Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandpa Kevin!

Today is Grandpa Kevin's birthday. Happy birthday Grandpa Kevin! We love you so much!

My dad is seriously the coolest. He is one of the strongest men I know. But his heart is sooooooo big, he has so much love for his family. I have quite a bit of respect for him and his hard working ethic too. My father has his own drywall company that he started from the bottom up. I would love to someday do that with my own business! We have a lot in common too. My father is soooooooo stubborn about most things and usually refuses to go to the doctor even if he is sick. I am a terribly stubborn person myself, just ask my husband lol. Just one of the many traits I picked up from my dad!

I have picked up a lot of his crazy notions throughout my life. :) He has always been a great teacher. The things he teaches me are different then the things my mother has taught me too. They are valuable in their own ways. :) My father has taught me how to ride a bike, how to fish, how to ride motorcycles and fourwheelers, how to spot nails, how to paint walls, how to drive a car, how to be a strong person, how to have a hard work ethic and how to stand up for what I believe in. I have always been a tomboy and a Daddy's Girl at heart! Love you Dad!

He definitely is one of the best grandfathers too! Alan and Anna just adore him! They are lucky to have him too! He loves them so much! :) Alan and Grandpa Kevin love to work on the dirt bikes together, or unload his work truck, or water the yard... pretty much anything "boys" like to do. He loves to go over to Grandpa's house and "go to Grandpa's garage or go outside" lol. Love it! Anna and Grandpa enjoy snuggling while watching sports or playing on the floor. Grandpa Kevin would also probably walk around the world with Anna holding onto his fingers, if she so desired him to. :) He loves helping her achieve her milestones!

Unfortunately, Alan was horribly sick this morning. We were not able to go tp celebrate with Grandpa Kevin. We do have plans to do something with him and the family tomorrow night. Happy birthday Grandpa Kevin! You are the best! We love you very, very much! Hope you birthday was as amazing as you are!

A Weekend of Birthday Parties

I mean, of course, its July. In my huge family, we have like 325,482,926,454,824,863 birthdays in this month only lol! Just kidding of courseThis weekend was Grandma Melanie and I's birthday party at the Reef Waterpark and the kid's friend Carly's birthday party at Kids Klubhouse. We all had such a great time!
First are the photos from our birthday party at the Reef! I only was able to take so many because it is ONE WET PLACE lol, I mean obviously. It has several kids slides, two bigger kid slides, a basketball pool, a obstacle pool, and a wave pool. Very, very cool! Here are the pictures:

One of my presents to myself was this Chicco baby carrier. Anna has looooooong since grown of her Moby Wrap and we passed it down to Baby Benton. However, she has become quite needy as of late due to teething and our attempt at weaning. This carrier has been a lifesaver! I love it so much! We have seriously used it at least once a day since I bought it!

She sure loves these two! Grandma Melanie with her babies. I was not able to take a picture of her swimming with the kids, it was soooooo wet there lol. She had a great time at her party though! Happy birthday Grandma Melanie! We love you!

Sunday afternoon was Carly's birthday party. She is Alan and Anna's friend and her mommy is on of my friends since middle school. We love her and the whole family! Grandma Melanie came to help me with both kids. The party was so much fun! We loved it! Thanks for inviting us Jessica! Here is Grandma Melanie with Anna riding on one of the very interesting bikes they had at Kids Klubhouse!

The kids singing "Happy Birthday" to their buddy. Anna even stood up to sing with the big kids!

They did the treats so smartly! It was a toddler birthday party so they not only served cake and ice cream, but they had chocolate rice krispies and peanut butter cereal bars for the little kids! Alan enjoyed a piece of cake and Anna loved the cereal bars! They were perfect teethers! I asked for the recipe we loved it so much! Yum, good idea Jessica!

We had such a wonderful weekend with all of the parties! I love July so much! :) We get to gather with our loved ones so many times, for birthdays and anniversaries! Yay! Love you all!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

National Dance Day 2013

Dance has always been such an important aspect of my life. I have been dancing for almost 20 years now and have shared the gift of movement as a teacher for 2 years now. I live for dance, think about it all the time, and apply a lot of dance notions to real life. Dance is just the greatest thing ever: its communication without a voice. I have always believed that you can be a dancer without any training. Dance isn't only about technique, its about the feeling you get from it and the passion.

Today is National Dance Day. Unfortunately, I did not have any of my dance classes today. But I did teach my gymnastics class this morning. We did our regular routines but finished up dancing to "Cha Cha Slide" for NDD. The kids were so silly and they loved it! I told my dance students about today earlier this week, and reminded them that no matter where they are, they should dance! :) I cannot wait until Wednesday so we can share our National Dance Day stories!

