Friday, January 13, 2017

June: Ward Campout

We've been hit and miss with ward campouts in the past (hit: our first summer in the ward, Will was like four months old, miss: the last couple years when it's been on a weekend that Chuck works) but this year the stars aligned and the six of us piled in the truck to cross state lines for Camp Hycliff! (not sure where the name comes from -- Nearby geographical features? Maybe the guy who first discovered the area? We may never know...)
We rolled in, unloaded, Jack took off his shirt - really just made ourselves at home, ya know?

And then we made our way to The Water Slide, aka the main attraction.  We watched for a while... 
and then Clyde and Will both jumped in line!

Some of Clyde's solo runs, including the one where he caught the football mid-slide:
A few of Will's solo runs; he seemed to favor headfirst haha.

Jack very hesitantly gave it a go... went slower than molasses... but (I think) enjoyed it overall. Even when he couldn't climb out himself and Tawny rescued him :).
It was pretty fun to watch the little boys and young men take on the water slide, but once the Haws and Fuhriman sisters stepped up, the girls clearly dominated. Hallie and Raegan had the best facial expressions and Raquel and Abby got points for their form!

The older girls also started a pretty awesome trend with the mud hahahaha:
Some more of Clyde and Willy boy going down the slide together... including some of Will on Clyde's back. Will also hopped on Cameron's back for a ride at one point. I'm pretty sure Will had the right idea for missing out on some of the more brutal bumps ;).

Some of the adults were good sports and gave it a try. Swensons went down together which was hilarious. Curtises did a few slides down as a family. I sent Chuck alone and still feel good about that decision!
Everyone was on their own for dinner (we stopped for McDonalds on our way out of town. Roughin' it done right!) and then we gathered together for a fireside (literally beside a fire) from the Bishopric. There was such a nice spirit there as we sat together as it got dark and contemplated the hope of the gospel truths they shared. And then we had s'mores so I don't know how anyone's testimony wouldn't have been strengthened ;). 

And then the next morning we awoke to delicious breakfast courtesy of Bishop Swenson, Brother Curtis, and Brother Robertson!
We spent the morning eating, packing up, and enjoying how beautiful this little section of earth was.

OH, and more water sliding'! Carma had gone a couple times the night before but today we actually put her in her swimsuit and sent her down quite a bit. She always looked terrified and regretful at the end... but climbed the stairs up to go again, the goof. I loved how whoever took her down (Will, Clyde, Michael, Raegan) protected her face, so sweet!
Clyde and Raegan were possibly trying to set a record for number of times/variations going down - my favorite was the train with Michael leading that went too fast for Will to grab onto hahaha.

We grabbed some snacks and headed out mid-morning. We ended up with an extra passenger in front (the ridiculously cute Raquel) which may have meant we were "riding dirty" which is a term Chuck uses that I'm not familiar with because I didn't grow up in a country song in small town America ;). Highlights of the drive home: the one lane tunnel through a rock which was way cool and also terrifying, the admirable sense of humor in Adrian, Oregon, and getting candy the next day at church from the grateful Fuhrimans. Love them. And candy.

Thanks for the good time, Camp Hycliff and Nampa 2nd Ward!

Monday, January 9, 2017

What I wore to church in 2016

Once again, the backstory: in January 2011 I made a goal to wear different outfits to church that whole year. And I've done it ever since... for the most part. Is it vain and ridiculous? Yes. Am I vain and ridiculous? Also yes ;). 

I usually don't post a wrap up of the previous year so early into the next one but that May blog earlier was long and boring and I needed to entertain myself if nothing else, so here y'all are!!

That first Sunday was Jack's birthday so I wore blue and green for him. If you remember, he was not into observing his birthday for most of the day so my thoughtful gesture went unappreciated. The next week I forced Carma into matching with me! Third week was the day before my birthday and thus my traditional belt-from-Maren outfit (with a shirt modification). Week four was to get another orange/grey outfit in, and the last week was COLD and DREARY so grey and black it was!

Week 1... no occasion, other than Tawny gave me that skirt and I love it. Week 2 was Valentine's Day!! And snowing? Week 3 was windy and I was reallllly struggling to keep that skirt down, yikes. I also matched with Carma but she had no interest in being in a picture with me, so I included some below. Week 4 was more matching!! Blue and turquoise! Carma was (visibly!!) thrilled! (PS Carma's future therapist better appreciate how organized all these pictures are, they'll save so much time during sessions by just scrolling though the photographic evidence that I was nuts hahahaha)

BUT SERIOUSLY, ARE WE APPRECIATING THE SALMON-Y CARDIGANS AND BROWN SHIRT/SKIRT/DRESS? TWINSIES!!!! (I have literally never used the word twinsies before in my life... I use the little emoji tons... but never that word... but there's nothing else that fits here!)

