Monday, October 20, 2014

Black Island Farm Pumpkin Patch

If you live in the Salt Lake City area, I would highly recommend taking a trip to Black Island Farm in Syracuse.  We bought our discounted passes on KSL deals for $9 bucks! That included the wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch, the corn maze, and the many activities they have for kids (slides, train ride, etc.). The only con to this trip were the mosquitos! There was basically a cloud that followed us out to the pumpkin patch and they are aggressive buggers. I got bit at least four times. So if you go out in the evening, spray on that bug spray and light a few dozen citronella candles to hand out to everyone on the wagon ride and you should be fine. Seriously though, bring bug spray. One woman even joked, "Don't like mosquitos? Didn't you know that mosquitos are Black Island's state bird?" I could only half-way laugh at that because I was in a panic trying to swat the pests away. FYI they DO bite through clothing like leggings, easily, in fact I think they are attracted to people who wear leggings, like me. Minus the mosquitos, it was a great evening. The kids loved picking out their own pumpkins and being pulled by a tractor. It was a beautiful fall evening and worth the bites just to have some Halloween fun.

 Sawyer boy was a good sport, even when he had a mosquito sucking the life blood out of his forehead. That is quite the landing strip for a mosquito though isn't it?

 Taj found his good friend Ryder from school and they were so excited to get to ride next to each other, well at least Taj was, haha.

 There were hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins. They have a ton of patches too, this was only one of them.

 The man driving the tractor picked out a baby pumpkin for Sawyer. They have really nice people working for them!

 Taj was pretty proud of his picks. He of course picked the biggest one for himself and then he chose mine for me since I waited with Sawyer on the wagon.



Blessing Day

Sawyer was blessed on September 7th this year at our ward in Kaysville. I wanted to at least document the day with some pictures for our family history. I've been doing family history on Sundays and I've run into some pretty cool stories about my ancestors. I wish all of them would have taken the time to at least record who they were, what they did for a living, what they did with their lives, etc. It's made me realize that someday my great great grandkids will want to hear our stories, so I'm making it a point to do better with recording life as we live it.
Sawyer was blessed by his daddy Brannon--he did such a good job! Sawyer's grandpas and his uncle Matt stood in the circle. I remember that fast and testimony meeting being especially spiritual. Everyone kept commenting afterwards how strongly they felt the spirit there. I love Sundays like that! We have the best friends and family ever!

She never swings with us, but she got brave for papa.
 See that nicely painted shed in the background? Brannon, my dad, and my brother Matt painted it in one afternoon. I was worried they wouldn't get it done before the blessing the next day, but they pulled it off and it looks great! Good job boys:)
 See this is what we really look like 90% of the time. I think she had a nasty booger or what Taj calls "burgers."
 Here's our best family of five picture. Better not stare too closely into Medusa's eyes!

 Papa Clint came to town. Taj immediately donned his cowboy gear for the occasion after church to impress Papa Clint, haha.

 We had to get a girls pic with the little man. We are missing my sister Marci--usually she is the one behind the camera at these kinds of things. Man I love my sisters and my mom! Makes me want to consider having a sister for Haiv so that she can know what it feels like to have a sister. Now hurry, someone talk me out of it!

 More drama from Medusa.
 We had all the grandkids here for the blessing except for little Miss Cora Bear.
 Sawyer with his Morse grandpas.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Sawyer's blessing day. It's hard to tell a person's personality based on a photograph with pasted on smiles, so I love candids like this that portray personalities. Candids are the most accurate photos of all at detailing the human experience.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Coming Undone

Something strange happened to me today. I looked at the laundry in my room and realized that I've been trying to get all the laundry done at once for the last two weeks. My mind usually will not rest until all the laundry is done at once, all the house cleaning is done at once, all the shopping is done at once. Today I realized that maybe it's okay not to have it all done at once, that maybe it's okay to stop trying to be perfect. Maybe the Lord is trying to teach me something because it seems like I can't keep any of the balls in the air anymore. Every time I turn around someone is reminding me of something I forgot to do and just when I thought I had everything under control. It's strange to me to feel like my life is a hurricane swirling around me and I'm only able to focus on the debris that hits me in the head on it's way around. It seems like every day I wake up and start working and I don't stop until it's well past my bedtime and even then, there are 100 things that I meant to get done, but that didn't even come close to glancing my radar. It's almost like I have so many distractions (some good, some better, some not so good at all) hitting me on all sides and I'm finding that I'm having a hard time choosing which things are the BEST to confront each day. I'm realizing that time has seemingly sped up even faster, leaving me less time each day to accomplish the things that I think should be done. It's almost like I'm being tested, ("Here's another thing you forgot! or Look here, you haven't checked anything off this list and instead of getting smaller, it's getting bigger, like HUGE!") All of this has made me aware of my weaknesses as a mortal. I will never be able to keep up with it all. It is just not possible to give 100% to every single thing that life requires of us. Some of you may disagree, but I am who I am and I cannot keep up with it all and today I finally decided that it's ok. I don't have to be perfect. I just have to take care of the things that are the most important. Even doing that is hard, but I'm finding that this feeling of being overloaded has shifted my perspective and I feel that with so much going on, I am being forced to choose the BEST of each day because I don't have time for anything more.

