Friday, December 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Break Part I

I know we're inching up to Christmas already (how is that possible?!) but I need to post about our Thanksgiving break!
As always, we set out for Sedona!
 Road trip!

 It was raining when we left, and it wasn't long before we hit snow.
For the entire drive it was either raining or white knuckle driving in the snow.  Two different occasions cars slid out coming the opposite direction nearly hitting us.  White knuckle indeed!
Luckily, we made it safely.

One of the biggest hits of the week was going to "Out of Africa", a wildlife preserve only about 30 minutes away from Sedona.  Here they have an assortment of African animals as well as some Northern American animals (wolves and bears and such).  One of the attractions is taking a bus ride to feed the giraffes...the girls loved it!


 We walked all over the park seeing all different kinda of animals.

Another hit were the tigers...and we each got to feed them!

So yeah, the trip started off with a bang for sure!
More to come on the rest of the week!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Birthday!!

Yesterday was Rory's 5th birthday!!  I can't believe my youngest is already five!
My parents had been in town but had to leave a couple of days before her birthday, so we threw an impromptu party the night before they headed back home.

This girl had been taking about having a pinata for her birthday since summer, but the days leading up to her birthday she never mentioned it, and I didn't either to be honest.  I figured a pinata in the winter wouldn't work.  But, when we were walking through Target and she saw this Olaf, she was in love!  How could I deny her?!  But it was a win because this was the type of pinata that you pull the strings at the bottom...no beating required...perfect for indoors!


My brother texted me later in the evening, saying he was bringing over a surprise for Rory.
What do you know, he brought a pinata!! He knows my kids too well!   Except this one you beat...and with frigid temperatures outside and snow on the ground, doing it out doors wasn't going to work.
We improvised!
We all took turns whaling on it...and I'm proud to say, nothing was broken in the process and no one got whacked.
Success!




And since her actual birthday was two days later we got to celebrate again with just our little family.
We went out for burgers and ate more cake!


And the day also marked our first fire of the season!
Happy Birthday to our sweet Rory!!
Love you bunches!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Unraveling

You know the saying, "When it rains, it pours."?
Well, that's exactly how I feel these past few weeks, like everything is happening all at once, and I have no control.  I'm just trying to stay afloat.  
Little known fact....I'm terrible at handling stress.  Note to self: do more yoga this month!  

We've been getting our old house ready to rent and in the process we noticed a leak in the bathroom.  The toilet had come off the wax ring and had been slowly leaking and ultimately destroying the sub floor.
So, we were delayed advertising the house a few days while this was taken care of.
Ugh...

Since we were not able to find the original tile anymore to replace what was ripped out (and we did not want to rip out the entire floor to put something new in) we opted to put in a completely different tile around the toilet.  This is now an official throne room, ha!
A little weird looking...but fully functional.

So, long story short, we realized we had the same problem in our own house.  Specifically, the girls' bathroom.  
Here we go again...
There was leaking around the toilet as well as the tub, so out went ALL the tile this time and most of the sub floor.
The new tile was installed Friday night but the bathroom was still out of commission for the weekend.  Which proved a challenge with 7 girls in this house over the weekend!!  Yep, that's right!  We had three cousins stay here overnight...the girls were in slumber party heaven!  Me on the other hand...I think I'm still recovering.  Kidding...but seriously.

As for this week, the toilet and shower are now functional, but we are in the process of putting in a new vanity.  

So with our bathroom being under construction here and driving back and forth to our rental, and my own daily chores (laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc.) are being neglected...it's all taking a toll.

And Thanksgiving is next week!  I have so much on my mind, this holiday has completely sneaked up on me!

And then Christmas???  Oh my, don't even get me started!!
Hopefully things will slow down in December??  


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Halloween 2016

We had another successful Halloween!
Funny how when I was a kid, Halloween came and went, just like that...at least that's what I remember.  Now, for these kiddos, Halloween lasts weeks it seems!  Parties, trunk o' treats, school parades...you name it!  By the time actual Halloween comes you're lucky if their costume isn't rags, ha!  And the make-up (if they have some for their costume) gets simpler every time they have to dress up...I guess they start to lose their patience.

But, as always, the kids love every bit of it!
This year, we have (from oldest to youngest): Cheshire Cat, crazy cat lady, ninja, and a vampire.

Rory got tired of people calling her cute all the time.
She's not cute people!!  She's scary!!

And Ryan and I went as Napoleon and Deb, from Napoleon Dynamite.
But really, lets face it, Ryan stole the show on that one.
However, can I just say that fanny packs rule...so nice having everything (phone, chapstick, vampire teeth) right there, but without a purse hanging off me was kinda nice!  

Haley (for the first time) went trick o' treating with friends...gasp!  She's getting so grown up!!!
Ryan took the other kiddos out trick o' treating and they made out like bandits.

And that was that.
Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Old stomping grounds.

 Our old house has had a renter in it for the last 6 years!  Pretty good run for our first tenet!
It's now empty and getting ready to be rented again...hopefully soon.
Last week my dad and I were able to paint the front bay window and trim around the front door and garage.  And this week I finished up a few things with the painting and started some yard work.  I also discovered a major plumbing issue and I'm pretty sure we will be needing a new bathroom floor.  But that's another story for another time.

Rory came with me one day this week to work on the house.  I brought her bike and she happily rode up down the sidewalk while I painted.  I promised her I would take her to the swings when I finished.


 This house (if you remember) is right beside the river path and just a short distance down the path is a tree swing.  I've spent numerous hours at this tree swing when Haley and Morgan were little.  And the river path was my go to for exercise...so many walks were had on that path!

It was so nostalgic bringing Rory to the very spots I took Haley and Morgan.  Although, now a tire swing has been added and several picnic tables!


 So many feelings being there again...I know it's only been 6 years...but that time of my life was so incredibly new to me.  I had just moved away from my hometown, away from my family and I was a brand new mom.  It was so many things...it was a very scary, stressful, lonely and frustrating time of my life.  But also, so very wonderful and exciting!  I think every woman will remember the first few years of being a new mom, there is really nothing that compares to it.  


 I told Rory all about taking Haley and Morgan on this very path, and how in looked in every season.  I told her how parts of the path used to look (because some of it has changed).  




 I took her picture in spots that I remembered taking pictures of Haley and Morgan.

So of course I had to hunt down some old photos of the older girls on the path from back in the day.




It's been a rough few days...dealing with house stuff (rental and our own).  But this day with Rory walking on the path that I know and love...and seeing so many familiar faces in the hood stop by and say hello, brought me so much joy.  

Some things...like my memories in this neighborhood, will forever be a part of me. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cyclocross 2016

Another season of cyclocross has come to end.
I decided to just compile a bunch of pictures from all the races...I started to try to get them order, but then that was taking me forever...so here they are in no real particular order.


Morgan, Piper and Rory consistently participated in the kid's races.  It's a shorter lap (or two) for all the little ones to get their taste at cross, and they always have fun prizes at the end for them.
(Haley isn't really into cyclocross, so she's kinda MIA in these photos.  I think she prefers having a quiet house all to herself while we're gone, ha!  But for the record she did come to several races to cheer her sisters and dad on.)






 This year Morgan decided to up the challenge, and do the highschool group as well.
30 minutes of hard racing.  I'm super proud of her as I know cross is NOT easy!  But she stuck it out and finished every one that she started!



Ryan would ride with Morgan in the high school race, giving her some encouragement along the way, and then he would race his own race right after.




 A little leaf playing thrown in!










And that's a wrap.
It's was a super fun season!
Until next year!
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