Thursday, June 22, 2017

Miles's 8th Birthday (Catch Up Post)

Miles surprises me more and more every passing year. Sensitive and passionate, determined and bright, he keeps us on our toes and fills our home with excitement.

He woke up the morning of his birthday with the anticipation of a great day, and lucky for him, the day played out in just that way. 

He spent some alone time in the pool (a favorite activity) jumping from the waterfall, doing flips in the water, swimming from one side to another like a dolphin... anything his little heart desired without anyone around to tell him to do it differently. 

Soon, however, Timothy joined him and they played together for just a minute before Miles moved on to bigger and better things.

Like his party with his two best friends, Liam and Hyrum.

He chose laser tag and mini golf, and everyone had a fabulous time under the black lights.

He played a mean game of mini-golf and beat us all by a landslide, as he usually does when sports are at stake.

His two buddies were scared of the laser tag room, so they stayed outside with Eliza and me while the rest of the family went inside and shot each other with lasers.

Later that night we opened all of his gifts, which included a brand new, beautiful baptism suit and a Book of Mormon with his name engraved on the front cover. He was delighted with both.

His siblings wrapped him in love for the whole day, and especially during the evening hours of present-opening. Isn't it so beautiful that giving gifts makes you feel so loving?

Miles requested a Poke-mon cake. So I did my best to comply. I have a new baby, however, so simplicity was a must. The end result was perfect in his eyes and it hardly took me much time at all. Score.

These days are so fleeting. I feel it. I see it. I can't believe how fast they're clipping along. The following picture speaks to me for some reason. It's not the best in terms of lighting or composition, but the movement in it shows life. The life that we're living. Smiles and singing, distraction and family-togetherness.

Oh how we love our Miles!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Girls Night (Catch Up Post)

Have I ever told you about our girls' nights? 

The five of us celebrate each other's birthdays with a themed night of crazy fun. This time it was Cara's birthday, so the other four of us got together, picked a theme (superheros), picked a night, and let Cara's husband know that we would be kidnapping Cara for the evening. 

Usually we take the birthday girl out for dinner, but with all of the other activities we had planned for this night we needed to pack a dinner to take with us to eat in the car. We did our best to stay with our theme.

We picked the outfits (I always need to borrow items because my wardrobe is so small), kidnapped Cara, and then we were off to the superhero museum. When we got there, we realized that there is a difference between 'Marvel' superheros and 'DC' superheros. The museum was all about Marvel superheros and we were dressed as DC superheros... believe me when I say that people noticed.

But we didn't let that stop our fun.

(Our good friend Laurie wasn't able to make it to the first part of the evening, which is why she isn't in these pictures)

Cara fought Hulk,

we laughed at our creepy eyes,

tried to pull the sword from the stone (or whatever the equivalent Marvel terminology is):

rode a motorcycle,

and learned all about superheros.

These women are such fun to be with!

After the museum we took Cara to the movies where we met up with Laurie and watched Wonder Woman. Such a fun and fantastic night!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Last Day Of School and Swim Meets (Catch Up Post)

And they're off! On the last day of school. And none too early, either... because the heat is rising and soon all those little kids will be asking me to drive them to school. Which... I'd rather not.

I'd much rather keep all those beautiful kids home and throw a giant end of year party!

And, let's be realistic, by giant I mean order a bunch of pizzas and take down the pool fence.

I love the laughter that summer brings!

Also, there are swim meets. Here is McKenzie's first one:

She swam her little heart out and did so well.

Being in swim is hard work - and these kids are awesome. They go to swim practice every day after school and the muscles they are developing in their bodies are beautiful and strong.

We're looking forward to a very wet summer.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eliza's Blessing Day (Catch Up Post)

Every time I look at her I think, "She is so beautiful."

This dress has been hanging in our closets for over thirteen years. I say 'our closets' because at any time you might have found it in my closet, or you might have found it in McKenzie's closet. We both have loved the dress through all of these years. It's a beautiful white, with a hint of blue and every time I see it I think, "That is so beautiful."

McKenzie wore it all those years ago. I remember searching for it in all the department stores when she was tiny (this was before Amazon Prime, you know). Hours and hours were spent in this labor of love and when I saw this dress, I knew. We had so little money, but this was special, and we had enough. 

As Eliza's blessing day was approaching I asked McKenzie if she wanted me to find Eliza her own blessing dress. And with a small smile and a shake of her head, McKenzie said, "No, I'd like it if she wore this one."

We even had the little headband I had bought with the dress all those years ago. 

And Eliza wore them all so beautifully. Of course, the day was not about the dress. Nor was it about the headband. It wasn't even about the bond between sisters that the dress symbolized to me. It was about God. It was about Eliza. It was about family and promises and hope for a bright and challenging future. (Because aren't all futures about challenges?)

This little girl has been born into a family absolutely full of love. And absolutely full of God. Which, might even be a bit redundant, don't you think?

Here's to our bright and challenging future full of love, full of God, full of each other.