Excited for Summer!

I can't help but wake up every morning with a lilt in my step and a sparkle in my eye because fun times are ahead! Besides a packed Memorial Day weekend we plan on spending with friends doing fun things, we take off next week to Utah to see the fam! Oh, how I love being excited for things...it may not be half the fun but the anticipation is a good chunk of the fun.

This summer will also bring a cute baby girl, who I am dying to meet. I want her in my arms, not in my tummy. I'm even ready for those sleepless nights. Let's get the party started, I say! But alas, that one is still a few more weeks away (9 and a half to be exact, but who's counting?)

Another thing that the beginning of summer means, is that school comes to an end (I know not for most people, but it does for a relaxed preshcool co-op!) We sure did love Ryder's little preschool group this year. Penny, especially loved being involved when she could as well. Here are some fun photos I got of their last "official" day and at their "end of the year party".

"Say Cheese"
We were learning about cameras that day...

The Party!
We went to a park and had a very fun scavenger hunt made by one of the other mom's. 

 (Natalie reading a pirate story and the creator of this very fun activity)

 Can you tell Ryder LOVES his little preshcool group? We'll definitely miss it and our friends this summer. 

So Close, Yet, So Far

You see what that is over there in the distance? I think it might be a vacuum and some sort of mop-like contraption...I can't be sure.

Those puppies are seeming a little farther away than I'd like them to at the moment, but... I'm feeling better today than I have all week and although I'm embarassingly behind schedule, I will get this house cleaned today if it's the last thing I do!

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother's Day every one! I am priveledged to know many great, amazing, kind women who do the title and meaning of "Mother" much justice. I'm grateful for their examples and wish them a very happy day!

And as for my own mom...well, what can I say? She is perfect. As far as support, love, advice, humor, wisdom and friendship, my mom has been everything I've needed to navigate this life (and many times still is).

Lately, I've been pondering a lot of things regarding our personal choices and the things that influence them as well as where those choices will take us. So in tribute to my sweet mother, I thought I'd put on record a few of the things I've learned from her that have left a huge impact on me and who I hope to become.


Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes."

"Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others."
--Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Virtue of Kindness"

I know I've mentioned this before, but if I could sum up one of the greatest lessons my mom has ever taught me, it's to "be kind and nice".  To this day, when I'm not sure what to do regarding a sticky social situation, the words, "be kind and nice" echo in my mind. Not only is my mom a generally very nice person to those she comes into daily contact with (don't even get me started on her ability to charm difficult people), but I saw her put these words into practice in some of the most difficult, unjust, and hurtful situations, where choosing to act something other than kind and nice, would have perhaps been the easier, more deserved way to behave.

It was this example that made everytime I went to her with a frustrating situation (admittedly, after some good venting) I would ask her what to do, she would respond, "Be kind and nice, that's all you can do". And I would know from her example that was not only the best option, but the only option.

"...be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
--1 Timothy 4:12

You know those people who you never have to question their values or what they think, but at the same time you're drawn to them and desire to be around them? My mom is one of those people. My mom has never been the type of person to "cordially" laugh at a dirty joke or pretend not to notice offensive acts out of fear of offending or not fitting in. Yet, it has been my observation that it is such stances that only seem to draw people in. It's a combination of goodness and love (I don't think one works without the other) and that's who she is, and well, who doesn't want to be around that?

I feel she has also been a huge example of this to me in regards to motherhood. She was always my mother first before she was my friend. She never shyed away from telling me exactly what I needed to hear out of fear of losing our relationship or offending me. Which is ironic, because it is how her first priority to be my mother made it my first priority to be her friend.

I pray to be this type of example and mother. I don't know if I'm there yet but I hope beyond all hope I'll have the same relationship with my children that I have with her.

"Some people look for a beautiful place--others make a place beautiful"
--Hazrat Inayat Khan

 Oh, I love my parents' home! The little haven I had the pivilege to grow up in! My mom has an innate creative ability to decorate and make her surroundings beautiful. Growing up she stitched hundreds of thoughtful, uplifting and inspiring messages and images that were placed throughout our home while turning our yard in the summer time into a colorful oasis. Do I think these qualities are required to be a good mom? No. But oh, how I love this about my mother! Not only was it so very fun watching her and helping her do these things growing up, but making my home a beautiful place where my family and I want to be is one of the biggest things that brings me joy and satisfaction as a wife and mother. 

Mom, I could go on and on about how wonderful I think you are. I consider you to be one of the greatest blessings I have in this life. Happy Mothers Day! I love you!

Bronchitis & Potty Training

As it turns out, it seems as though that silly bronchitis that I had almost a month ago decided to make a come back. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated and that if this bronchitis had a face, I'd punch it. Not to mention I'm not exactly jumping up and down about how great I've been feeling this pregnancy. I'm always surprised how depressed it can make you feel to be in discomfort and not really being able to see the end in sight or knowing it will only get worse before it gets better.

However, the better part of me knows, I really don't having anything to feel sorry for myself about. In the grand scheme of things, this is embarrassingly minor. I also know growing this little baby will be worth every ounce of pain or discomfort felt in the next three months. So in a small attempt to keep the grumpiness at a minimum, I thought it might be fun to list all of the things that I so desparately want to happen, that WILL happen all in due time:

1. I looking forward to a time when I can clean out and organize my car.
2. I dream of a super organized basement.
3. I would like to purchase a label maker (I could get a lot of use out of it super organizing my basement)
4. I'm excited to feel attractive again.
5. I can't wait to have a regular energy level and want to do things after 7 pm.
6. I want to want to decorate, because I know I really do love it.
7. One day I will get around to doing fun projects, because I know I love those too.
8. I know this probably won't happen, but I'd like to never take good health for granted again and feel grateful for times I get to workout. (Bawhahah, hee-hee, haha)

It's all gonna happen! One day. Just you wait and see.

Oh wait! Wait, wait, wait.  How could I forget--I (we) have been crossing something pretty major off our list these last couple of weeks...#2 is potty trained!

And according to these photos, you would think that the whole experience was nothing but one huge par-tay!

And for the most part, it was pretty easy going and now she's doing great and has even woke up with a dry diaper the last 4 nights (although I hate to say so, because I don't want to jinx anything:)

Way to go Penny!

Dinosaur Museum

A couple of weeks ago, our little preschool group + siblings all went to a little museum to specifically see their dinosaur exhibit. We had been studying dinosaurs in preschool for a couple of months and after a couple of them caught wind that we were thinking of taking a field trip to "The Dinosaur Museum" we were expected to deliver.

The boys checking out the teeth.

 The dinosaur museum in this particular museum was a bit on the smaller side, but the company was great and there was a lot of other cool things for them to look at.

The girls in the dinosaur nest 

Penny was SO excited she got to tag along. She pretty much participates (as much as she can) any time  we have preschool at our house, so she thought she was quite the big girl to be hanging with her preschool friends.

R & P doing their best to make dinosaur faces for the camera 

R & P playing with the train at the train exhibit 

Me with my besties in front of some raptors!

Photography Notes: I have yet to master any sort of photography skills in regard to shooting indoors and "on-the-fly". I find the group or model dispersing by the time I figure out what settings will work best. As you will notice there is no sort of consistency with the lighting. That's why I never take my camera on outings--because I'm so slow at capturing real life and I get easily frustrated:) need to start working on that...