Wednesday, September 21, 2016


perfect pic by April
from Jordan about Saturdays

"Sometimes I feel like we should just be responsible and clean out the garage or work on the yard... but then I think, I wonder if we could ride our bikes to Idaho?"

We've had some fun adventures lately - a few big (like a bikeride to Idaho with Jordan, April, Landon & Porter) and mostly small. Knowing that little Isaac wouldn't be able to ride in the bike trailer, and may not be happy in the stroller,  we were all set to put adventures aside until next year.  So we've been so happily surprised that we've still been able to enjoy some adventures, even with new little Isaac. Some have been just Jordan with a few kids (kayaking, bike riding) or April and a few kids (hiking, bike riding) and some with all of us (walking or Jordan running/pushing Isaac while the rest of us bike). Isaac has been such a trooper so far! (And all of the kids too!)

(And lots of Saturdays we also do just do the responsible things too :)

Last week we walked to Lee's for dinner. Then a few days later we rode our bikes to Sam's club for groceries.  Yesterday we walked to coldstone (for dinner) and Blimpie (for dessert :) There were some definite tired feet and we kind of dragged the last block or two home, but now looking back it already seems like it was so fun :) We even sang a few hiking songs to keep spirits high (I taught the kids Princess Pat and Ellie taught us "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.")

Owen asked something like "why do we keep doing this?" And my quick answers were 
1. to help our bodies be strong and healthy
2. to practice doing something hard with our family 
3. to enjoy the beautiful world and this beautiful place we live. 

Hooray for adventures and this perfectly beautiful Fall time in Logan!

Jordan's (not so) new schedule

One of the things that Jordan has loved about his new job with Lost My Name is his new work schedule. He starts at 5:00 in the morning, takes a short "lunch break" at 6:30 to read scriptures with Landon, and has worked a full day by 1:30 in the afternoon. Sometimes he'll work late and finish up around 2:00 or 3:00 (!) but often he's helping with the kids and/or out the door on a great run or bikeride or kayak adventure in the early afternoon.  Hooray for a perfect-for-Jordan schedule!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

two months & one week / tiny happy things

Sometimes I think it is just funny how the little snapshots I write here on my blog really just reflect such a little snippet of time. I wrote yesterday's '2 months' post a week ago and just added the photo to post it yesterday. And after a mostly crazy day, I re-read it last night and kind of thought "whose life was I talking about working so well?" :) It's true for all blogs, but I know what I write here appears rosier than real life. It's all true, but it's also missing the 3:00 - 6:00 crazy that happens some days in real life. Or the days when naptimes don't work. The "you're so mean!" cries.  Or the grumpyness I get that has Jordan sweetly asking me at the kids' bedtime "It's a beautiful evening, why don't you go out for a walk?"

Still, Isaac woke just once last night. (Once! At 2 months old! Bed about 10:00, quick wake up to eat at 2:30, up for the morning at 6:15. Woohoo!) So there is most definitely still cause for celebration around here. And real gratitude for all the things that really are working most of the time.

And oh, I do love this little Isaac 2 months old! He's wiggling here next to me, almost ready to get wrapped all up in a sweet swaddle blanket and held and cuddled for a bit before I set him down for a nap attempt.

Other tiny things to celebrate today, or just remember:

+ Isaac took a great nap this morning and we got all the groceries from the Lee's case lot sale delivery all put away downstairs in the storage room. Such abundance!

+ Landon worked on memorizing The Star Spangled Banner on the way to school this morning and it was a sweet soundtrack to our drive.

+ We found Owen's tennis shoes before Friday P.E. this week (Mistakenly put in a box full of to grow into shoes in the storage room!)

+ A new friend from school asked to have a play day next week with Owen

+ All of the kids have gotten to have ice cream dates with April :)

+ Jordan is adjusting his schedule a bit to watch the little boys so I can help out in Owen's kindergarten class on Thursday mornings, starting tomorrow!

+ Our laundry is all caught up (ish) thanks to some great help from April this past weekend

+  Fall arrived in Logan this week!

+ Landon wrote a great essay for his Lighthouse team application and was excited to turn it in yesterday. He asked his teacher for a lined piece of paper to write it on and carried it home so super carefully to keep it perfectly neat and unwrinkled.

