Thursday, July 25, 2013

the fourth

 I love the 4th of July, and this year's festivities did not disappoint!  We stuck to tradition and went to the town 30 minutes away for their big fireworks show on the 3rd, so that the 4th would be wide open for our 2nd annual BBQ!  We had perfect weather, a bunch of friends over, good food and lots of fireworks.  It was such a good day!
 The kids played baseball in the backyard

 I thought it was funny/awesome that the guys all matched! I mean, it's totally appropriate/expected that you wear red, white, and blue on the 4th, but it still struck me as funny.


 Krew's first sparkler...he loved it!

Our fireworks show was even bigger and better than last year.  If we try to top the previous year each 4th of July, we are going to go broke from buying fireworks!  But it was so awesome, holding my littlest son (who thankfully was not only not scared of the fireworks, but loved them), watching my other two sons enjoying the fireworks with their friends, while being surrounded by family and friends, watching the fireworks and thinking how lucky I am to live in this great country.  It was a great holiday!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


What can I possibly say about this little man that could describe how awesome and fun he is right now?!

Here are some of the things that he really likes right now:
~Animals!  He loves pointing out birds, dogs, bugs, etc.  We took him to a farm to see cows last week, and he hasn't stopped talking about it yet! I'm taking him to the zoo this afternoon for the first time since he's turned one, and I'm so excited to see his reaction!
~Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  He really likes this show, and especially the song they sing called, "Goodbye Crew,"  which he thinks is a song just for him!
~Playing outside.  He would spend all day outside if he could.  He likes to climb up and go down our slide over and over.  He can play with a bucket of water and our landscaping rocks for hours!
~Climbing up on everything.  I have to remove him from the counter and the kitchen table dozens of times each day.  This is one of my least favorites of his favorites.
~Chicken nuggets!  He loves to eat chicken nuggets and french fries.  He asks for them every day.  I don't let him eat them every day, but it's so hard to say no to him because he says, "chicken nuggets and french fries" sooooo cute!

Here are some of the things I'm loving about Krew right now:
~The fact that he always wants to give, "hug and kisses" and the way he says those words!
~The way he reads along with books we've read before.
~The way he is starting to remember things that I think there's no way he could remember.  For instance: last week I took him to a little wading pool in town on Monday-the first time he's been swimming since February.  As I was getting him ready, he was wondering what the weird blue diaper was all about, so I simply said that he has to wear a blue Nemo diaper to go swimming.  5 days later, we were going to go swimming, and all I said was, "let's go get your swim trunks on!" to which he said, "blue Nemo diaper?"  How does he remember that?  How did he make that connection?  Crazy!
~His blond hair that has become even lighter in the sun this summer.  Such a difference from last summer!
~The way he dances and says, "shake your booboo (booty)" whenever there is music on
~The way he sings along to "Hold On" by Alabama Shakes.  One of these days I have to post a video of this.  It's amazing!
~The way he learns something new everyday and how fun and funny he is!


I'm pretty sure that 95% of the pictures I have of Kade lately look just like this.  What a squinter!  I feel like I'm getting to know my kids on a whole new level this summer, and it's been so fun.  I think the twins are finally at an age where, during the school year, they are letting their ideas and personalities really shine at school, where I don't see.  But now that it's summertime, I get to see most all of their crazy ideas, and the funny things they think and say.  Does that make any sense?
Anyway, here are some of the things that Kade has loved lately:
~Playing catch.  He didn't always want to practice baseball when it was baseball season, but now that it's over, he wants to practice all the time.  It's pretty cute.  Plus, just think how good he'll be for next season!
~Playing outside with friends
~Pokemon cards
~Lego Batman 2

Here are some of the things I love about Kade right now:
~What a good reader he is.  I can't believe how fast he'll finish a chapter book, that I was a little hesitant to let him read anyway (because it seems too difficult) and then he'll tell me all about it.  Plus, he seems to get excited about a lot of the books he reads too.
~How good he is with Krew.  He loves to try to teach Krew new things.  And Krew loves to copy Kade!
~Watching him play catch with his dad is beautiful.  It reminds me of when he was little(r), and all he wanted in life was someone to throw a ball to him.  He hadn't really been into playing catch for the past year, but he's back to being himself lately and I love it!
~Watching him make friends with the neighbor kids.  He's so outgoing, and I love how willing he is to meet new people. But it reminds me how quickly he's growing up too!
~He's usually the event planner for the day.  He comes up with activities to do, and Ky usually just has to follow along.  It's great to see him just decide what he wants to do, and he does it! (And it's great that Ky is usually completely fine with letting Kade come up with all the fun ideas!)


