Monday, June 19, 2017

Tappana Times: MAYbe I'd Better Update

Thinking back about May, it was a busy month. Lots of activities going on with the end of school approaching and the weather warming up.

Kendrick is turning into a character and he loves books. All he ever wants is for someone to read him a book. He doesn't care what I'm doing, I'm just his slave to diaper and dress him while he gets his reading time in.


If he's not reading, he loves to play like a big boy and work on his computer at the table. He sometimes gets caught on the table, and he's learned pretty quickly that Mom is not ok with that.


The bowl and lid on the table next to him are his version of "setting the table," which is his favorite to help out with. Though, the items that I leave available in cupboards for him to reach make for pretty funny table settings at times.

We had a scare with Kendrick one evening as we went for a walk on the trail along the lake. My mom's dogs were attached to the stroller, and as we stopped for a minute, they decided to suddenly take off. This yanked the stroller over on top of Kendrick and he was dragged face first in the gravel and dirt for a bit before I could catch up and grab him. Luckily, after I was able to clear the mouthful of dirt and bark out, he calmed down quickly and no serious injury was found. Those dogs were headed straight for a very steep incline, however, so I was not happy.


Kendrick has continued working on his snobbishness towards other people, and his glare really started to take shape in May.



We had the missionaries over for dinner, and they decided to ask Kendrick if he liked his cheesecake. How dare they.

















Side note: These are the chocolate dipped strawberry cheesecakes that pinterest had been tempting me with for ages. I finally had a reason to indulge when the missionaries were coming over, so I attempted my first cheesecake recipe.


Luckily, they were easy and they turned out great (though they look much prettier on the pinterest pictures)! I would definitely make them again. They were delicious!


And Kendrick did love them...you just had to be the right person asking him :)


Kendrick has been exploring all the different places he can get into. I usually don't mind letting him play with the cans in the bottom cupboard, but I recently had to make sure all glass jars were moved higher when he came to me covered in sweet and sour sauce. We learned the hard way that that stuff makes for some pretty tough stains. I don't know how he got the lid off of a brand new jar, but I do know that he managed to get it on the carpet in the living room, on my white rug, all over himself, on me, and spread throughout other various parts of the kitchen.

While I was attempting to clean it up, he also managed to tip a chair over that he was standing on and got a bloody nose. After that was managed, I sent him out back to play so I could finish cleaning, and he dug up my cilantro plant. He's hitting toddlerhood full force.

I know I always have a million pictures of Kendrick, but it is just me and him for half the day. And when they are younger, they hit all the milestones so close together so I have a lot to document. Don't worry, I love my other two children just as much...they are just away from me more often, and more busy and independent.

You can bet they both want to be included in the instagram filters, however.


Ammon recently had his time to shine at the Three Piggy Opera at school.





He loved being in the reenactment of the three little pigs story and he did awesome. He was one cute little piggy!


There are quite a few other kids from our ward at church in Ammon's kindergarten class and we got a picture of them all together.


Lydia's moment to shine was completing her gymnastics course.


She loved her weekly gymnastics class and graduated out of Rec 1. Unfortunately, Rec 2 costs more than we can afford so she has to take a break while we research other options, but Lydia enjoyed getting to try this sport out. She would even practice a daily stretching video to try to improve her splits. I was proud of her hard work and dedication.

Usually, while Lydia was in gymnastics class, I would sit and watch her, but on a day of good weather I decided to walk the path I had noticed behind the gym. I was enjoying the exercise when I noticed a mile marker. I was walking along the Green River! I felt a little spooked.

(For those that don't know the history of the Green River Killer, he was a serial killer that dumped numerous bodies along the Green River, thus his name.)

It kind of gave me the chills, especially since the only other people I had seen on the trail were a couple of homeless people. But I decided to have courage and not let the wimpy side of me take over. I finished my walk and nodded at the homeless man that passed by me before returning to the gym.

While I was waiting for Lydia's class to end, I decided to look into where exactly along the Green River the bodies were found. Now they've found something like 40+ bodies, and he's claimed there's around 80+, so they are spread along the Green River, but I noticed that a large group of them were found RIGHT WHERE I HAD BEEN WALKING.


Suddenly, I felt like a survivor. I felt like I should be on some documentary or something - I was walking where it happened. And I'm pretty dramatic and all that.

Our family spent family night at Flaming Geyser State park, which is only twenty minutes from our house. We ate a picnic dinner and then enjoyed a couple short hikes.


Kendrick was my little buddy while Brigham took the kids up the steep hill to climb on the tree.


My kids are pretty good hikers, and we found out quickly that Kendrick wants to be right there with them. Brigham carried him up the trail, but he insisted on walking back and made it the whole way with his little chubby legs carrying him as fast as he could go. He loved every second of it!


