Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Denver Doings

You guys, I had so much fun in Denver!  It was such a short, whirlwind trip - but maybe that's for the best as it left us all wishing for more.  I was greeted at the airport by the whole family in their new minivan, and that started my weekend off just right!  I had a special seat reserved in the back next to Lexi, 5 years old.  She chattered happily to me the whole way back to their house.  Matthew, 3 years old, kept peeking back at me from around the edge of his car seat.  Little Skylee, 3 weeks old, slept contentedly in her car seat.  She wasn't too fazed by Mema's arrival.  Turns out she's not too fazed by much - she is a remarkably easy little pocket pal, a perfect attendee at any outing.
So before we go any further, here are the main characters in the weekend:
Alexis/Lexi, 5 years old  
She has lost both bottom teeth, and the new ones are just starting to grow in!

Matthew, 3 years old
He loves to mug for the camera

Skylee, 3 weeks old
This is about as excited as she gets during the day.

We arrived home, dragged the suitcase up to the room I would share with Lexi, and then Lexi, Matthew, and I headed around the corner to the park.  They wanted to swing, so Lexi showed me how she knew how to pump her legs, and I pushed Matthew.  I regaled them with stories of how, when I was their age, I had a swingset in my backyard!  Lexi's dark eyes were big as she asked if my backyard had been a park.  (She doesn't know that her mother's goal for the coming year is to get a swingset in their own yard - won't that be a wonderful surprise?!?)
Ronna picked us up from the park so we could go out and buy some tea party treats.  Nothing Bundt Cakes was the chosen place.  We got a dozen assorted little bite sized bundt cakes, and headed home to make dinner.  Do you know how hard it is to get little ones to eat dinner and take baths when all they can think about is a tea party?  It wasn't easy, but finally we were ready for tea.  Lexi gathered her Tinkerbell teapot and spoons, and we got some people sized cups and plates.  Lexi was involved in teaching "Maffew" to be a gentleman, and I think she had some success.  There's only so much you can do with a 3 year old boy, but I think she did it.
We partied down:

When we were finally sitting around later that evening my son asked me if I'd brought church clothes and I gulped.  I hadn't.  I was trying to pack as lightly as I could, and I just assumed that with a new baby, they wouldn't be going.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  It was the Sunday that the Primary children do their program, and it's always a special treat.  Even more special, Lexi had a part to say.  Ronna told me that they were having a special Visiting Teaching presentation the third hour, and that they'd asked her to say a few words.  She was so nervous, she was thinking of using the baby as an excuse, but couldn't get out of her mind a personal experience she'd had with some loving VT sisters when she was having some life struggles.  I sent up a little prayer that somehow I'd be able to throw together some kind of outfit so we could all go.
Saturday morning Lexi was picked up by a friend of Ronna's, and off she went to her Primary Program rehearsal.  Ronna and I spent the morning feeding the baby, taking care of Matthew, and getting ourselves ready.  When Lexi got home a couple of hours later, she was glowing with success - she had delivered her part with confidence and had it completely memorized, due to Rex and Ronna's perseverance.  They'd had a pizza party afterwards, and she was one happy little girl.  
Rex had read about a Fall Festival taking place in Boulder over the weekend so we packed up the car and took off.  Lexi had learned to play Rock Paper Scissors in school, and so for almost the entire hour it took to get to Boulder we played Rock Paper Scissors.  Awesome.  My fists had a brief respite when a CD she liked was put on and she belted out the song like the best kind of diva.  Adorable.
The Fall Festival consisted of some carnival rides, some bounce houses complete with slides, and lots of food and music.  And there, with almost a halo around it, was a booth selling the cutest handmade skirts at an affordable price.  My little weekend miracle.  I bought one without even trying it on, and I was so happy as I mentally matched the clothes I'd brought with it.
Matthew hadn't had a nap for the second day in a row, and it was starting to show, and little Skylee had been asleep for most of the day.  It was time to head home after some rides and walking around a bit.

