Goodbye, California

The last couple of weeks have been such a whirlwind that I’m not sure I’ve been able to process the fact that we’ve moved halfway across the country. It doesn’t help that we’re staying with my mom and family is in town so it just feels like a long vacation so far. 99% of our stuff is in storage and we’ve been living out of suitcases for two weeks now! It’s been fun but I think these kids especially will be ready to get back to a semi-normal schedule and life once we’re able to move into our home in a few weeks.

We spent just over four years in San Jose, CA and it was just what our family needed. We’ve always lived within 30 minutes of both of our families (and we both have big families) so most of our time was determined by what soccer game, birthday party, family dinner was going on that evening or weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE family time buuuuuut I just remember the first weekend in San Francisco…we both looked at each other and said, “What do we want to do?! We can literally do whatever we want!” We grew and blossomed and leaned on each other in the last four years. It’s been just what our family needed.

Another beautiful side effect of us not having family close to us is that we really made friends that became family. That’s what we’re going to miss most about California — the people. Hands down. The weather’s great, the sights are great, but the people are what made it home for us. We are so thankful for all of the wonderful people who stepped in when we needed them and spent holidays with us so they didn’t feel as lonely. We’re really trying to sell Austin so people will come visit us or even better…move there! We’ll have a guest room all ready for you guys if you ever wanna test the Austin area out! Just saying.

The one thing I wanted to do most before we left the Bay Area was take family pictures by the bridge and I’m so grateful we were able to squeeze it in before we left! Our family will always hold our time in California close to our hearts and looking at these pictures will give us all the feels our whole lives, I know it.

Thank you, California, for your lack of bugs, beautiful weather that always cools off at night, the Golden Gate Bridge, the redwoods, amazing hiking, being the place we brought our sweet baby Sawyer home to, Boudin, your incredible fruit trees in everyone’s yards, for being the place we learned more about our amazing son Holden, our San Francisco trips, the beach, and the amazing people who live there. We definitely left part of our hearts there but we are excited to see what adventures living back in Texas bring our family.

-LWPH

all photos by Rachel Zee Photography

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Happy Thanksgiving! 

[his onesie says “I’m stuffed!” I love it!]

Hope everyone’s Thanksgivings were great and full of family time. I slacked a little on my Gratitude Challenge there at the end so I’ll catch up now. What better day than today? 

Day twenty-five: I’m grateful for date night. It was such a great weekend. 
Day twenty-six: I’m grateful for Jennifer coming over and helping me fold laundry today 🙂
Day twenty-seven: I’m grateful for my camera so I can capture all these wonderful pictures of H. 
Day twenty-eight: I’m grateful for Christmas. The holidays, really. It’s such a wonderful time of the year. I especially love Christmas because I love picking out the perfect gift for people and being able to focus more on Christ.
Day twenty-nine: I’m grateful for baths. They are so relaxing.
Day THIRTY!: I’m grateful for all of the other blessings in my life that I didn’t mention on this list. Allan and I were talking tonight about how blessed we are and it’s hard to mention every single thing.

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twenty-Four

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Day twenty-four:
I’m grateful for Pizza Friday.


[H can’t wait till he can be included in the pizza portion of the evening. already trying to steal ours!]

Lately it’s been Pizza whatever-day-we-can-fit-in-family-time. It doesn’t really matter what day as long as we get yummy pizza, a movie, and hanging out. This past week it was Pizza Wednesday. I decided last minute to do it so I didn’t have time to defrost the hamburger so we just did cheese pizza and watched Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It was really good, actually. I’m looking forward to keeping this tradition going for a long time 🙂
-Little Wife Power House
PS Our measuring cup dove off of the counter on Pizza Wednesday and crashed into a million pieces:

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twenty-Three

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Day twenty-three:
I’m grateful that Allan is such a wonderful father.



[ugh, can’t get it up & down…will fix later]


You know, I remember having a conversation with another woman in the YW Presidency last year [who has 3 daughters] about how badly children [especially girls] need a strong father figure. We were thinking about young girls in general and realized that a lot of the girls who seriously struggle in their youth have an absent father in their lives. Now that isn’t to say that boys don’t need a strong father figure in their lives, they do. I just think it’s different. I don’t have any daughters [yet] but when I do, I’m grateful to know that Allan will be there 110% just as he is for H. 

