Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

As summer was coming to an end and back to school was just around the corner I was both sad and relieved. Sad because I felt like we didn't do much and I still wanted more days to play with my babies, but relieved that soon life was going to be back to "normal". Our summer was made up of odd activities, no trips, no vacations, just random fun. On the last day of school/first day of summer we went to the zoo with Grandma and Papa. (My dad loves the zoo!) Then we hosted a "Schools Out For Summer, 6th Grade Graduation" bash. After that we had lots of lazy days, an occasional visit to the water park and pool, bike rides, dr. and therapy appointments, home renovations, Foster Care Foundation Chalk Art Festival, weekends in Midway with Grandma and Papa, campfires, Bruno Mars concert, Lagoon, a day on the lake, a few visits to a splash pad park, picnics and bar b q's, 4th of July parade, Pioneer Day celebration, and soccer, soccer, and more soccer (Cole had 3 tournaments in August). I was also able to spend a few days in Denver with some of my besties, attending the National Down syndrome Convention while Mark took the kids to the Hill Aerospace Museum. Hmmm, Denver or museum? (I think Mark got the short end of the stick.) I also spent 2 days attending my 20 year high school reunion. And although it was certainly not a highlight, I had the privilege to speak and sing at my Grandma Mary's funeral. (So blessed that she was back here in Utah so we could spend her last days with her.) So although I felt like we had a "boring" summer when I see it in writing, I think we did enough. I didn't feel too guilty that we didn't go away because we had already had our family vacay in February, visiting Disneyland. It's a tradition that when our kids turn 4 we take them to the "Happiest Place On Earth". Last August when Kate turned 4 we were in the midst of rescuing our Ukrainian princess so that trip was put on hold. Instead, Kate was able to spend her 4 1/2 birthday at Goofy's Kitchen.

Well we're 3 weeks into the new school year and it feels good to be back in the saddle again, back in the swing of things. It's just too bad that homework has to be part of it, that and laundry. 2 of my least favorite things! This year was a really BIG year for us. We have one who started Jr. High, one who started first grade which means that he is gone all day, and one who started Kindergarten. We also  have one who may start preschool soon but we're just waiting to see if he qualifies for an early childhood education program. Several huge milestones and with those milestones came many tears but I am happy to see my children progressing and enjoying life. Cole is still playing soccer and is 3 games into the fall season. (2 wins and a tie.) He started playing competitive soccer at the age of 8. He played with the same club until this summer when he made the switch to another. He is really enjoying it, loves his coach (a big reason why he switched to this club) and is making new friends. He is also learning to play the violin at school and started taking private guitar lessons. Beck just started a hockey program after months and months of asking to play hockey. And Kate is taking ballet for the first time and loving it! My husband is also in the *bishopric in our ward so he is busy too. *Here's a little Mormon tidbit; a bishop is a leader of a local congregation (known as a ward) in our church. His duties are similar to those of a pastor, priest, or rabbi. Each bishop is assisted by two counselors and together they oversee the spiritual and social needs needs of their ward members. My husband is the first counselor in our bishopric. So there is no doubt that we are busy. Are there some days when I wish we were still enjoying our "boring" summer? Yes! And are there some days when I feel like I am drowning? Yes! But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Instead a writing separate posts for each event we did this past summer and last month, I am going to share pics of all of them right here, right now. Don't get me wrong, each event is worthy of it's own post, I just need to simplify. As long as it's documented it's enough to support my "Dory" mind. Have you ever played the game, "What Disney character most describes you?" Well my family says that I am like Dory from Finding Nemo. I am a good hearted, optimistic fish with short term memory. I forget a lot!! If I don't write things down or keep a journal, which is something I started and finished 20 years ago, I will not remember the happenings of my life. This blog, as long as I keep writing should help. As  my life seasons change I am often reminded that "This too shall pass". I must enjoy what each season brings because tomorrow the wind will change. I am also reminded to "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim."

Just keep swimming

Zoo Day with Papa and Grandma.
So long 6th grade.
"School's Out For Summer" bash in our backyard!!!

Lazy days of summer.

Seven Peaks Waterpark.
Torturous Fun Bike ride to the Maverick to get ice-cream and slushies .

Home renovations (tile and backsplash) in progress.

Tile projects done.
Operation Wood Floors and Stairs.

Sidewalk Chalk Festival sponsored by the Utah Foster Care Foundation.
Our lives have been blessed with Liam because of foster care.
A creek runs through it. My parent's home (property) in Midway. 

Bruno Baby!

Lagoon Amusement Park for Kate's birthday. 
Boating on Deer Creek Reservoir.

Mark and Beck both on the wakeboard. Kate got up with him too but no pics darn it, just video.  I love their "no fear" attitudes! 

Eeeek! We love being on the water!

Splash Pad Park with one of my High School BFs Debbie and her littles.  

Same splash pad park for Kate's party.
Pool with friends! (You may recognize Jaymi (Victoria on Reece's Rainbow).

Water babies!
"I'm proud to be an American!" Sara's first 4th of July. 
Murray parade with another BF Heather and her family, our annual tradition.
Fireworks and picnic with my bros and mom and dad.

Fireworks and snow cones with friends! 24th of July, Pioneer Day Celebration.


And more soccer!

Silver Medal at the Adidas Cup! Yay Inter FC Utah!

National Down syndrome Convention in Denver.
Modeling our Talk Tools!
These women inspire me and make me laugh! We all have adopted children with Down syndrome! My UT21 Soul Sistas!
We had an amazing time! 
While the cat's away...

.....the mice will play!
Mark ventured out with the kids while I was in Denver.
Hill Aerospace Museum.
20 Year High School Reunion
I've known these girls (Heather, Ali, Amy, Tiffani, Lorielle) since 1989 when I moved here from Texas! It really wasn't a reunion for us because we meet up every month and still have sleepovers but it was fun to be back together at our old stomping ground. Friends forever!!
My Madrigal buds! Jake and Barb! Fa, la, la, la, la!!
Heather and me. Has it really been 20 years since graduation?
C-O-T-T-O-N-W-O-O-D! Gooooo Colts!

Weenie roast up Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Pretty ballerina!
Pretty ballerina with her BFF's.
"One tough guy, ready to play hockey!"

Phew! That was a lot of pics! Yeah, I'm pretty sure we do enough!! And we'll continue to just keep swimming!

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