After hiking, we played in the river for a bit and then tossed around a football until it was time to head home. It gave us a taste for summer and all the nights yet to come playing oustide.

For mother's day, my mom was in Hawaii, so I got to fill in for her at my sister's Mom and Tea activity for fifth graders.


If often looks like Kayleen is another one of my kids, and sometimes I'm sure she feels that way. She even wrote the sweetest note to me that said I'm like her second mom. I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to live so close to her and develop a relationship with her that we otherwise wouldn't have. We may be eighteen years apart, but we can still hang together and I love that my kids have her to run around with! I was honored to fill in as mom and we had a great time stuffing our faces with pastries together.

A couple other random happenings in May: I was on my way to volleyball and I saw the brightest rainbow I've ever laid eyes on. The pictures make it look mediocre, but it was so bright and it even turned into a double rainbow.


Ammon has been killing it with his crafts lately, and I'm killing it at bootcamp doing handstands on the wall.

Phew! That's May for you. Busy and fun!

Monday, June 5, 2017

10 YEARS

Guys, this year Brigham and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. We've been married for one whole decade. That's pretty big! In honor of the magnitude of this anniversary, here are some flashbacks of activities we've done for our past anniversary years:

Well, first we got married.

First Anniversary: we each fed a bite of our frozen wedding-cake top to each other before we threw it out and wondered why people even do this, I got a new (and final) band for my wedding ring, and we took a trip to Logan to eat at The Bluebird and attend the Logan temple.


Year Two: we didn't do too much because our lives were pretty much wrapped around our one-month-old Lydia. But we did escape to do a session in the Bountiful Temple.


Year three: I have nothing documenting this year, but Brigham did graduate from college with his Bachelor's around this time.

Year four: I have absolutely nothing documenting this year. But we did have a baby boy we had recently added to the mix.

Year five: We took another trip to Logan and stayed at a fun little inn for a night. I remember it was the first time leaving the kids overnight, and it was a little nerve-wracking for me. We ate dinner at The Bluebird and Firehouse Pizza, roamed a bookstore, did a session at the Logan temple, and went for a hike.


Year Six: Brigham surprised me with some wedding picture retakes. There are a lot of things I hate about my wedding pictures and he wanted to "fix" some of those issues. He was lucky I fit back into my dress. At first, it totally stressed me out. But then it was really fun getting all fancy again and acting like I was a blushing bride when everyone at the temple told me how beautiful I looked. It was a little weird to have two kids tailing along, but we included them in a couple pictures that I love - even if they are a little confusing. Katrina took the photos and there are so many that I love, but I only included a small handful of favorites.


Year Seven: this was the year that two of my siblings were married within two days of each other, and within four days of our anniversary. So it was a wedding extravaganza. But Brigham and I were able to go out on our own to celebrate. We ate our hearts out on Mongolian grill.






Year Eight: I have absolutely nothing documented for this year. We had moved to Washington at this point, and were settling into our second year in Maple Valley.

Year Nine: I have absolutely nothing documented for this year. However, we did have our third child very recently added to our family.

And finally, this year. Year ten!

Brigham and I were very busy on our actual anniversary. We were watching my sister and I was up to my neck in kids' activities and basketball games. However, Brigham took work off early and we were able to sneak away with only Kendrick in tow to go out to lunch together. Then, when the kids and Kayleen got home from school, we packed them up to squeeze in a "walking" picnic - meaning we didn't have time to hike AND eat, so we ate dinner while we walked along the White River trail.


It was beautiful walking, throwing rocks in the river, rolling down hills, and snacking. We had a great time, despite an emergency bathroom run for one of the kids...but that's what you come to expect together after ten years of marriage and three kids, right?

A month later we were able to get a weekend off and escape while my mom watched our kids for us. We went about an hour away from our house to stay with my Aunt in Lynnwood. That might not sound exciting to you, but we knew it meant three days of gaming and good food and company. That equals a great time to us.


These are the games we played. The only game we played more than once was Smash Up. It might not look like a big stack of games, but some of these take a good six to seven plus hours to play. I won Castles, Mission to Red Planet, and Smash Up once, while my team killed Dracula in Fury to Dracula, and we all won for the co-op game Mansions of Madness. I lost horribly at Kemet. We had a blast. Nothing like a good strategy game.





Brigham also gave me a real pearl necklace and bracelet while we were away. It was sweet because, during our wedding ceremony, our wedding sealer gave Brigham a beautiful shell and explained that it is an oyster shell that works to take a bit a dirt and, through strife and toil, turns that dirt it into a beautiful pearl. The dirt represents our marriage and the work that needs to be put into it. The sealer then turned to me and told me that he was giving me nothing because I am the symbolic pearl in the end. The shell is to remind Brigham of all the work that he needs to do, but if he does it he'll get me as a pearl in the end. Brigham gave me the pearl jewelry set to remind me that I'm still his pearl after ten years. Sappy, huh? Sappy and sweet.




