Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All In A Week's Work

Truly being a stay at home mom is hard work, but being someone who has never minded doing work and actually loves it for the most part I thrive at my job. Last week I got home on Sunday from being gone a week. By Sunday night Travis had said, "Mary is back home" referring to tornado effort to not destroy but instead organize the house from top to bottom making up from when I was gone. And Monday morning I woke up at 5am to jump back into my life and 40 minutes of fun. Travis and I have been working out together before he leaves for work doing the Insanity Workout. Once he leaves I do my thing till the kids wake up and honestly most mornings that means going back to bed. Hey I get points for working out right? Plus I go to the gym later in the morning again anyway.

But being gone the first official week the pool was open my kids were chomping at the bit to get there.  So we spent a lot of time there.  And one day when it was raining we headed on over to the North Museum, honestly I love my annual membership here.  Priceless I tell you.  Then Thursday night we went into Philadelphia to see the Mormon Tabernacle perform.  It was awesome and not being a particular fan of MoTab, take that seriously when I say it was awesome.  The cultural diversity of the music was really great especially when I was sort of expecting it to be all hymn type music.  Then Friday night our family washed and vacuumed both of the cars because of the small rodents who had made nests in my car.  They actually really have...they are named: Bella, Wyatt, Issac, and Kody.
Kody bonked his head shortly after arriving at the museum.
This pic is too cute, but he ended with a bruised lump.  Poor kiddo!

Saturday morning we headed to DC to go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temple there. We went to see a friend take out his endowments in preparation for his mission, another friend do hers, and a sweet couple from our ward to be sealed. Conveniently it was turned into our ward temple day and so Travis and was there early for youth baptisms too. So the kids and I played on the grounds until it was time for me to go in and than others in our ward watched our kids. The weather was perfect though and Bella really showed what a great little photographer she is when she stole my camera to experiment. The only down side was a bug bite Bella had a bad reaction to that made me consider taking her to the doctor. No small feet but literally it had swelled to a 7" in diameter circle of super hot, red and swollen madness behind the back of her knee. Luckily it is disappearing slowly.

Issac found a caterpillar that entertained him for about an hour.
Notice in the pic below Wyatt has his found some critters too.

And I am spent.  Time for a nap!


My hope is that everyone is enjoying the great summer weather and basking in the work of motherhood.

Monday, June 27, 2011

That's A Lot of Miles

So the day after school got out and a short hour after Bella's dance recital, I hopped on a plane to Orlando, FL.  I was going to "visit" James.  Actually I was going to help him move his family across the country.  So after a delayed flight and getting to bed at 2am, we slept and upon awaking loaded the last of his stuff onto the Penske truck.  James the lone Penske driver and Adriane, baby Mason (6 mos) and myself into the car.  On that first day we drove, saw a fresh car accident with what we now know to be a deceased individual thrown from the car and two others life flighted to a nearby hospital in FL.  Not a good omen to start a 40 hour trip.  The first day we drove 14 hours,  the second day we drove 15 hours, but with an earlier start stopped earlier in the day too.  And the last and third day of driving we plowed through 9 hours of driving to land ourselves in Orem. 
1.  Happy baby Mason.  He was like this the whole trip.
2.  Macon, GA - I used to live here.
3.  Wyoming skyline
4.  Nebraska skyline in its nothingness.  I love it!
5.  Bored Mary
6.  Truckers Skillet - 9 lbs. of breakfast; eat it all in an hour it's free if not a mere $49.
7.  We saw the flooding, tornado, and severe weather that had occurred all over the midwest.
8.  Great sign.
9.  Adriane is now a rockstar marathon driver.
10.  Wind energy
11.  How can you not love this kid?
12.  Atlanta - our first big city after leaving Orlando

I jumped right into the madness and joined my sister in law Ashley to attend Relief Society meeting that night, this was our old ward after all.  I caught up with at least 20 old friends, hugged at least 50 people, and engaged in one tearful reunion.  I harassed my old sugar daddy and started making plans to meet up with friends and family over the remainder of the week.  I planned to jog up the "Y" and Ashley wanted to join me.  But a mile jog up the side of a mountain proved to be a little too hard and so shortly into it we forgot that idea and improvised to have a lovely little hike.  I walked 4+ miles with a friend as we chatted and caught up.  I toted my sister up to Tooele to see my sister-in-law in the King and I.  I ate myself silly with Elizabeth at my old favorite - Bajio's.  I met up with friends for lunches and one even booked Pedi's for us before lunch where I practically got my sister fired.  A long story for another day.  I saw my nieces swimming lessons, and laid out at the pool.
Mainly I just hung out with my best friends, aka family, out there.  It was awesome but I was ready to go home Sunday morning.  And nothing beats finishing a trip than waking up to find your sister who is driving you to the airport to be seriously ill, barfing.  So even when my overbooked flight was offering $400 plane vouchers for anyone willing to take the next flight, I was like forget that - It's time to get home, see my kids, and finish celebrating Father's Day. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

