Our Family

Our Family

What We Are Up To Now

April 4-5 2015
We had a fun Easter this year in Green River with Joe's family. We started with decorating easter eggs.

 Decorating eggs

Saturday morning we went for a little hike. The girls struggled. Ellie cried every time she got sand in her shoe, so Joe had to carry her most of the way. But it was still a good time. Next time we will wear boots!

Gracie and Ellie ready to hike

Daddy trying to help Ellie up the trail

Not happy

Sunday we enjoyed easter baskets and easter egg hunt.

She found her Easter basket

Blowing bubbles with Uncle Kaleb and cousins

Pretty girl

Enjoying her candy necklace

The little girls loved a tractor ride with Uncle Dan

April 1, 2015
Joe and I have been married 11 years today! No joke! We enjoyed a night out at Joe's Crab Shack for dinner and a movie later.

March 2015
I have been a slacker this last month! We have been enjoying spring. Ellie and I started a Mom and Tot
gymnastics class. She has loved it!

Joe and I (mostly Joe) has been busy painting our whole main floor. We just finished a couple weeks ago. We love the new look. It's very refreshing.

Living Room


A very exciting thing is I got a new car!! 2011 Nissan Murano. I love it and Joe is excited that he gets to drive the truck now.

February 21, 2015
We had a fun visit from Ellie's birth-mother and sister Alora. They had so much fun playing together!

Of course Ellie had to have her mouth full every time I tried to get a picture! Such a stinker!:)

February 18, 2015
Ellie's new favorite activity is finger-painting. She has discovered painting on herself is just as fun!

February 14, 2015
Despite Ellie having strep throat and an ear infection, we had a fun day. Ellie loved her balloons from her Valentine, Daddy. We had some yummy heart-shaped blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and Mommy and Ellie had fun making Oreo truffles. We also had a fun visit from Grandma and Papa and their doggies.

Valentine balloons, candy, and Doc McStuffins medical kit

Heart-shaped blueberry pancakes

Valentine Oreo truffles

January 31, 2015
We had some fun with Joe's brother's family. We went to the nickel arcade. Ellie loved playing all the
games and playing with her cousin Gracie. They both of course loved the candy game and the mari-go-round the best!

Smashing mice with Daddy

Horsey rides

January 20, 2015
We had a rough weekend. We put our dog Xander down on Saturday the 17th. He had diarrhea and some vomiting the week prior. He was also getting to the point where he didn't like us to touch him much. Coming to that decision was so hard and gut wrenching. I couldn't really eat for a couple of days. He was 13 years old and such a special part of our family. I hope we did right by him and that he is happy. I know he is in a better place and hopefully enjoying running and being able to see again.
Here are a few pics of our last days with him.
I couldn't get them to both look at me. But good buddies

Guarding Ellie's room his last night

Here is my tribute to my sweet and special Xander.


We got you when you were 4 years old. I remember bringing you home that first week and it was so hard. You would whine a lot and kept trying to escape and go back to the only home you ever had known. I wanted to take you back, because I felt so bad. But it didn't take long to form such a special bond of love. I remember how adventurous you were. You would follow Dad all around, even up a mountainside and right under a waterfall. You were a big dog at heart. You used to bounce through the snow like a deer and loved to chase Dad around. You gave great snuggles and good hand shakes. You lived right in the moment. I will miss your exciting yelps to go on walks and your happy welcomes as we came home each day. Not only did you give us unconditional love, but you taught me a few things as well. You taught me how to endure through life's ups and down. 5 years ago, you were diagnosed with diabetes and became blind shortly thereafter. You didn't let this keep you down. You fought through the struggles and still enjoyed each day and what it would bring. You were such an inspiration to so many. I think the greatest thing you taught me is how to love. You taught me that because of the great amount of love I had for you, I would have no trouble loving a child not biologically mine. You helped Joe and I open our hearts and find the most precious gift to add to our family. I love you so much Buddy. Thank you for loving us unconditionally. Thank you for watching over Ellie as she slept each night. We will miss you so much. We buried you under a shaded tree in one of your favorite places, Joe's Valley. We will visit you and think of you often. Rest in peace my sweet boy.

