Sunday, July 27, 2014

a singular sabbath and some dollar summer movie quotes

today was our last sunday at our ward in simpsonville. 
*reagan's snake of the day was a rattlesnake, for those keeping track of his personal snake collection. 
 it was a sad day. i said the opening prayer in in relief society so i would avoid end of church crying and i still bawled and gasped and sputtered and it was em-barr-assing(said in a multi-syllabic sing song voice). but for realz, i'm also ready to roll. let's do this. i will go, i will do. let's not drag it out by wallowing, right?

i'm so glad we lived here. i'd love to come back to live here again someday. it's been a wonderful place for our family. everywhere we have lived has helped us progress and come closer to Christ. i'm not who i was 4 years ago and i'm glad. my testimony has grown and i have felt love and my testimony has grown some more. "we rise to the amount of love we're shown." i heard that quote that while suffering through the smurfs 2 at the summer dollar movie. a dollar well spent! i've learned that sometimes to feel love you have to realize that it's not necessarily how you think you should receive it. we can't dictate what people should do for us or how they should love us. we will never be satisfied that way. that's selfish love. we have to accept love how it is given. i've learned more about having gratitude in all things. that's how i feel happiest. i feel most natural complaining about everything, but happiest when i choose to see the good. without gratitude, "we are filling a cup with no bottom"- kung fu panda 2! pow!

i hope it doesn't take the almost requisite year to discover my next batch of friends who love my kids and tolerate me(because being tolerated is all i care about if my kids make good friends). the people who have truly loved and served my children have done more for me than they probably realize. my cup runneth over. they have been an answer to prayers. not just prayers, but pleadings for love and accpetance. knowing that there are people who see the need to include my children when it is not always easy or convenient has blessed me and inspired me beyond measure. it has also shown me that i can do so much more for others than i currently am. talking about unity is all lip service until you are truly extending yourself to the lonely and friendless.  
(steps off soapbox,
back to regularly scheduled programming)

why is athena blythe so dang difficult during sacrament meeting? at one point i had her propped across my biceps and did some curls just to keep her from running out of the building. probably not the most reverent of activities but neither is the whisper yelling i was doing or rest of the stuff she wanted to do. she wholly rejects all quiet, religious based church activities or toys.

i finally broke down and let her go get her latest favorite obnoxious toy from the car, a naked, male army doll riding a horse. thomas jimmy-rigged the doll to stay on because that had become quite the issue.

scarlett's post church snack plate:
i later made a pan of my mom's famously fantastic blondies. there is no evidence besides my overstuffed stomach. 
the end.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

water log

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
another dang scout project completed and now i'm off the hook until next year- walt whitman and heidi simpson
(poetry doesn't have to rhyme)

raingutter regatta, or regada as some poor soul on our scout committee kept writing on the mass emails, causing my eyes to bleed with every read, is completed! and like pinewood derby, i realized that i had to go to drastic measures to complete our ship. unfortunately, the junk store does not sell completed boats for me to purchase and pass off as my own, so another scout's father took mercy on me and made it for us, the day of the regatta, no less. he even seemed to really enjoy the task. engineers of the world, i salute you! 
reagan even wanted to name our vessel after him.

and like pinewood, reagan "won" every race. you cannot burst that boy's bubble of enjoyment with reality and i will knife anyone who tries. 

blythe figured out that there was water in them thar inflatable raingutters and did what every other kid wished they had thought of:

satisfied. if there is ever a cub scout patch for world's largest tape worm, blythe gets it!

in other water news, we've been trying to hit up the pool as much as possible. an hour here, an hour there.

pole dancing. but only so she can work her way through medical school. that's the only acceptable reason.

absolutely no fear in this child. she is swimming across the neighborhood pool solo, just wearing her puddle jumper. all the lifeguards know her by name. 

 reagan was cracking me up today. he was bored out of his mind because there were no other kids there today(which BLOWS my mind, it's summer! what else do you want to be doing when it's a bazillion degrees?) and in between jumping in and retrieving his diving dart, he took a few attempts to "baptize" himself. 
as in doing this number,
raising his hand to the square, saying a prayer and then dunking himself backward. classic.

this is him coming back out of the water after his self baptism:

he's a character.

finally, there is a class at the gym i've been wanting to try for a year now but i've never done it because it requires swimming and weights and it's the hardest class offered at the ymca. but, i love a challenge at the gym so i finally got the courage to do it. 

and it was horrible, just like i like. and by horrible, horribly embarassing because i can hardly lift myself out of a pool without using my legs so i got to roll out like a beached whale. also, try this next time you're at the pool. swim out to the deep end where you can't touch whatsoever and try going down to the bottom with a weight overhead and then swimming back up. or treading water and taking an XXL shirt on an off several times. i made eye contact with the lifeguard several times and at one point i asked him to keep particular eye on me because i did not know if i was going to make it. he laughed and i laughed but i wasn't really laughing. because funerals are only fun for the live people.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

nothing's gonna stop us now!

