Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whobody

Whobody changes their clothes 8 times per day (no exaggeration)

Whobody only wear princess dresses

Whobody ran away with Elijah- unlocking the front door and hiding in the neighbors backyard

Whobody screams as loud as humanly possible when Wells finally slips into slumber

Whobody earned a barbie princess mermaid that swims for potty training

Whobody slipped of the couch during FHE and smacked their head on the coffee table. Blood everywhere.

Whobody loves to read the Berenstein bear books before each nap

Whobody can be found loving there babies, tucking them in and saying sweet things like, "I am right here"

Whobody sits in timeout with folded arms and cross eyes

Whobody stopped a tantrum to enjoy mom telling what she loves about them- one for each finger

Whobody wanted to hear more so she lifted up her toes

Whobody did it back to mom saying things like "I love that you go poop on the potty" and then some nonsense words because she ran out of material

Whobody spends an hour painting perfect watercolor lines and circles

Whobody laughed during conference, "Him say pwivate pwayers!"

Whobody see the babe, sighs and announces, "He miles at me mom!"

Whobody jumps into the trunk each time I put them in the car to buckle

Whobody needs reminders that she can when she says, "I TAN'T!"

Whobody says, "I love you too!" and "You're my best friend!"

Whobody wants to know anybody's name (think construction workers: Juan, Jackson and Mike)

Whobody count to ten and hums "I know Heavenly Father loves Me!"

Whobody request Minnie mouse hair or wants "bums" on her head

Whobody is the perfect package of darling and trouble

Whobody says Whobody?

My favorite little somebody: JANE


(whobody came from a night during scriptures Jane turned to me and said, "Whobody makes you sad?") 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Follow the Prophet

On June 3rd, President Nelson asked the youth of the church to hold a 7 day fast from social media. I began right away. It turned into a longer fast with a family reunion in Wyoming and was a much needed break. My mind was clear and I was grateful to step away for a moment.

As soon as the fast was done, I was shocked how quickly I was hooked again... checking instagram the first moment I woke in the morning and wasting time each night that I could be spending with Brandon, tucking kids in a bit longer or even stopping at lights to see what the latest was. Because of the break I had earlier- I was well aware of the contrast.

And so I decided to be done with it. I asked Heavenly Father that if I could give up this thing I love, could he please give me added blessings in regards to Dylan's tricky situation.

Many blessings have come! I really have had added peace with Dylan. My expectations have changed, and almost always, I am accepting as weekends play out (with or without him) or as phone calls go often unanswered. Generally I feel total peace and happiness with the beautiful life I have been given.

My mind is so much more clear and disconnecting has only allowed be to connect more with my most favorite people. I feel closer to Brandon and have had more time to spend with Ellie, Ruby, Cal, Jane and Wells. Not even so much time- but my mentally energy and space is free with room to really think about what is the most important.

I would have never thought I was comparing myself to others- but I think Satan snuck in there because I now feel so much more gratitude for all that I have... and I have so much! Here I was building a brand new house with darling beautiful healthy kids, and I still wanted. To decorate, to travel, to whatever and whatnot. I feel so grateful now for my blessings.

I have done more real connecting with friends: calling and visiting the people I care about. Finding time to serve and create genuine space for people I care about. I have so many good people in my life- such a huge blessing.

Mostly- peace has come. Clarity. Perspective. Prioritzing. Hardwork. Accomplishment. Balance. It's not perfect- but it is so much better.

This weekend was historic as the Prophet announced 2 hour church and home centered gospel teaching. He invited us to read the Book of Mormon before January, create a temple schedule, study the RS declaration and yes, a 10 days social media fast. That part seems easy peasy now. But I will double my efforts to not waste my time on pinterest. I have recently been on instagram maybe 3 times for less than a minute to look at Jaclyn's new baby or to see my dad's latest painting- but I won't even do that. President Nelson also asked that I write down my thoughts as I am not participating in social media- so here is the so far and if new feelings or experiences develop- I will be sure to follow up!

