Monday, January 20, 2014

He Says Ball

 I'm really enjoying Calvin at 11 months. He is a smart, muscly ball of energy that amazes me every day. He says "mama" and "dada" well, but "ball" is by far his best. He usually whispers it while carrying one around, looking for Hobbes to throw it to.

Calvin loves climbing on things and running as fast as he can, which resulted in a black eye and bloody nose this past week. His blankie is the real surprise. His love for that little thing is remarkable and it cannot be pried from his hands while sleeping. There's a 9-minute cartoon on netflix called "Danny and the Dinosaur" that gets him really excited and holds his attention for about 5 minutes, especially if he has his blankie and milk.

I feel like I could go on and on about all his little "isms." It's funny, I always knew kids were smart, but I don't think I realized just how quick they pick up on things and learn. Calvin is every curious and always wanting to explore, which makes church  a lot of fun. I think I'm starting to have anxiety attacks leading up to it each week and people probably think I'm always frazzled. He becomes a monster at church! It's pretty cute, albeit exhausting.

 He's pretty sassy and already throws tantrums when you take things from him. He's pretty great. We love him, a lot.

Friday, January 3, 2014


"There are years that ask questions, and years that answer."
-Zora Neale Hurston

I've had those words on my mind a lot the past couple weeks as I've watched one year come to an end and another begin. To me every year answers some questions, leaves you wondering on others you desperately need addressed, and proposes a whole new list at the same time.

This past year was no exception. It was a good year for us, the most important of mine and Jeff's life together. We welcomed baby Calvin into our home, beginning the exciting and frightening journey of parenthood. 2013 brought us the most joy we've ever known, yet the year wasn't without challenges. Our challenges didn't hold a candle to others', but I felt my family being stretched, forced to grow and evolve, both in ways we desired and ways we feared. At times I felt the change getting away from me, like a chaotic, shifting force I couldn't control and didn't know how to reign in. 

As the year came to a close and with a fresh new year upon us I have felt a sense of clarity. Clarity in how to live or at least how to try to live in this next year. I haven't set New Year's resolutions and don't intend to. Rather as I enter 2014 I do so with a theme, an internal word of how I want to live this year. 


I want to be mindful of who I am and how I live my life.
Mindful of how I treat myself physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Mindful of the kind of mother I am. 
Mindful of the world I am shaping for Calvin.
Mindful of the way I speak to and about others.
Mindful of my love and relationship with my husband.
I want to be mindful of the present, to live in it and enjoy it.
Mindful of how I spend my time.
Mindful of how I speak to myself.
Mindful of my role in this world.

2014 feels good in just the right way. I'm ready.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

It was a holly jolly season

 As I was flipping through our pictures and videos from December today I realized how special Christmas was this year. Being able to be home with Calvin made the season slow down a little bit and I felt like I was able to soak it in.

Calvin only knocked the tree over once, chose one present to slowly unwrap throughout the month, broke one decoration, and developed a fondness for candy canes.

 I really talked Santa up and showed Calvin lots of pictures or decorations. But when the time finally came to meet the big guy at the Bateman family party, the inevitable Santa lap scream ensued. Priceless.

My family had the brilliant idea of riding the Front Runner train up to SL to see the lights at temple square, eat dinner, and have a gay old time. I had visions of us lounging around a nearly empty train, enjoying one another and eating snacks. Apparently I was envisioning a ride on the Hogwarts Express, because reality was nothing like that.

First of all, the only day that worked for everyone was Monday, December 23rd. Secondly, Jeff, Calvin and I nearly missed the train, then upon entering wished we would have. It was completely full and then some, with everyone going to temple square. The square itself was a madhouse, Calvin screamed most the time and had to be packed. Dinner was the shortest line at the food court: nasty chinese with a side of regret. And lastly, the train ride home found us stranded at the Murray station for an hour, then entering a train so full I'm pretty sure it violated all safety rules and standing next to a sign that ironically read "The more the merrier." Oh and Calvin screamed for much of the ride. Megan took the awesome picture below.

 We managed to get this gem of a picture and most of us are already laughing about the experience. Just don't ask me to ride that train any time soon.

Christmas Morning

 We got Calvin's bouncy horse a couple months ago and kept in the basement. Calvin had seen the horse and ridden it a few times - we couldn't resist - but I never anticipated his reaction when opening it. He started hyperventilating and waving his hands in the air. We put him on the horse and he smiled so big I thought my heart would burst. He had the audience of Jeff's whole family and ate it up.

 I couldn't have imagined Christmas morning going so well. I thought he wouldn't care about his presents, but the horse, soccer ball, and buckets were a win. Then he got spoiled beyond belief from both sides of the family.

 Christmas Eve night we couldn't keep him from climbing up the big pile of presents.
The most amazing Christmas dinner of smoked salmon was enjoyed at my parents' home that evening. We skyped with Collin for a couple hours and opened even more presents. That night the bubonic plague struck Jeff and the next day Calvin came down with croup. Boo. Luckily they healed just in time to ring in the new year with a party hosted at our house that went until 2 am and even involved a root beer keg! 

We spent New Year's day lunching with Jeff's brother Nate and his girlfriend Brittney, saw a movie with them, and hosted a game night with my family.

A look at the spoiled child's loot. He already dribbles his soccer ball around the house, which is the absolute cutest thing I've ever seen.

We had a wonderful Christmas and end to 2013. The year was full of firsts - some difficult, most welcome and long anticipated. I love the new year and the feeling of a fresh start it brings. I can't wait to see what it holds. Jeff already promised Calvin that it would be the best year of his life so I'm sure it'll be amazing!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The great Christmas tree hunt 2013

 This bison was not involved in the hunt, but it's a really cool picture my dad took somewhere.

Back to the story. This year's hunt was one of our best. We discovered a new place, with a much smoother road, good views, and a Costa Vida near by :) Last year's drive made my pregnant body nearly lose bladder control the whole way, so this year was a dream.

Plus it was Calvin's first time. He loved the pack, even in the snow, until he fell asleep about 15 minutes in.

 Cheeks and peace for this baby girl.

 Morgan is the best aunt and those boys adore her.

 Jeff bringing home the prize. He does not settle and this year's tree is as good as ever.
 Helping to bring my parent's tree to the trucks. The men hiked clear to the top of that mountain, which didn't look too bad until they had to bring back huge trees.

I love my family so much. And next year....Collin will be with us! Wahoo!

The rest of our Thanksgiving weekend was amazing too, though I didn't take any pictures. We enjoyed the most amazing dinner at Jeff's parent's home on the big day and I'm pretty sure I ate more than I ever have. It was disgusting really and I'm still trying to move past it. But I don't regret it!

We also put up our tree and Christmas decorations, watched the annual Auburn/Alabama game and couldn't believe our eyes when Auburn pulled it off, did a little hiking, and a lot of relaxing.

War eagle people. War eagle.

That holiday I forgot to write about

Somehow Halloween slipped by without being documented. It was a dandy time as always.

 We did the annual hayride, pumpkin patch trip with the family to search for the great pumpkin.

 I don't know what's going on here but it makes me laugh.

 Meg, Morg, Mom and I attended a witch party at my Aunt Deb's. It was so much fun. I love girls nights with them.

 And this little spider made his Halloween debut by posing on the porch and eating the one sucker in his hand. He was a pretty good sport about it. Jeff carved a minion pumpkin too, it was a big hit with the kids.

I'm a mountain climber

Seven Years in Tibet is one of my all-time favorite movies. Brad Pitt plays an Austrian mountain climber and our favorite quote from the movie is when he says in his thick Austrian accent, "I am a mountain climber! I climb mountains!"

Climbing mountains is what I would like to do for a living. However, I don't want to climb any mountains with snow (Kilimanjaro would be my one exception) and now that we have Calvin and have to pack him, I don't want anything too strenuous. Basically I would just like to spend part of every day hiking. Mountains and trees are my favorite things next to God and family. Jeff and I want to take a trip to the redwoods/Big Sur in the near future and I told him I'm pretty sure I'll cry when I see those massive trees.

We were fortunate enough to get in some amazing late summer and fall hikes. I made it a goal to hike at least once a week in September and I'm happy to report that I did.

You'll notice Calvin is almost always smiling. I think he loves hiking as much as me. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Well done Utah, you're amazing. Here are ten million pictures of our adventures.