Tuesday, August 31, 2010

june: cross country drives, lake powell adventures, and adjustments galore...

well hello.
 would you like to know what we've been up to?  well, I'll tell you.  
not a whole lot.  
I'm trying to settle into a new place, shooting a lot, editing even more, DJ's working (and loving it!), and mack is... well, mack is a story of his own.  he has changed so much lately.  he really deserves a full post of his own, but I'm just not that caught up yet.  for now, here are a few highlights:
  • he talks.  a lot.  for a while, I was a little concerned that he was speaking less than other kiddos his age.  he would learn a word, then file it away in his brain, but never say it much.  then, all of the sudden, he starting speaking in sentences.  we live fairly close to a small airport, so airplanes are constantly circling our house.  about a month ago, we walked outside our house early one morning, and he looked up and said "ma, I see a-pane wiiiiight deeeeeere!" {translation: "ma, I see airplane riiiight, theeeeeeere!!!).  he had barely strung two words together before that.  now, he comes up with new words every day, and repeats everything I say.  everything.  I guess it's time to start being careful.  :)
  • he has discovered colors.  it all started with a blue ball and a green ball, and expanded from there.  he knows his colors, but when he gets lazy, everything is "yewow."  it must be his favorite. 
  • he is obsessed with cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, and the movie cars.  he loves "whi-keen" (lightning mcqueen) more than he loves food.  that's saying a lot, people.  every time we drive, he points out all the cars, trucks, vans and airplanes with their corresponding color.  "yewow cah!" "boo tuk!" "wed car!" "back tuk!"  "white van!" "A-PANE!!" it's incredibly cute. 
  • he has discovered the ABC's.  he repeats the whole alphabet after I say it, and has started stringing together 6 or 7 letters in order.  he can identify about half the letters correctly, but not *quite* consistantly. :) he always seem to get "doubow" (W) right, and calls lots of the other letters "A."  it's amazing to see him learn so quickly. 
  • he's a crazy man.  he runs everywhere, climbs on everything, and demands things be done his way.   he's proving to be quite challenging for his mother.  yesterday, he got SIX timeouts before 7:30 am.  it was a tear filled morning for both mother and child.  and people wonder why he doesn't have a sibling on the way yet... 
  • he has started trying to pray.  this is a vast improvement from refusing to sit still or fold his arms at all.  all we really hear is some indistinguishable chatter, and an "amen" at the end, but we'll take it. 
  • he started swimming lessons.  he doesn't love it, but he's doing well.  I have video.  I'll post it soon. 
  • we took his beloved binky away.  I think it has been harder on me than him.  he refuses to nap unless he falls asleep in the car.  what am I going to do with his naps?!?  it is nice to know we're done with the weaning though.  maybe we'll get the naps back... eventually.  :)
okay, enough.  you've got to be bored by now.  back to the pictures.  
we moved.  remember?  it was a fairly grueling experience.  not one I want to repeat soon.  mack tried really hard to be helpful, but mostly he ended up following me around and making messes.  gotta love it. 

I just couldn't let this go undocumented.  see all the fuzzies on the ground?  that is what we found underneath and behind mack's crib.  I knew he was tearing little fuzzies off the bumpers of his crib to rub against his nose while he fell asleep, but I didn't realize quite how many of them there were. 

once the truck was all packed up (thanks to some great dental student friends!), we drove to the airport to drop off my mom and mack (thank heavens for her help!!). then we drove out of pittsburgh on a drizzly, dreary morning (fairly representative of the weather during our four years there).  I was a mess.  a HUGE mess.  I was crying uncontrollably.  I'd think I was in control of myself, then I'd round a corner, see something else, and break down again.  it was horrible.  finally, I turned on some music, put my camera around my neck, pulled out some snacks and forced myself to calm down.  DJ drove the big truck with our car towed behind and reggie on the seat beside him, and I drove our second car by myself.  does anyone see the inequality here?  yes, DJ was very kind to take on the MUCH bigger load.  thank heavens.
I kept my eyes out for picturesque scenes, and "shot from the hip" as we drove by them.  It made for lots of unfocused, bad pictures, but I did come out with a few that really bring the drive back for me.  you ready for a cross country extravaganza?  here we go!

illinois is pretty, no?

apparently, micky d's is a very important landmark in oklahoma...

this is the only picture I got in texas.  it was late, I was tired, and it was basically impossible to get a good picture while moving at 62 mph (yup, that was our average speed.  the truck couldn't go any faster, and maxed out at about 45 mph going uphill).  if you look really closely, you can see "welcome to texas" on the left sign...

uh, in case you're wondering, new mexico is ugly.  sorry to anyone who loves it, I don't mean to be offensive, but WOW.  it was flat, dry, filled with nothing but scrub brush, and scattered with broken down, abandoned houses.  ugh.  that was a looooong state.

this was my view for most of the drive:

