Thursday, June 30, 2011


Last Tuesday, we set out for a vacation to Colorado.  Our good friends, Matt and Carlie, moved out there in December, so we thought this summer would be a perfect opportunity to go visit them.  Their daughter, Addie,  is just a week younger than Payton, so we were really excited to get the girls together again! 
We left Marshalltown around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.  Our original plan was to make it to Sidney, Nebraska, that night since we thought that was the halfway point to our destination (Estes Park).  Turns out, Sidney, Nebraska, is only 2 hours from Estes Park, so it's really not the halfway point at all.  Needless to say, we did not make it there that night.  In fact, we only made it to Lincoln, Nebraska.  We still had another 7 hours to drive on Wednesday.  So, we were up bright and early and off we went.  We stopped for lunch in Sidney and also went to Cabela's.  We arrived in Estes Park late Wednesday afternoon, got checked into our hotel, ate supper, and then took in all the shops.  What a fun town!  The next day we went to Rocky Mountain National Park, which was beautiful.  We did our first family hike and it went really well!  We bought a carrier for Payton at Target-- a great investment.  I wasn't sure how she would like it (and how Chad would like having it on his back), but she did fine in it and Chad said it wasn't too heavy.  We hiked to Alberta Falls, a beautiful waterfall and then we did a hike around Bear Lake.  This was gorgeous!  The pictures do not do it justice!  We only spent a few hours in the park.  Chad tells me that you could spend a week in that park and not see everything.  (He spent a week there several years ago backpacking with some college buddies.)  From there, we headed to Matt and Carlie's in Parker ( just outside Denver) and had a delicious supper compliments of Carlie.  Payton and Addie had sooo much fun playing together.  We let them stay up late and play because they were just having too much fun!  The next day we went to the Denver Children's Museum, which the girls loved!  So many fun things to do!  We left Parker Saturday morning at 7:30 and arrived in Lincoln at 5 PM.  Went to Granite City for supper - delicious.  First time we had ever been there.  Then back to the hotel for bed since we wanted to get on the road early.  We were going to do the Omaha Zoo on our way back home on Sunday, but it was a little cloudy, so we decided to save that for another time.  It was a fun family vacation.  So blessed that we were able to make lots of memories!
Alberta Falls
View from Bear Lake
Family photo op at Bear Lake
Check out that back drop!
P and Addie playing in the playhouse at the Denver Children's Museum
P painting a masterpiece with Daddy! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

3 Years

Today is our 3rd wedding Anniversary.  Here are some pics from our wonderful day.  I love to look at these.  It was such a fun day and we were so blessed to celebrate with all our dear family and friends. 
This collage was made by my friend Jessica (who was  my matron of honor.)  She put it in a frame and gave it to me for my birthday.  I absolutely love it!  I have it hanging in our bedroom.

Father/Daughter dance

Feeding Chad some cake.  I went pretty easy on him! :)
This is one of the last pictures taken of Chad's dad, Gary.  He passed away about 2 1/2 weeks after our wedding.  We are so blessed that he was able to be there for our special day.  We love and miss him very much!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Father's Day

We started the day by going to church.  After church, we went to Perkins for brunch.  Then we came home so Chad could open his presents.  I got him a couple pairs of jeans (the guy has to get his jeans special-ordered from JC Penney's because he wears a 30/34 and you can't find those ANYWHERE!), a polo, and a towel to wipe Relay with - exciting, I know!  Payton got him a cute little frame that says "My Daddy is the Greatest Catch of All."  I thought it was pretty fitting since he loves to fish.  I want to get a picture of them fishing this summer to put in the frame. 

After that, we headed to Baxter and hopped in with them to go to Knoxville where we met my grandparents and Aaron, Jess, and Kaylee at McDonalds for dessert.  We also celebrated my parents' anniversary.  I ordered an architectural name frame for them and it turned out so nice, I think I am going to order one for us, too!  :) 

We ended the day by going to play at the park.  It was a fun day and a great way to celebrate the dads in our life!

A Letter to my Students

I am a bit behind on this, but wanted to share a letter that I give to my students at the end of every year.  I had such a great class this year - was so sad to see them go.  They sure kept me smiling every day.  It is so true how fast kids grow up! Before I know it, these 2nd graders will be graduating.  It just makes me want to savor every moment of Payton's childhood!

Dear second graders,

I can’t believe how fast this year has gone! The following is a poem written by Shel Silverstein. I thought it was appropriate for the end of our school year together.

All the Woulda, Coulda, Shouldas

All the woulda-coulda-shouldas

Layin’ in the sun

Talkin’ ‘bout the things

They woulda-coulda-shoulda-done.

But those woulda-coulda-shouldas

All ran away and hid

From one little


Even though you will only be entering third grade, you (and your parents!) won’t believe how fast that time will go. You will grow up all too quickly. So, during your next years of elementary school, followed by intermediate, middle, and high school, concentrate on doing things that will have a positive effect on your lives. Choose your friends wisely, listen to your parents and teachers, and do the very best you possibly can in everything you attempt. Graduation day will arrive sooner than you can imagine, and when it does, don’t look back on the things you would have done, could have done, or should have done. My hope is that you will look back on a fine, long list of accomplishments that happened because you aimed high, took chances, lived up to your potential, and most importantly you DID something.

I have wonderful hopes for each of you, and I can’t wait to hear about all your DIDS! Have a wonderful summer!


Mrs. Pietig

Aaron and Jess' Wedding

On June 4th, my little brother tied the knot!  It was a beautiful day.  Chad was a groomsmen, I was a bridesmaid, and Payton made her debut as a flower girl.  Jess was a gorgeous bride!  We are so excited to welcome her to our family.  Congratulations, Aaron and Jess...we love you!  (All photos courtesy of Waters Photography)


Our Family
Payton sitting on Papa's lap.  Great-Grandpa and Grandma Whitlatch sitting next to them.
The Happy Couple
Payton dancing with Daddy.  She missed her nap due to pictures and still managed to stay up until 10 PM cuttin' a rug on the dance floor!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Here....

SuMmEr VaCaTiOn that is!!!!!  Here is how we spent our first day on summer vacation....
Do you notice Payton's skinned knees?  I think they will remain that way all summer long!  She is constantly ON.THE.GO!