About Us

About Us
Glenn and I have been married for eight spectacular years. We recently moved to Denver, CO, which is not close enough to either of our families. We keep this blog updated so we can stay close to our friends and fam. Glenn is enjoying his new job and I am loving being a stay-at-home mom. We have two sweet little boys, Tate and Finn and we love them to pieces every day. We also love date nights, good movies, good food, and being with each other!

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

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Kimmalee Etsy Site
Tiny Trendy Treasures made by me and my sweet sister-in-law.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Christmas 2013

We had a few visitors for Christmas this year.  Uncle Ian came to stay with us for a couple of weeks.  Auntie Mallo and Grampa came for about a week as well. It was so fun to have so many family members here to play with!  They are all so sweet and loving to our kiddos.  Here we are on Christmas morning, except for Nana and Glenn, who are taking pictures.
 Santa was very good to us this year.  He brought  Glenn a snazzy running watch that he's been wanting to help him train for his next marathon (April 19th in SLC!).  He brought me a trip with my sister at the end of April.  Cannot wait!  He brought Finny a toy trumpet and cash register.
 And he brought Tate a star speeder.  It's a toy version of the ride vehicle from Star Tours and Tate has been talking about it since we went last year.
 It's a very cool toy.
 Tate and Finn were spoiled by cousins and each received a stuffed star wars angry bird toy.  Finn's was "Dun Duh Dun" (Darth Vader) which he loved and wrestled all day.
 And Tate's was a Chewbacca bird.
 We had a great day just hanging out and playing with new toys.  We received a LOT of new games and books this year and had fun figuring them out and playing together.
 The rest of Christmas break was filled with fun activities.  We spent a morning at the zoo together.  The weather really cooperated over the break and gave us several sunny, warm days to enjoy outside.
 Tate and Finn are obsessed with maps.  They get a new one every time we go to the zoo or science museum even though I'm sure they know exactly where they're going by now.  They like to look at the map and direct our visit.

 Another morning we spent at the ice rink at the mall right around the corner from our house.  It was the boys first time skating and the first time I've been in years.  It was harder than I remembered.  Coordination is not my forte.
 But the boys had a blast and were exhausted when we finally had to leave.
 So were we.  Thankfully Glenn and I had a lot of help guiding them around the rink.  They are really heavy boys.


 We took the family to the indoor pool one night.  It's a really cool place with a little lazy river and a kids area with a bunch of sprinklers.  The boys are both crazy fish and love being in the water.
 Finn's especially happy whenever there is a ball involved.
 We took the fam to one of our favorite parks.  There's a huge play ground and in the summer there's a splash pad as well.  We made Mallory take a turn in the spinning chair of death.  It's a doozy.  It'll give you a headache and leave you queasy all day long.  Sisterly love.
 It was a beautiful day.  I love living in this area where we have nice days that give you a break from the winter cold so we can let these crazy boys play outside!
It was a wonderful Christmas break.  I'm glad we were able to have so many family members come to play.  I love that our boys love their family and that they get to see them so often.  This Christmas was one for the books, for sure.

When Finny turned 2

Finny's second birthday was pretty chill.  We enjoy the chill little birthdays while we can.  Soon he'll be old enough to care about parties and then there will be parties.  For now, we loved having little 2 year old Finn to ourselves for the day.
We woke up on his birthday and Tate asked me if I had decorated for his birthday...um...nope I forgot.  So we left Finny in his crib for a few more minutes and Tate helped me decorate the down stairs for his birthday.  Apparently that is now a tradition.  Good to know.
  We opened presents throughout the day.  Auntie Aubry and our Utah cousins sent him some Star Wars character flashlights which were a big hit.
 He got a slide and some balls and books from our family and spent most of the morning going down the slide or rolling his ball down the slide.
 That evening we went to a bounce place with the Cluff family.  We met Stephen, Tori and Lizzy at the bounce place and the big kids had a blast running around like crazy and completely wearing themselves out.   But try as we may we couldn't get poor Finn interested in the bounce place.  Primarily because he found the basketball arcade game and that was the end of his interest in the bounce houses.
He begged and begged and we finally let him try it.
 Then it was over and he made this face.
 Then this one.
 We tried to get him to come bounce with us but we ended up just playing the basketball game for a while.  And he was very happy.
 We ended the night with dinner at olive garden.  The kids had mac and cheese and were happy as can be.  After we got home we had some cupcakes.  He seemed mildly interested in the frosting but the cake he could do without.  
 Silly boy.

We love you sweet Finny face.  Hope you had a wonderful birthday, little man.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dear Tate,

My Tate, you're five today.  Five years old.  Somehow it sounds so very much older and bigger than four.  I know in my mind that it's still just one year of time.  The same year that turned you from three to four, but my heart feels like five is momentous.  No longer a little kid.  You're a boy.  A tall, handsome, kind, funny, silly little boy.  Growing up and becoming more aware of the world around you and going to kindergarten in just a few months.  Yikes.

You've been in your second year of preschool this year and while the teachers and structure took some getting used to, you're doing great now. You have a few cute little friends and you always come out talking about your favorite time of preschool, when you got to play outside with your friends.  You have an astounding imagination, as you always have, and your play time revolves around whatever story we've read or movie we've seen lately.  I love how you take your own spin on characters or situations you're familiar with just to see how they play out.  "Mom, I'll be C3PO and you be Wendy from Peter Pan, okay?" or "Mom, you be Anna from Frozen and I'll be Bolt, okay?"  Then you proceed to tell me the scenario in which those two characters would come across each other and we have to play it out.

You love to play outside.  We are lucky living in this beautiful place where we have parks nearby and can get out to play on them most of the time.  Even in the winter there are breaks from the cold when we get to go play outside.  You played on a soccer league last spring and then again in the fall with your dad as coach.  It didn't appear to be your passion but you seemed to really enjoy being outside and running around with friends.  And you loved that your shin guards made you look "just like a storm trooper".  So there's that.

You are a little fish.  You finished a few more sessions of swimming lessons this summer and while actually staying on top of the water still doesn't come naturally to you, you're getting incredibly brave and LOVE being in the water.  You've always liked swimming but this year you spend way more time underneath the surface.  It kind of scares your dad and I sometimes when we don't see you surface for a while even when we know you can touch.  You have your favorite Buzz Lightyear goggles and you are so excited about swimming around and being able to see underwater.  It's like magic to you and so fun for us to watch.

You just started gymnastics a couple of weeks ago.  Primarily because some of your friends take gymnastics so you've been to birthday parties there and we thought it would be something fun to do since it's too cold most days to play outside.  You've loved it so far.  You try hard, listen to your teachers, and leave exhausted.  I'm a very proud mama watching you learn something I can't teach you from someone other than me.  There's something so wonderful about watching you be a good student.

You love everything Disney.  There may have been a teensy bit of brainwashing involved there.  You love Disneyland, watching the rides on youtube, talking about our trip, and obviously watching the movies.  We've had a couple of "Tate Dates" to plays this year and you've seemed to really enjoy those too.  We went to Peter Pan and Mary Poppins.  It's fun once in a while to have some time alone with you.

You're still a picky eater.  Your favorite stand-by food and the food you will always order at restaurants when we go out is Mac and Cheese.  Every time.  Thank heavens for our morning smoothies because there is no way we'd get any fruit or veggies in you without them!  I usually cater to what you'll eat to some degree at breakfast and lunch because I know that come dinner time, you're probably going to choose to go without.

You're a stinkin' smart boy.  But that's nothing new.  You have an amazing memory and you pick new things up pretty quickly.  You can watch a movie once and have a collection of quotes you thought were funny that you start incorporating into your daily language.  Just like your Daddy.  We've started having little reading practices every other day while Finn is napping.  It's not your favorite time of day but once we get started you don't complain too much.  You're getting a pretty good collection of sight words under your belt and are reading some little books fairly comfortably...or maybe you've memorized them all...that's a possibility too.

You're becoming more compassionate and thoughtful this year. You seem to be more aware of what's going on around you and how you fit in.  Finny was jumping on the bed last week and fell and split his head open on the headboard.  Nana was here while we ran Finn to the hospital.  When we got back you were so concerned about him.  Even though you'd been in bed for over an hour, you stayed awake and asked if you could go give Finn a hug.  When we got back in to bed you were full of questions about the hospital, the doctors, the stitches.  Did they hurt?  Did Finn cry?  And when you had asked all your questions you sat there in silence for a minute.  Then you said, "Mom, I changed my mind.  I want to be a doctor for kids when I grow up."  I thought that was so sweet and indicative of how your mind and heart work right now.

