Sunday, November 27, 2016

Halloween 2016.

Halloween was so much fun this year! I made my life 100 times harder, and decided to make Georgia and Lanes costumes again this year. Lucky for me, we are currently still living with my mom, and she literally did Georgia's entire costume! It is the most incredible Rapunzel costume, ever! I don't think I could have pulled these costumes off without her. Actually I know I definitely would not have been able to. We had a crazy month in October because Mike and I took a trip to SPAIN  the week before Halloween! I have to write a post on Spain, maybe even 5 posts, it was incredible. Anyway, because I knew I wouldn't be able to work on the costumes the week before, it was so helpful to have my mom helping out. Leona wore a costume of Georgia's from a few years ago. It was so cute, every time someone said, "well look at you" or something like that she would just say, "I'M WITCH. I'M WITCH." She wanted to be very clear to everyone that she was dressed as a witch. It was so stinking cute. Lane was the tough guy in his Thor costume. He has the cutest little voice, I hope I never forget his voice as a little boy. He has a hard time pronouncing certain sounds, like the "L" sound and the "TH" sound. Anytime someone would ask what he was going to be he would say, "I'm going to be four!" But of course was trying to say, "THOR". It was really confusing for people, so I had to explain that he was going to be Thor, a lot. They all looked so adorable. Mike and I even got into the fun and dressed up as Batman and Alice in Wonderland. 
We took the kids trick or treating at Mikes work in the late afternoon. Digicert really went all out and decorated all of their respective "pods" with a different theme. The kids loved it, and they made out like bandits with buckets full of candy. After Digicert, we went down to the Alpine Main Street trick or treat! My parents came with us, and we got to go around to all the local little businesses in Alpine for some candy. The weather was so beautiful that day, which made walking around outside so enjoyable. Most of my Halloween memories as a kid consisted of my mom putting an entire snow ensemble over my costume, so no one even knew what I was. I'm glad our kids have enjoyed nice weather on their Halloweens. After the Alpine trick or treat, we came home to eat some chili before setting off to our old neighborhood in Lehi to meet our friends, the Olson's. It was actually kind of hard going back to our neighborhood to trick or treat. I got out of the car and immediately thought to myself, this is a mistake. But then once we got going, I found that I really enjoyed seeing my old neighbors again. Even though it gave me a huge dose of home sickness, it also made me happy to reconnect with the friends and neighbors I have been missing. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

First Day of Preschool 2016!

This fall was such a busy time for us, and I feel like it has been non stop ever since we moved! I was "after Labor Day" so much this year because not only did I have to send Georgia back to preschool, but I had to send Lane too!!!! I guess I shouldn't say I had to, but after much agonizing over the decision whether to send him or not, I decided that preschool would be the best thing for him. Lane has such a hard time being away from mom & dad, which is the sweetest thing EVER but I also felt like he was totally capable of going to school for two days a week, and I knew that once he could show himself he could do it, he would be so proud! Georgia absolutely loves school and always has. I didn't worry about her adjusting to school, because she did so well last year. Well the first day arrived and they were both so excited! Georgia said, "Mom, I am so excited I think I might die!!!" and Lane said, "I'm excited for school, also sad and nervous." Dropping my kids off on the first day just never seems to get easier. The tears are flowing as soon as we leave our house to get in the car to go to school, and they don't really stop until they walk in the door after school. But don't think  I am too weird, these emotions really only last the first week of school, and then I realize that they are thriving and loving it! And at that point, my heart feels calm and happy. Lane surprised us all by absolutely loving school from day one! He has loved it every minute since. They are both doing incredibly well at Bear Hollow and are completely well adjusted to the new routine. Leona gets to be with me every morning, and to be honest, it's actually kind of nice to have only two kids every single morning. We love Bear Hollow!!!! It has made my fears of sending my kids to preschool completely subside. Miss Molly and Mr Dave are the best of the best and my kids can't wait to wake up and go to school every single day.

Our House.

