Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Memories

My blog is all but dead, but I'd love to revive it a bit. It's New Year's Eve, and I'm lying in bed at 11:00 p.m. feeling sick but trying to remain festive, so why not jot down the memories of 2013?  Many (if not all) of these memories will make no sense to most, but it will to me and mine.

2013 memories

-Conga line to bathroom
-Princesses on Ice
-Listening to Macy sing with her Princess castle
-Emi juggling Alice in Wonderland and spring dance recital
-Parker falling into the huge puddle at Summit….twice
-Macy being afraid of the big, slow moving butterfly in the back yard. It was scary.
-Any time we heard “Trouble” by Taylor Swift….AAAAAAH
-Macy finally being potty trained
-Watching Quinn’s kindergarten basketball games.
-Macy dropping baby Jesus into the nativity at the ward Christmas pageant
-Parker and Quinn dancing in the same program at school.
-Bill getting promoted twice
-Bill getting RELEASED from the bishopric.
-Emi knocking out Quinn’s loose tooth
-Quinn getting a touchdown in football.
-Parker’s awesome 6th grade play
-Going to Parade of Homes wih my budding designer, Emi
-The pirate ship box
-The bunny/kitty hole
-Macy rocking her first dance recital as an “Earth Angel”
-Parker rocking the old lady costume at my recital
-Emi and mom acting stupid in the window of KUTV news…during a snow storm.
-Parker’s wonderful sacrament talk
-Daddy-daughter dance with Grandpa Sackewitz
-Dancing at the Bain’s wedding
-Quinn scoring 2 goals in a soccer game
-Parker going to the state for the Art Express program
-The slide project with my mom and Mark
-Dad versus the boat dock
-Macy’s birthday lunch with the princesses
-Grandma Jack Sparrow
-Jelly fish take over the beach
-Bishopric dressed as Duck Dynasty
-Cornbelly’s and being totally lost in corn maze
-San Diego Zoo
-Grandpa pit crew
-Crab grabbers at the beach
-Late night Soarin’ over California with Grandma and Mad Hatter’s tea party
-Mini-golf course at the beach made by the cousins
-Emi mastering contacts
-Quinn’s Jedi training birthday party
-I’d mention 2 science fairs, but these are supposed to be things I want to remember

Happy New Years!

Friday, November 1, 2013

We made it....

So, Bill was released from serving as first counselor in our bishopric on Sunday. He had served for nearly 6 years, not that I counted. In many ways, I'm very happy to have him back on the home front. I might get to bed before 1:00 a.m., I might get to church on time, and I might regain a little sanity. However, that little spirituality cushion I felt we had because of Bill's service is kind of gone. I've always said that as soon as Bill was released, family scripture study would be more consistent and we'd get to the temple more because we'd finally have time. So I guess it's time to prove it. Let's see if getting him out of the spiritual calling will make us more spiritual.



The Stake President had us all in last week to release the bishopric, and they mentioned to us to write down the impressions we get as we look back at the past 6 years. I've actually really recalled a lot of thoughts I've had during our time. I'm not going to post all of them, but I feel they are important.

1- Anytime someone said,  "and bless the bishopric and their families" during a prayer, I always noticed. It meant the world to me. It often would bring me to quick, quiet tears because I knew that we were supported by most in the ward. People looked out for me. It helped me feel loved on those long Sundays without a partner at home.

2- This calling for Bill was truly meant to be. He was destined to spend the last 6 years with these men doing what they do. They were amazing. I'm not even bragging. They just were. I believe these men put in more hours than most bishoprics. They are the closest of friends and worked together like nothing I've ever seen. Their desire to serve the ward and love the ward was so evident to all.

3 day old Macy.....well, Bill and I must have had some time while he was in the bishopric. Macy is a bishopric baby. 

3- There were blessings. I guess I always thought when people said that about callings, it was what you said to make people feel better about big callings. But there were blessings. Never immediate and not always the blessings we thought they'd be, but looking back, it's so evident. I have to say in a few situations, it didn't always make situations easier, but I know there were blessings because we got through it. From things like finding a solution to a 1 year old Quinn's major sleeping issues (Li-Li) to finding the right therapy group for Parker to Bill changing jobs twice after 2 bouts of unemployment to bigger and better jobs. We were so very blessed. Not by easiness, but by making it possible.

4- It was beautiful. And it was difficult. My appreciation for single moms was heightened by the many, many hours that I was raising my kids alone, all while running a business. I felt the extreme of emotions. I felt really powerful moments that were a result of Bill's sacrifice and the depths of aloneness and depression when I felt like I couldn't take another minute of dealing with the challenges in our home. It's been an extreme time, which is an understatement.

