Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Home Means Nevada

This is mine and Brad's home.  This is where we grew up.  This is where we met and fell inlove.  This is where we spent our engagement.  This is where we were living when we got married.  This is where we escape to every chance we get!
When I was younger I decided Paris was the place for me.  I use to always say that I would never come back to Logandale.  Infact, Im sure when my friends from high school read this, they will laugh, because I was quite insistant about it.  haha 
Brad was always much more logical and adult when it came to thinking about where he wanted to end up one day.  As a teenager and when we started dating, he had no specific plan.  He knew he wanted to be close to family and that Utah was out.  haha
But then we got married and our ideas of the future started to mesh, and in some cases, clash a little bit.  I had long since left behind me the hope of living in Paris.  That wasn't all that appealing anymore, but I still had my mind open for other places.. except our home town.  haha And Brad would always just say "not Utah."  Then some years went by and here's the kicker-- we had kids.  My Mom and Dad always told us that "things change when you have kids.  Your perspective changes when you have kids."  We never believed them.  But, they were right.  Things changed SO much after the boys came into our life!  We agreed!  No more "we have to live here" or "we absolutely cant live there".  We realized that it really didnt matter that much.   
I remember very vividly, a drive home from a wonderful weekend in Logandale with our families where Brad and I talked about our future residence and for the first time, agreed.  We picked out the only 3 things that really mattered to both of us when deciding where we end up..
1. Somewhere close to family!  If we can at all help it, we want to be as close as we can be to as much family as possible.  Living in some cool place a million miles from the people you love makes it not so much a cool place anymore, in my opinion.  We want our children to have strong relationships with their Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.  They are the best people we know and make life so happy and so fun.  Everything is easier when you're with family!
2. Somewhere small and safe.  This is a big one.  We are not city people.  We hate the crowds and noise and traffic and crime.  Its not for us.  We like space and quiet.  We want our children to grow up with the same freedom and independence that we had growing up.  Knowing that your kids are safe when they're at school or riding their bikes down to the park or walking to a friends house is an amazing thing.  Something we look forward to in the future!
3. Somewhere where Brad has a job that he really loves.  Obviously this is an important one.  There is no way he is gonna work this hard and this long in school for some job he hates.   
After that conversation, I thought back about how important living somewhere exotic and cool had always been to me.  How I always swore up and down that I would never live is Las Vegas, because I couldnt ever be happy in a place like that.  haha And I realized, that in my whole life, the happiest I had ever been, were the years I had been living in Vegas.  Not because I love this city, because I dont.  But because of the people.  Because I was living in Vegas with Brad and our baby.  Because we were close enough to see our families a lot.  Because those are the things that truly matter to me. 
After that realiztion, it was like all these doors and possibilities opened up.  We no longer worried about the future anymore.  We both softened a little and said we would just let the Lord lead us to wherever it is that we will be happy.  Weather that be Logandale or Utah or Somewhere else entirely.
And now when we go to our home town, we cant help but smile at the possability of living there one day.  We cant help but take a second glance when we see a "For Sale" sign out infront of a house.  We cant help but perk our ears up a little bit when we hear someone talking about the schools or the activities for kids.
But we also like the idea of moving some place new.  Some place different.  Some place with cooler weather.  Some place that we can make our own.  A place where we're not "the Robison boy" and the Merkley girl" that got married, but where we're just simply "the Robison's".  There are some beautful places in Idaho and its no secret that we love Cedar City.   
But wherever we end up, I must say, I think that Logandale will always have my heart!
There is just something about seeing your children play where you played.  Seeing them climb the same trees and swing on the same swings and sit in the same seats at the ice cream shop that you sat in as a child.  Its like your own childhood isnt as far away as you thought it was.
We each have a hundred memories attatched to every square inch of this Valley
We have a lot of Pride in our little town!! But how could we not? Its the cutest little valley tucked away in the desert hills, overflowing with the most wonderful people you'd ever meet!
Like I said, it will always be home and always have our heart, no matter where we end up!

