Friday, September 30, 2016

TEN Months

Leah is TEN months old!
You can't tell from that sweet, serious face, but this month has been one filled with mostly other kinds of looks from our Leah.  This would be a more accurate representation of what month ten looked like:

Leah, you are a social girl with a lot of personality! 

It's so fun watching it all emerge little by little as time goes on and you grow.

Often when I'm having a conversation with one of my mommy friends you immediately lean for them to hold you.  Oh my, do they love that! You simply love people, especially those doting brothers. 
 Wherever they are you want to be too.  And now that you're crawling like a champ, following them around is a breeze.
Wherever they move to you quickly follow.
Those brothers are becoming used to little tugs on their legs as you try to get in on the action or just remind them that you're there to 'play' too.
 You particularly love when they play the copy cat game with you.  You make a squeal and they do their best to copy it.  The back and forth between all of you usually results in the giggles from all of us. 
You started the month out just on your knees.  But that quickly changed to standing and tentatively walking while holding on to things.
 I had forgotten what it's like to be making a meal and feel strong, little fingers gripping on to the back of my legs while you use me for support to stand.  I just love this age.  So much movement, so much personality, and oh, so much cuteness! (And both Dad and I think you actually look like a Hall in this picture.)
 You were squealing with excitement and so proud of yourself when you stood up in your crib for the first time.

 You are still a pretty terrible sleeper!  

Naps are good for the most part, but night time is not a favorite for either of us right now.

The good news is you wake up happy as can be in the morning.
Seriously, you are pure sunshine and can't wait to greet the world and your family when the morning arrives. 

You love to eat!  And you seem to think that using your hair as a napkin is effective and an easy way to get clean.  You are an easy to please eater and gobble up just about anything we put in front of you.  Fingers crossed that it stays that way!

Mealtime or anytime you are the queen of silly faces right now!

You are your daddy's girl.  Almost every time he comes home now you say in a whispered voice, "Hi Da da." Your legs kick and your chubby hands open and close with excitement when you see him.  And sometimes you just stare at him as he holds you.  I wish I knew what you were thinking.  
It's so fun that you're beginning to talk.  We hear 'ma ma ma,' and 'bup' or 'pup' (up) all the time.  You also say 'ball' when we play with one. 
The swings are your happy place, but really, just about anywhere is these days.

As long as it involves being around people you seem to be completely content.  You are a girl who is in and out of a car seat a LOT as we run errands and pick up or drop off your brothers.  I've tried to not count all of the ins and outs you experience because some days its ridiculous.  Thanks for handling that so well most of the time.  We love you sunshine girl!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

August, Part 2

I forgot about half of my 'bits' pictures for August.  It's a pretty accurate metaphor for life right now: I'm really good about forgetting or just not getting to half of a LOT of things lately.  Keep trying and carry on, right?!

I try to pack in errands when Noah is at school so there's only two kids in tow.  Our visit to the outlets took a little longer as Luke discovered they had installed new cars there.

 It was just too cute seeing Luke strike up a conversation with Cat.  He thought having a passenger was pretty cool.

It's me and three kids during sacrament meeting on Sundays while Nate serves in the bishopric. Noah and Luke try so hard to be reverent and good while I keep Leah occupied.  I loved looking over and seeing my two lefties writing and drawing in their Sunday notebooks.

 Luke riding a two-wheeler meant Noah needed a bike upgrade.  It took just a little adjusting to go from a 16-inch to a 20-inch frame, but he's got it down and still riding like a pro.
And, oh, I love where we live and that these kind of outings happen all the time.

We joined Brennan at a splash pad by his house to celebrate his 5th birthday

Leah is still figuring out moving her body and balance, so this was a pretty good spot to end up in after being wobbly.

 I took Luke (and Leah) on a lunch date to soften the blow of Noah going to a play date that Luke really wanted to be a part of.
 This sweet boy.  He broke every one of his fries in half and shared them with me. How could I say no?

 Luke loves going to the bathroom when we're waiting to pick up Noah.  He things having sinks and toilets just his size is really cool.  And I think he looks way too grown up in this picture.

 Not her cutest picture right?  And what is the cause for such drama?  Nothing like a pacifier caught in between the crib bumper and railing to ruin a girl's day.
 I've said it before, but we really do go through amazing amounts of paper and scotch tape around here.  No problem with that! Noah decided to create a computer, complete with monitor, keyboard (even a 10-key!), and I especially love that he attached a mouse to it.

These kids jump at the chance to go get the oil changed.  Me not so much, but thanks Honda for the free snacks, Disney Junior on t.v. and a relatively speedy service.  If you're going to take three kids with you, this is the way to go.

Just a little rock climbing on our walk home from dropping off Noah at school.  Luke was particularly spicy that morning, but it all seemed to get worked out after some time outside running and climbing.

Friday, September 9, 2016

August's Bits

While Noah was experiencing his first day of school Luke and I baked. 
It was quite perfect: I wanted to start the tradition of cookies and milk after the first day of school and Luke loves to bake in the kitchen.  He is almost always by my side when food is being prepared, especially if it's cookies.

We squeezed in a few games of Uno between our Back to School Feast and dessert.

I needed to go to the doctor on the second day of school.  So when I called at 8 and they said I could come at 8:15 I flew out the door and was immensely grateful that it was a morning when Nate could go into work a little late.  As I was waiting Nate texted this picture.  Noah dropped off at school, Leah in the stroller and our new bike rider doing his thing in the court.  It's funny how a simple picture can bring on feelings of gratitude for so many things.

 It was completely unintentional but we couldn't pass up a picture of these twinners in their red mountain bike shirts and grey shorts.
 I lost my wedding rings for three days.  I knew they were in the house, but the WHERE part was a mystery.  Oh, I was sick about it!  Yes they are insured, but it was just horrible losing something that is a symbol of the best decision you've ever made!  Luke saved the day and found them -- in a cookbook of all places.  I have since raised my right hand and sworn that those rings will always be in one, defined spot in the house.
Both boys are playing soccer!  That's a blog post of it's own sometime, but we loved having Brennan and Brielle there at Luke's first game to cheer him on!

We did some back to school shopping for Noah.  He picked out his first pair of Nike's and instantly felt faster.
 We followed up the shoe shopping with lunch at Firehouse Subs, one of the boys favorite spots for eating out.
We were supposed to be riding bikes to the park, but it unexpectedly turned into riding bikes through the water feature at the park.  Suddenly shoes, socks and shirts were off and the boys were soaked and happy!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago today when he asked me to marry him I responded with, "Seriously?!" 
But following that up with a definitive "YES!!!" will forever be the best decision of my life.

Thinking back, that was such a magical summer.  Nate headed off to Alaska with Andy in June and shortly after that I resumed my summertime humanitarian work in Zambia. 

We were single, but not quite as single as we'd been at other stages of our twenties. And even though it hadn't been talked about much we both knew that our lives were beginning to merge together with the intent of it being forever.

My time in Africa was a lot longer than Nate's trip to Alaska.  We temporarily invested in expensive phone bills and pricey text messages sent back and forth while I was away.

It was only a matter of weeks after I got home that we quietly and excitedly decided that life together was exactly what we wanted.  The ring took a while, but planning was happening and a date was set.

Nate had been so sneaky and faked me out with proposals a few times so even though we were driving to Lake Tahoe for dinner, I really had no idea that September 1st was the night he'd ask.  He had planned for us to be on the shore at sunset.  Everything about the place and the moment was beautiful.  And yet, I still had no idea what was about to happen.  We talked for a while and at some point he said, "Will you do something for me?"

Well, of course!  What did he need?  In that naive split second of thinking I was ready to jump in and help with whatever he was about to ask for.

But after just a little pause he asked.

Will you marry me?

And every day since then I've been so glad that he did.