Growing up she would always say to me, “I want to be your best friend.” As a child it was hard to wrap my mind around a mom and a friend? Friends are kids my age right? But as I grew that thought, which she continually reminded me of, crept into my thoughts. My Friend. As a teen I was really close to my Mom and regardless of my adolescent selfishness and mistakes she continually befriended me regardless. Many “age friends” came and went but there she was, my best friend. Offering comfort and encouragement, love and honesty. Teaching me selflessness and thoughtfulness, seeking the spirit and using it, positivity and rising above. And even; though I know she’ll deny it, SNEAKINESS. 🙂 Now, as grown as I can say I am, she is indeed a best friend. I still call her to shed a tear, and seek advice, to share joys and pit falls. She is still there.
(To me this photo is Happiness. watching my sweet son running ahead in a place that is so special to me, getting the opportunity to share this with him makes it more meaningful)
Our annual crabbing, camping trip went off without a hitch. We were prepared and ready to eat until we were sick. Getting together with this group of amazing people is something we look forward to every year and since last year My Mr. mistakenly planned his Alaska fishing trip (he’s still trying to make up for that) during the same week as this I really look forward to this so as you can imagine he was on my naughty list for a little while. Little Mr. is an amazing camper, he runs through the forest like a mountain man, and sleeps like a bear during hibernation at night. Yep he’s a born camper, which couldn’t make his father more happy! We couldn’t wait to take him out in the canoe! He had a brief trip earlier this year but he has never helped pull of the crab pots and see the crab. This was such a fun experience. As we rowed out he was cautious but by the time we reached the 1st pot he had his hands gliding through the top of the water and me holding on to his life jacket while I rowed, I won’t tell you how I was able to do that but it’s a mom thing I guess. The first pot was empty to our disappointment, as we discarded the bait, which was a new mixture then what we typically use, the seagulls began to circle hovering over the water to grab the floating bits. As our friends canoe, piloted by Landon, joined us to convene on the catch (or lack of) we made no notice of the birds darting about us. The next thing we knew a bald eagle swooped down and grabbed some of the discarded bait! It was amazing, it was like 10 ft away. But that wasn’t it, it continued to hover and dive the bay for the next 10 minutes. Then it silently swooped onto a branch overlooking the bay. We then caught eye of another one that came in to land in another tree just above the other. It was majestic and I forgot my telephoto lens to capture all this, ahhhhhhhh! It was majestic, I mean that’s the only way I can describe it. Every time we go to this location we have one of these “eagle experiences.” They always amaze me, I never tire of seeing the enormity of their wingspan flying over head. Even after that incredible animal planet moment, yes we caught some crab and had enough to take home and enjoy for the next few days. Little Mr. loved watching as Dad and Mom pulled the crabs from the pot and he even helped release one that was too small back to it’s watery home. So how would I rate that trip? Even with a few tantrums, and rainy patches? Perfection.
I really love Provo UT for the 4th of July. They have so many family friendly activities with that down home feel. One of these such events is the balloon festival which spans over a few days but that’s mostly because a) there are so many balloons that enter to they need multiple days, b) you never know with wind if there will be a cancellation or delay. Not wanting to risk to or fight the crowds on the 4th we went the Friday before this year. I wanted to take little Mr. to experience this at a young age and he is fascinated with all things balloons, rubber fabric, whatever form. What is particularly fun is that they lay out all kinds of different balloons and were talking like 20+ in one morning. You get to see the whole process of that balloons rise right up close. You can go right up through them touching the fabric as it gets larger
and larger. It’s like a maze of balloons rising on all sides of you! Watching the large fans the blow so rapidly and hard that they are filled to capacity in no time flat. I don’t know am I the only one that finds this whole process fascinating? And then if all that wasn’t cool enough those things actually lift off the ground, I mean come on it is incredible! No I don’t really have a desire to go up in one, but I think they are so beautiful rising in the air with all the colors swirling. Growing up in Utah Valley we saw balloons all the time as it is apparently a great location to fly. We would often see them land in the park across the street from our home. I think this all contributes to my love of this fun fourth of July activity. Watching My little Mr’s excitement at they filled them was so fun and then it only increased as they took off one by one in rapid succession. We had to cheer “Wahoooo!” As they rose in the sky preparing to compete in the various activities we laid down and watched. Another lovely memory, you know those are my favorite things to collect and having them with this precious little boy and My Mr. fills me with joy. Ok sorry for the cheese, I am just so grateful. Hope you like the rainbow of color in these photos, I just couldn’t stop snapping. I love color so much that I think I was overwhelmed and lost control. And so here I am throwing all my colorful balloon photos up all over you! Lovely description I know, so enjoy lovelies!
