Sunday, July 26, 2015

We have a 3 year old! (again!)

And that means it's time for the popular series (now 2 episodes long!): Interview With a 3-Year-Old*. I decided to interview Joe first thing in the morning so I'm a little quiet and sleepy. He is not.

Also: pictures and sentiments:
He asked for a bacon cake - I did my best.
 Party hats, cause you know - we go all out round here! (Riley found them at Target, Zizi bought them.)

 And Riley, I mean Joe, made out like a bandit!
 Genetics! It's hard to imagine a son being more like his father (maybe one day we'll have a ginger?) than Joe is with his. Their tastes and manerisms are weirdly similar. Identical, sometimes. Bacon! Peanut butter and jelly! Man music! Dancing! Puzzles! Coke! Oh my gosh, coke. Dave gives him a cap-full from time to time and Joe lusts after that sweet nectar like it is pure gold. He caught site of a coke on our way out the door this morning and was still begging for it when we got to church.

Anyways, I adore his Dad so what I see reflected in Joe - the good and the...interesting - always makes me smile. But he's got my eyes. So there.

He has many stand-out qualities though, where ever he got them. He gives the best hugs! He isn't scared of anything, and he likes to help out the babies at church.

He also screams like a banchee and likes to step on bugs, but we're workin' on it. I told him the other day that he should be nice to the bugs and let them go home to their families. He said, "They don't got any families!" and smashed another one. Oh, and he loooves candy and tries varied means to obtain it. "Mom," he said at breakfast, "Would you please go downstairs and get me 5 gummi bears?" Didn't even look up from his cereal, was so casual and cool about it. "Sure no, what?"

We love him all though.

One more to take us out, in case you haven't had your fill. Riley and Joe have the best times together - I hope they will always be that close!
*Episode one here.

Monday, July 20, 2015


We left early so the kids could be unconscious for the first four hours. And they were! For the journey we got this neck pillow for Joe, and it might be the best investment we've ever made. Instead of waking up every half hour with a crick in his neck like last road trip, he slept for hours at a time, and if Riley woke him with a laugh of shout, he peeked out from under the hood, then pulled it back over his eyes and went back to sleep. I'm a fan!
 We made time that day! We stopped only for potty breaks (we brought the training potty along and pulled over for Riley about six times) and gas. We stopped for an hour at dinner time and let the kids go crazy on the Burger King jungle gym and then back on the road.
Hour 16 and the point at which I started doubting we would find a hotel.
 At 18 hours we pulled into a camp ground had a bear warning sign and every other camp site had an RV. We would have been the first course. We traveled on and at hour 21 we reached Rexburg, ID and checked in at the Quality Hotel. I tend to avoid hotels with "quality" in the name but we were exhausted, and it wasn't that bad, although the pool put me to mind of "Berenstain Bears Take a Vacation." That left us an easy five hours the next day and we'd arrived!

Shew. Road trips. You love em and hate em. When you're butt feels molded to the seat, you hate them. But when Riley makes up songs to narrate the passing miles, you love them. And when Joe figures out we'll pull over for bathroom breaks so he yells, "Poop is coming! Pee is coming!" when you know it is not, so you pacify him with tic tacs. And when Riley gives a 13-year-old grunt and says, "Are you sure we aren't driving in a big circle? It all looks the same. Maybe a really big circle?" Or when Riley notices the mountains are getting bigger. "I think the people are blowing them up." Memorable moments. I like my family.

Since then we have visited a few friends:
 Attended the wedding of one of our nearest and dearest:
Celebrated with family during the 4th, the candy bomber's last flight, Tim's violin recital and an assortment of unremarkable but very enjoyable dinners and walks:

And, it being summer in UT: all the hiking we could wish for!

 So I'd say things are going pretty good here in job limbo. Well, Dave's doing temporary stuff.  It's hard not being settled somewhere with our routines and things, but we are lucky to have good friends and family to be there for us and encourage us along the way. Riley and Joe are lucky to have in each other porta-friends to travel around with, and we can always count on them to keep us busy and make us laugh. Joe is three today! Now where did that go?? He was supposed to be out of diapers like a big boy today, but he is not totally on board with that...Anyway, we're celebrating his birthday tomorrow on account of not having bacon in the house, and that being his one birthday request. Delightful child! :)

Good bye, Minnesota!

Le far behind.

We left Minnesota. Tears all around but it is wonderful to have had such a great experience that we were sad to see it end.
 I get quite sentimental about things these days, I surprise myself. The other day Dave snorted when I said, "...and I never cry over movies but this one made me cry!" and I realized I needed to stop saying that. The pre-mother me never used to cry over movies. Somewhere along the way my heart has gotten a little more tender. Anyways, saying good bye is getting harder too, I think. I avoided it altogether with a lot of people but the ones I did get left a lump in my throat. (So thanks, Linda, lady friend from church who stopped by with roadtrip snacks, for the tear fest! Geez louise.)
Tuesday night soccer folks, whose last names for the most part I don't even know. I was not going to say any good byes, just leave like normal, and then not come back, but our team cap'n ended the game five minutes early and brought out a big bottle of gatorade and a dozen little paper cups for a farewell toast. Not just for me - Freddie moved last week and we toasted his memory ("he's dead to us," was one...) and then they raised their "glasses" to me and I shook everyone's hands and told them how wonderful they were and it was bittersweet. Good bye, soccer gang!
 Hello Pequot Lakes!

After a stressful week of packing and moving out, a family vaca to a cabin on the lakes is just what the doctor ordered. It is the most relaxed setting I can imagine. The company didn't hurt either.

And when we had enough relaxation, we went into town for Summer Fest.
The second last hurrah with these friends :)

All too soon we were packing the car again and headed out, at 4am, to make the long trek to UT. We were excited to see UT again - friends and family and wedding and our old haunts are there - but my heart was  a little heavy as we drove through misty lake country, watching the sun rise and wondering when we would be back. Oh we'll be back, MN! You have been too sweet not to merit at least a visit now and again. Thank you for a beautiful two year! Sometimes they've been hard, but we have learned and grown together as a family and that is a true blessing. I suppose the same will be said no matter where we go (where will we go?) but Minnesota will always have a special place in my heart.