February was yet another month chock full of new things and celebrations.
That first Friday, we went out shopping together and familiarizing ourselves with Henderson. We started by taking Devin's broken bike to a bike shop (later they got back to us to say the manufacturer approved giving him a completely new, and much nicer!, bike frame - yahoo!). We stopped by REI to pick up our new wet-bag...and had to take some time to drool over the camping gear. I have a hard time not coveting in that store. We then took AGES to do the grocery shopping. I love grocery shopping with Devin, because he always finds great deals that we can stock up on - but that takes a longer time than normal. Especially when your cashier is a little slow and can't figure out the Groupon coupon and everyone behind you in line is getting mad.
Let's show Becca's progress in learning to walk:
Here are some pictures of Becca just playing around the next morning - I believe we were killing time, waiting for Daddy to come home from playing football:
I gave Devin a much-needed haircut. He's a very brave man to let me do this, and I look forward to the day that I give him a haircut with confidence and don't end with a cringe. I didn't take any pictures, needless to say.
Devin took Becca and me to Caesar's Palace to see the free animatronics show, "The Fall of Atlantis". We had to wander through basically the whole "forum" along the way, and that would've been more fun if all the cigarette smoke didn't give me a headache. We stopped at a couple art exhibits that were really interesting, though. The show was nice - the coolest part was the guy's fiery sword.
We returned home and enjoyed "The Sound of Music" and also learned about the real Von Trapp family (interesting!). I love the music in that movie. I woke up with "High on a hill lived a lonely goat, oh-lay-dee-oh-de-lay-dee-oh-de-lay-hee-hoo!" ringing through my head for the next several days. I just wrote that at the peril of it getting stuck there again...
I get kind of sad when Becca outgrows some of her clothes - is that strange? The last time she wears something is like a big event, in my mind. Devin thinks I'm weird. Here's the last time Becca wore her apple tree dress that I got for freeeeee!
Something I will not be unhappy about her outgrowing, however, is her current delight of throwing her food and/or sippy cup on the ground. It's exasperating, but I know she's watching for my reaction, so I do my best to not let her see one.
Becca grew a goatee. It's made of spinach. I can't figure out why she'll eat spinach and not lettuce (which is pretty much the only thing she won't eat) - I always hated spinach when I was little.
Becca thinks it's hilarious to have us put an olive on her finger so she can eat it off.
The weekend before Valentine's, we drove up to Salt Lake. This was the official start of "Valentine's Week". First we stopped at Grandma Stratton's in St. George to go out to lunch with her. She passively insisted on Beijing Buffet (but she wasn't "opposed" to our suggestion!), so that's where we went. It was so good to see her, and to show her how much Becca has grown.
We continued in a northerly direction - and Becca was pretty good until about Provo, when she fell apart (screaming pleas to be released not picture below).
We went to Serity and Ric's (Mom and Dad were throwing a party at their house), and they took us out to Tucano's to celebrate Devin and Serity's birthdays. We all ate entirely too much, but it was delicious. We ladies got a rose too - woo, woo! Back at their place, we played "Telestrations" with Jacob and Sharlee (who had babysat for us) - my gut hurt from laughing. We spent the night and enjoyed playing around and relaxing together the next morning.
After Becca's morning nap, it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a nice day, so we all went outside for a bit.
Becca got a kick out of Grandma's chickens.
And she had her first mud eating experience (which happened when we were trying to show her snow).
That night, all the Rogers' joined us for a birthday party for Serity and Ric (and we brought an early present for Keelian so we could watch her open it - I just love dressing like "twinners"!).
Two different kinds of cake - tres leches and chocolate - and they were scrumptious beyond words.
We played "Telestrations" again - I want that game! We all laughed so hard. In college, we would play this game, just folding sheets of paper over as we handed it to the next person, but this is tons easier. These were two of my favorites of the evening:
Sunday after church, Grandma Flegal came over to join us for lunch. We spent a little time talking with everyone before we had to pack up and go home.
It was a short, but sweet trip. I'm so thankful that we live closer now! We decided to stop by Grandma Moore's before we left Salt Lake. She and Becca were pretty funny together:
The trip home was a little better, as Becca slept for more of it. The next day Valentine's Week continued in earnest. I received a lovely bouquet of flowers; Becca loved them too.
Although it was Devin's turn to plan Valentine's this year, I still wanted to make dinner a little more special than usual: a tablecloth (unheard of!), napkins (working as a banquet server for the Joseph Smith Memorial Building that one summer did teach me something!), a homemade heart mobile, romantic music, and one of Devin's favorite dishes - spaghetti pie (with the cheese on top in a heart shape, of course).
Devin reciprocated the love by planning something for me - homemade peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake and a romantic movie for Family Home Evening.
Devin revealed each night what the next day's surprise was. On his birthday/Valentine's Day, I got all gussied up (I own high heels now, can you believe it?) and met him at his place of employment, whereupon he took me to a restaurant I love (Cafe Rio)...
...and then to the Venetian to see "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"! Oh, swoon! We were both really excited for this...so excited that we arrived extra early, just to be sure.
Since we had a little time to spare, we wandered about for awhile. Someday we'll go on one of these gondolier rides (they even sing to you).
We found a funny little hat shop, and had some laughs trying on different chapeaus (can't say hat twice in the same sentence, you know?).
We walked down to the gardens area, and we were about to take a picture of ourselves, when one of the security guards approached us rapidly, saying "Oh no, you don't!" - we were both thinking we were in trouble, but he broke into a quick grin and said in a funny accent, "You must let me take that picture for you." Nice guy.
I wonder how much it cost to build this place? The decor is beautiful, and kind of outrageous at the same time.
But, on to the main event! This theater was built into the Venetian specifically to show "Phantom" - it was made to look like the French Opera House where the story takes place. There were boxes along both walls where manikins were dressed in their finest as other audience members. They had some really cool effects - like fireworks, and the chandelier - which was truly impressive. When we arrived, it was in pieces and hanging in different places about the theater. The story begins at the auction, many years after the fact - and when they go back in time to tell the story, the chandelier pieces all suddenly start flying around the whole room and then go back into one whole chandelier above the audience's heads. The Phantom dangles from it at one point, and of course, they make the chandelier fall onto the audience like in the story. So fun! The acting was great, scenery wonderful, and the songs are so beautiful they were stuck in my head for weeks afterwards. Thanks again, my love! And Happy Birthday to my best friend and the most wonderful, thoughtful, loving and romantic husband a girl could ever hope to get!
The next night, Becca joined us for a visit to the Bellagio to check out their gardens. Everyone is decorated for the Chinese New Year still, not Valentine's (fiddlesticks!), but it was gorgeous and pretty elaborate!
Becca loves to kiss her Daddy, she started doing this of her own accord
We made our way to the chocolate fountain, which is the biggest in the world, if I remember correctly. It has three kinds of chocolate. They heard I was coming, so they put it behind locked glass. Nuts. That'd be cool if you could rent this thing for a fondue party, don't you think?
The next activity was to see the laser/water show at Sam's Town. It has a western theme - animatronic wolf, bear, eagle, and cougar - a story, and music. Becca was captivated the entire time, and we all were well entertained.
The culminating event of Valentine's Week was a Sweetheart Sunset Horseback Ride and Dinner. YEEHAW! I am pretty sure I shrieked with excitement when Devin had me open the envelope the night before. I love horses! Of course we dressed in our western duds (unlike any of the other ten or so couples), so the "guides" called us "The Tall Cowboy in Yellow" and "The Girl With the Tall Cowboy" (I guess I didn't rate for "Cowgirl" level). Since it was just one of those "nose to tail" kind of rides, I jumped on volunteering for their "difficult" horse. "Salt" was way too big for me, but she hadn't been broken of all her spirit and the "guides" didn't bug me for getting out of single file formation, so I rode next to Devin a lot (his horse, "Apache" was dead set on staying in line) and did whatever I wanted (even trotting) and it was GREAT! I was giddy with enjoyment - I plan on having a horse someday (be it in the Celestial Kingdom or whenever!). Devin is such a good-looking cowboy. And the steak dinner and rose were nice too. My darling, you are too good to me!
