Sunday, May 31, 2015

Megan turns 10

It wouldn't be a Hufford Birthday without the last minute invitation scramble. This time I managed to wait until only 4 days before her party to invite her friends. In day's past, this would have caused me to back out and try to push the party another week back (maybe two)....but Megan has a killer wounded puppy look and she whipped it out at just the right moment. 

Timing is everything.

So my thumbs went a-flyin and we texted all the friends. We put out the feelers to see who would be in town and we ended up with all of her friends but one. Not bad at all....

She chose a Minecraft theme. 

Which was good news for me.  

Square? Abstract? Build it yourself? 

Right up my alley.

The PORTAL OF ENTRY:  (Ooooh!)

The Crafting Table:

Making their own Minecraft masks: (Megan is standing on her chair)

Turns out I know how to make pinatas!

Provided they are square and made from a box we have leftover from Christmas.

And nearly indestructible.
Everybody had at least 2 turns to wack at that thing.

Without a blind fold.

Giving it everything they got.

I sacrificed my broom handle to the legs of the playhouse.

I could see it was time to upgrade our whacking instrument to something more....


When that didn't do it, we called in the big guns.

A teenage boy.

A teenage boy that owns a pirate sword, a broadsword and a Roman short sword. This was the moment he has been training for.


It was done in short order.

And then it was time for gifts.

And cake.....Yay for squares! If you aren't familiar with Minecraft, the whole game is made out of these little squares. This is a basic garden block. Turned out cute, no?

This is my favorite part of birthdays: the soft glow of the candles lighting up her face.

And that pure happiness at being the special one that everyone is singing to. It's a cool thing to know that everyone in the room claims you as a friend.

Two hours after it started, the girls all departed. (mini-poem!)

And we ventured out to the mall to mark the day with pierced ears. She was nervous and excited but didn't show it. She has a pretty solid poker face and saves her big displays of emotion for her nearest and dearest.


She's 10 and she has pierced ears and she feels about five minutes from heading off to college. 

I love her forever, my Megabyte.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I think this could be the universal photo for childhood. 

Nothing in this photo makes sense to me, but I love it just the same.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Murph

Every year on Memorial Day, the crossfit community does "The Murph".  

The Murph is a workout done in honor of Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal that was killed in combat during the war in Afghanistan. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously. 

The Murph: 

1 mile run

100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats

1 mile run


Last year I did the runs and half of the other stuff. I also didn't finish much quicker than those that did the entire thing. 

So this year I was determined to finish the entire thing. No matter what. 

I did the run and then broke the three exercises into 20 rounds of 5 pull ups/10 push ups/ 15 air squats.

I was so excited to put down that last tick mark and head out on the last run.

Someone snapped this photo of us....Mark is the one doing a pull up in the center, I'm in the back just to the right doing an air squat.

Super proud day for me!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nauvoo/Abingdon Summer Trip 2015

The kids got out of school on Thursday and we packed them up and headed out early Friday morning.

As far as trips go, this wasn't too big of an undertaking. No need for massive, cumbersome activity kits. No numbered mystery treat bags opened every hour on the hour. 

Just a handful of movies and the ipad.

It was just us and the open road. And a piddling turtle.

Angry, piddling turtle that needed me to save its life.

Your welcome, piddling turtle.

First stop was the Nauvoo store.

Bonnets were perused and purchased. Ethan settled on a killer pioneer hat that he can take on his upcoming Youth Conference trek. Mathew and chose ink and quill set. How much do you want to bet that I will soon have a big ink spot somewhere on my carpet?

We listened to a shoemaking demonstration that may or may have not have veered off into strange questionable church history territory.

And back to the hotel to engage in authentic pioneer games.

Morning brought the true joy of continental breakfast. Unlimited fruit loops? Yes, please!

Next stop is Aunt Anne and Uncle Roger's house. It was gorgeous and old and I was so jealous! I dream of fixing up one of these beautiful old homes with cellars and back staircases and screened in porches. In that dream I also possess all the skills to do that.

If you look carefully, there is a very brave squirrel playing hide and seek with the little girls. That little guy and the wiener dog ramp next door sealed the deal for the kids. Best house ever.

After a delicious lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs, potato salad and deviled eggs (my fave!), it was time to head out. I was so glad we came. It was great to see the kids connect with an older generation of their family.

We stopped over at the Nauvoo temple and took a couple photos. This one could work for our Christmas book! Score!

We went for dinner at the Hotel Nauvoo Historic Inn. It was (ahem.) expensive. But, on the other hand, it was so fun and the food was great and we enjoyed the atmosphere. I'd go again.

Everly sharing a few dance moves.

After dinner, we were excited to find if we showed our receipt, we could have a free carriage ride around Nauvoo.

Seemed like a great idea until the horse got spooked and started backing up. And backing up. and backing up to a point we realized we better start grabbing kids because the carriage was going to tip over.

That wasn't so relaxing.

Eventually the driver got him under control and we let out a few nervous giggles and finished the ride.

Back to the hotel for some sleep and a quick Cheerio breakfast before heading home.

We need to do that one again! Fall would be perfect.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Signs of summer

There are the things we plan, the things we travel to and check off our list.  

The zoo, the arboretum, the Crown Center followed by a trip to the candy store....

And then there's the stuff that just materializes out of boredom and creativity and markers and paper. 

The Hufford snack stand:

Lovely lilies

Musical firesides

Brass edition.

Sharing a pudding cup

A beautiful sunset.

Makes the summer feel all full and happy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

All I need is a yummy dinner, sweet cards from sweet kids and

coconut cream pie.

14 years old... paradox

He just keeps getting older and older. 

And so do his friends.

Doesn't this just scream..."I'm FOURTEEN!"

Elements of a good teenage boy party: pizza, soda, chips and candy. Gallon of milk upon request.

The siblings and I were not necessarily invited. But we were tolerated. Even though I accidentally blew out the candles on the first try. 

Ethan was happy to wield the fire and relight.

My absolute favorite part of the night was when the fire engines next door started up their sirens and every one of those big boys ran out to the fence to watch it go out on a call. Boys love trucks!

And because they are boys, they created something they called, "The Chalice of Champions". It contained all available flavors of soda, a pizza crust, a dollop of ranch dressing and some m&ms. Basically everything handy they could stir up in one of our "fancy" dollar store glasses.

To the Chalice of Champions!

And you knew they would dare each other to take a sip.


The only thing left to do was watch a movie much beloved by teenage boys everywhere:

I love teenager parties. Happy 14th, Ethan.