Monday, January 2, 2017

Hi-dee Ho!

This is just a photo of me drinking an avocado smoothie. Have you tried one? You SHOULD! And here is my favorite place to get one, right HERE. You're welcome.

By the way, hi! I've just been blogging for the last 4 hours trying to catch up in this here space of mine. Don't worry, I only have 4 months of stuff to go! Ha! But summer is finally caught up.

And guess what? It's the first day of a new year.... fresh and clean! At least it was when I started blogging tonight. Now it's actually the second day. Oh well.  

Christmas was amazing. The New Year was fun. I've had a bit of drama this week in my life, but I won't share that here. It's a little personal. But the good news is, it's a new year and a fresh start! I have tomorrow off and I am going to get my house in ORDER!! HEAR THAT HOUSE?!? You will be put in order!

The kids have agreed to help me while Andy works (they need some extra help tomorrow and he gets holiday pay plus time and a half. Bonus!)

After that, we are going to go do something fun for FHE before we all go back to the daily grind and suffer through January (besides Daphne's birthday which we love).

I am excited for this year. Last year will be tough to beat. It was the best. But I am determined to make this year just as good! We already have so many things to look forward to. Trips always help me make it through. We have a cruise in April, and California in September. We have a few mini trips thrown in as well. I am going to start training for a marathon in a couple months. (Yes, I said MARATHON) It is bound to be a great year. 

Andy and I went through our budget today and figured out how we can payoff the remainder of our debt so that we can start saving for our very own house. My problem is patience. I want it NOW. That's how we seem to get into debt in the first place, but I am definitely working on that! I have gotten so much better, I promise... I really want my own house. So it'll be worth it!

Anyway, that's just my sleepy mind running a million miles a minute. I better go to bed. But happy new year!! I hope it's your best one yet.



August TidBits

Whew! August was a complete whirlwind of end of summer activities, fun, and craziness. I swear, it just flew by and I was busy every single second. Typical, I know. 

This is something my friend and I thought up that helped us all survive summer. Anytime one of us needed a swig we would text everyone in our group text and tell them we were going on a swig run. Whoever answered in the next 5 minutes with what they wanted would get something, but if you were too late, too bad. And we all took turns doing it (actually, we still do) and it helped us survive summer :) 
This time it was my turn...

I mentioned that I did a lot of deep cleaning and organizing and de-junking this summer. It is a continual process that never feels done. But it feels good when it gets done and stays clean for a little bit!

Look at that mess!
The "after" comes later...

Laylah headed out to Girl's Camp the second day of August. So fun! It was a pirate theme (Find Your Treasure or something like that) and I always look forward to writing her a letter for camp to tell her how proud I am of her and how much I love her.

And I swear I took a photo of this, but I cannot find it anywhere. I had to spend a day up at the U for new student orientation. It was a long (about 6 hours) and seemingly pointless day, but I got familiar with the campus and also declared my new major (Anthropology with a health emphasis) and got a free lunch. It was required before I could register for classes, so as soon as I got home I was able to get registered for my first semester at the University of Utah. I did 2 online classes and one class that met for a week straight during fall break from 8-5 every day (more on that later).

It took a couple days, but here is the "After" of my labors!

Late night swim night while Laylah was still at camp.

I mentioned this in another post, but I took Magnus to Liberty Elementary to be tested for an all day kindergarten program. It is for kids who may be delayed in one way or another (social, academic, behaviorally, etc). Mag has been a bit behind his peers ever since his cancer battle, so I thought it would be good if he had extra help. His teacher (the one who ran the test) was so very sweet and patient. I just love her. Her name is Mrs. McIntosh and she recommended him for the all day program after his test was finished. She could tell I was upset and reassured me that it would be so great for him. It was still an emotional day. I hate cancer.

I didn't have long to be emotional though, because right after that, Edge Homes (the ones who did Magnus' wish room) called and asked if we would mind coming to be on a segment they were doing for the 12 o'clock news. Of course we didn't, so we headed out to Herriman to the house where the room was and ran through exactly how the segment would go. Mag was interviewed by Brian. It was a little nerve wracking, but exciting. They interviewed me and asked me all about Magnus, interviewed Kate, the woman who designed the room, and also interviewed Magnus! It was pretty cool and also very fun. We recorded it, so we can always have it.





