Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I'm not thirty yet.
But I spend too much time fretting about me.
How I think I look older than I am.
Wrinkles, sun-spotted skin, places that wiggle and jiggle in ways they didn't before... 
And I fret about more. Those hours in the middle of the day when I'm crabby and snap at the kids,
those times when I'm not enough, when there's not enough of me to go around. Between children, husband, and home, the things I cannot keep up with, the things that don't ever get done.

This picture, though, tells a different story.
I'm not thirty yet,
but I am so loved. Loved and needed and wanted. 
I have these people, 
who don't care about the things I care about.
All they care about,
is me.
Just the way I am.
They just want me. They just love me.
They love my soft arms, my kisses. They love that I care enough to know how to slice their toast just the way they like it. 
They love that I get up each day to care for them, whether or not I get a shower or put on makeup. They love my smile and the way my nose crinkles when I'm really having fun.
They just want me to read stories to them. Play castle with them. Feed them and bathe them and snuggle them into bed. Pray with them. Teach them the stories of Jesus.
And that's all they want from me.
To them, I'm enough. 

These people tell a more real truth than I tell myself.
And I'm learning to listen.

Monday, April 18, 2016

and now he uses the microwave

This boy of mine. 
He taught our Family Home Evening lesson tonight. As he prepared it, we could hear him singing "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" in the front room. He sings with vigor, adding vibrato and emotion. 
His lesson was about (surprise) being members of the Church of Jesus Christ. He read sentences from the nursery lesson manual that we use. "The Church of Jesus Christ has prophets. The Church of Jesus Christ has scriptures." We talked about how all the different church buildings we've attended as we move and visit relatives are all actually part of the same Church. We talked about baptism. 
He picked the song and the prayers.

This boy of mine.
He came home from school one day and told me all about penguins. 
"And next week," he declared, "I think I'm going to be an expert on cows."
He was the Star Student a few weeks ago, and he beamed with pride as I came and presented the poster we made with pictures and facts about him. 

This boy of mine.
Started playing soccer last week. What he lacks in skill he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. His first game was so fun to watch. He chased down the ball, but then as it got close he'd start to shake his hands and bounce up and down and had no idea what to do, but he was SO excited. 
Our neighbor, and his best friend, is on his team, and her dad coaches. 

This boy of mine.
Gets frustrated when we don't let him serve his own plate at dinner. 
Wants to learn to tie his own shoes.
Has finally accepted the idea of doing his daily chores without imploding. (For a few weeks I was the worst mom in the world.....apparently we didn't introduce the idea of chores early enough....but it's all good now.)
Loves having me read chapter books to him before bed, and gets very upset when we finish a book, because "I just never want to be done reading about Charlotte's Web, Mom!"
Every day is either the best day of his life, or the worst. He feels so very strongly about so much.

This boy of mine.
Has learned to use the microwave to make his own popcorn. 
He's growing up too fast.
But at least, for now, he still needs to use a stool to reach it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Three kids is no joke. 
It's awesome and fun and there's just so.much.love and it keeps me busy
but it keeps me busy
With my kids being the ages that they are, I feel like I pretty much run from near disaster to near disaster all day long, just trying to keep the peace, clean up messes, and avoid meltdowns from all sides. 

I remember feeling similarly when Ellie was about this age. It's a tough phase physically for a mama.
And so some of my favorite things, like recording our lives here, 
has been lacking.

But I'm going to do my best! Christian is now (mostly) sleeping through the night, yay!, so I'm trying to carve out a little time each morning before the rest of the family wakes up.
Time for me. To study and pray and hopefully do a little bit of writing down our history as we go.


Kent started his new job, 
which meant that the lovesac we'd been storing at his former office during our move needed to come back home.
We don't have anywhere to put it currently.
So it spent a week or so smack dab in our living room.
Not very pretty, but oh so comfortable 
and as you can imagine, the kids loved having it right here to jump on, roll on, tickle-wrestle on all day long.

Toddlers love Easter Eggs. 
Lucky us, we've got probably a hundred of them or more.

My little walking boy. He's desperate to go outside. When Kent leaves for work in the morning he has to sneak out when no one's looking, because Christian will screech and cry and throw himself on the ground in tears if anyone ever opens the door without letting him go out.
We spend a lot of time outside here,
and it's going to be so nice when this cul de sac of ours gets more landscaping. 
Our yard has a long way to go.

But I saw these colorful pots at the store and thought they'd be just the thing to bring just a little bit of life and color to our outdoors.

I spent a lot of March feeling frustrated and annoyed and even angry at times, as we learned that our corner lot is actually on the corner of what will soon be the main road in and out of our little city.
Lots of traffic, lots of noisy, busy, fast traffic will be coming right past our home all day long.
And that is not what we'd expected when we chose a home out here.
But we're here. 
And this is the right place for my family. The friendships the kids are making, that I'm making, are invaluable. I need to remember that there's more important things in life than not hearing cars when I open my windows. Really, it's such a small thing, 
and so many people I love are dealing with such big heartbreaking trials lately,
I feel a bit ashamed that I let this bother me so much.

So I've decided that each time I hear a big cement truck rumble past, I'm going to look out and up at these mountains and remember why we're here. A home for my family, outdoor space for the children, and new friends.
And thank goodness for our fenced-in yard!

Ellie gave herself a tail one afternoon. (excuse the blurry face--I was holding a squirmy one-year-old while trying to take a picture.)
This girl is the epitome of magical. She lives in her own little world most of the time, literally frolicking from one thing to the next. It sometimes means she's slow to hear what we're asking her to do, and sometimes she makes messes that are baffling, because the toothbrushes become princesses and need to go swimming in the toilet
but if I pay attention, watching her world, seeing her find the fantasy and imagine the magical around us,
it's why being a mother is the best job in the world.

In March we instigated a new rule: we only let the children have screen time on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
And this has changed our lives.
We're back into the habit of creative play, working together. There's less whining and fighting and more being outside and making up their own games, like racing rolls of washi tape down the stairway.

  The women's conference came on a perfect day. It had been a rough day for mothering. The house was messy, the kids were whiny, and I was not being the best I could be. 
To close the door and listen to God's word and His prophets for an hour? It was just the thing I needed.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


You turned one last month. 
I think there's a part of me that will always feel like I was just barely handed your warm, soft body for the first time, cradled up against me, your velvet soft brand-new skin against my chest. That perfect newborn smell, your blinking dark eyes. 
I mean, wasn't that just a few days ago? 

But now, now you're a little person with a big personality. You're the embodiment of the word "Enthusiasm." To you, everything is so exciting you must wave your arms and shout and walk in circles. 

Your squishy flat feet slap against the hardwood floor as you toddle from room to room, doing your very best to keep up with your idols--Nick and Ellie. 
Yesterday, Ellie was in her room with the door closed. You waited in the hall, outside her door, just watching and waiting. As soon as she came out to talk to me,
you ran into her room, turned around, 
and closed the door behind you.
 You're 100% certain you're just one of the big kids, and a good portion of my days are spent simply making sure you don't fall down the stairs after them, crawl outside to play with them, jump off their beds, eat their legos, or splash in the toilet water (that they are forever leaving unflushed.)

You also are scary good at getting into the pantry and finding forbidden treats.
And you can unwrap suckers.

You are starting to show us that you're a little softie. You have a great big, giving heart. When your cousin Avery, just a few months younger than you, comes over, you watch her closely, straight-faced, 
pick up your own toys, and stick them in her mouth for her. 
The other night I was flossing Nick's teeth and you walked over and tried to help, pressing your own drool-soggy toothbrush into Nick's mouth.

And you give hugs. Especially to Nick and Ellie. When they come in, you rush to them, wrap your little arms around their torso and press your face against them. And when we visit Grandma and Grandpa, you're surprisingly willing to leave my arms and wrap yourself into theirs for a great big snuggle.
In the mornings, if you're not screeching for food (which is almost every morning lately,) we bring you into our bed and you roll back and forth, giving us face-snuggles, pressing your head into our faces for loves.

You are finally sleeping mostly through the night. 
Up until about four weeks ago, you were still waking up four or five times, wanting to nurse most of those times. 
But I enlisted Daddy's help, and maybe because he doesn't smell like milk, you started waking up less and less. Right now you only nurse once a day, at around 4 am. I know we need to stop soon, so for now, I'm going to savor those sweet moments in the darkness.

 You still take two naps a day, and rocking you to sleep each afternoon is one of my favorite parts of the day. Part of me would love it if you never stopped falling asleep with your sweaty head cradled under my neck.

You make us laugh every single day. Mostly with your chattering. When we ask you questions, 
it's like you think you're actually answering us. I'm pretty sure you think you're talking, and you talk away all day long, walking around, picking things up and then putting them down again, waving your arms in great big gestures, shouting and cheering and jabbering away.

You do know a few real words. 
Hi, Dad, Mom, Wow, Uh-oh,
Tickle, Fish, out(side) and Cheese.
You learned the word "fish" because of our goldfish, which we are keeping on the bathroom counter. Anytime we walk past the bathroom with you in our arms, you point to the bathroom door, kick your legs, and exclaim "fss! fss!" 
And when we went to the aquarium at Legoland in San Diego, you nearly jumped out of the Ergo on my back, reaching for the "fsss," desperately trying to swim with them.

You are not a good eater. I think it's because you're just too busy trying to have fun. It takes some convincing to get you to focus and eat, and I often have to give you your own spoon and a bowl full of dry cheerios to keep you occupied while I feed.

 And you are desperate to be outside, all the time. You can just barely see over the windowsills, and you stand on your tiptoes and look outside, shouting "out! out!" 
Sometimes, you bring me my shoes and help me put them on, then look at me expectantly, 
thinking, come on, Mom! Let's go out!

You are a climber, a pusher, a rock-and-garbage-eater, a get-into-stuff-er. I stay busy, spending most of my days just making sure you don't die.

 You have a knack for closing yourself into rooms of the house. If I ever can't find you for a moment, all I have to do is listen for your hands banging into a door you've closed and now cannot open again. 
I open the door slowly and there you are, smiling up at me, ready to walk out and find another room you can lock yourself into.

As challenging as this stage is, with your opinions and beginnings of tantrums and constantly getting into things,
You are just so stinking cute, and we cannot get enough of you!
You are goofy, loving, loud, enthusiastic, and full of light.
We're so glad we have you, Christian!