We buried him near the cabin at Joe's Valley. Pretty view

January 8, 2015
The first snow of the season, we ran out and made snowballs.

Ellie's newest interest has been visiting the dinosaur museum. She loves to see the "Rarrrs".

She was a little nervous initially, but she talks about the "Rarrs" all the time now.

December 2014
It was a busy holiday season! I have been a slacker updating this. We had a fun Thanksgiving with Amy's family. We always have a fun time bowling and enjoying all of the yummy food!

Amy and Ellie had fun at The Festival of Trees. We went with both Grandma's and Amy's sister Mindy and her two daughters.

The cute girl's by one of their favorite 'Frozen' trees.

Ellie and Grandma Fail

It was fun to decorate again this year. We finally bought our first tree since we got married 10 1/2 years ago. We have had hand-me-downs from our parents that we have used each year, so it was fun to pick out our own and get some new ornaments.

We apparently decided December was a good month to start potty-training Ellie and get rid of her binkie. Not sure why we did both so close together. :/ For the most part though, Ellie has done pretty well with potty-training. We are still working on it. I'm not sure how they get to the point where they go on their own all of the time. I guess with a lot of practice. Grandma Fail was visiting in early December and we were talking to Ellie about getting rid of her binkie. We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition and she asked Ellie if she would give her binkies to Buddy the elf to take to Santa. I then told if her if she did that, Buddy would bring back a pretty Elsa dress. Apparently we finally found something she was excited about! So, we went with it and it worked! It was a tough week initially with nap-time, but we powered through.

She has loved her Elsa "pretty" so much! She is such a girly-girl:)

We took Ellie to see Santa at Cabela's. She did great! Compared to her screaming like her cousin last year, she did great. All she needed was a candy-cane.

Ellie has been into trains lately, so I found a train gingerbread kit. She sat and helped put it together the entire time. We still have it up and she loves to look at it all the time.

Joe gives me a hard time about this picture because it doesn't make him look too happy. But they were both so excited to put it together!

The final result!


We celebrated Christmas a week early with Amy's family. We had a yummy ham dinner and then exchanged gifts. The adults were later treated with a Kurt Bestor concert.

Of course the favorite was the "pretty" dress that Grandma gave Ellie

A few days before Christmas, we were able to visit with Ellie's birth-mom McKenzie and her family. We always cherish these moments. We feel so blessed to have an open relationship with them.

Cute picture of Ellie with her birth-sister Alora

We celebrated Christmas in Green River with Joe's family. It was a lot of fun this year! I think Joe and I were more excited than Ellie. We had a fun time with cousins and enjoyed some sledding.

Santa came!

An art easel from Mom and Dad

Always need a new tie

Amy put together a first-aid kit for our parents this year. 

Pure Christmas Joy!

A Frozen "pretty"

Another beautiful "purple pretty" from Grandma and Grandpa

Such a silly girl

Oct 31, 2014
We had a fun Halloween this year with Joe's family in Delta where his sister lives. Ellie and Joe were the cutest Beauty and Beast! Joe grew his beard out just for this. He was such a trooper, but wasted no time in shaving it off.

Beauty and the Beast

Ellie had a ball getting candy from everyone

Ellie and Gracie

 We also had a fun Halloween party with Amy's family earlier in the month at Amy's sister's house.

The Romney clan

Oct 28, 2014
Pumpkin carving. Ellie had a blast painting her pumpkin and would have loved to paint all night!

Oct 15, 2014
Ellie and I took a drive with my grandma Nanny to see some fall leaves. It was a beautiful drive through the Alpine Loop.

Ellie and Nanny

October 8, 2014
We went with Joe's brother's family to pick out some pumpkins. We had fun in the pumpkin patch, riding the hay ride, and playing in the big pit of corn!

Gracie and Ellie. So sweet

We are all smiling at the camera! Yay!

Fail family selfie:)

Corn fun!

