Sunday, January 29, 2012

Right Now...

I am not feeling guilty for my lack of posts.  We are a busy family, and our spare time is filled with each other!  If you want to catch up with us, read on... but there are no cute pics today.

We have a 6yo Josh now, who's loving Kindergarten so much, but misses full day K and his buddies in WI.  He is a spelling and writing machine and it's fun to play word/letter games with him!  He has also shown incredible patience for a little sister who can make bedtime pretty miserable by keeping him up later with her mischievousness!

Speaking of Layla, she is such a fun, silly, beautiful, tricky, loving little girl.  Basically, she's a typical 2yo!  She is so smart, but has the same speech delay her brothers had, and we often find ourselves in frustrating situations when she so badly wants to convey her thoughts but can't.  We love her like crazy!

I think that of all my kids, Jack has been the most forgiving of our new situation here.  He had fallen in love with his class, teacher, and taking the bus home in WI.  He was learning new things every day, and shocking us when he'd recount those things! (since he's not nearly as forthcoming as Josh)  Now that we are here, preschool is not free, so not in our budget. (hello, we're building 2 business!)  But NEVER has he mentioned missing school or his friends.  He is so imaginative, spending his time at home building ships out of legos, intricate train tracks, and racing cars all over the place!  Jack is the definition of flexible!  I thank God for him and his patience every day.  

We have 3 kiddos in one room, which seemed like crazy chaos for the first few weeks of moving in!  But we have worked out some of those bugs, like having Jack fall asleep in our room and then transferring him later. It went from a 2.5 hour play time in the dark to 30 minutes before falling asleep!  (naughty kids) But we have created some good routines, and I love hearing them play together in their close quarters.

Dan and I will be celebrating TEN YEARS being married on Wednesday, Feb 1!!  Take that society with horrible divorce rates!!  I love this man more than I could ever express.  We have been through things that have torn other couples apart, and we came out a stronger, more faithful couple because of them.  I still find him funny and SO MUCH fun to be with!  My perfect evening together is the 2 of us in our PJ's, cuddled under our favorite blanket (a wedding gift from GG), watching a movie or favorite show, snacking on freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

Did you know that you become just like the 5 people you hang around most?  Well, I couldn't be luckier to have a hubby that is the #1 person I want to be around!

It is amazing how quickly we have forgotten the ways of the corporate world.  What conference calls?!  What district meetings?  We don't miss anything about Dan's job.  In fact, there was a noticeable change in Dan's health and energy level!  Leaving what some consider a "secure job" to follow one's dream has it's own set of stresses, but when it's a self-made choice, they are SO much more tolerable.  I couldn't be more proud of Dan for following his passion.  He's the minority for sure, but our kids are learning valuable lessons right now about making goals, working through adversity, putting all of your faith in the Lord and the talents He gave you.  (I'm learning these lessons as well)  I LOVE having him work from home!  We knew early in our marriage that being away from the person we chose to spend life with for 8-10 hrs a day was NOT part of our plan.  That was just crazy and didn't make any sense to us.  We feel that we are doing what we were meant to do, and that feels amazing.

I am so happy to working with my full-time Mary Kay business.  (15 hrs a week is all!) I have found support in unique places, and made some life-long friends who have the same priorities and values that I do.  I have met some amazing women who trust me enough to share concerns with their appearance, as well as share their friends and family with me, and am honored to get to know them on such a personal level.  This company has helped me grow in areas I didn't know I lacked!

We love our new ward.  One day, we hope to have a house in this same ward.  Josh has requested being able to walk to school and I think that would be great!  Holladay is a nice part of the valley, and we have had fun getting to know some new places that we weren't super familiar with before.  We love being next to the mountains again!!  They truly are a part of what makes UT our home, and it was crazy how much we missed them while we were gone.  We are glad to see our family more often, even those who live out of state!

We are happy!

So there we are in a random post.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WI to UT

Hello! Yes, I have been a little MIA, but that's because my time is very full of my highest priorities: family-time, time with hubby, building my Mary Kay business, transitioning to our new home, and more family-time!

But here are a few pictures from our last few weeks in WI.
(and then some after we got back to UT)

We visited Riverside Park a few times while we lived in WI, and this last time we stopped and admired the International Gardens. Lovely!

