Sunday, May 4, 2014

April 2014 - Convention, Easter, and Granny turns 98

April was a blur.  I think we're still recovering to be honest.  Our annual convention was April 10-12 at the Salt Palace, so I was living and breathing all things Thrive Life and trying to get ready.  I was in charge of the General Sessions, so that included speakers, content, slides, timing, props, A/V needs, back stage needs, etc. etc.  Besides the new items launched and thrilling announcements at the opening session, the most exciting things I worked on included a service project on Thursday and bringing in an awesome doctor to talk about nutritional benefits of Thrive food on Friday.  This was the first year we've done a service project as part of convention, and we made 1,500 fleece blankets (!!!) in an hour and a half thanks to some amazing volunteers.  The blankets will go to a medical dispensary in Kenya, which we've seen miraculously decreases the infant mortality rate in the surrounding villages because it encourages mothers to travel to the clinic for proper medical care when giving birth.  It's especially life-changing for babies whose mothers are HIV positive and who would normally give birth at home, wrap their babies in a newspaper or banana leaf, and transmit disease as well as risk complications and infection in the delivery process.  I had no idea how many people to expect, and I was thrilled that we had about 200 volunteers show up to help.

Some of the volunteers at the service project

Leaders at the service project

The next item I mentioned was that I got to work with a doctor in Ogden who specializes in Nutritional Medicine.  I shared some of my research with him on the nutrition of freeze dried produce opposed to grocery store "fresh," canned, or frozen.  He was very familiar with the nutrition of freeze dried foods because he works mostly in the supplement industry, and many vitamin and dietary supplements are actually made from freeze dried fruits and vegetables.  I never knew.  Anyway, he gave a fantastic presentation about the nutritional differences and health benefits of Thrive foods in addition to the other convenience and cost savings benefits associated.  There's more information about general benefits that we've now posted on our website here and more information specific to health here.  It was a great presentation, and convention was a huge success overall.  Side note: if you want to meet my crazy bosses, here's a phone video of their ridiculous made-up performance the last night to One Direction.

Another great thing during April was that we got to have both sets of grandparents out here!  Grandma and Grandpa Sweeny came out first and we got to celebrate Granny's 98th birthday together.  She let Alexa blow out her candles and then they cuddled and watched Shrek together.  I love that witty, spunky, incredibly generous woman--I have admired her since I was a little girl and still want to grow up to be just like her!  Dad had to run off to go receive an amazing award (Internet2 President's Leadership Award) in Denver--so proud of him!  I just googled his name to find the link again and a whole list of articles, links and tweets showed up.  Impressive.  Mom was sooo, sooo incredibly helpful and wonderful to watch the kids during the above-mentioned convention insanity.  Thank you!!!

Marmie and Grandpa came out the week after convention and we had so much fun (and Kyle put them to work)!  They were here over Easter, so we got to play, go to the new Aquarium in Draper, have 2 Easter egg hunts with the kids; and Kyle enlisted their help in building a massive retaining wall, redoing sprinklers and aerating our backyard.  Phew.

The first Easter egg hunt we took Alexa to on Saturday was insane!  They brought 10,000 (!!!) eggs and had them in a huge field basically every 3-6 inches from each other.  They gave the 0-3 year olds a 20 second head start (ha).  Alexa bent down to pick up *one* egg, and by the time she reached down to pick up a second there were none within 200 yards in any direction.  Vultures, I tell you.  I was stunned.  I did a complete 360 and couldn't believe that they were gone so quickly!!  Needless to say, I think we'll go back to that Easter party next year for the fun bounce houses, face painting and cotton candy, but we'll leave before the hunt starts because holy cow!  I much preferred the one in our front yard :).

