Monday, August 29, 2011

first ever first day of school

so my kids started school today. this is their first real first day of school. last year we started late. we had been homeschooling up until that point. so today is bittersweet. the kids were looking forward to going to school and i was dreading how emotional it was going to be for me. mark kept asking me all morning how i was doing - i'm sure he was prepared for the tears. luckily, i made it through both meetings with their teachers and driving home without tears. i'm not happy about it but no tears. i'm sure my homeschool mind will have to adjust every year that the kids start school. but i'm happy that the kids are happy. although, liv got a a little nervous right before i left and gave me a hug and she had a hard time letting go. thankfully her two best friends are in her class so that made it easier for her to walk into class. ethan doesn't have any of his friends from last year in his class this year but he seemed pretty comfortable the moment we walked in the school. i can't believe he's in 4th grade already!
ethan had this goofy grin all morning. i think he had a hard time sleeping last night because he was so excited/nervous.

he was happy about wearing his new superman shirt to school

however, i don't think anyone was as excited about their school clothes as liv was. the only reason she got out of bed this morning was to get dressed! she's such a girly girl. it's cute.
i will add that i'm grateful how well we've all adjusted to changes in our lives this last year. it wasn't easy to go from being a stay at home mom who homeschooled to being a working/schooling mom with kids in school and very limited time spent with my children. we've learned a lot about what we can handle and what's just too much. we've learned more about our roles in this family and what we need to do to succeed. we've learned to be happy and content with the moments that we do have together. we're still in the learning process but i'm so grateful for the steps we have made to becoming a better, happier family. who knows how long this phase will last - how long i'll work or if the kids will stay in traditional school - but for now we are doing what we're supposed to be doing. 
that bit of knowledge makes me happy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

face painting

we went to the farmer's market on saturday. i love a good farmer's market. we bought some peaches and honey. who can pass up local, fresh honey? it's so great! olivia spotted the face painting table as soon as we got there. she's such a girly girl...pretty sure she pretends it's make up on her face instead of paint. this was izzy's first time and i didn't think she would actually let the lady touch her face but she marched right up to the table, said what she wanted (blue butterfly) and stood perfectly still the whole time. and my boy ethan chose wisely and got a blue and white Y painted on his cheek. yep, he's my little byu football fan. i couldn't be prouder.


hawaiian flower


Saturday, August 20, 2011

baby love

babies have been on my mind lately. maybe it's because my "baby" just turned three and is potty trained now. i don't have a little one who needs me in the middle of the night or who lays on the floor cooing. i should be overwhelmingly happy, right? it's tough to have little ones who demand so much of your time. my body is finally mine again. it's pretty used up at this point but it's mine, a baby is not in it or hanging from it. 
i've never been so emotional about the lack of a baby in my life than i am right now. most likely it's because i know i'm done. having a baby right now wouldn't be wise. and few years down the road, when things should be calming down, it probably isn't going to be on my mind. izzy is already three and i don't want the gap to be much bigger than that between her and a baby. it's difficult enough having a four and a half year gap between her and olivia.
side note: i'm not ignoring the prompting to have a baby, just to be clear. i know that i shouldn't. i know that. it's just sad to get to the point where i know i'm done. however, i will say, if i receive some sort of sign, like a heavenly being telling me that i MUST have a baby, then ya know, i'll consider it. 
my point - this is a tough phase of life for me. much harder than i anticipated it would be. i will admit that it's a physical aching that i feel in my body. my body is mourning the change as well. i certainly didn't expect that.
i was looking at some pictures of when i was pregnant and when the kids were first born. man, they sure were cute! mark and i make some cute babies, if i do say so myself.
i think i'll share a few.

seven months with ethan. i don't know what i'm doing with my face. i'll blame it on the pregnancy, it makes ya do strange things, right?
sorry about the quality. it's a scanned pic. this is the first time i held ethan. i just cried and cried. he was perfect.

grumpy old man face
six weeks old. i remember sitting like this most of the day, every day.
almost two. about the time i had olivia.
i couldn't find any traditional pregnancy pics with liv so this will have to do. i was eight months pregnant and out in VA visiting family. now, let me say, i gain 50 lbs whenever i'm pregnant, whether i eat all veggies or all junk, that's just the way it is. my pregnancy with liv shows off those 50 lbs more than any other pregnancy. mark just laughs when he looks back at these pics. it is kind of amusing.

meeting for the first time. liv spent some time in the NICU and came on on oxygen and monitors. so ethan wasn't able to meet her until she came home.
such a pretty baby. she would sleep like this for hours...and i let her. hence my house being trashed in the background. 
she loved her swing. and her hair grew out in the back first, leaving the top pretty bald. funny girl.
pregnant with izzy. my friend melanie and i were due the same week and ended up having the babies one day apart. i think we're about 5 or 6 months along here.
belly shot. two days before i had her.
i had a c-section with iz. she was breach.

