Thursday, March 30, 2017

Scaling New Heights!

Our preschool field trip this month was to the Quarry rock climbing gym, and the girls LOVED it. I was at first debating whether we should even go since it was during Jane's morning nap--that's usually my dilemma--but I just decided to keep Jane up and go since the girls were so excited about it and since we missed the trip last month. 


Once we got there, all the kids were upstairs testing out the warm-up kid wall to get comfortable. I was surprised that Norah wasn't afraid to climb all the way up and then get partway down before jumping to the ground. 


As soon as all the kids had time to warm up, we went back down to get them harnessed and ready to climb the big walls. 


Norah was so cute while she got ready with Grandma Brand. She kept looking over at me with her tongue in her cheek, trying to hold back a smile.


It took a little bit to find a space that wasn't too hard for Norah to start out. She thought the swinging part was pretty fun.




I was so impressed with how far Norah got. She didn't seem afraid at all and was so proud of herself for climbing. She probably got about 20 feet up (I'm terrible at estimating that sort of thing so I may be way off, but it looked really high to me! haha)



While Lucy waited for her turn, she liked pulling on the ropes and making a couple of them fall all the way down. haha


Then it was finally her turn!



She kept holding onto the rope instead of grabbing onto the rocks and pulling herself up. Norah really wanted to help. She kept running up and trying to place Lucy's foot on each rock.


Jane grew tired of hanging out on my hip, so she ran around our whole area. It was just a little stressful since there were other climbers there and so I had to make sure she didn't go near them.


Lucy just wanted to climb around on the stair banisters instead of the walls.


We went back to the warm up wall and had it to ourselves for a while. Lucy was much more comfortable with this, though maybe it was because she wasn't distracted by the ropes all around her.



It was really fun watching the girls climb around and have so much fun. Some of the moms even climbed themselves and it made me want to do it too, but I didn't want to dump all three of my kids on someone else. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make Ryan take me for date night! ;)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Katelyn Visits!

Last month my sister, Katelyn, said she and her family were coming to visit for a week! It was the perfect way to continue our festivities to welcome Dallin home from his mission. 

Wednesday, Katelyn and I came up with a tentative schedule for the week. I couldn't believe we were able to plan everything with so many schedules to work around, but we finally figured it out and had an ongoing group text throughout the whole week.


We wanted to go see Carly's play the first night, but Brittney said that it was already sold out for the entire week! She said that the school secretary said, "you're new here, so you must not have realized that the school play is a big deal here and you need to buy tickets way in advance!" I thought that was so cool that all the parents are so involved.
Anyway, so we decided to all meet at Brittney's new house for dinner instead. We played games, ate food, and gabbed all evening. This is the best picture we got of the night haha.


On Thursday, we dropped off all the kiddos at preschool, then Brittney and Katelyn came to my house for brunch! Waffles and a though-provoking conversation was just what I needed to revitalize me.  

My girls all napped and then waited anxiously for Jack and Ty to come over to play before dinner.


It really makes me wish all the cousins lived closer! 


We gathered up a bix box full of ingredients, then hauled it over to my parents' to cook it all up.



Lucy kept asking if she could wear her Ariel nightgown to Grandma and Grandpa's. I actually think it's adorable how much she loves it, so I let her.



We snarfed up our dinner, then tried herding everyone out the door to my house for a movie and popcorn. 2 hours later, we finally got off our fannies and headed out to watch the new Saturday's Warrior (on DVD! ;)) I got it as a gift for Christmas, but didn't want to watch it by myself, so we decided to watch it together. I'm so glad, because if I had watched it by myself, I would have turned it off haha. It made the original movie look really good! In fact, I wanted to just turn it off and watch the original instead. Dallin, who had never seen the original (what??) was really confused and kept asking why we were still watching haha. The movie was set back in the 70's and it looked like they had just gone to the dollar store and bought anything that had a peace sign or tie dye pattern on it to randomly hang in places for the set up. It was pretty agonizing to get through, but it was still fun watching and laughing all together.

I already wrote all about our Friday activities in my last post, and it was nice having Ryan in on the fun since he had stayed home with the girls the other nights so I could stay out late. We barreled down the freeway to get to Comedy Sportz on time, and then went back to our house for some more games.

