Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More from March

Love the old iPhone. It's been exactly 1 year since I've had mine and I don't know what I'd do without it! I guess I'd probably get lost a lot, get way behind on YW emails and texts, and feel so sad I didn't have a million pics and videos of my growing baby boy :)
Luke in March 2012 and March 2013 

What else did we do this month?
 Back on my bike in my own hometown (as opposed to Hawaii or SG :)
A beautiful park day with our amazing ward friends. Love them all so much--I am spoiled. It feels pretty awesome to have been in one ward for 8 years now. We had never lasted longer than 2 anywhere else!
Lunch date at the Dodo with the lovely Heather. We could have talked for 24 hours straight but we'll settle for 2 if that's all we can squeeze in!
A long weekend with a sick baby. Just a gross cold with a fever that would not relent. Poor baby spent so much time just needing me. Kind of exhausting but kind of heavenly too.
The same weekend was supposed to be a fun couples' retreat in Brighton with some old Vocal Point friends. I sent my hubby up to hang out on Friday night and then we went back up for lunch and dinner Saturday. We were going to ski but 1) Joseph's ankle was still recovering from a bad sprain and 2) it was only 18 degrees up there that day! On March 22! Too cold for this girl. We had a blast catching up with these guys though: (from left: us, Matt & Lizzie Stevens, Bob & Julie Ahlander and in the back Dave and Mindy Gale)
 Surprise pic I found on my phone :) Love him.
March birthday celebration with the Smith family. We even had Stacey and Mason in town but I never got a great picture with them!

It was an amazing month and especially because it ended with such a fun birthday and our Easter escape to St George. I do think the return of the sunshine and some warm spring days filled my heart with enthusiasm and hope and joy. Perfect.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ski Day

Skiing in March, my very favorite :) Seriously, in my "old" age I am content to ski when there's plenty of snow and lots of sunshine and it's warmer than 35 degrees. It's such an expensive sport that I hate to pay the money only to freeze. I honestly hate being cold (ergo, I am a wuss) but the day we skied this month (back on the 1st) it was perfect!

I met up with family over at my mom's house first, got Luke and Livs situated there, and then drove up the canyon with my dad, brother in law Ben, and Beans and Cares. Once at Alta I had to rent skis for all 3 of us, get Bentley and Cares into ski school, buy my lift ticket and meet up with the others including my big sis, her hubby, and 3 oldest kids. I think I was rather exhausted before I even skied! So much work carrying so many skis and getting the kids where they needed to be. It was Caroline's very first time to ski(!) and she was awesome about it--a little nervous but thrilled to have Bentley with her and ready to try a new thing. Cousin Maddie also joined her little 2 hour class so that helpd too. Lots of work to get ourselves up there and ready that day. But I was so excited--such a beautiful, warm day and a fun crew to hang out with.


It turned out to be a glorious 2 hours on the slopes! I hadn't skied in 3 years (blasphemy being a Utah resident right?!) but with pregnancy and/or a baby at home it's just a lot harder to find the time. Plus my dad gave my skis away a few years ago cause they were hanging in his garage and he didn't know who they belonged to--that's what I get for leaving them there! They were awesomely old school neon green Kästles...way too long and straight compared to what anyone uses these days anyway...But, skiing again was heavenly! It all came back to me in about 2 minutes and I was wearing my silly grin the whole time. Such a great day! We all skied together and I loved that my cute nephews tackled black runs without getting scared. It felt so good to glide on that soft Utah snow and carve through the fun moguls.

It was all over too quickly but I was excited to watch my kiddos ski on the little ski school hill for a few minutes at the end of their lesson. And they did so well! Super confident and loving all of it.
 Beans cruising down
Cares figuring it out 

The cute ski school trio (too warm for Cares to wear her coat!)

So, I decided to take my kiddos over to the big rope tow hill so they could show me what they'd learned and go down with me 1 or 2 times. On lazy ski days as a teenager my friends and I mastered the art of backwards snowplow so I knew I could take at least one kid down if the other wanted to wait. The kids were a little anxious but up for the challenge so I ditched my poles and off we went.

