Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Graduation Day...

I can't even express the emotions I had on May 10, 2014.  Jeff and I decided 7 years ago that we would pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian and even though we knew it would involve sacrificing a lot of the things we loved to do and totally committing our lives to school, we also knew it was the path we needed to take and had faith that it would all be worth it in the end.  
Well, it's the end and it was totally worth it!!!  All of his late night studying and endless tests.  The weeks away from home and the many single-mom moments.  The homesickness and the long trips to visit our families.  The difficult trials we experienced and the numberless blessings we received.  It is amazing to look back and see how each and every experience strengthened us and brought us so much closer as a family.  Jeff and I always talk about how moving to Pullman was the best thing we have ever done for our family, and it truly was.  We made the best friends who became our "Pullman family" and we really learned to rely on each other.  Vet School made Jeff super smart and me, super independent.  It was good for us all the way around.

This was our family when it all started...the white coat ceremony in August of 2010.

And this is our family the last year of vet school...we've changed a little:)  I just love this amazing husband of mine!  He is so hard-working and so dedicated to his family (us!).  He chose to set aside a lot of the extracurricular activities he could have done in school so that he could spend more time with us.  I am beyond grateful for him and am so proud of this huge accomplishment.  These two girls are sure lucky to have a dad like Jeff.  This little family is my world and I am so grateful to be on this journey with them.
 The great group of guys Jeff was able to go through school with.  He really couldn't have found a more perfect group!  Their families became our family and we will miss having them around!
We had so much support graduation weekend!!  Jeff's parents came, along with his brother Houston and his family.  And my entire family was there...Mom and Dad, Stayler and his family, Steven and John!  It was such a fun weekend and all of the help we received was incredible!  We have the most amazing families and it would have been so much more difficult to go through school without them.


This really has been 4 of the best years of our lives together and we are so grateful we were able to experience it.  As we move on to the next phase and the adventures that await us, we will always look back on these years with fond memories and treasure the relationships we have made.  I am so grateful to have my best friend by my side through whatever life holds next!
 Congratulations Dr. Oyler!  We love you forever!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Easter 2014...

We had a great Easter!  The Bunny visited our house Saturday morning and then we headed over to our church building where the primary puts on a breakfast, program and Easter egg hunt.  It has been one of our favorite things to do for the holiday since we have been in Pullman.  We decided to have Sunday be completely focused on the true meaning of Easter...the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  This time of the year always seems so bright and happy and new.  I love spring and all that comes with it.  I am so grateful to have this beautiful family of mine and the knowledge that because of our Savior, I can have them forever! 


 And we can't forget the traditional visit from "The Bunny" himself!

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's so late but...Caitlin is 5!!

