Friday, October 19, 2012

Mummy Dogs, Eye of the Tiger, and Bouncing Curls

There must be something in the air this time of year.  Fall seems to bring with it the smell of fallen leaves, a cool crispness in the air, and the preamble to the holiday season.  Something about it always makes me reflect on years past and each and every year I am amazed at how fast time flies.
I don't know why I'm feeling so nostalgic, but every little thing seems to throw me into a whirlwind of memories, and an odd mixture of sadness, excitement, and most of all, satisfaction.
We were driving down the road a few days ago when "Eye of the Tiger" started playing on the radio.  My boys (like many boys, old and young) seem to get an extra rush of adrenalin whenever they hear that song.  The music instantly took me back to a phone call I received last year.  The number on the phone was recognizable and I new after a moment it was the elementary school.  I quickly answered, just a little nervous about what I might hear.  To my surprise it was Luke on the other end of the phone.  Here is how the conversation went:
"Hi Mom"
"Hey Buddy, what's up?"
"Can I be in the talent show this year?"
"What do you want to do in the talent show?"
"I want to whistle Eye of the Tiger."
"You want to whistle Eye of the Tiger"
"Yep but I have to stay after school to practice.  Is that ok?"
"We'll talk about it when I pick your brother up."
I instantly found myself in a motherly dilema.  I was proud of him for being confident enough to put himself  "out there," but the overly-protective mother in me was worried.  You see, my handsome, bright, confident son was a cute little 2nd grader.  His school had grades k-8.  I remembered how cruel older kids could be.  I was worried that if they saw my adorable little 2nd grader step on that stage with nothing but his witts and a microphone and begin to whistle Eye of the Tiger that they would be, well, cruel.  I never want to be the mom that doesn't encourage my kids to go after their dreams, but I was finding myself coming up with ways to talk Luke out of it.  
I picked him up from school, and I can honestly say I don't remember how the conversation went.  I'm sure I brought up a couple of points to consider and he eventually talked himself out of it. 
I really don't know if I did the right thing.  Sometimes I don't think so.
Now in my nostalgic moments, I see my sweet little Luke growing up.  I see him worry more about what other people think about him.  I see him developing more confidence in a lot of areas, yet losing some of his childlike innocent confidence.  The kind that doesn't give a crap about whether or not 8th graders laugh at him in the talent show.  So when I heard "Eye of the Tiger" playing on the radio, I found myself wanting to hold onto that moment a year ago, onto to that sweet 2nd grader and his innocence.  I made sure to pay extra close attention to the whistling coming from the back seat.

Then just this morning when Tanner was reading to me on the couch I was marveling at what a good little reader he is.  Almost instantly I was transported back to our 2nd house.  I remember sitting on the back porch with him when he was 2-years-old.  I can still see his curly hair, round little cheeks and gappy-toothed smile.  I would show him Luke's preschool flashcards, he knew every color, every shape, and a few letters.  I was impressed, but I wonder if I really knew how smart he was.  I wonder if I really how smart he is.

Ellie is growing so much, but still, she seems to hold onto a lot of that childhood innocence that I see slowly slipping away from my boys.  She can lock herself in her room with a few barbies and her imagination, and she's happy for hours.  She lives in the land "Happily Ever After."  In her mind the world is made of princes and princesses and it won't be long until a prince whisks her away to start their own Happily Ever After.  She's probably right.  It won't be long.  I just hope and pray that it will be just that.  Happily. Ever. After.

My little Mya with her blue-eyes and bouncing blond curls is a constant reminder that our family dynamics are changing.  I've said many times that she is the exclamation point that finishes our family story.  She's our last baby.  Watching her take her first steps was a first for her and a last for me.  Now she says things like "Oh NO, baby poot (pooped)!" she knows what she wants and tells me what she needs, she wraps her tiny arm around her daddy's neck for a loving kiss good-bye.  She's getting good at voicing her own opinions and she tries with all of her itty-bitty might to keep up with the big kids.  However, she still loves to be snuggled, she still needs me, she still takes baby size steps, and she can still only wrap her baby hands around two of my fingers.  I hope I can savor these moments.  I know they will pass as quickly as all the ones before them.

