Tag Archives: Family

This was a big one

The thing that hit me hardest about this birthday, was the reminder that she is learning she is a girl who will one day be a woman. She is exploring femininity and what a lost skill and art being feminine is. She swished her hips to make her dress make sound not because she wanted to pretend at being sexy. She did it because there’s nothing girly-er than swishing a new dress while you wear your mom’s pearls. There was a profound lesson here for me. To focus more on being feminine and less on being sexy. Sexy is great and fun but it requires someone else and, therefore, is essentially out of our control. I can be perfectly, beautifully feminine when I’m alone in a room and it’s a gift I can give myself. Its an acknowledgement of my inherent beauty as a woman that is there whether someone is looking at me or not. Hmmm. I need to stash these musings away and really dive in deep…sometime in the next 8 years before she really starts terrifying me.

My Naomi (aka: Naynay, Nays, Yeomi, Naybean, Naynay girl, Nay) turned 8 this year. This is a big deal for a few reasons…It meant she had the chance to choose to be baptized and become a member of our church. We are Mormons or Latter Day Saints (belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and eight is the age when a person is capable of making promises with the Lord and is capable of honoring those promises. She did great and it was so cool to experience this with her. It’s a first step in a life long journey.

Grateful for this stud who is an amazing father to my children. Can I say how much I love that he gets really choked up sharing spiritual moments with his kids? Seriously one of my favorite things about this man is that he cries.

Lots of support from family and friends made this day memorable for her, and totally made my mom heart happy. Also made me happy that her taste in baptism dresses was within my sewing skill level and that she was thrilled with the end result.

Next reason this was a big birthday…She got her ears pierced! I went back and forth but ultimately opted for a tattoo parlor with a professional pierce-er. We were both very pleased with the experience. She was a champ. So brave. She calmly sat with her nervousness and quietly dealt with it. She held my hand and then bounced out of there like it was nothing. Also, luckily, she takes the daily upkeep and maintenance very seriously and has attended to that with much more attention than other areas of personal hygiene ([cough]brushingteeth[cough]).

The trend lately is for the kids to design and decorate their own cakes. This more than anything makes me want to wail, “My babies are growing up!” It wasn’t the ear piercing or leaving cub scouts that made me choke up…no. It was the passing of the cake making baton. I’m just not ready for that!!!

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It was a friend birthday party year and after suggestions of a slumber party, fancy dinner at a restaurant, epic barbie play date, star wars…she settled on picking up friends and going to McDonald’s. Then we went to a park for cake, ice cream and presents. It’s like my monkeys sense when I need things to be easy and they magically run with that. They must love me or something. It actually was really cool in it’s simplicity and all involved said it was the best night ever. There’s another lesson here, I just know it.

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My mom was in town for the baptism so we took some family pictures to really round out our summer season. Can’t wait to update our gallery wall and my children can relax their sore-from-smiling cheeks until Christmas. Next blog post is an huge (and long over due) farm update, with a very exciting announcement.

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Salt Lake City

Traveling with small children is, for me, exhausting for a very weird reason. It’s not the mommy yoga that happens when I climb over seats to wedge myself into very small spaces in order to dislocate my arm to hold the bottle just right for a screaming baby. It’s not the constant  mediating between two kids who want the same book, the same toy, and the exact same air. It’s exhausting because I can’t plan on much of anything. Either they will be up all night because the hotel room is novel, or they will crash hard. They will either love the car and do great entertaining themselves…or not. I’m happy to report however that we survived the littlest girl’s first real road trip and it wasn’t even as bad as I thought it would be.

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We stopped in Cedar City for an early lunch at a great hole-in-the-wall burger joint. But after all the car munchies no one was hungry so we headed over to a park to burn some energy. We NEED one of these in our front yard! It spins and you can run and jump on it or push it with your feet. Brilliant.

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Little Little girl’s new thing is going down slides head first. These slides were a mite too steep though so she mostly just sat and watched everyone else. The outfit she is wearing is my favorite for her…it’s perfect. Baby girl also just had fun watching the world.

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The rest of the drive was fine and we checked in before heading to the true happiest place on earth, Ikea. We met up with Aunt Amy, cousin Gus and Grandpa to go meander. However, I did have a list of stuff that I had to get so it was meandering with a purpose.

