Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eleven and Six

There's a Simpsons episode where Homer and Lisa are arguing over the Bear Tax and Homer tells Lisa, "Well anyway, I'm still outraged."  This is Andrew.

My moral compass of a son has carried his absolutism into his eleventh year.  Although I confess it's getting harder to stump him.  This kid knows no fear.  Like this past fall when - again, to his outrage! - he discovered his Grandpa visiting a Vote-for-Trump campaign tent at a local fair.  The boy marched right up to the volunteers and told them exactly what he thought about Trump and his disgust with the whole presidency.  We're proud of him - with a mixture of embarrassment and shock. 

We have a long way to go in teaching him tact.   

Andrew's baby song will always be Celine Dion's Miracle.  My wonderful aunt gave me the album a few weeks post hospital and I cried the first time listening.  It captured so perfectly all those tender postpartum and newborn emotions, particularly after a miraculous pregnancy.  Precious years.  

And I'm overwhelmed with happiness.  So blessed to hold you close.  

Two sons.  Born 5 years and 1 day apart.  Apparently I'm really fertile in February.  

I told Bubbs so many times this past year to turn 2 or 3 again instead of turning 6.  He wouldn't listen to me.  I even told him I cant carry him much longer if he turns 6.  He laughed.  Because he knows I'll keep trying to hold him regardless.  

Mom only has one hope for him before he turns 7 - Get off the dang training wheels!!

Carly Simon's, Julie Through the Glass is Bubbs' song - even though it's technically about a girl.  And it doesn't really matter because every time he hears me singing, I substitute his name for Julie.

I love these sweet lyrics because of my frame of mind when he was born.  When observation and experience finally let me fully enjoy a baby with minimal worries.  Plus going through a pregnancy where I was bewildered over the identity of this little guy.  Wondering how he fit and why he was chosen for us.  This song captures some of that "newness" I felt when we first held him.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

"When it's dark and it's cold and I can't feel my soul, 
You are so good.
When the world has gone gray and the rain's here to stay.  
You are still good.

So with every breath I take in, I'll tell You I'm grateful again.
And the storm may swell, even then it is well.
You are good."  

-Nichole Nordeman

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Halloween 2016

Some crazy person who's a friend of a friend of mine (not my friend) told me that Halloween is evil.  She said it's all witchcraft, pagan worship, devil promoting propaganda.  I told her nonsense.  

She told me to repent.  I told her baloney.  

True story.

We will always and forever and beyond and even further still...celebrate Halloween!

Kylo-Ren, Stick-Figure Man, a Mermaid and a Ninja Turtle. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nelsons in McCall

For Fall Break, the Nelsons came up for the extended weekend.  We loved seeing them!  I realized the day after they left how quickly you grow accustomed to having close friends around you - and how lonely it is once they're gone.  Of course...we went to McCall.  Because seriously.  Friends don't let friends come to Boise without visiting McCall. 

The first night in Boise we went to Dave & Busters to watch the Boise/BYU game.  Super exciting! - even though we ended up losing by ONE point!  We were clearly the only BYU fans in the place, but Boise State fans are wonderful people!  I have yet to meet a sour fan up here.  They are gracious, polite and most importantly... refrain from foul language, especially in front of my children.  Thank you! 

The next day we headed for McCall, where we'd reserved a twin home through Home Away - which meant plenty of room for all the bikes we brought with us.  This is absolutely the way to go with families.  I'm crossing my fingers for a trip to Glacier National Park (and the highly coveted Route of Hiawatha trail) this summer and if it happens, this is how we'll book our accommodations.

We really took advantage of almost every spare moment.  Lots and lots of mountain biking.  Hiking. Target shooting.  Simpsons games in the evenings.  And eating large amounts of food at The Pancake House in McCall.  Never in my life have I seen such a massive cinnamon roll.  Oh, it was divine!  

It was so beautiful up there!  It's always beautiful.  But this time...this time we got to see the Tamarack trees.  I've only just barely learned about them.  They are evergreen pines that go completely golden in the winter.  A very rare species that drop their needles around December and grow fresh ones in the spring.  They are planted along northern Idaho, up into Montana and then along the Canadian border.  They are breathtaking!  I was enchanted.  So much gold. 

Surprisingly, the site of them brought me a momentary escape from the stress of October.  In fact, I'd say Greg and I were able to forget our heavy burdens for a few days with the Nelsons simply being with us.  


