Saturday, May 16, 2015

I'm currently watching an episode of Parenthood, while the rest of the house sleeps. When I watch I only pay half attention so I'm still only about 50% on the characters' names. Anyway, in this episode Max and Haddy's dad is "finding himself". He's taking a break and trying to take care of himself. Golly that thought sounds all too familiar. I feel that periodically and, if I'm not mistaken, possibly cyclically that overwhelming feeling to find myself hits me. And also, if I'm not mistaken, it quite possibly links with PMS.

Why am I always ready for big drastic changes right before I start my period? The current state of being is not satisfactory and something needs to change. NOW. Like buying a house, dying my hair the exact opposite of today's color, completely change my parenting style, possibly even change my status as a parent. 

I'm glad it passes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Double Digits

Guys, I almost feel like Dallin turning 10 falls under the category of, "I have to laugh or else all I'd do is cry!" I mean, I'm not trying to be dramatic or act like this is some awful tragedy, but by the same token, I'm halfway done raising my boy!
(No need to tell me, once a mom, always a mom, or any of those other cliches-- I know I'll always have Dallin, but his time in our home is now on the down hill slide.) 

All that being said, I couldn't be prouder of my 10 year old boy or feel more honored to be his mother.

Chick-fil-a school lunch date

Dallin, Colton, Maddox

The card/present opening/cake crew.
Take note of B flashing his dolla bills.

I think we nailed it in the gift department this year. He opened a pair of Dodger headphones that he had been eyeing (but maybe forgot about it?) and was genuinely shocked to see them!

B loves to do things, have experiences if you will. So I took a risk and gave him a handful of dates for his "big" birthday gift. I stuffed a little piece of paper in the balloons and he had to pop them to reveal the different dates. He loved both the method of retrieving the gift and the gift itself….phew! The risk paid off!

Dallin's baseball game got cancelled for that day so he chose to go to Cover 3, a sports bar/restaurant, and watch the play-off basketball game while we had dinner. 

It really was such a fun day (from his perspective too, not just mine!) and we couldn't have been happier to celebrate our sweet B man!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Life is Not Boring

In fact, it is busy. And the best kind of busy. We are finishing baseball season (at least spring session) and it monopolizes our time. Between Dallin and Porter, we are at the ball fields most nights. With 70-80 degree weather, the Austin city skyline as the back drop, the setting couldn't be more perfect.

Porter is on the Ranger's American League team and has been a pitching machine this season. I think it's safe to say, that's his favorite position. He's done well for his team there. He's also done well at giving the spectators a heart attack as he lopes from 1st to 2nd base while "running" the bases! We definitely need to take some video footage so that porter can see himself in action (or perhaps lack of action is more accurate!) to see what the big deal is! Yosh keeps score for the team on Game Changer and Deeter has adamantly been the helper on this. He wants to do it all by himself and Yosh has said he has to be able to read all the play options to completely independently be in charge. Deeter has stepped up to the plate- he's a full blown reader and score keeper! Pretty neat to watch!

Dallin plays for the Mets on the National League. He's playing catcher and really is such a fun kind to watch. Admittedly, I'm a) biased and b) not in the know enough to compare to others, but I think he's pretty good. Baseball is intuitive to him and he's so aware of details that he rarely makes mistakes and, in fact, makes critical plays as a result of simply "getting" baseball. Between that and the fact that the level of play in his league is such a jump up from last year, watching his games is a definite highlight of our week. I'm curious to see where his athleticism takes him!

Deeter hates to miss out on the boys' games. This only causes problems when we have 7:30 pm games, which pushes bedtime back to 9:30-10- too late for a 5 year old. He's a dedicated fan! He is also loving his own baseball season. He's on the Rays for coach pitch. Despite his third child status which has led to much less instruction, he's picking up the game and decent at it and is always counting down the days until his next game. He has also started spending more time playing basketball with the big boys. I think we have another sports fanatic on our hands. Deeter, as mentioned, is also a reader. Both Yosh and I love when he reads to us. Dr. Suess has been the author of choice. It's so satisfying to watch him feel accomplished. I really think that is a key to raising good kids-- putting them in situations where their work leads to accomplishment and letting them feel it.

