Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Weekend Road Trips! Part 2

After leaving St. George we took the alternate route home to swing through Price for the last couple of days. After another long but pleasant drive, we arrived and got to attend a graduation party for my niece, Maygun, who had just graduated high school. We had a nice bbq at the park for her.  Congrats Maygun!

But the best part was the my sister and other niece DaNell did something very thoughtful for my t-rex arms and bought me a selfie stick! hahahahahaha YES!  We had a good time playing with it.

Then we were off to Papa's for a round of Cards Against Humanity with my new expansion packs which turned out hilarious, as usual.  Then to the hotel for a nice quiet evening. 
On Monday, we did the cemetery thing and got to take some of the kids and my sister and her husband and went on a date to the newly remodeled Pizza Hut (classy, right?). It was very good and then after some more visiting and planning of the next couple adventures, we were off for the long drive home with the kids in tow. 
A special thanks to Papa and Grandma once more for taking the kids and letting them have so much fun at your house playing and attending a birthday party. They are still talking about it and asking to go back soon. You guys are the best!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Weekend Road Trips! Part 1

Mike and I got to have an unplanned mini anniversary get-away over the weekend when a friend invited us to her wedding in St. George. We already have an anniversary trip planned but decided to take advantage and enjoy it. So right after school on Friday, we met Papa in Spanish Fork to take the kiddo's home with him and we were off for a long drive together. It was a pleasant drive just talking and enjoying the scenery as well as enjoying a long drive together with no kids screaming in the back seat. What a treat!
We arrived in St. George and to the villa that my step-brother had hooked us up with (thanks Mike!) and after we were situated, we headed off to a pre-wedding bbq for the bride and groom at a local park. Although unusually chilly for St. George, we managed to have a good time visiting with the happy couple, some of their family and some old friends of mine as well as snapping a pre-wedding selfie with the bride.
The day of the wedding, we had some time to kill in the morning, so we set off to do some shopping and had a nice lunch date together. Then it was wedding time! We enjoyed the ceremony and wished the newlyweds well. Then snuck out during the luncheon (since we had previously eaten) to enjoy a movie together with a parents of some old friends of mine.  We saw Pitch Perfect 2 which was hilarious. Then we headed back to the reception where we got to visit some more with the bride and groom and spent some time being silly with them and taking silly- secret pics of us up to shenanigans for me to send her later for a laugh.

We had a great time and both commented many times to each other about how we were glad we went. Thanks Reva for the invite to share in your and Robert's special day!

 After we left we enjoyed the quietness of the villa again with a drink on the balcony under the stars.
 I sure love this man and enjoy every minute of alone time we get together.

15!!!!! Fifteen! 10 + 5!

Last week Mike and I got to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Since it was in the middle of a incredibly busy week, we didn't do a whole lot for the day of.  But he did surprise me with a very thoughtful gift. An engraved vase full of 15 roses, one for each year with 4 different ones for our 4 kiddos.
And I surprised him in the afternoon with this awesome tri-pod clock that he's had his eye on for the bedroom.
We took the kids and had dinner at Texas Roadhouse after work and called it a night. Knowing that we had a couple days alone in the upcoming weekend plus our belated anniversary trip coming up in a couple weeks, that worked out just fine.   So happy to celebrate 15 years with this guy!

Mr. Zay's New Look

Mr. Zaden got a new look last week. He's very proud of his style choices and has proclaimed that glasses make everything "More better." His mom is even prettier with them on, or so he says.  Look at this handsome little chick magnet.

Our Prima Ballerina

I think we have a prima ballerina on our hands. Last week, Faith had her first ever dance recital. She was so stinking cute and even though we were worried about how she'd react on stage, she proved us wrong and went right up there in front of 300 + people and did it. We are super proud parents of this little girl and couldn't wipe the wide smiles off our faces for hours afterwards.  For just starting dance classes in January, we could be more pleased.

