Monday, February 28, 2011

tuck tuck bo buck

wait, don't finish that. 

i know everyone has been on pins an needles wondering what in the world my exciting news could possibly be. ironically, lots of you already knew the news. kind of a let down, huh?

but, for those of you who haven't heard: ryan is a smarty pants. 

and because he is a smarty parts, he applied and was accepted to Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and is carting our family to the frigid {and beautiful, i've heard?} northeast for 2 years beginning this august. hanover, new hampshire, to be exact.

oh yah, and he got a partial scholarship. i told you. smarty. pants. 
i'm all sorts of excited. and all sort of scared-out-of-my-mind. 
we are so relieved to finally KNOW what we're doing with our lives. ryan has basically been m.i.a. since last may when he started studying for the gmat. once that was over, applications started. i pride myself in my ability to proof writing samples and i usually enjoy it, but a bazillion essays one trillion times over is too much for even me to handle. i only made it through by marking up his 8.5x11's in red with witty comments about myself in the margins. he rolled his eyes every time, but i know he liked it.

after applications came the waiting. oh the waiting. you have no idea how awful it is to try and imagine yourself in six different cities. six very different cities. or none of them. and lots of people don't even get in their first year of applying to top schools. so we could have just stayed put and started the thrilling process all over again this fall. we just had no idea.

so, we are very excited for this new little adventure for the layton trio.

i don't really want to think about all the things we'll be leaving behind. friends who have become family. family now all the way across the country, not just a 12 hour drive. delicious running weather all year long {i ran 5 this morning in frigid 40 something degree weather. it might have even dipped to the 30s, guys. there was frost on the ground! hard to believe, i know}. endless amounts of mattress commercials {seriously, california has so many mattress advertisements and stores!}. the list goes on. 

we are looking forward to new friends. new adventures. possibly taking up skiing {my high school friends won't believe it 'til they see it} and possibly hockey. you never know with us laytons. it's been fun to chat with other admits and their families and begin to become acquainted with the people with whom we'll be spending two years of our lives. we'll be 2 hours from boston and 4.5 from nyc, so i have day/weekend trips whizzing endlessly through my head. there is also a rett clinic in boston and we're excited to meet even more of that wonderful family. 

wish us luck! 

p.s. leah's official title is that of a "tiny tuckie." how cute is that!?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

pumpkin up

our twin jack had his year four celebration at the local pump it up {otherwise referred to, by him, as 'pumpkin up'}. balls + slides + bouncing + running + screaming + pizza + cupcakes + friends = smashing success. sarah is so smart.
{seriously enjoying all of the sibling love in this picture}

leah held the fort down on the mats at the bottom of the slide. but don't you worry, i used my enormous biceps to lug her up all of those air-filled stairs, dodging kids all the way, and slid down with her multiple times. it was hard work, but i think she liked it. she and miss waves enjoyed giggling in the bounce house and she most definitely enjoyed the pizza. 
we hope he likes his digger utensils. we were hoping to spruce up mealtime.

happy #4 to jack!!

when i grow up, i want to sing in a senior citizen choir

i spent the morning as a substitute pianist for a senior choir at the local senior citizen center. the room was filled with white hair, bifocals, and lace-up nursing shoes. i was greeted at every turn with a huge smile and boisterous "hello there, young lady!" 

the two hours flew by as i plunked out parts for sopranos, altos, tenors and basses. the director only had me play the accompaniment twice, and i got a round of applause both times. i was basically a celebrity. 

i honestly had a grin on my face the entire time. hearing these men and women - from all walks of life - come together to sing. to learn and better themselves. to improve upon a skill once used, or gain a new one. 
the program was full of a wide array of songs. from zippity doo dah and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to beauty and the beast, tradition, and broadway hits like hey look me over and do you hear the people sing?

i took a picture on my phone, but it was blurry. plus, it only showed the back of their heads. but it was a sight...and a behold. i hope i get to do it again sometime soon.

what do YOU want to do when you grow up?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

she had a birthday

our little leah turned four. FOUR. i fear she's getting not-so-little every day. her chubby cheeks are slowly but surely disappearing. she's nearly out of the "T" size clothes. and her new haircut makes her look downright mature. 

she is simply a joy in our lives. i often wish i could hear the funny things she might have to say or the pictures she might draw. or be blown away by the new things she learns and retains every single day. but, for now, i'm content with the love i see in her beautiful, blue eyes. the joy in her gargantuan giggle. the life in her wobbly run.

she's mine all mine {okay, i'll share her with ryan too}. all four years of her. 

we spent the day getting our hair cut, chasing bubbles in the sunshine, playing with friends and watching princess movies. 

then daddy got stranded at work so the katzs came to the rescue and celebrated with us that night. my apologies to aubo for not owning any handsome prince dressups. it's now on my list. 

leah blew out her candles with the help of a switch and a fan and we enjoyed a delicious rice krispy cake {we were completely caked out after two celebrations for dad!} do not ask how much of that two-tiered rice krispy cake i ate. please.
happy number four, miss leah. i think good things are in store.

