If I wait to put this past weekend into the “little things” November post too many thoughts will get lost in the shuffle so here I am to sum it up.
First of all, Dave had been in China all week. 
Why is it that things run all smooth and hunky dory when Dave is in town and then when he’s gone they go all skiwampus?  Or maybe I just think that’s the case because when he’s here it doesn’t seem like such a big deal?  In any case, we had floods inside and outside the house: kitchen faucet broke and filled the cabinet below, and there’s something wrong with a pipe in our front yard where water just keeps seeping out more and more…our whole lawn and plant beds are a little bit of a swampy mess (still working on both those problems…).  Also when Dave’s gone I always set myself up for doing grand things, crossing off miracles from my “list.”  I figured I’d have Christmas shopping wrapped up and tied with a bow including the sentimental gifts I’m working on, oh, and Christmas cards too by the time he got back.  HA!  That didn’t happen.  I did succeed, however, in getting huffy with my girls, doing a little motherhood “strike” one morning and teaching Lucy the art of making macaroni and cheese.  So maybe it was a “win” of a week after all 🙂
Loved seeing this picture pop up on my phone when Dave was en route home: 

Dave and his brother and that extra guy on the right: my brother Noah who just happened to be coming home from his trip to Asia on the very same flight.  Crazy right?

I spent a fair amount of time last week with similar views to this one:

It was “open gym” time for clubs throughout the desert last week.  Claire was interested in two of them and practiced her heart out four nights last week for hours each time.  She was stressed.  You can’t try out for more than one club because all the tryouts are the same day.  (I am not a huge fan of this rat-race for sports, but she sure loves volleyball and has narrowed all those other sports down to this so we are in that rat-race with mixed emotions on the matter).

We had some good talks in the darkness of the car going to and from those practices, about friends, about life, and all about volleyball too.  She settled on one particularly competitive club and set out to try out on Saturday morning:

She worked her heart out and didn’t end up making the team she REALLY wanted to make (with a bunch of friends), but she DID make another team (with one good friend from the JV high school team last year) that is going to be a great fit for her.  After some initial disappointment she emerged triumphant…it’s going to be another great season.

One of Max’s friends got married on Saturday.

And Max wasn’t going to be able to make it.  He had his first BYU volleyball scrimmage set in Las Vegas that very same day.  But Abby figured out a way to make it work and was all set to come solo (she’s good friends with Max’s friend and his now-new wife and wanted to be here for the big day).  We were excited to have her!  And then Max got word that Pepperdine wouldn’t be able to make it to Las Vegas after all because of all those darn California fires so his games were cancelled.

So we got both of those kids for this grand wedding!

(This is Max’s friend from kindergarten.  We have pictures of them every first-day-of-school from Kindergarten to seniors in high school and we are good friends with their whole family.)

Loved being there with Dave who got home just in time, as well as with these two:

Especially since it is their turn at that very same spot in ONE MONTH!!!

Love all these high school friends with one addition from college…my college friend’s son!

I love how life works out like that!

We took full advantage of having these two in town and went bowling…because that’s what you do when you want to have fun, right?

We realized once again what horrible bowlers we all are…Lucy’s friend who came along beat all our pants off.

(Go Anna!)

We took advantage of this desert fall weather with a bike ride…man it is so pretty here right now!

And then on to the reception to celebrate these two…and the fact that the other two down there are next.

Loved that so many of Elle’s friends were there too.

I brought out this picture to show the kids:
…because check this out:

That was completely unplanned but as I was taking that picture and Abby’s mom was posing the kids copying some shot from Pinterest it hit me that that pose I was taking a picture of was exactly the same as mine and Dave’s all those years ago.  Isn’t that crazy??

This next one was planned though (haha).  I saw this in Athleta and figured we should try to replicate it because of Max and Abby’s yoga skills they showed us when we were in town a couple weeks ago.

Loved how they pulled it off:

Yep, yoga masters right there 😉

We played cards orchestrated by Lucy:

…went through Max’s mission stuff:

…and sort of had our own little Thanksgiving.  I thought it would be “fun” to experiment with a new turkey cooking method, and we’re in charge of the rolls for Thanksgiving so I figured we could make a whole slew and freeze some for the big day.

But our rolls turned out like this:

(Grace and I were busting up trying to get it into a semblance of a “ball” to rise…we’ve made these rolls a bunch before, not sure what happened…but we just kept adding flour and it all worked out in the end.)

Here’s my attempt at this new turkey method:

…and my helpers to get those rolls rolled out speedy quick before we had to dash off to church:

(That roll recipe is HERE…they are good, even when the dough sticks to you like glue in the whipping-them-up process.)

By this time Max had to leave to get back up to Provo for early volleyball the next morning, but we were pretty delighted we got to keep Abby until the next morning.  She (and Grace and Claire) helped me teach Lucy’s Sunday School class at church, we chocked down the driest turkey ever to be made with the help of some pretty rocking mashed potatoes and gravy, and then a whole slew of cousins came over to meet Abby that night.

That is a LARGE group to get to know all in one sitting and I loved that they all got that opportunity to get to know her a little before the big day next month.

That night we figured we’d top off the day with a hair chop since Claire burned her hair a little over a campfire with friends and it was all fried.  Here she is wondering if she really wanted to do it while our neighbor was apparently explaining something very serious to Dave 🙂

We chopped off about six inches and if you can believe it, I don’t have a picture of the new hairdo…

That will have to be coming soon.

It was a good weekend (although we missed Elle like crazy…CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU TOMORROW ELLE BELLE!!) and now we’re on the brink of the Turkey Trot and THANKSGIVING…

…and then exactly one month from today: A WEDDING.

Good times ahead….if I can figure out how to sleep and fit in all the good stuff amidst the mayhem and beauty of this season that lies ahead.


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