Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goodbye to the Blands...

I'm not even really sure if I can get through this post without crying. Seriously. Meg and I went to lunch yesterday, and when I said goodbye to her, just until we were going to see them again at dinner... I cried. I couldn't even talk. I just made her leave without saying anything. I don't even think I can write how much I love her and how thankful I am that she was here in AZ. Last night at dinner we were joking. Devin said that he was just confused. Megan cried when they moved down to Arizona and now she's crying again now that they are leaving. I joked with Devin and told him that I would pick up my check later. Implying that I'm the reason she's sad. But truly, honestly, I should write a check to Devin for choosing Arizona and that our lives collided. What would I have done without Meg? When we first moved to Arizona I was so nervous and so much in need of a friend. I had a few friends in California, but not a real good girlfriend. Living in Cali was fun and it was so good for Gabe and I. Our marriage really grew only having each other. But I have learned that girls need girlfriends. I prayed so so hard that I would find good friends down in AZ once we moved. I guess my hours of prayers combined with Meg's prayers payed off.
Meg and I knew each other when we were in the same LDS sorority up at the U. We never really hung out though, only at Beta activities and such. I remember having lunch with my girlfriends up in Salt Lake during Christmas. I told them our plans to move down to AZ come spring. Erica told me that Megan Firth was down there with her husband. "You know Megan, one of the cute blonde twins from Beta", she said. "Yes I do!" I searched through my old Beta email list and found hers. I emailed her right away and told her we were coming down. Long story short, a few months later we were sitting at the pool with 2 big diet cokes in hand and we were besties. Seriously. How did I find a friend that loved Diet coke like me? Loved the pool like me? Loved to shop and all the same clothes like me. Destiny... ha ha. It was that first day we decided to run the marathon together and started training. Hours and hours and hours and hours we spent jogging and gabbing, gossiping, sharing secrets, and planning our lives. And then we hit the marathon up in Sedona in bright tanktops that matched our shoes, sparkly headbands, earrings and lipsitick... ha ha. We were a sight! She has become one of my very very best friends. When we first started hanging out, it seemed like we were going to be in school FOREVER and that we would be living in AZ FOREVER!!! But here we are, one marathon down, and two little babies later and we're all leaving. Meg was such a huge part of AZ to me. And she always will be. I should've starting praying months ago to find another friend like Meg once we move. We can't wait to see where life takes our families. Wherever they end up, we'll have friends there. Thanks for the good times, all the dinners, all the diet cokes, all the pool days, all the runs, and the laughs... in fact, last night I laughed so hard the old man across the booth glared at me. We LOVE you Dev and Meg! And Londyn loves Beau!!!

Here's a quick look back....
The first night we hung out as couples, watching the fireworks, sitting in the rocks in Peoria.
One of many pool days, diet coke in hand
The marathon!!! I got to cross it off my bucket list!
We actually did it!!!! We finished.... In one of the slowest times. It was awesome. One of the best things I have ever done!
Our christmas light tradition. "Running" obviously.
Continuing our Christmas light tradition... Babies on board. ... NOT running.
Our little joys.... Londyn and Beau
We love you guys! I hope our lives collide again! And since Meg and I planned that they will.... I'm positive they will!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2 Months! ... 25 days ago...

25 days ago, Londyn turned 2 months old. I am a little behind the ball here. I was waiting to make my blog private so I didn't miss anyone... and then a whole month went by. We have been busy busy though in the last month. Which I will blog about in 5 days when Londyn turns 3 months. Her 2nd month was so so fun though.

Here are her stats at 2 months:
Height: 23.75 inches, 86%
weight: 13 lbs. 13 inches 88%
head circumference: 16 inches, 94% yes my baby's got quite the nogen. :)

We were in Utah when she turned 2 months. Up until then, I was still a little scatter brained, nervous and everything else that comes along with a new baby. But we started actually venturing out into the real world. We took a trip to the mall and started really using our stroller. We also went with our friends up to Show Low to their cabin. That was so so fun. Londyn is such a good baby. We found out in her second month that she loves loves loves to get sung to, especially before bed. She cracked her first "real" smile at us. We actually got her to sleep on her back and not in her swing! That was after reading something on the Internet that she was just escaping death by sleeping in her swing those first 6 weeks. Oh the things I read. She also slept through the night for the first time!!!! Oh my word, I felt like a different woman. We both ran over to her bassinet to see if she was breathing. She most definitely was and very well rested. She continues to sleep through the night. I am a very lucky mama. She loves her baby Bjorn and often falls asleep in it while I'm trying to complete the daily house chore list. She is awesome in her car seat unless it is time to eat... she loves to eat. She started to get the rolls goin' on and she just couldn't be cuter. Every day gets more fun as we watch her grow and learn new things. It is amazing to watch her as she takes in this great big world. She loves to look out the window and see the sunlight and the trees. She loves going on walks and she loves looking at the dog Texas. It makes me have a whole new appreciation for life. Sometimes it's like I'm seeing this great big world for the first time again. I love it. She is such a blessing and a joy in our home. What did I ever do before she came?

Here's a few more pics from month 2. I'll update again soon! We've done so much this last month! Our first airplane ride, trip to Utah, the blessing, the first 12 hour car ride home, and Dad is graduating from Thunderbird... Stay tuned!

