Cousin Corrin Comes To Visit

Last weekend my sister Mel, her husband Colin, and their daughter Corrin came to town.  They won a trip to Scottsdale at a silent auction at Corrin's school.  We offered to watch Corrin so they could have a grown-up get away.
Since Hailey is at beach camp it was like we swapped in a smaller 4th kid.
 The kids had so much fun playing with Corrin.  They put on performances, we went swimming and to the movies.  We went to In and Out Burger where I was shocked for the first time how much food this little lady could put away.
 On Saturday the kids had a swim meet bright and early.  Corrin was so patient waiting through the nearly 100 degrees for 2 hours.  I think it was Corrin's cheering that helped Kaitlin win her first blue ribbon.
We went to our favorite breakfast joint to celebrate the ribbon sweep!  This was the second time Corrin's eating abilities shocked me.  She ate an entire side of bacon and 3/4 of the pancakes.  This was after having a granola bar, cheese stick, and fruit flat at the swim meet and a bowl of Cherrios before we left.  Can you say growth spurt??
While we waited for the sun to move behind the trees so we could get in the pool we did Kids and Canvas with Katie. :)
Finally it was cool enough to go in the pool!
A fun day of splashing and playing.
 Then it was pizza time.  Homemade pizzas are the best.  Once again Corrin's eating shocked me.  She is so tiny but somehow manages to store it away.  She ate 6 pieces of pizza, which was more than Kaitlin and Hank combined.  She had room for dessert too!  I think she grew an inch in the weekend alone.  Nothing makes mama happy like a good eater.
 It was really nice to have Corrin for the weekend.  She is such a sweetheart and jumped right in with the busy and crazy life of MKHKKH.  Hank acted so protective of her and seemed to grow up a bit over the weekend.  He was more responsible.  Normally he is like a feral cat and I am always afraid he will dart out into the street, no matter how many times I have said, "Look both ways!"  However, with Corrin around he would take her hand and look both ways, he would help with buckling, and he would help her at dinner.  It was really sweet to see him take on the big brother role, even if he did spin her in the chair until she flew out and cracked her head on the desk.  I loved seeing him be attentive to someone the way his sisters are toward him.  I keep telling Max how great of a big brother he would be.
He keeps telling me no chance!

18 Years

My one true love.  Then and forever.
So much has changed in the 18 years since we said, "I do."  But the one thing that remains is our love for each other.  

Father's Day

Since Hailey's birthday was on Father's Day this year, we celebrated a day early.  The kids didn't want Daddy not to get a day to celebrate him and we didn't want to take away from Hailey's special day. It made for an entire weekend of celebrating! :)
Most mornings Max makes Kaitlin braised eggs.  It is there special little morning routine.  She is quite disappointed when he has to go to work early and she misses out on his eggs.  Apparently my attempts to make braised eggs just won't do, she would rather eat cereal than my eggs.  :) Kaitlin wanted nothing more than to make Max a beautiful breakfast.  I helped her make bacon, braised eggs, toast and a Bloody Mary.
The kids had fun wrapping his presents and coming up with things they love about Dad!
Karlie wrote 39 reasons he is amazing.
Hailey made him a beautiful water color painted card with images of him and her.  Kaitlin wrote him a sweet card about how he is Superman and Hank made a card with balloons. 
 At church Kaitlin and Hank made the cutest little rock presents.
All Max wanted to do on his day was relax by the pool with all his kiddos.
Max really is that dad everyone wishes they grew up with.  He is all in and gives a 100 percent to work, me, and the kids.  From making breakfast for his girl in the morning, to coaching practices, to staying up late teaching math, to being able to fixing everything, he does it all.  The kids love him and adore him, but they won't really be able to appreciate just how wonderful of dad he is until they grow up and become a parent themselves.  As a little girl I dreamed of marrying a tall, dark, handsome man that would be a strong and loving father and would want nothing more than to be with his family.  Dreams do come true, sometimes even better than you imagined.

Supernatural II

Since Hailey was a little girls she has been a cling-on.  She would watch a movie, like Nemo, and be instantly attached to everything Nemo.  She went through many phases of cling-on.  There was Monsters Inc, dinosaurs, Dragon Tales, Harry Potter, and a long and constant love for horses.  A few years ago she became a Supernatural cling-on.  For Christmas that year all she wanted was T-shirts and merchandise from her favorite TV show.  Supernatural is the longest running fantasy series in America's history.  It will be starting its 12th season.  Every Wednesday night Hailey tunes in to watch.
Hailey is still a big fan so we went to the convention for the second year in a row.  She got to meet and take a picture with her favorite actor Jared Padalecki!  She took a portrait she had drawn of him to take the picture with it!  He was so impressed by her art that he got up talking to her for too long and the bouncers came and told him it was time to move along and take the picture.  She was as high as kite.  It reminded me of a Beatles concert with girls crying everywhere.  They had seats for the girls who became faint as they got to touch and meet their Supernatural heroes.  It was a wonderful mother daughter day with my girl.