I love sales! Every year Lime Ricki, a darling swimsuit shop, has a huge end of summer sale, and I scored some darling new suits for myself and my girls.

Hilarious snapchat filters

Thursday Hike Day! We hiked Mt Von Cott just above the U campus and it was beautiful.


One weekend Daphne was asked to guest play in a tournament in Park City. On the last day of the tournament we took the whole family up to watch her and then took everyone to dinner and shopping at the outlets for Back to School clothes and shoes and STUFF. It was so crazy, chaotic, and fun. All of the kids got so many cute, new, fun things and it was just such a great night all together.

Fashion show at home!

Jonah got invited to go to the Real SL game with his best buddy, Josh. We love Josh's family. They are so good to Jonah and treat him like another son.

We had a super fun date night to the Parade of Homes. We were given tickets since Magnus had a wish room in the parade and the boys decided they would rather go golfing, so the ladies went to see the homes and the boys went golfing after a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We met up for dessert later.

This spectacular view off of a deck of one of the homes up Big Cottonwood Canyon was unbelievable. It looks like we are on the deck of a cruise ship!

Marci wasn't a fan of this room (she's a Y fan, haha)

The boys sent us this photo. The course was out of golf carts, so they rented these scooter things instead. They said they actually didn't get much golfing in, they were too busy riding and playing on their scooters, haha.

We met up with the boys for shave ice. I just took this photo of Nate and Marcie to show the size of Nate's shave ice! Marcie's is a normal size. Nate's is.... ginormous. Hilarious. 

We went camping with the Collette's HERE.

Daphne had another tournament in August. So did Jonah (but I can't find my photos of him, darn it). They played in the Murray Max tournament and both of their teams did awesome. Daphne got the brick wall award for being a great goalie. I had to field marshal for something like 15 hours since both of our kids have a scholarship. So boring, but kind of nice to just have to sit and do nothing for hours upon hours. However, I can think of a million other things I could have been doing! Haha.

 We had our very last hiking day of the summer :( So sad. It was such an amazing summer of hiking. We went on the Mill B North hike up Cottonwood Canyon. Gorgeous, as usual.

 We were asked to host a table for the Snack and Stroll in August. Our neighborhood does it every summer. It's to help us get to know our neighbors better. Every month they choose four houses to host and those houses have some sort of treat or fruit or drink. People in the neighborhood go to each house and can chat and eat and make new friends or catch up with old friends. It is great, and it was fun to host and get to meet new people in our neighborhood.
 Laylah decorated our station :)

I also had my interview with the company I am now with, Lineagen. It went super well (obviously, since I now work there, haha) and I loved the company from the start. It is a genetic testing facility, and they have grown so much over the last few years. They test kids with intellectual disabilities, autism, or developmental delays. They test to see if they may have an underlying medical condition associated with their delays. It is a great company and I have loved working there. I am a claims specialist and patient advocate. I really like my job.

We also had a meeting with a bunch of friends in our neighborhood and decided to go on a cruise for Julie's 40th birthday in April. We talked all about where to go and got it all set up that night and also put a down payment down. We set sail on April 2nd, and I can't wait!

 Baron got all of his football equipment, new jerseys, and all of their practicing throughout the summer had finally paid off! They were ready for their first game.
 His cute team. They worked so hard and practiced 5 days a week, two hours a day from the end of July until school started. Troopers!

We went to the Make A Wish Reunion HERE.

And Magnus had a clean scan HERE.

We had a blast up at Bear Lake and Lagoon HERE for our End of Summer Hurrah.

We took Jonah to his junior high open house and out to dinner, and he had his first day of junior high HERE.

While he was doing that, this girl was living it up on her last day of summer break:
 Sleepy head.