And then there's the Kaia girl. It's tempting to call her Snotty Pants Hans, these days, but I'll refrain. Except that I didn't! I love having a little girl. She loves doing anything and everything with me- cooking, cleaning, playing, erranding-- she's up for it! She loves doing yoga at school on Fridays. She also loves bothering us for more attention at baseball games! Finding little friends to play with at the ball park has been both her and our saving grace! Ha! She's a little fish and is loving the weather warming up as she's been able to swim in the pool more. I have a feeling she'll be our swim team girl. We will see though- there's a big difference between recreationally hanging out in the pool for an hour versus swimming straight laps for an hour!

All in all, I'm in a good mothering phase where I like raising these kids. I swear I was having seasonal depression through March which was making all aspects of life hard to enjoy! Now that the sun is out, I'm in full-fledged I love being a Mom gear!   

Monday, March 30, 2015


For awhile now, I quite frequently catch my kids sitting and looking through the picture books I make. they conversate back and forth, the pictures the cues…
"Oh yeah, remember when…"
"Look, I remember doing that."
And they go on and on. The point is, they love reliving memories. They're highly engaged in looking back. And that's always been a gift I've wanted to give my kids- the gift of knowing about their past, of remembering their childhood, of knowing their former self. 
So here I am writing. Random tid bits maybe, but glimpses of life still the same.
~Kaia. My absolute favorite right now is when Kaia copies me. She starts mimicking my words and facial expressions and gestures and it is hilarious! She's a funny one. She is also currently a sassy one. This period is most likely foreshadowing her teenage years and, make no mistake, I am scared to death. I hope I take note when she's in a sweeter stage to ease the worry….!
~Deeter is lovey dovey. He's infatuated with Minecraft. He's learning to read on his own. When he gets mad, I diffuse him by either tickling him or declaring, "Put em up" and raising my fists. He is the cutest when he puts em up. I love my Deetz.

~Porter is so just himself. I don't know how to describe it other than that. he's decided he wants to wear a straight billed hat so all of a sudden, he wears a hat most days. And dresses in Volcom. He is declaring basketball his sport of choice and wants to focus on that. He is fiery and the more and more I get to know him, I realize just how alike we are. Such an interesting subject.

~Dallin is doing baseball (as are the other boys) and Yosh and I have both commented just how fun he is to watch. It's not that he's good (he's probably average on his current team), but there's a grace that he plays with. He is still so good to his mama. He misses his dad when he works a lot or is out of town. His social grace and etiquette is beyond his years. He's getting bigger and older right in front of my face and it's kind of killing me.

As a family, we've been watching a lot of The Voice together. We're slightly obsessed. It's great to have a family obsession though! We spend a lot of time at the First Street ball fields. When the weather is good, there's no place I'd rather be! The back drop is Austin's skyline, baseball is America's sport, and life is good. And…family time, right?!! It's something we all are doing together!
We're currently coming up with a summer bucket list and, let me tell you, THAT gets me excited…!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tavarua, Fiji

For years I've heard about this vacation from Kelsey Clark. Each conversation ended the same way-- "You guys should come on the next one."

2015 was the year where it finally fell into place.
This became one of those vacations where it's hard to put the week into words. It's hard to articulate feelings and magic and do it justice. It's one of those things you won't ever grasp until you experience it for yourself.
Still, I do want to write some words.
Each day we noted our highlights.

Sun Jan 4
-seeing rainbow (Kaia)
-lightning storm at dinner (Yosh)
-Deeter telling Dad he was putting himself to bed before dinner (Yosh)
-watching boys surf (Mom)
surfing (Porter)

(Dallin's lack of contribution to this tells me he was asleep before he could throw out his bullet points!)

That day I also wrote, "I'm curious to see how we'll feel at the end of the week. Today was a lot of fun but not sure this island has enough to do for 7 days."

I didn't do much research about our trip so was very surprised to pull up to this teeny, tiny island and find out that this was it! If you were to run around the whole island, it would total a mile. Small!

Mon Jan 5
-fishing (Dallin)
-swimming (Kaia)
-going snorkeling at the sand bar (Dallin)
-kayaking (Kaia)
-going in the hot tub after the sand bar (Porter)
-seeing the blue star fish (Yosh)
-"When I get older, my boobies are gonna get fat." Deeter
-seeing the big hermit crab (Porter)
-seeing a sting ray while kayaking (Gay)
-"Today is Thanksgiving for the mosquitos. And on Christmas, one is going to suck my blood and give to another one as a present." Deeter (the mosquitoes were out in full force)
-most incredible massage ever by Elanoa (Gay)

Tuesday Jan 6th
-surfing (Porter) ((he got up 6x that day))
-playing ping pong with the boys (Dallin)
-snorkeling at the sand bar (Gay)
-napping on a lounge chair (Gay)
-taking a nap on a lounge chair (Kaia)
-watching movie with all the kids (Porter, Deeter, Kaia)
-playing spades (Gay)
-snorkeling Restaurants (Yosh)
-Watching Deeter and Porter reel a fish in (Yosh)
-Kaia is playing so well with all the kids
-Mom and Kai kayaked around the island

Wednesday Jan 7th (Happy Birthday, tess!)
-the whole fam went to the sand bar
-Kaia LOVED snorkeling. Mom loved seeing her determination. The mask wasn't comfortable/fitting. After a while, I was like, Forget it, we can just sit in the boat. Kaia was like, Noooooooo! I want to snorkel! Glad she didn't give up because I sure was ready to!
-I liked getting wiped out by some waves. (Deeter)
-Andy took Porter surfing in the morning. Before long about 10 kids were out there getting usher in by Andy and Frog. They were all catching waves. It was quite the sight!
-That whet the kids' appetite and all day long they were anxiously awaiting the next set of waves. Yosh got in there and started pushing them in and a crew gathered. Darshan then started pushing too. The kids were in heaven. The parents were all lined up on the deck watching their kiddos. Kaia and I jumped in a kayak and paddled out behind the surf scene and watched from there.
-SURFING!!! (Porter)

Thursday Jan 8th
-Deeter loved seeing the guy with a 50 lb Spanish mackerel that he had brought in from spear fishing.
-Kaia loved "surfing". Daddy held her board while she laid on her tummy.
-Boys went and snorkeled The Namotu Drift. Porter loved seeing a reef shark. (Porter chased the shark for a good 20 yards before Yosh noticed what was going on and went and yanked him away from the chase! Can you say No Fear?!! Ha!)
-Yosh loved seeing the shark and all the sights on the Drift. 
-Yosh had a lot of fun pushing kids into waves for surfing.
-Apparently while snorkeling The Drift there was an attacking fish. Dallin was one of the victims! (teeny, tiny imprint)
-Fijian night! It was amazing. Our group presented the village chic with kava. The ceremony was amazing- very personal and intimate and far from commercialized. It felt almost sacred to be part of a small, native ceremony.

Friday Jan 9th
  -going surfing (Kaia)
((she loves going out on a board while the kids are surfing and just laying on the board to watch)
-Mom and Kaia took a boat to Castaway Island with Darshan, Christy, and 4 Fijian kids. It was interesting seeing the other islands and being reminded that there were other humans around us! We had lunch there and then stopped at a sand bar on the way home to snorkel.
-sitting by the bonfire (Deeter)
-Deeter LOVES playing Spades
-I surfed a lot of waves (Porter)
-snorkeling and seeing rock fish (Porter)
-pushing kids into waves (Yosh)

Saturday Jan 10th
*I woke up ready to get the heck off the island! It's funny because it didn't hit until it HIT! Not a gradual onslaught. i took no notes that day but I remember an epic volleyball game, 4 on 4, the hales vs the Fijians. We lost*

Sunday January 11th
We left the island at about 10:30. We went to the Sofitel Hotel for the day until our 10:00 pm flight. Being at the hotel really put into perspective what a unique and magical place Tavarua is. The Sofitel felt so commercialized and lost the majority of the Fijian flavor. You actually had to pay for food and outings and everything else! Tavarua was all inclusive and you could take a boat out as many times a day as you wanted, therefore not restricting you to singular experiences. We did many snorkel excursions, many fishing excursions, etc. It really was an amazing, amazing trip!

All photos are by Scott Winer.


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