Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy Summer 2014

I know, summer is almost over but we've had lots of fun in the sun that we want to share.


In the beginning of June, our sweet little Charlize turned THREE YEARS OLD! It's so hard to believe that much time has passed.  She brings us so much joy and love!  To celebrate her special day, we had a little family gathering at Grandma Wright's:

 Our cute birthday girl on her way to the party.  I never get tired of her beautiful smile!

Jocelyn and Charlize- hanging out waiting for the party start.

Time to do some swimming:

Cake and Ice Cream:

 Nick's cousin made this beautiful princess cake for Charlize and she couldn't have loved it more. 

And finishing off the festivities with a few gifts:

She had lots of help from friends opening up her presents.

Love our cute girl!

Charlize also got the cutest cowboy boots from her cousins and they have basically been glued to her feet since she opened them.

We spent a lot of time in the water this summer-- swimming, boating and the splash pad and Charlize learned to love them all.

Our first trip to the splash pad:

Our first few trips to the splash pad at the beginning of the summer involved a lot of dry swim suits and time sitting on her towel.  Charlize has never been a big fan of the water and I could only hope that after a summer of swimming lessons, she would learn to love the water more.  

Taking it easy in Grandma Wright's pool:

 She loved having Daddy pull her around like she was riding in a horse carriage. 

Brooklynn got a little tuckered out and her sweet big sister let her sleep on her shoulder in the bike trailer on the way home.  I love how much Charlize loves being the big sister!

Our first boat ride of the summer.  We couldn't wait to get out on the water; even Brooklynn enjoyed the ride and didn't mind being strapped into an uncomfortable life jacket. 

 Nick has been needing a fun toy for a little while now and just couldn't resist a good deal on a jet ski.  He's had a lot of fun with it this summer. . .

and so has Charlize.  She loves taking rides with Daddy.  
(Love her sweet smile in this picture)

This video clip is one of Nick's firsts ride on the jet ski; he has since gotten much more comfortable and daring. 

Celebrating Roger's birthday:

 Charlize loves being the helper.

 Some of the kids got together and got Dad a metal detector for his birthday.

 Nick and Dad couldn't wait to get out and use it.  They were certain there was treasure to be found.

 They put so many holes in Mom's lawn and only found rusty nails, one toy car and one coin.
But, they had fun doing it!

The girls enjoyed watching them dig up the grass.

Before we had children, Nick and I promised ourselves we would never have kids sleeping in our bed.  (I allowed babies less than 6 months old, but no kids).  Charlize did well adjusting to a new bed in a new house but a few months back she was having a hard time.  After getting up with her multiple times, I gave in at 2:00 in the morning and let her sleep with us.
 Nick didn't even seem to notice, but it wasn't fun for me.  So that was our first and last slumber party in Mommy's bed.

Back in June, Brooklynn decided she was ready to crawl so she could keep up with big sister.  It didn't take her long until she was cruising around the house.

This video is one of Brooklynn's first attempts at crawling; she is much faster and better now.  She is pulling herself up to standing now and almost ready to walk. 

Just a few weeks after she learned to crawl, she decided she would sit up by herself, too.  I knew she had been trying to do this but she wasn't quite strong enough yet.  Then one day I left her playing on the floor on her stomach, I left the room and when I came back she was sitting up with a big smile on her face--
Look mom! I did it!

Father's Day:

I am always so overwhelmed by all the blessings that are mine-- One of those blessings is the priesthood and the men in my life.  I am so grateful that my girls have grandpas, uncles, and a dad that love them so much and set great examples of what righteous men are so that one day they will understand how important it is to seek out and marry a worthy priesthood holder in the temple, for time and all eternity.
We were so grateful to celebrate these wonderful men!

Prepping Charlize for swimming lessons:

Charlize has never really liked swimming and she hated getting her face wet so, the weeks leading up to swim lessons, we spent a lot of time in the bath tub practicing- wearing goggles, blowing bubbles, doing back floats, etc. just hoping she would at least get in the water on her first day.

And finally, the first day of lessons arrived:

She looks excited now, but I wasn't sure what to expect when we got there...

Once we got to the pool, Charlize was a little nervous but I was so happy she was at least willing to leave me and go sit with her class. I was nervous that she was the smallest kid in her class but I signed her up for level 1, so I just assumed I had put her in the right class... wrong!!! After taking attendance, the teacher told everyone to climb into the pool (the big pool where Charlize couldn't even touch) and do three bobs (go all the under the water).  I almost died!  This could not be the right class for Charlize.  She's crying, the teacher is trying to pull her into the big pool and I'm feeling terrible.  Then I look over to the wading pool (which is two feet deep) and see little kids singing songs and blowing bubbles.  I had totally put her in the wrong class-- I guess minnows come before level 1.  So, I did what any mom would do.  I ran over to the guard house and asked to have Charlize switch classes.  Luckily she was so nice.  She went right over to Charlize, pulled her out of the big pool and took her to the aid in the little pool where she could touch, learn to blow bubbles and play games.

After a long morning of being thrown in the deep end and playing games in the little pool, our little swimmer fell asleep in the car on the way home from the pool.  She stayed there for a couple of hours and took a much-needed nap.

In the next two weeks, Charlize learned to love the water, do back floats, blow bubbles and float on her tummy.  She had lots of fun at the Richland pool.
 Look at that cute girl on the right with her goggles and a big smile!

Funny story:
After a week of trying to convince Charlize to go under water, her teacher finally succeeded with trickery- She asked Charlize to get the sinker toy off the bottom of the pool.

Here she is right before she got her eyes wet.

After she came up with the toy, Charlize realized what she had done and was so mad at her teacher.  She ran away to the shallow end and wouldn't give her the toy back.  I thought it was pretty funny!

After two full weeks at the Richland pool, Charlize had learned so much and gained so much confidence in the pool.  We were grateful for teacher Lindsay and teacher Jessica.

Charlize was too afraid to try jumping off the diving board during lessons so she stayed with some of her classmates in the small pool on the last day.  After her lesson was over, teacher Jessica convinced Charlize to walk over to the diving board with her and they got Charlize to go off the diving board (okay, she was pushed off, but she still went!)

Cherry Picking:

Grandma and Grandpa Warren took us cherry picking and Charlize had so much fun.  She had more fun picking than eating but she was such a good helper.

We did a lot of boating this summer; here are a few more pictures of us having fun on the water:

 Nick showing off with some tricks.

 Brooklynn loves watching everything happen on the river, especially when she can see her daddy on the jet ski but she is also content just laying on the floor of the boat.  She is such a good girl.

 A few of Charlize's favorite spots on the boat.

Nick also got to play softball again this year.  I'm always glad when he commits to doing this because I know he loves it and it is nice to see him take time for himself.

Two of my most favorite things are hearing my girls laugh and seeing them play together well.  Here is a short video I was able to capture where they are both getting along and laughing.  Charlize is such a good big sister and Brooklynn just loves her.

We just love our happy, beautiful girls!


Just a few weeks into swim lessons, Charlize is already showing progress in the water and at the splash pad.

It was so nice to see her play and run through the water when just a few weeks before she didn't even want to get her feet wet.

After finishing up swim lessons at the city pool, we began our first of many weeks of lessons with Aunt Haley and Aunt Becca.

 Tummy swims

 Charlize has the best back float!

 Trying to master the diving board.

 Putting her face in the water--this was the biggest accomplishment of the summer!

For the Fourth of July, the girls and I went with my parents to visit my sister in Utah.
The girls did great on the long road trip.  Brooklynn slept most of the time and Charlize enjoyed a few movies and some sticker books.

Charlize couldn't wait to get to Utah to meet her new cousin, little baby Benelli:

We had a very busy and fun-filled trip.  First stop-- Seven Peaks water park:
 Hanging out with Aunt Jamie in the kiddie pool.

 Practicing her back float.

So happy!!

We ended our first day with Sonic milkshakes and fireworks:

 This girl has always loved the sparklers!

Brooklynn's first fireworks.
She was a little unsure, but I think by the end of the weekend she liked them.

Day 2: On the fourth we woke up at 4:30a to catch the hot air balloons:

 The first balloon up.

That night we stayed up late to see the Stadium of Fire show with Carrie Underwood:

Day 3: Thanksgiving Point's Curiosity Museum
 Climbing thru the rain forest

 Checking out the bugs in the microscopes.

 Charlize the sloth.

 In every section of the museum there are little play areas just for babies and Brooklynn loved having the freedom to crawl around and explore.

I think these girls liked the vet clinic the best.

 Who doesn't love splashing in the water?!

And then we topped it all off with one more night of fireworks.

Nick's Lawn Mower:
Nick has had the same lawn mower since he was 16.  He used to haul this thing around town and mow everyone's lawn.  This lawn mower made him a lot of money as a youth and he has some how kept it alive for all these years (even with a duct taped wheel).
One day while Nick was mowing our lawn, I snapped this picture and showed it to him.  He knew it was getting bad but he just couldn't let go of his old friend.  After he saw the picture, and after he finally stopped laughing, he realized it was time to get a new one.

 Trying to decide if he likes his new one as much as the old one.

Back in May, when my sweet little Brooklynn had me waking up at 5:30 in the morning, I decided that instead of whining about it, I could do something with my extra time.  So, I took up running.  It has been so fun and so rewarding.  In the middle of July I did my first 5K-- the Run or Dye race.  It was lots of fun and gave me more motivation to stay active and keep running.

More boating:
Uncle Colt took Charlize on her first real tube ride.  She was so brave.  Colt didn't realize he had to hold onto her and she actually slid off the side but kept holding on.  Colt said she was dragging under the water for a second until he jumped off and grabbed her.  She came up a little concerned but after everyone started clapping for her she put on a big smile.

A few weeks later, Charlize got up enough courage (with me forcing her a little) to try it again with grandpa:

We love boating on the river, especially with family:

Babysitting Benelli:
My girls love little baby Benelli so they were very excited when we got to babysit her one evening.  Brooklynn wouldn't stop trying to climb on her and Charlize just wanted to hold her all night.

 I love this picture because even though Brooklynn is moments away from getting her, Benelli still has a smile on her face.

More time with cousins:

Loon Lake Vacation:
Every year our big vacation is a trip to Loon Lake with the Wright's.  We enjoy boating on the lake, eating good food, visiting with family, playing in the sand and just relaxing.  This year was another success, even with a few days of bad weather and one day without electricity.

Testing out Grandma Wright's gear before we head up to the lake.

Just a few of our water activities:
 Aunt Sam always takes good care of the girls; she especially liked taking Charlize out on the water.

 Sam, Becca and Charlize on the paddle board

 Daddy and Charlize enjoying another ride on the jet ski.

Mommy and Charlize just floating.  It was fun waiting for the big waves to come by.

Playing at the beach:
Grandpa Wright was nice enough to take across the lake a few times so we could swim and play in the sand.  This was Charlize favorite thing this year.
 Jayden and Daijah were so nice to Charlize all week.  It was so nice for her to have friends to play with while we were there.

 Building sand castles with Daddy.

 Even Brooklynn enjoyed the sand ...
 this picture was taken right before she shoved that big fist-full of sand in her mouth.

Swimming in the cold water with a big smile on her face.

Charlize's first time fishing:

Nick was so patient with Charlize while she learned to fish. And Charlize was pretty patient while she waited for the fish to bite and right as she was starting to say she was done waiting, she caught her first fish.
She was so excited!

I love this picture of Grandpa and Brooklynn.  She really is a grandpa's girl.

And when we weren't outside playing ...

Thanks so much Grandma and Grandpa for another great year at the lake.
And thank you to all the aunts, uncles and cousins who helped watch the girls and make it fun for them.


In August Colt and Adaline blessed their sweet baby girl, Benelli.  It was so nice to have the family all together for such a wonderful event.  It was even better because my dad's parents and two of his siblings decided to make the long trip up to be with us for the blessing and spend a few days with us.

Such a beautiful little family!

All the grandkids hanging out while we wait for church to start.
(Benelli had to eat and be changed so she missed the photo shoot.)

 Cute matching girls.

 One happy grandpa!

I had to take advantage of the girls in their Sunday best and get a picture of them with their great grandparents.  Sadly, we don't get to see my dad's parents very often because they live so far away but we loved having them here for a few days.  I have fond memories of playing at their house as a child and I'm so glad my girls have had the chance to meet them. 

I love seeing my kids with their grandpa and his parents.
It was also nice to capture Great Grandpa Warren's smile.

We were able to spend lots of time with my grandparents and my aunt and uncle while they were here for the weekend.  We did some sight-seeing, boating, and just hanging out.

