Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

30, Flirty, and Thriving

I hit the big 3-0 on Monday. I guess being 30 is old, but since I still feel like I'm 22 I wouldn't know.

I had a fabulous birthday. My family came over on Sunday for dinner and presents. My mom made a huge blanket for me, and a book of pictures of my growing-up years. Some of the pictures are a bit unfortunate, but I blame it on the awkward years combined with the 80s. You must admit that decade was hard on almost all of us.

Then Monday we went to the kids' swim lessons, went bowling, and my mom watched the kids while Pete and I went out for dinner at yummy Olive Garden.

I also got a mother's ring for my birthday:

Pretty, huh?

It was a wonderful birthday, and I'm glad I got to spend it with my amazing children and awesome family members. I'm so blessed/spoiled.

And, of course, I took too many pictures to post one after the other, so here's a slide show of the goings-on, so you can feel like you were there with me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

It's weird. I feel like I've been having a super lazy, laid back, just kickin' it kind of summer, but then I look at all that we've been doing, and it's been kind of jam-packed. I feel very oxymoron-ish. You know, jumbo shrimp, and pretty ugly. Busy summer. Or maybe the oxymoron is calm summer. Either or.

I mentioned in passing that Jakob took an art class at the beginning of the summer. They learned about mixing paints, and about different artists like Van Gogh and Picasso. Here's one of Jakob's masterpieces:

When I saw it, I was like, my 5-year-old painted that?!? I was impressed. He also did a clay thing, where they pushed different items into the clay to create molds and texture, but it was so brittle that it broke. Doh.

We've been playing outside, a lot. Especially the boys. This means that even though the boys are pretty good about keeping the doors closed behind them, sometimes they forget. So the ever-curious Ivy was leaning out the door, and either tried to step out onto our stairs or just fell out, and over the edge onto the cement. Don't worry, though, her forehead caught her fall:

Poor thing. I've been wanting to get a rail for forever, and I just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe that will happen this year (you know, now that the threat has passed-I doubt Ivy will be hanging out of the door again).

We got a swing set, which the boys have been loving. Pete's parents came to visit us a couple of weekends ago, and Pete and his dad put it together. The first day they kept doing different poses down the slide-on their bellies, with arms folded, backwards, as a train, etc.

I love this picture, of Jake's little grin. And it looks like Troy had just fallen off of his swing. Pure awesomeness.

We started swimming lessons for the two older boys yesterday. No pictures yet, mostly because they don't allow the parents to stay close by ("Go up to the viewing area! I'm the pool Nazi!"). But hopefully I'll sneak some in soon. Jakob stays busy during the lesson splashing around and wiggling a ton, and Brock stays busy refusing to do anything the teacher tells him to do, and will only go in if he's attached to her like a baby koala to its mom. I'm glad I pay money for these things.

And today we went to the park, and had a picnic with my sisters and mom. Here's my Brocky-foo-foo eating some watermelon:

It was fun to just go and play. It's been hot hot hot, but the kids don't seem to notice as they're running around being crazy and cute. Here's a little slide show for the picture pirates:

Like I said, I think it's going to continue to be a good summer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pink, It's My New Obsession

The thing I had been waiting for for so long finally happened!

You know, this thing. Did I mention I had been waiting for so long?

Yes, my friends. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie came out, well, today. I was going to say last night, but it was technically this morning. And my sisters and I went to the midnight premiere!

And because we're cool, we dressed up as characters from the movie/book.

We look awesome, huh? Kar is Bellatrix Lestrange, I'm Tonks, and Lex is Luna Lovegood.

The movie was, in short, awesome. I laughed, and cried, and laughed, and sighed, and got chills, and laughed, and jumped, and laughed, and went "eeeee!" a few times under my breath.

We went to Perkins for some pie before heading over to the movie. I had way too much fun with my "wand" (a wooden cooking spoon). I would say "Alohomora!" at the door before opening it up. We were walking in the dark and I'd say "Lumos!" It really is a shame that magic isn't real.

