Saturday, June 27, 2015

summer has begun!

summer is the BEST.
and this week has definitely been summery.
we spent wednesday, thursday, friday, aaand saturday playing at a lake.
sometimes it was just me and the boys, sometimes we went with cousins, once we preluded our lake trip with a backyard pool party, once we followed it up with a hotdog roast, and *every time* it was awesome!

matt has been gone on a business trip to chicago since wednesday morning, so it couldn't have been more perfect timing for a gorgeous week to bless us with its' presence.
the hot weather was the perfect distraction for me - the boys were happy all day and totally pooped, come bedtime.

friday was holden's official 3rd birthday.
i debated whether or not i should even tell him (since he had already gotten all the fuss/gifts/cake/etc. at his party last weekend) but i went ahead and told him because *I* wanted to.
we spent 6 solid hours playing at sikome lake that day and grabbed a happy meal on the way home.
he was one very happy birthday boy.

oh my word, being a mom is so much fun (and easy) in the summer.
anyone who disagrees is a nut!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

holden's 3rd party.

{sidenote: i am laying on the couch with my laptop on my belly as i write this post, and our baby is kicking so much he is making the screen wobble around!
sometimes (actually, most of the time) i have a hard time believing we are really going to have another little person in our family.
but right now, when he is doing karate moves on my laptop, it's hard to deny.
16 weeks to go.}

holden has been asking when his birthday party would be since chet has his back in march.
and he has known he has wanted a penguin-themed party since then, too.
to say he has been excited for his birthday this year is an understatement!

his real birthday is tomorrow. june 26.
my mom just sent me a text that said: "3 years ago tonight... i know what you were doing!"
to which i responded: "panicking!"
oh my goodness, we were so not ready for holden to arrive.
but life has been undeniably sweeter since the second he did.
he is such a sweet, handsome, happy boy.
and we LOVE him.

matt is away in chicago this weekend {sidenote #2: i miss him} so we decided to do holden's party last weekend.
we invited all his cousins to the lake for the shindig.
we kept it simple.
i found these super cute penguin beachballs online and ordered them a couple weeks back.
those beachballs were our decorations, our activities, and our treat bags!
(for that, i give myself a pat on the back.)
plus, we combined father's day with holden's birthday, so that meant everyone pitched in with the meal.
(double pat on the back.)
perhaps i should plan all our birthday parties around other important celebrations?

we had a father's day lunch, then hopped straight to opening birthday presents (because holden couldn't wait one more second to do that!), sang happy birthday, dug into holden's donut birthday cake, raced the beachballs down the waterfall, and then down the hill a few times, and then the kids and dads went for a dip in the lake.
it was a perfect little party for our favorite 3 year old on the planet.
holden felt so special and slept like a log that night.

could this possibly be the cutest birthday boy ever?
it was pretty windy during cake time, so i'm pretty sure the candles were never actually lit. but holden still tried to blow them out!
at the start of the waterfall race:
almost at the end:
and racing down the hill:

happy birthday holden!
aka. ho-bear, ho-man, ho-ee, ho-en, ho-bag, ho-bo.

Monday, June 15, 2015


this is waterton.

we ventured down to that adorable town of waterton this weekend.
it is seriously the cutest mountain town i know.
i have been wanting to go back there for years, but it has just never worked out.
luckily, this weekend, it did!
matt's sister, rebecca, was camping 1 night in the waterton townsite and invited us to join.
so we decided, 'what the heck! let's go!'
we booked the campsite right next to theirs, borrowed all sorts of camp gear (because we own none), and headed out first thing saturday morning for a 1 night stay in waterton.
considering we were only there for about 40 hours, we did a ton of fun things!

what we did in waterton:
- played by the lake
- rented a surrey bike
- hiked bear's hump
- ate hotdogs from 'weiners of waterton'
- checked out main street
- sat around the fire and visited
- had our own makeshift church by the lake
- hiked up to bertha falls
- had a picnic by the lake
- and we even saw 2 bears!

matt's other sister, sara, her family, and his parents, were staying not too far from waterton so they met up with us during the days too.

we loved spending the weekend in waterton, even though we woke up to freezing cold temperatures and rain on sunday morning!
(and even though i am so not a camper.)
i would love to some more time down there this summer.

our favorite parts of the trip are:

chet: all of it! it was so fun.
holden: sleeping in a tent.
pam: our hikes. especially the view from the top of bear's hump.
matt: just being in the mountains.
what exactly is going on here?!
waterton is known for having lots of wild animals roaming about.
so we told our boys that we would probably see some cool animals while we were there.. maybe even a bear.
they were very excited at the thought of seeing a bear, and were always on the lookout for one.
but it wasn't until we were heading out of town that we finally spotted a bear. actually, 2 bears!
it couldn't have been a better way to end their weekend.

lake days.

considering we don't even live in a lake neighborhood, we have been spending a whole lot of days at lakes lately.
it sure is nice having friends and family to get us in!
i look forward to mooching our way into a lot of lakes this summer!

chet and holden love playing at the lakes.
and i love watching them.
they get to be total boys - digging in the sand, exploring in the trees, playing in the water.
and they can do that for hours. and HOURS!
and to make it even better, i get to sit in the sun while they do :)

and this is just a cute picture of mr. holden (not at a lake).

full time.

last week i worked FULL time.
lots of people do it, but not me.
i am spoiled with a 2 day work week.
and i love working part time.
last week, when i worked full time, it was such a good reminder of how lucky i am!
i feel so blessed to have the option to stay home with our boys as much as i want.
i don't need to work... but i do get to!
i am grateful to have a job that i love going to, a husband that supports me in going, and a family member who is willing to watch our boys when i do.
on days that i work, matt drops the boys off at his sister's house so that their schedule isn't destroyed with a super early morning.
we feel blessed that his job is flexible enough that he can do that.
and i feel blessed to be married to such a nice boy.

i missed my boys when i was away from them every day last week.
and they even admitted that they missed me too!
even if they drive me nuts sometimes, i sure love being with them.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

baby numero 3.

well.. we are expecting!

we initially found out that we were expecting back in february.
but, i'm weird. and i think the longer i can keep my pregnancies a secret, the better.
not sure why. just do.
and since i don't get sick, and don't show for a long time, it is pretty easy to hide.
so that works out well for me.

on tuesday, we went for our halfway ultrasound and figured that, now that we know the gender, we may as well share the news.

we told our boys that we were expecting monday night.
we knew if we told them before that they would just go ahead and spread the news.. but we wanted them to know before tuesday morning because we planned on taking them to the ultrasound.
chet has been asking for another baby for about a year, so his reaction was darling - a gasp, big eyes, and hands up to cover his goofy grin!
holden was giddy too.

so, ya. we were the weirdo parents who took their 5 and 2 year olds to the ultrasound!
don't worry, we went into that experience knowing very well that the appointment could be long, and that their attention span could be short.
but we figured it would be pretty special to include them.. and it was!
the night before, i googled a bunch of ultrasound pictures that revealed the gender of babies, and i showed chet what he would need to look for during our ultrasound so he would know if the baby was a little sister of brother.
at the appointment, he put his new knowledge to good use.
when the tech zoomed in on baby's nether regions, chet knew instantly that it was a boy! haha.

matt was reeeally hoping for a girl.
but this baby is DEFINITELY a boy!
he wasn't the least bit bashful.
part of me feels sad that matt didn't get his little girl, but what can you do?
i guess we will just have to use our cute girl names on pet goldfish, or something..?
a girl sure would have been fun.
but 3 boys?!.. that sounds pretty perfect to me.
(and so much cheaper then tossing in the temptation of buying pretty girl clothes!)