You are a wonderful big brother.  Little Finn adores you and copies absolutely everything you say and do.  I love the look in his eyes when you do something silly and he laughs at you.  He looks at you like you hung the moon in the sky just for him.  You quote movies, so he quotes movies.  You love Star Wars so he loves Star Wars.  He adores you, Tate, and you adore him right back.  Right now you're the best of buddies.  Occasionally he gets in an ornery mood and decides to terrorize you.  Since he's Finn, he resorts to physical intimidation.  He's just a physical little guy.  And you, you sweet little kid, you run away crying because it would never occur to you to take him down or hit him back.  But for the most part, you two play so well together.  One of my most precious joys as your mother is watching the two of you play together and seeing how much you love each other.  You are lucky to have each other and I hope you never forget that.

You know who else you're lucky to have?  Your Daddy.  You two boys love your Dad.  Every day when he gets home from work we hide...pretty much every time it's under the dining room table.  And Dad pretends to find us there...again.  Then we all get out and give him hugs.  He's the best Dad in the world.  He works hard all day and then comes home excited to see you boys and ready to wrestle, read, go swimming, or walk to a park with us.  Sometimes on Fridays when Dad has half days he surprises you by picking you up from school and taking you to a movie with him.  You love that.  Lately, because of my new crazy calling, your dad takes over at night while I go do YW stuff.  It's really telling that not having me around so much of the time hasn't thrown you and Finn at all because your Dad has totally got it. He tries hard to be the best Daddy for you and your brother.  I know you'll keep getting closer and closer as you get older.  He wouldn't have it any other way.

You're a very affectionate boy, as you've always been.  You still let me snuggle you when we watch a movie and at bed time after I sing and turn out the light you ask, almost every night, "Mom, would you snuggle me for a couple of minutes?"  How can I say, "no" to that?  You are quick to hug me when I ask for a hug and quick to hug your baby brother when he is upset or hurt too.  You are a very loving kid and will make some lucky girl a very attentive, sweet husband some day...if I ever let you date.

Oh my Tate, this motherhood thing is so bittersweet.  Every new thing you learn and accomplish makes me almost laughably proud of you.  I wish I could record my heartbeat or the way my face absolutely beams when you kick the soccer ball in your game or befriend a lonely boy in class or say your scripture in primary or do a somersault in gymnastics.  And at the same time, every new thing you learn and accomplish is one more tiny step you take in becoming your own brilliant little independent person and that comes with needing your momma a little bit less...or at least a little bit differently than you did before.

I've said it before and maybe it merits saying this once a year on your birthday, you and me, we have a special thing going on on this day of yours.  Your birthday isn't just the day you arrived on this earth, it's the day you made me a mama.  My most favorite job, favorite role, favorite most wonderful thing I've ever done.  Unfortunately for you,  being the first means you get the most uptight, anxious version of mama me.  You're my first baby, first preschooler, soon you'll be my first kindergartener and my first everything else for the rest of your life.  You get to pave the way for the rest of the Makechnie kiddos and your Dad and I get to figure out this parenting game as you go.  We're doing our best to be everything you need.  We pray every night for help from Heavenly Father.  Help taking care of you, raising you, guiding you to be the boy He needs you to be.  And you, little kiddo, are the most perfect first boy we could ask for.  You are a genuinely kind, caring boy.  You feel badly when you disappoint us and you try your best not to.  You want to please your teachers at school and in church and you feel badly if you every get in a little bit of trouble.  You love your friends and love being around other kids.  You love going to the park or zoo with Finn and I, but you're both happiest when you have a play date with other kids.
Tate, you're a good soul.  I'm so glad I get to be your Mom.  I love you so much my first little boy.
The world is yours.
Love,
Mom


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dear Finn,

Dear Finn,

Good gracious, how did another year already pass us by?  I was thinking all day today about the day you were born.  Seeing your sweet round cheeks.  Your smooth, tiny baby head.  The way you smelled, the sound of your cry (it was much softer those first few days).  Snuggling you and looking at you in the hospital bed even though I knew I should probably put you down and get some sleep.  It feels impossible that two years have passed since that day.  They were absolutely two of the fastest years I've experienced and I'm afraid that will be the trend from here on out.  The years we have with your and your brother are going to speed by and all your Daddy and I can do is try to enjoy and soak up every minute we have with you as they go speeding by.