If the Prophet says it- I will do it. I am so thankful for his guidance and challenges that will keep me on the path- hoping to return to Heavenly Father with my whole family.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Did I ever write these down?

Ruby thought we should leave Wells with mimi for a day out- because she was boobs.

Cal didn't want to play the board game that Ruby was hoping for. Ruby said she would snuggle him that night and without thinking twice Cal said, "Ok fine!" With a giant grin.

I broke the sad news that we would never own a dog. Cal said, "Oh man! I always wanted a chawewe!"

Jane went potty and we called to tell Brandon, "Do you want to give me a high five daddy?" Then she accidentally dropped the phone and she apologized for dropping him.

When I was holding Jane the other day I stood up and she was very concerned, "Don't spill me mommy!"

Cal asked me who was the cutest of all our babies- I said I could never choose- they've all been SO cute. "I wouldn't be hurt if you said Wells mom, because he is the cutest baby ever!"

The Cutest Kids in the Whole Wide world... no really

As soon as little miss muffin rolled from bed, we primped and painted her nails the most sparkly pink. We packed her snacks in her silver purse and headed out for our big date to- the aquarium! Just me and my Jane Bo and our handsome boyfriend Wells. It was simply delightful to have her to myself. She was giddy and grateful and pretty darn easy (minus the meltdown when I opened her hershey bar somewhere between clownfish and seahorses- to think! the nerve I had to not let her do the unveiling). She was so fun to talk to and teach... soaking in all the butterflies, snakes, fishies and birds. We marveled at the spinning, silly penguins and she jumped if a sting ray snuck up on her with just glass between them. She took my hand and asked me to sit and watch the sharks... unloading string cheese, grahm crackers and baby oranges. I loved watch the silhouette of her braided pigtails against the exhibits and when she wanted to take off her shoes for a piggy back ride I had the better judgement to say, "why not?" She braved the suspended rope bridge and she studied bearded dragons eating crickets in amazement. I adore my Jane!

Ellie is known for her amazing abilities to sleep in (hmm... I wonder who she gets that from?!). So imagine my surprise when she was wide awake in her bed early one school morning. (I won't say she was probably equally surprised that I was the parent waking her up)! Apparently she couldn't sleep because she was thinking about Tanner Brockbank. Oh Tanner- we have heard more about you that any crush by a landslide! Ellie just lights up when she talks about him- which she does each day reporting that they look at each other and smile. A lot. And he is the funniest and cutest boy ever seen- not just in the 5th grade. Today she said when she holds Wells, she pretends she's married to Tanner and that's her baby. She's completely giddy and smitten. I adore my Ellie!

4:39pm at our house looks something like this: toys every where, Jane at the easel, Michael Jackson blasting through the house while the kids "do chores," kitchen explosion: bread rising, potatoes mashing, ground turkey browning, cookies cooling, baby screaming- pure chaos. And then the doorbell rings. Panic. But it's Ruby doll- with a special delivery in hand to her "Momther." I'm treated to a scavenger hunt- with requests to write cursive together and she's all set up to give me a foot rub. She's so thoughtful, , very creative and truly funny (like we she asked Brandon if booby traps are when something reaches out, grabs them- and shakes them around! HAAA!). I adore my Ruby!

It is a known fact that Calvin worships his daddy. How can you blame him? As we drove away together last week Cal said, "Dad- I am going to love you forever and ever- every day, every week, every minute, every year- I'll never miss a day of loving you dad! You too mom. But dad- wow. I love you." Cal loves others easily- and truly is the easiest to love. I had the privilege of taking him on his school field trip to the zoo- he was magical. He could have run off with first grade friends- but he was so tickled to have Jane their and would put his arm around her and show her all the animals- talking so soft and sweet. He told me 20 times he loved me and was having a great time. His faces just glows. There are so many details of Cal that are so endearing to me: how often he says, "real fast" with so many stories to tell, how unselfish he is and always telling us/his sisters, "whatever you want- I'm ok!", how loud he talks, his love for baby Wells- changing his bum after school and always wanted to play with him- so aware, wearing dads big bye shirt to bed, his true quickness to forgive. He was SO helpful the other day after FHE and I could tell he was thinking about our lesson... "Mom- am I being a peacemaker?" I adore my Cal!

