Happy Birthday Baylor

I think it’s safe to say, 8 might be my favorite age.

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This year has marked some big confidence growth for Miss. B. I didn’t see it coming so when it plopped down in front me, I was left in awe. Watching her stroll into the first swim team practice of the season like a seasoned professional – no tears, no arguments – and literally dive in, was amazing.

She waltzed into a new camp with the same attitude. I was intimidated by the other kids, but not Baylor. She was by far the kid with the least dance experience and sadly her mother’s gymnastic skills, and not only did that not stop her, she wasn’t fazed in the slightest. She happily danced along the way she wanted to and at the end of the week announced “camp was fine. But I like the way I dance better”.

I hope for the rest of your life, you always like the way you dance better, B Baby.

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Sibling Love

Driving to school yesterday, I was in my own head and trying to tune out the argument coming from the backseat about where someone’s stuff animal could sit and where someone’s backpack should go. But then after a minute of silence, I overheard this:

“Sissy. When you go the ballet next time with Grandma, can I go too?”

“Sure, buddy. I think you’re big enough now.”

“How big do you have to be??”

“……..”

“Like how high is the stick??”

“………OH! Like on a ride at Disneyland?? No no, you don’t have to be tall. I mean OLD enough. You’re old enough. You can be any height, you just have to be able to stay up late!”

“Are you KIDDING me?! I can do THAT!”

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More Montana 2016

The rest of the week was jam packed. Did I mention that the Dehaven’s came to visit? They always bring the fun. And Jeff shared his pictures too!

 

We rodeo’d in Livingston…

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We creeked…

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Which lead to a lot of this….

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Do you see the fish right in front of Baylor?!

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And after taking a year off from our last Yellowstone Park visit, we again braved the winding roads with all 7 of us. This trip went far better and we even made it all the way to Old Faithful without murdering each other and only one person vomiting. Success!

Stephanie studying the warnings carefully…

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The amazing Grand Prismaticsimg_4923

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I’m so bummed – the colors of the pools are amazing – but it was barely 32 degrees and so the steam made it hard to see.img_4962img_4987

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A tourist died earlier this year jumping into one of these pools. It’s so hot, by the next morning, they could only find a few bones….img_5086

We also got to see the Beehive Geyser. It’s less predictable than Old Faithful, erupts for a shorter period of time but is as intense. Plus you can get a lot closer!

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And the Old Faithful Lodge was fantastic. At 112 years old, it’s seen some amazing history. Also I’m sure it’s haunted.

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And it wouldn’t be Montana without visiting the Long’s for some horseback riding lessons. The girl’s favorite, Duke, was donated to a school to be a therapy horse. They get reports once in awhile about how happy he is to be ridden every day! Thankfully the ladies were happy to give Heidi a try – and they now have a new favorite.

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Auggie is still not sure he’s a fan

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And we drove kids and a dog around in a gater. While taking selfies. This looks safe, right?

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Happy Birthday(s)!!!

It’s once again birthday week in our house and what a week it was! We celebrated Peter’s 30something birthday and the Auggie boy’s 4th. It was jam packed with a friend birthday party, family brunch, family dinner and then the family party! Needless to say, we are wiped, stuffed, are over run with new toys and have way too much left over cake.

This guy. Where to start.

img_3475 Since the day he was born, just his presence gives my anxious self a sense of calm. He has the most expressive hands; they pat when they are happy – pat your back in a hug, pat his legs when he’s smiling or singing. His sweet hands wring when he’s nervous and they flap when he’s frustrated. You can always tell what he’s thinking by what his hands are up to.

And I think he may have gotten his momma’s imagination. He creates worlds to play in, sees bad guys to fight, fires to be extinguished and loves to design with Legos. His descriptions of what he thinks feels much bigger than a four year old’s thoughts. When describing how he felt listening to a sad song, he said “this makes me feel like I lost something, but I know I didn’t”!

Auggie boy, you bring endless happiness to our lives. I think 4 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to see what the next 100 years bring!

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And this guy.

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I can’t tell you how lucky, blessed, fortunate – you name it, I am it – to call him ours. Always the supporter, cheerleader, listener. He’s first to deescalate a fight and always comes around to compromise. He is the very best dad, quick to encourage, motivate and love. Ever the dreamer, planner and socializer – he keeps our calendar packed. He’s always got the comeback that makes me laugh and the big hugs that let me know how loved I am.

Happy birthday PW and thank you for loving us!!

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Adrenaline Junkie

We hit Zoo Lights this year on the perfect night – there was no one there! I don’t know if there was something bigger going on around town or it was just too cold – either way, it was fantastic. The only down side was that because there were no lines, we broke the bank on light up necklaces, kettle corn, Polar Slide, etc. Sometimes the lines are a good thing.

We’re into themed hats

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I had on no less than 4 layers. I realized in the car that the temperature was 56 degrees. It’s amazing we lasted in DC as long as we did…

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The Polar Slide had no lines so we shuffled on over to check it out. It’s made of some kind of plastic mesh – like the stuff Olympic skiers practice on in the summer. It’s super slick, but not cold. It’s pretty cool – but the initial drop off scared me just to watch. But Baylor decided it looked fun so she and Peter headed up to the start line. I assumed they would have her ride with him – nope. She got her own inner tube and went flying down the hill giving me a coronary. She proceeded to go 4 more times until we ran out of cash…I hope this isn’t the beginning of other death defying feats!

Just Us and the Zoo

Columbus day was the perfect excuse to go to the zoo. I decided we would go just us – Baylor, Auggie and me. That way we could go where we wanted, when we wanted AND we would actually get some time to talk. We had the best time –  we saw all the animals we wanted, Baylor got to ride the camel (Augg is too little but when she heard she could go by herself? she was gone), we hit the petting zoo, playground, ate chips, rode the carousel and meandered until it was too hot and we were hungry. It was the perfect way to spend a holiday Monday morning.

Ready to roll. Bonus: pushing the flipping 100 pounds of double jogger up and down hills is a great workout

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I couldn’t believe that there were no nerves what so ever getting on this guy by herself! We’ve got to get her riding lessons. Horse riding, not camels.

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I love the playground at the zoo. It’s made to look like a life sized Little People Farm. It’s just so cute!

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These goats make me a little nervous – they are so laid back. I always get worried that when there is one laying down that he’s not breathing… This guy however was great. His name was Mini Muffin. I’m not really sure there’s a better goat name.

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There was just a hint of attitude about why we only road the carousel once and not a bajillion times…I’m going to chalk it up to being hot and tired…

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Little Foot

Bay and I like to take a good half hour after Auggie goes to bed and snuggle. We like to watch Gilmore Girls because it makes us think of Mamie and because Baylor has always loved the opening song.

She remarked the other night “look! My legs are almost as long as yours! My feet are almost as long as yours!”. I realized how long her legs really were and how big those feet were getting.

Don’t grow up too fast little lady. I need my snuggle buddy to fit on my lap a bit longer.

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2012 Resolutions

I have never been much of a resolution maker – I’m just not patient enough to wait until the new year. If I’m going to make a change, it’s now or never!

Last year I decided I needed to get serious about volunteering and also about our garden. I failed miserable on the volunteering – Travis T. Dog was just not up for visits to the nursing home and when we lost him in March, that was it for Pets On Wheels. I am however, a Room Mom and on a few fundraising committees at B’s school – a little too self-serving to be considered serious volunteering, but it’s a start.

I did do much much better with the gardening. I managed to keep our tomato plants alive all summer. That is not a small feat in the Arizona heat – not to mention this past one was the third hottest in history. I may have looked like a freak with a double layer of shade screen AND an umbrella, but damn if those tomatoes aren’t producing a second round of fruit right now! The lettuce table is on round two now and there is only minimal frost damage on our plants (so far….) so I think I’m winning on this end.

I’ve still got some more work to do – I am a bonified killer of rose bushes. I think I’m up to 5 now. Which is embarrassing. I’ve got a theory about their untimely deaths and I think the solution lies in 1. a new tree and 2. a super cool sail shade that will stretch from the wall to the roof of the garage. Details to follow…

2012 brings a new round of resolutions: first, to be more spontaneous. I like a schedule and I despise unpredictability. I also don’t like being bored so we plan a lot of things to do and places to go. But because of that, we’re rarely available to meander down the street and play with our neighbors. Or go for a walk with our friend and her baby. I decided I need to do more in less time and let some things fall off / get re-prioritized. If we end up having frozen pizza for dinner instead of a home cooked meal because we decided the park was just too fun to leave, then that’s ok. I don’t think Bay will be traumatized too badly and if she is, well then she’ll have more to talk about in therapy.

Which leads me to my next resolution: cook more, less often. I tend to make way too much of any meal because PW and I like having leftovers for lunches. But I am going to make even a little more than usual so that I can throw a tupperware into the freezer. That way we get a home cooked dinner, but without the extra time to make it.

Simple resolutions? Maybe. But they will hopefully have a lasting impact that will mean happy and even more fulfilling moments with our family. Happy 2012!!

Commitment (breaking) Phob

I was supposed to run the 5k portion of the Women’s Half Marathon this past Sunday. Read “supposed to”. I contracted Baylor’s croup sometime Thursday and by Saturday night, I was feeling miserable. Coughing, sore throat and just a general feeling of crap. I was set that I had to run on Sunday morning and would just battle through it. I had made a commitment to run and damn it, I’m tough.

Around 10pm Saturday and after a major coughing fit, PW sweetly looked at me and said “please don’t get mad. But I really think you should skip the run tomorrow”. And damn it if he’s not right that I would have gotten mad if he hadn’t said it. At first I refused. But after I thought about another week of feeling crummy, I decided he was right. I had to skip it. I sadly texted Stephanie (who finished 13 out of like 2000 runners!!!) that I was out for the run and for our breakfast plans after.

I woke up Sunday around 7:15 and felt…human. I didn’t feel horrible. PW and Bay ventured out to Bosa Doughnuts  and we sat on the couch, watched CBS Sunday morning, ate fresh doughnuts and bacon, drank coffee and turned on the fireplace for the first time this season. I’m not sure if it was the uninterrupted family time, the doughnuts or the sleep that made me feel so much better.

It got me thinking that I get too uptight about keeping commitments. Yes, it’s important to follow through. To go to the events that you’ve RSVP’d for, to complete the race, to finish the project. But sometimes it equally if not more important to cancel and stay in. To say no to the world and yes to snuggling your family on the couch.

Take A Hike

Last Sunday afternoon, we decided to venture out to one of the great hiking trails near our home and enjoy some nature. It had rained the night before so we knew the desert would be particularly beautiful. The clouds were big and puffy, the air clear, it couldn’t have been nicer. Peter carried Ms.B in the backpack and we enjoyed some great family time.

The Iphone camera doesn’t do the view justice. There is snow on the Four Peaks in the distance. Cotton candy clouds and blue blue skies.

Happy hikers