Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Today she would have been 53...

Today, November 26th, my mom would have been 53 years old. Even now, I would have still thought of her as a very young grandma with her 9th grandchild on the way. At the time of her passing, just 3 1/2 years ago, she only had 3, my how things have changed. I think of my mom often, I wonder what she would think of my kids. I feel sad for them; they are missing out the most, I got to spend 26 years with her, I'm the lucky one. I wonder what advice she would give me if I could call her in the middle of the afternoon, crying, wondering how on earth I could handle my kids another minute. I think of how proud she would be of their many accomplishments and I can picture her smiling, soaking in every bit of their childhood.
I love this picture of my mom holding Hayden at the hospital

Here she is helping me give Hayden his first bath, I don't know what I would have done without her!
My mom was by many accounts an amazing woman, she had her faults, we all do right? I have come to realize how true it is that we often don't know what we have until it is lost.... As a small tribute, I am going to post 53 things I love/remember about my mom...
1. She was a friend to everyone 2. She gave all that she had 3. Her love of giving service was unquestionable 4. Tender 5. Generous 6. Devoted to her family 7. Couldn't get enough of her grand kids 8. A true friend 9. Had a great laugh 10. To her, everything was fabulous 11. Creative 12. Cute, spunky handwriting 13. A great doodler 14. Taught me about sacrifice 15. Would give anything for her children 16. Dependable 17. You could always count on her 18. A great hostess 19. Could plan a meal for the masses and always have the perfect amount of food 20. She had an amazing memory, she knew every one's phone number 21. An information magnet 22. A great cook 23. She never said no 24. A perfect house was not always a spotless house 25. Generous 26. A second mom to all of my friends 27. She wanted everyone to just call her Sue - no formalities for her 28. Loved purple 29. Devoted 30. Loved to watch TV (That's not a bad thing) 31. She loved a good LDS Romance Novel 32. I don't think she was afraid of a single bug 33. Always a teenager at heart 34. A good sport 35. A hard worker 36. She loved serving the Lord 37. Loved Orange Juice and toast in the morning 38. We both had a love for sappy Sunday night movies 39. Her home was open to anyone 40. A go-to kind of gal 41. Not a great driver 42. Treated my husband like a prince 43. Accepted my faults 44. Put up with me when I wasn't the easiest to put up with 45. Determined 46. An inspiration 47. Humble 48. Great lips 49. Beautiful eyes 50. Inspiring 51. Easy to talk to, A good listener 52. Enthusiastic about the smallest of things 53. The most generous, caring human being I have ever known...

My Mom, Dad, and Meghan

Andy's Graduation from Grad School

I love this picture of my mom, I think she looks gorgeous! And look at my cute Grandma!

With Caroline, shortly after my mom's surgery, she looks amazing!

One of the last really happy memories I have of my mom was when this picture was taken. This is my mom holding Hayden at Disneyland. My mom loved Disneyland! About 6 months before she passed away, she was able to come to California to see the taping of Wheel of Fortune that I was on. Because she was in a wheel chair, she couldn't sit up in the audience where all of the other families sat, she sat down on the floor near the cameramen. Technically, families were not allowed to be in eye shot of the contestants, but I could see my mom because of where she had to sit. I remember how excited she was to be there. Even in her less than glamorous circumstances at the time, she kept a huge smile on her face through the entire taping. After I had won the beginning part of the show, I walked over to where I needed to be for the final round. Pat and Vanna were having a 60 second break and my contestant coordinator said, you can run and see your mom if you want. I ran over to her and she was elated, and crying, I had not seen her so full of emotion in quite sometime. I was able to give her a quick hug as she muttered good luck, as best as she could with her limited speech. After I won the show we celebrated with a nice dinner and spent the next two days at Disneyland.
I am so thankful to the people at Wheel of Fortune who made that possible for us. I was supposed to have been on the show a month earlier but because of my mom's treatments, she would not have been able to come and we would have missed out on that special experience together.

Do I miss her? Of course I do. Do I know that I will see her again someday? Yes. Do my kids ask questions about their Grandma Sue? Often. Do I love answering them? Absolutely, every one. Do I look forward to the day when we are reunited? Yes, but hopefully it won't be too soon, I still have a lot of work to do here on my end! I am thankful for the knowledge that I have, and though it makes me a little mad that my mom had to suffer the way she did, I know that Heavenly Father had a definite plan for her. I am a better person for having her as a mom and for seeing the strength with which she carried on when her body was making it very hard for her. I loved her very much, I just wish I had known years ago what an amazing gift I had in being able to call her my mom.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Turkey Project

Hayden was sent home with a turkey to decorate for the hallway outside of his classroom. Caroline was over so we decided to tackle the project together! The kids had a good time being creative. Brynley spent most of the time eating the marshmallows!

