Saturday, July 20, 2013

Emery turns FIVE!

Emery was SO ready to turn five.  She chose The Egg & I for a birthday breakfast and was pretty pumped when she saw how huge her chocolate chip pancake was (although the poached egg on the side was an even bigger hit).

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I was just loving watching how happy she was as she walked around proudly, grinning from ear to ear, since it was HER special day.

Her request for lunch was raspberries and kale—random, yes, but she loved it!

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Later that afternoon, we went to the Aurora Reservoir with friends and family for her party—which was a loose term for hanging out at the “beach”, having dinner, and opening presents.

It was sunny when we arrived the reservoir and it seemed that luck was smiling on us when we found a large pavilion complete with a grill that was empty for us to use.  However, our plans were almost derailed when I realized I had forgotten to bring the charcoal, a huge storm started moving our direction, and then the tornado sirens came on!

We chose to wait it out (after my brother checked the Doppler on his phone) and the storm decided to pass us to the south.  We got a lot of wind and just a couple raindrops and then the sun came back.

Look how happy Emery was as we were singing “Happy Birthday” to her!  I love my little brown-eyed girl!



It was hard to keep the candles from blowing out because it was still pretty gusty.


Like last year, she got MUCHO packs of gum from all the guests, because as I heard her telling her Grandma Jan on the phone, she is “obsessed with gum!”  And here she is in a cute tiara that our friends got for her.  Such a beautiful little princess!


Our niece Clara enjoyed the cupcakes—well, the frosting at least!


It’s amazing to me that Emery is FIVE.  I truly don’t long for the days when she was a baby (even though she was adorable) because she is cuter and more fun with each passing year.  She is starting kindergarten in less than a month and is SO ready to join her sisters at the elementary school. 

Emery is such a special part of our family.  She feels things very deeply and gets extremely concerned when other people are sick or have their feelings hurt.  Her prayers are so cute as she blesses all sorts of people and things that would have slipped most of our minds.  She is very social and it is a battle to get her to sit with us during church or find her at any social event (church, neighborhood, etc.) because she is so cute and fun that everyone wants to hang out with her!  Most of her friends are much older than her because she thinks she is more grown up than she actually is.  In fact, I think if you asked her who her best friends are, she would say “Kellie and Lisa” who are two of my adult friends!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fourth Grade Famous People

In fourth grade, one of the many projects that the kids work on during the school year is Colorado Famous People.  The teacher assigns each one of the students a person who helped shape Colorado history.  Kendall was assigned to be Susan Anderson, a female doctor who sounded to me like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.  Each student comes up with their script and a costume and then they work on this incredible production.  In addition to each student’s speaking role in the production, they also each have a “behind the scenes role” such as lighting, sound, video, sets, props, script prompter, invitations, ticketing, etc.  We were all impressed with the work that went into this night!  Here is Kendall as Susan Anderson:

All the kids did such an amazing job.  And of course I’m a little biased, but I think Kendall was one of the best!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rave Run

I coerced a few of my friends into running a little 5K with me that sounded like fun.  It was called the Rave Run and it was a night race with lots of lights, which is why I thought it would be cool!  Glow bracelets and great people watching?  Yes, please!

Here are the racers:  Amber, Rebecca, Andrea, Sarah, Lindsay, Emily, Gina, Kyrsten, and me!  (And there are a few other ladies that I know would have been there had they not been pregnant or injured—Kristin, Heather, Dana, Katie, Kayleen, and Cassy, we missed you!)

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I have to admit that the day of the race, when I realized that it was going to be a lot colder than I had assumed it would be when I signed up, I was kind of dreading it.  I HATE running in the cold.  But then all my ladies showed up at my house so we could drive up there together and I started getting PUMPED.  In spite of the cold, I was gonna have a blast.

And we did.  We really had so much fun, even though we were freezing our butts off at the start, and even though Lindsay sprayed herself in the eye with glow bracelet goo, and even though we couldn’t all find each other for AGES after it was over, and even though the race was VERY poorly organized.  I have run a lot of races in my day, and I have never seen anything quite like this. 

  1. It took me 45 minutes to pick up my packet the day before the race.  Never had to wait longer than 5 minutes for packet pick-up even in HUGE races I’ve done.
  2. You couldn’t see where the starting line was.  We finally heard the gun go off and tried to make our way in that direction, but it took us about 30 minutes to get to the start with the masses of people.
  3. The race course crossed over itself, which means there were two times where you had to elbow through hundreds of people to get where you needed to be.  It was hard to figure out which way to go, and if you weren’t paying close attention, you would lop off an entire loop of the course!  Stupid and dangerous as well, cuz it was in the dark too!
  4. When we got close to the end of the race, we wanted to push it really hard to the finish, but we had to stop and WALK through the finish line because there was such a bottleneck from people who crossed the finish line and then just stopped right there to find their friends or who knows what!
  5. WAY too many people just moseying along at a snail’s pace.  I have no problem with walkers (I like a good walk too) but the walkers should have started in a separate wave after the runners so they weren’t holding things up!

After the race, a couple of us happened to be in the right place at the right time and found a little 11 year old boy who had lost his dad. . . at the starting line!  He was freaking out and there was no way we were going to leave him alone.  We promised to find his dad—easier said than done in the dark and in the masses of people at the dance party that is held right after the race.  After wandering around for about thirty or more minutes, we ran into a guy who started pointing at the kid, saying he knew him and the boy fell into his arms, sobbing (it was a friend of the kid’s dad).  Apparently the kid was there with his dad and girlfriend and a few friends and somehow they lost him at the start.  We wanted to find the dad and punch him in the face!  Clearly the kid should have been at home with a sitter, but he was dragged along and then promptly forgotten.  Wouldn’t be surprised if a little too much alcohol and pot were involved.  Poor kid.  We couldn’t stop thinking about him even hours later.

