Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July Nostalgia

I love July. It's full of Fireworks and community and love and excitement.  I love the memories.  So many memories. Spent with family and friends. Snuggled up watching fireworks. Laughing so hard all night long. BBQ's and eating all the food.  Fishing with Grandpa and feeling like I was the favorite, even though he had more than enough love to give to everyone around him.  Watching Fireworks with the Idaho Falls Temple in the background.  Celebrating July 3rd with friends and fireworks at Eaglewood golf course.  Spending time in Park City at the parades and at the Canyons with some of the people that mattered most to me in the whole world.  Small town Morgan fireworks and roasting starbursts in the backyard of my parents.  Most recently taking my perfect little family of my own to the rooftop of Jason's school and watching the fireworks all around the City of Fort Worth.  It was never really organized but all of our med school friends would eventually end up there. On top of that roof of the place that brought us all together and gave us something in common.  I loved that.  It is also the time of year that I tend to get homesick for family and friends the most.  I remember struggling in New York knowing that everyone I cared about was celebrating a fabulous holiday with out me.  In Michigan feeling like the state just didn't know how to compete with excitement that Utah brings on the Fourth.

This year, Jason has just started residency and we are seeing very very little of him.  That familiar homesick feeling has definitely crept back in knowing we aren't going to see Jason until well past the 4th.  We got invited to a ward member's Independence Day Party on the 3rd.  I braved it and took the boys.  They had a blast on the bounce houses and slip 'n slides.  I'll be honest I felt a little lost.  Not really seeing very many familiar faces and realizing that my two littles who use to be afraid to leave my side were not so little and timid anymore as they ran off and played almost immediately leaving me alone to fend for myself.  I couldn't help but grin watching Ashton try the slip 'n slide all on his own with out any encouragement from me.  And my heart almost burst watching my once terrified-of-every-noise little boy slowly inch his way up closer and closer to the front of the driveway where the rest of the kids were all watching the mini firework show in the street.  He still kept his hands up protecting his ears but he loved the fireworks! I ended up back inside the house with Julian, unfortunately these fireworks were a little to close for comfort for him.  On the way home Ashton kept saying "oh Mom I just wish you could have seen them they were so cool!" My heart was full.  As I tucked them in bed that night I was overcome with emotion. I was so proud of both of them.  They have taken this move and change in lifestyle with out any hesitation (oh to be a kid again).  Ashton has amazed me everyday with his new found courage, determination, and independence.   I turned some familiar background music on to drown out the noise of the neighborhood fireworks so they could get to sleep.  I wanted so badly to just climb in bed with them and hold on tight in hopes that they might not grow up during the night.  We may have celebrated the Fourth of July a little differently this year, my heart may be a little homesick for Fourth of July pasts. But I'm so grateful for the blessings of the here and now and the country that allows us to sleep safely in our homes and celebrate our independence and freedom with out fear.  Here's to many many more Fourth of July memories.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tigers Tigers Tigers

We definitely got our moneys worth out of these tiger costumes! With the exception of the Ashton Doggy year in 2013 we have always been Halloween Tigers.  Over a month before Halloween Ashton got out his white tiger costume from last year and tried it on and guess what... it still fit! So we got out the orange tiger costume for Julian and... it still fit! 
After an afternoon of playing tigers Ash decided he wanted everyone to be tigers again this year.  At first I was kinda bummed because I was looking forward to picking out new costumes this year but if the costume fits...  
It did make me happy to know that Ashton still had a love for white tigers.  

We got to wear our costumes quite a bit this year.  I love all the Halloween activites that go on around Fort Worth.  We couldn't have attended all of them if we had wanted to! We had fun decorating pumpkins and checking out all the other fun kids in costumes at the Ridgmar Mall Kids Club early in the month.  Next was Boo at the Zoo.  Trick or treating around the zoo is always fun.  
I told them to say "RAWWWR!"

Ashton was extremely excited to see the white tiger again, and lets be honest so was I.  Last year was still one of the coolest experiences and we definitely love that white mama tiger.  It was a rainy day so our friend was hiding, but the orange tiger did make an appearance long enough for us to get a family tiger picture.
Julian saying "trick or treat" is the cutest thing.  He is a huge fan of the suckers for sure. 
We did Reverse Trick or Treating again at Dad's school with SAA.  It's always fun to get to visit Daddy on campus, especially when candy is involved.  
The school threw a fun Halloween Party a few nights later full of fun games and you guessed it more candy.  Dad even took a break from studying the night before his test to come play with us. 
The morning before Halloween we went with friends to a fun Toddler Jump party at Flight Deck.  This was my favorite party of the season.  It was so fun to jump and play with the boys.  Ashton even won a prize in the costume contest!   That night we had our ward Halloween party at the church. 
 We trick or treated around to different classrooms and Ash and Dad even went through the haunted house!
Ashton has been super into Halloween this year.  I can't even count how many times we have watched Curious George's Halloween.  We've made so many "spooky" Halloween crafts and he loves talking about the different things that make it spooky, but that aren't real.  He made this picture to send to Baby Miles.  
He has been practicing his name, but this was the first time he had ever tried to write anything else.  I was so proud and impressed!

