Time swings on

It was fun to download these picture from my phone and find Caveman pushing AJ on the swings in March (7 months old) at Joaquin Park...
then find another set from about a month later in April (8 months old). Caveman loves pushing her, it is super cute. And she obviously loves it too!

Things we will miss

It might seem silly or even ungrateful, which is the last thing I want to be right now, but after years of dreaming about and hoping the time would come to buy a home, it is with some trepidation that we are leaving a wonderful decade of our lives in Provo. Actually for me it has been a bit longer because I came to BYU as a freshman in 2000, which would be 12 years ago this August. I know for some people they would never choose to live in Provo (or Utah County or even Utah, for that matter) and that many cannot wait for the day they can leave. But for me I have always loved Provo, BYU and the surrounding community. I was one of those young girls who secretly hoped I would be accepted and attend BYU. We are lucky that I received two degrees there and that Chris was able to attend law school here. All great manifestations of the Lord's hand in our lives. We never intended for Provo and the Provo 4th Ward to be "home" for this long. So even though we have not owned here, it is neat to see how we have built and really put down roots someplace. I'm grateful we have. Both our current and former bishops, who are good friends whom we admire very much, counseled new ward members to unpack their bags and become involved no matter how long they would be here. And for us, it's good we did, since our stay was much longer than we would could have guessed! I often think of the Saints in Nauvoo and along the trail to Utah, who built homes, temples, gardens, not knowing how long they would be there but building where they were and leaving a legacy and good deeds for those who would come after them.

We will miss the wonderful friends we've made, both those who are still here and those who are gone. But I hope we can continue those friendships even though I know it will not be quite the same since we won't live right there. As hard as it sometimes is to be in a transient ward and stake, we have met amazing people and had incredible experiences, especially the opportunities given us through service in the Church and callings, that have caused our family, especially for Chris and I to be stretched and forced to grow in ways we probably could not have under other circumstances. It will be strange not to be right downtown where we can walk to everything. Of course there are things that drive us crazy that we will not miss, like the crazy traffic especially during Women's Conference, Education Week, football games, etc. and the annual nuttiness of the Freedom Festival parade. But moving to a more suburban area has it's upsides too; far less noise, sirens, homeless and meth-addict traffic right in front of where you live(!). If I stop and think about it, it's very strange the things we have come to accept as "normal"! Though I will never view where we live as the "inner city" as we've heard some who live elsewhere in Provo refer to this area of Provo (too funny). I am also still going through withdrawals and a bit of a grieving process about leaving Wasatch Elementary. It was a fantastic school. Ian loved it. He loved his amazing kindergartner teacher, Mrs. Whitaker, and did so well. We have mixed emotions about Ian not having the opportunity to do the Chinese Immersion program there, but actually the closer we got to him starting it (even before finding the house and deciding to move) the more unsettled Chris and I had both started to feel about him doing it. I would not be surprised if that is another thing in life we do not understand until years later, but I truly hope it will be okay and is right decision for Ian and not something I will regret or worry about.
We will miss the wonderful Provo Library. I am often there with the kids multiple times a week, especially during the summer. Even things like the displays in their children's department, like the Star Wars one below . . . my boys love the library! We will miss their programming, book and DVD selection and how close we were to it. All things you sometimes take for granted and don't stop to appreciate as fully in the moment, especially when you think you want something else more!
I will miss seeing "Y" mountain and the breath-taking view of Rock Canyon, especially its glow as the sun sets. I am sad we won't attend the Provo Temple regularly and that we are moving away from the new Provo City Center Temple district, though it will always be a part of our family's history because of the connection we had with it when it was announced during general conference and were privileged to attend the groundbreaking. But I know we will have new beautiful views and that even though Provo will not be "home" anymore on a daily basis, there will always be a part me me in Provo. I am grateful for the experiences and opportunities we had while we lived here. It is neat to consider who I have become over the past 12 years since I moved to Provo as an insecure, uncertain 18 year old. The Lord is good to us and blesses us abundantly in the ways we need, wherever we are and I look forward to what he has in store for us next.

Maybe the grass is actually just as green on both sides; each just has different opportunities, all of which can and should be celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest in the moment, even if you sometimes look back over the fence with longing for good times and things passed. But I also know there are plenty more good things to come.


Love my baby girl

I think my adorable mother-in-law sent this in an email a few weeks ago and I really liked it.
Don't get me wrong I love my boys and am so glad to have them, even though they often drive me completely batty! But in my heart I always hoped I would have at least one daughter (okay, let's be honest, I'd love if I had one or two more!!)
I am so grateful for AJ. She is such a sweet little girl. She brings a happiness and light to our home that I cannot imagine being without. We are daily touched by her fun, friendly spirit.

