Friday, December 4, 2015

Thank you kids and good friends who are more organized

I was at the gym when I got a text from my friend,"Is Nora a thank you kid?" Um, what?

I had no idea what she was talking about. But she quickly filled me in on the fact that I was missing an assembly where Nora and other children were being honored for their great behavior. 

And at some point a note came home that I never saw. 

So sweaty and all the way across town, I hopped in my car and rushed over, calling Jeff and letting him know to get over there as fast as possible. We both made it. Just barely. 
I would do anything for my kids. Including showing up in public looking like a sweaty mess. Because she doesn't care what I looked like. She just knows I was there.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A senior

It really isn't possible to describe what it feels like.

You have a baby. A beautiful, red headed little girl who instantly becomes your whole world. 

And you are tired and unsure of yourself as a parent. But you know that if love is the most important ingredient for being a good parent, then you are golden.

And you cannot possibly imagine, as you try to figure out what year she will graduate and that you will be 42 when she does, that the day will come upon you before you are ready. And before you are done hearing her voice every day or before you are ready to not have her right down the hall, she will suddenly be an adult and ready to leave home.

You will find yourself happy for her because it is the natural order of things. But you will find yourself tearing up as she orders her cap and gown. You will cry when you see her senior pictures. You will DARE her to even mention that it's her last Thanksgiving before she leaves on her mission.

She will bring things up about moving out because she needs closure and she needs to know you really will miss her as much as you say you will. But part of her also loves seeing you get emotional and cry because it means that she is that special to you, that important.

Back when you held her in your arms for the first time and through the sleepless nights as she cried, no one could have ever told you that it would be over in a blink. At least not in a way that you would believe it.

But it's true. Believe me. Enjoy every hard moment. Every pair of mismatched socks, every bad dream where they want to crawl into bed with you. Eventually they will stop asking to get in bed with you. Eventually they will not need you to brush their hair or give them a bath. Eventually they will apply to college and plan their life and be ready to be on their own.

We always need our parents. We are always grateful that they are there for us. But it changes and it's supposed to and it is really, really hard. 

So enjoy the fact that the kids need all of our extra money and time and effort. Because one day we will wish with all our hearts for just one more day of it. 

She will sit and apply to her school of choice and be so excited for the next phase of her life and you will just want one more day.

 One more day of her being a tiny little girl who wraps her arms around your neck and doesn't want to let go. Because now it's your turn to never want to let go. 

And she will have to peel me off of her just like I did with her everytime I had to leave the house. I will cry and perhaps wail just like she did. 

The joys and sorrows of parenthood. I wouldn't change it for anything. And I can't, cuz I "get" to do this 5 more times. 


Friday, October 30, 2015

Evening on Sobway I mean Broadway

Kate and Julia performed in the Chamber Choirs annual evening on Broadway. It was amazing. Kate had a senior solo and sang a song from Little Women called Astonishing. She was, it was, amazing and astonishing. Her father and I cried through the whole thing.

 I had listened to her rehearse at home and it was beautiful. And then when she performed it was as if something lit upon her and she sang it/belted it like I've never heard before. It still gives me chills when I think of it.

Then they sang a duet. For Good from Wicked. More crying from me, them and people in the audience. Two sisters, best friends, one getting ready to leave home in the next year. Exactly. This mama could hardly stand it. It was beautiful.

Of course there were other kids there who also did a great job. 

But the highlight for us was our girls. I will never forget it.

Not as long as I live.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trying something new

IJulia decided that this was her year to play a sport. She participated in the triathlon at girls camp this summer and it lit the running and swimming bug for her.

So she ran during the summer and then when school started she joined the swim team.

Her goal was to just improve, beat her own time and do something different. She accomplished all of those things.

We were really proud of her as she shaved seconds off her time, improved her starts and got to know more girls from school. I can't imagine deciding to join the swim team as a junior in high school. It was so adventurous of her. 

My kids inspire me all the time. They have shown me again and again that you don't have to be afraid. The world is it there to enjoy and explore and to have new experiences. 

Some, like swimming, I will have to take their word for it. But we all can find ways to expand our view to include things we have never done before. 

Otherwise what's the point? 

And to illustrate that I give you "I lived" byOne Republic 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The stuntman and the cheerleader

Our local high school cheer leaders do an annual fund raiser by putting on a little cheer camp. Nora has participated before but this was Henry's first time. He was the only boy. Boys are not cheerleaders, they are stuntman. It's an important distinction. 

They are bases, help the cheer leaders do stunts and just there to be muscle and hang out with a lot of cute girls:)

He's there, if you look close. He did not dance and refused to have his picture taken with the high school cheer leaders. But he said he wants to do it again next year. I was surprised because I thought that his refusal to have his picture taken meant he hated it. But I think he really liked being in front of a crowd and hanging out with a bunch of girls. That sounds just like his dad. Hahahahaha! So guess he knows a good thing when he sees it. ;)

Nora LOVED it. She did not stop jumping and bouncing the whole time. I was not a cheer leader. Don't be shocked. I never had anything against the cheer leaders at my school. Many of them were my friends.  I just like giving my kids different options when they are little so that they can figure out what they like on their own. Cheer leader, band, football, cross country, Key Club, it's all great as far as I'm concerned.

Who knows, maybe some day they will be a cheer leader and a stuntman for longer than an evening. Either way, it was totally worth the 30 bucks each just to see them NOT afraid in front of packed bleachers. 

I love my kids. I want them to find joy in what they do. And that will look different for all of them. And isn't that wonderful?

Friday, October 23, 2015


Kate turned 18. Yup. The big and frightening number that you can never imagine when they are born.

