Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kaylee Dance Recital

Kaylee was beside herself excited to perform in her dance recital in May. She just loves her dance class and loves to get up on the big stage to perform for everyone. She is definitely NOT shy! A little performer just like her mom! She loves all the makeup, the costume, the pretty hair, and all that goes into getting ready for her dance recital. Mom and Dad think she is a pretty cute dancer too! They danced to the song "Do the Locomotion" and Kaylee was definitely the best little dancer up there!!!

Here is Kaylee with her cousins Ian and Emily. Kaylee loves seeing them at dance each week. She has a secret little crush on Ian as she told me that she is going to marry him one day:-)

Makenna looks up to her big sister Kaylee and wants to be just like her! She loves to dance with Kaylee at home and we finally had to start leaving her with Nana each week when I took Kaylee to dance because she would just stand at the door the whole time and look through the glass crying because she wanted to go in and join the class! She will definitely be a little dancer some day too! I am still trying to get the video of her doing Kaylee's dance from Christmas loaded, but am having some trouble getting it on here.

Kaylee's aunts Janessa and Nicole were also in the show. I didn't get a picture of Nicole, but here is Kaylee and Janessa all ready fro the show. Just as Makenna looks up to Kaylee, Kaylee looks up to Janessa and wants to be just like her. It drives Janessa crazy sometimes but it is all in love and admiration from Kaylee!

Chicago Trip

At the first of April we finally got to fly out and see where Dan has been working for the past 6 months! I have never been to Chicago before and was very excited to visit the "windy city". Kaylee and Makenna had been counting down the days to our big trip and once we finally made it to the airport they were so excited they could hardly stand it!

Our first day in Chicago we spent visiting Dan's office and meeting all of the people he works with and we have heard so much about. It was nice to finally put a face to all the names and hear about the great job that Dan has been doing there. Dan did a short meeting we got to watch and then we had pizza with the Clear team to celebrate those that had made a sale last month. We are very proud of Dan and all of his hard work to support our family!!!

The next day in Chicago we headed out to Elgin where Dan's Uncle Kevin and Aunt Pam live. Dan's dad and mom had flown in to meet us there and we were all headed downtown to see the broadway show Beauty and the Beast. Makenna was too little to go so Kevin had arranged for a girl in their neighborhood to come babysit. Needless to say I was VERY nervous about leaving her because she had never been left with anyone besides family. She freaks out when we take her to nursery so I did not have high hopes for the whole baby sitting experience here. I had nightmares of her screaming and throwing a fit the entire 6-8 hours we would be gone. When we arrived at the house there was a lot going on and Dan took Kenna in, set her at the kitchen counter and started making her some breakfast. I snuck out immediately while she was not looking and then Dan was able to sneak out a few minutes later since there was so many people there. We all hopped in the car and headed for the train station. We called after about 10 minutes to see how she was doing and the babysitter said she hadn't even realized we were gone yet. Whew! So far so good. We called a couple more times to check on her later in the day and she never had a problem! She had a nap, ate, and played with the babysitter all day. She said she never even cried! I was so relieved that she did so well.

Here we all are on the train down to Chicago. Kaylee thought it was so fun to ride the train. She kept saying, "This is my first time to ride the train ever!" Kevin and Pam's son, Nicholas, really was cute with Kaylee. He is about 11 years old and let Kaylee sit by him and chat his ear off the whole way home up on the top section of the train!

When we got downtown we caught a taxi and headed for the theater to see the show. Kaylee was very excited to see the play as she loves Belle! Here she is in anticipation for the show to begin. We only got these two pictures before an usher rushed over and informed me there was no picture taking aloud inside the theater. Oops:-)

The play was wonderful. Kaylee especially like "Be Our Guest" where they shoot huge cannons of confetti out into the audience. We had a purse full when we left! After we headed back to the train station to catch our train home. We had to stop at "Nuts on Clark" first. They have the BEST popcorn every. Their cheese and carmel mix is to die for!

When we made it home Kenna was very glad to see us, although not as much as I had anticipated. She LOVED the babysitter and had had a great day! We ordered in some Chicago style pizza, which of course was amazing. Dan was definitely not lying when he said every since he has been in Chicago he can't even eat the pizza in Utah because it's just not the same!

