Friday, November 16, 2012

X-Country Season comes to a Close

Mason just finished his first season of cross country for junior high.  I loved watching his meets, as it took me back to those days when I was in jr. high or high school and was involved in track and cross country.  I felt like we had something in common, something that connected me to my Mason.  I could identify with the little butterflies that would build up in his tummy on the drive to the race.  Or the feeling of energy and excitement that comes towards the end of a race where parents are on the side lines, cheering for each runner.  I don't think I watched one of his races without getting all teary eyed and emotional as I cheered him on.  Mason has a pretty high pain tolerance and a strong inner drive that gets him to the finish line.  Running is much more mental than physical, I think.

Lining up for a meet with lots and lots of other boys, waiting for the gun shot.

Mason has a great kick--he can really turn up the speed towards the end of his race.  At most races, he passed a lot of boys the last 400 yards.  Here he comes, picking up on the speed.

What I loved most about Mason doing cross country was that it was HIS sport.  Not his older brothers, not his younger sisters.  Just his.  And he watched himself get stronger, faster, and more flexible over the course of the season.  His endurance improved, and his self confidence definitely improved.   A few phrase that is said frequently in our home is, "Let's race, Mase!"

Sweet Cakes

Every day, John and I seem to fall deeper and deeper in love with our little two-year-old.  She is definitely developing quite the personality, a little bit of sassafras, and her own ideas.  Just so I don't ever forget how darling she is and how much I absolutely love this stage. . .

She doesn't want help. And she doesn't need help either.  She can get those goggles "all by myselths". 
We got to watch my nephew for a few days last month.  At first, it bothered Kate that her little cousin was using her booster seat. . . until she figured out that babies need to be fed.  And she was a big girl, not a baby.  So she insisted on feeding her little cousin for every meal.  Baby feeding baby = disaster.

Kate has fallen asleep in the most awkward positions and place.  One leg up, one leg down. . .
  Or fast asleep on the bottom stair.  It takes too much effort to climb those stairs anyways.

Last week I asked Andersen to race upstairs and get dressed before preschool started.  Kate disappeared as well.  After I got Andersen all ready and out the door, I realized that I hadn't seen Kate in a while.  She came down the stairs moments later with a HUGE grin on her face and said "Mom, I dot dressed all by myselths!".  From head to toe.  The shirt was backwards, the shoes were mismatched with a right shoe on the left foot and a left shoe on the right foot. 

I had a long list of earands to run that day and got some crazy looks from others towards Kate's choice of clothes.  I also got a few smiles from other women and comments like, "You're such a good mommy".  Either way, I thought Kate was just darling!  I just wish I could get away with dressing like that the way she does.

"Oh no, Kate.  . . . what are you doing?  You're making a mess".  Her response:  "No I not, I am doing lotion".  Lots and lots of lotion, i.e. diaper ointment and Vaseline.  I gave her three baths that day and her hair still looked like a grease pit.  But her skin was nice and soft!

 Kate is quite protective of her big brother, and vice versa.  I love to watch them interact during the day while the older kids are gone at school; I love watching Kate run to Andersen asking "OK Andersen?" when he falls off his bike, or asking for two fruit snacks--"one for Andersen".  They are great buddies!

Not sure what inspired this one.  But once she got in there, she was really stuck and couldn't figure out how to get out.  But hey, the big bag of dried cranberries was at her fingertips.  She just kept taking little bites, then calling out for help, then another few bites, etc. . . The pantry isn't such a bad place to hang out, right?

 It kind of makes me sad to think that I'm probably towards the tail end of enjoying this two-year-old stage.  I love the dimples in the wrists and knuckles, I love the soft chubby cheeks, I love the block feet.  I love their determination, their inquisitiveness, their humility, their way of easily forgiving and moving on, their sensitivity to others.  And I love their innocence.

And I love how this little girl frequently comes to me and gives me hugs and says "I luv you mommy".  It just makes all the hard parts of motherhood melt away and helps me focus on what's really important. 

Love you too, Sweet Cakes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall Break at the Cabin

Since the kids' Fall break from school landed on the week right after General Conference, we took our family and another super fun family to the cabin in the White Mountains for the weekend and stayed through midweek of the following.

It was beautiful weather, with the Fall colors just starting to show.  We had a grand time, as always.  This time, the swing sets were built and the zipline was finished.  The family we invited blended well with our own kids, and I'm pretty sure all had a wonderful time.

We enjoyed: fishing, hiking, walking, fort building, zipline, lots and lots of games, reading and relazing, visiting, watching General Conference and eating lots of M&M's (the two always go together), enjoying nature, swinging, watching horses, etc. . .

There's nothing quite like the quiet, relaxing atmosphere at the cabin.  It is one of my favorite places on this earth, and for sure the most beautiful place too.  Being surrounded by natural beauty, it is easy to feel God's love for me.  I love this place!

We had a super fun time.  Here's pictures to prove it.

Until next time. . .