Our Family

Our Family

Friday, November 16, 2012


This year was the first year that the twins could understand the concept--and oh did they embrace it with two arms wide open! There hasn't been a day since that they haven't begged for candy from sun up to sun down. I'm hoping that it fades quickly.

My grandma sent Delilah a little Tinker Bell costume and a neighbor let Porter borrow a Captain Hook costume! They were adorable! That same neighbor saved our royal behinds and also let us borrow their Queen of Hearts & Mad Hatter costumes. I wouldn't go so far as to say that we all matched, but there was a definite Disney theme to our festivities. :)

We kicked off the festivities with an afternoon trick or treating at the Riverwoods. The twins LOVED all the candy and music. Delilah even dragged me up on stage with Radio Disney to get my groove on. She quickly backed out though, once she realized that they were learning an actual monster mash routine. We were only interested in freestyle. She and Porter danced on their own the whole time! You'll notice my costume wasn't looking very Queen of Hearts-ish. I figured that a hippie would be easier to chase the twins around in. I'm really glad I did it that way too. They were a handful!

They got to trick-or-treat out of a martini glass! That's a first!

The next night was JT's company Halloween Party. It was nice to get in some quality couple time and enjoy interacting with other adults. The food was great and the people were a lot of fun! We were introduced to a game called SPAZ. JT was pretty much a pro from the get-go while my beginner's luck didn't kick in until our last game. 

Feeling like we hadn't had our share of fun quite yet, we also threw a Trout family Halloween party! It was so nice having all the Utah Trouts gathered together and watching the kids play. We had set up a few games and crafts for them to do, but the cousins were far more enthralled with the balloons and spider web room. They had a blast! 
 This web room was so easy and fun to put together for the kids. I used some white yarn I had on hand to string around the room and tangled 6 giant glitter spiders into it.

 I'm pretty proud of these two Halloween crafts! :) The bats were made by tracing a template I found off the internet onto black paper placemats. I bought the placemats at Zurchers 2 years ago for a little over $1. It is one of the most useful craft purchases I have ever made. I STILL have some left.
Secondly, those ghosts I had the kids make have been so much fun to have hanging around the house! I pulled some mini white paper plates out of the cupboard and let the kids color on 4 each. Then we cut out eyes and a mouth out of the black placemats and the kids had fun gluing those on. Next, I cut white napkins into strips and taped those to the bottom. A hole punch and some string later, we had some cute Halloween ghosts hanging around the house! I loved having the twins run around pointing and yelling "ghosts!!!!!!"

 Little Millie was an adorable Minnie Mouse

 No pictures please!

Zach was a character from Skylander and Anderson was Mickey Mouse

 Colin was Mickey Mouse

Lacie came dressed up as Minnie Mouse with an adorable red tutu! We had a lot of Mickeys in the family!

My Zumba class had their own Halloween party and asked that we all attend in costume. Trying to come up with a costume that I could sweat to death in was a little tricky. In the end, I pulled out JT's old PT shorts and went as a United States Marine. The picture is so dorky, but I'm sure my kids will have something to say about the pictures I've posted of them once they're older. This way, I figure I can say, "Look. Mom looks weird too!"

Halloween night was so much fun. We got all dressed up one more time and went down to the church for trunk-or-treat. The kids skipped dinner in anticipation of candy, and I chose not to fight that battle for just that one night. They ran from car to car asking for candy and saying thank you. I was really proud of them for remembering to only take one piece of candy too! I may have ingrained it in them a little too much though. They looked completely thrown off any time someone offered more than one piece to them. I usually had to step in and accept it for them. Poor confused kids. Let me tell you though, they definitely weren't confused once they were sitting on a couch with a full bag of candy! Oh to be young and so easily overjoyed!

This one last picture is the one I took after we got home that night. We went that whole week never realizing that the collar is actually meant to stand up! The effect was definitely a bit more queenly. Although, I'm sure having a crown helped too. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Come listen!

 I really look forward to the first weekends in April and October every year. We are fast approaching General Conference and JT and I have been trying to get the twins ready for it.

