Friday, November 9, 2018

Thoughts from a heartbroken mamma

Lately, when Rem gets up from her nap she wants me to sit on the couch and hold her.  At first, I saw it as an inconvenience, I have things I needed to be doing, sitting on the couch was not one of them.  Then one day my sis in law and I were talking about how house cleaning can always wait, that we need to make sure we snuggle our babies when we can.  This phase passes so fast, and we surely need to soak it up.  I don't know why I wasn't taking my own advice, but that day, when Rem woke up from her nap, I stopped what I was doing sat on the couch and cuddled her.  She immediately took my hand and held it as she snuggled up to me.  My heart melted.  I now cherish the moments she wakes up from her nap, in fact, I look forward to it.

Today as I held Rem on the couch, I squeezed her a little tighter, as tears filled my eyes.  I am sure, by now, most of you have heard about the most recent mass shooting in California.  Unfortunately, it is just one of too many that have happened this year.  As I held Rem I watched a video of a dad, heartbroken and crying as he talked about his son, who was senselessly shot.  And my heart just broke.  That could be any of us, at any time.

In today's world there are literally no more safe places.  Every place we would once consider a safe environment has now been tainted by a person who has senselessly killed so many.  I can't to the movies, church, send my kids to school, go to a restaurant, a concert the list goes on and on.  And it just keeps getting scarier.  I hate to say it, but yesterday as I dropped my big kids off at school, the though crossed my mind, what if they don't come home.  I can't even bear the thought.  I can't even comprehend sending my kids off to school or church, letting them attend and event, to have them never come home.

I hate that these are things we have to think about now a days.  I hate that my kids have to live in a world of fear.  I hate that they have lock down drills at school.  The other day Kenz came home from school and told me about her most recent lock down drill.  And I couldn't help but be sad.  She explained where they all would hide so that a bad guy wouldn't hurt them.  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that schools have these in place, to help protect our kids, but I hate that this is even an issue in the first please.

I realize I am probably rambling now, but we have to do better.  We have to make this world a better place for our kids.  How many more innocent lives have to be lost? It is just not ok.

But I will not cower either.  As scary as it may be, we will continue to live our lives.  Because we have to.  We cannot let them win.  I will hug my kids a little tighter, pay more attention when my kids are trying to tell me things.  Memorize their smile and their laugh.  Pay extra attention to their tears.  Let them know there is still so much good in this world.  Teach them to be a little kinder, more inclusive. We have to do better.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Back to School Tips

My kids recently went back to school and although they were ready to go back, I was dreading everything that came with it.  The chaotic mornings, busy nights and everything in between.  I was determined this year to be more organized and hopefully make our lives a little easier.  I looked through pinterest, instagram and google and tried a few different things.  I think we are finally getting into a groove and wanted to share what has worked for us.

1. Prepare everything you can the night before.  Every night I get clothes picked out, make sure we know where everyone's shoes are (I can't be the only one who's kids loose their shoes constantly right?)  We fill up water bottles, make our lunches and put our snack in our backpack. Everything has a place, the backpacks hang on their designated hooks, clothes on a designated dresser and so forth.  This has made our lives tremendously easier.  The kids know where everything is, and can get their stuff together on their own.

2. Make a list.  I made lists, and will eventually laminate them 😀 of things to help keep the kids on track.  They have a morning checklist and an after school check list.  For my son who can't quite read yet I put pictures that correlate with each item so he knows what each item is.  So instead of telling them 20 times in the morning what they should be doing, they are now keeping track themselves and I have more time to focus on getting the twins and I ready.

3. Set up a homework table (or area).  This has helped my kids immensely.  I went to target and bought extra school supplies, anything I thought they might need to complete their homework and set it up on a table.  Now they both sit at the table, with all the supplies and they find it easier to get their homework done.  It gives them a place to sit and concentrate (as much as little kids can) and they can help each other as well.

Just these simple things have greatly improved our everyday routines and have helped to keep us organized.  I don't know what I didn't do it sooner.  What do you guys do to help lighten your load? Any more organization tips for me??

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Happy Birthday Bubba!

Today my baby bubba turns 5 and I kind of can't believe it! I remember the doctor telling me I was going to have a boy and literally being scared.  I don't know how to raise a boy, or what to do with a boy. I don't enjoy sports, legos or cars.  What were we doing to have in common?  When Tate was born he definitely gave me a run for my money and still does to this day. He may be crazy busy, always moving, and keeping me on my toes, but he is also the sweetest boy you'll meet. He is constantly wanting to help with the twins and loves them so much!  He just recently started kindergarten and its almost like he doesn't need me at all.  He doesn't want me to walk in and drop him off and today I went to visit him for lunch and he refused to take a picture with me.  That is my strong, independent son.  I can't wait to see what he does with his life, I know he will go far!
We love you Tate!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip

The kids are out of school, summer break is in full swing, and most families are starting to think about their upcoming vacations. Our family is no different.  Every year we take a trip to visit family in Northern Utah and most recently we have changed our route, and gone through St. George.  This route has more freeway, and no little towns to pass through.  It also has less wildlife crossing the freeway/highway, so if you are doing any of the drive when it starts to get dark, this is an easier route.  St. George is a beautiful city, full of red rocks and lots of things to do.  Whether you’re just looking to pass through or stay for a few days, here is a list of things to do.
Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip | East Valley Moms BlogHiking
  • Red Cliffs Nature Trail – This hike is good for families, its an easy hike that leads to a little waterfall.  While its usually best to hike this during spring and fall, it can be done in the summer as long as its earlier in the day.  Families can cool off in the spring, crawl around in the waterfall, and there is even a natural slide that you can slide on.
  • Pioneer Park- One of the staples of St. George is the rock with the word “DIXIE” written on it.  On our most recent trip we decided to venture up and see if we could hike the rock.  What we found was Pioneer Park.  A short hike up to the top of Dixie rock and also a bbq with picnic tables.  From this spot you get a great view of the city its definitely worth the stop.
Places to eat:
  • Pizza Factory – Known as St. George’s favorite Pizza restaurant, the Pizza Factory is great for that family feel, and delicious pizza. They are also known for their breadtwists, which are the similar bread sticks, and they are longer than any bread stick I have ever seen.  They also offer salads, sandwiches, wings and calzones.
  • Larsen’s Frostop – Larsen’s is an old fashioned drive-in, and the food is typical of an old fashioned drive-in.  On the menu you will find hamburgers, french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken tenders and corn dogs to name a few.  They are also known for their milkshakes, it’s a perfect stop for families.
  • The Bear Paw – If you’re looking for a nice breakfast spot then the Bear Paw is your stop.  The menu has a wide variety of food in a cute little cafe feel.  Be sure to try one of their stuffed french toast and the home fries! You can’t go wrong with your choice of food here.
  • Judd’s – Judd’s is an old fashioned ice cream shop which also offers lots of old fashioned candy and sodas. Its a kids dream.  There is seating outside, for you to enjoy your treats.
Things to do:
  • Thunder Junction Park – If you’re looking to have your kids burn off some energy this is the perfect place. It is  an all abilities park that includes a splash pad and train ride (for an extra fee).  This park is so fun your kids will never want to leave.  Us adults even had a blast watching the kids swing and spin, they even have drums and a xylophone for the kids to explore their love of music. Definitely make time to stop here.
  • St. George Children’s Museum – The children’s museum is full of fun and interactive exhibits that kids will love.
  • Tuacahn Ampitheatre – Tuacahn is more for older kids and adults, but it is one of the coolest theaters.  It is set up against the red rocks, during the evening.  Some of the past plays have included, Mamma Mia, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Tarzan and this year the line up is Matilda, Cinderella and The Prince of Egypt.  It is definitely worth the money to experience a play underneath the red rocks.  
Why you should stop in St. George on your next road trip | East Valley Moms Blog
So next time you’re on your way out of town and are looking for a place to stop, or looking for a new place to take a trip, I highly recommend stopping in St. George and seeing all that it has to offer.

This article was originally posted on East Valley Moms Blog, you can find it here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

5 ways to get the most out of your trip to Disneyland!

Those who know me know I am Disney obsessed!  I have visited Disneyland more than I can count.  Over the countless times I have visited I have come up with some tips and tricks to help your experience go smoother.

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare - Disneyland is sure to be exhausting. Make sure you are prepared for your trip. Comfortable shoes are a must. I would even say bring a couple pairs, a pair of sandals and tennis shoes. We always make sure we bring along a different pair of shoes so when we do water rides we can switch shoes and we don't have to spend the rest of the day with wet shoes.

2. Make a plan - Decide which rides you absolutely want to ride while you are there.  Make a plan on which ones you will go to first, and which ones you will get fast passes for.  I highly recommend paying the extra money for the maxpass, it is a fastpass you can get on your phone, which saves you from running around to the different fast pass locations. Another great tip a Disney employee gave me was to walk the park counter clockwise.  most people enter the gates and immediately go to the right, because its a natural tendency and its where space mountain is.  If you enter and go immediately to the left, you will experience shorter lines and ride more rides in half the time.

3. Stay close to the park - I think it is totally worth it to stay within walking distance of the park.  You don't have to deal with parking (it's expensive and a pain), and you faster access to your hotel room if you need a break anytime during the day.  This is also best if you have kids with you, we know they can't always last all day.

4.  Always make sure you have ziploc bags to put your valuables in while you do water rides.  You can also purchase ponchos for pretty cheap on Amazon, or at the dollar store if you would prefer not to get wet at all, personally that is my favorite part, especially when its hot. 

(Pic of my brother and my cute son on his first Disney trip)

5.  Book with Getawaytoday! I have used for all of my Disney trips.  They have the best prices on trips and you can bundle your tickets, hotel and even plane tickets if you need. Their customer service is amazing and I promise you won't be disappointed! 

Until next time....