Love how pretty this turned out.

October 5, 2014
There is something so sweet about sleeping babies. I just love them both and I think its so sweet that Xander always sleeps at her feet.

A new update is that Ellie is in her big girl bed! It was the easiest transition yet. She did so awesome and only had trouble one day. Now we need to get her new room all decorated!

Ellie is into all the princess stuff and has started to sing a long. Love this video I captured of her singing to Tangled.

October 4, 2014
My Mom treated Ellie and I as well as my sisters and kids to Breakfast with the Witch at Gardner Village. The girl's had a blast!

Cute little cousins

Its impossible to get them to all look at the same time.

Fun train ride

September 29, 2014
Katy Perry concert finally arrived! It was so much fun and entertaining! Joe's dad loves her, so his parents joined us! Katy Perry sure knows how to put on a great show.

Joe trying to be like Katy

His Dad was making laugh all night!

September 20, 2014
We enjoyed Melon Days in Green River. All the watermelon you can eat and lots of fun! Joe and I played on a coed softball team with friends and family. Joe and his brother played on a mens team. Ellie enjoyed the parade and playing with cousins.

Lots of candy to enjoy from the parade!

Ellie went down only once and that was enough for her.

September 7, 2014
The new NFL season has begun! We have a tradition the last couple years of getting all of us new Denver Broncos apparel to wear each game for the season. Go Broncos!! You got it this year!
Joe is helping me for the first time with Fantasy Football. It should be interesting, but fun. Hopefully I can figure it out soon!

September 5, 2014
We attempted 2 year pics of Ellie. She would not look at the camera and smile, so I improvised and had her chase me around. She is one sassy, beautiful girl!

This picture makes me laugh every time! It sure captures her drama/sassy side:)

September 3, 2014
We met Ellie's birth-mom McKenzie at the Aquarium today. She wouldn't look at the camera, but I like to capture these special moments.

August 29, 2014
Our beautiful Ellie has turned 2! We had a 'Finding Nemo' party for her since she is obsessed with "fishies" and "Nemo". We loved having many family and friends celebrate with us including her birth-familes. I only have a couple pics, because everyone else was taking pictures and I was distracted. Hopefully I will see some more soon. We feel so blessed to have her in our family!

My friend Becca made this cake and it turned out so cute!!

Ellie enjoying her new tramp:) 

Ellie and Elsa

August 20, 2014
We met with Ben, Ellie's birth-father and his girlfriend for dinner. It was great to see him! They sure enjoyed playing with each other! We just feel so blessed to have an open adoption.

Big "Cheeses"

Such a sweet picture. 

Daddy being silly

August 18, 2014
It was a hot day and we decided to cool off in the sprinkler! I remember loving this when I was a kid.

August 16, 2014
We spent the weekend at Joe's Valley. Joe's parents joined us and a family friend. He had a new fishing boat and took us out on the reservoir. We actually caught some fish! It was a fun way to fish and Ellie sure enjoyed the boat and the water as well as the "fishies".

She saw Grandma soaking her feet and she decided swimming was more fun.

The catch of the day

August 8, 2014
I took Ellie to a nearby splash pad and she of course loved it! Glad to have fun activities so close. I am amazed I got her to look at the camera and she was smiling!

July 24-27, 2014
We just got back from a trip to Yellowstone National park with Amy's family. We stayed over-night in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then in a cabin in Island Park which was about 20min away from Yellowstone. I realized once we were home that I didn't get any pictures with my sisters or parents. Not smart, but it was a lot of fun! The little girls loved playing together. We had fun car-pooling with my parents, hot tubing, and playing cards in the evenings.

Basin area with small pot holes. As you can see by her face, it was nap time for Ellie.

Old Faithful. Ellie was not interested in waiting, so she went for a walk with Grandma.

Mammoth Hot Springs

It was impossible to get them all to smile and look at the camera

Lower Falls

Upper Falls

Yay! They are all happy and smiling at the same time!

