Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Marathon

So...did I mention Ben ran a marathon??? True story. Of course blogging about it has been a little delayed but what can I say...story of my life :) Anyway, Ben ran a MARATHON! Actually his second full marathon. Because he's a rockstar. Obviously.

In order to properly cheer on our participants, my mom has a carefully planned route of awesome stops throughout the marathon where we hold signs and yell and generally just try to be high energy...ya know, to keep everyone motivated! This year, I wanted to pay special homage to Ben so in addition to our signs I also made shirts for the girls to wear. Unfortunately it was pretty cold for the non-runners and the t-shirts ended up being covered with sweatshirts and blankets, but they were still pretty cute!
 And this year I googled to find some good signs. Thanks to Jenna who came over and helped me make all the signs! While watching Easy A. Which is HILARIOUS. But don't watch it mom...not your style :). Anyway, we wanted to do some specially for Ben, but also wanted to generally support everyone who decided to wake up at the crack of dawn in 40 degree weather to run 26.2 miles :)
We are so proud of Ben for how well he did! We actually had to skip two of our regularly scheduled stops because we didn't have time to get there before he would have already passed! Pretty crazy, right?!
The girls were SO proud of their daddy!!! They loved jumping out of the car and running to each stop to wait for him to come. Then they would yell and cheer and try to get to him as fast as they could. And then Bryar would cry when he was gone! (She was quickly consoled each time though since we packed up right away and headed to the next stop to "find daddy again") Overall we all had a blast getting out and supporting Ben in his awesome accomplishment.

But...here's the thing. Ben obviously has some kind of major conspiracy going on. We are INCAPABLE of getting a legitimate, clear "crossing the finish line" picture! I can't figure out why, but it just doesn't seem to happen (hence my conspiracy theory...there is no other explanation). 2 years ago he ran the half marathon and we actually missed him finishing because he was being too speedy (sad!). Then last year they moved the finish to the 50 yard line of memorial stadium and we had some camera malfunctions that ended in us missing getting his finish on film (stupid point and shoot cameras!). Then there was this year. This year I was DETERMINED that we were going to get a good shot of Ben crossing the finish line. Epic fail. I had my mom take a picture of the big screen and I was going to get the actual crossing. My mom was able to get a picture of the big screen. It's a little blurry but better than what I got. I honestly laugh now every time I see the picture I took...let's just say a wind gust+big flag=blocked shot. Haha!
***I would just like to point out that the conspiracy is real because there is a photo service that takes pictures you can purchase from the marathon website and ALL 3 pictures of him running across the line he had his eyes closed!!! I mean come ON, seriously!?!?

It took Ben about a half hour to get across the start line (10,000 people ran this year!) so his OFFICIAL finish time was actually 4 hours 13 minutes 38 seconds! He actually dropped 57 minutes (yes...as in almost a full HOUR) off of last year's time! I guess that's what doing some training will do for you :)

 Congrats Ben, you are AWESOME!


Monday, May 2, 2011

A little girl and her princess stroller

Less than 2 weeks after we got a bag and officially started keeping track of her money, Hayden reached her goal! Let's just say she is VERY motivated! That and we have some generous friends and family who helped her out :) carrying things, dusting, and cookie delivery were all able to earn her anywhere from a little spare change to a couple bucks and she was very grateful for it!
We even went ahead and got her a little piggy bank to keep all her money in. We figured if she was really going to be saving then she should have a good place to keep her money! I can't believe how attached she became to it...she was constantly carrying it around and once I even caught her talking to it. "I love you Piggy, you're my friend!" Then she hugged and kissed it! I was seriously cracking up, it was just too adorable!

It took us a few days to actually get her to Walmart to get her stroller, but on the day we went she was SUPER excited! Unfortunately the trip was a slight comedy of errors...starting with me leaving the camera sitting on the couch :( We got a few snapshots with our cellphones, but haven't uploaded them yet. Anyway, upon getting to her princess stroller (it was the last one at the store!) she was really happy and of course she wanted to hold on to it but didn't want to relinquish her piggy bank, which ended in a tragic plunge that caused poor little piggy's demise. It was extremely heartbreaking! Hayden's eyes welled up with tears and she said "it was just an accident" as Ben and I scrambled to figure out how to collect the money that had spilled all over the place. Poor girl, she loved Piggy!!! Anyway, Ben ran and got a little Ziplock container and we scooped all her money up. Luckily Piggy split into 3 large pieces and only a couple extra little pieces so clean up was relatively easy, but I was still really sad for Hayden! Thankfully the purchasing of the stroller was exciting enough to keep her distracted. The cashier rung it up and Hayden took all her "green dollars" out first and handed those over. Then came the longer process of counting out change, which is where I mostly took over while Hayden checked out her new wheels ;) In the end she paid only about a dollar in anything but quarters and actually had probably $3-$4 left over! She couldn't have been happier to be leaving the store with her stroller AND some "monies"!

