Galveston and Good Friends

We count our blessings, and in Abby's word's lucky stars to have met the Valenzuela's in grad school.  They are some of our best friends and we can't believe we only live a few hours from them here in Texas!  I still remember Abby calling me shortly after we moved to AZ on a day I was feeling lonely and asked if I wanted to go on a hike with her.  On our hike we talked about whether or not we wanted our husbands to do the Thunderbird modules abroad and if we would go with them, future babies, etc.  It's so fun to look back on that conversation barley knowing each other and think of all the things we have done together since!  Our "Cruise Family" memories will never be forgotten, traveling around Prague and Budapest together, both coming home from our travels expecting girls just 6 weeks apart, and spending many weekends laughing, playing games, and eating good food together in Arizona.  Yes, we are indeed lucky and can't believe Gabe and Landon both landed jobs here in the big state of Texas after school.
This weekend Gabe, Abby, and Londyn made the drive down to Spring and we all headed to Galveston together.  Because I don't have a cute chalkboard like Abby, I taped this ^sign onto our front door.  We were able to put our new car to it's full use. Gabe strategically packed up the small SUV so we would all fit with strollers and beach gear around us.  It was so fun looking in the rearview mirror and seeing the six of us, our "Cruise Family" expanded.  I'm kind of sentimental, but I felt so proud of us while looking in the mirror and seeing us all together- we have come so far since we first met a little over two years ago starting grad school and wondering where we would end up.  I could go on about our fun memories forever, but instead I"ll post about the ones we just made this weekend!

 ^ Capri trying to give Londyn a kiss
^I think this is one of my favorite pictures.  Capri ran straight to the water and laid on her back and let the water come up around her face.  The camera didn't come out soon enough, but Landon just jumped right in with her and the had a blast.

^These two played and played until they were tuckered out.

The next day we made breakfast, lounged around, and then headed over Old Town Spring.  It was so hot, so we only made it into five or six shops before deciding Texas BBQ in an air conditioned restaurant was a good idea.  I loved Old Town Spring and will go again with Capri when it cools down a little bit. 

 ^The girls loved bumper highchairs
^ ^How cute are they?  We didn't pose them like this I promise. Well, Landon did set Capri on the stool so the girls could watch the dog through the fence.

What a fun weekend.  We ate yourselves sick and had a great time visiting. Feels good to have family away from home. 


No Peeking......

We mailed our families a special Christmas surprise last week.

Inside was a lovely Christmas card announcing news of our Christmas baby 
December 24, 2013

Now if we can just get through this Houston summer heat. The countdown to Christmas is on! 


Jesus, Jesus

Last week I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting about Reverence. As I was thinking about my talk I had a sweet experience that I need to record and share with family. At first felt a little uncomfortable speaking on reverence where most of the members of our ward have been interrupted or disturbed by our little Capri at one point or another in their Sunday meetings.  As in infant, Capri had colic for the first 5 months of life.  We took her to church the first time when she was three weeks old.  Landon and I took turns standing outside holding Capri while she cried for three hours straight without napping. We had to stand outside the building because her cry was so high pitched that it was hard on people’s nerves and so loud that it could be heard throughout the building.  As we left church that day Landon said “congratulations Capri, I think you are the worst baby in the church.”  Which was saying something, because our California nursery had two or three nurseries! The following week was the same but this time when we left Landon said “congratulations Capri, I think you are the worst baby in the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.”  After a long five months thankfully Capri grew out of her colic and now into a very beautiful, intelligent, but still loud and spirited toddler where we rarely have a quiet and calm moment.  A few weeks ago we came home from church feeling completely defeated.  I put her straight to bed hoping to have a peaceful moment during the remainder of  our Sunday afternoon. Much sooner than I was ready, I heard noises coming from our bedroom where Capri was napping.  I cracked open the door to see that she had found the church program and was kissing picture of the Savior over and over again.  In between her big MUAHs she would whisper Jesus, Jesus.  A sweetness filled the room, and I knew I was seeing in my daughter, a love for the Savior born of experiences before she came to me.  With one word and several kisses, she had taught me greatly about using the Lord’s name with reverence.  We will continue to teach her the importance of being quiet during our Sunday meetings, but I know now that she has a great love and reverence for our Savior Jesus Christ and understands much more about reverence than I thought.   As I prepared my talk I really understood that reverence is more than merely keeping our children and ourselves quiet, it is a profound love and respect for our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.  I hope that I can live a more reverent life, a life more reflective of my love for my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ.  Thank you Capri for the sweet lesson.


