12.02.2016

Thanksgiving (Goodbye AZ!)

We got back from a quick trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving and to say goodbye to AZ since my parents moved to Utah last month. We had a blast, as always.

Our flight left at 8 pm on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and it was such a long day for Jack and David! They were ready to go to the airport first thing in the morning and had to wait for such a long time!
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We were still trying to kill an hour before we had to go to the airport once Spencer got home from work so we decided to drive 30 plus minutes in the opposite direction from the airport so Spencer could get his Panda Express fix before we got to Arizona :) A new Panda Express opened up a few towns over from us and Spencer is very very excited about it as it is one of his favorite places to eat ever and we haven't lived by one since we lived in Logan. 
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 These boys were so excited to board the plane! (Jack insists that this old pink backpack is his travel backpack... I don't get it! haha)
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It is very rare that Spencer ever flies round trip with us and it was such a luxury, especially when they were assigned seats on the opposite side of the aisle from me. I read my book the entire time :)
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We got into Mesa Gateway super late but Jack and David were wired and excited to see everyone!
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On Wednesday morning, James and Maddie introduced us to Pie Face :)
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I am going to miss this backyard so much.
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I met friends for bobas Wednesday afternoon, and we stayed for so long that I ordered another boba two hours later! I feel kind of panicky not knowing when I will get my next boba fix! haha #butseriously
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After bobas, I went with Katie to see Beautiful the musical! I loved it! It has been such a long time since I have been to a musical and it was so fun to go with my best friend :)
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Thursday morning run on my parent's running trail.
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I jogged four miles, the longest I have ran in a while. Also, I don't think those calories burned are accurate. #ifonly I am grateful to still be running/trotting this pregnancy! I quit running after my first trimester when I was pregnant with both Jack and David.
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I came back to these guys watching the real Avengers movie. Jack and David were so excited to watch it :) Now whenever David pretends to be the Incredible Hulk, he takes his shirt off like the "real Hulk" does in the movie :)
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Even though it was cold, Jack and David were still entertained by the pool :)
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Cutest skinny dipper ever :)
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This crazy boy even put his head under!
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We had perfect Thanksgiving weather! I was grateful this year to be spending one last holiday in Arizona with these people and for my parents who helped us get there for one last hurrah. (And I was also grateful that I wasn't "the main mom" for Thanksgiving this year! haha It has been five years since we have celebrated Thanksgiving with family!)
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After dinner, we took a walk at the Riparian Preserve. It is so close to my parent's house and I took it for granted when I lived in Arizona! It's beautiful.
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My dad caught a gecko and as you can see, Jack was sooooooo excited about it.
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On Friday morning, we went on a very little hike. David didn't do so great without a hiking backpack!
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The rest of the day I spent cleaning out my junk that I have been storing at my parent's house, visiting with friends from grad school, and hanging out with my aunt and uncle's family from California who were visiting for a wedding this weekend.
Bobas round 3!!!!
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Jack and David went on a scorpion hunt with my dad every night. They didn't catch nearly as many as they did back in August, but they still found enough to be very entertained and excited!
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On Saturday, we celebrated Jack's birthday with my family! Before the celebrations, we had Jamba Juice for breakfast, the only thing I craved during my 1st trimester. (The Quad Cities doesn't have a single smoothie store, so it's been pretty rough! haha There are a lot of local foods that we miss from Arizona and Utah, but we have also really missed living near a Jamba Juice, Einstein Bagels, and Panda express. They didn't have any of those chains in Birmingham either!)
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Jack wanted a "Moana Arizona party" so first, we went to the movies :)
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I love these people!!!
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Jack wanted to be in charge of the party games after the movie, so he made up all of his birthday games :) It was quite entertaining. With my family, he had everyone's undivided attention (which will not be the case for his birthday party with friends) and he loved every minute of it :) First, he placed all sorts of objects under cups and the person who chose the cup with the scorpion key chain was the winner.
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Then, we played "don't fall in the hot lava" where you had to stay on the squares of the rug.
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And last, we played a couple games of hide-and-go-seek.
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Jack loved his presents. My parents got him some Jurassic World dinosaurs that he has had his eye on for a while now.
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And just like that, our trip was over :( We left for Iowa at the crack of dawn on Sunday. It's still hard for me to believe that my parents don't live in Arizona anymore. I will miss it so much!
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We were divided on our flight home and David got the ipad for most of the flight. Jack spent the full three hours playing with his new dinosaurs :)
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I think one of the bummers about my parents moving (besides the weather and backyard and food ;) is that my kids probably won't remember much about Arizona. I think I've blogged about every trip we've taken to Arizona since Jack was born so I'm glad I have it all documented and I'm SO GRATEFUL that we were able to take as many trips to Arizona as we did in those five short years. We might not visit Arizona as frequently anymore, but this will NOT my last trip to Arizona. I love it too much to not go back :)

