Friday, June 25, 2010

Nate and Laura's Wedding: Salt Lake City

Nate and Laura Hardy were married June 24th in the Salt Lake Temple! I was so honored to be able to attend the wedding of my little cousin and her handsome, sweet fiance! Laura and Nate were high school sweethearts and she waited for him on his mission. It was a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony, and lots of fun with family! It was very special to take my daughter to the temple. Some of the highlights were: Nate and Laura's wedding kiss (she started laughing at him before the kiss and then finally kissed him) Nate and Laura shaking hands after exchanging rings (can you tell they aren't big on public displays of affection?) Hannah flirting with all the boys (servers and cousins) she is a huge fan of boys haha. Hannah playing with Kaitlyn and Caroline.
P.S. I took these pictures for Adam so that is why the next few blogs while I'm in Utah will have a lot of pictures for her daddy :) He is dying without us lol

This is the Place: Heritage Monument

Is it any wonder that Brigham Young declared "This is the place" When he stood here and looked over the Salt Lake Valley?

(Sorry, the pictures are a bit out of order)

On Wednesday, June 23rd Hannah and I went with Grandma Margie to go see This is the Place Park in Salt Lake. We had so much fun! We got to see some Ensign cousins who were working as pioneers there. Hannah loved all the fun animals! She got to feed some horses, ride some ponys, and pet lambs, rabbits, and goats. She thought the pigs were really funny! Hannah loved riding on the train and had a blast the whole time. By about 1:00 Hannah was totally beat! She got up at 5:30am and was a great trooper the whole day!
Can you believe Hannah will have been on 8 plane rides before her first birthday?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie Review: North & South

I can't begin to reconcile my feelings after watching this incredible miniseries based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Set in England, 1851, Margret Hale is part of London society growing up just south in a small village. Life moves at a slower pace, free from the industrial life of the northern cities. Her father, a former vicar, uproots their small family and takes them north to the industrious city of Milton.

Milton is the home of John Thornton, the master of a cotton factory. He lives with his mother and sister. Mr. Thornton become fast friends with Margret's father but Margret is not impressed. Her first impression stems from watching him mercilessly beat a factory worker (for smoking a pipe in the factory...cotton is flammable FYI therefore it is against the rules to smoke so Mr. Thornton goes a little over the edge) and she is not very favorable toward him.

Although Margret does not want to leave the South, she remains positive and makes some friends, factory workers who are about to start an uprising and stage a strike, which does not bode well for either the workers or the masters.

Through various hardship and tragedy, and misleading events Margret and Mr. Thornton are thrown together in a beautiful love story of two very stubborn people.

This movie was recommended to me twice in the same week by two very different people. Although it has taken me about three months I've finally gotten around to it, and loved every minute.

The characters in this movie are very dynamic. One moment you find yourself hating one for their mean spirited comments, the next they are making you cry for their humanity. It proves that you can't say anybody is good, or anybody is bad, because everyone has moments of both. The only character I didn't like throughout the whole series was Mr. Thornton's sister Fanny who was shallow.

I loved that Mr. Thornton was smitten almost from the get go. He was always giving Margret these smoldering looks. I watched one scene four times with tears streaming down my face (for those of you who have seen it, it is when Mr. Thornton is on the balcony saying "look back, look back at me") here it is straight from youtube:

It is my new favorite movie (although technically it is a miniseries) and I absolutely have to own it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

{Happy First Father's day Adam}

I had the pleasure of being there every step of the way for Adam's transition to Fatherhood. I'll never forget the look on his face when he found out he would be a daddy, when he felt her move for the first time, and when he looked into her precious face and fell in love.

For her first two months of life, Adam stayed home and was the primary caregiver, so that I could finish my degree. It was a precious time for daddy and daughter as they grew to love and to know each other more every day.

Adam is an exceptional father. Not only is he loving and playful with his girl, he is always ready and willing to care for her needs. He has never complained about diaper changes, feedings, baths, clothing, or any of her essential needs, not even in the early hours of the morning. In fact, he always asks if there is anything she or I need him to do before doing anything for himself. Adam takes on an equal parenting attitude when he is at home, rather than shirking from his fatherly duties, which is very appreciated. There is nothing he won't do for Hannah.

