Thursday, January 12, 2012

Inspirational Thought of the Day

Happy 30th (gulp) Birthday to Me!

Thirty. Three - zero. The Big Three-Oh. As in not twenty something any more. As in half way to sixty. Midlife you could say. Who me?! Grey-haired, wrinkled-under-the-eyes, sweat-suit-wearing, mother-of-four (almost), minivan-driving, mortgage-paying, dinner-by-5 and bed-by-11? Yep, thats me--glamorous and exciting thirty-year-old me! But really, aside from the astronomically HUGE number, I don't think 30 is so bad. What 30 lacks in the wild, carefree, spontaneity of the 20s, it makes up for in a feeling of self-discovery, inner-contentment, and maybe even maturity. I feel more at peace with who I am, what I am, what I believe, what my purpose is, and where I am going than I have ever before experienced. Clarity. It feels good! Now if I could figure out how to have that itty-bitty, firm, tanned little bikini body of ten years ago, combined with the emotional/spiritual stability I feel I'm just now beginning to enjoy--that would be the best of both worlds!

Spent the birthday morning at the urgent care clinic with my wheezy, asthmatic Maxy. See? Glamorous.

I felt so guilty for traumatizing Max at the doctor's office that we stopped by the bakery to grab these little cupcakes. Ha! I can still be spontaneous!

Aaron, I love you to bits, but don't ever go into the party-planning business. The night before my birthday, Aaron apologetically confessed that he hadn't made any plans for my birthday celebration. Luckily for us both, my expectations were relatively low--and, I am a planner! So, we left the boys with Nana and Papa (thank you!) and spent the evening doing two of my favorite things: shopping and eating! Being that I am in semi-denial about my seven-month prego state, the shopping wasn't the most successful. But, I did get to spend an evening out with the man I love the very most, I felt very special and very loved, and thats what counts. And, just so you know, honey, I'm taking a raincheck on that shopping spree ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Long Overdue

Due to a combination of moving/disorganization, and, well....laziness....I'm just now getting around to updating the blog with all of the latest and greatest. So, whats new with these guys?

Hank has been the biggest helper lately! Its awesome! He carried his fair share of boxes on moving day and has been great about helping me get things organized. It makes me so happy when he tells me that he loves our new house...I'm not surprised; he'd probably be just as happy living in a tent if it had a trampoline in the backyard and his grandparents in the basement. I am just beaming I am so proud of Hank for how well he is doing in his new Kindergarten class. I walked him to his class on his first day of school and he just joined right in, gave me a big hug, smiled, and waved goodbye to me as I left. In just the few days he has been in school here, the lightbulb seems to have turned on and he has figured out how to read! Its so exciting! Lately, Hank loves to play board games, build with his Lego sets, and is really loving having some cousins to play with.

Although I'm not sure how much of this whole moving thing Max understands, he's just been happy to be along for the ride. He hasn't asked for much of an explanation for anything...where are we? why is dad home so much lately? why is everything different? He knows that we're together, and thats enough for him! Max started sunbeams last week--and loved it! Since Max was the clingy-est kid in nursery, I was prepared for a separation meltdown, but he loved Primary! Max is so happy to be surrounded by his family and his grandparents and is the perfect little buddy: helping me throw laundry into the washer, helping dad take garbage outside, watching a movie with Nana, or helping Papa with a project. Max's favorite things to do right now include playing with play-doh and his garbage truck collection.

This little boy has been enjoying his vacation from therapy, but still hasn't stopped going, going, going. With the placement of a few strategic gates, Ben is enjoying free reign of the house, pulling up onto furniture and cruising, getting into drawers and tipping over boxes, and, just the other day, learning how to climb stairs! So proud of this boy! Don't worry, the vacation is over, and Ben is going back to work, starting therapy next week. I will say, when I took Ben to nursery in our new ward, I actually had a few tears, thinking of our special Orting Ward family and all of the love that they shared for Ben. I know it won't take Ben long to warm the hearts of all of his new friends just can't help falling in love with this boy!

Welcome to Utah!

The boys were excited to test-drive their new Christmas snow-suits when we finally got a little snow this weekend. The snow didn't stay for long in this beautiful sunny weather, but I'm sure we'll have plenty of chances to play in the snow all winter long.


Rather than making resolutions that we forget in two weeks and never keep, our family has begun a tradition of selecting one scripture to memorize and recite each day as a family for the entire year. Last year we chose Philippians 4:13 "I can do I things through Christ which strengtheneth me." The boys memorized the scripture, we recited it together each night before family prayer, and I know it definately helped me to feel uplifted and focused, each and every day, all year long.

