Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thoughts on this Sunday Morning

Last night I asked Spence if I should just quit my little bloggy journal. “I’m so far behind”, I reasoned. “Plus, the kids are getting older and I’m starting to realize that they might not want things written about them anymore. “No way!” he answered. And honestly, looking back, this journal is my treasure. And so I’ll continue…

This morning Jace asked me when we get to go on the Pioneer Trek again. That experience touched my little family. I’m so glad we were given the opportunity. Sometimes when my kids are feeling hesitant about certain things in life I remind them that they are capable of hard things …you pulled that handcart for all those miles, remember. You can do anything!

On a snowy day last January I typed this out and published it on my blog:

Speaking of New Years and resolutions, do you pick a word for the year? I never have before. In fact, I had absolutely no intention of doing so this year either. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind. But then I was sitting next to Judge Smith at church on Sunday. He is such a kind and spirited man. Anyway, when the closing song started playing Judge Smith started whistling the tune, without control or reserve, in true Judge Smith manner. Carry on, carry on, carry on. And then it hit me. I would chose a word for 2014, and that would be it. Carry on. I’m not entirely sure what 2014 will bring our family. Maybe change. Maybe more of the same. Maybe it will be speckled with trials or a smooth sailing sort of a year? Maybe it will be one for the books. Or maybe one, come December 31st, I want to wrap up and store away in a locked chest to not have to worry about any more. But whatever it brings I intend to do that: carry on, carry on, carry on.

I feel like we are in a bit of a transformation right now: Spence got a new job. Change (good or bad) is hard. And with his new job grown-up decisions seem like they need to be made, and honestly I’m not sure how to make them.  Kindergarten has been hard! My sister has had some medical issues and I’ve been heart sick and worrisome for her.

But there is good too! Whenever I’m feeling a bit drab – in one of those funks – I turn on some Pandora and watch the picture slideshow that is a constant on our TV. It lifts my spirits. My life is good, my children adorable, my husband hilarious. Pictures have a way of reminding me of all that is good. And there is a lot that is so dang good. In my life, and in yours. Find the good! I’ll be looking for it too.

And when life feels no good …. CARRY ON!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

This is Halloween, This is Halloween

Happy Halloween!

This year Brynlee dressed up as Sally Skellington from The Nightmare before Christmas. And Jace and Spence were Lego Batman and Lego Hulk. And honestly, I ran out of time (our world has been busy, busy lately) so Marlee went with costume Plan B and she wore a dinosaur costume out of the bottom of the Halloween tote and I wore some Disneyland Minnie Mouse ears and declared it Halloween success. Three completed costumes out of five ain’t bad, right? Right.

Hope your Halloween was chocolate covered. I can’t believe it’s November! Sheesh.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mom Texts

I was just going through pictures from the summer when I came upon this little gem.

Out of everyone in the whole entire world that sends me text messages, my mom’s text messages mean the most to mean.

…because text messages like this take talent!

Also, I can post this one on the blog because it’s family friendly. It doesn’t even contain one unintentional swear word or accidental derogatory comment. Not that any of her other text messages do. Right mom? Ha!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

love note

I made Peach Crisp for dessert tonight. We ate it on the deck to end our day. Marlee ate sans pants and underwear. …because she’s the boss. And I served myself an extra scoop of Costco vanilla ice-cream. Because I was aching for a pick-me-up like something fierce.

It was a puffy eyed day today. Puffy and stinging. I tried hard to bite my lip, to roll with the punches, to save my mascara. But yet, the tears rolled. The dam broke. The sting gave way. And it felt unfixable until every last tear had trickled down my face and dripped from my chin. 

I told Spencer that kids certainly don’t have a clue how much their parents worry about them.  And he agreed, they don’t.

When you’re a kid you kind of just do your thing. And you expect that your parents kind of just do their thing too.

But truth be told, when you’re the parent, your thing is their thing! 

Brynlee, Jace and Marlee-

Mom and dad love you. We love you more than you can fully comprehend at your young age. We love you more than we can put into words or into actions. But, someday, when you’re all grown up, you too will have little people that you are responsible for. And you will love them. And pray for them. And marvel at their every move. You will protect them. And care for them. And occasionally brag about them. And sometimes, you will cry for them. And when that time comes you will think “never before in the history of ever has a parent loved their children as much as I love mine!” And you will be wrong. Because dad and I, we love you that much! 