July 19, 2014
Joe ran his first half-marathon of the year, The Timpanogos Half. He said the last couple miles were a little rough, but he finished strong. Ellie and I were there to cheer him at the end. Way to go Joe!

A few hours later we were part of a float in the American Fork parade. We are part of a group called 'Families Supporting Adoption' and we made an 'Adoption Rocks' float. We handed out otter-pops and enjoyed all of the support of adoption. Adoption truly does rock!!

Joe definitely dressed the part!

That late afternoon we joined Joe's family to celebrate cousin Gracie's 1st birthday. Ellie had fun at the splash pad.

July 17, 2014
Ellie and I met up with my sister Mindy and her two daughter's at Wheeler Farm. They loved chasing ducks and just running around the farm.

Holding hands. So sweet!

July 12, 2014
We went to Thanksgiving Point with Joe's brother Kaleb and his family. The girls loved riding the pony's.

July 9, 2014
Ellie and Amy enjoyed a beautiful walk this morning.

Beautiful view on the hills above our home.

Ellie sure knows how to lounge. 

July 8, 2014
Ellie's half sister had her 3rd year birthday party. It was a frozen party with swimming. We enjoyed seeing her birth mother and their family. Open adoption is such a blessing!

Ellie with her birth-mom McKenzie

Amy with the girls
We couldn't seem to get them to look at the camera at the same time.

July 5, 2014
Joe took Ellie to Green River with him to visit his parents while Amy was working. They seemed to have a blast. Ellie always gets spoiled by Grandma.

Ellie finally figured out how to hold the fishing pole. So cute:)

July 3, 2014
Amy had to work this year over the 4th so we did some fireworks the night before. We ended up at my cousin's house since we can't do any fireworks where we live. Amy's parents joined us.

Not sure about the sparkler's, but Daddy finally talked her into holding one.

Cool sparklers

Snap pops fun with Grandpa Romney

Joe thought he was lighting smoke bombs and Ellie wanted nothing to do with them!

June 28, 2014
We had another fun weekend at Joe's Valley. We enjoyed 4-wheeling, fishing, and of course yummy food.
Ellie with her new heltmet. She was so excited to go for a ride.

Mommy and Ellie 

Daddy and Ellie at Miller's Flat. This is Joe's favorite place to fish.

Fishing time

Joe's parents joined us for the day. Ellie and Grandma Fail

Ellie helping Grandpa Fail

Fishy love

She didn't quite grasp the concept:)

Amy caught a fish!

One of Joe's catches

Joe's Valley dirt. So fun!

June 25, 2014
I just finished a city softball season. I was on a coed team with my coworkers and then I was able to be a sub on a women's team with Ellie's birth-grandmother. I sure love to play and I can still play fairly well! Joe felt a little left out, but we hope to get a coed team together soon.

June 24, 2014
We had a stressful evening. Our dog Xander was missing around dinner time. I had no idea where he could have gone. The only time I could think of as a possibility for him getting out was while I was watering our flowers on our front porch. He must have quietly snuck away. Anyways, I realized he had been gone since about 2pm and it was now 6:30 pm. I took Ellie around driving for a while with no luck. Joe came home and helped with Ellie while I walked around. Still no success. I posted that he was missing on our neighborhood websites and called dispatch. The animal shelter of course was closed by then. We didn't hear anything. I was so worried that he may be stuck somewhere or confused since he is blind. Or he got ran over. Joe decided to go for a run around 9pm and thankfully found him pretty quickly near a dirt trail near our home. We were so relieved and grateful he was okay after being out in the sun. He has seemed himself since. It's crazy how much we can love our animals! I have definitely learned to make sure I close the front door every time I go outside.

June 24, 2014
Ellie and Amy went to the princess festival today with my Mom and Sister and her girls. They were so excited to get all dressed up. Ellie enjoyed dancing and twirling, making a princess crown, and getting a  "fishy" painted on her arm.

Princess Ellie

Look at my "fishy"

Princess Ellie, Princess Molly, and Princess Grace

It's so fun to run in circles!