I thought I had a lot more dance photos to share, but they are all at my parent's house! Shoot, I was going to share with you some photos from my first year of dance! :/ Next time, I promise. For now, here are some dance photos, some of myself dancing and some of my many dance students.

This is from my Spring Hip Hop classes' dress rehearsal. Like the robots at the bottom? :) So cute!

This is the same classes actual performance. They did awesome!

Here is my Summer Hip Hop class in their Thriller costumes. It is tradition for us to perform Thriller every session!

My Summer Hip Hop classes at my birthday party last week. Love these girls!

Various performance and dance photos from my adult life.

National photos from my senior year of dance. Miss these days and these girls even more!

I hope you all celebrate National Dance Day in your own special ways! How is dance important to you? Share with me in my comments! Happy National Dance Day everyone!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Question Friday! July 26, 2013

Tomorrow is National Dance Day!! I am so excited, I have a tumbling class in the morning and we will be learning a mini floor routine and I am going to play "Cha Cha Slide" at the end of class. I cannot wait, wish I had a dance class tomorrow. I will have a breakdancing class on Saturdays in the fall though. And I told all of my students about Dance Day and cannot wait to hear how they all celebrated it!

I finally figured out how to get onto My Little Life's blog on my phone! I can participate in her weekly blog hop Five Question Friday finally again! I am so excited, I used to really enjoy participating and am glad I can once again! Yay!

Here is this week's Five Question Friday!

What is your best cleaning tip?

Use old fashioned cleaning supplies. With all the cleaning brands and products out there these days, its easy to forget how far plain old bleach can get you. We use bleach, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning in our household way more than any Mr. Clean or PineSol brands. :) They are cheaper and truly sanitize everything too. Score!

What is your favorite food to snack on during movie night?

Anything chocolate. I live for chocolate! Or salty foods too, popcorn is sometimes okay. It really depends on my mood, I guess. :)

If it was up to you, what would you have named the Royal Baby?

In all honesty, I like his name. I am not personally fond of the name George, but I respect that they are following with family tradition. I would also probably do the same if I was in a similar situation. We have named both of our children following with our family's tradition.

However for the sake of FQF, I would probably just flip the names around. If I could name the Royal Baby, I would name him Alexander Louis George of Cambridge. :) Same names so to speak, just moved around a little. Congratulations to William and Kate though! He is a handsome addition to the Royal Family.

If you could be any Disney character, who would you choose?

This is a hard one! I am never good at picking favorites and honestly, I love all Disney movies and have been quite the Disney buff most of my life. I have been to both DisneyLand and DisneyWorld. And I cannot wait until I can take both of my children there someday. Right now, I would have to say that I would choose Rapunzel from Tangled. She is so fearless and adventurous even though she is a girl and has long beautiful. Nothing can hold her back! I greatly admire those qualities in her.

What's the most important part of a healthy relationship?

Honestly? Communication and trust. Relationship's aren't anything without communication and trust. I tell Lon everything and trust him to do the same with me. We are not the best couple by far, but we will always communicate and trust each other. I love you Lon, to the ends of the earth and back!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Alan has done so well this past month in his swim lessons! Lon and I are so proud of him! He has learned so much, Lon says that Alan can probably swim better then him now! :) Yesterday I was able to take an awesome set of photos with my phone, the photographer in me was soooooooo happy lol! Here is a continuous shot of Alan jumping into the water:

This top one is a running shot of them all, so you can get an idea of the jump. :) It goes clockwise, starting at the upper left corner. The next few are the photos enlarged. :) Love it, love it, love it so much! Love my camera phone!

Today, he had his last swim lesson class most likely for the summer. He did not graduate the Sunfish Class but he had a fantastic time today! The last class of the session usually involves a safety presentation and a special little treat for the students: they get to run out and jump into the pool. Alan loved doing it, like he does everytime. He did so good! We are so very proud of him!

Good job, Alan the fishie! We love you so much!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Hip Hop Birthday Celebration

There are only a few more classes left in our summer hip hop program and every one of my students has improved so much, in each their own artistic way. These classes, like all of my classes, are dear to my heart. The kids are great and they perform very well together! I am so lucky to be their teacher!

Today I had my birthday party in my hip hop classes. We had oatmeal raisin cookies and each student received a YMCA bracelet as a small gift from me. In my younger class, we played a lot of games. However in my older class, we learned how to Moonwalk and some basic locking steps. We performed a little dance (my favorite five minute choreography I've ever done lol) to Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me". We had a great time in both classes!

