Saturday, December 28, 2013

One more for 2013

Maybe I'll be better next year, not making promises though.

Christmas was fun this year. It was different than others though. This was our first year staying home, and no family visiting from out of town. The main reason we didn't go anywhere is because Seth is/was hoping to get ahead, or not more behind, on hours for his internship. It is very nice that his work shuts down for the holiday. Paid break for two weeks! The kids are loving it, and so am I, but the kids - are seriously loving it.

Christmas eve we saw Frozen in the theater. Scarlett and Seth were glued to the screen, and I got to help Lincoln be entertained. Scarlett really loves seeing movies in the theater - this was probably her third time. (Today we also saw Despicable Me 2 in the dollar theater. Lincoln did worse than in Frozen, but I got to see the majority of it).

We then spent the rest of the afternoon/evening at my grandparent's in Pleasant Grove. Dinner was amazing and the time around aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents was good.

We came home and got our Christmas jammies on. Read "The Very First Christmas", that was recorded by both grandparents!! My parents recorded it and gave it to us just after Thanksgiving, and then Seth's parents mailed us their recorded copy early last week! Those books are so nice, I love hearing our parent's voice reading to their grandkids.

Seth and I "prepared" the Christmas tree with presents that have been hiding all month. We couldn't put anything under the tree since Scarlett opened anything with an "S" on it (obviously that means it's for Scarlett).

Seth woke me up at 3:45 am in a panic that he heard Scarlett come out of her room. (Why did he have to wake me up??? He heard her, he could have stopped her!) I jumped out of bed and redirected her to her bed. I'm pretty sure she had somehow gotten to the tree and display of presents before we woke up at 7:30 for the day. The mini train set was taken apart, but Scarlett denied all accusations of course.

It was a Merry Christmas! Lincoln's favorite toy is the Mega Blocks Piano and Scarlett's is her Princess Tent (which we place on top of her bed, so she sleeps in her tent, on her bed.)
Seth's favorite present was the portable air compressor and his big tool set bench/organizer thing. MY favorite present was .... my 5S iphone! Yes, I have crossed over from the "dumb" phone world into the smart high tech stuff.

Christmas day afternoon we went to my brother's in Spanish Fork to spend time with his family. We had ham dinner complete with all the yummy Christmas Day dinner menu items. The kids also got to break open a pinata!  A Hartley family tradition, this year mom and dad brought one with goodies from Iowa for us to break for our kids.

It was a great Christmas! We are lucky to have each other and to spend a lot of time together during this Holiday Season.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I haven't really ever seriously considered making our blog private from public viewing. But as I was updating the photos of my cute family tonight, I decided without any hesitation that our family blog needs to be private.

What a CRAZY world we live in!

It doesn't help I watch/listen/read the news so much. I'm a really paranoid person now.

I like to think of our family blog as a journal. Where I can write happenings down that can be shared with loved ones, good friends, and good people. I keep personal journals for myself, and Scarlett & Lincoln. But I like having a blog where I can write to close friends and family. Stuff I wouldn't necessarily share on Facebook.

I've been really, really lazy about a lot of stuff. But especially the blog. With General Conference around the corner, I feel a renewed sense of importance in doing things that "matter". To increase quality of life, instead of doing the day to day stuff.

Seth... is still never home. Working his BUTT off. Sacrificing so many endless hours and attention he would rather give to his children in a heartbeat, all to better our future. November 6th will be the half way mark of his Internship... We are going to PARrrrTay. He is a wonderful, wonderful man. Who loves me, and adores his children. I'm just grateful he loves working at Adobe. And they love him working there too. It brings a lot of peace in all areas of life when your spouse loves his occupation.

Scarlett.... Is going to marry Luke, apparently. After church one Sunday late August, she told me she was going to marry Luke. I didn't know who that was! So I texted a friend, and she confirmed Luke is in her nursery class. In fact, he is the son of the nice friend of ours who is watching Scarlett & Lincoln while I work two days a week. She gets really, really giddy talking about it. And she has no idea what it means to get "married".
She has dance lessons and goes to Pre-School just one day a week. She loves having friends over to play, and mom does too! Free entertainment!! She is obsessed with tea parties, and if Lincoln is anywhere near her current project (as in the same half of the house) it is the end of the world. Even though Lincoln has no clue what she's doing, nor is he interested... she insists that I hold him so he can't be near her stuff. Sigh. Siiigggggh.