And we always will.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

I’m Bloggin’

Spence is at a golf tournament today. He woke up stiff and sore from his workout yesterday and was having a hard time moving his right arm. Unfortunate timing because as it turns out you sort of need your right arm for golfing tournaments. He stretched and moaned and then with sarcasm so thick I could taste it he alleged, “It’s really too bad, because I think we had a dang good chance of winning the whole thing this year."

And then I died.

Because, hilarious.

His team is made up of himself and three coworker: Engineer C, Engineer R, and Engineer P.  Engineer P, aka Patrick, golfs occasionally. And without knowing a single thing about his golf game, based on that fact alone, I would consider him the MVP of the team. Spencer is too sore to get any range of motion in his right arm. And he’s not really a golfer to begin with (no offense honey), but I do think you have to go golfing more than biennially to be considered a golfer. Engineer C is a Brazilian, which has absolutely nothing to do with his golf game. But I was telling you that fact as to say that I would tell you his real name, but truly I haven’t a clue how to spell it. But in reference to his golfing ability, his entire golf experience consists of one measly trip to the driving range. And Engineer R, a Pakistanian, who’s name I am also unable to spell, asked Spence if golf was the game that you used those stick things to hit the little ball with. “Uh huh,” Spence answered.  Well, can I borrow your sticks because I don’t have any sticks of my own? “Clubs,” Spence corrected him, “let’s call them clubs.”

They certainly aren’t going to be bringing home any golfing trophies, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they are going to have the most fun.

Anyway, I have upward of five bazillion things that I want to tell you. Let’s start with 8 (that seems manageable), and I will save the remaining four bazillion and some really, really big number that adds up to a total of five bazillion minus 8 for another day:

One|| School started. No duh, right. It’s already been three weeks since day one! (pssst…. I’m a bit behind on the whole journaling thing) But, my boys a kindergartner! And so far he’s rockin’ it. I get to volunteer in his little Kindergarten class every Tuesday. Last Tuesday was my first day and I got such a kick out of watching him in this new environment. He’s a natural. Our wish came true and he got to be in the same Kindergarten class as his little BFF, which was extremely comforting for his mama. And although I got a bit of nostalgia/anxiety the day or two before school it dispersed when I saw him get off the school bus on day one, hand in hand with Brynlee, with a smile so big it shined. He’s going to be just fine!

And Brynlee in in the 3rd grade. Which seems so grown up and big and stuff. She was extremely nervous about her third grade teacher. She’s known as being the “mean” teacher around school.  But alls well, and as it turns out she sort of loves her. Thus far she has had nothing but good to report. In fact she came home from school the other day and told me that her teacher reminds her so much of me! Which I refused to look into the deeper meaning of (the whole mean teacher thing) and quickly accepted it as a well-intended compliment.

Anyway, the requisite first day of school pictures. 2014 edition:

Two|| Also another school update, Marlee is just fine holding down the fort while Brynlee and Jace are at school. I worried about it actually. Thought she would be lonely, or something. Not true. She loves that no one is around to stand guard and take charge of the things that have been deemed off-limits for her chubby toddler hands. And she especially loves all the one-on-one mom time and extra undivided attention. She’s such a diva!

I kid. But only a little.

Three|| We took a family hike up City Creek a couple Sunday’s ago. It was beautiful. And rejuvenating. And enjoyable. And every other adjective that you would use to describe a Sunday family hike in the beautiful mountains where everybody was getting along and having a good time. But then, when we still had at least a mile to hike before we reached our final ending point, Marlee had an accident. And then the hike got really long. And wet. And uncomfortable. And the opposite of rejuvenating. And also every other adjective that you would use to describe carrying a wet toddler on your hip as you hike down the mountainside.

Parenting is humbling. And also gross.

Four|| Spence and I gifted each other gym memberships for our anniversary. Because nothing says love (and old) (and practical) like a gym membership for your 11th anniversary gift. Although it is leaps and bounds better than steel, which apparently is the traditional wedding gift due at year 11. Weird.

Anyway, with the gym membership came the real gift: time! Which means that Spence has been coming home on his lunch break to watch the kids so I actually get a chance to use the gym membership that was gifted me. It is such a nice break. And not to brag, but I’m actually rockin’ the whole back to the gym thing. Handling it like a champ. In fact, I’m hoping by next week I’ll be able to walk up the stairs like a normal human again. Fingers crossed.

Five|| Last Saturday we day tripped to Logan to watch The Wizard of Oz play. My niece Bryn was our highlight, playing the part of a winged monkey. The production was fantastic. We had such a good time, and I’m secretly crossing my fingers that she keeps up with the drama thing. Watching productions and plays are on the top half of my favorite things list and it’s even more fun when you are watching someone you love out on the stage preforming.