All too soon I realized that 1 adult with 2 newbie skiers was a huge mistake. It took falls, twisted skis, backwards sliding, and a lot of tears and stress for those kiddos to finally just successfully grab the uphill rope tow to go up 1 time! I take getting around on my skis for granted and forgot how hard it is to manage on them when you're little and still learning. Oops! But, we made it up the hill, finally, all 3 of us and Beans just took off heading straight down. I was so surprised and started heading down (backwards) with Cares. She did great, we made it, and we found Beans in tears at the bottom of the hill. I guess he crashed pretty hard and twisted an ankle as he lost a ski. Poor guy! Imagine the scene of all 3 of us getting back up the hill on that blasted rope tow so we could then hike up to the car in the parking lot above it. It wasn't pretty, and there were many more tears (and I was so sweaty I wanted to shed all my layers!) Of course we eventually made it to the car after I carried 3 pairs of skis and helped hold up Bentley so he could make it up the steep snowy hill with his hurt ankle--quite the ordeal! I have definitely learned some great lessons for taking my kids skiing in the future, namely, no rope tows, have 1 parent for each kid, and ski school is a genius way to get kids learning while I have a blast skiing the whole mountain (and it's cheaper than a lift ticket!)

**Joseph was on his way to St George for a race he was running the next day or he would have joined us. We'll make sure we catch him next time!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Girl

I am so happy it's March. Yes, it has been for a couple weeks now but this post is a revamp of sorts. I wrote a lovely, pathetic draft of a post a few weeks ago that I simply had to write to get my current, overwhelmed feelings out of my system. February was rather tough for me. But writing about it all helped a ton, and felt like a little purge.

Before I posted it, the next few days seemed to bring to light so much sadness, so much real grief, so much that was way, way bigger and harder happening all around me. Not my trials in any way but those of friends and neighbors and even my young women. Somehow I was lucky enough to not be facing any of those major, trying, life-changing things. I felt like my little world full of so much work in my church calling, sick kids, and overall just way too much going on in our usually manageable lives—all of that suddenly felt like a really huge gift. I would take all of it in a heartbeat rather than any of the heartache occurring right around the corner, and seemingly every corner lately. Death, abuse, divorce, suicide, infertility, serious and scary health issues...I am just feeling very blessed that I am not facing any of those dragons in my life. And because I am not I can more fully pray for those who are and serve them in the simple little ways I know how. I feel so blessed and safe and happy, and remorseful that I thought my life was getting too "overwhelming." Oh, so much that sorts itself out in the light of perspective.

Bring on the crazy, beautiful life of raising my babies, rarely getting enough sleep, working nearly 7 days a week to make the YW program run smoothly, and praying for, worrying about and finding ways to support the 14 beautiful teenagers in my life who need extra love and help so much. Hello amazing March, life is good and I am ready for you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

iPhone SG

 More fun from our February vaca, in no particular order:


 The birthday girl totally wiped out on her special day

My crazy climbing kiddos. All worth it for that stunning view (kids inlcuded!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Party for my Princess

 Last year the big kids both has big friend parties. This year they won't (trying out the every other year thing) so it seemed fun to host one for Livs. Plus, she is a girl and her little host of friends and cousins were totally delightful! So sweet, so happy, so calm—ahhh, girls are very fun :)

My ladies were dressed and ready at least 30 minutes before the party started—they could not wait for all the guests to arrive
Livs' dress and "Reepunzel" hair (as she says it) were birthday presents saved just for her party. That wig on her was cracking me up, and she was loving the long, long hair:
 When friends arrived Olivia gave them a princess tiara and then they colored a princess picture:
Then they decorated glittery wands with glittery stickers, frosted tiara shaped cookies, and played Olivia's Princess Bingo (designed just for her by her awesome daddy): 
 Our favorite Sadie was in town for the party!
(planned it a little after Livs' actual birthday so she could come too :)
And then the party princess opened her delightful gifts and felt so very happy and spoiled.
 Princess mingling after opening gifts
(some aunties in the background too—my awesome party helpers along with my mom...and the delicious baby Leo :)
 Back row: big sis Caroline, cousin Maddie and cousin Tillie
Front row: cousin Sadie, London, sweet Livs, Sunny, cousin Isabel and Lily
It was the perfect mix with those 3 older girls, 5 little 4 year olds and Sadie (almost 3 who was very attached to her mommy but looked dazzled and excited to be in on the fun).
Such a cute group of girls! Love them all.
 The Smith girl far anyway. Heidi will add another darling lady to the mix this summer!

The party was only 90 minutes and a raging success. Of course I pinned at least 25 ideas while planning this party over the past couple months but that's the beauty of Pinterest—gather up lots of great info and then implement a few of the things that will work the best. 

I love that I still have a little princess in my home. She is growing too fast and will all too soon be done with this fun girlie phase but I am loving soaking her up for now!