Monday, February 25, 2013

Dapper little men

Maddox wanted a fancy picnic.  Maddox also wants to make craft projects out of the Costco sample cups.  He wants to save the die cut stars from the Scout Blue and Gold Banquet to make a bedside mural.  He wants to make hats out of the paper snack bowls in primary.  He wants to make masks out of the Zoo Pal paper plates.  He wants to make boats out of Easy Mac cups.  He wants to make a project out of all the kid's Valentine cards. He wants to make flags out of take-out straws. He hangs toilet paper on the fridge for Valentine decorations because it has a heart print on it. He makes scarecrows out of hotdogs and corn holders. He has to make a miniature version of anything we're baking. He wants to make a birthday party hat atleast bi-weekly. He wants to make a snake out of a paper towel roll and be a traveling snake charmer that plays the maracas.  His life is one big craft project.  And I love seeing his little mind at work.  So when Maddox wanted a fancy picnic, a fancy picnic he got.  I dozed in the sun on the patio chair while he got everything set up.  Double neckwear? Check. Silverware? Check. Napkins folded in triangles? Check. Sandwiches cut into perfect little squares? Check. Ryder was a somewhat willing participant.  He mostly liked just sticking the knife through the slots on the picnic table.  But he did look rather charming in his bowtie/necktie combo too.  I'm really going to miss this stage.  I hope I never forget his example of finding joy in the simple and beauty in the mundane. The world is his canvas and he Picasso.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Valentine's tradition

I love this thing we have going on.  Making Valentine's day all about the kids then sneaking away for a weekend with my sweetheart.  This is the fourth year we've done it and our second year doing it in Utah.  I love sharing one of Jason's favorite hobbies.  He can board circles around and above me, but I love how he hangs with me and I especially like when he shows off.  He's kinda hot. 

We're usually Marriott loyalists so I knew he really loved me when he was willing to forego a free night on points in the name of romance.  He surprised me with a night at the cutest bed and breakfast nestled in the snowy mountains of Midway that we stayed in on our first anniversary (or second--we can't remember, we've been married too long). 

We checked in, showered then headed out for a wild night to...Cafe Rio and Shopko.  He had picked out a great restraunt but there was a 2hr wait so Cafe Rio was the obvious runner up.  Jam packed with the shiny happy people of happy valley brought back so many memories.  We promised the kids we'd bring back treats and the lure of Shopko's flourescent lights were too much to resist.  I think our entire first apartment was furnished by Shopko and hand-me downs.  They still carry the same bookshelf that we bought 14 years ago.  Nostalgic.

We went back and watched Netflix cozied up by the fire, it was so romantic.  And the most romantic part was sleeping in. The breakfast was so delicious, I ate until I was about to pop a button and I still wished I would have snuck an extra slice of french toast in my purse.  Then being the sweet husband he is, he let me spend the entire day shopping at the Park City outlets until I didn't want to see another rack of clothes for atleast a week. I didn't even know that was possible.

Dinner at The Roof was the icing on our cake of romance.  I loved the ambiance and the gorgeous view, the food wasn't anything to write home about, but my dinner date definately was.  He treats me so good.  I loved having him all to myself this weekend, we had some great conversations about some exciting changes this year, laughed at so many inside jokes and soaked up those quiet moments.  It was so refreshing and so perfect, and that's not even me trying to sugar coat it for the blog.  It really was the perfect weekend.  I'm a lucky girl to be loved by this boy.

The Herrera's were so nice to inherit our kids for the weekend.  When we came to pick them up Maddox ran and jumped in my arms and held me so tight.  Before I knew it, he was sobbing and telling me that he just loved me so much.  That boy...words can't even describe our bond.  It was nice having the kids home for President's day the next day. After cracking the whip and doing chores all morning we enjoyed the perfect weather with popsicles at the park.  I did miss the kids, but I think I could have stayed a few days longer :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day

Another Valentine's day come and gone. I love this holiday and I love the little traditions we have.  The kids get so excited about the heart attacked doors, strawberry crepes, heart shaped bacon, pink hot chocolate, little gifts on their plates, red themed lunches and the candlelight fondue dinner. I always wonder which traditions they'll pass on to their own kids.  The holidays can sometimes seem overwhelming and I go to bed exhausted and vowing to simplify, but this year was just right.  The kids felt special and loved and I found time to soak it all in.

Ryder is always stealing Jayden's nerf guns so they were both so excited that he got his own.  He calls it his "bew, bew" and I really shouldn't think that it's cute that he goes around "bew-bewing" everything, but I do.

That Maddox takes "mama's boy" to a whole other level.  He is fiercely loyal to me and I love it. It's also no secret that he loves craft projects, he dreams about them (last night was making a train out of strawberries for birds) and prays that we can find good craft projects.  He insisted that I needed a present on my plate then went to work all morning eating the chocolates out of this box, replacing it with conversation hearts, re-wrapping it ever so carefully with satin ribbon and an entire roll of tape then drew me a card and had me dictate it.  I loved it so much, it made my heart ache.

