Potty Training Wins, Birthdays All Around, and Raven’s First Terrifying Amusement Park Ride (September Summed Up in a Sentence a Day)

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(New family pic taken by Britta Brown Photography)

Here I am, continuing into month two of trying out this new way of posting about our general life happenings (inspired by this blog) and dumping all the pictures we take on a daily basis (okay, not all, but more than you’d get otherwise). September ended up being a bit more insanely busy than we’d thought it would be, but it was full of a lot of positive things!

Note: although the photos are usually posted above the corresponding day, they don’t always have to do with what was written. Just to clarify 🙂

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Friday 9/1 – Took Raven out to not just one, but TWO grocery stores in one of our first big “outings” since potty training, and she did great! No accidents! (Plus she actually told me a couple times later in the day that she had to go, so…big steps forward here.)

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Saturday 9/2 – Tried going to a storage shed auction for the first time since last October (!), but it turned out to be a bust. Started working on my novel again for the first time in, oh, ten months or so.

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Sunday 9/3 – Raven went the entire 3-hour block of church with no accidents, which was a huge relief. While Matt and Raven both took a loooong nap (over 3+ hours each!), I spent the afternoon reading. #purebliss

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Monday 9/4 – We drove down to spend the holiday with Matt’s family, where my in-laws had a scavenger hunt for the kids (which culminated in the big reveal of the coolest/biggest doll house you’ve ever seen that my in-laws built) and a homemade Chinese buffet for lunch. We also stopped over to see my mom and stepdad, who helped set us up with two bulging bags of fresh-picked peaches (courtesy of my stepbrother) and some summer squash. Yay for family!

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Tuesday 9/5 – Went to a baby shower of my new next door neighbor (new to us—she lived here before we did!), who is pregnant with twin girls. Whenever I hear about someone having twins and start to think too long about the logistics of what it would take to care for two babies at the same time, my brain starts to explode a little bit. Twin moms, you are a special brand of rock star all your own. I also painted Raven’s toenails for the first time ever, which basically won me Best Mom Award Ever for the next three weeks or so.

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Wednesday 9/6 – We had the missionaries over for dinner, and I made these Mexican Haystacks, which–no exaggeration–have kind of been life-changing for me ever since I first tried them.

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Thursday 9/7 – Spent the majority of the day working on the big blog launch, but Raven and I still managed a play date exploring the local mall with our friends.

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Friday 9/8 – To kick off a weekend of soooo many family events, we hit up the birthday party of our niece who was turning one, and Raven was in park heaven as we played on one of the coolest playgrounds I’ve ever been to.

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Saturday 9/9 – A day spent wearing out Raven with ALL THE FUN THINGS, as we spent the morning and early afternoon at Lagoon (an amusement park) and the later afternoon at a family reunion and just hanging out with her cousins and grandparents on Matt’s side. The amusement park terrorized her a bit at the beginning (okay, maybe a lot), but she definitely was warming up to it the longer we were there.

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Sunday 9/10 – I got a stye in my left eye on Friday night, so I felt a bit strange going to Matt’s parents’ ward without makeup or anything (and looking like I’d been punched in the face). The afternoon was spent with my family celebrating all the September birthdays (which includes Matt’s and mine!).

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Monday 9/11 – While Matt went to go pick up some awesome old wood being torn down at some old buildings downtown in the evening, Raven and I took a long walk so that I could try and get my 10,000 steps in for the day (a new goal based on this post). Evenings are really cooling down, so walks are the perfect way to spend some time after dinner.

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Tuesday 9/12 – Watched my friend’s baby for her again and was pleased to see that Raven acted less jealous about the whole thing and more excited about having a little playmate around. Progress!

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Wednesday 9/13 – I’m starting to get inundated (again) with my books on hold at the library all coming in at once. I had to stop at the library for the second day in a row before my boxing class started in order to pick up yet another title. So many books…and only three weeks to read them all in…

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Thursday 9/14 – It rained today! Hooray! Watched my friend’s kid for her again this week, and did some writing both on the blog AND in my book—a new record! (I usually just do one or the other.) I am now over 70 pages into my novel!

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Friday 9/15 – Went out on a little family date to Sam’s Club for dinner and grocery shopping (we’re so creative and adventurous over here).

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Saturday 9/16 – Busy busy busy day, mostly owing to the fact that I had two photo shoots (one of which was a trade-out with another photographer, who shot our family right after I did hers). Overall, I was exhausted at the end of the day but really pleased with how the pictures came out.

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Sunday 9/17 – Taught my Primary class, which has actually been separated out by ages again, for the time being. (You might remember from my post last month that the classes had been combined, so I’d gone from having 5 kids to about 13.) Definitely makes my job easier!

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Monday 9/18 – Finally made the toddler story/play time at our new library today, and it was SO well done; Raven had a blast. I think we’ll be making that a Monday tradition!

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Tuesday 9/19 – Had a play date with two of my best friends growing up and their kids at the local McDonald’s (since it was raining outside), and I think I’ve struck play date gold here, people! Having a contained indoor play space meant that our kids could get in tons of great play time without us needing to constantly be running around after them, and we got in lots of great girl chat. A much-needed outing!

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Wednesday 9/20 – Spent a large portion of the afternoon reading in preparation for the book club meeting tonight (this seems to be a pattern, apparently…). Finished the book with about an hour to spare before everyone met together, and had a great time discussing The Boys in the Boat with the other ladies! It turns out I was the only one who read the unabridged (full) version, while everyone else opted to read the young-reader edition. It proved to be super interesting what was cut out and what was left in that abridged edition!

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Thursday 9/21 – We attempted a family walk right before dinner but ended up turning back after just walking down the street because it was THAT cold. Seems that Cache Valley is tempted to just skip fall altogether and go right to winter. Boo.

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Friday 9/22 – Matt and I went out on our annual birthday date to celebrate both of our birthdays, but instead of going out and doing something crazy (aka, indoor mini golfing or a game of bowling) after getting food, we just decided to spend an hour and a half browsing the aisles at Barnes and Noble and going to bed early. Thirty-one is looking pretty rebellious, folks!

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Saturday 9/23 – Checked out the gardens at Thanksgiving Point and went out to Leatherby’s with our close friends the Majors, and I just kept swearing to myself that I should never, ever let so much time go between seeing them as we had (over 7 months!). Such a great day!

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Sunday 9/24 – Matt’s birthday! We had friends over for dessert and played a couple rounds of Carcassone. Also, Raven was beyond excited to give Matt his presents and kept trying to re-gift them to him over and over again just to repeat the experience. (Oh, and my Primary class got re-combined again, so I will have quite a large class to teach after all.)

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Monday 9/25 – I think the lack of naps and all the weekend fun caught up with Raven because she was a bit nuts-o in the morning when we went to the library storytime again, culminating in her running away from me out of the room at full sprint right when we were supposed to be “settling down” for the story. An emergency Dr. Pepper run may or may not have been made immediately thereafter. Also, we had some serious potty training regression when I tried to put her down for a nap, and she had three accidents IN A ROW. Eesh.

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Tuesday 9/26 – Went visiting teaching in the morning (in my church, each sister is assigned two other sisters to go visit every month to see how they’re doing), and Raven had a blast, as both sisters that we visited (and my visiting teaching companion) had children her age to play with. Went out for a combined birthday dinner (for both Matt and me) with Matt’s parents to our favorite Mexican restaurant (and ate waaaay too much, esp. considering I was going to my hip hop class right after…).

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Wednesday 9/27 – Raven finally took a nap today after she went on a nap boycott for almost a week. Cheers all around! Matt also went to his first meeting as the new Scouting Cubmaster in our ward, meaning that I had to miss my boxing class. Bummer.

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Thursday 9/28 – Spent a large part of the evening editing my latest photo shoots, but I was super pleased that I was able to wrap one of them up entirely!

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Friday 9/29 – My 31st birthday! Even though we went out for a birthday dinner with my mom and stepdad and sister and her family, it still didn’t feel like it could possibly be my birthday, but there you have it. After the restaurant, we drove out to my old stomping grounds (aka, the area where I used to teach) so that we could go to support a fundraiser for a former student of mine.

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Saturday 9/30 – General Conference day one, baby! (Basically, General Conference is a worldwide gathering of the LDS church where we get to listen to our leaders. It’s like you get to go to church in your pajamas, in your own living room!) My heart felt about a million times lighter and my faith much stronger at the end of the day.

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September, you’ve been really, REALLY good to us.

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