Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Twas the Sunday Before Christmas...

...And Mom was in a lurch, trying to get three kids ready and smiling before church!

Annie wanted Mom to hold her, Ty wanted to read a book, McKay was refusing at the camera to look!

We had to give up without getting a photo that was first-rate.  Mom was yelling, "Load up!  We're going to be late!"
After church we tried again, and this was our best shot.  At least everyone was looking, while before they were not!

Then Annie took off running, and we got one of the brothers.  And what a miracle that at this moment they were getting along with one another!

Well, that's the best that the Marchant kids could do for today.  Now they are all in their jammies, and that's how they are planning to stay.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Look Who's 18 Months Old!

...And headed to nursery!  Well, technically she's not officially 18 months until tomorrow, but since she was born four days late, and she was only born an hour after midnight (meaning if she would have come an hour earlier she's be 18 months today), and mostly since I was teaching Relief Society, I felt totally justified in sending her to nursery class today.  And I figured if anyone said anything about it (nobody did), I would just tell them that she had Bishop approval to start attending today.  Because, let's be honest,  there aren't THAT many perks to the calling, so you have to take advantage of the ones you can!

She was very proud of her paper that she colored.  Actually,  with the exception of her name and a little squiggle at the bottom of the page, it was devoid of all color.  But it was a picture of Jesus, and she loved it nonetheless.

And just because I think it's so fun, here are pictures of my other two on their first days of nursery, too!

I don't think I have ever been so excited about sending a kid off to nursery.  Having your husband serve as Bishop is sort of a game changer--here's to only one hour spent in the hall instead of three!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in Utah

About a month ago we decided to spend our Thanksgiving week in Utah.  We had the perfect plan--since Matt would be reporting to the MTC the day before Thanksgiving, he and I would fly out together with the kids and meet Adam there (since he was working in CA the week before).  Then we could have Thanksgiving dinner with my family early, before Matt entered the MTC, and with Adam's family on the actual holiday.
Oh, the best laid plans.  As it turned out, Matt's MTC date got moved up a week, which left me to fly to Utah alone with my three littles.  The flight didn't scare me at all--surely it couldn't be harder than church every Sunday!--but I wasn't sure how I would haul three kids, three carseats, three suitcases, a backpack, a diaper bag, a purse and a stroller through the airport.  Gratefully, some dear friends from our ward took pity on us, took us to the airport, and helped me get everything to the ticket counter.  Disaster averted!  And honestly, the kids were pretty well perfect on the flight, even though we were delayed almost an hour after we were sitting on the plane.  Whew!

A week before our trip Annie got a good black eye.  So she sported a nice shiner throughout the whole vacation.

While we were in Provo, we decided to take the kids down to the MTC so they could see where Matt was.  We were hoping to get a photo by the big "Missionary Training Center" sign, but unbeknownst to us, it was gone!  So we did our best.  Funnily enough, the guy that took our family picture was an instructor in Matt's zone.  We thought that was pretty neat!

We got lots of great cousin time in, both in Provo and in Salt Lake.

I was able to meet up with a high school friend/college roommate that I haven't seen in years.  I am pretty sure the last time we saw each other was at my wedding reception 8 1/2 years ago.  She is working in the Church Office Building, so we had lunch together in the cafeteria there and caught up on many years of each others' lives.  It was wonderful!

Our actual Thanksgiving feast was pretty quiet this year.  It was an "off year" for Adam's brothers, so it was just our family and Bryan with Grandma and Grandpa this year.  We missed everyone else (although we saw them all for pie later that evening), but we loved the time with Grandma and Grandpa Marchant!

The evening after Thanksgiving we decided to head to temple square for the first night of the Christmas lights there.  We stopped first at the Church History Museum, where the kids had lots of fun playing at the Book of Mormon exhibit with some of their cousins.

Then we had dinner at City Creek and headed across the street to Temple Square to see the lights and beautiful statues.  It was CRAZY crowded.  Like, insanely so.  But it was nice to see it all while we were there.

