Giant water balloon fun

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I know I've been doing a lot of these sequential pictures lately, but I just had to do this one, so bear with me. The girls told me they wanted to make giant water balloons one day when their cousin Noah was over. The next thing I know they had filled up regular balloons we had on hand and tied them off. Their balloons turned out to be giant, and so heavy they could barely lift them. Olivia's look when she tried to hold onto hers--priceless! I love the things their little minds come up with. Every day they are figuring out a new way to get wet, a new game to play, a new competition. It's really never-ending, and so, so fun to witness. If only I could harness some of their energy, though...


Throwing dresses

This child. She is so much fun to watch. I catch myself stopping whatever I'm doing and just watching her doing her thing. She runs from room to room, picking up one thing, trading it for another as she drops the first thing and runs off. She'll drop the paci right out of her mouth to put whatever she's holding in there. Everything she picks up is interesting to her and something to explore. She squats as she turns the item over in her pudgy little hands and examines them, seeing what they can do.

I see her watching her brother and sisters and imitating their hand movements, their tone of voice, their actions. She follows them around the house and joins in whatever they're up to. She rarely likes to be by herself, and when they're not home, she will look for them upstairs or make me open the garage door to see if they're outside.

Everywhere she goes, the room ends up looking like a tornado hit it after she's gone. She moves quickly from room to room and toy to toy, leaving things strewn around all rooms of the house. It's exhausting to get anything done sometimes, because by the time I cook dinner or check my email, I have a whole new mess waiting for me to clean up. I never know what she just got into, and cringe inside as I'm doing something to think of what she could be up to in the next room. I was up in the play room one morning and caught Naomi throwing all the dress-up dresses out of the basket. I was always annoyed and exasperated when I walked in on every dress out of the basket and on the floor, but hadn't had a chance to get to the bottom of it. I figured it was either Olivia or Noah doing the dumping. Well, turns out it's this little rascal! I hadn't even thought someone was doing it for fun! She was so thorough and quick, and got the job done in no time! Bogdan and I joke that she's just keeping us young.


You and me baby

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We've come a long way, baby! Look at those kids, walking arm in arm, all smiles, radiating happiness. The road since that day twelve years ago has been full of contrasts--smooth and bumpy, magical and mundane, full of tears and sorrow and laughter and joy. We have been in valleys in our marriage that were incredibly hard and tested our commitment and our faith, and we have been victorious on the mountain tops as well. Such is life. The constant through it all is change; change is the only guarantee.

We have grown up together, started a family together, bought one house, then another, and watched our babies grow. We have been through health issues and financial issues and family heartaches as well. And it was all with this man by my side. Looking back at all of it, I am so, so grateful for this life I get to lead. I'm so grateful for a God-fearing husband that wants to lead his family well. I'm so grateful for four beautiful children that I get to raise and watch grow.

I used to look at couples who had been together for five years, and I remember thinking what an accomplishment that was, how much time they had spent together already. Now five years is nothing, just a drop in the bucket. It's been twelve for us, and I feel like someone else has lived those twelve years for me, that we're just beginning, still figuring out this marriage thing.

These twelve years have gone by and I still feel like that young bride, with the same dreams and ambitions inside that had always been there. Granted, my eyebrows are now fuller and I have more wrinkles and more stories to tell, but I am still that high school graduate marrying her high school sweetheart, I swear!


I dare you not to giggle


I was watching this little gem on my computer today. I've been trying to take videos of Naomi here and there  as she grows because even though that little video doesn't seem significant at the time, watching it after some time has passed is always so nostalgic. I love them all, even the most mundane ones. After all, it's the little things that turn out to be the big things. This one is one of my favorite videos of Naomi. It's from January, back when she was one day away from 8 months of age. I just can't help laughing every time I see it!


A memorable birthday this year

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We celebrated Bogdan's birthday last month (where did the time go?) and had the most memorable day! I think we will remember this one for a long time. We started the day off with a special breakfast in bed for him. We sang happy birthday though we didn't have a cake for him and gifted him his favorite goji berries, and an organic deodorant and organic aftershave I picked out for him. He had started refusing to use his regular deodorant because he didn't want to poison himself with aluminum, so good thing I found a good replacement! He is loving it so far, and the aftershave too.

It was actually the last day of school on Bogdan's birthday this year, and each of the kids had something going on for parents that day, so he came home early from work and we spent the afternoon going back and forth from classrooms to the gym for assemblies and back home to wait for the next thing. After school we joined some friends in their backyard for some water fun, then headed out for a date night for just us two.

It was a full day and oh so good, with a little bit of everything in it. It was nice to have family time, but I really wanted Bogdan all to myself this year for at least some of it, and just have some downtime together, so date night was perfect! We ordered a couple new things at a restaurant we had recently tried, then drove up the foothills to this amazing hiking area we had actually never been to before. I had done some research online and we drove up and found a place to park, then picked a trail to hike. I wasn't sure if it was the one I wanted or not, but it seemed like a good one and I didn't know how to find the one I had in mind, so off we went.

Well, it just kept going and going, and soon we realized that we were barely making any progress down, and of course we still had to go back up after coming down. The sun was setting fast, and it always seemed like we would reach the sunny spot just up ahead of us as soon as we came around the next bend, but it was always eluding us as the sun beat us over and over again. Soon we decided to run down to save time, and though I was wearing tennis shoes (thank God), I was wearing a stiff polyester blouse and wasn't too comfortable in it while running. I don't know what I expected--I guess I thought we'd do more of a leisurely hike that wouldn't take too long. Whoops. We ended up walking/running at least 6 miles round-trip, and the last 3 miles were uphill. Up a very steep hill. It was such a challenge getting back up that mountain, this time along the road we drove to get up there, and though my legs were doing okay, my lungs were not. There were times where I just had to slow down to a very slow walk to catch my breath, otherwise I felt like I would suffocate. It was scary because both of our phones died and it was growing dark, and we kept passing cars on their way down as we were going up. We debated hitching a ride with someone to get back to our car, but we were too chicken to do it. Instead we ran as much as possible, walked the rest of the way, and worried about what the in-laws were thinking that we were out so late and when in the world would we come pick up the kids. :)

I often crave some kind of adventure, and this evening was so good for my soul. It was just us two out in nature, and it was so beautiful all around. We were up above the city, exploring a place we had never seen before, talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. We would stop to take a picture or sneak in a kiss, then keep going, admiring the scenery and the beautiful sunlight streaming down the mountains. I used to think the Idaho desert was boring when I was young, but I have really come to appreciate it over the years. Now I think it is so beautiful. There was a sense of danger and uncertainty since we had no idea where we would end up or how long it would take us, and I kind of loved that part of it. It sure gave me some contrast to my I-know-exactly-what-to-expect suburban days. I can't wait to get out there again and explore some more.

And with that Bogdan is another year older! In sixteen more days I'm celebrating my own birthday and I have no idea what I want to do for it yet, so I better get planning. All I know is I have to leave my 20s behind with a bang!