Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday musings

What you don't know about this Sunday photo... that the kids were being so sweet with each other during this self-imposed Creative Time. I was baking bread and listening to Christmas music in the kitchen, and the children were humming along (Carson's got an angelic voice for singing Christmas tunes...when he wants to sing) and/or speaking so kindly to one another about their drawings.
"Carson, I love that ninja!"
"That looks soooo cute, Addie."
"I like your book, Layla."
I was thinking to myself as I took the photo, "Man, they're so sweet. This is a magical kid-family moment. I wish I could record photos with sound. That would be awesome."
Embarrassingly enough, it took me a good 10 seconds to realize, "Oh, wait. I kind of can. It's called video."
On a similar yet unrelated note, Carson has never been one to show much interest in art. Which makes every moment that he gets engrossed in a project like this so much closer to my heartstrings. Lately, he's loved drawing different scenarios, most of which involve ninjas or warriors or zombies. To be honest, they're pretty rudimentary drawings (I often can't tell one stick figure from the next), but he explains them with such a light in his eyes and a vivid story behind his work that I can't help but love them.

 Meanwhile, back at the ranch...  
 ...someone was caught getting herself beautified for church. It's a good look, no?
Happy Sunday in December, everyone.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Beaver Hair

In case you've ever wondered what I would look like (a) as a Russian, (b) if I grew my hair out mullet-style, or (c) a beaver, welp, wonder no more.

Don't be jealous. Although I can't blame you if you are.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

It was a terribly fun day for the kids and an exhausting day for me. Good thing I can think of a way or two to increase my blood sugar levels for some quick energy... :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Violet, meet Nursery

Violet had her first day of nursery at church today. Sis. Norton, the nursery leader, was handing out baby dolls to the nursery girls when Paul opened the door to drop Violet off. Vi shot to the front of that line and didn't look back.
Which, coming from a girl who can't seem to let go of my leg while I'm cooking dinner sometimes, is a shock. An awesome, grin-inducing, dance-of-joy shock. She's happy, we're all happy.
I love this photo below. Runaways. At least they're sticking together.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pinkalicious x3

Nothing makes Addie happier than being able to be twins with Violet. And nothing makes Layla happier than wearing a more grown-up version of the twinnerificiousness.
That's right. You read that right.
Happy Thursday night, everybody.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hawaii (Oahu) Vacation Recap

I've been procrastinating posting about our family trip to Katrina & Jordan's for a number of reasons. (They're in Oahu for three years.) Mostly because I've been busy and we took a quadzillion photos and as more time went on I forgot stuff and I was overwhelmed with capturing it all and it seems so surreal that we were lucky enough to get to experience this place with our kids. That's why I haven't posted yet.
Also,pretty much all of our photos were of us boogie boarding and hanging out at the beach. I thought that might be boring to anyone but our family to look at. And, let's face it, it probably will be. But that's what we did. And it was perfect.
Speaking of boogie boarding, we discovered that we each had a signature boogie boarding face.
Paul: Cocky (yet adorably boyish with his wet hair plastered down). Katrina: Mouth wide open.
Carson: Totally thrilled. Layla: Eyes closed (this questionable strategy probably played into the poundings she took on some of the bigger waves).
Jordan: Cheeks puffed out, mouth closed tightly. Brittney: Wonky perma-grin.
Most moments were spent a little like this: miscellaneous adults and kids enjoying the ocean...
... and/or the sandy white beaches.
Speaking of sand and water, Addie loved the water when it was a little calmer, like at Kiddles Beach in her floatie with Evy. I love this photo, it reminds me of two grandmas chatting.
The sand was a happy place for her, too, especially when there were dunes to be conquered.
Her forte, though, was exactly where sand and water collide. The girl is inspiringly amphibious, and Evy made a great play-buddy (when Addie wasn't busy giving her the silent treatment...?).
 Her overall goal for the entire vacation was to secure herself a real Hawaiin lei. 89 cents later, mission accomplished. Phew.
 I've decided that boogie boarding is one of the funnest activities to do...and one of the boringest to view photos of. Regardless, I really couldn't keep from grinning from ear to ear when I caught a good wave.
Minus the time when I caught a wave that was waaaaaay too big for me. (It's a bad sign when you're watching someone boogie board and only the board pops up at the end.) The wave took me up, dropped me off, and spun me around underwater, only to have me stand up with my one-piece bathing suit around my navel. (Don't worry, those photos were quickly and red-facedly deleted.)
Honestly, though? A huge rush. Loved it.
I also spent an awful lot of time with this sandy little love. Every photo we have of her involves sand encrusted on her body and somewhere on her face, usually around her mouth.
Like so:
She and Carson both got stung by Portuguese-Man-O-Wars. Saddest thing for a parent to witness, poor little dudes.
For the record, Paul is the best husband ever. We had a magnificent time together.
Out of chronological order, I know, but speaking of my beloved and me...this was one of the last photos we took on the island, our very own date night at Waimea made possible by the generous and selfless kid-watching Hansens.
Speaking of the Hansens (these segues are so creative, aren't they?), they couldn't have been more generous and hospitable. Jordan was able to take some time off so we could get to play with him at the beach, and Katrina was fully prepared for the beach every day and tirelessly told the kids stories and made each one feel special. They gave us access to their minivan, they opened up their fantastic and comfortable home, they introduced us to the Vitamix and coconut ices, they were (and are) incredible parents to their cute girls and made me want to be a better mom to my own kids.
Crazy-awesome that they get to live here.

Our "souvenirs," other than the high-quality leis mentioned previously, consisted of rash guards bought at the Navy Exchange (NEX) for everyone in our family on the second or third day there. For this fair-skinned family, that was the Best. Decision. EVER.
All the kids, including Violet, were hit-and-miss on wearing their hats, but we did the best we could to keep them on. 
 Did I mention how much we loved boogie boarding? Paul and I did a lot of that when we went to Kauai a few years ago, but it was so very fun to be able to boogie board with our kids...
...and to watch them boogie board together.
Carson loved every single thing about our trip. I'm not even lying. He loved the beaches,
the sunshine,
the found treasures like this "arrowhead" rock,
 and the water. Man, does that kid love the ocean waves. He lost his USU hat on a particularly pummeling wave, which was a bummer. Paul miraculously spotted it rolling around in the waves about 5-10 minutes later. (Paul told me later that, as he was reaching down into the water toward a smallish dark object that he thought was the hat, he momentarily was like, "What the heck am I doing reaching down here? That could be anything, with teeth!" Good news: The dark object was, indeed, the hat.)
Family photo op on Bellows Beach (not my favorite photo of myself...I kind of hate it, actually...but whatevs). That place is ridiculous. Heaven on earth.
 We were also able to trek to the Laie (pronounced lah-ee-ay) temple on Sunday afternoon. Postcard-picture perfect. It really is as beautiful as you'd think it would be. Probably more so.
We were trying to get a great cousins shot in front of the temple here. Were we successful? You be the judge. Heh.
Paul and Katrina should be applauded for keeping both babies alive and dry. It was no easy task, I promise you.
Aww. Forever family.
Meanwhile, back at the beach... The great thing about having two families on the beaches was that we could all take turns being out in the water and playing on the sand. Jordan's pretty cocky about manning his post with the babies here. :)
Beautiful Katrina with her beautiful girls. Look at those legs!
Have I mentioned that we spent a lot of time out in the ocean pretty much every day? It was deliciously exhausting, both during the day...
...and at night. This became a familiar bedtime sight:
Layla decided to give snorkeling a go one time. I think she maybe even made it to the water's edge.
This girl was meant to live on a beach.
Like Carson, she took to boogie boarding quickly. Loved it when the waves were small-to-medium, especially if she could talk someone in to giving her kick-start pushes. Which wasn't hard.
We were all amazed by the beatings Layla took in some of the waves...and she toughed them out and got back out there to ride some more. Atta girl.
I have no idea what this modeling pose is, but she's cute regardless. (Notice Katrina and her girls exploring the rocks in the background?)
Speaking of modeling poses (hah!)... What the Paul's foot?
Paul was endlessly patient with our kids. I pretended to be (and sometimes succeeded), but he really was. He has a 6th sense about vacationing as a family where his expectations aren't to have a flawless vacation but, rather, to expect to have a real vacation with real kid meltdowns and to enjoy it regardless. My hero.
Speaking of patience, I tried to force Carson to go snorkeling by holding him under the water while he kicked and screamed. (Long story.) If you're wondering if that was wildly successful, don't. Paul's approach was much more well-received. I loved watching the two of their snorkels bobbing around the water as Paul held onto Carson's arm and they pointed stuff out to each other.
Boys boogie boarding.
One evening, Paul's back seemed to hurt more than usual. We reviewed the photos taken that day and discovered this little number. Hmmm...
Let's get a little closer, shall we?
Backbreaker! Ouch.
 Jordan and Katrina, thank you and we love you and we're sorry we maybe made you go prematurely blind that one time.