Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mommy-Daughter Dates

Sometimes I like to have some one on one time with my kids.  Sometimes we are actually able to make it happen. Life gets pretty busy sometimes and when it gets busy all I want to do with my free time is hang out with the whole family.  But, I also know how special those one on one moments are so we work hard to make it happen.  The other day I needed to go to the grocery store and Katelee was adamant that she wanted to go with me.  We decided to make it a Mommy and Daughter date.  We went to Target and got some popcorn and a slushy and walked around and got what we needed.  Then we went to the grocery store and then Katelee picked China a go-go for dinner.  I have never been there, but she really wanted to go, so we went.  We decided to get the Chicken Chow Mein and it was yummy.  We talked A LOT and loved every minute of our time.  Katelee is funny, she is at an age where she is still a kid but trying so hard to be grown up.  Our conversation was a good mixture of kid stuff and teen stuff...  I'm so thankful for times where I can just sit back and enjoy my kids in a special way.  When I was sitting across from Katelee at dinner I just kept thinking, "How on earth did I get so lucky to have this girl in my life?"  I have truly been blessed... 

After my one on one with Katelee, Ashlee really wanted some Mommy and her time so we decided to go shopping and to lunch. It was the day after Thanksgiving so it was really busy.  We went to Bath & Body Works and scooped up quite a bit of stuff for cheap.  We had to wait in line forever, but Ashlee was so good.  We went to Cugios after that and shared the lunch pizza special.  When we started eating Ashlee noticed the Garlic Knots were ready and asked for some, so we got some of those as well.  Ashlee is so fun to hang out with.  When she is one on one she is such a good girl.  She is polite and kind and doesn't talk potty talk when it's just her.  Again, sitting across from my other daughter I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly blessed.  She is a crazy girl and I just love her.  She is a whole lot of me packed into that small body!!  She cracks me up without even trying and her facial expressions are on point!!! 

Chris and I are trying harder to make these types of one on one experiences happen more for all of our kids.  It's so important that they feel important and feel like we care about them!!  When there are 4 kids running around the house it's easy for them to feel like we don't notice them and I don't want them to ever feel like that.  2016 will be full of lots of one on one dates!!!  

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Last Time

A few of my girlfriends and I went to "Time Out for Women" in St. George.  It was a great experience and SO much fun with those girls!  I will blog more about that later, maybe.  During one of the presentations a lady read the following and it struck such a raw chord with me. 

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you had freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Diaper changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
-Author Unknown-

The things is, I'm pretty sure Brynlee is our last baby.  I still think the idea of 5 kids is great, but I'm just not sure it's in the cards for us.  Chris is done, he will have to have some kind of a vision to agree to have another one.  Some days I can't imagine waking up multiple times a night again for feedings and newborn stuff.  I would love to be pregnant again, I LOVE being pregnant, but my body is a mess and it probably wouldn't be the best thing for me...  Sometimes I look at our family all together and think, "this is perfect!"  Like last night at the dinner table we were all just talking and hanging out and it felt so good and right.  Then there are times when I look around as if someone is missing. The other night when we were gathering for family prayer I was looking and saw Ethan, Katelee, and then found Ashlee and Chris had Brynlee and I just kept looking.  For a while I just kept looking.  Chris started reading and in my head I was thinking, "why isn't he waiting, we aren't all here!"  But then it clicked.  The mind and heart are interesting organs!! 
I packed up all of the clothes that Brynlee has outgrown, it was a sad day.  I may have shed a few tears, I can't lie.  I would hold up the clothes and smile as I would remember how cute that outfit was on my girls.  Then I took them to a lady in our ward that is having her first baby girl.  It was a sad day...  It was a last...

I look at my little Ethan, who isn't quite so little any more.  I can't tell you the last time I picked him up and carried him on my hip, but when I did it last did I think it was going to be the last time?  My baby won't let us feed her any more.  She must be the one to feed herself or she wont eat...  When I fed her last did I think it was going to be the last time?  And did I appreciate it like I should have? I can almost guarantee I didn't.  I have to fight with Katelee to let me do her hair.  The girl is 7!!! She wants to do her own hair, pick out her own cloths and much more.  When will it be the last time I do her hair?  Will I realize it?  Ms Ashlee is a handful, she has a spunk about her that is all her own.  She loves to hug me and give me kisses when I leave for work, when will she do that for the last time? 

After thinking about some of this stuff it was depressing.  But then it has made me much more aware of the little things that will one day be gone or I will do for the last time.  I rock my little baby a little longer at night, as long as she will let me.  I cuddle with the kids, even if I have to make them...  I have started to try a little harder to enjoy and extend those things that will one day be the last time!  I'll hold them a little closer, longer and tighter and soak it all up while I can.  Filling my jar so that hopefully it will last me through the rest of their childhood.   

Pinewood Derby 2015 (Ethan's FIRST one)

Ethan is now is Cub Scouts which means he does an activity every week and he gets to do a Pinewood Derby!  He was excited but I almost think my dad was more excited. We had Ethan pick out what he wanted the car to look like and my dad was able to cut it for him.  We had an FHE where Ethan and all helped work on the car.  Ethan was very good at sanding and messing around with all the tools...  

I was put in charge of painting the car, which I'm not all that good at...  We made it work though... My dad added on all the other items to get it where it needed to be weight wise.  Ethan wanted a driver so I found a Lego guy to add to the car.  My dad even made a carrying case for the car so he could enter the race in style.    Here are some shots of the final product:

The night of the Derby my parents came over for dinner and last minute inspections and then we were off to the races.  (Look at that smile, you can tell he is excited!)

They did 4 races with the car getting a spot in each lane.  The first lane Ethan took 1st place.  After that he didn't score first again, but was still doing good.  They let the boys place the cars on the track and I'm afraid Ethan didn't always get it centered so the wheels rubbed on the edges a few times, but he had tons of fun! 

Ethan's car ended up taking 4th place.  We would have loved to win it overall, but 4th place for your first race is GREAT as well!  It was fun seeing all the other cars and designs that people came up with.  Brought back memories of all of my brother's Pinewood Derbies and that was great fun.  Ethan has been looking forward to the next derby ever since the last one ended.  

Good-Bye Hansen Family

So when we moved into our condo when we first got married there were a few couples that lived in the same complex.  We got to know them each, but we got to know the Hansen family the most.  Carlee and Chris became our good friends, after far too many years of knowing them...  Carlee and I had baby girls around the same time.  They both had brown hair and these blue/green/clear eyes.  She named her daughter Kaylee and we named ours Katelee.  They were in all the same primary classes and their nursery leader especially had a hard time telling them apart.  Not only were their first names similar but their last names were as well, Hansen and Nelson...  After a bit the Hansen family moved out of our little complex and away from our ward.  We were all sad, but they were still close by, so we weren't too sad.  

We visited with them often, had family dinner nights with them and met up at different places to hang out.  Our kids meshed so well with each other.  Ethan loved playing with Conner, who is around Ashlee's age and Ashlee LOVES Conner.  He is her boyfriend if you ask her, even now after all this time apart...  When we found our new home, we were so excited to see that it was literally down the street from where the Hansen's were living.  I could not have been more happy to be close to them again.  But that happiness was soon washed away when we found out that they were moving..... to Texas!!  It was such a good thing for their family, but we were all so sad...  Before they left for good we had the kids over often to hang out and the adults too.  

We have gotten to see them one or two times since their move and the kids always pick up right where they left off.  Katelee and Kaylee send things back and forth to each other, it's so cute!  We miss the Hansen's like crazy, but we are so happy that things are going so well for them.  


There are only handful of couples that we get along with so well.  Chris and Chris always have tons to talk about and Carlee and I could talk for hours.  It's so great to have such great friends, even if they live in Texas now!