Thursday, June 30, 2011

My handsome men

One Sunday, the boys were all matching with Shaun, and looked adorable. I begged them to go outside for a picture. Love them so much.


As you know, church with young kids can be quite the challenge. We’ve found at least one thing that has helped. We’ve been making personal snack bags for each kid, filled with various types of cereal. They love Capn Crunch. Before, we had one snack bag, and that didn’t work so much. This works much better, and has helped them make it through the 45 minutes of sacrament meeting. I try to rotate the toys and books out each week, so they don’t get too bored. We also have been blessed by a sweet family that we share a bench with. Their kids are so kind to our boys, and play with them. Huge, sweet blessing.

For my continual quest to learn how to be a better mom, I’m reading this book:

It’s a beautiful book, and has great thoughts. Here’s one from this morning’s reading that I really liked:

“The prayer I say most often in seeking to be filled with the love of Christ is to see my children as Christ sees them. This prayer has never failed to produce a positive change in my heart. For as we seek to see our children-or anyone else for that matter-through the Savior’s eyes, he opens our eyes to a clearer vision of how precious they are, how truly loveable they are, even on the days when we’re not at our best.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Some days are great in parenting, and some days are quite the bucket load. We’ve been going through some rough patches with the boys. Just normal stuff of hitting and boys finding their independence. Totally normal, but still draining for the Mama. Yet, reflecting on this week, I’m glad that I’ve had the hard days, because I feel that I’m walking away from it with a greater level of patience and understanding for my little men.  Those days actually force me to slow down, and to pray more earnestly. For that lesson, I am truly grateful. I am trying to have that clearer vision of who my boys are, and what great things they came here to accomplish. I’m sure they will do better things than sneaking into the chocolate stash (for me, ha, ha) unrolling the toilet paper to get the ‘telescope’, and blasting the house with the hose. Funny stuff that we’ll look back at and laugh.

I just wanted to share these thoughts today. Thank you always for your kind thoughts and encouragement for a newbie mom in the trenches of motherhood. I’m so grateful to you all.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer fun

Summer is here. The heat is hot, getting close to the 100 mark. I felt it was time to do something drastic. I searched for a good deal on craigslist for a cuisnart ice cream maker. I wanted the newer, simpler ones that didn’t require rock salt. I found a great deal from a nice mom, packed the kids up, and headed east to pick it up. SO worth it. Our days are now filled with fun from this lovely appliance. I’ve been hunting down tons of ice cream/sorbet/yogurt recipes. (As you can see on my Pinterest boardsSmile) I can’t believe how wonderful home-made sorbet tastes!! Strawberry mango sorbet. Super hit. The boys have been loving this.


Recently, we went out for a friend’s birthday dinner. It was a rare and nice treat to eat at Claim Jumpers, and see some friends from our old singles ward. Here’s a decent shot of me and my big tummySmile


I am finding that this summer is going by way too fast! I take Ethan to swimming lessons, we come home and make ice cream, play in the little kid pool outside in the shade, and try to get a little rest at quiet time with Ethan. Thankfully, Kevin is still napping in the afternoon. I’ve been feeling little Brooke kick quite often. Fun stuff.

Still working as hard as I can to get some more photo work to help with the impending doom of hospital bills with Brooke’s arrival. I’m such a wuss, I have to have an epidural. I tried going natural with Ethan for a little bit. I made it to a 4, and about died. So,  I have great respect for those who have babies without drugs! My labors are so weird. 12-13 hour labor of waiting, waiting, and waiting. (Starving while waiting, and sneaking food from Shaun.) Then, 10 minutes of pushing. So, not too bad.

I had a prompting to offer a free bridal session to help build my wedding portfolio. It’s amazing how quiet the spirit is. It was just a simple, little thought, like ‘try this’. So, I got some eager and willing models, and I have a neat photo shoot idea I want to try, involving hanging bottles from trees, with flowers in them. We’ll see how that one goes!

Gotta get Kevin up. Have a great Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ethan’s birthday

My big boy just got bigger. Here’s Happy Ethan day in a nutshell. Ethan woke up happy and wired at 6:30, the norm. Shaun didn’t work that day, which made the day even better. We got a couple presents for him below. The Hotwheels bath toy has been a hit, and Kevin has pushed himself around on the scooter more than Ethan has.


We went to our favorite water park, and invited a few friends. The best part of the day was when us grownups got totally drenched. Shaun, Darwin, and I stood under the buckets to see who would get wet first. It was so much fun. The kids nearby were laughing to see grownups getting totally soaked. Oh, how I wish this city would get a brain and rebuild Wet n Wild. We need it so bad.

Ethan just wanted to give a shopping cart a ‘car wash’. He is so funny!


Pizza and cupcakes. Perfect combination.


So, I would love to plan more extravagant parties and activities in the future. Right now, with the kids so young and tantrums abounding over diddly squat, (like the doggone balloons I thought would be nice to have but turned out to be massive stress), we tend to keep things REALLY simple for parties. I hope Ethan had a nice day, and we love him to pieces. Its fun to be a parent and plan fun things for your kids. You only hope that you are doing something good, and making a good memory for themSmile

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sundried tomato pasta salad

Here’s an incredibly yummy pasta salad I made last week. I used the abundance of cherry tomatoes from the garden, along with a sundried tomato sauce. I used the recipe from Tasty Kitchen, omitted the olives, and only used 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Sometimes, that stuff is a little strong to me. Load this up with fresh parmesan, and its so goodSmile


Monday, June 13, 2011

Gardening June 2011

Here’s the garden in full bloom! I’ve tried some new plants along with the winners from last year. Well, we didn’t have anything winning till I discovered the Dipel dust. 90% of my tomato plants were destroyed by nasty hornworms. In August, I used the dust on the last remaining grape tomato plant. For the next few months we had an abundance of tomatoes. It was awesome. So, every few weeks or so, I sprinkle the dust on the plants. So far, no damage done by worms, woo!

Here below are three bell pepper plants in the cage. They shade each other better from the intense heat by being three plants in one hole. On the left is Nasturium, a plant that’s supposed to ward off bad bugs, and is a great bushy plant for boxes. The purple is the Verbena, a hit from last year. Verbena does awesome in the desert heat.


This type of purple verbena blows my mind. That’s one plant! It is a super mulch plant, covering almost the entire box. I love how it hangs over the box. That image takes me back to sunny streets of Santa Barbara, with lots of potted plants resembling thisSmile100_0082

The cherry tomatoes, ahh! Two plants alone have taken over the entire big bed. It’s like an easter egg hunt digging for the harvest. Such fun!100_0083

There are about 5 large tomato plants in there, consisting of Heatwave and Hawaiin Tropic. So far, the Heatwave have impressed me. Big clusters of large tomatoes are coming. Sweet! Next year, a small bed will be built just for the cherries, and this big bed will have only big tomato plants, as they don’t crawl as much as the cherries.100_0084100_0085

Trying to grow some green beans and cucumbers up the trellis.100_0086

I wish I knew why the grapevine is so stagnant. Still figuring that one out. The strawberries gave a great harvest earlier this year, and went dormant again.100_0087

In the herb bed, I threw in a  few watermelon and cucumber plants for fun, and because they wouldn’t be crowded  by the cherries. We’re going to have the watermelon grow up some chicken wire soon, on the wall. 100_0088

Green onions!100_0090

Parsley, and chives in the front, yum!100_0091

These are my happy flowers, Cosmos. Going to school in Rexburg, ID, I saw them in abundance in people’s yards. They bring good memories of those chapters to me. I think its important to not forget the good times in your life.100_0092

We also have this random tomato plant that decided to grow in the desert soil. Crazy! So, I put an extra drip there and we’ll see how it does.


So, that’s it so far. I have a ton of cherry tomatoes that I will be roasting and pureeing for a tomato sauce. So heavenly. It’s so fun to garden here!!! All you need is good soil, raised beds, drip irrigation, and a knowledge of what plants grow here. Apparently, cherry tomatoes do greatSmile

Friday, June 10, 2011

We have a name!

We whittled down our list of names to 4 names, then two names, and then a resolution. It was between Jenna and Brooke. I really love Jenna, but Brooke was growing on me this week. Then, it just felt right and wonderful to name her Brooke Esther Hatch. It just sounded so beautiful. So, that’s our girl!

We asked Ethan what he thought of the name and he said ‘Not good’. We laughed. He thought she should be named ‘campsite’, since he loves anything to do with camping right now. Kids.

Our attempt at getting a picture taken togetherSmile



Ethan loving leftover popcorn from our movie date.


Shaun and I partook of an awesome living social deal. We got two movie tickets for $9, instead of $24, and saw the newest Pirates movie. I thought it was way better than the third one. Blackbeard was one awesome looking pirate, good job makeup artists! The mermaid scene would scare the socks off little kids, and completely throw the sweet Disney ‘Arial’ image of mermaids out the window, but my favorite was a totally unexpected cameo by Judi Dench. She usually does such serious roles like Lady Catherine in the new Pride and Prejudice, and the James Bond movies, but here she is for one really quick moment doing something different. Fun surprise.

Alright, gotta attempt shopping with the kids today. Wish me luckSmile

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Time to ponder

Yesterday was a doctor visit day. That means that I am eternally grateful for a sitter to watch my boys for half a day while I have some nice alone time in the waiting room. I have a great doctor, but an unholy waiting time. Regular wait time is 2-2 1/2 hours, and it’s been like that every time. Me thinks next time I ‘m pregnant I’ll change doctors. Nevertheless, she’s great. I bring the laptop to work on pictures, blog, etc, and plenty of snacks and drinks.

I listened to some wonderful podcasts on the way down, a recent CES fireside by Rosemary M. Wixon. No kids in the car and a spiritual talk is a great way to fill the bucket that doesn’t quite get filled at church with antsy kids. She said some great stuff about recognizing the Savior’s presence in our lives:

“When you see His hand in your life, it’s a confirmation of His love. The more you recognize His hand, the more involved He will be in your life, and that’s how you come to know the Savior you once knew'"

I loved this. I don’t think I’ve done very good lately recognizing His hand in my life. Things can get rushed and hectic so quickly, and it takes effort to slow down and to be holy. I love coming to ‘know the Savior you once knew.’ Because we did know him completely before we were born. We are living with amnesia of our pre-earth life, in order for the this mortal testing to be fair. It’s so awesome to know this. It makes everything so, clear. Yet, we need reminders like good talks, scriptures and more to keep the perspective.

I finally made it back to my little room, where I had another 20 minutes of waiting. This time, I sat in the chair, rested my head against the wall, and thought about my mom. I tried hard to remember the sound of her voice and laughter, her love of movies, our little gallivants down to State street in Santa Barbara, eating great chicken burgers at Stackys in Summerland, her sweet letters, and more. It was so nice to have a quiet moment to go back in my mind and think of the wonderful memories I have with her, and the sweet lessons she left with me.

I thought about my state now, how I’m a mother, and how I want to be a loving and kind mom to my sweet, little men. Some days are challenging, and I don’t feel very holy when my kids are being stinkers, but I’m sure glad they are quick to forgive.

Then, it was time to go home. Baby girl is doing well. It was nice to have quiet time to think, ponder, and reflect. I think we all need more of that, as it can be so rejuvenating. It’s a nice way to make a yucky, long doctor waiting time better.Smile

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our new toy

We got the Kodak Easyshare camera this week. What a tiny, tiny camera, and I can’t believe the sucker has 12 megapixels! As much as my big camera. It’s been fun to play with. I did my best to document the day today.


Cool shot of them smilingSmile


Fun at the park!







Kevin is much more content sitting in shade and snacking till his heart’s content.


My dear friend Erin and her kiddos spent the night with us recently. It’s always a treat for usSmile100_0045100_0047

Shaun being Mr. Fix it with our clogged kitchen sink drain. Love him.100_0048

Kids watching Little Einsteins while I attempt to exercise on the treadmill. I really need to do it more than once a week.


Our cute attempt at a fun, friend shot. Old college friends of ours will like thisSmileWe were cooking pasta for dinner, and laughed at how we were both barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.


This is why I got the new camera; to get little moments like this. Ethan and I went to get Kevin up from his nap, and Ethan decided to snuggle with him. I ran for the camera. Ethan is such a huge lug on top of Kevin, it’s so funny.


Love this one!!100_0053100_0054100_0055100_0056100_0057

So, there’s life at our home. Fun, huh? These kids sure bring a beautiful spirit, along with the other type of spirited days, ha ha! I have begun to feel our little girl start kicking, and its fun to feel that again. Hope everyone is having a great week!