Monday, April 30, 2012

8 Years Together!

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary (we are celebrating Wednesday and yes we did get married on Tyler's birthday and no it was not so he would be able to remember his anniversary- he would never forget regardless of when we got married).  Eight years, I know it's not 20 or 50 but it's eight and I think that something to celebrate.  They have been a busy and full eight years for us.  we have moved 7 times (soon to be 8).  We have four kids, owned two homes (almost sold two).  We have learned from each other and grown from each other.  We have our own inside jokes and know each others quirks.  We know how to make each other laugh and smile and what pushes each others buttons.  We really don't have a lot of "stuff" to show for these eight years but we have eight years worth of memories and a family that is worth so much more than it's weight in gold.

For some reason year seven has a bad reputation.  In some ways it was a hard year for us as well.  Not so much relationship wise but life threw us curve balls we were not expecting.  There have been more nights of deep conversation this year than in years past.  More stressful decision making.  Heavier financial burdens, harder life path decisions.  Some of these problems we dealt with like pros, other times we let stress get the better of us.  All in all I think we came out ahead.  I think the next challenges we will handle even better than these because we didn't just handle them we learned from them.  We have been teasing each other the last few weeks saying things like "we better get all our disagreements in quick, the seven year is about to end".  Seriously though, this last year has brought us a lot of joy.  We welcomed Titus to the family, made great friends, lived close to family- so many good things.

I think that this next year of marriage is going to be a fun and exciting one.  Our kids are at great ages.  They keep us entertained and busy.  We will be moving and embracing a new city with new people.  Mostly though it will be another year to build our lives together.  I love being married and couldn't have asked for a better man to share my life with.   Best decision I ever made happened eight years ago today- Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Tyler

We celebrated Tyler's birthday Saturday (his actual birthday is Monday)!  With so much going on in our lives I think Tyler felt like his birthday might be overlooked.  I secretly made sure that the opposite was the case! Here is how it all went down---

I took the kids to pick out Tyler a present the day before his birthday.  They got a set amount of money and I let them decide what to get.  They were thrilled with there choices.  I am not sure how much Tyler will actually use his potato peeler, squirt bottle or water balloons but they were excited. We started his day off with biscuits and gravy- eaten while opening presents- they couldn't wait any longer.

 We spent the morning together then ran a few errands.  After that we went to Olive Garden for lunch. 
 I gave Tyler a gun for his birthday.  But since I didn't want to pick it out I made a gift certificate and sent him out with my brother.  Once he was gone I quickly whipped together a few decorations and food and got ready for a "surprise" party.

Pulling this off was not easy.  I made sure I never told the kids.  If they had known, he would have known.  I bought all the food and kept it at my Mom's  house.  Any time I emailed anyone I reminded them not to respond to the email.  I let Tyler think I had very few plans for his birthday which was hard because I hated letting him think I had no plans. 

So after a couple weeks of secrets I threw it together and it was a huge success.  He drove in and gave me the reaction I wanted. 

For several years in a row we have gone to a baseball game for Tyler's birthday.  I couldn't find one this year.  That is when I started thinking how I could keep the tradition alive.  With our friends all together we played "baseball".  Actually it was kickball with "baseball" written on it.  But close enough- and it was lots of fun- even though the yard was a little soggy.
 After the "big game" we all shared BBQ chicken sandwiches together and enjoyed the spring sunshine.

 Then it was time for cake!  Tyler told me a week ago he wanted pudding cake.  So I went out to my Mom's one day to make pudding cake (didn't want him to know).  Then he told me he changed and wanted ice cream cake- too late- he got pudding cake!  We all enjoyed it.

 The neighbors dog even made an appearance!

 As the party wrapped up (Thanks everyone for coming), we headed off to the drive-in movie theater.  There were kids movies playing (which doesn't happen often).  The kids were all crazy after the long day, the sound was not working well- but I think we all agree it was still a good time.

The day started early and went late.  I don't think we could have fit in much more birthday fun.  I love spending birthdays celebrating the people I love.  I love Tyler and am so thankful to be married to him.  I hope this coming year is a great one for him!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Day in Portland

I have a friend named Ashlee!  She is great, she really is.  We were roommates for two years at BYU-Idaho.  We share this special part of our lives together.  There are so many things that I can say that make her laugh (and she has a great laugh)- like corn, "mad,mad,mad,mad", wax, spades.  Things that mean nothing to anyone else but to us.  She was there through all of Tyler and I's dating years.  She knows the ups and downs of it all.  She used to play cards with us every night.  She and I share memories of crazy roommates, my long night in the bathroom and so many other things.  

Our lives have moved on since the days at Royal Crest and La Jolla apartments.  We are both married with kids now.  I have lived all over the countries- so has she (unfortunately not in the same place).  When I heard that my dear friend was going to be in Portland, a mere two hours away, we knew we had to go see this old comrade of mine.  So off we went.  

