Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ethan is 5... How Did That Happen?

Ok, so I cannot deny that I have REALLY slacked in the Blogging business. I have my reasons and they will be posted later. However I need to write about Ethan since he is now five. I can't find my memory card with pictures so this will just be an Ethan update and I'll do a birthday post later when I find my camera

Ethan is growing like a weed and I don't know how to make him stop. The kid is getting so tall and skinny. Because Ethan's birthday is past the cut off for school he didn't start Kindergarten this year, but he will next year. Instead we enrolled him in preschool with an old friend on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. This school is out in Henderson so Grandma Snickers takes him on those days. This has been a nice break for Grandma Jiggs, who at times has five kids all day long. Ethan loves school, most of the time. A lot of times he will say he doesn't want to go and when I talk with him about it, he really just feels like he is learning too much. He will say, "it's just hard learning so much, it makes my brain hurt!" I love that he thinks this way, such a boy! He always goes no matter what and he never gives Grandma any problems with it. Everyday they either learn a new letter or review the letter they learned the previous day. He already knew his alphabet, but now he is getting more familiar with them and learning how to properly write them as well. There are five other kids in his class and he gets along with all of them. For Ethan's birthday I got off of work early and as a family we took donuts for his class. He was so excited to see us and it made us all feel special.

Ethan is still a caring boy, he really does try to be sensitive to peoples feelings. If he sees someone not happy he will ask them if they are ok. He also has a very, VERY good memory. He can remember what color trucks were, what kind of truck they were and what he was wearing when he saw them. He remembers what you have told him, if it is in him favor. He loves his Little Little sister and just adores her. Ashlee can get mean at times and grab faces and pull but Ethan never gets upset about it. He always just lets her do it, much to my dismay. He will laugh at her and she in turn with do the same. Anything Ethan does is funny to his Little Little sister. And he just EATS. IT. UP!!

Ethan and his little sister Katelee have a very rich love/hate relationship. One minute they will be best friends, playing so nicely together and being polite to each other and then the next they are yelling, wrestling and not being nice at all. They both know how to be mean and they do it very well to each other. However, at the end of the day they both love each other and don't like it when someone else is not nice to the other. Ethan will often times tell me "don't talk to my sister like that!" It cracks me up because at times when the kids yell or say something mean to Chris I point out that Chris is my husband and I don't want them to talk to him like that. Kids really do listen to anything you say!

Ethan will be moving on to CTR5 next year in Primary and he is very excited for that. I think he might be more excited about Katelee being in Primary with him though. He is making quite a few friends in primary and even knows their names. He takes after his dad with respect to that. The other day at dinner Ethan was telling us some stuff that was going on in primary and he said, "oh and those two boys that look alike, their birthday is this month and they are turning 8!" Those two boys happen to be a set of twins in our ward, but I knew exactly who he was talking about. He says little things like that, that just make my heart smile. His CTR 4 teachers were very good to Ethan, and knew how to handle his crazy spirit. They even came to one of his t-ball games as a family. Ethan really liked that! Ethan and his parents will miss the Fabians and hope his next teacher is just as AWESOME!

Ethan is a mama's boy and I love it. He loves to hug me and talk with me. He loves to play with my hair as we talk and I try my hardest not to get annoyed by it. We have many "deep" for a five year old conversations about things. One example of this was in regards to the passing of my cousin recently. Ethan, Chris, Grandpa Jiggs, Uncle Matt, Cousin Brian and I went four wheeling not that long ago so Ethan really knew who Brian was. (he remembers special things extra well such as four wheeling, Jeep adventures or cool trucks) One day on our way to Grandma Jiggs for the day Brian was brought up in conversation. He asked again why Brian had died and I explained again that his heart had stopped beating. Then he said "well I sure hope he is alive the next time we go four wheeling!" I was a little choked up so it took a minute to reply, when I did I said, "Sorry buddy, Cousin Brian died, he wont be able to do that with us again on earth." Without skipping a beat my little guy said, "well Jesus came back to life in three days, when will Brian?" So we talked about the resurrection and then out of nowhere Katelee said, "Cousin Brian died?" Ethan kind of hit his forehead and said "duh, a while ago!" it was so funny, and really brought laughing in a time most needed! Ethan thinks things through and wants to know why, how, when and what in all cases. He is usually never satisfied with the answer, "that's just how it works." He wants to know why.

Ethan is a typical boy and loves BIG TRUCKS, sports, hunting, guns and anything boy. He has learned how to climb up to the top bunk with no ladder and how to get down as well. He thinks he is pretty cool when he sneaks into bed with Katelee and I can't find him. He is a big help cleaning up after dinner, most nights. He loves to ride his bike and go as fast as he can. He doesn't really like to do his school homework and kinda pitches a fit every time I say it's time to do school work. He would rather be playing with his cars or tackling his sister than do anything close to school work. He constantly asks me when I'm going to have the day off forever. He loves when he asks if I have the day off tomorrow and the answer is yes. He will jump up and down and be so happy! He knows how to make me one happy mother!

I know I say it all the time, but Ethan is so special to me. He made me a mother and he has loved me from the very start and I, him! He can drive us all crazy at times, but he can make us all laugh and be silly too!

The day Ethan was born will always be a great day in our life! We love you bubby!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Booger Brian Fellows....

Many times in life we are "hit" with things that knock us down and make us wonder "why did that just happen?" Monday I was "hit" with one of those things and I know its effects will not go away anytime soon. As I have pondered this situation and the thoughts that have come to mind I'm struck with sorrow that is like none other I have ever experienced before in life. Sorrow for wonderful, WONDERFUL things lost, sorrow for changes in life but most of all sorrow for a dear, DEAR friend. Life as I have known if for the past 15 years or so was all changed in a phone call received at work. As the news was told to me my heart literally broke, the tears started and my mind raced. Pain, guilt and memories filled my soul. My life was all of a sudden filled with a void. The void of a special part, a unique part, a part that will and is already missed dearly.

For it was 15 years or so ago that someone very dear and special was introduced into my life. Someone unique in a wonderful way, someone who I never saw mad or angry at anyone or anything in my life. Someone who knew how to make anyone smile and feel special. I know that everyone who knew this person would agree, he was a unique, rare and oh so valuable friend.

I was a teenager when I met my "cousin" while on our summer vacation in Utah. I say "cousin" because his dad is my dad's cousin... I didn't know he existed until that meeting. He fit into the Blackburn family instantly, as if he had ALWAYS been there. (For those of you familiar with the Blackburn family, you know it takes a very special person to fit in with us!) He went to family activities, lived with my Aunt and Uncle and instantly became a favorite of mine. We would go on shooting outings, four wheeling, camping, had an Olympics event of throwing rocks at different signs, hiking and anything else that was fun. One night we went out for foot long hot dogs and cruised the strip. I remember this trip because it was so fun, and also because I had just gotten braces and I had to cut up my hot dog to eat it, lame for a foot long dog.... I will never forget an inside joke of "It's Splash and it's WONDERFUL!!!" from that night. Brian and I have cruised the strip on his motorcycle, watched SNL over the phone, had many deep talks (one which he told me the guy I was hanging out with at the time was not good enough... I laughed but later that year, once I realized this for myself the hard way, ran straight to his house in search of some comfort...) we had many laughs and silly nicknames and inside jokes that seemed so insignificant just a week ago, but priceless now!!!

Of course there are things I wish I had said or done, that is only natural when you lose someone you love, no matter how unexpected/expected it is... My inbox for text messages contains a text from Brian, a simple "Thank You." That message will always be a reminder to me of how appreciative this guy was. That message has haunted me a little, I wish I would have responded something, anything, just so he would have known I was there... Maybe he did know I was there, maybe he didn't want to bug me or maybe the thought never crossed his mind. I will never know but I hope he knew how much he meant to me, how much I loved him and how much I loved having him around.