Halloween fell on a Saturday which was nice because we had Dad home with us all day!  We had a perfect Halloween, in my opinion.  We went and saw Hotel Transylvania 2 at the movie theaters.  They had big recliner seats that were so comfy.  We started with four recliners and ended up with all of us snuggled up on two of them eating popcorn together.  Moments like that make my heart so full of joy.
  After the movie we put our costumes on and trick or treated around the mall.  Nice and easy!  On the way home we drove through some neighborhoods that were known for their "spooky" decorations.  Ashton was out before he could even finish his candy.  We came home and finished the night off with soup, grilled cheese, and candy. 
Love these little Kitty Cat Tigers SO MUCH!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Butterfly Flutterby

We, as in all of us Jason included, went to Grapevine on Saturday to check out the Butterfly Festival and Nash Farms, Fall Roundup.  
While the Roundup was kind of a bummer (other than we learned that Ash is really good at horseshoes) the Butterfly Festival was awesome! 
 It was at the botanical gardens and it was filled with butterflies!  The Monarchs travel through Texas on their way to Mexico as part of their migration.  I'm not quite sure how they do it, but they catch them and tag them with a little sticker on their wing and then release them and track them. 
 Ashton and I got to release one of them and then we spent the rest of the afternoon chasing butterflies around, doing crafts, walking through a pumpkin patch and finished it off with a picnic in the beautiful gardens.
 It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday. 



Thursday, October 8, 2015

18 months

Really? A year and a half already? How does this happen.  

Julian Gray, you are so funny, so crazy, so loud, so fast, so curious, so dramatic, so loving.  You are kinda obsessed with me right now and I kinda like (love) it.  You want to do whatever big brother does.  You love being around other kids and you love making people laugh.  You talk and talk non-stop whether it is real words or not.  You are finally starting to sleep in your own room, in your own bed, and you almost sleep through the night... almost...  Naps are another story though.  If I want a nap out of you I have to hold you.  Snuggle baby.  I usually fall for it, because I love you so much and I know that unloading the dishwasher can wait because before I know it you won't be requiring naps and mamma cuddles anymore, and that breaks my heart a little.  

So even though I know there are a hundred other things I should be doing...

I think I'll just stay here.

18 month stats:
Weight: 25lbs 2oz. = 60%
Length: 33.25" = 75%
Head Circ: 19.25" = 90%

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bowling

This was a family first.  So I felt like it deserved documentation.
We went bowling for a friends birthday.  Ashton was so excited.  Julain loved it too, but mainly he just wanted to carry the balls all around.
Ashton may or may not have gotten a higher score than I did.
He absolutely loved it and he was also the best high five giver on the whole team.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Museum School

Ashton started Museum School at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and he couldn't be more excited! It is only once a week for two hours, all though he would go every day if he could.  He loves it.  I'm so proud of him! He goes in so excited and comes out equally excited to tell me all about what animal they learned about that day.  I absolutely love seeing him with so much self confidence and desire to learn and explore.  He is constantly building and inventing and coming up with crazy ideas.    He has gained such a sense of independence and self worth these past few months.  He still likes to know I'm around and what the "game plan" is but he just GOES for things now and is so extra excited about life!
The night before his first day of school we had Breakfast for Dinner to celebrate Ashton and all his awesomeness.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ba-Pop

Ba-Pop AKA Grandpa Snyder came to town!  We were lucky to have him for almost a week.  With in hours he became Julian's best friend.  Julian loved "Ba-Pop" so much that I could walk right past them sitting together on the couch and Julian wouldn't even flinch! Currently Julian is in this phase where if he even hears my voice in the other room he freaks out that I'm not holding him.  This friendship between the two of them meant a great mini-vacation for me as well.

Ashton of course loved all the extra attention that came a long with Grandpa being in town as well.  The boys wrestled, they played games, they snuggled, they both loved all the great one on one time they received from Grandpa.  
(One of my all time favorite pics! You can just feel the JOY on these boys faces.)

He took us all out to Chick-fil-a, we had the missionaries over for dinner, we went to The BRIT, Grandpa helped out our crazy, somewhat dysfunctional, primary at church, and did I mention they wrestled?  One of the highlights was our BYU party.  It was the first game of the season so we got out all of our recently acquired BYU swag and had tons of treats and snacks to go a long with it.  BYU won so that made for a great ending to our little party.  
After the game, my dad graciously took the boys the rest of the night so Jason and I could take some time alone.  We walked around Sundance Square downtown and enjoyed some Jamba Juice,  which was one of our go-to places while we were dating.  It was so nice to walk around and enjoy the night just the two of us.  

My Dad was here for a business trip in Houston, so Monday the boys and I headed down to Houston to tag-along with him.  We spent Monday night visiting with my Dad's old mission companion.  The boys loved it because they had tons and tons of toys and lots of food.  The boys also love hotels, and so do I really, we could probably never leave the hotel and still have a successful vacation.  Especially when they have a good swimming pool and free breakfast.  The boys and I went swimming in the morning while Ba-Pop was at his meetings and then we all headed out to the Houston Children's Museum.  The Museum was incredible!  It is safe to say that we all loved it.  
(I just love this little artist.)

The best friend relationship between Ba-Pop and Julian was nice, because I also got to spend some good time playing with just Ashton.  He never held still long enough to get any good pictures, too much to see and do.  He absolutely loves exploring and figuring out how things work.  I love watching his little mind put things together and seeing the excitement that comes a long with that. 
We finished the trip off with Ba-Pop spoiling the boys with Happy Meals on the drive back home.

We were so sad to say goodbye to him the next day.  
Julian walked around the house looking for him the rest of the week.  We sure are lucky to have such a great Grandpa that has to take business trips to Texas!