Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Hanks-giving!

Here are some of the latest pics of Hank.

This was taken just before church. We tried out his new winter coat for the first time, and being overcome by the magnitude of it, Hank fell to the floor, unable to move. "Randy lay there like a slug-it was his only defense." I think this photo demonstrates that there is definatly some of the McLaughlin dramatic side to him!

This was after a particularly trying nap. I should have been hugging him, but the hair was just too funny not to document.

Hank in his latest church clothes, a gift from his Uncle Derek and Aunt Emily.

And this one is for the ladies!

Hank sporting his new festive holiday pj's.
Hank and his Nana

Hank had both sets of Grandparents there for his first Thanksgiving. Lucky boy!

Hank helping dad. In case you're wondering, in this house, we never fix the plumbing while wearing pants.

A happy football day for us...Both BYU and WSU Cougars won!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to my friend Seth for his awesome Thanksgiving post. Here is my list of things I am most grateful for:

The Gospel: Of course, that comes first because everything else I have comes from having the gospel. For my testimony, my temple covenants, and the tender mercies of my Heavenly Father I am grateful.

Shane: Truly a blessing second only to the Gospel. He is truly my best friend and there is no one I would rather share my life with. He loves me, he makes me laugh, he keeps me in check (in a good way), and he is an incredible father. I adore him.

Henry: We waited a long time for Hank to join our family, and when he finally arrived he turned my life upside down. There were times in the beginning where I truly did not believe that I was cut out for motherhood, but he stuck with me (maybe that's why they don't learn to walk right away) and now we are a happy pair. He has made me so much better, so much more patient, selfless, and structured. My days are full of Hank and for that I am grateful.

My Family: For the family I was born into, and the family I married into. For their love and support, and for those life lessons that can only be taught by those you call family.

My Calling: I can't tell you what I meant to move into a ward that I feel like I already belong to. It was a fulfillment of Heavenly Father's promise to me that I would find my life in Kennewick. I love the sisters I serve with, and those I try my best to serve.

My Friends: It is truly a blessing to have so many of my closest friends be members of my family, and a blessing to have friends that feel like members of my family. So to sisters, cousins, neighbors, running buddies, A-Listers, VBBFF's, WB's/former roommates, and of course, Traci, I am grateful.

Home: This has taken new meaning this year for this Army brat. Home, which was always more of an idea than a place, became a tangible address. I am so proud of our home, and grateful to have it.

The Impossible: I am grateful to achieve the impossible and prove myself wrong this year by becoming a runner.

Now my list of one word answers:

Chocolate (I'm with you Seth)
Dance floors
Great Books
The Beatles
New recipes
nap time
bath time
The Neighborhood

Monday, November 19, 2007

In Memoriam

Today marked the passing of Cujo "The Killer Dog" McLaughlin. Cujo was 15 years old, (that's 105 years old in Human Years...enough to be honored by Mr. Williard Scott) and is survived by his loving families, the McLaughlins, Joneses and Johnsons. He loved jumping, meat-treats, and any human being he came into contact with. He hated vacuums, Halloween costumes, and going to the vet. He was the survivor of a vicious dog attack, being run-over by the family home teacher, and being nearly poisoned to death by chocolate. He was a good sport, congenial, and always willing to share a good laugh, cry or nap.
As Cujo got older, he could no longer jump as high or often, but he never lost his wicked sense of humor. This morning, after a long and happy life, Cujo's mighty heart gave out on him, and he died in the arms of his very first love, Bethany Jones.

Although his family will mourn him, they take comfort in knowing that once again, he is able to run and jump, and that no bird or carpet is safe from "Cuj" in heaven, (where no doubt, he believes he is in charge. )

Thank you, Cujo. You were as loyal and loving a friend as could be imagined. You made us laugh, you loved unconditionally, and you were always a sweet gentleman. You were always there to welcome us home, and I hope that holds true at least once more. We will miss you Cuj.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

When heartbreak comes.

I got my heartbroken for the second time in my life this week. Maybe I shouldn’t say heartbreak because it has nothing to do with Shane and me, but the way I have been feeling can only be compared to that most devastating and human experience.

My heart is breaking for my friends.

Details aren’t important, and maybe the only reason I am doing this is to reach out in someway to those who I can’t speak to yet. But if you are there, know that I love you and am praying for you.

When heartbreak comes, you realize there are no good guys and bad guys, just people who make terrible mistakes. When heartbreak comes you realize what a blessing normalcy can be. When heartbreak comes, you listen to Alanis Morisette, and thank God for rain and M&M’s.

And now, Mr. Langston Hughes.

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
There's nothing more to say.
The poem ends
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Happens in Vegas...

I just got back last night from a fabulous girl's weekend in Las Vegas! Though I can't share all the gritty details (it may be too shocking for some readers!), I can say that we had an absolute blast! Any day I get to spend with my girls is a good day. 4 are living in Mesa, AZ, 1 is in Henderson, NV and of course, me!

On my flight there, I was flipping though a magazine and found an ad for a dance club called "Polyesters". It was 4 rooms, each playing a different decade of music 70's-Today. Since we love dancing more than fat kids love cake, we set off to the Stratosphere. It was a total blast! It wasn't too crowded, it was playing some of my favorite tunes, and people were so fun and respectful. It was like a Stake dance on the strip! We actually got complemented on how fun we were having without alcohol. We had so much fun we went back for a second round on Saturday night...

We buffeted, shopped, got pedicures, gabbed, rode the roller coaster, cried, and got absolutely no sleep. It was off the hook!

Some photographic evidence:

Here we are chowing at The Original Pancake House

Our beautiful toes...and one set of hands

Some pretty high stakes card playing...Notice the lovely poker faces

The girls (clockwise from the top Erin, Lyndi, Kelly, Me, Bethany, and Melisa)

Thanks so much to everyone who came. It meant so much to get to spend time with people that I love so much. You complete me! Also, a huge thank you to all the husbands that sent us away, and wisely, asked very few questions!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What Heaven Sees in You

Last night, I was so priviledged to be able to speak at our ward's young women Evening of Excellence. My remarks were based around the song "Will you have eyes to see what Heaven sees in you?" from the "Women of Destiny" CD. I think it went really well. The room was decorated so beautifully, and the spirit was so strong the entire evening.

For those of you who are interested, this is the video I put together using pictures of our girls and the leaders. It was a big project, but so worth all the effort.

Like I told my mother-in-law, it's so wonderful to know that Heavenly Father cares so much about these girls, that he made it so clear to me what I was supposed to say.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"Putting on the Ritz!"

Yesterday was Halloween, and since Hank's costume had been chosen since about March, I was pretty excited. We decided to make him "Hankenstein" partly as an homage to the funniest movie ever made, Mel Brooks "Young Frankenstein".

Before: My sweet, innocent, unsuspecting baby boy.

After: Behold...the terrifying...the inhuman....the MONSTER!

Let's just say, it was an interesting project. He didnt love having his hair sprayed black (though I will say it finally made him look a little like me), and we had to distract him with Teddy Grahams in order for him to sit through makeup. But the finished product was quite fabulous in my opinion. All this kid needed was an angry mob and we would have been set!

Here we are at Hank's first try at Trick or Treating, at our friends the Killians:

And after a long evening of terrifying the neighborhood and ward Trunk or Treat, our monster needed a bath!