I was surprised and pleased by how many people dressed up. But some people's characters were kind of a mystery. Like, they'd have their faces painted a certain way, but it wasn't definitive. I was like, Draco? Voldemort? Crabbe? Ron?

When I was walking down the hall at the theatre, a chick yelled down the hall, "Hey, Tonks!" I turned around, thinking maybe it was someone I knew. But I totally didn't know her. But hey, it made me feel good, knowing that my character was recognizable by how I dressed up. I don't know, maybe it was the hair that gave it away.

When we got there the movie workers were like, "You can't bring your wands in here. You might cast a spell or something." But then the manager guy was like, "Oh, we're not letting wands in? I didn't know." So we didn't know if they were being serious or not. I ended up taking the wands back to the car, but later we saw a ton of people with wands, so maybe they were being dumb teenagers or something.

It was so fun, but I'm definitely paying the price in tiredness today. But that price is worth it. SO worth it. If you get a chance, go! Like, go today!

P.S.-If you're a Harry Potter fan, check out this site. It's crazy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'd Make a Good Vampire

Our weather all through June was unusually cold and rainy. VERY rainy. Kind of like a little town called Forks. And I loved it. I love the smell of the rain, and the cozy up with a good book under a blanket feeling. (Incidentally, I was reading a Harry Potter book when this storm started.) And I love, love, love watching lightning storms. We had a doozy of one Sunday night, and I attempted taking pictures.


And thus.

Of course, a bunch of my pictures turned out like this (where the lightning is above the clouds, a.k.a. no lightning in them, a.k.a. not as exciting):

By the way, by showing you these pictures, I'm not trying to show you my prowess with a camera; in fact, those of you with any knowledge outside of "aim it over there and push the little button" would have done better than I did. As you can see, everything else is blurry, like the buildings and stuff. But my camera, without the flash, did a little timed holding picture thing, but once there was enough light (from, you know, the lightning) it would end the picture.

Pretty cool, huh?

So yes, maybe I'd make a good vampire. Although I like my steaks well done, thanks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Name Game

I've seen a few other people do this tag, so I'm jumping on the meme wagon. I'm going to tell you how my kids got their names.

Jakob H_____: When I was in college, walking up a huge hill to class, a thought popped into my mind that I wanted to name a son of mine "Jake", with my maiden name as the middle name. I have no idea why that popped into my head, because I was still single, but it did. And every Jake I had known (except for one, and we called him Jack on Crack because we couldn't remember what his real name was and he was really weird) was a really great guy. Then when Pete and I were...engaged, I think, we were talking about kids' names, and I told him about that, and at that point we decided we liked the spelling of Jacob with a "k" instead of the usual "c". So when I was pregnant with my first (Jakob), that was our boy name choice. Our girl name choice at that time was Hannah, even though we weren't too sure about it (a cute name, but we just weren't feeling it 100%).

Brock Adam: When I was preggo with Brock, we totally thought he was going to be a girl, because that pregnancy was so different from my first. So we started calling my tummy "Elsie" and everything. Luckily, though, I hadn't quite gotten around to starting to buy girl clothes, and to our surprise it was a boy. We asked about 8 times for them to double check, but it was most assuredly a boy. Not that we didn't want a boy, we just thought it was a girl. So anyway, I started reading through all the online name websites, and started a list of what I liked, and had like, 80 names on a list at one point. We finally narrowed it down to a few, "Brock" being one of them, and "Adam" being another. We also talked about doing "Rock", but then I was like, "Every time he'd introduce himself it would be 'Hey, I'm Rock'. 'Brock?' 'No, Rock. Like a stone.' 'Rock? Uh, okay.'" I didn't want to put my kid through that. We talked about doing "Brian" as the middle name (which is Pete's actual first name, FYI), but he didn't like the two names starting with "Br"-Brock Brian. So we went with Adam.

