Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A decade into eternity

Once again I've neglected a post because I have no pictures to go with it. Back in July, Jeff and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We were in Utah at the time and Jeff actually spent our entire anniversary working, but that was ok because our trip to New York a few weeks earlier had been the real celebration. This is what I wrote the day of our anniversary:

Today marks a decade of marriage for Jeff and I. I've come to realize that anniversaries do not fall into the same category as birthdays or holidays. They are not something that just happen every year regardless of what we do. With each anniversary I feel a sense of victory and accomplishment, similar to the feeling of running a race or getting through a challenging class. Even great marriages are hard work, and ours is no exception, but I have learned and grown so much in the process. I could never have done it without the person who's been there with me through thick and thin and ups and downs. My partner and better half has been my coach, my teacher, my inspiration, and my support through it all. We make a pretty good team and I don't ever take him for granted. Ten years has seen 5 states, 10 moves, 4 kids, 3 degrees, 5 jobs, dozens of burnt dinners, countless laughs, and daily prayers thanking my Creator for the man I am fortunate to call mine.

And just for fun, want to see what the rest of our families look liked 10 years ago?

365 days old

One year ago this bundle of joy came along and changed our family forever.

Sawyer celebrated his first birthday on September 9th. It was a pretty uneventful day, but we made sure Sawyer knew how much we love and cherish him.

Sawyer still shows no interest in walking. He speed crawls and that alone keeps us on our toes, especially since he can get up stairs but not down them. He pulls up on everything and loves to cruise around the furniture, but true to his nature, he will not take a single step a moment before he is good and ready.

Sawyer has 4 teeth and uses them like a champ. For a long time we could not get him to self feed. Very annoying. But one day he realized those Cheerios he was picking up could go in his mouth and then there was no stopping him.

Sawyer is a big tease and loves to make us laugh. He could give high 5's all day long and is surprisingly good at catch.

Being doted on by 3 older sibling is a tough job, but Sawyer does it proudly. He has mixed feelings about all the attention and screams as loud as any of them when his limits are pushed.

Sawyer is an awesome sleeper... for the most part. He takes several naps during the day and has absolutely no schedule, which is pretty critical when I have so many places to be during the day between all of our other schedules. He adjusts to our daily grind and does what is necessary to get through the day, even when it means falling asleep in a shopping cart or napping in the stroller at soccer games.

Sawyer made a royal mess of his birthday cake, but mostly because he threw it on the floor rather than in his mouth! Silly goon. I think he still liked it.

I haven't been very good at documenting Sawyer's growth so here are some stats. He is still holding strong to the title of biggest baby in the family, topping 20 pounds well before the year mark.

6 months
Weight: 18 lb (50%)
Height: 27.5 in (76%)
Head: 43 cm (20%)

12 months
Weight: 22 lb 6 oz (40%)
Height: 31 inches (80%)
Head: 46 cm (27%)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Soccer x3

Soccer season is well underway. The first practice was sweltering hot. The first game was rained out. But this last Saturday dawned just a bit on the chilly side and made for a perfect morning at the soccer fields. 

Logan is playing again after a 5 year break (and needs some extra practice to make up for it). Regardless of the skill difference, he is having a blast and loves playing on a team.

Isabelle is playing for the first time. She is not on a team, but plays twice a week with a clinic. So far she spends about 75% of the time participating and the other 25% "resting."

Savannah is playing again after a year off. Jeff is coaching her team, but since he is out of town so much (and does not consider soccer one of his favorite sports), we recruited Jeff's cousin, Bryson, to be the assistant coach. Bryson does a great job with the girls and Jeff does a great job managing everything else (i.e. the parents).

Most of the time the game is fast and exciting, but sometimes it's a little bit more boring. I can't decide what my favorite part about this picture is: Savannah looking so incredibly bored, Jeff looking on his phone, or the girls taking a nap on the ground behind him. This is 6-year-old soccer in a nutshell!

Quick Trip

Last weekend we made one of our quickest road trips ever! Friday morning we hopped in the car and drove 9 hours to Austin, TX. We were there for one day, then spent another 9 hours driving back on Sunday. You may wonder what could motivate us to make such a long drive with four kids for such a short stay. The answer: BYU football, of course!

As it turns out, BYU football draws people out of the woodwork from all sorts of places. We ended up meeting a group of Jeff's coworkers from all over Texas at the game. It was fun to see them again and get to meet some of their kids. We all got together for a little tailgate party before the game, complete with mini sliders, non-alcoholic beer (gross), and Indian food.

