Sunday, September 25, 2016

The evolution of canning

I have been canning food for years. I have been canning food with a baby strapped to my chest for years. I have been canning food with a baby strapped to my chest, toddlers and toys under foot and the house in utter chaos for years. I have really been looking forward to finally being able to can some fruit in a quiet house, getting lost in my own thoughts and enjoying the therapeutic monotony. The only problem is that the peaches were beyond ripe on Saturday and couldn't wait a few more days. So there I was once again pulling out the glass jars and preparing for a long day of canning with kids. But this time was different. This time instead of getting in the way, these boys were the biggest help. And I don't mean biggest help as in, "biggest help". They really helped speed it up and I loved hanging out with them in the kitchen. Maddox was on blanching and peeling duty, Ryder was on slicing duty (after some serious safety talks) and I was just there to manage it all.  They seriously thought it was the best way ever to spend a day.  And so did I. Maddox wore nothing but a sulu and apron, while Ryder exclaimed, "everybody wishes they had a kid like us". This is the level of awesome I'm dealing with here. These boys are just too much.

Labor Day

BYU had their season opening game at the Cardinals stadium, so naturally we had to make a party out of it. Some of my family decided to come down, which means food prep for a small army because food is my love language and I love to feed them good. We were sad when my sister-in-law got a kidney stone and they weren't able to come down and then work got in the way for my other brother and his wife, they were greatly missed. But we had a great time with those who were able to come. And we had lots of extra food.

We spent a day at the lake, no surprise. With so many people we set up camp on the beach then took turns on the boat. As much as I love cruising around on the boat, I loved even more just sitting in the shade having small talk and deep meaningful conversations with family.

The big game came and it was a good one with the best nail-biting-final-four-second-winning-field-goal. As Sam and I were heading to bed we decided to check the score and we spent the next ten minutes each laying in our own beds refreshing the score, checking twitter updates and texting back and forth. We were holding our breaths, hoping to have some happy boys coming home. The big win was the perfect cherry on top to such a great weekend.

While the boys were at the game us girls had our own fun. We put Jungle Book on the projector and loaded the kids up with candy while we took a golf cart ride to ogle at the multi-million dollar mansions, sneak into construction homes and almost pee our pants when we thought we were caught, and find $20 on the ground to buy drinks at Chevron. We rounded the night out with a game (or 2, or 3, or 4...) of Play 9, it was an epic night. Of course it always is when our family gets together.

Sunday morning we had a big brunch before church and a big BBQ that night. I think the brownie parfait was a hit with Claire. Nice photobomb, Kylie.

We had another big brunch on Monday morning, there is never a shortage of food at our house, before saying our goodbyes. Maddox was especially going to miss his buddy, Zuno.

And Ryder was especially going to miss his buddy, Trevor. It's always a great time when family is in town!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lake days

I could easily fill an entire blog book with just pictures of the lake, but so many of our family memories during this chapter of our life are made here. I try not to take pictures every time we go, but some trips I just can't help myself. I loved this trip because it's the first time in forever that we were able to go with just our family. Highlighted by grilling burgers under the canopy of trees while a rain shower passed over, and a spotify dance party on the boat well after the sun had gone down. I love this picture of them cheering Maddox on...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Little things

Playing catch up since July...we had a date night at the lake, so fun to mix up the usual dinner date nights and spend time with some great friends doing what we love. 

Of course there's still plenty of the usual date nights in between. This is what I call the Mormon tri-fecta date night: temple, Cafe Rio, Walmart. It's so nice having Jayden old enough to baby-sit too, especially since Kylie usually has plans with friends every weekend.

I thought it would be a great idea to take the family to dinner and school shoe shopping. It was a good idea up until about 5 minutes into the 2nd store.

One thing I wasn't prepared for with having the kids all in school is how hard it is adjusting to the extreme contrast of having the house perfectly quiet and perfectly clean all day, to having it turned upside down 5 minutes after they tear through the door. Backpacks, shoes and papers thrown everywhere. And weekends filled with forts made out of every chair, blanket and pillow in the house. I love seeing the kids play together, but my OCD side needs to take a little chill pill.

I do love seeing scenes like this on a Saturday morning, though.

I also love seeing a good monsoon rolling in

And a good sunset capping off the night. There's lots to love.

Finally sorting through all the water damaged photo albums. It's been fun taking a trip down memory lane, and I'm glad to see there's still quite a few photos that can be salvaged. We were just babies back then, where has the time gone?!

Ryder is loving kindergarten. He has really caught on academically, thrived socially and melts the hearts of anyone who meets him. I have loved helping out in his classroom on a regular basis, this boy is too cute for his own good. They had a gingerbread scavenger hunt around the school at the beginning of the year.

I love eating lunch with the boys, although Jayden is too cool to have his mom eat lunch with him, but I understand. I'll make the most of the time with Maddox and Ryder until they're too cool for me too.

Ryder immediately connected with a boy in his class and always talked about his best friend Tucker. We finally made the connection that they used to be in our ward years ago, I love his mom but didn't realize we had these little boys the same age. Small world. I did make the mistake of standing by the swings, as soon as the other kinders saw a parent by the swings they swarmed to me like bees to a hive and I spent the rest of recess pushing kids.

I was sad that these two boys weren't in the same class, but glad they can still play together at recess. His mom snapped this picture while she was there for lunch one day.

I felt so bad the first time I went to eat lunch with Maddox and promised to bring a happy meal. I got the lunch time mixed up and instead of being 5 minutes early I barely made it for the last 5 minutes. He was sitting there at the table with no lunch just holding back tears, convinced I had forgotten. The tears poured out as soon as he saw me and my heart broke in a million pieces. The next time I was sure to be early.

I can't tell you enough how much I love my calling working with the Young Women and the other amazing leaders. We did our Daughter of God week centered around being the "Diamond in the Rough", we had some great activities that I hope were as memorable for the girls as it was for me. 

Jayden got invited to the 21 Pilots concert with a friend and had a great time. It was a pretty awesome first concert for him, I wish I could have gone with him!

We bought a new tent a few months ago (after our campout at the lake where we discovered every pole was broken), but we have been too busy to try it out, so this weekend called for a back yard campout. So grateful for dads who are willing to sweat it out in the miserable heat and hard ground for the sake of their kids while I'm in a cozy bed in an air conditioned house.

Be still my heart. Nothing makes me love him more than seeing him love our kids. I love the tie tying right of passage. Maddox is over the moon excited about wearing a "real" tie.

Jason took the boys to a company night at the Diamondbacks. Unlimited hot dogs, popcorn and soda on the patio was pretty much heaven for these boys.

The novelty of the golf cart still hasn't worn off. Saturday night Taco Bell drive-thru dinner for the win.

And stellar sunset rides never get old. So grateful for this family of mine and the day to day memories we're making,