May started out with a bang as Steve had ankle surgery on May 1st. He had injured his ankle before we got married, but dealt with it for years until it got to be too much to deal with. When he saw the doctor, the specialist said he can hardly believe Steve could walk as he had a "rhinoceros horn" bone spur, and stretched out ligaments and tendons that were so full of junk they had to be cleaned out, cut, and sewn back together shorter to try and prevent continuously re-injuring the ankle. Yeah, he did a number on it. But go big or go home, right? It's a beaut. And this is only one of three surgery scars he got and after it had healed a while!
On a more serious note here. Steve and I got so focused on finally getting his ankle fixed that we didn't fully take into account all that would change when Steve was in a cast and couldn't walk for 6 weeks. I took on double house duties, learned a LOT of love and respect for all Steve does to help me out, and increased my gratitude for his and my partnership in parenting and caring for our home. By the time Steve got his boot in mid June, I was FRIED. Laundry, kid duty to myself much of the time, dinner, mowing the lawn, cleaning, extra cleaning as things fell or got tipped over as Steve tried to help out hopping and crawling along, extra cleaning as things had to be reachable for Steve and meant they were kid-accessible.... It was a real trial at times. And one I hope I don't soon forget as it taught me how lucky I am that I don't have to do this all alone. I love my husband.
Anyway, back to the chronicles of May.... Unfortunately, not knowing earlier when surgery would be, I also committed to going back to work the first week of May. We had some wonderful neighbors watch the girls the first day I went back to work, just a day or two after Steve had surgery. In May I also agreed to become the Head Swim Instructor at work through the summer, but more on that later.
May also brought the Spokane Lilac Festival. For those of you who don't know, I was a Spokane Lilac Festival Princess in 2006. This year was the festival's 75th anniversary, and as such they wanted as much past royalty to return as possible for a reunion and to march in the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade. (Seriously too long, but seriously an amazing parade that I cry at at least once when I go because of all the Veterans and Service men and women.) Steve and I had agreed I would go participate earlier on in the year, so despite all the craziness in our lives, I did. It was so fun to catch up with most of my old royalty court and to have Ellie so excited to see me be a princess in the parade. She still tells me I'm a princess, which is pretty awesome.
The same weekend we were in town for the Lilac Festival Steve also blessed my niece Aubrey. Steve blessed her brother Wyatt, so it seemed fitting that he would also use the Priesthood to bless her. It's always wonderful to have our family in church together and to see the Priesthood in action. Ellie loved being around "Baby Au-ber-ey".
The other main event that occurred in May for our family is that Steve's nephew Tyler gave his mission farewell down in Smithfield, Utah. We, of course, were there. Tyler planned to give his farewell during Memorial Day weekend so we could travel to get there even though he left in the beginning of June. It was a pleasure to go see him one last time as we'll miss him for the next two years. (This is one of those events I tried to enjoy rather than photograph, so I'm lame and have no pictures of Steve and Tyler as I should.) Instead I have someone else's cell phone picture of Mckayla enjoying time with Papa Bennett at the luncheon after Tyler's talk.
We also took lots of detours on the way down to see Tyler and on the way home. On the way down for the farewell, we left home Friday after Steve got off work and drove part of the way. The girls enjoyed staying in a hotel, even if they didn't sleep perfectly.
The next day we stopped at the Boise Zoo we kept meaning to hit to break up the driving for the girls. We only spent a couple of hours there, but it was fun none the less.
After the zoo we trekked on to meet up with some old college friends. There was a group of single guys, and one married couple, who hung out when I met Steve in the single's wards in Moscow at the U of I. At the time Steve was in Vet School and they were all Law Students, so they all were doing the grad school thing and hanging out. It's a pretty fantastic group to hang out with, and we had a BLAST catching up with them and seeing everyone and they're cute kids. (This picture is missing Steve-O.)
May ended with Ellie's last dance class with Miss Jill. The sister of a gal I go to church with was offering for little girls to come to the church Friday mornings and take a very informal dance class for soooo cheap! Ellie of course already thinks she's a ballerina so she ATE IT UP. She was so excited for dance each week. We were sad when Miss Jill moved. Most of the dance class and some little sisters as well.
Other random notes: Ellie fell in LOVE with the snails we got for our fish tank - which are all long since dead now... And decided she needed to "fix" everything with whatever she decided were tools - plastic megablock Elmo arms, plastic eggplant, random McDonalds toys...
Like I said.... It's been BUSY! And it only continued from here! Stay tuned for June!