Photos courtesy: Emily Mortensen
(All besides the one of the museum)

Falling Inlove

The first time I fell inlove was on my 11th Birthday.  I was in my 4th year of taking dance lessons from Corinne's Creative Dance Company.  I remember wanting to start taking lessons when I was 6, because my dance teacher, Corinne was the coolest person I had ever seen.  She had crimped hair and was wearing cut-off jeans with tights under them.  I wanted to be her!  haha  Once I started taking lessons, I really enjoyed it a lot.  It was so fun and I loved all the girls in my class.  I loved performing!  Getting all dressed up and going out on stage and the flowers and ice cream afterwards.  What little girl wouldnt love that?  But when I was 11, the way I felt about dancing changed.  My wonderful dance teacher set up a day for my class to go spend a whole day of dancing at UNLV.  That day landed on my Birthday, which I loved.  We got to take some classes from the director of the program.  I think her name was Kathy Allen.  At the end of the day, we got to go to one of UNLV's dance recitals.  I dont remember tons about the performance.. except one dance.  It was a solo contemporary piece.  The dancer was wearing a red dress.  I cant remember the music or even the actual movement.  But I remember my feelings during the piece so vividly.  It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen in my life.  I didnt even know it was possible to move that way.  I remember I was sitting by Corinne.  I remember the feel of the seats.  And I remember knowing that dance was all I would ever want to do for the rest of my life.  I wanted to dance just like that dancer in the red dress.  haha  And I tried.  I danced everyday.  I never got as good as that dancer.  Maybe because in my mind she was absolutely flawless. 
The Second time I fell inlove it was completely unexpected!  Like, the very last thing I was thinking about at the time.  I had been living in Salt Lake and loving it, but went through a falling out with some close friends and a not-so-fun break-up in the summer of 2006.  I kept getting this nagging feeling that I needed to move home.  I did not want to leave Salt Lake even a tiny bit, but I prayed and knew, for some reason, I needed to go home.  I had no idea why.  People kept asking me, "what are you going to do in Logandale?"  I didn't have an answer for any of them.  haha  But I did it.  When I was trying to figure out my next move, I was talking to my mom and asked her, "why did I come back here?"  She answered, all-knowingly, "I think you came back to get married."  I laughed pretty hard at that one.  I told my mom she was crazy and that I had sworn off dating.  Little did I know my mom is smart and sorta creepy when in comes to her intuition. 
A few weeks later, my parents got a call from an adoption agency in Ukraine telling them to get on a plane and come adopt them a child.  (a call they had been waiting for for years)  So before I knew it, my parents were in Europe and me and my two sisters and two of my brothers were incharge of the house for a month or two.  My brother Nathan made me start going to the Singles Ward with him.  And one night, after branch prayer, I saw Brad.  I had known who he was from high school, but I think we had only talked maybe three or four times before.  I went over and said hi to him.  (or in Brad's words, I jumped out of a moving car, tucked and rolled and ran across the parking lot to say hi to him)  I found out that Brad had just got home from serving a mission in Mexico and was gonna be in town until he started school at UNLV in a couple months.  That next weekend, I got a call from him asking me out on a date.  We went to Mesquite with some of his friends and their dates.  We ate at Los Lupas and Brad and his best friend, Brady were trying to get me to say something to the waitor in spanish.  I did not.  I knew even then those two boys together were up to no good.  We went to a movie after.  It was a pretty normal date.  I had fun and Brad was SO easy to talk to.  The second date was just me and Brad.  It was even more fun and exciting.  He took me bowling and out for ice cream. (at the end of the date when we were saying goodnight, I was getting out of the car and said, "thanks. that was fun."  Brad then says, "Yeah, it was.  Im really glad you could do it, since the other girl canceled."  haha  Just as I was closing the car door.  I had no idea if he was joking or not.  He of course was joking and still to this day he thinks that story is so funny. )  Up to this point I was thinking that Brad was just a friend.  Someone to kill time with, especially since plans were in the works to start dance school at SUU in January.  But the third date changed it all.  Man was my mom right!  On our drive home, Brad held my hand for the first time and it was like being hit by a lightening bolt.  I knew I was done for.   
We were together every chance we got after that date.  Its still crazy to me how fast it all happened.  Falling inlove with Brad was SO MUCH FUN!  He was so spontanious and random.  I never knew what he was gonna do or say. (still dont)  He always kept me on my toes, just wondering what was gonna happen next.  I couldnt stop talking to him and laughing with him.  Our record for talking on the phone is nine hours!  He was so comfortable with who he was and what he had to offer me, that I just couldnt help but fall inlove with him.  I had been use to dating these city boys who take you out and spend tons of money on dinner, like that was the important part of a date, and were just as boring as sin.  That wasnt Brad's style.  Brad's dates were more like shooting pumkins with a shot gun from on top of a rusty old windmill out in the middle of no where.  Super random and so fun.  Being inlove with him was so easy and still is.  No drama.  No games.  No worries.  Just easy, fun love.  The best kind!!  And as most people know, My second love trumped my first love.. by like.. a lot!!!
The Third time I fell inlove, I saw it coming ;)  I have never really believed in "love at first sight".  Ive always felt like you could have "chemistry at first sight", but not love.  On January 24th 2009 I was proved wrong!  Clark was the tiniest little thing I had ever seen.  I just kept thinking, "how is something so tiny even alive?"  Oh my gosh did I love that tiny baby!  Brad use to call me "mama bear" because of how protective I was for the first few months.  haha 
And as he chubbed up, I fell even more inlove with him and his chubby little cheeks and fingers.
He is just as random and funny as his daddy.  I have two boys constantly teasing me and sonstantly making me laugh!
The Fourth time I fell inlove, it was with this face.  All through my pregnancy I would try to picture having another baby and I would just picture Clark.  Like just another little Clark.  But when Kalvin was born, the very first thing I thought when I saw him, was "thats not Clark!"  haha 
He's not Clark but he is crazy.  And Im crazy inlove with him!  He is the most aggressive little baby.  Its like living with an unrestrained lion.  He just comes at you with his mouth wide open, screaming and ready to bite.  The more I get to know these two little monsters, the more I love them.
I have realized in my very short life that a truly blessed life, is one where you get to fall inlove over and over and over again!!!!!

