Thursday, April 9, 2015

{March 2015}

March was quite the month for the Turney Family! I tried to update throughout the month on Facebook, knowing there was no way I would be able to remember everything, so without any further ado or commentary, our month in pictures and Facebook:


March 2 · Instagram · 
cabinets and pull things out. He likes to grunt in response to car horns, coughs, sneezes, and we can get him really talking if we grunt back at him. He gets a big kick out of his sisters crying because he thinks they are playing a game and he just laughs and laughs. He loves his binkie, he'll fall asleep in two seconds if I swaddled him. He is a HUGE mama's boy and prefers me ninety percent of the time, though he has no trouble going to strangers (he just looks around and reaches back for me, no tears). He sleeps about 12 hours a night and takes two two-hour naps a day. He hates loud noises and being startled and still loves when people sneeze. He is a generally happy boy and an VERY easy going baby. I couldn't imagine life without him around! I love my Samuel!

March 2 · 
So we planned a little surprise for our family. We told the girls we were going to take Adam to work and when we got there he said he changed his mind and told his boss he wouldn't be going to work today. We've now been driving for thirty minutes and Hannah still doesn't believe us. She is so concerned that she is missing school, she loves it so much! For the first part of our surprise we told them we were going to visit Rosalie to show off our Hunter The Brave shirts to Hunter.

March 3 · 
nd up going about once a year. It's expensive. It's difficult to travel with kids. But to me Disneyland is so magical and wonderful. I feel like we are creating really special memories with our children. I know it's probably not how Adam would choose to spend our money, but he never complains and I think it is secretly growing on him. Disneyland with children in such a magical experience.

March 3 · Instagram · 
As soon as he saw Mickey Sam started laughing and beaming and didn't stop unit long after we left him. It was so magical!!!

March 4 · 
So my two favorite moments of the day were a) When Hannah didn't want to go on the Cars a Land racers but Paige wanted to go. Paige was about an inch too short do we made Hannah and Paige switch shoes and we stuffed Paigey's shoes with Hannah's socks to make her taller! B) Adam surprised us all with a reservation at Ariel's Grotto. It was the sweetest thing to watch our girls interact with the princesses and to eat on the beautiful paradise pier!

March 5 · Instagram · 
Kindergarten drop off on mustache day. I love these two! They are the funniest girls to listen to. Today Hannah said, "Emma, you HAVE to go to Downtown Disney. It's this pace where you can look at a TON of Disney stuff in the store but my mom won't buy any of it because it costs too much money and we just have to be grateful we get to go on vacation." Emma was quite intrigued.

March 6 · 
Hannah: Mom, I know Friday's are your busiest days, but can you help me learn how to make toast this morning?
Me: yes, of course. It's easy.
Hannah: I know, I've watched you do it three billion times.
I love that girl.

March 6 · 
Something that the LDS church is really big on is personal and family history. There are so many ways to document life and it can be really overwhelming. I try to keep up on everything but it can be difficult. Something that works for me is to pick a day and do it once monthly. I dump all my photos onto the computer, organize them, blog about our month with the help of facebook and instagram, and then digitally scrapbook and journal for each of my children. It is daunting, but every month that I do it it feels so great. Sometimes I forget and end up playing catch up for 2-5 months--haha! I buy one photo book each year for each child, and they'll have a scrapbook and journal for each month of their lives for the first 18 years. I'm not the best at scrapbooking but my friend Elysha Patino O'Brien once said she's more interested in documenting the story rather than worrying about the layout or getting the perfect photos and ever since then I've been focused on doing just that. Documenting their story.
Every time I do it I find I'm grateful for the simple, but beautiful life my little family enjoys. We aren't making history, people. We won't be widely known or admired but my children are loved deeply and they have many incredible opportunities for learning compromise and compassion. Adam Turney and I will never be rich or famous but we are blessed with companionship, friendship, and romance. The stories I write won't be published in mass marketed books that people will buy and enjoy but they will be treasured by the few people who mean the most to me in this world.
So I hope in a small way my monthly sacrifice will serve as a reminder of my love for my family, and we can all look back and be filled with gratitude. I know that by small and simple things great things are brought to pass, and I believe that each small and simple experience will amount to a great life.

March 6 · Instagram · 
Today is superhero day at school and I improvised with a white shirt, a blue skirt, some stickers, and some markers. This is one happy girl today. she says she loves wonder woman because she's a powerful princess. P.S. It's a pretty big deal that I was crafty lol.