June 15, 2014
Happy Father's Day to Joe! He is such a fun father and so sweet. It never gets old watching him and Ellie together. We are also so grateful for our father's/grandfathers who are wonderful examples to us, and for Ellie's birth-father Ben. We are blessed to have the best guys around!

June 14, 2014
We were able to go to the One Republic concert with The Script at Usana Amphitheater. It was so fun! They are all so talented. We really enjoyed ourselves. Ellie was a perfect little angel at Grandma's house.

June 13, 2014
We had a family fun night with Amy's family at Mulligans. We got together for her Dad's birthday gift. We had fun at the batting cages and mini golf.

Daddy batting with Ellie on the lookout

Ellie and her cousins Molly and Grace

Papa and the girls

Mom and Ellie with Aunt Carrie

June 10, 2014
A new thing around our house is playing with babies. One morning Ellie got her babies, put them in her crib and threw some diapers in there. She came to me and said, "poop". I guess they needed their diapers changed. She loves feeding them as well.

June 6, 2014
We went to the aquarium again with Grandma Romney. Ellie loved the penguins best!
Ellie and Grandma Romney

Yay for penguins!

June 2, 2014
We enjoyed a visit with Ellie's birth grandparents. Ellie is in a stage where she runs away from Mom and Dad all the time. They had a pool in their backyard which was covered and she was too fast for Mom and ran onto it. She and everyone else thought it was hilarious! We love open adoption and feel so lucky that Ellie has so many that love her. We look forward to hopefully having this with any future children.

May 31, 2014
We went to the new Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. Ellie loved roaming around and playing with all of the fun activities with Daddy.

May 29, 2014
Ellie and I took the day and went to Wheeler Farm. I love it there! I worked their in High School and the summer after my 1st year of college. Ellie was literally jumping for joy seeing the animals. She especially loved the ducks and horses. She has no fear.

Jumping for Joy!

Ellie and her favorite duck. She loved chasing it around.

She loves horses!

Selfie time

Ellie loved the wagon ride and climbing all over it.

Memorial Weekend:
Every year on Memorial Weekend we go to Joe's Valley where Joe's family has a cabin. They fix the fence around their property and fix up anything else they need to. Once you get those guys working, they don't stop! We enjoyed a lot of 4-wheeler rides, fishing, card games, family pictures, and good food! Unfortunately the pics didn't turn out of activities we did, but we got some family pics taken.
Joe's Valley Reservoir in the background

Our Little Family

Studly- Joe with his brother Kaleb and father Brad

Fun pic with Grandpa and Grandma and the grandkids

Family cabin in the background

May 23, 2014
Amy's Dad turned 60 this month. We had a surprise party for him. Amy made up a trivia of 1954 and of his life. It was a lot of fun!

Cake time

Say "Cheese"

Papa and his little girls

Dad and his girl's

May 13, 2014
My sister Mindy invited Ellie and Amy to the zoo to meet Elsa and Ana from Frozen! The line was a little long, but the girl's loved it! They are all obsessed!

Ellie's in "awe" face. The are real!

Molly and Ellie playing with Olaf

When it came to actually meeting them, Ellie would not leave my side. So I had to hold her. She was happy at a distance.

May 11, 2014
Mother's Day is so special. One that I will never take for granted.  I feel so blessed and honored to be Ellie's mother. It is a dream come true. Joe spoiled me with cleaning and organizing our house and cooking. We later had dinner with my family.
All the girl's

4 generations picture. Nanny, Grandma Romney, Amy, and Ellie

May 10, 2014
We enjoy being part of the board for Families Supporting Adoption. It's important to us to stay involved with the adoption world. We went to the "Birth Mother's Walk" honoring birth mother's in our lives. We are so thankful for Ellie's birth-mother and her selfless gift of Ellie. We love her so much.

May 2nd, 2014
We spent the weekend with Joe's parents. Joe and his brother helped them in their yard a lot. Ellie loved 4-wheeler rides with "Papa".

