From my journal:
It's bizarre, I get anxious when the school year starts. I worry about the kids, about their school work, the routine, the good-bye to lazy summer days. Yet, these things are exactly what we need after a few months off. That is the wonderful, amazing thing about life. The cycles it brings.
|I took this selfie right after I got the phone call that I was an aunt again! My brother, Gavin and his wife, Karly, have an adorable little boy, Tanner. We were so excited!|
Actually, autumn doesn't come until school has been in session for about 9 weeks, but in Arizona, we create our seasons instead of the weather! This "autumn" started with a fun visit from my good friend Marsha and her family. We spent the entire last day of summer at her hotel's poolside. It helped keep my back to school blues away! The first and second day of school, I volunteered in the kindergarten class, with Alyssa's old kindergarten teacher. I saw "The Help" with Marsha, which was a great movie, as good as the book it was based on! The second day of school, we had a pizza party with Marsha's family and the NFL football season officially started. We finished off the week with a girl's night - with Marsha and Stephanie, and another pool party.
Harrison is in fourth grade, Alyssa in first. They love their teachers, Mrs. Clifford and Mrs. Doutrich. Harrison is also in ALP for math and language. He is doing quite well, as is Alyssa. I have enjoyed volunteering in their classrooms through art masterpiece, parties, and just helping with centers.
Harrison has entered the exciting world of soccer this fall. His coach, Brother Whaley, is a great motivator. I am happy that Harrison is having fun with it. Harrison is continuing in Cub Scouts and is a Bear this year with Sisters Moody and Schmidt.
|Harrison's Fourth Grade musical - "Arizona"|
Alyssa is a Daisy Girl Scout and I am her leader along with Tamara Noel. She loves it and we have had fun together. This fall, we participated in the Veteran's Day Parade along Mill Avenue in Tempe. She turned six this October! I can't believe how grown up she is becoming.
We had a few trips this season. Todd and I took a last minute trip to Vegas for Todd's 5 year Law School reunion. Vegas was just how I remembered it. We stayed in our old neighborhood and it was sentimental to see our old haunts. Law School was a wonderful time for us. We learned and grew a lot. My babies grew up there! Vegas will always have a special place in my heart. The strip, however, does not!
A few weeks later all four of us went to Salt Lake City for the ASU/UofU football game. We stayed with Trevor and Whitney. It was a fun, relaxing trip. We had great food, enjoyed cold weather, and saw extended family too. The best part was lying in bed with Whitney watching reality tv and totally relaxing. It was just what I needed! On the way back home, we stopped at Cove Fort and The Mountains Meadows Massacre site. We drove through St. George and Vegas - again! It was nice to get away for a few days as a family.
|swinging at Liberty Park|
|anytime we take a picture of Harrison he loves to flash "Go Devils"|
|what a cute playground|
|with my sweet boy|
|with my sweet girl|
Todd read about Mountain Meadows and wanted to pay his respects.....it was very a very solemn visit.
Fall Break was fabulous. It kicked off with the Utah trip. After our return, we had an Apple Store field trip with Wolf Cub Scouts - of which I am still leading - and made music videos. We enjoyed a park day, a movie day, and other relaxing days.
|The cute Wolves dressed up to rock and roll!|
This fall, Todd and I have been having fairly regular lunch dates on Tuesdays. We love it. We are boring and generally go to the same place, Rubio's. They know us there now. It is a great time in our life to have the freedom and ability to spend time together in the middle of the day.
Halloween was celebrated in mass abundance. I think we had a total of 9 parties! Overkill? Absolutely! The best part was Halloween night. We set up a monster laboratory in our driveway, BBQ-ed hot dogs and had macaroni and cheese - Karly's family tradition. We met our neighbors thanks to the "lab". It was a missionary attempt, but we were blessed by having fun meeting the neighbors. Karly and I took the kids trick or treating, while Gavin and Todd manned the lab.
My birthday was celebrated in mass abundance too. It is a little embarrassing. I am a lucky, lucky girl to have so many family and friends who want to celebrate with me. The best birthday gift was the cooler weather that finally graced us!
Do you want to know what else was celebrated in mass abundance this fall? ASU football. Todd has gone to the majority of their games, and for awhile I thought he was their good luck charm. The luck has run out though as their winning streak has fizzled. I won't go to a game while it is still ridiculously hot, I don't like football or the heat. I did accompany Todd to the Homecoming Game, and enjoyed the free food and limitless supply of Diet Coke....One of the benefits of being a Sundevil Sponser!
Thanksgiving was wonderful. I love how we focus more on our blessings this time of year. We have so many. After some health problems I have had in the past, I am especially grateful for my body, my health, and the ability to exercise. Thanks to my friend, Stephanie Pratt, I have been inspired to run again. We started by meeting at Tempe Town Lake and walking its perimeter, 5 miles, every other Saturday. She signed up for the turkey trot, a 10k, on Thanksgiving. I decided to do it too. I ran every step and felt great! I had a runner's high all Thanksgiving Day. I am thankful to be running again.
I am so grateful and appreciative of my life. I have so much. My family is my greatest joy. Todd is a great husband and so supportive of me and my endeavors. He loves me and loves our children and isn't afraid to show it. Harrison is so smart, funny, and a great help to me. He is a deep thinker and has caused me to think of things differently. I enjoy spending time with him. Alyssa is a diva with a heart of gold. She is smart and thoughtful. She is learning to read and write. She writes copious notes in her notebook all the time. I always wanted a family and the family I have been blessed with is more amazing than the one I dreamed of having. I couldn't ask for anything more. As we move from Autumn into the Christmas season, I plan on carrying with me my thankful heart.
My sister-in-law, Janette, and I took our kids to a pumpkin patch before Halloween. Oh boy, it was fun, and super hot and sweaty. I think that pumpkin patch farmers should stay open all winter. It is just too hot to really enjoy fall festivities in October!
Cute, sweaty kids
Enjoying the petting zoo
Going on a ride