I've been having so much fun spending time with this handsome guy since school got out!  He is so much fun to be around!
Here are some things he's really "into" right now:
~Pokemon cards
~Writing books on the computer.  Seriously his favorite thing to do this summer has been using the computer, using "Office Word" to write books.  He creates these awesome stories, or poems, and then (with a little help), he googles pictures to add to his books.  He has made so many, and I love seeing such a creative, focused side of him!
~Playing outside with friends
~Lego Batman 2 video game
~Monsters University

Here are some of the things I'm loving about Ky right now:
~He is such a good brother to both Kade and Krew.  But I'm always especially impressed at how willing he is to help entertain Krew, or read to him, or help keep him safe and happy!
~His brain is always working, and I love listening to him talk things through when he is learning something or trying to figure something out.
~He tells me everyday that he loves me and that he thinks I'm the best mom ever!  Melts my heart!
~He often comments on how, "Today was the best day ever."  He's a positive little guy (most of the time!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the one where I ran!

Every year, a group from our church sponsors a 5k and a kids' run.  Kade and Ky have run in the kids' run 3 years prior to this one.  It's such a fun event every year.  Last year, Ky won 1st place in his age division, the year before that, Kade did.  The first year they ran, when they were three, they both thought they won because they got a Popsicle at the end.
My favorite part is that the boys take it so seriously.  They practice (a bit) at home the week or two before the race, they warm-up once we get there, and they run their fastest, and don't stop!

Two very handsome spectators

Look at them go!
After the kids finished their 1/2 mile, it was time for the 5k.  Bart ran it last year, and this year he decided to run it while pushing Krew in the jogging stroller!
And, the biggest shock of all (you might want to sit down for this part!), I ran it too!!  Me!  Running!  Who would have thought that would ever happen?!  I have always HATED running.  I like exercising, as long as I don't have to run!  But, every year I watch the 5k, and I think, next year I'm going to do it.  Well, I've been going to the gym 3 times per week since September (not running), so I thought it would be easy to just use my gym time to start training.  Now, I know there are lots of people who laugh that I'm making such a big deal out of a 5k, but up until about a month before the race, I had never run more than a mile at a time in my whole life!  And the few times that I did run a mile, at the end I thought I was going to pass out, or throw up, or probably even die!
So, I found a free app, called Couch to 5k, and it promised that if I followed their plan, and trained 3 days per week, I would be able to run a 5k in 8 weeks.  Well, the first week you start out running 60 seconds at a time, followed by a couple of minutes of jogging, repeated a few time.  No big deal.  But by the second week, I had to run for a full two minutes without stopping, and I thought, there is no way I'm going to be able to make it 3 miles without stopping!  It was embarrassingly hard to run for even a couple of minutes at a time.   But I didn't give up.  I wanted to several times, especially as it got harder and I noticed that not only did I have a hard time getting enough air as I ran, but that I was wheezing too.  Asthma is everywhere in my gene pool, and though I've never been diagnosed with it, it would make sense that I would have it.  I could have used my self-diagnosis as an excuse to give up, but I didn't.
As the race got closer, and my app was telling me to run much longer increments without stopping, I decided that my goal would just be to finish and not die.  If I was still alive at the finish line, I would call it a success!  Then, as I could see myself getting better, I decided that my goal would be to finish without stopping, even if my pace was super slow.
The week before the race, I ran 3.1 miles for the first time.  It took me a little more than 34 minutes.  But, it was inside, where there are no allergens (the only time I trained outside, I could hardly breathe through my nose because my allergies were so bad!), and it was on a flat treadmill, and the race course is very hilly!  So I was pretty nervous, but I decided to make my goal 36 minutes, to account for the hills and the pollen.
But look, you can tell by the redness of my face, and the finish sign beside me that I finished my first 5k, and I didn't die!  Unbelievable!  And, I finished in 30:46, quite a bit faster than my fastest time, and way faster than my goal.  And it was good enough for 2nd place in my age division, only behind some crazy fast lady who ran it in 19 minutes.  And yes, I know there are lots of people out there who could beat me in a 5k while running backwards, but this is a huge personal accomplishment and I'm not going to apologize for feeling proud of myself!
Plus, Ky and Kade were at the finish line cheering for me, and several minutes later when Bart and Krew crossed the finish line (see how I subtly mentioned that I beat Bart?), I was happy to have my little family there with me to share in my personal triumph!  And Krew is good at helping me listen to my music too!

