The Hatch Clan: Where Babies Wear White Tuxedos

The Hatch Clan: Where Babies Wear White Tuxedos

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Favorite winter-isms and thoughts on...stuff.

If I were normal, I'd call these Christmas traditions. But I don't know if that's really fitting.

Sam finished his first final today (we're yet to see how it went), so decided to take the rest of the day off. So we went and got a tree after picking up Jori from school this afternoon.. We get a real tree every year, sometimes (like last year) from driving into the mountains and chopping one down in Idaho; other times (this year) from going to a lot. We chose one and had it loaded about eight minutes after parking! Had to be a new record for us.
In all it's glory! We got a smaller one and put it up, in hopes of keeping it out of Willow's reach. I'm going to have to watch her like a hawk...

It got me thinking about how other people do Christmas. And you know one thing I loved about our tree, growing up? The ornaments were so...hodge-podge. There was no color coordinating. No emphatically particular placement. If anything, it was more like Christmas from the previous 20 years had puked onto the tree, each time. And I loved it. I still do.
(Christmas 2006, my senior year. Ten years ago[!])

There were ornaments my mom had made doing needlepoint, from my parents' first Christmas together. There were certainly handmade ones from school, created by each of us six kids. There were the baby ones of each of us that my mom had made one year at a Relief Society activity. There were a LOT of Hallmark ones. My mom loved getting a few more each year, in their after-Christmas sale. 

The tree would get loaded just about till it was ready to topple over from the weight of all of them. Then we'd plug in the multi-color lights, listen to the tacky Disney Christmas album, and sigh in blissful contentment. 

Sometimes I think pinterest has ruined everything. 

I didn't even know making it look, you know, like a part of the decor of the living room was a thing until I had left the house. What?? Other people don't have this smorgasbord of memories in their living room for a month?!

We also didn't have a cute, hand-made advent calendar. We had the cheap kind, with the cheap chocolates, you get at the grocery store on display next to the check out for three bucks. Did I wish for different? I didn't know people did different, honestly. It was a part of the tradition! I loved it as it was.

Snow pants was another one. Until I dated a guy who owned a snowboard shop, I didn't even know that there were trends, as far as most snow clothes went. I mean I went to school, and knew certain winter coats were supposed to be cuter than others. And certainly some normal clothes were supposed to be. But snow pants? Or the gloves and hats that go along with it? It was all so fuzzy to me. (I think that was a turn-off for him. Ha.)

It's not like I grew up destitute, but when it snowed, you went to a big mess of gloves and tried to find a pair that kind-of fit you, then called it good. Same with hats, and scarves. I wore hand-me-down snow pants, as far as I can remember, almost always. And they were the bib overall ones. Till I was 20. Still, basically.

Here's some from Christmas, 2008, a year before Sam and I got married.

Honestly I attribute this lack of self-consciousness in snow gear to my brothers. They were confident, and I happily followed in that wake.

I have said before how, yeah, pinterest, but I think also just living in a digital age can wear on me. It's too easy to compare. Instead of seeing what people in your neighborhood do, you see the best of the best, from an entire world of complete strangers. I don't just mean their individual best, I mean like...the top ten most creative people in the country, you see their stuff. But then also the top ten most organized. And the top ten most fun. And the top ten best at money management. So you see these people that have one particular strength, and rather than recognize these people might suck at everything else, you think "I need to match them!" in their one really skilled area, and only take that away from your exposure to them.

Am I projecting? I don't think it's supposed to be that way, but that's how I feel.

I have a constant back and forth battle with myself, of wanting not to care but caring what other people think/wanting their approval. Maybe even their praise. But it's weird. These things: the ornaments on my childhood Christmas trees, the advent calendar, the snow clothes. They're like free passes for me.

I just feel really freed when I'm successful at enjoying, thoroughly enjoying, something I know most people wouldn't admire and some might even disdain, in regards to material things. Maybe that's why I refuse to buy a new winter coat and have been wearing the same one for seven years. (Or money, but that's crazy talk.) Or why I still wear this Boston Red Sox t-shirt I got when I was 16. I'm not all the way there yet...but I hope to get there someday.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Our place

Here's the story, if you haven't heard it yet:

In June, I started really aggressively searching for a place up closer to the U of U for us to live. I knew we could live in family housing there at the U for just below $1100 with all the utilities included, but I really really didn't want to. It's full on apartment living, with cinder block walls, tiny tiny kitchens and paper-thin carpet. It just made me depressed to think about. So I was determined to find somewhere else, for about the same price, within 20 minutes of the U.

But try as I did, we had no luck with anywhere. We were getting quite discouraged. So at the end of a phone call with his parents, when Sam's mom asked him, "Is there anything we can do for you?" When he normally says no, he said (not seriously) "You can buy us a house."