Cool Mountain Air

We went back to Colorado to visit family and friends the first week of June.
 We have a friend who is one of 13 children.  All of his family lives in Louisiana.  However they make a huge effort to stay close with all his brothers and sisters.  For his 50th birthday 8 of his siblings and their families came out for his party.  Their devotion and love for family inspired me to try and work harder at keeping my own family in touch.
With my oldest sister in California, us in Arizona and everyone else in Colorado, it is easy to let time slip by.  We decided to vacation together every other year.  At the end of the trip we nailed down the next location and date.  Two years gives everyone time to schedule it and save for it.  This year my oldest sister anther husband couldn't make it the week we were there but we will be seeing them soon and they headed to Colorado the week after us.
 This year we picked Grand Lake.  It is a special place for my sister Mel.  She got engaged there. :)  We rented an amazing home on the lake.  The moose greeted us when we arrived and came to say goodbye the day we were leaving.
 In all the time we lived in Colorado we had never visited Grand Lake.  It is gorgeous.
 The Mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir
 We took a short hike to the waterfalls.  While I have adapted to the desert and can find beauty in it, nothing matches the beauty of the mountains and running water.
 Being on the lake we figured we could catch some fish...
 Or at least have fun trying.  It is a good thing our dinner didn't count on our success as fishermen.
 It was a long and disappointing afternoon.  The docs were better for relaxing than fishing.
 The best part was just hanging out together laughing, playing, eating, and enjoying each other's company.
Listening to the cousins play was music to my ears.  They all had so much fun together.
Mom and Snork
 Mel, Colin, and Corrin.
 Kerrie, Anthony, RJ, Rayah, and Alanah.
 My totally normal and fun family minus my sister Chrysti and her family.
 I am already looking forward to 2 years when we will all visit the beach together!
 After our time at Grand Lake we headed back to Denver to visit our friends.  Karlie and Marley have maintained their friendship over the last 5 years.  When they get together it is like they were never apart. Oh how we miss Marley. :(  While Karlie spent the day and night with Marley we visited our good friends that were our neighbors.  It was so fun being back in the old hood and seeing everyone.  We had great night catching up and making plans to see each other sooner than every 2 years.
The next day we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  It was as good as it always was.
 Then we headed to my Aunt Kathleen's house.  Summers at her pool were a big part of our lives.  This photo has a 6 year time hop.
 Two of my cousins had their first babies and I needed to get my hands on them.  However, I had to fight Kaitlin tooth and nail for them.
 Luckily there were two babies.  It was wonderful to meet Delaney and Brecklynn and see my cousins as mothers.  I was reminiscing when my sisters and I were all having babies.  Wonderful times.
Our final day we went to Gunther Toodies.  This was a special restaurant where my Mom and Snork would take Hailey for breakfast when she was little.  She had such fond memories she really wanted to go there again.  After a trip down memory lane and full tummy we headed to our dear friends' house.  Cathy and I were pregnant with Addison and Kaitlin while Max and Mike were in residency.  She also has a daughter Hailey's age and a boy Karlie's age.  We have ridden many ups and downs together.  It was so great to see them and all the good things happening for them.  After lunch and a water balloon fight it was time to head back home.  What a week!  It was wonderful to see everyone but we were all exhausted when we got home.  Kaitlin said we needed a vacation from our vacation.  Going back made me realize how much Arizona is now our home.  It definitely felt like we were visiting and not going home.  Two years ago it felt a little more split.  I wonder what the next two years will bring.  The only constant is change.

How Hailey Spent Her 15th Birthday

One thing for sure is that Hailey has good taste.  She selected a fabulous birthday menu.  We started the morning with Creamed Eggs over toast.
 Then we went to church and then off to the mall to have lunch at Subway.

After lunch we headed to the theater to see Finding Dory
  Finding Nemo was a huge part of her childhood, so it was especially poignant to watch Finding Dory on her birthday.  It was a really cute movie but not as good as Nemo.
 Her Nemo cake might have been our first creative cake.
Many lines from Nemo live on in our house like, "Righteous, righteous!!!"  "You so totally rock, Squirt! So gimme some fin."  "Noggin."  "Find your exit buddy."  "You think you can do these things Nemo, but you just can't."
For dinner she requested crab legs, artichokes, pasta and salad.  A dinner fit for a birthday queen.
 We had a cake by committee!  Karlie and Kaitlin worked together to make a chocolate chip cookie crust with a chocolate cake.  I made the ganache and Karlie cut up the strawberries.  It was very rich!  Our day was rich with memories, good food, and good times.

Happy 15th Birthday Hailey!!

Happy Birthday Hailey!  It is hard to imagine you were just 5 pounds 15 yeas years ago.  You have been a joy to watch you grow into a beautiful young woman.  You  are smart, talented, devoted and loving.  Your easy going nature makes you the easiest teenager.  So many people tell us how mature and wonderful you are.  They don't know the half of it.
We know the best things are yet to come for you but sure feel blessed and honored that we were chosen to be your parents.  We love you so much Jo-Jo!