Troy Richard: We waited until finding out what we were having to start discussing names. We found out it was a boy, and we went to pick up our little boys at my mom's house. We threw a few names around then; two that we really liked at that time were Troy and Grant. I still went through the online lists, but it kept coming back to those two. Richard is for my dad. Pete has a brother named Richard, so I guess it could be in honor of him, as well. One day I called Pete while he was at work, and said "let's do Troy". We talked about Troy Brian then, too, but I liked the sound of Troy Richard better.

Ivy Marie: I had had Marie picked out for forever. My middle name is a mixture of my two grandmas' nicknames, (Jetta + Nellie = JeNell), and I thought I'd do the same for Ivy: her two grandmas are Marianne and Cheri, so it became Marie. I did the online website list thing again, but I really didn't come across anything that I liked beyond the ones we had thought of in the past: Hannah, Elsie, Evelyn, Logan, Rachel. I can't remember when I came across Ivy, but I remember not wanting to tell it to Pete because I thought he'd laugh at the choice (I was always the suggester, he was the veto-er). But I brought it up, and he loved it. When we found out we were having a girl, we almost immediately said it was going to be Ivy, but I wanted to leave the option open for a little bit. My mom gave me about a thousand suggestions, some of which were really weird. (Sorry mom, but you know it's true.) But Ivy it became.

So there you have it! Feel free to play along.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Things I Haven't Done in a While. Or Ever, for That Matter. And, Why I Should be Famous.

Blogged. (Which is obvious.) As my excuse, I've been reading Harry Potter books. I've also been doing really exciting, bloggable stuff, like laundry, and scrubbing bathrooms. Yes, I live a life of constant entertainment. I'm surprised the paparazzi hasn't found me by now.

I let my two-year-old play with sparklers.

Look at that sweet little face.

And then, while we were trying to see the fireworks by the river from my front porch, I pulled a super great parenting moment and wasn't paying attention, and he grabbed the sparkler and burned his hand. The best part: as we were running him inside to get his finger under some cold water, an ember or something landed in his hair, and singed his hair off, and blistered his head. He'll have a sweet bald spot the size of a quarter for quite some time.


My kids are spazzy. Oh wait, that's a constant.

Jake, doing some kind of karate move.

Brock with his aunt Lex.

We went to the 4th of July parade. I go every year, yet it's really not my favorite thing to do. But the kids got candy, so who am I to complain?

Me, my boys, and Dylan.

I ran in a 5K. My first, and most likely my last. I'm a super wuss, and so out of shape. I didn't even run the whole time, either. My macho dad pushed my gimpy sister in a stroller thingy the whole way, too, and he was still outrunning me. On Sunday I swore that my legs were going to suddenly detach from my body, they hurt so bad. Good times.

My sisters, mom, and I got a pedicure. I should seriously do this once a month (I've only gotten a pedi maybe three times). They have seat massagers that massage your back while you're getting your feet pampered. Love it.

Kar and me, feeling the massage love.

I ate a Tootsie roll.

A Tootsie with my cute tootsies! I'm so clever.

Went to the zoo, with my cute sister Beej and her hubby Spencer (they visited this last week from New York).

Uncle Spencer with Troy boy.

My kids were being little lazy butts at the zoo, so they rode on Lexi's lap with her healing knee while my mom pushed them all.

Brock, who wouldn't smile for a picture with his new favorite aunt Beej until her back was turned.

Brock and Brianna.

Trying some new little hair ideas with Ivy's hair. She's a constant mover, so it's pretty hard. But we're trying.

The 'do.

Ivy from the front. The hairdo looked great from the back, but made her look bald from the front. Oh well-live and learn.
I also went to a drive-in movie, went up for an evening of girls' camp, and swam at Heise Hot Springs. But you would know all that if the paparazzi were following me.

Here's to new experiences, and fun summer things that I don't get to do very often!

And a slide show for those that want to steal pics: