Thursday, October 13, 2016

These Are the Sporting Days of Our Lives

Brian and I coached the boys in T-ball several months ago and had our fill. "Never again!" we said. Then we got emails from the recreation league that they needed a coach for the flag football team we'd signed the boys up for. It took a couple of weeks, but Brian asked me to volunteer us to coach. I'm so glad we did! It was the most fun 90% of the time. The other 10% was rough, but what else? It was worth it. We had games every Wednesday night and Saturday morning in September. Bridget had volleyball games on Saturdays in September as well. It was a month of The Amazing Parenting Race, but we did it and it was pretty awesome. Because it was temporary. YouknowwhatI'msayin'.
There's Colin running with the ball like a champion! He was so much fun to watch. The first couple of games he was nervous to pull flags, but he got over that in the end and he could almost always catch the ball carrier and take his flag. Colin instinctively knows how to move with the ball. And he is FAST, y'all!
This ended up being a touchdown. :)
Little five year-old boys in a huddle is pretty irresistible. Some of the boys from the team ended up being in either Colin's or Emil's school class. New friends! And Tate's Dad is now one of Brian's friends. He volunteered to help during the second game and Brian almost hugged him. Coaching Kindergarten kids means physically placing them where they need to be and then having them wander back to the coach to ask where they're supposed to stand. They definitely needed two coaches on the field. (I was in charge of substitutions and cheering. And photos. What? It was a lot.)
Colin often gave me a thumbs-up after he'd stolen a guy's flag. He loved every second! During a Family Home Evening in September we played a game where we had to say something nice about everyone in the family. Colin's nice thing about his Dad was that he coached the football team. You guys! It's making me cry again.
This was a touchdown as well. Emil loved winning! He never let anyone get by him without taking their flag. DEFENSE! Sometimes when he was running with the ball, he'd turn around and head toward the wrong goal. What? No one was over there, therefore no one could take his flag. Duh. When his flag got taken, Emil would cry. So hard! (Like Aunt Jennie said, it's a rude game.) We need to work on sportsmanship, but Emil did some great stuff this season.
The highlight of the last game was Emil and Colin finally executing the reverse play. Emil ran toward Colin and handed the ball off to him and Colin kept going. The sidelines erupted! Not because they made a touchdown, but because they did the reverse play! So funny.
We had so much fun with the whole team. The big guy, Breyer, was a sweet bear of a kid. By the last two games he was throwing and completing passes to Tate. Brian would try to call plays so that each of the boys got a chance to run the ball. He'd tell Austin that he was going to run that way after someone handed him the ball and Austin would just shake his head "no." AHAHAHAHA! Just adorable.

As I mentioned, Bridget was doing volleyball in September. When we could, Brian and I would be to both (and Brian went to all her practices, which were on Friday nights at 7:00pm - boooo). Sometimes the Saturday games overlapped, so I'd go to Bridget's and Brian would go with the boys.
Once again we made sure Bridget and Kodi were on the same team (they called themselves "Storm"). I think Bridget has candy in her mouth in this picture. Trust me - she loves volleyball.
Bridget improved her volleying skills a lot this season. She's pretty polite in real life, so if it looks like someone else might be closer, she backs off. This season, Bridget would call it and go after it more.
Her team made it pretty far in the tournament. Those tournament games were intense! No one was thinking about my nerves. They move the line back every year, so Bridget's overhand serve only made it over the net a few times, but her underhand serve saved the day many times. She looks like she is going to choke to the other team - really small, glasses?! Come on. Then she would CRUSH them. Her serve would just drop as soon as it had crossed over the net. No one could touch it!
Can you see Bridget's pink knee pads? :) Kodi had a play in one of the last tournament games that makes me Olympic Cry to think about it. It was the third hit for our side and she just tipped it to the other side where they couldn't get it. She is so good and it has been a highlight to get to watch her play and be on the same teams with Bridget.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

School Days

Bridget started 5th grade this year. It is one of the only two years she'll be at the same school as her little brothers. She was so excited to ride the bus home with them and see them in the halls. Bridget may be the Greatest Big Sister of All Time. Emil and Colin have no idea.
Bridget bought gold Converse high tops with her birthday money. GOLD.
The boys, Pikachu and I walked her to the bus stop on the first day. (Emil is obsessed with yellow.)
Posing with our friends while we wait for the bus. Tradition.
There they go!

One week later it was Emil and Colin's turn. I combed through the paperwork (so very much paperwork) and couldn't find anything about when the bus showed up at our stop. I remembered seeing moms and kids out there around noon last year, so we tried that. We waited for 35 minutes. Two buses passed by and the drivers waved, but didn't stop. The three of us ran back to the house to get in the van and drive to school. (I know now that I probably missed it by 30 seconds that first day.) Of course both Emil and Colin were freaking out about this whole situation. How could they go on when what I told them was going to happen didn't end up happening?! HOW? I got them there - it was fine.
Still excited waiting for the bus.
After 25 minutes of waiting.
I snuck a picture of Colin sitting at his desk. He's next to one of his friends, Gavin, and across from his future flag football teammate, Brody.
There's Emil on the front row of the rug right next to his future flag football teammate, Duke (raising his hand). If I could go back in time and tell their teacher to not call on Duke ever, I would do it. It's a trap! He's just going to tell you he's thirsty!