We finally found our way back to our car and found the rest of the group and went to hang out at a restaurant to warm up and talk till 1:00 am.  So glad I have some fun ladies to join me for crazy adventures!  Wouldn’t have been worth it without y’all!

Next adventure. . .



Who’s with me?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kendall turns TEN

Kendall’s birthday celebration was strung out over the course of a few days this year.  Her birthday was on a Thursday, and Patrick had a work dinner that night, so us girls were joined by Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt Melayna and we went to the high school musical production of Brigadoon.  Everyone had a great time and Kendall loved being able to spend her birthday evening with some of her favorite people (minus her dad)!

The next night, Patrick met us at the Rockies game!  It was a surreal night because on the drive up there, I had the radio tuned to FoxNews as they were staking out the boat to capture the marathon bomber.  We all wore our Red Sox shirts and hats that night in solidarity of Boston.

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I guess once you are TEN, you are too cool to pose with mascots.  Sorry, Dinger!

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Then finally, on Saturday after the early morning soccer games, she got to open her presents!  She especially loved the tennis skirts!  Can’t wait for summer tennis again this year!


Kendall kept saying, “I can’t believe I’m in the double digits now!”  I can’t either!  I’ve been a mom for TEN YEARS??  What?

I sure do love this girl.  I have always said that each passing year gets more and more fun with my girls and I still stand by that statement.  I love watching Kendall mature and become more beautiful, smart, thoughtful, and hilarious!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Berkeley’s baptism day

Berkeley turned eight years old and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  This is one big difference between our church and other churches.  Instead of being baptized as an infant, we wait until the age of eight, which is the age that children should be old enough to know right from wrong.  Berkeley made the choice to be baptized and was so excited for the big day.


We were so grateful to all the friends and family who were able to come out to show their support.  Berkeley is well-loved—it was standing room only in there!  Here’s a picture with just the family who came—Patrick’s parents, my parents, my sister, two brothers, a sister-in-law, and a cute little cousin!


I don’t think that anyone in the room could deny that the spirit was STRONG.  Both of her grandfathers spoke at her baptism and I loved listening to them share their testimonies of baptism and the Holy Ghost, and remind Berkeley of the many members of her family who have gone before her in taking this big step.  Tears were definitely flowing!  Berkeley listened intently and was beautiful and radiant.  Berkeley, Kendall, and Emery all sang the song “Baptism” together and it was just perfect.  If anyone was able to hold it together up until this point, this song probably opened the floodgates!


Jesus came to John the Baptist,
In Judea long ago,
And was baptized by immersion
In the River Jordan’s flow.

“To fulfill the law,” said Jesus,
When the Baptist questioned why,
“And to enter with my Father
In the kingdom up on high.”

Now we know that we must also
Witness faith in Jesus’ word,
Be baptized to show obedience,
As was Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A few of Berkeley’s friends from school and one of her school teachers were able to come and that really meant a lot to her.  Here is Berkeley with her friend Jack, whose dad bought him his first suit, just for the occasion!

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So proud of our girl!  She couldn’t stop smiling and neither could we.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Berkeley turns EIGHT

A pho-filled dinner. . .


. . . lemon bars by request. . .


. . . and presents (a couple are shown here-- a smash book she has been eyeing for months and a new sweater). . .


. . . are just a few of the things that made it a great day!

My favorite part of the day was when I surprised her at school and had lunch in the cafeteria with her and her friends!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break- Olympic Training Center

I started out the morning by finding this cute note from Berkeley:

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And then we went for an early morning swim:

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For our final Spring Break excursion, we visited the Olympic Training Center.  We got to see some Olympic hopefuls in action:




And there were plenty of great photo-op spots!












On our way back to Denver, we stopped in Castle Rock to hike up to the “Castle Rock.”


DSC_0375It was pretty bright—hard to get everyone to keep their eyes open!


It was a successful stay-cation—saw lots of new things and spent some quality time together as a family!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break- Royal Gorge

After our adventure at Sand Creek, we took off for Colorado Springs.  While we were there, we decided that we wanted to visit the Royal Gorge (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River), which isn’t too far from the Springs.  First, we took a ride on the Royal Gorge train.



The Royal Gorge bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world.  For some reason, Patrick and I were under the impression that the train actually went ON the bridge.  Nope, here we are going UNDER it.





We got off the train and felt a little ripped off.  It was not a cheap train ride (and the train traveled only about 15 mph) and we left there wishing we were up on TOP of the bridge, not 1000 feet below it.  So we drove up to the top and then we paid even MORE money to enter the park where the bridge is.  But we got to ride on this cool incline train from the top down to the bottom and then back up:




Then we rode on a tram from one side of the gorge to the other where we saw these amazing views:




We saw an albino buffalo:


And then we walked across the bridge back to the other side.  It was pretty cool walking across a bridge when the ground was a thousand feet below us!




Along the bridge, there were signs for each state in the U.S., so we got a picture of each of us with the state we were all born in:





The girls were sad when they realized I didn’t have a birth state sign (no signs for Canada!) so I figured Indiana was the next best option since that’s where I grew up:


And of course, we all love COLORADO!




If you ever visit the Royal Gorge, my advice would be to skip the train ride and go up to the bridge!  Much more exciting and amazing, in my opinion!

After some late night swimming and hot-tubbing at the hotel. . .

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. . . the girls were exhausted from a very full day!