The kids are back in school, and I've been having trouble finding a groove during these endlessly hot summer days. Weeks go by in a blur. But there have been a few memorable highlights:
3: NES. Nintendo Entertainment System. As in, the one I played when I was a kid. We still have one that functions, and Mason chose to play it for his one-on-one time with Mommy this month. Super Mario Brothers, the original. I hadn't played it in YEARS, but it's funny how it all came back to me.
4 and 5: Before and after. I always wait too long in-between haircuts. I like to keep it short, especially during the summer. When it gets long enough to put in pig-tails, I say enough is enough. I had bid on and won a haircut from a friend in the ward at a Young Women fundraiser months ago, and put it to good use. It turned out to be one of my favorite haircuts ever.
6: Bree is getting more interested in helping out in the kitchen. And she's capable of more than just stirring now. Salsa-making was the perfect opportunity for her to practice her knife skills (especially because they were just getting thrown into the food processor anyway!).
7: I've been talking about wanting to start up a Cookie Day sort of group here for a while. Chad kept encouraging me, and I finally did it. I called it "Amateur Chef," since the show "Master Chef" was my chief inspiration. For our first meeting, I chose to make homemade ravioli. I had never made fresh pasta before, and I didn't have a pasta rolling machine, but we just went for it. It was delicious! We filled the ravioli with ricotta, parmesan, and fresh basil, and topped it with my quick and easy pantry marinara sauce. It was such a fun learning experience, and it felt good to have started something so worthwhile.
8: Apparently Pokemon is still a thing. And it is crazy-popular at Bree and Mason's school. Mason would come home every day talking about Pokemon cards. And he'd occasionally bring home cards that his friends had given him. He was obsessed. It became a problem. The cards were becoming a major distraction at school, and he got colored down a few times for Pokemon-related issues. So we banned Pokemon. He was not allowed to have cards at school, and we made him give back the cards that he had brought home. He was pretty crushed. But he is nothing if not resourceful, and I started finding homemade Pokemon cards around the house. Complete with pictures, their names, and vital stats (weakness, powers, I don't know, etc.). Pretty adorable.
9 and 10: I've been trying to go running on days when I don't join my girlfriends at the park for workouts. On this particular Saturday, Mason was awake before me, and when I came downstairs dressed for a run, he asked if he could come with me. My first instinct was to say no. Running can be valuable alone time for me. But I ended up saying, "Yes, but you have to keep up. I'm not stopping for you." Mason has a track record for lagging behind on walks or hikes, but it is certainly not due to a lack of energy; it's usually because he's bored or lacks motivation. This time, he was alone with Mom, which is one of his favorite things ever, and we chatted a bit as we ran. He didn't lag at all. In fact, he could have easily outrun me.
11: Lincoln continues to surprise us with new words and signs that he has learned at school. (Recently we discovered that he had learned to identify several colors.) This picture was taken at church, when he started pointing to letters in a "Friend" magazine and naming them. I could not believe my ears. I then pointed to the letters, in a different order, and sure enough--he KNEW them. Amazing.
12: I LIVE in flip flops 8-9 months out of the year. And I am all about comfortable shoes. I have become completely addicted to Crocs flip flops. I can stand in them all day without my feet hurting. Crocs recently came out with a sequined version of my favorite style. When a sale came along, I jumped on it. Money well spent.
13: On August 5th, Chad had surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. He's not sure how he injured it; a basketball game a few years ago is one possible culprit. And since then, it's bothered him off and on, and certain exercises had become increasingly painful. Under the knife he went. Luckily he had a ton of sick leave saved up, and we've been paying into short-term disability for years, so we have been able to cash in on that as well. He's been home and in a sling for three and a half weeks, and it's getting old. At least the surgery was on his non-dominant hand, but still...there are only so many things you can do with one arm. We were at Home Depot on this particular day, buying supplies for a future project...
14 and 15: We took the kids to Petco one day, just for fun. Chad's been itching to buy a bearded dragon for a while, and he's been looking around for the best prices on heat lamps, food, etc. But we spent most of this visit to Petco just looking at the animals. This particular parrot was awesome. I have a strict "No birds in my house ever, ever, ever" rule...but I have to say: that this little guy made pet birds a little more appealing. Lincoln parked himself in front of the glass, and this bird walked right over to him, and started playing with him...bobbing its head, waving its legs into the air, weaving from side to side. It stayed there as long as Lincoln did. Lincoln was in love. If the bird hadn't cost $600, I might have taken it home with us.