The next morning was Easter and Kaylee was very concerned that the Easter Bunny would not be able to find us. Of course the Easter Bunny did not disappoint and he made it to our hotel room with not problem. He left both the girls a special Easter basket and even left some candies around the room for a little Easter egg hunt.

After our little Easter at the hotel we headed back out to Kevin and Pam's for another Easter celebration. The girls were very excited to find that the Easter Bunny had left some surprises for them there too! So spoiled! They did another little hunt and were left two adorable baskets filled with fun Easter stuff! You can tell how excited they were in these pictures. I love how Kenna is trying to copy each of Kaylee's silly faces. I love our girls!

Kevin and Pam had invited some friends over to join us for a wonderful Easter dinner. I have not yet mentioned how exquisite their home is. It is incredible. Kevin is an amazing interior designer and I felt like I was in a model home! From an icecream parlor and movie theater in the basement, to the most gorgeous kitchen ever there house was so nice to be at for Easter. Here is the beautiful table all ready for dinner!

Kaylee and her new best friend Nicholas. He was such a good sport letting her tag along with him all weekend!

Aside from being an incredible interior designer, Kevin is also a gourmet chef! We had an amazing dinner of garlic mashed potatoes, roast, hame, vegetables, and the most amazing Grandma Kemp rolls ever. I think I had about 8!! (Hey- I'm pregnant so I figured I better live it up while I can:-))

Easter was also a special day because it was Terrie's birthday! After dinner the girls helped bring up a special surprise cake and we all sang happy birthday!

I just had to take a picture of the beautiful backyard. These pics don't even begin to do it justice! If I had a backyard like this I would never leave! Someday:-)

After dinner the boys headed outside to ride the 4Wheeler and motorcycle. Here is Dan showing off his skills for his younger cousins!

Kaylee loved the 4 Wheeler. She wanted to ride it all afternoon. She even got to the point where she was driving it herself- with Dan on the back of course! She is our little adventurous daredevil- she will try anything!

Makenna, on the other hand, takes after her mom and is our little scaredy cat. She was not so sure about the 4 wheeler thing. She was so excited to get on after watching Kaylee for a while, but once she got on she lasted about 30 seconds before loosing it and wanting nothing but to get off of that thing! This is before they started moving so she still didn't realize what was coming!

After dinner was cleaned up and all the kids were tuckered out from 4 wheeling we headed inside to the music room. We called up Grandpa Kemp and did a little mini concert for him. Kevin and I did a piano/singing duet of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and Kevin and Christian did a piano duet. It was so nice and also fun to be able to share a little bit of our day with Grandpa Kemp. It was so wonderful to just sit and visit with everyone and get to know Kevin and Pam a little better. We had such a nice time visiting their family and appreciate their hospitality and welcoming us into their home. Thanks Kevin and Pam for a wonderful Easter weekend!

The next morning we all jumped in the Tahoe and headed to Ohio to visit Dan's sister Jen and her family. It was about a 6 hour drive and we finally made it late that night. The Campbells were nice enough to let us ALL stay with them for the week and we were so excited to be able to visit them and spend some time with them who we don't get to see nearly often enough! We were also excited to be joined by Dan's other sister Kaitlin and her daughter Alyssa. They just moved to Washington D.C. to join her husband Taylor who is in the military. It was nice to be able to spend some time with them as well because we don't know how much we will be able to see them in the future either!

On Tuesday morning we got up , had some breakfast, and got our swimsuits on to head to CoCo Keys- an indoor water park close to Jen's house. The kids were so excited and had an absolute blast! They had water slides, a kids water playground, and a lazy river. All the kids were in heaven swimming and spending time together. Everyone loved the lazy river, even the adults. Here are some pics of everyone going around and around on the tubes!

The girls watching the toddlers in the kiddie pool! Hot mamas Jen, Terrie, and Kaitlin!

Cousin Hope making a splash on one of the kid's slides!

Uncle Brian had to try out the water slide too! Little Faith was making sure he was doing it correctly!