Lincoln... still has my heart. Since June 15, 2012.... that little boy is my most favorite little thing to adore. (not picking a favorite child here, he is just ADORable.)
15 1/2 months old. Loves his mama. Has about 15 words (including a few signs). Loves to high five and "pound it". Says "peek-a-boo" the cutest way possible. Lives for bath time, and running around nakey nakey. He loves his daddy and to sing along with us at church or anyone else singing around him. Which is the cutest thing in the whole world.
Tonight he was snuggling with me and he would lean his head in so I'd give him a kiss. And then he'd do it again, and again. Seriously the cutest thing EVER. While he is sitting on my lap, he will take my hand in his and put it up to his belly or chest, so that I always have my hands on him. He just loves to be held and feel secure.
He loves to laugh. He loves to make others laugh. He loves to dance (spinning in circles with one hand up and falling down continuously. OR he wiggles back and forth.) He loves when Scarlett lets him play with her, and especially loves wearing her princess hooded bath towel, that has a crown on the hood. He think he is pretty darn cool wearing that.

I am still working. I love the friendships I have at work and my responsibilities. I love that I can fully trust the friend who has my kids in her care while I am at work. I don't mind my own chores as a mom, but will say it is harder to keep a house clean compared to an 800 sq foot condo. I miss Seth, a lot. A lot. But so grateful I married a hard working, enduring man.
I canned for the first time a few weeks ago! I've done Spaghetti sauce, Strawberry-Peach jam and Raspberry-Peach jam. And yes, I'm proud of myself.

Next Tuesday, the 8th, marks my TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY of entering the MTC!!!! WOAH. It seems like a long time ago, but really it doesn't seem like a long time ago. At ton has happened within 10 years!

To celebrate, we are having the missionaries over for dinner tomorrow night!! I'm really, really excited. It will be the first time we've ever had missionaries over. I'm excited for the spirit they'll bring into our home! I wish we had an investigator or less active to join us, but maybe next time.

Welp, that's the update for now. Thanks for being interested to have an invite to our blog!


Monday, July 15, 2013

3 1/2 months later - no big deal

Blogging has definitely been put on the back burner for a long time now.

We bought our house the middle of March, and moved into a whole lot of great new things in life!
1. Our own house!!! We Love It. We love that the kids have their own rooms. That our parents have all stayed here, slept here. As well as lots of other family. We love that we have two guest rooms and beds for any and all that come to visit.

I especially love the backyard. A big tree with an awesome tree house that shades over half of the yard. It's pretty big! The swing set, the horse swing (from Seth's parents), a kiddie pool. A great patio with room to grill and have friends over for BBQ's.

I don't like weeding though. I wouldn't mind weeding if it was for a garden/flowers. But we need to weed the stuff that's growing over the gravel drive way. and through the a few cracks on our round about driveway.

2. April was really busy, hosting. My sister and her family came and stayed with us for 5ish days. It was so fun to have cousins for Scarlett to play with. We loved going to Lowe's Xtreme sports, in Provo.

Seth's cousin got married in Idaho. So a lot of extended family came to visit, which was so much fun. Lots of the aunts and uncles, grandparents got to check out our place too. We had enough room and chairs (barely) for us all to sit around and visit. Those are the best times. Anyway, so we went up to Idaho and had a really fun weekend swimming at the hotel, being with family, and celebrating a new sealing for Eternity.

3. Seth's parents stayed with us from a few days before the wedding until the very end of April. Since Brother in law Davin was graduating at the month, they were here for the whole festivities. We were very lucky to have so much time with Steve and Sandi. They helped us paint our living room wall, which took me forever to decide the color, but we got the perfect one and I'm in love. Next time they come hopefull Seth will have some more time he can spend with them.

4. Seth is full force in the middle of his Internship for grad school. He is crazy busy right now. Going to work from 7:30 - 3:30ish and then driving up to Salt Lake to counsel clients at University of Phoenix's Counseling Center. He usually is done around 8 or 9 , so we I get to see him for a few hours before going to sleep. The kids don't see him much, at all, Monday through Thursday. (The center closes early on Fridays) Sometimes he doesn't even see Lincoln for days, so sad! Scarlett will stay pu late here and there to give him a hug before going to bed. It's difficult for him to be away from us so much, but he really enjoys it, so that's a plus. He'll be done next May, It's going to fly by! i hope...

5. May - We went to Iowa. I went to Iowa with the kids middle of May, to help prepare for some big celebrations. Kara, the youngest of the 7 Hartley's, graduated from High School the end of May. Which is a big deal since it's the last of the Hartley's to graduate from City High school - where my mom's siblings all graduated from. I assume some of my future nieces and nephews will graduate there, but that is years and years away.  So! We went to help my mom prepare for Kara's Graduation, ALL of my Aunts/uncles and their families coming to the occasion, and a family reunion for the Hartley and Unsicker side.

