April 27, 2008

Happy 36th Birthday Taylor!

Following in the tradition of some of my family members, I need to dedicate a blog page solely to the love of my life. I thought it would be tough to think of 36 things that I admire about Taylor, but it came surprisingly easy to me.

1) He can fix anything. I consider myself semi-handy with fixing things around the house, but I'm not kidding, this man can fix ANYTHING. The one thing he says he's less than adept at is electrical, but he will still figure it out. I could go down a huge list of the things he’s done to improve our home. To name a few….he’s insulated our garage doors, installed our sprinkler and drip systems in our backyard, put in better toilets and sinks, he put in a big kitchen sink and dishwasher in our old home, etc. I could go on and on and on.

2) He saves us money. (see #1) Because he is so handy, he rarely has to hire people to do anything. He put in our big backyard himself, and when he did hire out, he ran up to Star Nursery, grabbed a few Mexican/Latin Americans/Hispanics/put your name for them in here, and paid very little to get some hired work for the yard. At times I feel like I’m going to scream because he seriously investigates before he makes a purchase, but this waiting has saved us countless headaches in the long run.

3) He gets us things for free and/or seriously cheap. On that same note, he has no qualms about asking for things or haggling for cheaper prices. I'm not that talented. I'm grateful I have him because if I want something for less, I just send him into the line of fire.

4) He is very funny. Ask any of our friends. He says I don't laugh at his jokes, but that's just because I've heard a lot of them already. However, he still cracks me up all the time with his random comments.

5) I feel protected when I'm with him. Whenever Taylor is out of town, I have the worst time sleeping. I wake up sporadically all night. Subconsciously I think I know he’s not there, so I don’t sleep soundly. I always know that if there is trouble, he will be right there to deal with it.

6) He is a hard worker. When he gets to work on something, he really gets to work. He gets focused so deeply into what he’s doing that I don’t bother trying to have a conversation with him. He puts his whole mind to getting work done.

7) He is not afraid to make a fool of himself. Sometimes I think he even likes it.

8) He loves me. Of course this is my favorite one. No explanation needed.

9) He loves our children. I love that he shows affection to. I learned from him and his family how to feel comfortable with hugs and kisses. Saying I love you is a common thing around here. He also shows our children that he loves me by hugging and kissing me all the time.

10) He gives good backrubs. Since he’s my big strong manly man, he gives wonderful backrubs. I’m still trying to teach him that I love my hair being played with, but hey, it’s only been 13 years……I’ve still got several more to train him.

11) He is a great cook. I am always amazed that he can throw all kinds of ingredients together without a recipe and make it taste great. Actually, I could throw things together, but I’m not sure I would feed it to my family. He has a pure talent.

12) He is very organized. This is completely the opposite of me. I have my mother and grandmother’s disease of piling things up. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I agree, but sometimes that “place” is just a pile.

13) He loves to compete with me. Every now and then, we will have friendly wagers and competitions over useless knowledge. It’s a lot of fun.

14) He lets me express my girly side in our home. If it were up to me, the world would be pink. He has helped me tone that down, but he still lets me be a little fru-fru when it comes to decorating.

15) He is a great provider for our family. The one thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a mother. Not only that, but a mom who can stay home with the children. I wouldn’t be able to do that if he didn’t work as hard as he does to provide for our family. I know this can put a lot of stress on him, and I’m grateful that he does it without complaining.

16) He pushes me to get away from the kids. If it were up to me, I would probably never leave the kids. It may sound odd, but it’s actually easier for me to not go through the hassle of getting a babysitter or getting everything together in order to get out of town without them. I realize that I’m a different person when we are alone together, but I let the stress of preparing keep me from doing that. Now that we have kids old enough to babysit, it will probably be easier.

17) He has the same life goals as me. This makes life much less complicated. Knowing that my husband has his eyes set on one final eternal goal can make disagreements seem like they’re pointless.

18) He’s not afraid to show his emotions. I can sometimes get him to sit down and watch Oprah or some sappy show, and he will even get teary-eyed. Yes he’s a tough guy, but he can be very sensitive.

19) He smells good. Of course not all the time, like when he just comes in from working outside and he’s all sweaty. When he's all clean......his cologne has always done it for me.

20) He buys me purses. He came home from a business trip one time, telling me that when he had a long layover, he stopped by the local mall. No, he didn’t check out things for himself, but he was looking at purses for me. Of course he didn’t come home with it (see #2), but not long after that he came home from work bearing a gift of my now favorite pink purse.

21) He will hold that same purse for me when we are out. When I have to run to the restroom, I’ll ask him to hold my purse for me. Big Taylor, holding a purse. I’m sure that’s a sight, but he doesn’t care at all.

22) He opens doors for me. I’ve always felt that a man who opens doors for a woman is a real man. He still will come around to open my car door, even if it’s way out of his way. This is really teaching our boys how to be a gentleman too.

23) He realizes I’m anal about grammar and punctuation and lets me correct him. I know he feels like I’m always looking over his shoulder, making sure he’s spelling well and forming his sentences correctly…..well I usually am. J He lets me do it anyways.

24) He watches “chick flicks” with me. I don’t think he does it to make me happy either. I think he really enjoys watching these movies with me.

25) He takes Benjamin wherever he goes. Ben thinks Taylor can do anything in the world. He is Ben’s idol. If Taylor’s working outside in the garage or the yard, you’ll also see his little sidekick. When he goes to run errands on Saturday for several hours on Saturday, it doesn’t phase him to bring Benjamin along (even before he was potty trained).