I’m looking forward to Allan playing catch with H, teaching him about computers [he’ll probably be a geek. like father like son], playing Mario Cart together, going camping, just playing together. It really doesn’t matter what they do. I’m grateful I don’t have to worry about him checking out of family time after a long day’s work. I’m grateful he always puts his family first. I knew before I married him that he was going to be a great father and I was right [what’s new, right Allan? :P] We love you [to the moon and back].

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twenty-Two

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Day twenty-two:
I’m grateful for my love for cooking. 

I fell in love with cooking in college. To be more accurate, I fell in love with the Food Network in college and that led to cooking. I started with Rachel Ray and her 30-minute meals [very few actually were worth cooking]…upgraded to Giada De Laurentiis [love her recipes!]…and now am picking up recipes from blogs, friends, and family …basically anywhere I can find a good one! I’m open to try almost anything. Some of my recent adventures include beef stroganoff, sour cream cupcakes, pumpkin cheesecake muffins, and apple cake. I’ve found a killer banana bread recipe [from my sister’s friend, Katie] and also the best lasagna I’ve had to date. I’m dying to find the perfect recipe card holder thing-a-ma-jig. I found really cute recipe cards at Anthropologie…but they are $14 for 12! That’s just crazy to me. I have WAY more than 12 recipes! I’ll even take a really cute recipe book where I can jot mine down [must be sturdy, though]. PLEASE tell me if any of you guys have found either one of those that I might like! 


Food Blogs I Love:
Cooking With My Kid
Bakerella
Rookie Cookie [even though she no longer posts]
Any other ones I need to check out?

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twenty-One

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Day twenty-one:
I’m grateful for my Grandparents.

[Gma and Gpa Tubb at the temple on our wedding day]

[Gpa Tubb, Gma Tubb, me, Allan. 08.08.08]

It’s crazy how much has changed since the day these pictures were taken. We now have a 4 month old, we’ve bought a house, we’ve celebrated two wedding anniversaries, and the Grandpa you see in this picture is now under constant care. It’s one of the most sad things I’ve ever experienced – seeing someone you love fade away. I can’t even imagine what my Mom and Grandma are going through. The only thing that gives me comfort is that he’ll be in a happier place and that families are forever. I’m grateful for the wonderful example they are to Allan & I. They’ve been together for 67 years and have an amazing love story. They were sealed in the temple and have always been active members of the church. I love them so much. I can’t wait until I can be the blunt grandma like she is 😛 and Allan can tell his adventurous stories like he does. 

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twenty

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Day twenty:
I’m grateful for my job

[at RTR’s 10-year anniversary lunch]



I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to work from home. I wasn’t expecting to be able to after I had Holden but it just worked out. I’m SO grateful for the opportunity I get to earn money for my family and still get to raise my son 24-7. I don’t think I could stand to leave him every day…I would if I had to but thankfully, I don’t. The owner of the company and everyone else involved in helping me do this have been amazing. I doubt any of them read this but if you do – you guys have been so great to our family so thank you…thank you…thank you! We appreciate everything. 


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Nineteen

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Day nineteen:
I’m grateful for my health. 



It’s days like this [when I’m sick] that I am especially grateful for my [usually] great health. I was around Allan for the past few weeks that he has been sick and nothing…you know who got me sick? A Sunbeam [one of the four-year-olds we teach at church] last Sunday. kids = crazy germs. I’m grateful that my family is lacking any major illnesses. I’m grateful we can all see [as long as I have my thick glasses on]. I’m grateful that we can all hear. I’m grateful that we can all walk and run [well obviously not H yet!] I’m grateful that [I believe thanks to H being breastfed] Holden hasn’t caught what Allan or I had/have. I’m grateful for all of these things and more. 


-Little Wife Power House

>what holden’s been up to lately…

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[as you can tell, I love tummy time pictures]

[chewing…]

[still chewing…]

[oh hey mom! cool camera!]

Just a few pictures of what Allan & I have been up to…my camera was missing for a few days so I don’t have very many. It has been found though! 

[Hawaiian pizza for Pizza Friday..mmm]

[it’s hot chocolate season! HUZZAH!]

Please share any good, warm, holiday-ish recipes you all have! I’ve been baking/cooking up a storm lately and I’m always dying to try new recipes. 

-Little Wife Power House


PS I haven’t been updating my Gratitude Challenge so here it is for the last few days…short and sweet.


