Sunday, July 26, 2009

word of caution

As a favor to all, I have to issue a word of caution. A warning.
Perhaps something akin to the Surgeon General label you find on certain harmful products? Only I am securely fastening this one to me.

(It may result in a peril to your health. . .emotionally, at least.)

I have become aware that I am constantly making discoveries about myself and life in general. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean that I am becoming more adept at the game, but at least I am making some interesting observations as I go. This was the case this weekend. I made yet another discovery about myself and my own peculiarities. I wouldn't say that I haven't picked up on this particular character trait before, it is just that this weekend it became very clear how ummmmm. . . .shall we say intense this situation can be.

You see, most of the time I consider myself a fairly laid back individual. I like to get things done and I enjoy feeling like I have some control over my life. That said, I also acknowledge that at this season of my life, I am not as on top of things as I would like. And I try to be okay with that. I'm not a very good mathematician, but I figure that for approximately 26 days of the month, I am pretty good at being flexible and taking our chaotic life in stride.

HOWEVER. I am noticing a trend here regarding the other 3-5 days of the month. And may I tell you- it is not a pretty trend. I am pretty sure there is a connection between this unfortunate digression of my own emotional stability and my hormonal state. In fact, yes. I am really quite sure.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to avoid me during this time of crisis, let me educate you. The events tend to unfold as follows:

1. Subject may have a slightly increased need for chocolate. (Yes, that is possible).
2. Subject becomes severely overwhelmed and frustrated at her seemingly utter lack of control over all aspects of her life.
*NOTE: Subject does NOT identify the correlation between her emotional state and the day of the month. Subject sincerely believes her life is in need of improvement.
2. Subject's "to do" list jumps from several items to an average of 150.
3. Anxiety and hyperventilation occur when the "to-do" list goes unfinished.
4. Daughters contemplate what is the matter with mother.
5. Husband arrives home from out of town and adopts look of confusion after witnessing the turbulent emotional state of wife.
6. Husband settles in for 3-5 days of upheaval and tears. (Lucky for him, he was fortunate to have missed the first 3 days and knows that for this time, at least, he only has 1-2 days to endure.) He patiently prepares for the monthly conversation titled, "15 Things We Should Be Doing To Improve our Family".
6. Husband dutifully apologizes for perceived shortcomings and promises to do better.
7. Husband understands the strain may be connected to wife's "emotional time of the month".
8. Husband wisely refrains from referring to said "time of the month" as the connection would anger wife and solicit a "that has nothing to do with this" response.
9. Following tears and discussion, wife feels much better.
10. Roller coaster slows and, thanks to loving and patient husband, slowly glides to a complete stop.
11. Wife goes to bed, and upon wakening feels remarkably refreshed.
12. Life is good. Happy, happy life. Lovely husband. Marvelous children.
13. Wife looks back to the previous days, shudders, and wonders what in the heck was the matter.
14. Wife doesn't want to mention the above realization to husband, fearing he won't take her seriously the next time. Must save face.
15. Wife kneels down and thanks her Father in Heaven for sending her a husband who is very good at dealing with her and all of her flaws. Her heart is very, very thankful. Admittedly a little crazy, but very thankful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

hold on to your hats. . .

It's true! Claire officially took her first steps tonight! She's been standing by herself for the past week or two, trying to figure it all out. It was only two steps and then down she went, but it's the start of something new. Boy oh boy, we better hold on to our hats. . .life is about to change!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

the c family hits bear lake- reunion 2009

Another crazy C family reunion has come and gone, and we had the best time! This year Chris and Amy were in charge and did a great job planning fun 5 days at Bear Lake. We stayed in a cabin overlooking the lake, complete with boys and girls bunk rooms! The kids had an absolute ball!

Here is a rundown on all of the exciting events. But first, check out this shoe pile! This is what you get when you have a cabin full of 34 people!

The fun began on Saturday. . .
We all arrived as soon as we could gather our kiddos and gear and get to the Lake (which wasn't as soon as any of us would have liked!). We have all become very aware of the monumental task that can be and admire Mom and Dad for all of the years they packed up the six of us for a week+ of camping at Lake Powell. It's hard enough getting ready for a cushy cabin, let alone roughing it with that many kids the way we always did growing up!

