Brother Gets Married

So my little brother came back for his leave from Afghanistan and during that time he made some pretty exciting life changes. He got back and a few days later got engaged. He planned out a romantic engagement at the zoo, complete with some up close and personal encounters with some of the animals. It went off without a hitch and Emily was surprised.

Then a few days later they drove off to the Grand Canyon, and eloped. They got married on the rim of the canyon at sunset. This was all planned so it was not a surprise to all of us. The pictures were beautiful!

We then got to spend a few weeks just hanging out with them which was wonderful! Just having quality family time, dinners and enjoying the beautiful Tucson weather.

Drew and Emily are planning on having a bigger wedding with family and friends once both of them get back from their tours in Afghanistan. Until then we are very excited for them in this new life adventure and we are praying for them as they are both bravely serving our country. May God bless their journey and their marriage.

Welcome to the family Emily! Congrats little brother!


Tough Mudder 2012


Austin heard word about the “Tough Mudder Race” from a friend and being the man that he is decided that he needed to get a team together to complete “The toughest event on the planet.”

Want more info on the race, check it out here. They hold them all over the country, and even other countries too.

Austin was able to get 4 other manly men to join in his quest to become Tough Mudders. We arrived early as they were part of the first wave to get started. They got face paint, numbers tattooed on, and hydrated with some free supposedly “electrolyte boosting,” bright green drinks as they waited. Then the announcer came on to get the crowds pumped up, and then they were off.

The course contained 29 different obstacles, over 12.5 miles of terrain. Some of the events included:

-The Arctic Enema (A dumpster full of ice the had to submerge themselves into)

-Berlin Walls (Multiple sets of walls they had to climb over)

-Boa Constrictor (Crawling on your belly through tunnels full of mud.)

-Twinkle Toes (Crossing a 40 ft balance beam over a pool full of water.)

-Hold Your Wood (Carrying a wooden log for over half a mile.)

-Mud Mile (Jumping into consecutive, deep piles of mud.)

-Walk the Plank (Jumping off of a plank into a huge pool of yellow goo.)

-Everest (Climbing up a slippery half pipe, relying on your teammates to grab your hand and help pull you over.)

-Funky Monkey (Climbing monkey bars over a pool of toxic green colored something or rather.)

-Electroshock Therapy (Getting through an area covered with live electric wires with over 10,000 volts.)

As the photographer of the group, I did not plan on the amount of exercise Baby and I would be getting as we went from even to event. I walked at least 6 miles just to get where I needed to get the right photos. However, it was worth every second.

The group stayed together for the entire race which was great. They kept pretty good spirits, until the very end when they were shocked with the Electroshock Therapy. Apparently some of them and many other Tough Mudders blacked out during the Electroshock Therapy. Not such a good idea if you ask me.

Afterwards they even got some “free” (I’m sure it is covered in the race fee) beer, which they were all very happy about.

So proud of you all. Congrats on becoming TOUGH MUDDERS!

Thoughts on One Year Old’s Birthday Parties…

We were invited to our dear friend’s joint first birthday party for their little girls and were super happy to attend. Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends were all there to say happy birthday to the sweet baby girls. I haven’t been to a one year old birthday party in awhile but being there reminded me of a few things.

1) One year old’s can get easily over stimulated by too many people, and too much food. We realized this as one of the babies had not had a nap, was pretty fussy compared to her normal self, and even face planted into the ground crying when people were trying to console her and pick her up.

2) One year old’s could careless if you sing them Happy Birthday but LOVE to eat cake and get REALLY MESSY while doing it.

3) Cake pops are a great option when little kids are around as they are fun, easy to eat, and way smaller portions than normal pieces of cake.


3) One year old birthday parties are more for the friends and family than for the baby, and that is more than alright.

Happy Birthday Sweet Nevaeh and Ellie! We LOVE you!

Baby Baum’s Shower : )

My best friend Katie, along with my good friends Brittania, and Holly, and my mom, godmother Denice, and wonderful family friend Heidi, helped put together a beautiful shower for Baby Baum. Lots of friends and family came to celebrate this little one who is well loved already!

It was “Bee” themed, as my friends and family were to guess, “What will Baby Baum Bee?” and When will Baby Baum come?

We ate a nice spread of foods including some of my favorites, salad, fruit salad and chicken salad. Everyone guessed how big around I was with toilet paper (10 sheets in case you were wondering). I opened presents while everyone else played Baby Shower Bingo. Baby Baum got so many special and thoughtful presents including four handmade blankets, and a handmade stuffed animal.

We feel so very blessed to have such a wonderful family and such wonderful friends! Thank you so much to everyone who came. Thank you to everyone to helped put it together, especially Katie! Love you all!

Baby Baum we are all getting super excited to meet you!

Larmey LOVING!

After being back from Africa for over a year and a half now, it is has been that long since we have seen the people that took us in, loved us and we considered our family while we were there. FINALLY after all this time we were blessed with some time with them. We are lucky because even though they will live in another state far away, they have family here which makes it so that get to see them too.

Honestly, there was much anticipation of them coming over. We knew our time with them would be wonderful but all too short. We wanted to make the most of our time because we love them so much and would hate to waste a moment.

They came over to our house and we made them the Morales special, Tacos with Pea Sauce. If you haven’t had them just invite yourself over Austina and I are happy to make them for anyone. We marveled in the the time with them and got to catch up on how life in Tanzania is, how big all the kids have gotten and just love each other. It was truly a special time. I only wish that we could have more time with them. You never know, one day we may be living in Africa again with them but until then I am going to savor the moments with our African friends and family that we get to have here in the States.


New Year’s at the Cabin

We spent our New Year at my parent’s cabin enjoying great time with family. It was filled with snowball fights, sleigh rides, and great company. I always love being up at the cabin with our family for some time to rest, rejuvenate and enjoy the cool weather.

Group Photo before the sleigh ride.

Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh....


Family Time : )

Happy New Year Everyone! Praying many blessings to all in 2012!

Crafting Time

So a few weeks before Christmas I was having issues deciding what to get my mother for Christmas. She usually has a list that she has placed on the fridge for everyone to see what she would like, however this year she did not write a list and when asked what she wanted she said nothing. This is so out of character for her, so I had to get creative.

One day when she was over at my house she saw a Christmas Tree Wire Card Holder that we actually got for free from a friend that didn’t want it anymore.

Here is what ours is like:

My mom commented on how cute it was and so I figured I could get her one too. Well to my luck I could not find any in any stores, and all of the online sites were out of stock. While looking I did find a website that had a “how to make your own.” I thought to myself this should be easy let’s do it.

Holiday Card Holder

I was clearly mistaken that it would be an easy project. I went to multiple craft stores to get the materials and quickly learned that going to craft stores a few weeks before Christmas is worse than going to the mall itself. Note to self if you are going to do a craft for Christmas buy the stuff for it in October. After my multiple trips I finally got all that I needed, I went to work. I was up every night for a week much longer than I would like to have been. All of my other Christmas tasks were done wrapping, shopping, etc but I was still working on this project. On top of this I did not have great needles to sew the buttons on with so I was poking my fingers left and right. After many more hours than I bargained for, and a a wonderful husband who even helped out I FINALLY finished the project!

And she has already put it to good use. I would say it was well worth the time spent.