Another awesome park we frequented was Lake Park, across the Mississippi in Winona, MN. All summer, the parks and rec dept had free rentals for canoes and kayaks. The first time we took the kids, they were excited... until they realized they had to go on the water! Screams, whining, and tears. But then the promise of ice cream got us out!! Everyone had such a fun time, and yes, we ended the night with ice cream cones.

Some of our good friends asked us to puppy-sit for them while they went to the Dells for the day. WE WERE IN HEAVEN!!! This cute puppy is a teddy-bear breed, and his name was Teddy. He was so snuggly, and all of the kids (and me and Dan) fell in love with him! It was hard to give him back.

Josh and Jack (and even Layla) made some VERY good friends. I have told so many people that the kids and I were truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful mom-kid playgroup. I made some great friends who defined unconditional support and caring, and they made our stay in WI a great experience.

And there was no way we were going to leave WI without going apple-picking!! I'm just sorry we didn't stay long enough to see all the different apples ripen so we could go again and again!

We were happy to have our recently-returned (from a mission) uncle Thomas come to visit us. Even though at his point we were in boxes, we still had a good time.

This was in the back of the orchard where no one was watching...

... and SO WAS THIS!!

I don't even know how many we ate just while trying to fill out little bag, but oh those apples were amazing!!

Layla was almost 2 when she had her first haircut. (just like Josh was)

Dang, this girl was calm!! Lucky me!

And the other member of our family that changed while we were in WI was our 4-Runner! After the odometer changed to 200,000 miles, it was time for a face-lift. It was perfect timing to park next to this blue one so we could get a really great before and after picture!!
Awesome job Dan!


Just what every girl needs: pink cars and jewelry!! Yep, I'm raising another MK consultant!

Seriously, this kid melts my heart!

This is a very rarely captured moment - all 3 kiddos smiling and looking at the camera at the same time!

"Happy Halloween!"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A while ago...

(I used to blog more... HA!)

... Josh played T-Ball!

Seriously, the most handsome kid ever!

A little last-minute coaching.

And a little more...

Swing batter, S-WING!!

... heading towards 1st.

Going Home!

(Josh is the only little guy with a purple cap)

And to include the other 2 kids in our house, I had to include this one of Jack. I love it because it looks as though all of those amazing trees are going to pop through the window and grab Jack!! That sounds morbid now that I typed it all out.

And this beautiful girl.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why I am proud to Be

a "Goates"

I know I am also a Montague, and that also makes me so proud. But I feel the need to highlight my siblings and their amazing spouses.
(and then my own kiddos, because I am not me without them!)

Ben, Amanda, and Owen Goates
(and baby #2 due in March)

Ben and Amanda moved to Ohio a few years ago, following the promptings they felt from the Lord: no job, no school prospects... Just faith that they were doing what was right. Since then, Ben started a job he enjoys, Owen joined their family, and Amanda has been able to use her amazing degree in speech pathology while being an AMAZING mommy!
Ben just graduated from Ohio State University with his MBA!!!
Talk about following the Lord's plan and being blessed.

Jason & Jacey Goates
(aka J&J, when I mention them in emails or texts!)

It is true that one spouse cannot follow a dream without TOTAL and complete support from the other. This is exactly what has been going on with these 2 in UT. Jacey (with her mom) just successfully opened THEIR OWN dance studio!! Jacey is a wonderful dancer and instructor and loves what she does. What better way to follow your heart than to just do it full time?!
J&J, our family loves you so much and we are so excited to come and see your new studio. We are so proud of your hard, hard, physically-draining work.

Jamie and Ryan (below) and Grace Turner
(baby #2 due in Feb)

So Jamie and I are 7 years apart. This was not so conducive for a close relationship when we were younger, but has made for a really special one now that we are "adults!" Jamie is considered our entire family's in-house photographer, so when she and hubby moved to NV our dinners and other activities were much less captured. She is very talented! Jamie is also a VERY patient woman, wife, and mother. She is a med-student's wife to a guy who gets crazy-high scores. Enough said!
Below is hubby, Ryan. He is not only an excellent student, but is admired for the high standards he holds himself to. At the same time as all of this greatness (!), he is the nicest guy ever, as well as the cutest dad!

(beware of cheezy picture below)

Elder Thomas Goates
(in Argentina for 10 more days)

There is nothing bad I have EVER been able to say, or even find about Tom. We all love him, miss him, pray for him, and talk about his return all the time!! Thomas is 10 years younger than me, but I have always looked up to him for his steadfastness in his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and his love for the scriptures. We will are excited, and feel spoiled to get to have him all to ourselves for a few days in Sep!!


