It’s Sad/ A Tender Mercy Camera Phones Didn’t Exist When I Was In College So I Don’t Have More Photos

I’ll stop talking about my birthday.

Just one sec.

I am getting a new computer, and am making sure I’ve saved everything I want off my old (OLD) (GERIATRIC) (DECREPIT) laptop. Appropriately timed, I found some old photos that made me smile as I was reminded me what welcoming twenty looked like. I walked into a surprise party, and a gorilla stripper that arrived and left in full costume was the cherry on top.

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College boyfriend and all, THIS was my early twenties in a photograph: corralled craziness, super fun, laughter, incredible friends, spontaneity, late nights, constant surprises, lots of love.

You can apply all of the above to my late twenties as well, just with associating those words with Brian and babies, and “late nights” in all caps. (I have vague memories of long, wild nights at Club Baby, but they’re a little blurry…)

My thirtieth birthday didn’t involve strippers, or much of anything, really! My birthday wish was to do nothing, and that’s what I did. My day consisted of minimal effort, salty hair, beach exploring, and napping, with a West Hollywood dinner at PUMP to ensure I was still marginally interesting/trying my best to meet Lisa Vanderpump.

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The cutest cake I've ever had. Those little fingers couldn't stay away from decorating, licking, or eating.
The cutest cake I’ve ever had. Those little fingers couldn’t stay away from decorating, licking, or eating.

I wonder if these pictures are as indicative of this whole decade as the previous were to my twenties.

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Over the Clouds and Through The Terminal…

As mentioned in my last post, heart > logic.

I made a trip quick with tired kids, which sounds awful, but let me tell you why, Logic.

After living almost 15 years in one state, 4 in another, 6 in a different one, and 5 in another, there is one place that has remained a constant: Grandma’s house.

I LOVE my Grandma’s house. It’s the sound of a screen door. It’s loud noise from lots of cousins. It’s small town familiarity.

It’s freedom to run.
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It’s a little gazebo.
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It’s wildflowers.
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It’s the scent of the air.
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It’s a fawn in the summer.

(You bet I looked like a total city girl in a smaller town, walking around with my camera out like I’m on a safari.)
(You bet I looked like a total city girl in a smaller town, walking around with my camera out like I’m on a safari.)

It’s the prettiest courtyard.
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It’s someone who will always listen to pajama piano recitals.
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It’s morning dew and sparkly spiderwebs.
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It’s where I forever feel young, and looked after.
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They say home is where the heart is, and my heart is always anchored by a doughnut box.

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I had to get to Grandma’s house, and I’m so glad that I did.

The heart is always, always wiser than the brain.

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My Heart is Being a Real Charizard These Days

Sometimes, things that make sense in the heart are not reciprocated by the brain.

When feelings of “this is a good idea” are not agreed upon between the two, your brain and heart have to battle, like Pokemon. My brain has been losing heart vs brain sparring often, which I attribute to my frontal lobe still recovering from the couple of Bachelor in Paradise episodes I watched.

My little guys and I had an opportunity to make a quick, daddy-less trip, so while he is home working, we are spending a quick couple of days with family. That is cute, right? My brain highlighted the logistics of spending a 48 hour turn around working, unpacking, repacking, an anniversary, traveling without Brian, and traveling with kids who already suffer from beach vacation hangover.

I’ll give a point to my brain on that one.

Next post, we will give my heart a fair trial, but in the mean time, here are some pictures from last week.
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One of my favorite places.
One of my favorite places.

7 years. He has had limited bathroom counter space for 7 years.
7 years. He has had limited bathroom counter space for 7 years.
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The longer we have been married, the more I realize how truly lucky I got. I knew Brian was great when we were engaged, but I had no idea about the extent of his patience, daddy skills, and laundry abilities. Sidenote: he let me take a kiss selfie in a public place. Heart!
The longer we have been married, the more I realize how truly lucky I got. I knew Brian was great when we were engaged, but I had no idea about the extent of his patience, daddy skills, and laundry abilities. Sidenote: he let me take a kiss selfie in a public place. Heart!

PS I have never played Pokémon Go. My phone doesn’t have memory for that… I need all 7,000 pictures of my kids and Instagram screenshots. My Pokémon knowledge is from my GameBoy in 1998 and could be outdated.

