Summer Bucket List

Summer break is here! Well, for most of us! Grace has four more days, and then it will be official!

We don’t have anything too huge planned for this summer, but we do have a lot of family visiting, which we are looking forward to, and some local things we’d like to get out and do. I have a feeling this summer will speed right by and be gone before we know it. I’m really hoping I can find a way to slow it down and savor it!  With summer kicking off, I’ve been thinking of the different things I want to get done and enjoy as a family. I’d love to say that I created some cute, crafty thing to represent our bucket list, but I didn’t!  (Sorry, not sorry! Ha ha ha!)  No, in all seriousness, I don’t have a creative bone in my body and am always a little jealous of those that can create cute bucket lists, chore lists, etc.  Whenever I set out to do a Pinterest type craft, it usually ends up being one giant, glittery mess! That being said, this list will have to do. 🙂

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(Picture Source Here)

Summer Bucket List 2017

*Paint and decorate Coen’s room.  In our old house, the kids shared a room, and a lot of the decor was Grace’s. When we moved, Grace wanted pink walls (she was super sad to give up the tree I painted in her room in the old house), so this past spring break we were able to paint and decorate her room. 
Now, it’s Coen’s turn. I’m not sure what direction I want to head in, but I have a feeling it will end up being pretty eclectic. I thought about doing a Beatles theme, but I really want to include some Billy Joel Lyrics, not to mention Coen is at an age where he is starting to have his own opinions and interests, too. He loves sports, I just don’t think I can do a sports theme. I’m thinking a few baseball themed things could be fun though. I also really want to refinish his dresser. As far as painting goes, I’ve been pinning things like crazy, but may end up going easy and just painting an accent wall.  We will see. 🙂 Right now his room is pretty bare, so I’m just looking forward to giving it some color and personality.

*Go camping at least once! We love to camp, but haven’t gone much since having Coen. Last year we went and it was rough!  He did great during the day, but night time was hard on Coen because he is so used to his own bed. I had to lie down with him, and even then it took forever for him to fall asleep, and it was even worse to keep him asleep.  He tossed and turned all night. He is used to having his own space and not being crammed into a sleeping bag with his mom.  This year will hopefully be a bit easier as he is older. He can stay up a bit later with us around the campfire, too.  We haven’t made reservations. I’m leaning toward the site in McCall that’s first come, first serve, but we may end up venturing out to someplace new. Either way, I’m looking forward to it!

*Cross Country camp for Fenix! Fenix started running track this year and will be doing Cross Country in the fall. His school has a week-long Cross Country camp that Fenix will be going to in July!  This will be his first “camp” experience, and we’re excited for him! He is really enjoying track and being a part of a team, so camp should be fun!

*Harvest the garden and learn how to can!  I’m really excited about this one!  I just hope I do it.  One of the things we loved about our house before we bought it was the backyard and the garden space. This year we managed to plant an assortment of pepper and tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini, green beans, spinach, and then we also planted a container pumpkin and watermelon plant.  In addition, we already have strawberries (that never produce much), raspberries (that the kids eat all of!), a pear tree, and grapes.  We added some blueberry bushes to the mix, but those will take a few years to produce. Ah! Once I typed it all out, I got overwhelmed. I’m hopeful we are able to produce quite a bit from each plant and that I follow through with canning and freezing things!  I’d like to do something fun with the grapes (maybe Jam or grape juice) as well as the pears. Last year we did nothing with them.  The hard part is I’m back in school once it’s time to harvest everything. I’m usually pretty busy then, but this year, we are dedicating our late August weekends to actually doing something with all the good things we’ve grown! Fingers crossed!

*Paint bird houses with Grace and Coen and make a bird feeder.  We bought houses to paint years ago and still need to paint them, so that’s on the list for this year.

*Read at least three books. This is a lame goal. I go through phases. In the winter I read a ton, but haven’t done much reading lately, so my goal is at last three books, but I’m hoping I can get to more.

*Spend an afternoon at the beach at Lucky Peak with the kids. I want to do this every year and then don’t, but this year we are doing it! I’m planning to pack the umbrella and the cooler and sit on the beach and read while the kids play!

*Go on a morning date/hike with the husband!

*Maybe potty train Coen. This one is all on him. I don’t want to force a thing! He actually went potty on the potty last week, but since then has only sat on it.  I don’t want to force anything or frustrate him, so I’m going to let him take the lead. In July we may do no diapers and just let him run naked around the back yard for a few days in the hopes that it will click.

*Go to the Dirty Dancing weekend at the Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, VA.  We have our weekend all booked in July, and I am so excited! I’m meeting up with two of my friends from Wisconsin for a girls’ weekend.  This is my first trip without the family or Ken, and I’m a bit nervous, especially for all of the flying, but I know once I’m there, it will be great!

*Go on a short weekend trip with the family.  We aren’t doing a big family vacation this year, but I would like to go on a short weekend trip. I’m thinking a trip to Salt Lake or even to the Miracle Hot Springs here in Idaho. They have little domes you can camp in that I think would be fun.  I recently took on an online part time job and am hoping to set aside enough money to make this happen.

