Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Molly Turns 4!

Molly turned 4 during my most recent (and certainly not last) blogging hiatus. So on her special day I didn't get to put into writing how I felt about my little girl turning 1 year older. Actually I'm not sure that at that time I could have put into words how I feel now that she is 4. For sure, the words would have been different 3 months ago than today. Because today and the last 3 months I've had a chance to watch my sweet girl be 4, and I think now I have a better grasp of what 4 means for her. It certainly does NOT mean baby or anything remotely close! Not that 3 year-olds are babies either, but it wouldn't be so unreasonable for a new 3 year-old to be mistaken for a 2 year-old (especially if she's small) and a 2 year-old, well, practically is still a when they're 3, it still seems like that baby of old is within arm's reach. But not at 4! No way! There is nothing baby about the funny, sweet, sassy, strong-willed, independent girl who lives at this house! And that is not a bad thing at all. I am excited for what age 4 will bring Molly's way. She finally has her own "stuff" to look forward to! Dance, swim lessons, pre-school--so many doors of opportunity will open for her this year! And whereas Grayson has always been our cautious one--stepping sometimes one toe at a time over the lines--Molly is more likely to jump with both feet all at once over each threshold! And that is so right about her. And what I love about her. (At the same time though, I don't know where the girl came from...what with that daring, no holds barred approach to life...She's so NOT like me! Ha! Ha!)

But also, at the same time, in my most honest moments, I do admit to myself that I miss that baby. A lot. I guess because she's the youngest and now that she isn't a baby, there is no baby. And that doesn't quite seem "normal" yet...

But then I look at my girl, and I know that I'd never wish to go backwards with her. And I can't wait to go forward because I'm pretty darn sure that with her, it's going to be one fun ride!

A newish tradition at our house--birthday doughnuts! Powdered sugar ones, of course.

Opening presents before school and work.

A special birthday lunch with her special BFF.

These 2 were too cute! And boy did they milk that lunch! They must have known that naptime was on the horizon because they both ate every. last. bite. And took over an hour to do so! Ha!

That evening we surprised M with her gift from us--a new bike. No more Hot Wheels brand hand-me-down. No sirree. This bike is nothing but pink and purplicious all over!

Already a pro.

Then it was off to 3rd St. Mexican for dinner...

Sweet sis had a good day...and went to bed dreaming of mermaids...

For that Saturday was party day! Check out my Ariel cake!!!

"Under the sea..."

Limbo, anyone?

Miss M had some moves!

Carter said, "No thanks." :)

But Neighbor Rich gave it a whirl...

How low can you go?...

Sweet friends.

Happy Birthday, Molly Girl!!! We love you so much!
(**After cake, we and many of Molly's best buddies hightailed it to the swimming pool to finish out a super fun Under the Sea themed party! Thanks, friends, for making it so special!)

Feeling Merry (a.k.a. Christmas 2009)

Where to start, where to start...

Now sometimes going to McCall is stressful. There are always so many people that we want to see, people that we should see, and inevitably--by the end of the trip--lots of people that we don't see. Ugh. We tend to feel stretched in all different directions. But for some reason, on this past trip we didn't feel stretched or stressed. Instead, we had a ton of fun! Maybe, just maybe it was because I prayed (a lot) for a "go with the flow" attitude! Unfortunately I don't always come by one naturally. But I try (most of the time)! Sometimes though--darn it!!-- a plan is good! So I'd like to believe that my attempts to "go with the flow" married with my Type A planning made for a good vacation experience for all parties involved.

You wouldn't have known that McCall is "home" because we were like super tourists! Seriously. Just doing our part to support the local economy, right? That's my angle, and I'm sticking to it! So here's a sampling of our jam-packed week...

First, I give you Christmas Eve and morning (before all the touristy stuff):

Another classic Ryan Family Christmas Eve photo shoot! Can you see me back there??? Ha! Ha!
You might be wondering why I didn't post a better shot. Because there isn't one! :)

The Chinese princess and kung fu ninja

Chef Molly testing out her skills with her new cookbook

A Christmas reading (of sorts)

New Christmas jammies

Getting right to work on the new Lego set

Still working...

Sledding at "the old dump" (it's a McCall thing) was one of the few FREE things we did! Ha! Ha! It was a fun afternoon with the cousins...after we found just the right hill.

Cousin Whitney

Cousin Mackenzie

The next day we did some downtown sightseeing and window shopping before heading over to Chuck and Robin's rented condo.

The Ryan siblings--Take 1

Take 2!

Gold Fork Hot Springs was a real treat! All that snow and ice around us; yet we were toasty warm in the water!

Then it was time to hit the ice rink.



More happy

Still happy

Most definitely NOT happy


So we moved on to sledding at the Activity Barn!




And in case you're wondering...Yep, a few other people were supporting the local economy that day, too! Holy long line!

Skiing at Brundage came next. Except for Molly. She got to stay with Grandma, and they rode to town on the "city" bus, which Molly likened to a ride at Disneyland! What could be better than taking the bus to the grocery store and getting a corn dog?! Happy girl she was!

There were 2 parts to our day--the pre-edgie wedgie experience and the post-edgie wedgie experience. Above, that was pre-edgie wedgie. It didn't go so well. (If you don't know, an edgie wedgie is a simple apparatus that connects the tips of kids' skis, pretty much forcing them into a pie (wedge) shape. Seriously worth the $9. In fact, I'd kiss the inventor if I could!)

Because see? He skied!

And if I don't post the pictures, I/we'll never remember that we probably let G ski about 1 hour too long, right? And I/we'll forget that there may or may not have been 1 (or a few) major fits! Yeah, let's go with that theory and instead just post this nice picture of lunch in the car where he at least looks like his half day of skiing ended on a high note! Ha! Ha!
Snowmobiling was our last adventure of the week. I was really excited, as I had never really been on an actual "trip". And though it was cold and snowing sideways at times, it was totally worth freezing my face and fingers for!

Dave's brother, Mike, was our tour guide. He took us up to Burgdorf--an old mining town. These days people (except for a few "colorful" folks) don't live there permanently, but there's a natural hot springs that you can pay a few dollars to use. It's REALLY rustic but fun in a "you've got to try it at least once" kind of way. :)

The not-so-fun part was shedding a bazillion layers in the freezing cold just to use the outhouse! Bleck! Frozen toilet seat!

So, there it is--Christmas 2009. We went, we saw, we spent...and I'm only 5 months late in posting the proof!