Thursday, April 30, 2015

tuesday was the hottest day of the year, so far, so we got out and made sure to enjoy it.
we drove over the grandma and grandpa leavitt's house to use that as a starting point for a big walk.
first thing first, we headed to husky for a slurpee. and then headed to the fish creek park ridge.
our boys love to be outside, and i love to be outside with them.
they were so happy looking for sticks and pinecones, drinking their slurpees, finding good rocks and benches to sit on, and looking for squirrels.
we all got some rosy cheeks from the sun, and it felt so good.
when was the last time we got that?! we didn't even get that when were in arizona a few months ago!
our boys have the cutest littlest freckles popping up on the bridge of their noses and i love it.
my grandpa used to tell me that my freckles were bird poop! so made them a lot less lovable.
but, now that i know that freckles are definitely from a bird pooping on my face, i like freckles.
and i am excited to see more show up on our boys this summer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

sidewalk art.

the time of year to create sidewalk chalk masterpieces is now upon us.
and chet drew just the loveliest little person yesterday!
i don't know what it is about the pictures that my boys draw, but i just love them to bits.
even if i tried with all my might, i couldn't make something so adorable. not fair.

i wasn't *as* proud of the fact that he wrote poop on the sidewalk..
but at least he is working on his letters, right?!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

recent tidbits.

recent tidbits.

- our boys have turned into bacon monsters. they. love. bacon! loving bacon seems like such a stereotypical boy thing to me, so i think it's kind of funny.

- holden is getting so good at riding his balance bike. he likes just about anything chet likes to do (and chet loooves riding his bike) so it doesn't surprise me that holden has been excited to learn and practice. plus, holden seems to be pretty coordinated with things like that.

- we went to see the paddington bear movie the other weekend. such a cute show. we went to the library a few days later with the specific purpose of finding some paddington books to bring home. i remember liking paddington when i was a kid, so i like that our boys like him too.

- on friday evening, we went on a bike ride to a little bakery in fish creek park, called annie's. it was a very windy day, but we toughed it out. we packed a picnic dinner to eat outside and then we headed inside for some ice cream.

- we had our first fire of the season last night in matt's parent's backyard. i don't love smelling like a fire, but i sure do love sitting next to one. i love watching the flames dance around, and the way the fire lights up our boys' faces when they sit and watch it too.

- this isn't necessarily a 'recent' tidbit - it has been happening for the past year - but this is the first time i have actually thought to write it down. for some reason, chet has confused the name 'maple leaf' with 'nipple leaf'. i'm not sure how?! in my mind, they aren't similar at all! but, either way, several times a week (because we live in canada and have lots of maple leaf flags around our city) we are blessed to hear chet refer to the patriotic maple leaf as the 'nipple leaf'. 

- we have started coming up with a list of special things we would like to do this summer. the list includes things like going to the zoo with dad, watch fireworks, ride a horse, jump in the lake, etc.. chet's most recent addition to the list is 'seeing a shooting star'... that might be a tricky one to schedule in! i am very excited to start in on our summer list.

this is holden, after driving home from a day at aunt rebecca's house.
our boys play at aunt rebecca's house on the days that i work (monday/friday).
they always have so much fun there - they never want to leave when i come to pick them up!
on the specific day that this picture was taken, he fell asleep on the drive home and did not wake as i hauled him in the house, laid him on the floor, or when i changed his diaper!
he must have been working hard to keep up with the big kids all day.


a beauty of a cake.

it was my birthday this week.
i used to love birthdays but, ever since i have been in my twenties, i find them pretty depressing.
this birthday was especially depressing because it was my last in my twenties.
next time i mourn celebrate a birthday, i will be 30.
which, for some odd reason, makes me super bummed.
oh well, nothing i can do to fix that.
i suppose i will just have to make every day i have left in my twenties really count!

on my birthday, jocelyn invited me over for a lunch/play date.
my friend, leiah, came too.
it was fun to get together, catch up, and watch our kids play.
that night, matt and i both had youth activities at the church, so we didn't do any celebrating.
but our activities were together that night so at least we still got to hang out.

the very next day, matt organized a babysitter and took me out for dinner and treated me to some nice gifts.
after dinner, we headed home to dig into the tasty cake chet and holden made for me!