March 6 · Instagram · 
nd it is apparent on her cute little face. It makes me excited to introduce her to some of my favorite literary heroes like Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen who demonstrate courage and use their brains, cunning, and compassion. When we were watching Mulan today I had to explain to her and Paige that some people believe that men are better than women, but that was a lie people tell. I explained that Mulan showed that she was equally as valuable as any other soldier. I hope my daughters both grow up feeling empowered, like I always did. It starts from within. I was fortunate to grow up in a home where I was always valued and treated with respect and expected to contribute in real, meaningful ways.

March 7 · Instagram · 
It's always a beautiful day at Spring Mountain Ranch. The girls loved planting tomatoes, carrots, peppers, watermelons, corn, and onions. After they finished their work they got to go on a hay ride behind a tractor. We can't wait to go back to weed and then harvest the garden!

elivering to us for six years). Hannah and Paige were standing together and she started going on and on and on about how BEAUTIFUL Hannah is. That long blond hair, those bright blue eyes...she said "the other one is cute, but she is exceptionally beautiful." It was the first time that a stranger had really pointed out their differences. I could tell both of them felt slightly uncomfortable being sized up, and at one point Paige asked, "and me?" Which she ignored (Paige is in this phase where she must be mentioned in all conversations, I'll say "Hannah get over here," and Paige will respond, "do you mean Paige?"). I felt heartsick watching Paige just sit and listen to how she was cute but her sister was dazzling "just like queen Elsa!" (Paige responded, "and I'm like Anna" which went ignored").
It isn't always easy raising two vastly different daughters 25 months apart. They squabble, they tease, they compare. Paige is younger and often gets the short end of the stick so then I overcompensate in her favor and then Hannah is shorted. It's difficult finding a balance and yesterday I realized that they will struggle with comparisons all their life, whether it's someone pointing out how similar they are, or how different. Their sister will always be their measuring stick, no matter what I do or say, and they will be hurt by it occasionally. On more than one occasion Paige has said "I wish I was Hannah" and it makes me cry every time. I tell her we already have a Hannah and we NEED a Paige. I'm trying to raise them to be best friends. Advocates, rather than enemies. They are SO lucky to have each other and I hope they learn to use that to their advantage.

Hannah is talking to Tayden on the phone and their conversation is precious. Tayden told her about how he lost two teeth. "Did you pull it out with a rope?" "No, my dad pulled it out." (Scott Packard) "When I get a loose tooth I'm going to have my mom tie a rope around it and then tie the other end to a door and have my mom slam the door." "Cool, I'm going to make a salt water tank so I can have a clown fish. Do you know what clown fish are, Hannah?" "Yes, I've seen Finding Nemo, Tayden."

In a week and a half we leave for our D.C./Orlando trip. Adam and I sat down and mapped out our DC plans. Our itinerary is packed to the brim and I'm getting so excited to go! We haven't been alone on vacation together since 2009 and even though I'm nervous to leave our kids and I will miss them terribly I can't wait for some "just us" time. Celebrating ten years together, my 30th birthday, and a beautiful life we've created!

I'm excited for our traditional corned beef and cabbage Irish dinner tonight to celebrate St. Patrick's day! (Since tomorrow we are eating Thai food--HA!)

March 17 at 1:23pm · iOS · 
Thinking of my Irish Granma today and missing her like I do every day. Though she really didn't think much of St. Patrick's day last year her Facebook status was an old Irish proverb:
May those that love us love us.
And those that don't love us may God turn their hearts.
And if he can't turn their hearts may he turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping.

Adam: Did you hear what happened to that guy on that flight?
Me: No.
Adam: Ummm... nothing happened. Everything was OK. (Laughs nervously).
I have a smart husband, ladies and gentlemen, who knows when to keep his mouth shut. I am deathly afraid of flying, even typing this status is making my palms all sweaty and my heart race thinking about flying next week. Rosaliehas already assured me that at least I'm not flying over an ocean and they'll be able to bring my body back in case of a crash.

A beautiful day for a hike at Spring Mountain Ranch! It's my favorite spot in Las Vegas! Hannah was a first class explorer, running up and down the trail and climbing over rocks with her friends while Sam slept in the carrier on my back. Poor Paigey. One of these monsters cactus got her right in the leg. It broke off the whole top and was stuck in her skin. When we got home I was able to examine it better and there were twelve puncture wounds. She was pretty traumatized, but finished the hike like a champ and even posed for a picture.

We just finished Interstellar and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Melissa Marsden Turney is so fun to watch movies with because she is such a reactive viewer. I frequently found her hiding in her shirt like a turtle during the many intense scenes.

