In Character

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The difference in my girls personality really shows at Halloween.

Bailey loves Halloween and dressing up in general. Anytime there is a “dress up” day at school, she is all over it. The louder more authentic the costume the better….

Bailey thinks out her costume.  She is thoughtful in her choice of character and specific about what she needs to pull it off (oddly enough, we had that wig in our basement).  As you can see when she gets into her costume she slides into character.

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Mia, on the other hand, had the opportunity to dress up for school this year and chose not too. “Nah, I don’t want to” was her response.  Bailey was shocked when she heard this and did everything she could to persuade Mia to at least wear a hat.  At one point Bailey declared, “You have to dress up! You’re Bailey Brown’s sister!.”

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Mia didn’t budge in her decision (but had her picture taken in with her new carmex tho). When it came to a Halloween costume her only priority was that she wanted to wear makeup.  Actually what she wanted to wear was “Gory Cheerleader” which was slightly disturbing to say the least. We had narrowed it down to Elasta Girl from INCREDIBLES, a mermaid, or Wonder Woman.  When we asked her to pick one, Mia shrugged her shoulders and said, “You pick, I don’t really care”. I wish I had a picture of Bailey’s jaw as it hit the ground or a recording of her shocked responses. In the end, I was at Walmart, saw this cute Wonder Woman costume and bought it. Mia was thrilled with it and we promised she could wear red lipstick.

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What they have in common is that they both have a blast Trick or Treating and eating their weight in candy.

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Happy Birthday Baby Kid

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Happy Birthday Baby Kid,

Even though you are now six years old, you are still our baby kid.  You have made big strides this year and have been through a lot of changes.  The biggest of these changes has been the start of Kindergarten. This has led to big emotions that have been a little bit hard to control, but we are learning big lessons through it all.  You have learned courage, confidence, and that your parents have your back 100%.

You love dancing, singing, playing soccer, and playing with friends. You also have a heart for fashion, completely thrilled to get three pairs of new shoes this year and your own makeup. It’s  your heart that your dad and I find so beautiful. You love big and aren’t afraid to show your affection to others. We know you love your family with all you’ve got and we love you ever so much in return. You have our hearts, my sweet girl, in their entirety.

xoxo

Mom

 

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September/ First Days

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The day finally came when both girls would start school. Mia began Kindergarten and Bailey 4th grade.

Even though Mia put on a brave “fake it until you make it” attitude and decided to be excited for school mostly because everyone else seemed to be excited for her. She really did try, picking out an extra sparkly back pack with matching lunch tote that she was excited about, but it was only enough to make it through the first day. We came back after a Labor Day Break to a hard week. Even though Mia is a sensitive little bugger, she is also resilient and things got better quickly.  Most days, Mia, would still rather be at home, but she doesn’t mind school either. She has a wonderful teacher and has made some great buddies and is already reading.

It blows our minds that Bailey is in 4th grade. It has taken our awareness of time passing by to a whole new level. Our elementary days are going by too fast.  Bailey loves her teacher and has a slew of friends in her class. She is playing the violin in the Orchestra and is doing very well.

 

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Another highlight of September was Labor Day weekend when Nate had the opportunity to go on an epic trip to Notre Dame with his buddies and the girls and I had a fantastic weekend at home. We did it up big under the Big Top as the water circus was in town.  The girls took turns sleeping with me in my bed and had some good bonding time.

AUGUST

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August brought Nate’s Birthday.  We love this guy so much and are so grateful for all he does for us that we HAD to celebrate in style.   We went to Kol and made sure we got in video games at Press Start.  It was so much fun that we could do the same thing for the girl’s birthdays.

 

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We made it to one of the final games of the new wood bat baseball league games in Spearfish. The Sasquatch is my new favorite mascot although Mia’s irrational mascot fears were reinforced. She was clinging to her dad’s leg as he took this picture.

A Fair is a Veritable Schmorgasboard-orgasboard…..

It never fails that I get Goose and Templeton’s signature song in my head every time we head to the fair.  It proves you can make up rhyming words, if you so choose, for artistic purposes. The Charlotte’s Web tune rings true even today with a rat-ly feast being found on the ground, all around. It is one of those places where we spend a lot of money, have a LOT of fun, yet I find myself looking around wondering what I am doing there. I am sure Cream Puffs have something to do with it…. and these smiling faces.

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We had date night again at the end of  August. Mia was with dad this time and chose to go to Chucky Cheese for more games. Bailey wanted to swim laps with mom at the Y.  She excelled in her swimming lessons and has been a fish ever since. So laps we swam. We also made time for some pool fun too before heading to Applebees where we met up for a family dinner. Those one on one times are so much fun!