Ok, our yard when we moved in was SCARY and I’m really not exaggerating. In fact it was such a jungle and a crazy mess that we had no idea how big our yard was until well . . . until we unburied it. So I thought I would share a few before’s and afters with you. Now this is just a year later and while the yard still needs work; it is actually usable now, or I should say enjoyable now. With the over 25 trees plus bushes we had removed we suddenly realized that we were in for. Its been a painstaking ordeal, especially with our lack of Northwest plant knowledge. There were weeds to be removed, fix the french drain, sprinkler system to repair and get working, new bark, more weeds, patch deck, add retailing wall, weed, till, seed the lawn, make garden path, weed some more, pulling out tree roots all along the way and a dozen other projects that I honestly can’t even think of. And that doesn’t even include the fun stuff like planting new plants. I’ll let the befores and afters do the talking. I can hardly believe how far we have come. I remember standing on my deck last year talking to my Dad and expressing how stressed I was that this yard was in such a bad state. Being the wise and loving father he is he said “you know our yard took years to get it to where it is now, be patient and it will be there.” In that
moment I realized he was right. I was expecting that I had to get it all done now and while that would be really nice, it just wasn’t going to happen. And a year later I look back on my foolish complaining and think how much more patience I need to learn. “Be patient it will get there.” Sound advice for many things in my life and here is just a physical example of it.
I have to take a moment and relive last summer when WICKED came to Seattle. My Mr. bought us tickets and surprised me. I am an avid fan of the music from this show. I have been known to lipsync specific number for friends (you know who you are). Anyway I was so excited to go and finally see the play that goes along with the show and how they make the story working instead of me trying to imagine how I would do it. My Mr. got us a few treats to share and we joined the throngs of people. More than the show which was great, for me it was practically a sing-a-long. I knew all the words and even amazing my Mr, no I wasn’t the annoying neighbor who sang the whole time but I lightly mouthed most of it, I can’t help it. You just have to sing a long right. Oh what a fun memory with me and my man!
Ok, so if you haven’t heard about this amazing Advent I just have to give it a little plug. 25 Days of Christ is a really beautiful and well put together Christ centered advent with a devotional guide and scripture references, video suggestions I mean the works! I was lucky enough to know about this because the gal who created it is in my church congregation. Though they are sold out for this year they will restock next year, so keep it in the back of your mind, the website is here. I got the unfinished set and loved painting and creating the ornaments with my own style. It was a fun craft night for Mommy! With my ornaments done I couldn’t figure what I would hang them on. I wanted this to hang in our family hallway to be a constant reminder. Between a rather destructive two year old and limited hallway space constraints I came up with my cork Christmas tree. A Walmart bought cork board, with a white molding added to make a frame. I painted a modern type tree on the cork and voila!! We were set, clear push pins acted as our hangers. It is now incorporated into our bed time scripture routine and my little Mr loves pushing in the pins and hanging the ornaments every night! Along with being a fun reminder of the reason for the season, it is a beautiful addition to our hallway. Thanks 25 days for making another meaningful Christmas tradition!
Well it has been a few years since we packed up with our Friends and hit the open seas. With the past few years filled with moves and baby additions it has put our cruise schedule a little behind and we all craved the sandy beaches. Now many may ask, “Isn’t a cruise boring?” Yes, you’re on a boat, but let me just give you a few tips to cruise correctly and hopefully give you a better opinion:
- Go with a group or another couple – not that you don’t love your spouse, but for some reason laughing with a group and going on adventures is a lot more fun. Also Karaoke is way better to watch and participate in if you have a cheering squad!