What is General Conference?
General Conference is a bi-annual worldwide meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Why have General Conference?
We believe that just as in the days of the Bible, God speaks to mankind today through his prophets. This weekend, we look forward in anticipation of hearing the teachings of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ as delivered through their living prophet today.

What types of things will we hear?
First and foremost, the emphasis will be on our Savior Jesus Christ. We will also hear about prayer, loving one another, faith, baptism, peace, forgiveness, repentance, family, and joy. There will be more topics covered, but we will be tuning in this weekend to find out what they will be.

Why am I posting this and why am I inviting you to come listen?
Imagine if you had a gift that changed your life. This gift brought you joy and meaning. It also made you a better person and opened up endless possibilities of good for your future. Would you want to keep such a gift to yourself?

That is why we share this gospel.
I have a testimony of the reality of my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. I know they love me and that Christ died for me. Because of him, I can be cleansed of my sins and live again with him someday. I know that I matter enough to him to have suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and then again on the cross. I know that all of you matter to him too. He reaches out for each of us and asks us to believe him. This gospel is one of love. God loves us all. So we ask, come listen to a prophet's voice. Come hear what Christ would say to you right now.  Come and see, and you will feel his Spirit. Come and see, and you will find truth. Just come and see...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Impromptu cuteness

This morning I was woken up by a little girl burrowing into my right side and a little boy digging his way between JT and me. We shifted and allowed them to invade our space and held onto the hope that we'd all be allowed to go back to sleep.

Well, the twins pretended to sleep for about 2 minutes before that got too boring. I was woken up again by vigorous high fiving going on over my left shoulder. Then said shoulder became something to hide behind and pop up giggling!

I tried to calm them and invite sleep once again. Porter wasn't thrilled with the idea and decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands and wake up Daddy. Poor JT.
JT was assaulted with good-morning kisses and then appeased with a gentle little hand rubbing his face while repeatedly calling his name.

How could anyone have the heart to ignore that?!?!?

Definitely not JT.  He told me that he'd be back shortly and then headed into the living room to set up breakfast, toys, and a morning tv show. Unfortunately for him, the twins were no longer cooperating and I decided to get up and help start the day.

It was a little earlier than we had planned, but we definitely smiled the rest of the morning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

JT Update

Now it's time for me to make JT blush. ;)
JT has had a VERY busy year. Actually, it's much more accurate to call it a whirlwind.

Employment: JT really amazes me with that crazy work ethic of his. Even with all the job changes, he made sure we never went without. I am absolutely sure that it is all due to the dedication of my sweet husband and the tender mercy of our Heavenly Father. As stressful as it was for us at the time, I can now laugh in relief and say that there wasn't a single job he held that wasn't exactly what our family needed at the time. God's hand in everything was very obvious to us.

But now it's time for the EXCITING news!!! Monday was JT's FIRST day at Northwestern Mutual! He is so excited for this new opportunity and we can't begin to explain how right it all feels. With unemployment rates being so ridiculously high, knowing that JT not only found a wonderful job, but secured a job that will lead him directly into his career choice---there really are no words.
Plus, my baby looks good in a suit. :)

Hobby: JT's temporary job as a physical fitness trainer with Gold's Gym got him back into the fitness world.  He loves studying the latest training techniques, making his own gym equipment, and watching the progress that he and others make along the way.
JT even ran the Spartan Race this year! I was so proud of him. He tripped at the beginning of the race and jammed his shin into a rock that cut him pretty deep. He just got right back up and continued on with the obstacle laden half marathon! That right there is the definition of tenacity.

His renewed interest in fitness has had him lose a LOT of weight. We're still trying to find the before pictures he took, so the Christmas family picture from 2010 will have to do. I wish I had better pictures though. The before and after don't do him enough justice.
He won't be slimming down much more though. He has toning and muscle gain on the mind now. I can't wait to see how he does! 

