Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Mother's Day

Motherhood is a real life version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I finally have a free minute to go outside and watch Ryder jump on the trampoline. He asks for a drink of water. I go in to get him a drink, there's no clean cups in the cupboard so I unload the dishwasher. And then load it. And then realize I'm out of dish detergent. I go add it to my shopping list but can't find a pen that works. I go through the "junk" drawer testing, throwing out and capping pens. I come across the missing receipt for a shirt I needed to return. I go upstairs to get the shirt and find a towel left on the floor in the hallway. I go in the bathroom to hang up the towel, replace the empty toilet paper roll, put the lid back on the toothpaste and wash out dried toothpaste from the sink. Turning the water on will remind me that I came in to get Ryder a drink. And now my 10 minutes of free time is over and it's time to get dinner ready. And that's the story of my life. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like this year has been a year of evolution in motherhood. Those days of tears over their brother pouring milk on their jelly sandwich because they changed the tv channel have been replaced with tears over feelings of rejection, heart aches and disappointments. The late night feedings and escorting sleepy toddlers to the potty have been replaced with sleepless nights worrying about an issue their dealing with or decisions that weigh on my mind. The physical exhaustion has been replaced with an emotional exhaustion. The worries for their well being are just as strong as ever but have shifted to include a whole new flood of worries and anxieties. But there is so much I love about this stage of life and there are still moments that remind me that they're still young and innocent. Like the other day when Pandora was playing on the tv and an album cover came on with a scantily clad girl. All three boys immediately covered their eyes and freaked out, Ryder came running to tell me, "we can almost see where her babies drink milk from!" I have never loved those boys more. So we're taking each phase of life in stride, embracing the good and learning from the challenging. But always and forever grateful for the ride. And for the quote that constantly crosses my mind, "don't let the worries of tomorrow drown out your joys of today". Because heaven knows there is so much to be joyful about. Including days like today.

Jason takes his Mother's Day job very seriously. When he asked what I wanted for breakfast I told him an Acai bowl because it is simple and fail proof.  Stick a frozen packet in the blender with a little almond milk then slice on some fruit and top with granola. Bless his heart, he came upstairs at least 5 times asking me different questions. Do I unthaw it first? How much milk? How long do I blend it? Should I add ice? What fruit should I put on it? And finally a request to come down and check the consistency in person. I seriously love that man. It was a perfectly lazy morning with games of Guess Who and snuggling on the couch looking at photo books. After church Jason made a delicious roast dinner, we enjoyed sitting around the table talking together, until Jason found a dead beetle in his Caesar salad then we all lost our appetites. Except Jason who chalked it up to extra protein and continued to like his plate clean.We ended with back rubs from all the kids and Jason showing the "It was Mom" Mormon ad clip. Which of course led to their own versions of "it was mom". Somebody farted in Walmart- it was mom. Someone had a panic attack and wanted to take her clothes off- it was mom. Thanks for the laughs, and thanks for another wonderful Mother's day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


So this happened. My baby girl went and got all grown up on me. Sometimes I look at her and am in awe that I birthed such a beautiful specimen. But she's mine and I am eternally grateful for that. A few weeks ago she convinced me to let her skip school since it was a half day and go birthday shopping together. She didn't have to beg too hard. I always love our days together. Then on her birthday she somehow convinced me to let her skip school again and I gave the motherly lecture about the importance of school, all while knowing full well I would end up giving in. Because honestly I look forward to it just as much as her. Whoever said that the teenage years are rough knew exactly what they were talking about, but they also failed to mention how fun they are too. She's one of my favorite people to be with and each year just keeps getting better and better. Her birthday wouldn't be complete without her traditional strawberry crepes. After a slow morning we headed to lunch, of course she had to create her own birthday playlist with every song that ever mentions the word "birthday" in it, we were singing along and waving our hands in the air all the way to Liberty Market where we enjoyed a delicious lunch on the shaded patio until a bird pooped on her leg. 

I don't know when the tradition started, but here she is 6 years ago on her 9th birthday. Same bed, same room, same strawberry crepes.

And then she introduced me to Dutch Bros which has the coolest staff, the best drinks and ginormous free shakes on your birthday.

We found a cool alley way that we had to stop and take some pictures in. I say that as if we just happened to stumble upon it. Really it involved stalking instagram posts, google searches and u-turns, but we eventually found it and had a fun little photo shoot, pausing ever so casually as people strolled by.