+ Ellie made a plan to read all of the Magic Treehouse books this year before the end of 2nd grade.

+ I made a goal last week for Family Home Evening to eat one vegetable a day (I realize this shouldn't be a stretch, but right now it is what it is). I've been keeping my goal and feeling much better for it.

+ I went for a bikeride last night (Jordan saving me & the kids from my end of day grumpyness...) And it was so fun to ride my bike again. And I love my electric bike that took me up and down hills where my legs definitely couldn't have on their own!

+ Jordan started this week as a lead for his group at work.

+ Our second batch of raspberries have started to ripen!

+  Porter is so great at taking naps, which won't last forever so I feel especially grateful for how well he still does now. And he is awesome at bedtime too. Yay for Porter! This kiddo is into some major mischief these days which makes me even that much more grateful when naptime comes! ;)

+ Owen stayed home from school today. He had a bit of a scratchy throat and I'm sure he would have been fine but it seemed like he just needed a break. It was fun to have him home and I'm so happy we're all healthy right now!

+  Right now Ellie and Landon are at school.  Isaac is swinging in his swing, maybe falling asleep. Porter is napping in his tent. Owen is broom, broom, brooming with cars in the basement room for quiet time. Jordan is at the kitchen counter finishing up work for the day while eating his lunch.

+ I guess there is quite a lot of rosyness in our lives right now.

(And it's good for me to record it, because I may need a reminder of that in a few hours :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

2 months

+ I remember thinking (and writing) that 2 months old was the hardest stage -- I've realized that I probably made it so by wishing/expecting/feeling bad when it didn't happen/stressing that I should be just right back on track by that time. But I've learned (at last!) that there is no grace period and not to worry about what I think I ought to be able to do by any certain time.

+ Jordan has been an amazing help for me in this just by helping me feel and remember how wonderful a blessing it is for this little Isaac to have had all this time with his momma holding and cuddling and singing and loving him all up. (And how wonderful for me too!) I never have a chance to feel any guilt about just sitting and holding little Isaac, because Jordan is so quick to remind me that I'm doing the most important thing.  And he has done so much to help with the kids and all the other things that have needed to happen to keep our family running smoothly.

+ And we've had such great help. From family and friends mostly, but also we've finally figured out the other little things we need (like grocery delivery every once in a while!) And the kids are all a super help too. (Except maybe Porter with his love for mischief...)

+ Basically, we are following my favorite stake conference advice, "if you're feeling overwhelmed with all there is to do and be, try lowering your expectations." Which in practice has really meant learning to put first things first. Not to rush things. Not to expect too much from ourselves but just enjoy this slower time of life for what it is. (And then be pleasantly surprised when sometimes we can do more than we expected/better than we thought).

+ And this sweet little Isaac baby makes our lives so sweet! He has been an amazingly good sleeper/eater/somewhat predictable napper already. I feel like anyone who ever wrote a parenting book probably had a baby like Isaac. :)

+ And sleep! All of the other things are true and all, but really I think life is working because I'm getting some reasonable sleep. That's the real miracle here.

+ We all sure love this little guy!

+ At 2 months, Isaac

- loves to watch me.
- sleeps with me in bed (near me, but not in my arms - hooray for Isaac!) at night in 3 hour stretches (since his first few days even!) with occasional nights of a 4 or 4 1/2 hour stretch, and just a few rare 2 hour stretches every once in a while. (Hooray for Isaac!)
- has a fairly predictable schedule of wake, eat, play, sleep throughout the day and frequently will
even nap on his own in his swing (though he still prefers to be all cuddled up and held for naps).
- has great little baby smiles!
- is 14 lbs. 2 oz and 2 feet 1 inch
- is discovering his hands in just the last few days
- makes the sweetest little baby sounds and loves when someone will talk back and forth with him.
- loves his brothers and Ellie to talk and play with him

We went camping!

When Porter was one or so, we went on a camping trip to Moab with Kel & Josh. We had lots of fun, but it was also hard enough that we decided 'no more camping' until all of our children were sleeping through the night.

But then we changed our minds :) And this weekend we had a successful camping trip!

Jordan found us a perfect place in Logan canyon, right next to a great little pool in the river where the kids splashed in the icy water (Landon) and kayaked (Ellie and Owen) and threw shoes in (Porter).