Well being the people they are, they hopped on KSL, and before we knew it they had bought us a mobile home. Seriously! Insane!! It's about five minutes North of Fort Union, bordering both Holladay and Murray. It's theirs, they bought it cash and will sell it after we move out...but it's a tremendous blessing for now. Because they bought it cash they don't have to pay for a mortgage, so neither do we. But because it's in one of those...'mobile home communities,' aka a trailer park, the land that it's on isn't owned by them. So it's kind of like having landlords, in that way. We are responsible for what's called a lot fee, and all the utilities.

This is $200 cheaper than the family housing would have been, and I feel insanely blessed to live here. We have a two-car carport, a garage, a small room on the north side of the garage for storage, a larger room on the west side of the garage that Sam uses as his study, a small backyard with a built-in swingset/slide thing, a large front porch, imitation hardwood floors through the main part of it, a laundry room (bigger than our last one, actually), a wood-burning stove, and just overall a nicer interior than we possibly could have had in the apartment we would have lived in. We also are located right next to this big stretch of grass, which if you know how closely the mobile homes in this mobile home park are positioned, you know how lucky that is. Our kids play on it all the time.

I'm wanting to paint our bookcases a white/greyish, re-do our buffet, and re-stain/paint a stenciled design on an old nightstand Sam built in high school for our current home. So it's still not all the way 'un-packed.' But all the rooms are finally functional, which I'm loving.

Surprisingly, the actual place's really feeling like home, now. It is smaller than our last (1100 square feet, vs. the 1500 we moved from), but I feel like I'm using the space better this time. Each room has a purpose, and we spend our days filling up the full house.

I do still miss Springville terribly, as well as our old backyard and the lack of through traffic where we used to live (we live right near the entrance to the mobile home park so there's a ton here). And I HATE how much smoking is present in this general area. It seems like everyone in Murray (a block to the west of us, with Holladay a block to the east) smokes. Blegh, so gross.

Still, even with the downsides this really does feel like a perfect fit for our family at this stage of life we're in.

So I recorded a walk-through. I did it when the majority of rooms were clean, but the main bathroom, laundry room and especially garage are still a disaster...oh well, we're keeping it real, folks. :)

So here's that. You'll have to come over to play, everyone! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

First half of September 2016

Okay, people. Truth time: I haven't forgotten about this blog! I actually think about things I'd like to write frequently. But I always feel like I need to play catch-up, and the longer it takes the harder it will be...bah. I've been working on a 'My kids: Atticus' and 'My kids: Willow' since Willow was two months old, which was 2/3 of her life ago really...yikes.

 (This, I'll tell more about at the end. But I had to show it in case you don't get that far. Jori's awesome.)<------ adorable="" and="" at="" because="" both="" end.="" had="" hat="" hilarious="" i="" impressive="" is="" it="" jori="" just="" ll="" mention="" p="" show="" the="" to="" wrote="" you="">

So I decided I'll just post about our current month. And if I'm successful at doing catch-up, I'll just adjust the date accordingly. Okay? Deal.

We spent Labor day weekend up in Idaho, and it was wonderful (as it always is). I got to go to the Logan temple while Sam was in charge of the kids, plus their little cousin Gavin, in the afternoon on Saturday. Darren made an event out of the kids picking apples from a place up the road, prepping them, and making a cobbler in a dutch oven out of them. He's so good at making things fun for the grandkids. Sam still had to do a lot of studying, but when he wasn't they got some riding in. He and I went for a short ride, too. I always love doing that with my sweetheart. And the kids enjoyed the free space, big sand pile and animals that come along with our visits to Cache Valley. We also were able to stop by and see Sam's brother Jotham and his family on our way out of town, when they were canoeing. Hence the pic of the water. 

Atticus was sad here, so Jori was holding his hand to make him feel better and walk him back to where he could find me. I love nothing more than seeing my kids have compassion, particularly with each other.

Eight days ago (the 10th), BYU played against U of U in football. Fun for our fam! Sam wore a red law school shirt, and dressed Willow in the closest thing to red we had for her (a dark pink long-sleeved onesie). Atticus, Jori and I wore BYU gear. Truth be told I didn't even watch the game, because (frankly) I don't like watching football much and with a baby it's even harder...but we went down to my parents nonetheless, and Sam enjoyed it. I enjoyed the experience, too. I always do, whether I watch the games or not. :) The kids enjoyed being at the grandparents, and Jori even got to tag along with Papa on a grocery shopping trip to Costco. She was in sample heaven.

I love the pic of her. She looks like she's been caught red-handed.

The next day we had stake conference (which was kind of a bust: it's the first time we've left church early because of behavior stuff, but mainly I was just failing at patience so...hopefully I don't next time), and afterward we decided to visit Temple Square. We've been meaning to ever since we moved closer, but it took till now to finally make it happen. It was HOT! Hot hot hot. But the flowers were beautiful, and it was really awesome to see all the stuff in the North Visitor's Center. 
My poor squinty family. 

