Friday, October 30, 2015

The Force...

The force is strong upon young ones... that force being the "Grand Master Marketing Plan" that Disney cooked up leading up to the new Star Wars movie.  Because hello... I present to you, my little Star Wars characters a.k.a. my Halloweeners.  
There was nothing else they were going to be this year.  Star Wars is it.  Mostly because they get to be bad guys and carry weapons - I'm convinced.  I'm just saying, if I were a drinker, that would be my drinking game this year... a shot for every Star Wars character that rung my doorbell.  Good times.
Anyway, we have ourselves a Darth Vader, a Kylo Ren (the new bad guy we have yet to even see on the big screen) and a Chewbacca -- because really Ace wanted to be a Tiger but he ditched that when he saw the writing on the wall, and maybe a brother or two convinced him with some baseball cards?  Just a guess.

We visited the "Space Ship" park and snapped some photos of these scary dudes earlier this week.  When they said, "space ship park" I pictured sleek metal playing apparati... and when we got there to this all wood number I rolled with it.  Maybe this is some ghost town planet called Naboo or something?  What's a girl gonna do?
Poor Chewy was really struggling with his mask that was "pinching his eyes" and it sounded like a terrible plight to endure -- hence in most of his pictures he looks a wee bit wasted.  C'Mon Chewy... Wookie up and get your act together!  :)
Kylo and Darth were stealthily climbing around to find unsuspecting little people to scare and generally practicing their monkey bar and ring skills.  They take this bad guy business pretty seriously.
 It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it, you know?  And I guess long gone are the days they want to be something cute and cuddly?  That ends at the ripe old age of four with wee lads, y'all.
That's a fact I'm sad to report. 
Whatever they dress up as - they're still my little animals.  They split their time and talents between "Wee Lads of Love" and "Naughty little Newts".  And I dig it.
Happy Halloween, Y'all.  May the force be with you as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sunday Funday...

We had a busy weekend with soccer and a family baptism and our usual Saturday shenanigans.  So when Sunday came along and we saw "Stake Conference" on the calendar... whelp, we decided to worship in nature with our little lads.  
And you know what?  I swear, on some Sundays, that is just the ticket for feeling closer to God.
Ryno called for a road trip to Strawberry and I always support a healthy outing outdoors (to selfishly preserve the cleanliness of the home front) - so off we went.  
It took a bit more hiking than we had planned on to reach the shoreline, but once we got there, it was worth it.  The boys spent their time collecting crawdad claws that had been discarded by the gulls (barf) and watching their poles between snacks.
Then sure enough - they hit it.  Kael reeled in a big old cut throat first. 
 Dax reeled another nice cut in second.  And just as we were packing up, little Ace man got a turn.  It was perfect and the fish were the icing on our proverbial Sunday cake.
It was so quiet and pretty out there... One lone boat puttered out in the middle of the reservoir and we had the entire shoreline to ourselves.  The hike was gorgeous with golden wheat grass against moody skies.  It was crisp and clean and utterly fall-ish.
Plus I caught that moment above with my camera... so all is right with the world.  :)
On the hike back we talked about the boys' girlfriends and they recalled funny stories about the deer hunt from the prior weekend.  It just felt (prepare for corny level to be seriously upped) perfect.
We don't have it all together and not every moment of every day is pristine and peaceful - but we know how to embrace and thrive in the chaos.  And that chaos?  It's our favorite variety.  :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Land O' Pumpkins...

Do you know how cool it is to "do fall" Preschool style? I mean, thus far, we've visited a dairy farm, an apple orchard, and now the pumpkin patch!  I wait all year for fall to come and then it does, and then I "have to" go on all these outings in the most beautiful, crisp weather known to man kind.  My life doesn't suck is what I'm trying to say in a not-so-eloquent way.

Pumpkins the size of Texas.  Relatively speaking.
The corn maze with my amazin' fellers.
Even this uber enthusiastic little mazer...
There are hardly words, Ace Face.
Photo Op props for my little punkins.

The smelliest petting zoo of all time.  Seriously though, if the smell has something to do with the ranking system then this one ranks HIGH, folks.  
Have we reached complete "fall cliche" status yet?  According to my calculations - yes.  Yes we have.  Mission accomplished, dudes.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fallin' Trees...

Fall Break fell at the perfect time on the old calendar this year.  The stars aligned and Grandma's Fall Break coincided with ours, and Daddy-o's work schedule was flexible, and everyone had a couple of days to relax together before we got up before the sunrise to hunt.

So of course, we filled our plate with other worthy fall activities...

We hit up the orchards in Notom and picked apples.  Our harvest is sweet & crisp and the fallen fruit of the orchards created that tangy, cidery scent of overripe apple juice fermenting in the fields.  The day was perfect.  The last taste of summer and the first hint of fall in the breeze.
We fell a tree and cut it into stumps, one of which will be used in our new little man's nursery.  Having a little piece of our favorite mountain in his living space makes me nothing short of giddy.
We practiced our wheeler skills in Grandpa's backyard x 17 rounds.  Dax may or may not be completely obsessed with "little red" and can start it on his own, shift on his own, park it like a champ, and drive like a wild man.
Oh Fall - you're all right in our book.  And we'll be hitting up a pumpkin patch near you very soon, so though I try to talk myself out of becoming a walking fall cliche - I'm not too successful just yet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Deer Hunt...

I have no clever title to name this post, because the deer hunt is what it is.  Not in a bad way... in the best of ways.  I went through phases of my life with regard to this annual tradition; sometimes I was less fond of the outing in the mountains, and the early morning wake up calls, and the self-imposed pressure I felt to have a successful outcome.  Other times, I took the season as a chance to get out and see the fall colors, stuff my face full of pine nuts, and laugh at my Dad and crazy uncles and all their crude jokes and funny "isms".  
And now... I get it all.
It's literally like a seasonal jackpot around here.  My husband.  My boys.  My Dad & Mom.  My uncles.  My cousins.  My brother & sister.  My people, you know?  All together, all hiking through the trees and taking in the colors and scents of fall in the mountains as we uphold a tradition called,
"The Deer Hunt".
I've memorized many of the old bumpy roads.  I've carved my name in trees year after year as I have had successful kills.  I have heard story after story about my Grandpa, the logger, the miner, the builder of roads and things.  And you know what... I'll listen to them twenty-nine more times because these textures of the deer hunt make me who I am and will forever be a part of my fiber.
To share that with my crew is the ultimate.  It's like they're enrolled in "Who I Am - 101" and I'm one of their adjunct professors and every other family member that takes the time to load up and pack coolers and hike along with my little blaze orange wearin' crew are the tenured crowd, dedicated to showing them the veins of the leaves, and the way the fog rolls in off the rim, and how to roast and crack peanuts for the road.  
These early years of going on the hunt represent their first wobbly steps in what will hopefully turn out to be a lifelong stride of getting to know who they are through their family's traditions, ideas, stories and sparks of talent & passion.  I love that.  
Did we get a deer?  Yep.  Is it the biggest take away of our time in the mountains together?  Not even close.  But these little faces... they learned a whole lot.  Saw a whole lot.  Heard new stories and walked through patches of trees that filled with fog and dew.  
And that... that constitutes a trophy hunt, right there.