Our family has moved passed the expanding stage.  We're in the growing stage, the watching in awe stage, a stage full of changes and progress. And while I am living my life in this stage, I am sure that this year won't be the last time that I see a picture of mummy dogs when Halloween-Time rolls around again, and smile with tears in my eyes think of how our family has changed since we ate mummy dogs the year before.  I guess it's kind of a stage of reflection mixed with a boat load of anticipation and a good dose of savoring the moments.  It feels good.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall Fun

We LOVE fall at our house, so every year we try to do a few fun things to take full advantage of the season. We spent an afternoon this year (October 2010) at HeeHaws. The kids had a blast, and it was a lot of fun for Launey and me to see them enjoy themselves so much.I had to post a picture of Red Bear, that little guy didn't leave Tanner's side for a good three months! I think Red Bear really enjoyed the slide :)
Ellie's favorite thing was the petting zoo. She wanted to keep each and every animal there. The first picture is of her trying to take the larger than life bunny home. The second picture is of her hugging her favorite goat. She hugged that poor animal for ten minutes straight!

Summer Summary Part 2. . .

We ended the summer on a high note in beautiful Cache Valley. Each year Kylee, Conner, and Nixon are kind enough to host us for a few days, and they always keep us entertained. We enjoyed some time at the Logan pool then headed up for a day at Bear Lake.
I love the beach there because there are shallow sand bars which make it an awesome place for the kids to play. We always have a great time and we look forward to it each year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Summary. . . Part 1

After months of having to listen to complaints from my favorite biological sister, I guess it's about time I update my long neglected blog.
Here's the thing, SO many things have happened since I last posted that I get incredibly overwhelmed, and I just don't know where to begin. Even after typing that very sentence, I looked at all of the pictures I took this summer and darn near closed this tab without ever finishing the post. BUT, I guess if I don't start somewhere, I'll never get anywhere, and the truth is, I REALLY despise that first picture of me and the snake that I last posted. I'm getting sick of looking at it, so this just has to be done.
I am going to give you fair warning, this is going to be picture/information overload, but I am forbidding you to complain, because beggars can't be choosers, and this is just the way a post four months in the making has to be. I decided to break it up into two parts, because, well, I've got a lot of crap to post:).
Ute Stampede:
Our family has had the same Ute Stampede routine since I can remember. We always go to the rodeo on Thursday, and the the carnie on Friday. I'm excited I've been able to carry on that same tradition with my own kids. I have high hopes that someday they will be carnie employees and give us discounts so that we can ride the ring of fire all night with out paying a million dollars.
The rodeo is always intense, but somehow Tanner must have been getting a little bored because apparently he is trying to stimulate his brain through his nose :0).

This is Ellie's latest smile. You'll notice she continues to pull this lovely "princess smile" in nearly every picture I take of her. What a doll!
We wrapped up the Ute Stampede festivities with a little fun runnin'. Luke and Tanner ran in the kids' race, they both did a great job and have since gotten out of bed too darn early for my liking to train for next year.

Bampa's Farm:
Those of you who know my dad may be surprised to know that he has a farm. Well, ok, it's not really his farm, but the kids sure think it is. He works security at Young Living Farms in Mona which means that there are a few special occasions that we get a backstage V.I.P. pass to all the action.

At the farm there is a little western town that is the perfect setting for the imagination of two little "cowboys" to run wild! They got all suited up in their cowboy gear, which included a dinner napkin scarf for Luke, and a sideways pirate hat for Tanner. I always knew I'd raise me up some real cowboys!
Here the boys are busy being "The Law" and keeping their town in order.
Apparently order comes in the form of making their little sister keep the town clean.
After a hard days' work, they always make time to stop at the local pub for some good ole' fashioned saspirilla.
Here is my sweet little girl's lovely princess smile once again!
PS- I would like you to take a second look at the Ute Stampede photos. My boys were begging to wear these lovely cowboy outfits to the rodeo, and I was begging my mom for suggestions on how to get around it. Luckily she came through with some NEW cowboy clothes so the pirate hat and dinner napkin could have a little break. Thank goodness for grandparents!!
Since this little outing, I have had to convince Tanner multiple times that cowboys wear cool clothes too.