Once Matthew fell asleep in the car, he never did regain consciousness - not even when we arrived home.  Ronna put him to bed in his clothes.  Skylee was awake and ready to party at that point.  Ronna and I made a run for Olive Garden takeout and Rex stayed with Skylee.  He must have called us 5 times before we got home.  He was trying to watch the UFC fights, and Skylee was fussy.  He handled it like the good dad he is, but was getting frustrated and worried because she kept going cross eyed - like every newborn does.  At last - Olive Garden to soothe everyone's frazzled nerves and hungry stomachs.
Now, it would be a perfect story if I were able to say that Skylee slept like a champ and we all got up for church rested and refreshed.  But she didn't, and Ronna was exhausted.  I got ready quickly and tried to help out as much as I could.  When Rex, Lexi, and Matthew were ready, I went with them and left Ronna to get herself ready and bring the baby a bit later.  
Lexi sat up on the stand with the rest of the children and looked excited.  Every so often she would smile at Rex or me and give us a little wave.  But she always had one eye on the door.  When her mother finally walked in, her little face just lit up, and I was so happy that everyone was there to see her performance.  Her part was letter perfect, and she spoke so clearly.  She sang her little heart out.  And Mema sat down in the congregation and cried like a baby from happiness.  I'm not sure why I was so emotional, but these little ones just touch your heart with their sweetness and simple faith in Jesus Christ. My heart was just too full of love and emotion and it spilled out.  Loved every minute of it.
We got to the third hour, and Ronna overcame her nerves, and shared her personal experience with everyone there.  I won't go into it, but I know what bravery it took for her to do that, and again - I was just SO PROUD of her.  And I know she felt a personal triumph herself - especially when so many sisters told her how wonderful it was for her to share her story.  This girl has come a long, long way, and has overcome so much.  To say I'm proud of her is a huge understatement.  I wish I had half of her bravery.
After church we got home, and Matthew wanted to sample one of the chocolate covered cinnamon gummy bears they'd handed out to the ladies in our third hour.  I liked them, but I can say with certaintly that its a candy for grownups.  Matthew bit the head off and a tragic look came over his face.  "That's horrible!" he blurted out.  I had a hard time getting myself to stop laughing.  Who says "horrible" when they're only 3 years old?  
I took out the camera for a little photo shoot.  It was a beautiful day - blue skies and warm.  Lexi put on her new Halloween skirt and top that I'd gotten her, and decked herself out with the new Halloween necklace that Aunt Katie had sent.  She struck pose after pose.  I told her she was a wonderful model and she said "Thanks Mema.  I've never done this before."  So sweet and simple and sincere.  I was able to catch some good shots of all 3 kids, and here are the best ones:
Rockin' that necklace!
Couldn't leave this happy boy out!

We got Skylee into the act... two happy little girls!

And another shot of two pretty girls.

Lexi was pretty proud to be sitting outside holding her little sister!  Especially in her
new Halloween garb... she knew she looked pretty!

Nothing is more fun than a day with these three cuties!

There were lots more pictures, but I haven't had a chance to go over them yet.  I'll share them little by little in other posts.  I didn't have the opportunity to give Rex and Ronna a night out, but I did get up early on Monday morning with Skylee and had a quiet morning with her so Ronna could have some uninterrupted sleep.  Of course, Skylee chose that night to sleep clear through until 6am, so I didn't suffer too much!
I was sad to leave, but I'm already trying to plan the next time I'll be able to go back and see them.  While I was there, I didn't have an ache or a pain.  I was rested and ready to play.  There must be something magic about sharing a double bed with a 5 year old girl.  Your complaints just magically disappear for the duration of the visit.  So that's my Rx to everyone - leave your regular routine, and lose yourself in the fun world of small people.  The joy is contagious.


  1. First of all, I love your prescription for all of us!! You have the best attitude!

    Secondly, your grandchildren sound like such a delight! I love that Skylee was so easy! My second and third daughter (Helen and Becca) were super easy. I say Yay for easy babies!

    It sounds like the perfect trip and I am so happy you had a chance to visit your beautiful grandchildren!

  2. You've made me realize that two weeks can't get here fast enough. My daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit and staying for 12 days. I haven't seen them for 5 months. I can't wait.

    Glad your trip went well.

