Two Superheroes in Training

2.25.2015

This week I decided to forgo some of my regular chores to do something creative instead.  Two and a half nap times and the fiasco of the red thread later (Who knew spools of thread actually run out?  I thought they lasted forever!) and we have two imperfect--but totally worth my efforts--superhero capes. I'm kind of in love with these blue and red bath towels!  And with a short video of Martha showing me all the steps, it was easy peasy.  The boys saw the video with me and became so excited!   

So now Jed and Levi are ready to fly at lightning speed, smash through walls, take on the bad guys, and stop a rogue meteorite from its suicidal collision course with earth... or run around butt naked after a bath feeling free and unstoppable.  We'll see!    

^^I saw some flashes race through the kitchen this afternoon!^^

Jed's Gonna Be a Rockstar

2.23.2015

Jed's dreams for playing the guitar have finally come true!  Isn't he the cutest little rockstar you've ever laid eyes on?!  His face is all grins when he holds that guitar.  I'm so excited for Jed.  

I've always planned on starting my children on a musical instrument at a young age (perhaps about age six) just as my mother did with me, but when Jed's preschool teachers expressed concerns about his fine motor skills and his speech, it hit me upside the head that he needed music lessons NOW.  I mean, what better way to learn to control those fingers and to listen than through music?  Plus, nothing can boost a kid's confidence than knowing he has a talent that few others have!  And if he can play without a tremor, then wow.  I will be so, so proud.       

So here we are jumping feet first into lessons.  I'll be honest, I'm a little anxious about how much work this will be on my part: practicing with Jed at least 15 minutes every single day.  (I remember my mom telling me I had to practice every day I ate!  Haha.)  It won't be long before Jed will start fighting me and complaining about practicing, but from personal experience, I know the rewards are well worth it!

So here's to high hopes and dreams about a young stud years from now who might be able to bust out some bluegrass music with his mom, or better yet, simply serenade us with his musical talent.  (Sigh.  I'd be a puddle on the floor.)

But for now... Jed's just struggling to learn the names of the guitar strings.  Wish us luck!   

Monthly Photography Challenge: Hearts

2.20.2015
What could be more appropriate for February than hearts?  There could be so many variations on this theme (like what makes my heart skip a beat!) but I decided to go with the literal thing.  Enjoy!


Don't forget to poke around these other participating photographers' blogs!  I heart them.

Our Valentine's Day

2.18.2015
^^My man children looking handsome in their Sunday best.  Yes, Levi chose the outfit with the green shirt.  He had a death grip on it at the store!^^

Happy Valentine's Day!  

We keep Valentine's pretty low-key around here, for a holiday.  I just want to show my family a little extra special love.  So on Valentine's Day, we busted out the hearts and annual big breakfast tradition.  This year we ate crepes with blackberries.  And the boys also got a surprise!  A heart shaped box filled with chocolates worth just a dollar.  (Bron got a giant Reese's heart!  And yes, Bron brought home a little surprise for me as well.)  Curls ate all his chocolates in four minutes flat.  I was proud of Jed; he had enough self-control to spread his treat throughout the weekend.

After breakfast we went to work making some special Valentine's to share with the boys' neighborhood friends: heart-shaped crayons!  The hardest part was peeling off all the sticky paper on our broken crayon pieces, but the rest of the project was a breeze.  (Basic directions found HERE.)  After naps, the boys proudly walked around the neighborhood with giant grins delivering their goodies and spreading some love.  


On Saturday night Bron and I went out on our big Valentine's Day date!  Actually, we probably would've gone out regardless.  It's been unseasonably warm here this February (My lilies are already poking their green fingers up in the yard!  Ummm, no.  Go back down you crazy plant!) so I suggested we check out the Blue Lakes Country Club and hit a few golf balls--since we're new members and all now.  The membership comes as a perk through Bron's job.  The thought makes me chuckle.  Us?  Country club members?!  Hahaha!  But I am totally thrilled about taking the little boys to the private lake and beach this summer, complete with a water slide.  It's going to be a riot.

So after checking out the golf course, Bron and I met some friends in town for all-you-can-eat sushi.  Yummm!  Then we moved the conversation to Fred Meyer's to walk off our full tummies before meeting another couple at Orange Leaf for some fro-yo dessert.  It felt good to laugh and eat so much!  (It's no secret the way to my heart is good food.)

Nearly eight years of marriage later, I am happy to declare that not only do Bron and I make a great team, but I am just as in love with that man as the day we got married.  (Yes, I sometimes look over and swoon!)  It's a perpetual effort to maintain this level of relationship, but it is so worth it.  I surprised myself; I didn't know this was possible so far into a marriage.  

An all-around great day with the boys I love most.  Happy Valentine's Day!   

^^Exploring the golf course located inside the Snake River Canyon on our date.  Beautiful!^^

When My Little Boys Know More Than I Do

2.12.2015

1. Last week when I had started my period again, for the thirteenth time, I snuck away into an empty bedroom and sunk to my knees.  I just couldn't help the hot tears and poured out my heart to my Heavenly Father.  I mean, after two smooth pregnancies I never expected to be a part of that statistic of folks who can't get pregnant.  I'm trying to trust in God's timing, that He loves me.  I've even almost convinced myself that raising the two little miracles I've been given is plenty enough and will totally be a riot; exactly how God intended.  So even though I may claim I'm done trying and moving on to other things, there's still that small glimmer of hope that this month, this month we'll be adding a new tiny member to our family.