A promise I make today and forever is to never forget the Brian I always knew. I will remember the good man he was, the gentleman he was and the friend he has always been. I will always remember our crazy times and happy times. Brian was always thinking of someone else, never himself. I would get random calls at work from Brian asking if I heard him honk. I would laugh, I couldn't hear traffic from my office.. But one day I was outside the Bank taking a breather and I heard a honk and knew it had to be him and it was! After that I started honking whenever I was close or within a mile of his house and call him to see if he heard it... I will continue to honk when I get close to his house, I will still refer to him as Booger Brian Fellow, I will tell some random thing that doesn't make much sense and then slyly say "gottcha!" I will always check my forehead after I have wiped it with a Kleenex. When we go out four wheeling I will stop and throw a rock at some random thing just for Brian.

A great gift I have been given here on earth has been to know Brian and love him. I will always count my life special because he was in it. He exited too soon, but his memory will last as long as I live. For his friendship and memories I am forever Thankful for.

God be with you till we meet again Booger Brian Fellows.... Till we meet again....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Small Comfort....

I came across the following quote today and felt impressed by it's message.

I find deep comfort and faith in the Lord’s promise and blessing to us who remain in mortality: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ashlee's Inner Demon

Our Sweet Ashlee is super silly. She loves to laugh and she especially loves to growl. She has been growling for a while now and we love it. Lately however, her cute little growl has turned into a scary Halloween sounding demon. Sometimes I expect to see her eyes shine like flashlights, her hair light on fire and her head spin around, but no, all I see is this cute little girl! We are so in love with this girl, her demon growl and all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am PHAST Tri

Saturday October 8, 2011

Last year before we found out I was expecting Ashlee, my sister-in-law, Lisa, signed me and her up for a Sprint Triathlon. I was excited about it and even got a co-worker to sign up to do it as well. I started doing some training, mostly just running and then found out that we were expecting our Ashlee Elizabeth. Being that I would be far along in my pregnancy I could not participate but was able to carry over my registration to the next year. So that takes us to present day. I was able to convince Chris to run the Tri with us as well. Chris got excited about it and found out about a Sprint Tri hosted by a DO student from Touro. This Tri is call the PHAST standing for Promoting Health and Service Tri. At each transition you do something for the Ronald McDonald House. (Side note: My first real contact I had with the Ronald McDonald House was when Ethan was 7 months old and in the hospital. We had been there overnight. I was exhausted and so drained. There for two groups that came and helped bring a smile to a very scared mothers face. The first group was the Ronald McDonald house. They brought me and my mother a sack lunch. It had a diet coke, bologna sandwich, chips and a treat in it. I hate Bologna and I'm not a diet coke fan, but I was so grateful for those people that smiled and were so considerate of me and my little world. Since then I have formed a deep appreciation for the Ronald McDonald house, those that volunteer there and those that help support it!.. Side note over!) We decided to sign up for it so we could have a trial run before our major one. Little did we know this was the week before the Pumpkinman... Ahh, but we didn't back out and I'm glad we didn't.

We started at an aquatic center in Henderson. The weather that whole week had been quite cold and Saturday morning was no exception. I took before pictures must to Chris's dismay.

My Stud Muffin. Excited and a little nervous.Crazy me.

The Tri starts in the water where we swam 500 Meters. I have been swimming with my friend about two times a week in the early morning. The first time I went I felt like I was gonna die. Each time I continued to struggle but felt more and more confident. I even went out to the lake and did a long swim, which I literally felt like I was gonna die. Chris wasn't able to get any swimming in and he felt it. Chris and I were some of the last people to get in the water. They split us up into three different groups. Under 10 minutes, 10-20 minutes and over 20. We happily went to the over 20 line and the back of it as well. The swim felt pretty good to me and I actually finished in 13 minutes. Chris did well also and perfected the back stroked for sure!

Next comes a 12. something bike ride. I had kinda been thinking "how hard can the bike be?" Well it was a tough ride. There were a lot of ups and downs both ways. My thighs burned so bad at one point I almost thought I'd see flames when I looked down. But then a flat part came and the burn went away quick! Chris and I passed around the half way point. I was so proud of us... Does that sound vain? It does but we were actually doing something we had been working towards for a while. It felt great to have a small sense of accomplishment. After the bike I was ready to be done, but we still had to run our 5K. So I got off the bike, put on my running shoes, colored a lunch bag for the Ronald McDonald house and then started the run.

The run was a tough course. The entire first half was all uphill. The night before we had picked up our packets and driven the run course. In the car it didn't seem that bad, but after swimming and biking it was almost impossible. But needless to say I ran it, and I ran it the whole time. My knee started hurting pretty bad, an all too familiar pain that I hadn't felt since before Ashlee was born... It was horribly bad, but it didn't feel much better to slow down, so I didn't. Chris and I passed again about the halfway mark and he said I looked like a gimp... Running in pain can't be expected to be pretty, right? So I finished the race at 1:56:31.... and Chris was right behind me at 2:07:47. Luckily I was able to get the camera and get some pictures of Chris when he came in. So much fun!!!

This is me a little after the race. I had to go grab the camera...

Here is Chris way close to the finish line!! I was telling him to sprint it in since he was so close... I don't know if he could have sprinted if he tried, he was exhausted!

He's almost there!!!

And here we are right after Chris finished. I must tell you how happy I was to finish and see Chris finish. It felt great and I started looking forward to our next race and also started stressing about it too!!!

I borrowed my Brother-in-Law's bike for this race and the one coming up and wanted to get a picture of me with the bike. So here it is! During the race I remember thinking, "what the heck am I doing this for?" And after the race I remember thinking, "I wonder how many of these I can find locally to do?" Amazing what catching your breath and a since of pride can do to your thinking!! We both look very much forward to next year's PHAST Tri!

Swim, Ride, Run and Serve..... Sounds good to me!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Katelee Turns Three

September 10, 2011

Weight 29.8lbs (50th Percentile)

Heights 39 1/2 inches (90th Percentile)

I cannot believe it has been three years since our life did not include Miss Kate in it. I don't even know where to start with our Katelee....

Katelee continues to stay on her tall and skinny trend. This girls legs go on FOREVER. When she wears shorts it is even more evident how long they are. She is wearing 4T pants just to cover her legs all the way. We have to get the pants with the adjustable waist so they will stay on her. This girl keeps us all on our toes and you just never know what you are going to get with her. She is a girlie girl and loves anything that resembles a baby, princesses or something her brother wants. Katelee cannot be called the peacemaker when it comes to her siblings. She will stand firm in her decision not to share, play with Ethan or be nice. Yet she sometimes is the first to let Ethan have the toy she is playing with, you just never know which Katelee you are gonna get!

In Nursery at church she is still the "golden" child. They never have anything bad to say about her and continually tell us how they wish all the kids were like her. This makes me very happy and I just wish she would act like that at home as well. Katelee still gives some pretty good stares and they just make me laugh. She constantly has her fingers in her mouth and especially when she is feeling nervous, scared or shy. Because of this her fingers are always broken out with her eczema. Then she picks at the eczema and has sores ALL the time. She loves to have her nails painted and loves to do other people's hair. She could sit and brush my hair all day long. Many times when she is sitting on my lap she will push all my hair back and keep doing that as if it's her job to make sure it's not in my way.

Katelee continues to be a horrible sleeper. She falls to sleep just fine but it doesn't last all night. Katelee has Night Terrors. These are very rough on me as I'm up a lot during the night. But there will be more on this later. Katelee is still a very early riser. Most of the time when she wakes up in the morning she will wake up Ethan and they will play in their room for a while. Sometimes she will come into our room and wake us up, if I pull her into bed with us she mostly just messes around, but once in a while she will fall back to sleep. Those times are like small miracles that I absolutely LOVE!

Katelee is a little mother to Ashlee, sometimes paying more attention to Ashlee than I do. The other day it was just Ethan, me and Ashlee awake. We were hanging out and Ethan was really enjoying playing with Ashlee. He said to me, "I really do love my baby sister, but Katelee loves her more than I do." I asked him why he said that and he said, "Because Katelee is ALWAYS around her and touching her, I never get to spend time with her when Katelee is awake!" I smiled and said well that doesn't mean she loves her more... But secretly I think Katelee loves Ashlee more than anyone else! In Katelee's eyes she is there to take care of Ashlee! This girl was born to be a nurturer.

Kate is smart. She knows her shapes and colors and we are starting her letters now too! She loves to sing and will belt out any song, anytime! She knows and loves Praise to the Man and busted it out during the sacrament on Sunday. It was so cute I didn't want to ask her to whisper! She can throw fits with the best of them. When she starts a fit it usually ends with her being carried up the stairs, kicking and screaming/crying, to her bed where she will continue to cry/scream for another 10-15 minutes! Then she calms down and starts thinking reasonable again. The girl is stubborn and can be ornery and I can't help but see myself in her more and more each day. Scary!! She says the funniest thing. The other day she was looking for something and then she said, "no worries, I found it!" It is so funny to hear her say 'no worries' she seems so grown up at times!

The house is always full of her silly laugh whether she just told a funny joke, is being mean and loving it or just being happy. She sits in a booster seat now and can do the seat belt up all by herself. Her hair is growing, still brown and super curly. In the morning she has a fro that is OUT. OF. CONTROL!! She doesn't care if we do her hair or not and most of the time I have to bribe her with something to do it. She likes pony tails the most. The girl has spunk and most days I love it!

Seems like just yesterday this little lady came into our lives....

On her First Birthday....

On her Second Birthday....

Life without Katelee is unthinkable. She brings smiles to every ones face, even when she is real crazy. We love you Katlee Madge, you make us better from just being here! Thanks and Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001

I have had this feeling of wanting to write something profound and amazing for my children to read about my personal experiences and feelings about September 11, 2001, but so far I have come up wanting. A few of the documentaries I did watch this past week have given my experiences on that day and more a feeling of inadequacy. However I would still like my children to be able to know how I, as their mother, dealt with this day and how it changed my life forever. I will start my story of September 11, 2001 on September 10, 2001, the day before.

My brother Matt arrived home from his Mission in New Zealand, clear across the world, after his flight was delayed a few hours. We all met him at the airport gate after going through a metal detector at security without tickets for a flight. That was the norm… Back to the story, when Matt walked off the plane we greeted him with hugs and smiles and a few tears. It was a great reunion, one I had been looking forward to for two years. We had people over at our house all night and then finally we went to sleep. How grateful I am that he came home on the 10th!

I awoke on September 11, 2001 around 7:00am and walked across the hall to the bathroom to get ready for work. My dad was up watching TV in the living room and mentioned something about a plane running into the World Trade Centers. I remember still to this day not thinking much about it. I did some stuff and then went into the living room to watch the news coverage. I told my dad that it could have just been bad navigation and went back to getting ready for work. I honestly don’t really remember what happened between then and me leaving for work, but something changed. My thoughts of an accident were changed to knowing that America had been attacked. The drive to work was somber. Not many people were out driving around and when I got to work it was worse. We wheeled a TV behind the teller line and watched it the ENTIRE day. Only one customer came in the whole day. The longer I watched the TV the more depressed I became. Seeing all the footage, the planes hit, the bodies jumping from the buildings, the battered people that survived and then the buildings collapsing, it was almost too much to take in. It was replayed a thousand times and each time I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Each replay, each detail added to this horrific story sunk my heart farther and farther into my chest. Finally the end of work arrived and I headed to a high school volleyball game I was coaching. The stands weren’t real full and there was an eerie feeling the whole time, as if we shouldn’t be living our ‘normal’ lives. It seemed almost selfish to do so when so many lives had been turned upside down that very day.

That night as I said my prayers I poured my heart out for those that had died, those that would die, those that would survive, their families and America. I cried and cried some more. Thousands of people I had never and would never meet had died and I was affected by each one. A very small portion of their misery was slapped onto my plate and the weighted of it seemed almost unbearable. Fear gripped the nation and bonded every one of us together. For once we all shared something in common… I could look at someone and know without a doubt that they had one of the same fears I had.

I still remember the silence as I walked to my class on the campus of UNLV. All planes had been grounded and the silence in the skies was almost deafening. UNLV is very close to the airport and there always seems to be a plane flying right over, nice and low and loud. But not then, no, not a sound could be heard in the sky on my walk to class. The walkways were quieter than normal and I almost felt ashamed to be going to school while people were still stuck under rubble and dying clear across the country. My first class that day was a US History class, so appropriate for the time. I remember the Professor coming in and sitting down on the desk. A somber look on his face and he started his lecture for the day. This man was one of order; he never deviated from his lesson schedule, however today he looked each one of us in the eye and said, "This is something we need to talk about, for this will be in the history of the US forever." He then had an open floor discussion with us. He asked our opinions, our feelings and what we thought would happen because of this. Although I recognized how big of an event this was I didn’t really process just how big it was. This was the "Pearl Harbor" of my day! I had lived through something of that magnitude, something that one day my children would learn about in their school classes. In that moment I knew that my life and those of the people around me and even those that didn’t exist would be changed and different forever.

Life was different for a quite a while. Finally the planes started flying again and rules and regulations were changed. Safety precautions were changed, added and implemented to try to keep America safe. People were changed for a while. They were nice, smiled and talked to one another. But eventually things changed back to normal. People became selfish and grouchy again and slowly life just moved on. The images of what happened on September 11, 2001 will always live in my mind. Anytime I see a plane flying low my mind and eyes scan the airway looking for a building, with a fear burning in my heart that some how it is all going to happen again! Each of us that lived through this event has evaluated our life, considered our decisions and pondered what we would have done if that had been us. How would we have reacted? I would love to think that I would have joined the group that fought back, stood for what I believed. I would love to think that had I been in the burning, mangled building I would have carried someone down 30 flights of stairs, done all I could to help others out. But reality is I don’t really know how I would have reacted. I might have sat on that plane and prayed with all my heart that it would some how be better, be over. Maybe I would be there wishing for someone else to do the hard stuff, to fight back. Maybe I would have ran down those flights of stairs as fast as I could, thinking about nothing but myself. My reaction in this situation will never be known, but the "what if’s" and wondering will probably never be gone.

Each September 11th the feelings come back, maybe not as fresh or as harsh, but they are still there. It gets better each year and after September 10, 2008 it became a lot different for me. On that day a feisty, blue eyed, brown haired girl was born and changed September to a different kind of month for me. As I sat watching TV in my recovery room in the hospital on September 11th, I held this little lady and was reminded again why life was SO. SO. SO. GREAT! As I looked in her eyes I knew she was my America. She was life continued, a reminder that life was different but better all at the same time. She has become the spirit of America to me, she is feisty, crazy, nice, beautiful and so much more. A terrible thing happened on September 11, 2001, a thing that will never be forgotten. Although it was a terrible thing some good came from it. We learned from it, we grew closer from it, many people prayed for the first time in ages. We were allowed to grieve in the open and that connected us to people we would never have connected to other wise.

So for my children, always remember that as crazy as this country may seem at times it was founded on correct principles. It is a great country to live in! Hold on to the hope that the majority of the people in America are good people. That in a time of crisis everyone will unite again and have a common bond. I pray, most of all, that you will never have to experience something like this for yourselves, but that if you do you will have courage, strength and love! I know it’s not much and far from profound, but it is what I felt, remember and wanted to share. I love this country but most of all I love you guys and your father the most!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Brussels Sprouts Anyone?

Ashlee has been trying all kinds of vegetables and is loving it! I think so far Yams are her favorite. Tonight for dinner we had Chicken, Rice, Salad and Brussels Sprouts. I threw some Brussels sprouts and rice in the blender and gave it to Ashlee. She started out strong and then started to fade. She kept opening her mouth wide, but it took about two times as long to finish. Every time we put something in her mouth about half of the food would come out. She is so cute it didn't even bother us at all. I love watching Ashlee try new things. I love seeing her reaction to all the different foods. Sometimes is priceless!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ashlee-6 Months

Six months has come and gone and our little lady is growing, growing and growing some more. I laugh at how fast time flies only because it keeps me from crying about it. The last 6 months have FLOWN and I don’t know how to make it stop. But until I figure that one out I guess I can only write down her stats and the fun times the last 6 months have held for us.
Weight: 14.1 lbs 25th Percentile
Height: 25 ¼ inches 25th Percentile
Ashlee is able to roll over to her belly from both sides and is close to getting over to her back. When she is on her belly she will scoot to get toys and even started army crawling the other day. When on her belly she will also push herself up for a while. She hasn't quite learned how to sit, she leans forward for a while and then always falls to the left side. I guess she must be heavier on that side or something. One thing this girl has perfected is smiling and giggling. She was early to smile and has never stopped. She will smile for everyone, at least a little. She is very ticklish on her neck, belly and legs. She giggles the most when you laugh at her first and Ethan can make her smile by doing the smallest things. Ashlee rarely cries and when she does it means something is really wrong. She started solid food at 5 months and since then has had rice cereal, peas, green beans, carrots, pears, bananas, applesauce and some vanilla yogurt. She loves her food and eats well. The only problem we have had is that Ashlee will only eat her green beans if they are warm. Her hair is coming in good, but it’s super blond so from a little bit away it looks like she is bald. Her eyelashes are supper long and her eyes are super blue! Ashlee loves to hear her own voice and talks ALL the time. She is no quiet girl either, you can hear her upstairs when you are downstairs and downstairs when you are upstairs. People have commented how they heard Ashlee during church and they are sitting pretty far away. A few weeks ago Ashlee started waking up a lot at night and wanting her binky. We’d give it to her and then she would go right back to sleep. It was getting to be a bit much for us so we decided to stop swaddling her and attach her binky to her PJs. The first night she cried a bit, well quite a bit, but the next night we were good to go. She has been sleeping solidly through the night since then. It has been amazing!

Ashlee has two siblings that LOVE her unconditionally and want to always be by her side… or on her. It’s funny how when I first had Ashlee I had a feeling of guilt for the kids because we had just ROCKED their world. Their lives would never be the same again, yet here they are so happy she is here and part of our family. It’s amazing how it’s like she has always been here with us, our family has never been without our Ashlee! All we have to do is see Ashlee and we all get a smile on our faces. She truly does brighten each one of our lives!!! How grateful we are to have our family and to know that we are all family FOREVER!!! Happy six months Ashlee!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Because

.....I love this picture so much! This is our normal Ashlee, full of smiles, giggles and happy faces! Can't believe she will be 6 months old on Thursday! How time rushes by!

Katelee's Ks

Katelee is doing very well with her colors and shapes. She knows all of her colors well. The only exception is brown which she calls black the majority of the time. Shapes she does ok at... Better some nights than others. She LOVES doing her own school. I'm pretty sure it's because she has seen Ethan doing it for so long she fells special that she is now included in the night time routine! We started doing K's about two weeks ago. K's are hard, right? How am I suppose to teach Katelee how to write a K? Wow... But I'd say she is doing pretty good...Just now I thought how I should have a first day of writing K's picture... It was basically parallel lines. I taught her by saying draw a line down and then in and out! Cheesy? Sure, but it works! Amazing how my patience has increased when it comes to the kids and teaching them 'school' things. But that is another post all together! I had to put two pictures of Kate... Her smile is different in each one, but the pride in her eyes is the same!
Katelee is such a joy when it comes to learning. She takes it all in and does well remembering things! She looks up to her brother and wants to be just like him.. Even wanting to do the alphabet already. I'm not sure I'm ready to start that all over again, but if not now, when? So we do A-F... That's about all I can take in one night! So proud of our little Katelee, next we start working on a lowercase 'a'! Ya! Keep it up girl!

Friday, August 12, 2011

That's My Boy...

Ethan is a Hilarious little boy. I use the word little meaning young, the kid is growing like a weed. Pants that fit him this winter are above his ankles and yet he still insist on wearing them. He has a silly boy sense of humor that as his mother I don't really get, but what mother does, right? He loves to say poopy, poop or anything he knows he shouldn't say. He normally does really well at not saying these 'naughty' words, but sometimes his deep inner boy takes over and it's almost like he can't control himself... He has done a few cute things lately that I wanted to document for him...

The other night I went up to Girls Camp and it was Ethan's turn to say family prayer. He said the sweetest prayer that "Mommy would travel home safely." He told Chris multiple times that he missed Mommy and wanted me to come home. Little things like that make me feel like I must be doing something right...

Ethan shares my love of music and I couldn't be more happy. Since being young he has picked up on songs and had favorites. A while ago his favorite song was "Lover, Lover, Lover" which if you aren't familiar with it, goes a little something like this... Lover, lover, lover you don't treat me no good no more. Once while sitting in church Ethan just out of nowhere blurts out "Lover, lover, lover you no treat me no good no more!" It was hilarious and a bit embarrassing all at the same time. I often wonder what songs he sings during primary when I'm not there to snap my fingers and give him my look. Anyways his newest favorite song is "Dirt Road Anthem." He sings this song ALL the time. Just this morning we listened to this song the entire ride to Grandma's. He loves to blurt the chorus out and I. LOVE. IT! My son was born to be a small town boy. It's so cute to hear him sing, "chillin on a dirt road, laid back, swerving like I'm George Jones, smoke blowing out the window an ice cold Dr Pepper in the console. Memory lane up in the headlights got me reminiscing on the good times." Dr. Pepper of course is not the beverage said, however we sing it that way... Ethan decided that he'd like to sing during church and started singing that song, which made Katelee sing along as well... All I could do was smile and laugh. The boy is passionate about his music

Ethan loves hanging out with his grandpas'. He especially loves hanging out with Grandpa Blackburn in the mountains. My brother and dad have wildlife cameras in the mountains trying to track a big elk for the hunting season. My dad will go up to the mountains and check his cameras and a few times he has invited Ethan to go with him. This is all Ethan will talk about for days when he gets back. It's so funny how I use to go up to the mountains all the time with my brother and father and now my son shares that same love with the same people I loved going with. I was given a small Christmas tree for Christmas and we decided to have Ethan take it up to the mountains with his grandpa. They planted the tree and Ethan has not forgotten. My son's best friend is his Grandpa. They do everything together and really enjoy each others company.

Every morning Ethan picks out long pants and boots to wear. Many mornings we have small disagreements on wearing pants when it's going to get over 110 degrees outside. And if he does wear shorts we have small disagreements on him wearing boots with them. He would wear jeans and boots every day if we let him.... His boots are nice boots. They are real cowboy boots, and now they are coming apart from the sole, that's how much he wears them. And he doesn't care, he will continue to wear them until they fall apart and we take them while he sleeps.

The other Sunday Ethan came home from church with a nice necklace with a picture of Jesus on it. We asked him how he got it and his explanation went a little bit like this:

Mommy: Ethan why did you get this necklace?

Ethan: Oh um, I have to give it back to my teacher..

Mommy: Well why did you get it?

Ethan: Well they told me to come up to the front of the room and then people stood up and said things like we like Ethan, Ethan is really nice and stuff like that.
Mommy: (almost laughing) So you got this because people like you?

Ethan: (shrugging) Yeah!

Come to find out they do a think in primary where they draw a name out and then have the kids in primary take turns telling Ethan why they like them, so I guess he was telling the truth! So funny!

Every night we do 'school' with the kids. Ethan's school takes a while longer because we go over more. We do numbers, letter and sounds, shapes and then writing. Quite a few nights we start school off with Ethan saying this... "Can we take a night off of numbers?" It cracks me up every time. He acts like they are so hard and time consuming. Other than that he does pretty good with it most nights! He is getting smarter and getting better at writing his letters. He starts pre-school next month and I'm anxious for him.

He says funny things and sweet things all the time and I'd love to share them all, but there are too many to put down. Just one more quick one. The other day Katelee feel off her chair at dinner and bumped her head. I was in the living room with her and Ethan came in to see her. He had a concerned look on his face and asked if she was ok. Katelee, of course, said no. To which Ethan replied, "Well, we will just ask Daddy to give you a blessing, then you'll feel better!" It almost made me cry!

This boy is crazy, sweet, loving, annoying and a holds a major chunk of my heart all at the same time. So glad to have him in my life!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Problem I Have

Shortly after having my third child I realized that things were HARD, really HARD and I couldn't put my finger on just what it was. Sure now I had three kids to take care of. An infant is hard enough by itself, but I was having an extremely difficult time. Nursing seemed to go well, Ashlee got it! But the time involved was becoming VERY HARD and then I was told her mouth was too small and she wasn't getting enough at feedings. This would mean I'd have to nurse and then pump and feed her, MORE TIME for feedings. I started pumping as it it seemed like I was falling farther into a pit that had no way out. When I started pumping I felt ok about it because Ashlee was getting what she needed. Soon it became nearly impossible to pump any more, the pain was excruciating and made every two hours a living nightmare for me. (Pumping was 100x's more painful than actual nursing!) After many prayers, pleading to my Heavenly Father to help me feel better, many discussions with my husband and family and very close friends I made the sad decision to stop pumping. After that I quickly climbed out of that pit but I was still having a hard time adjusting to my new life. I was exhausted ALL the time. I could get some good solid sleep and still feel as if I was only asleep for minutes. This of course made it harder for me to function and it seemed like feedings brought out feelings of longing that I couldn't quite explain. I longed to still be nursing my child, even though memories of why I had stopped were fresh in my mind. I never felt like the longing was all part of a bigger problem I was being faced with. Soon I started having these feelings more often, like I was wasting time when I would sit down and read a book, take a little rest when I felt exhausted or watch a little TV. It even got so bad as feeling a longing to do more when I was running and only listening to my music. I felt like I should at least be listening to a book or conference so that I could be accomplishing more.... Lately I have come to realize that I have a problem with multi-tasking. Not that I don't do it, but that I do it TOO MUCH!! How can this be, you might ask! How can one possible do TOO much? And here is what I have to say about that. My whole life is a multi-tasking event. I am a FULL time MOTHER, FULL time WIFE, FULL time EMPLOYEE at the Bank and I am now the second counselor in the YW at church. I have a husband going to school FULL time and I am a FULL time FRIEND, SISTER, DAUGHTER and more!! Now don't get me wrong I realize that we all have a very FULL plate, but having my third child really brought this out for me. Do I feel overwhelmed? Of course I do, most days I end with a feeling of inadequacy when I look around my house and see all the things I didn't get to, then I get to work the next day only to face a desk full of papers and work that never ends. Then I look at my family and see work that should/could be done that just isn't. Ethan isn't getting his alphabet every night like he should, his writing is regressing instead of getting better, I just now started colors and shapes with Katelee... she knows all her colors but shapes are another story and about a million other things that I should be doing with my kids. Then there is my husband, this guy is amazing. He gets up early to go for a run, goes to school full time, helps out with the kids and then rides his bike at night. We haven't been on a "date" in quite a while and he hasn't complained about it. (I take that back, we have been to the temple twice in the last month, those are kinda our dates!) I could be doing so much more to support him and help make his life simpler, but I'm not. And so I feel a bit overwhelmed to say the least. Anyways back to my problem. Because of these feelings of inadequacy and being overwhelmed I have developed an internal feeling of need to get as much accomplished in one day, hour and minute that I can. This means that while I might be doing something like folding the clothes, my mind is swirling with ideas of other things I need to do or could be doing while I'm doing this. When I'm in the bathroom I feel like I have to be doing other things to make going to the restroom worth my time. And the worst part of this problem is that when I'm feeding Ashlee or singing the kids their night time songs I still feel like I'm wasting some time. Before I realized I had this problem I would sing a little faster and finish quicker than normal so I could go and do some of the other things that I so desperately felt I needed to get done. How horrible it sounds when I type that... Please do not get me wrong, I LOVE my kids, I LOVE being a mother, wife and everything else. My priorities weren't horribly wrong, as I still did things with my kids, I still spent time with them and I would have done anything for them, it was just the weight of the world, and everything that comes with it that was making me crazy. So one day I was thinking about running on the treadmill and I was trying to think of a way I could crochet my car seat blankets while I did that... I ran this idea over in my mind a few times and then as if a light bulb turned on I realized that I had a problem. Who on earth would try to crochet while running, who has an issue with waiting in a Dr.'s office for 5 minutes without having anything to read, who rocks their little baby at night and thinks of the other things she has to do? I realized in that instant that I had become chained down by my desire to multi-task. It sounds silly, I know, but it's crazy to feel like I do when I look around and see all the things I feel I need to get done. Once I realized I was trying to do too much I took a step back and reevaluated the things I "felt" were pressing and needed to get completed and prioritized differently. Family first, no need to have anything else in life if there is no Family.... This means singing them just one more song, 10 times at night, Holding little Ashlee a little longer at night when we get to quietly rock and gaze into each others eyes, Hold my husband hand while we drive and show him how much I love him and appreciate him, Smile and think how much I'm going to miss the yelling, screaming, fighting, laughing, joke telling and little spills one day when my kids are all grown and gone and most importantly this means making my kids feel and know that their mother loves them more than ANYTHING else I have to do at that moment! Life goes too fast to worry constantly about cleaning the toilet, doing laundry and anything else there is to do that day. So I didn't get all the laundry done because Ashlee took longer to eat than normal, I love the sweet spirit in my arms more than laundry anyways! I still catch myself trying to think of ways I can do two, three or even four things at once, I am doing much better about making the important ones a priority. When faced with going for a run or rocking my daughter a little longer, I'm going to pick my daughter!!! How thankful I am that I had a realization of what I was doing wrong and how to work around it!! What do we have, if we don't have family?

Family is not a distraction to my life, but rather the reason for it!

Friday, July 8, 2011


We have all been blessed with Miracles in our lives weather we acknowledge them or not. I have seen many small and large miracles in my life and fear that I don't show my gratitude enough for them. Some of my large miracles include,

  • All three of my children, their good health and abounding love for me as their mother.

