The February Blizzard

2.27.2017

The snow just keeps coming and coming and coming.  It never ends!  In fact, it is snowing right now as I write this.  It's been a looong winter.  And unfortunately, it looks like it won't be over for quite a while yet.  I've lost count of how many snow days the boys have had off from school.  It's been fun to cozy up inside the house, but we're all going stir crazy now.  And that's an understatement for Levi.  To put it bluntly, he's bored and driving me nuts.  Everything he touches turns into a destroyed mess.  From raiding the pantry to jumping off every available surface to playing with everything he shouldn't to stuffing my bra between the couch cushions where I can't find it... I just can't keep up, especially with a baby in one arm and suckling on my boob at the top of every hour.  And Levi won't. stop. talking!  Whew.  Can winter just be over yet?  The big boys did start swimming lessons again and wrestling starts tomorrow.  I'm hoping it will help my four year old direct his energy in a more positive direction and wear him out!  A mother can hope, right?

Anyway, we woke up to a blizzard Thursday morning and no power for nearly 8 hours (that means no water either)!  It got pretty chilly inside.  But school wasn't canceled so I got Jed ready for school by flashlight and onto the bus... until school was released early because of the wind and drifts.  Needless to say, we hunkered down in our jammies reading stories, baking cookies, and playing the boys' new favorite game: checkers.  Shhh, don't tell.  I let them win.

School was canceled again on Friday.  (That means between the Monday holiday and the snow days, Jed was in school a grand total of 2.5 days last week!  Levi attended preschool once.)  On Friday, the sun was shining and all the neighbors were digging themselves out of the drifts.  So that afternoon I loaded the boys into the car and headed into town for Jed's ukulele lesson.  I've never driven on country roads as drifted and rough as they were on Friday!  The snow was piled high on both sides, leaving just a single lane in some places.  I had to plow right through!  I thought for sure we'd get high centered at any moment.  It was like off roading... in an Acadia.  Haha.  But I have to admit, it was kinda fun!  Fortunately, we made it safely.

Oh!  Funny story.  As we were getting ready to leave on Friday afternoon, I put my boots on and felt something over the arch of my left foot.  It felt a bit tight.  So I took it off and reached into my boot expecting some paper or a loose part of the boot.  Instead, I pulled out a giant stink bug (beetle)!!!  I screamed, dropped everything, and jumped into the kitchen.  Yikes!  It gave me the heebeejeebees.  Jed witnessed everything and was rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.  Then he saved the day by voluntarily smashing the bug with his own boot.  Whew.  Crisis averted.  Now, the boys check my boots for me before I put them on.  The perks of having boys! 

And did I mention that Bron was out of town through all this?  Again?  Poor guy picks the worst weather to drive in without fail, every single time this winter.
 
Anyway, here are a few pictures from our blizzard on Thursday.
 

Meeting Great Grandma Smith

2.25.2017

Conrad got to meet his Great Grandma for the very first time.  During our weekend trip to Utah we of course made time to visit my grandma, the boys' great grandma!  We met at Sizzler for lunch with my Aunt Mari before heading over to Grandma's home to visit for a while longer.  Conrad and Great Grandma hit it off together.  She couldn't stop saying how "tickled" she was.  Then when our visit was over, she sent us on our way with Valentine's notes and candy. I can't adequately put into words my love and admiration for this woman.  I guess it's her love that simply transcends everything.  I'm a sap and treasure these captured moments so much.  I can't help it.  The last time I had a baby this age I was grabbing pictures with Levi's Great Grandpa in them too!  Time and the people we love are fleeting.  I'm sure grateful to know that families are forever.

A Wade Family Reunion

2.24.2017
^^Our view from the cabin's balcony our first evening.^^

Just a few short weekends ago (February 9-12 to be exact) we were able to enjoy a wonderful weekend tucked up in the mountains of Utah with family I only get to see once or twice a year: my dad and family and my sister and her family!

We had many un-adventures, beginning with the basement of the cabin we rented flooding!  We've had a crazy snowy winter here out west and everything was frozen solid for weeks... until the week that everyone came to visit, naturally.  Roads and farms and basements were flooding everywhere.  It was a circumstance out of everyone's control.  Thankfully, the water damage was concentrated mostly in one room, so Bron and I picked up the mattress and moved it to the basement tv room to sleep.  There.  A makeshift bedroom.  Problem solved.

On the second night, we discovered that the oven didn't work and that the lasagnas I'd brought wouldn't bake.  Bummer.  So Don graciously raced to town and brought back some pizza.  On the third night, the electricity went out!  Liz happened to be in the shower at the time.  Bron and I looked at each other and knew exactly what would happen next: because the cabin gets its water from a well, the pump wouldn't work without power and she'd run out of water.  And, of course, her hair was full of suds as the last of the water dripped from the shower head.  Liz asked nine year old Mia to get her some water bottles.  Mia grabbed them from the refrigerator.  Hahaha!  All of us in the house got a good chuckle hearing her chilly screeches as Liz washed her hair in ice cold water.  Finally, Monday morning, my sister texted me saying that there was a mouse in the bathroom!  Poor girl is deathly afraid of rodents in the bathroom.  It HAD to happen to her. 

However, we didn't let those unfortunate happenstances overshadow the weekend.  They're just good stories to remember now.  Our Wade reunion was actually an overall success!

The Day After Valentine's

2.15.2017

Bron loves me. He loves me despite my crazy and my messy and my curves. I don't deserve his patient love but he gives it freely anyway. Today I was a hot mess. I felt so overwhelmed that all I could do was sob. I just cried. Every corner of the house was dirty and the mommy guilt and self-doubt was eating me alive. (It's true, I have a tendency to turn a mole hill into a mountain. And I honestly simply cannot function when the house is supremely cluttered for days on end.) So tonight Bron brought home dinner with him. He laid the hammer down and got the boys to pick up their toys and clothes. And when the house was put mostly back together, we all sat on the couch to read a little Harry Potter before bed.

Bron is my hero. He's my best friend and my rock. All is right in my little world again because of him. Bron's work day doesn't end at dinner time; his second job begins! I don't know how he does it sometimes but I truly appreciate his efforts. He's a good one and I'm going to keep him forever.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Baby Conrad Growth Series: 3 Months

2.13.2017

Three months old.  We've officially made it through the "4th trimester".  My floppy newborn is gone and in his place is a sturdy and alert baby who sleeps through the night more than half the time.  I started exercising again, dinner is being cooked nearly every night, and even though every surface of the house is cluttered with toys and paper, I feel like I've hit my stride as a mother of three. It's a wonderful feeling!  But time is a thief and my heart actually aches at the thought that three months have already passed by.  These baby days are numbered and I want to enjoy every moment... which is probably why he's napping in the wrap right now where I can hold him and kiss his sweet little head. I love you so much Baby Conrad!