Wednesday, August 27, 2014

'She looks like a girl version of...'

I haven't blogged forever, promise I'll catch up, yada yada yada.

In the meantime, my friend Kara and I were sitting on a bench admiring Carma the other day (well, really, we were waiting to see how many of our friends stood us up but while we waited we did some admiring...) and in an effort to describe how Carma looks like Clyde as a baby but not completely, I came up with a brilliant comparison.

Disney characters that are animals and 
have a boy and a girl version.

(let's pretend that came out more eloquently...)

Exhibits A through F: 
(all images borrowed from google. please don't sue me)
 The girl version is always a little softer/pinker/usually has a bow/often a bit of blush/and pretty much always delicate eyelashes, usually off to the sides for maximum flirty batting power.

And let's face it - that's a pretty solid description of Carma! Especially the eyes - my mom once characterized Carma's eyes as 'coquette-ish' and I think that's perfect.

So just for fun, here's a side by side of Carma with each of her older brothers, all in the range of three months-ish, give or take a couple weeks.

 Clyde and Carma:
 Will and Carma:

and finally, Jack and Carma:

Ahhh, they're all just so sweet! 
 (I can say that right now because two of them are at school and two of them are asleep. Ask me again about their sweetness in an hour when they're all home and half of them are crying while they other half are hungry/whiny and then they swap  and then I'm crying too, haha).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anniversary pictures AKA the start of our modeling careers

Chuck and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in mid-June and as part of the festivities, Chuck insisted we have some pictures taken of the two of us and I was a good sport and went along with it.

Or maybe it was the other way around - who can remember? 

Marriage tip #1: Don't remember. Don't keep track. Don't keep score.
So we got all dressed up... ish.. and grabbed some roses that reminded me of my wedding bouquet and headed to the most beautiful place in Boise:
 The temple! Coincidentally where we were married ten short/kindoflong years ago.
Marriage tip #2: go to the temple. Lots. If that's not applicable, find a place that brings you peace and purpose and joy as a couple and helps you recommit to one another and prioritize your life and provides service to others and go there. Lots.

And just for fun, here's a 'then and now' shot:
Fun fact: That beard is the product of ten years' growth - Chuck hasn't shaved since our wedding day

Well, that's a lie, but it would be funny! Other funny things: we were obviously attempting to recreate this shot, but Chuck wasn't wearing a jacket this time for me to nonchalantly/semi-shamelessly loop my fingers into. I was apparently a fairly brazen newlywed...

 Although I'm apparently a pretty brazen not-newlywed too:
 Marriage tips #3: Be brazen. Life's short. ;)

 and #4: Seize the day/moment/etc. I really wanted to do this little photoshoot, but I seriously considered postponing until a) Chuck was clean-shaven (or as clean-shaven as that manly man gets) and/or b) I wasn't four weeks postpartum and looking, you know, four weeks prepartum (is that a real word? do you get that I mean eight months pregnant?)

BUT then I realized that I wanted pictures of us ON our tenth anniversary; delaying might have meant that Chuck was a little less hairy and I was a little less, um, curvy, buuuut who's to say we would have ever actually gotten around to it? Life... and marriage... is crazy and busy and unpredictable and precious and the procrastinator within me is starting to realize that doing things today instead of tomorrow can be good too.

Oh, here we are just sitting on a bench. #romantically

 Ohh snap, this might be my favorite one of Chuck. Man, he's good-lookin'.

 Obviously we had to sneak some bow-chicka-bow-wow shots in there - it was our anniversary, okay?? (I feel like this is a good time for a shout-out to our very patient and long-suffering photographer, Holly. THANK YOU!)

 Okay, maybe this was a bad idea to stare at these pictures while Chuck is gone at Scout Camp - I suddenly miss him even more! I just love him.

 Well, a baby was definitely one accessory we didn't have in our original wedding pictures but she fits in nicely here! (and I promise we propped her head back up like thirty seconds later. As much as I love the newborn stage, I also really love the 'strong neck muscles' stage...)
Marriage tip #5: hold hands whilst strolling about on summer evenings.

We might have started getting pretty cheesy around this point. Or amp-ing it up to an even cheesier level, perhaps... P.S. I don't think we planned to have our legs the same way and we couldn't really see each other around the corner - CAN YOU SAY MEANT FOR EACH OTHER??