our baby is measuring perfectly and looking healthy as can be.
i am so grateful for that.
i have let myself get worried that something is wrong because i really haven't felt it move much.
there were a couple times where i thought that i might have possibly felt it.. but then i was never sure.
it has just been in the past couple days that i have undeniably felt that little mister.
and matt even felt him too!
but, considering the baby is now over 20 weeks, i probably shouldn't be so proud of that!

how have i been feeling, you ask?
super good.
pregnancy is always quite kind to me.
my symptoms have included: crazy dreams, some unintentional cat naps (and i am sooo not a napper), aversion to chocolate (chocolate chips used to be one of my food groups!), and feeling bummed about my ever-changing body.
not a bad list.
thankfully, i am feeling well enough to keep up with all the things that make me happy (and keep me distracted from feeling bummed) - playing with my family, going for daily runs, working, etc.

the biggest worry with this pregnancy (as with our other 2) is:
will i be able to keep the baby in until it's full term?
and who really knows.
the doctors are aware of my not-ideal past deliveries and hope to prevent an early birth from happening again.
but they are also planning as though it will.
all i know is that, even if this baby comes early, it can't be as hard as holden's hospital stay!
i will be delivering at a hospital that is just 7 minutes away from our house (and 30 seconds away from my work), compared to the 2 hour commute we had to holden's hospital.
plus, we have so many family and friends around to support us, if needs be.
i have done lots of reminiscing, lately, of the weeks that holden spent in that hospital in provo, and it is so clear to me that heavenly father was watching over our family.
if he wasn't, i'm not sure how i could have survived that trial.

we are very excited for our new friend to join our family.
and nervous.. if we are being honest!
i have heard lots of couples say going from 2 kids to 3 kids is a big adjustment.
that worries me!
plus, i feel like our family is so perfect right now - chet and holden are best buddies, and matt and i have a great routine with them - so i don't want to mess that up.
but then i realize that this new addition could only make it better!
and i can't wait to see what that means for us.

less then 20 weeks until we become a family of 5!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

heart creek trail.

we spent most of yesterday on a family hike out in the canmore area.
it was such a nice day, and it felt so good to spend it outside.
our bishop had told matt about this family-friendly hike, so we figured we would give it a try.
it is called 'heart creek trail', and it was perfect for us.
the trail follows heart creek (obviously!).
it crisscrosses back and forth over the shallow water several times and then turns you around when you reach the waterfall at the top.
the boys loved crossing the river on the log bridges, or trudging through the icy cold water.
i was just a bridge kinda girl. that water was freeezing! straight from the snowy mountain tops.
the boys also spent oodles of time tossing rocks into the water.
you'd think that would get old.. but it never did.
boys + rocks + water = happiness.
although they were totally exhausted by the end, our boys walked the whole way on their own.
(which was really good because it wasn't until we got there that we realized the path was definitely not stroller friendly!)

after the hike, we drove back to calgary, grabbed some food from peter's, and ate it in a park with an amazing view of downtown.
it was such a fun saturday.
very unproductive.. but lots of fun!

and these are pictures from a bike ride to the park the other day.
look at those freckles!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

elder & sister shaughnessy.

my parents were in town for a few days this past week.
they stopped in to see us on their way from the MTC in provo, utah to their mission in hope, british columbia.
it was fun to have them visit.
and it was lots of fun to hear about their MTC experience, listen to them give a farewell talk in their old calgary ward, and see them looking all official with their missionary tags on.
i am proud of my parents for making a mission a priority and i am so grateful that our boys have them as great missionary examples.