My mom had surgery on her shoulder the beginning of April. Her Rotary cuff needed desperate fixing! She was unable to move it, at all, on her own until mid May, and then they started moving it for her in Physical Therapy. She's slowly making progress, but with all the parties at the end of May, she really needed any and all possible help.

We got a lot done before the troops arrived. I'm so glad Seth could make it for the events. We missed his birthday though, and I'm glad at least his co-worker's wife made him some brownies to enjoy :)

City High has a tradition at their graduation ceremony, A representative alumni carry their respective "Class of YYYY" banner. So My mom carried her 197?, and the aunts/uncles carried theirs. And then my 6 siblings all carried their's, mine was 2001. There were 12 of us total carrying our banners, it was a neat experience! My mom has had it in the works for years now, it's crazy it's over, really.

I had a really great time being with so much family and the reunions were really fun. It was surely a highlight of this year.

JUNE - almost caught up now, right? Lincoln turned 1 on the 15th! Holy Cow, that went fast. A Lot Has Happened Within This First Year of His Life! It really feels like he has been with us longer. We had a BBQ with friends in our backyard, So it was a great time some yummy food with great company.

It was the day of Orem's Summerfest. I had never really considered entering one of my kids in a baby contest, but I knew Summerfest had one, and since it was on Lincoln's birthday I thought it might be just a fun thing to do in the morning. I had thought about it for weeks leading up to it, contemplating it if was worth the $15 to get the free contestant photo, etc.  So at Wynco, the night before his birthday and the contest, literally 3 women either told me how cute he is or I saw them motion to their friend to look at Lincoln b/c he is so freaking cute. And then I knew - yea, lets just give it a try.

Lincoln's  Birthday - Started with getting to the baby contest at 9:20ish. Got registered, Found our judge table for the 10-12m boys/girls. Waited in line (later found out 32 boys were in his age group)... And then it was our turn, we visited with the two judges and got to know them a little bit. Lincoln was tired and kind of grumpy so he didn't do his tricks. Like "Sooo big" and pat a cake or even high fives. But it was a good time.

Then we waited in line FOREVER to get his photo taken and then wait for it to be printed. I was really anxious to get home and get his party ready so we could enjoy the day at the carnival. But - I met a very cool lady, We became instant friends and she actually served her mission in Iowa. I loved getting to know her while we waited for our little boy's photos.

Got home... we got to go to the carnival and Scarlett and Lincoln went on some fun rides. The car show was fun, and Scarlett couldn't get enough of riding the carousel. The Baby contest awards were given at 3:30, I was really nervous I wouldn't make it home in time for Lincoln's birthday party at 4:30, but it went pretty fast. About 4pm They announced Lincoln's age group. I was thinking Mayyybe he got 2nd or 3rd. And I was soooo excited and surprised when they named him as 1st place for Boys 10-12 months old!!! YAY! It was just me and Lincoln there, Seth and Scarlett were back home making last minute Party arrangements.

Lincoln and I went up, got our photo taken and a basket of prizes. We rushed home and got the party started. Lots of dear friends came, it was a really fun time with really great people. We got to even ride in the parade! It was going to be a juggle, but I figured it's a once in a lifetime to be in a parade with your baby contest winner.

So After Lincoln had dug into his smash cake a bit, and with frosting still in his hair, Lincoln and I made our way to the Parade float. Lincoln loved it! He waved and blew kisses for the first half, and was getting tired half way through. Luckily, the parade route goes right in front of our house! Seth was able to run up and give us a sippy of milk and a stroller to make it easier to get back. At the end of the parade, we walked the 4 blocks to our house, and got to watch the rest of the parade with the family and friends. Since the baby float was the 4th entry in the parade, we got back for the majority of the fun. I'm glad we got to fit it all in!!

Now he is 13 months! Time is just going by so fast.
Likes: "Talking", EATING, Playing peek-a-boo, Pulling Scarlett's hair, and giving high fives.
He especially likes fruit, but really will eat almost anything. He loves to sleep and steam roll over Raja! He's got a great pouty lip, which usually comes out when he registers us telling him "no" to climbing up on furniture, etc.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I was in the living room just 30 min ago when Scarlett came in from playing in the backyard, with her pants and undies down to her ankles.

Me-?????????????"What are you doing Scarlett!"

Scar - "I just had to go potty"

Me - You went ouside?

Scar - "Yep"

Me - "Did you wipe??"

Scar - "Yea......       with leaves."