The finished turkey

House Progress

We will officially be closing on our house (assuming all goes well...) one month from today, Christmas Eve. This will officially be my only Christmas present, along with the gorgeous plantation shutters, light fixtures, painter we're hiring, bar stools, big screen TV and the TV console we'll be purchasing... Not a bad haul... just that none of it fits under the tree! Don't know if we'll have one this year anyway so that's okay!

Aside from some issues with the doors that were installed today, things seem to be on their way. Hopefully the door situation will be resolved and I will get the doors that I expected, if not someone will be sorry!

Shelly's front door with my lovely kids (It was pajama day at school, and not sure what's up with Bryn)
Shelly's house partially painted
Our stair rail and part of our front door in the background. This was the only picture I took today that turned out, not sure what my problem was!

He continues to amaze us + School Picture

On Saturday I had to take Hayden to get his school pictures done. (We were out of town when they took them and he has a field trip the day of retakes.) I know school pictures aren't the greatest but it is something I will always do with my kids. I still have all of mine from Kindergarten on up, and it's kind of fun to see the changing hairstyles, etc.

As we were waiting for the photographer, Hayden picked up a magazine and started flipping through the pages. I asked him to stop on a page and try to read something for me. To my complete amazement, this is what Hayden read:

"No bow is too big, skirt too poufy, or color too bright for Taryn Cox, Hollywood's best kept secret."

Notice the word "poufy" I think it is supposed to be spelled "poofy" but he said it as if it were spelled correctly! The only word he stumbled on was "secret", he said "secert". How did he read the word "bright", I really don't think he has learned the "gh" rule yet! Aah Hayden, if only you would learn to clean up your toys as well as you are reading!

And the cute picture:

That is one handsome young man, if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Houston, we have a tooth!

Yes, I think this little tooth could possibly be the reason that Zac was up ALL stinkin night on Sunday! I stuck my finger in his mouth last night and there it was, the distinct pokes of a brand new tooth! He just turned 7 months and I think this is the earliest that any of my kids have gotten a tooth. I'm not quite able to get a picture of it yet, still too early. Just wanted to document this little milestone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Andy!

On Sunday, Andy celebrated the 1 year anniversary of his lapband surgery. I am so proud of him, his doctors tried to discourage him, saying that most people who have this surgery fail to lose weight because they find ways to "cheat" with the band. Andy has learned that there are many ways to cheat but it is so not worth it to ruin something that has been such a life-changing tool. I am so proud of the diligence and the restraint that Andy has had over this year to lose the weight that he has. He has officially lost 101 pounds since his surgery one year ago! I wish I could lose 101 pounds. I am going to post some comparison shots of Andy taken one year ago, look at the amazing change.

My hot husband, 1 year after surgery - seriously what a hotty (terrible picture of me, sorry)

1 Month following surgery, December 2007

Andy and Zac in Disneyland 2 weeks ago
Andy and Hayden at Pirates of the Caribbean 1 year agoAndy and Hayden at Pirates 2 weeks ago
Halloween 2007
Halloween 2008
Needless to say, Andy is loving life. This has been a huge life change for him and I think he wouldn't change it for anything. I have loved watching him shrink yet grow so much over the last year, the kids love their "new" dad!

Golden WHEEL Gala

We had our annual Golden WHEEL Snowball Gala last Saturday night. I was in charge of catering again this year, and I must say the food was divine! This year our theme was "Tropical Nights", it was quite a change from what we have done in the past and it was amazing! The decor was incredible (way to go Wendy!) and the whole night went off without a hitch (thanks Toni!). The Economy this year had us concerned that we would not fill our tables, and though we had less people than in past years, it was still an incredible night. We were still able to raise a good amount of money for the Children of the West Valley and everyone had a good time. The Polynesian dancers, Tahitian Pearl Raffle, Lei's made of Orchids, the fruit palm tree with the chocolate fountain, chocolate dipped pineapple favors, and the color scheme all fit with the theme very nicely! It's nice to have it all over with before the holidays, we can all actually relax and enjoy the holidays this year. Everyone did a great job and made this one of the best Gala's yet!

This year I was able to have some of my friends join us. I would have liked to have Meredith and Steve there but I really needed them to babysit!
One of the table set-ups
The other table set up
The whole ballroom
The chocolate fountain, yum!

I need to add, for all you Survivor fans, we had a bit of a celebrity at our event. Joel, the firefighter from a few season ago was in attendance, and Wendy and I got our picture taken with him. He filled us in on a lot of the behind the scenes secrets! As soon as I get the picture from Wendy, I will add it to this post. He is quite the looker!

6 Months Old!

That's right, our little man is 6 months old, but as I look at the date I realize he will be 7 months in just 4 days! It is hard to believe, time passes so quickly, it makes me want another one! Meredith and I were just talking today about how much we love to cuddle our little babies, who aren't so little anymore! I am constantly amazed at my little man, he is so content almost all the time. How did we get so lucky? Zac can roll both ways but really has no interest in sitting up or crawling for that matter (thank you!) he can just hang out as long as he wants, I'm not at all anxious for this little guy to be mobile. At his 6 month checkup, Zac was measuring pretty small, 14 pounds, 8 ounces which is only the 5th percentile. He only gained 6 ounces in two months. The doctor is concerned a little because he used to be in the 50th percentile for weight but he is thriving so I'm not concerned. I try to feed him a little extra each day if I think about it, but we're not stressed. I actually really like having a baby on the smaller side, Hayden and Bryn were both pretty giant at 6 months. Zac is still pretty tall and he has an average size head - another first for our babies, usually their heads are huge!

Zac and Kate (also 6 months) admiring something in the grass
Trying hard to get them to both look at the camera
We love our little Zachar (as we like to call him) we are so blessed to have him as a part of our family.

House Progress

Our house and Shelly's house are both coming along quite nicely. We should close on the house by the end of December, yay! It appears that the hanging of the drywall was completed today. next they will tape and mud the drywall and then things should move right along... We are getting very excited!
A look at our kitchen from the family room
Looking into the master bedroom from the top of the stairs
Shelly's House
The shower (Posted for Shelly to see that they fixed it) in the guest bath

Fall Festival

Hayden's school had a fall festival last weekend, Hayden was really looking forward to it. The field was filled with every blow up thing you could think of, slides, obstacle courses, bouncies, jousting, Velcro wall, etc... They also had a rock wall, Hayden got a good start on the rock wall and then lost his footing and fell, I was really proud of him for trying though! Brynley got right in the big bouncies with all the big kids and had a blast! We ate some yummy junk food and the kids even got their hair sprayed a different color. It was so fun to see Hayden interacting with kids from school, he has a lot of friends and that makes us really happy.

All harnessed and ready for the Rock Wall
Making his way up the wallHayden and his friend Panda and her little brother going down one of the slides. Hayden and Panda were inseperable, they were both so excited when they saw eachother and they wanted to play together the whole night!

Brynley and Hayden in one of the obstacle courses

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted... Did You?

I didn't actually vote today, so I didn't get a sticker. Meredith didn't even pick an extra one up for me..waa! I voted early, but not early enough to get a sticker in the mail like Maddy did:( I sort of felt like I wanted to tell everyone I ran into today that I voted but I didn't get a sticker because I voted early. I even felt like telling perfect strangers in the store that I voted early so they wouldn't think I was a reject. Now Andy tells me that Krispy Kreme is giving free donuts if you voted today, but I have no proof!!! Oh no, what do I do??? Well, I wasn't feeling like driving myself to KK today anyway, so there!

Anyway, go vote and get your sticker!!! Go McCain/Palin!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


We had a great Halloween this year! Thanks to my great friend, Wendy, Hayden was the cutest lookin cowboy I've ever seen! It just so happened that we had a cowgirl costume for Brynley in her dress up bin so that was our theme for the kids this year.
On Thursday night our ward had a fun trunk or treat and chili dinner. We had a great time socialing and enjoying the time with our kids. It was outside and hot so I didn't dress Zac in his costume but he went as a jail bird instead!
Hayden and two of his friends at the trunk or treat - it is impossible to get Hayden to look at the camera, I don't get it!

Our little Jail Bird

On Halloween night we headed to our friend's house in Casa Grande and made a stop at Grandpa and Debbie's house on the way so they could see the kids all dressed up.

Zac as a spider
I think I have worn the same orange shirt on Halloween for 4 years!
We had a fun night of trick or treating, although I'd say the kids pooped out a little earlier than I would have thought. I think Brynley would have kept going all night, she was loving the free candy being given to her, but the other kids were ready to be done! All in all, the kids made out like bandits and mom and dad have been enjoying sneaking into their candy buckets!

I need to look through my old pictures because I think I have a very similar pic of Hayden on Halloween as a spider!