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The next day was Sunday and we got to go to church with Neil’s older brother’s family. we also got to see some great aunts and all sorts of cousins. It was great and I’m so glad we got a chance to take this quick trip. After lunch we were back on the road (animals do have to eat after all, and I don’t think our neighbors would have appreciated cranky goats two mornings in a row. A cranky goat is a loud goat.) That sunset is why I can never move out of the desert. I love huge skies that look like that on a regular basis.

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For all of you snobby foodie people that hate McDonalds, you obviously have never traveled with small children. McDonalds may be horribly unhealthy and embody all that is wrong with the American food system, but dang it, they have perfected the playplace! And yes that is an air hockey table. It was awesome.

It’s interesting when you get married…the whole joining another family thing. When we first got married, I thought my in-laws were so different from my own family and that it would be such a long adjustment process. I’ve since learned that my sister in law shares my penchant for all things fantasy and dragon, my brothers in law both make me laugh a lot…in a good way. My new cousins are people that I would love to just go get a smoothie with  and my mother-in-law’s siblings (the ones I’ve met) are so accepting and kind (but have these great, almost snarky senses of humor). And I feel as “at home” with my mom and dad in law as I do with my own various sets of parents. It’s been an adjustment for sure, but much shorter and much more rewarding than I had expected. It’s good to be wrong sometimes.

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#4 and Happy Christmas

Christmas this year was just lovely. For the first time, since I’ve been the Grand Maven of Christmas (at least as far as my family is concerned) I came close to that elusive Peace that everyone talks about this time of year. Christmas Eve (probably my favorite part of the whole deal…Thanks Mom!) was perfect. Peaceful and natural, it didn’t feel like a pageant or a to-do list like it has some years. Well, and I got to make my Mom and Grandmas’ mouths hang open for a good solid minute when I announced that Baby #4 is on the way, but here we go:

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The elves did well this year! And afterwards we got to listen to our traditional reading of “The Night Before Christmas” compliments of my little sisters. Who are never allowed to leave the city, ever.

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But before we got to the poem…I came down in my own new jammies with this tag on my belly that said “Do Not Open until August 2013.” It was so awesome to watch it click for everyone, including Big Brother and Big Sister. They’ve done this before but that didn’t stop them from a celebratory hug and dancing around the room. The consensus is that we want another boy. We’ll take a girl, of course. However, a boy is the order that was placed.

We finished up all the cool things we do every December 24th and headed home to await Santa.

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Look closely. This is the last time my front room will be spiffed up and clean for a good long while. Reading the Christmas Story. Last year I felt like I had failed to make Christmas mean what it was suppose to mean…the focus felt all wrong. This year was better. Definitely better.

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Love the first Christmas where babies actually care about what’s going on!

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Also love that the older kids are old enough to put some thought into presents for each other and us. Little man got me some great earrings and bracelets and Naomi got her brother the one toy he has played with more than any other (weird Lightning McQueen grabber thing).

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Fun story about that stroller: Little girl loves it. But Christmas day, after we had dinner, Layna was trying to put a baby doll into it. That got Neil to wondering if maybe she’d like to push the baby. Oh yes. Yes she did. It was the first time she has walked independently (minus the stroller) ever! IT WAS AWESOME!!! She was so proud of herself and I got video to prove to her therapists that she can do it. I need proof because she has refused to do it since, but still! She is getting there!

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Christmas morning after we finished we headed back to my mom’s to do it all over again. Little little girl just wanted to get down to breakfast and the older ones jumped into paper dolls. I’m so glad I made boy dolls! and to be honest, I’m so glad Naomi likes them as much as she does and has played with them so much. If she didn’t care about them, that would have been a bit soul crushing.

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That would be me, in probably my favorite present this year. My mom made me an apron with my Angry Dwarf on the front. So GREAT! And this would be my Grandpa reading my daughter an Angelina Ballerina book, in probably my favorite picture this year.

I hope your Christmas was beautiful and that you found some measure of that Peace stuff everyone is always talking about. And if not…meh. Go see Les Miserables or The Hobbit. It will at least give you something to sing along to until you find it.

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