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How Your Family Vacation Will Give You an Olympian Workout (But You Already Knew That)

You want to train like an Olympic athlete?

It doesn’t involve much gym time, but I can promise this: you will be sore, and you will be tired.

It is called “family vacation.”

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Total body workout includes:

1. Great cardio. Your cardio routine will begin as soon as your car is put in reverse backing out of the driveway. Run back into the house at least five times for forgotten items. Did you adjust the thermostat? Did you remember the iPad charger? Are you sure you locked the front door? Really sure? Way to go the extra mile and hurdle over the garage door sensor on your way back out the third time. I am convinced that traveling with a large family is how Bruce Jenner stayed in decathlon shape, back when his family was young, and back when he was a he.

2. When you’ve got ninos in the backseat, upper body is what your car’s co-pilot seat is all about. You’ll have the opportunity to stretch unused muscles and contort yourself while fishing for dropped items. It would be unfathomable to wait another 20 minutes until you stop at Jack in the Box to rescue that Paw Patrol figurine wedged in the seat crack between Graham crackers. It’s just like having Jillian Michaels yelling at you…for free!

You may have a seat belt rash on your neck from being nearly decapitated, but did I not promise you soreness?

Don't worryyyy, I didn't take this while driving.
Don’t worryyyy, I didn’t take this while driving.
Suction cup therapy, or front seat upper body workout on a roadtrip to Rio? I’ve seen his baby.
Suction cup therapy, or front seat upper body workout on a roadtrip to Rio? I’ve seen his baby.

3. Lower body. Unloading the car will provide you with ample squatting/ bending/lifting opportunities. If you’ve got a great workout support team like I do, they’ll hide necessities all over the car and keep you running back to get them, individually. Oh, wait. The wipes. Oh, and where’s his other shoe? Oh…the stinky diaper. Did we leave that in the trunk? Good looking out, team. At least when you arrive up the elevator for the third time, your family will switch up the USA chant for, “M-O-M! D-A-D!”

Just kidding, they won’t care, but they will point out that you dropped the iPhone charger in the parking lot, and they’re wondering when it’s time to eat.

4. Upper body, again. If there is a pool, and you have little kids, it will be assumed that you are a shot-put Olympian. You will launch all of your posterity, one at a time, “one mo’ time,” over and over. And one more time for a picture. It was blurry, though, so one more. Your arms may be on fire, but when it comes down to it, you’ll toss your kids a million times over for those laughs.
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5. Don’t overlook carbloading.

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Mama D's pink sauce in exchange for a one piece swimsuit.
Mama D’s pink sauce in exchange for a one piece swimsuit.
(Best we got.)
(Best we got.)

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R + R

Brian’s brother, Reece, got married in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. We sure love his wife, Rachel, and I applaud the ever increasing blonde saturation in the otherwise dark Scurr family. Keeps the genetics interesting.

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Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Someone here was skeptical of his outfit after changing out of dinosaur footie pajamas about ten minutes before pictures.
Someone here was skeptical of his outfit after changing out of dinosaur footie pajamas about ten minutes before pictures.
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Wedding with a first birthday on the side
Wedding with a first birthday on the side
Our first aesthetically balanced Scurr sister picture.
Our first aesthetically balanced Scurr sister picture.
The cousins!
The cousins!
One of my favorite pictures from the weekend. My nieces and nephews remind me so much of playing with my own cousins, who are still my closest friends. I'm so grateful my kids will have built in best friends.
One of my favorite pictures from the weekend. My nieces and nephews remind me so much of playing with my own cousins, who are still my closest friends. I’m so grateful my kids will have built in best friends.
I'd caption this, "Wedding was lit," but I still don't quite know what that means and maybe it's inappropriate/creepy/not applicable.
I’d caption this, “Wedding was lit,” but I still don’t quite know what that means and maybe it’s inappropriate/creepy/not applicable.

Brian and I had several self discovery moments over the weekend, and by self discovery, I mean age realization. Instead of being the spry, wedding veterans we are (Twinkle Toes Scurr on the dance floor, anyone?), we ate fruit at a table and acknowledged the possible Indian rhythmic influence of Justin Beiber’s latest. Never have I felt more decrepit.

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I Hope You Don’t Think I’m The Creepiest Now…

What are you going to do for your 80th birthday? I can tell you right now, mine will involve doughnuts.