p.s. four year pictures and birthday party to come. weatherman told us rain, rain, rain, so i planned nothing. and what did we get? beautiful sunny skies. i should have known.

a big cut for the big day!

miss leah got a birthday hair cut this morning!! it was a long time coming. we're both looking forward to less time detangling, fussing with, and combing. plus, don't you think it makes her look so...FOUR? 



after...8+ inches gone!!

with lindsey, the miracle worker. i mentioned leah was probably her most difficult customer {she doesn't exactly sit still}. linds responded that she wasn't her most difficult, but definitely her wiggliest. 
we love it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

surprise the first...and last

well, i did it. i actually planned and carried out a surprise party for ryan without him knowing. he was truly surprised! 

in the years i've known ryan, he has probably mentioned to me 30 bazillion times that he does NOT want any kind of party {especially surprise} for his birthday. i've been under strict orders for the past eight birthdays to never ever ever show up at his work on his birthday. no cards, balloons, presents or treats of any kind in public. a friend and i brought in "valentine" cookies one year and the look he gave me spoke volumes.
i guess what i'm trying to say is, i was walking on thin ice here. i really didn't know how he'd react, but i felt 30 years was reason enough to party and i knew he'd never agree to anything, so it had to be a surprise.

props to the mcphies for helping us get him out of the house. i asked him if he wondered why i was such a crazy person trying to get him out of the house in a hurry. he said it seemed pretty normal. um...

we had 100% attendance from the invite list, which goes to show just how awesome he is. and i think everyone had a good time. i didn't plan any games or anything centered on "how well do you know ryan?" - i think that might have been over the top, even though it was considered. so we just ate and chatted. 

and took silly pictures. everyone was disguised when he walked in the door in case he was angry - we didn't want him to know who we were. i think the mustaches were a success. we also disguised the cupcakes with a wide array of mustache toothpicks and the cookies with matching mustache frosting decor. {our monthly sugar cookie extravaganza was put to good use this month!}

and when the last guest left, ryan said to me, "you're in big trouble." and then he smiled. phew! success. 

do you think he'll suspect anything for #31?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ryan's big 3-0

ryan's 30th year started off with a bang. leah and i organized a gift-opening extravaganza. we had 30 of his favorite things for him to open on his big day. we had some good friends and family help us out and i think he really enjoyed it.
the list included, but was not limited to: root bear float mugs, pink cake, dots, cycling jersey, castle season 1, hong kong, home depot gift card, red lobster gift card, canvases of some of his photography, a kitchen scrubbie, bottle caps, lik-em aid, a blow up globe and more. leah made one of her ever-famous cards talking about each of daddy's super strong muscles. i created a book of memories from lots of friends and family members that included all sorts of funny and embarrassing antics.

and i got him the best gift of all. see for yourself:

yup. the sign from gov't info in the byu harold b. lee library where we first met. the sign. don't ask how i got it. i'm just amazing. and so are some good friends. we both love it.

now ryan's trying to figure out how to top the celebration for my 30th come october!

Monday, February 14, 2011

his first 30 years

beware: this post is picture heavy. 

my main squeeze turns 30 today. 

he has arrived. 

i've compiled a secret surprise and needed a picture of each of his thirty years {no worries - he's already seen me giggling as i shuffle through the photo boxes}. so enjoy. and don't laugh too hard. he's already feeling iffy about being "old." personally, i think he's pretty cute for such an ancient thing.

vday 1981 with a brand new mom

 1982 with grandma stark
 1983 {doesn't he remind you of leah??}
 1984 - flying kites with dad
 1985 - that's where leah gets her affinity for shades
 1986 - lovin' the soccer shorts pulled up to his neck
 1987 - impressing the ladies in his leisure pants
 1988 - soccer again {he told me later that he used to hate soccer}
 1989 - with jessica
 1991 - basketball - his true love
 1992 - rolled shorts, braided belt, oversized bugle boy shirt, backpack on one shoulder, enormous glasses with chums. these are the obvious reasons i was initially attracted to him.
 1993 - there are those glasses again.
 1994 - mother's day
 1995 - he still has this sweatshirt. it is still just as ugly as it was 16 years ago.
 1996 or 1997? he curled his hair and wore tights.
 1998 - and then he wore a cheerleading outfit. um????
 1999 - t ville.
 2000 - getting set apart for his mission
 2001 - living in hong kong
 2002 - grandma and grandpa pierce
2002 - the infamous bday party where i invited multiple male interests. the least of which was ryan.

2003 - ryan and library girl
2003 - the last time ryan dressed up for halloween. 

2004 - a shiny new larry
 2007 - brand new dad. {um, leah was 5 lb. 14 oz. and 17 inches long. tiiiiiiiny!}
 2008 - bird's nest in beijing
 2009 - emerald pools in zion canyon
 2009 - biking buddy scott
 2009 - rancho san antonio with harmans
 2010 - daddy daughter date with leah

 isn't he the cutest?
and now it's your turn to leave a comment and share the love. 

happy #30 ryan.
love you.