January 30, 2021

hieroglyphics trail and some new friends

On MLK, Jr day, we took our girls on a hike at the Superstition Mountains—the heiroglyphics trail. 

It was a bit of struggle to get going.

But once we got going, and especially once we made it to the boulders and rocks to scramble all over, Layla was in hiking heaven. 

It’s just so cool to see the petroglyphs on the rock walls.

Gorgeous views here, too.

We went inside this little cave of boulders.

And Eric went to the other side and started growling like a bear. 

Brinna was delighted to be scared by a “bear.” So she shut her eyes tight so the bear wouldn’t get her.

Soon she realized it would be more effective to hide from the bear behind her hands.

She wanted her daddy to play the game over and over.

Layla now begs to go on this hike again. She loved it.

I havent been out hiking as much as I thought I would with the nice weather here. But I still get out by myself or with my “mountain mamas” at least weekly. Usually more. 

My good friend invited me to hike with her and some of her friends one morning. It was a rainy morning and I almost didn’t go because of it. I had to channel my former Seattle-ite blood to get myself out into the rain. But I was so grateful for the invitation and these ladies welcomed me with open arms. They were sweet, genuine, and we could bond over life’s challenges quite easily. One of the ladies I had actually texted with soon after my mastectomy to give her some tips and advice so it was so nice to meet her in person. I’m grateful that God keeps putting good people in my path.

One evening I hiked by myself and drove home under this beautiful sunset. The sun was a perfect ball of orange that night. Incredible!

January 23, 2021

Little things

"The little things are all the big things are! Added up, day by day. When it's gone, you'll wish you realized that those small moments--those regular moments--were in fact...the entire thing. They were all of it. They were where the Light was all along."
-Emily Mitchell 

These moments are the entire thing. I am glad for them.

Layla loves on her chickens the majority of her free time. She introduces all of her friends to them. They live in a box in the garage right now, but two of them are just about big enough to go outside. Eric (with Layla's encouragement) has been hard at work building their chicken coop. For now, she just brings them outside occasionally on beautiful days. They roam a little, but mostly they get held a lot.

Kyler and Kacin lost a little bit of their wisdom on the same day. They both had all of their wisdom teeth removed at the same time. Sad that I only got pictures of Kacin because he went first. And by the time Kyler came out I was trying to take care of both of them and got it a little crazy. Like literally crazy--I got some good videos of the funny things they said! Alas, only videos so no documentation here. But Kyler was entertained by his lip and Kacin wouldn't stop talking. Haha. They both lived off of ice cream for days. And now we are glad that is behind us.

Arizona couldn't be more perfect than it is right now. We spend as much time as we can at the park or at on walks and bike rides. Brinn is a whiz on her scooter now. Which is kind of dangerous because if she decides she is going to go somewhere she zooms fast and it is hard to keep up with her.

Two Elsa's had a play date. Brinn loves her friends fiercely. 

Kyler got asked to MORP!

The writing in ketchup was awesome.

I love our neighborhood so much. We have so many good people, especially good kids around us. Perry feels included with a group of boys his age and my heart bursts with happiness about that. They play at the park, ride bikes, and shoot basketballs. One evening they worked hard on another cool project. They built a maze from the landscaping rocks in a common area. 

Their entrance signs were my favorite.


They worked hard to clear all those big rocks to make paths all over the area. Perry came home beaming with pride about their project. What great little boys. That's how childhood should be spent.

Kyler. Kyler. Kyler. Thank you for leaving this picture for me.

We decided to take our gingerbread house and destroy it in a big way. We saved some fireworks just for this purpose.

Perry wanted to try his nerf gun on it first though.

When that didn't cause much damage, someone jokingly suggested he use his wand to whack it. So he did. And that definitely destroyed the house. 

We still tried to put the house back together to light fireworks underneath it, but the house was already in pieces so we didn't see the reaction we anticipated. 

So then we attached pieces to the fireworks. The gingerbread men and the Christmas trees pieces did look pretty with the sparks of light exploding around them.

We had the Schlinks over for dinner and family game night.

Definitely one of our most impressive Jenga rounds.

On MLK day, we took advantage of the day off to finish celebrating Eric's birthday. We went to Benihana's for lunch. The kids had no idea what to expect so it was fun to see their reactions to the show.

And they sung to E. 

No oe knew for sure what would happen to the wrestling season, but with a hundred rules in place the boys are allowed to officially wrestle for the school year. They both started on JV. With all the restrictions, we just watch the matches at home. They are only two matches in and they have each had a pin. 

They came home from wrestling practice and collapsed. There were sweat puddles on the floor when they stood up. I think its safe to say that they have never been stronger. Or more tired. They practice for hours each day. It is intense. And so incredible. And I think they are seeing the positive results from all their hard work.

These little things are all the big things.

January 21, 2021

I believe in unicorns

 “‘The unicorn’, she said, ‘was a marvelous beast, shining with honor, wisdom and strength. Just to see him strengthened the soul.’” 
– Megan Lindholm

“The unicorns were the most recognizable magic the fairies possessed, and they sent them to those worlds where belief in the magic was in danger of falling altogether. After all there has to be some belief in magic- however small- for any world to survive.” 
– Terry Brooks

 “What do men know? Because they have seen no unicorns for a while does not mean we have all vanished.” 
– Peter S. Beagle

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Unknown

The girls were in heaven between the unicorns, Alice in wonderland decor and tables, food boxes, cotton candy and treats, and the dancing. Brinna especially loved the dancing. She attached herself to a new friend and they danced the night away.

It was a most magical wedding reception for a new family friend. We felt so grateful to be included in the celebration. Such a fun night!