Last night a conversation must have taken place that went something like this:
Hannah: Guys, Mommy is REALLY going to miss us.
Paige: Duh. We.Are.Glorious.
Hannah: But she REALLY needs a vacation from us! She can't spend the next nine days without us missing us the whole time, she needs to just enjoy her time with Daddy.
Sam: Dag, yo. I'll take the 4-4:30 shift. I'm usually pretty hungry around that time anyway.
Hannah: That's good, but really sell it. Just scream relentlessly until she gives you exactly what you want.
Paige: I'll take the 4:45 shift. That will give her enough time to fall back to sleep after Sam, but Hannah, you'll have to wake me up.
Hannah: Great. I'll tell you there is a ghost outside so you'll HAVE to sleep in their bed. Squeeze in real tight. maybe even lay across her body. Get them thinking about their hotel room, ya know.
Paige: Perfect. Classic Paige. I'll probably fall back to sleep once I'm in their bed. You know how comfortable it is.
Hannah: Okay. Then I'll come in at 5:30 insisting it's the AM. You know how hilarious it is to watch them try to reason with me about how it's dark outside and it's still time to be asleep, and I'll be like, "Dudes, it's AM! That means morning. They'll rue the day they ever taught me about AM."
Sam: Don't forget, once they are up, like really up, we have to just cause a problem. I'll bang my head on every surface I come across and pull everything out of every drawer I see.
Paige: I'll just flat out refuse to wear pants.
Hannah: I'll talk nonstop about My Little Pony, even when they are trying to do something. I'll insist that they listen.
Sam: And what about when we get to Grandma's?
Hannah: Oh, we'll be good for Grandma. Grandma is a goddess.
Paige: Word.

Amazing day! We flew into D.C. At 9am and hit the ground running. We went by the Pentagon (which is right by our hotel) then headed to our first stop: the Air and Space Smithsonian museum. We explored the bottom level then went up to the Botanical gardens...INCREDIBLE! It was gorgeous. Then we had a private tour scheduled at the Capitol building. There was a sign in congressman Joe Heck's office that said, "Welcome Turney Family." We saw Senator Ted Cruz on our tour and I was disappointed that he didn't recite Green Eggs and Ham for us. We sat on the gallery and watched the House of Representatives hard at work. Then we zipped over to the Supreme Court (supremely beautiful). Finally we topped the day off with a trip to the Library of Congress: the cherry on top. It was gorgeous and ornate and the books... THE BOOKS! I was in heaven. I loved seeing Thomas Jefferson's personal library which housed hundreds and hundreds of books from religious to scientific. Mathematic and astrology...poetry and plays. It was just incredible. The city is clean and organized and beautiful. We are loving it!

Another incredible day in Washington DC! We started our day at Arlington Cemetery. We tried to read a few of the 400,000+ names on the graves, we saw the eternal flame over the Kennedy's, and witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Next we went to the Washington Monument. We didn't have tickets but a nice man let us go up to the top anyway. At the top I found out that there was some earthquake damage and I thought I might have a panic attack thinking of another earthquake but yay, I didn't and no earthquake. Next we went to the White House. Two I.D. checks, one metal detector and one secret service dog sniff down later we were in. The White House was amazing and powerful. The Presidential China was my FAVORITE. Barack was there but apparently busy (thanks, Obama). Adam was so giddy! We didn't want to leave. Next we took the long walk around to the other Monuments. The WWII monument was incredible and touching. I'd forgotten how HUGE the Lincoln Monument was, we also stopped by the Korean War, MLK, FDR, and Jefferson Memorials as we walked along the tidal basin. We went by the Mint as well, but it was close. We walked over twelve miles total. We are exhausted but in awe of this amazing place!

In the past two days we've walked twenty miles--no exaggeration. I'm wondering if we can pull another twenty out of us for the last two days. Looking forward to the motorized rental wheelchairs at Universal Studios 

documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. (There was even a couple there who was trying to read the constitution to find the specific wording to prove Obama was illegally in office...(legitimate birthers! LOL!)
We went across the street to the Smithsonian American History museum. We saw amazing things like the ruby slippers, the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner, the dresses and misc. items from the First Ladies, and the sunstone from the Nauvoo temple. Then we went to the Natural history museum and saw the Hope diamond and many other beautiful gemstones and minerals, a live butterfly exhibit, and actual stardust. As if that wasn't enough we buzzed up to the Air and Space museum and saw the Wright Brother's plane, and Amelia Earhart's plane (among others).
Finally I got to meet my friend Lindsey in person after two years! She took us to see the beautiful DC temple and have dinner with her sister, Lauren, another adopted Internet friend and her husband Wil. A fantastic end to a wonderful day.

