Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Day at the Zoo

I am embarrassed to admit that despite all the fun adventures we have had as a family since Merrick was born, we had never taken Merrick to the zoo. Yesterday was memorial day and our last day before Jeremy started summer school (and increased his work hours to 35 hrs/week), so we decided it was the perfect day for a family trip to the zoo.

The weather was really nice and Merrick was so good. He walked almost all of the time, but he stayed right by us and was so excited to see each of the animals. The only negative of the day was that it was fairly busy. We had to park in the overflow parking and take a shuttle over. The shuttle was an old school bus and if you ask Merrick he will tell you that riding the bus was his favorite part of the day.

It may have taken us two and a half years to get Merrick to the zoo, but we all had such a blast, I am sure we will be back soon. I got a little carried away taking pictures, but here are my favorites.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Family Helpers

Several weeks ago I overheard a conversation between my sister-in-law, Rachel, and someone at church. Rachel was talking about all the things they had been working on over the weekend and the women said something to the effect of, well it is so nice you have family around to help. I remember Rachel's response because it really struck me. She said "Particularly this family, they are extremely helpful."

I don't know how it happened or how my parent's instilled this idea in all of us, but the bottom line is, if someone needs help, whether big or small, whether convenient or not, you help in any way you can. Most of the time I am very grateful that this is how we "roll", but there are also times when I wonder what I have gotten myself into.

This weekend our "family" project was painting Ben and Becca's entry way and dining room. With three different colors and extremely vaulted ceilings, it was quite the endeavor. At the end of the weekend all I can say is there is nothing quite like spending A LOT of time together to bring out the good, the bad, and the ugly (and let me tell you with all of us in our painting clothes all weekend, there was a lot of ugly). For our purposes tonight, I would like to focus on the positive, so here is a list of things that I love about my family that I was reminded of this weekend,

1) As previously mentioned, if you need help, whether it is with eating a delicious cake or remodeling your whole house, we are there

2) You can count on laughing...a lot

3) You can count on being laughed at...a lot

4) You will be rewarded for your efforts (thanks Ben and Becca for all the yummy food)

5) You can always be yourself...even if that means wearing two layers of clothes and dancing by yourself to the music in the middle of a restaurant (Colvin)

6) You can count on someone to take a picture, put it on the internet, and save it as a weapon for a later date.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The boys

This week marked the first week of consistently good weather around these parts. There is nothing like being out in the warm sunshine to bring out the "boy side" of my boys. We spent the week doing fun things like playing at the park, going to skate parks, and hanging out at a local campground.

I can tell that this is just the start of a fantastic summer.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Think I Can

Last week I posted all about how stressed we have been. I have been thinking a lot about this stress and how much of it is "self inflicted". Jeremy did not have to go to law school and thereby subject himself to law school finals. I did not have to choose to work for a company headed into the very stressful time of a product launch. So why did we do this? The answer came to me this week like a ton of bricks, but it started long ago, right after we had Merrick.

There is so much pressure that comes with having a baby. In an instant there is a tiny human which you are entirely responsible for. You are responsible for his health and well being, but perhaps even more critical, you are responsible for teaching and molding him into a responsible, productive citizen. I would be lying if I said I hadn't spent LOTS of time wondering if we were doing it right. I want Merrick to be smart, kind, honest, hard working, and successful and it is up to us to teach him to be all these things...talk about stress.

This week I had a small moment with Merrick that led me to believe we may be getting it right. We were at a bounce house and he was climbing a really tall "climbing wall" to slide down a slide on the other side. I was not helping him, but just standing by, watching, to make sure he did not need my help. Right before he started to climb, he stopped and looked at me and said "I know I can do it mom." It was such a simple sentence, but it spoke volumes to me and answered a question that I have had about why we put ourselves in these situations that are hard and cause stress. We do it because we were taught by our parents that we could.

I often tease Jeremy that he is alarmingly self assured, but what a great personally trait to have. He WILL be successful because he believes that he will be. At the end of the day, I am not sure there is much better gift a parent can give their child than a belief in themselves. I want to thank my parents and Jeremy's for instilling this in us and I hope it is a gift that we can continue to give Merrick.