Thursday, February 19, 2015

Matthews choir performance!!

The big day finally arrived, yesterday was Matthew's opportunity to accompany his school choir. He was so excited to get the opportunity to do this. They've never had a student accompany the choir before.

He was really nervous about turning his own pages, and then when he went to turn the first page he accidentally turned two pages, so he didn't have the right music. You can see him look over at me like "oh, crap!", lol. But he had the song memorized so well that he just kept going. He did great! I was so nervous for him that I don't think I took a breath the whole time he played, lol.

Hands down, the best part of parenting is moments like this. Watching your kids work really really hard at something and then reach a goal and be so proud of themselves is my favorite thing ever.

Here's the video, I'm so excited to share it! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Holding a monkey is happening!!

Ok, so I had my meltdown last night about flying on an airplane and today it is replaced by giddiness that the monkey lady confirmed that I will get to visit the monkeys!

I have always been ridiculously fascinated by monkeys. I love them. Every time we go to the zoo my family has to pull me away from the monkeys or I will stand there and watch them all day. Interacting with monkeys has always been a bucket list thing for me.

So when we decided to go to Mexico, that was priority nĂºmero uno for me. I was going to find a monkey to hold. I googled all afternoon several days ago and there are some zoos and tourist places where you can feed monkeys or interact with them and any of those places would be fine. But then I stumbled across a hidden gem. It's a money sanctuary, like a rescue facility for spider monkeys. It's not a well known tourist trap, it's actually kind of in the middle of nowhere in the jungle as far as I can tell. We're going to have to hire a driver to take us there. They don't do a lot of tours there, it's just run by a husband and wife and their main focus is taking care of rescued monkeys. But they do do some tours to raise money to keep the place running and if you're lucky you can get in there. I thought that the chances were slim because some of the people I read about online booked their tour months in advance, but I emailed the lady and got lucky, she has one spot open for us!

They give you a tour and info about the monkeys and what they do there and then let you go in and spend some time with the monkeys. You can hold them and feed them and everything! All the reviews I read said it's the coolest experience ever.

Maybe it sounds silly, but this will kind of fulfill a lifetime dream of mine. I will totally endure an airplane ride if there are monkeys on the other side, lol. This is on a much smaller scale, but this is kind of how I  tolerated the flight to Korea. I kept telling myself that I would do anything I had to do if it led us to Clarissa. Obviously adopting Clarissa ranks higher than holding a monkey, but monkeys are what will get me through this plane ride to Mexico.

In a month I'm going to be playing with monkeys!! I can't wait!

Monday, February 16, 2015

And it begins

I bought our plane tickets to Mexico this evening. Plane tickets. PLANE TICKETS. I just paid actual MONEY to fly on an airplane. I hate airplanes! I just remembered that I'm terrified to travel and now I have to get on an airplane next month and go to a different country. On an AIRLPLANE!

Five minutes after I bought the tickets I told Shawn I can't go because it's too scary and he has been married to me for long enough that he can't even with that, so he calmly got out his phone and told me he was looking on Facebook for other Wendy Whites to take on the trip with him, lol. I love a man who doesn't cater to my anxieties.

Ok, so fine, I'll get on the darn plane so I can fly to a whole other country to stick my feet in the sand so that Shawn doesn't have to go to all the work of finding another Wendy White to use my plane ticket, lol. 

Do they have big spiders in Mexico, because it's pretty much the jungle, right? Like, what are the chances that I'm going to encounter giant man eating spiders there? Because if there are airplanes AND spiders, I'm going to need to be heavily medicated for this vacation. 

Whose idea was it to go to Mexico? Oh, right, mine. But on the upside, turning 40 doesn't seem to scary now that I'm busy focusing my anxiety on having to get on an airplane. And spiders. 

But the resort has Dolphins and I think I found a really awesome place to hold a monkey, I'm just waiting to hear back if their tours are full, because it's hard to get in there. Also, the resort has sea turtles. If I can just manage to get there without dying I get to swim with dolphins and hold monkeys and pet turtles. And maybe there aren't horrifying spiders there. 

Are there? If there are, don't tell me. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Feet in the sand

Remember in January I said that one of these days I was going to escape and put my feet in the sand? Well, it looks like that day is actually coming! 

Last month I told Shawn that I wanted to do something big for my 40th birthday. I'm not loving this whole turning 40 thing. Maybe an awesome trip would soften the blow a bit, lol. 

We don't take vacations without the kids very often. Actually, the last trip we took alone was to Korea, and Clarissa just turned six. It's time for a vacation. 

So I started planning. It started out as a short trip to New York City. I love NYC and thought it might be fun to go see a play or something. But NYC is so insanely expensive and we'd only be able to go for a short time and then I worried I'd feel rushed because there are so many amazing things to do there that we wouldn't have time to do, and eventually I talked myself out of that trip. 

Then somehow it turned into taking a trip to Mexico. First I thought three days, but that's ridiculously short, so it turned into five days. So I've been pricing out five days at an all inclusive resort in Cancun for weeks. I've done so much research on Cancun at this point that I feel like we already took the vacation, lol.

But my budget and the place I wanted to stay were unfortunately not matching up and I kept looking for a deal and I finally upped my budget a little, and then I stumbled into a really great deal, but the only catch is that to do it we have to go for seven days. But with the deal I got, seven days actually ends up being slightly cheaper than my budget for five days! 

So after weeks of researching, discussing, reading everything I can find on the topic of Cacnun, coordinating dates and finding someone to watch our kids, it looks like Shawn and I are going to Mexico for a week next month! 

I originally wanted to go for my actual birthday, but my actual birthday is on Easter weekend this year and we can't be gone from our kids for Easter. So it's a couple of weeks before my birthday. So that means maybe I'll be all calm and tan and relaxed when my actual birthday rolls along, right? :) 

Holy crap, we're going to Mexico! I'm going to have to blow the dust off my passport and everything,  lol! 

And we have to fly, and we all know how I feel about airplanes. Ugh. It's going to take me from now until I leave to get into a mental place where I can get on an airplane. I managed to fly to Korea and survive, so I can do this, right? I hate airplanes. :(

But we're going to Mexico!! I need a vacation so bad, you have no idea. I really really need to get of of town and get some sunshine and stick my feet in the sand and drink fruity drinks under a palm tree.  And our marriage could use a week of no kids and no meetings and no work. We've been so busy lately I feel like we never see each other. A week alone sounds amazing. 

ALSO!!! I did some research because it has always been a thing with me that I want to hold a monkey, but I've never been anywhere that holding a monkey was really an option, but I googled and there are places in Cancun where you can hold a monkey! It's so dumb, but it's like a bucket list thing.  I love monkeys and I NEED to hold one. 

Also, swimming with dolphins. Also happening. The resort we're staying at actually has them at the resort. 

Holy crap, we're going to Mexico!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Happy birthday Clarissa!

Clarissa turned SIX today, can you believe it?! She was very excited this morning to open her presents. She asked for a new church dress, a Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony), some Littlest Pet Shop toys and a candy necklace. We managed to track down all those things and she was super excited. :)

Unfortunately she also woke up with a horrible cough this morning. We have really been hit hard with the sickness this winter. So I kept her home from school today, which is kind of fun because we're having a good time having a low key day.  Tonight we're going to eat her favorite dinner (spaghetti) and have cake and ice cream.

I wanted to do a birthday photoshoot with her today,  but I'm going to wait a few days until she's feeling better.

So in honor of Clarissa's sixth birthday, here are six things I love about her:

One: She is the most sparkly princess in all the land. :) Clarissa is the most girly girl in the world! She loves clothes and anything pink and sparkly. She won't wear jeans, only dresses and leggings. I have always found that somewhat amusing because it's quite the opposite of me. But it's been fun to discover my girlier side through her.

Two: Clarissa is very artistic. She will sit and color and draw all afternoon and she is always making us pictures and cute little notes. I love it when she runs to me with a new picture she drew. I could wallpaper the house with her artwork!

Three: Clarissa is such a happy, easy going kid. She was such a spitfire when she was a toddler and I worried that we were in for a wild ride with such a strong personality, but she has grown out of her stubbornness a bit, and now she's such an easy kid. She's happy and calm and always excited to do whatever we're doing.

Four: I shuld have put this one first, because it's probably my favorite, but I absolutely loves the way Clarissa tells stories when she's really excited about something. They had an assembly at school recently and I think a magician performed. Or at least that's what it sounded like in her very excited retelling of the event. When she tells you something excited she gets very animated and starts most of her sentences with "And you know what?!" and it melts my heart and makes me so excited to hear whatever amazing thing she has to tell me. I could listen to her tell me about her day all afternoon.

Five: Clarissa is very loving. She's snuggly and gives the best hugs. I love it when she curls up next to me and snuggles or runs into the room and gives me a big hug. She's so sweet!

Six: She is a daddy's girl. When we first brought Clarissa home from Korea she wanted nothing to do with Shawn at all. If he even walked into the room she would burst into tears. But boy, has that changed! She is a girl who loves her daddy, and one of my favorite things is watching them together. Clarissa loves to help cook and sometimes on Sunday afternoons she talks Shawn into making a treat so she can help. Shawn has never been someone to make brownies or cookies or anything like that, but for Clarissa he has learned. Watching the two of them whip up a batch of brownies together on a Sunday afternoon is pretty much the best thing ever. She has got him wrapped around her little finger for sure. :)

I could go on forever about all the great things about clarissa, but there is a top six list for you.

So happy birthday to the sparkliest Princess in the kingdom. We are so lucky to get to celebrate another birthday with her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Straight A's!!

Josh survived his first finals week of high school! It was rough but he survived it and when he came home from his last test today I met him with surprise ice cream to celebrate.

Then we waited very impatiently for his grades to be posted. He still has one final that hasn't posted, but it's in a class where his grade is high enough that whatever he gets on the final won't change the grade, so we're calling it. He got straight A's!! He really worked his behind off this semester. This new school is no joke! So I'm really proud of his accomplishments! He did awesome!

Matthew isn't home from school yet, but it looks like his grades have all posted and he got straight A's too! im so proud of both of them! 

Monday, January 12, 2015


Well, here we are, it's January. If you know me at all, you know January is my least favorite month of the year. It's cold, it's dark and it's long. If I had unlimited funds and no responsibilities, I would fly south every January like a bird and spend it somewhere warm. But unfortunately, my funds are not unlimited and I do have responsibilities, so I will muddle through this January just as I do every year. It has to end eventually, right?

We've been crazy busy lately, and at least that is helping January fly by. The older my kids get the busier we seem to get. The boys are both involved in so many activities and have so much school stuff going on that we always seem to be busy with something. Saturday Matthew had a chess tournament in the morning and piano lessons in the afternoon, so I spent a good amount of my day in the car getting him to where he needed to be and picking him up when it was over.

Then Saturday afternoon Clarissa was playing at a friends house and we decided to take the boys to Into The Woods. I've seen the play twice, but like 20+ years ago, so I was really excited for the movie. And it definitely didn't dissapoint! We all really enjoyed it! Matthew loves musicals and theater and things like that the way that I do, and about a half hour into the movie he leaned over to me and whispered "This is SO good!!". It made me smile. Matthew is the kid I bond with over anything musical or theatrical. We came home and bought the soundtrack to the movie on iTunes and we've been listening to it ever since.

And speaking of Matthew and music, he's still getting ready to accompany the choir for their performance of The Moon next month! His teacher had told him a while ago that if he could play it he could accompany them, but he hadn't actually heard Matthew play it yet and I think he was a bit skeptical that he would actually be able to do it. But after Christmas break he finally called Matthew up in class to give it a try and I think he was surprised that he could actually do it! So it's official, that's happening. His teacher seems really excited about it and Matthew is definitely excited! It's a good thing I like that song, because he practices it a lot. I've heard it about a million times now! His piano teacher is excited that he'll be playing for the choir and is planning to come to his performance, which I thought was really sweet of her. It's the middle of February, I think. I will definitely be recording it. :)

Josh is doing great and keeping really busy. I honestly don't know how that kid does it. I remember my high school years well and I was nowhere near as focused and dedicated as he is. He's really busy with his classes and his after school activities, so I don't see him as much as I used to. This summer is also going to be huge for him. He'll be taking drivers Ed, he wants to take two summer school classes, he's going on a pioneer trek thing with our church and he's going to be doing his Eagle Scout project. So I'm running around these days trying to figure out how and when to get him enrolled in his classes and figure out how to work the rest of our summer plans around all of that. It's only January and our entire summer is booked already. Overbooked, actually. It's going to be a bit crazy.

Clarissa is doing great! She's going to be SIX next month, can you believe it?! Time is flying by so quickly that it's kind of blowing my mind. She's still joined at the hip with her friend Sophia. Her life pretty much revolves around when she gets to play with her next. They're together constantly. They're so cute. It's fun to have a best friend.

And if we're speaking of people who are busy, Shawn wins the award. He recently got asked to serve in a pretty big job in our church (Elders Quorum president, for my LDS friends) and while he was trying to figure all of that out, he got an unexpected promotion at work. He is now the manager of the whole pharmacy.

His pharmacy used to be broken into two parts. When they hired him 11 years ago, he managed the retail part, and then there was another manager that managed a seperate part of the pharmacy, where they had contacts with nursing homes and mental health facilities. Then a few years ago they decided to close the retail part and just focus on their long term care facility contracts. So all the retail people got laid off except for Shawn and they made him a sort of assistant manager in the remaining part of the pharmacy, because they already had a manager back there. So he has kind of had some manager duties over the past few years, but not a lot.

But when he went back to work after his Christmas break last week, he got called in for a meeting and they told him that the current manager has decided to step down. He's getting older and close to retirement and doesn't want to deal with the hassle of being in charge anymore. So the former manager is staying on as a staff pharmacist and Shawn is moving up and taking his place as the new manager. We kind of figured that this would happen eventually, but he didn't see it coming right now. So he is now in a leadership position at church and the leader of the pharmacy and it all kind of happened right at the same time. It's all good stuff, but it's going to keep him really busy and he's a bit overwhelmed at the moment. He has a lot going on right now.

And then there is me. Nothing much changes for me, except for watching the change occur around me. I struggle with that at times, but I've come to accept my role as the family cheerleader, lol. I keep everyone going, I'm the family therapist. I'm the one cheering everyone on from the wings and I'm the one that gives everyone pep talks when they feel overwhelmed. I'm the family secret keeper, appointment scheduler, event planner, shoulder to cry on and advice giver. I solve Josh's girl problems, keep Matthew supplied with sheet music, make sure Clarissa gets plenty of Sophia time and remind Shawn that he's a rockstar when he feels the pressure of being in charge. If you need a cheerleader and a motivational speaker, I'm your woman these days.

So lately I feel like my blog isn't so much about me as it is about everyone around me, but that seems to be my life these days. And I'm OK with that. Someone has to be the calm in the storm.

But one of these Januaries, I'm going to make like a bird and fly south. Maybe even just for a week. I'm going to stick my toes in the sand and feel some sun on my face and escape the cold and the grey of January in Boise. I'm going to do it one year. The mental image of that is what keeps me going through long dark Januaries. One of these years it's going to happen. :)