Saturday, July 12, 2014


We've officially got a two and four year old.

Drew and Claire have their birthdays 4 weeks apart and it is all we have heard about the past few months (more like Drew's been talking about his birthday since about October)

We had Claire's woodland fairy birthday in June on a beauitful summer evening with fairy and gnomes playing in the backyard. She spent the party painting "fairy houses" and eating cupcakes.

Drew has been talking about a Star Wars party for months. Telling me all the details and games and food he wanted to have. I think all of his four year old dreams came true. We had pizza, and played with lightsabers in water and "Carbonite Jell-o"- all the things Drew wished for.  He knows way more Star Wars trivia than me. 

We've loved to have a beautiful backyard and space to run around and play this summer. We're soaking it all in and gearing up to move to the concrete jungle.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Farewell Ithaca

The last few weeks we had in beautiful Ithaca went so fast. We were busy dejunking and preparing for the movers to come, while Spencer was in the thick finals. We also wanted to eat at all of our favorite places and see all our favorite sites. 

Luckily my dad was there to document a lot of the things we did (hike up the belltower, play at Stewart park, Taughannock falls, and even pounding the "air craft carrier" at Wings Over Ithaca)

We love Ithaca. It will always have a special place in our hearts. It was our first real adventure as a family and a real growing experience. The friends we made there over the three years will be our friends for life. I'm so glad that we were able to explore this part of the states. I can't wait to take our kids back there several years down the road and show them the apartment they learned to walk in and grab a bite to eat while we walk around campus. Farewell Ithaca, until we meet again.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Everything we have been waiting and working for came and went so fast.

Spencer graduted from Cornell Law school on May 11th, Mother's Day. I couldn't be more proud of him. 
As soon as Spencer put on his regalia Drew asked him, "Are you a real lawyer now?"

The whole day I kept asking him "Are you excited?? Are you so happy? Are you sad?!" … in typical Spencer fashion he answered with no emotion, "I'm fine."

Walking towards Barton Hall, Drew kept counting all the lawyers in their red gowns.

Congratulations Spencer! We can't wait for our next big adventure!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I loved following the #BecauseofHim hashtag via social media over the last few weeks. So many beautiful testimonies born in such a simple, easy way.


I can be with my family forever.
I can be resurrected with a perfect body.
I can become a better person.
I can forgive.
I can receive comfort through any heartache.
I can love more fully.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Nation's Capital

The last of Spencer's spring breaks we spent in Washington DC. The weather was absolutley perfect. As you can see from the progression of pictures, over the course of four days the babies got a little sunburned. It goes to show how little sun we have seen in the last six months.

We stopped in Gettysburg on the way. 

 Air and Space museum, Capitol Hill, National museum of Natural History

 World War II memorial, White House, Lincoln memorial 

 The National Zoo

We had a lovely time exploring DC. Everything is FREE (thanks to all those American's paying taxes this time of year) !! We'll have to go back when the kids are older and can actually appreciate all the sites. Drew loved the Natural History museum, and Claire loved being outside and getting sunburned.

One afternoon we were walking some of streets downtown and we were approached to be interviewed for the local Fox nightly news. We were prepped on the questions and then the cameras started to roll. It was questions regarding "Gwyneth Paltrow’s Working-Mom Backlash"and what I thought about it as a mom to two young kids. A couple of awkward moments and ill-phrased answers later the camera shuts off and the crew says thanks and we walk off. 

 I turn to Spencer and ask, "How was that? did I sound stupid? what do you think?" 
. and all he responds is, "You have food on your face."  

Well, until next time Washington DC. Keep the food carts coming, and maybe take some of those barriers down in front of the White House; Oh, and a drop in the metro fee wouldn't be bad either. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Our first two winters here were bearable. Even enjoyable. This year's winter season however, has been long and bitter with record breaking lows and beautiful white blankets greeting us every morning.  The roads are salty and bleached, and just when you think we're gearing up for spring, another storm comes through.

We'll be happy when it is over. This inside of our apartment is plastered with artwork and we have been playing "Minions" (a game Drew plays with wooden train tracks) inside for way too long. We've been loving the Ithaca ScienceCenter as a way to break up the monotony. Drew is still loving his preschool, "Little School" as he likes to call it, and last week he started the color days portion of his class.

Claire is full of personality and sass, we love that girl. She wants to do everything Drew does. Trains, Legos, books, underwear wearing (but doesn't get the concept) backpacks, balls and cars. Drew loves that Claire speaks "Minion" (that's the second time Minions have been mentioned in this post). They are becoming great friends (almost two years later) and it makes life so much more enjoyable to not be refereeing between them.

I've been doing the gym thing, and since my last whiny weightloss post I have put on another 6 pounds. I've been doing a lot of cycling. Indoor cycling, on a stationary bike, remember- it's still winter here. It's been fun to see improvement on race times and know that my body is getting stronger. Spencer and I both have the same racing initials "S. Orton," so sometimes he and I can place in different races and still show up on the leader boards together (is this making sense to anyone?) Anyway, I love the gaming mode and feel nerdy while I race around collecting coins and chasing dragons.

My thyroid is still not cooperating with any of the medication and anytime I am sleepy/forgetful/hungry/upset or any other emotion, I blame it on my messed up thyroid hormones. Spencer says he takes care of three babies as some nights I even fall asleep before Drew and Claire.

Spencey Baby is ready to graduate in May. He's got an easy schedule of classes and spends more hours at home than in the library, a beautiful contrast from the previous two years of law school. We'll be sad to see him go again come fall when he starts his first grown-up job. We're getting excited for New York City and have started to look into how ridiculously expensive life is there.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Mexican Wedding Bells

My brother Mike married his gorgeous bride Lex in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in January. We were still in Utah at the time so we left the kids with Grandma Liz, hopped on a plane (5 hours away in Vegas) and enjoyed a short stay south of the border. We did a taco walking tour which, besides the wedding, was the very best thing we did while we were there. It was AWESOME.
The worst thing I did was vomit nonstop for 24 hours. Ironically enough it was food poisoning from the United States and luckily only ruined the first day of vacation. It first hit at the beach while standing around with dozens of other tourists enjoying the view of the sunset. Good thing my dad was there to catch a few action shots...
The ceremony was intimate with breathtaking ocean views.
Congratulations Mike and Lex!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


We spent Christmas break in Utah with Spencer's family and thoroughly enjoyed lounging around, catching up with friends and family, meeting our new niece, Emmeline, and eating at all our favorite places. The babes loved the constant attention, presents and late nights.