Sunday, August 02, 2015

dallin goes to nursery

today was dallin's first official day in nursery:

truthfully, he has been attending illicitly for several weeks -- thanks to his merciful nursery leaders -- so today was really nbd for dallin except to celebrate that he's half-way to three! (and a total hunk in that sweater/shorts combo, amiright?)

and just for fun, here's a little side-by-side-by-side-by-side of all our little wheeler eighteen-month-olds (can you tell who the baby smilers are?):

bonus fun fact, dallin and caleb are in nursery together for the next five months. the only set of our four kiddos to overlap.

Friday, July 31, 2015

i don't know about you

but i'm feeling thirty-two.

also thirty-two:

chicken mcnuggets, return of the jedi, reading rainbow, j.crew, the minivan, care bears, my little pony, sweet valley high, carrie underwood, the moonwalk, cabbage patch kids, fraggle rock, the internet, and plinko.

you're welcome.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


we waited as long as we could (in love as we were with his curls), but for this "business in the front, party in the back" baby boy of ours, 

the party 



Sunday, July 19, 2015


summer and afton helping daddy make biscuits:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

birthday revue

for afton's special day, she requested to go check out the lego store and browse the bazillion fun lego friends sets there (hint: she wants to collect them AAAALLLL!):

then we stopped by 7-elelven for free slurpees.
it's like the whole world celebrates afton's birthday!

and finally, after her birthday dinner at red robin, she chose "rainbow heart sugar cookies" for dessert. she actually wanted these cookies, but i was pretty sure going down that road would result in lying on the kitchen floor crying my eyes out at some point (curse you pinterest!), so i improvised: 

her first wish here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

now we are six

on saturday, july 11th, at 1:07pm, our afton noelle turned six! 

afton has the most beautiful, genuine smile. 

she wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. she spends hours sketching her designs and can often be heard complementing others on their style choices: "i like your shirt!" "that's a cute bag!" "i love those shoes!"

she loves lots of bright colors and rainbow sparkle anything. 

afton is my pickiest eater.

she is a perfectionist. she loves her things just so. she loves to organize her toys and is a master make believer. she dances. she does cartwheels. she adores her dad.

afton is silly. she has the coolest fun voices and sings the silliest silly songs. she's a talent with her vocal instrument and loves to make people laugh.

she's our resident puzzler. she loves to build (legos!) and figure things out. she asks the hard questions. she muses. she ruminates. she digs deep.

afton is summer's best friend. she is caleb's best friend. she adores baby dallin. 

we love that you're a part of our family, afton! we love watching you grow. we love discovering who you are. we love the light in your eyes and the dimple in your cheek and the softness in your heart. happiest of happy birthdays, afty bay!!

but now i am six,
i'm as clever as clever.
so i think i'll be six
now and forever.
--a.a. milne

ps - afton's birthday dress is sewn from a vintage 80s pattern i found and snatched up because it was similar to a dress my mom made for me in 1986. do you ladies remember these dresses? the puffy sleeves? the puffiest.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

going on a berry hunt

this year's pickins were twenty-three pounds.

opa d and his mini me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

denny creek rock slide

this past friday, july 3rd, was our first official family hike with all four kiddilies in tow.

overall, denny creek is a great trek for kids: the trail head is only about an hour from seattle, the hike is under 1.5 miles each way, the elevation gain is very mild, there are way cool mountain pools and rock slides at the end, and the trail itself is mostly in the shade (one of my favorite parts about hikes in the pacific northwest!)

for their first time out all together, our troops did really well. caleb walked the whole way -- though we did bring an extra pack just in case, the girls zoomed ahead and beckoned for their parents to keep up, and dallin could not have been a more perfectly packed babe (he didn't scream to be let out even once!)

all that being said, the excursion was not without its pitfalls. literally.

we were prepared for the kids to get tired, for their feet to hurt, for them to whine about being bored or hungry, or to complain about it taking too long or being too hot or whatever else children find in their little hearts to complain about. none of which they actually did (yay!).

we were NOT prepared, however, for the amount of falling that would occur.

the exposed roots and branches and loose dirt and rocks turned out to be quite the challenge for their inexperienced feet and legs to navigate, and it seemed like we couldn't go more than ten steps without someone ending up hands down in the dirt and bleeding. each of the three older kids came home with quite the assortment of battle scars (you can see one of summer's doozies on her knee in our july 4th pic).