Goodbye, D.C. We had a great time! Today we started at the Holocaust museum. I've posted a lot about that already. It really was incredibly moving. Then we went up to Georgetown to eat at Ben's Chili Bowl, a landmark restaurant that has been attracting celebrities and tourists alike from Dr. Martin Luther King and President Obama to Adam and Melissa Turney of Las Vegas Nevada. It was delicious! It was on Adam's list but I was't too sure...I ended up loving it and being really happy we went!
Our final destination was the zoo. On our way we saw a row house for sale and decided to check it out. It was fun imagining ourselves on the east coast. The zoo was a lot of fun, but we missed our kids a lot. They would have loved the baby panda! We ran into Adam's aunt on the train platform in our way to meet her and her family for dinner several miles away. We chatted with them and I felt slightly jealous that their trip had only just begun! We will miss you, DC, and look forward to our inevitable return! Until next time!

I'm sure grateful to be on this trip with Adam. In addition to all the amazing things we've seen and done it's fantastic to be just the two of us again. It's amazing to walk hand-in-hand everywhere we go, to enjoy meals together and not have to worry about feeding/cleaning/pacifying three small children. I told him last night that being removed from the rigors of everyday life and responsibility I can't imagine why I'm ever angry or annoyed with him. He's just so wonderful. He laughed at that and said, "Really? Because you are always annoyed with me at home."
We miss our kids a lot and exchange knowing looks when we watch parents interacting with their children, or when we see a baby boy or little girls. We look forward to being reunited with them...but we are also grateful for the break. I think we'll return to them a little more relaxed and fresh. A thousand thanks to my wonderful parents Tim and Margie. And the greatest aunts and uncles ever: Sean, Lindsey, Megan, and Caleb for all they are doing for our babies!

Hanging out in the shadiest area of all time. If we go missing before the city bus comes we were taken at the corner of Piedmont and Paramore. Last seen in font of Al's "food" store.

de where Hogsmeade is. As soon as I heard the HP soundtrack and saw the tops of the "snow"capped rooftops I had to choke back my tears. Yes, I'm a big ole nerd but, you guys, I've been waiting for a moment like this for seventeen years! (I read the book for the first time summer of 1998, I was 12, almost 13). Anyway, the first thing we did was HP and the Forbidden Journey... You tour Hogwarts and then take a ride, incredible. I think I had a giant grin on my face the whole time. I can't wait to go again. Then we rode the Hippogriff coaster...lame...just like Hagrid most of the time. We road the Dragon challenge three times, it was so great, really scary for me but I went on it because Harry Potter. Then we ate breakfast at the Three Broomsticks. I had a traditional English breakfast, again because Harry Potter--and butterbeer!!! The Butterbeer was delicious. I've made imitation butterbeer and had butterbeer soda but it was nothing compared to the real JK Rowling approved recipe. After breakfast we took the Hogwarts express to Kings Cross to explore Diagon Alley. The train ride was so cool. I got a funny look from a guy when we were passing Malfoy Manor and the people kept asking the little kids in our car "where is that? Is that Snapes house" and I replied, "it's Malfoy manor" because those loser kids didn't know anything (jk...Rowling haha). We got off at Kings Cross station and walked out onto a London street. I was honestly confused as to where we were supposed to go until I realized it was behind a brick wall, duh. Diagon Alley was incredible, though we didn't ride the Gringotts ride yet but we explored Diagon Alley a bunch. I was surprised how much I loved Knockturn Alley (very cool).

Update: 2 One of my favorite parts was when the street performers used puppets (really beautiful ones) to act out the story of the three brothers (and the Deathly Hallows). I also loved Ollivander's wand selection, the children's participation was hilarious. I LOVED seeing people, especially the kids dressed up in house robes. They have an interactive wand feature where at certain parts of the park you can cast spells by waving your wand in certain ways and make things move and do stuff. I'm totally going to do that. The moving portraits aren't cheesy at all and look just like they do in the movies. I told Adam that if he weren't with me I could easily spend hundreds of dollars there. No problem. I felt actual sadness that it's all fake. One of my favorite parts of the day came when Adam and I were trying to decide if we were going to get ice cream from Cold Stone or Fortescue's Shop. He was trying to argue that we'd get more for our money if we went to CS and I said we'd have more of at experience at Fortescue's. Finally he said in kind of a grumpy voice with kind of a pouty face, "I don't WANT Harry Potter ice cream!" I couldn't stop giggling at how ridiculous and wonderful it was.