The your an adult now, can make your own decisions now, do what you want now so please make good decisions forever,age.

Thankfully she is amazing.

 And she hasn't had cake for her birthday for 6 years. Lemon bars? Yes please!

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful? Yes.
And these two. Best friends since Julia's birth. Always together, the cheese to cracker,chocolate to peanut butter, milk to cookie, combo of a relationship. Totally different while perfectly complimenting the other. 

You can't read it I'm sure but the sign says "Kate you're 18. Welcome to adulthood". It was funny while not being funny if you are me. Adulthood means growing up and leaving home and your sad but happy for you, mama. 

This is a theme lately for me. How do I stop being sad that they are growing up? Is that even possible?

Kate made me a mom. It's so precious, that connection between mom and child. And that first baby makes you realize how small you are and how big the love in your chest is. So big that you feel it might explode sometimes.

I have written a lot about how spectacular Kate is. How kind and full of goodness. How she stands for truth and righteousness every day. How good she is to Jeff and I, so patient and understanding as our practice kid. We seem to have done just fine with her:)

Someday soon Kate will graduate and head out on a mission.

Someday soon Kate will go to college and find the man of her dreams and marry him in the Temple of the Lord.

Someday Kate will be a mother with her own little brood of beautiful babies.
Someday she will help us in our old and eccentric age;)

But for now, she is our little girl still and I will enjoy every minute we have with her for the next year.

Happy birthday dear Kate. We love you always and forever.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

First day of school. Yay and BOO!

Kate is a Senior. Whaaaa! Sob, sniff, choke. :(

Julia my Junior. Ditto to the above.

Charlie-8th grade. HOW?!!!!

Henry 3rd grade and Anne Marie- 7th grade. What the hay man?

And last but not least, my baby who is not a baby, and now in 2nd grade.

You guys I'm telling you, this is the hard part amongst all the amazing parts of being a parent. Time flies for me because I enjoy every minute of their lives. Even the spitting up, up all night, throwing tantrums, hormonal cry fests and sneaking food from the pantry moments. ALL OF IT. So to blink and see how fast it is going is just, well, its just hard. I have 11 years til everyone is gone. And that is NOT ENOUGH TIME!

But its life, and I am trying to accept it, because, what else can I do?

I love my children. I love who they are, who they are becoming. I love their good things and I love the imperfect things. I would do anything for them, including being the weird parents who don't own a t.v. or a xbox. Because I love them.

Heavenly Father knows me. He knows them. And he paired us perfectly. And I am forever grateful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Oh how I love this little man. He was born in the middle of the MBA program at BYU and he made that second year so much better. The first year was really hard for me with 4 little kids, pregnant and Jeff gone all time. But this sweet little angel baby really was exactly what I needed at the time. Heavenly Father knew what he was doing with the timing for sure:)

I cried and cried when this boy started kindergarten. How could I not. Look how cute he was?

Henry loves his siblings. All 5 of them. But he has a really special bond with the two sisters he is sandwiched between. The three of them do everything together. And so far Anne Marie being 12 and in 7th grade hasn't changed that at all. 

This year, as a big 3rd grader, he just wanted Star Wars stuff.

Specifically a KyloRen costume. You know, the new villian in the new Star Wars movie coming out? If you didn't know about it, then you obviously don't live with the uber Star Wars fan like I do who has passed this obsession on to some of his children.

Exhibit A:

It will NEVER cease to amaze me how fast time goes when you are enjoying something. And I enjoy Henry. The fact that he is 9 is something my tender mama heart almost can't comprehend. The fact that any of my children aren't babies anymore is something that just baffles my little brain.

For his cake he did not want frosting. He hates it. So I made strawberry flavored whipped cream. Which you can't really decorate with. So I took every color sprinkle we had in the house and voila,you have his primary colors cake that he was really happy about.

It was soooo good. If I do say so myself.

Henry the darling.
Henry the loveable.
Henry the tender hearted.
Henry the kind and good.
Henry the crazy smart. (I showed him how to swing the axe to chop wood and he said, "Oh, so you have gravity work for you." Yeah.)
Henry the goofy in crazy. When he is really comfortable, boy does the crazy fun come out.
Henry the talented dancer. This kid gets it from his dad. He seriously is going to be an amazing hip hop dancer.
Henry the boy that girls like to chase on the playground. He does not understand why;)
Henry the cuddly one. Except at school now. I volunteer at their school and he informed me he does not want me to hug him at school. *sigh*
Henry the always kind. If Henry gets mad at you or says something mean, well, lets just say you must have deserved it if HE finally got mad.

Henry is an amazing boy. He holds such a warm and sweet spot in all of our hearts. Everyday I am grateful for him and his sweet,calming presence. We need all types in this world for it to function and be an interesting place. We need Henry for his kind perspective, for his ability to be chill, and for his love of showing off when he has an audience:)

We love you Henry. Always and forever.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lincoln City

The beach. Said in Mr. Bean's voice:)

I have to believe that Heaven's beaches will be beyond spectacular. If this is earth's version, then I can only imagine what a Heavenly Beach would look like. Cuz this felt pretty close to Heaven on Earth.

This was just to prove that I was there. That's all.

I found it funny to take a selfie with Kate in it taking a selfie. I'm sure there is some irony in there.

My crazy little man.

6 of my 7 reasons for living. I am so blessed. I really, really am.

Every time we go to the ocean, we ALWAYS say, how can we live here full time? It's a conversation we have no matter what beach and what time of year. Something about it is so soothing and soul renewing.

Instead of being given medicine, doctors just need to prescribe good ocean air, daily walks on the beach, and lots of fruit and vegetables. It would cure everything, I'm sure:)
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