Better Late Than Never

Jack set this picture up himself. He's getting to be such a good writer...thoughtful too. Happy Belated Birthday to My Sister Kate!
So many reasons why I'm glad she's my sis.
I'll list a few. 1. As a small child, I sported what some may call a
(he hem) "mushroom-do". Kate would give me what was referred to as a "whippee" to spice things up.
Note the pictures below:
Now, while this is a pretty modest whippee, you get the idea. Styling genius! She never turned down one of my requests, either.
2. While my sister Annie and I would play school each and every day, Kate was typically way TOO COOL for SCHOOL to play.
As the older sister, she was too busy hanging up pictures of Christian Slater and listening to R.E.M's "everybody hurts."
Every once and a while, she'd humor us and make a guest appearance as the PE teacher.
Man, we lived for those days.
We worked out like this.
3. Now I may be wrong on this, but as I looked at this picture from earlier in the post, I remembered that the amazing aqua-teal shirt Annie is sporting was thanks to Kate (kudos to Annie if she stole it). Let me highlight the picture again below:
That's right, it reads, "Learning is Doing and Doing is Fun."
man that just makes you feel like learning... or doing....
Perhaps I have it wrong, maybe that was Annie's shirt and it was Kate's awesome night shirt that read "The Night is Young and So Am I."
PS to the both of you...thanks for wearing night shirts with such profound statements...really shaped me.
4. Ok, a serious one. When I was in 8th grade, Kate got hired at my Junior High to teach English. Now, some might find having your sister teaching your friends to be lame or embarrassing. Me, however, nope. I absolutely LOVED having her there and as my own teacher.
I even got to be her slave and work overtime to help her grade, etc. We spent so much time together this year, and to a little sister, it was a dream. To this day, that is one of the coolest things I can claim- my sister was my teacher (and a great one at that).
It's been really cool to work in the same school district as Kate and to be around "big wigs" and hear them talk about her. I'm one proud chica to claim her. She's so respected professionally, is an amazing teacher, and is essentially the reason I went into teaching.
5. I'm not sure if you blog readers remember how totally HOT I was in 8th grade, but just take my word for it. (I'm not going to post a picture because you'd be so jealous.) Well, despite my beauty, Kate still went rollerblading with me almost everyday after a long day of work (yes, like, as a workout). We burned so many calories. Granted, I was in 8th grade, so rollerblading wasn't that weird, but Kate...you were one ballsy 21 year old! These people can only wish they looked as good as we did.
#6. Need I say more? Thanks, Kate, for these 2 adorable mugs.
#7 She watched a fussy Jack today while I got my hair cut. ... As much as there is to admire about the above contributions of Kate in my life, there truly are so many, many more. I think that she essentially set the example that lead Annie and I to do so much of what we've done in life. She always succeeded, so that was always our goal, too. Lastly, just so you all know... this little lady is capable of ANYTHING she puts her mind to and SUCCEEDS in EVERYTHING she does. I admire her dedication, her smarts, her drive, and her role as a big sis. Happiest Birthday, Kate. Love to you! (now will I get a comment out of you?)


Roughin It With the Wankiers

Over the 24th weekend, I was able to spend 3 1/2 days with all my favorite people on this earth. The Wankier clan packed up and headed for the mountains to stay at this man's cabin at Sundance(the paparazzi couldn't get enough of us while we were there)! We were seriously hooked up with his sweet cabin for a long weekend. Thank you Grandpa (who was his coach at BYU), and thank you pioneers- you rock!
While we were there we went to Cascade Springs, ate, hiked Stewart Falls, ate, chilled in hot tubs, roasted marshmallows, ate, killed bees, slip n' slid, ate, dance partied, and tried our best to keep little Max clothed.
Jack was a first class champ and slept like an angel, endured hot hikes, and absolutely loved all the love from his 4 darling cousins (I think he officially knows all the words to "Boom Boom Pow" now thanks to them).
To my fam:
There are no other people I'd rather hang with. I adore you all. I already miss you.
Good thing you all live 5 minutes away. Here are some highlights from the weekend (but you probably already saw them on TMZ since we're pretty much celebs now). You can also go to this mug's blog for more Wankier-rama. As you can see below, we really invited the pioneer spirit as our living quarters made life really rough.
4 large rooms and adjoining full bathrooms really sucked. Bed faced and all utterly in love with eachother.
(They were pretending to be married here)
Jack demanded a custom-fit golden tub...such a diva.
Jack geared up and ready to rip it up at Cascade Springs. (He slept the entire time!)
Me and Lucy at Cascade Springs Jack and this baby bird really related to each other. We discovered the power of peer pressure as the crowd chanted our names to do the slip n' slide. In a few short moments, Annie and I found it to bring sheer joy (and pain). As you can tell by my form, I obviously won our friendly competition. The losers of this game were the children, as Annie and I refused to let them have a turn. Thank goodness Kate took over for Jack's neglegent mother.

