Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Christmas Family Movie

Year after year we make our Christmas family movie. Sometimes -- often -- it can be stressful. But when it's all done, the kids love it and watch it over and over and over and over again.'s worth it. THIS year we had some lighting issues and some of our cast members weren't as compliant, but the movie got done and we have loved it!

Merry Christmas
and a most Happy Holidays

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

When In Utah

Things I do in Utah that I don't do at home in California

Run in the rain 
(except I hear there was quite a bit back home yesterday! Yay!)
Run in rain that turns into snowflakes as my elevation increases
Flush the toilet every single time I use it 
(sounds gross, but I'm hard core in protecting the little water we have left in CA)
Shower for a REALLY REALLY long time
Give the kids a warm bath every single day 
(this drought has really messed up my life!)
Take a morning nap when my dad wakes up and says, 
"I'll watch the kids, why don't you go back to bed"
FREEZE daily. It's so cold here. I've become so wimpy
Snuggle with Sammy more often. I've had so much time to just be with her. I love it
Miss Callie and Marcus. I really miss them
Hang out with Bryan and Analisa regularly. That has been really fun for me
Get some of the best therapy for Sammy at Now I Can

I'm listening to happy squeals from Sammy. She's on her break and ready for a snack. I feel so blessed that we are here.

Getting her morning stretch on

Friday, November 6, 2015

Now I Can update

We're here at Now I Can and Sammy's been a really trooper. I'm so impressed with her. She is in the worst physical shape she's been in ... ever... and she's pushing through and working so hard. Our goal for this session of intensive therapy out here in good 'ole Utah is to avoid surgery. I'm not sure if that will happen. But I have faith and believe in miracles. Will she need surgery? Maybe one day. But we are taking this one day at a time and seeing if we can stretch out her muscles instead of having to cut them. It makes me sad to think about.
Coming from California, we didn't have "warm" clothes for November in Utah. I had to go out to Walmart and buy some clothes because we were all freezing. Sweats are working well for her.

Really working on getting that foot down.

Sammy is an angel. But something I learned last night is that angels apparently require no sleep. At all! She woke up at 1am and fell back asleep at 5am. This wasn't fun. Luckily my saintly parents are here and when my dad woke up proclaiming how he slept so well and then asked about me, he immediately told me to go back to bed and he'd take care of it all. Phew. I anticipated Sammy being a wreck today, but she's been doing so well. Hopefully she sleeps through the night and is ready for a weekend to recover before hitting it hard again on Monday.

Smiling but looking sleepy

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Alone and Afraid

Who knew the San Jose Airport had this nifty contraption? We watched the balls go up, down, and around for 20 minutes before we boarded the plane. Pretty cool.

I have been not-so-eagerly anticipating flying alone with Sammy and Micah. Today was the day. In my gut I knew it'd be fine, but I still wasn't looking forward to it. Flying alone with kids isn't the's getting on the plane, off the plane, the suitcases....walking. Walking alone with kids in an airport...that's the challenge. You'd think throwing another kid in the mix would be difficult, but for many reasons I so wished Callie was with me. That girl is amazing and I didn't fully realize how helpful she is until I didn't have her as my bud on this trip. I credit modern technology and Halloween candy for our survival on the plane. Last minute I grabbed Sammy's Halloween bag...and the entire flight all she did was nibble on candy. She was happy.
Modern technology lulling my child into a deep trance-like state.

But we are here, safe, and the kids are asleep. Sammy did great on the flight but when we got out of the car to get into the house, she lost it. She cried, and cried (sugar withdrawals?)...which is not normal for her. And it was heartbreaking. Micah had fun but was confused as to why we had a new house. 
Halloween candy kept Sammy happy.

At 8pm, Micah was hungry (after refusing to eat dinner that Irene cooked...and was delicious by the way), so I cooked the frozen pizza Bryan picked up for us. Sammy and Micah ate pizza at 8:00. They should have both been in bed by 7:30. Oh well.

I had decided that Micah would sleep in a separate room...the room my parents will be staying in. My hope was that for just a couple nights that both he and Sammy would sleep well. Sammy wakes up early and I don't want her waking Micah up at 6am. And Micah has a habit of waking up in the middle of the night and coming to sleep in our room. I don't want him waking Sammy up at midnight. But at 10pm, after he was still not asleep, he told me he didn't want to be alone. I wish he had told me that about an hour earlier, but ok. So we snuck into Sammy's room and he laid down on a really squeaky bed. Sammy squirmed but stayed asleep. We'll see how this goes.

It was fun seeing Bryan, Irene, Analisa, Alex, and James. Micah loves James. He kept talking about seeing Jamesy tomorrow. 

I'm not sure why, but it feels strange to be here. I've done this trip for Sammy a few times, but being here feels odd. Perhaps because it all came about so quickly. Or that Callie's not with me this time. I'm not sure what it is, but being here feels a little surreal, like I can't fully believe I'm here. I think ak part of me always wanted to come back to Now I Can, but also believed that chapter had ended. That due to the difficulty of actually coming out here for 3-4 weeks...we were done. And yet, this is what we feel is best. It's weird to be here. But I am here. And we are doing this for the next 3 weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Love is Spoken Here

Micah is a singer. He loves singing and being sung to. Each night, I sing songs to him, and then always have to sing just one more before he'll let me leave the room. His new favorite is the Primary song Love is Spoken Here. It's one of my favorites as well so I am happy to indulge his requests. Tonight, we said prayers, we sang, I kissed him goodnight, and left the room.

Marcus then went in to say goodnight to his boy, then came out and said, "Jenny. Come here. Quick." When I got to the room, Micah was laying down, smiling, and proceeded to sing to me. He was so proud of himself and it was adorable. I went and got my camera and asked him to do it again.

Boy does he make my heart melt.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Visiting Cousins

A few weeks ago we went and visited my brother and his family. The kids always look forward to seeing their cousins, and this time...even more so. Yes, they got a pool and I decided to load up the kids and go for a 3 hour trip to try out their new pool. Mama and her kids...hittin' the road!

 Sammy was already a little frazzled thinking about how hectic this would be for her. Trips to visit her cousins usually involve a lot of no sleep. This trip would mean nearly no sleep at all. Bummer for her and Mommy.

 Micah isn't the fish that Callie and Sammy are. He's much for cautious. I was impressed, however, that this time he let go of me and explored a little more. 

 Callie and Jackson are pretty inseparable, except at this moment when I took the picture.

Callie had so much fun jumping off the diving board, over and over and over and over and over again

And who doesn't like a little water in your face and up your nose?

Oh cousin love. Micah was totally into Hayley and was all about holding her, bringing her books, trying to make her laugh, etc. It was awesome.

Rough weekend.

Even Sammy gave up and decided to doze off for about 45 minutes. It pained me to see her in this position but was grateful she got a small nap after such a fun weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Gizdich 2015

We did it again. We took a small voyage and headed to Watsonville. Callie was out of school so Micah, Callie, and I loaded up and headed out. I love Gizdich Farms. It's far, but it's so fun. We always seem to miss berry season, but we were there this year right at the start of apple picking and we loved it.

So, what's our favorite parts about Gizdich?

The Anticipation

Finding the Perfect Apple

 Counting the Apples

Having the Orchard to Yourself
Running Down the Hill 1,000,000+ Times

Checking Out Bugs in Decaying Apples

Bowling Rotten Apples

Pulling the Wagon

Squeezing Together for a Picture

The Juiciest, Sweetest Apples Around

Wagon Rides

Jumping Off Hay

Flying Off Hay

And of course the pie...which we didn't get a picture of since my battery died. It was delicous though...and we walked away with some apple juice (that is my most favorite in the world), massive suckers, and smiles.

Until next time Gizdich, we love you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Little Man Micah

Something has happened. Now this little rascal is almost 3, he's turned into a fiesty, firey little man. But man is he cute. And fun. And curious. And crazy. He's so full of energy, ready to explore and push his boundaries. Though still cautious, he has become more willing to try new things and test his limits. He is one of the most delightful little boys I know and I really do feel so lucky every single day. Now that school's back in session, Micah and I have more time to just be together. We do puzzles and jump on the trampoline, go to the park and go on walks. We explore the world and laugh. Of all the things he's learning right now, I hope he's understanding how solid is place in my heart will always be. I love this boy with my whole heart...and I feel pretty special when he tells me the same thing daily.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

When Lindsey Comes Over

When Lindsey comes over, there's a lot of laughter and silliness.

There's also a whole lot of love.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2nd Grade for Callie

Yep, it's true. Callie is gorgeous and I can't get enough of her smile. She has grown so much. Even just over the past few weeks, I have seen a maturity in her that makes me step back and smile. And yet, she's still just a little girl...still gets frustrated by her annoying little brother and still needs more sleep than she thinks. I love all these different parts of her and I love seeing her spirit shine from her eyes. So it's 2nd grade for Callie. Moving up and onward. First day of school...we let the hair down. She loved it! I love that she loves her hair. I love that she takes pride in it. I love that she loves picking out what she wants to wear to school...sometimes frilly and well thought out, sometimes mismatched and thrown together. 

I look forward to this year for Callie.
I have a feeling it will be a big one.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

I loved this book. I LOVED this book and it's now in my Top #10 list. This book was such a departure from the Ray Bradbury I know. This was sentimental and so beautifully written, capturing the essence of summer 1928. But the truth is, every chapter, all the details, reminded me of my own summers growing up in Michigan. Each chapter was almost its own short story. And it made me think about my own neighborhood, or my own circle of friends...what is going on, what chapter could be written about each of them? Reading the book I was heartbroken, encouraged, sad, filled with hope, was intense and, again, beautiful.

I read Danelion Wine for book club, and the word that kept going through my mind was magical and romantic. Filled with imagry and this theme of life and death, I was constantly reflecting on my own life and how I choose to live it. Am I experiencing life? Am I soaking in all it has to offer? Am I learning from others' experiences? Am I living?

I could read this book annually. It was so well-written.

Magic Kingdom (Friday)

We decided for our last day we'd go back to Magic Kingdom and run wild and hit all the rides we could. It was such a great day.

Don't let this smile fool you. Micah was terrified of the carousal. It took us everything we had just to get him to go on and then sit down. Ride a horse? No way! I was surprised when he gave me this smile before we began to go in circles because only moments before he was a mess.

We saw a few shows....

Then we met up with the rest of the family at the Polynesian for breakfast. It's a good family-style breakfast with characters, etc. We did this same breakfast when we went last time and it was fun, so why not do it again this trip? However, where we were sitting, it seemed we didn't get many good pictures...the lights messed things up. But it was still good.


After breakfast we went home for a little bit...during the heat of the day...and while Callie and Sammy swam with Marcus, and Micah eventually fell asleep, I worked on getting things figured out for our departure the next day. We had a little scare because apparently, Disney had me as having a flight to Miami, but no connecting flight back to California. So, after a bit of panic and some phone calls, we figured it out. I would be returning home with my family after all.

We went back to the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed the hot afternoon.

This is when we decided that Sammy should try her first rollercoaster. A new ride has appeared at Magic Kingdom since we were last here a few years ago. 

The Seven Dwarves Mine Ride.

Marcus kept talking about letting Sammy go on Space Mountain and crazy rides (I think he was only 1/2 kidding). Yes, she's tall enough. Yes, she loves thrills. But any kind of rollercoaster seemed scary for me to let her on. This ride, however, seemed a little more manageable. So, we tried it. 

And she loved it!

Later that afternoon, storms started rolling in. There was rain, and people started to clear out. It was our last day, so we weren't going anywhere. We ate lunch and by that time, things kind of cleared up...but then the lightning came. So, rides shut down for a bit. And even more people cleared out. We held out and when Splash Mountain opened up, we were among the first to ride with no lines!

With the 7 Dwarves ride a success, we thought we'd have Sammy ride Splash Mountain as well. And she LOVED it!!!

Ted and his family hung out until late with us. We saw the Electric Parade, which was awesome. There was still some thunder, and that kind of freaked out Callie and Micah, but it was fun. Callie's face is blurry, but she was impressed with the parade, to say the least.

 And Sammy was impressed as well. She kept smiling and giggling as the floats and characters and dancers came by.

We decided to stay for the fireworks. And this is when we had a huge, scary moment...

As we were leaving the parade and moving down toward Cinderella's castle, there were quite a few people moving along. Callie was walking with Aunt Peggy, and I told Callie to stick with her. There were a lot of people. We got to where we needed to be and stopped. A few moments later, I wanted to show Callie something and said, "Callie, come here, check this out." 

No response.

No response.


She was gone. We couldn't find her. I began to slightly panic. Peggy and Marcus left the group and started looking around. I went out in the middle of the road, which was actually kind of bare, just in case Callie looked and found us. A conversation that my parents and I had previously that day about Adam Walsh and his son went through my mind. I got sick to my stomach with fear and began to pray. We hadn't come up with a plan of what to do if someone got lost. I prayed and prayed.  A few minutes later, Callie was back with Marcus. Relief is such a mild word to explain how I felt.

I talked to Callie and she said she had been really scared. I guess when we stopped, she just kept walking not realizing the group had found a spot to stay. She kept walking and didn't know what to do. She found a worker...and as the worker told Marcus...

"She was so calm and came right up to me and said, 'I can't find my family.'"

That worker also happened to be an intern with BYU-Idaho. 

Our prayers were definitely answered, and we were so proud of Callie knowing what to do and taking control of the situation even though she said she was really scared. It was the first time I've "lost my child" and it was a horrible feeling. I can't imagine what parents go through when they can't find their children after 20 minutes, then 30, then hours. I can't imagine.

After the fireworks, we left, saying our final farewell to Disney World.


Related Posts with Thumbnails