  She LoVeS her princess stroller and she wants to play with it constantly! And even if it does drive me crazy that it's so big in our teensy house, I'm so stinkin proud of her that she was able to stay dedicated to that stroller, earn the money and buy it! That is pretty impressive for a 2 1/2 year old!

Now the real question is, what will she save for next?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The value of a penny

A number of weeks ago I was at Walmart with the Hayden and Bryar (and Rebekah and Eli and Millie if we are being particular) when Hayden spotted something that caused her to gasp with excitement. It was an umbrella stroller. I know, weird right? BUT it was a *Disney PRINCESS* umbrella stroller, and if you know Hayden you know that makes anything gasp worthy. Hayden begged and pleaded, "Mommy can we get that princess stroller?" "Mom are we gunna buy that princess stroller?" "Mom are you gunna get that princess stroller for me?!" I told her no, that I couldn't spend $20 on something we don't need just because it was *Princess*. She was disappointed but took the news fine. Until the next day. Again it was "mom can we get that Princess stroller from Walmart, please?" Again I told her we didn't need it to which she replied "But it's for Toddler Belle!" (Her doll) Finally I told her that if she wanted something like that she was going to have to save up for it and pay for it with her own money. Talk about lighting a fire under someone! She immediately went in search of all the "moneys" she could find (any change is "moneys" to her) on the floor, under the couch, on nightstands and in all my purses and anytime she found some she would excitedly bring it to me and show me that she found moneys to buy her Princess stroller at Walmart. This has been going on EVERY day for weeks and weeks. Finally last week I decided that if she wasn't going to let it go (which she clearly wasn't as it is mentioned about 5 times a day every single day) that I should help her, so I got her a ziplock bag and she put in all the change she had found. I also allowed her to raid the change pocket in the diaper bag (who knew I was carrying around so much weight in change?!?) and added up her total for her. Would you believe that at that point she had $8.84?! She was ecstatic seeing all her moneys together in one place. Since then, with a little help from 2 of daddy's "green moneys" and the constant hunt for any and all change, she is up to $11.90! Obviously she is still a ways off from collecting the the $20 she needs, but it has been fun to see her get excited over every penny she finds. The funniest thing to me is her consistency...being only 2 1/2 you would think she would have moved on to wanting something else but no, 5 times a day its "mom, do I have enough moneys for my princess stroller?" To her, every penny she earns is one step closer to her princess stroller, and I love that she is working so hard to save $ and achieve her goal. Let's just hope she is that dedicated when she is actually old enough to be earning money instead of getting it out of my diaper bag and off Ben's nightstand!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tidbits and stuff...in no specific order

-Baby A is going to be 6 months old this week. I can hardly believe it! She is getting SO big! I wish I could post pictures but alas, I cannot. Although I guess you have never seen pictures before either so it's not like you would have anything to compare her current size to. How's this: Just imagine a newborn and then a six month old. See the difference? My point exactly :)

-Bryar only has one month to go before starting nursery!  They really need a junior nursery...ya know, for kids 12-18 months who aren't old enough for real nursery but are so absolutely ridiculous during the church block that it sometimes seems pointless to even bother because all you do is sit out with them in the foyer anyway? (And by "you" I mean Ben, because let's face it, I'm in primary so I only have to be around the craziness for sacrament meeting, and yet somehow that is still just too much!). Am I rambling? All I'm really saying here is kids have a ridiculous amount of energy. And Bryar starts nursery next month. Thank heavens.

-Hayden constantly makes me laugh. She definitely has some serious "I'm 2 1/2 so I'm going to be as sassy as possible" moments, but overall she is an awesome little girl. She carries her dolls everywhere, swaddles them, sings them songs, rocks them and then lays them in her bed and closes the door. Then she comes out and informs everyone that they need to stay out (and quiet) because her babies are sleeping.

-I love that I KNOW Hayden is learning in nursery! A few weeks ago Hayden was sitting at the table eating lunch and started saying "Baptize, baptize, baptize" in a sing songy type of voice. Intrigued, I asked her if she was going to get baptized, and she promptly replied (in a valley girl sassy-pants type voice) "yeah...at Tursery...and my hair is gunna get wet like Jesus!" She completely made my day! I love that she calls it tursery and i love love love that she is remembering little tidbits of nursery lessons!!!

-Hayden is learning her full name and is constantly pretending to talk on the phone, so now whenever she gets on she says "Hello, this is Hayden Olivia Ashby" and I think it's adorable. I'm trying to teach her the breakdown of first/middle/last but for now I think it's sweet that she is "Hayden Olivia Ashby" and not just Hayden. Oh, and she actually says Hayden, with a d, which used to always be Haynen...my little girl is growing up! (And she tells me so all the time..."i'm growing up mom..." and "I'm all growed up" are frequently heard from her.)

