The Life & Times of Mommiehood

Here I am finding my way through uncharted waters.


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Elohim

I never have much time but have several coloring books. The latest coloring book with several of the names of God used throughout the Bible.

Since I’ve never really studied all the different names I figured this coloring book would be a good time to start. With my mom’s help I found a Bible study on the names of God and dove in today.

The first name in my coloring book and the study:

Elohim

From the study: “When we pray to Elohim, we remember that he is the one who began it all, creating the heavens and the earth and separating light from darkness, water from dry land, night from day. This ancient name for God contains the idea of God’s creative power as well as his authority and sovereignty.”
This world is a hot mess much of the time. Humans have not played nice and continue to screw up what God created in many different ways. Yet he created us anyway. Knowing all our faults God created us, sent his son to die for us so we could be redeemed and draws us to himself through his creation. In Genesis he says his creation is good. Multiple times. Living in CO I get to experience some wonderful pieces to God’s creation. Mountains. Rivers. Hills. Sunshine. Wild flowers. Aspen tress. So many beautiful things that point toward him and give him glory.

I may not always be the best reflection of God, despite being made in his image, but sure do try. One of the questions in the Bible study was this: “Since God made us in his image, he has instilled in us creative power. What are your creative gifts?” I don’t really see myself as creative. I do like to write and of course the coloring. Once in a while I get pintresty. But overall it’s not really how I’d describe myself. Interesting to realize that the side of me that is creative comes from God. He created me like him and he created literally everything. Maybe that is one of the reasons I find joy when I tap into my creativity, it’s a way to be closer to God and understand him a little better.


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Happiest Place on Earth.

What a crazy week. We had a lot of fun. Walked 50 miles. Spent loads of time together. Saw lots of characters. Rode many rides. All in all we had a blast.

A couple highlights …

The girl getting all decked out as Elsa at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. She remembered doing this last time and was excited to become Queen Elsa for the day. To top it all off we went and met Queen Elsa and Princess Anna at the end of the day.

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I will try and post more pictures later, our Internets don’t seem to want to cooperate right now.

A highlight from Tuesday was the Princess lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. This time we were able to meet Tiana and Tangled and Princess Minnie in addition to Ariel and Belle. We’ve seen Rapunzle from a distance but not up close and have only seen Tiana singing in California Adventure.

Wednesday we spent a few hours in the park before nap time and then met some friends for dinner and Big Hero 6. Fun to see friends from college and the movie was really great.

The highlight from Thursday was meeting Baymax and Hiro. Not to be outdone by AMAZING seats for Worlds of Color after a tasty dinner. We also ate corn and turkey legs as a homage to Thanksgiving and saw a bunch of characters in both parks, including a special run-in with the Fairy Godmother.

By Friday we were all WIPED and the girl was not wanting to walk around anymore (in hindsight we should have rented a stroller for her, but it’s so much easier without one!) … but we had a good day, got some last minute souvenirs, and watched the Disneyland fireworks from our hotel pool deck before being totally ready to head home the next day.

Saturday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel with Mickey and his pals, packed, wandered around Downtown Disney one last time and headed to the airport.

Long week and we were all ready to be home.

Thankful for our adventures and ready to see where next Thanksgiving takes us!


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Road tripping. Part 1.

We made it through yesterday.

Left the house at 8am and rolled into the hotel around 9:30pm. Granted there is a time zone change in there but that is still a really long day on the road.

I’m super sore now but we finished our trek to visit family near Minneapolis getting in this afternoon and enjoying a BBQ with aunts, uncles and cousins for dinner. Really thankful they all came by and our hosts put together a great evening. Looking forward to seeing my cousin and gram, aunt and another cousin, as well as maybe less time in the car tomorrow!

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of the trip so far. She spent a couple hours under this “tent” … until she fell asleep and then I woke her up trying to move the map away so she didn’t end up with a paper cut. Granted we only had a few minutes left in the car at that point but man she was a tired puppy today! So was her brother for that matter, though neither wanted to admit to that.

How the girl reads a map in the car.

How the girl reads a map in the car.


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Sunday driving.

This morning was beautiful so we took the convertible to church.20140713-211409-76449486.jpgSo much fun to go for a drive with the top down this morning before the weather turned and it wasn’t too hot either.

After lunch we ran an errand and then headed up north to see nana (& papa too). Good to see her and spend time with her. The kids miss her so much lately and it helps them to see her doing better every time we go. This time they also briefly saw uncle and his fiancé.

The kids and I were able to give nana and papa a little preview of the recital coming up Thursday. I’m not actually playing in the recital, that’s more for the kids, but I played my song that I’ve been working on for them too. Fun way for me to get the kids to practice their songs before the recital.

We stopped for dinner on the way home and got back right about bedtime.
Over 150 miles today.
The kids should be ready for our super long drive later this week!

This picture is from the way home. The clouds looked so cool.

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Landscaping.

Who knew landscaping work was so expensive. I mean crazy expensive. I realize we have some issues most homeowners do not, mainly the retaining walls which of course are rotting and ugly and not completely doing their job in some places. We also have a pretty massive back yard.