  • Their safe arrival here on earth and my good health while pregnant with them.

  • Meeting my husband and having him in my life FOREVER!

  • Having a Wonderful family that has stood by me through good and bad.

  • Meeting amazing friends that are always there for me no matter what!

There are so many small miracles in my life that I won't try to name them all. I know without a doubt that I have been blessed beyond belief. My cousin and her three small children were involved in a very serious accident a week ago while they traveled home. From the moment I heard about the accident I have had a pit in my stomach. Many, many thoughts have run through my mind as I have thought about this incident. I am so thankful for the safety of my cousin and her beautiful and crazy kids, but more thankful for the reminders it has given me. This incident has reminded me that:

  • Any ones life can change in a blink of an eye. Life is so fragile and sweet, we must not take it for granted or get complacent. Every day is a gift and a new opportunity to do something good!

  • Prayers are answered. Before my cousin got on the highway she pulled over and had her son offer a pray for their trip. He prayed that they would be protected, and his prayer was answered!

  • Family and Friends are always willing to help out no matter what the problem, situation or time is!

  • This world isn't that bad. So many people came to help her out in her deepest time of need. Makes me look around and see the good in things and people before the bad.

  • Angels are real. Sometimes people beyond the veil are their to help us out and pull us through something we don't feel we can do on our own.

  • We are our Heavenly Father's children, he loves us and wants only the best for each of us. He allows each of us to learn and grow in different ways. Being our Father he knows which way is best for each of us!

  • Miracles still happen to this day, they haven't stopped... All we have to do is realize and see them in our lives.

I have included her post from a blog that she shares with her sisters so you can read for yourself her experience! So grateful for Miracles!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Fourth

Though our Fourth of July was not very eventful we still had a good time hanging out with each other. We did some fireworks before the sun went down because Chris and I had an event to attend that night for our friends. The kids didn't mind that it wasn't dark yet, so why not! We registered Ethan up for Fall Ball at a firework booth so we decided to get a few fireworks as well. We actually did those the next night....

Here is sweet Ashlee in her patriotic outfit.... and her gangster pose! And me in my Pj's... Nice!

Here are Ethan and Katelee in front of our flag! Go USA! We love this country and are so grateful to be able to raise our children here! To those who have and continue to fight for our freedom.... THANK YOU!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Random Things That Will Make Me Cry One Day...

I was never one to cry when I was younger. I didn't really start showing my emotional side until I had my first child, He changed EVERYTHING!! I feel that as a mother you earn the right to cry at/because of anything... And so I abuse that right and cry at quite a lot of silly things. The other day I was thinking of something and the thought came to my mind, "Man, I'm gonna cry when I can't do that any more." After that I started thinking of all the things I'm gonna miss or cry at when I realize they are gone. I don't like to sound self observed or anything like that but most of the things I will miss are quite vain. For example, I have a massive calf muscle. I tried to take a picture for "journaling" sake, however my legs are so white you couldn't see it. Chris tells me that it's over sized, and I take that as a complement. Trust me I don't spend hours upon hours working on these calf muscles, I really don't know how you get that muscle to grow, but I'm proud of it. And in the back of my mind I often think, man when I get old that muscle is gonna disappear. I won't be able to randomly show people my massive muscle and compare them. To me that's kinda sad and pathetic all at the same time! But I'm gonna miss that muscle one day and I know my kids will never believe I ever had it! So sad, I know!

Then there is the thought that one day my son is going to tell me that I throw like a girl. This thought scares me to DEATH!!! I fear for this day, or a day similar to it when he decides he is too old to play catch with his mom, that I'm to fragile and he doesn't want to hurt me. Sounds pretty lame I know, but it literally makes me want to cry at just the thought! I LOVE baseball/softball, I hope my kids will have the same love I grew up with for it. If not, that is fine, but I think it would be pretty awesome if they knew the game inside and out, if they wanted to play it 24/7.... And especially I'd love it if one day my son or sons (if we get another boy one day...) was being interviewed after he made the winning catch or hit the winning run in for the world series and he said I learned everything I know from my Dad and MOM! How my heart will swell with pride, yes evil pride, if he said that one day! And so to hear him say he doesn't want to play catch with me one day will break my heart and make me cry!

One day I will look back at this picture and miss how little my oldest child is. One day Ethan will tower over me and make me feel so small. How will I possibly be able to say that he is my little boy when one day he is bigger than I am? I look back at pictures from even six month ago and get a little saddened by how much he has grown. It feels like the kid grows everyday. Aren't kids suppose to take their time growing? I will miss his cute little fingers when they become much bigger than mine. I will miss his tight little hugs and squeezes on my hand. I will miss being able to catch him, stand still when he pushes on me and catch him when he jumps on me. This too is very sad, so sad!

I will miss the sight of all my kids hanging out together. One day they will have their own friends and their siblings will be put on the friend back burner until they realize how wonderful family is. Ashlee just has to see her brother or sister and a smile appears, nothing more than their face needs to be seen. And Ethan and Katelee automatically smile when they see Ashlee. Melts my heart, even when they are fighting, I know one day I will miss the sound of their yelling and screaming.

I will cry when my kids no longer look up to me with eyes that say, I will do anything you tell me to do... I trust you completely.... One day I will become to my kids, "just my mom" not my "awesome mom, or smart mom" How sad that will be. I love seeing the trust and adoration in my kids' eyes when they look at me, speak to me and hug me. One day I will cry when they go through the phase of thinking I'm an idiot or don't understand what they are going through... Every kid does it to their parents, why would mine be an exception?

I will cry the day I'm unable to carry any of my kids. Ethan is already close to never being carried by me again... He is getting HUGE. I love holding my little girls. I love especially cuddling with Ashlee, holding her against my chest and smelling her little head... I am taking it all in because I know sooner than later I won't be able to do that any more.

This is just a few of the MANY things that will make me cry one day. Chris and I were talking about the day we try to tell our kids not to do something that will hurt them terribly and they do it anyways. My heart aches now just thinking about that. It's amazing how your world comes around full circle. I was told by my parents many times not to do things and I did them anyways. They were only trying to save me pain and instead I had to experience it firsthand, how sad my parents must have been to see that happening. But as I think of these things I try to remind myself that I need to enjoy EVERY MINUTE NOW!! Enjoy playing catch with Ethan now, enjoy the constant chatter and bickering of the kids NOW, enjoy holding my babies in my arms (no matter what time it is) NOW, enjoy being admired almost to annoyance NOW and so much more!!! I have a new resolve to live in the moment NOW... Because soon this moment will only be something I look back and dream about and even shed a few tears about!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ashlee at 4 Months

I have to start this post off by saying I CANNOT believe it has already been four months. Where does the time go?

Today our little Ashlee had her four month Dr. appointment which are accompanied with her four month shots as well. Since Daddy is still out on summer break he got to take her in. Her stats are:

Weight: 12.1 Lbs 10-25 percentile

Height: 24 inches 25-50 percentile

Head: No #, just told it was 25-30 percentile

The doctor said he is happy with her growth and that she is "normal/skinny" just like her sister. It's so funny to hear that because lately I have been thinking she is getting so big and her legs are getting chubby, but apparently they aren't as chubby as I think they are! We were given the ok to start solids and cereal at five months and told that everything else looks great. Early on Ashlee was refusing to eat her bottles, but has since gotten a bit better. Seems like our little ladies give us the hardest time with eating. Katelee was a little bit easier, she just took forever to eat... Well I'm pretty sure Ashlee has beat her out with the difficulty level. Lovely, independence seems to run in our children's genes.

