And We're Back

We had such a wonderful summer.
Great trips, great friends, great fun. 
It was just delightful.
Until the last couple weeks...
when it quickly dissolved into a state of utter unbearableness.
I think my kids have been trying to set some sort of record for non-stop arguing.
(Is it that way for everyone by the end of the summer? Please tell me it's that way for everyone.)
There were days I was quite certain that World War III would begin in the Meeker home.
Specifically between Wess and Till (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

we made it.
And just look how cute the kiddos are on their first day of 6th/2nd grade x 3...

Perhaps they're just happy that they are off to 4 separate classrooms...far, FAR away from each other.

Tess spent all morning curling her hair to perfection and finding just the right accessories.
She's so beautiful.
And growing up way too fast that one.
She's started asking me if her clothes make her look fat.
I can't believe we're to this stage already.
It's downright terrifying.

I think we've all been experiencing some anxiety as this school year begins.
The girls have had trouble sleeping.
They're up worrying about problems that they had with friends at recess 5 months ago.
Will is worried about feeling shy.
David was up with an upset stomach last night.
Even I woke well before my alarm this morning.
I guess first-day-of-school jitters happen to Moms too.

The kids get home in a few minutes. 
I can't wait to hear how it went.
I'm going to feed them ice cream and take them to the pool for a relaxing afternoon.
Because strangely enough the house has been a little too quiet this morning.
I hate to say it but I think I just might be missing all the shouting.

Posted with Tess' permission.


The stories I don't want to pass over.

It's not my strong suit.
As clearly evidenced by this blog.
Well, I take that back.
I'm consistent in the areas that really matter.
I pray and read scriptures with my kids (almost) every day.
I make my bed and brush my teeth.
I constantly harp on the kids about vegetables, sunscreen and 
'for heaven's sake let's be kind to one another.'
I get the things done that have to be done.
I just rarely get to the projects on my to-do list. (Where is that list?)
Like blogging for example.
If only there were 100 hours in each day.

I recently had over 6000 miles in the car to organize the thousands of photos 
on my computer.
It was glorious. (Organization makes me happy!)
In doing so, I realized all the stories I have yet to tell.
So many missed opportunities to share the cute things my kids have said and done, 
and the fun experiences we have had together.
It makes me sad.
And makes me want to try harder to record those memories for my family.

There is no way to catch up on everything.
But here are the 2012 highlights that I must share....

"To: Tess
From: Nora
I am sorry. I want you to be happy. 
I am so sorry for breaking your necklace.
Will you forgive me ________?
And I know it is special."


David quickly learned that leaving teeth for the tooth fairy is a much faster/easier way to make money than doing those stinkin' chores. 
His philosophy: If it's at all wiggly, it's coming out. 
Sometimes he recruits his dad to help:

This is the 2nd Annual Art Night that I have chaired at the school. It's pretty exhausting but I love it! And it's so worth the effort when you see all the students proudly displaying their art. This year was especially fun because I was hobbling around on an undiagnosed torn ACL (with extensive bone bruising), climbing ladders and bending in all directions to get the displays up. By Friday night I could barely stand on my feet.
Good times.

My view overlooking BSU stadium while rehabbing my torn ACL. It's quite motivating. 
I just know I'll be back to dancing at half-time in no time. (haha.)


David broke his wrist at school while doing the monkey bars with gloves on. His hands slipped, he landed wrong and chipped off part of the growth plate... which meant 2 trips to the ER... one to get x-rays and then one later that evening to have it re-set once they realized how serious it was. They had to bring in a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.
(He turned out to be an LDS guy that had lived in the same ward boundaries that we did in Philadelphia just a couple years after we left. We sat excitedly chatting while David lay in agony. Poor Davey. At the end I told the doc to thank his wife- a mother of 5- profusely for letting him get away on a Fri night. I understand her position perfectly.)
Then a week later David pulled his cast off 'because it was bothering him' and had to have it re-cast (but only after he hid under the bed for a while so as not to be discovered). Again, this all took place after business hours. 

Silly Davey. Way to make this as expensive as possible.

We live on a ridge at the edge of Boise. It's beautiful but it means that we get a LOT of animals around these parts. Last year we had 2 bunnies that lived under the shed. We affectionately named them 'Bob' and 'Bob's brother.' Well, ahem, they had a busy year. Now we have 10 bunnies and also an adorable family of quail that live in our yard. During the winter we get up to 8 deer at a time. They enjoy eating away at our plants/bushes. The worst for sure are the snakes and mice. (Shouldn't the snakes eat the mice??) Many people on our street get cats to kill the mice, but then the coyotes eat the cats. It's kind of a problem. 

Here is what a mouse nest looks like inside a piano (in case you were wondering):

Ahh, that's why the dog's food has been disappearing.


 If you ever have the choice to live anywhere in the country, choose BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI. And then invite me to come visit you...because it's the loveliest place I've ever been.
Thanks Wyatt and Chelsea for a delightful stay!
Chelsea- you are so fun to be with!... and my style guru.

Wy- you may just be the most selfless man I know. 
God only had to give me one brother because he got it exactly right the first time.

This darling Tudor is the home that my family lived in 35 years ago while Dad was a derm resident in Grosse Pointe, MI. Yes Mom, it's still sooooo charming.

Oh Michigan (the place of my birth)- I love you. Hopefully I'll be back soon. Next time I'd like you to introduce me to your Great Lakes. I've probably seen them but I was too young to remember.

Nate will never toot his own horn, so I have taken it upon myself to do so.

Keynote speaker at the Red Cross Appreciation Dinner. 
He had the entire room sniffling as only Nate can do.
Afterward there was a line of people just waiting to shake his hand.
And a line of people waiting to congratulate me for being married to such a man.
Don't worry- I know how lucky I am.

Receiving grant money for pediatric cancer research.

An article appeared in the Idaho Statesman:

Thanks babe for working so hard and providing so well for our family.
You make me proud!

I was busy snapping away on the camera when I noticed David's shoes. 
Man, that kid is quirky.
(And for the record, I adore quirky.)

P.S. This post took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to put together, but man-oh-man that ipiccy can do some fun things with pictures. I was having a grand old time playing around. I'm loving the 'Orton Effect' as you can probably tell.