I am beginning to wonder if there is really such a thing as "Spring" in Utah or if it just skips from Winter to Summer. One day, the girls will be running wild in the yard in t-shirts and shorts and the next, it snows! What happened to a season of blissfully perfect weather...sunny skies, moderate temperatures, flowers blooming, song birds singing...(oh, how I miss the sunshine!)? We seem to only be able to get "teaser days" where the weather goes from bad to great and right back to bad again. We try and soak in all the sun whenever we can grasp some. As wonderful as having a yard has been (on the few fair weather days we've had), there is a drawback; my girls seem to think that if they come in for a potty break, it might start to snow again before they get back out to play, and so instead, they don't. Inevitably, accidents occur; about half a dozen times in the past few weeks (Alexis excluded)! We take a lot of baths, and do a lot of laundry, and ruin a lot of clothes. In spite of all that, we have really tried to make the best of what fair weather days come our way and here is what we've been up to this past week:
A walk in the woods...
Our "backyard", or rather, a view of our frontyard taken from our backyard.
There is a trailhead for some great hikes just a short walk away from our house. We decided to do some exploring one night after grilling some burgers for dinner. We found a lot of animal tracks, a river, a bridge and a waterfall.
Our family participated in a 5K race sponsored by local law firms. Luckily, the weather was perfect that morning (and by afternoon it was raining again!). Adam and Alexis ran the race and finished in great time. Alexis was one of the first in her age group to cross the finish line. I helped bring in the latter half of the race with our other three little racers. Aubrey and Allie were wiped out about 1/3 of the way through and both hopped on the stroller with Bria, so I pushed the three of them as I jogged along (would have been easier without the hills!). I couldn't decide which part of me got the better workout, my legs or my arms!
They were all so proud of themselves and we had a really good time doing it. As a treat, we got to stop by the zoo on the way home and say hello to Zuri (Allie's favorite elephant). We had been missing her during the winter months and were happy to see her back outside. Alexis had quite a full schedule that day. After the early morning race, she had a choir concert at the University that included a two-hour rehearsal prior to the two-hour concert. She and I were exhausted that night!
The very definition of cute:
Really, could she be any cuter? She is sitting up on her own now and is quite proud. It is becoming very evident that she wants mobility though I am strongly opposed. She loves the grass, the outdoors, and splashing in the tub. I think tonight we really wore her out. I was reading stories with the girls before bed and she was sitting on the floor in front of me when we started to notice her head bobbing around. She had fallen asleep sitting up! I didn't know babies could do the head-bob thing. I thought that was reserved for parents at church and toddlers in car seats! Guess that's what happens to a fourth child who doesn't get the type of nap schedule a first child is blessed with; they have to be able to sleep anytime, anywhere.
Sweet dreams, my little ones; I'll be dreaming of sunny weather for you!
Alexis's choir sang the National Anthem at a baseball game this past weekend. They sounded awesome! The weather was perfect; we all enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine and eating more than our share of kettle corn.
Ambria quite possibly loved being outside more than any of the rest of us. She was so happy throughout the whole game. She "watched" most of it sitting up in her carseat that we had propped up on a stadium seat.
A few updates...
Aubrey continues to love to hang on, swing from and dance around, anything and everything. She is getting excited to start school this fall. She is gearing up for her Spring dance recital next weekend.
Ambria is 5 1/2 months old!!! She is changing so fast. I feel grateful she stayed a "baby" until we got into our new home but now she is trying to grow up. She is sitting on her own now and grabbing onto toys (and anything else she can grasp onto...hair, paper, etc.) She babbles all the time (da and ba sounds) and started solid food yesterday. We gave her some mashed up bananas and she made the most disgusted face any of my girls have made with their "first food" experience. Surprising since I started all the others on vegetables first! She seemed more impressed with them today. Stinky diapers, here we come!
Allie turned three last month. We had a big celebration with all the relatives in our new home. She was very happy to receive a tricycle this year. She and Aubrey have enjoyed riding their bikes around together in the basement while we wait for more Spring weather to come.
We are in our home at last! We moved in at the beginning of April. My love for it increases every day as it begins to feel more and more our own. The move itself was filled with plenty of stress and ups and downs, as anyone should expect, no matter how many sleepless nights were spent planning and preparing for it. We are here now and "settled," yet somehow life keeps racing by so fast. I had hoped our pace would slow a bit once we got here and I'd find some of the time I've been missing since we left California to keep up on my blog and a myriad of other projects, and especially to sit back and enjoy my kids, but that hasn't happened to the degree I wished just yet. The two hours a day we spend commuting Alexis back and forth to school combined with the absence of naptime has a lot to do with that. Only twenty-four days of commuting left and maybe then I will reclaim some of that lost life. Because time is scarce, I will not attempt to give a full account of the past two months and will start instead with today...when I threw my "to -do" list in the trash and went out to watch the kids play. They spent hours running out in the yard, jumping on the trampoline and swinging on the swingset with the neighbor kids. It was so fun to watch them play with friends and enjoy being kids; having a yard with plenty of room to wiggle is wonderful! (They were all in shorts since it was a whopping 60 degrees today!) We have found ourselves amidst wonderful neighbors again. Just now, the doorbell rang and new friends were there with a plate of cookies. :) We have received, breads and cupcakes, dinner invites and babysitting offers, and best of all, warm greetings. We are happy to be, home sweet home.
Allie loves to pick "flowers." I told my dad that is an example of why kids are so happy. They see flowers where adults see weeds.
The girls had a great day out in the snow this past Saturday. They built a snowman, shoveled the snow off the lawn (yes, you read that right), and got to try ice skating for the very first time. We met my family over at a local skate rink and spent an hour out in the falling snow gliding on the ice (or at least attempting to). We all enjoyed a nice warm cup of cocoa to warm our insides when we were through. They have been talking about their ice skating adventure non-stop ever since, and somehow when they get better and better at the "tricks" they tried on the ice the more they talk about it. ;)
We are expecting to close on our new home in just five more weeks and we are all SO excited to move into our place and get settled there. We have been in a sort of "limbo" stage since arriving here and at last our move will be complete and we can plant deeper roots. While there is a great deal of excitement and anticipation on my part, there are a few drawbacks of leaving our current situation. I only have five more weeks until: *I have to communte to Alexis's school both ways *I have to fold each load of laundry *I have to cook every night *I will be responsible for all the grocery shopping *I will have to clean the entire house *No more "after we put the kids to bed" babysitters A great big THANK YOU to my mother-in-law for putting up with our family all this time, sharing her home with us and helping me "lift my load."
Alexis got a hair cut today. It wasn't until she was getting her hair washed that I realized it was her first salon experience and I should have taken my camera! She cut off several inches and is quite pleased with the result. She is so excited to show her friends at school tomorrow.
This past weekend was very culturally uplifting. My enrichment began on Friday evening when I enjoyed a nice dinner and night out to the symphony with Adam at this fine concert hall downtown. We attend the "Bravo Broadway" performance which featured songs from a variety of Broadway musicals and were sung by two divas that played the part of "Elphaba" in our favorite musical, "Wicked." Both women were amazing, as was the orchestra. The music was fantastic and we enjoyed the night entirely. The following day, I was treated to an afternoon at "the ballet" as Aubrey and Allie danced and twirled around the living room to the tune of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty" suites. Saturday night, I was accompanied by our friend Aurelie, to a patriotic musical tribute for the Governor at the State Capital building where Alexis's choir performed. It was a LONG day for Alexis with the rehearsal and performance but she enjoyed getting to sing there and certainly looked cute. (Alexis is in the middle of the front row.)
Sunday night, Alexis's choir group performed at the Tabernacle in Temple Square at an Interfaith Concert. It was a really neat evening. Singing and dancing groups from a variety of religious groups throughout the community came together to perform for each other in an effort to build and strengthen diverse relationships. It was stated that "the problems in the world are not with what people believe but rather people not living what they believe." I concur. It would make a difference if there was more "walking the walk" and less "talking the talk." The idea was not to blend beliefs but to appreciate them as they are. The religious groups represented at the performance included: LDS, Islam, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Baptist, Buddhism, Hindu, Earth, Jewish, Quaker, Muslim, Sikh and Native American. The opening and closing numbers were performed with congregational participation. I was touched and felt a unifying spirit as we all joined together in song. There were a lot of varying beliefs and cultures in the tabernacle that night and we all left respecting and wanting good things for each other. We are all children of a loving God no matter how we choose to represent that faith. "Let there be peace on Earth...and let it begin with me!"
