The First Week of Summer in Photos + A Few Paragraphs About Real Life Lately

6.08.2019
We've kicked off the summer strong and hard!  I've found myself reaching for my camera often because I just love everything that screams summer and outdoors and childhood.  Our skin is sun kissed and we've been going to bed late.  I'll let the pictures tell most of the stories.  After all, a picture speaks a thousand words, right?


Three Points About Real Life Lately:

1.  First, I just want to acknowledge that the struggle is real!  There are challenges over here that come in all shapes and sizes.  (Our first week of summer together has been... intense, for lack of a better word.)  I know it's easy to assume that perhaps we live a life without problems because I seem to post only the highlight reel, but please know that our hard moments -- the ones that make us stretch and grow -- exist every day.  Some are pretty darn monotonous too.  Motherhood is as physically exhausting as it is mentally exhausting!  However, I don't like to dwell on the negative.  I'm here to celebrate motherhood and family!  I'm here to seek out beauty in the small moments of life that make me feel happy.  Please don't ever mistake my optimism for perfection.  This blog is a summary of our life, but I omit a significant amount of details/opinions to protect the image and feelings of my loved ones.


No thunderstorm was going to deter us from attending the Young's annual summer kickoff party!  It thundered and rained on and off the entire afternoon.  But the kids ate popsicles and jumped in the pool anyway.  Our friend Shonni brought six wee rescue rabbits to share.  I wish we could have brought one home with us.  Conrad's outfit killed me.  The red boots + Dad's socks + his tiny pants + a bunny = winner of best dressed for the party.  Clearly!

After the party, I took Levi to get a baby tooth pulled.  Am I the meanest mom ever?  Probably.  But no worries.  He bounced back quick.  



The annual ward Father and Sons Campout was the Friday after school got out.  As usual, Jed and Levi were so excited!  Conrad and I tagged along for the mountain bike ride portion at Indian Springs.  Then Bron and the big boys camped at Nat Soo Pah (since the campsite up top is still closed).  Apparently, the boys had a blast racing pop cans in the creek and Jed fell in, getting muddy up to his armpits.  Lol.  Good memories for them.

^^Brothers and friends: Levi, Jed, Caleb, and Josh^^

2.  I started attending a kettle bell exercise class that my friend Tiffany is teaching.  We meet outside at the high school track every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30am for the next 12 weeks.  I love feeling the sunshine first thing in the morning!  Better yet, in only two classes, Tiffany has nearly fixed my lower back problem.  True story.  I'm in disbelief. I've been suffering from lower back muscle pain for months, maybe even a year or two. (The tolls of pregnancy, am I right?)  When I roll out of bed in the morning, I am so sore and stiff that I can barely bend over enough to put my shoes on.  It's pathetic for a 34 year old.  But Wednesday afternoon, that pain was gone!  And Thursday I woke up pain free.  What?!?  It's a miracle!  The pain is beginning to return so I am excited for Monday morning already. Three cheers for a stronger core and back!


We took a Sunday drive up into the South Hills where we found pockets of snow!  We parked the truck at Wahlstrom and let the boys play in the creek.  Jed and Levi at least initially tried to avoid getting wet crossing the creek, but Conrad just plowed on through.  We all laughed; it was funny.  Conrad wound up sopping wet and poopy.  Gross.  After cleaning him up in a new dry outfit, we happened to meet the Horsleys up there.  So the kids played while we adults chatted until I was so hungry for dinner I couldn't stand it anymore.  Then, and only then, did we head back home.  We're hoping to make Sunday afternoon in the South Hills a summer tradition.

^^A priceless candid of Jed^^
^^Fearless^^
^^The dogs were in heaven.^^

3.  Jed's school teacher emailed me at the beginning of May with some concerns about Jed.  She suspected he may have a learning disability called dysgraphia.  As for me, I'm not entirely convinced.  But this summer we're on the path to try to get some answers and perhaps an IEP or 501 or whatever Jed might need to start 4th grade off smoothly.  I want school to be an enjoyable experience for Jed.  His teachers recognize that he is super bright and thinks outside the box; he deserves to be in the general education classroom.

Jed is a bright, creative, friendly, and thoughtful kid.  And he's a little different.  But you just don't know it until you really get to know him.  The problems (hand tremors, lack of muscle tone, doesn't pick up on social cues) that Jed has are mild, not severe.  That's why he is such a mystery to his teachers at school!  I believe that Jed is simply wired differently.  He reminds me so much of my brother (who is exceptionally smart and detail oriented, by the way.)  Why is different bad?  Why do schools want to label kids and put them in a box?  Why do they have to label them to help teach them?  All I know is that the mama bear in me is very proud of Jed and his efforts and who he is.  I love him so much!

But resources for Jed are few and expensive, so we've established a morning routine.  Jed thrives on routine. Plus, I don't want the boys turning on the TV first thing every morning; it turns them into grumps.  So I made a list of daily responsibilities for them to do like making their beds, brushing their teeth, and reading for 20 minutes.  It also includes ten minutes of yoga with me!  Jed hated (I mean, HATED) yoga the first morning he tried it.  But he caught on better the second day and actually looks forward to it now.  I think and really hope a little yoga will help Jed with his balance and strength.

It's little things like this that make me feel empowered as a mom, like I'm doing my job and doing it well.


We took our first trip of the season to Nat Soo Pah, a local hot springs pool with a giant water slide, two diving boards, and a couple of hot soak tubs.  The kids kept me hopping that day!  (I mean, Conrad alone went to the bathroom at least 17 times.)  But we had so much fun!  Jed conquered his fear of heights and jumped off the high dive!  Levi practiced swimming in the deep end and even did a swim test for the life guard.  He still needs floaties for safety, but I think he'll be a proficient swimmer my mid-summer; we'll keep practicing.  And Conrad had the time of his life careening down the water slide all by himself.

I brought my new little gopro and dome attachment to the pool.  You guys, I am hooked!  Underwater photography is so much fun!  It's a whole new world of photography.  The perspectives are different, it's colorful, and full of unpredictable splashes.  I can't wait to try it again.

^^Ring diving^^

"I pick a pretty flower for you, Mommy!"  Conrad found some yellow flowers I'd planted in the yard last week and picked them for me... roots and all!  But the gesture was so, so sweet.  How could I possibly be mad?


First ice cream cones of the summer... eaten while sitting in the front yard climbing tree.  Cheers!

^^Conrad found more pretty flowers in the yard for me.  Haha.  He was so proud!^^
^^Levi trying to camouflage himself in the leafy treetops?^^
^^Conrad taking a "bath" with the grill brush.  Funny kid.^^
^^One of the first rose buds.  I LOVE my little orange rose bush.  It's so uniquely pretty.^^

Summer is off to a pretty great start, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Super intrigued about your kettlebell workout fixing your lower back problems...I've been struggling with lower back pain for over six months now, and I've basically stopped all exercise because of it. It's started to feel a bit better now, but I'm curious if doing back strengthening exercises would help me.

    Also, I'm super jealous of all your new underwater photographer equipment! I've always wanted to try it, but all my photography money is being funneled towards being able to afford a full frame camera (finally), so it will be years before I'll be able to try it, I'm sure. In the meantime, I'll just live vicariously through you :)

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