We also got to catch a bit of Gavin’s soccer game before the play. In case you’re wondering, five year olds playing soccer has absolutely no resemblance to 14 year olds playing soccer. It was like watching a real live soccer game.

Six|| Speaking of soccer … it’s that time of year again. Brynlee opted not to play this season, choosing to stick with gymnastics instead. But Jace is playing. He scored 4 goals his first game! Which makes me smile proudly. But it also makes me remember the first season he played soccer, he had barely turned four. Spence and I would cheer and high five and congratulate him obsessively if just by chance there was one time during the game that the ball would come in contact with his foot. It was a rare occurrence, but we found reason to cheer anyway. “Good running, Jace”. “Way to listen to your coach, Jace.” “Good job getting close to the ball, Jace.” “Oh yay! There’s treats, Jace.” We were certain that come the end of the season he would elect to pass up on soccer the next season. It just didn’t seem his thing. Not aggressive seemed to be an understatement. As in he touched the ball maybe five times all season long (possibly by accident), and he was absolutely okay with that. But the next season he surprised us asking to play again. So of course we agreed. And then again the next season. And here we are two years later, still playing soccer. And (bragging mom alert) he has turned into quite the little soccer player.

Sometime during his first little soccer season I was visiting with another mom on the sidelines. Jace ran around pretending to play soccer, but still managing to not come anywhere within 3 feet of the actual soccer ball. “This isn’t about soccer for me,” I told her. “It’s the social aspect, doing something without me. It’s about the experience, and about learning different skills. “Oh,” she answered back, “well, for me it’s about the soccer!”

I love to tell that story. Mainly because (my opinion) some parents take sports way to seriously. But also because, they were four. FOUR!

And then a couple days ago I happened upon this blog post, and I was all like word! Because it’s not about the soccer! And it’s not about the gymnastics. Or dance. Or swimming. Or whatever the extracurricular activity is at the time. It’s about the deeper, truer lessons. And really those deeper, truer lessons makes all the enrollment fees and after school mama taxi services worth it for me. The watching Jace score a goal or catch the baseball or Brynlee do a back handsprings or swim the length of the pool is just a little something extra.

Seven|| On Monday night we watched Marie play her 7th grade volleyball game (when did my baby sister get so big!?). The whole experience made me giddy with memories – middle school volleyball games make up large portion of my middle school memories. Katie made a comment that the real reason that you play sports in middle school is for the bus rides before and after the games. Amen. Also, how did my baby sister get so big!

Eight|| Jace had a birthday! Six years old, people. Which deserves a blog post all of his own, so I’ll write more later.

Which works out well because it’s about time for Spence to get home from his golf tournament and I've got to get up off the couch and act like the kids and I've been busy doing productive things while he’s been gone. I hope we still have time to hide the evidence, you know … change out of our pj’s and brush our teeth. And maybe, if lucks on my side, I’ll have time to clean up the breakfast plates off the table.

Happy Saturday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Photo Album: SLC + Temple Square

For Family Home Evening last night we picked up pizza and picnicked at the park. Afterwards Spence gave us a little lesson on work: learning to work hard and learning to love to work. I so appreciated his thoughts. If there is one thing in this world that my parents taught me - it was to be a hard worker. And Spence’s parents too. I hope that Spencer and I are able to etch that same dedication of work into our children.

Today we are heading to Idaho Falls for back to school shopping. (Jessica moved back to Idaho!) (That makes me so happy.) Anyway, we will be slumber partying at Jessica’s house and doing school shopping in shifts. Brynlee is so excited! She so loves and looks forward to our little yearly back to school shopping date. Jace, on the other hand, could care less! But nonetheless he will go. And try on pants, and shoes, and pick out shirts at my request. Without two words of complaint. Because, that’s just who he is. Bless his little pleasing heart. We went and picked up new school shoes yesterday afternoon. He walked straight into the shoe store, grabbed the first pair of shoes that looked similar in size to his foot and declared them his new school shoes. He didn’t even want to look at any other options. Unlike Brynlee, who tried on every pair and then decided that there weren’t shoes in the whole entire store that fit her feet and style properly. Typical girl vs. boy shopping trip I suppose.

Eight more days ‘till school starts. Summer is gasping its last breath. And with school registration, back to school night and things like PTA meetings and soccer practice on our schedule I can already feel real life resurfacing. Plus, the weather as of late has made me long for fall. Fall is the perfect going away party for summer. Don’t you agree?

Anyway, more blog catch-up. This time it’s a photo dump of our little Salt Lake get-a-way at the end of July:

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