Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy 30-Something Jeff!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband. He is the world's greatest husband, dad, friend, mechanic, spider killer, lawn mower, and make-me-laugher (yes, that is a word/title). Regan, Hadyn and I know how lucky we are to be able to drive him crazy on a daily basis. He's a true man's man in a world of women, and we are so glad to call him Dad/Sweetheart.
Stealing the idea from my friend Beth, here are 38 things I love about Jeff...

1. He is a great dad.
2. He plays along with the girls when they want him to take his turn being a ballerina.
3. He can fix anything.

4. He always thinks about others.

5. He is kind.

6. He is generous.

7. He works harder than anyone I know.

8. He showed great patience with me in our snowboard lessons.

9. He talks to my girls like they are his equal.

10. He tells me I'm pretty.

11. He talks to me about his day.

12. When I have that blank look of not understanding what goes on in his busy day, he explains them in terms I understand.

13. He truly values my opinion.

14. He is so good looking!

15. He values time with his family above all else.

16. He honors his commitments to the church.

17. He loves his parents and seeks opportunities to spend time with his brothers & sisters.

18. He enjoys spending time with my parents (it helps that my mom rolls out the red carpet for him every time we come, always making HIS favorite foods...what about me!?)

19. When he has the choice to eat my food or go out to eat, he prefers my cooking.

20. He likes the same TV shows I do.

21. When I cry, he doesn't panic, or at least he hides it well.

22. He likes to go on walks.

23. He likes to go for drives.

24. When I put the girls to bed, he always comes up to hear their prayers.

25. He likes to read to the girls.

26. He teaches Regan & Hadyn how to be good and kind.

27. He's not a romantic, but when he puts his mind to it, he nails it, like when he burned me a cd containing only songs about Maria.

28. He makes me so happy.

29. He writes the best letters. It doesn't seem to translate well to email, but when we were dating, and living in different parts of the state, he wrote some awesome letters. I still have them and read them every now and then. Ahhhh, how sweet is he?!

30. He loves chocolate (it always helps to have common interests...)

31. He puts up with the Indigo Girls and Dar Williams on long road trips.

32. He makes up silly songs for the girls.

33. He likes to do cool things in his free time, like mountain biking, backpacking, snowshoeing, camping, etc.

34. He still thinks he was cool in high school (just typing that makes me smile).

35. He loves to play in the snow, and grins like a child everytime it snows...he even likes to shovel the walk and our ridiculously long driveway.

36. He has been able to make me smile and laugh since we first met.

37. I can, and do, trust him completely.

38. He makes me want to be a better person.

Happy birthday babe!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

100 Days, a Rockin' Shirt & an Unbelievable Cake

Just a couple pics...

Today was Regan's 100th day of school. She was so excited for the party. They made 100 day trail mix (for which she contributed 100 marshmallows), made some funky glasses, etc. She was very proud to have also earned a certificate for counting to 100 on her 100th day of school.

Could there be a cooler shirt? Answer, no. Regan's cousin Alli actually went to the Hannah Montana concert in Salt Lake City and bought Regan a t-shirt there. She loves the shirt, and always makes sure it gets worn with her pants with holes and cool patches, so she keeps with the rock star theme. Thanks Alli, you rock!

Check out this awesome cake! Cathy, my sis-in-law made it for my nephew's birthday. She did it without a pattern, just a bunch of mini-loaf cakes that she baked and decorated. We had a joint birthday party for Ian and Jeff last Sunday. I think it's safe to say that Jeff was a little jealous of Ian's cake. Very impressive Cathy!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Congratulations to the Woman of the Year!

My parents live in Tremonton, Utah, and a week or so ago, my mom was honored in her women's service group as the Woman of the Year. It was such a cool honor and so deserved. I couldn't be there, but I wanted her to know how proud all of us are of her. She is one tough chick, and spends her days doing things for my dad, her kids, her friends, and her church. We love her and are proud others recognize how amazing she is. My brothers and sisters have always known it. Congratulations Mom!
This is the display table of a few of
the amazing things my mom can do.
And the winner is...
Dad and his Woman (of the Year)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ski School Graduates

Today was our last day of ski/snowboard lessons. It was such a great day! It was really foggy in Boise this morning, which kept a lot of potential skiers home, giving us a lot more room to learn and a lot shorter lines. Regan learned yet another way to turn, which again, gives her a distinct advantage over her poor old mom. She started 4 weeks ago in tears, not wanting to leave mom and dad, and practicing on green carpet at the base of the hill. Today she not only went up the coach lift (for beginners mainly) but also up the Morningside Lift, which is much tougher, and what the real skiers use. Her "report card" cleared her for all green trails and runs, which is the step above basic bunny hill. To put that into context, my "report card" said I should keep practicing my turns, and maybe try the runs which Regan ran all day...

