First days...

The excitement level was through the roof last night!

They could not wait to go back.

Or get to go for the first time!

So shiny!

I couldn't get over that Paisley has less than a shoe size before her feet size catches mine.

 Girls heading off bright and early.

Fielding almost died waiting for 12:30... He said every 10 minutes, "I am just so excited!"

I cried... not out of "I don't want him to go." More like, "Wow - he is so big. He is going to love this new independence! I am so happy for him."

I love school... I love that it gives us routine. I love that it gives us something to focus our efforts on. I love that it fosters growth. I love that it gives Luna a quieter nap time. I love that it gives Perry some moments just with mom. I love that it gives my children a break from me (and more importantly from each other) so that when we are reunited that we are all the better for it. 

It is going to be a great year!


How to do the fair for $10...

I like fairs. Growing up it was a right of passage to "work the fair" (sell food at one of our family friends' booths). So the fair will always have a soft place in my heart. Unfortunately, Blake and I swore off the fair two years ago when it became more of a "no thing" than a "yes thing." No we can't go on the rides. No we can't buy fried Twinkies. No we can't get sparkly face paint. We outgrew the fair - well, outgrew it at the price we were willing to pay.


The fair was offering free admission for the first two hours of opening day... which happened to be the last weekday of Summer break. So in what can only be described as an act of insanity, I decided to take the kids by myself. Luckily on our way over to that side of town, we swung by Grandma Taylors and she graciously offered to keep Luna for naptime - it made the whole experience a thousand times easier.

Here is what we did:

Butterfly exhibit: $0

 Circus Imagination: $5 on two souvenir buttons in an effort to say thanks for an amazing show.

Fielding the liontamer.

Cosette the butterfly ballerina.

Paisley the "shoot the kid out of the cannon" stunt double.

Ag tent and petting zoo: $0

The kids got a little sad when we ended up by the rides - Paisley's exact quote, "It might be a lot of money mom but look how much fun she is having; it probably is worth it."

So I ushered them away and we split a sno-cone: $4

Then on the way out we used our final dollar to tip this clown because he was so spazzy he garnered my sympathy.

We thought we would be spending lots more time at the fair showing pigs. But 4H turned out to be more of commitment than Blake and I were ready for. Once we realized our pigs would not make weight, the thought of multiple 6-hour-days at the fair made us queasy. 

So we quit - Slacker Parenting 101: Don't finish what you have started.

So it turns out 3 hours, 10 bucks, and Grandma to watch the baby is the perfect recipe for a successful trip to the fair. My only regret is Blake not being there to watch Fielding tame the wild animals - this kid could go far in theater!

My week in status updates...

Monday: Sometimes I try to be all civilized and put the toilet paper on the actual holder, but then Luna comes along and I immediately regret it.

Tuesday: To nap or not to nap the three-year-old - that is always the question.

Wednesday: The truth about getting to the gym with 5 kids... the loading of the van is far harder than any workout I do there.

Thursday: The definition of popsicle: an object used to keep children outside longer.

Friday: Fielding just got cast as a liontamer in the Circus Imagination - I think he may have found his calling in life.

Saturday: It must be the last weekend of summer - I just sent my 3 oldest outside with soda bottles and 3 cans of spray paint and said "Go for it."

Sunday: So long Rio... it was good while it lasted.



My mom and dad came last week and were able to spend an entire day with us. Their life has not been conducive to longer stays because they have been spending the majority of their time, since my brother's death, caring for his children and settling the estate. So an entire day - we felt really blessed to have them for so long.  The double bonus was they stayed over for 2 of the 3 nights that Blake was away backpacking with the scouts. 

My mom helped me can some of our peaches, we went to the best park in town for the afternoon, and dad spoiled us with some Cafe Rio for dinner. It was all really wonderful. But the most wonderful thing of it all is the gift my mom brought to me.

My mom brought me her journals from when she was a young mom. She handed them over with the disclaimer, "I have not re-read them myself so be kind with what you find. I just keep feeling like there might be something of value in here for you during this time of your life."

