Crabbing Extravaganza

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(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 A__9F27eat 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 canCollage_Fotor2 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 Collage_Fotor3hands 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 theCollage_Fotor 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 Collage_Fotor4caught 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.

 

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Balloon Festival

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Collage_FotorI 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 thatIMG_1003 copy 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 20160701_064942 copyclose.  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, ICollage_Fotor3 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 isCollage_Fotor2 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 amCollage_Fotor5 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!

 

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Yardwork Understated

PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-22-33Ok, 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 IPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-24-29 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. PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-25-56 Its been a painstaking ordeal, especially with our lack of Northwest plant knowledge.  There were weeds toPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-34-15 be removed, fix the french drain, sprinkler system to repair and get working, new bark, more weeds, patch deck, add retailing wall, weed, till, PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-32-00seed 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’tPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-47-46 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 PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-28-54wise 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 thatPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-33-16
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.  

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To You

This Man, My Mr.  It’s difficult to convey the depthsIMG_0329 of my feelings for him.  His spirit, his tenacity, steadfastness.  He is a jack of all trades and willing to try anything, live life to the max and take me a long for the incredible ride.  A causal t-shirt wearing, outdoorsmen, who can’t stand being indoors no matter the weather.   Though I think he finds this a fault he is sensitive, thoughtful, not what is most often used as a characteristic of manliness but to me this is the great distinction of his character as a man, what sets him apart and makes him the greatest friend and companion.  I have been the great beneficiary of his tender heart and intuitive spirit.  He brings joy, passion and zeal to our home.  He’s an incredible father, and Priesthood example, I hope our son can learn to emulate it.  He loves the Lord, and unquestionably serves him.

IMG_9826To say that I love him isn’t enough, and I know that cheesy line will embarrass him enough.  But I am grateful for him.  I am blessed that he decided to link his life to mine.  Happy Birthday Babe, you make my life complete.  I love you.

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To Ring or not to Ring; Trouble in Door’dom

Ok, so here’s the deal.  In Washington for some reason very few people use the doorbell.  Now this could also be that people are trying to be courteous and not wake my son if he isbell napping, and thanks for that.  But that being said there are times when clearly he is awake and people still knock.  This is problematic in our lovely new home as it is pretty hard to hear due to the doors location in relation to the most used rooms of our home.  Now if you were my little Mr, he is very efficient, he not only rings the bell, I mean it’s a two years old he has to push any button at any time, and then knocks and he may even call aloud “Hellooo?”.  Bases covered buddy.  But this is not the case when others come to visit us typically.  So what should I do?  Do I put up a massive arrow above the doorbell?  A sign to use the doorbell?  Do I go all fancy and get a door knocker?  (I kinda want to do this as I love little details like that.)  Or just forget it and say whatev’s?  “Text me if you want to enter my domain.”  There is a 50/50 shot I hear my phone but heck those are better odds then taping on the door.  Is this really all a clever ruse that “hey we tried to stop by but tapped on your door and you didn’t answer?”  Maybe I’m not getting the hint.  But what’s the solution folks?  What should I do, what would you do?  Or do you even care?  I’m throwing this out there lovelies.  Because in the 4 years I have lived here this is my experience regardless of location.  I’m happy to share my findings on the topic and update you with my solution because I won’t be satisfied til I work this out, your welcome by the way!  There you have it, what goes on in the crazy I call my mind, enjoy!

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I’m Picky or is it Particular

20160321_120841I wanted a new console table for my front room.  I searched and craiglisted, and antiqued.  I tried to find something that didn’t cost a fortune but everything I liked seemed to only have multiple dollar signs attached, more than I was willing to spend.  When I showed My Mr. an example of what I liked he took one look and said “I’ll make it.”  What?  Really?  And really he did ladies and gents he made this beautiful solid wood table.  I think the fact that he got to go to the fancy kiln dried wood store in Seattle for some reason made it worth it.  Ok it was a cool store and our son didn’t burn it down so a successful trip! 🙂  I’m really happy with it.  My Mr. was meticulous, measuring, cutting,20160718_190242 sanding, fitting, drilling, gluing, puttying and painting.  The only thing he wouldn’t do was paint the legs, I wanted them intricate, so he said I got to paint them, and I don’t blame him they were a pain!  But hey it worked out!  And I love that he made it, Oh I love it.  He’s amazing, can I gush for just a second about him and then continue to gush about my table which yeah is beautiful!  Love the handcrafted memory, it’s really incredible to create something people.