Hope, BC is a small town of 6000, nestled right in the middle of the rocky mountains.
the pictures that my mom has sent me of their views are gorgeous.
a branch of 65 people was just organized in the town about 1 month ago, so my parents will be very involved in helping that branch become established and prosper.
they will be serving there for 6 months, and then plan to serve a longer mission after that.

other things that we have been up to this past week are..

we celebrated tank's 7th birthday.
yep, we still do something to celebrate that little terd's birthday.
he may not be the smartest creature on earth, but he is still part  of our family!

mothers day was fun.
matt and the boys got me a nice gift (that i have been admiring at the store for years now!) and made me the cutest card.
matt interviewed the boys and wrote down their funny answers to his interview questions in the card.
what a creative boy i married!
every time i read it, it makes me laugh.
my mom was even here for mothers day, so that was pretty special.

it's finally watermelon season!
and we have been going through obscene amounts of it.
(and by 'we' i mean 'holden and i').
watermelon has always been my favorite fruit.. but only when it is a good one.
i can't stand a not-perfect watermelon, but swear i could eat an entire perfect one!

matt got a really great 1 year review at his work.
i am very proud of him, and also very excited for the changes that  will mean for our family.

we had swim lessons again this week - round 2, lesson 2.
round 2, lesson 1 was not chet's finest class.
i made the mistake of telling him that he was moving up to a bigger class and, instantly, he was stressed.
then i tried to back track and tell him that it actually wasn't a big deal moving up to a new class, they basically teach the same thing.
but it didn't work. i already had ruined everything!
chet was so nervous at his first class in his new level and didn't participate how he had in the previous class.
so when we went to our second class i bribed encouraged chet.
i told the boys that if they listened to everything their teacher told them to do, i would buy them a happy meal after class.
a happy meal is a big deal to our boys! we never buy them.
they think happy meals are exciting because it means they get a toy aaaand their very own drink.
the bribe encouragement worked.
but almost too good!
my heart ached as i watched my little chet follow every single thing his swim teacher asked him to do.. through tears!
he would have such a worried look on his face as he watched all the other kids in his class participate in each exercise.
and, when it got to his turn, he would wipe away the tears and do what he was asked.
it was honestly so hard to watch!
i kept giving him big cheesy smiles and thumbs up, from across the pool, but it didn't seem to cheer him up. he was too worried.
i'm not sure why he is so worked up about being in a new swim class!
and i have absolutely no idea what his teacher was thinking as reluctantly participated in all the activities!
but, nonetheless, he did it. he earned himself a happy meal!
and i am very proud of him for pushing through something that he found so scary!

we planted our vegetable garden on holiday monday.

last year, we used some of the garden plot at my aunt and uncle's acerage to plant our vegetable garden.
it was a fun project to work on throughout the summer and to harvest in the fall.
we were hoping that we would be allowed to use some space again this year.. and we are!
their property is literally just a 2 minute drive from our home so it couldn't be more perfect.
we spent probably 7 hours at the garden that day - roto-tilling, planning, planting, and watering.
it shouldn't have taken that long, but it seems as though my indecisiveness is wearing off on my husband.
we put way too much thought into what rows of plants went where.
chet and holden helped a bit but, just like last year, their favorite part was just riding the little john deere tractor.
this year we planted peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, pumpkins, and watermelon.
we don't have a lot of hope for the watermelon (seeing as how we live in canada) but the boys are excited for those.
they are also pretty pumped to carve a pumpkin they grew, come halloween.
so hopefully we grow at least one pumpkin!
we plan to visit the garden each monday, as our summer family night activity again.

after our garden planting, we went down to the west end of fish creek park for a hotdog roast with all the leavitts.

we ate dinner, played games, and visited.
matt even took lots of the cousins on a snake hunt.. and actually came back with one!

building with grandma and grandpa.
the birthday boy.
at our garden. playing in mud.
at the hotdog roast.
every time the boys come with me to the mission home to feed the missionaries, they like to sit by the back window and wait for this squirrel.
the mission president's wife is always feeding it so it has kind of turned into a pet.
when the boys tap on the window, the squirrel taps back!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

our first school meeting.

they are in the middle of shouting "rain!", instead of "cheese!". their idea.

we went to our first ever school meeting on wednesday night.
it felt weird to be back in an elementary school.
and even weirder to be there as a parent!