It has been five years since we met up last.  I am happy to say she is still as delightful as ever and even though we only visited for a couple hours we had a great time.  I have a handful of friends that I feel like no matter how long it has been we are able to sit and visit and truly care about each other.  I am grateful for these people.  Good friends are such a blessing.

Titus was good enough to show off his new tricks for Ashlee.  He clapped and blew kisses.  I love it when he performs!
Ashlee got married a year after me and when I went to her wedding I was very pregnant with Garret.  Ashlee who was in the midst of wedding planning took the time to make a blanket for my baby.  Turns out that blanket was the one he fell in love with and to this day he keeps it in his bed.  When I told him we were going to go see the person who made his blanket we decided to take a picture of her and him together.
It was such a nice morning.  But lucky for us the fun didn't stop there.  My sister and her husband live in Vancouver so we spent the afternoon with her.  I love all the time I get to spend with my sister and her cute kids.  Her daughter Naomi had been wanting to play dress up with Adele.  They were pretty cute running around in leotards.
Leah has a piano.  When the girls decided to play the piano I couldn't help but snap a few quick pics of them.  How cute are they?

Watching my kids play around on the piano made me think of my own experiences with piano.  Allow me to indulge you all in a musical adventure-

We had a piano when I was young.  I can clearly remember dreaming of being a famous piano player.  A woman from church gave us lessons in the morning for a while.  I remember practicing and believing I was really good.  At the end of the year I was informed I didn't really have a lot of rhythm and I probably wasn't meant to be a piano player.  

Fast forward a few years to college.  I decided to take an elective beginner piano course.  I signed up, bought my books and headed off to class.  The first day we practiced clapping a beat.  Although I remember feeling a little silly doing this I began clapping. The next thing I know the teacher came behind me took my hands and helped me clap (now I felt really silly).  I stuck with it though.  Tyler and I were dating at the time so we spent hours in the practice rooms.  I would practice and he (who has never taken piano would help me- it came more naturally to him).  A couple weeks in the teacher asked me to meet with her. We sat down to talk and she said she looked at my grades and realized they were very good.  She said "I wanted to inform you that the last day to withdraw with no penalty is coming up". She went on to say that if I stuck with the class it would bring my GPA down since she saw little chance of me being able to get more then a C in the class.  So I ended up withdrawing.

I would love to get a piano someday.  I think that Tyler and the kids are going to have to be the ones to fill our home with music!

Back to our day trip- we had such a nice afternoon watching the kids play together.  We were also able to congratulate my brother in law for finishing his masters.  He has been so busy working and going to school.  We are so excited for them to have more time together.  Shortly after he got home from work we headed home.  We stopped and ate at a restaurant one of Tyler's patients works at.  When we finally got home we were pretty worn out- but the kids went to bed saying "that was such a fun day". And they were right it was!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Titus grows up...and more.

In place of anything better, here is a few random things going on in our life-

My kids were sitting around talking about Titus getting bigger.  They said things like "I wonder if he will like Star Wars", "I bet he will be a fast runner" etc.  Then they got silly.  And started saying "what if he likes pickles" and funny things like that.  They were all giggling.  Then Garret said "I know (from the tone of his voice this was going to be the funniest yet) what if he grows up and likes MASHED POTATOES".  They laughed and laughed and laughed.  And they all agreed their TyTy would never betray them like that and like something so wretched when he grew up. (For the record- I do not know where they got the potato hating trait from- any relatives want to fess up?)

Adele thinks everything is "beautiful and wonderful".  If I say "you look beautiful" she says and "I look wonderful too".  If I accidentally say she is beautiful then she says "I am not beautiful, I'm a Deli".

Spencer threw up the other day.  He did awesome.  Seriously, it might seem like a strange thing to be proud of but after years of cleaning up throw up I have earned the right to take pride in bizarre things.  We were at a friends house.  He said it was cold and so he ate his food inside.  I went in to check on him a few times and see how he was.  He was quietly eating.  I went in a little later and he was still sitting at the table.  He said "I thought I wasn't sick, but then I was.  I went in the bathroom and threw up".  He was totally calm.  I went in the bathroom and sure enough he had thrown up.  Now to teach him to flush the toilet.  (Let it be known Adele has not mastered this skill yet- we woke up the next night to screaming and  when we got upstairs the amount of throw up was shocking.  The only thing she gets credit for is that not a drop went on the floor.  It was all over her, her bed and her hair).

Titus continues to grow and although this should be a post of its own (maybe someday).  I'll put it hear so it is at least recorded.  He has been hands and knees crawling for a couple weeks now.  He also learned to stand in his crib, wave, clap and blow kisses.  The kids are really proud of him.  A little overly proud at times.  For example-  When he learns a new trick they say thinks like "our baby is the best baby in the whole world.  I bet most babies can't do all that he can".  I can't bring myself to tell them that really Titus was a bit on the slow side for crawling.  They are right though he is a good baby and we couldn't ask for a more fitting spirit in our home.  He makes us smile every day!