The awards ceremony was held after everyone finished the race, and we were excited to see that Kade finished in 1st place in his age group again!  Ky was in second place, and handled it much better than he did last time he took 2nd behind Kade.

Way to go everyone!
Okay, and if I haven't completely bored you all with my rambling, I have one more funny story about running.  A few moments after I crossed the finish line I thought, I never have to run again!  I'd met my goal and that was all I cared about.  But a few days later, I was listening to music on my Ipod while I made dinner, and a song came on that I had purchased as "running" music and had only listened to it while training.  But, as I was listening to it this time I thought, this makes me feel like going for a run.  My very next thought was, What?!  Who am I and what has happened to me that I would even think that?!
Oh, and I just signed up to run another 5k in September!


It was so fun to have my parents here for a week the end of June! It was especially fun because usually my mom comes by herself, but this time, my dad came too.  All three of my boys just adore my dad.  He is such a fun grandpa and they can't get enough of him when we are together.  This was the third time that Krew has been around him, and it didn't take long for them to become fast friends.  Whenever Krew would get fussy, Grandpa would take him outside,
rub his back, or tickle him.
The other two boys stayed pretty close to grandpa the entire week too.  They had to make sure they stocked up on grandpa's silly tricks, funny jokes, tickles and cool stories.  Oh, and they had to teach grandpa how to wield a lightsaber!
This last picture has the neatest story: we were walking around the wildlife sanctuary, and Krew was holding my mom's hand.  He started to pull his hand away from hers, and started to try to grab his hands behind his back.  My mom couldn't figure out what he was trying to do, until she looked up at my dad and saw that he had his hands clasped behind his back!  Krew had noticed and was trying to walk just like grandpa!  See, I told you he was a fan!
We don't have any trips planned, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can get these two together again! Oh, and the rest of us too, I guess!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


My parents drove out here from Utah and spent the past week playing with us!  We had so much fun, but I didn't get near enough pictures of us all playing together.  But, here are some of the fun things we did:
We spent a day in Madison, touring the capital building again, playing at the children's museum, eating burgers at Dotty's, and seeing the town.  

 He was having a fun day, I promise.  It just doesn't really look like it from this picture!
 We spent another day at the wildlife sanctuary and at Bay Beach Amusement park.  Krew got to go on the kiddie rides for the first time!

 He had the same expression on his face on every ride, the entire time.  I wasn't sure if he was enjoying himself or not.  But, when the ride would end and I would ask if he liked it, he always said, "More!"

 Two of my crazies about to ride the bumper cars!

 I love this picture that Bart captured of Krew and I.  I was so excited for him to ride the carousel, and he loved the one at Disneyland back in February, but he wasn't so sure about it this time.  I was talking to him and trying to help him feel safe and excited, and Bart took this awesome picture.  This is what it means to be a mama!


 Ky and Kade just finished their first season of baseball!  They played coach-pitch and were on the Tigers team.  They both did such a great job and were noticeably better at the end of the season than the beginning.  It was fun for me to watch them play and cheer them on!


 It was surprisingly hard for me to tell them apart when they were on the field, all in uniform.  But if I could see their cleats or their numbers I knew for sure who was who.  One fun thing that happened purely by coincident, was that Kade was #4 and has
four letters in his name, and Ky was #2!  It made it easy for all the other parents to tell them apart as well!

This is a fun picture of both of them in action.  Ky is playing first base and Kade is playing second.  They are both ready for the ball to come to them!