FaThEr'S dAy

I was going to be out of town on Father's Day.
In Utah actually and then flying home. 
But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to celebrate this dude. 
The World's Best Dad. 
So June 12th, the kids and I woke up early,
made a surprise breakfast, and finally let Dad in on our plans
for the Father's Day switcheroo.
He was sleepy eyed but loving the french toast and bacon.
"Surely the greatest of those things [required of fathers] will be
to have done all they could for the happiness and spiritual safety
of the children they are to nurture."
Jeffrey R. Holland
Travis epitomizes this.  And so knowingly he wanted for Father's Day
outdoor/lawn games to continue to make the most of our
family time together.
"A father succeeds when he steps forward and
accepts his commitment as a father, always loving, praying for and
doing what he can for his family, and never giving up."
Loren Dunn
So of course we got him a set of horseshoes, his first choice,
 to show him that we want to do what we can for him too.
"Brethren, as fathers and patriarchs in our families,
we are “by divine design … to preside over [our] families
in love and righteousness and are …
to provide the necessities of life and protection for [our] families. …
Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility
to love and care for each other and for their children."
L. Tom Perry & The Proclamation to the Family
I love to make this man happy.
And so of course once he picked me up from the airport
on actual Father's Day we celebrated all over again,
including more gifts.
"In terms of your happiness, in terms of the matters that make you
proud or sad, nothing—I repeat, nothing—
will have so profound an effect on you
as the way your children turn out."
Gordon B. Hinckley
This is something that Travis knows and so his life reflects that.
I really do think I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Day of School

Our last day of school is always a half day. By half day I mean my kids are home by 11:20am. So Travis got off just a bit early from work. We ate and then headed for Knoebels. We used the Bargain Night Package and our whole family played and rode from 6-10pm for super cheap. It was awesome. And after a little consideration our family voted in its newest tradition - Knoebels every year on the last day of school.  Man I love my family.

Tea Cups - I opted out.  One for sure way to make me upchuck.
 Me and the Mr.
 Ferris Wheel Fun
 Have you ever seen three cuter boys?
Kody bravely rode all the rodes. 
The roller coaster made him uncomfortable.
But only this the egg dropper made him cry.  He does look terrified.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You Have To Be Graceful To Be A Ballerina

These words were uttered to me by my father when I was about six or seven and had expressed an interest in taking ballet.  His words weren't meant to be hurtful but more factual.  And being raised by the man I knew that and never took it personally, although as an adult when I tell that story others cringe and I can see how it all sounds so very wrong. 

Of course I wanted to take ballet, I was a little girl and my best friend was taking ballet and she had cute outfits, lovely tight buns, and a knowledge of these super secret first through fifth positions.  But alas it was never meant to be.  I forgot about ballet as I pursued other activities mainly sports.  And when I started having kids of my own I couldn't help but have some plans for them and their extra-curricular endeavors, namely gymnastics.  But alas that was not to be...Bella was uninterested despite having a perfect body build and muscle structure for it. 

Instead she approached me shyly asking to take Ballet.  I was not sure how serious she was so enrolled her first in a 6 week Rec Class.  She loved it, excelled at it, and was recruited by her teacher immediately to come join New Line Revue in Lititz.  The teacher told me that Bella had picked up dance really quickly compared to children her age.  So with her love and natural predisposition for it I went in search of a studio that was not cost prohibitive, a user of the Cecchitti Methods, and conveniently located.  Cricket's Dance Studio in Manheim met the above criteria and we enrolled Bella.  She was starting much later than kids her age, but loved it and after a year was bumped up a class.  She has since added tap and equally loves that.

This year as her recital approached she seemed very apprehensive.  This was uncommon for her and I had asked her about it.  She was worried that the class was not totally ready, their timing was still off, but still her fears seemed unfounded to me.  The day of the recital Travis, my mom, and I attended.  Each class performs a number.  Unbeknownst to me her ballet class started their number and I soon realized why she had been a ball of nerves.  She had been excitedly keeping the surprise that she played quite a prominent role in her class's number.  She was the Prima Ballerina of sorts.  She was beautiful and graceful.  And I was so proud to learn that this meant so much to her, that she had kept such a wonderful surprise/secret.

