Friday, January 22, 2016

Party On!

I love a good party. Be it birthday, wedding, holiday you name it and I'm there! I prefer to go to parties then plan them, so it worked out well for us this past month to make it to some fun shindigs.

First up on our party list was a wedding reception for a young man Wes use to teach at church (when he was 14) and I later taught in seminary his senior year. He has always been an exceptional young man and we are so proud of his accomplishments thus far in life. His young bride seems like a fun loving, wonderful girl too and their reception was an absolute blast. We caught up and danced the night away with a lot of old friends. Ate In-n-Out to our hearts content (if I could do it again I would have INO cater my reception) and just honestly had a wonderful time. My girls were in heaven the whole night and thought nothing could be better than mom and dad and all their friends dancing together and then getting to take home some flowers. Jovie kept saying she wanted to get married too.

The next day Peyton was invited to a friends birthday party at a jump house near us. Wes took her while Jovie and I had fun shopping and getting slurpees together.

Then as soon as those two got back we were off again to yet another party for "baby" Reed (who is really no baby as he is 2, but that's what we call him in our family--- well at least for another 2 months until his family gets their real baby).

Again we had a grand time visiting, and playing with friends. The Duncans have the dream backyard for kids. A swing set, huge playhouse full of toys. Lots of candy and food. Then out came the pinata... yes it was another fun event!

Monday, January 18, 2016

More Outdoors

Well, the rest of our California winter hasn't been quite as cold as the last post. In fact, the great "El Nino" storm we were promised has been a real let down thus far. Fingers crossed it picks up in February. However, because of that little factoid, we have been enjoying being outdoors. Mostly while poor Peyton has been at school, but what can you do? I know I've mentioned it time and time again, but we feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful area, and especially blessed to have our little community area so close by. It is gorgeous and we have truly loved having it and being near the lake. No complaints from these Mo Val residents.

These are the resident ducks we've named Patty and Malfoy. They are so friendly and always buddy around together, just the two of them. Jovie especially loves them, Peyton feels a little more hesitant around them, though she too enjoys them. One day we were feeding them and ran out of bread but they still hung around for a while. Jovie was a little nervous with how close Malfoy (white duck) was, but being the animal lover she is, just could not resist bending over and trying to pick him up. She was able to touch him before he very quickly waddled away.
 No food this time, but they still always come over to check things out.
 And I am so happy I caught the tail end of this moment. Jovie was trying to sit on the bar like Peyton and succeeded for a moment. However, as you can see, she fell through the bars but clung for dear life on it and swung there at the bottom. It was pure comedy.
 And this girl's latest trend is the thumbs up... my favorite.
On another day Wes and Jovie met me at the association after my workout there and we had a picnic and took a walk. It was really one of the most beautiful days. It was chilly, but the sun was out and the mountains in the background were covered in snow, but the sky was the perfect blue. It was a happy day and one I hope not to forgot ever.
P.S. She just had to wear that bonnet. 

And later that same week Wes had appointments all Saturday but mama really wanted to get out of the house. So we hit up a little local nursery that has a weird dinosaur trail and did some exploring. It's one of my girl's favorite places and I don't mind it either. Although I fear we may be breaking some rules with our wanderings. I figure if I don't look into it too much it won't hurt anyone. Yes, we are rebels like that. 
And finally, one of our last outdoor adventure days was yet another fun walk through Hidden Springs. A little area right up by us. I go there to collect sticks for crafts and the girls run wild. They climb everything and jump or slide off rocks. It almost always ends in tears (from a fall) but it's fun while the fun lasts.

Friday, January 15, 2016

California Winter

Well we here in California call 50 degrees frigid and worthy of real winter clothes. So, when it was cold a few weeks ago (like in the 60s) we decided to take a little drive (about 40ish side street minutes away) in an attempt to find snow. We weren't sure if we would find anything, but we lucked out and winter was somewhat there and waiting for us.

Though it wasn't truly snowy or anything, there was enough slush on the ground to make my kids happy and have one of the best days. We hung out and walked around the little city (Oak Glen), sledded, and played in the snow for a couple of hours. It was truly a great and best part, easy happy day! Everyone had so much fun and we were definitely ready for chili and our warm beds waiting for us at home.

P.S. you can tell we are not prepared with winter clothes. We just threw on our warmest clothes and boots and hoped for the best from our pieced together outfits. They are cute and funny looking in them, I know. But I love it!

Friday, January 8, 2016


January 6, Wes and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary! I can't believe it is already our 10th anniversary, because in so many ways I still feel like a young newlywed. However, contrary to those feelings, I also feel like I've known and been with him forever! We've definitely grown up and matured together as individuals and as a couple. There is not a soul in the world I am more comfortable being with or whom I love more than that man.

Yes, we've had our ups and downs and boring in-betweens; but I feel lucky to have him as my person I get to endure it all with. Life has seen us through 2.5 kids, 3 homes, 5 cars, who knows how many jobs between the 2 of us, and it's all felt pretty easy to endure because I am still so happy in the life I'm living. I can honestly say he is my best friend and better half. We get along so well and rarely have arguments and seem to be on the same page in life in general.

On our actual anniversary it was life as usual. That night we did our traditional Benihana dinner, which is always wonderful, and later in the month we had an anniversary/babymoon/Christmas trip. That my friends, was a good time!

Weston made me breakfast that morning... how cute is he?!
 At dinner
 10 beautiful years together. I'm so grateful for my partner!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Sunbeam!!!

Little Jovie-girl literally squeaked into primary this year, turning 3 on the last possible day to make it. I was a little worried because she has LOVED nursery so much (I think mostly for the fruit snacks at the end), but she seems to be adjusting wonderfully. I think it helped that Peyton was jumping for joy when she found out Jovie and her got to be in there together. Jovie was excited to go, but honestly, I think Peyton was even more excited.

We really tried to build it up so she would want to be in there (and not miss the nursery toys too much) and as soon as Sacrament meeting was done Peyton grabbed her hand and led her to primary. The two of them couldn't be cuter walking down the hallway hand in hand.

I enjoy these milestones but I genuinely got a little teary eyed at the end of the day when I realized I didn't get to go pick her up from nursery. My heart can't handle them growing so quickly. I loved picking her up because she always would yell "Mama!" and come running to me showing me whatever it was they worked on. I am happy to say I still got an excited "Mama!" picking her up from Sunbeams too.

Jesus is right to want this girl for a Sunbeam!
Peyton didn't want her picture (sadly) because she looked stunningly cute and old with her straight hair that day. Best I can give you is this cute hand holding picture from the back.