Thursday, January 31, 2019

Grandparents! And ballet

Grammy Bee came to visit last week!

We spent time playing, talking, and of course...reading books!

It was especially fun to take her to Natalie's ballet class Monday night! It wasn't a normal night because they were doing a mini dress rehearsal for their performance in March, so it was really crowded and not super productive. BUT! We did get to see her ladybug dance and it exceeded all expectations of cuteness and aplomb. I can't wait to see it for the actual program! Natalie was confident and focused and it was just so cute.

she is the last dancer standing on the right

Great Grammy Bee!

four generations! 

proof that I did once take a dance class

 I couldn't delete any of these pictures because they capture the excitement and energy and cuteness that Natalie and all the girls had when they got to try on their costumes for the first time. Natalie was practically levitating!

 trying to focus and listen to their teacher

 Pop Pop loves Ripley, and going to the park with his "grandbabies"

 My dad does chores with the kids when they come to his house and then sends them a letter with a dollar in it thanking them for their help. Isn't that the cutest thing ever?  Also, he wants to take the kids to an indoor water park in Omaha, and Natalie was thrilled that she got to get a new swimsuit in the middle of winter. Stockton got a flamingo swimsuit that he loves, but I didn't get a picture. Jack still fits his Nemo one from last year. We didn't end up going to the water park yet but Natalie overheard me talking to my dad about how it was more expensive if we go on a Saturday, and she went and grabbed her little pouch of money and gave me these dollars to use. How sweet is that?

 We will always love going to Target with Mimi! Natalie gave us a little performance of her piano lesson progress...she started taking lessons with my friend Annie in our ward, and it is so cute to see her practice and improve. I started teaching her a little bit, but it was hard to be consistent when we didn't have an actual lesson time, so I'm glad she has official lessons now.

 Stockton got to sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's house! He took a while to fall asleep but was so cute and had a really fun time. Austin slept over with him and made sure to make the experience positive all around, and I thought that was very sweet of him.

We're so grateful that we live close to grandparents! These relationships are so meaningful and we're glad our kids already have so many memories of spending time with our parents.

Austin is 29!

When we were first married I said, "we don't have any family birthdays in January!" ...Austin's birthday is January 30th, so that was my mistake, but it took some getting used to because up until that point I didn't have any family or friends whose birthdays were in January, so it was foreign to me. But I love birthdays! So since then, I have always remembered when Austin's birthday is and tried to make it special for him. 

He had steak for breakfast (ribeye - his fav) and then headed to work while the rest of us were stuck home for a snow day. (It actually wasn't snowing, but the wind chill was negative 20 degrees, so it was too cold for school). We made Tiffanie cake (of course), and the kids didn't believe me when I said that it really did taste better when the cake was dyed pink. We've tried lots of other colors but truly, it turns out best texture- and flavor- and satisfaction-wise when it's pink! Natalie wrote Austin a poem and drew a picture of the two of them playing basketball, and Jack drew a cute picture too. I asked Stockton to draw a picture for Daddy and he said, "um, can you draw a picture for me?" So he didn't quite get it. 

For dinner Austin requested cacio e pepe - I've only made it once, and it's the only time I've ever used the instant pot, and it's really good but I didn't want to use the IP again so I googled a stovetop recipe and it turned out deliciously! It's basically grown-up buttered parmesan noodles. We were completely stuffed but persevered with the cake anyway. The kids helped frost and decorate the cake - Natalie would like credit especially for the "curly 'A'" - and everyone was excited to eat it. Stockton carefully picked off all the frosting with his fork, Natalie ate everything but the brown edges, and Jack nibbled at his piece throughout the course of the rest of the evening, even adding more red frosting scribbles to make his piece more unique. 

My piano lessons cancelled, so instead of teaching for two hours I got to spend more time with Austin, especially once we put the kids to bed, and that in itself was a delightful birthday surprise! We played Settlers of Catan (Austin creamed me) and two rounds of Ticket to Ride (Austin destroyed me both times), and then stayed up talking for a while. 

Happiest birthday to this perfect husband of mine! I love him I love him I love him. I tell our kids all the time how lucky they are to have the best dad ever. He loves playing with them and being silly together, reading books and running around, and lately we've watched all the Star Wars movies to date and he is fulfilling all his dreams of indoctrinating his children into the Star Wars culture. I'm grateful that he works hard, is always in a good mood, loves all of us and shows us through every thing he does, and forgives me for being mad when he beats me in board games. (We've been playing Ticket to Ride (or occasionally another game) almost every night for the past month before bed and usually we're pretty evenly matched. It's been such a fun way for us to hang out and relax together - I typically don't care for board games, so it's unusual that I've been so into it for so many weeks. Maybe it's a pregnancy thing! I hope it sticks though because we both love it.)

Next year we'll be blogging about a 30th birthday!!!