a big day!

The seventh of April has always been an important day in our life as a couple. It was that night, thirteen years ago, when we unexpectedly held hands on my trampoline. I remember Rachel was there as well and I nudged her in the dark as if to tell her FINALLY! It’s happening! Fortunately it wasn’t a one-time only thing (as so many of those hand-holding experiences are at that age) and neither of us looked back. Four days after we held hands, we kissed. And eight days after we held hands, he told me he was falling in love with me. It might have seemed too fast to everyone else but for us the timing was perfect. We’d been friends for years and years — since junior high — so it wasn’t as if we were just getting to know each other. And aren’t relationships spawned from friendships some of the best?

Two years passed until April 7, 2001 – the day that he proposed to me. My parents said they cheered when he called them to ask for their blessing because they were so happy that he was going to be an “official” member of our family. That night we had a rotisserie chicken from Raley’s, a bag of Lay’s potato chips and a six pack of RC Cola as our dinner in the mountains. Every year on April 7 (until recently) we’d recreate our anniversary dinner to celebrate the proposal.

Then, in 2010, April 7 was the day I went into labor with Aven. I remember that night like it was yesterday! We reminisced the other night about Aven’s labor and birth and how April 7 became such an important day in our lives for so many different reasons. It’s crazy to look back on that first April 7 in 1999, to April 7, 2012 and to see how much has changed in those 13 years. It all started with innocent hand-holding and has since turned into a home, two kids and a Life together. It’s amazing, really. Who’d have thought that that would lead to this?

April 7 used to be celebrated just as joyfully as our wedding anniversary in years past. But since Kids Happened, our focus has shifted a little, and even moreso now that Aven’s birthday is the day after. We still celebrate in the background, as it were, but our girls have definitely become the main event.

Since our weekend evenings were filling up with Aven’s birthday party and other Easter-related things, and since Kyle had to work during the day, we colored eggs on Friday night with the girls. It was about 30 minutes of chaos, but super fun anyway. I managed to get a few photos in between the dye-splattering, egg licking and general GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE CUP!-ing. (All Aven, of course).

Kyle had to work this weekend, so that was a bit of a bummer. We celebrated Aven’s birthday on Saturday evening with pizza and painting and lots of general overstimulation. We had a good time!

I made her a mini-cake and I made “ice cream cone” cupcakes for everyone else. As usual, I over-filled the cones with batter and they overflowed. But no worries, I was all they just look like they’re melting! so I left them like that. And topped them with cherry frosting and melted chocolate and sprinkles. They looked cute. Sorta. (not really?) but they were….. weird. The texture of the cone was strange and they were just. Yuck. I threw the leftovers away and that “recipe” is officially deleted off my Cute Things For Parties list.

I colored the cake batter with gel colors and alternated pink and green. That part was cute!

birthday girl with her daddy!

Instead of handing out gift bags to all the kids, I decided to get tiny naked birdhouses for all the kids to paint. It was fun!

And those little flower pots with the peep bouquet? Those were handed out at the end via a “lottery” where each kid had a number under their seat. The tops are filled with pastel M&Ms, which pappy and uncle Mitch ate throughout the party. haha

I love how her little hands are clasped.


Rapunzel dress from uncle Andy and aunt Kendra! Jovi was soooooo jealous and kept trying to trade her old busted Cinderella dress for this one. haha

Aven's Easter basket

Jovi's Easter basket

I went to Michael's last week and bought a ton of gardening things and outdoor stuff for them. We're doing to build them their own little garden this summer. And for some reason, they both love umbrellas.

This was taken at 5:30 in the morning. FIVE THIRTY

awesome umbrellas and jellybeans for breakfast.

Egg hunt. Jovi was the only one looking; I think Aven realized it was FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING

After early morning shenanigans were done, we made it to church (by the skin of our teeth) and then headed up to my parents’ house afterward. While they were staking out a spot for us in the canyon for a picnic, I took some photos of the girls in their front yard.

Candids are so much easier with kids. They were running around chasing a butterfly. I just stood back and shot.

And then I lucked out and captured this:

Can you see it?

I managed to get them to sit for five seconds so I could get some pose-y shots, but it didn’t last long.

and then Aven made this face and posing was all over.

After that completely exhausting ten minutes of whirlwind photo-taking, we changed our clothes and headed up to the canyon with my parents for a little picnic. I was missing Kyle, but we still had fun with some egg hunts, cold fried chicken (YUM) and general Easter-ness.

when did she turn into a KID??

sunkissed cheeks

my girls ❤

My baby is two!!! Here’s a little progression…

Aven, still in my belly! I think this was only a few days before she was born.

Aven Brooke, just a couple weeks old.

One month

First birthday (I know, shocking, right?)

Aven Brooke today!

My sweet little hurricane ferret.






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10 Responses to a big day!

  1. jenny says:

    Aww such a happy wonderful day and an amazing story! You really are an inspiration :). Your girls have grown so much and yeah, Jovi is a kid!! Holy crap! Love you and Kyle and the girls and just hope for more amazing things to come!

    PS, can’t wait for you to take some pics of baby when we come to winnemucca 😉 haha you are SO talented!

  2. I will totally take some pics of your little bundle!! Can’t wait for that 🙂 And thank you! I had a dream about you last night about shopping for shoes at target. Idk.

  3. Dave Bradshaw says:

    Beautiful pictures of your beautiful family!
    I miss you guys!

  4. Kendra says:

    This post is just full of too much CUTENESS!!!!! (that includes you…) 🙂 And I love how your cheeks still get a little flushed just talking about the first time hands were held, those jittery/excitable ‘feelings’ you had, etc. Giddy-little-school-girl. 😉 Hey, I’m the same way…it’s always fun to ‘relive’! love you!

  5. Kristy says:

    Your kids are adorable. Did the cupcakes turn out? I heard the cones get mushy when you make them like that.

  6. christa says:

    Jen, you look SO BEAUTIFUL in these pictures! I love the wild hair-d-ness of your kiddos! They look so free and full of life! This is a beautiful post.. I just love your story — hadn’t hear it before… what a special day the 7th is… sweet that you guys celebrate it! I love having you back in my life — even if is just by facebook and blog!

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