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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day at the Willowbank Wildlife Park

We set out for the wildlife park on Monday and had so much fun! We came here two years ago, but Hunter was way too little to get anything out of it. This is actually one of the places I was looking forward to taking Hunter to most.

The park feels like you are just walking through some sort of enchanted forest where it is just you and the animals. There was hardly anyone else at the park, so it was great! We took our time wondering through the paths, petting and feeding the animals, and loving every moment of watching Hunter experience these animals up close.

Hunter was a bit weary of the bigger animals but LOVED the ducks!! He kept saying "Here ducky, ducky, ducky." So cute!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

We Made it to NZ!

After 20 hours in travel, 20 time zones, three blowout diapers, four packages of fruit snacks, two layovers, and Hunter sleeping ten hours straight on our long flight... we have made it to Christchurch, NZ!

We left Seattle at 4pm on Thursday, only bringing a backpack, my purse, the carseat, and a car seat roller thing. We were fortunate that Jesse was able to take our luggage with him on his military flight. This made it soooo much easier when going through customs in Auckland.

The flight to San Francisco went pretty smoothly. The biggest pain was not knowing that the carseat was to wide to wheel through the aisle of the plane. So once on the plane, I had to take the car seat off the roller thing and try to juggle the car seat, my carry ons, and Hunter down the aisle. Once on the plane, Hunter and I chatted about airplanes a while lot, played with his toy cars and airplanes, and then watch part of The Lion King on my iPad.

We had a couple of hours to kill in San Francisco, so we sat down at a sushi restaurant. This is where the first blowout diaper occurred. I had to take him over to the restroom there and clean him all up while waiting for our food. We got a sushi roll and as I was trying to take a picture of him, Hunter reached over and grabbed the entire mound of wasabi and shoved it in his mouth. He had sheer terror in his eye once he tasted it. Luckily, I was able to scoop it out of his mouth right away and wipe off his tongue with the napkin. Poor buddy.

The flight from San Francisco to Auckland was 13 hours. I really lucked out because we got a three seat section to ourselves AND the flight left at 8:45pm and Hunter fell sound asleep within a half hour into the flight. He slept for ten hours straight! Praise God! We only had a couple hours left when he woke up. I got to change him and clean him up after the second glorious blow out diaper and then got him changed out of his pajamas.

A couple of the other passegers commented on how well he did and said he seemed like a seasoned traveler. :)

We only had an hour and half layover in Auckland and that went really quick because we had to go through customs. Hunter got another NZ stamp in his passport. The flight to Christchurch was only a little over an hour, so that felt like a breeze.

The tough part began when we landed in Christchurch. We got in at 8:30am and Jesse didn't land until 2:45pm! So we went over the the Antrarctic Museum for several hours. Hunter had a great time experiencing an Antarctic storm, seeing the little penguins at their feeding time, riding on the Hagglund vehicle, and even seeing Happy Feet in 4D.

He feel sound asleep in the carseat for the last couple hours before Jesse landed. He was a tired little guy!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday was the most beautiful Fall day here in the Pacific Northwest! It was low 60's, sunny, and windy... my favorite type of weather. So of course, that means that I left work a couple hours early so that I could go to the pumpkin patch with my two favorite guys.

Want proof that my child is now 2? Here it is....

This is what he does when he doesn't want to hold our hand... just drops to the ground. So irritating at times!! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hunter's 2nd Birthday!

Last Saturday was Hunter's 2nd birthday! Jesse's mom came out from Washington D.C. for the weekend to celebrate with us. It ended up being a great couple of days. We had Hunter's birthday party at Jumpin' Jack and Jill in Sumner. It turned out good, the kids had fun and the adults got to chat with each other. What more can you ask for? :)

There were bouncy slides, cupcakes, cake pops, crayon wallets, balloons and most of all great family and friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Race Day!

On Monday, we had a staff training day at work, and it was at a speedway! I was kind of on the fence about wanting to participate. I think I was expecting it to be slow and kind of like bumber cars. But I was wrong and I had SO much fun.

I am thinking Jesse and I need to have a date night there some time and race each other. Anyone want to join us?!

Check out the pictures!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sacred Marriage: Chapter 3

It’s about that time again, actually even a day late, for chapter 3 of Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. This chapter is all about learning to love and how marriage teaches us how to do so. This chapter really challenged me and hit home.

Matthew 22:34-40 tells us that the most important things we must do is to love God AND love each other. This book talked about how marriage is the perfect place for us to learn how to love everyone. Marriage puts us in such close proximity to our spouse that we see all of their flaws and we still continue to love them and live our daily lives with them. “All Christians are God’s children; by loving others, we bring enormous pleasure to our heavenly Father.” This means our spouse, too. We aren’t called to show them love when they deserve it, earn it, or are doing what we feel like they should be doing. We owe all Christians our love no matter what.

Jesse and I struggle with this A LOT. I can say that we both love each other deeply and even madly, we don’t struggle with the feelings, we struggle with the actions. We both have a hard time showing our love for each other through our words and actions when we are not happen with what the other one is doing. We are both pretty strong minded people and tend to speak most things we are thinking or feeling. On one hand, I love our honesty with each other, but on the other, I know that we should be doing so in a more nurturing and caring way. Sometimes we both come across as more critical than caring. This is not right. “Love is patient, love is kind….” We both struggle with holding each other accountable in this patient and kind manner.

“Allow your marriage relationship to stretch your love and to enlarge your capacity for love – to teach you to be a Christian.” I love this challenge and call to our Christian duty. It is not a choice for Christians to show their spouse love and kindness, it’s what we are supposed to do. I also really liked that the book talked about not only showing our spouse love through spiritual means, but also trying to please them with “earthly” pleasures. When we go out of our way to please our spouse, it pleases God. That can look so different in so many different marriages. In mine, that may mean not complaining about Jesse leaving to go hunting for the weekend, packing his lunch, or doing the “maritals” even when I’m not in the mood. ;) In doing so, I’m not only pleasing Jesse, but most importantly, I’m pleasing my Savior and Creator.

I am going to accept this chapter as a personal challenge.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Staying Positive

So, as you know, if you have been following my blog recently, our family will be going through a lot of changes in the next 6-8 months. Most of them stem around Jesse getting orders and deciding to reenlist in the Air Force. It may just seem like one change, the fact that we will be moving to New Jersey, but to us, it will involve a lot of things being different.

We are both feeling extremely optimistic about our future, even though it seems like we have been kind of bombarded with negative comments. Some of them have hurt my feelings and others just make me question why people are so pessimistic and why they would want to drag us down when the decision has already been made and it’s what we want.

Obviously, we are moving to a new area of the country and will be far away from my family and our friends. These changes are major and the ones most people realize, but there are a couple more that are due to a move.

Jesse will be home so much more! I am absolutely thrilled about this and would move to the other side of the globe to have this. So don’t you dare tell me that his new job isn’t as exciting, a good career advancement move, etc. We feel strongly that is an AMAZING family advancement and that is our priority in having a young family. I am over the moon excited to know that Jesse will be home every night and every major holiday. Many families may take this for granted, but this will be a huge change for us. I’ve spent far too many Thanksgivings and Christmas’ without my husband.
I will most likely become a stay at home mom. Jesse and I really want to have a second child soon and the idea of not being at home with them makes me sad. The 4:45am alarm is getting old and it is getting increasingly harder for me to leave my little guy to go to work. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to try out my domestic skills by taking care of my family, cooking, cleaning and whatever else staying at home entails. I’ve never done it, so I will have to learn! J
But this is where the most hurtful comments have come from. I’m getting a little teary even thinking about them. “You won’t last staying at home.” “You’ll get bored.” “You just don’t seem cut out to be around kids all day.” I cannot tell you how many people have said these things to me. I know I am looking beyond the words actually spoken, but these things shoot straight to my heart. What I hear is that I am not enough.

I feel like most women pride themselves on being a wife and a mother. Some put just as much pride in being successful in their career and that’s great. But I am not one of them. I have three days a week at home with Hunter and I can honestly tell you I dread going back to work every single Monday. I never feel like I am in need of getting a break from ”. I do get impatient at times when Hunter is not behaving, listening, etc. but not enough to make me want to get away.

I understand that I have never stayed at home, so I cannot compare the two. But, Jesse and I agree that we will be moving and starting our lives in New Jersey with no expectations about how long I will not work for. It might be for years or it could only be for six months. But come on friends and family; don’t speak negative thoughts over our lives when we are doing exactly what we desire to do. If I didn’t want to try staying at home, I wouldn’t!

It is an amazing blessing that we are in a spot where we will be able to live off one income and see how it goes. I feel amazingly fortunate to be able to have this opportunity and cannot wait until I can spend my days solely with my boys. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Boys being boys :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cole's Birthday Party!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Cole!!!

Yesterday, we had so much fun celebrating Cole's 2nd birthday at a bouncy place in Black Diamond. Cole is the son of a friend of mine and is only 3 days older than Hunter! It's so nice to have a friend to talk about what stages we are going through with our rapidly growing toddlers!

The kids had so much fun playing on the bouncy toys. Hunter really liked going down the big slide... over and over again!

My biggest complaint... I have yet to meet a bouncy slide that wasn't nearly impossible for an adult to get up. I mean seriously, look that these steps! You can barely get your big toe to grip, let alone a good majority of you foot!! (Thank you, Jesse, for capturing my struggle :P )

After playtime, the kids gathered in the party area to eat cake and watch Cole open his birthday presents! I couldn't believe how old Hunter looked sitting at the little kid table all by himself, just going to town on cake and juice! He even went straight for the party hat and immediately put it on his head.

We had a great time and hope Cole had a wonderful time at his big party!!!

Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.

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