yep, that's right.. chet and holden were in charge of my cake this year.
the day after my birthday, chet asked me why i didn't have a cake.
i jokingly told him that it was because he didn't make me one!
and then, instantly, he wanted to make one for me.
he chose the cake flavor (chocolate - i absolutely would have picked vanilla!) and frosting color (pink - one of my least favorite colors!), and i got those all ready for him.
then i sat the boys down with the cake, frosting, and all the decorating supplies i could round up.
they had 100% free reign on the decorating and, boy, did they ever take advantage of that!
in the end, there was an unhealthy amount of sprinkles on that cake.
and when it came time to actually eat the cake, even our boys weren't very interested!
oh well, i still thoroughly enjoyed watching them try to make something beautiful for me. so fun.

my birthday also marked 1 year since we returned to calgary.
i wonder how many more years we have here..?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

holden these days.

holden is such a good kid.
he is a happy boy.
and 93% of the time he is super easy going and fun to be around.
the other 7%? well, he can be a wee bit scary.
during those times, we usually just obey his every command an pray things don't take a turn for the worse.
BUT for the majority of the time, he is the sweetest little fellow.

he is a loyal friend to his big brother.
he is always willing to share a bite of his tasty treats with you.
he enjoys giving puppy dog kisses and llama kisses (both are just big, slobbery licks).
 he likes to snuggle. especially after a nap.
he doesn't give up easily on things that are tricky for him.
he always wants to help (even when help is the last thing i need from him!).
he laughs hard - right from the gut.
he thinks he is older then two and a half.
he loves to climb.
he is a total fruit monster.
when he sleeps, he has lips that are just as undeniably kissable as his big brother.
he likes to try to say prayers on his own lately, with his eyes squished so tightly shut.
he has a good attitude.
he is forgiving.
he is oh, so easy to love.

one of our favorite things about holden these days is how he reacts when things don't work out quite how he had hoped they would.
he usually responds with a long, drawn out, "ohhh mannnn."
the way he says it is adorable.

i honestly can't believe our baby will be 3 this summer.
i remember the start of his life like it was yesterday.
and, although it wasn't as smooth as we had hoped, it was absolutely worth it!

our easter weekend.

on wednesday night, i told matt that i wished he had thursday AND friday off, not just friday.
and then, all of sudden, he decided to stay home both days!
aren't i spoiled?
our 3 day weekend turned into a 4 day weekend. and it was awesome.
i love spending my days with matt, and normal weekends just never seem long enough.
with all the errands that need to be run on saturdays, and church commitments on sundays, weekends seem to fly by.

i am constantly trying to think up some wicked business idea that matt and i could do together, so we could be together everyday.
but i'm yet to think of something.
plus, i'm not sure matt would be on board with spending allll his time with little ol' me!

anyways, this is how our long weekend went:

on thursday, we went to an easter petting zoo.
it was at a mall that i didn't even know existed and, once i got these, i quickly realized why.
it was one nasty little mall with all sorts of interesting people perusing through it.
but even though the mall was somewhere i would never *ever* venture again, the petting zoo was super cute.
we saw baby chicks, kids, lambs, bunnies, and a grouchy piglet.
there is something about a baby goat that makes matt and i want to own one. (not that we ever would!)
but if there was a farmer who wanted to trade our chihuahua for a baby goat for a couple weeks, we would totally be on board.
after the petting zoo, we got milkshakes.

on friday, we had the annual leavitt family easter egg roll and easter dinner.
every year, we all meet at matt's parent's house with all the easter eggs we have decorated, we walk to a nearby hill in fish creek park, and we roll our eggs down.
in the end, there are dozens and dozens of broken eggs scattered on the hill.
all the dad's took things to another level when they starting competing to see who could throw an egg the most accurately to a sewer drain way at the bottom of the hill (where lots of the kids were playing and where a bike path passes by).
no one got any hard boiled eggs to the head, but there were a couple close calls.
the dad's also all had a foot race up and down a large hill. matt won.
i was totally not expecting matt to win (seeing as how i honestly can't think of the last time he exercised!) but somehow, he pulled it off.
as for easter dinner? it was tasty. and so was the ridiculously large buffet of desserts.
as our contribution to the easter events, we made this adorable rice krispie carrots:
a while pile of them:
and i think they turned out really cute :)

on saturday, we woke up to a big surprise.. the easter bunny had hidden candy all over our house!
we had fun watching the boys excitedly collect the candies.
we don't have a lot of great hiding spots in our main floor, but it didn't seem to matter because out boys aren't super good lookers!
they were the most excited about the enormous kinder eggs they got.
i found those at the store a couple weeks ago and had to buy them.
our boys love kinder surprises, and ask to get them every time we are standing in a checkout at a store, so i knew they would be pretty thrilled with those huge ones.
the toys inside were basically just as crappy, just bigger. but i figured that would be the case!

