Gorgeous Day

We went for a family walk over at the lake. It was a gorgeous fall day!

So clearly we had a lot of fun looking through those telescope things and taking pictures. We headed up a hill next. We spotted a squirrel.

Then we hiked down to the lake and threw rocks in the water.

Everett was super excited to point out all the birds. This toddler loves animals and birds and bugs and yeah, anything alive πŸ™‚

Meeting Allan for Lunch

It felt awkward meeting Allan for lunch this day. A lot of what I did in those first days after discovering his lies was just going through the motions. I didn’t know that I should have just been protecting myself. I still tried to pretend all was well. But being around him was often traumatizing. In public it was worse.

So that’s what went on with me internally during this lunch. I’m guessing the kids had fun and Allan had a good time without a clue of the blackness he’d injected into his wife’s brain. He wasn’t very supportive at that time. (These photos are from October 2nd)

Back then especially picking up my camera to take pictures was just going through the motions. I had no desire (which is so odd for me) but felt like I should. Even taking pictures of Allan… I do it for his sake and most especially for my kids’ sake. I don’t want to deprive them of memories that exist. To them this day is probably a good memory. I feel now like that gives me hope for them. I feel like an empty shell but hopefully doing things was enough that this time period won’t traumatize them for the rest of their lives.

Everett was pretty cranky, as he is most of his life, so I gave him this basket filled with crackers to play with. It helped momentarily.

Everett was excited about the fries! I’d also had the salad bar option and he ate two huge servings of potato salad!

Ember got a Sucker and We Went to Wal-Mart!

Ember’s birthday is two days after Allan’s. She spotted this lollipop with that unicorn attacked at Cabela’s and begged for it for her birthday. The kids ask for those particular toys/suckers every time we go there and with her birthday only two days away I couldn’t say no this time!

Allan had noticed a praying mantis outside our door for three days in a row. It was just laying there in the same exact spot for a long time. He was worried it was dying and moved it to a bush in the front yard. He was so hopeful when it started looking around and held itself up. He told me he thought it might live now. He was watching it to see if it would move.

I hear, “Mom, look! Mom! Look at me!” And wasn’t disappointed when I looked over! Ember asked me to take pictures of her like this.

I swear the last two weeks my kids have been messier than they ever have been before. My house gets trashed on an hourly basis.

We were 100% out of food since I’d been avoiding the store the last few weeks since it gives me extreme anxiety as I navigate some PTSD I’m going through… I finally made myself go to the store!

Anyway we stocked up on food and I bought all of Ember’s birthday stuff. The night before her birthday!!

Happy 37th Birthday to Allan!

I can’t believe Allan is 37!
For his birthday he took a day off work and while Brooke was at school we went to Cabela’s (missing Bass Pro Shops the whole time!) and looked for a new fishing rod and reel for him. Then we went to Chili’s for lunch!

At first we hung out with him at the fishing reel section but the kids couldn’t keep their hands off the reels so I took them on a walk to the fudge shop and we bought a couple kinds of fudge for Allan before heading over to the big aquarium.

The kids (especially Ember) get a kick out of this talking moose. Ember was terrified of it at first. Once we explained it wasn’t alive she loosened up!

Allan found a really nice reel and found a nice rod that was on super clearance from $100 to $18!! Or something crazy like that!

I took the kids to the aquarium and we watched the fish. Everett slept through the entire trip!

Next up, Chili’s! Allan convinced me to order the chicken avocado sandwich and he got a half rack of ribs. Sierra and Payson got mini cheeseburger kids meals and Ember got her very favorite meal on earth, chicken strips and fries. Everett shared my food.

Sierra started complaining about her bun giving her a headache so I took her hair down while we waited for the food.

Ember Anya super dee duperly loves fries!

As does Payson.

I wish I could remember exactly what amusing thing she was talking to me about. She makes me smile every minute of the day. She’s so funny and interesting and smart and loving and full of joy!

Everett eats SO much when he likes a food. He eats more than I ever think he will at one sitting. He ate most of my fries!

One of Allan’s favorite foods is ribs!

Payson remarked that his hamburger patty looked like a heart! β™₯

Sierra’s Salt Dough Art

Sierra learned about tropical fruit in one of her lessons. She chose to research papaya and then I taught her how to make salt dough so she could make a papaya and paint it after it baked and cooled.

Ember and Everett couldn’t stay away from the kitchen. They saw Sierra grab a measuring cup out of the drawer and decided it would be the best idea to take every measuring cup (and other utensil) out of the drawer. They’re really helpful like that.

Payson played with some of the dough for a bit.

Sierra had lots of dough left over so she made a pig, too. Don’t ask me why she made a pig- she just felt like it!

The finished papaya! I think it turned out well. We need to coat it with Mod Podge before she can take it up to her room.

Random last picture is of Everett asleep after we went and picked up Brooklyn from school. He often falls asleep on our drive to the school and I lay him on the recliner to nap for a bit.

Back to our Favorite State Park

Most hikes Allan ends up holding a tired Ember half the time. This time we let her sit in the stroller and Allan held Everett!

Ember used a stick to pretend to sweep this entire area we were hanging out at. There was a bench there and the kids were sick to death of hiking (mostly Ember and Everett) so we just stopped and spent time there. Ember cleared pretty much every pine needle out of the area! She was very determined!

Everett got the idea to throw rocks from the bench area we were sitting at into the trees below. We were on a hill so it was fun for him to watch it fly out of sight. He did that for a long time and got excited and proud of himself each time!

I set up the camera and timer to show us all looking off at the lake, which is what we were doing, but then everyone ran off right then to do other things and I didn’t want a picture of me just standing there alone so I just bent over and showed my rock. lol

Allan was kneeling in front of some stairs because Everett really wanted to climb down them but they were steep and dangerous.

Ember and Everett spent lots of time picking up stuff off the ground around them and throwing it off the deck we were on.

Someone texted me. Everett heard my phone beep from the stroller and helpfully went to retrieve it. If I don’t look at my phone when it beeps he gets really annoyed! haha! He likes me checking those messages!

He found a big stick and was happy about waving it around like a sword. He hit a bunch of things with it making a sword poking sound each time.

Allan Takes a Day Off and I Take a Hundred Pictures!

Allan took a Wednesday off work and we went for a hike atΒ  our favorite state park. Then we picked up Brooke from school and went to Cafe Rio. Then Brooke had young women’s and while she was in young women’s we went to Wal-Mart for groceries.

It was quite chilly when we got to the trail and Ember didn’t have a sweater! We’re still adjusting to the weather suddenly being fall-like and not summer-like anymore! I let Ember wear my sweater and I just had a tank top! I was chilly!

The kids were using all the sticks and rocks as weapons. It was adorable.

Usually Allan wears Everett but I wore him this time. He kept me warm!

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Ember hiking around in my sweater. I loved how she looked swimming in it! haha!

Running to catch up to daddy!

The trail went right by the lake.

Everett woke up from his long nap near the last part of the hike.

The clouds moved in, that was cool.

Look what Allan got! I love this picture!

Allan took this, too!

We drove to Brooke’s school to get her and then went straight to Cafe Rio! Allan took these next two pictures while I was ordering the food.

This is when Everett saw me walking back from ordering. He lit up and smiled and waved! AWWW! So glad Allan took this!

When we were getting ready to go Payson and Ember went outside (there was a door right next to our table) and did funny faces and made up sign language through the window πŸ™‚

And lastly we went to Wal-Mart that night. It was a fun, busy day!