*Celebrate our TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  How crazy is that?! I can’t believe it’s already been ten years, yet here we are.  We celebrated a bit early with a weekend trip to Seattle at the end of April, but will still do something on our actual anniversary. We just aren’t sure what yet.  I’m thinking something easy-maybe a nice dinner where we can get all fancied up.  We do have a nice bottle of wine we have been holding onto since our trip to the Oregon Coast last year, that I think we will celebrate with as well. 🙂


*Get a massage! Yes, this is happening! I have no idea when, and I haven’t booked it yet, but I am in desperate need of one and am going to make it happen! 🙂

*Spend a day at Roaring Spring! Grace earned a pass for reading at her school and has been looking forward to it.  Not sure if it will just be us or a family thing.  Fenix isn’t into doing the water slides, and Ken isn’t a fan of swimming, so we may end up going just the two of us.

*We have lots of family coming this summer and are really looking forward to it. Ken’s stepmom and our niece (she is Grace’s age) are coming to visit over the 4th of July and we are psyched. We also have Ken’s aunt and grandpa coming for Father’s Day weekend.  We are so excited for both!  It will be fun to have everyone here and just get to spend time with family.  It will make for a really fulfilling summer. Now we are just trying to brainstorm fun things to do while they are here.

*Enjoy Dairy Days! I love Dairy Days and look forward to it every year! It’s a tradition! 🙂

*Grace has her own bucket list as well. She wants to learn how to swim independently, do a cartwheel, and ride her bike!  She actually just accomplished the first one this week in swim lessons. She almost has the second one accomplished, and the third one I’m just excited she wants to try! 🙂

The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is relaxing and spending time with family this summer.  I imagine we will spend quite  a few meals on the patio and nights around the fire pit making s’mores. I’m looking forward to swimming with the kids at the pool and lounging on the couch while they nap.   I think it will be a good summer!

Summer of 2017, bring it on…and don’t go by too quickly! 🙂

Another Year Older

It’s May and the school year is almost coming to a close, which means I may just have some more time on my hands to update this blog from time to time.

May is one of my favorite times of the year.  We always kick the month off with Grace’s birthday and by the end of the month we are counting the days down until summer -four for Fenix, nine for me, and much more for poor Grace who is in “year-round” school.  No worries, though.  She still gets summer, it just starts a little later and ends a little sooner.

Just recently Grace turned six (SIX!) and because I’m home with the house to myself and the day off of work because I’m recovering from having my wisdom teeth finally taken out, I thought I would squeeze in a quick birthday post for Grace and for Coen. Fenix turns 15 here in June, so I’m hoping I’m with it enough to post about that, too, when the time comes.

Ah! Where to begin?

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Coen turned two back in December. His birthday is right before Christmas and of course it’s winter weather, which means we have to party inside.  We ended up having a really low-key party for Coen. It was just family and Coen’s little friend Hank, who turns two  a few months after Coen.  We decided to do it in the morning before nap time and meltdowns and it ended up being perfect.  We ate brunch and drank hot chocolate while the boys played, watched Coen open gifts, and then we broke all the rules by eating cake WAY too early in the morning.  It was great! The kids sat at a little kid table my mom used to have for my niece and nephew which was way too cute.  Coen was ALL about sharing with Hank until he opened his gifts and he quickly decided he was going to be very selective about what he shared, ha ha ha!

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Two has been a fun age. Coen is learning so much and his speech has really taken off.  He is the most polite two year old in the world. Somehow we have him trained well.  He even says “scuze me” after he burps, ha ha ha! He is such a little individual, it’s crazy. He has his own, wacky personality.  He loves to dance and and sing, drinks milk like cows are going extinct, and has a love of all things sports!  He can dribble a soccer ball and throw a football (well, a mini one). When he sees a ball, he NEEDS it! This makes taking him to his sister’s soccer practices a little bit tough. He has NO fear.  None whatsoever.  I have given up trying to keep him from climbing up to the third level at the playground and have now resigned myself to just being there if he falls.  There is no stopping him.  🙂

He loves baths!  I can’t let him stay in for too long though, or he starts doing his infamous “butt splash” where he stands up and then drops to his bum sending a huge wave of water out of the bath tub and onto the bathroom floor.

He loves Moana and Trolls and sings right along when the movie is playing.  He also has some wicked break dancing moves.  He is still very much a mama’s boy. He’s also reaching an age where he is starting to feel left out.  Last night Ken, Grace, and Fenix went to an end of year track banquet for Fenix, and he cried and cried when he realized they left him home.  😦  I had to console him with a bath and then popcorn and a movie.

When he is mad, he takes off his shoes and socks and tosses them.  This happens often when he is upset that we have to leave the park or when we get to the store and they are all out of car carts.  🙂 He has a wicked two-year old temper, that’s for sure, but he recovers quickly!

He has been so much fun lately.  Because I’m writing this months after his actual birthday he has already changed so much. It’s crazy to think who he will be and how much he will have changed by the time his third birthday rolls around.  (We love you so, SO much, Coen!  I couldn’t imagine our  family without you in it!)