Church: JT has moved up from his cub scouts calling in our last ward to the 11 year old boy scout troop. He has a lot of fun with those kids and it's a lot of fun to see his inner kid get to come out and play. There have already been 2 overnighters and although I'm not a fan of him leaving, I'm glad he gets the opportunity to go rough it up once and a while. At the end of the day, it's about connecting with the kids. It warms my heart to see the boys excitedly call to JT when they see him in the front yard and invite him over for a basketball game. I get a quick kiss on the cheek and away he goes!

Us: JT definitely keeps us young! His youthful antics are never at an end. This summer I ended up with an entire bucket of unused water balloons and JT started an impromptu fight in the backyard. We were ducking left and right and trying to take each other out! I finally ran around the side of the house and hid in front of our garage so I could get him when he came around the corner. I guess I'm pretty predictable because JT came barreling around the corner will balloons ready to go! I ran away screaming and he ran back to the backyard laughing. In my righteous anger, I turned around and ran back to attack him...only to have him jump out at me from behind the trashcans! I jumped backwards screaming and was completely annihilated by water balloons. There was a lady walking down the driveway next to us who saw the entire thing. She died laughing and told me that she wished that she carried a video camera with her. I'm kind of glad she didn't...but I can definitely appreciate the humor of the situation. :)
He'll also go to any length possible to make me smile. When I told him one night that I was in need of a good laugh, JT immediately got to thinking. A couple minutes later he came back into the room with a stack of paper and began to teach me how to make my own paper airplanes! It was so sweet of him! Then we had paper airplane races down the hallway. Probably not the smartest thing we've ever done since the twins were already in bed...but it was worth it! It's actually become one of my favorite memories of JT.

Parenthood: When we dated, I knew that JT liked kids. I never could have imagined how much he REALLY loves kids. There are so many times that I've been frustrated by something the twins are doing and ready to cry about it when JT comes home. He of course thinks whatever they're doing is the most adorable thing he's ever seen and just melts. He is so happy to be a dad.
The kids adore him too. There was one time where JT surprised us at the gym. He went in with me to pick them up from the daycare and created a big scene. The twins screamed their heads off and took off running as fast as they could to get to their daddy. He melted, of course, and scooped them both up. I'm so glad JT isn't a little guy. Otherwise, I don't know that he could survive two 2 year olds slamming into him at full speed on a regular basis. Haha. Anyways, the entire thing was absolutely adorable and had a lot of the workers smiling. You'd think that he'd been gone for days--not hours.

So there you have it. JT in five minutes or less. :) I know there's no way I can do him proper justice, but I figure that I'll fill in the things I've missed as I begin to regularly update.
Up next: Me!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Delilah Update

Our sweet little Delilah girl is never at a loss for words. I guess it's a good sign that JT adores that about her--she obviously gets it from me.  His favorite thing in the world is to come home from work, have her hop up into his lap, and curl an arm around her as he asks her to "tell Daddy a story".  Needing no further encouragement, Delilah promptly begins saying all kinds of unintelligible things accompanied by every necessary head nod, eyebrow raise, and hand gesture.  If her "captive" audience seems to be slacking off, she has no qualms about take their face in her hands and turning it back until you are nose to nose with her. She will not be ignored! 
Her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds! I can't even begin to estimate how many words she knows now. I'm always being surprised by a new one or a 3 word sentence. 

Delilah isn't quite as cuddly as her twin, but she's definitely a close second. My favorite are the ones prompted by her little moments of joy. I recognize them as such because it's exactly how my mind works. I can see it happening each time. For example, for lunch today they sat at their little kids table with a peanut butter sandwich(shocker) and a glass of milk. I instituted a chugging contest and Porter won. Porter and I then began to cheer Delilah on until she finished hers. She slammed the cup back onto the table and lifting her little fists in the air and let out a wild scream of victory! Her cheeks were red and the ear to ear smile she wore couldn't have been bigger. When I leaned forward and kissed her forehead telling her that she had done a good job, I saw the moment happen. She was so proud of herself and felt so loved and happy to be here that she couldn't help the cuddle effect. She made her signature purring noise and threw herself into my arms and hugged me as hard as she could. Sometimes she shakes from the effort! I am really grateful for my cuddly little ones and really do get a big kick out of how different their cuddle moods are. Porter takes after JT 100% and Delilah is definitely mine. It's nice in that there is always a parent who understands what they're feeling and thinking. I really hope we don't lose that through the teen years.