This year, we picked Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." This scripture captures my resolution for 2012 perfectly: to trust the Lord in all things and pray for Him to reveal the next step in our journey. Can't wait to see all of the GOOD things that He has in store for our family this year!

Bringing in the New Year

Having just unloaded a mountain size worth of boxes, and still feeling a bit overwhelmed, we decided to keep our New Year's Eve celebrations low key this year. We joined our Utah cousins for a get-together at Aunt Bonnie's house (so nice to have cousins to play with any family nearby! Thanks for all the moving help, Hinkleys!) and then came back home and invited some good friends over for homemade icecream. We had good intentions of spending the night playing games with our friends, but the kids didn't cooperate with our plans, so we wished them a Happy New Year, put our boys to bed, and Aaron and I capped off the night with a bottle of Martinelli's and a movie.

Cheers to a Happy 2012!

Utah or Bust!

The day after Christmas, we said goodbye to Nana and Papa Z, goodbye to the great Northwest, and headed out on our journey to our new home: Utah! Considering the fact that we spent 15 hours of driving time in a very cramped (see below) van, I was amazed at how well the boys did on our road trip. Hank and Max watched movie after movie and were kept content with a disgusting amount of gas station goodies, while Ben mostly snoozed the whole way.

 Moving. It was total madness. End of story. Goodbye.

Unloading, hauling, and unpacking three 28 foot trailers full of boxes, pianos, furniture, and equipment in just two days. Sheesh! I was exhausted just watching the whole process from the sidelines!

A week and a half later and our house is beginning to feel operational, but we still have walls to paint, pictures to hang, closets to organize, and furniture to buy (ok, Aaron, if I must ;)

In one of our more adventurous (if not down right crazy) decisions, we bought our house in Utah sight unseen! Definately not my recommended home-purchasing method, but we did what we had to do, and I think our new house is starting to feel like Home Sweet Home!

Christmas Memories

Christmas Eve:
We spent our Christmas at Nana and Papa Z's house, joined by Uncle Adam and Aunt Brittany. Christmas Eve was a glorious day of relaxation, feasting and indulgence, and family time. Though perhaps a little untraditional, we began Christmas Eve at the bouncy house, knowing that the boys would go bananas if they didn't drain a little energy. Afterwards, the preparations for the feast began, and since there really was no good reason to hold off on partaking of our feast--we didn't! Luckily for me, I take the "eating for two" expression literally, so I ate my helping and this baby's helping of goodies. While the boys worked on a gingerbread house, last minute gifts were wrapped. We played games, the boys performed Christmas songs that we had been practicing together all week, the Christmas story was read, and then....Presents! As a compromise of our competing family traditions, the boys opened their gifts from each other and from Nana and Papa Z, having to wait until Christmas morning to open the gifts from Mom and Dad and Santa Claus.

Christmas Day:
The boys woke up on Christmas morning to find that Santa had left them exactly what they had each asked for: a Lightening McQueen scooter (Hank) and a new garbage truck (Max). Max was so happy with his garbage truck, he didn't have any interest in opening his other gifts, and was very annoyed at having to be bothered with unwrapping his other presents. Hank took the upwrap-first-assess-later approach and tore through his presents hardly stopping to discover what he'd received. Needless to say, they were very spoiled, and very happy. Hank's favorite present was his Lego Trio building set; Max most enjoyed his Pizza Playdough; and Ben was just happy to be in the mix.

Ben modeling his new firetruck jammies!

Max so happy that he hugged his new toy.

These pictures were taken, and this post is written, in the hopes of preserving our family memories during our Christmas celebration. But if the boys don't remember a single gift that they received, a single toy that Santa brought, I hope that they will remember that little baby that was born in a manger long ago, who offers us the greatest gift of all, eternal life through His great Atonement. 

Roseburg Fun

While I wouldn't really call the past few months a "vacation," per se, it has been FABULOUS to have Aaron at home. Except for the lack of income part, I could really get used to having Aaron around! During the week before Christmas that we spent together at Nana and Papa Z's house in Roseburg, we took the boys to the bouncy place/art center, went bowling and to the arcade, went shopping and ate lunch at Mickey D's (well, its a treat for the boys, anyway), visited the animals at the wildlife safari, played Bingo most every night, tortured (I mean "played") with my parent's little dog, played with Nana and Papa Z, worked on Christmas projects, baked treats, went to the park--even in the freezing cold, watched the Adventures of Tin Tin at the movie theatre, wrestled with Uncle Adam, and built a gingerbread house with Aunt Brittany. Boy, its going to be such a let down for the boys when Aaron goes back to work, we return to our everyday normal routine, and the boys are stuck with me!