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UnSensored Sensory Disorder

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Our little Mr. has sensory disorder.  There I put it out there.  Why?  Because when my little miracle, wonder boy, is screaming in the store and throwing the ice cream container on the floor you’ll give me a sympathetic smile and say “you go girl.”  And you’ll realize this is only a second of him, a snip, he’s pretty great, just give him a minute and you’ll see.

Several months ago I just didn’t get it.  Why did my precious, scream, cry and hit me when the doorbell rang and the dog barked.  Or how leaving him in nursery would insight a catastrophic break down that would end with me staying or him crying himself to sleep.  How a tantrum over a simple break of an object could elicit a breakdown that requires a quarantine to his crib for 30+ minutes.  We were baffled.  I expressed my concern to a friend at the park and she, gratefully, empathized with me, having a sensory kid herself, and recommended I have him seen.  I worried, had I done this?  Had timeouts made him more tenacious than other kids?  As first time parents we were baffled that the regular old parenting techniques didn’t work for him, in fact they sent him into a tail spin.  I soon came to find out that this was him regardless of us.  A mix of his own20160519_180858 special temperament sent from above, some prematurity factors (most premies have some sort of varying degree of sensory disorder, duh that totally makes sense now), and a strong willed nature.   This is our boy.  So much like myself without my even realizing it.  As his Occupational Therapy (OT) began we clamored for anything to help him work through the barrage of information shooting at him.  Any way to help him cope with it before it sends him skidding to uncontrolled rage.  He’s sensitive, he’s incredibly observant, he’s spiritual.  Now I know how can a 2 year old be spiritual, but he is.  He’s keenly aware to the feeling and spirit floating around a room and will react in the like.   It’s amazing to watch.  I was daunted by all the information at first, but gratefully reminded by our OT that this is a marathon not a sprint.  So take it bit by bit.  He will be learning how to cope with this for years, or a lifetime to come.  And if we can help give him the right tools he will eventually be able to do it himself.  I so want that.  It is hard in the trenches day after day, and yes I’m human I get frustrated at times.  It’s a lot of mental analysis having to retrace the signals of what may have set him off.  What stimuli he was reacting to.  What his signs of overstimulation are. And finally how I teach him to cope with them before or after they happen.  Each day is a lesson in patience, compassion, self control and the most amazing love.  To show you just how astute this sweet boy is he will have an episode, a breakdown an atomic explosion that will send me reeling.  And given some quiet time, he will eventually lay his head on my shoulder and say; “I sorry.”  “Oh I luv u.”  All his little neurons are finally calm, and he relaxes his body onto mine.  I envelop him in a gently firm hug, no rocking or rubbing (that’s too much stimulation), just stillness and we find peace again.  He knows he went off the rails, he knows he shouldn’t, but the gravity of all his senses taking it all in at once; the sound, the feelings/emotions, the sight, the touch, the smell.  It overwhelms him and he reacts.  He feels it all and he feels it deeply, deeper than we understand.  He’s amazing.

He’s doing better.  Somedays are great and other days we are the shrieking family in the grocery aisle as he tries to comprehend the transitions he had to go through just to get in the door, and now we are filling the cart item after item, the temperature changes from warm to the cold dairy section, the baby on the aisle over crying.  He’s feeling it all and expressing it . . . . loudly.  But were working at it, we’re a team.  It’s not a 30 day quick fix.  It’s a catalyst.  One driving me to push myself to be a better me.  To work on things that if he didn’t have this character trait might go unnoticed, or brush it off.  From the minute he was born he has made me better, made me take stock of the person I am and make changes to draw closer to the person my Savior wants me to be.  I look at this, curious, tenacious, determined, loving, spiritual little boy and think “Wow, you are miraculous!”  He is!

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Winter Time Mini Vacay

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In January we needed to escape, we needed to get out.  So we did a quickCollage_Fotor2 VRBO booking and we were off to the coast for a little overnight trip.  We rode the ferry across the sound, Little Mr. first time.  The loved watching the water even in the chilly breeze.  Pax preferred to stay away from the rail at all costs and put up quite a fight when we pulled him a little closer so we could see.  Then it  was on to the driving.  You think it shouldn’t take that long but with the twists and turns of the peninsula we didn’t get to our little place WP_20160131_08_17_09_Pro_LIuntil dark.  Got some shut eye and the lovely people we stayed at left some carrots for little Mr. to feed their horses.  He was timid at first but soon was handing out carrots as quick as he could, and the horses didn’t seem to mind!  Side note: I love the fog as you come through the hills and valleys of the pacific northwest.Collage_Fotor  I love how it gathers in streaks across the roads, yeah probably dangerous at times but geesh there is something beautiful about the way it plays with our view.

