Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birthday Boy!!!

A year has come and gone and it is our cute little boy's first birthday! So much fun! Obviously, we love him to death and he is an energetic little blast of joy!

Some fun "Brado"isms:

Every time - I mean EVERY time - Brado hears a train whistle he excitedly turns to us and moves his arm up and down like he's pulling the chord that makes it go "chooo chooo" - he loves trains.

Every day we have 'goofy' time, where Braden is somewhat tired and gets so giggly that anything we do is the funniest thing ever. It's the best time of the day. :)

Brado babbles a lot these days and we ask him questions about what he's talking about and he "answers" us in his little babble language. It is so cute.

He knows the sign for 'all done', which we use mostly at meal-time, but occasionally when we are doing something he doesn't want to do he starts waving both arms and telling us he's 'all done' with whatever it is we are doing. I can't help but laugh every time.

Braden gives us the tightest hugs these days and just squeezes his little arms around our neck. It is one of the best feelings in the world.

And one of Braden's newest tricks....HE CAN WALK!!!
Monday of last week I was sitting on the floor and Justin gave Braden his sippy-cup full of milk while he was standing a few feet away from me. After dBoldrinking a few gulps he decided he wanted to come to me - and to our great surprise - took three steps by himself and got to me! Justin and I's jaws dropped and we sat there celebrating together. It was one of those "all-time best moments of our life" that we will remember for a long, long time (our list - When we first said "I love you", When we got married, When we got accepted to medical school, when Braden was born and those precious beginning days of his life, and now this one...I'm sure there are more than that, but I won't bore you with more...)

He has continued to take a few steps here and there and it is so much fun! (We haven't gotten it on camera yet, so I'll have to post that another time.)


Cake time: I was so excited for Braden to try chocolate cake...but at first he wasn't so sure...
Then, with coaxing and help from me, he tried a little...

Then the joy of chocolate started setting in...
he has so much to experience in the world of chocolate! And I'm sure he will be getting plenty of it seeing as how both Justin and I are chocoholics!

Proud Mom and cute little boy!

We had such a fun time celebrating together!

Random pics:
Braden and I love going to the park. And I love watching him maneuver around the playground. He is a little monkey for sure and loves to climb things. I love how these pictures captured his intent of getting up to the top!

One morning we woke up to a freezing house with our furnace broken! Bummer. That night was one of the occasions that it got below freezing, so it was a chilly morning for sure! Brado weathered it all really well, he even kept his hat on! :)

Justin cooking us a warm breakfast in the cold
Snuggle time with Daddy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where's your Belly?

Braden is learning so much these days and it is a blast! He has learned a few body parts, and his favorite is his belly. It is really cute. To us anyway. :)

He is also doing a lot of standing these days. He hasn't ventured out to take a step yet, but stands alone quite a bit and last night we got him dancing for the first time without holding on. It was so funny!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Thanksgiving was a wonderful, much needed, break for us! The Goldade's (a family in our ward) invited us over. We felt right at home and had a wonderful time. Braden had fun playing with the blocks, as you can see above. He played with everyone around while I helped cook and get things ready. It was so nice to just spend the whole day with a family - cooking and getting things ready- just like we would if we were home.
The day started out fun for Justin at the annual Turkey Bowl that he looks forward to every year, no matter where we are. He has gotten a little too into it in years past and has always come home with injuries. I asked him if he was sure that he should play this year, because he already has an injured knee from soccer tournaments. He quickly assured me that this was only flag football and he wasn't going to get hurt. Famous last words...
He called me after a few hours after the fun had begun to inform me that he had a concussion! About 20 min of that morning is no longer in his memory bank. His initial reaction, after he had come to his senses a little bit and someone had told him what happened and helped him off the field, was to think of as many different parts and systems in the body and how they work and connect, etc. Once he was sure that his long-term memory was still there he was at ease. Instead of going to see a doctor, he simply ran through the checklist with himself when he got home - checking his pupils, etc. I guess that $50,000 a year for med school is paying off already. He saved himself a big fat bill from the hospital telling him he was fine. :)

The Goldade fam at dinner!

Braden's 1st Thanksgiving! You can see below that he enjoyed himself at the table. :) I think his favorite was the stuffing and rolls. I did give him a little bit of banana cream pie, which he thought was amazing!
The "bumbo head". Justin or I occasionally stick Braden's bumbo seat on our heads and he thinks it's so funny!

I love Thanksgiving and I am so grateful for a wonderful little family and sweet, loving people who take care of us no matter where we go. The Lord has been so good to us, and it seems in every stage of life provides just the right combination of things to help us grow, learn and feel His love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Isn't that just the cutest little thing ever?! I fell in love with the red pandas at the zoo. They were so cute and climbing around in the trees.
We went to the zoo here for the first time today and it was a blast! Apparently Justin gets in free, because he is a student, so it was only $7 for a great time! They even had a little baby giraffe there, which was pretty cute. It was a little wet, but not too cold, so we had a great time and the animals were very active.
Braden pointed at all the animals and plants. I think he thought this was one of the coolest places ever. He doesn't look very enthusiastic in this picture, but he's got the pointing finger out and ready. :)

Cute boys enjoying the giraffe!
It's not even Thanksgiving yet and I am loving this holiday break! I love this time of year!


