you suck #1!

get out of my house!


Darin has strep, has antibiotics… finally able to eat something with the help of his meds.

Luke and Natalie have the flu with irritated ears, on antibiotics… Luke is finally playing a bit and Natalie is able to sleep a bit.

Nada still coughing, sneezing, and blowing her nose… finally able to wash the dishes! yay, the sink is empty (for the moment!)


a little late…

 nat4months This little girl loves her family.

Her eyes light up and a smile widens across her mouth

when she sees Daddy, Mommy, or Luke.

Most smiling faces will get a smile in return after she sizes you up!

She loves being held… up that is, so she can see everything.

She’s tried rice cereal, but not a fan yet.

She likes to eat on schedule, and sleep when Luke is not too loud!

She laughs, but you have to work hard to get a good one.

She likes tummy time in the bath, the BIG bathtub!

She loves a diaper change, but hates getting shirts on and off over her head.

She goes to the doctor on Friday, so I’ll have her official stats then!

(now she’s 4 1/2 months, but close, right?!)


After roughly 72+ hours of travelling, sleeping in 5 different beds and in the van, breathing the air of 10 different states and another country, inhaling thousands of unhealthy calories from fast food restaurants and snack/junk food in the car, and drinking gallons of carbonated drinks… we are home. and detoxing. our lifesavers on the trip (Luke’s pacifier, Superwhy DVD, and treats, way too many treats) are now banned as we try to resume normal eating, exercising, and sleeping! But we had a BLAST!!!

For those of you who haven’t heard the stories, our trip was quite eventful (good and not so good)…

on the way out:

    • blown fuse to power/radio (in the driveway),
    • yummy dinner and visit with Evans
    • Christina’s car in a snowbank with popped tire (in Nebraska),
    • towed to Grand Island (thanks Wes’ AAA), new tire rod & 4 snow tires,
    • screaming toddler from 3-4 am & 5-6:30 am in hotel (in Nebraska),
    • Luke’s barefeet dipped in snow, thus developing fear of it
    • Christina pulled over for speeding (in Nebraska) (warning only thankfully),
    • sledding with Peo’s
    • lost keys to van (in Utah)
    • spent extra day with Peo’s
    • van towed to SLC (thanks Wes’ AAA), rekeyed by dealer
    • pulled over for headlight out (in Montana) (just noticed in the town before, warning only)
    • detained at the border for 5 days (okay not really)

in Canada:

    • New Year’s Eve with Grandpa & Grandma Payne, and Payne family

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    • play with Sam, Lauren, Abi, Matt, Drew and new puppy Rusty (Luke in heaven)



    • weiner roast in Waterton, Luke overcomes fear of snow!

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    • Christmas presents from Grandpa and Grandma Payne! thank you thank you!


    • transfer 800+ slides to computer, reminisce a bit

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    • visit with old friends, a little boys foosball tourney, game night at Pam’s
    • Darin: sick, not moving from couch all day, throwing up, Nada: disgusting cold
    • Darin: 1 cavity filled, Nada: 1 cavity filled, (thanks, Dustin!)


    • adult night out (plus Natabear, asleep mostly), dinner at Moxie’s, Avatar 3D!

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    • play some more with cousins, sad to leave


    • Luke rides in Grandpa’s truck, loves it!
    • Natalie starts “talking” and smiling more!

on the way home:


    • Luke pukes in carseat, car smells of puke and Lysol
    • spend extra day with Peo’s, cleaning seat, relaxing before the long haul
    • bought new headlight bulb
    • arrive in KC at 3am, Luke goes to sleep at 5, wakes up at 8 = tired Mom
    • multiple breaks keep Luke sane, arrive home 8pm

lessons learned:

    • Nebraska sucks, it was the coldest state, and cursed… sorry Nebraskans, didn’t like it.
    • we’re all gonna get sick while travelling, its a part of life
    • stories on CD rock
    • we love family, really love family, and would do it all over again just to be with them!

toddler antics

This girl is seriously stepped up her A-game. She will not sit idly by watching her brother, she wants in. Most days are spent trying to give them both enough attention. They never seem to get enough! She is really fascinated by babies, and loves to hold her cousin Ivy. Every time we see her, she is reaching for her and wants Ivy in her lap. after a minute or two, she is done and promptly pushes her away (only to return again moments later).
Nat is getting better at communicating although we don’t seem to understand her arches her back and throws herself to the floor in protest. She nods her head “yes” and seems to move her whole upper body in doing so. She shakes her head no while scrunching up her face. She says, mama, dada, nama (grandma), papa (grandpa), nana (banana), bobbob (spongebob), nana (natalie), duda (luke), dis (this), dat (that)… not very many words yet, but still communicates with signs too.

I found her in the bathroom earlier ripping toilet paper into bits. When she realized she was caught, she picked up on piece and wiped her nose, as if that was her intent!

and a Happy New Year!

Let’s start the new year off right. We love you all! We have fabulous pictures from Christmas, but Darin just reminded me that we can’t post them until I get home. Sorry. But we made it to Canada. After a very eventful drive across the country, we rolled in at 9:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. What a great way to start the new year… out of the car! You won’t believe it, but it was warmer here yesterday than back home in Antioch, Tennessee! Today we have beautiful snow is just falling all around us (no wind!) and we are enjoying Grandpa and Grandma Payne! We sure LOVE family. Hope all are happy for a new year and new beginnings.