My most precious memories of the last ten months of parenthood are when I catch Adam and Hannah reading a book together, or singing a song together, or just talking. I also love when he attempts to comb her hair in a part, or to put a bow in her hair...most always he ends up bringing her to me for that part, but at least he tries right :)

Every morning Adam calls "dibs" on getting Hannah out of the crib. He wants first hugs, kisses, and smiles. If Adam goes to work before she wakes up Hannah always looks over my shoulder and out the door to try and find him, calling "Da,...DADA?" Adam also called "dibs" on putting her to bed every night after I've nursed her.

Not only is Adam a great father to Hannah, he is also a wonderful partner to me. If ever I have concerns over her safety or health, Adam always strives to accommodate me in my concern, and never tries to tell me I'm being irrational. He is very supportive of my decision to stay at home with Hannah, and very supportive of the way I care for her. He has such a wonderful heart and I couldn't have married a better man.

I am grateful for his wonderful, righteous heart and the way he serves his family. As you can see he is an amazing man!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

{Brown paper packages tied up with String}

Yesterday we received this package in the mail all the way from Iraq addressed to Miss Hannah Turney from her Grandpa!

Mommy put the package with a picture of Grandpa in Iraq. Mommy told Hannah that Grandpa sent her a package because he loves her and he is very far away serving our country.

Hannah gave her Grandpa a kiss and then carried around his picture all afternoon.

With a little help from Mommy, Hannah opened the package and looked inside!
A BOOK! One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Not only was there a book, but also a DVD inside. The DVD was Grandpa reading Hannah the story he sent her. Hannah sat on the ground and watched intently to silly Grandpa reading a silly story! Hannah loved it so much!

United Through Reading is a special program through the military sent from a deployed loved one who records the book on DVD then sends a copy of the book and DVD so that they may read together. While watching the recording, children are able to see the face and hear the voice of their loved one miles away. It is a precious precious gift for not only Hannah but also for Adam who misses his dad very much and is grateful that Hannah can get to know her Grandpa through this unique program. Grandpa tries to send Hannah a book in the mail once a week so that they can share story time together. Just another thing to be grateful for :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tribute to Fathers

Head on over to my blog on MOTHERHOOD. This week I have been featuring a tribute to fathers. Pay especially close attention to Parts 1 and 2 of Fathers and Sons. I am a strong believer that boys need their dads.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

{Things you should know about my husband}

The "Adam" He ALWAYS tries to pull this face when I am trying to take a picture of himMe trying to pull off "The Adam"

I have the most amazing man in the entire world and nobody would ever be able to convince me otherwise. I married the man of my dreams. Move over Edward, because you can't be sweeter, more loving, more helpful, and hard working than Adam Turney.

That being said, my husband is a goof =)

I've written posts before about how much I love him, how incredible he is, and what a good man I married. This is not one of these posts. It is to give you a little insight into the wonderful brain of my husband.

This morning on FB a friend of mine posted:

"Clark County is ranked dead last in the US for percentage of high school graduates. I'm so pleased my daughter will be starting kindergarten here this fall."

I saw that and thought to myself "oh great, here comes a post from Adam..." Not only was there a post, but it far exceeded my is what Adam wrote in reply (I implore you not to read it, just look at the length):

"There are so many factors that play into all these statistics that it isn't fair for Clark County. Often the media will just focus on the negative aspects of education here. It is rare to hear anything positive even though there are a number of times that there are good things happening.

One thing that messes up our scores in Clark County is ... See Morewhen we start counting the scores of ELL students, kids that don't natively speak English. States like Texas don't count the test scores of ELL students until they have been in the district for 4 years. Clark County, on the other hand, gives the kids 1 year in the district and then counts their scores. So kids that have no idea how to read, write, or understand English bring the test scores way down for Nevada. It is completely unfair for the students, teachers, and education system in Nevada to include these scores as it makes Las Vegas appear so much worse.

There are other factors that play into the graduation rate that is ridiculous. For example, if a student attends a Las Vegas school but does not graduate because they move out of state then that counts against the district. Kids that don't graduate on time count against the district. So many factors play into the education game in Nevada that it really gives us a horrible image when compared to the rest of the nation.