Another Night, Another Painting

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day weekend this year was a pretty laid back. Friday I spent the morning out with Faith doing or normal Friday stuff, but we also spent some time buying loads of flowers to plant in the yard and took the time to go out to a nice lunch together. She also helped me pick out the most beautiful vase of  flowers for the inside from them and Daddy for Mother's Day.
Once back home with all the flowers, our weekend got even better with the arrival of Great Aunt Sue from her road trip from Omaha. She arrived with hugs for all and some sunflowers for me (my favorite).  We visited a bit and since the rain had kicked up, preventing us from getting those flowers planted, we watched a movie with the kids and called it a night.
Saturday turned out to be another full day of rain. We opted to take the kids to Michael's for some craft supplies to have something to paint and then we went looking for something to do together with Aunt Sue to get us out of the house for a bit. We ended up going bowling.

 It was a great time, and Faith won! Ok, Mike technically won, but Faith was second place and since she's 3 that makes her the de-facto winner. She proudly wore the title. Then we enjoyed a lunch together at Winger's.  Then it was back home where we enjoyed more down time and the kids painted one of their projects and took some naps/ quiet breaks while the rain continued outside. Later that night, my niece DaNell showed up with her boyfriend and we spent some time playing a game and laughing the rest of our night away with them.
Sunday finally brought some sunshine back. Mike got up and made me a nice breakfast of French Toast and bacon and once the grass dried out a tiny bit, we took advantage of it and got those flowers planted in the yard. It went quickly thanks to the help from Great Aunt Sue and then we were back inside for more painting and another movie while we took it easy for the rest of the day.  Here are some pics from all the flower fun, both inside and outside from the weekend. As well as the flower from Faith and the babysitter that they made for me and cards from the boys they made at school to make me feel special.

It was a huge slow-down for us from the last little while which turned out to be really nice and just what we needed. Flowers, fun and family. A triple F kind of weekend.

Thanks for the nice laid back visit Great Aunt Sue and for lunch and the sunflowers, it was great having you here for a few days. Miss you already!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mother's Day Advice from Me to You

My Mother’s Day advice to you mother’s out there whom I know and love:  

Too often we as mothers are too worried about our appearances and dare I say it… the pictures floating around of ourselves. I am often told things like  “I hate the way I look in pictures,” or “I’ve gained too much weight” or “My kids are so much cuter than I am” or “I’m the one behind the camera and never in front of it.”  As a matter of fact, I was told this a couple of times just in the past week by various friends. And trust me, I get it. I really do. Actually, I was there once myself and admit that I  sometimes teeter in the zone. But here’s the thing, get over it!
Now, hear me out on this. One day while being in that zone and lamenting old pictures of myself and wondering why there were so few of myself during a family vacation we had taken, the reason was loud and clear. The answer was simple. It was my fault. My fault I wasn’t in the pictures, my fault I didn’t allow myself to just be ok with where I was and what I looked like in that moment.  My fault that someday my kids may come across these pictures and ask, “Mom, were you with us when we went here?”  And that realization killed me. Worse than that, I realized that instead of asking me that question, it’s very possible I may not be around for them to ask one day and they will have to ask someone else if I was there.  Will that person even know the answer? Is this the way I want to be remembered? By not remembering or being able to remember if I was there because my children were too young at the time? Easy answer, No.
Someday whether I’m older looking at pictures with my children…or perhaps grandchildren if that’s where life takes us or whether it’s my children relaying stories to them after I’m gone. I want to proudly be able to  say “I was there,”  “look at this pic of all of us,” “doesn’t this picture show how much fun we were having?” or have them say “boy, mom really knew how to have fun,” or “She always made sure to document the good times she had with us.”  Even if they are looking at a terrible picture of me and laughing, here’s the thing… made them laugh and probably will bring back a memory or two from the time it was taken. Is that really so bad?
How many of you have taken out old photographs of your mother, your grandmother, even your great grandmother and regaled your children with stories of them from your own childhood? Told them about the person they are if they are still around or the person they once were if they are now gone. Probably all of us at one time or another.  Pictures, both flattering and unflattering, tell a story and I want my story told.
I want to be remembered as a mom that loved living life. That was passionate about the things she enjoyed no matter how silly they seemed to others. Someone who knew how to be a mom and have fun in that role (my most important role) as well as be remembered as someone who knew how to take time to have fun as a woman who was more than just a mom.  I want to be remembered as the fun mom that not only enjoyed life for herself but enjoyed it for my children and hopefully somehow through it all to do the same with their lives.  And when you think about it, I bet you want the same.
So now onto the advice, if you are fortunate enough this weekend to spend some time with your own mother or grandmother, take some pictures! Make sure you are in the pictures with them. Set the timer, as someone else (even a random stranger) to take the picture, take a selfie with them. Just take the DAMN picture! Even if you are spending the day without your own mother (like me) and spending the day with your children, take a picture! Pull some funny faces, make them laugh, document the way you spent your day with them. Because someday they’ll appreciate that you did and someday you will too, even if your hair is a mess and your double chin is shining through, promise. 