I'll just copy and paste this over from facebook. This was from Monday, the 12th:

Atticus's first soccer game today! Nailed it...if what you're supposed to do is suck on your fingers and stand shyly in the middle of the field, too reluctant to get where the action is. Even if you're great with the ball in a non-team/spectator setting. I loved it, I couldn't stop laughing. Kids kept picking it up, going the wrong one point, the coach said "we need to head toward that goal!" So four of the six kids on his team that were on the field at the time ran toward the goal, completely forgetting about the ball. 3 and 4 year old Bumblebee soccer!! What could be better?!

 We practiced in the time between his first game and his second, and we talked about being brave and joining in, trying to go for the ball the next time. He was all for it, hypothetically! But when the time actually came, he was quite stubbornly doing the same thing. A few sweet kids on his team even tried to talk to him, and he kind of sullenly just slowly turned away from them and stepped away a couple feet. Oh, this boy. Good thing he's so cute.  

Jori had her first soccer game ever this week too, on Wednesday. And apparently I have no pictures? Mom fail! I will say her first game was pretty cold and rainy, so that contributed. Her second game I should have, though...I'll be sure to get some this week.

Her age is co-ed too, and a lot of the kids have been playing together since they were three. Naturally Jori's got a learning curve ahead of her. I kind of wish it wasn't so much...mob style, frankly. That they'd start trying to teach positions. Because our little miss doesn't stand a chance against all these bigger, faster players when it's just a big mess of kids in one spot. But I've been proud of her for trying.

She actually said something that I was really proud of, when she and I were leaving her second game. (Sam had to stay home for a fridge delivery, and the younger two were with him.) She first said "It seems that I can't kick the ball, even though I keep trying to." (She said "It seems" like three times. She's adorable.) But then she said "I guess Atticus and I both have something to work on. He needs to work on not coming off the field to us when he's supposed to be playing, and I need to work on being able to kick the ball. But the more we work at it, the better we'll get!" Warms my heart. 

Willow's taken to doing this, which...I mean. It speaks for itself:

Can't handle the cuteness. This baby. I don't think there's ever been a baby so loved by her siblings. I said right after she was born that she makes the family more complete, and it's still very true.

Today we went to Murray Park after church. I was kind of worried the kids would be annoyed we weren't playing on the playground, but there's actually some really cool paths and landscaping we enjoyed. We gathered some acorns under an oak tree, and discovered one of those 'take one, put one in' libraries that people can have in their yard. They basically look like bird houses. We will definitely be heading back there! We snapped this pic under a weeping willow tree, because ever since our Willow joined the fam, we're extra thrilled every time we see one. Well, or I am anyway.

Finally...I've been thinking about home schooling. A LOT. A lot a lot. I've been reading a lot, and so much of it feels good to me when I think about it...but it's a huge decision so I'm not quite ready to make it yet. We'll see. I'm a bit worried this is just one of those things for me, that I get really into for a few months and then I'm like "...nah, let's obsess over something else." So I'd like to wait and make sure I really have the commitment, because the stay-at-home parent who will be doing the educating has got to seriously be committed if you're going to pull the plug on public school! 

In the meantime, Atticus and I have kind of started preschool. It's tricky, trying to figure out where he's at developmentally and what he's ready for...but we've just started, and if it becomes unpleasant for him we'll ease off. If I stick with public school, he could either start kindergarten in two years or three, since his birthday is so close to the cut off anyway I might just wait an extra year. But we'll see. (Another plus of homeschool: don't have to fuss about age, more focus on their level, with learning. Yay!)

Jori has really turned a corner with her own learning, I feel. She wrote this note to us during church today, and Sam and I had the hardest time keeping our laughter quiet: 
Can you tell what she's saying?? I'll let you guess. 

Okay, it's "Icky gum under the chair." Wasn't that fantastic phonetic spelling?! She's awesome. I just love that that was the first sentence she chose to write. 

I'm still trying to figure out where I want everything, but I've come a long way in our new little home. Sam...

Have I said anything about Sam? Sam wakes up at 5:00, and takes a 5:45 bus to school. He stays there and studies or attends class most of the day. He gets back here at 6:00, usually. So the days are extra long for him, but I'm grateful he chooses to start them earlier so he can still have some good time with the kids, put them down for bed, and then on the not-as-busy days (about three of the five weekdays) he can spend some time in the evening with me, too. Sheesh, Sammy's a good man. Always puts us first, himself second. I got a winner, you guys.

That's it. Over and out. I'll give you a hug if you read this to the end. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I have a lot of other posts I want to publish, but the longer I wait the longer they become. Still, this was important enough I wanted to share about it.