Let's Compare!

Clark's First Photo
(One of) Kalvin's First Photos
Clark at 11 months
Kalvin at 11 months
Clark's First Birthday
Kalvin's First Birthday

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rain and Candyland

When I woke up this morning, I knew it was gonna be one of those days.  Our bed was so warm and soft and there was actually a chill in the air.  I got to sleep in with Brad until 7:30 and we woke up to the sound of rain outside and little voices in the next bedroom laughing and playing.
I knew I was not gonna get a single thing done all day
But sometimes you really need those days
Days where instead of working out and trying to get through the list of chores as fast as you can, you spend all morning snuggled under a blanket with your little ones and watch cartoons that make them laugh so hard. 
Instead of going outside to pull weeds or prune the rose bushes you just watch the boys play in the rain and the puddles.
Days where you just stare at their little faces and try to memorize them, because they are changing so much everyday.
Days where the world feels new again, because it is to them
Days where you have to feel just as excited and proud as your 3 1/2 year old, because when he heard thunder, he wasnt scared.
Days where you rescue lady bugs from the rain and put them under the strawberry plants so they will be warm.
Days where you cant stop hugging and kissing
Days where you explain to your son what a "flood" is and he thinks you said, "blood" and then asks you if he can go play in the "blood".
Days when you cant stop smiling
In my experience, these days often require hot chocolate Halloween cups
Sometimes you just need days where you play candyland all afternoon.  Especially when you get Princess Frostine on your VERY FIRST TURN!
Sometimes you just need those days that you never want to end

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kalvin's First Birthday

Kalvin woke up on his first Birthday to ballooons! (Which he calls "balls")  We filled the livingroom with them the night before and when Clark woke up, he got them all and put them in their bedroom.  I woke up to Kalvin screaming, "Balls!  Balls!  Balls!".  He was super excited!!!
Our sweet little Birthady Boy :)
Looking at the streamers on the ceiling
His Grandma and Grandpa Robison are on a mission in Florida, so they sent Kalvin a card with some money and a letter to Clark, asking him if we would go buy a gift for Kalvin from them.. and one for himself too.  Clark felt SO important.  It was awesome.  So after a really long time spent in the toy section of Target, Clark picked this toy for Kal, and the one in the picture below for him.
They spent the afternoon playing with their new toys and the balloons.  The balloons never got old.
Kalvin's favorite thing to do was to crawl after the balloons as fast as he could and try to bite them.  It was so funny to watch!!!
The little buddy took a nice little Birthday nap
Then when Dad got home, it was time to open presents
He got a "little people" airplane and a ducky bead chain from us.  Grandma and Grandpa
Merkley sent him an inch worm toy that you push down and it goes.  Clark pretty mcuh claimed that toy.  They played with that one the rest of the evening.
I love this picture, cuz you can see his little mouth making the "vroom" sound for the plane
My baby
The plan for dinner was to make him spaghetti, since he loves it, but by dinner time, we were pretty tired.  (guess thats what the poor boy gets for being born during midterms week)  So, instead we decided to let him try his first happy meal.  He seemed to like it, but I think he had more fun trying to steal Clark's from him when he wasn't looking.
I made him a lime jello cake
He thought the noise makers were so funny
Blowing out the candle
He didnt really like the cake.  I dont know what it is with these two boys, but they just dont really like cake or ice cream very much.  I told Brad next year, we're just gonna stick a candle in a banana!
I told Clark to eat his cake and he licked it a couple times and said he was done
This is how the night ended for our little man.  He was so tired from a long day of fun.  Not to mention, cutting teeth is always a little sad, especially at bedtime.  Cant believe our baby is 1.  He is so crazy and so much fun.  He keeps our house very lively :)  We love him to pieces!