Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, right? And what do I have to be thankful for? Well, let me see here....

*my family

*my friends

*a roof over my head

*my angel son

*my amazing and supportive husband

*to be healthy

*for a healthy family

*the ability to grow, learn, and change

*my cutie pie dog Jewel

*my eyesight & hearing (lately I've been super grateful for this, and cannot imagine a world without it)

*for Paul's new job that he loves

*clothing on my back


*modern technology

*modern medicine

*living in a free country

*for 2 reliable cars


*time to spend with my family

*new experiences in new places (to live and visit)

*movies (and TV shows, thank you Doctor Who, you are amazing and such a nice break from reality!)

*a good night's sleep

*that Ryder is such a good, sound sleeper

*for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and my situation and my life

*and of course the Gospel goes hand in hand with this

There is so much more and I could go into miniscule details of this and more; like the feeling of the warm sun in my face after a long and dreary winter, the beautiful way a day starts and ends, the chance to travel, for my favorite song to play when I have a bad day, the way Ryder wants me to hold him at the end of the day when he's getting ready for bed, for a husband who looks at me and truly sees me exactly as I am and still chooses to love me and show that he does, and so much more.

I wish a happy thanksgiving to you all! May you spend it with loved ones and have a full day of love, laughter, and fun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's just about that time. As many of you already know, Ryder and I are making the move to Joplin, Missouri very soon. Paul's been there since the first of this month.... Life has been in upheaval for awhile now. We've felt the change coming since early this year, and it has been very slllloooowwwwwly happening. This change of job, home, location, etcetera, etcetera is good. Paul's new job is going very well and he's enjoying it and there's stability and room for movement, and that's all a huge blessing for us. We feel really grateful that everything has fallen into place for all this to happen. We don't know what's in store for the future, but we're so happy to finally be in the same city permanently in 2 1/2 weeks. Paul's weekend trips have been short to say the least, but worth it. We're so excited for this new chapter to begin and watch it unfold as it may.

I have to say that I have loved to travel my whole life. I spent my time growing up dreaming about it, fantasizing about it, and so excited when I did it. Now that I'm older, it's on a whole different level, since I have Paul and Ryder. And I want so much for Ryder to see the world, and learn about other places and people firsthand. It's been really good for us to live outside Utah and experience new things. Hard, but good. And our end goal is to live there again. But the more I travel, the more I realize that the world just keeps getting bigger.
This year has been so uncertain and had lots of ups and downs, and we're so happy to know where we're going now. I have quite a bit of anxiety in getting accustomed to a new city and new people, and I am scared that I won't fit in or it won't feel like home. Ames has been amazing, and such a great place to live and call home. But I love learning by being somewhere and just taking it all in. So, as we move, I am optimistic and hopeful that everything will eventually fall into place...
Fun fact for all the McFarlane family--Billie Jean lived in Ames, Iowa while she got her degree at Iowa State, and she also lived in Joplin, Missouri!! Crazy, huh? She literally just lived down the street from where we live now in Ames. I have been joking that London's up next for us! Well, at least for a visit sometime..... ;)

Here are some quotes that reflect my feelings on travel...

"For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." -Robert Louis Stevenson

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

"Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen." -Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just the best day ever!

So, it's no secret that Ryder is a Thomas the tank engine fanatic! When I say fanatic I mean, he goes around saying "choo choo" just for the heck of it all day. He doesn't want Thomas to ever think he's forgotten about him. He's so thoughtful like that. :) Well, the Boone Scenic Railroad is just a town over from us, in Boone, and every Sept. they have a Day Out with Thomas for two weekends. We were out of town visiting Joplin, MO, where we're moving soon the first weekend, and I knew I had to get tickets for the last weekend. So on Saturday we made our way to Boone and enjoyed what was Ryder's favorite day ever, I'm sure. It was in short, his Disneyland. It's not like he didn't just go to Disneyworld for his 1st birthday or anything, no, I'm sure that's long been forgotten.

Anyway, there were different stations where there was storytelling & videos in a train car, a real life train to ride, pics to take with Thomas & Sir Topham Hatt, a play station with wooden railways and huge tables with lots of trains to play with, and a gift shop. He was in HEAVEN! We literally had to drag him away kicking and screaming at the end, but we left with a prize (a Thomas view finder) and some goodies.

We had so much fun riding the train and seeing all the fun train stuff! It rained the whole time, but it didn't matter because it was the best day ever! Also, he has a conductor's hat, train whistle, and medallion he can wear and he looks all official! He's also a Jr. Engineer now, we have the certificate to prove it. And he's going to be Thomas for Halloween, so I'll post those pics next month.

I bet you can't tell what our world revolves around now, can you?? ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Leandra & Brilee's Iowa Visit!

I am so behind on blogging... But I wanted to post pics from the visit my sister-in-law Leandra made with my niece Brilee also. My brother couldn't make it out, so they came for a week and we had a blast. It was their first time to Iowa and visiting our house. We did the Omaha zoo, Iowa State Fair, Mall of America, and fun stuff around town. Literally the entire time Ryder and Brilee were giggling and cracking each other up. They LOVED being together! It was lots of fun! And just a nice, laid back break. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our Bike Ryder :)

For my birthday, my brother-in-law Shaun and his wife Ashley gave me a gift card for Amazon, and I decided to get this child's bike seat I'd been eyeing for awhile. So, I used their gift card and got it, and here are the pics. We've been trying to go every day, but some days are so hot and humid, even well into the evening that it's just so uncomfortable. But we go whenever we can! Ryder just loves it, he points, and oohs and aahs and generally just has a good time! ;D Enjoy!

