Tuesday, October 14, 2014

summer shenanigans

To say that it was an epic summer, would be something of an understatement.  We packed in a lot of fun activities, with some of our favorite people, making it something better described as legendary.  Some of the highlights include:

Lots of swimming!  We got a punch-pass to the Roy Aquatic Center, and we also made quite a few trips to the Riverdale splash pad for picnic lunches.


Sometimes those picnics included donuts.

We also went on some very memorable family dates!  This one was at the rodeo on the 24th of July.  Jackie and Matt invited us, and we thought it sounded like fun.  It was fun.  But sad at the same time.  The only other memory I have of going to a rodeo was in Wyoming when I was really young, and I started crying when roping calves started.  I almost did the same thing at this rodeo.  Marty thought it was fun to see the horses, and we all loved watching the bucking broncos.  But only until we started talking about why the broncos are bucking in the first place.  I'm not sure if we'll ever go to another rodeo again.

I think that our favorite family dates were at the drive-in.  Last summer we talked about going so many times, but we never pulled the trigger because I was a stress case when it came to Marty's sleep schedule, and we worried that once we got in he'd hate it and cry and cry and we'd have to leave without a refund or seeing any of the movies we wanted to see.  Well, I guess I've relaxed a bit in the schedule department because we went a couple of times this year, and they were both BIG HITS!  We took Marty to see "How to Train Your Dragon: 2," and "Planes: 2."  Both had more "grown-up" movies after, but it worked out great!  He was hooked during the animated movies, and slept through most of the second.  We actually left after the first movie one time because Richard was wiped, but it was still amazing.  We took pizza for dinner, and snuggled  up when the movies started.  We never had good enough light to take pictures of the snuggling, but it's burned in my memory.  I love the drive-in, and I love it even better with both of my boys!

We made sure to share a snow cone to help beat the heat!

Marty got to play king-of-the-rock at our ward camp out.  We talked about going camping this summer, and although it sounded like a good idea, and seemed like it'd be a good time, we never did it.  We just went up for dinner, played some games, and came back to sleep in our own beds.  Maybe next year...

Grandma took us to the Dinosaur Park, and that was a smashing success!  Other than the wicked blisters Marty got on his feet from stomping through puddles in his sandals, he had a great time.  So did we, watching him run around like a little tornado, growling at all of the dinosaurs, and telling us all about every single one.

I only got him to look away from the T-Rex by telling him, "Grandma has chocolate!"  He takes after me a little, I guess.

He also had a ball searching for gold and splashing everyone who got even a little close to him.  I mean, that smile kind of says it all, right?

I tried my hand at a few Pinterest-inspired activities, and this one turned out best.  I laid out a big sheet of paper, and made "paints" out of vanilla yogurt and colored jello powder.  He used my basting brush to make his masterpiece.

There was a lot more eating the paints happening than actual painting, but he loved it.  We stayed outside for a really long time, just making a huge mess and having a really good time.

I filled up the pool for him to stay cool, and so I could clean him up a little bit before taking his sticky little body inside when he was done.  Pinterest success! 

We got to have a few day-long play dates with Emerson and Beckett while Michaela was at girls camp.  Marty loved every minute of playing with his buddies.  They probably felt like their lives were chaos because their mom is a pro at taking care of multiple toddlers all day, every day.  I was/am an amateur!  But I was so glad to have them.

One afternoon after a grocery shopping trip, we came home to pouring rain.  While I was bringing the groceries inside, he stayed out to play in the water that was dripping off of the carport, and just coming down in general.  There was no lightning.  After I was done, I let him keep doing his thing.  He was having too much fun, and I knew that the pictures were going to be adorable.  Besides, every kid needs to play in the rain.

We went to my cousin Christopher's wedding up Big Cottonwood Canyon at Heather's (his new bride, who we love!) family's cabin.  Marty got to throw rocks in the river with Richard, and then he played on the teeter-totter with Richard and my dad.  It was a good day all around.

We ate a lot of popsicles this summer.  A LOT.

We went to a "white-trash" themed birthday party for Spencer Bowman.  I didn't want to worry about getting a babysitter (because we still don't really do that, and my parents weren't available), so we just made Marty part of our costume.  He was the only kid there (until the Bowman's kids came outside), but I think he really added to the scenery by running around in just his diaper, most of the time with his hand down the front of it.  He was thrilled to be there the second he saw that there was a "tractor" he could climb all over.

We had multiple family gatherings for the Shepherd side of the family at my aunt Chris's house.  They have a great backyard that Marty loves.  This particular night, Shay had brought out her giant stuffed dog, and the kids ended up sliding onto it.  Marty got in on the action, and it was so fun to watch!  