a Happy Father's Day

This is the Card ^ we printed for Landon.  I gave it to Capri this morning to deliver to Landon while he was getting ready for church.  It got wrinkled in the short walk from around the corner to our bathroom, but the delivery girl had a big smile and was pretty darn cute.
Landon is a wonderful father and it's obvious that Landon and Capri have something special that no one can touch.  Capri and I sing I'm so glad when daddy comes home and practice kisses almost every day in preparation for our favorite time of the day.... when daddy actually comes home.  Capri knows it's playtime when he comes through the door!  Ninety percent of the time she runs to find a ball to throw with daddy. No matter what kind of a day Landon had, he puts down his work bag and kisses, tickles, and plays with Capri.  Landon's the Dad I imagined him to be and so much more.  I think Landon says "I love Capri" to me at least 5 times a day. 

It was pretty hot today (93 degrees equals 103 to us) but we decided to get out for a little while anyway. We have some pretty great parks around and will try to visit a park every Sunday if the weather permits.  As soon as we got out of the car Capri took off running.  Landon and I laugh that instead of just saying "go"  Capri says "GO! go! Go!"and that is exactly how she rolls. So busy, and oh so fast. We captured a few mini melt downs here because she couldn't "go, go, go" like she wanted.  The picture of her laying down next to the water is because she was pretty disappointed she couldn't get in the water.  I wish I had her energy and excitement for life.  It's so fun watching her take everything in and how much joy a simple afternoon at the park brings her.

We weren't prepared with Father's Day breakfast before 9am church, but we did make a yummy dinner off the grill. The only thing that could have made Landon's day better would have been a win from the Miami Heat.  He's been looking forward to the NBA finals and I hope they we have better luck next game.

happy fathers day Landon.
We love you.


Our Indian Princess

This sweet outfit is from Ram, an Indian friend Landon worked with at Cisco during his internship.  He gave it to Capri when she was just six months old and I have been looking at it for months waiting for the day it fit!   We have made some wonderful Indian friends over the last few years and it is an honor to dress Capri in one of their beautiful traditional sarees.  Capri danced in front of the mirror and we could just tell she knew she looked pretty!  I also nannied for an Indian family when we got back from China while I was pregnant with Capri. I learned how to make some good curry and also began to understand just how big India is and how diverse India can be within it's own country. I am in love with the Indian name Prya and considered it for Capri, but Prya isn't really short for an already two syllable name.  We have been invited to two of our dear Indian friend's weddings (friends from Thunderbird) next year and would love to go... guess we better start saving our pennies!

We are Texans!

We feel so blessed to call Texas home.  I really do feel like Heavenly Father has opened one door after another for us and here we are!

Landon had his job offer with Exxon clear back in October, but had to finish school ALL the way before he could start work.  Graduation was in December and then he had a 1.5 online credit class to take that was only offered in the Spring.  Though it would have been nice to receive an income sooner  (it was a super easy class and he could have taken it while working if they would have let him); we enjoyed the extra time with our families before moving away!  I thought of every sewing project my mom could help me with and made sure Capri got to spend time with Grandma Shirley, Grandpa Greg, & Great Grandma Garrett. We made visits to my Stuart Grandparents, had a Friend party, and spent time hanging around Landon's parents trying to be more helpful than in the way :) We miss these monkeys like crazy and I almost cry thinking about what we are missing.  Kids grow up way too fast.