Basically I don't care anymore that I don't appear to have it all together. Have you heard that song "Secrets"? I like that song a lot. The premise of the song focuses on our constant need to hide our imperfections and the things we don't like about ourselves from other people. Why try to force yourself to be somebody you are not? Why do we as human beings feel the need to put on a front around everyone else and give the appearance of perfection? Like we have it all together and we don't make mistakes? Why are we so afraid of other people seeing our weaknesses? Is it because we are so hard on each other? Because there is always someone there ready to point a finger of blame or to criticize? Do we expect perfection not only of ourselves, but from other people as well? Is it because as a society we are generally unforgiving and quick to take offense? Isn't life hard enough in itself without us making it harder for each other? I know I can't change the way other people think, but I can change the way I think. Having a third child has helped me to realize that it is of no worth to me or my family to try to keep up with everything just so I can feel like I'm just as good a mom as that lady on Facebook that posts one moment of bliss right after the other. 

A typical day for me starts with hitting the snooze button at least once or twice and then dragging myself out of bed after a long night with my sweet baby or my stubborn 3-year-old who has decided that she now only needs five hours of sleep and shrieks like a banshee when we tell her that "No, you may not watch a movie at three in the morning!" and said episode usually ends when I cram by postpartum body onto her toddler bed with her and pray that the creaking and cracking sounds are not signs that the bed is about to give way and unload the both of us onto the floor. Anyway, I wake up tired, but I am determined to get Taj to school on time. I have a bad habit of being on time. I don't know why either because I came from a family who's motto was "If you're not early, you're late!"

Here are some of my secrets:  I don't make my kids hot breakfast in the morning (shock! horror!), I'm late to a lot of places, sometimes I lose my temper and yell at my kids, I have a pile of clutter junk on the counter, I haven't dusted my van since we bough it in January, I don't post on my blog regularly even though I want to because I'm too damn tired when I finally get a break, I haven't washed the sheets on the beds for three weeks (disgusting, right?), and the list goes on. Do you know how liberating it was admitting to some of those things? I can hear some people now, "Well if that's all you have to worry about, your life is great!" like life is some competition where we are all vying for trophies that say "I have more problems than you" or "I have more pain than you," all the while exempting ourselves from being sympathetic towards those who we feel are living the "good life" or who "have no reason to complain whatsoever."  Having a third child has helped me realize that nobody has it all together and that no matter how good you think someone else's life is, they have their own struggles too that feel just as painful as yours. Nobody has a monopoly on pain in this life, except for the Savior Himself, because He did feel ALL of our pain and He knows EXACTLY how we all feel. 

Could we all be a little kinder, more forgiving, more sympathetic to those in our sphere? Nobody has it all together and appearances ARE deceiving. Everyone has a silent struggle that they are going through. Shouldn't we help each other out instead of driving the daggers deeper with cold criticism? I had two experiences in the last week that restored my faith in humanity. The first is when I foolishly made a trip to Shopko with three kids (I was desperate to find a wrap of some sort to stuff my post-pregnancy belly in and eliminate further inquiries from strangers about when my baby was due) and while checking out, I had Taj and Haiven pulling me from both sides begging me to open their Ring Pops at the same time the cashier is telling me my card had insufficient funds (due to a bank error). I paid with another card and while fumbling with my wallet and trying to get a binkie in Sawyer's mouth so he would quite crying, I saw the cashier pull out a pair of scissors and beckon my kids over so that she could open their Ring Pops for them. I looked at her and before I could say thanks she said, "Everyone needs a hand once in a while." Whoa! Am I that far gone?! Then I swallowed my pride and said "Yes, yes they do." Lesson learned? I am not perfect and it's okay for people to see that and to help me.