Day sixteen: I’m grateful for my Prius. I love it sooo much.
Day seventeen: I’m grateful for this blog. I love blogging a lot, actually. I love that it holds me accountable to writing down memories and that I can put pictures with those memories. I’m also grateful for other people’s hard work on their blogs. I find so many great ideas/recipes on them!
Day eighteen: I’m grateful for food. Me and food have had a long affair and are quite fond of each other. I especially love pizza which is why I think Pizza Fridays are the BEST!!

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Fifteen

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HALFWAY THERE!
Day fifteen: 
I’m grateful for Koda. 


I’ve had Koda since I was 17 [so 6 years now]. She was my little baby before I had my little baby. She’s really fun to snuggle with, protective [good and bad…] and it’s so fun coming home to her wagging her tail like crazy and jumping on my legs. She’s still a spaz. She’s still skiddish, scared, and neurotic but she’s my skiddish, scared, neurotic little dog. I do have to admit that she doesn’t have as big of a hold on my heart as she once did [pre-Holden days] but I still love her dearly. Even if she does pee on our carpet when she’s mad at us – spiteful little thing…

-Little Wife Power House

>can I get a day off?

>Being sick while being a stay-at-home mom/working-from-home mom is pretty bad. I give it two thumbs down. Can I get a day off?  Unfortunately that’s not how it works. As a Mom, I’m on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I can’t call in sick to mommyhood. I know if I just had a day where I could sleep it off and rest I would get over this quickly but it just won’t happen. And to start off my morning guess what happened. Holden had an explosion…and not just a little one either. A SIX WIPE explosion. Hey, at least I’m not throwing up. Silver lining. 


I’m also going to start combining my gratitude challenge posts so I’m not only doing that every day. Posting it every day is such a good way to keep me on track but I can see how it would get boring. This way I can make sure I do both! 

Day fourteen:
I’m grateful for cute little baby feet & hands.


There’s nothing like a little baby hand clutching your finger or playing with tiny baby feet. It’s crazy to think we were all once that small and it’s sad to think Holden’s feet & hands won’t be that small in such a short time. Although, they’ll still be MY baby’s cute feet and hands forever :). 


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Thirteen

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Day thirteen:
I’m grateful to live in the USA.



I’m very grateful to live in the United States of America. I’m grateful to live in a country where I can practice my religion freely, where going to college isn’t just an unattainable dream, where I have countless luxuries, and where I’m happy. I’m grateful to live where my son can chew on his hand all day long 😉


[hehe..]



I think sometimes we take little things for granted. Hot water. Drinkable water. Air conditioning. I’m grateful for all of those things that make my day-to-day much simpler. I’m grateful for the President. I know not everyone agrees with everything he does but hey, you try to run a country of over 300 million people and make everyone happy! I’m grateful for the soldiers who serve and who have served our country. I look up to you men and women so much. Thank you for being more brave than I will ever be. I love the USA! 😛


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Twelve

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Day twelve:
I’m grateful for music.



Whether it be The Blood Brothers or Hymns, I love music. Music can bring you back in time. It can make you feel peace, happiness, sadness, anger, nostalgia, every emotion known to man. Some people in my life who love music to the max are Steve & Emily (my brother and his wife). They are dedicated. They still make time to go to shows often. They are always finding new bands and sharing them with others. It’s something fun that they get to share together and they always will. I think Steve has turned me on to a lot of the bands I listen to. Some of my favorite bands include: The Spill Canvas, Deathcab for Cutie, Postal Service, Journey, Jimmy Eat World, The Good Life, really – any 80’s music (ask Allan, he hates it!), the list goes on. I also really love Hymns. H loves them too! When he was a new newborn, he would mostly only go to sleep if someone sang to him. I always sang hymns to him. They are peaceful, calming, and beautiful. I wish I knew all of the words to every hymn like my wonderful husband (and I mean every hymn…it’s impressive!) …maybe one day. I hope that we can share our love for all music with Holden as he grows up. 


-Little Wife Power House


P.S. Steve & Emily – if you have any new bands to share, please do! I completely trust your taste 😛

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Eleven

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Day eleven:
I’m grateful for my new rolling pin.