I told Brigham the only thing that would have made it better was if we had taken a hike each morning. It was BEAUTIFUL weather that weekend, and it was a bit of a bummer that we wasted it indoors. We took a walk each day, but a nice hearty hike would have satisfied my need to be outdoors and move. Now we know for next time.

We were truly spoiled this year by my aunt who hosted and fed us, and my mom who took care of my sick toddler while we were out of town.

And that's ten years, folks. What have we learned? I need to be better about recording what we did. My hope is that some day my kids will love looking this over and seeing what we did each year. That they'll remember that Brigham and I love each other and that we did fun stuff together to celebrate our marriage. Because that's what we do.

I admit, this anniversary was a bit hard for me. I felt old. I was only twenty-nine and yet married for TEN years? How could I feel young and so old at the same time? I still feel like we're barely starting to try and figure it out together, and yet it's been a decade.

We have three kids together, we've moved four times, had seven plus jobs, and earned three college degrees together. Pretty good. I hope we'll have at least one more of each of those in the next decade. So much that we've done together and even more to look forward to.

I did make Brigham this little ditty for our ten-year, and I love how it shows the progression of time and it has a bit of both sap and truth to it.



I'm so grateful Brigham has been patient with me for 3,652 days, and on those days when he isn't, I'm grateful we have laughter, love, and hugs to fall back on. Happy Anniversary, Brigham. I really love you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tappana Times: About Time for April

Well, it's halfway through May, but I wanted to snag all the tag-a-long April photos that I've missed.

For example, though our April Fool's Day was more low key this year, it still happened.

April Fool's Day fell on a Saturday of General Conference weekend. So I decided to make delicious monkey bread for breakfast. I told my kids that it is called monkey bread because it's actually made out of monkeys - their tails, to be specific. Kids totally believed me. The pretty much believe everything I say.


"That's why it made my stomach hurt!" - Lydia.




I also played the bean-boozled game on Lydia and Ammon. They knew I had a giant jar of jelly-belly's but not the disgusting bean-boozled flavors that I actually handed them.

The kids were actually eating flavors like grass clippings and dog food rather than lime or chocolate. Ammon just kept popping them, though he would make some shocked faces, but Lydia was the real kicker. She was thoroughly grossed out. It was great!



After I revealed the trick to them, Lydia said, "I wondered when you were going to play an April Fool's joke on us!"


Like I said, I kept it low key this year because I didn't have the time or energy for the needed preparation that a quality joke requires, so the only trick I played on Brigham was to put some poky, sharp beads between the mattress and sheet on his side of the bed.


Kendrick was my accomplice in crime for this one.

"Hey! What is this?! Ugghh, I thought I was going to get away from it this year. I should have known better!!" - Brigham

And that's it for April Fools. Though, Kendrick did try to to trick us into believing that he suddenly grew beautiful, green hair.

Kendrick also figured out that folding his arms and bowing his head for prayer is something he can do to be just like the rest of us. It pretty much melts all of our hearts instantly, and no matter how mad any of us are with him, we forget it pretty quickly when he does this. The devil.


We actually had some decent weather for a couple days one week, and the kids were finally putting our big backyard to good use. Kendrick LOVED being outside and would lose it when it was time to come back in.


However, he always has to be attached to my side, so when I came in the house he decided to try to talk to me through the sliding glass door. My mom's dogs joined him and soon a little boy and two puppies were begging me to let them in.




 Oh, these made for the best pictures of my life.


Soon, he became desperate and I couldn't stand the pathetic-ness so I let him in.

My mom's dogs were over because my parents were in Utah for my brother's graduation from BYU. While they were away we babysat her dogs and my sister, Kayleen. The kids love having Kayleen over and we enjoyed a fun weekend together.


The weekend was full of basketball as I coached the Young Women's basketball team in regionals for my calling. They didn't win, but they did great. I also played for the women's team. We made it all the way to the regional championship game and lost by two in overtime. Gah! It was super exciting! We should have won, but too bad. I had seven basketball games in the space of a week. I miss it already.

After our final championship game, I rushed back to Maple Valley to take Kayleen and Lydia to the stake Mom and Me activity days activity.

The girls painted canvases while the moms helped and encouraged. Lydia and Kayleen opted for their initials and stripes.




That same weekend Brigham and I celebrated our ten year anniversary. 10 years! But more to come on that later. Since we were babysitting we just stuck around town, but we did manage to squeeze in a walk/hike before rushing to one of my basketball games.


The kids did great and the evening was gorgeous. Stay tuned to hear about our ten years!