Other AZ trips:
August 2016
December 2015/January 2016
June 2015
January 2015
December 2014
June 2014
more June 2014
July 2013
March 2013
January 2013
March 2012

11.27.2016

FIVE

Our sweet Jack turned FIVE today! How do we have a five year old?! We love him more than words.
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"People tell you a lot about how much parenting will change your life and they’re right. But usually they mean that you won’t ever sleep in again (you won’t) and a few other things about how much we “give up” to become parents. No one tells you how much you’re going to laugh. No one tells you how much wisdom resides in these small humans, how much they will teach you about love and life and friendship and forgiveness and worship. No one tells you how good and freeing it is to leave your selfishness behind. No one tells you about recapturing your own wonder and innocence, about re-reading the Ramona books, about playing football in the basement, about birthday parties and snow days and every day beauty. All the best things I know about the big nouns and verbs of a life came back into my life because of them....
...When you have been given the tremendous gift of being able to have a baby, to give birth to that baby, to love that baby, it marks you. It should, perhaps, and so this season has marked more than just my stretched-out body, it has marked my soul." - Sarah Bessey
Jack school pic
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Jack's Five-Year-Old Interview
  1. What is your favorite color? light blue
  2. What is your favorite toy?  dinosaur toys
  3. What is your favorite thing to eat? pizza
  4. What is your favorite TV show? Dino Dan, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Paw Patrol
  5. What is your favorite outfit to wear? My new shirt and my dinosaur hat
  6. Where do we live? Davenport, Iowa
  7. What are your favorite animals? all of the dinosaurs and turtles
  8. Where does Dad work? somewhere in Davenport at his work
  9. Where does Mom work? at the gym
  10. What is your favorite book? the sea turtle book
  11. What is your favorite thing to do outside? ride my tractor
  12. Who is your best friend? Steven and Jackson
  13. What do you want to be when you grow up? Maybe just a dad
  14. What's your favorite game to play? chutes and ladders
  15. What do you like to take to bed with you? a cozy animal
  16. What's your favorite thing to do with Mom? snuggle and do "squeeze, squeeze, squeeze" (where we take turns squeezing each others hands three times while holding hands... melt my heart!)
  17. What's your favorite thing to do with Dad? snuggle (melt my heart again!)
  18. What's your favorite treat? suckers
  19. What is your favorite movie? Monster's Inc
  20. If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go? Disneyland
  21. What makes you happy? the movie theater
  22. What makes you sad? David hitting
  23. What makes you scared? I don't know
  24. What is your favorite sport? basketball
  25. What's your favorite flavor of ice-cream? pink and blue (cotton candy :)
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Things I want to remember about Jack at five:
  • Five was by far his most highly anticipated birthday. (Maybe because two of his best friends turned five earlier his month)
  • He loves reading non-fiction books about turtles, snakes, sharks, and dinosaurs. When we go to the library, those are the only types of books that he is interested in reading and checking out. (As a result, I know way more reptile facts than I ever cared to know about, and he corrects my pronunciation of certain dinosaurs. haha)
  • Jack actually learned how to sleep until a decent hour in the morning this year! He sleeps until 6 or 6:30 every morning instead of 4:45-5:30 like the first four years of his life. We are so grateful!
  • Jack is still my picky eater that would be happy living off of pizza and peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the rest of his life. 
  • Jack clips his own fingernails and is a little OCD about it :) He used to bite them before we ever got to them in time until he got an infection in his fingernail this spring so now he is too scared to bite his nails. But he's got the clipping thing down :)
  • Jack always has a special "treasure" or "object" (that is basically junk ;) in his hand or pocket at all times. He attaches to something for about three days to two weeks and then moves on to the next object. I swear he has done this since he was one years old or so. An object is even more special to him if he knows it's the last one or only one that exists. (his object currentl is a little scorpion key chain that my dad gave him in Arizona :)  He organizes all of his objects on his night stand and can tell you exactly where they all came from and who they are from and why they are special to him. I need to get this boy a junk drawer :)
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  • Jack loves preschool and his favorite center at school is the "blue center" where he cuts pictures out of magazines (he only cuts out animal pictures :)
  • Jack loves going to museums and the zoo.
  • Jack is sweet, sensitive, and loves snuggling. David hits Jack quite a bit, but Jack never hits him back. He's a lover not a fighter, just like his dad :) 
We love Jack and love celebrating with him on his special day!