Finny you are a darling little boy.  You look just like your dad.  Everyone says so.  Just like your handsome Daddy but with very light blond hair.  It's surprisingly blond in the summertime when your little body and face get tan and your hair stays blond as can be.  I love that I can see your Daddy when I look in your eyes.  And I love that your eyes light up when you smile, just like his do.  You have a very handsome little face with round cheeks and a thick little body.  You're not chubby, just solid and strong.  You love to wrestle with Tate and I don't think it will be long before you'll pin him down and he won't be able to push you off.   You are a tough, strong, athletic little boy.

You love all things sports.  Tate played a couple of little soccer seasons this year and it was torture for you to go to his games and not be able to play with him.  We would get you up on Saturday mornings, tell you we were going to Tate's soccer game and all morning and all the way to the game you would say, "I ready a kick a goal, Mom!  I ready!"  Your turn will come little kiddo.  You love playing with a lacrosse stick and it doesn't seem to frustrate you at all that it's so hard for you to maneuver.  You put the stick on the ground, walk over to the net, put the ball in, then walk back to the stick end and pick it up and swing it around until the ball comes out.  Then you get the ball and do it again.  Your patience has no end where sports are concerned.  You'll even sit and watch games on TV with Daddy and get frustrated when the commercials come on and interrupt the game.

You do seem to have a favorite sport.  Basketball.  It was one of your first words and definitely one of your favorite things to do.  We finally brought the little tike's basketball hoop down to the family room so you could play with it more often.  You have the most darling little jump shot.  It's more of a hop than a jump.  But you hop up in the air (sometimes with a grunt) and throw the ball at the hoop.  Most of the time you make it in too.  You practice a lot.  More than once we've seen you shoot the ball for 20 minutes at a time with a focus and patience way beyond your years.  You notice basketball hoops everywhere we go.  If we pass one as we're driving you shout, "A Badiball Hoop!" from the back seat, just to let us know that you saw one!  In Sacrament meeting at church you are hard to contain as you spend most of the meeting pointing out the basketball hoops in the cultural hall and asking to go see them.

It's funny how different you and Tate are.  A confirmation to me that you little guys were your own spirit people before you came to us and you have your own interests and needs.  And yet, it's amazing and wonderful how much you and Tate adore each other.  Tate is so proud of you Finn.  He tells everyone wherever we go, the park, the zoo, the museum, preschool, the grocery store, that YOU are his baby brother named Finn.  He loves you so much.  One of the most wonderful things I have seen thus far as a mother, is the tender way that you two play together.  You love to wrestle and play pillow fights.  Right now Tate wallops you pretty good and you take the hits and laugh until you can hardly breathe.  You can be a tease sometimes and push your brother's buttons too.  But most of the time you two are best buddies.  You are into whatever Tate is into.  Right now that means Star Wars.  Your favorite character by far is Darth Vader who you call, "Dun Dah Dun", and you sing his theme song and ask to listen to Star Wars music while we're driving in the car.  You also love Wild Kratts, Word World, and Lightning McQueen.    I'm aching for you not to grow up too fast, but I guess that's just what little brothers do.  They're dying to keep up with their big brothers so they seem to grow up much faster than I approve of.

I love the way you love your big brother.  The way you look at him and admire him so much.  He's a great big brother to you and you are lucky to have each other.  You guys adore your Daddy and rightly so, he's a magnificent Daddy.  He plays with you and plans fun outings with you.  He can't wait to get home from work every day so he can play with you guys and you two give him a hero's welcome.  Usually you and Tate hide when you hear the garage door and Dad has to find you.  I hope you always admire your Daddy the way you do now.  I couldn't ask for a better Daddy for you two crazy boys.

You are a pretty good eater.  You love fruit.  Grapes, bananas, apples, any kind of berry and sometimes oranges.  You've just started to get picky about some foods and I wonder if that's coming from watching your brother too.  You can pack it away when you're hungry, in a way that is absolutely mystifying.  But if you're not interested in the food we're having, there is no talking you into it.

