Wednesday, September 28, 2016

camping weekend

We did it! We camped and we survived!
Turns out Rhett is made for the great outdoors, so I don't know why we waited so long to make this happen.
(For some reason, I'm not in any of the pictures, but I promise I was there)

We spent the day playing and hiking in Colorado Springs before heading to our campsite. It was a little more posh than we are used to (we could get wifi from our tent?), but it was perfect for kids. Rhett loved the makeshift playground and made lots of friends.
"Show me the stick, Rhett" It took him about 5 seconds before he started hunting for the best rocks and sticks to throw in the creek next to our tent. 
Rhett and camping...true love.
After a little bocce ball and some exploring, we settled in for Andre's newest love--campsite cooking. We broke in our Dutch oven for some delicious cobbler. It's also when we met Shelby, Rhett's camping girlfriend, who played with him and then came back with her Elsa car to take him for a spin. A match made in heaven. We curled up by the fire and told "ghost" stories until Rhett fell asleep in Andre's lap--a rare occasion.


It got down to 35 degrees at night, but we bundled up and stayed pretty warm. A camping trip for the books!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

day out with thomas

"This is our Disneyland," I said to Andre as we looked at the crowd of Thomas-clad toddlers. We are definitely smack dab in the middle of the target demographic, and boy, did they see us coming!

A few months ago we (rather impulsively) bought tickets to Day Out with Thomas, and we were pumped when the day actually arrived. There's something thrilling about keeping a secret from your kid. We gave Rhett a new Thomas shirt in the morning and told him he would get to meet Thomas. Jubilation. 

The place was a little boy's dream. The railroad museum is awesome on its own, but adding Thomas took it to another level. We went on a 20-minute train ride with Thomas and loved every second, especially when the conductor came to punch our tickets.
We also met Sir Topham Hatt (at Knapford Station!), watched the indoor model train and the outside garden trains, had a Thomas singalong, did some crafts, and played in a tent fullll of Thomas train tables. 
We left unscathed until the huge merch tent at the end, but we escaped with our free scavenger hunt prize, a tantrum, and nothing else. 

Perfect for a 3 year old and so much fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

just some thoughts

Elder Christofferson visited us for a special stake conference on Sunday and it was just the boost I needed. You're going great, God watches over you, and President Monson loves you! Elder Christofferson wanted to meet all the children after the meeting, and Rhett marched up like he owned the place. My heart burst when they shook hands (and then Rhett gave Sister Christofferson, our stake president, and the visiting 70 each a high-five).

Someday I might get tired of everything that comes with kids in school, but I am eating it up so far. Yesterday Rhett brought home his first book order catalog and poured over the pages--a child after my own heart.

My new favorite things is carb cycling and wow, is it great. It means I get awesome workouts and that I have a reason to make allll the protein shakes and feel great! 

We're more than half-way through No Spend September (only spending money on essentials and nothing else), and it is amazing! I feel like we do pretty good about not buying unnecessary things, but the first few days it was hard not to buy something small just because it was a great deal. After a few days, it has become so much easier, plus we have more time to play and do fun things instead of running to the store because we "need" something. Highly recommend!

Our camping plans have been foiled again. We tried to go in August but the weather was terrible, so we moved our reservation to our only other free weekend, which is next Friday night. But thanks to a cultural celebration practice, we have to move it again. Just let the kaisers camp!

We've been loving living across the street from the farmers market this summer and getting a huge bag of fresh produce every week. It will be a sad day when the market closes in a few weeks.

Fall! Halloween and pumpkin patches and boots and soup and everything good.




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

labor day weekend

I love Labor Day--a great holiday with no obligations except to enjoy and have fun. Thanks to law school our celebrations have stalled, but we made up for it this weekend with flying colors. Family time, girls nights, games nights, and fun galore!

I got to play the piano in the reception tent of the Fort Collins temple open house on Saturday. It was amazing and I could have played all afternoon. Playing with the temple in view made all of the hymns more special.
Also, just realized I never blogged about going through the open house a few weeks ago. It was beautiful. We talked a lot about it beforehand, and something must have stuck with Rhett because he got it. He's asked ever since when we can go back to the temple.

Saturday evening we headed to the Rockies game. It was the perfect night for baseball! The Rockies didn't do so hot, but we still had a great time. Rhett totally caught on the all the clapping rhythms and literally couldn't contain himself whenever music played--he had to dance.