Yes, these outlaws even have their very own mother and father

We live only a few minutes from a nice little desert oasis, the Payson Pool. Just incase you weren't aware, I am one of the most paranoid mothers on the planet, so when I heard that my favorite Juab High School Alumnists were taking their kids to the pool, I nearly had a heart attack. My first thought was "NO WAY!" Then I began thinking of Meagan and Alisha who are also Matriarchs of their own three children, and I told myself, "if they can do it, I might as well attempt to do it too." I set a few ground rules for the kids, strapped a life-jacket on Tanner, and away we went. I am so glad I did because anytime I get together with these girls, it's always a good experience. I even made it home with all three of my children above water.
The pool check was made a little sweeter with slushies and pink cookies...Oh, and this is Ellie in her favorite pink robe which she lovingly refers to as her "butt"

July 4th.
On July 4, 2003, this handsome little devil made me a mother and stole my heart. I can't believe seven years has gone by since then. How blessed I am to have such a wonderful son. He has already taught me more about ambition, compaiton, and patience than I can express. I am so proud of him, and I feel it an honor to be called his mom.
Nephi's 3rd of July Celebration:
We certainly lucked out this year with the 4th being on a Sunday. We got to go to Nephi on the 3rd, celebrate Luke's birthday on the 4th, and head up to Provo on the 5th. We usually try to cram all three celebrations into one day, which makes for a crazy, utterly exhausting adventure, it's always worth it, but I kinda wish the 4th was on Sunday every year.

Luke got his face painted like Spiderman. Can you see the resemblance? I'm not going to lie, it took me a few minutes to guess what character he was meant to be.
My parents spent two hours working as the train operators. That meant two hours of free rides and entertained children for me. It was pure bliss!
Tanner was dying all day to try his hand, and feet, at rock climbing. I tried to convince him it was a waste of tickets, but needless to say, he used six of his tickets which is equivelant to two bucks to make it three feet up the wall then have a level 5 meltdown because he couldn't reach the top. After dragging my kicking and screaming 4-year-old away from the crowd, a kind doctor, who happened to be by the rock climbing wall at the time, tracked me down to see if he was seriously injured. I reassured him that only his pride as assulted but other than that, he was just fine. Best two bucks we've ever spent.

I am pretty confident that at this point, you are as tired of reading this as I am of writing it, so I will put the 2nd half on hold and simply say,
to be continued. . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lessons Learned from Pooh

So, most of you know that I tend to be a tad bit on the paranoid side (notice the look of sheer terror on my face).

When confronted with a situation or a proposition, such as, "Mom, can I go outside and play?" I think to myself, passively at first, “oh, what’s the worst that could happen?”

At that point, my thoughts inevitably lead from a simple afternoon outside in the backyard, to one of my children being kidnapped and then who-knows-what else while I spend the rest of my life in an agonizing search for the baby I lost when I let him step out that back door. So, the passive question, ”what’s the worst that could happen?” turns into a small anxiety attack, when chances are, that whole mother’s worst nightmare scenario really isn’t going to happen. And yes, I actually do let my kids play outside:).

And here's where my dilema comes in, have you ever heard of a helicopter mommy? I don’t want to be a helicopter mommy. I'm sure you know them, the moms that hover over their children at the playground, and when playing with other kids, never letting them experience so much as a scrape or skirmish. I really try hard not to be that, but, I have this innate urge to protect my offspring.

Last week my kids were watching Winnie the Pooh, and I a major epiphany courtesy of that silly old bear. In that particular episode, Rabbit had grown the perfect pumpkin. The pumpkin was so perfect that he just HAD to protect it. The super sleuths started building a variety of contraptions to protect the pumpkin from all the ills of the world, but with each completed contraption another weak spot was revealed. For instance, they built a fence all the way around the pumpkin, but it was left vulnerable on top. Their efforts eventually led them to building a completely enclosed structure around and on top of the pumpkin. Nothing could get in. Nothing could hurt it. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but I’ll finish the story anyway:). Rabbit quickly realized that his pumpkin was getting weak, the lack of sun, water, and fresh air made it frail and start to wither. It turned out that smothering the pumpkin was actually killing it, not helping it. And so it goes.

If my kids are never able to spread their wings, take a risk, and be exposed to life, they will never be able to learn. They won't know how to pick themselves up when they fall. If I never allow them to feel defeated, how will they know the joy of success? I could do my best to never let them scrape a knee, or stub a toe, but at what cost? What journeys will they be missing out on, and will they really be growing?

(I LOVE where I live)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that there are times that I will need to walk along side my kids, I will arm them with the protection they need to fight their battles, (such as an unstrapped backwards helmet. . .see below)but eventually, I’ll have to do it. I’ll have to let go. And I know if when I do, I will be better for it, and they will be too.

So until that day comes. The day that I’ll have to let go, I’m going to do everything I can to put all of my crazies aside, and watch my perfect pumpkins grow.

Side Note: Most of these pictures were taken at baby animal days in Logan, thanks little sis for inviting us! We had a great time:).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!!!!

Sometimes I crack myself up:)

A BIG (but smaller than a breadbox) Announcement!!!

Need I say more?