This little girl of mine is a mini-me in so many ways! Her crazy love for mischief with her brothers drives us nuts, but defines who she is: fun, silly, smart, brave, cuddly, independent, adventurous, loyal. I am proud to be her mama.
Holy cow, she is just so dang cute!!


This sweet boy of mine has done so much growing this year. Think about it - he's been in WI for 1/4 of his entire life!! Jack has this sweetness about him that makes me fall in love with him every day. He is so content with who he is at such a young age, which I know comes from a deep maturity he has inherited from his dad. He can play with the group one minute, then be just as happy doing his own imagining the next.
I just love him.


Some days I can't believe the strength my oldest child has. He has already had to learn life lessons at 5 1/2 that I didn't face until I was a few years older. I am able to have very mature, specific teaching moments with Josh, and then he RETAINS every piece of information. He has high standards for himself, though I doubt he can put them in to words yet: keeps the Sabbath Day holy (by saying 'no' to Sunday bday parties), uses appropriate language (when peers do not), enjoys being able to put aside tithing when he earns money.
I am confident in sending him off to school because I know he knows what is right.

I am blessed to be not just surrounded, but RELATED to all of these amazing individuals.
(sibs and in-laws)

**I realize that there are some people missing: my parents & hubby.**
To them I say that I love you as well.
Mom and Dad - you taught me to want to excel, be true to myself, and to hold family close.
Dan - you are my other half, and there is just too much to say in one blog post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Jack Turns 4!


Really, it's pretty rare I capture this huge Jack-smile! But who wouldn't be grinning surrounded by all these gifts, cake, and family.
(including Gramma and Grampa Goates - visiting from UT)

Jack said he wanted a "red cake." So we all enjoyed a red velvet b-day cake in his honor. What mature taste for a 4-year-old!

Checking out all angles...

... got... to... get... the... last... 2... candles...

Good job, buddy! I hope your wish comes true.

It was hard to capture all the gift-opening, since it went fast and Josh was trying to do it for Jack. (as usual)
Hmm, why would Jack be opening a new helmet...

For his NEW BIKE!!!!

What a fun birthday celebration with you, Jack!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun on the Fourth

We began our 4th of July early with a breakfast at our ward. My kiddos were patient to wait for their pancakes, but after that was done, they were off!

I love that Josh is just in to "themes" as I am, so of course, we were all wearing the colors of the day!

BTW, this little girl of mine has charmed almost the entire ward! I have a new person each week tell me how much they would LOVE to babysit her! (brothers too, but she's doing all the PR work)

It's rare to get all 5 of us in the same shot!
(so rare, that Jack just had to cover his face just to be consistent!)

Red Rover!

Duck, Duck, Goose
(Josh is the only boy in his Primary class, and the girls LOVE him!)

But today, Josh got to chase Kate all over the field!

Then he was chased by another classmate, Callie!
(popular boy)

The Hmong-speaking Elders!!
Elder T, from Hawaii (and there is no way I can type his entire name), won the cherry pit spitting contest with a distance of 42.5 feet! The hats were for pure entertainment, so I had to capture it!

Jack had an 'I'm too cool for my bike" moment and refused to smile.

The decorating of the bikes were the highlight of our weekend! I figured I owed them all the frills since I rarely, if ever, decorate the inside of our house for holidays.

Then we were lucky enough to spend our evening with the Davis family. Josh and Jack hit it off with their daughter, Maddie, immediately after they moved to WI one month after us! And their other daughter Sydney can even say "Layla" so we know they are good buddies.

The Kid Table
Hot Dogs, watermelon, juice boxes, chips, cookies!
Totally All-American Kids

This was the last we saw of Jack! He was NOT a fan of the fireworks. And when I say fireworks, I mean the ones we usually refer to as the "illegal" ones! They are very legal, and very popular here in WI. Jack spent his evening inside with the toys... and the babies had gone to bed as well.

The Men
Both of these guys were a little gun-shy, since we are so used to worrying about the cops busting us!

Josh and Maddie

Then the crazy wired-kid stuff started...

We looked over after we heard Josh saying, "Jack, just lay down here so I can jump over you."
Jack dodged the bullet this time!

We had a really great time with this family!

Holidays are so much better when they are full of people, laughing, and fun!