Current obsession: All things girly
Just as Porter is into all things physical, cars, and sound effects, Delilah loves dresses, bows, and mirrors. Her daily ritual goes like this: I tell her that it's time to get dressed and she starts bolting down the hallway while screaming "DRESS!" at the top of her lungs. That isn't her agreeing with me--it's her letting me know what she WILL be wearing. I dress her in a dress and she runs into her bedroom to look at herself in the full length mirror. She smiles shyly and points at her reflection while saying "pretty". Then, as if the very thought has just slammed into her brain, she will turn on the spot and scream "BOW!" and take off for the bathroom. I will follow and brush her hair while she cries. We will pick out a bow together and she will smile happily at her reflection once it's in her hair. Then she will jump down off the counter and run back to the full length mirror one more time to take in the entire picture.  At some point during this morning ritual, Porter will decide to have some fun and stake his claim on the mirror just before Delilah gets to it. He just stands there staring at his reflection--completely immovable. Delilah will shove and whine to no avail until she comes to me crying, "my turn!" 
Having himself declared "handsome" by his mother, Porter's interest in the mirror then wanes and Delilah's monopoly on its attentions is once again set to right.
She doesn't confuse her day dresses and her princess dresses though. Unfortunately for her, she only has a Sleeping Beauty one that I purchased at a yard sale a year ago. It's 4T and WAY to big for her. But try telling her that. Every time we watch Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella, she will have me put the dress on her, hold it up by the skirts like I've taught her, wait for me to place her little crown on her head, and spin in circles until she's too dizzy to see straight. Poor Porter is pretty patient about sitting through the replays of the dancing scenes. After the 3rd time though, he starts getting a little antsy and I pull the plug.

Favorite food: CHICKENS
Delilah is never more excited for dinner than when we are having chicken, or "CHICKENS!" as she likes to call it. She is thrilled when she sees me pulling chicken out of the freezer and just starts hollering her approval over and over again. I sure didn't get quiet children. Lol.
Other than that, all her foodie likes coincide with Porter's to a T, minus the spinach.

Anyways, I figure that's enough anecdotes to keep your hearts warm for a few days. Next up is JT! See you soon!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Porter Update

Porter is now a happily active little 2 1/2 year old boy. I have a hard time keeping up with that one. When people ask me if boys or girls are easier to handle, I tell them yes and no. It depends on what's easy for you. If you have oodles of energy to chase a child all over the house, then boys are easier. However, if you prefer to deal with feelings, then girls are easier. It's honestly a tie in my book.

One of Delilah's favorite TV shows right now is "Curious George".  JT and I allow the twins to watch it with some trepidation. You see, there are way too many things that the monkey and Porter have in common. 
In fact, I'm almost positive that Porter never once considered unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper in our bathroom until he saw first saw George do it. Peer pressure begins early.

Porter enjoys climbing all over JT and myself. He will attack, climb, run, jump, throw, and scream out his war cry in a matter of minutes. The war cry is the one you have to watch out for. I'm pretty sure my ear drums will never heal.

His speech is coming along slowly. He can now say about 20 words. I'm very excited to start working with a speech therapist for him. It's really heartbreaking to not know what my little boy is trying to tell me. The one whole phrase he has completely mastered though, is "I love you".  It makes me smile every time I hear it. We tuck him into bed at night, say "I love you", "goodnight", and then blow a million kisses on our way out the door. He plays along with all of it! Right down to the last kiss! 

He's also very much a cuddler. JT was and still is, so I'm not surprised at all. If I'm not in the room with him, Porter will come find me to cuddle with me once every 15-20 minutes. It's hard getting things done, but absolutely adorable. Less so though when you desperately need to go to the bathroom. 

Latest obsession: Pixar's Cars.  That kid eats, dreams, plays, and sleeps Cars. I keep checking DI (a local thrift store) for any Cars products I can find. So far I've gotten a rolling backpack that's perfectly sized for Porter and a pajama top.  I became less excited about the pajama top the more days Porter wanted to wear it, though. JT was finally able to coax him out of it (yay!) and it is finally in the washing machine.

