Thursday, September 24, 2015

Willa's Fairy Festival 2015

"...But Mama, are you going to let us wear make-up?" Lottie asked. Her big eyes were pleading with me to say "yes." I couldn't help but smile. It would seem that was the only confirmation needed as she instantly began to jump and down. Both of my little ladies ask to wear make up frequently. It would take something really special, like a dance recital or Halloween, for me to agree. Perhaps I'd be more open to the idea if it didn't make Andrew squirm when the girls are dolled up in such a way. It's bad. Even the sight of slightly tinted lip gloss makes him uneasy. The prospect of teenage daughters frightens him, I think.

However, that night was different; an exception was made. Eliza and Lottie would transform into fairies and attend Willa's Fairy Festival, a long running event held each year to raise money for {various] charities. Henry likewise joined in the fun as he put on his well loved knight costume. He looked dashing.
Please understand, dear reader, this event is much more than a fundraiser. Having finally attended I would use the words magical, awe inspiring and special. Tucked away in a most lovely corner of Holladay, neighbors become family as they transform their yards into a fairy wonderland. It's truly a visual feast. Handcrafted fairies adorn trees, lights twinkle, pirates sing and play accordions, mermaids cast wishes and life size fairies tell stories. There's a charming market, baked goodies and an array of activities for children to enjoy. Those who come to support the festival add to the glorious ambiance as dazzled children run about; while parents d their best to keep up. The rain tried its best to impose but it thankfully dissipated. It was as if someone cast a magic spell, shooing that giant storm away. It wasn't long until the weather agreed to be amicable and we could put away our umbrellas.
The inspiration for this magic is Willa Tempest Jones. The love her parents have for her has propelled their efforts into something incredible. My blog has shared her story before (click here). I worry that my superfluous description will do more harm than good. Please forgive me if that's the case. Visit their website to see what I'm talking about (click here.)

Earlier this summer, I once again shared Willa's story with Eliza. She was particularly touched as I explained their second cousin connection. Willa's Grandma Marilyn, is my Mom's (Eliza's Grandma's) twin sister. Wanting to contribute, Eliza soon decided to sew teddy bears to sell at the market. The funds raised would be donated to this year's cause (multiple sclerosis). By the time the event arrived, she had ten bears completed. And despite how it may appear in these photos, she disliked the attention of it all. She was happy to do it but didn't want me to make a spectacle of her. She's better than me in so many ways. 

In addition to the children's enjoyment, I loved reconnecting with my cousins, their children and visiting with some friends from high school. I can't emphasize enough how thoughtful and meticulous each detail was. They were fashioned with care and a lot of love. It's hard to fathom the hours spent preparing for such a night. I'm glad we skipped our own school carnival to come.
Greta, Magnolia and Ruby Jones
We loved when Nanna Teresa, Katie and the Jensen's arrived. It was fun to watch them pal around.
These two cutie pies are especially close.

I have to give credit and share my appreciation for both 
Nanna Teresa and Nana Marie for their help with Eliza's bears.
Each of them spent time helping her as Eliza's Mom
continues to be the opposite of craft savvy. 
{I do my part as I drive her to her sewing lessons;
so I guess that makes me pretty much invaluable! Ha!}
Until next year!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday Morning Drama: Soccer Edition

"Hey guys! Where's my soccer shirt?"
(In the big kid's defense, they tried to stand next to him in the picture 
only to be rejected by Forrest!)
Soccer season is upon us!
We're already two games in and I've had the biggest surprise of my life!
And that is...
Lottie's a freaking soccer rock star!
Her first game, she scored the only two goals of the game. 
Today, she scored six!!!
The other team scored their only goals when Lottie was sitting out during her "quarter."
She's an animal.
Watching her play is hilarious and thrilling.
She wants the ball all the time and never stops going for it. 
I love it.
Each of the kid's have wonderful coaches. It's fantastic!
Henry and Eliza are also playing awesome this season.
Henry's team won last week and Eliza's lost.
Today it was the opposite. Eliza's won. Henry's lost. 
Lottie's team won both games.
I thought having three kid's playing soccer would be a nightmare,
but it's been so much fun;

except for when Forrest gets hurt. 
During Lottie's game today, Henry and Forrest were at the playground together. 
As Lottie's game is wrapping up, I suddenly hear Forrest WAILING. 
Running back to where he is, I discover that his forehead is covered in blood. 
Andrew had already left with Eliza so that she'd be on time for her game, 
but thankfully, my Mom was there.
And she had a bandaid. 
We stopped off at home, 
grabbed some Children's Ibprofen and
our first aid kit (lesson learned, keep one in the car).
And then headed to Eliza's game.
After Andrew's assessment, we decided he didn't need to see the doctor.
But that poor little head of his bled all day long.
In happier news, 
we found one of Henry's old soccer jersey's for Forrest to wear.
We wanted him to feel included, you see.
Life is so sweet these days. 