Riding the lift at Sundance. (Dad was being shy.)

Griffin Fam on the Lift We missed the Ross fam this morning!

Brett carried this little ball for our 3 hour hike to Stewart Falls. Jack didn't squeak a peep except to ooh and aah at the beautiful scenery.

Randy, Mom, Dad on our Hike Rangling Max in Style at the Falls

We were pretending to be on Lost at this point. Annie devoted a lot of time to looking for Jin.

This is the closest we came to "rougin it."

Kate stepped in as Jack's mother again while his mom stuffed her face with a s'more (or 5).

Brett hand carving individualized walking sticks for all the kids. He'll be carving outside of the Lehi Albertson's on Saturdays from now on if you'd like one.

The finished product... pretty amazing.

Hank and Brett take their relationship to the next level while watching Ironman on the plasma.

Jack's face pretty much sums up the whole trip... delightful!


The Next Michael Phelps

Jack had his first jaunt in the swimming pool a few days ago.
I started by dipping his toes in the water and when he didn't cry I couldn't resist putting him in the swimsuit I've had waiting for him to wear since he was 5 months along in the womb! All and all, he seemed quite content with the whole process, which doesn't suprise me seeing as he is proving to be one chill kid.
A little dip.
Finally in his amazing swimsuit, showing his sweet bod, and being brave enough to sit in 1/2" of water.
Jack's thoughts: "Thanks a lot for this awesome outing mom. Love it. You should try splashing water on the rest of me.... oh wait."
Jack giving Isabel an affectionate pull of the hair.
Don't know whose face I love more in this picture.
Just after this picture Jack busted out a 1.42 minute 200 meter freestyle.
We're so proud. He came home tuckered out and watched some SportsCenter.
As you can tell he pretty much loves wearing this hat.
Get ready... Wankier Family Cabin trip post coming soon...


Jack's Blessing

On Sunday, the 19th, we blessed little Jack at my parent's house. I can't believe he's already 6 weeks old! First a blessing...then he'll be getting married and leaving his mama...nooooooooooo! It was such a nice day (minus a nasty spill by our niece and nephew... poor things! luckily, they're ok!) and my parent's house and yard looked beautiful as always. It was incredibly HOT seeing as we had it at 5:00 and outside (which explains why I look like I just jumped out of a crock pot in every picture). Brett did such an amazing job and said ALL the things I could ever hope for my little buddy. Jack was such a good boy all day and we were so lucky to have so much family there to support us and Jack.
Thank you to everyone who made it... it made it all the more special of an occasion to have you all there!
Thank you mom and dad for all of your help and for letting us use your amazing house!
Here are some pics from the big day... proof of all the love this little boy already has surrounding him! (sorry so many picts..had to get everyone in!)
A shout out to my sister Kate for her excellent job as the photographer...she took her responsibility very serious. Sorry to anyone we missed... it was a bit chaotic!
Brett looking at a freshly blessed Jack. Ahhhh...they did it! Brett gave a stellar blessing & Jack made it through it without crying! You can see Jack's awesome horseshoe hair perfectly in this picture!

Grandma & Grandpa Wankier Trio and my little smoosh Adam and Zetta

(Tolmans...you are the biggest troopers I know!)

Max brewing up a 2 year old plan to either play with the knives or serve Jack with a high-energy bottle feeding...cutest little rat ever! Dan & Missie (random duo?!?!) Shawna, Clayt, and Brynne
(We were so lucky to have you here from Colorado!)
Jack's Cousins: Rachel, Sarah, Bjornn, Dallan, Brynne Great Grandma Vona, Wax Figure Sarah, Great Grandpa Sherm and Jack Ammon, Tana, Michelle, Zetta, Soren

Grandma & Grandpa with a very hot Jack

Chloe, Grant, Hayley, Isabel, Gabe, Monet My 2 little boys I'm sure this was taken right after I got done telling Jack to never leave me.

Great Grandparents Karl & Joanne.

(I'd love to know what Heber and Jack are exchanging looks about!)

Kate, the photographer of the day herself & an apprehensive Jack

Aunt Annie (Jack is like: "pshaw! I'm way too cool for this!")

Cutest Duo Alive: Jack and Hank

I'm pretty sure Hank is already and will always be this little boy's hero.

Jil & Philly

(You look so happy, Phil!)

More adorable cousins: Bjornn, Dallan, Rachel, Liam, Mya, Michael, Anna, Craig

(missing a few due to the "accident" :( )

Hayley & her future son-in-law Jack

(Incest, what? Hey, grandpa's sister married her cousin, why can't Jack & Monet?)

Grandma Jackie looked way too fab not to post this picture.

Randy, Annie & the Wankier rats

Jack was utterly exhausted from the day. I set him in his crib, not quite asleep, and found him minutes later sucking his thumb to sleep. His blessing turned him into a genius!