Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Stinky Little Lamb

So my sister Katelyn had to write a children't book for one of her Elementary Education classes at BYU-Idaho, and she asked me to illustrate it. It's called the Stinky Little Lamb, and it's based off of a story our Mom made up and told us when we were little! I've never drawn anything like this before, but I ended up loving it! So, here is a preview of what the pages will look like when she gets it published for her class! She did a great job writing it. It had to have an educational purpose, so she decided to focus on teaching the life cycle of a butterfly.

As a tribute to our parents, this last page has a couple little extra details. Every night when we were little, when our Mom came to tuck us in, she would bring us an apple slice. I know, we should have crazy cavities, but as it turns out I've never had a cavity! Anyway, Katelyn and I have lots of fun memories of sharing a room and seeing who could chew the quietest, etc. So there is an apple on the nightstand in honor of our Mom. Our Dad used to tell Katelyn her own special bedtime story about Marshmallow Men, so the Little Lamb falls asleep dreaming of a Marshmallow Man in honor of our Dad.

This was such a fun project! I'm excited to explore my abilities in the art department further--so much fun!

Hoping To Adopt

Dear Friends,

We want you to know how much we admire you for your strength and courage during this time in your life. We can’t imagine what a difficult decision this is for you and we hope that you will be comforted as you consider what will be best for you. As you think about the decisions you are being faced with right now, we would like to take the time to tell you a little about ourselves.

How We Met, by Kayla

Kent and I met at Brigham Young University on January 16, 2007. I was studying pathophysiology in the common area with a friend when Kent came and sat at our same table. I was teaching my friend a way to remember the difference between “malignant” and “benign” by explaining that in Spanish, “mal” means “bad” and “bueno,” which means “good” sounds like “benign.” My reference to Spanish caught Kent’s attention from across the table, because he was a Spanish major. That struck up a conversation between the two of us, which led to Kent asking for my number. We went on our first date a few days later and spent every day after that together. Kent proposed to me two months later on his birthday on March 12th, and we were married a month and a half after that on May 4, 2007. Growing up in a very small town with no real restaurants, Kent loved taking me to new fun places to eat. We went on so many fun, creative dates, like snowboarding, seeing a ballet, or going on a “pirate” themed group date. We still love to go on fun, creative dates. We also love watching movies together. From the very beginning, Kent and I got along so well and had so much in common; everything was so natural. We set goals and talked about the future from pretty early on, so even though we didn’t date for a long period of time, we knew one another very well and knew we were meant for each other. Today we continue to have fun in everything we do together. We cannot wait for the opportunity to add children to our happy little family.

A Little Bit About Kayla, by Kent

Kayla grew up in the logging roads of Western Washington. She is the oldest of five kids and is the best big sister imaginable. Ever since she was a baby, Kayla has loved water. She learned to swim at an early age and has since become as close to a mermaid as possible (minus the scales J ). Her mother taught her to play the piano, to sing, and to perform in front of audiences. She still gets nervous right before, but always performs tremendously well. Kayla has always gone above and beyond typical expectations. She was the most involved student at her school and excelled at the same time in her academics. She even had the honor of being Valedictorian of her high school. Kayla is extremely motivated. She can multi-task better than anyone I’ve ever met. The way I usually explain Kayla’s ability to someone who has never met her is, “Kayla can do more on her worst day than most people can do on their best day.” I truly believe that Kayla can do anything. Kayla has an amazing love for others, particularly those in need. She employs all of her talents for the benefit of those people. When my sister was on bed-rest during the last trimester of her pregnancy, my brother-in-law broke his collar bone, which made for a difficult situation for them to parent their three little girls, ages 6, 4, and 3. Kayla was in a position where she could take time out of her schedule to help out, so she flew from Boston to Texas to help my sister’s family for just over a month! She was “the best aunt!” She took our nieces to the park and fed the ducks, went bike riding, jumped on the trampoline, made dinners, read stories, took the oldest to school, and essentially served as a “stand-in mom” when my sister couldn’t be.

Kayla is a very loyal friend. Nobody has loved me and supported me more than she has, and I know that she will give the same love to our children. Being the oldest child in her family, she already has significant experience in caring for and teaching her younger siblings. They love her so much! Kayla is very aware of the feelings of others and empathizes with those that she is consoling. Kayla is very upbeat and energetic. She inspires others to excel in their talents. She is witty and goofy. She can always make me laugh to the point of tears. I know she will raise our children with sound principles, humor, and active fun. She is so excited to teach, guide, and love our children. Kayla is very sensitive to the Spirit and strives to follow the promptings she receives. She truly lets the Lord guide her life. I am so grateful that she is my wife. I know that the Lord blessed me with my perfect match. Kayla is the greatest blessing in my life, and I know that she will be the best mother I can imagine to our kids as they grow up in the Lord.

A Little Bit About Kent, by Kayla

Kent is the youngest of six kids in his family. Almost 16 years ago, when he was 12, he was in a car accident with his two brothers, a sister, and four other kids. His two brothers were 16 and 17, and they were both up front in the van. When the van flipped over it broke both of their necks, leaving them paralyzed. Kent suffered minor injuries but walked away with no lasting effects. His brother Reed is still on a ventilator. He cannot feel or move anything below his neck and requires 24-hour care. His brother Rob cannot move his hands or triceps, but has the use of his biceps and has trained himself to be able to push his own wheelchair and take care of himself completely on his own. Rob has his Master’s degree in Accounting and got married three months after Kent and I did in 2007. Kent grew up taking care of his two older brothers. He and his family chose to overcome that challenge in life by sticking together and staying close to God and their religion. Because of the things Kent has gone through in his life, he has become the most amazing man I’ve ever known. He always puts the needs of others first, sacrificing anything he can to help those around him. He is a hard working man with such a tender heart. He has spent much of his teenage and adult life caring for his brothers, never complaining about working through the night or having to stand and do tedious jobs like turning pages for Reed when he wants to read a book, or going through Reed’s baseball card collection when he wants to look at cards for sometimes hours at a time.

