Abrielle is so good at reorganizing. Everything. Haha. She’s actually really good at helping me put things away too, but she just has a blast dragging my closet out into the bathroom. 

She loves church 🙂

She also loves all her little friends

Fun at Hobby Lobby
We had our first snow of the season
She was enjoying posing in her winter attire
Abrielle hasn’t really seen snow before… she was fascinated watching the snowflakes fall
We got out and tried a new activity today, this open gym at a local rec center. It was fun. She loved the trampolines and foam pit. 

And what better way to spend the afternoon on a cold day than to cuddle up with daddy 🙂

Here’s a mommy update. 15 weeks. I know it’s not overly obvious, but it’s quite obvious to me. I have felt more nauseas with this one, but still never threw up, and it seems to finally be resolving, so that’s good. I also am not as diligent in my running as I was with Abrielle, but hopefully I can still keep it up. Other than that, I’m feeling good; just a little more tired. But I think that probably has to do more with chasing my toddler than being pregnant. 

Anyway, nothing too new, we’re just having fun. Apparently next week we’re supposed to get about 2 feet of snow, so I’m sure we’ll have some new activities like sledding and building a snow man to keep us busy 🙂 Also, Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you to all those who do and have served and give so much for this country.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Halloween was fun for us with year. Abrielle loved her little costume and she looked adorable in it. And then we used our pumpkins to break the news that we’re having another baby!!! Due May 5, 2016. We keep asking Abrielle if she knows that I’m having a baby and if she wants a baby and she keeps telling us yes. We’ll see how she feels about things when the time comes, haha But I’m glad we’re all really excited 

Our little pirate princess

Our pirate family
We went to the halloween dinner and trunk-or-treat that our church put on. She loved going around and picking out candy. 

She also thoroughly enjoyed sucking on a sucker while was collecting her candy

Our neighborhood is kind of crazy about Halloween/holidays, it seems. My house had a couple pumpkins and some bails of hay, etc. But these guys go all out. Here are some examples….

It’s super fun but I have a lot of catching up to do as far as decoration goes, haha. 
We hope everyone had a great Halloween!

October Fun!

She always has so much fun at the Museum of Natural History and Science here. It is a pretty incredible place actually. But they have a water works station in the kids section and she just has a blast. I love seeing her stick her tongue out when she’s concentrating, haha. It’s definitely hereditary…my dad did it, I do it, and she does it 🙂

I know I shouldn’t snap pictures at church, but I just loved her little pigtails and her dress 

Happy as a clam with her best friends kitty and bunny, haha
We went to a fall festival close to our house; it was fun. They had a big jumping pillows for the kids (and me, apparently, haha), a barrel ride, a hay ride, corn mazes, and a pumpkin patch. Abrielle picked out several small pumpkins and had fun not following the path through the maze. She thought it was much more entertaining to go through the cornstalks. 

Just having fun 🙂

Ready for church!
My mom came up to visit us for several days… this is what happens when Grandma lets Abrielle pick out her outfit… you end up with striped tights from her halloween costume, haha
She sure loves her grandma

Seattle!

Matt is still getting his orthodontic treatment up in Seattle, because believe it or not, it’s cheaper for us him to fly back and forth for his appointments than it is for him to start over here. So he still goes up about once a month and Abrielle and I decided to join him this time, because I just miss it there. 
This was our view coming in; it was way better in person than what the phone could capture. It was beautiful to see Rainier against the sunset.
While there, we went to a really neat place called Northwest Trek. They have a lot of animals native to the Northwest and you ride a little bus through the exhibits, where the animals can just wander around you. It’s really cool. Abrielle loved it! And although the weather wasn’t great that day, it was a great day to go because there are so many animals out and they were SO close to us. It was very fun. 
Here’s Hedwig 🙂

And White Fang, haha
Grizzly bear!

They had a whole bunch of mountain goats and big horn sheep

This moose made repetitive appearances; it was fun

The buffalo was right up next to the bus, he was practically rubbing up against it. 

There were a bunch of elk too
 As well as Caribou

Our little beast 🙂

 It was really great to meet up with friends. These were Matt’s bosses when we first moved to Washington and we’ve just always been very good friends with them. Abrielle had fun putting on Cathy’s glasses haha.

 This is just a road that I used to travel all the time and I just loved being surrounded by all the beautiful trees again, especially as they’re changing colors. So pretty. 

Matt and I have always loved seeing these trees around Washington. They’re called Monkey Puzzle trees they’re just really unique.

Somewhere along the way, someone gave Abrielle a sucker. Can you guess what color it was?? haha.

This is the awesome park that I used to run at all the time, Bellevue City Park. I love this place. 

And this was our view leaving. Again, Rainier. 
It was good, but also hard for me to go back, because I didn’t want to leave. But I’m glad we all got to go and that we had a really good time. 

September Update

We spent Labor day at my brothers’ where Abrielle had her first exposure to sidewalk chalk and loved it. My nieces had fun showing their climbing abilities on our truck too haha. It’s really been fun to live close to them. 

Abrielle is such a girl 🙂 She loves carrying around and handing me my purses, she loves getting her nails painted and filing mine, and I love when she lets us do something with her hair. She’s just such a doll; I love it.

Family picture!!

Still doing the squinty smile 🙂

We’ve enjoyed the playgrounds near our house
She loves rolling down the hill
And I love seeing her have fun swinging and kicking her little legs

She hardly ever watches TV, but she does get hooked on football haha

I seriously love seeing her sleep, haha. 
This picture was taken after I fixed her pajamas that she had unzipped 🙂 

We went to visit my grandparents’ grave today; they’re buried in the Fort Logan National Cemetery. Abrielle picked out the flowers that we took and she very much enjoyed smelling them over and over. My dad would visit his parents as often as he could and would always make sure that the grass was clean cut right against the base of the headstone, so it’s something I’m trying to keep up for him. 
He missed his dad a lot, so I’m sure that was a very happy reunion when my dad passed. I know how he feels and I look forward to my eventual reunion with him too.

She was trying to share her grapes with her cat (AKA Whiskers) on the way home, haha

And I know we shouldn’t sneak pictures during prayer, but I have been dying to capture this. She has been so good over the last month kneeling and folding her arms for prayer. It is just so precious for me to see her do this 🙂 
And she just impresses us so much. We weren’t going to start potty training her until after she was two, because it’s recommended by pediatricians not to, but she pretty much started on her own about a week ago. And she’s actually gone appropriately and purposely. It’s especially awesome as I wasn’t really looking forward to this time of transition, but I’m so proud of her that she just seems to be picking it up naturally. 
She’s still not talking a whole lot, but you can tell that’s trying and she understands everything we say. I really am happy that we have taught her some sign language, but I think it’s maybe made it easier for her not to push herself to speak as much because she knows she can get her point across without it, haha. But she basically knows her alphabet and is starting to try to say more words. 
Currently she is really into bubbles, dinosaurs, coloring/drawing, I Spy books, puzzles, rolling around all over the floor, helping me sweep/vaccum/cook, babies, and surprise…. food! haha. 
News other than Abrielle…. Matt turned 33 on Sept 8. He will finish is Bachelors in nursing in December and is looking forward to being done with that. He’s really enjoying his job on the oncology unit as an assistant manager/charge nurse. I appreciate all of his hard work so that I don’t have to work quite as often, haha. Speaking of work, I am currently orienting on the surgical ICU/trauma unit at Denver Health. I’ll be there per diem (4 shifts/month) and so far am really enjoying it. I feel very blessed to get to work in the area I most enjoy and to basically make my own schedule and be able to stay home so often. 
Our house is coming along. We have lots of projects going on at once and it’ll be a long while before they’re all completed. But at least we feel like things are coming together it”s been fun to get settled and create our space. We started to work on finishing the basement; Matt put up the first wall the other day. I do love having a handyman around 🙂 He’s so much more than a handyman though. I just have to say how awesome he is. He is such an amazing father and husband and he really does treat me so well. And I have to say, I am impressed with the quality of Costco roses 🙂 
Other than all that, we’re just hanging out and enjoying football being back in season. We are looking forward to seeing our first Colorado fall and just getting to know the area better. So that’s us 🙂

Trip to ABQ

We took a trip to NM over my birthday weekend and had a really good time. Too bad traffic was so terrible that it took us an extra two hours to get there… oh well. This is how the trip started :).. her sleeping. Too bad it only lasted 45 minutes and that’s the only sleep she got all day. Hopefully her traveling skills improve with time, haha.

We’re helping my mom pretty much completely redo the backyard, and made some good progress on it, so that felt nice. It will feel even nicer when it’s finally done someday, haha. I haven’t worked like that physically in a long time so it felt good and I am glad we can do something to help her.

As always, Abrielle had a wonderful time seeing Grandma. Pretty much anytime she (grandma) is around, nobody else exists to Abrielle, haha. Abrielle had a good time with her cousins too. She and Lillie are only 7 months apart so it’s sharing was a bit of an issue and they weren’t totally sure what to think of each other, haha. Makiya (8) has such good little mothering instincts and just doted over both of them. The nephews seemed pretty enthralled with the toddlers too. It was fun. 
Costco trip with toddlers. Lillie was quiet and content the entire time. And then there’s my beast and her constant need for food, haha.
Our hometown temple
One of the very few things I miss about NM… sunsets
As I mentioned, we were there over my birthday. It was just nice to be around family and have a kind of laid back day. My husband and brothers made sure I remembered it was my last year before 30…. that was nice of them, haha. We went over to some very good family friends for dinner. In this picture is Aaron… Abrielle’s boyfriend, haha. He is wonderful with her and his family is amazing, so I can’t complain too much 😉  

Fun in the Sun!