Me - speechless.

I had her go outside and show me where she went - sure enough, there was a little potty puddle in the dirt/grass. She told me she just sat on the ground and did her thing. Oh Boy.

Today is Linc's 9m check up and Scarlett's 3 yr well check. One of the questions on Scarlett's questionnaire was "Point to a 'living' thing on a book or magazine and ask 'What is that?' and answer "Yes" if your child says something like "A man, a girl, a snowman, a little boy, etc" And write their response below.

So I pointed to a picture of a man giving a priesthood blessing to a little girl from the Primary Children's Songbook.

"Scarlett, What is that?"

Her response - "Um, a Child of God!"


Yea, I put that answer down on her questionnaire.

Love this girl.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dad's little girl turns 3

Happy Birthday to Daddy's favorite little girl.

I usually make it a point to avoid blogging as much as possible.  I leave it up to Megan to take care of it and I must admit she does a really good job. 

I wanted to mark this special occasion for a special someone in my life.  That someone just so happens to be my incredible daughter.  She truly is a light in my life.  I love her quirky smile.  Just tonight as I was telling her stories in bed she said, "Dad you are the best dad in the world."  It's things like that, that melt ones heart.  It's times like these that you realize that all of the tantrums and sleepless night are worth it. 

It is an extremely empowering yet daunting feeling to know that someone so innocent and naive is completely dependent on you.  To realize that you contributed to making her be who she is.  To know that she is a literal part of you.  Better not screw it up!

I enjoy spending time at home and with my little family.  I don't feel that putting in tons of hours for some extra money is "worth it."  To me what is "worth it" is being there.  I'm not perfect by any means.  I spend probably more time on my computer than I should.  Sometimes after putting Scarlett to bed for the 12th time that night, I'm short with her and put her back in bed refusing to tuck her in yet again.

I've enjoyed these 3 years of her little life.  From the first time I met her, as the doctors were tending to Megan, I sat in the little rocking chair and cried.  I was terrified.  How could something so small and fragile look to me for guidance and protection?  It was that moment that parenthood became real.  Having a child growing in mom's belly isn't the same as holding the little one in your arms.  Watching as she snuggles up into you.

She didn't stay little for very long.  From day one she's always been very alert and inquisitive.  She was always looking around and watching.  I remember when the pediatrician came in he was surprised at how awake and alert she was.  The newborn photographer took pictures of her and she was the only one on their website with eyes open.

She's always been very independent and strong headed.  I guess she gets that from her mom.  Meg's always been a great example and is fairly strong headed in her ways. Love you babe!

Scarlett has always had a big heart.  She is very observant and can read people's feelings very well.  She'll come up to you and say "are you sad?"  As she gets older she's constantly looking for ways to help others even her little brother on occasion.  I was at church today and asking one of her nursery leaders how she really is in the room when we aren't there.  The leader said that she's actually really good.  There is a child in the nursery that can be a little mean taking toys from kids.  The teacher says that Scarlett is the peacemaker of the group and tells that other child off and try's to protect the others.  That really makes me happy and proud.  One of my goals in life is to be the peacemaker.  I would love it if my daughter took upon herself that noble cause.

I love her hugs and smiles.  She has the incredible ability to just lighten your mood no matter how stressed or tired or angry.  She can just come up and put her little hand on your knee and smile at you expecting a smile back.  Not much can beat that. 

I'm such a proud dad.  I'm so very blessed and grateful for all that I have.  Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way. 



Little Miss, Happy Birthday!

It took us a few miscarriages to get Scarlett safely in our arms. March 2, 2010 pitocin got things going and after a whole day of steady progression, pushing into March 3rd, Scarlett was born at 12:36am. 7lbs even and 21 inches long! I love that my memory can vividly take me into those exciting, nervous, anxious, scared moments of that night that changed my life forever.

The day we walked out those hospital doors with our own baby to keep alive was even more full of exciting, nervous, anxious, scared feelings!!! But she has made it this far under our love and care.

Holy cow, do we love her.

I can't believe she's 3.... I can't believe she is ONLY 3.

 When Scarlett was somewhere about 6 weeks old, we realized this girl was actually going to be a Blondy. Look at this photo! Her hair just grew in WHITE, it was nuts. Until we gave her her fist hair cut (on her first birthday) people had asked if we actually dyed/highlighted her hair. Haha. No. And neither Seth or I were blonde as little ones.

"Miss" has blossomed into a little girl. She isn't a toddler anymore. She's an actual little girl. I'm serious folks. She has full on conversations with you. She will talk your ear off until you're telling her to "calm down" and beg her to become occupied with something else.