Makenna was again our little scaredy cat and was a little nervous about all that water. We sat and had some snack and watched every swim for a bit. I kept trying to take her swimsuit coverup off, but she was having none of that. She knew once that came off she was no longer safe from being thrown in! Finally after about an hour she got the nerves up to take her coverup off and put on a life jacket. She got in with Dan for a good 10 minutes and that was enough for her! You can see in the pics she looks a little concerned about being in the water. She was much happier after just watching from the sidelines!

Makenna- so happy to be watching from a chair on the sidelines of the pool!

Kaylee, our little daredevil, wanted to try out everything she could! She went down the kid slides about 100 times and then moved on to the big tube slides. She did not quite meet the height requirement, but luckily we caught a lenient life guard at the top while we were there. He even let her go down by herself once, during which she ended up spinning around backwards before she came out! She thought it was a blast and wanted to do it again and again!!!

Kaylee had so much fun spending time with her cousins. She doesn't have any cousins her own age at home so she was in heaven having so many to play with here! They all had such a blast swimming and playing the day away!

Kaylee, Charity, and Faith

Cute little Alyssa!

David Bryan- the lone boy! For some reason our family is just better at making girls I guess :-)

Dan, like Kaylee, loves water slides. Here he is taking each of the girls down! Kaylee with her hands up screaming, Charity, and Hope, who it took Dan quite a while to finally convince to get on the big slide. Once she did it, thought, she loved it! Poor Faith was a little too short to be let on or she would have joined in the fun too.

By the end we were all exhausted from all that swimming! Here are the babies finally asleep after a big day at the pool!

The girls having a mini tea party on their beach towels while the boys were showering.

On Wednesday we relaxed at home while Dan and Bruce headed out for a 30 mile bike ride. Bruce is an avid cyclist and is in great shape- Dan on the other hand has not ridden since last summer and was about ready to die when they got home!!

That night some friends from Jen's ward and neighborhood came over for some yummy bean burritos and then we headed to the skating rink for a combined birthday party for Charity, Hope, and Faith. Kaylee had only been skating once before and was a little nervous about getting out on the rink. She did pretty well, especially with the special kid skates, and was a trooper even after falling a few times! At least she was a cute little roller girl!

Makenna wanted to get in on the action too, but was a little too small for the whole skating thing.

We all sang happy birthday to the girls and Kaylee joined right in for the birthday candle blowing out action!

Here is Kaylee and Cousin Hope after a long night of skating. Each of the girls had a little tatoo to beautify them for the big party. They were very excited to show them off!

On Thursday we all jumped in the car and headed to Kirtland to see some of the church sites there. I had been there when I was younger but Dan had never been there so I was excited for him to go. Our first stop was the Kirtland Temple. It was interesting to visit the visitors center here that is owned by the reorganized church. They definitely have some different versions of the story of our church. Still, it was really neat to see the temple and be inside the same building where so many amazing experiences took place.

It was very rainy the day we were there, but it actually turned out to be a good thing as we had most of the tours almost to ourselves.

The girls were just excited to be together! Four peas in a pod:-) Grandma and Grandpa Kemp got them each a gold Kirtland temple necklace that they were all so excited about. Here they are showing off their necklaces and their joy to be together!

After the temple we headed over to the LDS visitors center and the Newl K Whitney store. The last time I was in Kirtland all they had was the store, but now it is like a little mini village with some other church member homes. I love the Newl K Whitney store, especially the upstairs room where the word of wisdom was revealed and the upstairs room where Christ appeared to the school of the prophets. There is a special feeling in that room and it was neat to share that with our family.

On Friday we were all very sad to say goodbye to the Campbells and Kaitlin as we headed back to Chicago. Kaylee was very upset about leaving her cousins as all the girls were trying to negotiate a way to go home with the other! It was the first time I have really see Kaylee get upset about missing someone. Her tender little heart was broken as she cried while we drove out of the driveway to head back. She had such a fun time with her cousins. As I said before she doesn't have cousins her age at home so her cousins in Ohio definitely hold a special place in her heart. She can not wait until January to see them again in Florida!!

We dropped Dan's dad and mom off at the airport to head back to Oregon for their daughter Tysha's baby blessing of their new little daughter. We had planned to stay a few extra days on our own to see some of the sites in Chicago!

