City. Not sure what the population is but on average this place receives around 500 inches of snow a year!
We took Avery for some rides on the "little truck" as she called it!
Fun playing with the cousins
We were four wheeling around the land (paradise acres, isn't the name fitting?!) and as we were going over the bridge, we saw some legs coming out of the bushes. These legs were really long! Then out comes a moose! We were so close to it. I could not believe how big these animals actually are!
Avery and Taylor in their pjs about to play games with Grandma and Grandpa
Jacob helping Joey build the fire
Come on Daddy, "Wake up" Avery is ready to play some more!
The next day we went horse back riding. We went back and forth as to if we were going to take Avery or not. We didn't have to make a decision because they don't allow doubles so we just brought her to take pics, pet the horses and walk around a little bit!
She didn't want to get off...she kept saying, "I kiss horsey" and give the horse a kiss!
Daddy and Avery
Through the river we go
Group picture
"Hey Honey!"
One of Avery's favorites this year and last... THE HAMMOCK
Grandma and I played beauty parlor and I fixed her hair and makeup for the anniversary party! She looked Stunning... even Grandpa said so!
Mom, Aunt Debra, Jenilyn and everyone else did a beautiful job decorating the barn for this fun event!
THEY ARE SO CUTE; I LOVE THEM! (The motorcycle couple represent them eloping, I thought that was so cute) We told some of our favorite stories about them, ate, had cake and then a karaoked!
Me and my mom! She didn't get in enough pictures because she was helping make sure everything turned out well and watching Avery so I could get some playtime in! THanks mom! You're the Best!
Before we could leave, Avery wanted one more trip down to the river.
Avery making her fishy face with daddy!