Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Baby #3 is a...

We had an ultrasound today. Last time we did this Riley was in tow, but she was only 8 months old and didn't really understand...she tried to eat the sonogram picture. This time we had two kids and both were super excited to see their new sibling. Dave's face was pretty delightful too. Seeing your baby for the first time is a strange experience, in the best way - makes me go all gushy inside and start murmuring things like, "Hi, sweetie" at the screen. How cool is it that they are now making 3D printouts of sonogram pictures for blind parents?? Anyways, we were happy to see that the baby was healthy and had all its parts, and hopefully I won't wake up at 3am anymore wondering if it has spina bifida, which is what I did last night.

And yes, we found out the gender. Dave and I were at odds - I thought girl, he thought boy, and it was the only way to settle things. And good thing we did too! I like having about 70% of our baby names crossed off the list. Plus, I'll be honest: I kind of got rid of most of our baby clothes in our last move, so thought it wouldn't hurt to do some shopping.

And now: Riley and Joe's announcement and thoughts on their new little sibling:

*Note - I like the name Elsa, we know some very sweet little Elsa's. I'm just tired of Frozen.
**Due date is still April 18th! Ultrasound confirmed!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

This Day Rockwells!

Norman. Rockwell, that is. I might have to name my child after him. I've always liked his stuff. Like to think of my life as a Norman Rockwell painting. Romanticizes the messiness, maybe? Anyway, BYU Museum of Art is featuring a collection of his - free through February 13th! Reserve your tickets! Of course we had to go, and Em and Chris joined us and we had a blast. I don't know if you are supposed to have a blast, per se, in a museum, but we did!

Some pieces were familiar but most were new to me. And art snobs who think Rockwells are too simplisstic or something be darned, his art captures the beauty and meaning of everyday human life, relationship and emotions. And I'm going to name my baby after him. You know, maybe.

 And behold: the faces of Norman Rockwell, as interpreted by us.

 Things got a little silly. What can I say, I was excited!

An hour and a half later, after a double walk-through the gallery as well as a documentary about Norman Rockwell, I was pretty high on life. When I saw a new ice cream place called Rockwell in downtown Provo I was even higher. It was their grand opening! Who can resist a theme day?? And, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the s'more icecream was the best, creamiest ice cream I've ever eaten. Ever! And I've eaten so much ice cream!

Deep breaths.

We also had lunch at Guru's and took a little walk around the almost-finished Provo city temple.

 If you don't watch out, Joe will dump a bunch of water on his head to "make his hair awesome." He was so proud of this one, he took a picture of it.

After that we drove over a nail and Dave got to change our tire, and then I went out for a girl's night out on the town, i.e. dinner with missionary companions and mission president. Bri and Ashley and I worked together...9 years ago (!!!) in Barrow-in-Furness (seriously that is ridiculous, it doesn't seem nearly that long). It's still so fun to hang out though - catch up and reminisce. And President and Sis. Jacobsen are still just as awesome. We got to see pictures and hear tales of their latest adventures white water rafting and touring Petra and the pyramids, and I just think they have discovered the fountain of youth, because I don't know a lot of people, of any age, as adventurous as they. Also they were able to give us lots of updates on the missionaries I haven't seen in ages. Many thanks to the husbands who stayed home with the kids, Sis. Jacobsen whose cooking is to die for, and just the universe for cooperating and granting a girl so many wishes in one day.
 (did I mention the ice cream?? :)

I don't always have the best days, but when I do, they are freaking awesome.

* I tell the kids that they get to choose what kind of day they have, and it's up to them to make it awesome or not, but I forget that too. I know I'm super blessed but negative thoughts can get to you nonetheless. I loved this video of the prophet's words on gratitude and following the Savior's example, and if Thanksgiving week isn't the time to focus on living gratefully and making every day awesome, I don't know when would be.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

October. I mean, OctooOOOooober!

Aka, Halloween activities. Riley and Joe are at such a wonderful age where everything to do with holidays is wildly exciting. And threats about not trick-or-treating actually hold some clout. It's fun for us all. Oh man, and this morning we had our first swirl of flurries and it was like Christmas came early. We did a snowman craft and made hot chocolate (after they ran outside in pj's to try and catch a snow flake) and watched Frosty the Snowman. I might have been somewhat the instigator but never mind. Halloween!

We got a surprise package from home with costumes from my childhood and all the makings of a Halloween party. Thanks, Mom! Riley put on a skunk costume that my Grandma made for Mom many moons ago for a dance recital, one that I also wore when I was about Riley's age. There was much giggling! Riley liked it too!
 And then there was the pirate pumpkin and pierced...bunny clown.
 So we had quite a selection for the ward party. It was a fun night - lots of chili and scones and games I didn't take pictures of, but the prep I did! here:
Riley found her costume at DI and it is probably 20 years old and a little worse for wear but I think the sequence made her feel glamorous.
To take a break from costumes, here are a few fall walks we have enjoyed this season. Everything is brisk and golden. One was from Em's birthday celebration. It's so nice to be close to siblings again, something we haven't had in a few years. These twilight pictures are all a little blurry, but I love them.
And bonus walks...
We've scoped out the good climbing trees.
What can I say, I like a walk that stings the toes and bites the nose! Heck yes I'm listening to Christmas music! So there!

But, er...back to October. We carried on the McClure tradition of Halloween sugar cookies with chocolate chips! It took me a few days to get the right recipe for the cookies - the first one went all flat and shapeless in the oven. Should you be in the market for a great recipe, this one from King Arthur Flour was great! Or, save yourself the trouble and call Mom - which is what I'd have done if I'd been thinking.
 Pumpkin carving. Fraught with peril. No one wanted anything to do with the pumpkin guts, and the first two faces Daddy carved were "too scary." I got them in the spirit of things by distracting them from the pumpkin entirely and making ghosts instead. It worked out. Sort of - this is the forced smile Riley only did because I was taking her picture, the little ham, and because Dave was teasing her.
 Decorating the day of Halloween. Bought temporary respite from the endless questions, or question: "NOW can we go trick-or-treating??"
And - hang in there - almost done:
Halloween night!
The big bowl of candy and chocolate pudding and oreo's that no Halloween dinner should be without. So much sugary sludge...
Trick or treating time! You can't get a good family picture at a crucial moment like this - attention is simply elsewhere.

 There was one brief moment when a plastic goule jumped and screamed when we walked up to a door that Riley decided Halloween "maybe isn't my favorite day." But she recovered quickly and we all had a marvelous time. And still are - tis the holiday that keeps on giving.

 Aaaaaaand lastly, a video compilation...of all our dealings...with October.