Braden is having a lot of fun eating these days. He is using a spoon and is pretty darn good at it!
He makes a mess of everything, which is really fun. I know most people don't enjoy it when their child has yogurt or applesauce all over themselves and the tray, but I really think it's kind of fun! It seems like there are little things that he is learning all the time and it just makes me happy.

Here's one happy, well-fed boy! Actually, I'm not sure how well-fed he is, because I don't know that he got all that much applesauce in his mouth, but he's happy anyway.

Braden also discovered the joy of flour. I needed a distraction for him while I got some bread ready to put in the oven and he kept pointing to the flour. So I put some by him and he thought it was great! At first he played in it a little bit and then he started eating it. I laughed, thinking he would get a "gross" look on his face, but he didn't. He just kept eating it and really seemed to enjoy it, as strange as that is. By the time he was done he had it all over his face and he looked like he was trying to be Santa Claus.

So, I've been really into making bread recently (there is a WONDERFUL, AMAZING, TO DIE FOR bread recipe down below, just in case you are interested in manna from heaven coming out of your oven. Plus, it's a bread machine recipe, so it's super easy. YES!). I thought I would post this recipe I found on It's potato bread, so it's amazingly soft. Originally it was a wheat recipe - and is really good that way - but most often I do it as a white recipe - and it is seriously addicting and delicious that way. Healthy and tasty or indescribably delicious? Hmmm....hard choice. But usually, indescribably delicious wins out.

Heavenly Whole Wheat or White Potato Bread (Bread Machine)

  • Ingredients

    1 1/8 cups warm water
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened and cut into pieces
    or 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (omit this if doing white bread)
  • 1 cup bread flour (3 cups if doing white bread - I've also had this turn out fine with just regular flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry instant potato flakes
  • (you can also just microwave a potato and mash the insides - put it in with the wet ingredients if you do this. You will need to add a little more flour though, it will make your dough very moist.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


  1. Place all ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed or as suggested by the manufacturer.
  2. Set the bread machine on the following settings: "basic" bread; "light" crust;
  3. "1-1/2 pound" loaf size.
  4. NOTE: This bread can be made with the "delay" timer setting.
I usually just put the ingredients in and use the "dough" setting. I like to pull it out, knead it just a little, shape it into 2 circles and let it rise for an hour. Then bake it at 350 for 30 min.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween and more...

While we were in Utah we stayed with my sis for most of the trip. It was a blast to spend time with her and her cute family. Braden loved the entertainment and attention of my niece and nephew, Katie and Andrew.
We all carved pumpkins together, Braden kept trying to eat the guts, and then would spit them out with a disgusted look on his face, try to eat them again, and, again, spit them out with an even more disgusted look. I think he probably did it 15 times. I think he thought that something that weird had to be tasted, even if it was gross. :)

At the end of the week Ang was nice enough to send me with her ticket to the Aggie basketball opening game! It was a blast and I loved every second of being back in the Aggie bball scene. Justin and I are going to miss that dearly this year. EVMS is just a medical school, so there are no sports events to go and get excited about. I think we'll probably just be Aggie bball fans the rest of our lives. Thanks again Ang and Scott for letting me relive some great memories! Justin was very jealous, but happy for me.

Me, my bro-in-law Scott, and their friends Mik and Nikki

The finished result of the pumpkins!

My friend Jaci made this great beanie for Braden! Isn't it so cute?! I love it! She is amazingly talented. If you are in need of a cute baby beanie or hat, she has just started up a website:
They are so great! She makes some really cute little girl ones, too, that I am going to have to invest in when we have a girl someday!

Mom and Ang and I whipped up some scary treats for Halloween night. It was a lot of fun and way more creative than I usually am! I think I'm going to try to make that a new tradition for us.

Braden was a cute little pumpkin and had a fun time on Halloween. We got cold a little early though, so we had to go back before everyone else. He still got some great treats to share with us though. And to his delight, he got a new toothbrush! There is a dentist that lives nearby Ang and Scott and he gives out popcorn and toothbrushes for Halloween. Braden was thrilled because he loves playing with toothbrushes. Thank you Dr. Theurer!

My bro Brian is an awesome uncle and decided to dress up with Andrew as a jedi. Don't they look sweet?! I was pretty impressed with their costumes.

And Katie was the cutest little monkey I've ever seen!

Me and my pumpkin!

Melanie and Katie getting ready to go trick or treating

Braden and Andrew had hours of fun together. Braden thought Andrew was hilarious and Andrew was so cute and loved to give Braden hugs and tell him he was his best friend.

Little Katie loves her thumb. She was a great little helper in taking care of Braden. She would also tell Braden that he was her best friend, which is amazingly cute coming from a 2 year old!

Thanks Ang and Scott for letting us move in for a few weeks! We miss you guys!

Ang and I both got haircuts while we were together and could watch each others kids. It was great for both of us. I love getting my hair cut and Ang's turned out so cute! I love it.

the "Sassy Sisters" look

We also got to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Neilson while we were there. They are so sweet and we love them to death.

I don't have many pictures of our visits with friends, but we really got to see a lot of people while we were there in Logan. So thanks to everyone who took the time to see us! Thanks also to Dan and Dana for picking us up from the airport and letting us invade for a little bit! We really miss everyone so much! We have the best family and friends in the world! LOVE YOU ALL!!!