You read it right. My new rolling pin. When you’ve lived for years without a rolling pin and instead used a big, plastic water bottle to roll out anything from cinnamon rolls to pizza dough, you are grateful for a real one. I didn’t know what I had been missing!! I ordered one from Anthropologie. I had never wanted to drop the cash for one since I felt the water bottle technique was working just fine. When I saw this one though, I couldn’t resist. Also, since we’re doing Pizza Friday every week, I am rolling quite a bit more. I think I’ve talked about my weakness to anything Anthropologie before…I also got new oven mits, a platter, and a cookie jar. I have to wait until Christmas to get those from my Dad though. Can’t wait! Next? These bowls. Anyways, back to the rolling pin. This one is AWESOME. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! This baby’s got some heft to it. It’s bone china so I better never drop it…I’ll never go back to the water bottle. I can promise you that! 


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Ten

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Day ten:
I’m grateful for fall.



Ah, fall. I only get to see you for such a short time of the year but I love you nonetheless. I love your cool weather, your beautiful colors, Allan’s break from school, your clothes, your holiday season, your decorations. Basically I love everything about you. I wish I got to spend more time with you besides the little break between our blistering summers & (in my wimpy opinion) freezing winters! I’ll enjoy you while you last…

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Nine

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Day nine:
I’m grateful for my friends.

This is Garrett & Sallie. They’re special. I actually had a picture of them both with funny faces but I didn’t have the flash on so it’s not great…at least Sallie looks pretty :). These two are perfect for each other. Ahem, Allan & I take credit for setting them up, I might add! They stood in line for hours to win free wings for a year from Buffalo Wild Wings and we got to eat the fruits of their labor a few weeks ago. Man, I don’t even like wings and I wanted more! They’re getting married December 28th (having wings at their reception, love it) and we couldn’t be happier for them. Now if only Garrett wasn’t stealing Sallie away to Lubbock! 


We are so lucky to be blessed with such great friends: Mindy, Levi, and their boy Aiden, Ephraim (AKA George), Sallie & Garrett (above), our siblings (it’s the best when you’re friends AND related, eh!?), Bill, Blair, Jackie, the list goes on…I love you all! I didn’t write down all of our friends (thought that would get boring) so if you’re not on the list…we love you!!


-Little Wife Power House 

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Eight

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Day eight:
I’m grateful for my iPad :o)

{Would any of you guess that this was 
one of Allan’s favorite newborn pictures?}



Hehe! Allan is going to love this post! I married a geek, okay?! What do you expect?! When Allan was (successfully) talking me into getting him an iPad I thought to myself that I would never get one. He was home for about a month when I had Holden and I ended up using it a lot. Mostly for TV, facebook, and browsing the internet (which is still the case…but I added Solitaire now). It has an ABC app, a Netflix app, tons of games, an iCalendar, a Pandora app, etc. Allan got me one for my birthday and I use it every single day. He knows me better than I know myself! He got me the 16 gig wifi version and it’s been perfect. I can take it anywhere in the house with me while I nurse H. If you have the extra money, I totally recommend one! 


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Seven

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Day seven:
I’m grateful for my family.



{Allan’s family on our wedding day}


{My family on our wedding day}



I have to do the rest of my family in one post or else it will take up all 30 days! Let me show you how many people I’m grateful for in my immediate family (including in-laws): Mom, Dad, Lori, Robert, JR, Asher, Steve, Emily, Julie, John, Chris, Melanie, Tim, Jennifer, Babe, Sterling, Carter, Jett, Casey, Joe, Melissa, Jaimie, Jeff, Kirsten, Carrie, and Adelle. PHEW! Both Allan & I have HUGE families. My family has 8 people (not including in-laws or my nephews) and Allan’s family has 11 people (not including in-laws or my nephews). The family wedding picture when we got married was a little ridiculous. It will be a lot of ridiculous by the time Allan’s youngest sister (who is six) gets married. I’m so grateful to have all of them in my life. It’s nice having so many people to lean on – and boy do I lean on them! They help us SO much. They’re always willing to lend a hand whenever we’re in need of one. THANK YOU GUYS. It means a lot to us. I hope they all know that we’re there for them whenever they need us :). Love you all.


-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Six

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Day six:
I’m grateful for my house.

We bought our first house about six months ago. We were very lucky to find the house we did for the price we did. We have enough room in the house that we could have a few more kids and be fine. I don’t want to move again anytime soon! I love it here too much. We’ve had to do some work (paint and more recently fix the sprinkler system, replace the two trees you see in the front, and get gutters put on the rest of the house.) We knew all of this needed to be done when we bought it – I was just a little busy being pregnant then having a newborn to deal with it :). There is still more work to be done but just little things. I can’t wait to start on the upstairs playroom in the next six months or so! I already have it all mapped out! I love the location, the size, the neighborhood, the ward, the layout, the fireplace, the garden bathtub, the HUGE closet, the list goes on. AAAANDDD we got it in time to qualify for the $8,000 tax refund! Bonus! A big thank you to our realtor Ryan Owens for finding us this house!

