Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Life Lately Photo Dump

Blogging has not really been a priority the past few months, as one can clearly see from the fact that I rarely post anything these days. There also just hasn't been too much going on to document in a full post. But I finally cleared my phone out which means I have a bagillion random pictures that I want to document, you know, the small things. So here goes. And I haven't done this for MONTHS, so there's a lot...

Dinner date with Megan back in January after taking Anna to the airport in D.C. Loved catching up with this high school bff of mine.
Threw a baby shower for my sweet friend Alivia once everyone got back from winter break. She now has the most adorable 3 month old baby boy.

Just my everyday goal of stepping out of the way and letting these kids be kids. (For the record, I can only step back so far because the sibling fights these days! Man, they are real...real frustrating!)

We got a few body books from the library and Shae just loved them. These are a few of our drawings after learning about different systems of the body.
"I'm just going to lay in the sun and relax for a few minutes" = Daddy jungle gym! (Although I love how Shae laid there with him for a few minutes before jumping all over him too).

Watching Kung Fu Panda in style.

When we are driving home and we see daddy walking home from the bus stop (#perfecttiming). The kids liked the idea of them getting out better than him getting in.
When Shae falls asleep in the car, but his sister doesn't...
...I leave him in the car and bring her in to take a nap and stand in between the two.
Thankfully that has only happened twice.

Eppie's birthday party!

Who knew that putting together a toy kitchen would be so much work?
McDonalds lunch date with daddy when mommy was sick with that awful bug and needed some quiet.

St. Patty's Day storytime.
Snow piles that went on for days.

Last half hour of stake conference entertainment.

and then this.
He has taught her how to come down the stairs at Eppie's house properly.
Making our own bamboo shoots with Chinese characters after reading Day of the Dragon King. The Magic Tree House web-site has some great activities to go along with the books. The overachiever me wanted to do an activity with each book. The real me has done it once. With this book. ha! We have acted out quite a few of the stories and put our own twist on them though, if that counts for anything...
Walked in one day to get Belén out of bed and this is what I found. (She is awake here, just covering her face because of the flash). Apparently I took too long to get her.
Making their own sandwiches during a Joy School lesson about trying new things/independence. 
Another Joy School snack during our Spontaneous Delight lesson.
 Belén after eating all the jelly beans off her cracker, turning to me and yelling "Mo Can-ee!" (More candy).
This was a hit with the Joy Schoolers. A drop or two of soap with water. So fun.
Acting out Caps for Sale. "You monkey's you, give me back my hats!"
We were all so excited to watch the popcorn fly when I took the lid off. It didn't really live up to the hype. 
This vegetable painting activity was a total delight for them and a huge headache for me to clean up. We still have paint on our walls from the splatters. 

Just another day at the thrift store looking for gold.
Opening day! Darin planned another Opening Day party with some of our baseball friends, and then ended up sick in bed, like, REALLY sick. I know because I had just gotten better from it two days earlier. It was an UGLY stomach bug. We all got it and it made for a less than exciting spring break.

Walking out to the living room after quiet time to find this sweet boy asleep is just the most precious thing. Doesn't happen often, but love it when it does.
Running around the raquetball courts at the Y to get out some energy out during those cold winter months.
Baby feeding baby.
One of the first warmish days of spring. We went for a walk and ended up in a creek, wet and muddy.

Local election.
The last Sunday in April we had a linger longer/farewell party for our missionary couple that just went home. We didn't get home until pretty late in the afternoon and decided it would be best to not  put Belén down for a nap so that she would go to bed okay that night. We all curled up on the couch and watched a family movie instead (Kung Fu Panda 3) and within the first 20 minutes we were both out.
I woke up not too long after and enjoyed those sweet cuddles with my busy busy two-year old. Still can't believe she actually fell asleep in my arms.
These two are constantly on each other these days (literally and figuratively), but they can be so darn cute together too. "Look mom! We're swinging AND holding hands." 

Our dishwasher broke, so we got a new one. The maintenance guy was so thoughtful and made sure to bring the box up for the kids as well.
Just the nightly bedtime train taking it's passengers off to dreamland.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day

I just can't stop looking at that proud smile on Shae's face. So happy to be giving me this picture and poem that he made in Joy School, along with his sweet letter and picture that he made with daddy, his footprint/poem craft from storytime at the library, and his flower picture that he made at church. 

He was smiling SO big when I read this letter and when I got to the line--he stretched out his arms and showed me how much he loves me. And my heart explodes again just thinking about it.
 Our family, plus his friend Ayden, next to our house (with a pool). 
 Our librarian is SO brave (foot painting!). She amazes me each week with the crafts she pulls off with so many wild young kids. 
Belén may not have fully understood what was going on, but she was just as excited to give me her drawing. She also colored a flower picture in church and ran up to me afterwards yelling "Mommy mommy mommy!" holding out her picture to me. Whenever she saw it laying around the living room later in the day, she would grab it and bring it over to me again. I loved her determination in making sure that I knew it was for ME. It was clear that she felt something special about me and the picture and the day.

Listening to her sing "Happy shoo-shoo shoo you" while Shae and daddy sang "Happy Mother's Day to you," was easily one of my favorite parts of the day.

It was such a lovely day. I got to sleep in a wee bit--small apartments make sleeping in rather hard because you just can't mask that kid noise... Darin made a super yummy skillet hash breakfast full of potatoes, peppers, onions, and bacon with a fried egg on top. SO. GOOD.

Darin spoke at church and made everyone cry, including me while wrestling stickers and coloring books and Belén--tears that had nothing to do with me because I was not mentioned in the talk even once, I might add :). 

We ended RS 15 minutes early and had a litter snack and chat for all the ladies. It was more of a "say your final good-byes" sort of thing, rather than a Mother's Day thing, but great nonetheless.

We had a lovely chill afternoon at home. Played some games with Shae, talked to my mama, snuck in a nap (!!! which is mostly amazing just because I actually fell asleep which NEVER happens!!!) took pictures of these crazies while they talked to Darin's mama:

Without meaning to, dinner turned into a very similar dish to our breakfast. Potatoes, peppers, but with steak rather than bacon. It was funny that it turned out that way, and amazing to eat. Then, this dessert was easily one of the best desserts I have ever had. That is a bold statement, but I am not going back on it. It was that good. I'm already dying to make it again.

After the kids were in bed, I snuck off to play some games with friends since Darin was going to be studying all night for an exam he had early in the morning. He has been super stressed this past week with an exam and paper due yesterday and his comp exam in a week (and a talk in church), but he was a rock star yesterday and made sure it was all about me (and even gifted me those pretty pearls around my neck. How did I get so lucky?!). 

Having young kids is hard. It is EXHAUSTING. It is frustrating. Cleaning up the 10th milk spill of the day, wiping everyone's bum...and face...and fingers...and the furniture covered in food or drinks or who knows what. Helping with shoes and socks and coats and then doing it all over again when someone has taken everything back off while helping the other. Making a delicious meal just to hear complaints through the entire meal. Chasing naked bodies through the house in order to get their clothes on. The list goes on and on and on.

While I know I am not the first or only one to experience all of this (clearly), I had an experience the other day that was comforting to me and helped me remember that I am not alone. It connected me to all the past mother's who made ME possible... 

We were getting out of the car when Belén turned and started running into the street where a car was coming our way. I grabbed her before she got too far and literally saved her life. I looked at her and thought just that, "Dude! I just saved your life! ...And you have no idea!" 

My thoughts quickly turned to all the times that my own mother surely "saved my life," both figuratively and literally...but mostly literally! 

I'm so extremely grateful for loving mother's who give so much of themselves for our own well-being and happiness. Who "save us" in ALL the ways--even, and most especially, when we don't realize it or never seem to appreciate it. Who help shape us and mold us and then watch us try and tackle the world on our own. Their influence is always present, whether we realize it or not. We would be lost without mothers.