Hadyn started the month out crying mostly, but then did an about face and started just straight-shooting the hill. She couldn't turn, slow down or stop. Her report card said that as of today she could ride the coach lift (which she did today, and was grinning ear to ear the entire ride), and make pizza wedges (we always called it snowplowing) to slow and stop. Jeff and I are thinking. Wow, they actually taught her to slow down and stop, impressive. So, after lessons, Jeff goes up the lift for some extra practice, and I take Hadyn up the magic carpet. On one side of the magic carpet they've set up pylons, a gate and a foam dinosaur (Bogusaurus) as a skills run for beginners. I've seen Hadyn on that, but just going down the hill, no turns, etc., and her report card said they hadn't worked on turns yet. We get to the top of the skills run, and she just takes off, no instruction, and weaves in and out of the pylons, through the gate, and gave Bogusaurus a high-five. Meanwhile, I am standing there in shock. Pride, yes, a little, but mostly I was thinking, "my 5-year old has already told all her friends how much better she is than I am, now I have to put up with all the nursery kids snickering behind my back too!" She couldn't wait for her dad to get down the hill so she could show him. It was amazing. Here's a small look at it. She does fall in the end of the clip, but that's because she missed her high-five with the dinosaur and was trying to turn around to get it.

Jeff and I did great and really seem to be getting the hang of it and are really enjoying snowboarding. However, we aren't as young as we like to think/tell others, and our bodies are in an open rebellion. Today was an especially tough day just with the skills we were practicing and the steep incline our instructor thought we should try. Add to that the fact that I tried, for the first time in I'd rather not say how long, a kickboxing class, and one very hard fall Jeff took, and we are a mess. We are both limping around, moaning and groaning. At bedtime, Regan asked, in a very concerned voice, if Jeff and I would be okay or if we would always be sore. If only I knew the answer to that...

Here are a few shots of the newly graduated skiers and snowboarders. Proof that we all survived.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Story

I was emailed this set of questions, and thought I'd post here, since I can never get pictures to email correctly (at all).

1. How long have you been together? We started dating about 13 years ago. We've been married 10 years, 1 month and 3 weeks.

2. How old is he? 37, but not for much longer.

3. How old are you? 32 and holding.

4. Who eats more? Probably equal, depending on what's being eaten.

5. Who said “I love you” first? How sad that neither Jeff or I remember...

6. Who is taller? Jeff

7. Who sings better? Neither of us will be winning any awards anytime soon.

8. Who is smarter? Jeff.

9. Who does the laundry? Maria, when it gets done...

10. Who does the dishes? Often Maria, but Regan and Jeff help out as well.

11. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Maria

12. Who pays the bills? Maria

13. Who mows the lawn? Usually Jeff, but I do sometimes and actually enjoy it.

14. Who cooks dinner? Maria

15. Who is more stubborn? Depends on which one of us you ask.

16. Who kissed whom first? I'm sure it was me. Jeff wouldn't have been that forward.

17. Who asked whom out? Jeff asked me to go with him and another couple to Spokane for a hockey game.

18. Who proposed? Jeff did. Also in Spokane, but not the hockey game night. :) We were walking around the river, which is beautiful, and there was a small lookout called Inspiration Point. He had me close my eyes and he proposed. My smile in the pictures is so cheesy. I was so happy!

19. Who is more sensitive? Maria, which can be good and bad.

20. Who has more friends? We're about the same, but I socialize more.

21. Who has more siblings? Jeff.

Okay, so I now tag Debbie, Rebekah, Andrea, Beth, Karolyn and Carrie!

Quick Hello

Well, there's just not a lot going on in our neck of the woods beyond the basic kindergarten, ballet, callings, work, etc. I needed to update everyone on the Luke Family Skiing Adverture-ama. Of course we didn't take the camera last Saturday, so, of course, I actually started to look like I was actually snowboarding. No, there is no proof, but it happened. I rode the lift, fell getting off the lift (as if there was any other way), but then it went well. I made it down the hill, and was very proud of myself. I immediately started looking around for Regan, wanting to show her I was as good as her. I saw Troy, her instructor, and he says, "Regan just came down the back cut!" Translation: "Don't get too proud of yourself, your 5-year old daughter just came down the side cut of the mountain that is considerably steeper and more difficult ." So, I am proud of myself, but have given up trying to reach the levels of skill the three other Luke's seem to attain without even trying. It is fun, and I am excited for the lessons to finish on Saturday so we can get our season passes and just have some fun family time.

Regan not only picked up some mad skiing skills, she also absorbed some career guidance. Yesterday as we happened to be driving past HP, Regan said that since one of Jeff's co-workers was moving to China, she'd like to work at HP doing his job, so she could work with her Dad as an engineer. She thinks she'd like to do that until she grows up, at which time she'll get a real job, as a ski instructor. Cool.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

She's a Little Bit Rock n' Roll

Seriously, what is there not to love about this video? My little rockstar. When she was younger, and sometimes even now, she'd get dressed and come ask me if she looked like a rockstar, and now look at her! There is a lot to take in/question. 1) Does Jeff play the maracas professionally? Because he looks GOOD. 2) Is Regan wearing a kilt? (Answer, no, that is actuallly a camp blanket wrapped around her waist, I don't know why). And, 3) where did she learn to screw up her face when she was really getting into some guitar riff? Sometimes I'm amazed at what is passed on through genetics... and no, I'm not talking about from me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Random Events

Get ready, because this is been such an eventful week. So many great family moments (great family & great moments).