I actually came out by myself to house hunt.  A lot of trust on Landon's part!   We really wanted to get into a house which is difficult to do when you've been in graduate school for 2 years prior and have been spending money not earning.  Between our tax return and relocation lump sum we figured out a way to do it all without borrowing money from family.  To save a little extra money I came out by myself and Landon stayed home with Capri (and got paid to babysit by Exxon).  I had been looking at houses for weeks online before coming and was prepared with my list, but the day before I got there and the day of, 6 out of the 10 houses on my list went off the market... what?!  Two of the remaining went off the market after I looked at them, crazy.   To make my week of house hunting story short (because I'm sure everyone has ups and downs with their search they could write a story about),  I was feeling pretty discouraged with the selection and a little frustrated with my bran new real estate agent. I decided to drive around by myself near the new Exxon campus being built.  I drove right into our current neighborhood and thought, "this is it."  I searched my phone for any listings in that neighborhood, found our house, made an appointment to see it for the next morning before I left to the airport, liked it, and submitted an offer.  I got a call the following Monday telling me someone else made an offer the same day and because they were putting more than 50% down, they were just going to go with the other offer.   Why couldn't we counter-offer? Noooo. Wait?! That was the house!!
So we made plans to move to a hotel near downtown Houston, put our belongings in another storage unit and figure out housing stuff once we got there, bummer.  A few weeks later we were loading the moving truck I got a phone call from my agent- "Do you still want that house? The remaining financing didn't go through with the other offer and they are willing to accept yours."  YAY! We still ended up staying in a hotel for 30 days while we waiting for everything to process, but it all worked out.  Living in a hotel for the first two weeks was fun, but I wouldn't recommend it for a month.

So here's our cute red brick house

There are plenty of projects, but nothing major that we can't live with until we get  there... one at a time.   I'll post pictures as we redo along the way, I only have a few on the computer right now.  We are only 1.5 miles from the new Exxon Campus.  It's the biggest construction project in all of North America and will be done in about a year and a half.  If the cranes weren't so tall you wouldn't even know there was something going on because it's all hidden by trees.  Landon is currently commuting downtown which adds and extra 2.5 hours to his day, but we hope it will all be worth it in the end when he can walk or bike to work!

Landon's office downtown Houston on the 37th story is pretty cool for now

We are all settled in and stay busy (how could you not with Capri?!)  The wallpaper is finally down in three bathrooms which was a nightmare I'll have to post about later.  Our front yard has been sodded and like I said, one project at a time.  Capri loves having space to play inside and in the backyard.  There is a park and community pool at the end of our street we have been visiting regularly.  I used to think "when we have our own house it will be so clean."  It does get picked up and cleaned several times a day, but it's difficult to keep it that way.  I've definitely had to relax and enjoy this phase of life.   It really is so fun!  I feel extremely lucky and blessed to be able to stay home with Capri.   Even though we read books all day, go on outings, do sensory activities, and she is my shopping, cleaning, and cooking partner in crime- I wonder if I do enough to keep her stimulated and feed her eagerness to learn.  I do know that no one could possibly love her as much as I do (okay, maybe Landon) and that's what really matters!

Sweet house warming gifts/ a little girl in the way of movers

Her own spaces to play/ A nursery that has cute potential with some paint, rug, & decor 

Feeling loved with a package from family /the spot where she blows kisses down to the other parent and says "na night" before heading off to bed. It's part of her bedtime routine and is so cute that she does it on her own now.

We've already had lots of fun adventures here in Texas that we hope to post about and keep our family and friends in our daily lives.  We have two extra bedrooms, if anyone wants to come stay I promise to make you breakfast in bed and warm your bath towel in the dryer. We do miss family terribly but feel so excited, blessed, and happy to be here in Texas!