  3. Karen, I just wrote the longest comment and I don't know what the heck I did, but it just disappeared. It is in blog heaven. I seem to have so many that go there these days. I will try to remember what I said:

    I am so happy that you had the chance to go see your grandchildren, even if it was for such a short time. It is so important for us to keep that close contact with them. I remember when we went to Florida for eleven months and I darned near went crazy with homesickness for my grandkids. I would turn on "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" and cry through the whole program. It was just awful! I was never so glad in my life to move back to California again so that I could see them every day.

    It does sound as if you had a wonderful time, a very busy busy wonderful time. No wonder the children were off schedule. They probably didn't know what had hit them. They are so adorable, Lexi, Matthew and Skylee. The pictures you took of them are all so good. Lexie seems to be so good with Skylee. They are all so cute. I'm glad you got to go to church too, especially when Lexie and her mom both had parts. Good thing too that you found such a great skirt! We do have visiters that forget to bring a dress and they wear dressy pants. It happens quite often because we do get so many visiters. One gal even came in jeans, rather than miss church.

    I hope you are rested by now. It sometimes takes a few days, after being on such a hectic schedule.

  4. What a great trip. I am looking forward to a similar trip to see our daughter's baby being blessed next month. They have a girl, boy girl just like your daughter. Your account made me so excited. (We always go to Nothing Bundt Cakes too)

  5. Karen, you have a way of lifting our spirits by your enthusiasm and love. Your grandchildren are truly beautiful darlings. That Matthew said "horrible" cracks me up! Looks like you'll have a fellow writer in the family;) I love your quote "lose yourself in the fun world of small people. The joy is contagious." I think I'm going to write that in calligraphy and frame it to hang over my workspace.

  6. I loved this post, Karen. You photos are fantastic, wish I had skills like that. My favorite is Lexi in the ride. How did you manage that shot? Wow.
    Glad you had a great visit. And that you felt well the whole time.

  7. You are getting very good with that camera, Karen! And the grandkids are darling, darling, darling.

    Glad you were pain-free for the whole time, and that you were able to make the primary program. I'll bet Lexi loved having you there!


  8. What a deliciously rich time in some many extraordinary ways, so many extraordinary facets. Welcome home ~ xox Alexandra

  9. Such cute pictures of the kids. It sounds like you had a blast. I loved matthews response "Thats horrible!". haha. BTW you need to follow my blog. i only have 6 followers. Sad face.

  10. Should be soemthing there on the right column now.

  11. Que lindo as crianças, são encantadora.
    Gostei muito de conhecer seu blog, e ja estou seguindo. Convido a conhecer meu blog e seguir-me se gostares. Um abraço!

  12. What fun! Those kiddos are so cute. I just love the shots of Skylee with Lexi..only 3wks old and smiling for the camera! I have a Lexi grandkiddo who's 5 also! Our Primary program is in Oct. and I always get all misty eyed each year. When I was in the Stake Primary I would go and visit other Wards and watch the program and I'd get misty eyed there too...my knees have been bugging me so I'd better get a visit with my Grands so I can feel better! Have a great weekend Karen!

  13. The sweetest grandchildren. What a treasured visit.
    - Joy

  14. Yes, it takes some boot camp brain training to get on and stay on that positive track for the most part because there are always frustrations, disappointments, setbacks. Yet, though each day may not be lovely, there is loveliness in each day ~ xox Alexandra

  15. How beautiful! I do look forward to loving on grand kids someday and I hope I get to! Your pictures capture a lot of joy! Wonderful memory-making!

  16. Hi Karen,
    I've fallen in love with your crew! How sweet are they, one and all! Glad you felt so good during your stay and I hope you are still doing well!

    Taking a stolen moment for now to send love and hugs...still working on getting my honey back to 100% so not much time to share with my blog friends.

    Until then..hugs and thanks for such a happy, uplifting post!

  17. Loved this post! The pictures are all so darling! You really captured some good ones :) When we talked earlier, I hadn't seen any of these except for the few you emailed me.

  18. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time! I am a sucker for a teeny tiny newborn. OHHHH she is just precious!! I adore her little face and hands and head and everything.

    They are all gorgeous, of course. But that baby makes me want 5 more of my own. :)

  19. What a great post. I smiled as I read. Beautiful grandchildren too.
    You are blessed.


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