holding her for the first time. after a four year break from babies, i was so thrilled when she arrived.
a few hours after she was born. she always had her tongue sticking out like this.
those are my babies. looking at these pictures makes me want to go back to those moments and hold them as little newborns again. they were so sweet. they still are. i look forward to the next phase in mommyhood - enjoying my kids as they get older.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

missionary man

my youngest brother, joe, is going on a mission. crazy. he received his call about six weeks ago and leaves on august 31 for the mtc in provo. he's going to the charleston, west virginia mission. for those that don't know my family, we grew up in virginia. not west virginia. there's a difference, just so you're aware. i'm sure the people of west virginia aren't as redneck as i grew up believing they were. 
but they probably are.
i know, not very nice of me...i mean, my brother will make lasting bonds with these people. i'm sure they are great people. joe will have to be our eye witness.
anyway, his mission is only five hours from our former home. my grandparents still live in virginia and will be a short drive away should he need anything. he's really excited. he's going to be a great missionary. you know, like the kind that people will want to feed a few times a week cause he tells hilarious stories and little kids adore him. he's going to bless lives. i know it. 
last friday the entire mero gang went to the temple together for the first time. what an experience. my dad was crying the whole time and my mom was grinning ear to ear. it was pretty great. i think my siblings are some of the best people around and having the chance to go to the temple with all of them was truly a blessing.

smiling cause he peeked at the mission name before reading it out loud

enthusiastically reading the rest of the call
the six of us. man, my sister and i look so little compared to those tall boys

oh joe. isn't he cute? i think he's great. quick list of names, left to right: my brother evan and his wife, jessica. my dad. me. my mom. joe. my sister laura. my brother brigham standing behind her. my brother cameron and his wife, rachel, who is six months pregnant with their first. it's a girl.


okay. i just turned in my last assignment for summer semester. yahoo! i'm ready to get a few things done that i've been putting off, like this blog. so here we go...

mark and i went to kauai at the beginning of july. yes, kauai! i still can't believe that we managed to pull off our dream vacation. i've been talking about going to hawaii for ten years. i can't even begin to describe how much fun we had. it was pure heaven. truly. i haven't seen mark that relaxed in a long time. he's a hard working guy who doesn't have a lot of down time. really, we were both grinning from ear to ear the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we stepped back on the plane to head home. note: coming home from hawaii was one of the most depressing experiences i've ever had. mark had to drag me on the plane. let's not dwell on that too much.

moving on...

are you ready for a few hundred pictures? brace yourself. i'll add a little commentary as we go along.

LAX. at this point we've been awake for about 26 hours straight. we worked wednesday, drove the kids to cedar in the evening to stay with family for the week, drove to vegas at 1am to catch a flight to LAX and then onto kauai. mark tried his best to take cat naps where he could. i felt pretty gross at this point. i needed a shower asap. we were finally able to get some sleep after 35 hours of being awake.
spouting horn. it's on the south end of the island. the waves come up through the holes in the rocks. it's really beautiful. there was a turtle floating in the waves by one of the rocks and we were waiting for the little turtle to be shot up through one of the holes. never happened, much to our disappointment. mark was in love with the sweet potato chips.

tunnels beach. it's close to the most nothern part of the island that people can drive to. the road literally ends. this is also where the movie south pacific was filmed back in the day.

taking a hike up to secret falls. just ignore my white legs.

this is the river we kayaked to get to the secret falls hike. our hotel was only about a mile from here. i love how green it is!

waimea canyon. it's called the grand canyon of the pacific. beautiful. 
hiking the na pali coast. the beach is ke'e beach and tunnels beach (my favorite). you can see the reef through the water. that's where we snorkeled and saw some huge sea turtles.
let me just jump in here and say that i'm in most of the pics because mark hates pics...even when he's in hawaii that doesn't change.

well here's a picture of mark. he was a great kayaker. he had to do most of the kayaking on the way back up the river. i guess i need to work on my upper body strength.

south end of the island

mark going snorkeling at tunnels beach. he loved to snorkel and i laid out. win, win. although, i did snorkel a little bit.

enjoying a bit of shade after swimming

sunset at ke'e beach. this was my favorite day.

waiting for the sunset

so beautiful
 that's our trip in a nutshell. 
we definitely want to go back at some point. i loved every minute. every. minute. i'm so grateful mark and i were able to take a little time for ourselves and enjoy this experience together. 

P.S. we should have taken pics of all the food we ate. it was definitely picture worthy. everything was so delicious! and if you ever go there and want to know where to go for THE best shave ice, just ask me. i wish we could find shave ice like that near home. pure heaven.