Saturday, September 30, 2017


We didn't say much to the boys about finding a house until the offer was accepted.  But once we got that green light the excitement for OUR new house began to build.  I think we drove by the house every day just to take a peek and talk about it for the first week and a half.  One day I let the kids get out and look in the windows.

We got the keys on August 24 and decided that the next night we'd go have pizza at our new house.  Luke excitedly announced, "Mom! Our family has a new tradition! August 25 is our house's birthday.  That means on every August 25 we have to have pizza in the backyard!"  I, for one, welcome any kind of birthday that's not at the end of November or beginning of December, but mostly I loved that Luke is a guy who likes traditions and making new ones as a family.  You can bet August 25 is in my calendar for our houses birthday in 2018.

Moving day came about a week later.  This was the only picture I caught, because it was, once again, a literal sea of friends working their magic and unloading our stuff in record time.  The amount of love that our family has been given, particularly from members in our ward and family who helped, is too much to quantify.  It just felt awesome to know that we didn't have to do it on our own, and that there were so many who genuinely were happy to help.

I woke up on Sunday morning after our move the day before and caught the most beautiful sunrise.  It was the dawn of a new day and a new beginning of our life in this new place.  It's pretty great to roll over in the morning and watch the sun come up!

When I mentioned our living situation to people a common response was, "Oh, I could never live with my in laws!"  But I have to say, it was a really special time for our family.  It's a different experience to live together and be involved in each other's life every day.  I have to say I loved it.  Leah getting in to EVERYthing aside, being there was an immense blessing for our family and really strengthened our relationships with one another.  And even though Grandma and Grandpa are just ten minutes away now, we find ourselves missing them and the time we had together every day.

Friday, September 29, 2017

August's Bits

Being at Grandma and Grandpa's house meant that there were new, fun trails to explore.

One of our main motivations for moving was that our street was just too busy.  There were too many cars driving way too fast.  We loved being able to play in the street and ride bikes just about wherever we wanted.

This girl has just about conquered every park.  There is almost nothing that she can't read or climb...and she's not even two!  She is just so determined to stretch, pull herself up, and reach to the next step or spot.
Leah thought it was too fun to run around in the car as we waited at the car wash.
I caught this picture as we left school one day.  I sure am glad these two have each other.
Noah left Nate and me the sweetest note in his journal to find at Back to School Night.
I finally got some tiny piggies in Leah's hair!

She was so proud of herself when we figured out how to stick that fruit snack onto the end of her nose.
As I was making dinner one night I told Luke about when I was a kid and watched my mom make meatloaf I promised myself I would NEVER reach in a bowl and mush up raw meat.  But, I got over it, and there I was ready to get dirty.  His response was, "Well, I'm a kid mom, and I can be braver than you!" It's so true in so many ways, including making meatloaf.
Not her best picture, for sure.  Oh, living in someone else's house has it's challenges.  Leah was into EVERYthing almost ALL day long.  It was exhausting keeping up with her and keeping her out of trouble.  A quick trip downstairs to change the laundry was all the time Leah needed to find my (only expensive) lipstick and completely ruin it.  I was mad, she was mad that she was caught, and in the end we both just hugged it out.  She wants so badly to be a big girl and do all things big girls do, including being trusted for more than three seconds.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Back to School

Not being in our own house didn't put a damper on our second annual Back to School Feast.  Dinner and dessert, new journals, father's blessings and a new scripture to guide us through the school year made for a pretty great evening.

Noah's first day of school was a good one.  He was excited to reunite with friends and get to know his new teacher, Mrs. Tahara.

They aren't in the same class, but we have pictures of Noah and Everett going back to Joy School, so we just had to snap one together for first grade.

 Noah and Peyton became buddies in kindergarten last year, so it was fun for them to be back together in the same class again.

While Noah was at school and Leah napped Luke helped me make cookies for our first day of school after school cookie chat.  I just love how much this boy loves to be in the kitchen.
 By the time Leah woke up Luke had just enough time to crawl in her bed for a few snuggles before it was time go get Noah.
 And, oh, this boy was all smiles when  he walked out the door!  It was a great first day,
 He filled all of us in on eating in the cafeteria (although he 'forgot' to eat his lunch), playing on the big kids playground, and that the day seemed incredibly too long.

Luke's first day of Joy School was a couple of weeks later.  He was SO excited that it was finally his turn.
We made more sprinkle cookies for his after school chat and celebrated a great day.  I am also doing homeschool TK with him to take advantage of some amazing learning opportunities without him having to be at school five days a week.  That's going to come soon enough, right?!

Monday, September 25, 2017


 July 15.  Moving day.

It came so fast, even though we had prepared for it for months.  Our home had sold two months earlier, and we were sure that an additional two months of renting it back from the buyer would be plenty of time to find the perfect place.

But it wasn't.

We looked at house after house, and nothing felt right.  Well, that's not entirely true.  Nate was pretty sold on a few of those houses, but I just couldn't get on board with it.  The wrong neighborhood, the wrong street, the wrong...I don't know 'feel.'  It was pretty awful feeling like I was the one slowing down the process and making things far more difficult than they needed to be.  Our stress was high, our ability to agree seemed terribly low sometimes, and the whole thing started to feel like a mistake.

I was prepared that things might not go smoothly.  Not finding a house was part of the risk we took when we sold our house.  And even though neither of us are big risk takers it felt right. But what I didn't expect was how much we would disagree.  This whole house decision felt like a big mistake, and I had so much regret.  Oh, it was an emotional time!

But being truly committed to each other has it's benefits and rewards.  Both Nate and I were determined to weather this stressful house hunting storm and get through it.

Back to July 15.  I didn't take a single picture on that day.  What a wonderful whirlwind.  An army of men from our ward showed up to help with the move.  As one person was moving out furniture another two were taking the doors off of the fridge so we could get it out of the kitchen.  On a hot, sweaty summer day these awesome guys showed us so much love.

They delivered all of our non essentials (pretty much everything) to a storage unit, and a few basics to   Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Dave and Shauna had generously offered for us to stay with them until we found a home.  We felt thankful, and I think all of us wondered how long we'd be there. ;-)

I tried hard to make our stay there an asset: cooking meals, keeping dishes out of the sink and in the dishwasher, cleaning whenever Leah wasn't getting into stuff.  It was amazing how fast we settled into this new normal, and it just felt good to be there.

 The boys loved having a pool in the backyard.  They swam three and four times a day and were so happy that we didn't have to pack up our stuff to go swim.

All of the kids loved that the freezer was well stocked with popsicles and fudgesicles.

 Just two weeks into our stay a house came on the market that was the right size, right price, and in the right location.  I'll never forget walking in there for the first time.  I had just stepped in the entryway, looked around at what I could see from there and said to our agent, "O.k., so what do we need to do to make this happen?"  He laughed and said "Don't you want to see the whole house first?"  I had prayed for months that I'd know it when I saw it, and this house just felt right.  Our agent worked hard to make it happen, and two days after coming on the market, we beat out the other offers and the house was ours.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

July Bits

 When they think I'm not looking the boys love to climb the fridge, which in a month that I'm packing and moving, is totally fine.  Another month, maybe not so much.
 Noah took his first trip without Mom or Dad!  He hopped on the train with Grandma and Brennan bound for Bakersfield.  He had a great time with the cousins and only missed us a little.

The boys got super creative at the Kids Club at the gym one day.

Cousin Kate gave Leah some jellies and she wore them from the time she woke up until bedtime for the first few days.  This is a girl who loves shoes!

My 'smart' watch told me I had a missed call from Gram, which is amazing since Gram died in March.  But if that watch really can dial into Heaven, I'm thrilled!

We checked a few more things off of our summer bucket list like riding the carousel, lunch at Firehouse Subs, and a visit to the outlets to ride the silly cars and trucks they have there.

Noah LOVES to post notes around our house.  Our bedroom was completely empty, and this was the last thing to come down.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More Tahoe

The boys rocked the bike park,and Leah was so happy to swing while they rode.

We kept checking things off our Tahoe Bucket List by going to Heavenly Village.  Dinner at Base Camp Pizza (check), jumping on the trampolines (check), and trying out the Baked Bear, a new ice cream sandwich place (check!).

One afternoon while Leah was napping we went to the movies.

But earlier in the morning we hiked a new trail.

The boys loved going across this bridge that had collapsed, probably due to the crazy amount of snow  that fell during wintertime.

Putting their feet in that freshly melted snow was fun and freezing!

We roasted s'mores in the backyard.

And we decided to take a little boat cruise across the lake.

We had some major grumps in tow until lemonades and French fries were ordered.  

That seemed to do the trick and everyone was smiling again.

Before we knew it, our week was up and it was time to head home.  We stopped for breakfast at the Getaway Cafe, where my old soul eater (Noah) ordered poached eggs.  That boy!
 And then we were home!  Which was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  It meant moving was literally just a few days away and there was still SO much to do!