August was a TOUGH MONTH for us. Probably the toughest month to date. Mike and I made the decision to put our house up for sale the very end of July. It was a hard decision to come to, because we loved our house and location so much. Also, just refinishing all of our bathrooms made the decision that much harder. But we felt like we had so much equity in our home, and we knew that it wasn't a house we were going to want to stay in the rest of our lives, that now was the right time to sell. We ended up going the "for sale by owner" route, because we knew that our area was in hot demand and all of the houses in our neighborhood that have sold, sold within the first week. Sure enough, we immediately had a ton of interest in our sweet little abode. I can't even tell you how difficult the showing process was. My mom and dad came over to help me try and get all the junk I wasn't using out of my house, finish up looming projects, attache closet door, deep clean, paint, you name it. When you show your house, it doesn't have to just be clean, it has to be immaculate! I would scrub my house every single day, and then I was so anal about my kids playing with ANYTHING. I felt like this nazi mom, that couldn't live in my own house. It was super hard on all of us. Most of the time people want to come see your house after they are off work, so Mike would schedule these showings right around our dinnertime and bedtime. So that week was full of eating out, lots of time spent at the swimming pool, and late bedtimes. Thank heavens we only had to show our house for a week. The family that ended up buying our house came through on day 5. I kept praying and praying that the right family would walk through our house and love it. I wanted a family that would love that house as much as we did, and ideally be a great addition to our ward and neighborhood. The family that bought our house was literally the ideal family!!! I am so thrilled that they are the ones that purchased it, because deep down, I feel like they were an even better fit for that house and neighborhood than we were. 
I miss my friends and neighbors that I had in that house, but I mostly just miss our house. It has been so hard on me to not be able to drive back to that house that we loved so much for 3 years. The walls of that house hold so many of my dearest memories that I never want to forget. I feel like all of my kids baby years were spent there. The night I said goodbye to that house was one of the most emotional goodbyes I have ever had. Actually I think it was THE MOST emotional goodbye I have ever had. Mike was like, "are you going to be OK?" haha, genuinely worried about the state of my mental health. And the truth is, I'm not sure I will be OK. Just kidding, I know I will be. I realized that anywhere I am with my 4 lifelines (mike, georgia, lane and leona) automatically feels like home. We could live in a tent for heaven sakes and I would have all I need with them there. So, onward and upward as we move forward with building our new house!!!! I will have to do a full post on that, soon. For now we are living in my parents basement and just as snug as a bug. To be honest, I kind of love living here and may never want to leave. But don't worry mom, we will leave! And hopefully we'll get out of your hair sooner than later.

Alpine Days.

Every year, my home town of Alpine, UT hosts their annual Alpine City Days. It's such a nostalgic event for me because it was kind of the last hooray of summer all growing up. My cousins and I loved going to the dance as teenagers, and growing up as a kid, I just loved to go to the parade and ride my bike down to the park to check out the dunk tank and fish barrel. Alpine Days has come a long way since I was a kid, but I'm glad they still keep a lot of the old school traditions too. One of which, is none other than the Toddler Trot. A race around the block for kids ages 2-5. I actually won the Toddler Trot as a kid, which is one of my only childhood claim to fames. My family laughs at me every time I bring that up, but I still have the trophy to prove it! Anyways, I really wanted Georgia and Lane to participate this year, and they were so excited. I kind of have this tendency as a mom, to really over due my excitement about things. All we talked about for the week leading up to the Toddler Trot was the race. I even took the kids to Target so they could pick out a new "race outfit". We were all SO EXCITED. Race day came, we all woke up in a great mood, had an awesome breakfast (carb loaded) to get them ready for their moment. Haha, I'm laughing as a write this, because it sounds so over the top for a dumb little race, but that is just who I am, and I can't help it. Lane in particular was really excited. We get to the park where the race was and immediately I knew this was going to go south, fast. Lane started to cry as soon as we got out of the car, complaining that something was in his shoe and he didn't want to walk. Things went from bad to worse when he didn't want his race number pinned to his shirt. Georgia was excited this whole time, until it was time to get to the starting line. Lane refused to even let me put him down at this point, and Georgia was starting to bite her lip, trying hard not to lose it. The horn sounded and Georgia took off, Mike running with a screaming Leona right beside her. Lane was sobbing as I kept trying to put him down, and eventually just started screaming "NO!!!!!!!!!". I didn't see this, but I guess halfway down the street Georgia just fell apart from the pressure of it all and started to cry. Mike held her hand and ran with her the rest of the way. She did end up running through the finish line to get her ribbon and candy cane. The whole scenario was a total flop. Thinking of it now, has me in tears from laughing so hard. I learned from that experience to not talk everything up so much. I think that they feel like my expectation is so high, when really it's not at all -- I just wanted to make it fun for them. After the race we all went to my moms house for a huge breakfast that was both delicious and incredible. We ended the morning sweating our buns off at the parade and the kids loved it! All's well the ends well I suppose. I think our Toddler Trot days might be over, but our Alpine Days parade and carnival days are definitely not.

Leona Turns 2!!!!!!

I can't believe that my baby doll turned 2 years old on September 3rd! How did that happen?? The week was filled with a lot of mama tears and tons of "I love Leona because...." She was so excited about her birthday! Every time I would ask her, "Who has a birthday this week??" she would get the cutest smile on her face and say, "LEONAAAAA". Mike and I are constantly looking at each other and asking the other, how is she this cute? It's like everything she does (even her tantrums) are cute! I never want to forget her in the stage of life she is in right now. She is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. She takes all of Lane and Georgia's best qualities, (also some of their worst) and blends them into her own little unique personality. She is hysterically dramatic over the littlest things. Like, THE BIGGEST faker of them all. But I kind of play into it because it's actually really cute and like I said, funny. She talks all the time and has the cutest little raspy voice. She thinks every color is pink, and loves to count to 10. She also loves to "read" picture books! She will sit down on the couch with a stack of 5 or 6 books and flip through every page as she reads to herself or me. I don't understand a lot of what she says but it's adorable to watch. She normally will try to reenact whatever the picture in the book is. So for example, if there is a picture of a child with a surprised face, she'll go... "ahhhhhhh!' I feel like she just gets it, with so many different things. She loves her binks and blanky, her blanky probably more than any of my other kids have. Once we were driving in the car to Farmington and we forgot to bring her blanky in the car with us. So around Draper, she would ask every minute, "mommy, where's banky?" or "daddy, where's bankys???" After I kid you not, 55 times of her asking, Mike finally said, "Leona, stop asking that honey, we will have to wait until we get home." So she was quiet for about 2 minutes and then looked at Lane and said, "Naney, where's banky?" Lane took a deep breath and said, "NO MORE TIMES, LEONA." Haha, Mike and I were in tears from laughing.
I took her to the Doctor yesterday and just like all of my kids, she is big and tall! 98%tile in height and 97%tile in weight! Every time I take my kids to their well checks and the doc see's how off the charts big they are, he always asks me, "How tall is their dad?". I kind of have this theory that my kids are just early bloomers and will eventually get back into the average percentiles. But then again, they may always be super tall- which would be awesome. The older kids and I woke up early on Leo's birthday and went to go get some donuts. Georgia and Lane kept going back and forth on the perfect donut for Leona, but ultimately went with a glazed. My kind of kids. She loved being woken up to the sound of the happy birthday song and a donut! Who wouldn't? We went to the Outlets that morning to check out some Labor Day sales and then came home for a nap. Our plan was to go to Midway that afternoon/evening to see Grandma and Grandpa and ride the horsey. After naps, we sang to Leo again and let her open up her presents, got in the car and went on our way. It was smooth sailing through Provo Canyon until we got to Deer Creek and hit a brick wall of traffic. That weekend was Swiss Days in Midway, and they were doing construction. We sat in the traffic for about 40 mins and moved about 2 feet when Mike and I decided it would be better to just turn around. The kids were so bummed! And I was so bummed because I really wanted Leona to be there on her birthday, but we made it work by taking all the kids to Spaghetti Factory for dinner! Our family is the biggest Spag Factory fans you'll know. It's a Kimball thing. We topped dinner off with a candle in Leo's spumoni ice cream and called it a night. We did end up going to Midway a couple days later, and that made up for everything. I love that Leo's birthday always falls around Labor Day weekend. It just gives us a reason to keep the party going!
Leona has been the biggest blessing and irreplaceable piece to our family since minute one. Her curly hair and constant laughter is the highlight of all of our days. Georgia and Lane are constantly saying, "Leona is our cutest little baby sister." It's been so much fun to see how all three of them have connected and formed their own bonds over the last two years. I'm trying to cherish every second I have with Leo (and all our kids) because if these last two years are any indication of how fast the next two are going to go, I'm in trouble!!!! Happy birthday baby doll, I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU.

Grandad Wilson.

My sweet Grandad Kirk passed away in July. It was such a bittersweet time for us and my moms family. I have so many fond memories of my Grandad from my childhood and adult years. They always went to such great lengths to get the whole family together every year for their "Annual Events" or reunions. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent in their home in Burlington, WA. The home my mom grew up in! Grandad conducted himself in a business like manner most of the time, but was also so caring and loving. The Church meant so much to him, and that is something I knew from a young age. I think looking back now, his testimony of the Gospel and missionary work really played a huge impact on my own developing testimony. Going back to Burlington with Mike for his funeral was so special and something I will never forget. So many memories and stories came flooding back, and being there with most of my siblings and both my parents made it that much more special. I get sad when I think of not seeing my Grandad on this earth ever again, but I also get so happy to know that he is anxiously engaged in a good cause on the other side of the veil. I also get a smile on my face whenever I think about him and his daughter, Shannon together up there. The best part of the Gospel is the hope it brings to those who have lost loved ones. To know that our earthly separation truly is short lived. My uncle Craig wrote my Grandads obituary and I loved it! 

R. Kirk Wilson, 77, a life-long resident, friend and benefactor of the Skagit Valley, passed away on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 after a courageous seven-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Kirk was born on October 7, 1938 in Burlington, Washington to Dick and Mary Wilson. Kirk remained in Burlington through High School, graduating from the Burlington-Edison High School Class of 1956. He forever remained proud to be a Tiger and retained deep and meaningful relationships with many of his childhood friends. Kirk excelled in sports, lettering multiple times in Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track. He received all-state awards as a Running Back, held the County record in the 440-yard dash for a number of years, and earned a Scholarship to play football for the University of Washington. Kirk was also the 1956 Student Body President at BEHS.

As a collegiate athlete at Washington, playing for legendary football coaches Darrell Royal and Jim Owens, Kirk also joined the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (FIJI) and again garnered a number of tremendous friendships and leadership experiences that lasted the test of time.

During his senior year at the University, Kirk boarded a United flight to Chicago and met a friendly stewardess named Paula Loynd, gathered the courage to ask for her phone number, and the game was on. Kirk & Paula married in Burlington on October 22, 1960 and began a 
 marriage that lasted almost 56 years, produced six children: Shannon Cloward, deceased; Craig (Cari) Wilson, Salt Lake City, UT; Holly (Steve) Crandall; Bluffdale, UT; Wendy (Calvin) Hunter, Alpine, UT; Kari (Eric) Wilson-Hull, Sedro-Woolley, WA; and Keith (Lynsi) Wilson, Burlington, WA; 30 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren and counting.

The "moment of truth," in Kirk's life occurred in November of 1963 when he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He felt the Savior's love, deeply believed that every person on Earth was truly his brother and sister, and committed himself to live with Christ-like integrity and charity. Because of that commitment and his gift of leadership, Kirk served in a number of positions throughout his Church life, including Bishop, Stake President, Regional Representative, and the first Mission President of the Ohio Cincinnati Mission from 1998-2001 where he and Paula served and presided over nearly 500 missionaries during that span. The opportunity to serve in these capacities and many others brought relationships, service opportunities and memories that will last forever.

Vocationally, Kirk began a career in the grocery business soon after college, managing the new Sedro-Woolley Thrifty Foods Store. By the late 1960's, Kirk became part-owner and President of Thrifty Foods, Inc and along with a fantastic group of fellow leaders and employees, helped grow the company into one of the largest privately-held, revenue-producing companies in the State of Washington over the next 30 years. Kirk was well-respected in the community, remained loyal and kind to his employees, and went the extra mile to serve Thrifty customers wherever he could. 

Kirk was a generous donor with both time and money to many charities, institutions of higher learning, service organizations and local infrastructure. He was also a founder of Burlington Rotary and spent many years on the Board of Puget Power as well as the Board of Associated Grocers.

Kirk would want to thank all of you for the contributions you made to his life and most recently, the wonderful and loving care provided by the kind people at Ashley Gardens Memory Care Center in Mount Vernon.

Funeral services for Kirk will be held on Saturday, July 16th at 11 am at the Mount Vernon LDS Stake Center on 1700 E. Hazel Street in Mt. Vernon, WA. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sweet Summertime.

Our summer is already coming to an end and I'm surprised by how fast it went! We have had the most incredible summer! Mike and I keep saying that this might be the best summer we have had yet! The kids have all been at really fun ages, and they still get so excited about things, not to mention they still love being around Mike and I more than anyone else. Our days were spent almost exclusively at the American Fork Rec Center. I worked there as a teenager so it's fun to bring my kids back to that pool and create so many memories. Between our trip to Disneyland, Seattle, Lake Powell, and St. George, we have kept very busy. I made a decision to not have my kids do any extra curricular activities this summer. I wanted to really focus on being together as a family at all times and not worry about making it to gymnastics on time every single Tuesday. I loved waking up every morning and having my kids get into bed with me and we would all look at each other and say, "what should we do today????" We spent a lot of time at the Lehi Library and Thanksgiving Point museums. A few trips to the Aquarium and Zoo, and Mikes work party at Cowabunga Bay! We took Lane to see his first movie at the theater, which was Finding Dory and it was adorable. Georgia learned how to swim!! This has only happened within the last week. Because we spent so much time at the pool, I decided one day that it was time to have a mommy/daughter swimming lesson. We would spend 30 mins working on it every day for a week and by the end, we had a swimmer on our hands! I'm still not confident enough to let her go into the deep end, but she has loved swimming from wall to wall in the shallow end. Leona became a water baby and loved being so confident in her puddle jumper! She would go in the lazy river all by herself and just float there. She was so brave at Cowabunga Bay and tried going down the kiddie slide all by herself! She would not stop going on it the rest of the night. Every time she got off she would say, "again!" and run back up.
I'm grateful to live in a country where my kids can get an education. But with that being said, I seriously hate having to send my kids to school!!! I'm really uncomfortable when I'm not with them 24/7. I know that this Fall will be such a fun and exciting time for Georgia and Lane, but selfishly I wish I could just keep them home with me forever and ever. Having only 2 kids every morning from 9-11:30 sounds so strange and at the same time kind of nice. I know that Leona is going to miss Georgia and Lane the most when they are at preschool. I'm just thanking my lucky stars that it isn't every day. Georgia has started teasing me by saying, "mom, I'm going to Kindergarten next year...." and I respond by saying, "DON'T DO IT! I'LL MISS YOU TOO MUCH!" And then she just laughs and does it again. It's hard to see your kids grow up so quickly, but one thing I'll never regret is exploring so much of life with them in their early years. Every day is a new adventure for us, and it's not always an easy adventure, but at the end of the day I can't wait to wake up and do it all over again. So long, sweet summer of 2016! You were so incredibly good to us.