Monday, August 11, 2014

we have been married 7 whole years.

we went out to bragg creek for a leavitt family sunday picnic yesterday.
the weather and the scenery were both so lovely.
it was a fun way to spend the evening.
it was actually our 7th anniversary yesterday.
that's a lot of years.
imagine if we make it 7 more!
[haha we better.]

a family picnic isn't the most romantic way to spend an anniversary, but don't you worry, we spent saturday night celebrating.
we went out for a date - dinner, shopping, movie.
happy 7 years to us!
aren't they just the cutest little cousins?

and here are some other unrelated pictures from the past couple weeks.
at the garden.
they thought they were so funny wearing grandma and grandpa's shoes.
holden drew all over himself with markers. they were washable, thank goodness.
that boy likes to keep us on our toes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

berry picking.

when matt and i were dating, i was pressured into going paint balling with his family.
i had absolutely no desire to do it, but i also didn't want to be a lame girlfriend.
so, on January 1, 2005, i participated in my first (and last) game of paintball.
(i only remember the date because it was on new years day.. not because it was that traumatic!)
but my goodness, what a dumb game!
i got hit once, and then spent the rest of the game hiding.
literally. didn't move an inch!
i only mention that because matt went paint balling this morning, and when ever the topic of paint balling comes up, it always reminds me of that day.

while matt was off paint balling this morning, i took our boys to the saskatoon farm.
i have been wanting to check that place out all summer.
we spent a couple hours there - picking saskatoon berries, cherries, and strawberries.
the boys were especially interested in the strawberries.
i am certain holden ate at least a dozen strawberries while we were in the fields! 
we weren't the most elite group of berry pickers, but we had fun.
this week has felt busy, so i really enjoyed spending that time with my buddies.
now.. what does one do with saskatoon berries?!

Friday, August 8, 2014

big rock

we went to the big rock just outside of okotoks on the weekend.
matt and i had both been to the rock for field trips in junior high and remember it being pretty dull, so we didn't have high hopes for this outing.
going there was just an excuse to get out of the house and go for a little drive.
chet really likes rocks these days - he has an ever-growing rock collection that he takes much pride in - so it was pretty easy to sell him on the idea.

- hey chet, want to see the BIGGEST ROCK EVER?!
- yaaaaa!
- ok, get in the car.

i believe the technical term for the rock is erratic.
apparently it is a huge piece of rock that was carried from the rocky mountains by an enormous glacier thousands of years ago.
and now it sits in the middle of the alberta prairies, so it totally looks out of place.
if you are into geology, or history, or other intellectual stuff, you would probably have an appreciation for the erratic and how it got where it is.
but to regular people like us.. it is just a big rock.

we were under the impression that you aren't supposed to climb on the rock (and the fence around it confirmed that idea), but when got to the rock lots of people were climbing on it... so we joined in.

and in doing that we taught our kids an important life lesson:
if everyone else is doing it, it is ok for you to do it too.

climbing on the rock is what that outing successful.
the boys (mostly matt and chet) had so much fun climbing.
i always need matt to hold my hand during activities like this, but now our dang kids always want to steal his hands from me.
so i am sure matt thinks i am super annoying (even though he never lets me feel that way) because he has to help our entire family do totally-not-scary activities.
but i can't help it.. i am a chicken.

Monday, August 4, 2014

watching airplanes.

a few days ago, we had to run an errand way up on the airport side of the city.
and to make the drive seem less lame to our children, we decided to find a place close to the runway where we could watch the airplanes take off.
a quick google search revealed there is actually an official viewing area. who woulda thought?
it turned out to just be an unkept parking lot with picnic tables..
but whatever, it was close to the airplane action and that's all we were looking for!
and it was actually quite busy. with people who you wouldn't expect to be watching airplanes.
the boys thought it was pretty neat to watch the big, noisy airplanes zoom past.
and, honestly, it is super fascinating.
my brain bounced between thoughts of how impressive airplanes are, and how badly i wished i was on whichever one of those impressive planes that was heading to a lush tropical island!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

a cousin hike.

we went on a hike with some cousins yesterday.
there were 5 moms, 16 kids, 3 strollers, and a couple hours of walking along the grassy trail.
it wasn't a very warm day, but it was nice weather for a hike.
and despite a bit of an emotional start in the parking lot, it turned out to be a perfect outing.
if you look closely, you can see downtown calgary on the horizon.
and, had it been a clear day, we would've been able to see the mountains in the other direction.
the crazy part is that this trail is literally 15 minutes from where we live.. and i had no idea it even existed.
we will definitely have to try it again with matt.

on our way home, we stopped by this animal reserve that has elk, reindeer, buffaloes, etc.
we got pretty close to some buffalo, and the kids thought that was pretty neat.
the best part though, was when the buffalo pooped right in front of them.
the kids were dying laughing!

wicked & luge.

we have had a busy weekend already!

matt and i went to see wicked last night.
i mentioned to matt that i was interested in seeing it, and viola! he surprised me with tickets.
matt claims he has never seen a live play/musical before, so this was a first for him.
and if we're being totally honest, he wasn't in love with the show!
but that didn't really surprise me.
matt thinks dancing is dumb.
he finds absolutely no enjoyment in moving his body to music.
and, unfortunately for matt, wicked has a fair amount of dancing in it..
but, we both agreed that the show was really well done.
and now matt can say he is a bit more cultured!
i am glad we got the chance to go.
i am always fascinated by shows like that.
getting on stage in a silly costume and having to entertain a crowd with song and dance sounds like a horrible nightmare to me.
oh my word, just thinking of that makes my stomach turn!
i am always so impressed by people who have that talent.

this morning, we headed up to C.O.P. (canada olympic park) and spent the morning riding the skyline luge with some of the leavitt family.
C.O.P. is where they held the 1988 winter olympics.
now the park is used for all sorts of fun activities, including the luge.
to do the skyline luge, you ride the chairlift up to the top of the hill, strap on a helmet, hop in a cart, and ride down a special track that switches back and forth down the ski hill.
the ride down takes about 5 minutes. you get going pretty fast!
we did a few runs with kids, and a couple speedier runs without them.
in the end, we all had such a fun time. and we only had one (not too bad) wipeout.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

our summer so far.

our garden is still coming along very nicely, especially the carrots and potatoes.
we have had fun getting out to our garden each week and seeing how it has changed.
and we like just spending time out there.
matt and i pick weeds while the boys go on adventures to find bunnies and sticks.
this monday we decided to ride our bikes out to the farm.
it was about a 15 minute ride, mostly on gravel roads.
(i wasn't joking when i told you we lived on the very edge of the city!)
i felt like such a country girl riding my bike down a gravel road to my vegetable garden!

i feel like summer is flying by, and that makes me sad. 
i don't want summer to end.
but since we know it surely will, we have been trying to take full advantage of our summer weather.
and i think we have done a really great job so far.
we have played in all sorts of lakes and rivers, gone on bike rides, walks, picnics, played at parks, sat around campfires, and enjoyed the long sunny days.
(except when i am laying in bed at 11 and can't sleep because the dang sun won't set!)
and after all our playing they sleep oh, so good.

fun fact: matt is in the process of building our boys a bunk bed.
the boys are very excited.
and we are very nervous!
moving holden out of a crib is a scary thought..
we are worried he is going to teach chet how to be a stinker at bedtime.
chet still doesn't know that he can get out of bed on his own.
every morning he lays in bed and shouts to us when he is ready to get up.
and he has never once gotten out of bed in the night, and we do not want that to change.
holden will be in big trouble if it does!

stampede 2014.

