Snapshots of Life Lately: March


^^Just details I don't want to forget.^^

Above is one of those photos that won't mean anything to anyone else but me. That specific chair in the corner has become Conrad's perch. It's where he snacks on Jed's leftover bowl of dry cereal and watches the world out the window. I know this habit is just a phase and I am glad to have this photo because it conjures up so many small but sweet every day memories. The small stuff is the meaningful stuff, ya know?



I think we survived what I hope is our very last snow storm of the season.  This year, it feels like winter never wanted to start and now it never wants to end!  We woke up to an inch of snow on the ground Saturday morning.  Needless to say, we are all counting down the days til our trip to St. George, UT for Spring Break!  It's coming so soon!  I'm really looking forward to some family time, relaxing with no real schedule or list of chores and adventuring in the sunshine with the people I love most.

But until that happens, let's review what happened this weekend because I want to remember what real life looks like these days too.

::  Due to snow on the ground Saturday morning, our lacrosse clinic was canceled.  But no matter, I got to tag along to Jed and Levi's wrestling match in Wendell, ID instead!  I'm so glad I got to go.  Both boys have improved so much since last year.  And that's all I could ever want for them: to increase their talents and enjoy what they do.  I'm so proud of Jed and Levi.  Levi won two matches and lost two matches.  Jed lost three matches but pinned a kid in his second match.  Then Bron bought them popcorn.  I'd say our morning on the mats was a success!

::  I participated as a violinist in the pit orchestra for the Stake Easter Cantata for I think the 7th year in a row.  Has it really been that many years?!  Blows my mind.  I admit, I'm a diva and was disappointed when I didn't get to play any solo parts this year.  Apparently we violinists take turns instead of auditioning for the solo parts... which is not what the choir did, but whatever.  My pride is just stinging.  Anyway, it was still good for my soul to play music in praise of my Savior.  I really do enjoy this tradition at Easter time as it gives me a chance to reflect upon the life of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for me; it really helps put my priorities into line.

On another note, I got to meet a particular Elder Kartchner on Sunday night.  This Elder happens to be my sister's nephew from Pima, Arizona.  I made sure to introduce myself after the Cantata performance.  He said he knew who I was as soon as I opened my mouth!  Haha.  Lauren and I sound so much alike.  Small world.  It was fun to make that connection.

::  At 16 months old, Conrad is officially the most exhausting toddler ever.  I'm not sure if it's truly because he's that much of a busy maniac or if I'm just more relaxed (because hello, he's the third!) and distracted by other things to keep up with his messes.  But really, he is super busy.  He delights in destruction and emptying drawers and eating out of the garbage and is completely irrational.  Conrad has just come upon the 'terrible two' fits, throwing himself onto the floor when he doesn't get exactly what he wants.  He is getting good at screaming and yelling.  I suspect he just wants to be heard in this already loud house of boys.  He's very attached to his mama right now and starts to freak out if I'm preparing to leave the house, but if he has his shoes on and coat in hand, Conrad knows he's leaving too and stands waiting at the door.  He has one word in his vocabulary: Mum.  He says it over and over and in varying intensities from happy to downright angry.  Conrad is also a runner.  He speeds off only to turn around and grin, just making sure we're following him.  Can you imagine what church looks like for us right now? 

All Bron and I can do is lock all the doors and laugh.  We laugh a lot actually, because no matter how much work Conrad is right now, he's ten times cuter.   And that cuteness is what makes it all worth it.

Conrad just gets under our skin with the biggest hugs, the most charming grin, and his dance moves.  I can't get enough!  Just yesterday, he made a b-line for my room when he saw the baby gate open.  I followed and came in to see him holding items from my dresser drawer with the biggest cheesiest proudest grin.  He's such a happy tease!  I couldn't help laughing out loud and scooping him up into a hug.  As exhausting as this age is, it's truly one of my favorites.  Stay little okay, Conrad?  We love you and your naughty cuteness!          

Puddle Jumper


These pictures tell the story of what happened after Conrad and I dropped Levi off at the bus stop this morning.  Wet, cold, and muddy, Conrad couldn't have cared less.  He was on a mission to explore the world!  In fact, Conrad couldn't splash through the puddles fast enough.  He excitedly ran from puddle to puddle, his little feet making circular wakes as he stomped.  I laughed.  I might have had my mommy goggles on, but seriously, this short little one year old was sooo cute!  Conrad was definitely in his element outside.

At one point, Conrad walked through the mud, caking his shoes in it.  Then he discovered that the mud washed off when he ran through the water.  Neat!

I had so much fun just watching my little boy play outside.  The world through his eyes is nothing short of amazing!  Please stay little Conrad so that we can play like this every day. 

 ^^That pouty lip is killing me.  Ain't nobody have time to go inside for a nap!^^
^^Heart eyes for the miniature muddy footprints.^^

In other news, it's almost Spring.  My daffodils are poking their sweet yellow heads up out of the ground.  The temperature is slowly on the rise (even though it snowed this morning) and we've had some blustery days.  Best yet, I'm finally finding my way out of my winter funk.  Woohoo!  For weeks there, I just could not find the motivation to do much of anything.  I felt sluggish and tired and overwhelmed.  Exercise, strict internet usage, and the promise of Spring have me feeling like myself again.  Thank goodness.      

Big Imaginations


Jed and Levi's love for Legos has been going strong for a couple of years now... and I don't see it petering out anytime soon.  They have a huge box that lives half tucked under their bed half out on the floor of their bedroom, lego pieces spilling onto the carpet and sprinkled throughout the house.  The boys often lock themselves behind their door (to protect themselves from the tornado known as Conrad) for twenty minutes at a time and then come barrelling out to show me their latest and greatest "creations".  From hover craft to dinosaurs, their Lego productions are actually quite creative and sometimes frankly impressive!  I love their big imaginations, that nothing is exactly as it seems, and that the possibilities are limitless.

I want to remember this time in their childhood.  So to honor their love of Legos, I offered to Photoshop Jed and Levi into one of their Lego creations.  They were excited and thrilled and happily obliged.  I wonder if scenes like these really are going through their innocent little heads as they play?

Anyway, dreams really can come true!   

I'm a Lacrosse Coach!


Go Predators!  This Lacrosse team (a compilation of teenagers from four different high schools) is going to be a big part of my life for the next two months and I'm excited.  Lacrosse is such a fun sport and I'm already falling in love with this set of girls.  The sport is brand new to the Magic Valley; it's only their third season.  

On Saturday, we had our very first jamboree games in Eagle, Idaho... that began in a snowstorm, nonetheless!  We lost one and won one.  My voice felt sore by the end, but I hardly noticed.  It's been 15 years since I last played.  The details of the game are still a bit fuzzy but it's all coming back in a rush.  (In fact, we played on the same fields that I played my very last games on my senior year of high school and then bawled like a baby afterwards.  Whew.  I've come full circle.)  I admit, I might have had a clueless moment or two.  I just hope I didn't unknowingly embarrass myself!  I have so much to learn to become the kind of coach I'd like to be.  I see talent and potential in each and every player on the team.  I hope the girls can give me a benefit of a doubt as we go through the season together because lacrosse is a blast!  Cheers to many more road trips and games!  

The irony?  I said I'd never let my children do traveling sports.  I'm so eating my own words.  Worth it!

A Boy's Best Friend


There is no better dog than Tyke for kids.  He puts up with so much!  Tyke remains patient and calm as Conrad steps on his tail, pulls on his paws, and gets in his face.  Tyke's only defenses are getting up to move across the room or licking the baby's face.  But Conrad genuinely loves him and I think the dog secretly appreciates the attention.

We all love our quiet good-natured black lab mix.  Tyke is just as much a part of the family as one of the boys.  In fact, Levi and Conrad have never known a day in their lives without Tyke!  It's been so fun to watch the boys' attachment to their dog.  However, I think Conrad shows it the most right now.  I caught Conrad feeding Tyke scraps from his dinner plate the other night.  Tyke knows the best spot in the house to get lucky is near the baby's seat in the kitchen and Conrad just thinks it's an entertaining hoot.  Then, on more than one occasion, Bron has brought the dog into the house with him after a day at work.  I watched as Conrad ran across the house.  I thought he was going to greet his dad.  No, he went straight to love on his dog!  Haha.  It was funny.  (All kidding aside, Conrad does love his dad.  Conrad wraps his tiny arms around Bron's neck for some of the most meaningful hugs.)  But the scene above, the one where Conrad plays with Tyke on the living room floor, happens so often that I just had to grab the camera the other day.  I think I caught some gems!   

I couldn't image a better dog for our family.  Tyke is a perfect relaxing fit to our loud chaos.  And he's more obedient than all three kids combined!  I did the math the other day.  Tyke will be seven years old soon.  That's 49 years old in dog years.  He probably won't be able to keep up on Bron's long and grueling training rides much longer, though I'm sure he'll continue to be a great trail dog for years to come.  He's a fast runner and always takes up the rear.  He's a natural protector and I love that about Tyke.  He's also happiest with us when we're outside.  It's a joy to watch our dog excitedly explore.  As a mother, I also don't know what I'd do without him!  Every time Conrad is finished with a meal, I call Tyke over to lick up the leftovers.  It feels less wasteful that way and makes cleaning up a hundred times easier.  (Yes, I still wipe everything down afterwards.)

Life with a family dog is good.  We love you, Tyke!    

Let's Celebrate!


Today is an emotional day as well as one for celebration.  Today my little sister Lauren officially succeeded in defeating breast cancer!  Though there will be follow up appointments and life long consequences and concerns, her life has been full of silver linings and blessings all along the way.  And for that I am grateful. Lauren has shown me what faith and grit with a smile look like.  She has pushed me to evaluate my priorities, to put relationships with the ones I love first.  Lauren is beautiful inside and out.  I feel lucky to call her my sister.  Thank you to all for the many prayers on her behalf.  Let's celebrate!!!

ONE Photo: March

I've held on to this particular photo all month, just especially for this post.  I've taken about a thousand pictures over the last few weeks and this one here is probably my favorite.

Levi was watching the tail end of a movie when I noticed the sun streaming in through the windows.  He was sitting so still that I decided to practice freelensing.  I love how freelensing tends to give a photo just an extra umph of magic and emotion.  And well, the curves of those soft five year old cheeks that are growing too fast simply tug at my heart strings.  Five is such a precious age.  Levi is still so innocent and yet exploding in independence.  This face, this boy; it's hard to put into words how I feel when I look at this picture.  The only thing that comes to mind is this quote, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Be sure to click on through to Tara's blog to see the next image in our blog circle!


ONE Photo is a blog circle that I have joined with several other very talented photographers.  On the first of each month we will be sharing ONE image that spoke to our hearts from the four weeks before.  It's bound to be a set of eye candy that you won't want to miss!

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