Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our kids are definitely cuter than yours, here's proof

See what I mean. They are stinking cute! It really doesn't get cuter than that. So maybe I'm biased, but still they are cute. And not only are they cute they are so sweet and fun. We just love being parents. I took these today before church, their Christmas outfits from Grandma Valenza.

Yes, those are earrings. We decided to get Marissa's ears pierced a few weeks ago and we love it. Isn't she so cute. Our little doll baby. I'm still hoping those eyes turn green. Wouldn't that be fun.

And we're already creating piano prodigies. They love playing together, sweet beautiful tunes. Well not yet, but don't worry, I'll teach them.

Our little penguin.

This is our rollie pollie girl. She is a mover. She isn't crawling yet, but she rolls all over and gets wherever she wants. It's so cute and fun, but I wish she would slow down. She's going to cause trouble. But she sure is cute!

My little helper. Collin won't leave our side. He hates to be alone. It is so sweet, sometimes. A lot of the time we just wish we could do something on our own, but if we leave for 2 seconds we hear, "wait for me". We'll definitely miss it when he outgrows it and never wants us around. Anyway, what I wanted to say is how wonderful of a helper he is. Again, sometimes it can be a little frustrating, but usually I don't care, I mean my 2 year old vacuums, sweeps, mops, rakes, he practically does it all. I love having a little helper. I am a lucky mom!

Isn't this cute. Marissa sure loves her Toby kitty. Whenever he comes near she smiles and giggles. She loves to pet him, even if it becomes more of a tug.

We had a fun snow storm a few weeks ago and of course had to go play in it. Collin didn't enjoy it quite as much as I thought he would. It was pretty cold and windy. We got to sled down our hill out back and build a snowman. It was a fun week. Collin's favorite part was just getting to have "hot (warm) chocolate". He asked for it every chance he got. He was more excited about the hot chocolate than the snow.

They are so cute together! Marissa adores Collin and Collin loves to entertain her. He is starting to talk to her and show her things. Today after Marissa's nap, I brought her out and he kissed her hand and said "good morning" Rissa (that's what Collin calls her). Pretty cute! He also turned on the Christmas lights on the tree today and turned and looked at Marissa and said, "look Rissa, lights". It was so sweet. How blessed to know that Families are Forever.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our fun/vibrant bathroom

So here is our first painting project. I know the orange is a little out there, but I love it. It's the kids bathroom and I thought it should be fun, plus I love color and polka-dots, so why not. I even painted the canvases. I can't say they're amazing, but it was sure fun! Decorating and painting the house is taking so much longer than we had planned, but it is sure fun! We love our little home.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


It has been a rough few weeks lately with our wonderful, but tough two year old. I have been so frustrated and disappointed at how impatient and angry I get sometimes. I needed a little pick me up and came across this. To all you mothers out there who feel so frustrated and insufficient sometimes, this is for you. Just hang in there and remember you are raising God's children and he will send you help or strengthen you to meet your challenges, if you pray and work with him.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our sweet Marissa is 4 months!

Where does the time go? Well I guess things are a little crazier with 2. These two munchkins sure keep us on our toes. It's hard when they are both having a rough day, but we get through it and at night when we check on them our hearts melt. No matter how tough of a day it has been when we see those sleeping angels it is all worth it. How lucky that we all can be together forever! Well I thought I should post Marissa's 4 month stats since they are pretty awesome
Weight; 14.6 lbs (70%)
Height; 24.5 in (60%)
Personality; 100% sweet
She is as big at 4 months as Collin was at 8 months. She is so big and healthy, we just love it. We call her our little "doll baby". She is so calm and smiley. Marissa absolutely loves Collin. Even when he is in her face or climbing on her, she just smiles and loves it. We are so blessed to have our sweet little angel with us!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good-bye Summer, hello Fall

Fall is in the air. Summer was pretty wet and rainy here, so that was a little disappointing, but hopefully next summer will be better. I'm a little nervous for all the rain, but I try to keep busy so that it doesn't get to me too much, and we are making some wonderful friends and really enjoying our little piece of heaven. We're definitely in Washington. The leaves are starting to change, the rain is coming back in full force and it is just gorgeous! I sure do love it here, don't tell Adam. We are keeping busy between painting the house, church callings, Adam's schooling/work, and of course our adorable and fun kids. Life is wonderful and things are going great. Here are a few pictures of our oh so adorable little ones. Now I just have to start thinking about Halloween costumes... help. I'm no good at that.