I drove into Phoenix with hello, goodbye (the Glee Cast version) blasting.  it was only appropriate.  after 43 hours in the car in three days, we drove up to this welcome sign (photo taken the following morning).  I cried when I saw it.  not surprising, I know.  but, it felt good to know we had FINALLY arrived.

after a couple days of job and house searching, we jumped in the car again, and took off for five days at lake powell.  mack was still my with mom, and it was a welcome break.

we did a lot of this:

and this:

and there may have been a bit of this:

the scenery was breathtaking,

and the company was good.

oh yes, and here's proof I was there, and I actually got up on the wakeboard.  once.

the sun set on our trip, and we took off to pick up our little guy.  my mom had him for TWELVE days.  she is a saint.  I missed him like crazy.
after a quick stop at the gas station at 5:30 am, we were off.
we got macko back, and he seemed huge.  wait, what am I saying?  he is huge!

for a week, we spent time with friends and their adorable kiddos, job hunted some more, fretted about our home sale as it fell through, and tried our hardest to enjoy our unstable life.

I made it out to the midnight showing of "eclipse" with all the teenage girls in the valley and my sister in law.

we found a new children's museum.

not as good as pittsburgh, but I hear there are more.  we'll keep searching.

mack discovered inn-n-out... and loved it, of course.

we spent the remainder of the month at a family reunion in st. george with my family.  good times were had by all.
here's the frandsen family in June of 2010:

stevie even brought a girl.  impressive, no?

we like her.  do you think we can convince her to join the family?

so, here we are.  another month down.  now I'm only two months behind.  unfortunately, my personal photos suffer while I try to keep on top of all my clients.  if you haven't checked it out lately, take a look at my photography blog.  things have been busy.  I'm really loving it.  it's a good feeling to be doing what I love, and keeping my family as the top priority at the same time.
we're missing our pittsburgh family terribly.  we love you guys, and hope you're all doing well.  we're grateful for old friends and family in our new place.  
life is crazy, and we're adjusting.
I can't wait to discover all the amazing things about our new home!


Kenna said...

you're pictures always inspire me.

especially, 'kansas'

hope you enjoy your new home, and things start to feel familiar and 'homey.'

take care.

NJ said...

I love your pictures as always Libby!! AND WE MISS YOU! Can't wait for your visit!

Steph said...

Wow - three days driving across the plains! Your pictures are beautiful, and I don't envy your drive in the slightest. Fun family pics - your baby siblings are big! hope all is well in your new place!

Amy F said...

Wow... I didn't realize you drove the same speed along with DJ. What a patient wife!

We loved that your moving plans included so much Mackers time with us in Utah!! It was so nice to re-acquaint him with his cousins. So nice to have you closer so that we can keep it up!!

I love that everyone is holding my girls in the girl family pictures. :)

Katie said...

Love to be able to see your adventure driving across the country! The photos are beautiful. The family pics are darling too. Love Mr. Mac's blue eyes! Can't wait for you to take pictures of my baby...after Christmas? We'll be in UT!

Rachel Swan said...

NM is like the armpit of the United States. Brian's grandparents live in Albuquerque and we visit fairly often. I love your photos, pretty lady! Hope life starts to balance out a bit for you + your cute fam.

kami said...

we're so glad you're here!! love all the pictures...especially the ones of that cute little girl...could that baby really be mine? ;)

Melinda Frandsen said...

Awe, you guys are amazing. So sad I wasn't able to escape with you this week. You still going?

I love seeing the pics of the family reunion--so many great memories of 110 degree weather and smiling through the sweat. Your photos are amazing. Can I claim you to photog our newborn over Thanksgiving? He will be just a few days...hopefully...if he doesn't come ten days late like Aaron. Miss you.

Michele said...

And we thought school was going to be the hard part...this "getting licensed and working" process has been a nightmare...an expensive nightmare...I feel for you!

Stephanie said...

Love the pics. I'm pretty sure I've been to that McDonald's in Oklahoma, or at least one just like it. It's so great when the baby's start to really talk. We were really worried about Hyrum because at his 2 1/2 year appointment he only new like 6 words. . .and then one day he just started talking in sentences, and now he won't stop:)

Dad (TMF) said...

Yes, I think we should convince her to join the family.

Sarah said...

Wait, what??? The house sale fell through!??

Ty, Whit & Bree said...

Hey Libby, Your little boy is adoralbe. I haven't seen you for a few years, you look great. Anyway, just thought I would say hi!

Megan and Charlie Miller said...

It was so fun to catch up on your blog. It looks like you have had such a wonderful time. Mac could not be any cuter! You look amazing as well!
(I have not posted on my blog for months I really need to get going).

Megan and Charlie Miller said...

It was so fun to catch up on your blog. It looks like you have had such a wonderful time. Mac could not be any cuter! You look amazing as well!
(I have not posted on my blog for months I really need to get going).