Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the shower

 My mom and sister, Sarah, and I threw Josh's fiance, Alicia, a bridal shower.
And gosh was it fun!
We made a great team-it was so neat to see our vision come together! The more I do, the more I realize I really enjoy throwing parties-I like to do something that other people can enjoy with me.
 We had a make-your-own fruit pizza bar.  My aunt Karen and my cousins made the cookies and gosh were they delicious!
That awesome milkglass cake stand we borrowed from my aunt Gae--she won it at Lagoon when she was little. It's gorgeous!
We got the flowers from around my parents' house.  I was so happy with how cute they turned out.
Josh and Alicia have an incredible photographer--we framed some of their engagement pictures to use as decorations and to give them to help decorate their sweet little apartment home when they are married.
We had the guests write (free or cheap) date night ideas on these craft sticks-then we put them in that little bucket and gave them to Alicia.  There were some pretty creative ideas--going to have to try some myself!
 The gifts.  Weddings always make me wish I could do showers like this for my anniversaries.  Wouldn't it be awesome to get all brand new stuff again?
 We gave Alicia this picture of the Draper Temple--where she and Josh will be married for all eternity on August 20th-less than a month away!
We sure love Alicia--I don't think there's a more perfect person for Josh anywhere out there.
Sarah, my mom, Me and Ellie (who was D.O.N.E. with being at a bridal shower by this point), Alicia, her mom Larita, and her sister Jessica.   

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the shower and everyone who came-we had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

we tried to buy a pool

 Last week I took the kids to walmart.  
We were going to buy a pool.  The hard plastic kind.  $14.88 said the display outside the front door.
We have a pool, but it's the type you have to blow up, and I just don't have the foresight each day to spend 45 minutes blowing up a pool 
when sometimes we just want to go out right this minute and play in some water.

So we wanted to buy a little hard plastic one that I could set up in seconds.

We made it inside both of the double automatic sliding doors.
Then we turned around and went straight home.

Major meltdown from Nicholas.  Because I wasn't getting a cart. Because I was walking too fast.  Because Ellie was walking (how dare she!).
I don't mess around when he acts like that and won't shape up.  We turn around and head straight back to the car.  

But when we got home, I still wanted to play in a pool!  Being a consistent parent is such a bummer sometimes.

A quick dash around the toy room, a few buckets emptied, 
and voila! 
Mommy created a series of three little splash pools.  
And we had a grand time.  I let the kids pour water all down my legs while I sat on the bench.  They gathered rocks and Ellie drank dirty water and we splashed and played all afternoon.
Sometimes you just have to use what you've got.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Nicholas speaks

To me one day:  "Whew! It's a good thing I have hands to pick things up with.  And if you don't want to do anything, I will do it for you!"

He noticed his heat rash from his swimsuit was gone: "Look! My mirage is gone!"

I came home from a Church meeting one night:   "SURPRISE!" (He jumps out from the bathroom with nothing at all on.) "Welcome home Mommy! How was your meeting?"

Eating a donut with Daddy:
Nicholas: "What is that in your donut?"
Kent: "My donut is filled with jelly.  Yours doesn't have anything in it."
Nicholas: "Yes it does, see?" (pointing to a tiny spot in the center of his glazed donut.) "It just has a tiny seed.  It's what helps make my donut grow!"

Ellie and Nicholas were in the other room where I couldn't see them. I hear Nicholas say, "Yep, every time you do that, Ellie, you get a sticker on your bum."

To my sister: "I want to trick you, Sarah, but I can't remember what my tricky voice sounds like."

To me: "I really want a pet, Mom!"
"What pet do you want?"
"How about...a puppy!"
"Oh sorry Bud, puppies are a lot of work and they are really too messy."
He thinks for a minute...."I know! How about a bunny?  Bunnies don't poop!"

He filled his pockets with coins he found at my parent's house.  We were all in the living room and he walked in and shouted: "Who wants some MONEY?!"

I handed him a pudding cup.
He examined it and asked me: "Does this taste like bad bugs or good Nicholas?"
I told him it was good.  He tried it and after each of the first ten or twelve bites he would shout "DELICIOUS!"
And then he yelled for me "Mom!  I made a disaster." 
He'd spilled a drop on his shirt.

We bought balloons for the two of them at the grocery store.  We had one more stop to make, and when I was getting them out of the car, Nicholas's balloon blew out and flew away.  He was devastated.  Kent played hero of the day and brought him a new one when he came home from work.  Nicholas was so so happy and in his joy he said,
"Daddy, how about we call your clothes a balloon dress because you found me a balloon!"

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Making bridal shower invites for darling Alicia (my brother's fiance.)  My mom and I have been planning, planning, creating, shopping, working on all this wedding stuff.  
I just love weddings.  Such "happy stress."  
Kinda makes me wish Kent and I could relive our wedding day.  It's just so much fun!

Going out.  My kids play outside all the time.  Ellie has finally learned the concept of "our yard" and she generally stays close by really well.  I send them out to play while I get some chores done and watch them out the windows.

Her surprised face.  It includes a sweet little gasp and ends with those perfect hands on her squishable cheeks. 
We adore this face.

We went to a teacher supply store and bought letter and number learning books for Nicholas.  I told him we were going to have a "discovery time" each day.  
He suggested we call it "happymacksock time" instead.
Ellie found the entire task very exhausting.