Saturday was kind of a slow morning. I had a photoshoot in the early afternoon and then we planned to all go to a movie in Salt Lake together. But then when my clients were an hour late to their session, I was rushing as fast as I dared (I had been pulled over for speeding a few days earlier so I was still paranoid) to get home in time.

Ryan's parents were visiting for the weekend, so Jeanne and Nathaniel watched the girls while Ryan and his dad went to the Gonzaga basketball game. 

Everyone piled into my parents' car, and we met up at the theater to see the new Beauty and The Beast movie. 


Poor little Ty was so tired from all the business over the past few days, he fell asleep on the way there.


We all agreed that the movie was really well done! Picture to document the moment. ;)


We finished the night by meeting at Danika and Jace's apartment to make dinner. I burned the pasta and we kept sending poor Jace back to the grocery store for more ingredients. Even though everyone was tired, it was so hard tearing ourselves away from the fun to go home and get in bed. 

Sunday was Dallin's homecoming talk! Ryan and I agreed that 9:00am church is FAR better than 1:00pm church. The girls were so good, and I was actually able to listen to Dallin speak. He told some great stories about people he served who had such incredible faith and followed the spirit even when they didn't understand why.


It's good to see Dallin back with his friends acting goofy again.


We crowded in at the mini mothership for some munching and mingling.


For the entire week, I felt like there were so many mini conversations going on that I had to jump from one group to the next so I wouldn't miss out on anything. So now I only have little blips and pieces of conversations, which means I have no idea what's going on haha.


I love this picture of the boys watching the game. Braxton just stood by Jace, put his arm around him and kept it there for quite a while. 


After a long nap for everyone (I was so exhausted from so many late nights in a row), we came back for more play time and dinner. I wanted to get a photo of all the grandkids, but didn't get one before Lula and Ella left. It's so funny to look back on the last photo I took of all these kids and see how much they've grown in just six months!


And since we had a cousin photo, of course we had to get one of all the bracitas as well. Just missing Aubrey! :(
We have a bracita retreat next month that we've been planning since last year, so we're all so excited to have some good quality time together! 


I love these photos of Norah and Ty together. I don't know what they were laughing at, but they were so sweet to watch.



It didn't last for long though. Those toddler fights can get pretty rough! Luckily Katelyn was there to mediate it. ;)


Jane was back to her happy self (finally!)! She loved when we would pretend chase her. She would laugh and back away.


Jane wouldn't let anyone else but me hold her all week, so when Katelyn was able to throw her up in the air and make her laugh, it was so sweet. 


The perfect goodbye present!


We gave everyone hugs, even if it was a little forced, and said goodbye to Katelyn and her boys.





It was so fun having her here for the week. Now only four more weeks until our retreat!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Festivities

I don't remember ever celebrating St. Patrick's day when I was growing up, and quite frankly, I think a big reason many people celebrate nowadays is because of Pinterest. Guilty. But I just love it. And we honestly don't do a whole lot, but it makes a big impression on the girls.


I haven't bought breakfast cereal in a long time, and so when I told Norah we were having Lucky Charms for breakfast, she said, "This is the most fun day ever!" So I felt we were off to a pretty good start. :)


We met my sister and her boys at the Lehi Library for a music and movement class for toddlers, and they all seemed to have a good time!



The girl in charge was so energetic and fun! 



Even Norah, who usually acts too shy during these kinds of things, got in on the fun.






When they asked all the kids to come up front for a story, Norah didn't even hesitate and zoomed on up there, followed by Lucy.


We danced around and Lucy was really getting into it. She kept grabbing her dress and pulling it up, exposing her princess underwear for all to see.  


Jane just wanted to dance in my arms most of the time. I am glad we went to check it out! I was really fun and they used sign language a lot, which Norah has been interested in lately. She's even used a few of the signs since then.


We played with cousins for a bit before nap time and then met up again at our house to make food! 
I had originally wanted to make some fun rainbow cupcakes, but we ran out of time, plus I have no self control when it comes to sweets, so I thought it was a good thing. Next year maybe. ;)


Katelyn and her boys came over and we woofed down our traditional green and rainbow dinner before getting the kids set up with a babysitter so we could all go out on a group date to Comedy Sportz. 


It was so fun celebrating the holiday all together!