Sunday, October 23, 2011

Visiting the Witches

We made our annual trip to see the Witches at Gardner Village. Caleb got a cool new lightsaber to help us find our way in the dark.

He also found a new friend ....

What a fun Family Night!

Happy Halloween!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011


My heart was so full this past Saturday.

Saturday was the first walk in Salt Lake City held by the Childrens Tumor Foundation in support of Neurofibromatosis. I have been volunteering and helping prepare for the walk but had planned all along to have to miss the walk itself as we knew it would be during Parker's football game. However, the closer the walk got, the more I felt I really needed to take Caleb and let him participate.

As many of you know, Sunday, October 2nd, was our sweet daughter, Bailey's, birthday. She would have been 3 years old. In honor of her birthday, Parker's football team was planning to wrap their cleats in purple tape for their game. We were all so excited. I really wanted to be at the game to support Parker (if you have followed Bailey's Journey you know that Parker is the one that has really struggled - and still does - with the loss of his little Sister). In addition to the expected emotions of the weekend thinking of my baby girl, the emotions of the "unknown" of what will happen with Caleb and NF, being very worried about Chris who had been in the Hospital the day before with chest pains, etc, I was struggling so much with having two very important places to be at the same time. This is where the blessings begin.

I finally made the decision that we would go to Parker's game. I was still feeling bad because I wanted Caleb to be able to participate in the walk, but I also knew that there would be other opportunities and, honestly, he really didn't understand what the walk was and what it was for anyway. Still - I felt very emotional about my decision. My beautiful niece, Heather, and her Princess friends (they do Princess Parties) had graciously volunteered their time to come to the walk and visit with the kids for "entertainment". When I called her to give her the name of the person she would need to look for since I would not be going to the walk, she asked if she could take Caleb with her and the Princesses. Such a sweet thing to do with an already full plate and such a weight off of my shoulders. Maybe everyone could get to where they needed/wanted to be after all. Caleb went with the Princesses, had a great time at the walk, and then my Dad picked him up after and kept him until I could get finished at the Football game. Like I always say .. what would we do without family?

Next event causing my heart to overflow ... the Football game. Unfortunately, the tape that we had called and had held at Sports Authority did not end up being what we had asked for. When we got there late Friday night to pick it up, it was too late to do anything about it. However, Chris took what we had to the game Saturday morning and between him and some of the other Parents, all of the boys had their arms wrapped with purple in honor of Bailey. What a great feeling! Again - for those of you that have followed Baileys Journey, you know how much of a part Parker's Football Team played the year we lost Bailey. They were AWESOME! Football is such a family to us. This is one of the reasons why I get so emotional at Football Season. I had been so looking forward to having my little cheerleader with me at all of Parker's games. She was going to help me yell for him .. she was going to be his good luck charm. I miss that so much but Parker knows that she is watching from Heaven - yelling at him to "Work Hard" just like Caleb does from the sidelines. Having the Coach give Parker a chance to tell his new team mates about his little Sister at the Pep Rally on Friday night and then having them all wear the purple for the game meant so much to our family.
And it didn't stop there ..
Within the first 5 minutes of my arriving at the game, one of the other players Moms came up to me and gave me a big hug. How could she know how much I needed that? It meant the World to me. Someone that I hardly know (this is a new Team and we are still getting to know the other Parents), showing this friendly gesture. So much appreciated!
The game was rough .. we knew it might be a tough one .. and we ended up losing 19 - 0.
Parker played his best, though, and did end up winning 2 of the Coach awards at the end of the game. Again - something that made my heart so full and my tears stream down my cheeks.
I am sure that everyone thought I was crazy to cry over my boys awards .. but that was just one piece of my emotional puzzle. It wasn't about the awards - all the boys played hard and were just as deserving ... it was that there was a little bit of happiness in my boys day that day - and that is what mattered to me.

All of these little acts of kindness made this usually unbearable day a great day for me. Was it emotional? Yes. Did I still struggle at times? Yes. Do we all still miss our sweet little Bailey? OF COURSE! But we are healing .. and it is getting easier. And we have our Friends and Family to thank for that.
We love you all! Thank you!

My new home?

I am in the kitchen tonight and Caleb comes and gives me a big hug. This is how the conversation goes from there ...