Most nights this is what Ashlee looks like after getting finished with her bottle....

She eats with her left hand up by her eyes the WHOLE time, every time. It's cute until she gets really grouchy or crazy and pushes the bottle out a million times. Her normal feeding takes about 20-40 minutes depending if she feels like cooperating or not. Most times not, which means about 40 minutes to feed her.
By the time she finishes eating at night both daughter and parent are tired as well. Ashlee still sleeps wonderfully and so I will take her fussy and cranky feeding over not sleeping well anytime. She is such a happy girl. She rarely cries. The only times she really cries is when we stop at a light in the car when she is tired, around 7:30pm if she hasn't had a little nap before that or when I accidentally cut her while trimming her nails. She really is that good, I don't say this only to brag but to express my gratitude for this angel! I call her Angel Face, which might seem weird but to me it's perfect. I love looking at her, holding her, seeing her smiles and listening to her talk to me! She is a talker and a spitter.

Saturday June 18th, I laid Ashlee down after her morning bottle so I could get the dishes done and when I went to check on her she had rolled from her back to her belly. This is the first picture of it. She hadn't quite figured out what to do with her arm that was stuck under her belly, but soon enough she figured it out. Any time we lay her down on her back it's only a matter of seconds before she ends up on her belly and then only a matter of a minute or so that she starts crying because she isn't too sure of her belly yet.

We got the rolling over on video which will be uploaded soon. Ashlee is still loved extremely by her big sister, big brother, parents and all other family and our friends. She will give everyone a smile more than once, she doesn't care who holds her.... yet. Still can't believe my baby is 4 months old, seems like just yesterday I was holding my angel for the first time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Seems like lately all I have posted about is Ashlee, so here is a post dedicated to our Baby Kate. Or as she is now know as, Katelee, Katelee Madge, Kate or Lady.

Katelee is an early riser and always has been. Most morning I wake up and get going around 6-6:15am. Its a guarantee that within 10 minutes of me being up Katelee will come walking in to our room. Usually I'm standing at my sink brushing my teeth or doing my hair when she comes in. It always brings a smile to my face to see her in the morning. Her hair is EVERYWHERE and she smiles huge when she see us. I always kneel down and hug her tight. She talks some baby talk and then we move on. Most morning she plays with the stuff under my sink, her baby doll or spends time doing her hair. Lately she has been playing with her doll, putting her on the little toilet we have in our bathroom, feeding her my contact solution or putting her in and out of our bed. This morning when I rolled over to look at the time, up came Katelee to my bed. She rubbed my arm and then went and got two books and climbed in our bed. She started reading them out loud while I got ready for work. I treasure our morning alone time when it's just me and her. We don't do much talking but we sure have been able to bond.

Katelee's nursery leader has always raved how much she LOVES her. Direct quote from her about Katelee, "I wish every child was like Katelee, she is so perfect. She goes with the flow and does whatever we ask her to do. We love Katelee!" At first I thought she was just being nice until I heard her say about another kid, "oh your son was pretty wild today!" She goes to nursery with no problems and last week she told me that she learned about the sacrament. It's always funny hear people say how well behaved she is because she can be quite the stubborn and grouchy girl.

When it's my time to put Katelee to bed at night I just love it. We brush her teeth and say night night to the girl in the mirror, who she has jokingly named Ethan! We then say prayer and I lift her up into bed. I then climb up and sing her some songs. She always gets so excited and hugs me the entire first song, which is always Families can be Together Forever. Then after I finish singing to her I start to climb down the ladder. Each time she sits up in bed and says, "Be careful careful coming down the stairs." I then ask her if she wants to kiss Mommy goodnight, to which she always says yes. I then stick my lips between the bars on her bed and she just loves it. We kiss and then I'm out of the room! I love love LOVE that quiet time I get to spend with this little lady!!!

Lately Kate has been very big into hiding from people. She loves to run behind the couch and hide when I get home from work. One day when I got home, I heard and saw her run behind the couch saying, "oh no, oh no, oh no" the entire time. When I followed her to her spot she started crying because she didn't get to hide from me. So now I let her hide and then try to find her. When she can't find a spot she will cover her eyes or lay her head down on the ground. Because she can't see you, you clearly cannot see her!

Katelee is still a pretty skinny girl and with no more diapers its even more apparent. Her pants or skirts are often in need of being pulled up. She weights 28 lbs and is still pretty tall for her age. She loves to give big squeezes and kisses if she wants to. Many times both her and Ethan will say that dinner is delicious, which always makes me smile. She will eat spaghetti o's or mac n cheese anytime. Kate is a very good eater most the time, however if she doesn't want it, she probably wont be eating it. No matter what we bribe her with! Katelee loves to count and knows her colors. She is learning the sounds of the letters and often times is heard saying, "uga uga... Ahhhh" which is her way of knowing what sound the letter A makes. We have really been noticing lately how monotone her voice can be at times. It cracks us up because she will say something and add "ha ha" to the end of it and never change her tone at all. Makes us laugh ALL the time.

Although I have always felt like Ethan was the aggressor and instigator of most fights between the two of them, I have been sorely wrong. Katelee does her own fair share of starting or carrying on a fight. She doesn't back down, which makes me happy (because I want nothing more than a strong independent girl who wont be pushed around) and irritated (because she will get mad or throw attitude for just about any reason!) As you can see Katelee does a good job of giving me mixed emotions. I love seeing her aggressive side, I think it will help make her the best she can be. I also hate that side of her because she can be mean at times. I love seeing her give a kid a toy she had that they are taking away from her because it shows she can share and is willing to. I also hate seeing that because inside I'm thinking, "hey lady, stick up for yourself!" However she acts or doesn't act right now, I know that my little baby K will grow up to be a wonderful young lady because she will feel the love we all have for her. I can't help but see a little of myself in here each day from her crazy hair in the morning, stinky feet at the end of the day or her never wanting to be under the covers. She still loves to throw lots of attitude, but she wouldn't be my daughter if that didn't happen. She keeps us on our toes and keeps this mother smiling. I can't say I'm excited to raise myself in her, but I look forward to the challenge and seeing what a wonderful person this little girl grows up to be!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This Monday was Memorial Day and to celebrate my day off of work we decided to make some decorations and take them to the graveyard. We started off by having the kids decorate a piece of paper however they wanted. Ethan started writing letters and numbers, such a proud mother moment.Katelee was drawing all kinds of things. Don't mind her hair, we were still in our PJs and hadn't done our hair yet!

After they were done decorating the paper we cut them out in the shape of hearts and put them on plastic knifes so they would stick into the ground.

Katelee had one flower and the rest were hearts, she was so proud!!

After we got dressed and did our hair we headed over to pick Grandma Blackburn up and headed over to the graveyard. There was a Veterans memorial service going on so we had to take the long way around to my Grandma and Grandpa Stewart's grave. We let the kids pick which hearts they wanted to put by the grave.

I talked to them briefly about my grandparents and how much I love them and can't wait to introduce them to them one day. I know introductions will not be needed, but I guess I'm more excited to have them see me with them! I have been greatly blessed with great grandparents on both sides of my family. I love going to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Blackburn and love even more that they have gotten to meet my kids and get to know them. Although I did not have that experience here on earth with my Stewart Grandparents, I know I will have that experience in the next life with them!

