And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fathers Day

Every year we celebrate Fathers Day and every year I reminisce on how blessed I am by not only my own father, but also my father-in-law, and the father of my children.  All three are so kind, loving, and are strong priesthood holders.  They all three play vital roles in my life and in the lives of my children.  I understand that all year I need to honor these men...but I appreciate that there is a Day set aside to show them just how much we really do love them!!

We spent this Fathers Day taking it easy.  The boys and I made TJ breakfast in bed and then got ready for church.  I made all the kids and TJ matching ties (and accessory for Maylee)...man they looked stinking cute!! The dad's got donuts from the relief society and I taught a fun Fathers Day lesson for sharing time.  

 
After church TJ got in a nap even though I told him that since he got a nap on Mother's Day, it was only fair that I got one on Father's Day.  He apparently disagreed though because it didn't take him long to nod off on the couch.  I prepared a delish dinner and we took it to the Amakasu's house for a joint Father's Day celebration.  We sure do love them and their family!  Despite only knowing them for less than a year, every time we hang out it feels like we are just hanging out with family.  So it only seemed right to celebrate Father's Day with them!

Overall the day was excellent.  Tj felt loved and appreciated and we all had fun spoiling him.  He works so hard for our family and so much of it goes unseen and unappreciated.  I sure love that man!!  My kids sure hit the jackpot with him!!

As a side story...for my Father's Day sharing time I made 4 dozen cupcakes for the primary children to give to their dads.  They took me 9 hours of baking, mixing, whining, popping, and decorating.  Chocolate cupcakes, handmade Berry compote filling, whipped chocolate buttercream filling, and a piped white chocolate stripe to look like a football.  Well Parker wanted to go for a bike ride tj was in the backyard working on stuff.  I told Parker he could ride his scooter out back and he yelled that he wanted to go out front.  I again told him that he could only go out back because there was no one out front to supervise.  He was not happy - to say the least - and proceeded to pick up a bag of pens and throw them on the ground.  The bag exploded and he looked at me with a bit of triumph.  His pleasure quickly disappeared however when he could tell I didn't really care that there were pens all over.  I watched as he surveyed the kitchen for more havoc to wreak with the sole intention of making me mad (as if my anger would equate to his getting to go out front).  Well low and behold, his little eyes fixed in on my completed cupcakes because in a matter of seconds he was across the kitchen and throwing the box of them on the floor; all the while not breaking eye contact with me as if to say "you make me mad I'll make you pay."  The kid has issues!  All the cupcakes went "SPLAT." Completely unusable.  He seeemed to feel triumphant until he saw my eyes bug almost completely out of my face.  Then he felt scared; really scared!  I grabbed his arm and then realized it wasn't safe for me to handle this situation.  I quickly called for TJ who upon seeing the mess asked if I was okay.  I told him very slowly and very monotonely that he needed to deal with Parker while I went to Costco...alone.  I drove to Costco and cried while TJ punished Parker....an hour long time or followed by watching TJ, Dominik, and I all eat cupcakes in front of him (the salvageable ones).  The lesson seemed to sink in, but no fathers got a cupcake on Father's Day.  And I still have a 3 year old to live another day.  

 

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

1st onto 2nd

Dominik is a pretty resilient child.  Being in the military kind of forces you to learn how to be one though.  In his three short years of elementary school he will have been to three different schools in two different countries.  That's 3 new buildings to navigate, and lots of new friends to make.  I'm not sure I could do it.  Well we finished another school year strong and now it's onto 2nd grade for this fella.  

 
The last week of school was a whirlwind of fun and friends. Dominik got to participate in a Rumble in the Jungle musical performance, he did dress up week with days like sports day, crazy hair day, pajama day, and super hero day.  We sure loved having Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs. Erez as teachers and Dominik will surely miss going to school in room 304 with all of his awesome friends!  He finished his last day of school with a pool party with his friends and then his first sleepover with two of his classmates.  EBS Elementary School will forever hold a special place in Dominiks heart...but for now he looks forward to attending 2nd grade at Spring Mountain Elementary School while living with grandma!!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

12 Years Later

12 years ago TJ and I were sealed in the Portland temple for time and all eternity.  After the reception we headed off to Southern California where we honeymooned in Disneyland! We ate at the Blue Bayou which was way too much money for our income level and we spent our days riding rides, eating churros, and having so much fun!  So fast forward 12 years and we once again find ourselves happily married and living in Southern California.  We decided to celebrate our anniversary this year by recreating our honeymoon and playing in Disneyland...sans kids!  

Our good friends got us tickets to Club 33 which is an exclusive club/restaurant in Disneyland that is the stuff of dreams.  WALT Disney created this place to wine and dine his investors and it has since become an amazing place that has a 15 year waiting list; unless you know someone who has the hookup of course!!  It pays to have amazing friends! Well the dress code was very classy which is typically not your average Disneyland get-up...but it was fun to get all snazzy and go out, even if it was to Disneyland.  Our reservations were for 5:30 and it was a prompt time.  Late arrival equated to cancelled reservations and a $120 fee.  Needless to say, we were on time.