Caleb: "When are you going to get old?"
Caleb: "I mean .. you are already old, but when are you going to get REALLLLLY old and die?"

Hmmm .. think he is going to be putting me in a home soon?
I love my kids!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Think he's sexy?

Louisville, KY - May/June 2011


Swimming at the pool in Louisville, KY - May/June 2011

Caleb and the Rockin' Robys

While we were at Mamaw's in Louisville in May/June 2011, Aunt Starla and Natasha taught Caleb how to boogie with the Wii. Way fun!

We went to Louisville, KY at the end of May 2011 for Papaw Paulin's funeral. The boys had so much fun swimming together at the Hotel in the evenings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy 11th Birthday, Parker!

A little football, video games, presents, food, and most importantly .. friends!

Buddy Peterson, Caleb Blake, Seth Villagomez, Noah Chesley, Ryver Roskelley, Parker Blake, Scott Lovato, Jared Laster, Nick Condra, Brennan Bone, Tanner Isbell, Cayden Meitchen, Will Hatch, Braden Hansen, Zach Condra

Parker - Webelos

On July 26, 2011 Parker earned his Webelo, Arrow of Light, and Religious Knot. They had a very special ceremony for him. It was a great night!

This is a picture of his Leader, Sister Hubbell, who helped push him and get everything finished up in time. THANK YOU!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm their Mommy!

With Mothers Day coming up I thought I would show off my awesome kids. They are so different from one another but so special and amazing in their own ways. I am so lucky to be "Mommy" to each and every one of them.

I love you all!

Parker Jacob Baldwin Blake was born on July 18, 2000. I have always been teased because he has such a "big" name. Well, it is fitting for such a big boy. He has always been big for his age and has a heart to go with his size. He is the most caring boy you have ever met. He will do anything for anyone and is loyal beyond what most "Tweens" could even comprehend. He truly understands compassion and service and is an excellent example of both.

Caleb William Blake was born September 20, 2006. Opposite his brother, Caleb has always been a little small for his age. However, his personality makes up for it! He has a HUGE smile, a contagious laugh, and a hug that could squeeze ANYONE tight. He loves his Brother more than anything in the World and wants to do anything he does. Caleb is quite a comedian and entertains everyone around him with his jokes, his stories, or just his funny faces. He is such an affectionate little guy!

Bailey Grace Blake is our sweet little Angel who was born on October 2, 2008 and passed away on October 4, 2008. She was loved by so many people even before she was born. She has truly made an impact on people all over the World who have heard her story and felt touched by her sweet Spirit. Our family talks about Bailey often and will never forget what an important part of our family she is. We love you Bailey and look forward to being together with you again someday.

*** Parker and Calebs photos taken by Abbey Kyhl from AK Studio. Bailey's pic taken by Julie Williams - courtesy of NILMDTS. ***

Orange Tigers soccer

Caleb seems to have finally figured soccer out. As many of you will remember - past soccer seasons have been what we have described as "painful" to watch. Whether it was Caleb sitting on the sidelines with his ears covered, running down the field AWAY from the ball, or just plain refusing to go out on the field, it has NOT been a fun experience. I was seriously considering not letting him play again. I almost signed him up for baseball. But he said he wanted soccer so I decided to give it ONE MORE TRY. Well, I am sure glad I did. He actually ran right out there the first practice and is actually quite good. He can dribble the ball - he has AMAZING ball control for a 4 year old - and he is FAST! They won their first game 5 - 2 and Caleb made 4 of those goals (3 for us and 1 for them - HA). Anyway .. looks like this should be a much more fun experience - if we could just play some games instead of having them cancelled for snow every week! GO ORANGE TIGERS!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Picture A Day - August 2005

Parker (5 years old) on the 4wheeler at Grandpa and Grandma's cabin at Fairview Lakes, Utah.

A Picture A Day - April 2010

I haven't downloaded my pictures from this years bday celebration yet so I thought this was a fitting "Picture A Day" from Memory Lane for today. This is Chris's bday last year.

Happy 39th THIS year, Chris! Love you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Picture A Day - December 2005

Parker before his first snowboarding lesson at Brighton in December 2005.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Picture A Day - August 31, 2008

My two favorite boys having a "sleepover" in the TV Room. They love spending time with each other and Parker is such a good big Brother to Caleb. Love you guys!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HAVOC Football

Another great picture of Parker taken by Dave Collard of Capture It. Even with Parker going in for this tackle, the boys ended up with a loss that week. We'll get 'em next week, boys!