I've never met another 3 year old who's pronunciation is as great as Scarlett's. I'm a bit biased, but I think it's almost perfect!

She is so polite. My heart melts each day with her random "Thanks for helping me get some lunch mom, it was really yummy." or "You're sweet mom, thanks for doing that for me". When she was 1 she would say "You're welcome" after doing something for us - reminding us to say our Thank yous.

She does NOT like hair in her baths. I have to clean the shower/tub before she gets in. And the world is crashing down if she finds one I missed.

 She loves to imagine and play pretend. That she's a princess, cowboy, in a marching band, and a doctor, etc

 Scarlett's a social butterfly. She is always the first to say "Hi" while we pass others down the grocery store aisle or on a walk. She s the first to make friends at the playground no matter boy/girl or young/old.

 She's potty trained!! ;)

 She loves to help.

She loves making brownies with her daddy. She's quite a daddy's girl. She loves when he tickles her, his kisses, rough housing, and helping him with projects on the car.

She likes to "exercise", DANCE, sing "twinkle, twinkle little star" to Lincoln when he is sad or when we're bored in the car. Scarlett always wants a dress on.

She loves Jesus, praying, and the Book of Mormon. And I love that she calls her pink princess castle her "pink temple" and sleeps in it every night.

Sunday could be her favorite day of the week, because she gets to go to NURSERY!!!

She loves her BFF Lexi. 

I love how she shortens names on her own, She interchangeably says "Lexi" and "Lex" or "Lincoln" and "Linc".

The girl has sass! Have you seen her crusties? She can give the look of death so easily. I think a lot of them can be contributed to the lovely "terrible two" stage and discovering her independence - but the girl can hold her own.I know I have a lot of great pictures of her crusties... But none available to share at the moment.

We love our Little Miss! I want to go on and on trying to explain how special she is to us, but this is all I can put into words right now.

Happy Birthday Scarlett! 
We're so blessed to have you in our lives as our daughter!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I just think it's too bad...

Last week I was chatting with an lady who has 3 children. 18,12, and 10. Just as she has in the past - our conversation started with the "how are you? I'm fine. Good" ... and proceeds to 10-15 minutes of just talking non stop about herself, family, and life.

Which... cool - I understand sometimes you just got to let it all out and talk about everything that's been going on. I totally get that, and appreciate when someone else lends an ear for me to blab on and on to about life.

However, with this gal it happens pretty much every time I see her. And... I don't exactly lend her an ear - ever - she just sucks me into a trap. Once she starts, I can't leave until she's finished. Which really wears quickly on my patience. So! what I wanted to post about is.

This last week she was going on and on about how her 18 year old has just loved high school, he has amazing friends, a 4.0, is the best goalkeeper on the soccer team they've ever had, etc. etc. and he just doesn't know how he'll be able to achieve anything greater than what he has already in high school b/c it's just simply been the most amazing life ever for him.
And then she went on and on about her daughter.

Then she had to say, "But my 10 year old is going to be the black sheep I think. Well, You see... he is adopted. I just have a feeling he is going to be my hard one. He's not of the same "make up" well all are." And she continued to try to explain to me how he just won't be able to measure up to the other two children. 

Immediately I was thinking "Uh.... are you kidding me? Sounds like you are really setting up your 10 year old for failure and to be the black sheep."

There is absolutely no reason, None. that she needed to point out that her son is adopted. That really bothered me, and still does. I feel sad for her son because she clearly, openly set him up to be different, in a negative way, than her other children. Her and I are acquaintances, we work together, there is nothing for her to prove to me or trust her personal feelings like that with me. I can't help but think she would say that to anyone, in any environment. I just think it's unfortunate and hope her son feels just as loved as she loves her own children.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Big things happening!

Maybe someday I'll get back into blogging... But in the meantime...

Seth - not much new... rocking it at his job. So glad he loves it.

Megan - not much new... Loving Lincoln and Stealing kisses from Scarlett.

Scarlett - Has been potty trained for almost a month now! She's doing so awesome.
She loves measuring herself to see how big she is growing.

Lincoln - is mobile, crawling, and such a happy boy. And needs another haircut...

We have the cutest kids.

Today, an offer on a house we put in Saturday was ACCEPTED! AAHhh! We're going to be home owners. I wish I had saved the photos on the listing before they took it down today. We're very excited to have our own place. Our own yard, with a swing set (old) and tree house! We're moving about the second week of March and staying in Orem. I never pictured myself buying a house in Utah, but we are here to stay for a while. It's pretty CrAzY!