Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nine Months

Isannah recently turned nine months old. So she's been with us longer than I was pregnant! I love this milestone; it's amazing to think about the beginning of pregnancy, the beginning of a baby's life, and the beginning of the end of babyhood.
Zuzu is a pleasure to have in our family. It's strange, but I can't even imagine how our lives were without her in our family now. She is the happiest, most content soul I've ever met. And she has gorgeous eyes. :)

Here are some fun facts about our baby girl:

  1.  Weighs 16.5 pounds, 28 inches long
  2. Gray/blue eyes
  3. Strawberry blonde hair (we think? It seems to vary)
  4. Favorite toys: anything textural. She loves to touch things and scratch things. She also really likes to shake rattles/instruments, etc.
  5. Favorite foods: cheerios, crackers, corn, and bread. She really only recently started eating solid foods with any kind of enthusiasm, and now the favorites are stacking up more. Seems like she's a starch lover though!
  6. She is super ticklish, especially on her back and neck
  7. She still has no teeth! Our doctor says this is kind of unusual, so we're on the lookout for some chompers in the next 3 months; otherwise she'll need some x-rays to figure out what's going on. She still manages to have the best smile though.
  8. Not quite crawling, but she is a super-roller! Also, she does this inch-worm move where she gets up on hands and knees and then sort of lunges at whatever she's trying to get. She's getting close.
  9. She loves to play peek-a-boo and look at people's faces. She'll smile at almost anyone who smiles at her. She's pretty social. 
  10. We've been able to put her hair up in pigtails since she was 6 months old! She has a ton of hair and it can be pretty crazy when she first wakes up.
We love this munchkin baby so much. She has about a thousand nicknames, delicious thigh rolls, and the two most adorable dimples in her cheeks. She is beloved by all, but especially by her big brother, who is constantly trying to "snuggle" her and play with her. I joke all of the time that she has made me want six more babies, just like her. (But not really) We can't believe we get to keep her forever and ever! I'm excited to see her personality blossom and her friendship with her brother grow. Love our Zuzu girl!


Growing up, my best friend was always my big brother. He's an amazing guy - he always let me tag along, even in those awkward teenage years when guys don't typically want their little sisters hanging around. Around the time I was 12, one day he brought home someone else vying for my best friend spot. His name was Trevor Linderman.
Now at first, I really wasn't sure how I felt about this. But here's the thing about Trevor: there's always room for one more. Instead of losing my big brother, I gained another one!
Almost instantly, I came to think of Trevor as just my other big brother. And through my junior high and high school years, he watched out for me, took me under his wing, and let me tag along, just as my own brother always has. When I was 16 and they were 18, Trevor was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent pretty serious surgery, which resulted in him losing mobility on one side of his body. I will never forget the morning he called our house, and I happened to answer the phone. Without asking for my brother or my mom or anyone else, he just said "Kylie, I have a secret to tell you. I just raised my arms above my head."

I have hung out with both of my older brothers less since moving away from home, but we've always been in touch. I've watch Trev go through some difficult things, as he battled and beat cancer a second time, went back to school, and started his beautiful family. I've become friends with his amazing wife, Chelsi, who accepted all of us Jacksons into her family without blinking an eye. In the last year, Trevor's cancer has returned. Through all of the treatments my family has been on the phone with each other, asking about Trevor, learning about his progress from my brother or Trevor's parents or whoever talked to him last. And then a few weeks ago, my mom told me Trevor was having a big birthday party to see all of his friends and family and how she wished I was there so I could ride down with them. At first I didn't think that much of it, but after I hung up, I just couldn't get the idea out of my head. I felt a very strong pull to be in Utah with my family for this big event in Trev's life. I was kind of overcome by the feeling that I should be there. I didn't really think it was possible, so I tried to shake it off. The same day, Landon came home and, having seen the party posted an Facebook, asked me, "do you want to go to that?" I knew that we were having the same impression, so we stopped fighting it and started planning. A few days later we started the 15-hour drive to Utah.