Oh and I just had to post our crazy/fun bathroom. I know it's bright, but it makes me happy. I'm not totally finished, I'm working on a polka dot painting. It's sure fun making this house ours.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am the luckiest momma in the world. I am so blessed and have so many good things in my life. I am so fortunate to be able to stay home with these beautiful, sweet children. Heavenly Father has so richly blessed us. How can I not be happy when I get to play, well maybe a little bit of work ;), but yes, play with these precious children all day long.

I just had to include these two pictures. Collin loves to read. We read every night and lately, if I want to shower or get ready, this is the best way to keep him out of trouble. I hope he keeps up his love for reading. I just love how intent he is.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Well we sure love the summer. This summer has been low key, well besides having a baby. We haven't had a lot of vacations or done a ton, but we have sure enjoyed spending lots of time together. Adam has been getting home around 3:30 so there is lots of family time, which is the best. Collin is quite the character and we can never get him to be quiet now. His laughter fills the house and we love it. Marissa is our sweet little angel. She is just so mellow and sweet. She's only laughed once, but she smiles all the time and to anyone. She is just such a doll. Adam starts class for his test engineering next month so we are trying to get our fill of him before he goes back to school. And I am just loving my family. I am so lucky to have these beautiful children and a wonderful husband. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last weekend. We are so lucky and life is so good. Here are a few pictures from our summer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some pics of our Cute Kids

Monday, July 5, 2010

I have a Two year old?!

June 30th was Collin's 2nd birthday. I can't believe he is 2 already. We went to the zoo (I'll post pictures soon) with some friends and then had some friends over later for cake and ice cream. It was such a fun and special day. The highlights for him were the balloons and seeing a digger at work. He is such a sweet and wonderful little boy. He is challenging us and asserting his independence which can be extremely frustrating, but he is also so sweet, loving, and stinking cute. He brings us so much joy and happiness we just can't imagine life without him. I was so terrified to have a boy, but now I can't imagine not having him. He is my little buddy and just lights up our lives. We are so blessed to have our Collin boy. We love you Stinks

Happy Independence Day

For the 4th of July we went to Adam's best friends brother's house for a party. It was fun and so nice to be around such good friends. While we were there our friend did a little photo shoot for me of the kids. I want to get professional pictures but don't want to spend the money, not to mention Collin is in a funny picture phase and will not look at the camera and smile. Well what a waste if we couldn't even get a smile so I figured maybe I could get some great pictures while we were at the party. Our friend is still working on the photos but sent me this one and I just had to post it. Here is the little lady

Isn't she beautiful. I especially love her bright blue eyes. They will probably turn brown, but it's fun to have a blue-eyed child at least for a little while.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Sweet Angel

Well, our beautiful little girl has been with us for a month and this is my first post about her. I know pathetic, but hey it's been busy. Life is pretty crazy with a newborn and an almost 2 year old. They sure keep us on our toes. If we thought things were crazy with Collin, boy were we wrong. Anyway I'm going to post about her birth since it is long over due and so important for our family records.
Here is me at 39 weeks

