9.22.2014

My kids are growing so fast.  I know that when I was younger I always heard that time would speed up the older you got.  Being in the throws of young motherhood is sometimes a blur for me.  It's filled with all sorts of mundane tasks...mealtimes, diapers, toddler breakdowns, naptimes...rinse repeat.  Sometimes I wish the clothes didn't have to be clean and that we never had to eat so I could sit back and take in the view of my little ones growing. Or better yet climb into an indistinguishable mound of bodies with them and giggle on the living room floor until it was bed time without a thought of to do's.

I love them both fiercely.  I can't put in to words how Avett makes me feel when he spots me from across the room and a smile displaying his gappy toothed grin spreads across his face and he walks over and fumbles to me and forces his body straight in to mine from a standing position with the most innocent trust that I'll always catch him.  We hug for the grand total of 2 seconds if I'm lucky and then he squirms to get loose because everything must be explored.  He's just starting to babble nonsense and when he does John and I look at each other as if it's the best inside joke we share and then we laugh about it.

Evaleigh gets smarter everyday.  She will correct me if I'm wrong and will say things that I had no clue she even knew.  She loves to make us laugh and the other day at the dinner table she called me a "plate of cookies" and told everyone to eat me up.  She is getting more and more beautiful and is finally getting some hair to speak of, it's a big deal for us. 

Kids are just really really fun.  A lot of work and a lot of messes.  But all around just pretty fantastic little people to share your life with, even when it's a blur.






9.19.2014

breaking the radio silence for an update

It's been quite a while since I've had time to blog. Life is been very busy lately for me and for John. Over a month ago I received an assignment at my church to be an early morning seminary teacher. So each day during the week I wake up at 5 o'clock and I am at the church by 6am to teach a group of 19 teenagers about the gospel of Jesus Christ for an hour before they head off to school.  By the time I get home the children are most likely still sleeping so they never even know their mama has been gone.  It has been such an incredible experience for me. I am loving immersing myself in gospel study and learning how to better listen to the spirit and how to improve my ability to teach and express gospel truths and my testimony to them.   I love all of those students so much. I find myself praying for them and worrying about them more than I do my own children sometimes.  I really love this opportunity to learn from them and to spend our mornings feeling the spirit and talking about the gospel together.

John is staying very busy going to school full-time at the University of Georgia finishing up his degree and his masters of accounting. He also works and stays very busy with Apple.  He loves his job and every time he finishes work he comes upstairs with a huge smile on his face and tells me how much he loves his job.  I'm so grateful he is able to have a job that makes him happy and to work from home now.  Our schedules are very crazy but we get to see him in between when he come home from classes and work breaks.   Most days I feel like we get to say hello and goodbye and squeeze and a kiss here and there.  When we finally do have some time together as a family we are trying to make the most of it by playing and wrestling with our kids on the floor and making them laugh and watching them grow and learn.

At the beginning of this year we both made personal goals to try and raise the bar in our lives and do things that had more meaning and substance. I believe the Lord heard our goals and prayers and has trusted us with a lot of responsibility and new things to do in our lives. Although we are busy we are very happy and very blessed.

This week I had the chance to go into Atlanta to Atlantic Station for a sneak peek screening of the new film produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called Meet the Mormons.  This film features the stories of six different people from all over the world who are members of the LDS faith. Each story is unique and drew me in and I fell in love with these people as they shared details of their lives.  It is a must see. It is emotional, powerful, inspiring, moving, and charming. You simply can't walk out of that theater without either tears in your eyes or a smile on your face...and I had both.  I got to take one of my seminary students with me and I loved sharing that experience with her.  Afterward we were interviewed on our thoughts about the film. 

It was such an incredible film from the music and the stories shared to the filming and aesthetics.   I honestly couldn't pick which story was the most moving to me or my most favorite. I suggest this film to everyone.  It shows a lot about the diversity of the members of the Mormon faith. It is a great film for anyone whether Mormon or not.  One of the main features in the film is a man named Jermaine Sullivan.  My husband served with him as his executive secretary in the Stake Presidency in Atlanta last year.  It was incredible to see such a humble and simple yet powerful and kind family.  The way that his wife gracefully handles their three spirited boys while her husband goes about the Lords work is such an inspiring example of the kind of simple yet rewarding sacrifices we can make.  It is not overly religious however it is very inspiring and spiritual.  I will undoubtedly be seeing it again when it officially hits theaters October 10th!  There will be two theaters in Georgia that will be showing it. 
















6.20.2014

nothing like the first




Yesterday Evaleigh took an usually early nap.  By 4pm when her brother was on his 3rd nap she requested another one too.  So up to her room we went with choclate milk in hand and her favorite toy for the day, one of my old cabbage patch dolls.  She asked me to sit in the chair while she laid down and I held her hand through the bed railings.  After a while she looked back up at me with a huge smile on her face and I knew nap number two was not going to happen.

So I just climbed straight in to that toddler bed with her.  She was so excited to have me in there she scooted right over to share her blanket and pillow.  She started talking a mile a minute.  I love to hear the things that come out of her mouth.  "How is your day going?"  "Will you help me put my baby bunny to sleep?" "Do you see my hands?"  And then feeding me imaginary apples.  

We lay there in that tiny space all crammed up together, our bodies intertwined, chatting, giggling, and wiggling. For a moment I could remember what it felt like to have her little growing body inside of mine.  Her movements now even feel familiar to how they were then.  

About a week ago she and I were taking a shower together upstairs.  My mind raced back to when I was pregant with her.  I was still pretty early on, maybe 16 weeks or so.  I was standing in that same shower proudly letting the water run over my very small pregnant belly and it was the first time I remember feeling a distinct connection with her.  Then in that present moment to have her little two and a half year old body at my feet was such an interesting measure of time.  It was like I blinked and there we were.  

