April 2015

 Saturday, July 18, 2015

Usually May is the month it gets crazy, but April was amazing & busy, busy, busy!
James and I were so excited to spend two weeks in Arizona staying with our friends the Battys. Enjoy this video of James & baby Emma!
April 1
James met up with his old roommate Jeremy Buck, (remember the Bucks we hung out with in February in Utah?), who just moved to Phoenix! They went to a Spring Training baseball game & had a blast. 
Spring Training
James & Jeremy
April 2
We went to Mesa to grab a bite to eat at Moreno's Mexican with the Battys, Fairbanks, & Killpacks. Then we watched the Mesa Temple Easter Pageant! We were really far away, but it was good to be with everyone and it put me in the Easter mood.
Than & Rex, James, Luke, Trevor
Rex is so big!
Cute Batty family
You can see how far away we are...
all the way in the back near the parking lot. Still awesome.

April 3
I went to see the movie Insurgent with my old boss amazing friend Jodi! We had lunch at Applebees after to catch up. I forgot to take photos but I just love her!
That night James and I went on a double date with Luke & Jenna Killpack to La Grande Orange pizza in Phoenix! The pizza there is seriously the best. Jenna & I kept eyeing the giant homemade hostess cupcakes there at the bakery. We couldn't resist devouring one each. It was hard to share with our hubbies.
We had a blast eating Easter candy and Ben & Jerry's ice cream and playing "Extreme" Dominoes into the night (midnight) where the loser of so many rounds has to drink a made up concoction. You can thank me for this video.
April 4
General Conference is here! We watched the morning and afternoon session by ourselves because the Battys went to Utah to spend Easter weekend with family. I loved Elder L. Tom Perry's talk about the importance of marriage & families! 
General Conference tradition-CRISPY M&M's!!!

So I accidentally bought James tickets to the Suns vs. Jazz basketball game last Christmas without realizing that it was on the same night as the Priesthood session of General Conference. We had a ball (haha) with Than & Ixchel Fairbanks at the game. Oh how I've missed them! I promise that James watched the Priesthood session of Conference later that week. After the game we were starving so we ate a late dinner at Portillos and had hot dogs and cake shakes.
 Here we are with the Fairbanks 1st year of med school at a Suns game...
and then here we are again during 4th year of med school!
Um, Portillos is good.
April 5
Happy Easter! We watched the morning and afternoon sessions of Sunday's General Conference while we ate Easter candy. Oh and let me just say how amazing Conference was this April! I LOVED all the talks, especially the General Women's Session talking about FAMILIES. Ah, so wonderful!
For easy Easter dinner we made sweet potatoes, deviled eggs with avocado, crescent rolls with ham & asparagus & Dijon mustard. 
I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that he atoned for my sins, died on the cross, rose from the grave, and HE LIVES!
April 6
The Battys came home! James and I made my Nana's spaghetti and we watched tv--sports and Fixer Upper with them. Enjoy this video of James playing with the kids.
April 7
Midwestern University financial lecture for James, eye exam at Midwestern medical institute for me. Afterward we went to lunch in Phoenix with the Fairbanks and Battys at Magic Mushroom, you know, the place with the killer fish tacos we love so much? Ixchel went to get a prenatal massage while the boys played racquetball. I did homework while the girls napped. Then we all had burgers and cowboy caviar and watched Rex be his crazy adorable self.
Rex Fairbanks & Emma Batty
Love this face.
Love this face too.

April 8
We went to Abuelo's mexican food for dinner then watched the Jazz game and played Scattergories and watched Dancing with the Stars. Whit has converted me to Dancing with the Stars and I've converted her to So You Think You Can Dance!
Love the panoramic distortion of James' chin haha!
Claire bear
It's a miracle that Emma sat on my lap while sitting on Abuelo's lap!

April 9
I took my last exam EVER!!!!!!!! It feels so good to be done with my degree! It was a hard last semester but I made it! I went to the library with Whit & her girls. After work James and I ran errands, ate amazing shrimp alfredo with the Battys, then played more Extreme Dominoes & ate Easter candy with the Killpacks across the street. So fun!
I managed to get all A's my last semester!
I had so much energy because I FINISHED school!!!! (Not as much energy as Claire though). What better way to celebrate then to DANCE!?!?

April 10
To celebrate the end of college I went shopping with Whit & Ixchel at Last Chance. Whit & I grabbed lunch at Zupa's, then drove to the mall and did more shopping! Jenna met us there and we tried on a million dresses. I ended up buying 3 dresses for all the fun events coming up!
We should have read this before spending the ENTIRE day shopping!

April 11
Jenna drove Whit & me to Mesa where we celebrated with Ixchel the awaited coming of baby boy Eli at her BABY SHOWER! So cute. 
Whitney, Jenna, Me, Ixchel with Baby Eli

James and I went to our FREE photoshoot I won for us during a giveway on Facebook with Rachael Pearce Photography. Hooray!
April 12
Church with the Battys, watched my graduation commencement broadcast from BYU-Idaho, talked to our families on the phone, veggie paninis for dinner, played with the girls, watched the Saratov approach with brownies and ice cream!

April 13
James and I had lunch with my dear dear friend Mary at Bambino's! It was so fun catching up. I miss working with her at Chase. I visited with everyone at the branch afterward too. I miss my work family!

We had Family Home Evening with the Battys at the Killpacks house. It was so fun to be together. Just missing the Fairbanks and Edwards. 

April 14
James drove to Utah. I hung out with the girls & Whit--we went to Petco, Chick fil A, and a random store called XI with pretty good deals, we were surprised haha. They had to get back for a showing of their house so Jenna drove me to the airport to get to Texas! Goodbye for now Battys, Killpacks, Fairbanks, Chase friends, all our AZ friends, and Arizona!
April 15
I arrived late the night before in Texas and snuck upstairs to sleep. The next morning my dad took my sister Piper out for breakfast so that Mom and I could decorate her room. I hid in the closet. Then she opened the door and I scared surprised her "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Hope it was a good sweet 16th birthday surprise for her!
We went to Yummylicious frozen yogurt, Charming Charlie, and Sam Moon.
Then I surprised my grandparents and chatted with them at their house. Meanwhile, James was in Utah and welcomed home his sister Danielle from her mission to Washington D.C.!
Brother-in-law Spencer
Sister-in-law Marissa
My Father-in-law
Brother-in-law Steven
James with my two sisters-in-law. Welcome home from your mission Sister Chapman!

April 16
Happy birthday to Piper who turned 16 on the 16th! We celebrated her Sweet 16 on her Golden Birthday! We saw the new Cinderella movie (amazing), had lunch at Smash Burger, took Paxton for a walk, had Chicken Express for dinner, then had Nothing Bundt Cake & presents with Nans and Gramps!
April 17
We slept in and had pancakes for breakfast. Mom & Dad surprised me with a graduation/early birthday present: going on a cruise (in 4 days) with Mom and Piper (pi's birthday gift). Mom told us to treat ourselves to manicures and pedicures at Michele's nails! I got these cute anchors painted on my nails for such an occasion. Pi and I had fun with our girls day and watched Leap Year (one of the birthday gifts I got Pi) and ate Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
Also, here's Piper's favorite song as a new 16 year old:
April 18
My flight was at 6:00AM so I was up since 4:15AM Texas time, so I got less than four hours of sleep with two plane rides. James picked me up and I got to see Danielle when I landed in Utah! We went straight to Marissa's soccer game, then the Korean mart and Winco with James. James made us Korean food while I chatted with my brother Peter who I've missed so much! Then I started packing for my cruise...
April 19
My whole reason for coming to Utah was for Danielle's mission homecoming! She did an amazing job on her talk at church. Everyone was teary-eyed. So proud of this amazing sister missionary! We had a ton of family and friends over at the house for yummy food.
Marissa & cousins playing
Sister-in-law Holly & Grandma Chapman
Grandpa & Grandma Keel
James & Peter
Haha nice one Spence
A mother with her sons (some of them).
James is happy to be with his Mom
I can tell Mom feels the same.
Danielle & Grandma Chapman
Dad, Spencer, Mom, Steven, Danielle, Marissa, James, Chelsea, Holly, Mike.
I love this Chapman family of mine. Missing Jason & Natalie, and Preston!

April 20
My flight was at 1:10AM (thanks to Pete for driving me). Horrible 2 flights, so tired and arrived at 10am in Florida for my CRUISE! Mom and Pi and I ate lunch on the cruise, explored the ship, layed out on deck, had the safety drill, ate ice cream and pizza and watched the ship debark. We went to dinner in the dining room and Piper got surprised with an extra birthday dessert and song from the servers. We watched the Welcome Aboard show then retired to our cabin where I gave a Family Home Evening lesson!
April 21
We took a bus to Sandals Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. The resort is amazing! We relaxed by the pool, swam, explored the beach, and ate food food food! They had this awesome nacho bar we kept going back to. We ate grilled cheese, pizza, and a brownie sundae. We took advantage of the swim-up bar where we had virgin strawberry daiquiris. It started sprinkling rain but we snuggled under our towels and umbrella. We got caught in the rain as headed back to the ship though! 
Formal night in the dining room then a magic show for entertainment. 
We didn't plan on matching dresses!
April 22
We took a tender to Coco Cay. Piper and I went on a boat for our parasailing adventure! We were the first ones to go up in the air out of 6 pairs doing the adventure. It was both thrilling and fun and a little scary! See for yourself! I love the video.
Before parasailing.
Can you read Pi's emotions? 
The guys didn't even give us good instructions! Ah!
Super high in the air!
Flying above cruise ships for crying out loud!
We laid out on the beach with Mom, got in the ocean, ate hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, and had tropical Coco Loco smoothies. When we got back to the ship we just hung out, played dominoes, went to dinner, and read our books. Fun day!
Matching hair- "Chelsea buns!"
I think there was sunscreen on the camera lens.
Coco Cay
Mom said this shark's face reminded her of how happy James is. Aw!

April 23
Unfortunately we had a Sea Day instead of going to Key West, Florida because there was an oil leak or something like that. So we slept in. Played dominoes. Looked for 2 hours to find 3 chairs to lay out on the deck! We finally did find chairs and were able to lay out and read our books. For dinner in the dining room I tried the tiger shrimp. Our favorite dessert of the week was the flourless chocolate cake. We went to the farewell dance show called Boogie Wonderland!
April 24
Debarked the ship in Florida then took a taxi to the Savoy Resort in Miami. It was fun to relax by the pool, dip our toes in the ocean, then eat lunch at Chili's across the street. Thanks for a fun cruise trip Mom & Pi! We all drove to the airport and I flew 4 hours to Denver, delayed until 1:45AM (UGH!) then finally arrived home in Utah around 4:00AM. So exhausted!
April 25
Peter came over to the house and we made Grandma Keel's homemade chicken noodle soup. We watched Big Hero 6 with Marissa. Hung out with Steven and Kate and Spencer and Danielle. We packed up our whole room to prep for our trips to AZ and TX and to move to RI. We ended the night playing cards with the family.
April 26
Church with the family. Roast and potatoes for dinner. Watched home videos together. I got to see James the day I was born on video! His dad was reading a Bugs Bunny book to him and Holly and Jason as kids. So cute! That evening we said goodbye to everyone (and cried), then drove to Vernal to visit Grandma and Grandpa Keel. 
April 27
Breakfast of champions with Grandma and Grandpa. We babysat James' Uncle John & Aunt Kristie's kids Katie and Kayden. We had fun playing games with them!
We went to visit Great-Grandma Dixon's grave & other family members' graves with Grandma Keel.
I love family history. Here is a picture of who James was named after:
This is Lee Grant Dickson, James' Great-Great Grandfather. James' middle name is Lee.
We went to Grandma & Grandpa's farm. James gave me a tour and we even saw a golden eagle in its nest! That night we ate dinner at the cannery that they recently bought from the Church that sits on their farm's land and had Family Home Evening with some of the family. James gave the lesson. 
Golden Eagle in its nest!
Cute calf!
James has so many good memories on the farm with Grandma & Grandpa!
We played games, then went to James' cousin Karlee and her husband Josh's house. We played on Josh's super cool pin ball machines! Check out the artwork on them Dad!
James & Josh
Top corner signed by Stan Lee!

April 28
After breakfast we said goodbye to Grandma & Grandpa Keel and James was emotional. I tried to cheer him up on our drive across the country. Lunch at Wendy's and tons of deer, antelope, turkeys, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, elk, and coyote sightings helped. We drove all the way to Lincoln, Nebraska to rest for the night.
April 29
After breakfast we drove 1 hour to Winter Quarters, Nebraska. We did a quick tour at the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters and saw the Winter Quarters Temple. This was our first stop on our Church History tour across America!
Pushing a Mormon Pioneer handcart!
These remind me of my Nana, but she has real antiques of these! These are replicas.
We drove and ate Wendys salads in the car.
Next stop: Carthage, Illinois. We toured Carthage jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred.
The room where Joseph & Hyrum were held captive in Carthage Jail.
The view from outside the window that Joseph Smith jumped out of as he was shot and killed.
James standing with the statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
So thankful for these men.

Then we drove to Nauvoo, Illinois. We did a quick walk through the Nauvoo Visitor's Center, walked around the temple and Trail of Hope, but everything else was closed because we arrived too late in the day. 
Mississippi River
Statues of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith
Nauvoo Temple
The temple over looks the Mississippi River. When the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo
they crossed this river and when they looked back they saw the temple.

The angel facing west is symbolic of when the Saints fled West.
The Nauvoo Temple was the first to have an angel (though not identified as Moroni) and it is the only temple to have a horizontal or flying angel (which functioned as a weathervane). The angel was inspired by Revelations 14:6, which says, "And I saw another fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
After Nauvoo, we drove to Peoria, Illinois for dinner at Chili's and to spend the night!
April 30
We drove all day. We arrived in Kirtland, Ohio and met up with Trevor Batty who was doing a rotation about 25 mins away! We toured the Historic Kirtland Visitor's Center. The sister missionaries were great there. We walked around the temple but it was a little chilly outside so we left to grab a bite to eat with Trevor. It was a fun experience!
We drove to our hotel in Erie, Pennsylvania.
End of April.
More church history tours in my next blog post for the month of May!


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