January- Taevin turned 12! My sweet little boy is growing up! 12 is a big number, he was ordained to the Aaronic priesthood on January 22nd by his dad, It was a fantastic experience. That week Russ & I took him to dinner then to the Bountiful temple to do baptisms for the dead for the first time, Ron had given us some family names to do, I loved being there with him and watching him help ancestors take their first step toward the gospel. The following week he passed the sacrament, he was so nervous but with plenty of help from his dad and some good friends he did great!
February- I turned 38. Nuff said. OK, there's actually more. My grandma went to Arizona to stay with my aunt DeAnn for about 3 weeks so while she was gone I renovated her entire kitchen, like not just painted and put up new curtains, like completely gutted it and started over. It was about 40 years old and so ready for an update so I enlisted some help from my favorite handyman, Grant Peterson, and jumped in. DeAnn helped me with design choices over the phone but grandma said she trusted me and to just go for it! (She's either gotten too old to care or has way more faith in me than she should) It was a crazy 3 weeks but we got it done with just minutes to spare, aaaaand she loved it!
March- Nothing significant.
April- For my mom's birthday/ Christmas gift, Ron, my brothers and Russ & I bought tickets for my mom & I to go to the Neil Diamond concert. A few years ago we did the same thing for my dad and I enjoyed it so much that when I heard he was coming again, I knew we needed to get my mom out here for it, so we flew her out here and on April 10th we spent the evening singing along to Sweet Caroline (so good so good) and Coming to America, and because Neil Diamond has to be in his 70's, we had fun counting the number of fans there sporting walkers and oxygen tanks, good times for sure!
More big news, I got a job! I hadn't planned on going back to work until Aspen was in 1st grade, and had always thought about a job at the school when the time came so I could be on the same schedule as my kids, but with 2 new schools opening in our area it seemed like a good time to get my foot in the door. I applied for a part-time kitchen staff position at Bonneville Academy (the Charter school Ryler & Zoey will be attending), scored an interview, and got the job! We were pretty excited about being able to make some extra "fun" money & I was excited to get back out into the world of employment. We had no idea the blessing that would prove to be.
Oh, and I prettied up the main bathroom downstairs.
May- The last painful month of school... LONGEST. MONTH. EVER. I discovered a blog post that perfectly describes my feelings in May. Here's just a few excerpts from the beautifully written masterpiece; "I feel like any sort of school energy required at this point is pure oppression, like the universe is trying to destroy me." And my personal favorite; "We were awesome back in October; don’t you forget that. We used to care, and that counts for something." School finally ended on the 26th, whew.
Anyway, we must've found a moment to go to the lake because my FB news feed reminded me that Ryler caught a fish there... well kind of. He had been begging to go fishing for quite some time, so when opportunity (or a fish) presented itself, Ryler was thrilled. Unfortunately said fish had met its demise prior to it being found, but in all fairness, Ryler did put in quite a bit of work into digging it out of the water. He was so proud! Poor kid was devastated when I told him it wasn't coming home with us to be cooked over the fire pit.
So here's the crappy part of our year. Just a few days before Mother's Day, I was visiting with my grandma when Russ called me with some news that just about stopped my heart and sent me into a full blown panic attack. He had just lost his Foreman position at work and was sent back to his old position as an electrician. This meant a $5 per hour pay cut, which would end up being about $500-600 a month. With a family of 6 to support this just wasn't going to cut it.
I spent the next few days in a daze just trying to figure out what to do, which must've been obvious because the next day I actually cried at my Zumba class when the instructor asked if I was OK, it was mortifying to say the least.
Back to the blessing that my job would be... so much for extra money, but we were lucky that my job would compensate for the loss, and we were able to use out state tax return to help us get through the summer until I started work.
The funny thing about all of this is that for years I've been praying that Russ would be able to get a schedule that would allow him to attend church with us, and as luck (or divine intervention) would have it, Russ had enough seniority as an electrician to get a weekend off schedule. He hasn't missed a week since, so the moral of the story: answers to prayers don't usually come the way you expect them to.
Anyway, for my Mother's Day present, I was supposed to go with Jessee to get my eyebrows microbladed, but decided to cancel as to halt all frivolous spending, I was devastated but am holding out hope that maybe it'll happen next year. Russ was sweet and did his best to make Mothers day special.
June- Our 14th anniversary was on May 29th but we waited until June to celebrate. I found a Groupon to go to a pretty cool place in Ogden where we did some simulated skydiving in a wind-tunnel, after that we enjoyed some grown-up time at a nice dinner and a hotel. The next morning we went back to the same place to do a little indoor rock climbing and simulated surfing before we headed home. We had a blast and Russ said he was surprised that I wanted to do something so fun. Apparently I'm not as boring as he thought!
Oh yeah, and since we had decided against a family vacay this year, we went camping with Russ' family for a few days. Good family bonding time.
July- Our van broke down on July 2nd, it was about a $430 repair (when it rains it pours, right?) but luckily it was a fairly easy fix and we were able to borrow Jessee's car in the mean time so I could get to the 4th of July parade with the kids and some of our neighbors. We enjoyed a block party and fireworks that evening with our awesome neighborhood friends.
The girls had a fun dance camp with Mrs. Heather (who is also my awesome Zumba instructor) and loved it!
I also went to girls camp this month, I came home stinky and exhausted but had a great time! I seriously love those girls!
August- And here we are, about to start school again, in 2 days actually and this year I'll be going back with them. Taevin doesn't start for a week because he will be going to Clark N. Johnson middle school. In fact deciding which school to attend was Taevin's first really big decision I allowed him to make on his own. He could choose between Clark, the regular middle school, and Bonneville, the charter that Ryler and Z would be going to. He definitely did his research, went to both orientations, weighed the pros & cons, and spent quite a bit of time praying about it and ultimately felt strongly that Clark was where he needed to be, and as much as I would have loved to have him at Bonneville with me, I trust his decision. He went on his first run this morning with the cross country team, has chosen his electives, gotten his schedule, and is ready to go. Wanting to do track was no surprise, but what did come out of the blue was wanting to try out the Cello! I never would have guessed but I'm hopeful that he'll really love it and stick with it.
My mom came into town last week just in time for Zoey's birthday party. My sweet girl is 7 now and has been begging for a baby pig for months, since that clearly wasn't going to happen, we brought a petting zoo, of course with a baby pig, here to the house for her pig party. There was also a baby goat (my fav), a sheep, duck, pony, fox, ferret, & turtle. It was so fun and I seriously considered keeping that goat!
And here are my not so Pinterest-perfect Pig cake pops & cupcakes...
My mom will be here for a couple more days and will be watching the girls tomorrow while Russ & I take the boys with the YM & YW to tour the new MTC.
It's been a fun & busy summer and as always, my feelings about back to school are mixed, but peach season is here and fall is just around the corner so there's definitely a reason to smile!