The Hatch Clan: Where Babies Wear White Tuxedos

The Hatch Clan: Where Babies Wear White Tuxedos

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summer Summary

I think it'd be good if I started writing in this thing again, regularly. I miss writing.

So...I'd like to do a summer catch-up! Summer, as far as Sam's schedule was concerned, was really quite lovely. The school year is so demanding on his time, it was nice to have something calmer. It started out still quite busy, with him working on this beast paper thing and having a condensed class he completed in 5 (?) weeks, along with an internship, but slowly the different things he had to finish petered out until this past week, where he's just been free as a bird. It'll be a bit of a jolt to have him go back to full-time law school next Tuesday. C'est la vie!
We started out the summer with a trip to the cemetery, to visit my Grandpa Butler's grave on Memorial Day. I hadn't visited any actual cemeteries in a long time on Memorial day, so I felt overdue. It made me happy to have a reason to talk about what I remembered of my grandpa.

I blew out a tire for the first time, with all the kids in the van with me (surprise), on the freeway no less! I was fortunate that it happened to be on a day when Sam was home, and I was only five minutes from home. He came to my rescue. I was thanking my lucky stars! I kept thinking "This is Utah, I bet someone will see this little woman in a minivan on the side of a road with a baby on her hip and stop to help." Nope. Bless that man.
We enjoyed water many different times, with jumping on the tramp with a sprinkler, enjoying the pool near our house and checking out a couple nearby splash pads. The girls LOOOOOVVVVVEEEE water. Atticus used to be terrified, but he's getting much better. Go Atto!
 (I swear Willow really enjoyed it, she just didn't want to be in the pink floatie right then. Haha. Little miss.)
I took out one of my childhood besties for a birthday outting in June. She only lives about half an hour from me, but life gets in the way and we hadn't seen each other in ages. So glad she was game. :)
A couple days later, one of my other childhood (okay we became friends in high school; that still counts, right?) besties, her kids and me and my kids met up and went to Wheeler Farm, which is right near where I live. I love when we get together. Her oldest girls are only a few months younger than Jori, and her next daughter is only about 10 days older than Atticus. So fun to have everyone lining up so well! (We planned it.) (Just kidding.)(Maybe.)

Poor Foster was having none of it: 

I discovered Winco. Oh my gosh Winco!!!

Sam and I had an overnight backpacking adventure; my first! Sam's sister Melanie and her husband Jed, who also have kids that line up with ours in age, watched our kids for us. It was a fun adventure. :) It was harder hiking in than we expected, because we got lost at one point and there were a lot of fallen trees on the path. But I'd say I enjoyed about half of the experience of hiking in, and all of the hiking out. (I knew what was in store.) Glad we went.    

We discovered this place called Jungle Jim's, about 10-15 (maybe?) minutes from our house. Maybe less. It's awesome!!! They have all these fun carnival/amusement park rides, designed for kids six and under size-wise. On Tuesdays it's only $2 admission, so we met up with my sister-in-law Chantale and her kids, and then had one of my best friends/former room mates Rachael and her boys join us after we'd been there about 45 minutes. The only thing I regretted was riding with my kids once, on the roller-coaster one. Blegh. I felt sick for a while after that. 

Bah haha I just re-discovered in my photos: we also were making sugar cookies one day, and read a Fancy Nancy book about how SHE was making cupcakes, while we waited for them to bake. And then we read how a pan of cupcakes got ruined, because the dog ate them...and reading this story made me burn our cookies. Oh the irony. We laughed about it for a good long while. 

Jori Pori turned SIX!!! Wahhh!! She's growing too fast. This sweet girl. We had a last-minute party with a few friends from her Kindergarten class at the Sandy splash-pad to celebrate. I kinda slacked on the presents...they arrived a few days late. So me. I figured Sam took her out for a daddy-daughter date Friday, which was a fun treat; she had her party and got presents Saturday; Sunday we celebrated with my family and she got lots from her grandparents; and then hers finally arrived Monday. ish. She actually didn't mind. She's used to my winging it, I guess.
The 4th of July was really great this year; we went to the Murray parade, which does throw candy (the kids' favorite part), but we didn't stay till the end, so we didn't have to battle the crowds or deal with super grumpy, sweaty kids. Then we drove down to my parents, and in the evening just set off fireworks in their driveway. We even spent the night, since I thought we'd be there late doing the fireworks and thought that'd be a fun treat for them. It was perfect.
OH! And I had one of my most amazing moments of athleticism/pure luck to date! Dave tossed me a basketball, which he, Mike and Sam had been shooting in the hoop my parents have in their driveway. But I was holding something in each hand. So I juggled it with my right thigh (soccer juggle, not real juggle), left thigh, then kicked it toward the basket. And it WENT IN!! Amazing. Skills to pay the bills, yo.
The weekend following the 4th of July, I had my 10 year high school reunion. It was a blast, surprisingly! I had worried I'd feel sucked back into old high-school Ariel, but that wasn't the case at all. There were few enough people/enough strangers (spouses) that nobody really did that, it seemed like to me. It was just fun to see what people had done with their lives.
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It was also the Hatch reunion, which...I pretty much missed in entirety. Kind of a bummer, actually. I knew I'd miss Thursday, but planned to head up Friday. I knew they were kind of planning to do a river floating thing, but I thought it was going to be in the morning. So I figured I'd get there around lunch time, they'd be done, and we'd just all relax and enjoy each other's company the rest of the time. But they actually were gone 11-5 Friday, so I got there at 1:00 and just...waited for four hours. When everyone got back, they were totally pooped. Understandable! I was there for the talent show part Friday evening, which was great. But Saturday morning there was a hike, and because Sam and I were responsible for the breakfast we missed the main one. (We did do a mini hike and checked out a cave, which was fun.) Then everyone ate and pretty much was ready to leave. So...the moral of the story is don't sleep in!! I should have headed up sooner. Oh well. Sam did awesome with the three kids all by himself, as I knew he would. And I did enjoy the company, as much as I did get to participate. I'm so lucky I married into the family I did! They're amazing, all of them. And mom and dad Hatch's absences were noted keenly (they left for a mission in Nauvoo in April). 
I had a couple fun girls nights this summer, with other moms in my ward. There are so few of us! I really value their company, I've made some really great friends here. It's forced me to get to know people better. And the ward, having so few families, makes me feel more valued for bringing children to it.

