Monday, December 15, 2008

Time flies

when you are crazy busy. Just thought I would do the bulleted (is that a word?) edition of our life update.

- Jared continues to kick butt in watchmaking school, scoring very well on tests and quizzes and going as often as possible to NYC (SO JEALOUS) to look at watches (not so jealous) with his watch hommies.

- I remembered what teaching in December is like, YIKES! My kids are crazy and getting crazier as the holidays approach. I am enjoying my job and it was good to remember that I love to teach. After teaching while pregnant my last year, I had forgotten how much fun it can be!

- Paul just finished his yummy pink medicine for an ear infection. I wish they made adult medicine that yummy, he begged and begged for more. He is really getting so smart (not biased at all). He knows about 10 signs and can say around 10-15 words depending on his mood and the day. He has started having a little separation anxiety since the last time we left dad in New Jersey. I'm a little afraid he is getting smart enough to know that sometimes when we leave, it's for a long time. The result is lots of tears when I leave, even when he is with his favorite people (all the grandpas and grandmas, Liz and Sam)

Although seperated by a long distance, Jared and I are doing all-in-all well. We are newly thankful for cell phones that allow us to stay in contact throughout the day and send pictures back and forth.

We are excited to see each other for Christmas. Jared arrives on Christmas Eve and we get to party until Jan. 3rd. We can't wait! Hope you and yours are safe and happy this holiday season!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Couple Tag

Couple TAG
What is his name: Jared
What is her name: Amanda
How long have you been together: 7 years in February, 5 years married in January
How long did you date: 23 months
How old is he: almost 32
How old is she: almost 27
Who eats more: Amanda for sure
Who said I love you first: Amanda
Who is taller: Jared
Who sings better: Jared, he's been to Israel to sing, and it basically made me fall in love with him
Who is smarter: Technical stuff - Jared Useless trivia-Jared Teaching, common sense - Amanda
Who does the laundry: I do normally, although I hope Jared will instead of just throwing away his clothes
Who pays the bills: Amanda
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed: Amanda
Who mows the lawn: Our landlord in New Jersey....Mom, Dad, Lizzy, Sam in Utah
Who cooks the dinner: Microwave, Jared when he can. He's much better at it.
Who drives: Jared
Who is more stubborn: Jared.....d d definitely Jared
Who proposed: Jared
Who is more sensitive: Amanda

I tag Chelsea and Tyson, Danny and January, Phil and Julie

Friday, August 29, 2008

New challenge

For those who haven't heard, Jared, Pauly and I are taking on a new challenge. Since New Jersey is crazy expensive, two part time jobs and a 15 month old just don't mix. We haven't ever felt good about putting Paul in day care out here where we don't have any good recommendations or know anyone good that could watch him. So, here we go. after prayer, fasting, and speaking with our bishop, we decided that our best solution right now is for me to go back to work full time. We feel like we have really been blessed with how things have worked out. The day after we decided that was the road we were going to take, I applied for a job in Jordan School District in Draper, UT. The next day I got a call to have a screening interview the next day. Friday I had a screening interview at 3:30 in the afternoon. At 5:30 I got a call for an interview with Draper Elementary. At 7:30 she called and offered me a job. So I will be starting 4th grade on September 8th.

We are so grateful to my parents who are letting Paul and I live there and having my mom watch Paul when she can. We are also grateful for Jared's parents letting us use one of their cars. Many thanks to Elaine and Gordon for contributing a crib and a bed. Thanks to everyone who has called and wished us well and offered to help.

Jared and I will really miss each other. Since we started dating almost 7 years ago, the longest we have been apart is 10 days. We are so glad we live in the age of cell phones, text messages, webcams, and email. As much as Jared will miss me, I know he will miss his little man. They are two peas in a pod, Paul loves to do everything that Jared does, right down to looking through watch magazines. We are going to start racking up the frequent flier miles as much as is financially sound and possible. It's going to be a new challenge...yeah, that's what we are going to call it....a new challenge.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun with family

At the Owlz game. (they won!) He loved Hootz and throwing his stacking cups down the hill and watching Uncle Sam roll down the hill to chase them. Oh yea and there was some baseball.