On Saturday we all hopped on the train once again and headed back to downtown Chicago. Makenna got to join us on the train this time and she was just as excited as Kaylee had been. She loved hanging out, ridin the train, and of course watching some great Barney on the ipod with headphones! She got some interesting looks as people walked by the almost two year old chillin' on the train with her pink ipod!

We had a little issue with sunglasses as we reached downtown. It was a beautiful sunny day and Makenna right away grabbed Kaylee's sunglasses to wear. Here she is so excited and gloating a bit as she won the battle for the glasses. Later in the day we finally had to get Kaylee a new pair so that they both had some!

Downtown Chicago is a beautiful city. I for some reason had pictured something totally different as I thought of Chicago. The city is very clean and the buildings are amazing. I was so glad that we decided to stay an extra day to tour downtown.

The first stop on our tour was a sculpture called "The Bean'. I am not quite sure of its purpose, but it was pretty cool. It is made of steel and when you go up and look in it you can see your reflection.

Our family and our reflection!!

We were lucky to have Nolan and his wife Jenn with us to give us the tour of the city. Nolan works with Dan and they have become great friends. It was so fun to get to know their family and to have some great tour guides to show us around!

Kaylee got along great with Nolan's kids. They had a blast running around the city together!

Our reflections

As we left we saw this man painting. As we walked around to see what he was painting we were amazed at his portrait of "The Bean" and all the tourists who had come to visit it that day!

I had to embarrass Dan an stop him for a pic by one of the CLEAR stores downtown. We don't have CLEAR in Utah yet so I was so excited every time I saw a sign or billboard for it!

To Dan's dismay I had to make sure we did not miss out on Michigan Avenue during our trip to Chicago. Michigan Ave. is the major shopping district in the city. It has all the designer shopping stores like they have in New York. Lucky for Dan I am pregnant and not in the clothes shopping mode! It was fun to walk down though and window shop!

The beautiful city with the water flowing through the middle of all the sky scrapers in the background.

There was this neat performer on Michigan Ave. He was called something like the robotic Michael Jackson or something. He was painted all silver and would dance to Michael Jackson songs like a robot. He was very good and the girls got a kick out of him.

The one store we could not miss going into was the American Girl Doll store. Kaylee has been best friends with her doll, Virginia, since she got her for Christmas last year. The store was amazing and Kaylee was in heaven as she walked around and saw all of the fun clothes and accessories for the American Girl dolls. Daddy let her get a new outfit for her doll and matching AG Chicago t-shirts for her and her doll. It was definitely a highlight of the trip for her!

Next we headed to Navy Pier. This was such a fun place as it is right on the water. There are lots of fun food places and little booths to shop at as you walk along the pier. We were so glad it was such a beautiful day as we walked along the pier enjoying the sights, sound, and smells of Lake Michigan.

Our first stop was to eat at a little burger place called Billy Goat Tavern. It had good food and the kids loved being able to eat outside on the water front.

The girls having a blast walking along the pier. Kaylee finally being able to show off her new shades!

We did a little boat tour of the harbor with the kids before we headed home. It was fun to see the city from a different perspective as well as learn a little more about its buildings from the tour director.

A cute little lighthouse out in the harbor.

Before we loaded the ship Kaylee had a little accident and fell and skinned her knees on the pier. Needless to say this kind of ruined the boat tour for her:-( Her she is with her battle wounds and clinging to her Daddy for some nursing back to health.

The view from the lake

Our wonderful tour guides!

Mom and her girls

Kenna and her Daddy

Kaylee finally feeling a little bit better by the end of the ride

As we got off the boat there was this huge anchor at the end of the pier where we stopped for some pics.

On the way back to the bus we stopped at a little water fountain where the girls had a blast cooling off a bit from their long day exploring the city.

As our trip to Chicago came to an end we were all exhausted but thankful to have had such a wonderful time and to have made such amazing memories with family and friends. We were glad to be able to see where Dan goes to work every week, to spend time with family, and to get to explore a new place that we had not been before. Chicago was a beautiful city and we hope that we can come back one day to visit again!