26) He takes care of me when I’m sick or hurt. I have always been the type to become a hermit when I’m feeling miserable, but Taylor will take care of me and baby me. I’m grateful for that.

27) He tells me I’m pretty. Since most days I feel like a frumpy mom, to hear Taylor tell me I’m pretty puts me on cloud nine.

28) He lets me pick at him. Yes, I’m a true Koch. If you’ve got a zit, I’ll pick it. If you’ve got an ingrown hair, let me get it. I feel like I’m literally 24/7 looking Taylor over to see if there is anything I can pick at. Drives Taylor mad I know, but he will let me do it. He can bribe me to do anything for him if I can just pick away at him.

29) He loves family time. He loves to be home with our family. He is always trying to find something he can do with the kids when he’s home.

30) He lives worthy to hold the Priesthood. This shows me where his priorities lie.

31) He is an Eagle Scout. Not only does this show that he’s pretty good at tying knots J, it also shows our boys what they can accomplish. I don’t feel I could expect my sons to become Eagle Scouts if their father never did it himself.

32) He loves his mission. His mission to Italy was one of the most, if not THE most, influential times of his life. He loves the people of Italy, he loves the work that he was able to do, but I also know he loves knowing that he was able to dedicate 2 years of his life in order to serve the Lord. He has some of the most amazing stories of his experiences out there. This excitement over his mission also shows our children how important it is to serve a mission.

33) He loves to discuss all things spiritual and gospel oriented. I love being able to talk to Taylor about gospel topics. He’s so knowledgeable about the scriptures, that it amazes me.

34) He helps anyone in need. He has never been the type of person to stand by and watch when someone’s struggling. The first time I was in a car with him, he stopped over on the side of the freeway to see if people needed help with their car. I know he wasn’t doing that just to impress me. It’s just him. Each time we pass someone on the side, he slows down to check out the situation and see if he might be able to help.

35) He is a defender of the “little guy”. Maybe his size helps him, but I doubt that’s why he steps in to break up disputes. This scares me sometimes because I worry that he’s going to get jumped, but I think he knows that it’s better to get involved before trouble starts. Just last week we had an experience at Disneyland….of all places. An older man and his very tattooed, pierced, 30-something stepson were getting into a heated argument which involved a lot of cursing and pushing around. Taylor didn’t miss a beat. He walked right up and stepped in between them, getting the two guys apart from each other. Again, everyone stood around and stared, waiting to see what would happen…..except Taylor.

36) He loves the Gospel. I am so grateful for this. He takes everything we are asked to do to heart. He has a testimony of the gospel and shares it regularly. He is a great example to our children in this respect.

I am so blessed to be Taylor’s wife. I still am in awe that someone who was so outgoing, where girls were always following him around, ended up zeroing in on me who was so quiet and reserved. I am so grateful to have him in my life.

Happy Birthday, my honey. I love you!

April 15, 2008

We Have a Backyard!!!

We have been in our home for two years now, and looking at all that dirt in the backyard has gotten really old. We've also been a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do, since our yard is so big. We first consulted a couple of landscape architects to give us bids. Since they both came in at $20,000+ we decided we were going to piecemeal it out and do a lot ourselves. Once Taylor got into it, it ended up taking only a couple weeks. Here are a few pictures that show the progress.

We have really hard clay dirt, so he rented a trencher to get the pipe rows in. I wish I had a picture of that thing whipping him about. It was a beast of a machine.

I helped out a little laying the pipe. This was actually kind of fun.

Instead of trying to hunt down men in our ward, Taylor ran up to Star Nursery and grabbed 5 guys to lay the sod. What could have taken all day and night, ended up getting finished in 3 hours. Amazing.

This guy cracked me up. When he saw me taking pictures of the backyard, he got down and posed as if he were laying grass. He thought it was so great that he grabbed his cell phone and had Taylor take a picture of him on it.


We're still not quite finished planting all the trees and bushes, but at least the holes are dug. I'll post a picture once Taylor gets finished with the dripper lines and we lay the final rock. All I really care about, however, is the grass. Once the kids can go out and run around on it, I'll be in heaven. I'm sure they feel pretty much the same. It's just amazing what some color can do to a backyard. I keep staring at it, so grateful we were able to get to it as soon as we did.

April 13, 2008

Swinging in the Hammock

Dad has turned into a really fun Grandpa. I always hear from Hailey about how much fun it is to play Candyland and McDonald's with him (ask Dad to show you the "drive-thru window" next time you're in his home office).

The night of the Enchanted Party, the kids piled on the hammock while Dadoo swung them high in the air. You can tell by all the high-pitched squeals how much fun they had.

April 9, 2008

Very Late Easter Pics

It's been a while since Easter, but I guess it's better late than never. For those who are true Veggie Tales aficionados, you'll recognize the song playing. Our family absolutely loves Veggie Tales as well as their unique word choices in their songs.

April 7, 2008

Tea Party

A while ago, my sister in-law Shelley posted a video showing her daughter trying to have a tea party while her brother kept messing things up for her.
I have found that Hailey often has a hard time playing alone, since Benjamin loves to join in with his own version of fun. Instead of locking her bedroom door, which usually results in Ben pounding and yelling at her door to get in, Hailey found a new way to avoid this confrontation.