The second event occurred two days ago at the grocery story when I had no other choice BUT to take my three kids with me to get some things for dinner that night or there would be no dinner. Taj and Haiven both insisted on pushing their own cart, you know the little ones for when you only need a gallon of milk and some bread, and I had a big cart with Sawyer's carseat in it and no room for groceries. We got through the checkout line and I realized that I now had three carts to get back out to my car parked in the far corner of the parking lot. I had bought the kids a little treat for being so good and they were no longer interested in pushing the carts. As I grabbed my receipt from the cashier and turned to try to finagle my three carts, I saw a lovely woman standing there waiting and watching us. She had a smile on her face and it was like she radiated light. She said, "Can I please help you to your car?" And she walked over and grabbed one of the carts. Not only did she help me get the carts to my car, but she helped me unload my groceries and then took the carts for me so that I could get my kids buckled in. It was perhaps a small act of service in her eyes, but to me, it was the Lord telling me that He is aware of me because He sent her to help me with such a little problem. If He is concerned with even our smallest problems, then shouldn't we be more open to helping others out with theirs?

In a nutshell motherhood has helped me realize that 1) It's okay to not be perfect. 2) It's okay to let others help you. 3) You never know what silent struggle someone is going through, so don't be quick to judge. Be quick to lend a helping hand and a smile.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"My name is T-A-J"

My Taj is about to turn 6 years old and I wanted to keep a bit of him preserved right here on the ol' blog for those times when he is a teenager and I wish we were having conversations like the one below. This is a typical conversation that Taj and I have any given moment on any given day and all within a 5 minute time span.

"Which one is your favorite mom? Deep snow or a little snow?" A little snow. "Tell mine what's my favorite." Okay, what's your favorite? "Deep snow. Mom which one is your favorite? The fourwheeler that drives like this (look at me mom, look at me) with big tires in the snow. Or the fourwheeler with tires that are flat and drive like this (look at me mom, look at me). Why they do that? Why the tires go flat?" I don't know,  maybe they ran something over. "Which one is your favorite mom? The race car that starts like this and the doors open like this (look at me mom, look at me) or the car that just does this?" The first one. "Which one?" The one that opens like this and starts like this (picture me repeating the same actions he did for me). "How bout you like the other one? Tell mine what's my favorite." What's your favorite? "The one that opens like (look at me mom, look at me) this and starts like (look at me mom, look at me). It jus won't start. It won't start. It's having a hard time. I fink the battery is dead." Uh oh, you better fix it. "I jus can't fix it. Steve is going to have to fix it. Watch this I'm going to push the gas on this (picture him pushing his foot to the floor and sounding like a Harley Davidson sitting in the garage idling). It's smoking a lot when I gas my race car. It gets smoke on my exhaust pipe when I drive on the dirt. It blows the dirt, but sometimes I drive it on the road and it doesn't get smoke on the exhaust pipe." Not good dude. You might have to drive it somewhere else. "How bout we buy a boat? That would be a good idea huh?  And we can jus jus go outside....

 We talk  A LOT about cars, trucks, boats, camp trailers, tractors, exhaust pipes, batteries, and whether or not something has a diesel engine or a gas engine. We also talk a lot about Halloween and Christmas and which is my favorite and which is his favorite. He is talking my ear off right now and in the last 10 minutes we've covered topics like race cars, monster caves, ice caves, tires, etc. Once he gets his mind on something, you can be sure you are going to hash it over and over and over again. You have to be careful too to actually listen and not say "Yep" or "That's right" or "Sure" because one time he asked me if he could smoke those "white sticks" when he grows up just like the Ghostbusters do and I told him "Sure thing!" and then when I realized what I agreed too, I had to back pedal mega fast, haha. He informed us that he is going to be a Ghostbuster when he grows up. Please never grow up Taj! 

Taj is very smart when it comes to anything with a motor, that he loves running outside, riding his bike, driving fourwheelers, going down big slides, camping and playing with his little sister Haiven and helping out with baby Sawyer. He is also very sensitive and loves creatures of all kinds. I've had a lot of "roley-poleys," worms, and snails in my house this summer. His graceful little sister Haiven accidentally stepped on his "baby" snail a couple of days ago and he was so upset that he came in the house and told me with watery eyes that he was going to "pray for the snail at bedtime tonight," and he did. He prayed that the snail was with Heavenly Father and that Heavenly Father would make him alive again in our backyard. Taj and Brannon were at the Davis County Demolition Derby a couple weeks ago and witnessed a man get crushed by one of the cars (the man died at the hospital that night). It was pretty traumatic and Taj said a prayer for him too when he and Brannon got back to the truck. We've learned that he is more intuitive than he seems and is so very observant. He notices things that nobody else notices, adults included! His memory is amazing as well. He remembers places and directions like you wouldn't expect a 5-year-old to. It's amazing really.