Miniature golfing at Cascade Golf Course. (I won!) Super fun, Pauly loved throwing the golf balls onto the green and again watching Uncle Sam chase them. He loves his Uncle and Aunt for sure! Grandma and Grandpa rank pretty high on his list too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Concert

Every Wednesday in the Summer they have an outdoor concert for free at one of the parks by my house. Staci and Austin invited Paul and I to go to one last week, and it was soooo fun. We took sandwiches and california rolls (which I love, but didn't know I did) and off we went. Paul was in great form, and had a fun time showing off to all of Staci's friends. He would sit on my lap and clap when every song finished. Even when he started playing around with the stroller and crawling around, he stopped what he was doing and clapped. So polite. Here is a video of him spinning his stoller wheels, and a picture with his glow necklace. HE LOVED IT!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Memory Lane

Okay, I admit it, I stole this idea from a friend (I even copied her picture and title), but it sounds fun.

Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pauly pictures

I know it's been a while since I've posted, so here are some pictures of the Paulster.

Pauly Walks

Pauly is getting braver every day and taking more and more steps. He has only nearly killed himself once or twice and no permanent injuries. You'll be surprised to see how big he's gotten since we were there last.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

All thanks to grandpa

Sunday's are almost always crazy for me, especially when Jared has to work. All of the women I am close enough with that I would ask them to watch Paul all have Sunday callings, so we usually struggle along as best as we can. Today I was more flustered since I was also in charge of the baptism that was immediately to follow church, and I had just found out about it yesterday. Paul was really interested in pulling the cord on the stereo today, and when that wouldn't suit his fancy, he pulled all the pictures for this months song onto the floor and did his wiping the floor hand flutter thing. I paint you this picture not to complain, because it's not really so bad, but to show you my frame of mind as I sat down to play prelude for the baptism, since my pianist had to take someone home. I knew that Hymn #98 was a good calm prelude song, so I started there and worked my way through some of the hymns. Paul was crawling around on the floor, until he discovered that if he stood up and grabbed onto the piano, IT MADE NOISE! Can you imagine anything so great?! Luckily, one of my friends came at that point and grabbed him since she had finished doing what she needed to do. The next song was "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" As I began to play, it made me think of Grandpa Brown. He didn't appear to me or anything, but as I thought about him, it gave me strength. I know he did a lot of hard things and he never complained. I wish I could say that magically the rest of the meeting went well, and that next Sunday I won't come home feeling like I have run a marathon, because I probably will. But I am glad that I have a grandpa who was such a good example of sucking it up, and moving along.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This week has been MUCH better, thank you for all the well wishes and comments. The weather cooled down, my back fixed itself, and no doctor appointments!

Just because Paul is cute, here are some pictures.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Long week

This week has been a loooong one. Last weekend was record heat and humidity since 2006. Luckily, Staci, the woman I babysit for, got new air conditioners for her house so she gave us one of her old ones. It's a window mounted a/c and it's lovely. We put it in our living room since that is where we spend most of our time during the day. Unfortunately, because it was so hot, we couldn't get our bedroom or Paul's cooled down at night on Sunday night. So we pulled Paul's bed into the living room and slept on our couch bed. Paul is a good sleeper, but he makes noises. Although I used to be able to sleep through anything, since becoming a mom I wake at the slightest Pauly sound. Not a good night's rest.
Monday dawned very hot still, and since I didn't have to work, I let Jared take the car. The power went out at about 2 and didn't come on until 7 that night. No where close enough had power for me to walk to, so I stayed as still I as could and let Pauly play in the bath tub as long as he wanted....which was like an hour!

Tuesday was cooler which I was very grateful for. After work I headed to pick up Jared from school. We decided to eat at Grimaldi's which had been mentioned on Law and Order as the best pizza in New York. They have a location in Hoboken so we went. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Jerry Orbach wasn't lying. Right after we got home there was a terrific storm with lightning, thunder, rain and wind. We were thinking we might lose power again, but we were lucky and did not. Many people did however, including Austin's school. He was out of school for two days!

Wednesday I had to take Paul to the doctor for his 12 month shots. His appt was at 9:00 am and we were there at 9 exactly. Paul loved watching the other kids in the waiting room and although I was a little grossed out I couldn't keep him entertained for the HOUR we sat there so he crawled around with a little boy that was two weeks older than him. His doctor proclaimed him to be in good health. He is 22 lbs of chunk! He had to get 4 shots on his chunky legs. ONE AT A TIME. There is nothing harder in motherhood for me, then holding him down so they can poke him. Then they also did a tuberculosis test which was a poke in his arm. AND he had to get blood drawn from his finger. By that time his was worn out so he just pressed his head back on me and whimpered. 6 pokes all together! We finally left the doctor's office at noon. BLAH! *The high point of Wednesday was that I got to talk to Shayla for an hour. We rarely have that much time to catch up, it was great!