The whole time we were walking around Temple Square, McKay kept complaining that he had "0% energy."  He took turns riding on Daddy and Uncle Spencer's shoulders.  I guess he wasn't kidding--as soon as we got in the car and started driving he zonked out and didn't wake up again until morning!

It's safe to say that we tuckered our kids out pretty well.  This is Annie the following morning as we were going through the Denver airport after our flight home:

We loved being able to spend time together as a family, as well as strengthen our relationships with our extended family.  It was a great trip!  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Getting Real

Chruch started out fabulously today.  We had our annual primary program during Sacrament Meeting, an opportunity for our children ages 4-11 to share their testimonies through word and song.  It was just beautiful.  Our primary presidency chose to have the children write their own parts this year, and it was extra special to be able to hear them share testimony through their own words, rather than a scripted part.  The music was wonderful.  Both my boys were on the front row of the stand, and from where I was sitting in the congregation I could literally hear their individual little voices singing each of the songs.  The icing on the cake for me was when my boys and Matt, along with a little girl and her aunt who will also soon be leaving on a mission, sang a medley of I Hope they Call Me On a Mission and I Want to Be a Missionary Now.  It was Matt's last Sunday in our ward before he gets to become a full-time missionary and report at the MTC.   Hearing and seeing him and my boys up there together destroyed me.  I was kind of a wreck, but in a great way!  It was so awesome!

But after Sacrament Meeting, things went down hill quickly.  I was asked to help out in our nursery since they were short-handed today.  I won't lie, it's not my favorite place to be.  So when church was over I wasn't in my very best mood.  Usually after church, the kids and I will go to the Bishop's office and check in with Adam, say a quick "hi" and "bye" before we take off.  Since we usually don't see him until late in the evening, it's really the only couple minutes we get with him until late on Sunday.  But Adam wasn't in his office after church, and we circled the building trying to find him.  I was carting my Sunday bag, the diaper bag, and Annie--probably 40 pounds worth of kid and stuff.  People kept asking me where my husband was, and I wanted to scream, "Do I LOOK like I know where my husband is?!"  Once we finally located our guy, we had our rendezvous, I located my then-missing son,  and we were on our way.  So is it any wonder that I was feeling frazzled and just DONE?

We got out to the parking lot and McKay announced that he needed to use the bathroom.  I was like, Nuh-uh.  I am so not going back into that church buliding today.  I told him he would have to hold it, that we would be home in five.  He insisted that it was an emergency.  Let me just tell you something about McKay...he loves public restrooms.  So he often has "emergencies" while we are out so that he can check out a new bathroom.  I was not falling for it today.  I told him to hold tight, we would be home soon, and I proceeded to corral my brood into the van.

Well McKay, being McKay, stood in the middle of the van and said, "Fine.  I'm going right now."  I freaked out.  I was envisioning urine-smelling carpet in my van for months to come.  I screamed, "Get out of the car!"  My thought process being, if he pees his pants, it will run onto the pavement and not onto my carpet.

The next thing I know, McKay has his pants around his ankles and he is "watering" the bushes on the median of the parking lot!  And boy oh boy, did he spray those bushes down good!  I was mortified!!  All I could think of was, "Behold, Clarke Farms Ward, here is the Bishop's kid peeing in the parking lot!  Let our family be a model and standard to you all!"  Gah.  McKay got back in the car and muttered, "I told you it was an emrgency."  That boy.