We are grateful for Taj and his unique perspective on life. He always brings our attention to the little things and helps us to recognize the importance of slowing down to enjoy the small things in life. He loves hanging out with his family and he is so forgiving, which I'm very glad for since he is the first child and we are still trying to figure out what the heck we are doing. We love you stud!
 This is his first day of kindergarten. His teacher is Mrs. Piper and when she called his name on the first day, he proudly shouted, "My name is T-A-J!"
Here he is waiting to go inside with his cute little classmates. He told me this week, "How bout you jus jus stay in the van and I can walk to my line by myself." And so it begins...another year and he will be too embarrassed to give me a hug and a kiss goodbye.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Welcome to the World!

Our little man FINALLY made his debut three weeks ago today on July 21st at about 2:15 in the afternoon. It was a perfect, sunny day and I was glad to be indoors and getting this baby boy out and not outdoors suffering in the heat. Sawyer Clinton Morse weighed in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 21 in. long. I told Brannon that I thought for sure he would be my biggest and he was. I swear that this pregnancy was MUCH harder this time around. I can't figure out if it's because I'm just getting older or if pregnancy just gets harder every time. We are 99.9999% sure he is our last baby and so I chose to stay the extra day in the hospital and to have more one on one time cuddling him. I held him pretty much the entire time I was in the hospital and the nursery staff had to practically rip him out of my arms to do all the usual newborn testing. I love those first hours with a newborn (minus the crazy afterbirth pains--which do get worse with every pregnancy by the way!). It really felt like heaven on earth, holding his little spirit so close to mine without interruptions from my other two littles.

Labor and delivery went really well. I labored without meds until I was about a 6 and by that time I just asked for the epidural so I didn't have to be third in line for it. After the epidural, it was smooth sailing from there for the most part. The only scary thing was Sawyer's heart rate kept going WAY down with every contraction after I had the epidural. It was a little worrisome and when I finally pushed him out, he wasn't breathing and we saw the reason why his heart rate kept going down--his cord was wrapped around his neck. My doctor was quick though and it was only a moment before our little man cried out. He basically scared the crap out of us, but only for a second. My doctor, Dr. Sumsion, is a rock star! If you live in my neck of the woods and are needing an excellent OB/GYN, definitely give him a try! Sawyer boy was born with a head full of dark hair and he looks so much like Taj and Haiv did when they were born. You can definitely tell they are siblings. The kids are so in love with him and constantly fight over who gets to hold him. Taj is constantly smelling him and then asking me what Sawyer smells like. My response: "Like heaven." I love new baby smell. On the downside, Taj then smelled me and asked me what I smelled like and I told him I smell like a "mom," haha. He told me I smell like a hat and when I asked him whether it was a clean hat or a dirty hat, he replied "clean," so at least it was a CLEAN hat.

Recovery has been a little rockier than my last two pregnancies. The afterbirth pains were horrendous for about two weeks and I ended up in the ER five days after I had Sawyer because I was passing blood clots the size of golf balls, which felt like giving birth all over again. I've never taken Percocet in my life, but this time around I actually filled the prescription and it didn't even touch the pain. Spending five hours in the ER is really fun with a newborn--surrounded by sick people, drunk people, and stuck in a cold, little room located right next to the bathroom made this trip especially exciting. A perfect way to kick off your new life at home with a new baby, right? Thankfully for us, my sister happened to be in town and watched the littles while Brannon went with me to the hospital.

Anyone else out there get hit hard with postpartum depression after they have their kids? I get nailed with it every time and I tried preparing myself mentally for it this time around, but it's still really hard. I feel like I battle depressing and extremely discouraging thoughts about every minute of the day. Plus, I feel irritable and my whole body feels like a pile of trash. Throw in sleep deprivation (little man has colic:/), spells of crying for no reason at all, and the postpartum body that is newly embellished with some awesome pin-striping and that droops and sags in places it shouldn't and won't fit into anything but sweats, and you get the picture. It's not a pretty picture. It's like mother nature hits you with everything at once. She has no mercy. You would think you would get some kind of break after going through 10 months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, etc. I guess the Lord thinks women are pretty strong and that's why we get the honor of bearing the beautiful burden of childbearing. Honestly, could you imagine a man going through this?! Most of the men in my life think they are dying when they have a cold. My mom always said there is nothing worse than a sick man and I think she's right. All this aside, I have two VERY active kids who wake me up at the crack of dawn, just when I finally get Sawyer to sleep and am praying that the Lord will have mercy on me and let me get an hour of sleep before I have to face another day. Having three kids is HARD. I did not read the fine print when I signed up for parenthood, but that's probably a good thing. I can do hard things though, right? I just keep telling myself that this stage won't last forever and to TRY to at least enjoy the good moments before they are gone, especially since this is our last baby.