Thursday I somehow wrenched my lower back so now I can't really stand up straight. I suppose I could but I would have to scream really loud!

Today I had to take Paul back in to have his TB test read. Although I could have called in and said, "no bump on his arm, he's good." we had to wait in the waiting room 45 minutes for a nurse to say that. I also had our car inspected, it failed. I tried to get my hair cut, they wouldn't let Paul come back into the hair cutting area. To top it all off, I had to do all these things looking ridiculous because I couldn't stand up straight because of my back being in serious pain, and I still have long, ugly hair. Because Paul had his MMR shot, he had a little bit of a fever tonight and it made him very cranky. Tylenol and off to bed early for him.

Although it was a long week, and not over yet, I am grateful to have Jared. He talks me off the ledge regularly and makes me smile even when I don't want to. I get a little teary-eyed watching him with Paul, knowing that this was the kind of guy I always looked for, a wonderful daddy that my kids would be excited to see every time. It was a year ago this week we found out we were moving here, and it's been quite a wild ride, but there is no one I'd rather be here with than my boys. I love them both so much!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Paul's birthday and other pictures

Paul had a great first birthday. We had a ward breakfast in the morning. Jared and I cooked pancakes, sausage, bacon, and eggs. Pretty talented ehh? Paul has many adoring fans in our ward, mostly my primary kids. They wish he would teach sharing time. He got lots of clothes from Grandma Nae, plus a sweet car (in pictures). Jared and I gave him a jungle story book that has the animals that you push and they make sounds. We also got him a bike trailer that he can ride in while I ride my bike. I'm seriously ready to start losing the baby weight. ;-) Jared had most of the day off, so Paul got to spend time with his favorite person!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Paul loves to play the trumpet

Jared taught Paul that if you yell into something it echos or makes it louder. This was their first concert. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our fun weekend

This weekend we had the chance to visit Maryland. Jared's brother Jon is in the Navy, and just finished medical school and his graduation was this weekend. Jared's mom and dad, and two of his three sisters came as well, so all but one of the kids were there. We got to their house Thursday night and they graciously let us stay there.

We woke in the morning to rain, so we decided to go on base and go bowling. Jon's school is on the Bethesda medical center base, so we took a walking tour after bowling. The school had a graduation luau for all the grads and their families. It was so delicious! They had really good pulled pork and all the salads were yummy too. There are some nature paths on base so we walked through the trees and took some pictures there too.

Saturday we took the train into D.C. and walked to Constitution Hall where Jon turned from plain old Jon into Dr. Jon Miller. It was a great ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance. The Marine band, "The President's Own", played for the ceremony and the speaker did a great job too. It was a very stirring sight, to see all the men and women in their dress uniforms. After the graduation, Jared, Paul, and I met up with my friend Sarah and her husband. Sarah and I first met in 7th grade and we've been friends ever since. She is a policy adviser for senator from Massachusetts and her husband works as a press secretary for a senator from Arizona. (I hope I got the titles and states right!) We thought, (I thought, and Jared believed me) that it would be just as fast to walk to our meeting spot as it would be to walk back to the train station and then take the train to where we were meeting them. Well, needless to say, 2.5 miles and 7 blisters later, (SERIOUSLY, I counted!) we no longer thought it was a good idea. It was worth it though. We had a very fun visit and got to catch up. She is expecting her first baby in November and I am so thrilled for her.

After we got back to Jon and Ana's, Jan took us out for dinner at Macaroni Grill. It was MMM....MMM! We love their bread. There is very cool boardwalk and pond, so after dinner we walked around for awhile and let our dinners settle. Then we were off to the Lindt store, where there was chocolate a plenty. After we squirreled away some chocolate for the long summer, we went to Dick's Sporting goods to check it out. Our last stop was Barnes and Noble where I got a new Stephanie Meyer book called "the host". So far it's pretty good, although I don't like it as much as her series. Jared got a new watch magazine (surprise) and we got some treats from their bakery to enjoy at home. We all went back to Jon and Ana's and chatted and watched some funny you tube videos on the computer. We were sad to say our goodbyes, but hopefully it won't be too long before we see them all again!

