Sunday, April 27, 2014

Baron is SIX!

 Happy Happy Birthday Baron Dear! Happy days will come to you all year! If I had a wish then it would be, a happy happy birthday to you from me!

Yes, Baron turned 6 years old. He was a little baby when I started this blog, so he has pretty much grown up on here. It is crazy to me that he is 6 and will be starting first grade in just a few months!

His birthday was a couple weeks ago on a Sunday. He requested crepes, sausage, and berries for breakfast. I also got some nutella and whipped cream to add to our crepes. It was soooo good.

As always, I let him open one gift in the morning.

It was a Pokemon book that he had been wanting for awhile. He had checked it out a lot at the library, so I figured he just needed his own. He loves all things Pokemon. In fact, he is having a Pokemon birthday party (not until I am out of school in May, hopefully he's not too sad about that!)

I am drooling looking at this photo.

After we went to church we came home and ate Baron's dinner of choice: Chicken roll-ups with gravy, pineapple and oranges, carrots and broccoli, and lemonade. He has had that same birthday dinner for the last few years. I am not a fan, but he loves it so that's what matters I suppose!

After dinner and a super fast clean-up we had grandparents over for cake and ice-cream. And of course, presents.
 I do not know what is up with all of these weird, shiny pictures. I guess it was a combination of the evening light and the shiny wrapping paper, but they are all kind of reflective!

Best brothers
 Bear only asked for a few things. He got some beyblades, pokemon cards, a Plants Vs. Zombies t-shirt, and another thing that I can't remember and it's driving me a little crazy.

His big gift was a DS. He was soooo excited and a little shocked because I told him there was no way I would get him one for his birthday. But, I love surprises, so I did. This photo was taken after the video I took of him ripping off the wrapping paper and he was just super anxious to open up the box and make sure a DS really was in there!

He got lots of money from great grandmas and aunts and uncles. He got a giant I Spy book  from G and G Collette.

And he got some games for his DS from Papa Bry and Grandma Claudia (who was out of town for the occasion, but she called and was there for a minute on the phone :)

We sang a little Happy Birthday and ate delicious marshmallow fudge brownies instead of cake and cookies and cream ice cream.


Oh, how I love this sweet boy.

The next day Baron's birthday was celebrated at school and he took donuts to school for his birthday treat. He got a birthday crown and his teacher gave him a darling birthday book that all of the kids in his class had contributed to.

And now, Bear at Six!
Wow, what can I say about Bear? I feel like even though he is a huge whiner (and he has gotten so much better) he is very mature for his age.  He kind of just takes things into his own hands and gets them done. I think he's a lot like Andy in that sense. If he wants a sandwich, he makes one. If he needs a drink of milk, he gets himself one. My other kids at this age would sit and whine and bug me until I did something like that for them, but he's been doing it himself for awhile now. He's very independent. In fact, Andy and I were just talking about how he has always been independent from a young age. He's never been needy or clingy. He always just does his thing. The whining thing that has gotten better is usually associated with me asking him to do chores or clean something up. And honestly, it really has gotten so much better. He must be growing up!

Baron loves school. He is really good at math and spelling. His reading needs some work. I think it's more of a confidence issue because if he's really concentrating he does just great. But if someone around him is better or faster he struggles. He tested for the gifted program that both Jonah and Daphne are in and he got in as well. So he will have Daphne's teacher next year which I am thrilled about. I love Mrs. Hall. Baron enjoys school and always does his homework right when he gets home. He rarely ever complains about it and likes the challenge activities his teacher sends home. He always wants to go the extra mile. He has terrific handwriting (better than Daphne's!) and I feel like he always does his best.

Baron is still my quiet shy guy. He has gotten to the point where it's not as big of a deal, but overall he is just quieter in big groups. If he knows everyone he is his happy goofy self, but if there are new people he is much less outgoing. He still loves to tease. He has such a silly sense of humor. I feel like that has come with the maturity thing. He has such a quick wit and makes jokes that sound like someone older should be making. He giggles at everything and has a hard time being serious when the need arises.

He is still a BIG boy. He is only 1 size smaller than Jonah. He wears a boys size 10 or a Large in boys. He wears a shoe size 3 (same as both Jonah and Daphne). I get asked if he and Daphne are twins because they are the exact same size (except he outweighs her) and sometimes we joke that the three of them are triplets. He loves food and eats everything I put in front of him. He is not one bit picky. His favorite foods are probably breakfast foods (eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc) and he also loves broccoli and carrots. He likes peanut butter sandwiches, string cheese, yogurt, and bananas. He loves oatmeal with raisins and asks for it almost every morning but usually gets out-voted. The kid loves food.

Baron still follows in his big brother's footsteps and loves anything that Jonah loves. Pokemon, any electronics (slight obsession there), Bey blades, soccer, Capture the Flag, football, board games.... as long as Jonah likes it, Baron likes it. They have such an awesome relationship and rarely ever fight. Sometimes I wonder if Baron would like different things if he didn't have a big brother. Interesting to think about.

He has been playing soccer this season and has improved so much. He actually gets excited to go and play. He also loves to ride his scooter, swim, jump on the tramp, and play with friends. He towers over his two best buddies, Easton and Ezra. It is so funny to see them all playing together.

 He is a happy boy and I love him so very much. Happy Birthday #6, my Bear.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life is Unfair

I know from very personal experiences that's true but sometimes it passes the realm of "fair" and goes into the realm of "horribly, devastatingly unfair". 

We found out today that a little boy in Laylah's grade passed away yesterday in a tragic swimming accident while on vacation with his family. She was very upset about it and I just cried at random times today, catching myself thinking about his mother. He was an only child. He was 11 years old. He had so much life left to live. Even though I'm a 31 year old woman, it is still so incredibly hard for my brain to wrap around the fact that one minute someone can be "here" and the next minute they can be "gone". I have always struggled with the concept of death. Even with my belief and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's hard for me to understand. Life can be so dang hard sometimes.

I just wanted to remember my feelings. I want to remember how grateful I am for the knowledge that families are forever. We will all be together again someday. I know that! And I am so thankful for my family. I'm so thankful for my children, my world. Even though life can be hard, it can be so incredibly beautiful. And I just needed to remind myself of that tonight.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Caboose

I had a busy day full of meetings, school, studying, and the like. I have my fourth test in chem tomorrow and I attended four parent teacher conferences. All four kids received straight A's and raving reviews from their teachers, so I am one proud mom. 

The kids don't have school tomorrow so they aren't home at the moment. The girls were invited to some friends house for a late night and the boys are in the circle playing night games with their friends. Andy met with his study group tonight and then came home to change and go to work. It was just me and Magnus most of the evening. W played and read books and wrestled. We jumped on my bed and then I got him ready for bed. As I sat him up on the counter in the bathroom to brush his teeth it struck me that this was one of those moments that I will always remember and cherish about my little caboose. It is strange to have my kids growing up and out late with friends. I know my kids are still young, but it has already started. They don't wan to be at home as much and they want to be playing and having fun with friends. Magnus is too little to do any of those things yet so he is usually stuck at home with myself or Andy. We love it. It is so much fun to get to know his little personality without him being in the shadow of his older siblings. He is such a dear sweet little boy and I absolutely adore him. I probably think to myself about 100 times a day how cute he is. 

So while the other kids are off playing I'll keep this one to myself for a few years longer until he is ready to spread his little wings and fly along with his brothers and sisters to never ending nights of adventures with friends. 

Sleep well little one...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Summer Is Coming

Did you know that after this week my kids only have 8 more weeks of school until summer break? I am so excited about this! I love summer break. Also, Andy and I are taking a break from school this summer semester which I couldn't be happier about. I need a break from school too. Then I'll have more time to play with my kiddies. 

The other day Laylah said to me, "We hardly ever see you anymore!" in a super pouty, lip quivery kind of voice and it made me really sad even though I pretended it wasn't true and named all the times I'd been with her that week. It's so hard to try and justify to myself that this crazy schedule will just be for a short while in the grand scheme of things, but it sure isn't easy in the mean time. I just keep telling myself it will be worth it and that hopefully my kids are learning something through all of this. Either that or they just completely forget about it so I'm not helping them pay for counseling someday because of their neglectful childhood. And that's a joke by the way because my kids might run a little wild some days but they aren't neglected. At least I don't think they are, haha.

Also, can I just mention that my hubs is pretty darn awesome these days? He is taking 16 credits, getting straight A's, working 30 hours a week (at night remember), only gets about 5 hours of interrupted lousy sleep at night, and still manages to be an amazing dad and husband. I love him.

Oh yeah, and he still manages to make me laugh on the daily:
 Nice one babe :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Short Hair, Don't Care

 Well hello there. It's been a day, but somehow I find myself refusing to go to bed, as I so often do. I don't know what my problem is, I don't understand how I can be both a night owl and an early bird. It defies the very laws of physics. And as my tutor always says, never defy the laws of physics.... okay, so that was a lame school joke. But still.

I've been wanting to do a post on short hair. I have had short hair for the majority of my adult life. There have been periods where I've rocked some long locks, but I always end up chopping them off in favor of shorter tresses, usually chin-length or above. I've had a pixie-cut before (senior year of high school!) and always got so many compliments on it. I told Andy that when I finally lost all my weight I wanted to try a pixie again because I feel like I just look better with shorter hair. And I also wanted to go dark because, go dramatic or go home I always say. He was all for it.

Anyway, I always get so many questions about my short hair. Like, is it easy to do? (sometimes) Is it so much faster? (not necessarily) Do I love it? (usually) Do I get bored with it because it's always the same? (absolutely not because it's not always the same!) People think that there are more options for style with longer hair, but I find that most people with long hair are always doing the same thing (a ponytail or down straight). I love short hair for various reasons, but I feel so much more chic and stylish when my hair is short. I like how dramatic it can look. And I have no issues feeling feminine with short hair either, which is another question I sometimes get.

Over the last couple months I have taken photos (usually at work because I tend to put more effort into my hairstyle on the days I work) to show how versatile short hair can be. It's fun! Also, check out my boring work attire. Black or white top with black bottoms. And then I found it funny that the one photo in here that isn't at work (it was a Sunday before church) I was still wearing black and white. Silly me.

 Don't laugh at my face. I actually took this photo on Valentine's Day to send to Andy which is the reason for the duck lips. Anyway, this is my classic go-to style. It has volume but is still sleek.

 This style is one of my favorites, but my hair has to be a little dirty so I don't have so much volume on the sides. The goal is smooth and sleek. It's a faux-hawk of sorts, but the front is just flipped to the back and pinned.

 Another favorite is piecey and sassy. I like to add a headband for added texture and dimension.

 Another smooth and sleek. Similar to the first without so much volume. 

 This one is almost identical to the last one but it looks different because I had just had it cut. It is a more polished look. I can't decide if I like it this way better or slightly tousled and messy like in the last pic.

 My hair was fairly dirty in this photo. I love it like that for the added texture. I just took a small piece of my bang and pinned it back and tousled the rest. I think I was a little too close to the lights... I kind of look sick in this photo, haha.

And last I have a recent experiment, curling my shorty hair. I curled it with a flat iron. I didn't want it too curly (like, ahem, grandma hair) so I just barely tweaked the ends and grabbed the bangs to pin them off to the side, just off center.

So, as you can see (through my highly narcissistic post) that short hair can be fun, flirty, stylish, sleek, dramatic, and cute. If you're thinking about taking the plunge into shorter hair (especially this time of year... it's hot and it feels great to get that hair off your neck!) I highly recommend it. Just do it! 

It's only hair and it always grows back :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

 We've been having us some fun with Spring Break here this week. Game nights, out for ice cream. swimming (in the indoor pool of course... because of all the dang SNOW!), movies, playing with friends, and the like. It has been a good week. Only a few more days left and then it's back to school.... but then!! Only a couple more months until school's out for the summer! Woohoo!

This semester has been killer on me. I don't know if it's the classes or just everything else going on, but I am getting burned out. Andy and I are both taking the summer semester off. Him because he is doing an EMT course this summer, and me because I am going to get my CNA and hopefully get a new job. We still have lots of changes coming our way, and I'm sure it will continue to be like that over the next few years as we are doing school and work and our kids continue to grow-up. 

It's a strange thing this new life we've been living for almost a year. One of the weirdest things to me is how old my kids are getting. They are literally growing up right before my very eyes. I was at Target earlier today and I walked past the baby section. I didn't have to stop for ANYTHING. I never go in that section anymore and it almost looked foreign. I used to practically live in that section! It was nostalgic and sweet as I remembered choosing out little tiny shoes for my babies and piling jars upon jars of baby food into my cart. I don't really miss those things about having babies, but I do miss my children being babies.

And then again at the pool tonight it was so strange to have my hands free. We started going to the Murray Rec pool when we moved to Taylorsville 8 years ago. I have always had a baby or little person to hold and take down the big slide. Not tonight. Magnus piggy-backed once in awhile, but he had a life jacket and swam and played on the steps and then he would go down that giant slide all by himself. Strange I tell you. Strange indeed. 

I'm not sure how all my talk of Spring Break went to babies, but I guess it's just Spring in general. New life, rebirth, and all that. It's a little symbolic and meaningful and I really love spring.

Our Story's Conclusion

Today was a long day. I've been doing some major spring cleaning and I didn't go to bed until 3 AM last night because I started cleaning out our storage room and once I start something I can't stop until it's done or else it drives me crazy. OCD much? Yeah...

And then today was a really long day at work with one client overlapping another so I didn't even get a break. I had to sneak away really quick to even use the restroom before I wet my pants. I was so happy to come home and lay my tired self on the couch. I spent a fun evening with my sweet family playing games and eating some treats that my amazing sister brought us (because I had cut her hair when I got home from work... Sometimes I feel like I'm turning into Edward Scissorhands). It was a good night.

And now I'm avoiding doing homework and blogging instead. Since I'm writing already anyway, I may as well try and conclude mine and Andy's love story... (Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE)

After our first date I went back down to Provo. He called me later that week after I got home from school. We talked and talked and talked about I don't even remember what. My ear was sore after an hour, but we were on the phone for at least 3. We made plans to get together again that coming weekend. We talked on the phone almost every night until then. We just never got tired of talking to each other. It was fast and furious and I was falling fast and hard for that tall handsome man.

After our second date I went back down to Provo. Andy called me that Sunday morning and asked if I was tired. My roommates had all left for church and I wasn't planning on attending (I know, I know. Naughty) because it just so happens that a late night out with a cute boy can be very exhausting when you're spending all of your time swooning. As we kept talking he asked if I was ready for church and i told him no and he told me I better hurry or I was going to be late. All of the sudden there was a knock on my door and when I opened it, there was Andy on his cell phone. We went to church together and then just spent the rest of that Sunday together hanging out, cooking dinner together, and talking about our future plans and life goals. 

I came home every weekend until Christmas break and sometimes Andy came down to Provo in the middle of the week. We went out as much as possible, talked on the phone as much as possible, and saw each other at all times of the day and night. Sometimes we doubled with friends and got to know more about each other's lives. Even though we had only been dating a few weeks I decided I wanted to get him something for Christmas. We had been at the mall and he had shown me a sweater he liked so I decided to get that for him as well as a Lifehouse cd (they were brand new at the time and I looooved them.) Even though it had only been about a month I felt so comfortable with Andy and felt like we had known each other way longer. I had never felt this way about anyone. I know I was only 18 but I had dated a lot of guys, especially over the last few months. I just felt something different about this guy. 

Anyway, I went to his house on Christmas Eve to drop off his gift. His little sister answered the door and invited me in. As soon as she swung the door open and I stepped in I looked up to see Andy standing at the head of the entryway. As I looked up into his face and smiled the thought came into my mind, "I am in love with him." It was a little shocking, but it made me giddy. I knew it was true. And by the way, Andy loved his gift. And had gotten me a silver CTR ring. He joked that it wouldn't be the last ring he would buy for me.

Over Christmas break we had a glorious 2 weeks together. The only time were apart was when Andy was at work. At some point during that time Andy asked me how I felt about being exclusive and not seeing anybody but each other. I had been seeing other boys still, but just out of sheer politeness (I had some dates set up from a few weeks before with guys that would only be home at Christmas break from schools that were outside of Utah. I felt a bit like a fraud going out with them because I knew I was in love with Andy.) He also met my family and I met his. Things just kept getting better and better. 

We had plans for New Years Eve with a few other couples. We had a blast and our New Years kiss was out of this world. Right after midnight he got a call from his mom. I thought it was a little weird but he said she just wanted to wish him a Happy New Year. Later I found out that his family had bets on whether Andy would propose and his mom had to call to find out if he had done the deed. Apparently he had already told his parents he was in love with me and he was going to ask me to marry him. Keep in mind that we had only known each other for 6 weeks at this point and hadn't even talked about a marriage, let alone told each other we loved the other. But I think we both knew it was only a matter of time.

A few days later we were out with our dear friends Paul and Cristan. We had gone out and now we were hanging out in Andy's parent's living room. Somehow someone brought up Andy and me getting married. We started coming up with different scenarios saying things like, "Yeah, when we get married we'll have X amount of kids and we'll have a dog and yada yada yada." We just kept going and joking around about it. Paul went to take Cristan home and Andy kind of got quiet. I was lying in his arms, so I couldn't see his face. I asked him what he was thinking and he asked me what I thought about everything we were just talking about. I said that I thought it all sounded amazing. He then turned me around to face him and told me that he was going to tell me something he had never told a girl before. He told me he was madly in love with me and wanted to be with me forever. He knew it was fast and crazy, but when it's right it's right. I told him I felt the exact same way. We probably looked like crazy idiots sitting there grinning at each other. But crazy-in-love idiots to be sure. 

And so that's how our whirlwind romance and engagement happened. Like I said, it was fast and furious. Our engagement was long by Mormon standards, so I do feel like we got to know each other more deeply over the months of our engagement. And our actual real engagement where Andy asked me on one knee and gave me my ring is a whole other story that I'll have to share another time, so this will do for now. 

But in conclusion to our love story, let me just say that I truly knew deep down in my soul that Andy and I were meant to be together. We've had some of our highest highs and lowest lows, but through it all I never get tired of kissing him. And that is pretty dang important ;)