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.