And when I watch her dance I can't believe that she is my little girl because of course up there she is all grown up.  And it didn't hurt that their makeup requirements included eyeliner which made her look like a mini teenager.  I don't know where the years are going, but I couldn't be more proud of her with each one that passes. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pictures, Pictures, and Pictures

Summer Reading Program kicks off on June 1st,
but we had a party in Manheim for it on the following Friday in the city park. 
There were balloons, crafts, games and a pinata.
 Bella got one corner of the broken pinata which she promptly turned into a princess hat. 
What a happy family?  The things to do in Manheim never cease.
 Visiting Grandpa and Grandma's - we cross the Holtwood Dam.
I'll never get over how beautiful it is.
 Kody almost always falls asleep on the way over and even while sleeping he has a crusty old man face. 
He has been making these old man faces since infancy.  I love them!
 Feeding the goats and chickens. 
The kids love the animals and we spend tons of time outside. 
The poor chickens will probably be forever scarred since my kids can't help but want to chase them.
 Wyatt and Grandpa pose for a picture by the goat's rock pile for climbing.
My red hands indicate it is June and therefore strawberry picking time. 
 I made jam galore this year.  Freezer jam, canned jam, and oodles of flavors:
strawberry, strawberry kiwi, and strawberry rhubarb.
 As my last act as Wyatt's room mom for first grade we had an end of school year party. 
We played lots of "Minute To Win It" style games and this is the winning team of the jigsaw puzzle game cheering their way back to the starting line.
Do you recognize this superstar in red on the couch? 
Well you should if you watch Masterchef. 
Because she was on it and so of course we had a viewing party but not without having the best breakfast for dinner potluck you could ever imagine -
crepes, sausage, pancakes, waffles, lemon bars, fruit, croissants,
and so much more I can't remember, but I was in food heaven.
 Well you can't let the heat beat you and so field day went on as scheduled for the day before school ended.  It was "only" 99 degrees. 
I was in charge of the Frisbee golf station.  They were supposed to get in teams of four. 
And all the boys wanted to be on Bella's team.
So starts the passel of men falling Bella around everywhere.
 After a very tiring and packed last week, my kids were barely alive for the last day. 
These drowsy waiting for breakfast faces are not typical of a normal school day. 
 Just goes to show you how much they do in that last week.
Issac's had the same last day of school for Pre-K also. 
He asked to sport a hat and his teachers conceded. 
He loved both his teachers as did I and here they are posing with him. 
What a cute little rock star!
Hope your school year was as good as ours.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mutterings of Mine

I do not think of myself as an academic nor am I a grammarian.  I also don't think of myself as a verbal slouch despite what may or may not have been less than beaming score on my GRE's.  Recently though I am starting to second guess this second assumption.  When Arielle was living with us she would point out the colloquial phrases that I used, since as a foreigner -read not born and raised Pennsylvania Dutch- she could hear them more readily.  The one the she pointed out as most frequent and one I loathed was the superfluous "awhile's"  being added onto the ends of sentences.  For instance, "Why don't you go make your bed, awhile."  or "Start getting in the car awhile."  As with any great vice I asked her to point it out because more often than not it wasn't even registering on my radar. 

Another friend of mine and fellow The Bachelorette watcher, Dawn, started answering everything I said with "Yeah, I see what you're saying" while laughing.  At first I was confused until I noticed and she gently pointed out that if I am not issuing a command with the word awhile attached on the end than I am explaining something banal and following it up with "Do you see what I am saying?"  i.e.  "When Bentley acts like that on national TV, he makes a bad name for Mormons everywhere.  Do you see what I am saying?"  This concept is not so complex I should seek clarification but often times as I issue an opinion of mine or explain something I find myself adding on the phrase.

Both of these phrases give insight into my daily living conditions which entail being surrounded by small children and trying to communicate in their language.  Every phrase I offer appears to be a command with the added ideal that they should be doing it immediately while I will catch up to them shortly and even the most inane concepts and thoughts should be checked for clarity from the still developing mind and vocabulary of young kids. 

As I try to correct these phrases to once again boost me into the adult echelon of communications skills I am finding myself faced with the most horrific of habits...the mutterings and half sentences of speech.  I incur these while speaking and then hearing one of the aforementioned phrases, feeling flustered, and being rendered speechless or at a minimum a stutterer.  So if in the near future you hear me making very little sense just know that it is happening because I am trying to replace all of my crazy bad habits OR there is just a small chance I am losing my mind.  It is a precarious balance I teeter.