Jack's fourth birthday post
Jack's third birthday post
Jack's second birthday post
Jack's first birthday post 

11.23.2016

What's Up Wednesday

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Today, I’m linking up with ShayShaefer and Mel for What’s Up Wednesday!
What I'm excited about:
Right now we are in Arizona for Thanksgiving!!! My parents moved to Utah last month and so we are having one last hurrah as a family in Arizona before they sell their house.
What I'm dreading:
Saying goodbye to Arizona :( I never thought in a million years that my parents would move and it's really weird to think that I no longer have family living in the place that I love, the place I call home, and the place I get homesick for. I will seriously miss my parent's home :(
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What we're eating this week: 
I almost don't want to waist a meal on Thanksgiving food while we are in Arizona because there are too many delicious places that I need to visit! haha In addition to a Thanksgiving feast this week, I am planning on eating a shrimp mango quesadilla from Gecko Grill, a strawberry coconut boba from The Street, Joe's BBQ, Bahama Bucks, and whatever other amazing AZ food I can shove into my mouth in just four short days!!!
What I'm reminiscing about:
The many bobas I've enjoyed over the years. I'm feeling a little panicky that after this trip, I don't know when I will get my next boba fix! I have found other bubble tea shops, but none compare to The Street in Mesa!
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What we've been up to
We had 70 degree weather up until last Friday and tried to soak it in as much as possible because now it is officially COLD in Iowa!
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My friend asked me to take her family's pictures this last weekend. I definitely wouldn't call myself a photographer, so it's a good thing they're cute and that I have a good camera :)
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What Jack does when we are "cleaning" his room :)
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I love afternoon chill time with these boys :)
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We got our Christmas decorations out this weekend! Jack and David were totally into setting up the nativity and Christmas tree :)
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(The only thing that makes that crocheted infant hat that Jack is wearing even more quirky than it already is is the fact that he kept his "zoo card" - aka my expired zoo membership card from Alabama shoved in the top of the hat the entire day. Even to a birthday party. He kills me.)
One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was that my parents gave us a new Christmas ornament every year. When I got married, I got to take all 21 of my Christmas ornaments from over the years and I love continuing the tradition with my kids. New ornaments for this year - John Deere tractor ornaments :) Jack loved seeing which ornaments were his and when I took a picture of him with all of his ornaments lined up, Spencer mocked me and said, "Remember how we used to just put ornaments on the Christmas tree instead of take pictures of them?!" haha
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Another Christmas tradition - sleepover by the Christmas tree the first night it is up. Spencer and I passed on this tradition this year :)
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What I'm loving: 
  • Anagrams! It's an app through Imessage that is similar to the game Boggle. Growing up, my brother and I played Boggle almost every Sunday and now I have been playing Spencer and my brother every single day since I downloaded it! It's so fun!
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  • Target dollar spot! (I actually try to avoid it during the holidays because the dollars add up at the dang dollar spot) but I couldn't pass on these cute plates!
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  • This! I used to iron my clothes almost every night in high school (even my jeans!) but I NEVER iron anymore!
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  •  Taking advantage of expectant mothers parking spaces! Though I must say, I think I would rather have a "moms with infants and/or toddlers" parking space.
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What I'm working on:
I just finished working on a "busy bag" exchange with some friends and I'm excited to have some little activities to keep my kids quiet and busy during church :)
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Also, I only have one more week of my drawing class for my professional development class for my teaching relicensure. I hate this class and I'm so glad that it is almost over. Drawing is not my thing and I don't see how this helps me be a better elementary school teacher. I have to do two "free sketches" in addition to my anxiety-inducing drawing assignments and I always choose to draw a Disney character to impress Jack and David :) Most of my drawings are truly horrible (like the teacher seriously has told me to try again for a better grade multiple times) but I am proud of my Disney drawings :)
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What I'm watching/reading:
This is Us! Love this TV show!
I read "Station Eleven" for book club this month. It wasn't my favorite, but I still enjoyed it.
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What I've been listening to:
I'm going to Beautiful the musical with my BFF tonight so I've been listening to that soundtrack all week!

What I'm wearing: 
Warm clothes! Yay for Arizona Thanksgivings!
What I'm doing this weekend: 
Hanging out with family, stuffing myself sick, and celebrating Jack's birthday!
What I'm looking forward to next month:
Christmas and a vacation with Spencer's family!
Bonus Question: what's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Turkey bowls and turkey trots!
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