 Hahahaha, I still can't believe Chuck put up with some of this. 
Marriage tip #6: Put up with stuff. Go along with goofy ideas and hobbies. It won't kill you and you'll probably have fun and you might even take first place in the fantasy football league that you had to be talked into participating in :).

I feel like this should be the cover of our modeling portfolio....

Ooh, or maybe this one. A little sultry, am I right?

 Well this one is definitely in its own sultry category - look at Chuck narrowing his eyes a bit. He's a natural ;).

 And here we are, walking towards the future... decades more of marriage... dinner at Cafe Rio...


That's not all.

Here's a few more outtakes/funny ones/random ones that were too fantastic not to share:
Just a quick candid shot - look at us, ten years into marriage, still making each other laugh, not a care in the world, only eyes for each other, etc, etc.

I'm not entirely sure what was happening here; I think Chuck had just been blinded by the sun and I was taking some time to ponder my flower-arranging skills... or lack thereof. #flattering

Okay, these would obviously be placed prominently in my modeling portfolio. 
#smoldering #thoughtful #smellingflowers

Followed up quickly by this one, so they know I have a pretty amazing range. #happy

This might have been when I made Chuck lean forward so we could romantically peer at one another around the corner and then I was suddenly struck by the cheesiness of it all, hahahaha.

Cancel anything I've ever said, THIS is my favorite picture of Chuck. I like how poor Holly is on the receiving end of this look of hilarious betrayal - how could you do this to me?

Aaaaand this one, where he can't contain his laughter while I try to figure out the least awkward positioning for my arm (spoiler alert: they were all equally very, very awkward. As was this particular set-up... my face looks cute though!)
And finally, we got cocky and decided to disprove the notion that pictures from the back aren't flattering... sadly, it's a notion for a reason and we did nothing to change that, haha.. I think I leaned in for a kiss after this shot though, so things ended well :).

 OH, and one more shot of the temple. Love it. So glad that I have Chuck for eternity.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Some Fun Stuff That Happened In June

June was wonderful and crazy and fun and tiring and busy and here's some of what we were up to:
Jack built some sort of upside down chair train and plopped himself right in the middle of it. Looks comfy...

Aunt Gina was here!
Gina is Chuck's aunt on his mom's side (married to Terri's brother Bill) and lives waaaay far away in Pennsylvania. She was in the area for a niece's wedding and made the time to come and visit and meet Carma :).

Aaand cousins came too, hooray! Bill and Gina's kids Lehi and Rachel live in Rexburg and had also come west for the wedding.
Rachel and her husband Taylor are expecting a baby of their own around Christmas, so fun! And Lehi and his wife Brei have a sweet little boy just a few weeks older than Carma...

so obviously Chuck and I needed to sneak him out for some cuddling, here's baby Maverick:
Crazy the size difference! Carma was a little over two weeks and Maverick was just shy of two months :).

And we all squeezed in for a picture to share with Grandma Thomas on facebook :).
Chuck, Carma, Jana, Jack, Rachel, Taylor, Aunt Gina, Lehi, Maverick, and Brei with Will and Clyde on the floor. 
Thanks again for stopping in to see us everyone!!

Mid-June brought Carma's first girls' night, wooo!
And Emily's first time meeting her :). After our traditional Shari's fun, we ventured over to Paulina's new house to look around and I stuck Carma and Myla together so they could be friends! I love Myla's face, she's clearly thrilled with her new crying friend...

OH, so this will be covered more in a future post, but for our anniversary I sweet-talked Chuck into doing a CHEESY AS ALL GET OUT little photo shoot at the temple and because I'm a good person, the heavens smiled upon us and Holly was in town over our anniversary and sweetly agreed to be our photographer.
 And of course she and I had to get some pictures at the end of us. Holly is just amazing and it meant soooo much that she took the time to do this for us and didn't make fun of me. Looove her.

One Monday in June found us eating delicious frozen yogurt for our FHE treat :).
 And I have it on good authority that if a portion of the proceeds of your frozen yogurt go to charity (in this case, stupidcancer.org in honor of Lara), then the calories don't count....

Chuck and Clyde sneaked off on one Saturday to hang out with Ryan and Hunter and go shooting.
They had a great masculine time, as always.

I got to see Holly a couple more times before she left town again - this time without a set date for her next visit, so sad. I just miss her.
We went for a run... aka a walk wherein I slightly jogged for a portion of it... but Holly was sweet and patient and brought me custard (it was frozen... but you don't need to say frozen first... you don't say frozen ice cream...be cool, it's a Wiscaaaansin thing) as my post-run reward. And Holly got in one last baby Carma snuggle before she left, of course.

 And finally, here are some random June pictures:
 I just love my little snuggly baby :).

Oh, and one day Will and I were at his doctor's appointment and I realized that our shorts matched. A lot. As did our shoes.
 We thought it was pretty great.

Okay, and that was some of our June! Don't worry, there's loads more! You're welcome! 
(what's that? you hadn't thanked me? oh, i just assumed....)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Carma's early outings

... and by 'Carma's early outings' I mean you might have to squint and look until you spot her carseat as evidence that she was really there...

So there's a neat new-ish (or maybe new-ish-ly remodeled?) park here in Nampa that we've hit up a few times now. Well, Chuck and the boys have gone a few times, Carma and I have gone exactly once. But it was fun!
This visit occurred on Carma's two week birthday, so she and I happily settled in on a bench and she slept and I watched my cute boys run around.

Our ward had some peach tree thinnin' to do in late May, which is always a good time. Thinning is a slow-ish going process, so it required multiple visits. I skipped the one three days before Carma's birth, but we made it out when she was two and three weeks old. Everyone thought I was trying to prove my pioneer heritage, but really I just wanted a hot dog and to supervise the work - which is usually all I get accomplished on orchard trips anyways :).
Jack loved the orchard, probably because all his favorite playmates were on hand!

We had a wonderful Sunday evening visit to my dad's house at the beginning of June:
Jack was especially mesmerized by the awesome landscaping in my dad's backyard; he helped water and picked a rose for me and narrowly avoiding falling into the pond whilst looking at the fish!

 And here's the only shot of Carma from that night, being carried back to the van by Grandpa! :)

 In a moment of slight insanity, I took the two little kiddos and joined some friends for a fun nature walk near Melba two and a half weeks after Carma was born. The walk itself wasn't too bad, about a mile with loads of really neat statues and signs and knick knacks to look at. The tricky part was JACK and his tendency to wander off into the wilderness or refuse to walk or hang out with a statue for ten minutes while I waited in the heat...
 But we survived and it was good to get out of the house and Tasha and I had a great time talking on the drive there and back, so it was worth it :). PLUS Emily got that suuuper flattering picture of me where it looks like I'm trying not to wet my pants, so basically a win all the way around.

 And finally, we had a special adventure at the beginning of June so Carma could meet Uncle Quinn and Aunt Eden and cousins Isaac and Leila!! Queden and co made a quick quick trip up for Summer's HS graduation and we sneaked in a lunch date with them, so fun.
 Too bad we made Eden take the pictures and not actually be in them, whoops! 
Isaac was darling and gentle with Carma and it was fun to see what a difference four and a half months makes - aka the age gap between cute Leila and baby Carma. 

Of course, the official record should reflect that Quinn's initial reaction to Carma was a sound of horror and confusion - her cute tiny head had flopped to the side in her carseat and Quinn was (rightly) concerned :). Once we got that straightened out... literally... he was all admiration. And now I'm even more excited to get all three baby girl cousins together this fall!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Swimming and tennis...ing...

Okay, sooo until I get the hang of this "blogging" thing again, I make no promises about the quality of blog posts in the meantime. There will be cute pictures of my children, but there may be little to no order, rhyme, reason, or wit that accompanies the pictures :).

STARTING with some pictures of tennis and swimming lessons! Chuck was home through the third week of June so I wisely signed the older boys up for lessons all through that month so maximize our two-stay-at-home-parent time. It worked fabulously well and now that it's July and a million degrees and we get loads too much screen time while I figure out this 'four kid' thing, I just remind myself of all the excellent fresh air they got in June!
It warmed my heart to see Clyde and Will enjoy tennis lessons so much - tennis was The Sport of my family growing up and it's still my favorite to play. The boys had lots and lots of fun - thanks to my dad for finding awesome racquets for them!!

Some shots of swimming lessons:
Funny thing: Will's instructor for the second round of classes in June at Lincoln Pool was Krista. She was also Clyde and Will's teacher for their Rec Center semi-private lessons back in April. And also Jack's teacher for toddler/parent lessons at the end of April. She might thing we're stalking her.

 The boys' classes were back-to-back which meant hanging out at the pool for an hour each day, leading to loads of fun photo ops:
 Possibly my favorite sequence of pictures ever. Jack is a nut.

All right, I feel like I'm back in the groove! Ish. Go team!