November 4, 2016

Snapshots of the summer

I've been trying to post this for over a month.  Tonight a line from The Lion King came into my head, "It is time!" (Thanks to Aspen, I seriously have that entire movie memorized word for word)

Summer was frustrating, spontaneous, hot, stressful, lazy, and fun all rolled into one.  Nick still rotates day and night shift.  In 2016 he worked night shift from January until the beginning of September.  Having him sleep during the day while my kids and neighbor kids ran in and out of the house was soooo much fun!
Uggghhhhhhh. (Insert thumbs down emoji's)

Anyway. Onto the highlights of the summer...

Toby wanted to earn money over the summer so he swept sidewalks, sold toys and lemonade.  It was super cute.

Love that Nick chin.

I had some fun nights with good friends.  This one was a favorite: I went with my good friend, Colleen, to Alison's Hip Hop Hooray party.  Everyone dressed in 90's clothes while dancing the night away to Spice Girls, Vanilla Ice and many other gems from that awesome decade.

Zack and I loved taking walks when it wasn't blazing hot.  He is just precious. And pasty-white--like his mama.

Casting a spell on the sprinkler... :)

We liked this hike to Battle Creek Falls.  Family friendly and pretty. I think the kids liked seeing a rattlesnake more than the waterfalls.

I also did the Black Light Run with my old pal, Ashley.  We had a blast!

Nick and I celebrated out 11th wedding anniversary (June 3) by going to one of our favorite places: Bombay House.  Sooooooo good.

Nick, Toby, Aspen and Nick's parents went to the Oregon coast for about 8 days the last week in July.  I am not an adventurous mom. Zack doesn't do well with car rides -- he struggles with the drive to North Ogden when we visit my parents -- so the thought of driving 6-7 hours a day with him didn't sound appealing.  Plus, he really sleeps best in his own bed. Nick and I both agreed that it would be better for everyone if I stayed home with Zack and have Nick take the two olders on the trip. It worked out great.  Nick said they had a nice, relaxing time with his parents and I had a lovely break at home with Zack-attack.  It really was good down time everyone.

Oh! And we have chicken again! 8 to be exact (there are 9 in this pic--one died a few weeks ago. Twas very sad). They just started laying eggs this past month. The kids love playing with them out in the yard and collecting their eggs every day.  I love that I always have fresh eggs on hand. And Nick just loves having chickens again. :)

This isn't really related to my summer post, but I just wanted throw out there that I have lost about 25 lbs since the beginning of the year.  It's been a slow and steady process.  I never set out to lose a certain amount of weight.  I just wanted to have a healthier lifestyle. So I started working out consistently: running, yoga, Zumba., etc. Then I cut back on my sugar intake (I don't believe in cutting out anything completely ...moderation in all things, people) and tried to eat healthier options for meals.  It has been amazing to see my body become stronger.  Yes, it's nice that I'm able to fit into some clothes I haven't dared touch in years, but I've liked the emotional and mental benefits so much more. I feel happier. I feel more alert. I feel more sensitive to spiritual things. I'm very much at peace with myself and it feels good.

So that's it.  No before and after pics.  Just me saying that I'm kind of proud of all my hard work.

Hopefully I will post about all our fun fall activities before Christmas... ;)

August 13, 2016

Aspen's 5th birthday

Aspen turned 5 on April 18th! I was brave this year and decided to throw her a friends party.  Her favorite Disney Princess is Ariel so of course nothing would do but The Little Mermaid décor and cupcakes.  :) I should add that nothing was homemade.  I really don't understand how people have time for that stuff! I was running on fumes just trying to get all my store-bought stuff to look good and ready for the party.  I think I looked on Pinterest for about 30 seconds before feeling completely overwhelmed at all the homemade Little Mermaid party décor and food. Hey, if that's your thing, you're amazing.  I just don't have the energy or desire to be crafty.  

I wasn't prepared for all the raw emotions that come when 9 little girls congregate.  Tears were shed over who was first in line, over food choices and when things got a little too fun. ;)

Between the mermaid games and bounce house craziness, I think fun was had by all.  Even the cute boys who came didn't seem to mind the princess mania and strong emotions. :)

Aspen is such a kind and sensitive girl. I haven't seen any sassy or bratty behavior from her at all, although she can definitely stand up for herself when her older brother is terrorizing her. Aspen loves animals, dinosaurs, princesses, sushi, My Little Pony and pretend play. That song in Alice in Wonderland called "In a world of my own" describes Aspen perfectly.  She will play for hours imagining all kinds of adventures. I'm so grateful to have a daughter. The past 5 years with her have blown by and I look forward to creating many more wonderful memories with my sweet Aspen May.

August 8, 2016

Toby's baptism

I have a lot of catching up to do! In my defense, my last computer was slowly dying and wouldn't let me upload pictures. Thus, I couldn't update my blog.  We got a new computer and now I'm attempting to document the past 5 months. *gulp*

On April 9, 2016 our little Tobester decided to get baptized and become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It's a big deal in our faith for a few reasons. As said, we officially become a member of our church and we make a special promise to do certain things, like remember Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and take upon ourselves the name of Christ--or do his work. We also receive the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. We belive he is the 3rd member of the Godhead, who guides us, comforts us, warns us of danger and is a witness of truth -- as long as we live worthy of his companionship. 

