Dominant gene

They all have a cleft in their chins. 
And I love it!


Name writing

Ansel is in that stage where he loves writing his name. Three year old handwriting is so cute.


On mourning

Mourning is strange. One moment you are in tears. The next, you find yourself in shock. And at other times it's surreal and you aren't really sure how you feel. And that usually happens when you go on with your everyday tasks and you feel like something isn't right but you don't have the power to do anything about it. It's nice to have a greater perspective. But there sure is a hole in your heart when someone you love passes away.  And that feeling of surrealness sticks around for much longer than you expect. 



What a blessing they are in my life!



I love the sound of:
My kids playing with friends
The heater
Nursing babe
Osmond Christmas album
Oven fan

And the smell of a fresh pine tree. 



I just saw a lady vacuuming leaves one by one in her front yard. 


Falling asleep

To mom playing the piano. 


No school day

We have had eleven different kids over at our house today. Pretzels was the only snack I was able to provide to a group so large. 


Two months

Man, I love this kid. 



The other day Oliver said to me, 

Mom, Ashley is an adult name. Oliver is a kid name. 

I remember thinking the same thing about my name when I was just about his age. 


Making sense of the world pt. 5

Ansel's latest request:

"Mom, I want to go to the umquarium. It's my favorite umseum!"

And while playing with the iPad and wanting answers:

"Why is Siri your last name!?!"

And here he is, very excited to put up Halloween decorations and wear the burger hat. 


Action pump up the paction!

"Take an action shot!" they request, and this is what we get. 


Right now

It's amazing how time flies and before you know it you're a mom to three kidlets. Taking them to soccer, helping them practice piano, reading them books, sharing good music with them, eating donuts, going on hikes, watching them grow.  So much to teach, so much to learn. These three boys make me one happy camper. 


Whirlwind Day

Things are hopping these days! Many goings on scheduled here and there, half of which I forget and end up apologizing to people for doing so.  It's busy, but a good busy. Plus, buying our second car has proven to take longer than (it should or) we planned. We sold our old car thinking the purchase would be quick, this has left us with one car, which has added to the craziness of our current days and today was no exception. Here is a timeline of one day just for the heck of it. 

6:45// Ollie wakes up and goes downstairs to draw and read. 
7:00// Ansel wakes up and proceeds to come into our room to deliver the line, "Mom, wake up and come downstairs."
7:30// Breakfast is served. I make Ollie lunch and sign agenda. 
7:45// The boys take a rare morning bath because we've had two tub-less late nights in a row (due to previous busy/fun days).
8:47// We leave to pick up carpool and drop off at school. 
9:30// Leave to take Jess to work. 
10:00// Receive text asking, "is Ansel coming to preschool co-op today? 
10:07// Drop Jess off. 
10:05// Receive text asking if we'd like to meet at the library today with a friend.
10:20// Kindly decline library invite via text. 
10:30// Send text apologizing for forgetting and missing preschool.  
10:46// stop at Target. 
11:15// lunch. 
11:45// give Ian a bath. 
1:55// pick up carpool. 
2:00// neighbors come over to play. 
2:55// take phone call from sister. 
3:00// neighbor child smashes finger in back door. 
3:45// break up fight between kids. Send neighbors home. 
4:20// eat early dinner. 
4:45// prep Ollie for soccer game. 
5:00// leave for game. 
5:16// figure out I misread the schedule and his game is actually in an hour.
5:50// pick up Jess. 
6:15// go back to fields for Ollie's soccer game. 
6:40// go to feed Ian but find that he's had a major blowout. Go to public restroom and clean Ian. Throw away soiled diaper as well as his onesie. Find that I've forgotten extra clothes for Ian. He rides home in a diaper and orange muslin blanket. Looks like a Tibetan monk. 
7:10// drive home and change blouse that is covered in newborn poo. 
7:35// arrive at friends' wedding shower. 
8:35// go home and hold Ian so Jess can pack for international trip. 
10:20// leave to drop Jess off at airport. 
11:15// arrive home. carry a sleeping Ansel up to bed. Walk a had-been-sleeping Ollie up to bed. Take sleeping Ian up to room in car seat. 
11:30// go to sleep. 