The day before we made homemade fortune cookies for activity days and filled them with scriptures about love for the "fortunes".  I think the girls had fun, but I was too busy keeping Ryder off the counter, making sure the cookies didn't burn, stopping Jayden from squirting the girls with water guns and rushing to get out the door for the blue and gold banquet right afterwards.  It was chaotic, but it made for a fun Valentine's day family scripture time the next day. 

Maddox made it clear that he needed a Valentine's day lunch too and it was the perfect day for a picnic outside.

So I'm still in the market for the perfect cheese fondue recipe, the last two years have been duds.  But the atmosphere is fun (although I was in hurry to get the kids to bed early because we had an early morning the next day, so we weren't exactly relying on the candlelight) and Jayden would take snack foods over real food any day (he takes after me).  We were sad Jason didn't make it home in time, it's the peak of his busy season, but the next day was all about me and my sweetheart....

Busy is good

We've had a busy week, but busy is good.  It always stresses me out when I look at the calendar and know I have a busy week ahead, but the satisfaction is so much greater when I can look back at all I've accomplished at the end of the week instead of looking back and realizing the only thing I accomplished was checking instagram twenty three times a day.  Our good friends, the Herrera's went out of town and we inherited 5 of their kids for most of the week.  It was chaotic at times being the mother of 9, but the kids were all so good and had so much fun together.  The little ones went home for the weekend with Grandma but we kept the older two and invited a couple other friends over for their first ever "real" sleepover. We don't do sleepovers and they definately made up for lost time. We watched a movie on the projector then I went to bed and they stayed up until the wee hours of morning doing who knows what.  I'm glad they got to experience it and get it out of their system, but after seeing the house in the morning I was glad that it's not a regular occurance.  Jason also happened to be out of town snowboarding that weekend and the babysitter fell through so I had to drag the little guys to Jayden's basketball game and Kylie's first dance competition. I'm actually glad it turned out that way because I loved seeing Kylie cheer Jayden on and I more than loved how absorbed the boys were in Kylie's competition.  They sat, I kid you not, for over an hour straight totally entertained by all the dancers.  Even Ryder, who is infamous for running laps around the gym during sacrament meeting, sat in a trance.  Jayden even critiqued the dances, giving them a score between 1-10 and picking his favorite.  Of course Kylie's dance was our favorite and their team won high gold, first in their division and 3rd overall.  So proud of them!  We celebrated with chick-fil-a for dinner and all went to bed exhausted, but oh so happy. We'll let instagram tell the rest of the story.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Running Man

{That title gave me vividly horrifying flashbacks of church dances. Eeek.} So I used to be a hardcore runner, and still enjoy getting a few miles under my belt, so of course I was excited when I learned that Kylie could join the running club when she was in kindergarten.  I went to that first parent meeting and signed up on the spot for every possible volunteer photographer, POD leader, dot checker and anything else I could scribble my name on.  This was also back when I jumped at the chance to be room mom and volunteered any extra time I could to helping out in the classroom and even shelving books in the library.  I also ate lunch with her every single friday.  I used to be such a good mom. Now I duck my head every time they pass around sign up sheets at the Meet the Teacher nights.  I've gotten wiser in my old age. back to her kindergarten story, I was so excited for it to start, and then on the first day of practice there was a mix up with carpool and she got left at the school.  I found her sobbing, traumatized and vowing never to return to running club.  I don't know who was more upset, me for seeing my vicarious dreams coming to a screeching halt, or the club for losing their #1 volunteer.  Finally this year Jayden decided he wanted to give it a try and we convinced Kylie to do it too (a new pair of running shoes was just enough to repress her past memories).  The practices are before school and we quickly learned that getting out of bed on a freezing cold dark morning to go running is not really all that fun afterall.  I made them stick with it until the first race, because we aren't quitters (some of the time).  The day of the first race came and it got rained out so the agony was prolonged a few more weeks until it finally got rescheduled.  And then Kylie was sick, but I don't think she really cared that she had to miss it.  Her heart was never really in it. And she already got her new shoes.  I gave Jayden, sweet little competitive Jayden, the strategy talk where you have to pace yourself, but straight off the starting line it was like the charging of the bulls. And then he died and walked the rest of the way until he came into our line of vision then sprinted as if he had been running that fast the entire time. He declared that it was the longest 15 minutes of his life, but he did great and I was proud of him.  I may not have any of the kids following in my Nike footprints, but atleast I'm off the hook from volunteer of the year award.

Of course he wouldn't smile for any pictures

 So instead he gets a picture of his hiney. That'll teach him.

See that look? That's the "I'm going to kick your trash and you're not going to know what hit you" look.

sure enough, he leaves that poor kid in the dust with that goofy smile still on his face.

Celebrating mediocrity one participant ribbon at a time.