Saturday, February 27, 2016

Smith Rock

"Make sure you bring your camera," Daniel told me as we headed towards the high desert outside of Bend. This was another "never seen anything like it" adventure for me. We left the city headed through flat desert towards a large rock formation. Ridge? Mountain? Hill? Butte? I'm not sure, but it's called Smith Rock

We climbed the steep 600 feet to the top. Since I'm no professional athlete, Daniel and I did a tortoise and hare kind of thing. He dashed up the trail having to pause and wait for me while I huffed and puffed to the top. The views from the trail were completely different: we saw flat land, more volcano rock formations, river, and those beautiful snow capped mountains. The stops we made on the way to the top gave me a chance to look up and take pictures. 

The views were plenty amazing on their own, but we had another treat. We got to the top and there were crazy people swinging from one rock to another. It's called the King Swing from Monkey Face and there are plenty of videos on youtube. Watching it in person gave me a personal dose of adrenaline that lasted a few hours.  

The views struck me so much that I got all old-people emotional. On the way down, I told Daniel that I almost felt like crying and I was thinking about the kids. He laughed at me, "you sound like Dad." The beauty was unreal for this southern girl who doesn't get out much. 

We made a quiet drive home stopping for a local bottle of wine and dreamed of the Thai food we got to eat later. It was another amazing Oregon adventure. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Snowmobiling In Bend, Oregon

Snowmobiling was one of the most exciting things that I've done in my life. I sort of kind of tried to back out because I was getting cold feet. My brother, Daniel, told me there was no backing out, so we made the drive up there. All my irrational and rational fears almost took over. Then, I almost had a panic attack over the helmet. I was quietly panicking, but we paid some serious cash and I hate losing money. 

We had our instructions and practice time, then the guide told us, "and don't try to keep up with me, you just can't." That's reassuring to a wimp like me, but those word are nothing but a challenge to Daniel. Thankfully, there was an older couple on our tour that slowed us down a little bit. That meant we went fast for a while then stopped to wait for them while we took a few pictures. 

I've never seen snow or landscape like this, and the views never got old. We drove through some snowfall and sun. Both were equally stunning. I was in awe.

I can't say enough good things about our experience.
My only complaint would be that four hours went by too quickly. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

One of my favorite parts of being a mom of young children is simple celebrations. At this stage, my kids get very excited over a few little extra things. I thrive on hype and energy, so minor holidays quickly become grand occasions in our house. Burl and Fern still talk about how magical last year was because they got carabiners and bungee cords. This year's Valentine's Day was no exception (and based on my Instagram feed, several of my mom friends are the same way)!

Burl and Fern had incredible school parties. I joined Burl's party, and felt the energy. I stand firm on the belief that there are few romantic gestures that match the excitement of a school Valentine's party. Fern had a big day at first school party. Apparently she was the dancing queen and bell of the ball at her dance party. "Mom, they even had balloons, decorations, lights that blinked on and off, and music! They played Uptown Funk!"

At home we celebrated with a special dinner that was up their alley. Lately Burl has fallen in love with sushi and Fern has fallen in love with egg rolls, so that's what we made. The boys were in charge of sushi, and the girls were in charge of the egg rolls. 

Once we lit the candles and set the table, Fern proclaimed, "this is like a feast in our castle!" It doesn't take much. 

After Ridge went down (baby was so tired by the time is was said and done) and cleaned up, we had dessert. The kids wore their new little gifts (much needed helmets) and ate ice cream out of wine glasses. We talked about the day. A fun dinner + a gift was enough to put our Valentine's Day celebration up there with Christmas morning and their birthdays. 

I treasure their uninhibited excitement and their simple joys. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pregnant Party Patty's Shower {Featuring Sarah}

Patty has made several appearances on this blog. In fact, I should have started a Patty tag to tag all of our silly times. We've known each other for over 10 years, and we've been causing trouble for the last five. Today we celebrated the anticipated birth of her sweet precious son, Henry. He's already been good to her, and given her the gift of R&R via bed rest. Well played, little baby. 