5- Bill RARELY complained. He loves to serve people and truly has charity for all he meets. I wish I was more like that. I'm super in love with a man that has this desire to be good and serve the Lord.

6-The Lord always found a way. When we were called, our Stake President asked us to really consider if we could manage it with the situation with our children. I was sure we should say no as we left, but later felt we needed the blessings. So we said yes. And then, it all of a sudden felt frantically scary. but the Lord always found a way to get us through.

7- No bishopric in the church had more fun than these guys. They once convinced a new executive secretary that it was tradition to go in costume to our annual Christmas party. Their commitment to this lie was impressive. He came busting into the house telling me I had to change my outfit into an "elf ensemble". It was pretty funny. They also prided themselves in extreme "scare-ing"  while closing up the church after their late night meetings in the church. Many of their meetings started at In-n-Out.  And of course, there was Trunk or Treat. Why the Stake President didn't release them after the KISS costume, I'll never know. And.....Deep Doctrine. Can't exactly explain that one, but it did become the name of our boat we share with the bishop.

80's style for chaperoning dance....


3 Amigos....there was even a little dance=-)

Blue Man

The Soggy Bottom Boys

And of course, Duck Dynasty                                                                                                                                                                


8- This part of "The Incredibles" always played in my head when Bill would show up in his suit to head out to somewhere unexpectedly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2qRDMHbXaM
They were pretty super....

Really, my feelings are mixed after such an experience. I wouldn't change the last few years, but I am so happy to be reunited in a way with Bill. I'm grateful to be married to such a good man. 

...and to have had 2 other woman who shared in the fun.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Best of Disneyland 2013

So, I have been back a week now and it seems like forever since we went. But....here's the "Best" awards for our vacation.

Best new feature of the park: CARS LAND

This is what it looks like at 7 am, as we got in that early. Not exactly a relaxing vacation.

 So incredibly charming and you really feel like you are in the movie.

Best travel buddies: My parents
So, it was a new experience traveling with a motorized scooter, but I think we figured it out quite well. They will lock them down on a few rides, so nice that my dad could ride some things. However, my mom determined that she has taken her last Matterhorn ride with her bum leg. 

 I actually have more pics of us all together, but they are on my parent's camera.

Earliest meltdown: um, me. 
Only about 3 1/2 hours into the first day (and after this happy picture). That is a new record. Something about Adventure land usually sets me off. Sigh. The last meltdown was Macy refusing to leave the hotel on the last day. 

Best Wardrobe Malfunction: Um, me again
Luckily, no pics for this one. I was wearing a knee length circle skirt while riding Luigi's Tires. Air is pushed out of the ground the whole time, even while walking out to your tire. Kind of a Marilyn Monroe moment for me. 

Best visitors: Bill's parents and Leslie, Jake, and Caleb

Bill's parents, sister, and nephews drove down for a day with us. So fun to have time with them. And even better, my sweet mom-in-law brought oodles of snacks. A definite must when food is pricey. 
 Caleb with Macy
 Jake with Parker.....love their planning on this.

... don't worry, I have a great picture of Leslie later on.

Best Character moments:


....and Jack Sparrow. 

(unfortunately, their pics with Mickey and Minnie are in video form. Bill is sure he can fix that. Anyone know how?)

"Necessity is the Mother of Invention" Award

Macy was about an inch too short for the magic 40 inch mark on many rides. I found a pair of Emi's old clogs that we stuck on her for those rides. The Star Tours lady was being a little weird about it, but said go ahead and they'd measure us at the end of the line. Well, like any good mother, I dug into my purse, ripped a maxi-pad in half and secured it into the shoes (all done very discreetly in the line) which put her just at the 40 inch line. Phew! She knew the drill.....put on the shoes, feet together, stretch to her fullest height, and flirt a little bit to get her in. Worked every time.

Best Newbie to Disneyland: Macy

We left her with grandparents last time, so it was finally her turn. She turned 4 on the trip, so we really got to celebrate her. She figured Disneyland out pretty darn quick and is ready to take it on all again. 

 Macy loves pigs. I love this pic....flanked by pigs and her glow stick.

Best Lucky Moment: Happening upon a perfect parade spot just as it's coming, and being the last people let in the "Radiator Springs Racers" line at 10:00 p.m.  
I had in my head that California Adventure closed at midnight, not 10:00. We sauntered over there, not knowing we were in a rush. Luckily, they let us in. Fun to ride at night.

Best Miracle: Macy
My poor little girl with breathing issues caught a cold a few days before we left. Often, this causes a day of steroids, inhalers, and breathing treatments to control her breathing. After the first day, I was sure we would be spending her birthday at some ER somewhere. After a blessing from Grandpa and daddy, she was fine and perked up considerably. Total miracle in my opinion, because that never happens. I got the same cold on the last day, and it wasn't pretty.