So I was dilated to a 4 for a few weeks and effaced and nothing was happening. I was even playing basketball and volleyball (the week before she was born).Collin was 4 days late and I was afraid the same was going to happen. My mom was coming out to help with things and I was afraid if Marissa didn't come on time, I would miss out on my mom's help. So...since I was so "ready" as the doctor put it, she stripped my membranes on Friday the 21st to get things moving. However, since our children are just as stubborn as their parents, nothing happened. The doctor said to call the hospital on Monday to be induced if there was no progress. So I called, but for the next 2 days just had to wait since apparently it was a crazy baby time, who knew. Finally on Tuesday the 25th at 11:45pm I got a call from the hospital saying they had an opening and to come on in. I jumped out of bed (Adam was a little less enthusiastic since we had just been asleep for 30 minutes or so) and we got going pretty quick.
They started me on pitocin around 1:30am and not much was happening so they said to try and sleep...yeah right, who can sleep at a time like that, well I should rephrase that, what woman in labor can sleep, Adam slept just fine. Around 8am still nothing was really happening so Adam went and got some breakfast and of course 5 minutes after he left, and a few minutes before the doctor was coming in to break my water, I felt a huge gush of water. My water broke with Collin so I knew what it was. I called the nurses and instantly my contractions started coming full force. It was so painful. I have to give so much credit to those women who go natural, as crazy as I think you are. It was really painful. I was fully expecting an epidural so I was not prepared for the strong contractions. For whatever reason, it took the anesthesiologist an hour to come in. By that time I was really hurting and doing all I could to breath through the contractions. Finally the epidural kicked in and oh it was soooo nice.
The nurses said to let them know when I started feeling pressure. I quickly assured them that I already was. They checked me and I was already an 8. They started to get things ready for the delivery. I said I was feeling even more pressure, they checked me again and sure enough, I was fully dilated and effaced. Well I don't need to go into any more detail about the actual delivery other than it was wonderful (as crazy as that sounds). It really is an amazing experience (thanks to modern medicine). Adam is so supportive and loving. He is a great coach. My mom got to be there and even though she said it was pretty gross (I can't blame her, I don't think I ever need to be at labors besides my own), she said it was incredible at the same time. It was quite a bit harder than Collin and took much more pushing, but after some hard work, our beautiful baby girl entered the world at 10:26am, 2 hours after my water broke. The first thing I asked Adam was if it was a girl. The ultrasounds said it was a girl, but I was so sure I would never have a girl, I just had to check. It was a girl, she was beautiful and healthy and they gave her to me right away. What a beautiful miracle it truly is. I was able to bond with Marissa right away and we enjoyed those special first moments. When they took her to weigh her, I realized why it was so much harder, she was a whopping 8lbs 11oz, compared to Collin's 7lbs 1 oz, a huge difference if you ask me.
It was so fun to introduce Collin to "his baby".

He didn't really know what to think and was pretty scared to see me in a weird gown on a strange bed in a foreign place, but we got some cute pictures and he was interested for about a minute.

Marissa is such a doll. She eats and sleeps so well. She is so easy going, which is such a blessing since Collin is a typical two year old and trying our patience. Although there are definitely challenging days and moments we wouldn't change a thing. Our two children are miracles from our loving Heavenly Father and we can't imagine life without them. We feel so blessed to have these precious children. Families are such a blessing. We have so much to figure out, but we are enjoying learning with each other.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A touching video

My New Life

I just watched this inspirational and moving video. What an example of faith and courage. I hope that when my trials come I will be able to see them as they truly are, opportunities to grow closer to my Heavenly Father and further learn my divine worth and potential. As I have been thinking a lot about having another baby I realize how truly blessed I am to be able to be a mother and a woman. This past mother's day was so wonderful, even though Adam was sick and things didn't work out how I had planned. I was able to go to church and to feel the spirit and be grateful for the opportunity I have to be a mother and woman. We have so much potential and divine worth if we just keep close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The world will try to distract us and make us question who we are, but as we draw closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ we realize the truth, which is that we are children of a Heavenly Father, which makes us divine. When I look at Collin and Adam and see all the opportunities I have to try to make them see their divine potential, I realize how lucky I am. God knows us and knows what we need, if we can just have the faith and courage to press forward, steadfast and immovable.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

So one of Collin's favorite games is to run down the hall and around the kitchen and back down the hall and back around the kitchen and... you get the point. Most the time he want's one of us to follow him, usually Dad of course, but now Toby likes to join in the fun too and he makes an okay substitute. Here's an example, and sorry for the blurry video. It's something with reducing the video size so it's small enough to fit in the blog. I'll have to work on it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Soon to be 4

I just had to write quick and say that our little trio will soon be a foursome. I can't wait! I am getting so excited for our little one to come. I am already a 3 and 50% effaced. So we'll see what happens. I was like that with Collin and he still came 4 days late, so who knows. I just can't wait for her to come. Oh and we finally came up with a name for good, (as long as it's a girl). We're going to name our little sweetie Marissa! Isn't that so cute. We love it. It has taken months and months, hours and hours, and Adam shooting down several of my ideas to finally come up with a final name, but we are set on Marissa. Marissa Brandt, just seems to fit. Our ward threw me a baby shower last month and I received so many adorable outfits I just can't believe I'll have a little girl to put in them! Yay! Can't wait to announce her arrival, stay tuned. It could be any day now... :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Our Little Athlete

Collin has loved balls as soon as he could hold one and now he is finding taller and taller things that he can jump off of. So here is a little video of him throwing, catching, jumping, talking, and just being Collin.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I realized that I still haven't put a full picture up of my piano. We've had it for several months now and it is such a blessing from our wonderful Provo neighbors. I love bringing music into our home and it is such an escape for me. This picture is just too stinking cute to not put up. Needless to say our piano is loved by many.

My sister Cristy brought it to my attention that I have been a neglectful future mother. I documented every second of my first pregnancy, but have barely done anything with this one. I do feel bad about that, but to be honest we still haven't even decided on a name and for some reason I still am not 100% sure it's a girl, so I would hate to decorate the nursery only to be shocked and disappointed. We are still floundering on a name. I can't believe what a big decision names are and how difficult it has been for us. It looks like it's going to come down to seeing her and hoping the inspiration comes. I have also had two ultrasounds and in each one they have said it's a girl, but they don't sound 100% sure, which of course makes me nervous. I would absolutely love another boy, but I do have my heart set on this being a girl, so we'll just have to wait and see. The ward threw me a baby shower and I can't believe how wonderfully generous and sweet everyone was. We received so many darling things. Girls clothes really are so so so cute! I would be so sad if I couldn't use all the adorable things we got. So since I don't have nursery pictures I guess I can at least put up more pregnancy pictures although, I feel anything but beautiful. Oh well, luckily I have a husband that makes me feel gorgeous no matter what. Lucky me! So this first one is 30 weeks.

And this one is 35 weeks

It's funny that I am carrying her the same way as I carried Collin, high and torpedoish. It makes me look smaller but it feels like I have a basketball in my stomach. I am trying to stay active by playing volleyball and basketball as well as go on walks, oh and yoga every day. Despite my best efforts I am still gaining more weight than I would like, but I shouldn't complain, my pregnancies are pretty easy for the most part.

I can't believe we have one more month until we meet our new little miracle. As nervous as I am to have 2 children, we are so excited and anxious! I can't believe how truly blessed and lucky we are. We are so fortunate to be able to receive another precious child from our Heavenly Father.

And this last gem is of our silly and sweet little Collin boy. What a delight he is. He definitely has his moments and I fear that the terrible twos are just around the corner, but oh what a blessing. He is the best helper we could have ever hoped for. He helps us do everything, and not just helps, he has to take charge and be in the middle. He loves to help daddy with any project he is doing. He especially loves to hammer and use the screwdriver. He loves to weasel his way into the middle of things. He loves to sweep, vacuum, rake, unload the dishwasher, do yardwork, and build things. We are sure a happy family! Oh and I just have to say for my records, his favorite songs right now are itsy bitsy spider; Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam; I love to see the temple; Head, shoulders, knees and toes; and he loves the little piggy rhyme. He loves his craisins as his story time bed time snack and his favorite book from the library is Block City. How did we ever get so lucky?! Isn't he just the cutest little guy!

More visitors

Last week we had some other visitors, our good friends from Provo, the Coynes. They spent the night with us and then we went to a Mariner's game, which is always fun! We took the ferry to the game, which may be one of the coolest parts of living here. We love taking the ferry, it's a pleasant alternative to traffic and sitting in a car for an hour. Some friends watched Collin so we were child free, which will be one of the last times for a while since life will sure get crazier with two. It was so fun to have the Coynes visit and meet their sweet little 4 month old daughter. We sure miss our good friends from Provo! But luckily Steph is from Washington so hopefully this will be one of many visits.