It's always wonderful to have a Patty-party because she brings her sister entourage with her. These sister-girls take the party up a notch or ten. The one is grey rocks the mom game via hilarious commentary and exciting snap chats. The one is gold and navy has dance moves that makes Beyonce jealous and gives a top notch back massage. 

The theme was FUN, and we nailed it. No pinterest boards. No elaborate decorations. No stupid games. We're tons of fun and don't need any distractions, thankyouverymuch. Plus, Pregnant Party Patty laughs a lot more and a lot harder. It's great.

She was so excited opening all the gifts. She kept saying how handsome Henry was going to look in all his new clothes, and we know that he's going to crush the model game.

The guest of honor and her Fun Factory, Allison, Me, Pregnant Party Patty, Keri, and Jenny:

We had a kicking good time. 

Burl's First Book

We all have "can't wait" mothering moments. 
I can't wait for them to take their first steps...
I can't wait until they have a sibling...
I can't wait to watch them make a friend...
Among my Can't Wait moments, I've looked forward to watching the older sibling read to the younger one. It happened this week. Burl read a book to Fern. Burl was slow and patient, making sure his sister could see the pages. He worked hard on those sounds, making several little faces at all the big words. Fern hung onto each page. 

It felt as wonderful as I imagined. This is another way that they can be siblings-Burl reading to Fern and Fern paying attention. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tribal Changes

I'm in the early stages of changing the style of my home. I'm going from some sort of cottage look to Tribal/Boho Chic/Modern Aztec. I'm not sure I'm using the right terms here (and they sound somewhat offensive), but it's all that I have. It's a complete 180 degree change from where I've been, but I'm very excited! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Childhood Dream

Burl was sitting at the counter writing valentines. 
Fern was pushing her babies in her stroller around the kitchen. 
Ridge was crawling around my feet. 
John was driving home from work. 
I was making cookies for Fern's school party. 

It struck me hard: this was a scene straight out of my childhood dreams. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to tell them "barefoot and pregnant." Even though I'm {currently} not pregnant, I am living my actual dream. It's moments like this that stop me in my tracks. WOAH. How can this be?

I've been silent here because my precious iPhoto has been on the fritz. However, my handsome tech support and sweet husband got everything working for me. Here's a little update on the past few weeks:

The second semester of kindergarten has been easier on me. I'm done with my twice-a-week physical therapy and I've started morning carpool. My schedule has been a breath of fresh air.

Fern, Ridge and I have enjoyed gaining a few more slow mornings of jammies, crawling, and a slow cup of coffee. 

Often when Burl gets home, he requests some Ridge time. For whatever reason, I offered to let the kids give Ridge a juice bottle. Giving Ridge a bottle and it actually working well has been a dream of Burl and Fern's since I was pregnant with him. 

We had to drop Ridge's crib because he's mister-stand-up now. I love walking into his room and finding him like this. This was the very first morning that I found him like this, so naturally I yelled for one the the children to bring me my camera. 

I snapped this picture of Fern at her friend's birthday party. Fern was very excited and talkative about MH's birthday for the days leading up to the party, but her mouth was sealed once we got there. 

Sweet Fern: it takes her a very long time to open up to new things. 

More brother time talking about laser guns. Ridge looks excited. 

Her happy, trying not to smile, smile.

A light dusting called for an impromptu photo shoot with the gingers. Neither one of them seemed to mind the brief cold. 

On a morning when school was delayed, we had time to go slow. Here, everyone was playing together in Ridge's room and they cooked their mama a large meal. Burl's getting extremely tall and lean. Ridge is right there, barely in the middle of it all.

I've said it so many times: no romance can top the electricity of valentine school parties. Burl and Fern were so diligent in getting their cards written and stickered. 

Baby glasses. Hilarious. 

I'm looking forward to returning to my blog. This has always been such a fun outlet for me.
Thank you for caring and reading.