-I know it's a silly way to describe it, but Bryar is the new Hayden. Seriously...seems like everything going on with Hayden when I started this blog are now things Bryar is starting to do. Her biggest thing right now is dressing up. She frequently puts on dress up clothes, gets one of my purses from my closet and heads for the door, all while waving and saying "bye." Luckily for us she can't actually open the front door so mostly it's just a funny process to watch.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo editing

So I love photoshop actions...anyone else? They make editing pictures so much faster and can produce such awesome results! I was feeling a little nostalgic today and decided to look at wedding pictures, which of course led me to a little editing, and I'm loving how they turned out! I used MCP Actions new Mini fusion action (cuz it's free...and I love free!) and I think it worked perfect. Of course I actually loved the pictures before which could be making a big difference...so pretty much what I'm trying to say is I love photoshop actions and I LOVE my wedding pictures. Haha :)

The action is at http://www.mcpactions.com/mini-fusion.html if you want it...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

holy frigid batman...

it is COLD! BAH! For realisies, it can stop anytime... but until then, we are up to our eyeballs in this:
and this

and when we are avoiding that stuff (which we usually are...) then we have some of this:

and even this (she went into her room shoeless and came out like this, haha!)

And then of course a little of this:
Because my girls LOVE to talk on the phone. Sometimes actual talking (Hayden is getting good at having conversations with Ben) and most of the time they are on their play phones, but either way they love to talk, talk, talk!

Anyone else having fun being cooped up in the house because of the snow?!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time flies when you're...avoiding blogging?!

Man...it's been forever. I mean REALLY, is my last blog post about my Bryar's birthday party?! She turned one in October! Obviously I have been sorely neglecting this portion of my life, but don't worry...I'm back on the wagon so let's just hope I don't fall off again any time soon.  Obviously recapping would take way to long so let's just start with the now, shall we?

It's cold. I started this winter with a sort of zen. I wanted to balance out Ben's ridiculous hate of winter (have I blogged about this? I feel like I did...) so I went into winter thinking hey, this won't be so bad. That lasted for a bit. As in lastED...PAST tense. As in i am SO over it! Having 3 kids who have to be super bundled up to even step out the door, 3 kids who all need help with buckling in to carseats, and 3 kids who seem as anti-cold and wind as there father has made my zen for winter a serious thing of the past. That (coupled with all the cute spring clothing lines coming into stores now) has this girl is seriously dreaming of warmth. Who's with me?!

While my complaints of winter may not be showing it well, I have been adjusting more to life with 3 kids under 3. Sort of. I am trying to plan/organize more now. Mostly that just means that I try to get a lot more done when baby A is on visits with her bio parents (which she has every day at different times and for varying lengths) because taking 2 kids to the store is way easier than 3! But other than actually leaving the house, things have gotten better. Baby A has really turned a corner with the whole crying thing and is now a happy and energetic baby girl, which we are all loving! She smiles huge, giggles a lot, and likes to be on the floor/bouncy/bumbo where she can see everything and interact with whoever catches her eye. My favorite thing is how much she babbles! She is destined to be quite the talker because she babbles constantly! I swear she is trying to tell me something...I'm just not sure what yet :)

Bryar is such a handful! Pretty much anyone who has seen her probably knows that but it's crazy how much spunk she has. It's honestly hard to pin down because she can be so hard headed and independent one minute and then so snuggly and sweet the next. I joke that she is baby bipolar because she can go from laughing to crying to laughing all in the same minute! While I sometimes get overwhelmed by her mean streak (she totally dominates her big sister) I do love that she is so playful and goofy! She talks a lot (although I think you have to be me or Ben to understand her much) and loves to pretend play (talk on phones, play with baby dolls, etc) and watching her with her toys is unbelievably entertaining. While she can sometimes be hard to handle, I wouldn't trade her sweet cuddly moments or hilarious goofy moments for the world...she is just a crack up!

Hayden is definitely starting to hit her 2 year old phase pretty hard. Most the time she is the sweetest girl around, wanting to help mommy with EVERYTHING and often trying to be the mommy herself, but lately that 'tude has been coming out more and more. I think it is also more noticeable because all of a sudden she seems to be talking way more and having a MUCH bigger vocabulary (sometimes good, sometimes not...). The other day Ben did something she didn't like and she goes "I'm mad at you because you're being rude!" It's one of those moments where you can't help but crack up even though you are trying to tell her that's not ok... I really need to start writing down the things she says because the mantra that "kids say the darndest things" is just SO true! She surprises all the time with the random things she says! We have definitely had our not so pretty 2 year old tantrums (it feels like this week has been full of them!) but through it all I love how much she loves her family. She is the best helper and big sister and I am grateful for her every single day.

Right now we are just living it day to day and seeing what comes. Ben is in his first actual nursing school class, which is super exciting and he seems to be liking it, and I am officially NOT in school for the first time since...well since kindergarten. It's kind of freaking me out to not have homework, deadlines, papers and reading. I have to say I kind of miss it...but for now I am content to just be home with my menagerie of pink :)

Now like I said...let's hope I stay on the blogging wagon. I will post a few pictures soon but they are still on the camera and the transferring/uploading process feels a little to daunting right now. Another task for another time (plus that sets me up for my next blog post, which should be helpful for me!)