Saturday, July 30, 2011

hands down the best part about living by family = COUSINS

ps... I'm sort of in love with this last one, because let's be honest, a lot of kid pictures look like this!

pss... Hi Renee!

Friday, July 22, 2011


(i personally love that Dave is sitting in this covered, ox-pulled wagon talking on his cell phone)
Always good times in Nauvoo.
I suppose this makes it our 2nd annual trip.
We have the Nauvoo brick and prairie diamond.
We made a rope together, ate ash bread and ginger cookies.
And all the rest of the usual suspects.
In fact this year, we even walked away with the rare mini-horseshoe from the blacksmith
thanks to Lily and her adorableness.
During the Blacksmith presentation, he directed a question to the children in the group.
He began by hinting that he was a BLACKsmith,
and what color did they think a blacksmith would make the horse's shoe?
Of course every little kid chimed in with "black!" as he dipped the red-hot metal in black oil.
But Lily was honestly disappointed.
She piped up, "I would make my horseshoes' PINK!"
And everyone laughed, enough so, that the teenage girl who actually received the horseshoe,
(based on who's birthday was next)
found Lily in the parking lot and gave it to her.

The week before we left, the boys had a well-child checkup.
Our pediatrician asked the kids if they were going on a vacation this summer.
(I was about to answer no...)
But Zach and Lily replied with an enthusiastic YES!
They began to describe Nauvoo and all the things they do there.
You would have thought they were describing an extravagant Disneyland get-a-way.
So the doctor looks at me with a puzzled look and asked, "where is Nauvoo?"
And trying to take it down a notch, I explain that it is a tiny little town in Illinois,
that has historical significance to our faith.
She sort of nodded her head and said, "well, have fun!"
Ha. ha.
So I learned a little something from my kiddos.
I certainly wasn't counting Nauvoo as "vacation".
I mean, give me a beach, or a foreign country, or some sort of magestic scenery,
or at the very least give me something other than the Holiday Inn Express in Keokuk, Iowa!
But you know what?
Car ride with treats and movie - check.
Hotel stay with breakfast and jumping on beds - check.
More family fun than you can shake a stick at - check.
Memories, memories, memories - check.
It doesn't need to be's a vacation!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear David,


July 5th is our day.
The anniversary of the day we met in 1997.
The anniversary of the day we married in 2002.
14 years to be in love.
9 of them married.
This year to celebrate, we, um...kind of didn't.
You helped some people move last minute, and I was feeling sick.
You brought me a mango smoothie and said, "we'll make it up tomorrow."
And then life kept going, really fast...and each day that passed
More than once we've laughed about how un-celebratory we've been.
We say things like, "next year - for our 10 year/15 year - it's going to be big, we'll do it right!"
Or if we have a little time alone together, we smile knowingly and say,
"this is for our anniversary." :)
Life isn't easy.
Sometimes it's downright brutal.
But there is one thing, that even a midst trials I've never taken for granted.
That is, that our relationship is easy.
Meaning drama-free and love-full.
I say that with eyes wide open,
and a personal belief that it's not necessarily something we can take 100% credit for.
And so I see you as my perfect-for-me love,
the person I'd want with me on a deserted island,
and any other cliche-ish thing you want to add in here.
But mostly, I see you as a blessing.
Loving you, and feeling your love for me has always been,
a gift from above.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Boom Boom - July 4th (extended) weekend

Whirlyball with the family.
It's like lacrosse played in bumper cars.
Pregnant ladies (me) had to sit this one out...but it sure looked like fun.
get set. Laura and Zach.
go! David and Kyle!
go! mini-racer Zach (racing all by himself)
We cheered every time he passed...
there were 12 adults cheering and we were loud,
he thought it was great.
My contribution to one of many BBQs,
patriotic strawberries.
A rousing game of football played by six handsome men...
which included a controversial penalty flag (wet underwear)
that was thrown as often as possible.
Luckily, this game ended in a tie.
I'm noticing a theme...our family enjoys a healthy competition.
Ashley, Anna and Mama...posing for sparkly pictures.
Sparkler photographs were a hit this year.
I think I have at least 40!
And true to Sloan tradition we loaded up on fireworks for the 4th.
It really was a brilliant weekend.
Every one of my siblings (and their significant others) were in town.
That won't happen again for a while, so we went all out.
Swimming, eating, playing, hot-tub-ing, more eating, and 1am bedtimes.
It's taken us days to recover from the fun.
My kids have napped all week (that never happens).
But it was worth it, worth it, worth it.
I love these people.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

summer summer summer

Summer is absolutely flying by.
Our days are full and I love the sound of our home...busy.
Making smores in the car happened on the hottest day of the year thus far.
They were wrapped in foil, placed on the dashboard, and wah-lah...
15 minutes later, ready to eat.
Of course campfire tastes best, microwave melts marshmallows better,
but the novelty of making them in the car? Tops them all.
Not all summer days are easy.
(especially when you're emotional/pregnant and your husband works late every single summer night)
(especially when grocery shopping, visiting teaching and cleaning bathrooms have to happen on the same day...with children in tow)
(especially when you're driving kids to camps, sitting through 2 hour gymnastic practices with small boys, and trying to keep track of 3 novice swimmers in the pool on a weekly yourself)
(especially when you're....oh wait, am I complaining?)
A thoughtful note left on my pillow did wonders for my moral and energy level.
And also reminded me that I am hardly, hardly alone in my endeavors.