Monday, September 27, 2010

Holden turns 7

Just days after we arrived home we celebrated Master Holden's 7th birthday. Really? SEVEN? How did that happen? Lucky for me, I planned his party before our trip and everything was set when we got back. I even purchased balloons and candles and party supplies stateside so I wouldn't have to wander around Manila in a sleep deprived fog trying to remember everything!

Ah, Holden, my sunshine. You are such a gorgeous boy, inside and out. You make us laugh with your humor and your quick wit. I love that about you. I love that you are loud. You don't have any sense of volume control and we can ALWAYS find you. I am amazed at how mature you are at times and wish you would slow down and stay a child a bit longer. You are becoming self-aware. It's a sign of your growing and while I admire it, it makes me sad at the same time. Your vocabulary is immense. I sometimes even wonder if you know what some of the words you use mean, but you use in them in the right context so I don't ever doubt it. Every time and I mean EVERY TIME I look at you I am proud. Proud to be your mom. Proud that you chose us to lead you through life. Son, you are admired, and not just by your parents and that is a great power. It is something that I hope you will hold dear and use for good in this world. I tell you often that you have the ability to be anything you wish. Stay young for now Peter Pan, there is plenty of time to grow-up.

We are back in Manila

and time and life has sped up to its usual high pace. It makes coming back a bit easier when your days are a whirl of activities and friends. The latter half of our vacation we spent heading to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and were lucky to be joined by both sides of the family at a great condo. It was as beautiful as it always is we had a great time white water rafting in the frigid Snake River, heading out in a covered wagon for a dutch oven cookout and exploring the great outdoors! We also spent a week in Idaho seeing family and experiencing the fair. We celebrated Nate's big 35 with a drive back to Utah, oh and an Ipad and a trip to see the University of Utah beat the pants off of UNLV. We all had an amazing vacation but were, as always, ready to get back home to real life and warm weather! Traveling that far puts me in a tailspin. Jet lag seems to be worse on the home end and I feel like I am just now getting a grip almost two weeks later. Since, no one chooses to come visit us here, we are very lucky to be able to go back to the "homestead" as often as we do and see our families and friends but I must say, twenty-five hours door to door with a toddler has me wondering why I signed us up to do it again in a matter of months!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

almost one week in

We have been Stateside for six days and WHEW, it's exhausting! I'm not sure we can move back unless Nate works from home and only part time so he is here all day to help! I didn't manage to even get a shower until the boys were in bed tonight, but here are some things that I DID manage to accomplish in the past few days, in addition to the laundry, vacuuming, dishes and child care and the constant picking up, I forgot that kids just leave a little trail of mess wherever they go!

We washed "Grandma Grandmas" (the boys Great Grandma) windows. Holden washed the screens in his ever helpful way and, as you can imagine, Finnley was super helpful playing in the bucket of vinegar and water.

The boys fed the horses carrots and managed to keep all 20 fingers intact. Holden and his lifelong friend(literally) Riley Jane harvested all the carrots from the garden, so there was plenty to go around to the live stock. Lastnight they were playing Mom and Dad and Riley's little sister Sarah was their daughter. Foreshadowing of the future? Ann and I can only hope!

Hitting the grocery store is truly a treat. The options leave me without words. Unless you live in Manila, or maybe somewhere similar it's hard to relate but trust me, YOUR choices here are truly endless. Better yet, things like grapes and berries don't cost a small fortune. All four of us run the aisles in endless glee.

This afternoon we headed up to Adams Canyon to hike up to the waterfall. The weather was perfect and the boys were troopers. Especially Holden, he was a champ until the end. Finnley didn't have much to complain about being hoisted up the mountain on Nate's back. Double the work out for Nate hauling that additional 30 lbs of curly haired lovin. Let me tell you, coming from four years of elevation near sea level to 4600 feet and then hiking up an additional 2000 that the air is thin!