Jon's graduation weekend

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Emergency Preparedness

This is a cool blog about taking preparedness preparation bit by bit in an organized fashion and without spending a million dollars. Worth a peek anyway!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I love to play ball!

Jared sat down to play ball with Pauly and this is the first time really Paul will give the ball back and pick it up. So cute!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


If you could see my brain, that's how it would look. I'm puzzled as to what to do with a certain primary boy and teacher combination that's not good. And see the eyes trying to stay awake. That's me too. I got in a very bad sleeping habit with no Pauly and I'm trying to get back on track, but that means no Sunday afternoon nap for me.

I tag: Tyson, Alice, and Ashley Check the Billings Family Blog for details.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Paul watching his cousins

This is Paul at Grandma and Grandpa Miller's house watching Jake, Erin, Emily, and Jared play.

Trip to Utah Part deux

It was so great to go again to Utah. I sure miss my family and my best friend Sarah. It was great to be able to spend a day with Sarah, a day with Shayla, and lots of time with my mom, dad, Lizzy, and Sammy. Pauly has never felt so loved. Paul is getting to the point in his eating that he wants to feed himself now, so for breakfast he usually has a waffle. I was really worried the first couple of times since he would shove a whole big piece in his mouth, but good news...he got his mother's genes! He is a champion eater, or what some may call a porky pig.

I just finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I stayed up all night reading (haven't done that in a few years). It is a wonderful book about courage and doing what you think is right. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a story about a women in the 60's who gives birth to twins. One of the twins has Down Syndrome, and the father gives the baby away and tells his wife that the baby died. The story tells of the twin they kept and the one they gave away. Not a happy book by any means, but thought-provoking and a story about being strong.

Jared and Pauly are now in Utah for Jared's mom's birthday (yesterday) and his dad's graduation from U of U (Friday) Although we are sad that we couldn't be on vacation together, we are glad Jared could be there for these special days. I miss them both terribly, but it's good to get some things done at our house without worrying about Paul's schedule.

Good to see everyone I saw, and to those I didn't...see ya next time!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Utah Visit

We had a great time in Utah even though it was a whirlwind visit! It was so fun to see everyone at the birthday party, and we appreciate everyone who brought salads and help. I couldn't have done it without you all. Pauly and I were really blessed to have our own row on the plane both going to Utah and coming home. He was such a good boy, even off his schedule. I don't have any pictures to post, but I wanted to say thank you. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Both my parents and Jared's parents gave Pauly some cute clothes and took care of us while we were there. It was so great to stay at their houses and just be with them. I can't wait to come back again, and this time Jared will be there for a little bit. See you all in a few weeks!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Row, row, row your boat!

Jared is fully recovered now, and back to work and school. He has his first big test coming up very soon. He has to make a pivot gauge and a winding stem. I actual know what those are, but for those of you who don't. He has to take a piece of metal and shave pieces off by hand to exact specifications that are like .001 mm. It's very technical and stuff. Sometimes I do a lot of nodding and uh-hmming when he explains things like that to me.. Those are pictures of what he has to make.

We had quite a storm this weekend. It started raining on Friday and kept raining until Saturday afternoon. We thought there was a chance we would have to row our bow to higher ground but it finally ceased. After it finally stopped, the wind kicked in and knocked over at least 3 trees in the park by our house. It took power out in other parts of Jersey, but we weren't affected.(effected? I never know the difference.)

Next Sunday we are having all six of the missionaries from our ward over for corned beef and cabbage because of St. Patrick's day. Since I have never made either of those things, I've got to read up in my Betty Crocker cookbook. Jared's mom makes that every year near St. Patty's day and we think it's pretty yummy so we are going to try it out. We have two new missionaries so it will be good to get to know them. We like to have them come about once a month. One of the sisters said last time they came, "Wow, it's good to have some meat!" I guess they don't have much at their apartment. We always have a good time when the come.

Today was a good day at church, no talks that make you go hmmmm... We have those pretty often here in the mission field. My primary kids were for the most part good. At least half of them were taught by the missionaries, not born in the church so they have some pretty interesting ideas sometimes from the church they attended before. I have to build in clarification discussion time to most of my sharing times to make sure they know what the truth is. They are very strong in their testimonies though, and close to the spirit. They amaze me week after week with things they say. Although I have moments of feeling overwhelmed, I think I've fallen into a rhythm in my calling. I have much more to learn I know, but I don't panic as much as I did in November and December.