I took Abrielle to a splash pad for the first time today. She loved it! She is definitely a water baby. We had a really fun time.

She had such a good time that she wore herself out. This never happens

My mom came up to watch Abrielle for a couple days when Matt and I were both working. Apparently she jams out when we’re gone, haha. It was fun to have the cousins together for a few days.
There’s that silly smile haha
And again. But here you can also see that she loves wearing my shoes, haha.
She thought it was funny to have two binkies in her mouth. It was kind of funny, haha.
Happy as a clam with her bubbles, haha 

A Central Family Website

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Photo by James MacDonald

Starting  right after my dad’s funeral in May I have had multiple conversations with multiple cousins and siblings wondering about creating something online where members of the various families could share news together to help us all stay connected. One suggested solution was to create a Facebook page but seeing as the common theme seems to be having a place exclusively for family news and considering that not everybody uses Facebook (despite what it sometimes seems like) the feeling has been that Facebook has two drawbacks: it leaves the news mixed in with anything shared by the many other friends any of us may have on Facebook and it completely locks out anyone who isn’t on Facebook.

While I haven’t started any of the conversations on this topic that I have participated in I have the advantage of having conceptually designed just the kind of collaborative family website that would allow family members to easily share their news to a central location. I began designing the concept a few years ago in anticipation of my own family growing up and becoming geographically dispersed. The two key features I wanted to ensure were easy content creation and easy content consumption.

Content Creation

I wanted to have a system that would be able to draw from any online self publishing that family members were already doing so that those who were in the habit didn’t need to split their energy between two forums while allowing those who weren’t already sharing things online anywhere to also contribute if they wanted to. My design allows for the group site to pull content from other personal sites that members of the family might be publishing to. The nice thing is that not only can the site automatically pull content from other sites, but in some cases it can pull content selectively. For example, if someone is running a WordPress site already I can pull all their content or only content in specified categories or with specified tags. If someone is running a Blogger site I can pull all their content or if their have their site set up for it I can pull only content with specific labels. For those who publish to Facebook the only option to automatically pull content (as far as I know) is to pull everything. For those who want to contribute to the shared site who don’t already have a place they publish things, I can set them up with an Author account at the site.

Content Consumption

The appeal of social sites like Facebook is that you can easily see information from a range of sources all in one place. One key to making the content shared to the family site valuable is to not force people to come check another site to get the latest news. For people who are in the habit of using an existing news reader they can add the site to their list of feeds. For those who use Facebook we can publish the content to a Facebook page if someone wants to set one up. (We can do the same for Google+, Twitter, or other social sites too.) Hopefully family members will be able to get the latest from the shared site without altering their existing online habits (unless of course their current habit is to not get online).

Prototype

Seeing interest from multiple people I have decided to throw up a simple working site based on my design at chm.davidjmiller.org. Please think of this as a working model – open to many forms of revision and refinement.

  • I currently pull content from my website and Matt and Elise Lane’s blogger but I’d love to add more people.
  • I’d be happy if we could find a permanent home for the site besides that subdomain on my site but we can make that change if we find a suitable home.
  • If people are interested we can begin sharing the content to other social sites they may be using.
  • If any family member wants me to create an author account for them here just contact me – I’ll be happy to set you up.
  • I have done nothing with the visual design of the site – if you have ideas for how to make it look better I certainly wouldn’t mind it becoming more visually appealing.

Please share this with other members of the family and lets see what kind of connections we can make and what kind of fun we can have together.

Date Nights!

Matt and I got out for our first date since we moved here. We went to a Rockies vs. Mariners game. The Mariners won 🙂 It was a fun and beautiful night. Coors field is where my dad took me to my first MLB game a long long time ago. When we lived in Seattle, he always talked that we should meet up here in Denver and go to a game. I wish he could have been there with us.
We also got out with my aunt and cousin and went to Elitches. It’s fun to have an amusement park close by. We had a really good time and hope to go more next summer. I love those turkey legs, haha.
And then there’s just some randomness…
Abrielle learning to put her shoes on by herself 🙂

We do have some nice views from our windows and close to our house

Now when we tell Abrielle to smile, she squints her eyes and smiles big, haha. It’s fun.

And she’s obsessed with bubbles

And food…still obsessed with food, haha.