I'm pretty darn proud of myself for doing this post actually. This took a lot of mental effort and willpower. Depression kind of robs of you of willpower or the desire to do anything at all, but I've been fighting it and will continue to. Things that have helped me (even though every cell in my body screams "NO I DON'T WANT TO!!!") are to make the beds, open the blinds and curtains, do a couple house chores a day, get ready for the day (shower, put on clothes that don't smell like milk), and to take the kids to the park or on a walk. Brannon has helped me immensely by doing household chores and watching the kids so I can have an hour to myself at the gym or shopping or doing absolutely nothing. I think that helps to still make time for myself so I don't lose myself in all the motherhood demands of me, especially right now. I'm so thankful for him. I don't know how single parents do it, but kudos to you! I hope I'm not too much of a "Debbie Downer," but this is my reality and I'm just trying to make the best of it, which is the most that anyone can do right?

What really gets me through this is knowing that God knows me and hears my pleas and has sent me help in the form of caring friends, family, and neighbors. He's blessed me with tender mercies like my kids abstaining from fighting for pretty much an entire day or me scoring a  two hour nap because I was able to get my two youngest down for a nap and my oldest stayed entertained for that whole time, and when I got texts or phone calls or letters just at the right time. All these little things show me that He hears me and cares about me. Some people wait for God Himself to show up and help them out or to give them a "sign," but what they don't realize is that God is sending help. He just does it through other people. That's why it's so important to stay close to the spirit. When you feel prompted to do something for someone, you'd better do it now, because you really don't know that person has been pleading for a sign that God hears their prayers. You may be that answer. Thanks to all of those who have been my answers. I don't want to be so distracted with the struggle of depression and the mundane of motherhood that I forget to enjoy the time I have NOW with my babies, so again, thanks to those of you who have helped to make my life a little easier so that I can more fully enjoy being "mom."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Motherhood is hard

Today has been one of those days. All of you who are moms out there know what I'm talking about.  The kids won't stop fighting, they want my constant attention, they want to be fed, they want to be held, they want their bums changed and wiped, they want boogers wiped off their faces, they want to go on a walk in 95 degree weather, they want to drip popsicles all over the kitchen floor, they want to dump goldfish and chips all over the couch and the floor, they want to shake my huge belly to wake the baby up and see if he has hiccups, they want to make sure that I can't sit down for five whole minutes to rest my aching, swollen, 39-week-pregnant feet...basically they want to be kids and I can't figure out why I'm having such a hard time with it.

Motherhood scares me sometimes, like right now. It seems the past two weeks have been especially trying and I don't know if it's because I am SO ready to get this baby out, but scared at the same time of having to figure out how to juggle three kids, or if it's because I'm having a hard time adjusting to a mommy schedule vs. a work schedule. I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm the one who needs a little more structured time. Maybe waking up whenever the kids get me up (which has been early the last month) is not the best idea. I usually wake up grouchy and eager to turn on PBS cartoons for the monkeys so that maybe I can go back to sleep for a half hour. Even then, I wake up feeling worse and the feelings perpetuate throughout the day. I feel guilty for using the TV as a babysitter. I feel like they watch too much TV right now anyway, which is not good. Nobody has to tell me that. This summer heat gets me down worse than the winter cold.

I even planned out activities for each weekday for my kids for June and July hoping that maybe I could avoid the summertime blues and boredom. We do park day and a picnic once a week, summer movie clubhouse once a week, parks and walks at night, the AirForce Museum, the train museum, Boondocks, we tried out a splash pad, and we even made our own bouncy balls and sand art vials--which is really going out on a limb for me. I feel like things have gone stale and that all I end up doing by the afternoon of each day is getting after my kids for fighting and for driving me crazy!

Sometimes I wonder about my abilities as a mother. It gets hard to keep up with the everyday demands of childhood. I don't know how my mother ever had five of us and I catch myself every day saying things and doing things I swore I'd never do when I was a mom. Boy how wrong and naïve I was about the concept of motherhood. I'm not saying I regret my choice to become a mother--I'm just saying that it's one hell of a tough job--the toughest job I've ever had and ever will have and some days it might be good to know that I'm not failing at this job because it is also the most important job I will ever have. Maybe that's why I stress so much about whether or not I'm a good enough mom or if I'm doing my best each day to make sure they are not only taken care of, but feel loved, by me. Sometimes I think most of our day is spent doing the mundane and that maybe too many days go by without real quality time. It's hard to keep up with the responsibilities of maintaining a household, taking care of kids, and a husband.

I'm not so insensitive as to not recognize that there are a lot of women out there who would give anything to be in the same situation as me--a wife and a mother. I know that blessing doesn't come for every woman and I am grateful for these callings in life, truly I am, but sometimes a girl just needs to vent. I think after taking my kids to two OB appointments this week and two dentist appointments, that I maxed out my patience card and my nerves. You can only explain so much to a 5-year-old about an exam to check the cervix for dilation when he's sitting in the same room. The horror! Taking two young kids with me to an appointment  like THAT! Taj was especially curious about the gel the doctor put on his gloves and he loudly questioned if the doctor put that stuff on so my bum didn't get sore. Yes he did Taj, that's EXACTLY what that stuff is for!

Please tell me that I'm not going to implode when this third baby comes. All I hear from everyone is that the third one is THE hardest--thanks a lot people, not very encouraging for a mom on the edge already! Please someone tell me that it gets easier, or is that just the natural man in me crying for the easy way out? I'm very observant of the moms around me and it looks like you all have it "together," much more than I do. I know I shouldn't compare, but sometimes it's impossible to NOT to! This is me in my moment of weakness. This is me saying that I'm not going to give up just yet on myself as a mom. I'm going to keep plowing through and hoping for that ray of sun after the storm. Maybe our little man will be that ray that calms the storm inside me.

Thank goodness the dentist is actually fun for these guys, a tender mercy indeed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pioneer Day 2013 Parade

If you read my previous post, then here is the proof in pictures that the Plain City 4th of July Parade was pretty much the same as a parade you would see in Monticello--note the tractor picture of Taj with a big grin on his face. For a kid that is obsessed with motors, gears, levers, and tires, small town parades are the jack pot for him because we get to see A LOT of moving farm machinery in a small town parade.
We usually spend the 24th in Monticello every year. It's kind of the one holiday that everyone tries to make it back home for. It's right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas, only somehow I think the kids think a parade and candy and fireworks are a little more fun than turkey and stuffing. This year we won't be able to make it, which is a HUGE bummer because I really wanted to be there for my 10 year class reunion and catch up with some old friends.  I catch up with old friends every year anyway over the 24th--you just need to go to the annual softball tournament and you can pretty much run into MHS alumni from every class that ever attended MHS. Besides missing my old friends, the kids are going to miss out on jeep rides, four wheeler rides, and playing with Papi, my parents' old golden retriever. Little man is set to make his appearance any day now (I hope!), so heading south will not be on the agenda this year. Thank goodness we found Plain City because at least we can still take the kids to a parade.
Here's to hoping the next post will be a debut of little man!

 She wasn't two yet in this pic. I love those little piggies in her hair and it makes me sad to think that she won't ever be this small again. Why does watching your kids grow up have to be painful???
 He looks so small here too. He's going to be 6 years old this year and he's starting kindergarten. I don't know how I'm going to handle having him gone EVERY day to school. I'm definitely going to miss driving around an assortment of jeeps, trucks, four-wheelers, trailers, motorcycles, and boats up and down the stairs and around the coffee table in the living room with this boy while Haiven naps in the afternoon. He has quite the imagination-never grow up Taj!
 Me and my Granny Martha. She's known as "Granny" in my house because the kids got too confused with two "Grammas" in Monticello. I sure do love this ol' spitfire of a grandma!
  My brother was new daddy in this pic. Kids grow up fast in one short year and now his little man isn't so little anymore and he's into EVERYTHING! That boy is an accident waiting to happen. I forget how busy little boys can be. He's reminded me of what I have to look forward to when this little guy finally decides it's safe to come out!

 You would think the two tough guys in the picture could have mustered up a smile--come on guys the parade was a little more exciting than that! That's my dad and brother by the way and their personalities are much livelier than depicted. My mom looks beautimous of course and happy to be there with her number one fan on her lap!