As parents, Nick and I were thrilled that decision came from Toby.  He is our most headstrong, independent child who isn't a fan of going to church for 3 hours each Sunday (let's be honest, it's hard for us adults too sometimes). When he told us he felt 'very happy' on his baptism day and that he was glad he got baptized, I beamed with pride. 

A few pics of the special day.

 Some cute friends of Toby.

Our awesome, supportive fam.  Toby is blessed with some wonderful grandparents.

Next post: Aspen's birthday!

March 27, 2016

8 is great!

The Tobster turned 8 on March 8th! We had a combined friends/family Star Wars themed party on the Saturday before his birthday (his birthday was on a Tuesday). Thanks to Toby's collections of Star Wars stuff, I didn't have to purchase very many decorations. 

I thought the light sabers in the window were a nice touch. :)

On his actual birthday, he and I went to see Zootopia together. It was a fun mommy and son date.

I can't even express how much I love this boy. He has stretched me so much as a parent and as a person. He's my intense boy with lots of intense emotions.  He's always felt everything so deeply -- whether it be rage, sadness, happiness, love. And he's always been my boy on the go who will try anything that involves movement and competition.  He's still my pickiest eater and an expert with rebuttals (which worries me a little) but he is also very sensitive and kind and always worried about how others are feeling.  He still loves to give me hugs all the time and I am truly enjoying quoting movies together and sharing inside jokes now.  8 really is great.

I love you, T-man, and I absolutely love being your mom.

Happy 8th birthday!

March 3, 2016

Zack's birthday post

I'm trying to catch up on all my posts.
Zack turned one on December 5! (He is now almost 15 months old)
I could say so much about this cute boy of mine.  He is so easy going, so cuddly, so happy.  Although it took him a good year to get the sleeping thing down, he is now a pretty darn good sleeper. 

 Since it has been 3 months, I don't remember a whole lot about his birthday. We had family over, we ate lots of sugary things and he opened a few gifts.
Oh and we had these cute sesame street cupcakes made. Zack does love him some Elmo.


The best part of any 1-yr-old birthday party is, of course, the exploring and destroying of the birthday cake.

Yes, my child. Sugar is amazing.

I feel bad admitting this, but I've been more emotional about Zack hitting his milestones than any other baby.  The past year has flown by. He finished breastfeeding a little over a month ago.  It was bittersweet to be officially done.  I'll miss that mother-baby bond. (And I gotta pat myself on the back for breastfeeding all 3 of my babies until they were just over a year -- that is no small accomplishment!) Anyway, I sure love my little Zack man. Even though he is now in that busy, explorative toddler phase, he is so much fun.  He laughs so easily and charms anyone he meets with his sweet smiles.  We can't imagine life without our Zack Attack!

February 24, 2016

Disneyland for 5, please

Oh my goodness. Why do I have a blog? I'm TERRIBLE at updating it. 
Oh well... better late than never?
So the first week in November we took our first family trip to Disneyland! It sounds so cheesy, but it really was a magical trip. I had a lot of anxiety about it, mostly about how the Z-man would do on the long drive and then being dragged around a theme park for 12 hours a day and missing naps and being out of his routine...but he did AMAZING. In fact, sometimes he was the easiest out of the bunch.  He is so chill and just goes with the flow.  I'm so lucky (but then again, I've earned an easy baby, right?!)
(Oh, and a side note about the drive down in case any of you decide to bring an almost 1-yr-old on a long trip: bring lots of new snacks and new toys that you can distract them with. Also, record favorite shows like Baby Einstein on your phone (so you don't have use your data) and then if you're ever stuck in traffic for, I don't know, like an hour and a half -- it may just buy you some time and save your sanity).

Aspen was in heaven with all the princesses.  She was a little star-struck too, which was really cute.

Toby, of course, stalked the storm troopers. He's a Star Wars nut.

Don't you love Aspen and Toby's faces? Classic.
And somehow I forgot to mention that Nick's parents joined us on the trip! Not only did we love their company but they were a HUGE help with the kids. We were so glad they came with us!

We spent two days at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure. It ended up being the perfect amount of time. Plus, the crowds were manageable and the weather was in the low 70's. I really think November is the best time to go!

Aspen still talks about The Little Mermaid ride as Ariel is her favorite princess (we went on it 3 or 4 times I think).  I kind of love that her favorite princess is one from my time instead of Elsa. She likes Frozen, but Ariel is her idol. And I have to admit, I love belting out "Part of Your World" when she asks me to sing it before bedtime.

 On our last day at Disney we were able to meet up with Nick's cousin and his wife and family. Bill and Tara were so much fun to chat with and their kids are about the same age as Toby and Aspen.  It was fun to see them play together like they were old friends.

Aspen's last princess sighting.

The kid's loved eating at Goofy's Kitchen. The food was pretty darn good, too.

Everyone kept telling us that we had to see the parade on our last day.  Even though we were all wiped out, we decided to stay to see what all the fuss was about. Zack slept through some of it (which was pretty incredible since it was SO LOUD) but the other two managed to stay awake.  It was quite impressive and did not disappoint. 

I didn't mention that Nick and I went to Disneyland almost two years after we got married. I remember telling Nick I couldn't wait to bring our kids there someday. Yes, back then it was much easier to navigate the park. We didn't stress about diaper changes, tantrums and numerous potty breaks. But going with our kids and seeing everything through their eyes was absolutely priceless. We definitely look forward to going back again someday.
March 2007                            November 2015