I think our oldest was the saddest to see the Nelsons drive away.  He and Hunter have been good buddies since they were barely old enough to start walking.  It's a nice friendship because they can pick up things within minutes when they've been apart for a significant amount of time.  I'm so glad they've stayed close over the years.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Back in the Boat (again)

This past fall I've been reading Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown to my children.  It's my second time through the book and if anything, it's even more inspiring than the first time around.    

There are so many great passages, but the one below is a personal favorite.  And it's rather applicable to our life right now.  Definitely worth remembering.

"It is hard to make that boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is the resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of men and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them." 
- George Yeoman Pocock

Sunday, November 6, 2016

October - November

This has been an incredibly difficult October.  Lots of massive boulders are being thrown our way and we're struggling to keep perspective and faith in ourselves.  Maybe more on this later when I can talk about it in retrospect.  In the meantime, here's what we've been doing - 

#1 - More Broken Bones

Apparently 2016 is the year of broken bones for the McKinnons.  Stupid 2016.  This time it was Roo.  And soccer.  Stupid soccer. 

We were lucky.  I was working at the school when Roo went down, so I was able to quickly run to the field and get him to the Urgent Care.  At first the x-rays showed a minor misalignment and we thought we were out of the woods.


Follow up x-rays revealed the bone had moved out by 20 degrees.  Bad bad news.  We started talking pins, wires and lots of scary stuff.  Mom started freaking out.  Even the doctor didn't know - the plan was to operate and he'd know once he got in.  

Sometimes I seriously wonder if Heavenly Father ever gets tired of hearing from me?

The morning of surgery, I kissed Roo goodbye as they wheeled him away and sat down in the cafeteria with my book to wait the estimated 2-hour surgery.  I was completely shocked when they paged me 20 minutes later to say they had finished.  They had to re-break Roo's bone to realign the angle, but it went smoothly and all of it was accomplished without cutting him open or inserting any metal.  "Guided into place" - was the word his doctor used.  And I'd like to think there was some heavenly involvement in that guiding process. 

Anyway - we're so relived!  So grateful!  Poor Roo on the other hand is out of commission until the first or second week of December.  

My plan is to wrap my children in bubble wrap for the rest of their lives...

#2 - Grandpa & Grandma McKinnon

Oh, how I adore my in-laws!!  It was so nice to have them come visit for a weekend in October.  They bring so much strength, love and support.  I love them and constantly feel blessed to be part of such a magnificent family.

We took them to the Old State Penitentiary and the LDS Meridian Temple.  The two of them drove to McCall on Monday (in the rain!  We felt so bad on the timing).  And then we said goodbye Tuesday morning.   

#3 - Grandpa Carver

My Dad came up again the last weekend in October.  There was a part in the Airstream that wasn't working.  This is his 2nd time up here to fix the silver beast.  Personally, we hope it keeps breaking down so we can keep seeing him.

We showed him the walks down to the river, he read The Far Side with the kids, we went to church and we convinced him to stay over one extra night and watch Eddie The Eagle while we made hot chocolate.  And finally, he gave me a father's blessing.  I haven't had a blessing from my father since I've been married - which is now a little over 18 years.  It felt like coming home again.   

#4 - Soccer Teams and Activity Days

Andrew's season was cut short by his arm.  But he still went to the final games and supported his team.  I love that this league still lets them compete in coed teams.  

#5 - Sewing.  Sewing.  And MORE Sewing!!

Pretty Girl's obsession with sewing continues.  In fact, we've been having a difficult time staying on task in the morning when the crochet wheel has been left out.  We are grateful for Grandma Carver for her constant support in this new hobby of Pretty Girl's.  

#6 - The Raven

We held our annual Raven night.  They are always so much fun - a literary and sense of humor gauge into my children's souls!  We invited the Eliason and Johnson families over this year.  Already love these people.  Thank you, thank you Mr. Poe and Matt Groening.  

#7 - Bubbs' Field Trip - The Farmstead

Bubbs had his first field trip to a local pumpkin patch right before Halloween.  Darling place - but we got soaked!!  And it was muddy.  I had Bubbs pretty much strip down in the garage so nothing would be tracked inside.  

I loved being with him for the field trip!  Not sure how many I'll get to attend in the future - so I'm grateful for the small ones here and there.