Friday, September 30, 2016

Coach Cooper's Skate Camp

At the beginning of September Declan began a skate boarding camp with his friend Justus. Once a week we meet the Conans at the park. The boys skate while the little ones play for an hour. It is awesome! A great excuse to see our friends each week. Plus the boys get to skate around with high schoolers instructing them. Declan loves it. After the first day he said, "I just want to skate home mom. I had so much fun." It's a pretty awesome program they have going there and I have no doubt we'll be repeating it soon. Being around all of those other kids certainly pushes our cautious one to try things I know he wouldn't have. Luckily we still have a few weeks left of this run. 
A few highlights -

 First day at "the bowls". Declan was definitely nervous heading into the pool. Luckily his coach is awesome and really worked with him to make him feel safe enough to try it. 

 Nathan is obsessed with his big brother

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

taking stock {38}

Making: Lists. So many lists in preparation for a crazy busy last three months of the year.
Cooking: Same old stuff. Desperately need some new recipes!
Reading: Essentialism. I started listening to books while I am editing and can't stop. I feel like I am making up for years of pushing books aside due to kids + photography = no time.
Drinking: Water. So much water.
Listening: To Mimi read a Halloween book to Lexi
Wanting: A new work camera. I've been saving for over a year. I'm almost there.
Looking: Forward to taking Nate to Disneyland for the first time.
Playing: Harvest bingo with the kids and hide the cookies with Nate
Wasting: Calories on birthday cake
Crafting: Our 2016 photo book - my goal was to not fall too behind this year and I haven't! Although the next few months are another story.
Needing: To live near my mom. She is amazing...and beautiful.
Wishing: I could see my friends more often. I always have withdrawals after an awesome summer of playing.
Enjoying: One on one time with Nate and our new routine, but desperately missing the kids and simpler times without homework and schedules. It's so weird one day you have little kids and the next day you have big kids. It literally feels like it happens overnight.
Waiting: For cooler weather.
Liking: The fact that Declan is playing flag football and Lexi is taking piano. Best extra curricular decisions we've made yet.
Wondering: If I'll ever feel caught up?????
Loving: The fact that Adam's last day at his job falls on my birthday. Looking forward to an exciting opportunity and new beginnings! I'm so proud of him!
Hoping: That this is the year I apply to CMPro. I can't seem to get past 50 photos in my portfolio. I need 100 more. It's a long process. I said this last year. And probably the year before too. But, I joined an awesome prep group in the Spring. These ladies are so awesome, helping me and pushing me.
Marveling: At Nate. Today after spilling on himself at lunch he went upstairs, picked out new shorts and a shirt, brought them both downstairs to me along with a new diaper. This kid is so on top of it!
Smelling: A new candle right by computer and loving it. I've become a candle junkie since Mrs. Huggins started gifting them to me as a thank you for working in the classroom last year.
Wearing: New clothes - the best! My mom took me shopping at Joni's for my birthday!
Following: Lots of amazing photographers on Instagram which have inspired and re-vamped my love of was starting to wane slightly.
Noticing: Lexi's reading getting just a little bit stronger.
Knowing: I'll be 40 before I know it.
Thinking: How how awesome it is that as the kids get older the community seems smaller and more close knit. Lately I feel like I run into people all of the time. Between sports, school, and our new church sometimes I'm almost tricked into thinking we live in a small town.
Bookmarking: New exercises. My long time plantar fascias finally turned into a heel spur and I am unable to run for 6 months! Yikes! Ironically I'm kind of digging the opportunity for an exercise change up.
Opening: A box of new pots and pans. Desperately needed. It's ridiculous how excited I am about them. Showing  my age. Ha, ha!
Giggling: Over Declan's huge gap in his mouth. What are the odds that all four of your front teeth would be missing at the same time? Hello jack-o-lantern!
Feeling: Grateful for the people in my life and excited about recent, much-needed changes!

