Saturday, August 22, 2015


 My lucky six-year-old got to start his birthday at the beach the day before his actual (not-actual) birthday.
(Because he can't read a calendar yet, and has no concept of time, 
and his actual birthday was a busy Sunday,
we pretended his birthday was the day before it actually is.)

Now, My sweet Nick is six.
 And I honestly don't believe it.
Wasn't he just learning to crawl yesterday?
Six feels so much bigger than five did.
Five was still a little kid, 
but six? We've entered big-kid-dom.

My six year old asked for waffles for breakfast,
"The very most delicious restaurant in Grandma's neighborhood" (aka Chik-fil-a) for a picnic lunch at the park,
and pancakes for dinner.
He's six years old and his food requests reflect that.

He also wanted to go to the zoo.

We went to Willow Park, a tiny little zoo near my parents' house, but only took one picture
because it was HOT and Christian was strapped to my chest and honestly all I could think about was finding the next tiny spot of shade as we walked around.

But Nicholas loved it, and Jonah got to rescue a duck stuck in the fence and it was all worth it.

His "excited" face. 

This was the birthday of Legos. 
I spent so much of my own childhood playing Legos with my siblings,
it was really fun to pick out the classics for my own little boy.
But oh so weird that he's actually old enough for these now.
I guess I assumed he'd been playing with the squishy mega blocs forever...

He helped me decorate his cake squares.

His Lego cake turned out way harder to make than I'd imagined,
but for his sake I decided to embrace the imperfect-ness and just let it be.

I don't think he even noticed the bumpy lumpy crumbly edges.
And how cool is the lego cake stand my little brothers made for him??

Let's just take a second, right now,
to appreciate how much my baby looks like a naked gnome in this party hat.
All he needs is a beard.

Christian's getting better and better at grabbing... he just wanted some cake and ice cream too!

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sensitive, smart, silly six year old!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bear Lake magic

Kent took last Friday off and we went up to Bear Lake with my family.
It was truly the most perfect day there. 
So many of my aunts and uncles and cousins and their children came,
and I couldn't believe how awesome it felt to look out in the shallows and see so many children, so many cousins, all playing,
being kind and helpful and making memories together.

The forecast threatened rain, so we hesitated a little, wondered if we should go,
and were beyond grateful we went anyway.

And we didn't see a single drop of rain.

 I spent a huge chunk of the day nursing this big guy, trying to get him to take even a ten minute nap,
and Kent spent most of his time hiking back and forth to the bathrooms with the other two,
but the times I got to go out in the water were so fun,
and the times I didn't, when I was sitting in the shade, snacking and chatting with family,
were just as good.

 I wore my favorite Randy Tee in the water because my swimsuit....
let's just say I was this close to a wardrobe malfunction.
I'm not yet back to the size I was when I bought that suit, apparently....
also? removable straps are a better idea in theory than in reality.

 The kids dug a hole in the murky water where the waves don't reach, and Ellie spent most of the day running and jumping into this hole.

We brought my parent's camp cooker down and set it up on the sand to make our own hamburgers for dinner that night,
because the hours after 4 pm are the very best at the lake.  The crowds leave, the water seems warmer, and the sunlight is golden.

Ellie surprised us and had absolutely no fear of the water. She was out there playing frisbee with me and Kent in water up to her shoulders, having the best time of her little life.
I love the beach we go to (North Beach) because the water is so shallow for SO far. For nearly 100 yards it was no deeper than my hip.

Ellie also became best friends with my cousin's daughter, Frances. 
As we packed up to leave that night, Ellie pulled me down close and whispered,
"Mommy, but when will I get to play with that very nice girl again?"
 (I just die over Ellie's "working hard" face in this shot.)
 And let me just say, 
My husband is the most awesome daddy ever. He was with these two the entire day, giving Ellie horsey rides in the shallows, playing frisbee, pulling kids on floaties and kayaks, and taking them to use the potty no less than twelve times. (I think we hydrated them enough...)
 On our way out,
we stopped for fresh raspberry and peach milkshakes.
And the day couldn't have been better.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

just a normal afternoon

This morning the kids and I laid on the floor in our pajamas and built houses (complete with a kitchen sink and a fridge) out of legos.  
And for the first time this summer, 
I didn't even think about how the floor needs to be swept and the windows need to be washed and the laundry needs to be folded.

Our house went under contract today.
And I know that it's not final until it's final, that we have plenty of praying and finger-crossing to do until the purchase is complete,
but for now, 
for this day and the days to come,
my heart is light and my life feels....well, happy and normal again.

To sell a home with two little kids and an infant? An infant that still wakes up four or five times a night? 
I've pretty much felt like I've been losing my mind, little by little. Too many things to think about,
too much work to do. Each time we had a showing I felt like I lost four years off my life. 
And then there's the guilt. Feeling so sorry each night when I go to bed and remember how Ellie asked me to play with blocks with her but I was too busy mopping the floors or sending emails.  

But for today, for tonight,
I am grateful and happy and at peace.  Our home will no longer be ours the middle of next month, 
but by a true miracle, the new buyers are going to let us rent back from them until the middle of November, when our new home should be done (or at least close enough that we can make a couple of weeks work.)

So today, we celebrated.
By playing legos in our pajamas,
Taking Five-Month-Old pictures of Christian,
 Making the house "ours" again, including rehanging some of our family pictures, writing my menu back on my dry erase board, and getting a little bit of that day-to-day clutter out of the drawers and back on the counter where it likes to be,
 Cuddling on the couch to read our newest favorite chapter book (My Father's Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett),
getting dinner from food trucks,
 and definitely not doing any cleaning. At all. 
I'll probably regret that tomorrow.
But for today, it felt AWESOME.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

friday night

I feel like I'm coming into my own with this third child. Starting to glimpse who I really am, both as a mother and simply as me. This new life is highlighting my weaknesses,
but it's also rounding out my edges and focusing my perspective.

Earlier this summer we went to the water park, and I only spent about 14 minutes actually in the water, between potty trips and nursing and sunscreen applying and nursing and snack-getting and more sunscreen and more nursing...
but when we got home, 
I felt like I do when I get to be free to experience the fun myself.
My children's fun is good enough for me now.
In a way it hasn't been before.

And life is different. Harder. Busier. 
More frazzled in my brain.
but also so much...
On Friday night our little family gathered on the floor.
And we were together. Just us. No phones, no side conversations, no side-distractions running through our grown-up minds. (Something we've really struggled with as we try to sell our home and everything this summer.)
We turned everything off and laid on the floor.
Just us and the kids.
(And a photo-bombing slinky.)

And it was perfection.

Monday, August 10, 2015


 Everyone has their own way of entertaining themselves in the car.
Some people sing out loud. 
Some people eat.
I like to read (thank goodness I was blessed with not ever getting carsick ever.)
Some little humans argue about whether the music is too loud or too quiet. Or whether the AC is too cold or not enough. Or cry because their mom isn't able to move the sun so it's not in their eyes.... (Ahem.)

He chews.
On his toes.

 And it makes me laugh every single time.
Because really? You look at that foot and the thing you want most is to chew on it??
How can this possibly be comfortable?

And then he gave me the look:
Mom. Come on. Enough with the pictures.
Just leave me alone to chomp on my toes.