Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Oh, these pictures make me want to go back to Maui.
Right. Now.

When we lost our little Jacob back in November, we decided that we would take a vacation around his due date to make happy memories at that time instead of dwelling on what could have been. We have not been on a real vacation together--meaning more than just a couple days away from the kids--in years. There is something very wrong with that. We realized that we needed to treat ourselves to a getaway on a more regular basis.

It took some serious planning to get everything organized and due to the bombing in Boston I was a little leery about hopping on a plane, across an OCEAN away from my kids, and I almost wanted to back out. I was a little overwhelmed and could think of a million excuses not to go and if we hadn't already paid for our trip we may not have. Poor Justin had to deal with my crazy anxiety yet again and patiently waited for me to decide what to do. Thankfully, the call of the beach was able to quell my fears and we marched forward with outlining our date with paradise. We hired an awesome nanny who was a sister to one of my coworkers to watch them on the school days and deal with the crazy time after school with homework and practices, games, dinner, etc. The boys adored her. They still talk about her in awed tones and I am so happy the boys were well taken care of. My sweet parents watched them on the weekend and drove them around to their various games. See, life can exist outside of baseball.

After we touched down on the beautiful island of Maui, we hopped in our rental car and headed toward our hotel. We didn't get too far before we hit some major traffic. There is really only one road that goes from the airport to West Maui and there was a terrible accident that blocked it off. We pulled off into a darling little shopping center in Wailuku and ate at the Maalaea General Store. It was delicious. Justin ordered a po' boy and he said it was the best sandwich he ever had. I ordered fish tacos. Now, I hate fish so I wasn't very adventurous and ordered them breaded, but they were amazing.

We hung out while the traffic cleared a bit and then were finally able to get to our hotel. It is scary booking something online and when you are on a budget, it is even scarier. I was worried that we would pull into the parking lot and have the crappiest hotel on the island. But our hotel was perfect. Amazing. Wonderful. It was right on a golf course and the beach was only a two minute walk from our door. I wanted a kitchen in our place so we didn't have to spend so much on food, but I was pleasantly surprised that it also had a washer and dryer, had been newly remodeled, and it was a condo unit so it was huge. We even had our own little lanai to relax on and just take in the fact that we were in Hawaii. Without kids.

Now I didn't write down any details of what we did for this whole trip. I am certain we visited the beach and walked around and just enjoyed each other. We had some things planned of what we wanted to do during the week but we didn't want it too structured so we could just do whatever and not be on a timetable. You don't have this luxury when you have kids. It was hard for me to let go of that control since I like to have things planned down to the second when we are on vacation, but I quickly reveled in my freedom and acclamated to the Hawaiian state of mind quite easily.

We definitely marveled at this breathtaking sunset.

We ate dinner at this fun place. It was yummy. And my favorite thing was we were right on the beach just listening to the waves crashing on the shore. I want an ocean in my backyard.

The next day we woke up and went on a little walk on the boardwalk before the cabana opened.

This is my dream home. Beachfront. Hammock. Slight breeze blowing in the palm trees. I imagined myself with a dirty diet coke and a book wasting away the hours in this backyard. There was an empty lot for sale right next door...maybe I will start saving.

Then right to the beach. This was pretty much how crowded it was the whole time we were there. Dreamy.

Justin loves the water. He rented some snorkeling gear and had the time of his life. We bought an disposable underwater camera so I will post some of the cool things he was able to see. I did venture out a little later in the week but I get nervous in the open water and didn't last too long. It was amazing to see ocean life in their natural habitat and we weren't even out very far. There was a sea turtle who would come and hang out in our water and I loved him.

After we had been there a few hours we went into Lahaina to look around. We invested in some property on this shaved ice.

Visited the Banyan Tree. It was incredible. This picture is just a snapshot of its enormity and doesn't do it justice.

Rainbows all the time.

We walked along the boardwalk down to Duke's for dinner.

It was a three mile walk to the restaurant from our hotel. I totally earned this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

*spring sports*

This spring literally almost killed me.

I have been busy before, with four active boys we are always going from one activity to another, but I can usually look back and say that it honestly wasn't that bad. I was feeling a little inadequate because I was really struggling this year and I couldn't figure out why I was having a hard time keeping everything together.

Well, I counted how many games we attended. This number does not include the practices which were four nights a week for a different boy (or boys) each night in which I was coordinating dropping off and picking up and making sure I made it to the different games (I was often in the car from the time the boys arrived home from school and didn't get home sometimes until 10:00 p.m.) and the seven cancelled games and four baseball trips.

We had one.hundred.and.eight.different.games.

No wonder I was a bit stressed.

I do want to make it known that this is a very fun time in our lives. It just takes a little more planning but it was a little tricky this year because Justin's schedule is not as flexible as it has been so much of the driving--especially Nick out to Herriman--fell on me. I underestimated how much his contribution helped in the past! One of Nick's coaches works just up the street from us and had to come to my rescue a couple times because the other boys had their games here in Salt Lake at the same time Nick had practice. But honestly, I wouldn't give it up for anything. This was Nick's last year of super league and I am heartbroken that we won't be seeing our baseball family as often and traveling with them next year.

Andrew still loves soccer and it was fun to have a little break from baseball every so often.

Liam played for the Durham Bulls with the Crown Colony league. I hated it. The competitive spirit was overwhelming for these little first graders. He did end up with an amazing set of coaches whose main purpose was teaching them the game and making sure the boys had fun so he didn't notice all the politics going on behind the scenes. I am so grateful he didn't end up on any of the other teams because he would have most likely had a very different experience. He learned more about the game but was able to like a goofy, normal, seven year old.

And at the end of the season he said: "I will really miss Coach Jason."
Me: "I know, he really liked you guys."
Liam: "No, he LOVES us."

Again, kudos to his amazing coach.

Dancing on the field...

He caught me watching him!

Playing with his gum...

Baseball ready. (He was reminded multiple times to pay attention during the games. It made me smile.)

And this young man is getting pretty darn good at this game. I love it.

My cute niece Nora sporting shades at the Memorial Day Tournament.

Nothing beats an eighty degree spring day with a huge diet coke and a baseball game to watch. Perfect.

And this day was probably one of the best days Liam had at one of Nick's baseball games. We were down in Lehi and the huge sprinklers were on in the soccer field behind the baseball field and he was thrilled that someone had left a soccer ball. He was in heaven. He stayed cool and I even played a little game with him and he loved it when the sprinklers would catch me.

Luke had a good season with the Angels. He improved quite a bit this year and even had an opportunity to play with a super league team for one of their tournaments. We are hoping that he can play all season with them next spring. Then maybe we won't go through such bad baseball withdrawals.

And then there was football mixed in to the craziness. Nick went after school everyday he didn't have baseball practice to work out with the high school football team. His dedication payed off and he is playing both JV and varsity ball. He will be second string on the varsity team but he is so excited. I am proud of him but I am also a little bit nervous. I mean even though he is taller than me and weighs a ton, he is still my baby.

I was a little relieved when the games started slowing down and we were able to have some free time as a family here and there. But come next spring, I will be ready for this all over again.