Grace’s birthday was more recent.  The month of May is always hectic.  Mother’s Day, soccer, dance recitals, and end of the year school responsibilities for me make it a busy month!  We had to squeeze Grace’s party in that first weekend in May on the same day of a soccer double header for Grace.  I was a little afraid we wouldn’t be able to pull it off and was SUPER nervous because she invited her entire class. (We didn’t want any hurt feelings, and Grace is very social and makes friends with nearly everyone she meets-whether they like it or not, ha ha.)  The idea of having a houseful of parents had me in panic mode. Pairing that with the fact that we had two soccer games that morning AND the weather was really iffy (raining in the morning and windy in the afternoon), and I was a nervous wreck.

We rented a bounce house.  (FYI: If you are in the Boise/Meridian/Nampa area, we were able to rent a bounce house from Slidy Bounce for $65, which is a steal in comparison to other rental places! Plus, they were great!  Easy set-up and take-down and very easy to to work with.)  I was worried all day long that it would rain in the afternoon or be too windy for the bounce house and we would have 15 kindergartners and their parents crammed into our house with no back-up plan.

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Thankfully, it all went perfectly! Grace had a blast! A large chunk of her class came and most of her soccer team.  The bounce house was a hit and made it easy on us as parents because we didn’t have to plan anything in terms of games. The kids bounced and blew bubbles, Grace opened way too may gifts, and then we sang “Happy Birthday” and the kids stuffed their faces with cupcakes-after I made them all go back outside. 🙂

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We had Grace’s party a few days before her actual birthday, so on her real birthday we did our traditional breakfast of birthday pancakes.

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Grace had school that day, but I was able to take the day off and we visited her dad while he was on his lunch break, made one of her favorite meals for dinner (Cuban slider sandwiches), and then went out for ice cream.

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It’s hard to believe Grace is already six! This past year has been such a big year for her!  She’s lost three teeth, with two more ready to pop out.  She’s learned so much in school this year.   She is a chatter, which is not surprising, and she really can make friends with just about anyone.  She reminds me of my mom in that way.  Her social/conversational skills far outshine mine.  Sometimes this is an issue, but I think it will actually be an asset to her once she learns how to rein it in.  She loves to dance and sing. This year she started practicing for her dance routines at home and found that her practice really paid off!  She just finished another season of soccer and loved it!  She loves to be outside and play. She loves to go hiking with her dad and even received a  hiking pack from us for her birthday and a hiking pole from her grandpa.  She is such a good girl!  She is kind and caring,  goofy and creative, and she can light up the room just by walking into it.

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(I love you so much, Grace! I can’t believe how quickly you are growing up! I can’t help but be a little sad, but I’m also so excited to see what the next year brings with it!)

Top 16 of 2016

Holy moly has it been a LONG time since I have logged on to this little here blog.  Phew!  My track record with keeping up to date has gotten worse and worse.  We’re still here, though!  Our little family is doing well, the kids are happy and healthy, and life is busy!  When I logged on this evening, I went through and read the last post that I wrote, and my GOSH my kids were all so little! I see it especially in Fenix. All of the kids have grown, but when I look at that picture I took of Fenix, Ken, and Coen flexing, it’s SUPER obvious how out of date this is and how much has happened in the last year in a half of my lack of blog sharing.

2016 has been good to us. It’s been a busy year for everyone, with lots of milestones.  Fenix started high school! Grace started kindergarten, and we moved! Ken has had an exciting year and learned some new things at his job and I’ve entered my second year in online teaching, which I am enjoying far more than I ever thought I would.  Coen, of course, has hit lots of little milestones that have become second nature to me, since I haven’t been recording them on here.  Poor boy! I promise I love you just as much as your sister! Life just got super busy once you arrived, little man, and so I haven’t been as good at recording things as I had hoped to be! (In truth, I wasn’t very good with Grace either. Neither of my kids have completed baby books…some day, right?) Forgive me! I promise that my lack of documentation is no indication of the depth of my love! 🙂  I used to think if I didn’t work full time, I’d be better at this, but I’m just not so sure.   Now that I spend my time teaching online, I avoid our personal computer like the plague.  Perhaps, I will be better in 2017, maybe not.  🙂  We will see in a year.

As, I said earlier, this has been a good year. I’m somewhat sad to see it end, and my feelings about 2017 are a mix of apprehension and excitement.  I’m vowing to be more frugal in 2017, to read more, and to eat less junk.  Now that Coen is getting a bit older, we want to do more family “adventuring”, more hiking and exploring our state.  All of those things I’m looking forward to.  The upcoming political changes have me feeling somewhat sad and nervous, but that’s an entirely different issue.  🙂  Perhaps I will blog more in 2017. Maybe I’ll even get around to printing out pictures for the photo albums.  Before we get too far into 2017,  I thought I’d wrap up my year of not blogging with a quick Dietz 2016 Highlight Reel. So here here is the top 16 of  2016 for our little party of five.

