Monday, August 29, 2011

Exploring our new region

Life has been good, if not slow, since we moved to New Hampshire. I spend far less time cleaning up after my kids because all of the messes they make in the backyard bother me far less than they did in closed quarters. I feel like we have unleashed our formerly caged kids into the great wide open and they just love it. They play in our backyard most all of everyday. Sometimes clothed, sometimes not. Whatever. Live free or die right? It is the New Hampshire way.

So this past week, we took a mandatory vacation while Adam's office closed. We went up to Acadia National Park in Maine and it was absolutely spectacular. The boys loved it. I loved it. We camped for two nights and stayed in a hotel (acting as a stink and decent night's sleep buffer) in between. I am not a huge fan of campground camping but I would go back to this one again just to pick the wild blueberries again! It was amazing. I picked for about an hour and this is what I came home with. I know it doesn't look like much but I was pretty proud. And for a moment, as I looked up and out over the hills and ocean to check on my kids--Eli hunting in the bushes with a stick and Tate sitting smack down in the bush, blue faced snacking on dirt and blueberries--I was in heaven. Often I have thought that I would have been a terrific pioneer wife and homesteader. And I totally felt like one letting my boys roam the Earth, not caring one bit they they smelled like campfire and dirt and were just plain downright disgusting and dirty, whilst I was gathering food straight off the ground.

So we brought home the blueberries and a giant LIVE lobster we lovingly named Pinchy. Pinchy and Duane rode in the back together. It is too bad that only one of our "pets" lived to see the next day. Needless to say, we (by we, I mean Adam...I couldn't watch) cooked and consumed our first lobster. It was pretty good but I later learned we chose one that was too big; the sweet, tender and juicy ones are apparently 2 lbs or less.

Anyway, things are good. Adam is loving his job and just picked up another day working at a state prison, which he is ecstatic about. Pulling teeth and mingling with convicts--brushing up on all of the information he has learned from watching "Gangland"--what is not to love? Our house still has not sold. Which is beyond frustrating and bad and all that. But what do you do? Keep trying and quit whining I guess. The best news is that Tate and I get to go to Indiana to see my sister Chelsea and her family. Wahoo! We, how do I put this...well, we both need a break from a certain 4 year old who lives in this house. Don't get us wrong, we love him. But...we just need a break. So to Indiana we go.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello blog, it's me Ashley

I am not going to go into the many reasons why I am a defunct blogger; the short of it centers on my house, kids and trying to short sell my house. Enough.

And though I tried to avoid it, this blog is my neglected journal. So an update is in order I suppose. We have had a crazy and wonderful 6 months. Here are the highlights:
-Adam graduated from the Loma Linda school of Dentistry on Sunday May 29th. The ceremony wasn't nearly as hot or long as we anticipated, my shoes were cuter than any I have ever owned (too bad I probably won't ever find another reason to wear them) and everything was perfect. Both of our parents came for the event and we had a wonderful time chatting, eating and quietly celebrating the accomplishments of the one we all adore so much. I made some pretty outstanding food, I have to note: Gorgonzola crusted beef tenderloin, rosemary rolls, sweet potato fries and carrot cake.
-After that decadent event, my parents whom I cannot thank enough took our boys to Utah so we could pack up the house. The house is so riddled with mixed emotions for me. It is where I have raised my crazy boys. I love that house. It was hard to say goodbye, but only for a moment. We did it and we moved out and on. But I miss these and other people so so much. Good friends make your location your home. I am still working on making this new place a place where friends make me feel at home--even more for my kids than for me.
-And then Adam and I went to Maui! Maui is something for which I cannot thank my inlaws enough. What a gift. They watched our boys and sent us on their dime to Maui for 5 wonderful days. We went on a helicopter ride, rented a Harley and went to the top of the volcano, ate more decadent food and devoured our favorite books in prisine, beach bliss. So so fun. This event must be repeated.

-Then Adam officially became a New Hampshirian and a working man while the boys and I enjoyed some more time in Utah and at our favorite locale--the Ranch in Atlanta, ID.

So so fun and a good way to say farewell, bite the bullet and actually move ourselves 3000 miles away.