A funny anecdote from our tailgating party: We met on some grass outside of the LDS Institute building in Austin. Because it is near the stadium, parking was a bear. The Institute building has underground parking, but it was gated and no one had the code. Well, one of our group managed to follow a stranger into the parking garage, and then every time a new car would show up we'd trigger the sensor, open the gate, and let them in. The only problem was that once we walked out of the parking garage, it was completely sealed off with no way to get back in! Luckily, someone thought of that before we abandoned all our vehicles, so we tested a theory to have a small child climb through a narrow gap at the top of the gate and go open the door from the inside. It totally worked. Thank goodness for kids!

Savannah was thrilled to be there.

Ah, much better!

The Imagine Learning bunch. I don't know why Jeff always likes to hide out in the back of pictures.

The whole gang (minus a few from our pack).

There may have been a little rivalry going on. Just for the record, we won the game. :)

Although Sawyer was showing us his best touchdown arms, I wasn't willing to shell out the $80 per ticket for him, the girls, and I, so the four of us let Jeff and Logan go to the game while we went somewhere even better.... Ikea! Jeff jokingly gave me permission to spend the equivalent of 4 football tickets while I shopped. You should never joke about shopping with a woman. ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Atlantis

Back in February, Jeff and I took a kid-free trip to the Bahamas, courtesy of Imagine Learning. We flew out in the wee small hours of the morning, leaving our kids in Grandma's capable hands. I chose to leave my camera at home (shocker) but got a few pictures on my phone to document the trip. Since my pictures were on my phone, they never made it to my computer, and in the chaos of life I completely forgot about them!

We stayed at the Atlantis resort and had a blast enjoying the perfect weather, beautiful scenery, and great company. The Atlantis has a water park built right into the resort, and between the pools, beaches, water slides, and beach volleyball, we never had a reason to leave! The timed water slides were a hit, and the boys went down them over and over trying to beat each others' records.

My favorite part was the tube slides. They had conveyor belts that would send you uphill so that it felt more like a roller coaster than a water slide. The tube slides dropped you into the "rapid river" (not to be confused with a lazy river) that was a ride in and of itself.

The company sponsored a snorkeling trip one day, so off we headed to a private island and crystal blue waters. The yachts we spotted while getting to and from our snorkeling sites were absolutely incredible. I think I could live on a boat if it was a boat like that.

This trip was perfectly timed after a long, snowy January in which Jeff was gone more than we was home. I am so grateful for these annual trips to help us rest, reconnect, and relax in amazing places!


Since our previous dog fostering experience two years ago, I have thought that if the opportunity every came up to foster again and we were in a situation to do so, we would. This summer the stars realigned and we found ourselves in a sort of puppy heaven. It all started when my friend posted some pictures on Facebook of puppies they were fostering. I asked her for more details, and before I knew it we had two puppy house guests: Sky and Ryder.

These two cute lab/Rottweiler mixes (at least that's our best guess) were found in a dumpster. It breaks my heart to think about their sad beginnings, but I am so glad we were able to give them lots of love and attention before passing them on to a rescue. We only had these two for a week before they were taken to Colorado and adopted almost immediately.

We didn't have much time to miss Sky and Ryder, because a week after they left, we picked up 4 more puppies! These guys were only 7 weeks old and so sweet and sleepy. I think they are some sort of lab/pit bull/beagle blend. They didn't have names, so we named them after superheros. I tried to match their chest markings to superhero emblems, but it's a bit of a stretch for some.

We have now had these puppies three weeks and the kids are totally in love with them. I think they are adorable and lovable, but am starting to get a little tired of cleaning up accidents, picking up poop, cleaning out their crate, and dealing with everything they chew up! If we ever decided to get a dog to keep, I'd definitely look for one that was already house trained and through the chewing stage. (On the positive side, they don't shed or drool like our first foster dog. So that's a plus.)

Savannah treats them like her baby dolls. She loves cuddling them and carrying them around.

Logan likes to get them to chase him and play hide and go seek with them. Logan wears the puppies out, and the puppies wear Logan out. It's a good fit.

Isabelle loves the puppies a little too much. We have to keep close tabs on her when she is playing with them to make sure it is playing and not torture. It reminds me of how she "plays" with Sawyer...

Speaking of Sawyer, he only likes the puppies when there is a glass window between them. The puppies are surprisingly gentler with him than with the other kids, as though they sense his size and age. But it is not enough to appease Sawyer. He panics when they get too close.

I had to take all four of these guys to get spayed/neutered while they were here. I thought it was the funniest thing to see them all with their "cones of shame." Don't they look miserable? Lucky for them, those little stinker chewed up each other cones, so they didn't last long.