Tuesday, June 30, 2015

father's day photo shoot

 Take 1: my kids are too silly. If one of them says "Bap bop...ba bop bopbop" then they both say "eeeeee!" in unison. Every time. I have no idea where this came from or what it means. But they think it's hilarious.
Nicholas made the tie for Kent in Primary at Church.
Neither of them were interested in holding still and smiling.

 Take 5: their dad is too silly too.
Yes, most of the time when the kids get out-of-control goofy, it was started by their father. 
but, that's one of the first things I fell in love with about this man. I watched him play with his nieces and nephews, and I knew that he was going to be a fantastic daddy.

At this point, though, Kent was getting kinda tired of crouching there and of me not being satisfied with the pictures, so he used his "Dad voice" to command the kids to hold still and smile.
Take 6: The "Dad voice" worked, the kids are perfect and smiling, but it startled and scared the baby.
I love it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

grandma and grandpa's house

 It's the perfect place to go for a week after you've
worked harder than you thought was possible,
to get your house ready for showing (seriously....suddenly three kids isn't such a breeze anymore....not when I'm trying to clear out, clean out, box up, and prep a house to be shown and sold!)

Once the house was done and sparkling from corner to corner (not even exaggerating...Kent said it felt "hospital clean" in here, and I was actually forbidding the children from sitting on the couch out of fear they'd mess up the perfectly plumped pillows,)
we escaped to a place we could actually live in.

The kid's loved playing with cousins, running through the field grass that's taller then they are, and Christian loved being out on the porch swing with Grandma. But only when he's not being hugged/mauled by his older brother.

My dear sweet Grandma lives next-door to my parents,
and she'd call each day to ask us if Christian was awake so she could come play with him.

On Saturday, we threw a baby shower for Alicia--
we did a S'more's bar.

Friday, June 19, 2015

He's king of the bed

It's like sleeping with a squishy, sweaty, sweet-smelling teddy bear curled up in my arms each night.
I'm not sure I want it to ever change.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


While we were in California, we went to the beach.  
First stop--
Bubba Gumps for lunch.  
With a view of the bay.

Nicholas was very enthusiastic.
So was Christian.

After we finished lunch, we walked down to the aquarium.
Ellie was SO excited. She sang and skipped the entire way there.  
And as soon as we were in, she shrieked and pulled us all over to the sea otters--
the otters were floating on their backs and when they'd bonk their heads into the walls??
Ellie's laughing had every single person around us laughing as well.

From there, she pulled us by the hand, running from exhibit to exhibit. 
By the end her little legs were pretty tired,
but then she saw the penguins up ahead and laughed
"OH yes! The penguins!!"
And then she was running again.

I think the aquarium has been one of her favorite places in the world so far.
And I just love having little kids.

The wave wasn't loud. At all.
My children are just a little sensitive...

After the aquarium, we bought crepes off the street (nutella+banana=heaven)
and then we went to the beach.

 Nicholas ran from the waves, screeching and laughing, the entire time.
Ellie did too, but she ran even higher up the beach each time-
I'm really wondering if there's a way for me to siphon even just a teeny bit of that energy for myself??

Just before it was time to leave,
a pod of dolphins swam past Kent and the kids, not even thirty feet away, jumping and playing in the waves. So cool.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

the magic of new beginnings

Image found at blog.freepeople.com here

As we drove home from the hospital with our brand new baby Christian, I remember looking out at the blossoms just opening up and the green spreading across the grass and thinking
just how awesome this summer was going to be.
I was done being pregnant,
we had our dear boy here,
I could move and be myself again and we could just play and rest and enjoy the summer.

About a week later, Kent confided that he'd been feeling like we needed to think about moving.

I was not anywhere near ready to hear that.

But he kept hinting at it, because he kept feeling the impression that it was time for us to start thinking about moving our family forward to something new.

picture found here
And then Christian got sad. Really really sad.
But I started to feel like maybe Kent was right. Maybe moving was the right choice for our family.

I just couldn't do it with a sad baby like that, though.
Having a child who cries and cries inconsolably for 8-10 hours a day is a kind of hard I'd never known, and if you've lived it, you know--there's no "living," just "surviving."

So one Sunday, while Kent and the kids were at Church, and I sat in the living room bouncing my sad crying baby on the exercise ball (the only way he'd sort of calm down) 
I found myself praying, and telling Heavenly Father that if we were supposed to decide to move,
I couldn't do it with my brains fuzzy and my life messy from a crying baby.

The next morning, we woke up,
and Christian was happy.
Just like that. We went to the park and walked around the pond that evening, during the hours he'd usually just scream, and we marveled at how enjoyable life was with a quiet, happy baby.
He's been happy ever since.

So I thought, okay, maybe we're supposed to move.
But Christian would only sleep if he was in my arms. And I wasn't able to do anything productive with a darling happy baby constantly in my hands. It was fun to snuggle all day, but the dishes piled up and we ate cereal for dinner nearly every night, and the laundry and the bathrooms and the kids' rooms and my room (especially)....well, you can imagine how they looked.
And I found myself praying again.
Saying, if we're supposed to move,
I just can't do it unless I can lay this sweet baby boy down for sleep and work while he naps.

The next morning, we woke up,
and that day Christian took a 3 hour nap. Unassisted. In his cradle. In his room.
And he's been a stellar napper ever since.

At this point, I really couldn't deny that we were being guided towards selling this beautiful home of ours, and moving on to whatever comes next.

We're looking forward to--
a bigger yard!
with a fence!
wide(r) open spaces!
a new place to live and love in!
meeting new friends!
room for a garden (without nightly winds to destroy it)!
downsizing a bit, "sacrificing" for a while, to meet future financial goals!

But I can't deny that my heart breaks a little (or a lot) each time I look out my windows, especially in the mornings when the light breaks over the mountain and floods the house with perfect, crisp shadows, and in the evenings when it's shady and glorious in our little backyard.

I just have to trust that there's something better ahead,
whatever that may be.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

scenes from the cabin

 About three days after Christian was born,
Kent started asking if we could go to the cabin.

We kinda really love this place.  But I wasn't sure I was up to a road trip that soon after having a baby.  We thought about going when he was just a few weeks old...but then he was super sad baby from his reflux for a while.

So, when my birthday and Memorial Day landed on the same weekend, we took advantage and headed to California for a week. 

Our drive was looong. The older kids were crazy good, but little Christian needed loads of attention and a seven-hour drive to Reno turned into just over eleven.

But we got to stay in our favorite super-fancy-but-cheap-cause-casino hotel, complete with ordering room service to eat in the dark after the kids fell asleep, breakfast, and some super awesome dance moves in the bathroom.
 Leaving Reno, Kent decided to be daring and attempt the mountain roads again.
Once again, it was beyond beautiful,

 But also caused some serious motion sickness in the kiddos.
Worth it? 

I sorta think so.
And as soon as we arrived, it was all better.

We've never stayed in the cabin all by ourselves like that before.
It was wonderful. Just our little family, deep in the forest, quiet, alone, and at peace.
A perfect start to our vacation.