Whew. That was a little rough. But we are getting the hang of it. Fortunately, a week after we moved in, Olivia and her family came and visited for the 4th of July. I could have holed up in my house for weeks, just putting stuff away and convincing myself that I had neither the time nor the inclination to go anywhere and explore. But go and explore we did: We went to Boston on the 4th and then spent the next 5 days entertaining our kids at the farm, local ice cream shops, lake, beach and pool. They had so much fun...maybe a little too much fun. Maybe non-stop entertainment is NOT the best thing for kids??? They loved playing all day and it was so fun to have familiar faces here. When Olivia left, she said, "I think you live in a really cool place." And that has really helped me get more comfortable in this new place that I am supposed to call home.
One more thing: I have become quite the chef in the past year. I think I decided to cook myself through all of the moving and house stress. It has worked and a few people have benefited from it. And last week my sister in law even taught me how to make a decent loaf of bread. Not decent, like freaking outstanding! It's amazing. I am addicted and make bread almost everyday now. Yeah, I make bread. Still not grinding my own wheat, and maybe I never will, but...we also made jam and we decided that we could almost pass as pioneer women.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4 year olds rock

Someone wise once said "4 year olds rock." Maybe it was me that said it; in any case, whoever did was right--they do. Today my Eli is 4 years old. I remember thinking about this day, wondering how weird it would feel to be the mom of a 4 year old when Adam graduated. But here we are, almost fully functioning adults, and it is not weird. It is awesome. Because, again, 4 year olds are awesome. In the last year, Eli has gone from making me feel like I am constantly treading water, to making me feel like there are few people in the world that I would rather sit down and chat with than my own son. He is fun, funny, conversational and witty and hard to keep up with in a totally awesome, extra calorie burning (no longer frustratingly, mind numbingly difficult) way. I love Eli for everything he does to remind me of my husband, whom I also adore. I see absolutely nothing of myself in him. But as I listen to him rattle off quirky made up songs, stubbornly insist on doing things his way (which more often than not turn out to be pretty creative and ingenious,) be a clothes hater, and run circles around me (literally) and everyone else I feel like I get a window into what my husband's childhood must have been like. And at worst, that is humorously frustrating, but at best totally hilarious, interesting and endearing. I am so happy that Eli is in our family. He pretty much makes us what we are. And I like what we are. Love you E.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fluffer turns one

Maybe we need to back off of the Fluffer Nutter nickname--Tate wouldn't touch his birthday cake; apparently he has decided to trim down a bit by walking everyday and adhering to a strict diet. He exhibited some serious self control because this was no run of the mill birthday cake: I made a triple chocolate, sweetened condensed milk infused, double layer cake with one layer of homemade caramel and one layer of vanilla frosting. He didn't want it, which was unfortunate because it just made me want it more.

The day was ordinary enough. Play around the house, a trip to Target, lunch, naps, park, BYU basketball, dinner and cake and presents. I just didn't have it in me to do a one year old party. With Tate's birthday timed right in the middle of Adam's dental boards and my prolonged meltdown over how to move 3000 miles away and the larger issue of what the freak to do with our house...sigh. And yes, I am aware that there is a nuclear meltdown in Japan, people dying in Libya and myriad deaths resulting from recent earthquakes, tsunamis and wars and I should shut my mouth about my stupid house and Adam's test. I am just saying both of us were far more inclined to celebrate our mischievous little munchkin in a more relaxed, mundane fashion.

Which brings me to why I love Tate so much. He is easygoing, relatively anyway for an inherent independent spirit who is inhibited by feet that don't move fast enough and screams that don't communicate well enough. He always has a smile for anyone. He is patient and endearing and sensitive...things that I am still learning to understand since I do not have much experience dealing with that sort of people. (It's been over 6 years since I have lived with anyone like that!) Most of all, he loves and adores me. Worships me really. He wants me to hold him and hug him and play with him--also, a new experience for me. I am so confident that this little boy thinks that I am awesome that some days, nothing else matters. Some days it does, and that is just life. But I love being Tate's mom. He has been so fun to have over this whirlwind year. Tate has brought laughter and lightheartedness to our family. He has made our family more complete than it was. I get such a kick out of watching him explore and topple and get up and do it again. So cheers to Fluffer. Good job being born, we love you and think that you rock.

PS I am sorry if anyone is offended that my boys never have clothes on. That's just how we roll here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This makes me want to move to Montana

and tell my kids to go play outside and be home before dinner. Maybe I need to move to another century (not state) to fulfill that dream...anyway, speaking of dreams, we went to Joshua Tree to celebrate MLK day. And we had a blast. Joshua Tree is a slightly less cool version of Moab. But it is totally awesome for kids who want to run and climb unrestricted until they are on the brink of dehydration and exhaustion--which we mostly let them do. It won't shock you that Eli only partially liked being in a harness to climb on rocks. But he did really well and we all enjoyed basking and climbing in 85 degree weather in January. And they even let us live our dream for free. So Joshua Tree truly rocks.

This is my favorite-"Here, I will just help you eat the rope Dad..."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Seriously. I am sorry I have become the most boring blogger. All I do is report like once a month now. So here is my lame report that will consist mostly of pictures because I have like 5 seconds:

The service project party:

The preschool program:

The Fluff being happy in spite of a week-long bout of viral gastroenteritis...which is a fancy way of saying he was puking for 7 days:

The pretend Christmas morning:

The flooding:

The real Christmas morning:

The resulting train station that was formerly Eli and Tate's room:

The epic snowboarding day:

The epic running day: