Wednesday, August 23, 2017

life lately: where in the world is the harrison family?

man, it's been forever hasn't it? i think i've somewhat ignored my blog and started to write a lot more on my instagram. i've just been so busy, especially this summer. after the kids are in bed and i've taken a bath, i usually have an hour to kill before i need to go to bed. and that's when i'm planning my lessons. or facebook stalking. you know, the important things in life. so here's a quick life update before i do life lately.

justin, our resident hero, has been hard at work and enjoying the summer hours his work has [they get off early friday afternoons]. that plus several vacations this summer have really let us hang out with our favorite guy a lot more. it won't stay like this but we're sure enjoying it while it lasts. my preschool is in full swing and i love it! more so then i did summer camp. i compare it to corralling kittens. they're just so excited and sweet but also mischievous and crazy. we have a fun 5 hours together each week. the biggest challenge is teaching porter but hopefully he catches on quickly. i got released from my primary position over cub scouts and got called to young womens. let me tell you, i almost said no. teenage girls frighten me and i get a strong urge to ditch the third hour every week but i don't. hopefully i'll catch on soon. landon started first grade and has told me it's too hard. he is a sweet kid who works hard so i know he'll continue to excel. he's reading like a champ but is also quite aggressive and wild. he's starting soccer and music classes pretty soon. porter is starting his first season of soccer too and i'm already weeping for his coach [me]. he is a little better with landon gone all day. that kid still tries me but also makes me laugh. he is so funny and so snugly. my baby griff is talking so much and is my sunshine. he has developed a lot of his brother's habits [mostly bad] and is just as wild, crazy, and loud as them. he most recently has stopped having me snuggle him before he goes to sleep and i am heartbroken. why do kids grow up so fast. right now we are preparing for a lot of house projects so keep your eyes and ears posted!
 life lately has been full of celebrations for this boy. i seriously feel so sad that my baby is so big! and it's weird that i don't have another baby in his place! i've never had a 2 year old without a baby or a baby on the way. it's oddly nice.
 lately the boys are either best friends [10% of the day] and then worst enemies [90% of the day]. they love to wrestle each other but i don't understand why because it always ends up in tears and fighting. i'm so glad school is back in session.
 i seriously love being a boy mom. i don't like a girl could love me the same way my boys do. they are not snuggly all the time and they'll often wipe their boogers on me or call me fart face, but the love they have for me is so sweet and pure. they'll often fight over whose mommy i am and who gets to love on me. unless i want to be loved on, then they run away from me.
 august and september are huge birthday months for our family. for tanner's birthday [landon's best friend since birth] had his party at the adventurdome this year and we had a blast. it was so fun being with just the big boys and going on all the rides.
 i don't want to write a full blog post on our trip to washington because it was kind of the worst but i am really glad we went because we got to be there when lynsey, justin's sister, was endowed and sealed to her husband and baby blakely who passed away last year. she's due with my first nephew on the harrison side in september [of course] and his name is harrison!
lastly, our life lately has been soaking up the last bits of summer while we can. this is the time of year i love. it's hot but not too hot. we can go to school then swim after [and i don't have to deal with fighting all day]. we can actually go outside at night and still eat popsicles. it's divine. spring and fall in vegas is a dream. until next time!
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

toddler update: griffy goo is turning 2!

griffy goo bear
age: 2

poundage: 30lbs

teethage: all there but wonky as all heck. his teeth are going to cost me justin a fortune! no 2 year old molars yet but i bet those are on their way

what griffin loves: mama! he's not as snuggly as porter but he is very territorial of me and doesn't like to share. whenever he can't find me, he'll wander the house calling for me. he loves daddy but he's a far second. he loves landon and will often tattle on porter. he's very much like landon. he's talking so much which is funny because at his first birthday, he hardly talked at all. he's a very vocal kid. he loves bread and yogurt. for breakfast, he usually begs me for 'roll' and then asks for butter on it. he loves lucky charms, even though he only had it once but still asks for it daily. he loves smoothies/slurpees. he loves his blankies and stuffed animals [esp the fox] and HAS to go to bed with a million of them. never enough. and the thing he loves second only to mommy, BALLS! he LOVES balls. specifically basketball but he loves all balls. he's got a pretty good shot too. that's why he's getting a sport's themed party. he is constantly throwing and catching. it's adorable. he loves 'goodnight moon' but sadly i lost my copy so i'm getting him another for his birthday. like most boys, he loves being outside and riding his big brother's bikes.