P.S. I will be taking video and adding that soon...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...

Let me just say, I LOVE Ryder's curly hair! And I've loved watching it grow and I loved it long. But I had been thinking lately that I would cut his hair soon (his first official haircut) since his hair was starting to get harder to style and getting in his face, BUT like I said, I LOVE his long curly hair! So I was waiting until I felt ready to let go...Besides, it will grow back anyway! I wanted him to be cooler for the rest of the summer too.

I woke up this morning, and immediately told Paul, "I'm going to go get Ryder's haircut today." And he kind of laughed and was like, "Okay." It just felt like time. And I do REALLY miss his curls already, and it's shorter than I thought I would have it cut for the first time, but his faux hawk is back! Here are the before and after pics of his first official haircut!

Oh, and he did awesome! We went to Great Clips and he sat on a booster seat on the chair all by himself. I wish I had taken my camera inside, because the cape was penguins and surf boards--way cute! He was really pretty still and curious during it, but didn't put up a fight. Phew! ;) The lady who cut his hair gave me a few of the pieces she cut with a card saying today was his first haircut. Plus, he got a sucker afterward and devoured it, so I think he'll enjoy future haircuts. :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Words!

So, Ryder has never been much of a talker, but always been good at babbling! Well, lately he's been mimicking us a lot and here are some examples of his favorite new words....
Bird- he says "bir"
Cookie- he says "coo-ka"
No- he says "no-oh"
Bath- he says "bah"
Dog- he says "dah" & "Jew-eh" (for Jewel)
Mom- he says "Ma"
Dad- he usually calls dad "Ma" too, but sometimes "Da" (very rarely though)
Ball- he says "Bah"
Cracker- he says "Cah"
Snack- he says "Sah"
Truck- he says "Truh" (LOVES TRUCKS!)
Car- he says "Cahr"
Ouch- he says "Ow-chh"
Bad- he says "Ba-ad"
That's all I can think of now, but he's starting to say lots of words now! Just all out of the blue, it was time to talk! He's been at it for just a week or two now. I'll keep updating his new words as I think of them. :) We're so proud of him! It's so fun to see when he decides to do things and what he likes to do.
I should also mention, he's been signing for awhile, and he still chooses to do that a lot. Here are some of the words he signs all the time...
Those are the main ones, I think. Those are the important ones for him anyway! ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July updates (so far anyway)

My parents, last minute, decided to come visit for the weekend of the 4th, and boy were we excited! Especially considering they were just here the first week in May! And so they made the long drive from Ogden, UT to Ames, IA to see us. Ryder even made a sign to say welcome, since he was coloring at the time anyway. The sucky part was that I had just found out I had pneumonia and felt like absolute crap that week before they arrived, but by the time they got here I felt good again. So, I was really nervous that I would be too sick to enjoy their visit, but was very surprised and grateful to be feeling tons better! We had a lot of fun, staying around Ames. We went to a park, Fuji steakhouse (which was way yummy!) and played games and grilled at home. It was nice and laid-back. It rained on the 4th though, so no fireworks or grilling or being outside that day at all, but it was such a nice time with them! Ryder absolutely loved their visit and seeing Grandma & Grandpa McFarlane....
We went to the Omaha zoo one weekend and had a blast, we stayed overnight at the Hilton down there and except for it also being the same weekend as the Men's College World Series (we don't follow college sports) and traffic and parking being bad, we had so much fun! Ryder lost a shoe to the lemurs down below, but he loved it!....
Paul was out of town for work a few weeks ago in Portland (I was so sad we didn't get to go, but that's when we all started getting sick anyway, so it was better we didn't) and Ryder's hair is getting really long, so I decided to comb it straight back and see what it looked like. He got a kick out of it! I think he felt like a different person, he was laughing maniacally and being so goofy! It was so sad Dad missed it! :( But he ended up looking like Bond, James Bond, with his slicked back 'do... There are some pics included here. I just wish I had him in a suit instead of his doggy pj's, but it's so cute anyway....
Ryder had his 18 mos. check-up yesterday and did so awesome! He's always very curious when the Dr. pokes and prods and checks everything out, but he's very good and still which the Dr. was pleasantly surprised about. He had 3 shots, yikes! But didn't start crying until the 2nd one, and only cried for about 30 seconds. He just needs a moment when he's hurting, then he's over it! So not like his mom that way! I'm so proud of him, everything went well and he's healthy and all. He's 33" tall, weighs 27 lbs. 14 oz., and his head is 47 1/2 cm around. He's in the 71% for height, 76% for weight, and 42% for head. What a big boy!....
After waiting forever and deciding on the perfect haircut for me, I finally made it back to the salon for a cut and color. And it looks great! My hairstylist is awesome and always does a great job, and I walk out feel like a million bucks. It's such a splurge but the one I love and enjoy most! Hope you enjoy all the pics....