1.)  We MOVED!  It was somewhat impromptu, but not really. We knew we wanted something a little bigger, where we could spread out a bit more, but we weren’t sure if wanted to do it this summer or wait a year. Grace was starting kindergarten, which meant we no longer were paying daycare and had a bit more room in our budget.  We debated waiting a year and saving/updating our house to sell, but were torn because we wanted Grace to be in the same school all the way through if we could.  We decided to sit down with realtor and with things selling as quickly as they were and with interests rates so low, we decided to go for it.  We actually had an offer on our house before listing it, because someone my sister worked with was looking for a house in our neighborhood, so we were able to skip dragging the kids out each time there was a showing.  We were able to find a house relatively quickly, and it’s still within the lines of Fenix’s high school and walking distance to a great elementary school, not to mention it’s connected to some extensive walking paths and a wonderful little park. Our summer was busy with moving, but we were able to spend a lot of time exploring on our bikes and going on walking adventures.  We love our new house.  I have a dedicated space to work (with windows, so I no longer feel like I work in a dungeon) and a dining room and kitchen that make it a bit easier to host, which we do quite a bit.  It’s been fun to settle in and decorate, although the decorating is happening slowly and on a budget.  We’ll get there eventually!

2) Fenix started high school!  He loves it! He is taking drama and quite a few honors classes.  He has a good group of friends, all of which are entertaining in their own right. 🙂  All in all he is doing well! He has always been a school kid and has enjoyed his classes this year. School usually comes pretty naturally him. His biggest hurdle is staying organized and turning things in. My step-son has been plagued with that all too common affliction of completing work but forgetting to turn it in…Something I never understood as a teacher and am still trying to figure out as a parent. It may always baffle me, ha ha!

3) Grace started kindergarten. She loves it!  It was more of an adjustment at first than I anticipated. She loves going and loves to learn and make new friends, but found herself frustrated sometimes in the beginning when she wasn’t able to do things right on the first try. “Practice not perfect,” has become her mantra this year. She is somewhat of a perfectionist, but after a few weeks she settled in.  A few of our her preschool friends attend the same school, and she has also made lots of new friends. She, of course, talks too much, but that was to be expected. With me working from home, I’m able to pick her up from school everyday, which I have loved!

4) Fenix went to homecoming!   He looked very dapper and even learned the Carleton.   He had a lot of fun, and to be honest, we did, too. We met up with his date and his mom to take pictures prior to him going, which he was an awesome sport about. Then he took his date to ice cream and Ken gave the two of them a ride to the dance in the mini van…  🙂

5) Coen turned 2! How did THAT happen?  We had a birthday brunch for him with family and our friends Hank and Lindsay. (Hank is just a few months younger than Coen and watching them interact is a blast!)  We ate brunch, the kids played, and then Coen opened up gifts and blew out the candles on his cookie cake. It was way too early to being eating cake, but we figured we could break the rules for his birthday! You only turn 2 once, right?

6) Grace danced A LOT in 2016.  She took hip hop and a ballet/tap combo class last year and hip hop and a ballet/jazz combo this year. She hates stretching with a passion, but loves to dance and be on stage. We just had her winter recital recently, and it was a blast and crazy hectic. She had three dances between her hip hop and ballet routine, so I had to run backstage in between and get her changed out of her ballet costume and into her hip hop one. By the time she got back to the dressing room after her ballet routine, her hip hop group was lining up, so it was a scramble, but we made it!

7) We traveled to the Oregon Coast!  In our fantasy future, Ken and I want to live in Waldport. It’s this tiny, quiet ocean town and we are in love with it. I’m sure the gray skies and constant wind, would eventually do me in, but Ken and I have this fantasy of selling everything when the kids are older and moving into a tiny little beach home.  Grace is totally sold on this fantasy and has actually been telling kids at school that we are moving! I have had to reassure her best friend’s mom that we are NOT moving anytime soon. We took my niece with us and made it a two day trip on the way there, so we could travel from Astoria to Waldport and stop at all the touristy places along the way.  Once we got settled in Waldport, we made a trip into Newport for the aquarium and some seafood, and later made it to Lincoln to visit Mo’s and do some whale watching. The rest of our time was spent on the beach exploring, which is always our favorite part. We’re hoping to go again soon, and maybe do less touristy things and more just hanging out on the beach.  I could walk the beach and listen to the ocean for hours.  Just give me a cup of coffee and an ocean view, and I’m set!

8) We camped! We wanted to do more camping this summer than we did, but we managed to fit in one quick two day trip.  Coen is kind of tough to camp with. He naps and sleeps really well in his crib with a routine, but when we break out of that, it gets a little tough.  We enjoyed ourselves nonetheless, though. Our spot was located near some hot springs and an eagle’s nest which was really neat! The kids enjoyed doing the campfire thing and we got to do a little hiking and exploring. Coen and mom did not sleep at all though, so we’re hoping camping in 2017 is a bit more restful.  We will see! 🙂

9) Grace played soccer in the fall and had so much fun! She takes direction surprisingly well when it’s not her parents giving the directions. 🙂  She LOVED it! She didn’t score any goals, but worked really hard on passing and dribbling. She made some awesome assists and was a really good teammate. We have her signed up for the spring and are really looking forward to our soccer Saturdays getting underway in a couple of months.