 Best Show: World of Color
This is the second time I've seen it, but really, it's amazing. I love the Pirates of the Caribbean stuff.
(Worst show....no promised fireworks on Saturday night)
 Parker kicked out Macy to rest his feet while we were waiting.

Best "embarrass your teenager" moment: Mad Tea Party dance
We happened upon this the last night. Macy can't leave a dance party, so we danced along. Much to Parker's dismay. I do consider myself a pretty good dancer. That means nothing to a pubescent boy.

Biggest Goofball/most photogenic: Quinn
This kid loves his picture taken.

Favorite Drink/Treat: Mint Juleps and Mickey Mouse Beignets....
We sucked down a lot of these. I figure you are burning SO many calories by walking all day, right?

Best ride picture: Bill and Leslie.....

 ...and me, Parker, and Emi.

Newest Brave Girl: Emi
She rode every last ride. The girl used to have such a fear of a lot of the big ones, but she's been so very adventurous lately. Quinn......that's another story.

Nicest Afternoon: Friday
Bill and his sister, Leslie took older 2 kids on big rides, Grandma and Grandpa S. took Quinn on his favorite rides (and he LOVED the attention), while I took Macy for a nap at the  hotel. Lovely.

(last one, I promise)
Funniest Scenario: The older kids begging to stay until midnight the last night, and thinking the little ones would go back at 10:00. 
Nope...I had the big kids, and they pooped out at 11:00. They went to the hotel and crashed. However, Macy, Quinn, and Bill got back at 12:30 a.m/ after a crazy last run through several rides, along with an ice cream sunday. I have never seen such a second wind.

Man, the energy it takes to take 4 kids to Disneyland is intense. But I'd probably do it all over again. =)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer picture dump....the Summer of 2013

I've had about a million posts in my brain this summer, but blogging didn't quite make the priority list. It's weird how 4 kids at home all day can suck away your time. 

So, minus the trip to California, here is a little snapshot of a summer with us. 

Me lying down....I took this because it only happened once. I had just received 2 cortisone shots in my hips and was given about 1 hour to recover at home. I'd go through the shots all again to lie down for another hour. 
 Lunch with some of my college girls. I had just returned from Monterrey with Becky and Stacey, but was lucky enough to meet up with some of the rest of our group in Park City. Love these ladies, and like I always say, so good to talk with people who knew you before you lobotomized by motherhood. 

 It rained a good amount.......

 Teen Beach Movie=happy girls

 The big old smelly farm. It had rained so much the night before, which seemed to kick up the manure smell. Blehhhh.....how am I even related to my farm-loving sister?

 Using our Thanksgiving Pointe passes to the fullest, we attended the extremely overrated Jello fight. It looks like we are having fun....we are not. The sensory issues of the jello stickiness were just too much for certain kids, as well as myself. 

Backpacking for Parker...... 
 Dancing in top hats for Quinn and buddy Derek.

 Badminton at the "cabin" 
 My aunt throws a great party for all of us every summer on her amazing estate known as the "cabin" in Holladay. I love this place because of all the great memories of spending time there. 
 Yeah, it's pretty sweet.

 Cecret Lake hike.....I'm so making this a yearly thing. Too fun.

 Boating! We own a boat now, which has been quite the learning experience. We took it out a total of 5 times, and hope to get it out a few more times. Super fun, and I'm thrilled we did it. 
Partying on the boat with the Hoppers. I'm so glad I've been able to waterski consistently again. Emi was the only one to get up on skis, but the tube is a blast for all the kids. 

 Frontrunner ride.......I always get a train headache.
 Lagoon.....yeehaw! I rode Wicked 3 times and didn't get motion sickness. Always a plus. 

 Extended Newman family party.

Macy was thrilled that one of her besties has her same swimsuit!

 Cowabunga Bay with good friends at a private function. We wouldn't let the wind and rain ruin our fun  (what you'll do for $5 tickets)
 We managed 4 trips to 7 peaks with our Pass of All Passes. I guess that is a good deal. Yep, that's my kid who is all geeked out in this pic. 
 Lunching outside 7 peaks, as they don't let food in.

 Our dear friend got access to a bubble machine.........

 so fun.....


I laid down a new floor in the dance studio.....such a pain, but it's so heavenly to dance on.

 Bill and I had an End of Summer bash at the Dave Matthew's Band for his birthday. It was nice of Dave to show up for Bill on his special day.

He's really not picking his nose.

And, a lot of trips to Harmons for snacks.