Monday, March 31, 2014

The biggest first day ever

Lincoln is my baby.

So tiny. So adorable.

Way too small to be wearing a backpack and going to preschool.

I am usually the type of mom who is cheering when I drop off my kids with someone else.

But I almost teared up when I watched Lincoln take his teacher's hand and walk away, without even looking back.


Mostly, I just smiled.

March Happenings

1: I swore off desserts for a while, trying to drop a few extra pounds. I usually get overwhelming snacking cravings in the evenings, so I try to replace that habit with painting my nails instead. And this green is totally me, no?
2: We have not had the best of luck with finding a family dentist we love. Choosing new doctors since the move has been stressful. Sometime hours of researching reviews pays off, and sometimes not so much. Lincoln had the first appointment with the dentist I'd finally decided on. He's never been to the dentist before. I was blown away from the first moment. I was checking in when I turned around and a man in scrubs was holding Lincoln. Once I realized it was the dentist, I relaxed a little, and just watched Lincoln do his melt-hug as the dentist walked around the office with him for 5 minutes as he waited for his patients to get settled. He was so kind and gentle with Lincoln. And then he made him a balloon animal when he was all done. Score!
3 - 7: Chad has been an assistant advisor at DPS's Advanced Academy for the past few months. We all joined him for Family Day before the graduation. The kids got to play in their respective age groups (free childcare!) while the adults sat in on a few presentations. (Chad and I were seriously wishing he'd had the same thing when he graduated 8 years ago.) It was awesome. All the different DPS units were represented and we got to get up close and personal with the helicopter and other police equipment. And we got a delicious free BBQ lunch at the end. Such a neat experience.
8: I had been promising the kids that we'd go to the new splash pad in Mesa ever since last time we were there. Spring break seemed like the perfect time. Of course it started getting overcast and chilly as we were driving there. Bree and Mason insisted they still wanted to go. They lasted about 10 minutes before they were freezing. Lincoln didn't brave the spray at all. Maybe next time.
9: This trip to Lowe's was free thanks to our Discover Card rewards. Chad finally built a work bench in the garage. He likes having a designated space to work--a place that's all his. And I smile every time I pull into the garage and see him working in there. So manly.
10: I don't remember the occasion for making this Strawberry Satin Pie...maybe we had guests over. Anyway, it is definitely my favorite pie in the world. I could literally finish off a whole pie myself.
11 and 12: Chad and I opened up an old bin full of toys from our childhoods. We gave some to the kids to play with, put some in the Treasure Box for them to earn, and put a few of them away for when they're a little older. My Polly Pockets will have to wait until Bree learns to respect tiny pieces a little better. And the X-Files action figures? I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to give those up. Scully and Mulder are too important to me.
13: I went through the Gilbert Temple for the first time on March 28th (working on goal #11). So beautiful. And the seats are totally wider than the Mesa Temple! Super comfortable. Just sayin'.
14 and 15: Goal #4 (Go on a date with Chad to somewhere new) is complete. My parents babysat so Chad could take me to the Olive Mill for wood-fired pizza. I've only been asking to go since we moved here a year ago. There was live music on the patio, twinkly lights on the olive trees, and a beautiful sunset and cool breeze. The pizza was delicious and unique--house-made olive oil (obviously), and fresh meat from the Pork Shop down the road. I have never had pistachios on my pizza, but I'm sure they were locally grown, and it was surprisingly tasty.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Goal #2: Go camping with the family

I really didn't want another year getting away from us without going camping. That's why we ended up camping in the mountains in March.

I knew it would be cold. We were prepared with warm clothing and bedding. I had not, however, checked the forecast the morning of our campout. As we drove into the mountains, we noticed that we were headed straight for an ominous wall of gray storm clouds. The rain continued as we arrived in Payson. We decided to forgo our picnic lunch, and dined at Arby's instead.

The rain was coming down harder than ever.

So we thought we'd kill some time at a thrift store we'd seen on the way into town. In fact, we visited every thrift store in the greater Payson area, stocking up on cheap clothes for the kids, and scoring a sweet new coat for Bree.

It was still drizzling.

But it was too late to get our money back now, so we headed over to the campground to check it out. Surprisingly, the ground was pretty dry, and we made the decision to stay. It was drizzly, cold, and a little windy.

But I kept reminding myself that I grew up in the rainy Northwest. When I was a kid, if you didn't camp in the didn't camp at all.

So our story had a happy ending...

