November

Jan 5, 2019
Mom Hikes are quickly becoming my most favorite thing of the week.



fresh air, exercise and chatting with friends.  


Plus, I get to buy some new hiking gear, like these waterproof boots.  



I hope I can do Mom Hikes for the rest of my life.  It is good for the soul.  


Paul got Domo's courtside suite tickets to The Harlem Globe Trotters

 Macey and Miles each brought a friend.



And the kids (and us) were loving The Suite Life.  


Lots of screaming, giggling, and eating as much food as possible.  


It was a pretty perfect Saturday.  


We continued to enjoy our backyard.




It's been non stop on the tramp.  I really did not think it would be so popular. 


Some more pics of the finished project.




 
And thanks to our heat lamp, we've still been enjoying our firepit.



We had the Primary Program this month.

I didn't get a pic of the kids, but they looked adorable and did a great job.  Miles has to keep things exciting though and was a mess for weeks leading up to it and especially the day of (why I didn't get a pic).  He ended up singing some of the songs and only came back down to me 3 times during the program. 

One time was to give me his broken shoe.  And then he returned to his seat with 1 flip flop on.   :) 




My Freshman Roommate Angie and her family stopped by for a visit.    


So fun to catch up and get to know her cute kids.  


I love getting together with old friends!!


Thanksgiving this year was amazing.  Maybe one of our best ones yet.  




Prep was incredibly easy.



Even Macey & Mies helped out and put this awesome fruit tray together without any help from me. 


  



I had a craft.



Food was awesome and I didn't have to cook the turkey (thanks brenden).  



And then we ended the night with seeing a movie. 



Where Julianne and I embarrassed the kids with our turkey headbands.  


Perfection.  


We also witnessed a miracle this month.  Miles crafted.  




He made this center piece for his birthday celebration.  


He worked for hours.  I was so shocked.  Never in his life as he ever done a craft when not forced.  It was a very relaxing evening for the rest of us as he worked away.  


Holly took our family pictures!

My nightmares are made up of things like family pictures.  We tried to make it as painless as possible and just did it at the house, which was amazing.  Still a slightly painful experience, but worth it in the end.  



Notice Miles is in shorts. This kid.  At least he was willing to be in frame. :) 

We took lots of trips to the aquarium.



Where Miles continues to impress the workers with his vast knowledge of all things aquarium related.  


My favorite moment of the month was putting up our Christmas tree.  


My most favorite tradition is the kids ornament collections.  


They are a bit obsessed with them too.  




And this girl.  Sometimes I want her to stay 4 forever.  



Tags: thanksgivingmom hikesnovemberbackyard
nana
So happy you get to do mom hikes I hope you get to do them forever! Your backyard turned out wonderful. You guys always loved getting our your ornaments every year too they are the best!

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October

Jan 1, 2019
A highlight of the month was Nana and Opa's visit.



We took them to a pumpkin patch.



Roasted Smores. 


Went to Just Add Chocolate.




and introduced them to our favorite game, Soda Pong.



We enjoyed our new backyard as much as possible and the last of the sunny warm weather with the neighbor kids.



There has not been a day that has gone by where the tramp has not been jumped on.  Rain, shine, or snow. 




My new favorite view:


Always so much 4 square.  


The boys had a new favorite game this month, Mario Party.  It was hilarious and they entertained themselves for hours on their homemade board of books. 




A few days a week Ruby and I took a scooter ride around the neighborhood to look at all the spooky houses.  This one being her favorite. 



We carved pumpkins in perfect fall weather on our driveway.




This view.



We went to our ward halloween party

Ruby wanted to be a Witch Belle.  And would only allow Ashley to do her makeup. 





Paul and Macey went to a Dad/Daughter activity



Crew had some major dental work done.  


We learned how to make cinnamon rolls in our new kitchen!


Ruby and I got to run errands with some of our favorite friends.  


Peter got baptized and we got to hang out with our favorite 2nd cousins.  

Ruby and I took about a million selfies.  


These 2 continue to be the cutest and craziest siblings around. 




Ruby always comes up with stylish outfits for preschool.  

And Friday Mom Hikes.  These have become the highlight of my week.






We ended the month with a quite mellow Halloween, I didn't even know what to do with myself since I wasn't running around like crazy person.  

Normally, I am in charge of multiple parties.  This year I ran one station at Crew's class party.  I didn't even break a sweat.  



There was of course the Halloween Parade.  



All other years I've had to check everyone out as soon as the parade is over to head to Domo.  Luckily, Domo decided to save money and NOT do their Halloween party this year.  We actually had a relaxing few hours at home before we went Trick - or - Treating.  






We still did our normal trick or treating route and we discovered that almost everyone from new neighborhood also trick or treats in our old neighborhood. :)  





Always a good haul.



Macey organized her candy into baggies.  ha, she does not get this from me.  


Another successful October in the books.  

Tags: halloweenmom hikenana and opabackyardneighborhood
nana
What a great October! Lots of fun activities loved all the costumes. Your new house has a beautiful view and your yard is fantastic! Wish I had mom hikes.

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september

Nov 12, 2018
The Main Event for September was Nana and Pop-Pop's visit.



They pulled into the new house just as neighborhood outdoor movie was starting.  



Not only were they seeing the house for the first time, but they got to meet a lot of our new neighbor's too.  


Although, I know even they missed our old neighbors. 


Crew had his first soccer game.



We took them to Provo Beach Resort.




Up to Big Springs.  



And there was of course lots of book reading and game playing. 



Then we headed down south and introduced them to one of our favorite places, Dead Horse Point.  



I think they enjoyed #yurtlife. 


Miles could not wait to go mountain biking with Pop-Pop

Watching the mountain bikers from the yurt deck going off on their big ride.  



Miles even had a big crash into some prickly pear and still went out riding the next morning. 



Nana and I stayed back and played many thrilling games of Spot It and Go Fish with Crewby.


There was of course lots of hiking and exploring.




We were so happy we got to show Nana and Pop-Pop one of our favorite Utah places.  


This trip I learned I cannot jump high and Paul can.  


And we actually got a family pic!

I'd say that was a successful trip.  


The rest of the month was spent mostly hanging around the house and neighborhood.



Can't beat 70 degree days!! 


There is constant games of 4-square in the driveway.



Ruby is learning to ride a 2-wheeler



This was my driveway one night when I was headed to yoga. 


I called Paul over to herd all children out of the way.  He entertained them with yoga poses, so I could safely backout.  

We are really settling into and loving this new neighborhood, but that doesn't mean there still aren't tears shed about missing our old neighborhood and school.  

Macey was having a particularly rough week missing all her old friends, so we had Tajen over for a late night.  It helped fill the hole in her heart (and all of ours too). 



We are glad all our friends are still close by.  

My parents brought me my old desk my grandpa made.  Macey has put it to good use and I love seeing it in her room.



One of the most exciting events for me this month was getting to join the elite "Mom Hiking Group".



Ruby's preschool schedule was made to fit around dance with friends and this hiking group. Our friday hikes are just as amazing as I dreamt they would be.  


Ruby and I are slowly figuring out this curly hair thing.  We both were having a good hair day at the same time, so we had to document the occasion.  


We also finished our backyard this month.  But, that deserves a photo dump post of it's very own.  








Tags: septembercanyonlandsdead horse pointyurtneighborhood

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End of Summer festivities

Nov 5, 2018
Even though school started, we still had some summer to squeeze in before fall officially hit. 

We did our annual trip to Bear lake with The Rensink's and Holly.  




It was our best yet.  



Our campsites provided perfect beach access.  



Weather was perfection. I was worried about the wild fire smoke, but it proved not to be too bad. 



Kids were well entertained with catching fish and frogs, playing in the sand, floating, playing cards and pretty much just being wild.






Floating is harder than it looks.  






Brenden introduced us to a hike that lead us to an amazing and freezing mountain lake.



Feel things make me feel more alive than jumping into a freezing mountain lake.


Brenden and Paul were the only brave souls to do the rope swing. 


Even with the early and cold mornings, the trip was well worth the effort and lack of sleep. 



Love these people. 




Paul and Macey went backpacking to Silver Lake with Carmen and Blaine.




They had a blast. The hike was very steep and hard, but the girls killed it.




I love these girls so much! 




 

Macey and Carmen caught a million fish and had lots of stories to share when they got home.  




Life doesn't get much better than camping in the mountains with your bff and dads.









Kacie and I might of been a little jealous.  



The rest of August was spent getting back in our normal school day routine. 


Nothing makes Mine and Ruby's day like getting to hang out with the 3 little O'Neal kids.  


We have missed these best friends desperately.  


And we take advantage of anytime we get to spend with them.  


We got caught in an exciting rainstorm walking home from school.  



It was a blast and we laughed the whole drenching walk home.  


