**Beach Babies**

We took the girls to the beach for the first time a couple of weeks ago. A long overdue trip! We are so close but it's *just* far enough to not be convenient. Does that make sense? And the water is chilly so you can't really swim...unless you are super brave. (steph? tj?) :) Not to mention the thought of one of the girls eating sand gave me the willies. But now they are old enough to enjoy it and I don't have to worry about sand-poisoning. (or something like that....) ;)

Tony had to go down to the Bay Area for an brief appointment one Saturday so I asked him if we could tag along to have a picnic on the beach. We had to be back in town by 2pm so it was just a quick down and back, but as you can see, we had SO much fun!!
Waiting for the first wave on the toes....brrrr!!

In order of bravery: Ashleigh, bravest. Avery, sort of brave.
Jordyn....chicken liver.

"BYE BYE, OCEAN!!" (Bay, technically)


Overdue Update

Oh my. I know it's been a looooooong time since I've 'officially' written in the blog. It's just been a looooooooong year. I know everything is supposed to make us stronger, but when you are going through it, you feel more like mush than steel. Oh well. I guess that just makes you appreciate the transition more, right??
Well, here are a few things that have happened....
Probably most notably, Tony was on a business trip out of state and had appendicitis. He thought he just had food poisoning at first, but after he passed out in his hotel bathroom because of the pain, he figured it might be something more serious. He had to call 911 to get to the hospital, and after many hours and tests later, they sent him home because "everything looked normal". Well, after the pain meds wore off around 4AM, back to the hospital he went and a few short hours later he was on in the O.R. getting his appendix out. Thanks to the generosity of his "work family", I was able to get a flight out that day. And an even BIGGER thanks to the dear friends and family who took care of the girls in our home. I am so blessed to have people I can rely on when the going gets tough. I'm sure they enjoyed my 10 pages of "notes" on the girls. Hey, what can I say? We are high maintenance. And particular. :)
There were many firsts for me on that trip: My first solo flight, my first time using an airplane restroom (ick), AND it was my FIRST time away from the girls OVERNIGHT!! Can you believe it?? 3+ years later and no nights "off"(...that I can recall... When you are sleep deprived for an extended period of time, your memory can be completely erased. It's totally true.) Too bad my 'freedom' was spent on a fold out chair "bed" in Tony's hospital room. Oddly, I didn't hate it. It wasn't too much unlike home---with the nurses coming in and waking us up every few hours to do their thang. ha! We are glad everything went smoothly and that we still talk to our friends who stayed with the girls! *winks*

Phew! I made it!!
Waiting for my shuttle at the airport.
It wasn't that hot but it was sticky.
I call it 'Texas Glow' ;)
After the surgery, Tony wasn't allowed to do a whole lot for 6 weeks. He pushed himself as much as possible, but at the end of the day some days, he was in a lot of pain. We are glad he's back to normal and carrying the girls around. Pretty sure he thought that was the worst part---not being able to pick the girls up.
The next event was a relatively spontaneous trip to Utah to see family and friends. (spontaneous for me is about a month's notice, lol). Tony had a prior commitment on the Saturday of my family reunion, so my brother kindly flew out from Idaho so he could ride with me and the girls the Friday before it. I'm not sure if he knew what he was getting into, but about 11+ hours later, we made it to our destination, no worse for wear. Despite this photo we took at a potty break:
He's not dead...yet... :)

Here is another shot I took in my side mirror while I was driving: The sunset was SO red and orange that it looked like the mountains were on fire!

Tony flew out and met us that Sunday and we all drove back together the following Sunday. We had a lot of fun and the girls loved playing with their cousins. I only took a few pictures. I am sad I didn't take more. But I think my brother-in-law took a bunch at the reunion that I will post when I get copies.

Jordy and Ave with their buddy Hyatt
The girls and Bossy (Boston)
Ash at the park in her self imposed time-out.

My mom went to check on her and I just had to post this pic. Too funny. LOL

Sissies crossing the 'drawbridge' at the Castle Park

Another picture of her 'alone time'

We appreciate the generosity of family for letting us stay with them and disrupt every aspect of their lives. :) You know you love us! Ha!
Other than that, I've just been busy with just every day 'stuff' and trying to somehow get the household in order. It seems like the harder I try, the worse things get. I've also been super busy with church responsibilities. It's really fun and rewarding to provide service for others...I wouldn't feel complete without that aspect of my life. But it's super draining. Luckily I have tons of help and support from so many people. And I love working with the kids. That's the best part about it all!!

Tony and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on the 12th of September. As part of his gift to me he totally cleaned the house in those two days we were in Utah without him---I mean, bathrooms, laundry, vacuuming, mopping, dusting--the whole gamut! It was super awesome to walk into the house after such a long drive to see everything so nice. Sadly, it lasted about a day...maybe two. But I guess that's just life when you have three young children. It didn't help that the kids and I came home with the "Utah Flu", as we call the sickness we return with every time we visit. It was really bizarre---started out with a bad cough from day 1. No other symptoms for a few days. The girls only had fevers for about a day. We had to double up on Ashleigh's nebulizer treatments, but overall, it wasn't too terrible. Just kept us down for about a week. I'm really glad it's gone. Then I had to play "catch up" with the house. Ugh. It never ends.
Lastly, and it's a pretty big step for us, the girls started PRESCHOOL!! We are only doing it twice a week for two hours, but I have a feeling that will be more than enough for them. :) We started a co-op with a few of the moms from church that have kids the same age as ours. All of them will be starting Kindergarten two years from now (because of late in the year birthdays). My kids make up half the class size! We will rotate homes weekly between the four of us. It's been really fun so far!
So many people have said "Oh that must have been so hard for you---x3!!" (regarding dropping the kids off at school for the first time.)
Should I feel badly that I can honestly say-----I thought the day would never come??! :)
HA! I'm serious! I love my children dearly, but MAN! I sooo need a little break. And they REALLY need the socialization with other children-- and just to be out of the house without mom. Not to mention the learning aspect, of course. My kids are smart, but they will be slightly behind other kids their age for a bit, just due to the fact I can't give any of them 100% of my attention. Everything at home is done in a group setting. Which isn't a bad thing, but they may be at a slight disadvantage never having that "one on one" time growing up. Every stage of their lives is experienced at the same time with someone else. Granted, they are their own best friends! And, don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful advantages to the situation too---always someone to encourage task completion and goal setting. Their own little team of 'cheerleaders'. It's fun. It really is. Here are some pictures of their first day of school:

Ashleigh Noelle
Jordyn Alessa
Avery Bella

In the car on the way there...Ash's change of hair and no Avery.
Sorry. Bad 'photography while driving' on my part. :)

Before they went in. (it was sunny) lol
Such big girls!! Time goes by so fast, but truly, I have felt every day of those 3.5 years! ;) But I wouldn't trade a moment of them for the world.

Well, now that I've thoroughly bored you (haha!) I think I'm done. :) Thanks for sticking with me on the long post.



Almost there....just gotta adjust the font colors, etc...

Man this is fun. And I'm being serious!


under construction

I forgot how to do a custom background. I keep coming up with ones that aren't wide enough.

More studying needed.

I wish I would just be able to remember what I've done in the past instead of trying to figure it out from scratch every time. grrrrz.