Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Life of Daddy and the Kids

I know the grass is always greener . . . and, I fully recognize how challenging it is to be a stay-at-home parent. Challenging is an understatement. But, I'm still jealous.

However, our kids have got to be some of the luckiest around to have their amazing Daddy home with them. He is the epitome of patience and amazes me how he handles it all and is still smiling (almost) every day. I am one lucky woman.

Start off the day with some breakfast. Oatmeal and cereal are favorites:

Followed by a little game of fetch:

Time to do the dishes. PS, Gavin is not exactly helpful during this process:

Lunch Time at the Peterson's consists of mac and cheese every other day. No exaggeration.

Lots of laughing and playing around:

An afternoon snack of whipped cream:

And some lounging:

Practicing a little piano:

Going to the park:

Tea Time:

Riding the scooter and motorcycle (and getting frustrated when your whole body can't fit on the 4 inch long toys):

And, then waiting for Mommy . . . the best part of Mommy's day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa Ranson Come to Canada!

In a rare photo that includes me (very unusual) and my mother (extremely rare), you can see the whole family post-volcano lava chocolate cake at the Rainforest Cafe in Toronto. Autumn worked hard to fill up her sticker chart to earn this fabulous reward. And, Jeff and I helped her along with her stickers at the end to ensure that she received her fantastic reward when Grandma and Grandpa Ranson were in town. I told my parents that it was the closest thing to Disney World you could get right around the corner.

It was such a good time to have my parents at my home when we had time to just enjoy each other. Both of their trips have been within a month of Autumn and Gavin's births. I was desperately trying to figure out how to be a new mom with Autumn and in the hospital for surgery #2 with Gavin when they visited. So, even though I had to work more than I would have wanted . . . I hope they are as happy they made the long voyage to Canada as we all were.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sherry is my Hero

I have always planned to write Sherry a note expressing to her how much I appreciate her and cherish her friendship . . . and it has been delayed far too long. We have become such good friends over the years . . . which is fantastic considering our husbands are bonded for life. We enjoy many of the same hobbies and interests and always have great conversations together. But, all of this was taken to another level when Sherry helped me and the kids move to Canada. While Jeff and Jory drove the Penske truck full of our belongings across the country, Sherry and I were flying to Toronto, staying in a series of hotels, and securing my work permit at the border (arguably, Sherry and I had the more difficult journey). Autumn and Gavin quickly became tired of hotel life and had more than one moment (okay, many, many moments) when they were outwardly expressing their frustrations. Sherry was an absolute angel . . . truly. She helped in every way I asked and more without one word or even suggestion about being annoyed. We had such a great time all together in Toronto for our first week. And, I cried all over again when Jeff drove off with Sherry and Jory in the car on the way to the airport. I hope you both come back to visit us soon!

By the way . . . all of this about Sherry, PLUS, she is an amazing photographer. Not just because her pictures continue to amaze me and get more and more beautiful, but also because - once again - she patiently deals with Gavin as he clings to Jeff while screaming and Autumn who refuses to look at the camera or smile and Jeff who just wants the photo session (and torture) to end. I am so happy with the pictures so far and can't wait to see more. Thank you, thank you, thank you.





Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Living a Double Life

Jeff and I live a double life (maybe triple). We have roots in Colorado and Virginia, respectively, and also Utah and Toronto. Our home is now in two countries. How that happened so quickly, we don't know. Is home where our 'stuff' is? Is home where our heart is? Is home where we have our own mattress to sleep on?

Jeff, Autumn and Gavin left on the 12th to head back to Colorado . . . so Jeff could lay tile at Jared's cabin. I questioned why he would even consider working on his vacation . . . and then realized, that despite some whining about working, that he probably enjoyed every second (as well as the built-in grandparent babysitters for the kids and working with Jory). I was left all alone in Canada - but, during my very busiest time at work - which didn't leave any real time for tears (except for at the airport and all the way back to the office).

I flew to Salt Lake on Friday the 19th and headed to the Hicken household in Heber. I stopped by Papa Murphy's on the way into town and ironically parked right beside the little brown pickup that we reluctantly sold a few months ago! It was a bit strange to pull into Becky's driveway across the street from our house that is now inhabited by renters (referred to as "the intruders" by Becky and me). And, I almost got teary seeing all of the new construction on the impending Wal-Mart at the end of my street (not tears of joy). My bag arrived at the house the next morning. Jeff, Autumn and Gavin finally came into town on Monday. It was a sweet reunion.

The irony of it all was that the entire week we lamented about having to leave Utah. The mountains and leaves were beautiful, we missed our friends, we missed our favorite restaurants and stores among many other things. Staying with the Hickens was perfect. We felt completely at home. And, despite it all . . . we were both excited to get "home" to Toronto and sleep in our own beds.