Garret loves school still.  He goes 2 1/2 days a week.  It's perfect and just right for him.  I don't know how I will manage with him gone everyday next year.  He loves going but loves the days he is home all day too.  He loves planning his whole day out.  He always has to know what we are going to do.  Someday he will realize we normally do the same things.  Legos, play outside, puzzles, magic tree house books, lunch, rest time etc.  I do love his enthusiasm for everything.  Although he is not enthusiastic about moving.  He doesn't throw fits about it but he gets sad.  He is sentimental and emotional.  Both traits I believe will be strengths as he grows but he is still learning to keep them in check now.  He  doesn't want to throw away anything his friends have given him here because he wants to keep them "to remember".  And I hope he does remember- he has had such nice friends here and I would have liked for him to grow up with them.

Magic Tree House books- I have been reading one ever couple days to the kids.  They are not the most amazing books but my kids love them and they are full of adventure and learning.  We are on book #26 and I am about ready for something different!  But I highly recommend them for kids.

I have been spending may free time slowly boxing things up.  I hate it and love it at the same time.  I hate that I am boxing things up again.  I love that it makes me feel like I am doing something, as insignificant as it may be, for our future.

Speaking of our future- I have high hopes that within a month I will be posting "the plan".  Life has been so unpredictable for us.  I just can't bring myself to announce anything until I am certain.  I guess I am insecure but I feel like a fickle person.  Like somehow it is my fault that we can't get our life together.  The facts are that so many things have been out of our control over the last year and half.  But it still is hard for me to say "we are doing this!"....."wait, no we aren't anymore"...."now this is our plan"....."not anymore"....(seriously that has been the story of our lives lately).  But the house is sold and we are busily working on the future (and the roadblocks seem to be clearing) so I am very optimistic that it is only a matter of time before I can pour out all the not very exciting details for all of you avid readers (I jest, I know it's really my Mom that is clicking on my blog over and over).

So there you have it, a very uninteresting, detail lacking summary of life on 86th avenue.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Montana+Easter+Family=Too Many Pictures

We kicked off April with egg decorating, we did it early because we were going to be gone over Easter weekend.  Titus enjoyed eating the hard boiled eggs!

 We had a job interview in Montana.  We decided that rather than send Tyler by himself we would all tag along.  The kids were SO excited to swim we heard it non stop on the way there.  Thats not true Adele repeated over and over "STOP THE CAR". She kept dropping things and NEEDED us to get them for her.  Really I can't complain. My kids are awesome travelers.  I give them nothing and they just hang out.
 We swam a lot on the trip.  As soon as we arrived we swam.  We couldn't put them off any longer. They loved it.
 Even Titus went for a dip in the pool.
 We ate dinner with people from the job and then everyone crashed.
 The hotel room was So fun and exciting for the kids.  They got a suite and they were in heaven (as were we since we didn't all have to cram into a tiny room).
 At home I am pretty strict about how much TV they watch (I could do a whole blog post on my TV thoughts)- but on vacation we let them watch LOTS of cartoons. 

 We also ate WAY to much.  Not only were we taken out by others but we went out a lot.  Tyler spoiled them all with huge milkshakes (we were reimbursed really well for the trip so we splurged).  Garret said "I should have gotten a smaller one, my stomach feels like there are two bears in it wrestling".
 Again they crashed.  I am pretty sure kids sleeping together is the cutest thing EVER.
 After the job interview we headed to Missoula to meet up with Tyler parents and my cousin Anya.  She brought her three kids with her which was fun.  The kids all enjoyed playing together.  I haven't seen Anya in a long time but we found lots to talk about and I hope our paths cross again soon.
 While we were together we all went swimming (like I said we did this alot).

 We also went to a children's museum.  It was cute and the kids enjoyed all the hands on fun.

 Anya headed back home after a pizza dinner.  We spent the rest of the evening getting kids to bed and playing my Uncle Brent's new game (he has two now).  If you are looking for a fun card game get it.  We LOVE it.  It's called "Cover Your Assets". 

The next day we were still in Missoula and we had another fun day.  It was so nice of Tyler's parents to meet us.  The kids loved seeing them and playing with them.  We went to the carousel.  It was SO fast.  I was a little nervous the first go around that someone would fall off. 

 Then it was back to eating!  Adele sat by Grandpa and she thought his pasta looked better then her pizza.  She climbed on up and they shared.  It was pretty cute.
 Then there was an afternoon of Kite flying, movie watching and fun.  The kids crashed again.

 We got up early (which was hard to do because we were SO tired).  We headed to Yakima for Easter fun.  We made it about 3 minutes before church and threw clothes on the kids.  We looked awful.  I was a little embarrassed but I quickly reminded myself that the most important thing was that we went. 

After church Anna and family fed us a delicious meal, the kids played and we did an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  (Spencer had a bloody nose, but was a good sport about it). They all got tons of candy and loved being together.  The ride home I listened to them discuss who was the king and prince and ruler of fireball!

It was a very busy week. We enjoyed having a change of pace so much.  There was lots of driving but that made for lots of time to talk, sing and read together.  There was a pool and new sights.  There was lots of food.  But most important we spent time together as a family and with family.