Celebrating Marmie's birthday
The kids loved having their grandparents here to play with them.  Alexa and I went thrift shopping with Marmie and she couldn't believe that there are stores with aisles and aisles of old couches that you can play on.  It was like kid heaven--we spent a good 45 minutes climbing and bouncing from one to the next.  One fun quote that had us all laughing is when Alexa took Marmie by the hand after we had been awake for a few hours playing and said, "Let's go get you dressed."  She said it in a way that made it sound like poor Marmie needed help and encouragement to go get ready for the day.  Ha.  The other quote that had me laughing is when Alexa told me, "My tummy hurts, mommy.  I need [Marmie's birthday] cake to make my tummy feel better."  Nice try.

Tyler is now an avid climber and loves climbing up the closed toilet into the bathroom sink, or up onto the kitchen chairs and onto the table, etc.  You get the picture.  He has discovered climbing and will never go back.

The last piece of BIG news for our family is that I was offered a new position at work last week.  I was taken by surprise when the owners pulled me aside and offered me double my current salary if I would take the position they created for me to develop our company strategy.  I will be in the office full time, so Kyle has put in his notice and will stay home with the kids being an amazing Mr. Mom.  The first day I was gone he busted out the sprinkler and threw a party with the kids :).  It was a hard adjustment to be gone all day for the first couple of days, but it's getting easier with time.  Tyler had a really hard time and would go ballistic the minute I walked through the door every day--there were many days where he was in his high chair eating and I would walk in, so he immediately started screaming and trying to claw his way out of the high chair to get to me.  I miss those cute kids when I'm gone all day, but we're figuring it out so that we can play some in the morning, have lunch together some during the week, and hopefully have me home earlier in the evening to have more time together before the munchkins are off to bed.  Love them!  So, that's our April in a nutshell.  Happy May!

March 2014 - visit from Marmie and Gpa

Kyle built an amazing standing desk for me because he knew I wanted one.  It has a double-hinge so you can fold the desk section and hide it behind the storage cubes.  He also measured it to be the perfect height for where I would stand, and it's a great book / toy storage for the kids.  Love it.

We switched the kids' room around so that Alexa is now on the top bunk and Tyler's crib is underneath.  The idea is that they will fall asleep faster because they can still talk, but can't see each other and keep one another entertained for as long.  It seems to be kind of working...

They still love to play in our walk-in closet together, which has somehow been dibbed as the "desert" according to Alexa.  As in, "Tyler!  Let's go on an adventure in the desert!"  And off they both run into the closet and close the door.

We had a great visit with family for Jason Andrews' homecoming in March!  It was so fun to spend the weekend together and have Marmie and Grandpa stay with us.

To end, a few stories about those adorable kids...  Alexa learned the First Article of Faith and now walks around repeating it in church.  I love that 2 year-old girl and I'm one proud mama.  On a funnier note, we went with a friend to an Indian buffet for lunch and Alexa cried when we had to go.  The reason?  "But I want to take the buffet home!"  I commiserate.

Alexa is in love with braids thanks to Frozen, and I love that she actually wants me to do something with her hair!  Generally, she always wants it down and straight.  The first time I did french braids, she ran to Kyle and said, "Daddy, look!  I have princess Anna braids!"  Kyle turned to me and said, "Dang it.  I'm going to have to learn how to braid, aren't I?"  I laughed really hard.  She also ran right past me the other day to have Kyle paint her toes sparkly.  He was so surprised that she wanted him to do it, and then immediately scared because he said he had no idea how / what to do.  Haha.

Tyler got his first haircut!  Alexa has yet to get a haircut, so this was a first for our kids.  He is now a champ at going down the stairs, loves to give kisses, says "hi" (sometimes on the phone to Grandma, which is adorable!), screams for Mommy right when I walk in the door, folds his arms for prayer, and his FAVORITE things to do are pillow fight / wrestle.

Some had fallen off before I took this picture, but he was happy to show me that he had successfully covered his arm in cereal and got it to stick!

Those cheeks!!

They usually hang out together in the glider chair every morning and rock, giggle, and cuddle (or smash each other with kisses)

Two little thumb suckers