We're several weeks in now. I have a lot happening, most of it is extremely temporary so I can cope knowing that. I feel like I had five and a half years of constant Go Time (aka keeping Emil and Colin alive) and now I have a greater capacity to handle a busy schedule. Give me three hours off every day and I will rule the world! Suckas.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Summer 2016: The Best Ever

School has started and we're in a totally different mode now, but I have to report on the rest of our summer because it was magical. We woke up late, had adventures almost every day, and felt the love every day. I never thought I was a Summer Mom, but I am. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have school start because we all need to get back to work. We're already talking about next summer, though. :)
We spent many, many hours in the pool between swimming lessons and trips to the outdoor pool. I peeled three times. Not in the same places, so that's something. All the kids got so good at swimming! Emil made the most progress, probably. He just needs to smooth out his kick so he doesn't look like Shaggy from Scooby-doo in the water. ;)
We went on a lot of Pokemon Go hunts together. Colin is obsessed, of course, but Emil got into it, too. We got to know where all the Pokeball stops are and even caught some Pikachus. Fun for everyone. I feel like I could be awarded a BA in Pokemon.

My fancy New York City cousin, Allison, and her husband, Noah, were in Payson for a few weeks at Noah's parents' farm with their new baby. The kids and I spent a delicious day holding their beautiful new baby, picking and eating cherries, and having a real farm-to-table lunch. The kids still talk about it because it was that awesome. The baby and cherry-picking, not so much the fresh veg.
We tried participating in the city's Suds Day and failed. I was covering it for the newspaper. The kids waited in long lines to get into a bouncy house after being grossed out by a field full of suds and kids. Bridget's friend told her later that someone next to her in the suds puked. That's it for us! Someone else will get that gig next year.
We went to the outdoor movie at Thanksgiving Point with our food from JCW's. It's one of my favorite Summer Only activities. We snuggled under the stars and watched "Inside Out." When it was over at 11:00pm, I remembered why we don't do it every week in the summer. That walk back to the van with all that stuff! That's why.
My parents came a couple of times for quick overnight visits. Grandma brings one or more of her dolls and some new stuff for Bridget's dolls and Grandpa brings Feats of Strength he uses at the school where he teaches. We always eat well when Grandma and Grandpa come to visit.

The boys and I went to the starting gate at IM Flash to see the Tour of Utah cyclists start their fourth day (of seven) racing. At first it was miserable - I was carrying so much stuff, it was hot, the boys were antsy. But they tried the rock wall and Emil almost got to the top. Then I let them get tattoos and eat Waffle Love. When the race finally started, it was surprisingly magical. We were right there watching elite athletes doing the thing they do best. And now we know Emil is a climber.
We went to the parks A LOT and Bridget practiced her overhand serve. When she isn't nervous, she can launch it way over the net, no problem. She is almost always nervous, though.
The kids had a blessed overnighter at Grandma and Grandpa's house. While Grandma and Grandpa were having all the fun, Brian and I went to "Music Man" at Sundance and ate at the Tree Room. Then we came home and slept like the dead since we didn't have any little boys using our bathroom, then crawling into bed with us. Or a sweet girl talking crazy in her sleep.
Bridget had volleyball camp and fashion camp and sewing class every Monday, but she still had plenty of time playing with friends. One day I dropped her off at Brooklyn's and this was happening in the tree. It reminded me so much of my childhood and made me so happy.
Bridget's first time on Cannibal.
Emil, Colin, and Cousin Ian on a spaceship.
The soaking wet kids after Rattlesnake Rapids.
Of course we had our big Lagoon Day. Kodi joined us again this year and made it extra fun for Bridget. I mostly hung out with the boys and stood in lines. We caught up with my brother Rob and his family for a few minutes, which was the highlight for Emil and Colin. We only let the kids take us on Rattlesnake Rapids one time this year so that we wouldn't be totally soaked for hours. Nobody broke a phone this time and we didn't have too many tears when it was time to leave... after 9 hours.
The week before Bridget started school, we went all out, doing something every day that we could only do in the summer. The outdoor pool with nachos and Kodi!
Momentum Climbing in the middle of the day. We spent about three hours there and Emil RULED that place. Bridget and Colin were good, too, just more cautious. Emil was determined to figure out how to get to the "finish" hold every time. Bridget went all the way across and back without touching the ground on the youth climbing wall. They were beat afterwards - climbing muscles are all the muscles. (Momentum is so flippin' expensive! I'd be there every day if it wasn't. We had a coupon and it was still pretty outrageous.)
My favorite Summer Only activity was the day we slept in and did NOTHING almost the whole day. So glad I could sell that to the kids. ;)
Last, but not least, we went to see Dad at his work and have lunch with him. We kept saying all summer that we were going to do that on a weekly basis, but it never ended up happening. So glad Bridget got to spend her last day of Summer Freedom with Dad. :)

Then Bridget went to school and the boys and I had another week before Kindergarten would start. We kept the party going and I took them to "Kubo and the Two Strings" one of the days and then on the 25th of August we did something AWESOME. I took the boys on the Mount Timpanogos Cave hike. It happened to be the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service, so we got cake and nice feelings. You may recall, that hike is hard. I did it with Bridget last year and she really had to work. Emil and Colin stepped up big time. They looked for the numbers on woodblocks. They asked me a lot of questions, mostly about what we were seeing and hearing. At the top of the hike, we ate a picnic lunch, then went into the caves. I couldn't believe how closely they paid attention to every word the ranger said. Emil even hit his head on a stalactite because he'd turned to tell me about something amazing and didn't see it. I know it hurt, but he swallowed his tears and kept going so that he wouldn't mess up our perfect day. Colin pushed his way to the front every time we stopped so he could hear and see everything the ranger was talking about. We filled out their junior ranger booklets. On the "What Lives in a Cave" drawing they did, Colin drew a picture of Emil. And labeled it. Funny funny funny. The walk back down made my legs shake with fatigue. It was the Best Day Ever. So glad we did it.