Maybe that’s in my blood somewhere, because that was the breakfast of choice for my grandpa on his 80th birthday. I flew into town to celebrate him at a family dinner with several cousins.

6/16 cousins, heyyy.
6/16 cousins, heyyy.
Once I knew this was an Ashton ONLY, 24 hour trip, I set about planning a solid hour to myself. I didn’t even have to hide in the bathroom!

Visiting my Great Grandma’s grave topped my list. I just wanted to pop in, say hi, and see if she got any new neighbors since I last visited.

People find me endearingly embarrassing when I visit her grave because I like to talk out loud. I know this because I get predictable closed mouth smiles and head nods from people, while simultaneously hoping they remembered to lock their cars. I just find speaking out loud very…normal? I don’t have a full conversation, just like 20 seconds of quiet words. I feel a flash of that same familiar, warm connection my Great Grandma and I had, and it makes me feel less like I’m at a cemetery.

Orrrr I’m a mom who doesn’t get out much and am in dire need of conversation/normal social skills/counseling.

Either way, I take just a minute to say hi, tell her about my kids, and assure her that their diluted Swedish genes seem dominate. I wanted to tell her this time about how I burned the crap out of her cookie recipe the past two times I attempted, and wish she had left a more specific oven temperature other than “cook until slightly brown.” Should I put the cookies in on the bottom rack? I don’t normally chill the dough before I bake them, and is that a problem? Does she think it’s wrong to feed a nine month old a lot of tester cookies?

It was snowing and beautiful, and I knew I would get a second to muse about baking without people spying on our conversation. Well, not conversation. . .that would be scary. . .just my solitary pondering about shortening brands. Exceeeept.

You know how everything looks the same when it’s all white?
You know how you can’t see the ground when it’s all white?
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After a couple of calls to the cemetery’s record office, I had her grave plot. The process of locating my Great Grandma sounded discouragingly similar to plotting a graph in high school math classes, which I still don’t get. I brought Kleenex for extra credit every quarter, you feel me?

I threw in the towel after my frozen, wet hands were numbly spinning around my iPhone trying to calibrate it’s compass to figure out which direction was East. I was happy no one was around, so I could whisper to my Great Grandma, “Hey girl! Can’t find you, but we have a lot to talk about!” Another Shark Tank idea: heated headstones for family members trying to visit graves during winter months. I didn’t suppress the smile I had thinking of my Great Grandma watching the whole thing laughing. I know wherever she was, she laughed and fake shivered and shooed me home to get warm. Her eyes were always sparkly.

I’ve digressed from my Grandpa, but the grave situation was visiting his mom, so.

His dinner was amazing, the company was amazing, but my photography job was not amazing.

It's the best I got, Chantel.
It’s the best I got, Chantel.

I still haven’t perfected any cookies, but I loved seeing my family and celebrating my grandpa!

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Past My Rollercoaster Prime

Man, you guys. This mom + work thing gives me little downtime! Let me catch you up since we are having a successful nap time, so I can procrastinate mopping my floors.

Recently (not really, it was last month), Brian and I took a little day trip to Magic Mountain to hang out with his siblings, and I was reminded of a couple things:

1. Girls loved butterfly back tattoos in the 90s. Like, super loved. Sitting down in several rides, I was greeted by a faded green butterfly popping out of some grown woman’s pants, with all the beauty of a dying moth being strangled by a thong.

2. I’m not 18. Roller coasters as an adult are like a dog year situation. You have to multiply your current age by 4, and that’s the age you’ll feel the next day.

Buuuuut, then you’ll look at pictures and want to do it all over again. I’m lucky to have some fun inlaws!
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You Could Say I’m Already in the Christmas Spirit

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the night!

There are no diapers smelling
And no babies yelling
Alone time’s in siiiiight

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the night!

I’m using some of my precious, precious off-duty time this evening to catch you up on the past month of my life. We have been a little exhausted over here, but I think my littlest guy is finally starting to fall into some sleep patterns. Cue the mommy caroling!

Glooooooo-ria!