Aubrey turned FIVE this past week! She is enamored with "Rapunzel" right now so we celebrated by going out to lunch and attending the movie "Tangled" at the theater with her grandmas. We enjoyed chicken enchilladas for dinner (at her request) and cake and ice cream in the evening with all the family. She, of course, wanted a "Rapunzel" cake so that it what I attempted to make. I used her gift (the Rapunzel tower) as a cake topper and decorated the cake with flowers. I think she was pleased and I sure had fun learning to make roses with icing with my grandma. Aubrey's favorite things in life at five are: dancing, gymnastics, polly pockets and barbies.
Aubrey as "Rapunzel" (she looks quite different as a blonde!) (can't pass up cuddly baby pictures) Four Generations: My grandma, my mom, me, and my girls
Adam gave Ambria a beautiful blessing this past Sunday at church. I am grateful for the good man that Adam is and that he honors and uses the Priesthood authority he holds.
*All four of our daughters have worn this Italian dress on their blessing day (we have Italian heritage on my dad's side). My mom brought it home from a trip to Italy hoping someday she'd have a grand-daughter to wear. We've been happy to put it to good use.
Ambria is two months old! She had her check up this week and first set of shots. She weighed in at 12 pounds and was 23+ inches long. The dr. asked if all my kids had been this big...she is 89th percentile. (And the answer is yes, they have all been good size babies.) Bria is getting heavy to heft around throughout the day; especially the day she got her shots. She was so mad but was calmed down quickly to her big sisters' relief. They had all been very concerned about her shots and has asked the nurse to reassure them that she would be okay. Bria did really well until afternoon and then she screamed for about three hours! I had a headache and a really tired arm that night. I am grateful that my fourth baby is not colicky like the first two were. I don't think I could survive that. Ambria has been a very content baby. She loves to be held, as most babies do, and is a great sleeper. She is smiling a lot now and starting to giggle and "coo." Her sisters smother her with love. Allie is constantly burying her with blankets and stuffed animals and Aubrey still can't get enough time holding her. They even took a little snooze together the other day...and I was happy to sneek one in with them.
Our house is really full of "girl!" What do expect with four of them bouncing off the walls! There is pink everywhere, and frilly things strewn about, and squealing and giggling and tutus and cat fights and sweetness...and I love it! I smiled as I picked up the ballet slippers, tiaras, and princess wands off the floor tonight. Adam is doing his best to counter balance all the femininity but I'm sure he feels like he is treading water in a sinking ship. He is constantly chastized for saying "bad" words like "crap" or "stupid" and told he is "eating like a beast." He wrestles with the girls and makes loud noises and I recently found out he has been telling them some pretty exciting bedtime stories, including "Karate Kid," and "Superman," anything "boy-ish" and superhero related...and nothing to do with princesses! Recently my girls and I got in a battle over why they couldn't watch the movie "Spiderman." They said they knew all the stories...all about the "green goblin" and "Octavius," etc. so I didn't need to worry about them being scared. Hard to explain that I didn't mind them hearing the stories but didn't want them to actually "watch" them. I did allow them to watch "Karate Kid" (parts 1 and 2) and they have since been telling me all about Daniel-son and Mr. Miagi. Don't love the karate match imitations and much as the pretend dance recitals, but we've got to let the dad in somewhere.
Learn from the past, Prepare for the future, Live in the present.
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson
Adam and Alyssa
How our story begins...
Adam and I met and married in South Jordan, Utah. We lived close to home for the first year and a half of our marriage and then headed to Tucson, Arizona for the next three years while Adam attended law school at the Univ. of Arizona. During that time we enjoyed spending two summers in Utah and one in Las Vegas while Adam clerked and then studied for the BAR. Our family grew by two before leaving Tucson as we welcomed first Alexis in 2004 and then Aubrey in 2006. We migrated to Phoenix where we enjoyed a year meeting more new friends and even having some family close by. Adam worked there as a judicial law clerk for a federal court judge. We said a quick and sad farewell to Arizona when a job opportunity presented itself in Fresno, California where we moved in June of 2007. We welcomed Allie to our family in 2008. We loved exploring California and had many great adventures in our three years there. We relocated back near our families and welcomed our fourth daughter, Ambria, to our home in 2010. We look forward each day to the experiences we have in our journey through life.