10) Ken recently had some training to administer immunizations. Idaho is one of the first in the nation to train pharmacy techs to immunize and Ken was in the first wave of training for his company, which he was really excited about.

11) I started my second year of teaching online.  I wasn’t sure what to think when I took this job initially. I was nervous to be leaving the classroom, but I LOVE my job. I still get to teach and connect with students, but have a bit more flexibility to work around being a mom too.  I feel like I’ve learned and been stretched a lot in this last year and a half and that’s been a really good thing. I’ve  grown as a teacher and I really enjoy my job and the group of teachers and administrators who I work with.

12) I’m going to the Dirty Dancing weekend at Kellerman’s in 2017! It’s not actually called Kellerman’s, but that’s okay! A couple of friends and I are meeting up in Charleston and then travelling into the Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia (hopefully by convertible) for their annual Dirty Dancing Weekend. What started as a conversation on facebook between some friends of my mine in Wisconsin came to fruition when we booked our room a few months ago. I’m equal parts excited and terrified. I don’t fly, at least not anymore.  As an adult I have always been nervous when flying, but once I had kids that terror seems to have multiplied.  I imagine I will be a nervous wreck the week leading up to the flight and out of my mind the day I fly. I’m hoping to get a flight with a layover in Minneapolis so I can meet up with my friends and travel the remainder of the flight there with them.  We’re planning to have the “time of our lives”, if you will! 🙂

13) We had a lot of visitors this year, starting with Ken’s mom and step-dad in July.  We had just moved in to our new house, so I’m sure things were a bit hectic, but we enjoyed a long weekend with them, spending most of our time at our house or in the backyard enjoying each other’s company.  The kids were excited to see their grandparents and it was nice to just have time with them.  We love where we live, but hate the distance between us and family.

14) Ken’s step-mom came to visit in August.  She stayed with Ken’s sister, but we got to spend lots of good grandma time with her, enjoying dinner, trips to the park (where grandma Lou rode Grace’s bike), and breakfast at one of our favorite diners, The Capri.

15) Ken’s dad came for Thanksgiving. We hosted dinner this year, did some Black Friday shopping, and watched the Husker’s game all before Grandpa had to leave.  Grace’s nickname for Ken’s dad is Papa Jay-Bird, and she loves to have him here. It was a good weekend. Again, we just wish we lived a little closer so we could see people more often. Hopefully this summer we can budget in a trip back to the Nebraska/Colorado area so we can see all of the grandparents again as well as Ken’s siblings that are there.

16) Ken and I celebrated 9 years of marriage!  Whoop! Whoop! It’s actually kind of crazy to think about.  We did dinner and spent time at the Village, enjoying some wine and each other’s company. For our 8th anniversary we went rafting and were torn between spending our 9th one doing something more adventurous like the previous year, but low key won out in the end.  With the kids all being a bit older, we have been vigilant about date nights this year, and have some good ones planned for 2017.

Phew! I know so much more happened than what I’ve posted here, but I think I’ve done an  okay job skimming the surface and hitting the highlights.  I had wanted to add pictures, but that’s always the most time consuming part, and I promised myself I would get the kids started on baths at 7 tonight…it’s already 7:08, so I didn’t quite make my goal, but I’m close!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 2016 and that 2017 is filled with lots of good memories!  I’m looking forward to some of the things we have planed and to watching the kids continue to grow!

2017, bring it on! We’re ready for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Out of Date, But Oh, Well

Ha ha ha! I have some time to myself today.  The kids are napping and Ken is out with the dog. I thought I would hop on here, and after nearly a year, update this. 🙂  As it turns out, out, I have a post written this summer that I never published. Because my intent was to hop on here and try to record some tid-bits from this last year before 2016 gets completely away from me, I thought it would be best just to start by publishing this. 🙂  Ignore how late this is. I blame motherhood on my lack of organization and timeliness.

 

So…it’s been a while.  It should not surprise you in the least bit that this is how I’m opening my blog post, as it seems to be the norm.

Truth be told, I’ve been debating deleting this here little blog and just throwing in the towel.  I enjoy writing and I love to come back through and relive some of my family’s memories that I’ve posted about, but I find it hard to stay up to date.  Not that staying up to date matters in the least bit.  I suppose it’s the part of my personality that lends itself to being more type A that makes me feel like I can’t write about current happenings unless I fill in all the gaps in past happenings.  Does that make sense? I’m a dork.

I thought for sure when I had Coen that I would carve in the time to keep this up to date.  I wanted to share pictures of him and record, in writing, all the little firsts.  How he smelled, the way he would rest his little hand by his cheek as he slept, the many times and ways Grace would melt my heart as she interacted with him.  But, carving out that time proved far more difficult than I realized.  After my last blog post  I realized that it was just easier to not even put blogging on my radar, because if I woke up thinking I need to make the time to post, it just would’t happen for various reasons.  Two kids have kept me pretty busy. Especially in those first few months when Coen was still so new, and I was attempting to learn the ins and outs of him as well as potty train his older sister.  Once I seemed to find the balance, my maternity leave was over and school started…and then suddenly summer was upon us, and I thought for sure I would blog, but all I wanted to do was read, sit outside with the kids, or go to the park. AND THEN school started and blah, blah, blah…anywho, blogging just hasn’t happened this year, and that’s okay. 🙂

 

 

 

Anywho, in the spirit of accepting that my blog is just going to be all over the place, I thought I’d take time to catch up on the all the Dietz happenings from this past winter and spring-starting with December.  Just ignore the fact that it’s nearing the end of July and play along, okay? Okay.  Here we go, folks.