Music came on right when we took the picture, hence the dancing boy.

On Monday we drove to Estes Park. I can't believe we've lived an hour away for years and never gone. We started with a "hike" around Lake Estes. Beautiful! Afterwards, we jumped on the free trolley (just like Daniel Tiger!) to ride the few blocks downtown. It would have been faster to walk, but we can't turn down a cute free ride.
Downtown was charming. Every other shop was a candy store or a souvenir shop, but we made it out unscathed (thanks, No Spend September). There were TWO Christmas shops (that's how you know things are great) and were obsessed. A beautiful picnic to soak in the views, and we were on our way home. 
There were xylophones and chimes to play all over downtown--clearly a hit with kids and adults
We ended the day with a BBQ with friends where the kids went ham in the backyard and the adults ate and chatted on the deck--perfect. Andre and I had a Superstore marathon after Rhett was in bed and soaked in the last of a great weekend.

Friday, September 2, 2016

first day of preschool

I spent a lot of time thinking about preschool for Rhett and trying to justify it. After all, he just turned 3, he has years of school ahead of him, it's expensive, etc. But I knew preschool would be so good for Rhett--he is smart and curious and social and loves adults in authority who aren't his parents. He needed preschool. I didn't want to spend $1,000 or drive all over town, but we lucked out with the cutest church preschool 2 minutes from our house with great teachers and small class sizes. I was sold!
I even got to take Rhett school supplies shopping, which was a dream come true for me. To no surprise, he loved it--it's in his genes.
We drive past the school almost every day, and Rhett has been announcing it as his school for months. After the open house last week, he asked every day if he could go to school that day. Well, baby boy, the big day arrived!
Yep, I went all in with a new school outfit and pictures. I'm that mom. 

Rhett was a total champ. He walked in, hung up his backpack, and found his name apple all on his own. This kid is meant for preschool. And at the end of the morning, he and his teacher only had glowing things to say about the day.
So bring on show and tell, spotlight posters, and school art shows! Crazy that Rhett is in school, but we are so excited for this next phase! 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

a week of firsts

Big kids went back to school this week, which means my favorite time of year is here--cooler temperatures and toddlers everywhere with no one to compete with at the parks! (it's the little mom things that make me happy). We've still got a few weeks of summer before preschool starts, so we're soaking it in with lots of fun new activities!
The Fort Collins temple open house started this week, so we spent FHE talking about and building temples. Rhett was very pleased with his creation.
We checked out the city's free nature walks for preschoolers this week, and it was a total hit. Rhett's favorite part hands down was the magnifying glass, obvs.
And a bonus, we found a beautiful reservoir we'd never been to before. 
Kids Club at the mall. Rhett loved the games and songs, I loved the free shirt. Plus we ran into his BFF William, which was fun for the moms to chat and the boys to love each other. This is a 5 Little Monkeys dance party--Rhett and William are right up front like the true groupies they are. 
Our first official practice for the temple cultural celebration. This is 50 young women learning to dance like "rain". I've got to work on my leaps, but I think it will be pretty awesome when it all comes together. Now excuse me while I'm off at twice weekly practices for the next two months!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

little letters

Dear zucchini,
It's that time of year again when I can't get enough of you. Bring on the bread, muffins, and zucchini parmesan! (and the extra trips to the gym).

Dear Olympics,
Thank you for being the best (obvs) and for giving me allll the emotions. And as an added bonus, thanks for being the best parenting tool ever. Rhett will do anything if it means he gets to watch a little bit of the Olympics before going to bed. I owe you big time, Bob Costas

Dear alone time,
I got to savor you this weekend when the boys were gone for three days, and it was a little bit nice, a little bit overwhelming, and a little too quiet. Me time is nice for a few days (shopping by myself was heavenly!), but it was great when Andre and Rhett rolled back into town.

Dear smallpox,
I'm reading this book and learning way more than I ever wanted to know about infectious diseases and pustulation and quarantines, so three cheers for smallpox being eradicated!

Dear Rhett,
We just bought your first-ever first day of school outfit and I'm mostly excited (but a little nervous) about it. Preschool!

Dear Christmas,
I'm weirdly already planning for you? I know, I know, there are four-plus months to go, but presents! decorations! new traditions! so much to love.


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