I started working again and love snuggling this buddy when I get home!
I started working again and love snuggling this buddy when I get home!
Blessed Roscoe in our church and had family come in town! Can you believe not one of these people lives in state?!! We are so lucky!
Blessed Roscoe in our church and had family come in town! Can you believe not one of these people lives in state?!! We are so lucky!
My side of the family is a little smaller...
My side of the family is a little smaller…
Roscoe and my grandpa Gary, his name sake.
Roscoe and my grandpa Gary, his name sake.
My high school reunion came and went.
My high school reunion came and went.
Celebrated our anniversary in California.
Celebrated our anniversary in California.
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Beach baby in training.
Beach baby in training.
Make A Wish event, where Brian's ID went mysteriously missing after Gus played in his wallet. He sat outside the venue while I went in, which was maybe hysterical after it took us an hour and a half to drive to it.
Make A Wish event, where Brian’s ID went mysteriously missing after Gus played in his wallet. He sat outside the venue while I went in, which was maybe hysterical after it took us an hour and a half to drive to it.
Coolio performed at the Make A Wish event, so I loved Gangster's Paradise by myself (well, with my friend Jordan), and then told Brian all about it.
Coolio performed at the Make A Wish event, so I loved Gangster’s Paradise by myself (well, with my friend Jordan), and then told Brian all about it.

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I’ve Joined the Mile High Club

My little guy took his first flight to attend a college roommate’s wedding. Just as big of a milestone: Brian and I survived our first flight with a mobile child. A big “cheers” with our bag of pretzels.

Babes on a plane.
Babes on a plane.

I feel, however, that I am deserving of an extra parent-badge for taking Gus into the bathroom for a diaper change.

By bathroom, I mean airplane lavatory, which is very, very different.

Did you know that taking a child into a “lavatory” is like crawling into a litter box with another small human?

And, you guessed it. There are no changing tables in litter boxes of any sort.

I had no idea. Gus and I were both appalled that I tried to lay him on my legs, which were propped up on the door at a 45 degree angle while I was sitting on the toilet lid. That meant a baby bum in my face, so I put my legs down. If Gus had just relaxed, he could have pretended he was hanging upside on the monkey bars. Instead, he insisted on doing a 15 second sit up while I changed him.

All that, and a surprisingly untainted diaper. Just gas.

I still want that mom badge for my initiation into the REAL Mile High Club—airplane potty trips with wipe dependent children.

After initiation and arriving at our destination, my prior roommate, Kendyl, had a gorgeous wedding weekend. She had an incredible dinner, a tear-jerking (for pregnant people) ceremony, and a jaw dropping reception. We had such a fun time visiting with friends we don’t see nearly enough!

Kendyl still looked beautiful in my blurry iPhone pictures.
Kendyl still looked beautiful in my blurry iPhone pictures.
With my person I would most like to become like/another roommate, Amy. Gus's face is pretty much how he felt about the cold.
With my person I would most like to become like/another roommate, Amy. Gus’s face is pretty much how he felt about the cold.
Kendyl's unreal reception
Kendyl’s unreal reception
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Gus is going to be a music lover.
Gus is going to be a music lover.
It's not a Kendyl even without DC.
It’s not a Kendyl event without DC.
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Everyone exercised self control in not taking selfies with pageant title crowns. I regret it.
Everyone exercised self control in not taking selfies with pageant title crowns. I regret it.

We had a special Sunday morning brunch with my sweet grandparents before flying out. I absolutely love spending time with them, and want Gus to have his own relationship with them.IMG_4203

Gus was the most well-behaved little flyer. I am pleased to announce that we can now start flying again…for 2 months, before baby 2 gets here.

Then, we will probably wait to fly for like, 8 years.

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Doughnut-topia Themed Girl’s Trip

I hope you are blessed with friends that you can be completely immature around, make you laugh until it hurts, and make being stuck in traffic beyond entertaining.

I met some college friends in San Francisco for a self-made doughnut crawl. It was my first overnight experience without Gus, and I was a little anxious about it, but I definitely was not left with any time to the about it! I adore these girls, and I love the person I get to be around them.

I was only able to stay for about 24 hours, but Jessand Kim made itineraries to make sure we packed everything in. Best hostesses.
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Night view of the Painted Ladies, complete with Full House audio.
Night view of the Painted Ladies, complete with Full House audio.
Just some not-vegan heterosexuals in San Fran.
Just some not-vegan heterosexuals in San Fran.
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Just because they're pretty.
Just because they’re pretty.

Lots of food, laughing, and a little dancing (Janae’sstill got it.) What could be a better girl’s trip?

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