Exciting news! We're getting another niece in May! We knew a baby was coming (to Serity and Ric), obviously, but they chose to find out the gender. Which is good, because people who dare to not find out the gender of their child are so annoying, right? ;) We're happy to get another niece - that makes two and two for them, and also puts Becca right in between two girl cousins.
Becca started getting sick during Valentine's Week, and for the next week and half or so, she was pretty much every kind of sick there is, including some unhappy vomiting sessions. Poor little girl. She was, at times, still her cheerful self - but there was a day or two of extreme grumpiness that was quite unlike her.
We babysat Devin's co-worker's kids for a morning, so he and his wife could attend the temple. They've got four kids, and we had fun with pancakes, Legos, and a trip to the park. The Mosley's invited us over later that evening and we had dinner with them too, and played some fun board games.
Sunday the 19th, we were asked to meet with one of the counselor's in the bishopric. I got a calling, and then I got a second one! Ward Chorister and Visiting Teaching Supervisor. Devin got another calling; Ward Employment Specialist. It's so good to have callings, to be able to serve and get to know people better in the ward.
Becca is developing in leaps and bounds now - she started saying "baby" and then added way more to her repertoire of animal sounds and began to try to imitate every word we ask her to (although she usually doesn't get it quite right). It's so fun to play with her!
She also learned how to stand up on her own, without holding on to anything. When that balance developed, she really started walking much better and had a lot more confidence to just take off on her own.
I want to add an excerpt from something Devin wrote this month: "Our daughter is wonderful. Of course she can be challenging as well, but we are so blessed with a mild mannered, light hearted, happy baby girl. This week she learned how to say 'baby' very well, so dang cute! I love how Becca, when we wake her up or go to get her out of bed, the first thing she does is finds one of her stuffed animals and gives it to us. I love that! I love watching her sleep, with her bum up in the air, feet crossed, or on her back with her arms above her head, with her face wedged into the corner of her pack & play. I love her sign language, so many 'pleases' & 'mores' & 'thank yous'. I love hearing her say 'Da-da' & 'Ma-ma'. What a joy! I love hearing her laugh & cackle with delight when she makes us do something or even say the word 'funny'! I love how social she is, going to anybody and everybody at church, especially if they have food! ...What a blessing to have a child, to be able to raise her & teach her & help her begin her life as good as we can. I'm so glad that Heavenly Father has given us this grand opportunity and responsibility to raise one of his precious daughters. He must really love us & trust us a lot to give us such a good one! I'm excited to see her grow & acquire talents & hobbies, to see her live & learn, to ask me questions, to learn from her. What a thrill to know God's plan & our part in that plan."
Devin and I took Becca to the temple with us, and took turns. Whoever was outside with Becca enjoyed the warm sunshine and pretty flowers so much that together, we took entirely too many pictures.
Becca likes to "help" with whatever we're doing, and during dinner-making time it's especially "helpful" - Devin decided she would be of more "help" on top of the fridge.
The last Saturday in February, we spent a good portion of the day on finally putting up pictures and other decorations. Becca's taking care of this mini-temple for us:
I had my first Visiting Teaching Supervisor meeting, and spent about the next week visiting people to give them their assignments. It was a nice excuse to be able to get to know some of the ladies in the ward - Becca and I had fun walking around (because our ward is small enough to walk around) and getting to know the neighborhood better too.
This month we started another free trial of Netflix and watched way too many movies - we have this addiction to getting our money's worth out of things (and this is free!) - they're so tricky! We also started our own Mexican Train Tournament that lasted over a week - I barely won! We probably should work on our social life, but I'm having fun.
I started doing Herbalife (Serity sells it) and a strict exercise program and got some good results, I'm pretty pleased with myself for my will of steel and diligence. (Feel free to leave your verbal pats on the back in the comment section below. No pressure. Really.)
I finally took Becca to get her one year old picture taken, on Leap Day. The prices were unbelievable, so you don't get to see any pictures here, but just know we did it and be proud of me. (We got the two free prints though!)
And so ended the month of love! What a month! What love!