A quick note to Forrest:
My dear baby boy,
School has started and I'm sure you miss your pals. 
But I want you to know how much I love you. 
I'm proud of how you've befriended Jill (your speech therapist)
and that play so well with her. 
I love rocking, singing and reading to you before you nap or go to bed.
Usually you request the "Temple" song. 
I love that you touch my face with your hand when I sing. 
I'm so glad I get to pal around with you on my errands. 
My heart aches thinking about sending you to school. 
You have my heart and I'm so grateful you're here.
Your brother and sisters adore you.
When he's home, you are Daddy's shadow.
I love you. I love you. I love you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

When Opening Jokes Fail

So, last weekend we went back to Bubba's cabin.

(wait, you didn't think my opener was funny?)

I have a few floaters (pictures) on my computer and phone that need a resting place so welcome to this post. I'm not sure how that photo of Forrest driving the quad fell through the cracks, 
but I'm glad I found it! 

I'm trying to find a common thread between this pictures and all I'm seeing is muddy bottoms. 
He loves dirt.
And so do they.

These pictures are proof that I'm relaxing a bit as a Mom. 
Dirt isn't poisonous if ingested. Playing in it doesn't cost money.
 And it's an activity that keeps them well occupied.
Play on, children! 
(Look at me evolve!)

Chasing chickens is likewise free. 

Lottie is is a princess. 
Not pictured: her stylist. 
Eliza LOVES to dress up Lottie. 
They make a great team as she loves this attention from her big sister.
This photo may seem unordinary
but it was taken the day before school started. 
They were outside playing together and I wanted time to stand still. 
Time is naughty. 
It didn't listen. 
So I settled for a measly cell phone picture.

Did you know Eliza still has a giant heart?
She sewed this DARLING turtle for a friend 
who was in an incredibly traumatic car accident this past Spring. 
After months of surgeries and other life saving medical procedures, 
Brynnli came home and we were able to deliver the turtle (and dinner).

So, did you know that Eliza still has a giant heart
...and her Mom's coordination? 
As they were walking up the stairs to her house, Eliza fell. 
She cut her knee deeply. 
Trying to maintain some composure, she delivered the turtle. 
Good thing Dad was there to help her get home.
Once they were home, he cleaned out her cut. 
This is how she responded to that.
Clearly, Andrew did a thorough job. 
He also showered her with love.
After all those tears, I heard her tell him "thank you" for taking care of her. 
It should be noted, that lifting Eliza in such a way causes him great pain. 
His back is still a total mess from his car accident that happened two years ago. 
He must love her a lot.

We don't just do dirty bums at our house. 
Dirty faces are pretty common too;
especially if there are donuts on hand.

The Greens came up to play this summer. 
We had a sleepover and watched a movie outside. 
But not in that order.

Lottie at her back to school night 
(now I'm just getting lazy!)
For the fourth time this year,
I took one of my kids in for an x-ray. 
Forrest had mystery swelling in his knee. 
He was limping when he walked and sleeping poorly. 
After taking him to the doctor, we were sent back here.
His x-ray looked just fine. 
After a few days of ibprofen, Forrest returned to normal activity. 
Good thing we already met our deductible this year. 
(See previous mention of Andrew's continued back pain/treatments).
Seriously though, I'm so thankful Forrest is okay. 
A couple scary scenarios swam through my head for a couple of days.
Even though I let my kids play in the dirt, 
I am still paranoid and wired to worry.

Last but not least,
Andrew and I recently celebrated 11 years of marriage in August!
He's busy planning our trip to Hawaii (hint, hint babe)
so we went out to dinner in the interim. 
Coming home, I about died (of embarrassment and then sweetness).
Andrew's parents and our kids decorated our room and bathroom.
(Lottie picked out the Minnie poster!)

I was embarrassed because our room was so so so messy. 
But I got over it real quick because their thoughtfulness was out of this world. 
It's been a wonderful eleven years and those kids of ours are so dear to us.
I love you, Andrew Flegal. Thank you for this beautiful life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Little Lamb Lottie Goes Back to Preschool

With the big kids settled back into their school routines, my attention's been fixed on this cute girl. I am of the opinion that she has been looking forward to returning to preschool since its previous conclusion last May. Remembering last May, I admit that Lottie's beautiful hair has been neglected most of the summer. A few times, she and I bonded while I carefully combed out it's well concealed, yet incredibly complicated, tangles. Other than those rare moments, I let her hair bounce and fly wild all summer long.

As I dolled her up for that return to preschool, I felt giddy as her wild mane transformed into locks worthy of a shampoo commercial.
She was patient with me as I snapped photo after photo. 
With time to spare, we made it to school. 
"Hey! How about another picture?" If she could roll her eyes, she would have. Still, she obliged. 
In the nursery rhyme, "Mary had a little lamb"... Mary has a little lamb that followed her to school. Lottie has a little lamb named Forrest. He followed her to class one day, found the train set and didn't want to leave!
Breaking the news to him was not easy. He was the only one in tears. I was a brave Mama because I feel like I'm scoring an extra year with Lottie at home before Kindergarten. She'll be five in October. She missed the deadline by a month or so. She's ready for Kindergarten in  many ways, but deadlines are deadlines! (And I'm thrilled about it.)