fishmas 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

First up in our fishing season was Mentor fishing day - which falls the weekend before the First day of Trout that is set up to encourage and promote kids to learn to fish.  Our two biggest kids filled out their youth fishing licenses and packed their backpacks for a fishing camp sleepover with their cousins the night before.

The two little ones and I stayed home, so I woke up to this little face in our bed. 

I got text pics all morning of everyone having a great time on the creek and lots of updates about how much fun the cousins were all having together.  We had plenty of mentors to go around for all the kids, including my Dad (Chum) who drove out for the day.  It's nice to have lots of adults around to help with all the different aspects of fishing and to keep an eye on kids who are baiting hooks, chopping wood (!), cooking over the fire, and hanging out near rushing water.

We got a visit at our house with cousins Lisa and Rowan and then we all packed up and headed out to fishing camp to reunite with our crews!  Despite the chilly evening, it turned into a beautiful day and we all got to cheer on all the kids reeling in fish and kissing them before releasing them back into the stream.  I was happy to finally give my brand new seven year old boy a birthday hug (!) and he was proud to show off his fishing skills to his baby sister and brother. 


The following weekend, it was real Fishmas - which means the first day of trout! Keeping in tradition with the past four years, Grey, Brandon, and Pappy all headed out to fishing camp on Fishmas Eve to sleepover.  And we got our early morning texts of them on the creek fishing as soon as the clock struck 8am., real quick.  I just had to go back and search my blog to figure out if Grey has been sleeping over at fishing camp since he was three or four years old and found this pic and then obviously had to do a side by side comparison...and excuse me...when did this transformation happen to my little baby boy Booboo?! Time, why you do this momma's heart so wrong?....but, that beard though, b! xxoxo! .....okay, carrying on...

While the boys spent their day on the creek (Grey even getting a chance to learn how to filet and cook a fish he caught that morning!)...

The girls, Rusty, Gigi, and I headed out to our annual Fishmas tradition.  We all had lunch together and then got pampered and beautified by getting pedicures.  The Saturday before Easter meant it was even more busy out then normal, but the kids were really patient and sweet through the whole process.  They even earned themselves a quick stroll in the Pet Store to say hello to all the animals afterwards (hah). 

After our little girls' afternoon, we head over to fishing camp to meet up with the crew and spend the evening with them.  Grey had a great day and even a scary fishing story that he was eager to tell us.  Earlier that day, he felt a tug on his line and started reeling it in and could see the closer it got the bigger it looked.  By the time it was really close, it looked like it was almost two feet long!  He started getting really worried this fish was going to just swallow him up if he reeled it in! So with tears of fear in his eyes, he handed his rod over to his Pappy and asked him for help.  After a quick look, even Pap thought it might have been a snapping turtle, but as they pulled it was only a huge log!  hahhaha, i love that memory!

Another awesome Fishmas holiday that will live on in the kids' memories (and ours!)
Remember when Grey was just barely one and I wrote this letter to him about Fishmas.
Okay, bye, I'm too sentimental today, hahhhaha!

Around Here Sixteen: 04/14-04/20

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 66+ hours (of 1000)
Up 15 hours this week thanks to Fishmas, Easter, and my longest run to date - 10 miles! I was on cloud nine last week with my 8mile run and feeling pretty confident about the upcoming half marathon...then I did 10miles today and changed my tune - hah! Those extra two miles were brutal and I was completely in my own head for every step thinking I was running much farther than I actually was - so defeating! We had some pretty stellar weather this week and I forced myself out of the house early Wednesday morning for a maintenance 3mile run and then sprayed the kids with the hose to their extreme delight one evening (they were covered head to toe in mud and grass!)  I'm so happy spring seems to be here!!

Reading The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison and all her writing on raising teenagers is making me feel so much more calm about the prospect of having to do it myself sometime (granted, I still have a ways, but it's really giving me incredible insight).  Seeing her teenagers through the lens of remembering herself as a teen and how her parents are now in adulthood is so reflective for me and making me pause and remembering to be grateful for our amazing parents (and kids' grandparents!) Especially this bit, (p. 191) "Take the long view, I reminded myself, looking out across the fields to our own long view.  Life finds its balance. Children grow up. Second chances come along. In the meantime, I could choose to savor this moment. What good would it do to allow annoyance to interfere with gratitude? My own dear mother - the bane of my existence at seventeen - was downstairs right now, on her knees, scrubbing a bathtub."

Visiting our newest best friend, Baby Tessa, who was born last week.  We all loaded down into Sheila and headed out with a pizza lunch and frozen meals in hand to visit that sweet girl and her parents who we love so much (and her furbrother!)  It is with such happy hearts that we got to meet her and see the new family in action together.  It brought back so many memories for B and I about having our Greyson, just him!, and those feelings of exhaustion and everything being new and scary - what a long time ago it seems, but also not long at all.  Oh, time, always with your bewitching ways.

Celebrating Fishmas!  It was the first day of trout on Saturday, so B and Grey spend the night at camp while the girls and I and Rusty made our way with Gigi out to lunch and to get our pedicures - an annual tradition.  After our pampering, we headed out to fishing camp too and spend the rest of the afternoon listening to the creek and enjoying family company.  We all headed back home together to scrub down the kids, whip up some of my Grandma's sugar cookies - Easter themed- and then get everyone into bed before the Easter bunny arrived! 

Celebrating some more for Easter!  We woke up to Easter baskets from the bunny and a mini egg hunt out on the front porch that Bullet totally tried to sabotage by sniffing all the eggs out and biting them open to spill the jelly beans and m&ms everywhere (HAH!) Then we got dressed and headed off for Easter breakfast at Pappy & Gigi's house.  Next was church followed by Easter lunch at Abba & Chum's house with our extended Adams family (including an egg hunt and soccer game!)  We ended the night with Easter dinner at Mimi's house with more baskets and candy and a beautiful double rainbow as we were leaving!  It was a very busy but so very very blessed Easter day with family. 

Baseball'ing with two games this week for Grey!  He's doing great and totally obsessed.  We are figuring out what it's going to take to keep every occupied for games (snacks, toys, strollers, carriers, etc)..I'll report back when I figure out what works best (hah).  Gem has only had tball practice at this point, but her season kicks in this weekend - so it's about to swing into high gear.

Giggling about the girls and their silliness. They have been all sister-besties for the past few weeks - wardrobe changes multiple times a day, packing bags and purses with lip gloss and accessories to cart all around the house and outside, and pretending to be either friends, best friend moms, or mom&daughter.  Now, they want to share the bottom bunk, then the top bunk the next night, then the bottom bunk.  Yeesh, these two - too much drama for their mama!

Budgeting and planning as we got our tax return check and so we're making plans for the upcoming year.  We are still adjusting to Brandon's (lower) income from the job change, but would still never trade the money for the time we get with him now (!! ever!) but it's a learning process and we are trying to be very conscious of how we can save to make sure we can do things the rest of the year (like saving for next year's Montana vacation now, and our annual high school scholarship, and setting money aside now for Christmas which always sets us in the hole for the new year).  We're feeling very grateful to have read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, because even though it's temporarily annoying to not have everything we want right this second, living everyday with minimum debt and within our means has alleviated so much stress.  

Making chicken cordon bleu pasta with some leftover Easter ham (one of my favorite meals!) and grilled ribeye steaks using this recipe with an apple & candied pecan salad on the side, YUM.  I whipped up these peanut butter energy balls that the kids l.o.v.e.  They are really easy and the perfect on-the-way to a baseball game snack enough to hold them over until whining about going to concession stand until at least the third inning!  (win!)

Grey at seven

Thursday, April 20, 2017

hey booboo,
it's official, you're our bonafide big kid.