Lately I've read stories or come across women who have lost children.   I can't fathom the pain of it.  As I was curled up in the bed with Evaleigh yesterday I reveled in the bumps and knocks and hits my body would take.  To loose a child, I imagine my body would feel like it does after you've been in the ocean all day, when you go to bed at night your body still holds the memory of those ocean waves rolling over you.  I would crave those hits and jabs and hugs and tuggings and pullings.  My body has grown accustomed to their's.  I know my body would remember it.

Yesterday I was reminded that there is nothing like your first child.  I loved laying there with just her.  But there is also nothing like a second child.  And someday there will be nothing like a third or any that come after.

6.16.2014

having babies together

(They lined themselves up like this on their own...in birth order.)

Having babies with my sister is the best.  She and I have always been close but bringing our babies in to the world together has taken sisterhood to a whole new level.  Evaleigh and Parker are 3 months a part and Avett and Kate are 3 weeks and 3 days a part to the minute.  
3:23pm: how did we do that? 
I love being able to talk to her about teething and attitudes and sleep schedules.  Going through this stage of life while she is doing it too is pretty special.

At this point we think it would be weird to be pregnant without each other, so babies # 3 will probably take some strategic planning.  

We're so grateful that our husbands are close.  Sometimes she and I worry they are a little too close, perhaps they'll run off to Mexico together someday.  

It's a really cool thing when your family turns out to be your best friends.



6.14.2014

happy fathers day

Happy Father's Day darling. Thank you for being a really fantastic dad to our babies.  You make doing this parent thing a lot of fun.  You make the hard moments fun moments.  You have a way of melting the stress in the room and getting us all to smile again.  Thank you for having patience when mine is wearing thin.  Thank you for changing diapers, cleaning messes, and swooping in at the end of the night and being the closer when I don't have much left to give.  

I love watching you let the kids climb all over you and you throwing them up in the air.  You get smiles and giggles that I never could.  I love seeing how much the children love you and how excited they are when you come home for the day.  Thank you for always doing naptime with Evie when you are home.  She always says your name when I have to do it by my self, she loves you so much.  Thank you for working so hard for us and going to school, I know your schedule is crazy and you've never complain once.  I love hearing you sing her to sleep over the monitor and you are so sweet to sing, "just one more song" when she asks...and she always asks.  I love hearing you make up improv songs about princess castles and birdie feather.  I love that walking in on you and Evie at bedtime laying in the floor looking up at 'the magic'. Thank you for always taking the time to realize there is a special moment happening and calling me over to experience it with you.

You're just the best and we are so lucky you belong to us.  Happy Fathers Day.

Here are some of my favorite moments of you as a father so far!
































6.13.2014

where I'm spending the whole summer


About a month and a half ago I won a giveaway from Madera Co Wood Designs.  My dear friend Belen's fantastic South African boyfriend has a unique new business.  He makes gorgeous furniture out of wooden palettes.  His pieces are custom stained how ever you'd like to perfection.

While trying to choose what we would like I came across a picture of a wood palette swing and sent it to him to see what he thought about it.  Within a matter of minutes he was writing back with excitement and loved the idea of that project.  He drew up a sketch of how he would improve upon that design and was so eager to get it done and make it beautiful.  I was so impressed with his excitement and dedication to his work.  In 10 days from start to finish I had a beautiful new work of art to use in my yard.

The original idea was just a palette swing but he came up with the idea of doubling it as use for a hanging table.  He stained a dark 'm' on the top in a typewriter font.   I just fell in love with it when I saw it and I couldn't wait to get it up. 

Evaleigh loved it too.  She was swinging standing up, sitting down, on her back, on her belly, and all sorts of ways.  She laid down for a rest on it and said, "Mama, I love my new swing."





I can't wait to use this new piece all summer and well in to fall! 

Go 'like' him on his Facebook Page to keep up with his work and for future news, giveaways, and posts!

You can contact him for custom pieces at: Africanidea@gmail.com

6.11.2014

bucket list


Last Thursday while at the Songs of Water concert I was so moved by the music that I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.  There are two things I am certain I want to do and that is to stay close to The Lord and close to my family no matter what.  Other than that these are a few things that I'd love to spend the time in my life doing.  Bucket lists are a pretty personal thing but here is mine for the sake of posterity maybe finding it one day or an older version of myself looking back to see what I actually ended up doing.

Take a calligraphy class
Learn to play cello
Learn how to make a really delicious cheese from scratch
Take a floral design class
Start a Childrenhelp Georgia chapter
Become respit certified for foster kids
Compete in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions before I'm too old, just to hear what they have to say.
Travel to Greece
Travel to Israel
Travel to Italy 
Go to all of the LDS temples in the world.  28 down only 114 to go if they quit building them ;)
Spend two weeks in Nauvoo one summer as a family cast in the pageant
Write and record a gospel album with my husband
Go to every John Mayer, James Taylor, and Avett Brothers concert I can.
Read everything I can about the gospel of Jesus Christ
Learn to speak German Spanish Hebrew and Italian
Travel to the Sacred Grove
Perform opera and broadway again after all of the kids get in to school
Start a music school
Start a summer music camp for kids
Lactation consultant
Doula
Work with children in other countries
Start/fund an orphan home in another country
Go back to school for a masters degree in voice or vocal ped
Adopt a child/children
Serve a mission with John when we are old and gray

After showing John this list he said, "Well that's doable."  Glad I'll get to check a few of these off my list with him by my side.
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