Friday, November 16, 2018

on the other side

Landon and Ellie meeting baby Owen

Earlier this week, I got to watch my little nephews and take them to the hospital to visit and meet their new baby sister! They were very excited, and it was just a fun and different experience stopping in for a visit instead of being the one welcoming the visitors!

I sure loved all those first few days with our babies - such sweet, tender times!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

on toys & messes

A few weeks ago, the kids were feeling frustrated about cleaning their assigned rooms (otherwise known as AR to one child because "Don't say the words!!") Somehow in our discussion, I ended up telling them about when Landon was a baby/toddler and we lived in our little duplex. And when it was time to clean up all the toys in the house, they fit neatly into one little basket under the piano. 

When Ellie and Owen heard that, their response was something like "Let's do that!" 

When we talked about them not having much to play with, Owen quickly responded, "That's okay! We can just play with our family and like with our hands and arms and stuff! Like that slap hands game...!"

I loved this :) And we're thinking we'll try out putting everything/most things away and pulling out a bin or two at a time and keeping everything else in the storage room or guest room or something. We'll see. 

Really, the two things most played with (and most mess-making) at our house are magnatiles and paper. (If I walked around the house right now, I suspect I could find at least one magnatile in every room...And no matter how recently we've vacuumed, there are pretty much always paper scraps surrounding the kids craft table in the reading room.) But I'm happy enough with all the good playing from those things that I'd vote to keep them out even if they are messy. (A few kids might disagree though!)

Last weekend, I borrowed a friends Roomba to test it out. Before I ran it in the reading room, I cut up a bunch of paper to scatter all around for it to pick up. Owen was watching me and said "I hope this works because this is my assigned room!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tech News

Our Provo duplex Spring 2016
When I was pregnant with Landon, Jordan was finishing school and working for a little startup in Provo. After the school year ended for me and I had some extra free time for a couple months,  I'd sometimes walk (or scooter? though maybe that was just Jordan?) with him up to work, just up the hill from our little duplex. I have this sweet tender memory of walking back down that Grandview hill with my hands on my growing belly feeling those amazing kicks and stretches, so new and wonderful!

They worked in the basement of the company founder's home, around the corner from my high school friends' homes, "Just walk through that side gate and down those stairs in the back...try not to block the neighbor's driveway if you're parking..." with a closet full of snacks and folding tables squeezed in for the handful of employees.

Those walks are still a pretty sweet memory for me, but the actual job turned out to be not so great. And in the Fall when they gave  Jordan an (also not-so-great) offer to stay on, we chose another option.

Today, in the news I read about that little basement-office company being acquired for $8 billion!  

Jordan has had a really wonderful and interesting career so far and I always love to see what's happening with the companies he's worked for or nearly worked for in the past, so it was fun to see that news.

I also had a mix of other feelings - like, how it can be hard to celebrate their success when we had kind of a harder experience with them... though somehow just saying that out loud helped me realize those aren't really the feelings I want to hold on to (though I still feel them for now, but hopefully not forever!)  And of course, we had a moment's discussion of "what if?!"

But mostly, as I was thinking about all this and remembering those days, even bigger than those other feelings is how grateful I feel for all of the really wonderful work and life opportunities that have come to us in the other paths we chose!

In that same time of our lives as our family was just beginning, Jordan worked with another startup in Provo (Collabratus).  It ended up closing down about a year and half after Jordan joined, but we sure have some happy memories of his time working there (like the great big windows of his office, the funny story of someone hoping to pay off their invoice with a truck,  and that courtyard full of daffodils where I brought toddler Landon down for lunch break picnics...). And we still have happy feelings of his very kind boss Harold (like the little company BBQ he held at his home, or when Jordan went to interview with Microsoft,  and Harold sent a gift with him on his way - a box of chocolates picked out by his wife and a homemade t-shirt with this message -  "I'm a Collabratus Man!" :)

And besides those happy memories, the end of that job also led to the beginning of his work for Animoto which then led to many more great opportunities at Bonobos, LostMyName/Wonderbly, and now TPT (with many more interesting connections made in between all those as he's worked with and interviewed at many other companies too!)

In other news, Jordan heard this last month from some friends in Victoria who he had considered working with in his latest job change. They were also recently acquired in a different sort of way that wouldn't have exactly been a perfect fit for us -- this is from their website in reference to their acquisition -- "We are thrilled about our ability to help JUUL Labs improve the lives of a billion adult smokers..." (you never know!)  Also, a year or so after Jordan left Bonobos, they were acquired by WalMart -- which made us think maybe we should have followed through with our stock options ;)

It's so fun and funny to see just a little bit where those paths we've deliberated about over the years might have taken us. And so nice to feel happy with the paths we've picked!

Welcome Home Jordan!

If that sounds familiar, it is! It was only a few weeks ago that we were welcoming Jordan home from a week in NYC, and yesterday he returned from a week in Montana! April is moving into her new home, and also just had foot surgery so Jordan spent a week up there working and also helping pack things up, carry things downstairs, and otherwise help April stay off her recovering foot :)

We had such a busy and full day yesterday and Jordan just jumped right into it so seamlessly that early in the afternoon as we were in the front room together Owen said "Oh! I forgot you were gone and back!!" 

