Friday, June 30, 2017

Party Like There's No Work Tomorrow...

One thing I will always love about my Mama is her dedication to hard work.  That woman!  Up before dawn to "work out", and then, "mother henning" all of us off to school, and then to the office to "work for a living", then somehow, in between it all, she did her "favorite work" which was our family every long evening at ball parks, dance studios, and gyms.  
I never felt like a latch key kid and I never felt like my Mom was never around.  Her way to balance it all meant she put herself, her social connections, her hobbies, and sleep - largely on the back burner.  And when she was home - she was home.  With us.  With a smile on her face and usually an iron in her hand or a spatula or some other home making tool she was multi-tasking with.
This past weekend we celebrated her retirement.  She's done!  After 34 years (she took off ten to have us babies), she has decided to enjoy the fruits of her labors and we are so happy for her -- but none more than her grand kids.  And speaking of those kiddos - they gathered for sun and fun at Seven Peaks and then everyone was at our house for a BBQ and the dunk tank.
Grandma and Grandpa were both good sports and they volunteered to take the plunge.  The kids were tireless in their efforts to dunk one another and all their cousins.  They dunk tanked all the day long.
I adore summer with it's warm temps and it's shade trees and it's days full of family and food.  And I adore my Mom and wish her all the best in her retirement.  Watch out world - she's comin' for ya.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


How many pictures per blog post is considered poor form?
Because I'm about to blow that one clean outta the water and enter the "terrible form" category.
And I don't even care.
The smiles on these little dudes during our week in California - they were epic.  I've started calling this trip, "Californication" because it just seems like pure greed how happy and full of all the good stuff it was.  
For example:
Boone on carousels.  He was SO happy to be sitting in the saddle like a big boy.
Boone at the beach.  Timid turned dare devil and complete sand lover.
Ace with his Disney chocolates and treats.
Ace with the characters.
Ace on any ride with a drop -- (Terror)  Followed quickly by, "That was the best ever!"
Kael finding shells and sand crabs at the beach as if his life depended upon it.
Kael pulling at the photo op "Sword and the stone" with all his might.
Kael with his "I am GROOT" tattoo - proud as Pop Eye.
Dax at any and every shooting game.  Total concentration and proud as punch at his high scores.
Dax - or at least part of him.  Asking to be buried in the sand five million times at the beach.
Ryan and I would point and laugh and share "the look" dozens of times each day.  Then when they would fall asleep (in record time) we would stay up for a few minutes longer recounting our favorite parts or the funny things they all did or said.  It was so good.
And now just to put an exclamation point on the whole thing... 
I bring you - MORE PICTURES!
I'm telling you: Gluttony
Oh what a trip.  We will forever remember our time together in Summer 2017.
OK Boone might not - so we'll have to repeat in a few more years.  :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Magical World...

Do you know what taking your kids to Disney is like?  
It's like giving them the American Dream.
I'm serious - it was maybe more of a parental right of passage trip for Ryan and I than it was for them  - Because seeing their little eyes take in the magic around them was magic.  
Saying YES more than "no" or "maybe later" was a little overdue.
Eating all the things and staying up way too late was just the ticket.
I loved watching them on rides.  I adored seeing their faces fill with intensity when they became mini-Jedi's and fought off Darth Vader. 
And sure - the trip started with a bout of Croup for Boone and a delayed take off since we had to stop for some meds - and each of us had our "I'm so tired/hangry moments"... but by and large -- Magic.
Nobody does ambiance like Disney.  Nobody.
And nobody can pile up four little fellers in a tub like the Gardner's can.  Nobody.  :)
 And the beach?  Heaven help us we have four budding beach bums on our hands.  They played for HOURS with nary a thought to time/food/temperature or toys.  The beach was a giant, mysterious jungle gym for them equipped with all things to entice their senses.
Some of us maybe dove in a little too hard at times.  :)
 More to come from our California Adventures.
So grateful for this little family of boys and our big boy who provides all of life's greatest opportunities for us day in and day out.  We are so blessed.