Here we are with our finished product. I think their little hearts looked cute. After decorating this grave we walked down to my Great Uncle Cecile and Aunt Toddies grave and left two hearts there. I remember going to visit them at their house and having so much fun. We would endure a grueling 10-15 minutes of adult conversation before one of us kids would ask if we could go out back and swing. They had swings made out of big tires and Uncle Cecile would get pushing us pretty high!!! He was missing some fingers and I remember that always seemed weird and interesting to me that he was still able to function without them. He was the best at horse shoes and my Aunt Toddie would tell stories about actual American Indians ransacking their house when she was young. As a kid those stories were exciting, as an adult they are pretty scary...

After that we got in the car and headed to the other side of the graveyard to visit Russ and Arlene Howard's grave. These are my Uncle's parents. I never knew Russ, he died the year I was born so I don't know much about him from my own personal experiences. I remember Arlene though, she was a sweet lady that laughed at all my dad's silly jokes. I still remember what she looked like and even what her house and especially her backyard look like. She was exactly what you expect a grandma to be, cuddly, squishy and always smiling. We left two hearts there as well and then we headed home.

I love sharing stories about the special people in my life to my kids. I love describing how they looked, what they said and how they made me feel. I know most the times my kids just look at me with a blank stare, or don't even act like I'm talking... But even if they aren't listening or paying attention I feel good remembering the people that have shaped me into the person I am today. I love thinking about the way my Grandpa Stewart would embarrass me every time he introduced me to people. He would always say, "This is my granddaughter Hilary, she got three varsity letters as a freshy!" I'd blush and say, "oh grandpa stop it!" And he'd beam with pride. Oh how that embarrassed me and made me feel so special all at the same time. My Grandma Stewart was such a good example to me growing up. She always smiled and loved on us grand kids. When she was going through some treatments for her cancer she would get a lot of gas stuck in her tummy and didn't know how to burp it out. I took great pride in the day she asked me to teach her how to burp! Sounds silly, but I knew how to do it well and I felt so helpful. Towards the end she didn't smile as much, but would sure try to when we would come and say good-bye and kiss her. Such sweet memories that I fear one day I will lose. So before I do I want my kids to hear them and know them for themselves!!!

Not only did we remember those that we know, but also those that we don't know who gave their lives for us so we can live in this free land of America. We may not be perfect, we might not be where I wish we were, but there is no other place I'd rather be! How thankful I am for this Memorial Day that allowed me the time to reminisce about those close to me that have passed on! How I love them all and cannot wait for the day when I can hug them all and see their smiling faces again!

God be with you till we meet again!

Silly Ashlee

Our sweet Ashlee is getting so animated it makes me smile. She loves to look around and talk but her latest thing is laughing! She is a good mimicker so all you have to do it laugh and she laughs. She has been laughing for a while but tonight I just had to get it on video! At times her laugh might sound a little like a cry but then it turns around and makes my heart melt. I can't believe how advance she seems, It's probably just me not remembering the other kids' achievements right off hand. Ashlee is so easy going and happy all the time. I'm starting to get the feeling that she is going to fit right in with us clowns here in the Nelson household!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

6 Years Ago....

Chris and I walked out of the Las Vegas temple, sealed for Time and ALL Eternity! It was the best and most important decision Chris and I have ever and will ever make, being sealed in the temple. The buzz of the day is still fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. I remember waking up to my alarm, thinking "hey I'm getting married today." I showered, my cousin did my hair and then my parents came to pick me up and take me to the temple. We arrived at the temple and as we were walking in Chris was walking back to his car to get something he had forgotten. I remember when I saw him I was so excited to see he was there. I didn't think he would stand me up, it was just excitement to see my future husband.

We got dressed and waited in the waiting room with both sets of parents. There was one or two other couples in there but it was only our families talking and cracking jokes. My dad was trying to see how many of us could move our foot in a circle one way and pat our heads or something like that. I have always heard people express their wedding day nerves, however I didn't have any. I was just excited to start this next chapter in my life! We were sealed in front of about 100 members of our family and a few friends. I can still remember the comfort and peace that came over me when we walked into the sealing room and knelt across the alter from one another.

After our sealing we took pictures and then headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for a bar-b-que. The rest of the day was great, after the luncheon came the reception and it was a lot of fun. We talked, danced, laughed and had a good time!!!

These past six years have been full of smiles, trials, milestones and memories that will not be forgotten. In some ways it doesn't seem like its been SIX years already, but then when you write down all we have done and accomplished and been through, I can't believe it all fit into six years!!!

How thankful I am to have meet Chris, gotten to know him and become his wife and eternal companion!!! How thankful I am that we started our marriage in the temple and have the assurance that if we live righteously we will be with our children and one another FOREVER!!! I cannot think of a better way to spend eternity! Thanks babe for marrying me six years ago!!! I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sleeping Kids

There is something about a sleeping child that just makes my heart smile. Perhaps its the fact that they aren't fighting with each other, or talking back or maybe it's just that they are so peaceful. Whatever it is, I just had to document it. Ethan is funny, he always falls asleep with his hands above his heads or curled up in a ball as if he is freezing. His newest thing is to say that he is hot and ask if he can talk his shirt off... I let him do it one time and now he wants to do it all the time... Here he is the other night. (I know the sheets are Katelee's, they take turns sleeping on the top bunk...)

Katelee, she doesn't like sheets at all. She doesn't want to be covered falling asleep and then if you come in and cover her up later she will kick them off before you leave the room. She sleeps in all kinds of positions and has even fallen off the bottom bunk and by the time I got into the room she was under the bed. She just kept rolling and was so confused when I came in. The other night we came in to find Katelee like this.... I don't know how long she was like that, or would have been like that. Too cute!

Now on to Ashlee. She is a great baby. Most nights she sleeps solidly through the night. The other nights when she wakes up we just give her the binky and she is out again. I complain about her getting up, but really I have been so spoiled. When we put Ashlee down for the night she sleeps in her woombie. It has no legs or arms, but is stretchy so she can still move around. She seems to love it and it has worked so far, so she will keep sleeping in it for now. She always looks so peaceful. Every night we put her down like this and then in the morning she is perpendicular. I don't know how she gets there, but she does!!!

Talkative Ashlee

Every night after Ashlee has had her last bottle we lay her down to get her dressed. This is when Ashlee is at her best. She learned at a very young age that if she smiled and talked I would lose track of time and just talk and smile back at her. Most nights I could do this for a good 10 minutes. She is a smart one. Well she still loves to talk and smile at bedtime and I still love to smile and talk with her, but I'm getting better about putting her down on time. Tonight she was talking quite a bit and I decided to get a video of it. I just love this little lady. She is such a good baby and makes me to happy. Her little smile has captivated me since the first time I saw it. She smiled pretty early, around 4 weeks. We love to say, "I love yooooouuuuu!" and watch her smile and sometimes I swear she tries to say it back. I know, I'm crazy and just think she is too smart, but there have been a few times I have looked around to see if anyone else heard what I thought I heard! The kids love to repeat anything you say to her and love it even more when she smiles or talks to them. She really does make this WHOLE family happier people!!! Love you Ashlee, thanks for keeping us smiling!!!

Playtime for Ashlee

Tonight while eating dinner Chris pointed out that Ashlee was rolling over to her side and then back again. It felt like this was the first time I had ever seen an infant almost roll over. I got so excited and tried to record it, but Ashlee wasn't having it by the time I got the camera out. Don't get me wrong, I look at my baby and think, "my goodness she is already getting so big. Where has the time gone? Stop growing already." Although I wasn't able to get her semi-rolling, I thought this video was still cute.

You can't tell at all that her brother and sister like her can you???

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kate's Hands

In a previous post I spoke about how Katelee had these horrible spots on her hands. I was able to find some pictures... Poor girl... These were taken the day after they broke out, so they look a bit better than they did the day before.