A good day :)

A beautiful fall day

Last Sunday we took a drive and walked a bit in the canyon. It was so nice out. 

The colors!
Walking in the dry creek. 
The boys (excluding Ian) on top of the "big rock," our official name for it. 

This time of year is hard to beat. 


Signs that my husband has been grocery shopping

We have several different speciality cheeses in the fridge. 

We have loads of cereal.


My last car was a 2006

We are in need of a new car and so have been test driving a few. For one of the test drives, I got in the car and waited for the salesman to give me the key. He wasn't handing it over. I looked at the salesman like, "Okay, I need the key.  This is when you give me the key so I can start the car."  And he's looking at me like, "What are you waiting for? Go ahead." And there was this long pause which became an awkward silence and I couldn't take it anymore so I said "Can I have the key?" To which he replied, "I'd give it to you, but I've had people accidentally leave the dealership with them."  Um, what? I still didn't get it. I was thinking, "Well, how are we going to drive this thing?" At which point I saw the red start engine button and felt very foolish. This was a keyless start car and it took me an amazingly long time to figure that out. Yep, I am old school. To solidify this fact even more, during the drive I looked at the front console with all of the buttons and said, "How do you turn off the radio?" and "What is that screen for?" (there were two), like an 80-year-old trying to use an iPad for the first time.

Laundry lifesaver

Here's the truth: I am not a fan of laundry.  Especially the folding part. I have been known to leave a whole pile of laundry on the bedroom floor until we've worn about 91% of it.  That means it lays there for a whole week. I am not proud of this. The worst part of the system is trying to find socks. All the sifting and re-sifting just to find a match. Exhausting. Infuriating. And my fault. 

I knew something had to be done. So I went to Target. I bought four cube bins. One each for Jess, the boys and me (Ian's clothes are cleaned separately due to scent free detergent but I'll add a bin for him when the time comes).

Now instead of throwing the clean pile of laundry on the floor, I immediately separate it into the bins. Then, usually a bit later, I take the bins to the respective person's closet to fold the clothes and put away all in one step. No folding in my room and carrying each pile to their room. This makes laundry so much easier!  And no more laundry on the floor. 


Nearly 3 weeks

Gee, it's fun to have a new little one in the house. Little Ian is a great babe and  such a blessing. 

He gets a lot of love. 

In other news, the big kids are climbing trees like no ones business. 



Weighing in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 19 inches, Ian Charles joined our fam and we love him bundles and bundles! 


Snail titles

Oliver and Ansel love to go snail hunting in the courtyard of my doc's office. They find a lot of empty shells, but yesterday they found some live specimens. They put them in plastic cups and called them their pets. The best part is the names they gave them! Oliver's new pal is John Coop (middle name: Vancouver) and Ansel's little buddy is Tickle Beethoven (middle name: Bon Bon, as in the French name for candy). These are regal snails. 

Donut peach

I think I have found a healthy alternative to my donut obsession, the donut peach. I recently discovered this pleasantly sweet treat at the local farmers market. I quickly bought a bucket for $5. Best treat money ever spent. Everyone at home thinks so too.


Switzerland about 16 years ago

Lately, I've been reading blogs where people report on their trips to Europe. Many individuals share photos of Switzerland, and man, that place is beautiful!  It takes me back to a trip my parents, three of my siblings and I took a good while back. What great memories. It makes me want to travel with my little family soon!

My sister and I up high with mountains behind us and a glacier in front of us. 
My sisters and I enjoying the view of the Matterhorn from our Zermatt hotel balcony. 
My dad, who has Swiss heritage, living a dream and playing the alp horn in the mountains of Switzerland. We all look very serious about this moment. 
My brother, mom and I enjoying the lake in Interlaken.  
The fam enjoying one of the many waterfalls and quaint mountainsides found in Switzerland. 