Jordan was working while he traveled home through the morning, and he walked in about 10:00, continuing a meeting he'd been having while on the shuttle, and headed to his office till we left for Lego Robotics.  (So Owen first saw him at Lego Robotics... like he always would on a Tuesday afternoon so it just felt very much like normal!) Then we had a rush of pick ups/after school jobs/dinner/young women's/bedtimes... (Plus a quick turn of shoulder angels earlier in the day for Porter and Isaac!)

It still feels so strange/amazing to me that Jordan could wake up early and start his work day from the airport in Montana, and then just continue on working away as he traveled over 500 miles back home via airplane & shuttle, and finish the work day from his own little backyard office!

We're sure happy to have him back home! 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Weekend Report

Sunday Afternoon reading

+ Friday night Landon had a fun scout camp + swimming activity at some hot springs.

+ Saturday we worked our way through our jobs and errands etc. with lots of down time mixed in too.  (I am not a great with-kids errand runner. I think we had 3 stops, but I was spent!)  Oh, and a trip to the library with a stack of books for Landon about as high as he could balance in his arms!

+ Saturday night as everyone was getting to bed, Isaac and Landon were playing next to the bed and Isaac tripped over Landon, falling forward and hitting his eye on the metal edge of our bed frame (!!) Jordan was gone, so I left the kids with Landon and took poor little Isaac to the Instacare. I couldn't see inside his eye, and it was cut right up across the inside edge so I was very worried.  Fortunately, once they got it clean (which took me and two nurses, so I never would have been able to do this on my own!) everything looked okay. He woke up yesterday morning with an even puffier eye, but honestly didn't seem to be bothered much! After nap time I asked how his eye was doing and he answered (Oh, I love his new putting-words-together in his sweet little voice!) "Not hurting any more!" Poor kiddo, but I'm so glad the black eye is the most lasting problem.

+ While we were gone, the kids were pretty worried and they so sweetly looked all around the house for Isaac's favorite things. They surprised him when he got home with a great little collection all set out so carefully on the kitchen counter (soccer ball, blanket, a favorite book, a card, etc.)

+ Once I got the kids to bed (late!), I was prepping my lesson for primary on service. The lesson suggested having the kids help with some kind of service as part of the activity, so I had them color a big card for Isaac. The kids loved making it (I suggested they could draw things they love or things they thought he'd love, and the big theme became "candy!") Isaac set it out at home and was loving it "Is it?" (What is it) he asked again and again as pointed to each little picture (oreo cookies! lollipops! candy! a train! a heart balloon!)

+ Jordan and I both have new callings! Jordan was expecting a change since he was released from Young Mens a few weeks ago, but I was surprised! Jordan is going to be teaching Owen's primary class, and I'm going to be joining the Young Women as 2nd counselor. Except for one year with Relief Society activities and some time in Webelos scouts, I've been in primary since we've been married, so this will be very new for me!

+ I made it to ward choir at last (the reminder of upcoming Christmas music was enough to get me to remember the midafternoon time!)

+ The boys all had a sleepover party in my room -- I sure love all these boys! :)

+ And then back to school this morning, with one kiddo very much looking forward to Thanksgiving Break (next week! how did that happen?)

Friday, November 9, 2018

"We're all just doing the best we can, y'all"

(I read that little comment yesterday and felt grateful for how it stuck in my brain on replay this morning while we recovered from this little ordeal :)

I sure love these little matching buddy boys. And I've thought every day this week how much I love our mornings together, and how much I'm loving these two and the ages and stages they are in right now.

Still, every once in a while...!

I was pretty frustrated/disappointed/mad this morning about missing book group - one of my favorite things each month - because of a giant melt down ("I'M NOT COMING!") that I couldn't find any way to resolve. (Though we were discussing a parenting book this month, so we could have just gone kicking/yelling & all and been a great case study...)

Eventually, we got to "You can choose to calm down and come to book group, or we can walk back home and we can clean the garage." We didn't make much progress before kindergarten. Cooling down (for both of us), then warming up (the garage was pretty cold!),  then a garage floor lunch picnic of muffins and pear slices and swiss cheese, keeping close to the electric heater. (So, no progress on the garage, but progress in all those other ways.)

(And I would explain how we managed to get through round 2 of "I'm not going!" (the school version) but just like I don't know why nothing I tried worked for round 1, or what even brought about the great melt down,  I really don't know why something did work the next time!)

I'm actually not dreading an afternoon of cleaning the garage together after school though. He's a pretty great working buddy. And maybe I'll catch something from him along the way to help me a little better next time. And, I'm ready to be done scraping frost from our van in the driveway each morning.  And I want this little boy I love to feel I love him and want to help him (even if I was pretty mad).

We're all just doing the best we can, y'all

Thursday, November 8, 2018

wild places

Something that I love about Logan is that there are these little patches that are still a little wild. A week or so ago we walked this way - down the Lee's hill on a long walk to dinner out for a Friday night. There has been a developer's sign up here since early summer "Coming Soon!" I know we'll appreciate the sidewalk that will come with those townhomes, but we'll miss this little trail too!