First, our good friends gave us some tickets to Playhouse Disney Live Friday night. Since we had taken Regan to the Nutcracker in December, it was Hadyn's date night with Dad. Of course, there was no photography during the show, but here's Hadyn before it started. I just thought (being totally unbiased) it was such a cute picture. Hadyn loved the show, and loved getting to have her dad to herself for an evening. Thanks Karla & Garrett!

Okay, as you may remember, we are all in ski/snowboard lessons up at Bogus Basin each Saturday. Regan and Hadyn have really taken to being on skis. Hadyn seems to be figuring out the snowplow technique, and Regan can make it down the bunnyhill without help or someone even with her. Jeff is also a natural on the snowboard. That just leaves me. I now know why it took me so long to strap things to my feet and go up a mountain. Let's just say I have a lot of room for improvement. A fact that became painfully clear when, as I sat, halfway down the bunnyhill, on my very bruised backside, struggling to get back up, Regan zips past me asking something about why I was sitting down. That was humbling. What was more humbling was when I was not much further down the hill, on my same trip down the hill, in the very same seated position, Regan passed me AGAIN. I got lapped on the bunnyhil by my 5-year old daughter. She teased me, smiled from ear-to-ear, and told her instructor that she was faster than her mom. What a day.
So, it's hard to tell, but that is a ski instructor in the blue and white jacket, and Regan is sitting next to him. Jeff is taking the picture, from, yes, the bunnyhill. We adults were still trying to get our snow legs on the smallest hill at the resort, while our kindergartner was taking the real lift up a real mountain. And, yes, she did pass me again on her way down that one. :)

Here's our little ski bunnies as we are about to head home.

Okay. Last event, I promise. Hadyn's birthday was Wednesday, but we had all the Luke's over for cake and ice cream tonight. We saved the big, more elaborate cake for tonight. Hadyn wanted a treasure chest cake. This is as good as I could do. It was supposed to have a partially open lid, but my skills weren't up to that project, and after a few attempts, Hadyn allowed it to be a closed chest. Really she just thought the chocolate coins were cool. Happy Birthday (again) Hadyn!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Hadyn!

Hadyn turned three years old yesterday. It is hard to believe it has been that long. She was so happy to finally get to say she was three. Everyone we saw she'd blurt out, "I'm three". Actually, it sounded like "I'm free". Anyway, it's a good excuse to devote some blog-space to one of my two favorite girls on the planet.

Hadyn has been happy since birth, always smiling and laughing. She is my risk-taker, and, because of that, seems to always have an 'ow-ee' that needs kissed better. She is very independant, she loves to pick out her own clothes, get dressed herself, open her own car door, climb in herself and, if she were able, buckle herself in. She loves to play "mom" with dolls, and her bed is covered with stuffed animals that she sleeps with. She likes to draw, especially with her big sister. She'll eat most anything. She could pick anything to eat for her birthday dinner, and Regan kept saying, "Hadyn, do you want to go to McDonalds?" So, what does she pick, chicken with green beans and white rice. She has a great sense of humor, loves to tickle people and be tickled. She loves to sing, her favorite songs being Book of Mormon Stories and the ABC's. She also seems to worry about us running out of food, because every prayer she says, she specifically asks that we have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every prayer.

She is a sweetheart, we love her, and we don't know what we would do without her. Here she is through the years!

Birth Day!

1 Year Old!

2 Years Old

Make a Wish! You're Three!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ski Day!

Well, it actually happened. After avoiding skis for 32 years of my life, I bit the bullet and embraced Idaho's snowy glory. Actually, I was snowboarding, so technically, I am still avoiding skis. Jeff and I were in snowboard lessons in the morning, while Regan and Hadyn had ski lessons. We were able to pick them up for lunch, then Regan had another couple of hours with the instructor while Jeff and I worked with Hadyn on our own. The girls were in separate groups, because of their age. We saw some crying from them both, but overall they did great. It was shocking how fast Regan picked it up. Bogus Basin has a "magic carpet" that is like a moving sidewalk in an airport, but on snow. After some initial training down on some very small hills, they moved Regan's class up to the Magic Carpet. She did great, and was able to slow and stop most of the time. There were some falls, but nothing too bad. Hadyn was the youngest in her class, and was a little scared. But once she worked with Jeff and I after lunch, she was fearless, to a fault. Her center of gravity is so low, that there was no tendancy to fall. It was so funny. You'd point her downhill, and she'd just go, getting faster and faster, with Jeff or I running alongside. She would just laugh. As long as she didn't have to slow down or stop, she did great.

We didn't get any pictures or video of Regan, since she was on the magic carpet the whole day, and seemed to do better when we weren't there. We'll do better next Saturday. Here is a picture of Hadyn and I. It will come in handy if I ever decide to run for office. Don't I look hopeful, charismatic, and politician-like? Doesn't Hadyn look, well, warm? Look how tiny those skis are!