Friday, October 28, 2016

fall ya'll

It's less than a few days till Halloween and of course Mother Nature it's still rockin the 95 degrees heat wave here in the valley. Whatever. Even though the temperature needs to literally chill, Fall activities are still my favorite so we endure. And make sure we do it before noon or after 5PM.  

I took the boys to one of those super cliche but super fun pumpkin farm/hay bale establishments with little rides that sent Rhett and Rad straight to kid heaven while Beck hunted and gathered all the loose hay straws and pointy rocks he could get his little grubbers on. 

We've done this in previous fall seasons, but this was my first year solo with all three boys (last year we went with Jake and Beck was basically a bump on a log. But this year...Beck is getting extra bold and stealthy and bolty in public which is really great. I'm pretty okay with taking the kids to playgrounds myself (this only took me about 5 months after Beck was born ... I adapt to new situations beautifully) but now Beck has to be watched like a hawk. I hope you never have the pleasure of seeing me pushing our poor stroller while sprinting after Beck headed toward a pond, parking lot, street, or in front of the pony train, because it's an ugly scene that he repeatedly finds hilario. 

So far. So fun. So Fall. 

This year we attempted the corn maze which is absolutely the WORST activity if you A. Have kids. B. Have kids who run. C. Have anxiety D. It's 90 degrees out. And we hit the E choice of All of the Above. I have no pictures because the boys had no concept of staying on the path and not "exploring" and I really wanted to avoid a nightly news story on the neurotic mother of three getting helicoptered out of the kiddie corn maze. Rhett tried to seize the Master and Commander title of our troop but he has zero sense of direction (like his mother) and can be very Type A bossy (also a gift from his mother) so trying to reign him in from going into the middle of the corn was the most fun ever. 

We eventually made our way out of the maze while Rad trailed a few steps behind and every four seconds yelled over the roar of the kiddie buzz, "CUE ME!!!!!!" ("excuse me" in case you don't speak Rad) and wanted to show me yet another farm animal something he'd spotted that he wanted, "for my birthday?"

On to pictures with short captions. PS yes I was a total village idiot when I thought that the boys wearing watching longsleeve shirts was a good idea. I'll give myself a few points because when I lost the older two it was very easy to give their description and wardrobes to the loudspeaker guy. But I'll deduct a whole lotta points because it was so ungodly warm.

1. Currently a good slide is these turkeys jam. The 3 dozen times they went down it confirmed that. Beck also didn't have it so he and I went down 2 1/2 dozen times.

2. The baby chicks were one birthday request via Rad. This is right after I told him no way jose for the 9th time. Beck also thought I was being unreasonable. 

3. Gratuitous Rad "smile"

3. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here before but the boys are big enthusiasts of "working out" and do their versions of workouts almost daily. (Truthfully their cardio would kill me.) So when they saw this strong man competition they put their bro caps on and started talking muscles.

Rhett: Do you think having a mustache will make me stronger? Cause I have one mom.
Rad: (Grunting) You. Can. Do. It. Hulk. (Calling himself Hulk. I'm assuming)

4. Now this looked fun to me. Mostly because the line was non existent, but I thought it could be a hoot to watch the boys roll.

Turned out that Rad was above helping Rhett roll and Rhett's coordination seemed to not want to participate. Which ended with me pushing the giant tube down the track and holding helpful Beck who continuously hit the exterior. Good times. Good workout. Good sweating.

5. Taking a selfie + a breather before we began our Ironmom + child out to the van.

In general the classic apple orchard/corn maze/pig race/delicious carnival-esque food good time was had. So much that Rad announced "Datt was such a FUN Halloween!" so maybe Halloween is already over. Kidding. I'm so looking forward to taking my rightful parental tax of a Reeces and all Tootsie Rolls post trick or treating. ;)

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

not dead

I think I've mentioned a few thousand times before that I hate not posting on the regular. Yes, even missing a week gives me a case of the violent shakes. Detachment? No - I've never heard of it and I'm not interested in living my best life with intentionality. Give me Internet or give me e-death on a padded platter. JK...ish. ;) 

Way back in 2009 I started blogging, back when every newly married couple felt the need for an online journal. I think blogging has kind of taken a backseat to other social media platforms, but I've kept it up for the past seven years and just sent all my posts (minus this years...those I'll do in December) to be turned into six books and I am SO proud of myself for preserving snippets of our family history and as I go back and read the posts, my heart swells with gratitude for the life we've been given. Our life is not exciting enough to probably merit documentation day, after day, after day in painful detail (ha!), but I believe that all the mundane, messy, seemingly insignificant hours, there is really so much that we want to remember and never forget. Truthfully that's why I hate when I get behind here. 

And speaking the mundane, messy and insignificant moments, here's one for you.

The polite and thoughtful thing to do would be to just breeze right over the little stomach bug/cough cold combo/pink eye epidemic that rocked our world the past few weeks but...I can't. I knew that with school starting the germs would get us at anytime and I'd been waiting for it to hit us and when it did it was actually brutal but mercifully swift (well not the pink eye) and since it worked it's way up directly from youngest to oldest Jake and I (youngest spouse first!) were last to be hit. 