December:

I may be stating the obvious here, but our biggest event of December was welcoming our mini man into the family.  We spent December fawning over him and and having him try as many new things as possible such as…

clothing  (he did, after all, spend the last nine months naked)

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riding in the car seat

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sleeping in the rock n play

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sleeping on the couch-don’t worry, we were right next to him

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laying in his very own bed

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beanies and hoodies

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cuddling in mom and dad’s bed

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photo shoots

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taking a bath

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the swing

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and being photo bombed by his sister

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again, and again.

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The kids also spent a lot of time being ridiculously adorable in December. Case in point:

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Grace decided to use my bra to make herself look like she just returned from war with an arm injury.

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We decoratededited-9369 edited-9366 edited-9355and celebrated

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Christmas.

And then we rounded the year out by staying up until aproximately 9:30 to celebrate the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

edited-9531January and February:

January consisted of more adorable-ness

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a photo shoot or two

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and a few fashion statements.

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We also celebrated my 31st birthday,  Valentines Day,

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and took advantage of free day at the zoo.

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March and April:

My maternity ended in the middle of March, and I started back to school.  It was good to be back in some ways and then really, really tough.  It’s always hard to leave the kids.  Between school and a the kids, March and April sped right by.  edited-0244

The weather was unusually nice in March and we got to break out the bike.  This particular ride, Grace had a really hard time.  At one point she wanted to get off the bike and have me push it, which is not like her at all.  I kept pushing her to finish though, and came to find out (once we made it home and Grace was exhausted) her front tire was flat, making it exponentially harder to pedal.  Poor girl.  She got a work out, and Coen enjoyed coming along for the ride.

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We spent a little bit of time enjoying the early spring weather

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and watching Coen grow.

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We also celebrated Easter

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and my nephew went to prom.  I made him pose with me because I took him to prom my senior year…when he was five.  The initial plan was for him to stop by before prom, but he ended up swinging by the night before while he was trying on his tux, which is why I’m in sweats and a hoodie.  My initial plan was to dress up, because I’m a dork like that:)

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I would post the pic of us at my senior prom, but it is buried deep in a photo album.  (Isn’t Dennin handsome?  It’s crazy he’s done with high school now and officially an adult! My gosh, time goes by too quickly!)

May

May is always one of my favorite months of the year.  The weather is getting warmer, summer (and summer break) is just around the corner, and it’s Grace’s birthday, which is always quite an event.  edited-0354

We kicked Grace’s birthday off this year with birthday pancakes.

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We did this for Grace’s third birthday and she talked about throughout the year, so we thought it would make a good tradition.

I had the day off, so I was able to spend the day with the kids, and Ken’s stepmom and his sister arrived later that day from Nebraska.

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and then spent the weekend spending time with Aunt Kori and Grandma Lu.

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It’s still hard to believe my little girl is four!  Next year at this time we will be gearing up for kindergarten!

The rest of May was pretty low-key, right up until the end.  I finished the school year and packed up my classroom.  My cousin Nic and nephew Dennin graduated high school (!), and Grace finished a year of preschool.  They wrapped up the year of preschool with a preschool program, which gave Grace an excuse to get all fancy:)

edited-0444My daughter is the one who can’t stand still and keeps switching spots during the music program:)

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It’ hard to see her in this photo, but she’s there in the middle, singing and dancing her little heart out:)

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Coen started solids the month of May. Grace has really enjoyed “helping” to feed him.

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I’m just throwing these last pictures in for the heck of it. I very rarely get a photo of me and the kids, and the bottom photo of Byron and Coen  I just love.  Coen LOVES the dogs!  LOVES them!  He grunts and squeals and reaches out for the whenever they are near by.

That pretty much wraps up the first half of the year (and December).  Our summer is wrapping up, so I’m hoping I’ll post about summer sometimes before we hit Thanksgiving:)  That’s the goal anyway.  One can hope…

 

Friday Free Write

Happy Friday!  I hope you’re enjoying yours as much as I’m enjoying mine!  This Friday is kind of bittersweet.  School starts in a week and a few days.  I’ve spent three days in my classroom this last week and will probably put in two more this next week.  August always marks the end of summer break for me. I still have a week left, but it will be a week preoccupied with lesson plans and planning.  Boo!  Summer went by far too quickly for my liking!  Luckily, Grace and I (and soon, the little man) will still have our Fridays together.  Thank God for four-day school weeks!  THAT will be difficult to give up if ever I move to a district a bit closer to home (oh yeah, and one that pays better, which really doesn’t take much).

Anywho….

Here are a  few  random tid bits I’ve been thinking about this week.