Week 1: After I got home from girls' weekend in McCall... where I bought that belt for a quarter at a thrift store! Week 2 was my green skirt for St. Patrick's Day. Week 3 is the $5 D.I. dress that will pop back up frequently during the remainder of the year because I love it SO much. I wear it to the temple a ton. Brother Morris calls it my Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat dress hahahaha. Week 4 was Easter! Aka the only time I wear that much pink! 

Okay, well no picture for general conference Sunday... and no picture the next Sunday which is odd. I scrolled through that time period and found a gap of like 14 pictures from that afternoon which leads me to believe I took pictures and couldn't bear to subject anyone to them and moved on with my life. But hey, week 3 I look pretty good! Side braid because I went to church with wet hair (weekly tradition) but was saying the opening prayer and wanted to look somewhat put together ;). (Sidenote: any guesses on how many sacrament meeting prayers I've offered in the year and a half since that's been part of Chuck's calling? A MILLION. Or maybe like 6.) Week 4... Jack and I were pondering the sidewalk? 

Week 1 was Scout colors for a Court of Honor that night... week 2 was Mother's Day... week 3 Carma was lovin' life... week 4 was too bright outside, and Chuck took the picture from three stairs up at the church haha. Week 5 was patriotic for Memorial Day!

Week 1... is that dress again! Different accessories ;). Week 2: was our 12th wedding anniversary, so I wore white with my green belt and orange jewelry as a nod to our wedding colors.. but I had ditched those before the picture, whoops! Week 3 was Father's Day, so Manly Colors. By this point we'd all (meaning myself and my photographers, Clyde and Chuck) gotten pretty bored with my normal poses so we started to mix it up a little. Don't worry, Chuck stole the Week 4 picture and stuck it in for my LDS tools profile hahaha.

Week 1: Independence Day! The rest of the month... literally no occasions. Oh wait, week 4 was Pioneer Day. 

Week 1... that dress again... different shoes I think? Let's just appreciate that I'd been camping for two days and got dressed in a tent. Week 2... pink for my mom's bday maybe? Week 3.. I think blue and red for the start of school... week 4: in my Mom's backyard, watering since she was out of town and also I stole that shirt from her and LOVED IT and I had to give it back when she came home. Lame. 

Week 1: Okay, I bought that dress at D.I. like five or six years ago and wore it once but it was deffff on the short side so it's been sitting in my closet ever since and I finally invested in a skirt extender and it's amazing! Week 2 was Patriot Day (those flag shoes were also a sound Savers investment a few years ago...), weeks 3 and 4 were just random...

 Nothing for general conference weekend, but there were five Sundays so plenty of Halloween colors, yay! Week 3 (technically 4, whatever), I'm wearing my spider web tights but you can't see them... but I know they're there, so it's enough. Grace and I matched with our striped tights the Sunday before Halloween!! We took pictures... they'll be on the October blog... when I blog about it in six months ;).

 Week 1 was the Sunday before Election Day. The rest of the month were autumn colors, which I love to put together in awesome combinations that make me feel like a pile of leaves haha. Week 2 was photographed by Will, who instructed me to only have one leg hahahahaha.

Okay, I can't be that vain if I've clearly saved the least photogenic for last, right? The first Sunday we were in Elko and driving home and nary a picture occurred. Week 2 I apparently failed to double check the pictures after Clyde or Will took them, so enjoy my blurriness. Week 3 I was clearly a hot, static-y mess, whoops! And week 4 was Christmas Day! Sacrament meeting was all sorts of rough but Brother Westerberg handed me that plate of cookies as we left and I ATE IT ALL and was then able to deal with my children. Home teachers for the win!!

2016 was a rough year for getting to church, we had the 9am block which I thought was going to be amazing BUT TURNED OUT TO BE REALLY EARLY and Chuck was never around in the morning to help... which was okay because if he'd been home it would have eliminated my best excuse for repeated tardiness ;).... but we made it! And now we have the 11am block which WILL be amazing. Or else. 

2016 was not a rough year for being a member of the church, though. I hesitate sometimes when people talk about my love of tights and different dresses because as shallow as I am about some things, my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is as deep as it gets. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the vessel through which the gospel is accessible and I am grateful everyday to be a part of it. I am cynical and lazy and moody and sleeping in or bumming around on Sundays sounds dreamy, but going to church and rubbing shoulders with the caring members of my ward is better. Pausing during the sacrament to apologize (again!) to God for my weaknesses and committing (again!) to follow Him more closely is better. Sending my kids to classes to learn about the importance of kindness and prayer and service and love is better. Even standing up in front of a classroom of adults and being vulnerable as we study scriptures and doctrine together is better.

So we'll see what happens this year... I've been super into buying dresses at D.I. and Savers lately so I'll have to get more creative with accessories to avoid repeats. Or lose a couple pounds so my skirts all fit better... hmmm, new necklaces it is!!

May: catch all EVERYTHING post

Once upon a time in Nampa it was warm and you could see grass and it was basically the best thing ever. Four little Izatt children played on the trampoline for hours on end and all was right in the world:
Ahhh more outside pictures! Barefoot! You can see the street! The trike isn't buried under snow! 