Until we were ready to pack up and head home. We were enjoying the last of the morning campfire, and I was reading Fablehaven aloud, when Lincoln leaned over to reach for a grape that had landed on the campfire grill (we won't mention who tossed it on there, curious to see what a grilled grape looked like). The poor guy got burned pretty badly on his left hand. It was a miserable way to end the vacation. He screamed the whole time we packed up, because even though we had first aid with ointment and bandages, we didn't have anything for the pain. Luckily he fell asleep on the way home. Chad and I felt terrible.

It was a challenge trying to keep his hand bandaged for the next couple of weeks until it healed over. At first he kept trying to get the blistered skin off.

But he was a good sport about it. I think he finally realized that when we took care of it it felt better.

I still felt terrible.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Goal #15

#15: Display family photos in the house (new house, new photos)

 Family photos from Thanksgiving 
$4 Collage Frame at Walmart's Black Friday sale 
A lovely addition to our entry way.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What's up, February?

A glimpse at what went down in our town in February:

1: Um...I get bored waiting in line to pick up the kids from school. I amuse myself by taking super-cool selfies and posting them on Instagram and Facebook. Chad has taken to calling me a hipster.
2 and 3: We attended a student-led conference, where the kids got to show us their portfolio, latest projects, and the latest standardized test grades. Bree showed improvement in her scores, and is very enthusiastic about Science and History. Mason, while less enthusiastic, scored off the charts for his age group.
4: Adam had a really bad intestinal infection that landed him in the hospital for a couple days, so I watched Corbin while Heather was at work one day. These two are going to be great friends.
5, 6, 7, 8, and 9: Because Mason had done so well in school, academically and behaviorally, he earned special one-on-one time with a parent. I needed an outing as much as he did, so our fun day kept going and going! We started at his favorite restaurant, Panda Express, then saw The Lego Movie, which we both loved. We stopped at a store so he could spend his birthday money on a new Lego Set, which we built at Baskin Robbins before enjoying an ice cream cone. We had so much fun. I would totally do this day over again.
10 and 11: I love making holiday-themed food. This Valentine's Day I made conversation heart sugar cookies. Daddy made heart-shaped pancakes, which I decorated with homemade strawberry freezer jam and whipped cream. Holidays are delicious.
12: I have been wanting to get LASIK surgery ever since Chad got his eyes fixed 8 years ago. But it's expensive, and pretty scary, so I kept putting it off. Finally Chad brought up the Schwartz Eye Institute's web page for me ("Look Meg, all you have to do is enter your email address. Just do it already."). Before I knew it I was scheduling an appointment to determine if I was a candidate. I couldn't wear my contacts for at least a week before the initial exam. Then I had to continue wearing my glasses until my surgery date. I hate glasses. I mean, I hate contacts, which is why I wanted the surgery, but I hate glasses more.

13, 14, 15, and 16: We attended the Gilbert Temple Open House with Adam and Heather one hot Saturday. After waiting in line forever, the interior was a literal haven. So beautiful. The kids loved it. And I couldn't wait to go back after the dedication. We are so lucky to have a new temple only 20 minutes away! After the tour we headed to Freddy's, because Frozen Custard is awesome. And if we want to eat burgers at 3:00 in the afternoon, we will, by golly.
17: We scored a cheap fire pit at Walmart's Black Friday sale. We were finally all healthy enough to actually use it! Hot dogs and s'mores, relaxing around the fire, even after the kids go to bed. The best parts of camping without the worst parts.
18: Lincoln can be a picky eater. On this particular night, for instance, he refused to eat the creamy alfredo pasta I had made. But he wolfed down an entire head of steamed broccoli single-handedly. Literally.
19: My parents and we had joined up with and Adam and Heather one Saturday for their birthday (Adam and Heather have the same exact birthday). After our traditional All-American Feast at Famous Dave's, us ladies took the kids over to the brand-new Riverview Park. The Cubs just built a new spring training stadium, and along with it a new park, complete with lake, big toys, a huge climbing structure, and splash pad. I wish we had something like it closer to us.
20: Can you see it? The tiny "shrub"? It used to be huge--blocking the front window entirely. I guess you could say Chad pruned it a little. There was no green left at all. I was sure he had killed it. I worried we'd get a letter from the HOA reprimanding us for the eye-sore in our front yard. But no worries. It didn't die. Chad knows what he's doing.
21: The big day! The day I willingly and voluntarily placed my eye balls in the path of a laser. I knew I was in good hands. But that did not make it any easier. Nor did the Valium. I might as well have swallowed a button for all the good it did me. It was ridiculously scary. I was talking to myself the whole time, trying to convince myself to stay calm. Thank goodness the entire process was done in less than 3 minutes. And then, on the drive home, the numbing drops wore off... then came the burning. Oh, the burning! But when the doctor told me at my check up the next day that my vision was already 20/20...yeah. So worth it.
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