We had a playdate with my sister-in-law Jandel and her kids up here, too, and had them swim in our pool with us. I love that lady! :) Atticus and her son Nathan are about the same age, and so when we have them over or we're down at their place (they live about an hour away), they have a lot of fun.
Oh and we had a craft play date with a homeschooler mom friend I've made up here, since we moved a year ago. She's totally awesome and her daughter, Jane, gets along with Jori really well. And she has two boys that Atticus is right between in age, so I'm always glad when we meet up.

The weekend of the 24th of July, we drove up to Worland, Wyoming, to visit Sam's sister Heidi and her family. It was so fun! So relaxing. I watched waaaayyy too much Once Upon a Time on my phone. But their kids, even being quite different in age, were totally welcoming and fun with ours, and everyone was so content it made it easy for me to just chill. Her husband Jim is a dentist, so he also gave us dental check-ups and cleanings. Guess who had the most cavities! Muah! 3! Yikes! Guess who had none? The children! Yup.
 (Willow loving on their dog here)
It was also fun to get to know their two adopted girls, Malika and Malena (sp?) better. They're Atticus's age, actually, but developmentally they're more like Willow's age. (They have down syndrome.) So it was fun to have three little toddlers bumbling around.
We were in or driving to Worland July 22nd-26th, and after a short stay at home, during which we hosted Heidi and Jim's oldest son, Phillip, and his wife, Kat, briefly, we headed up to the Uinta's to stay in my mom's-side-of-the-family's cabin for a week with almost all of my brothers and their wives.

The cabin!!! Oh how I love it. Love love love. All of our kids have buddies their age, so they are just in heaven playing with some of their favorite people. And I absolutely love getting to relax, enjoy the nature, and enjoy the company up there, myself! Many played a lot of lasso golf, horseshoes, pool, billiards and games, along with going for great walks, fishing and a lot of snacking. Oh p.s. Sam cooked our meal entirely by himself this year. Yessssssssssssss (I've really been in a cooking funk lately. Blegh. Don't like it.) We also did a polar bear swim, which means we go to Butterfly Lake and swim across a short portion of it in the uber cold lake water. I hadn't participated for a few years, so Sam suggested I do the swim this year with my brothers while he keep an eye on the kids. Whew! It's actually pretty thrilling. Or shocking, to the system I guess. :) Glad I did it, either way.
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After we got back, we went to temple square that Sunday. The kids were so funny. I just love those goofballs.

The kids and I also took Sam to Wheeler farm, which he's never been to, the week following the cabin. It's kind of an awesome little place. A little slice of farm in the middle of a busy area.   

Then Willow's nursery teacher (they let Willow start attending before she's 18 months, since the nursery is so small) invited all nursery kids and their families to come swimming at her pool, and I was SO PROUD of Atticus! He, up till now, has required us to hold on to him constantly in water, unless he can stand. But he followed his sister into the deep end!! Don't worry, they were both wearing floaties. But by himself, going there, was huge!! :) That boy. So awesome.

I made a new friend at one of the library story times we did attend this summer, who looked like she had a boy about Atto's age and a girl about Willow's age. Sure enough, her boy is only a few weeks older than Atticus! He's quite a bit taller but that doesn't matter. :) And her daughter is about 5 months younger than Willow, so basically the same age too. She works during the week but is free Fridays, so we've met up a couple times and had play dates at Murray park. I'm glad to have found someone else as a potential buddy for Atticus. He's pretty shy when he first meets kids, so that can make it hard. But he really does love playing with others. And he's stuck with three not-real-rowdy girls all day! It's great when he can get someone else to be a bit more rambunctious with. Once he's comfortable, anyway.    

Finally, this past Monday, our family headed up to hike Donut Falls about 20-30 minutes from our house. It was so fun!! I usually don't think, "What would I like to do? Go hiking!" to be honest with you; but usually when we do it I'm glad we did afterward. Sam thinks because my only real exposure to hiking was girl's camp and the Y growing up, my perception of hiking has been negatively tainted. He's probably right. This was nicely shaded, not steep, and not that long. Perfect. Sam and I had a bit of an adventurous experience making our way across this river trying to keep our shoes dry while holding the kids, which was both fun and nerve-wracking (I didn't want to slip and hurt Atticus!). And there were all these ground squirrels that had absolutely NO fear of humans. It was amazing! They came right up to us. Sam took some videos with my phone but he put them in slow motion so I haven't decided if I'll share them yet.    

And yesterday...I got my hair cut and colored. Wahoo! I love doing that.

That's about it, really! Our summer in one...big, nutshell. Pretty great. :)

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.