Selfless Service at Snowbird

We had the opportunity to attend church today while up at Snowbird. It's pretty incredible because a high priest group from a local ward (I believe from the Cottonwood Stake) is assigned to provide a shortened church service at the Snowbird Center EVERY Sunday. They said during the winter they may have as few as 18 attend but in the summer can get as high as 300. Snowbird personnel supports this by providing a room. We sing an opening hymn (a sister plays on a keyboard), have a prayer, then they have the head of each household introduce their family and where they are from. We sing a sacrament song and the volunteers from the local deacons quorum pass the sacrament (Which was actually pretty cute because one of them was wearing a white shirt, tie and black pants. And flips flops. You can get away with that a bit more easily at "Snowbird" church.) Then they have a short Sunday School lesson and two speakers. Today the wife of a high councilman gave a great talk and read a story that really touched me about a high school administrator (Hillcrest High, if I'm remembering right; I may not have all the details right since I was trying to occupy AJ) who learned a compelling lesson from the mother of a son who had been beat up by the school bully. Rather than being enraged when she came to the school office, she asked the boy where his father was (in prison) and mother (he didn't know; likely she was a prostitute). She asked if he had any friend (he didn't). So she put her arm around him and walked out of the school with the bully and her son, telling him he would come home and eat bread and jam after school, that they would get him a white shirt to wear to church on Sunday and that her son would be his friend. Pretty incredible. As we sat there during the service I was overwhelmed with gratitude and touched by the selflessness of those who give their time and talents to others. And also what a great opportunity this is for the deacons to come up each week and grow up participating in something like this. It is amazing that members of their stake are willing to give of their time each Sunday to drive up the mountain so we can partake of the sacrament and feel the Spirit and learn from the experiences of others. Just another great example of what the Church offers both givers and receivers.

Nasty goodness

I am a sucker for chips and cheese (or anything salty like this, for that matter) . . . no question why Chris thought of me when he saw this. Just ask Chris what a chupaqueso is; I don't necessarily even need the chips!


A Much Needed Update

 Visiting sweet Grandie. AJ loves playing with him.
 Such a cute girl!
 Caveman loves pushing AJ in the swings.
 I almost forgot where this big bear was from...but yes, it was visiting Andrea and Justin the day they left for Thailand. Silly kids.(that goes for my three and A&J. haha, cute just realized their names are AJ's initials) :)
 Bubba on his last day of school with his cute cubby. Of course I wanted to document as many details of his kindergarten year as possible. I can't believe how fast it's gone.
 "Bah-pa" as AJ calls him reading books. She is just starting to actually let us leave the book open to the same page and read words. She loves when I do animals sounds.
Love my baby girls so much! And those big chubby cheeks and blue eyes...
Caveman in all his native monkeyness.

Well, this isn't everything we've done in the last 7 months or even an adequate representation. But at least now it won't say "7 months" as my last updated blog post when I check my families' blogs, haha! Blogging had to take the back burner a few years ago when I struggled to find balance with being on the internet. There is always so much to do as it is and I hardly have a moment on the computer to respond to email it seems.I figure it it better to live my life than blog about it, but I also realize that means much of our daily lives and even big events haven't been adequately recorded or shared with family who aren't close, even though we do. At first I thought I'd set a goal of weekly updating the blog; now I'm thinking maybe at least one monthly recap post would be more realistic and sufficient. Or maybe when I finally dump my pictures from the memory card I can make sure I upload a few cute ones of the kids so friends and family can see them. We shall see what happens. Hopefully it will be less than 7 months at the very least.


Zone Time

I found this very fitting for our life now.

Pictures of Atleigh

I've needed to post pictures of her forever now, so here are a few from a photo shoot my friend Brittney* did. They turned out so wonderful! She is such a sweet thing and I'm so glad to have captured these when she was so little still (she was 2 weeks old when these were taken). We love her to pieces! I always hoped to have a daughter but it is truly wonderful to have her in our home, such a blessing.

And for those who never heard stats, Atleigh JoAnn was born August 18th at 2:31 a.m. She weighed 8 lbs 4 oz (we were shocked how big she was, much bigger than both her brothers, especially considering I had gained way less weight during the pregnancy, woo hoo!) and was 20 inches long. Pretty cool that her new cousin who was just born this week was the exact same weight and length.

* Photography by Brittney Warburton (sethandbrittney@gmail.com)


The Baby Atleigh Song

I need to actually post pictures of her, most of you probably know she has arrived last month (she's almost 6 weeks old already, crazy!), it's been a crazy few weeks around here! But in the meantime, I wanted to post this, it's a song my siblings dedicated to Atleigh. They have started coming up with songs for the new nieces and nephews, so this is hers. Imagine them saying "Baby Atleigh" instead of "baby monkey" in the song. As you can imagine the boys love it. And they love playing the iPhone game (2nd video) on my sister Andrea's boyfriend Justin's iPhone.


Caveman's Primary Talk

Topic: I can prepare to go to the temple (or something like that, I need to find the paper to know exactly)

(Showed picture of Mount Timpanogos Temple) Last month my Aunt Val got married in the Mount Timpanogos Temple (it was SO cute hearing him try to say "Timpanogos"!). She and Will looked so happy. It was fun to see them come out of the temple. They had prepared to be worthy to be sealed in the temple. I can prepare to go to the temple by:

  • Following the prophet (picture of President Monson at conference from Ensign cover)
  • Going to church (picture of girl giving talk in Primary)
  • Saying my prayers (picture of boy saving prayers)
  • Reading my scriptures (picture of girl reading her scriptures)
  • Being nice to my family (picture of family playing games together)
I know that if I can be doing these things to prepare to go to the temple someday. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

He did a really good job!