Once I found a journal left in a shopping cart at Wal-mart, it took all my willpower to not smuggle the thing home and read every last word but to turn it into costumer service instead. So with that background in mind, think how giddy I was to crack into my own mother's history. I was so excited to read into her thoughts and feel validated in the demanding role that she once fulfilled and that I am now desperately trying to scrape out myself.

I expected to find myself in her pages. A mother struggling under the burden of too many children living on too much land with a too busy husband. I expected the same resentment that sits bubbling on the surface of most my days to be spilled forth in ink and words. I expected some "Why me's?" and some "I can'ts." and just one "I am done." in it all.

But no, I did not find a kindred spirit, what I found was so much better. 

She loved it. She truly loved being a young mom. Her children were recorded as glorious creatures with occasional "impish" behavior as she called it. Her role as mother filled her and she felt pride as she lay down exhausted each night knowing the work she did exceeded the value of any worldly pursuit. Her husband was her dearest friend and greatest supporter. Her world was lovely and idyllic as she talked of the joy of being snowed in for 3 days, while my dad was away on a work trip, so she could play games with the 5 children (she was expecting her 6th) and do some much needed mending.

Could you imagine the blog-moaning I would be doing if I was unable to leave the house for 3 days while Blake was away?

It wasn't what I was expecting. But it is what I needed.

When did I let motherhood become such a drudgery? Yes it is hard. Yes it is all-consuming. Yes it is a thankless job. But I am not going to give it up for anything else so why do I let myself become miserable?

Because I forget.

 I forget to enjoy the sun streaks in their hair. I forget to kiss that spot between chin and neck that is pure baby fat goodness. I forget to listen to their dreams (and not the big lifetime aspiration ones but the ones from nighttime when they come find me early in my bed to list every nonsensical detail). I forget to go on long walks. I forget to let them stir the cookie dough. I forget that dirty dishes and dirty laundry and dirty faces are all signs of life and that my life is full.

I know me and I know my mom and neither of us would have done well with life that was anything but to-the-brim-some-sloshed-over-the-side full.

It is what we were made for.

Thank you for the reminder mom.

It was just what I needed to hear in order to enjoy this last week of summer break with "my tribe."


USA... USA... USA...

Fact: If the Olympics were continuously aired - I would never blog.

First day of track and field - only qualifying races... I can write through this right - ummm wrong. I don't have much of a bucket list but going to the Olympics (as a spectator of course) is high on the list.

I have some beautiful blog posts formulating in my mind - all about motherhood and wifehood and how I forgot that this was all I ever wanted in life. One of these nights, I'll stop messing with the bunny ears to clear the static off the TV and get to writing them on here - and get the kids and I to bed at a decent hour.

Ummm... Beach volleyball came on - I forgot what else I was going to say...



We celebrated Blake yesterday!

Started with the Foothills 12k - A tough little run in Boise. Blake's speed has made these races a fun experience as he front of the pack - he ended up 3rd overall and scored $25. 

I ran it unprepared for the hills - it hurt.

Once home and showered, the kids and I went and picked up a fun surprise. Well, fun for everyone except the birthday boy.

After the fascination of our new feline friend wore off, we loaded up to A&W for free float day!

Then came home to cake because we like sugar.

The girls had a birthday party to attend and since the boys have been fighting fevers all week - we put on a show then put them to bed EARLY while we took a swing at the massive amount of peaches on our tree... like it or not canning season is here.

Then a sitter came, we snuck off to a couple's babyshower. It was a backyard BBQ - which should be the new standard for babyshowers. Free dinner date with hubby - yes, please!

Our friends followed us home from that and we played Agricola to finish off the night. Blake and I both had fantastic games and it ended in a tie.

We fell into bed completely exhausted... which is how we like to do it around here.

Happy Birthday Blake - You are my favorite person to celebrate!



Double ear infection led to a snugglier Luna - Paisley didn't mind.

The kids got their first taste of video games since we were babysitting Uncle Hank's N64.

Cleaning out the car during dance class.

Luna's milk footprints on the table - can't keep her off of it.

Summer dance camps through parks and rec/an ambitious young women.

5 kids in a fountain.

Looks like summer to me.

Fevered Perry - we can't get everyone better... ugh.

National chocolate chip cookie day... it's a big deal around here.