Baby Wells- every morning we wake up snuggling and I kiss your face while you smile and laugh and grab my face. You are almost 5 months old and it's simply the best little stage... not mobile or making messes, but so so happy and easy to please. You rub your hand back and forth while you nurse, gut laugh at a moment's notice, roll over on your tummy to sleep and make every day a truly special day. You can't see your sweet face without wanting to drop everything and just eat you. Today you were sad in the car unless I help your tiny hand and I wished you could stay small for always. You are so special to me! I adore my Wells!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Summertime

We had quite the summer- filled with ups and downs and all arounds. But mostly- I feel the peace of heaven filling my heart and a confidence that god truly is aware of us through it all.

In one short week our prayers began with blessing the Wertz family- that their cabin would be safe from fire. That same week we began praying for dear Aunt Barb- who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been in every prayer and we love her so much. She is full of service and just so beautiful. I truly special person.

And still hard news more that same week: Grandpa Craig left for Boise. I have felt many emotions- including confusion, sadness, loss, protectiveness, disappointment and heart break- but my overriding feeling really has been peace. I have felt grateful for the loving family I have - who swarms around Lorna and is so constant and true.

One day, she was doing cooking class for the kids (sidenote: she is super woman! Going through such a major life change and balancing running Crumbl- and she hosts cooking class!). Just a few days prior Craig had packed up his things- leaving holes throughout the home of where his belongings once were. While Lorna taught, I felt overwhelmed with love while Jake moved the lawn, cousins were kissing babies, dig rearranged furniture and the new/old grandfather clock, miss and I worked on fixing collages, Jared reorganized the garage, nisha helped with dishes... everyone who was there pitched in. It was really quite a happy day. This is a family who stands by each other- who serve, love and protect.

I only want the best for Craig too- I love him and the time and love He gave to my kids for 12 years. I am thankful for his kind and listening ear to me through the years and the sacrifices he made to be with us and away from many of his kids.  I think my situation with Dylan really blessed me with this trial. It taught me that people make hard choices when they are hurting. I think Craig is really hurting- and while I do not love the choice he made- I feel compassion for him. I am thankful to be able to be filled with so much love- even in a tricky situation.

These changes for Lorna have lead to what I believe to be one of my greatest blessings: Lorna will be building right next door to us! What a dream. She is the perfect person to have on our team as we raise our kids- it's simply wonderful. I could not love her more. She is a faithful, positive, wonderful example to me. Truly one of my dearest friends. I hope to be able to repay her for all the love she has given us!

Also completely, life changing, totally wonderful: Jenilyn and John are building next to us also. Isn't Heavenly Father so good? Trusted, favorites friends so close? He knows us so well- and exactly what we need. I could not ask for a better situation. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

When our lot fell through with ivory, when the timing wasn't right to live next to the tews, when I felt my world turned upside down in sandy... I should have trusted that God had a better plan. He can't always give me everything I ask for- but he will give me the greatest blessings I could ever need- better than what I could plan. I pray to trust him. I pray to stop making plans for myself and start asking what's next for us? What is thy will?

I can start with being more prayerful- spending more time in my scriptures- seeking personal revelation. And I know- that leads to great things. If that's my one take away from our summer... I'm thankful for life lessons learned.

(a few more summer tidbits:

Ruby Prayers

Ruby Prayers are the best prayers. They are also the longest, most sincere, prayers. I love to hear her sweet thoughts...

Thank you for grass and couches. Thank you for teeth and school... and on and on with gratitudes.
Pray for Jared with his project
Please bless aunt barb to get better.
Please bless grandma and grandpa to have hope and peace.
Please bless the Seely's to have hope and peace.
Please bless Dylan to have hope and peace.
Please bless Jane and Wells to get along (that wells... always stirring up trouble ;)
Please bless the gospel will go to all the world (just as the Prophet asked of us to pray)
Please bless that I will go on a mission and get married in the temple.

She is full of sweetness and love.

Today at church a friend went on about Ruby and what a bright light she is.

It's true- she really is. I see her making thoughtful choices each day, or putting her arm around Jane and trying to teach with so much love. I see her make the biggest fuss over Wells and she's always giving me hugs and kisses.

I love you Ruby- and I pray that you will always feel that.

xoxox

Friday, September 14, 2018

Today

Wells learned how to roll over- both ways. He laughs so hard just anticipating that I’m about to play with him. Shrieks of delight. He loved seeing himself  in the mirror and holds his small hands together in the cutest of ways. 

Like yesterday- Jane changed her clothes roughly 12 times- landing on her green polka dot swimsuit for a long car ride. She told me I’m a big girl when I went potty in the toilet and requested a high five. 

Dylan is near a giant fire and his Woodland Hills cousins have evacuated to his house. Many prayers for them. 

Ellie came home all smiles when she found out Tanner likes her back. She say that everyone says it’s obvious they like each other because she laughs extra hard at all his Jokes and he can’t stop smiling at her. Brandon was giving her a pep talk in the car about how ice cream is delicious but make sure you try all the flavors. He said how her pass crushes were like vanilla and strawberry - to which she popped in, “well tanner is cookie dough AND cookies and cream (her most favorites) with ALL the toppings!” 

Cal dressed up as a BYU football player for career day. He looked darling. He said that when he’s big like Dylan he wants to be a football player but when he’s “old old old old OLD like dad”’he wants to be a police man. 

Ruby was helping to read the story of Jacob and sherem but could only spit out “Sherman.” This girl just kills me with her funniness- like when she told well, “ so let me get one thing straight- your name is little mister squishington?” She’s just cute. And she makes her bed today and always. 

While the theee middle cutenesses all had playsstes- Brandon spoiled me. We met at the house and saw how awesome the whole inside is painted perfection. Then we drove all the way to Provo to my most favorite fabric store. We got the cutest fabric to recover all pillows he bought me for our new couch. Truly he’s such a good sport to fabric shop and act as thought he completely enjoys it. 

I’m sleeping now in grandma brown room with the cutest baby ever (besides 5 others I know) while bran and the kids sleep in a tent outside. It is simply the life. 

Dani madsen passed away today. I’m so sad for her sweet family who we’ve prayed for over a year now (ruby never misses). She was truly one who spread light wherever she went. Quick to laugh- goodness just radiates from her. Creative, kind and hardworking. Connected to people she cares about. Today I felt extra grateful that I’m still here. I can be my kids mom- I can talk with my husband. I can kiss all these sweet faces and just enjoy every day of life. I’m so thankful for  Dani’s sweet example. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

They're Everywhere

In every room and every corner.
They're snacking on all the peaches and cookies- every last crumb.
They're brushing their teeth in my bathroom and leaving blue glitter spit down the sink.
They do monster hands on the piano and dirty hands on the walls.
Shoes- everywhere. Doll wardrobes- everywhere.
Spaghetti sauce, paperwork, legos, my kids are everywhere

It is rare that no person is touching me, or talking to me.
It is more common that everyone is touching and talking to me at the same time.
They're pulling up my skirt past appropriate at church and nursing most of the day.
The car is swirling with stories of crushes, class play dress rehearsals and tag.
They're crying over chores and stubbed toes and laughing and singing and pounding and drumming.

They're screaming when the baby has just reached peaceful slumber
Or grabbing his lips. Hard. To wake him up.
They're in my bed- twisting and turning and slapping me in the face.
They're missing their homework and missing the toilet.
They're impressively piling mountains of laundry and spraying stinky perfume 37 times-filling the house.