Two of my students gave me little gifts for my birthday! They are all such sweethearts! One student made me a little Happy Birthday card and the other student gave me a smiley face ball with a birthday card. I also got lots of hugs and high fives from my kiddos. They are all so nice, they helped make my birthday so special! I love being a teacher! :) These children are the best!

Tomorrow I have the whole day off of work. Alan has his last day of swim lessons for the summer most likely and his little ceremony. I am so excited for him, it would be awesome if he passed Sunfish and could start a brand new level next summer! I cannot wait to see! In the meantime, keep an eye out for Alan's swimming photos tomorrow. I have a few that I want to share with you. I am so excited!

Happy Birthday Grandma Melanie!

Today is Grandma Melanie's birthday! Happy birthday Grandma Melanie, we love you so much!

My family is still in Missoula with my sister and my nephew, my mom will be back in town this weekend. We cannot wait to see her! Oh we have missed her so much these past few weeks, we cannot wait until she is back home! Aunt April, Uncle Kalvin and Grandpa Kevin too lol! :) We will probably have a double birthday party at either the Reef or the Oasis this weekend for the kids. Alan is so excited, he told me today that he was all done with swimming lessons so he could go lol! Silly guy!

Mom, you are truly the best mom ever! You carried me for 41 weeks and patiently waited for my overdue arrival. You nursed me, like you did all four of us children, something I now have full appreciation for. You raised my siblings and I with good morals, family values, book and street smarts, strong hearts, a love for learning and a hard work ethic. You also taught my sisters and I to be beautiful, but to never be afraid to be independent and strong. You are and have always been such a role model for me, as a woman and a wife and a teacher and of course a mother. You have given me so much in your life and still continue to support my family and I. I love you so much. Alan and Anna love you so much too. You are an awesome grandmother, you spoil them more than I do (I didn't think that was physically possible lol).

I can only hope that one day, Anna feels the same way about me. I have so much love and respect for you, thank you for everything you have ever done for me and my family! We love you so much, words cannot even begin to explain!

Happy birthday Grandma Melanie. We hope it is just wonderful. We love you so very much and cannot wait to see you again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

24 years...

Today was my 24th birthday. It was a pretty good birthday, although I really do not feel 24 years old. Isn't that weird lol? We did not have too much planned, since my family is out of town with my sister and my nephew still. But I still had a great day because I spent it with my beautiful children and my husband.

I spent the morning with my family, woke up early to play with the kids. Anna is growing up so much, she is fantastic. She know blows kisses when you do know, I love it! I watched Alan swim too, which I do most days, but I enjoyed it more than usual. If that makes sense lol? But I did. And he's getting good too. His swim class has moved deeper into the pool and he does pretty well with it. He just gets nervous about going underwater. He does so well though!

Then at work, I brought cupcakes for the staff and their children. There were Oreo cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes and regular vanilla cupcakes (I know, I spoil my Y family lol, but I love them so much!). Towards the end of the night, the whole class sang "Happy Birthday" to me. It made my night! Before I left work, I officially signed Alan up for Preschool! He will be going to the Y Preschool in the fall, two days a weeks for three hours a day. I am very nervous but excited for him. Alan cannot wait to pick out his backpack and lunchbox lol, of course. :) Gotta love my silly boy!

We had some friends and Lon's baby brother over for dinner after I was off of work. One of my sweet friends brought me some BEAUTIFUL flowers for my birthday! It was so sweet! For some silly reason, the photo would not pick up the yellow. They are gorgeous though! Thank you! Of course I had to watch So You Think You Can Dance even though we had company. And it was such a crazy episode! Gah!!

That was a great episode of SYTYCD! The perfect one for my birthday lol, its like they knew! :P Dave Scott and Brian Friedman were choreographers (I have taken classes from both of them and am greatly inspired by their individual styles). And Jazmine performed the Quickstep routine and killed it!!! Oh she was wonderful, great job girl! Geek Alert: I seriously voted like all of my votes on her! She is just phenomenal!

I had a pretty good 23rd year: raised Anna for her first year of life, successfully breastfed her for a year+, celebrated Alan's third birthday, bought a car, moved, started teaching dance (YES!!!!) at the Y, celebrated our second year of marriage with Lon, potty trained Alan and became an AUNT!!!!! I would definitely have to say that I had a wonderful 23rd year. Here's to an even better 24th year!

Auntie Jillian loves you Benton!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

YMCA Cheer Camp 2013

This week I helped teach the Y cheer camp. We worked with a group of 20+ girls ages 4 to 8 years old, 4 which were from my previous gymnastics camp, and we taught them basic cheers and dance moves. We named ourselves the YMCA Dynamite Cheer Squad (my idea lol). Let me tell you, their name describes them perfectly! These girls are for sure DYNAMITE!! Today they performed for their parents and they did FANTASTIC!! I am so proud of all of them! They even performed it without us! Good job girlies!

I only was able to get a group photo of them, I need to start taking my own class photos and videos! Bad teacher, bad lol! Here is the cute photo I took! Such a great group of gals!

Baby Benton is doing great by the way! They were allowed to go home yesterday and have spent most of today resting. My mom will be staying with them to get them settled in. I got a BRAND new batch of photos today too. Auntie Jillian is quite happy now! Dunno though, I might still have to walk up to Missoula lol. I really want to hold this little man. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

B is for...

Benton, not baby! Silly readers! See how I fooled you all? I'm such a trickster!

You heard it right! My sister had her baby boy and they named him Benton. He was born Tuesday, July 16th at 10:48 pm. At night, just like his cousins! Benton is a perfect 7 1/2 pounds and 20 7/8 inches long! I think he looks a little bit like his mom and his dad! He is so handsome! We love you Benton!

Natalie, I am so very proud of you beautiful. You are so strong. I wish I could have been up there with you, holding your hand and getting you to laugh through your discomfort and pain. I hope that I was able to support you enough through texts. I love you and Jake so much. I am so proud of both of you! Welcome to parenthood guys! It truly is a beautiful thing. Its hard some days (and most nights lol) but is always, everyday, worth it. Children really are the greatest gift ever. Life is beautiful! Love you!!

I cannot wait for my family to meet Benton! They will all be coming to town sometime next month. I cannot wait until then! Luckily, we will have to only wait like 20 ish days! Auntie Jillian and Uncle Lon love you Benton! Alan and Anna cannot wait to meet you either!

I have just LOVED being an assistant teacher for the YMCA Little Cheerleaders Camp this week! We had such a great group of adorable little girls! I just cannot wait until Anna is that old, those girlies were so sweet! Tomorrow is our cheer performance for the other campers and their parents. I am excited but really wish that Aunt April was here so that she could do my hair pretty for me! Darn! :/ I will try my best to take some photos though! These girls should rock it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hey, hey!

Its Baby Day!!!

You saw that right, I should become an aunt by later tonight or tomorrow! To say that I am excited is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!! I am estatic, I cannot wait to get updates from her and finally meet him! Hurry Baby B, Auntie Jillian wants to meet you and hold youuuuuuuuu! :)

Natalie, good luck and I believe in you! You are a strong woman and you can do this! I love you and Jake! Cannot wait until he is here!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Relay for Life 2013

Friday was Relay for Life in Billings. I volunteered with the YMCA and helped work the inflatables. Alan was also able to come with me, I think he had a blast. :) He played on the inflatables with his school friends for two hours and then had dinner, got a balloon gun and some chocolate ice cream. He also got to sit and watch the parade of survivors, he loved cheering for them! I enjoyed volunteering as well, but I'm pretty sure he had a better time then even I did. :)

But there's so much more to Relay than just fun. Relay for Life is literally what its name says, its about life. Its a celebration of life for some and a memorium of life for others. It is a walk against cancer and for the survivors.

I was surrounded by so much love, beauty and happiness. I have never given out so many hugs to random strangers, but that's what this is about! There were so many tears, both happy and sad. I have never felt so alive and so grateful to be alive! Life truly is good and nothing can bring me down! I'm healthy and so is my family! Thank you life for that!

Personally, I walked for my grandmother who had ovarian cancer and for our family friend Zach who had esophogis cancer. Thankfully, they are both survivors so this was a celebration for us. :)

By the way, I just have to say this: I love my YMCA family! They are such a great group of people, they will do just about anything for their fellow workers and members. I have had coworkers help me out with rides and financial issues before, even giving my kiddos food if they were hungry! I love all you guys! We are a wonderful, strong community of people and I love working at my job!

I will definitely be participating in Relay for Life from now on, it is such a phenomenal experience! I encourage you to check it out when it comes to your town!

This week I am working the YMCA Cheer and Dance Camp. I am pretty excited! I have never been on a cheer team lol, but I do know some cheers and such. Plus I know dance and how to tumble. :) Should be lots of fun! Stay tuned for some photos throughout the week!