Londyn getting so big!
She got a play gym that she kicks with her feet and it plays music. She loves it.
She loves loves loves her bath!!! BEst part of the day for sure
Big chillin
She met Grampa for the first time up in Utah.
Uncle Matt stopped by on his way to Texas.
Londyn's first smile caught on camera. The morning that aunt lolo went into the MTC. Brightened mamma's day and grammy's for sure.
Our first outing to the mall.... nightmare... I'll write about the story later.
Our vaca to Showlow. Dad and Brian went snowboarding while all the girls stayed back at the cabin and chatted and had lots of naps.
So she wouldn't freeze up in Showlow. Cutest little mushroom head.
love this. A long day at church and this is what you get.
Our friend Capri made her grand entrance into this world. We love her. She is a doll.
Our first time to church. She was an angel the whole time....
But once we got home, she had had it with her Sunday dress!!!!!

more to come... We are so in love with our little gal!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Happy Easter Everyone!

I found this picture--when I should have been writing a paper on US natural gas exportation... (I know really?!?!)--and decided to hijack Abby's blog for a small Easter post. I hope I don't overstep my bounds by posting this, I don't mean it to be a bragy or overly-religous, so please don't take offense to anything I say below.

I wanted to post this for three reasons: 1) Let Abby know how grateful I am to have her in my life 2) Thank Abby for the gift of Londyn and how thankful I am to be a Dad and 3) Share a bit of how grateful I am for a loving Savior and Redeemer who died for me and you--Jesus Christ. I could write for hours on those subjects but I'll try to just keep it short and sweet.

This last week we had the chance to visit n Utah and see our awesome family. Abby and Londyn flew up to Utah a week or so earlier than I did. Abby being gone for 10 days gave me the chance to realize how big of a part of my life and how much she does for me. Nothing like 10 days being a bachelor to remind me exactly why I got married. Don't get me wrong, I don't need Abby in a cook/clean for me kinda way.. I can do all that (not as good or efficiently as Abby... but I can manage)... But in a Abby's my WHOLE LIFE kinda way. I missed her for everything, Mornings were a bit less colorful, Days were way longer, coming home was cold and empty, and the whole world was a bit less sunny--even for Arizona.

Londyn came into our lives a couple months ago and I can't tell you the range of emotions that I've had with this whole being a new dad thing. Honestly, Abby is amazing at everything but especially when it comes to Londyn. I am seriously in awe of how good of a mom she instantly became. When Abby does eye lash extension appointments it falls on me to keep Londyn alive for maybe two hours while Abby's doing her thing...and I struggle at that :). I have no idea what Abby does that makes that baby happy... but she does it so well. I thank the good Lord that I have Abby and that she can take care of my beautiful baby girl. Nothing like holding your own little girl to prove to you that your wife has to be an angel to give you such a wonderful gift.

I had the chance to "Bless" (see the WIki-Link at bottom if you have questions about what that is) Londyn on Easter Sunday. Let me just say, Easter is my favorite. When I lived in Venezuela as a missionary I had the best experiences with Easter. During Easter, I saw and felt miracles, watched many of God's chosen children be baptized, and gained a testimony of the resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ that will be with me forever. In Venezuela, Easter is a series of celebrations that start with a fast (Lent), honor friday as the day our Lord laid down His life, celebrate the noble entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, portray the Lords crucifixion, suffering, death, and celebrate His Resurrection. There aren't as many easter bunnies, new dresses, egg hunts and bags of candy but there is a unique holiness to a celebration that I miss every time I remember those brown eyes that listened intently to gringo spanish share their hearts' testimony of Jesus Christ. Through those brown eyes, I came to an understanding and testimony of why we celebrate Easter. And that reason is simply that we all--especially me-- will fall short of what is required of us and we need a Savior who will fill that gap and allow us to return home.

This Easter I added a new experience to why Easter is my favorite Holliday. I held a new angel, an angel that looks a bit like me and a lot like her mom.. and I gained a new appreciation of Easter and the gift that the Lord gave to us all. Londyn was blessed in a 106 year old dress that was her great-great grandmother's... pretty amazing story. The hands that made that dress have long ago returned to their maker to claim their reward; but that dress continues on. Much like life, we are here for but a moment but we can leave a legacy that lives on through our children. During the "Blessing," as I held my baby, with my Dad on my right...and our Father looking down... I realized what a gift it is that, on Easter Sunday some 2000 years ago, the tomb was empty. With His sacrifice and resurrection the Lord gave us life everlasting. His gift will save us from ourselves and our wrongs, and will make right all the wrongs of this imperfect life. Jesus Christ preformed the atonement for all those who came before me, all those who surround me, and all those who will come after me. What a blessing and what a great day to commemorate the empty tomb, the risen Lord, and the gift of Life.

Londyn will forever be my reminder of Easter. I will always be grateful to my Angel Abby for giving me Londyn and I will forever be indebted to a Savior who paved the way so that I can be with my family forever. I hope that you, whoever you may be, had a wonderful Easter and were able to reflect on the celebration of the gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you haven't already, please take a minute and watch the Easter story here:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints did a great job on these videos:

Wish You the Best!


Gabriel Valenzuela

What is a Blessing?:

I thought you'd like to see how amazingly cute my daughter is. Enjoy!