Saturday, March 31, 2012

Off On Another Adventure

Exactly 2 years to the day later, Shawn is once again hopping into a loaded Uhaul and driving to Chicago.
We are really hoping things go a little differently this time around, like no huge snowstorms, closed freeways and lost cars for starters. (Which you can read about here, here and here. It's really a great story if you haven't heard it.)
He's got some different companions this time:

who are both really excited for the great adventure. (Probably because they don't really know what they've signed up for.)

Last time it was these two:

I guess we'll have to ask Shawn who the better traveling partners are once the adventure is over.
He also didn't take his mullet wig (as far as I know.)

And the weather was beautiful when he pulled out today, unlike 2 years ago.

The hairstyles may have been more fun last time.

Here's to safe travel and a fun and not too exciting adventure across the country.

2nd Annual Team Firestorm Bike Ride

We ditched out on Peter's birthday in the morning to ride up Emigration Canyon for the 2nd Annual Team Firestorm Bike Ride.  This year's ride was so much more pleasant than last year - just because it was at least 40 degrees warmer! It wasn't necessary to ride with all the extra layers just to stay sort of warm. There was a great turnout and it was fun to see some people that we don't have the chance to see very often.
I hope that our friend Ben looks down and smiles when he sees so many friends and family there to celebrate him.

Peter Turns Three

Finally, one last birthday to squeeze in before we wind up the week. This one, was the hardest of all for me. It makes me sad to have my kids growing up, but there is just something especially bad about having my baby, (my BABY!) turn 3. It's just painful. It's hard to believe that all those baby years are behind me.

As soon as Peter woke up and I told him Happy Birthday, he told me he was getting Jesse. He was just so certain. I knew he had seen his Toy Story wrapping paper, but he had never seen what was in it.
He couldn't wait to see what he got. And everyone was gathered around in case he needed help.

Every little boy needs some of his own legos - even if his big brother and his Dad already have plenty.
I love this because you can't even see him under the big birthday hat.
Have I mentioned that Peter is a huge Toy Story fan? His whole birthday was pretty much Toy Story centered.

There is always some packaging that requires extra work to undo.

And, yes, he was right, he did get Jesse.
Sadly, once again, Peter totally got gypped on the birthday cake thing. We spent the morning riding our bikes up Emigration Canyon for the 2nd Annual Team Firestorm ride in honor of our friend, Ben Jacobsen. (More on that later.) And then came home to finish packing bags and sent Shawn and the little girls out the door on an adventure. So, no cake. I did at least take him to choose some cupcakes since last year all he got was a candle in a scoop of ice-cream.
Fortunately, they are easy to please at this age.

And to top off his day, he got his good friend, Woody.

I just can't believe how quickly we have gone from this:

to this:
to this:
and arrived here:

Happy Birthday to my sweet Peter!

Friday, March 30, 2012

How We Spend Our Time

Since the high school swim season wrapped up on February 4th, you would think things would have settled down just a bit around here. But after having just 2 days off, the high school water polo season started up on February 6th. So since then Shawn (and Jonas) have spent every Monday through Friday evening at water polo practice or games.

The bad news is that 6:00 to 8:30 is a horrible time for Shawn to be gone every night, but the good news is I think watching water polo is great fun, AND Jonas gets to play JV and I think he even likes it. (I sure hope that's true because he is not particularly interested in sports. He gave up soccer and never wanted to play basketball or baseball, and complained so much about swimming that I could scream (and perhaps I did - just a little.) So, the fact that he can play and seems to enjoy it, is a huge win for us around here. And for some added fun, his cousin Robbie is playing, too.
Jonas is definitely aware that he is the youngest, smallest and least experienced player(along with Robbie) on the team and he HATES wearing a speedo (but really, can you blame him for that?) but we keep telling him how nice it will be for him to have started playing as a 7th grader, so that by the time he is in high school, he will understand the game so much better and be that much better than if he hadn't start playing until then.

The fun thing (and the frustrating thing) about water polo is the apparent lack of rules. Don't get me wrong, there are rules, but there is so much going on under the water that if it isn't seen, doesn't get called. It's amazing what some of these guys can get away with. Occasionally, you will see some one move backwards, because an opponent has grabbed onto their suit and pulled them. (Hence, the need for speedos - or the least amount of anything for an opponent to hold onto.)
And if you watch the player who is "in the hole", you may assume his opponent is going to successfully drown him before the ball changes hands. It sounds horrible, but is really fun and interesting to watch. (And games are not that long either. Although tournaments will take up your ENTIRE weekend.)
These players need to be in good shape to be able to keep sprinting up and down the pool. (Even Jonas is admitting that being in better swimming shape would be helpful. Not that we haven't tried to convince him of that for at least 2 years.)

It's always fun to watch Shawn coaching, too. He watches the game very closely, keeping track of every move the players make (good or bad).

Shawn and the other coaches, Mike and Brian, talking to the team during a timeout.

It keeps us busy, but we're having fun, too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Amelia's 8th Birthday

For our second birthday of the week, we celebrated with Amelia. (Grandma Judy took her to build-a-bear a couple of days before and I took pictures, but they are nowhere to be found.)

She was anxiously awaiting our arrival back from the gym so she could choose a present to open before school.
She was very excited to open a new outfit, since that was the only thing she had really asked for. (Well, other than a pet, which I think I made very clear was not going to happen. Yes, I crushed her dreams before her birthday even arrived.)

Okay, she talked me into one more present before school. (You will notice Duffy in the backgound enjoying a lovely smoothie made in the new blendtec.)

While all the kids were off at school, Peter got a special early birthday surprise. Grandma Judy stopped by to drop off his birthday present since she was going to be gone on the actual day. He was so excited to have a turn to open something, and said, "Oh, Grandma Judy, you brought me a present! Yeah!"
Once everyone was home again in the late afternoon, we had a rather rushed celebration. (As always, it seems, we have to be somewhere else on the nights of these March birthdays.) Shawn was busy frosting her cake while she was opening the rest of her presents.

We ran into a bit of a frosting malfunction, and out of time, so the cake didn't get finished. There are no guitar strings and the finishing details she wanted weren't on there, but she seemed OK with that as long as she could blow out some candles and eat a piece of cake with some ice cream.

Happy Birthday Amelia! I just can't believe how the years continue to fly by. So hard to believe that my tiniest little bundle, who I never could imagine being anything other than a tiny little dark haired, dark eyed creature,
has blossomed into the beautiful and sweet (and regularly sized) 8 year old she is. Eight is a pretty big year, since she will be baptized as well, so there will be more celebrating in a few weeks.