- - - - - - - - - - -

When I found out the Lion King Musical would be at the Civic Center around my birthday, it was a no brainer. Adam and I saw it 6 years ago with my mom, Jim, Emily and Jeff, celebrating my mom's 60th. I knew the kids were at the perfect age to enjoy it. What a special afternoon it was. They loved it! Like over-the-top loved it! After, we went out for Mexican at Las Olas. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday. I just wish Nate could have been there too, but he wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes in the theater! Thanks to Mimi for babysitting! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

love of a game

The football vibes are strong at the Herkert House. Crazy strong. Between Adam's long time love of the game, Declan's new obsession, and Nate's constant rough and tumble, football is never far from our thoughts. In fact Nathan won't watch anything on TV except football - which can be a problem since it isn't on all of the time. Declan is always asking Adam questions about the game, is concerned about what team we are rooting for, and is always checking the scores. And the boys are continually passing, tackling, and touchdowning together. It is so cute.  SO CUTE. I can't get enough of it. Thursdays are my favorite - Declan and Adam come home from practice and turn on the Thursday night game. Plus we have his Friday night game to look forward to the very next day. It has been such a great couple of weeks and I have a feeling each Fall the football vibe is only going to grow stronger. 
This is what is happening all of the time at our house:

Love this football obsessed trio!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

say: "Theodore goes to the theater"

or any other word we can think of that begins with "th". We've been having some fun teasing Declan about his FOUR front missing teeth! 

Watching him eat pizza the other night was quite comical. Good thing he has a good sense of humor!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

the kindergarten swagger

Well, we are about a month into school. And oh what a difference from a few weeks ago! 
The kids started school on August 15th. The first week with the Lexi was a breeze. The second week was hell. Dropping her off in the morning tore me up. But slowly the tears dissipated and by Friday September 9th, she gave me a hug and ran off with her friends without looking back. I stood there in complete shock - not expecting her to do that at all. The day before at drop off she was crying pretty hard and loud. Yikes!
Since the first drop off without crying happened on a Friday I wasn't quite ready to believe we were out of rough waters yet. But, guess what? Monday morning rolled around and no tears! Tuesday, no tears! No tears, no tears, no tears! We were there! Well almost. Sometimes after school she tells me that she wanted to cry at some part during the day. When I ask her what makes her want to start crying she replies, "when I miss you". Well, that just makes me feel so good and so terrible at the same time. 
In the last couple of weeks things have really started coming together for her. In fact, just yesterday she told me that she like Kindergarten better than preschool.  What???! I actually never dreamed I would hear that statement. When I asked her why she replied, "Because I am learning so much! And I love Jade and Zoe". Well, there you go! 
 Her teacher is amazing and she has become very close with Jade and Zoe. The three of them make a great trio! And luckily I love their moms. It is such a blessing when this happens. Ironically, Jades mom volunteers right before me on Thursdays so I get to run into her a lot and Zoe's mom volunteers on Friday mornings. We text each other pictures of the girls - it is great getting these and so wonderful knowing we have a little village taking care of business!

Zoe, Lexi, and Jade

So, in the last week or so, there has been a noticeable difference in her. I remember it with Declan too. The Kindergarten swagger. A different kind of confidence that comes from being away from your mom for most of the day. Just the way that she talks about things - the tone in her voice, the hand movements. The stories she tells. It is so hard to write about or put into words - they are subtle differences but so big to me. It is the official movement into kid-hood. 
Also, her reading! Hello! The kids and I do their reading in the morning because they begin school so late. It has worked really well. Lexi and I read BOB books and she is tearing through them all of a sudden. Watching your kids learn to read is one of the most exciting things about this age. It is truly amazing to see their little minds grow bigger and the excitement and pride they feel from this. 
We are on a good path to a great Kindergarten year! Phew!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Apple Picking

Apple Picking. A long standing tradition - 8ish years I think. With the kids being in school full time, we had to change it up a bit this year. I'm so glad we did - it was one of my favorite apple picking experiences! First off, we went on a Saturday, late afternoon. Completely different than the early morning mid week jaunts we usually do. Also, Daddy came with us (the last time he and I went apple picking together was pre-kids)! And we met the Conans and Nichols family there. Such a fun group to share a great experience with. After trying one orchard and being told they were all picked out we were going to head back to our usual orchard - Vulcan. But it was crazy crowded there. So we went off the beaten path to an Orchard tucked back in the hills. I'm so glad we did. Because for the first time ever the apples tasted delicious! Tall tress with large, red, delicious apples! We even needed pickers to reach those darn things! What fun the kids had! Quite a change from the tiny sour apples we always pick and never eat! Some successful twists on a favorite tradition. I love it when that happens.

 Justus and Declan were all about the pickers

 Not enough pickers to go around, but plenty of parents to lift up into the trees. ☺

 Have an apple friend! 

 Double fisting it!

 Silly apple group shots

 Never without an apple or two

 Evvy with a full bag
 Herr brother finally relinquished the picker

After our apple adventures, we stopped at the Julian Pie Co before heading home. Lexi is not a fan of apple desserts, so she opted for the brownie instead. Which we all shared because... 

Declan's apple pie wasn't too shabby either
Another fun year apple picking in Julian! 

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