At one point one child was sick with no appropriate receptacle to be found anywhere around us and so I asked someone else to run and grab a bowl. They came proudly bounding back with a colander. 

 God has a great sense of humor. A great sense of humor indeed.

On to better things!

The weather! (I said better, not more important. ;)) We're on the tail end of monsoon season and their accompanying dust storms which means the heat is breaking and my deodorant consumption is declining.  It's been super windy and what Rhett describes as, "wonderful weather" because he's a winter lover and hates to be hot - the apple fell far from the tree there. 

There is a direct correlation between how hard the wind blows and how much the boys wild side comes out. 

There is also a direct correlation between the gusts of wind and how perturbed Ben gets when his ears blow around. 

And the sunsets lately are UNreal. Jake usually is not on board with taking pictures of the following: food, nature, clouds, and zoo animals but even this sunset could not stop the stingy photographer from whipping our his cellular device. 

Anyway, no one has ever used the words "early bird" and "Julia Miller" in the same sentence so these sunrise pics are basically priceless. 

In my life before the boys I was an avid mountain biker and for the first time in forever, I'm not pregnant and it's not a ungodly temperature outside. 

I'm sure you were jonesing to see a mountain side selfie complete with helmet head AND lazy 5:30AM eyes and I always aim to please.

And um, it was/is awesome to be back out. If you had told me pre-kids or maybe even shortly after Rhett was born that I would enjoy a a predawn workout as much as I did - I might've believed you, I guess. But I don't think I would've fully grasped what a rare luxury it is to see the sun come up NOT because a child was overeager to great the day.

The boy's temperaments and Beck's nap graciously combined forces with the food truck gods to set up fun camp at the library near our house on Friday night(s). So we grabbed our biggest and greasiest appetites and walked down to rub shoulders with/gawk at all the cool cats from our hood.

We've learned that the boy's are only a smidgen more open minded to festive things to eat so we typically feed them ahead of time and let them get their favorite food truck treat, overly expensive cotton candy. Rad's love food. The deep fried Twinkie is mine.

There is a great family vide at the food festival. One food trucker even brought out big cups of ice water for the kids which they thought was THEE coolest, plus there were free bubble guns so that only added to the fun-o-rama.

Proof that we keep those childhood standards low, fellow parents. Niiiiiice and LOW.

More proof?

A one time dip into a bucket has turned into Beck's favorite afternoon delight. 

Letting the boys "wash" the van is an activity that I fully support because it keeps them entertained for well over 27 minutes, but Jake doesn't always agree. Getting sprayed by the hose usually dampens (ha ha ha) his mood. 

"Please make sure I'm not in the shot." 
"Delete that picture you just took." 
"Crop my face out." 

Sorry Jake-ster. The blog loves you. ;)

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Monday, October 3, 2016

look at us now: family pictures

My sweet photographer friend Nicole has the patience of an army of saints and took well over a million photos (only a slight exaggeration) of the Miller clan a few weekends ago and here were the results of her sweat and toil. :) (You can see the full album HERE if you have nothing more pressing to do today. Big big winks.)

Rhett and Rad and their twin temperaments. We have a dozen photos here, but Beck kept bolting so we moved shoot locations...

It pleased the runner. 

Not really.

Rad had a 48 picture limit. We pushed him though.

And he pushed back. So did Rhett who views himself as the chief regulator of rules slash artistic director.

All you families with the cutest candids and smiley snaps, how do you DO it? We are missing a key ingredient here.

And then us importants showed the crazies how it's done.



Double boom. 

Kidding. Nicole made is look extra fancy.

And! Miracle of miracles....this one isn't terrible.

And by not terrible I mean ABSOLUTELY my favorite picture ever!! I mean come on...everyone smiling?? The secret to this mega watt smile snap? Rad tooted riiiiight before Nicole clicked. Yep.

And speaking of Rad, I don't play favorites with the turkeys but man some pictures of him are just melting my heart.

But who am I kidding, so are these of Rhett and Beck. Goobers all of them. The best goobers ever in my totally non-biased opinion. 

And what kind of pet owners would we be if we didn't include handsome Ben? It's totally normal. Ish.

He'll be a year old in a few weeks and you better believe we'll have a little p.a.r.t.y. for the ball of fluff.  

Godspeed to all you family photographers out there in the wild. I hope you go buy yourself a monstrosity of a trophy after every shoot and have a massive trophy room to enjoy while you heavily edit cantankerous two year olds and protesting babies.

You totally deserve all the respect and applause.

PS. Nicole also did our last family pictures (HERE) when Rad was younger then Beck is now. So cliche, but freaking WHERE DID THE TIME GO? Sob. And a maybe a slight sigh of relief if I'm being honest. We have loved and thrived/survived these stages but we know there is so much to look forward too. :)

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