welcome to the great outdoors ;)

ps: shield your eyes whilst scanning these pics: it was *bright* out there!

and for our first hike to denny creek, five years and two kids ago, see here.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

emily runs

so this july 4th, i ran my first 5k.

those of you who have known me for some time will know how adamantly, for many years, i have eschewed personal fitness. but after turning thirty-one and delivering my fourth child and not being able to walk up the stairs without feeling winded, i finally thought, "shoot. it's time to get in shape." 

my weapon of choice has been p90x, which i have loved and followed religiously. but there's also a group of kick-butt ladies around here who are avid runners, and they invited me to run this 5k in carnation, wa on july 4th. 

i decided not to train specifically for the race and instead see what my baseline time might be under race conditions without having prepared (i went out for a run for the first and only other time about two months before this). it was a fascinating experiment, but probably not one i'd recommend outright. 

my friends vickie and joanne (shown running below), who could have schooled me twice over in this race, stuck with me to the end, and i reached my goal of coming in under thirty minutes.

i'm still not sure i hear the siren song of running, but let's just say "the run" and i learned A LOT about each other yesterday, and i can totally see how this stuff gets addicting. now that my first race is in, i'm already raring to see if i can do better. 

vickie, joanne, and me nearing the finish line.

part of the crew after the race: joanne, brittany, erin, me, and vickie.
(why yes, we are the mothers of seventeen children. thanks for noticing :)

and a big shout out to my husband, my kids, and my parents for making it out early in the morning to watch me cross that finish line! mwah!

from sea to shining sea

happy fourth!

Friday, June 26, 2015

swim lessons

summer and afton are in the thick of round two swim lessons (last year here) with their friends maddy and cami:

both are enjoying the socks off spending time in the pool and learning lots of new moves.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

school's out for summer

yesterday was summer's last day of first grade. (next year, the girls will finally begin and end on the same day, hooray!)

topped off by root beer floats at the bus stop and oreos in the backyard.

here she is on the first day (left) and last (right):

hopping off the bus with her last day treats from her fun bus driver:

and now, for reading, playing, messing, eating, loudness, laughter,
sunshine, boredom, and everything else a summer should be.

Monday, June 15, 2015

kindergarten wrap up

today, afton wrapped up her kindergarten school year.
on the left is her first day, on the right is her last:

with her teacher, mrs. pearia

off the bus for the last time as a kindergartener.
the wind in her hair; the world at her feet.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

lipstick on your collar

let's just say that the ruined tube of (new!) twenty-dollar lipstick was the least of my concerns after i tallied up the damage here:

not pictured: lipstick handprints all over the carpet, lipstick handprints all over the hardwoods, lipstick handprints on the walls, lipstick handprints on various hard and soft toys, lipstick handprints on me. you know, just your typical toddler-gets-a-hold-of-a-tube-of-lipstick-and-mom-thinks-he's-just-playing-innocently-in-the-next-room kind of stuff.

and also, before anyone goes around thinking that i'm a "cool mom" (ha!), rest assured that after assessing the scene, i stomped around and let out several good screams to the universe before stopping to take this picture to add to my ever-growing collection of "fond memories of toddlerhood" that i know i'll (blessedly) remember with nothing but humor twenty years from now.

until then, elbow grease, ho!!

Monday, June 08, 2015

walker, dallin wheeler

i know everyone has been waiting around, biting their nails, and checking the blog *daily* to see if dallin is walking yet.

and i guess the short answer is: sort of.

dallin is what we like to call "a baby's baby." if aliens were to come down from outer space and select a specimen of human babyness, they would most certainly choose dallin. he just really digs the whole being a baby thing. the snuggling, the soft blankets, the being carried everywhere, the cute babbling, the rompers, the screaming and getting whatever you want, the wispy curls that we may never cut off. the whole nine yards.

only, ready or not, his baby days are numbered, and he's bout to be flung into the not quite so tender loving arms of toddlerhood. 

but first: the toddling!

at 16 1/2 months, dallin is by far my latest walker. he's a darn fast crawler and so has not really been interested in the slow unsteadiness of early walking. i would say he took his first steps about a month ago and has been slowly, slowly adding on to the point where just yesterday at church, he began walking the length of entire rooms.

i wouldn't say walking is dallin's primary or preferred form of transportation yet, and we'll probably still carry him around and take in lungfuls of that pure sweet baby smell a bit longer, but he's getting there.

soon to rule and reign with caleb as the kings of utter chaos!