i have never been a huge calgary stampede fan.
i know, i know.. i should love the stampede. heck, it is one of the largest rodeo's in the world and is named 'the greatest outdoor show on earth'!
but, i am not really into rodeo's, or carnival rides, or gambling, or dressing like a skanky cowgirl...
so i have never been super excited to attend.
but, this year, the doctors i work for treated our office to a day at the stampede.
we spent the afternoon at the rodeo, ate dinner in the saddledome while shania twain warmed up for her concert, and spent the rest of the night watching the chuckwagon races, grandstand show, and fireworks.
it was a FULL day of stampede. and i had a really great time!
the very next day, a friend of ours was giving away their tickets to the paul brandt concert so matt and i went down to the stampede grounds again to see that.
we hadn't been to concert in years so it was a real treat.
concerts are always fun, and paul brandt was so awesome live. we loved it!
one of the highlights of the show was when paul sang 'alberta bound'.
almost every time i have driven across the border from montana to alberta, since i went to school in idaho, i have played that song.
it's cheesy, but it's tradition!
we indulged in some greasy, overpriced fair food that night too - mini donuts and deep fried oreos.

so, despite the fact that i haven't ever loved the stampede, i had so much fun there this year.
unfortunately, i have no pictures :(

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

our primary star.

one of the really sad things about leaving california was leaving our ward.
we had really fallen in love with our ward, and our callings.
i LOVE the young women in the tarzana ward!
i think about them often, and stock them on facebook and instagram!
matt had fallen in love with the youth in the ward too. they are something special.
i was pretty sure oue new ward here was never going to compare. how could it?

but you know what? it turns out this ward is pretty great too.
and the best part is i get to work with the young women again!
turns out i am just like my mom... i love to be involved in the young women program.
this time, i am the secretary in the YW presidency.

matt is a primary teacher. he has a class of 7 year olds. all boys!
i got to be his assistant teacher one week and i got to see just how silly, and chatty, and wiggly those boys are.
they make me laugh!
i am excited to watch chet and holden grow up to be that age. 
matt's calling will be a challenge, but he will be so good at it.

matt and i have both already given talks in our new ward, and chet did his first sharing time assignment this sunday!
oh my word, that boy is too cute.
he was given the assignment of reading a scripture about baptism.
so we found a (short) scripture about baptism and practiced reciting it.
i was worried chet would refuse to get up in front of the other kids when it was showtime.
because, let's be honest, that is what i did every time i was asked to do something in church until i was at least 14.
(i'm not joking..)
but he was so brave. as soon as his name was read, chet hopped up to the pulpit.
i whispered the words into his ear and he proceeded to whisper them right back into the microphone!
haha i am certain no one heard a word he said.
that's alright though!
because chet was so proud of himself, and matt and i were pathetically proud of him too.
when i looked over at matt right after chet was done, matt was all choked up. it was sweet.
matt and i aren't perfect parents, by any means. but somehow we have been blessed with the sweetest little boys that make it so easy to feel our Savior's love.
how'd we get so lucky?!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

lake days.

matt and i both grew up in lake neighborhoods.
my lake was called 'sundance' and matt's was called 'midnapore'.
and we still argue about which lake is best!
i will admit that matt's lake has nicer trees. but mine has way better christmas lights.
and mine is just better period, because it's mine.
but either way, they are both a really neat idea.
there are about 7 lake neighborhoods in south calgary.
the neighborhood is developed around a manmade lake.
some people are lucky enough to live on the lake, but the rest of us just live close to it and get to take advantage of all the fun perks of living there - swimming, fishing, boating, waterfalls, a sandy beach, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, cook houses. and, in the winter, you can skate on the lake or the skating rinks, and sled down the big hill.
super great, right?
the funny thing is that i never really realized just how great it is until this summer!
i grew up with a swimming pool in my backyard so i have always been a bit of a lake snob.
swimming with fish poop has never really been my thing.
but now that i don't have a warm, crystal clear body of water in my backyard i love the the idea of a lake neighborhood. especially now that i am a mom.
but get this.. now that i see how great the lakes are we don't even have access to one!
bad timing.
luckily, we have lots of friends and family who let us mooch off of them.
we have already spent more time at lakes this summer then i ever did in a summer when i was young.
i hope we can keep it up throughout the summer and fall.
come winter, i will probably go back to being a lake snob because we all know much i enjoy snowy, winter activities. [not]
but, for now, i LOVE playing outside with my boys.

here are some pictures from our most recent lake days. {sikome & midnapore}
and about 10 seconds after we get in the car, holden is out!