12 years! 2 dates in one week!
 all our dates seem to end at target because running errands never ends!
we did our usual olive garden anniversary date and then we also went out again a few days later to what we had been told was the best steakhouse around, the peddler. 
we were not disappointed. i even broke my cardinal rule of "no cell phone at the table taking pictures of food in a restaurant". because this steak was just that big. 

this was what we brought home as leftovers. the portions were HUGE and the salad bar was excellent including GIANT blue cheese chunks. yum. add a side of peas on romaine-delicious! 

more pictures of steak than you ever wanted!
*and my super dirty microwave.

our culminating celebration for our 12 years of absolute bliss was cleaning out the garage together, in anticipation of our next move.
 to atlanta. 
 in 2 WEEKS!
 you guessed it. last week's trip to atlanta was to find a new place to rent and we will rent out our house here in greenville until we can devote more time to selling it. i'm heartbroken. we all are. we love greenville. we love our neighborhood. we love our friends. we love south carolina. i really, really love my gym(more than some of my friends). nevertheless, we're a family that sticks together and we go where will be best for each member of our family long term. 
any yet, 
poop sandwich. 
at least i'm not in charge of packing everything up. after 12 years and 54223 moves, we source that out. 

garage cleaning was a success.
thomas especially loves how the sweat drips off my nose after mere minutes of exertion. 

thankfully, ever dang neighborhood kid showed up to not help and not organize stuff and not throw junk away. 

cleaning the garage was actually slightly fun. i got to organize everything and stress about item placement which is what i wish i could go back to college and major in. with a minor is public scrutiny.
our garage is a beautiful thing. even with our weird, extra storage room the former owners put it. it's good for locking up ornery kids and growing marijuana. 

then we went swimming...

 at the greatest neighborhood pool that cannot be replicated, because, believe me, we've looked. 
*our version of a synchronized jump
**olympics 2016 for sure!

then to really show our love and devotion to one another, thomas and i painted our master bathroom on saturday night. 

sunday morning we both overslept from exhaustion and still made it to church on time. because we are that in love. nothing's gonna stop us now.
sing with me!
"Let 'em say we're crazy, what do they know 
Put your arms around me baby 
Don't ever let go 
Let the world around us just fall apart 
Baby we can make it if we're heart to heart 
And we can build this dream together 
Standing strong forever 
Nothing's gonna stop us now 
And if this world runs out of lovers 
We'll still have each other 
Nothing's gonna stop us, nothing's gonna stop us now "

shake out sweaty  80s hair band hair, end post.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

holiday! celebrate!

i'm so tired from this summer that if i die, bury me in my swimsuit. that way the undertaker doesn't even have to change my clothes.

i'm still waiting for the day when i stay at home and do nothing all day long. this past week still has not contained that day. the fourth of july, a weekend trip to the ATL and our anniversary were within 5 days.

athena blythe's self-styled fourth of july outfit she put together for the church fourth of july brunch.

scarlett wanted to look like a firecracker and thomas obligingly attached a sparkler to her scooter.

reagan was just happy to be riding his bike in a giant circle over and over again(an autistic dream). 

the highlight of our church fourth of july breakfast:  
just two teenagers in love, slow dancing in the church parking lot.

that afternoon we headed to atlanta for a quick trip. this is how we rock a suburban applebees:
incidentally, thomas is always an excellent tipper.

we stayed in a fawn-cy hotel with an elevator AND a staircase with carpet. which are two things that just thrill our kids.

thomas made all my hopes and dreams come true.

some were less excited.

this is what childhood nightmares are based on. the stay puft marshmallow man and miss piggy got together at some point during one of kermit and piggy's relationship breaks and HELLO! this resulted:

again, athena blythe is a total pill.



scarlett had no idea what she was getting into. plus, before we left, i had to give thomas a pep talk about how we were NOT going to buy any of the children any sort of super overpriced cabbage patch doll. that man cannot say no to his children. there was prolonged eye contact ultimately agreement and a firm handshake. 
i had to explain the history and importance of the cabbage patch doll. how i begged for one and luckily my uncle steve was stationed in korea waaaaaay back in the 1980s and was able to bring me back a "pabbage catch" doll. a 1980s girl triumph! 
i do think scarlett is a bit creeped out by the dolls growing in these cabbage pods. 

i was pretty disappointed in the "birth" of the cabbage patch doll. they definitely pay minimum wage at babyland general hospital. i think the doctor delivering the doll must have gotten her medical license online. i was not impressed. zero vocal inflection and just pulled the doll out of nowhere. if i was delivering cabbage patch dolls, you better believe there would have been some fireworks and dramatics in that show and that baby would have dropped from the sky!

but the setting was incredibly beautiful. 

you know there was a fart joke involved in the taking of this picture:

so, so, weird.

scarlett was more than little annoyed that my cabbage patch pep talk with thomas actually worked and she walked away empty handed. thomas admitted that he felt weak a few times, but was glad that we had decided to deprive our children of yet another overpriced toy. we love our kids that much.

one the way back to town we stopped at the BEST ice cream stand. frozen yogurt is for babies. hard scoop ice cream is for women who plan on taking over the world. 
they had a giant cow out so i felt like that was a sign that i should go ahead and eat whatever i want. the bulging veins on the udder absolutely gross me out but was oddly recognizable. not everything needs to be completely anatomically correct.

we like each other. and yes, athena blythe is practically naked and tempting death. please, please give me all your best parenting advice and internet shaming in the comments section.