And then of course we had to do a REAL photo shoot that evening because next to the crepes it's her favorite tradition. We always have so much fun doing these and spend most of the time laughing about awkward poses and double chins. This girl is so fun. And so beautiful, I can't narrow it down to my favorite picture. But at least I narrowed it down to my favorite 11 out of 111.

Jason took her out to Joe's Farm grill for a quick dinner before dropping her off at dance while I spent all afternoon making her favorite homemade chocolate layered cake with mint chocolate chip frosting covered with chocolate ganache. Yes, I included the full description just so you can appreciate this cake and all it's time consuming glory. It's a labor of love, but she looks forward to it every year and was excited for me to bring it to the studio to share with her friends. I was a sweaty hot mess from spending hours in the kitchen but made it to the studio just in time, only to open the back door to find the cake had completely fallen apart. And I had even splurged on the fancy candles. Uggggg.  She was sweet and was grateful I tried. And then we spent the next three days nibbling on crumbs and pulling out fuzz. And that was her birthday. And now comes the list of reasons I love her, which is constantly growing. She has so many funny quirks that I love about her, like how she has a phobia of sitting on the end and will do anything to sit in the middle. Or how she eats crescent chicken rolls at 5:30am for breakfast whenever we have leftovers because they're her favorite. Or how Vampire Diaries is her life right now. Or how she thinks she can do magic spells to win at Aggravation. Or how she wants to marry this kid Jameson because his last name is Savage. Or how she never knows how to pronounce the word "doth" and it's always in the verses when it's her turn to read scriptures. Or how she has THE best most embarrassing story involving her underwear a swimming pool and her hilarious black guy friends. Or how she gets so excited for food, like when we were roasting hot dogs at my brothers house while she was at dance and I promised to bring one home for her and forgot and she legit had tears running down her cheeks because she had been dreaming about eating it the whole time she was at dance. But she doesn't like chocolate. Or chocolate chip cookies. I take pride in my chocolate chip cookies. I try not to take offense. But she will eat tomatoes like apples. She'll eat them whole or sliced up with salt, but is repulsed by them when they're diced. There are just so many "classic Kylie's" that I can't even list them all. Her and her friend actually have a whole instagram devoted to them and it's my daily entertainment.  All I know is that she makes me laugh almost every day (when she's not too busy hating me). I'm so proud of all the hard work and dedication she puts into her dance (and most of the time school work too). I am so proud of the decisions she has made in life, especially when she's put in tough situations. She's not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and isn't one to give into peer pressure. She has an amazing light about her and a strong testimony, it made me so happy when she said that seminary is her favorite class. And I don't think it's just because her and her friend sit and draw faces on goldfish crackers. You just keep doing you, Kylie, because what you've got going on is pretty amazing! Love you, happy birthday baby girl!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Little things

Brace yourself, here comes a doozy of little things. First up, we had a movie night in the park fundraiser for the youth's Moroni's Quest camp. They asked Lexi and I to be in charge of the hot dogs. Of course we went home that night and ordered weiner hats on Amazon for no other reason than to have a good excuse to own a weiner hat. 

Maddox continues to do well in scouts. Some days he loves it, some days he begs me to let him skip it. But he's learning a lot and it's a great program.

Maddox and Jayden received leadership awards at school, as if they needed another reason to make me proud.

Maddox has really taken to heart the old "early to bed early to rise" advice. By 6:30 pm he is asking to go to bed. He loves to have his quiet time alone in his room without Ryder keeping him up. He wakes up around 6 am, gets dressed, does his chores, makes himself an egg sandwich and enjoys a quiet house and having the rest of the morning to play. He also sleeps with a sleeping bag on top of his bed so that he doesn't have to make his bed in the morning. Ryder has copied him and even took it a step farther and started sleeping in his clothes, thankfully I've convinced him pajamas are more comfortable.

Wrapped up football season for Maddox

And soccer for Ryder. I can't tell you how nice it is to only have two kids going in different directions on Saturday instead of 4.

I was able to chaperone Maddox's field trip to the aquarium. Love spending time volunteering at the school, but I always walk away with a much greater appreciation for teachers. Spending the day with 27 8 year olds is exhausting! He loved having me there and I loved a little one on one time with him. Ryder just got back from a field trip to the science center (I wasn't able to chaperone since I already had a turn this year). He was a little disappointed that it wasn't blue inside. I think he was expecting to visit the science lab on "Johnny Test" . Funny boy.