Oh, what a trip! And I must say, with that haircut and my clothes, I was mistaken for a local many, many times on the trip. Haha!



August is here! And again summer has gone by with many things going on. Most of the time has been wonderful. Some of it has been hard with sad family news. The strange dichotomy is that when sad things happen life goes on and you've got to keep doing the little things each day. The hardest part is being powerless to make the situation right, but that's when the support mindset kicks in and helping with all those little things make dealing with the situation a bit easier. I know this is all so vague but there you have it. With that said, we've been able to spend quality time doing fun things to fill in these summer days. Boy, how I love a lazy summer morning where the boys get to play and laugh until it's lunchtime. And walking barefoot outside, what a luxury. I don't care if I step on a twig, this is the life!

Below are some pics of some of our doings these days. Scroll through as desired. 

One weekend afternoon in June was cold and rainy. Not to worry! Oliver put together a miniature golf game and we played a few holes. Needless to say, there was some bending of the rules, but it was a good time. 

I may have been the last person to realize that there was an awesome canyon-inspired splash park at Liberty Park, but we've taken full advantage this summer. Such fun at that park. Always lots of kids and my boys love it (doesn't hurt that Banbury Cross donuts is just down the road either :). 

These kids have taken to bike riding this summer and they do it A LOT. 

We visited a petting zoo and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We got to see goats, alpaca, sheep, chickens (Ollie got to harvest the eggs), pigs, chicks, horses, and rabbits. 

Tennis lessons for Ollie were awesome. He had a fun time and I learned a few things myself listening to the coach. Where can I sign up?

Jess' birthday (complete with a half cake) was great. Those boys were very eager for him to come home and blow out the candles. 

Ansel learned to pump! Ahh, the freedom for him and me. Wahoo!

Sparkler magic on the 4th of July. Ansel loved the carnival we went to and is planning the rides he will try next year. I think Oliver was counting down the days to this holiday the day he got out of school. 

Two front teeth, gone. Apparently, Oliver does not want anyone but himself to pull his teeth out. "It's my goal to pull out my own teeth," he says to anyone asking. 

Cousin group hug! Speaking of hugs, Ansel is the sweetest 3 year old and likes to give out hugs. Kisses too. I can't get enough. 

Brother fun after a doc appointment. Ahh, the fun. On a different day they found lots of empty snail shells in the garden. We found some live ones too. Poor garden but good times for snail exploration. 

36 weeks pregnancy photo in the perfect lighting of a golf course bathroom. Man, those bathroom lighting people know how to do it right. Anyhow, I've never posted a pic of a pregnant me on this blog or anywhere for that matter, but I find that I miss the fact that I can't go back and see that for my other two kids, so there it is. And I know I won't get professional photos done. I have now joined the selfie in the bathroom club, as well as the selfie as a pregnant person club.

A visit to my mom's grave with Jess and the boys. Jess always does a great job cleaning around the headstones. I help too, but he's got the skills. 

Cousins at the creek up Big Cottonwood canyon. We were there for 4 hours and never did I get asked "when are we going home?"  My sister and her family came to visit and it was so nice. 

Alpine sliding and good times. Ollie did it by himself and totally enjoyed it. Ansel couldn't wait to go on the lift and then slide down. They wanted to go again and again. If only the pricing for such a thing were like the good old days. Oh well.

Swimming lessons for Ollie have been great! We went for semi-private lessons and it has made all the difference this year. Oliver loves his teacher, who is a college student with some excellent kid skills. He always tells her thanks and he totally means it. 

This summer has been a summer of "conquering fears" for Oliver.  He's told me this a few times and it is true. I am very happy for him and all he's done. As for Ansel, he wants to do everything and anything Oliver does, the kid wants to do tennis and golf and swim lessons. He is ready to try soccer and has a "need for speed."  Jess and I have recently celebrated another year of marriage and friendship. We do a lot of listening to good music and going to places our kids want to visit. And that is that.