Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bryce's Blessing Day

Today we got to celebrate our baby Bryce. Mark gave him a beautiful blessing at church, expressing our love for this strong, healthy boy who has brought us joy and helped to heal our hearts. He blessed him with an optimistic outlook, with the ability to strengthen and unify our family and others, with the desire to seek for knowledge of the gospel and other good things. As he spoke of Bryce's energy and strength, I felt so excited to see who this sweet little boy will become.

I think Bryce was done by the time we took this one. :)

Handsome boy with those big blue eyes

It was so wonderful to have both of Bryce's grandfathers and the Driskills here with us today. Popsy and Grandpa both flew in on Friday and we got to spend the weekend together. It means a lot that they would come out to be with us.

Three generations of Hansen boys
Bryce is a lucky boy--could he ask for two more awesome grandfathers??

We love the Driskills!
We had a yummy dinner and mini pies for dessert
Sunday afternoon nap for the Blesser and the Blessee (as Grandpa put it)
Talking to Nana on FaceTime
Bryce was so happy to finally meet his Grandpa. They're tight now.

We wish that our Nanas could have been here, and all of the rest of the family too!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

September 2015 - Fall photo shoot

I took the kids to a park by our house for a little photo shoot last week. It was not the most successful evening because Samuel sure didn't want to cooperate, but we got some fun pics nonetheless. Here are some of my favorites:

Eliza, age 8

Kimball, age 11

Grant, age 6

Samuel, 18 months

I really think I might frame this one. :)

Hey, there're all looking! :)

My big kids just keep getting bigger!

Oh Samuel. I promise we're almost done!

These two are almost the same size right now. They are the best of friends sometimes, and they sure know how to bug each other too. I'm so glad they get to go to the same school and take care of each other.

And a few more fun ones of Samuel, taken before he got too mad about the whole picture thing. He is such a spunky, fun little toddler boy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Mighty Road Trip, July 2015

We are back in MN after several weeks traveling around the West. Mark finished his fellowship on July 7 and somehow managed to not start his new job until August 17, so we took the opportunity to head off on a grand family adventure. But first we had to pack up all our stuff and move out of our townhouse (with a lot of help from Driskills!). We set our boxes and things in the garage at our new rental house, cleaned out the townhouse, and started off on our trip. Our first stop was the cabin in Yellowstone. We spent several awesome days there with the Coulam family. Mark hadn't been to the cabin in 6 or 7 years, so this was a well deserved trip for him. We loved seeing beautiful Yellowstone and enjoyed the time recouping at the cabin after such a busy past few months. Also, while we were at the cabin Kimball turned 11. We celebrated his birthday with breakfast in bed, rock skipping in the pond, lunch in West, boating on the lake, and all kinds of cabin and cousin fun. We sure love our Kimball boy.

From there we drove to Utah, stopping in Idaho Falls to see the Preece family and Kaysville to see Marshall and Lisa & family. We made it to Utah in time to spend an evening with the Montagues and be there for Dane's setting apart as a missionary. We are so excited for him to serve--Argentina is getting an awesome elder!

We only stayed in Utah for a day or so before Mark and I flew off to sunny San Diego for a little getaway. We left the kids with Nana and Grandpa and Nana and Popsy, and they had a blast with their grandparents and cousins while we were gone. Mark and I spent 6 awesome days in San Diego and Coronado, relaxing on the beach, eating yummy food, going to Sea World and a Padres baseball game, going to the temple 3 times (Since we didn't have to worry about getting a babysitter, why not go back again and again? It was awesome!), and just hanging out together. It was a great way to celebrate Mark finally finishing his schooling and medical training. It only took about 14 years. We took a few pics in San Diego on our phone but I don't have any for this post. You can just imagine us relaxed and tan. :)

When we got back to Utah, we spent time with the Hills--swimming, golfing, making late-night runs to Neilsen's for frozen custard, watching a movie out in the backyard, going to the 24th of July parade and having a BBQ (Can I just say how long it had been since we had been around for a 24th of July celebration? We loved talking about and remembering the Pioneers and getting to be in Utah for the holiday!), and spending lots and lots of time just playing at Nana and Grandpa's house with so many fun cousins. We even made it down to Provo to see Dan and Andrea's new(ish) house. We celebrated Eliza's 8th birthday by going to the Minion Movie, swimming, and having a dinner and party at Nana and Grandpa's house, complete with cousins and a shaved ice machine (Eliza was in heaven).

On July 26, we got to get both the Hill and the Hansen families (and even some of our friends from NC) together for Eliza's baptism. It was such a special day. Eliza's face sparkled with happiness and she looked beautiful in her white dress. We all felt so grateful to be there surrounded by so many people we love. Watching Mark and Eliza together in the water as she was baptized will always be a happy picture in my mind. And I really felt the spirit during Eliza's confirmation as she was surrounded by priesthood holders and was blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost. I loved Juli and Laura's talks during the program, and the girl cousins singing "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" was the perfect musical number (thanks, girls!). The grandfathers both bore their testimonies, and the grandmothers said the prayers. It was neat to have Paul conducting--we were glad we could hold the baptism out there in South Jordan where he is the bishop. And thanks to both our Nanas for the yummy treats afterward!

We did lots of fun things with the Hansens the next week--playing and hiking and painting wooden lizards and building a fort at the cabin in Midway, boating and playing at Bear Lake (thanks, Tim and Candice!), going to both Seven Peaks and Lagoon, having a big birthday party for the kids, seeing an awesome violin recital, going to the Lambert family reunion, and hanging out at Nana and Popsy's house together. And we even got to spend a little time with Jon and his fiancee Sarah. We can hardly wait till their wedding in a couple of months!

We also spent an afternoon at a little NC reunion with some of our favorite friends. It was so lucky that our trips to Utah overlapped and we got to be together for a few hours. And while I was up in Midway I got to see another dear friend from NC. Happy reunions.

So all in all it was a super fun few weeks playing with family and friends. We sure love all of you! It was so good to reconnect again. We are back in MN now, setting up our new house and trying to get back into everyday life here. The kids don't start school for another month, so we still have a bit of playing to do this summer.

And by the way, at the end of our long drive back to MN, we stopped at Minnesota's Largest Candy Store. It was AMAZING, so if anyone wants to come visit us up here, we'll gladly go back to take you to see it! :)