after the egg hunt, we watched the morning session of general conference and then spent the afternoon at the mall.
which, by the way, was a terrible idea! it was so busy.
but we stopped by 'cookies by george' and that seemed to make all the crowds worth it.
matt watched priesthood session at his brother's house that night with all the men in the family and some friends.
and, while he was gone, i started making some cinnamon rolls to eat while watching conference the next morning.

on sunday, we ate the rolls while watching the morning session.
not to brag, but they were pretty delicious.
conference was great - every year i think i love it more.
i will for sure need to go back and read the talks again (especially the 2 sessions-worth of talks i never ever heard a first time) but, for now, i think elder holland stole the show. his talk was my favorite in that sunday session.
elder holland has always been one of my favorites (along with bendar, uchtdorf, and, of course, monson) so i wasn't surprised that what he said was so special to me.

in the afternoon, we snuck away to elbow falls to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
elbow falls is where matt proposed to me. *awwww*
sadly, the falls were destroyed pretty good in the alberta flood 2 summers ago, and that place doesn't look anything like it use to.
it's crazy how powerful water can be.
it was still nice to go out there, though...
even if it was cold and snowy.

yep, snowy.

thankfully, calgary didn't get nearly as much snow as elbow falls.
but still, while everyone else seems to be posting pictures of their kids hunting for easter eggs in tall, green grass, we are up here dealing with snow.
i. am. so. sick. of. winter.
thank goodness we don't plan on being here that long. 
my brain honestly feels like it is going to explode if i wake up to one more snow storm, let alone if i had to go through a life time of long winters.

i try to keep a positive attitude because being back in calgary has been a blessing in lots of ways - even more then we anticipated when we made the decision to return. it truly has.
but i still look forward to our next adventure.. with much anticipation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

decorating eggs.

we decorated easter eggs for family home evening this week.
it was lots of fun.
(especially once i let go of all the hopes i had of the eggs turning out like the ones on pinterest.) :)
holden, as per usual, was the one who really got into the decorating.
chet just isn't much of a crafter - trust me, i have tried to force that love on him and it is just not happening.
but, despite that, chet did have fun dipping the eggs too.

i have been oddly excited to celebrate easter with our boys this year.
i think it is such a cute holiday (and it might help that it always falls nice and close to my birthday - sometimes right on it.)
we have already done some easter crafts, made 1 of the 2 easter treats we plan on making this year, decorated eggs, and gone to chet's joy school easter party.
and we still plan on going to an easter petting zoo, and having easter dinner and the annual leavitt easter egg roll on friday.
what a busy week of bunnies and eggs and chocolate!

plus - more importantl - we have been working on sharing the true meaning of easter with our boys.
and that has been pretty special too.

and here are the boys playing at the park on friday night IN SHORTS.
i'm not sure it was actually 'shorts weather', but when you endure a long winter like we have, you get desperate!


a few weeks back, my parents were here visiting for 2 weeks.
it was awesome.
we loved spending time with them and getting spoiled by them!

they helped with all sorts of things - watching the boys while we were at work, treating us to a couple date nights, helping me set up for new beginnings, helping put together chet's birthday party, doing all the things on our home improvements to-do list (including building us the neatest shelves that i am madly in love with!), taking us swimming, taking us to the zoo, feeding us, giving our boys much needed haircuts, and much more.

couldn't ask for better visitors (or parents, for that matter!).

i could, however, ask myself to be better at taking pictures these days.
what's gotten in to me?!

new beginnings - isn't it pretty?
helping grandma blow out her candles.
at the zoo.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

these two.

these little boys of ours would be lost without each other.
they are the best of buds.

day in:

and day out:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

thrilled to be FIVE!

our sweet chet turned 5 on march 17th.
and, my goodness, is that boy ever excited to be 5 (like his cousin, haden!)
chet has been counting down the sleeps until his birthday for weeks.
we made a special birthday calendar and he checked off a square each day.
every morning he would let me know how much longer it was until he would be 5.
and on his big day, when i went into the boys room, chet had a big grin on his face and he proudly announced that he was officially a 5 year old!

i can hardly believe it.
a whole lot has happened in the past 5 years, but it's still so hard to believe.

happy birthday chetty.
i hope being 5 is as magical as you think it will be!
i know this year will bring lots of big changes for you - i am both excited, and terrified!
you are a sweet, smart, goofy boy.
we love you to bits and are so grateful you are all ours. (obviously!)
(holden asked if i frosted the cake with cheese.. unfortunately, it does look a whole lot like cheese whiz! my bad.)

i did a birthday interview with chet where he answered questions about himself.
here are the answers:

what is your name? chet! C-H-E-T.