i have been beyond nervous to send chet off to school. almost dreading it.
but, thank goodness, that meeting took away so many of my worries.
as matt and i sat and listened to chet's future kindergarten teacher talk about the details of his first year of school, we couldn't help but be excited for him.
he is going to love it!
i already knew he would love it (he asks every day if it is time for him to go to real school yet!) but, for some reason, i was still so nervous.
seeing the fun classroom he will spend next year in, meeting his teacher, hearing about all the neat topics he will study and field trips he will go on, and learning about all the lengths they go to to make sure the kids feel safe and confident made me so happy!
september will be a very exciting time for chet. will also be a big stretch for him!
chet will be attending a school that does 2 full days/week, rather then 4 half days/week.
that means he will go from a pretty leisurely schedule this year, to having 2 days of being busy from 8:20am to 3:30pm.
he hasn't had a lot of days where he is engaged for that many hours straight so i will be curious to see what he thinks of that.
plus, he has never had to eat a lunch without a parent prodding him the whole time.
my goodness, that boy is the slowest eater ever (a quality my mom says he gets from me!).
his teacher will get to know him really good during lunch time, i'm sure.

BUT before school starts, we first get to enjoy summer.
chet is always asking when school starts and i keep telling him it is after we get to enjoy the sunny summer weather.
but, at the rate we are going, i am pretty sure sunny summer weather is never going to come!
ugh.. i would give anything to be hot. or at least decently warm, without the use of a hoodie or jacket.
please summer, feel free to bless us with your presence any time now.
haha even chet is getting impatient waiting for the before-school sunny weather to come.
"mom, is it ever going to get hot? i really want to go to school."

we have quite a few things planned this summer:
matt is going to chicago for a work conference.
i have girls camp.
matt has scouts camp.
we are going to arizona for 10 days in july.
we have the leavitt family camp in august.
and, somewhere in between those things, we plan on making a day trip to waterton and banff.
the boys have also come up with a long wish-list of summer activities. (i will post that list sometime soon, but it includes everything from horseback riding to calaway park to seeing a shooting star.)
we are also planting another garden at my aunt and uncle's acreage, so we will have that to take care of and, eventually, harvest.

come on summer! we are so ready for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

rock candy.

this past week, we did a science experiment (of sorts).
i looked up how to make rock candy and we went for it.
it was pretty simple. the hardest part (for our boys) was all the waiting. 
we watched the candy slowly grow each day.
and the boys were so excited when the day came that we finally got to eat them!
they weren't over the top tasty but sometimes things just taste better when you put lots of love into them.

we got some new books from the library today.
lately, our boys like to pick out these educational books about animals - the kind you would use back in elementary school or junior high to make a really great poster board about polar bears or parrots.
this week, chet picked out a book about pythons, and another about frogs.
holden picked one about penguins.
that boy loves penguins.
he wants a penguin birthday party... when his birthday party finally comes.
he is always asking when his birthday will be. unfortunately, for him, his birthday is still almost 8 weeks away.
long waits are a hard concept for 2 year olds.

those animal books aren't my favorite kind of book to read with our boys.
i find them dull, for the most part.
i prefer reading story books with them.
i am always impressed with how long they will sit and listen to stories.
and i like when we all snuggle tight around the book to read it.
today, i grabbed 'the giving tree' to bring home.
when we got to last part of the book, i started crying!
haha in a storybook.
my boys couldn't figure out what was wrong with me!
but they still really liked the book.

my parents are currently in the provo mtc.
they are there this week, here in calgary for a couple days next week, and then off to their mission in BC the following week.
matt and i listened in on their settings apart, via our phone, on friday night, and are looking forward to hearing about the mtc when we see them next week.

other things we have been up to the past week (and most weeks) are:
- going on walks.
- coloring our sidewalk with chalk pictures. lots and lots of them.
- the boys have been riding their bikes all over the place.
- playing at parks.
- catching bugs.