They had donuts with dad for the kindergarteners.  They sang songs and it was pretty much the cutest thing ever. At least from the videos I saw.

Ryder was FINALLY star student, he has waited all year for this week. We got to bring home Auxier bear, make a poster, write a journal and come eat lunch with him. It was quite grand.

I try not to live vicariously through my kids, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I love seeing Jayden's natural running ability shine through. Occasionally he'll go running with me or Jason and without any training he can run the whole way and often times faster than us. The problem is that he doesn't love running (let's be honest, does anyone really love it?). He qualified for the elementary school track invitational in the 800 m, that's a tough race. He finished in the middle but I'm confident that with some training he could be awesome. I'm trying to convince him to try track and cross country next year, but we'll see.

Maddox is always so curious. His little mind is always working and he absorbs information like a sponge. His favorite shows to watch are Nova, Brain Games or anything on Nat Geo. They recently did a unit on butterflies so he was so amazed to find two butterflies "stuck together". I tried to explain that they were mating, but he wasn't phased. He quickly gathered oranges and flowers for nectar and gently cared for them. Love him.

Maddox has always been my biggest fan. He is such a lover and has a special place in my heart. When I heard they were having a mother & son dance I just knew he would be over the moon excited.  An excuse to dress fancy in his suit and spend the evening dancing with mom was right up his alley. Or so I thought. Imagine my heartbreak when he brought home the flyer with this scrawled on it. Excuse me while I gather the shards of my broken heart. He is not allowed to grow up.

This one made me laugh too. $259 for a 4 day lego camp, he knew better than to even ask to go because it is a "rip off". I've trained him well.

Jason has been studying hardcore for the past 5 months or so to take the Series 7 exam for his financial advisor's license. Even though he won't be doing any of that at work he's still required to take it as an employee. It has been so time consuming and a big stress these last couple of months, but the day finally came. He was so nervous that he wouldn't pass but with all his preparation I was confident that he would do well and he did! He came home on cloud 9, had a dance party with Kylie, jumped on the tramp with Ryder and made up for the lost time he had with the kids while studying. His idea of celebrating was to get a haircut and go running, but we also convinced him that we needed to go to Bahama Bucks.

Jayden had a campout in Flagstaff, love the experiences he's having with scouts. And it's always entertaining to hear the stories he comes home with, like the boy that had to walk a mile back through the cave to collect his own poop so that he wouldn't defile the Native American land. Oh man....there's a special place in heaven for scout leaders of 12 year old boys!

Church selfies I find on my phone. Clearly we are not in the running for most reverent family. I still need to tell Ryder that when he prays it's not necessary to tell Heavenly Father that "girls are beautiful, boys are awesome, dad is the king, mom is the queen, kylie is the princess, Jayden is the prince, Ryder is the knight and Maddox is either the servant or a knight" (depending on if they have been fighting or not). Because it puts a smile on my face every time when he repeats this whole line. I'm pretty confident it's putting a few smiles up in heaven as well. I also don't have it in me to correct him when he calls Jesus "cheesus", because hearing him say "baby cheesus" is just about the cutest.

Ryder was so proud of the picture he drew of me, especially that he even remembered to draw eyebrows. Then he looked up on me with a look of shock as he realized I had no eyebrows. I had just washed my face and gone were the eyebrows I pencil in. He took a deep breath and said, "well, I guess I'll just have to erase those...". Kids and their brutal honesty are my favorite.

We inherited a basketball hoop and I love that it gets the boys outside. Jayden has kind of narrowed down basketball as his sport. He has played so many different sports over the years and I love that he is well rounded. But as of now, basketball has won his loyalty.

I also love how excited Kylie gets for food, a good meal or treat can seriously make her day. It's the simple things.

I've found a fun new creative outlet. My sister in law was telling me about this app "Foap" where you can sell your photos and enter photo contests. I joined a few months ago and have had so much fun with it! I've won 2 contests so far and have sold 69 photos, enough to buy me a new camera and lens! I like being challenged with my photography and it has also been fun going through old photos to submit to contests as well. Recently Five Star reached out to me and wanted to send me some of their products to photograph for an upcoming contest. They sent me about $75 worth of products, it was pretty cool. I joked with Kylie that I'm sponsored now. I convinced her to ask a couple of friends to take the pictures with me, it involved eye rolls and bribes but they were good sports and they ended up turning out great (love my new camera!). She has such cute friends, it was a fun afternoon that ended with milkshakes and pizza. And we'll end on that note, life is busy but life is good!