 After Jonah's first day of school, he came right home and got ready to go on his backpacking trip with the scouts. They just went for one night. It sure is a lot of work getting him ready. Ugh. I am not a fan. But he had a blast.

My family went on a camping trip to Jordanelle this same weekend, but we couldn't go because we had so much going on. My parents took Laylah and Daphne up with them though, and the girls had a blast. It was quiet in the house with just Magnus and Baron.

Baron had his very first football game! They played Judge. He was a little nervous.
Getting ready.
 
He got to be a team captain the first game. Look how cute, I mean, studly, they are. 
 They lost by a touchdown, but it was fun to watch. Football is a whole new world for us, and I mean a WHOLE NEW WORLD. It is crazy how different it is from soccer, which is all we know. The culture, the parents, everything. So different.

Magnus played rec soccer and Liam was on his team. He seemed to love it. Andy was his coach, but we pretty much split that role and I coached about half the games. Come to think of it, Rachel actually coached a few as well! We made a great coaching staff for these little kinders, hahaha.

 My favorite lunch.

We celebrated our Back to School Feast HERE.

And the first day of school HERE.
 
 The day after school started Andy and I decided to go out for a motorcycle ride after all the kids were in bed. It was a gorgeous summer night with just a touch of chill in the air. I realized it was Tuesday night (which is $5 movie night at the Megaplex!) and I mentioned it to Andy. He realized his wallet was in his pocket and he headed straight there (no matter that we were both in sweats and looked kind of a mess!) and we found a movie we both wanted to see. We even got $1 popcorn! I absolutely love spontaneous nights like that. It was such a fun night and we had so much fun. I sure love this guy.

 Laylah tried out for Thriller to be a chucky doll. I thought it would be a great experience for her. She practiced for a couple weeks for the tryouts and was very intimidated when we arrived at the studio. I thought her audition went really well, but the guy judging them asked how tall she was (she was 5'4'' at the time) and said the cut off was 5'. He said that she would probably be too tall for the costume. Sure enough, a couple days later I got an email saying she hadn't made it. But I was glad she tried. It's okay to not make everything, it's the trying that counts. 
 She's so funny. 

 We celebrated Jonah's birthday a month late with his friends HERE.


 Just the map of my 30 mile ride. I did this every weekend for a month trying to get ready for my century bike ride (100 miles)
 It was always beautiful. I love riding my bike.

Every Saturday near the end of August was full of soccer games, football games, and craziness. I rarely take photos anymore, because it's just so crazy and we run from one thing to the next, but I love it. I love watching my kids do what they love to do, and grow and improve. 

This photo was taken a week after school started. Magnus came into my room sad and teary and telling me he didn't want to leave me to go to school and that it was too long away from me. It just about broke my heart. I remember his teacher saying that they would feel this way, and to not give in. She said to tell them that they would get used to it and give them something to look forward to when they got home. I took this photo while I was snuggling him and sent it to Andy. It was really hard to make him go to school this day. But I did and he survived.

 I decided once I was offered my new job with Lineagen (I started after Labor Day) that I would need a little extra help around the house to help lessen the crazy. I taught Laylah, Jonah, and Daphne to do their own laundry to lighten my loads (get it? Haha) I spent an hour teaching them and they have been doing their own laundry ever since. They are pros now! They each have a day and they get it all done, washed, dried, folded, and put away on their day. It is so great and has lessened my laundry significantly. I am ready to teach Bear now!

 Our dear friends, the Rowley's, were in town for a week while they were in the process of moving from Minnesota to Washington (Paul got a new job). It is always SO much fun to see them, we love them dearly. Our kids are all the same age and get along great. We saw them a few times while they were here, and also went to get dessert one night. It was so much fun and we laughed the whole time. Paul and Andy are the funniest together. Sure love these two.


 Yummy breakfast

I spent an entire day at my computer the week before I started my new job, getting all caught up on my classes. I wanted to make sure I was in a good place before I started working. It was a long day, but I got so much done. 

And to finish off the month? A date night at the temple. 

It was an insane month with so much going on, but full of totally awesome and fun memories as well. Bye bye August! You were great!!