Sarah got in on the action, too.

So many fun things happened to make up our legendary summer, and these were just some of them.  I love the shenanigans we get into, and the adventures we have as a family.  And I love seeing that after a day filled with fun leaves our little buddy feeling just as tired as we do.  Sometimes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


In July, Megan and Scott welcomed little Simon Peter Morgan into the world, and we were very happy to go down to his blessing just a little while later.  They are living in Manti, which is about a 3.5-hour drive, so by the time we got there this guy was going a little crazy.

Of course it was a day that I hadn't packed an extra outfit, so he peed through his diaper on the way down and ended up wearing no pants for the rest of the day.  Didn't seem to bother him at all, so I didn't let it bother me, either.  Who knows if it bothered anyone in the chapel.  Who cares.

The most important thing was that we got to spend time and have fun with family that we don't get to see often enough.  It was a really fun afternoon, but it just didn't seem to last long enough.  It never does.

It was fun catching up with the newlyweds, and hearing how motherhood is the third time around from Megan.  She is really like superwoman/supermom to me.  I look up to her a lot, and I love that I can always ask her questions without feeling inferior.  I think I hit the jackpot getting her for a sister-in-law.

The drive home was just as eventful as the one there had been.  I can't remember if I'd expected anything different.  If I had, I can't imagine why.  Life with this one is never dull, and is always good for a laugh.

We dropped Richard off in Salt Lake because he was going to the Gary Clark Jr. concert with my dad.  That is a guitar player they had seen in the Eric Clapton's Crossroads guitar festival movie that I sent them to for Richard's birthday last year.  The concert was at Red Butte Gardens, and they had a great time.  Marty was pretty upset that we left Richard, though, so I decided to make a visit to Granny and Gramps' house for  a little break.  It was just the ticket.  They had him laughing his head off, and he had them busting a gut, too.

It is so sweet to watch him play with and talk to them.  There is just something special between the three of them, I think.  And it is to the point now where he doesn't need any time to warm up to them, he just dives in head first jabbering away and running around like the little tornado he is.

There was more than one blessing that day.  One for the baby.  The ones where we got to spend time with Richard's family, strengthening those relationships.  The one for time my dad and Richard spent together, enjoying a common hobby and interest.  And the one for the time I got to spend watching my grandparents love my son, and watch him love them right back.  Lots of blessings.  We are pretty blessed.

Richard's ears

For quite some time now, Marty has had a special love for Richard's ears.  Not really one over the other.  Just both of his ears.  I honestly think it began when Marty could no longer easily use his own ears as a comfort tool after his hair had grown over them.  He used to suck his left thumb, while rubbing his right ear with his right hand.  And now that he can't get to his ears without his hair being in the way, he goes for Richard's ears whenever they are available.  And if they aren't available, he'll make them.

I think that Richard's ears are even better, though, because not only can Marty rub them with his hand, but he can literally rub his whole face against them.  I know that sometimes it drives Richard crazy, and even hurts him if I haven't trimmed Marty's fingernails.  But I also know that he secretly loves it when Marty Boy nuzzles his nose in real close.  He doesn't do it to me, but he has been known to do it to my dad as well.  For the most part, though, it is a very cute, and very silly thing that I get to watch my boys do.  Ears.  Who would have thought?!


Growing up, Richard had a lot of cousins that were right around his age.  They had lots of fun at family reunions, and he even lived close to a couple for some time.  Even today, when the family gets together, they seem to congregate and the good times start rolling right where they left off.

I only had two cousins who were close to my age.  They were both boys, and although I saw one and we were pretty good friends, it never felt like I had "cousin friends" like Richard did.

Marty seems to be pretty lucky in the cousin department.  The ones who we see most often, Shay and Kody, are 4-6 years older than he is, but they are the best of the best.  They love playing with him, they look out for him, and they are super nice - always asking me if they can do something before they do it, and never hesitating to let me know if he has a stinky diaper.  All around helpful, and I love it.  So does he.

The other cousins that Marty has, on Richard's side, are just as great.  Mary is only a couple months older than he is, and Eli is just super fun.  He also thinks that Marty is a "cool guy."  I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.  For Eli's birthday, he asked Scott and Megan if he could go to the zoo with Marty.  I about died when they told me because I thought that was so cute!  We were excited to celebrate that fun day with them, and we loved seeing those cute kiddos enjoy each other's company.

Believe it or not, Marty even talks about "the cousins" out of the blue sometimes.  I think he just has really positive associations with all of them, and so he knows that when they are around he is going to have a good time and be happy.  Which makes me really happy, too.