Oh my Little Miss.  You are 5 years old and I am so lucky to be your mom!!  Simply said, you make my life better.  In every single way.  
At 5 years old...
*You LOVE helping with anything and everything.  No matter what your dad or I am doing, you want to be involved, you want to be helping and you want to be included.
*You ask a million questions!!  You are so curious about the world and everything in it!  You want to know the who-what-where-why-and-how of everything.  You are always keeping me on my toes:)
*You love life.  You love being up first thing in the morning...I really think the break of dawn is your favorite part of the day.  You're ready for life the minute you wake up and you play hard until the sun goes down!
*Your dad is still your favorite person.  You and your dad have a special relationship and I hope that will never change.  You are the one who softened him up and opened his heart and I hope you always stay close to your dad and know how much he loves you!
*You are little miss independent.  You want to do everything on your own.  This has caused me a few spilled milk clean-ups and digging eggshells out of the batter situations, but it is all worth it to watch you grow and to see you develop new skills.  You aren't afraid of failing, you just try to figure out a better way the next time.  I love this about you.
*You are a smarty pants!  You don't forget anything.  No matter how long ago it was said or done, you remember it and you let us know:)   
*You love your sister.  You pray every night to Heavenly Father that he will take her arthritis away.  Your care and concern for her touches my heart and I am so glad she has you to watch over her.  (And I have to remember these sweet moments for the times when you two aren't acting like you love each other very much...)
*You will ask, "Mom, will you tell me about that time when..." at least once every day.  You love hearing stories about your dad's and my childhood.  You love hearing stories about your grandparents and great-grandparent's lives.  I think it helps you feel close to them, even though some of them are in heaven.  You ask about them as if they are part of your everyday life.  Your tender feelings toward your ancestors is just one of the reasons I know you are wise beyond your years.
*You are my little rock-star.  You are always dancing, singing, performing, acting and just being plain fancy.  You love to accessorize and wear make-up.  I attribute this to both of your grandma's because I hardly wear any make-up at all, but when you go to visit them, they always get you all "dolled up".  You love it!! 
*You are a light to anyone and everyone who meets you.  You make friends quicker than anyone I know and you always want to meet new people and introduce yourself.  You have an immense love for people and I hope that love and compassion just grows and grows as you get older.  You will be a blessing to so many people because of your amazing capacity to just love them.
*You are so beautiful inside and out.  I have tried to teach you that beauty isn't what matters, but what does matter is how you treat other people and you have taken this to heart...which makes you one of the most beautiful girls I know.
*You change your clothes at least 3 times a day and you always want to have a dress on.  Each occasion calls for a new outfit and as cute as it is, my laundry days are getting a lot busier!  It's a good thing you love doing the laundry with me:)
*You have the best imagination.  I love just listening in when you play and hearing the world you create.  You are seriously the cutest. 
*You are still as strong-willed as ever.  I love the fire in you, but we have been having some issues with tantrums...crazy tantrums.  Luckily they are really short and you are always really quick to say that you're sorry...and you are just as quick to forgive others.
*You have the best laugh.  A lot of the time, you won't give your real laugh, but when you do, it is completely contagious.  It mostly comes out during a funny part of a show or when your dad tickles you and I love it!
*You continue to have a desire to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ.  You know your Heavenly Father has a plan for you and you love Him.  You are starting to understand more about the Holy Ghost and that he can be with you always.  You love to go to church and participate by giving talks, scriptures and prayers.  You have 3 scriptures memorized right now and we are working on more.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see you headed down the path that leads home to your Heavenly Father and I pray you will always stay on that path, and if you ever leave it, you will find your way back quickly.
*I love that the thing you want more than anything from me is simply my time.  I am trying to be a better mom and give you way more of it.
Caitlin, you are an absolute blessing to our family and we love you more than we could ever express.  You make us laugh and you bring so much joy to our home.  You keep us young and always tell us how much you love us.  You're our sweetheart.  You make being a parent pretty much the best thing in the world and we love you forever.
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I was painting the girls' fingernails yesterday and as I was working on Caitlin's, Lyss bumped my hand and my white shirt ended up with hot pink polish on it...

Me: (slightly frustrated) "Oh Lyss!  You can't bump me, honey.  Now I have fingernail polish on my shirt!"
Caitlin: "It's ok mom.  Now you just look like a mom who loves spending time doing things with her kids!"
Me: (completely humbled) "You're right sis.  And I wouldn't have it any other way."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's A New Year...And Only 6 Months In...

Oh wow.  I am so behind on blogging, but life has been crazy!  The really good kind of crazy, but crazy none the less.  Christmas and New Year's were wonderful as usual!  Jeff and I have loved that part of being students...the go-home-for-3-weeks-every-Christmas part and we will miss having that break now that we have entered the adult world of pay checks and yard work:)  It has been an amazing year so far, even with the year beginning with us saying good-bye to Grandma DeLynn (Grandma Merlyn's mother).  She passed away on January 1st and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families.  I know her reunion with her husband had to be amazing after so many years apart.  We love her and will miss her.  I also was able to go to New York with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and our good friend Tawni to visit Jeff's sister Kristi...it was so much fun!!  We saw Newsies on Broadway and just took in the New York sights.  We were also able to visit Philadelphia and see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.  I wish I could explain the spirit I felt as I stood in the rooms where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were debated, written and signed.  I am so grateful for those amazing, God-fearing men.  I would have to say the two biggest highlights of this year so far were definitely my Little Miss turning 5 and Jeff graduating with his degree in Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University!!!  I cannot explain how proud I am of Jeff.  He is one amazing, hard-working man and I could go on and on...but I will save that for his graduation post:)  Here are some pictures of the year so far...it's turning out to be a great one!