Quarter of a Century

I am middle aged. Or mid-20s. It is pretty much the same thing. Sam was 25-years-old when we met (seven years ago). I remember thinking that he was so old. Practically my grandpa. Now I have also reached that status.

I asked Sam not to get me anything for my birthday because I just wanted food. I wanted to go out to eat and then have pumpkin pie. Sam was doing this gross thing called growing a beard and I was not a fan so I also asked him to shave that for my birthday. He was convinced that I was going to jinx the Boston Red Sox in their quest to be World Series champions by shaving his beard. They won the World Series tonight so there was no harm by getting that ick off of his face.

I love sleeping. I don't think I could ever get too much sleep. Although I had to wake up a few times to feed Declan, I didn't officially get up until 10:24am. I think that was perfectly fitting since it was my birthday, 10/24. In one of my brief periods of awakeness before that, the boys brought me a ream of paper they had colored for me. It was so cute and they were giddy over it.

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My friends know how much I love food. My friend Nikki made me my own cake so I wouldn't have to make one. It was so thoughtful, adorable, and delicious! My Relief Society president brought me a plate full of Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecakes. I ate almost all of them and then took a picture of the last one I was saving for Sam. I mentioned to my friend Maggie that I used to love Dr. Pepper when I was a teenager so she bought some for me. She also got me that adorable blue scarf and the sweetest card that I am going to save and read whenever I am feeling insecure. I am doomed to be fat with all of these thoughtful friends!

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Maggie was going to babysit the boys and since Sam took the day off of work, it worked out better for us to go out to lunch. We went to a new sushi place in town. Sam tried eel sushi. I ate normal food. Then they brought us a delicious Japanese ice cream. It was unusual but really delicious!

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 That night, the Jordans came over for pie and cake. 

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Edison didn't want pie or cake. He wanted applesauce. Huh? After dessert, I taught the kids how to play Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

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Alex: You need to go on a date for your birthday so I can make you a card.
Emily: Okay, I will.
Alex: But you have to go on a date with a different friend so Daddy can help me.

My friend Karen was all over that plan. The day after my birthday, she took me out to a nice, new restaurant in town and invited a few friends. It was a really fun time and I was laughing my head off. I escaped without having to ride the mechanical bull which I consider a great success. After dinner, I took Maggie home and by the time I got home, there was a gift bag on my kitchen counter. Karen had dropped by and brought me pomegranates. I was so surprised and could not believe it! I mentioned at dinner how much I love pomegranates so she went out and bought some for me and brought them over before I even got home. Amazing.

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Emily, Maggie, Becky, Jen, Whitney, and Karen

I appreciate all of the visits, calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages I received on my birthday. I was blown away by the love people showed me. I wish every day could be my birthday! I felt so special and am really grateful for the friends I have in my life.


Champion Chomper

I thought I was cursed with terrible eaters. How could kids of a total food addict hate mealtime?! Rice cereal is not very appetizing. Alex refused to open his mouth and Edison would open his mouth then push the food back out with his tongue. Alex was eating baby food for months. I think he was over a year old and he still preferred baby food. We decided not to do that with Edison and started him on our table food after less than five attempts at rice cereal. We only bought a few bottles of baby food for Edison and they were a special treat in his stocking at Christmas when he was eight months old. Now we are "veteran" parents and have learned a few things. This time, I went straight for oatmeal and skipped rice. I also made it with warm breast milk instead of water.

I am not sure if it was because of something I did differently or if it is because Declan is just a superstar. He loved it! I am thrilled.

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Praying before he starts.

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Even though he made a funny face, he would dive on the spoon every time it got close to his mouth. He has never refused food and continues eating as long as we will feed him. I put him in his high chair and let him eat pieces of whatever I am eating. Hopefully we will have one child who does not despise eating. Declan has now had cheerios, bread, soup, bananas, and small smashed pieces of apple. So far, he eats everything that we put in his mouth. This kid is perfect.


October Break in Billings

A friend of mine wanted to go to the temple but was nervous to go alone so we planned a trip to Billings together during October Break. I booked our nonrefundable hotel and then learned that my friend could no longer come. It was really sad and I wish we could have changed plans and gone to South Dakota, but we headed to Billings anyway. Normally we leave for trips after Sam gets off work or in the afternoon. This time, we left in the morning on Thursday. Billings is just five hours away and is in the Mountain Time Zone so we got there at 2pm. We hung out in our hotel room for a while and then headed out for activities.

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Our first stop was The Reef. It is an indoor water park. It was really fun. The water was a little chilly for the boys, mainly Declan.

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 After a few hours, the boys were ready to go. We changed and then went to Cafe Rio for dinner.

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The next morning, I went to the temple. It was fabulous, as usual, and a great start to my Friday.

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We went to The Maize at Grandpa's Farm. It was a little cold but it was sunny and there were a lot of things to do.

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After the boys played for a while, we decided to go through the corn maze. We should have turned around right after going in. I am not sure why, but the maze was super muddy. It was sticky mud; the type of mud that takes off a shoe. After Edison fell the first time, he was devastated. We pulled out a few wipes and tried to clean him up. Not even a minute later, he was back down. Then Alex was, too. The stroller was caked in mud so we just kept going.

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After that, we were all laughing so hard that we could barely stand up. It was honestly just so ridiculous and we were all covered in mud. Alex and Edison loved every bit of it. Declan got bored and fell asleep.

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The boys took really long naps while we showered and I cleaned my shoes. Then we went and bought Sam new shoes. The boys wanted to play so we went to a park and they stole an old lady's bread and fed the ducks.

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Once the bread was gone, Alex tried chasing all of the ducks into the water. Edison was very sad because "I want to swim like the rubber duckies." His horribly mean parents wouldn't let him.

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Sam went to the temple that night and then went to the gym so he wasn't back to the hotel until midnight. We were putting the boys in bed together. Edison still sleeps in his crib so he hasn't figured out that he can't roll all over the place in a big bed.

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On Saturday, we went to Pictograph Cave State Park. My shoes were still wet from the day before and I was getting blisters from my dress shoes I had brought to wear to the temple so I wore Sam's old tennis shoes instead. They were covered in mud and too big. But more comfortable than wet shoes.

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The pictographs have faded a lot and many of them we couldn't see even though we knew exactly where to look because of the chart they had.

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Alex took a picture! I handed him my big camera and he actually pointed it in the right direction. He loves taking pictures.

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It was a really nice day. Warm enough that the boys didn't want their jackets. The box elder bugs were out in hordes and Alex and Edison were carrying a few around in their hands almost the whole two hours we were hiking around.

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We went to lunch in town and then started the drive home. We got home at 6:30pm and I made dinner then we had hot chocolate.

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This trip was fun because we had no itinerary and there was really no point in going except that Sam has a lot of vacation days to use before the end of the year. I wanted to go to the temple but we didn't have anything else we needed to do. I considered sending Sam, Alex, and Edison on this trip without me and Declan. I thought I needed alone time but I decided to go and I am glad I did. I needed away time. It ended up being really good for me. I need to get away from my to do list more often and focus on my family. I have started getting very competitive with everything and it isn't good for my mental and emotional well-being. There is no way I can be everything I want to be and do everything I want to do. I just have to keep rearing my kids and trying. Every day is more trying, and usually not succeeding. But I can't quit, no matter how tired I feel; it's too important. 


We Like To Party

It is so fun to have kids who are getting to the age that they have friends. It is also fun that those friends have parties. We went to two fun parties in the last few weeks.

Two of Alex's friends had a joint monster party at the art center downtown. The very first game after we arrived was a game to pop balloons by sitting on them. Bad news for Edison and Declan.

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Then they played Pin the Eye on the Monster. Alex was totally peeking.

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They also got to feed a monster some bean bags.

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Edison didn't want to color so I colored his picture for him. I asked him what to name it and he said, "Scary."

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The birthday kids: Amaias and Addie.

Spinning little kids for a pinata is kind of hilarious. Addie's dad was brave and tried directing the kids toward the pinata and took a few whacks to the knee.

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When the pinata finally broke, Alex was all over it. He was filling his hat with candy, dumping it in my purse, then going back for more. There was so much candy in the pinata that the kids walked away and left a pile on the ground. Now we don't have to buy Halloween candy!

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We were all warmed up and ready for another party! Alex and Edison's friend Collin turned five. The invitation was so cute and they were thrilled to open it and then play with the wind-up chatterbox teeth.

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 The party was picture perfect. Collin's mom (Nikki) is practically Martha Stewart.

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Nikki took pictures of all of the kids in the photo booth.

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While the pictures were printing, everyone decorated their picture frames.

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Kara and Jayme, Guy and Maggie

Collin did not want to smile about his "cake." He was being so funny and hiding under the table.

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I was pleased with our wrapping paper. We got him Lincoln Logs and I think he liked them. Now I want to buy them for myself.

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Collin's dad (Mike) took kids on rides in the lawn mower. It was cold and we hadn't brought Edison's coat. So he borrowed Rosalie's and didn't mind one bit.

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The party favors were adorable. Nikki is so creative and every little thing she does turns out looking amazing. I am glad we have friends to party with. Birthdays are the best.

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