Thursday, March 14

Life Update

It's been a great week skyping Nancy, Lorry, Mom and Abby. Abby, this is for you my devoted blog checker! Thanks for the Skype chat so I could meet Trevor and hear the engagement story! YAHOO!!!

Us Carters are alive and kicking, no time to sit and blog but I'm so overdue. The 1200 pictures we took across 3 devices while in Marrakesh have overrun my desire to blog. It's paired down to 600 favorites now, but my poor clogged laptop has become slow trying to keep up with our life and adventures. However, it's high time I document these cute kids, husband and life I've been blessed with!

The reason for this post. Everyone had just left for school/work this morning and I found him doing this. 19 months today, my sweet boy! Jake is bent on growing up too quickly. He really needs to stop it ASAP!

And yesterday I got my meager crafty side out to satiate Morgan's hunger for crafting. While we made eggs for a garland with ripped paper, glue, paint and glitter glue, Jake ate his lunch. I looked up to see the disaster that is his way of eating right now. (Have I written about my white boards on here yet? I'm in love with them. Our behavior merit system is on the left, Easton's family tree from the Blue and Gold that a very talented lady in my ward drew for it, my family picture that should be framed but til then it will hang here because it makes me happy, and my Primary theme board.)

But back to Jake, this is what he looks like after every meal. He's back to exploring his food with less eating involved. It's tortuous to me, but it is a phase like all others and will pass. Look at his face and hand! Covered in nutella and peanut butter. He eats bananas like he's doing medieval exploratory surgery. You can't even see all the rest of the sandwich pieces that he threw to the floor. That he actually ate anything is debatable. Yogurt is more of a face cream lather-it-on event than a snack.

This next one was taken earlier this winter. Oh how I love smooching on a clean baby all snuggled into a towel in my arms!!!

Walking Jake in to bed is one of my savored daily experiences. I hold him close while I let him turn the light switch off and then he wants to close the door. I turn on his sound machine and then we sway and snuggle as he folds his arms between us and lays his head on my shoulder. He gives a series of face smashing kisses and then the fingers are in his mouth. Then he's leaning toward the bed to be laid down. That's our little routine. Sometimes he is less than happy about it, but in the end there are those kisses! Will I ever get over baby hunger? 

Easton, my growing man child. At the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, Easton took 3rd in his pack and 8th overall. He was beaming! McKay loved that trophy of Easton's! He said, "The trophy is like the great ring of power [Lord of the Rings]. I just can't put it down!" (Some day I might sew Easton's badges and stuff on. Or I might not. I'd rather teach him to do it but when I attempted by hand, I swore that strategy off for life. OUCH!) 

Look at the men in my life! Oh how I love them!!!
Easton's recent project on Einstein gave us the opportunity to chat about our family's connections to Einstein's work. Ryan's American grandfather married a gal from Berlin he'd met on his German mission. He studied organic chemistry at the same university in the late 1920s where Einstein and his associates were working to split the atom. Ryan's grandparents moved to New Jersey before the Nazis rose to power in Germany just like Einstein did. My grandfathers served in WWII in the Pacific and European theaters. My Grandpa Bob was a pilot training and waiting in Saigon for orders and the possible invasion of Japan when the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ending the war. The plutonium enriched for the Fat Man bomb was made in the Manhattan Project town that I later grew up in. The subsequent division of Berlin and Europe among the victors landed Ryan's great grandparents behind what would become the Wall and Iron Curtain. Our parents and Ryan and I were raised in the Cold War. My grandfathers and dad worked in the Hanford area while raising their families and now it's in the news for the hazardous leaks. My boys found this all very interesting! And now we live in Germany and feel the urgency to find these long lost cousins.

Writing this update, I realize I don't have as many pictures of McKay. He's a busy little bee around here. He's a Lego building, paper airplane flying, ball bouncing/kicking/hoop shooting lover of life! He refused to get out of bed yesterday because it was a half day at school. He wanted it to be a full day so he could eat lunch with his friends and play at break.

See McKay's dance moves here, he's the skeleton in front. He loved learning a dance to that silly world sensation "Gangnum Style" with his class. McKay's reading and writing are really coming along. I love his self-confidence and his love of science and building things. Between him and Easton's science interest, we're going to be introducing them to the great movies like "October Sky" and "Apollo 13" very soon. Any other recommendations? It's so fun to have these conversations now with pretty eager learners!

 Let's talk about this little lady. She has such a big personality and I love her to pieces! Sleeping in style.

Getting her craft on yesterday, singing little songs in her "German".

Then there's Morgan and the boys Tuesday night staving off bedtime. She said, "I'm Mary and the boys are my ninjas." Ha!!! They were so funny! Until I saw the explosion that was their bedroom! Best feature of Morgan's scarf getup was the scotch tape across her chin to hold the scarf in place. She's into throwing a hip out and posing with some attitude lately. She kills me!

Rach, me, and Jocelyn
at Berlin's Gendamenmarkt Fassbender & Rausch Chocolaterie

You know those best friends that come along in life? Distance and time are irrelevant when you're together? That's me and Rach. She moved to the Tri-Cities the end of our junior year of high school and we were fast friends. We got to room together for a year+ at BYU. We keeps tabs from a distance, but we recently got to meet up in Berlin. Oh what a great time reconnecting!!!

The last time I took a trip on my own was Rach's MBA graduation when I was very pregnant with McKay in 2005. The last time I saw Rach was on her Thanksgiving visit in 2008 before we moved here. She reluctantly admitted she was dating this great guy who'd been dating her for almost a year I think. Oh she cracks me up! Hearing her first descriptions of him, I knew he was perfect for her. It is so wonderful to see her so happy! After a long rough go of trying to grow their family, she and Tony are expecting their first little boy this summer!!! Rach's friend, Jocelyn, now another kindred spirit of mine, is moving to Berlin next month with a job for eBay from Bountiful. Jocelyn and Rach were in Berlin for two weeks - the first week was for apartment hunting and then Jocelyn had a full week of meetings with her new team. I'm so excited for her adventure here and that hopefully we'll get to see a lot of her! We saw a handful of sites, ate great food, and just enjoyed a leisure pace of a weekend in all the greatness that is Berlin. I love that city!!! And the Berlin ward we visited gave us the warmest welcome I've ever received in any ward! What a great place to be!

This weekend trip for me was such a great reminder of who I am on my own, stripped of all the things that consume my day to day. It was liberating and re-centering for me. I love my life and my dear husband who takes such good care of our family and me. Each thing we girls enjoyed, I was wishing Ryan was there to share in fun conversations, food and sights. It was the only detraction from my great weekend beyond it passing to quickly! I really love to travel with Ryan! Unfortunately, the moment I was home I had a ward event to pull off the next day and wasn't so good at communicating my gratitude and utter love for him. Ryan, I totally dig your trash! ;)

Ryan and Jake's morning snuggle routine with Jake hollering "Teez!" 
Ryan is busy trying to kick a lingering bad cold to the curb. He's in the final ramp up of training for the Paris Marathon the first weekend of April. I'm so proud of him! He recently shaved his beard and then we all missed it so it's back. He's ever busy checking on potential trip destinations and travel details. I take this effort of his for granted far too often. His efforts enrich my life monthly! He and I are currently absorbed in a family history project trying to figure out how to track down his German cousins. It's very exciting!