what griffin hates: brushing his teeth. it is a HUGE fight every single night [yeah you read that right. i don't brush his teeth in the morning. i just can't handle that battle two times a day]. he's a big scardy cat and is scared of a lot of things [daddy, dogs, cats, landon sometimes]. poopy diaper changes. he cries out "gross! oww" the whole time. he has had diarrhea since the day he was born. seriously, he always has the poops. i've had him tested for allergies and nothing. so he always has a tushy rash. and poops like 4x a day. it's rough. he doesn't like to be scared or held unless it's his idea to be held. he really is scared of a lot of things.

what griffin can do & 
say: he can climb and is really into jumping off things these days. couches or particularly in the pool. he likes to help me unload the dishwasher. he can say most animal names and sounds, except he insists that flamingos are really peacocks and cannot be swayed from that decision. he can find his own shoes which is a lot more helpful then you'd think.
say: roll [bread], stop it! daddy scary [justin loves to tease and scare him. and now landon loves to as well]. fishy. 'pedo [torpedo toy for the pool]. baby lyla [he LOVES baby lyla]. he loves saying names and knows a lot of them pretty well. he just recently started saying his name but only says "griff". i guess i need to start calling him his whole name. he mimics super well and will usually repeat whatever i asked him to. of course his favorite words are "NO!" and "STOP IT!". he loves "we will rock you" by QUEEN and "popcorn popping" but he won't sing the songs by himself, he wants people to join in.

what he's working on: sentences, putting on his shoes now that he can retrieve them. not making as many messes. no biting brothers and mommy [i am 3/3 in the biting department]. potty training- when i ask him if he wants to pee on the potty, he adamantly tells me no. not screaming. following instruction. moving into a big boy bed but i'm in no hurry.

what we're looking forward to: school beginning and fun times. fall and sweater weather. santa!
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

kid update: pooh bear

mini-justin
porter
age: 3 1/2


what porter can do: he is becoming quite the big boy! he gets dressed by himself [often backwards but hey, he does it himself!], he's learned how to buckle his own seatbelt. he is potty trained but still has pee accidents often because he gets lazy. he doesn't nap but will fall asleep in the car sometimes. he can count to 15 no problem which is better then landon did at this age. he can recognize some letters and is really excited to learn. too bad his mom is so lazy. he is also starting to write his name which is fun. he loves to sing and can sing a lot of songs, although he is very shy about it. porter is usually the first one to tell us that "accidents happen" or "no more yelling". which is ironic because he fights quite often with his brothers. he is pretty good at patterns and plays really well independently. his new thing is, "mom, i have a question to tell you" and then he tells us a statement. sometimes he'll tell me, "don't forget your favorite pooh bear!".

what porter loves: he likes counting and can do it pretty well for a three year old. he loves puzzles, reading, and playing outside. some of his favorite shows are dino trucks, animal mechanical, and nexo knights. poor kid doesn't have much that's his own interests because his brother is pretty dominant. he likes his teddy bear and beanie bag puppy. he loves his treats and snacks, not so much his meals. he loves his brothers [as soon as we pull away from dropping landon off at school, he says "i miss landon"] but his daddy and mommy are #1. daddy is his favorite but only because he indulges porter. porter and justin are quite similar. he loves to ask me questions and most of the time they're nonsense or don't make sense. usually when we're driving. i'm glad he is inquizitive but it sure takes a toll on you. he loves snuggles and is a very affectionate little guy. he knows his age and will usually only give me 3 kisses because he's 3 years old. he's recently acquired his own friends. granted, they are his brother's friend's brothers. he tells me his best friend is ryan and kellan. he only likes me to sing ONE song at bed time but lots of snuggles. he has a sensitive soul and doesn't like it when people say mean things to him or exclude him.

what porter hates: waiting turns or sharing, like most kids. he doesn't like when i force him to eat things. he RARELY eats dinner because of this. he hates getting his teeth brushed but he's getting better. he doesn't like it when i have to help him with things. he is as slow as molassess and is always the last one with his shoes on, out the door, or buckled in his carseat. that being said, he sometimes tells me when he's taking too long buckeling his seatbelt,  "am i wasting your time mom?" that just breaks me heart. i keep telling him, "you're the reason i have time! you're not wasting it" but he doesn't quite understand what he's saying or what i'm saying back. i don't know where he heard that because i for sure never have told him he's wasting my time but still, the things kids pick up.

what we're working on: not being the last one ready, eating food, especially fruits and vegetables. i seriously have to force him to eat one piece of fruit a day [that isn't applesaue]. learning letter names and sounds. writing his name. not chewing on his nails. sleeping through the night without a diaper [i have to sneak it on him once he's asleep]. pedaling a bike and learning how to swim.

what we're looking forward to: preschool with mommy in the fall, summer vacations, and lots of 'nuggles and treats.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

here comes summer camp!

flat grandma came with me on my first day of school.
she's been very supportive.
man it's been a while since i've written on here. what can i say? i finally have a life. i've had my lessons planned out for several weeks and even have two months of my preschool planned out. my room is all set up and is fantastic. i have a lot of support from my family and  *some of my friends. i didn't get first day jitters until i went to bed the night before. to preface this, i hadn't filled up my class and i had been praying to the lord for *just one more kid* to make me feel like i'm really being productive/profitable/on the right track with my life. then the night before i got one more. heavenly father is truly amazing and i have no doubt he hears my prayers.

anywho so i have 4 kids wednesday (3 girls and 1 boy) then thursday i have 5 boys (2 of them are mine and 2 are our best buddies). not too shabby for my first forray into teaching! [and my preschool is happily filled as well]. each week we have a fun theme to explore and learn about. it's amazing the change i've seen in myself since deciding i wanted to pursure this. as i make my lesson plans and figuring out logistics, it's all just fallen into place. we still want to have one more kid which would throw a wrench in teaching but i'm just taking one week at a time.

now i am for sure one to toot her own horn so i have to say, TOOT! TOOT! i am a pretty fun summer camp teacher. i did it a couples times for friends before and i have a lot of experience teaching kids so it comes quite naturally to me. i don't know how preschool will go but summer camp will be fun. i've only got one week in my pocket but i think i'll enjoy it. surprisingly, i was/am not a kid person. i don't love snuggling kids that aren't my own but when it comes to teaching and managing kids in a controlled setting [like school or soccer], i can do it pretty well. i'm also super glad i'm doing this camp because it's helped me 'test run' my room and how i teach. hopefully once school starts in august i'll have a lot of the kinks worked out. hopefully i can say at the end of the summer i enjoyed it and can't wait to do it again. only time will tell!


*not all of them sadly.
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

harrisons on holiday: californi-yay! part III

day #6
by this day we were all beyond pooped! we had to take a slower day but not snail speed. dave and kristi wanted to go see the USS midway so we went to downtown san diego. we ended up getting there a little later then i had hoped. parking was a nightmare but the actual ship was very cool. i think bigger kids might have enjoyed it more. it was GINORMOUS! so many planes inside! it was amazing how they construct and do everything in those ships. we stayed there about 2-3 hours and could have stayed longer but the food choices were sparse and the kids were starving.

we left there and went to cafe coyoto, a harrison family favorite since aunt lynsey went to school there. it's in old town san diego so after lunch [and a very horrible pooping incident with my two big boys], we visited the mormon battalion. i haven't been here in years and was expecting to just stop by and look outside for a bit. the sister missionaries convinced us they could do an abbreviated tour for us so we decided to give it a shot. we were not disappointed! they've completely rehauled the tour to make it very kid friendly and fun. you moved room to room with some characters that appear in picture frames [reminds me a lot of the haunted mansion at disneyland] and get to dress like a solider, play music at the camp site, see a lighted fire, and even take a glamorous family picture. outside you can pan for gold in water, build bricks, and climb up the tower for a gorgeous view. it was a highlight of our trip.
 
that night we visited belmont park again and spent too much money on our kids. seriously, that place is a parent trap.