Now, I'm not gonna say that driving for 4 days straight with two very small kids was easy, or really that fun. Truthfully, it was exhausting. But so many miracles came together so this trip could happen.
Gas was the lowest price it has been in the entire seven years of our marriage. And as soon as the weekend was over, prices started to rise again.
The roads were amazingly clear for January.
My fantastically busy sister had the whole weekend free, and was willing to drive from Boise to Salt Lake with me on really short notice.

And then there was this:
Walking into that room, getting a classic Trevor hug, feeling the love that I and everyone around me had for this guy, and being with my other brother, who I don't see enough of, either:
It was All. So. Worth it. Worth the drive, worth the tiredness, worth Landon missing class, worth the ornery kids, just worth it.
Sometimes brothers don't share your last name. My heart is so full of love for this guy, and always will be. I know this trip wasn't for him, it was for me. I'm so thankful he and his family would take the time to welcome us into their home when they are beyond exhausted so that we can all be part of their lives. I hope they can feel our ongoing prayers and hugs from here!

Bucket List #17 | The Container Store

I might be crazy. :) I heard there was a magical land called "The Container Store" in Seattle/Bellvue...I had to go.

To be clear, this isn't unique to the Seattle area. In fact, like many awesome places, they opened one in Salt Lake recently. (They got all the cool stuff after we moved!) But I had never been to one.
The store is pretty much what you'd expect. LOTS of containers!! We had a super good time browsing the aisles full of colorful, interesting boxes, bags, nets, dishes, shelves, etc.
It gave us a ton of good ideas for organization, and made us realize that someday when we finally buy a house, we'll have to set aside some budget to implement some of them!

We put a few things in our cart, but the store was pretty expensive. Ultimately, we decided not to get anything - but we might be doing some Amazon shopping later. ;) Overall, The Container Store was fun but not really earth-shattering. Still glad we went!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bucket List #91 | The Root Beer Store

This is one of those bucket listers that we've actually done before - but I haven't been on top of blogging everything. (hopefully that will change this year, it's a goal) When we went for a fun family outing in January, I insisted on pictures so that we could document it!

We didn't hear about The Root Beer Store (yes, that is actually what it's called) until after we moved here. Even then, we didn't know about it until we drove past it. Obviously, we were intrigued. What is this place? Do they legitimately only sell root beer and nothing else? How can they have a whole store devoted to root beer? So on the list it went.

They don't sell only root beer...but close. They also sell cream soda, and a few specialty drinks. They are legit. There are over 200 kinds of root beer in the store! We've been 3 times now, and have only tried a few. So far, my favorite is the on-tap root beer they have (told you it's legit) in a root beer float.

They also have some extras that have to do with root beer (root beer flavored candy, funny T-shirts, etc.) The employees are almost laughably knowledgable about their product, and the store occasionally has free tasting days where they set up samples of different kinds of root beer for you to try - like a wine tasting! I don't actually recommend going on those days though. The store is tiny - like, smaller than our very small apartment - and doesn't comfortably hold that many people. Plus, with the crowds they are sometimes out of some of their specialty stuff. We liked it a lot better on a non-event day.
Walt loves this place. (naturally, he's a root beer fanatic) It's not the most kid-friendly store ever (because no space to move around and lots of breakable glass) but the staff is nice about it.
It's safe to say that we will be going back. With friends.

Monday, February 23, 2015


I don't know if anyone reads these yearly review posts, but I kind of love looking back on them. So, even though it's February, here goes!

I was actually sad at New Year's Eve. 2014 was possibly the best year of our marriage so far. We checked a ton of things off our bucket list, had so many fun visitors, traveled, spent time with great friends, and of course - our beautiful daughter joined our family. But 2015 will be rockin' too!