April got back from her backpacking trip just in time to join us (which was so fun and also the difference between success and driving back home when things got a bit crazy nearing bedtime)

Despite some worries about bears and cougars, we all made it safely and happily through the night (and even Isaac did great with just his regular wake ups to eat and then quickly back to sleep). Jordan made us a delicious camp stove breakfast in the morning, and the kids got to do a little exploring and a little more playing in the water after we got things all packed up.

And then we had the rest of the weekend to recover :)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mini vacation

Just before school started we decided to do a tiny mini vacation to celebrate the end of summer. We stayed overnight near Salt Lake, ate at some fun restaurants, had Saturday morning movie time at the hotel and played Settlers with a late checkout. And (the main event!) had an afternoon swimming at the Provo Rec Center - so fun!

Isaac was an amazing traveler and did so super great on the car ride both ways -- hooray!

Back to school

1st day of school + a funny face from Landon :)
We're into the second week of school now with these three -- 5th, 2nd and Kindergarten! A few things:

+ I'm still figuring things out but have been surprised at how smoothly things have gone so far as we've adjusted to fitting Isaac's schedule into everyone else's instead of the other way around like we've been doing (April has been a great help with this!)

+ Landon spent the first three days after school memorizing all of the states and capitals to get started towards his Great American Award-- hooray for Landon! And I'm excited for him to be learning U.S. History this year. His classroom is perfect.  U.S. History + Harry Potter = Awesome 5th grade. (A fun little thing - his class played 2 truths & a lie and one of truths was "I've visited the actual platform 9 3/4" :)

+  We've had some definite angst with the new door policy for drop off/pick up time.

+ Owen is in Mrs. Fairbank's class just like Ellie and Landon (the only teacher that both Ellie and Landon have had, and I'm so happy Owen is with her too!) He walked himself in to school yesterday and today and I was so proud of him and also a little 'ohh' for my little boy being so grown up!

+ Isaac has had some awesome naps that have given me a chance to have a little one-on-one time with Porter in the morning  (who walked around the house the first day of school with "where's everybody else?") while Owen is at school and with Owen in the afternoon while Porter naps. It's not every day but it's enough.

+ It's hard to have the kids jump into homework and after school jobs and all when they get home because it seems like they've already had a long day! But still those things have to get done... Also Jordan is already finished working when school is out, so it feels like it's just time to go play :) Still some tweaking/planning needed to figure out the right schedule/routines for our family.

+ I always love helping in the kids' classes and getting to know there friends and teachers. I've been a little more hesitant this Fall though just because I don't want to rush things or try too much and make things hard on myself. (I've felt so grateful to have had the summer months to just love and take care of this little Isaac without too much else going on! Porter was born the first week of school and it was hard jumping right in!)

New baby thoughts (a quick start)

It's hard to find a few minutes of focused time to sit and write. I so often have these little things that I want to write about and remember, but now that I have a sleeping Isaac by my side and all the kids happy in quiet time, I can't quite remember all those thoughts that have been floating around in my head for the last month! Hmm...

+ I love this little Isaac. When we were brainstorming names, I read that Isaac means "He will laugh" and something about that was jus so delightful to me. I think because all the time I was pregnant, I felt like this was kind of a serious little guy, but I loved how right it felt that he would also be one who would be happy and laugh. Landon brought out some very first almost-laughs the other day from Isaac and was as excited as can be.

(an unfinished post from a month or so ago that I still wanted to remember :)

So long sweet summer

The kids are back to school today!

This really has been such a sweet summer. Having little Isaac to love and the slow summer days to just work our schedule around him has been really wonderful.

A few favorite moments of this summer:

*   Floating in the lazy river with Porter. I'd hold on for a minute as the river floated us along. Then I'd let go and Porter's eyes would widen as he floated away just a bit in his life vest -- not worried, but watching me carefully and anticipating, what's going to happen now? Then I'd scoop him back up and he'd just laugh with such delight that I'd laugh out loud too.

*  Reading books with Owen and Porter during our school time while Landon worked on the day's activity (with his glasses taped) and Ellie practiced piano -- it's already hard to remember quite exactly what it was like with just those four!

*   Sitting at the pool during swimming lessons holding Isaac, with Owen and Landon happily inside in their classes and Ellie and Porter playing together in the pool as I watched. And just realizing this is working.