Monday, August 30, 2010

WE HAVE A NEW FAMILY BLOG (to represent all members of the clan) =

We will be retiring this site, so make note of the change!

Monday, April 05, 2010


Well, its official, we are moving to Palm Beach, Florida! Darren accepted a job for a company there, but the kids and I won't join him until summer break. We look at the precious faces of Rachel, Jared, and Justin and hope that the future we choose for them is a good one. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes! Its frightening and exciting all at the same time: )

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My Man Darren!

Okay, so I just have to say a little about Darren. He is such a great man, husband, father. He started two years ago January taking classes at the U for his CPA designation, has studied 30-35 hours a week on accounting modules and for his exams, puts in 9-10 hour work days winding down Lehman's bankruptcy, looked at employment options for the future, all the while trying to spend quality time with his wife and children. He has given so much lately with almost super-human capacities. I literally don't know how he has done it. He has one final exam in January and then he is done! Hooray for Darren and for us all!

To lighten the load and give a release from stress, we started in August to get a sitter once a week to hike just the two of us. Mid-October, we hiked from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim (8800 feet elevation, all the way down to the Colorado, then back up to 7800 feet elevation). It was a whirlwind 48 hour trip, but well worth it. Hiked around 27 miles in total (including side trips to Waterfalls, etc) and completed it in 10.5 hours. It was such a rush to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon, but complete a physical feat like that together. So here is my man in all his glory the day after our hike as we prepared to drive home.

The group that hiked (his friend at work goes every year and coordinated the whole thing)

Crossing the Colorado together and just loving being "people" without kids!

One of several signs along the way that read:
"Warning: Do not attempt to hike from rim to rim in one day"
Halloween Fun!

Okay, so Halloween is such a fun holiday and kids make it even more grand (well kids make EVERY holiday more fun). But every year we get invited to a couples Halloween party and for some reason (Darren) we never seem to be able to go (Darren). But this year, we (Darren) agreed to go and have a good time with our great friends. The kids picked out his costume and I found a compliment to it in my old NYC stash (clothing from my "other life"). We (Darren) let me go to town on make-up (won a prize at the party acutally) and I just have to say, the whole evening was a streeeetching and reaaaaching event for Darren. On the way home, he actually admitted to having fun! So here are the picks. Darren of course "Dracula" and me - his victim. Yes the lady in all the vampire movies that hears a noise, and goes into the darkness to see just what it was....! Enjoy: )
P.S. Rachel and Jared took the pictures, didn't they do a good job?

A friend of mine got a group of ladies together to re-make Michael Jackson's Thriller for Enrichment night. Went all the way with costumes, black-lights, & fog machines. It went over so well, we were requested for two more performances before Halloween. Kind of fun actually to be out dancing again. Can you find me?
(Middle-ish with black wig)

The trick or treating pack, they just ran around together with a mob-mentality
Supergirl, Island Princess, Ironman, Power-ranger

Rachel chose to be Super-girl and she truly is that - a SUPER girl, we love all that Rachel is and what she brings to our family!

Justin was Tigger, and an adorable one I might add!

Jared was Ironman for Halloween - he is strong and brave just like Jared!

Hefty-man Jared who was an AWESOME worker while raking leaves and using the blower
If he could "arr-arr" like Tim-the-Toolman-Taylor because of power-tools he would....
he loves anything with power!

A snowstorm a couple of days before Halloween
Jared and Justin are sitting on a bench on the far left amid the flurries


This Fall has been beautiful weather wise with some fun activities. Some days, you just have to look around, take in the fresh mountain air, and say, "THIS is why we live in Utah!"

I coached Rachel's soccer team this year and had an absolute blast. The team was a great group of girls that we knew from school and the neighborhood. I loved being part of Rachel's life this way and she did too.

Rachel is quite the little soccer player - strong runner who smiles the whole game. This year she loved playing goalie and only let 2 balls get past her the WHOLE season!

Darren's all time favorite season is fall. We started a tradition back east to go apple-picking in Princeton, NJ, but have let it slide the past few years out here in the west. So we started it up again for Darren's birthday with Grandpa & Grandma Voss!

Ice-cream cake the kids chose for Darren's birthday - had to go to TWO places for it, because they had something particular in mind. Boy do they love their Daddy!

Hiking up Mill Creek Canyon - gorgeous fall colors

Cousins: Brady, Jared, Rachel, Rosina on a combined-family weekend hike

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glorious Summer
Just a few of the fun things from summer of 09.
The weather of Utah has been beautiful and we made it a priority to carve out time for fun family adventures
amid most of life's to-do's: ) So here they are in no particular order or chronology

Hike to Cecret Lake - did it 2 days in a row actually because it was so beautiful

Jumping on the bed with Ashley - WITH mother approval even!

Night at "Singing in the Rain" starring Melanie McKay. We were on the first row and got drenched - so much fun!

Mikeum's Birthday Bash along with Mom's High Class Chocolate Tasting Party

Darren & Nicole in the grand cliffs of the Narrows - Zions National Park

Family Reunion in Huntsville Utah
Darren and Rachel riding ATVs
Rachel, Rosina, & Louise riding horses

The kids favorite Dinosaur Park in Ogden - Rachel & Jared
Justin's big smile

Jared making bubble snakes at his BOYS ONLY playdate in our yard

Family Vacation to Bear World - Idaho
The video is of the kids feeding the bears from a jeep. Though Rachel was asked the question, it was Jared who decided to answer - it was truly an awesome experience to see the bears so close

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


THE GOOD = Justin's Baby Blessing March 1st - 5 weeks old - A beautiful day with lots of family and friends and an adorable little boy!!!!!

THE BAD (and good) = A quick trip to southern Utah for "family bonding." Kind of insane to take a one month old - what were we thinking? However we had a FANTASTIC time on our adventures, and had slightly warmer temps than Salt Lake has had, though the nights in the rental with the baby were crazy - again, what were we thinking?

Rachel and Jared before our snow/mud hike of Kolob Canyon (in Zion's National Park)

The sand dunes of Snow Canyon - near St. George

One of the amazing slot canyons - that's me way in the back (with Rachel & Jared) feeding the baby and getting out of the wind.
We saw birds roosting high in the cave nooks, it was pretty cool actually!

Rachel teaching Jared how to skip at one of the wildlife preserves. Life has such sweet moments sometimes that just make you smile.

THE UGLY = The brutality of severe sleep deprivation
The only position that feels good to Justin due to his acid reflux - poor little guy!

The greatest stress releaser of all....

Darren - the day he picked this puppy up in Las Vegas in January.
Nicole is anxiously waiting to acquire her motorcycle license hopefully in April - do you think they let you get one with a baby strapped to your back??? Hmmmm

Friday, January 30, 2009


January 25, 2009

Rachel and Jared meeting Justin for the first time the evening he was born. Darren being daddy and videographer at the same time: )

Day 2 - R&J came by after school to read books to Justin

Just love the look on their faces in this one even though its a bit fuzzy.

Already doing their loving duty to keep Justin happy.

Today marks one week since B-day and what a week it has been! Lots of love and sweet memories already.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Highlights September-November
Despite the fall of Lehman Brothers (Darren's employer) in September and the consistently rocky pregnancy (baby due end of January - hallelujah) we continue to count our many, many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving! And here's to more of life's wonderful adventures!!!!!!

1. Darren's adventure hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim - 24 miles and 5,000 foot elevation change 2x - temps changing from 31-97 degrees during the journey

2. The gorgeous view on leaves changing just up the road from us

3. Halloween with Grandma Matthews and cousins - Rosina as Snow White, Jared as Ninja Turtle, Rachel as a bride, Brady as transformer, Baby Britton and Grandma as themselves!

4. Jared's third visit to the emergency room for head lacerations in the mere three years he has lived on this earth. He is one tough cookie and resists more when he must leave the injurous activity than receiving the stitches/staples. Still smiling as we attempt to stop the bleeding and head to the ER. Since this shot, two massive smacks to the face have occurred - luckily just bruising, swelling, & tissue damage since kids noses are more cartilage than bone right now. It's tough to keep this go-getter kid alive! But we love his zest for life...
5. "Our" river in Cottonwood Canyon. We have a favorite camping spot full of adventure just 20 minutes from the house and in the middle of amazing Rocky Mountain beauty. Lots of critters and wild-life (even had racoons snatch our breakfast donuts this last trip - 2nd weekend in Sept).

6. The crew huddled around the morning fire - barely 39 degrees when we left that morning at 10:30.

7. Rachel and Jared's first day at school. Rachel in kindergarten and Jared in the pre-K program. They love doing everything in the world together and school is no exception.

8. Rachel's first year in soccer. She really loved it and was the only girl that would run around with a huge smile on her face the entire hour. She wasn't one to "get into the mix" much but LOVED defending and blocked at least 3-4 goals per game. (At this stage they don't have "positions" so for her to take on "goalie" on her own was fun to watch.) She also was a surprising leftie for her strong kick.

9. Oktoberfest at Snowbird ski resort and dancing to the oom-pa-pahs!