In 2014 we:

  • Landon went to Chile again - we think for the last time! Of course there is no end to his travels, but at least Christmas won't be so busy for awhile. 
  • Hosted the Rogers family, the Jackson family, and cousin Chelsea here in Seattle!
  • Said goodbye to Great-Grandma Wilkes. We loved her and will cherish our memories, our beautiful blankets and our 5-generation photo.
  • Welcomed Isannah Afton Burgener to our family. She is an angel child that has brought so much sunshine to our lives! We can't imagine how we ever lived without her.
  • Celebrated a certain 3-year-old with skeleton cake and lots of presents
  • Went to the Oregon Coast with the Jacksons - best trip ever!
  • Traveled to Idaho over the summer to see Stella baptized and attend our high school reunion
  • Checked a big handful of things off our bucket list. Our favorite? By far Mount Rainier.
  • Finished one year of Preschool and began a new one - Walt is thriving!
  • Went trick-or-treating with Woody and Bo Peep for Halloween.
  • Had a fabulous Thanksgiving with the Burgeners!
  • Spent the most low-key Christmas together since 2009. No traveling, no weddings, nothin' but lots of relaxing and being together. :)

In 2015 we think we'll:

  • Pass Landon's general exam - which comes with a bit of a pay raise, so we're stoked.
  • Plan an epic 1st birthday party for Zuzu.
  • Head to Idaho to see Uncle Wesley off on a mission to Japan.
  • Visit Olympic National Park. Can't wait!
  • Spend a couple of weeks in Jackson Hole and Rexburg while Landon does some awesome science stuff. 
  • Organize a long overdue campout with some old friends. 
  • Begin what might turn out to be Landon's last year of grad school. (although it will take him into the fall/winter to graduate...) Mind. Blown.
  • Organize our house, lives, and especially the thousands of photos and videos we possess.
  • Do more family history. Starting with updating this old blog!
  • Make a dent in the old bucket list. We need to finish up 36 things this year to be on target!
  • Get active - more time at the park, jogging, library visits, more learning opportunities for us and the kids!
It's already been a pretty fun year - I'm excited to see what else is in store for us!

Christmas in Idaho

Every year we evaluate our Christmas plans, and every year we can't imagine not going home. So sorry family, you're probably stuck with us for a good while yet. :)
We kicked our trip off with a longer stay in Boise so Walt could play with his cousins. Or so I could hang with my sister. Probably more the latter!
We spent some time at the Burgener abode...
They are building their dream house out in Burton, and staying at Grandpa Burgener's house in the interim. It was a little cramped with all 6 kids, 4 spouses, and 3.5 grandkids, but we found some cool old school treasures there! We can't wait to see the house we we go back this summer.
Christmas was at the Jacksons this year. As usual, my mom went all out. Christmas is an Event there, if you know what I mean. And it was so so so fun!
We wanted to do something a bit spiritual for the season, so each family was supposed to choose something to talk about on Christmas Eve. We chose to memorize another scripture - Walt seems to enjoy that. 
"And he cometh into the world to save all men, if they will hearken unto his voice."

Mostly it was fun to be with my siblings - we're getting so spread out it's hard to spend much time all together.
Walter was a hoot for Christmas. He was really getting into the Santa Claus thing and super excited for presents. He asked for a "stuffed animal Luigi"and a "surprise." Luckily, Santa has a hookup at Ninetendo, so both wishes were granted. :) 
Zuzu's first Christmas was awesome, too. When Walt was a baby, everyone told me how he'd love the wrapping paper and not to bother with presents...but he turned out to be not very interested in wrapping paper but loved his gifts. Isannah though, LOVED wrapping paper. She's a very tactile learner from what I've seen so far. She could not have cared less about the tons of presents she was showered with. In fact, because of naps and whatnot, she ended up not opening her last gift until 3 or 4 days after Christmas!
And then of course, there was this MAJOR surprise:
I was totally floored. Landon really should not have spoiled me so...but I'm glad he did! I have been working on the 7-year-old laptop we bought right after we got married that got Landon through his bachelor's and most of his master's degree. I was really not expecting this. I am one seriously lucky, loved girl!

It was a great Christmas, the best part was being together!

Christmas Tree Farm

In December we went on a little field trip with Walt's preschool class to McMurtrey's Tree Farm. It was towards the end of the season and the tractor wasn't working so all we did was walk around but the kids loved it and it was a fun chance to get together and talk.
A wonderful woman in my ward who is obsessed with babies begged volunteered to watch Isannah for me, so it was an amazing chance for a little one-on-one time with my boy.
We played "Lord of the Rings" in the trees and he talked to me a bunch about skeletons and Christmas and we picked up sticks, rocks, and other treasures along the way.
Sometimes the smallest things turn out to be the best memories.