Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Birthday To my Husband

Today is Tyler’s 28th birthday.  To most people they’ll think there is nothing special about someone turning twenty-eight but for me today is more than just my husband’s birthday; today marks ten years of us celebrating together!!!  The very first holiday or special occasion that Tyler & I celebrated together was his 18th birthday.  And I have been there for every birthday adventure since.  It makes me happy to sit and think about the decade of memories we have made and our lil family we have created.  For the last ten years we have spent every birthday, holiday and everything in between with each other. 
If in February of 2003 when I meet Tyler someone would have told me what our future held I probably would have laughed in their face!!! Seriously.  Tyler was a chubby, pimple face teenage on a path of destruction.  He had a take no prisoners jerkiness about him.  Few people know that he’s like an orger, I mean Tyler is like an onion- filled with multiple layers.  But in a very short time period I realized that was a mask to cover up the most sweetest and caring person man who I now call my best friend, my husband and my life partner. 

The past few years have been very trying on our family.  The financial hardship of Josie’s NICU bills combined with a work injury that had Tyler on L&I and light duty at work for a year created a large bump in the road. As I finished up my degree at UWT we were a functioning family but defiantly not a happy one. Outside issues have stirred up negative emotions about our not so picture perfect parts of our childhoods and highlighted our bad decisions from our past.  But through all the darkness we remained committed to our family and committed to each other.  And now that we have weathered the storm we have found ourselves enjoying the sunshine!  Life isn’t perfect and our bank account is almost always on “E” but life is good.

I think the part of Tyler that most people don’t see is the part that I love the most. He is passionate about nature.  He is overly interested in the subjects of heath, nutrient and supplements. He always stops for people at the crosswalk; he regularly offers assistance to the elderly and because of how he plays with them- ALL children LOVE him.  But the way he interacts with our own children is priceless. Tyler comes home from work and gives the kids attention every single day. He walks in the door and drops to the floor to play cars, read a book or immediately changes shoes to go play tag or kick the soccer ball.  Every night he brushes their teeth and then reads them one or two three or four books before lights out.  Then he cuddles them until they fall asleep.  When Issac was sick and again when Issac had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin, Tyler took him to the walk-in clinic.  He is an amazing, hands on and involved father.  Issac, Josie & myself are blessed to have a man that not only tries his best everyday but tries to improve himself each day as well.   

In 2013 Tyler & I have committed ourselves to our children and our marriage.  We are both in a fabulous spot.  Making changes to our family’s diet by lowering our gluten intake and eliminating food dyes and high fructose corn syrup.  We are working together to be more active, taking family hikes and walks along the Green River, kicking the soccer ball around with the kids and enjoying more outside activities.  We’ve also begun to read more.  Tyler is enjoying a series of books on finding himself and identifying his own self-worth while I have been breezing through some parenting and marriage books.  But the best part is Sunday morning coffee and nightly talks in bed about our days and about what we are reading.  Somewhere along the path we had stopped having these deep conversations. And in the hustle and bustle of life we had forgotten how much we simply enjoyed each other’s company. 
So today is a special day.  It is a Wednesday and we are responsible adults who don’t need to take a day off to celebrate ourselves so the day will be normal.  But for dinner I will meet Tyler’s request for my homemade gluten-free spinach macaroni and cheese with homemade fried chicken strips, Cesar salad and balsamic carrots followed by Chocolate Cake.  But today it is not only Tyler’s birthday but it is an anniversary of its own kind.  Today we celebrate an anniversary of a decade of memories.  We have come so far and swam through some deep shit mud; but I think the best is yet to come for us. 
Tyler- I thank you for accepting me and my defaults as I have yours.  I thank you for being a hard working provider and an amazing father. I thank you for loving us enough to change yourself and strive to reach your maximum personal potential.  I thank you for sharing your special occasions with me.  I’m overwhelmed with your continuous love and support as we create our own path in life.  I thank you for the last ten years of memories. And in advance- I thank you for the next ten years of memories we have yet to create.  I love you now more than ever.  XOXO



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Above- The kids were Monsters from monster's Inc
Bellow- our two happy pumpkins for Halloween 2013

Last year I put too much thought and stress in to the kids costumes but this year was simple to choose with few complication besides a fabric cutting accident that I completely recovered from. At the beginning of October of last year a co-worker of Tyler’s gave us a Monsters Inc costume but it was too large for Issac.  I tucked it away & in September I pulled it out to discover it fit Issac pretty well.  In my head, I instantly wanted Josie to be the character “Boo” to match Issac’s “Mike”.  Online the costs of Boo costumes were close to a hundred dollars so I turned to Pinterest and cut and pasted different parts of different ideas and created my own costume!  I started with a grey hoodies from the goodwill ($3) and sewed a section of extra fleece I had around to add a skirt to the hoodies.  Then I sewed some purple fabric I scored on clearance for $6 over top the hoodie.  After that I used white string to sew circles around the body of the costume four times, bunching the excess fabric as I sewed.  For the top of the Boo costume I bought some sparkly pipe cleaners, foam balls and a yarn mop at the Dollar tree.  I had Tyler use a screwdriver to take apart the mop and I used my hot glue gun to glue the mop, eye balls & felt teeth onto the costume.  Anybody that has seen the movie knew who Josie was dressed as and I got a ton of kind compliments from other parents. So I’m marking this project as a complete success!

 We cut our pumpkins on the 20th. At home in a very low key matter. The kids helped clean out the guts & then we did the rest because they’re still only 2 &4!!!

We celebrated Halloween in some new ways this year.  Everything we did was very fun and the kids had a great time.First, we celebrated the Saturday before Halloween at a kids Halloween party.  All the children were under seven and the games and activities were appropriate.  The kids enjoyed discussing their costumes with one another providing each other with compliments on what party of the costume they liked best.  The children each decorated a cupcake with frosting, sprinkles, crushed Oreos and gummy worms. 

On Halloween, Josie & I joined Issac in his Pre-K class for a day of fun. Earlier in the week, Teacher Colleen had invited Josie & I to come and stay.  We brought Issac’s favorite, Applesauce to share. All of the children in Issac’s class but one choose to wear their costume.  The kids did a Halloween, craft, enjoyed a wide variety of “party treats”, were read a few books and played a dozen or so rounds of musical chairs. 

After class we were invited to “Trick or treat the Waterfront” in Des Moines by some of Issac’s classmates.  We started at the north end of Memorial Drive at the old QFC and walked south along the business collecting our goodies. This activity ran from 3-5pm. It was our first time doing this and the children had a great time.  There were cops out directing traffic at busy intersections and all of the businesses were super friendly and I felt safe about the items we collected.  A little after 4pm we walked back to our car to meet Dad at home to enjoy the homemade chili I had cooking in the Crockpot.

After dinner Tyler & I took the kids out to trick or treat around our apartments for an hour. 

At seven we were inside watching Homeward Bound and happily greeting trick or treaters.  October 31st itself was exhausting!  I needed all of Friday to recover but I would do it all again in a heartbeat because the kids enjoyed themselves and minus a twenty minute battle of getting both kids to walk up a hill to the car and getting home to eat dinner I enjoyed myself too.  Another holiday filled with memories in the record books for us. I hope you had a great Halloween as well!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thomasson Family Farm and Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday October 8th was your typical Washington morning; cold, foggy and a forecast of nothing but rain.  However, a tremendous amount of our Darcy Read Memorial Preschool parents and students bared the weather, bundled up and strapped on their rain boots for the annual trip to the Thomasson Family Farm.   We gathered up at the entrance to the farm just before ten am and were greeted by one of the farm’s owner’s- Mrs. Thomasson.  She welcomed us and explained the variety of activities we would enjoy; first up was the Hay Ride.

The farm attendants occupied the children with a fun song; “This is a hammer, this is a nail.  When this tractor’s moving keep you pants nailed to a bail.”  The farm’s fields were very muddy from the rain so they drove the kids in a figure eight around the parking lot.  The children loved the ride but were ready to attack the main event:  The great pumpkin search.  The farm was expecting many field trip groups that day and they had prepared by lining up a bunch of preschooler sized pumpkin in front of a row of flags for the children to select from.  It was run to see how each child made their selection.  Some children picked up the first pumpkin that made them crack a smile and were ready to move on to the next activity while others hustled away from the group as far as they could before making their pumpkin selections. 

While the children refueled with some chocolate milks, the farm assistants talked about how they grow the pumpkins from seeds, discussed the different colors and types of pumpkin seeds their farm uses and also how they recycle their unsold pumpkins. 

The next sets of activities were also a big hit.  First; the kids waited in line and took their turn on the Tractor Train.  When they were done enjoying the Tractor Train ride, they were free to play on the farm’s one of a kind play ground.  The playground included such a variety of activities that every child found something they enjoyed.  The playground area included a two story playhouse, a bubble wand station, a tractor, a cow milking station, slides and wooden animals.  The playground was a fabulous place for the children to use their imaginations and explore safely. 

Up next was the Corn Kernal Pit. Think of a ball pit made of hay barrels filled with corn kernals.  There were a few kids who went in and came right back out because the texture wasn’t appealing to them.  However, the fast majority of the children jumped and wiggled around with grins upon their faces.  After the Corn Kernal Pit we enjoyed a Hay Maze.  The hey maze was defiantly age appropriate for our preschoolers.  Being inside a barn in a large open space allowed the children to yell and run around. 

The final activity at the Thomasson farm for the day was an all around crowd pleaser; a petting zoo.  The farm had a few kittens, sweep, baby pigs, bunnies and a sleeping donkey.

Our group left the farm around noon.  We made it through all of the activities before the Washington skies opened up dropping rain, sleet and hail on our way home.  The field trip was a complete success because of the fabulous staff at the Thomasson Family Farm and because of our wonderful co-op families.  The children and adults alike had a memorable experience.  I was happy that Tyler was able to take a personal day from work and enjoy Issac's first field trip with us.  More fun memories ahead!