Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wrapping Up

Olivia's Nursery Rhyme day where she could dress up and recite any nursery rhyme. She chose "Starlight Star Bright" just like her big sis did in Kinder :)

 Grandpa Neil made a surprise trip out for a week (leaving Nanny on the mission in Texas). He came to see his dearest, oldest friend who was battling esophageal cancer, and even ended up dying while Neil was here. It was such a sad reason to have him home for a bit but we loved seeing him! It had been almost exactly a year since our visit to Houston and we've missed him.

End of year gifts for my kids' teachers. I got them a summer relaxation bag filled with sunscreen and a beach towel. They have had the most amazing ladies teaching them this year! My kiddos really love them and considering my kids spend all those days with them, I know they feel like 2nd moms. It's hard to say goodbye at the end of the year!

And this little blondie graduated from Kindergarten! She is such a smart girl and so so ready for 1st grade. She'll be a rockstar at it! But Luke and I will miss her a lot. She's growing up way too fast.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Caroline is 9!

Birthday morning in beautiful St George with cousins and grandparents — such a fun birthday! It did fall on a Sunday but we made the most of it the day before with lots of fun things for this 9 year old girl.
 One thing my cute girl wanted to do was visit the SG temple and take pictures with family. 
My May babies — as good as they come! 

We made cupcakes for the birthday girl so we could sing and celebrate.

Caroline is such a sweetheart and always has been! I adore her ability to play make believe and house and create adventures with her siblings, but she's also growing up a lot and interested in make-up and fashion and cool hairdos. Cares loves all small kids and would babysit all the toddlers in our neighborhood if she were old enough to be there alone. Her little cousins are the best entertainment and she often has one propped on her hip. She still love AG dolls and setting up scenes with Livs and has become a pretty solid Lego fan too. I love her willingness to help and her great organization skills (her room is almost always well-kept and when it isn't she sets her mind to it and gets it all orderly and clean without asking for any of my help! I love this growing girl so much and am so glad she is in our family.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SG in May

 We had half of the day Friday just with our little family before Grandma and Grandpa and Cec and her 3 young ones joined us in SG. We opted for one of our favorite hikes that morning:

And then everyone arrived!

Saturday morning Cec and I surprised Maddie and Caroline telling them we were taking them to get their ears pierced right then! They were so excited and so surprised and also really anxious :)

 Lining up the marker dots just right on Cares' ears before getting pierced:

And the after shot! She was so brave and her lobes are just even prettier than before.


A little Texas Roadhouse for the pre-birthday girl (we went on Saturday since her bday was Sunday)> Funnies thing is that Caroline and Maddie were totally thinking our server (in the picture) was really cute and got all goofy and nervous when he'd come to our table!

Bentley's birthday gift from my parents (and check out that long long hair that was in huge need of a cut! He fluffed it out like this all weekend and it was pretty cute):

Another hike — this time up to see the petroglyphs just past Ivins: 

 (posting this picture way after the fact is making me miss those hands and my sweet daddy so much...)

 After a bunch of rain that weekend we had a gorgeous, hot day on Monday (of course — the day we only had a few hours there before needing to head home)

Wiggles out and the last cupcakes eaten just before we drove back north: 
 I'm forever grateful for these SG memories with such loving adventurous grandparents.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bentley is 11!

Our oldest kid and total rock star tuned 11! The time is just flying right by and he is growing up. His birthday was on Thursday right before the long Memorial Day weekend. We started out the day with breakfast in bed as always — loving the Tobasco on his tray as he is learning all kinds of yummy food variations from his dad (they are both much braver than I am with food :)

 I"m pretty sure these boxes were all Legos with a few extras and a birthday outfit! This boy is all about Legos.

Joseph and Luke and I snatched Bean from school for a special birthday lunch at Jimmy John's. And about an hour later we grabbed the girls from school and headed straight down to SG for the holiday weekend (which usually ends up being a birthday weekend for us with our May babies!)
Ahhh, lovely green grass once we made it to St George. And assorted Swig cookies to celebrate our birthday boy!

Bentley at 11 is full of life and energy. He loves building Legos, golfing with Joseph, running (as he is training for a 1/2 marathon in July) and playing games on the iPad. He's smart and hilarious and affectionate and kind, although he does love to tease his younger siblings which can often lead to fights. He's generally really easy going, easily forgiving, and eager to play with friends and the younger kids — he and Luke are pretty awesome wrestling and chasing buddies. Joseph and I are thrilled that Bean is our oldest and that he came into our lives on a hot day in Phoenix 11 years ago forever changing us and making us a family!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Payson Temple Open House

 This is such a beautiful temple! We have passed often it during construction on our way to SG and were really excited to get a chance to see it as a family. It was once again a crazy May day full of high winds and major bursts of rain — made it really tricky to meet up with Cec and her family right when we arrived as the rain was starting to pour as we ran into the adjacent church building to start our tour.

We ended up watching the video at the church while Cec and Chad went straight into the temple so we missed seeing them inside by several minutes — and the weather just wasn't wanting to cooperate for lingering outside. This made my Livs so so sad, hence her blotchy post-cry skin in our pics :(  It truly was calm and light and beautiful inside, and I love being in the temple with all my children when we normally don't get to go together.


We made up the cousin time by meeting for dinner at Los Hermanos in Provo: 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day 2016

I love this holiday for making me take the time to remember how incredible it is to be a mother. I am so privileged and lucky to have my own babies, to have created them, to be raising them, and to have been an anchor in their lives ever since the minute they were conceived. I love these souls dearly and am realizing more and more how they were sent to perfect me, to shape me, and to teach me. I know I have a huge responsibility to teach and nurture them in 100 different ways, but in an eternal perspective they will hopefully be my saving grace, the souls who taught my heart what love and charity really are, and who helped me know and grow closer to my Heavenly parents as I figured out what parenthood really means. I also love hanging out with these fun, silly, adoring, creative, and caring kiddos. They are the light in my life and joy in my heart, and I'm grateful they are mine forever.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Goldilocks 2015

This post could also be titled "the coldest and wettest ride of my life." Which is sad! But I made it an incredible distance in all the rain, had my best cycling coach (and top person) by my side, and at least trained a ton and enjoyed every single ride I fit in all in the name of preparing for the race. I did not ride 100 miles. Boo. But I rode 50 (I even think it was like 52) and that seems pretty heroic considering how soaking wet the whole day was. And there is always next year to try for a century right?!

The morning started out dry enough, even though it was quite cold. We actually got quite warm and comfortable once we were riding and cruising along. I think we fit in close to 30 miles and were feeling really good when the rain just started flying down. We stopped at the Maverick at the Ranches and tried to reinvigorate ourselves (which Diet Mtn Dew and chips are very good for!) but the rain just didn't abate — not one single bit!

We kept riding hoping it might finally clear a little but we just got wetter. We had rain dripping off our noses like an overflowing rain gutter,  and rain dripping off our thighs right into our shoes and socks! It was seriously miserable but then again really funny because who would ever ride in that?? We finally made an executive choice to head back to one of the pit stops at a covered pavilion and hope that we could call for a ride to take us back to Daybreak. It was a good decision. I couldn't even move my hands by then and I was getting so chilled. Luckily a support truck was really close and we were able to get in and warm up. I had to wring my socks out they were so wet! Such a crazy adventure that I'm never repeating (!) but I'm glad we gave it a heroic effort. Of course Joseph makes everything funny so I never felt totally defeated. One of these days of these days.

Warming up in our "rescue" truck!

Back at the finish line. I still wasn't fully warm until I had a hot, hot soak in my tub later that day.