You had tough phases this year but the last few months have been wonderful.  I think you just needed to figure out how to get around by yourself and express yourself better and once you had that new independence you suddenly became a much warmer, sweeter boy.  You still don't give snuggles or hugs away too freely.  Most of the time I end up just having to grab you and squeeze you when I need it, but you do give hugs and kisses sometimes and you like our songs and snuggles at the end of the day which is a HUGE change.  You are a great balance of toughness and sweetness.  You are strong, independent, and don't get hurt emotionally or physically very easily.  But you have a tender conscience and don't often knowingly disobey.  Your Dad and I were discussing today how you don't get into the Christmas presents, play with the Christmas train, or even get into the movie cupboards.  We told you not to, and so you don't.

Your speech came a little later than Tate's and we wondered when you would feel the need to chat with us.  All of a sudden about 4 months ago your vocabulary exploded.  You started using words and phrases that we hadn't "taught" you, you were just listening all along, storing it away until you decided to form the words yourself.  Now you quote movies with Tate, sing songs in your bed, and help your toys talk to each other.  Your little voice is so stinkin' cute.  You have a lisp like Tate and you say several other letters funny too.  Your "ch" and "j" sounds are pretty darling.  You have great manners and say "please" and "thank you" without being prompted.  It's so sweet to hear you and Tate in the back seat as we drive around.  "Please I have a cracker Tate?" "Sure, Finny, here you go." "Oh Thank you Tate!"  "You're welcome, Finny."  So darling.

Finn, honey, I love you.  I love your tough, independent side and I love your sweet, polite, tender side that needs short hugs and kisses from me to make it all better before you head right back out to play.  Being your momma is the very best job in the world.  I wouldn't trade my time with you two for anything.  It's incredible and it's heartbreaking watching you grow bigger, older, and more independent every day.  I'm immensely proud of you every time you learn something new, and at the same time I want to keep you just like you are just a little bit longer because I LOVE two year old you.  I want to scoop you up from your crib and hold you all night just so I don't miss a second of your cute little two year old bear cub body.  Your Dad and I will be your biggest fans all your life.  We are in awe of you and so grateful to be your parents.

Happy Birthday my sweet little boy.
The world is yours.
Love,
Mom

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

What a whirlwind couple of months it has been.  The first week of November I got a new, much more time-consuming calling, then we spent the next few weeks adjusting to that and getting ready for my family to come visit for Thanksgiving.  All the Hansen crew and Glenn's brother Ian spent just less than 4 days together here at my house, then we all spread out across the country again.  And now suddenly we have a week and a half left before Christmas.  I'm not sure where this Fall went.  I wish we could do it over just one more time.  I feel like I missed it.
Thanksgiving with my family and dear Uncle Ian was wonderful.  We looked forward to it for months and, as expected, it flew by much too quickly.  We had 17 people including all the kiddos staying in my house and it was a blast.  We are so spread out across the country now that we don't get together more than once a year.  The last time we were all together was for a few days last Christmas time.  We have a really good time when we get together and it's always a bummer when we separate not knowing when we'll all be together again.
The Thanksgiving meal was quite an event.  Glenn was determined to make a Turducken.  That would be a chicken, in a duck, in a turkey, with layers of Glenn's corn bread stuffing in between each one.  Cody and Glenn spent the evening before boning three birds and putting the masterpiece together.

