Happy 1st Birthday, Man Cub!

Sep 25, 2013

Oh Man Cub,

I cannot believe your first birthday has already arrived. Today you are one year old. It is hard to believe a year has passed already, but then, I cannot remember life without you in it. You are such an important part of our family. How did we ever manage without you!?

Since the day you were born, you have been such a sweet and peaceful presence in our home. You are so easy going and happy, other than when you are teething, but who can blame you for that!? You've decided that the best way to get your teeth is in groups of 4 or more, so we don't blame you one bit for being a little crabby as you cut 4-8 teeth at a time. 

You adore your big sisters and in an effort to be just like them, you decided to walk at 10.5 months, and attempted to run at 11 months. Needless to say, you can hold your own already. You have definitely brought a new dynamic to our home with your love of balls and cars, your ability to get into anything and everything and your obsession with dirt and rocks. Raising a little boy has already proven itself to be quite different from raising your sisters. Different, but oh-so fun.

Before you arrived, I wasn't sure if I would know what to do with a boy. Now, I don't know what I would do without one. We have bonded in a special way that words cannot describe and I am so, so grateful to have you in our family. 

Happy first birthday little man. I love you more than you will ever know!


Tonight, We Celebrate

Sep 20, 2013

The sergeant exam is over and Bruce did great! Hopefully we'll know in the coming weeks what is in store for our family. But for tonight, we celebrated that the testing process is over and that no matter what is to come, Bruce ranked well. 

Just Look At Him...

Sep 18, 2013

I am still up, entirely too far past my bedtime, working on things for Man Cub's birthday party this coming weekend. My current task- putting together his first birthday slideshow. We do this for each of our children, on each of their birthdays. Basically, it is how I "scrapbook" the hundreds and thousands of pictures I take of them.

The thing about putting together these videos... it makes my heart ache! My babies are growing up entirely too fast. It is hard to believe that 51 weeks have passed since this little guy joined our family. Wasn't he just born yesterday? How did I blink, and suddenly he is about to turn one? He is walking, and trying to talk, and getting in to everything. How did time pass by so quickly!?

Just look at him... my sweet baby boy, when he was just hours old. And in 7 short days, he will turn one. My heart isn't ready for this.

Road Trip 2013 | Week 2

Sep 14, 2013

Welcome to the final installment of blog posts about our summer road trip! After this, I should finally be done! (Check out the other posts here)

We started out the second week of our road trip with... more driving! The wee ones and I, along with my parents and siblings, piled into two cars and caravanned to Wyoming, so my dad could share his roots with my girls. Our first stop was the Lyman cemetery where many generations of my dad's family are buried. Like their mom, my girls love browsing cemeteries, so we spent a good amount of time there and took tons of pictures with some of the interesting and important headstones we came across. We then found a local park where we ate a picnic lunch under the trees. It was heavenly. After our lunch break, we took the long way home so we could drive through the Wasatch National Forest. The drive was incredibly beautiful. We stopped in the forest to play in the Provo River Falls then headed back to my parents house for dinner.

The next day, Saturday, included more driving! My sister and I loaded the kiddos into the car yet again and went up to Salt Lake City where we enjoyed the farmers market I use to frequent when I was a SLC resident. Boy, that farmers market has grown in the past 8 years! We then walked around temple square and the church history museum with my nephew Bo in tow. The girls loved spending more time with their cousin.

Sunday was truly a day of rest! After so much running around, we were excited to just go to church and enjoy a quiet day at home.

Monday, we attempted another picnic at Vivian Park. This time we managed to avoid getting rained out and the wee ones enjoyed the chance to play in the ice cold waters of the Provo River.

Tuesday we spent the afternoon at Bridal Veil Falls. The wee ones, particularly Man Cub, could not get enough of playing in the water. It was frigid but he could not care less. He loved splashing in the water and chewing on rocks. Such a boy! Tuesday evening, the kiddos and I went to the ranch that my sister works at, where I did Sunshine and Man Cub's much delayed photo sessions. I've already blogged about our evening at the ranch... it was so spectacular, it needed a post of it's own!

Wednesday was our last day in Utah, and it was also Pioneer Day! One of my main goals in planning this road trip was to be in Utah on Pioneer Day so my girls could enjoy a Pioneer Day celebration and we were not disappointed! We went to an awesome Pioneer Day extravaganza in Provo where the girls sawed logs, had their hair braided like pioneer girls, made rag dolls and toured a small pioneer village. It was so much fun and almost everything was free of charge. And the girls looked adorable in their little pioneer bonnets.

Thursday our road trip came to an end when we headed home to Arizona. The drive home was harder on me, the sole driver, than the trip up had been but we still had a good time! Once again, the wee ones were amazing travellers. I really could not have asked for better behaved children on this trip! They've got me wondering what other road trips we can take... San Francisco? Oregon? The East Coast? Pretty much, if we can drive there, I am ready to go!

I am so glad we were able to take this fun road trip over the summer. The girls will often reminisce over the fun times we had while driving our 2507 miles in 13 days. I hope that these memories will stick with them for years to come!