day #7
our last day we were on the hunt for landon's prize. he had saved his money up for months and still couldn't find something he wanted to buy. kristi had gone to a SWAP meet a few days before with her friend so she suggested we go there. it was actually pretty cool. it was my first time at a SWAP meet and it did not disappoint. i wish we lived there because there were several things i wanted to take home. sadly, all we did were some fidget spinners and seashells. so naturally our next stop was target where landon got a giant pokemon box set. we grabbed some supplies and headed for home.

our neighbors happened to be in the san diego area at the same time as us met us at the beach after lunch for some fun in the sun. they also have 3 boys who are almost the same ages as ours. we collected so many seashells and even clams! i had high hopes of killing those suckers a la the walrus in 'alice in wonderland' but kris has a bigger heart then me and threw them back in the ocean. we BBQed together after hours of playing at the beach then spent our last night at belmont park riding rides.

day #8
we happily said sayonara to san diego and headed home towards las vegas. we stopped at the san diego temple RIGHT as griffin had fallen asleep. but luckily he woke up right as soon as we were leaving. we got stuck in a HORRIBLE accident that made our 6 hour trip into a 9 hour one. i seriously thought we were going to die of old age on that highway. then we got lost in victorville and it was terribly hot and everyone had to pee. it was the worst. every single time we go to CA, we say we'll never go back because the traffic is insane. yet we go back, every single time. we are insane.

in all we had a blast and i'm so glad we got so much grandpa and kristi time. they were so generous and helpful; we couldn't have asked for a better family vacation after the terrible 6 months that is the legislative session.


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Saturday, July 8, 2017

harrisons on holiday: californi-yay! part II

day #4
this day was a LEGOLAND day! our beach house was about an hour away from the park so we left early to gas up. last time we went to legoland we stayed at the hotel so parking and entering was a little bit different. we got there pretty soon after it opened and we expected it to be a whole lot less busy! for a tuesday, it was pretty hopping! i should have known though. the rooms at the hotel go for $300-500/night during the summer. can you imagine?! that's insane.

now a lot of people have asked me how it compares to disneyland and it's just different. at disneyland you can: go on rides, eat delicious treats, watch amazing shows, or go shopping. at legoland, you can: go on rides, eat mediocre treats, watch 4D movies, go shopping, but best of all, go to interactive stations. that's what really sets legoland apart from disneyland. there's stations to build and race cars, build and race boats, make and trade figurines, tons of play areas, and splash/water pad. and i love how in the long rides, theres usually a toddler play area where the kids can play while their grown ups wait in line. pretty amazing. now the downside: food is not as good but they have good deals for kids after 5pm.

tuesday we spent a few hours at the park, had lunch and then went to the water park. this section was closed when we came in january so we really wanted to check it out. it is super fun and would be awesome to do it you.

day #5
this was a FULL ON legoland day. the parks opens at 10am to the public and 9am for hotel guests. we showed up at 9:30am and got in the park early- score! of course we rode ninjago back to back with the rider swap. then we hit up the main rides we knew the kids loved the best. we had lunch at the pizza buffet then grandpa dave and kristi joined us at the park for half the day. we raced our lego cars, visited miniland USA, and went on coastersaurus as many times as we could! grandpa and daddy worked hard to win landon and porter some awful and giant pokemon prizes which was all that landon really wanted there.

for the medieval jousting horse ride, legoland has a crazy rule that the kids have to reach a certain height AND be 4 years old. well that didn't stop us! we told landon and porter they needed to fib and tell the attendant that porter is 4 [i know, great parents we are]. when we were in line, the attendant kept eyeing us and even made a point to go up to the front and announce the age rule again [very pointedly, might i add]. when porter got in line, he asked him how old he was. porter relied, "uh...uh...i'm..." and i thought i was toast. thankfully landon piped up and said "he's 4! he's 4!" a little too enthusiastically. then porter started saying he was 4 and they let him on. seriously, i feel bad encouraging my kids to ride but that's just a crazy rule. once we got back to vegas, porter and landon would bring that up to each other and tell each other to tell others porter was 4. what did i start?!

we decided to just completely go all out on legoland this day and exhaust ourselves and the kids there. we stayed for dinner because there was a great coupon available and did some of our favorite rides again. all of us were EXHAUSTED but it's better then sitting in CA rush hour traffic. we didn't leave the park until 6:30pm that day. that's right, 9 hours at legoland. we were pooped but we had a blast.