how old are you? 5. (with a really big, cheesy grin on his face)

what are you most excited about being 5?: getting presents. and going to school.
do i go to school today?

what was your favorite part of being 4? being little.

what can you do now that you are 5, that you couldn't do when you were 4? lift heavy things.

favorite color? orange.

favorite food? pickles.

favorite treat? popsicles.

what is the healthiest thing you like to eat? strawberries.

favorite show? paw patrol.

favorite animal? giraffe.
how come? because it's got the longest neck in the world.

favorite season (spring/summer/fall/winter)? christmas. 

favorite song? 'you are my sunshine' and 'jesus wants me for a sunbeam'.

favorite book? the one about ned the worm. (ned's new home)

what is your favorite thing to do outside? play at the park.

what is your favorite thing in your room? my bunkbed.

what do you want to be when you grow up? a pirate.
how come? because i want to get treasure.

who do you like to spend time with? grandma. and haden.

what is something that you are good at? playing with toys and doing puzzles.

what is something you want to be good at? play my ukulele.

what are you afraid of? ghosts and monsters.

what makes you laugh? tickling me.

what makes you happy? going to haden's house.

what makes you sad? holden hitting me.. really hard.

what is your favorite thing to do with dad? wrestle.

what is your favorite thing to do with mom? making cakes.

what is your favorite thing to do with holden? playing with toys and having sleepovers.

what is your least favorite thing to do? when people are being mean to me.

what are you most excited about starting school? playing with toys and eating snacks.

if you had a millions dollars, what would you do with it? buy toys. lots of toys.

we had his official birthday party on friday night. (march 13)
we booked our stake center for a bike themed birthday party.

this was the invite:

i think the invite suited his personality so well!

all the kids brought a bike, or a scooter, or a skateboard.
then we decorated those modes of transportation and rode them around the gym.
i pictured it being slightly less chaotic then it was, buuut we had 21 kids there so my hopes of more organization were a bit far fetched!
(chet has a whole pile of cousins - that's why there were so many kids there!)
oh well, the kids seemed to have fun.
and chet definitely felt special, so it was a success!
i have to give a big shout out to my parents for making the party so great.
not only did they make my vision come to life, but they also added their own creative touches and were the ultimate cleaner-uppers at the end, as per usual.
i plan on scheduling all our birthday parties for when they are here visiting ;)

unfortunately, i was super bad at taking pictures of the party (remember how i said it was a wee bit on the chaotic side?!) and i am sad that i don't have much proof that the party actually happened.
hopefully i will do a better job at the next party.

nevertheless, here are a couple not-great pictures:
(decorating bikes)
(we made a track around the gym with balloons. my parents made the carwash and hotdog stand - haha i wasn't planning on feeding anyone, even though the party was right during dinner!)
(this was the extent of my decorating..)
(and this is what the cakes looked like. i wanted them too look more 'pinteresty', but that just never happens. and chet was seriously so thrilled with the way they turned out, so that made up for their homemade-y appearance. and they tasted dee-lish!)
(we gave my grandpa the assignment of being the official car wash sprayer, and he took the assignment very seriously! the kids were soaked. and, when they retaliated, so was he! i am so happy that my grandpa could come. he has been spending a lot more time with our family lately and i love the relationship our boys have with him.)

on chet's actual birthday, we met up with his leavitt grandparents for a mcdonald's lunch.
grandma and grandpa did an excellent job of making chet feel special.
that is where we gave chet his presents from us and holden.
we got chet 2 gifts this year:

1. a bluejays baseball hat.
he lost his old one in the fall and has been asking for a new one ever since.
(we actually got one for holden too because he was such a good sport during the week of chet's festivities).

2. a scooter.
we took the scooter out of the packaging, assembled it, and wrapped it, from top to bottom, in wrapping paper.
i was kind of bummed that the wrapping paper made it super obvious what the gift was because then it wouldn't be much of a surprise for chet.
but apparently, even though the present was the exact shape of the scooter he had been asking for his birthday, chet did not catch on.
he was 97% certain we had got him a letter L for his present.
and he wasn't even the littlest bit disappointed by that thought!

pam: if we did get you a letter L, would you think that is a good birthday present?
chet: ya, i like the letter L. and that one looks super big!
pam:.... well, great.

luckily, chet was just as thrilled when it turned out that the letter L was a scooter.

he also got lots of fun things from his friends, cousins, and grandparents.
talk about spoiled!

although the celebrations were a lot of fun, i am grateful to be done.
..and very grateful that holden's birthday is a healthy distance away!