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.

Friday, June 1, 2018


Ashton rocked Kindergarten!  Honestly the year couldn't have gone any better. He had the best teacher, I truly couldn't have asked for anyone better. Mrs. Sloter was so kind, soft spoken, loving, so understanding, patient and truly invested in her students.  She wanted Ashton to succeed. She also wanted to give Ashton the opportunity to fail.  Ash is a bit of a perfectionist. He never got in trouble, however Mrs. Sloter would encourage him to try and to be silly in class, and to know it was ok if he ever did get in trouble (which he never did).

I was explaining to Ashton one night how I love him no matter what, even if he gets in trouble at home (which definitely happens) and if he gets sent to his room or has privileges taken away it doesn't mean that I don't still love him.  He looked up at me with his big eyes and said "Just like Jesus and Mrs. Sloter?!" The fact that he knew Jesus and his kindergarten teach would always love him no matter what warmed my heart and also made me realize I needed to step up my game to get ranked up there with Jesus and Mrs. Sloter!
He had several friends from his Pre-K class and he made several new friends.  The second part of Kindergarten he really blossomed both socially and academically. I volunteered at the school about once a week with Julian, who was the best little helper. It was so fun to join Ashton for lunch and watch his interactions with his buddies.  His best friends were: Aislinn (in another class but they were best friends in PreK too), Marvin, Ryan, Desmond, and Noah.  Ashton takes time to warm up to people but to know that he had such great buddies who were kind and caring to meet him at school everyday was all I could ask for.
He excelled in reading and math.  Math was often too boring for him he said, as he really caught on to things quickly.  He absolutely loved science and learning about the solar system and plants and animals. They took a field trip to the Fort Worth Zoo and Ashton asked Dad if he would come and help on the field trip.  Jason said it was hilarious watching the "tickle wars" going around between him and his friends all day.  Coming from a boy who hated other people touching him at the beginning of the year...
We moved the day after Kindergarten graduation.  So we were very lucky to have Grandma and Grandpa Snyder in town to celebrate Ashtons awesome year.  While my heart broke watching him say goodbye to friends, his school, and his teacher.  I was also bursting with pride and joy at the great strengths and accomplishments he had acquired over the past year.  While the days were long, spending hours in the car driving back and forth to his school.  (Poor Julian got the worst of it, spending two hours a day just getting dragged along back and forth.) I wouldn't trade the experiences, friends and blessings we received from Ashton being able to attend Chapell Hill Academy.

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


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.