Tuesday, October 21, 2014


He's a simple man with simple requests. He never wants any presents so instead I just feed him good (and clean his car out, because sometimes that's better than a new pair of socks).

Enter case in point #1:

Case #2:

Case #3:

Yeah, we  pretty much just ate all day on his birthday. I used to spend so much time pinning these dating ideas on pinterest until I realized that when he says the thought of a backyard prom makes him want to poke his eyeballs out, that is not code for dust off the Depeche Mode CD. That sure takes the pressure off planning that scavenger hunt around the city. Kissing in front of the grocery clerk to get the next clue is probably dead last on Jason's idea of a fun night. So instead, I cook and he eats. And everyone's happy. The night before his birthday we went out to dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant. Jason had a bit of nostalgia from his days of roaming the streets of Taipei as a missionary. It was so cute seeing him get so excited about all of the food. The way his face lit up when I told him I liked the spring onion pancake was just priceless. This may be the first but definitely not the last time that this cute little joint sees the likes of us.

His birthday was on a Sunday and he was sad that the BYU game was on during church. But the heavens opened and granted him a birthday miracle when a little boy pulled the fire alarm during the first talk in sacrament meeting and since they couldn't figure out how to turn it off then they just cancelled the rest of church. Which brought us home right in time for the kick off. I wonder if I should be worried about just how excited everyone was that we didn't have to go to church. When he wasn't watching the game (or eating), he spent time with the kids. Because that's what he does best. He's the kind of guy that when he calls and I tell him I'm having a rough day he tells me to get the kids shoes on, he's leaving work early to take them out for ice cream and to look at nerf guns. It was sort of like the most romantic thing he's ever done. I'm grateful for this man and for the chance that I've had to spend 15 of his 39 years of life right by his side. It's a pretty good place to be. Happy birthday, Love.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


For the life of me I can't remember whose turn it is to vaccuum next. But I can still remember what song was played during my 5th grade field trip to the Hanson Planetarium. Great Balls of Fire. I can't remember anything about my baptism, except for the dress I wore afterwards. A pink satin with a ruffled skirt. From K-mart. I can't remember what dress I wore last Sunday, but I remember my exact outfit the first day of 4th grade. Black leggings, animal print button up shirt, black elastic belt with a plastic purple buckle around my waist. I spell "restaurant" wrong almost every single time, but I still remember at 10 years old driving by a billboard next to the Long John Silver that advertised an upholstery company and memorizing how to spell "upholstery" in case it ever popped up on a spelling test. It never did. The mind is a funny thing, the way some moments in life are clear as day while others are so foggy. One of those moments that stands out as if time were frozen is an image of baby Maddox. He was only a few days old, I had just given him a sponge bath and wrapped him in a towel. The green one with a camo print ribbon trim. I laid him on the floor in the family room next to the entertainment center where I kept his diapers. I remember everything in that single moment. His piercing dark eyes gazing up at me, the fuzz on his shoulders, the way his dark hair had fluffed up from his bath, the way he smelled (Johnson&Johnson lavendar) and I distinctly remember feeling so much love for that little bundle that it almost hurt. I'm so grateful that moment is one that has chosen to stay clear in my mind after six whole years. This boy is something special. He loves his mama with his whole heart. He regularly brings me home pictures of us standing together holding hands in a love heart. He's proposed marriage to me on several occasions. He tells me that he thinks of me while he's sitting at his desk at school. I would love to know what thoughts he has, but it makes me so happy knowing I'm always a part of him. He's gone through a bit of an emotional stage this past year, it has been so challenging at times and my patience has been worn past the breaking point. But it's that unconditional love that he has for me that keeps me going. I can completely lose my cool with him one minute and the next minute he is outside picking me a dandelion. I'm selfish when I say this, but I'm going to have a hard time sharing him someday when he gets married. It's a good thing his entire heart will still belong to me for quite some time. These past six years with this boy in our lives has been such a blessing. Happy birthday, Maddox, we love you.

He is officially obsessed with legos now and I love it. I love seeing these two bond together over a Ninjago Thunder Raider. The four year gap between them is finally starting to close in as they are beginning to share interests. Jayden is starting to view him more as a friend and not just an annoying little brother. (as a side note, we were laughing as we remembered that Jayden had that exact same cold sore on his mouth when he came to visit Maddox at the hospital. Six years later and it's still there)

We took donuts to his class during lunch. Jayden said that nobody brings birthday treats here and that it would be totally embarrassing if I brought something. Of course once he saw me show up with donuts he changed his mind.  We had a popcorn bar for an after school snack. Once again, "bar" is just code for loading up on all the junk food that you can. But hey, it's your birthday.

He had to try out is new scooter at the skate park, then we took a walk to the movie store where he picked Rio 2 to watch with the family while we ate pizza that night.

He sure has grown this year, all his school uniform pants are floods.

He had a very specific vision for his birthday cake. A white cake with whipped cream frosting and strawberry slices. That's my kind of cake. Even if the strawberries are $5 for a half pint.

