Friday, June 29, 2012

Little Memories

Emmy only wants to stay in the bathtub for about 5 minutes. Natalie, on the other hand, could play in there for quite awhile. Sometimes when I tell her it's time to get out, she begs to stay in so she can finish her "story." It's times like this that I'm transported back to my own childhood and can remember being right in the middle of playing pretend and having it seem so real and important. I usually let her stay in the water and finish her story.
 I mean, there must be a happy ending to all those Pet Shops lost at sea right!?
 Sometimes Jansen and Natalie will lay out a blanket and some toys and create a special area for Emmy to play. They call it "The Emmy Express." So many choices! A walkie talkie, a toothbrush, plastic spiders...
 Emmy likes to sit in the cupboard in our bathroom and play with forbidden things like makeup and baby powder. I'm assuming she thinks I can't see her. 
 But I can. :)
I can't get enough of the way Emmy talks. 
"My do it."
"Daddy work?"
She wants Jansen to come with her everywhere. "Jansen come!"
Most mornings when I get her out of her crib she tells me, "I want read a book."
Right now one of her favorite books is all about trucks. She loves the "gah-bage truck."
swimsoup = swim suit
picle = popsicle
She drinks her milk out of a Dora and Boots sippy cup and calls it her "monkey cup."
She cries 100% of the time that I lay her in her crib for a nap or bedtime, but it only lasts about 30 seconds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kidless Trip to Utah

Addison Morgan Bowen born on June 11, 2012
And the reason I got to go to Utah BY MYSELF for 3 days!
It's a little hard to describe the feelings I have for this little one...there is definitely something special about your only sister having her first child. It's like she's already got me wrapped around her bitty finger, and my heart is tied to hers.
 I do not enjoy the infant stage of my own children...they are high maintenance and colicky and I can't wait to for them to grow up a little. But this was completely different! I could have cuddled her all day. 
 And we did cuddle her all day.
 I really didn't take a lot of pictures, but I had SUCH a wonderful time. I even loved every minute of the drive. Lots of time to listen to stuff and think and snack. I wish I could have "helped" Lexi more, but Addison was so little and sleepy that the best I could do was hold her. We went to dinner one night at Shoots down in the Riverwoods.

 I left on a Sunday afternoon after enjoying dinner with family. All it took was a few tears in Lexi's eyes and I was done for. I bolted out the door, all choked up and emotional, and headed back home. 
Nate had the kids, and I think they played harder in those few days than they do in a month's time with me. Nate even told me he almost threw a few things in a bag and headed to the San Diego Zoo with them!!! I'm glad that didn't pan out. :) Nap time was optional, bed time was relative, and staying busy was a must. They really don't get to see Nate much during a regular week, so concentrated time like this is priceless.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Red Rock Hike

Nate had some time off a couple weeks ago. We had tentatively planned to go to San Diego, and I had all our bags packed on the day we intended to leave. We had been so busy prior to his time off that we hadn't planned well and the trip felt rushed and unorganized. We decided not to go, so we now had some open days ahead of us. We really didn't want to waste the time away sitting around the house, so we started off the next morning with a hike to Red Rock. 

It's always refreshing (even in the heat) to be in nature. We never regret these little trips together.

 These pictures were taken at a place called Spring Mountain Ranch. We headed there for a little bit after our hike. We topped off the afternoon with gelato at Costco. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Girls' Day in St. George

Some friends and I have started a tradition of spending a night in St. George and shopping and eating the entire time. We finally worked out a date that would work for all of us, and I was so excited to have something to look forward to. It wasn't ideal, but I would be leaving the day Nate arrived home from Honduras. Well, come to found out that there were some changes to Nate's travel plans, and he would not be home in time. I was devastated, but tried to suck it up and deal with it. Nate thought he might be able to change it, so I lived in suspense for 2 weeks not knowing if I would be able to go. Long story short, I found out on the Friday of our trip that Nate would be home late that night. I missed the hotel stay, but I drove up early Saturday morning and got to be a part of the important stuff.

Important stuff includes our basket exchange. We each fill a basket with our favorite things and this year we included something from our childhood (I put a Punky Brewster DVD in mine), something you can put on your body, and something that starts with one of your initials. It was my job to determine who got which basket. At the last minute I decided that I would read a couple verses from the scriptures, and we would pass the baskets each time a certain word was read. 
Here's Katie examining the contents of her basket.
 Breakfast at Kneader's
 Voyage to the mall
 For those of you that can read, you will already know this was taken at Tai Pan.
 Anyone know where this was taken? Ah yes, DI.
 Our culminating event was a show at Tuacahn. We saw Hairspray, which was awesome, and the scenery was beautiful.
It's moments like these that I realize I have not matured one ounce since high school. Here, take my picture like this.

 Such a cool place!
 Two very memorable moments during the show. 1. One of the cast members belched into the microphone on accident. It took everyone off guard and there were a few minutes of stifled laughter as everyone gained their composure again. 2. It was very windy, and they had to remove a piece of the set because it posed a danger. It had started to fly off whatever it was attached to. Sections of the audience were evacuated temporarily. It was tense for a little while, but they removed it safely and the show continued. 
We drove home late, and I swear I have never been so drowsy while I was driving. I think a big factor was my dry eyes from the wind. We made it home safe...another awesome girls' trip in the books.

Monday, June 18, 2012

That Time of Year

...when we have to say goodbye to great friends that are moving.
...when our frozen yogurt intake increases dramatically.
...when school ends!!!
 I guess it was close to 2 weeks ago, but here's a picture from the last day of school. The walk to school at the end of the school year (June) and at the beginning (September) is usually very hot, even at 8:30 in the morning.
 Although next year school is set to start at 7:25 am, so I'm sure we won't always be walking and I'm sure it won't be as hot. I'm not happy about the new start time. It WAS 7:05 until a bunch of moms made many phone calls and sent emails to the district to let them know how ridiculous it is to start school at 7:05 am. There are so many reasons that is a bad idea. Well, we got it bumped up 20 minutes...still awful.
 This is walking home after letting Jansen show up to class to tell his teacher goodbye and then taking off. This moment is a bit staged, although they started holding hands of their own accord. It's just that when I tried to capture it on camera they got a bit cheesy.
 Hello summer! Lots has already happened...lots to blog about already.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Telling Secrets

We're whispering so you'll want to lean in real close to your computer screen if you want to hear.

And mom will never know!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Under Her Dress

We're in the middle of sacrament meeting on Sunday when I feel some lumps under Emmy's dress. Lo and behold the girl had shoved her legs into the head opening of Natalie's pajama top and pulled it up around her waist. She was also wearing the bottoms which were somehow tangled around her middle as well. Nate and I laughed to ourselves, but it slipped my mind as the Sunday circus continued. Super embarrassing to pick Emmy up from nursery and have her leaders hand me Natalie's well-worn pink camo pajamas that they had discovered under Emmy's dress. 

Hello, my name is Emmy and I like to put my mom in uncomfortable situations. I specialize in church and grocery store settings.
Also of note today, the kids were painting and I walked in the room just in time to see Natalie snap a sippy cup lid onto her disgusting paint water and then hand it to Emmy. 

Friday, June 8, 2012


Nate has been in Honduras for 2 weeks. I can hardly wait for him to come home this weekend. The first week he was gone seemed to crawl, but this last week has passed quickly. I think it's because we have been busy since it was the last week of school for Jansen. You get used to doing everything on your own, but I have had some real rough days. Days that have tried my patience like I couldn't believe. But I have a small sense of accomplishment...holding down the fort on my own and never completely losing it. It always feels good to do hard things and to know that you actually benefited from the struggle.

Nate and I both agree that short separations like these are actually for good our marriage as well. We appreciate one another so much more and communicate in ways that are different from our usual day to day interactions. It's a painful feeling to miss someone, but I've been so thankful that I have someone I miss that dearly. Know what I mean?

I have also felt strengthened as I have prayed a lot for patience and also peace at night time. I have spent plenty of nights alone, and I never seem to get used to it. I am often scared and don't sleep well. This time around I have made a real effort to replace my fears with faith. I have felt calm at night. 

There will certainly be more separations in our future, but it's reassuring to know that these types of experiences ultimately benefit our family if I let them. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

5 Hours From Here

With Nate in Honduras on an Air Force medical mission trip, I decided to drive to Utah for Memorial Day weekend. Some moms wouldn't bat an eye at driving 5 hrs with 3 kids, but it took some courage for me to decide to make the trip. It went really well though, and I will definitely do it again when the opportunity arises. 

It was a cousin and friend fest. My picture taking was sporadic, but here are some pictures I got...

It was also an animal fest, and if Emmy could say it, I'm sure she'd tell us that the pets were her favorite part of the trip. This is Lexi's dog Bailey. This is also either right before or after Emmy ate the dog treat we handed her that was intended for Bailey. She chewed, crunched, and swallowed it. And asked for more.

There are probably 30 pictures on my camera of Chloe under the bed. Jansen and Natalie got a little carried away.

Just hanging out with a Dora yogurt.

More hanging out...on the hammock at the Pectol's cabin.

Okay, now we're really hanging out.

It was a perfect Memorial Day afternoon up the canyon.

Jansen and Natalie love their second cousins. They are so good to my kids.

We got to see Monica one last time before she moved to California. Cara and her kids were able to make it too...I was so happy. 4 out of these 6 kids were born in O-H-I-O.

We definitely made time for some tree climbing. 

And although I am a particularly cautious mom, I did not make my kids put on helmets to climb trees. They had been riding bikes.

We made time for cookies as well.

A big thanks to these guys for just stepping in of their own accord and being "dad" to Natalie and Emmy. 

Best of all, I'll be heading back in a couple weeks to see Lexi's baby girl! This time I will be without kids.