This real moment has been brought to you by the Marchant family.  Just in case you were incorrectly thinking that I have it all together.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Backtracking a Bit

I was reading back over this year's blog entries this evening, and I have to admit that I felt sad about how much I have failed to record.  I'm totally chalking it up to being a new bishop's wife, having a busy young family, and trying to help my awesome brother prepare for his mission.  But, believe it or not, it has been NINE MONTHS now since Adam has been called, and I feel like I have figured out our new "normal", and am pretty well adjusted to this stage of life.  
That being said, though I am nearly five months overdue, I wanted to blog about the half marathon I ran last June.  It was kind of a big deal for me, not because it was a new experience or anything, but because I finally achieved my sub-2-hour goal that I have been chasing since 2010.  
In 2010, I finished in 2:00:42, just 43 seconds slower than my goal.  I was ok with it, especially since it was my first time, but I knew I was going to run it again.  So I did, in 2011.  That year was a bit of a disaster though.  After having a major car break-down on the way to Utah the day before the race, not getting into town until super late, not eating the right foods and only getting a couple hours of sleep before running, it wasn't any real surprise that I couldn't perform at my best.  I ran a 2:08:15.  And though that was understandable considering the circumstances, it was way disappointing.  Last year, 2012, I had a baby the day of the race!  So I had to take a bye-year.  
So this year I really felt like was the time!  My strategy was a bit different this year:  take off super fast through the first half of the race (down Provo Canyon), and give myself a comfortable cushion to take the second half of the race slower.   I ran the first 7 miles down the canyon in about 53 minutes--easily the fastest 7 miles I have ever run!  Then I slowed up and took the flat 6-mile stretch down University Avenue at a nice leisurely pace.  It was a great strategy!  I ran my best half marathon time ever!

My very favorite part of running in races is seeing my beautiful family at the finish line cheering me on.  It is so symbolic to me--how as a family we are each other's biggest cheerleaders in life, and it never ceases to make me emotional.  

And here's the proof that I finally accomplished my goal!  (My official time was 1:57:35, I was a little slow stopping my watch.)

My mommy and me!  Another one of my favorite things about running this race is that my mom has participated with me every year!

Just a week before Baby Girl's first birthday!

This year was the inaugural year for the Kids' 1K race after the marathon.  My boys were both so, so excited to be able to run in their first road race!  And it was pretty special to be able to have that experience with both of them!

Another awesome thing about racing:  all the goodies at the end!  My boys were totally loving the Jamba Juices!

The boys with their running partners:  Tooge ran with Ty and Dad ran with McKay.

Now that I have hit that goal I am considering what to do next.  Run it again and try for an even better time?  Try a FULL marathon for my thirtieth birthday next year?  Maybe give a triathlon a try?  The jury is still out on that one!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Our Halloween this year was a hit.  I went easy on the costumes--I actually bought both of the boys' last year after Halloween on clearance for 5 bucks.  I'm pretty sure that neither boy has actually ever played Mario Brothers, but they were hugely excited to be them, nonetheless.  
We had a mellow morning, and then Adam was able to come home and work from home in the afternoon while Annie napped so that I could go to the school and be in the boys' classrooms for their class parties.  It was so fun to see them in the school setting--I don't get to be in either of their classrooms nearly as much as I would like to be because of Annie and her nap schedule.
After school, we headed to downtown Parker for the festivities they have there.  We had heard it was a good time, but had never been down there on Halloween in all the years we have lived here.  But it was a blast!!  All of the businesses down Main Street had trick-or-treating, there were carnival games and bounce houses, a hay maze, and dressed-up characters the kids could get their pictutres taken with--and all for FREE.  I cursed myself for having left my camera on the counter--where I had set it so I wouldn't forget it.  AHHH!
My very favorite part of the entire day came while we were downtown and there was a dance company dancing on Main Street.  They were doing simple dance moves that kids from the crowd could copy.  Both my boys ran out into the street, right into the throng of dancers, and totally rocked out.  I was laughing so hard at their totally lack of inhibition, and again could not believe that I didn't have a camera.  But at least I have stored that memory into my heart in the place where I keep things that I will never, ever forget.  Because it was a priceless moment.

Luigi and Mario

And Annie was our little strawberry.  She has been cutting her canine teeth the last couple days and has diarrhea and a bad diaper rash.  So she was less than thrilled with her life.

 But I DO love this picture of McKay trying to comfort her while she was crying her eyes out.

And this was the very best we got all night of all three kids together.  You win some and lose some.

