Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flowers & Butterflies :)

Oh I love these dear little people and wow, so much has happened in the last 6 months!  All the daily crazies of motherhood I still well know, but goodness, I'm so eternally grateful to have this opportunity to have my little family!!!  They are my very best friends "in the whole woold" as Hailey says.  Here's what we've been doing since I haven't been blogging anymore :).  I decided to do this huge update post on a day like today... when the day has dragged on forever and I'm super tuckered out (I think today we've really been through 8 gogo squeeze applesauces, and at least 6 gogurts, and 3 movies because I have zero energy).  The fridge is leaking some liquid everywhere, the vacuum just broke, and the laundry is piled high.

Feeling overwhelmed with all I want and need to do but just can't. We happened to be carless today and therefore homebound which all mothers know is our greatest doom :).. at least for me!

I really am enjoying these fun stages of my kids right now, but just wanted to post today so you wouldn't think through these fun pictures that our life is all flowers and butterflies :)

We did plant our first little "garden" of sunflowers which has been super fun. And, we're waiting for our butterflies to hatch from their cacoons.  I was so excited when those cute caterpillars arrived in our mailbox.  I felt like I just had another baby.  Did you know you can order caterpillars, lady bugs, and praying mantises?!  Pretty cool.

Oh and we now have 30 ANTS that have joined our family -

And I have to introduce "Freddy the Frog" that showed up on our porch one Sunday.  The kids were in their "sunday best" outfits and the rain started pouring down but of course they wanted to play with this new frog. Good thing this time I wasn't stressing over getting them straight inside because running around in the rain with Freddy is one of my most cherished memories thus far.

Speaking of Sundays, we've started doing "Sunday's Sundaes" I've thought about doing this fun tradition for so long, and we're just now finally doing it :).  I think after surviving 3 hours at church, everyone deserves some whip cream.  

Which reminds me of this day.  They thought they were so funny. 

"Penny Wenny Booka" is just hilarious.  Everytime we go to the zoo's aquarium she does her "fish face."  We love living by the nation's #1 zoo!!

The fish face... with spaghetti all over.

Oh our little Penny.  She's pure happiness and joy and in-to-everything-and-everybody's toys.

Oh and Steve's sisters got married - double back to back weddings!  We love having more awesome brothers!!  Here's some pics from our UT trip...

I love the look of concern on my face.  See below.

And that would be Steve jumping through Grandma's bounce house she got for all the toddlers.

Learning to bake whole wheat yumminess...

Here's some of the fun things we've done this summer here in the cornfields... 
Being 100 degrees and like 100% humidity, we spent a LOT of time in the water.  I think we went through dozens and dozens of dollar store water squirters.  And we love our "beach" a couple blocks away!

Baseball, parades, dressing up like pioneers :)...

And how do you not just throw in a picture like this?!!

 As for an update on my big boy Brayden, he is a creative engineer genius!!  Notice how he loves ORDER.  Everything always in perfect proportions and design.  He got zero help from mommy on this one.  I was literally sitting on the stroller eating a chocolate bar I mysteriously discovered in the bottom of my diaper bag while he made these.

In the morning I find these magnetic "creations" in his room.  Notice how even the animals and cars all have their own spot :)!  Love this boy of mine.

Brayden is ALL boy... jumping, splashing, running, and ramming into everything (including little sisters, whoops!)

First day of preschool!!!

And oh my goodness, Brayden is READING!!!  It's so so exciting!!  He's loving Hooked On Phonics. That boy gets up early so it gives us some mandatory one-on-one time :)
And we're trying out those "BOB Books" which have been super fun.  

And this boy thrives off routine and knowing what to expect, so this system has really been great for him... I painted a cheap clip board with chalkboard paint and we write with dry-erase crayons what he needs to do each morning.. clean room, read scriptures, pray, brush teeth, and get dressed.  Each week he earns a dollar store prize.  So really what that means is he earns a prize like every 2 weeks - because you know how crazy life gets, it's hit and miss :)

I've also really been liking this new idea for "scripture study."  I got him a cheap used Bible & Book of Mormon and some colored tabs and colored pencils.  Each day he just marks up a verse or two.  It's been really simple and fun for him!  And it has led to some great little chats.  I made sure he highlighted really well "God loveth a cheerful giver" haha

As for an update on Miss Hailey, we love doing "beauty parlor" together.  Glad she got those lips covered.
 She loves to be a big girl and do things ALL BY HERSELF!  She loves to put her pants on backwards so the pockets can hold all her "treasures."

And oh my goodness, my little girl had her first day at dance class :).  

Whew!  What an update!  It had been a while.  And Mom - I love you - you're probably the only one that made it all the way through that long post.  And wow, I sure need to go to bed NOW so that I can hopefully be more patient and alive for my poor little family after a day like today :)

On to the endless laundry and dirty dishes and crazy moments and cute, cute wonderful kids!!!!

Much love,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bye Bye to Busy Bliss... for now :)

Time is precious.  And so are these little dears.  This is just not my season to have a blog like this :).   It's causing me to be way too "busy" and stressed ironically.  Motherhood is sacrifice.  It is work (whew, is it work!), but it is the GREATEST WORK on earth!  What a great adventure it has been to have a voice for mothers who deeply desire to be intentional and to thrive (haha, not just survive!) in this most challenging, most paramount work!  I will forever cherish all the comments and the wonderful women I've meet through this blog.

With three kids three and under, I need less distractions (even the really good things) and more MOMENTS to focus on THEM.  This is my greatest life's work and I don't want to miss it!

I'll be posting from time to time to update  with pictures, but I leave you with my conviction that:

The greatest gift you can give your children is YOU.  If you're human than you're going to have really hard moments (even to the point of tears) but I believe that mothers can learn and grow and TRY AGAIN every day.  We truly have the most influential job on earth.  Choosing to have daily moments of teaching and connecting will be our greatest investment!  I hope we all can find JOY and our desperate need for CHRIST in the midst of all our motherly mayhem.

Maybe there'll be another season for me to spread my feelings through writing.  But here's the little dears that need MORE of me.  And Steve that includes you too babes :).

And here's my favorite video that reminds me what matters most.

Much Love,


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Story

It was my freshman year first semester at BYU and I lucked out to have this boy in my ward.  Unfortunately, he was the ONLY boy I didn't talk to!  I remember walking out the glass doors of my Deseret Towers dorms and seeing that red head playing pool in the lobby.  I thought to myself, man I wish I had gotten to know that guy.  But it was too late as he was quickly leaving on his church mission to Tennessee (my home!).

So two years passed and I had an incredible college experience.  And... luckily I had memorized everyone's name in the freshman ward directory so I recognized this red head when we ran into each other ... me on my way to the computer lab and him on his way to the gym.  Typical.  And on a cute side note, the exact place where his grandparents met - the Smith Field House.

We ran into each other a few times and I conveniently needed a ride to my brother's in Bountiful and found out Steve's family lives near there.  So, I found many reasons why I needed to visit that sweet brother :) which meant we were trapped in a car together for hours... no dates, no awkwardness, and yes... no dates.  For a long time.  I couldn't quite figure out if he was ever going to ask me out.  He did come over to fix my bike :), to pick up my roommate's dying fish, to give me rides, but I finally challenged him to a taco eating contest.  He ate 10.  I ate 2.

One weekend I was in the middle of a "girls' night" - ice cream, chick flick and all when Steve left a message that the fish "missed me" and was wondering if I had some time to see them! So we hopped on our bikes and met in the middle at some point finding ourselves at the local elementary school climbing these trees and eventually playing football and dancing on the school rooftop!

 One day while riding my bike down a steep hill south of campus, a girl came out of nowhere!  I swirved and barely missed taking her out and instead skidded my face all down the pavement.  My first thought was Am I alive?  Then my next thought was "Call Steve."  So I hobbled home and Steve rushed me to the doctors.  He was so overly concerned - it was cute.  He even took me out for ice cream and bought me a bunch of groceries.  That week I was homebound and Steve came to visit me everyday... with PB & Js (haha, that was a great prelude to the food he eats), Jamba Juice, and just making me laugh.  But oh it hurt to laugh.

 I landed a job at BYU's Center for Service so we found ourselves doing a LOT of service.  We didn't have money and I just loved watching that boy help others.  I thought Wow, he's sure going to be a good daddy someday...

Plus, he was super good looking...

And I knew that if he could tell me he loved me through Blokus, then he'd be an amazing husband too :)

So we dated a year, and then I decided I wanted to go on a semester abroad to Jerusalem (which Steve totally supported, even though that was the hardest day of my life to say goodbye).  We got married, and I did discover what an incredible husband and daddy I had chosen for our family.  I love Steve for so many reasons, but I think my favorite thing is watching him play with our kids and seeing how they adore each other.  


I grabbed the video camera last night as the kids were super excited that Daddy was coming home :).  And whew, I was happy too :).  I love you babe.  Thanks for being my bestest friend and for being the kids' best friend too.  Happy love day!

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