As every single year that your birthday rolls around, it's astonishing to us that we've made it all the way around a year again.  Your birthday is particularly striking for us as your parents because - not only does it mean we get to celebrate all that is YOU, but also all that we have become as parents, as we didn't exist as parents until your original birthday.  

It too is a moment for us to check our bearings and brace our feet, as each year on your birthday, we're becoming parents of a new, older age child for the first time ever.  It can be overwhelming stuff, little man, especially for your momma.  And thank goodness for your Dad, who recognizes how monumental it is for me and senses when I'm on the brink of tears and offers up a hug and an encouraging, "you're doing awesome, hang in there." 

The truest thing is, Grey, you make us so proud.  
You make us a crazy too, you know that, but mostly you make us so, so proud. 
You are a good boy, a solid decent human being that people of all ages don't mind to be around...which is actually a huge compliment and feat in today's world.  You're polite and generous and thoughtful and every bit of all of the good in Dad and Me.  I know how much pressure you have on you as our first born (I think it's just the way with first borns, I feel ya, dude) but you deliver nearly every time and we are so very grateful to you for that.  We know your younger siblings are watching you and they could not have a better role model than their big brother, Booboo.  (thank you a million times, our sweet, silly Greyson Rudy).  

I know I can trust you and that brings so much peace to my soul.  You are honest with a knee-jerk reaction in kindness.  Granted, you tease your sister Gemma more accurately than anyone on this whole earth will ever be able to do, but even she announces during the school day, "I miss Grey," so your torments to her are still palpable with the love you two share.  Violet adores you and the two of you and your silly antics deserve their own comedy show.  And Rusty is the luckiest little brother anywhere - the way he makes your eyes and smile light up is enough to crack my heart.  He will learn so much from you and what a gift that is for me, to know my babiest son will hopefully grow up to be like my oldest son. 

You are funny and goofy and still run on turbo speed all day, everyday.  You love sports - your hand-eye coordination comes straight from your Dad's DNA and it's incredible to watch you play anything.  You have a very long life ahead of you at fields and courts, that much is obvious - so we are doing everything we can to make sure you learn about being humble and being a leader and an encouraging force for your friends and teammates.  

We also want to make sure you know that being a great athlete is not the best or most important thing about you - it isn't my darling - it is awesome and something to be proud of, but it is not the only thing about you - it's just one little cool piece of a million other incredible traits! 

Don't you worry, I'm learning all about the way boys pull away from their mums, a lesson I always knew was coming, but this year it's showing itself in bigger ways than ever before.  I know it's about growing up and it has nothing to do with me actually, and so I'm trying very hard to be patient and gracious for the practice now in small doses.  

You spent the night before your birthday sleeping over at fishing camp with your Dad, uncles, and cousin and I knew how much that would make your greatest birthday to date - to wake up at fishing camp and spend your first day as a seven year old reeling in fish and playing in the dirt.  That makes me happy too, to see you so joyful - but I was aware deep in my bone marrow that you would wake up an older boy and I would not be there to see it. 

Of course, it wasn't my absence that made your day great - because I imagine, as all children are certain - your own mother is never actually absent because her love clings to your skin and follows you around wherever you are - it only hurts the mother to be away from her children.  And so, my sweet first born, thank you again for these little practices in learning how to be a mom to older kids that are confident in my love enough to leap off our little branch and fly on their own. I am definitely going to need lots of tiny practices, so please move slowly, my baby. 

You are seven, and many times that seems too young for you in the way you act, speak, and care.  I often times need to remind Dad and I that you are ONLY seven.  You are a big kid - our biggest - but you are still only a boy.  We want so much to do right by you, Grey, because you are so deserving of every good, fun, silly thing on this Earth.  

Thank you, Grey, for being exactly you. 
We are so very lucky to be your family.

My darling, 
I love you forever
even when you are so big, even bigger than me!
my sweet booboo.