 


The Club 33 door is just past the Blue Bayou restaurant and the only way to enter is to ring the bell and say the name on your reservation.  Once they confirm your reservation the door is opened and you are escorted into the Court of Angels.  This is a BEAUTIFUL courtyard full of angel statues, ornate fountains, and incredible foliage.  You are served lavender, lemon water and given a cold towel to freshen up.  So classy!!  We mingled for a few minutes before we were taken up to our table.  On the walk there our hostess shared stories about he artifacts we passed along the way.  There was Walt Disneys piano, his taxidermied vulture, and even a Peter Pan and tinker bell statue.  We were sat at our table and handed a menu at this point.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was amazing.  Ingredients you would see on Iron Chef and consisted of 5 full courses.  Each course had 4 options and you picked which option you wanted.  We started off with a palate awakener that was a roasted brisket with a blackberry drizzle and a garlic toast on the bottom.  AMAZING!  Totally indicative of things to come!!  Every course proved better than the last and each bite was savored until the last morsel.  If it was classy in any way to lock he plate you better believe I would have!!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a teenager I went to a YW etiquette dinner activity where we were served a sorbet before the main course as a palate cleanser.  It became my life goal at that point to eat at a restaurant fancy enough to serve a palate cleanser.  Well low and behold when our server brought out that tiny cup of sorbet...tears literally formed in the corner of my eyes.  

 

The dinner was rounded off with delicious desserts and complimentary box of truffles for the road.  We may have spent an absurd amount of money to eat here, by it was totally worth it!  Once we were done with dinner we headed down to get our caricature drawn just like we did on our honeymoon.  I love little things like this that serve as a memory reminder of the fun times we have had!!  

 

We rode a few rides before headed home and decided that Disneyland just doesn't have the same luster unless we can share it with or kids.  Seeing the magic through their eyes is what makes Disneyland so special.  On the ride home we reminisced about our marriage and we both agree it was the best decision each of us has ever made.  My greatest blessings have all come from that choice 12 years ago!!  There is no one I would rather do life with!!!  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Final Drive

The main reason we wanted to move to San Diego was to be closer to our Vegas family and start spending some time with them.  The drive is only 5 hours and with all of TJs 4 day holiday weekends, there was ample time to take off there.  Well low and behold, every other San Dieagian had the exact same idea because this 5 1/2 hour drive always seemed to take WAY longer!!  So needless to say, this last time when it took 9 hours to get there I felt pretty blessed that it was our last 4 day weekend we were going to be driving.  However, despite he long drives and tired kids...the vacation is always amazing once we arrive.  We have had so much fun spending time with the Finlayson's and feel so blessed to call them family.  They are so laid back, easy going, and always ready for a good time!!

This time was no exception.  We spent time swimming, watching movies, jumping on the trampoline, eating, and visiting with family.  My kind of vacation!!  

 

 

 

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

3 Months Old

She continues to grow and change everyday!  I think she's looking less like Parker and more like Dominik.  She's laughing and smiling at everything and simply adores her daddy.  Love this little girl!!

 


 

 

2 Months Old

She's officially moving out of the newborn phase and into the baby phase.  I love seeing her grow and learn new hints everyday!  

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Beginning of the End

I have never claimed to be a lover of all things military.  In fact, I was not too thrilled when we decided to join the military; however, I knew it was the right move for our family so I tried to happily go along with it.  Then we got orders to Maryland and I cried for a while.  Maryland ended up being a fabulous adventure for our family and we left there with amazing friends, irreplaceable memories, and pregnant with our second child.  On our way to Japan I was again devastated about the move overseas and incredibly sick with pregnancy.  The island was hot, humid, and smelled like a pig farm...many tears were again shed.  3 years later our time was up and it was onto San Diego...and again I cried because it was time to leave.  In Okinawa we made friends who became "framily," had incredible adventures, and left the island pregnant with our 3rd child (moving while pregnant is definitely not recommended). Now we are in San Diego and in just a short time it has become my favorite place to live.  Weather is amazing, our ward is phenomenal, and there is just so much to do here.  So the opportunity to live here 2 years with the possibility of making it 3 was just thrilling to me.  No tears this time!!  

Well a few months ago TJ was approached by a dentist in Hood River who is a long time family friend.  He wanted TJ to come work with him and the opportunity seemed too good to be true.  At the time I was on narcotics and holed up in bed with kidney stones, so my valiant and stalwart husband prayed and fasted about this move for our family and received a clear and undeniable answer that our time in the military had come to an end and it was time to start a new chapter in our lives.  So here we are...getting out of the military, moving back to Oregon, and finally putting down roots.  I never thought it was possible to shed tears over this, but I have really come to love San Diego...on top of that, our adventures in the military have made me a stronger and better person.  I have friends and memories that would have never been possible had the military not afforded us the opportunities it has.  Our family has grown by two, we have traveled the world, and have made friendships that will last a lifetime.  I'm so blessed by a Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself.  Who could look past my tears and devestation and know that this was what I needed to continue growing and learning in this life. 

So Hood River, Oregon here come the Finlayson's.  The land of abundance in produce and wind surfing!!  I have driven through Hood River many times in my life but haven't done much exploring there.  It's a small town near a big city.  I'm excited for my families adventures to come and again am so richly blessed by an all knowing Heavenly Father who has assured us that this is good and right.  I can't wait to see what's around the bend for us!!  All are welcome to come visit!!  We are staying for a while!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fathers to the Sons

Ever since I was a young girl with my mom during the fathers-and-sons campout, I have looked forward to the time when I could be with my baby girl while my boys went with their dad.  Well I'm thrilled to say that this past weekend it finally happened!!  Granted, Maylee is way to young to do any other daughter bonding, but it still seemed like a rite of passage of sorts.  The beginning of a new tradition that will be cherished in the years to come!!

 


Fun was to be had all around.  The boys loved being outdoors; sleeping in a tent, climbing trees, playing by the fire, pretty much all boy stuff.  Best of all was there was no 
Mom saying "get down," "don't touch that," etc...  Parker was thenlttle comedian of the trip with everyone's favorite quote being "yeah, I pick my nose."  He is quite the clown and sure does love getting attention and laughter from others.  Tj and the boys had so much fun that they all came home and took 3 hour naps!!  It was so wonderful!!  Can't wait for next year!!