Emmy and Halle had to have tub time together. These two are quite the buddies. They are often mistaken for sisters. In fact, Chris and Amy commented the other day that they have wondered if the girls were twins in Heaven, but Heavenly Father decided to split them up so both of our families can share the joy! What cuties!

You can see that all of the hard work wore Courtney, Shawn, and Chris right out.

We played at the lake Saturday afternoon, and then gathered at the cabin that evening for the "official start" of the 2009 bash. Too excited to sleep, all of the kids stayed up well after midnight. . .or maybe 1:00. . .or maybe 1:30. All the parents were awake right along side the kids! That night David and Kye kept us all laughing!

We managed to arrive in time for Sacrament Meeting in Garden City. That is a feat! The kids all did pretty well, especially since we were sitting way in the back and could hardly hear a thing. The older kids were sitting behind us and Kye kept on tapping me on the shoulder about every 5 minutes to ask me how much longer the meeting was going to last. About 15 minutes before the meeting was going to end, I told him that we only had 55 minutes left.

"55 minutes!" He exclaimed, "are you kidding?"

That is when I told him that because it was in a vacation town and there were so many visitors (there was a ton), that they extended the meeting to two hours in order to make enough time to serve the sacrament to so many people.

"Resort time", I told him.

He about died. It was so fun to watch him sweat the delay that I couldn't help myself. I waited a few minutes and then added, "Except you know how the bishop asked if any visitors could stay to help in the nursery? (He really did).

Kye looked worried as he nodded. I went on, "Well, when we walked in I heard the man at the door telling your Dad that they would need extra people due to all of the visitors, and your Dad said he had some older sons who would love to help for a few hours."

"My Dad said that?!!!!!"

"That's what I heard him say".

He began rambling . . .how would he know what to do? How many kids? All the while completely flabbergasted that his Dad had volunteered him. He spent the next five minutes looking down the aisle waiting to catch his dad's attention. I tried to relieve his diaper changing worries by reassuring him that he didn't have to change any poopy bottoms. . .all he needed to do was take the stinky babies to the Relief Society room and hold them up in the door way until the mom came to do the duty. However, even this revelation didn't put him at ease.

By now I couldn't help myself. It was way too much fun watching him squirm. And because it was time for the closing song, I knew I couldn't let it end so soon. I turned around again as the music began.
"Kye, it is time for the intermediate congregational hymn. That's great because it means we're half way through the meeting. You're supposed to stand up to sing."

Yip. He popped right up.

Since this incident, Kye tells me that I need lying therapy. And I am fully aware should never teach another lesson on reverance again.
After church we all came home and took a little nap (the adults anyway) before we headed for a hike to Bloomington Lake. What a great hike to take kids on!

Ronnie had to tease Sassafras (his nickname for Ryenne).

There were several lakes on the hike, but the last, "Bloomington Lake" was beautiful!

Silly Bop. . .

After another late night playing games, we woke up Monday morning and got ready to head to the lake for the day. As usual, Claire devoured a grundle of sand.

After eating handfuls at a time, she was not quite satisfied and resorted to putting her whole face right in the sand. Mmmmm.
Emmy sported Kelsey's glamorous shades for a while.
That afternoon, we all got to work for the sandcastle building contest. With the men involved, it got pretty technical. We found we were sorely underprepared. Most everyone else had googled for ideas and arrived with all sorts of equiptment. Uncle Shawn even had his tile laying tools to help him on the job. (And you can bet the boy cousins were impressed!)

Everyone hard at work. . .

Uncle Shawn and Aunt Kelsey's finished project.
Emmy was tired of her sisters disapproval of her architectural contribution to our family castle. After a while, she decided to join Grandma at her project and was quite proud of the result. (I didn't get a picture of the best part. Grandma had lollipops for all of the kids that she stuck into her castle, "Lollypop Land"! Only a Grandma would think of that!)

Our creation.

The Petersen Lion.
Chris, Amy, and kids and thier surfing turtle.

Ronnie, Nan, and boys and their part of the empire they built with the S boys. They named it "CroStoshia".

The S clan and all of their sand castle building muscles.

Tuesday was more of the same. . .beach, lake, and sun. Kate and Brayden (best buddies) spent all afternoon building this "hot tub" with Uncle Matt.

Daniel, the big chested mermaid.

We had some fun water balloon beach volleyball and of course a few water fights. . .

The girls had a great time tubing with their cousins. They even tried a few new things this year!
Emmy was so excited to ride the skimmer board. She couldn't have been more proud of herself.
Jeremiah, Carson, Kye, and Cole. . .the crazy sumo boys.
Ryenne and I even did a little tubing together. She was more brave than I!

And we were all so excited that Ryenne is skiing! After getting up on Monday, she was brave enough to try it on her own on Tuesday and got right up! WAY TO GO RYENNE!

Kate wanted to try skiing, but decided on the skimmer board instead. She was sure that Kye's wetsuit would make all the difference in her skills. (Notice how it fits like a glove).
Aunt Jodi and Kate have a float.
Despite the cold water, Claire LOVED swimming!
As for Courtney and I, we had a great time too. We were able to get a few bike rides in together and I even learned to surf! It was just so much fun to be with all of our family. We all spent so much time (and too many late nights) laughing, playing games, and just enjoying each other.
Our reunions are such an important, fun tradition! It seems like each year we enjoy it more. The kids look forward to it for months and once it arrives, the days together go by way too fast! When it was time to go home, you can bet there were lots of tears. No one ever wants the fun to end. We're already looking forward to next year. . .another week of crazy family fun!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

firework fun

True to tradition, we traveled to Logan the night before the 4th to watch the fireworks with my family. The girls always have a grand time running around on the grass with their cousins before the fireworks and then huddling together on a blanket to watch the display. Claire loved her first fireworks too! She pointed and squealed at each one.

I sure love watching the kids experience something for the first time!

Along with the fireworks, we have another little tradition to celebrate the 4th of July. It's totally crazy and was thought up by my party animal sister, Kerri. Following the fireworks, the kids all gather at Grandma and Grandpa's house to play night games. The crazy thing about this is that we don't get back from Logan until almost 1:00 am. And for a non-night owl like me,that makes for a pretty late night. But as you can imagine, the kids absolutely love it!

This year we invited everyone to our house for the night game event. We missed the Sfamily and Chris and Amy's kids. Oh, and me. We missed me too. It all sounds like so much fun during the daylight hours, but by the time midnight rolls around, I'm no good at all. Courtney took pity on me and sent me to bed while he and Kerri captained the event. Even little Emmy stayed up with the big kids this year. She thought she was pretty big stuff!

From all reports, everyone had a great time. Aunt Kerri provides glow sticks for the kids to make into necklaces, which is always a big hit. Favorite games include Steal the Flag and Kick the Can. Finally at almost 3:00 am, the kids were shooed into the playhouse to go to sleep.
(That was the plan anyway, but you can imagine how that goes!)

A big old thank you to Aunt Kerri for all the fun. If it wasn't for her, this beloved tradition would have died in it's tracks years ago thanks to all of us boring old folks who would rather sleep than run around in the moonlight wearing a glow stick around our neck. (Call us crazy.)

I've already invited everyone back next year, and I've let them know ahead of time: I'll go ahead and sacrifice playing the games so I can wake up and make breakfast. I wouldn't want anyone going hungry on my account!

our backyard friend

The girls spotted this little dear in our backyard the other day. They squealed with delight as they ran to the window to watch. Our little friend allowed them to come outside and observe for a while before hopping over the fence and back into the cornfield. One more thing to love about living in the country!

ryenne and beautifly

Like most children, Ryenne loves butterflies. The other day, she was delighted to catch one. She was even more thrilled when she found that it let her hold it. Soon she discovered that she could set it on her cheek and it would stay there, gently folding and unfolding it's wings. Then, it would even move over to her nose and stay there. I loved the name she gave her little pet butterfly. "Beautifly". She and Beautifly enjoyed each others company for almost a week!