And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

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!!
 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Last Time at Disney

We have been so blessed this year to have season passes at Disneyland.  We have gone 9 times this year and have usually enjoyed our days with family and/or friends and have just had the best time.  Disneyland is a magical place that even TJ and I have a great time at.  For our last time we decided it was suitable to join up with our friends the Amakasu's and go out with a bang!!

We got to California Adventure early in the am and got fast passes for all the rides we wanted.  Parkers tall enough to ride some of the roller coasters so with the exception of Maylee, everyone can ride most rides!!  The Amakasu's also have Owen and Peter who are HUGE helps with the kids and are just the best!!    

 

 

 


We are so fortunate to not only have lived close enough to Disneyland to enjoy it many times, but also so blessed to have such amazing friends who make magical places so much more special!!!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Day for Mothers

I have realized this year more than any others that I'm pretty spoiled!  TJ has always done a great job in the past of celebrating Mother's Day, but this year I really feel like all my boys tried their hardest to help me feel loved and appreciated and it was just so special.  My favorite part of was when I was buying candy for my Mother's Day sharing time lesson and I asked Dominik which one he would choose for me out of the 4 different types of candy.  He thought for a moment and then said "definitely almond joy.  Because on Halloween I remember you wanted me to get some of those for you since they were your favorite." The fact that he remembered that was one of the best gifts he could have gotten me.  As a mom it's easy to forget your place in society and be fulfilled by your daily activities.  I think Mother's Day each year rejuvenates me and helps me realize how blessed and wonderful my life truly is!!

 

This year we started off by a fun mom and me karate day.  Dominik has recently been enrolled in a local dojo and they put on a mom and me class that we got to attend.  I'm way out of shape so despite the "simple" class they put on, I still found myself quite winded.  However, doing it with just me and Dominik was great!

 

 

 

 

Mother's Day itself was spent with my boys.  TJ bought me a beautiful flower bouquet and got me an Apple Watch.  Dominik made several cards and notes that he really took time to make them special.  And Parker did his best to be nice and listen all weekend.  Maylee even let me sleep in on Sunday morning.  I'm so lucky to be a mom to my three beautiful children.  They fufill my life in every way and even though some days they get the best of me...there's nowhere else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing!!!

 

 

 
 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Girls Night Out

This is the first place that we have lived since being in the military where almost instantly I felt like I had a close circle of friends.  Our ward has been friendly, kind, and so full of love that the thought of leaving is almost unbearable.  In the effort to try and soak up as much girl time as possible with these beautiful ladies I'm trying to plan as many girls night outs as possible.  This last week happened to be Charlottes birthday and she really wanted to go rock climbing.  So we headed over to our local climbing gym to see what it was all about.

Turns out the climbing gun is code for college pick up spot.  Yes we were older than the average person there, and yes we were all crazy beginners, but that didn't stop us.  I have been out of shape since my kidney stones and sleeping with a baby on my arm every night is not conducive to using shouldrs and necks...needless to say a few times up was sufficient climbing for me!  Charlotte and Kallie were rock climbing machines!  They conned two super nice guys into belaying for them up the 60ft wall and they did it no problem.  So cool.  It was fun to watch; I even got to wear the belaying glasses!  
 

 

 

 

 

After rock climbing we went to extraordinary desserts and all I can say about it was extraordinary!  The deserts were amazingly beautiful and delicious!!  We all shared three different ones but the favorite was definitely the lemon meraingue bread pudding...so so so good!!!!  I'm still drooling thinking about it!!

 

 

 

 

As fun as nights like these are they seem to just remind me that we are moving and I won't be a part of these nights in just a short while.  I'm excited for what the future holds for my family and I but I'm also devastated to leave these amazing gals and nights like these behind!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Take Me Out To the Ballgame

Tj got called a few months ago to be our ward YM president.  He has loved the calling and in true TJ fashion he goes above and beyond to ensure the boys can feel of his testimony, love, and support.  So when the opportunity arose to go see one of his YM play baseball at the Percocet stadium (where the San Diego Padres play), we jumped on the opportunity.  We also took Peter (in the Teachers quorum and Parkers best friend), and Carter (also in teachers quorum) was there too.  So we got to enjoy the game watching a YM while enjoying it from the stands with 2 YM.  

 
When we first got there and chose our seats behind our teams dugout I realized there were no nets in front of us like there were in front of the seats behind home plate.  I haven't ever been to a pro baseball game and sat this close so I was unsure of the "danger" seats.  I was holding Maylee so I was extra cautious!  TJ reassured me that we were safe because they only put the nets up where the majority of balls go.  No nets, no danger.  Well not even 10 minutes later there a pop fly ball and everyone around me is ducking.  I just hunker over Maylee and pray for the best!  Then the ball hits the back of my seat!!!  I looked at TJ with extremely wide eyes and he just said I was lucky he was there to deflect!  Then 10 minutes after that another pop fly...but TJ was no where to be found!  "Lucky" for me, the ball hit 3 seats down from me and we were safe.  Crazy though right!!!

 

 

 

 
The rest of the game was pretty great.  One player almost hit a grand slam and you could have cut the tension with a knife as we watched the ball soar into the left field.  The ball hit the fence and fell back onto the field.  Coopers team ended up winning by 1 with a 2 run hit in the bottom of the 7th.  Talk about down to the wire!!  In the end we had a great night out with the family all while supporting the YM. So fun!!!