There is always someone who absolutely hates what has been made for dinner.
There is always someone who simply cannot sleep- or will die of thirst or hunger.
They are biting off freshly painted polish and spilling on freshly mopped floors.
They are flooding the hallway with light- scared or needing a few more hours to read.
They are jumping rope and flying helicopters in the house.
They are everywhere.

They're in my every thought-
What to dress them, how to feed them, where to take them, how to love them.
They're forgiving me with each mistake and lighting up when it's just me and them.
They're putting their arm around each other and making each other lunches.
They're picking raspberries on a fall day and full of sunshine to run at the park
They're singing skidamarinky dinky dink and kissing me again and again and again.

They're cheering when the baby learns new tricks and head banging to get a good laugh from him
They're dreaming up life in a new house and telling me I'm good at making new friends.
They're chasing me at the park and trying to shuffle wacky 6 cards- always ready to play.
They're thankful for every outing and doing and devouring after school notes from mom.
They're letting us sleep in on Saturdays mornings and asking about my day
They're praying that others can have peace and hope and grateful for teeth, mountains and Nephi.

They're giggling with a bum change and smacking their lips in satisfaction cookies dough
They're painting masterpieces, composing songs, reorganizing their closets
They're playing school and wrestling with dad and anticipating waffles with berries and cream.
They're impressively piling mountains of books and filling the house with a really great life and really great laughs.

There is always someone to snuggle me.
There is always someone to talk to.
There is always someone who wants to know just where I am.
They're funny, gentle, loving, kind, brilliant, beautiful, brave.
They're Everywhere. And they are mine.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

4 Months and all is Wellington

4 months and I'm just so in love.

You are a doll baby Wells. Almost each night as I pick you up to nurse you (some nights I'm a little out of it)- I say a quick prayer to Heavenly Father, "Thank you for this perfect, darling, wonderful baby- I am so grateful!" I am so thankful God has given me you. You are pure joy. Being the 6th baby has in no way decreased the fact that you are a miracle. If anything- it is more of a miracle how healthy you are- how you grow and learn and the pure truth that you are my sweet boy forever. Last week you could not control your hands- and within the matter a few days, you can reach for a toy and bring it to your mouth. I think it is amazing. This morning you woke up with out crying- just social. Chatting and laughing, cooing and shrieking. You are beyond adorable. You give us the biggest smile and are just so handsome. I wish I could always feel how you snuggle up in your most favorite, jiggle to sleep position. You love to have your head nestled into my neck with your tummy as close to my shoulder as possible, while, with a closed fist, a pat your back and shh shh shh in your ear. That's your combo- and it's almost like magic. We also discovered this week that a good soak in a hot tub will wear you out. Dad was putting on your pjs and you couldn't even keep your eyes open! Yesterday we went shopping with Mimi and you saw yourself in a mirror. You shrieked so load in delight- kicking your legs and grinning. Oh I could just eat you up. You are hands down my drooliest baby- soaked always. Spitting up here and there and everywhere. I think your reflux symptoms are definitely getting better- but you certainly have moments where your tummy doesn't feel so good. You are not a fan of tummy time, but always in the mood for a hot shower or to be talked to and kissed. You get so much of that- it is quite rare you are not being held. I'm so thankful for your older siblings who think you are world's best. They love you and take such a good care of you. With a few exceptions...

I would like to congratulate you on surviving the last 4 months with Jane as your sister. She loves and adores you... almost to death. You have been one tough cookie as she figures out her new place- not as the baby. I promise to never leave you alone with her- as we have discovered that to be a dangerous situation... but, even still, I know she just thinks you are the best. She loves to hold your hand, sing you songs and is constantly excited that you are "miling" at her. She's pretty dang darling and I know someday you will be sweet buddies- just keep holding out!

One look at your little chubby self and it's clear why we are smitten with you. You are the peace amidst the chaos and pure love always. I love you Wellington, and I love that I'm your mommy. I will love you forever!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ernie B.

If you don’t know my grandpa- why you’ve sure missed out
Because knowing? And loving? That’s what he’s all about. 
Let me do you a huge flavor, his cute details I have wrote-
Just a glimpse of the dear life he led is pure JODYTOTE.

If you don’t know my grandpa- he’s the cream of the crop!
And boy will he make you feel that you’re the top of the top
Unless you tie up a game, you can bet that fast mister,
Will declare that was simply like kissing his sister!

If you don’t know my grandpa- then I have no eye dear
How you’d ever know that ping pong teams up nice with root beer
He’d rub you with his whiskers and make each day shine brighter 
And make sure to squash out all the loud barking spiders

If you don’t know my grandpa- that simply is not funny
He’d score nickels per golf win and make all folks feel sunny
He cheered on each person from the saint to the sinner
No ‘xcuse for unkindness- even chicken for dinner. 
And Karen And Paul and Lori and Kerry
Can all attest Grandpa- is really quite hairy

If you don’t know my grandpa- you’ve never laughed hard
Or been dealt a puppy toes oh heckles card
You’ve not witnessed a toilet made into fountain
Or sauntered the bonding trail straight through the mountains

If you don’t know my grandpa- I’d sooner have a boil
With sixteen cool grandkids to love on and spoil 
Or scare in the hot tub, please do close your eyes-
Or you’re in for a speedo- “surprise surprise!” 

If you don’t know my grandpa- Mr. Man you’re in trouble
For each main event he’s right there on the double
All dressed, looking sharp, freshly flowbee-ed a buzzin 
And making a fuss over each every cousin 

If you don’t know my grandpa- I’m sure he’d like you
He’d kick you the dog every time you felt blue 
He’d play you king’s corner or Mexican train 
And he’d let out a whimper with the smallest of pain

He’d never be caught without white socks and shoes
Rising up bright and early while he let’s grandma snooze. 
Good groceries, Um doggy when dinners were done
And you’d want to cheer loud for his each hole in one. 

If you don’t know my grandpa- that sure chaps my hide
You may never hear how he snatched up his sweet bride. 
He proposed through the mail with his love undisputable 
Put a ring on Geneil who was highly swim-suitable
For sixty-three years they we madly in love
(Some thanks to that speedo, fitting just like a glove)

If you do know my grandpa, then you’re just like me
You’ve been fed prime rib dinners and adored endlessly
He’s bragged to his friends that you hung the moon
He’s poured you a sodee and sang you a tune 
Of mares eating oats and lambs eating ivy 
And three little pigs as you slumber at nighty

If you do know my grandpa- he passed every test
To love him I’m lucky-  much more, I am blessed. 
He’s world’s greatest grandpa, and bishop and dad
Called Ernie B, Funpa or even Bropad

To find a soul good as his- chances are zero 
My grandpa’s my best friend- my grandpa’s my hero 
He stayed the course and he fought a good fight
To know him’s to love him … Yeah- that be right

-Hillary Collette  (August 11, 2018)

if you really don't know my grandpa... you will need some definitions and clarification to make sense of this here poem: 

Jodytote: everything is a ok, life is good, swell and happy 
What do you call a dear with no eye? No "eye" dear
Barking spiders: a case of the toots
When you need an excuse for something you don't want to do: I'm having chicken for dinner or I'd sooner have a boil
Puppy toes: club card
"Surprise, Surprise!: the first words grandpa said as a newly called bishop 
Mr. Man: What the pigs said as they bought house supplies (Mr. Man- can I buy myself some bricks?) 
Flowbe: hair clippers attached to a vacuum so the hair cleans up fast 
Kick the Dog: Grandpa kicks a pretend dog in a closet- making barking and whimpering noises
Chap my hide: that really bugs
Swimsuitable: Grandpa asked grandma to send him a picture of her in her swimsuit when they were dating! 
Favorite tune of grandpas: 

if Mares eat oats and does eat oats 
and little lambs eat ivy, 
a kid will eat I've too- wouldn't you?