Paint Nite Once More

Once more I got to spend a week night out with co-workers to do a Paint Nite. This time was with a different set of co-workers. I was pretty intimidated by this one on the website and wasn't sure I could pull it off. But decided it would be worth the laughs regardless. However, I surprised myself and  I think my painting turned out pretty ok and as usual a good time was had by all.

The Playhouse

For the last 2 months, Faith has made me take her to Sam's Club every Friday before we pick up the boys. She did this for 2 reasons. First, she loves to have a soft pretzel there for lunch and second, because they had the best playhouse display.  We would go and have our pretzel lunch date and then I let her play in the house for a bit before we do whatever shopping we need to do. She often asked both Dad and I to buy her the house and if we could buy it sometime and told us over and over how much she loves it and would love to have one at her house and that we need to "find some monies" to buy it. We talked about it off and on but never really made a decision. Then one Friday, during our weekly outing when I put her in the house for her few minutes of a visit, a worker came over and told us that she couldn't be in it. Odd since we had never been told that before and I had seen numerous kids playing in it during our trips. But we complied and she was so sad and upset. And asked me so innocently, "Mom, when we buy one, then can I play in it?" 
I know, I'm a big sucker. But I've seriously not seen her want anything so badly. So when we got home that day, I called Dad and told him what happened and that we needed to be more serious on making a decision to buy the house or not since they were also almost out of them. He agreed and we decided to go for it. So he stopped on his way home to get one and we kept it hidden for a bit to save it for a surprise.
Since we had some time before meeting Papa to get the kids back after our Vegas trip, and after much discussion about whether to set it up outside or inside, we decided it would better serve them to have it indoors so they could use it year round and so that it would last longer out of the elements. We spent many hours in  the basement putting it together and not long after we picked them up and got them home, Dad put on the finishing touches and we took her downstairs to show her the surprise.

I think she likes it and as an added bonus, the twins were just as thrilled as she was and the 3 of them have already spent many hours this last week playing down there together and dare I say it? Even getting along!  I'd say it's already shaping up to be a pretty sound investment.

Viva Las NKOTB (part 2)

Day 2 of our quick Vegas concert trip started off with us taking our time in the morning to relax and order some room service.  It was so nice just to take it easy and take our time getting moving. Once we were off for the day and since the strip was insane with the big fight in town that day, we opted to try and find some things to do away from the strip. We decided to take a trip to the Neon Sign Museum first, it was fun learning about some of the old hotels and old Vegas as we walked along with the tour guide.

We then drove around a bit in an effort to find a restaurant I'd been looking for, but when we found it that it has since closed, we took a nice little detour to the Town Square shopping center. We ended up trying a Yard House for a late lunch instead and I  was not disappointed. The food was good and our server was great. We had lunch and shared a dessert and took a couple selfies (naturally).

Then we had an impromptu movie date since we were right next to a theater and got to see the new Avengers movie together.
It was really good. Afterwards it was time to head back to the airport to return the rental car and get on a plane back home. It was a busy, whirlwind trip but it was a really great one. I love any sort of time alone in any place with that husband of mine.