My wee ones in front of my great-great grandparents grave

With my brother at the Provo River Falls
We love to see the temple! And we were blessed to see so many different ones on our road trip
Some cousin cuddles on the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple
Beebs (and Sunshine) both love the dancing exhibit in the Church History Museum's children's area
Man Cub liked fishing near Nephi's boat
Somehow, the ice cold water of the Provo River didn't bother my desert dwelling kiddos one bit
Aunt-T and Beebs... are you loving Beebs' bandaid as much as I am? Ü
Papa, Nana and their favourite granddaughters
Nana and a few of her lovely ladies
All worn out after splashing around in the river

The view as we were packing up after our picnic at Vivian Park
Horsey rides from Papa before we left for the Falls
Rough housing with Uncle Coo before heading to the Falls
The Diva, I mean, Beebs
Splashing around at Bridal Veil Falls
My cutie girls in their pioneer bonnets from Nana

Sunshine and Papa sawing wood
Me and Man Cub attempting to help Beebs saw wood
Showing off the fruits of her labour
And the result of Beebs' handiwork
Our wood pieces after having them branded

Man Cub and Papa touring the pioneer village

The girls showing off their rag dolls

Birthday Party Planning (And A Free Planning Printable!)

Sep 13, 2013

My baby boy is almost one! We are 12 days away from Man Cub's first birthday, and only 8 days away from his first birthday celebration. I hover somewhere between wanting to cry my eyes out because his first year of life has gone by so fast and running around like a crazy person, trying to pull everything together for his party.

And that, my friends, is the goal.

I love planning birthday parties for my wee ones, but the first birthday party is an especially big deal for me. Bruce loves to tease me about the amount of effort I put into first birthday parties, but here is a little secret- planning first birthday parties for my babies is 100% therapy for me. I know full well that they will remember nothing about the big day, but the planning and preparing gives me something to focus on so I don't spend their entire birthday month as a big sobbing mess. I get excited about the party and it helps me not to dwell on baby-hood coming to an end. It probably sounds crazy, but for me, it does the trick.

Planning Man Cub's first birthday has been such a blast already. The girls are old enough to enjoy giving suggestions and even help with prep work. I love that party planning is becoming more of a group effort and that my girls seem to enjoy it as much as I do. We have some fun stuff planned for Man Cub's Monster Mash First Birthday Bash and I can't wait to share pictures and details after the big day.

For now, I'll just share my party planning "worksheet". It helps me to keep my thoughts and ideas organized, keep track of RSVPs and have all my party info in one place. Plus, pretty printables make me happy. Ü

I currently have my party planning printable available in three colour options- an orange/blue/green combo, a pink/aqua/purple combo and grey tones. Something for everyone. Click on the image below to go to the download page. Enjoy!

Road Trip 2013 | Week 1

Sep 10, 2013

Summer (and our road trip to Utah and back) are quickly fading into memories that will soon be forgotten, if I don't hurry and catch up on blogging! So far, I've managed to blog about the first two days of our 13 day trip... sit tight! I'm hoping to squeeze a lot more into this post!

After two days of driving, driving and more driving, we were excited that the next few days of our trip were going to be pretty low key. Sunday we celebrated my baby sister's 18th birthday with a big Costa Vida inspired dinner. Monday we shopped, relaxed and then headed to BYU campus to feed the ducks and take a few pictures. Tuesday we planned to have a picnic dinner at Vivian Park, but just as we got there and started to eat our Jimmy John's subs, a rainstorm moved in. It was quite possibly the first true rainstorm Beebs has ever been awake for and it completely freaked her out. Turns out, she is not a fan of thunder and lightening. Wednesday we did a little more shopping. I think I wore my mum out. I was on the hunt for family picture clothes and luckily, I was able to find most of what I wanted for the wee ones while in Utah.

The first week of our road trip came to an end on Thursday with a jam packed day of fun. The day started out with ice skating in the morning. My girls love to ice skate and even though we have a rink relatively close by here in Phoenix, it has kind of become a "Nana's house tradition" to go ice skating. Then Thursday afternoon we met up with my middle sister and her son at the dinosaur museum. It was such a cool museum. Definitely somewhere that we would like to go again. After the museum we ended our busy day with a trip to an awesome sporting goods store, Scheels. I got a much needed new pair of running shoes and Sunshine took a ride on the in-store Ferris Wheel.

Looking back, other than the two days of driving, our first week was pretty relaxed. But things picked up during the second week of our trip. And I'll let that be a post of it's own.

Chasing ants... he was kind enough to pause for a picture

Uncle Coo with the Man Cub

Me and my wee ones... I am one blessed mama!

Beebs is such a poser and I LOVE it!

My 18 year old "baby sister" with the girls

Papa and Man Cub

Love. This. Hat. And she loves it too. Such a cutie!
Building her own dinosaur at the Museum of Ancient Life

The sand and water table was a hit... even if Bo's face says otherwise!! 

Man Cub especially enjoyed the sand and water table. This kid is all boy! Anything that involves getting wet, dirty or making a mess is a guaranteed success with him.
Their "scared" faces

Digging for fossils

The Ferris Wheel inside Scheels

Sunshine had a blast on the Ferris Wheel with her aunt and cousin

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