legoland tips
- bring in snacks- lots of them. on their website it tells you not to bring in outside food but they don't care and you'll need lots of snacks.
- eat at the pizza and pasta buffet. kids under 3 eat free. adults are $20, kids $10 but you can take a small soda for everyone when you leave. and fill up your reusable souvenir cup [which is only $1 refills]
- eat a delicious crepe in the legoland friends heart city [girl area]. i think the apple fries are not worth the hype.
- take advantage of the rider swap [much like disneyland]. you can take the two kids with one adult then switch adults and let the kids go twice in a row [entering in the exit and skipping the line]. we did this on ninjago, a ride griffin could go on, just so the boys could go twice and not have to wait in the lines.
- the park opens at 9am for hotel guests. we showed up at 9:30 and got in no problem. worth coming early.
- at the first of the morning, the rides in the back are less crowded so go there first.
- collect rides buttons at some of the rides. just ask the ride attendant. they're free souvenirs.
- download the legoland app. there are offers on there that save you money and it is helpful to find out wait times/location. it's not as awesome as disneyland's but still pretty functional.
- legoland is always taking your picture and trying to charge you for it. when in line for the characters, just ask them to take pictures with your own camera for free.
- we don't buy a ton of souvrniors at the big shop or at the park. you can buy things before hand and give it to your kids for half the price. the smashed pennies are fun and cheap prizes. building your own mini-figurines is fun and worth the $10.
- speaking of mini-figurines, you can bring in your old, ugly, and hand missing ones and trade any of the workers for the ones they wear/have at their station. pretty fun!
- be on the lookout for the golden figurine. if you find it at the park, you'll win a free season pass.
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harrisons on holiday: californi-yay! part I

remember how we got legoland season passes from grandpa dave at christmas? since justin was gone from january-june, we knew he'd get a week of vacation after session ended and we wanted to go to legoland again. justin thought it would be fun to invite grandpa and kristi to come with us. that turned into a week's long vacation at a family friend's beach house they rent out on mission beach [san diego, ca]. we decided to go father's day weekend and invite kristi's parents to go with. lynsey & skyler couldn't make it because she's round and pregnant and with her new job in washington and an impending maternity leave, time off is precious.


day #0
the night before we left for our vacation, dave, kristi, justin, and i went out for some grown up time. to prepare for the storm, in a way. we all got pedicures [hallelujah!] and the girls got manicures. such a wonderful treat! they put this mystery chemical on justin's feet that basically made his calluses just melt off. afterwords we went to a delicious mexican restaurant and planned out our adventure.

day #1
kristi's birthday! we left bright and early. justin and i woke up at 4am and packed up the car. we got the kids in and of course, they didn't fall back asleep until hours later. porter didn't go back to sleep at all [and he's the one who needs the most sleep]. we stopped for donuts and to change our clothes in victorville [hello pokemon donuts! you know my son so well] then kept on trucking to san diego. we made it to the beach house well before noon. after unpacking, we walked to the boardwalk [not even 2 blocks away] and went to lunch. i've been to mission beach several times before [my sisters even tried to get me to get a tattoo there!]. it's not my favorite beach but it's definitely fun with the carnival games/rides. justin and i took the kids to the beach later in the afternoon and if you follow me on instagram, you know it was terrible.

when justin and i went to florida, we brought back landon a treasure box filled with some seashells [still the best vacation ever. because we were in florida, but mainly because we didn't have kids with us] and porter has been jealous of it ever since. so that's what porter mainly did while landon splashed in the ocean and built sandcastles. griffin was not a fan of the chilly pacific water [another reason why florida is the bomb.com] so he did a little bit of everything but mainly liked playing with balls and other people's toys. that night, dave made a trip to costco so we enjoyed the best pizza in the world that night and went to bed early.

y am sick of those perfectly posed pictures of families on beaches; looking gorgeous, tan, with happy smiling kids that look like they belong in GAP ads. maybe i'm doing parenting wrong but it was nothing like that for us. you pack so many things and plan to stay for a while and the kids just go crazy! granted, they got better after a little bit more exposure, but it's still pretty stressful. especially when you've got anxious parents and cranky kids.

