Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Vacation

Wow, the last week has been fun and it sure has been nice visiting family in Idaho. We closed on our house Tuesday afternoon and headed out to Idaho around 5. Luckily the roads were good and we made great time. We got to Marshall's parents around 10 pm. The next day I made sure to get a workout in as I knew how bad I was going to be with my eating the next few days. Marshall and I also made a trip into Walmart to pick up a few last minute things. We thought it would be crazy, but it really wasn't that bad. The rest of Christmas eve we spent with Marsh's family. We ate lots of great food, had wonderful company, played their Christmas chimes and read the Christmas story. Before bed, the boys opened their Christmas pajamas and they looked so cute. One of my favorite things about having two boys so close in age is having them match :) I don't think Rowan was too pleased with the choke hold that Chandler had on him.Santa was hard at work after the kids went to bed. We all got up at around 7:30 the next morning. Chandler got Squakers McCaw, the talking parrot and a few more tracks and trains for his Thomas set.
The bird was a big hit with everyone and Chandler loves to tote him around and hear him talk. They have quite the conversations. Rowan got a Leapfrog learning table and it's perfect for him. He loves to stand and is walking all over the place now....where did my baby go?

It's funny how you get so excited for your kids on Christmas and could care less what you get. I was pretty excited to open a new lap swimsuit from Marshall along with a new pair of goggles. I've been dying for some variation in my workouts, and it'll be nice to be able to swim laps now too.
We had the most delicious Christmas dinner and Marsh's mom did a great job with the food. I was more than stuffed when it was all said and done. Christmas afternoon we were supposed to head up to Island Park with my family. They had rented a cabin for the whole family. The weather was pretty crazy and has been for the past few days. It was snowing so hard they decided to wait a while. Marshall also had to go back home as he had to work on Friday and there was no way he could get out of it. I was a little nervous as the weather seemed to be turning worse. The boys and I headed up with my parents and two brothers around 5 or so. By the time we finally made it up to Island Park, we couldn't find the cabin. My mom finally thought she saw something and waded through snow that was thigh high. She found the cabin and nothing had been plowed out. We spent the next couple hours hauling in presents, food, and everything else in snow that was 2 1/2 feet deep. The snowmobiles were getting stuck, we all were freezing, and I couldn't believe it as the snow continued to fall. I kept calling Marshall and although he was driving in snow, with wind and drifting, he managed to make it home safely.

Friday I went out on the snowmobiles with my dad and two brothers. I like to snowmobile but I hadn't dressed as warm as I should have and a 2 hour ride turned into 5. I managed to tip my machine in some pretty deep powder and was exhausted by the time we got back. Chandler loved the snow and was in heaven as Uncle Jason pulled him around on the sled, built him a snow cave, and built a little hill for him to sled down.
Marshall made it up safely to the cabin on Friday night and we finally had "Christmas" with all of my family that was there.
Saturday was filled with tons of food, (of course), more snowmobiling, playing in the snow, watching home videos, sitting in the hot tub, and playing games. Chandler officially had a great Christmas and was exhausted. Saturday night he went to bed at 5:45 pm and slept until 8:30 am the next morning. We had such a great time and were so happy to be able to spend Christmas time with our families. (My dad took most of the pictures on here at the cabin. He's got a great camera and took some wonderful shots.)

And the fun doesn't end here. We are moving tomorrow. I hope it doesn't snow too much and that everything goes smoothly. Not sure when we will have the internet hooked up at our new place, but if I have anything to do with it, it won't take long ;)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s that time of year again, and although many of you know the happenings of our family this year, I thought I would recap for this Christmas letter. (I usually send this with our Christmas cards but decided to post it online this year.)

January started off with our newest addition. Rowan Niels was born on January 17th, weighing in at 8 lbs 14 ounces and was 20 ½ inches long. He’s been such a loveable baby since day one and Chandler quickly warmed up to him.

We moved from Rexburg to Rigby about 6 weeks after Rowan was born to live with my (Tiffany’s) parents while Marshall finished school. Marsh graduated from BYU-Idaho in April with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, emphasizing in Advertising. He also had clusters in Graphic Design and Business. It was nice for our whole family to have him done. He flew to a few different places – and interviewed with quite a few companies. He really wanted to work for an advertising agency. June came along, and although he had interviewed with a lot of companies, no job offers. Marshall finally decided to put things in the Lord’s hands and really did some soul searching and praying about what he should do and what would be best for our family. He thought back to a company he toured with while on an internship expedition to Minneapolis, MN. He was impressed with the company, C.H. Robinson, and decided to apply. We drove down to the Salt Lake branch and the day after, he was offered a job! We moved down to Lehi, UT a few weeks later. Marsh works in Transportation, (logistics) and even though it isn’t advertising, it’s a great stable company that is treating him great. He’s really enjoys what he does and works so hard. At one point, we thought we might be moving to Detroit, MI to work for an advertising agency Marshall had interviewed with. Looking at how the economy is now and the salary he would have been making, I don’t know if he we would have been making it, and who knows if he would even have a job right now. We have been incredibly blessed to be here in Utah, and it’s nice that we are still close enough family to visit when we want to. Marsh has also been teaching Sunday School (Gospel Doctrine) at church and is a great teacher. I am amazed by how much he knows and teaches me each day.

Chandler hasn’t slowed down one bit. He is constantly on the go, and keeps his mommy running. He loves reading books, watching movies, playing outside, and of course playing with or maybe I should call it teasing his little brother. He just turned 3 last month and I wonder where the time went. He has us a little worried right after he turned 2 last year as he wasn’t really talking. He was only saying about 5 words and we got him in some speech therapy. (I’m not sure how much it actually helped. A girl just came to our house twice a month for 45 minutes and let him play with some of her toys. ) One day it seemed like something clicked and he started to parrot everything we said. Now he is talking up a storm and it’s so fun to see what new things he will say each day. He’s such a sweet boy, and not a day goes by without him giving us hugs and kisses along with an, “I love you.” Definitely makes all those hard days worth it.

Rowan is a happy little guy. He is a very mellow baby and is definitely a mamma’s boy. He whines for me everytime he sees me without fail. Being just a little guy, he’s had his fair share of health problems. He had a 2 ½ month stretch of terrible colds and was diagnosed with pediatric asthma. He’s doing much better and hopefully the asthma is something he will outgrow. He has yet to sleep through the night, but one of these days he’ll surprise me and sleep all night. Although he was just born this year, he has gone from rolling, to sitting, to crawling, and is now walking.

I am at home with the boys and can’t believe how much work it has been having 2 kids. It’s definitely worth it though. I started doing a trade at our local recreation center in the daycare for a family membership in August. I have been working out a lot, and going to a lot of classes to get back into shape. I am finally seeing some positive results after being very consistent for almost 4 months. I also launched an informational site and blog this year, which are slowly growing. I hope to be able to eventually open up an online botique. My informational site is about baby showers at, and my blog is reviewing baby and kid products at It’s been a lot of work, but I am starting to see some good traffic to both sites.

If we hadn’t already had a busy enough year, we made an offer on a townhome the end of October. We have a closing date of December 23rd. We were hoping to close and move before Christmas and even though that didn’t happen, we are happy to finally have a home.

It’s amazing to look back on this year and think that we’ve moved 3 times, added to our family, started a first job out of college, started a business, and bought a home. It’s been a crazy year, but we have been extremely blessed. We’ve seen many tender mercies from the Lord and are happy to have a warm home to come home to and to have food in our bellies and good health. Happy Holidays to you all!

The Snedakers

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So $24,000 is a good chunk of money, isn't it?  At our stage in life - it's  A LOT.  But why is it relevant?  We didn't win it, although it would be nice.... this money is an amount we have spent over the last 4 1/2 years we have been married, in one particular category.
Can you guess?....

Keep Trying......

RENT.  Ugh.  $24,000 in rent.  That will no longer be the case at the end of this week!  We bought our first home!   We are moving out to Eagle Mountain which is about 15 minutes from where we are at now.  We bought a 3 bed, 2 bath townhome that is 1750 square feet.  I'm elated that it has a tiny back yard, we will finally have storage space, and a place to call home for more than a year or two.  It is a huge stepping stone for us, and a big investment, as it appraised for $15,000 more than what we got it for.  I guess not all bad things come from a rotten economy.  
We made an offer that last part of October and have had a nightmarish (is that a word?) time with our loan process.  We waited for interest rates to come down a little, and got locked in at a great rate.  But it's been a paper chase to the very end.  Marsh and I have been very stressed about the whole thing and I don't know how much I've complained to my family and couple friends about the whole process.  I don't think it's quite as simple to get a loan now as it was a few years ago.  I have been leery to post anything about it as I didn't want to tell everyone and then have something happen.  We started applying 5 weeks ago....yes 5 weeks - and finally heard from our mortgage man today that we have a close date.  So we will be closing on Thursday or Friday.  We will know for sure tomorrow.  So it looks like we will be moving right before Christmas.   And my Christmas tree will be the first thing to go up, right in the front window.  

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This year, Christmas seems like it will be different for Chandler. He's finally figured out who Santa is and has made the connection of Santa and toys. At our ward Christmas party this year, Santa came. Chandler was way excited, but the second he saw him he came to a halt like many other kids do. All of a sudden he didn't like Santa so much anymore. We finally got him to sit on his lap, but he acted all shy and sat and rubbed his eyes. Rowan on the other hand was like, "Who is this guy??" He was pretty funny and just kept cocking his head to the side to look at Santa.

Our Christmas party was at 9AM, thus why the boys are in their pajamas. We are headed up to Idaho for Christmas next week and will be up there almost a week. (With the exception that Marsh has to come home and work Friday, and then will come back to Idaho after he's done.) We are way excited to see everyone and can't wait. Although....we have yet to start our Christmas shopping. (We have like one thing for Rowan and that's it.) We were waiting for Marsh's Christmas bonus and so we basically had to wait. We will "try" to do it all tomorrow. That's right, we are going to map everything out and hope to be efficient about it, lol. (Normally I would have had everything done before December even hit, but the budget has been tight this year.) And that something exciting I blogged about last month? I will let you all in on a secret tomorrow or Tuesday.......

Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm beyond tired of having a baby who doesn't sleep.  And it's not just a few times a night.  It's gotten to the point that he wakes up every hour.  A few nights ago I found myself in tears in the middle of the night, almost pleading with my little guy to sleep, even though he doesn't understand me.  I know some of it is due to the fact that he is getting molars, but he's also too smart and knows when he cries mom will come nurse him.  I tried letting him cry for a while last night but he just kept going and going.  And I feel bad because the people that live below and above us both have kids.  I finally caved, went in his room and nursed him.  I have no will power.  Is it too much to ask for 4+ hours of straight sleep?  I can't even remember the last time.  I guess it could be worse.  I was talking to my sister the other day and her 7 year old still tries to come climb in bed with her.  She's resorted to locking her room at night, lol.  
Some days I find myself plugging in a movie for Chandler and laying on the couch because I am too tired to do anything.  I know I'm not alone, as my friend Lila just posted about the same things at the wee hours of the morning.  
Just looking for some encouragement....ok - I'm done with my pity party.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Party

Yesterday seemed like a whirlwind. We were going nonstop. We had a scavenger picture hunt to do for Marsh's Christmas party. I was really excited about doing it because the prizes were really good. As in: 2 days vacation for Marsh, a digital camera, a Wii, golf passes, and a year membership to a gym. This was no ordinary scavenger hunt. We had a list of items, places, people, etc that had different point values. We had to take pictures with as many points as we could and submit the best three. We ran all around trying to find different stuff for the pictures. I was running like a mad woman around Walmart and we were fighting crowds at the Dollar Store to try to get items for this hunt. (Much like chickens with their heads cut off.) Our apartment was a disaster when we left as our the pictures with the most items we took at home. Then it was time to get going and head to Salt Lake to check into our hotel. We were running an hour later than we wanted to, and the 2nd picture we took at a park in Salt Lake didn't end up turning out. Our third picture we took just minutes before we had to be down to dinner for the party. Marsh and I both felt a little bummed, like we probably wouldn't win anything since we were only submitting 2 pictures, and we'd worked so hard to try to get them to work, and spent so much time. Crazy stress just for a scavenger picture hunt!
The hotel was incredibly nice. His company paid for everything while we were there which was cool. We even got valet parking when we arrived!