We then headed for the beach located on “wolf territory” for all you twilighters.  The WP_20160131_12_33_29_Prowinter seas and storms had filled the beach with massive tree longs, I had to sit on one to show the gravity of this incredible sight.  There are moments where I get to remember that I’m a photographer, or at least I use to be.  My Mr, bless him, likes to remind me and get Collage_Fotor3me to bring out my old SLR and look for the shot, watch for the light, the instant, the memory.  The hike along the beach was amazing and though we probably pushed our little Mr. to the brink of his hiking capabilities and had a breakdown we did it and regardless made a memory and had a good time!  It was quick but you gotta take those moments right?  Especially when you live in a place as beautiful as we do.

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Wickedly Good Night

WP_20150709_22_20_23_Pro 1I 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,WP_20150709_21_02_51_Pro 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!

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Planting

We got to plant in our grow boxes this year!  We were20160311_124008 so excited.  My Mr. got them tilled and ready.  Then he and my little Mr get to planting.  It’s  little trial and error here in Washington for us as we didn’t grow up in the climate to know what to grow and how to take care of it so it does actually grow.  So whats on the docket this year?  Sweet peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and pumpkins.  Little Mr. was actually really good to help put the seeds in the ground, not always in the hole mind you but luckily his mentor Daddy was there to help.  I love garden season regardless of the insane amount of work the fruits are so worth it!

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Grow boxes deluxe

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So I grew up in a gardening family, and one that required organization as well as weeding.  My dadPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-20-18-03 has a big problem with us north westerners when it comes to wood.  He doesn’t know why we insist on making so many things out of wood when we get so much rain that destroys wood.  (i.e our fences, grow boxes, decks, he thinks it’s madness 🙂 ) So when it came to putting in grow boxes he refused to let us put money into wood ones.  He designed some grow boxes that are similar to the ones at his home and with my request to have them taper with the lawn we came up with something I approved of, yes I’m picky.  With that we set about our crazy project.

First came the tilling and pulling out all of the millions of roots.  Then the guys built the frame, lot of wood and screws which made our little Mr extra happy!  He loves power tools!  Once that was built began the mixing and laying of concrete.  PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-19-56-50Yep we learned how to do that too, and now proud owners of a cement mixer, so if you need one please let us know as we have one.  My Dad worked tirelessly for 2 days to get it smoothed perfect.  My Mr meanwhile mixed all the concrete and poured it for him. Oh these men of mine I tell you.  Once we let the concrete cure my Dad set about teaching me basic masonry.  The proper thickness to make the mortar and then how much to use on each brick to ensure security.  This I soon learned would be my job, geesh no pressure.  I would get them all placed and mortared in then tell My Mr. which blocks to cut for a perfect fit.  It was a little more intricate due to the taper of the boxes, my fault so my problem.  You know working on projects can be really stressful but we have wonderful memories working togetherPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-19-51-15.  In hard times I always think, “well if we can install cement grow boxes why can’t we do this?”  Yeah ok we’re crazy.  On the last day we worked by head lamp into the night to get them done, not wanting to come out and dry my hands out anymore with mortar.  We were desperate to be done.  Of course with two engineers heading this project they made sure that a custom sprinkler system for the boxes was put in to make for easy maintenance.  My track record and remembering to water a garden is not very good so luckily these can water themselves, which will prevent me from killing our plants, again:).  They looked great and this year we actually got to use them for our garden.  Perfection!

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Summer Memories

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Collage_FotorI have been reminiscing about the summer as this year it seems to be delayed.  Don’t get me wrong I love our rainy northwest weather but don’t we all just look forward to summer a little bit?  Upon reflection I remembered a year ago when we had My Mr’s brother and his family up.  Their fun kids are all so grown up, and it’s crazyCollage_Fotor2
to me to think how big they are.  We were excited to take them crabbing and while it was the only trip on record that we caught no keepers it was still a blast to spend time with them and let our little Mr. enjoy his fun cousins.  He was pretty in love with them and when they went home he IMG_9659wasn’t too pleased with how boring Mom and Dad are.  The boys posed on the rocks making a few attempts to mimic the karate kid crane move, pretty good right?  They indulged us and helped us pick blueberries to freeze; ok we ate a fewCollage_Fotor3 fresh too but we still made a haul with their help and made quick work of it.  Going back to our place and making blueberry shakes, yummy!  There is nothing like family and we simply loved having them, hope they will come up again and we will make up for that terrible crabbing fiasco!

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