Favorite foods: Any sort of fruit is equal to candy for both Porter and Delilah. I have a hard time keeping any fruit around the house for any length of time! Last week it felt like I spent hours washing grapes and cutting up watermelon. It took 3 days for it all to be gone. Don't even get me started on the bananas!!! I have to buy 2 bunches just to make it 24 hours.
Porter's favorite meal is a plain peanut butter sandwich. In fact, he'll grab the PB and bread to get started on his own if I'm moving too slowly. Sometimes I really appreciate this one simple meal. Most toddlers love pizza, hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, etc. I can't give that to the kids though because it upsets their stomach too much. The quick fix meals are definitely a struggle in this house. That's why if I'm running behind and there's no time to put together something nicer, the whole family is now very used to PBs. If anyone has any other quick food ideas, I am totally open to suggestions!

Motor skills: muy bueno
Porter continues to amaze me with how easily anything physical comes to him. It took him hardly any time at all before he was zipping around the sidewalks on his tricycle. His overhand throw is pretty accurate and strong. I foresee baseball for his arm, football for his love of tackling, and soccer for his awesome kick. Who knows...he may surprise us and decide that Hockey is more his thing!

All in all, I am very proud to be the mama to a very sweet and loving little boy. I was on the phone with my mom not too long ago while Porter was busy attacking me with relentless hugs and kisses. I was a little frustrated and wishing that I could get a minute's rest while I chatted on the phone. My mom chuckled and said, "It's hard to be so loved, huh?" Now when I think of that, it makes me laugh. Being a mom is hard work and I know I'm far from the best at it. 
But I love it. And so does he.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adventures in Potty Training

We thought the twins were ready for potty training. 

We REALLY did...  

Joke was on us!  
I guess having a knack for holding your bladder until the next diaper comes is more indicative of preference than readiness.

It wasn't a total bust though. I got 2 awesome stories to regale their future prom dates with. 
Woot woot!

Story #1
Trying to keep track of naked 2.5 year old twins can be difficult. You'd think that their penchant for noise and chaos would keep me constantly alert. Unfortunately, that's true. I AM constantly on the alert for noisy activities. It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

I was trying to convince Delilah that the little potty in the living room wasn't pure evil when I finally realized that I had not seen or heard from Porter in the past 2 minutes. That is a LONG time for a kid to stay quiet, which usually means they're getting into trouble and don't want to be discovered before the damage is done.

I began walking up and down the hall, opening doors, and checking corners while hollering his name. Thankfully little mini mom (aka Delilah) decided to follow behind me screaming "Porter! Porter! Porter!" rather than follow his example.

I was at first confused when he didn't answer and I didn't immediately find him. I searched the house again......and again......
By the 4th time, I was seriously panicking. I even tried telling Porter that if he didn't come out that instant that he'd be in timeout. 

Not a word.

So off I went running at breakneck speed down the hallway screaming for my baby (with my other baby thinking this was ridiculously hilarious and skipping along to keep up) when suddenly the hallway door burst open and Porter fell out laughing his head off.

I knew he hadn't been locked in there since we have a nifty little "latchy-catchy"door jammer on it. The child had purposely hidden in the closet and kept quiet behind the coats all 4 times I had opened that door! I fumed while he laughed and then took a little satisfaction in the look of shock that crossed his face when I told him to go straight to timeout for not obeying Mommy.

Oh ya. Who has the last laugh now little boy?

Well, apparently he did.
He stomped off down the hallway and went into his bedroom, slamming his door in the process. I sighed and went in to remind him that slamming doors was not an appropriate way to demonstrate emotion.
I found him angrily sitting behind the door, peeing on the floor.

And I was stepping in it.

Mom 0 vs Porter 1

Story #2

I have always been very proud of the fact that I rarely ever got peed on with two newborns in my house. I didn't know that potty training would completely demolish my scoreboard. 

