In the Blink of an Eye…

firstlastJake firstlastTyIt is hard to believe it is already nearly JULY. And hard to see how quickly the days/months/years go by once the boys start school. Years are no longer measured solely by birthdays, but first and last days of school. In the blink of an eye…


Still TRI-ing…

When I signed up for the sprint tri in July, I had planned out the training months in advance: swim one day a week, run three days, and bike one or two…all while the boys were both in school three mornings a week. In my head, the plan was flawless. Then, as it always seems to happen, the plans changed and a part-time teaching position fell in my lap. As a result, I have officially traded in the yoga pants for work wear, my car/house office for a classroom, and…training for working.

The sight still makes me giddy. I absolutely love being back in the classroom and back in a school setting: teaching kids who LISTEN and having co-workers who love to talk about things other than Legos and Batman…

I survived my first full week back to work, Ty’s first full week of kindergarten, and Jake’s first week back at preschool. As we search for a new normal in our house, the first thing to go was my former workout/training routine. I desperately hope to get some of it back. And fear I will be the last person to cross the finish line in a few weeks. We now have FOUR entirely different school schedules, soccer, basketball, and swimming to keep track of. I realize there are phone apps that can do this, but I need to write things out, see them visually, and I love all paper products. Each person has a specific color. I have two boards that will be rotated and a small spiral calendar I keep nearby to plan further in advance. Items that need immediate attention, signatures, and/or checks are clipped to the board. Ty’s school picture form currently hangs, ready to be signed:

I wish we had a wall to devote to a family work station but we don’t. The calendar sits on our kitchen counter where it is clearly visible. On our fridge, I have one clip for Jake’s important papers/schedules/etc. and one for Tyson. Their morning routine/chore charts, which have proven invaluable hang below. For longer term papers/notes, each child has a folder in a standing organizer next to the big calendar on our kitchen calendar:

Thanks to Pinterest, our snack bin has evolved since this photo but it has made making lunches and packing a snack a breeze. For Tyson, I pack his snack in the front pocket of his backpack and leave his lunch separate in the big zipper portion of his backpack. That way, I don’t have to worry about him eating his lunch at snack time on the days he stays later at after school care:

And I have been getting used to being at the gym at different times. Different times = different classes. I am doing my best to squeeze in at least one spin class and a couple runs a week…I haven’t seen a pool in weeks. I am trying to adjust my overall outlook and approach for the tri. My goal is simply to finish. Have fun. Not drown. Complete the bike portion with my bike intact.

Searching for a new normal and hoping new routines fall into place. For now, still tri-ing…and wishing I had signed up for a fall half instead. I am determined to stick with the tri training but am already disappointed that I am not going to be anywhere near the kind of shape I had previously hoped.

First Day: Take Two

Jake’s first day of three-day preschool…those cheeks:

Sweet boy. Outfit only lasted about thirty second after the photo but I enjoyed the jean cuteness while it lasted. Neither of my boys are big fans of jeans…

And what happens when you ask him to say “cheese”…


First Day…


End of the Year Teacher Gifts

It is hard to believe that this is Tyson’s LAST YEAR OF PRESCHOOL. As of tomorrow, I will officially have a kindergartener in the house. Sigh. We are extremely grateful to have found the school we did. The staff, the grounds, and the teachers have all provided Tyson with an introduction to school that is truly priceless. I wanted to do something special for all of the teachers as a small token of our gratitude. I ordered some hand stamped necklaces for the main teachers but they haven’t yet arrived. After a sleepless night and major anxiety, I found some really nice potted plant starter kits and cute little plant a tree gift boxes:

I found the free “Thank You for Helping Me Grow” printable here. I wrapped the “Plant a Tree” boxes in a corrugated take out box, hot glued a ribbon, and voila:

For the potted plants, I found a simple kraft box. Folded in the sides and tops, hot glued a ribbon around the edges, attached the printable, and done:

Tyson hand picked the paper airplane making book for his favorite teacher and wrote a handwritten note. We also gifted the school (and garden) an apple tree planting kit:

Dinosaur Birthday for Two

The boys’ birthdays are two weeks apart. Two weeks after Christmas. Last year, we threw a joint birthday party for both boys and it seemed to be the perfect solution. We timed it the weekend following Jake’s actual birthday…which happened to be Superbowl Sunday. Oops. So, this year, I planned the party after Jake’s birthday and Superbowl Sunday. Putting the party almost a full month after Ty’s actual birthday. Not sure I’ll be doing this again. Not sure I’ll be able to get away with a joint party again either as Ty had a most definite opinion regarding his guest list this year. Both boys are on a major dinosaur loving kick. My mom offered to make the cake and/or cupcakes. And the cupcake toppers. She absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent outdid herself. LOVED the way everything came out and so did the boys. The toppers:
Tyson loved the googly eyes. And promptly recalled the names of each dinosaur:
The entire spread:

Dinosaur themed cupcakes complete with a volcano:

And lava:

Party table:

Birthday collages:

Tyson’s favorite part of the party place:

Jake had his air hockey:

Tyson tried to figure out the skeeball:

Rare “mommy and kiddo” photo moment:

Cupcake time. Ty tried to block out his brother, hence Jake’s face:

Blowing out the candle like a pro:

Blowing out the candle…with mouth closed. We’ll work on this:

Fun family photo. It only took about fifty attempts:

It was a really fun and special day. Loved seeing my boys surrounded by such love and support. We have the most awesome family and friends.

Ty’s First Last Day of School

Then and now. First day and last day. September and June.
THEN: size 8 shoe, size 3T clothes. NOW: size 10 1/2 shoe, BIG BOY size 4 clothes.
Still LOVING trains…

Jake’s One Year Montage

It feels as though his first year really did go by in a matter of minutes…

Photo and video editing at

A Birthday Party for TWO

We had a party for the boys at Bounce U Superbowl Weekend *gasp*. I really can’t rave enough about Bounce U. We literally didn’t have to do any party prep. We just showed up…and had fun. Both bounce rooms were ours and EVERYONE looked to have a really good time. Grown ups included. The kids started the party off with a safety video. Tyson impatiently waiting for the fun to begin:
I definitely had just as much fun as the kiddos. Jake LOVED the slides and bouncers:
Climbing up each time was no joke. Especially when carrying a 24 pound one year old:
Did I mention the curly-haired-ONE-year-old LOVED each and every minute of it:

As did the super-excited-THREE-year-old Ty:

An attempt at a group shot. Note the one kid not cooperating. Shocking, I know:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t back up anymore and didn’t have a different lens…but a pretty good shot of everyone. Sorry, Orion for cutting off your cute little face:

Tyson’s favorite part- the birthday cake- or a new Lightning McQueen and Mater car:

Impatiently waiting for everyone to finish singing Happy Birthday…he desperately wanted his hands on those cars:

Jakey’s special egg-free cupcake:

Making a wish and blowing out the candles:

And a happy camper, finally:

Enjoying the goods:

Also enjoying the goods. Can you tell:

Thank you everyone for coming out on Superbowl Sunday to party with the boys. They are so loved. We are very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.

Future Soccer Star

Tyson started Daddy and Me Soccer two weeks ago. It is likely the first of many more sporting endeavors to come: