Monday, February 29, 2016

It's a Beautiful Life

This video is from a few months ago when I was in the nausea stage of pregnancy. We weren't ready to tell the kids, so they just thought it was super weird that I would lay on my bed a lot. Sometimes I like to make up silly songs to sing to them.

Back in the fall we had a little marshmallow roast with the kids. Ben wanted to embarrass me and document the best way to make a marshmallow!

For Valentine's Day each year, I like to recreate Ben and my first Valentine's Day (seven years ago!!). Back then we went to what would become one of our favorite restaurants, the Bombay House in Provo. I try to recreate the delicious meal every year for Valentine's Day. We got the kids in on it this year and played Indian music so it felt like we were in the restaurant. They loved it, even Delaney who had just woken up from a short nap.

Delaney is obsessed with Malificent from Sleeping Beauty, and sometimes loves being evil! I caught her doing this little gem and had to film it.

The kids were pretty excited when we found out in December we'd be having a boy.
It was our first time having 3D images of the little guy. My mom was convinced he looked like an alien.

 Here are some pictures I just got of him, at 27 weeks. He's starting to get a little chub on his cheeks and is looking so cute. I'm due May 25th.

I really popped out more quickly with this baby, #4. I feel like the progression of my bump is about a month ahead of where I usually am at this stage (I never get crazy big, I have a long torso and my babies are always in the 6 lb. range). I haven't been super sick. I've been able to continue exercising, which has been great. I'm 23 weeks in this picture. 

We had a Daddy Appreciation Week one week and Cheyenne loved being my little helper. She helped me secretly heart attack Ben's truck, make him some special treats, and make him cards. We had a special FHE where we talked about all the great things Dad does for our family. Cheyenne loved being a part of it all and loves planning things. Such a sweet girl. And we really appreciate our hardworking Daddy!!

Speaking of my little planner, one time she planned us a little tea party. We had bread, bacon bits, oranges, bananas, applesauce, and raspberry lemonade. She's so proud of herself in this picture.

On the first nice warm day Cheyenne took the kids on an "adventure" outside, and they all needed their backpacks, and they packed a picnic lunch. They walked around outside, and had their lunch on some blankets on the porch.

These two are cute little friends. Delaney got dressed to "match the snow" that day.

Delaney loves to take "selfies" with me

Everyday when Daddy comes home for lunch, Ephraim climbs up on his lap and requests a "tractor movie" on Daddy's phone. How can you resist a cute face like that?!

Cheyenne wanted her picture taken with this huge pink unicorn we saw one day while we were out grocery shopping

The nice, warm weather we've had on and off was just enough to thaw the ground and flood the basement. Luckily we are just renting, and it happened slowly enough nothing was ruined. It's started to dry out, so hopefully we'll make it through the spring all dry!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Baby #4

I never imagined I'd give birth to three children in three years. And I never imagined I would be given some very intense personalities to mother. The past five years have been physically and emotionally, harder than I ever dreamed, and Ben and I were both relieved for this "break" after Ephraim (he and the new baby will be 2.5 years apart, which feels like a breath of fresh air after the first three who were only 20 months and 16 months apart, respectively). I've always wanted a large family, and we are very excited for Ephraim to have a little brother to play with.

Yet I've been pondering lately the inconvenience of large families when it comes to certain activities and lifestyle aspirations. Sometimes I catch myself looking at life very linearly, and wondering what I can do to make life the most comfortable, or personally satisfying.

Yet motherhood, and the opportunity to bare children, is not actually about me and how I'd like it, or what I want it to look like.  It's easy sometimes to fall into the worldly attitude that our experience on this earth is about ourselves, and our children are simply an extension of that. In reality, motherhood is servanthood. The story has always been about them, the children.

"The worth of a soul is great in the sight of God." (see D&C 18:10)

It is with great reverence and awe that I consider what my role really is as a mother. I am a partner with God. This is a gift from God to me, to experience even a part of the love He has for his children. It is a chance to be His hands, to be a willing servant that he so desperately needs for the little people that come to this earth.

If I can, through motherhood, give my life over to a cause more noble than my own selfish ambitions, and aid God in the process, then I am completely satisfied, and whole. No matter how inconvenient it may be.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Winter Cuties

This photo is from the first time it snowed here, at the end of November. It was basically the ONLY time it's snowed this whole winter, it's 50 degrees outside right now. Thanks to El Nino we've had a pretty mild winter (I'm not complaining!). I love the way the shadow of this tree falls softly over the snow.

that one other time it snowed. The wind really blows here in the flat Midwest.

Wearing dresses and heels is their favorite activity, any day, any time.

This is "The Troll King" from Frozen

Typical Sunday night. No pants, riding his "tractor."

This kid can ride a bike like nobody's business. We actually think the obstacles of the poles she has to maneuver around in the basement has made her a better bike rider.

Ben built Ephraim this hitch out in his wood shop. Because of course, every little boy needs a four-wheeler that can also haul stuff.

His nursery leader at church sent us this. This boy LOVES cars.

We spend our Sunday nights as a family in the basement, the "toy room."