I would like to fix my kitchen. Aside from keeping some appliances the kitchen pretty much needs to be gutted, new cabinets, some boards replaced in the wood floor, new counter tops and back splash. Hardwood extended into the dining room (who leaves carpet in a dining room?) and maybe a new pantry area.

When I could most likely do my kitchen for significantly less than the backyard … The landscaping is expensive.

Our first quote made me cry. Give up. Frustrated me.

We had a second person come look. My MIL had her stroke before we got that quote but I got the same impression that it’d be a crap-ton of Cleveland’s.

Found a guy in our neighborhood who does landscape design, had him come look and did not get the impression he could handle the project. Or at least not in a way to make me confident or comfortable trusting him. He is retired so he contracts things with others, making estimates and costs potentially INSANE and unmanageable because it’s with so many different people. With all the things we need done his solution was to pull out my loathsome bushes and “start there” … What next? Who knows. That scares me more than the overall cost of the retaining walls. Which he seemed to avoid altogether.

That was Monday. I decided to finally call the grandfather of one of the students at my school. I’d heard good things about the work he’s done shortly after moving into our home but never called because we always knew it would be expensive, just not the magnitude of expense we are discovering. I’ve had his number in my phone for a year and a half and even back in March wanted to call but just never had the time.

He came this morning and brought his “wall guy” and we talked about what we wanted (no more decrepit wood walls, no more weeds and awful bushes on the top tier, can take or leave the “planter boxes”, possible sprinkler system fixes that makes sense to take care of) and things we were hoping for (easy maintenance for my black thumb, play area for the kids) I made it clear that they are the ones who know what they are doing and I trust them to make it look good.

Meeting these professionals just felt right. Hard to explain that. It seemed like when we met this was who we should have do the work. When we were walking around outside he talked about giving us separate bids for each part of the project. He got that we can’t just drop $40,000 at once on the project to get it all done at once. I know they took measurements and will be emailing bids to me later, and I’m praying that these are doable for us, that we can get started maybe this fall and do another step next spring. That maybe my kitchen doesn’t have to be put off too much longer.

For the first time since we had that first meeting and quote I’m hopeful.
Pictures of the yard right now … Hoping we can go from the top down and then out to the sides. Thankful the south neighbors are willing to help with the fence that borders our properties, that will be huge! Oh, and maybe we can get the cable buried too, wouldn’t that be nice.

The middle tier in our yard and a close up of some of the bushes and stuff that's overgrown.

The middle tier in our yard and a close up of some of the bushes and stuff that’s overgrown.

Mostly what the yard looks like, the middle and sides.

Mostly what the yard looks like, the middle and sides.

The uppermost tier and the broken fences, all the weeds. The one tree or bush I like is the reddish purple one.

The uppermost tier and the broken fences, all the weeds. The one tree or bush I like is the reddish purple one.

The sides of the yard. More fence issues because apparently when the north neighbors redid their fence the previous owner did not follow suit.

The sides of the yard. More fence issues because apparently when the north neighbors redid their fence the previous owner did not follow suit.


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Almost Eight. Almost.

Today was the second day to celebrate the boy turning eight. Which doesn’t officially happen till Wednesday but mid-week celebrations aren’t the easiest to orchestrate.

I’m terrible at long term planning but we got the invites out at the end of the school year, earlier in fact than we did last year. I even remembered to get out a reminder email since lots of things get misplaced in the end of the year chaos. We even ended up with a few RSVPs. And I remembered to at least message a few friends about the party since the invites never quite made it to church with us.

Yesterday we celebrated with nana and papa. Took up some ninja turtle plates and napkins and how to train your dragon cupcakes. He came home with some Lego loot. Was great to see nana and papa and spend the day together despite the long drive.

This year we did our best to keep the friend party simple. Made it after lunch, before dinner, outside. Thankfully when I remembered to ask my awesomely creative friend Natalie to come face paint and do a mini magic show she was still available so we had some good entertainment for the kids (which the adults used as chat time!) we had the squirt guns out and some kids brought gifts of more squirt guns and water balloons. So we had lots of water fun, just like last year. Some of the face paint even made it through the festivities unscathed.

LayoutThe magic part of the day was fun.
Kids learned some fun tricks and the parents got to sit and chat uninterrupted for 40 minutes.

I had one kid tell me they had fun and others you could tell were enjoying the afternoon. All in all it was a good way to ring in turning eight.

One more celebration on the horizon. Wednesday on the actual day we are going to a screening of two IMAX movies at the museum with movie snacks included. Pretty neat that the event fell on his birthday.

Cool things about having an eight year old:
No more car seats.
He’s still a little kid but he’s also pretty independent.
Third grade is my favorite.
You can have some pretty neat conversations.
That reasoning piece is starting to help him make better decisions and think about what-might-happen-if.
He can really do a lot to be helpful around the house (and sometimes even wants to).

When it was all over I even had the opportunity to take one of my good friends for a ride in Sapphire. Having a convertible is just so much fun.