By nature Kent is a complete people person. He loves talking with people and genuinely cares for everyone he meets. He has a smile and a light about him that is contagious. He loves the Latin culture and is fluent in Spanish. He spent a summer in El Salvador working as the Country Director of a humanitarian project. He always volunteers to serve in whatever way he can. He has a natural gift with children. I have seen him play with and care for his 15 nieces and nephews countless times. He knows how to be a friend and mentor to children in a way that teaches them valuable lessons while still having the time of their lives with Uncle Kent. He is such a fun-loving, outgoing person and anyone that knows him adores him. He has a real gift for singing and writing songs to play and sing on his guitar. Kent is loyal, compassionate, dedicated, honest, loving, happy, and sincere. He treats me with the utmost respect and he will make the most amazing father. I know he will help me raise our children in love and righteousness, teaching them and lovingly guiding them along the way.

A Little Bit About Us

We are so excited to add a child to our family! We have so much love to share and look forward to the day our hopes become reality. We love music—it is a major part of our lives and we have so much fun singing and playing our instruments together. We love Spanish—Kent graduated with a degree in Spanish and is fluent, and I am continuing to learn the language, as we hope to teach our children Spanish as they grow up, and we hope to be able to volunteer in Latin American countries together as a family. We love the outdoors—hiking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, anything outside! We love sports—basketball, soccer, football, swimming, baseball, hockey, and so much more! We love to travel—we’ve been on several cross-country road trips and to several countries together and look forward to traveling with our kids. We love kids—playing with our 15 nieces and nephews is one of our favorite things and we can’t wait to be able to play with our own children! We love the Gospel of Jesus Christ—being active members of our Church is central to everything else in our lives.

Adoption Is Very Special To Us…Thank You

The decision for us to adopt was not one that we made on our own. In fact, there was a very specific, very special spiritual experience that we had that led us to this decision. We have acted on this and several other promptings to adopt and know this is the right thing for us right now. Should you consider placing your child with us, we would love to share this sacred experience with you. We know that adoption is an inspired decision. We pray daily for the birth parents of our future children and we know that in time we will be led together.

We look forward to having an open adoption with our birth parents. We are open to letters, pictures, emails, phone calls, and scheduled visits. We feel it is important for our children to know where they came from, and that they are and always have been loved. We are excited to establish a further relationship with you as we get to know you. As birth parents, you will always hold a special place in our lives and in our hearts. We look forward to meeting you and want to thank you now for giving us something so special that we could not do on our own. Thank you.

With Thanks, Love, and Hope,

Kent and Kayla

Weekend Fun With Dad and Tyson

Last weekend my Dad and Tyson got to come into town for a visit. I picked them up from the airport after work on Thursday.
Just before my Dad came into town, Kent got to take the Young Men in our ward cross country skiing. He had a great time with the boys!
While Dad and Tyson were here, we went to the BYU game to see Jimmer and the Cougars! Tyson got to get a pic with Cosmo the Cougar. It was a great game!
And of course, my Dad had to check out my brother Ki's new bike...I think he approved.
And so did Tyson...
We also got to go hike Bridal Veil Falls, which was frozen over. It was breathtaking up there!

We even found a couple make-shift "ice caves" between the frozen falls and the rocks. They were so cool!

Peek-a-boo Dad!
Tyson in one of the caves!
We also got to have yet another day of snowboarding/skiing with my Dad, Tyson, and Ki. As you can see, it was a beautiful day at Sundance!

Since Kent wasn't able to join us for the Bridal Veil Falls hike, we decided to go back a few days ago. Things have melted a bit, but it was amazing nonetheless!

There were some awesome ice pickers climbing the entire waterfall! It was amazing!

So here is an update on us done mostly with pictures! But of all of the fun things we have been up to lately, we have some news that is even more exciting than all of these pictures: WE ARE APPROVED FOR ADOPTION!!!! We are SOOOO excited to begin the next step in this process! You can visit our profile at www.ItsAboutLove.org; our Profile ID# is 25438298, or you can search our names! We will be sure to keep you up to date on our amazing adventure! I plan to be better at updating our blog more regularly--call it a late started New Year's resolution! Love to you all!

Nixons Join Forces With Dicksons...Happy Birthday, Kayla!

For my 24th birthday weekend, Kent and I took a trip to Rexburg, Idaho to visit my sister Katelyn and her husband Steve! When we walked into their cute apartment, they had balloons and a birthday cake for me! In honor of our plans to go snowboarding later in the weekend, she made me a snowboarding cake! It was AMAZING! She took little GI Joe guys and frosted them into boarders...so cool!!! Thank you Katelyn!!!

Haha, I just have to say that Kent and Steve look like brothers here!
What can I say, we have a lot of fun together.
On Saturday the four of us headed up to Targhee for an awesome day of boarding!

It may be hard to see, but in the middle of this picture, just above the smaller trees, Steve is flying. He found a sweet jump at the end of the day and decided to give it a shot. He cleared the trees and landed about three feet from where I was taking the picture! It was insane!
It was such a beautiful day up there and the powder was great!

We had fun looking for fun jumps and found this awesome run that was like a roller coaster on a snowboard! Steve took pictures of me, Kent, and Katelyn taking a shot at it.
Go Kent!

We had such a great weekend with the Dicksons. Being 24 got off to a great start for me!