*Have you seen this video?  If not, you should.  I saw it first on my CNN app and then again on MommyShorts. It had me laughing and then bawling!  Too cute!  Way, way, way too cute!  Although I don’t know that I want Grace to be this emotionally on edge when her brother comes, I do hope she cares for him just as much as this little sister does.

*Speaking of videos, after you watch the one above, you should check this one out too.  My daughter is such a little performer.  “Come on! Stomp with me!”  I love her!  I watch this at least three times daily!

*Grace and I are both still in our pajamas at four!  I know! I’m terrible, right? But we are.  In fact,  as soon as I finish this post, I am hopping in the shower.  Grace is napping.  I put her down at two and I have a feeling she will sleep until five.  My daughter takes LONG naps as a toddler.  Perhaps because it’s summer and she goes to bed later than normal.  We’ve been known to make trips to the park at 8:30 once it’s cool out.  We really don’t do this often, but I’m feeling lazy today, and Grace is ditching the pull ups today.  I figured I’d be cleaning up pee all morning and afternoon, and that there was no reason to dress up. So far though, Grace has done well.  No accidents.  Two trips to the potty.  She will potty in her sleep, but I did throw a diaper on her for napping purposes.  I expect an accident this afternoon.  We have done really well with pull ups, we just can’t seem to reach a point where we are completely accident free during the day, and Grace has yet to start telling me she needs to go on her own.  She just goes when I ask her to, which is good considering where we were six weeks ago.  I worry about her going back to pre-school/daycare and losing all the progress we have made, so I’m hoping our pull up free weekend points us in the right direction.  We will see.

*I am currently fantasizing about owning one of these:

It’s big, but not too big,  fits two car seats easily, and isn’t nearly as expensive as other SUVs with a third row seat.  I’m fairly certain when the time comes for us to get a bigger vehicle to for our little party of five, this will be on the list.  It might be a while though (a long while).  I won’t even share with you the amount the financial person quoted me for the amount this little baby is going to cost after insurance. It’s criminal!  Seriously! Much, much more than Grace.

Well, that’s it!  That’s all I’ve got!  I hope your Friday is spectacular and that you do something fun and exciting!  I think we are staying local this weekend, perhaps a trip to the park or two, or an evening running through the sprinkler.  Either way, it will definitely be a low-key, relaxed weekend for this family  (well, unless I’m cleaning up pee, but you know, what can you do.)

 

 

 

 

Summer Bucket List

I know that we are halfway through the summer at this point, or at least I am, but with time creeping by at a pace way too fast for me, I thought I’d jot down a few things I NEED to accomplish once school starts…or at least by Labor Day weekend.

So here it goes:

1) Take the kids to Babby Farms.  I’ve never been, but Grace went with her daycare and had a blast.  It’s a bit more interactive than the Boise Zoo and you get in for just five dollars on Thursdays, so I’m hoping that’s how we’ll be spending our morning this coming Thursday.

2) Camp.  It’s already July and we have yet to camp, so I’d like to go twice before the end of the summer.  I may change my mind after sleeping in a tent in the heat while pregnant, but for now, twice is the goal:)

3) Spend an afternoon at the MK nature center with the girl.

4) Spend a day playing at Settlers.  I really do love Settlers, it just gets SO hot and there is very little shade, not to mention, it’s huge and Grace goes a bit crazy running from playground equipment to playground equipment, so we haven’t gone yet this summer.

5) Read more.  This is always a goal.  I just don’t read like I used to and that makes me sad.  I just finished The Yonahlassee Riding Camp for Girls yesterday, but other than that, I’ve read three books this summer.  I’d like to fit in a few more and possibly a couple YA books.  I used to love sharing what I read with my students and I don’t do that as much anymore, probably because it’s expensive to purchase books for your class library (especially when half  the time those books mysteriously disappear).

6)  Go on another day trip/hike.  We went up to Idaho City and did a short two and a half mile hike with the kids this last weekend, followed by some ice cream, and I’d like to do something similar one more time.

7) Go swimming at Eagle Island or Lucky Peak with Grace.  This could be a family thing, but it could also be a mom and Grace date day, and I’d be fine with that.

8) Put the last three years worth of pictures into an album.  I really NEED to do this.  I also need to back up the last year’s worth of pictures on our external drive.  I would be devastated if we lost those.  I started putting photos in an album the summer Grace was born, but only got through three months.  If I can get the last three years in albums this summer, than I can work on all the years before that a little at a time.  (Speaking of which, Ken got a card today for hitting the ten-year mark at his work. Ten years!  That’s a long time.  That means that as of this October, I will have known Ken/had him in my life in some major way for the last third of my life-we met about six months after he started working at Albertsons. Wow!)

9) Finish the bathroom.  We painted the walls and I refinished the cabinets and counter top, but we need to update the light fixture (the new one is sitting in our garage) and the faucet-which we have a gift card for, so we just need to do it.  I know I won’t be able to touch up the parts of the cabinet that need it because I can’t use gel stain while pregnant, but I’d like to get what I can done now  and then we can worry about the rest once the baby is here.