Picture A Day - Hawaii January 2009

Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We got to spend a fun Anniversary while on a trip to Hawaii with our "Allied family" in January 2009. A little R&R after a stressful 2008.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Memory Lane - A Picture A Day

OK - apparently I struggle to put multiple pictures on a blog post and make it look good. SOOOO .. I am going to continue our little trip down memory lane by posting a picture a day and telling about it. Boring for most of you - probably, but it's my blog and we want to take this trip - HA! ENJOY!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Memory Lane ..

Last night I was sitting with the boys and we were looking at all of the old pictures on my computer. OK, so just because I am a little behind on their scrapbooks doesn't mean we can't have "memory lane" nights, right?

We had so much fun - until my battery died because my laptop wasn't plugged in. :)

Anyway .. I am going to share a few of our favorites over the next few posts. Hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane as much as we did.

Awww .. such sweet boys. Parker and Caleb - Christmas 2006 (Parker 6 years old, Caleb 2 months old)

My Football Boys - September 2008 (Parker - 8 yrs old, Caleb - 2 years old)

Throwing/Skipping rocks at Grandpa and Grandma's cabin - 24th of July weekend 2010.

Parker and Dad - Huntington Canyon above Fairview Lakes - 24th of July weekend 2010.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Updated "old" posts

I told people that I had updated and added some older pics and posts but they keep telling me they can't find them. I guess I should have pointed out that I put them in chronological order so you have to look down into September/October .. but they are there! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

HAVOC vs Xtreme Black

Third game of the season ended in a loss (33 - 8). The boys were a little "off" today but we will make a comeback. GO HAVOC!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's time for some HAVOC!

The HAVOC Indoor Football Season has begun. First game was last Saturday. We lost 19 - 6 but there is plenty of time for a comeback! Go HAVOC!

** Thanks to Dave Collard from Capture It for the picture. You ROCK!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Dad

I have always, always, ALWAYS been a "Daddy's Girl". Does this mean that we have always gotten along perfectly and I have always done everything right and we have always been best friends? Umm .. Nope. But I have always had a special relationship with my Dad. I could go on and on with stories about time I have spent with my Dad, things we have done together,conversations we have had, etc, but that's not what I wanted to talk about tonight. What I wanted to share with all of you is what an amazing Man my Daddy is. My Dad likes to tell everyone that he is such a "grumpy old Man" but that is so not true. He says he is "set in his ways" but that isn't even true (ok - maybe about SOME things but I think you are entitled to that by the time you are in your late 70's). My Dad is one of the most giving, compassionate people I know. Not only has my Dad always been there to help me when I needed it (even sometimes when I didn't want to admit I needed it), but he has helped numerous others from the neighborhood, Ward, etc all throughout his life. Both of my Parents have always willingly served others which taught all of our family to do the same. But what I find even more amazing is the unconditional love and service he gives to my Mom. No matter how hard things get, my Dad does whatever is necessary to take care of the Wife that he has loved for over 50 years. I'm not even exactly sure what I wanted to say when I started this blog entry, but I just have so much admiration and respect for all that my Dad does. As my Mom's health has continued to decline, my Dad continues to do whatever necessary to help her and make her comfortable. Things are not always easy. It is not easy to watch some of the things that she has to go through. It is not easy to have to get her in and out of the car to go to the Hospital for her medication every day. But my Dad does it - no matter how he feels, how tired he is, how bad the weather is, whatever - he just does it.
I am sure he will not be happy that I put this blog post out so I have not gone into too much detail but I wanted EVERYONE to know what a very special man my Dad is.
I love you so much, Dad. Thanks for being you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Missed me?

Well, I have really been a slacker on my blogging, haven't I? Part of the reason is just plain lack of motivation but things have also been pretty crazy busy around here the last month or so. No matter the reason, though, I am publicly (ok, as publicly as my blog gets) making the commitment to do better. Not only am I going to update with the Blake family going-ons but I AM going to go buy a new cord for our camera so I can download the last years worth of pictures and get them on here. Here's to lots of catching up over the next several days.