Saturday, February 23, 2013

Snow Baby.

As a general rule, I have always hated snow. It's cold, wet, finds a way into your boots and pants, makes driving scary and needs to be shoveled. Some people love it because snow means skiing, snowboarding and all other snow sports, but those things make me feel like I am going to die.

Today, I saw snow in a different light. I saw it in the eyes of my very own snow baby. For the first time I got excited to build snowmen, make snow angels, serve hot soup and warm up my kiddos with hot chocolate. Having kids changes a lot of things, and this is one change I am really looking forward to.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Date Night.

Since Vince joined the family, our dates have mostly consisted of going out to dinner because we can easily take him with us. While I love trying new foods and enjoying old favorites, it was time to get back to legitimate hubby and wife dates. My mom readily volunteered to watch our little nugget on Saturday so we could escape out into the cool, brisk night.

A few months ago I would have spent the entire evening fretting about Vincent:
Do you think he's okay?
I hope he's not in too much pain from teething.
I wonder if he woke up after we left?!

I must be a new woman because none of those worries plagued me. It was liberating to go out Country Swing Dancing with my hot husband! We were absolutely dreadful, but we still managed to learn new line dances and swing moves. Paul successfully dipped, tossed and held me while I kicked my legs up in the air. We'll definitely practice before we go back so we don't look like the goofiest couple on the block.

Moral of the Story: It totally pays off to get a baby-sitter, come up with creative dates and have fun as a couple.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Paul gets home today. After more than three longs weeks of separation I feel as giddy as a school girl. I normally don't get all dolled up, but today I'm going all out. It feels like I'm getting ready for prom. Hair, make-up, nice clothes and my favorite boots. He's not gonna know what hit him!

I would never choose for my husband to have a job that requires traveling, but I will admit that it has thrown fun elements back into our marriage: love notes, surprises, late night phone calls, butterflies and an increased appreciation for all of the little things. 

Tonight I get my husband back... and I am so excited!

Always look before you go.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lover's Day.

Being across the country doesn't stop my sweet husband from doting on me for Valentine's day. When I returned home from Ohio I was delighted to receive an early V-day surprise from Paul. We got this print when I was pregnant with Vince. I instantly fell in love with it-- but it was a funny size and we struggled to find a frame. Paul built a custom matte for it and framed it for me. I love it.

And the best part is that I get my hubby back tomorrow!! I don't think I'll ever get used to business trips. So until tomorrow, my mom and baby boy will be my substitute Valentines.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Hands down, the best part of going home is being with family. You could lock me inside for a week and as long as I had family coming and going the whole time I would be just fine [ and I know I could count on Rachael being there every day!].

I didn't get to see everyone in the family as much as I would have hoped because there was lots of sickness going around. I was thrilled that despite the crazy weather and illness I was still able to see my Grandma Kriechbaum. You guys... I finally, FINALLY got my very own 4 generation picture!!

The Grandchild count is up to 18 with one on the way [Ruth]. In Ohio we had 15 of the grand-kids there. Vince is still a little too young to be able to play with all of his cousins, but he sure loves to watch them. I am giddy for the time when all of these youngsters are old enough to play and run around with each other.

Do you see all of these cuties? Perhaps I'm a little biased, but I'm pretty certain that Griffioens make the cutest kids ever!

Other than hanging out with the family a bunch I was privy to my favorite Ohio restaurants. You can just ask Paul, I talk about Max & Erma's every time I plan a trip home. That tortilla soup is to die for. Just thinking about that ooey gooey, spicy, cheesey soup is making me drool. I also went to J. Alexanders-- my favorite steakhouse. Without a doubt I go for the Filet Mignon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Okay, and their "side salad" was big enough to be an entree! Mmm.

And there you have it. To me, going home isn't about excitement and partying [except when I go to Cedar Point]. It's about being with my absolute favorite people in the whole world-- my family. Like I said when I started, you could lock me in a house the whole trip and it would be awesome as long as I had my family.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blast from the past.

One of my goals while in Ohio was to clean out my room. I imagined it would primarily consist of throwing out old clothes and light dusting. In the end, it took me hours to sort through letters, pictures, books, cds and numerous odds and ends from all stages of my life.

Reliving memories used to make me sad because I missed them terribly. This emotionality was at its peak before heading off to college. Oh how time changes things! As I was sorting I found that many items which used to tug at my heart strings no longer felt quite so important. Being able to let go of items from my past helped me realize it's because I have such a great life now. While I'll always cherish my memories and experiences, I don't yearn to go back to the "glory days" because the best days are still to come.
[Baby footprints, 6th grade Egyptian death mask, HS graduation tassel]

Thursday, February 7, 2013

9 months.

Do you see that side-winder up there? Yeah, I love him. Over the past month he went from rolling everywhere to side-winding everywhere. He's not far off from legitimately crawling; he gets up on his knees more and is figuring out that he can actually get places.

I spy a tooth too! He finally has an excuse for his sub par behavior. Historically, he's been the sweetest, chillest, most content baby. His fingers started going to his mouth more and he constantly whines if he doesn't have something to distract him. At our 9 month peds visit the doc said Vince's gums look like it will be a month or two til he gets teeth. The next day I wake up and can see white popping up through his gums. Hallelujah! It's much easier to be patient when I know there's a reason to his madness.

Amongst his whining and screaming Vince shouted "mama" for the first time. One second I was frustrated by his crying and the next second my heart melted and I was wrapped around his chubby finger. He has yet to say it again but it was amazing to finally hear mama instead of dada!

Height: 27.5 inches (18th percentile)
Weight: 17 pounds 7.5 ounces (14th percentile)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Flights.

I've had my fair share of traveling dilemmas but my flight to Ohio topped them all. This is long, but bear with me. I was scheduled to depart on a Thursday. It had warmed up so instead of snow we were getting rain. Sounds like I should be off the hook right? Wrong! It wasn't warm enough to keep the rain from freezing once it hit the ground. Can you say black ice? Not just random patches of it, but sheets of it all over the roads. [The walks on BYU's campus were icy too... hilarious video!]

As we're driving to the airport I get a text: Your flight has been delayed 1 hour. I was actually kind of grateful. I knew that I had enough time to get myself and Vince to the gate in time. Then, right as we pull up to the airport I get a second text: Your flight has been cancelled, please reschedule online.

WHAT?! I was unloading my luggage from the car and my flight was non-existent. We hurried in to see if I could secure a flight later that same day. What seemed like forever-and-a-day later, we made it through the Southwest line to speak with a rep. Not only were the flights booked for the rest of the day, they were booked for the next day too. All of the sudden two days got knocked off of my trip!

[Insert lots of phone calls getting flight info figured out because the rep forgot to change my return date]

Friday night I get into bed. I'm packed and ready to go bright and early the next morning. Until the nausea kicked in. Where was this coming from?  I slept sitting up and continually woke up trying to swallow back the vomit. Around 4 am I lost the battle, but at least I made it to the toilet.

I crawled back into bed at 4:45 and slept for 45 minutes until my alarm went off. I get up and sluggishly gather last minute belongings for travel. I still felt nauseous and wasn't sure whether or not I could even make it to the airport. I called home, asking for prayers, and then hit the road to airport for the second time.

Vince kept crying. I understand that he was upset to be rudely taken from his sweet baby dreams, but this was not a good morning for crying. My head was spinning. I couldn't focus on the road signs that were visible for seconds at a time because of a fog that was so dense you could feel it. Ultimately, this led to us missing our exit and shaving of those precious minutes I needed to get to the departure gate.

Finally, we arrived. The nausea would come and go in waves and it nearly reduced me to tears on several occasions. I view myself as a capable woman and don't go searching for pity. But I'm not going to lie, I wanted pity that morning! I wanted someone to grab my bags and rescue me so I could focus on pushing Vince's stroller without puking my guts out again. This much desired angel never came. I dredged forward, boarded my plane and was seated next to a very, very large man. I had prayed for an empty seat so I could put Vince down and spread out. No such luck.

As it turns out, my airplane neighbor was heaven sent. I was trying to drink some ginger ale to calm my stomach... until Vince knocked the pop out my hand, down my pants and onto the diaper bag. I was fighting back the tears. I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep off the exhaustion and sickness. Then he turned to me and offered to hold Vincent so I could clean up. Next, I had to nurse Vince and he patiently and silently endured Vince kicking him the entire time.

I awkwardly hobbled to make my connecting flight. To my delight, the flight was practically empty. An ENTIRE row to myself and my baby. Oh how I needed it. I cuddled Vince and thought to myself, I can do this. I can make it without barfing on a plane. I felt like the trials were over and I was going to make it.

Nope. It wasn't over yet. I go to the baggage claim but my luggage didn't make it on the connecting flight. My Mom went and searched other kiosks to see if mine came in on a different plane while I stood in line amongst the other disgruntled passengers. I probably didn't wait that long, but it felt like an eternity. We got everything sorted out and my luggage was delivered at 2 am. It was a nightmare of a day but I was grateful that I didn't puke again and that Vince and I made it safely to my childhood home.

I was dreading the return flight. When I texted Paul to tell him that the morning was fantastic he didn't know whether I was being facetious or sincere. Boy was I sincere. Boo Bear was a champion; exhausted but content, red-eyed but darling. He napped each time I cuddled him into me, ate whenever I offered him food, hardly cried and made all of the surrounding passengers fall instantly in love with his blue eyes and toothless, goofy grin.

Not only did the flights go off without a hitch, but Southwest has no only one free bag... but TWO. Oh good heavens. I am giddy just thinking about having so much space to transfer some of my belongings from Ohio to Utah. My first checked bag was full of clothes, shoes, etc. Half of those clothes were reclaimed from my closet, my sister and hand-me-downs. The duffel bag was all of those odds and ends that are generally too bulky to take home: yoga mat, aerobic ball, towels, sleeping bag, kid books, stuffed animals, free toiletries. I can't believe how much bulky stuff I shoved in that big red bag. Ready?

 As far as traveling goes we've come full circle. I'm back in Provo-- but with no husband this time. In about 2 weeks he'll come back from his business trip. Til then my Mom is in town!

The happenings of the rest of my trip will be forthcoming over the next few days.