Monday, May 21, 2018

LA Weekend

We had a good week but a GREAT weekend!

Our electricity went out on part of our house this week, including the garage area, so we were trapped in the garage when it was time to go teach piano lessons. The ironic thing was that the same thing happened to my sister just last week. We will always live parallel lives. After we fixed the switch in our laundry room everything worked again.

This weekend was my first time leaving our kiddos overnight. Party! The only time I've left Westin overnight was to have Bennett in the hospital, and I've never left them both. Our friends Emma and Andrew watched them over the weekend while Michael and I headed down to LA for a FUN packed weekend.

We drove down and hung out with Michael's oldest sister Shelley and her family. We loved taking a tour of their remodel and seeing the progress. Then my sister and her husband came and ate dinner with us and Shelley's family. I love when I have lots of my favorite people in one room!

That night was the main event... Taylor Swift! I love her and I'm not ashamed of it. Her concert was incredible. Michael and I went with my sister, Michael's sister, her husband, and their daughter Ella. It was such a fun crew and we LOVED the show. It exceeded my expectations by far and my favorite part of Taylor Swift is how smart she is and how intentionally she handles herself. After the concert we went to the yummiest taco truck that we love to visit when we're in LA. My brother-in-law has been getting tacos there for 30 years and they're the best. Midnight tacos with family after Taylor Swift is pretty much heaven.

The next day we went on a bike tour of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood with my sister and her husband. I LOVED the tour. It was so fun to learn some history of different spots (like the Grey Stone Mansion) and see some celebrity houses of past and present. Being on a bike is my favorite way to explore. Michael and I hit up Shake Shack before driving home and it was SO delicious. I haven't had Shake Shack since I lived in DC in 2011 and it was even better than I remembered.

Emma said the boys did great with her while we were gone. I was so grateful everything went smoothly and that they were just fine with the weekend. Bennett even went to nursery by himself (for only the second time) with the help of his binky. I have been telling myself that after this weekend we would start to think about getting rid of the binky, but now that we're to that point I am dreading it. We kind of struggled with the boys once we were back. Sometimes it feels like they use up all their good when they are with someone other than Mom and Dad, like church or playschool or babysitters, and then they get out all their melting down once parents are back. Tonight that happened to the extreme because we had never been away from them this long. Hopefully we can all have a better day tomorrow... :) 

But that's not getting me down after this fun weekend! I had such a great time and I'm so grateful for the past two days. They were really so happy for me.

My sweet boys -- this was the best Mother's Day picture we got last week
because I never remember to take a picture in our Sunday clothes.

Bennett is always climbing in boxes of any size.

Rocking those scarves at Music Makers.

We had our carpets cleaned and moved everything to different areas of our house.
Bennett thought it was awesome that his bed was in the bathroom and just wanted to hang out in it.

Lots of our weekly routine spots are taking a break for the summer.
so we've been finding ourselves at Chick-Fil-A every other week.

Bennett just loves all dogs.

Carpet cleaning barricade. 
Time for Taylor!



Such a fun group to go with. I was so happy.







The whole show was pretty over the top and amazing to watch.

We were so close to her during the two songs she sang on this side stage.


Selena Gomez came and sang a song with her. She said such nice things about Taylor and her family.

Piano songs are the best songs.

Beverly Hills


Grounds of the Grey Stone Mansion

We recognized this spot from the X-Men movies and had to snap a pic for my dad.


Lucille Ball used to live here.

Chimney details of the Grey Stone Mansion

Other chimney deals of the Grey Stone Mansion



Mick Jagger used to live here. Across the street was Elvis Presley's old house.

Through those hedges is the house that Michael Jackson died in.

Hocus Pocus house. This was a Disneyland dressing room, and someone loved it and bought it and moved it to Beverly Hills. They made it a little spookier and more woodsy for Hocus Pocus.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Today I have been reflecting on women helping women, no matter what roles and titles and relationships might be. Yesterday a sweet sister brought us dinner for today so that we could all spend time together instead of make dinner on Mother's Day. She's recently widowed and has not slowed down in her service to others at all. Another friend brought me flowers and treats yesterday morning. She isn't a mom yet but loves my boys and helps so many families. Another friend brought her family over for dinner last night, bringing a bottle of chocolate milk which represents all of our late nights "drinking" away our freshman year of college together. (If there's anything more BYU than that, I don't know what it is.) We watched our kids play together all night and talked and laughed and I felt so grateful for our years of friendship.

At the end of the day I just kept reflecting on how much women need each other. I couldn't do motherhood without my sister. I wouldn't be the same person without my mom. Michael's sisters and mom are beyond wonderful. My brother married an angel. And I have always felt strongly that the friends I make in this life are as forever as family is. I am so grateful for the example of other women and for the way we can lift each other up. Because life really is hard for everyone. No one gets a pass. But we help each other deal.

Michael:
Worked a lot in our garden this week. He builds the best lego and magnet creations. Westin asks him to bring home snacks every morning when he leaves for work. He helps me so much at home during these lighter rotations. We're so lucky to have Michael!

Maddie:
was a little off this week because our weekly routine is kind of shaking up for summer. I signed Westin up for swimming lessons in July, which is the first thing I've ever "signed him up" for. He's getting so big. Michael had to work late on Thursday so I had my babysitter come over during my scripture class. We're studying Isaiah and I am learning so much. I loved going to Relief Society today while young men and elders ran the primary. Michael made crepes for breakfast. My sister and I finished our health challenge at 100% and it was WORK for us both, and we're happy for a break.

Westin:
loves to build legos and magnets with daddy. He loves that Bennett now has a Little Red Truck that's the same as his Little Blue Truck, and will always hand it to Bennett when he finds it around the house. He loves to cook and helped me make a celebratory cheesecake after my health challenge. He looks so much bigger these days. My favorite things he says right now is "I gave you my echo!" when he hears his voice echo, and "I'm so exciting for daddy to come home!" Always "so exciting" for everything that makes him happy.

Bennett:
has a heart of pure, beautiful gold. We were Facetiming Ali this week when I handed Bennett a raspberry and he ran across the kitchen and chucked his binky to the ground on the way to come eat his snack. She laughed so much and it reminded me to stop and see the funny and cute in my days. Bennett has almost stopped cuddling me after his naps, but for Mother's Day he just barely cuddled me for 20 minutes when he woke up. Best present he could have given me. I love these boys!

Preschool with friends is Westin's favorite part of the week.





Sweet Emily and her girls.

Rosie is the most patient dog.

We tried a new Mexican restaurant and Bennett was ALL about this meal.
He ate so much! With such passion for eating haha. I love this boy.

"M is for Mustache" at preschool.


Cutest find at Costco.

This little Kalia girl... was a high maintenance little pup. But she rolls over better than any other.


Westin and I went on an adventure to touch the school bus he always loves seeing on our drive home.


Bennett and suckers are a very messy experience.

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