We attempted to work with these books.  Nicholas has zero interest in learning these things.  He just does not care at all to learn the alphabet or numbers.  He gets silly and rolls around, pulling faces or wiggling his fingers in my face.
We've signed him up for a pretty academically-focused preschool for the coming year.  I'm really hoping the classroom setting helps him.  I figure it's either going to be really good for him or a really big waste of money.  If he's just not ready to learn, how much can a teacher do?

At my parents' house they have a big fan to help bring the cool air inside at night.  
Ellie loved this fan.  She'd turn it on and off, race around the kitchen island, and squeal when the air blew her crazy hair around.
This is the only picture I have of Kent's birthday. His pound cake with homemade caramel "cajeta" sauce that I cooked in a crockpot for 24 hours. (Turned out lumpy.  No idea what I did wrong.)
I told Kent I was sorry we didn't get any pictures of him on his birthday.
He said that meant it was a perfect birthday.  Andersen boys don't like taking pictures.

My born-on-the-4th of July husband does fireworks.
It's his birthday thing. He buys the great big crazy ones and then I don't have to buy him lots of presents.
Ellie was already in bed and slept through the show.  
Nicholas started out well this year, just plugging his ears and watching.
After the first firework Nicholas actually yelled "That was AMAZING, Daddy!"  
But then it started getting loud.
And Nicholas got hysterical-screaming and shaking and inconsolable- I took him inside where he curled into a ball on his bed and shivered and cried. 
Poor poor little guy.  Maybe next year will be better?  I just keep hoping.

 We came home from our holiday week to find this happened while we were gone.
Our view has a drawback after all.
Golf course=golf balls.  
To me, the risk is worth it, though.  Even if my mountains are all hazy this week from wildfire smoke that has blown up here from Nevada.  

Yesterday afternoon, this happened.
Ellie started it, running back and forth from the pantry wearing nothing but her poor sagging diaper, bringing handfuls and armfuls of noodles.
Nicholas wasn't slow to join in, exclaiming, "We're making SOUP!"  
Spaghetti noodles make an incredibly fun-to-crunch mess. We all three of us had a grand time with those raw noodles on the tile floor.  
I seriously love being a mom.  What do people without children do for entertainment?  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

my darlings

 Ellie Sarah at 20 months
Nicholas Kent at 20 months

I love these two.  They burst my heart every single day.  This motherhood stuff is incredibly hard and impossibly joyous.  

This work is shaping me, changing me.  I am far from the person I was four years ago, and it is good. With each day; every tantrum every snuggle every diaper every night-waking every meal every kiss, I am becoming more like the woman my Heavenly Father wants me to be---knows I can be.

And for this I am grateful.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

summer sunset

At my parents' house last week.

The summer sunsets in the mountain west rival those I've seen in Hawaii.  

When I was growing up, my grandpa (who lived next-door to my family) would always call us when he saw a pretty sunset and tell us to run to the window quick to see it.

I'd dash barefoot outside to the stretch of grass in front of his chain-link fence where a field opened up for an unobstructed view of the sunset.

I have photo after photo in a box in my basement of sunset pictures I took from that spot with my little film camera.  

And every time I see a sunset like this,
I feel a tug in my heart.
I wish I could call Grandpa and tell him to look at the sunset.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

bear lake

The kids and I joined my family for a day at Bear Lake last week.
The weather was perfect. The water was incredibly warm.
And, despite my fears, my usually water-fearing children actually got in the lake
and had a fantastic time.
I am so glad we went.  

Ellie had so much fun that she was skip-running around, stopping every so often to raise her arms up and cheer.

Nicholas told me it was the very best day and that we should come back to the lake "maybe tomorrow or sometime like that."

Ellie spent the first part of the day happy as a clam in the shade tent where all the snacks were.
she consumed an incredible amount of sand.
she drew lines in the wet ground with the side of a shovel.
she covered our toes with smushy sand.
she crumbled up her pringles and dropped them in her water cup.
and she dipped her licorice in lake water.  Mmm.

Midway through the afternoon, I put on my suit and sat with Ellie by the edge of the water.
She was very unsure at first,
but soon she realized how nice the water was and she was a splashing little fishy for the rest of the day.

Nicholas had his best cousin-friend, Sam, there, so he was brave and happy the whole time.
He played so hard that he didn't stop to eat the whole day.  He ate in the car on the way home late that night.

We tried to help him up, but he preferred laying in the tube like this--nearly falling on his face--because he could reach the ground and pull himself around with his fingers.

He's looking at this picture right now while I write this and he said, 

"You're right! I was going to fall in the water! Good thing I didn't tip."

 Goldfish in the sand.  Did I mention she ate a lot of sand?

We stayed late-didn't leave the beach until nearly 8 pm.  The evening sunlight is beautiful on that lake.
In all my memories of Bear Lake as a child, the hours after 5 pm are the best at the lake.  The crowds clear out, the water seems warmer,
and if you luck out and avoid the nasty wind/sand storms that happen sometimes,
the evening at the lake is just amazing.

We stayed as long as possible, packed up, washed sand off of little bodies, stopped at Quick and Tasty for raspberry lime shakes (of course!) and drove back home.

We're staying at my parents' house all this week for the Fourth of July.  Fireworks, barbecues, Kent's birthday, and lots of wedding planning going on around here.
I love summer.