10) I’d like to start prepping Grace’s room for her baby brother.  I want to do something simple on his side of the room.  I don’t know that we need the crib up by August, but I’d like to at least clean out Grace’s closet and move the shelf that’s currently against her wall, into her closet.  It’s one of those with the nine squares that you can put fabric drawers in.  I painted a cherry blossom tree in Grace’s room when she was born.  I’ve thought about doing that on the other side for the baby, but in different colors, although I’m really thinking of holding back.  Simple is good.  I’d like to just keep it clean and easy.  Once the baby is Grace’s age we will most likely place a bunk bed in their room anyway, and so painting a more masculine tree on the other side seems like a waste of energy if we’re only going to end up moving their beds around and most likely repainting the room anyway.

11) Finish potty training my stubborn three-year old, who by the way, is s-l-o-w-l-y coming around.  Something just clicked this past weekend (perhaps it’s because I started to reward her with a marshmallow just for trying to go potty/I’m finally keen to her potty clock)  and since Thursday Grace has filled up her potty chart completely.  She had seven of the twenty stickers on her chart when we started on Thursday, and by Monday morning she had filled in the remaining 13!  Now we are on potty chart number two and Grace has four stickers.  We’ve been averaging about three successes on the potty a day, and I’ll take it.  She still has accidents in her pull up and she still wets when she naps or sleeps at night, but we are slowly getting there.  I think we will be wearing a diaper to bed for a while, but if we can just get to the point where she uses the potty during waking hours by the time we both return to school, that would be fantastic!

12) And last, but not least, I would like all of quarter one planned out for both Language Arts and Reading.  I don’t need all of my copies made, but I want all of my unit plans ready to go and my calendar all planned out.  I know, tentatively, how I want the year to go, but we are also being asked to implement the curriculum from Engage NY, I’m just not sure to what extent or if the district is willing to pay for the class sets of novels that would be needed.  I really should be planning for a sub already, but that completely overwhelms me, so if I can get quarter one squared away, I can set aside time each day after school to sorting out three months worth of sub plans (which I’m dreading).

That’s it ! Not too bad, as long as I don’t cram it all in at the end:)  Not that I would do that…especially the lesson planning part:)

A Few Random Thoughts

*My blog is going through somewhat of an identity crisis. I decided not to renew thisgracedlife.com because the $26 didn’t seem worth it when I only seem to blog once in a while…darn my busy life (and these migraines which pretty much make me useless). So currently my bog title says This Graced Life while the URL reads moderndaymatriarch.com. I think I’ll change the URL sooner or later; it may result in all my followers (all two of you) to disappear though:) I’ll give you a heads up before I make the switch and if you have any ideas for blog titles, throw them my way. I am indecisive, which I have proven in how many times I’ve changed the title of this blog. Sorry… So far I’ve been thinking “In Photos and Fragments” (I like alliteration, can you tell?) and I figure that may fit because my blog is primarily a place for me to share photos and bits and pieces of my family’s life (fragments if you will.) I’ve also thought of “Party of 5”, I won’t explain why, I’ll just leave that to your imagination for a bit. That may be taken, so I may need to do some variation of it like “Our Party of Five” or “Dietz-Party of Five”.

*Grace starts swimming lessons on Monday and I am SO excited! Seriously! Ridiculously excited.

*We just got back from a trip to visit Ken’s family in Nebraska and Colorado yesterday. I plan to post about it sometime…before Christmas:) We had a lot of fun, and it was great to see everyone. We were gone for a week and spent the last few nights in a hotel between staying in Colorado and then staying in Wyoming one night on the drive home. As fun as staying in a hotel is, I nearly cried when we drove up to our house. I missed my bed, and my kitchen with food I can make so I can eat at home and not out. I missed my backyard and my washer and dryer. I missed my shower and
bathroom with all my toiletries there in the drawer. I missed Grace napping in her bed and cuddling up with my husband in our bed. I am SUCH a home body. Our house may not be big. Sometimes it feels like it’s bursting at the seams, in fact, but it’s our home, and my gosh, do I love it!

*I have about a gazillion half finished posts hanging out in my drafts box. I seem to lose steam about halfway through. For example, Grace’s birthday post is just chilln’, waiting to be finished. Same with a family post. I haven’t done one of those since January.

*Sometimes my daughter is difficult. She feels everything to the extreme: sadness, frustration, excitement. She is stubborn as all hell,especially when it comes to potty training, but I would not trade her for anything/one in the world. I love each side of her personality, even the more difficult traits. I really could not imagine my world without her in it, and I’m so very grateful for my bug bug.

*I’m in a reading funk. I don’t read like I used to at all, and that makes me sad. I have a picked up numerous books in the last few months and not finished them. For example “We Were the Mulvaneys” is sitting halfway finished in my room. I know I’ll finish it because it good, it’s just not one of those that you can’t put down. I am nearly finished with “Home Front” by Kristen Hannah. It’s lighter reading, which is maybe what I’m needing right now. I just want to be swept up in a book again, to the point where I can’t put it down and I have to finish it right away.

*Anywho, those are my random, sorted thoughts for the day:) I’m going to relax now while my husband makes dinner. I’m kind of spoiled like that:). And maybe, just maybe I’ll hop on here this week and publish one of those many posts that are just sitting in my drafts box.

Happy Saturday!