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We got another surprise visit from this guy (technically it may have been the very end of July).  These guys never miss a beat and pick up on their creepy “clown hunting games” like they never stopped. Trav is like a brother to these two and they have a ball together.

JULY

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There is snow in the forecast tomorrow morning, but I am going to complete documenting the summer of 2018 if it is the last thing I do.  While I am at it I will remember warmer times that required tank tops and shorts and swimming suits and sunshine.

We took a road trip to Ogden to celebrate the birthdays of the “girl cousins”.  We always have fun in Utah and the time together goes by too fast.

 

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There is playing…

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…and there are always treats.

(They look like a tough bunch here. A mini prison gang)

 

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Bailey got to go with Uncle John to the pick up soccer game on Wednesday.  She looks so small out on the field with grown men, but she held her own, even scoring a goal.  They were a pretty fantastic group of guys and it was a wonderful experience for her.

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We spent time in the garden, and playing in the new play set. There was swimming and rock hunting, Fire works, and walks. And there were also tears when it was time to leave. Mia had us stop at the McDonald’s a just a mile or two from Holly’s house needing to go to the bathroom, but in reality just wanted to stall a little bit longer, hoping that we might change our minds and stay just one more night.  There were sad tears when she confessed her hopes and her sadness that made me want to cry too.  We can’t wait to do it again.

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We lost an amazing woman in July as well.  June was a teacher, mentor, and friend to our family for as long as I can remember.  From the outside one may think she lived a fairly ordinary life, but the way she loved others was quite extraordinary.  It really is the simple things, the every day, the mundane parts of our lives that can have the greatest impact. The girls and I donned our pins and honored this wonderful lady the best we knew how.  But even at her own funeral was still giving of herself to others as there were enough “party favors”, simple, homemade kitchen towels, for everyone.

JUNE

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Father’s Day fun hitting the links.

Every summer is the same… full, fun, and fleeting.  It has become a standard form of greeting, “How is your summer going?”  and the response is always, “Too Fast!”.  It is true for all of us and I’m afraid it isn’t going to decide to slow down any time soon.  Instead, we try to soak up every minute, taking time to smell the roses along the way.

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Bailey transitioned into a new level of riding that includes jumping, barrel racing, and getting particular about the details. Bailey has found she loves jumping and going fast.

Mia was a trooper spending all that time at the arena, always wearing a variety of outfits. She was put to work when it was available, which she loved, and would sometimes bring her scooter.

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The girls were gifted with a trampoline that has proven excellent entertainment throughout the summer. They are working on flips and love to get it wet with the sprinkler.

Mia enjoys watching YouTube videos of kids who take part in “challenges”.  During some one on one time, she challenged me to a pancake challenge. It turned out to be tons of fun and she was a pretty fantastic pancake flipper. I spent a lot of the summer saying “no” to various other challenges such as “cake decorating surprise” (Surprise! Your secret decoration has to be pickles!).

 

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This was my second year coordinating VBS for our church. I had some wonderful help from my new friend, Paula, from First Presbyterian that made the whole process more fun. But the work never gets easier and the last week of June was BUSY. But the kids have so much fun it makes it all worth it. The girls tried out their BMX skills on family night,

We were also blessed by weekend visitors. Tanya and Trav came down from Montana twice this summer and the Trimbles were out at the end of June. My girls absolutely LOVE spending time with “the cousins” and always dream of having everyone live on their street so they would have access to them all the time.

They certainly make things more fun.travsquishy

Horse’n Around

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We weren’t sure what to get Bailey for her 8th Birthday. She really didn’t have any “wants” in the gift department. What she really wanted was to ride horses for her Birthday party. Taking 8-10 girls to ride horses didn’t seem very realistic, although I did look into it. The next best thing,  I thought, would be to get her some lessons.  So Nate and I created a certificate that promised 4 Horse Riding Lessons and it was received with joy.

 

 

 

It wasn’t until August that we connected with Tiffany at Smart Performance Horses. At the first lesson she had Bailey in the saddle within minutes and she’s been hard to get out ever since.  We thought 4 lessons would be good enough to just have a little fun on a horse, 10 months later she is still riding horses.

 

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Bailey has been learning the basics, along with cantering, 2 point positions, posting, bare back riding, and even how to fall off properly.  At her last lesson she started jumping.  We are all learning so much about horses, horse lingo (like what those words above mean), and how the horse and rider connect. But mainly Bailey has been having lots of fun.

 

As we walked into the barn last week, Bailey breathed in deeply and sighed, “I love the smell of this place.”  Mia and I looked at each other with eye brows raised. I can’t say I even “like” the smell of manure and horses and hay.  So we continue ride each week and endure the ” I so BADLY want a horse!” comments that come every time we leave lessons. We will do so while she loves it, because we love that she loves it too.

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