Well, off to bed I go, ready to start a new we go!

I'm Esme

You're Esme Cullen - Your maternal instinct to take care of people and be kind draw people towards you. You're compassionate and loving, yet firm when you need to be. You appreciate hard work and value the beautiful results of your dedication to any project.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Watch out world!

Well kids, it's all over. Paul has now become mobile so I guess it's time to start baby proofing and vacuuming ever day. It's pretty much the cutest thing he does right now, and we practice it every chance we get. He is also clapping, playing peek-a-boo, eating EVERYTHING he touches, and splashing in his bath until he soaks his mama.

Thanks to all who called with get well wishes for Jared. He is almost fully recovered, just hurting a little when he bends over and his belts hits him right in the appendix area. Another example of how much Heavenly Father watches over us out here in New Jersey. It could have been much worse in so many ways. We are very glad we had our ward family to take care of Pauly while we were at the hospital and for the blessing he received before surgery from the bishop and first counselor from our ward. Primary was also taken care of while I was taking care of Jared, which was a big sigh of relief for me. Thanks also for those who think of us and pray for us, we feel it clear over here! We are excited to see all our Utah friends and family at the end of March!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some pictures

Pictures too cute to not share.

Checking my internet

Paul loves the computer so I finally let him check his internet...he cracks me up on a regular basis!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My friend Sarah

My friend Sarah that teaches 5th grade at Vineyard just found out that she has Leukemia, and is in the hospital having chemotherapy now. She went from not chemo in one week. Her doctors are optimistic, but I would really appreciate if you would keep her in your prayers. She is an amazing woman and I pray she has the strength to get through this!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Winter Blahs

I know it's only February, but I am pining for some warmer weather. My new babysitting job requires me to stand outside for about half an hour watching 10-year-old Austin play football. It isn't too bad, but it does make me excited for spring to come!

Jamie and Tyler (Jared's sister & brother-in-law) moved from R.I. to San Diego :( so we went to spend one last weekend with them. Grandma Jan had come from Utah to help so Pauly got to spend some time with her and his cousins. I will post some pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pauly Stands

This is an outfit my mom gave him for Christmas. He looks like a little man to me! He is just starting to stand by himself holding on to things. He can pull himself up pretty well too. The end of infancy is near, and the age of toddlerhood isn't far off. AHHH!

Pauly Talks

This is paul's language right now. Nice, ehh?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Recipie

Just thought I would post a recipe I used this week that is quick and easy and yummy. You put 4 or 5 chicken breasts (frozen or not) in the Crockpot with a 16 oz jar of salsa, and 1 can of cream of chicken soup and let it cook for 5-6 hours and viola! You got a pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts for. They say in the cookbook that you are supposed to serve it on a rice pilaf, but I haven't yet because A)I don't know what a pilaf is and 2)I never remember to put the rice on 20 minutes before I am ready to eat. Anyhow, we enjoyed the high of 65 degrees today, it was loverly. They say it is a freak warm spell, and the cold will be back soon, but I am enjoying it while it is here. I am sooo excited to hear Shayla is having a girl, although Jocelyn will look funny in Paul's hand-me-downs. HAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding. Need more sleep. Good night.
P.S. Us by the Manhattan Temple

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


It's Christmas time in the city

It's been a while since I have posted, so I guess now is the time. We had a fantastic Christmas. My family, except for Matt, was here, and we had a great time. We spent Christmas day just playing with our new things, and I cooked a turkey for the first time ever, and if I do say so myself, it was darn good. It was very relaxing and nice. Thursday and Friday we went into the city with 3,000,000 other people. It was so fun. I love New York when it's busy. We got to go to Radio City Music Hall's 75th Christmas Spectacular, and they aren't lying. It is quite spectacular. We got a GPS from my parents so we don't spend so much time being lost now. (it is sooooo cool!) Jared's parents so many great things, we had a lovely Christmas. Paul is officially spoiled by both grandmas and he loves it! He is very excited about all his new toys. Grandma Jan sent a stuffed lion, that he loves to snuggle with. Here are a few pictures of our holidays.