Somewhere along the way we have adopted birthday baths. They get to take a bath in our big tub with bubbles and the jets turned on. I added another element of birthday fun with glowsticks in the water. I knew for sure he would love it, but he thought it was too spooky with the lights off and he couldn't see to play with his legos.

This weekend we had some friends over for his party. Jason decided from now on he'll just give the kids the $100 we would spend on a party and take them on a shopping spree. Parties can be a bit chaotic, but I still think the memories they'll have of them will be worth it. Of course Jason was the one that had to chase them around at Time Zone while I stayed home and enjoyed a quiet house. They are all such cute boys. Maddox actually moved up to a new class last month and I'm happy to see him making new friends in his class and settling in fine. It's amazing how much progress he has made since his first day of school exactly one year ago. My baby is growing up, but he'll always be my baby (I'm totally going to be that creepy mom from that "I love you forever" book that climbs into the window of her grown son's house and rocks him in bed).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spring Break

I always get nervous to leave the kids, so before we left for Fiji I made sure to plan lots of fun outings. Ya know, in case our plane crashed then their last surviving memories of me wouldn't be just laying on the couch while they played minecraft. But of course there was some of that too.  I checked the forecast for the warmest day of the week. Lies. All lies. It turned into the coldest. But we made the most of it.

Jason recently got called as the Young Men's president and his first matter of business was scheduling a youth snowboarding trip. This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows him. So while they were on the mountain I took the little guys to a street carnival. Maddox's idea of a street carnival was more on the scale of Disnyland, but hey, they had free popcorn. And a photo booth. And an art exhibit where the curator let out a sigh of relief once my boys and their buttery fingers left.

We spent another frigid day at the park with friends. They really do have the best parks here, and ya know, we've only walked away with two broken arms because of them. It's a small price to pay.

These kids were crazy to get in the springs, the water was ice and the wind was wicked. But kids are resilient and they couldn't say no to trying out the sinking quicksand.

We did a pancake bar for breakfast one morning. Which is really just a fancy way of saying that the kids had free reign to put whatever they wanted in and on their pancakes. Sprinkles, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate chips...pretty much just dessert for breakfast.

We tried an adventure day. We flipped a coin and if it was heads then we turned right and if it was tails then we turned left. After 20 flips we had to find something to do wherever we ended up at. I was just keeping my fingers crossed that we didn't find ourselves in the middle of a sheep pasture.

We just so happened to end up at a cute little bakery, Subway and an interesting church. We never go out to eat here so it was such a treat for them.

The kids thought the church was a little creepy, but I'm so fascinated with exploring different churches. Even if their depiction of Christ on the cross gave the kids nightmares.

We rented kayaks from the Antigua boat shed at Hagley Park one day. The kids loved it. Except for Ryder. He was a nervous wreck that we were going to flip over and drown in the 2 foot deep river. We packed a lunch and had ourselves a right lovely afternoon.

Before I had kids. Before I was even married. I had pictured in my mind the kind of mom I was going to be. I was going to be the fun spontaneous mom that would stick the kids in the car in their pajamas and take them out for ice cream just 'cause. I've been a mom for 12 years now and have never once done that. But tonight Jason fulfilled all my wildest fantasies. We were packing up for Fiji and were getting ready to take the kids over to Julie's house (the saint who watched our kids while we were gone) when out of the blue Jason announced "everyone get in the car, we're going out for ice-cream!". The kids were a lot more concerned about going in public in their pajamas and a lot less concerend about what cool parents we were. But it was sort of a perfect way to spend our last evening together before we left. We sat on the front lawn of the school next to the dairy eating ice cream cones and getting all sentimental. Kylie was nervous about us leaving and never coming back. But once she learned they would live with Aunt Janessa if anything were to happen to us then she got all excited and started planning her future life with out us. I felt so loved.

And then of course this happened. In case you forgot.

Before Jason could even unpack his suitcase from our trip, he was turning around and heading back to the airport with Kylie. Each year during the school holidays our stake heads up to the north island for a temple trip. They fit a year's worth of temple work into one week and I hear it's a pretty incredible experience. We couldn't all go up, but I'm grateful Kylie and Jason were able to have a little one on one time together. They were only there for two days but the majority of the days were spent at the temple. Kylie walked away with a greater appreciation and love for the temple and the work that's done there. She's anxious to start doing some family history work so that she can take some names of her ancestors next time.

We may get Christmas a day early, but we have to wait an entire week to watch conference. Kylie tediously took pages of notes (she's an angel, I have no idea where she came from) while the boys played legos for two days straight.

The talks were all inspiring (truth be told, between getting milk cups, making lunches and breaking up fights, I didn't get much out of it while we were watching, but I have really enjoyed listening to them while I clean the house). After the 8th hour we had finally reached our breaking point and had to get out of the house. We went hiking around Victoria park and rediscovered our favorite little grove of trees. Jayden and Maddox built huts while Ryder and Kylie played hide and seek. It was so nice getting some fresh air and letting all that built up energy run loose.

It was a great spring break. I loved spending time with the kids (because surprisingly they get along better during the school breaks), having no schedule and enjoying the long lazy mornings. It's always nice to get back into the routine of school, though. I can't believe only one more term and then it's summer, can't wait!