A couple of minutes later I heard the boys calling for me so I went to check on them.

"Mom, you sad?" Jed noticed.

"Yeah, Mom is feeling sad right now."

"Why?"

"You know that baby we've been praying for?  Heavenly Father says 'no'.  There's no baby on the way," I tried to explain.

"Well, you just have to wait a little longer," Jed reassured me with a smile.

Wise words from a little child.  I'm taking it as an answer to prayer... because, why not?  He's probably right.


2. We were shopping in Winco (the grocery store) when I noticed Levi looking up at the ceiling and happily chatting away in the cart.   I asked him what he was doing.

"There's a person up there," Levi explained.  I looked, of course.  All I saw was air and the ceiling beams 20 feet above.  I can't remember exactly what I asked next but his answer was, "No, Mom.  It's a girl!"

I smiled and waited a moment.  "What's her name?" I fished.  He answered something I couldn't understand.

The experience made me pause and reflect.  Levi doesn't know how to lie.  And sure he has a big imagination, but he was probably telling the truth.  I believe in angels and spirits and heaven, and I believe it's closer than we know.  I also believe that for little children that veil between heaven and earth can be very thin.  Maybe he saw his grandma that had passed on, or his future sister?  I don't know.  All I know is that was a special moment and I'd like to believe him.     

A Girls' Weekend in Park City!

2.10.2015
^^The Girls: Amy, Shelly, Jessie, Jodi, and Amy^^

What a fantastic, rejuvenating, and relaxing weekend!  I can think of few things better than hanging out for three consecutive days with the finest friends a girl could ask for.  With nowhere particular to be and no little hands clamoring for our attention, we women finally had the oodles of time we all dream of for doing what friends do best.  We shopped till we dropped.  We painted our nails.  We stayed up talking and laughing till the wee hours of the morning.  We peacefully slept in.  We played on the zip line and coaster in Park City.  And we ate rich foods way too late into the night.  It was everything a girls' only weekend should be, plus some!

I think my favorite part of the trip, however, and the part that I will forever keep close to my heart were the many conversations we had about everything under the sun--from our struggles as wives and mothers, about sex, how we met our husbands, and the things we love most about our families.  It was so good to hear these girls' stories, to bond on a more intimate level, and to know that we're more alike than we are different.  We're sisters and we need each other.  

Thanks for the smiles and the incredible memories, ladies!  I hope we're lucky enough to do this again one day.  

^^I think we spent over three hours at a Ross.  (Small town problems.  We don't have a Ross.)  The cart was overflowing with goodies!^^
^^Shelly started the ball rolling a couple of months ago when she offered to use some of her time-share points for this sweet condo in Heber, Utah.  How could we turn down a girls' weekend, especially in such a beautiful area?^^
^^My new favorite polish.  It stays chip-free for about a week!  No light needed.  Woohoo!^^
^^We rode the zip line in Park City.  Wheee!^^
^^And then we rode the coaster.  (Looking super cool in our sunglasses.)  Yes, it was a real roller coaster down the ski hill.  We each had our own set of brakes, but I'm pretty sure all three of us careened full boar down the tracks.  What a rush!  I'd love to take Jed and Levi on it one day.^^
^^Goodbye!  See you on the other side, Shelly!^^
^^And we squeezed in a little be-lated 30th birthday celebration fun too.  I'm the baby and I think everyone is secretly happy I'm finally joining them in this epic new decade.  Mmmm... cream cheese frosting!^^

Budding Independence and Snapshots of Life Lately

2.04.2015

It recently occurred to me just how BIG my boys are getting.  They're certainly not babies anymore.  They just don't need me like they did a year, or even two years, ago!  It's liberating in some ways, but I've come to realize the demands are just different.  Two little boys still keep me on my toes!  Even though I often struggle to be the kind of mother I'd like to be from day to day (patience, Mama!) I still have an immense love for these two little dudes.  That love just overflows.  Like I said, the boys are growing up day by day, right under my nose.  They're trying and learning new skills.  It's so fun to see their budding independence blossom!

So to help us all along, I made up a simple chore chart.  And though we hardly ever get every single one of their chores marked off each day, it at least puts us all on the same page; both the boys and I know what's expected.  Jed is really into marking off his duties with a dry erase marker.  A win-win for everyone!

So to honor this milestone, I took a bazillion pictures to commemorate.  Enjoy!

 ^^Jed dropping in the chocolate chips for waffles one morning.^^
 ^^Levi can wash his hands all by himself!^^
^^Brushing teeth.  Mom gets a turn too.^^       
 ^^Yes, Jed can vacuum!^^
 ^^Almost ready for preschool.  For some reason, Jed prefers to wear his shoes on the wrong feet.  Hmm, whatever.^^
 ^^Nap time!  One of my favorite parts of the day.^^
 ^^One of their favorite activities: dancing to the player piano!^^
 ^^Late afternoon popcorn and a movie.  One of the boys' other favorite things to do this winter.  Notice Jed wearing one sock on and one sock off... Just like Dad!^^
 ^^My little dish washer helper.  Levi can put the silverware and kids' dishes away.^^
 ^^Caught red-handed, snitching!^^
^^The boys insisted on making sugar cookies one morning.  So they helped me make some!^^