oh the words sound queer 
and funny to the ear, 
a little bit jumbled and jivy 

but if mares eat oats
and does eat oats
and little lambs eat ivy

You're not lucky, you're blessed: grandpas words of wisdom
Bropad: Grandpa's name in op language
Yeah, that be right & we be cool: favorite phrases


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Happy Campers

5th Annual campout with the Pulhams and Tews... oh the joy! I love these friends so much. They are my forever people. They are the best of the best. Truly. We spent the night at Mutual Dell around the fire, playing capture the flag, burning Jill's 8th grade journal, wishing Cami a happy birthday with a chocolate cake and having wonderful conversations with people who only uplift and edify. Other memories: Late night chat just me and Jill, a total teenager group- fun to watch, Jane rubbing lotion all over the tent and her body, minions for the win, bakers gonna bake bit from cami, rainstorm upon arrival, dylan driving me home... just loving that all my kids were there camping together!

(post edit: at one point Cami said, "Oh hill! your kids just have so much personality!" I was holding Jane and she looked right at Cami and said, "Poop." Sheesh. No shortage of personality here).

3 months

Sweet Wells: sleeping from 9:30-6 and then back to sleep again (dreamy baby). Reflux (not so dreamy). losing the front part of his luscious hair- so darling. smiley and giggly- especially love his little shy smile. coos and seems to always say hi. 6 month clothes- chubster. looks like ellie some days and jane on others... some people even think Cal but mama doesn't see it. scooting around in his bed- close to rolling over. sucks on hands. loves to be sushed when hi tummy hurts. often talks himself to sleep (so sweet). double chins and kissable everythings. I love you baby boy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

You were the cutest

I can picture so well Grandma Jill saying so sincerely, "Oh Hillary- you were the CUTEST little girl."

It rolls through my mind so often as I watch my kids and my heart feels like it float... my little sweethearts are the cutest little people.

I think it when Jane brushes her hair from her face with her hand- trying on every outfit she (and her sisters) own. She stretches her arm out in front of the mirror- making a fancy poss and declaring she is a princess.

I think it when she stumbles into our room and before seeing the baby she mutters: Wellington is smiling at me. She then proceeds to kiss me and snuggle me- so fresh and warm from a nights rest.

I think it when Ruby is so proud to show me she has reorganized the pantry with a lazy susan- just like mimi did. Her blue glasses slip down her nose- and her freckles are perfectly placed.

I think it when Ellie reads and reads. and reads. Books- all day everyday with some time for playing dolls and organizing on the side. I love that she helps me- to cook, to tidy, to load the kids, to wipe faces, to dress, to hold Wells, to hug me.

I think it when Dylan is convincing Jane to wear something other than a tutu. Somehow he manages to put "Frozen" shorts on her small chunky legs that give her powers to freeze her big brother when she touches him. He can only be unfrozen with a kiss.

I think it when Cal tells me he loves me (still) multiple times a day or how everytime I take them somewhere he is the first to say, "Mom, thank you for such a fun day!"

I think it when we lay on Ellie's bed talking about how she's doing and what she needs. She's an open book and just needs a little peace and quiet to really open up. She laughs easy and is simply beautiful.

I think it when Wells give such big shy smiles and when he gets distracted nursing because he just wants to be social. How I loves to smell his little neck and chat with my tiny boy.

I think it when Cal is sitting in the front of primary just glowing as he waits to share the scripture. He grins and waves and makes me feel like I'm practically famous.

I think it when I ask my kids to be really good listeners- and find them, chores complete, car packed, sitting nicely in there buckles (even Jane) as requested. Oh the joy.

I think it when I cry missing Grandpa, and Ellie hugs me right away and cries with me, comforting me and making sure I'm ok. And then wants to hear stories and know all that she can.