It also didn't help that every time I tried to get a good picture of Annie, Ty kept photo bombing!  I asked him where he learned how to photo bomb and he said, "From Grammie!"

Fortunately, once we got out and about the neighborhood, Annie was happy as could be.  I tried to get her to say "Trick or Treat" but she never did.  Once she caught on that everyone was giving her candy, though, she would rub her chest (ASL for "please") and say "Bease!" at every door.  Which was cute and probably more polite, anyway.  :-)
She choose suckers at every house that had them, and started on that huge orange tootsie pop with the wrapper still on sometime while we were still making the rounds.
All the kids had a pretty good haul!

Even though these mustaches bothered the boys and they refused to wear them while we were out, I insited that they put them on for a minute to get a picture.  They were just too cute not to!

Annie and Her Daddy
Uncle Spence came into town yesterday for a tennis conference that's in Denver this weekend.  So he got to join in the trick or treating fun, too.  And McKay needed to make sure that we got a picture of him.  As soon as he took this photo, he said, "Great picture, Spence!" which cracked us up.
Another adorbale anecdote:  while we were going around the neighborhood, McKay grabbed Ty's hand and said, "Brothers are best buddies.  So I will walk with Ty, and Dad, you walk with Spence."  And every time Adam and Spence were not right next to each other, McKay would remind them:  "Brothers stick together!"  It was beyond cute.

One last cute story:  as the kids were sorting through their candy after we returned home, McKay saw a pack of fruit snacks in his pile.  Fruit snacks are Annie's favorite thing in the world right now, and without saying a word to anyone, McKay walked over to Annie's candy bag and put his fruit snacks in her bag.  It was no big deal to him; he didn't do it to get praise or attention, and that's why it was so sweet.  He just has a golden little heart that I adore!
I was exhausted by day's end, but we had a really wonderful Halloween this year!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Little of Life Lately

Which is code for lots of photos of Annie!  Seriously, this little girl is so fun!

She is seriously sassy, though, too.  Lately she has been making this scowly face, and though I have never been able to capture it perfectly on camera yet, it is adorable and hilarious!  It always makes the recipient, whoever it may be, laugh.

She is not lacking at all in the personality department!

Grandma M sent a fun package for the kids for Halloween, and we loved the little witch headband for Annie.  We were surprised she actually kept it on her head!

Love that little dimple!

Our kids had a week-long fall break, and one day some of our friends in our ward called and asked if the boys wanted to go to a fun park with them.  They ended up running into more friends from our ward, and it sounds like everyone had a blast!  Annie and I missed out--we were home napping.  Which maybe means we didn't miss out so much after all.  ;-)

Since we really didn't have any big plans for fall break this year, Adam took the Friday off of work so we could have some family time.  Thursday night we went up to Northglenn, booked a hotel, took the family out to dinner, went swimming in the hotel pool, and jumped on the beds.  The next day we went to Boondocks, a fun center right by where we stayed.  It was an absolute blast!

We went to an adults-only Halloween party with some friends last weekend.  We were a little hard-pressed to think of costumes, so this was the best we came up with:
Adam thought I have never looked better.  :-)  I told him not to get used to it!

I am 100% obsessed with these spriggy little piggy tails that Annie has been sporting lately.  She is totally growing a mullet, so we often put pig tails in to make it look presentable!

And here's a couple of my two little people jumping on my un-made bed as I did my hair this morning. I miss Ty so, so much while he is gone at school, but the time with just these two is a lot of fun, too.

My cute friend, Evelyn knitted this sweater for Annie before she was born.  It's still a little big, but it almost fits!

And tonight was our annual FHE pumpkin carving contest.  We have a system:  Adam guts and I carve, and the kids "help" where they can.  These were fully the kids ideas, except of course the Minnie Mouse.  Annie loves Minnie right now, so it seemed like the right choice for her!
McKay:  Batman logo
Ty:  Ironman 
Annie:  Minnie Mouse