Thursday, July 28, 2011

I think this is becoming an annual thing

We made the annual summer trip up to Nauvoo, Illinois.  With it only being about three hours away, we can't NOT take advantage of the historical sites as well as the Nauvoo Pageant.  Both children survived the drive with flying colors, the weather was ideal, we were there right on time and with good friends.  And, we experienced our first night in a hotel with two kids, which was...good enough.  Overall, a fun, easy trip.



 {the monkey child is mine}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photo series: Couch

There is nothing exceptional about these pictures other than just being funny.  Oh those faces!  
 {K + D = drooly kids}
 {I love the hand placement on his leg}

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ultramax Tri

For the second year in a row, Dave completed the Innsbrook Quartermax Triathlon.  The whole triathlon thing was a new idea Dave had last year, which makes the whole family a bunch of rookies among the triathlete crowd.  But Dave finished about five minutes faster than last year (and made it out of the lake alive!), so it was a successful year.  Good job Dave!

Last year it was more than 90 degrees out and we melted.  But with two children in tow, it's a little tricky to be fully prepared.  Thankfully our good friends picked up all of the slack and were more prepared this time.  I'm talking, bringing a tent to play in and escape the sun kind of prepared.  Thanks Dortons!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Photo series: Happy morning

I love it when she wakes up with a smile on her face.  Good day.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fourth of July

Since potty training has taken over my life -- in more ways than I ever thought possible -- I am way behind on documenting even the basics of life.  So, just because I have the pictures to prove it, we did celebrate the Fourth of July this year.  W was a little timid about the fireworks.  E drank her bottle and watched in awe.  It was fun to have so much family here, despite the circumstances of their coming into town.  

Documentation.  Check.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ten Years

I went home to Utah about a month ago.  More than just to see the family and introduce most of them to Lizzy, I also went home to throw a bridal shower for my little sister (Liz), as well as attend my 10-year high school reunion.

The shower went smoothly.  It turned out so, so cute.  Our mission was to make Lizzy (my sister, not baby) feel special, and I think we did just that.

Baby Lizzy was a champ the whole trip.  Because of the shower, she got to meet a good portion of the family, and she didn't disappoint.  She is such a good baby.

And last but not least, (insert pregnant pause) the reunion.  (insert prolonged, awkward silence)

Unlike more than one person I talked to about this whole reunion thing, I was set on going.  Was I excitedly awaiting that Saturday night?  Not really.  More like anxiously awaiting it.  Though initially on the fence, I really thought I should go.  True story, I included it as one of my goals for the year.  Had I not "committed" to going in January, I may not have gone at all.  Regardless, I bought my ticket -- and plane ticket -- and went.

Some history:  After high school, I spent the summer being unproductive, then headed off to good ol' Utah Valley to BYU, never to return home to stay longer than a few weeks at a time.  I finished college, got married, and moved to the Midwest.  And here I am.  Perhaps going back for my reunion was to smooth the abrupt ending that punctuated my school-age years.

Over the years, I have stayed in touch with a handful of people; probably only about a dozen people and more like half a dozen good friends.  Yet, attending my reunion wasn't to resuscitate dead friendships.  Nor was it to show off what I've done and where I've been the last ten years.  Or stick it to the people who made my life miserable.  No.  I actually had a pretty good high school experience.  Full of drama, let downs, disappointments, embarrassments and angst.  And equally full of fun memories, hilarious experiences, good friends, victories, character building, along with a side of education.  I don't believe any one person made my high school years or any year miserable for me, nor do I think I did that for any one person, either.   Saying all this, I now realize my high school experience was waaaay different than many others.  Even for many with whom I attended the same school over the same years.  I understand many of us had many different experiences, outcomes, friendships and overall feelings about that school on Laker Way.  I think I sort of understood this then, but I definitely better appreciate and can respect/sympathize/understand this better now.

One of my greatest anxieties about going to this reunion was forgetting peoples' names.  Petty.  Yeah, I cringe at admitting that.  And yet I know there were more than a few who were facing greater demons than that.  Classmates who couldn't stand the thought of being in the same room with individuals who made their teenage years hell.  Those who were ashamed of who they were then and how they would be perceived now.  Classmates who couldn't care less about even dipping their toes back into tumultuous waters that were known as high school.  Those who felt their  present lives had fallen short of where they could've/should've/would've been.   And those who quite honestly had nothing to show for the last ten years of their lives.

I suppose there comes a time for everyone, a wake-up call, where we have to stop and take stock of ourselves.  It may come in the form of facing danger/death, witnessing a miracle, getting married, getting divorced, having a child, breaking addiction...or facing the people who knew you ten years previous.  Kind of makes my stomach turn to think of it.  But also makes me feel good about who I am, what I've been doing, as well as who I was.

That Saturday night, the conversation was easy with most.  Sometimes the catching-up checklist.  Sometimes more personal.  Sometimes really remarkable.

Thankfully only one really weird/awkward conversation where I felt like the three on the other end had laser beam eyes and rather than roll them at me, they aimed and fired.  Like, "Ok, well, I really don't care about you or this lame-a** reunion so please just shut up and leave."  That was the honest vibe.  Weird, but whatever.

And of course the head-turner.  The one who everyone was surprised by and talking about (think pink hair, corset, boots and boobs).  But the one who ends up being one of the most dynamic person of the night, who you've now "Friended", appreciate their not-so-traditional and completely out-of-the-box self (costume-making?!), and who you now are totally rooting for.

Overall, it was surprising to see how visually apparent the satisfaction/settledness/sadness with one's life was.  It seems we wear these feelings more openly when they aren't crowded by cliques, jackets, stereotypes or extracurricular stuff.  It was almost shocking to see with my own eyes how faces reflected the status of one's life, for better or not so much.  I hope this doesn't come off as holier-than-thou, critical or condescending.  Yet my greatest excitement of the night was to see those who were happy, truly happy, doing good things, having overcome challenges and progressing in life.  Regardless of who they "were,"  it made me happy to see who they are.  In a way, even proud.  Proud of them.  Proud that they have moved on and moved up.  Proud of who they are and who they were.

By the end of the night, I felt like I had to catch my breath.  Kind of like I'd been running for the previous two hours and just couldn't get into a rhythm.  I just sort of felt out of it.  Out of place?  I don't know about that.  Just odd.  I needed to digest, regroup and recap.  And now that a month has passed, I think I've regrouped enough to realize that this night I had nervously awaited actually taught me a thing or two.  
  • You don't have to be best friends or even friends with everyone, but respect is a must.
  • There is a difference between friends, "friends" and real friends.  I thought I knew this years ago, but turns out I didn't.  And learning this has come with a little disappointment and gratitude.  
  • High school will come back to you -- for better or worse.  The odds of working with an old classmate, living near one, or associating with more closely than you ever thought you would/could are much higher than I ever anticipated.  I'm glad I didn't do anything majorly offensive to someone because they would likely move next door to me.  
  • Kindness goes a long way.  Everyone -- EVERYONE -- wants to feel accepted, important, valued.  Even the most "secure" person has insecurities.  Just being nice regardless of any preconceived stipulations does more good than I ever thought.  
  • I don't care so much about the popularity, extracurricular activities, or even grades.  Rather, my hopes for my children through their growing-up year are pretty simple:  they will be kind to others, they will be liked by others, and they will have a solid set of friends who help them do good.  
  • High school is part of who i am; I'm not embarrassed about it.  Though looking back, I did some really stupid/embarrassing things.  
  • Never, ever, in a million years would I go back; but I did enjoy myself.  
  • I was immature then.  And rightfully so.  My ideas of what was cool/important/worth my time were oftentimes shallow.  Consequently, I missed out on what could have been really great friendships.  It's a shame.  But I'm glad there is time now to continue and even start lasting friendships.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What Summers Should Be

I braved the friendly skies with a two-year-old and two-month-old and made the three hour flight from St. Louis to Salt Lake City.  I'll be honest.  The thought of what disasters things could happen during a three-hour confinement with two small children kept me up at night.  Really.  I strategized for weeks about what I would take on the plane, how I would pack, whether I'd bring my stroller and/or Bjorn.  I was stressed.  But the flights were well worth it and went much better than I had expected.  Hallelujah!  

This trip to Utah is what I think many future summers will look like:  me flying with kids to spend some summertime with MaMom and Poppy.  And it's how summers should be spent, doing fun things, playing outside, eating ice cream and ending the day with a communal cousin bath.  

In the midst of my packing strategy and actually getting out the door, I forgot my camera.  Pictures via iPhone, so picture quality?  Sub par.  

{Pez is now a flight essential.} 

{Morning snacks}

{Playing in the cave after confiscating Aunt Liz's sunnies.}

{Visiting great-grandparents}

{Ice cream!}

{Communal bath}

History:  I walked in on my sister and her friends piercing their ears in our bathroom with ice and sewing needles when they were in high school.  Scarred me for life.  
Megan's ear piecing phase never made it past high school (thankfully!), so we finally convinced Megan to appropriately pierce her precious lobes.  We found the right place -- the mall -- and it was now the right time.    

{Lizzy and I were there for moral support.}

{You may punch me for posting this picture.}

{This is what happens when you spend too much time in Icing or Claire's or whatever it's called.  I may regret this photo later.  Now we're equal.}

We had such a fun trip.  So much fun we were worn out by the end.  I learned that lugging a car seat through the airport is well worth the inconvenience in order to be able to harness your child into his seat. He was asleep before we even took off and slept more than half of the flight.  His sleepiness was much appreciated, particularly because I was sandwiched between him and a 300+ pound man, which left little wiggle room.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The phone dump

Things have been busy around here lately.  Here's some of what we've been up to, documented via iPhone:

 {Friends Crys and Rob were loading up their backpacks for their trip to Europe.  W wanted to tag along with his 'pack pack.'}
 {Cicadas.  Whatever this 13-year cicada infestation is, I'm sick of it.}
 {Dear potty training, you're not fun.}
 {One of several attempts at catching a smile.  They always turn out blurry.}
 {She pulls this face as soon as she sees any electronic device.}

 {You know you have too much baby stuff around when the hand pump turns into a toy gun.}
 {Another try.}

 {Morning smoothies with friends.}
{Paging Dr. Rees...the one who's wearing the same shirt in almost every picture.  Hah!}

Friday, July 1, 2011

EVR: Three months

This is going awfully quickly.  Three months old means no more newborn status.  She's full on baby, now.  
I love when babies can finally start to see -- really see -- things.  Everything is new again and there's so much sensory exploration.  I find it rather fascinating to watch a baby go through that transition.  It's like a whole new world with all new people... even though it's the same group that's been there all along.  I love watching E's eyes light up and her body reel in excitement at the littlest things.  
For her journaling purposes:
  • first laugh:  6/30/11
  • chews on everything:  shoulder (of person holding her), clothing, blanket, hands, whatever
  • please no teeth yet!
  • auburn-ish hair, but blonde baby hairs coming in
  • eyes are still blue!
{in natural morning light, they look so, so blue}
  • smiley, smiley girl, especially in the morning; she'll smile so big she can't even look at you, almost like she's bashful; so cute!
  • as soon as a camera comes out, her smiling performance ceases
  • follows moving objects -- particularly W -- with her eyes
  • loves some fresh air
  • HATES to be wrapped up tight, but it's the only way to keep her from waking herself up; she somehow manages to wiggle herself out of the tightest swaddle and we find her with her blanket more like a scarf around her shoulders
  • world's strongest neck; tummy time is no problem and she already aces the  Bumbo (advanced, right?)
  • calms down to a singing voice
  • no more bassinet
  • getting into more of a sleep routine (1:45 awake, 1:00 nap)
  • went through about five days of eating every two hours -- TWO HOURS!  glad that's over for now
  • wrist rolls and thigh creases are still creeping in; her left leg has a chub crease
  • prefers to stand/push off of everything
  • likes to "talk" and did a lot of that today; kind of the sweetest/cutest thing yet
  • she's a pretty laid back girl, but when she gets  upset, she gets upset; her cries are serious and the crocodile tears flow
  • i'm not sure of her measurements, but she's definitely not a lightweight or short

 {apparently E looks like a giant in previous pictures, so by popular request, here's some "scale" for comparison}