Even though the graduation rate might be around 40-50% for students in Clark County, it is a 100% guarantee that my children will be graduating. Remember, even though the statistics exist it does not mean anything to our children because our children do not fit into the category of kids that don't graduate because they are not going to get involved in drugs, violence, early pregnancy, quitting school because they want to be a valet, or any of those negative and ridiculous areas.

Even the Clark County School District Assistant Superintendent Sue Daellenbach said she questions the report... See More’s methodology.

“They use a simple method that calculates students that move 9th to 10th (grade), 10th to 11th, and so their (statistics) will always be lower,” she said. “It doesn't take into account transiency or kids moving out of state and going into another school.“

There are so many factors that play into graduation rates. Although it may not be a pretty picture for Clark County students, it isn't nearly as terrible as the media would have people believe.

Haha, I just can't stop. According to a US News report, Nevada has 5 of the nations top 100 high schools. In fact, they are all located in Las Vegas.

Advanced Technologies Academy
Community College High School - South
Coronado High School... See More
Las Vegas Academy of International Studies Performing and Visual Arts
Nevada State High School

But you won't see this advertised because it paints Clark County in a positive light and the LVRJ would hate to have people think something good about education in Las Vegas.

Do you like how I made it the smallest possible text to fit it on to the blog? This was a FB post people! Honestly, I haven't even read it because I know it says "Blah Blah Blah Education is good Blah Blah Blah Teachers are awesome Blah Blah Blah." I say Blah blah blah in the most loving way.

I'm grateful that Adam is so passionate about Education, it is his profession. Say something negative, even if it is humorous and Adam will champion his cause. I mock him relentlessly on a daily basis for this trait. I'm grateful for an educated man but it is also very funny to see him go to the mats for his cause.

Anyone who is friends with him on FB knows that while he still considers himself a conservative, he is a HUGE Obama supporter (and HATES Sarah Palin). If you mention something on FB about the President, he is likely to come at you with statistics and facts about the growing opportunities for jobs, education, relief from the recession, the amount of illegals who have been deported since Obama took office etc. He is so passionate about this.

Another thing you need to know about Adam is that he is a huge technology nerd (in the best possible way). He hates Apple products because of blah blah blah (for three pages). He is always telling me about this or that in the technology world. Every morning he goes to his computer and reads all the news in technology ("Did you know AT&T leaked millions of people's personal information for Ipad owners, Iphone users...Did you know there are these new 3D TVs that might be affordable in the near future....I found a great deal on ___ we should get it.")

The main thing you should know is that Adam, while very passionate/geeky/ infuriating at times, is the most incredible, kind, selfless person I know. I'm glad he has his passions, I'm glad he is educated, and has a hobby. I'm glad he is mine.

That being said: I'm sorry if he offends you, he means well =)

Hannah Update

It has been a really long time since I've updated my blog and I think it is also due for a Hannah update!

Hannah is amazing. I love her so much more each day! She is still hanging in there at a short 26 inches and a mere 19 pounds. I believe her height/weight ratio makes her still in the higher percentile for weight but she is no longer the 103rd percentile baby! She hasn't gained much weight since she turned 5 months old (when she was sitting pretty at 18 pounds) but she is still as strong as can be.

Hannah took her first steps on May 12th, just a few days after her 9 month birthday. Yeah, she is a genius like her mom :). She is now walking all over the place (Even attempting to walk down the stairs without holding on to anything...yeah)

Hannah barks when she sees a doggy and it is the funniest thing in the world. She also moos at cows occasionally but it sounds an awful lot like barking at dogs. She loves her mommy and her daddy and loves to read books with us. She loves putting her dollies to sleep (cover them with a blanket, turn on the sleepy music, and walk out quietly--for some reason she laughs at this hysterically).

Her eyes are still as blue as the sky and it is still a mystery as to where she got them. She has beautiful eyes and is very lucky! She is also going very blond, although I have a hard time picturing her as a blond, and getting very tan from all the "park-ing" we've been doing.

We love her a lot and we are so grateful for her!