day #2
the next morning was father's day and we dedicated it to taking it easy. it was also the sabbath day and while we couldn't make it to a church, we tried to play games as a family, read scriptures, and listen to church songs and hang out. after lunch and naps, we headed down to the beach with dave and kristi. that day was much better. the kids knew what to expect and so did justin and i. justin and dave played catch on the beach and it was a picture, perfect, hallmark moment. we buried dave in sand and just enjoyed ourselves. after a few hours there we came back to the house and dave grilled some food for us. after a bath, we headed down to belmont park [where all the carnival rides are] for dessert and rides. the weather was so perfect too. vegas had a huge heatwave, hitting 117 degrees [an all-time record high] while san diego was a cool 75. the kids didn't go to bed until close to 10pm but it was worth it.




day #3
monday we knew we wanted to go visit the san diego zoo. kristi has a friend who lives here and she suggested that would be a good day to visit. the zoo is not too far away from the beach house and we got there right at opening. you always hear how amazing and big the san diego zoo is and it did not disappoint. it was giant and very well maintained. justin and i are the world's best parents and we've taken our kids to several zoos in the past [sacramento, santa barbara, miami, phoenix, salt lake, and now san diego]. this was by far the nicest in the most ways. you easily could spend several days there but we crammed a lot in in one day. my fitbit clocked in almost 17k steps that day! there were lots of hills but thankfully a lot of pushers for the double stroller. my favorite animals were the koalas [seriously, they sleep 20 hours and then eat for 4. that is the life]. the giraffes were amazing as well. they had a pretty cool tour bus that gave you a good overview of the zoo and then a bus that would help cut down on the walking. the kids and grown ups were just DRAGGING by hour 7. the heat plus all the walking and sugar just wore us all down. once we were in the car, all three were out. that night we had some down time and brought some mexican in and have a nice chill night.

to be continued...
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

this week: summer edition

this week

i started my summer camp.

i stopped taking [daily] naps. for the good...ish

i'm going off my crazy pills and i'm feeling a little crazy

justin and i are getting pedicures together

we're loading up 3 kiddos, 6 grown ups, and 2 dogs and hitting the road

we'll be celebrating two of the greatest guys i know in sunny california

i'll be mere feet away from the sandy beach

animals will run in fear from the harrison hoard

legos will be constructed on land and water

i'll become a california raisin after all the vitamin d i'll get

i cannot wait
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

sedona: park city with cacti

well it finally happened - my best friend got married!

kayla and i have been friends since the dawn of time. we met playing peewee soccer and played on the same team for years. she moved to my school in the 4th grade and the rest is history! we have always been very similar - and thus fought A LOT! we compete over everything and did almost everything together. we shared boyfriends, played on the same lacrosse and soccer teams, were in the same choirs, in the same classes at school; there is almost nothing we did without the other [except that time she played basketball like weirdo]. most of my childhood school memories involve kayla. we had always said that we would be each other's maid of honors and now it was my turn.
just like old times

i threw her her bachelorette and bridal shower at the end of last year and the wedding weekend finally came. we weren't sure if we would have to bring the kids with us or not but thankfully it all worked out in the end that justin and i could go solo. thank goodness because fancy weddings are no places for kids! especially when the mom is MIA most of the weekend.

we drove out to sedona thursday afternoon and barely got in town in time for the rehearsal dinner. we had to drive through flagstaff and hit a snowstorm. as i was driving in my flip flops and sandals, i was very worried that i hadn't properly packed for this trip. thankfully once we got in sedona it was lightly raining and cleared up in time for the wedding. dinner that night was at a yummy mexican restaurant with some delicious churros. justin and i were able to have a great night together hot tubbing and staying up late watching HGTV.

friday morning i slept in until 9am [the luxery!]. that whole day i spent at kayla's room with the other bridesmaids. this being my first [and last] time as a legit bridesmaid, i wasn't fully prepared for what i was supposed to do but it was fun. we spent a lot of time getting ready, taking pictures, and helping kayla. justin spent the whole day in a hotel bed chilling out which he desperately needed. once we were all ready, i helped kayla and zack take their bridals up in the hills. gorgeous! but i was not prepared for a hike. i don't know how kayla did it in a wedding dress! then we went back, got the bridal party and then did another little hike to take pictures all together.

i should mention that i had the hardest time finding a bridesmaids dress. the ones at david's bridal were not modest at all. thankfully justin's old coworker is a fantastic seamstress and makes her own clothes all the time. she made me my dress which i love!

the actual ceremony was gorgeous. it was perfect weather and kayla looked stunning. the reception was so much fun too. she had an awesome smores bar, dancing, and the best trail mix i've ever had. and like all the best parties i've ever been to, we left before 10pm*. success!
didn't miss us at all at chuckee cheese

the next day was not quite as wonderful since we had to leave town. we decided that we'd try to squeeze in a hike and left later that morning. well if you know hiking, you don't leave later in the morning. we got incredibly lost trying to find the spot and once we found it, all of the parking spots were no where in sight. like we would have had to park two miles away on an inaccessible. i don't HIKE before my HIKE, ya know what i mean?? honestly though we couldn't have even done that because they didn't allow pedestrians on that road. bummer center. either way, we enjoyed most of a saturday kids free!

once we got home, the kids smothered us with love. we spent our day playing outside and enjoying some prime family time. i don't really have a desire to go back there ever again. it was gorgeous and all but vacations aren't vacations unless they involve a beach and a slurpee.

*her dad's truck had broken down and needed a ride that day
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Friday, April 7, 2017

kid update: landon can read!

landon
age: 5 1/2

poundage: too heavy to go on my piggy back rides but light enough for horsey rides...barely

at STEAM club
what landon can do: read! and he reads pretty well. we've soared through a few BOB book sets and he can even read some normal, longer books from the library. i was so proud when he read "go dog go" all by himself in one sitting. that book is long! he really loves books and his favorite day is library day- when i bring home books i picked out for him from the library [sadly his school doesn't have one but we go enough that that was not a big deal for me]. he loves going to STEAM club at the library weekly and is my future engineer. he can brush his teeth and wipe his booty...but not enough that it can go unsupervised. he can now use a tablet and remote basically by himself. he's still not very proficient and i'm very proud of that!  he is pretty amazing at soccer and i can accurately tell you that he is our best player. he's aggressive, fast, and does well on offense and defense. he's also doing very well at school. behaviorally, he's always doing great. his work is usually done accurately and quickly. i've got zero school complaints. and he likes writing letters to people...but only if they promise to send him a $1 back. he has got a memory like an elephant! for reals, he'll wake up and instantly remind me what we were talking about before. he'll remind me of promises made eons ago or ideas mentioned. that's turned out to be pretty terrible because sometimes adults around him make empty promises or plant ideas that they never plan on fulfilling. he's a persistent little dude.

he thought i wouldn't recognize him
with his "hair done"
what landon loves: he loves loves loves legos and usually will choose to do that over anything else. except when he wants to play nerf guns. he is so helpful and a wonderful big brother...except when he teases them. his new obsession is nexo knight legos and also ninjago legos. he's got the entrepreneurial spirit in him and is always looking for ways to earn money. he doesn't always do a good job at chores but he tries. he loves crepes and he likes treats well enough but never overindulgence and often leaves some leftover. he loves playing with his boy friends and playing make believe, although the costumes have fallen a bit by the wayside. he loves playing games or doing activities one on one with me or justin [i'm still his favorite]. he loves sundays because he gets to play on daddy's tablet for an hour. landon loves being read to and just talking one on one. he's not the best singer but he loves music.

what landon hates: eggs [like me] so i don't force it. he is pretty much a wonderful eater and will eat even the worst meals [to him] enough to get a treat/be done. he doesn't enjoy being at home too long or doing laundry. he hates the dentist and acts like a baby there. so much so it surprises me. landon is really a terrific kid who is obedient, helpful, and funny. so on those rare occasions when he throws a fit or does something so uncharacteristic [or fitting for a 5 year old] i am flabbergasted. he really is an awesome first child.

what we're working on: taking off his training wheels, learning how to tie his shoes, wiping unassisted, handwriting [although he is above the curve in his classroom], reading, and not teasing his brothers. but let's face it; that's justin's favorite past time so it's inevitable that it gets passed on.

what we're looking forward to: spring break in arizona, visiting legoland water park with daddy once carson is done, summer swim lessons, his nexo knight birthday party, summer camp with mommy, and not going to school all day.
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