 Charlize loved having so many people willing to play games with her.

 Brooklynn was pretty happy too!

 Aunt Carrie reading books to the girls.

Grandpa Wright gave our small group a private tour of the USS Triton's submarine sail.
Everyone really enjoyed it, even Charlize!

 Brooklynn had a fun time playing gate-keeper with grandpa.

Word is Grandpa Wright really enjoys giving this tour and telling lots of stories.  As you can see here, he had a captive audience.
 Thanks so much Grandpa Wright!!! We will back for another tour soon!

After the tour and a quick lunch, we headed out to the Country Merc for a carousel ride and ice cream (two of Charlize's favorite things).

 Pink bubble gum ice cream-- doesn't get any better!

Bike Ride!
One of our favorite things to do as a family is bike riding.  The girls have enjoyed being in the bike trailer together but Charlize was starting to out grow it and Brooklynn was starting to demand more room.  So, it was perfect timing when Nick's Aunt Kim offered to give Charlize a trail-a-bike.  We have already used it several times and she feels like such a big girl! Thanks Aunt Kim!

We came across Grandma Wright mowing the lawn on one of our evening rides and she and Nick decided to give the trail-a-bike a try.  I'm not sure who had a more difficult time!

Bath Time!
We are taking a lot of baths at our house these days because it is one of the few times when no one demands anything from mommy and the girls get along great! Plus, who doesn't love the smell of a freshly washed little one?

 I never get tired of seeing her adorable smile!!

 So fresh and so clean!

Haley's Wedding:
Haley and Trevor were sealed for time and all eternity in the Columbia River Temple on August 16th.  We are so happy for them.  It was a beautiful wedding and an amazing reception with lots of yummy food and cute decorations.

Here are the girls, helping set up for the reception:

At the reception they set up a cute photo booth where you could dress up and use props and then take your picture.  Charlize had lots of fun with this:

 Such a cutie!!!

And here she is with the happy couple:
I promise, she was happy for them.
She was just sad to find out they would be leaving after the party.

Cute little Brooklynn enjoying some ice cream.

 Besides enjoying the nice reception food and company, we were also excited to have Aunt Sam come home for a short visit.  She is so good to my girls and we just love her!!

Aunt Sam is always bringing Charlize something fun and this time it was a pink baseball glove and ball. 
 She has had lots of fun with this. 
Thanks Aunt Sam!!!

I have to post one more thing about myself . . . I have been trying to better myself for me and for my kids.  I have taken up running and really enjoyed the benefits of that but I realized that I also needed to set an example for Charlize.  I expect her to try new things (at least once) and I'm always pushing her to step out of her comfort zone.  But in the middle of all of this, I realized I wasn't doing what I had been preaching.  So, after  most of the summer had passed away, I decided it still wasn't too late to show Charlize that mommy could try new things too.

This year I tried wake boarding and I really liked it but I struggled to get up on my own so I decided to take on something I knew I could do.  I haven't knee boarded in over seven years but once I got out on the water it came back to me like riding a bike and I had SO MUCH FUN!

Update on the girls:

Charlize is three years old and in just one week she will be starting her first year of preschool and she couldn't be more excited! I am excited for all of the fun things that are ahead of her but at the same time I am so sad because I feel like she is growing up too fast.

Our sweet Charlize is always smiling.  She loves being a big sister and a big helper to mommy.
She enjoys dress-up, coloring and stickers, dancing and singing and learning.
She is so smart and observant--she is always asking questions about the world around her and she picks up on so many things when I didn't even realize she was paying attention.
We are so blessed to have this sweet girl in our lives.

Brooklynn is almost 10 months old and she is a very, very busy girl.

 Brooklyn loves keeping up with her big sister and playing with the big-kid toys.  We call her our little goat because this girl puts everything in her mouth and destroys it.  We have had to replace a couple phone chargers and some books due to the damage her two little teeth have caused.

She is always smiling and we can already tell she will be our social butterfly.  At 9 1/2 months she can crawl very fast, pull herself to standing and is quickly on her way to walking on her own.  She brings us so much joy!

I am so blessed with two little cuties and even more blessed that they are so happy and get along so well.  Everyday I thank my father in heaven for giving them to me because I would be so lost without them.

We hope your summer was as fun as ours and filled with family and good times.