Yesterday, Delilah asked to sit on the potty. I was shocked that she was asking permission and that she was doing so willingly. I happily encouraged her only to be disappointed that she merely sat down and stood back up again to walk away. False alarm.

She then asked to sit on my lap while we watched a movie together. I had no problem with that and was snuggled up with my little girl in no time. I should have realized something was wrong when she started to lift herself off my lap, lock her knees together, and whine. 
But what REALLY gave it away was the warm liquid dribbling into my lap.

I was so happy that she decided to obey me at that point and ran over to the potty. 
Way better choice than my lap.

So needless to say, I was very excited when she successfully used the potty and then joined Porter and I for a potty celebration dance!

No. There is no video and no, you couldn't see it even if there were.

So there we were, dancing and singing about Delilah and her amazing potty skills. When a spontaneous round of applause broke out in her favor, I supported it. She asked for some toilet paper and I thought I was doing her a solid by getting it for her. She gratefully took it and before my brain had a chance to catch onto what was happening, her hand and the toilet paper were dunked in her potty. The sweetheart was trying to "clean up" her pee.

When my brain finally caught up, I yelped and grabbed her quickly away from that horrible but well-meant action and ran her to the kitchen to wash her hands. Afterwards, we went back to the potty and pantomimed what toilet paper is actually used for. I think it stuck.

The next step in "potty celebration mode" is to pick up said potty and go dump its contents in the actual toilet. Delilah was pretty proud of herself and cradled it carefully in her arms while Porter skipped along behind her still singing and dancing for her success.

We got to the toilet and Delilah successfully dumped the contents and flushed the toilet. We all raised our fist in a final victory pump before I turned to take the potty bowl from her to rinse in the sink.

Delilah quickly maneuvered the bowl away from me and plopped it on her head and took off down the hallway still celebrating her victory.

I stood there in shook with my mouth gaping open before a horrified "DELILAH!!!" ripped from my throat and I took off after her. She was completely confused by my disapproval of her new hat and let me know how displeased she was with me as I sat her on the couch and dabbed at the pee in her hair with a towel.

We were ALL definitely getting a bath that day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let’s get it started

Hey everyone! I know I’ve been ridiculously MIA for 6 months or so, but it’s been quite the year. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is finally 2012. To be honest, I’m not even sure how to write this post summing it all up. I think I’ll start with this one word: phoenix.

Not long ago, I saw a jewelry giveaway on a blog that offered to inscribe your “word” for 2012 on a piece of jewelry. That really made me stop and think. I realized that if I could choose the direction my life would take for 365 days, I would find empowerment.

I know I said I’d sum up 2011…I’m getting there.  Where I am now has everything to do with where I was then.

That brings me to my word. Phoenix. No, I’m not talking about a city in Arizona. A phoenix is a mythical bird that goes up in flames once it has reached the end of its lifespan.  It is then reborn as a young phoenix from its own ashes.

I’ve really come to connect with this concept.  Sometimes your whole life has to be lit on fire for a new and better you to emerge from the flames. Just the image of flames now brings peace to my heart. Kinda weird, I know.

2011 was the year of the figurative fire that turned my whole life upside down. So much of it was personal or involved other people.  That’s another reason I quit blogging. When it gets too personal then it’s no longer appropriate for the general public. Then when it involves other people, they should be the only people to tell their story.  Either way, I didn’t really have time to record a life that didn’t really mirror what was actually going on…

I want to be very clear: I am ok. JT is ok. The twins are ok. No one is dying. No one is crazy…at least crazy enough to be committed. ;)  I really do think that I’ve become a better person because of it all though.

So here comes 2012! I’ve set my sights on a million different goals. I want to be a better person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, and christian. I want to do a better job of keeping the house clean. I want to become an amazing cook.  I want to craft til my fingers turn blue. I want to throw myself into music. I want to make the days more fun for my kids. I want to be a fitness enthusiast.

In short, I want to do it all. I know I can.  But I also know I can’t do it all at once.  Little by little I can become the woman I want to be when I’m 95.

To make a long story short, 2012 is a year of progress and I’m really excited to be back into blogging!