Probably the nicest one I've ever stayed at, very mod. Here is Marshall & I just before we went down for dinner.
Dinner was great! We had crab cakes as appetizers, salads, yummy steak and potatoes for the entree, and some sort of cherry chocolate brownie mousse cake for dessert. Not to mention there was a huge table with sushi, fresh fruits and vegetables, shrimp, chocolate covered strawberries and more. The food was soooo good. After we'd been there a couple hours, they did the photo scavenger hunt prizes. It was hilarious seeing some of the pictures people took. And after it was all said and done, we ended up with 2nd place! Whoa! Our pictures were that good and Marsh and I were beyond excited. The lady who won first prize ended up taking the vacation days so we are the new proud owners of a Wii!!! It's the sports edition and we have yet to play it but we are SO super excited. They had a dance after that and it was so much fun too. It reminded me a little of my high school days when I loved and went crazy at high school dances. Marshall has some pretty sweet moves too, he's been holding out on me. We finally went up to our room at 11, since Avry & Maeli were up there with the boys. (Thank you thank you again Avry!!)
This morning we had vouchers for breakfast at the nice restaurant in the lobby. Then we headed home. I can't help but feel we are very blessed for the company Marshall is working with. He is treated really well, there is tons of room for growth, bonuses, and leadership opportunities, and he has some great co-workers.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here are the 2 pictures we submitted for the photo scavenger hunt.....(totally random, I know.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Black Dress

Marshall has his work Christmas party Saturday night.  It's at a way nice hotel in downtown Salt Lake, and we even get to stay overnight!  (Not entirely by ourselves....Avry is watching the boys for the evening and then she will bring them to the hotel after the party and they will stay the night with us.  I'm sure you are wondering why, and a big part of it is that Rowan is still nursing at night, and his lazy mommy has neglected to give him a bottle the last 5 months, so he won't take one.)  Anyway, I'm getting off subject.
So Marshall told me a few weeks ago it is a formal event.  And of course I don't have anything to wear, unless I wanted to wear just a skirt and top that I usually wear for church.  Marshall really wanted me to have something formal to wear so last week we went dress shopping, all 4 of us.  I tried on some here and there and didn't find much that I liked.  I certainly didn't like the price of anything. :(  
I decided to go by myself tonight for one last effort to find something.  Mall shopping, without two kids sure is heavenly :)  I found a great knee length black dress the first place I went.  I put it on hold and since it was 30% off decided to look for some cheap shoes and jewelry.  I was walking down the mall and got stopped 4 different times by men all with thick accents trying to get me to buy something...lotions, hair products, etc.  This makes me super annoyed.  Don't they realize if someone is avoiding eye contact and walks past them that they don't want a sales pitch?  One of my biggest pet peeves about the mall....
I wandered around a while more and ended up finding some cute 4" heels which officially make me as tall as Marshall :)  I decided to get them and figured they were a steal at $18.  When I got to the counter, they rang up for $12.  WAHOO!!  (I love a good deal.) I found a necklace and earrings as well and headed back to get my dress.
Normally $70, it was on sale for $49.  I went to pay for it and it rang up for $35!  Marshall and I talked about how much I could spend before I left.  I spent less than the agreed amount and ended up with new heels, a camisole, necklace, earrings, and of course the dress.  And it's a great little black dress, I can't wait to wear it :)  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Notice the new Christmas song?  That'd be my super talented older brother - Clint :)  LOVE IT.  (Hope you don't mind Clint)