We went to temple square today. It was a hot day, so we took advantage of the shade and open buildings. The flowers were beautiful, and the temple was, as always, breathtaking. The kids enjoyed the fountains and escaping from us when they could.

But I noticed a couple things on this mostly pleasant family outing. First, most people were walking around with their heads glued down. Eyes on their phones.

Second, in the North Visitor's Center, we trekked upstairs and got to see this:

Honestly, one of my first thoughts upon entering the room was "I want to get a picture of the kids in front of it." But others were doing that already. So I sat down. And just, stared at it for a while. And I noticed something while sitting there. Families were coming in, taking pictures in front of it, and walking out immediately.

Why does this bother me? All the people with their eyes glued to their screens, even when out and about with their families? Why does it bother me that people weren't really looking at the statue, or looking around at the beautifully painted walls and ceiling?

 Because a statue of Jesus Christ isn't some man painted metal on a touristy street. He is our Lord and Savior. Our Redeemer. I understand that it's hard with little ones (trust me, don't ask me about how stake conference went today) to try to reflect spiritually on things. I also understand that because children are only little for a little while, we want to capture memories of them, and that's why we should take pictures.

But is it more important that people see us 'appreciating' Him, actually appreciate Him?

Maybe that's harsh. But I felt like the room deserved a bit of reverence, honestly.

I think I'm feeling this the most because I've seen it in my own life, in myself: technology and obsession with what we show of our lives/seeking others' approval becoming a much higher priority than it deserves. I mean it's so easy to have questions instantly answered. Instant gratification, with a simple internet search on this and that.

But is this right?

I think I needed this, seeing both technology and social media prioritized higher than the most important being in our existences, to remind me. It isn't. Never.

I'm glad I was forced to reflect today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My kids: Jori

I love them. Fo realz.

loves barbies, she chose four the last time I was with the kids at D.I. and she's so happy.
This is after we gave them perma-swimsuits, with nail polish. 

She's still all about everything fancy.

She is such a ray of sunshine, honestly. She's always saying positive, makes you stop for a second comments like "Willow's smiles just brighten up my day!" or "We are so lucky we have so many things!" She's still really enthusiastic, and will say excitedly "This is going to be so much fun!" with little provocation.
Like the other day at my parents, when her cousins were jumping on the bed in the next room and she was about to join them. 

 She's very bright, and has been learning sight words. She has a truly fantastic memory: she'll tell us stories about something that happened one time, a year ago, frequently. She told me about a dead mouse that was in the firepit up at the cabin a week or two ago, but that was clear back last summer. Things like that happen regularly.

 (Can you figure out what's happening, here? I just love this. The bucket is scooched over, box of donuts on the ground, cut marks on box, but only until it was discovered it could just be taken off, and play dough knife obviously was in the process of slicing off a chunk of that maple bar before daddy called her upstairs again for stories.)

  She likes things to be accurate and correct, and trusts me implicitly to teach her these things. (Even to the point sometimes of discrediting comments from daddy, if she feels they're not what I have said.) It's kind of a...heavy privilege, I'd call it. I try to lead her well, not wanting to give her any reason to distrust me. (Except that one time where I told her the chocolate I was eating was poison, 'cause I didn't want to share.)
  She's quite artistic, she loves creating these cute/funny little brown paper bag puppets.

Usually princesses. She draws the face on the top part and body on the rest...they're great.

 She still loves her special blankie her Grandma Hatch made for her. She's losing the few speech flaws she has left, so those that remain I kind of cherish. (Rather than saying it 'other,' it's 'uh-ver', things like that.)

 She has a hard time paying attention, or focusing...I think she might have ADHD, just the inattentive classification. Same as I have.

 But Sam and I can't really get mad at her (shouldn't, anyway: we aren't perfect), because honestly, sometimes I'll ask her something six times and then finally lose my temper, but it'll really startle her because I think she genuinely wasn't taking it in the first six times. So she doesn't get why I'm mad, all of a sudden (to her).

She's very imaginative and can have a hard time not...kind of living in her own little fantasy land mentally, sometimes.

 She's still trying to learn give and take with conversation with kids her age, I think; she gets excited to tell them things, but sometimes doesn't really listen to them and just keeps telling what she wanted to say, regardless. Or won't hear what they said, cause she was in the 'fantasy land.' She also gets frustrated when kids don't acknowledge what she has said, though, which could be how they feel too...hopefully she'll get the hang of the give and take of conversing sooner, rather than later.

She's got a tender heart, my Jori. A real gentility. Just feels things a lot. Cries often, laughs often. I think I passed this on, too. She's good at trying to make things fair and good for all around her, most of the time.

Overall, she makes a great oldest. We sure love our Jori Pori.