Okay it's rare that we get all four kids on correctly... especially at the exact right moment for a picture... but here are some variations of our family's stacking abilities. Pretty much nothing else causes as much giggling and cries of pain haha.
One day I looked into the backyard and found Will and Carma like this. No clue what they were doing or which of them started it. Goofs.

May = Star Wars day! Attempted to recreate last year's picture, Carma was loads more wiggly this go-round. 
Another May celebration was Allison's wedding, which showed her good taste in multiple ways: she married a guy named Braden (aka my maiden name AND he spells it right!), her wedding colors were orange and green (aka my wedding colors and the best ones ever) and her cute brother Noah was there refilling punch and I just love that kid.

My sweet cousins hosted a birthday party for their parents who both turned 60 within the first few months of the year so I went along as my dad's date. Randy and Deana are such incredibly kind, warm, people and I'm so glad to be their niece! Randy gives the best hugs ever and I got to hear the story of how he and Deana got engaged, which was awesome. 
Arin was recruited to take care of the food (even though she's the out-of-towner in that family) and it was so amazing! My aunt Diane was able to sneak away from the temple to attend so we grabbed a picture of three of the Braden siblings together - Randy, Diane, and Cory. 

May also brought the most hallowed and deserved of holidays, aka Mother's Day! We gathered on the trampoline (apparently where most of our family bonding occurs??) so I could read the cute cards that kiddos made, as commissioned by Chuck:

The day also consisted of dinner by Chuck, Grandma Pam helping us with a way awesome Boise puzzle, my first day lily of the year blooming, and a couple days later, surprising my mama with a Fitbit!

Pictures with each of my kiddos on Mother's Day. 
They are all babes and adorable and smart as all get out and seem to be pretty resilient so I have high hopes that they'll all withstand my occasionally dubious mothering and go far in life ;).

Will cashed in on his free sundae from school... somehow Chuck was the one who took him and also got a sundae... I should probably look into how that keeps happening. I love hot fudge!
Legit don't know how we didn't get a group picture at girls night, but here's Myla meeting baby Ruby, who adorably kicked off a 'three babies in three months' boom for the group. 

Chuck and I came up with some pink sunglasses from our 5k and Clyde upped his cool factor by like five points as soon as he slipped them on:
Carma's cool factor was also affected ;). For the record, I will never not photograph a small child wearing sunglasses. Look at her little chubby hands struggling to keep them on her face! It kills me.

Is Sorry! the worst board game ever? We honestly played it last night again and I think it is. 
Carma isn't usually cuddly with anything except my face, so the boys love it when she hangs out with them. I found Will and Carma on the chair reading together one day, soooo cute!

More inside activities - Carma has nine (revolving) boyfriends, aka BYU Vocal Point. Clyde fell asleep reading and gets bonus points for keeping the book open to his page for ease of starting right back in when he wakes up in the morning. First day of summer vacation was spent organizing legos... aka a weekly activity. Will and Clyde emptying the dishwasher might be my favorite thing ever hahahaha:
I had to get photographic evidence the one time that Carma and Jack wallored (not a real word) Chuck instead of me haha!

Carma legit loves apples. Possibly a fourth child thing, as that's what kept Quinn alive as a wee lad. Good news is she can get them herself, although I did take pity on her and move the stool closer for her descent.
 We hit up the library a few times in May, including for the animal presentation and the tween science program. Love that place!

 And here's baby #2 of our girls night boom! Kara and Emily and I all headed over to visit Nicole and love on baby Jace who could not be more darling OR look more like Beckam as a baby. 
 Paola was brave and the kids did some painting one day at plasma, which just reinforces me counting it as preschool ;).

I kid you not, these pictures of the boys racing me home from dropping off Hunter were taken at 740pm... I miss the sun and warmth and light past 5pm!!!!!

One day I got a shirt in the mail and legit had no idea where it came from... but it was SO cute and I wanted to wear it... but then I was like, "What if it's from some weirdo and by wearing it I am signaling my agreement to run away with him and be his seventh wife??" but then I got this text

and I was so happy I could wear it commitment-free and then I needed a picture for an Instagram post so here's some of that process. Everyone should have a Holly in their lives. And a pineapple shirt.

80% of the time Carma and Jack are stellar on our regularly scheduled shopping outings... and sometimes Carma tries to sneak a big pink bear into our cart or stages a Level 12 Costco meltdown that leads me to opening the newly purchased tortillas Right Then to quiet her down. OH KIDS.

We hung out over at Grandma Pam's a lot during May. The kids were lured over by her bunnies:
I was more drawn in by the free babysitting - the fact that she does Carma's hair so cute is a bonus!!

 Chuck helped out with some yardwork; he gave my mom an idea about a peach tree that grows sideways on a fence?? I guess it's a real thing...
And of course, the main appeal to Grandma's house is the woman herself. We love her!!

And just for fun, let's wrap it up with that time I tried to take a picture of all four kids after church. It worked real well, as always.