April 26, 2014
I have officially turned the big 30. Crazy. I remember when I was younger and how being 30 was so old! Now 30 seems young! I enjoyed spending the day with Joe and Ellie. My sister Carrie took us to breakfast and then we enjoyed dinner later at Joe's Crab shack with our friends/cousins. The crab was so good!

They of course arranged for me to be sung to at dinner. You can tell I was not so thrilled, but I tried to be a good sport about it:)

April 25, 2014
Ellie has been saying "No" to every question we ask her these days. So, we decided to film her and keep it for a few years and show it to her when she asks for a car, a cell phone, money, etc ....  We think she will get a kick out of it!

April 20, 2014
We have realized that we mostly have pictures of just Ellie. So sorry for Ellie overload:) Here she is looking so big in her Easter dress.

We enjoyed Easter dinner with Amy's family at her parents house. Ellie loves to play with her cousins and Grandpa at the park!

April 19, 2014
Ellie sure has loved Easter. She took part in 3 egg hunts 1 with Grandma and Grandpa Romney, 2nd with our neighborhood and the 3rd at home. She loved finding eggs to put in her bucket.

Ellie is with her cousins Molly and Grace. 

Neighborhood Hunt

Egg Hunt at home

April 5, 2014
Part of our anniversary surprise was tickets to Christina Perri. We both like her and the concert was great!

April 4, 2014
Joe and I have been married for 10 years a couple days ago on April 1; no joke! Joe took the rains and planned the whole thing. We went to dinner at the Melting Pot. It's my favorite place to eat. It's not only good, but its fun too!

Our waitress surprised us with these chocolate strawberries.

After dinner we went to the movie Noah. It was kind of weird, but still fun. We love going to see movies. After that we stayed at the Grand America Hotel. Joe went earlier in the day and left rose petals all over and left me gifts. He had a ring pop and a toy car in separate bags. He said it was my choice that I could get a new wedding ring or use the money he gave me towards a new car. I was floored! He definitely surprised me. He said he had been saving and planning this for 2 1/2 years. 3 years ago, I surprised him with tickets to the Final Four basketball tournament in Houston for our anniversary. So, since then he wanted to do something fun for me. He definitely did that!

The next morning we had a couples massage at the hotel and then went ring and car shopping for the day. Joe's parents were nice enough to watch Ellie for us. I still couldn't decide what to do. I found some rings, but I didn't love any of them and I was leaning towards the ring over the car because I knew eventually we would get a new car in the next year or so. And yesterday I went to Kay Jewelers and found just what I was looking for! The picture doesn't do it justice.

I pulled the trigger and bought them. I feel really spoiled and loved. They are beautiful! I told Joe he can surprise me anytime! He did a great job.

March 29, 2014

Joe has been working on finishing our basement bathroom. He did all of the tile work himself. He is just adding the finishing touches. He has done an awesome job!

Ellie was able to be the first one to try out the new tub. She loved it! It was like she was swimming.

We took Ellie to Cabela's to check out the fishes and animals. She enjoyed the freedom to run around. And the best part, it was free!

March 26, 2014

Joe has been busy at work since it is busy season, so Ellie and I have been outside enjoying spring. Last week we enjoyed time at Hogle Zoo with a couple friends from work and their kids.

We rode the carousel a couple of times. Ellie would not ride on any of the animals, but loved just sitting with me on a bench. She will ride 4 wheelers and real horses, but not the carousel. Go figure! :)

We have also enjoyed going to a park near our house. Ellie loves to roam free and loves the slides the most. 

She kept pointing to this basketball court saying "ball". So we took a walk around it. Next time I will have to bring a ball with us. Anytime she sees a basketball hoop, she yells "ball". Most of the time this is in the middle of Sacrament Meeting at church. :)

March 18, 2014

My Grandmother (Nanny) turned 93 today. Ellie and I enjoyed celebrating with her and my sisters and mom at lunch. Happy Birthday Nanny! You constantly amaze us.

February 2014
We enjoyed the NFL season even though the Broncos did not come out on top. This is of Joe and his brother Kaleb with their girls.
Ellie enjoyed being the center of attention at the Super Bowl party.