 Thanksgiving morning some of us took off for a Gobble Wobble 5K run in Littleton.  It was a great little race around a pond and park.  I'm definitely in for next year.  Some wore funny hats, Adam wore his red long johns.  
It was a good time all around and a nice way to start off a day of marathon eating.
Cody and Tate got some snuggle time in as Cody explained hunting shows to him.  Tate was surprisingly intrigued.
 We had a very full house for the meal as Garvins were able to join us as well.  The food spread was incredible. I don't even know if I have a favorite dish.  There were too many delicious ones to choose from.
 Finn was very pleased as well.
 And the three little kiddos had fun eating at their little kiddo table.
After dinner we played some card games with the Garvins.  Always a delight.
 Finn went back and forth from watching "Planes" on Adam's ipad at the kids table
to begging for strawberry rhubarb pie from Grandpa.
 Friday was a pretty chill day.  In the morning we got a couple of babysitters to watch all the kids while we went to the new Hunger Games movie together.  It was great to get some adult time and we all really enjoyed the new movie.  Our kids played so well together all weekend.  It was just fun to be around them while they enjoyed each other.  Finn was especially enamored with his girly cousins and he loved our two babies as well.  He often got in the babies faces saying, "Hi baby Abby!"  "Hi baby Hayze."  The babies were so sweet all weekend as well.  Happy and so stinkin' cute.  I can hardly stand that I don't get to watch them get bigger!  The next time I see them they'll be completely different people.  It's a total bust.
We spent Friday afternoon chilling at the house while babies slept, then headed to a fun park for an hour or so before it got dark.  The kids had a great time at the park and we grown ups joined in a fair bit as well.  Mal, Kenz and I took turns in a spinning chair of doom.  I'm surprised none of us threw up.  Kenz and Cody had a competition of sorts on a tight rope.  It's difficult to say if either of them really "won".  We had a good laugh watching them either way.
Saturday morning we took some family pictures.  It was absolutely necessary considering how seldom we are all together and how many new family members we've added since our last ones.  A dear friend from our ward took them and did a fabulous job.
Right after pictures we decided to hit up our Science Museum for a few hours.  We were tired and it wasn't an ideal time of day for the kiddos but we managed to have a great time.  Dinosaurs, kids discovery zone, Sadie wanted to see the mummies, Tate wanted to see the African Animals, then we ended with the Health exhibit which was our favorite.  There were a lot of hands-on experiments and a little kids area too.  The kids stayed in there with Glenn and Uncle Ian who were just about done museuming while the rest of us had way too much fun being goofy together.  It's fun when you get all your siblings together and you are able to let loose and remember how much fun you have together.  We're not just moms and dads and employees and nurses, we're siblings.  We were kids together and sometimes when we're together we're kids again and that's kinda fun.
My favorite experiment is a brain wave game.  It's a competition where you and your opponent put sensors on your forehead and try to clear your mind.  There's a ball on the table that starts in the middle and moves toward the person with the most brain activity.  So the more you relax the faster you move the ball toward your opponent's side of the table.  When it enters your opponent's goal, you win.  On the wall there's a screen that shows the rise and fall of each person's brain waves.  It was a fun thing to do with siblings.  Kenzie took on Cody.  
 Aub took on Mom
 Ad and Cami
 And Mallory
 and I went at it.
It was a really good time.  We ended up in the kids area with our kids and made impressions of our faces.  What a good lookin' bunch we are.
 After the museum we headed to Cafe Rio for lunch, because it was down the street, and there are several of us who don't live near a Cafe Rio anymore so it was an obvious choice.
That night we had a belated first birthday party for Baby Abby.  What a sweet little girl she is.  I don't know if I ever heard her really cry.  She would kind of whimper when she was sad, but it more sounded like her heart was breaking than that she was really upset.  Such a dear little miracle baby.  It was fun to be able to celebrate her all together.
She wanted nothing to do with her cupcake.
 Adam forced some frosting into her mouth at one point and she gave a big shutter.  It was hilarious.
 We have a lot to be grateful this year, as always.  This year we put a little grateful tree on our wall and wrote things we were grateful for on leaves throughout the month.  I liked this little tradition and I think we'll keep it up for next year.  Here are a few of our favorite gratefuls:
 I love that little Miss Sadie is grateful for Chameleons.
 Dick Chopp, Glenn's surgeon from almost 4 and a half years ago now.  Grateful for him.
 Jobs, clothes, family, chocolate chip cookies, Tate wrote Star Ward Angry Bird Telepods a couple of times.  His new favorite thing.
 And of course, the Turducken made the list.
It was a spectacular Thanksgiving.  I hope we can get together like this at least every year.  It's only going to get harder now that our kids are starting school.  Little Mya is in Kindergarten already and Tate will start next year.  But it is worth every inconvenience and sacrifice it takes to get this crazy family of ours together.  We have a great time when we do and I am thankful to have a family that I absolutely adore.
Thanks for coming everyone.  Can't wait til next time!