- Pre-plan activities. You stop at different ports every day so you get to experience a lot of local sights and adventures like these and the ones that will follow this post. So it’s not just sitting on a boat all the time.
- Food, enough said. Free food, lots of it, and lots of amazing dishes. Every night you get a fancy three course meal with amazing culinary specialties to test and try. (Big hint: you can order more than one of each course every meal! One night we ordered 10 entrees between the four of us!)
- The few days at sea that you do have are filled with a fun itinerary of activities, like rock climbing, wake boarding and surfing on the flowrider, trivia games, swimming in your choice of 3 pools, jacuzzi-ing, oh and if you want to sit and bask in the sunshine, relaxing while reading a book you have been wanting to read you can just do that too.
- Talk to people. Random people. Strike up a convo with anyone. Even a quick elevator ride can introduce you to some fun people from all over the world. Special shout out to Ben and Marissa who we met on our last cruise as our dinner buddies, they are really fun people. We had a great night of dancing with them!
So if you have been a on cruise and neglected any of these few items then you have a reason to go again. And if you haven’t been cruising, come with us next time! Here are a few shots of our days and events on the boat. Following posts will show you our days off the boat!
I was lucky to have a lovely cousin who kindly donated her nursery furniture to us! Not having to spend the money on all those items has been incredibly nice! But me being well . . . . Me I had to put my own spin on it. Before I knew of her kind donation I fell in love with the new style of two tones cribs. With the head board and foot board being a different color then middle. My cousins crib was a perfect candidate for my crazy updates. Now of course I kinda convinced My Mr. to do the labor on this for me while Colin and I vacationed in Utah, yes he is an amazing man! The natural light wood was beautiful and well taken care of, even with 3 kids use, way to go Karen. So My Mr set about to learning how to properly and safely refinish the crib ends and even created his own painting station in the carport to get the job done well. And it turned out beautiful! To surprise me he had it done and set up when we got back from our trip and I thought he had forgotten to do it. Now we have created something new and modern for us and our little one to enjoy. I think it goes perfectly with his nursery which has modern hints with the Star Wars poster and the Star Wars mobile My Mr. created for Little Mr. And the forest wallpaper which I love how relaxing it makes it, I kinda like to think of it as the moon of Endor from Star Wars but really that wasn’t my intention. I just love mixing modern with a little outdoor touch. The galaxy inspired sheets, and Grammy’s lovely geometric crib quilt! Now the crib is a lovely addition to the calm and fun nursery space for our little guy!
It’s official and final. With the finalization decree from the state it was official the our adoption of our little Mr. was official. Which meant we got to go to the temple and participate in the sealing of our family. We believe that families are forever and that they extend into the eternities. And since little Mr. came to us in a different way other they by my giving birth to him we have the opportunity to go to our temple and be sealed as if he were born to us. This was the final portion of this adoption and the poignant part for me that it was all complete.
Not many get this amazing opportunity to go to the Temple and be sealed again, it made the first time even more meaningful as we have continued to live in a way that allows us to have this sacred blessing with our son. An experience that is beyond my scope of emotion to describe. The long wait has been worth it in so many ways, someday I will share it in detail but for now I will be grateful enough to have this day forever in my memory.
He has felt like my son from the moment he was born, and now everything is official in Heaven and on Earth. I’m so blessed.
One thing that I love about our little rental house is the lovely flowers that came with the house. You remember this post, about all the roses that came with our little place. But those aren’t the only lovely floral delights our house has to offer. I didn’t know what they were at first and the first year we lived here they barely produced anything. But with a little love and care I now have these two highly producing peonies plants that were blossoming at the seams this year. I cut them and brought them inside to enjoy. The pink just stands out so well I just love it! I’m typically not a fan of pink but these peonies have made be start to rethink the color, they are just so beautiful and unique.
If you want to get addicted to watching something go to this website. Its the Brooks Falls Alaska Bear and Salmon cam I took a screen shot last night for you to see! You can view the Bears going after the fish all day and get absolutely nothing done. My Mr and I are addicted, thanks to Mr. Carney. Take a look here!