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Five

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Day five:
I’m grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Gospel changed my life. There is no way that I would be the person I am today or have the things I have today without it. The Gospel has blessed my life in ways I never could have imagined. It has helped me become a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, and most recently, mother. I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know they love me. I have faith that I will live with them again one day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m thankful for the temple. I love its beauty and the peace I feel when I’m there. I’m grateful that I get to be with Allan, Holden, and our future children forever. I’m grateful to have the Holy Ghost with me to guide me and that Heavenly Father answers my prayers. I love that I’m never alone even though I may feel like it sometimes. 

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Four

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Day four:
I’m grateful for my nephews.

{This was JR and Asher hiding so they could scare their Mom when she got home}


{Sterling and Holden}

I wish I had pictures of all my nephews but sadly, I don’t. I love, love, love all of my nephews. JR, Asher, Sterling, Carter, and Jett. ALL BOYS! Can you believe it? My theory is that it’s because Allan’s mom had seven girls…but that wouldn’t account for my side…who knows! My nephews are so much fun to play with. Sterling, JR, and Carter are such great big brothers. I always see them teaching their little brothers things they are already so good at. I can’t wait for Holden to get older so he can become friends with his cousins. I know they are going to be great friends and the boys will be great examples for H. 

-Little Wife Power House

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Three

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Day three:
I’m grateful for my Mom.


Where to start on the most influential woman in my life? Let me just say that when I think of what kind of Mom I want to be to my kids, I think of my own Mom. She is the most kind, compassionate, giving, loving person I know. As she would say, “I’m the kindest person in the world!” (Inside joke – apparently her personality type is supposed to be the nicest personality.) She’s always been there to bail me out. She’ll always be there to bail me out, I know that. She makes the best food {ROAST}, she can sleep anywhere {a talent she developed over the years having 6 children}, and she loves unconditionally. She is beautiful inside and out – and hilarious! She’s the “master of the universe!” Mom, thanks for always being there for me {like when I was two weeks overdue and I came to your house crying and you took me to get a mani/pedi}. I love you x a million and I truly hope I can be as good of a mother to Holden (and our future children) as you are to all of us. 

-Little Wife Power House 

>The Gratitude Challenge: Day Two

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Day two: 
I’m grateful for my husband, Allan. 



I couldn’t have asked for a better husband and I really mean that. We are so perfectly suited for each other. We balance each other out. I’m high maintenance, he’s laid back. I’m organized, he’s…less organized. The list could go on. Most importantly though – we love each other to the max. He’s such a great father. I know he’s going to be such a great example to Holden as he grows up. It’s important to me that Holden has a good father figure and someone who will always be there for him no matter what (besides me) and there is no doubt in my mind that Allan will be both of those things. I love how he makes me laugh when I’m grumpy. I love that he always puts our family first. I love that he always raises his eyebrows when he smiles in pictures and he rolls his eyes when I say, “Let’s take another one with your eyebrows lowered.” I love that he’s the smartest person I know (and I honestly mean that). I love that he works so hard for our family (gone for 12+ hours each day at work and school). I love that we get to be together forever thanks to the blessings of the temple. I look forward to the future and what it holds for our family…probably not the ten kids Allan wants :P. I love you, Allan – to the moon and back. 


-Little Wife Power House

>The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

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I have to start the gratitude challenge with: 
I’m grateful for my son. 

The first picture was one of the first times I got to hold my sweet baby boy after he was born. The second picture is one of his newborn pictures that we had done 5 days after he was born. I saw this idea on my sister’s blog {My Montessori Moments – check it out if you ever need great ideas for teaching your young ones!} and she got it from another blog. I think this is such a great idea – especially with Thanksgiving coming up. I have so much to be grateful for. This 30 day challenge should be a breeze :P. The only trick will be remembering to do it every day! Our family will be reading it on Thanksgiving Day as well (thanks, Lori!). Hopefully I can get my busy husband to do it, too. Spread the word! I’d love to see this on my friends’ blogs!


-Little Wife Power House