I think it as I clean up the basement today- finding traces all over of school teacher Ellie. I know Cal and Ruby have been her students for hours: pretending, learning, singing and loving each other.

I am so thankful I am the mom to the CUTEST little people in the whole wide world. They remind me to be better.  I fall short and they just keep on loving.

Birthday with my Bran

He just gets me.

Furniture shopping in Salt Lake and eating all day long for a birthday celebration. Um. Yes please.

Thank the heavens Miss would watch our kids while we had time just the 3 of us. Wells was the most darling baby (as always) and I love having time with just two of my boys.

Brandon really is the best. I could talk to him for hours upon hours... and I do. And I love it. He listens, he laughs, he always wants to know more. He guides me, comforts me and cheers me on. Not a day goes buy that he doesn't share how much he loves me and how I am his favorite everything.

So 24 solid hours of just him made for a happy birthday. We bought croissants and tarts at the Windy ridge bakery, a Norwegian breakfast at Finn's and dinner and dessert at Cheesecake factory. Died and went to heaven!

And if the food wasn't enough, we found dining chairs for our new house and the next morn I found a brand new Crate and Barrel sectional on KSL for a screaming deal and had the time to get it- kidless. (miss really saved us). We slept soundly in our own bed and then Wells and I took the best bath while he snuggled and slept on me for sometime- he is perfectly delicious.

It was wonderful. Oh and I got some new clothes.

So the moral of this story is: I love Brandon. I am so excited to move into our new house. I love my kids immensely- but appreciate them even more after a smidge of time away. I love time one on one with my babies. And I had the very happiest birthday.

Oh. And food is my thing.

Happy birthday to me. This year has been really peaceful, really quite happy, simple and sweet. I'm so thankful my baby wells is here. This coming year will be one of the best yet- I can feel it. Fresh starts, sweet baby to love on, darling wonderful truly beautiful kids, the best my marriage has ever been and a new home to fill with memories and people we adore.

I have felt overwhelmed with blessing. Yes, the challenges of this summer have not been of short supply- but with them has come so much peace and goodness too. Heavenly Father pours blessings on me that blow me away with how good he is. Lorna coming to be our neighbor? Jenilyn and John just a few doors down? Wow. So much better than I could have planned. I am so grateful.

(post edit: this was a few days before my actual birthday. My day of birth was actually spent potty training Jane, where she made me some undesired presents. But all is well- opposition in all things. The kids made me a movie theatre and we watched Beauty and the Beast. Brandon made me a delicious steak dinner topped off with cake. And the cake my mom brought. And the cookies Lorna brought. And they all know me so well. And lorna had a sleepover. a great day too. minus the poop.)

Birthday Eve

The stars aligned- Wells was asleep. Jane was asleep. The weather was perfection and the night was young... and Cal was in the mood to be my bike ride buddy. He didn't even mention Brandon tag along- his usual bff.

So me and my boy rode off into the sunset. Two houses down he called, "I love you mom!" Oh I love you too sweet Cal. He showed me the way- zipping along the Traverse Mountain trail like a pro. Turn here, look there, wait for how cool. He knew all the tricks from past rides with the family while I stayed home to nurse our new babe. And then I saw it, the overlook atop the free way was really quite as stunning as this sweet 6 year old had built up. We stopped to play lava monster and then took pictures on the picnic table- even kissing ones. He giggled as we ran for the timer and held hands for poses. Then he suggested we boogie for a video that we could put to the music, "I'm on top of the world!"

I have the whole world with you Cal. You have the very best hearty laugh. The shiniest eyes. The most curious little spirit. I was tickled driving home that we'd stop to climb and tree and that when I asked you who gave the best kisses- it was a tie. Dad's for the pokies and mom's for the softest. And as we rode through the sprinklers you just grinned, "Mom, isn't this just the funnest?"

Yes Cal. You are my funnest most lovable adventure.

I love you- love mom.