Last pool day



Ruby I go on lots of scooter rides and walks to pass the time while the other 3 are at school all day.



So, glad I have this one a little longer to go adventuring with. 




The kids are really starting to settle into the new neighborhood and we are finding we lucked out once again with pretty awesome people that live around us.  









Tags: summerbear lakeback packingaugust

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Back to School

Oct 26, 2018
We had our annual Back to School Dinner. 



Brown bag lunches, like always.  Easiest tradition ever and one of of the kid's favorite.  The best kind.  



There were LOTS of tears the night before school started.  Especially for the 6th grader.  Change is hard.  I was worried the morning would be rough, but they luckily got it out the night before and it was mostly smiles.



First day of 6th grade!!!  


In Utah 6th grade is still in elementary school, so we moved this poor girl away from her friends that she has had since kindergarten for her last year in elementary school.

It was heart breaking.  She is always my child that cannot wait to go back to school and this was the first time ever she wasn't. It was a weird feeling for her and hard to wrap her head around. 

So, I bought her this amazing Ravenclaw backpack to help make up for it. :)


First Day of 3rd Grade



I have been shocked, and pleasantly surprised, with how well this kid handled the move to the new house and now starting at a new school.  

I requested some kids he already knew to be in his class and we had met with his new teacher a few times last school year and had a few school tours with the principal this summer.  It paid off, big time.  Not that it's been easy, it just hasn't been the all out screaming and rolling on the ground situation that I imagined it would be.  

Plus, while we were in the midst of sobbing and comforting kids the night before school started, I got a text from his beloved 2nd grade teacher. 

She texted to wish Miles a great first day of school and to tell him that she loves him and knew he'd do great at his new school. 


His little face lite right up and he settled down and went to sleep after that.  I then went in my room and cried and wondered why in the world we decided to move. :)  

First day of First Grade:



of all the kids, Crew has adjusted going to all day school from half day kindergarten the best.  He is just loving it.  And I am jealous of his teacher.  


I underestimated the amazingness that is living 1 block from the school.



Life changing and the main thing that makes me know I made the right decision not to stay at Suncrest.  




It has been hard switching schools.  Hard on the kids and really hard on me.  I miss knowing ALL the teachers, the staff, and the kids.  I miss all the teachers knowing my family and all of kids names, even Ruby.  And I really missed having my friends to talk to on first day of school drop off, plus we missed the party Suncrest would have on the first day of school, OES' welcome was pretty lame. :)   



We are learning change is good though and that we are so lucky to get to know more amazing friends and teachers.  Although, we still do like to go back to Suncrest and hug and visit some our old beloved teachers.  It makes my heart hurt sometimes, but our new school is pretty awesome too and it is growing on us.  



I didn't have time to be sad though, Ruby had big plans for our day together. 

I don't think she missed them at all. :)


We celebrated an awesome first day of school with some of our old and bestest friends from Suncrest, by going to a splash pad.  


And then Ruby started preschool the next day.  



She loves it, even though she still cries almost everyday at drop off. 


Paul thought it'd be a good idea to go out to breakfast after we dropped Ruby off. I just wanted to go home and cry in private.  


Paul's not familiar with my first day of school routine. :)  


I am grateful for amazing teachers, staff, and new friends that are helping to make this another amazing school year.  







This was the only pic I could get of Ruby. 


Tags: oremschoolpreschool1st3rd6th
nana
The kids are doing so great and so are you!! Love Ruby's photo by the garage, she can only hold still for so long. My favorite is that Macey and Crew's best summer memories were coming to Nana & Pop Pop's!!!!
angie
I love Ruby's garage run-away picture! I can't wait to meet her IRL. I am over here sympathizing with you. It's great to get a big yard and a beautiful new house, but there are definitely trade-offs. For years now, I've been looking forward to Todd's military retirement - and our supposed move to Utah afterwards. But lately I've been just loving our ward (finally!) and feeling super comfortable at my kids' school. Like you said, knowing all the teachers, and everyone on campus knowing our family, and all my kids' names. It's a great feeling, and I've realized I don't necessarily want to give that up. Also, we've got great weather out here. We just do. It's, like, 20 degrees warmer here now than it is at my mom's house in Utah right now. So I'm feeling a little nuts for daydreaming about moving away. Anyway, I'm just saying your regrets/things you're missing/whatever are totally normal and I love you. Also, I thought it was really funny how you explained about Paul not understanding your first day of school cry tradition. Ha!

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